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Mass Jabiluka protest symbolises growing opposition to Kakadu mine



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14:56:47 +6134160767-> 98 WED 1_4:_47 FAX 61 3 9416 0767 ACF MELB.

FAXSTREAH SV209

M EDIA RELEASE JULY 8,1998.

ATTENTION: Chiefs of Staff and Environment Reporters.

Page 001 @002

Australian Conservation Foundation a»«n no? eta iec

3 4 0 Gere Street, Fiiiroy

Victoria 306 5

Telephone: 0 3 9 4 1 6 1166

Facsimile: 03 9 4 1 6 0767

MASS JABILUKA PROTECT SYMBOUSIES GROWING .OPPOSITION TO KAKADU MINE. -

This morning's biggest ever protest at the site of the proposed Jablluka uranium mine within Kakadu National Park showed opposition to another mine in the park was increasing around the country, the Australian Conservation Foundation said.

ACF President Peter Garnett said the peaceful assembly of 500 protestors was a powerful expression of the rising tide of opposition to the project nationwide.

The protest was led by Mr Garnett, former Labor Federal Minister and veteran social Justice campaigner Tom Uren, jazz singer Vince Jones and traditional owner Yvonne Margarula.

Despite the Inaccessible and inhospitable nature of the area, there are almost 600 people camped at the blockade site outside Jablru, making it by far the largest camp of its type ever in the Northern Territory. >’·

Today's rally follows the release of the Newspoli yesterday which recorded opposition to the mine at 67% , with 53% of respondents strongly opposed.

Mr Garrett said based on the poll findings, numbers In the camp would be in the tens of thousands if the mine was anyway in south eastern Australia near a metropolitan area.

In his address to the rally, Mr Garrett said Kakadu contained essential elements of Australia as a nation, through Its unique natural beauty and the cultural history of Indigenous people - elements too important to be put at risk.

He described the approval process for the mine as inadequate and insufficient and said it had been "conducted with unseemly haste".

''The Australian people are having the wool pulled over their eyes and will wake up one morning to a brave new world or uranium mines in National Parks and a dozen more in the hinterland of Australia,” he said.

Mr Garrett said Australia’s future, the future of our children, our reputation as a premier tourist destination, our commitment to the rights of indigenous Australians and our commitment to democratic rights were being threatened In the push to have the mine go ahead.

FOR FURTHER COMMENT CONTACT ACF MEDIA OFFICER WAYNE SANDERSON ON 0417 723 661 OR (0 2 ) 6262 5363; OR THE JABILUKA CAMPAIGN OFFICE ON (0 8 ) 8979 3130.