As a longtime anti-nuclear and anti-uranium campaigner, former member of MAUM, former state coordinator of the Nuclear Disarmament Party (Tasmania) and other organisations, I write to publicly express my utter disgust with Peter Garrett’s and the Australian government’s decision to open a new uranium mine in South Australia. I wish to add my voice to those who have criticised this action, which promotes a very dangerous industry and the world nuclear arms trade.
I do not accept Garrett’s lame excuses about adherence to the party line, after the ALP discarded its no-new mines policy. While Garrett says he “remains opposed to uranium mining”, he is part of a government and system that encourages it. Sounds like an extremely hypocritical position to me. Just because he has joined a conservative party like the ALP in the vain hope of changing it, does not mean he has to stick with it as it continues its increasing rightwing shift. As with all of us, he makes moral choices everyday. He has willingly chosen the party over principle. Sadly, like most politicians, Garrett has put loyalty to the party above principle and duty to the people and the environment. People rightly feel let down by his sellout.
Unlike Garrett, I and many other hundreds of thousands of Australians still oppose the menace of nuclear weapons, nuclear power and uranium mining. There are just too many serious dangers involved in the uranium trade. If Garrett were genuine about his opposition to uranium, he’d be striving to close mines down, not open new ones. As one of Midnight Oils songs, “Dead Heart”, rightly said, “companies … Got more say than people”. They certainly have with this pathetic government. We, the people need to change that, as there is no semblance of hope that Garrett and the ALP ever will.