The 17th November marks 10 years since the former Barnett Government lifted the ban on uranium mining in WA

Hi everyone

The 17th November marks 10 years since the former Barnett Government lifted the ban on uranium mining in WA.   We are so delighted to say that there are still no uranium mines operating in WA.

You have been a big part of the campaign to keep WA nuclear free and today we can celebrate that there is still no operating uranium mines in WA. It is a massive thanks to you that WA remains clean from uranium mining and is still nuclear free.  We hope you can join us to acknowledge this great effort!

Please join us to celebrate on Saturday 17 November from 5.30pm at the Perth Waldorf School with jazz by Pete Jeavons Trio, food, drinks, and yellowcake (that is safe!) and pay tribute to the communities who stand strong, to the CCWA campaign and to the stunning country that remains nuclear free.  All welcome but please for catering purposes RSVP here. Or call 0401 909 332, or via email    More information here.

Please note that this event is part of CCWA’s Awards Ceremony hosted by Prof. Carmen Lawrence and Piers Verstegen to also acknowledge the great work people in our community are doing to create a better world.

If anyone is looking for a new T-shirt or Hoodie for yourself or as a present then flick me an email.  You can pick up from Hilton, WA or we can mail to you 😉

We have the Walkatjurra Walkabout design by Vicky Abdullah (one of the Traditional Owners on the Yeelirrie court case)  This is on black T-shirt (all sizes)

We also have Shavi’s Lizard design on Black T-shirts (all sizes) and Hoodies (most sizes)

Check out the animation Video

If you haven’t seen our new animation … please watch and share the short 2 min video Uranium: West Australia under threat to make uranium mining extinct – not WAs unique species.


Recently we have been ordered to pay 50% of court costs, a combined total of $63,408 from Cameco and the State Government. This is outrageous but thanks to people like yourselves who care about protecting country and species, we can cover these costs!

Together we have raised a massive $45,250 which means we have surpassed our $45,000 target!

We are still waiting for the dates of the upcoming case in the court of appeals, but we will need to raise more money for this to keep progressing through the legal system.

Click here to donate today and please share far & wide. 

Please support this case with your donation today to help us protect Yeelirrie and defend WA’s environmental laws.

Join us at Projections at Parliament

The Walkatjurra Walkabout has finished with a storm (literally)! An awesome walk into Leonora with lots of support to keep WA nuclear free.  A successful public meeting the following day having CCWA Director Piers Verstegen come into Leonora to support the community and in particular the three Tjiwarl native title holders, Shirley, Lizzy and Vicky on the court challenge that included a visit to the proposed radioactive waste dump.  You can see photos and read about their adventures here.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the Projections at Parliament event on the 11th September to send a clear and important message to the WA Government to ban uranium mining permanently.

PROJECTIONS at PARLIAMENT: Tuesday September 11, 2018

Come along to Projections at Parliament, Tuesday September 11, 2018 from 6pm – 7.30pm @ Parliament House, to welcome home the Walkatjurra walkers and help deliver an important message to the WA Government to ban uranium mining permanently.  There will be projections, short films, speakers, music and food. For more information and to RSVP, click here

**LAST CHANCE** TAKE A SELFIE FOR Projections at Parliament EVENT

A really fun, easy, quick and effective action to keep the pressure on WA Labor to Keep Uranium in the Ground show them you care, concerned and support Traditional Owners.
Step 1 – Download and print the Ban Uranium Mining Permanently Sign / Or make your own!

Step 2 – Take a selfie with the sign

Step 3 – Upload your selfie to facebook or twitter and tag @WALabor @conservationcouncilWA and

@wanuclearfreealliance #BUMP

Step 4 – Send selfie to to put in the Projections!

Step 5 – Get 2 of your friends to do the same


If you haven’t seen our new animation … please watch and share the short 2 min video Uranium: West Australia under threat to make uranium mining extinct – not WAs unique species.



Recently we have been ordered to pay 50% of court costs, a combined total of $63,408 from Cameco and the State Government. This is outrageous but thanks to people like yourselves who care about protecting country and species, we can cover these costs!

Together we have raised a massive $44,185 of our $45,000 target!  Can you help us reach our target? Click here to donate today and please share far & wide. 

Please support this case with your donation today to help us protect Yeelirrie and defend WA’s environmental laws. 



The government is aiming to make a decision on whether to proceed with a nuclear waste facility is SA later this year.

Please go online to sign the online postcard or email to have a bundle sent to you.


To have your voice heard about Flinders Ranges nuclear waste dump plan, make a submission to Federal Minister for Resources Senator Matt Canavan via email at by 24 September.

On 6 February 2018, the Senate referred an inquiry into the selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia to the Senate Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by 14 August 2018. Read our submission here. Read all submissions on the government website here.   The report acknowledged and validated many of the concerns about the process but unfortunately did not call for an end to the process and for a better way to manage the process of selecting a site for Australia’s most hazardous waste.  You can read the Senate report here. Read the Conservation SA media release here.

Points to mention for WA are; 


To support the Walkatjurra Walkabout then click here

Walkatjurra Walkabout Crew

Keep following us on FACEBOOK and TWITTER and keep SHARING

An update from the beautiful Goldfields desert from Walkatjurra Walkabout.

An update from the beautiful Goldfields desert from Walkatjurra Walkabout. 

The Walkatjurra Walkabout has enjoyed the first fourteen days of walking with Traditional Owners to protect country and stop uranium mining despite freezing overnight temperatures and long hot days.

This week, a group of 55 people gathered at the gates Yeelirrie to support Traditional Owners, Aunty Shirley and Lizzie Wonyabong and Vicky Abdhullah in the 40-year struggle to stop the proposed Yeelirrie uranium mine. The three women have shared stories of the area where they and their families grew up and the connection they have to this land. As we walk, they show us the bush tucker, the plants used for medicine, and the plants used for other purposes. We listen, we learn, and together we enjoy the beauty of this land.

The group was joined by Youno Downs Station, who shared stories of the history of uranium exploration and company intimidation over the years they have lived on the pastoralist station.  “Water is what the company is after, they (Cameco) need up to 10 millions of litres of water and they want us to give it to them!”

The desert at first is so silent that you can hear the white noise in your ears, and after the pace of the city the desert feels slow and empty. But when you slow down and walk you start to see. The colours in the rocks, the way the acacia leaves fall and twist in patterns on the ground, the red white and green of a eucalyptus tree.

The stars stretch beyond the horizon, and the Milky Way is so long that you can’t see it all in one blink, and the whites are so stark they look like clouds. It takes a moment longer to find the Southern Cross amongst the bright jumble of stars.

When you’re out here, the white noise of the city fades away and you can hear the wind singing through the spinifex grass. The dead branches above your swag tinkle like a wind chime, and it’s the most beautiful music.

Walkatjurra Walkabout is grateful for the opportunity to slow down and connect to country, but also aware of the industry that threatens it.

But if uranium companies have their way, we would lose this untarnished beauty forever. That’s why we are walking for country, to raise awareness and to heal the land to protect this precious place. Can you support us?

Walkatjurra Walkabout continues for another two weeks, and we would be so grateful if you could continue to support us from where you are.

We want to protect this land for future generations, and prevent destructive projects like uranium mining. We walk for the future to be renewable not radioactive.

Please chip in to our crowdfund, and let’s win this together!

The WA anti nukes crew have collaborated to make an animation video about the four proposed uranium mines in WA.
Check it out here

Come along to Projections at Parliament Tuesday September 11, 2018 from 6pm – 7.30pm @ Parliament House to welcome home the Walkatjurra walkers who have been walking for a month in the Goldfields region on a protest walk against uranium mining.

Help deliver an important message to the WA Government to ban uranium mining permanently.

Projections, short films, speakers, music and food.

More information on the campaign go to
Hope to see a lot of you out on the Walk this year and if you cant make it but would like to support the Walkatjurra Walkabout then click here

Walkatjurra Walkabout Crew

Uranium: WA under threat

The WA anti nukes crew have collaborated to make an animation video about the four proposed uranium mines in WA. It will launch at SOS this week and then there will be an online launch August 4th. To prepare for the online launch we’ve set up a thunderclap – so on the 4th of August there will be an automatic post to your social media page if you support.

All you need to do is follow this link and click “support with facebook” or “support with twitter”

This video shows the threat to vulnerable species and unique ecosystems at each of the four proposed uranium mines in West Australia. We want to get this video out to as many people as possible as a way of growing the campaign to keep WA nuclear free. We also want people to become familiar with the species that are at risk at each of the sites – some on the brink of extinction.

There are no operating uranium mines in WA – but there are four proposals – we have the power to stop these areas from becoming toxic mines. There are many ways to get involved in the campaign and sharing this video is the first important step to bringing these places into your heart. Find out more ways to get involved at

2018 Walk registrations filling fast

Hi everyone.

We have had a massive response for the 2018 Walkatjurra Walkabout.

Spots are filling up fast and if you are keen to come you should register as soon as possible to secure you place on the walk.

You can register here
More info at

For those of you that have been on the walks over the last 7 years, or have been on one of the many road trips that the Bardi Bus has taken, we are reaching out to you to GIVE SOME LOVE TO THE BARDI BUS.

We have just got back from Western Australia’s first radioactive exposure tour and the Bardi Bus needed some new bearings, Tyres and a few minor repairs. We also had to put her in for an inspection and pay the insurance and registration. This all came to around $4,000 and we are a little bit short!!!

Click here make a donation to the Bardi Bus

Please share this on your social media and let your friends and family know

If you feel like giving some extra love to the Bardi Bus you can also have a little fundraiser in your area 😉

Contact me if you need any more information
Marcus: PH: 0400 505 765  Email

Stay tuned for more info on the Walkatjurra Walkabout.

Conservation Council and Traditional Owners continue legal fight to prevent extinction at Yeelirrie

We are not giving up!

You maybe well aware that we unfortunately lost the case in the Supreme Court to stop the proposed Yeelirrie uranium mine and uphold environmental laws.

In a disappointing decision, CCWA and the three Aboriginal women from Yeelirrie, Shirley, Vicky and Lizzy vowed they would not accept this decision!  A decision that would allow the Yeelirrie uranium mine proposal
to go ahead, unique species to become extinct and environmental laws dismissed.

We have recently filed an appeal against this Supreme Court judgement that  highlights our commitment to preventing extinction and upholding what we believe are fundamental principles of environmental law.

If this decision is allowed to stand then the Environment Minister could sign off on the extinction of multiple species with the stroke of a pen, despite what the EPA and appeals processes say.

We are excited a high profile Senior Counsel will take on the case, pro-bono, which confirms this case is highly regarded and of significant importance for the environmental movement in Western Australia.

The Senior Counsel validates the necessary official messages of our case in upholding environmental law and challenging the legal processes by the State Government and industry on environmental protection.

His historic staunch defense of legal due process will demand this case has the highest level of legal authority as he challenges the issues of a poorly written law and over whether ministers should have the discretion to implement a proposal that overrides the EPA.

For more information click here 

To keep supporting this landmark case please share with friends and family.

As the stakes are raised, so are the prices – we need to fund this case to ensure the protection of our environment from these destructive proposals, so please keep sharing through your networks.


Contact Federal Environment Minister by Phone, Email or Mail.

Phone 02 6277 7920

E-Form Here 


The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP

Minister for the Environment and Energy

Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600

We are calling on the Federal Minister for the Environment and Energy to not proceed with Commonwealth approvals for the proposed Yeelirrie uranium mine. This project would likely cause the extinction of unique subterranean fauna that have been found nowhere else on the planet.  The proposed Yeelirrie mine does not meet critical environmental standards and puts unique species of subterranean fauna at severe risk of extinction. In 2017 the former Western Australian Environment Minister went against state EPA advice and approved the proposed Yeelirrie uranium mine – a project that is likely to cause the extinction of multiple species.

Recently efforts in the Supreme Court of Western Australia by some local Tjiwarl native title holders and environmentalists to challenge this were unsuccessful and the threat is now urgent.

The Supreme Court decision doesn’t endorse the approval of the proposed Yeelirrie uranium mine project but what it does highlight is the shocking WA Environmental Protection Laws.

We must not let this dangerous precedent of approving extinction stand.  The Federal Environment Minister, has the opportunity to turn the trend of our extinction crisis around and protect these unique species from becoming extinct.   Species have a right to life no matter how great or small. One extinction can massively disrupt an entire ecosystem. No one should have the right to knowingly eliminate an entire species from our planet forever.

Urge the Federal Minister to save these unique subterranean fauna from extinction and protect Yeelirrie from this destructive and dangerous industry.  Say NO to uranium mines that cause extinction   

Points to raise

  • The WA EPA and the Appeals Convenor concluded that this project should not proceed because it would cause extinction of multiple unique species – the project is not consistent with the WA Environmental Protection Act or the Federal Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act.
  • The previous Environment Minister let us down by approving Yeelirrie against the advice of the EPA and Appeals Convenor just weeks before the election and he lost his seat. Approving extinction is bad politics.
  • The evidence is clear, make your decision based on the undisputable science and evidence and protect against extinction.

For more information click here 

Hope to see a lot of you out on the Walk this year

Walkatjurra Walkabout Crew

Walkatjurra Walkabout: Supreme Court Case and upcoming events

Hi Everyone..

Its been pretty busy since the end of the walk and we had a great trip over to Adelaide for the 20th anniversary meeting of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance.

Check out the ANFA webpage

There is alot going on at the moment and we really need your help to fundraise for the Supreme Court case to stop the Yeelirrie uranium mine from going ahead.

Many of you on this list have been on the walk and know Aunty Lizzy, Aunty Shirly and Vicky who are going to the Supreme Court on the 16th of Novemebr to Stop the Yeelirrie uranium kine from going ahead.

It is really crucial at the moment that we raise the money to cover all the court costs. We have raised $16,000 dollars so far, but need another $34,000..  Please forward this to friends and family and lets raise this money in the next 5 weeks…  If you want to do a fundraiser then let us know and we can help with any info and support that you need..

This is an incredible undertaking by these three strong Tjiwarl women who are trying to protect important cultural heritage sites that are part of the Seven Sisters Dreaming songline.

Take a look at the video below and make a donation here

Dirty Deals 10 Years on – the story of uranium mining in Malawi


6PM – 8PM 



We’d love for you to come and hear first-hand of life living near a uranium mine by visiting collegue, Reinford Mwangonde who has challenged Subiaco-based uranium mining company, Paladin Energy’s operating procedures in Malawi since before the licence was granted in 2007.

Kayelekera uranium mine was the biggest mining project in Malawi’s history, but has long caused controversy in the Karonga region of northern Malawi. Uranium mining was imposed on the people of Karonga in 2009 from Paladin Energy, now in administration, and people would still prefer it had never come to their country.

“The mine is located in the catchment area of a river that flows directly into Lake Malawi,” said Reinford Mwangonde, Executive Director from Citizens for Justice Malawi , “one of the most pristine freshwater bodies remaining in the world and a vital source of food for the Malawian people.

This evening will provide a unique insight into a story that continues to generate heartache and headlines today and convey a sense of the Karonga people’s experience of imposed uranium mining by an irresponsible Subiaco-based company.

We will hear about the cumulative impacts of the Kayelekera uranium mine, and how Paladin has walked away without a clear contingency plan and Malawi has been left with a hole in the ground and contaminated waterways with no means to fix them.

PIERS VERSTEGEN, CCWA DIRECTOR – Update on Supreme Court Action to Stop Yeelirrie Uranium Mine
Bar and Snacks Available.

World Social Forum and Cop23

The world Social Forum will be held this year in Paris, France from the 2nd – 4th of November, followed by the Cop23 in Bonn, Germany from November 7th – 17th.

Marcus has been invited to attend and hold workshops on the nuclear situation in Australia nad primarily on uranium mining in Western Australia and the upcoming supreme court case scheduled for November 16th..

If you are going to be at the World Social Forum or Cop23 please get in touch with Marcus
Click here Email Marcus
There is a great update on this years Walkatjurra Walkabout that was done by Lauren.
Click here to view


We are also getting more Hoodies printed at the moment as there has been a lot of requests for them over the last month..
Email us if you would like to reserve one

Make a donation to the Walkatjurra Walkabout
Keep following us on FACEBOOK and TWITTER and keep SHARING

Remember to tune in to Understorey
– and the Radioactive Show this week for all the latest nuclear and peace news.

Please share this update with friends and family

Peace & Solidarity
Walkatjurra Walkabout crew

Walkatjurra Walkabout: For country, against uranium.

Hi Everyone…  This is taken from the amazing Lauren’s own blog.  (Thanks Lauren)


*This is my first post in my ‘Real Life Ideas’ area and I wanted to share this as an idea because what I experienced on over the last month really made me think about different types of activism, what the word really means and how we can connect to the planet in a spiritual way while involving ourselves in activism and campaigning. I also truly hope that the idea of a nuclear free world is one that will spread throughout the world before more beautiful beings are harmed by its dangers.

We sit, encircling a big, warm camp fire, enthralled by the entertaining Uncle Geoffrey Stokes, Wongatha elder as he tells us story after story from his vast deposit of life experiences. We gaze up to the starriest sky we’d ever seen as he and Hannah and Zakquisha, Tjiwarl children from this land point out where the giant dark emu lies within the milky river above our heads and tell us the tragic dream time story of the seven sisters.  “There are two different worlds in Australia” explains Uncle Geoffrey, “West and East (because really Australia is in the East)… and this walk, this is where they collide.”
I look over to Aunty Shirley a Tjiwarl Native Title holder, whose kind gentle smile gives away her quiet hope for the future. Thinking back to earlier in the day when Aunty Jeanette who is a Wongatha Pinjin women and Aunty Vicky, a Tjiwarl Native Title holder spoke about their fight against uranium mining on their land.  I knew that these strong, passionate traditional custodians wouldn’t stop their fight until it was won.

There are many types of activism. I find a lot of importance in engaging in the various campaigns which occur in Melbourne and get a lot of strength and motivation from the many passionate people I meet.
What I experienced on the Walkatjurra Walkabout was all of this and more. The walkabout is an annual one month long walk against uranium which starts at the proposed Wiluna uranium mine site near the Wiluna township (approx. 5hrs north of Kalgoorlie) and ends in Leonora. This year marked the 7th year that the walk has taken place but that’s 7 years of a 40 year ongoing battle that the traditional custodians have been fighting against mining and exploration companies.

The organisers of the walk; Marcus, K.A, Lucy and Bilbo have been like a big family with the Tjiwarl and Wongatha people over the last 7 years and are dedicated to making sure that the uranium is left in the ground.

During an intense month such as this, there are certain patterns which start occurring that you can’t help but notice. The first obvious one was the increased growth in the size that the fire pit was dug at every new site- easily doubling in size within the first week. The size of which the gunna (Wongai word for poo) pit was dug every day however seemed to morph in the opposite direction; getting slowly shallower as we moved away from the desert sands into more rocky ground. But of course there were greater patterns taking play such as the gradual improvement of what had already begun as an outstanding standard of cooking and the ever closer, tighter circle of people around the fire- what begun as many individuals sitting in a circle turned into a tighter knit bunch as we all got more comfortable with one another.

We had all become great friends in a short amount of time and it was easy to recognise what we miss out on in today’s individualistic society; where in true communities, every problem belongs to all and is therefore easier to fix and every blessing is a blessing on the entire group. What a shame it is that we don’t have a bunch of people to sit around a fire and tell stories with every night and what a shame it is that it no longer takes a village to raise a child but instead one or two over-worked parents. This sense of community that we all enjoyed was an aspect of the last month which made the experience that much richer.

Toro Energy and Cameco are the two companies threatening the sacred land of the tranditional owners and the previous Barnett government has been a staunch ally of the mining and exploration stakeholders in Western Australia. The Labour Government has had weak bans on uranium mining but has never been strong enough in its will to outlaw it all together. Although there are no operating mines in the state, there are several proposed sites which have been closed off and are threatening to be operated in the near future if we don’t stake a stand against them. If these mines were to go ahead it would have catastrophic impacts on the ecosystems and be extremely invasive on areas sacred to the Traditional Owners. Not to mention, the land would be permanently scarred as Australia has never been able to successfully rehabilitate a uranium mine.

There is a lot to these proposed mine sites. In fact too much to explain it all here but I’ve added just a few quick facts about the two proposed mine sites which we walked past. The information that I have put here I sourced from the magazine Ensuring a nuclear free future for WA:

The proposed Wiluna mine site (Toro Energy), would consist of four open pits expanding over two lake systems. It would use 10.6 million litres of water per day and produce 50 million tonnes of radioactive tailings which they propose to store in a flood plain and creek drainage tunnel risking environmental and public health. Mr Cooke, a Ngaanyatjarra Elder explains the importance of this area to the men, “It’s a dog dreaming and we follow the songlines though that country”.

Yeelirrie (Cameco) would be a 9km long, 1km wide and 10m deep open pit mine using 8.7 million litres of water per day and generating 36 million tonnes of radioactive tailings. This mine site is unique as it holds endemic species of subterranean fauna. If this mine goes ahead it could mean the extinction of these species and therefore the WA EPA rejected the proposed mine as it goes against many objectives of the Environmental Protection Act. Never the less the state government gave its approval in a rushed decision soon before the state election. Shirley Wonyabong, Lizzy Wonyabong and Vicky Abdullah, Tjiwarl Native Title holders are strong and passionate Elders and are challenging the decision made by former Minister for the Environment, Albert Jacobs and the unlawful approval process in the Supreme Court of Western Australia. You can support these empowering women by donating to their case here:

Mulga Rock (Vimy Resources) would consist of four open pits, consume 15 million litres of water per day and generate 32 million tonnes of radioactive tailings. This area is a part of the Seven Sisters song-line and a very important place for the Spinifex people of South Australia who were moved to that area as refugees during the British Atomic Weapons testing program in the 1950s.

What’s more is the undeniable decline in the entire industry. Ensuring a nuclear free future for WA gives statistics showing the uranium spot price to be at around US$20/lb (the price dropping around 40%). None of these mines would financially be able to produce uranium to be sold at that price- the break-even price for uranium at Mulga Rock is estimated at US$50/lb.

It’s no wonder the traditional owners don’t want these mines to go ahead, and given the terrifying history that Australia has of genocide and land-grabbing it’s utter madness that these people are still “charged with trespass by mining companies for walking onto [their] own land”. Factor this in with the extraordinarily destructive atomic history from accidents such Fukushima to the deliberate dropping of atomic bombs such as those on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the suffering still experienced by those effected by the testing of atomic bombs in rural parts of Australia by the British between 1952 and 1957. Not to mention the major issues which nuclear weapons are posing in our world today. It really is hard to believe that there are some greedy people who want to risk so many lives and natural beauty to allow this to go ahead.

During the walk many elders came and told to us their own personal stories. They shared their lives with us and shared their land with us. I felt so honoured to be walking on this land with these amazing people whose ancestors arrived over 60 000 years ago. It was obvious that this land is part of their soul, it is who they are and they feel that connection to ancestors, to country, to the dreaming when they come out and walk on that red sand.

As I mentioned, there are many different types of activism… to me this walk was more than just your normal lobbying and protesting. It was active on a whole other level. As we walked across the desert of Western Australia, we heard stories of the ancestors, of dreaming but also of massacres, rape and the trauma experienced by Indigenous Australians over the last 200 plus years and which is still continuing today. Their culture had been broken and in many ways so has the land but both are being fixed. As we lay each foot down we bring our spirit along and mend the land; its memories and history along with it. The Aunties, Shirley, Lizzy and Vicky are helping mend their culture, they are passing it down to a younger generation of wonderful children who already understand and love so much in their land.

As the global nuclear free movement grows, so too will the attention given to this land. It is in for a turbulent next few years, but no matter what any corporations, or selfish politicians say, there is no denying the dangers and outright absurdities of uranium. Too many people have been and will be hurt by nuclear weapons and nuclear power failures and many more in the future will be effected by radioactive waste that we are accumulating.

Here’s an idea to say no to uranium, leave it in the ground. Here’s an idea to say no to colonialism and exploitative western powers. This always has been, always will be Aboriginal land.

A Great Walk this year with lots of support to Stop the Yeelirrie Uranium Mine

Hi everyone and sorry for not many updates coming from the walk this year, but its been really busy and exciting and we will post some more updates over the next week..

Massive thanks to Aunty Lizzy, Aunty Shirley and Vicky who led the Walkatjurra Walkabout through Country this year. The three of them are local Traditional Owners and are the ones participating in the Supreme court action launched together with the CCWA and the EDO to stop the Yeelirrie mine from going ahead.

There is a lot of support for this action against the previous Governments decision to approve Yeelirrie and now with the Court date set for the 14th of November we really need your help to get the funds together..

Please donate to the crowdfunding for court case

court image
Below is an update from Tim and more coming soon 😉

It’s late, almost midnight. I’m still 150km from Perth and still without phone or radio signal. I’ve had a long time to reflect on the week I’ve just had and already, I miss the desert. I miss the red dirt that gets into every crevice and onto every surface. I miss the spinifex needles that always seem to find that one bare patch of skin. I even miss the goona (?) pit, and its contemplative ambience (I actually miss that a lot!).

But most of all I miss the people. The sense of community and solidarity amongst everyone in the group, including those who were there for different personal reasons, was absolutely magic. As I had nothing better to do as I drove, I put on the first episode of a podcast a friend had recommended. It detailed the life story of Glenn Loury, an African-American racial justice commentator and former Advisor to President Reagan, famous for criticising the civil rights movement in the United States in a post-Martin-Luther-King-world and more recently, racial justice movements such as the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign. It piqued my interest, given where I had just come from.


Loury argues that the tactics of direct activism offend necessary political allies, eroding the goodwill of those who might otherwise champion the cause in a legislative context, and that structural racism is not the root cause of systemic brutality.

Whilst I’d agree it might be a stretch to claim that structural racism is the only root cause, the validity of Loury’s arguments to my experience on the Walkabout, and more broadly over the last few years, is negligible. Structural racism is systemic in Australia, and defines so many different issues. Similarly, persistent direct activism is often the only way to achieve a tangible outcome.

I was simply blown away listening to the stories of Marcus, Bilbo, Kid and many others around the campfire and the blockades, walks, runs and movements they have been a part of over the years. Inspirational stories about Yami Lester and Kevin Buzzacott, about epic peace walks spanning multiple countries, about Standing Rock and First Nations people in the United States and Canada, about reclaiming the Australian Coat of Arms and running, so much running.

These people and these campaigns have achieved so much. It doesn’t offend ‘necessary political allies’ to stand up for what you believe in, it offends the memory of all these people and their achievements to diminish what they fought so hard to protect.

The Walkatjurra Walkabout, even viewed as one small part of the broader Anti-Uranium movement that has spanned decades throughout Australia, is critical. More than that, it is simply one of the best experiences I have had for a long time. In just one short week I learnt so much and met so many new, wonderful people. I am blown away by the positive energy leaving camp has left me with, and I can’t wait to get back out on country!

Make a donation to the Walkatjurra Walkabout


Update from the road

Its been nearly two weeks since we head out from Fremantle after an awesome event at the Fremantle Town Hall on the Thursday August 3rd.

The crew this year consists of people from all over Australia, Aotearoa/NZ, USA, Canada, Taiwan, Germany, Denmark. We travelled up with some of the Traditional Owners who had joined us at the event in Fremantle and picked up Mr Glen Cooke in Kalgoorlie as we stayed at Wongatha Bini.

We had a few days camping on the Yeelirrie road and explained what the proposal is from Toro Energy to mine uranium at this sacred site before we began our first day walking.

(the below is taken from a report put together by Mia Pepper available on the CCWA website. Download full report here)

(At the gates of Toro)

Toro Energy – ASX: TOE
4 shallow open pits across two lake systems
Proposed consumption of 10.6 million litres of water per day
Proposed generation of 50 million tonnes of radioactive tailings

“It’s a very important place to the men, the men around the western desert. It’s a dog dreaming and we follow the songline through that country. That country is important for all men.”
Mr Glen Cooke Ngaanyatjarra elder.

The Wiluna uranium project is just 18km from the town of Wiluna and expands over two lake systems and over 100km. The project includes four uranium deposits – Lake Way, Centipede, Millipede and Lake Maitland. The project would involve carting uranium ore from the different mine areas to a central processing facility near the Centipede and Millipede sites. The project would produce up to 50 million tonnes of radioactive tailings that would be stored in mined out pits on the edge of Lake Way in a floodplain and in the drainage channel of a creek. The company’s studies of hydrogeology, hydrology and geochemistry were all heavily criticised in Peer Reviews submitted as part of the environmental assessment. The planned emplacement of 50 million tonnes of long-lived radioactive mine waste in a floodplain poses a major risk to the environment and public health.

The project is run by Toro Energy, a small and unproven company that has insufficient financing to develop the project. In its 2015-16 financial report Toro reported a loss of $52 million and a total debt/liability of $12 million ($10 million to the Cayman Islands based Sentient Group). Oz Minerals, a 21% shareholder in Toro has referred to Toro as ‘a tiny company’ and ‘a non-core asset.’ Canadian company and former owner of the Lake Maitland project, Mega Uranium, has a 20% stake in the company and the Sentient Group holds 18%. In 2016 Toro Director Vanessa Guthrie and other senior executives and board members resigned and departed from the company.

Wiluna is Toro’s flagship project. A key concern given the depressed commodity price and uncertainty over Toro’s capacity is that a mine that is not feasible is pushed through then fails, leading to the premature closure of the mine and the myriad of environmental and economic problems that a premature closure would cause the Government and tax-payers.

During the initial assessment of the proposal the then WA Minister for Mines Norman Moore, stated in Parliament that this mine would have to post 100% of mine closure costs in bonds. The company continues to not release estimated closure costs. Following the introduction of the Mining Rehabilitation Fund there has been no further commitment to assure 100% mine closure bonds despite the significant and unresolved economic and environmental risk and exposure associated with this company and project. Further, there are no bonds for the rehabilitation of the exploration site which, given the company’s finances and the current market, poses a liability to the Government and tax payers.

Four days later we arrived at Yeelirrie and were joined by Aunty Lizzy and Aunty Shirley who are the local Traditional Owners and part of the Supreme court action launched together with the CCWA and the EDO.

Please donate to the crowdfunding for court case

(the below is taken from a report put together by Mia Pepper available on the CCWA website. Download full report here)

(At Yeelirrie station)

Cameco 100%
Open Pit – 9km long, 1km wide, 10 m deep
Proposed consumption of 8.7 million litres of water per day
Proposed generation of 36 million tonnes of radioactive tailings

“Yeelirrie in my language means place of death. My old people told us we’re not allowed to mess with it… don’t even go into that area. I am happy that while that uranium is in the ground it is safe, I’m concerned what’s it’s going to do when it comes out of the ground. Now if it’s going to start affecting people in another country, destroying their lives like at Fukushima, Chernobyl and Maralinga, I’m concerned about that, because that’s my country that could be doing that.”
Richard Evans – Koara Elder

Yeelirrie is part of the Seven Sisters dreaming and has many important cultural sites, all are under threat from the proposed uranium operations. Yeelirrie is 100% owned by the Canadian company Cameco, who bought the project from BHP in 2013. BHP acquired Yeelirrie from WMC who operated a trial mine at the site in the 1970’s and subsequently left behind unfenced radioactive mine tailings for over two decades.

Many Wongutha families have fought against mining at Yeelirrie for more than forty years and have presented a consistent and strong position against uranium mining plans. In December 2016 the Tjupan and Tjiwarl people of the Wongutha nation had Native Title recognised over Yeelirre. See Narrier v State of Western Australia [2016] FCA 1519 .

Neighbouring pastoralists from Youno Downs stations who run a cattle station to the North West of Yeelirrie have been vocal opponents of the mine since the ban on uranium mining was lifted. They are most concerned about the impacts on drawing down water from their bores and the impact of wind and dust storms that could impact on cattle and on their health.

Yeelirrie is home to a unique population of subterranean fauna. There are eleven species that have only ever been identified in the impact area of the proposed mine. The WA EPA recommended the project be rejected as the project could cause the extinction of these species and therefore was inconsistent with objectives under the EP Act – including the Precautionary Principle, the Principle of the Conservation of Biological Diversity and Ecological Integrity and the Principle of Intergenerational Equity.

Despite the EPA recommendation to reject the project the WA Environment Minister gave the project a rushed approval just weeks before the State election. The Minister cited economic and job opportunities as a reason for not accepting the clear EPA recommendation against mining. However, the current market conditions are prohibitive to new mines and Cameco has recently and dramatically reduced its uranium expectations and capacity in WA, including through writing down the full value of the Kintyre project and recalling its head of Australian operations.

(at camp) Make a donation to the Walkatjurra Walkabout

An update from one of the Walkers (Nick our local stand up comedian)

It’s been 7 or 8 or 6 days so far. i can’t really tell. Time is measured in the various meals that have been cooked. Yesterday was Mexican bean dish day. It was a good day. Perhaps the best day so far. Maybe in our tribes personal history books- which will be nothing more than a few words inscribed in ash on some overcooked tortillas – it will be crowned as ‘Mexican Bean dish day’. Perhaps we will have a commemoration parade, waving flags bearing an emblem of a single bean wearing a sombrero with a single tear – which will be actually be just a smaller bean – sliding down it’s sweaty, red-dust streaked bean cheek.

Out here there is no mobile phone reception, no ipads, no technology, no trappings of modern civilisation, nothing. It’s great. I can finally hear the voice of silence in my head. It tells me to go check my Facebook page. Then i realise that i don’t have any wifi out here so i tell the voice of silence in my head to shut the hell up. Sometimes it gives me the silent treatment. Sometimes it doesn’t listen and starts yapping away again and i have to tie a message written in ash on an overcooked tortilla, telling it to shut the hell up, to the foot of an adolescent goanna caught in my bean bait trap and pray that a wedge tailed eagle will pick it up and drop it in the next urban area, several hundred miles away into the hands of someone who hopefully knows me and my Facebook password so they can log into my page just to make sure that no one actually really honestly gives a shit about what i am exactly doing at that present moment, whenever the hell that is anyway. Fingers crossed they get the message, but i won’t hedge my bets. After all, it is illegal to gamble on Mexican Bean Dish day. Punishment is death by fly-based irritation.

At night we sit in circles, underneath the spectacularly luminous milky way. I can actually see the outer arm of the larger cosmic superstructure which our solar system is a part of. All sorts of cliched feelings of how small and insignificant we really are swarm my brain like tiny little crying beans raining from the heavens on Mexican Bean dish day. Okay, okay i get it, enough about Mexican Bean dish day already I hear you whisper into my jalapeno salsa. But one can’t help but feel like we are doing exactly what the indigenous mob and their ancestors used to for so many millennia previously. Walking, eating, sharing our stories, with only the land, the fire and the star as our witnesses. Exactly like how the ancestors used to do it. I mean obviously, we have like cars, cameras, a support truck and mad cans of Mexican beans, but other than that, pretty much like them. 
 By day we walk down red dirt paths, across endless, uninhabited vistas stretching from horizon to horizon, sporadically dotted with mulga and spinifex, tracing the countryside the ancestors used to live on and live off, the same territories that the mining companies now want to turn into uranium mines. Uranium mines that will create shit tons of nuclear waste that will shit up the world even further than it already is, uranium mines that will perhaps even help build nuclear weapons that will kill us all one day. Good work humanity, real smart move you assholes.

Meanwhile we watch flocks of emerald green budgerigars careening overhead, swiftly propelled by high velocity winds, unaware of the precariousness of the land they call home in whatever weird high frequency bird language they use. There is a bird and technology based pun i could put in at this point involving twitter but i was told to keep this blog brief and to the point so i won’t bother. This is the first time i ever seen budgerigars in the wild. They look a lot better than the ones you usually see in the cages. Were the people who decided it was a good idea to jail these wild and free beings in tiny cages and then sell them for money, the very same people who decided it was a good idea to dig up nuclear chemicals from the land? Will you heartless bastards stop at nothing? How much suffering is enough for you, Christ you make me sick. Sorry. I got carried away a bit there, but then again i have been walking face first into the endless, blinding hot sun for the past eight days. 
 I had a bucket shower yesterday. Never realised how little water one can have a wash in. Keep having dreams of swimming in the ocean, of having long showers that go on forever. I have so much dirt on me at times, that even the dirt on my skin has dirt on it. I predict soon it will gain some form of sentience and begin controlling me, the country seeping into my pores and sinking into the core of my being, finally, fully connected to the land. Soon i will be more red dirt than man, like some kind of desert golum, and then i will find these mining CEO’s and seek revenge, taking them down one by one, choking them to death in my red dirt fist chokehold, laughing clouds of oxidised dust into their faces as they beg for mercy. I will show them no mercy. Oops, sorry got carried away again.

Did i mention that i have been taking in a lot of sun the past few days? 
 How do we stop this scourge of human greed tearing up the planet for short term gain? I don’t know, but i got a lot of time to think about it for the next three weeks, walking and being on country, but i guess we are all doing it right now, building community from the ground up. Linking with each another, sometimes to eat Mexican beans in the dirt together as one. I’m an immigrant that’s been living on this land for 35 years now and never bothered connecting to the original caretakess of this land.

Now I’m sweating like a pig in a sauna with them and a whole bunch of people from all walks of life, stinking up the whole joint, like some kind of post apocalyptic mad max survivor tribe, wandering the desert, learning firsthand from the elders about the stories behind the land, about the mining and land rights situation that often do not get much media attention. With our faithful leader Moses, i mean Marcus, i can now really say how much I relate to how the jews felt wandering around the desert for forty years. But unlike the jews, we already have our promised land, it’s the ground right under our feet that the mining corporations are trying take from us, it’s every square inch of virgin earth that has yet to be exploited by the demons that run amok within our species. But there is some kind of furtive hope in the air. Why just the other day, Moses, i mean Marcus told us he had even seen a burning bush, but i worked out what he was really talking about what was the eponymous cigarette dangling from the edge of his lips. It’s not much of a sign but still, it’s a sign nonetheless, a sign that perhaps one day what we are doing will turn into something bigger than all of us, something that perhaps one day will be even bigger than the 100th annual Mexican Bean Dish Commemoration parade day.
 The march continues.

More updates coming soon…

Fremantle Town Hall Event

Thursday 3rd August at the Fremantle Town Hall from 6pm.
Entry is by donation and we are urging all to come down, be inspired and motivated to see how we are going to win the west from mining uranium!

The night will include the official WA premiere screening of Fremantle film maker, Reza Nezamdoust’s “Walking For Country” — a 20 minute documentary of the 2015 Walkatjurra Walkabout, which has been doing the international film festival circuit for the past year and screens this month at both the No Nuke Film Festival in Taiwan and Melbourne Documentary Festival.
Facebook event: Please share and invite all your friends

Highlighting the rich vein of music talent running through the Goldfields, Marcus McGuire will be performing his original music all the way from Kalgoorlie.  Director of the Conservation Council of WA,  Piers Verstegen will officially launch the Supreme Court Action to stop Yeelirrie uranium mine project and uphold environmental laws and long time activist and respected speaker on creating a nuclear free future, Dave Sweeney from Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) Nuclear Free Campaigner. International speakers from Canada, Taiwan and the United States.
Stay tuned for more updates and please share and invite friends through the Facebook event:



Due to some people having to cancel in the last few days there are a few spots still available  for this years Walkatjurra Walkabout.. If you would like to come out on Country to hear from Traditional Owners and see first hand the beautiful areas that this Government will allow uranium mining on then Register here to join this years Walkatjurra Walkabout

This years Walkatjurra Walkabout will be an important part of planning for the next phase of the campaign.  Come and contribute, share and learn as we walk with Traditional Owners to Keep the uranium in the ground.

Together we can still stop this

It is nearly a month since we heard the shocking news from the State Government allowing the 4 proposed uranium mines to proceed – Yeelirrie, Wiluna, Mulga Rock and Kintyre. The decision to allow these approvals to stand without so much as an inquiry to investigate them and without consulting with local communities, workers and Traditional Owners is tragic.    I really urge you all to continue to call, email, write, to the Premier, the Environment Minister and the Minister for Mines and Petroleum and your local Labor member.  See below for some contacts and suggestions.

Premier – (08) 6552 5000
Environment Minister – (08) 6552 5800
Mines & Petroleum Minister – (08) 6552 6700


Here is some draft text you could adapt to send to them or use as speaking points for a call: 

I’m contacting you to let you know I am disappointed by the McGowan Governments decision to allow the four proposed uranium mines in WA to go ahead. The Premier went to the election saying that uranium mines would not be allowed to proceed unless they had final approval or were in construction.  None of these projects have final approval, none are under construction – so they do not meet Labors criteria. These mines should not be allowed to proceed under a Labor Government.

In their rush to establish a uranium industry in WA, the Barnett Government created a modified and simplified approvals process for uranium projects.
This approval system for uranium has seriously compromised environmental standards while unfounded and exaggerated claims of economic benefits have been used to justify non-compliance with WA’s environmental laws.  These uranium mine proposals require rigorous assessment and not simplified fast tracking.  

Labor needs to ensure that policy decisions in relation to mining uranium are based on a rigorous process, robust review and that are evidence based.   The process needs to have a detailed assessment of the best evidence and this has not been evident in the process to date.     Consult with Traditional Owners, local communities and workers to uphold your clear and strong policy against uranium, nuclear power, and nuclear waste that I support.  

You and your party have a unique opportunity to prevent and ban uranium mining in WA and instead support a Renewable Energy Target and ensure a clean energy future for West Australians.

I urge you to take positive action and make certain that there is a rigorous approval process to ensure that WA remains nuclear free once and for all. This will create certainty and relief for communities that have endured eight years of negotiating and fighting with uranium mining companies and the Barnett Government.

Keep sending your selfie to WA Labor!!  Instructions here:

If you haven’t seen the video from Janice Scott – Spinifex woman and her message to Labor – please check it out here and send your message to Labor letting them know that their decision to allow WA uranium mines to proceed on Aboriginal lands was a clear broken promise and a kick in the guts for communities and the environment.

Join Janice and individuals across WA and send your own photo message to the new Government!

Janice’s call to action could not be clearer: “Let’s stand strong against uranium mining. This thing can only be stopped if we all come together and stand strong against it.” 

Check out Janice’s video here