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Stories from the Road: Kintyre

March 26, 2018
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Again we are fortunate to visit the magnifcent Karlkun Karlkun Karlamilyi River with the Martu people fighting against Canadian company, Cameco proposing a uranium mine at Kintyre.

KINTYRE, KARLAMILYI RIVER

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Curtis Taylor, Martu "I am here with my old people today here at Kintyre. This has been a long long battle, long fight for a lot of Martu that are not here today, our old people. It starts from when there was something against Kintyre here and at Karlkun Karlkun Karlamilyi River, and at Panguur. When the company CRA was looking for uranium in the area.   This corridor from here right up to Punmu it is very sacred for us. It is in the song ceremony for initiation and the Karlkun Karlkun river is too. It is where Cameco said they will do 3 small open cut mines near the river and if the tailings were there, that after it rained it will go into the Karlkun Karlkun River and a lot of the old people said no and was against it, because big story. Dreamtime story about how the water flows even though it flows north it comes back to the river underground. And we will go to these sites after this. We had family working here with the company on the Kintyre project. From Pangurra and Punmu and other surrounding communities in the Pilbara.  Still they would report back to the people back in the community about their concerns, what they were doing, where they were driliing and the work they were doing around the areas, and the surrounding areas. Old people were part of it too as they would come out here and do surverys with the companies and would say this area has to be closed down as it’s a significant area and site for a number of reasons, so they’d say no drilling or no work around this area, but they do work around this area.  But their overall voice for the whole Western Desert was to say no work done around this place, but still the company goes ahead.

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So, we are here today in support with other mob from Mulga Rock, Yeelirrie, and Lake Way and all the other uranium projects, to the south of here, Goldfields and Gascoyne area. We are doing on our own back, against the Government. This one you can see is not viable for the resource or the energy around the country or all over the world.  But still the people on the ground still fighting against the uranium. It goes to show there is not any work being done or anything from the company side. It is really a significant campaign. The old people can see what they are doing, visiting places like this they there are people coming".

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Bilbo Taylor, "I am part of BUMP collective WA. Formerly from keepers of lake eyre in SA so I have a long history of fighting on country with Aboriginal people, Arabunna, Kookatha in SA  Roxby Down Olympic Down, Andythamatna, Flinders Rangers and tried to stop that uranium mine going ahead out there, which wasn’t successful unfortunately. Now I am here in WA.

Its striking to visit all the four proposed uranium sites in WA on this journey.  Alll the way from Mulga Rock, Yeelirrie, Wiluna and now out here at Kintyre. The stark beauty of the places, really amazing environments that are really healthy, and there is more value in these places staying free from mining for all the plants, animals, water and for their own people, than there is from this rip and ship mentality of mining companies. It is really stark when you come out here to this Kintyre site and we are in the middle of beautiful Martu country, that’s just alive with plants and animals, and beautiful water holes in this really dry desert., and all of a sudden you come across this massive mine camp set up for 150 to 200 people, and its abandon, completely abandon by Cameco and they must have wasted millions of dollars building this place. And I say good, let them waste their money because these mines are never going to go ahead, they should be handing these places back, Yeelirrie station this one here at Kintyre, all that infrastructure should be handing these back to the Traditional Owners and communities for them to use, for something that’s more positive, rather than this  radioactive colonialism legacy they want to do, this is a good opportunity for Cameco, its a good opportunity for Toro, it’s a good opportunity for Vimy to get out while the goings good and stop wasting their money, and bring this infrastructure down. Martu and Wangka and others can use these places for something that benefits the community, that benefits the country that doesn’t destroy it, that doesn’t leave ten thousand years of radioactive waste. 

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We are going to stop these proposals, its been going on for the last 9 y ears and in many cases like this one the community have been fighting for decades. Aboriginal people have been fighting for decades to stop these proposals. We are going to stop them.   Hopefully, something good can come out of it, instead of something bad. That’s why we are here. Really pay big respect to all the Traditional owners from different countries that we have travelled through on this journey that have welcomed us onto their country and for allowing us to be a part of this fight for country. That’s what its about. Really the fight is about water. No matter where you go, its about water. Driest place on the earth, Australia. We have to protect the water. Water is no good if its poisoned, we have to protect it for the people, the animals so they can healthy good life, for generations to come. These so called developments have to stop, we have to stop them in their tracks. 

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Millions of dollars of infrastructure just left to waste at Kintyre. Give back the land, no uranium mine at Kintyre. 

A massive thanks to the Martu elders, and Curtis's family that supported this incredible trip out to Kintyre. Our determination is stronger than ever having returned to this special and magnificent place to support the Martu and the Traditional Owners around this State to keep WA nuclear free. 

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