Western Australia has long been safe from uranium mining and radioactive risk, but that could change very soon.
Mining company Deep Yellow is pushing to open WA’s first-ever uranium mine at Mulga Rock in the Great Victoria Desert, against the wishes of Traditional Owners and most Western Australians.
It's a nature disaster waiting to happen.
Mining at Mulga Rock would produce radioactive uranium tailings that remain unstable and unsafe for 10,000 years and threaten critical habitat for the nationally endangered Sandhill Dunnart.
Let's come together to stand against uranium mining at Mulga Rock. Sign on to the charter urging the McGowan Government to stop Deep Yellow and keep Western Australia uranium-free.
We call on all members of the Parliament of Western Australia to review and remove any approval for uranium mining at
Mulga Rock, and to withdraw the approvals of the stalled proposed uranium mines at Kintyre,
Yeelirrie and Wiluna.
The charter is also endorsed by our allies the Upurli Upurli and Spinifex Traditional Owners, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, The Wilderness Society, Conservation Council of Western Australia and more.
WA Uranium Free Charter
The decisions we make today directly shape the WA we will live in tomorrow. West Australians have long rejected uranium mining and radioactive risks, yet we currently face plans by mining company Deep Yellow to mine uranium at Mulga Rock, Upurli Upurli Nguratja (country) northeast of Kalgoorlie.
Uranium mining is unsafe, uneconomic, and unwanted, and today, we unite to reaffirm our opposition and stand with First Nations communities across the Great Victoria Desert.
We call on all Members of Parliament to review and remove any approval for uranium mining at Mulga Rock, and to withdraw the approvals of the stalled proposed uranium mines at Kintyre, Yeelirrie and Wiluna.
The Mulga Rock plan has advanced, despite West Australians’ rejection of uranium mining and the State Government’s policy opposing uranium mining. Mulga Rock offers little benefit but has big negative implications for our state – posing a direct threat to our workers, communities, and environment. The planned mine is WA’s only active uranium proposal and should not proceed.
From the Great Victoria Desert to Kalgoorlie and on to Eucla, uranium mined at Mulga Rock would be transported on our roads, through our towns, and through some of our most precious natural wonders, including the Great Western Woodlands. This transport risks regional communities and would be a further burden for our emergency services, who already face unprecedented threats from a changing climate.
Once uranium is shipped from our shores it poses an increased security risk at every part of the nuclear chain. Uranium is the basic fuel for both nuclear power and is linked to some of the world’s most toxic and long-lasting industrial wastes and the proliferation of the world’s most destructive weapons. If Mulga Rock moves ahead it would produce radioactive tailings that remain unstable and unsafe in our environment for up to 10,000 years. It would also mean increasing pressure for WA to host future radioactive waste.
There is no guarantee of a stable, competent, or profitable operation at Mulga Rock. Cutting costs and cutting corners puts the project at risk of abandonment or premature shutdown. There are real concerns over Deep Yellow’s commitment and capacity to do costly and complex rehabilitation work. As the saying goes, the one thing more dangerous than a uranium mine is an uneconomic uranium mine – which is what we are facing at Mulga Rock.
A gamble on an unwanted and uneconomic uranium mine at Mulga Rock puts the corporate interests of a small and marginal miner ahead of Upurli Upurli and Spinifex Traditional Owners and their rights to culture and country. It is against community expectations and opens the door to a damaging and under-performing sector that unnecessarily risks our unique environment, including the endangered Sandhill Dunnart.
We believe WA’s future lies not in the controversial and contaminating uranium industry but rather in being a national and international leader in reliable and renewable energy generation and smart and efficient energy use.
WA can do better than toxic tailings and radioactive risks. The McGowan government should give effect to their long-standing anti-uranium position and use their unprecedented electoral support and power to stop Deep Yellow from mining at Mulga Rock and to withdraw the approvals for the stalled Kintyre, Yeelirrie and Wiluna proposed uranium projects.
Photo: Upurli Upurli and Spinifex women
We are also campaigning to make all of Australia uranium-free. Help us get there by adding your name to the petition for a nuclear-free Australia today.
Header photo: Tim Fluence