Friends of the Earth is hosting the annual
Radioactive Exposure Tour from 12-27 April 2014
Since it began in the 1980s, the “Rad Tour” has taken thousands of people to the heart of the Australian nuclear industry, exposing the realities of “radioactive racism” and the environmental impacts of uranium mining.
This year we’re going all the way to Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory to meet and support the Traditional Owners resisting a radioactive waste dump on their land at Muckaty. The fight against the dump has been successful for over 7 years and Federal Court challenge will be heard in June 2014.
Travelling from Melbourne we’ll stop in Adelaide and Port Augusta, hearing some of the inspiring stories from the Irati Wanti campaign, the Gugada Tent Embassy and the British atomic tests of the 50s and 60s. We’ll travel through Kokatha and Arabunna country, visit the Olympic Dam uranium mine and spend time with Arabunna elder Uncle Kevin Buzzacott.
We’ll witness sunset over Lake Eyre and the unique and fragile ecosystems of the Mound Springs, which have been devastated by the colossal water usage of the Olympic Dam mine. As we continue north to Alice Springs we’ll stop by Pine Gap to consider the Australian government’s complicity in the US war-machine and the outdated notion of “extended nuclear deterrence”. We’ll meet more inspiring people with a long history opposing the nuclear industry and the NT Intervention in Alice Springs before continuing to Tennant Creek.
Along the way participants will get to experience affinity groups, desert camping, vegetrian/vegan cooking and a temporary community... Not to mention some of the most stunning and ecologically significant environments in Australia. The 2014 Tour is longer than usual to account for the extra distance. To minimise time in the bus, participants are welcome to explore the option of flying home from Alice Springs as the Tour will return to Melbourne over the course of 4 days. We are hoping to bring the cost of the tour down to make it more accessible; get in touch for fundraising ideas and support.
The legs of the journey are as follows, detailed itinerary available soon.
12 April: Melbourne to Adelaide
13-19 April: Adelaide to Alice Springs
20-23 April: Alice Springs to Tennant Creek and back
24-27 April: Alice Springs to Adelaide, then Melbourne
The prices below are based on current budget estimates, but we are hoping to bring the price down to make the Tour more accessible. We'll be fundraising in the next few months, so if you're able to help or need some ideas for fundraising a ticket, get in touch with us.
Cost, including fuel and food for 15 days:
Concession (SA) $500
Concession (VIC) $550
Registration form here
Facebook event here
For more information and to book a seat on the bus: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0421955066
Rad tours usually occur annually and the route changes according to the nuclear landscape at the time.
The Radioactive Exposure Tour 2013, 29th March - 7th April
Rad Tour 2013 travelled for 10 days from Melbourne to Adelaide, into the heart of the SA nuclear industry and back. We stopped in Port Augusta to meet with Sandra Dingamen at the site of the Gugada Tent Embassy and visited Emily Austin, one of the senior Aboriginal women of the Irati Wanti campaign that stopped a nuclear waste dump near Coober Pedy in 2004.
Travelling on to camp for two nights in the red desert dunes outside Woomera we visited the Woomera Missile Park and heard about the rich history of Woomera, Maralinga and the British nuclear bomb tests by veteran and whistle-blower Avon Hudson.
We drove past Roxby Downs and up Borefield Road into Arabunna Country, visiting the Mound Springs, desert oases that are very important for Arabunna people and host unique flora and fauna. These springs have suffered dramatically, some drying up almost completely, because of the water usage of the Olympic Dam uranium mine further south on Kokatha country. We stopped for a swim at the Coward Springs and camped for two nights on the edge of Lake Eyre South, witnessing two stunning sunsets and sunrises.
We backtracked slightly for the tour of Olympic Dam, owned and operated by BHP Biliton. Olympic Dam is the largest uranium deposit in the world and was constructed in the early 80s without proper consent of the Traditional Owners. BHP's monolithic expansion plans for the mine were shelved in August 2012 but the mine remains an environmental and social disaster in itself.
Back up the Borefield Road and onwards east through Marree, after a stop at the Marree Cultural Centre to meet with Reg Dodd, brother of Uncle Kevin Buzzacott, Co-President of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance. We visited the spectacular ochre cliffs and ate quandong pies in Copley before making camp for two nights in the Gammon Ranges on Adnyamathanha country. Visiting the Beverley in-situ leach uranium mine provided the opportunity to see how the mine works and grill staff on many topics. After a campfire debrief and a good nights sleep we ventured south to camp in Brachina Gorge in the Flinders Ranges. After farewelling the desert we spent our last night in Adelaide debriefing on the trip and watching anti-nuclear films.
On the trip we also heard about many other related campaigns including the battle to protect Walmadan at James Price Point (which has recently been won!) and the ongoing fight to protect Muckaty from a radioactive waste dump. Bhargavi Dilipkumar, an anti-nuclear activist from India shared the stories of the struggles back home.
We organised in affinity groups, practiced consensus decision-making, experienced desert camping and vegetarian, communal cooking while amongst some of the most beautiful and ecologically significant environments in Australia.
Stay tuned for the Radioactive Exposure Tour 2014!
Further information: http://www.foe.org.au/anti-nuclear/issues/oz/radtour
A BIG Thank You to our 2013 Radioactive Exposure Tour Sponsors
The Food Forest
Kappy's Tea and Coffee
Adelaide Food Not Bombs
Pure Harvest Distributions
Naturally on High