Maralinga cloud remains
The trade union movement is backing the push for compensation for people involved in the British nuclear weapons tests at Maralinga in the 1950s and 1960s. The United Trades and Labor Council of South Australia (UTLC) said it was time the issue was put firmly on the public agenda and that the Federal Government should deal with the issue of compensation. "South Australians paid a terrible price for their involvement in the Maralinga bomb tests with thousands suffering and many subsequently dying as a result of the exposure to nuclear fallout", said UTLC Secretary, Chris White. "The UTLC takes the Maralinga cover-up seriously and in the public interest we are joining with other groups to pressure all political parties for an answer. "It is simply not good enough to say sorry to the people who suffered, it is about justice and paying fair compensation." On Sunday August 5, the day before the 56th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the UTLC organised with other concerned groups a special meeting — Hiroshima Day Public Forum on Nuclear Weapons Tests in South Australia — to hear first- hand accounts from some of those involved in the Maralinga tests. Around 300 people heard Dr Roger Cross, the author of the best selling book "Fallout" that helped expose the secrecy surrounding the British tests, and other guest speakers, Maralinga survivor Avon Hudson and local Aboriginal identity Rebecca Bear-Wingfield. The public forum passed the following resolutions calling for: 1) An apology from the Federal Government to those who were effected by the tests at Maralinga, Emu, Monte Bello Islands and Christmas Island. 2) Compensation by the Federal Government of workers, Indigenous people and others who were affected by the tests. 3) The Federal Government to retain responsibility for management of nuclear weapons test sites and plutonium nuclear waste dump. 4) State and Federal Governments to fully disclose the results of the radioactivity tests on deceased children. 5) An inquiry by the SA Government into the health of the people who were resident in Whyalla, Port Augusta, Port Pirie and Adelaide at the time of the Maralinga and Emu tests. 6) The Australian Government to take steps to prevent a repetition of events such as those that occurred as a result of the nuclear weapons tests in Australia. In particular to: * Oppose the proposed US nuclear missile defence (NMD) system, also known as Star Wars; * Oppose the dumping of national and international nuclear wastes in South Australia; * Oppose the construction of a nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights in NSW.