– MEETING IN NARANGBA 20TH APRIL 2001
A huge success! Standing room only! Over 750
members of the community gave up their Friday night footie! All politicians who
attended certainly got the message that the local community DOES NOT WANT a
NUCLEAR INDUSTRY or FOOD IRRADIATION.
NO State Labor politicians attended
(curious, that). The sitting Liberal Federal MP, Mal Brough did come but,
unfortunately, had not availed himself of any information before the meeting.
Therefore, he was unable to state his position (for or against) as he “did not
know enough about it”. He did not even know the proposed site was on a
Hazardous, Noxious & Offensive Industrial Estate! Given that there were more
people in the hall that night than his majority (0.9%), he should now be
concerned enough to start representing us. Senator Robert Hill (Federal
Environment Minister) is visiting Mal shortly (something the Labor Candidate,
Stephen Beckett, informed the meeting about) – we wonder if we’ll get
to meet him too?
The meeting opened with Suzi Tooke explaining why we were all here – the events leading up to the current situation and urging people to write submissions to Steritech (copied to Sen. Hill and Dean Wells, the Qld Environment Minister) in regard to their application to Environment Australia for approval of a nuclear action.
(Leader, Qld. Greens) then spoke about the dangers posed to messing around with
our food supply, putting food irradiation into context with other food dangers
such as GMOs, BSE, Foot & Mouth and all the other consequences of not
allowing nature to provide what she has always done. He also exploded some myths
perpetuated by Steritech and about the nuclear industry in general – such as
“gamma rays are similar to microwaves”, nuclear irradiation plants in other
countries are “safe”, Steritech “has an impeccable operating record”.
Matt Smith from ENUFF (Everyone for a
Nuclear Free Future) spoke about food irradiation, the chemical changes caused,
the chemicals that can be created and their devastating effect on DNA when food
Political representatives spoke and made
their positions known:
Members of the public were then able to ask
questions – not only of the speakers but also of the political representatives
who were there. They also offered their views on this proposal and personal
experiences of nuclear industries overseas.
The ex-mayor, Tom McLoughlin was in
attendance, clutching his Steritech glossy brochure (never go anywhere without
it!), as was Mr. Lesley Hugo – a local resident who spent 30 years at Lucas
Heights and who believes the nuclear plant is safe. These were the only two who
put their hands up as being in favour of the nuclear irradiation plant. Mr. Hugo
was nearly ejected from the meeting, however, for being unruly and making
incredible statements that the plant would not be used for food irradiation!
This was after the meeting had been informed of Steritech’s application to
ANZFA for a licence to irradiate certain foodstuffs in April 2000.
A Mr. Ron Nightingale (a local businessman
– business undefined) said that over 80 jobs would be lost if this plant did
not go ahead. He did not state the basis for this assertion. In fact, once
building was finished (some temporary jobs), the plant would employ only 8-10
Personal thanks to:
Fran & Frank Jell – for organising
Everyone who spoke
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A PUBLIC STATEMENT FROM ALL OUR POLITICAL PARTIES
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