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Jabiluka traditional owners call for full Senate inquiry

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on April 10th, 2002.

The Aboriginal traditional owners of the Jabiluka uranium mine site on a lease surrounded by Kakadu National Park are calling for a full Senate inquiry into operations at the mine.

The office of the supervising scientist confirmed yesterday that new allegations have been made about inadequate environmental management practices at the nearby Ranger mine about five years ago.

The Gundjehmi Aboriginal Corporation says there has been concern about the environmental and reporting side of the operations at Ranger since the 80s.

The corporation's Andy Ralph says with these new allegations, it is time to conduct a detailed investigation.

"We're not surprised about these allegations to be truthful and they really only add to our long-held suspicions of a culture of secrecy at Ranger mine for the last 20 years," he said.

"That's why we're calling for a full independent Senate inquiry into these cover-ups and we're asking both sides of Parliament to support this immediately," he said.

Meanwhile, ERA says it is aware that the supervising scientist has received a letter outlining the concerns of a former employee who left the company in 1998.

An ERA spokesman says the company understands the letter makes claims regarding management at Ranger about five years ago.

He says during his tenure the employee raised work related concerns and ERA believes that an appropriate response was made at the time.

Nevertheless, he says ERA takes any allegations regarding the integrity of the company and its environmental practices very seriously and will check the veracity of any information brought forward.



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