Word search 10001
Aborigines to sue British Government over nuclear tests
Australian aborigines and former servicemen are to sue the British Ministry of Defence over diseases and disabilities that they claim were caused by nuclear testing in the Outback more than 50 years ago, according to a report in the British www.telegraph.co.uk written by Bonnie Malkin, in Sydney, 2 March -
Coober Pedy’s Maureen Williams,, 57, has joined the class action against the British government over the atomic testing at Maralinga.
A group of 250 people, including 150 former servicemen, say they have suffered cancer, skin disease and deformities because of the fallout from blasts.
If they win, the British Government could be faced with a bill for compensation which will run to millions of pounds, according to lawyers for the group, which will be represented by Cherie Booth QC.
British lawyers last week travelled to South Australia, where the tests took place, to prepare the case in conjunction with the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement and document the stories of people living in the area at the time of the testing.
Lawyers from London firm Hickman & Rose said the families that had come forward so far were "just the tip of the iceberg" and that they expected many more to follow.
Anna Mazzola, a partner at the firm, said that while the British had warned some white farmers that the tests were taking place, the indigenous community was largely ignored.
"The British assumed there was no one living there. But [local aborigines] lived off the land, ate the local plants and wildlife and were profoundly affected," she told The Daily Telegraph.
"The evidence we have is that little research was carried out into the repercussions of the testing and that's why it's so important that they are held accountable."
The group of 100 civilians and more than 150 former servicemen, who claim they were sent to work at the test sites with no protection or warning about the dangers, hopes to launch legal action by May.
The claim follows the lead of a class action lodged by former British servicemen also affected by radiation exposure who were granted permission to sue the government last year.
Among the Australians seeking compensation are families of the "Woomera babies" - 60 infants who died, some without explanation, during the decade of testing. (Cont. page 2) Photo: Mark Brake
From the issue of 17 February until further notice, the Coober Pedy News is being produced in the Philippines. All communication during this time is by email, and if necessary, moblie phone +639392895534 in the Philippines.
Word search 10002
TIDBITS (From the DCCP February meeting agenda)
Reports For The Month Of January 2010
Works Department - Mark Hill, Works Manager
Dog and cat management
9 dogs and 19 cats destroyed
The large baggage trolley owned by REX at the airport terminal was recently stolen and dumped in an unoccupied dugout off Flat Hill Road, with considerable damage to the axles and wheels. Council assisted the Desert Cave by recovering and repairing the trolley on a cost recovery basis. The incident was reported to SAPOL by Desert Cave management and the trolleys will now be chained when not in use.
The new airport terminal building commenced with the barrier fencing on the 28th of January.
Depot and Workshop
January was a busy month in our workshop with the Dyna mini tipper requiring a new radiator, the replacement cost was exorbitant and with no radiator repairer in town I negotiated with a trade supplier who agreed to supply radiator cores to Council
Parks and Gardens
The oval will be mowed when we have a break from the heat, soon we hope.
NRDB - Chad Menzies, Far North Economic Development Officer
On January 15th, the Northern Regional Development Board formerly became known as Regional Development Australia Far North as the transition to the Regional Development Australia model was finalised.
I have accepted a position with Global Maintenance Upper Spencer Gulf and will finish with the RDAFN on Friday 26th February 2010.
Coober Pedy Gem Trade Show: The 2010 Gem Trade Show committee continues to undertake preparations for the event held over the Easter weekend.
Aborigines to sue British Government over nuclear tests
(Cont. from page 1)
Woomera lies 600km west of the test site at Maralinga and some believe the town could have been affected by fallout from the nuclear blasts.
Other alleged victims of the blasts have told of a "black mist" of fallout descending on their homes after the explosions.
In the years that followed the nuclear tests, the lawyers claim that a high number of cases of cancer, skin disease and birth deformities were recorded across several parts of South Australia.
Maureen Williams was a baby living in the remote town of Coober Pedy when the second nuclear test took place in 1953. Her family saw the "thick, black and red" mushroom cloud in the distance, but did not understand what it meant.
"It went right through our camp. Straight away people started getting sick," she told the Adelaide Advertiser.
Ms Williams, who has joined the class action, has suffered from a skin complaint all of her life and needs ongoing treatment.
Ms Mazzola said that for many locals the consequences of the blasts were ongoing.
"We are dealing with generations of people who have been affected by radiation from the fallout and who have never had that acknowledged," she said.
"The medical science now exists in order to prove these injuries are linked to the tests."
Fearing the Cold War could escalate at any moment, Britain carried out seven major atomic tests and hundreds of smaller tests in Australia during the fifties and sixties.
As well as the locals already living in the vicinity of the blasts, up to 8,000 Australian soldiers were sent to Maralinga, in the remote west of South Australia, and Emu Field, also in the South Australian desert, for the testing. Often equipped with just a hat, shorts and boots, they were told to simply turn their back when the bombs were detonated. Many were covered in fallout from the mushroom clouds and were later treated for radiation sickness. (Adapted from www.www.telegraph.co.uk written by Bonnie Malkin, in Sydney, 2 March)
Word search 10003
Coober Pedy Visitor Information Centre (VIC) from Sandra Harris, Tourism Officer
For the Month of February we had 1149 visitors through the VIC. People are still travelling around the Outback despite the heat, rain and the flies! Great to see. Our Top numbers are again from Europe with 645.
2010 Coober Pedy Opal Festival Sat 3 April
Entry Price: $5 per Adult, $2.50 per child under 15. (Children under 2 Free)
o 1:00 Westpac Festival Street Parade
o To start off the Festival, line the main street of Coober Pedy and watch the colourful floats make their way from Lucas Supermarket to Town Oval. $2000 Major Prize for the Best Float!
o 2:00 Official Opening Speech o 2:20 Chris Sperou - Air Show o 3:00 Holding Sacks of Opal (Sponsored by Monica Nagyszollosi from Raine & Horne o 3:30 Toss the Sausage (Sponsored by Waters & Younger)
o 4:00 Relays o 4:30 Tug of War (Sponsored by Desert Rainbow) o 5:00 Chris Sperou - Air Show
o 6:00 Presentations: Best Float, Lucky Gate Prize, Raffle Draw, Silent Auction Winners & Event Winners.
o 7:30 Fireworks (Sponsored by Oz Minerals) o 10:00 Marquees & Festival Close. Lights off at 10:30pm.
Licensee _ Kevin Holland _ No Glass or BYO Alcohol to be taken into the oval-Proof of age will be required for alcohol service.
Other Opal Activities over the Easter Weekend
Coober Pedy Ball Fri 2nd April-7.30pm @ Desert Cave $65 per ticket (purchase at the Desert Cave) includes 4 course meal and entertainment
Gem Trade Show: Sat/Sun 3rd/4th April-10am-5pm-(Sun closed to general public from 9-12-registered buyers only) @ the Greek Community Club-$5 entry
Area School 50th: Sunday 4th April-2pm @ the School for free. Full range of fun activities for the whole family. Contact the School for full program
Upcoming Events 2010…..
Anzac Day - April 25th - Coober Pedy RSL Club, Dawn Service and street March
Greek Glendi Festival - July - TBA
Coober Pedy Race Day - August - 2nd or 3rd weekend in Aug TBC
Around the Neighbourhood
o William Creek Gymkhana Saturday 27th March 2010 o The Marla Bronco Branding - 24th April & Dawn ANZAC Service on the 25th at Marla. o Taste of the Outback Fri April 16 o Mon 26 - Old Timers Mine Food & Opal Adventure as part of the Tastes of the Outback- see website: www.tastesoftheoutback.com.au
o Oodnadatta 120th Races & Gymkhana-14 & 15th May- o Finke Desert Race 12?14 June o Great Australian Outback Cattle Drive 30 July - 29 August
Outback Open Air Cinema Drive-inNext Screening is March 13th - Fantastic Mr Fox
Event- Sat 13th March Where: Italian Club What Time: 1pm to 3.30pm
Acupressure without needles, group sessions, Health Checks, Market Stalls, food, entertainment & a chance to catch up with friends! Local Ladies Welcome.
For more Information or volunteering please call Gilli or Julie on 8672 3271