Alan Parkinson
Former Government Representative to oversee the Maralinga Rehabilitation Project and
Member of MARTAC

Presented to the Institution of Engineers Australia
Mittagong, 30 September 2010

Extracts and photographs

end quote.

I’d like to make a couple of points.

Over many years nuclear veterans maintained that Maralinga nuclear site, and the site at Emu Field had been unsafe at the time they served at those sites and remained so.

It is public record that the Australian Navy routinely monitored the state of radiological contamination at the nuclear test sites at the Monte Bello Islands, off the coast of Western Australia.

In is beyond belief that the Australian Army did not likewise monitor the radiological state of Emu and Maralinga from the 1950s until the same period in the 1970s.

It is therefore a diabolical contradiction which confronted the State government of South Australia in the mid 1980s when it sought to at long last return the Maralinga Lands to the owners of that land, the Aboriginal people.

The State Government could not hand the land back to its owners because in the mid 1980s because the place presented a severe hazard to health for anyone who returned to live there.

That was the case in the mid 1980s, after 3 decades of nuclear decay of the radiological filth Britain, permitted by the Australian national government, had dispersed there.

All the while, up until today, 21 May 2011, the governments of Britain and Australia maintain that the land was safe and presented no threat to the people who were directed there. People who are known today as nuclear veterans.

They lived and worked amid fresh fallout so potently health affecting that the placed was found unfit for human habitation in the mid 1980s.

Why did the clean up take so long? Where are the Army monitoring documents for the mainland sites which should sit alongside the Navy documents in the public domain?

Suppressing this information is totally beyond any reasonable stretch of lawful behavior, particularly when governments maintained from 1952 until the mid 1980s, that the nuclear tests were perfectly.

In the face of constant testimony by nuclear veterans and affected civilians to the contrary – testimony tendered by nuclear veterans under threat of jail sentences for speaking secrets up until the time the Royal Commission was called.

If there is any basis for giving the benefit of the doubt to anyone, that benefit should not be given to government.

For the instances of bare faced lying revealed in the Parkinson account was not committed by the evicted owner of the land or by the nuclear veterans.

The record shows it was committed by the national governments of two nations.

Britain and Australia. Those who continue to say there is no basis for legal redress sought by the injured parties.

This will not stand.

The shock of discovery, experienced by the State government of South Australia, when it learned of the extent of the radiological contamination of its territory in the mid 1980s remains a testament to the arrogant and callous disregard inflicted by nuclear authorities upon ordinary people.

In 2013, the historic record shows that nothing has changed in this respect.

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