Australia will reject demand Unesco to halt Jabiluka.
On December 1, in its meeting in Kyoto, Japan, the World Heritage Committee, have unanimously asked the Australian government to immediately cease construction of Jabiluka until the next World Heritage Bureau meeting in May 1999, while a series of environmental reviews take place. It has delayed placing Kakadu National park on the 'in danger' list until then.
Of course, it is a far from final victory on Jabiluka. But it is a tremendous step forward, and it is a judgement that the Australian government can't just shrug off - The international community has condemned the Jabiluka project at the very highest level.
The reaction of the Australian government was prompt: Environmental Senator Robert Hill described the report on Kakadu by the World Heritage Mission as "biased, unbalanced and totally lacking in objectivity". He said Australia would ignore the Unesco demand to halt the uranium mine.
Nevertheless the Committee statement is a tribute, amongst other things, to the good sense of people on the Committee. But it is very much a tribute to the very hard work that has been put in by people all accross the world to neutralise the tactics of the Australian government.
ENS, 1 December 1998 and press release Friends of the Earth Australia 1 December 1998.