Greens rejoice in park protest

GREEN PROTESTERS in Australia are claiming a crucial victory in their battle with the government over the future of a national park.

The protesters spent the dry season camping outside the Jabiluka uranium mine, which is surrounded by the Kakadu National Park, a World Heritage Site (WHS). The site includes remains at Malakunanja which led to the discovery that Australia was inhabited by humans 60,000 years ago.

This week a group of United Nations scientists said continuing mineral extraction would be incompatible with the area's heritage and the UN World Heritage Committee, meeting in Japan, over the next few days, is expected to call for it to stop.

The Northern Territory site is one of three where mining threatens areas of the highest international importance.

A month ago, Greenpeace began direct action on an oil-from-shale operation in Queensland, on a lease that extends into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. And Shark Bay Resources, in Western Australia, has applied to extend salt mining into another WHS.