National Day of Action, October 20, 2011- Protest BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam mine expansion

A National Day of Action has been called to protest the alarming social, environmental and economic risks associated with the BHP Billiton Olympic Dam mega-mine expansion.

Public protests are set to occur in four Australian capital cities, and also in London where the multinational company’s AGM is to be held on October 20th, 2011.

Impacts past, present and future will be felt by generations of Australians to come, through environmental degradation, social experiments (destabilizing towns and their economies with fly-in fly-out workers and two-speed economies) and economic trade-offs felt by other industries. Whether it’s the health of the marine environment in Upper Spencer Gulf, the suffering of mound springs and indigenous sacred sites in the central desert from the mine’s might draw on the Great Artesian Basin and Australia’s role in the proliferation of nuclear power and arms around the world, there’s plenty to be upset about. Contradictory to Labor politicians repeated mantra, the mine’s present and proposed operation falls well short of ‘world’s best practise’. These protests are calling for the multi-national mining giant BHP Billiton to clean up their act, and for our Government to represent the needs of Australians outside of the mining sector. After announcing a 22.5 billion dollar net profit in Australia for the past financial year, this company can absolutely afford to do the right thing. They won’t though, without serious local and international public pressure.

So wherever you are, in Australia, the UK or beyond, take a stand against the appalling prioritisation of mining interests over and above all else. Reminders of some of the key points related to the Olympic Dam mine expansion’s impact can be seen on the flyer below. Times and locations for protests in Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin and London are listed in the table below also, along with links to more info for each event. Please print out copies and distribute them widely among your friends, families and co-workers. This story deserves world news attention. Massive mining projects like this one bring with them massive impacts. If we don’t act now, we will suffer the consequences of short-sighted policy makers and profiteers decisions for decades to come.

Protest the BHP Billiton Olympic Dam mine expansion - October 20, 2011

If you attend one of these protests below, or stage your own mini-protest wherever you are, please record it with photographs or video recordings, and send us an email with a download link. We’d love to include your creative and heartfelt responses to this project in our coming film production and online video series.

Times and locations of BHP Billiton protesting the Olympic Dam mine expansion

London 10:00 am The Annual General Meeting of BHP Billiton
Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Broad Sanctuary, Westminster
More info
Adelaide 8:30 am BHP Billiton Office, 55 Grenfell St More info
Melbourne 12:00 noon BHP Billiton HQ, QV 180 Lonsdale St More info
Perth 9:00 am BHP Billiton offices-
152-158 St Georges Terrace
More info
Darwin 10:00 am NT Parliament House, Mitchell St

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Dan Monceaux is a South Australian documentary filmmaker and the director of Cuttlefish Country.

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