FOR THREE decades Dave Sweeney has watched, written about and worked around nuclear, resource and Indigenous issues in Australia.
In the 1980s he protested against the development of the massive Olympic Dam uranium mine in South Australia and U.S. military bases in central Australia, worked with Friends of the Earth Australia and FoE International, travelled in Eastern Europe after the Chernobyl cloud and worked in Dublin on the campaign to stop radioactivity from the Sellafield nuclear plant poisoning the Irish Sea.
In the 1990s he worked as a freelance print journalist specialising in environmental and resource issues before spending four years producing Stick Together, an award winning weekly national public radio program exploring industrial and resource issues. The Sticky show was supported by a range of trade unions including the ANF, AMWU, MUA, LHMWU and the CFMEU and during this time Dave provided communications and media services and advice to these and other unions on a broad range of issues.
After a stint as a media advisor with Oxfam, Dave joined the fight against the Howard government's push to open a new uranium mine in Kakaduand was part of the national and international campaign that successfully halted the Jabiluka mine plan.
Since the late 1990s Dave has worked with the Australian Conservation Foundation’s nuclear free campaign. This work has taken him around Australia and across the world highlighting and hindering the nuclear industry and working with people directly affected by this controversial and contaminating trade.
He has worked on successful campaigns to stop radioactive waste dumping in South Australia and on the current national campaign to stop a contested dump plan at Muckaty in the N.T. as well as on campaigns to halt plans for new and expanded uranium mines. This has seen Dave engage closely with Aboriginal people, workers, political figures, journalists, companies, environment and civil society groups and a broad range of players, punters and people.
He has presented regularly in national political and media forums and been involved in protests from remote desert mine sites to the HQs of some of the biggest resource companies, including BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.
Dave has participated at internationalforums and events in Europe (including the European Parliament)and Africa in relation to the environmental, social and cultural impacts of uranium mining and the wider nuclear trade. In 2012, he was invited to tour the Fukushima affected region in Japan. The continuing Fukushima nuclear crisis was directly fuelled by Australian uranium and for Dave this has highlighted the importance of transition to a renewable, not radioactive, energy future.
He currently lives and works in Melbourne and holds a vision of a nuclear free Australia that is positive about its future and honest about its past.
You can follow Dave Sweeney on Twitter @NukeDaveSweeney