Deborah Lilly, Mullumbimby
A few years ago I had a young Japanese couple stay at my place as Wwoofers (Willing Workers on Organic Farms). Eri, who is of child-bearing age, is terrified of the impact of radiation from Fukushima, and wants to leave Japan. Was Australian uranium used at Fukushima? Does Australia have a responsibility toward radiation refugees?
When Eri and Tomoki were here in 2008, they participated in an MCAN demo at the council chambers asking for the Mullumbimby poo pipes to be fixed as they leaked raw sewage into the Brunswick River during heavy rain (http://www.mullumaction.org/latestnews/stp_protest1.html).
Their photo graced The Echo’s front page along with Eri’s statement that she was glad to be able to do a little thing, to make a difference. Also she felt enthused to be more pro-active when she went back to Japan.
On their return to Japan, Eri and Tomoki got an allotment for growing vegetables, and sent me regular news about how they were growing. Now Eri wants to leave her garden, her family, her culture, her country, and even her beloved boyfriend Tomoki, because of the radiation.
Eri would like to come and live in Australia, but she does not have the special qualifications or the money needed to emigrate here. I wish I could help her. Should Australia help the victims of its exports? This Sunday, Byron Against Nuclear Group (BANG) will be holding a people’s forum ‘Fukushima and Beyond’ from 1.45 to 2.30pm at the Byron Market.