Radioactivity fades your genes


Donated by Donated by Hannah Middleton

Museum of Australian Democracy collection

Uranium mining was one of the most controversial public issues in Australia in the 1970s. The Australian anti-nuclear movement developed in 1972–1973, after French nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific. Community concern grew widespread in 1977–1978 when the Fraser government approved uranium mining and export. This badge was created by the Movement Against Uranium Mining (MAUM), a lobby group established in Melbourne in 1976. MAUM’s central demand was a five-year ban on the mining and export of uranium.

MAUM’s campaign combined awareness-raising and direct action. It conducted a national signature drive to petition against mining and to publicise the group’s key demands. It produced and distributed publications, gave talks, lobbied for nuclear-free zones, supported a boycott of the ANZ Bank (which had links with the uranium industry), organised rallies across Australia and helped other activists in the labour movement. MAUM members also blockaded convoys of trucks transporting uranium, and demonstrated at wharves. In 1994 the Movement decided to focus on its lobbying activities.