graffiti in Bowden

The graffiti in Bowden during the 1980s was  often quite blunt and direct with no ambiguity in the message:

grafitti, Bowden

graffiti, Bowden

I interpreted  it as the signs of the increasing emphasis  on law and order as a response to the local residents /industry politics,  and to the repression directed at  those who were  thrown on the industrial scrapheap with little hope of finding a job.

Some of the graffiti  politics was of a  more conventional kind in South Australia–an anti-nuclear politics that wanted to keep uranium in the ground. The movement’s politics aimed  to  halt Australia’s uranium mining and exports, abolish nuclear weapons, remove foreign military bases from Australia’s soil, and create a nuclear-free Pacific.

no uranium

no uranium

Nuclear issues were big issues at the time.  There was  still the Cold War with its  stockpiling of nuclear weapons going on between the United States and the Soviets, and there was a  growing concern about the safety of nuclear power. The  Ranger and Narbarlek uranium mines in Arnheim Land in the Northern Territory, which  had started operations in the late 1970s,  were joined by Olympic Dam in South Australia, the world’s largest uranium deposit,  in the 1980s.

Uranium mining was  a political issue throughout the 1980s, with the Hawke Labor government restricting it to existing mines—the so-called three mines policy. After the Coalition  won office  under John Howard in 1996, the Beverley and Honeymoon uranium mines, both in South Australia, began operation. In 2007, the Labor Party abandoned the three mines policy.

 

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