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Whereis > SA > Maralinga

Map of Maralinga, SA 5710

Maralinga in the remote western areas of South Australia was the home of the Maralinga Tjarutja, a southern Pitjantjatjara Indigenous Australian people. Maralinga was the site of the secret British nuclear tests in the 1950s. The site measures about 3,300 kmĀ² in area.

In January 1985, the Maralinga Tjarutja native title land was handed back to the Maralinga people under the Maralinga Tjarutja Land Rights Act, 1984 passed by both houses of the South Australian Parliament in December 1984 and proclaimed in January 1987.

In 2003 South Australian Premier Mike Rann and Education Minister Trish White opened a new school at Oak Valley replacing what had been described as the "worst school in Australia". In May 2004, following the passage of special legislation, Premier Rann handed back title to 21,000 square kilometres of land to the Maralinga Tjarutja and Pila Nguru people.

The land, 1000 km northwest of Adelaide and abutting the Western Australia border, was called the Unnamed Conservation Park. It is now known as Mamungari Conservation Park. It includes the Serpentine Lakes and was the largest land return since Premier John Bannon's hand over of Maralinga lands in 1984. At the 2004 ceremony Premier Rann said the return of the land fulfilled a promise he made in 1991 when he was Aboriginal Affairs Minister, after he passed legislation to return lands including the sacred Ooldea area (which also included the site of Daisy Bates' mission camp) to the Maralinga Tjarutja people.

Under an agreement between the governments of the United Kingdom and Australia, efforts were made to clean up the site before the Maralinga people resettled on the land in 1995.
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