No NT nuclear waste dump, say Greens

RSS Author RSS     Views:N/A
Bookmark and Share          Republish

The Australian Greens are attempting to block plans to build a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory.

Greens senator Scott Ludlam has tabled legislation which would give the territory greater powers to veto plans to build a dump at one of four outback sites.

Australia does not have a remote dump for federal nuclear waste, which comes from sources like medical and defence products.

The Howard government started a process to build a dump in the Northern Territory.

Senator Ludlam, from Western Australia, said the process was all wrong and it was time to put the brakes on.

"Where is the hurry?" he told reporters in Canberra.

"I don't buy the argument at all that we need a remote dump."

Much of the waste is kept at Sydney's Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, while some of it is being processed overseas.

Senator Ludlam said Lucas Heights might be the best place to store the waste long-term because it was safe, dry, and close to the country's nuclear experts who work at the reactor.

Another option was to start talking with France, which is processing some of Australia's waste, about them storing it long-term, Senator Ludlam said.

"All we've had since the 1970s is the debate about which remote Aboriginal community should get the dump and that's just not appropriate these days," he said.

His legislation would repeal the Howard government's Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act 2005, which chi straightener enables the nuclear dump to go ahead in the territory.

Federal Labor made an election promise to repeal the laws but has yet to do so.

Senator Ludlam said he suspected the Rudd government planned to press ahead with a dump in the territory.

Science Minister Kim Carr said Australia Excluding Ibs Trigger Foods From A Diet For Ibs - Part 2 - FREE Articles Directory had to have a national nuclear waste dump.

"The need for a national radioactive waste repository is clear," he said in senate question time on Wednesday.

"This is Australia's waste and it is up to us to actually do something about it."

Waste was currently stored "in filing cabinets", he said.

There were more than 100 sites for storing radioactive waste, which included things like contaminated rubber gloves and discarded smoke detectors, according to Senator Carr.

He said the government would honour its promise to repeal the act in question, but could not do so until it had fresh laws ready to take its place.

The government would take its time making a decision on a waste dump, Senator Carr said. He vowed the government would consult with state and territory governments and local governments, and conduct a detailed scientific analysis.

"We do not believe in imposing solutions by ministerial dictate."

Senator Carr made the comments in response to a question from Senator Ludlam on building a nuclear waste dump.

Senator Ludlam introduced the Commonwealth Radioactive Management Act Repeal Bill 2008 to overturn the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act 2005 on Thursday. Debate was adjourned.

Report this article

Bookmark and Share

Ask a Question about this Article