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Radioactive waste has to go somewhere

Posted: Wed, June 15, 2011

Northern Land Council Chief Executive Officer Mr Kim Hill said this week’s expected passage of the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill through the Senate will be an important step towards Australia meeting its obligations to store its own radioactive waste.

Mr Hill said if the Senate passes the National Radioactive Waste it would not necessarily mean a
radioactive waste repository would be built on Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory and that,
ultimately, science would decide its location.

“Everyone seems to think that it’s a done deal and that Muckaty Station will be selected, but that’s
simply short sighted,” he said.

“This legislation merely preserves the site, on Ngapa country, as a piece of land which has been
volunteered by its rightful owners for consideration as a potential site for a radioactive waste
repository.”

Mr Hill said, under the Government’s proposed new legislation, if the Minister is not satisfied that the
site at Muckaty Station meets the environmental requirements, other land owners will have the
opportunity to nominate their country for consideration.

“If the science is not right and the Muckaty site is struck off as a potential location, the Minister then is
responsible for finding another site which does pass the environmental assessment process,” he said.

“Australia has a responsibility to store its radioactive waste in a safe place and the current situation
with it being housed in suburban Sydney at Lucas Heights, universities and hospitals is simply not
acceptable or sustainable.

“The ships, loaded with used radioactive rods will soon be on their way back from France so I hope the
Minister can find a suitable site for the sake of all Australians.”

Mr Hill said the NLC had over 35 years experience in accurately and honestly representing Aboriginal
traditional ownership groups, whether for or against uranium.

For a PDF version of the media release, click below:

http://www.nlc.org.au/files/various/Radioactive_waste_has_to_go_somewhere.pdf