The Federal Government has finally announced it will repeal the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act. But it has left Muckaty Station outside Tenant Creek in the NT as the most likely target for the national radioactive waste dump.
The repeal legislation is, if anything, more coercive than the bill it replaces.
Section 11 of the bill explicitly overrides any state or territory laws that would hinder site selection. Section 12 then eliminates Aboriginal interests (the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984) and green interests (the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999) from the process of choosing a site. Section 13 eliminates the property rights of any individual unlucky enough to be in the path of the dump or its access corridors.
The remaining provisions in the bill vest total discretion in the hands of the Minister to pursue the sole current nomination at Muckaty Station.
The Greens will use all means at our disposal in the Parliament and the community to make sure that the radioactive waste management debate moves past these dismal arguments over which disadvantaged Aboriginal community should be targeted for cash payments in exchange for eternally toxic radioactive waste.
We will stand with the people who have put up a spirited defence of their country since this unwelcome proposal first saw the light of day.
This bill will be subjected to the scrutiny of a Senate inquiry. This could be the first step toward getting an honest process in place after 20 years of coercive false starts. Submissions are due by 15 March to find out more about how to have your say click here.
For more information:
• Make a submission to the Inquiry.
• Read Scott's media statements on the issue (23 February and 24 February 2010)
• National Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2010
• Watch or read Scott's Question in Senate question time
• Brief senate speech on the waste dump
• The 2008 senate inquiry into radioactive waste legislation
• The Beyond Nuclear Initiative
• ACF No waste campaign
• Inhabited Exhibition