The Australian Greens say moves by the Abbott Government to develop a business case with private partners to impose a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory are deeply concerning.
“The Abbott Government should be instigating a public commission that would responsibly deal with Australia’s radioactive waste inventory,” Greens Nuclear Spokesperson Scott Ludlam said.
“Instead, it seems that behind the scenes, they are developing a business case for the dump with private operators.
“As soon as you commercialise a nuclear waste dump, it is in the operator’s interest to look at taking other waste, including other countries’.
“Treating a nuclear waste dump as a growth business is unwise and unwanted.
“An independent commission would apply world's best practice to responsibly deal with Australia's radioactive waste inventory, and would enable a more sophisticated management regime than the current plan to dump the waste containers in a shed on a cattle station.
“If the Abbott Government wants to resolve Australia’s radioactive waste problem, this is the only effective and responsible way forward, rather than behind-the-scenes commercial deals.
“The Abbott Government has an opportunity to change the strategy here and adopt an approach that is democratic, fair, and scientifically sound.
“Alternatively if it wants to up the ante by commercialising the project then it and any of its private partners can expect to find themselves in a fierce and protracted battle.”