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Greens dig in to stop nuclear waste dump

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 7 Feb 2012

The Australian Greens today vowed to continue the fight against the planned nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory.

The Government has listed the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill for debate tomorrow. Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said Labor's attempt to force the Bill through the Senate before the completion of a Federal Court case over the status of the land in question was a disgrace.

"The Traditional Owners do not want this eternal radioactive waste dump on their country. The locals don't want it. The Northern Territory government does not want it. Traditional Owners visited the parliament last year and Dianne Stokes wept here telling the story of her country. There is a Federal Court case currently unresolved as to the status of this land, yet the Government pushes on - led by a minister obsessed with the nuclear industry."

"This legislation does not just represent a problem for Muckaty - it places enormous and virtually unchecked power in the hands of one minister."

"In 2007 the IAEA noted examples of states which, having used undemocratic methods lacking public involvement and acceptance, have ‘had to reconsider their programs'. One of the conclusions of the study was that ‘reassessment can become necessary because past decisions were not reached through socially acceptable process'.

"Last month, in a report to the US Energy Secretary, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future strongly recommended a ‘consent-based approach to siting nuclear waste storage... noting that ‘trying to force such facilities on unwilling communities has not worked'. And indeed Labor's stated policy aims to ‘establish a consensual process of site selection, which looks to... the centrality of community consultation and support', yet the Government ignores both Labor policy and the lessons of history."

"The Greens will move an amendment to establish a genuinely Independent Commission on the Long Term Safe Storage, Transport and Management of Australia's Radioactive Waste to find a real solution to this problem."

"South Australia resisted a nuclear waste dump and won. A Territory has less power and that is why the Government, like the Howard Government before it, targeted the Northern Territory - because it believed it could not resist. But it can and it will resist."

Senator Ludlam will move to amend the bill to delay its debate until after the resolution of the case over the traditional ownership of the land in the Government's sights.

Media Contact: Giovanni Torre - 0417 174 302


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