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Independent expertise needed to deal with radioactive waste, not a shed in the NT

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 22 Mar 2012

An independent commission of experts should be created to decide how to deal with the nation's radioactive medical waste, the Australian Greens urged today.

Senator Scott Ludlam said the Greens had tried to legislate for an independent commission on radioactive waste but faced "a wall of dogma" from the major parties.

"Wednesday's report on the ABC's 7.30 concluded with the suggestion this was an intractable problem - but it doesn't need to be. We need a body that has the skills and expertise to determine what is the safest and most sustainable way to deal with this waste, rather than banishing it to a shed built on the land of people who don't want it there, watched by two security guards rather than qualified technicians."

The Greens have pushed for the establishment of the Independent Commission on the Long Term Safe Storage, Transport and Management of Australia's Radioactive Waste.

"Through this Commission, Australia could apply world's best practice to responsibly deal with the 4020m3 of so-called low-level and short-lived intermediate radioactive waste and the approximately 600m3 of long-lived waste in this country, and also to deal with the 32 cubic metres of spent research reactor fuel that is returning to Australia from reprocessing in France and the UK in 2015-16."

Senator Ludlam led the two-year struggle in the Federal Parliament against the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill, legislation which finally passed last week and makes it legal for the Government to force a waste dump on Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory.



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