The departure of Martin Ferguson from the Cabinet presents a circuit breaker for the Federal Government to progress a real solution for Australia's radioactive waste problem, the Greens said today.
"If responsibility for the waste site is to remain with Mr Gary Gray's portfolio, he should immediately move to drop the campaign to dump the waste at Muckaty Station," said Australian Greens spokesperson on nuclear policy Senator Scott Ludlam.
"Rather than Mr Ferguson's coercive approach, which is years behind schedule and embroiled in a Federal Court action, Mr Gray should take up the Greens proposal for an independent commission with the technical expertise to find a world's best standard solution for Australia's inventory of radioactive waste.
"The job of building an appropriate facility and finding an appropriate site for dealing with the country's radioactive waste material clearly belongs in the science portfolio - currently held by Mr Greg Combet. The Government now has a chance to fix that mistake.
"The Greens will work with any minister who is willing to make a clean break with the terrible debacle left behind by Martin Ferguson."