The Australian Greens have urged the Government to strip responsibility for radioactive waste management from Resources Minister Martin Ferguson.
Greens spokesperson for nuclear affairs Senator Scott Ludlam said nuclear waste had been in the jurisdiction of successive science ministers for decades before the "extremely unorthodox" decision of the Government to place it in the hands of the resources minister after the 2007 election.
The Australian Greens today condemned the Government for passing a bill to force a radioactive waste dump onto the Northern Territory, despite the Opposition refusing to vote and Coalition MP Natasha Griggs crossing the floor to oppose the bill.
Greens MP Adam Bandt and Greens nuclear affairs spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam congratulated Ms Griggs for her courage in voting against the radioactive waste dump bill while the Coalition took the extremely unusual step of removing all but one member from the Chamber during the vote.
For the first time Greens MP Adam Bandt will vote against a government bill in Federal Parliament today and seek to highlight the governments failure to properly consult traditional owners about plans for a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory.
The National Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2010, which sets up the legal regime for a radioactive waste dump at Muckaty north of Tennant Creek, will be debated today.
The Australian and Northern Territory Greens have condemned the call from NT Country Liberal Party members for CLP leaders to abandon their opposition to the Angela Pamela (AP) uranium project.
At the Country Liberals Central Council meeting on the weekend, CLP members backed a motion calling on its leaders to support uranium exploration and mining applications and, worse still, to promote them.
The Australian Greens have condemned the Parliamentary investigation of the proposed Muckaty Station nuclear waste dump as a whitewash.
After the House of Representative's Climate Change, Environment and the Arts Standing Committee's report on the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2010 was tabled today, Greens MP Adam Bandt said that the committee refused to hear from the public or the area's Aboriginal traditional owners.
"This is Martin Ferguson's appalling Christmas present for the people of Muckaty," Mr Bandt said.
Senator LUDLAM-Okay. In June, which I think was the last time we spoke, you reported on attending a meeting of the Muckaty Aboriginal Corporation to give a presentation on the radioactive waste dump process. You gave us a bit of detail at the time about what had happened there. Has there been any further correspondence between the department and the MAC and/or the Northern Land Council to discuss procedural developments or any other issues relating to the Muckaty proposal?
Senator LUDLAM-I want to come to a budget allocation about which I spoke briefly to DEEWR officers earlier in the year, an allocation in the federal budget of just over $8 million for addressing management of Australia's radioactive waste through the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Facility that allocations quite heavily frontloaded with nearly $4½ million allocated to the current financial year. Has any of that money been allocated to upgrading waste management or storage facilities at the Lucas Heights reactor complex?
The Australian Greens welcome the referral of the Federal Government's controversial bill to establish Australia's national radioactive waste dump to a House of Representatives parliamentary committee.
"This is great news and may ensure real scrutiny is brought to bear on Labor's proposal to dump radioactive waste in Central Australia," said Greens spokesperson on nuclear issues Senator Scott Ludlam.