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Window closes for waste dump site nominations

Media Release- May 5, 2015

Window closes for waste dump site nominations

A national environment group has called on the federal government to release details of possible sites for a national radioactive waste facility at the end of a public nomination period provided for landholders to nominate a potential site for Australia’s first purpose built national radioactive waste dump and store.

The revised national nomination process was launched after a dedicated community campaign stopped a national dump being built at Muckaty in the Northern Territory. In early March Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane announced a two -month public nomination period with a closing date of May 5.

The Beyond Nuclear Initiative (BNI) has urged the federal government to consider the full range of available management options, adopt transparent and inclusive processes and ensure any potential sites meet key social as well as environmental criteria.

“There are many people, particularly in regional and remote Australia, with a keen interest in and a close eye on this issue,” said BNI convenor Natalie Wasley.

“Muckaty was rightly labeled a disaster by Federal Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane. To move beyond a discredited Decide-Announce-Defend approach the government needs to show a commitment to genuine volunteerism- including ruling out any sites where land ownership or support for the dump is contested or unclear”.

“Previous failed proposals in both South Australia and the Northern Territory saw a pattern of government secrecy and community distrust.”

“We urge the Minister to rebuild community trust and confidence by releasing the full list of nominations received through this process so nearby communities and affected people can have the greatest opportunity to consider and comment and Australia can have the best chance of advancing a responsible and effective radioactive waste management”.