Australian news, and some related international items

Rally opposing Sydney’s Hunters Hill radioactive waste going to residential suburbs

Fallout spreads from uranium waste dumping plan  29 AUG 12  BY ELIAS JAHSHAN AROUND 200 residents attended a rally at Lidcombe’s Remembrance Park last Saturday to protest the NSW government’s plans to transfer radioactive waste from an old Hunters Hill radium smelter to residential areas, including a facility at Lidcombe.

The rally was organised by the Auburn Asian Welfare Centre and Soka Gakkai International Australia, a Buddhist and non-government organisation.

A spokeswoman from SGI Australia said waste products from at least 500 tonnes of uranium ore processed at the former Hunters Hill smelter remained in the soil, and will be sent to the Office of Environment and Heritage-owned facility at Joseph St, Lidcombe.

At the rally, Monash University environmental engineer Gavin Mudd acknowledged that radioactive waste needed to be removed from Hunters Hill, but said the problem was a lack of transparency in the plans to dispose of the contaminated soil.

Dr Mudd believed the best place for that waste was the Australian Nuclear Research and Development Organisation facility at Lucas Heights.

“The best place is not Kemps Creek, and it’s not (Lidcombe),” he added.

Lucas Heights is prohibited by law from accepting anything other than Commonwealth waste. Dr Mudd said the soil from Hunters Hill would be classed as state-owned waste.

“Politicians can change legislation quickly when the will is there,” he said. THE STORY SO FAR

– The state government wants to rehabilitate and sell the land at the Hunters Hill uranium smelter site, which closed in 1915.

– Contaminated soil waste is to be transferred to a Lidcombe facility.

– November 2011: Auburn Council unanimously votes to become a nuclear-free zone, but state government can still override this vote.

– February: Auburn RSL delivers 1000 signatures for a petition against the plans.

– March: Rally held at Auburn Town Hall.

– June: Petition with more than 13,000 signatures opposing the plans debated in state parliament, but fails to change government’s stance.

August 30, 2012 - Posted by | New South Wales, uranium, wastes

1 Comment »

  1. […] In 2010, it was revealed that the Labor-run state government planned to move the waste to the SITA site near Kemps Creek. As more details came to light, local resistance to the proposal became more intense. […]


    Pingback by The Hunter’s Hill/Kemps Creek Waste Issue | Nepean Greens | March 14, 2013 | Reply

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