Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Tilman Ruff: the Australian government has not made the case for Kimba nuclear waste site: a transparent public review is needed

Tilman A Ruff AO MB, BS (Hons), FRACP   –
Associate Professor, Nossal Institute for Global Health, School of Population and Global Health, University
of Melbourne
Co-President, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (Nobel Peace Prize, 1985)
Founding international and Australian Chair, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Nobel
Peace Prize 2017), Australian Committee member

Re: National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 [Provisions]
I have deep concerns about the federal government’s proposed changes to the National Radioactive Waste Management Act. The government has not made a clear case for the planned national facility at Kimba, and its process has been restricted and inadequate.
In particular, I am concerned that the planned changes:

  • restrict or remove options for judicial review of the government’s site selection
    under current laws;
  • unreasonably reduce the rights and options of the Barngarla Traditional Owners
    and other directly impacted parties and have not been made with proper
    consultation;
  •  exclude key environmental and cultural heritage protection laws from being
    applied;
  •  . fail to make any clear or compelling radiological public health case for  double handling of long-lived intermediate level wastes (ILW) bat significant public expense
  • do not provide any certainty about the long term management of Australia’s radioactive waste
  • are not consistent with international best practice in relation to siting, community consultation or procedural fairness around radioactive waste management, and;
  • do not recognise or respect long standing South Australian legislation prohibiting any federal radioactive waste facility
The safest and best equipped place, with the greatest concentration of appropriately skilled persons in Australia to manage long-lived radioactive waste is where it is – at the ANSTO facility at Lucas Heights.
Particularly in the current context of uncertainty and disruption due to the impact of COVID-19, the further uncertainty and contest generated by the federal government’s planned approach to radioactive waste is not helpful or justified.
I urge the Committee not to support the proposed changes to the current legislation and instead call for  a dedicated comprehensive transparent public review of management options in order to best realise responsible radioactive waste management in Australia.

May 5, 2020 - Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump

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