Australian news, and some related international items

Kerri-Ann Garlick – Lucas Heights is the correct place for Australia’s nuclear waste. The Kimba dump plan is unfair, undemocratic and dangerous.

Kerri-Ann Garlick Submission 99 to Senate Committee on  National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 [Provisions]

The National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment Bill amends the National Radioactive Waste Management Act to specify a site near Kimba in South Australia for a nuclear waste ‘facility’ ‒ a repository for low-level waste and an above-ground ‘interim’ store for long-lived intermediate level waste.

I have deep concerns about the federal government’s proposed changes to the National Radioactive Waste Management Act. They are unfair, undemocratic and dangerous.

The government has no valid case on safety or security grounds and not made a clear case about the need for the planned national nuclear waste facility at Kimba.

The necessary infrastructure, resources and expertise for nuclear operations and waste management are all located at Lucas Heights and transferring the waste component of the system to a remote location at Kimba is a recipe for disaster in the medium and long term – up to 10,000 years from now, in the case of intermediate waste.

The whole process has been restricted and inadequate. The traditional owners of the land were disrespected and excluded from the purportedly public and democratic approval process. All citizens of Australia have a stake in the successful resolution of our national nuclear waste problems yet we were not consulted either.

The Bill is deeply flawed and should be rejected.

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,
  • exempt key environmental and cultural heritage protection laws from being usedfail to make any clear or compelling radiological or public health case for doubling handling the long-lived intermediate level waste (ILW) at significant public expense
  • do not provide any certainty about the long-term management of Australia’s radioactive
  • are not consistent with international best practice in relation to siting, community
    consultation or procedural fairness around radioactive waste,
  • do not recognise or respect long standing South Australian legislation prohibiting any federal
    radioactive waste facility.Against 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 approach to radioactive waste is not
    helpful or justified.

May 7, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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