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Rights flattened as government steamrolls towards waste dump.

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Senator Kim Carr Labor Senator for Victoria Shadow Minister for Industry, Innovation, Science and Research

Thursday, 27 September 2007 (47/07)

Rights flattened as government steamrolls towards waste dump

The approval today by Science Minister, Julie Bishop, of the highly controversial nuclear waste nomination at the Northern Territory’s Muckaty Station means that Territorians are even closer to having a dump steamrolled into their back yard.

The approval comes despite the Howard Government telling Territorians before the 2004 election that:

“I think the reality of this is that there's no one on the mainland who particularly wants a nuclear waste dump in their backyard, and that is why we're pursuing the practical option of going to an offshore island, so the Northern Territorians can take that as an absolute categorical assurance.”

(Senator Ian Campbell, ABC Radio (PM), 30/09/04)

Today’s announcement is yet the next chapter in the decade-long saga of lies and mismanagement that has become Howard’s waste dump.

The Howard Government has tried to impose its waste dump at numerous sites around the country; settling on the Northern Territory because of its ability to steamroll the Territory’s rights and impose the dump against its will.

After forcing legislation through Federal Parliament, the Science Minister now has full Ministerial discretion over the siting of a nuclear waste facility in the Northern Territory.

Labor believes that Howard’s bullyboy tactics in the Northern Territory are no way to select a nuclear waste dump.

Labor is committed to repealing the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act and establishing a consensual process of site selection.

Labor’s process will look to agreed scientific grounds for determining suitability. Community consultation and support will be central to our approach.

Further information: Kim Carr 0419 563 922, Patrick Pantano 0417 142 238.