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Nuclear waste dump: Howard dumps on South Australian public.

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Senator Kim Carr Labor Senator for Victoria Shadow Minister for Science & Research

3 May 2002 24/02


The Coalition has shown its complete disregard for South Australians by pushing ahead with plans for an intermediate-level nuclear waste dump for the State, according to Shadow Minister for Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr.

Today the Howard Government released a report, Safe Storage of Radioactive Waste, that would put its planned new national nuclear waste facility near Woomera.

“This is contrary to the clearly expressed wishes of the vast majority of the South Australian people,” said Senator Carr. “In South Australia there has long been bi-partisan opposition to such a nuclear repository.

“In March the SA Premier, Mike Rann, wrote to the Prime Minister expressing his Government’s - and the South Australian public’s - complete opposition to the siting of a nuclear waste dump in that State.

Mr Rann’s letter said, in part:

“The South Australian Government is opposed to any national radioactive or nuclear waste dumps being established in this State.

“Given that thousands of square kilometres of this State were contaminated in the British nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s and 60s, South Australia has more than played its part. Millions of dollars have been spent in cleaning up that land.”

He informed the Prime Minister that his Government planned to legislate to:

• Ban the establishment of any nuclear waste dump in SA;

• Prevent the transport of nuclear waste into, and within, the State; and

• Provide for a referendum of South Australians prior to any future moves by the Commonwealth to override State powers to establish a medium- to high-level nuclear storage facility in SA.

“Howard and Science Minister McGauran have repaid South Australians who helped return a Coalition Government last November - by closing their eyes and ears to public opinion in the State,” said Senator Carr. “Furthermore, the Federal Government clearly has no commitment to a cooperative approach on this issue.

“Nothing - not even State legislation - will stand in its way. It wants to override State powers, State rights and State wishes. South Australians have a right to be very angry. The Opposition, in support of the overwhelming view of the people of South Australia, will do all in its power to prevent the construction of a nuclear waste dump in South Australia.”

Further information: Kim Carr 0419 563 922 Jane Nicholls 0419 801 940

Electoral Office: 62 Lygon St CARLTON SOUTH 3053 Ph: 03 9639 2798 Fax: 03 9639 3109 Canberra Office: Parliament house CANBERRA ACT 2600 Ph: 02 6277 3730 Fax: 02 6277 5911 Email: Toll Free Number: 1800 673 169