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Coalition has long supported need for national radioactive waste facility.

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Tue, 23rd February 2010


Senator the Hon Nick Minchin

Shadow Minister for Resources and Energy

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

The Coalition has long supported the need for the establishment of a national facility for the storage of radioactive

waste, only to have been frustrated by State, Territory and Federal Labor every step of the way, Shadow Minister

for Resources and Energy Senator Nick Minchin said today.

Senator Minchin said the Coalition will closely examine the details of the Rudd Government’s National

Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2010, which is set to be introduced into the Parliament this week.

“While acknowledging the Rudd Government’s commitment to a national radioactive repository, Labor’s record on

this issue is contemptible.

“The Coalition’s efforts to establish such a facility over more than a decade were hindered by politically

opportunistic Labor Governments in both South Australia and the Northern Territory and also by the Federal

Labor Opposition,” Senator Minchin said.

“Despite the Rudd Government’s grand-standing about repealing the Coalition’s Radioactive Waste Management

Act 2005, to replace it with an alternative site selection process, it must be noted that under Labor’s model the

Muckaty Station site remains as a possible location for a radioactive waste facility.

“The Muckaty Station site was of course identified under the Coalition Government’s site selection process,

following a nomination by the Northern Land Council and Labor is happy for that nomination to stand,” Senator

Minchin said.

“The need for the establishment of a dedicated site for Commonwealth radioactive waste is becoming urgent as

Australian spent fuel waste, currently located in France and Scotland is to be returned in 2015-16 for storage.

“While the Coalition welcomes the Rudd Government’s commitment to establishing a national radioactive waste

repository, the Northern Territory Labor Government continues to oppose such a facility and it remains to be seen

whether Labor’s alternative approach will produce an outcome,” Senator Minchin said.