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Monday, 21 February 2011
Page: 690

Mrs GRIGGS (7:08 PM) —I rise today during this debate on the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2010 to express my concerns about the proposed nuclear waste facility at Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory. My opposition to this waste facility is well known and it was a key issue in my electorate during the last election.

I oppose the placement of the proposed nuclear waste facility at Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory. My concerns relate to complaints by some of the traditional owners of a lack of appropriate consultation, and the minister’s failure to adequately respond to the Senate inquiry into the dump laws. The government has also failed to show the respect due to the traditional owners of the land, by not properly consulting them about plans for a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station north of Tennant Creek.

I understand that the minister is yet to meet with all of the Aboriginal people who claim an interest in Muckaty Station, or those who claim to be the traditional owners. Minister Ferguson should travel to the Northern Territory and meet them and hear their concerns and the concerns of all Territorians. I believe that the Gillard government is not showing sufficient respect for the views of the Northern Territory community about this issue.

From my perspective, the federal government is ignoring or overriding legislation which was passed in the Northern Territory parliament and which seeks to ban the imposition of nuclear dumps: the Northern Territory Nuclear Waste Transport, Storage and Disposal (Prohibition) Act 2004. Territorians and the people in my electorate want our concerns to be taken seriously and we want a proper consultation process with the local community most impacted by the decision to locate this waste facility at Muckaty Station. I do not believe these are unreasonable requests.

I am a committed team player and a strong supporter of the current leadership of Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop, and yet I must take a different position on this issue because I undertook to my electorate during the last election that I would stand up for them. I remain true to my commitment to the people of my electorate and I remain opposed to this decision.