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Monday, 31 October 2011
Page: 12290

Radioactive Waste Management Facility

(Question No. 688)

Mr Forrest asked the Minister for Resources and Energy, in writing, on 13 October 2011:

(1) Is the Proposed Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Facility, Northern Territory: Transport Assessment Report (Parsons Brinckerhoff Australia Pty Ltd and the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, 13 March 2009) the most recent publication on this topic; if not, what is, and from where is it available.

(2) Can he confirm reports that his department has recommended that radioactive waste be transported from Sydney to a proposed Northern Territory waste management facility along highways through the Murray Valley, including Mildura; if so, (a) why is the Murray Valley and Sturt Highway route through Mildura preferred over a more direct and quieter route from Sydney via Broken Hill and Peterborough in South Australia, and (b) would he consider using rail transport instead.

Mr Martin Ferguson: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The Parsons Brinckerhoff report commissioned in 2006 is the most recent publication on this topic.

(2) The Parsons Brinckerhoff report puts forward a range of possible transport options to potential Commonwealth radioactive waste management facility sites then under consideration by the Howard Government. The Department has made no recommendation on transport routes and is not in a position to do so given that a national radioactive waste management facility site has not yet been selected and the site subjected to regulatory assessment.