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Thursday, 20 June 2013
Page: 6561

Mr BRADBURY (LindsayAssistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation) (09:46): Last Thursday, over 120 local residents in my community gathered at the St Marys Memorial Hall to protest against the O'Farrell government's plan to ship thousands of tonnes of radioactive waste from a site on Sydney's North Shore at Hunters Hill to a waste facility in my electorate in Kemps Creek. The people of Western Sydney have spoken very loudly on this question. We do not believe that radioactive waste should be shipped out from the North Shore and dumped in Western Sydney. We are not a dumping ground, and we will not tolerate this treatment.

I joined with a number of local representatives—my parliamentary colleague the member for McMahon, Chris Bowen, and councillors Prue Car, Greg Davies, Karen McKeown and Michelle Tormey. Prue Car, of course, is very much part of the leadership of the Western Sydney Residents Against Radioactive Dumping. I thank them. They hosted the event. I provided some assistance to fund the event as a result of a decision by Penrith City Council not to do so, a decision which I think is deeply regrettable.

Notwithstanding that, all of the local state Liberal members were invited. None of them attended. Premier O'Farrell was invited. He did not attend and he did not send a representative. The responsible minister, Minister Pearce, was also missing in action. It was a shame because the residents that gathered approached the meeting in a constructive way and there were some outcomes from that meeting.

Can I emphasise the concern that residents have. The waste facility at Kemps Creek can take material with radioactive content up to 100 becquerels per gram. Soil samples taken from the site at Hunters Hill in some cases represent radioactive levels of seven times the acceptable limit—700 becquerels per gram in some instances. This is why residents are concerned. Of course, the site at Hunters Hill has been linked to cancer clusters in the neighbouring community. Whilst we are sympathetic to the need to deal with the issues there, we do not believe an acceptable solution is to ship that waste out to Kemps Creek.

What did the meeting agree on in terms of a way forward? The meeting agreed that we should petition the state government and also local councils to support our efforts to seek a full feasibility study in relation to encapsulation or encasement of the waste on site. This is something that was identified as a feasible option under the state government's own reports. We are now calling on them to undertake a more detailed study. I note that in response to this the local Liberal state member Stuart Ayres said that he could not support a feasibility study into encasing waste at Hunters Hill until he had all the relevant advice and information. I would simply say to Mr Ayres: join our campaign to secure this review and then all of the information will be available. That is what a feasibility study is designed to do. We will not stand for it and we will continue to fight on this issue.