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Thursday, 27 November 2014
Page: 9505


Senator FIFIELD (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate and Assistant Minister for Social Services) (12:18): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator FIFIELD: The Australian government takes these issues seriously but it is irresponsible of the Greens to scaremonger over the use of radioactive substances. The state government is more than capable of regulating these substances and does so by issuing radiation management licences. The use of this substance is not a nuclear action and it is not likely to have a significant impact on the environment and is, therefore, not regulated by the Australian government. We know that the Greens are opposed to basically any type of mining. This is just another attempt by them to cause unnecessary alarm. Before the Greens start to try to frighten the local community, it is important to note that not only is caesium 137 used in life-saving medical treatments for cancer but also it is used completely safely in the food processing industry. It leaves no residual radioactivity.

Question agreed to.