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Thursday, 9 December 2004
Page: 72

Senator ALLISON (2:29 PM) —My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage. Has the minister made any progress in identifying a site for the Commonwealth nuclear waste dump? Will the minister release the short list of possible sites for storage of Commonwealth nuclear waste? Is the government still wedded to the idea of storing nuclear waste on an island and, if so, which one?

Senator ELLISON (Minister for Justice and Customs) —The question Senator Allison raises is an important one. As you know, I am representing the minister today. I will take the question on notice and see if I can get back to Senator Allison before the close of question time today.

Senator ALLISON —Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Can the minister also advise whether the government has approached any other Australian state or territory government—or a foreign country for that matter—with a view to convincing them to store Commonwealth nuclear waste on a permanent basis? If so, can the minister detail the substance of those approaches? Has the minister moved to limit generation of nuclear waste—for example, by the proposed new reactor at Sydney's Lucas Heights—until the Commonwealth has safely stored the waste it has already generated?

Senator ELLISON (Minister for Justice and Customs) —There are a number of questions in the supplementary and my previous answer applies.