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Greens support nuclear regulation.

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Media Release


Dee Margetts

Senator for Western Australia, The Greens (WA)


Perth: Tel. 08 9470 2688 Fax. 08 9470 4098

Parliament House: Tel. 02 6277 3599 Fax. 02 6277 3588




Australia stands at a crossroads in the regu lation of its government’s involvement in nuclear activities. The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Bill currently before the Senate will set up the regulatory framework for licensing existing and proposed nuclear installations such as nuclear reactors, waste dumps or  reprocessing plants.


In calling for a committee to take evidence on community concerns about the Bill, Senator Margetts said “This is the only chance Australia has to ensure we get this right. The protection of Australians from radiation hazards is too important to be allowed to go through the Parliament without the wider community having a chance to have its say.”


“On the face of it, the current Bill has several weaknesses which will need to be addressed before it gets the support of the Greens (WA). One major problem is that there is no requirement for public participation in the licencing process. Could we imagine a situation where a proposed new nuclear reactor got a licence without thorough public scrutiny? Hardly; yet this would be possible with the proposed legislation.”


Senator Margetts will have the legislation referred to the Community Affairs Legislation Committee later this week. This will, at the very least, give the most affected local communities and nuclear safety advocates the opportunity to have input into essential improvements to the Act.


Senator Margetts says that she is keen to see the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency set up as soon as possible. “But it must be set up with some teeth and some community involvement in the licensing process or it will be worse than what we have in place already.


“If it hadn’t been for the insistence of The Greens (WA), even weaker legislation would have gone through without debate earlier this year. As it is, amendments proposed by other parties do not go far enough.” Senator Margetts concluded.


23 November 1998