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Labor calls for freeze on government approvals for Caboolture irradiation plant.

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Nick Bolkus - Labor Calls For Freeze On Government Approvals For Caboolture Irradiation Plant //media/0901/nbmsirr270901.html Friday, 28 September 2001

Labor Calls For Freeze On Government Approvals For Caboolture Irradiation Plant Nick Bolkus - Shadow Minister for the Environment

Media Statement - 27 September 2001

With a federal election around the corner and the caretaker period imminent, the Howard Government should freeze its approval process for the Caboolture irradiation plant, Shadow Minister for the Environment, Senator Nick Bolkus said today.

"Labor has always been concerned about the level of environmental assessment undertaken for this project," Senator Bolkus said. "Senator Hill snubbed community concerns when he chose the lowest form of environmental assessment for the nuclear facility.

"Instead of ensuring a full Environmental Impact Statement on all aspects of the plant, Senator Hill chose the lowest level of environmental assessment under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

"Labor remains committed to a full assessment of projects such as this, where the extent of community concerns warrant detailed review.

"The Howard Government's approach fails to address public concern about the potential impacts of an irradiation facility and is unacceptable.

"If the local community appeal the Minister's decision to approve the plant, in Government, Labor will manage the appeal process in a way that will allow a full inquiry to be conducted in a meaningful way.

"Labor, therefore, is seeking deferral of the approval process given the proximity to the caretaker period and the level of public concern.

"Local residents want to know all the facts - how much radioactive material is involved, how it will be used, transported and stored and what arrangements have been made if there is an accident.

"It is now incumbent on the Environment Minister to heed local concern and delay the process." Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.