The Australian Conservation Foundation is deeply disappointed with Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s admission in Darwin today that the Federal Government intends to proceed with building a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty, 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek.
“The push to impose a radioactive waste dump on an unwilling Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory is a significant broken promise from Federal Labor,” said ACF nuclear free campaigner Dave Sweeney.
“The decision is inconsistent with international best practice for radioactive waste management and must be reconsidered.
“The Muckaty site is highly contested; Traditional Owners are taking both the Commonwealth Government and Northern Land Council to the Federal Court at the end of this month to halt the dump plan.
“Prime Minister Gillard is reviving a Howard-era plan that Labor was dead against when it was in Opposition.
“The agreement that Prime Minister Gillard refers to is the subject of intense dispute and remains confidential despite numerous requests for disclosure.
“The Muckaty dump plan is not a move towards responsible radioactive waste management; it is contested and confidential and Muckaty is a bad deal, not a done deal,” said Mr Sweeney.
Note to editors: Before the 2007 election, federal Labor promised its approach to the management of radioactive waste would be unlike that of the Howard Government by adopting a ”consensual process of site selection” with ”agreed scientific grounds for determining suitability” and “community consultation and support”.
It promised a new approach characterised by international best practice, full community consultation and consent. It promised to restore transparency, accountability and procedural fairness.