Media Conference: Tuesday 11am Canberra
Six communities, one concern: delegation brings opposition to radioactive waste plan to Canberra.
Representatives of the six regional communities under consideration as possible sites for a national radioactive waste facility are in Canberra today to highlight their concerns and call for the sites to be removed from any further assessment or short-listing.
A media conference will be held at 11am on Tuesday March 1 in the Senate Courtyard. The group will also be available for interviews throughout the day.
In November 2015 Federal Resource Minister Josh Frydenberg named three sites in South Australia and one each in New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory as potential locations for a facility where low level radioactive waste would be buried and long lived intermediate level waste stored above ground.
There has since been deep concern and active opposition to the waste plan at each of the sites.
Representatives are in Canberra to convey these concerns to a range of federal politicians ahead of the close of public comment on the plan on March 11. Resources Minister Frydenberg has indicated that while he is not personally available, two of his advisers will meet with the delegation.
“We come from very different parts of Australia, but we share a common concern”, said Sue Woolford, who lives near the two proposed Kimba sites in South Australia.
“We do not want to see this material moved into any of our regions where we live, work and raise our families. We are coming together as a community for our communities”.
Individual landholders volunteered the sites at Hill End (NSW), Hale (NT), Cortlinye, Pinkawillinie and Barndioota (SA) and Oman Ama (Qld), but consent was not sought – nor required – from Traditional Owners, neighbours or the local community.
Minister Frydenberg intends to narrow this list following the closure of the public comment period with a view to selecting a preferred site by the end of 2016.
“This process has been completely back to front. Picking sites first and then consulting with the affected communities makes no sense,” said Robyn Rayner from Hill End,NSW.
“The Government has repeatedly said that it will respect the wishes of local people. We are travelling to Canberra with one voice to make it clear that many people in our communities are concerned about and opposed to this plan. We are calling on the government to hear us as we are not going to give up”.
Media conference: 11am Tuesday March 1 in the Senate Courtyard.
For further comment or to arrange interviews contact:
Kimba (two sites): Sue Woolford, 0427 274 058
Hill End: Robyn Rayner, 0412 420 210
Oman Ama: Mark Russell, 0439 420 470
Hale: Loyola Jones, 0455 777 519
Flinders: Regina MacKenzie, 0432 483 440