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‘No nuclear dump’ in NT central desert

Traditional owners in the central desert, unhappy with the federal nomination process, have decided not to propose a site for a national nuclear waste dump.

深圳桑拿网

Some traditional owners opposed to the facility on Aboriginal land made formal protests to the Central Land Council (CLC), which decided it could not then meet federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane’s requirement of a site “free from dispute”.

Traditional owners represented by the CLC believe the National Radioactive Waste Management Act of 2012 expects them to volunteer a site without being fully informed.

“Yet once a site is nominated they cannot change their mind when they find out the full story,” CLC director David Ross said in a statement on Friday.

“Given that a nuclear waste dump is forever, it’s just not fair to ask people to make this decision without a comprehensive proposal.”

He said the CLC has been telling the government for almost a decade that its legislation and process were incompatible with the principle of prior informed consent.

“No one does business on this basis,” he said.

In September, traditional owners from the Tanami desert region met government representatives, but were unhappy the nomination process for a nuclear waste storage facility and with the lack of detailed information about the transport of the waste and compensation.

On Monday, Mr Macfarlane will open the process to national tender, so Northern Territory land councils will lose the exclusive bidding rights they have had until now.

The Northern Land Council settled a Federal Court Action in June and agreed not to pursue the nomination of Muckaty Station after years of dispute among traditional owner groups.

It is undertaking anthropological studies at Satour Outstation, about 150km north of Tennant Creek, and the findings on rightful ownership and sacred sites will be presented to the council next month.

An official nomination for this second site cannot be made before a second full delegates meeting, which is unlikely to be before May.

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