April 30, 2009
Australia's Rudd Government will stand by an election promise to scrap legislation that paved the way for a nuclear waste dump in the Northern Territory, Resources Minister Martin Ferguson says.
But the Government will not be giving up the search for a suitable site somewhere in Australia.3D model 'animation' Model of Pangea underground dumphttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjBSAlu0hjM&feature=player_embedded
Mr Ferguson refused to say when his Government will scrap the legislation, or when cabinet will receive recommendations from a scientific report into the most suitable site.
"When I see that scientific report, which is being peer-reviewed, then I will make recommendations to cabinet,'' he told reporters in Darwin.
"I am not going to make ad hoc decisions.''
The Howard government passed the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act in 2006, giving the Federal Government the power to impose a nuclear waste dump on the Northern Territory.
Labor promised to repeal it during the last federal election campaign.
Mr Ferguson said the government would come good on its commitment, but Labor would not be abandoning the search for a site.
"There has been a sense of immaturity from the Australian community and the political processes (about this),'' he said.
"If you want the benefit of nuclear medicine in Australia, and every family has benefited from it, you've also got to accept there is a hard decision about where we store the waste.''
The Coalition short-listed Harts Range, Fishers Ridge and Mount Everard as possible sites for a dump.
Muckaty Station, about 120km north of Tennant Creek, was later controversially nominated as a possible site by the Northern Land Council.