The Beyond Nuclear Initiative (BNI) says a Senate report on the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill released on May 7 is deplorable and will invigorate efforts to oppose a dump at Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory.
Pictured: Muckaty traditional owners outside the Senate Inquiry hearing in Darwin
The Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee report suggests only minor alterations to the waste dump legislation, despite strong criticism by legal experts, the NT Chief Minister, Muckaty Traditional Owners and the Central Land Council.
BNI spokesperson Natalie Wasley said, “many aspects of the Bill make it untenable to support. Suspension of key environmental and Aboriginal Heritage laws in the nomination phase are alarming and expose the disparity between this legislation and the ‘international best practice’ its proponents pay lip service to. Specific targeting of a Territory site and override of State and Territory laws also discredit this as a national process”.
“Essentially, this report does nothing to challenge the government's lie that Traditional Owners support the dump and endorses draft legislation which is as thuggish and undemocratic as the Howard‐era legislation it replaces”
“The entrenchment of the Muckaty nomination indicates the ALP is willing to renege on promises of an open, transparent and accountable process and instead push ahead with a politically expedient proposal.”
Ms Wasley added that the Senate report’s recommendation to preserve the Muckaty nomination without access to judicial review or procedural fairness will increase community determination to fight the proposal.
“Evidence given by Muckaty Traditional Owners at the Darwin Senate hearing was unequivocal. The nomination of Muckaty was not made with the consent of affected Traditional Owners. Legal options are currently being examined and every step of this process will be challenged.”
“There is growing national concern about Minister Ferguson’s decide‐announce‐defend approach. The Senate report does not challenge the Minister’s absolute discretion in the site selection process, which will mean continuation of the secretive and bullish process undertaken so far”.
“It is disgraceful that Senator Crossin is willing to support legislation which overrides the NT Parliament and ongoing opposition from NT government, Traditional Owners and the broader community.”
“BNI will continue working with Traditional Owners and community members who are opposed to the Muckaty radioactive dump and will amplify efforts to make this a national issue in the lead up to the federal election, “ Ms Wasley concluded.
Contact: Natalie Wasley 0429 900 774
The report can be viewed at:
A new film “Muckaty Voices” has been distributed to Labor politicians and uploaded to youtube.
A full transcript of the film is available.