Howard Tears Up Environment Laws
MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP
1 November 2005
John Howard has torn up critical environment, health and safety measures in imposing a hazardous nuclear waste dump on Northern Territorians.
The Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2005, being debated in Parliament today, is draconian legislation.
It is an extreme law from an extreme, out of touch Government.
The Bill overrides State or Territory laws that ban or regulate a nuclear waste dump, and it overrides environmental protection, heritage and native title laws.
The Bill bypasses the Government’s own Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act in selecting the site for a nuclear waste dump.
Under current environment laws the siting of a nuclear waste dump must be referred to the Environment Minister. Under the new Bill that won’t happen – the Environment Minister won’t have a say.
The Government has torn up its own environment laws, and there hasn’t been a squeak of complaint from the Environment Minister.
In relation to the siting of a nuclear waste dump, the Environment Minister stated in September 2004:
“The Commonwealth is not pursuing any options anywhere on the mainland, so we can be quite categorical about that, because the Northern Territory is on the mainland.”
The Environment Minister has failed to protect our environment and our heritage.
He has broken his promise to the Northern Territory.
This is a dark day for our environment and heritage.