Jul 5, 2006

Howard’s arrogance reaches new heights


Media Release – Jenny Macklin MP

Deputy Leader of the Opposition

Shadow Minister for Education, Training, Science & Research

Federal Member for Jagajaga

5 July 2006

The Prime Minister’s arrogance has reached new heights – now investigating taking the world’s nuclear waste, without doing Middle Australia the courtesy of saying where the nuclear waste dumps would go.

The Prime Minister’s Nuclear Taskforce has now revealed that it will investigate the importation and storage of foreign nuclear waste into Australia.

It is the height of arrogance for John Howard to investigate taking the world’s nuclear waste, without telling Australian families where that waste would go.

I call on John Howard to provide assurances to the families of Middle Australia that they will not be receiving nuclear waste from other countries into their communities.

The ‘Issues Paper’ released by the Nuclear Taskforce asks:

‘Is there a business case for acquisition and management of radioactive by-products generated outside Australia?’

This is code for importing foreign nuclear waste.

John Howard is refusing to talk about the locations of nuclear power plants and waste dumps even though location is critical to economic viability and environmental suitability.

This Issues Paper doesn’t even consider the location of the high level nuclear waste dumps necessary to support any Australian nuclear power industry.

Federal Labor is opposed to the importation and storage of foreign nuclear waste in Australia.

We cannot allow Australia to be the world’s dumping ground for nuclear waste.

There would be significant security and environmental risks with importing and storing large quantities of nuclear waste from overseas.

Federal Labor regards those risks to the Australian community as unacceptable.

The Howard Government hasn’t even been able to negotiate a location for a low-level nuclear waste site and has ended up forcing it on the Northern Territory. The Howard Government has a track record of keeping its plans on nuclear waste secret from the Australian public.