11th May, 2015
The Northern Territory appears unlikely to house the Federal Government’s proposed radioactive waste dump after major land holders fail to nominate a site.
The Federal Government began a renewed search for a site to store Australia’s intermediate-level nuclear waste and dispose of low-level waste in March this year.
A formal application process closed on the May 5.
The ABC confirmed the Northern Land Council, Central Land Council, and Northern Territory Government had not nominated any land.
Gilnockie and Supplejack Downs Stations also decided against participating in the process.
In a statement, the Federal Government refused to confirm whether any other organisation had nominated land.
“Details on nominations will be made public following the close of the nomination process and consideration by the Minister for Industry and Science. On current timeframes, this is expected in July 2015,” the statement read.
‘The end of a long fight’
The decision to expand the search for a storage site to the rest of Australia came after the proposal to house waste at Muckaty Station, near Tennant Creek, was abandoned last year.
Until then, Aboriginal people in the Territory had the exclusive right to nominate a site.
But under a legal settlement, traditional owners abandoned the nomination and no new sites on NT Aboriginal land were nominated.
Anti-nuclear campaigner Lauren Mellor said it was the end of a long fight against nuclear waste in the Territory.
“It’s very good news. We have spent the last decade with residents and traditional owners of the Northern Territory fighting a nuclear dump process,” she said.
“The Federal Government has pulled out of the trenches in the Northern Territory.”
She said the fight had been pushed to other parts of Australia.
“Unfortunately our concern is they will go and target another vulnerable community as they’ve done many times before to try and push them to house a national or even international dump,” Ms Mellor said.
Several organisations in both South Australia and the Western Australia have indicated they have nominated land under the process.