Media Statement: Statement in response to media questions

19 November 2018

The following can be attributed to a spokesperson for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science: 

“The vast majority of Australia’s radioactive waste stream is associated with the production of nuclear medicine that on average, one in two Australians will need during their lifetime,” said the spokesperson.

“Australian radioactive waste is currently held in more than 100 locations around the country, and international best practice is that it be consolidated into a single, safe, job-creating facility.

“The reason we are consulting with communities near Hawker, Quorn and Kimba about a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility, is landowners there volunteered their land, and communities told us they want to have the conversation about this potential new industry.

“That said, we acknowledge that there are strongly held views for and against the proposal, and are consulting in good faith with all parties.

“In terms of timing, last month the Federal Court made a decision to hear Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation v. District Council of Kimba on 30 January 2019.

“The department is continuing to observe the progress of this court process and cannot predict, nor comment on, when that process will conclude.

“The department remains focused on giving the two South Australian communities, who have been involved in this process for more than two years, the opportunity to have their say on the sites.

“There has been extensive consultation over the past two years which is continuing. Submissions continue to be received, and we are working to hear views of all community members, including local residents, neighbours, business owners and Traditional Owners.

“Rest assured we are mindful of the need to reach a decision on the current nominations after proper consultation, and we thank the communities involved for their patience.”

Details on the project, including how to make a submission, are at www.radioactivewaste.gov.au. Alternatively, community members can continue to drop into local offices if they have any questions.

For more information on the project, go to: www.radioactivewaste.gov.au