Nuclear waste consultation ‘constructive’

11_Nuclear waste consultation _constructive_

(Australian Associated Press)

Any decision about the location of future nuclear waste dumps will require “broad-based community support”, federal Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg says.

The government last November shortlisted six potential sites for low-level waste facilities – Cortlinye, Pinkawillinie, and Barndioota in South Australia, Hale in the Northern Territory, Sallys Flat in NSW and Oman Ama in Queensland.

A delegation of concerned Oman Ama residents on Tuesday met with Mr Frydenberg’s advisers in Canberra, requesting to be excluded.

The government will choose two to three final locations.

Among the group’s complaints is the perception that house prices will fall, and there is no clear measurement for “community acceptance” upon which to base the decision.

Mr Frydenberg on Tuesday said the department will consider “a range of views” within the community.

“This includes those from residents, stakeholders and local organisations,” he said.

“Ultimately we are looking for a site which has broad-based community support.”

Mr Frydenberg said he had been encouraged by the level of constructive feedback received so far in the 120-day consultation period, which ends next week, despite the Oman Ama group’s concerns.

“While I respect the views of those who may want to truncate this process, and appreciate their feedback, all members of the community should be given the continued opportunity to provide their views, including those who have shown their support for a proposed site, and those who seek further information,” he said.

In material distributed to the communities, the department pointed to experiences in Cumbria, North West England, and Barden Ridge, southern Sydney, regarding house prices.

Both of these regions experienced a median house price rise between 2009 and 2015 despite being near facilities.

Mark Russell, Friends of Oman Ama spokesman, was unconvinced by the pamphlet.

“Median house prices is nothing more than trickery,” he said.

“Our point is this process has no substantiation – it’s not a safety, security, industrial urgency issue.

“What we are asking is for a suspension of this process.”

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