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CLC to consult neighbours of shortlisted nuclear waste site

Posted: Wed, November 18, 2015

 

Aboriginal communities near the Northern Territory site shortlisted for a proposed nuclear waste storage facility are getting a chance to have their say in early December.

 

Two remote communities and three outstations on the Mpwelarre [pronounced mbWAlara] Aboriginal Land Trust are the closest neighbours of the site.

 

The shortest route between the site, the railway line and the Stuart Highway, the Hugh River Stock Route, runs through the land trust.

 

"The CLC has a legal duty under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act to consult with communities affected by the proposal and plans to hold meetings at Titjikala and at Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Theresa) in the second week of December," said CLC Director David Ross.

 

"We are preparing information materials while seeking details about the proposal, the process and the mooted $10 million compensation package for local projects."

 

Mr Ross said the CLC had already met with some of the affected residents, officials from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.

 

It appears from these discussions that the proposal will involve the storage of low level as well as the more concerning medium level nuclear waste.

 

"Our constituents would have expected the owner of the Aridgold date farm to do the neighbourly thing and speak with them before he volunteered his property," he said.

 

"The surprise nomination is a cruel blow to the LeRossignol family who have worked hard for 28 years to build a reputation for a clean and green horticulture and bush foods operation at Oak Valley outstation, less than 13 km from the site."

 

Mr Ross said while neighbouring traditional owners and Aboriginal residents had no right to veto the proposed nuclear waste facility the CLC would ensure their questions were answered and their views were heard.

 

"It's all very well for Mr Micklem to want to sell his property. His neighbours are not going anywhere and they’re the ones who’ll have to live with the consequences of his decisions."

 

The CLC will make a submission outlining the views of Aboriginal people in affected communities and outstations to the department before its March 2016 deadline.

 

18 November 2015

 

Contact: Elke Wiesmann, 0417 877 579, elke.wiesmann@clc.org.au.