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CLC Submission to the Senate Inquiry: National Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2010

CLC Submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry into the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2010

Summary and Recommendations

The National Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2010 (the Bill) is a deeply flawed piece of legislation that allows the Commonwealth government to continue to override many important considerations in the selection of a site for a radioactive waste facility. It is utterly disingenuous of the Australian Government to claim that this Bill honours the ALPs election commitment to repeal the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act 2005 (the current Act).

This Bill retains the processes and in many cases the actual provisions of the current Act. It largely mirrors the approach taken by the previous government – an approach characterised by the desire to find a politically expedient solution, contempt for state and Territory laws, and disregard for decisionmaking processes enshrined in the Land Rights Act – although it does provide for limited access to procedural fairness and administrative review.

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The Act was passed in March 2012 and recently received Royal Assent despite ongoing opposition and the court proceedings taking place. See the CLC Media Release on the passage of the Bill here: http://www.clc.org.au/media-releases/