90 second statement – Nuclear Waste Management

Thursday, 10 August 2023

Mr PITT: In September I will have been in this place for a decade. In that time I’ve seen a lot of things, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a worse or poorer decision than the one taken by the Labor Party this morning to abandon the low-level radioactive waste facility in Kimba, South Australia. It is an absolute disgrace. The national interest has been sacrificed on the altar of the Voice. The people of Kimba, the community, those who need cancer treatment—they have been thrown to the wolves.

Let’s not underestimate what is at stake here. According to the ANSTO website, 700,000 patient treatments a year involving nuclear isotopes are delivered in this country, and they produce low-level waste: disposable gloves, disposable gowns—things that have to be dealt with. This is the best opportunity this country has seen in the almost five-decade search for this facility.

The community supports it in the majority. It is on a site which is freehold. There is no native title. But what do the Labor Party do? They back the minority, not the majority. They don’t back the people; they back the minority, who don’t even live at this location. This is an incredibly important facility. It is necessary for this country. The search has been going on for almost 50 years. It needs to be delivered. The Labor Party could walk in tomorrow and deem the site. They could come to parliament, put it before the parliament, a decision will have been made and we can get on with it.

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