On 28 February 2020, the Australian Senate referred the provisions of the National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics for inquiry and report.
The Australian Government welcomes the report released today by the Committee.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, thanked the Committee for its detailed examination and work.
“The Government requested the Bill be referred to the Committee, to give the Parliament and other interested stakeholders further opportunity to engage on this important issue,” Mr Pitt said.
“We acknowledge the report handed down today by the Committee. We thank the Committee members for their work and acknowledge the recommendations that have been made.
“This report puts us one step closer to siting a facility to safely dispose of our low-level radioactive waste and temporarily store our intermediate level waste, a process which has been ongoing for four decades.
“The individual dissenting report by Senator McAllister aside, I would like to acknowledge the largely bipartisan approach to the location and construction of this facility, continuing a trend that has existed for many years and across consecutive governments and I look forward to their support in the Senate in passing the Bill.
“Of course, like in the community, there are also alternative views on this facility in the Parliament, and this process which we supported, provided an opportunity for those views to be put forward.”
Around 80 per cent of Australia’s radioactive waste is directly associated with the production of nuclear medicine that two in three Australians will need in their lifetime. Radioactive waste is currently spread over more than 100 locations including science facilities, hospitals, and university basements.