Today the Territory Parliament passed a Bill that provides industry with the clarity it needs to operate and grow in the Northern Territory.
The Nuclear Waste Transport Storage and Disposal (Prohibition) Amendment Bill provides clarity and certainty to the offshore petroleum industry about their obligations in the management of nuclear wastes. This includes naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMs) that may be incidentally generated from offshore oil and gas activities and subsequently brought into the Northern Territory.
Naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMs) are widespread in sands, clay, soils and rocks and many ores and minerals, commodities, products and by-products.
The amendments to this Bill became necessary after uncertainties were raised by industry about whether NORMs were exempt from the Act. The Amendment Bill reframes the exemptions while maintaining the Parliaments original intention when passing the original Act.
The Northern Territory maintains a strong environmental stance against nuclear waste being dumped in the Territory, and from becoming a nuclear waste dump for the rest of Australia.
As stated by Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Eva Lawler:
Jobs are the number one priority for the Territory Labor Government and we believe that good environmental policy makes good economic sense.
“The Bill demonstrates the NT Governments commitment to protecting the Territorys environment, while listening to and responding to concerns raised by the offshore oil and gas industry about the ambiguities in the regulatory environment.
The Amendment Bill addresses ambiguities in exemptions for nuclear waste, including naturally occurring radioactive material that may be created as a by-product of industry activities.