Hill End nuclear dump ruled out due to community opposition and it is not even high level waste!
A low and medium level nuclear waste facility will not be built at Hill End in central-west New South Wales because community opposition to the proposal is so strong, the Federal Government has said.
The site at Hill End, north of Bathurst, was one of six being considered for a nuclear waste facility.
It was offered up by a local landowner, who could be paid four times the land’s market value.
At a packed public meeting on Saturday, dozens of residents spoke against the concept, telling representatives from the Federal Government that Hill End was a “totally inappropriate” location.
Many residents expressed concerns about potential water contamination or the risk of transporting radioactive material.
Local resident Kerri Burns said Hill End should be removed from the selection process immediately.
“We’ve been polite, but if this goes further, the gloves are off,” she said.
The audience was told Hill End would remain on the shortlist for now, due to a legislated consultation process.
But the Member for Calare, John Cobb, said he had already communicated the community’s view to Minister Josh Frydenberg.
“I said, ‘We are not going to be building this at Hill End’ and he looked at me and I said ‘The community is against it and they are not going to change their mind’,” Mr Cobb said.
The head of resources in the Department of Industry, Bruce Wilson, told the audience the Government had no intention of building a waste facility if there was no local support.
“I can absolutely assure you that if the view of the community is that it doesn’t want to proceed to the next stage of the process, that’s the end of the matter,” he said.
However, local landowner Robyn Rayner said she did not trust the Government’s assurance.
“Until I have it in writing from Josh Frydenberg that Hill End is not being considered, I don’t take any heart from that,” she said.
The proposed site would store low- and medium-level radioactive waste, much of it a by-product of nuclear medicine.
Three proposed sites are located in South Australia — Cortlinye, Pinkawillinie, and Barndioota — while the other options are at Hale in the Northern Territory, and Oman Ama in Queensland.
The Government expects to narrow down the shortlist in the coming months.
Source: ABC News