Rally condemns radioactive dump plans

A protest against a proposed national radioactive waste dump, outside Parliament House in Adelaide on November 3.

Close to 1000 people gathered outside Parliament House in Adelaide on November 3 to protest against federal government plans to build a national radioactive waste dump in South Australia.

Two locations in the state are under consideration for the dump: near Hawker in the Flinders Ranges, and in the Kimba district on Eyre Peninsula.

The facility is meant to hold reprocessed nuclear waste from the Lucas Heights reactor near Sydney and radioactive materials from medical, industrial and research uses around Australia.

However, Dr Margaret Beavis from Medical Association for Prevention of War explained to the protesters that there is no need for a decision on disposal of the wastes to be taken in the near future.

Beavis noted that the Lucas Heights wastes are held onsite in a secure repository that will not be filled for at least another decade.

She also said that ample time is available for adequate research and a thorough national discussion on long-term storage options.

A wide range of speakers from environmental, trade union, political and local residents’ groups also condemned the government’s plans.

A feature of the rally was the strong participation of indigenous people. Co-chair Vivianne McKenzie and several speakers from the Adnyamathanha people of the Flinders Ranges region voiced opposition to the dump plans.

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