Nuclear waste in the frame: community gathers for film screening ahead of government meeting.


DATE 15th February 2016

On Saturday evening over 200 Alice Springs residents gathered on the town council lawns for a screening of the movie ‘Containment’, a documentary film by Harvard Professors Peter Galison and Robb Moss which explores how to convey the risk of nuclear waste to future generations.


It was also an opportunity for community members to learn more about the proposed national radioactive waste dump at the Aridgold Date Farm 75km south of Alice Springs and contribute to the discussion by signing a petition and writing a formal submission.


Kylie MacFarlane from CANFA said, “The community of Alice Springs has until March 11 to make submissions to the government about the national radioactive dump proposal. People need to know what is being proposed and have adequate opportunity to respond. Various community groups organised the screening to facilitate this important community dialogue.”


“Though its clear there is strong opposition to the proposal, Government representatives are holding a second public ‘consultation’ meeting this week. Residents of Alice Springs and surrounding areas are encouraged to attend and participate in the Q & A session about the proposed low/intermediate level facility,” Kylie added.


The government meeting, which will include presentations and a Q&A session, will be held at 6pm this Tuesday February 16 at the Alice Springs Town Council.


There has been much conversation about the need for a national waste facility for medical nuclear waste. Local Alice Springs doctor, Dr Hilary Tyler said: “As Canada moves away from making nuclear medicine in nuclear reactors and towards making these medicines in cyclotrons, so should Australia. Cyclotron-produced nuclear medicine is safe, reliable, cheaper, and does not leave the irresponsible toxic legacy of waste for thousands of years.”


Natalie Wasley from the Beyond Nuclear Initiative said “For two decades successive federal governments have tried to impose radioactive waste facilities on unwilling communities. The eight year campaign that stopped the Muckaty dump is still very present in the hearts and minds of Territorians. Instead of another futile attempt to choose an unwanted site, the government should initiate an inquiry into the management of current radioactive waste stockpiles and stop the unnecessary production of more.”


“CANFA is calling on the government to drop Hale from the list of proposed sites and encourages all residents to have their say about the radioactive waste management process. As Containment reiterated, decisions made now about radioactive waste will impact many future generations.” Kylie concluded.

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