Senate debates

Thursday, 14 September 2006

Nuclear Tests at Maralinga

9:57 am

Photo of Christine MilneChristine Milne (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I move:

That the Senate—
notes that:
27 September 2006 is the 50th anniversary of the first of the nuclear tests at Maralinga,
the nuclear tests resulted in fallout over most of Australia, and especially contaminated great tracts of traditional land, transforming an independent and physically-wide ranging people into a semi-static and dependent group, the damage being radiological, psycho-social and cultural,
the Royal Commission into British Nuclear Tests in Australia concluded that, at Maralinga, ‘attempts to ensure Aboriginal safety’ during the tests ‘demonstrate ignorance, incompetence and cynicism on the part of those responsible for that safety’,
the test site remains radioactive and that there are unresolved issues about compensation for the traditional owners,
approximately 16 000 servicemen exposed to radiation during the tests never received recognition of hazardous service and survivors receive limited ongoing support, and the high mortality and illness rates of these men have not yet been adequately acknowledged or explained,
the Government breached its own standards for the disposal of long-lived radioactive waste disposal by burying plutonium-contaminated debris in shallow, unlined trenches,
the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency described the ‘clean-up’ as marred by a ‘host of indiscretions, short-cuts and cover-ups’, and
the radioactive waste legacy will inevitably be a cost unfairly borne by future Australians; and
calls on the Government to recommit to international nuclear non-proliferation, including ruling out the export of Australian uranium to countries that are not signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and ruling out the development of uranium enrichment plants in Australia.

Question put.


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