Monday, 21 June 2021
National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020; Second Reading
I will pick up where I left off in discussing Australia's impeccable track record with delivering a high level of safety and assurance in the operation of the complexities around nuclear technology. I think it's worth briefly reflecting on the fact that radioactive waste facilities such as are contemplated are located in the farming regions of France, Belgium, the UK, Spain, the United States and Germany. The impact of those sites on local agriculture was considered as part of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee's inquiry into the National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020. The inquiry found that the international examples provide a strong argument that such a radioactive facility will not undermine agricultural activities or our reputation as a world-leading agricultural exporter of quality. In short, this facility would be subject to strict regulation, meet Australia's already high bar, in terms of licensing and environmental approvals, and be responsive to the concerns of local communities. It is for that reason, after all of these years, that it is finally time to see the Morrison government implement this important reform.