Govt still looking for nuclear waste site one year after pursuing Muckaty

Muckaty station is 120km from the nearest town of considerable population, Tennant Creek, and was first named as a possible location in 2006 (AAP) Source: AAP

Today marks one year since the federal government agreed to stop pursuing Muckaty, Northern Territory, as a site to store nuclear waste.

The government was half way through a federal court challenge when it decided to withdraw from pursuing Muckaty as a site to store nuclear waste.

A court case had been battling the issue for nearly 10 years.

The Northern Land Council nominated Muckaty, located 120 kilometres from Tennant Creek, as a site for a dump in 2006 with the Muckaty community to receive a $12 million benefits package. But Warlmanpa and Marumungu people in Muckaty claimed they had not been consulted about the plan.

The threat of a nuclear waste dump on Aboriginal Land continues after the government called for other land owners, councils or organisations to nominate their land for the facility.

The Department of Industry and Science told media this year it remained "committed" to finding a site.

"It will probably poison [everything] that we live [from], like the animals that we hunt and the river that we drink out of"

Gindalbie Metals managing director Mike O’Neill told news.com.au he had offered a location 500 kilometres north of Perth.

"If we can meet the requirements and there is a profit in it and it can be undertaken safely and everybody was on side, then yes," he said.

Traditional owners of Muckaty say they feel they must continue to defend their land and culture from nuclear waste. 

Aunty Jeanie Sambo told NITV News that a nuclear waste dump would destroy them. "It will probably poison [everything] that we live [from], like the animals that we hunt and the river that we drink out of," she said. "It is not good for us." 

Australia produces nuclear waste and sends it overseas as the country does not yet have its own processing facilities. International agreements require that the processed material be returned to Australia.

Australia has about 5,000 cubic metres of nuclear waste.

Protecting Manawangku was filmed through the lead up to a major rally in Tenant Creek against the proposed dump and screens tonight at 8.30pm on NITV on Channel 34.

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