Waste debate flares again

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The State Government has confirmed it does plan to send potentially radioactive waste to Kemps Creek after releasing details of the remediation action plan for the former uranium smelter at Hunters Hill.

The remediation action plan goes on public display this week, with Minister for Finance and Services, Greg Pearce, stating that restricted solid waste found at the site will be transported to the SITA facility at Kemps Creek.

“Soil meeting the Environment Protection Authority’s ‘Restricted Solid Waste’ classification will be transported to a SITA-operated facility at Kemps Creek, which is the only appropriate destination for this type of waste in NSW,” he said.

“Hazardous waste is not included in this classification – no hazardous material will be sent to Kemps Creek. If any such waste is found on site, it will be separated on site under ANSTO supervision, tested and monitored and taken to a separate appropriately licensed storage facility.”

But by definition, ‘Restricted Solid Waste’ can still be radioactive, just to a lesser extent than what is defined as ‘hazardous’ waste.

In 2011 newly elected MP for Mulgoa, Tanya Davies said, “I have always been consistent in my opposition to this radioactive waste being dumped at Kemps Creek” and told the Weekender in response to the State Government’s examination of the Hunters Hill remediation plan that, “we now have an outcome which involves no radioactive waste coming to western Sydney”.

Ms Davies did not comment on whether she supports the remediation plan in its current form on public display, nor on her apparent change of stance.

“The Liberal and Nationals Government has been open and transparent with the community. The public exhibition is further evidence of our determination to ensure the community understands the process and can ask questions,” she said.

Penrith City Councillor, Prue Car, slammed the Government, saying it was breaking its promise to local residents.

“This government broke their promise not to dump this waste in our community and now we need to tell them we won’t have it,” she said. “This is toxic waste that the government’s own report acknowledged needed to be monitored for three centuries.”

Residents can make written submissions to Department of Planning and Infrastructure website, www.planning.nsw.gov.au/on-exhibition.

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