Hailed a huge success, MP for Lindsay David Bradbury conducted a civilised and meaningful rally against radioactive waste being brought to Kemps Creek SITA facility at St Marys Memorial Hall last night.
Nearly 100 residents attended the rally to voice their concerns to representatives of the State Government, who are considering a proposal by the State Property Authority to remove radioactive waste from the former Hunters Hill uranium site and store it at Kemps Creek.
Though empty seats labelled clearly for Premier Barry O’Farrell, Minister Greg Pearce, Penrith MP Stuart Ayres, Mulgoa MP Tanya Davies, Londonderry MP Bart Bassett and MP Andrew Rohan attracted criticism, the majority of the evening was dedicated to video recording residents’ legitimate questions for the State Government.
“I lived in Poland when Chernobyl [reactor in Russia] exploded and it was the dust that was so dangerous,” said one concerned resident.
Another testified to the terrible illnesses caused by radiation exposure.
“My father was in the army when they did the testing at Maralinga [in south Australia] and I had to bury my father and attended his friends’ funerals. It ruined our childhood because our father was too sick to work,” the female resident said.
Other residents suggested that NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell, have his title changed.
“He is supposed to be the Minister for Western Sydney, he should be the Minister for Dumping on Western Sydney,” several residents echoed.
Mr Bradbury was met with a significant applause when he updated residents about his conversations with Mr O’Farrell over the issue and options for a Federal facility to take the waste.
“To me it seems that the most viable option would be to encase the waste on site,” he said.
However, Mr O’Farrell has said that if a Federal facility could be found for the waste, he would even pay for the transportation costs.
“That’s very big of Mr O’Farrell to offer to pay for the transportation – storage is far more costly,” Mr Bradbury said.
He said that a potential Federal facility in the Northern Territory is currently involved in a legal battle and that the results should be awaited.
“I think that a sensible option would be to wait until some of these developments occur, rather than simply send the waste to Kemps Creek.”
Councillor Prue Car was also met with applause when she said that she would not give up the fight.
“These empty chairs show the contempt the state Government has for our community,” she said.
The meeting unanimously endorsed a resolution to write to Mr O’Farrell and ask that a feasibility study on encasement be conducted.