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NZ may back big Aussie nuclear dump, report says

Oct 24, 1999

NZ may back big Aussie nuclear dump, report says

New Zealand may support construction of an international nuclear waste dump in South Australia, according to part of a consultants' report issued by Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today.

The report, by Dupont and Associates and Bergin and Associates, has been prepared for Pangea Resources Australia Pty Ltd, which is wanting to build the dump.

One paragraph of the report's executive summary says: "New Zealand is a key ally for Australia and both countries share similar aspirations for a politically stable, economically prosperous and nuclear-free Pacific. Despite its nuclear allergy, New Zealand is likely to support the establishment of a waste repository in Australia if it could be shown to substantially reduce the prospect of nuclear waste being stored in the South Pacific."

Today Ms Fitzsimons said: "This paragraph gives the impression that the consultants have talked to at least one New Zealand cabinet minister about the dump plan. I am keen to find out who.

"While it may seem incredible that any country would consider siting a nuclear waste dump in its territory, we need to remember Australia has long been a nuclear friendly country, including hosting British nuclear tests, allowing nuclear warships to visit and continuing large scale mining of uranium," she said.

"The report advocates Australia taking nuclear waste from around the world, with nuclear industries offering to pay heaps of money to a country willing to take on this huge risk. I hope the federal government rejects the idea."

Ms Fitzsimons was a leading organiser of New Zealand's anti-nuclear campaign of the 1970s.

The Green Party will be speaking on the waste dump proposal and other issues as part of its election campaign launch tomorrow. This will be held at the Auckland Marine Rescue Centre, Solent St (off Tamaki Drive, opposite Parnell Baths) at 2pm on Monday, October 25 (Labour Day). The party plans to have its top 10 list candidates at the launch.

Jeanette Fitzsimons MP 025 586068, 07 8686641, Paul Bensemann, Press Secretary 021 214 2665

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