NLC in talks about alternate nuclear waste site

Michael Coggan
ABC News Online

The Northern Land Council has confirmed it is about to start formal talks about a new site for a proposed nuclear waste facility in the Northern Territory.

The Federal Government is planning to build a national nuclear waste dump in the Territory.

The only site nominated is on Aboriginal land at Muckaty Station, about 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek.

That nomination is being challenged in the Federal Court by local land owners opposed to the dump.

NLC chairman Wali Wunungmurra has confirmed that formal consultations will begin this week about a proposed second site on a different section of land on Muckaty Station.

The consultation process is expected to continue into next year.

Chief Minister Terry Mills says he will talk with the Northern Land Council about the move.

He says there needs to be an alternative site for a national waste dump if the legal challenge is successful.

"I accept the premise of this, that there needs to be a site," he said.

"But, given that, we then need to make sure that the Territory is properly advantaged and benefits from the decision that we're forced to wear on behalf of the country, and that it's done safely."

Opponents of any nuclear waste facility being built in the Territory say Aboriginal traditional owners have not been told about a meeting to discuss a new site.

Natalie Wasley from the Beyond Nuclear Alliance says more people should've been told about the consultations.

"It is disappointing that, once again, the Northern Land Council does not seem to be very broadly notifying people about this meeting," she said.

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