THE news that nuclear waste is set to be stored at ANSTO, Lucas Heights, has alarmed many Sutherland Shire residents.
But Lisa Thomas, of Menai, has gone the extra mile to make sure her voice is heard.
Mrs Thomas has launched an online petition opposing the federal government’s decision to store waste temporarily at Lucas Heights from 2015. She is calling on shire residents to get active about opposing the plans.
‘‘I was shocked when I realised it was actually happening,’’ Mrs Thomas said. ‘‘So many of my neighbours don’t even know so I decided to make a noise about it.’’
Mrs Thomas also produced a flyer about the decision and hopes either Sutherland Shire Council or a business will pay for it to be printed.
‘‘There are so many issues associated with storing it here. Transporting the waste is a huge issue and it is so irresponsible to store it so near where people live,’’ she said.
ANSTO chief executive Adi Paterson attended a meeting of Sutherland Shire Council’s environment and planning committee last Monday night to discuss the waste storage issue.
Councillor Peter Towell, who attended the meeting, said Dr Paterson’s address certainly did not convince him Lucas Heights was the right place to be storing the waste.
‘‘The problem is, how temporary is temporary?’’ Cr Towell said.
Councillor Steve Simpson was hopeful the council would support Mrs Thomas’s campaign but said it was important to gauge if her views were shared by the majority of shire residents.
‘‘I really am horrified with what is proposed up there. But we have to be assured the residents support the view Lisa and I have, because at the end of the day it is their money,’’ Cr Simpson said.
Mrs Thomas said she, along with other concerned residents, was brainstorming other ways to protest against the government’s decision, such as staging a march.
ANSTO RESPONSE: AN ‘OBLIGATION’
ANSTO chief executive Adi Paterson confirmed nuclear waste was headed for Sutherland Shire last month, saying Australia had an obligation to deal with nuclear waste because it benefited from its by-products.
He said about 13.2 cubic metres of intermediate nuclear waste would be stored in a $30 million purpose-built facility at Lucas Heights from 2015 for a maximum of five years, while a national nuclear repository is built.
See Mrs Thomas’s petition
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