Robin Chapple MLC
Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region
Lynas left holding the baby
14 September 2012
14 September 2012
“Lynas has now submitted an application to the regulator, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), to import radioactive waste from Malaysia,” an Australian High Commission spokesman told The Malaysian Insider today.
This revelation beggars belief as just a few days ago a two-year temporary licence to operate was granted to Lynas, who intend to ship radioactive ores through Fremantle Port to export them to their plant in Malaysia, now seem to be asserting that they should be able to import the wastes of those ores back onto Australian soil.
Malaysia’s nuclear regulator Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) had said that the Australian miner was legally bound to remove radioactive waste from its Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) and return the residue to Australia under conditions of the temporary operating licence. However this news flies in the face of Australian government policy, and indeed Western Australian legislation, which asserts that Australia does not accept or import radioactive waste from other countries.
Robin Chapple MLC, Greens spokesperson for Mining Issues commented on Lynas’ recent move:
“It seems that again Lynas thinks it is outside the law as it is operating in Malaysia, and may be subject to less rigorous legal scrutiny. Well it isn’t, and if it thinks that Western Australia will take this radioactive waste, it can think again.
“It didn’t consult with community on shipping its radioactive ores through Fremantle port, and it certainly hasn’t consulted on shipping back the radioactive waste. The WA Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 1999 prohibits it here. Period!
But really, you have to laugh. Lynas has now been tripped up by its own lack of willingness to take heed of Australia’s expectations with respect to sustainable mining and environmental, social and legal standards, and hasn’t it got it’s come-uppance. Talk about being left holding the baby!