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MP says Springborg ‘dancing’ around Oman Ama issue

CONSULTATION CONTINUES: Southern Downs MP Lawrence Springborg has hit back at criticism of his handling of the Oman Ama issue, stating he believes community consultation should continue.
CONSULTATION CONTINUES: Southern Downs MP Lawrence Springborg has hit back at criticism of his handling of the Oman Ama issue, stating he believes community consultation should continue. File

QUEENSLAND'S energy minister says he doesn't believe a radioactive facility would be welcome in the state.

Mark Bailey has spoken publicly on the Oman Ama nuclear waste proposal, sharing his personal objections to the facility.

The Queensland MP told the Daily News the Federal Government proposal came like a "bolt from the blue".

"It seems to me there is a lot of local opposition growing out there," he said.

"There's been a long history of opposition to nuclear waste in Queensland."

Mr Bailey said he believed the issue could require a statewide plebiscite, which he described as a "very large scale exercise".

If the Federal Government chose Oman Ama as a dump site, the State Government would have to "seriously consider" their options, according to the MP.

"I'd be taking a submission to the cabinet," he said.

"We'd be taking the matter very seriously."

The Palaszczuk Government MP also joined a chorus of criticism of Southern Downs MP Lawrence Springborg, accusing him of "dancing" around the issue.

"Are the locals getting the support of their state MP Mr Springborg?" he said.

"It's time for him (Springborg) to make his view clear.

"Does he support a radioactive dump in his electorate?"

Mr Springborg yesterday re-affirmed his views on the issue, stating it was up to the community to decide.

"We're still in the consultation stage and that process of consultation should continue through," he said.

"I've said all the way through that this needs to go through that particular process.

"From my perspective I've said the consultation will continue and then there'll be a clearer picture."

Public consultation on the issue is expected to continue until March, with the Federal Government expected to announce a shortlist of three sites shortly after.

A final site is not expected to be named until after the Federal Election.

Mr Springborg has also hit back at the Energy Minister's comments about the state rejecting nuclear waste facilities, pointing to an existing low-level site at Esk.

The nuclear facility in Esk was established in the mid-90s by a Labor government.

"The irony of course is Queensland already has a storage facility for intermediate waste," he said.

"It stores higher level materials than what it predominately proposed for Oman Ama.

"It's operated and overseen by Queensland Health and in my time as Health Minister I never received a briefing on it."

The Opposition Leader confirmed he had spoken to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk about the issue.

"The only discussion I have had with the Premier was they were comfortable to see the process follow through and that was it," he said.

"I understand that is their official viewpoint."

Topics:  issue, oman ama, springborg, warwick




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