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Voices of Oman Ama shout NO to nuclear

NO TO NUCLEAR: The Friends of Oman Ama are ramping up their opposition to the proposed nuclear waste facility in their community, writing to federal minister Josh Frydenberg.
NO TO NUCLEAR: The Friends of Oman Ama are ramping up their opposition to the proposed nuclear waste facility in their community, writing to federal minister Josh Frydenberg. Friends Of Oman Ama

WE DON'T want you here.

That's the message from the Friends of Oman Ama to Minister for Resources Josh Frydenberg.

The community activist group has written to the minister, declaring they "unanimously" reject the proposed nuclear waste facility for Oman Ama.

In their letter, the Friends of Oman Ama outline their attendance at meetings, stating they've listened carefully and heard the arguments for and against.

"We would request that there be no further such meetings sponsored by your department," they write.

"There is an element of circularity and, in view of the above rejection resolution, we see this as a waste of taxpayer funds."

The group have also sent a letter to the landholder, pressuring him to withdraw his application for the proposed site of the nuclear facility.

The Friends of Oman Ama group is made up of a number of people, including Dr Colin Owen, who has been a doctor in Inglewood for 48 years.

Dr Owen lives 12km west of the proposed site and said he isn't convinced the nuclear waste was 100% risk free.

"The whole problem is any sort of mishap would mean there's radioactivity and that could cause problems for health and the environment," he said.

"All around the world there have been mishaps - the government is not telling us about them."

A mishap or leakage could lead to a major environmental catastrophe for the Murray Darling Basin, Dr Owen claimed.

"This area is just a couple of kilometres from the headwaters of the McIntyre River and Condamine River - both run into the Murray Darling," he said.

"It's a really big worry if it were to get in the water."

Nearby resident Dr Bob Morrish's family has been in the district for more than 100 years.

He believes the facility could be "indefinite".

"The government people have not been clear about the difference between storage and disposal, particularly in relation to the so-called 'interim' storage of intermediate level radioactive waste," he said.

"They have refused to define 'interim' but suggested it could be as long as 30 years. That sounds like 'indefinite'."

The Friends of Oman Ama believe the Federal Government are determined to put the facility in their town.

"They really want this site for its accessibility - it's got good roads, good rail and still within distance," Dr Owen said.

"Initially they told us it was low level, then at the second meeting they agreed there would be intermediate level waste."

While the Friends of Oman Ama are yet to hear back from the minister, their battle continues.

Petitions in Inglewood, Texas, Warwick and Stanthorpe have gathered hundreds of signatures.

"Instead of being reactive, we're becoming proactive and aggressive - we want to get on the front foot," Dr Owen said.

Consultation with the Oman Ama community is expected to continue until March.

A final shortlist of three sites will be announced later in the year, with a final site not announced until after the Federal Election.

Topics:  nuclear, oman ama, warwick




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