COMMUNITY CONCERNS: Granite Belt residents have their say on the Oman Ama nuclear waste dump.
COMMUNITY CONCERNS: Granite Belt residents have their say on the Oman Ama nuclear waste dump. Lisa Googe

Officials grilled over toxic plan for facility at Oman Ama

RESIDENTS of the Granite Belt have had their first opportunity to hear directly from the Federal Government and industry experts on the proposed nuclear facility at Oman Ama.

A community meeting held at the Stanthorpe Civic Centre attracted more than 30 people.

The three-person panel, led by Department of Industry head of resources Bruce Wilson, gave a PowerPoint presentation on the current plans for the site and fielded questions from the community.

Geoscience Australia's Dr Kriton Glenn and leader of waste management at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation James Hardiman rounded out the three-person panel.

It was repeatedly stated by the panel that there were no perceived safety concerns and all storage and transportation would be completely safe.

However, not everyone was convinced.

Concerns were raised around how potential future changes to laws and regulations could open the facility up to the storage of higher levels of nuclear waste.

"There are no guarantees it won't change to a permanent site," one audience member said.

One woman said previous governments and medical professionals had lied about safety before.

"We've been told things are safe then those turned out not to be true," she said.

"Doctors said smoking was safe 50 years ago."

Others were concerned about the security of the site with some raising the possibility of a terrorism scenario.

"Does this mean the community is looking at a higher threat of security?" an audience member asked.

Another was dumbfounded as to why the site was not set up in a remote location.

"I can't understand why they would choose the Darling Downs, being such a beautiful agricultural area," she said.

A community information session will be held at the Warwick Town Hall today at 1.30pm.



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