Oman Ama landowner, Gordon Donovan, opened up his property for the first time since it was shortlisted as a possible location for the national radioactive waste facility.
Mr Donovan says, despite some community backlash, Australia needs the facility and his back paddock is the perfect place.
“It’s fairly stable soil, there’s not much run off, any water that runs off is contained on the block and it’s fairly close to a highway,” he says.
He says he’s put in hours of research into the facility and that opponents should accept the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTO) offer to visit the Lucas Heights reactor in Sydney.
“I’d encourage people to look at good science and not be taken in by reactive talk,” he says.
“You’re not going to put your town and district (at risk), I’ve been a part of the rural fire brigade for 40 years, APEX for nearly 20, show societies and all that.
“They’re not going to wreck the place.”
The facility will cost $100 million to construct and Department of Industries’ Bruce Wilson says some of those contract will be offered to local businesses, if they have the capacity to do so.
“This can come in aspects such as land clearing, building and maintenance, road building and building and construction,” Mr Wilson says.
“These are all aspects the community have some capacity to contribute to and we will be working with those communities to work out how we can maximise outcomes for those businesses.”
Half of all Australians will benefit from nuclear technology whether it be cancer treatment or a simple x-ray but there isn’t a sustainable, long term storage facility available.
The Federal Government hopes to centralise the storage of 60 years’ worth of legacy waste currently residing in universities, schools and hospitals and doing so will be in line with international standards.
Authorities cited examples from England, Spain and France which all have similar, larger facilities in popular tourist and agricultural areas without trouble.
Mr Wilson says there are no safety concerns for nearby communities as only low level waste will be disposed of and intermediate waste stored at the site.
This waste consists of masks, gloves and cloaks used in the nuclear production of medicines and the technological equipment used.
Keep an eye out for our special extended report on the Oman Ama nomination in next week’s Goondiwindi Regional Report.