Locals Gain Support Over Nuclear Plant

June 15, 2002

From 6.30am today, Narangba residents and supporters continue to have a presence on the site of the proposed nuclear irradiation plant, immediately north of Brisbane. Opponents of the plant include Brisbane-based community groups EnuFF (Everyone for a Nuclear-Free Future), the Stop Food Irradiation Alliance, and Friends of the Earth, supporting the many local residents who oppose the plant. Other national environment groups have also pledged support.

Participants in action against construction yesterday stopped work at the site, turning back four trucks.

"It is clear that community opposition to this project is only going to grow," said Rebecca Duffy, national spokesperson on nuclear irradiation for Friends of the Earth Australia.

"At no time in the approvals process have community concerns been taken into account in any meaningful way, and yet all levels of government have rubber stamped the project, bringing an unwanted industry to the local community, to Queensland and to Australia as a whole."

"It should be asked, who will benefit from food irradiation? Only Steritech, the company proposing the plant, while the dangers are borne by the community at large. There are safer, non-nuclear alternatives. Why have these not been considered?" asked Ms Duffy.

The proposed nuclear irradiation plant has been approved based on the lowest level of assessment possible, and no thorough and independent impact assessment has been undertaken.

"The community is understandably outraged that construction could begin without such scrutiny. Our local, state and federal governments have failed to act in the interests of the community. Ordinary members of that community are left with little choice but to peacefully protest against construction of the plant," said Ms Duffy.

"Across the world there is a resurgent movement against genetically-modified food, against nuclear-irradiated food, and for locally-controlled production and distribution. The community opposition to the Narangba nuclear irradiation plant is part of this movement," said Ms Duffy.

"Friends of the Earth will support the concerned citizens and groups opposing this plant until it is stopped."

For further information contact:

Rebecca Duffy
Mob: 0438 401 428