find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Lawyers shun nuclear waste laws

Lawyers shun nuclear waste laws

The law firm acting pro bono for the Muckaty legal challenge says new federal laws on nuclear waste will have no impact on their case.


Maurice Blackburn lawyers says the passage of the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill will not affect the Federal court challenge over the nuclear waste dump at Muckaty near Tennant Creek. 

In 2007, the Northern Land Council nominated Muckaty as a proposed site for the deposit of radioactive materials under the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act 2005.  The new Act repeals the old act, but provides for nominations under the old act to continue.

The legal case will continue regardless of the passage of this legislation, said Elizabeth O’Shea, lawyer for a number of traditional owners representing five different groups with an interest in Muckaty.

“This law does not dilute the resolve of Traditional Owners who are opposed to the Muckaty nuclear dump. They did not give consent and were not sufficiently consulted over the nomination of their land for Australia's first radioactive waste dump. They want to keep the land safe for their communities,  their children and future generations."

Traditional owner and applicant in the proceedings, Lorna Fejo, said she is still opposed to the dump in spite of the bill.

“it’s our land and we are going to continue fighting for it. It’s my heritage and no one has the right to take that away from us. I am still opposed to the dump in spite of this bill passing. 

Legal proceedings against the Federal Government and the Northern Land Council (NLC) began in June 2010 and a mediation held last year failed to reach agreement over the land. The case goes back to the Federal Court for a two-day hearing on procedural matters at the end of the month. Ron Merkel QC is appearing for the traditional owners.

“There are allegations that the NLC engaged in misconduct and breach of fiduciary duty by their actions in nominating the Muckaty site. These are important claims to have resolved in court before any further assessment of the Muckaty site goes ahead,” said O’Shea.

“The National Radioactive Waste Management Act offers some minimal procedural fairness provisions which must be followed in the process of declaring the site of the dump. It also preserves the only nomination currently on foot - Muckaty – and does not remedy the alleged substantial flaws in that nomination which are the subject of the Federal Court challenge. The challenge will go ahead and the Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson has maintained that he will respect the outcome of the Federal Court case.” 


Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Lawyers shun nuclear waste laws
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...