Warwick radioactive waste dump ruled out by govt

The Palaszczuk government has ruled out supporting any plan to build a national radioactive waste storage facility anywhere in Queensland.

That includes Oman Ama, the small town on the Cunningham Highway between Inglewood and Warwick, where a private landowner had put forward his property as a potential radioactive waste site, Fairfax reported.

Information from the Australian government project confirms intermediate-level radioactive waste would be "temporarily" stored at the chosen facility for many years, while the majority of radioactive waste would be low-level.

The International Atomic Energy Agency says intermediate-level radioactive waste "contains higher radioactivity levels than low level waste. It requires shielding when handled. Intermediate level waste - generated during operation of a nuclear power plant - consists mostly of ion exchange resins used to clean the water circulating through the reactor."

Queensland has now written to the Australian government and asked that all potential Queensland radioactive waste storage sites be removed from the Australian government's shortlist of six potential sites.

Oman Ama property owner Gordon Donovan looks at the part of the property where the proposed nuclear site would be placed. Photo Jayden Brown / Warwick Daily News
Oman Ama property owner Gordon Donovan looks at the part of the property where the proposed nuclear site would be placed. Photo Jayden Brown / Warwick Daily News Jayden Brown

Oman Ama property owner Gordon Donovan, bellieved offering his land for a radioactive waste facility was a no brainer.

When Mr Donovan and his wife Laurelle first read the idea in a newspaper they knew they had to act.

The Donovan's 500ha property east of Oman Ama was one of six short-listed for the nuclear waste facility.

The property consists of mostly rugged, ironbark bush country, with the nearest home 5km away.

Mr Donovan has owned the property for 40 years, and it's been in the family for 60 years.

"Those who say it's prime agricultural land have never had to grow anything up here," he previously told the Warwick Daily News. 

"The site is near perfect because it's the top of a watershed - it'll be easy to monitor any water run-off."

The land was ravaged by bushfires six years ago and wild dog problems forced the Donovans to sell off their 350 head of sheep.

The Oman Ama local of 65 years owns also owns another property closer to Coolmunda Dam.

"We've got better country further down - we certainly wouldn't be doing this if we thought it'd damage our country," he said.

"We have no worries about the safety side of it."

Mr Donovan said he'd done his research and a trip to the nuclear waste site at Lucas Heights had been a real "eye-opener".

While there's been a bit of animosity from the community toward the Donovans, they said they believe they're doing the right thing.

"We've got to go with good science," Mr Donovan said.



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