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A Bill for an Act to make provision in relation to the selection of a site for, and the establishment and operation of, a radioactive waste management facility, and for related purposes
Administered by: DEST
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Registered 14 Oct 2005
Introduced HR 13 Oct 2005

2004-2005

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2005

 

No.      , 2005

 

(Education, Science and Training)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to make provision in relation to the selection of a site for, and the establishment and operation of, a radioactive waste management facility, and for related purposes

  

  

  


Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                               1

1............ Short title............................................................................................ 1

2............ Commencement.................................................................................. 2

3............ Definitions.......................................................................................... 2

Part 2—Selecting the site for a facility                                                                       3

4............ Authority to conduct activities.......................................................... 3

5............ Application of State and Territory laws............................................ 4

6............ Application of Commonwealth laws.................................................. 5

Part 3—Acquisition or extinguishment of rights and interests                      6

7............ Minister’s declarations....................................................................... 6

8............ Procedural fairness in relation to Minister’s declarations.................. 6

9............ Acquisition or extinguishment............................................................ 7

10.......... Application of Commonwealth and Northern Territory laws........... 7

11.......... Notice to Registrar-General................................................................ 8

Part 4—Conducting activities in relation to selected site                                9

12.......... Authority to conduct activities.......................................................... 9

13.......... Application of State and Territory laws.......................................... 10

14.......... Application of Commonwealth laws................................................ 11

Part 5—Miscellaneous                                                                                                       12

15.......... Compensation................................................................................... 12

16.......... Compensation for acquisition of property....................................... 12

17.......... Regulations....................................................................................... 12

Schedule 1—Sites                                                                                                           1

1............ Mt Everard site................................................................................... 1

2............ Harts Range site.................................................................................. 1

3............ Fishers Ridge site................................................................................ 1

 


A Bill for an Act to make provision in relation to the selection of a site for, and the establishment and operation of, a radioactive waste management facility, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

Part 1Preliminary

  

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act 2005.

2  Commencement

                   This Act commences on the day after it receives the Royal Assent.

3  Definitions

                   In this Act:

Commonwealth contractor means:

                     (a)  a person who is a party to a contract with the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth entity; or

                     (b)  a person who is a subcontractor for a contract with the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth entity.

Commonwealth entity means:

                     (a)  a body corporate established for a public purpose by or under an Act; or

                     (b)  a company in which a controlling interest is held by any one of the following persons, or any 2 or more of the following persons together:

                              (i)  the Commonwealth;

                             (ii)  a body covered by paragraph (a).

controlled material has the meaning given by section 13 of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998.

facility means a facility for the management of controlled material generated, possessed or controlled by the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth entity.

site means a site described in Schedule 1.

subcontractor, for a contract, means a person who is a party to:

                     (a)  a contract with a Commonwealth contractor (within the meaning of paragraph (a) of the definition of Commonwealth contractor); or

                     (b)  a contract with another subcontractor (under a previous application of this definition).


 

Part 2Selecting the site for a facility

  

4  Authority to conduct activities

             (1)  This section applies to:

                     (a)  the Commonwealth; and

                     (b)  a Commonwealth entity; and

                     (c)  a Commonwealth contractor; and

                     (d)  an employee or agent of a person mentioned in paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

             (2)  A person to whom this section applies may, in the Northern Territory, do anything necessary for or incidental to the purposes of selecting a site on which to construct and operate a facility.

             (3)  Without limiting subsection (2), the person may do any or all of the following under that subsection (whether or not on a site):

                     (a)  gain access to and enter land and drive vehicles or fly aircraft to and from it;

                     (b)  in order to drive vehicles to and from land—use existing roads or construct roads on, or grade, land;

                     (c)  construct or rehabilitate bores;

                     (d)  operate drilling equipment;

                     (e)  extract water;

                      (f)  collect samples of flora and fauna;

                     (g)  place monitoring equipment (including meteorological and hydrological measuring equipment);

                     (h)  build structures to protect bores, monitoring equipment or other things;

                      (i)  move or extract sand, gravel, soil, mineral and rock samples;

                      (j)  conduct seismic or geological investigations;

                     (k)  conduct archaeological or heritage investigations;

                      (l)  clear vegetation.

             (4)  A person doing a thing under this Part on land that is not a site must:

                     (a)  take all reasonable steps to ensure that the doing of the thing causes as little detriment and inconvenience, and does as little damage, as is practicable to the land and to anything on, or growing or living on, the land; and

                     (b)  remain on the land only for such period as is reasonably necessary; and

                     (c)  leave the land, as nearly as practicable, in the condition in which it was immediately before the thing was done.

5  Application of State and Territory laws

             (1)  A law, or a provision of a law, of a State or Territory (whether written or unwritten), so far as it relates to:

                     (a)  the use or proposed use of land or premises; or

                     (b)  the environmental consequences of the use of land or premises; or

                     (c)  the archaeological or heritage values of land, premises or objects (including the significance of land, premises or objects in the traditions of Indigenous people); or

                     (d)  controlled material, radioactive material or dangerous goods; or

                     (e)  licensing (however described) in relation to:

                              (i)  employment; or

                             (ii)  carrying on a particular kind of business or undertaking; or

                            (iii)  conducting a particular kind of operation or activity;

has no effect to the extent that it would, apart from this section, regulate, hinder or prevent the doing of a thing authorised by section 4.

             (2)  The regulations may prescribe a law, or a provision of a law, of a State or Territory for the purposes of this subsection. The prescribed law or provision has no effect to the extent that it would, apart from this subsection, regulate, hinder or prevent the doing of a thing authorised by section 4.

             (3)  Regulations made for the purposes of subsection (2) may prescribe a law, or a provision of a law, whether or not it is a law or a provision of a kind described in subsection (1).

             (4)  The regulations may prescribe a law, or a provision of a law, of a State or Territory for the purposes of this subsection. The prescribed law or provision has effect despite anything else in this section.

6  Application of Commonwealth laws

             (1)  The following laws have no effect to the extent that they would, apart from this section, regulate, hinder or prevent the doing of a thing authorised by section 4:

                     (a)  the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984;

                     (b)  the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

             (2)  The regulations may prescribe another law, or a provision of another law, of the Commonwealth for the purposes of this subsection. The prescribed law or provision has no effect to the extent that it would, apart from this subsection, regulate, hinder or prevent the doing of a thing authorised by section 4.


 

Part 3Acquisition or extinguishment of rights and interests

  

7  Minister’s declarations

             (1)  The Minister may, in his or her absolute discretion, declare in writing that one, or a specified part of one, of the sites is selected as the site for a facility.

             (2)  The Minister may, in his or her absolute discretion, declare in writing that all or specified rights or interests in land in the Northern Territory specified in the declaration are required for providing all-weather road access to the selected site (or selected part of a site).

             (3)  A declaration has effect at the time specified in the declaration (which must not be earlier than the time the declaration is made).

             (4)  A copy of a declaration must be published in the Gazette within 7 days of the declaration being made.

             (5)  Failure to comply with subsection (4) does not invalidate a declaration.

             (6)  The Minister must not:

                     (a)  make more than one declaration under subsection (1); or

                     (b)  make more than one declaration under subsection (2).

             (7)  A declaration is not a legislative instrument.

8  Procedural fairness in relation to Minister’s declarations

                   No person is entitled to procedural fairness in relation to the Minister’s making of a declaration.

9  Acquisition or extinguishment

             (1)  At the time the declaration under subsection 7(1) has effect, any rights or interests in the selected site (or selected part of a site) that have not already been acquired by the Commonwealth, or extinguished, are by force of this section:

                     (a)  acquired by the Commonwealth or extinguished; and

                     (b)  freed and discharged from all other rights and interests and from all trusts, restrictions, dedications, reservations, obligations, mortgages, encumbrances, contracts, licences, charges and rates.

             (2)  To avoid doubt, the rights and interests acquired under or extinguished by subsection (1) include:

                     (a)  rights to minerals (if any); and

                     (b)  native title rights and interests (if any).

             (3)  At the time the declaration under subsection 7(2) has effect, the rights or interests in the specified land that are specified in the declaration are, by force of this section:

                     (a)  acquired by the Commonwealth or extinguished; and

                     (b)  freed and discharged from all other rights and interests and from all trusts, restrictions, dedications, reservations, obligations, mortgages, encumbrances, contracts, licences, charges and rates.

             (4)  To avoid doubt, rights and interests specified in the declaration under subsection 7(2) may include any of the following:

                     (a)  rights to minerals;

                     (b)  native title rights and interests;

                     (c)  an interest that did not previously exist in relation to the land;

                     (d)  an easement in gross.

10  Application of Commonwealth and Northern Territory laws

             (1)  Section 9 has effect despite any other law of the Commonwealth or the Northern Territory (whether written or unwritten).

             (2)  Without limiting subsection (1), section 9 has effect despite the following laws of the Commonwealth:

                     (a)  the Lands Acquisition Act 1989;

                     (b)  the Native Title Act 1993.

11  Notice to Registrar-General

             (1)  The Secretary of the Department may lodge with the Registrar-General for the Northern Territory (or other appropriate officer) a copy of a Minister’s declaration under section 7, certified by writing signed by the Secretary.

             (2)  The officer with whom the copy is lodged may deal with and give effect to it as if it were a grant, conveyance, memorandum or instrument of transfer of relevant rights and interests done under the laws of the Northern Territory.


 

Part 4Conducting activities in relation to selected site

  

12  Authority to conduct activities

             (1)  This section applies to:

                     (a)  the Commonwealth; and

                     (b)  a Commonwealth entity; and

                     (c)  a Commonwealth contractor; and

                     (d)  an employee or agent of a person mentioned in paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

             (2)  A person to whom this section applies may, in relation to the selected site (or selected part of a site), do anything necessary for or incidental to any or all of the following:

                     (a)  gathering or preparing information for a Commonwealth regulatory scheme that relates to:

                              (i)  the construction or operation of a facility; or

                             (ii)  anything done in preparation for the construction or operation of a facility;

                     (b)  conducting activities that relate to gathering or preparing information for such a regulatory scheme;

                     (c)  preparing the selected site (or selected part of a site) for a facility;

                     (d)  preparing to construct and operate a facility;

                     (e)  constructing a facility;

                      (f)  constructing roads on, or grading, land in the Northern Territory;

                     (g)  erecting fences and other access controls on land specified in the declaration under subsection 7(2);

                     (h)  operating a facility;

                      (i)  maintaining a facility;

                      (j)  keeping a facility safe;

                     (k)  decommissioning a facility.

             (3)  Without limiting subsection (2), the person may, under that subsection, do a thing mentioned in subsection 4(3) in relation to the selected site (or selected part of a site).

             (4)  Subsection (2) extends to doing things outside the selected site (or selected part of a site).

             (5)  A person to whom this section applies may, in relation to the selected site (or selected part of a site):

                     (a)  transport (including through a State or Territory) people and materials (including controlled material) to or from a facility; and

                     (b)  use transport infrastructure for that transport.

13  Application of State and Territory laws

             (1)  A law, or a provision of a law, of a State or Territory (whether written or unwritten), so far as it relates to:

                     (a)  the use or proposed use of land or premises; or

                     (b)  the environmental consequences of the use of land or premises; or

                     (c)  the archaeological or heritage values of land, premises or objects (including the significance of land, premises or objects in the traditions of Indigenous people); or

                     (d)  controlled material, radioactive material or dangerous goods; or

                     (e)  licensing (however described) in relation to:

                              (i)  employment; or

                             (ii)  carrying on a particular kind of business or undertaking; or

                            (iii)  conducting a particular kind of operation or activity;

has no effect to the extent that it would, apart from this section, regulate, hinder or prevent the doing of a thing authorised by section 12.

             (2)  A law, or a provision of a law, of a State or Territory (whether written or unwritten), so far as it relates to the transport of controlled material, radioactive material or dangerous goods, has no effect to the extent that it would, apart from this section, regulate, hinder or prevent transport authorised by section 12.

             (3)  The regulations may prescribe a law, or a provision of a law, of a State or Territory for the purposes of this subsection. The prescribed law or provision has no effect to the extent that it would, apart from this subsection, regulate, hinder or prevent the doing of a thing authorised by section 12.

             (4)  Regulations made for the purposes of subsection (3) may prescribe a law, or a provision of a law, whether or not it is a law or a provision of a kind described in subsection (1) or (2).

             (5)  The regulations may prescribe a law, or a provision of a law, of a State or Territory for the purposes of this subsection. The prescribed law or provision has effect despite anything else in this section.

14  Application of Commonwealth laws

             (1)  The regulations may prescribe a law, or a provision of a law, of the Commonwealth for the purposes of this subsection. The prescribed law or provision has no effect to the extent that it would, apart from this subsection, regulate, hinder or prevent the doing of a thing authorised by section 12.

             (2)  The regulations must not prescribe any of the following laws, or any provision of the following laws:

                     (a)  the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998;

                     (b)  the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999;

                     (c)  the Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987.


 

Part 5Miscellaneous

  

15  Compensation

             (1)  If rights or interests are acquired, extinguished or otherwise affected under section 9, the Commonwealth is liable to pay a reasonable amount of compensation to a person whose right or interest has been acquired, extinguished or otherwise affected.

             (2)  If the Commonwealth and the person do not agree on the amount of the compensation, the person may institute proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia for the recovery from the Commonwealth of such reasonable amount of compensation as the court determines.

16  Compensation for acquisition of property

             (1)  If the operation of this Act would result in an acquisition of property from a person otherwise than on just terms, the Commonwealth is liable to pay a reasonable amount of compensation to the person.

             (2)  If the Commonwealth and the person do not agree on the amount of the compensation, the person may institute proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia for the recovery from the Commonwealth of such reasonable amount of compensation as the court determines.

             (3)  In this section:

acquisition of property has the same meaning as in paragraph 51(xxxi) of the Constitution.

just terms has the same meaning as in paragraph 51(xxxi) of the Constitution.

17  Regulations

                   The Governor-General may make regulations prescribing matters:

                     (a)  required or permitted by this Act to be prescribed; or

                     (b)  necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act.


Schedule 1Sites

Note:       See the definition of site in section 3.

   

  

1  Mt Everard site

                   The land being Northern Territory Portion 1502 delineated on Survey Plan S74/123.

2  Harts Range site

                   The land being Northern Territory Portion 1503 delineated on Survey Plan S74/124.

3  Fishers Ridge site

                   The land being Northern Territory Portion 3260 delineated on Survey Plan S86/252