Neighbours of proposed nuclear dump upset at 'lack of consultation'

Neighbours to a proposed nuclear waste site south of Alice Springs are upset they were not consulted by the property's owner and say they will oppose it.

The Aridgold date farm in Hale, 75 kilometres from Alice Springs, is one of six sites shortlisted to house the country's low-to-intermediate level radioactive waste.

Bordering the date farm is a land trust made up of three homesteads, the closest of which is the Oak Valley Outstation owned by Mary Le Rossignol and her husband Robert, who are also traditional owners.

Ms Le Rossignol said she first heard Tim Micklem, their neighbour of 30 years, had nominated his property as the country's next nuclear waste dump on ABC Local Radio.

"I was angry because we live right next door to him," Ms Le Rossignol said.

"It just hit me hard, because I honestly expected people to go around and talk to your neighbours and let them know what was going on.

"But that didn't happen here."

The Federal Government has said landholders whose sites were chosen would receive up to four times the market value of the land, and communities would be offered $10 million to spend on infrastructure and other projects.

But Ms Le Rossignol said that did not interest them.

"We weren't interested in the money part of it, we were just worried about the land and what it might do to it because this is where my grandmother comes from," she said.

The Le Rossignols are part of extensive Southern Arrernte family with 30 family members living permanently on the 130 square-kilometre land trust, and another 100 members visiting and staying frequently.

"Our connection to our country is not just looking at it and saying that it's dirt," the Le Rossignols' daughter Loyola Jones said.

"It's spiritual, religious, historical. We've got anthropology and archaeology that's been dated at between 15,000 to 20,000 year old, so that's my ancestors and we've been here a very long time."

Since the Federal Government announcement, the outstation has been visited by Government representatives and its nuclear agency, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, as well as the Central Land Council and anti-nuclear groups from Alice Springs.

But Mr Le Rossignol said their questions about what kind of intermediate-level waste would be stored 15 kilometres from their house and garden have not been answered.

"Originally it was just low-level and then they brought in intermediate and when we queried what intermediate was we couldn't get an answer," Mr Rossignol said.

"Then halfway through a conversation they said intermediate and low level," he said.

Government representatives will return for a week of community meetings next month at nearby remote communities.