Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Some enthusiasts for nuclear waste dump at Kimba, but many opponents

The couple [ Megan and Matt  Lienert]say the federal government consultation process has only tried to sell the positives. “It’s like they’re here to sell a car,” James says. “Oh, you don’t want it? Here’s some free seat covers.”

Jacinta jumps in: “Here’s $2m to go to the next stage.

“[The federal government provides] the facts from one side, that’s all we’ve got since day dot. They don’t bring anybody here so people can make an informed decision.

 “We’re not stupid just because we live out here – we can make informed decisions, but we need the facts to do that … if they’d had a group for it and a group against it, the community go discuss it and come back and decide. That would have been much fairer and it wouldn’t have destroyed the place.”
Leading the local fight against the facility is the No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA committee, which believes the media has underplayed rather than overplayed the conflict.

Who’d want to dump Australia’s nuclear waste here? Well, this guy At Kimba in the heart of the country, a community is divided – in one case literally so – over a plan to deposit the national stockpile of radioactive waste, Guardian, , 4 Apr 17,  At a point almost halfway between the east and west coasts of Australia, a mob of emus scamper along the Napandee property fenceline. The mallee scrub out this way appears otherwise deserted, the kind of remote location where one could hide a dead body and get away with it – but what about an entire country’s radioactive waste?

Landowner Jeff Baldock is determined to find out. Speaking in a considered gravelly tone through a bristling grey moustache, the third-generation farmer has an Ian Chappell-esque air about him as he defends the decision to formally nominate his land in Kimba, South Australia, as a site for the federal government’s national radioactive waste management facility. It would serve as a repository for intermediate-level waste from the Lucas Heights nuclear site in New South Wales and low-level waste from across Australia.

“We’ve got five grandkids living here on the properties with us,” he says. “If we thought it was dangerous we wouldn’t do this. If I thought it’d upset our grain or sheep we wouldn’t be doing it.”

If his property is selected, Baldock stands to be paid four times the value of 100 hectares of the land, but he says the real advantage would be providing economic benefit to the thousand or so residents of a struggling agricultural district.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our town – sorry, our community,” he says. “The antis talk about farmers versus the townies. To me it’s one community.”

It isn’t the first time Baldock has nominated land for consideration. Last year the federal government ruled out another property of his after the assessment process was abandoned because of local resistance. But Baldock says those against the proposal didn’t give it a chance………

In nominating again along with another landowner, Baldock has reopened wounds that were only just starting to heal in a community tightly bound by the challenges of an isolated life in the northern reaches of the Eyre peninsula. Last year Kimba held two of the six possible locations flagged by the government for the nuclear waste site, with one other in SA, and one each in Queensland, NSW and the Northern Territory.

Only one of those, the Barndioota site in SA’s Flinders Ranges, advanced to stage two, but it is meeting considerable resistance from Adnyamathanha traditional owners owing to its proximity to significant Indigenous cultural sites. The return to Kimba suggests the choices are narrowing – or vanishing. In March the resources minister, Matt Canavan, launched the new consultation on Kimba, ……..

The couple [ Megan and Matt  Lienert]say the federal government consultation process has only tried to sell the positives. “It’s like they’re here to sell a car,” James says. “Oh, you don’t want it? Here’s some free seat covers.”

Jacinta jumps in: “Here’s $2m to go to the next stage.

“[The federal government provides] the facts from one side, that’s all we’ve got since day dot. They don’t bring anybody here so people can make an informed decision.

 “We’re not stupid just because we live out here – we can make informed decisions, but we need the facts to do that … if they’d had a group for it and a group against it, the community go discuss it and come back and decide. That would have been much fairer and it wouldn’t have destroyed the place.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science defends the decision to reinitiate the process in Kimba despite a 120-day community consultation last year that concluded there was insufficient support for the project……..

“The department is maintaining a presence in the community two days a week, meaning a more predictable way that the community can engage with the project team and visiting experts.

“And in addition to our taking submissions, Kimba council will also undertake a community poll towards the end of the 90-day consultation.”

The two new nominations for Kimba “relate to different parcels of land” than those looked at last year, the department says.

The results of the vote will not be the only factor in determining whether the process advances to the next phase, and no threshold has been revealed as to what would constitute sufficient community support. If Kimba advances to stage two, in-depth technical assessments will be conducted of the proposed sites and $2m in community funding will be unlocked – which opponents fear will trigger further competition between neighbours wanting to secure grants………

Leading the local fight against the facility is the No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA committee, which believes the media has underplayed rather than overplayed the conflict.

Over coffee and cake in the kitchen of the Scott family’s farmhouse on Buckleboo Road, three members of the group outline their concerns about the potential impact on land values and Kimba’s grain exports, and their fear that this facility could pave the way for high-level nuclear waste in the future.

Toni Scott, a committee member, says she felt enormous relief when they saw off last year’s proposal and the March announcement of further nominations “was a bit of a kick in the guts, really”.

“It’s a major change to the community that will impact whether people choose to live here or not,” she says.

That includes fellow a committee member, Bernadette Freeth, whose family runs a farm near the Napandee property nominated for the facility. They have been based in the area for a century.

“Before this everyone got along together, neighbours were wonderful,” she says. “Now it’s all about whose side you’re on. They snigger in the shops when you do your shopping. It’s all about the money, if you ask me.”

She leaves the kitchen briefly before returning with tears in her eyes.

“I think about it a lot,” she says, her voice wavering. “I can’t sleep. I just think: we’ll most probably sell.”https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/04/whod-want-to-dump-australias-nuclear-waste-here-well-this-guy?CMP=share_btn_tw

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April 7, 2017 - Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia

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