Australian news, and some related international items

Federal Nuclear Waste Dump Siting IS A NATIONAL MATTER – submission to Senate

While this issue has huge impacts for the areas under current assessment in Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula and in Hawker in the Flinders Ranges – it is a proposal for a national waste dump and needs national attention and consideration

No Nuclear Waste Dump in Flinders Ranges No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia,  31 Mar 18 

What I wrote in the Senate Inquiry into the Waste Dump selection process:

Thank you for reviewing federal government plans for a radioactive waste facility in South Australia.

I come from the southern Flinders Ranges and have grown up there, spending the first 18 years of my life in Peterborough, not too far from Hawker, one of the selected dump sites. I presently study Environmental Science and plan to return to the area to assist in conservation efforts of the southern Flinders Ranges. It is my home regardless of whether I am physically present, and the connection to the land described by the wise and insightful Adnyamathanha people of the ranges resonates with me. I was therefore absolutely outraged to hear that my home had been nominated as a site for nuclear waste disposal.

To have a singular person, Grant Chapman, select the site on his property, without care or consultation with other surrounding communities, is undemocratic and unrepresentative of the wider area’s opinions and values. The waste dump will affect every locality in the mid north and northern areas of the state and perhaps elsewhere, such as along South Australian borders; the waste will be transported to the site, passing through towns and beside farming properties if trucked. Even more complicated issues exist if transported by sea to ports.

Potential accidents and their health and environmental consequences have the ability to spread to nearby locations through ground water and material within dust. None of these were even slightly touched on in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Report for the international waste dump proposal, which contained many attempts to sugar coat the deal despite its own geological experts testifying to the significant earth quake activity present within the Flinders Ranges, the national dump site.

To have one, single person, who chaired a committee to establish a waste dump industry in SA in 1995, nominate his property as a potential site, is clearly a conflict of interest and completely bypasses the obtaining of any other consent from surrounding communities. I personally feel completely ashamed of being of European descent when such ideas are generated by the Neo-Liberal system that Australia is presently under. We care more about cash, ‘industry’, tax cuts for major companies and figures at the end of spreadsheets than making real, responsible decisions and respecting the oldest living culture on this planet.

I felt Regina and Vivienne McKenzie’s pain when they said they feel attacked; the nomination by Grant Chapman with complete disregard for the rare freshwater spring, biodiversity, cultural storyline and indigenous community living beside his nominated property is nothing short of a continuation of forceful Colonialism. It is an Administrative Rationality which decides what is ‘good’ for everyone else, despite never really placing itself in the shoes of its constituents. His excuse was that the nearby town of Hawker is appreciative of the $10 million bribe that will go along with the nuclear waste site. In other words, the largely non-Aboriginal community’s consent, obtained through bribes that are only valuable in a society indoctrinated into Neo-Liberal, penny-counting thinking, can override Indigenous views. It is representative of our failure to learn anything from the oldest and most successful living human culture throughout evolution. If only each of us had a little more love and empathy for the land, perhaps our country would be better off all over. In essence, it is unacceptable that, in a country which avidly nags its citizens to be more accepting of other cultures and demonstrate our so called ‘multiculturalism’, that it does not extend this to Indigenous welfare and their views on land management.

In a society pre-occupied with scientific evidence and proof, it seems strange that we cannot see the value in a culture that has thrived in Australia beyond ice-ages, sea level rises, climate changes and retains knowledge that only esteemed academics in geology manage to figure out with diggings, measurements and tests. The nomination of the waste dump beside the beautiful Hookina Springs really is just another slap in the face to the very culture that we should actually be listening to as a nation.

In addition, the nomination of Kimba, also, breaches all comprehension of a fair process. It is, once again, a single property owner and one vocal community member, pushing the nuclear waste agenda in the town, at the expense of everyone else’s views. Advocates for the waste dump declare that Hawker and Kimba cannot say no to the dump because they will only be re-locating the plans to another place (the anti-NIMBY claim), yet I do not see any city residents avidly supporting the facility be planted next to them and disregarding their neighbours’ views. Yet, ironically, they fail to realise that their wheetbix and other products depend upon the good agricultural practices of these rural areas. 100 years the waste could be stored above ground – does any one person have the right to say ‘YES’ on behalf of a community, a state or a country? No! No way.

To summarise, I have deep concerns about this plan including that;

• A single individual or property owner should not be allowed to nominate a site for a nuclear waste dump.
• The federal government have not made a clear or compelling case that we need a national nuclear waste dump in SA.
• The consultation process has been deficient and has caused division in our communities.
• The federal government plan lacks social licence or community consent. Traditional Owners have flagged concerns over cultural heritage issues.
• The project has not considered the full range of options to best advance responsible radioactive waste management in Australia. Australia’s worst waste should be dealt with better.

I do not support this current plan and welcome this opportunity to formally convey my concerns and opposition to the inquiry.

While this issue has huge impacts for the areas under current assessment in Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula and in Hawker in the Flinders Ranges – it is a proposal for a national waste dump and needs national attention and consideration.

March 31, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

1 Comment »

  1. REMINDER : Marshall’s Liberals Election Promise : “A Marshall Liberal Government will not support the building of a nuclear waste repository in South Australia”. Are Marshall’s Liberals about to break this election promise??

    REMINDER : STATE AND FED GOVNT COMMUNITY PROTEST : 4,500 people attend 2 Anti Nuclear Waste Dump Rallies on the steps of parliament in Adelaide.
    Dec 16 protest video link :
    Dec 17 protest video link :

    What legacy do we want to leave our future generations?? Say yes to 1 radioactive nuclear waste dump in SA and the floodgates will open.


    Comment by Kim Mavromatis | April 2, 2018 | Reply

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