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The best yet: ENUFF’s Submission to Senate Inquiry on Nuclear Waste Dump Site Selection


This is the best of several submissions to the Senate Inquiry, that I have read so far. It can be heavy going for the reader, because it is densely informative.  For a start, I have summarised some of the major arguments,

ENUFF argues that “the Taskforce has not properly nor fully informed either the wider public; nor their arbitrary ‘local community’ cohort; nor the State Government; &, it would appear, not even their own Federal Minister – about the whole radioactive waste regimen. Instead they almost only & exclusively accentuate & promote Australian usage of medical radioisotopes. ”

The community consultation methods have been inadequate and unfair. There is no scientific need for Lucas Heights nuclear wastes to be transported to rural South Australia, and medical wastes amount to only a tiny fraction of the radioactive wastes planned for the S.A. Dump.

Stirling North and Leigh Creek residents would be affected, but were excluded from the consultation. Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association were NOT consulted prior to the Wallerberdina preferred site announcement , contrary to UN endorsed Indigenous Rights.

In surveys run by Flinders Local Action Group a clear majority voted “no” to the establishment of a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility in the area .

Scrutiny of the Barndioota Consultative Committee NRMWT survey reveals questionable and biased methodology and results.

National Radioactive Waste Management Facility’s communications and publicity have been deceptive with its pretense that the waste is predominantly medical Low Level Wastes, ignoring Intermediate Level Waste volumes intended for ‘temporary’ storage

Given the prime-facie maladministration ans deficiencies described above, ENuFF calls for a judicial inquiry into the NRWMF ‘s processes.

ENuFF-SA Submission 1 to the Senate ERC NRWMF Inquiry (not yet published on the Senate website) 

CONTENTS Page 2 Acronyms 3 Introduction 5 Executive Summary 6 History 8 Contemporary Action 9 Wallerberdina 16 Indigenous appraisal 19 Correspondence with the Taskforce 22 Afterword 25 Bibliography

In order to determine whether or not maladministration &/or negligence has any bearing upon the community consultation process, ENuFF asks the committee to recommend a judicial inquiry into the performance of the NRWMF Taskforce…..


• Contrary to NFCRC best practice principles i, iii, iv, viii, xi quoted above [on original] ; the Taskforce has not properly nor fully informed either the wider public; nor their arbitrary ‘local community’ cohort; nor the State Government; &, it would appear, not even their own Federal Minister – about the whole radioactive waste regimen. Instead they almost only & exclusively accentuate & promote Australian usage of medical radioisotopes.

• Contrary to i, iii, iv, vii, xi; the Taskforce applied peremptory community consultation eligibility parameters. For example, democratic participation involved comparative telephone surveys which excluded & discriminated against those not having a home or business landline. Thereby denying procedural fairness

• Contrary to ii, vi, vii, x, xii; the Taskforce allowed 95 anonymous people – having negligible connections to the proposed site living over 20 kilometres away from Wallerberdina (= Barndioota) & with the majority 40k+ – to veto the interests of 75 aboriginal people & the immediate neighbours.

• Contrary to i, vi, vii, xii; the Taskforce conflated a flawed configuration for the Barndioota ‘immediate community’. What views regarding further consultation were in the initial stages provided to the Department, & by whom?

• Contrary to i, vii, xi; the Taskforce acted deficiently because there was no parity of consideration between the respective short list sites. The statistical samplings were adjusted on a case by case basis allowing the disparate inclusion of highly populated regional service centres at some places but not others. There was not a level playing field, therefore any decisions based upon comparative statistical analysis are invalid.

Contrary to vii, xii; the Taskforce applied ‘special treatment’ to establish each aboriginal respondent’s local indigenous status during the survey process. Given the fact that indigenous people were specifically targeted, was the modus operandi deficient? Did government agents picket local stores querying the ethnicity of passers by? Did Orima employees attend at specific addresses such as aboriginal community centres or housing precincts? How was ‘local aboriginality’ established & anonymity maintained?

• Contrary to xii; the Taskforce employed Mr Zaheer McKenzie.

• Contrary to i, vi, vii; the Taskforce excluded Stirling North from the Barndioota survey cohort. What follows is commentary on the background behind these contrary indicators.


  1. The current Commonwealth Government effort to establish a nuclear waste dump in regional South Australia is largely predicated upon the Feb 5th 1992 judgement in the New South Wales Environment Court: finding that although Lucas Heights was the ‘safest site in Australia’; it determined against the use of Lucas Heights as a national radioactive waste storage site14 . There is no scientific, technical, engineering, safety nor security reason why Lucas Heights cannot hold such material.
  2. 2. That court decision was not predicated upon the locally generated ‘medical waste’: but mainly against the storage of 2010m3 shipped to Lucas Heights from Fisherman’s Bend in Victoria. This material was then moved to Woomera late 1994 early 199515 – for so-called ‘temporary’ storage whilst a national facility was being identified. Concurrently an additional 30m3 Dept of Defence holding (including plutonium) requiring long-lived ILW protection was also placed ‘temporarily’ on Woomera 23 years ago.
  3. 3. THUS THE REQUIREMENT FOR A NATIONAL FACILITY REMOTE FROM LUCAS HEIGHTS WAS NOT INITIALLY BASED UPON ANSTO GENERATED MEDICAL WASTE. Indeed, best practice would require ANSTO waste containment as near as practical to source, ie @ Lucas Heights.
  4. As late as July 2002, the two Woomera holdings amounted to about 60% of the total LLW & sl-ILW inventory; another >35% of the national inventory was ANSTO generated & held at Lucas Heights; whilst >5% (including ALL hospital waste) was from civil/academic use (distributed nationwide, mostly in the eastern states). There is an additional annual increase of about 40m3 – plus up to 2500m3 from reactor decommissioning – 80% contained within NSW. The radioactive waste resulting from Australian use of medical isotopes constitutes a minimal overall fraction which could easily be stored indefinitely at Lucas Heights. Nearer to the source of production & usage in an already existing secure purpose built facility that requires no expansion of risky transport across the country Refs at bottom of p.6
  5. dunno what 5 is
  6. 6. In 1999 it was presumed by Federal agencies that a national radioactive waste facility would be close to operational by 2005 – the projected commission of the Lucas Heights OPAL reactor – & this understanding was integral to ARPANSA’s approval to build it.
  7. 7. By 2001 however, ANSTO amended their OPAL specs to stipulate 2025 return of reprocessed OPAL fuel as the critical date – completely ignoring the already existent 400m3 & the ILW return due in 2015. In 2002 ARPANSA approved construction after being informed by the Govt that the LLW facility would be operational around late 2003.
  8. 8. By 2004, with no national facility in progress, the ANSTO ‘authority to operate’ application dropped any specific dates regarding Lucas Heights waste transfer – effectively disabling the 1993 regulatory framework. OPAL proceeded without ANSTO specifying long term waste management.
  9. 9. In 2006 ARPANSA issued the OPAL operating license. ANSTO expanded it’s Lucas Heights waste holding capacity in 2007 & 2009; then again in 2013 for storage of processed fuel (ILW) returned from France in 2016. More capacity is planned post-2019.
  10. CONTEMPORARY ACTION 10. It can be reasonably surmised that 25+ years of frustrated attempts to establish a national radioactive waste facility by successive Federal Governments (of both political persuasions) is exacerbated by a systemic administrative failure to fully inform or properly engage with the people & the State Governments.
  11. 11. The Department has a past history of skewing the deck in regard to radioactive management: ‘’Our senior Government source ………. tells how the benefits of a reactor’s role in nuclear medicine were deliberately overstated…… So, it was reduced to one point, and an emotional one at that. ‘ 17
  12. 12. The farce continues with the perpetual deceitful ‘nuclear medicine saves Aussie lives’ indoctrination: whilst the community is also expected to accept the ‘temporary’ above ground storage of Intermediate Level Waste – which the Taskforce would have us believe predominately results from reprocessing the fuel rods used in radioisotope production. However, a previous 1999 Departmental report demonstrates this to be false: ‘’…… long-lived intermediate level radioactive waste from reprocessing of spent fuel from both HIFAR and a replacement research reactor should amount to no more than several tens of cubic metres. This would only represent a small proportion of Australia’s current inventory of long-lived intermediate level radioactive waste. “’ 18
  13. 13. Falsehoods coupled to divisive warranting of the opinions & perceived interests of an arbitrary poorly defined ‘local community broad support’ – but not others – thereby denying Procedural Fairness & corrupting any social consent.
  14. 14. The Taskforce seeking such consent for ‘temporary19’ storage of processed spent fuel & to provide de-facto endorsement for the triple expansion of ANSTO’s radioactive exports – not for Australian health benefits but in a lame attempt to band-aid ANSTO’s drain on the public purse.
  15. 15. The community, which actually includes all Australians, is being held hostage by a wolf [being the poorly advertised 85% bulk volume of waste] in sheepskin [>15% = Australian medical isotope usage] & expected to subscribe to unknown engineering holding unspecified volumes of undisclosed poisons indefinitely – AND also only Barndioota & Kimba so-called locals get any say…… Get real.
  16. 16. Whilst the AEC may have smeared a veneer of authenticity, the Kimba ballot ‘to proceed the site selection process’ was invalid because a significant proportion of the ‘yes’ vote was based upon the Taskforce presenting a false perception to the constituents. Namely that most of the radioactivity generated by the proposed facility will be LLW derived from Australian hospital use of radio-pharmaceuticals. WRONG WRONG WRONG… References at end of page 8
  17. Wallerberdina 17. In April 2016 Wallerberdina was the singular location20 selected from six shortlisted sites: & just months later that decision was described as “controversial” in the 45th Parliament Briefing Book of July 201621. ENuFF & others have grave reservations about the ‘Phase 1’ administrative process which resulted in Barndioota becoming the preferred locality.
  18. 18. We now direct your attention to the methodology used by the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility Project (NRWMFP). Orima Research22 was contracted to conduct a multi-State survey23 of 5 communities24 in Feb/Mar 2016 – principle mode was the asking of set questions25 via computer assisted telephone cold calling.
  19. 19. The Barndioota entitlement to be heard was constricted to a 50k radius & also included those Flinders Ranges District Council (FRDC) residences & businesses who happened to be listed in a sanctioned telephone directory: “The sample frame of mobile and landline telephone numbers was provided by SamplePages…….. The geo-targeted sample was primarily composed of landline numbers, as there is very limited availability of mobile numbers that can be geo-targeted.“ 26
  20. 20. According to the latest figures, many Australians (nearly 30%) only possess unlisted mobile phones27 – so a substantial number of the so-called ‘locals’ were arbitrarily excluded simply because they did not posses a home / business fixed phone. They were denied Procedural Fairness.
  21. 21. Such methodology is further discriminatory because ownership of a home or business telephone account is statistically directly related to socioeconomic status & to age. There were 5 districts surveyed nationally, did the Taskforce consider the per capita demographic of phone ownership in each cohort before making its Barndioota decision?
  22. 22. Until tested, it can be argued that there may be comparatively less diversity/divestment of home phone ownership in the Barndioota precinct due to number of demographics, including: remoteness; a higher aboriginal population; greater transient workforce; greater mobility; socioeconomics; family reasons; age, or personal choice Refs at bottom of p.9
  23. 23. Those that do have home or business phones would mainly constitute the comfortably established, & the ‘random’ access to such does not truly represent any ‘local community’ as a whole. Also, whilst a telephone may be physically located within a certain zone this does not guarantee that anyone who answers it is a permanent member of the ‘local community’.
  24. 24. According to the survey cohort parameters28, the ‘Barndioota’ adult population was 1,331: the number of available phones was 266, 228 responded; from which 146 people were interviewed resulting in 65%29 = 95 people who were not opposed to furthering the investigative process & 51 against. Overwhelmingly derived from FRDC landlines. Note that Wallerberdina Station lies barely within the extreme & remote NW corner the FRDC30 .
  25. 25. Nationally, each of the 5 survey precincts had different geographical parameters applied – thereby further muddying any comparative statistics. For example, the ‘Hale’ precinct was expanded to include the whole of Alice Springs; ‘Sally’s Flat’ sampling inflated to swallow both Bathurst & Mudgee, whilst ‘Oman Oma’ – simply within a 50k radius.
  26. 26. This conflation justified in order to: “… include or exclude population centres in the surrounding area in accordance with the views of the immediate communities as provided to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in the initial stages of the consultation period. “ 31 .
  27. 27. Regarding Barndioota, what ‘ views ‘ were ‘ in the initial stages .. provided’ to the Department – & by whom? Define ‘ immediate communities ‘. Is that what the rest of us would call locals? I ask that this Senate Committee make publicly available the full details regarding this Taskforce claimed survey initiatory cause.
  28. 28. None of the General Population Barndioota survey sample (146) lived within a 20k radius of the proposed site & 106 lived more than 40k away32 . The survey does not tell us how far away the 95 unopposed lived, but the whole FRDC is approx 100k long + 45 wide with Barndioota located at the much less populated north-western extremity. Of 77 aboriginal people personally interviewed (face to face, not by phone), 75 were against further process33 . Refs p.10
  29. 29. “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, & Statistics” 34. The Community Sentiment Surveys Report (CSSR) selectively presents the gathered data in such a way as to give false appearances in order to shed a ‘positive’ light. The CSS page 2 Headline Banner “Overall Support” Chart EXCLUDES DATA collected from the 77 Barndioota indigenous respondents & there-by deceptively presents a 65% FALSE POSITIVE – when in fact the Barndioota total aggregate data [Gen Pop + Neighbours + Indigenous + Business] actually generates a 52% NEGATIVE outcome. Neither ‘Overall’ nor ‘Support’.
  30. 30. This demonstrates that the Taskforce wrongfully excluded indigenous responses in order to present a false positive ‘broad community support’. Such maladministration may constitute a denial of natural justice, be contrary to the Racial Discrimination Act 2012, & conceivably attributed to apprehensions of bias35 .
  31. 31. ENuFF contends that the Taskforce acted negligently in selecting Wallerberdina by conducting a comparative telephone survey of the different nominations without considering the exclusion & discrimination which home or business phone ownership necessarily imputes. The Taskforce then uses that flawed cohort to justify 95 people living over 20 kilometres away (& the majority 40k+) having negligible connections to the proposed site to negate the wishes of 75 aboriginal people, many of whom live & associate immediately adjacent. Wrong & doubly discriminatory. There is also no parity of consideration when other sites statistical samples were modified to include large regional service centres.
  32. 32. What exactly is ‘local community’? The NRWM Act36 does not define nor use that term. The Taskforce accepted theoretical statistical modelling which rendered each of the 5 ‘local communities’ with different prescriptions for geographical extent & population size.
  33. 33. ENuFF contends that action was deficient & renders a worthless statistical outcome. That the Taskforce so-called ‘local community’ engagement in the site selection process is not prescribed by the NRWM Act but was based upon unproven a priori presumptions not corporeal – therefore rendered administratively & legally irrelevant.
  34. 34. The Department spends big bucks in the latest inclusive fashion – but ends up wearing no clothes. 35. Before this fiasco, how many of the Barndioota ‘local community 146’ identified as ‘Barndiootans’ …. & how many of those could name others as Barndiootans? Zero. Of the 146, how many had even heard of Wallerberdina Station before the Chapman nomination? Precious few p. 11refs
  35. 36. ENuFF also believes that the various survey determined ‘local community’ parameters fail the ‘reasonable person test’, i.e what would the average individual regard a ‘local community’ to be? Those living within a relatively small named locale immediately springs to mind.
     37. Local council districts are government precincts & may NOT be generally regarded as ‘local community’: their demographic more readily understood as a cooperative association of many ‘local communities’; often administratively expressed as Wards having their own elected representatives.
     38. Reasonable folk would also agree that the nearer you live to any proposed radioactive waste facility the more likely you are to oppose it. The survey also indicates such37. Inflating the geographical boundary therefore necessitates including a greater percentage of those less likely to object. The reasonable presumption that ‘local community’ = ‘living nearby’ does not apply in the case of Wallerberdina.
    39. Reasonable folk would understand that if you didn’t live near a radioactive dump & were offered monetary or other benefits for supporting the construction of said dump then you would be more likely to consent than if there were no incentives.
    40. Annually, the Department dangles a $2 million sweetener into the whole FRDC pond38, with promises of $10 million39 to come. Not only that but also: “Other community support will include significant supporting infrastructure needed to support the facility, such as access to a stable and reliable communication system, including mobile phone reception and broadband internet. Roads may need to be upgraded to a suitable load standard.”
     41. Whether or not such ‘infrastructure’ would ever actually eventuat te is moot, because apart from the spuriously claimed “… strongest support was in this site …. The minister said the Barndioota site excelled based on its geological settings, technical capability and access to transport – it is close to a railway line.“ 41 Given that a heavyweight rail line already exists & is intended for use, then there would be minimal need for road upgrades; & communications proximal to the remote facility would provide negligible wider benefit (since hardly anyone lives nor commutes within mobile phone tower range of the proposed site).
     42. Proposed use of the existing rail corridor also introduces indicative ‘local community’ criteria not included within the Taskforce survey. The railway extends from Stirling North in the south up to Leigh Creek in the north. Distance wise, Stirling North lies within the same geographical scope as  the FRDC – so why were Stirling North residents excluded? Would Leigh Creek residents be affected?  refs p 12
    43. The Stirling North ‘local community’ has an equal or greater direct association with the site & transport corridor than 99% of FRDC people; as a whole they would be subject to greater risk than most FRDC residents (the only exceptions being immediate neighbours & aboriginal people), & more likely to benefit from associated jobs & business opportunities.
    44. However, ENuFF & others have also expressed many times that this issue is much greater than any ‘local community’; whilst nationwide a multiplicity of aboriginal organisations & individuals are opposed to radioactive waste facilities upon their traditional lands42 .
     45. As to other ‘local community’ criteria, it is reasonable to presume that local indigenous land councils would be involved, & The Act does stipulate that relevant aboriginal land associations be included – but only in the Northern Territory. In the case of South Australia & Barndioota, the ‘Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association43 are the peak body.
    46. ATLA were NOT consulted prior to the Wallerberdina preferred site announcement: “I’m surprised and disappointed that we havent been consulted before the announcement was made, once again it appears the traditional owners have been overlooked. The support for this is mainly coming from the non-Aboriginal community, who will generally be in our country for a few of generations, but for us this is our land forever and we have a cultural duty to protect it.“ 44. ATLA opposes siting the facility at Wallerberdina: “the bottom line is we don’t want this dump and people need to start listening to us, the traditional owners!” 45 .
    47. Also consider UNDRIP (United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People) endorsed by the Australian Government:       “Article 29 2 States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent. Article 32 1 Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources. 2 States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources. Article 35 Indigenous peoples have the right to determine the responsibilities of individuals to their communities. “ 46 .  refs p 13
    48. So, in Phase 1 the nomination of Wallerberdina was controversial & contrary to UN endorsed Indigenous Rights: whilst the Departmental actions for determining Barndioota as preferred site were based upon false presumptions & redacted data biased toward a positive outcome; thereby wrongfully deficient.
    49. Phase 2 then followed, with the following stated Departmental objectives: “• Heritage and technical assessment. • Establish a community consultative committee. • Engage a Community Liaison Officer. • The community to provide input into design. • The Government to seek broad community support for hosting the facility.” 47
     50. The Taskforce again seeking ‘broad community support’ by milking a distorted community cohort: but by now rumblings are occurring with FRDC citizenry dissatisfied with the failure of the telephone survey to fairly sample the population
    . 51. Residents then organised themselves into the ‘Flinders Local Action Group’ (FLAG48), & amongst other things, conducted their own survey: “FLAG undertook a community survey in two parts in the region between September and November 2016 asking the question “Do you want a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility established at Wallerberdina Station / Barndioota?” In both surveys, a clear majority voted “no” to the establishment of a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility in the area, with 92% voting against it in Survey 1 and 79% in Survey 2.“ 49
    52. The FLAG Survey Report also remarked that: “The siting of A National Radioactive Waste Management Facility is an issue of huge national importance. So is it fair that our small community is being asked to make such a serious decision based on limited and, we believe, misleading information?“ 50. Note the reference to ‘misleading information’, a view which ENuFF & others also hold51 .
     53. Phase 2 also saw the Taskforce implement the Barndioota Consultative Committee (BCC) whereby a panel of FRDC residents were incorporated into a group which are meant to regularly meet in order to provide an information disseminating interface between the Department & ‘local community’. But as far as ENuFF can ascertain, there are no active protocols to ensure there is a regular meaningful flow of information or authenticated feedback between the BCC & the wider ‘local community’.
     54. Meanwhile, in June 2017, even the BCC question the Taskforce notion of ‘local community’ parameters: “Friends and family outside are part of one’s community…… Smaller towns north of Hawker and Wallerberdina Station are more connected to Hawker than those in the south…… Action Item 3: BCC members will consider the outcomes of the conversation about the definition of the Barndioota community, and re-visit the issue at a future meeting. “refs p 14
    55. The BCC again in October 2017: “It was mentioned that Quorn has been included in the definition previously and if they were removed then that could create further tension between the towns. A member mentioned that the question was ‘what do we see as a community’ and it has been mentioned previously that the Hawker community does not include Quorn. In the previous  discussion there was a strong view the Quorn should not be included.“ 53
    56. The question asked above “.. what do we see as a community’ …“ & the Hawker v Quorn contention demonstrates a number of things: a a divisive outcome from the Taskforce process; b no unequivocal determinant of ‘local community’; c a presumption by some BCC members that Hawker has greater claim upon ‘local community’ status.54, & d Stirling North – whose residents would be most affected – is again unrepresented & totally ignored.
    57. Not only are there divisions within the ‘local community’ but also there is a barrier between the BCC & the rest of the populace. Given past failure of the BBC to enter constructive dialogue & exchange information with the wider community; a group of locals wishing to become better informed attended the BCC December 2017 meeting but were ejected.
     58. Representations were made by FLAG to both the BCC & NRWMFT seeking redress & clarity upon the closed door policy; “What possible grounds can there be to eject two community members who made the effort to attend to listen and observe the proceedings? A reasonable conclusion would be that the Committee was preparing to discuss something that they did not want the community to know ……” 55 .
     59. As to BCC noting that the old Hawker Council District could become the sole parameter for ‘local community56’, even the NRWMFT acknowledges that “ Hawker …. would be unlikely to provide all the necessary services required for construction and operation of the facility due to its size …… The nominated block is relatively remote with nearby residences far away in comparison to other sites, ….Some services required …. would likely need come from Quorn or Port Augusta. ” 57. Again, no mention of the Stirling North rail terminal. In that same report (p12), the NRWMF also erroneously claims “… the community consultation process demonstrated unambiguous overall general community support ….“. Unambiguous? BS  refs p 15
    60. Since post-facto there is no consensus for defining ‘local community’; & the on-going process for validating the same or some other ‘local community’ parameters generates division; exclusion; coupled to the Taskforce failure to properly liaise outside the BCC camera: then there has been a negligent & maladministrative breakdown in procedural fairness.                                              Whilst here-in we have made much ado about NRWMFT shenanigans regarding their local community Trojan Horse, ENuFF, as previously stated numerous times; holds the position that locating a national radioactive suppository is the business of the whole country – not just those victims chosen to scapegoat all users of radio-pharmacopoeia.
    61. Apart from the Taskforce Phase 1 Campaign taking flak from the wider civil society & FRDC residents in particular; the Taskforce also had an overwhelmingly failure of approval from the indigenous people – which Phase 2 systematically set out to undermine.
    62. ENuFF contends that the Taskforce misused information garnered by their illegitimate imperious survey conventions to wrongfully embark upon a campaign to subvert the overwhelmingly negative determination against their proposed dump by the Barndioota connected aboriginal population.
     63. Let us further scrutinise the Barndioota survey methodology & results. The general FRDC survey was conducted through computer assisted cold phone calls – whilst aboriginal people were polled face-to-face. Incognito could reasonably be expected from the first remote contact method; but with one-on-one interviews anonymity is much more problematic.
     64. Indeed, given the nature of aboriginal society & a more personal process, then at least some, if not all, individuals would have been identified by name – even if only in order to ratify them as eligible participants.
     65. If remaining anonymous is a right expected & experienced by the general populace – but is not enjoyed by members of the aboriginal community, then there may be a breach of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 Section 1058 .
     66. ‘ For the purpose of Authentication’ is not a valid exception – since contextually the general populace cold-calling does not actually establish whether or not respondents were eligible. Whilst the telephones may be physically located within the designated precinct, anybody who happened to be present – regardless of permAnent residency – could answer such & be counted.  Refs p 16
    67. The Taskforce survey also describes engaging with the aboriginal community using the statistical ‘non-probability intercept method ‘ 59. As far as ENuFF can ascertain, no further details have been released regarding how the so called ‘intercept method’ was applied; but this data gathering technique is generally experienced at places like shopping malls where people are randomly approached by clip-board wielding operatives & asked a set of questions.
    68. The Senate Committee needs to discover how the Taskforce ascertained validity & anonymity in establishing ‘local indigenous’ identity during the survey process. Given the fact that indigenous people were specifically targeted, was the modus operandi deficient? Did government agents picket local stores querying the ethnicity of passers by? Did Orima/DIIS employees stake out specific addresses such as aboriginal community centres or housing precincts? How was ‘local aboriginality’ established?
     69. ENuFF hold that it is reasonable to assume that during Barndioota Phase 1 the Taskforce (&/or Orima) compiled a list of aboriginal names & addresses which in Phase 2 were specifically targeted. This is clearly indicated from Taskforce agents door knocking aboriginal residences in Port Augusta – outside the Barndioota survey precinct. Such also flies in the face of the NRWMF claiming that “Individual’s survey responses will remain anonymous and be treated as confidential“ 60
    70. Such a surmise is further indicated by the employment of Zaheer McKenzie61 (ZMc) as the NRWMF Taskforce, Barndioota Community Engagement Officer. ZMc has Kuyani Adnyamathanha descent indigenous to the local area. He raises cattle on Cotabena Station which is adjacent to the proposed Wallerberdina site.
    71. ZMc is also registered as a Director (since 2014) & current Contact Person for the ‘Viliwarinha Yura Aboriginal Corporation’ (VYAC), with a membership list that has been publicly available62 since 2008. From the VYAC Rule Book63, “ The corporation aims to: (a) Address the land acquisition and management (including Native Title) needs of descendants of Malcolm and Ruth McKenzie on their respective traditional lands. “ VYAC has been recognised by the Taskforce as 1 of only 2 incorporated aboriginal associations having direct interest in the dump proposal. Cotabena was included in the CSS under the ‘Neighbours’ data-set. refs p 17
    72. The employment of ZMc can therefore be perceived as the Taskforce gaining political leverage inside both the local & broader aboriginal community by intruding within pre-existent corporate governance processes. That would be contrary to the UNDRIP principle of self determination; & ZMc’s stipend potentially construed as a monetary incentive that curries favour.
    73. Due diligence requires that the Department must be aware of not only the direct aboriginal interest within the Wallerberdina environs, but also of ZMc’s direct pivotal position within the corporate governance regimen. The issue of his employment has been raised with the Department64 .
    74. The Taskforce is also aware that a number of ZMc’s aunties (some of whom reside on YGP as neighbours to the proposed site) are spokespersons in the anti-dump campaign, whilst his father has publicly advocated strong pro-dump views on many occasions.
    75. ENuFF contends that the Department acted wrongfully & divisively by appointing ZMc as engagement officer because it places him in an influential but compromising position with potential conflicts of interest. Any communications between the Department & the VYAC puts ZMc in the unique & powerful position of being able to manipulate, filter, delay, influence &/or determine information flow between the Department & the aboriginal community – & vice-versa. ENuFF is not saying that such is occurring – only that there is no apparent safeguard to prevent it.
     76. A better option would have been for the Department to consult ATLA seeking their endorsement of a proper candidate; & the same could be said for the aborig inal people having input within the Departmental Heritage Assessment of the proposed site.
    77. Further to that, the NRWMF Taskforce has recently appointed Malcolm McKenzie (Tiger) to the position of Barndioota Economic Working Group co-Chair. Tiger is ZMc’s pro-dump father who lives outside the FRDC precinct (Davenport, Port Augusta); who also appears as a VYAC representative in the Heritage Assessment Group of the NRWMF Taskforce65 .
    78. No doubt father & son converse about the best means to further any ambitions either may hold. This Senate Inquiry should sanitise any whiff of nepotism & wrongful interference within aboriginal decision making processes by the Taskforce. Refs p 18
     79. A written complaint66 was lodged to DIIS on June 4th 2017 – which was answered on the 4th July 2017 by Bruce McLeary67, General Manager (GM) of the NRWMF Taskforce. Our concerns were not appeased by that 2 page response.
    80. In his correspondence dated 04 July 2017, General Manager NRWM Taskforce Bruce McCleary writes: “The Commonwealth is committed to the establishment of a national radioactive waste management facility as an important element in appropriately managing waste created from Australia’s use of nuclear technologies in medical, research and industrial activities“. Note that he has identified 3 streams of radioactive waste [medicine – research – industry] resulting from Australian use that necessitates building the proposed dump.
     81. The NRWMF Project media releases; public sessions, & other community engagements focus almost entirely upon the medical aspect – emphasising the application of radio-isotopes in Australian hospitals. The community engagement exercise is most apparently a promotion of nuclear medicine & NOT concise informative descriptions of radioactive waste streams produced or held by any & all sources Australia wide. The case to be met is not being fairly delivered.
    82. The Taskforce broadcasts minimal information about the type, amount, & location of facility bound radioactive wastes; including that % which SPECIFICALLY RESULTS FROM ACTUAL AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL USAGE.
     83. According to ANSTO Waste Projects & Strategic Planning Manager Kapila Fernando: “ANSTO holds about 50 per cent of the radioactive waste in Australia, and 85 per cent of the waste ‘stream’ is directly associated with this nuclear medicine manufacturing program – including the fuel used to power the reactor, the machines used in medicine production, and the gloves and gowns used in the manufacture or administration processes – the cycle to produce radionuclides produces nuclear medical waste.” 68 
    84. When questioned by (then) Senator Scott Ludlam (Senate Economics Legislation Committee Session May 2017); ANSTO CEO Adi Paterson informed us that last financial year 80% of ANSTO’s diagnostic medical isotope production consisted of Molybdenum 99. Of which only 28% was used in Australia whilst 72% was exported69 . 
    85. Let’s do the medical waste maths: – (50% x 85%) = 42.5 % of the national radioactive waste results from medical isotope production. Currently (72% x 80%) = 57.6% of that comes from Mo99 exports: which in future will triple, but currently stands at (57.6% x 42.5%) = only 24.5% of the total radioactive waste accumulation from all sources results from Australian radio-pharmaceutical use. REfs p 19 
    86. Therefore, of the current Australian radioactive waste inventory, only 18% (42.5%-24.5%) results from actual national use of medical isotopes: & not all of the 18% requires containment in the proposed facility. ONCE THE W.A.C. HAVE BEEN FORMALISED THE RADIOACTIVE WASTE FROM AUSTRALIAN USAGE OF MEDICAL ISOTOPES NEEDING LONG TERM CONTAINMENT WOULD LIKELY BE 15% OR LESS OF THE TOTAL INVENTORY.
     87. The ‘medical isotopes save Australian lives’ mantra is being used as an emotional ploy to leverage community acceptance of any & all the 80-85% of non-local use medical radioactive waste70 . “…… it is possible that the waste from the ultimate decommissioning of the first reactor at Lucas Heights could amount alone to about 30 percent of the total volume of material to be managed in a national repository … But this is another reality Canberra has constantly sought to evade.” 71 Mr Richard Yeeles, ex-BHP Executive; former Premier’s CoS, & current adviser to State Opposition Leader Stephen Marshall 
    88. Bruce claims that the NRWMF Project acts “… consistent with international best practice in the selection and development of radioactive waste facilities.”: but any ‘consistency’ is selective; ie only to the extent that such ‘best practices’ are perceived to suit ANSTO/ARPANSA’s evacuation of the Lucas Heights waste accumulation ASAP – & to help facilitate the Moly99 export expansion. For starters, IAEA ‘best practice’ requires radioactive waste be contained as close to the source of production as practicable, NOT thousands of kilometres away. 
    89. Further proof of failure to fully comply to international best practice can be demonstrated by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill telling ABC Radio Adelaide Evenings listeners (28 June 2017) that the federal dump was for low level hospital waste. He is not the only one uttering such delusions. Best practice requires that all stakeholders be fully informed about the nature of that which is proposed.
     90. The Premier’s utterances indicate either a disturbing level of ignorance – or subterfuge, which is unlikely. Either way, the fact that such disinformation can be spread by the top man tells us that there has been a failure of the NRWMF Project communications with the State Government. 
    91. International best practice requires all tiers of government be properly, accurately & fully appraised about the nature of what is being proposed. Whilst the NRWM Act 2015 may allow the Commonwealth to over-ride State legislation, this does not mean that there should be minimal interaction between the two tiers, nor mean carte blanche roughshod rule. 92. Under such legislative circumstances, best practice in fact requires GREATER efforts to share intelligence – since a fair & proper procedure depends upon full disclosure of the pertinent details. If our State parliamentarians (& other authorities) remain in the dark & make erroneous public statements then this is bound to unduly influence community perceptions. REfs p 20
     93. If the NRWMF Project was a private corporation then they would be hard pressed to defend against Section 18 “misleading or deceptive conduct” from the ‘Competition & Consumer Act 2010’72. The ‘Public Service Act 1999’Section 10 does however apply73 . 
    94. Consider, for example the blatant falsehood published July 13 2017 on the NRWMFP website. This fiction is contained within the Foreword of the authoritative Federal Government’s “Kimba Phase 1 Summary Report”: “Australia has approximately 5,000m3 of radioactive waste, of which around 85 per cent is low level waste (LLW) and the remainder intermediate level waste (ILW). The vast majority of this radioactive waste is associated with the production of nuclear medicine ….” 74
     95. MINISTER CANAVAN GOT IT WRONG . Of the approx 5,000 cubic metres, about 40% is industrial research material barely contained within the leaking drums held by CSIRO at Woomera – currently being re-mediated at a cost of $30 Million75 .
     96. With the official & sanctioned provision of such misleading restrictive guidance into an inhibitory community engagement process, Procedural Fairness cannot occur & informed social consent is also impossible.
    97. Not only has the Taskforce failed to meaningfully engage with the SA Premier by not providing transparency to his Government; but it also appears that this Federal agency has also been negligent by not fully briefing their own Federal Minister. So, through the lack of proper cognisance the disinformation distribution is widespread & poses as authoritative. To ENuFF this seems a deliberate strategy; & we can easily imagine a directed campaign orchestrated from senior administrative level. 
    98. In his July 4 correspondence, the GM acknowledged “….. that you have communicated on a number of previous occasions with the Department setting out your concerns about the process“. Bruce is probably referring here to numerous public comments made on the NRWMF Facebook Page76 since October 4th 2016. 
    99. Despite the stated claim to “…. answer questions and provide information to local communities …“; we have found that on many occasions the FB page response to questions are far from satisfactory – or nonexistent: whilst the question format is preponderantly ‘Dorothy Dixer’ style promotion of radiopharmaceuticals.7  Refs p 21
    100.There is also a propensity for the FB page to delete valid comments without explanation. Examples can be provided should the Committee require that. More recently (2018), the FB page has been reduced to notifications only with no follow up responses to queries.
     101.Bruce says (p2 [6]) that after the technical review, DECISIONS will be made & THEN there will be a general public opportunity to contribute within ARPANSA’s licensing process. But common law natural justice formalised as the principle of Procedural Fairness requires the capacity of related parties to have input PRIOR TO DECISIONS BEING MADE. 
    102.On the 4th of August 2017 a rejoinder78 to the Taskforce was sent – elucidating further aspects of perceived deficiencies in the community engagement process. That expansion has been incorporated within this Senate Committee Submission. Six months later, on the 5th Feb 2018, Rebecca Mouthan (RM), newly installed Manager Site Selection, responded79 .
     103.RMs approach was not to address the substantial & specific complaints but to reduce the whole to 3 banal generalisations of her own making, thereby avoiding provision of any significance: stating she was unable to provide further information & that no further response would be forth coming. Total subterfuge & not good enough.
    104.The claim made by both BM & RM that “.. decisions about the type of waste to be stored at the facility are yet to be made ..” 80 is pure sophistry. They are avoiding the issue of transparency & full disclosure by pinning their laurels upon the fact that ARPANSA is still developing the ‘code of practice’ – & so the Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) is yet to determined. Putting the yet to be built cart before the champing at the bit horse. 
    105.However, in 2014 the Department contracted Jacobs SKM to produce the ‘Long Term Management of Australia’s Radioactive Waste – Initial Business Case ‘ 81. That document is not only a foundation scaffold for the Taskforce, but it also provides inventories of Commonwealth radioactive waste specifically requiring storage at a national facility. The WAC will be made to suit. 106.From the J-SKM Report we know that in 2014 the Commonwealth held 4048.28m3 of LLW & 551.5m3 of ILW. 65m3 of ILW arrived in 2015 & another 65m3 of ILW is pending >2020; PLUS another 500m3 ILW due in 2024, & another 195m3 >2059. Annually there will be 31m3 of LLW generated & 7.5m3 ILW82 . refs p 22
    Nowhere in the Taskforce community engagement will you find any descriptions of the existing, future & on-going ILW volumes intended for ‘temporary’ storage – yet the community is expected to blindly endorse that intent. The ILW will contribute by far the greatest radioactivity at the proposed facility The proposed storage method of the ILW, incidentally, does not constitute IAEA Best Practice. Flying in the face of NRWMF claimed ‘best practices’. 
    107.ENuFF enters dialogue with the Senate (& Taskforce) after consulting & being informed by other South Australians. We also keep abreast of related current events & undertake documentary research. ENuFF would also point out that there are also other NGOs (to which ENuFF is not party) that hold similar views to those expressed here-in83 . 
    108. In discussions with others, ENuFF has found that interest & concern is widespread & much more broad than the Department’s constriction to an arbitrary poorly defined ‘local community’. There is a greater public interest regarding Taskforce attempts to locate the NRWMF. 
    109.Others have also publicly expressed such a view: “Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Dave Sweeney said radioactive waste was a national issue that demanded the highest level of inclusion and scrutiny. “All Australians have a right to be involved to help make sure that this difficult issue is given the best possible consideration,” he said. “What is planned is a national radioactive waste facility so while local community consultation is useful, an evidence based, national conversation is essential.” 84 [our underline]
    110.The Taskforce repeatedly publicises the pervading motif that ANSTO produces radioisotopes to benefit the health of ALL Australians; that approximately 50% of us will receive medical treatment using OPAL generated radiopharma. With such universal application of welfare then surely also applies an Australia wide ubiquitous obligation to be accountable for any liabilities. 
    111.There is persistent regular promotion by the Department of ANSTO’s ‘nuclear medicine production for Australian usage’ despite such being a minor fraction (>18%) of the current radioactive waste inventory; whilst there has been no substantial public presentation or iteration by DIIS regarding the remaining approx 70% by volume of existing waste from other origins. Rfs p 23
    112.It is readily apparent to ENuFF that the ongoing promotion of the ‘Nuclear Medicine Saving Aussie Lives’ concept – to the detriment of most other pertinent content – is a deliberate ploy by a Taskforce intent upon inducing a sense of moral obligation upon hearts & minds of their culled geographically isolated victims. We regard such action to be wrongful, deceitful, deficient & negligent. 
    113.In effect, the Taskforce actions render the so-called ‘local communities’ of Barndioota & Kimba into potential radioactive waste Scapegoats of the Nation – pushing them to make secure the accumulating demons excreted from the bowels of ANSTO’s Medical Isotopia: the current residents (& subsequent unborn generations) to be custodians unto time immemorial. Meanwhile what has not been exposed to proper ‘local community’ scrutiny, the other 70% of the radioactive iceberg, shall be quietly loaded & shipped as well. The Taskforce has not illuminated anything much of those other what where when & hows. 
    114.Thus by subterfuge is placed upon the local communities involved an implied ethical responsibility to accept the whole nation’s hidden radioactive waste for the greater good. However, It is grossly unfair to abnegate the responsibility of us all based upon the opinions of a culled few that consign to succeeding generations the heavy burden of bearing the Nation’s toxic legacy – no matter how willing any contemporary community. 
    115.Not without at least first seeking a more broad consensus that conferring such an onerous obligation for centuries is acceptable. Those select few would become responsible for committing many future generations to a poisonous heritage. A legacy of being the National Scapegoats. I, for one, do not consent to that. “ Clearly, initiative at a community level is to be welcomed and supported, but not if, in the process, the sense of wider social obligations and interdependencies are dissipated. “ 85 
    116.Having characterised ‘local community’ demographics ostensibly (but not universally) based upon [50k perimeter + local council district], the Taskforce then engaged with those divisions – in particular one nominated site at ‘Barndioota86’ (then later two others at Kimba). 
    117.The elephant in the room is of course what to do with the re-processed spent fuel (& other ILW). This was supposed (promised in ’98-’99) to be resolved before OPAL became operational – but nada. The current proposal is to indefinitely co-locate it wherever any national LLW dump shall happen to be. Refs p 24
    118.Since Phase 2 site suitability analysis is based upon LLW; temporary surface storage of ILW for an indefinite period without ILW specific fail-safe (subterranean in stable rock) is problematic because of the potential for widespread environmental contamination87 . Will the ongoing local community engagement process allow for a veto of colocation? No. That decision has already been made without any ‘local community’ or public input – again denying Procedural Fairness. 
    119.ENuFF contends that thus far the Taskforce community engagement administrative processes for the Barndioota & Kimba nominated sites have been corrupted by disinformation at many levels, rendering a miscarriage of justice. People have been duped into supporting a process to determine the viability of storing Medical Waste derived from Australian Use, whereas in fact that is only the tip of a radioactive iceberg. 
    120.The site selection process for the National Radioactive Waste Suppository has fragmented previously harmonious communities. People stop looking each other in the eye; neighbours no longer converse; businesses are boycotted & custom denied; harsh words said, physical threats enacted & blame apportioned. Families divided. Some say that after the Departmental Taskforce has departed, & no matter which way the radioactive penny drops, previously good relationships may never recover. Is that an acceptable outcome from Federal Governance? 
    121.Given the prime-facie maladministration & deficiencies described above, ENuFF calls for a judicial inquiry into the NRWMFP.
    Finally 2 pages of bibiography 

April 20, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics

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