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Toni Scott asks: will the government hound the Kimba and Hawker communities until they support nuclear waste dumping?

How many times can the Government come back to a community and hound them until they gain broad community support?

I recommend that for something as signiWficant as building a permanent facility hosting hazardous waste it is imperative to have broad community support of no less than 70% absolute majority (meaning 70% of those eligible to vote)

Toni Scott SUBMISSION TO SENATE INQUIRY INTO THE SELECTION PROCESS FOR A NATIONAL RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA. (Submission No. 44, with 4 attachments)   Thank you for the opportunity to present my views to the senate inquiry into the process for a  national radioactive waste management facility at Kimba and Hawker in SA.

I am an active resident of the Kimba Community and am involved with many community organisations within the town. I own and operate a farming business with my husband, we have 3 small children and I also work part time in Administration at the local Hospital.

Over the past 2 years my husband and I have been involved with this process as direct neighbours of the first round of nominations at Kimba. We have found the process inconsistencies extremely frustrating and stressful.

I ask that you please take my views and recommendations into consideration and I would be happy to be called as a witness to provide further information in the form of a hearing.

  1. a) The financial compensation offered to applicants for the acquision of land under the Nominations of Land Guidelines;

All financial incentives been offered to individuals should be made available through public information including monies received through access agreements.

It is my view that communities should nominate to host the facility not individual land owners. This process could include local council coordinated public consultation including information from both sides of the argument prior to nominating, if there is broad community support from a town then the nomination is submitted instead of the other way around.

  1. b) How the need for ‘broad community support’ has played and will continue to play a part in the process, including:
  1. i) The definition of broad community support and
  2. ii) How broad community support has been or will be determined for each process advancement stage

The definition of broad community support is very vague. The Minister has refused to set a% of support required for the process to progress through the stages. I have submitted a freedom of information request asking for communication between the Department and Minister Canavan outlining information on how they intend to define broad community support. My FOI request was rejected and I am currently waiting for a case manager to follow up for me through the Australian Information Commission.

Phase 1 Summary Report 2016 ii – The independent Orima Survey indicated 51% of the Kimba Community was not opposed. 582 submissions were received and 80% of them were opposed.

– Summary of Engagement in the Kimba Community December 2016iii – This engagement was prior to the second round of nominations in Kimba. The Working for Futures group indicated to the department that there had been a large increase in support. Results showed there was in fact only a slight shift, of the 300 members that spoke to the Department 56% were supportive of a new nomination.

– Phase 1 Summary Report 2017iv – The Department received 112 written submissions from Kimba residents with 86% opposed. A total of 396 letters were received in relation to the Kimba nominations but for those from outside of the Kimba council boundary results were not reported on. This included letters from people only 20kms out of Kimba who fall outside the council boundary or land holders with property only 10km from nominated site but they fall outside of the council boundary.

AEC Results v– 56% voted yes to go through to stage 2 of the process this % is of those that voted (it is actually only 50% of eligible voters)

How many times can the Government come back to a community and hound them until they gain broad community support?

I recommend that for something as significant as building a permanent facility hosting hazardous waste it is imperative to have broad community support of no less than 70% absolute majority (meaning 70% of those eligible to vote)

  1. d) Whether and/or how the Governments community benefit program payment affect broad community and Indigenous community sentiment;

 The $2 million dollar community benefit fund can only be seen as a bribe for people to vote to go through to the next stage. The Department representatives have encouraged people to dream about what the money could do for the community. Many of the projects they have suggested including improved phone and internet service and better health facilities are all things that our town like all other Australian Communities should be entitled to anyway.

  1. e) Whether wider (Eyre Peninsula or state-wide) community views should be taken into consideration and, if so how this is occurring or should be occurring;

I believe the views of those living close to the facility are ultimately affected the most and therefor their opinion is of the highest importance closely followed by people living or owning property in the community of where the land is nominated. I don’t believe the boundary should be measured by a council boundary it should be set by a radius and should be prioritised in the following order

– Neighbours within the 10km radius views should be of the highest ranking

– Residents & land holders within 50km of the property should all have the opportunity to vote.

Residents of the Eyre Peninsula and communities along potential freight routes should be consulted and their submissions taken into consideration.

– South Australians should have the opportunity to have their say on the State Legislation prohibiting the building of any Radioactive Waste Facilities within our state.

  1. f) Any other related matters.

Community members find it very difficult to trust the process when time and time again issues of unfairness arise, I have many other concerns including but not limited to:

– In the National Waste Management Act 2012 it states $10 million will be credited to the host state or territory to be spent on health, education and infrastructure.

It should be the communities money not the state and the Community should decide if, when and how it is spent.

– Throughout this second consultation neighbours from the 10km radius have been disregarded and only those with an immediate fence line have been considered neighbours. This is inconsistent with our first round of consultation and with the consultation at Hawker.

– The Kimba Consultative Committee (which I am a delegate on) was supposed to consist of an even spread of people who are opposed, neutral and supportive of the facility. Unfortunately of the 15 committee reps only 4 people are opposed.

– The Community Liaison Officer was supposed to be a person with neutral views but to no surprise the Department employed a local who has been openly supportive of the facility. Community members who are opposed find it difficult to speak openly with the Liaison officer about their concerns.

– For a process to be considered truly transparent information such as nominated sites, nominator financial payments and information regarding processes around broad community support need to be made readily available to the public.

I strongly believe prior to a final community vote as to whether a facility is to be sited in a community, members of the community NEED to be given all the information in writing including:

  1. What percentage of support will be required for broad community support.
  2. Exactly what waste will be stored at the facility.
  3. What will the facility look like.
  4. What are the jobs that will be required to run the facility and exactly how many are there.
  1. How much money will the community receive and how will it be distributed.

i FOI Internal Review Letter

ii Phase 1 Summary Report 2016

iii Summary of Engagement in the Kimba Community December 2016

iv Phase 1 Summary Report 2017

v AEC report

Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia

May 25, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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