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Chloe Hannan: community mental health is a serious issue that is ignored in the nuclear waste dump site selection process

Chloe Hanan,  Kimba : Submission to Senate Inquiry: National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (Submission No. 61)

I have grown up in Kimba on our 3rd generation farm and have lived here for the majority of my 28 years. I choose to live, volunteer and raise my own family here in Kimba and I felt it extremely important to put a personal submission into the Senate Inquiry due to the negative impact the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility process has had not only on my family but the Kimba community. I am also open to provide more information to the senate inquiry surrounding the process in Kimba if required.

I would like to make comment on the following Terms of Reference:

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

Right from the very beginning of the process the Minister and the Department of Industry, Innovation & Science have all consistently stated that siting this facility needs ‘broad community support’ and that it will not be imposed on an unwilling community. However, there has never been a clear definition provided to the community apart from the Minister Canavan stating he would need 65% support which was quickly retracted and ignored once the vote in Kimba did not meet that target. Because there has been no definition or set target provided within this process guidelines it means that there is no accountability of the Minister and the Department. This makes a community feel powerless, especially when throughout the 210 days of community consultation that Kimba has endured, what is deemed as broad community support to progress through different stages of the site selection process keeps changing. I believe strongly that at a minimum 2/3rd majority of a community is needed for the siting of the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility to be considered. Especially due the longevity of such a facility – it cannot be just over half, as this is damaging to a community when people are put against people in such a heated debate.

d)whether and/or how the Government’s ‘community benefit program’ payments affect broad community and Indigenous community sentiment;

I strongly believe these payments are deliberately used to influence community consent with the promise of jobs and money even though there is very little detail of the economic impacts of the facility. This should be upfront factual information, not provided later as you progress through the stages.

e) whether wider (Eyre Peninsular or state-wide) community views should be taken into consideration and, if so, how this is occurring or should be occurring The electoral vote in Kimba didn’t capture people that had properties just outside the boundary lines; however, these families have sent or do send their children to Kimba Area School, play sport for Kimba and shop locally; however they would not be eligible to vote even though they are active community members. These people were encouraged to write letters which would be considered by the Minister; however, these have never been mentioned by the Minister when making his decision when progressing Kimba to the next stage. I strongly believe that wider community support should be assessed especially concerning the two sites Lyndhurst and Napandee where it is clear that people in the neighbouring district council area are closer to the Napandee site than many living in the Kimba District Council area

f) any other related matters. The mental health and well-being of communities is completely ignored in this process and this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed in future frameworks and guidelines. This process makes communities feel powerless – no support is given to those with opposing views, it is a process that is heavily favoured towards those pro-nuclear and when the rules keep changing to suit those in favour it really gives people a sense of hopelessness.


June 6, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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