Australian news, and some related international items

South Australian site selection for a national radioactive waste facility is a “sham”, as Western Australian private project is revealed

South Australia nuclear waste site a “done deal: claims Senator Rex Patrick, The Advertiser, Erin Jones, Regional Reporter,   June 13, 2018 

Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick told The Advertiser the decision to establish a low-level facility at one of two sites in South Australia appeared to be a “done deal” following the revelation.

In August, Azark Project made a nomination to include the commercial operation of an underground storage facility, near the remote central mining town of Leonora, north of Kalgoorlie.

The South Australian senator, who visited Leonora, said the proposal appeared to have “considerable support” and unlike the two SA sites near Kimba and Hawker, did not need taxpayer funds to proceed.

“Resources Minister Matt Canavan needs to properly engage the proponents of the proposed site near Leonora or risk the whole selection process being confirmed as an absolute sham,” he said.

“It appears as though the new site is a ‘faster runner’ in the race, but won’t be allowed to participate because the Minister is determined to rush to select one of the South Australian sites despite there being a divided community.”

Azark Project chairman George Gear said the WA site had no environmental, land rights or water issues, and the proposal had support of the 2900 people in Leonora Shire.

Mr Gear said he had no confidence in the specially-formed government taskforce considering sites for the waste facility, given Leonora was not on the table.

“Apart from this being a superior site located in a mining area and in solid rock, this wouldn’t cost the taxpayer any money as it’s a private company that will build this,” Mr Gear, a former minister in the Keating government, said.

“The taskforce to date has either spent or committed $40 million and they haven’t finalised the project.

“Azark has completed all of its due diligence at its own cost and has offered to make it available to the taskforce — this invitation was not accepted.”

Mr Gear said Azark Project had decided to pursue the plan on its own, but was expected to meet Mr Canavan in Perth, today.

The Government is expected to decide in coming months whether to build the waste facility in SA, after a final ballot of Kimba and Hawker districts, on August 20.

Mr Canavan has previously said “broad community support” would be needed for the waste facility to go ahead — although no arbitrary figure has been provided.

The two-year site selection process has divided both communities — those in favour believe it would create economic opportunities, while those opposed say it will jeopardise industries.

The district where the waste facility is located would be rewarded by the government with a $10 million community fund to spend on local projects.

Both districts were already benefiting from a $4 million grants fund as a reward for being involved in the site selection process.

Senator Patrick this year successfully pushed for a Senate inquiry into the site selection process used for the national waste facility and an outcome is expected only days before the ballot, on August 14.

In a submission to the inquiry, Kimba’s mayor said more information on financial rewards and jobs was needed before the community voted in the ballot.

Mr Canavan did not respond to questions before deadline.

June 13, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: