Australian news, and some related international items

Australian govt rushing decision on nuclear waste dumping, avoiding Senate Inquiry report, and before next election


With the Senate not reporting on this until August 14, it is clear that this selection will be a rushed job. It is no doubt the government’s intention that the Senate Inquiry should be irrelevant.


Race to lock in nuclear dump before federal election  MICHAEL OWEN SA Bureau Chief Adelaide  @mjowen18 June 18  A site for the country’s first ­nuclear waste dump will be settled before the next federal election and will likely be in South Australia’s mid-north, Resources Minister Matt Canavan says.

A ballot to gauge community support in the small towns of Kimba and Hawker, about 450km north of Adelaide, for the facility will be held on August 20, Senator Canavan said.

“The decision will be made in the second half of this year … one way or another we need to make a decision,” he said. “We do not want this overlapping with a federal election. We have to find a solution.”

Senator Canavan told The Australian that economic benefits, including 45 direct jobs and a $10 million community fund, were behind support of more than 60 per cent in the communities affected by the proposal, following 18 months of consultation.

But Peter Woolfoord, president of a community group ­opposed to the facility, said Kimba was “completely divided” and insisted a waste repository should not be on agricultural land where “it poses unacceptable risks to our industry”.

Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick said the site selection process “looks like an absolute sham” and claimed the Turnbull government was “determined to rush to select one of the South Australian sites despite there being a divided community”.

Senator Patrick said the government should properly engage with the remote mining town of Leonora, 240km north of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, on its bid to host the facility.

Senator Canavan said there was already broad community support for three South Australian properties — two near Kimba, on the Eyre Peninsula, and Wallerberdina Station, near Hawker in the ­Flinders Ranges.

He said an “aggressive” push by the Azark company and the Shire of Leonora for a site on Clover Downs pastoral station, about 20km northwest of the central WA mining town, was a “plan B”.

“They want to run the facility themselves, which we haven’t ruled out … their initial scope was more focused on also taking overseas radioactive waste, which we definitely do not want,” Senator Canavan said.

“If we can’t get the support in South Australia we’ll most likely return to this other option (Leonora) as a plan B.”

The federal government has tried to find a site for a national radioactive waste management facility for more than a decade.


June 18, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

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