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Melanie Orman seems positively joyous about a nuclear waste dump for Kimba

Melanie Orman Submission to Committee Secretariat, Senate Standing Committees on Economics Re – Proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility From Melanie Orman – (Submission no. 77)

I originally grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, but have been coming to Kimba for the past five years and officially moved in 2017. My partner is the fourth generation in the process of taking over the family cropping farm in Kimba, that has been operational for the past one-hundred years. I work at Wudinna hospital as a Registered nurse commuting between Wudinna and Kimba. It is my pleasure to be able to provide my personal opinion and relevant information to the inquiry on the process of the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) site selection process in Kimba, South Australia. I give permission for this submission to be made public and would be willing to speak with the Senate committee to answer any further questions they may have in conjunction with Kimba’s process through this nomination.

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

The financial compensation offered to the land owners of Kimba who put their land up for nomination is not an over-generous amount of money. It is only a small percentage of the money that cropping can bring into a business over many future years. The price offered is not going to impact the overall business, give the farmer an advantage or disadvantage or affect any surrounding neighbours.

In my opinion, I cannot see that the money offered was the main driving incentive for people to nominate their land. When the NRWMF approached people with the idea and compensation, it was in their best interests for their family, community and full belief that the facility would not cause any reason for concern.

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

Broad Community Support is defined as a gathering of expressions by a community. [??] There may be broad community support even if some individuals or groups object to the project. But by addressing the community’s majority opinion and accepting that they have their own opinion and not criticise another community members view. A community member is a person who; lives, shops, works, volunteers, or sees themselves as an accepted member of a town. Everyone who defines themselves as a member of the community should accept everyone else in that community and let them have a say.

At the end of 2016 two new voluntary land nominations were submitted from Kimba. Members from the Department of Innovation and Science and the Department of Industry visited to speak with the community of Kimba to see if there was a change in the community’s opinion since the first nomination was terminated. Minister Matt Canavan also travelled to Kimba to meet with people such as landowners, direct neighbours of the nominated sites, District Council members and everyone who either supported or were opposed to the idea. Minister Canavan accepted the two new land nominations and Kimba entered the process once more. I think this shows really clearly that there has been enough support for the community to participate in this next stage, no question. [??] We will all get more input into any decision to come

Evidence that supports broad support in Kimba:

  1. As wished by the community of Kimba, the Australian Electoral Commission vote for registered voters in the Kimba electorate was allowed, so that it was fair to all. The results showed after the June 2017 vote, that majority of the town ( 57.4% ) was in favour for Kimba moving to Phase two of the project, not to receive the site, but the consultation stage.
  2. 2) It was also raised to people who were not on the Kimba electoral role to apply to vote if they thought they had a strong interest in the decision.
  3. 3) The District Council of Kimba has openly supported the process through to phase two.
  4. 4) As per the NRWMF guidelines, the two Kimba nominated sites had 90% direct neighbour backing.
  5. 5) The traditional owners of the land have been informed of the assessment of the two Kimba sites for this facility. They have not expressed opposition to the facility being located in Kimba (to my knowledge) to date.

Like many rural community towns, Kimba is slowly declining in numbers, especially in low rainfall areas. Many people, including myself, want a way to ensure that this beautiful town will still stand for many more generations to come. Numerous people see that this project will ensure job opportunities, infrastructure and can make sure this part of Australia does not vanish from our maps.

  1. How any need for Indigenous support has played and will continue to play a part in the process, including how Indigenous support has been or will be determined for each process advancement stage;

To my knowledge, there are no traditional owners from this region living and active in the Kimba community. I am positive that the department are in contact with the Barngarla people, who are the traditional owners of the land. I am aware that the Barngarla owners visited the two nominated sites in March 2018. As far as I know they didn’t raise any issues or concerns with the proposed project. I believe that the elders will always be in the loop of the process that Kimba has entered. I am confident the department will engage them in decisions and ideas when it comes to a potential new project like this in Kimba. I think the best idea for this committee is probably to ask the department and those traditional owners directly about the process. They are going to know better than most people making these submissions.

  1. Whether and/or how the Government’s ‘community benefit program’ payments affect broad community and Indigenous community sentiment;

Kimba has been seen in the media a lot since entering this process, and a lot of the comments made about our town has mostly been negative. This really upsets me when people on social media, and even surrounding towns/ cities go out of their way to degrade my town and tell me “how could you do this to our country?”. It is not just once person’s decision, and I feel I am a part of this community enough to have an educated opinion about this matter. I am now a registered voter of the Kimba electoral role. I will continue to vote ‘Yes’ for this facility, so I can ensure that my future children have a town that exists, and they are happy and healthy in the town of Kimba.

It has been a bonus to find out that Kimba was eligible for a two-million-dollar community benefits fund to help the community thrive. This is a chance for us to better our town in lots of meaningful ways. It recognises that we have taken part in something other communities wouldn’t. I think that’s fair.

I hope that it is understood that the community of Kimba did not vote ‘Yes’ because of the money. I see that the majority of people in Kimba are following this journey because of the passion and end result we hope to get to, and that is to provide a safe place to dispose of and store radioactive material for Australia, at the same time as offering some long term social benefits to our community.

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; and

I believe that the decision should be that of the community of Kimba only. It is the people of Kimba who have been through the past twelve months of meetings with various people from around Australia and the world, people who specialise in these industries. Many people have opinions on the matter, which is fine, but the community of Kimba will have the most educated evidence and findings to make the informed decision, whichever way it goes

I have been very happy, and comfortable with the process thus far. I have attended many community meetings and have heard from many professionals in the topic of radiation. I was lucky enough to be able to visit ANSTO with a group of people from Kimba to learn more about radioactive waste storage. I was amazed at what I learnt, and it cemented my opinion on the topic. The trip really opened my eyes as to the type of waste that would be stored in our facility, we were able to go up and enter the facility where the medical drums are kept and were even able to go up and touch the drums ourselves. I came away from that trip with a really cemented understanding on the specific products that will be potentially stored in Kimba, and I feel that I have enough knowledge to have an un-biased opinion.

I do trust and believe that this facility will not have a negative impact of the community of Kimba. I do not believe that it will have an adverse impact on grain sales, land prices for anyone in the district. As this facility would only affect people in the district of Kimba, I feel it is only up to the people in that district. Their opinions matter the most, and those people only should have the vote on whether this facility goes ahead.

The town of Kimba defiantly has some people who like to have their voices heard, whether it is negative or positive, between other community members! Since this process has started, the community has continued to work, and everyone socialises with everyone in the town. Some people make this matter cloud their opinion on others, but that is up to them. Everyone has a right to their opinion and it’s normal that a town from is made up of diverse opinions. I do not believe the town of Kimba has divided, just that some people chose to segregate themselves from normality. I believe if people wish their voices to be heard that they should do so and do it with respect and non judgment. As I have been brought up if you have nothing nice to say, do not say anything at all. I look forward to the findings on the enquiry.

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

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