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Daryl Koch has “no concerns” about nuclear waste dump for Kimba or for anywhere else

Daryl Koch Kimba SA Committee Secretariat, Submission to Senate standing committees on Economics Re – Selection process for a National Radioactive waste facility (Submission no. 75)

My name is Daryl Koch and I was born in and lived in Kimba all my life. I am a wheat and sheep farmer and three generations of my family have farmed in the Kimba district. I am on several committees in Kimba and volunteer with our local sporting clubs. I care deeply about my town and community remaining viable into the future for my children and grandchildren. I am pleased to be making a submission to the enquiry to address the terms of reference. I am comfortable with my submission to be made public.

To date the appropriateness and thoroughness of the site selection in search of a national radioactive waste management facility (NRWMF) has been thorough, transparent and fair. In February 2018 I visited ANSTO at Lucas Heights in NSW to see the nuclear medical reactor and to see firsthand the types of low and intermediate level waste that would be held at the NRWMF. I was very impressed by how professional and carefully the people of ANSTO operate this facility and how well-managed these radioactive waste streams are. I have actively taken part in the consultation process here in Kimba and I do not have any concerns for a radioactive waste facility being built either here in the Kimba district or elsewhere.

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

I actually don’t have a strong view as to whether the amount being paid for the land is too high in value. The compensation seems appropriate. Any land holder across Australia had the opportunity to nominate, so no one was excluded from the opportunity. Other parcels of land here in Kimba have been surveyed and sold for community benefit at well and truly above market value. ie The Viterra grain bunker site and the EP Hay site

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’, ii) how ‘broad community support’ has been or will be determined for each process advancement stage;

Every person on the electoral roll in the District Council of Kimba was given the chance to vote to go to stage 2 (consultation stage) of the NRWMF. Also people who believed they had an interest in Kimba could apply to the council for a vote eg owning a business, owning land in Kimba, work and live in Kimba but not yet on electoral roll. This Australian Electoral commission voting process was fair and trustworthy to every adult who was invested in Kimba and its future.

In my opinion any percentage over 50% is a majority win and constitutes ‘broad community support’ for a project. The new Marshall Government in SA won the election with 37.9% of the electoral votes and is now in Government and that is ‘broad community’ of voters in South Australia. In addition to the AEC vote, all but one direct neighbor (to both the nominated sites) is in support of living and farming near a radioactive waste facility and that must also be added to support the term ‘broad community support’.

I believe a future AEC vote is the only fair way for advancement in the project (50% plus one vote is majority) and continued direct neighbor support is essential, I also think the opinion and vote of the District Council of Kimba should be taken into account for broad community support

  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; I am aware that the Indigenous groups (Barngarla people) have been acknowledged and consulted throughout the process. Any indigenous people living in our community have had access to the same information process as I have and will have the same opportunity to vote as I have.

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

I don’t believe people voted yes to go to phase 2 for the promise of money. Only the cynics amongst us would believe this.

People have voted yes to get more information about the project and to ask questions of experts about the safety of radioactive waste, how it will be stored and how it will be transported. The community benefit program is an added bonus for being in the process and will benefit many community projects. People from both sides of the argument about the facility have applied for funding of a project. We are all smart enough not to vote yes to have the facility built in our district for the promise of money. I will vote yes when I am assured that the facility can be built to international best practice and that there will be no adverse effect to people, the environment and our livelihood.

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; f) any other related matters.

The people of Kimba are the only ones whose views should be considered when voting to advance in any stage of the Kimba nominations. I don’t believe this facility will have any negative impact for our Kimba community or any other community, so I don’t think we need the approval of a neighboring town, regional centre or the state.

Lobby groups and Nuclear activists have been questioning the ‘process’ and spread false information but they have no interest in Kimba or the people of Kimba or any idea of the level of participation in the process the people in Kimba have made.

Our community has had access to a 12 month consultation and information process that other towns on the Eyre Peninsula or the state have not had access to

The department have had a business space in Kimba for two days a week for nearly a year. I have been able to walk in and ask questions and request people I would like to speak to or hear from. They have also sent out frequent newsletters and information brochures. I have been to public information sessions at the town hall and at the Hotel. I have heard from specialists in radioactive waste treatment, radiation experts, General manager of Ansto nuclear medicine program, listen to and ask questions to speakers from France that have a similar facility in their community. I was also able to visit Ansto (fully funded trip) to ask further questions and to see for myself the types of waste and how it will be transported. I have also had access to newspaper articles, radio and tv interviews and access to the internet.

The people of Kimba are able to make an informed decision for ourselves about our town. Outsiders should not be able to make decisions for our town.

Changing the process in a search for a Radioactive waste facility in Kimba or for any future nominations would destroy the integrity, appropriateness and thoroughness of the site selection process to date. 

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

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