Australian news, and some related international items

Annie Clements happy to see nuclear waste dump powering Kimba community into the future

Annie Clements: Submission to Senate Standing Committee on Economics Subject: Proposed National Radioactive Waste Facility (Submission No 35)

I have lived in Kimba for sixty years and am an active member of the community including as a volunteer Ambulance Officer for the last 28 years. I am also a member of the Working for Kimba’s Future group. I am completely comfortable with the Low/Intermediate Nuclear Waste Facility in Kimba and believe that the process has been good.

We have two sites nominated in the Kimba district to host a Low/Intermediate Nuclear Waste Management facility. Both were put forward voluntarily and are 100 hectares each. The financial compensation offered was four times the value of the land. I think this is fair as it is just a small portion of the farm’s acreage. Both sites could hardly be described as prime farming land, more like marginal land.

In my opinion the process has been open and transparent from the beginning. Rowen Ramsey sent out a brochure announcing a town meeting in April 2015 to discuss the idea of nominating a site for a low/intermediate nuclear waste facility. When I attended the meeting I was surprised to see only around forty people there considering the very different subject. Those who did not attend cannot say that it was not advertised.

“Broad community support” probably means different things to different people. Looking at the meaning of broad in a dictionary includes – wide not narrow – generalised bold in effect or style – being tolerant in thought or opinion – need not be included or counted in a vote. In a state or federal election anyone who has 51% of votes would consider that they have been elected. The process here in Kimba deserves to be respected in the same way.

Minister Canavan announced that the two Kimba sites had been accepted to enter phase 2 after a postal vote that concluded on June 22 2017. This included everyone within the Kimba Council boundary. The post vote showed that 57% of those who chose to vote (which was 80 % of the whole district. 20 % chose not to vote) wanted to move forward for more consultation, assessment and information. Plus, the District Council is supportive and nearly all of the direct neighbours of the sites are supportive. I am very comfortable with this decision. There will be another vote later this year that will determine whether the facility can go to the next and final phase.

As far as indigenous involvement goes, I am aware that a few weeks ago a group of people I think from the Barngala tribe spent a few days in and around Kimba and met with the Department of Industry Innovation and Science staff. That’s good, since they are the right people to be involved.

Because the two Kimba sites have progressed to phase 2, we are eligible to receive the Community Benefit Program, just like the community near Hawker. Currently, 34 projects have been nominated and are being assessed. A broad range of groups, clubs and individuals have entered their projects and I’m sure all will be beneficial for the community.

The Kimba community has the advantage of receiving lots of information and education on the safety any risks and benefits of this facility. People outside our area could be influenced by anti nuclear scare campaigns and wild allegations that have no relevance to this facility. There will be no negative impact from this facility on land adjacent to it, let alone outside the district. I strongly believe that the boundary that was in place for the vote in April 2017 must be retained for the next vote i.e. the Kimba District Council boundary. Wudinna, a neighbouring town, is planning a large mine funded by a Chinese company. I see no reason why we in Kimba should have a vote on whether that goes ahead. The Kimba community should have the right to decide if we want this facility or not.

Some things that have happened during the process. Several town meetings – department of Industry Innovation and Science opened an office usually here, two days a week – appointment of a Community Liaison Officer – established the Kimba Consultative Committee – recently took nominations for a Kimba Economic working group – visits from experts in different fields including nuclear medicine – visit from Minister Canavan – also ARPANSA – a delegation of close neighbours to a nuclear waste facility in France – tours to the Lucas Heights nuclear facility open to anyone either for or against the facility. We really have had a good opportunity to learn, and this continues.

Australia needs a low/intermediate nuclear waste management facility. Some say why Kimba? Well I say why not Kimba? We need this facility to enable our small, struggling community to power into the future. Fifteen jobs and extra activity may not sound like much to city folk, but would make a huge difference to us, so we should be able to make that decision ourselves. If this economic committee wants to be helpful, it can at least give us that much respect, while we think about our economic future.

July 9, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: