Australian news, and some related international items

Christine Scott rejects nuclear waste dump proposal – it’s against South Australian law, and will damage agricultural industry

Christine Scott Submission No 14 Subject: Senate enquiry into site selection process for a national radioactive waste storage facility

To whom it may concern, I am writing this letter as a concerned member of the Kimba community. I reside in the township of Kimba and have a son, his wife and three young children living and working on the farm which has been in our family for over 100 years, and which is situated approx 17kms from our town centre.

In the 50 years I have resided in the Kimba district (coming here as a teacher in 1968) I have never before witnessed such a divided and hurting community. Before the selection process began I would have described our community as united and supportive of each other and the local businesses. Now many farmers are looking to buy their merchandise only from businesses that support their viewpoint on whether or not there should be a nuclear waste dump in Kimba, even preferring to shop out of town for farm goods, food and groceries than give their financial support to people who they feel have betrayed them and the whole agricultural export industry on which the existence of this town depends.

Resentment runs high towards those farmers who “volunteered” their land for the dump, when that “volunteering” comes with an incentive of 3 times the value of their land plus the original value. From my understanding a volunteer is someone who gives of their time, services or possessions for free, but these farmers are seen to be benefiting at the disadvantage of others.

I strongly reject the presumption implied by the Government that one, or in Kimba’s case two individuals have the right to decide that: –

(a) A nuclear dump can be placed in a grain growing area relying on export markets for its existence.

(b) Can ignore their own State Law prohibiting such a dump.

The present government, would no doubt argue that it is not just two individuals offering their land.They would say that 56.7% of the community are in favour as a result of a local council vote and thatthis shows “broad” community support for the nuclear dump to be placed in agricultural land.That 56.7% is considered to be broad community support is puzzling when 65% support was required at Hawker.

What is the figure representing broad community support? Surely when you are considering intermediate waste with a life of up to 1000 years, meaning that it could affect many, many, many generations to come, and that once the waste is “dumped” it will most likely not be shifted – so the decision is actually irreversible, surely broad community support should be at an absolute minimum 66%. This is the figure I understand is required for a constitutional change.

I have attended many “information” sessions over the time our town has been enduring this destructive process and my confidence in the process has decreased considerably: –

(Ed.   I was unable to copy the rest of this):   Here she lists problems about the jobs promised, the type of waste, the unsuitability of Kimba, as compared with Lucas Heights for a nuclear waste storage location, the effect not only on agricultural land, but on overseas customers‘ perception of agricultural produce from  a nuclear waste dump area.

July 12, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

John Hennessy – bubbling with enthusiasm for nuclear waste dump in Hawker

John Hennessy Submission (No 7 ) on : Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia

 I am a Hawker resident and business owner. I believe the site selection process was correct, I acknowledge it may have been carried out any number of different ways, but that does not imply something improper with the process implemented. What is really impressive is the extensive consultation which has taken place since day one. All residents have had the opportunity to gather information and express their concerns over a period of almost two years.
Hawker has a great opportunity to become involved with the wonderful work ANSTO perform, which in turn makes a significant contribution to Australia’s first class health system. We in Hawker will proudly share a sister city type relationship with Lucas Heights, which will allow our children and grandchildren openings into Sydney employment prospects. I am bubbling over with enthusiasm for this project; it is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a small community to obtain a massive injection of investment which will provide an increase in employment and business activity for many years to come. It will guarantee the future of our town.
The terms of reference segment I wish to specifically address is, whether the local or state wide community views should be taken into consideration. I believe the way this has played out to date is not in our community’s best interest. The no campaign has yet to come up with factually correct and relevant reasons not to build the repository; if they did I would change my mind. However they are very good with slogans, some shout them, some print them, worse some even print abuse. The net result is the intimidation of some local peace loving people into a position of silence. It is right to have the negativity of such detractors contested.
 I would like to draw your attention to a Facebook petition addressed to the Police Commissioner, requesting action be taken to enforce the law including the South Australian Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (prohibition) Act 2000. It is doubtful the dubious prospect of police taking action against the Commonwealth would be taken seriously by many people; however it is a worthwhile indicator of where our project’s adversaries come from. As at 30th January 2018, the petition had 539 signatures, all bar 2 had a postcode. The table shows how the signatories are broken down geographically:
signatories signatories Interstate 160 29.7% Adelaide to 200km radius + Mt Gambier 281 52.1% Port Augusta, Port Pirie to Burra 18 3.3% Flinders Ranges Council 4 0.7% of which Hawker has 2 0.4% North of Hawker 4 0.7% Eyre Peninsula 47 8.7% of which Kimba has 12 2.2% Signed twice 23 4.3% Unknown 2 0.4% Total 539 100%
In fairness the petition would exclude some people opposed to the project who can see the folly of the petition intention; nevertheless the results are consistent with what many people in Hawker already know. That is, there isn’t much opposition coming from Hawker, yet there is massive resistance coming from distant places. How can the optimism of little Hawker compete with this bombardment? The petition as appears on Facebook is copied below  (on original)

July 12, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Steven Taylor believes in nuclear waste dump, as ensuring a future for Hawker

Steven Taylor SUBJECT:- proposed Nuclear Repository – Submission No 5  SUBMISSION – Senate enquiry into the process of site selection for the Nuclear Repository in South Australia.

As a resident of the Hawker area I have no issue with the site selection and supply the following in support of my submission.

 I have been a resident of the Hawker Township for approximately 14 years and have been fully aware of the process of this site selection at Barndioota. It was advertised in the newspapers and all parties concerned had the opportunity to put land forward.
  In relation to neighbors complaining that they were not consulted is not an issue with the selection process. I as a home owner do not have to consult with my neighbors if I wish to sell my property, why should a land owner. That is an issue with the owners of the property and should not be considered an issue in this matter.
  The compensation offered by the Federal Government of the acquisition of the land is not an outrageous amount. I believe it to be a fair and equitable price for the land and as we are only referring to approximately 100 hectares of land I do not think that the land owner is going to make a huge fortune for the land.
  Broad community support has been considered in this matter and to say otherwise is misleading. There are sections of the community that are against the proposal in the Hawker area and that is understandable but overall my understanding is that the broader community is in favor of this. People are looking at the future of Hawker and the surrounding area with employment and other opportunities that this will bring to the area. Further the community was consulted in the initial stages of the process and further consultation has been ongoing and will continue until a decision is made.
  I cannot speak for the Local Indigenous people of the area other than to say that from the information I have been given that there is a large support for this project in the area.
  The Government Community Benefit Program has been accessed by both for and against the project. It is interesting to note that some of the parties that were successful in the applications were the strongest against the project yet received the most benefit from the program. A HYPOCRITICAL stance on this project.
 The views of those associated most closely to this project ARE being considered and I do not believe that this should be a STATE view as this will have no impact on them that I can see.
  There has been ample opportunity for the community to obtain information about the project, there have been information seminars, continual presence of representatives in the area for discussion and answering of questions, opportunity for local residents to attend Lucas Heights to obtain firsthand information and to make decisions based on what they see for themselves.
• I personally have had no issue with the site selection process and I believe that his senate enquiry is in response to a small group of persons that are against the project. As I said prior I have no problems with persons with different views on issues but I do have issues when there is not a true representation being put forward.

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Janice McInnis – a nuclear waste dump will ensure the future for Hawker town

Janice McInnis Submission – site selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia  I am long term resident of over 40 years and have no problems with the site selection process for our area of Hawker.

 The site selection process was well advertised. All land owners had equal opportunity to nominate their land. Land owners are not required to notify neighbours of what they may choose to do with their land unless it has a direct impact on the neighbours. The financial compensation offered is not extravagant as the land purchase is only a small piece of the total property and will not affect the overall running of the property.
Broad community support means it is supported by a majority of people who live and work in that community. In the case of the Hawker project it should be remembered that the property concerned is in a remote area not accessed by many locals or tourists.
The community members were given an opportunity to have a say in the early stages of the proposed project and will be further consulted once the detailed assessment of the area has been completed.
The local Indigenous support has been sought and will continue to be sought in the same way. Traditional beliefs will be taken into consideration at each stage
The Government Community Benefit Programme payments have been accessed by those both for and against the project. These payments have had a positive affect on the community through employment opportunities and the completion of projects that benefit the whole community and the many tourists that visit our area.
I don’t believe that wider community views need to be taken into consideration as the project does not have a direct impact on them.
 The opportunities that have opened up and will continue to open up for individuals and businesses in the district are positive outcomes from this project that will ensure the long term viability of this small country town. 
The community has had ample opportunities to become familiar with the information provided from numerous sources, including individual research, information sessions, visits to Lucas Heights, one on one consultations.
There have been opportunities for people to publically express their point of view. Many people both for and against the project prefer to keep their opinions private and are not vocally trying to influence the opinions of others. They are awaiting the opportunity to vote for or against the project when the time comes. A small group of very vocal opponents have in my opinion been trying to influence others with information that is not always factually accurate and has been refuted by experts in the field.

July 12, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Barry Wakelin asks those very hard questions about the Kimba/Hawker nuclear waste dump plan

request the Australian National Audit Office to examine the use of taxpayers’ money at Kimba and Hawker for the purpose of “encouraging” the locals to see things the government’s way on nuclear waste.

Any one who treated the government view with other than a YES was treated abysmally – and certainly with not one cent of taxpayer largesse to make the alternative case. It has been a disgrace to our democracy.

Is it reasonable for the government to claim as has been made within the process, that Kimba can become a 300 year government supported town based on nuclear waste?

the government moves their Campaign Office in to the Main Street, to promote the propaganda of the benefits of a dump, which no one else in Australia wants.

Barry Hugh Wakelin Submission TO THE SENATE ECONOMICS COMMITTEE REFERENCE COMMITTEE SUBMISSION TO SENATE ENQUIRY ON THE SELECTION PROCESS FOR A NATIONAL RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA. Senate Committee submission by Barry Hugh Wakelin Section 10 Hundred of Barna, County of Buxton from the District Council of Kimba, South Australia. (Submission No.23)

My name is Barry Wakelin, I was born at Kimba in 1946. Raised on a wheat/sheep farm at Kimba, Schooled to Year 10 at Kimba, first job as a bank clerk at Kimba, labourer, shearer, share-farmer, farmer and Federal MHR for 15 years in Kimba, W.A. and Australia. Have a farm with my wife a few kilometres from a nuclear dump site at Kimba. I am committed to Kimba and farming from a love of the place; local government backed us to have a reliable electricity supply when we had nothing other than their trust in us as collateral – and we turned our lives around from going not far to anywhere

The only comment I can make about the payment for the 100 Hectares of land “”volunteered ” is that it is worth noting that it is most likely that the cash paid is supporting the purchase of more land which is in turn ensuring less people in our community with the modern farming culture, while these same citizens lament the decline in our population as they ensure it occurs.

I oppose the case and process of placing a nuclear dump at Kimba and Hawker based on an abuse of government power, a cruel imposition on small communities and waste of taxpayer’s money.


The current legislative approach needs to be examined by looking for impartial evidence of the factual reality for the need of a Dump away from Lucas Heights when the 60 year accumulation of Waste at Lucas Heights is evidence based.

In my 25 years of working with the issue in the Parliament, my electorate and subsequently until this day, I am not aware of any overwhelming evidence to justify moving this relatively small amount of waste from Lucas Heights. Continue reading

July 12, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | 1 Comment

Greg Bannon demolishes the case for Kimba/Hawker nuclear waste dump, in a trenchant Submission

This is a National issue and a National problem. Small, remote communities, whether at Kimba, the Flinders Ranges or anywhere else, should never be expected to make the decision alone to accept the toxic by-products of one industry’s lifetime production.

Nuclear Medicine: It was impressed on the community that a primary reason for the NRWMF is the need to dispose of Australia’s radioactive medical waste. DIIS is the only official source of information, some of which implies that procedures such as CAT scans, X-Rays, and cancer treatments require the  use of radioactive isotopes. Plain scans, X-Rays and a vast majority of cancer treatments do not use such isotopes.

It is a genuine and valid concern that ILRW may become stranded at this facility for any number of reasons.

ILRW has been the “elephant in the room” from the Day 1 of this process. The emphasis has been on Low Level Radioactive Waste and, even today, people in our community say “it is a low level waste dump”.

Submission from: Greg Bannon, Resident of Quorn, Flinders Ranges Council Region, Barndioota Site to SENATE ECONOMICS REFERENCES INQUIRY – National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (Submission no. 85)   13 attachments

I have connections to this region that go back to the late 1950’s. My family first visited Wilpena Pound on a holiday in 1958. The following year, on a return visit to Wilpena with some overseas friends, my younger brother became lost and died. He is buried at Hawker. I worked on Partacoona and Warrakimbo Stations in the 1960’s. Warrakimbo shares a boundary with Wallerberdina. Later, I worked for a corporate farming company in Esperance, WA, for over 30 years. During that time I made many visits to this region.

My partner and I purchased land on the outskirts of Quorn in 1999 and came here in 2003 to renovate a building, live and retire. We chose the region because of a long affinity to it, a love of the landscape, a connection to the community and friends who live here. We have tried to contribute by involving ourselves in community life and activities.

It was a great disappointment to hear that the region had been nominated to accept a radioactive waste facility. We had never considered this as a possibility. This proposal is completely at odds with everything that is promoted for our region. We believe that on many grounds, set out below, it should never have been nominated, let alone made it on to the short-list.

Addressing the Terms of Reference:

  1. a) Financial compensation offered to applicants for the acquisition of land under the Guidelines.

There is considerably more to the issue of site selection than the compensation offered to the successful nominator. The process to select a site for the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) has been problematic since this current search was announced by Senator Ian McFarlane in March, 2015. All previous attempts to establish a facility have met with resistance from local communities and/or State Governments and have not been successful. Legislation was enacted in a number of States to prohibit the establishment of certain types of nuclear waste storage facilities in direct response to the Federal Government’s actions.

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) nomination process started in March, 2015, with an invitation to landholders to offer land for the NRWMF. This was claimed to be “international best practice”, however, there was no requirement for the nominator to consult or inform his community, or even his nearest neighbours. That would have been “best practice”.

Housing a radioactive waste management facility on a pastoral property is a major departure from the accepted land use for the area and contrary to conditions of operating a pastoral lease. It would seem a serious omission of compliance has been committed in proposing this facility without consulting State land use regulators. Once established, the facility will be actively accepting low level radioactive waste (LLRW) for 100 years and will require oversight and management for a further 300. Co-located on the same site will be an unspecified amount* of intermediate level radioactive waste (ILRW), to be temporarily stored for an unspecified time*.

(*unspecified amount – ANSTO is planning increased production of radioactive isotopes for medical use to potentially supply an international market. Increased production must increase waste.

*unspecified time – “Temporary” has been defined variously as from 20, 30, 40, even up to 100 years .)

 ILRW can only be stored at this site on a temporary basis. DIIS has stated that for permanent disposal it requires deep burial in geologically stable conditions – no such site exists in Australia today and there is currently no plan to develop one.

 It is not clear how widely the invitation to submit nominations was advertised. Site nominations closed on the 5th May, 2015. 28 were received, 25 were assessed and a short list of 6 was announced by Minister Frydenberg on 13th November, 2015. One of three in SA was named as Barndioota, in the Flinders Ranges region. This was the first time I became aware that my region was being assessed to accept radioactive waste. Research was required to find where “Barndioota” actually was.

 It is not clear why the name “Barndioota” was used as the location of the site instead of by the well-known property name “Wallerberdina”. “Barndioota” was not a name in regular local use and very few people knew where it was. Only a landowner paying rates in that section of the Flinders Ranges Council (FRC) region would know of the “Hundred of Barndioota”. In fact, the area of Wallerberdina that is currently being assessed for the NRWMF is in the neighbouring “Hundred of Cotabena”. This area is classified as “Out of Districts”, outside local government boundaries, and under the jurisdiction of the Outback Communities Authority.

Prior to the November 2015 announcement, nearly nine months after the call for nominations, very few of the community if any, were aware that Barndioota/Wallerberdina had been nominated to house radioactive waste. Not even the Flinders Ranges Council was informed of the nomination.

(See attachment #1 – The Flinders Ranges Council Community Newsletter, November, 2015)

 By contrast, the nominator was fully informed on the entire history and scope of the project. A partner in the lease of Wallerberdina for a relatively short time, he does not live on the property. He is a former South Australian Federal Senator and served on three Senate Select Committees related to this industry – Dangers of Radioactive Waste, 23/03/95 to 24/04/96 (Chair from 30/03/95); Uranium Mining and Milling, 08/05/96 to 15/05/97 (Chair from 23/05/96); and Lucas Heights Reactor, 17/08/00 to 24/05/01.

  1. b) How the need for “broad community support” has played and will continue to play a part in the process, including:
  2. i) Definition of “broad community support”.

Continue reading

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Submission from Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) tells how good ANSTO is

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) Submission to the Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry into the appropriateness and thoroughness of the
site selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility at Kimba and Hawker in South Australia (Submission No 58)


(This submission does not seem to address the Terms of Reference directly. )

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) is Australia’s national nuclear research and development organisation, and the centre of Australian nuclear expertise. ANSTO operates a large proportion of Australia’s landmark research infrastructure, including the OPAL multipurpose reactor, the Australian Synchrotron, the Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering, and the Centre for Accelerator Science. This infrastructure places Australia at the forefront of research and innovation for the benefit of public health, industry and the environment, and is used by universities, researchers andindustry from around Australia and internationally.

ANSTO applies its unique expertise to the production of lifesaving nuclear medicine as well as research into areas of national importance. Research areas include the environment, climate change, water resource management, materials engineering and human health.

ANSTO welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the Senate Economics References Committee’s inquiry into the appropriateness and thoroughness of the site selection process for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) at sites near Kimba and Hawker in South Australia. Through this submission, ANSTO seeks to describe its\involvement in the process to date, as well as how the process aligns with international best practice. Given the focus of the inquiry’s terms of reference is on community consultation and consent aspects of the process, ANSTO has not commented on the technical aspects of site selection in this submission.

ANSTO’s involvement in the site selection process

ANSTO has been closely involved in the process to establish the NRWMF through the provision of technical support and expert advice to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS). ANSTO’s capabilities stem from decades of experience in safely managing its own radioactive waste and producing lifesaving nuclear medicines.

ANSTO has applied its dedicated expertise in community consultation and collaboration, having developed strong supportive relationships with the communities surrounding its facilities and other stakeholders across Australia and the world. ANSTO has drawn on this expertise, and its links with leading international nuclear bodies, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to support the process, helping ensure it continues to be managed in accordance with international best practice.

Since late 2015, ANSTO staff have made more than 20 visits to the communities of Hawker and Kimba and the surrounding areas to share information on radiation and radioactive materials, and how the latter can be safely stored. ANSTO has made its expertise available to all community members. ANSTO’s activities in the Hawker and Kimba communities have included:

Conducting outreach to local businesses;

  • Delivering science workshops in all major local schools;
  • Participating in information booths at the Kimba, Quorn and Hawker community shows;
  • Participating in multiple meetings of the Kimba and Hawker Community Consultative Committees, which act as the conduit between the government and the communities (each Committee is comprised of around 12 people with a variety of views, and who represent a cross section of the area – including agriculture, business and young adults);
  • Supporting the Department’s consultation with the Traditional Owners by participating in meetings with the ATLA Traditional Landowners Association, the Villiwarina Yura Aboriginal Corporation, and other groups of traditional owners from the Hawker area1;
  • Meeting with landowners and the local councils; and
  • Attending ‘town hall’ meetings to help answer questions from the community.

Over this same period, ANSTO has welcomed members of the Kimba and Hawker communities to its campus in Lucas Heights, New South Wales, to tour the OPAL multipurpose reactor and nuclear medicine and radioactive waste management facilities, and to speak to people who live and work with radioactive materials. To date, more than 100 community members have visited Lucas Heights, including landowners, community members, Traditional Owners, neighbours and other key stakeholders. Continue reading

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Regional Development Australia Far North sits fairly firmly “on the fence” regarding nuclear waste dump sit selection

“There are approximately 1,770 residing in the ‘broader community’ area, and this original survey result now only represents 16.5% of the population.”

“the views of the wider population who visit, pass through and stay in these areas could be considered in the overall picture as an element in a broad consultation process.”

“whilst a Statewide viewpoint has a role, it should not be a deciding factor”



Background Regional Development Australia Far North (RDA Far North) is a not-for-profit incorporated association governed by a volunteer Board comprised from local people with a skills mix across industry, business, government and community.

Our role is to foster and enhance a robust, diversified, vibrant and growing economy across Far North SA through the timely and professional provision of economic development services.

RDA Far North maintains a neutral position in regards to the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility proposal being considered within the region we cover. The Far North SA Region The Far North region of South Australia, as per Regional Development Australia Committee boundaries, covers approximately 65% of South Australia. The area has a land mass of just under 650,000km2 with a population of 127,629 and incorporates the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands.

The region takes in the iconic Flinders Ranges and Outback region, popular and well visited tourism destinations in the State. The Flinders Ranges is also now going through the process to be recognised as a World Heritage site. The main townships in the region include (but are not limited to) Port Augusta, Quorn, Hawker, Leigh Creek, Copley, Lyndhurst, Marree, Innamincka, William Creek, Oodnadatta, Marla, Mintabie, Coober Pedy, Glendambo, Pimba, Woomera and Roxby Downs. Some of these remote townships are between 800 – 1,000 kilometres from Port Augusta, the largest city in the region (population of 113,808). Barndioota (Wallerberdina Station) is in the RDA Far North region.

Terms of Reference The appropriateness and thoroughness of the site selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility and Kimba and Hawker in South Australia, noting the Government has stated that it will not impose such a facility on an unwilling community, with particular reference to: Continue reading

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Kimba District Council seems mainly concerned about getting finances and services, in return for hosting nuclear wastes

District Council of  KIMBA Submission to Senate Inquiry on Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia (Submission No.19) 

(I was not able to copy this submission, so have just put an excerpt here with the main points. )

Kimba council addresses Term of Reference e) Whether wider Eyre Peninsula or Statewide community views should be taken into consideration, and if so, how this is occurring or should be occurring.

 “Council remains of the view that its Local Government area represents the best reflection of the wishes of its community.”

“Kimba has been visited by  a multitude of experts..”  “Associate Professor Geoff Currie believed that Kimba was now one of the most educated communities in the country on radioactive waste….”

“Council would expect that the Australia Government would provide specificity on what financial and service benefits it will provide, and how these will be administered through the National radioactive waste Management Act (2012) before a final ballot occurs.”

Without this information available, Council does not believe the community would be in a position to make an informed decision that addresses the questions and concerns identified during phase two of the site selection process.

Council acknowledges the Australian Government is committed to undertaking community engagement as it selects a site for the NRWMF, and believes that by continuing to provide detailed information about the process, it will allow those participating in the final ballot the opportunity to make a considered decision which factors in both the impacts and benefits of constructing the facility in their region.

Debra Larwood  Chief Executive Officer

T: 08 8627 2026 E:

F: 08 8627 2382

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South Australian Branch Australasian Radiation Protection Society seems unaware of Intermediate Level Waste for planned dump

South Australian Branch Australasian Radiation Protection Society (ARPS)  Submission to Senate Inquiry: Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia  (Submission No 66) __________________________________________________________________________________ The Australasian Radiation Protection Society is a professional society that promotes the principles and practice of radiation protection. It establishes and maintains professional standards amongst its members and advises on safe use of radiation for its many applications in industry, research and medicine.

Until now the Society has not had direct input to the National Radioactive Waste Management Project. It has viewed the public consultation process as one carried out between the Federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and the local communities who have put forward sites for consideration under the project.

This submission relates to points (b) and (e) of the Terms of Reference, ie in relation to the discussion around the definition of broad community support and the question as to whether the community views of the whole the Eyre Peninsula or the whole of South Australia should be taken into consideration.

While the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry are narrowly targeted to the site selection process it is important that this process is viewed in the light of two major aims of the Project:

  • For Australia to meet its responsibilities to manage its own radioactive wastes including those originating from South Australia;
  • To manage waste radioactive materials produced as a by-product of beneficial use of radiation in Australia: medical research, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, industrial processes and scientific research.

Our Society believes that it is appropriate that consultation occurs at the level of the local community. However, if it is decided from the deliberations of this Inquiry that public consultation will be extended to the wider South Australian community, the SA Branch of ARPS requests community views should be sought from:

1) South Australians who utilise radioisotopes in medicine, industry and research, particularly those who are responsible for management of waste radioactive materials

2) (where practicable) the many tens of thousands of South Australians from all parts of the community who have benefitted from diagnosis or treatment of life-threatening medical conditions using radioisotopes produced in Australia at the Lucas Heights facility.

These groups from the community are not organised into lobby groups of any form and therefore their views may be overlooked or undervalued in the consultation process.

Regarding point (1) above, many of our members advise on the safe management of radioactive materials. Over a period of decades legacy radioactive wastes used in industry, research and medicine have accumulated in South Australia (and Australia more broadly). The quantity of legacy radioactive materials is not substantial, and storage at multiple sites in South Australia is safe and compliant with current regulations.

However, radioactive materials are classified as hazardous materials and some represent a security concern. Hospitals and university campuses are not the place for storing unwanted hazardous materials. It is clearly more desirable to have a centralised managed facility which is purpose-built for the management of radioactive materials as there are for chemical or physically hazardous materials. After decades without progress, this National Project offers room for optimism that our waste material can be removed from the many individual sites across Australia and managed in accordance with international best practice.

On point (e) of the Terms of Reference, we comment that compared to any other small scale semiindustrial operation or a hazardous waste disposal or management process being proposed, the level of consultation with the local community is exceptional. The public consultation process in this case of radioactive waste materials may be contrasted with the process followed when asbestos or hazardous chemical waste disposal sites are established. Asbestos, for example, is a carcinogenic material with no half-life: once disposed of it persists in the environment forever. Radioactive materials will eventually decay away.

We note that the Inquiry website quotes the undertaking by the Government that it will not impose a facility on an unwilling community. We also note that the Government has indicated that no individual or group has an automatic right of veto.

Our concern is that in meeting demands from special interest groups who may not be from the local community and do not necessarily represent the local community, the requirements for demonstrating public acceptance will become unreasonable. Given the important service that this facility will provide to South Australia and Australia it is important that the project be given a reasonable opportunity to succeed. Should consideration of the current sites in South Australia fail, South Australians must then rely on other states or territories to accept the radioactive wastes from our hospitals and universities.

 In summary, the Australasian Radiation Protection Society holds that the views which are the most important are those sought from the local community. The public consultation process should take into account the benefits enjoyed by all the South Australian and Australian community from past and future operations of the Lucas Heights reactor, and the use of radionuclides more broadly in science, medicine and industry. Any local community which accepts the establishment of a facility is providing a valuable service to the Australian community with minimal associated risk. Consultation should take place with a constructive intent, allowing the opportunity for fair input from the community while giving the facility every opportunity to succeed.

I Furness Chair, South Australian Branch Australasian Radiation Protection Society

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South Australian Chamber of Mines & Energy (SACOME) supports the plan for nuclear waste dump for Kimba or Hawker


South Australian Chamber of Mines & Energy (SACOME) Submission to Senate re the selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia (submission No 69)

The South Australian Chamber of Mines & Energy (SACOME) welcomes the opportunity to make this submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics’ selection process for a national waste management facility in South Australia.

 By way of general comment, SACOME recognises that a majority of residents in Kimba and Hawker have expressed their support for the proposed facility; and that the site selection process continues to be rigorous and focused on genuine community engagement.

SACOME notes that the Commonwealth Government has clearly stated that it will not impose a national radioactive waste facility on an unwilling community and expresses strong support for this position as a guiding principle in the site selection process. SACOME’s specific comments are limited to the following terms of reference:

  1. e) Whether wider (Eyre Peninsular or state-wide) community views should be taken into consideration and, if so, how this is occurring or should be occurring.

 SACOME views the site selection process as one that is specifically relevant to those local communities identified as possible site locations. As such, the views of the wider community are secondary to those of residents of Kimba and Hawker.

While SACOME recognises that the proposed facility has attracted significant attention and opposition due to its nature, it is questionable as to whether wider community views have sufficient connection to the proposed facility to justify them being taken into consideration.

This development has direct local impacts and benefits and, as such, the views of local communities should be given primacy.

  1. f) Any other related matters

 Construction of a national radioactive waste management facility at Barnidoota near Hawker or in Kimba in South Australia has the potential to create significant economic benefit to local communities, both through creation of local jobs and through Commonwealth funding provided to the host community.

Yours sincerely Rebecca Knol Chief Executive Officer

July 12, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment