Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

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.

PREAMBLE.

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.

The Parliament has told us that they have just 70 Hectares at the Lucas Heights site when the ANSTO 16/17 Annual Report on page 128 shows there is at least 450 Hectares available and the area needed for about 4000 cubic metres of Low Level nuclear waste is less than one hectare (0.2 ha to be accurate) shown easily by a mathematical calculation of 50 metres multiplied by 40 metres multiplied by 2 metres which equals 4000 cubic metres which supports my suggestion that less than one hectare for sixty years of nuclear waste is all that is needed.

I believe ANSTO have an expectation of further reducing the amount of waste created by the OPAL Reactor in the foreseeable future, based on current production levels. We are lead to believe that the described 4000 cubic metres of Low Level Waste or most likely less, is 92% of the total waste created by ANSTO at Lucas Heights and has a relatively finite active life which should allow the community to understand the point at which most of the waste can be considered as “normal” background level radiation material and therefore reducing significantly further the volume over time.

Is it reasonable to ask for these matters to be discussed and explained in a transparent and open way for community acceptance.?

I support the concept explained by the Member for Grey (the local MHR) when he put his view before the Parliament that the Nuclear Waste should be placed at the “best site” in Australia and without “local politics”. And yet we have ended up with Kimba and Hawker as the “best sites”

It is difficult to understand and impossible to accept that in a large land mass with our national population, that an export food producing area like Kimba or a iconic tourist destination like Hawker are the best sites for nuclear waste in Australia.

Government and the Corporate sector own and control large tracts of land in Australia and yet we as a nation, choose a divisive and unfair proposal which has certainly torn Kimba apart and no doubt Hawker can speak for itself.

MY PREFERENCE in this long and torturous path of nuclear waste in Australia over at least the last 75 years and certainly the last 25 years is to –

examine transparently the Lucas Heights storage where one hectare is the area needed for 92% of the Waste and for its real and reducing radioactive life.

the future management of the Intermediate Level Waste of no more than 5 cubic metres per year and WHY the existing new shed with the one container (taking up perhaps 5% of the space) recently returned from France is not suitable for the long term storage at Lucas Heights, where the best people in Australia ( or the world) are employed to work with and monitor the Nuclear Waste, which they do on every day of the OPAL Reactor’s working life.

If the case for Lucas Heights to manage their own waste cannot pass muster, then we as a community should request BHP, as a strong and responsible and competent corporate citizen to offer a suitable parcel of land, from its many hundreds of thousands of hectares of pastoral land, in an isolated and much more neutral and calmer situation, away from food production and a natural unique visitor destination. It is a great humane project for the Big Australian to support.

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. And at least use a small part of the Treasury allocation to have an independent professional assessment of the economic impact on the hundred year old agricultural industry(negative and positive and export buyers views included). This assessment should include the real number of long term jobs needed to process and store two to three truckloads of nuclear waste per year, and any duplication of current agricultural research, already paid for by farmers and or government.

I hope the Committee will consider the tactics of the government, the Minister’s Office, the local MHR, the Departments and ANSTO in “persuading ” the people of Kimba and Hawker to accept nuclear waste, as explained in a pamphlet prepared by Tina and Barry Wakelin, for distribution to Kimba citizens, to try and balance in a very small way,the oppressive bullying over the last three years by the Federal Government, with endless public servants, manipulation of sites on and off again for political purposes, and simply untrue statements to ensure the government’s ambition was adhered to. It has put any hard fought marginal seat campaign to shame – and not just for a few weeks but has persisted for three years

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? With stable doctors, para-medics, significant population increase, strong growth in employment, improved agricultural research, improving real estate prices, stronger tourism to admire the Nuclear Dump – the sky is the limit according to the government spokespersons – similar to the Sutherland Shire it has been claimed where ANSTO employ 1200 people at Lucas Heights. Hence my suggestion for an independent,professional economic assessment of the potential of a “Nuclear Dump” at Kimba or Hawker to offer a reality check for three truckloads of waste a year after the initial 80 truckloads which may take a week.(quicker for the 2000 cubic metres from Woomera nearby, dumped there 20 years ago with Intermediate Waste mixed in as well)

A significant issue for me is the mental health impact, and we will be fortunate to get through without a tragedy. Consider, when the Federal MP, the Local Government, the Minister, the Department, ANSTO and even the police force at every meeting for three years are lined up against anyone who dared to say NO and even dared to question. And barely a question answered straight down the line, other than a dump at any cost to save the town we are told, as the process was surely and steadily damaging the town. Young people putting the property on the market and having to be persuaded to wait at least until the torture chamber is closed down or bureaucratically and politically known as various stages of whether” broad community support “was available. It soon became the .. majority of a waste site’s neighbours … down from a few hundred local citizens to two or three neighbours.

And to top it all off – the town’s first job from nuclear Waste blares out at us in the local newspaper, as 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.

A vote is held coincidently at a similar time to go to “stage 2”, to collect $2 million for community projects. The government telling us that a nuclear dump would be a “corporate disaster” for BHP, but terrific for Kimba. ANSTO and the Department telling locals being treated by nuclear medicine that it will not be available, if Kimba doesn’t accept the Dump, or telling Kimba ..”everybody wants the waste”… etc,etc. What a disgrace!!

My concern with the indigenous voice is it is too often used by others to block legitimate options for a whole range of issues. Government Departments included.

The use of the French example to sell the Nuclear issue, while innovative, ignores that Australia is not France. We are a much larger land mass, smaller population and without dependence on nuclear power. The French visit to Kimba was quite an event.

Why would anyone be surprised when we of the NO case raise any concerns, we are called by the government …”the small vocal minority” and we are provoked to the observation, that the government only comes to Kimba to over-sell their nuclear waste, which remains a totally unproven economic winner, and never acceptable for the community damage it has already caused with too many questions remaining unanswered. Yes, I am one of the proud 43% who voted NO despite the “bribe” as locals call the $2million plus $2million for Kimba & Hawker plus another $10 million.

Why not simply address the issues, answer directly and honestly, and respect that there are legitimate concerns and far better options for a nuclear waste site. I simply request a more honest and open approach, without the money, the deception and a strong reassurance about the only industry which will ultimately guarantee Kimba’s future – EXPORT FOOD PRODUCTION.

Yours Sincerely, Barry Wakelin . PS. I enclose copies of a pamphlet posted to the Kimba community recently to offer balance to the government’s bulletins of recent years for Senators consideration.

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

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