Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Heather Baldock’s sycophantic submission supporting nuclear waste dump for Kimba

Heather Baldock (Submission No 64) to Senate Standing Committee on Economics Re – Appropriateness and thoroughness of the site selection process for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility at Kimba  

As a long term local farmer of the Kimba district who has been very active in many local and regional community organisations, I am very excited by the opportunities that hosting the National radioactive low level disposal and intermediate storage facility would bring to our area. I was born here and have raised my family in this community, and I have family still living in the Kimba District including grandchildren.

I wish to address the Terms of Reference for this inquiry and am happy for this submission to be made public.

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

The financial compensation for the acquisition of land to be paid to the landowner, who voluntarily nominated property, is reasonable and a long way from excessive.

Calculations suggest that 4 x the land value for 100 hectares would be equivalent to about 10 years of farm production on that amount of land. So after 10 years the landowners would be losing out with this arrangement. For the two Kimba landowners it would not even cover their input costs for one cropping season.

There is also the intrusion of media and people from far and wide, not always in a friendly manner.

This underlines the fact that the landowners nominated their land, not for personal gain, rather as an opportunity for our community to diversify and increase employment in our low rainfall marginal farming area which is experiencing ongoing population decline.

B) How the need for ‘broad community support’ has played and will continue to play a part in the process, including;

a. The definition of ‘broad community support’ and b. How ‘broad community support’ has been or will be determined for each process advancement stage; a) I believe ‘broad community support’ is the majority (more than 50%) of the Kimba District supportive of hosting the National Facility, supplemented by the support of the majority of immediate neighbours to the proposed sites. Having said that, there is no precedent for broad community support for other ventures (business, exploration, social, tourism, mining etc) on private land.

b) To move to Phase 3 of the project there is the intention of holding another Electoral Commission managed vote for Kimba district residents. The vote to move to Phase 2 was arranged by the Kimba District Council at the request of Kimba people. The District Council extensively advertised the opportunity for locals who had vested interests and not enrolled to vote in Kimba council elections to apply to be included on the ‘CEO’s roll’. I would expect this option to apply for any future vote re the Waste Facility

An interesting point about the level of scrutiny that this particular land use has attracted is that there is no practice in our district of neighbours advising neighbours of, or of seeking their agreement to, any permanent or semipermanent changes in land use, infrastructure, commodities, farm practices, or moves to sell or lease land.

I don’t believe there is call for organisations, politicians, or individuals, or others outside of our district who don’t contribute to our local social and economic viability being considered in the ‘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;

While we have no Indigenous groups active in the Kimba district I am aware that the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) has been liaising with the Barngarla people and that leaders visited the localities of the two Kimba sites in March this year. I have not heard of any issues resulting from this visit.

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

    I strongly doubt that the Government’s Community Benefit Fund of $2million on moving to Phase 2 has influenced many people in their views. People publicly opposed, supportive, or keeping their own counsel, have seemed very keen to utilise the funding opportunity to support unprecedented social and economic benefits to our small rural community. The infrastructure and projects submitted to this Fund will be such that locals & visitors to Kimba will benefit. Many of these projects will also leverage employment opportunities when the successful projects are implemented.

I believe that people are only supportive of the NRWMF project if they feel firstly that the Facility poses no harm to their family’s and the district resident’s health or the environmental health of our region.

The economic and social benefits are secondary, albeit very attractive to have such benefits to our small declining community, heavily reliant on agriculture in a low rainfall area. The minimum $10million Community Capital Contribution, and other infrastructure and services that will be required as part of the project, will have influenced people’s consideration of the project. The NRWMF project provides a unique opportunity for our community to diversify its industry base, secure additional employment and services that the Government will need to provide in support of the Facility. Many in our community see this opportunity as very attractive and very supportive of the town’s long term sustainability.

There should be such benefits to any community prepared to make an informed decision to host a National Facility.

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;

The Kimba community has dedicated many months towards becoming informed about many aspects of the proposed Waste Facility. The wider Eyre Peninsula and even the state of SA have not had the same opportunities to become so learned. Therefore the community outside of Kimba is not in a position to make an informed decision as to whether Kimba should host a Facility.

Also the facility will have no impact on the wellbeing or lifestyles of wider communities. Kimba hosting a Facility would have no detrimental impacts on businesses in wider communities although it may be advantageous to some contractors outside of Kimba in the construction phase of a Facility.

Activists and politicians who have been using the NRWMF project as a vehicle for their anti-nuclear stance should not be entitled to any say in the vote of whether Kimba moves to Phase 3.

F) any other related matters.

The whole process from the time of the Federal Government advertising the opportunity for landowners to nominate land in early 2015 to now has been thorough with numerous chances for locals to become highly informed of the process, the opportunities, the science and the impacts.

We have had numerous experts, scientists, people who work in the industry, including speakers opposed, visit Kimba to support our information gathering. The Department of Industry, Innovation & Science (DIIS) regularly updates the community on progress via newsletters & Facebook. Locals have been encouraged to visit Lucas Height to further increase their understanding of the project. The DIIS has staffed an office and employed a local as the Community Liaison Officer for many months allowing easy face-to-face access to gain more information and have queries responded to. The Kimba community has become highly informed about the NRWMF project.

Prior to moving to Phase 2 of the Project to learn more about the proposed Facility and enable site characterisation to occur, we had a Kimba community vote instigated by the District Council of Kimba and managed by the Electoral Commission. This democratic process showed the very clear majority of 57.4% of the Kimba district in favour of moving to Phase 2. Politicians would be extremely pleased to gain that level of support in an election or any referendum they were supporting.

Since Kimba moved to Phase 2 the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has made 2 visits to Kimba. I have found meeting with them and reading their fact sheets to have been very enlightening and reassuring that we have an independent body as Australia’s highest authority on radiation protection and nuclear safety.

In conclusion I believe that the site selection process has been appropriate and very thorough in the Kimba community with all people able to gain considerable knowledge about many aspects of the NRWMF project and have any concerns addressed if they choose to engage in the process

Advertisements

July 13, 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:

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google+ photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: