Australian news, and some related international items

A new bribe given on the eve of Kimba and Wallerberdina nuclear waste dump ballot

Peter RemtaOctober 15    No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia

Suddenly on the eve of the ballot another $4 million is given to the communities – is this incredible or Just plain vote buying?

On 8 October 2019 Senator the Hon. Matt Canavan in his capacity as the Minister for Resources announced new funding of $4 million for the communities for considering the site of the federal government’s national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia .
Under this new funding – which is described as a Community Benefit Program – up to $2 million in grants will be given to each of the two communities considering presumably by voting the facility at Kimba and at Wallerberdina Station near Hawker.
The minister said that this is on top of $5.76 million already spent since 2016 when the federal government started consultations with those communities about the facility.
These grants are in addition to $31 million available for the community chosen to host the proposed facility which was announced by the government on 12 December 2018 and is known as a Community Development Package.
The minister’s announcement was followed by a release by the Department of Industry Innovation and Science on 9 October 2019 which mainly repeats the previous information regarding the various aspects of the facility and site selection and describes very loosely and without any details both the expected economic benefits and the funding purposes by the government.
It is interesting to see that this new grant has been offered by the minister on the eve of the ballot at Kimba to determine the community support for the facility which as is well known is to be established in the most inappropriate and unsuitable locations.
It also seems that neither the minister nor the government has any legislative authority or mandate for any of this funding under the enabling legislation for the facility.
Obviously the government is adopting a throw money at it policy to see if that will work in the ballot by getting more of the community in favour of its facility in which case it is reasonable to ask how much has each vote cost the taxpayer.
The government’s facility is in any case only for temporary storage of intermediate level waste above the ground and permanent disposal of lower level waste also above the ground which goes against the best practices and prescriptions by international bodies and experts as to nuclear waste management and disposal and probably breaches Australia’s own international treaty obligations.
The facility itself being above the ground will lack the safety and environmental advantages achieved by underground geological waste burial and will be far more susceptible to attempted criminal and terrorist activities even if the waste could not used in weaponry.
Perhaps most importantly the government has failed to recognise the potential and serious detriment and injurious affection to the land of the region hosting the facility.
Despite its claims to the contrary this must be of grave concern to the government since only recently and quite belatedly it has been revising the land area requirements at all three probable sites so as to provide “buffer zones” based on somewhat spurious reasons.
This is an extract from a report by a leading environmental group
regarding the release by the Department of Industry Innovation and Science on 23 September 2019 entitled Facility land requirements:
It is somewhat surprising, given the level of expenditure committed by the Federal Government and the time that has elapsed since a search for suitable site began that the key design characteristics of the site are still in such a formulative stage and the facility design is still at a conceptual stage.(1)
The latest funding and its previously announced grants are on top of the total of $41 million already spent by the government on the South Australian sites in the past four years for which it has refused to provide any details.
Where will all this financial madness end!

October 17, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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