Australian news, and some related international items

In Kimba 62% of locals vote in favour of nuclear waste dump

Kimba locals back nuclear waste dump. The Advertiser, 7 Nov 19, Kimba residents have backed a proposal to build a radioactive storage site near the Eyre Peninsula town.

The Australian Electoral Commission conducted a five-week ballot on the issue, on behalf of Kimba Council, with votes being finalised today.

The ballot found 62 per cent of voters backed the proposal.

Resources Minister Matt Canavan said the results showed “significant” community support for the project, which involves building a storage site for low and intermediate level medical waste.

The Government is considering building the storage site at either “Napandee” or “Lyndhurst” near Kimba, or “Wallerberdina”, near Hawker in the Flinders Ranges.

Mr Canavan said he would consider the results alongside other feedback and technical information relating to the project, once a separate ballot in the Flinders Ranges was complete.

Kimba Mayor Dean Johnson said a nuclear waste site would provide much needed jobs and economic stimulus for the region.

If approved in the area, 45 people would work at the waste site once it was built, and the community would receive a $31 million package from the Federal Government including some money already earmarked for local projects in the lead up to the vote.

“In times of drought, you just get reminded again how reliant we are on agriculture,” Mr Johnson said.

“An alternative industry would be good for the town. Whether this is the right one or not, we’ll find out shortly.”

Mr Johnson said he was “incredibly proud” of his community following four years of consultation.

“To have a 90 per cent participation rate shows how strongly engaged our community has been,” he said.

Kimba farmer Peter Woolford, who has been campaigning against the waste dump plan, said the result showed there was still a lot of opposition to the project.

“The Eyre Peninsula is such an amazing place,” said Mr Woolford, chair of the lobby group No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA.

“Why would you expose your export industry here to any risk at all?”

Mr Woolford said there had been little increase in public support for the project over the past four years, despite the community receiving $4 million in Federal funding for projects as part of the campaign to find a site.

Hawker’s voting period begins on Monday, after the council voted to delay its ballot until a risk assessment was completed.

Mayor Peter Slattery said the council was keen to gauge the public’s views after months of uncertainty on the project’s future.

“If we find they’re opposed to this, we know it’s game over and we can all quietly relax,” Mr Slattery said.

“And if the community are supportive of this that gives us the direction to move forward. “Given how difficult and divisive it’s been, we’re really looking forward to having some direction and resolution.”

The votes had been delayed since last year, when two Aboriginal associations said they would take legal action to stop the ballots, because traditional land owners who did not live in the districts were excluded.”…/6a04b1b53b6fc5f00b69031be1…

November 7, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: