Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

NO RADIOACTIVE WASTE ON AGRICULTURAL LAND IN KIMBA OR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

RECOMMENDATIONS ……That the National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 202 be withdrawn, and an independent inquiry into the management of Australia’s radioactive waste be commissioned.

There are many examples of how this is process has been unfair and wrong…… COMMUNITY CONSULTATION……DEFINITION OF ‘NEIGHBOURS’…… ‘INFORMED CONSENT’…… Community Benefit Packages…… Siting on Agricultural Land….. Double handling of Intermediate Level Waste…. Declaration and Legislation of Selected Site

No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA Committee ,Submission No 80 
“To campaign against any nuclear radioactive waste management facility in South Australia’s agricultural land
and in particular the District Council of Kimba

SUBMISSION TO THE SENATE INQUIRY INTO THE NATIONAL RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT
AMENDMENT
The No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA Committee was established in 2016 to represent the members of the Kimba, Eyre Peninsula and SA community who are opposed to the siting of the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility on Farming land in South Australia.
As both a committee and individuals we have been heavily involved in the 5 year process the Federal
Government has undertaken to site the National Radioactive Waste Facility in Kimba and we would like to thank the Committee for their time and efforts in undertaking this inquiry.

As the Senate Committee would be well aware, the process which led to this point has been long and arduous,
particularly for those who do not support the siting of the facility in the Kimba district. We have had no goal or
prize in sight, only the onerous task of proving our opposition.

The proposal has caused, and continues to cause, significant division within our community, which has been
fuelled by the actions of the Department in their quest to establish support for the facility. There are many
examples of how this is process has been unfair and wrong, and we appreciate the opportunity to put forward
some important facts from our perspective.

COMMUNITY CONSULTATION
The finding by former Minister Matthew Canavan that broad community consent for this facility exists in Kimba,
a basis on which this Bill rests, is tenuous at best. The path that the Federal Government took to making this
finding has been a long road of propaganda, manipulation and promises, and is now completely lacking
justification at its conclusion for the decision made.

The Hawker site was removed from the process due to lack of support as shown in the result of the ballot.
However, there is every probability this same finding would have been made in Kimba had the voting rules been equitable. In Hawker, members of the community living within a 50km radius of the site were all given the
opportunity to vote in addition to those who live or pay rates within the Flinders Ranges Council.

In Kimba however, voting was restricted to rate payers, or residents living within the District council boundary,
or registered as living there with the AEC. Given that the placement of the Napandee site is within
approximately 17km of the council boundary, many land owners or residents in close proximity to the site were
not given the opportunity to vote, whilst owners of properties in excess of 60km away, but within the council district were able to,
It can be concluded that the Minister, together with the Kimba District Council took it upon themselves to
determine who is a member of our community and decided that this includes only those living within our
council boundary.

The proposed Bill’s Explanation of Memorandum – Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights states that
• ‘the nomination was strongly supported by the broader local community’ (pg 6)
• ‘all people who may be affected by the location and operation of the Facility were invited to express
their views about the potential impact of the proposed facility on them’ (pg 6).
• ‘Ongoing consultation positively engages the right to self-determination by ensuring that people
continue to have a say in the establishment of the Facility, and continued to be treated respectfully’ (pg 6)
• ‘a public submissions process for those both within and outside of the communities to express their
views was opened between 1 August 2018 and 12 December 2019’ (pg 9).

Despite these assurances, all indicators as included in the Record of Minister’s Assessment of Preferred Site
refer to local surveys, local ballots and submissions from WITHIN the District Council of Kimba boundary. NO
reference is given to the submissions made from outside this boundary.
Former Minister Matthew Canavan gave clear assurances to the Kimba Consultative Committee that the
decision to use the Kimba District Council boundary for voting would in no way discriminate against those living outside, as they were invited and encouraged to write submissions, and that these submissions would be clearly categorised in a (public) document by place of residence and vicinity to the site for decision making purposes.

There was a clear voice within the Consultative Committee calling for the ballot to include a radius of the sites,
rather than the LGA boundary, however this was deemed an unviable way to conduct the ballot (despite this
being the process utilised in Hawker). It seems obvious that some of the reasoning for this was that there was
far less probability of such a ballot returning a result which could constitute broad support, and to allow for the
ballot to be conducted without the inclusion of the traditional owners.
district were able to. What we do know (as reported at the Kimba Consultative Committee meeting 23rd February 2020) is that 2789
submissions were received in total, and that, in total, 94.5 of these opposed the siting of the facility in Kimba.
These appear to have been all but ignored in the Minister, in favour of multiple survey results from the same
focus group living or operating businesses based within the District Council.
The resignation of Minister Canavan just two days after his announcement of a preferred site has meant no
justification has been forthcoming as to why the 2789 submissions were not given any weight in his decision
making, and how he has established the views of those members of the community excluded from the vote.

We have approached the District Council of Kimba (as the facilitators of the previous ballots) to undertake a fairer ballot to include those living within a set radius of the site and are awaiting a reply.

DEFINITION OF ‘NEIGHBOURS’
We have witnessed, over the 5 years of consultation, a changing of rules and boundaries to achieve the desired
outcome in relation to who is considered a neighbour to the site. Initially, neighbours were considered to be,
and were consulted as such, within a 10km radius of proposed sites. This was later changed to within 5km and
direct neighbours needed to share a fence line with the site (and were excluded from this category if their
property was separated by a road). Clearly these changes were influenced by the level of support shown within
each radius, and the fact that the 2nd tier of neighbours, those outside the 5km boundary, remain strongly
opposed.

INFORMED CONSENT

The stream of information to the community during the consultation period has been tightly controlled and
almost entirely narrated by the department. No assistance, practical or financial has been given to provide
independent advice regarding the proposal aside from that hand picked by the DIIS. This has led to muchmisrepresentation and misinterpretation of how the information provided actually relates to the proposal. For example

The continual references to the fact that ‘LLW and ILW are currently stored in over 100 separate
locations across Australia’. Whilst this statement on its own is true, independent advice tells us that 99%
of Australia’s hospital waste (aside from a small amount of legacy waste) is short lived and destined for
land fill, and not the NRWMF. Hence this point actually has no relevance to the need for a facility, and
certainly doesn’t justify siting it in Kimba. This waste will continue to be stored at the majority of these
sites regardless of when or where a NRWMF is established. Yet this misleading information has been
used over and over by the Minister and the DIIS in the media and ‘fact sheets’ and can be found in the
second paragraph of the Bill outline.

There have been repeated comparisons made between the Australian NRWMF and the one operating in
Aube, France, as an example of the successful co-existence of agriculture and radioactive waste. This has
gone so far as to include funding a visit from farmers/local mayors from the Champagne Region. What is
not ever mentioned, however, is any acknowledgement of the fact that the level of waste managed at
the ANDRA facility is not comparable to waste needing to be stored in Australia. Differences in
classification mean the French site stores a far lower level of radioactive waste than the NRWMF will
host. Also, due the private and commercial nature of the nuclear industry in France, the income stream
to the communities around Aube is more per year than what Kimba is being offered in its entirety. To
continually draw comparisons between the sites is intentionally misleading

Community Benefit Packages
Despite the emotive name, it is hard to argue that the community benefit packages were not first an
inducement to lure the community to phase 2, and then a broken promise wrapped as a gift. Within days of
each vote beginning, Minister Canavan announced $2,000,000 community benefit packages. The initial
announcement was that, should we proceed to phase two, the community would receive this payment on an
annual basis for the duration of that stage. The initial package was delivered in the 2017/2018 financial year.
After then advising that no funding was available for further rounds, Minister Canavan made the announcement only days before the second ballot took place that he had ‘listened to the community’ and would now be providing a further (already promised) $2 million in the 19/20 financial year. The application process for this package is, however, yet to commence.

Siting on Agricultural Land
We fully understand the need for Australia to establish a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility,
however we do not feel the Federal Government has undertaken to find the BEST site for this facility. The
APRAPSA Code of Conduct for Disposal of Radioactive Waste included the criteria that ‘the immediate vicinity of the facility has no known significant natural resources, including potentially valuable mineral deposits, and
which has little or no potential for agriculture or outdoor recreational use’. Only 4% of South Australia is arable
farming land, and Eyre Peninsula makes up a large portion of that. Our agricultural industry is and will always
remain, central to our town and region and this is why it is so important to maintain our clean green reputation.

We feel as though no real effort has been made to ensure our region is protected from any future full out
caused by this irresponsible site selection.

Double handling of Intermediate Level Waste
The decision by the Federal Government to seek a site suitable for the disposal of Low Level Waste, and then to
temporarily store Intermediate Level Waste for decades is extremely short sited. The department has
continually stated the importance of having all the Nation’s waste located at the one facility. They have also
confirmed that farming land in Kimba isn’t an appropriate location for the permanent deep underground
disposal of Intermediate Level Waste, therefor when the ILW is eventually relocated the waste will be spread
across two separate locations. We always have, and continue to, maintain that it would be a far more
responsible solution to find a site that is suitable for the permanent disposal of ILW and for the LLW to follow to a single location.

Declaration and Legislation of Selected Site
At the time the Minister announced that the Napandee site had been identified, we were surprised and
confused that this decision was not declared as per the requirements of the Act. It is now clear that the reason
for this is the Ministers decision to amend the Act to specify the selected site. This is extremely concerning to us,
as it is our understanding that the decision to directly legislate the selected site will effectively remove the
opportunity for any judicial review of the site selection, and there appears to be no other justification to do so.

Recommendations:
We respectfully request that the Committee consider the following recommendations:
• That the committee thoroughly scrutinise the Ministers finding that broad community support exists in
Kimba. That this scrutiny include how he has determined ‘Community’, and if he has excluded the views of
some members of the community (especially those living outside the council boundary and traditional
owners) in the interests of gaining the desired result. That the Committee also consider how the Minister
had determined ‘broad’ and if it was likely that the level of support would have been deemed ‘broad’ had
the views of all who identify as members of the Kimba community had been fairly considered.
• That the Senators consider that it would be in best practice, and make best economic and social sense to
seek a site that could provide the necessary disposal solution for Intermediate Level Waste and negate the need for double handling. That the Committee also consider that such a site may already exist.
• That the National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and
Other Measures) Bill 202 be withdrawn, and an independent inquiry into the management of Australia’s
radioactive waste be commissioned.

May 4, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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