Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australian Law on radioactive waste to be changed in order to prevent any judicial review!

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.
(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 No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA Committee submission to Senate Committee onNational Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 [Provisions] Submission 80  
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.
………… 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.

 
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….
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.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 much
misrepresentation 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………
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…….
Siting on Agricultural Land …………. 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 21, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump

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