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Peter Remta: Misleading and inaccurate information provided by authorities on National Radioactive Waste Management


Peter Remta  – submission to Senate Committee on National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020   [Provisions] Submission 65

“………. EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM The explanatory memorandum accompanying the Bill simply repeats many of the
inaccurate and misleading comments and information provided by the Department of Industry Innovation and Science and ANSTO  to the communities of the initially accepted sites in South Australia since the beginning of the nomination process under the existing legislation.

………I must stress that the serious and unacceptable manner in which quite inaccurate information has been disseminated on behalf of the government on such an important issue both now and during the nomination and selection process has only caused more concern and community dissension and I suggest will lead to a greater general apprehension of starting a nuclear industry in Australia

Explanatory memorandum assertions :
1. While the concept of a single and purpose-built nuclear waste facility is a desired objective as outlined at the start of the explanatory memorandum it will be difficult to achieve as is now proposed.

To begin with it is wrong to say that this facility will support nuclear science and technology since it fails to meet the safety prescriptions for a facility of that nature.

It is also wrong to link the provision of nuclear medicine to the proposed storage and disposal of waste at the facility as the various entities generating waste from medical and research activities will continue relying on their own disposal methods and will not necessarily use a government run business for that purpose.

2. Most importantly it is a totally false and misleading proposition to suggest that the failure to establish the facility as proposed by the government will somehow lead to a reduction in nuclear medical services and treatment and the government should quickly correct that serious misconception since this has been a rather distressing concern for the community at Kimba and generally. It is therefore disingenuous to give that impression that this will be a central
facility for all nuclear waste in Australia.

3. While existing waste is held in numerous locations around the country there is no legal or other requirement that this waste would be disposed of at the facility and it is therefore disingenuous to give the impression that this will
be a central facility for all waste in Australia.

4. The reference to meeting with the international obligations under the Joint Convention4 ignores the safety code requirements promulgated some 12 years later under which it would be very difficult to establish the proposed

5. The suggestion of acquiring additional land for such things as all weather road access is only another example of the intrinsically unsuitable nature of the chosen site and the lack of planning and the necessary technical knowledge for construction of the facility.

6. The process of identifying a suitable location being a 40 year effort again shows the inability of the government or simply ignores that the current process in a proper manner only began after 2012 under the existing legislation.

7. To suggest proper and successful consultations with community members is a test of normal intelligence having regard to the strong and spirited opposition to the facility from the outset by the community generally and the fact that a concerned Aboriginal group has litigated its opposition to an appeal to the Federal Court5 and may now resort to a referral to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

8. The financial aspects of the government’s proposals lack frankness and justification when it has been claimed variously that the amount so far spent in selecting the site is $55 million or $85 million over the past five years but with a constant refusal to provide any details as to how that money has been spent or applied.

Surely there should be proper public disclosure of this quantum of expenditure when compared to the usual outcry where there is only a fraction of that amount involved if there is no reasonable explanation given. Moreover this should be gauged against the persistent refusal of the government to pay for an independent assessment and scrutiny of its
proposals by the members of the Kimba community who oppose the facility.

9. The statement as to compatibility with human rights is again with respect rather nonsensical when the government was incapable of holding a proper and valid ballot (albeit through the District Council of Kimba) which totally ignored the inclusion of an opposing argument contrary to the recognised and applicable principles of human rights. That ballot and the previous one as well as some claimed community surveys failed to meet the principles of informed consent which places a high standard of compliance on both the government and the District Council.

This becomes even worse by excluding the Aboriginal peoples from the ballotIf the government were genuine then it should hold another ballot with a more appropriate and wider base for voting and with the prior provision of all pertinent
information including the arguments or case against the facility. This goes back to providing a proper assessment and scrutiny of the government’s proposals by the opposing members of the Kimba community which has never been
the case.

Regrettably the compatibility statement is more prescriptive in its content instead of actually dealing with the facts of the situation and circumstances that occurred and which have been presented in the statement in a most favourable light for the government. when under the most basic of constitutional and democratic rights they
should have been included in that process…………



May 23, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Dianne Ashton on Government untrustworthiness – the rushed, unethical decision on nuclear waste site

FACILITY  Submission No 63

Herewith is my submission and reasons for opposing the establishment of a National Radioactive
Waste Management Facility in South Australia.

Having been a part of the Barndioota Consultative Committee for the four years it was operational,
prior to a decision being made by the Government as to the proposed site of a Facility, I questioned
the trustworthiness of the Federal Department (DIIS at the time), the lack of ethics when it came to
Consultation and the reason why South Australia was chosen for a proposed NRWF when, clearly
South Australians are patently against having nuclear waste stored in the state.

South Australians voted against a High Level Nuclear Waste Facility being built in South Australia.
Unfortunately had DIIS been patient until that decision was made, they would have realised that
their hope of the long term Intermediate Level Nuclear Waste (ILW) in a High Level Facility in South
Australia was nothing more than a pipe dream. Unfortunately this decision by South Australians, left
DIIS in the unenviable position of looking for a temporary place to store this highly dangerous waste.
To store ILW temporarily above ground for up to 100 years or more, is not a good decision, which is
now what is intended at the proposed NRWMF.

ll that withstanding, the whole process which was undertaken by DIIS to find the proposed site for
a NRWMF in Australia was flawed in so many ways. If DIIS had actually undertaken the process with
World’s best practice in mind, the outcome may have been very different.

A NRWMF would have been chosen, but only after deep consultation with the neighbours, standing
council and community members of the area. The consultative process would have been a two way
process, information being given from all sides of the situation and then discussed. If there were
divisive issues the aim would have been to build greater connections and understand between
community members, because the notion of “divide and conquer” does not belong in community
engagement. This is not what happened, trust was not built, divide and conquer abounded and
information was the only means forward according to DIIS. Also continuity of engagement would
have been important instead of around 25 staff members leaving the team during the process.
Surveys would be been well thought out and extensively conducted instead of hurried and rushed
with flawed results. DIIS did not do enough to fully engage the community and work with them in an
ethical manner to bring the process to an amenable conclusion. This created mistrust of DIIS and
their process.

If the proposed site at Kimba goes ahead without full scrutiny of the process which put it there, it
will be a sad day for any future proposed facilities, as a wonderful opportunity to all work
collaboratively will have gone missing and will continue to be absent, until there is a new approach
to the process.

Covid 19 is paving the way for change in Australia for the better. The government is called to be
acting on behalf of the people (taxpayers) not on behalf of itself. Let’s hope we can all wake up
before it is too late.

May 23, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Nick Pastalatzis questions the government’s boast about jobs at the planned nuclear waste dump

Nick Pastalatzis : Submission to Senate Committee Inquiry into National Radioactive Management Amendment Bill 2020. Submission no. 64   [ this is a summary of the hand-written submission]The Amendment specifies a particular location – Napandee for a repository for long lived Intermediate wastes, The Amendmet and the existing Act, both are flawed and should be rejected.  Shamefully the Federal Government excluded the Barngarla people from the ballot about the site. The Barngarla’s own ballot resulted in 100% opposition to the plan.  The process and decision are inconsistent with the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Imposing  a nuclear waste dump will further exacerbate the racial discrimination identified by the Anti Discrimination Committee.
The Senate Committee should seek expert advice on the government’s claim  about job creation at the facility. Overseas experience shows that there would be far fewer jobs.

May 23, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Don’t let the fossil fuel companies pull the strings in Australia’s policy making

May 23, 2020 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment