Australian news, and some related international items

Senate inquiry recommends passing nuclear waste site at Napandee, South Australia

Senate inquiry recommends passing nuclear waste site at Napandee, South Australia, ABC North and West SA, By Gary-Jon Lysaght and Gabriella Marchant

Posted 2hhours ago, updated 1hhour ago  The Senate Economics Committee has recommended that Parliament pass legislation that would make Napandee, a farm on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, the site for a low and medium-level nuclear waste facility……

Dissent in the ranks

While the committee as a whole recommended the amendments be passed, there were three MPs who opposed the decision — the Greens’ Sarah Hanson-Young, independent senator Rex Patrick and Labor senator Jenny McAllister.

“The proposed facility has not received the support of the relevant traditional owners, or of many other First Nations representatives in South Australia,” Ms McAllister wrote in the report.

“In particular, the process undertaken to assess community attitudes to the facility has been criticised as inadequate by the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation on the grounds that its members were excluded from participating in the community ballot commissioned to assess sentiment.”

But South Australian Labor senator Alex Gallacher, who is also on the committee, said Ms McAllister’s views did not represent the entire party.

“There’s a variety of views in the Labor party,” he said………

Mr Patrick said the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA), a large defence testing arena in outback SA, should still be considered as a potential site.

“Defence creates an argument that says there is nowhere within the Woomera Prohibited Area you can put a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility,” he said.

“My report goes to all the areas within the WPA that have never been subject to any testing.”

Traditional owners ‘excluded from vote’

A community ballot was held at Kimba in 2019, which showed more than 60 per cent of the Kimba community supported the facility.

But the traditional owners of the region, the Barngarla, were not included in the vote, because it was limited to those living in the Kimba Council area.

Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation chairman Jason Bilney said the Senate should vote the bill down.

“If the Government would only include traditional owners as a whole from the start and let Barngarla be a part of the process,” he said.

“We were excluded from the vote.”

Mr Bilney said he was concerned the proposed legislation effectively removed citizens’ ability to challenge the Government’s selection of the site in the courts.

“They’ve announced the site, why can’t they just give a reason why they picked the site, and we all have the right to question why they picked it?” he said.

“What have they got to hide, now they want to go and take away the judicial review?”

September 15, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

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