Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear Waste Dump Plan for Kimba – Craig Wilkins of Consrvation Council of South Australia

Monday 21st February 2022 on Peter Goers’ program ABC 891 with Conservation Council of South Australia CEO Craig Wilkins to discuss the Nuclear Waste Dump at Kimba.

Also presentation by Greg Bannon Flinders Local Action Group too, and others who contributed to the program. Interesting that Resources MinisterKeith Pitt, Sam Usher CEO · Australian Radioactive Waste Agency and MP Rowan Ramsey were no shows although they were invited to be involved!

The Conservation Council of South Australia has produced a new booklet on Nuclear waste – domestic Australian issues. Craig Wilkins was the prime author, though not the only author’

Transcript of interview. (basically accurate, but not absolutely word perfect)

CRAIG WILKINS: The book asks what is the best solution for Australia’s radioactive wastes. International best practice is to bury it deeply. That’s not the chosen option. Big difference between the low level waste and intermediate level waste.

PETER GOER. Kimba is very divided – hsad 300mm of rain.   We had calls from farmers asking what will happen if nuclear waste is buried there.

CRAIG WILKINS: Wallerberdina was rejected for a site because it was recognised as a flood plain area.

PETER GOER. Govts have seized on this idea and pushed through.  The benchmark of 65% community agreement was lowered as only 62% agreed.   What’s to stop us importing nuclear waste from overseas in the future?

CRAIG WILKINS This is what is called ”project creep”. The rules change over time. People are concerned about this, particularly the Bangarla who were given native title to this region 2015,  – this is one of the first true tests, about how seriously we consider that issue of native title. They did ask to be polled. but were deliberately excluded from the vote. They are fighting this legal battle now, in the Supreme Court. They say they weren’t consulted.

PETER GOER. you cite theUN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples. tates should ensure that no storage of hazardous materials should be sited on indigenous land The former SA govt voted not to have a nuclear dump in SA. SA has not been consulted, only Kimba people have been consulted. Politicians have come on this show and mocked people who don’t live in Kimba, even though it’s a state issue, it’s a national issue surely.  This material is either to come by sea, or be trundled through 3 states to get here.

GREG BANNON of Flinders Action Group – This site is in the wrong place. It’s just not scientific.The Whole approach  has been to find a swilling community, and then try to make the facility  fit the geology there for a nuclear waste site. It’s just not scientific.    In the last month, Kimba has received record rain.  One of the IAEA guidelines state that a nuclear waste facility should not be sited where you’ve got cross country water flow, or subsoil water, – water table underneath. When the Industry Department had their sites examined by AECOM, they produced 3 reports –    the recent floods should be factored in.

Philippa.  phoned in – pointing out the success in Canada, marketing radioactive isotopes made not from a nuclear reactor, but from cyclotrons.  She mentions the risk of this dump becoming the thin end of the wedge – for importing other countries’ nuclear wastes.

Calls in, especially pointing out the risk to the Eyre Peninsula community   region’s clean reputation as an agricultural area.

PETER GOER. Also  this has divided Kimba. calls in – suggesting that Kimba has been bribed.  A struggling rural community – the promise of more and more money, and jobs. Also questions about how the promised jobs might not materialise –  larger waste facilities oversea employ fewer people than promised for this facility. Hard for people of Kimba to turn their backs on these ”rivers of gold”

CRAIG WILKINS It has been a disappointing process. The community there, like every other SA community, deserves a decent medical facility, decent services –  there’s been a package of support being offered, in return for them accepting this facility.- which contains investments by govt that should be standard for any community. That makes it a very challenging position for the Kimba people – to work out whether to accept it or not. There’s nothing more divisive than this whole question of nuclear facilities.  A previously very close-knit  community has had this bomb placed in the middle of  it and it has really divided them. It is a terrible shame.

PETER GOER.I do feel for the people of Kimba.  Soon Kimba is going to be known world-wide as the nuclear dump town, not the town that’s halfway across Australia, not the home of the big galah.  …..perhaps the butt of many jokes  Kimba. will be known for that one thing.

CRAIG WILKINS. Places associated with nuclear activity very soon get that name,  rather than being known as a        very successful agricultural region, rural town of the year fantastic people …

PETER GOER. Rowan Ramsey pointed out that the population of Kimbawas very knowledgeable.

CRAIG WILKINS. Queried this  – suggested that the truth was stretched.

Many calls in, mainly supporting the Conservation Council’s case 

CRAIG WILKINS responding to questions on waste disposal –   old mining sites not  necessarily a solution –   much research has to be done.

Kimba doesn’t have to accept this plan. It is not the solution, and is placing this community at a disadvantage.

February 22, 2022 - Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia

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