More waste sites at Kimba

Minister Matt Canavan will determine if new nuclear waste site nominations for the Kimba district will be accepted.
Minister Matt Canavan will determine if new nuclear waste site nominations for the Kimba district will be accepted.

TWO more properties at Kimba have been nominated to be the site for the federal government’s National Radioactive Waste Management Facility. 

Kimba was previously considered as a potential site for a national facility but following community consultation last year, the government chose another site at Barndioota, in the state’s far north, for further investigations.

No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA committee member Peter Woolford said the decision by community members to nominated further parcels of land for a nuclear waste facility was disappointing.

“We have had new nominations even when a report prepared by the government in December showed strong opposition is still being maintained to any site being located at Kimba.

“The views of those opposed are still being disregarded,” Mr Woolford said.

Resources Minister Senator Matt Canavan said no decision had been made yet as to whether the nominations would be accepted.

“The government has always said it remains open to receiving new land nominations, and that each would be assessed on the individual merits of the site,” Mr Canavan said. 

“I have asked my department to begin reviewing the new nominations, and advise as to whether either should be progressed further and shortlisted.”

Working for Kimba’s Future Group member Meagan Lienert said the group was excited and hoped the sites would progress to the next phase of the process.

“We are excited about the new nominations from the landowners and hope that we as a community can progress to phase two of the process to investigate this opportunity further,” Mrs Lienert said.

“We have a lot of positive support and if a nomination is accepted we hope that the whole community will be able to have a vote on moving to phase two of the process.” 

Under the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012, landowners may nominate land to host the facility until a final site is decided upon by the federal government.

The government said both new sites wuold be subject to a comprehensive analysis, including scoring them on measures such as technical suitability, community wellbeing, health, safety and the environment. 

Mr Canavan said if a nomination progressed there would be at least 60 days of public consultation to determine if there was “broad community support” to move into the next phase of detailed technical review and consultation.

Mr Woolford said there was no broad community support at Kimba for the new site nominations.

“The government department team has visited Kimba twice now at our busiest of times during harvest to gauge community support and on both occasions it has shown that there is no broad community support and views remain polarised,” Mr Woolford said.

“There are again direct neighbours to the nominated sites who are totally opposed.”

In an information flyer delivered to community members at Kimba, the Working for Kimba’s Future group said since the last nomination and application, “we have talked, we have listened and we have learned lessons”. 

“We know the project would bring significant job and investment benefits, we know there is no evidence it (waste facility) would be unsafe or harm Kimba’s reputation and we know support for it being located here is greater than before.” 

A Department of Industry, Innovation and Science spokesperson said the two new voluntary site nominations would be assessed on individual merits to determine if they would progress to the 60-day consultation process. 

“We will complete the desktop assessment as quickly as possible and then provide advice to the Minister for his consideration.”

The second-phase assessment of a nominated site at Barndioota is continuing and includes an Independent Heritage Assessment, site-specific technical studies and detailed public consultation.

Details of the site selection process are available at www.radioactivewaste.gov.au/site-selectionprocess/assessing-site

Details of nomination guidelines can be found at www.radioactivewaste.gov.au/site-selection-process/nominating-site