Minister accepts new Kimba nominations for nuclear waste site

THE two latest properties in the Kimba district to be nominated for a new national nuclear waste facility have been accepted by Resources Minister Matt Canavan.

A 90-day public consultation period will determine if the properties will move into the second phase of the search.

Mr Canavan said communities near the two properties, ‘Napandee’ and ‘Lyndhurst’, would discuss the proposals.

“A majority of neighbours, the council and others, have already told us they support these nominations being taken forward for consultation, which is why they have progressed to this early stage,” Mr Canavan said.

Previous nominations in the Kimba districts did not move forward as a community survey indicated there was not enough community support to support further investigation.

The new nominations were made under new guidelines, which ask for an indication of support levels from neighbours and council, alongside any application.

“There is sufficient community support to begin this consultation,” Mr Canavan said.

“The next step is to assess if that support is broad enough to move to a site-specific assessment.”

Local community group Working For Kimba’s Future Group has worked with the nominating landowners to reintroduce the project to Kimba and districts, as the group felt there was now enough  strong community support  to look at the site proposal again.

In line with feedback from the community, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has increased the ways people can give feedback in this consultation phase.

In addition to the community making submissions, the Kimba District Council will engage the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to conduct a community vote.

Resources Minister Matt Canavan.

Resources Minister Matt Canavan.

Kimba mayor Dean Johnson said council was pleased its request for an independent vote had been heard.

“We think it is essential everyone has a chance to vote in an independent confidential poll,” Mr Johnson said.

“It is the best outcome for every voting member of this community.”

Subject to ratification by the council, the vote and registration process will be advertised in coming weeks, and the vote time frame will be co-ordinated with a 90-day public consultation period. 

Department representatives will establish an office in Kimba this week, and will be available two days a week to meet with the community and help answer questions.

Experts from Geoscience Australia and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) will also be available to discuss the proposal during the consultation period.

Meanwhile, the second-phase assessment of a site at Barndioota, which includes site-specific technical studies and detailed consultation, is ongoing.

For information on the project, go to www.radioactivewaste.gov.au