Denied a vote
My husband and I are landowners and rate payers of the District Council of Kimba.
I was denied a vote in the recent poll, to determine if there was broad based community support to proceed to stage two of the National Nuclear Waste Storage Facility.
Officially I don't know.
On May 2 I sent a letter to the chief executive officer of the council, along with an application to vote form.
I have yet to receive a response.
Other sources have told me, because I am a ratepayer whose name was not on the electoral roll for Kimba, there was only one vote allowed per rated property, this went to my husband.
We pay council rates on a number sections, all of which are listed on the rates notice, therefore, we consider that we pay rates on a number of properties that are billed as one.
It appears that the eligibility to vote criteria excluded other people who have financial, social or other interests in Kimba but are not on the electoral roll for Kimba.
So, how many other people were not allowed to vote?
In Australia we are fortunate to be able to vote and take it for granted.
However, I now have a small understanding of how powerless people must feel who live in countries, including Australia, who are denied a vote.
In regards to the vote result the Mayor of Kimba has said, “The people have spoken.”
Most of the people have spoken but some of us were not allowed to speak.
Definitely no ‘broad’ community support
It is impossible to find words to properly describe how utterly disappointed we are that Minister Canavan has seen fit to progress the two current sites nominated in Kimba to house the National Radioactive Waste Facility to phase two of the selection process.
We trusted the minister’s promise that he would not progress the sites without proof that broad community support existed, which he had numerous times referred to as needing to be in the vicinity of 65 per cent, a figured which we firmly believed should be the lowest possible definition of “broad’.
The most recent community ballot returned a result of 57 per cent ‘Yes’ - 42 per cent ‘No’.
This result clearly indicated what those of us living in Kimba already know all too well, that our community is completely divided over this issue.
The minister’s decision shows a complete lack of understanding and consideration of the impact that this proposal has had on our community over the past two years, and that this division will now continue to escalate.
Minister Canavan has repeatedly promised that he will not impose this facility on a community that doesn't want it, yet has progressed nominations in Kimba where it is proven that 42.2 per cent of us do not.
Our community has been lied to.
On behalf of No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA
Support for speed reduction
As longstanding land owners adjacent to the highway on both the north and south sides of the town we wish to support the proposed reduction to 80 kilometres an hour from 110 km/h as proposed by this new council submission.
The ongoing refusal of the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure to consider this change has been inexplicable to the local community for many years.
This area has had numerous road accidents and there are almost daily incidents of near misses.
There has been a huge change in the traffic composition in recent years with a massive increase in both number and size of grain transport road trains and the explosion in ‘grey nomad’ travellers.
Arno Bay is now a major grain terminal and the highway directly intersects it, there are heavy vehicles entering and leaving almost all year now.
During the recent grain harvest periods we were regularly working on our land nearby and every day you would observe or hear near miss situations.
There wouldn’t be a grain road train driver that hasn’t had a scary experience in this area.
The local community are extremely aware of the dangerous nature of entering or leaving the highway in this area and this has probably averted tragedy until now.
As local councillor Dean Siviour and the Arno Bay Progress Association have said “It is only a matter of time”.
The majority of local traffic and through heavy transport traffic is already only travelling at 80km/h or less, it is only drivers unfamiliar with the area and some express heavy freight trucks that are travelling at 110km/h.
Changing the limit to 80km/h from the top of the hill north of the Arno to Cleve intersection to the second hill south of Arno causeway, less than 3 kms, would only make approximately 30 second difference to travel time for through traffic travelling at the speed limit.
It is a minimal change that would greatly decrease the likelihood of a fatal incident and provide much reassurance to the local traffic in this area.
MICHAEL AND PETER TURNBULL
Letters to the editor
- All submissions must include an address and contact number. (The address and phone number are not for publication.) Letters must carry the writer’s name for publication.