Majority support for Kimba nuclear waste next step

VOTED: Kimba District Council mayor, Dean Johnson, had encouraged locals to make sure their voice was heard.
VOTED: Kimba District Council mayor, Dean Johnson, had encouraged locals to make sure their voice was heard.

A total of 396 residents and landholders from the Kimba district have given their support to continue investigations into a local nuclear waste facility, while 294 people voted against it.

The Australian Electoral Commission has released the results from a postal ballot that asked residents and landholders if they supported continuing the conversation about the facility.

Do you support a nomination for a site being progressed to Phase 2 for further consultation for a National Radioactive Low/Intermediate Level Waste Management Facility?

Ballot question

Of the 793 eligible voters, 698 votes were received by the electoral commission, however only 691 votes were counted as five were not signed, two were outside the ballot envelope and one was informal.

Kimba District Council mayor Dean Johnson said the vote was just one part of the process.

“Ultimately the decision is up to (Resources) Minister Matthew Canavan, with the results from the vote being just one part of his decision.”

Department representatives have been in Kimba throughout the 90-day consultation period, discussing nuclear waste with the local community to give them as much knowledge as possible prior to the vote.

“A report will now be put together by the department using the results for the vote as one part,” Mr Johnson said.

“The department will give the report to Minister Canavan, who will use it to make his decision on the site.

“I have been told that Minister Canavan will take roughly one to two weeks to make his decision and then we will know if the proposed sites in Kimba will go through to the next stage.”

A spokesperson for the department said if the sites at Kimba went through to phase two, it would involve in-depth technical analysis and detailed community consultation.

“Irrespective of the outcome, the phase two consultation continues around Wallerberdina Station in SA, after that local community earlier demonstrated broad support for the discussion.

“At Wallerberdina Station, a process including a heritage assessment, technical studies and community consultation is continuing.

“And in line with the relevant legislation, the federal government can continue to accept and assess any new nominations until a final decision is made on the location of the facility.”