Nuclear impact wider than Kimba
There are two separate nominations for a national radioactive waste dump site near Kimba. Both of these nominations are using the one process to find out if either site is suitable.
A vote was taken at Kimba, with 793 landholders and residents eligible; 396 voted yes and the Minister has decided Kimba should proceed to the next level.
However both nominations are closer to the council boundaries than they are to the township of Kimba or the centre of the district.
To be fair to the people living nearby and affected by a waste site the process should also include some land areas of the adjoining councils.
The distance the Kimba vote extended from a current site would be fair. This distance is about 75km. If a circle is drawn around either site with a radius of 75km a large portion would be in different areas other than Kimba.
Where is the evidence the current process for radioactive waste dump selection has engaged the whole community?
Many of my peers, neighbours and colleagues didn’t get a vote and are unlikely to receive any share of community benefit because they live and work beyond a council boundary.
Some are closer to a waste site than even the Kimba township.
The boundary of the state electorate of Flinders is also the council boundary and passes closer to a site than the Kimba township. This electorate is excluded.
Maybe the member for Flinders could ask why the vote didn’t extend into the electorate. Maybe he could also try to secure some of the remaining rights and privileges.
The appointment of the community consultative committee is only making the division in our community worse.
The department has appointed a committee with a clear bias toward pro dump and pro Kimba township. There is not one community member from the neighbouring council areas.
This is not surprising as a lack of community meetings, deputation or contact with the adjoining districts or townships by the department is also evident.
I also have not seen any communication or cooperation between the councils or within the local government association. The process so far is unbalanced and sets competition instead of cooperation between townships and districts.
The Minister has only the marginal support of one local government area, with one township, tempted by and guarding the cookie jar.
Where is the true broad-based community consultation and support?
We have already been through this all once before. During that round the Minister had to conclude the nomination did not have broad-based community support.
It was clear the waste was not wanted on agricultural land.
A clear separate process for each nominated waste site is a minimum the parliament and people of Australia should give us.
The good name of Kimba should not be the primary name used in this process. Its identity is far more than radioactive waste.
The radioactive waste process also needs to freely extend beyond Kimba or any council boundary. Each waste site should be identified by its local name.
So far the radioactive waste debate has only brought trouble. Some of the conflict in our community will take years to repair, if it can be repaired at all.
The legislation covering this process is largely untested and a lot of heartache could have easily been avoided.
There have not been clear rules or definitions from the beginning. There is a lot of evidence of this that needs to be heard by someone, other than the department, the Minister or the Member for Grey. A full inquiry may well be in order.