A new group charged with investigating all the potential economic opportunities and issues associated with a proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility has been established in Kimba.
Resources Minister Matt Canavan announced the members of the Kimba Economic Working Group when he visited the town on Thursday.
The group has been established as part of phase two of the consultation process underway to potentially establish a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility in the Kimba district.
“Together, the phase two community consultation and results of technical studies will help inform a decision on whether the facility is located at one of the two volunteered sites in Kimba,” Mr Canavan said.
“Eight people from the Kimba area have been appointed as members, including farmers, councillors and business owners, and people for, against and neutral on the proposal.”
Long-time Kimba resident and active local community member David Schmidt has been named as the group’s chairman.
The other members of the group are Charlie Milton, Christine Marie Lehmann, Dean Johnson, Deb Larwood, Heather Baldock, Laura Fitzgerald and Patricia Beinke.
Mr Canavan said the economic benefit was a key reason people supported the facility, while concerns about possible impacts on the economy were a primary issue for people who did not support the facility.
“That’s why the work of this Economic Working Group is so important,” Mr Canavan said.
“A full understanding of the economic benefits, issues or impacts is an essential part of this process, and will inform the community’s decision on whether to host a radioactive waste industry.”
Members of the group will look at what the economic impacts could be and how the community could best utilise those if the facility went ahead in Kimba.
“Economic areas that might be of interest include construction, operation, tourism, grain prices, reputation and a whole host of other factors,” Mr Canavan said.
“Local community members know what their area needs, what benefits can be best harnessed and what impacts could arise.
“This forum will allow them to explore the issues.”
The Kimba group mirrors a successfully established group around the Wallerberdina Station site near Hawker, which is already developing a range of ideas on how local business could benefit from a facility.
The Kimba Economic Working Group will meet on about a monthly basis for the duration of phase two of the consultation process.