Ballot is set for August

VISIT: Minister Matt Canavan visited Kimba last week, following announcements regarding the community benefit program and the Kimba Economic Working Group.
VISIT: Minister Matt Canavan visited Kimba last week, following announcements regarding the community benefit program and the Kimba Economic Working Group.

The final vote to determine whether or not the Kimba community will support a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility in the district will be held in August.

Resources Minister Matt Canavan visited Kimba last to speak with the community about the proposed facility.

The visit coincided with the announcement of the Kimba Economic Working Group and the 33 projects that will receive community benefit program funding.

“I’m really pleased with the projects that have received funding through the ... program,” he said.

However, the biggest announcement was the date of the final postal ballot.

“The final ballot will begin on August 20 and will last for four weeks,” Mr Canavan said.

“There is a lot more information to come out before then, including information on the permanent benefit package.”

Mr Canavan said while he had hoped the vote would be scheduled earlier, the August date would allow for the report from the Senate inquiry into the site selection process to be considered.

“The result of the inquiry won’t affect the vote itself but it may change the way people vote,” he said.

“The government is confident of the process, we have used world’s best practice by giving the community a voice.”

If both the Kimba and Hawker communities vote against the facility, then the process will be finished.

However, if the facility is supported in both communities, Mr Canavan will have to make the decision using broader community sentiment, neighbouring land holders’ views and the technical assessments.

“I can only choose one site for the facility, if we get support, I make a declaration in October and then we will have 60 days to have the rights extinguished,” he said.

“If it goes ahead, I’m hoping to have this all wrapped up by Christmas this year and then next year we can start the construction process.”

Mr Canavan also received feedback from the Kimba Consultative Comittee regarding vote boundaries and what the community wants from the permanent benefit program.