Kimba puts pressure on for facility information

The Kimba District Council has agreed to facilitate the final ballot on the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility but only if the community receives all the necessary information to be able to make an informed decision.

Resources Minister Matt Canavan had asked the council to facilitate the ballot, which is set to start on August 20.

Chief executive officer Deb Larwood said the council had asked the Minister and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) to release more information about the financial and service benefits the facility would provide and how they would be administered.

Mr Canavan responded with a timeline outlining when this information would be released in the lead up to the ballot, with the final information set to be released by mid-July.

The council set a deadline of July 23 for the information to be released, four weeks before the start of the ballot. If the deadline is not met, the council reserved the right not to hold the ballot.

The council has also specified the information needs to be detailed enough to allow the community to make an informed and considered decision.

Kimba District Council mayor Dean Johnson said he was proud of the council and the way it had made its way through “an extremely difficult time”.

“Now more than ever it is time for respect,” Mr Johnson said.

“While we are worried we don’t have all the information, the Minister and the department are now on notice.

While the council has agreed to facilitate the ballot, this means only residents and ratepayers in the Kimba district will be able to participate in the ballot.

A department spokesperson said the department had listened to the community regarding the ballot boundary.

“In the case of Kimba, the area for the ballot continues to include the whole council area,” the spokesperson said.

“That said, if people live outside the area and want to have their views taken into account during the process, they can make a submission or provide feedback directly at the local project office, or at our public forums.”

Residents on the House of Assembly electoral roll will not need to re-enroll but residents and ratepayers who are not on the roll are encouraged to contact the council office by noon on May 31.