Letters to the editor

Kimba a unique and special place

In looking back over the nuclear waste proposal, it is clear where the problem is.

Just about everyone I have spoken to, agrees we must have a purpose built waste depository.

Low level waste is low risk and therefore no issue.

It is the intermediate level waste that has been slipped into the equation that is causing the concern.

It has been inferred that such waste will only be stored in the low level depository until the federal government can find another site to take such waste.

However, how long will that take given our seriously cash strapped economy.

Having just spent huge amounts of money building one facility, do we really believe any government would seriously consider funding a second establishment?

In a letter to the Transcontinental paper, a leading spokesperson for the proposed low and intermediate nuclear waste depository inferred that the Woomera Prohibited Area which already holds an amount of low level waste under the control of the CSIRO, would not be used as a waste depository site because it is a globally unique military training ground and that the material at that site will need to be transferred out of the defence area to a purpose built facility other than Lucas Heights.

Welcome to Kimba!

Many people like myself, happen to think Kimba is also quite unique with very special attributes.

If the Department of Defence cannot spare a few hectares out of the 122,188 square kilometre range under its control, why should Kimba sacrifice its valuable, productive farmland.

Make no mistake, this nation needs our pristine farmland every bit as much as we need a nuclear waste dump constructed in a safe, risk free locality.

BRYAN LOCK

Iron Knob

Clarification

Last week in my editorial I indicated the site works for the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility would be in excess of $75m.

In fact this is just the predicted cost of the first stage enabling works. It is anticipated another $250m will be spent on full construction bringing the total expenses to $325m.

Unfortunately this caused some confusion, however the message is the same, the investment will provide an enormous boost to any community which hosts the facility.

ROWAN RAMSEY

Member for Grey

Jobs not sustainable

The federal government claims that 45 jobs will be created at its proposed national radioactive waste facility in Kimba or the Flinders Ranges.

The government further claims that its jobs estimate has been "tested" against comparable overseas facilities.

But such comparisons prove that the government's jobs estimate is grossly inflated.

The CSA radioactive waste facility in France processes 73 cubic metres (m3) per employee per year.

The El Cabril radioactive waste facility in Spain processes 10 cubic metres (m3) per employee per year.

Yet the Australian government estimates productivity of just 1 m3 per employee per year.

The government evidently has a dim view of the productivity of Australian workers, or, more likely, its jobs estimate is grossly inflated.

If we assume that Australia matched the lowest of the figures given above ‒ 10 m3 per employee per year at El Cabril in Spain ‒ then the staff at an Australian facility would be processing waste for just one month each year.

The government might be willing to pay 45 staff to do nothing for 11 months each year, but it's not a sustainable situation.

The Department of Finance wouldn't tolerate it. Staffing would be dramatically culled.

Almost certainly, a future government would revert to the plan pursued by previous governments: keeping the waste facility closed most of the time, and opening it occasionally for waste disposal and storage.

The government should be held to account for promising jobs that won't be delivered.

JIM GREEN

Friends of the Earth Australia

Get rid of GST

Why can’t Canberra do the same as they did years ago, introduce debt free money to help all those people who are struggling under their financial problems.

Australia needs debt free money for longer term at lower interest rates to help people who are struggling to make ends meet.

Prime Minister John Curtin had debt free money during his time in government and created a lot of jobs. 

Sir William McMahon was going to introduce debt free money, but lost the election to Gough Whitlam.

The Commonwealth Bank financed the farmers during the 1914 drought and World War I effort and built wartime machinery, the Transcontinental Railway Line via Port Augusta, all with no national debt.

Politicians of any party could still do this today, but Canberra is for big money power.

It would be better for our prime minister, ministers and all politicians to think about debt free money, and abolish goods and service tax for a better Australia.

E.J. KEMPSTER

Port Lincoln