Greens refer nuclear legislation to senate inquiry

Legislation for the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility at Napandee near Kimba has been referred to a senate inquiry by the Greens party yesterday.

The formal process for the federal government's push for a nuclear waste dump in Kimba will be put under the microscope by the Senate Economics Committee, with South Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young calling for a hearing in Whyalla.

She requested that the committee organise a public hearing in Whyalla and a visit to the federal government's chosen site for the facility at Napandee.

"I have requested a hearing in Whyalla because it shouldn't be left to the suits in Canberra to decide, anything less would be offensive to the communities involved," she said.

Ms Hanson-Young said the government had chosen a site that was "home to some of the country's best agricultural land".

"The site selection process for a nuclear waste dump has been dodgy from the start," she said.

"It's ripped small communities apart and Traditional Owners have vehemently objected to the proposal.

"It's clear there isn't broad community support for a nuclear waste dump in Kimba, despite what former Minister Matt Canavan would have everyone believe."

She said the senate inquiry will bring the legislation under scrutiny.

"The Greens aren't leaving it to the community of Kimba to hold the line on their own," she said.

"A senate inquiry will give the entire proposal the scrutiny it needs."

Ms Hanson-Young also said the plan for the site meant radioactive waste would pass through regional roads, streets and waters for "decades to come".

"Port Augusta, Whyalla, Port Pirie and Port Lincoln and every town living along a potential transportation route, should have been consulted and given an opportunity to have their say," she said.

The committee has resolved to report on the legislation in June, and submissions to the committee are now open and will close at the end of March.