14 September 2020
Dissent and anger: Senate divided over nuke dump push
Four separate reports released today by the Senate committee investigating the Federal Government Bill to create a nuclear waste facility at Kimba shows deep divisions over whether the waste dump should proceed on agricultural land in South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.
“Not one, but three, separate dissenting reports show a very divided Senate Committee,” said Craig Wilkins, Chief Executive of Conservation SA.
“This is on top of a contested community ballot, and fierce opposition from the Barngarla Traditional Owners.
“The community is split, and so is the Senate.
“This is completely at odds with Federal Government rhetoric of only proceeding with facility if there is clear majority community support.
The Inquiry into the National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 has spawned four reports: the Government majority report which predictably backs the facility and three dissenting reports which all strongly oppose - Senators Jenny McAllister (Labor), Sarah Hanson-Young (Greens) and Rex Patrick (Independent).
“The Federal Government process has been flawed from day one.
“There is clear and continuing opposition from Barngarla Traditional Owners, which the majority report acknowledges. Yet, they still recommend the naming of Kimba as the waste facility site despite this opposition.
“There is also clear evidence from the Senate Inquiry that this Bill was created for the express purpose of wiping out the right of community members to legally challenge the process of locating the facility at Kimba.
“If the Federal Government is confident they have the decision right, they don’t need this Bill to start building the dump.
“But clearly they fear that a court will find their process has been shoddy, so they need this Bill to override that right.
“That’s appalling, and it’s good that it’s been called out by three of the four Senate reports.
“This Senate Inquiry does not provide certainty for the project – it remains unproven, unwelcome and this unfinished business will continue to be opposed until a more respectful and credible process is advanced,” he said.
For further comment: Craig Wilkins 0417 879 439