21 March 2017
Federal Government running amok in SA communities over nuclear waste
The Federal Government’s decision to advance two sites at Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula for assessment to house Australia’s nuclear waste will cause stress, division and uncertainty for SA communities.
Less than a year ago two proposed sites near Kimba were removed from a national shortlist because of community opposition.
“The Federal Government is toying with the lives of South Australian communities,” said Conservation SA Chief Executive Craig Wilkins.
“Kimba’s original nominations were scrapped due to a lack of broad community support and that opposition remains. This process is damaging and dividing our towns. It is thoughtless, inconsiderate and inconsistent.”
The planned national facility would store intermediate level radioactive waste currently at Lucas Heights in Sydney and dispose of low level waste and contaminated soil from Woomera.
Wallerberdina, a highly contested site in the Flinders Ranges, has been the focus of the federal site search to date and remains on the table despite community opposition.
“The expansion of the site search to Kimba is also a federal vote of no confidence in the Wallerberdina site,” said Mr Wilkins.
“Instead of causing more division and stress across our regional communities the Federal Government should take all the sites off the table. We need a responsible and inclusive approach to radioactive waste management where a proper process is prioritised over our key farming and tourist postcodes.”
South Australia has a history of resistance to radioactive waste projects, from defeat of a plan to establish a facility in the north of the state under the Howard Government to widespread public backlash over the recent push to import and store international nuclear waste.
“We have long-standing state legislation that prevents the establishment of radioactive waste dumps. We will use this and more in our work to support regional communities and keep South Australia free of nuclear waste dumps,” concluded Mr Wilkins.
Further comment: Craig Wilkins, 0417 879 439