8 November 2019
Kimba dump ballot a long, long way from community consent
After years of trying to convince the Kimba community to accept radioactive waste from Lucas Heights in Sydney and throwing millions of dollars at a town struggling for services, support for a dump has hardly shifted.
The 61% result is below the consent threshold set originally by Minister Canavan and shows 40% of Kimba's residents still remain fiercely opposed to the Federal Government's plan.
"This ballot result is a mile away from the ringing endorsement the Morrison Government was seeking," said Conservation SA Chief Executive, Craig Wilkins.
"It's less than we were expecting and shows a deeply divided community that is a long way from making up its mind.
"And that's even before the Barngarla Traditional Owners ‒ who fought their exclusion from the poll in the courts - have had their say.
Out of only 734 ballot papers cast, 61.6% voted in support of a nuclear waste facility in their area. Minister Canavan has said previously that 65% support would be needed to indicate 'broad' community support, and his Department has said 65% 'at least' would be required.
"We must remember, it's illegal to import this waste into South Australia.
'This marginal support of only 452 voters in KImba is hardly the ringing endorsement the South Australian Parliament needs to overturn our long-standing state law. Surely, this important decision needs to be made by all South Australians.
"With 40% of Kimba's residents still fiercely opposed, this ballot result does not provide any comfort for those pushing for this.
"This process of foisting radioactive waste on South Australia has been flawed from the start and has deeply divided the Kimba and Hawker townships.
"Conservation SA will continue to support local communities in Kimba, and Hawker in the Flinders Ranges, who have been forced to fight the Federal Government's foolish plans for years.
"It's now time for Minister Canavan to recognise his current approach to finding a long-term solution for nuclear waste is unnecessarily divisive and misguided, and come up with a better option, " Mr Wilkins said.
Media comment: Craig Wilkins, Conservation SA Chief Executive, 0417879 439