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A Town Divided: Nuclear Waste Site In Dispute

Over 100 protesters rallied in Port Augusta yesterday, to challenge the proposed nuclear waste sites at Kimba and Hawker.

Members of the community opposed to the facility locations delivered a letter to the office of Dan Van Holst Pellekaan, Member for Stuart.

Debate has been raging through the communities, following the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission back in May, 2016.

Since then, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science released an animated concept video of the proposed facility. Traditional owners in the Flinders Ranges argue that these facilities would tarnish their sacred land and disrupt communities.

Kimba grain growers are also concerned about the proximity of the nuclear waste in relation to their farmlands, which could see their produce drop in value.

Unwilling from Kim Mavromatis on Vimeo.

Supporters of the nuclear waste facilities maintain the plan would create jobs and drive economic revenue for the towns.

Ballot papers have been circulated around the Kimba district, with the Australian Electoral Commission advising almost 70% have already been returned. The Flinders Ranges Council are following suit, and dispersing their ballot papers between November 11th and December 12th for the local community to contribute to the discussion and influence the decision process.

If the proposed sites were to go ahead in South Australia, this would require changes to the current State legislation, specifically whether the facility would manage international used nuclear fuel and waste.

The current National Radioactive Waste Management Act (2012) does not allow the storage of foreign-generated or high-level radioactive waste.

The State legislation also prohibits “public money to be used to encourage finance construction or operation of nuclear waste storage facilit[ies]” (13.1).

For more information, please see the Parliament of Australia’s Radioactive Waste Management Briefing Book or the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act of 2000.

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