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Kimba sites to proceed for consideration for National Radioactive Waste Management facility

27 June 2017

Two proposed sites for a radioactive waste management facility at Kimba will proceed to the next phase of assessment.

The Government has accepted the nominations of land at Napandee and Lyndhurst under the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012.

This decision was made after considering direct representations, the results of an independent postal ballot, and submissions in a more than 90-day consultation process.

Kimba voters were asked, in a poll conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission on behalf of the Kimba District Council, Do you support a nomination for a site being progressed to Phase 2 for further consultation for a National Radioactive Low/Intermediate Level Waste Management Facility?

The AEC declaration reported that of the 690 formal votes, there were 396 ‘Yes’ votes and 294 ‘No’ votes, giving a total in favour of proceeding of 57.4 per cent. The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science community consultation found widespread support from the direct neighbours of the nominated properties, with all but one direct neighbour supporting the assessment moving to the next phase.

In-depth consultation and technical assessments of the Kimba sites will now be undertaken.

Phase Two will engage people with all views.  The Kimba community will have another chance to express their views before a decision is made about the suitability of either of the sites to host a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

This does not change the Phase Two consultation that continues at Wallerberdina Station in South Australia after the community earlier demonstrated broad support for the discussion.

This next phase in Kimba will include:

  • Progression of a $2 million Community Benefit Package to fund local projects;
  • Employment of a Local Community Liaison Officer who will act as a conduit between the Government and community;
  • Creation of a Kimba Consultative Committee who will gather views about the project; and
  • The extension of the local project office, with staff continuing to be onsite regularly to answer questions as the site process progresses.

“Nuclear medicine is needed by one in two Australians on average, for diagnosis and treatment of heart, lung and skeletal conditions and a variety of cancers, and along with that comes radioactive waste,” Minister Canavan said.

“Radioactive waste is currently stored in more than 100 locations around the country, and international best practice is that it be consolidated into a single, safe and national facility.

“Progression to Phase Two does not constitute a final decision, rather, we now know that across the community there is broad support for continuing this conversation, and that is what we will do.

“I would like to thank everyone in Kimba for their involvement in this nationally significant discussion.”

At Wallerberdina Station, a process including a heritage assessment, technical studies and community consultation is continuing.

In line with the relevant legislation, the Federal Government can continue to accept and assess any new nominations until a final decision is made on the location of the facility.

For more information on the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility and site selection process, go to www.radioactivewaste.gov.au

Media contact: Minister Canavan's office 6277 7180