Wrong nuclear waste dump process: individuals nominate their land for personal gain

The current process where individuals nominate their own land for their own personal gain and then seek community support is completely backwards and does nothing but cause angst and divide communities.

We recommend the Committee:

Withdraw or reject the Bill on the grounds that neighbour support has not been met. The 100%
direct neighbour support is based on just two landowners as the majority of the land
surrounding the Napandee site is owned by the nominator themselves. Almost half of the
neighbours within the 5km radius to this site remain opposed. This does not constitute broad
neighbour support.

As farmers and neighbours to the selected site, it is of deep concern that radioactive waste could
be allowed to jeopardise Kimba and the Eyre Peninsula’s agricultural industries. The entire Eyre
Peninsula is very proud of its clean and green image, however, if a nuclear waste dump is
constructed in Kimba, no matter which way you look at it, the Eyre Peninsula will never be able to
lay claim to this image again. Clean and green does not go together with nuclear/radioactive
waste.

Marty & Rachel Yates – to Senate Committee on National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 [Provisions] Submission 90

We are very close neighbours to the Napandee site and are active members of the Kimba
community where we continue to live, farm and raise our young family. We are third generation
farmers and completely devastated with the news that Napandee has been selected as the site to
host the National Radioactive Waste Management facility (NRWMF) because this means the
facility will be forced upon us. We would never ever choose to live near a radioactive waste dump.

Our small country town has been targeted since 2015 when Rowan Ramsey initiated the proposal
that his property in Kimba could host the national radioactive waste facility. Since then, our once
close knit community has been torn apart by a flawed process that has been designed to divide
and conquer with the promise of jobs and money. The damage caused by this process is real and
will be lasting.

It has been extremely difficult and stressful five years for us. We have done our utmost to
request a fair, open and transparent process but instead have been presented with a very one
sided affair where the goal posts have constantly moved.

We were neighbours to the original nominated site at Cortlinye which was removed, along with
Pinkawillinie, from the process in 2016 due to lack of community support. To our dismay, a group
of locals did not accept this decision and in early 2017 proceeded to nominate two more sites in
Kimba. One called ‘Napandee’ and one called ‘Lyndhurst’. Despite being told by the Department of
Industry Innovation and Science (DIIS) that this would never come back to Pinkawillinie, it did,
because Napandee is located in the Hundred of Pinkawillinie. We now find ourselves even closer
neighbours to the Napandee site than we were to Cortlinye. We have continually stated our
opposition as neighbours but because we don’t share a fence it feels like we don’t really matter.

As farmers and neighbours to the selected site, it is of deep concern that radioactive waste could
be allowed to jeopardise Kimba and the Eyre Peninsula’s agricultural industries. The entire Eyre
Peninsula is very proud of its clean and green image, however, if a nuclear waste dump is
constructed in Kimba, no matter which way you look at it, the Eyre Peninsula will never be able to
lay claim to this image again. Clean and green does not go together with nuclear/radioactive
waste.

Only 4.5% of South Australia is arable land. There is so much unproductive land in the whole of
Australia that would be a more suitable option than farming land to store radioactive waste. This
is where the current process falls down because it only allows nominations from volunteer
landowners so even though there may be better options out there, this process won’t allow them
to be considered because they have not volunteered.

We find it staggering that Kimba was allowed to re-enter the process after initially being removed
due to lack of community support but the Leonora nomination was not accepted even though they
say they are able to provide a final deep burial site for Australia’s most toxic waste which would
completely remove the need to double handle the waste and save many tax payer dollars.

The proposed nuclear waste facility is illegal under South Australia’s Nuclear Waste Facility
(Prohibition) Act (2000) and we don’t believe it is right that the Federal government will use
regulations to override the Act when South Australians have continually shown they are opposed
to the facility.

We recommend to the committee that the Bill to amend the National Radioactive Waste
Management Act to specifically name a site near Kimba in South Australia for a nuclear waste
facility is rejected because not only is it deeply flawed but the current process has not ensured the

best and safest option in the whole of Australia has been obtained with genuine broad community support

We recommend the Committee:

 Withdraw or reject the Bill on the grounds that broad community support has not been met.
There has never been any clear or defined parameters to determine broad community support
and the criteria used to determine the results has not been justified. It is questionable as to
why only 824 people in one small regional town got to vote on the whole Nation’s waste.

 Withdraw or reject the Bill on the grounds that neighbour support has not been met. The 100%
direct neighbour support is based on just two landowners as the majority of the land
surrounding the Napandee site is owned by the nominator themselves. Almost half of the
neighbours within the 5km radius to this site remain opposed. This does not constitute broad
neighbour support.

 Scrutinize the exclusion of the Barngarla Traditional Owners in the 2019 community ballot and
investigate if Barngarla were included as neighbours in the neighbour’s survey as Traditional
Owners of the Pinkawillinie Conservation Park which is within the 5km radius of the site.
.

Investigate why the Leonora nomination in Western Australia was not accepted but Kimba
were allowed to re-enter the process after initially being removed due to lack of community
support. In fairness to all applicants it must be clear as to why Kimba was targeted to reapply as
the only option.
 Investigate how processes to select a site for radioactive waste are conducted in other
countries all over the world. The current process where individuals nominate their own land for
their own personal gain and then seek community support is completely backwards and does
nothing but cause angst and divide communities.

 Investigate the ramifications of naming a specific site if the regulator ARPANSA do not grant the
license required to store radioactive waste at the named site and, seek advice from ARPANSA as to whether the proposed double-handling of intermediate-level waste is consistent with
national and international best practice standards.

Our concerns are very real and we continue to have many unanswered questions. It has been
difficult to get responses from the DIIS. Recently we contacted the NRWMF taskforce in February
via email seeking clarification on an issue surrounding the neighbour surveys. After sending 3
emails (19th February, 25th February and 2nd March) and not getting a single response, we
proceeded to contact them by phone, only to find out they had received all 3 emails and were
working on a reply. To date, and over a month later, we still have not received any
correspondence on this matter.

Our understanding is the ultimate passing of this Bill will abolish any right of judicial or
administrative review. Accepting this Bill is taking away everyone’s fundamental rights to expect a
fair and transparent process.

One Response to “Wrong nuclear waste dump process: individuals nominate their land for personal gain”

  1. The risks of allowing landowners to volunteer their land for nuclear waste disposal: | Cumbria Trust Says:

    […] disposal of low-level nuclear waste and as a temporary store for intermediate-level waste.  This site has been chosen after being volunteered by a landowner in return for a substantial payment.  The […]

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