The Australian government’s new strategy to get a nuclear waste dump at Kimba, South Australia.

Dr Jim Green, Friends of the Earth, 12 June 21, After being deadlocked in the Senate for exactly twelve months Resource Minister Pitt is introducing a revised radwaste amendment next Tuesday morning (June 15) that seeks to negate key objections to the federal governments approach to the siting of a national radioactive waste facility near Kimba in regional SA.

The changes mean that the Minister – rather than the Parliament – will choose a site and that choice will then be subject to legal review through Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1979 (ADJR) processes.

In some ways this is a positive campaign outcome – the federal agenda has been effectively stalled since Feb 2020 and the Minster has had to abandon his push to remove the right of legal recourse, an important reaffirmation of a (limited) check and balance. However, it does mean that the federal effort and momentum to advance the facility will soon significantly escalate.

The amendment restores the three shortlisted SA sites (Lyndhurst, Napandee, and Wallerberdina) as being open for consideration. This is despite Wallerberdina (the Flinders Ranges site) having been ruled out of consideration in December 2019 by former Minister Canavan.

The last listed supplementary explanatory memorandum on the right hand side of the below link outlines the main changes to the revised amendment.

I have not had formal confirmation but it is likely that this revised approach will satisfy federal Labor and that the Bill will be passed. After this it is expected that Minister Pitt will move to formally declare the Napandee site, near Kimba.

Once this happens it is expected the Barngarla lawyers (the Adelaide based firm Norman Waterhouse) will file a challenge to the site selection. This development will require a re-calibration – but not a fundamental change – of our strategy and an increased public face to the campaign for responsible radioactive waste management.


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