Archive for the ‘National’ Category

Top submission to Australian Senate on Inquiry into Nuclear Waste Dump Site Selection

April 21, 2018

This is the best of several submissions to the Senate Inquiry, that I have read so far. It can be heavy going for the reader, because it is densely informative.  For a start, I have summarised some of the major arguments,

ENUFF argues that “the Taskforce has not properly nor fully informed either the wider public; nor their arbitrary ‘local community’ cohort; nor the State Government; &, it would appear, not even their own Federal Minister – about the whole radioactive waste regimen. Instead they almost only & exclusively accentuate & promote Australian usage of medical radioisotopes. ”

The community consultation methods have been inadequate and unfair. There is no scientific need for Lucas Heights nuclear wastes to be transported to rural South Australia, and medical wastes amount to only a tiny fraction of the radioactive wastes planned for the S.A. Dump.

Stirling North and Leigh Creek residents would be affected, but were excluded from the consultation. Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association were NOT consulted prior to the Wallerberdina preferred site announcement , contrary to UN endorsed Indigenous Rights.

In surveys run by Flinders Local Action Group a clear majority voted “no” to the establishment of a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility in the area .

Scrutiny of the Barndioota Consultative Committee NRMWT survey reveals questionable and biased methodology and results.

National Radioactive Waste Management Facility’s communications and publicity have been deceptive with its pretense that the waste is predominantly medical Low Level Wastes, ignoring Intermediate Level Waste volumes intended for ‘temporary’ storage

Given the prime-facie maladministration ans deficiencies described above, ENuFF calls for a judicial inquiry into the NRWMF ‘s processes.

ENuFF-SA Submission 1 to the Senate ERC NRWMF Inquiry (not yet published on the Senate website)

CONTENTS Page 2 Acronyms 3 Introduction 5 Executive Summary 6 History 8 Contemporary Action 9 Wallerberdina 16 Indigenous appraisal 19 Correspondence with the Taskforce 22 Afterword 25 Bibliography

In order to determine whether or not maladministration &/or negligence has any bearing upon the community consultation process, ENuFF asks the committee to recommend a judicial inquiry into the performance of the NRWMF Taskforce…..


• Contrary to NFCRC best practice principles i, iii, iv, viii, xi quoted above [on original] ; the Taskforce has not properly nor fully informed either the wider public; nor their arbitrary ‘local community’ cohort; nor the State Government; &, it would appear, not even their own Federal Minister – about the whole radioactive waste regimen. Instead they almost only & exclusively accentuate & promote Australian usage of medical radioisotopes.

• Contrary to i, iii, iv, vii, xi; the Taskforce applied peremptory community consultation eligibility parameters. For example, democratic participation involved comparative telephone surveys which excluded & discriminated against those not having a home or business landline. Thereby denying procedural fairness

• Contrary to ii, vi, vii, x, xii; the Taskforce allowed 95 anonymous people – having negligible connections to the proposed site living over 20 kilometres away from Wallerberdina (= Barndioota) & with the majority 40k+ – to veto the interests of 75 aboriginal people & the immediate neighbours.

• Contrary to i, vi, vii, xii; the Taskforce conflated a flawed configuration for the Barndioota ‘immediate community’. What views regarding further consultation were in the initial stages provided to the Department, & by whom?

• Contrary to i, vii, xi; the Taskforce acted deficiently because there was no parity of consideration between the respective short list sites. The statistical samplings were adjusted on a case by case basis allowing the disparate inclusion of highly populated regional service centres at some places but not others. There was not a level playing field, therefore any decisions based upon comparative statistical analysis are invalid.

Contrary to vii, xii; the Taskforce applied ‘special treatment’ to establish each aboriginal respondent’s local indigenous status during the survey process. Given the fact that indigenous people were specifically targeted, was the modus operandi deficient? Did government agents picket local stores querying the ethnicity of passers by? Did Orima employees attend at specific addresses such as aboriginal community centres or housing precincts? How was ‘local aboriginality’ established & anonymity maintained?

• Contrary to xii; the Taskforce employed Mr Zaheer McKenzie.

• Contrary to i, vi, vii; the Taskforce excluded Stirling North from the Barndioota survey cohort. What follows is commentary on the background behind these contrary indicators.


  1. The current Commonwealth Government effort to establish a nuclear waste dump in regional South Australia is largely predicated upon the Feb 5th 1992 judgement in the New South Wales Environment Court: finding that although Lucas Heights was the ‘safest site in Australia’; it determined against the use of Lucas Heights as a national radioactive waste storage site14 . There is no scientific, technical, engineering, safety nor security reason why Lucas Heights cannot hold such material.
  2. 2. That court decision was not predicated upon the locally generated ‘medical waste’: but mainly against the storage of 2010m3 shipped to Lucas Heights from Fisherman’s Bend in Victoria. This material was then moved to Woomera late 1994 early 199515 – for so-called ‘temporary’ storage whilst a national facility was being identified. Concurrently an additional 30m3 Dept of Defence holding (including plutonium) requiring long-lived ILW protection was also placed ‘temporarily’ on Woomera 23 years ago.
  3. 3. THUS THE REQUIREMENT FOR A NATIONAL FACILITY REMOTE FROM LUCAS HEIGHTS WAS NOT INITIALLY BASED UPON ANSTO GENERATED MEDICAL WASTE. Indeed, best practice would require ANSTO waste containment as near as practical to source, ie @ Lucas Heights.
  4. As late as July 2002, the two Woomera holdings amounted to about 60% of the total LLW & sl-ILW inventory; another >35% of the national inventory was ANSTO generated & held at Lucas Heights; whilst >5% (including ALL hospital waste) was from civil/academic use (distributed nationwide, mostly in the eastern states). There is an additional annual increase of about 40m3 – plus up to 2500m3 from reactor decommissioning – 80% contained within NSW. The radioactive waste resulting from Australian use of medical isotopes constitutes a minimal overall fraction which could easily be stored indefinitely at Lucas Heights. Nearer to the source of production & usage in an already existing secure purpose built facility that requires no expansion of risky transport across the country Refs at bottom of p.6
  5. dunno what 5 is
  6. 6. In 1999 it was presumed by Federal agencies that a national radioactive waste facility would be close to operational by 2005 – the projected commission of the Lucas Heights OPAL reactor – & this understanding was integral to ARPANSA’s approval to build it.
  7. 7. By 2001 however, ANSTO amended their OPAL specs to stipulate 2025 return of reprocessed OPAL fuel as the critical date – completely ignoring the already existent 400m3 & the ILW return due in 2015. In 2002 ARPANSA approved construction after being informed by the Govt that the LLW facility would be operational around late 2003.
  8. 8. By 2004, with no national facility in progress, the ANSTO ‘authority to operate’ application dropped any specific dates regarding Lucas Heights waste transfer – effectively disabling the 1993 regulatory framework. OPAL proceeded without ANSTO specifying long term waste management.
  9. 9. In 2006 ARPANSA issued the OPAL operating license. ANSTO expanded it’s Lucas Heights waste holding capacity in 2007 & 2009; then again in 2013 for storage of processed fuel (ILW) returned from France in 2016. More capacity is planned post-2019.
  10. CONTEMPORARY ACTION 10. It can be reasonably surmised that 25+ years of frustrated attempts to establish a national radioactive waste facility by successive Federal Governments (of both political persuasions) is exacerbated by a systemic administrative failure to fully inform or properly engage with the people & the State Governments.
  11. 11. The Department has a past history of skewing the deck in regard to radioactive management: ‘’Our senior Government source ………. tells how the benefits of a reactor’s role in nuclear medicine were deliberately overstated…… So, it was reduced to one point, and an emotional one at that. ‘ 17
  12. 12. The farce continues with the perpetual deceitful ‘nuclear medicine saves Aussie lives’ indoctrination: whilst the community is also expected to accept the ‘temporary’ above ground storage of Intermediate Level Waste – which the Taskforce would have us believe predominately results from reprocessing the fuel rods used in radioisotope production. However, a previous 1999 Departmental report demonstrates this to be false: ‘’…… long-lived intermediate level radioactive waste from reprocessing of spent fuel from both HIFAR and a replacement research reactor should amount to no more than several tens of cubic metres. This would only represent a small proportion of Australia’s current inventory of long-lived intermediate level radioactive waste. “’ 18
  13. 13. Falsehoods coupled to divisive warranting of the opinions & perceived interests of an arbitrary poorly defined ‘local community broad support’ – but not others – thereby denying Procedural Fairness & corrupting any social consent.
  14. 14. The Taskforce seeking such consent for ‘temporary19’ storage of processed spent fuel & to provide de-facto endorsement for the triple expansion of ANSTO’s radioactive exports – not for Australian health benefits but in a lame attempt to band-aid ANSTO’s drain on the public purse.
  15. 15. The community, which actually includes all Australians, is being held hostage by a wolf [being the poorly advertised 85% bulk volume of waste] in sheepskin [>15% = Australian medical isotope usage] & expected to subscribe to unknown engineering holding unspecified volumes of undisclosed poisons indefinitely – AND also only Barndioota & Kimba so-called locals get any say…… Get real.
  16. 16. Whilst the AEC may have smeared a veneer of authenticity, the Kimba ballot ‘to proceed the site selection process’ was invalid because a significant proportion of the ‘yes’ vote was based upon the Taskforce presenting a false perception to the constituents. Namely that most of the radioactivity generated by the proposed facility will be LLW derived from Australian hospital use of radio-pharmaceuticals. WRONG WRONG WRONG… References at end of page 8
  17. Wallerberdina 17. In April 2016 Wallerberdina was the singular location20 selected from six shortlisted sites: & just months later that decision was described as “controversial” in the 45th Parliament Briefing Book of July 201621. ENuFF & others have grave reservations about the ‘Phase 1’ administrative process which resulted in Barndioota becoming the preferred locality.
  18. 18. We now direct your attention to the methodology used by the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility Project (NRWMFP). Orima Research22 was contracted to conduct a multi-State survey23 of 5 communities24 in Feb/Mar 2016 – principle mode was the asking of set questions25 via computer assisted telephone cold calling.
  19. 19. The Barndioota entitlement to be heard was constricted to a 50k radius & also included those Flinders Ranges District Council (FRDC) residences & businesses who happened to be listed in a sanctioned telephone directory: “The sample frame of mobile and landline telephone numbers was provided by SamplePages…….. The geo-targeted sample was primarily composed of landline numbers, as there is very limited availability of mobile numbers that can be geo-targeted.“ 26
  20. 20. According to the latest figures, many Australians (nearly 30%) only possess unlisted mobile phones27 – so a substantial number of the so-called ‘locals’ were arbitrarily excluded simply because they did not posses a home / business fixed phone. They were denied Procedural Fairness.
  21. 21. Such methodology is further discriminatory because ownership of a home or business telephone account is statistically directly related to socioeconomic status & to age. There were 5 districts surveyed nationally, did the Taskforce consider the per capita demographic of phone ownership in each cohort before making its Barndioota decision?
  22. 22. Until tested, it can be argued that there may be comparatively less diversity/divestment of home phone ownership in the Barndioota precinct due to number of demographics, including: remoteness; a higher aboriginal population; greater transient workforce; greater mobility; socioeconomics; family reasons; age, or personal choice Refs at bottom of p.9
  23. 23. Those that do have home or business phones would mainly constitute the comfortably established, & the ‘random’ access to such does not truly represent any ‘local community’ as a whole. Also, whilst a telephone may be physically located within a certain zone this does not guarantee that anyone who answers it is a permanent member of the ‘local community’.
  24. 24. According to the survey cohort parameters28, the ‘Barndioota’ adult population was 1,331: the number of available phones was 266, 228 responded; from which 146 people were interviewed resulting in 65%29 = 95 people who were not opposed to furthering the investigative process & 51 against. Overwhelmingly derived from FRDC landlines. Note that Wallerberdina Station lies barely within the extreme & remote NW corner the FRDC30 .
  25. 25. Nationally, each of the 5 survey precincts had different geographical parameters applied – thereby further muddying any comparative statistics. For example, the ‘Hale’ precinct was expanded to include the whole of Alice Springs; ‘Sally’s Flat’ sampling inflated to swallow both Bathurst & Mudgee, whilst ‘Oman Oma’ – simply within a 50k radius.
  26. 26. This conflation justified in order to: “… include or exclude population centres in the surrounding area in accordance with the views of the immediate communities as provided to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in the initial stages of the consultation period. “ 31 .
  27. 27. Regarding Barndioota, what ‘ views ‘ were ‘ in the initial stages .. provided’ to the Department – & by whom? Define ‘ immediate communities ‘. Is that what the rest of us would call locals? I ask that this Senate Committee make publicly available the full details regarding this Taskforce claimed survey initiatory cause.
  28. 28. None of the General Population Barndioota survey sample (146) lived within a 20k radius of the proposed site & 106 lived more than 40k away32 . The survey does not tell us how far away the 95 unopposed lived, but the whole FRDC is approx 100k long + 45 wide with Barndioota located at the much less populated north-western extremity. Of 77 aboriginal people personally interviewed (face to face, not by phone), 75 were against further process33 . Refs p.10
  29. 29. “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, & Statistics” 34. The Community Sentiment Surveys Report (CSSR) selectively presents the gathered data in such a way as to give false appearances in order to shed a ‘positive’ light. The CSS page 2 Headline Banner “Overall Support” Chart EXCLUDES DATA collected from the 77 Barndioota indigenous respondents & there-by deceptively presents a 65% FALSE POSITIVE – when in fact the Barndioota total aggregate data [Gen Pop + Neighbours + Indigenous + Business] actually generates a 52% NEGATIVE outcome. Neither ‘Overall’ nor ‘Support’.
  30. 30. This demonstrates that the Taskforce wrongfully excluded indigenous responses in order to present a false positive ‘broad community support’. Such maladministration may constitute a denial of natural justice, be contrary to the Racial Discrimination Act 2012, & conceivably attributed to apprehensions of bias35 .
  31. 31. ENuFF contends that the Taskforce acted negligently in selecting Wallerberdina by conducting a comparative telephone survey of the different nominations without considering the exclusion & discrimination which home or business phone ownership necessarily imputes. The Taskforce then uses that flawed cohort to justify 95 people living over 20 kilometres away (& the majority 40k+) having negligible connections to the proposed site to negate the wishes of 75 aboriginal people, many of whom live & associate immediately adjacent. Wrong & doubly discriminatory. There is also no parity of consideration when other sites statistical samples were modified to include large regional service centres.
  32. 32. What exactly is ‘local community’? The NRWM Act36 does not define nor use that term. The Taskforce accepted theoretical statistical modelling which rendered each of the 5 ‘local communities’ with different prescriptions for geographical extent & population size.
  33. 33. ENuFF contends that action was deficient & renders a worthless statistical outcome. That the Taskforce so-called ‘local community’ engagement in the site selection process is not prescribed by the NRWM Act but was based upon unproven a priori presumptions not corporeal – therefore rendered administratively & legally irrelevant.
  34. 34. The Department spends big bucks in the latest inclusive fashion – but ends up wearing no clothes. 35. Before this fiasco, how many of the Barndioota ‘local community 146’ identified as ‘Barndiootans’ …. & how many of those could name others as Barndiootans? Zero. Of the 146, how many had even heard of Wallerberdina Station before the Chapman nomination? Precious few p. 11refs
  35. 36. ENuFF also believes that the various survey determined ‘local community’ parameters fail the ‘reasonable person test’, i.e what would the average individual regard a ‘local community’ to be? Those living within a relatively small named locale immediately springs to mind.
     37. Local council districts are government precincts & may NOT be generally regarded as ‘local community’: their demographic more readily understood as a cooperative association of many ‘local communities’; often administratively expressed as Wards having their own elected representatives.
     38. Reasonable folk would also agree that the nearer you live to any proposed radioactive waste facility the more likely you are to oppose it. The survey also indicates such37. Inflating the geographical boundary therefore necessitates including a greater percentage of those less likely to object. The reasonable presumption that ‘local community’ = ‘living nearby’ does not apply in the case of Wallerberdina.
    39. Reasonable folk would understand that if you didn’t live near a radioactive dump & were offered monetary or other benefits for supporting the construction of said dump then you would be more likely to consent than if there were no incentives.
    40. Annually, the Department dangles a $2 million sweetener into the whole FRDC pond38, with promises of $10 million39 to come. Not only that but also: “Other community support will include significant supporting infrastructure needed to support the facility, such as access to a stable and reliable communication system, including mobile phone reception and broadband internet. Roads may need to be upgraded to a suitable load standard.”
     41. Whether or not such ‘infrastructure’ would ever actually eventuat te is moot, because apart from the spuriously claimed “… strongest support was in this site …. The minister said the Barndioota site excelled based on its geological settings, technical capability and access to transport – it is close to a railway line.“ 41 Given that a heavyweight rail line already exists & is intended for use, then there would be minimal need for road upgrades; & communications proximal to the remote facility would provide negligible wider benefit (since hardly anyone lives nor commutes within mobile phone tower range of the proposed site).
     42. Proposed use of the existing rail corridor also introduces indicative ‘local community’ criteria not included within the Taskforce survey. The railway extends from Stirling North in the south up to Leigh Creek in the north. Distance wise, Stirling North lies within the same geographical scope as  the FRDC – so why were Stirling North residents excluded? Would Leigh Creek residents be affected?  refs p 12
    43. The Stirling North ‘local community’ has an equal or greater direct association with the site & transport corridor than 99% of FRDC people; as a whole they would be subject to greater risk than most FRDC residents (the only exceptions being immediate neighbours & aboriginal people), & more likely to benefit from associated jobs & business opportunities.
    44. However, ENuFF & others have also expressed many times that this issue is much greater than any ‘local community’; whilst nationwide a multiplicity of aboriginal organisations & individuals are opposed to radioactive waste facilities upon their traditional lands42 .
     45. As to other ‘local community’ criteria, it is reasonable to presume that local indigenous land councils would be involved, & The Act does stipulate that relevant aboriginal land associations be included – but only in the Northern Territory. In the case of South Australia & Barndioota, the ‘Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association43 are the peak body.
    46. ATLA were NOT consulted prior to the Wallerberdina preferred site announcement: “I’m surprised and disappointed that we havent been consulted before the announcement was made, once again it appears the traditional owners have been overlooked. The support for this is mainly coming from the non-Aboriginal community, who will generally be in our country for a few of generations, but for us this is our land forever and we have a cultural duty to protect it.“ 44. ATLA opposes siting the facility at Wallerberdina: “the bottom line is we don’t want this dump and people need to start listening to us, the traditional owners!” 45 .
    47. Also consider UNDRIP (United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People) endorsed by the Australian Government:       “Article 29 2 States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent. Article 32 1 Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources. 2 States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources. Article 35 Indigenous peoples have the right to determine the responsibilities of individuals to their communities. “ 46 .  refs p 13
    48. So, in Phase 1 the nomination of Wallerberdina was controversial & contrary to UN endorsed Indigenous Rights: whilst the Departmental actions for determining Barndioota as preferred site were based upon false presumptions & redacted data biased toward a positive outcome; thereby wrongfully deficient.
    49. Phase 2 then followed, with the following stated Departmental objectives: “• Heritage and technical assessment. • Establish a community consultative committee. • Engage a Community Liaison Officer. • The community to provide input into design. • The Government to seek broad community support for hosting the facility.” 47
     50. The Taskforce again seeking ‘broad community support’ by milking a distorted community cohort: but by now rumblings are occurring with FRDC citizenry dissatisfied with the failure of the telephone survey to fairly sample the population
    . 51. Residents then organised themselves into the ‘Flinders Local Action Group’ (FLAG48), & amongst other things, conducted their own survey: “FLAG undertook a community survey in two parts in the region between September and November 2016 asking the question “Do you want a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility established at Wallerberdina Station / Barndioota?” In both surveys, a clear majority voted “no” to the establishment of a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility in the area, with 92% voting against it in Survey 1 and 79% in Survey 2.“ 49
    52. The FLAG Survey Report also remarked that: “The siting of A National Radioactive Waste Management Facility is an issue of huge national importance. So is it fair that our small community is being asked to make such a serious decision based on limited and, we believe, misleading information?“ 50. Note the reference to ‘misleading information’, a view which ENuFF & others also hold51 .
     53. Phase 2 also saw the Taskforce implement the Barndioota Consultative Committee (BCC) whereby a panel of FRDC residents were incorporated into a group which are meant to regularly meet in order to provide an information disseminating interface between the Department & ‘local community’. But as far as ENuFF can ascertain, there are no active protocols to ensure there is a regular meaningful flow of information or authenticated feedback between the BCC & the wider ‘local community’.
     54. Meanwhile, in June 2017, even the BCC question the Taskforce notion of ‘local community’ parameters: “Friends and family outside are part of one’s community…… Smaller towns north of Hawker and Wallerberdina Station are more connected to Hawker than those in the south…… Action Item 3: BCC members will consider the outcomes of the conversation about the definition of the Barndioota community, and re-visit the issue at a future meeting. “refs p 14
    55. The BCC again in October 2017: “It was mentioned that Quorn has been included in the definition previously and if they were removed then that could create further tension between the towns. A member mentioned that the question was ‘what do we see as a community’ and it has been mentioned previously that the Hawker community does not include Quorn. In the previous  discussion there was a strong view the Quorn should not be included.“ 53
    56. The question asked above “.. what do we see as a community’ …“ & the Hawker v Quorn contention demonstrates a number of things: a a divisive outcome from the Taskforce process; b no unequivocal determinant of ‘local community’; c a presumption by some BCC members that Hawker has greater claim upon ‘local community’ status.54, & d Stirling North – whose residents would be most affected – is again unrepresented & totally ignored.
    57. Not only are there divisions within the ‘local community’ but also there is a barrier between the BCC & the rest of the populace. Given past failure of the BBC to enter constructive dialogue & exchange information with the wider community; a group of locals wishing to become better informed attended the BCC December 2017 meeting but were ejected.
     58. Representations were made by FLAG to both the BCC & NRWMFT seeking redress & clarity upon the closed door policy; “What possible grounds can there be to eject two community members who made the effort to attend to listen and observe the proceedings? A reasonable conclusion would be that the Committee was preparing to discuss something that they did not want the community to know ……” 55 .
     59. As to BCC noting that the old Hawker Council District could become the sole parameter for ‘local community56’, even the NRWMFT acknowledges that “ Hawker …. would be unlikely to provide all the necessary services required for construction and operation of the facility due to its size …… The nominated block is relatively remote with nearby residences far away in comparison to other sites, ….Some services required …. would likely need come from Quorn or Port Augusta. ” 57. Again, no mention of the Stirling North rail terminal. In that same report (p12), the NRWMF also erroneously claims “… the community consultation process demonstrated unambiguous overall general community support ….“. Unambiguous? BS  refs p 15
    60. Since post-facto there is no consensus for defining ‘local community’; & the on-going process for validating the same or some other ‘local community’ parameters generates division; exclusion; coupled to the Taskforce failure to properly liaise outside the BCC camera: then there has been a negligent & maladministrative breakdown in procedural fairness.                                              Whilst here-in we have made much ado about NRWMFT shenanigans regarding their local community Trojan Horse, ENuFF, as previously stated numerous times; holds the position that locating a national radioactive suppository is the business of the whole country – not just those victims chosen to scapegoat all users of radio-pharmacopoeia.
    61. Apart from the Taskforce Phase 1 Campaign taking flak from the wider civil society & FRDC residents in particular; the Taskforce also had an overwhelmingly failure of approval from the indigenous people – which Phase 2 systematically set out to undermine.
    62. ENuFF contends that the Taskforce misused information garnered by their illegitimate imperious survey conventions to wrongfully embark upon a campaign to subvert the overwhelmingly negative determination against their proposed dump by the Barndioota connected aboriginal population.
     63. Let us further scrutinise the Barndioota survey methodology & results. The general FRDC survey was conducted through computer assisted cold phone calls – whilst aboriginal people were polled face-to-face. Incognito could reasonably be expected from the first remote contact method; but with one-on-one interviews anonymity is much more problematic.
     64. Indeed, given the nature of aboriginal society & a more personal process, then at least some, if not all, individuals would have been identified by name – even if only in order to ratify them as eligible participants.
     65. If remaining anonymous is a right expected & experienced by the general populace – but is not enjoyed by members of the aboriginal community, then there may be a breach of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 Section 1058 .
     66. ‘ For the purpose of Authentication’ is not a valid exception – since contextually the general populace cold-calling does not actually establish whether or not respondents were eligible. Whilst the telephones may be physically located within the designated precinct, anybody who happened to be present – regardless of permAnent residency – could answer such & be counted.  Refs p 16
    67. The Taskforce survey also describes engaging with the aboriginal community using the statistical ‘non-probability intercept method ‘ 59. As far as ENuFF can ascertain, no further details have been released regarding how the so called ‘intercept method’ was applied; but this data gathering technique is generally experienced at places like shopping malls where people are randomly approached by clip-board wielding operatives & asked a set of questions.
    68. The Senate Committee needs to discover how the Taskforce ascertained validity & anonymity in establishing ‘local indigenous’ identity during the survey process. Given the fact that indigenous people were specifically targeted, was the modus operandi deficient? Did government agents picket local stores querying the ethnicity of passers by? Did Orima/DIIS employees stake out specific addresses such as aboriginal community centres or housing precincts? How was ‘local aboriginality’ established?
     69. ENuFF hold that it is reasonable to assume that during Barndioota Phase 1 the Taskforce (&/or Orima) compiled a list of aboriginal names & addresses which in Phase 2 were specifically targeted. This is clearly indicated from Taskforce agents door knocking aboriginal residences in Port Augusta – outside the Barndioota survey precinct. Such also flies in the face of the NRWMF claiming that “Individual’s survey responses will remain anonymous and be treated as confidential“ 60
    70. Such a surmise is further indicated by the employment of Zaheer McKenzie61 (ZMc) as the NRWMF Taskforce, Barndioota Community Engagement Officer. ZMc has Kuyani Adnyamathanha descent indigenous to the local area. He raises cattle on Cotabena Station which is adjacent to the proposed Wallerberdina site.
    71. ZMc is also registered as a Director (since 2014) & current Contact Person for the ‘Viliwarinha Yura Aboriginal Corporation’ (VYAC), with a membership list that has been publicly available62 since 2008. From the VYAC Rule Book63, “ The corporation aims to: (a) Address the land acquisition and management (including Native Title) needs of descendants of Malcolm and Ruth McKenzie on their respective traditional lands. “ VYAC has been recognised by the Taskforce as 1 of only 2 incorporated aboriginal associations having direct interest in the dump proposal. Cotabena was included in the CSS under the ‘Neighbours’ data-set. refs p 17
    72. The employment of ZMc can therefore be perceived as the Taskforce gaining political leverage inside both the local & broader aboriginal community by intruding within pre-existent corporate governance processes. That would be contrary to the UNDRIP principle of self determination; & ZMc’s stipend potentially construed as a monetary incentive that curries favour.
    73. Due diligence requires that the Department must be aware of not only the direct aboriginal interest within the Wallerberdina environs, but also of ZMc’s direct pivotal position within the corporate governance regimen. The issue of his employment has been raised with the Department64 .
    74. The Taskforce is also aware that a number of ZMc’s aunties (some of whom reside on YGP as neighbours to the proposed site) are spokespersons in the anti-dump campaign, whilst his father has publicly advocated strong pro-dump views on many occasions.
    75. ENuFF contends that the Department acted wrongfully & divisively by appointing ZMc as engagement officer because it places him in an influential but compromising position with potential conflicts of interest. Any communications between the Department & the VYAC puts ZMc in the unique & powerful position of being able to manipulate, filter, delay, influence &/or determine information flow between the Department & the aboriginal community – & vice-versa. ENuFF is not saying that such is occurring – only that there is no apparent safeguard to prevent it.
     76. A better option would have been for the Department to consult ATLA seeking their endorsement of a proper candidate; & the same could be said for the aborig inal people having input within the Departmental Heritage Assessment of the proposed site.
    77. Further to that, the NRWMF Taskforce has recently appointed Malcolm McKenzie (Tiger) to the position of Barndioota Economic Working Group co-Chair. Tiger is ZMc’s pro-dump father who lives outside the FRDC precinct (Davenport, Port Augusta); who also appears as a VYAC representative in the Heritage Assessment Group of the NRWMF Taskforce65 .
    78. No doubt father & son converse about the best means to further any ambitions either may hold. This Senate Inquiry should sanitise any whiff of nepotism & wrongful interference within aboriginal decision making processes by the Taskforce. Refs p 18
     79. A written complaint66 was lodged to DIIS on June 4th 2017 – which was answered on the 4th July 2017 by Bruce McLeary67, General Manager (GM) of the NRWMF Taskforce. Our concerns were not appeased by that 2 page response.
    80. In his correspondence dated 04 July 2017, General Manager NRWM Taskforce Bruce McCleary writes: “The Commonwealth is committed to the establishment of a national radioactive waste management facility as an important element in appropriately managing waste created from Australia’s use of nuclear technologies in medical, research and industrial activities“. Note that he has identified 3 streams of radioactive waste [medicine – research – industry] resulting from Australian use that necessitates building the proposed dump.
     81. The NRWMF Project media releases; public sessions, & other community engagements focus almost entirely upon the medical aspect – emphasising the application of radio-isotopes in Australian hospitals. The community engagement exercise is most apparently a promotion of nuclear medicine & NOT concise informative descriptions of radioactive waste streams produced or held by any & all sources Australia wide. The case to be met is not being fairly delivered.
    82. The Taskforce broadcasts minimal information about the type, amount, & location of facility bound radioactive wastes; including that % which SPECIFICALLY RESULTS FROM ACTUAL AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL USAGE.
     83. According to ANSTO Waste Projects & Strategic Planning Manager Kapila Fernando: “ANSTO holds about 50 per cent of the radioactive waste in Australia, and 85 per cent of the waste ‘stream’ is directly associated with this nuclear medicine manufacturing program – including the fuel used to power the reactor, the machines used in medicine production, and the gloves and gowns used in the manufacture or administration processes – the cycle to produce radionuclides produces nuclear medical waste.” 68
    84. When questioned by (then) Senator Scott Ludlam (Senate Economics Legislation Committee Session May 2017); ANSTO CEO Adi Paterson informed us that last financial year 80% of ANSTO’s diagnostic medical isotope production consisted of Molybdenum 99. Of which only 28% was used in Australia whilst 72% was exported69 .
    85. Let’s do the medical waste maths: – (50% x 85%) = 42.5 % of the national radioactive waste results from medical isotope production. Currently (72% x 80%) = 57.6% of that comes from Mo99 exports: which in future will triple, but currently stands at (57.6% x 42.5%) = only 24.5% of the total radioactive waste accumulation from all sources results from Australian radio-pharmaceutical use. REfs p 19
    86. Therefore, of the current Australian radioactive waste inventory, only 18% (42.5%-24.5%) results from actual national use of medical isotopes: & not all of the 18% requires containment in the proposed facility. ONCE THE W.A.C. HAVE BEEN FORMALISED THE RADIOACTIVE WASTE FROM AUSTRALIAN USAGE OF MEDICAL ISOTOPES NEEDING LONG TERM CONTAINMENT WOULD LIKELY BE 15% OR LESS OF THE TOTAL INVENTORY.
     87. The ‘medical isotopes save Australian lives’ mantra is being used as an emotional ploy to leverage community acceptance of any & all the 80-85% of non-local use medical radioactive waste70 . “…… it is possible that the waste from the ultimate decommissioning of the first reactor at Lucas Heights could amount alone to about 30 percent of the total volume of material to be managed in a national repository … But this is another reality Canberra has constantly sought to evade.” 71 Mr Richard Yeeles, ex-BHP Executive; former Premier’s CoS, & current adviser to State Opposition Leader Stephen Marshall
    88. Bruce claims that the NRWMF Project acts “… consistent with international best practice in the selection and development of radioactive waste facilities.”: but any ‘consistency’ is selective; ie only to the extent that such ‘best practices’ are perceived to suit ANSTO/ARPANSA’s evacuation of the Lucas Heights waste accumulation ASAP – & to help facilitate the Moly99 export expansion. For starters, IAEA ‘best practice’ requires radioactive waste be contained as close to the source of production as practicable, NOT thousands of kilometres away.
    89. Further proof of failure to fully comply to international best practice can be demonstrated by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill telling ABC Radio Adelaide Evenings listeners (28 June 2017) that the federal dump was for low level hospital waste. He is not the only one uttering such delusions. Best practice requires that all stakeholders be fully informed about the nature of that which is proposed.
     90. The Premier’s utterances indicate either a disturbing level of ignorance – or subterfuge, which is unlikely. Either way, the fact that such disinformation can be spread by the top man tells us that there has been a failure of the NRWMF Project communications with the State Government.
    91. International best practice requires all tiers of government be properly, accurately & fully appraised about the nature of what is being proposed. Whilst the NRWM Act 2015 may allow the Commonwealth to over-ride State legislation, this does not mean that there should be minimal interaction between the two tiers, nor mean carte blanche roughshod rule. 92. Under such legislative circumstances, best practice in fact requires GREATER efforts to share intelligence – since a fair & proper procedure depends upon full disclosure of the pertinent details. If our State parliamentarians (& other authorities) remain in the dark & make erroneous public statements then this is bound to unduly influence community perceptions. REfs p 20
     93. If the NRWMF Project was a private corporation then they would be hard pressed to defend against Section 18 “misleading or deceptive conduct” from the ‘Competition & Consumer Act 2010’72. The ‘Public Service Act 1999’Section 10 does however apply73 .
    94. Consider, for example the blatant falsehood published July 13 2017 on the NRWMFP website. This fiction is contained within the Foreword of the authoritative Federal Government’s “Kimba Phase 1 Summary Report”: “Australia has approximately 5,000m3 of radioactive waste, of which around 85 per cent is low level waste (LLW) and the remainder intermediate level waste (ILW). The vast majority of this radioactive waste is associated with the production of nuclear medicine ….” 74
     95. MINISTER CANAVAN GOT IT WRONG . Of the approx 5,000 cubic metres, about 40% is industrial research material barely contained within the leaking drums held by CSIRO at Woomera – currently being re-mediated at a cost of $30 Million75 .
     96. With the official & sanctioned provision of such misleading restrictive guidance into an inhibitory community engagement process, Procedural Fairness cannot occur & informed social consent is also impossible.
    97. Not only has the Taskforce failed to meaningfully engage with the SA Premier by not providing transparency to his Government; but it also appears that this Federal agency has also been negligent by not fully briefing their own Federal Minister. So, through the lack of proper cognisance the disinformation distribution is widespread & poses as authoritative. To ENuFF this seems a deliberate strategy; & we can easily imagine a directed campaign orchestrated from senior administrative level.
    98. In his July 4 correspondence, the GM acknowledged “….. that you have communicated on a number of previous occasions with the Department setting out your concerns about the process“. Bruce is probably referring here to numerous public comments made on the NRWMF Facebook Page76 since October 4th 2016.
    99. Despite the stated claim to “…. answer questions and provide information to local communities …“; we have found that on many occasions the FB page response to questions are far from satisfactory – or nonexistent: whilst the question format is preponderantly ‘Dorothy Dixer’ style promotion of radiopharmaceuticals.7  Refs p 21
    100.There is also a propensity for the FB page to delete valid comments without explanation. Examples can be provided should the Committee require that. More recently (2018), the FB page has been reduced to notifications only with no follow up responses to queries.
     101.Bruce says (p2 [6]) that after the technical review, DECISIONS will be made & THEN there will be a general public opportunity to contribute within ARPANSA’s licensing process. But common law natural justice formalised as the principle of Procedural Fairness requires the capacity of related parties to have input PRIOR TO DECISIONS BEING MADE.
    102.On the 4th of August 2017 a rejoinder78 to the Taskforce was sent – elucidating further aspects of perceived deficiencies in the community engagement process. That expansion has been incorporated within this Senate Committee Submission. Six months later, on the 5th Feb 2018, Rebecca Mouthan (RM), newly installed Manager Site Selection, responded79 .
     103.RMs approach was not to address the substantial & specific complaints but to reduce the whole to 3 banal generalisations of her own making, thereby avoiding provision of any significance: stating she was unable to provide further information & that no further response would be forth coming. Total subterfuge & not good enough.
    104.The claim made by both BM & RM that “.. decisions about the type of waste to be stored at the facility are yet to be made ..” 80 is pure sophistry. They are avoiding the issue of transparency & full disclosure by pinning their laurels upon the fact that ARPANSA is still developing the ‘code of practice’ – & so the Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) is yet to determined. Putting the yet to be built cart before the champing at the bit horse.
    105.However, in 2014 the Department contracted Jacobs SKM to produce the ‘Long Term Management of Australia’s Radioactive Waste – Initial Business Case ‘ 81. That document is not only a foundation scaffold for the Taskforce, but it also provides inventories of Commonwealth radioactive waste specifically requiring storage at a national facility. The WAC will be made to suit. 106.From the J-SKM Report we know that in 2014 the Commonwealth held 4048.28m3 of LLW & 551.5m3 of ILW. 65m3 of ILW arrived in 2015 & another 65m3 of ILW is pending >2020; PLUS another 500m3 ILW due in 2024, & another 195m3 >2059. Annually there will be 31m3 of LLW generated & 7.5m3 ILW82 . refs p 22
    Nowhere in the Taskforce community engagement will you find any descriptions of the existing, future & on-going ILW volumes intended for ‘temporary’ storage – yet the community is expected to blindly endorse that intent. The ILW will contribute by far the greatest radioactivity at the proposed facility The proposed storage method of the ILW, incidentally, does not constitute IAEA Best Practice. Flying in the face of NRWMF claimed ‘best practices’.
    107.ENuFF enters dialogue with the Senate (& Taskforce) after consulting & being informed by other South Australians. We also keep abreast of related current events & undertake documentary research. ENuFF would also point out that there are also other NGOs (to which ENuFF is not party) that hold similar views to those expressed here-in83 .
    108. In discussions with others, ENuFF has found that interest & concern is widespread & much more broad than the Department’s constriction to an arbitrary poorly defined ‘local community’. There is a greater public interest regarding Taskforce attempts to locate the NRWMF.
    109.Others have also publicly expressed such a view: “Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Dave Sweeney said radioactive waste was a national issue that demanded the highest level of inclusion and scrutiny. “All Australians have a right to be involved to help make sure that this difficult issue is given the best possible consideration,” he said. “What is planned is a national radioactive waste facility so while local community consultation is useful, an evidence based, national conversation is essential.” 84 [our underline]
    110.The Taskforce repeatedly publicises the pervading motif that ANSTO produces radioisotopes to benefit the health of ALL Australians; that approximately 50% of us will receive medical treatment using OPAL generated radiopharma. With such universal application of welfare then surely also applies an Australia wide ubiquitous obligation to be accountable for any liabilities.
    111.There is persistent regular promotion by the Department of ANSTO’s ‘nuclear medicine production for Australian usage’ despite such being a minor fraction (>18%) of the current radioactive waste inventory; whilst there has been no substantial public presentation or iteration by DIIS regarding the remaining approx 70% by volume of existing waste from other origins. Rfs p 23
    112.It is readily apparent to ENuFF that the ongoing promotion of the ‘Nuclear Medicine Saving Aussie Lives’ concept – to the detriment of most other pertinent content – is a deliberate ploy by a Taskforce intent upon inducing a sense of moral obligation upon hearts & minds of their culled geographically isolated victims. We regard such action to be wrongful, deceitful, deficient & negligent.
    113.In effect, the Taskforce actions render the so-called ‘local communities’ of Barndioota & Kimba into potential radioactive waste Scapegoats of the Nation – pushing them to make secure the accumulating demons excreted from the bowels of ANSTO’s Medical Isotopia: the current residents (& subsequent unborn generations) to be custodians unto time immemorial. Meanwhile what has not been exposed to proper ‘local community’ scrutiny, the other 70% of the radioactive iceberg, shall be quietly loaded & shipped as well. The Taskforce has not illuminated anything much of those other what where when & hows.
    114.Thus by subterfuge is placed upon the local communities involved an implied ethical responsibility to accept the whole nation’s hidden radioactive waste for the greater good. However, It is grossly unfair to abnegate the responsibility of us all based upon the opinions of a culled few that consign to succeeding generations the heavy burden of bearing the Nation’s toxic legacy – no matter how willing any contemporary community.
    115.Not without at least first seeking a more broad consensus that conferring such an onerous obligation for centuries is acceptable. Those select few would become responsible for committing many future generations to a poisonous heritage. A legacy of being the National Scapegoats. I, for one, do not consent to that. “ Clearly, initiative at a community level is to be welcomed and supported, but not if, in the process, the sense of wider social obligations and interdependencies are dissipated. “ 85
    116.Having characterised ‘local community’ demographics ostensibly (but not universally) based upon [50k perimeter + local council district], the Taskforce then engaged with those divisions – in particular one nominated site at ‘Barndioota86’ (then later two others at Kimba).
    117.The elephant in the room is of course what to do with the re-processed spent fuel (& other ILW). This was supposed (promised in ’98-’99) to be resolved before OPAL became operational – but nada. The current proposal is to indefinitely co-locate it wherever any national LLW dump shall happen to be. Refs p 24
    118.Since Phase 2 site suitability analysis is based upon LLW; temporary surface storage of ILW for an indefinite period without ILW specific fail-safe (subterranean in stable rock) is problematic because of the potential for widespread environmental contamination87 . Will the ongoing local community engagement process allow for a veto of colocation? No. That decision has already been made without any ‘local community’ or public input – again denying Procedural Fairness.
    119.ENuFF contends that thus far the Taskforce community engagement administrative processes for the Barndioota & Kimba nominated sites have been corrupted by disinformation at many levels, rendering a miscarriage of justice. People have been duped into supporting a process to determine the viability of storing Medical Waste derived from Australian Use, whereas in fact that is only the tip of a radioactive iceberg.
    120.The site selection process for the National Radioactive Waste Suppository has fragmented previously harmonious communities. People stop looking each other in the eye; neighbours no longer converse; businesses are boycotted & custom denied; harsh words said, physical threats enacted & blame apportioned. Families divided. Some say that after the Departmental Taskforce has departed, & no matter which way the radioactive penny drops, previously good relationships may never recover. Is that an acceptable outcome from Federal Governance?
    121.Given the prime-facie maladministration & deficiencies described above, ENuFF calls for a judicial inquiry into the NRWMFP.
    Finally 2 pages of bibiography

Holly Whittenbury on Nuclear dump siting- Aboriginal issues, tourism impact, conflict of interest issues

April 12, 2018

Senate Inquiry Submission into the Nuclear Waste Site Selection Process Holly Whittenbury

My name is Holly Whittenbury and I come from the southern Flinders Ranges. I have grown up there, spending the first 18 years of my life in Peterborough, not too far from Hawker, one of the selected dump sites. I presently study Environmental Science and plan to return to the area to assist in conservation efforts of the southern Flinders Ranges. I foresee myself being apart of the Flinders Ranges for my entire life ahead; although I do not live within the area presently, the issues within the ranges concern me wherever I am. I disagree with key aspects of the selection process for the nuclear waste dump site for the following reasons

  •   how the need for „broad community support‟ has played and will continue to play a part in the process, including: i) the definition of „broad community support‟ ii) how „broad community support‟ has been or will be determined for each
  • whether wider (Eyre Peninsular or state-wide) community views should be taken into consideration and, if so, how this is occurring or should be occurring;

Contrary to other pro-nuclear waste dump submissions, broad community support should include not just the residents within the Hawker township, but the wider surrounding area of Hawker, the state and the country.

The nearby Adnyamathanha Indigenous groups value the entire site proposed for the nuclear waste dump. Unlike Hawker residents, their spiritual home is not separated by nearly 40 kilometres. They are present in spirit and also physically through land rights beside and within the dump site location. The story-line of the Adnyamathanha people stretches 70 kilometres across the state along the ranges, their sacred birthing and healing site, Hookina Springs, lies within Grant Chapman‟s property of which they have rightful access to.

Whilst Hawker residents are separated, both physically and mentally from the proposed nuclear waste dump site, with Chapman himself declaring it is virtually wasteland, the whole area, but especially this site, is as sacred to the Adnyamathanha people as Mecca is to Muslims. To ignore or prioritise one community opinion over another is to degrade one community in favour of another. To degrade the local indigenous peoples views (who are closer in proximity to the site) in favour of the Hawker residents is to prioritise predominantly European society living in the township in European lifestyles with European law and worldviews. To claim that Indigenous consent has been gained despite the overt disagreement from the Adnyamathanha people over the waste dump site and their driving of protests which blocked the streets of Adelaide on North Terrace, is wilful ignorance in favour of nuclear fuel cycle industry and residents of non-Indigenous background. Here is a quote from Indigenous leader and outspoken critic of the waste dump, Enice Marsh, to demonstrate the obviously lack of consent and lack of consultation with the indigenous people:

“If we’re going to have that poison stuff here, even if it’s a low-level situation, it’s just absolute madness to put something like this near somewhere that’s so special,” she said.

“It’s everything; it’s a type of importance that you would never be able to describe.”

“The connection to this land for Adnyamathanha people is their culture, their customs; it’s their identity.”

In addition, criticism of the dump site has been given loudly by Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association chair Vince Coulthard:

“The Flinders Ranges is an iconic area that people come from all over the world to visit. I’m saddened to hear that the government wants to spoil this beautiful, pristine area with a devastating piece of junk. We certainly understand that there has to be somewhere they can store it, but you don’t take a pristine area and destroy that. We ask that the state government stand with the Adnyamathanha community to stop this waste dump.”

 Broad community support should also be sought state-wide; it is a state issue. The waste will either be trucked across the country through small towns or a port will be built to transport the waste first by ocean, then by rail or trucks on road. Despite the majority of the South Australian population living in Adelaide, The Flinders Ranges is an iconic totem of our state and dear to countless people, regardless of their place of residence. As stated, I am no longer living precisely within the Flinders Ranges area, yet my future depends on the area. I will return and my family still resides in Peterborough as they have done so since we first settled in Cavanaugh, north west of Dawson. My grandfather drove cattle and sheep through Horrocks Pass, just south of Hawker and the dump site, prior to the highway‟s construction. The land will always be important to many of us not necessarily physically present; broad community support needs to include those outside of the Hawker township.

  • the financial compensation offered to applicants for the acquisition of land under the Nominations of Land Guidelines;

In addition, the impact of the nuclear waste site on tourism within the Flinders Ranges should be evaluated independently and form part of state and national consensus. Presently, the Flinders Ranges is the third most popular visitor attraction (574,000 domestic visitors, 2.6 million visitor nights). It contributed 45% of tourism revenue in 2016 and employs 3,000 people directly and indirectly in the region. It therefore contributes significantly to the state economy and therefore likely affects the majority of the state‟s population in some way, even indirectly. Any reduction in this contribution to state economy (which is markedly more than what a nuclear waste dump would contribute) affects the entire state economically and has indirect consequences to many other businesses of towns surrounding Hawker in particular. My town, Peterborough, depends on tourism. It has been the town‟s only industry since the shut down of the railway industry decades ago, which saw the population of the town halve. The town depends on thriving tourism, largely bustling through its main street towards the Flinders Ranges. On weekends, in particular, the main street is full of caravans and off-road camper vehicles headed to the state icon north. The most successful businesses within the town are tourism based; hotels, motels, caravan parks, petrol stations, delis and the newsagency selling souvenirs touting the town as the „Gateway to the Flinders Ranges‟. How many other towns (Orroroo, Wirrabara, Melrose, Quorn, Yunta, Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Jamestown and Terowie), would be severely affected by the site selection of the nuclear waste dump? All of these businesses would be affected; therefore, these people deserve a say in the site selection. It is impossible to say how far out a reduction of tourism within the Flinders Ranges would reach. Therefore, the entire state (and nation) deserves a say and their voices heard in regards to seeking consent on the site selection.

  • whether and/or how the Government‟s „community benefit program‟ payments affect broad community and Indigenous community sentiment;

The payment of Hawker residents with a $10 million bribe does affect surrounding populations, including the Indigenous, significantly. The process of offering money to compensate or persuade a supposedly impoverished town (Hawker) to give consent despite Indigenous views disadvantages anyone who is not indoctrinated into Neo-Liberal values of European-based society. It is an inherently and blatantly biased process, given Hawker has been bribed with something that is only worthy in exchange for land of which others have spiritual and physical connection with and with something that could never be valuable in Indigenous culture. The thinking of the Hawker residents is truly unclear and motivated by financial support for their town. It is reprehensible that anyone, including the residents who have already made submissions, suggest that only their opinion counts in the selection and consent process of a nuclear waste dump. This will house the nation‟s (and perhaps eventually, the world‟s) nuclear waste. Their opinion is the most blighted and misguided of all individuals, given their own declared poverty and the bribe (“compensation”) offered to them. Here is a quote exemplifying this by Hawker Community Development board member Ian Carpenter:

“Like any small country council, we struggle for money to put into infrastructure and schools and nursing facilities,” he said.

“Admittedly, it’s not going to employ 100 people, but if it employs 20 in our area and creates traineeships for our people, then I think it’s a great idea.” traineeships for our people, then I think it’s a great idea.”

Employing 20 people through the nuclear waste dump is NOT a good enough reason to omit the voices of the other > 1 million people within the state of South Australia. Our voices count also and are arguably more objective than the Hawker residents.

Nationally, opinions on the waste dump should also be heard. The waste will come from all over the country, from medical and other sources. The need to remove that waste, the transport of such waste and its eventual storage and where it is stored (hence the site selection process) should be considerate to all individuals‟ perspectives on the matter

. · how any need for Indigenous support has played and will continue to play a part in the process, including how Indigenous support has been or will be determined for each process advancement stage;

  • any other related matters;

Indigenous support for the site should be overwhelmingly present if a site is selected to go ahead.

To have one, single person, who chaired a committee to establish a waste dump industry in SA in 1995, nominate his property as a potential site, is clearly a conflict of interest and completely bypasses the obtaining of any other consent from surrounding communities. It is reflective of the NeoLiberal system that Australia is presently under. We care more about cash, ‘industry’, tax cuts for major companies and figures at the end of spreadsheets than making real, responsible decisions and respecting the oldest living culture on this planet. The indigenous people of the area have described their stress at knowing their home and sacred site has been nominated as a nuclear waste dump for the nation.

The nomination by Grant Chapman with complete disregard for the rare freshwater spring, biodiversity, cultural storyline and indigenous community living beside his nominated property is nothing short of a continuation of forceful Colonialism. It is an Administrative Rationality which decides what is „good‟ for everyone else, despite never really placing itself in the shoes of its constituents, especially the Adnyamathanha people. His excuse was that the nearby town of Hawker is appreciative of the $10 million bribe that will go along with the nuclear waste site. In other words, the largely non-Aboriginal community’s consent, obtained through bribes that are only valuable in a society indoctrinated into Neo-Liberal, penny-counting thinking, can override Indigenous views. It is representative of our current priorising of European, Neo-Liberal thinking over Indigenous land values. It is unacceptable that, in a country which avidly nags its citizens to be more accepting of other cultures and demonstrate our so called ‘multiculturalism’, that it does not extend this to Indigenous welfare and their views on land management. They have stated their lack of consent loud and clear. Clearly, the nearby Indigenous custodians are suffering and outraged over the site selection. The nomination of the waste dump beside the beautiful Hookina Springs really is just another slap in the face to the very culture that we should actually be listening to as a nation.

Scott Cameron’s Submission to Senate finds process for selecting nuclear dump is misleading and faulty

April 9, 2018

Scott, Cameron Submission to Senate Inquiry: Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia This process started for my family over 2 years ago when our neighbours nominated their property directly alongside our farm to host a National Radioactive Waste Dump. As soon as we were aware we began researching to learn as much about the waste and the facility to educate ourselves and form an opinion. It was clear from the beginning that we were not given all the information and we would need to find it ourselves.

I have had many concerns about the lack of transparency throughout this process and it has caused a lot of stress and anxiety among many members of our community.

a) The financial compensation offered to applicants for the acquision of land under the Nominations of Land Guidelines;

This has been called a voluntary process, I don’t believe it can be called a voluntary process when the nominator stands to receive a payment of four times the value of their land. It is unclear what the value of their land actually is and information in relation to additional payments including access agreements has not been made available to the public.

c) How the need for ‘broad community support’ has played and will continue to play a part in the process,

Kimba was already removed from the process once after our first community Orima survey returned results of 51% not opposed to the facility. Minister Frydenberg declared there was strong opposition and not broad community support to go through to stage 2 of the process. Minister Matthew Canavan stated in the senate that he would need a figure in the vicinity of 65% to take Kimba through to the next stage. When I met with Minister Canavan at parliament house in October 2017 he confirmed that he had made this statement in the senate and it was touch and go for if he was going to take Kimba through to stage 2 with Kimba’s next vote returning results of 56% support for moving forward to stage 2. The Minister still hasn’t put a figure on what % he would require for the next community vote which I believe will be held this year. I believe broad community support should be 75 – 80%, this is a vote to host this facility permanently, it is not temporary it actually involves changing State Legislation which currently prohibits the development of such a facility anywhere in South Australia.

  1. Whether and/or how the Governments community benefit program payment affect broad community and Indigenous community sentimentThe $2 million dollar community benefit fund can only be seen as a bribe for people to vote to go through to the next stage. Throughout the process the Governments offered our community many bribes including better mobile phone and internet service, local television service, upgraded roads. As well we could have better Hospital and School Facilities. These are all things that all regional communities around Australia should be entitled to through the millions of dollars we pay in tax each and every year. We have also been told that if we were to host this facility we would become a ‘Federal Town’ whatever that means. I would have thought all towns across Australia should be treated equally with the same importance as a ‘Federal Town’

e) Whether wider (Eyre Peninsula or state-wide) community views should be taken into consideration and, if so how this is occurring or should be occurring; The Eyre Peninsula is a very unique farming area that is separated from the rest of the state. All grain from Eyre Peninsula is delivered, blended and exported out of Lower Eyre Peninsula. Therefor Kimba’s grain is mixed with every other town’s grain on EP, the affect that this could have on our exports hasn’t been taken into consideration at all. Other towns on EP have had no consultation and the Minister has disregarded submissions from industry reps and broader EP residents that were made to him throughout the consultation process. It was stated on the Department of Industry Innovation & Science website that Submissions would be made public however they later changed their mind and never made them available for public viewing

f) Any other related matters. The Department of Industry Innovation and Science have continually claimed to be open and transparent with the Community however I have found them to be inconsistent and often misleading with their information. Throughout this process they have given out different information on the jobs and money attached to hosting the facility. They have adjusted the boundaries several times. At first we were told in a public meeting by Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey that neighbours would have right to veto, he in fact told me on the phone that if I didn’t want it then it won’t happen. This then changed to a vote for neighbours living within 10kms. Since this second round of nominations it started by separating the neighbours into 10kms and 5kms groups, this then changed to immediate neighbours only and people living less than 5kms if they don’t share a fence line they are not considered neighbours. This is quite different to Hawker where neighbours can be 30km away. The Department website states that there were originally 28 sites nominated around Australia and they were to be published. However these sites have never been released to the public. Living in a small country town and alongside a nominated site I have been accused by local business owners that they believe the reason why I am opposed is because I actually nominated my farm and missed out. This has caused me a great deal of stress all of which could have been relieved if the Department released the sites as they said they would. I know that 2 Liberal party politicians were involved in land nominations both in Kimba and in Hawker and it would be interesting to see how many other Liberal associates have nominated around the country.

Justine Major: Radioactive waste dump should NOT be on agricultural land -Submission to Senate

April 8, 2018

Both these documents show that the facility should not be located on agricultural land, and yet both nominated sites at Kimba are specifically located on farms. Directly next to farming country, and entirely neighboured by productive farms.

 Submission to Senate Inquiry: Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia by Mrs Justine Major I am a fourth generation farmer in Kimba, South Australia. I have a strong understanding of the project being put forward for consideration, and whilst am not against the idea of the consolidation of radioactive waste into one facility, I do not believe it needs to be located in a food producing region. Personally, this process has been one of ongoing stress, additional workload and a steep learning curve into the political machinations of an Australian Government project.

Please find following my response to the Terms of Reference of this Inquiry.

B) How the need for ‘broad community support’ has played and will continue to play a part in the process, including; a. The definition of ‘broad community support’, and b. How ‘broad community support’ has been or will be determined for each process advancement stage;

The definition of ‘broad community support’ has been a moving target that has never been clearly defined in the Radioactive Waste Management Facility project. The hallmarks of a well developed project include the establishment of standardised measurable milestones that allow all stakeholders to have a clear understanding of the path being traversed as well as clear acknowledgement that these milestones have or have not been achieved. The constantly moving goal posts throughout this process has been an ongoing source of frustration to those of us trying to work within the Governments framework.

Despite numerous requests, the Government has continued to refuse to provide clarity around what factors would be included in their consideration when determining if broad community support had been achieved; what weighting each of the factors would contribute to this outcome, or what the required result in percentage terms was necessary to allow this process to proceed to the next stage

There has been an ongoing lack of clearly defined, factual, measurable targets that are defendable from both sides of the debate, accepted by both sides of the debate and not able to be influenced by the results put before it. The Minister advised that the vote would not be the only determining factor for progressing the Kimba site through to the second stage, however when looking at the statistics surrounding alternate factors it is hard to see where any other factor has been included. All media that I have seen surrounding Minister Canavans decision simply continued to reference the 57.4% in favour of progressing result of the vote. Based on the data included in the “National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) Phase 1 Summary Report, Kimba 2017” showing the results of the community consultation on which the decision to progress to Phase 2 was made, written submissions received throughout this phase were seen to be 86% opposed to the facility. Had both factors been taken into consideration equally, there would have been 35.7% approval rating to this project. Should we even provide a 20% weighting to the written submissions and 80% weighting to the vote, the outcome would achieve a 48.7% approval. None of this comes close to being “broad community consent”.

Another area included in “broad community support” is supposedly the opinions of neighbours. In the first round of community consultation the definition of neighbour, was any property or person within a 10km radius. When the second round of community consultation occurred in December 2016 it was reduced to neighbours within a 5km radius, and at the time of the vote the definition of neighbour was those who immediately bordered the nominated parcel of land. This continuous shift in parameters appears to me to have occurred in order to reduce those included in the sample of neighbours, resulting the Department able to make the statement included in the “National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) Phase 1 Summary Report, Kimba 2017” that “Neighbour support around the proposed sites is strongly supportive”. This ongoing lack of defined measureables and the Ministers ability to make a decision as to what the pass mark is after the results have been declared is disingenuous.

D) Whether and/or how the Governments ‘community benefits program’ payments affect broad community and Indigenous community sentiment;

The removal of incentive payments would absolutely change the support levels found within a community. The idea of the Radioactive Waste Management Facility being sited in Kimba was promoted along the lines of “think what this money could do for us”. All the way through this process has been a money grab. There is anecdotal evidence of people saying that they would vote “Yes” to going through to the second round of this process in order to receive the $2M Community Benefit Funds, with the plan to say “No” at the next vote. They have no intention of wanting the facility located at Kimba, but think they are playing a game whereby they can “get $2M for nothing”.

There is speculation of strategies in play to prolong the Phase 2 process to ensure it pushes into the second financial year in order to gain a further $2M. For those of us who are against the location of this facility in the Kimba region, regardless of the funds thrown around, this is a difficult process. We are defending our position against the facility being located in our region, with genuine concern regarding our business and livelihoods, whilst community members are playing a game to access funding. I also believe that the $10M one-off payment included in the Act will be paid to the State Government has not been clearly highlighted throughout this process. Most people within the community believe the money will be coming to the community directly, with complete access to, and management of, the funds. When people discover this money is to be paid to the State Government, their opinion on the matter changes very quickly.

F) Any other related matters

The Code for Disposal of Solid Radioactive Waste provided by ARPANSA clearly states that the siting of a Radioactive Waste Management Facility should not be on agricultural land: “Section 3.1.29 (a) the immediate vicinity of the facility has no known significant natural resources, including potentially valuable mineral deposits, and which has little or no potential for agriculture or outdoor recreational use.”

The National Radioactive Waste Management Facility, Nomination of Land Guidelines, November 2016 also clearly states in Attachment A, Section A8 under the Community Well Being Objective the criteria: “Is the site located within an area that is likely to be expanded upon for community or industrial use or for natural/agricultural use in the foreseeable future”. The weighting to this criteria when taking site selection into consideration according to the guidelines was stipulated as “High”. Both these documents show that the facility should not be located on agricultural land, and yet both nominated sites at Kimba are specifically located on farms. Directly next to farming country, and entirely neighboured by productive farms. That this part of the ruling is not being enforced is beyond me. It would be apparent to most people that under best practice the production of food should be separated from the production or storage of nuclear waste. That it is not the case in other countries does not provide adequate reason as to why Australia should lower their standards with regards to this. It is imperative that this part of the legislation is upheld and made mandatory, rather than being optional.

Nuclear lobby proposal for reactors on New South Wales coast “makes no sense” – MP Mike Kelly

April 5, 2018

South Coast nuclear option ‘makes no sense’: Mike Kelly Alasdair McDonald

Australian Senate Inquiry into nuclear waste dumping site – begs the question

March 24, 2018

“Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia”   – that’s the title of the Senate Inquiry .  Begs the question, doesn’t it ?  Why does it have to be assumed that it’s gotta be in South Australia?

Sounds damn silly to me –  toting highly radioactive trash for 1700 km – pretty much involving 3 States, all the way from Lucas Heights, Sydney, where it can be relatively safely kept – until decades later when they might bury it permanently – near to the nuclear reactor that’s producing it. (Heck they might even have the brains to shut down the reactor and stop producing radioactive trash) 

But – never mind.  These uninformed Senators need your submission. They’ve already got at least 5 submissions from pro nuclear enthusiasts – now showing on their website. We can do better.

SUBMISSION TIPS There have been rumours that Senate Inquiry submissions are limited to 5-6 pages. This is not the case, if your submission is longer than 5 pages you need to provide a summary at the front of your submission. See suggestions below:

The best submissions:

  • clearly address some or all of the terms of reference—you do not need to address each one
  • are relevant and highlight your own perspective
  • are concise, generally no longer than four to five pages
  • begin with a short introduction about yourself or the organisation you represent
  • emphasise the key points so that they are clear
  • outline not only what the issues are but how problems can be addressed, as the committee looks to submissions for ideas to make recommendations
  • only include documents that directly relate to your key points
  • only include information you would be happy to see published on the internet.

Submissions that include complex argument, personal details or criticise someone may take the committee longer to process and consider.

Submissions close on 3 April 2018.

Your own ideas, your own words are best, BUT   if you are pressed for time etc, you can  submit an online submission at Waste Dump Senate Inquiry Submission.

A slick pro nuclear submission frm Ben Heard to the Australian Senate

March 21, 2018

Yes, Ben Heard is on the job, with this slick submission, in which he:

enthuses over the Kimba region nuclear waste dump plan, while touting his own supposed environmental credentials as executive director of Bright New World, his membership of as a member of the Independent Assessment Panel – but all the same he stresses that he’s “an everyday Australian”. (not a mention that he works as a consultant for nuclear firm Terrestrial Energy, and trips around the globe promoting nuclear power.)

contends that nuclear waste is nothing special, really no different in safety needs from other kinds of industrial wastes.
dismisses the idea that a nuclear waste dump in this agricultural reason would have any negative effects on the agricultural economics or reputation of the region.

puts a long and unwieldy case for confining broad community support to just the immediate local community.

reminds firmly that no stakeholder group has power of veto and goes on to waffle worthy statements about Aboriginal heritage etc.

says that The District Council of Kimba is an appropriate definition of community in relation to these site nominations, and that citizens in wider areas do not need to be informed.

State and National citizens do not need to take part in these decisions, which are best left to Parliament.

minimises the importance of radioactive trash dumping- not much more important than household garbage collection.
Glosses over the more toxic radioactive waste that will be included. Ignores the fact that with the planned “temporary” dump there is no prospect of a permanent dump being in place. Ignores the effect on the communities through which the radioactive trash will be transported

Extracts from Heard’s submission

Submission to Senate Standing Committee on Economics – appropriateness and thoroughness of the site selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility at Kimba and  Hawker in South Australia

. ……My overall view is that the current site selection process represents among some of the best practice in the world for such a challenge, and it should be supported and continued.

I am now the executive director of Bright New World, an environmental NGO that seeks greater harmony between human development and the conservation, protection and restoration of our natural world. In relation to Australia’s nuclear medical and research sector, Bright New World is strongly supportive of its continued operation and preferably expansion. … nuclear technologies and techniques are demonstrably valuable for improving human well-being

I am pleased to offer the committee my perspectives in response to the Terms of Reference. Ben Heard (Ph.D., MCESM) Executive Director – Bright New World

Speaking as a member of the Independent Assessment Panel and an everyday Australian, the proposed multiple on the land value seems unremarkable. The acquisition would be consequential and beneficial for all Australians, as it will enable Australia to move much closer to international best practice in the management of radioactive wastes from the domestic research and medical sectors. We must expect compensation at above market value, given that consideration of nuclear-related matters in Australia invariably attracts scrutiny and alarm beyond scientifically robust assessment of hazards. The precaution applied to low and intermediate radioactive wastes is exceptional (not only in Australia) compared to many other waste streams and industrial activity. Relevant examples include our sanguine attitude toward transport, use, and management of wastes from agricultural chemicals[5-7], including ammonium nitrate fertiliser[8] and hydrocarbon fuel[9, 10]. So long as we take an exceptional approach with radioactive waste, there can be no valid criticism of above-market values for land acquisition

……There is no compelling evidence globally that such a facility would have negative reputational or economic impacts to the region (though this concept is much-touted). It is therefore reasonable to weight the sentiment of stakeholders with either (i) greater proximity to the site itself, or (ii) responsibilities for regional oversight and representation such as:

  • The nominating landowner
  • The immediate neighbouring landowners
  • Stakeholders in the closest settlement to the facility
  • Stakeholders in closer proximity to the main transport corridors
  • Local government authorities
  • Representative economic or industry groups in the local region……

If stakeholders of close proximity to the site and those with responsibilities of oversight (i) have beenadequately consulted and consider themselves to be well-informed, and (ii) offer either their consentor active support, then the Department might also make a robust case for ‘broad community support’.

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has indicated from the outset that it is seekingbroad community support, while asserting no individual or single stakeholder group has power of veto……….

In this region, Banggarla people are traditional owners, and National Resources Eyre Peninsula has anestablished Aboriginal Advisory Committee[18]. These ought provide appropriate points of contact and consultation with those who can speak on behalf of traditional owners.

The District Council of Kimba is an appropriate definition of community in relation to these site nominations. ……. Direct consideration of Eyre Peninsula or state-wide community views in this decision is contradictory to the premise on which this process was based from the outset, being (i) freely volunteered sites from a process open to all Australians, by those with the legal right to offer the site, to be followed by (ii) a process of community consultation and engagement.

The District Council of Kimba has been offered resources ………Nor can we expect citizens in those larger catchments to take an equivalent level of interest in becoming informed. Whole-of-state (or whole-of-nation?) decisions are the job of our elected representatives in parliament. This voluntary, consent-based, local community process was established to move away from that top-down model.

any other related matters. The Australian community at large benefits from Australia’s nuclear research and medical sectors every day. Our nation-wide preparedness to consume these benefits can be reasonably inferred to represent a broad level of consent, indeed an actual expectation, that the associated waste will be managed according to international best practice. Nearly every Australian household puts a garbage bin at the kerbside once a week, in the expectation of a well-managed service to meet our need…….

A worthy aspiration is the active support and enthusiasm of a community that will embrace and enhance this project. We cannot achieve these outcomes by stripping local  communities of their agency. more

South Australian election result – NOTa triumph for Awful Nuclear Spin Taxpayer-funded Outfit ANSTO

March 20, 2018

The South Australian election result by no means is a triumph for the nuclear lobby. The  politicians and media managed to side-step the vital issue of nuclear waste dumping –   so the public at large seemed unaware of this issue.    South Australians have historically fought back, and won, against this nuclear threat, when they were clearly confronted with it.

South Australia now has a Premier Stephen Marshall, who says that he will destroy the Tesla big battery scheme, leading a Liberal government that no doubt would like to carry out the mission of the Federal Liberal government – to stop the transition to renewable energy.

Sorry, Mr Marshall and Mr Turnbull, but that horse has already bolted away. The nuclear and coal lobbies are not going to stop the global movement towards clean energy, with places like South Australia and Australian capital Territory (ACT) in a leadership position.

As for the fraudulent claim that Kimba, South Australia must host nuclear trash as a “medical necessity”- South Australia, and all Australians will see through this, when they properly get the facts.

It is up to Australian who care –  to expose the lies, and to explain the unwisdom of toting the Lucas Heights toxic radioactive trash for 1700 km to Kimba. Also the mysterious and mingled radioactive trash at Woomera should stay where it is – and not pollute the Kimba agricultural region.

Election results in Australia mean a harder battle against the twin evils of nuclear power and climate change

March 17, 2018


  • In South Australia, the Liberal win means that Australians of awareness and good will must now work even harder to alert the whole nation to the threat of nuclear waste being dumped on rural South Australia under the false cover of “medical necessity”
  • In Victoria, the Labor win means that Australians of awareness and good will must now work even harder to strengthen Labor’s opposition to the nuclear industry, and prevent Labor from supporting the Barrier-Reef destroying plan for the Adani coal megamine.

Nuclear waste dump for South Australia? Deafening silence by politicians and journalists

March 16, 2018

MOSS, No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia

16 Mar 18 You could be forgiven for thinking that even the journalists are too afraid to ask this question, the silence has been deafening.

“What is each parties position when it comes to defending the South Australian Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 2000?”

The single most important issue in the history of South Australia, as it has significant impact on our future generations, has been ignored by all parties as an election issue. South Australia has a law prohibiting the development of a nuclear waste dump, yet the Federal Government is currently making plans to override it and build a nuclear waste facility in the heart of our prime farming land in Kimba, South Australia and also the Flinders Ranges only 40km from Wilpena Pound. Which party will uphold this law and why hasn’t any party put it on the agenda for this election. Please don’t suggest it’s a Federal issue, because it’s not. A nuclear waste dump for South Australia is breaking one of our own existing laws so it is very much a State Government issue.

We heard Nick XenophonSteven Marshall and Jay Weatherill on the ABC Adelaidethis morning and thought some hard hitting questions would be asked but instead heard a continuation of the “Cat Fight” we have been hearing for some time now. I’m thinking we need another Laurie Oaks.

Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 2000

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7 News Adelaide 9 News Adelaide Ten Eyewitness News Adelaide A Current Affair 60 Minutes Australia Wilpena Pound Resort – Flinders Ranges, SA No Dump Alliance No Nuclear Waste Dump in Flinders Ranges Nuclear Free Adelaide – No Nukes HereFlinders Local Action Group: FLAGDr Helen Caldicott