Write to senators to oppose a nuclear dump in Kimba, South Australia.
The Morrison government has been progressing a flawed process to force a nuclear waste facility on the rural town of Kimba, South Australia. Their latest move is to try to push through a government Bill to remove Traditional Owner and wider community rights to appeal a decision to locate the waste dump at Napandee Station, close to Kimba, South Australia.
The National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment Bill has passed the lower house, and now sits before the Federal senate. They are expected to vote in the second week of November. We need to make sure that Cross bench senators know there is opposition to this Bill. Your voice can make a difference.
Take action: Write a letter to Federal cross bench senators
A personal letter can really have an impact, as it brings senators’ attention to this important issue and public opposition to the Bill. The best approach is to be brief and polite.
Start by introducing yourself and why this issue is important to you.
Mention any groups or organizations you are involved with if it’s relevant and shows a wider network of people you are connected with.
The power of this letter is because it comes from you.
Here are some points to include in your letter to your senator:
Barngarla Traditional owners of the area are actively opposed to the nuclear waste dump. After they were excluded from voting in a ballot to gauge local residents' support for the dump, they conducted their own, independently conducted ballot. 100% of respondents voted against locating a nuclear waste facility near Kimba.
If the results of the Barngarla ballot are included with the ballot of local Kimba residents, the overall level of support falls to just 43.8% of eligible voters (452/824 for the Kimba ballot, and 0/209 for the Barngarla ballot). That is below the 48% level of support that resulted in the Hawker (Flinders Ranges) site being removed from the short-list, and a long way short of the government's 65% benchmark for 'broad community support'.
In April 2020, Federal Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights noted the unanimous opposition of the Barngarla Traditional Owners and that the Amendment Bill does not sufficiently protect the rights and interests of Traditional Owners. It stated that "there is a significant risk that the specification of this site will not fully protect the right to culture and self-determination." These rights are enshrined in International Law including the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The government’s current plan is to hold intermediate waste at the site for 100 years and then move it to a permanent location. There is no need for this risky double handling.
The government has failed to show any clear public health reason for moving the most problematic intermediate level waste, which is currently in secure storage in Sydney, and re-locating this to a facility with less security and institutional assets in regional SA with no clear plan for what happens in the longer term.
Under current laws, the Federal Resources Minister could name the Napandee site today - the primary aim of the proposed amendment is to remove the right to review that decision or challenge it in the courts. It is undemocratic and fails to protect the rights of all Australians, setting a dangerous precedent.
There is no urgency to advance this amendment. Not supporting this flawed process would have no adverse impact on either access to nuclear medicine or the current secure storage of intermediate level waste. We have the time and responsibility to do better than this in relation to advancing evidence based and procedurally robust radioactive waste management.
Finish the letter by saying that you look forward to receiving their reply. Below are some resources you may find useful and contact details for Federal cross-bench senators.
‘Barngarla Speak Out’ can be viewed at: https://vimeo.com/382855709.
NITV article on Barngarla opposition to nuclear dump on their country: https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2020/07/29/barngarla-continue-fight-against-plan-dump-nuclear-waste-country
‘SAVE SA Farmland’ - Local farmers opposed to the nuclear dump: https://vimeo.com/381938156
More information available here: https://nuclear.foe.org.au/waste/
Senator Jacqui Lambie (TAS)
(03) 6431 3112
Senator Rex Patrick (SA)
(08) 8232 1144
Senator Stirling Griff (SA)
(08) 8212 1409