Media Release ‒ 29 November 2021
The Morrison government's plan to impose a national nuclear waste dump at Kimba still faces multiple hurdles despite today's announcement from Minister Keith Pitt that the site has been formally declared and land acquired. Those hurdles include a judicial challenge to the declaration, environmental assessment, assessment by the federal nuclear regulator ARPANSA, a state parliamentary inquiry, and upcoming state and federal elections.
The Howard government had proceeded further towards imposing a dump on SA before abandoning the plan in 2004.
Dr. Jim Green, national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia, said: "The Morrison government's disgraceful efforts to override the unanimous opposition of Barngarla Traditional Owners will be challenged in the courts. Barngarla Traditional Owners are expected to launch a judicial challenge following today's announcement.
"Traditional Owners were excluded from the government's sham 'community ballot' so they held their own ballot. When the results of the government's ballot and the Barngarla ballot are combined, support falls to 43%, short of a majority and well short of the 65% that the government indicated was the benchmark to determine 'broad community support'.
"Premier Steven Marshall's support for a nuclear waste dump that is unanimously opposed by Barngarla Traditional Owners is unconscionable, crude racism and Friends of the Earth calls on the Premier to support Traditional Owners ‒ and all South Australians ‒ instead of shamefully falling into line behind his undemocratic, racist federal colleagues.
"The SA Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act was an initiative of the SA Olsen Liberal government to prevent the imposition of an intermediate-level nuclear fuel waste dump in SA. The state legislation was strengthened by the Rann government in 2002. Premier Marshall should fight Canberra's push to dump nuclear waste on SA and to override state legislation, as did Premier Olsen and Premier Rann.
"The Act mandates a state Parliamentary inquiry in response to any attempt to impose a nuclear waste dump on SA and the Premier should initiate that inquiry immediately.
"The proposed nuclear dump will be contested at the SA and federal elections. Friends of the Earth welcomes SA Labor's policy that Traditional Owners should have a right of veto over nuclear projects given the sad and sorry history of nuclear projects in this state. Deputy Leader Susan Close says that SA Labor is "utterly opposed" to the "appalling" process which led to the federal government targeting the Kimba site.
"The government's claim that most of the waste arises from nuclear medicine is a blatant lie. The claim that 45 permanent jobs will be created is implausible. When the Howard government planned a dump in SA, it said there would be zero jobs.
"Measured by radioactivity, well over 90% of the waste is long-lived intermediate-level reactor waste that the federal government wants to store above ground at Kimba until such time as a deep underground disposal facility is established. No effort is being made to find a location for such a facility so this long-lived waste would remain stored above ground in SA ad infinitum. The only deep underground nuclear waste repository in the world, in the US state of New Mexico, was closed in 2014 following an underground chemical explosion in a nuclear waste barrel.
"Intermediate-level waste should be stored at ANSTO's Lucas Heights site until a suitable disposal facility is available. The Morrison government's plan to move intermediate-level waste from secure above-ground storage at Lucas Heights to far less secure storage at Kimba is absurd and indefensible.
"South Australians fought long and hard to prevent the Howard government turning SA into the nation's nuclear waste dump. We fought and won the campaign to stop the Flinders Ranges being used for a national dump. We fought and won the campaign to stop SA being turned into the world's high-level nuclear waste dump. And now, we will fight until the Morrison government backs off."
Dr. Jim Green [email protected] 0417 318 368
This is not the end of the fight. There are many more stages at which we can stop the waste dump from establishing in Kimba. Here are some of the ways you can help.
- Support the Barngarla Traditional Owners, who were excluded from the community consultation regarding the dump by signing their petition here and help their judicial challenge by donating here.
- Sign up to receive updates from Friends of the Earth Nuclear Free Collective
- Follow the No Dump Alliance on facebook and twitter.
- Learn more about the proposed nuclear waste dump below.