Media Release ‒ September 15, 2020
Not welcome, not needed: Community alliance united in response to divided Senate report on Kimba radioactive waste plan
Federal government plans to transport, dump and store radioactive waste in South Australia are not needed, not welcome and will be actively contested says the South Australian community based No Dump Alliance.
This statement comes in response to a new Senate report into plans to change the federal radioactive waste laws by removing the community’s right of legal review.
The government controlled Senate Committee report had multiple conflicting findings which highlights the lack of political consensus. The report does not present a compelling case for the proposed changes including the legal override. In the three minority reports Committee members have raised serious concerns and opposition including over the heavy handed legal exclusion, the denial of Aboriginal and wider community rights and protections and the lack of proven need for the planned national facility.
“In the 21st Century it is unacceptable to try and airbrush away Aboriginal peoples concern over nuclear risks”, said NDA spokesperson Karina Lester. “The Barngarla Native Title holders were excluded from the Kimba community ballot about the waste plan and now the federal government is trying to deny them the right to contest the plan in court. This is not only unfair to the Barngarla people but a clear insult to the concerns expressed by Aboriginal people from right across South Australia to any dumping and storage of radioactive waste on our traditional lands from outside the state”.
The federal plan has attracted many critics as the government has failed to demonstrate that moving waste to Kimba is either necessary or responsible.
“This plan is a clear example of government overreach,” said NDA spokesperson and state secretary of the Maritime Union Jamie Newlyn. “South Australian communities have not had any say in the controversial plan but would face increased radioactive transport risks. The plan is deeply deficient and the process is fatally flawed”.
NDA member groups have committed to escalate their efforts around the Kimba waste push and will work against the federal government’s move to reduce community and environment protections in the Senate.
“We have a long, proud and united history of overturning radioactive waste plans in SA,” said Karina Lester. “From the senior desert law women the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta challenging Federal waste dump plans in the late 90’s and early 2000’s to the Scarce Royal Commission (2015-2017) our community has taken action to protect and stand up for our state. The federal government – and the Marshall government – should be under no illusions - this will be opposed”.