Senate committee hears from Kimba

A senate committee has heard first hand accounts of how the site selection process for the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility has worked in Kimba for the past three years.

The committee visited Kimba on Thursday to hold a public hearing, hearing from Kimba District Council, the land nominators, the Barngarla Aboriginal Determination Corporation (BADC), the Working for Kimba’s Future group (WFKF) and the No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA group (No Rad Waste Kimba) in regards to a number of different aspects from the process.

Each group was questioned about the engagement from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) within the community.

The council, nominators and WFKF all said the Department had provided a large number of experts regarding the facility and radioactive waste.

However, No Rad Waste Kimba said despite requests, the DIIS provided no funding or support for experts or speakers with opposing or different views.

Meanwhile the BADC expressed its disappointment in not being consulted about the project, and by the Department’s comments saying there were no heritage sites on the nominated land.

Another major issue brought up throughout the hearing was the definition of broad community support, and the boundaries of the ballot, the council, land nominators and WFKF all said the ballot should be kept to the local government boundary lines as the community had received all the necessary information to make an informed decision.

The BADC requested the Barngarla people be included in the ballot, while No Rad Waste Kimba believes it should be expanded to include a 50 kilometre radius around each site, and that the consultation should be expanded as well.

The committee moved onto Hawker on Friday to conduct public hearings with the community, before a final report will be released on August 14.

A full transcript of the hearing will be made available on the senate inquiry’s website at a later date.