The federal government has injected more money into their Community Development Package which will be available to the community selected as the future site for the nuclear waste management facility.
The value of the package has been tripled to $31 million, and is broken up into three separate programs:
- An $8 million Community Skills and Development Program, delivering grants over the four year licencing and construction period to maximise the community benefits from the construction and operation of the Facility.
- An increased $20 million National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) Community Fund, to deliver long term infrastructure and development benefits to the community.
- Up to $3 million over three years from the Government’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) to strengthen Indigenous skills training and cultural heritage protection in the successful community.
Kimba and Hawker remain in the running to be chosen as the location of the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility – but their communities remain deeply divided on the nuclear issue.
Resources Minister Matt Canavan said the Community Development Package would ensure the selected community had the skills in place to take advantage of the opportunities that will come with the facility.
The waste management facility itself is expected to create at least 45 jobs.
“The four-year Community Skills and Development Program will build preparedness through job training, commercial readiness projects and business development,” Minister Canavan said. “What shipbuilding or aircraft bases do for some communities this facility will do for its host town in terms of employment.”
But Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick described the government’s announcement as ‘completely inappropriate and misguided’.
"As evidenced in recent visits to Kimba and Hawker by the Senate Economics Reference Committee, the communities are deeply divided over the issue,” he said.
Senator Patrick described the selection process for the nuclear waste facility as a ‘sham’. “The Minister has stated that the site selection will only occur if there is ‘broad community support’, but refuses to state what ‘broad community support’ actually means,” he said.