The Australian Government has announced a new $4 million funding program for the communities being considered for the site of the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.
Under the new Community Benefit Program, up to $2 million in grants will be given to each of the two communities considering the facility, around Kimba and Wallerberdina Station.
A range of projects and initiatives can meet the criteria for funding through the program, including local infrastructure upgrades, services, apprenticeships and mental health initiatives.
The new program arose from consultation with the communities about their economic and socio-economic needs. The Flinders Ranges Council, District of Council of Kimba and the Outback Communities Authority, as well as the community consultative committees will be consulted on the draft guidelines for the new program.
It builds upon the $5.76 million invested across 57 projects and initiatives in these communities since consultation on the proposed facility commenced in 2016.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the new funding responded to community feedback and reflected the delays in the site selection process.
We recognise that the communities have engaged in debate in good faith and we remain committed to supporting them through the site selection process. This investment will support the communities as well as deliver projects and initiatives that can further diversify the local economies, Minister Canavan said.
We have been listening to the community and we are responding, particularly with respect to investing in services that support the wellbeing of people in these local communities.
An additional $31 million will also be available through a Community Development Package for the host community.