Ballot shows support for nuclear facility

YES: A ballot which asked the residents of Kimba whether they support the federal government's proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility being located at a nominated site in the community has concluded with a majority voting 'Yes'.
YES: A ballot which asked the residents of Kimba whether they support the federal government's proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility being located at a nominated site in the community has concluded with a majority voting 'Yes'.

The outcome of the Kimba community ballot has revealed majority support for the federal government's proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility being located at one of two sites in the region.

A total 745 ballot papers were returned for scrutiny from the District Council of Kimba, 734 of which were formal votes, with 452 (61.58 per cent) voting 'Yes' and 282 (38.42%) voting 'No' to the question:

"Do you support the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility being located at one of the nominated sites in the community of Kimba?"

The ballot was conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), took place over a five-week period from Thursday, October 3 to Thursday, November 7.

Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan acknowledged the significant level of community support indicated in the ballot result, and thanked those who took part.

"This ballot result shows a clear level of support for the proposal amongst eligible participants," Minister Canavan said.

"I will consider these results alongside other indicators of community support and technical information about the site, once the Flinders Ranges Council ballot is complete later this year."

Previously in Parliament Minister Canavan referred to how the government had moved forward with a proposal for nuclear facility in the Hawker region where the support was at 65 per cent.

He stated that the federal government would need a support figure in the range of that 65 per cent, however the government had not put a definitive figure on broader community support.

However Friends of the Earth SA nuclear waste campaigner Mara Bonacci claimed the 60 per cent 'Yes' vote did not reach the federal government's definition of broad community support.

"The Minister should abandon plans to dump on SA the vote clearly fails to meet the Government's own criteria for broad community support," she said.

"Moreover Barngarla Traditional Owners who fought their exclusion from the ballot in the Human Rights Commission and the courts are clearly opposed. And the majority of South Australians are opposed."

A decision on whether the facility will proceed in Kimba will not be made until the conclusion in December of the consultation process and ballot for communities near Wallerberdina Station.