Labor, Greens oppose dump plan

Labor, Greens oppose dump plan

The political jury is still out on plans for a nuclear waste dump at Kimba.

This comes after three members of the Senate Committee looking into the federal government's proposals delivered dissenting reports against the legislation.

The Economics Legislation Committee's primary recommendation was that the government's nuclear bill be passed without amendment, but Labor, the Australian Greens and an Independent opposed it.

All dissenting reports list the potential for the government to allegedly skirt around judicial review through changes to the site selection process as a major concern.

Schedule 1 of the National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment amends the Act to repeal provisions relating to the site nomination and selection process.

In her report, Labor Senator McAllister noted that Radioactive Taskforce Manager Samantha Chard had confirmed these changes would remove requirements for a judicial review in selection of the dump site.

"A critical concern expressed by opponents of the bill, including by the Barngarla People, is that altering the existing process for site selection will override the existing right of judicial review that would apply to a determination by the Minister under the current legislation," Senator McAllister wrote.

Independent Senator Rex Patrick claimed the government had referred its bill to the committee because it had "botched" its site selection process "to such a degree that it would almost certainly have seen a site selected through a Ministerial decision overturned on judicial review".

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young listed the government's attempts to alter the site selection process as a "blatant" attempt to prevent a judicial review.

Other issues outlined in the dissenting reports included the Barngarla's opposition to the site selection process, the divisive consultation process with the Kimba community and the lack of engagement with towns that could fall within the transport corridor for nuclear waste such as Whyalla.

Significant opposition to the bill by a number of indigenous groups including the The Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation was documented in the report.

But support from key groups such as the state government, the Australian Nuclear Association and the Australian Academy of Science was also outlined within the report.

The Kimba Council and Jeff and Jenny Baldock who own the property of Napandee which has been chosen as the site for the facility were among those supporting the facility.

Resources Minister Keith Pitt said the report put the government one step closer to siting a facility to safely dispose of low-level nuclear waste.

"The individual dissenting report by Senator McAllister aside, I would like to acknowledge the largely bipartisan approach to the location and construction of this facility," Minister Pitt said.

"I look forward to their support in the Senate in passing the Bill."

Mr Pitt acknowledged there were "alternative views" on the facility in parliament, but said the Senate review had "provided an opportunity for those views to be put forward".