A public consultation process will be held in Kimba, South Australia, after two landowners volunteered sites for Australia’s National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.
Over the course of 90 days, communities near the properties ‘Napandee’ and ‘Lyndhurst’ will discuss these proposals.
This is an early step in a process to determine if either of the newly-volunteered sites should be considered.
“A majority of neighbours, the council and others, have already told us they support these nominations being taken forward for consultation, which is why they have progressed to this early stage,” Minister Canavan said.
“There is sufficient community support to begin this consultation. The next step is to assess if that support is broad enough to move to a site-specific assessment.”
The two new nominations relate to different parcels of land than those that were previously assessed, but not progressed, in the Kimba region last year.
The new nominations were made under new guidelines, which ask for an indication of support levels from neighbours and council, alongside any application.
In line with feedback from the community, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has also increased the ways people can give feedback in this consultation phase.
In addition to the community making submissions, Kimba Council will engage the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to conduct a community vote.
Subject to ratification by Council, the vote and registration process will be advertised in coming weeks, and the vote timeframe will be co-ordinated with a 90 day public consultation period.
“The 90 day consultation process and the independent AEC poll will give community members a number of options to have their say,” Minister Canavan said.
“If broad community support is demonstrated for either or both sites, the Australian Government may move to a second detailed technical and community assessment.”
Department representatives will establish an office in Kimba this week, and will be available two days a week to meet with the community and help answer questions.
Experts from Geoscience Australia and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) will also be available to discuss the proposal during the consultation period.
Meanwhile, the second-phase assessment of a site at Barndioota, which includes site-specific technical studies and detailed consultation, is ongoing.
For information on the project, go to www.radioactivewaste.gov.au