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Kimba delegation meets parliament to call for support of rad waste facility

1 December 2020

Joint media release with Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey MP.

A delegation of five Kimba representatives met with key members of the Australian Parliament and urged not to delay legislation in support of the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

The delegation met with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, Shadow Minister Brendan O'Connor, and Senators Malcolm Roberts and Jacqui Lambie.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said it was good to meet with local representatives and called on the Opposition and Crossbench to support the legislation.

“This facility is vital to the Kimba community as it would provide 45 secure jobs, $8.3-$8.4 million in annual benefits to the local economy and $2.5 million worth of construction per annum, according to Cadence Economics 2018,” he said.

“We need to support this town and we need to pass the legislation which would see the facility delivered near this town, along with all the economic benefits.

“Consecutive governments have been searching for 40 years for the right site for a purpose-built facility for Australia’s radioactive waste, and now one town has confidently put up its hand.”

Kimba Mayor Dean Johnson, who was part of the delegation, said that the Kimba community will benefit from hosting the facility, which is why the vast majority of the citizens there support it.

“It was very satisfying to meet with the Prime Minister. He showed real compassion for regional communities like Kimba,” he said.

“We shared our concerns with him about Kimba’s need for this facility and the 45 jobs that would come with it as well as the construction investment.

“In meeting with members of Parliament we found there’s no opposition what-so-ever to the building of this national facility at Kimba. This is nationally important infrastructure that all Australians will benefit from.

“Our community is desperately in need of a resolution on this, so we can move forward and plan accordingly.

“We’re incredibly disappointed that Senator Pauline Hanson refused all of our requests to meet. I can’t understand that and how any debate is stronger for not listening to both sides of the conversation.

“For more than 100 years we have been an agricultural town. However, a series of droughts, tough financial times, and a general move away from the land has seen our population steadily decline since 2006, while the rest of SA has boomed.

“This facility would be our lifeline, and delivering it here would help Australia.”

Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey, said Kimba is a great little town with a lot of heart and still has good services, but the writing is on the board and the decline will continue unless a new industry is located.

“The NRWMF is the solution this town needs and an industry which it has voted to support. It will provide more than economic benefits and jobs, it will provide a better, stronger future for the families that live there,” he said.

Around 80 per cent of the low and intermediate level radioactive waste which is generated in Australia is directly associated with the production of nuclear medicine.

On average, two in three Australian’s will need access to life saving nuclear medicine in their lifetime, with these benefits comes a responsibility to properly manage our radioactive waste.

Over the past 60 years radioactive waste has built up at more than 100 sites across the country in science facilities and hospital basements.

Every week ANSTO’s Nuclear Medicine Facility produces 30 litres of intermediate level waste and 15 litres of low-level waste. There are 8,426 drums of radioactive waste in various ANSTO buildings.

To find out more about the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility, visit: radioactivewaste.gov.au

Media contacts:

Minister Pitt's office 02 6277 7180