The Australian Conservation Foundation welcomes the federal Labor government’s decision to fully withdraw the former Coalition proposal to establish a radioactive waste facility on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, against the wishes of Traditional Owners.
The Federal Court ruled in favour of Barngarla Traditional Owners on July 18, setting aside former resources minister Keith Pitt’s declaration of the Kimba site.
This is a welcome decision by the Minister for Resources Madeleine King to scrap this plan, which was inconsistent with international best practice and community sentiment.
The decision is a credit to the tenacity and courage of the Barngarla people, who have been utterly determined to protect their country. It is also consistent with the Federal Court ruling and signals a different approach from Labor.
King is right to say the Coalition’s plan to double-handle the transport of radioactive waste — first from Lucas Heights in Sydney to temporary storage at Kimba then on to an as-yet undetermined permanent disposal site – raised concerns regarding international best practice and safety.
ACF looks forward to helping develop a new and responsible approach to radioactive waste management.
[Dave Sweeney is the Australian Conservation Foundation’s nuclear free campaigner.]