As choice of nuclear waste facility starts narrowing, people of Kimba are either excited or disgusted via The Advertiser

IF there are two words that can split an already isolated South Australian town and destroy lifelong friendships, they are “nuclear waste”.

Kimba, on the northern edge of the Eyre Peninsula’s vast grain-growing belt, is home to two of the three proposed sites where the nation’s radioactive waste might be stored.

Most city slickers probably only know about the town because of its giant silo artwork or the ageing giant galah structure.

But it is where farming is the lifeblood of the community and where the proposal to use agricultural land as a nuclear site weighs heavily on some residents in the town of 650.


If approved, the successful farm will hold low-level waste from the Lucas Heights nuclear facility, in NSW, and Australia’s intermediate-level waste such as that from industrial, medical and research applications.

Many see the facility as a way forward, helping to boost the local economy and creating jobs.

Others say there will be little economic benefit and the town’s reputation will be tarnished.


If successful, they will be paid four times the value of the land — believed to be about $400,000 — and Mr Baldock says they aim to crop the site’s 60ha buffer zone to put money back into the community through the local Agricultural Bureau and Lions Club.

But Mr Baldock believes the real benefit of the repository will be for the town’s residents in safeguarding them financially in the event of drought.

About 50 per cent of residents are employed in agriculture, according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

“This is an industry that doesn’t rely on agriculture, that’s the big thing,” Mr Baldock says.


TEACHER Meagan Lienert — one of the committee members — supports the waste facility because of the benefits she believes it will bring, especially to the school’s 174 students.

She says medical and nuclear experts had run science lessons at the school and there was talk of access to scholarships at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, at Lucas Heights.

But she understands some people fear nuclear waste because they believe it will affect farming land.

“From my research, I can see the facility is safe and I know it won’t have any affect on the things around it but the fear some people have is real,” Mrs Lienert says.


No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA secretary Toni Scott is also on the consultative committee and raises concerns about whether the process will be fair.

Mrs Scott says there is a struggle to get information from the Government on why federal land is not used and how many jobs the waste facility will create, saying the number has fluctuated from 15 to 30.

“How do we trust the Government building this facility when we can’t even trust the process?” Mrs Scott says.

Read more at As choice of nuclear waste facility starts narrowing, people of Kimba are either excited or disgusted

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