A site for the country’s first nuclear waste dump will be settled before the next federal election and will likely be in South Australia’s mid-north, Resources Minister Matt Canavan says.
A ballot to gauge community support in the small towns of Kimba and Hawker, about 450km north of Adelaide, for the facility will be held on August 20, Senator Canavan said.
Senator Canavan told The Australian that economic benefits, including 45 direct jobs and a $10 million community fund, were behind support of more than 60 per cent in the communities affected by the proposal, following 18 months of consultation.
But Peter Woolfoord, president of a community group opposed to the facility, said Kimba was “completely divided” and insisted a waste repository should not be on agricultural land where “it poses unacceptable risks to our industry”.
Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick said the site selection process “looks like an absolute sham” and claimed the Turnbull government was “determined to rush to select one of the South Australian sites despite there being a divided community”.