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Kimba firms as nuclear dump site after Hawker ruled out

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Kimba, on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, is firming as the site for a national nuclear waste dump after the federal government today ruled an area near the Flinders Ranges town of Hawker.

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Resources Minister Matt Canavan says after a ballot of local residents voted narrowly against hosting the facility, the site near Hawker is no longer an option.

More than 860 people cast a ballot in the poll with 454, or just under 53 per cent, voting against establishing the dump on Wallerberdina Station.

“This ballot does not demonstrate a sufficient level of support and I will no longer consider this site an option for the facility,” Canavan said in a statement on Friday.

A similar poll conducted on Eyre Peninsula recently returned a 62 per cent vote in favour of the idea, with two sites near Kimba in the running.

Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner Dave Sweeney said the Hawker result also came amid clear opposition from regional pastoralists and the area’s native title holders.

“There is no broad community support for a national radioactive waste facility in the Flinders Ranges,” Sweeney said.

However the Friends of the Earth said it was time for the federal government to abandon the dump plan altogether.

“The government has previously stated that 65 per cent would be a figure that would indicate the broad community support they need to select a site,” spokeswoman Mara Bonacci said.

“These ballot results show that the minister does not have that support.”

The new dump will be designed to take Australia’s low-to-intermediate-level waste, with the government promising to provide financial incentives to the community around the selected site.

Most of the waste material to be sent to the new facility comes from nuclear medicine.

-with AAP

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