Kimba representatives show support for national radioactive waste management facility

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

A delegation of Kimba residents has today outlined to the Australian Parliament how delays to delivering a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility are devastating their town.

Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey, led the delegation which included the Kimba Mayor Dean Johnson, and residents, to meet members of the government, opposition, and crossbench, to further reiterate Kimba’s need for the facility – and their want for it after 62 per cent voted for it in an AEC vote.

Kimba has been deeply impacted by a downturn in agricultural employment as well as drought, with a significant long-term decline in population.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the proposed facility 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.

“It was a good opportunity to meet with local representatives from Kimba and hear how the facility will benefit their town,” he said.

“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.

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

“This answers a question Australia has been asking for 40 years, and it will lock in generations of employment in Kimba – which is something they want and have asked for.

“Anthony Albanese needs to listen to this community today, put aside his leadership woes and do what is in the best interest for the people of this town and for all Australians.”

Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey said Kimba has always been almost totally dependent on agricultural but like other inland towns, the dramatic advances in agricultural technology has eliminated many of the jobs that previously supported its population which has contracted by almost half in the last forty years.

“It’s 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.

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 been stored 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.

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