• Regina McKenzie wants to save her traditional lands from becoming the site of Australia's first nuclear waste dump. (Laura Murphy-Oates)
Both community ballots were scheduled to open today, with the legal challenge to the Kimba vote enough for the Hawker vote to be similarly postponed.
By
Brooke Fryer

Source:
NITV News
20 Aug 2018 - 2:35 PM  UPDATED 20 Aug 2018 - 2:51 PM

Two community ballots to gauge public opinion on the three proposed nuclear waste dump sites in South Australia had been scheduled to open today.

Two sites near Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula and one site at Barndioota near Hawker in the Flinders Rangers have been shortlisted to be Australia's first nuclear waste dump, with residents having the opportunity to cast their vote.

Following last week's Supreme Court ruling to delay the Kimba vote until after Thursday's federal court hearing, the Hawker vote has also been delayed.

That decision was made by the local council and federal government, with Flinders Rangers Mayor Peter Slattery saying it was only reasonable to have both community votes at the same time.

He told NITV News the Kimba case may impact the Hawker community and that was enough to also postpone this vote.

The Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation argued the poll is discriminatory, because not all native title claimants live in the area and therefore wouldn't have been included in the ballot.

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Injunction stalls one nuclear waste dump community vote
The Barngarla people have won a Supreme Court injunction against the vote in Kimba, with the Hawker ballot still scheduled to open Monday.

Adnyamathanha Traditional Owner Regina McKenzie told NITV News she hopes the federal court challenge will result in everyone being able to have a say in the Hawker ballot.

She says all Adnyamathanha people should be entitled to vote.

“I believe everyone should have a vote, radioactive waste doesn’t discriminate, it affects everybody,” Ms McKenzie said.

A Department of Industry spokesperson said a decision on the nominated sites would be made this year.

The waste dump would be a permanent low-level nuclear waste dump, with the site also temporarily housing Australia's medium level nuclear waste.

In December 2015, France returned 25 tonnes of nuclear waste Australia had sent it over the previous two decades for reprocessing.

It is currently being temporarily stored at the Lucas Heights reactor in Sydney.

Nuclear waste dump millions a 'bribe' ahead of community vote, SA Elder says
The federal government has announced an additional $21 million for the community that will host a nuclear waste dump.