A ballot on the proposed radioactive nuclear waste management facility on SA's Eyre Peninsula - has been returned with a majority of the community voting in support of a national waste dump.
Early last month, the Australia Electoral Commission sent out 745 ballot papers with the question, “do you support the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility being located at one of the nominated sites in the community of Kimba?”
The ballot returned yesterday with 452 yes votes (61.58 per cent) and 282 no votes (38.42 per cent).
When the ballot was first sent out, the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation said it would still challenge the result in Federal Court early next year, because the ballot excluded Native Title holders in the region.
Talking to NITV News on Friday, Barngarla traditional owner, Linda Dare said her people were excluded from the ballot because they did not live in Kimba.
“Just because I live in Port Augusta and not Kimba, doesn’t mean I don’t care what happens,” said Ms Dare
“We still go there. We got native title there and practice culture there and because none of us are living there, we got no say there.”
“The government has got to understand that when you get native title, the land belongs to the traditional owners,” she said.
In a statement, Resources Minister Matt Canavan said the results showed a “clear level of support” for the proposal from “eligible participants.”
Meanwhile, the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation have conducted a separate ballot through an independent company and wanted the results to be included in the official result.
Second ballot to start on Adnyamathanha land next week
260 kilometres east of Kimba on Adnyamathanha country in the Flinders Ranges, is the township Hawker, where a second vote for another proposed site will start on Monday.
The second proposed site has also been opposed by the traditional owners, the Adnyamathanha people, who say the Federal Government damaged a sacred women's site whilst conducting a cultural heritage survey.
“I will consider these results alongside other indicators of community support and technical information about the site, once the Flinders Ranges Council ballot is complete later this year,” said Minister Canavan.
In a statement, the District Council of Kimba said it was “delighted that more than 90 per cent of those eligible” participated in the vote for one of the two “voluntarily” nominated sites.
Minister Canavan will make a decision on whether the facility will proceed in Kimba once the second ballot is completed for communities near Wallerberdina Station in December.
“Other indicators of community sentiment include results from neighbor and local business surveys which will be undertaken over November and December, and submissions, which remain open to anyone with an interest, no matter where they live,” he said.