The Barngarla people from South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula have delivered a resounding "NO" to a nuclear waste dump site near the Kimba community, according to an independent ballot.
The Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation conducted their own poll after they say they were “excluded” from a month-long postal ballot, held in the Kimba Council District .
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) returned a 61.58% "yes" vote to 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?"
By contrast, the independent poll of 209 Barngarla Native Title holders show that 100 per cent of those who participated - voted “no” to the proposed facility located 20 kilometers from the township.
"This unanimous "No" vote demonstrates that there is absolutely no support at all within the Barngarla community for the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility," said the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation.
The Barngarla Board says it wants the Minister for Resources, Matt Canavan to take the results from the Traditional Owners into consideration when making a decision on the proposed facility before the end of the year.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Department said the Minister would "consider the results of the Barngarla's own ballot alongside people who live in Kimba," even though the "Native Title on both the Kimba sites has been extinguished."
“The department has said on numerous occasions that the facility will only be delivered alongside a community that broadly supports it.
"No single metric or number will determine the level of support, and that no one group or individual will have a right to veto the facility,” the spokesperson said.
The Barngarla Board said, "in light of the total rejection" for the Nuclear Waste Management Facility by Traditional Owners, they would take whatever steps necessary to oppose the facility being located on Barngarla country.
A second ballot is underway for another proposed site - 260 kilometres east of Kimba on Adnyamathanha country in the Flinders Ranges, which has also been opposed by Traditional Owners.
Results for the second ballot are expected to be released mid next month.