• Regina McKenzie wants to save her traditional lands from becoming the site of Australia's first nuclear waste dump. (Laura Murphy-Oates)Source: Laura Murphy-Oates
The federal government has announced an additional $21 million for the community that will host a nuclear waste dump.
Jessica Minshall

23 Jul 2018 - 6:42 PM  UPDATED 23 Jul 2018 - 6:50 PM

The federal government has increased the financial incentive for one of two communities in South Australia to be home to a nuclear waste dump.

The boosted $31 million Community Development Package was announced by Minister for Resources Matt Canavan on Monday, but has been rejected by Aboriginal community members fighting a campaign against the waste dump.

The two communities that have been selected to potentially house the waste dump are Hawker and Kimba, with one potential site at Barndioota near Hawker in the Flinders Ranges and two sites near Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula.

The minister described it as an "enhanced package".

“What shipbuilding or aircraft bases do for some communities, and steel-making or mining does for other towns, the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility will do for its host town in terms of employment, opportunities for new careers in trades and university qualified positions and flow-on benefits," Mr Canavan said in a statement.

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsay said in the statement, "it will really give the citizens of both communities something to contemplate before next month's vote".

However it is precisely the timing of this funding announcement ahead of the August 20 community vote that has Adnyamathanha Traditional Owner Regina McKenzie questioning the government's motive.

She is a custodian of the Flinders Ranges site, and says the area is "not for sale".

"I honestly think it’s a bribe," she told NITV News.

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She's concerned Adnyamathanha people who are currently living away from the area will not get a say in the non-binding vote.

“Not all of them can vote, and I think that in itself is wrong. But this whole process, this whole process they’ve been doing, it’s totally flawed.”

She says the site is culturally significant, as well as a poor choice for a nuclear waste dump.

"It’s a place where we’ve always had tremors in that area, and flooding,” Ms McKenzie said.

"Just in this one spot where they want to put it it’s got 14 different story lines going over it."

This includes the Seven Sisters story line, which links all Aboriginal women in Australia, and Ms McKenzie says this means all Aboriginal women need to be consulted on the dump.

“We also talk to, like Kimba is on Bungala people’s area. They don’t want it.

"Where it’s near Lake Gilles, again it is the story line which is the Seven Sisters. In both places the Seven Sisters has been impacted.

“If they put this waste dump there, that’s robbing us, that’s cultural genocide," she said.

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