• Protesters outside the Supreme Court in Adelaide last month. (AAP)
The community ballots on the proposed national nuclear waste storage sites are seen as discriminatory as only current residents are entitled to vote.
Source:
NITV News
24 Aug 2018 - 12:03 PM  UPDATED 24 Aug 2018 - 12:04 PM

The Barngarla people will look to the Australian Human Rights commission for their say on a proposed nuclear waste facility in regional South Australia after they argued a resident vote was discriminatory.

"It is on our country," said Linda Dare, a member of the Barngarla, outside the SA Supreme Court on Thursday.

"It's not fair that my ancestors, that have walked the country, and my family that still walk the country don't have a say in anything."

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.

Though she is one of 211 native-title holders, Ms Dare is not a resident and therefore would not be entitled to take part in the District Council of Kimba's vote on the proposed location of the dump.

"Everybody else gets to have a say - the government and everybody else, the Kimba residents - but it's my family that's missing out," she said.

"It's depressing that we don't get to have a say over our country."

The Barngarla people last week successfully stalled the poll, which was due to be posted out this week, after arguing in the Supreme Court it was discriminatory.

The case was on Thursday referred to the Australian Human Rights Commission, after lawyer Dan O'Gorman, for the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation, said a complaint was lodged on Tuesday.

But he said the commission could decide it does not have jurisdiction to hear the matter because it is only able to act retrospectively.

"We say the (discriminatory) act constitutes the conduct of the ballot, and as yet those ballot papers haven't gone out," he said.

Aboriginal Elders debate nuclear waste dump
The project has sparked bitter debates and divided Traditional Owners.

The date of the hearing has not been set, but Mr O'Gorman said it could be within days.

Two sites near Kimba, on the Eyre Peninsula, have been short-listed as potential locations for a low-level radioactive waste storage facility, while a third is near the Flinders Ranges town of Hawker.

A similar vote due to take place at Hawker was also stalled after last week's injunction, with Flinders Ranges Mayor Peter Slattery saying the Kimba matter may have consequences for the Hawker vote.

In court last week, Mr O'Gorman said the poll presented issues of direct and indirect discrimination.

"These owners of land are treated differently and that's because their rights are native title rights," he said.

Ms Dare said the Barngarla were looking to express their resounding opposition to the dump.

"Nobody wants it. We don't want the waste dump at all," she said.

AAP