The Australian Government has introduced new legislative amendments to support the delivery of a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility at Napandee, near Kimba in South Australia.
The National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 will give the parliament a say on vital national infrastructure, and deliver on commitments to the community of Kimba, which broadly supports the facility.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, said that the legislation would provide certainty, particularly to the nuclear medicine industry.
“More than 80 per cent of Australia’s radioactive waste stream is associated with the production of nuclear medicine which, on average, one in two Australians will need during their lifetime,” Mr Pitt said.
“If we want the benefits of nuclear applications, which are used in the diagnosis of heart and lung conditions and the treatment of specific cancers, we have to deal responsibly with the waste produced and that is exactly what the government is doing.”
For more than 40 years, Australian Governments have sought a site for a facility to store Australia’s radioactive waste, which is spread over more than 100 locations like hospitals, universities and science facilities.
The new Bill delivers on the commitment to site the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility at Napandee, near Kimba and enables the establishment of a $20 million Community Fund.
The $20 million fund will support long-term infrastructure and development priorities for Kimba, delivering on funding commitments to the Kimba community.
The Bill also provides certainty to all the communities who have engaged in constructive consultations for over four years.
“I thank the people of Kimba, Hawker, Quorn and surrounds, Traditional Owner groups, the Kimba District and Flinders Ranges councils, and the Outback Communities Authority for their participation in this process,” Mr Pitt said.
“In particular, I thank the Kimba community for their considered and constructive approach, and look forward to working with all community members to deliver this facility.”
The announcement comes after Napandee was identified as the site for the facility on 1 February 2020 after a four-year technical and community assessment process.
The Bill will be referred to committee, which will give the parliament and other interested stakeholders further opportunity to engage in the legislative process.