The Australian Conservation Foundation has welcomed the Albanese government’s decision to fully withdraw the former Coalition government’s proposal to establish a radioactive waste facility on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula against the wishes of Traditional Owners.

Last month the Federal Court ruled in favour of Barngarla Traditional Owners, setting aside former Resources Minister Keith Pitt’s declaration of the Kimba site.

“This is a welcome and sensible decision by Minister King and federal Labor to scrap this plan, which it inherited from the previous government and which was inconsistent with international best practice and community sentiment,” said ACF’s nuclear free campaigner Dave Sweeney.

“Today’s decision is a credit to the tenacity and courage of the Barngarla people, who have been utterly determined to protect their country.

“Labor’s decision is consistent with the Federal Court ruling and with Labor values on listening to First Nations’ wishes for their Country.

“This divisive and deficient plan has caused a lot of pain and division.

“Today’s announcement signals a different approach.

“ACF looks forward to constructive dialogue with the Albanese government to help develop a new and responsible approach to radioactive waste management in Australia.

Minister Madeleine King is right to say the previous government’s plan to double-handle the transport of this waste – first from Lucas Heights in Sydney to temporary storage at Kimba, then on to an as-yet undetermined permanent disposal site – raised concerns regarding international best practice and safety. 

“The first step to getting something right is to stop getting it wrong.

“Today, the government took that important step.”

Header pic by Michael Coughlan

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