Australian Greens nuclear spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has slammed the Liberal Government’s bribe to the Hawker and Kimba communities as they tries to find a home for their nuclear waste dump. Polling commissioned by the Greens shows that the majority of South Australians want to stop the nuclear waste dump from being built in their state.
“Resources Minister Matt Canavan should be ashamed of himself for trying to bribe the community in return for dumping radioactive waste on them. Putting money on the table, just weeks before the Kimba and Hawker communities vote on whether they want a nuclear waste dump in their front yard smacks of desperation and bribery,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
“Polling shows the majority of South Australians want our state to put a stop to this project. Nuclear waste is not welcome in Kimba or the Flinders Ranges, and the rest of the state is behind these two communities in their fight against this proposal.
“The tourism industry in the Flinders Ranges and South Australia’s export gain market is all at risk if this dump goes ahead, along with the destruction of sacred aboriginal land and special women’s sites.
“A lack of community consultation and transparency cannot be forgotten just because the Minister pulls out his chequebook.
“While the community is being offered at one off $31m bribe, the Government is keeping secret how much money the individual owners of the chosen site, including former Liberal Senator Grant Chapman will personally pocket. This is poor form, the neighbours deserve to know how much profit Mr Chapman and others will get from selling out the rest of the community.
“Why won’t the Government reveal how much their Liberal mate will pocket from taxpayers ahead of the community ballot next month?
“On Saturday it was revealed the Lucas Heights nuclear waste facility was rife with safety hazards, and today, Matt Canavan is tripling the offer to pay a community off so he can dump nuclear waste out of sight, out of mind. This is despicable, contemptuous behaviour from a Minister desperate to find tick something off his to-do list.”
Senator Hanson-Young visited the Flinders Ranges and the community of Hawker on Friday. She spent time talking with local business owners and tourism operations and was taken on a site visit by the local aboriginal leaders.
“The Flinders Ranges community has been put through extreme stress through this long, divisive process. The Flinders Ranges is one of the jewels in South Australia’s tourism crown – that would be lost if it is turned into a nuclear waste dump,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
“The Flinders Ranges is a pristine, untouched wilderness. We should be investing in tourism which would benefit our whole state, not dumping radioactive waste in the middle of it.
“It is horrifying that the Federal Government is planning to build a nuclear waste dump on a sacred women’s site. The brave Adnyamathanha women fighting to protect this site are standing up for preserving thousands of years of cultural significance, and they must be listened to.
“The Greens stand with those fighting this nuclear waste dump plan and commend their bravery for standing up to the Government to stop it.”