About No Dump Alliance
The No Dump Alliance is a broad cross-section of South Australian civil society. We are Indigenous, public health, trade union, faith and environment groups, academics and concerned individuals who have come together to oppose the federal government’s continued push to establish a national nuclear waste dump.
WE SUPPORT LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO VOICE THEIR CONCERNS
DEMAND GOVERNMENT UPHOLD LEGISLATION THAT PROHIBITS A NUCLEAR WASTE DUMP IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA
CALL FOR A BETTER PROCESS TO MANAGE AUSTRALIA’S NUCLEAR WASTE
The plan to import nuclear waste was abandoned in 2017 but nuclear dump threats are very much alive. South Australia is now being targeted by the federal government for a national nuclear waste dump. The government is targeting a site called Napandee, near the town of Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula.
Nuclear dumps are illegal in SA under the Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 2000. The import, transport, storage and disposal of these nuclear wastes is prohibited.
However the federal government plans to ignore the Act and establish a national radioactive waste dump (for lower-level nuclear wastes) and above-ground store (for long-lived intermediate-level waste) in Kimba.
The intermediate-level waste would be stored there until a permanent disposal site is found. The government hasn’t even begun the process of finding a deep underground disposal site for intermediate-level waste so it would remain at Kimba for decades; indeed the nuclear regulator ARPANSA envisages storage for a century or more.
The National Health and Medical Research Council’s Code of Practice on radioactive waste states that radioactive waste disposal sites should have “little or no potential for agriculture,” however Kimba is a productive agricultural region.
This proposed nuclear waste dump site is strongly contested by people in the farming community and it is unanimously opposed by Barngarla Traditional Owners.
The Federal Government have denied the Barngarla people, Native Title Holders, the right to have a voice on the radioactive nuclear waste dump on their Country.
Yami Lester Yankunytjatjara Elder
and Atomic Test Survivor
No Dump Alliance ambassador Yami Lester was a Yankunytjatjara Elder, atomic test survivor, Aboriginal rights activist, father, grandfather and great grandfather. Mr Lester told his story to highlight the dangers of the nuclear industry, and his voice and support were key to the formation and successful work of the No Dump Alliance.
July 2017 saw the passing of Yami. We have lost a truly remarkable person and the Alliance deeply misses his warmth, leadership and strength.
In 1953, I was just ten years old when the bombs went off at Emu and Maralinga, I didn’t know anything about nuclear issues back then, none of us knew what was happening. I got sick, and went blind from the Totem 1 fallout from those tests.
Now I’m 74 years old and I know about nuclear issues. Members from the APY, Maralinga-Tjarutja and Arabunna, Kokatha lands say we don’t want nuclear waste on our land.
It means a lot to me to be in this Alliance. I would like others to listen and join, become a member and fight together.
Members of the No Dump Alliance
Why we oppose the waste dump
It remains shocking and saddening that in the 21st Century, First Nations people would have to fight for the right to vote in Australia.
Barngarla Traditional Owners are unanimous in their opposition
Aboriginal communities in South Australia endured British nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and 1960s at Emu Field and Maralinga and continue to suffer health and social impacts from these tests today. A nuclear waste dump would be a permanent imposition on country, people, laws, environment and culture. From Elders in the communities to young people now speaking out, generations after generations have said NO to nuclear waste dumps.
The proposed nuclear dump at Kimba is unanimously opposed by Barngarla Traditional Owners. The Morrison government excluded Traditional Owners from a ‘community ballot’. So the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation engaged the Australian Election Company to conduct a separate ballot which revealed unanimous opposition among Traditional Owners. The ballot of Traditional Owners was ignored by the federal government.
Help Barngarla Traditional Owners take legal action against the Kimba waste dump.
We do not want our agricultural region exposed to the risks this nuclear waste presents and we need our leaders to ensure that our state legislation is upheld.
Farming land is no place for a nuclear waste dump
Kimba is a farming community and one of the many objections to the site is that the National Health and Medical Research Council’s ‘Code of Practice for Near-Surface Disposal of Radioactive Waste in Australia’ states that “the site for the facility should be located in a region which has no known significant natural resources, including potentially valuable mineral deposits, and which has little or no potential for agriculture or outdoor recreational use”.
The disposal of radioactive waste in Australia is ill-considered and irresponsible.
Public Health & Environmental Risks
We have a responsibility to preserve the health and safety of all South Australians and our environment. There is no ‘safe’ level of exposure to ionising radiation.
The history of nuclear waste is a history of leaks, spills, transport accidents, chemical explosions, and fires. That’s why the National Health and Medical Research Council states that farming land should not be the site of a nuclear waste dump.
The Federal government excluded Barngarla Traditional Owners from the community ballot.
Dumping on democracy
The proposed nuclear dump is illegal under the SA Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 2000, but successive state and federal governments are willing to ignore or override legislation which was enacted to “protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of South Australia and to protect the environment in which they live.”
In 2019 the District Council of Kimba held a community ballot to determine the level of community support for the dump. However the ballot excluded Barngarla Traditional Owners, and was held within boundaries which excluded many people with a legitimate interest in the vote.
In a further dump on democracy, the federal government also tried to amend legislation to prevent a judicial challenge to the nomination of the site.
No convincing argument has been made for a nuclear waste dump anywhere in Australia and we object to the federal government targeting regional South Australia.
Most of this waste is currently stored where it is produced, at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)’s nuclear facility at Lucas Heights south of Sydney. ANSTO itself has acknowledged that it can manage this waste on-site for decades, and the viability of this option was confirmed by the 2021 Public Works Committee inquiry of the Federal Parliament.