Ballots to gauge opinions on radioactive waste site

Ballots to gauge opinions on radioactive waste site

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DC of Kimba mayor Dean Johnson says voting will begin shortly for residents to have their say on support for a radioactive waste management facility.

DC of Kimba mayor Dean Johnson says voting will begin shortly for residents to have their say on support for a radioactive waste management facility.

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RESIDENTS in the Kimba and Hawker regions could have an answer about the level of public support for a proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility by the end of the year.

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RESIDENTS in the Kimba and Hawker regions could have an answer about the level of public support for a proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility by the end of the year.

Two locations in the District Council of Kimba - Lyndhurst and Napandee - and Wallerberdina in the Flinders Ranges Council have been volunteered by local landholders as potential sites to host a central radioactive waste management facility for all Australian waste.

More than 12 months after court proceedings by the Barngarla people halted the process for a poll of Kimba region residents, and with the injunction overturned in July, plans are being made for these councils to hold their ballots.

Kimba's electoral roll will close tomorrow, with the mail ballot asking residents if they support a proposed facility being located in the Kimba area being open from October 3 to November 7.

"We have been in a holding patter for over a year and it's great that finally the community has got a chance to have their say," Kimba mayor Dean Johnson said.

"Everyone involved, no matter what view or side of the debate, they absolutely need a decision.

"It's been a long four years but we're hopefully getting closer to a final resolution."

There will be a slightly longer delay for Flinders Ranges residents, with mayor Peter Slattery saying council has thrown in a "final hurdle".

He said there was some distrust of information shared about the waste facility, so council had elected to hold an independent risk assessment to weigh the quality and reliability of the information available to residents, as well as looking at other issues, such as the potential impact on local employment.

He said this information would help council residents feel more confident and informed when casting their "yes or no" vote.

Mr Slattery said the assessment was already under way and was expected to last four to six weeks, with hopes the ballot could begin in November.

"We will be opening the (electoral) roll so as soon as the assessment is ready, we can get the (voting) process under way," he said. "We're keen on the ballot as we don't know what our community thinks and we want to hear that. We're looking forward to at least understanding what the community do think about this issue."

Mr Slattery said even with the delay, he was hopeful of an answer before Christmas.

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