Letters to the editor - March 19

Letters to the editor - March 19

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GM crops and the radioactive waste storage facility featured in this week's letters to the editor.

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KIMBA LUMPED WITH DUMP

The federal government's approach to the Kimba nuclear waste dump has been, for many, five years of a living hell in a process of constant harassing, insisting on something that no one else in Australia wants.

Part of their arsenal was the guilt trip that we may no longer have nuclear medicine which their nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights, Sydney, produces.

They say they had no room for a couple of swimming pool-size volumes of nuclear waste and it was a "distraction" for their staff, even though as long as there is a nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights there will always be nuclear waste on site.

After all, if Australia's Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, the government-owned corporation with 1000 employees and 450 hectares of land, wanted more land, why not purchase it in the large state of NSW, a convenient distance from the waste creator known as an OPAL nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights?

Instead they chose to try some new legislation on Kimba where the federal MP had offered ANSTO part of his farm.

That is where the living hell for many began at Kimba five years ago.

Today, after this unimaginable time enduring the busloads of Canberra department and ANSTO experts and seemingly unlimited taxpayer money, a generally contemptuous media and a totally divided community of 800 with our way of life changed forever, we are told we are the proud owners of a $300-million nuclear waste dump.

Meanwhile the 400-plus strong 'No waste on agricultural land on Kimba or SA' group, who broadly represent the up to $80m annual export food industry, are totally rejected by government and received not a dollar to professionally examine impacts and results of the effect of nuclear waste on their occupation and the community's lifeblood.

As they watched in utter dismay, the federal government - for me, their trusted ally until now - poured $86m in promises to attain a 'Yes' vote for a dump that no one else in Australia would accept.

I am pleased to report that I am no longer a member of any political party.

Barry Wakelin,

Kimba.

MINISTER IGNORES QUESTIONS

I am horrified that the SA government is prepared to go against its own parliament and is relentlessly trying to get the ban on genetically-modified crops lifted in SA, even though the rest of parliament has voted against it.

I have written to Primary Industries Minister Tim Whetstone but he is not listening.

I have also heard Mr Whetstone on the radio, and was shocked to hear him employing political tactics instead of actually listening to what the announcer (David Bevan) and Mark Parnell had to say.

There was no measured consideration of their questions.

In fact, when Mark Parnell told him there had been a speaker in parliament explaining the hazards of contamination of other properties from GM seeds interstate, Mr Whetstone proclaimed he wasn't there that day because he had a busy schedule.

Yet he feels qualified to go against the views of other elected and better informed people of our parliament.

The thing is, the SA government has done no forward thinking in attempting to lift the ban.

There is no decision about who is responsible if contamination of other properties occurs.

There is no consideration of the ongoing cost to farmers who must buy seeds every year.

Do not let this go through. We are not lagging behind the rest of Australia, as Mr Whetstone proclaimed on the radio, and should not follow like sheep.

That is not who SA is. We are pioneers in so many things. It is imperative we keep SA GM-free.

Deb Nurton,

Glengowrie.

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