Thursday, 10 August 2023

Shadow Resources Minister, Senator Susan McDonald, has warned Australia’s ability to make life-saving cancer medicines is in danger after Labor decided to walk away from a suitable site in Kimba, South Australia.

Senator McDonald revealed that in the wake of a recent court ruling, the Coalition had written to the Government offering support to secure the Kimba site but had not received a reply.

“It is disappointing that this Government has walked away from bipartisanship on this issue, and thrown into doubt the future of Australia’s nuclear medicine industry,” she said.

“The former Coalition Government engaged with the Kimba community and Barngarla people, and underwent a significant consultation process over a number of years, including ballots which demonstrated strong community support.

“The Minister claimed consultation was deficient and the site did not have broad community support, yet over 61 per cent of residents of the Kimba area, 60 per cent of local businesses and 100 per cent of neighbours who shared a boundary supported the site.

“It would be deeply disappointing if other political pressures were forcing the Minister’s hand on this decision.

“Making decisions to protect Anthony Albanese’s Voice campaign and putting Labor Party factional politics above the national interest is no way to govern.

“The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) have made it clear that if a waste management site does not proceed, their operations could be impacted as early as 2027.

“After 50 years of planning for a centralised storage site, and the more recent work of successive Governments and Resources Ministers to develop this particular facility, this Labor Government has erased this progress and now has no plan.

“The Albanese Government has delivered nothing for the people of Kimba, nothing for the future of ANSTO, nothing for the future of radioactive waste, and nothing for Australians who rely on nuclear medicine.”