By Rachel Dally-Watkins
19 May, 2015
GINDALBIE METALS has nominated part of a pastoral station east of Geraldton, WA, for a proposed national radioactive waste management facility.
The iron ore company, which holds a suit of tenements in the state’s Mid West region, including the Karara joint venture, nominated part of the 113,600 hectare Badja Station as a candidate site to store “intermediate level waste” and “low level waste created largely as a result of medical and other scientific procedures”.
Gindalbie stated that it undertook a program of consultation with local communities and stakeholders prior to making the submission; however representatives from the Morawa Shire, which is about 70km from the site, claimed the proposal came as a surprise.
“I seriously would have thought that the Shire of Morawa was owed the courtesy of being told that this was on the run,” Morawa Shire president Karen Chappel told media.
“They have an obligation and a responsibility to sit and listen to how their decision affects us and I would suggest they would need to sit and listen to this one.”
Yalgoo Shire president Neil Grinham said his council had not yet decided if it would support the proposal.
“It’s preliminary, we don’t know the details and I’d dare say we’d have to have a lot more consultation and understanding of what the actual project is, delivered to council,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Widi people, who are subject to a native title claim for the site, said they had no prior knowledge of the company’s plan.
Gindalbie stated it would continue to undertake “extensive public consultations” at every stage of the project.
Voluntary land nominations are the first phase in the Department of Industry and Science’s nationwide search, under the Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012, and are subject to rigorous and transparent technical, economic, social and environmental assessment.
A shortlist of nominated sites is expected to be made public during July.