MALCOLM McKenzie and Ian Carpenter have been selected as the Co-Chairs of a new Economic Working Group for the proposed national radioactive waste management facility in Barndioota.
Local Adnyamathanha man Mr McKenzie and Hawker resident Mr Carpenter will lead the group of eight members during the Phase Two consultation process, working towards maximising economic benefits in the region.
The group – consisting of local community members Rachel Vella, Ashley Haywood, Ronald Daniel, John Coulthard, Diedre McKenzie and Kevin Wedding – will meet every six to eight weeks.
Mr McKenzie underlined the importance of creating more jobs in the region.
“Pride comes from having a job, and this facility is the best chance Hawker and Quorn have got for new, safe, long-term jobs,” he said.
Mr Carpenter echoed Mr McKenzie’s support for the project, highlighting the strong benefits that would come from the facility.
“If this was bad or dangerous we would fight it, both of us would, but we know for a fact that’s not the case, so we want this project to move to the next stage,” Mr Carpenter said.
“In the meantime we want to have a conversation about all of the opportunities that could come from this facility, including a museum, cafe, tourism facility featuring both pastoral and Aboriginal history.”
Along with two bids from Kimba, Barndioota is one of three volunteered locations being considered by the federal government as the site for the national facility.
The government will use the consultation phase to discover whether the Barndioota site is suitable both for the community and from a technical perspective.
Head of the Resources Division in the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Bruce Wilson said the purpose of the group is to get the local community directly involved in the conversation.
“A key question the community has to answer is whether they see this as an opportunity they wish to pursue, and this group will help identify what those opportunities actually look like,” Mr Wilson said.
“This group will explore what the local capabilities and opportunities are, and how they could be enhanced and deployed, should the facility go ahead at Wallerberdina Station.”
If the Barndioota site – located at Wallerberdina Station, 160 kilometres north of Port Augusta – is selected to host the facility, it will be used to store low-level and some intermediate-level nuclear waste.
The two Kimba sites recently commenced the Phase Two consultation process.