Farmers, traditional owners and ratepayers unite in anti-nuclear rally

Farmers, traditional owners, children and ratepayers rallied together this week against the federal government's plan for a national nuclear storage facility in their communities.

The rally began in Gladstone Square, before stopping outside Stuart MP Dan van Holst Pellekaan's office to deliver a letter from Green's senator Sarah Hansen Young.

The enthusiastic cohort continued their march to the Eastside Foreshore.

Kimba resident Terry Schmucker owns a farm in Cootra, close to the proposed Napandee site on the Eyre Peninsula.

He spoke passionately at the rally about the potential affects a radioactive waste management facility could have on the farming industry.

"The decision to put radioactive waste on farmland is wrong," Mr Schmucker said.

"Farmland is valuable. If you take out as little as 160 hectares, that's still farmland that's gone and that's along with the mining that's happening, that's along with urban sprawl, that's a long with everything ... We need to protect our farmland."

Grains and oilseeds are Australia's largest category of food exports, representing 24 per cent of total agricultural exports.

Strict industry guidelines make Australian growers highly competitive internationally, while also supplying high-quality products for domestic consumption.

"When we deliver grain we have a load metrics and we have to sign a form to say what we have carried with our machinery, or our contractors machinery," Mr Schmucker said.

"There's strict rules on how we operate because we do grow food. If that machinery has been used in any way to do with radioactive material it can never be used in food production again.

"We are also pretty isolated on grain marketing and we grow really good produce but the buyers don't want to pay us a good price, so they will use any excuse to discount us. All they have got to say is that there's radioactive waste right next to us, here's $50 a tonne less.

"So whether it actually affects our produce is not actually the important bit, it's all in the head for people who wind us down and bargain with us on price."

Adnyamathanha woman Vivienne McKenzie also attended the rally, speaking on behalf of traditional owners in the Flinders Ranges.

Wallerberdina station near Barndioota in the Flinders Ranges is one of the three remaining potential sites for the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

The Seven Sisters songline, one of the most significant creation tracks throughout Australia, runs nearby this site.

Songlines explain the laws desert people live by, the origins of country and are a crucial element of Aboriginal culture.

"It's a very, very important site for the women The Seven Sisters is because that is the first storyline up there in the Flinders Ranges that's been recorded anywhere and it was tabled in the state parliament of South Australia," Ms McKenzie said.

"Its like if you have a book and someone rips a page out, it takes away from the story that you're given.

"It's desecration, and we are trying to preserve those songlines for generations to come.

"The Adnyamathanha people aren't recognised in their own Country, they can't even get a vote."

A community ballot is currently underway in the District Council of Kimba and results will be announced on whether residents support the construction of a nuclear waste facility at one of the two sites on November 7.

The Flinders Ranges Council will hold a similar ballot over a third proposed site at Wallerberdina between November 11 and December 12.

If one or both of the communities vote yes, the federal Minister for Resources senator Matt Canavan, could name the final site by the end of the year.