Minister Canavan letter to the communities

20 December 2018

Senator the Hon Matthew Canavan

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia

I want to offer my thanks to you and your community for your participation and patience throughout the year as we continued to work to find a site for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

It was a privilege to have visited each community twice this year, and to have met with so many of you. The progress we have made in 2018 is testament to the open and generous engagement of your communities.

We undertook the first stage of on-site technical assessment at each site earlier this year, along with detailed design, safety and other planning work. My team and I were very pleased to present the findings of this work to your communities as promised.

After talking with your communities, I asked ANSTO to develop a full organisational structure to help you understand how many and what types of roles would be required at the Facility. This confirmed there would be a minimum of 45 long-term full-time-equivalent jobs in a range of safety, waste management, education and tourism roles. I know ANSTO’s CEO, Dr Adi Paterson, was pleased to be able to discuss this with you in person when he visited South Australia earlier in the year.

We also confirmed, after feedback from your communities, an increase in the Community Development Package to $31 million. The focus of this will be on building skills and business capacity to enable the host community to prepare for, and maximise the benefits that will come from construction and operation of the National Radioactive Waste Facility. This package includes dedicated funds for upskilling, ensuring long-term benefits and supporting local Indigenous communities.

The establishment of a new industry and a new government facility will deliver extensive benefits to the community who hosts it, directly through construction and operation, and also indirectly through upgrades to local infrastructure required for a facility of this kind.

As I am sure you know, the process is currently postponed while a court case is underway, and we are not going to pre-empt that decision. During this time community consultation continues, and I encourage all interested parties to continue to make submissions and to contact the project team if you have any questions. I am keen to reach a decision as soon as possible.

The community is at the very centre of our process, and we thank everyone for their time and engagement throughout this year. On behalf of the project team, I wish you all a happy and safe Christmas.

Yours sincerely,

Matthew Canavan


Copy of this letter (PDF 25KB)