The nuclear debate has divided the small community of Omanama and neighbouring town of Inglewood but it seems that the outcry from the community has prevailed.
Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg is due to announce today that a South Australian site near the Flinders Ranges is the preferred location for the nation’s new nuclear waste storage facility.
Barndioota has been earmarked as the site for further investigation and if all gets the go ahead, will house low to intermediate materials such as medical and laboratory waste.
The Ministers’ office says OmanAma came off the consideration table for the multimillion-dollar project once it was clear the community that did not support the construction of the low level nuclear waste facility.
Originally the local site had been offered as part of the selection process by a local land holder.
It was opposed by locals, as well as the Queensland Government.
In a statement local MP and leader of the Opposition, Lawrence Springborg, expressed his thanks to the Government for adhering to community concerns.
“Whilst there was significant support within sections of the local community for the facility, it clearly did not meet the critical requirement of broad community acceptance,” he said.
“I know there will be many local people either disappointed or happy with this decision. Regardless of peoples’ personal views, it is important that those different local opinions be respected in response to this announcement.”
Mr Frydenberg emphasized that the short-listing did not represent a final decision, but it now represents the only option in the drawn-out site selection process.
A final decision on the siting of the plant at Barndioota will be made within a year after design, safety, technical, environmental and indigenous heritage assessments are carried out.
The new facility will store low-level and some intermediate-level nuclear waste, likely to include laboratory items such as paper, plastic and glassware, as well as material used in medical treatments.