National Radioactive Waste Management Facility: how communities had their say

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1 November 2019

Update 12 June 2021: We’ve updated this news story to summarise the ways we invited the community to have their say on a site from 1 August 2018 to 19 December 2019.

Update March 2020: Read the community sentiment and site assessment documents that informed the Minister’s assessment of the preferred site.

Update 1 February 2020: The community ballots, public submission and business and neighbour surveys are now closed. The government has identified Napandee, near Kimba in South Australia, as the preferred site to host the facility.

How we consulted

The Australian Government is committed to delivering the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility on a site volunteered by the owner alongside a community that broadly supports hosting it.

We sought community sentiment through:

  • community ballots
  • public submissions
  • business and neighbour surveys
  • ongoing engagement and discussion.

Who participated

We invited community members to participate in any or all of the consultation methods relevant to them, as:

  • a neighbour to a nominated site
  • a local business owner or operator
  • a resident
  • an organisation or individual outside the communities near the nominated sites.

We encouraged Traditional Owners to provide input through the public submission process and via ongoing consultation with Indigenous corporations, particularly through the work of our Indigenous Engagement team.

How people accessed information

Community members informed their views by:

  • reading background information on this website, on our archived site, or in our department’s community offices
  • speaking with an expert visiting local communities or a local Community Liaison Officer
  • calling the taskforce’s contact centre on 1800 682 704
  • calling the Australian Radioactive Waste hotline on 13 28 46
  • discussing the nominated site proposal with friends, family, and the broader community.

See all the printed materials we provided to communities during consultation.

How people had their say

A range of options allowed community members to have their say on the facility.

Public submissions: 1 August 2018 to 12 December 2019

Kimba community ballot: 3 October to 7 November 2019

  • Conducted by: District Council of Kimba and the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).
  • Eligibility: residents in the District Council of Kimba Local Government Area. Eligible voters were able to cast a postal vote in the Kimba community ballot.
  • Privacy and publication: voting results released by the AEC.

Flinders Ranges community ballot: 11 November to 12 December 2019 

  • Conducted by: Flinders Ranges Council and the AEC.
  • Eligibility: residents in a 50 kilometre radius of the nominated site. Eligible voters were able to cast a postal vote in the Flinders Ranges community ballot.
  • Privacy and publication: voting results released by the AEC.

Business survey: 27 November to 19 December 2019

Neighbour survey: 13 December to 19 December 2019

How we managed privacy

  • Ballot participation was anonymous.
  • Responses to the business and neighbour surveys were de-identified.
  • Public submissions could be anonymous. We only made them public with consent.

How we considered people’s views

A range of factors were taken into account when identifying the preferred site for the facility. These included:

  • whether the local community was broadly supportive
  • relevant site-specific technical considerations.

We considered community support by drawing on the public ballots, submissions, and surveys.

The AEC conducted, scrutinised, and counted the community ballots. ORIMA research independently analysed submissions and survey results.

Read the Minister’s assessment, community sentiment report and site assessments.

Read more

Connect with us

Contact us

  • Email radioactivewaste [at]
  • Phone 13 28 46
  • Write to us at: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources; National Radioactive Waste Section, GPO Box 2013, Canberra ACT 2601

See also

View more news about the facility