The economic impacts of a radioactive waste facility

The Commonwealth Government, through the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, is looking to establish a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF). Three sites in South Australia are under consideration.

One site is the Wallerberdina Station approximately 30 kilometres north west of Hawker in South Australia. Hawker is a town of 341 people in the local government area of the Flinders Ranges. The remaining two sites under consideration are near Kimba which has a population of 1,040 people. The first of these is 'Napandee' which is 25 kilometres west of Kimba and the second is 'Lyndhurst' which is located 15-20 kilometres north east of Kimba.

A key element of the site selection process is to engage with the community on a range of issues, including the potential economic impacts of the NRWMF on the economies in closest proximity to the facility.

Against this background, Cadence Economics was commissioned by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science to consider the economic impacts of the proposed NRWMF on both the Hawker and Kimba regions.

Our analysis assessed the economic impacts of the proposed NRWMF on these regions covering two elements. First, a quantitative economic assessment of the impacts of the NRWMF on Kimba. Second, an assessment of evidence in relation to the economic impacts of comparable sites, considering any measurable effects on a range of factors such as house prices, agricultural production and tourism.

Last week we were fortunate enough to be invited by both the communities of Hawker and Kimba to present the findings of our analysis. As the community vote approaches on this critical regional issue, we are pleased to have played a role in building the evidence base to assist residents make their decision.

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