Mr RAMSEY (Grey—Opposition Whip) (16:35): The Kimba community have been struggling to digest the impact of the government decision not to pursue the establishment of the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility in their community. We are 8½ years down the track and we have Senate estimates to thank for now finding out that the government has spent $108 million on this project. I’m not sure if this actually includes the hundreds and thousands of hours that the department has worked on the project, but it is $108 million nonetheless. Give the fact that the project had strong community support, that it was situated on freehold land that had, of course, fully extinguished native title rights and that the government had bought the land, you can understand how the community could be forgiven for thinking that this project was actually going to proceed.
Kimba was promised 45 permanent jobs, the construction of a $300 million plus facility, an $8 million fund—to be offered in four tranches for the development of local capacity—and a $20 million trust fund to advance the community. The local government and businesses within the town had made business decisions based on the fact that this facility was going ahead. People had bought property in the area based on the fact that this project was going ahead. The Kimba council has written in response to Minister King and has asked her to honour the community benefits package—the $8 million in four tranches and the $20 million trust fund—and I am throwing my weight behind that request. The least they could do is show some respect to this community.