Conservation SA commissioned economic think tank The Australia Institute to examine more closely the Federal Government’s claims of an economic windfall for the communities under consideration for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) – the Flinders Ranges and Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula.
TAI examined the claimed economic benefits to regional communities associated with the establishment of the facility and found the government has exaggerated the benefits, and not properly factored in insurance costs and other risks.
The “Down in the Dumps” report compared the current Australian NRWMF plans with similar facilities overseas, and found a raft of exaggerated jobs and economic return claims. For example, a proposed facility in Canada which is more than one hundred times larger with more functions and features, will cost only half as much to construct and operate.
As the report’s author, Dr Cameron Murray, states: ‘Either the waste facility is orders of magnitude larger than need for Australia’s nuclear waste, or the government has exaggerated the economic returns to the local community of the NRWMF facility’
It also questioned the true value of the promised $31 million in local grants and infrastructure promises, as some of this appears to be double-counting, re-labelling of other programs or matched by cuts to other funding streams.
Adjusting the economic impact assessment to account for the exaggerated claims reduces the number of net full-time jobs down to just 6.