Questions posed on nuclear waste site

Resources Minister Keith Pitt's push for a hotly-contested national radioactive waste facility near Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula has once more hit the rough.

Legislation seeking to remove people's rights to legally appeal or challenge the government's plan has again been removed from the Senate this week after it failed to garner broad political support.

The plan is deeply flawed. It shirks the hard questions about responsible long-term radioactive waste management in favour of a sub-optimal short-term political fix. This is Australia's most serious radioactive waste. Some of it needs to be isolated from people and the environment for 10,000 years.

The waste comes from the Lucas Heights reactor in Sydney. There is a growing call that it should stay at this secure federal site until there is a credible pathway for its long-term management. Moving it to an area in regional South Australia where there are far fewer management assets and resources is unnecessary and irresponsible.

This is not akin to a decision about which hill to put a mobile tower on. Deciding on Australia's first purpose-built national radioactive waste facility requires much more evidence, effort and evaluation than has occurred to date.

Australia needs a credible, evidence-based approach to the long-term management of radioactive waste.

Sadly, Mr Pitt's plan does not do this. It is time it was scrapped and the federal government got serious about advancing responsible waste management.

DAVE SWEENEY

Australian Conservation Foundation

DO NOT FEAR CHANGE

Concerning the council's exciting new plans, there are obviously as many opinions as there are people.

I agree in a way that it would be a shame to knock down the Flinders Theatre, particularly as that is where I met my husband (and we are still married after 53 years).

Are we going to be a town of old buildings where nothing ever changes or a bright and modern city which will attract tourists and new residents for years to come?

The Baptist Church is a lovely old building, too, and it would be nice if the stained glass windows could be incorporated in a church elsewhere, yet it is rotting away with salt damp and would cost a fortune to repair.

It has not been used for ages and there is a lot of land behind it which could become useful instead of a dead waste.

As for a boutique cinema, sounds good to me. I would love to know the average attendance at shows. The couple of times that I have been in the last year or so, there were barely a dozen people there.

A decent visitor information centre is needed, too, and would be much easier for travellers to find as it is on the road in, rather than a little building around the corner.

And as for consultation, there has been plenty of time for people to send in their ideas, either online or in writing. Anyone can be a critic, it is much harder to be creative and forward thinking.

ANN STAUNTON

Port Lincoln

BILL NOT RIGHT

Having marched in Adelaide and heard the testimonials from a midwife, a woman who aborted her 24-week-old baby, adoptive parents, I believe not everyone understands what this legislative Bill is about.

It wants to give a woman the right to abort her child up to full term. That is murder and recognised as murder given the road accident in Queensland where a couple were killed along with their unborn baby.

To hear how these innocent young babies will be disposed of is truly horrifying. A midwife saw a 24-week-old fetus being startled to life by the flash of a camera she used to photograph it in a bedpan.

Where is the human decency? Just because all other states have passed this law, it does not make it right.

SANDI EDWARDS

Port Lincoln

PLANS DO NOT MAKE SENSE

After reading about this way-out plan that the Port Lincoln Council has put forward. I feel that not a lot of thought has been put into this crackpot idea.

Why would you demolish a historic church, also the Port Lincoln cinema? I know the theatre needs a lot of work, but it is not past restoring.

You can always make something not too costly and pass it. If you want to demolish it, then replace it with another one. It does not make a lot of sense to then add a cafe with it, as if we need any more eating places.

It will only put pressure on the existing cafes and hotels. I have been in Port Lincoln for about 20 years. In that time I have never been able to not find a table or seat in any of these eating places.

In fact, if you go into any of the hotels during the day for a drink or a meal, you could count the people in there on one hand.

Also it seems the information centre will be shifted, or will they have two? If they are going to shift it, that leaves an empty shop.

It is in an ideal place now, across from the Post Office as most travellers will visit the Post Office then the information centre, They are close together so why shift it?

Getting rid of some lawn down the foreshore is crazy. We already have good netball and basketball courts so why have more?

To say we will lose some 20 car parking spaces is stupid. We need more on the front street, not fewer, and have done so for years.

There is talk of some 50 parks that will be made up by the theatre. I am not sure there is room. By the time the workers and theatre clients get there, they will be taken up.

To shift the library into this new plan does not make any sense. It is in a great place now and at least you can get a park any time of the day. It will leave another empty shop.

Talking to one of the tourist operators who operate out of the marina, they said that it works quite well as it is and shifting the pick-up point to the front jetty is more of a hindrance than a plus as they would have to motor from the marina around to the town empty, then at the end of the tour drop them off there and motor back empty.

As it is now, after you go on one of these tours you get off the boat, walk down the wharf to the Marina Hotel, have a drink or a meal then go home. The Marina will miss out on this trade.

A viewing platform on top of the dunnies? You have got to be joking. All you will see is awful rusty roofs, not a good look. Go up Winters Hill to look over the town.

By picking up tourists at the main town jetty, it will only impact on parking as you are going to take some away.

It seems the council has not thought this through - they can get a bucket of money and just waste it.

STEVE ATKINSON

Port Lincoln