Assessment of Kevin Scarce’s Royal Commission forums
My impression is that the Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission community forums are pretty formulaic. Kevin Scarce has got it all down pat , and does not stray from his agenda of the 4 Issues in the Terms of Reference. A bit of lip service is paid to Renewable Energy, but it is clear that this will not feature in the serious examination of energy technologies. There is complete avoidance of legal issues.
The thing that gets me about Kevin Scarce and the Royal Commission, and the media coverage – is the pretense that this is all just a South Australian affair – despite the fact that these nuclear developments are illegal under national law. Of course this whole idea of making South Australia the world’s nuclear hub and waste dump concerns all of Australia.
The meeting at Coober Pedy (14/5/15) was quite a lively one, and the audience showed a degree of knowledge and sophistication that The Royal Commissioners might not have expected to find, in such a remote location. Concerns aired in questions included the problems of nuclear wastes – problems handed over to future generations, environmental concerns, and support for renewable energy rather than nuclear .
At University of South Australia – Mawson Lakes, (19/5/15) about 50 people attended. I have no report on this, other than that at least one University lecturer was worried that harmful affects of tourism and agriculture and food would not be properly addressed, and small businesses would not put in submissions about the potential harm to their business.
At Adelaide University(22/5/15) around 250 people attended, and pro nuclear people were slightly in the majority – as evidenced by a show of hands when asked for this. David Noonan of Wilderness Society didn’t get to ask his question – that the proposed activities the RC is investigating are currently illegal in Australia!
At Flinders University (20/5/15) – (see report on this page) there was some pretty lively questioning. Kevin Scarce was able to deflect very deftly any difficult questions. His two best techniques – to point out that matters are “not in the Terms of Reference” and to urge the questioner to seek the answer and “put in a submission”.
A concern that showed up in Adelaide meetings was that of bias – questioners wanted to know about the agendas, the interests of the staff and expert advisers on the Commission. They also wanted to know about the companies involved, and their submissions to the Commission – will the Commission be transparent about this?
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