Australian news, and some related international items

Can citizen’s juries make decision on Australia importing global nuclear wastes?

Citizen’s council to steer SA nuclear waste decision MEREDITH BOOTH THE AUSTRALIAN MAY 11, 2016 

A system used to decide “tricky policy issues” such as how South Australians manage unwanted dogs and cats will be set up to decide the state’s nuclear future.

Labor Premier Jay Weatherill said a citizen’s jury of 50, chosen from 25,000 “everyday South Australians’’ in a similar way to how a jury is chosen for a criminal trial, will be formed next month to pose key questions raised by the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission into the state’s further involvement in the nuclear industry.

A second jury of 350 would seek community feedback and report to the government by September, before a decision on a dump is made by November. Including an advertising campaign, the process would cost $1 million, Mr Weatherill said…..

citizen jury

The Premier said it would be impossible to proceed with recommendations, which included expanding uranium mining and considering nuclear power, without strong community support. “This is going nowhere if it is going to be the subject of political controversy,” he said……

“No serious investor will co-operate with us, no international partner will want to be part of entering into what is a long-term, extraordinarily expensive set of investments if they don’t think the community is going to be able to deliver on them.

“This is a test of our democracy. Can we have a mature and reasoned debate about this issue and come up with a wise judgment,“ he said.

The government has recently used citizen juries on issues of dog and cat management and cycling laws, saying it develops independent views not dominated by lobbyists and activists.

But the nuclear question was “clearly a very significant decision to entrust to this process,’’ said University of Adelaide political analyst Clement Macintyre.

“It means that the decision is arms’ length from the government, and potentially politically safer for them,’’ he said.

Mr Weatherill’s openness to a nuclear dump has clashed with Labor’s national platform, which is strongly opposed to the importation and storage of nuclear waste. However, he said political consensus had to be achieved at state level before taking the question nationally.

May 11, 2016 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, South Australia

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