Australian news, and some related international items

A referendum might be held to decide on nuclear waste import plan

referendumDaniel Wills: Voters’ nuclear reaction can avoid meltdowns in future May 13, 2016  The Advertiser  

EVERY South Australian has been assured they can join a grand debate over a high-level nuclear waste dump for the state, but it’s no certainty that voters will get to directly decide.

The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission’s final report this week included a strong call for the state to urgently pursue the opportunity and usher in a golden era of new wealth for SA.

Premier Jay Weatherill is holding fire until the end of the year. The State Government’s formal position is that its mind is not made up, and a combination of statewide consultation and two citizens’ juries made up of average people will help chart the course to be taken from here.

But ultimately, he’s indicated the final decision will be taken by the Cabinet, Government and 69 members of State Parliament who are put in place to make decisions on behalf of all.

The prospect of a referendum, which could be held concurrently with the 2018 state election and would effectively offer every South Australian a direct say on what would be an irreversible decision, is not being ruled out at the highest levels either major party.

If it were to occur, the electoral dynamics in two years’ time would be dramatically altered………

if a simple change to an Act of Parliament is all that’s required for a future government in coming decades and centuries to shift course, South Australians have reason to be wary.

A business case penned by Jacobs & MCM for the commission shows the state would be swimming in cash for 75 years, and then serious bills would start rolling in for the next 50……..

It’s easy to imagine a future where short-term politics triumphs over today’s best intentions…..

The next six months — with two citizens’ juries and a statewide consultation process — will shake out some of these questions and may even formally recommend a nuclear referendum…… 

May 14, 2016 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, South Australia

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