Australian news, and some related international items

Unions ready to oppose South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill on nuclear waste dump plans

Weatherill nuclear dreamUnions ready to dump on Jay Off the Record: SA’s home of political, business and legal gossip Advertiser September 2, 2016 POWERFUL forces within the Labor movement are bracing for an intense union campaign against Premier Jay Weatherill if he goes ahead with plans for a high-level nuclear waste dump.

Off the Record can reveal some are talking about a repeat of the union campaign against Mike Rann, which boiled over in 2010 when he needed a police escort through protesters at Labor’s state conference.

Labor figures have drawn our attention to Maritime Union of Australia state secretary Jamie Newlyn’s public backing of the No Dump Alliance, a broad coalition of environmentalists, indigenous groups and academics.

Newlyn, also SA Unions president, says on the group’s website that the MUA has “a long history of opposing expansion of the nuclear industry including nuclear waste dumps”.

“We fear that the economic assumptions pale in insignificance to the unknown safety and environmental implications of such plans,” says Newlyn.

Wharfies clearly would be required to unload any imported high-level waste, so the union’s support would be critical.

SA Unions vice-president (women) and nurses’ union state secretary Elizabeth Dabars also is backing the anti-dump campaigners, ambiguously declaring her union is pleased “to join the No Dump Alliance to actively participate in community debate on this very important issue for the South Australian community”.

Rann discovered, to his peril, the risks of putting off-side powerful union leaders, such as Australian Workers’ Union state secretary (now president)Wayne Hanson. The AWU, however, is said to be more onside with the dump, because of the potential for jobs and investment.

Perhaps Weatherill will have to worry about his hitherto smooth relations with the union movement being disrupted when he delivers, by the end of the year, the government’s response to the nuclear royal commission.

September 3, 2016 - Posted by | politics, South Australia, wastes

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