Australian news, and some related international items

Aboriginal people will never agree to a high level waste dump – Nuclear Citizens Jury Report

handsoffNuclear citizens’ jury: five surprising things INDaily , 7 Nov 16 “……The State Government is today pondering what to make of the report of the second citizens’ jury which looked at whether South Australia should pursue the establishment of a facility to accept the world’s high level nuclear waste.

Two thirds of the 350 jurors rejected the proposition – under any circumstances.

The report shows not only a lack of faith in the concept outlined in the state’s nuclear industry royal commission, but along the way, the 50-odd pages of the citizen’s jury report has offered an indictment of a whole generation of South Australian politicians.

You wouldn’t know it from much of the media coverage since the report was handed down yesterday, but a key factor in the jury’s decision was the overwhelming Aboriginal opposition to a nuclear waste dump.

“There is a lack of aboriginal consent,” the report says. “We believe that the government should accept that the Elders have said NO and stop ignoring their opinions. The aboriginal people of South Australia (and Australia) continue to be neglected and ignored by all levels of government instead of respected and treated as equals.”

Premier Jay Weatherill, who is pushing on with analysing the wider community’s response beyond the citizens’ jury process, will find it impossible to ignore these statements.

When the ABC’s Q&A program visited Adelaide in September, Weatherill was challenged by Aboriginal leader Karina Lester about why the Government was pushing on with the proposal despite clear indigenous opposition (Lester’s father Yami lost most of his vision as a result of the Maralinga atomic tests).

Weatherill – and he’s quoted in the jury report – told a national television audience that a dump would “require essentially the explicit consent of traditional owners” and that “if it did not exist, it wouldn’t happen”.

It seems clear the majority of Aboriginal people will never agree to a high level waste dump – and the jury accepted that proposition…….

A majority of the jurors believed that building a nuclear waste dump in South Australia would damage our global reputation.

They believe “the risks to brand damage are not worth the cost and possible long-term negative outcomes”.

As evidence of South Australia’s esteem in the world, the jury report quoted a Lonely Planet announcement that was trumpeted loudly by the Government just a few weeks ago.

“South Australia’s recently ranked the ‘5th Best Regional Centre in the World’ by Lonely Planet for 2017,” the report says. “‘Lonely Planet is a brand the largest travel guide book publisher in the world’, and is a brand general population of the world know and trust. We need to stay with our brand’s essence.”……..

The jury report says the economics of the proposal was one of four key determining principles, along with content, trust and safety.

“Multiple threads of concern are present that undermine the confidence of jurors in the Royal Commission report’s validity,” the report says. “These concerns collectively combine to affect a powerful NO response to the concept of pursuing the storage and disposal of high level nuclear waste in SA…. Read the full report here.

November 7, 2016 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, Nuclear Citizens Jury

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