Australian news, and some related international items

Premier Jay Weatherill’s political future on the line?

Where to now, for Premier Weatherill’s nuclear dream? Online Opinion, Noel Wauchope 8 Nov 16    On November 6th, to the surprise of all, South Australia’s Nuclear Citizens Jury came up with a report that overwhelmingly rejected the government’s plan for importing and storing high level nuclear waste. Over four days of witness hearings, and deliberations, the 350 members of the jury were tasked with producing an answer to this question:

Under what circumstances, if any, could South Australia pursue the opportunity to store and dispose of nuclear waste from other countries?

The jury’s answer:

Under no circumstances should South Australia pursue opportunity to store and dispose of nuclear waste from other countries for reasons of consent, economics, trust and safety.

An over-riding consideration was the lack of Aboriginal consent:……..

Weatherill nuclear dreamThe Jury strongly recommends that there be no further amendment to the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act at this time.

Many in the Jury felt strongly that if the nuclear waste proposal is to go ahead no further public money should be spent at this time. Any further analysis should be conducted and funded by key players within the industry.

Weakening or repealing this law is the first goal in the nuclear lobby’s plan set out in the report by Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission South Australia.

The jury was critical of the “Perceived lack of objectivity of Royal Commission Report”…….

A “yes” result might have been problematic, drawing national attention to this extraordinary plan to make Australia be the first country on the planet to invite in the world’s radioactive trash.

But a “No” vote – nobody expected that, and you could see by Weatherill’s rather fixed and strained smile on receiving the report, that it is causing some angst in the government. And no doubt, in the nuclear camp in general.

However, one can be sure that they will quickly regroup, and refresh their campaign. Premier Weatherill made it clear that the discussion will continue…….

everyone seems to agree that the Jury’s report is at least a “setback” for the nuclear waste plan, as the Financial Review describes it. It also raises questions about Premier Weatherill’s political future. Weatherill has been praised as an example of political courage. Weatherill prides himself on taking risks.

macbethHe could decide to cut the losses to the State, and pull out from the plan now. Perhaps Weatherill has invested too much energy and involvement with the nuclear lobby, to take such a step. As Macbeth said, when considering stopping his ambitious but dangerous cause – “”I am in blood stepped in so far that should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o’er,”

November 8, 2016 - Posted by | Nuclear Citizens Jury, politics, South Australia

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