Australian news, and some related international items

NO FURTHER PUBLIC MONEY should be spent on nuclear industry, by the South Australian taxpayer.

text-NoSouth Australian ‘citizens’ jury’ rejects nuclear dump, Green Left  RENFREY CLARKEAdelaide, November 11, 2016   “………Lack of confidence Also striking is the complete lack of confidence voiced by the jurors in the ability or willingness of the state’s politicians to manage radioactive materials responsibly. “No evidence of regulatory bodies … to act independently and to be funded properly to adequately regulate an industry,” the report observes. As evidence, the report cites examples that include a radioactive tailings site at Port Pirie on which children were allowed to play for decades, and which was prone to flooding by high tides.

Dealt with brusquely is an issue that promises to be highly contentious in coming months. “There was agreement that … NO FURTHER PUBLIC MONEY should be spent by the South Australian taxpayer.”

Weatherill, however, shows signs of planning to do exactly that.

The jury’s verdict is not binding on the government. After months of implying that the jury’s recommendation would be viewed as definitive, the Premier has now switched to stressing the “fifty thousand” South Australians whose views his “roadshow” supposedly canvassed.

The dump process, Weatherill made clear in his address to the jury on receiving its report, is not yet dead.

“Mr Weatherill said the ‘very clear position’ of the jury would be combined with other government research about the state-wide views of the nuclear industry, as Cabinet considers whether to push ahead,” the Advertiserreported on November 7.

“All of those perspectives need to be weighed up,” Weatherill said. “We don’t expect that this is a debate that will be concluded any time soon.” Weatherill is now due to present a formal position to parliament on the dump proposal, probably around the end of November. But if he tries to force the scheme through as he has suggested, the political costs for his government will be dire.

On the question of the dump, South Australians seem overwhelmingly to accept the verdict of their Citizens’ Jury peers. On November 7 an informal Channel 7 poll asked: “Should the state government now abandon its nuclear storage plans?” The response was: Yes 86%, No 14%.

Charged with legitimising the dump, the jury has very likely ended the scheme. But anti-dump activists would be foolish to quit their campaigning just yet.

November 12, 2016 - Posted by | politics, South Australia

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