Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Time for Premier Weatherill to listen to the jury on radioactive waste -Traditional Owners

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Traditional Owners and members of the Aboriginal-led Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) have welcomed the Citizen’s Jury’s recommendation to reject an international high level radioactive waste dump for South Australia.

Throughout both the Royal Commission and Citizens Jury processes concerns of potential bias have been raised. The consultancy firm hired by the Royal Commission, Jacobs MCM, has clear links to the nuclear industry. The economic report was written by Charles McCombie and Neil Chapman, the president and vice president of the Association for Regional and International Underground Storage (ARIUS). A further example of bias was that the Citizen Jurors were asked to nominate ‘witnesses’ they wished to speak to, but DemocracyCo added three people to the witness list ‒ all of them pro-nuclear ‒ without the Jurors’ knowledge or consent.

ANFA members are concerned by SA premier Jay Weatherill’s suggestion that he may not heed the jury’s recommendations: “This jury doesn’t believe the present proposal should be taken forward but we need to take into account a whole range of other broad community views[1]“.

Kokatha-Mula woman Sue Coleman-Haseldine is a co-chair of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance, in response to Premier Weatherill’s comments she said “The jury has listened to us, it’s time for the premier to listen to the jury. We don’t want this waste in South Australia. Not here, not anywhere”.

Aboriginal people travelled to Adelaide from across the state to share their concerns with the 350 jurors at the Indigenous session held on Saturday 5th November.  Many others who would have liked to have been there were unable to attend but those present were able to convey their heartfelt concerns for protecting country and culture.

Vivienne McKenzie, Adnyamantha elder who has been campaigning to protect her traditional lands from radioactive waste told the jury “If you make the decision to let a waste dump be in this state, you will go down in history and have this on your conscience.  What are you going to tell your children? ‘I was a juror, I gave the decision to have a waste dump.’  We will be history in the making. Really think about it, think from your heart, don’t think about money, there is no money in this.  They are tricking everybody.”

In its recommendation, the jury stated “There is a lack of Aboriginal consent. 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 being respected and treated as equals.”

Sue Coleman-Haseldine concluded:” ANFA members are pleased that the Jurors listened to the voices heard at the Indigenous session. Now it’s time for the Premier to listen too.”

Today’s statement is also on the ANFA website  http://www.anfa.org.au/time-for-premier-weatherill-to-listen-to-jury-on-radioactive-waste

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November 12, 2016 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, Nuclear Citizens Jury, South Australia

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