Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Mystery of South Australian Labor tying the State’s prosperity to a nuclear waste toilet

South Australia nuclear toiletNuclear Poker: The Premier declares his hand, but who will win?, Adelaide Review, John Spoehr, NOVEMBER 24, 2016    You Don’t generally establish a Royal Commission on a major economic question unless you have an answer in mind. Tom Playford initiated a Royal Commission into the Electricity Industry in South Australia to bring the industry under greater public control. He was fed up with the privately run Adelaide Electric Supply Company (AESC) and was open to radical change. By the mid-1940s, most states had nationalised their electricity industries…..

It is against the weight of this history that the Premier and the State Government push. They also push against great disappointment – disappointment that the state’s prosperity should, in any way, be tied to becoming a nuclear waste dump. Surely we can do better than that, many South Australians are saying. More than 3000 protestors on Parliament House steps made it clear that a dump was not an option.

What frustrates many about the latest twist in the nuclear waste dump debate is the apparent abuse of process when the State Government didn’t get the result it wanted.  It has created an expectation that the Citizens’ Jury would guide the decision. When the Jury came out against the dump, the Premier had a plan B – put it to a referendum.

The election of Donald Trump sharpened views about the political cost of not listening to the Citizens’ Jury. While the Premier was prepared to take the risk and face accusations of having a tin ear, Opposition Leader Steven Marshall made a captain’s call to oppose the dump on economic grounds. While the Premier alienated many in his traditional support base by being the architect of the impossible, he won new friends on the other side of politics by daring to do what they would not have done themselves. Whether this translates into Labor votes from disgruntled Liberal voters at the March 2018 State election is difficult to know.

Having criticised the Opposition Leader for abandoning bi-partisan support, the Premier has few cards left to play in his game of nuclear poker. There has been talk of trying to lock in a customer nation to demonstrate that there is real demand for the dump, but customers will remain cautious, preferring not to declare their hand. Steven Marshall has laid his cards on the table and so too has the Premier. Their parties are divided on the stance they have both taken. …..

Just why the development of a nuclear industry in South Australia should be so attractive to some is a fascinating question. Those who support a waste dump generally also support the enrichment of uranium and nuclear power generation. Some also see merit in South Australia manufacturing nuclear-powered submarines. I doubt that the pursuit of a dump will satisfy the ambitions of the nuclear lobby. https://adelaidereview.com.au/opinion/politics/nuclear-poker-premier-declares-hand-will-win/

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November 25, 2016 - Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, South Australia

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