Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill may take High Court action against proposed Federal Nuclear waste Dump

Jay Weatherill changes mind on nuclear dump ahead of election, https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/jay-weatherill-changes-mind-on-nuclear-dump-ahead-of-election/news-story/a11667e1cfcb443812ef0052bfc6fbef THE AUSTRALIAN 30 Jan 18, MICHAEL OWEN, SA Bureau Chief, Adelaide @mjowen

Jay Weatherill has held open the possibility of High Court action to stop a national nuclear waste dump in South Australia, despite his own failed proposal for the state to take the world’s most dangerous radioactive material.

The Labor Premier’s threat comes more than 13 years after his predecessor Mike Rann won a High Court challenge against Howard government plans to establish a national nuclear waste dump at Olympic Dam in the state’s north.

Radioactive waste is stored at more than 100 sites throughout Australia, with 656 cubic metres of intermediate waste at Lucas Heights in southern Sydney.

Asked if the state government would pursue a High Court case against the Turnbull government if a national facility were approved in South Australia, Mr Weatherill said: “We would have to explore our options to see what steps can be taken.”

The change of heart on nuclear waste, seven weeks before the state election, has taken the federal government by surprise as it considers three South Australian sites for a national low- and medium-level facility.

  • The state opposition accused Mr Weatherill of being “deceptive, sneaky and tricky”, noting the Premier had backed down last year on his own proposal to import the world’s nuclear waste only after a bungled community- consultation process and criticism from the state Liberal Party and Aboriginal groups.

Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan told The Australian the Turnbull government was running a bipartisan process in communities that broadly supported the placement of a facility, including three South Australian properties — two near Kimba, on the Eyre Peninsula, and Wallerberdina Station, near Hawker in the ­Flinders Ranges.

Senator Canavan said the second phase of consultation had started only after landowners volunteered their land for consideration and the community was found to “broadly support continuing the conversation”.

Up until now, the South Australian government has been supportive of this process … I wonder why the Premier would go against what is majority support so far in the communities around Wallerberdina Station and Kimba?” Senator Canavan said.

Mr Weatherill, who campaigned in regional South Australia this week, said his government now “opposed any further involvement in the nuclear fuel cycle, including waste repositories” whether high or low level.

This is despite establishing in 2015 a royal commission to pursue a greater involvement in the nuclear fuel cycle, including a proposal for South Australia to build a permanent facility to house the world’s high-level nuclear waste in return for more than $100 billion over 120 years. Mr Weatherill abandoned the plan last year. “The process they (federal government) have adopted is not one we support; it shouldn’t be driven by landowners, it should be driven by, essentially, communities and we think that the Aboriginal community also should be given special consideration,” he said.

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January 31, 2018 - Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, legal, politics, South Australia

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