Australian news, and some related international items

South Australian government herded Citizens Jury towards a “yes” vote on nuclear waste importing

Citizens' Jury scrutinyEP citizen juror loses trust in state government on nuclear process, 14 Nov 2016,  CLEVE resident Deb Carlaw, who was one of 10 Eyre Peninsula representatives on the Nuclear Fuel Cycle’s Citizens’ Jury, has returned from her time on the jury, with a “strong feeling” of distrust in the state government.

“We felt we were being herded toward making the middle vote (go ahead with investigations into the facility) and I was horrified by the manipulation and subterfuge underway – it really opened my eyes,” Mrs Carlaw said.

The jury was a collective of 350 people from across the state which Mrs Carlaw said did not include many regional or rural people.  Two thirds of the jury voted to not go ahead further with the waste proposal, with economic benefits, trust, safety and lack of indigenous consent key points in their decision. Mrs Carlaw said 100 per cent of the EP representatives voted a strong ‘no’ to the proposal.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has now said the discussion should continue on the proposed facility, which will only be achieved by political party bipartisanship and a state wide referendum.  Mrs Carlaw said she was disappointed but not surprised Mr Weatherill was continuing on with the proposal, regardless of the fact the jury was “supposed to be the voice of the state”.

“Fuorteen million dollars down the drain because the government won’t accept the verdict we came up with,” she said.

Mrs Carlaw had used social media as a platform to ask what people on Eastern Eyre felt regarding the nuclear proposal before she attended the jury, with the majority saying ‘no’ to the idea.

“We had people stand up, including a representative from PIRSA, who advised the jurors that country people wanted this facility, which I couldn’t believe, as from the information we had received from community members, this was not the case.”

She said the responses to any questions regarding nuclear accidents were met with a blanket statement of “there will never be any”. Mrs Carlaw said the facts she received while on the jury firmly made her mind up to not support the proposed facility.

She said the experience had been challenging, physically and mentally and had missed out on important family events, because she wanted to be able to see the experience to the end.“I wanted to be able to devote myself to this responsibility – I studied, I talked, I listened and I learnt,” Mrs Carlaw said.

November 25, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear Citizens Jury | Leave a comment

Michael West casts a satirical searchlight on South Australia’s nuclear waste import plan

“By removing this tricky “back end problem” of where to store the waste Australian taxpayers can really assist foreign investors to make more money”

It’s not simply a matter however of digging a best-of-breed hole with the taxpayer bearing 100 per cent of the cost – and sanctioned by a cost-benefit analysis focused on benefits but not costs.

The nuclear dump proposal probably couldn’t have got where it is today without the helpful influence of UCL Australia, the “international campus” of the University College London, which is located in Adelaide.

This university campus was started in 2008 with helpful funding from BHP (Olympic Dam – the world’s largest known deposit of uranium in South Australia) and Santos.

west-michaelVisit Australia, home of the world’s nuclear waste dump!  “Come visit Australia, home of the world’s nuclear waste dump!”

It’s got a ring about it, no doubt about that. Imagine the tourism potential, imagine the premium prices our agricultural produce would fetch! We would be the envy of the global community. Yet this visionary proposal by South Australian premier Jay Weatherill is being white-anted, shot down by naysayers, people who have little understanding of the benefits of hosting the world’s high-level nuclear waste.

Thankfully Rupert Murdoch’s quality newspaper, The Adelaide Advertiser, has thrown its wisdom and authority behind the shrewd plan for the state’s glowing future.

There is still some conjuring of consent to be done though. Despite the Premier and his crack cabinet holding a Royal Commission which recommended the waste dump; and despite expert’s advice in the guise of the Jacobs report, the naysayers have kept their dastardly campaign afoot.

They even alleged this Jacobs report was somehow lacking in independence just because it was written by paid advocates of the nuclear industry. Continue reading

November 23, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016 | Leave a comment

The saga of the South Australian nuclear waste import plan continues – Michele Madigan

highly-recommendedOpposition growing to SA nuclear plan https://www.eurekastreet.Madigan, Michele
Michele Madigan |  16 November 2016

We are not a dump is SA, we want to keep it beautiful’ — Umoona Community. ‘We’ve got to think about the country’ — Ceduna. The last 30 days have seen some big developments in the ongoing attempts of SA Premier Weatherill’s plan to import high-level and intermediate level radioactive waste into South Australia.

On Sunday 6 November came the surprising decision of the Premier-initiated Citizens Jury. By the end of their six day deliberations, the 350 second round jurists showed a decided shift in opinion. Their 50 page report, presented to a somewhat discomfited Premier, had a strong two thirds majority declaring the international nuclear dump was not to go ahead ‘under any circumstances’.

Contrary to expectations, my own included, the jury, realising the bias of the royal commission and other government initiated forums, had insisted on their own choice of counter experts. Continue reading

November 20, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear Citizens Jury, NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, wastes | 1 Comment

Scarce and his pro nuclear Royal Commission not looking credible

Scarce thanks expertsOn radio this week, Scarce denied his commission had “cooked” the numbers. There was nothing wrong with contracting pro-nuke lobbyists to do the work…….

there will be more consultation. There is also a parliamentary inquiry into the issue, due to report on November 29, which sources suggest is likely to split three-all, with Labor and Family First on one side and the Greens and Liberals on the other.

And further analysis of the royal commission’s economic calculations, received by the state parliament this week, is highly critical

SA’s citizen jury defies royal commission,  SA’s citizen jury, which rejected the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission’s pro-storage stance, reveals the democratic tension when governments open decision-making to the people while seeking a predetermined outcome. Saturday Paper 19 Nov 16  MIKE SECCOMBE

Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, AC, CSC, RANR, calmly damned the torpedoes when he went on Adelaide radio on Tuesday morning. He wasn’t sunk yet, he insisted.

The available evidence, however, suggested he was taking a lot of water. Over more than a year the former navy man and South Australian governor had steered his royal commission into the nuclear fuel cycle towards a radioactive future. Now, six months after the release of his report recommending the state become a repository for nuclear waste, it had been badly holed.

A citizens’ jury of 350 randomly selected people had looked into the findings, had heard evidence from witnesses selected for them and from their own selected witnesses and had come down by a margin of about two-to-one against any plan to store high-level nuclear waste in the state. This was a surprise to many, including some opponents of the plan who already had put a deal of work into formulating elaborate conspiracy theories and disseminating the message that the citizens’ jury was designed as a stitch-up.

If it was – and we’ll come back to the claims – then it was very badly stitched. The jury’s opposition was absolute.

“Under no circumstances should South Australia pursue opportunity to store and dispose of nuclear waste from other countries for reasons of consent, economic, trust and safety,” the report said. Continue reading

November 20, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear Citizens Jury | Leave a comment

Legal obstacles – State,National, and International, to Australia importing nuclear wastes

legal actionNuclear waste debate re-emerges in Australia. Moulis Legal 17.11.16

“…….A long history of talk but with little “legal” support

South Australia’s proposal to encourage the world to export its high-level nuclear waste to Australia is in stark contrast to the previous positions of both the Federal and South Australian Governments. Moreover, significant reform to State laws and to existing Federal practice would be required to facilitate the proposal, none of which has been formulated.

In 1998, the responsible Federal Minister condemned a recommendation by nuclear waste management consortium Pangea Resources for a repository for international high-level nuclear waste in the Western Australian outback. He reiterated Australia’s long-standing bipartisan opposition to such a development:

…no high level radioactive waste facility is planned for Australia and the government has absolutely no intention of accepting the radioactive waste of other countries. The policy is clear and absolute and will not be changed. We will not be accepting radioactive waste from other countries.1

Continue reading

November 19, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, reference, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear Economics Consulting Group reports on the diseconomics of importing nuclear waste to South Australia

scrutiny-on-wastes-sa-bankruptNew expert report on dump causes major problems for Weatherill 16 November 2016

Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today a new expert study into the nuclear waste dump will cause major problems for Mr Weatherill as it raises significant concerns and questions about the financial assumptions of the project.

The report by international nuclear experts Nuclear Economics Consulting Group was released today by the Joint Parliamentary Committee and makes it clear that the claimed revenue of $257 billion and costs of $145 billion by the Weatherill Government cannot be relied upon.

“This report is a severe embarrassment for Mr Weatherill as it makes it clear the Weatherill Government leaks to the media on the weekend were selective, deceptive and an attempt to grossly mislead the public,” said Mr Lucas.

The report notes:

  • That ‘under some Project approaches” South Australian taxpayers might have to spend even more than $600 million and still decide not to proceed with the dump.
  • The Jacobs report doesn’t even consider the costs of some important issues which “have significant serious potential to adversely impact the Project and its commercial outcomes.”
  • Assumptions about price are “overly optimistic” and if that is the case “project profitability is seriously at risk”.
  • The 25% cost contingency for delays and blowouts is likely to be a significant underestimate.
  • The assumption the Project would capture 50% of the available market had “little support or justification”.

Almost every page of this expert report lists further questions and concerns about the critical assumptions underpinning the projections.

“Whilst the report finds that the project could be profitable ‘under certain assumptions’ it then raises serious questions about most of those assumptions. It also concluded that ‘informed decision making will require a more extensive assessment that includes what was explicitly excluded in the Jacobs report.’

“It is now clear that weekend claims by the Weatherill Government that this report had ‘verified’ the Royal Commission’s figures and “backed Commission findings of $257 billion in revenue are a grotesque distortion of the report.

“In fact, this report ‘blows a hole’ in Mr Weatherill’s vision of a nuclear waste dump future for South Australia and backs Liberal concerns about the financial assumptions of the Project.”

November 19, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Europe’s new rules about exporting nuclear waste are RELEVANT TO AUSTRALIA

Under the new law, export to countries outside the EU will be allowed but only under strict and binding conditions.  

antnuke-relevantThe third country must have a final deep geological repository in operation when the waste is shipped.

At present, such deep geological repositories do not exist anywhere in the world nor is a repository in construction outside of the EU.

Europe Adopts Long-Term Nuclear Waste Storage Law     BRUSSELS, Belgium, July 19, 2011  For the first time, the European Union has committed itself to the final disposal of its nuclear waste. Heads of government today adopted the radioactive waste and spent fuel management directive, “in order to avoid imposing undue burdens on future generations.”…..

The directive will enter into force at the latest in September of this year. Member States will have two years to transpose its provisions into their national laws.

By 2015, governments must submit their first national programs to the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, which will examine them and can require changes……


Some 7,000 cubic meters of high-level nuclear waste are produced across the EU each year. Most Member States store spent fuel and other highly radioactive wastes in above-ground storage facilities that need continuous maintenance and oversight and are at risk of accidents, such as airplane crashes, fires or earthquakes. Hungary and Bulgaria currently ship nuclear waste to Russia.

In its most controversial provision, the new law allows export of nuclear waste to countries outside the EU. In its initial proposal, the Commission had advocated a complete export ban.

On June 23, 2011, the European Parliament in its plenary session voted in favor of a complete export ban as proposed by the Commission. In a close vote, MEPs backed a ban on exports of nuclear waste to non-EU countries, with 311 votes in favor, 328 against and seven abstentions.

However, the European Council today approved a version of the directive that allows export. Continue reading

November 19, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, wastes | Leave a comment

An inside story from South Australia’s Nuclear Citizens Jury

Let’s move on.

Perhaps the Premier will now see that this is a non-starter. He could save face, claiming the government was prepared to tackle hard issues in the interest of the State. Unfortunately he seems determined to press ahead. But please, whatever the political outcome, can we stop undermining the honest hard work of the jurors by claiming they were ‘biased’. The jury reached a democratic decision despite attempts to manufacture consent for a cautious ‘go ahead. Was this was solely evidence-based or influenced by lack of trust in the government’s capacity to manage the project and the way the facilitation team managed the jury process? My sense it was a bit of both; but based on evidence and the experience, not just emotion and opinion. Let’s now move on and consider how we might invest the money that would have been needed for this nuclear waste project in creating sustainable jobs in South Australia – manufacturing and installing the technologies needed for low carbon energy future.

highly-recommendedOne small voice from inside the recent SA Nuclear Citizen’s Jury

By Tony Webb  , 18 November 2016 Two thirds of the recent South Australian Citizen’s Jury Citizens' Jury scrutinyopposed the idea that South Australia could import, store and dispose of around a third of the world’s highly radioactive Nuclear wastes. Nuclear advocates have responded by suggesting bias in the jury. I’d like to share some of what happened inside the jury based on first hand experience rather than ill-informed opinions from outsiders.

Bias in the jury selection process?

First the claim the jury was ‘biased’. Simply untrue. I was one of 25,000 people randomly selected via Austria Post listings who received an invitation to participate and was one of around 1200 who expressed interest. I was not chosen for the first 50 person jury in June but was one of the 350 selected to participate in the second jury in October.

Was I biased? I freely admit to being an active critic of the nuclear industry for over 40 years. I’ve worked on public and worker-education over risks from radiation exposures in the UK USA Canada and here. Not always popular with anti-nuclear advocates, I’ve also argued that the world needs to find a long term solution to the problem of nuclear wastes. I’d prefer this be done by international agreement as a global-citizen responsibility. I’m sceptical it can be done responsibly as a commercial venture or as a solution to South Australia’s economic woes.

Were others in the jury similarly inclined or approaching it from a predetermined position? Definitely not. The evidence from jurors’ early postings on the ‘Basecamp’ discussion board, and questions in the jury sessions indicated that most if not all approached the task of reviewing the evidence with an open mind; facing up to the challenge of producing reasoned advice to government on whether, and if so under what conditions, to pursue the opportunity outlined in the report of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission. Further evidence of open minds was seen when, at the end of the second weekend, we formed an ‘opinion line’ on our thinking a that stage in the process. A continuous line across the room showed, while some had firmed up their opinion at both ends, most were still undecided.

Reviewing the evidence Continue reading

November 18, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear Citizens Jury | Leave a comment

Premier Weatherill wants expansion of uranium mining, and nuclear waste dumping

Weatherill glowPremier Jay Weatherill backs expansion of uranium mining in South Australia, Daniel Wills State Political Editor, The Advertiser November 15, 2016  PREMIER Jay Weatherill has backed an expansion of uranium mining in the state, as recommended by a Royal Commission, while also continuing to explore the prospect of a nuclear dump.

A day after floating long-term plans for a referendum on a high-level nuclear waste dump, Mr Weatherill today addressed the Royal Commission findings in Parliament.
Mr Weatherill rejected recommendations urging he talk to the Federal Government about removing legal bans on uranium enrichment and nuclear power in Australia.

He also rejected a recommendation that the State Government remove state legislation stopping an “orderly, detailed and thorough analysis” of establishing nuclear waste storage in SA.

Recommendations accepted include simplifying mining approvals for uranium and backing more scientific studies of where ores can be uncovered…..

He said the Government will “not pursue policy or legislative change” to develop a nuclear dump, after the Opposition pulled support for the project…..”

November 16, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics | 1 Comment

Jay Weatherill’s nuclear political suicide

weatherill-martyrJim Green: Jay Weatherill willing to commit political suicide with push to turn South Australia into world’s nuclear waste dump, Jim Green, The Advertiser November 15, 2016 PREMIER Jay Weatherill previously said that “there’s no doubt that there’s a massive issue of trust in government … that’s why we started the whole citizen’s jury process” into the nuclear waste import proposal.

Yet the Premier has now overturned the SA Citizens’ Jury on Nuclear Waste’s verdict with his decision to continue to promote his plan to import high-level nuclear waste. His overturning of the jury’s verdict will worsen public distrust of government.

The citizen’s jury was emphatic in its rejection of the proposed nuclear dump – 70 per cent argued that it should not proceed “under any circumstances”.They clearly explained their reasons, including respect for Aboriginal traditional owners, scepticism about fanciful economic claims, concerns that the royal commission and the government downplayed environmental and public health risks, and distrust that the government could deliver the project on time and on budget.

The Premier justified his decision to overturn the jury’s verdict by referring to a ‘Community Views Report’ released on Sunday, reflecting the results of a statewide consultation process.

But his take on the report was extremely selective.

The Premier noted that 43 per cent of people questioned in surveys and focus groups supported further consideration of the nuclear waste dump proposal whereas 37 per cent were opposed.

He failed to note that many other people made their voice heard during the community consultation process.

  Overall, 4365 people were opposed to further consideration of the proposal while only 3032 supported further consideration.
 The Premier completely ignored the other findings of the Community Views Report. Fifty-three per cent of respondents opposed the plan to import high-level nuclear waste while just 31 per cent supported the plan.

Over three-quarters of Aboriginal respondents opposed the plan.

The community consultation process found that only 20 per cent of respondents were confident that nuclear waste could be transported and stored safely, while 70 percent were not confident.

The consultation process found that the number of people confident in the government’s ability to regulate any new nuclear industry activities in SA (2125 people) was barely half the number who were not confident (4190 people).

The consultation process found that 66 per cent of respondents were not confident that a nuclear waste import project would bring significant economic benefits to SA.

November 16, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

Pro nuclear Royal Commissioner Scarce still pushing the barrow for the industry

Scarce poisoned chaliceNuclear discussion not finished yet, says ex Royal Commissioner, Chief Reporter Paul Starick, The Advertiser, November 14, 2016  SOUTH Australia has already invested money in investigating the significant opportunity posed by a high-level nuclear waste repository and should properly finish the discussion, former royal commissioner Kevin Scarce says.

Speaking just after Premier Jay Weatherill said the only way forward was through a referendum at an unnamed time, Rear Admiral Scarce issued veiled criticism of the citizens’ jury process.

Rear Admiral Scarce declared that the discussion had been rushed and the community needed more time to work through issues…..

“I think the next step would be for the government to satisfy itself that it’s got sufficient support to continue forward,” Rear Admiral Scarce said….

Rear Admiral Scarce said more analysis was needed of costs and revenue, but emphasised any agreement to accept waste would be made as a treaty between two nations, even if a private operator was contracted to run the facility. He rejected claims of blanket opposition from Aboriginal communities, saying some had privately said they were prepared to consider a proposal but stressed any final site had to have community approval.

November 16, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, wastes | Leave a comment

South Australian Treasurer Koutsantonis sulking about “elites” influencing Nuclear Citizens Jury

wicked-elitesNuclear fuel cycle: ‘Silent majority’ over ‘elites’ telling people what to think about waste dump’silent-majority’-want-sa-nuclear-dump-koutsantonis-says/8030816  A “silent majority” of South Australians want the investigation into a nuclear waste dump to continue, the State Treasurer says, citing a comparison with US voters who elected Donald Trump as their next president.

This week the SA Government announced the proposal for a high-level nuclear waste dump would only go ahead after a state-wide referendum, with bipartisanship and approval from the Indigenous community where the dump was planned.

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said there were South Australians who wanted further discussion on the proposal. Two thirds of a citizens’ jury concerning the project did not want the state to store waste “under any circumstances”. The Government’s own community consultation report found of those surveyed randomly, 37 per cent were against the idea, while 43 per cent wanted more discussion on the issue.

There’s a silent majority that want to talk about this a bit further,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

“We saw that now in the United States with Donald Trump, we’ve seen what happens when the elites tell the people how to think.

“I think a referendum is a great way of having South Australians actually talk about this, but in the end we can’t have a referendum without the consent of the Parliament.”

Premier Jay Weatherill released a statement this afternoon stating the Liberal Party was holding back the nuclear debate by “engaging in a series of pathetic stunts” and questioning the binding nature of of a referendum.

“Without bipartisanship, there is no way can meaningfully progress this discussion,” Mr Weatherill said.

“The Liberal Party wants to shut down this debate entirely, they think they know better than the South Australian people.

“We trust the South Australian people to make the right choices in the state’s best interests.”

Economic modelling described as optimistic

Meanwhile, the Opposition has seized on a report which questioned the royal commission’s economic modelling showing there would be a $257-billion windfall for the state from a nuclear storage facility.

In the independent report provided to Parliament, the modelling was described as optimistic.

Opposition spokesman Rob Lucas said the modelling was based on “vague” assumptions.

“There are very significant questions and concerns being raised by these international experts, independent international experts, about the financial assumptions which underpin the project,” Mr Lucas said.

“They mirror the concerns, some of the concerns that we have expressed in the past.”

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear Citizens Jury, politics, wastes | 1 Comment

South Australia’s ‘Community Views Report’ reinforces a resounding “NO” to nuclear waste storage

Regarding plans to import nuclear waste to South Australia, Friends of the Earth Australia notes that the Community Views Report released today is overwhelmingly negative and calls on SA Premier Jay Weatherill to abandon the proposal.


The Community Views Report follows major developments over the past week:

  • Two-thirds of the members of the Citizens’ Jury concluded that the proposal should not be pursued “under any circumstances”.
  • SA Liberal Leader Steven Marshall has clearly stated his opposition to the proposal and said it will be the “defining issue for the 2018 state election” if the Premier refuses to dump the dump.
  • Business SA chief Nigel McBride acknowledges that the proposal is “dead”.
  • Aboriginal communities across the state have repeatedly voiced their strong opposition to the proposed nuclear dump and their views are clearly reflected both in the Citizens’ Jury report and in the Community Views Report released today.

Dr Jim Green, national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia, said: “The Community Views report reinforces the deep scepticism and opposition revealed by the Citizens’ Jury process. The 53 percent opposed to importing nuclear waste far outnumber the 31 percent supportive of the proposal. Far more people oppose further consideration of the proposal than support further consideration. Opposition from Aboriginal people is overwhelming. Only 20 percent are confident that nuclear waste can be transported and stored safely. An overwhelming majority of people lack confidence in the SA government’s ability to regulate any new nuclear industry activities. Sixty-six percent are not confident that a nuclear waste dump would bring significant economic benefits to SA.”

“The people of South Australia have spoken. Aboriginal Traditional Owners ‒ who have always borne the brunt of the nuclear industry ‒ have spoken. Opposition Leader Steven Marshall has spoken. The Citizens’ Jury has spoken. Jay Weatherill must listen. It is time to dump the dump,” Dr Green concluded.

November 14, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

Community Views Report released by Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Consultation and Response Agency

community-consultationKey Findings of the ‘Community Views Report’.

Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Consultation and Response Agency, November 2016, ‘Community Views Report’.

Jim Green, 13 Nov 16  Page 19: The report states: “Over thirty per cent (31%) of South Australians interviewed in the three rounds of telephone surveys supported the storage and disposal of nuclear waste from other countries in the state, while 53% opposed the proposal and 16% were unsure or didn’t know enough.”

Page 18: The report distinguishes ‘representative feedback’ (participation in telephone surveys and focus groups by random selection) from self-selected feedback (feedback forms, online survey, conversation kit). In the representative feedback (4016 people), 43% of people supported or strongly supported continuing to explore the nuclear waste dump proposal, while 37% were opposed or strongly opposed. In the self-selected feedback (4499 people), 64% of people opposed or strongly opposed continuation, more than double the 29% who supported or strongly supported continuation.

Adding the figures together (which the report does not do):

1727 + 1305= 3032 people support continuing to explore the proposal

1486 + 2879 = 4365 people oppose continuing to explore the proposal

Page 34: Within the structured channels of feedback forms and telephone and online surveys, 198 people who identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander provided feedback. In terms of support for continuing to explore the establishment of a nuclear storage facility for international waste in SA, 34% of Aboriginal people in the representative sample (total 56 people) were supportive and 50% were opposed, compared to 16% supportive and 73% opposed in the self-selected feedback (total 138 people).

Combining the figures (which the report does not do):

Support continuing to explore the proposal: 19 + 22 = 41 people

Oppose continuing to explore the proposal: 28 + 101 = 129 people

The report states (page 9): “Many [Aboriginal] participants expressed concern about the potential negative impacts on their culture and the long-term, generational consequences of increasing the state’s participation in the nuclear fuel cycle. There was a significant lack of support for the government to continue pursuing any form of nuclear storage and disposal facilities. Some Aboriginal people indicated that they are interested in learning more and continuing the conversation, but these were few in number.”

Page 22: How confident are you that nuclear waste can be transported and stored safely?

Confident or very confident 20%

Not confident or not at all confident 70%

In four places the report produces survey results regarding what the next steps should be. In all cases the most common response was that the nuclear waste dump proposal should be stopped. In three of the four cases, stopping the proposal was vastly more popular than the second most common response:

p.23: 28% stop the proposal vs next most common response 7%

p.26: 18% stop the proposal vs next most common response 17%

p.29: 25% stop the proposal vs next most common response 8%

p.31: 28% stop the proposal vs next most common response 8%

Page 24: Self-selected feedback channels showed that confidence that the government would consider community views in its decision was low at 20%, with 70% not confident.

Page 28: Asked about confidence in government’s ability to regulate any new nuclear industry activities in South Australia, 43% of the representative sample (total 4016 people) said they were not confident, compared with 38% who were confident. Of the self-selected feedback (total 3330 people), 74% were not confident and 18% were confident.
Combining the figures (which the report does not do):

Confident: 1526 + 599 = 2125

Not confident: 1726 + 2464 = 4190

Page 30: On the question of confidence that a nuclear waste disposal facility would bring significant economic benefits to SA, 66% of the people who submitted online surveys, feedback forms and conversation kits (self-selected feedback) were not confident.

November 14, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

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

logo ANFA

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

November 12, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Nuclear Citizens Jury, South Australia | Leave a comment