Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

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…..” http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/premier-jay-weatherill-backs-expansion-of-uranium-mining-in-south-australia/news-story/28cc5b147ce446430ad812a5105f7662

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

Protestors in the streets of Adelaide call for “Dumping the Nuclear Waste Dump”

text don't nuclear waste AustraliaProtesters take to the streets to ‘Say No’ to an SA nuclear dump http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/protesters-take-to-the-streets-to-say-no-to-an-sa-nuclear-dump/news-story/c43353c797fe02ca6d79730b953f5f01 Mitch Mott, The Advertiser November 14, 2016 CHANTING “dump the dump”, Anti-Nuclear Coalition supporters took to the streets on Monday outside the University College London campus on Victoria Square.

Protesting both the proposed nuclear waste storage facility and the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Symposium, activists on Monday described Premier Jay Weatherill’s proposal as “ludicrous” and potentially a threat to the future of the state.

“If we had a repeat of this year’s storms, there is no guarantee there wouldn’t be an accident,” protester Janett Jackson said. “You can’t ever guarantee there won’t be a storm like that again.

“We had an earthquake south of Alice Springs this year which measured six on the Richter scale. We’re talking about building a dump and saying that there is never ever going to be another earthquake. It’s a ludicrous comment to make.” Activist Susan Brame wrote a song for the protest and asked the Government to consider the lasting harm to the indigenous communities, especially less than 60 years after nuclear tests were conducted in the north of the state.

“It is so insulting to the Aboriginal people, after everything they have been through with Maralinga,” Ms Brame said. “It is such a slap in the face to them to seriously consider bringing the world’s most toxic waste to this state. They have been in total despair about this.”

For the protesters, international examples of what can go wrong when nuclear storage facilities fail are hitting too close to home. Ms Jackson said the February 2014 fire at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico was evidence that human error can never be discounted,“That accident occurred in 2014 and cost more than $500m to repair and the dump is still closed down,” Ms Jackson said.

“If that happened to us our taxes would have to pay for it, which would eat into any profit Jay Weatherill thinks we’ll get. Economically it’s not viable”

November 16, 2016 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, South Australia | 1 Comment

South Australian Liberal Parry guru pushed for the nuclear industry and waste dump

Tweedle-NuclearLiberal policy guru urged SA to go nuclear Tom Richardson  http://indaily.com.au/news/local/2016/11/15/liberal-policy-guru-urged-sa-to-go-nuclear/ The state Liberal Party’s new policy director is a long-time nuclear advocate who personally called for the establishment of a nuclear waste dump in a submission to the Scarce Royal Commission. Steven Marshall’s Opposition has staunchly rejected any further investigation of a potential high-level repository.

But Richard Yeeles, a former corporate affairs manager with BHP Billiton and Western Mining Corporation who has recently run his own advisory firm, struck a very different tone when the State Government sought submissions on its royal commission proposal early last year.

“I commend the South Australian Government for initiating this inquiry,” wrote Yeeles, who has also previously worked as a chief of staff for Liberal leaders Dale Baker, Dean Brown and John Olsen.

In his lengthy 270-plus page submission to the subsequent inquiry, he urged the Government to “offer to host a national facility for storage and disposal of Australia’s own low and intermediate-level radioactive waste with the ultimate aim of securing Federal Government support for hosting an international radioactive waste management facility in South Australia”. Continue reading

November 16, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a 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

Nuclear Royal Commission Response – No policy, No legislation, Just more taxpayers’ money wasted.

Parnell, MarkThe formal Government response to the Nuclear Royal Commission final report released today shows how little value was received from nearly $10 million of taxpayers’ money, according to Mark Parnell MLC, Parliamentary Leader, Greens SA.

“From Day One, it was clear that nuclear power was too expensive, nuclear fuel processing was unviable and uranium mining was already in the doldrums, with mines moth-balled because they were losing money.

“It was also clear from Day One that the real agenda was about establishing a nuclear waste dump.  This is the same dump that was overwhelmingly dumped by the Premier’s own Citizens’ Jury.  It’s also the same dump that was promoted in the 1990s by the Royal Commission’s own business consultants.

“Despite clear community opposition, clear Parliamentary opposition and even opposition in his own ranks, the Premier seems hell-bent on flogging the dead horse.

The Government response says it “won’t pursue policy change or legislative change at this time, but will continue to facilitate discussion”.  The Premier is also wedded to an expensive and doomed-to-fail referendum.

“The Greens urge the Premier not to waste any more scarce public funds on this folly and to withdraw gracefully.  The idea of keeping an entire administrative unit of Government busy talking about something that will never happen is just ludicrous”, concluded Mark Parnell.

November 16, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

BHP Billiton living in la la land on uranium: mining giant faces difficult questions at its Annual General Meeting  

 

BHPB-sad16th November 2016 Company Directors of BHP Billiton will face some difficult questions tomorrow at the mining giants Annual General Meeting in Brisbane.   The operator of the Olympic Dam uranium mine in South Australia’s north has been receiving much attention over the past year after the tailings dam collapse at its jointly owned Samarco iron ore mine in Brazil in November 2015, causing what’s been described as the worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history.

Anti-nuclear and social justice campaigner Adam Sharah is one of several delegates attending the meeting to challenge company directors on matters including the Samarco disaster and issues surrounding the Olympic Dam mine. Mr Sharah will question company directors about BHP Billiton’s position regarding nuclear regulation in Australia, new expansion plans for Olympic Dam, and plans to increase the height of the tailings dams at the mine.

In its submission to the recent South Australian Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle, BHP Billiton recommended that nuclear actions should not be regulated under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, the key piece of legislation for environmental protection in Australia, on the basis that uranium is just like any other mineral.  The company claims that “there is no scientific basis for uranium mining to be defined as a Matter of Environmental Significance…”[1]

“BHP Billiton is in la la land if they still believe that uranium is just like any other metal – no other metal has such an enormous range of international treaties – uranium is fundamentally risky, and BHP Billiton should act accordingly,” said leading Environmental Engineering academic, Dr Gavin Mudd.

“What would have been the impact of the tailings dam collapse in Brazil if the tailings were radioactive?” asks Adam Sharah. “Uranium and the tailings produced by uranium mining are unique both in their health and long term environmental impacts.”

“In the wake of the tailings dam  collapse in Brazil, there are concerns here in Australia about reports that BHP Billiton are seeking approval to increase the height of their tailings dams at the Olympic Dam mine,” continued Mr Sharah. “It is important that the company clarify this for the Australian public, Aboriginal custodians of the area, and its shareholders.”

Mr Sharah will also seek clarification on the progress of the company’s plans for an on-site heap leach trial at Olympic Dam as part of a cheaper expansion plan, after it shelved it’s grand expansion plans in 2012.

“It is always a concern when corporations start seeking cheaper, cost-cutting alternatives,” said Nectaria Calan, of BHP Billiton Watch. “These concerns are magnified by the fact that federal approval of the heap leach trial did not require any environmental assessment even though heap leach mining is not a method currently used on-site at the Olympic Dam mine.”

“Yet despite by-passing environmental assessment for the trial, and despite the legal privileges and exemptions BHP Billiton enjoy under the Indenture Act, which only applies to the Olympic Dam mine, the company is still lobbying through forums such as the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission to reduce regulation further.  This type of regulatory race to the bottom, characteristic of third world nations competing for foreign capital, will only make disasters like Brazils more common.”

BHP Billiton’s AGM will be held on Thursday 17th November, 11 am, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

November 16, 2016 Posted by | business, legal, politics, South Australia, uranium | 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. http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/nuclear-discussion-not-finished-yet-says-ex-royal-commissioner/news-story/163094d541fe87bdbf67eea2d6358f70

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 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-16/’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 Australian Premier Weatherill – apolitical martyr for the nuclear lobby

Weatherill glowStubborn Weatherill risks fallout from nuclear referendum, Crikey, 15 Nov 16 
Significant opposition from all sides hasn’t been enough to deter the Premier, write InDaily journalists Tom Richardson and Bension Siebert. 
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has dramatically stared down his cabinet waverers and laid down the gauntlet to the Liberal opposition, vowing to continue down the nuclear path — with the question to be determined by a referendum……..

Weatherill was widely expected to drop any further pursuit of the nuclear option in the face of significant opposition — including within his own party. However, as forecast in InDaily, he has opted to forge ahead in a move that will put his leadership — and his party’s re-election hopes — dramatically on the line.
While royal commissioner Kevin Scarce had indicated the need for broad community consent, he had explicitly rejected a referendum as a “snapshot” poll. However, it is perhaps the only remaining way forward for a process upon which the Premier had staked his “bold” vision for the state.

“I believe continued public debate about SA’s role in the nuclear fuel cycle is important and ultimately it is a matter that the people should decide, not political parties,” Weatherill said…….

The move effectively returns serve to Marshall, whose Liberals expected Labor to be backed into a corner by the public reaction to the divisive waste dump proposal.

However, it also means Weatherill will now become a key advocate, having resisted the overwhelming pressure to remove the issue from the political agenda altogether.

Crucially, Weatherill said local indigenous groups would be given a “right of veto” over any proposed dump “if a proposed facility would impact upon their lands” — a key factor in the citizens’ jury’s rejection……

The Premier said he had “reached out to the Liberal Party” to re-establish a bipartisan approach, saying: “There’s no point in promoting a referendum that has no chance of success.”

[Citizens’ jury decision spells nuclear disaster for Weatherill]

However, Marshall poured cold water over the prospect at a late afternoon media conference, saying: “Jay Weatherill is a desperate man trying to cling to some tiny shred of an economic framework.”

“Jay Weatherill’s entire leadership is on its last legs … I think we’re seeing the last weeks, the last months of [his premiership],” Marshall said.

“The people of SA don’t want this project, the Liberal party room in SA is against this.” Marshall emphasised that despite his unilateral move last week to “dump the dump”, the position was “passed without dissent” at yesterday’s party room meeting.

“The Liberal Party is 100% behind me,” he said.

“We do not support a referendum … if Jay Weatherill is so wedded to this, he can take it to the next election.”

The referendum proposal will need crossbench, if not opposition, support to pass Parliament, but Weatherill has indicated it can only proceed as a jointly sponsored proposal — a move that will now ramp up the political brinkmanship ahead of the state election in March 2018.

The Premier’s gambit will be met with incredulity from conservation campaigners who had all but declared the dump a dead issue.

“Most of state Parliament have said ‘no’, the Citizens’ Jury have said ‘no’, economists have said ‘no’, ordinary South Australians have said ‘no’, and most importantly, traditional owners have very clearly said ‘no’,” Conservation SA chief Craig Wilkins said today.

“There is clearly no support or consent for this investigation to continue.”

Greens MLC Mark Parnell said the “remarkable announcement … defies belief and shows a government completely out of touch with the public”.

“What the experience of the last few months shows is that if you give citizens more facts and allow them access to all sides of the debate — they vote no … that’s what the citizens’ jury delivered,” he said.

“With almost every other political party in state parliament declaring they are opposed to a nuclear waste dump, it is hard to see how the necessary legislation for a referendum would get through both houses of Parliament … a statewide referendum would be throwing good money after bad.

“The government has already wasted more than $10 million on this project and a referendum would cost tens of millions more … if the Premier wants this to be an issue for all South Australians, then he should go to the March 2018 state election with a nuclear waste dump as part of Labor’s platform — that would test public opinion.” https://www.crikey.com.au/2016/11/15/weatherill-referendum-on-sa-nuclear-dump/

November 16, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

South Aust Premier Weatherill wants a nuclear referendum – but no-one else does

handsoffKarina Lester from the No Dump Alliance said Aboriginal people simply did not support the proposal and it was time the Premier stopped wasting time and money on an idea that most people were opposed to.

“I will certainly stand my ground and really say to our Premier that you are not listening to what Aboriginal people are saying and you need to be aware of this,” she said.

“Why continue to pursue this crazy idea?”.

SA nuclear referendum won’t happen before 2018 election, Premier Jay Weatherill says 891 ABC Adelaide , 15 Nov 16

Premier Jay Weatherill yesterday announced he wanted a referendum, with bipartisan support, held on the issue.

Last week Opposition Leader Steven Marshall said the Liberal Party would not support a waste facility, and earlier this month a citizen’s jury voted against the state pursuing a future in nuclear waste storage.

Its report outlined concerns with economics, along with issues of trust, safety and a lack of consent, particularly from Aboriginal elders.

Mr Weatherill said a referendum would give people a final say, which could be trusted.

Democracy is messy, especially when you take the time and effort to ask ordinary everyday citizens to get involved in these big decisions,” he said.

“I think what most people do want is greater say over the decisions that affect their lives and that’s what we’re trying to do, but we’ve never said that we’re abdicating our responsibility for making decisions.”

But Mr Weatherill told 891 ABC Adelaide a referendum would not be called before the next election.

“Obviously you wouldn’t promote a referendum unless you believed it had some prospects of success so as things presently stand you would not be presenting a referendum anytime soon,” Mr Weatherill said.

“Well, not in the life of this Parliament.”

Mr Weatherill has also pledged that if the referendum goes ahead and is successful, Aboriginal communities will have the right to veto the selected site. Continue reading

November 16, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

South Australia’s Weatherill govt still allout for the nuclear industry

weatherill-martyrNuclear royal commission: Uranium exploratory drilling flagged by SA Government http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-15/sa-government-to-support-uranium-exploration/8027168 Drilling for new uranium deposits across South Australia will be pursued by the State Government as it declares its support for increased participation in the nuclear industry.

The Government said it would support nine of 12 recommendations made earlier this year by former SA governor, Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, when he released his Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission report.

They include developing a “state-wide mineral exploration drilling initiative to support the discovery of new deposits”.

They also include collaborating with the Federal Government on commissioning feasibility work focussed on the commercialisation of new, economically viable, nuclear reactor designs.

One of Mr Scarce’s most discussed recommendations included pursuing an intermediate to high-level nuclear waste dump to dispose of international waste for a fee.

But a 300-strong citizens’ jury set up by Premier Jay Weatherill to debate the proposal has since announced it had deliberated against the idea of a dump.

Mr Weatherill responded yesterday by announcing he wanted a state-wide referendum on the issue, provided he could get bipartisan support.

The Government’s announcement today, however, did not support a recommendation to pursue a legislative change that would actually allow for a nuclear waste dump to be established in SA.

“Having considered all of the community feedback, the Government has decided that discussion should continue on a proposed nuclear waste facility,” Mr Weatherill said.

“Continued public debate about SA’s role in the nuclear fuel cycle is important and ultimately it is a matter that the people should decide, not political parties.”

The announcement prompted feisty scenes during question time in Parliament today, with many members of the Opposition, including leader Steven Marshall, being kicked out of the House of Assembly.

In a tweet, the SA Liberal Party accused Mr Weatherill of “flip flopping” because he “won’t change policy or legislation to create his nuclear dump”.

“Weatherill only wants a nuclear referendum if it’ll give him the result he wants. He never wants to listen to South Australians,” @SaLibMedia tweeted.

Other recommendations accepted by the Government included promoting and increasing the use of nuclear medicine at the SA Health and Medical Research Institute.

It also wanted to work towards a national energy policy to create a low carbon electricity network using all technologies, including nuclear.

“We can position ourselves as leaders in developing a national energy policy, playing a greater role in transforming Australia’s energy sector towards a low carbon energy sources, such as exploring emerging renewable technologies and advancements in nuclear energy,” Mr Weatherill said.

November 15, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste plebiscite “AFTER EVERYTHING HAS BEEN WORKED OUT”

text-cat-questionPresumably “everything” means after the government and nuclear lobbyists had negotiated secretly with overseas nuclear companies and defence industries?

and

after they have as quietly as possible (with bipartisan support?) amended or scrapped the South Australian Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition). Act 2000, and the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)?

 

Mr Weatherill refused to expand on when the referendum would be held or how the question would be questionphrased, saying only that it would be held be “at the end of the process”, after everything had been worked out.

South Australian referendum to be a plebiscite on nuclear plebiscitewaste http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/south-australian-referendum-to-be-a-plebiscite-on-nuclear-waste-20161114-gsp54x.html  Peter Martin, 15 Nov 16, 

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has committed his state to a referendum on whether to host Australia’s first nuclear waste dump, saying he will push ahead despite lukewarm public support.

The referendum will effectively be a plebiscite, because it will seek an opinion rather than change the state’s constitution. Mr Weatherill’s announcement comes ahead of the Labor state government’s formal response to its royal commission on the nuclear industry and after a “citizens’ jury” appointed by the government rejected the idea two to one, saying the dump should not be built under any circumstances.

Liberal Opposition Leader Steven Marshall has abandoned his earlier tentative support for the idea, saying the jury verdict rendered it “all but dead and buried”.

A report prepared for the royal commission found the dump would cost $145 billion to build and operate, but bring in $257 billion in revenue, boosting budget income by a third.

But two of the report’s authors have been named by the ABC as lobbyists, serving as president and vice-president of the Association for Regional and International Underground Storage, which promotes the underground storage of nuclear waste.

The report said the waste would be stored above ground in the outback for 17 years while the permanent underground repository was being built, and much would remain above ground while the repository was expanded with the income that would come from holding fees. Only after 120 years would all the waste be permanently stored.

South Australian independent senator Nick Xenophon was scathing of the findings, saying they assumed that no other countries would compete with Australia to provide cheaper underground storage and that any extra income received by the state would be kept rather than shared with the rest of Australia through the Grants Commission process.

“I supported a referendum when it looked as if both sides of politics wanted the dump, but now that they don’t there is no point,” Senator Xenophon said. “The next state election will be in 2018 and will itself be a referendum if Labor continues to pursue the idea.”

Mr Weatherill refused to expand on when the referendum would be held or how the question would be phrased, saying only that it would be held be “at the end of the process”, after everything had been worked out.

“I could have easily come here and said it’s all over,” he said on Monday. “We will not pursue a change to our policy, but if the mood in the community shifts and bipartisanship is re-established we will remain open to the question.”

November 15, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, South Australia | 1 Comment

Premier Weatherill’s vague promise of a nuclear waste “referendum”

referendumPremier Jay Weatherill effectively buries nuclear waste dump proposal with vague promise of statewide referendum, Adelaide Now  Adam Langenberg, Political Reporter, The Advertiser, 14 Nov 16  PREMIER Jay Weatherill has effectively mothballed his plan to establish a high-level nuclear waste storage facility in the state, announcing nothing would happen without bipartisan support.

November 15, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Nuclear enthusiast Jay Weatherill angry with Liberal Opposition, calls for referendum

weatherill-martyrNuclear dump in SA still on the cards as Premier calls for referendum, ABC News 14 Nov 16 The nuclear debate is not over yet in South Australia, with Premier Jay Weatherill saying he wants to hold a statewide referendum on the issue.

Mr Weatherill said the only path forward was through the restoration of bipartisanship “and a broad social consent secured through a statewide referendum”.

“Ultimately this is a matter for people to decide, not politicians,” he said.

“If broad social consent were to be achieved through a referendum, a local Aboriginal community would also be given a final right of veto on any future facility on their land…….

Mr Weatherill accused Opposition Leader Steven Marshall of withdrawing his support for a nuclear waste dump before the consultation process had been completed.

“The royal commission was clear bipartisanship is essential,” Mr Weatherill said…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-14/sa-government-announces-nuclear-waste-dump-future-decision/8022924

November 14, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Premier Weatherill persists in his pro nuclear dream

weatherill-martyrNuclear referendum as Jay stares down dissent InDaily, Tom Richards , 14 Nov 16 Jay Weatherill has dramatically stared down his cabinet waverers and laid down the gauntlet to the Liberal Opposition, vowing to continue down the nuclear path – with the question to be determined by a referendum. Weatherill told media a short time ago the Government had determined “that discussion should continue” on the divisive question of high-level nuclear storage, which was dramatically rejected last week by a citizens’ jury before Opposition Leader Steven Marshall withdrew Liberal support.

However, the Premier said, “the only path forward is the restoration of bipartisanship and broad social consent”, which he hopes to achieve through a referendum at an unspecified future date.

Weatherill was widely expected to drop any further pursuit of the nuclear option in the face of significant opposition – including within his own party. However, as forecast in InDaily today, he has opted to forge ahead in a move that will put his leadership – and his party’s re-election hopes – dramatically on the line.

“I believe continued public debate about SA’s role in the nuclear fuel cycle is important and ultimately it is a matter that the people should decide, not political parties,” he said………

The move effectively returns serve to Marshall, whose Liberals expected Labor to be backed into a corner by the public reaction to the divisive waste dump proposal.

However, it also means Weatherill will now become a key advocate, having resisted the overwhelming pressure to remove the issue from the political agenda altogether.

Crucially, he said local indigenous groups would be given a “right of veto” over any proposed dump – a key factor in the citizens’ jury’s rejection……His gambit will be met with incredulity from conservation campaigners who had all-but declared the dump a dead issue.

“Most of State Parliament have said ‘no’, the Citizens’ Jury have said ‘no’, economists have said ‘no’, ordinary South Australians have said ‘no’, and most importantly, Traditional Owners have very clearly said ‘no’,” Conservation SA chief Craig Wilkins said today.

“There is clearly no support or consent for this investigation to continue.” http://indaily.com.au/news/local/2016/11/14/breaking-nuclear-referendum-as-jay-stares-down-dissent/

November 14, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia | 1 Comment