Members of South Australia’s anti-nuclear coalition will gather outside the South Australian Labor Party’s State Conference at Adelaide’s Festival Theatre tomorrow morning Sat October 24 at 8am, calling on the SA Labor Party to keep legislation in place banning nuclear waste dumps in South Australia, and to keep the state on its path to becoming a global leader in renewable energy.
The State Government’s formation of a Royal Commission into the expansion of the nuclear industry in SA has led to concerns that a national or international nuclear waste dump is back on the cards for SA, a little over a decade after the last proposal for a waste dump near Woomera was defeated. This followed an extended campaign opposing the project, spearheaded by senior Aboriginal women – the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta.
In 2000, in response to growing public opposition to the proposal, the then Liberal Government passed legislation banning the disposal of certain types of nuclear waste in the state. This legislation was extended by the incoming Labor Government in 2003 to include all nuclear waste. The stated objective of the legislation is “to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of South Australia and to protect the environment in which they live…”
“We are calling on the Labor Party to honour this commitment to protecting the health, safety and environment of South Australia,” said Nectaria Calan of the anti-nuclear coalition and Friends of the Earth Adelaide. ”Nuclear waste is not a business opportunity, it’s an intractable problem.”
“SA Labour was known as the party who fights nuclear waste dumps, not the one that builds them.”
“Expansion of the nuclear industry into nuclear energy would also have an impact on the fast growing renewables sector in the state,” said Ms Calan. “SA is already 40% renewable, and nuclear power is a poor partner because it does not have the flexibility needed to operate alongside renewable energy. Nuclear power is also highly subsidised, and is therefore likely to absorb subsidies that could be going to the renewables sector. This is one opportunity cost of nuclear energy.”