South Australia’s Premier Jay Weatherill pre-empts Nuclear Royal Commission

Weatherill nuclear dream

Conservation Council of South Australia 7 Mar 16 The move by the Weatherill Government to repeal parts of the SA Nuclear Waste Storage Prohibition Act even before the Nuclear Royal Commission hands down its final report is deeply disappointing.

“This move is cold comfort for communities in Kimba and the Flinders Ranges who are currently in the frame for a national radioactive waste facility,” said Conservation SA Chief Executive, Craig Wilkins.

“With the Royal Commission months from handing down its final report, Premier Weatherill is clearly jumping the gun.

“The South Australian public now has every right to question how genuine the ‘listening’ process in response to the Royal Commission will be over the coming months.

“They will rightly be outraged if the Government intends to free up taxpayer funds to spin an unpopular nuclear waste dump proposal,” he said.

The object of the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (prohibition) Act is to ‘protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of South Australia and to protect the environment in which they live by prohibiting the establishment of certain nuclear waste storage facilities in this state.’  The Act expressly bans the use of public money ‘for the purpose of encouraging or financing any activity associated with the construction or operation of a nuclear waste storage facility in this State’. This clause is now set for repeal.

Rose Lester, Yankunytjatjara Anangu woman said: “When many Anangu people have clearly expressed opposition to nuclear industry, weakening any protection is not a step in the right direction for reconciliation. It is very disheartening that people who don’t have strong connection to country change laws to suit their ideology rather than acknowledging and respecting the law of the land.”

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