As pressure mounts within Labor for Mr Weatherill to dump the plan, and senior party sources insist it is now only a matter of the time and method, the Premier says a State Parliament inquiry now underway and other consultation will also be considered.
Cabinet met on Monday, the morning after two-thirds of a citizens’ jury signed a report declaring their “lack of trust” in the Government to manage nuclear storage, and discussed its fallout.
Mr Weatherill emerged to say that the results of a statewide survey, online feedback and in-person meetings must be considered alongside the jury’s 50-page report. However, he said the overwhelming rejection by the jury and their reasons would have be given serious consideration.
“These are judgments we are yet to make,” Mr Weatherill said on Monday…….
The bombshell report was released as Opposition Leader Steven Marshall was in Finland visiting the world’s most advanced nuclear waste dump, ahead of a return to Adelaide late tomorrow.
The Government is expected to reveal its position to Parliament, either as early as next week or in the final two sitting weeks of the year, at the end of November and start of December.
Senior Labor figures who have backed the nuclear proposal now doubt it is politically possible for the Government to continue carrying it forward, and it is understood several members of Cabinet are fundamentally opposed to supporting the storage industry.
To pursue the idea, Mr Weatherill would also be forced to change the party platform at a special Labor convention where an emboldened union movement and members are threatening revolt.
One Labor powerbroker said attention was now turning to alternative plans for economic transformation that would give the party a fresh message to sell at the next election.
Opposition treasury spokesman Rob Lucas, a member of the committee inquiring into the nuclear industry, said the prospect was doomed if federal Labor did not also support progressing it.
“This is a disaster in the making for Jay Weatherill, and one of his own making,” Mr Lucas said.
“This was the process he said had to be listened to, and 70 per cent of the jury voted against it.
“Unless you can lock in the federal Liberal and Labor parties, this isn’t going anywhere because you have international treaties that have to be negotiated and legislation to change. None of that is going to occur while federal Labor are facing inner-city fights from the Greens.”
What else the Premier will look at
In addition to the jury report, he will consider:
30,000 online submissions on the Royal Commission.
12,500 in-person interviews with State Government agents.
A “community views” survey assessing statewide opinion.
A State Parliament inquiry into the nuclear industry. http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/jay-weatherill-will-be-forced-to-abandon-nuclear-waste-storage-plan-labor-sources-say/news-story/9d0f51fcdbd42d6da0dce27c48855928
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