Time for a death certificate on ‘dead’ global radioactive waste plan

MEDIA RELEASE

6 June 2017

Time for a death certificate on ‘dead’ global radioactive waste plan

Conservation SA has called on Premier Weatherill to formally abandon his global radioactive waste dump plan. The call follows his statement last night at the Country Cabinet in Victor Harbor that the proposal to import and dump high level international nuclear waste in SA was ‘dead’.

"It's time to bury the nuke dump plan for good," said Craig Wilkins, Chief Executive of Conservation SA.

“This dump plan has cost public funds and caused public concern. It is now time for Premier Weatherill to formally and finally end it.

 "Despite the Premier's statement at Country Cabinet, his Government is still formally committed to pursuing the plan, including the option of an expensive state-wide referendum in the face of overwhelming public opposition and a clear and consistent lack of political support.

"Unless the Weatherill Government formally reverses its current position, South Australians - and in particular remote and regional communities directly in the firing line of any dump - will be left unsure if and when the Government will start pushing the idea again.

"This horrible state of limbo must end. If the proposal really is dead then Premier Weatherill must clarify his Government's formal position ahead of the next state election," Mr Wilkins said.

No Dump Alliance spokesperson and Yankunytjatjara Native Title Aboriginal Corporation chairperson Karina Lester said “Last year communities were dragged through yet again another Government process concerning nuclear plans with an expensive consultation exercise to look at an issue that we have decades of experience fighting against. We spoke with our communities, we appealed to our politicians, we took part in the government's process and provided evidence at the Premier’s own Citizen Jury. We have said NO in so many different ways – NOW it is time for the Premier to listen to the people of South Australia and wipe off nuclear waste plans once and for all.”

The Premier's latest statement on the global radioactive waste plan comes as communities in regional South Australia are increasing their efforts against the Turnbull Government's push for a national radioactive waste site.

Despite the SA Nuclear Waste Prohibition Act 2000 making any nuclear waste dump illegal in SA, communities in Wallerbedina (Flinders Ranges) and Kimba (Eyre Peninsula) have been divided and disrupted as the Federal Government continues a multi decade search for a dump site for nuclear waste from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s Lucas Heights reactor in NSW. 

"South Australians have made it very clear they do not want a poorly considered nuclear waste dump in their backyard - whether it's radioactive waste from overseas, or from Sydney.

"With the 2018 state election looming, Premier Weatherill should uphold South Australian law and stand up for the people of South Australia by rejecting any proposals to impose nuclear waste on our state,” concluded Mr Wilkins.

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Contact Conservation SA on (08) 8223 5155, general@conservationsa.org.au, or at our offices at the Joinery at 111 Franklin Street, Adelaide.

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