9 May 2016
SA as the world’s rubbish dump – we can do better
The state’s peak environment body has expressed deep disappointment at the Nuclear Royal Commission’s repeat of its previous tentative findings, in particular the pursuit of a high level nuclear waste dump.
“For all the lofty spin and the claims of a fistful of dollars, becoming the world’s rubbish dump is hardly a source of state pride,” Conservation SA Chief Executive Craig Wilkins said.
“We can do so much better than this – we are a proud state rich in possibilities and creativity.
“All big decisions have consequences but what makes this one super important is that it is irreversible – it’s a forever decision. We can’t send this stuff back if we change our minds.”
He said there were still many unanswered concerns in the Commission’s work.
“We are very surprised that after sustained and detailed criticism of the Commission’s economic modelling, they did not seek a second opinion. Instead they have just repeated the work of a single consulting firm to back up their extraordinary claims of an economic bonanza.
“SA has been sold down the river many times before about a whizz-bang economic fix. A global nuclear waste dump is a Multi Function Polis crossed with the State Bank – on steroids.
“The risks and costs of nuclear waste are enormous. Otherwise, why aren’t other countries willing to take this on if there is apparently so much money to be made?”
Mr Wilkins also expressed concerns about the short timeframe for a community discussion.
“The sense of rush from ex-Commissioner Scarce should be raising alarm bells. Nuclear waste remains dangerous for tens of thousands of years. Community consent, particularly from Traditional Owners, is completely absent.
“Surely we need more than a couple of months to decide whether we take this on? Even if we take a decade to decide it will be a drop in the ocean compared to how long we will be responsible for it.
“The Royal Commission has so far been a dry and distant process that has failed to properly engage the South Australian community. This decision is too important to be made by a handful of politicians on North Terrace, it’s now up to all South Australians.”
Media Contact: Meg Sobey, Communications, 0411 028 930