The biggest hole in the nuclear Royal Commission isn’t the proposed open cut pit at Olympic Dam, but rather the omission of any consideration as to whether South Australia should be LESS involved in the nuclear industry, rather than MORE involved, according to Greens SA State Parliamentary Leader, Mark Parnell MLC.
“Despite the Premier’s assurance that he has an “open mind”, the most fundamental question of SA’s role in the global nuclear industry won’t be considered at all. The Royal Commission is only charged with considering NEW ADDITIONAL involvement or expanding our existing involvement; it won’t be looking at whether SA should extract itself entirely from the nuclear cycle.” said Mark Parnell.
“If you don’t ask all the questions, you won’t get all the answers.
“Clearly, there are many South Australians who are opposed to South Australia’s involvement in the nuclear cycle. With our natural advantages and nation-leading performance in wind and solar, South Australians see that the future is to embrace clean renewable energy, rather than flirting with dangerous, dirty and expensive nuclear power. Becoming the nation’s or world’s nuclear waste dump is not most people’s vision for our State’s future or the legacy that we want to leave our children.”
Now that the Royal Commission is underway, the next critical decisions will be around the selection of key staff including “Counsel assisting the Royal Commission” and any technical or other research staff.
“Choosing people who are partisan or have vested interests will be seen by the public as evidence of a biased process and the credibility of any findings will be diminished.”
The Royal Commission also needs to announce how it intends to conduct its inquiry, including opportunities for personal submissions, public hearings, site visits and how all South Australians can engage with the process.
“The Greens will engage with the process, but we won’t hesitate to publicly criticise the Royal Commission if it becomes secretive, biased or otherwise limits the ability of South Australians to have their say on their State’s future.” said Mr Parnell.