The Premier’s announcement today that the State Labor Government will move to repeal part of the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000, indicates that a taxpayer-funded pro-nuclear waste dump public relations campaign is on its way.
The Government says the repeal is necessary in order to consult with the community over the Nuclear Royal Commission’s findings.
“That’s just not true”, according to SA Greens Leader and environmental lawyer, Mark Parnell MLC.
“The Act only prohibits the use of public money to “encourage or finance any activity associated with the construction or operation of a nuclear waste storage facility in this State”. It doesn’t preclude genuine public consultation that asks South Australians whether or not they believe SA should host a high-level nuclear waste dump. Genuine consultation with the South Australian community is allowed, even if it uses Government resources. What isn’t allowed is a biased or one-sided PR campaign that “encourages” the construction or operation of a nuclear waste dump.”
“If the Government’s intentions were honourable, it wouldn’t need to repeal this legislation.”
“What is most galling is that the Premier isn’t even prepared to wait for the Royal Commission’s final report in May before legislating to be able to spruik a nuclear waste dump. The Government had said it would wait until the end of the year before deciding what to do with the Royal Commission’s findings. Rushing now to repeal this legislation suggests that it’s mind might already be made up.
“If this legislation is repealed, the Government will be able to legally spend millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to promote SA as the Nuclear Waste State. It will also be able to conduct detailed planning and design work for a nuclear waste dump, with only the final consent requiring Parliamentary approval,” concluded Mark Parnell.