Comments today from Nuclear Royal Commissioner, Kevin Scarce, show that the elitist and dismissive processes that dominated the Commission’s early days are still alive and well.
“Clearly the Commission doesn’t want to hear from ordinary South Australians. At the outset, they refused to accept submissions that weren’t sworn before a JP (including mine) and now they are devaluing submissions from concerned South Australians.” said Greens SA Parliamentary Leader, Mark Parnell MLC.
On radio today, Mr Scarce described 850 submissions to the Commission’s Tentative Findings as “computer-generated views” and “spam”. He also said “you can’t do anything with them because they’re expressing opinions as opposed to going with the tentative findings”.
“What the Commissioner conveniently ignores is that the ONLY rationale for an international nuclear waste dump in South Australia is its supposed economic advantages. The economic case for the dump is derived from the assumptions and opinions of consultants. However, if ordinary South Australians dare to present “opinions”, then the Royal Commission “can’t do anything with them”.
“Barely two weeks after the close of public submissions and six weeks before handing down its final report, the Royal Commissioner appears to have already locked himself into the waste dump idea saying, “I’m convinced it’s safe”.
“When it comes to economic criticism, the Commissioner appears to value the number of economists involved and the number of pages they write as key considerations. He promised to “take apart piece by piece” the economic analysis of The Australia Institute, whilst acknowledging that the Commission’s own economic analysis was based on assumptions because there is no equivalent operating facility to compare it with and after 50 – 60 years of nuclear waste, “no one has found a solution yet.”
“Commissioner Scarce has consistently emphasised the need for community support, yet seems oblivious to the elitist approach taken by the Commission which devalues those South Australians whose support is needed if any of the Commission’s ideas are to be taken seriously”, concluded Mark Parnell.