Media Release

SA Labor’s Dodgy Nukes Laws Unnecessary

04/04/2016 11:00 am

The Greens have today filed amendments to the Government’s Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) (Public Money) Amendment Bill.   The Greens' amendments are designed to prevent the Government from allocating millions of taxpayer dollars for promoting, planning and designing a nuclear waste dump in South Australia.   Spending taxpayers’ money in this way is currently illegal.

“The Government’s new laws (to be debated next week) are both unnecessary and an affront to justice.  These laws are dodgy & sneaky.  They seek to protect criminal behaviour from prosecution”, said environmental lawyer and Greens SA Parliamentary leader, Mark Parnell MLC.

“The Government says it only wants to consult and debate.  The Premier says he wants “extensive community engagement” and “a rich debate”. 

"The Greens’ amendment makes it clear that consultation and debate using public money is allowed.  As a lawyer, my view is that these activities were already allowed under the existing law, but the Green amendments put that question beyond doubt.  That’s why South Australians have every right to be suspicious that the Government is proposing something far more sinister.  Unless the Government Bill is amended, Labor will be allowed to divert millions of taxpayers’ dollars into a nuclear dump planning, encouragement and promotion slush fund that goes far beyond a “conversation” with the South Australian citizens about whether this is the future we want.

“The other sinister element of the Government Bill is to retrospectively excuse any past breaches of the law since 9th March 2016.  Such a move indicates that the Government either knows or suspects that one of its own has already broken the law or is about to.

“The Government has so far refused to hand over legal advice from the Solicitor-General in relation to this Bill.  This advice supposedly justifies the need for the legislation.  Despite the Premier’s public promise that he would be “happy to share with Mark our legal advice”, the Premier’s office has refused to provide a copy.    Perhaps this is because the legal advice identifies which of his colleagues’ past or anticipated activities are already legally suspect?

“If the Government refuses to support the Green amendments, then South Australians should be very worried about the publicly-funded public relations onslaught that is about to descend on them.  Get ready to be told that the best you and your children and grandchildren can hope to aspire to is to be responsible for the World’s most dangerous nuclear waste,” concluded Mark Parnell.

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