Media Release

Nuclear Waste Dump Inquiry Begins

31/05/2016 11:00 am

The first meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Select Committee into nuclear waste dumps was held today with the Greens pushing for a more balanced inquiry than that conducted by the recently-concluded Nuclear Royal Commission. 

“The Royal Commission was an expensive and deeply flawed project that ignored key issues and refused to hear from key witnesses”, according to Greens SA Parliamentary Leader, Mark Parnell MLC.

“As the only declared critic of the nuclear industry on the Committee, I will be insisting that the Committee hears from those witnesses that the Royal Commission refused to engage with.  This includes all the main community environmental groups such as the Conservation Council of SA, the Australian Conservation Foundation and Friends of the Earth.  Collectively, these groups have decades of experience in nuclear issues, yet the Royal Commission refused to hear from them.

“I think a main task of the Committee will be to explore the flawed economic analysis for South Australia becoming the World’s high level nuclear waste dump.  As the saying goes, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

“One thing that both proponents and critics agree on, is that this project isn’t necessary for South Australia.  “We don’t have any high level radioactive waste in this State.  Therefore, the only argument in support of the international dump is economic.  If the economics don’t stack up, then the project falls over, regardless of all the other arguments over safety or reputational damage to SA as the “World's Nuclear Garbage Can”.

“It will also be important for the Committee to hear from young people.  After all, it is the next generations that will be left holding the baby if something goes wrong. 

“The State Government has already disenfranchised young people through its “Citizens’ Jury” process which is closed to anyone under the age of 18.  The Parliament will need to fill that void by giving young South Australians a voice” said Mr Parnell.

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