Media Release

Throwing good money after bad – How the nuclear waste dump folly could wreck the State Budget

07/07/2016 5:00 pm

The additional $3.6m allocated in the SA State Budget to advance the case for an international nuclear waste dump means that $13m will have been spent on this deeply flawed proposal by the end of the year, according to Greens SA Parliamentary Leader, Mark Parnell MLC.

“Spending $13 million of scarce taxpayer funds on a project that doesn’t add up economically, is throwing good money after bad.

“But wait, there’s more!  When it comes to budget black holes, they don’t come any bigger than those created by the folly of nuclear expansion. 

“According to consultants engaged by the Royal Commission (and paid for by the Government), the amount of government expenditure PRIOR to any decision to go ahead with the dump and BEFORE any contracts have been signed would be around $300 million to in excess of $600 million, over the next 6 years! 

Spending in excess of $600 million preparing for a nuclear waste dump that will never eventuate is a shocking waste that will eat a massive hole in the projected surpluses over the forward estimates.

“If the Government decides at the end of this year to proceed further with the nuclear waste dump, then this amount must be budgeted for.  There will be no revenue, only costs. 

“On the other hand, if the Government abandons this nuclear waste dump folly now, then we can cut our losses and re-allocate that money to genuinely benefit South Australians rather than impose a toxic legacy for countless future generations”, said Mr Parnell.

Here are some better uses to which $600m could be spent:

• Finish electrification of the Gawler line and new tram lines to make AdeLink a reality
• Better cycling infrastructure
• Solar panels on all public housing
• Better rural health services and mental health services
• Reducing payroll tax for wages paid to apprentices and trainees

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