Media Release

Nuclear conflict of interest exposed

03/11/2016 8:00 am

Conflicts of interest unearthed in the State Government's Nuclear Royal Commission are deeply alarming and undermine the credibility of not just the Royal Commission, but all the subsequent processes that rely on its findings. This includes the Nuclear Citizens' Jury which is due to report to the Premier this weekend, according to Mark Parnell MLC, Parliamentary Leader of the Greens SA.

“It beggars belief that the whole business case for an international nuclear waste dump in South Australia relies on a single consultancy that the Royal Commission gave to people whose mission was to lobby for a nuclear waste dump! This is one of the worst cases of conflict of interest imaginable.

“Revelations on ABC Radio's AM program this morning show that the consultants engaged by Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce, to advise on the viability of a nuclear waste dump, included both the President and Vice-President of ARIUS - the Association for Regional & International Underground Storage - a nuclear industry lobby group promoting nuclear waste dumps. 

“Put simply, in order to answer the question whether or not it is a good idea to set up a nuclear waste dump in South Australia, the Royal Commission paid the industry lobby group whose mission is to create precisely that outcome? What's worse, this is the ONLY business case prepared for the Royal Commission and this business case was the ONLY reason the Royal Commission gave for recommending a nuclear dump."

This finding taints every subsequent process that relies on the Royal Commission's findings including the Citizens' Jury and the Government's own "Get to Know Nuclear" travelling roadshow.

In response, the Greens are calling on the Premier to put an immediate halt to both its Citizens' Jury and its public relations campaign, whilst these conflicts of interest are investigated.

Mark Parnell will also move to recall Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce to appear before the Joint Parliamentary Nuclear Select Committee to answer questions about how this conflict of interest was allowed to occur, as well as other claims of bias raised in Parliament.

“The Premier promised an open, transparent and independent process. This conflict of interest shows that none of those outcomes have been delivered," concluded Mark Parnell.

Read the AM story by ABC Radio National, 'Conflict of interest alleged in nuclear waste dump proposal for SA'.

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