The Australian Democrats are challenging Premier Weatherill to put any plans for nuclear dumps to a referendum at the next state election in 2018.
Party vice-president in SA, Elisa Resce, says that whether it be a private company, a federal government or a state government that proposes these dumps she is confident they would be opposed by a majority of South Australians in a referendum.
“A recommendation for a dump was always on the cards – it’s why the Royal Commission was set up – but to find the Commission recommending the establishment of not one, but two, nuclear waste dumps, one of them high level and one of them medium level is beyond the pale.
“The rationale put by the Royal Commission is that we should do it for the money. But does South Australia want to become ‘The Radioactive State’? What will that gain us if our tourism and agricultural industries lose from the deal?
“We fought radioactive and nuclear dumps in the nineties, we fought them in the noughties, and we’ll fight them again in the teens. Opposition to the nuclear industry in its many forms has been a policy held by the Australian Democrats for almost forty years.
Responding to the Royal Commissioner’s desire for people not to call it a dump Ms Resce said, “Despite what Kevin Scarce says about it being ‘a sophisticated engineering facility’ we will not be conned by the use of clever language.
“This is an out-of-sight, out-of-mind proposition for the many countries that must be salivating at the thought that South Australia will solve their insoluble problem. They don’t want the waste they have manufactured, they want us to dispose of it and leave them to walk away with SA taking all the responsibility and risk. How can that be anything but dumping?
“In the end, a dump is a dump is a dump, and the Australian Democrats will continue to call it what it is – and to fight against both of these proposals,” said Ms Resce.