The Greens Bill to finally end wasteful government spending on the proposed South Australian international nuclear waste dump passed through the upper house late tonight. As the Bill had support from the Government, we expect it to also pass the lower house in coming weeks.
“I’m delighted that this sorry saga of wasted public funds is now over”, said Mark Parnell MLC, Greens SA Parliamentary Leader.
“Now that the dump has been comprehensively dumped, it is important to draw a line under any further public spending on this ill-conceived project. We don’t have final figures on what was spent on this folly but at least $14 million is a conservative estimate.
“The Greens’ Bill strengthens existing laws against using public money to “encourage or finance nuclear waste storage facilities” by removing the reference to spending money on further public consultation and debate over the dump. Of course, if a future government wants to spruik the merits of turning SA into the world’s nuclear dumping ground, they can always come to Parliament for approval. In a democracy, that’s the right approach.
Importantly, the Greens’ Bill does not prevent the Government managing or sharing the information that has been gathered over the last 2 years or engaging with the Federal Government over plans for a separate national nuclear waste dump in South Australia.
“The Greens will continue to oppose plans to send Lucas Heights’ intermediate-level nuclear waste to the Flinders Ranges or Kimba pending a proper review of Australia’s stores of domestic nuclear waste and how to deal with them. The State Labor Government in the past has fought tooth and nail to stop the Federal Government dumping domestic nuclear waste in our State. Spending public money to deal with other State and Territory governments in relation to nuclear waste will still be allowed.
The Greens now urge all political parties to focus on supporting industries and opportunities that will enhance our State, rather than those which risk South Australia’s economy, environment and reputation”, concluded Mr Parnell.