NUCLEAR WASTE DUMP

LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
Tuesday 20th of SEPTEMBER 2016

Question Time

Nuclear Waste Dump

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS ( 15:32 :18 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, representing the Premier, on the topic of nuclear waste debates.

Leave granted.

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: I note that this weekend in the Flinders Ranges there is an event called Come Here to Our Country, Yanakanai Ngarpala Yarta. It is a campout at Cotabena. It is half an hour from Hawker on Adnyamathanha country. It is a gathering for a nuclear-free future. It is no surprise that that particular community has such a gathering as they are at the heart of nuclear debates in this country.

As members are well aware, but as the community is sadly not, there are two nuclear proposals on the table—one a federal proposal, the other a state. The identification of the Flinders Ranges for the federal proposal has created a level of confusion and angst within that area about the future plans for the state nuclear waste debates.

I note that on page 89 of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission report, the very report that the state government has commissioned, notes a prominent fault system extends from the Mount Lofty Ranges to the Flinders Ranges and remains active. The highest risk area in South Australia is the Adelaide Geosyncline, the Adelaide Hills and Flinders Ranges. I was not surprised that in discussions where we have had briefings in the process of this debate that it is often said that the Flinders Ranges is not being considered for a high-level nuclear waste dump in the state proposal.

Yet, this week, rather than being in the Flinders Ranges, Premier Weatherill is in Finland having a look at a deep geological facility that is due for completion in the early 2020s, indeed looking in his own words 'to learn from the valuable lessons for an open and transparent community engagement program.' My question to the Premier is: why is he in Finland and not in the Flinders Ranges this week?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Employment, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Science and Information Economy) ( 15:35 :00 ): I thank the honourable member for her question and it might be just as easy if I answer at least part of that rather than taking it on notice and referring it. Firstly, the proposal that is before us isn't a state government proposal; this is a federal government proposal. The federal government has identified a site, but there has been no actual proposal put forward for it.

Secondly, there has been quite a lot of discussion. I have met with Adnyamathanha representatives on their country in the northern Flinders Ranges area numerous times where this has been discussed. I have had a number of meetings in my office with representatives of various different Adnyamathanha groups. I have had quite a number of telephone calls. To try to characterise it that there has not been any discussion between the government and the Adnyamathanha people would not be the case. Certainly, the government will continue to discuss with Adnyamathanha and other Aboriginal people throughout South Australia any proposals that would affect their land.

The PRESIDENT: Supplementary, the Hon. Ms Franks.

Nuclear Waste Dump

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS ( 15:36 :10 ): Will the Premier, or indeed the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, rule out any nuclear waste dump on Aboriginal land where the traditional owners do not consent?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Employment, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Science and Information Economy) ( 15:36 :15 ): I thank the honourable member for her question. There is community consultation going on at the moment about even whether this is something we go further into. There are a number of steps before you would even consider possible locations. There is a lot of stuff to happen before that.

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