Letters to the editor

Safety always

I write in response to ‘No grasp of serious issue’, Eyre Peninsula Tribune, August 10, to respond to some of the points raised by Mr Wauchope.

At Lucas Heights, ANSTO (Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation) has 1200 employees and welcomes 15,000 visitors a year, and as you would expect, strict requirements are in place to ensure staff and the public are safe at all times. Radioactive waste is safe when appropriately managed. That is true of all waste stored at ANSTO, and will be true of all waste stored, both temporarily and permanently, at the national facility.

Mr Wauchope refers to the intermediate-level waste that returned from France, which like all radioactive waste has the required engineering and shielding to ensure safety, as well as strict regulatory oversight.

This waste would be stored temporarily at the national facility until a permanent underground facility is built at another location.

Measurements of the intermediate-level waste in this container confirmed approximately 5.6 petabequerals (a unit of measurement of radioactivity), which would certainly be dangerous if someone came into direct contact with it, and that is why there are safeguards in place to ensure there is no credible chance of that ever happening.

The container itself is made from forged steel which is 20 centimetres thick and could withstand even a jet plane strike, so there is no chance of it accidentally being released. Even if you could get into the container, the material inside is solidified in a glass matrix, and contains nothing liquid, corrosive, organic or explosive, so there is no way it could be dispersed. 

This is unlike materials such as pesticides that are commonly found in regional areas, generally have far fewer safety controls and can present significant dangers to health or the environment.

And finally, radioactive waste management in Australia is subject to rigorous regulatory oversight by independent agencies, to ensure that our waste is safe and managed correctly. That is the case at ANSTO now and that will remain the case at the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility, wherever it is eventually located.

JAMES HARDIMAN

ANSTO waste operations leader

No plebiscite

It is very helpful to have former PM, John Howard, revealing some more facts about same sex marriage. Why is there a move to legislate for SSM? As Mr Howard explains same sex couples already have full equality under our laws. 

Current legislation provides such equality in the eyes of the law and in general there is little or no concern in the community about such privileges. Couples of that persuasion can cohabit and live their life, free from interference without the need to use the term ‘marriage’.

Then why is there any need to interfere with traditional marriage, which from the beginning of time, has been a contract between a man and a woman? The proponents of SSM have all they want to pursue their lifestyle without any change to legislation.

Changing the meaning of ‘marriage’ offends those committed to the proper meaning.The plebiscite deserves a no vote.

KEN GRUNDY

Naracoorte

Health feedback welcome

We welcome the feedback provided by Health Advisory Councils, rural GPs and others through the recent Parliamentary Inquiry into Regional Health Services, and the Social Development Committee’s subsequent report.

We note that there was significant positive feedback during the inquiry about the work of Country Health SA, and many examples of great outcomes achieved for regional communities. HACs play an important role in providing advice to Country Health SA about local needs, priorities and issues, and engaging with and advocating on behalf of regional consumers.

Of the 49 recommendations in the report, 42 are addressed to Country Health SA. Of these, 23 are either already implemented or underway, three are partially implemented, 10 require further consideration and six relate to the SA Ambulance Service.

Many of the recommendations addressed to Country Health SA are being implemented through our new Partnership Framework, which will achieve more effective engagement between Country Health SA and HACs, and HACs and their respective communities. The Partnership Framework is enhancing opportunities for improved health services and enabling country communities to engage with these services.

We look forward to working with all of our HACs to implement the recommendations that have been adopted but not yet put into practise, and we look forward to discussing with them those recommendations that require further consideration.

MAREE GERAGHTY

Country Health SA chief executive officer

Name change, same aim

In regards to the WAB articles in last week’s Tribune. It was the Women’s Agricultural Bureau formed in 1917. The first meeting was held in Riverton that year where the centenary celebrations are being held in October 2017.

The Women’s Agricultural Bureau was formed for rural women across the state involved in the everyday decision making and running of the family property. The name was changed in 1999 when it became Women in Agriculture and Business and now operates under that banner retaining original aims and objectives.

KATH TRAVERS

Former regional and state councillor, WAB