State not considering nuclear legal action: Weatherill

Premier Jay Weatherill
Premier Jay Weatherill

Conservation SA and the South Australian Greens party have welcomed Premier Jay Weatherill’s opposition to the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility proposed for Kimba and Hawker.

The comments from Conservation SA and the Greens were in response to an article published in The Australian, which suggested the state government would look at legal action if the facility was approved in South Australia.

However Mr Weatherill has told the Eyre Peninsula Tribune this was not the case.

“The state government is not considering High Court action.”

However he said the federal government’s process was “wrong”.

“The state government’s position on this matter hasn’t changed,” Mr Weatherill said.

“The federal government should follow the state government’s lead and consult with the community first.”

Resources Minister Matt Canavan said he was unaware of the state government’s opposition.

“Up until now, the South Australian government has been supportive of this process and I have heard nothing to the contrary until this media report,” he said

“I wonder why the Premier would go against what is majority support so far in the communities around Wallerberdina Station and Kimba.

“The fact is, we are running a bipartisan process in communities that broadly support continuing this discussion.

“It is the right process, which gives the community the opportunity to form their opinion and make a decision first.”

Conservation SA chief executive Craig Wilkins said the organisation strongly welcomed the news that the state Labor party would oppose any attempt by the federal government to impose nuclear waste from Lucas Heights on South Australia..

“SA Labor have a long and proud tradition of opposing similar moves in the past, most notably Mike Rann, who famously won a High Court challenge against the Howard government over a decade ago,” Mr Wilkins said.

“This statement by Premier Weatherill will help reassure a community that was disturbed and disappointed by his government’s previous push to explore opportunities in the nuclear fuel cycle.

“We commend Premier Weatherill for standing up for our state and the communities of Kimba and Flinders Ranges.”

 Greens SA parliamentary leader Mark Parnell invited Mr Weatherill and the state government to join the party in opposing the nuclear facility.

“The Greens have steadfastly opposed the Commonwealth government’s process of nuclear waste dump site selection and we have supported communities in both Kimba and the Flinders Ranges who are opposed to the dump,” Mr Parnell said.

“We invite Labor to join us in this campaign.”

Kimba has two sites in phase two of consultation for a potential National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.