An open letter to South Australia’s elected members and political parties 2 March 2017

Opportunity for Government to transform the State

The Royal Commission identified an opportunity to develop an international used nuclear fuel management industry. If successful, this would provide the means to transform South Australia's economy and society and provide great benefit to the global community: environmentally, economically and in terms of global security.

The Government's successful community consultation program with metropolitan, regional, and remote and Aboriginal communities, provided insights into the concerns that South Australians have about the future of our state and the challenges they face. It also highlighted the unanswered questions that remain regarding the opportunity identified by the Royal Commission.

This presents the Government with a unique opportunity: to undertake further investigations and more confidently outline the role that an international used-fuel and waste disposal industry could play in improving the social and economic fabric of the state.

The Government may choose to undertake no further work. But when a plurality of the community (44 per cent) has expressed support for further investigations and when 20 per cent of the community has expressed the desire for more information before making a decision, trust in Government — a key issue raised during the community consultation program — would be further eroded by that decision.

There is unlikely to be any other proposition that can create the industrial and social transformation of the state and generate as much wealth for the state's citizens as that identified in the Royal Commission Report. The economic evidence presented to date is overwhelmingly in favour of further investigations. It would be a tragic loss to arrest the momentum that we have achieved over the last two years and lose this opportunity.

Signatories include (L-R and T-B) Ass. Prof Paul Willis, Prof. Tanya Monro, Dr Tim Cooper, Ms. Amanda Blair, Mr. Stephen Yarwood, Prof. Corey Bradshaw, Mr Bran Cunningham, Ms. Kathy Gramp and Dr Leanna Read

Signatories include (L-R and T-B) Ass. Prof Paul Willis, Prof. Tanya Monro, Dr Tim Cooper, Ms. Amanda Blair, Mr. Stephen Yarwood, Prof. Corey Bradshaw, Mr Bran Cunningham, Ms. Kathy Gramp and Dr Leanna Read

For major project development, feasibility investigations go through a number of stages progressively confirming economic viability and minimising risk. South Australia is near the end of a first stage: understanding the viability of a concept. We call on the Government and elected members to commit to completing this first stage which would include;

  1. Formal assessment of the willingness of potential client nations to participate and financially contribute
  2. Analysis of potential competitors
  3. Transparent exit strategy
  4. Further scopes of work, resourcing, schedules and cost estimates and cost sharing to complete subsequent feasibility stages.

The modest expenditure to accomplish these outcomes, a fraction of the sum invested to date, would yield essential information on which to base a larger decision.

The South Australian community has observed and participated in the process to date in good faith. Halting that process now would be inexplicable. An appropriately staged program of further investigation will demonstrate the prudent, responsible economic leadership South Australians rightfully demand. This is the right way forward.

Signed,

Mr Fraser Ainsworth AM                   Mr Rick Allert AO                            Ms Amanda Blair                              Prof. Corey Bradshaw

Mr Mark Butcher                              Mr Rob Chapman                            Mr Matt Clemow                              Mr Greg Clothier

Dr Tim Cooper                                 Mr Brian Cunningham                       Ms Di Davidson AM                          Mr Geoff Day OAM

Mr Colin Dunsford AM                      Mr Colin Goodall                            Dr Ian Gould AM                              Ms Kathy Gramp

Mr Mike Heard                                  Mr John Heard AM                        Mr David Klingberg AO                    Mr Mark  Malcom

Mr Theo Maras AM                           Hon. Karlene  Maywald                 Mr Jim McDowell                               Hon. Ian McLachlan AO

Ms Carolyn Mitchell                           Prof. Tanya Monro                          Mr Craig Mudge AO                     Mr Creagh O'Connor AM

Dr Leanna Read                                 Prof. Karen Reynolds                         Prof. Goran Roos                              Mr Richard Ryan AO        

Mr Antony Simpson                           Mr Raymond Spencer                      Mr Michael Terlet AO                      Dr Lissa Van Camp            

Ms Jodie Van Deventer                      Dr Meera Verma                              Mr Graham Walters AM                 Hon. Trish White              

Assoc. Prof. Paul Willis                       Mr Stephen Yarwood                      Mr Stephen Young

Ben Heard