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.
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;
- Formal assessment of the willingness of potential client nations to participate and financially contribute
- Analysis of potential competitors
- Transparent exit strategy
- 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.
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