Serious flaws in process

Send your letter to the editor to dylan.smith@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Send your letter to the editor to dylan.smith@fairfaxmedia.com.au

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Thanks to South Australian Senator Rex Patrick, the federal Senate inquiry has uncovered many serious flaws in the selection process to establish a Radioactive Waste dump (NRWMF) in South Australia. Must we take for granted what the Department of Industry are selling us while supposedly operating under the guidelines of “World’s Best Practice”. Let’s look at just a few issues.

The massive increase in jobs defies logic for anyone to comprehend. In 2010 it only took six people to manage a national low-level dump. Some extras for security if there were higher levels of waste i.e. intermediate waste. In 2016, eight to fifteen jobs, depending on what time you joined in the “process”. In 2018 there are now 45 jobs to do the same as what was planned in 2010.        

During the last two and a half years, the public have been led to believe, that there will be mostly gowns, syringes, medical instruments etc. coming to a low-level dump. This has been the main focus on the reason why we need a NRWMF.         

It is now accepted that without the much more dangerous, long lived intermediate level waste coming, there will be very little benefits to either region as stated by the CEO of ANSTO.    

The intermediate waste is only “temporary” so if it goes to its final home, then there goes the 39 jobs with it. The LLW dump at Mt Walton in Western Australia has no staff on site.

The department have no current disposal plan for ILW as it is too cost prohibitive to build one, but say they will look for a site, after a LLW site is built. Will this happen? Governments and policies do change which can have huge effects on government facilities.

To help us make up our mind on what we don’t really know what we are getting, we have the added incentive of thirty-one million dollars to help us. Maybe.

Our two regions are being asked to vote on an issue which keeps changing all the time that could have major implications, not only locally, but to the rest of South Australia.

If neither region gets selected, will the Minister start a new search in Australia with the guarantee of forty-five jobs and thirty-one million dollars for a national low-level dump, or will it revert back to the start i.e. eight to fifteen jobs but only if the ILW comes as well with the ten million dollars remembering that without the ILW there are very few economic benefits to either region.  

Have your say to the Department of Industry Innovation and Science. Send a submission in to radioactivewaste@industry.gov.au and it may help Minister Canavan with his decision.

Leon Ashton, Quorn

Crystal Brook Energy Park

One of the great choices we have in our lives is whether to just look after ourselves, to be selfish, or to consider other people, be altruistic.

The Crystal Brook Energy Park that is currently awaiting government approval, if built, will reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by about 600,000 tonnes per year.  It is facing significant opposition while the Snowtown wind farms, 40km to the south had very little opposition.

The opposition has been based on selfishness; some people simply don't want nearby wind turbines and they see that as more important than the future of the planet. The opposition to something like a nearby wind farm seems to be contagious; I suspect that people think "well my neighbour is opposing this, if it's OK for him to be selfish it is OK for me to be selfish".

Everyone knows that executive pay is out of proportion to the income of the great majority. Executives demand obscene rates of pay because they are selfish and because they can get them.

Investors and executives in the fossil fuel industries rubbish renewable energy because it is a risk to their financial position; they are being selfish.

Many people throw rubbish onto roadsides. It's easy to do, it's selfish, it harms the world.

We must change away from burning the fossil fuels that are causing climate change and ocean acidification. If a nearby wind farm is proposed we can be selfish and oppose it or we can take a wider, more altruistic, view and support it for the good of the planet.

When selfishness is destroying the world it's not OK to be selfish.

David Clarke, Armagh