The Progressive Case for a Toxic Waste Facility in South Australia
It is indeed disappointing that the South Australian Government is arguing for a waste dump on financial grounds. There may well be financial grounds for this project, but if that is the only argument being put forward, then we have reached a level of cynicism in our body politic we may never recover from.
If our only reason for exposing our communities to the very real danger of storing these substances is for financial gain then we might as well start drilling in the Great Australian Bight.
I do not believe financial gain is a good enough reason to build a nuclear waste dump in South Australia. I do however believe there are compelling ethical, health and environmental reasons for building one.
Please note this waste already exists. And it continues to be created. Every time you drive past a University or a Hospital on your way to dropping off or picking up the kids from school you are driving past toxic waste that might be unregulated, undocumented, forgotten and rotting in a basement.
Australia is one of the most geologically and politically stable countries in the world and because of this, we would be one of the safest places in the world to store this dangerous waste. To put it bluntly I wouldn't trust other countries to do it properly.
Make no mistake these substances are harmful and mismanaged storage would have a global impact wherever it were located. I would trust us however to store it properly and I see it perhaps as our duty as good global citizens, to do so.
I don't believe having safe, properly regulated and accountable storage encourages the nuclear industry.
I don't believe dumps create rubbish any more than I believe hospitals create patients.
In fact I believe we could actually discourage the nuclear industry by having a storage facility. By charging a high fee for storage we could put a price on nuclear waste like the Green/Labor government successfully put a price on carbon. Despite the current government foolishly dismantling the carbon price, recent studies show how effectively it discouraged coal generated power. A price on nuclear waste would disadvantage nuclear as an energy solution and advantage renewables.
Before we even consider a storage facility however:
1) It would need local support
2) Indigenous approval
3) Broad environmental investigation
4) Guaranteed safe transportation both internationally and nationally
Recently an earthquake hit New Zealand. The last thing they would want is for an event like this to have released toxic waste. They are our dearest friends and closest allies. As a good friend we could be looking after their waste, for their sake and our own.
While I imagine most readers won't agree with these thoughts I hope you appreciate their honesty. And I hope you appreciate that sometimes the best solution isn’t the most popular.


Unpopular Independent
for South Australia
"Not the Independent
South Australia
...but maybe
the Independent
South Australia