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Weatherill’s nuclear money pit

Spending by Premier Jay Weatherill on his nuclear frolic is already out of control with the cost of the community consultation process almost doubling in the space of just 4 months.

In July, Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis issued a media release committing $4.6 million to fund the consultation process on Weatherill’s high level international nuclear waste dump. (7 July 2016)

In this week’s Government Response to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission the anticipated cost is now $8.2 million for 2016/17. (p24)

“This budget blow-out highlights why the public doesn’t trust the Weatherill Government to deliver a project as complex and dangerous as a high level nuclear waste dump,” said Liberal Parliamentary Secretary for Waste Stephan Knoll.

“Jay Weatherill can’t even go close to correctly anticipating the cost of the public consultation process for his plans to import high level nuclear waste from other countries.

“Little wonder that 66% of the public have no confidence in the prospect of Jay Weatherill’s nuclear waste dump delivering a significant economic benefit to the state. (Government Response to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission p30)

“The $8.2 million consultation process includes spending of $1.5 million on the Citizens’ Jury whose verdict of two-thirds opposition to a waste dump the Premier has chosen to completely ignore.

“It’s time to stop spending on the Premier’s pet project and for him to respect the very strong view of the South Australian community that there are much more important issues for the State to consider.”