REGIONAL areas of South Australia should receive a decent share of the economic kickback if a nuclear waste storage facility is built in SA.
Independent Member for Frome, Geoff Brock, called for a commitment from Premier Jay Weatherill, to guarantee solid returns for regions.
Mr Brock wrote to Premier Jay Weatherill outlining his proposal ahead of last week’s public release of the SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission’s findings on the management, storage and disposal of nuclear radioactive waste.
The Royal Commission has indicated in its tentative findings that the facility has the potential to generate $5 billion a year in revenue for the state over the first 30 years of operation and $2 billion a year beyond that.
“Our regions are the lifeblood of this state,” Mr Brock claimed.
“If a storage facility is to be located in regional South Australia, the regions must have a fair share of the potential revenue windfall.
“For example, a fair share of not less than 10 per cent of the projected $5 billion a year would potentially see $500 million flowing into our regions annually.
“That would be a real game changer for our regional communities.
“Such funding would empower our regional communities and go a long way in ensuring regional families have the opportunity to prosper and remain in our local towns and cities or on the land.
“This funding must be in addition to the existing annual regional funding provisions across government
“Personally, I have an open mind about such a facility and where it could be located in our state with safety as a paramount consideration.
“It’s a discussion worth having.”
Feedback body needed
THE State Opposition believes a specialised agency should be established to administer the community feedback process.
Shadow Regional Development Minister, Steven Griffiths, said he endorsed the Opposition’s view.
“As a first step, I and the State Liberals are calling on the government to implement the commission recommendations to establish a dedicated agency, overseen by an advisory board, to undertake vital and thorough community engagement,” he said.
“Without this, and the information that flows, the community will not be in a position to assess any suggestions and without that a social consent to any action will not be created.
“I am not aware of the cost of doing so but given the importance of the community consultation/work to be done, I am prepared to accept it.”
He also looked forward to hearing views from voters in his Goyder electorate.
“I am hopeful that a large number of Goyder residents provide me with feedback on the commission report, the outcomes from it are significant,” Mr Griffiths said.