Nuclear Waste Dump Jury

by Des Menz posted in Nuclear Energy and Waste

3 November 2016

An InDaily article (3 Nov. 2016) exposed some grumblings from the Citizens’ Jury. The facilitators, Democracyco, wanted to get more “balance” into the additional range of witnesses that the 350 person jury was seeking to hear from. The perception apparently, was that Democracyco had a leaning towards a particular outcome on the side of the nuclear waste storage concept. Is this a fair perception? Is it an outcome of bias? 

Here’s my response to the article.

It is all a matter of public trust, something that has been severely eroded through the whole process, commencing with the unlawful Royal Commission, through to facts that were absent from the Commission's report, and concluding with the farcical amendment to the Nuclear Waste Storage Prohibition Act  to allow expenditure on the "community consultation". 

Democracyco can not escape criticism. Look on their website and you'll find that one of the facilitators "has worked at the highest echelons of the Public Service in SA and as a political advisor to the current Labor Government for the last 10 years", and the other "enjoys a long term and trusted role with the Department of the Premier and Cabinet". 

This is hardly being independent and unbiased. Perceptions do not look good for the Citizens' Jury process. Public Trust? One of the subjects I examined in my report "Nuclear? Getting Clear On The Other Facts".


This grand experiment in “citizens’ juries” is not the way to seek a democratic outcome to such an important issue, as I countenanced in my book Nuclear? Getting Clear On The Other Facts.

And as I have said on numerous occasions, this whole issue is a matter for the federal government, not the SA government, which is acting like a nation-state, and where no other state in the federation is involved in the process of this nuclear waste dump.

The perception is that Democracyco is peddling the state government’s line, and the people on the jury will see through that.

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