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The debate must go on

The South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) welcomes and supports the State Government’s decision to continue the discussion on further involvement in the nuclear fuel cycle.

Such a decision, that carries tremendous importance for South Australia, should not be rushed. An informed debate should continue based on facts and science, both of which are available and well understood.

Rebecca Knol, SACOME Chief Executive Officer, said “The current discussion is strikingly similar to that surrounding the development of the Olympic Dam resource in the early 1980s. The concerns of the public on economic, environment, safety and consent are very much the same.”

“Olympic Dam is a world renowned resource and regarded as one of the jewels of South Australian industry. A mine that will last a century, providing thousands of jobs for the community, enormous economic benefits through royalties, taxes, community grants and sponsorships.” Ms Knol said.

Olympic Dam today provides opportunity to all, including indigenous people and local traditional landowners, and supports regional communities and their development.

Ms Knol said “The case for an expansion into the nuclear fuel cycle is relevant to all South Australians and carries with it a challenging conversation, but one that is crucial to the prosperity of this State.”

While two thirds of the Citizens’ Jury noted they did not support the case for a nuclear waste facility due to lack of government trust, lack of support from traditional landowners and a weak economic case, they did however believe high level waste could be managed successfully to ensure public and environmental safety.

Furthermore, a report prepared for the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the findings of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission (NFCRC) released yesterday supported the findings on the economic case for expanding the State’s role in the nuclear fuel cycle. This is a preliminary assessment and requires detailed economic studies, as with any large scale mining, oil & gas or infrastructure process, before proceeding to final investment decision.

Media contact:

Nigel Long, Director Policy and Community, SACOME: 0448 848 038

General media enquiries: Megan Andrews, SACOME: 08 8202 9999 / 0448 848 586