SA waste dump to be debated


By Philippa Stanford

ADELAIDE — A "People's Conference" to discussed South Australia's proposed nuclear waste repository will convene here on March 4 and 5. Conference organisers have invited speakers from both sides of the debate.

Speakers will include prominent opponents of the dump, such as Dr Helen Caldicott from Physicians for Social Responsibility and Our Common Future, David Noonan from the Australian Conservation Foundation, Kevin Buzzacott, an Arabunna elder and founder of the Arabunna Going Home Camp at Lake Eyre, and Green Left Weekly journalist Dr Jim Green.

Also invited are speakers from the uranium mining industry, including Ian Hore-Lacy, general manager of the Uranium Information Centre, and Dr Marcis Kurzeme, general manager of operations for Pangea Resources Australia.

Lord Mayor and new ALP recruit Jane Lomax-Smith will officially open the conference but the office of federal industry, science and resources minister Nick Minchin has refused to send a representative, saying that the conference "has been organised by the green movement to advance their cause."

Conference organiser Greg Were said, "There are stridently opposing views as to the dangers involved with any nuclear waste dump and it is important to hear from the experts as to the real dangers and to hear the moral, ethical and social justice issues associated with this issue".

"We believe the commonwealth government has a conflict of interest in conducting the consultation on the waste dump — it's their waste that requires storing. The people of South Australia need to organise their own debate on this important issue that will affect future generations," Were argued.

Register by sending your details and an attendance fee of $10 for the two days (or $6 concession) to the Global Education Centre, First Floor, Torrens Building, 220 Victoria Square, Adelaide 5000. Cheques or money orders should made out the Global Environment Centre, marked "The People's Conference". Registration forms can also be printed from the conference web-site on Places are limited so register early.