South Australia

Close to 1000 people gathered outside Parliament House in Adelaide on November 3 to protest against federal government plans to build a national radioactive waste dump in South Australia.

South Australia’s Liberal government gave final approval for Leigh Creek Energy to begin a three-month trial of an underground coal gasification (UCG) process, despite UCG technology being banned in other states due to its devastating impacts on the environment.

As the South Australian government fights a state election where Labor is in a three-way battle for power with the Coalition and Nick Xenophon’s SA Best party, it has announced plans to build a 250MW “virtual power plant”, linking household rooftop solar and battery storage.

Can the political debate about Australia's “energy crisis” get any more weird?

To most South Australians, Labor Premier Jay Weatherill’s plan for a vast outback dump to host imported high-level nuclear waste is dead, needing only a decent send-off.

Nevertheless, the Premier keeps trying to resurrect the scheme. Why?

To the fury of business spokespeople, South Australia’s “Citizens’ Jury on Nuclear Waste” has effectively exploded plans by the state Labor government to host the world’s largest nuclear waste dump.

The jury was intended by Premier Jay Weatherill to lend his scheme a garnish of popular consent. But in their final report on November 6, the jurors instead concluded that the dump plan should not go ahead “under any circumstances”. The vote was overwhelming, with two-thirds of jury members opposing the government’s projections.

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