Michelle Lensink

Storing nuclear waste

Given the potentially significant environmental impacts of storing nuclear waste in the pristine outback of South Australia, does the minister support the establishment of a nuclear waste dump in South Australia, as being pursued by his Premier?

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:36): My question is to the Minister for Sustainability,
Environment and Conservation. Given the potentially significant environmental impacts of storing
nuclear waste in the pristine outback of South Australia, does the minister support the establishment
of a nuclear waste dump in South Australia, as being pursued by his Premier?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation,
Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change) (14:36):
Thank you to
the honourable member for this incredible question. One could ask, in fact, do the Liberals support
the federal government's proposition of putting a nuclear waste storage facility in outback South
Australian as well? The Hon. Michelle Lensink completely ignores that question. She asks a question
of me about the environmental concerns, but she doesn't ask me a question about the environmental
concerns related to the federal Liberal Party's proposal to have an environmental dump in South
Australia. The whole tenor of this incredibly opportunistic line of questioning from the opposition—
Members interjecting:
The PRESIDENT:
Order! Minister, take a seat. Will the Leader of the Opposition allow the
minister—
Members interjecting:
The PRESIDENT:
—and the Minister for Police, just desist, and allow the minister to answer
this question.
Members interjecting:
The PRESIDENT:
Order!
The Hon. J.S.L. Dawkins interjecting:
The PRESIDENT:
I don't need your help, Hon. Mr Dawkins.
The Hon. P. Malinauskas interjecting:
The PRESIDENT:
Will the honourable minister desist and allow his colleague the Minister
for Environment to answer the question.
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER:
Thank you, Mr President, for keeping us all in order. This is an
incredibly opportunistic line of questioning from the incredibly lazy opposition we have in this place.
Let's go to the nub of this question: let's contrast a leader of this state, who has been completely up
front with the community, saying, 'We're going to go out and have a discussion and a debate on a
really difficult issue, and we want your input.' Contrast that with the leader of the Liberals in the other place, Steven Marshall, the member for Dunstan, who was out there rallying the troops, saying, 'Fantastic idea, that was our idea, you stole it from us; that was our idea, the Liberal Party's idea, that you stole from us,' and now he says,
'Oh my goodness, let me lead from the back, I've seen what the community have said in the citizens'
jury, I'm running away scared from any more engagement on this issue.'
This is the authenticity that we have on display between the two leaders. One who goes out
there and takes the public into his confidence and says, 'I want to have a discussion with you about
an incredibly important topic, about the future of our state,' and the other one who flip-flops and says,
'You stole my idea, oh my goodness, that's a bad idea, we're running away from it at a million miles
an hour.' This goes to a question of authenticity, and of integrity.
What we have seen so far, in the space of a few short days, is that the Liberal Party leader, Steven Marshall, member for Dunstan, has absolutely no integrity whatsoever and no authenticity. It is little wonder that we could probably all have bet where he would have lined up on this because he takes the path of least resistance on all these issues. He has opposed every single thing that the state government has tried to do to improve our community, to improve our state and to improve our city.
Members interjecting:
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER:
Well, let's have a think about what he has opposed. What did you
oppose last week? Oh, the Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme—that comes to mind. What about
the trams? They opposed that as well. What about the incredible investment we are making into our
North Terrace boulevard, with the new Royal Adelaide Hospital? Yes, they opposed that as well. Not
a single thing have these people opposite said yes to. Not a single thing, and here they are, trying to
make a virtue of a leader with absolutely no integrity and no authenticity, who has not got a leadership
bone in his body, and they think that it is a smart move for them to actually get out behind him.
We all know what the Liberals think about the nuclear waste dump, because they have been
moseying up to us in the corridors for the last 12 months. They have been moseying up to us in the
corridors of this place secretly whispering—
Members interjecting:
The PRESIDENT:
Minister, sit down. It is totally irresponsible of members of this chamber,
especially in positions such as the Leader of the Opposition and the Minister for Police (and for
correctional services and every other portfolio he has) to be arguing while the minister is trying to
give an answer. It is totally disrespectful. I would like the minister to get to his feet and finish his answer.
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER:
Thank you, Mr President. We all know that the Liberal opposition
is completely divided on this policy. They have said to us privately what they think we should be
doing in this regard, but, lo and behold, it is completely different to the policy position they adopted
in their party room this week. I refer the honourable member, and all interested members, to the
Premier's statement, and the last line. It is pretty clear:
We will not pursue policy or legislative change at this time—
you can't get much clearer than that—
but we will, however, continue to facilitate discussion and remain open in pursuing this opportunity for our state.
What is wrong with that? What is wrong about continuing a discussion with the people of South
Australia about a very difficult subject? We are up front about it; the Liberals hide their position on
this, and they will be caught out on it by the people of South Australia.

parliament news questions

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.