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Issue #1697      August 12, 2015

Party members in SA say no to nuclear

Hundreds of commuters heading into the city from the Port Adelaide/Semaphore area last Thursday beeped horns and gave the thumbs up as they passed under a number of anti-nuclear banners hung from an overpass by local comrades.

The peak-hour protest was in recognition of the 70th anniversary of the US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki but held extra significance for South Australians in light of the State government’s Royal Commission, which is currently “investigating” the pros and cons of a potential nuclear waste dump, likely to be situated in the state’s north.

CPA General Secretary Bob Briton (pictured) was one of a number of activists, which included members of NOWPA (Nuclear Operations Watch Port Adelaide), to take action on the Jervois Bridge over the busy Causeway Road. Mr Briton told the Guardian that a large number of South Australians have serious concerns about the outcome of the Royal Commission.

“I think people are worried that a Royal Commission will give the go-ahead to a range of nuclear options and leave us with the prospect of a nuclear waste dump in South Australia. This is of great concern to us. It will impact on the environment and on the Aboriginal people because these things inevitably take place on Aboriginal traditional lands – it’s just not on,” he said.

Briton said the Party campaign in South Australia aims to stop the proposed waste dump which he thinks is likely to be the first step toward an expanded nuclear industry.

“If a waste dump goes ahead and we’re accepting high level radioactive waste from Taiwan, for example, I think the view will be, why not run the full risk with nuclear power?

“Hiroshima Day is an appropriate time to make the connection between the rest of the nuclear cycle and nuclear weapons. If there wasn’t a nuclear power industry there wouldn’t be the great proliferation of weapons, and South Australians don’t want to buy into that,” he said.

Local reaction

CPA State President and former Federal Election candidate for Port Adelaide Michael Perth told the Guardian Port Adelaide was once a nuclear-free port, but that doesn’t appear to be the case any more.

“There’s a number of things we’ve been doing to address this. We’ve been trying to convince Port Adelaide Mayor Gary Johanson to become a Mayor for Peace like mayors from many other local councils in the Adelaide area. We want to see the Port return to its nuclear-free status but so far he’s rejected this idea,” Perth said.

“We’ll be continuing that campaign which complements our efforts to have this proposed waste dump rejected. We don’t see a future for the nuclear industry and we’re sure most local people feel the same way.

“We recently had dozens of people in Semaphore signing our petition against military bases in Darwin, so we think they’ll be equally supportive of a campaign which has implications much closer to home,” he added.

The Port and West Adelaide branches of the CPA have plans to run advertisements in the local Messenger press and distribute leaflets to highlight the dangers of the nuclear waste dump and nuclear industry in South Australia.

Show your support

Want to take a stand against nuclear waste and weapons? You can go to the Party’s SA website at www.adelaidecommunists.org/campaigns and send a preformatted protest letter to the Premier urging him to abandon the nuclear waste dump. If you’d like to help with a donation towards the campaign fund or by volunteering your time, get in touch with Bob Briton: sa@cpa.org.au.

Next article – And now for the news – An update on the ABC

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