Question to the Premier about radioactive waste facility sites

Nuclear_waste.jpgIN PARLIAMENT | QUESTION WITHOUT NOTICE | November 18, 2015
Mr JAMIE PARKER:
Madam Speaker—

The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Rockdale to order for the first time. I have called members to order three times. The member for Balmain will be heard in silence.


Mr JAMIE PARKER: My question is directed to the Premier. Does the Government support the shortlisting of the site near Hill End in central western New South Wales as a location for the national radioactive waste facility that will house low and long-lived intermediate level waste, including spent reprocessed nuclear fuel?

The SPEAKER: Order! Government members will come to order.

Mr MIKE BAIRD: I thank the member for his question. Again, The Greens member is showing the Opposition that members can ask sensible questions. That is a reasonable question; the pa; the member for Balmain always asks reasonable questions. On 13 November Minister Josh Frydenberg announced a short list of six sites for permanent national radioactive waste management facilities for further evaluation and public consultation. I congratulate the Federal Government. It has been a long and exhaustive process. It has done a lot of consultation already and clearly it needs to reach a position on a final site. The Federal Government is asking every community to engage in this process. The six sites include the one at Sallys Flat. Obviously over the next 120 days people will have an opportunity to provide feedback back to the Federal Government, and I encourage those in the Sallys Flat community to engage in that process. I have had an assurance from the Minister that the Federal Government will listen to local communities in relation to this site, so we will wait for that. The Premier of South Australia has shown a lot of leadership in relation to nuclear energy and has undertaken a royal commission to establish a research base. The Government looks forward to the findings of that royal commission. In the meantime, we will let the community have their say about this facility. The question is about waste management, and we are all wondering how to deal with the waste opposite. I do not know how we will deal with them.

Mr Jamie Parker: Point of order: It is under Standing Order 129. The question asked for the Government's position on the nuclear waste site. It is not an opportunity for the Premier to attack the Opposition. He should be nice.

The SPEAKER: Order! I have listened closely to the Premier's answer. I will hear further from the Premier. There is no point of order.

Mr MIKE BAIRD: Whether it is about radioactive waste management or any other issue, the Opposition has dialled itself out of any opportunity to play a constructive role because it is more interested in playing politics than in substantive issues. Those opposite know there is no substance whatsoever in their attack on the Attorney General—she complied as a member and complied as a Minister. It is a disgrace that the Opposition will waste the time of this Parliament.

Ms Jodi McKay: Point of order: My point of order is Standing Order 129. There will obviously be a censure motion after question time in which I expect the Premier will want to take part.

The SPEAKER: Order! What is the member's point of order?

Ms Jodi McKay: The Premier is launching a defence of the Attorney General and is not being relevant to the question asked by the member for Balmain.

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Strathfield will resume her seat. The Premier is about to return to the leave of the question.

Mr MIKE BAIRD: Will someone opposite tell the member for Strathfield that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition is the member for Canterbury? In relation to this or any other issue, that the Opposition continues to launch those types of attacks and waste the time of this Parliament for political gain is a condemnation on them all. There is nothing to it.

The SPEAKER: Order! Opposition members will cease interjecting.

Ms Jodi McKay: Point of order: It is under Standing Order 129. The question was about radioactive waste.

The SPEAKER: Order! The Premier has been talking about waste. There is no point of order.

Mr MIKE BAIRD: I thank the member for Balmain for his question, and I give him my strong encouragement. The Government supports the process and the work being done by the royal commission in South Australia. It is important for the community to have their say about this issue. The Federal Government has said that it will listen to all the affected communities, and that is appropriate.

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