A political storm is brewing in South Australia with the Maritime Union of Australia vehemently opposing any move by Premier Jay Weatherill to open up the state for a high-level nuclear waste dump.
MUA SA Branch Secretary Jamie Newlyn is publicly backing the No Dump Alliance, which held a public forum last week with speakers covering the indigenous, environmental and economic perspectives.
Newlyn said the MUA has historically opposed the nuclear industry and can see no reason why this will change as the nion believes the environmental concerns of the proposal trump the economic benefits.
Newlyn also believes the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission's findings are fundamentally flawed given the extent of costly infrastructure which is needed for the nuclear waste dump.
It is unclear which other unions will oppose the dump but union campaign against former Labor Premier Mike Rann boiled over in 2010 when he needed a police escort through protesters at Labor’s state conference.
"The MUA has a long history of opposing expansion of the nuclear industry including nuclear waste dumps,” Newlyn said.
“We fear that the economic assumptions pale in insignificance to the unknown safety and environmental implications of such plans."
Wharfies would be required to unload any imported high-level waste, so the union’s support would be critical.
Listen here to Newlyn being interviewed by Radio Adelaide's Des Lawrence, discussing the proposed international nuclear waste dump for South Australia.
There is a public rally on October 15. For details, visit the SA branch’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/muasabranch/