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Treasurer defends SA dump debate

AAP logoAAP 28/10/2016

The Labor party is no different to a football club or a family barbecue when it comes to debating the merits of establishing a nuclear waste dump in South Australia, Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis says.

The issue will come under discussion at the party's state convention on Saturday, with a number of motions to be debated, some calling for any plans for a dump to be scrapped and others buying the state government some time before having to make a decision.

Mr Koutsantonis says the party is rightly engaged in the same discussion that mums and dads are having across South Australia, weighing up the pros and cons of taking high-level waste from overseas.

"The Labor Party is no different from an RSL club, no different from a football club, no different from a barbecue," the treasurer told reporters on Friday.

"People are just talking about what do we do next? Do we do this or don't we do this? What are the risks, what are the rewards.

"So absolutely we should have this debate."

Among motions to be debated at the convention, one calls for the government to hold a state referendum on the issue of a dump, others call for the government to delay any decision until after the issue is discussed at the next national ALP conference and one calls for a special state convention to be called.

There is also one that calls for the state government to "cease and desist" any further action to consider nuclear waste dumps of any kind.

Mr Koutsantonis acknowledged there were strong feelings within the party on the question of nuclear waste.

"Our view, very simply is, we want to continue the debate," he said.

"The party is allowed to express its views, individuals are allowed to express their views."

Also this weekend the second citizen's jury will continue to deliberate on the dump proposal, which was raised as possibility by a royal commission conducted into SA's future involvement in the nuclear fuel cycle.

The 350 people making up the jury will present their final report to Premier Jay Weatherill on Sunday.

The No Dump Alliance, which plans to stage a protest outside the convention on Saturday, said the ALP should "close the door on this deeply flawed and reckless plan".

"Despite a huge amount of taxpayer-funded promotion, opposition to an international nuclear dump is growing within the Labor Party and the wider community," spokesman Craig Wilkins said.

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