Citizens' Jury Two commences in Adelaide

Posted 8 October 2016

Premier Jay Weatherill today opened the second nuclear Citizens’ Jury, telling around 350 randomly selected South Australians that they are playing an important role in the state’s future.

The jury, meeting at the Adelaide Convention Centre, is investigating in depth the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Report’s recommendation that South Australia could safely store and dispose of nuclear waste.

“Together, you’re taking part in an event of great significance. This Citizens’ Jury is one of the biggest ever held in the world,” he said.

“South Australia’s potential role in the nuclear fuel cycle has stimulated a great deal of public debate which is exactly what we hoped would occur.… and now you have the chance – the unique responsibility – to help the State Government come to a decision on where South Australia goes from here.”

The Premier then discussed what might be the three likely decisions facing the jury – a “red” light, under which the door is closed on any further discussions over storing and disposing of nuclear waste in SA; a “green” light, where SA can proceed without delay or an amber light – a “proceed with caution” outcome, where the Government can undertake further investigations and continue the public debate.

Former Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce also provided an overview of his report, and answered a range of questions about the evidence his team had gathered, his fact finding visits to nuclear facilities overseas and on issues of community consent.

After the official opening, facilitator Emily Jenke, from Democracy Co, outlined the jury program over the three weekends, which will include understanding the Royal Commission process, hearing from expert witnesses and working through the question ‘Under what circumstances, if any, could South Australia pursue the opportunity to store and dispose of nuclear waste from other countries?’

“By the end of day six, the Premier will be back in the room, and you will be handing him your report, so we have lots of work to do,” she said.

Jurors returning from the first Citizens’ Jury spent time during the afternoon session working with the incoming jurors, detailing how they had worked through their initial question “What are the parts of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission’s report that everyone needs to discuss” and providing an insight into the jury process and structure.

The jurors were also provided with an overview of the Royal Commission by former Counsel Assisting Chad Jacobi and Solicitor Assisting Lucinda Byers. The pair discussed the evidence gathering process, how and why expert witnesses were selected and the structure employed to ensure the Terms of Reference were addressed.

View the livestreaming, agenda, background and latest activity about the Citizens' Jury here.