Expert eight tackles nuclear debate

Posted 24 June 2016

A group of eight eminent Australians will this weekend contribute to one of the most important decisions facing the state when they take part in an expert panel as part of the Citizens’ Jury into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle.

The panel discussion, to be held on Sunday, June 26, is one of the highlights of the first jury weekend’s program.

The presenters reflect the broad range of opinions, technical expertise and interests associated with the topic. They will each present to the jury, over two sessions, followed by a lengthy Q&A session with the 50 member Citizens’ Jury.

Live-streamed to the public, the panel will explore critical areas of the report and topics of key importance to the jury. The debate will cover the topic “What’s important to discuss as we consider SA’s future & whether we should deepen our involvement in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle”.

Speakers include:

  • Craig Wilkins, Chief Executive, Conservation Council SA
  • Dr Leanna Read, Chief Scientist of South Australia
  • Nigel McBride, Chief Executive, Business SA
  • Keith Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, SA Native Title Services
  • Dr Simon Longstaff, Chief Executive, The Ethics Centre
  • Associate Prof Michael Penniment, Director Radiation Oncology, Royal Adelaide Hospital
  • Kelly-Anne Saffin, Chief Executive, Northern and Yorke Regional Development Australia
  • Jason Kuchel, Chief Executive, SA Council of Mines and Energy


The first Citizens’ Jury will meet this weekend – Saturday, June 25 and Sunday June 26 – and for another weekend in July 9 and 10.

Working together over four days, the Jury will identify what’s important for South Australians to consider and discuss what information is needed to ensure explore the Royal Commission further. The Jury will also consider the choices currently facing South Australians about these issues.

Day One of the jury begins with an official opening by Premier Jay Weatherill and then several sessions where jurors will start to breakdown the report. Day Two features the panel discussion.

After the first Citizens’ Jury, teams from the Nuclear Consultation and Response Agency will embark on a comprehensive community consultation program, offering South Australians a range of opportunities to get involved.  Information gathered from the jury will help drive further discussion and identify issues critical to South Australians. Over 100 sites across the state will be visited during an extensive three month state-wide program starting next month.

A second, larger Citizens’ Jury of 350 people will be held in October.

Input gathered through each phase of the consultation process will play a key role in informing the State Government’s response to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Report which will be delivered by the end of the year.

Quotes attributable to NFCRC Consultation and Response Agency chief executive Madeline Richardson:

The Government is committed to consulting South Australians on this important decision.

The expert panel is a dynamic way of exploring some of the big issues in an open and informative way, with everyone else able watch the process through our live-stream.

The jury will meet for two full weekends and identify the parts of the Royal Commission report they feel South Australians need to consider and discuss. It is about letting everyday South Australians frame what the community should focus on rather than the Government, politicians or lobby groups setting the agenda.

This then leads onto our statewide engagement program, where we will take these issues to more than 100 sites across South Australia.

This is all about making sure all South Australians have the opportunity to have their say, and to explore an issue that is important to the state’s future.

Quote attributable to Emily Jenke, DemocracyCo chief executive:

The panel is designed to stretch the jurors’ thinking, spark ideas and explore issues through presentations by speakers who can elevate the conversation.

We know jurors want to hear from people who have strong opinions, and also people who have specific expertise. It is a complex issue about the future of our state, and there is much to consider, discuss and explore.

The group is made up of a range of people – leaders, experts and people with a specific interest – and that’s the balance we are looking for. The presenters will talk across areas such as health, aboriginal heritage, environment, industry, ethics, community, business and our state’s reputation.

Note: The Panel will be live-streamed on on Sunday, June 26 from 10am-11.35am and the 12.30pm-1.50pm.