In this month’s SACOME journal, the published results of independent random polling of over 1,200 South Australians settles a hotly contested point: far more South Australians support uranium mining (55.0%) and the development of a nuclear power sector (48.0%) than oppose (25.5% and 32.6% respectively). The “strong support” for nuclear power (29%) outweighed the “strong opposition” (20%). In both cases just under 20% of South Australian’s are neutral on these issues.
Let’s hope this important finding provides the evidentiary circuit-breaker our politicians require. No longer can our political leaders retreat behind the obvious canard of public opinion being against nuclear power. When they do so, it is they who act contrary to public opinion. Our politicians can lead on this issue confident in the knowledge that nearly 50% of South Australians are right behind them, and 20% of South Australians are not opposed.
So, here’s a message to the political leadership in South Australia and Australia. In a week in which the IPCC hands down yet more concerning news on our climate change challenge, I contend that our political leaders have a duty to the public they serve, the offices they hold, the democracy they represent and the future they can shape to listen to their constituents on nuclear power. Listen to your voters, represented here in this survey. Listen to your business community, represented by Business SA. Listen to your pre-eminent scientific and technological minds, represented by ATSE. Listen to the call from a coalition of our leading climate scientists .
We get that politics is tough and we have done what you have told us we need to do. You can’t mistake our position. We have spoken, not quietly, but loudly. If you still can’t hear us, you may need to take your fingers out of your ears.
Congratulations SACOME for funding this independent polling, and on this excellent article authored by Dayne Eckermann. The issue also features a great column, Let’s talk nuclear, from my debate buddy Michael Angwin.
P.S. The most important finding, for me, in the above is the gender division. We must clearly improve at delivering our messaging to and for women, and seek the involvement of our many female experts at every opportunity. If that difference could be eliminated in favour of nuclear power, this would be a slam dunk.