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Your views: on Kimba nuclear dump, ramping and preselection

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on a national nuclear storage site, ambulance queuing, and the power of voters.

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Commenting on the opinion piece: They have let it come: now build it

In response to Sean Edwards, we feel a local perspective on a few of his points regarding the Government’s National Radioactive Waste Management Facility process is warranted.

Mr Edwards has a lot to say about what Kimba wants for someone who doesn’t live here, and who hasn’t been involved in the five years of government ‘consultation’ our community has endured. His lack of knowledge of the community sentiment is evident in the way he speaks for us as though our community is not divided, angry, hurting and scarred.

When talking ballot results, is should be noted that of 824 voters eligible to vote in the 2019 ballot, only 452 said yes. It is also important to know, when considering those results, that there are people living closer to the proposed site than those in the township of Kimba who were not eligible to vote, whilst others much further away were entitled to a say.

Mr Edwards compares our vote to Hawker, but doesn’t explain, or perhaps isn’t aware, that the Hawker ballot entitled people to a vote if they lived within the Hawker or Quorn council boundary as well as within a 50km radius of the proposed site, rather than solely within an oddly shaped, impractical council boundary, of which the nominated site sits basically in a corner. 

The Government’s process to date has been flawed, manipulated, divisive and full of lies and broken promises, and the attempt by Minister number six, Keith Pitt to prevent that process being tested in court only proves this. This is further supported by the fact that both Labor and cross-bench senators refuse to support his attempt to remove our right to judicial review through legislation.

There is nothing to support Sean’s claims that members of the Kimba community don’t want judicial review, let alone the Barngarla people who have been all but left out of this process. It is painful to imagine that even those within our community who do support the proposed facility would be comfortable with oppressing our rights to fairness to such an extent.

If the process has been as fair, open and transparent as the Government keeps insisting then they, Minister Pitt, his department, Sean Edwards and members of our community should have nothing to fear from maintaining our access and rights to judicial review. Kellie Hunt

Commenting on the story: What we know today, Monday March 1

There seems to be unending calls for more ambulances to stop ramping. However, this is not going to solve the problem if facilities are not available in the hospitals.

Triage nurses need backup doctors and nurses, however if these are not available everyone is under pressure – and the last are the ambos.

Surely the Minister should revise the system and have standby staff available. The system of taking patients to public hospitals also needs revision. Private hospitals are bypassed even if the patient has private benefits. 

Overall the system needs revision to ensure facilities are available instead of putting triage teams and ambulance staff under unnecessary pressure. – Roger Frinsdorf

Commenting on the story: Richardson: Democracy’s three-card trick

Stefan is totally right. While the State Executive of the Liberal Party has a vote, the majority of the voters are the members of the Liberal Party in the electorate.

I have been involved in three preselections in the last fifteen years; Dan van Holst Pellekaan in Stuart, where over 200 members gathered to preselect a person who had only been a member of the Liberal Party for a short period; Rowan Ramsey in Grey where about 400 gathered in Pt Augusta, and finally Penny Pratt in Frome, where over 150 voted for six excellent candidates.

The point needs to be made that all of these preselections were fiercely contested, with the candidates seeking the members support through extensive canvassing prior to the meeting of the Electoral College. At the electoral college all of the candidates are put in a secure room while each candidate speaks to the college for five minutes and then answers questions for five minutes, with none of the other candidates hearing any of it.

In practice, most members will be heavily influenced by the performance of the candidates at the Electoral College, particularly when it comes down to the allocation of preferences, so for your reporter to suggest that all of these preselections are predetermined is nonsense. – Leith Cooper

Sadly nothing new here, folks. Why don’t we look carefully at the trials underway in various countries – eg Belgium – by which assemblies of citizens selected the same way juries are (sortition) are given substantial power to set the agenda of issues that Parliament must deal with.

They serve for short periods, then are rotated out and new ones inducted. It works very well indeed.

The next step could be to give them real legislative power, in which case we could dispense with political parties and politicians altogether. A half way house could be one chamber of our bicameral system elected as we do now, and the other moved onto a sortition basis.

Our pollies will resist this career-busting idea tooth and nail, but we should have the courage to embrace it and give it a chance. All the evidence suggests that it produces a far higher standard of grown up behaviour and intelligent deliberation. – Peter Martin

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