Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Queensland Premier’s risky choice to go for uranium, not for sunshine

The Premier should remember that community trust is a finite resource.
The risks of uranium last far longer than a politician’s promise. Attempts to introduce uranium mining in Queensland will be actively contested.

Queensland, especially regional Queensland, is perfectly positioned to become a world leader in the globe’s fastest growing energy sector - renewable energy. Queensland has some of the world’s best solar and wind resources. There is no need to open the door to an industry like uranium which is unsafe, unwelcome and under-performing.

Uranium decision takes the cake http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/uranium-decision-takes-the-cake/story-e6frg6n6-1226502563991 BY: DON HENRY From: The Courier-Mail  October 25, 2012 WHEN Premier Campbell Newman wrote to me two weeks ago saying his Government had no plans to approve the development of uranium mining, I took the letter at face value.

So I was as surprised as other Queenslanders when Newman announced on Monday at noon that he would overturn the popular and long-standing state ban on mining the nuclear fuel
.
I realise the Premier has been under a lot of pressure to reverse the state’s prudent position on uranium. The Australian Uranium Association, the Queensland Resources Council and some of the multinational mining companies that hope to make big profits from digging up uranium and shipping it overseas have lobbied hard.

But there are some very strong reasons Queenslanders should keep our uranium in the ground. Uranium is not like other minerals. It presents different, distinct and dangerous risks to farmers, graziers, fishers, local communities and the environment we all love and share.
I remember the controversy 30 years ago surrounding the proposed Ben
Lomond uranium mine, 50km outside Townsville. Farmers, graziers and
local communities were extremely worried about leaking radioactive
water contaminating the Burdekin river system and ground water. Do we
want to re-introduce these sorts of serious environmental risks to
Queensland?
The World Heritage-listed wetlands of Kakadu in the Northern Territory
face a growing contamination threat from the Ranger uranium mine run
by Energy Resources of Australia. There have been more than 150
documented leaks, spills and licence breaches since that mine opened
in 1981.

Ranger’s toxic containment ponds have to be managed, by law, for at
least 10,000 years. That’s how long the uranium mining waste remains
dangerously radioactive. Do Queenslanders want to leave that legacy
for future generations?

There are problems associated with transporting the uranium from the
pit to the port. Do the residents of every town and city on the
transport routes want to take on new risks of uranium spills,
accidents and incidents?

Has anyone spoken to the emergency service workers about this?

The nearest ports to some of these uranium deposits would be
Townsville and Cairns. How do we all feel about the risk of shipping
radioactive material across the Great Barrier Reef?

And of course, once Australian uranium leaves our waters it
effectively disappears off the radar.

Then there is the mess that is left behind after the uranium is
extracted. Rehabilitating former uranium mining sites can chew up
decades and millions of dollars of public money. The Mary Kathleen
mine near Cloncurry, which closed in 1982, was inadequately
rehabilitated. Did Cabinet think about all these issues?

Queensland, especially regional Queensland, is perfectly positioned to become a world leader in the globe’s fastest growing energy sector - renewable energy. Queensland has some of the world’s best solar and wind resources. There is no need to open the door to an industry like uranium which is unsafe, unwelcome and under-performing.

The Premier should remember that community trust is a finite resource.
The risks of uranium last far longer than a politician’s promise. Attempts to introduce uranium mining in Queensland will be actively contested.

About these ads

October 24, 2012 - Posted by | politics, Queensland, uranium

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 215 other followers

%d bloggers like this: