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Barnaby Joyce jumps on the Australian extreme right wing pro nuclear bandwagon

Barnaby Joyce to push for inquiry into nuclear power Joyce wants an inquiry into nuclear power. RICHARD FERGUSON, REPORTER, JULY 11, 2019

Former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce will use his position as the chair of a parliamentary committee to push for an inquiry into nuclear power, saying it is the only way to get to zero emissions.

Mr Joyce is the chairman of the House of Representatives standing committee into industry, innovation, sciences and resources and says his committee is better placed to look into nuclear power than the Senate.

The Australian reveals today that Scott Morrison was sent a draft terms of reference into a nuclear power inquiry by Coalition MPs last month.

Mr Joyce said this morning that he will push for a nuclear power inquiry in his committee and that those who want zero emissions but no nuclear option should “shut up.”

“That is the best place for an investigation into nuclear power, so I will certainly be pushing for it,” he told The Australian.   “Instead of a senate inquiry, why not have it done by the committee on which people who are most interested in the issue sit?

“I’m a supporter of nuclear power, it’s the only way to get to zero emissions.

“If you want zero emissions but you don’t want nuclear power, you should shut up.”

Mr Joyce’s intervention comes as a proposal for a full investigation into nuclear energy was provided to the Prime Minister last month by LNP MP Keith Pitt and his Queensland senate colleague James McGrath in light of recent technological advances that could limit radioactive waste.

The Morrison government has been reluctant to consider changes to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, which contains a prohibition on the construction of a nuclear power plant.

Internal discussions in the Coalition are already taking place over whether the question should be referred to a House of Representatives committee instead of the Senate.

The terms of reference proposed by Mr Pitt and Senator McGrath have been divided into three key areas and include the economic feasibility of nuclear technology in Australia, “environment issues,” as well as “health, safety and proliferation issues”.

The inquiry would examine the “benefits to the national economy if a nuclear industry were to be developed domestically”.

It would also examine the “feasibility of establishing and operating new generation reactor facilities to generate electricity from nuclear fuels in Australia, the circumstances necessary for that to occur and to be viable.”

It will compare the relative advantages and disadvantages of using nuclear technology to generate electricity with existing methods of power generation.

NSW deputy premier John Barilaro yesterday called for a Senate inquiry into establishing a nuclear power industry in Australia declaring it must be part of the energy mix if the nation wants to move towards zero emissions.

Mr Barilaro, the NSW Nationals leader, said a review of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, to be conducted this year, would provide an opportunity to drop a national ban on nuclear power.

Mr Barilaro said a failure to lift the ban on nuclear energy in this year’s review of the EPBC Act would be a “missed opportunity’’.

The Nationals passed a motion supporting nuclear energy at their NSW conference last month and Mr Barilaro said: “I’m going to be outspoken on nuclear energy’’.

Mr Barilaro said a Senate inquiry into nuclear energy would “allow us to put it back on the table’’.

“People are prepared to embrace a conversation around this,’’ Mr Barilaro said.

“For far too long, for decades, whenever we’ve talked about nuclear, whenever a politician gets up and mentions nuclear, you can almost kiss his career goodbye. But the reality is that it (the nuclear energy debate) has always been run on fear and we want to be running on facts.

“If you look around the world what’s happening through innovation, technology — especially around small modular reactors, how to manage waste and the cost efficiency around building small modular reactors versus what Chernobyl or Fukushima looks like — really does put it into play and that’s why government policy should be technology neutral.

“We should lift the ban on nuclear energy and allow for the market to respond and more importantly, allow for the Australian public to have an informed debate.”


July 13, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

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