Australian news, and some related international items

Queensland Labor and Liberal Coalition say NO to nuclear power

Nuclear energy policy emerges as Queensland election issue, SMH, By Tony Moore, August 25, 2019  Nuclear energy has emerged as a 2020 Queensland election issue after Labor confirmed its anti-nuclear stand amid a new investigation into nuclear power led by three Queensland federal LNP MPs.Labor’s 2019 state conference on Sunday cemented the party’s opposition to the energy source after three high-profile federal Liberal National Party MPs recently triggered the first federal government inquiry into nuclear power in a decade.

Queensland Labor immediately questioned the LNP’s nuclear power policy before Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington on Sunday afternoon issued a single line statement rejecting nuclear power.

“The state LNP does not support nuclear power in Queensland,” Ms Frecklington said.

Three high-profile Queensland federal MPs – Senator James McGrath, Bundaberg-based MP Keith Pitt and Sunshine Coast MP Ted O’Brien – quietly re-opened a federal government inquiry into nuclear power, which began quietly on August 7.

Mr O’Brien is chairing the House of Representatives Standing Committee investigation into nuclear power, which will receive submissions until September 16.

He said nuclear power had evolved over the past 20 years and it was time to look again.

“The committee will look at the necessary circumstances and requirements for any future government’s consideration of nuclear energy generation, including using small modular reactor technologies,” Mr O’Brien said.

“It will consider a range of matters including waste management, health and safety, environmental impacts, energy affordability and reliability, economic feasibility and workforce capability, security implications, community engagement and national consensus.”

The Labor conference several times highlighted clear policy differences between Labor and the LNP in the 12-month run down to the 2020 Queensland election.

On Sunday ALP delegate Ali King, from the United Voice union, received unanimous support for the party to reconfirm its opposition to nuclear power in Queensland.

Since the (May) federal election we have seen an emboldened LNP federal government flirting with every policy fantasy of the hard right,” Ms King told the conference.

“The most disturbing of these is their insistent push towards imposing nuclear power on a reluctant Australia.”

Ms King claimed nuclear power was “now a central plank of the LNP’s hard-right policy platform”, but questioned why it was being explored……

Cost evaluations showed energy produced from nuclear fusion would be more expensive than renewable energy and the long timeframe – “possibly a generation” – made it impractical, Ms King argued. ……

Nuclear power development is currently banned in Australia under the Federal Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

“It is this restriction that the LNP are ultimately trying to dismantle,” Ms King said.

August 26, 2019 - Posted by | politics, Queensland

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