Australian news, and some related international items

Aaron Patrick of Australian Financial Review misrepresents economist John Quiggin on nuclear power

John Quiggin’s reply to the AFR’s misleading headline, and Aaron Patrick’s article:
“This is a typical gotcha from Aaron Patrick. My view is that, if we could get a substantial carbon price (at least $50/tonne) now, it would be worth removing the existing nuclear ban. As I’ve written elsewhere, nuclear power can’t get started here for at least 20 years, and in the meantime renewables would wipe out all coal and most gas.”
Left support for NSW nuclear power industry, Australian Financial Review   Aaron Patrick  Senior Correspondent
Sep 2, 2019 

Left-wing economist John Quiggin has urged the NSW Parliament to legalise nuclear power, making the University of Queensland academic the most prominent environmentalist to support the controversial energy source.

Economist John Quiggin supports nuclear power. [?]

Professor Quiggin told a NSW parliamentary inquiry into uranium mining and nuclear power that the ban should be lifted simultaneously with the introduction of a price charged for emitting Greenhouse gases.

“The Parliament should pass a motion … removing the existing ban on nuclear power,” he said in a written submission. “Nuclear power is not viable in the absence of a carbon price.”

The inquiry, one of three similar under way, is seen by some Coalition MPs as the start of a long process of convincing voters to support nuclear reactors to replace the state’s ageing coal power stations, including Liddell in the Hunter Valley, which is due to close after the summer of 2023……..

The Minerals Council of Australia, a lobby group, successfully pushed for a federal parliamentary inquiry into nuclear, which is examining the feasibility of a new generation of compact power plants that are meant to be safer and much cheaper than the huge stations that supply about 11 per cent of the world’s electricity……..

The NSW inquiry is the result of a private members bill introduced by state One Nation leader Mark Latham that would allow uranium mining. Nuclear power is banned in NSW under federal and state regulations…….

The biggest impediment to development of the industry is opposition from the Labor and Greens parties, environmental groups and left-wing think tanks such as The Australia Institute.

The conditional support of left-wing academics such as Professor Quiggin could, over time, lessen opposition to nuclear power, which supporters say could be used as a back up for wind and solar power.

In Victoria a parliamentary inquiry began two weeks ago at the request of a Liberal Democrat MP, David Limbrick.

The 12-month inquiry will explore if nuclear energy would be feasible and suitable for Victoria in the future, and consider waste management, health and safety and industrial and medical applications, AAP reported.

Aaron Patrick is The Australian Financial Review’s Senior Correspondent. He writes about politics and business. Connect with Aaron on Twitter. Email Aaron at

September 2, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media

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