Australian news, and some related international items

Controversial MP Barnaby Joyce on the pro nuclear campaign trail

If there’s anyone really intelligent in Australia’s nuclear lobby, might they be wishing that Barnaby would just shut up?  With friends like Barnaby, who needs enemies?

Barnaby Joyce finds a new cause in nuclear power, Australia’s best-known backbencher is hitching a ride to the nuclear debate and creating awkward moments. AFR, Aaron PatrickSenior Correspondent.  Who knew? Barnaby Joyce loves nuclear energy as much as he detests abortions.

As a budding debate over splitting the atom fires up in three parliaments, the former deputy prime minister has decided that his new parliamentary vehicle, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources, deserves a piece of the nuclear action.

On Friday morning, before a tour of Sydney’s own nuclear reactor, Joyce’s committee held a “nuclear industry roundtable” discussion that was broadcast live with about 30 energy industry experts, bureaucrats and lobbyists.

The purpose was, Joyce said, “to dispel some strongly held beliefs which may or may not be true”.

He couldn’t refer to the hearing as an inquiry, because one of those already exists – and helpfully covered much of the same information last month.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy, which is reviewing nuclear energy at the government’s direction, held its hearing in Sydney three weeks ago.

Several of the same organisations turned up to Joyce’s event, which was held in a hotel within walking distance of Sydney Airport, making transport easier for the Member for New England.

To add to the double-dating awkwardness, Joyce’s star witness, businessman Ziggy Switkowski, read out the same opening statement he prepared for the other committee – by phone.

The real inquiry also visited the reactor, where it’s a wonder the distracted engineers haven’t inadvertently triggered a core meltdown.

Which raises an interesting question: would a nuclear accident that took out a parliamentary committee increase or lower public support for the power source?……

September 21, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

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