Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear Inquiry Report now delayed, due to scandal over Energy Minister Angus Taylor?

Nuclear power inquiry to be pushed back amid scandal over Energy Minister Angus Taylor, Lanai ScarrThe West Australian, Monday, 2 December 2019

A parliamentary inquiry report on nuclear power is likely to be pushed back until next year amid Energy Minister Angus Taylor’s woes surrounding a police investigation of allegations his office forged documents to accuse Sydney’s Lord Mayor of excessive travel spending.

The West Australian understands the committee examining the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia, which was due to release its report before the end of the year, could now delay it until mid-January or later.

The standing committee on the environment and energy, which includes two West Australians Labor’s Josh Wilson and the Coalition’s Rick Wilson was directed by under siege Mr Taylor in August to hold the first probe into nuclear power in more than a decade after calls from within his party to put the option on the table for reliable, zero-emissions power.

Among them was former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce.

It is not clear if the potential delay is linked to Mr Taylor’s woes or due to other scheduling issues.

A meeting on Wednesday will discuss the proposed recommendations.

  It is understood one recommendation to be considered is an economic feasibility study into nuclear power, particularly emerging technology such as small modular reactors.

News of the push back comes after NSW Police last week launched an investigation of Mr Taylor and his office for false accusations that Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore spent $15 million on travel.

It also comes as research conducted on behalf of the Minerals Council of Australia today reveals more Australians support lifting the ban on nuclear energy in Australia than those who are opposed.

Under the current Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act, which is under review, there is a moratorium on nuclear power.

The research by JWS Research of 1500 Australians found 39 per cent support using nuclear power and 40 per cent support lifting the nuclear power ban.

“39 per cent support using nuclear power and 40 per cent support lifting the nuclear power ban.”

Even key Green seats those with twice the national average number of Greens voters are just as likely as everywhere else to be in favour.

Chair of the standing committee on the environment and energy, Liberal National Party of Queensland MP Ted O’Brien, said the report validated the need for a thorough inquiry.

On his inquiry’s report being pushed back, Mr O’Brien said: “I can’t pre-empt the conclusions that will be drawn from our inquiry and nor has a date been set for the inquiry to be concluded.”

Fremantle MP Mr Wilson, who is deputy chair of the inquiry, said the Minerals Council survey material contained some “misleading claims” and could not be relied on.

Council chief executive Tania Constable said WA would be a “big winner” if the moratorium on nuclear power were lifted.

December 2, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics

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