Firmly established in power, Australia’s Labor Party has opted to reinvigorate a plan from the previous government to expand uranium mining.
According to The Age, Labor’s resources minister, Martin Ferguson, is an “enthusiastic” advocate of the industry, and has reconvened the Uranium Industry Framework, an advisory board appointed by the government of former Prime Minister John Howard of the conservative Liberal Party.
Among other things, the advisory panel will undertake a publicity campaign, funded by the uranium industry,to address public concerns about the health and safety issues of mining uranium.
The panel also has proposed a number of new regulations to improve training and safety, as well as the “economic fortunes” of indigenous communities and mine owners.
The Labor Party overcame strong opposition to narrowly overturn a ban on developing new mines, but opted to leave state-level bans in place in Queensland and Western Australia.
Ferguson, who backs nuclear power as a means of cutting greenhouse emissions, reportedly said that the two states, which both have substantial uranium resources, will “get in line” and eventually drop the bans on their own.
“Labor resurrects Howard’s uranium plan”
The Age, April 2, 2008