Australian Labor's Nuclear Powers

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

2 thoughts on “Australian Labor's Nuclear Powers

  1. There is a new mood of panic in the nuclear industry, as the much-touted GNEP looks less and less likely to take off. The “nuclear renaissance” is looking like a still-birth, hence the panic to sell off Australia’s uranium before its market collapses.

    Martin Ferguson and a few others in the ALP will have to battle harder for this one.
    Australians are remarkably well-informed on the hazards of the nuclear industry.
    Australian aborigines have a deep-seated respect for the land. Not all aborigines, perhaps very few, will be willing to be bribed into agreeing to the destruction of land and environment that is uranium mining.
    Christina Macpherson

  2. I don’t know where Ms. Macpherson gets her information from, but I can’t find any justification for a shred of it.

    GNEP continues to grow, and now includes approximately 20 nations around the world, many of which are currently non-nuclear power nations considering fresh nuclear industry starts.

    Active nuclear expansion programmes are taking place in numerous countries around the world such as the USA, Finland, Russia, the UK, South Africa, Japan and others. This is in addition to ongoing growth programmes in China. In fact the expansion is so intense, factories that supply large components with long lead-times are beginning to struggle with serious backorder issues (a ‘good’ challenge, but a challenge nonetheless).

    I find that some Australians are somewhat informed about credible (objective, peer-reviewed scientific) nuclear related information, but the general majority simply regurgitates the emotive rhetoric of misinformed radicals hell-bent on sending the world back into the dark ages. This rhetoric is being used to sway many (including aborigines) away from a credible, demonstrated technology with a decades long, second to none, safety record (longer for western designed plants), that packs a phenomenal punch with respect to providing high quality, reliable energy while generating very, very little emissions over its entire lifecycle.

    Claims to the contrary are without credible basis or merit.