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Rudd's nuclear blinkers risk Australia's economic future.

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The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP Shadow Minister for Trade (to 22 September 2008)

The Rudd Labor Government will condemn the Australian economy and send jobs offshore if it continues its charade about the ability of its flawed Emissions Trading Scheme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - without the proven zero emissions technology to do so.

Shadow Minister for Trade Ian Macfarlane today told Parliament the Rudd/Wong ETS will cause irreparable damage to the Australian economy unless the Government gets serious about clean energy - including nuclear energy.

“To implement the Rudd/Wong Emissions Trading Scheme without the clean energy technology and generation capacity is both foolish and reckless, but it’s even more reckless to do it without the one proven zero emissions base load technology, nuclear energy,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“We’ll need more clean energy capacity than can reasonably be expected to come from wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and wave technology in the next five years.

“These energy sources, along with clean coal, have not progressed far enough to deliver soon enough the reductions needed to bring about the dramatic cuts in our greenhouse gas emissions by 2010 demanded by the Rudd/Wong ETS.

“Nuclear power accounts for 16 percent of global energy generation saving 25 billion tonnes of CO2 globally over the three decades to 2030.

“Labor is being hypocritical by allowing sales of our uranium to fire nuclear power stations all over the world, where it saves 395 million tonnes of CO2 each year relative to black coal generation, yet refusing to consider nuclear power in Australia under any circumstances.

“For nuclear power to provide part of Australia’s low emissions future there needs to be a bipartisan approach.

“But if it takes Labor fifty years to agree to an impotent, contradictory and chaotic uranium mining policy that still bans uranium mining in five states, does Labor have the courage and leadership to face this Inconvenient Nuclear Truth?

“What damage will Labor inflict on the Australia economy via the implementation of its emissions trading scheme without nuclear in the mix and what permanent harm will they do to our nation’s future.”