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ALP to support government plans' for nuclear reactor?

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Greenpeace AustraiiaTJHlonirofiTce·, Level 4/35-?-&-tiverpD0l Street Sydney, NSW 2000, Ph (02) 9261 4666, Fax (02) 9261 4568

Attention: Chief of Staff

Media Advisory

ALP to support Government plans for nuclear reactor? _ . Q juuJt t

Canberra, 1 September 1999: The" Seriate Economics References Corimiittce will today hand down its report and rccommendauon$~ohlhe~piOposai to build a new reactorat Lucas Heights in Sydney.

Environment groups are concerned that ALP members of the Committee will agree to the reactor being built, subject to certain conditions.

During the. 1998 Federal election the ALP had a policy of opposition to the new reactor, yet last week ALP members supported the recommendations of the Public Works Committee for the new reactor to proceed. The Democrats and Greens oppose the construction of a new reactor. Greenpeace believes money spent on the reactor would be better spent on cleaner alternative

technologies which reduce Australia’s involvement in the nuclear industry.

"The reactor is part of the Government's agenda to support increased uranium sales and encourage an expanded nuclear power industry,” said Jean McSovlcy, Greenpeace nuclear campaigner. “These alone are two very good reasons why the ALP should follow through on its declared policy and do all it can to stop this plan proceeding."

Greenpeace has protested against the government's proposal to have spent nuclear fuel from the reactor reprocessed at the civil-military nuclear facility at La Hague in France. There is also growing opposition in South Australia to the proposal to establish a nuclear waste dump and storage facility to take waste from Lucas Heights.

The Federal Government has threatened to use Commonwealth legal powers to forcibly acquire land in South Australia if the state government does not c.omply._wilh its demands. Greenpeace will be seeking legal advice over the processes the. Federal Government is using to push through the reactor proposal.

For further information; Jean McSorley (0417) 662 720 or (02) 9263 0319 or Shane Rnttenbury (0412) 485 975