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Government's uranium policy an international laughing stock



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MEDIA RELEASE 19 MARCH 1985

OPPOSITION SPOKESMAN ON TRADE HON. TOM MCVEIGH M . P .

GOVERNMENTS' URANIUM. POLICY. AN INTERNATIONAL LAUGHING STOCK

The Federal Opposition today said the Government's attempt to

cover up its unworkable uranium policy had damaged Australia's

trading relationship with West Germany and eroded Australia's

already shaky international trading relationship.

Oppostion Spokesman on Trade, Mr Tom McVeigh, said as a result of

Senator Evans' and Mr Dawkins' rank amateur behaviour, he

understood an official expression of the West Germans' displeasure

had been received by the Prime Minister, Mr Hawke, the Minister

for Foreign Affairs, Mr Hayden, and the Minister for Trade, Mr

Dawkins.

" This damaging incident would never have happened if the Ministers

concerned had not tried to hide from the left wing that their

uranium policy is not worth the paper it is written on," Mr McVeigh

said.

" In desperation Mr Dawkins singlehandedly modified the ALP 198:4

uranium policy from banning uranium supplies to France, to banning

uranium supplies for end use in France. Although existing evidence

suggested otherwise, the Minister said he was satisfied the uranium

was not destined for end use in France."

Mr McVeigh said Mr Dawkins must now explain why he then took the

extraordinary step of asking the West German Government to stop

the shipment if he was positive the uranium was not for end-use

in France."

Mr Dawkins' extravagant allegations against the German company

involved must be withdrawn as it is now clear Urangesellschaft, (UG),

could not have legally broken its contract with ERA, even if the

Government had not allowed the on-sale to France."

CONTACT: TOM MCVEIGH/KERRY MCGEORGE 72 7319