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Vision for Australia's uranium export industry.

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11 August 2005 05/271


In recognition of Australia’s strategic position in holding 40 per cent of the world’s low cost resources of uranium, the Australian Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, today initiated the development of a three-year Uranium Industry Framework.

The Framework will identify opportunities for, and impediments to, the further development of the Australian uranium mining industry over the short, medium and longer term.

“Australia is currently the world’s second largest producer of uranium, but there are significant challenges facing the industry in this country while, globally, there are concerns about future supply,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“The Uranium Industry Framework will examine all sides of the issue through a science-based approach developed in partnership with relevant State and Territory governments, industry, indigenous and community stakeholders,” he said.

The main objectives of the Framework are to support the sustainable development of Australia’s uranium industry by: • reducing impediments to exploration, mining and export of Australian uranium; • ensuring a consistent and efficient regulatory regime for uranium mining; and

• fostering broader community appreciation of the economic and social benefits derived from having a safe, secure and productive uranium mining industry.

“I have drawn together a high-level Steering Group, of members with uranium mining, management, indigenous, and safety experience and interest, to oversee the development of this Framework,” Mr Macfarlane said.

The Steering Group met for the first time today in Canberra and will work on developing an Action Plan, to be presented for the minister’s consideration over the next 12 months.

“Issues to be explored under the Framework include transport and infrastructure, royalties, environmental considerations and other regulatory arrangements. The Framework will not consider issues related to nuclear power and safeguards arrangements in detail.”

“This work will help raise public awareness of Australia’s uranium resources, how our uranium is used overseas and what measures are in place to ensure the mining and export of uranium does not impact on human health or the environment,” he said.

The Communiqué and list of Uranium Industry Framework Steering Group members will be available at: from Friday August 12. CMR05-375