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Transcript of doorstop interview of the Shadow Minister for Industry, Infrastructure and Industry, Parliament House, Canberra, 16 June 2005: John Anderson, Douglas Wood, nuclear energy and uranium.



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M E D I A R E L E A S E

Stephen Smith MP Shadow Minister for Industry, Infrastructure and Industrial Relations Member for Perth

E&OE T56/05

TRANSCRIPT OF DOORSTOP -PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA, THURSDAY, 16 JUNE 2005

SUBJECT: JOHN ANDERSON, DOUGLAS WOOD, NUCLEAR ENERGY AND URANIUM

SMITH: Any observer of the national Parliament would come to the conclusion that it’s time for John Anderson to give it away. I’m sure that’s particularly the attitude of Mark Vaile, his deputy.

Yesterday we saw in the Parliament the Deputy Prime Minister distributing materials in his electorate effectively in breach of occupational health and safety requirements.

We saw over the weekend the Prime Minister taking the Singapore Airlines and QANTAS decision out of his hands and it’s taken him until today to actually clarify that decision for Singapore Airlines, despite saying a number of different things in the intervening period.

This follows on from the Prime Minister taking the infrastructure and ports issue out of his hands.

I’ll leave the Atherton Hotel ‘beer, cigs and barmaids’ to my colleague Kelvin Thomson.

Any impartial observer of the Parliament would have come to the conclusion that John Anderson should do what he has been toying with for some time and that is to give the game away.

JOURNALIST: Are you happy to hear news of the release of Douglas Wood?

SMITH: Absolutely. I think anyone who was watching the Parliament last night would have seen the whole Parliament united, as the nation is, in joy at the release of Douglas Wood. It’s a terrific event and anyone in the Parliament who witnessed the exchange in the Parliament won’t forget it.

JOURNALIST: The family seems to have played a massive role in securing his release.

SMITH: I think the family have conducted themselves with great dignity, with great poise, and they deserve and they are getting the admiration of the Australian community for the way they have conducted themselves.

JOURNALIST: Did the Government handle this in the appropriate way?

SMITH: Absolutely, again if you saw the exchanges, the Prime Minister’s comments about the support of the Opposition, from Kim Beazley and Kevin Rudd, the handshakes between the Prime Minister and Kim Beazley, and Alexander Downer and Kevin Rudd. This has been a significant event. There’s been not just bi-partisan support, but national support.

JOURNALIST: Are you happy that the nuclear power debate in the Labor is now settled or there still a debate to be heard?

SMITH: There’s an ongoing debate, not so much in the Labor Party, but in the public about uranium and the provision of uranium in the fuel cycle. We’ve got a long standing policy in that respect, our no new mines policy, and other than that I’m happy to leave it to my colleague Martin Ferguson who’s the appropriate Shadow Minister.

JOURNALIST: Do you believe the Government inevitably will greatly expand the mining of uranium?

SMITH: The mining of uranium in Australia will be greatly expanded by the expansion to Olympic Dam in South Australia, which is open to support by the Labor Party on the basis of our policy approach, and of course the expansion of Olympic Dam was part of the undertaking that BHP Billiton gave when it took over Western Mining.

Ends

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