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Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Page: 6276


Ms SAFFIN (Page) (17:42): Minister, I take the opportunity to raise Australia's efforts to reduce nuclear risks—that is, risks posed by nuclear weapons as well as by civil nuclear accidents. My question is in two parts, and it is quite detailed. I note in this respect that Australia and Japan created and closely supported the work of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament. The report of this commission made a timely and valuable contribution to shaping outcomes from the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. I would be interested to know the specific follow-up action taken by the government to implement recommendations from the NPT review conference.

On the second part, about civil nuclear accidents, I note also that Japan suffered a serious accident at a civilian nuclear facility—we all noticed; the whole world noticed—earlier this year and that the effects of that accident continue to plague that country. This incident has amply demonstrated, 25 years after Chernobyl, that more needs to be done to improve nuclear safety standards and crisis response mechanisms. Before I get to the question, I would just like to add that today I met with diplomats from the Japanese mission. They were doing courtesy calls in the parliament to thank us for how we had responded throughout the crisis that they have suffered, which was very nice.

Mr Rudd interjecting

Ms SAFFIN: Hold on, I haven't finished the    question. In this regard, the second part of the question—

Mr Rudd interjecting

Ms SAFFIN: Hold your horses! The second part of the question is this. I read an article by you, Minister, in the Australian on 2 May—

Mr Rudd interjecting

Ms SAFFIN: yes, I did read it—in which you outlined some forward-leaning proposals for international action. Could you please advise how you will seek to advance and advocate for those proposals?