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Thursday, 30 September 2010
Page: 402

Senator LUDLAM (10:17 AM) —I move:

That the Senate—

(a)   notes and acknowledges the long standing opposition of residents of Alice Springs and surrounding areas to the development of the Angela Pamela uranium mine, 20 kilometres from Alice Springs;

(b)   congratulates:

(i)   the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory (Mr Henderson) for his clear statement of opposition to this mine, and

(ii)   Mr Terry Mills, the Leader of the Territory Country Liberal Party for his clear statement of opposition to this mine; and

(c)   calls on the Gillard Government immediately to indicate whether or not the position of the Northern Territory Government, Northern Territory Opposition and Territory Greens will be respected.

I seek leave to make a brief statement.

The PRESIDENT —Leave is granted for two minutes.

Senator LUDLAM —Both the government and opposition whips have indicated that there is no support for this motion, so what I want to do briefly is test the room to see whether it is possible to get a brief statement or whether Senator Ludwig was planning on putting something on the record.

Senator Ludwig —I am.

Senator LUDLAM —You are? That is great. This motion relates to some announcements from the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory yesterday relating to the Angela Pamela uranium proposal, which is about 20 kilometres from Alice Springs, that were followed shortly afterwards by Mr Terry Mills, who is the leader of the Territory Country Liberal Party, that there is now cross-party support—ALP, CLP and Greens—in the Northern Territory, responding to longstanding community opposition to the Angela Pamela uranium mine on the outskirts of Alice. What this motion really seeks to do is draw out from the Gillard government as to whether the wishes of the Central Australian community would be respected or not, as the Rudd government assumed overarching responsibility for signing off uranium mines in the Territory. It is quite clearly within the power of the Gillard government to override the cross-party opposition to the uranium mine, which reflects a strong community sentiment. In the context of a by-election which is playing out in Central Australia at the moment, I do not think it is unreasonable for both the government and the opposition to put some kind of comment on the record if they believe a motion in the Senate is too much of a blunt instrument. I would invite comment on this.