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Green not yellow: new poll supports end to nuclear deal with Russia.

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Monday, 10 November 2008

Green not yellow: New poll supports end to nuclear deal with Russia

The Australian Greens are urging Australia not to proceed with sales of uranium to Russia, in light of a new poll showing strong opposition to the plan.

The Australian Conservation Foundation commissioned Newspoll to conduct a survey of 1,200 people and revealed today that 62 per cent are opposed to selling uranium to countries with nuclear arms. A further 22 per cent opposed selling uranium, even if those nations were supporters of nuclear non-proliferation.

Greens Nuclear Spokesperson, Senator Scott Ludlam says the poll shows the government is out of step with public opinion.

“It’s clear the public want Australia not to sell yellowcake to the nuclear weapon states and many also believe that Australian uranium should stay in the ground. Mr Rudd should heed public opinion and overturn the Howard government’s uranium deal with Russia.”

A joint parliamentary committee report into the uranium deal with Russia recommended in October that the sale not proceed.

"Now it is up to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to cancel the deal."

“The Prime Minister received the report in October and so far we have heard nothing.”

“It is time for the uncertainty to end and for Kevin Rudd to recognise that Australians don’t want our uranium being supplied to nuclear weapons states where it can displace uranium that will then be available for use in nuclear weapons.”

Senator Ludlam this year introduced a bill to repeal the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act which prevents the setting up of a nuclear dump in the Northern Territory and will travel to Alice Springs next week to hear evidence to a committee inquiry on the bill.

“Radioactive waste is dangerous to human health and the environment and its mismanagement can have lasting consequences. It’s important that nuclear waste at home is dealt with appropriately, with community interest and scientific evidence at the forefront of any decision making.”

The bill is currently before the Senate’s Environment Committee and will bring greater transparency and community inclusiveness to the management of nuclear waste.

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