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Labor needs to pull in stubborn states on uranium.



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Fri, 11th July 2008 LABOR NEEDS TO PULL IN STUBBORN STATES ON URANIUM

Senator the Hon David Johnston Shadow Minister for Resources and Energy, Tourism

Labor's convoluted uranium policy doesn't make much sense and it shows a lack of maturity from a Government trying to be something to everyone.

Shadow Resources and Energy Minister David Johnston said it stated that on one hand that Labor generally accepts that uranium can be mined in Australia, however, on the other hand it says that it can't be mined in the uranium rich States of Queensland or Western Australia.

''The world demand for uranium is enormous as counties climb over each other in their quest to cut greenhouse gas emissions,'' Senator Johnston said.

''The rhetoric from the Rudd Government on the cutting of greenhouse gas emissions has been strong, however, when it comes to providing a viable and practical solution to assist other counties in cutting their emissions through nuclear energy they are quite content to sit on the hose and restrict uranium exports from Australia,'' he said.

''The Queensland and Western Australia Premiers need to be brought to the table by the Prime Minister and told that that their ideological opposition to uranium mining is not in the national interest. These two states between them hold the key to world's largest reserves of uranium and it is unbelievable that in today's day and age that the ideology of two recalcitrant state Premiers can hold sway over the national interest.''

Senator Johnston made his comments after news today that one of the largest deposits of uranium in the world, located in Western Australia, had been sold to a major uranium producer. The Kintyre deposit cannot be mined because of the Carpenter Government's stubborn refusal to allow uranium mining in the state.

All of the uranium produced in Australia is sold strictly for peaceful purposes, almost exclusively for electricity generation, and it has in place the most stringent safeguards to ensure that this happens.

Senator Johnston said in 2006 the Howard government showed sensible direction and leadership by signing a bilateral agreement with China to allow the exporting of uranium to fuel their nuclear power plants.