ALP Government must be consistent on nuclear energy

Jun 20, 2024
Australia-Energy concept. Image: iStock / XtockImages

Grassroots anti-AUKUS campaign, Labor Against War, joins with the ALP Government in condemning Liberal leader Peter Dutton’s desperate attempt to reignite the climate wars by announcing plans for seven nuclear reactors on land sites in Australia.

Nuclear energy should play no part in Australia’s energy mix. Dutton’s distraction is about extending Australia’s reliance on, and production of, fossil fuels and delaying the urgently needed transition to renewals. It is not a serious attempt to reduce carbon emissions.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has said the policy is a “nuclear fantasy”. We agree.

Energy Minister Chris Bowen has said the plans are “too slow, too expensive and too risky for Australia. It’s not a plan, it’s a scam.”

LAW National Convenor Marcus Strom said: “Chris Bowen is spot on, but this assessment equally applies to AUKUS: a dangerous and expensive scam introduced by Scott Morrison.

“By continuing with the Morrison nuclear submarine plan, the Albanese Government has unfortunately opened the door to Dutton’s nuclear energy fantasy.

“If nuclear energy is too risky on terra firma, it can’t be safe for our oceans. And AUKUS brings with it the added risk of weapons-grade nuclear waste, nuclear proliferation and a US war with China that is against the interests of the Australian people.

“The Government must be consistent: we need to reject nuclear energy on land and at sea.”

Dutton’s reactors will produce nuclear waste for which there is no safe plan for storage. This is the same for the weapons-grade waste that the AUKUS submarines will produce.

“And like Dutton’s reactor fantasy, it is still very much up in the air if the AUKUS nuclear submarines will ever arrive,” Mr Strom said.

“The US is way behind its own nuclear submarine manufacturing timetable and by January Donald Trump, a convicted felon, could be back in the White House calling the shots.

“In criticising Dutton’s fantasy, the Prime Minister needs to cast out the nuclear beam in his own eye.”

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