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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Macfarlane continues push for nuclear power plant plan reincarnation

Media release
19 August 2008

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Shadow Trade Minister Ian MacFarlane is the latest Liberal frontbencher to defy his leader and call for the reincarnation of the Liberal Party’s plan to build nuclear power plants across Australia.

Mr MacFarlane is reported today saying Australia “must get real” on nuclear:

“it’s a black and white answer. Or Should I say black and yellow answer. Clean coal and yellowcake – we must include nuclear in our future base-load clean-energy mix.”

It’s time the Liberal Party “got real” and answers the same three questions we put last month:

  1. What process they would use to select sites for the construction of nuclear power plants.
  2. Where will they dump the waste these nuclear power plants produce.
  3. Do they still endorse the previous Liberal Governments plan to build 25 nuclear power plants around Australia.

In February Brendan Nelson told the Australian people that Liberal Party policy to build 25 nuclear power plants was dead by assuring Australians that:

“we certainly have no plans for, nor do we envisage, Australia having a nuclear power industry at any time in the future."

Deputy Leader Julie Bishop broke ranks late last month when she said:

“The issue of nuclear power has to be debated rationally if Australia is serious about making deep cuts to its greenhouse gas emissions."

And of course Foreign Affairs spokesman Andrew Robb said:

"We've always thought it should at least be on the table for discussion.“

There is now no doubt that the Howard Plan for 25 nuclear reactors around the country is back and Liberal Party members must now explain to their individual communities and the Australian community as a whole if they will accept a nuclear power plant in their electorate.

Commonwealth of Australia