Oct 16, 2006

Australia’s Future – Renewables, Not Reactors

Australia’s Future – Renewables, Not Reactors


Leader of the Opposition, The Hon. Kim Beazley MP

16 October 2006

Australia’s energy future is in renewables, not reactors and John Howard must abandon his push to build nuclear reactors in Australia’s major cities.

Today, with my Environment Shadow Minister Anthony Albanese, I am visiting Amaroo School, which utilises solar power.

Renewable energy is Australia’s future, not John Howard’s backward looking nuclear dream.

As I announced in my Climate Change Blueprint, a nation-building Beazley Labor Government will make 10,000 schools across Australia solar schools.

On present construction trends, Australia has the potential to have 1.5 million solar powered homes by 2015 and 2.25 million by 2020. If our houses can be solar powered, why not our schools?

I will work with the public and private school systems to earmark some federal school capital works funding for the installation of solar technology and to improving energy efficiency across the board.

Middle Australia now has a clear choice on Australia’s energy future. There will be no nuclear power in Australia under a Beazley Labor Government. There will be under John Howard.

Now that he has declared he wants a nuclear power industry, John Howard must declare where he will build the reactors.

The Government’s own Nuclear Technology Organisation (ANSTO) says to make nuclear power viable, there would have to be 4 or 5 nuclear power stations sited along the east coast of Australia.

The economics don’t stack up; we have abundant sources of alternative energy; waste disposal issues are unresolved; and there are important national security issues to be considered.

For these reasons Labor does not support nuclear power in Australia.

Australia needs real solutions to climate change, not an out of touch Prime Minister looking backwards to old Liberal Party obsessions like nuclear power. Australia is in the grip of a devastating drought and we cannot solve our water crisis without tackling climate change.

Australia desperately needs a Beazley Labor Government, which will be serious about addressing dangerous climate change. For our future’s sake we can no longer afford John Howard’s nuclear ambition – it does not stack up and it will not address Australia’s climate change and drought crisis.