May 24, 2006

Transcript of Doorstop, Kim Beazley – Nuclear Power

Partial Transcript of Doorstop, Parliament House, Canberra



24 May 2006

Subject: Nuclear Power

BEAZLEY: I want to be absolutely categorical here. There’ll be no nuclear power under a Beazley Labor Government. No nuclear power for Australia under a Beazley Labor Government. The economics of this do not stack up. They certainly don’t stack up without the application of things like carbons emissions taxes to alternative methods of power generation.

The economics don’t stack up. The Government is not able, at the moment, to find a location for disposal of low level waste. How would they find one for disposal of high level waste?

And I’m also worried about national security implications. Nations tend to regard those developing nuclear power for the purposes of power generation as retaining options for weaponising it, and that would be a very bad signal to send to this region.

So, nuclear power does not stack up. It does not stack up economically. It does not stack up strategically and it does not stack up environmentally, in the sense of being able to deal with waste disposal issues.

Now, John Howard, on one of his visits to Australia, needs to rule out and give certainty to people in communities who are potentially affected by his proposal to place several nuclear power reactors around the country. For the people of Wollongong, for Port Stephens, people in Port Phillip, probably also the people around Sydney Harbour, John Howard now needs to rule out, when he next visits Australia, those locations as potential areas of sites for nuclear power stations. He needs to restore certainty to the folk in those areas who will now be concerned.

So, when he makes his announcements, he needs to be clear-cut exactly where it is that he intends to put the reactors, and exactly were it is that he intends to dispose of the high level waste.

We, on our part in the Labor Party, are clear-cut on this: elect a Labor Government – there will be no nuclear power generation in this country.

JOURNALIST: Is the Caucus view on that unanimous?

BEAZLEY: Absolutely. Nuclear power generation, as far as we are concerned, is absolutely off the table.