House debates

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Constituency Statements

Gilmore Electorate: Nuclear Energy

4:18 pm

Photo of Fiona PhillipsFiona Phillips (Gilmore, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

It's sad indeed that I have to rise in this place once more to strongly and vehemently oppose nuclear energy in any form on the pristine and beautiful South Coast. It is simple: the Liberal-National governments, at both a federal and a state level in New South Wales, are obsessed with nuclear. They have been trying for years, decades even, to get this project off the ground. The New South Wales government, right now, is trying to overturn the ban on uranium mining in our beautiful state. The Deputy Premier himself is a long-term supporter of nuclear power. He has made that no secret. But according to news reports, his cabinet has put him in charge of researching the issue and reporting back. That's outrageous. What is there to report on? As far as I am concerned, that debate is settled.

But it isn't just the New South Wales government that is obsessed with nuclear. Those opposite have also been pursuing this for years. I sat on the inquiry into nuclear energy by the Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy. I listened to the evidence that was given and it was clear: there is no basis for nuclear power in Australia. All the evidence points to the same conclusion. So why do we keep going down this path? Why do Liberal and National governments continue to bring this up and push for it when it is nothing more than a distraction?

Jervis Bay has been floated for too long as a great destination for a nuclear power plant. I want to make it crystal clear to everyone here. Our community on the New South Wales South Coast will never accept nuclear energy at Jervis Bay or anywhere else on our coast. I will never accept nuclear energy at Jervis Bay or anywhere else. What we need is an actual plan for renewable energy—a plan for the jobs of the future, not a plan to put our community and our environment at risk for a technology we know there is no basis for. Our beautiful coastline and our health are too precious to risk on this thought bubble of the Liberals and Nationals.

This year we have been through enough. We've seen the power of nature. We have seen what happens when natural disasters strike. Just imagine if we also had a nuclear power plant to contend with. That risk is unacceptable to me and it should be unacceptable to every single member of this place. It should be unacceptable to the New South Wales government. The Morrison and Berejiklian governments need to rule this out immediately and stop talking about nuclear. We will never allow it to happen.