Wednesday, 18 March 2015
That the Senate—
(a) welcomes the South Australian Government's Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle;
(b) notes That the Prime Minister (Mr Abbott) said recently 'it's important to see how South Australia can benefit from greater participation in the nuclear cycle'; and
(c) informs the South Australian Royal Commission of this resolution.
Labor believes that nothing is to be gained by politicising the royal commission. The royal commission is a matter for South Australia. It will gather the latest expert advice on complex public policy matters. Federal Labor has a longstanding opposition to nuclear power based on the best available expert advice. South Australia's inquiry will consider a range of critical economic, social, legal and environmental issues. Labor welcomes the commitment of the Commonwealth government to ensure their agencies cooperate fully with the royal commission in areas such as radiation protection, nuclear security policy and international nuclear law.
Before we commit this to a vote, with greatest respect to Senator Day, it is presently illegal to build nuclear power stations in Australia, and it is presently illegal to import high-level radioactive waste, or spent fuel, or reprocessing wastes from overseas. I respectfully suggest that Senator Moore might like to have a quiet word with some of her South Australian colleagues, who appear to have wandered off the reservation. The Greens will be opposing this motion for the very fact that the nuclear industry is basically a dead industry walking. Wherever you look in the world, the industry is going out the back door fast. I do not see why we would tie the South Australian economy, or any other part of the Australian economy, to the most expensive, risky, time-consuming, polluting, downright dodgy, electricity generation method. The most insane way of boiling water that has ever been devised—
Senator McKenzie interjecting—
Senator McKenzie, that would be misleading the Senate. It is very important, and I agree with Senator Moore— (Time expired)