Independent MLC and South Coast resident Justin Field has called on the NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, to rule out supporting a One Nation Bill that would lift the current NSW prohibition on uranium mining and the development of a nuclear industry in the state.
The calls follows a fracturing of the Coalition on the issue with Nationals Leader John Barilaro suggesting publicly that he would support the legislation and the release today of the report of an Upper House inquiry, Chaired by Liberal Party MLC, Taylor Martin, that recommended removing the state’s long-standing legislative ban on uranium mining and nuclear power and recommended supporting the One Nation Bill. Three Liberal Party MLCs and one National Party MLC supported the report’s recommendations.
At the same time, in a budget estimates inquiry under questioning by Mr Field, local Member for the South Coast and Liberal Minister, Shelley Hancock, confirmed her opposition to nuclear development on the South Coast by stating:
“There will never be any uranium mines on the South Coast...and I oppose any facilities on the South Coast”.
Mr Field said, “The Premier needs to clear things up. Clearly there are divisions within the Coalition, within the Liberal Party and I assume within the National Party over the future of nuclear in NSW and over whether or not to support the One Nation Bill. I back the position of the Member for the South Coast and oppose a nuclear industry not just on the South Coast but across NSW and Australia.
“This is an expensive distraction from the urgent need to repower the NSW and Australian economy with renewable energy that we know is cheaper and quicker to deliver without the risks of uranium mining and nuclear power.
“The risks from nuclear power are well understood and Australia took action to protect communities through legislation years ago, but now it seems like the Coalition is taking its lead from the right-wing commentariat and leaving communities like the South Coast, who fought against a nuclear reactor at Jervis Bay, to wonder what the energy future holds under the Coalition.