NSW Deputy Premier and Nationals Leader John Barilaro has been delivered a stunning rebuke by his Liberal Government colleagues with the Government ruling out his push for nuclear power in NSW.
In response to a Greens Notice of Motion in the Legislative Council on Tuesday, NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin said there were “no proposals before the State or Federal governments for the construction of nuclear reactor at Jervis Bay or in the city of Shoalhaven”.
Today the Government has further clarified its position, acknowledging it has committed to maintaining its current position of opposition to nuclear energy for NSW.
Greens MLC Justin Field said the position of the Government is a massive rebuke to the Nationals Leader and Deputy Premier who has been calling for a debate on nuclear energy and has said publicly we could have a nuclear industry within 10 years in NSW.
“The Nationals leader has become the Tony Abbott of NSW state politics by spruiking reckless energy policies and being unwilling to heed the science on the environmental costs and risks,” Mr Field said today.
“NSW energy policy is stuck in the dark ages. It’s outrageous that in 2017 it has taken the Liberal/Nationals two days to settle their internal differences and clearly rule out risky, toxic nuclear power stations in this states.
“The Liberal/Nationals would have better spent this time working out how they will end the state’s reliance on fossil fuels and make an urgent transition to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.
“Climate change should be the most urgent and important driver of energy policy in this state. We are seeing the impacts of climate change now, including rising temperatures and more frequent extreme weather, and our best solution is phasing out coal for renewable energy.
“NSW has an abundance of solar and wind resources, and it’s clear our future economy will be powered by renewables.
“We can start making the transition now, with all the jobs and business opportunities for regional communities that this can bring. Or the NSW Liberal/National Government can join its Federal colleagues in playing politics with energy, holding back our economy and increasing global warming,” he said.