Federal uranium group fails to address the real issues

March 16, 2006

The Environment Centre of the NT (ECNT), the Australian Conservation Foundation and Friends of the Earth have criticized  the Federal government’s recently created Uranium Industry Framework steering committee, meeting in Darwin today, for avoiding a range of important issues relating to the nuclear industry.

The Federal government has established the Uranium Industry Framework steering group to discuss how to promote and expand the uranium mining industry.

ECNT uranium campaigner Emma King said, “This group of government and industry representatives is tasked with facilitating increased exploration, mining and export of Australia’s uranium resources, streamlining the uranium mining regulatory regime and promoting uranium as ‘safe, secure and efficient’.

“The statement by steering group chair John White that this group will not address the issues of proposed export of uranium to India and China raises questions about what other issues the group will steer clear of.

“Will they look at:

  • the massive and growing unsolved worldwide problem of high level radioactive waste containment/disposal
  • nuclear weapons proliferation around the world, based on enriched uranium
  • proposals from industry and governments that Australia becomes the destination for high level radioactive waste from overseas
  • cleaning up old uranium mines operated by the Commonwealth that are still polluting the NT environment (e.g. Rum Jungle)
  • any other inconvenient matters that stand in the way of irresponsible approval for more uranium mines?

“Claims by Mr White that the steering group has consulted with the community are a surprise to us. As far as we are aware, there has been no consultation about the group’s terms of reference, let alone about the role and existence of this body,” said Leanne Minshull, Nuclear free campaigner for ACF.

 “This Federal government 'taskforce' is nothing more than a pro-nuke lobby group with nothing new or useful to say about proven perils and pitfalls of the whole nuclear experiment."

Contact:

Emma King
Uranium Campaigner ECNT
8981 1984

Leanne Minshull
Nuclear Free Campaigner ACF
0419373002

Jim Green
National Nuclear Campaigner Friends of the Earth
0417 318368