Stand up for a Nuclear Free Australia – November 14

Protest John Howard’s Trojan Horse Nuclear Inquiry.

On June 6 John Howard appointed a task force to review uranium mining, processing and nuclear energy in Australia headed by ex Telstra CEO Ziggy Switkowski. The inquiry would seem to be little more than a Trojan horse for the Government and Industry.

The Howard Government is raising the sceptre of nuclear power plants and generating fear in the community. This is simply political game playing. Ian Lowe, emeritus professor of science at Griffith University and president of the Australian Conservation Foundation stated in a recent interview that he suspects that "when the inquiry concludes that Nuclear power plants will only happen if there were massive government subsidies, people will be so relieved that we aren’t having nuclear power stations that they will be more accepting of an expansion of uranium exports, and possibly more accepting of the argument that we should put public money into enriching uranium on the grounds that this produces a value-added product. Then, of course, the government will run the argument, as they have sotto voce for a few years, that as a massive uranium exporter we have a moral responsibility to accept the waste back".

The inquiry’s terms of reference themselves have been criticised as being slanted towards the Nuclear Industry. The export potential of Australian uranium is highlighted, and references include examination of the future viability of nuclear power in this country, and the establishment of uranium enrichment. The make up of the board is heavily stacked towards pro-nuclear members and has been described by Ian Lowe, as being as “about as independent as an Alabama sheriff”. John Howard himself pre-empted the Inquiry by saying that he believes Australia will eventually have nuclear power. It is planned that a draft report is released for public consultation by November and the final report due by the end of the year. To add to concern that Government is not seeking a balanced view on the future of Nuclear power in Australia, the peer review set up by John Howard to test the voracity of the Switkowski inquiry's findings is headed by the Government's own chief scientist Jim Peacock, who also known to support nuclear energy .

Why protest?

The nuclear energy cycle is far from being safe or greenhouse gas emission-free. Even if it were, nuclear power addresses the source of only around 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions – electricity production. The problems of Nuclear Power have not been solved. Nuclear Power is still hugely expensive, dangerous, environmentally costly and produces waste that persists for millions of years. Nuclear power is not the new solution to global warming. A recent Newspoll of 1200 Australians in May 2006 found that a majority of those surveyed opposed uranium mining or wanted no new mines opened, uranium being enriched for export, and nuclear power stations being built in Australia The Nuclear Industry is still dangerous and dirty at every stage despite the government trying to convince the Australian people otherwise.

What you can do.

Australians are already sending the Howard Government a strong message that they are not fooled by the Government and Industries misleading campaign that Nuclear is the answer and that they will not allow the Government to extend the nuclear industry in Australia by using this Trojan horse Inquiry. Australian Conservation Foundation Supporters sent PM's Nuclear Taskforce a strong message with 2,800 ACF member submissions delivered to PM's Nuclear Taskforce.

Contact Nuclear Free Australia for more information: Ph. 0417 506 150 about
anti nuclear groups in your state and help organise an action in your town or city on Tuesday November 14th. In Canberra members of Canberra Region anti-nuclear campaign have already protested outside the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet with banners and flags. Join others in insisting that the Howard Government acknowledge that Nuclear Power is neither clean nor Green and future Australian generations do not deserve to be bequeathed a dirty legacy for short term gain. PEOPLE MATTER BEFORE PROFITS.

‘If Nuclear Power is the answer, it must have been a pretty stupid question.
Professor Ian Lowe, President of the Australian Conservation.