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Greens Call for Ban on Uranium Mining

Greens MLA Adele Carles has given notice in Parliament that she will be introducing a bill to ban uranium mining when parliament resumes early next year.

The Fremantle MP plans to introduce a Bill,  The Uranium Mining Prohibition (Keeping WA Free from the Nuclear Fuel Chain) Bill 2009, which will prohibit the mining of uranium and set a maximum penalty of up to $5 million for offences.

Ms Carles said the state government’s decision to give the green light to uranium mining is both dangerous and undemocratic.

“Now is the time for a full public debate on uranium mining in this State.  We want this debate to happen before uranium mining begins.  We need the debate before contracts are signed, so that this important issue doesn’t become overwhelmed by the question of how much compensation taxpayers would be liable for to break uranium contracts.  We are currently seeing the Government introducing legislation to fast track the approvals process so that these mines can begin soon with very little public input.”

Ms Carles fears that our WA uranium may end up supporting China’s nuclear weapons program.  “China is not subject to International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards that aim to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.  Our Australian uranium is likely to be used in plutonium reprocessing plants that support China’s nuclear weapons program.”   

“This Bill reflects the massive community pressure for WA to stay out of the unsafe practices and outmoded thinking that define the nuclear industry.”

“Western Australians are demanding clean, long-term renewable energy alternatives to tackle the uncertain future that climate change is bringing us,” she said.

The Greens MP said uranium mining is a political, social, environmental and financial black hole.

“Mining companies are the ones who will reap economic benefits for a decade or so but Western Australians will bear the brunt of this toxic legacy indefinitely,” Ms Carles said.

The Bill is set to be introduced into parliament when it first sits next February.

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