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Uranium to India: Leadership From Gillard

November 15, 2011

Its welcome news that the Federal cabinet will persuade the National ALP Conference in December to lift the policy ban on selling uranium to India. This is leadership from Prime Minister Gillard, leadership the party and the country is hungry for. The fact that it will show Labor at odds with the Green Party is a bonus. It reflects the policy work of Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson and firms up his image as one of the best policy minds in the government.

Cheer when you hear of new nuclear power plants in China or India. Both are set on massive expansion of coal-fired power stations. The new coal-fired power stations will probably be enough on their own to tip the world toward two degree warming. That takes care of the polar icecaps.

If you take global warming seriously, and in particular the danger of the world moving beyond 450 parts per million, then seeing China and India use more nuclear power is unequivocally good news.

Australia was not going to be able to build a fully fledged relationship with the world’s largest democracy while we held back this decision.

She might have prevaricated pleading the exigencies of a hung parliament, but instead the PM has stepped forward.

8 Comments
  1. Ron permalink
    November 15, 2011 10:45 am

    Have they signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty? How would this be viewed in Pakistan? Does the lack of leadership on same -sex marriage counteract the leadership on promoting nuclear energy?

  2. Les permalink
    November 15, 2011 10:59 am

    Wow, what a great idea! Selling uranium to a country that has a history of a LONG conflict with their (also nuke enabled) neighbour!

    While I do support Nuclear Energy as a solution to pollution (I refuse to call it global warming), we do need to be careful who we sell to. Selling it to countries that WILL turn it into bombs is risky behaviour!

    …and yes, I know there are controls in the contract but once it is no longer on Australian shores, how can we be sure what they do with it? Inspections you say? Hey, lets get the same inspectors that told the world about Iraq’s WMD…

    Leadership… you have got to be joking!

  3. Sam K permalink
    November 15, 2011 11:41 am

    I’m all for it – a near-sustainable energy solution that doesn’t hit the poorest of the poor by being unobtainable financially.

    Alsom the agency Les derides for Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction – the IAEA – never reported finding weapons in Iraq as they never were able to get there. That intelligence came from domestic sources in the USA.

  4. November 15, 2011 2:36 pm

    Yeah great at odd with the party that put the ALP in power!! Nice politics there Bob. Once aain the ALP sells out. Another blow to nuclear non proliferation and one step closer to Armageddon.

  5. Martin Spencer permalink
    November 15, 2011 2:40 pm

    Ron,

    You ask: “How would this be viewed in Pakistan?” My answer: Probably as an endorsement of multicultural democracy over theocratic tinged dictatorship.

    -Martin

  6. Boy on a bike permalink
    November 15, 2011 5:27 pm

    Agreed. Now if only we could build some nuclear plants in NSW as well and get off the idiotic solar and wind bandwagon.

  7. peter tuck permalink
    November 15, 2011 9:37 pm

    I know Australia can’t be expected to influence India’s decision not to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, but I am puzzled by why India wouldn’t sign – now that it has achieved it’s original aim of obtaining nuclear weapons – precisely the reason why the treaty was enacted? If PM Singh can give me a plausible reason for not signing rather than leaving it to GW Bush/Obama to promote the sale to PM Howard/Gillard, then maybe I’ll be swayed.

  8. James O'Neill permalink
    November 17, 2011 7:11 pm

    Bob, You are so desperate to find something positive to say about Gillard that you will overlook her manifest failures in and ignorance of, foreign policy and spin yet another capitulation to expediency as leadership! To borrow a phrase from Paul Keating, Gillard seems unable to grasp what tectonic plate she is standing on and confuses a manufactured rapport with arch war criminal Obama to the realities of Australia’s future.

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