The Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips MP, will today attend the public hearing for the Standing Committee on Energy and the Environment’s nuclear energy inquiry in Sydney.
The inquiry is considering the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia; however the Gilmore MP says Scott Morrison should repudiate the growing push from his unruly backbench for the use of nuclear energy.
“Mr Morrison needs to end the uncertainty for communities on the South Coast that have been identified as possible locations for nuclear reactors and nuclear dumps,” Mrs Phillips said.
Over the past 50 years, there have been at least 95 proposals for nuclear power stations in Australia and 42 different locations identified as possible locations of nuclear waste dumps.
These include proposals on the South Coast, including Jervis Bay and Sussex Inlet.
All of the proposed nuclear reactor sites are near residential communities.
Even the head of John Howard’s previous inquiry into nuclear energy, Ziggy Switkowski, has conceded that “the possibility of catastrophic failure within the nuclear system is non-negligible.”
But at least a dozen Coalition MPs are continuing to push for the technology – even though power from a nuclear power station would be around three times as expensive compared to renewable energy.
Instead of indulging the policy fantasies of his restive backbench, Mr Morrison should reject the nuclear option or be upfront with the South Coast community about exactly where he wants to build nuclear reactors.
“As a member of the committee, I will be using this opportunity today to ask questions of the government about what their plans for our region are,” Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips said.
“I will be making it clear – I will not accept a nuclear reactor on the South Coast,” she said.
The Coalition’s flirtation with nuclear energy underscores its failure to agree on a coherent energy policy despite having been in office for six years.
Mr Morrison should forget nuclear energy and focus instead on practical ways of dealing with his government’s energy crisis.
An energy crisis that has seen wholesale power prices rise by 158 percent, increased reliability risks, growing emissions, a gas price and supply crisis, and a chorus of business leaders and experts lament the state of Australia’s energy system.
The people of the South Coast have been clear - we don’t want nuclear reactors in our communities.
The public hearing will be held at the Portside Conference Centre, 207 Kent Street Sydney from 9am.