No back-flip as uranium mining ban overturned


The Queensland Government is adamant its decision to clear the way for a resumption of uranium mining is not a back flip.

But the Greens have attacked the move claiming Queensland voters did not give the government a mandate to do this.

Mikaela Aitken reports.

TRANSCRIPT

It’s been more than three decades since uranium’s been mined in Queensland, now the existing ban is being overturned.

That’s despite this letter from Premier Newman to the Australian Conservation Foundation which states his government has no plans to approve the development of uranium.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney maintains lifting the ban is in response to the Prime Minister’s support for uranium sales to India.

Jeff Seeney, Queensland Deputy Premier: “There has been no backflip, nothing but careful consideration of an issue which Julia Gillard made a priority for us.”

The Greens are against the sale of uranium to India because the country isn’t a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

Adam Stone, Greens Party: “There’s never any guarantees that once we sell Australian or Queensland uranium to another sovereign country there’s no guarantee it’s not going to end up in a weapons program.”

But the Deputy Premier argues uranium is a viable option to create further growth in the mining industry.

Jeff Seeney, Queensland Deputy Premier: “The LNP in opposition have had the same constant position for 12 years. We’ve always said uranium should be treated like any other resource.”

The uranium mining turnaround comes just before Queensland Premier Campbell Newman heads a trade mission to India in early December.

Analysts say Paladin Energy has emerged as the front runner to mine uranium but is unlikely to begin producing yellocake for a number of years.

Mikaela Aitken, QUT News.