Brisbane hosts public hearings on nuclear energy


Debate is raging once again over whether Australia should adopt nuclear power. The national public hearings into the controversial energy source, came to Brisbane today.

Lawrence Jeffcoat reports.

TRANSCRIPT

Nuclear energy has been a talking point on both sides of politics for decades.

Today it was Brisbane’s turn to weigh in at a public hearing into feasibility.

The Queensland Resources Council says nuclear energy is an opportunity.

Ian Macfarlane, Queensland Resources Council: “Nuclear with its ability to produce 24/7 electricity that is day in, day out, week in, week out, offers Australia an opportunity to lower its emissions further.”

And hopefully boost jobs.

Ian Macfarlane, Queensland Resources Council: “Well for Queenslanders firstly the opportunity is from the mining of uranium and Queensland has uranium deposits billions of dollars worth of uranium is lying in the ground.”

Some high profile committee members are also open to the idea.

Zali Steggall, Independent MP: “I think it’s really important we look at the economic and scientific case but another element of course is public acceptance.”

The government has floated the idea of nuclear energy to reduce carbon emissions but those opposed say there are far better alternatives to combat climate change.

Josh Wilson, Labor MP: “We neeed to deal with climate change, we need to move to a lower climate emission setting, the evidence is the cheapest way of doing that is through renewable power.”

Nuclear power generation is outlawed in Australia by environmental laws, that’s despite being one of the world’s biggest producers of the uranium.

There will be more hearings in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth later this week.

Lawrence Jeffcoat, QUTNews.