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Comments on the Coalition’s Nuclear Proposal

Leigh Shears, Hunter Workers Secretary

20 June 2024


Peter Dutton failed to outline a clear plan for his nuclear future vision because he knows it is pure fantasy intended to win him cheap political points and derail renewable energy.

Plainly, his proposal is based on misinformation, fallacy, omission, wishful thinking, and a whole lot of “maybes”, all the while the facts, evidence, and expert consensus stack up against him.

The CSIRO has already proven that nuclear is the most expensive form of electricity for Australia. After two decades of climate change denial, the Coalition continues to blithely ignore science.

If this proposal was actually financially viable, nuclear would attract energy industry investment; instead, Dutton’s plan relies on taxpayers coughing up billions of dollars to fund the fanciful roll out of technologies that don’t yet exist.

These nuclear plants would produce electricity 50% more expensive than renewables, while endangering workers, consuming billions of litres from our precious water supply, and producing toxic nuclear waste with no viable plan for storage.

The Opposition Leader’s statements and approach are frighteningly reminiscent of Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull’s failed delivery of the National Broadband Network that scrapped critical nation-building infrastructure, leaving regional communities still trying to log on.

Planning our future power generation is a vast and important task for Australia, impacting workers, communities, the economy, and the environment, and should be taken seriously. Genuine, productive debate should be welcomed, and misleading, unsubstantiated claims propping up this proposal should be called out and condemned.

Hunter Workers went to the last election with a definitive message for the end of the climate wars and for Government to get on with the business of addressing climate change; to invest and capitalise on the development of renewable energy industry for secure, well paid Union jobs of the future. Our region will not be held hostage to the political opportunism of the Conservatives again. Dutton and Co need hang their heads in shame.

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