Legislation to outlaw the construction or operation of a nuclear power plant in Western Australia has been passed by the Legislative Assembly today.
Energy Minister Francis Logan said the legislation, which would now be considered by the Legislative Council, was necessary to ensure that WA remained forever free of nuclear power.
“The Carpenter Government believes in a WA without nuclear power,” Mr Logan said.
“State Parliament has already passed legislation to ban the storage and transport of nuclear waste. We have also repeatedly said that we will not allow mining of uranium.
“To date it has not been necessary to ban nuclear power. With the State having abundant resources of low-cost coal and gas, the view was that nuclear energy, with its high costs, was unlikely ever to be seen as economically viable.
“But a new threat has emerged. The Howard Government ,in its attempt to play catch up in the climate change debate, is using nuclear power as its solution to global warming. This could mean action by the Commonwealth Government to impose nuclear power in WA.”
The Minister said Prime Minister Howard should reveal his secret nuclear energy plans for WA before the Federal election.
He said Mr Howard and WA MPs Barry Haase and Dennis Jensen were actively promoting a nuclear power station for WA.
“Western Australians deserve to know where this nuclear facility will be built,” Mr Logan said.
“Will it be on Commonwealth land around Perth Airport? Or Garden Island?”
The new legislation will prohibit the construction or operation of a nuclear facility in WA, prohibit the transportation of certain material to a nuclear facility site, and prohibit connecting nuclear generation works to an electricity transmission or distribution system.
Companies or individuals who attempt to build or operate a nuclear power plant will face fines of $500,000.
Mr Logan said the legislation also includes a referendum trigger if the Commonwealth Government ever tried to override the new State laws.
Minister's office: 9222 8950