Judy Edwards

Judy Edwards

Former Minister for the Environment; Science

    Barnett, Birney again at odds on the U-word

    24/08/2005 12:00 AM

    Opposition leader Matt Birney is stifling Parliamentary debate on uranium mining, even though members of his own party have placed it squarely on the Parliamentary notice paper.

    Environment Minister Judy Edwards today said the Western Australian Liberal Party had again shown it was wracked with division between Mr Birney and members pushing the pro-uranium mining line.

    “The Opposition leader clearly has had the rug pulled from under him by former leader Colin Barnett, who yesterday gave notice of motion that he would move in Parliament today calling on the Gallop Government to remove its ban on uranium mining in WA,” Dr Edwards said.

    “However, when the Opposition informed the Government last night of issues it would raise during Private Members Business this afternoon, the ‘U word’ was not even on the agenda.

    “It raises the question of who really controls the Parliamentary Liberal Party.

    “Either Mr Birney is using uranium mining to shore up his position within the party or the former leader is using it in an attempt to undermine his leader’s authority.

    “This is the second time in as many weeks Mr Barnett has gone public and demonstrated his strong support for uranium mining, contrary to his leader’s position that ‘he is uncomfortable with the idea of uranium mining and the public was against it’.

    “Mr Barnett’s motion is on the notice paper. Either Mr Birney brings on the debate in Parliament or he asserts his authority and orders Mr Barnett to withdraw it.”

    Dr Edwards said the Gallop Government’s position on uranium mining in WA was clear.

    “We oppose uranium mining in this State but, unlike the leader of the Opposition who does not know where he stands on this issue, we are happy to debate it,” she said.

    Minister's office: 9220 5050