Nats push to lift nuclear ban, senator happy to see plant in regions

Nats push to lift nuclear ban, senator happy to see plant in regional Queensland

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LIFT THE BAN: Senator Matt Canavan said he a nuclear power plant in a region like Gladstone coupld support thousands of jobs. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

LIFT THE BAN: Senator Matt Canavan said he a nuclear power plant in a region like Gladstone coupld support thousands of jobs. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

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The Nationals will attempt to lift Australia's ban on nuclear power, with a senior senator stating he'd be happy to see a nuclear power station in regional Queensland.

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THE Nationals will attempt to lift Australia's ban on nuclear power, with a senior senator stating he'd be happy to see a nuclear power station in regional Queensland.

The Nationals senators will try to remove the prohibition with an amendment to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act, which is due to be debated as the government seeks to overhaul the regulations.

Queensland senator Matt Canavan said despite being a devisie issue, it was time to put the nuclear power option on the table.

"There will always be people against a proposal like this, but I do think there will be places that would support it," Senator Canavan said.

"Myself and [Nationals] Member for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd, we're happy to have one in our backyard.

"Gladstone, I think, would support a nuclear power station with open arms, because they want to keep their manufacturing jobs, their aluminium smelter, their refinery. There's thousands of jobs there."

NT Nationals senator Sam McMahon said should the proposal be successful, it would not guarantee a nuclear power station would be built anywhere.

"This just paves the way for that to be considered and then go through all the processes of regulation," Senator McMahon said.

Senator McMahon said if the nation was serious about getting to net-zero emissions, nuclear power was one of the "easiest way to do that without damaging our way of life".

Senator Canavan was asked if lifting the prohibition on nuclear power would be an olive branch to get the party to support a 2050 net-zero target.

"I don't support a net-zero emissions target because it won't change the environment and it will send thousands of Australian jobs to other countries," Senator Canavan said.

The proposal appears unlikely to be supported by the Liberal Party.

"I don't think we'll have the support of the parliament, but as parliamentarians, we have tried to push this agenda forward so that we can have a sensible and mature discussion about our future energy options," Senator Canavan said.

"Right now we have a blanket ban on nuclear power, so it doesn't even get to blocks. Let's at least put it at the start of the race and see how it goes."

Senator McMahon indicated the push to lift the ban on nuclear power was the policy of the Nationals senate team, rather than the party's position.

The story Nats push to lift nuclear ban, senator happy to see plant in regions first appeared on Farm Online.

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