Returning the ban on uranium mining in Queensland is a welcome move by the Palaszczuk Government as is the departure of Areva who wanted to mine in Kakadu.
The Palaszczuk government was elected on a clear and consistent platform to ban uranium mining. Any blame for uncertainty in the sector lays squarely at Campbell Newman’s feet who dumped the ban, back-flipping on a written promise without evidence or consultation.
The new government should reinstate the ban within the first 100 days of government and legislate to prohibit the export of uranium ore through Queensland ports. Further, the ban on nuclear power and nuclear waste dumping in Queensland should be maintained.
The jobs and economic argument has little merit as there are virtually none in the short term and very few jobs associated with a mine when in operation. The economic return to Queensland is negligible.
The fact that Areva have pulled up stumps in Queensland’s Cape region and Gulf country only illustrates the market’s global contraction and the push by the Queensland Resources Council is ill-informed and ideologically driven. It is economically negligent to pin a region’s hopes to an industry in decline, unlikely to ever eventuate.
Australia’s uranium production was at its lowest in 16 years in 2014.
Regions like the Gulf need realistic economic opportunities, not the radioactive fantasies of uranium industry apologists.
In the wake of the Fukushima anniversary, this is no time to give a green light to yellowcake but rather to start getting serious about other energy resources, such as solar and wind, to catch up with the community and the rest of the world.