Nuclear Power Not the Answer for Clean EnergyOpinion
Nuclear Power Inquiry is more time wasting by a government devoid of energy and climate policies
The Morrison Government’s plans to hold a parliamentary inquiry into nuclear energy in Australia is a high-risk distraction into an energy source that poses huge safety risks, promises more expensive electricity and, at best, is a long way from becoming a reality, when we need to act now.
It is well understood that Australia is especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Even if Australia meets the commitments of the Paris Agreement, a temperature rise of 1.5 – 2 degrees means our farmers will suffer through worsening drought and floods, coastal areas will be damaged by increasing erosion, and much of our beautiful bush and iconic native animals lost to extinction. There will be more and worsening heatwaves which affect the most vulnerable in our community. People die during heatwaves - in particular the health of older and younger Australians is at risk.
We know that a transition to clean energy sources is already underway and that further action to reduce emissions is critical. Labor took important policies to the 2019 federal election, including a plan to end national energy policy uncertainty and achieve fifty per cent renewable energy by 2030.
All Labor’s energy and climate change commitments were for action now and into the future. Under the leadership of Scott Morrison there is no action to sure up plans for energy or climate stability. Instead the Morrison Government is playing around with risky options that will have far reaching environmental impacts, will increase electricity prices, and will waste precious time that could be better used to act on climate change and provide infrastructure and job opportunities for local communities.
I understand that many people in Corangamite want to see a shift away from fossil fuels in Australia; however we have to plan a fair and equitable evolution to renewables and the technologies that make them completely reliable.
Renewables in Victoria and across Australia are growing not because of any Liberal policy but mainly due to previous Labor Government policies. The Victorian Government’s commitments include the long-term target of net zero emissions by 2050, the delivery of solar on 770,000 homes, installation of up to 2.8 gigawatts of renewable capacity, and the reduction of carbon emissions by almost four million tonnes.
Victoria is acting and so should the Morrison Government. Australia already has an abundance of safe, reliable sources of renewable energy production. Additionally, it is clear that new build coal and nuclear are 1.5 to 3 times more expensive that renewables.
Nuclear energy is dangerous, expensive and threatens the communities in which it is placed. It requires huge amounts of water for cooling – a resource that is already under pressure in our region.
I will stand against nuclear power in our region and agree with Opposition energy spokesman Mark Butler’s concerns that the inquiry is a sign the "extreme right" of the Liberal Party is continuing to dictate the Government's energy policy.
The federal government should focus on effective action on climate change, more investment in renewable energy and programs to protect our beautiful environment to help us build a safe and prosperous future for our kids.Share Tweet