MEDIA RELEASE: Friday 13 December, 2019
Australian electrical workers, plumbers and communication workers will launch a targeted marginal seats campaign if the Coalition government relaxes Australia’s moratorium on nuclear power, as foreshadowed by a federal government report released today.
The Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union National Secretary Allen Hicks said the Union is ready to launch a member-driven anti-nuclear campaign should the Coalition opt to support nuclear, as recommended in the findings of a Liberal-dominated House Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy.
"The Union is firmly opposed to all stages nuclear power in Australia. This includes exploration, mining, use, export or import of uranium or its by-products except where it is strictly used for medical purposes," said Mr Hicks.
"Energy Minister Angus Taylor and his mates in the National Party must immediately tell us what community they've got earmarked for exposure to the risks of nuclear.
"We are opposed to nuclear because it is an expensive, time-consuming, high-risk option where safer, renewable and cost-effective energy sources abound.
“When nuclear goes wrong it goes very wrong. Lives are lost, survivors are poisoned and the environment is devastated for future generations.
"Nuclear power and the storage of its waste pose serious risks. We can create as many safeguards as we want, but it will never be failsafe.
"The people who will be on the frontline, and most at risk of exposure, aren't those who are pushing for nuclear but the workers, our Union's members.
"Just like those whose lives were ruined by asbestos, nuclear in Australia would create a health timebomb, ruining the lives of families.
"It's also not a sensible investment. Even an in-depth study by CSIRO found nuclear is uneconomical unless massively subsidised by taxpayers.”
Earlier this week, the CEPU reaffirmed its long-standing opposition to nuclear power in Australia at its National Council meeting in Sydney. It also reaffirmed its push for legislation that ensures Australia's resources deliver maximum benefit to Australian people.
"Our natural wealth is currently exploited by foreign multinationals. Public money is spent on roads, railways, harbours, and land reclamation to support those who extract our natural resources, yet the wealth and profits go offshore.”
Media enquiries: ETU National Communications Coordinator – Zoe Power
0419 499 886, [email protected]