Feds are hypocritical and negligent on uranium, say Greens

23rd July 2009 - The Rudd Government’s endorsement of another uranium mining project in Western Australia shows that it is willing to endanger WA workers and communities in its bid to flog uranium to overseas buyers, Greens MLC for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple said today.

“Once again the Federal Government has demonstrated that it is prepared to put mine workers’ lives on the line by kowtowing to the uranium mining industry,” Mr. Chapple said.

“The potential long-term health risks from high levels of radioactivity that uranium workers are exposed to, would be unacceptable for any responsible industry.”

“Unfortunately we are not dealing with a responsible industry. With uranium mining and export we are confronting another Wittenoom in terms of long-term health effects for Western Australian workers.”

“We are also deeply concerned about the risks posed to the community at large by the transport of uranium ore through regional centres such as Kalgoorlie and its export via our port towns.”

“The freight train derailment in Fremantle earlier this week shows that our transport infrastructure is not accident-proof. It would be criminal to risk radioactive contamination of suburbs or port facilities because of an unwanted and unnecessary export industry.”

Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson has endorsed Mega Uranium’s proposed joint venture uranium mine at Lake Maitland, 100km south-east of Wiluna in Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields.

“Mr. Ferguson said today that his government remains opposed to nuclear power in Australia.” Mr. Chapple said. “We welcome this stance but Mr. Ferguson needs to explain why he thinks it is acceptable to endanger workers in his quest to flog nuclear fuel to other countries.”

  • For more information please contact Robin Chapple MLC on 0409 379 263
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