Greens party says no to uranium export to India

Greens nuclear spokesman Scott Ludlam said the minor party wanted to curb uranium mining near Kakadu National Park and could not "contemplate" exports to Russia or India.

"That would have global repercussions. India has never signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty," he said.Ludlam said he wanted to explain the Greens' stance to Energy and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson as the issue sparks environmental and social concerns.

"We are not opposing it through some sort of ideological bent," he said.
"There are some really serious economic, social, environmental and Aboriginal issues at stake here if we just allow this industry to plough ahead," he was quoted as saying by 'The Daily Telegraph'.

Ludlam said uranium mining was a difficult, volatile industry to make money from, and warned investors to be careful.However, Ferguson reacted to the statement and said Ludlam's comments were hampering the sector.

"Clearly (the Greens) are trying to create an air of uncertainty about investment in Australia," he said, adding uranium mining was a "fact of life", and Australia only exported it to responsible countries.

"We only export uranium to countries who have a bilateral (agreement) with Australia, guaranteeing that it's used with safe hands, for peaceful purposes," he said.
The Greens only MP in the parliament has supported Prime Minister Julia Gillard's government, which has a policy of not exporting uranium to non-signatory countries.
Opposition energy and resources spokesman Ian Macfarlane called on Gillard to formally rule out restricting uranium mining.

Fiona Nash, senator of National party of Australia accused the Greens of having a narrow perspective on the matter, and said the minor party was wrong in opposing uranium exports to India.

"It really does put at risk our ability, in terms of economic advantage, to restrict any trading opportunities we may have," she said, adding "Just this blanket stop approach to uranium going to India is wrong".

Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett said most developed countries generated about 20 per cent of their energy from nuclear power while India and China were only at 3 per cent. "So clearly the industry's going to grow," he said

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