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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 7 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 2049 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

Members will probably remember that in the last debate on this issue, when we were condemning India for its tests, I amended that motion to call on the Federal Government to sign up to Abolition 2000, which is the worldwide campaign to force the nuclear states to take on a timetable. I will repeat again for the record the three parts of that resolution. It calls upon the governments of all nuclear weapons states to begin negotiations immediately on a nuclear weapons convention to prohibit and eliminate all nuclear weapons early in the next century, and to complete these negotiations by the year 2000. Secondly, it calls for all nuclear weapons to be immediately taken off alert status, for all nuclear warheads to be parted from their delivery vehicles, and for the nuclear weapons states to agree to unconditional no-first-use of these weapons. Thirdly, it calls on them to declare support for the further development of legally binding national and international nuclear weapon free zones throughout the world.

The other issue that always has to come up in this, as Mr Corbell said, is the question of uranium mining. Yes, I agree that the Labor Party's policy on uranium mining is not good, but the Liberal Party's policy is much, much worse. We cannot possibly allow 26 more uranium mines, which is what is planned by the Liberal Government. Of course we cannot allow it to continue in Jabiluka. I sincerely hope that John Howard's Government loses, if only on that issue, but I hope he loses on other issues as well.

Basically, the Government and the people of Australia cannot claim that there is a separation between these horrors of nuclear testing and nuclear war and uranium mining. The post-mining stages of the nuclear fuel cycle are dependent on that mining, and we do not know where our uranium ends up. There are serious adverse human health and social, economic and environmental impacts which adoption of the nuclear path will impose. The safety of nuclear power plants is very uncertain. Grand claims that the technology now is safe are disputed. While Western reactors are much safer than Chernobyl, that is not good enough. There are still no reassuring answers to reactor decommissioning, and the long-term effects, especially the genetic effects of radiation, are not understood. There are no real solutions to the problem of radioactive waste disposal. Forty years after tests at Maralinga, it is still not safe for the original inhabitants to return there. It has to stop.

MR HIRD (11.00), in reply: Mr Speaker, I will be very brief and just say that I thank members for their support for my motion.

Question resolved in the affirmative.




MR SPEAKER: Is it the wish of the Assembly to debate this motion concurrently with the motion on the notice paper in Mr Hargreaves's name relating to the tender process for ACTION? There being no objection, that course will be followed. I remind members that in debating notice No. 6 they may also address their remarks to notice No. 7.

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