Tweed councillor says nuclear power must be considered
NUCLEAR power is a conversation "we need to have" according to Tweed Shire councillor James Owen, after Federal Richmond MP Justine Elliot condemned the NSW Nationals for backing the energy source.
Last week, NSW Deputy Premier and leader of the NSW Nationals, John Barilaro, endorsed a national referendum on nuclear energy.
But Mrs Elliot condemned the Nationals for pushing nuclear power, claiming she wanted it to remain illegal in Australia as it was "far too dangerous" to consider.
But Cr James Owen said there were "a lot of mistruths about nuclear power".
"I think we absolutely need to look at nuclear power as an option in Australia, I think it makes sense when you look at the Australian resources and the amount of uranium we have, it's a natural advantage for us and it's working very well in many other countries in the world," he said.
"We certainly need to consider it as a viable energy source going forward, we all want a clean environment but at the moment the most cost effective way is coal, it won't be around forever and we can't get by on just renewable energy, I'm absolutely about looking at alternative energy sources where it's practical."
Cr Owen said anyone who discounts nuclear power is "just playing politics" but admitted nuclear power would not be suitable in the Tweed.
"Looking at nuclear and the fact it's illegal in Australia is crazy seeing as we have such an abundance of what's needed for it," he said.
"I think Labor's insistence it won't happen shows how out of touch Justine Elliot is with the electorate but she needs to pander to the Greens because they're the only reason she's in power."
Mrs Elliot said Cr Owen's comments confirmed "the Liberals and Nationals dangerous plans to push their toxic nuclear power agenda into the Tweed Shire".
"James Owen's strong support for nuclear power shows how incredibly dangerous and risky he is to our region," she said.
"We know that nuclear power plants need to be built near water so where in the Tweed will the Liberals and Nationals put their nuclear plants, Pottsville, Cabarita, Casuarina, Kingscliff, Fingal or Tweed Heads?"
"The fact is nuclear power is dangerous, toxic and expensive. James Owen's views are totally out of step with local Tweed values and his push for toxic nuclear power proves it.
"My message to locals is very clear - don't risk your children's future, and Tweed's future with the risky and reckless James Owen."