The Courier-Mail

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IT IS nice to know that Canberra is not full of complete Luddites as murmurings of support for nuclear energy swept across the capital city last week.

The push to realise our full nuclear energy potential is mainly led by the Queensland Nationals’ Senator Matt Canavan and his party’s deputy Senate leader, Bridget McKenzie.

We now learn that twothirds of Coalition MPs support lifting the ban on nuclear and having the

Clean Energy Finance Corporatio­n invest in nuclear energy.

Most of these supporters are late arrivals to the party but they still arrived.

The host of the party is the NSW Deputy Premier, John Barilaro. At the 2019 NSW state election, John Barilaro argued, rightly, that Australia has 44 per cent of the world’s uranium yet we export it for others to enjoy clean energy.

Barilaro, whose seat of Monaro was marginal at the time, told his community that he would not rule out a nuclear-powered generator in his own electorate.

Barilaro received a massive 11 per cent swing.

Why is it that the Greens Party in Finland can support nuclear as a way to meet their country’s energy needs, but Australia cannot?

For most Australian politician­s, the word has a hocus pocus on it. Mention it and witches will claim you.

Nuclear energy is, besides the much-maligned coal, the next best option for cheap base load power. And, for those who genuflect to the idea that we must decarbonis­e our economy, it is virtually carbon-free.

A report by the Minerals Council of Australia argues that if Australia were to increase its uranium production by 20 per cent, there would be an economic benefit of $10 billion a year and 20,000 new jobs by 2040. Australia can cut longterm carbon dioxide emissions and bolster highincome jobs by placing small modular reactors in remote areas. The return is cheap energy. As for the Coalition backers whose wax and tetanus has gone from their ears, Morrison says he will only push for the legalisati­on if Labor agrees.

If that is not a metaphor of the political world in which we inhabit, I don’t know what is.

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