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New Queensland Premier must consider nuclear to reach climate targets

Queensland Premier Steven Miles must consider nuclear energy as part of Queensland’s
energy mix, if he is serious about reaching his reckless emissions target of 75 per cent by
Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud said Queensland’s new Premier was gifted his
new role by his chief backers, the Australian Workers’ Union, (AWU), who strongly support
nuclear energy in Australia.
Mr Littleproud said it was now up to Premier Miles to use actions, not just words, when it
comes to the environment and spend 2024 lobbying Federal politicians in Canberra to
reverse the ban on nuclear energy.
“Mr Miles’ first step as Premier should now be to lobby Federal Labor for the ban on nuclear
to be dropped. The AWU has previously expressed support for nuclear and rightly so – why
wouldn’t we put all options on the table?” Mr Littleproud said.
Mr Littleproud added former AWU national secretary Dan Walton announced that
Australia’s switch to nuclear-powered submarines meant it’s time to reconsider the ban on
civil nuclear energy and that emerging technology, such as small modular reactors (SMRs),
offered a solution to creating zero-carbon economies.
Mr Littleproud said considering SMRs would also be in line with the 198 signatory countries
to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) who called for accelerating
the deployment of low-emission technologies including nuclear energy at COP28.
“We need leadership when it comes to exploring nuclear and this issue is a perfect chance
for Mr Miles to show leadership on both a state and federal level.”
Mr Littleproud added Queenslanders desperately needed cheaper energy, with cost-of-
living one of the biggest concerns among voters, but Premier Miles now had a reckless
emissions reduction target of 75 per cent below 2005 levels, by 2035.
“Mr Miles should withdraw support for $200 million for wind farm projects in central
Queensland, along with plans for the $14.2 billion Borumba Pumped Hydro and the Forest
Wind projects in Wide Bay, as well as a $12 billion five-gigawatt Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped
Hydro Scheme in the Eungella and Pioneer Valley region, which will have devastating
consequences for the environment.
“Eungella, best known for its pristine rainforests and platypus, which inhabit the rivers and
creeks, will be inundated with two dams forming the top reservoirs. The energy required to
power the hydro plant will need wind turbines and a solar field, while prime farming land
will also go under. It would be hypocritical of Mr Miles to support this project, which will
actually harm the environment, but turn his back on SMRs.
“I look forward to working with Mr Miles on better ways to find cheaper, reliable and
affordable energy for Queenslanders with SMRs in the mix.”


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