15 February 2011 - Northern Territory Opposition reaffirms confidence in uranium mining assessment process

The Australian Uranium Association today welcomed the decision of the Northern Territory Opposition to reaffirm its support for merit-based assessment of uranium mine proposals.

The Chief Executive Officer of the AUA, Michael Angwin, said the NT Country Liberal Party has recognised that the interests of the Territory are best served if there is a science-based assessment of uranium mine proposals on their merits in an orderly, non-political process.

The CLP has now reaffirmed its confidence and support for that process, he said.

“The industry only seeks to be judged on the environmental merits of its proposals. The best way to make these assessments is to follow proper process,” he said.

But Mr Angwin said he was surprised and alarmed that the Greens should now be berating the CLP for reaffirming its commitment to sound process.

He noted that the Greens national spokesman on nuclear matters, Senator Scott Ludlam, and the Greens NT spokeswoman, Lisa Hall, had condemned the NT CLP for its renewed commitment to proper process.

Mr Angwin said the Greens’ stand meant they were opposed to a rigorous mine assessment and approvals process which required the environmental aspects of a proposed uranium mine to be demonstrated scientifically to be acceptable.

“The Greens are saying, let’s not have a sound, merit based process in which professional public servants make independent judgments and recommendations. They are saying, no, let’s leave these important matters to wheeler-dealer politicians,” Mr Angwin said.

“This is self-serving opportunism from the Greens, who clearly anticipate that their political leverage will be enhanced by wheeling and dealing.

“But their position is a recipe for chaos in government and for poor environmental and economic outcomes. It would certainly undermine the international business reputation of the Territory and Australia, much as it tarnishes the Greens’ own economic and environmental reputation,” Mr Angwin said.