The federal government should turn to nuclear power if it really wants to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions, Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce says.
The Senate has been debating Labor legislation that would make it mandatory for 20 per cent of Australia’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2020.
Senator Joyce said the government should look beyond renewable technologies like wind and start prioritising nuclear.
“If we want to reduce carbon emissions … get with program of bringing about nuclear energy,” he told parliament on Wednesday.
“If you don’t do that then you look completely and utterly hypercritical … in the rest of the statements and arguments about being clever, about being carbon effective, about developing jobs, about being a world leader.”
Senator Joyce said Labor’s approach to nuclear technology was mired in a “1954 Cold War mentality”.
It didn’t make sense to export Australia’s vast uranium reserves without benefiting from the resource ourselves, he said.
“We can be the Middle East in the generation of wealth from nuclear energy,” Senator Joyce said.
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