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Labor MPs dump on party membership in nuclear vote

Media Release
Penny Wright 12 Feb 2015

Labor Senators have today voted against their own party platform on nuclear policy, voting down a motion by Australian Greens Senator for South Australia Penny Wright opposing nuclear development in SA.

The motion quoted directly from the Labor Party's National Platform which says nuclear power presents "unique and unprecedented hazards and risks" and is at odds with Premier Jay Weatherill's recent announcement.

Senator Wright said she was stunned to see South Australia's Labor Senators vote against the decision of the party membership and recent statements made by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

"Just this week Bill Shorten said Labor opposed nuclear power 'based on the best available expert advice'," Senator Wright said.

"Today, South Australia's MPs have turned their back on Mr Shorten to support Mr Weatherill.

"While the Labor Party is conflicted, the Australian Greens are unequivocal. We do not support nuclear power in any circumstances.

"As the National Labor Party's own platform says, 'the nuclear power cycle presents threats to human health and the local environment'.

"Today's vote shows the elected representatives of the Labor Party are out of step with the wishes of their members and with the South Australian community at large."



The motion read:

I move that the Senate:

1)      opposes the establishment of nuclear power plants in Australia, based on the best available expert advice; [1]

2)      recognises that the production of uranium and its use in the nuclear fuel cycle presents unique and unprecedented hazards and risks, including:

i.                     threats to human health and the local environment in the mining and milling of uranium;

ii.                   the generation of products that are usable as the raw materials for nuclear weapons manufacture; and

iii.                  the generation of highly toxic radioactive waste by-products; and[2]

3)      rejects any efforts to move toward establishing nuclear power plants in South Australia.


[1] Spokesperson for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, 10 February 2015,

[2] 'National Platform', Australian Labor Party, 2011, p. 68.


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