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Labor must abandon Minister’s nuclear crusade

The Federal Government must rule out any plan to sell uranium to India as that country refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Australian Greens said today.

Greens spokesperson on nuclear issues Senator Scott Ludlam said the revelation Australian officials were in talks with a view to selling uranium to the nuclear weapons state was alarming.

"Labor's own policy bans the sale of nuclear fuel to countries that have refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, yet there is a danger the Government will yield to one man's nuclear obsession and drop that principled stand."

A confidential briefing note to Resources Minister Martin Ferguson in February stated that the dialogue ‘may prove a useful avenue to communicate any policy shifts' and ‘could be elevated in the future as conditions allow agreement on exporting uranium to India'.

"At the ALP conference in December Minister Ferguson will likely attempt to kill Labor's opposition to uranium sales to non-signatory countries. In June we saw Minister Ferguson claim he was in charge of ‘nuclear policy' - crowning himself Labor's nuclear emperor - and Labor must decisively reject his plan to declare open season on selling uranium to anyone who will buy it."

"In January Minister Ferguson publicly rebuffed a request from Indian authorities to commence sales of uranium but the following month the Minister was forced to reveal his real position when documents leaked by WikiLeaks showed he was in favour of selling uranium to India."

"The Government has been prepared to cut uranium deals with Russia, an authoritarian state which is assisting Iran's nuclear program, and the United Arab Emirates, a dictatorship with a disturbing human rights record; Will they expand their rogue's gallery of customers to include a country with a nuclear arsenal which has refused to sign the NPT?"

Senator Ludlam will move a motion in the Senate today expressing support for the current ban on uranium sales to non-signatory countries and calling on the Government to make public the list of countries to whom it will not sell uranium.

Media Contact: Giovanni Torre - 0417 174 302


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