Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Smith backs Dutton’s nuclear push as allies dodge debate

A Coalition spokesperson said its focus was to achieve net-zero emissions in Victoria by 2050.

“Renewables will be an important part of that mix to meet Victorian’s high societal and environmental expectations, as well as provide a reliable, economical source of energy to keep lights and heaters running.”

Four coalition MPs including two frontbenchers are speaking age It also indicated some support for the inclusion of nuclear power in Australia’s future energy mix, on the condition of anonymity.

“It should not be dismissed outright,” said a coalition frontbencher. “We should always reevaluate these things.”

Another backbencher told age Given the rising energy costs, there should be open dialogue about the use of nuclear technologies.

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Smith, who is leaving politics in November after crashing his car while drink-driving last year, agreed, saying the federal debate was “timely and welcome” given the state’s baseload energy requirements.

Former Shadow Attorney-General Tim Smith said any serious opposition or the government should be open to a discussion on nuclear power. Credit:Paul Jeffers

“Given the widespread acceptance of the need for nuclear powered submarines, it was inevitable that discussion would move to the domestic nuclear power industry,” Smith said.

“Energy supply, reliability and cost in Victoria are an important policy area with the imminent closure of Yellowhorn.”

In 2020, a Victorian parliamentary committee was tasked with looking into the potential benefits of lifting a ban on nuclear technologies, to see if it would help reduce emissions.

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The committee, which included Coalition MPs Matt Bach and Melina Bath, heard evidence that the small modular reactor technology would be “as clean as renewable” and “greatly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions”.

Nation World News Desk
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