Townsville has been suggested as a possible site for future nuclear power stations, according to Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Water, Craig Wallace.
Wallace, who is also Minister Assisting the Premier in North Queensland, said the Howard Government would fast-track plans for nuclear power stations if it were re-elected, including a nuclear power station in Townsville.
Wallace said that nuclear advocate and former Telstra boss, Dr Ziggy Switkowski, had revealed that a re-elected Howard Government would quickly draw up the necessary regularity framework to allow nuclear power stations in Australia.
“Dr Switkowski has let the cat out of the bag. A vote for the Member for Herbert, Peter Lindsay, will mean a vote for nuclear power in the North – and if Peter Lindsay is re-elected, Townsville will go nuclear sooner rather than later,” Wallace said.
“We do not want North Queensland to be known as ‘beautiful one day, radioactive the next’,” he added, explaining that Queensland has 300 years worth of coal in the ground, mining which would be “far more strategic and economically sensible” than pursing nuclear power.
Switkowski, who is chairman of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, conducted a review on nuclear power last year and recommended that the green light should be given to nuclear power stations.
Switkowski told a meeting of the Business Leaders Forum in Brisbane late September that the Howard Government would put a “positive regulatory regime” in place for nuclear power stations early in its next term, adding that Australia could get up to 25 nuclear reactors in the longer term.