Concerned community members, workers and environment groups have gathered outside State Parliament today (22 February) to demand the ban on uranium exploration and mining remains in place across NSW.
Last week, the NSW government introduced legislation to overturn a 26‐year ban on uranium exploration in NSW, leaving local communities and the environment vulnerable to serious pollution and health risks.
Nature Conservation Council of NSW, CEO, Pepe Clarke said today, “The O’Farrell government's appetite for mining royalties must not come at the expense of our health, water resources and the environment.
“Uranium mining consumes enormous volumes of water, contaminates groundwater and leaves behind a
legacy of radioactive mine waste, placing workers, local communities and the environment at risk,”
Beyond Nuclear Initiative, Coordinator, Nat Wasley said, “Uranium is the asbestos of the 21st century. Past governments could plead ignorance of the effects of asbestos but today's politicians know the serious health impacts from radiation.
“Long after Premier Barry O'Farrell is gone, radioactive tailings and waste from uranium projects will remain dangerous. NSW should be looking at developing a sustainable future in renewables, not going down the dead end path of nuclear energy,” she said.
Greenpeace, Communications Manager, Julie Macken said, “To be days away from the first anniversary of the Fukushima disaster ‐ a nuclear disaster fueled in part by Australia's uranium ‐ and seriously considering the exploration of uranium in NSW tells us the O'Farrell government is living in the past.
“The Opposition, Greens and Independents must act in the interests of this state and future generations and stop O'Farrell's nuclear madness ‐ a madness he has no mandate for,” she said.
Today’s event was supported by the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, Beyond Nuclear Initiative, National Tertiary Education Union (NSW division), Greenpeace Australia‐Pacific and Maritime Union of Australia (Sydney branch).