Article Categories: Portfolio Media Releases, Foreign Affairs
The Rudd Government’s position against Australian uranium exports for India has opened up another front of hypocrisy with the Foreign Minister saying in an overnight speech in India that the two nations need to work together on climate change.
The Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith, has said that one of the major challenges that the countries in the region face is climate change yet in the same speech he has again stated that the Rudd Government will not supply Australian uranium to India for clean power generation.
“This is both confusing and hypocritical” said the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Andrew Robb AO MP.
“He is looking foolish and two-faced.
“We also have on the one hand the Rudd Government encouraging the 44 members of the supplier group of countries to sell uranium to India for peaceful, clean nuclear power generation, while at the same time telling India that we don’t trust them with our uranium.
“How can Australia be left in a position of supporting a third country doing what Australia itself supposedly strongly opposes?
“Mr Smith has tied himself in knots on this issue.
“As well, it makes no sense whatsoever to sell uranium to China and Russia but not to the world’s biggest democracy, India.
“As the Coalition has been saying, how can the Rudd Government claim moral leadership on the global stage in reducing greenhouse gas emissions when it ducks the first hard decision which would result in massive reductions in emissions?
“This would have a much bigger impact on global greenhouse gas reductions than any domestic policy Mr Rudd could propose.
“As India grows, it will rank third behind the US and China in terms of global energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions.
“The removal of the existing restrictions on the import of nuclear technology and uranium for peaceful power sources could see as much as 35 per cent of India's total energy needs being met by clean nuclear power plants by 2050.
“After 10 months in office the Rudd Government’s foreign policy towards uranium sales to India is mired in confusion and contradiction.
“The Rudd Government needs to get a consistent, sensible position on this issue.
“Like so many other areas of Government, Mr Rudd and his Minister’s are so pre-occupied with managing issues in the daily media that they don’t have a coherent policy that will last.”
Media Contact: Stuart Eaton, 0433 298 620
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