Media Release

18 April 2018

The NSW Labor Opposition is challenging John Barilaro to reveal his plans on nuclear energy once and for all, following his latest declaration that nuclear power is inevitable.

Once again the Leader of the Nationals has chosen the absence of his boss, Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who is away in India, to advance his nuclear agenda.

Tonight in a speech Mr Barilaro, who is acting Premier, will restate his position that nuclear reactors will be operating in NSW within the next 10 years.

A pro-nuclear power group, Nuclear for Climate Australia, has identified 12 regions of NSW as possible sites for nuclear reactors.

Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Energy Adam Searle says Mr Barilaro must come clean and tell regional NSW where he is planning to put a reactor.

Quotes attributable to Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Energy Adam Searle:

“Mr Barilaro says we should have nuclear reactors operating in New South Wales in a decade but needs to be more specific. He must be upfront with the public on where he thinks the nuclear reactors should be.

“If it’s going to be in the Murray region or near the Snowy Mountains, as one pro- nuclear power group has said, then he needs to be clear and tell the community. Either that or stop wasting our time.

“Even the most recent generation nuclear generators produce the most expensive electricity, to say nothing of the security implications of nuclear power.

“The challenge for government is to deliver affordable, reliable and sustainable energy – and nuclear fails the triple bottom line test.

“Solar and wind is the most affordable new build electricity. If we underpin this with storage technologies such as pumped hydro and, where appropriate, batteries, that is the path to a cheaper, less polluting power system.”

“Even if you started work today, developing the regulatory framework needed for nuclear power and building the reactors and other necessary equipment would take 15-20 years before you could switch on a light.”

“Mr Barilaro either has a real plan for nuclear power – which he should share with the community – or he is just wasting everyone’s time – time that should be better spent actually addressing the energy challenge we face now.”