Media Release

29 March 2018

The NSW Labor Opposition has called on the Premier to intervene and put an end to the ongoing push by her Deputy, National Party Leader John Barilaro, to establish a nuclear power industry in NSW.

Mr Barilaro is currently on a taxpayer-funded visit to the United States where he is drumming up interest in US investors to build nuclear reactors in NSW.

Labor pointed to a website, which identified 18 possible sites for nuclear power plants in NSW– including a 250km stretch of coast from  Port Macquarie to north of Grafton.

Shadow Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, Adam Searle MLC and Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Mick Veitch MLC, were on a two day visit to the North Coast, meeting with primary producers and exploring potential solutions to the energy crisis brought about by the Coalition Government’s privatisation of electricity generators and networks.

The National Party were in lockstep with the Liberal Party’s privatisation of the poles and wires – which had led to a blowout in power prices  – and were now looking at sensational options like nuclear to distract the electorate from their errors.

Nuclear reactors would tarnish NSW’s clean and green image, and threaten the reputation and emerging markets of many north coast primary industries.

Labor demanded that the Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, pull her deputy into line and rule out nuclear power in NSW.

Mr Barilaro’s nuclear thought bubbles were a distraction from real long term energy solutions that provide the cheapest and most sustainable forms of electricity for the community and business – which is renewable energy.

The Coalition Government has always harboured dreams of nuclear power plants in NSW, having first proposed a site for Jervis Bay in the 1960’s.

Last year Luke Foley accepted Mr Barilaro’s invitation to debate nuclear power and suggested Lismore host the forum.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for the Industry, Resources and Energy, Adam Searle MLC:

“The Premier has let this debate run for too long and now needs to rule out herself any proposal to build nuclear power plants here in NSW.

“The Deputy Premier should come up to the North Coast and explain why the National Party believes nuclear reactors are the best option.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Mick Veitch MLC: 

“North Coast primary producers pride themselves on the quality of their goods and their clean and green reputation.

“The National Party Leader’s obsession with building nuclear reactors would jeopardise this hard fought for advantage for local producers on the North Coast.”