Media Release

16 March 2020

Labor is calling on National MP Paul Toole to stand up to Deputy Premier John Barilaro and rule out nuclear power in Lithgow.

Communities near Lithgow face the grim prospect of becoming nuclear power plant wastelands, after the Liberal-National Government signalled a shift to nuclear power.

In a show of a growing divide within the Government, Nationals Deputy Premier John Barilaro embarrassed the Premier Gladys Berejiklian by announcing on Sky News his party will support One Nation Leader Mark Latham’s bill to allow nuclear power in NSW.

Mr Barilaro threw the Premier under a bus when he committed the National Party to vote for the One Nation bill while the Premier was unable to say what the position of her Government is.

Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy Adam Searle confirmed a McKay Labor Government will maintain a ban on uranium exploration, extraction and export.

“A Labor Government will not introduce nuclear power in NSW,” Mr Searle said.

“Nuclear is the most expensive form of power and its waste is a disaster for the environment.”

Yesterday Mark Buttigieg, Labor spokesperson for the region visited Lithgow, together with Labor Federal Senator Tony Sheldon and said he holds grave concerns about the impacts of nuclear waste.

Mr Buttigieg said he is deeply apprehensive that Lithgow could end up with a nuclear power reactor if the Nationals go ahead with their plans for nuclear energy in NSW.

“This community now faces the grim prospect of becoming a nuclear power plant wasteland, thanks to Gladys Berejiklian and John Barilaro,” Mark Buttigieg said.

“Paul Toole needs to stand up to this dangerous proposal by the Deputy Premier, and categorically rule out nuclear energy in Lithgow.”

“Several Ministers in the Government have already gone on the record saying they wouldn’t want a nuclear power plant in their own electorates, so they should rule them out across the state altogether.”