Joyce says make nuclear power free for close communities

Barnaby Joyce coal power
Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce

Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce has suggested making nuclear power free for those living in close proximity to nuclear power stations in order to get them to soften to the idea.

Mr Joyce floated a potential policy whereby “if you can see the reactor [from your house], your power is for free. If you are within 50 kilometres of a reactor, you get power for half price.”

Discounts would scale down to 25 per cent for those living 75 kilometres from a nuclear facility.

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Such a policy would trigger a rush of proposals for “hills in the middle of towns that people want a reactor on”, Mr Joyce said.

“You just have to come up with the right policy settings and they will accept it … People will think with their wallets.”

Tihange nuclear plant in Belgium

In Australia, federal and state laws implemented in the late 1990s by the Howard Government prohibit the development of the nuclear power industry.

A select few members of the Coalition are pushing for an inquiry into the viability of nuclear energy.

Recent polling from Essential revealed 44 per cent of Australians were open to the idea of nuclear power, but 60 per cent don’t want to live near a nuclear power plant.

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