Nuclear energy in Australia not ruled out, says PM

Big Stick, climate, Ai Group

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed in an interview with broadcaster Alan Jones that nuclear energy in Australia could be an option.

When questioned by Jones about how committed the PM is to cheap energy and whether he would overturn the illegality of building a nuclear reactor in Australia, Mr Morrison said he would do “what is necessary to bring electricity prices down”, but the investment has to be viable.

“The investment doesn’t stack up,” Mr Morrison said. “You’ve got to make the investment stack up.”

He did however give praise to current hydro projects in Tasmania.

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“I was down in Tasmania last week and I was down there at the Battery of the Nation project,” Mr Morison said.

“Now, this is exciting, 2,500 megawatts of hydro currently, built between 1910 and the early 1990s in Tasmania, basically one of the biggest engineering projects Australia has ever seen over that period of time.

“Will Hodgman has a plan to double that capacity, put an interconnector between Tasmania and the mainland and that will double what Tasmania does in terms of reliable, fair dinkum power coming into the energy markets on the east coast of Australia.

“Now that’s another great project and I’ve talked about how excited I am about that project.

“The interconnector, the pumped hydro assets that go right across Tasmania, I mean Tasmania is the capital of hydro in Australia and it can be the nation’s battery.”

The prime minister also shut down broadcaster Alan Jones’s calls to rip up the Paris agreement, stating there are several reasons why the government won’t leave the agreement including that when Australia commits to something it follows through, and the importance of supporting our Pacific neighbours.

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On the topic of gas policy, Mr Morrison said it would be great to get more gas out of the ground.

“…we need more gas from under our feet, there’s no doubt about that,” Mr Morrison said.

“In Victoria we have a State Government that has a ban on conventional gas exploration. It’s crazy.

“…we actually have that policy [gas reservation] where we can ban those exports where the gas is not staying in Australia.

“What I’d like to see is revenue sharing with farmers to get access to gas. I think that’d be a great idea.”