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Credibility of PM's nuclear taskforce is in tatters: Greens

Media Release
Christine Milne 8 Jun 2006

  Prime Minister Howard's nuclear taskforce is looking increasingly tarnished after the resignation of the chair from the ANSTO board and revelations that WWF Australia's chief executive refused to participate in the review, the Greens said today.
 
"The government's taskforce is in tatters," Australian Greens energy spokesperson Senator Christine Milne said in Hobart.
 
"The fact that they appointed Ziggy Switkowski to chair the taskforce whilst he was serving on the ANSTO board and thought they could get away with dressing up the inquiry's independence shows how out of touch Prime Minister Howard has become.
 
"The failure of the Prime Minister to secure any environmentalist to serve on his taskforce puts paid to any suggestion that the real agenda of the review is to address climate change and energy security.
 
"Not one of the taskforce members has any record of critical analysis of the nuclear industry. They are all nuclear industry advocates.
 
"As the Commonwealth supervising scientist Arthur Johnston failed to take any real action against ERA at the Ranger uranium mine for persistent and ongoing spills and contamination incidents until workers drank and showered in contaminated water in 2004.
 
"His record gives me no confidence in his judgement about the safety and environmental consequences of expanded uranium mining, and provides some insight into the lack of rigorous review and independence of the Office of the Supervising Scientist.
 
"For Arthur Johnson to say today that the nuclear industry has a good record and that Chernobyl is the only major nuclear accident brings into question his fitness for this task.
 
"The Greens will move in the Senate next week for a full public inquiry into the best energy options for Australia to meet the 60 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions required by 2050."
 
Contact: Katrina Willis 03 6234 4566 or 0437 587 586

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