Queensland premier Campbell Newman has defended his government’s decision to lift a ban on uranium mining in the state, saying those who disagree should vote accordingly.
Newman announced on 22 October that uranium mining would be beneficial to the Queensland economy and the government would move to allow access to yellowcake deposits, despite ruling this out before being elected in March and again last month.
Newman has hit back against challenges to his decision from the opposition, telling Parliament that those against uranium mining were confused and were standing in the way of economic gains from mining.
“We believe it will create jobs. We know, or we have been told, that there is $10 billion worth of uranium that is known about in the soil of Queensland…and we believe that a lot will be more found,” The Courier Mail reports him as saying.
"A vote for the Labor Party is a vote for a confused party that has no policy on this any more. They are in disarray.
"If, however, you do not support uranium mining and are against jobs and investment, vote for the Greens.”
Meanwhile, a five-member uranium mining committee has said all options for exporting uranium were being considered.
Its chairman, Central Highlands councillor Paul Bell, said yesterday that shipping through the Great Barrier Reef via ports at Townsville or Cairns was a possibility.
"We haven't seen any significant reaction to any of the options that we've probably started to look at in regards to ports – the way in which uranium transport would be carried out in Queensland," he told the ABC’s AM.