Tony Abbott Says Nuclear Power Should Be Part Of Australia’s Energy Mix

  • Date: 04/10/17
  • The Australian

Tony Abbott has called on the Turnbull government to change laws to allow for the construction of nuclear power plants.

The former prime minister said nuclear power should be part of Australia’s energy mix, as well as government-funded coal power plants.

“If we ever do need zero emissions baseload power the only reliable way of getting it is nuclear, currently nuclear is illegal under federal law, well that law should be changed,” Mr Abbott told 2GB radio on Wednesday.

Mr Abbott was critical of a government advertisement played during the AFL and NRL grand finals that mentioned the electricity system was in “transition”.

“What does that mean? Transitions from what to what? The whole problem at the moment is that we need reliable baseload power in our system, this is why I said we should have kept Hazelwood open,” Mr Abbott said.

“I still think we need Hazelwood 2.0, if we can have Snowy 2.0 we can have Hazelwood 2.0 and by far the cheapest form of reliable baseload power is provided by coal, if we are prepared to export our high quality coal for others to use, we must be prepared to use it ourselves.

“If the private sector won’t build new coal fired power stations because of political risk, well then the government must.

“Normally I would not say that the government should do this, but unfortunately there has been so much political interference in the power market over the last decade or so that we have a bad case of market failure which in the end is not market caused but government caused.”

Mr Abbott also attacked research by the Australian National University which predicted Sydney and Melbourne would have 50 degree days by the end of the century, labelling the researchers “group thinkers”.

“I think people are thoroughly sick of this kind of alarmism,” he said.

“I don’t think we should take this so-called research very seriously and the researcher in question just few months ago was saying that she didn’t think she could have a baby because that would exacerbate climate change.

“I think this is just alarmist nonsense.”

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