September 14, 2017
Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd has suggested that nuclear energy will be the “next step” in Australia’s energy mix after coal.
Speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Mr O’Dowd said coal mining was very important to him and the electorate of Flynn.
“We have eight coal-fired power stations that have a life of another 10, 15 or 18 years if we come on board and support our coal-fired power stations,” he said.
“It is by far the cheapest form of energy in Australia.
“We haven’t got a problem in Queensland. The only problem we’ve got in Queensland is with the State Government.
“There are too many middlemen in the middle, producing cheap electricity for Queensland industry. The Queensland government has got to be held to account for this.
“It’s no good blaming the coal-fired power stations for the demise of the electricity industry.
“This is a disgrace. We cannot close another power station down in Queensland — in fact, we cannot close another power station down in Australia — until we get the energy circle and the energy mix correct.
“Nuclear is the next step in this line. So let’s go.”
He later doubled down on the nuclear idea on social media.
Asked by a reader: “Why not nuclear power? Safe designs have been around for decades and we have enough uranium to power us for hundreds of years?”
Mr O’Dowd replied: “You’ll notice I mentioned nuclear in yesterday’s speech in the House.”
Footnote: The last coal-fired power stations to shut in Queensland were Swanbank B and Collinsville which both closed in 2012.