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Aust: Call for resignation of uranium industry

Greens call for resignation of uranium industry body chief

The Australian Greens today called for the resignation of the chairman of the federal government's Uranium Industry Framework, John White.

"The federal government describes John White as an independent chair, but nothing could be further from the truth," Greens energy spokesperson Senator Christine Milne said in Canberra.

"In fact, John White is the head of Global Renewables, a subsidiary of Gold and Resources Development which recently won a uranium contract in Malawi, and is reportedly one of the four-member Nuclear Fuel Leasing Group which developed the business plan behind US President George Bush's Global Nuclear Energy Partnership.

"When the Australian Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, initiated the development of a three-year Uranium Industry Framework in August last year it was claimed its role was 'to examine all sides of the issue through a science-based approach developed in partnership with relevant State and Territory governments, industry, indigenous and community stakeholders'.

"It is now clear, however, that the real job of the Uranium Industry

Framework is to soften up the community for the government's push on uranium mining and enrichment, and nuclear waste dumps.

"The Australian Financial Review reported last week that the framework report, which the government expects next month, outlines a goal of 'shaping public perceptions, building community confidence and taking a whole-of-value-chain approach'.

"The report even urges the government to adopt a 'stewardship' approach. This is deliberate and highly disingenuous appropriation of a word long associated with the environment movement. It's a classic public-relations set-play that the public should utterly reject."

Senator Milne spoke on this topic during Matters of Public Interest in the Senate today. Copies of her speech are available on request.

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