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Public shut out of Australia's nuclear review

Public shut out of PM's nuclear review: Greens

Prime Minister John Howard wants to shut out the Australian public from his nuclear review, making a lie of his call for a 'full-blooded debate', Australian Greens energy spokesperson Senator Christine Milne said today.

"Reports today that the hand-picked review panel will not hold public hearings and probably won't call for public submissions show just what a sham the process is," Senator Milne said in Alice Springs.

"Prime Minister Howard said he wanted a 'full-blooded debate' about whether Australia should go down the nuclear track but he doesn't want to hear what Australians have to say on the matter," Senator Milne said.

"Instead, the panel will ask selected individuals to make submissions, and even these may not be released to the public until after the review panel reports to the Prime Minister.

"This latest revelation about how the review panel will operate further demonstrates how deeply flawed the review is. Rather than fostering full debate across the community, it is designed to bolster the Prime Minister's plan to develop uranium enrichment and turn Australia into a global nuclear waste dump.

"The lack of public consultation is consistent with the federal government's style. While in Alice Springs I visited the Indigenous community near one of three sites short-listed for a national nuclear waste dump, who have not been consulted.

"We should be debating Australia's future energy mix in the context of needing to make deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, not how to turn Australia into a nuclear nation.

"The nuclear option shows the government's lack of vision after a decade in office. A much smarter alternative for Australia is to embrace energy efficiency and renewable energy, developing new industries with the potential to create thousands of jobs and generate export income."

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