786. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the minister representing the
Minister for Energy:
On Monday, the commonwealth
government announced an inquiry into nuclear power. The commonwealth Minister
for Energy and Emissions Reduction said that we need to look at these
alternative technologies and that is why we are doing this.
(1) Does the
McGowan Labor government agree with the commonwealth energy minister that a conversation
needs to happen regarding the viability of nuclear energy?
(2) In 2006, the
then environment minister, Mark McGowan, said that the government of the day
owns the power lines, and even if a privately funded nuclear plant were
established, the government would block any power from entering the WA network.
Does the current energy minister stand by Mr McGowan's comments?
(3) Can we not simply have a civilised
conversation about nuclear power?
The PRESIDENT: Minister for
Environment, I think the final part of that question might have been seeking an
opinion. I am not sure that you need to answer that.
STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
Thank you for your guidance, Madam
President. I will provide an answer that has been provided to me by the
minister in the other place, so I have an answer to the question.
I thank the honourable member for
some notice of the question. The following information has been provided to me
by the Minister for Energy.
(1) Yes. The
government of Western Australia is not afraid of a genuine debate about the
safety and environmental risks of high-cost nuclear energy.
(2) There has not
been, and there is no expectation for there to be, an application to connect a privately
owned high-cost nuclear power station to the Western Australian electricity
(3) It is still
to be seen whether the advocates for high-cost nuclear power can have a civilised
conversation about their plans.