I have already put the case for Australia to re-consider its nuclear power options and criticized Labor Party policy. My fear was really that the opposition would use the nuclear debate to attempt to bury the coalition by engaging in a hysterical debate that would leave the benefits of nuclear power unexamined. The case for nuclear power is, indeed, not clear cut – there are enormous environmental benefits from switching to nuclear power by substituting a miniscule level of nuclear waste for the virtual elimination of greenhouse gas emissions – but, yes, nuclear is very capital cost expensive.
The predicted hysteria from the Australian Labor Party was initiated today with a scare campaign launched by Kim Beazley (an intelligent man who should know better) and the Queen of the Populist Left, my hopeless local member, Jenny Macklin. ‘Where are the facilities to be located?’ they scream in a pathetic duet, ‘come clean’ Mr. Howard.
People who behave in this dishonest, cynical way should not be considered as an alternative Australian Government. Moreover, it looks like Labor Party’s stupidity on this issue will determine a degree of self-destruction anyway. It is a pity that we lack a responsible and capable opposition in this country. There are issues to debate but populist hysteria won’t help.
John Howard has faced up to probable flack and put the interests of Australia first in instigating the needed inquiry. (85)