Union wants nuclear power ban lifted

The Australian Workers' Union is throwing its support behind nuclear energy in Australia.
The Australian Workers' Union is throwing its support behind nuclear energy in Australia.

The Australian Workers' Union will throw its support behind nuclear energy, putting it at odds with the rest of the labour movement in the country.

AWU national secretary Daniel Walton will on Friday urge the government to lift Australia's moratorium on nuclear energy to boost jobs growth and meet clean energy targets.

Mr Walton is set to front a public roundtable on nuclear energy chaired by Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce in Sydney.

Mr Walton said on Thursday it was "ludicrous" for Australia not to capitalise on its uranium resources, as 31 advanced economies including Sweden and Finland all relied on nuclear power.

"Yet here we're stuck in a time warp," Mr Walton said.

"Most of our energy crisis is due to partisan pigheadedness on both sides.

"So those of us on the progressive side of politics can't continue to reflexively reject zero-emission compromise options."

Mr Joyce said there was growing support for nuclear energy to help Australia meet its zero carbon emission targets.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor sought an inquiry into nuclear energy after Mr Joyce and other coalition backbenchers agitated for it.

After the hearing, committee members will head to the nearby Lucas Heights nuclear facility for a tour.

Australian Associated Press