Australia’s Uranium Politics
At the national level of Australian politics, both the Federal Labor Party and the Federal Coalition parties support development of the uranium industry. However, the granting of licences to mine uranium is a decision made within the residual jurisdiction of each state government.
The state based Labor governments of South Australia and the Northern Territory support existing mines and are receptive to new uranium projects in those states.
A state election held in Western Australia on 6 September 2008 resulted in a change of government from Labor to a Liberal-National Party coalition, which will allow uranium mining in Western Australia. This has reversed the no-development policy of the former state Labor Government, which previously held power in Western Australian for seven years. The change of policy has triggered a resurgence of uranium activity in Western Australia and clears the way for further work on the Company’s Manyingee and Oobagooma Projects in the State.
At present, the State Labor Government in Queensland will not grant a licence to mine uranium. To progress the currently defined uranium resources in the Mount Isa region to reserve status will require a state government policy change in Queensland either by a change to state Labor’s existing policy or a change in government. Through membership of industry bodies, such as the Australian Uranium Association and the Queensland Resources Council, Paladin is involved in debate and research to facilitate a change in government policy. Currently, Queensland Premier Bligh will not permit uranium mining, although this view is not shared by all Labor members of Parliament. The opposition party (the Liberal-National Party of Queensland) supports development of the uranium industry. State elections in Queensland must be held no later than early 2012.