Critically Evaluate the Arguments for and Against Mining and Export of Uranium

8786 Words Jan 27th, 2015 36 Pages
High Risk – Low Return: The case against uranium mining in Queensland

Australian Conservation Foundation Australian Manufacturing Workers Union Electrical Trades Union Friends of the Earth North Queensland Conservation Council Queensland Conservation Council Queensland Nuclear Free Alliance The Wilderness Society

Cover picture: Mine tailings dam failure at Merriespruit, South Africa gold mine. On the day of the failure 50mm of rain fell in 30 minutes, comparable to flooding rain quantities in Qld in recent summers (source: tailings.info)

High Risk – Low Return: The case against uranium mining in Queensland

1. Overview 2. Overstated economic potential 3. Environmental Impacts 4. Radiation and Health 5. Uranium and Indigenous
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In a nutshell, it is because the economic benefits are grossly overstated and are outweighed by the wide-ranging environmental, public health and weapons proliferation problems and risks. Uranium accounted for 0.19 per cent of Australia's export revenue in 2011/12 (the last available figures)1. By the most generous estimate, uranium accounts for 0.015% of all jobs in Australia.2 For Queensland, there is the additional limitation that the state has around just 2% of Australia's uranium resources. Clearly, the industry has no capacity to deliver significant economic or employment benefits. Instead of acknowledging the extremely limited economic potential of uranium mining in Queensland, the LNP state government, the Australian Uranium Association and the Queensland Resources Council have continued a pattern of extravagant and unsubstantiated claims regarding jobs, revenue and royalties. Enthusiasm is no substitute for evidence and limited sectoral self-interest is not the same as the public interest. The assumptions and analysis of those promoting the uranium sector in Queensland needs to be challenged and reviewed.
Left: Mary Kathleen, former Qld uranium mine – poorly rehabilitated
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In the absence of open, inclusive and evidence based policy making the Newman LNP government has set up the Uranium Implementation Committee. The Committee has not sought broad community input and has not been asked to assess the