The NSW Government will today introduce legislation into Parliament overturning the ban on uranium exploration in NSW, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Minister for Resources and Energy Chris Hartcher announced today.
“It is time for NSW to look at every opportunity to join the mining boom which is delivering enormous profits and jobs to Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“We want to be part of the boom. The first step is to establish the size, quality and location of any potential uranium deposits in NSW,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“Obviously if we can generate revenue from mining uranium we can use that money to build the roads, rail, hospital and other infrastructure NSW needs. That would flow into a jobs bonanza for the State.
“People are already moving in big numbers to Queensland and Western Australia because there are well paid, secure jobs in the mining areas.
“We want people to start moving to NSW because this is the State which can offer the attractive jobs that people want to secure.
“We are not about to rush into mining uranium until we have carried out the necessary environmental and exploration checks and have had a mature and sensible discussion about utilising this resource, but we would be crazy not to look at whether this is a viable industry which would deliver jobs and revenue to NSW.”
Mr Hartcher said expert advice suggested the most valuable deposits may exist in the west of the State, given the abundant resources just over the South Australian border.
“There would not be uranium exploration in our traditional mining areas,” he said.
“This is a new area of exploration and a new opportunity to create an industry which will give the NSW economy a real boost.
“Uranium mining and exploration receives bipartisan support at a Federal level and a number of States have the capacity to both mine and explore for uranium. Overturning the ban on uranium exploration brings NSW into line with all other States, excluding Victoria.
“This exploration policy is supported by former Premier Bob Carr, AWU boss Paul Howes and Federal Labor Resources Minister Martin Ferguson,” Mr Hartcher said.