Taking advantage of the ongoing three-day visit of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard in which resumption of talks for uranium sale too India is on top of the agenda, the Australian Uranium Association (AUA) is pushing for an overturn of the ban on uranium mining in Queensland.
Uranium pellets, a nuclear fuel product for atomic power plants, are seen on a production line at Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Kazakhstan's eastern town of Ust-Kamenogorsk in this August 11, 2006 file photo.
The AUA cited the growing global demand for nuclear energy as reasons for the Queensland government to reverse the prohibition on uranium mining in the state.
AUA spokesman Michael Angwin pointed out that while Ms Gillard is working to reach an agreement with one of Australia's major trading partners for the precious commodity, the efforts are hampered by the patchwork quilt of uranium policies in the country.
Backing AUA's call, Mount Isa Mayor Tony McGrady called on the Queensland government to conduct a probe on uranium mining in Queensland with the aim of considering reversing the ban.
However, a spokeswoman for Queensland Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said the state government has no plans to change its policy since its priority is to reduce red tape to access coal and other conventional mineral resources.
Ms Gillard is scheduled on Thursday to meet with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi to start the talks on uranium sale, reversing a policy of the Labor-led government made in 2011.
"Australia has changed, in determining to export uranium to India. India is changing, through important economic reforms in areas like energy, aviation and retail," Business Recorder quoted Ms Gillard.
She explained that obstacles to the uranium sale had been resolved. Ms Gillard added that Australia and India's relationship has reached a point "where we can add a whole lot of weight to our bilateral relation because our interests are converging."
Part of the converging interests include stepped-up militaries ties including the holding of full naval exercises due to the two nations' shared strategic interests, shared region and even shared ocean.
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