Despite the 1989 ban on uranium by the then Queensland government, the current state administration is not ruling out the possibility that they may give uranium mining the green light.
The reconsideration of the more than three decades policy is because of 40 recommendations that Queensland received from a committee assigned to study the possible revival of the Australian state's uranium mining industry.
Central Queensland councilor Paul Bell has been tasked to lead the Uranium Implementation Committee of Queensland, a week after the state government of Premier Campbell Newman lifted a 30 year ban that effectively resume uranium mining in the area.
Queensland Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps disclosed that the Uranium Mining Implementation Committee report recommended the export of the resource through the ports in Adelaide and Darwin if these sea gateways secure the proper environmental licenses.
But Committee Chairman Paul Bell said they are open to establish a dedicated Queensland coal port if there is demand for such a facility and had held talks with the Port of Townsville.
However, he assured green groups that opposed such a proposal that despite the openness to ship uranium through the reef, the state government very much values the Great Barrier Reef.
Queensland is pushing for the resumption of uranium mining in spite of environmentalists' opposition, because of the potential $10 billion income it could generate for the state government.
But conservation groups warned of the lack of sufficient safeguards in place to protect Queensland's environment and established industries. Dave Sweeney, the nuclear-free campaigner of the Australian Conservation Foundation, cited significant shortcoming in other Aussie states where uranium mining is allowed, particularly South Australia and the Northern Territory.
He cited the large deficiencies in addressing problems linked to the creation of large amounts of long-life radioactive waste or mine tailings and the consumption and contamination of water supplies.
In the March 2012 state election campaign, then Liberal candidate Campbell Newman said that there is no desire or plan to approve uranium mines in Queensland.
Opposition environment spokeswoman Jackie Trad also pointed out that despite the 2012 claim by the Queensland Resources Council that uranium royalties could reach $900 million based on an average mine lifespan of 30 years, the amount of expected royalties it would generate would pale in comparison to the $4.5 billion annual contributing to the state economy of the beef industry.
"Our food security is too valuable to risk with any potential contamination of the great artesian basin or exposure through tailings dams at risk of rainfall events," Brisbane Times quoted Ms Trad.
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