Hunter Valley Earmarked For Nuclear Power Under Future Coalition Government

Muswellbrook is among the towns that would house nuclear reactors if the Coalition wins the next Federal Election.

The Liddell coal-fired power station has been named as one of seven locations included in the controversial energy policy announced by Opposition Leader Peter Dutton today.

The others will be at Callide and Tarong in Queensland, Mount Piper in New South Wales, Loy Yang in Victoria and Muja in Western Australia, and Port Augusta in South Australia.

“Today we announced seven locations that we have looked at in great detail over a long period of time that can host new nuclear sites and that will be part of an energy mix obviously with renewables and significant amounts of gas into the system particularly in the interim period,” Mr Dutton said.

“It will mean that on those end-of-life coal-fired power station sites, we can utilise the existing distribution networks.”

Mr Dutton said he wants Australians to know he has a vision to deliver cleaner, cheaper energy.

“This is a plan for our country which will underpin a century of economic growth and jobs for these communities,” he said.

“There is no sense in pretending that our economy can operate without a stable energy system and our plan today which includes these seven sites it integral to the energy roadmap.”

Under the policy, a future Coalition Government would aim to get at least two of the plants online by 2035 and 2037.

It has also been confirmed the facilities would be Commonwealth owned.

However, the Coalition would need to work with the states to bring the plan to fruition as a number have legislated bans on nuclear, including NSW.

Mr Dutton said he plans to work with the premiers in a “constructive way”.

While the Opposition claims nuclear power would be a “fraction” of the Albanese Government’s renewable plan, the costing for the nuclear policy has not been revealed.

The proposal has drawn strong criticism from Labor. Speaking at The Australian’s Energy Nation Forum, Treasurer Jim Chalmers took aim at the plan.

“Nothing could be more economically irrational or fiscally irresponsible. Nuclear takes longer, costs more, and would waste Australia’s unique combination of geological, geographical, geopolitical and meteorological advantages,” Mr Chalmers told the forum.

“This might be the dumbest policy ever put forward by a major party. It is the worst combination of economic and ideological stupidity.”

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