Anthony Albanese launches new attack on nuclear, prepares to unveil Future Made in Australia Act

Dan Jervis-Bardy
The Nightly
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese during Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese during Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING Credit: MICK TSIKAS/AAPIMAGE

The prospect of nuclear power threatens to undermine business confidence and investment, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will warn, as the Government prepares to introduce laws to kick-start its flagship green manufacturing plan.

Mr Albanese will use a speech to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia to argue Opposition leader Peter Dutton’s nuclear ambition risks stifling urgently needed climate action and energy investment.

The comments open a new front in Labor’s war on Mr Dutton’s vision to turn Australia into a nuclear nation with reactors proposed for seven sites across the country.

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“We cannot go back to the politics of conflict undermining business certainty and driving up power bills,” Mr Albanese will tell Thursday’s event, according to a draft speech.

“We cannot afford nuclear power to be deployed as just another weapon in the culture wars.

“Australia has every resource imaginable to succeed in this decisive decade.

“The only thing our nation does not have is time to waste.”

The PM will attempt to contrast the uncertainty of nuclear with the Federal Government’s “clear, detailed, costed” plan aimed at ending the “climate wars” — headlined by its legislated 43 per cent 2030 emissions reduction target.

The next plank of that plan will be unveiled next week when the Government introduces its Future Made in Australia Act to Parliament.

The act will set an overarching framework to guide programs aimed at turbocharging local manufacturing, including the $13.7 billion production tax credits for green hydrogen and critical minerals processing.

The tax credits — which aren’t scheduled to start until 2027 — are still being designed and will be part of separate legislation.

“Our new act will ensure that Government investment attracts and enables the flow of private capital into lasting partnership and long-term projects,” Mr Albanese will tell the event.

“The generation, storage and transmission infrastructure that will make Australia a renewable energy superpower.”

“And the refining, processing and manufacturing centres that will create a new generation of good, secure jobs.

“Bringing a new wave of industry and opportunity to our regions and suburbs alike.”

The PM will also use the speech to spruik the cost-of-living relief that will start flowing from July 1, including tax cuts for every taxpayer and $300 energy bill rebate for every household.

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