From the Desk
a. Nuclear research, the nuclear fuel cycle, and economic issues
(i) The state of nuclear energy research and development in Australia and internationally, and the capacity for Australia to benefit domestically through the uptake of existing nuclear reactor technologies, or from new and emerging nuclear reactor technologies;
(ii) The potential for Australia to participate further in other steps of the nuclear fuel cycle, such as fabrication, fuel enrichment, reprocessing, mining and exporting uranium and other fuels, the costs and benefits associated with each step of the fuel cycle, and the feasibility of expanding existing mining, processing and manufacturing processes to meet domestic requirements;
(iii) The feasibility of establishing and operating new generation reactor facilities to generate electricity from nuclear fuels in Australia, the circumstances necessary for that to occur and to be viable, the relative advantages and disadvantages of generating electricity in this manner and comparisons to existing traditional methods of electricity generation in Australia, and any implications electricity generated by nuclear would have for the national electricity market; and
(iv) The benefits to the national economy if a nuclear industry were to be developed domestically.
b. Environment issues
(i) The extent to which existing electricity generation sources contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions throughout their entire cycles;
(ii) The extent to which nuclear energy generators contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions throughout their entire cycle;
(iii) The extent to which the use of nuclear energy could make a contribution towards Australia meeting its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets; and
(iv) The extent to which nuclear energy could contribute or add value to the mix of other energy technologies in Australia.
c. Health, safety, and proliferation issues
(i) The waste processing and storage issues associated with by-products of the nuclear fuel cycle, the current world’s best practice, and the potential of Generation III/III+/IV reactor technologies to meet safety, waste and proliferation concerns;
(ii) The security implications relating to nuclear energy;
(iii) Possible health and safety implications relating to nuclear energy.
Queensland LNP Senator James McGrath has today called for the inner-city ABC headquarters of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to be sold, with the proceeds to help retire existing government debt.
The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters is holding a public hearing in Perth to gather further evidence as it considers the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Lowering Voting Age and Increasing Voter Participation) Bill 2018. The Bill, as proposed by the Greens, would extend voluntary voting rights to 16 and 17 year-olds, allow enrolment for 14 and 15 year-olds, and permit a provisional vote on Election Day for unenrolled citizens.
In my maiden speech, I made a commitment to introduce a private senator’s bill to abolish the student services and amenities fee.
This bill would deliver on that commitment by repealing the Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Student Services and Amenities) Act 2011, thereby abolishing the compulsory student services and amenities fee (SSAF) and amending the Higher Education Support Act 2003 to abolish the Student Amenities (SA-HELP) loans.