29 March 2006

Uranium deal with China close, Govt says

Lateline - 29/03/2006: Uranium deal with China close, Govt says: "TONY JONES: Australia's uranium industry could be in for a massive boost, with Chinese officials confident they'll sign a uranium deal with Australia next week. The deal would allow Australian uranium to be exported to China for power generation and enable China to explore for uranium in Australia and produce it here. It could also pave the way for India to access Australia's vast uranium reserves. The renewed focus on nuclear power comes as Tony Blair highlighted the issue of climate change during his last day in Australia. Dana Robertson reports.

DANA ROBERTSON: They might be the leaders of Australia and Great Britain, but today their eyes were firmly on Asia.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Just as we have our relationship with Europe that is important, you have yours with Asia and, in fact, this can help us both.

DANA ROBERTSON: Like so much else during this visit, Tony Blair and John Howard are in steadfast agreement that there needs to be a new international pact to tackle climate change. While Britain has signed the Kyoto Protocol, Tony Blair called for a dose of realism in the debate and heaped praise on Australia's agreement with other Asia Pacific nations to combat greenhouse emissions.

TONY BLAIR: I think the very fact you've now got a forum in which you've got the US and China and India talking together alongside countries like Australia is a very important, positive sign.

DANA ROBERTSON: And both men agree that China's involvement is crucial.

JOHN HOWARD, PRIME MINISTER: If Australia stopped all emissions, it would take China 10 months to sort of make up for it.

TONY BLAIR: That is why it is just, as I say, a completely unrealistic debate to say that you can have a cl"

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