“Time to change uranium policy over India deal”

According to Prime Minister Julia Gillard, it is time Australia lifts the ban on uranium sales to India.

Next month, during ALP national conference, Ms Gillard will take up the issue and ask the party to overturn its policy that permits uranium sales only to nations that have signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

Presently, India is not a signatory to the treaty.

Julia Gillard today said in Canberra, “As India rises and brings hundreds of millions of people out of poverty it will need more energy.”

“India is our fourth biggest export markets, a market worth nearly $16 billion to Australia, with enormous potential to grow as India becomes wealthier,” Ms Gillard said. “We are a very big supplier of uranium so having access to this new and growing market is good for Australian jobs.”

Economic benefit is one of the main reasons why Julia Gillard is pushing for uranium sales to India.

India is expected to increase its nuclear power usage from three per cent of electricity generation to 40 per cent by 2050.

Ms Gillard said lifting the ban was another step forward in Australia’s relationship with India.

It came at a time when Australia faced a unique set of opportunities in what she called the ‘Asian century’.

“India as a rising giant will be part of that strong economic growth,” Ms Gillard said. “Put simply, our best possible partnership with India is also good for Australian jobs.”

The Prime Minister said Labor’s national platform should recognise the reality of selling uranium to India. Ms Gillard also said India was in a class of its own, unlike Israel and Pakistan.