All the Australian towns where Peter Dutton will install nuclear power plants – and they’ll be up and running sooner than you think if he wins the election

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Peter Dutton has grand ambitions to build seven nuclear reactors across Australia – with at least two up and running by 2037.

The Opposition Leader is making his pitch to the public for Australia’s nuclear future after ongoing pressure for him to release more details.

Lithgow and the Hunter Valley are the proposed NSW sites, Mount Murchison and Tarong in Queensland and Traralgon in Victoria. Mr Dutton proposes one site in South Australia in Port Augusta, and another in Collie in WA.

Coalition MPs were briefed on the plan at 8.30am and details started to trickle out immediately afterwards, with hopes to have the first plant up and running by 2035 and the second just two years later. 

Labor argues Mr Dutton’s plan amounts to a ‘stupendous act of economic self-sabotage’. 

Follow Daily Mail Australia’s live blog as Mr Dutton reveals new details about Australia’s nuclear future – if he becomes Prime Minister at the next election. 

See where Dutton intends to open seven nuclear power plants

Happening now: Peter Dutton unveils vision for Australia’s future if he’s elected PM

‘We need to ensure hospitals can stay on 24/7, we need to ensure that cold rooms can stay on 24/7, we need to make sure that our economy could function 24/7 and we can only do that with a strong baseload power.

‘I want to make sure that the Australian public understand today that we have a vision for our country to deliver cleaner electricity, cheaper electricity and consistent electricity.

‘This is a plan for our country which will underpin a century of economic growth and jobs for these communities.

‘There is no sense of pretending that our economy can operate without the stable energy system and our plan today which will include these seven sites is integral to the energy roadmap for our country into the future.

‘The assets will be owned by the Commonwealth, very important point, and work with experts to deliver these programs.’

Mr Dutton took a swipe at the Premiers who have already announced they won’t support nuclear.

‘We’ll work with the state premiers, some debate about that I see, as you know, somebody famously said I would not stand between the Premier and a bucket of money.

‘We’ve seen the premiers in different debates before where they’ve been able to negotiate with the Commonwealth and will be able to address those issues.’

Aussie towns which could go nuclear: New details of proposal begin to trickle out

In spite of Mr Dutton’s best efforts, reported details of his nuclear proposal are starting to trickle out.

NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia are all earmarked for nuclear reactor sites if the Coalition wins the next election.

Lithgow and the Hunter Valley are the proposed NSW sites, Mount Murchison and Tarong in Queensland and Traralgon in Victoria.

Mr Dutton proposes one site in South Australia in Port Augusta, and another in Collie in WA.

He hopes to have at least two up and running by 2037, with the first set to be established in 2035 – 11 years away.

All of the sites which have been identified are within Coalition-held seats.

Climate groups slam Dutton’s proposal

Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie described the proposal as a ‘smokescreen for its commitment to climate pollution’ and a ‘clear case of radioactive greenwashing’.

‘The winners from this scheme are the multinational coal and gas corporations who will keep polluting until well past mid-century. On the other hand, as a result of this scheme, Australians will suffer from worsening unnatural disasters due to climate pollution.

‘Communities are being pummelled by heatwaves and dangerous bushfires one week, and extreme rainfall and flooding the next.

‘Dutton’s scheme is: let the climate burn, let the mega fires burn, let the sea levels rise, let the heat become unbearable.’

And Solutions for Climate Australia director Dr Barry Traill said ‘nuclear reactors are not a plan for climate, they’re a fantasy that serves to delay and distract from getting on with climate action.

‘This shows a huge failure of leadership by Mr Dutton to come up with a plan to keep Australians safe.’

Dutton draws clear battle lines: Coalition vs Labor and ‘green millionaires’

Throughout the hour-long press conference, Mr Dutton made several references to ‘Labor and those green millionaires’ who stand opposed to nuclear energy.

By doing so, he drew a clear line in the sand and offered an insight into how he plans to win this battle.

‘There are so many people conflicted in this space because they’re investors in clean energy or a particular technology. I’m agnostic to all that,’ he said.

‘I want to deliver a system which will bring prices down and help pensioners keep their heating on. I want to keep small business alive.

‘I can’t stand the thought that in a country with an abundance of national resource we’re paying the highest electricity prices in the world.’

But Mr Dutton accused the Labor party and Greens of having ulterior motives to rejecting his proposal.

He said: ‘Of course, the Labor Party and those green millionaires we were talking about before, who have made their money off the backs of electricity prices going up and people paying more – they’ll come out with a scare campaign.

‘I want a mature conversation in our country.’

Australia is behind the rest of the world’s 20 largest economies on nuclear, Dutton says

Mr Dutton argued that out of the world’s 20 largest economies, Australia ‘is the only one not using nuclear energy or moving towards it’.

The Coalition cited nuclear energy policies which are either in place or committed to in the United States, France, Canada, China, Brazil, Russia, Switzerland, Mexico, Japan, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

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Pictured: An infographic from the Coalition’s new website providing information on nuclear

Littleproud reassures Teal MPs and voters ‘we’re all on the same journey’

Nationals leader David Littleproud said despite the differences in opinion about Australia’s energy future, the Coalition still remains committed to net zero by 2050.

He said Australia will still meet its obligations to the Paris Agreement under the Coalition’s nuclear proposal, despite failing to acknowledge interim targets.

‘I’ll just say while the ideology of our Teal members – I don’t disagree.

‘We’re all on the same journey. It’s just how we get there.’

Dutton says he’s ‘happy’ for next election to be a ‘referendum on energy’

On the back of Labor’s loss with the Indigenous Voice referendum, Mr Dutton has invoked the term during his speech.

He said: ‘I’m very happy for the election to be a referendum on energy, on nuclear, on power prices, on lights going out, on who has a sustainable pathway for our country going forward.’

Peter Dutton

Dutton takes swipe at PM Anthony Albanese

‘If the Labor Party chooses a leader with back bone, somebody like Bob Hawke, as opposed to their current leader, then we’d have a mature debate about this,’ he said.

‘But the Prime Minister wants to put out photos of fish and pictures of beaches and pretend in his nirvana that the wind turbines spin around when the wind is not blowing. And he pretends that the solar panels can work of a night time.

‘We need a Prime Minister who can stand up for our country. And this Prime Minister can’t do that.’

Dutton lashes ‘green millionaires’

‘I’m not interested in lining the pockets of rich green millionaires, I want to bring down the price of electricity for average mums and dads.

‘If we look at the international experience, let me answer that question because if international experience as we know, electricity is cheaper where there is a presence of nuclear energy.

‘That is the fact. So we can rely on the international experience.’

‘We are going to the next election seeking a mandate from the Australian people, a very clear mandate that we want support to modernise our energy system.

‘That’s the mandate that we seek and that’s the mandate that I believe that we will act on the Parliament and we will work with the premiers in a constructive way.’

Dutton grilled about cost of his plan

Dutton has refused to go into detail today about the cost of his proposal, arguing that today is simply about revealing the proposed locations.

‘As we know the government’s transition [will cost] about $1.2 – $1.5 trillion and that will be passed to consumers.

‘Our proposal will cost a fraction of that, we will have more to say in relation to the cost in due course and as you know we’ve done this in a step-by-step process.

‘The focus today is on the sites.’

But Mr Dutton said international experience indicates that nuclear energy will always be cheaper than the alternative.

(L-R) Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, and Deputy Leader of the Opposition Sussan Ley unveil details of proposed nuclear energy plan during a press conference at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices  in Sydney, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi) NO ARCHIVING

‘It’s time for the Coalition to lead our nation away from this madness’: Nationals leader David Littleproud celebrates nuclear proposal

David Littleproud said today is a ‘proud day for the Nationals’, who have long championed the benefits of nuclear energy.

He said a nuclear approach moving forward is a ‘win for the regions’ and will be the legacy of the Coalition if they win the next election.

‘It’s time for strength and leadership, time for the Coalition to take over to lead our nation away from this madness of renewables approach.’

State premiers vow not to repeal nuclear bans

Both Chris Minns in NSW and Jacinta Allan in Victoria have this morning doubled down on their states’ nuclear bans, in spite of Peter Dutton’s impending announcement.

‘Our ban stays in place, we’re not repealing it. I’d be surprised if the NSW Liberal and National party want to repeal it as well,’ Mr Minns said.

And Ms Allan was adamant there would be no nuclear sites in Victoria while she remained premier.

‘They want to bring more expensive, more risky, more toxic energy solutions to the people of this country. We won’t stand for that. We absolutely will not stand for that,’ she said.

‘What works is exactly what we’re doing now. investing in renewable energy, solar in wind and battery storage.’

NSW Premiere Chris Minns meets with staff during a visit to the Busways Blacktown Bus Depot in Sydney, Friday, June 14, 2024. The Premiere announced a funding boost to the state's bus network as part of the 2024 budget. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING

‘Trainwreck’: Sussan Ley slams Labor’s energy policy and notes ‘we are paying the highest electricity prices in the world’

Sussan Ley appeared on Sky on Wednesday morning where she promoted the impending nuclear energy announcement.

‘Let’s face it, policy in this country around energy under this government is an absolute trainwreck.

‘We are paying the highest electricity prices in the world. You’ve just noted on your program, that today is the coldest day so far this year.

‘There will be Australians who are choosing between heating and eating.’

Climate warrior businessman
Simon Holmes à Court’s blunt questions he says Dutton must answer about nuclear

Climate warrior Simon Holmes à Court has issued a series of 18 questions he says Mr Dutton must answer if he wants the Australian public to support nuclear energy.

Mr Holmes à Court has a ­Climate 200 fund which backed the ‘Teal’ independents in the last election – many of whom snatched previously safe Liberal seats in affluent parts of Sydney.

– Where nuclear reactors will be located

– How the Coalition intends to remove state bans given nuclear is currently banned in Victoria, NSW and Queensland

– What will happen if locals object

– When will the reactors begin generating power

– How much will they cost

– How will the waste be managed

– Who will provide disaster insurance

– What will be the emissions impact

He said: ‘Without good answers to the questions above, the Coalition cannot be taken seriously.

‘Any plan that has us paying more and blowing our carbon budget is a toxic joke.’

Climate 200 founder Simon Holmes a Court poses for a photograph to launch his new book 'The Big Teal' in Melbourne, Friday, September 30, 2022. (AAP Image/Morgan Hancock) NO ARCHIVING 13528823

Announcement to be made at 10am

Peter Dutton will hold a joint press conference at 10am to make his pitch to the Australian public.

It is understood he’ll be joined by Nationals leader David Littleproud, and Liberal deputy leader Sussan Ley.

Labor comes out swinging against nuclear

Treasurer Jim Chalmers on Wednesday trashed Mr Dutton’s nuclear ambitions, describing it as ‘economic insanity, pure and simple’.

Dr Chalmers told ABC Radio: ‘Nuclear takes longer, it costs more, and it will squander Australia’s unique combination of advantages. It is the worst combination of economic and ideological stupidity.’

Key Updates

  • Dutton draws clear battle lines: Coalition vs Labor and ‘green millionaires’

  • Australia is behind the rest of the world’s 20 largest economies on nuclear, Dutton says

  • Dutton says he’s ‘happy’ for next election to be a ‘referendum on energy’

  • Dutton lashes ‘green millionaires’

  • Happening now: Peter Dutton unveils vision for Australia’s future if he’s elected PM

  • State premiers vow not to repeal nuclear bans

  • Aussie towns which could go nuclear: New details of proposal begin to trickle out



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