Aussies Should Have A Say In Nuclear Plants Location

People should be able to vote in local plebiscites to choose whether their communities had nuclear power plants, Prime Minister John Howard said today.

His comment comes a day after Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile said locally binding plebiscites could decide the future of nuclear power in Australia.

Speaking at the Nepean Rowing Club in Penrith in Sydney's west, Mr Howard told reporters the nuclear question was at least a decade away.

"When the time does come for plants to be considered in particular parts of Australia, I believe local communities should be given a vote and I think having a plebiscite in a local community would be a good demonstration to the rest of the nation," he said.

Just last week, Mr Howard told parliament that commercial investors, not politicians, would determine the location of nuclear reactors.

"(It is my) opinion that in 10, 15, 20 years time, public opinion will have shifted on this issue and people will see nuclear power as a very sensible alternative," he said today.

Treasurer Peter Costello also said today that local communities should be consulted before a reactor was built in their area.

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