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Australia's ruling Labor party lifts ban on uranium sales to India

Canberra, Sun, 04 Dec 2011 ANI

Canberra, Dec 4 (ANI): Australia's ruling Labor Party has voted to lift a ban on uranium sales to India.


Despite feisty resistance from opponents, the landmark policy change was carried by a majority of delegates, paving the way for the first Australian country-to-country agreement to sell uranium to India, which has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.


Prime Minister Julia Gillard declared uranium sales to India in Australia's national interest, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.


She said as Australians contemplated living in the Asian century, they should consider India's emergence as well as China.


Gillard argued that Australia could sell uranium to India without breaching its obligations under the NPT. She said any agreement to sell uranium to India would include strict safeguards to minimise proliferation risks.


The policy change was seconded by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill, and backed by fellow advocates including Martin Ferguson, Stephen Smith, union boss Paul Howes and Warren Mundine.


The only right-winger to oppose the change was Stephen Conroy, who was overwhelmed by emotion as he recounted negative family history with the nuclear industry in the UK.


According to the report, the vote to amend the platform was carried affirmatively 206 to 185. (ANI)


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