Uranium plans leak a ‘shocking breach’

Energy Matters0


The document states the contents are potentially sensitive to Australia’s relationship with other countries and should not be made public.

The Opposition’s Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, Julie Bishop, says the release is highly embarrassing.

“This is a shocking breach of security that will undermine Australia’s international reputation,” she said.

“This puts at risk the Australian Government’s ability to conduct sensitive and confidential negotiations with neighbouring countries.

“The release of this confidential information is a shocking breach of security.”

The Greens say they are disturbed by revelations the Federal Government is considering exporting more uranium to China.

The Greens’ nuclear spokesman, Senator Scott Ludlam, says the negotiations should be done publicly.

“The Australian Parliament and the Australian people should be told when negotiations over sales of uranium to nuclear weapons states are occurring,” he said.

“It shouldn’t be happening behind our backs.”

A spokeswoman for Mr Smith says the document should not have been tabled but the Foreign Minister has and does accept responsibility for this error.

The Minister’s office says the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is in the process of contacting the affected countries to tell them of the accidental release.

The Trade Minister, Simon Crean, says he does not expect any countries to express concern but concedes it is not helpful.

“I don’t think it’s a good thing that you table something that says shouldn’t be tabled,” he said.

“I don’t think, on the trade front, it is embarrassing for us. I don’t expect any comment or concern and if there are, then I’m sure we can deal with it.”