Catholic Earthcare declares position on uranium

As Australia's politicians and institutions reconsider their attitude to uranium mining, Catholic Earthcare Australia has reasserted its opposition to the growth of the uranium mining industry.

CLICK HEREThe Age today quotes Catholic Earthcare's CEO Colin Brown, who told the paper that the Catholic Church remains opposed to the growth of the industry, which he said has a poor environmental track record.

He said there is general unease in the community about the secrecy that surrounds uranium mining operations. While the Catholic Church is not against open debate about nuclear power, Mr Brown said the Government should be putting more effort into expanding Australia's renewable energy industries.

The Age reports that other churches are divided over whether the country should increase uranium mining and consider building nuclear power plants.

It says the Anglican Church may review its uranium policy after its investment fund, Glebe Asset Management, recently overturned a ban on investing in companies involved in uranium mining.

However the Uniting Church remains opposed to increasing uranium mining and nuclear power which, they it says threatens communities and the environment.

The chairman of the Anglican Church's national public affairs committee, Ray Cleary, said the church should review its uranium policy which has historically opposed uranium mining and nuclear power. "In the current context we are open to take a fresh look at the whole issue," he said.

Concerns about fossil fuels being big contributors to climate change and the improvement in the safety of nuclear power are good reasons to reconsider the use of uranium, he said. But the Anglican Church still holds concerns about the expansion of uranium mining because of the potential misuse of the materials.

In August, the Anglican Church's investment fund, Glebe Asset Management, lifted its ban on uranium mining shares after a three-month review found many clients did not object to uranium as strongly as to other industries, such as gambling, tobacco or pornography.

But the Uniting Church's UCA Funds Management, which manages about $550 million, has kept its ban on uranium stocks and sold its BHP Billiton shares after it took over uranium miner WMC earlier this year.

Churches split on uranium mining (The Age 18/10/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Earthcare Australia

18 Oct 2005