In a stunning turn of events — and despite Midnight Oil‘s ‘fourteen extraordinary albums with combined international record sales of more than 12 million units’ — the ALP has recently decided to abandon its ‘cynical, hypocritical, illogical and failing no-new-mines policy on uranium that was forever undermining Labor’s economic credibility’ for a doubleplusgood policy of expanding the industry beyond BHP Billiton‘s Olympic Dam project in South Australia, Rio Tinto controlled Energy Resources of Australia Ltd‘s Ranger mine in the Northern Territory and US-based General Atomics‘ Beverley mine in South Australia. Since joining his new band, Peter Garrett — current Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment, Heritage (& the Yartz) and former warbler for the Oils — has also changed his tune, and is now singing of his new-found love for number 92 on the elemental chart, stating in a powerful speech to Federal Parliament that:
I see the Labor Party as the natural place for me to continue my engagement with the uranium mining industry. Labor has a proud history, a proud record as the primary party of reform and social justice on the Australian political landscape. And I am confident in the party’s capacity for renewal and enriching this landscape with whichever number of new mines market forces will determine will maximise a profitable return to investors. Labor has always mattered for Australia and it matters to me, as does uranium mining. Labor has an abiding commitment to fairness, to insisting that government does have a primary role in protecting the wellbeing of people, to having a foreign policy which espouses an independence of thought and action in international affairs, and to increasing the amount of uranium on the global commodities market. We in Labor are willing to put ideals as well as ideas into the political mix, and we’ll even even add in a little radioactive waste for good measure. All these components of the modern Labor Party are important to me, and I reckon they are important to Australia — and, of course, the Australian stock market.
Endorsing Garrett’s passionate view — and following the ALP’s decision at its annual conference last weekend — support for uranium stocks rose during subsequent trading sessions, particularly stocks which have deposits in South Australia and the Northern Territory, where there is no opposition to new uranium mining at a state level. Stocks to benefit included Deep Yellow Ltd, which has a deposit in the Northern Territory, Nova Energy Ltd, which has uranium interests in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory and PepinNini Minerals Ltd which has deposits in South Australia. Indeed, according to The Age, Garrett’s rendition of ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ has been hailed a triumph by the mining sector: “Uranium miner Energy Resources of Australia Ltd added 74 cents, or 3.02 per cent, after the news to close at $25.22. Several explorers also made significant gains, including Nova Energy Ltd, which put on 15 cents to $4.05, PepinNini Minerals gained eight cents to $2.73, Deep Yellow Ltd gained four cents to 67.5 cents and Toro Energy Ltd picked up three cents to $1.28.”
And the company takes what the company wants
And nothing’s as precious
As a hole in the ground
See also : Mike Head, ‘Australian Labor Party conference: a right-wing stampede for office’, wsws.org, May 1, 2007