Nats senator slams renewable energy 'hoax'

Nationals senator Sam McMahon says Australia should turn to nuclear and fossil fuels for energy.
Nationals senator Sam McMahon says Australia should turn to nuclear and fossil fuels for energy.

Nationals senator Sam McMahon has lashed renewable energy as a "fraud" and a "hoax" as she made the case for oil, gas and nuclear energy.

She became the second government senator in as many days to use their first speech to parliament to talk up nuclear power after South Australian Liberal Alex Antic did the same on Tuesday.

The NT senator said Australia was looking down the barrel of an energy crisis which "quiet Australians" wanted government to solve.

"Research must continue in the development of renewable technologies, but for commercial use they currently remain immature and in many cases fundamentally flawed," Senator McMahon told parliament on Wednesday.

"A hoax of immature technology replacing safe, clean, reliable and inexpensive power stations has unfolded.

"The quiet Australians are no longer content subsidising fanciful ideas that have been uncovered as fraud."

Senator McMahon said onshore and offshore gas and oil exploration could lead to jobs across the territory.

She also said 30 per cent of the world's uranium reserves were located in the NT.

"The time is right for us to visit and re-examine options for us to utilise this technology."

The Katherine-based vet said energy and water were two industries which could help provide employment in remote indigenous communities, with 60 per cent of Territorians on some form of welfare.

"Modern welfare systems have enabled people to stay in these communities when there is no work, and facilitated rapid expansion of the population," Senator McMahon said.

"We are now grappling with the conundrum of expecting government to create employment in very remote areas often where none exists."

With dam building being brought sharply into focus by federal Nationals, Senator McMahon joined the chorus of support for new water infrastructure.

"I call upon my colleagues in this government to join me in examining a variety of means of collection of massive quantities of water delivered by our monsoonal rains across the north," she said.

She also called on the government to develop storage facilities for the water, and ways of distributing it to grow agriculture, including in new regions, and give confidence to the sector.

Australian Associated Press