I can still clearly recall from my youth the lyrics from the song Blue Sky Mine, from a popular band of the day Midnight Oil - written by Peter Garret, now Australia's minister for the environment.
Today, Garret approved the Four Mile Mine, and the once anti nuclear leader must be facing that question from the song, "who's gonna save me?" because it seems nothing's as precious as a hole in the ground, because the fact is the the company takes what the company wants. But what's sure, is that in the end the rain comes down...
Apart from the peculiar feeling this leaves me - reconciling my memory of Garret in my youth to what's become of him today, I wonder about the overall reality of the stance of nuclear in this country.
Australia is perfectly happy to do the really dirty - and high environmentally damaging part of the nuclear value chain but we stop there and the public (through the representation of our Government) accept this.
Which then leads me to wonder about the question;
As a country, the fact is we are neck deep in the nuclear trade. So what's stopping us going the whole 9 yards and actually using the crap we dig up and process to turn it into energy? Or are we just too complacent, happy burning brown coal and keen to wipe our hands of the uranium once it's been popped in a shipping container?
The song was inspired by the experiences of workers at the Wittenoom asbestos mines who contracted various asbestos-related diseases. Seems to me there is a bit of a parallel going on here.