Rudd to win uranium vote

Rudd to win uranium vote

Mr Rudd wants to overturn a historic ban on the opening of new mines but there is fierce opposition from many delegates, especially those on the Left.

However, key anti-nuclear figures in the party yesterday admitted it would be devastating if Mr Rudd were defeated.

“It’s too close to the next election to be cannibalising ourselves,” a key member of the Left said.

Uranium and the new-look industrial relations system proposed by Mr Rudd are set to dominate the conference, which comes six months before an election is expected.

The Labor leader will make a keynote speech this morning as he helps open the three-day extravaganza at Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The uranium issue has split Mr Rudd’s front bench. High-profile environment spokesman Peter Garrett and industry spokesman Kim Carr are campaigning for the ban to remain.

Most of the Left want the ban to stay but Mr Rudd’s deputy Julia Gillard has broken factional ranks and backed the development of more mines.

The vote on uranium is due tomorrow and is expected to be close.

Mr Rudd will present the motion on uranium mines and South Australian Premier Mike Rann is to second it.

Mr Rann, who has been lobbying for change, said he was taking nothing for granted.

“It’s really a very contentious issue. It’s going to be a very close vote,” he said. “It’s overturning a policy that’s been in place for 25 years and one that generates a great deal of emotion.”

The motion includes extra safeguardsto stop Australian uranium being used in weapons programs.

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie and Western Australian Alan Carpenter have opposed new mines.

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