Australia’s ruling Labor Party on Sunday voted to overturn a decades-old ban on uranium sale to India, paving the way for Canberra to supply yellowcake to a nation outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Delegates at the 46th national conference of the Labor in Sydney endorsed Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s plan to export uranium to India, with 206 of them voting in favour and 185 against.
Gillard, while moving a motion to change the party’s policy on the issue, said that clearing the move would boost trade and enhance Australia’s ties with India.
“We are at the right time in the history of the world to seize a new era of opportunity in this, the Asian century,” she said.
“We need to make sure that across our regions we have the strongest possible relationships we can, including with the world’s largest democracy, India,” she said.
The landmark policy change came after a fiery debate, with Gillard, who was supported by Resources Minister Martin Ferguson, Defence Minister Stephen Smith and South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill, saying that it was not rational that Australia sells uranium to China but not to India.
Meanwhile, reacting to the development, India’s external affairs minister SM Krishna said: “It is learnt that the Australian Labour Party agreed to allow sale of Uranium to India for power generation....We welcome this initiative.”