Among the many hurdles for the Coalition to leap before it can break ground on a single nuclear site will be the state’s premiers, who have lined up against a proposal to establish nuclear power plants at seven locations across the country.

The Coalition has announced its proposal for Australia to go nuclear, eschewing the ramp up of more solar and wind power, to instead build either traditional nuclear plants or small modular reactors on retiring coal sites in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and in Western Australia.

To do so, a future Coalition government would first have to convince federal parliament to lift a prohibition on nuclear power, establish viable sites, find a solution for nuclear waste, convince local communities and train workers before a first plant could be built by late next decade.

And state premiers have emerged as another barrier to entry, with Labor premiers in the states proposed to go nuclear unequivocal in their opposition to the plan — but also some Liberal and National MPs in those states saying they won’t be buying in.

NSW Premier Chris Minns and Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan said even if Liberal leader Peter Dutton managed to lift the federal nuclear ban, he would also have to overcome bans at a state level.

“We’ve got our ban in place … if there’s a constitutional way for a hypothetical Dutton government to move through the state planning powers, I’m not aware of it, but that’s probably a question for him to answer,” Mr Minns said.

Ms Allan said building a plant in Gippsland would also require repealing state legislation in Victoria.

“They want to bring more expensive, more risky, more toxic energy solutions to the people of this country. We won’t stand for that,” Ms Allan said.

The Victorian premier has since written to Mr Dutton to confirm her government “won’t be negotiating” and would do all in its power to stop a nuclear plant in the Latrobe Valley.

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan opposed any prospect of lifting state nuclear bans.(AAP: Joel Carrett)

In Queensland, where the Coalition has proposed establishing two nuclear power stations, the state Liberal-National Party has voiced its opposition to nuclear, leaving the opposition without allies at a state level.

Queensland Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said his party had been “clear” nuclear was not part of their plan.

“That’s a matter for Canberra. We’ve been consistent the whole way through,” Mr Crisafulli said.

A Liberal source told the ABC they believed Mr Crisafulli could be convinced to “roll over” on nuclear, “as he did with the Voice … and [the state Labor government’s] budget”.

In New South Wales, however, the Liberal opposition said it would be open to lifting the state-level ban.

“The opposition is open to lifting the ban to allow nuclear power to be considered, if feasible, as a longer term supplement to continued deliver of reliable, affordable and clean energy under the [NSW] Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap and subject to rigorous environmental assessments for particular projects,” a spokesperson for NSW Liberal leader Mark Speakman said.

Coalition’s timeline ‘fastest nuclear rollout in the world’: Bowen

Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen said the Coalition had delivered an “alleged policy” with no costings and no details.

“Even on their own timetable, which is hugely ambitious, they couldn’t get a nuclear Australia until 2035 or 2037,” Mr Bowen said. 

“Now, that would be, in and of itself, the fastest nuclear rollout in the world in a country that doesn’t have a nuclear industry.

“Of the seven proposed sites, on six of the locations the owners aren’t interested in hosting a nuclear power plant … so this policy fails at the first hurdle.”

Shadow Climate Change Minister Ted O’Brien said Australians would be won onside to the worth of nuclear power.

“I believe over time as we continue to point out what the rest of the world has found out, you need nuclear in the mix, we will carry the Australian people,” Mr O’Brien told Sky News.

Mixed feelings from communities earmarked for nuclear sites

Among locals in the proposed nuclear communities, reaction has been more mixed.

Muswellbrook man Mark said the announcement was “the best thing to come out of Canberra in years”, while Nanango cafe owner Darren said a plant at Tarong was a “great idea”.

“I think it’s just where we have to head, coal is going to run out soon and nuclear is safe,” Darren said.

Nanango cafe owner Darren supported the prospect of nuclear power in his region.(ABC News)

Port Augusta resident Paul said he supported nuclear power being part of Australia’s energy mix, but did not think it should be built in populous areas, saying “if they go wrong, it will go wrong in a big way”.

“It’s easy to say for politicians to say let’s put it somewhere but I’m pretty certain they don’t want it in their backyard,” he said.

Meanwhile, early reactions from local representatives also illustrated the task for the Coalition to convince communities to take on nuclear.

Gladstone regional councillor Kahn Goodluck said his community was an industrial powerhouse of the nation, and “getting on with the job of transitioning our economy from fossil fuels to renewable energy”.

“We don’t need or want expensive, radioactive, nuclear energy here,” he said.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party member and state representative for Eastern Victoria Jeff Bourman said he was pro-nuclear, but would still not consider a proposal in his region “glibly”.

“I’d go and talk to the people — the people that would live near it, the people that would live away from it, the for, the against, the scientists. I just don’t want to talk to the activists.”

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