MEDIA RELEASE

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE
AUSTRALIA

D21

14 September 1999

Australia and New Zealand Sign Bilateral Safeguards Agreement

Australia and New Zealand today signed a bilateral nuclear safeguards agreement for the export of uranium oxide to New Zealand.

The Agreement will facilitate the export of small amounts of uranium oxide, up to 200kg per year, to New Zealand for use as a colouring agent in the glass-making industry.

Although the planned exports are for a non-nuclear purpose, Australia's nuclear safeguards policy requires the negotiation of a bilateral safeguards agreement to ensure all exported uranium remains in peaceful, non-explosive use.

The Agreement stipulates strict safeguards, verification and physical protection measures for uranium exports.

The Agreement, which was signed in Canberra, will be tabled in Federal Parliament later in the year.

There was also an exchange of letters enabling a shipment of uranium oxide later this year.

Media Inquiries: Mark Croxford 02 6261 1555