South Australia offers clean energy and water to India

New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) Located in the underbelly of Australia, and holding nearly a quarter of the world’s uranium reserves, the Australian province of South Australia, whose capital is Adelaide, is looking to help India boost its supplies of clean energy and water.

“South Australia has more than 23 percent of global identified uranium resources and we are definitely looking at supplying India with fuel required for producing clean energy, South Australia’s Minister for Investment, Trade and Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith told IANS in an interview during a visit here.
India and Australia signed an MoU for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy during the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot’s visit to India in September last year, which has opened the way for uranium supplies to this country. Australia has world’s largest reserves of recoverable uranium, while South Australia accounts for 80 percent of it.
“We’re waiting for national governments’ negotiators to work out the administrative arrangement to begin supplying . Only after signing the contractual agreements, can the Australian supply of uranium come to India,” Hamilton-Smith said.
Situated as the “gateway” to the country, and with geographical similarities with India, South Australia is also looking share its expertise in the sphere of water management.
“Water and its management is a critical factor underpinning South Australia’s economy, environment and lifestyle and the state has become a world-class export oriented hub for water technology,” Hamilton-Smith said.
He had just returned from the water resource ministry’s technology showcase event – India Water Week – being held here over Jan 13-17, where he proposed South Australian services in meetings with Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Uma Bharti, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh.
Hamilton-Smith said that his state was particularly well-placed to offer specialised water technologies following the expertise gained from what is described as the “millennium drought”, that prevailed through the first decade of this century and was the worst on record for southeast Australia.
The minister is here also exploring South Australia’s participation in developing the action plan for Ganga renewal and the role companies from his state can play in the process.
“South Australia is also keen to be part of the Clean Ganga plan that is particularly dear to Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Hamilton-Smith told IANS.
“I am returning to India in August with a trade mission which will include water companies. The water programme exchange can take place at three levels – between governments, between university to university and also on a commercial basis,” he added.
On his fourth visit to this country, Hamilton-Smith is part of a massive 450-member Australian business delegation being led by the federal Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb.
Hamilton-Smith is going to Rajasthan to explore business ties with the state, which he said has climate and geography similar to South Australia. “We’re trying to explore a relationship with Rajasthjan similar to that we have with the China’s Shandong province,” the minister said.
(Biswajit Choudhury can be reached at