CANBERRA, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said Wednesday that nuclear power is not the answer to the nation's high energy prices.
Speaking on Seven Network TV, Dutton said he was opposed to lifting Australia's moratorium on nuclear power generation.
"I don't believe it is and the government has had a moratorium," he said when asked if nuclear power was the answer to energy price problems.
"The only thing we have said, let us be clear about it, we want lower electricity prices. We want reliability."
His comments came only one day after Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor told the parliament that the governing Liberal-National party coalition has an "open mind" on nuclear power generation.
"We're not focused on the fuel source, we are focused on the outcome," Taylor said.
Barnaby Joyce, the former deputy prime minister, said on Monday that support for nuclear power plants could be built by offering free power to residents living close to reactors.
"You just have to come up with the right policy settings and they will accept it ... People will think with their wallets," he told Fairfax Media.
"If you can see the reactor (from your house), your power is for free. If you are within 50 kilometers of a reactor, you get power for half price."
Members of Parliament James McGrath and Keith Pitt put the nuclear power moratorium on the agenda in June when they urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to establish an inquiry into the power source.
However, Morrison said in the lead-up to the general election on May 18 that his government has "no plans" to repeal the ban.