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A constitutional expert says the Federal Government's decision to take over the awarding of uranium mining licences in the Northern Territory signifies a remodelling of the country's federal system of government.
The mining industry has hailed the move as offering certainty that will lead to a "prolonged uranium boom"
Dr John Williams from the Australian National University (ANU) says it is a bold move by the Commonwealth.
"Federalism in one sense is being reshaped as we speak and in many ways the states are becoming service deliveries, and so is the case for the Territory Government," he said.
"So the Commonwealth is clearly being quite bold and emboldened.
"I think by the fact that it now controls the Senate that any of these changes that it wants to make it will be able to put through at its will."
Doubt on NT uranium mining
By Karen Michelmore
June 19, 2005
THE re-elected Northern Territory Government's anti-uranium policy could set it on course for a showdown with the Federal Government.
The Howard Government has been vocal in its support for an increase in uranium mining, given high world uranium prices.
But the NT Labor Government, returned in a landslide on the weekend, has promised no new uranium mines will be established in the territory.
Environmentalists have hailed the election result, in which Labor could have 15 to 18 of the 25 Legislative Assembly seats, as a big win for the environment.
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) said it sent a "clear message to Canberra" that territorians were opposed to uranium mining.