Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s Nuclear-Free Movement – Proud and Strong – theme for March 2015

Australia’s Nuclear Free and Clean Energy Movement stands more clearly than ever, to lead this country to a positive future.


Australians live in a limbo of ignornace on ethics and science. The cringing Murdoch media pushes the agenda of greedy and self-seeking businessmen, politicians, and some academics.

Consideration of the future for our children, grandchildren and beyond, is drowned out by the hype about more money, more jobs, more material consumption.

Cutting through this dishonest and unethical hype, Australians can hear the clear voices from the clean energy movement. There are many organisations, often under the umbrella of the Australian Nuclear ANFAFree Alliance (ANFA). And many individuals such as the heroic Northern Territory Aboriginals – Yvonne Margarula, Dianne Stokes, Jeefrey Lee.  There are the world famous Dr Helen Caldicott, Senator Scott Ludlam, Dr Jim Green, Natalie Wasley, Dave Sweeney, Professor Ian Lowe, Dr Mark Deisendorf – and many others.

February 27, 2015 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

The week that was in Australian nuclear news

a-cat-CANTragic action of pilot in deliberately crashing plane in France. Raises the fearful thought of what a similarly minded person might do with a nuclear missile.


South Australia  Despite the indecently short period allowed for submissions the government still received over 1000 submissions on its Draft Terms of Reference for its Nuclear Royal Commission – overwhelmingly requesting uranium mining to be included, and safety, environmental, indigenous, historic aspects. These were to be publicised, but mysteriously vanished from the government’s website in  a day or two.

You can see one submission, from Dr Peter Burdon, Associate Professor, , Alexander Reilly, and Paul Leadbetter of the University of Adelaide, on my website. You can also read the (narrow) Terms of Reference decided on by the South Australian Government .  Nuclear lobby influence – Australian Industry Group Defence Council wants nuclear submarines. (Conflict of interest in its chairman Chris Jenkins, who is also the Australian chief of French industry giant Thales)

Western Australia. Wiluna uranium project not viable due to flooding risks? The planned pit areas for up to 100 million tonnes of uranium tailings is presently under water. Widespread opposition to the State and Federal governments’ moves to get remote Aboriginal communities off their land – conveniently for the uranium industry. The importance of connection to country – the danger of Terra Vacua. Some Good news.- new national park in W.A. - mining excluded

Queensland. Unprecedented Aboriginal stand to stop $16bn Carmichael coalmine, Australia’s largest.

New South Wales. Government  funds Byron Bay’s renewable energy trading plan.

VictoriaMildura’s solar farm – successful without a cent of government money


British report slams Australia for its polluting industries, high carbon emissions. Abbott’s “Direct Action” climate policy – a gift to the big polluters. Australian farmers lobby Abbott government for emissions trading scheme. Both Labor and Liberal happy to get donations from coal seam gas companies. Australian government downplays climate change, invites sceptic to talk on foreign aid

Vale Malcolm Fraser, who, among other fine causes,  worked tirelessly for International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Fraser had a plan for a green Australian republic

The Better Power campaign. Sponsored by GetUp and Powershop electricity retailer, this campaign urges Australians to switch from the big polluting companies Origin, AGL and Energy Australia.  I switched months ago -to Powershop , with entirely renewable energy – also greatly reducing my electricity bill.


March 28, 2015 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Wiluna uranium project not viable due to flooding risks

Lake Way flooding proves Wiluna unviable 27 Mar 15, (Good photos)  After yesterday flying over Lake Way to see the extent of flooding in the area, WA Greens spokesperson on uranium Robin Chapple MLC has expressed deep concern about the future of proposed uranium mining on the lake bed.

 Toro Energy Ltd plans to store radioactive tailings from the proposed Wiluna uranium mine – up to 100 million tonnes – in the mined-out Centipede and Millipede pits, which will also reside on the lake bed and are currently underwater.
 The company has previously cited flooding as a non-issue claiming the lake to be a natural drainage point however photographs taken by the Hon Robin Chapple MLC reveal this to be untrue.
 Mr Chapple said the extensive flooding at Lake Way raised very serious concerns about the ability of Toro Energy Ltd to effectively manage water whilst mining such a volatile mineral on a lake bed.
“I do not believe this company has properly accounted, nor planned, for potential flooding to the extent we have seen this week at Lake Way,” he said.
“Not only would flood waters of this magnitude carry radioactive material to other parts of the ecosystem but upon drying out, could potentially release large quantities of oxidised uranium – radioactive dust – into the atmosphere.
“Had this been an active mine site we would now be dealing with an environmental disaster on a large scale.”
For comment please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255.

March 28, 2015 Posted by | environment, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Australians! Join the Better Power campaign

Australia-solar-plugJoin the switch to save renewables Australia’s biggest energy companies, Origin, AGL and Energy Australia are attacking the Renewable Energy Target. They’re doing everything they can to get Tony Abbott and the Liberal Government to weaken policies critical to our clean energy future. Why? Because they want to support their vested interests in coal and coal seam gas and keep energy prices as high as possible.

The Better Power campaign is using our movement’s collective consumer power to hit the “Dirty Three” where it hurts – their profits. It’s time to leave the companies that are attacking renewable energy behind, and switch to a company backed by renewables, that’s championing our Renewable Energy Target today:

In Victoria: click on the link to switch:
In NSW: click on the link to switch:

Not in Victoria or NSW? Click here and pledge to switch when the Better Power comes to your state:

March 28, 2015 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

GetUp and Powershop join forces to switch Australia to renewable energy

logo-Powershop-1Powershop was ranked by Greenpeace as the greenest power company in Australia. As a generator, the company only produces renewable energy through its wind farms in Victoria and South Australia. It buys carbon offsets from UN-certified projects for all the electricity it creates and sells at no additional cost to the end user. It also lets consumers buy certified Green Power from projects such as the Hepburn Wind Farm (a community project in Victoria), LMS Energy (which creates gas from landfill), and CSR’s renewable energy project.

Powershop is a disruptive player because it offers customers greater visibility and control over their electricity use with no lock-in contracts.

Why GetUp activists are the new sales agents for electricity retailer Powershop Business Review Weekly Caitlin Fitzsimmons Online editor 26 March 2015 Online electricity retailer Powershop has a novel way of winning new customers – getting online activist group GetUp to do the sales and marketing for them.

Powershop Australia chief executive Ben Burge says more than 6,000 of Powershop’s 38,000 Australian customers – about 16 per cent – have come directly via GetUp to date.

“Of course it’s helpful to have someone other than the power company talking to customers about what’s a good choice of power company,” Burge says. “The great thing about working with GetUp is they are incredibly enthusiastic and that passion comes through – we don’t ever want it to be a scripted thing.”

GetUp chief executive Sam McLean says the goal is to get 50,000 people to switch before the annual general meetings of the big three power companies, Origin, Energy Australia and AGL, later this year. As of 11.30am on Thursday, GetUp’s internal figures showed it had switched 6,902 customers in total and was adding about 150 a day via both online and telesales.

The switching campaign is part of GetUp’s Better Power push to champion climate change action and renewable energy. The big three energy companies, which control 75 per cent of the energy retail market between them, are campaigning heavily to abolish or reduce the Renewable Energy Target. By contrast, Powershop strongly supported retaining the target in its submission to the recent government review. Continue reading

March 28, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

John Hewson calls on Australians to switch from Origin, AGL and Energy Australia electricity companies

It’s time for all of us to stand up and be counted. I urge you to consider joining me in withdrawing your custom from Origin, AGL and Energy Australia. These dirty companies are blocking Australia’s renewable energy future and clinging on to their misguided and outdated investments in expensive and dirty power.

The more of us that switch to companies that genuinely support the RET and oppose CSG, the better we will make things for all Australian consumers, our communities and our environment 

 The real villains in Australia’s renewables debacle? Three big energy companies, Guardian 26 Mar 15 
poster-renewables-rallyExtensive ‘advice’ from AGL, Energy Australia and Origin on the Renewable Energy Target has been a disaster – except for the companies’ profits “……Let’s hope Bill Shorten and the opposition have the courage to stand firm. The Greens and most of the Senate crossbenchers would back them to block the government’s attempts to make the necessary legislative amendments to the RET.

The real villains here, however, are Australia’s three biggest energy companies: AGL, Energy Australia and Origin.

Abbott has been extensively “advised” by these companies. Surely it is in no small part their influence that led to the coalition setting up an inquiry into the RET, headed by climate change sceptic Dick Warburton.

Interestingly, the inquiry found that the RET will drive down the price of power for consumers. Continue reading

March 28, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Free Press Corporation in Japan’s Mako Oshidori speaks out on Fukushima

Oshidori, MakoMako Oshidori in Düsseldorf “The Hidden Truth about Fukushima, Fukushima Voice version 2E 28 May 2014  On March 8th, 2014, comedienne/journalist Mako Oshidori gave a lecture, “The Hidden Truth About Fukushima” in Düsseldorf, Germany, organized by a citizen’s group, SAYONARA Genpatsu Düsseldorf. Translation of Mako Oshidori’s March 6th, 2014 press conference at the German IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War) Symposium in Frankfurt can be found here.

The lecture, given in Japanese with German interpretation, was transcribed and translated into English……Transcription by Takashi Mizuno

Translation by @YuriHiranuma

Mako: I am the director of  Free Press Corporation in Japan. 

This organization was originally created after the earthquake. The media is controlled as I just mentioned. This alliance was created for the purpose of conveying accurate, fresh information without media control.

Mako: Actually, it was created shortly before the earthquake. It was sort of coincidental…..

 I was invited to talk to you, but I am actually not active in the anti-nuclear power plant movement. What I do is conduct investigations. There are numerous issues in Japan that I investigate, from the nuclear accident to other medical issues such as Minamata disease and Asbestosis.

However, doctors and scientists attending the IPPNW conference, which ended yesterday, shared how they end up being labeled as anti-nuclear activists even though they don’t consider themselves to be as such, when they research and publicize facts inconvenient for promotion of nuclear power. There is a tremendous amount of pressure exerted when researching and writing up facts the nuclear lobby doesn’t like. If you continue without giving in, despite such pressure, people eventually think you are an anti-nuclear power plant activist. Of course, it is my belief that we don’t need nuclear power plants on Planet Earth.

Continue reading

March 28, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New South Wales govt funds Byron Bay’s renewable energy trading plan.

piggy-ban-renewablesNSW Govt tips $15,000 into Byron renewable energy trading , Courier Mail, JOHN CONROY MARCH 25, 2015 The Baird Government in NSW has announced $15,000 in funding to back Byron Bay’s renewable energy trading plan.

The Byron Bay council trial in collaboration with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, the Institute of Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney and the NSW Renewable Energy Advocate, will allow the allow the local sports centre to sell renewable energy generated by their solar panel array to the council’s sewage treatment plant.

“This trial will mean we have two facilities using renewable energy from one site, allowing the sewage plant to run off clean, sustainable power and achieving greater use of energy generated by the sports centre’s solar panels,” Environment Minister Rob Stokes said……


    March 28, 2015 Posted by | energy, New South Wales | Leave a comment

    India’s nuclear safety inadequate: regulator in bed with govt

    antnuke-relevantGlobal Watchdog Slams India’s Nuclear Regulations NDTV All India | Written by Pallava Bagla | Updated: March 27, 2015 NEW DELHI:  India’s atomic regulatory body is not independent and lacks internal emergency arrangements, a draft report by the global nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, has said.
    India, it also said, should allow more safety inspections of nuclear plants by independent bodies. These safety-symbolfacts have often been stated by anti-nuclear activists.

    The experts of the Integrated Regulatory Review Service made their assessment after visiting various nuclear facilities during a 12-day trip to India at the invitation of the government.

    in-bedThe global experts said India’s nuclear regulatory body – the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board or AERB — should be separated from bodies that can unduly influence its decision making. They also said India should have a system of radioactive waste management……

    March 28, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

    Unprecedented Aboriginal stand to stop $16bn Carmichael coalmine, Australia’s largest

    Queensland lawyer Stephen Keim, who is not acting in the case, said the complete rejection of the mine was the first of its kind and sets up a “significant event in the history of native title”.

    “This is the first case with such a strong impasse, where the native title party has said ‘well we don’t want to negotiate compensation, we don’t want the action to go ahead,’” he said. “The native title act doesn’t give the right of veto, you’ve just got to keep working until you get an agreement.

    “This situation does allow the arbitration process to say no, so perhaps for the first time we’ll see that happen. The impression has been that the arbiter has always seen mining as very important, but maybe this is the one.

    highly-recommendedAboriginal group fights to stop $16bn Carmichael coalmine, Australia’s largest  Indian firm Adani has appealed to the native title tribunal to bypass the traditional owners’ rejection of the Queensland mine. Guardian, , 26 Mar 15 An Aboriginal group in central Queensland is attempting to prevent Australia’s largest mine from being established on its ancestral land, in what is shaping up to be an unprecedented test of the country’s native title laws.

    Representatives for the Wangan and Jagalingou people have formally rejected an Indigenous land use agreement that would see Indian mining firm Adani develop its huge $16bn Carmichael mine in the coal-rich Galilee basin region.

    However, Adani has turned to the national native title tribunal to override this objection, which would allow the state government to issue a lease for the mine.

    Wangan and Jagalingou elder Adrian Burragubba has written to the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, to uphold what he sees as the clan’s native title rights, warning that the mine would “tear the heart out of our country”. Continue reading

    March 28, 2015 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Queensland | Leave a comment

    Remote Aboriginal communities in distress over W.A. moves to get them off their land

    “And those remote communities stand there waiting for their verdict but don’t know what they’ve done to appear before the Liberal Government’s jury.”

    Remote community residents frightened they will be forced off their land: Aboriginal elder  ABC News 26 Mar 15  By Lucy Martin People in remote Indigenous communities are panicking about their future, say an Aboriginal elder and MP, as the Western Australian Government maintains no community will close without consultation.

    Pintupi elder Bobby West said life was good in the isolated community of Kiwirrkurra in Western Australia’s Gibson Desert.

    “It’s a friendly and safe community, much better than close by in the town area. We’re not planting marijuana or selling drugs in small communities. Yeah, we got a good life out here,” he said.

    It has remained that way for decades, but Mr West said residents were growing increasingly frightened they would soon be forced off their land. Continue reading

    March 28, 2015 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Western Australia | Leave a comment

    British report slams Australia for its polluting industries, high carbon emissions

    New British report highlights urgent need for action on renewable energy investment in Australia  ABC Radio PM David Taylor reported this story on Friday, March 27, 2015 MARK COLVIN: A new British report has singled out four Australian energy companies as being among the worst polluters in the world. The research from Oxford University warns of the risks they pose to the economy and the environment.Australia has 22 coal-fired power stations which account for around a quarter of the nation’s carbon emissions.

    DAVID TAYLOR: Leading international researchers say Australia has a poor record on tackling greenhouse emissions produced by the nation’s energy companies.

    Now, a British report has singled out some of the nation’s worst polluters.

    Oxford University researcher, Ben Caldecott.

    BEN CALDECOTT: Those were AGL, Origin, Stanwell, and Delta.  Continue reading

    March 28, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

    USA bank to finance $1 billion for India’s renewable energy

    antnuke-relevantRenewables to Get Most of $1 Billion ExIm Bank Credit  (Bloomberg) 27 Mar 15 – Renewable energy developers will receive “the vast majority” of a $1 billion credit line the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. extended to India, the institution’s president said.

    Regulatory policies in India, including terms for selling power, are conducive to financing solar- and wind-power projects, and make it easier for the bank to ensure it will be repaid, said Fred Hochberg, who is also chairman of the Washington-based lender.

    The comments are an indication that the ExIm bank’s funding for renewables is poised to rise ….. The credit line sealed during President Barack Obama’s visit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January is part of the U.S. effort to back an unprecedented expansion of clean energy in developing nations and check rising pollution blamed for global warming.

    India’s Ambitions

    Modi wants to install by 2022 five times as many photovoltaics as the U.S. has now, an ambition that may cost $160 billion, according to the Council on Energy, Environment & Water, a research group in New Delhi. Obama wants India to join in a global deal limiting greenhouse gases, and India’s ministers are seeking financial support from the West to cut the cost of emissions.

    The U.S. developer SunEdison Inc. announced in January plans to build as much as 5 gigawatts of wind and solar power in India, and First Solar Inc., the largest U.S. solar manufacturer, is also developing power plants in the country. Regulations in India permit power purchase agreements that extend as long as 20 years. That makes it easier for banks to finance solar and wind projects…….


    March 28, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Abbott’s “Direct Action” climate policy – a gift to the big polluters

    Abbott-fiddling-global-warmTop polluters to set own limits virtually penalty free, according to Direct Action policy paper ABC News 27 Mar 15  By the National Reporting Team’s Lisa Main Australia’s 140 top polluters will set their own limits for future pollution virtually penalty free, according to the Government’s latest Direct Action policy paper.

    The Federal Government is building towards the launch of its flagship climate change initiative, the Emission Reduction Fund (ERF), in mid-April. As part of that it has released a consultation paper outlining “safeguards” to ensure the big polluters do not offset emissions saved through the ERF.

    Companies subject to the safeguards will select a baseline, or limit, for future pollution. That baseline will be set according to the highest peak of emissions from the past five years.

    Grattan Institute energy program director Tony Wood said the ideas proposed in the paper simply would not work. “The safeguard mechanism was always a critical element of the Direct Action plan, but there is nothing in this safeguard mechanism that puts any absolute limit on a whole range of sectors,” he said.

    There is also significant wiggle room for companies, according to the paper. Changes to the baselines can be made if there are changes to the company size or if the company has a “limited ability to control such emissions”. “All of the flexibility seems to be in the hands of the emitter and that runs counter to the fundamental principal of the paper,” Mr Wood said.

    System designed as a toothless tiger, economist says Continue reading

    March 28, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

    Malcolm Fraser worked tirelessly for International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

    Malcolm Fraser fought to abolish nuclear weapons March 26, 2015 Tilman Ruff  Largely missing logo-ICANfrom the plaudits for Malcolm Fraser was his tireless work for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the unprecedented global campaign linking 424 organisations in 95 countries.……

    March 28, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

    Disappearance of Submissions from the Nuclear Royal Commission website

    The very short time allowed for people to submit for the draft Terms of Reference nevertheless was enough for over 1000 submissions to be sent – the overwhelming majority raising issues that I bet the
    keep-it-secretnuclear lobby would not want raised.  No surprise then that the promised web page of all these submissions just vanished within  a day or two.

    However, here below is  a sample of some of these excellent submissions. It is from  DR. PETER BURDON ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR ALEXANDER REILLY MR. PAUL LEADBETER of the University of Adelaide


    To Whom It May Concern, RE: Royal Commission – Our role in nuclear energy

    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into South Australia’s nuclear industry potential. Continue reading

    March 27, 2015 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment


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