Australian news, and some related international items

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 These dirty companies are blocking Australia’s renewable energy future and clinging on to their misguided and outdated investments in expensive and dirty power.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

    NARROW Terms of Reference for Royal Commission on South Australia’s further participation in the nuclear fuel chain

    Below are the Terms of Reference.  You will note how very few related issues are included.nuclear-fuel-chain3

    The Terms cover:

    • feasibility of expanding mining of radioactive materials
    •  feasibility of conversion, enrichment, fabrication or re-processing in South Australia
    • feasibility of generating electricity from nuclear fuels
    • feasibility of establishing facilities in South Australia for the management,
      storage and disposal of nuclear and radioactive waste
    • and a little nod to the impact on economy, environment, and community

    (TO WIT)
    Australia, Governor in and over the State of South Australia:
    GREETING Continue reading

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

    Flooding danger to uranium tailings at proposed Wiluna uranium mine

    exclamation-Chapple says water could increase the risk at Toro,  Kalgoorlie Miner, 26 Mar 15  Mining and Pastoral MLC Robin Chapple has expressed concerns about plans to mine uranium in Wiluna after the “flooding” of Lake Way.

    His comments came this week after a flyover revealed what Mr Chapple termed flooding on the lake bed. Toro Energy 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 be on the lake bed and are now underwater. The company has cited flooding as a non-issue, claiming the lake to be a natural drainage point, according to Mr Chapple.

    Mr Chapple said the extensive flooding at Lake Way raised serious concerns about Toro’s ability to manage water effectively while mining 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 floodwaters of this magnitude carry radioactive material to other parts of the ecosystem, but on drying out could potentially release large quantities of oxidised uranium … into the atmosphere.

    Mia Pepper Nuclear Free Campaigner Conservation Council of Western AustraliaAbout the flooding of Lake Way – the proposed site for the “Wiluna uranium project” including three pits on Lake Way. We’ve raised the issue that Toro Energy want to store about 100 million tonnes of radioactive tailings in two mined out pits on the lake bed (Centipede and Millipede) – the Department of Mines and Petroleum haven’t yet approved or even seen a tailings management plan from the company. We are focused on making sure the tailings don’t end up in this lake!

    Conservation Council of Western Australia (Inc.) City West Lotteries House, 2 Delhi St, West M 0415 380 808 T (08) 9420 7291 F (08) 9420 7273

    March 27, 2015 Posted by | environment, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

    Committee for Future Generations stops nuclear waste dumping in Saskatchewan

    antnuke-relevant“The powerful Nuclear Waste Management Organization with all their money and all their experts could not beat back the duty we have to protect our future generations”

    there has been strong Indigenous opposition in Ontario for years. Both the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), representing 49 First Nations in northern Ontario, and the Anishinabek Nation, representing 39 member First Nations across Ontario, have formally declared their opposition to nuclear waste in all of their traditional territories……

    “This is what happens when people stick together and fight for what they believe in,” said Fred Pederson, a Pinehouse resident and member of the Committee for Future Generations

    Protest-No!VICTORY! SASKATCHEWAN TO REMAIN NUCLEAR WASTE FREE, Intercontinental Cry by  March 26, 2015 Residents of northern Saskatchewan are celebrating an important victory this month after a four-year, hard-fought campaign to keep the province free of nuclear waste.

    On March 3, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) announced that Creighton was no longer a contender in the organization’s siting process. It was the last of three Saskatchewan communities in the running to host a deep geological repository for the long term storage of spent fuel bundles from Canada’s nuclear reactors in Ontario, Québec and New Brunswick.

    “This announcement is the culmination of four years of research, sacrifice, networking and hard work by a group of dedicated people with one goal: to keep nuclear waste out of Saskatchewan,” said Candyce Paul, a founding member of the Committee for Future Generations. Continue reading

    March 27, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Grave consequences could result from Australia’s unwise uranium deal with India

    Australia and India face a graver test than cricket Against the backdrop of Australia and India squaring up in the World Cup cricket, the two nations now face a test with much graver consequences, write Dave Sweeney and Jim Green. SBS News, 26 Mar 15 When Prime Minister Tony Abbott signed a uranium deal with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last India-uranium1September, he praised India’s “absolutely impeccable non-proliferation record”. This praise came despite the reality that India is actively expanding its nuclear weapons arsenal and its missile delivery capabilities.

    Mr Abbott declined to answer serious questions about India’s nuclear weapons program or the inadequate safety standards in and inadequate regulation of its civil nuclear program. Instead, he offered a cricketing cliché, declaring that Australia and India trust each other on issues like uranium safeguards because of “the fundamentally ethical principle that every cricketer is supposed to assimilate – play by the rules and accept the umpire’s decision”.

    Gaining comfort from clichés while ignoring inconvenient truths might work for those in Canberra and mining company boardrooms but it fails any real world test.

    The proposed India uranium agreement is currently being considered by federal parliament’s treaties committee, and it has yet to be ratified by parliament. Submissions to the treaties committee have raised many serious concerns − and not just from the usual suspects.

    Those raising concerns and objections include John Carlson, former Director-General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office; Ron Walker, former Chair of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors; Prof. Lawrence Scheinman, former Assistant Director of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency; Princeton University physicist Dr M.V. Ramana; and nuclear arms control expert Crispin Rovere.

    The uranium agreement with India weakens Australia’s nuclear safeguards standards, increases the chances of Australian uranium finding its way into Indian weapons and would lead to further undermining of nuclear checks and balances. If the uranium agreement is approved there will be sustained pressure for Australia to apply equally inadequate standards to other uranium customer countries. As John Carlson notes in his submission: “If the Government does compromise Australia’s safeguards conditions, inevitably this will lead to other agreement partners asking for similar treatment.”

    Mr Carlson’s critique carries particular weight given that for over two decades he was the head of Australia’s nuclear safeguards office……..

    March 27, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment


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