Australian news, and some related international items

The devil in the Trans Pacific Partnership – ‘Investor State Dispute Swttlement’

Hear-This-wayInvestor State Dispute Swttlement : The devil in the trade deal

logo-anti-TPPISDS, a provision in trade agreements that allows foreign investors to sue host governments, has become a ticking time bomb inside trade agreements like the soon to be signed Trans Pacific Partnership. Jess Hill investigates.

The Trans Pacific Partnership is the biggest trade deal in history: 12 countries, including Australia and the United States, that account for 800 million people and 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. After languishing on the negotiating table for years, the TPP could now be signed within weeks. …

What is ISDS? Put bluntly, it’s a provision that allows foreign investors to sue governments for policy decisions that harm their investments.

ISDS shows up in thousands of international agreements, including dozens that Australia has already signed. In 2011, the Productivity Commission warned that ‘experience in other countries demonstrates that there are considerable policy and financial risks arising from ISDS provisions’. ISDS is widely expected to be included in the Trans Pacific Partnership.

What could be defined as ‘harming’ a company’s interests? It could be something patently unfair, like a government nationalising a privately owned factory. But it could also be something done in the public interest, like banning a chemical, imposing strict conditions on a coal mine, or putting a moratorium on coal seam gas exploration.

July 27, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

South Australia’s agriculture in danger from nuclear developments

Hear-This-wayFormer agricultural scientist Phillipa Rowland shares her concerns about nuclear energy in South Australia   ABC Rural |Clint Jasper  Phillipa Rowland points out that even though nuclear accidents occur infrequently, the consequences are enormous, and this risk pattern must be factored into the debate about South Australia’s long term energy mix.


May 26, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | 1 Comment

AUDIO: Aboriginal concerns over South Australia’s plans to store nuclear wastes

Hear-This-wayKarina Lester from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands explains her community’s concern about nuclear waste dumps. ABC Rural  Clint Jasper, 25 May 15 Karina Lester is concerned people living in remote communities like the APY lands won’t have the same voice in the debate about South Australia’s long term energy mix. She’s also concerned about the likelihood of nuclear waste storage facilities being built in remote outback locations.


May 26, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | 1 Comment

AUDIO: Paris climate deal faces hurdles

climate-changeHear-This-wayNew climate deal faces hurdles

Originally broadcast on Thursday 21 May 2015 7:30PM, repeated Sunday 24 May 2015 10:00AM

With six months to go until the next global climate treaty talks in Paris, environmentalist and former US vice president Al Gore has declared that “the future of the world depends” on their outcome. Lord Nigel Lawson, former energy secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s government, delivers his assessment of the prospects of the world reaching a new climate deal. (29min 20sec)

(Background information about Lord Nigel Lawson and the Global Warming Policy Foundation is available on the DeSmogBlog website at: and – and on the SourceWatch website at: and The program presenter, Tom Switzer, is an Adjunct Fellow of the Institute of Public Affairs –his profile is available at:

May 24, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

AUDIO: Latest research on battery energy storage

battey TeslaHear-This-wayDeveloping new batteries for cars, houses, devices and the grid

Saturday 23 May 2015

Bigger, better and cheaper batteries promise to change our world. Their capabilities will determine how we use small devices, what cars are produced, and how energy is supplied to households.  But are some battery technologies approaching their limits? Where to next?  The answer is new materials. We hear excerpts from this year’s American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in San Jose where speakers report on the latest lines of research, the challenges ahead and the prospects when current hurdles with batteries are overcome.

May 24, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Podcast – Impacts of uranium mining in Australia and abroad

podcastSmRadioactive Responsibility – Impacts of uranium mining in Australia and abroad 18 April 2015  Download MP3

Safeguarding radioactive materials from impacting public and environmental health and from military use is essential for a safe and healthy future. But as the risks increase, big business and government seeking short-term profit are seen to be distancing themselves further from their responsibility to keep these materials from endangering life on earth.

Lauren Mellor (Environment Centre of the Northern Territory) brings us an update on the Ranger uranium mine and Kumar Sundaram (Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace in India) talks about the latest developments in the negotiation for a nuclear deal between Australia and India.

– See more at:



May 6, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Hear This Podcast: Tilman Ruff on “Stumbling in the Dark”

Hear-This-way  “Since nuclear weapons entered our world, everything has changed, whether we like it or not, ready or not.” – Tilman Ruff

In this beautifully sad and compelling essay ‘Stumbling in the Dark, Reaching for the Light,’ which is written and read by Tilman Ruff, we hear about the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons, which is our greatest existential challenge of all time. Weaved throughout a dark and emotive soundscape, Ruff tells us how our basic and most fundamental human rights are at risk while roughly 16,000 nuclear weapons still exist in the world.


April 24, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

AUDIO: solar powered help for cyclone-ravaged Vanuatu

Hear-This-wayAUDIO: A solar powered recovery  31 March, 2015 ABC Radio New England North West 
By Tawar Razaghi  An Armidale-led campaign to solar power the Cyclone Pam recovery When Cyclone Pam tore through the south pacific island of Vanuatu almost two weeks ago, the wild weather left most of the country without access to clean water, food and electricity.

It captured the attention of Armidale resident and solar businessman Rob Taber. He’s since begun collecting second hand solar panels to donate to Vanuatu in the hope of restoring basic power to the island.

Mr Taber proposed the idea at Australia’s Solar Energy Industries Association state conference and says he received overwhelming support from members and it’s now a national campaign.

“I put to the conference that maybe we have solar panels in warehouses, even second hand panels that are tested, that are quite okay, that we could send to Vanuatu,” Rob Taber said……..

If you would like to help, you can contact the Solar Energy Industries Association or by email at

April 2, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

AUDIO Bypassing Big Power

Hear-This-wayAUDIO Bypassing Big Power, Radio National  The government, the opposition and the senate crossbenchers continue to wrangle on what level the Renewable Energy Target should be.

But, as technology improves, how widespread is the move by consumers to bypass big power?
A look at the current state of consumer-driven renewable energy.

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

Impasse on Renewable Energy Target (Abbott’s coal-fired government likes it that way)

Hear-This-wayAUDIO: Stand-off continues on Australia’s renewable energy target ABC Radio PM Stephanie Smail reported this story on Monday, March 16, 2015 MARK COLVIN: The stand-off over Australia’s renewable energy target continues, despite a looming deadline that could see some companies facing hefty penalties.

In Canberra today, business, clean energy groups and unions indicated they weren’t happy with the current target on offer from the Coalition.

They were meeting the Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. But the Environment Minister Greg Hunt insists that he’s still confident a consensus will be reached.

Stephanie Smail reports. …….

March 18, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

AUDIO: Response of Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara women to Nuclear Commission

Hear-This-wayRose and Karina Lester on Nuclear Commission March 2015 .Interview with Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara interpretation  Duration 45:25  |  Recorded on 20 February 2015.Download Audio (62.3 MB)

This interview is with Karina and Rose Lester about their response to Premier Weatherill’s establishment of a Royal Commission into the use of Nuclear Energy in South Australia.

 Karina and Rose tell us about how nuclear energy has affected Aboriginal communities in the past and they share the direct experience of their own family.

They urge people to find out about the Commission and to get involved and to have their voices heard.

The interview responses are in Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara language, with short summaries provided in English.

March 16, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | 1 Comment

ABC Radio broadcast on “Merchants of Doubt”

Hear-This-wayAUDIO ABC Radio National Science Show program broadcast–doubt/6286330      7 March 2015

The book Merchants of Doubt is now a film. In Merchants of Doubt, historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway explain how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists, with extensive political connections, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. In chapters addressing tobacco, acid rain, the ozone hole, global warming, and DDT, Oreskes and Conway expose this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how the ideology of free market fundamentalism, aided by a too-compliant media, has skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era.  (from


March 9, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

AUDIO: How will the Queensland election result impact the state’s solar energy?

Hear-This-wayHow will the Qld election result impact the state’s solar energy?

Thursday 5 February 2015

With the wait to find out who will govern in Queensland almost over, the fate of the renewable energy sector will soon be learned.

If Labor forms government, it will be a welcome result by the sector, which is hopeful of a turnaround in its fortunes in the state.

The ALP made a number of promises favourable to the sector in the campaign, including a solar target of a million homes by 2020.

But in a cash strapped economy, will they deliver?

Guests John Grimes  CEO of the Australian Solar Council

Credits Producer Cathy Van Extel

February 6, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

AUDIO: Fiji government helps nuclear veterans

Hear-This-wayAUDIO: Fiji nuclear veterans’ payout small win in huge battle 3 February 2015,

The Fijian government’s decision to compensate the remaining members of the Fiji Nuclear Veterans Association will bring some relief while a legal battle with the British government is still dragging on after nearly a decade in the courts.

Some 70 Fijian soldiers were deployed to what is now Kirbati back in 1958 to take part in Britain’s nuclear testing program on Christmas Island, and more than half a century later, only 24 survive.

The Fijian government payout of FJD$9,985 is designed to cover medical costs which the British government has steadfastly refused to cover.

Journalist and writer Nic Maclellan is co-author of a book on the Fijian nuclear veterans called Kirisimasi.

He says although the veterans will be helped by the payment from Fiji, the real fight is still with the British government.

Presenter: Richard Ewart

Speaker: Nic Maclellan, Journalist

February 4, 2015 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Audio: Push to develop Northern Australia linked to push to dismantle Aboriginal land rights

Hear-This-wayTop End traditional owners fear land rights will be dismantled in push to develop the north (AUDIO) ABC Radio PM Sara Everingham reported this story on Thursday, December 11, 2014  MARK COLVIN: The Northern Land Council says it’s deeply concerned that the push to develop Northern Australia could dismantle hard-fought Aboriginal land rights in the Northern Territory.

A COAG taskforce met today in Canberra to nut out the detail of its review of Indigenous land administration as part of the white paper on developing Northern Australia.

Sara Everingham reports from Darwin.

SARA EVERINGHAM: In Kakadu National Park, about 80 traditional owners from across the Top End have spent the week in talks as part of the Northern Land Council’s full council meeting………………

The Northern Territory has set up its own working group, with at least eight staff, including former Northern Land Council lawyers.

The Northern Land Council doesn’t know what the review will look at but suspects it will explore greater use of 99 year leases on Aboriginal land.

The council also says it’s been informed by the Federal Government it will revisit an amendment to the Northern Territory Land Rights Act which would devolve powers of the land councils to smaller Indigenous corporations.

The deputy Land Council chairman John Daly says traditional owners must be consulted.

JOHN DALY: We’ve got a Prime Minister for Indigenous Australia and they put out press releases prior to them winning the elections that they would have no reviews, no amendments to the Land Rights Act and things like that, Native Title, without the consent of traditional owners and the land councils. ……

December 13, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Audiovisual, Northern Territory | Leave a comment


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