Australian news, and some related international items

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

Audio: Abbott cuts foreign aid, again, transfers money to UN climate fund

Hear-This-wayAUDIO: Green fund contribution comes at expense of aid budget ABC Radio PM David Mark reported this story on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 1   MARK COLVIN: There’s been a tentative welcome for the Australian Government’s announcement that it would contribute $200 million to the UN’s climate fund.

The catch is that the money will come from Australia’s international aid budget.

The announcement by the Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, in Lima came on the same day that a coalition of aid groups implored the Federal Government not to cut the aid budget any more.

Australia’s foreign aid budget has already been cut by $7 billion over the next five years and the fear is there could be more to come in the mini-budget.

David Mark reports. DAVID MARK: They came together in Melbourne to demand the Federal Government stop cutting foreign aid. A mass meeting of businessmen and women, the chairmen and CEO’s of Australia’s major aid organisations.

And one by the likes of Gerry Hueston, the former president of BP Australia and chairman of Plan Australia, George Savvides, the CEO of Medibank Private and chairman of World Vision Australia and Simon McKeon, the former Australian of the year, chairman of AMP and chairman of Global Poverty Australia, spoke out.

GERRY HUESTON: As someone who’s worked internationally all my life, I find it inconceivable that one of the richest countries in the world can’t do at least its bit in foreign aid, you know, when you’re supporting some of the poorest people in the world.

GEORGE SAVVIDES: The Australian aid budget has already been cut twice, it already has contributed well above its weight in terms of a fiscal responsibilities in front of us and also in terms of the consideration by government. But really its purpose isn’t to save dollars, its purpose is to save lives.

SIMON MCKEON: These are times to be very careful about what we spend and what we don’t spend, but I’ve got to say as an Australian I am struggling at the moment with the possibility that the aid cuts that were announced earlier this year may well be further cut in the New Year……..

December 13, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

AUDIO: report on Aboriginal Freedom Summit

Hear-This-way(Audio) Tauto Sansbury and Rosalie Kunoth-Monks on the “Freedom Summit” a gathering of grassroots Aboriginal community leaders by Karun on Tue, 02/12/2014 Perth Indymedia speaks to esteemed elder of South Australia’s Narrunga people Tauto Sansbury and Australian of the Year, leader of the Utopia homelands Rosalie Kunoth-Monks on the “Freedom Summit”, the most significant gathering of grassroots Aboriginal community leaders in recent history which was held in Alice Springs………

December 5, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

AUDIO: Over 20,00 jobs at risk if Renewable Energy Target is changed

Hear-This-wayAUDIO Jobs at risk from renewable energy target changes Matthew Doran reported this story on Saturday, August 23, 2014  ELIZABETH JACKSON: A green energy analyst says any changes to the Renewable Energy Target, which is currently under Federal Government review, will affect far more than the environmental sector in Australia.
It’s estimated that more than 20,000 people are employed in a variety of roles across the renewable industry sector, from construction to research and development. But the ongoing uncertainty is spooking a growing number of developers.From Adelaide, Matthew Doran reports. Continue reading

August 25, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Hear Dr Tim Mousseau , M V Ramana and Suzuki Tatsujiro on ABC Radio

podcastSmNuclear power, post Fukushima Listen now   Download audio  This week at the ANU in Canberra there’s an international workshop on the costs and benefits of nuclear power in East Asia. From the workshop , Dr Tim Rousseau , M V Ramana and Suzuki Tatsujiro discuss the relationship between nuclear power generation and nuclear weapons, the health implications of exposure to radiation and the continuing impact of the closure of the Fukushima reactor in Japan.

August 14, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

AUDIO: Strengthening campaign to abolish nuclear weapons

Hear-This-wayAUDIO Working to abolish nuclear weapons, ABC Radio Monday 11 August Professor Fred Mendelsohn The Cold War might be over, but the threat to humanity from the world’s 16,300 nuclear weapons is as great as ever.Professor Fred Mendelsohn argues that it’s time for Australia to start campaigning for a ban on the use, production, deployment and stockpiling of nuclear weapons…….

In  March 2013, 128 governments gathered in Oslo for the first-ever inter-governmental conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. It is remarkable that no such conference had ever before taken place in the nearly seven-decade-long history of the atomic era.

That nuclear weapons have catastrophic humanitarian consequences is obvious. However, until recently, the international community failed to grasp the full destructive potential of nuclear weapons on cities, global climate, agriculture, migration and the economy…….

This February in Mexico, 146 governments participated in a second conference to build the scientific evidence base for eliminating nuclear weapons. Security experts warned of the astonishing vulnerability of nuclear weapons to human error……….

Although Australia is part of a declared nuclear-weapon-free zone, our government claims a security benefit from US nuclear weapons. The theory goes that should we ever be threatened with nuclear attack, the United States would supposedly use its nuclear forces to obliterate the potential attacker. Not only is this far-fetched, it is also morally repugnant. It sends a message to other nations, including potential proliferators, that nuclear weapons are useful, desirable and necessary for security.

To their great shame, both major political parties in Australia support this military doctrine. Consequently, they have resisted international moves to negotiate a global ban on nuclear weapons. Yet the public overwhelmingly supports such a treaty. A Nielsen poll this April showed that 84 per cent of Australians want the government to engage constructively in the negotiating process. More than 800 recipients of the Order of Australia have endorsed an appeal urging the government to adopt a nuclear-free defence posture and promote a ban. Among the signatories are four past prime ministers, three governors-general, High Court justices and four previous chiefs of the armed forces, as well as some of the nation’s most celebrated authors, artists, scientists and sporting legends.

It is time for the Australian government to stand on the right side of history. This December, Australia will attend the third international conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, to be held in Vienna. This promises to be another important milestone on the path towards a nuclear weapons ban……..

Now, with a nuclear weapons ban on the horizon, there is a historic window of opportunity for all of us to amplify our call for a nuclear-weapons-free world—and to hold our governments to account to ensure that they deliver this to us.

August 12, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Films record the sorry history of Australia’s involvement in the nuclear industry

highly-recommendedFilmSuperpit: Digging for uranium in the Australian cultural imaginary, [ excellent videos and pictures] National Sound and Film Archive, by Adam Broinowski The mining industry has been a central force in shaping Australian history in the 20th century. In fact, as is evident in the policy switch from the ‘Mining Super Profits Tax’ (Rudd/Gillard government) to ‘Open for Business’ (Abbott government)1, mining influence in Australian politics is direct and far-reaching. Any historical discussion of mining, however, should not overlook the historical relations between the Aboriginal owners and settler populations and their transnational partners…….

As the poisonous modern rituals of atomic testing were carried out (Monte Bello Island, Emu Fields, Maralinga), which included the use of Plutonium 239, both Australian and British officials repeated that the health risks were negligible, despite extensive local radioactive contamination

while some Aboriginal people from Ooldea were moved from their traditional lands to Yalata prior to the 1956–57 series of tests at Maralinga, there were still Aboriginal people using their camping grounds that passed through the Maralinga test site. As found in the Royal Commission (1975), the insufficient caution taken to ensure that all people were removed from the Area prior to tests was based on the false and negligent assumption that there were no longer people living on this land. Members of the Pitjantjantjara, Yakunytjatjara, Tjarutja, and the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta nations are said to have been exposed to radioactive contamination, whether in ‘black mist’ or other forms. Along with many Australian atomic test veterans, they developed chronic illnesses, the complications from which led to many premature deaths.

These ‘side effects’ were largely ignored as officials prioritised the plans to make Australia a ‘great power by 2000’ (such as Philip Baxter, Chair of the Australian Atomic Energy Agency)…….

In 1977, when the bid to mine one of the largest uranium deposits in the world at Ranger 1 and Nabarlek in the middle of the park was approved by the Fraser government, the Fox Report warned that mining waste would have to be stored for a quarter of a million years. Aboriginal elders also warned that mining ‘sickness country’ would lead to disaster…….

Given the ongoing damage caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster since 11 March 2011, with the Fukushima Daiichi reactor said to have been fuelled by Australian uranium (at least in part), one wonders how many more warnings the authorities and their transnational partners need. The image in Phantom Gold of a lone European settler in the desert who hunts for gold while dying from thirst, may indeed come back to haunt us.

August 4, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, media | Leave a comment

Australian Atomic Confessions – Nuclear Waste Aboriginal Genocide theme for July 2014

July 6, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Audiovisual, Christina themes | Leave a comment

AUDIO; Northern Land Council on failed bid for Muckaty nuclear waste dump

Hear-This-wayAUDIO: Land council plans internal review after failed Muckaty nuclear dump bid  20 Jun 2014The bid for a nuclear waste dump on a particular spot at Muckaty Station, north of Tennant Creek, has fallen over after seven years of opposition. The Northern Land Council, which nominated the site on behalf of some of the Ngapa clan, agreed to an out-of-court settlement. But there is growing expectation a second site at Muckaty will soon be nominated.

Alyssa Betts  Source: 7.30 NT |Duration: 7min 18sec

June 21, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

AUDIO: latest report on the Muckaty nuclear waste dump court case

Hear-This-wayMuckaty Court Case heads to Darwin 17 June 14 Damian Williams  The federal court case on the planned Muckaty nuclear waste dump has now adjourned. Paddy Gibson for the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning is following the trial:

The court is now adjourned. The last sitting was on Saturday. The judge travelled again out to Muckaty.  Aboriginal people thanked the court judge for coming to Muckaty out-station coming to country to hear from the elders directly and other Aboriginal people who are opposing nuclear waste dumping on their land. The  case will now move to Darwin to take evidence from Northern Land Council

justiceCrucial day of evidence, we  heard from –  a very senior man,  Dick Foster known as reliable authority on who owns this land. NLC was relying on  this man, Dick Foster.   In their early nomination they actually used Mr Foster’s name.  Whereas Dick has been crystal clear since 2007 that the NLC is wrong  The NLC are relying on the wrong idea that a small piece of Muckaty belongs to just on e family group. Not alright for this family to sell one piece of the and  made it clear that this was wrong.  The anthropology used was not correct. They needed to slow the process down. NLC should have heard from all of the groups on how decisions would be made for that small piece of land. NLC forged ahead in 2007  far too quickly according to Mr Foster. Sold Muckaty out without the consent of Aboriginal owners.  Far too much pressure.

Needed to encourage proper discussion on how that should be done. Sold Muckaty out

His evidence crucial. Process was far too rushed.

He made it clear that there was a lot of pressure on senior people like himself.  with a number of government people on senior Aborigines,

That evidence was very significant. No one in this case is questioning the cultural knowledge of Mr Foster, though not  a traditional owner himself. No question that he is not an authentic witness on Aboriginal culture, and the land around Muckaty

handsoffThe NLC and government should back off now. They really should listen to these people. People have been saying – “You’ve got it wrong. You’re rushing us”

The other point about the evidence that came out on the country –  people have not been told the real story, right back to 2007.  Even the individuals who nominated the land were never told. had no idea of the true nature of what was planned. No one was ever told that there could be accidents.  Those sorts of question are in the legislation, but this was never explained to the people.  People were not told of possibility of drastic accident. People were never properly informed that they may lose their land forever.

The government  is trying to say that it’s only for 200 years.  But there are provisions sin the legislation, that the government could hold that land forever. Never explained to any traditional owners in the consultation process. That is clear from the evidence which has come out. They’re trying to say that this will be  at temporary facility.

Relying on faulty flawed anthropology. Enormous amount of pressure was put on the traditional owners. They were relying on faulty, flawed anthropology. Iy was rushed through inn order to do a deal. Rights systematically stripped away from the traditional owners.   Very strong case coming out now from the  people who are opposed to the nuclear waste dump.. Quite shocking to learn how the government and NLC have treated these people, through this process.

Evidence is now wound up in Tennant Creek and Muckaty

Next is a trip to Darwin.  The focus now will be on the NLC and the Commonwealth. They will be subject to the same cross examination that the Aboriginal people had to go through.

The Aboriginal people are happy and proud with what they have achieved.  They have been so strong, so articulate.-  that they have stood up to these non indigenous very highly paid, highly educated barristers for the Land Council and government attacking them in the witness stand.  Some of the Aboriginal witnesses were cross examined for 3 hours – with lawyers for the government and NLC trying to trick them trap them  The truth has come out on how this nomination came about back in 2007.  Evidence is now wound up

We’ve had to go through 7 years of heartache, pain, stress sickness, and many people have died. A lot of people not alive now to give evidence on how they were treated. A very sad stressful thing that has happened to this community. In Darwin the pressure will be on the NLC and Government.

June 18, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

AUDIO: Report on Day 8 of Muckaty Nuclear waste Dump Court Case

Hear-This-wayAUDIO Report on Day 8 of Muckaty nuclear waste dump court case.

The Muckaty mob have been so strong in this court-room. It’s an intimidating system. Gladys Brown – strong indigenous woman, grilled by white men in an intimidating manner. Australian govt and NLC didn’t want the court case to come to Muckaty and Northern Territory.  Awful to watch the NRC lawyer denigrating the cultural knowledge of these Aboriginal women.  Trying to trip them up all the time – about their dreaming stories. But these witnesses are holding their ground, sticking to their guns. That the Land council anf govt did not listen to them A very disturbing process to watch.

Confronting for these women to be surrounded by white men – challenging their cultural knowledge.

White law is given absolute upper hand, through these whole proceedings.. It’s the Aboriginal women who are on trial. These women being put through the ringer. No acknowledgement of the strength of the law and knowledge in this area.

So much is being revealed about the consultation process.

muckaty nuclear waste court case

One of the darkest aspects – The government and lawyers always emphasise the low level waste –  medical equipment etc. They never talk  the spent nuclear fuel – from Lucas Heights, currently overseas, but coming back as its the most dangerous industrial waste of all. It is never discussed in detail

Very obvious that in the early consultations –  the people were not told a true account of what nuclear waste is. None of this contained a genuine discussion about the spent nuclear fuel rods.

As soon as the traditional owners started to get information, from the Environment Centre, they started action against the dump.  From Day one it should have been explained. It was never brought up by the Northern Land Council.  The NLC claim the protest comes from outsiders. Not so.

June 16, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, Northern Territory | 1 Comment

VIDEO: Aboriginal clans determined in their fight against nuclear waste dumping on their land

see-this.wayVIDEO : Muckaty Traditional Owners maintain rage about plans to build nuclear waste dump Alyssa Betts Fri 13 Jun 2014

Traditional Owners of Muckaty Station are maintaining the rage about plans to build a nuclear waste dump there.
Some are fighting for it, many others are fighting against it.
The legalities of which clans own what parts of the station and whether the Northern Land Council has done the right thing in nominating the dump site is being fought in court.

June 14, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

AUDIO: Government’s carbon plan will fail – new independent report

Hear-This-wayReport finds a 300 million tonne shortfall in the government’s carbon plan Thursday 12 June 2014

The government has committed to cutting carbon pollution by a minimum of 5 per cent by 2020.

But the first independent report since the budget calculates that the government will fall more than 70 per cent short of it’s promise – potentially buying as little as three million tonnes of carbon abatement every year, if the price it’s willing to pay is $10 a tonne or less.

June 13, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment


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