Australian news, and some related international items

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

AUDIO: Tony Abbott wants Climate Change OFF the G20 Agenda. Will Barack Obama agree?

Hear-This-wayAUDIO Obama expected to ask Abbott to put climate change back on G20 agenda, ABC Radio The World Today 3 June 14, ELEANOR HALL: The Prime Minister Tony Abbot will meet the US president in Washington next week, and politics watchers in the US say there is virtually no chance that the issue of climate change and the new targets that the president announced today won’t be raised.
The Australian Prime Minister is also likely to come under more pressure from Barack Obama to put climate change back on the agenda of the G20 meeting that Australia is to host in November.


David Waskow is climate analyst from the World Resources Institute.

He spoke to me from Washington a short time ago.

DAVID WASKOW: This is a major step forward in US climate policy. This is one of, if not the most significant steps that the US can take in terms of regulating carbon emissions……..

June 4, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Film Utopia to be shown on SBS1 on Saturday 31 May

film-UtopiaA nightmare in Utopia The West Australian, 28 May 14, If Australia is one of the world’s wealthiest countries, with a standard of living that is the envy of people around the globe, how can so many of its citizens live in abject poverty?
That is the  question fuelling Utopia, award-winning filmmaker John Pilger’s latest investigation into Australia’s colonial past and the ongoing treatment of Aboriginal people – which has its television premiere on Saturday on SBS1…….

The result is a powerful and confronting look at life away from Australia’s cities and beaches, which has polarised audiences since its cinematic release in UK in November and Australia in January.

While Australian of the Year Adam Goodes has described Utopia as “a must-see for all Australians”, Utopia has also drawn criticism in the media for a perceived lack of balance and negativity. Pilger dismissed the criticism and said he felt the overwhelming majority review for Utopia had been positive.

“More than 4000 people attended its premiere in Redfern and as the credits rolled they all stood in tribute,” he said.

“In fact, Utopia is a celebration of Aboriginal resistance. The indigenous people I interview are heroic, having achieved extraordinary things against the odds and in that respect, Utopia is a very positive film.”
Pilger said while he had received complete cooperation from the Aboriginal communities who took part in Utopia, getting politicians to agree was more difficult and his request to interview Prime Minister Tony Abbott was turned down.
Pilger’s dismay at the lack of progress made over the past three decades since he visited similar communities for his 1985 documentary The Secret Country, and the apparent inability of successive federal governments to solve the problems is palpable.

He pointed to the recent Federal Budget’s $534 million cuts to indigenous programs as an example of the Government’s lack of commitment to Aboriginal communities.

“One of the most disgraceful budget cuts is the decimation of what was left of the indigenous languages program,” he said. “Teachers in remote communities will lose their jobs. The Aboriginal Legal Service is being cut back.

“If Australian governments take anything seriously, it is their unrelenting attacks on this country’s first people.”

Pilger said he believed a treaty between “those whose land was stolen . . . and those who stoleit” was the solution to inequalities explored in Utopia. “Such a treaty, negotiated between equals, would be a bill of rights to health, education, land and dignity – everything that most non-Indigenous Australians take for granted,” he said.
“If that does not happen, if we do not give back to the first people their nationhood, we can never claim our own.”

May 29, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

AUDIO: Jobs, investment at risk if Renewable Energy Target is scrapped

Bloomberg study says scrapping renewable energy target puts jobs and investment at risk

The global finance giant Bloomberg has warned that any reduction to Australia’s renewable energy target could come at a cost of $20 billion future investment. The media and financial data company’s renewable energy research division has released a report that shows scrapping the target would also put more than 10,000 jobs at risk. An expert panel is currently reviewing the future of Australia’s pledge to produce 20 per cent of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by the end of the decade. Pat McGrath

Source: PM | Duration: 4min 56sec

May 27, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Weipa solar project brings cheap energy to remote Queensland community

Hear-This-wayAUDIO: Cheaper electricity from Weipa solar project final act of axed renewable energy agency Many remote communities around Australia are totally reliant on costly diesel fuel to provide the electricity that most take for granted. But the far north Queensland mining town of Weipa is adding solar energy to the mix in what’s being called an Australian first. It could be the final act for an agency that’s facing the axe after last week’s savage federal budget.

May 22, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual, Queensland, solar | Leave a comment

AUDIO: Australian Renewable Energy Agency speaks out

Hear-This-wayAUDIO Soon-to-be-axed Australian Renewable Energy Agency speaks out Alexandra Kirk reported this story on Monday, May 12, 2014  MARK COLVIN: It’s emerged that in tomorrow’s budget one of 36 government agencies to be axed, on top of the 40 already slated for closure, is the Australian Renewable Energy Agency – also known as ARENA. 

It was set up two years ago with bipartisan support as an independent agency to improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies and their uptake. And it has a budget of $3.2 billion, to be spent over eight years. 

Ivor Frischknecht is the agency’s chief executive. He told Alexandra Kirk that scrapping the agency will reduce Australia’s ability to have lower cost energy in the longer term………

May 13, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Australians waking up to the opportunity to control electricity bills through solar energy

Australia-solar-plugSolar PV’s potential just starting to dawn, SunPower chief says May 1, 2014   Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald Solar photovoltaic systems will continue to spread across Australian rooftops because of rising electricity costs, “great irradiation” and cheaper finance, the head of the second largest PV producer in the US has said.

SunPower Corporation has picked Australia as one of two sites globally for a pilot storage program combining solar PV and batteries that the company hopes will one day make it economic to leave the power grid.

“The tariff structure in Australia will provide a strong foundation to homeowners with the incentive to consider distributed generation and storage,” SunPower chief executive Tom Werner said.

“Consumers will go from being essentially passive to having total control of your energy bill within five to 10 years,” he said.

The Abbott government is conducting another review of the Renewable Energy Target. The goal now calls for electricity supply from clean energy sources to reach 41,000 gigawatt-hours by 2020, although many commentators expect the review to recommend a reduction or delay of the target in part because of slumping demand.

Any dilution would be “a step in the wrong direction,” Mr Werner said. “In most countries, we see them pulling in their targets and increasing them.”

SunPower has installed about 7.5 gigawatts of solar PV – or more than double Australia’s total – and boasts of industry-leading efficiency levels above 20 per cent.

The company has also attracted some big partners, including US billionaire Warren Buffett and French energy group Total. Last month, Google and SunPower invested $US250 million ($269 million) to lease solar PV systems to US residents at a cost typically less than their regular power bill. Mr Werner said the Google tie-up would bring PV to 18,000 households and was “very scalable”. While the company is yet to discuss extending the program to Australia, the potential exists.

“We find all over the world people pay their energy bills. It’s pretty intuitive that it should work well here,” Mr Werner said.

He predicted that financing would play an increasing role in spurring the take-up of PV as governments rolled back incentives, such as feed-in tariffs, and the precipitous drop in panel prices in the past few years levelled off.

In California, SunPower’s home state, the ratio of cash to finance has gone from a 70-30 split to the reverse in just three years.

“I’d be willing to say that it’s likely we’ll see something similar here,” Mr Werner said, adding that SunPower’s partnership with Community First Credit Union offered loans for solar PV at a 7.1 per cent annual rate.

The company also has a stake in a Victorian electricity retailer, owning 42 per cent of Diamond Energy. SunPower would use such a foothold to refocus more on storage and energy management for customers should the Abbott government cut support for the industry, Mr Werner said.

May 2, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual, solar | Leave a comment

Radio: Radioactive Show broadcasts second part of the India nuclear story

radioactive-showjFrom the Radioactive Show’s radio team. 4 April Gem and I have finished part 2 of our radio series on our anti-nukes learning trip to India earlier this year. For Melbourne people you can hear it tomorrow at 10am on 3cr.

Or Part 1 and 2 will be on under ‘Radioactive Show’ for the next month! Description of tomorrow’s show below:

“The Peoples’ Movement against nukes at Kudankulam”

The second of two shows exploring anti-nuclear movements in India and the connection with Australia’s looming uranium export deal with India. This show hones in on the momentous struggle against a nuclear power plant at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.

It features interviews and sounds from our trip there in January this year. Tune in to hear rousing accounts of the protest, its people and ideals.

Thanks to Bhargavi Da Shin and Aran Mylvaganam for help with translations from Tamil to English.

Listen up and let’s stop the nukes deal!

April 4, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Podcast: Radioactive Show : Anti-Nuclear Struggles of India

radioactive-showjAnti-Nuclear Struggles of India 29 March 14
Part One of Two
Two special shows explore the anti-nuclear movement in India and its connections to the export of Australian uranium. In Part One we speak with Achin Vanaik of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace, Kumar Sundaram, a prolific organiser and Bhargavi Dilipkumar from People for Social Action. All recordings undertaken while on a learning trip to India, connecting the movements across aspirational nuclear-free borders.

File Download (30:00 min / 14 MB

March 29, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

See NITV News story Minister for Indigenous Affairs snubs Aboriginal tradiational owners?

Stokes,DianneNatalie Wasley, 20 march 14 Yesterday Dianne Stokes and Kylie Sambo from Muckaty were in Canberra for a Sambo,-Kylieseries of meetings.They met Senator Rachel Siewert (Greens), NT Senator Nova Peris and Resources Minister Ian MacFarlane.

 Despite a request to meet, Senator Nigel Scullion refused to meet the women, as well as turning down requests from delegations representing Maningrida, Central Land Council and the Northern Land Council  Senator Scullion is one of only two NT Senators (Nova Peris being the other) and also Minister for Indigenous Affairs.

 See NITV news story linked below-Intro on Muckaty i

 Minister MacFarlane reaffirmed his commitment made on ABC radio last year to visit Tennant Creek and meet Muckaty Traditional Owners and local community members.


March 20, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment


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