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
Nuclear 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.
AUDIO Working to abolish nuclear weapons, http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/working-to-abolish-nuclear-weapons/5662358 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……..
Superpit: 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.
AUDIO: Land council plans internal review after failed Muckaty nuclear dump bid http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-20/land-council-plans-internal-review-after-failed/5540368 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.
Muckaty Court Case heads to Darwin http://caama.com.au/muckaty-court-case 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
Crucial 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
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.
AUDIO Report on Day 8 of Muckaty nuclear waste dump court case. http://caama.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Muckaty-Day-8.mp3
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.
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.
VIDEO : Muckaty Traditional Owners maintain rage about plans to build nuclear waste dump http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-13/muckaty-traditional-owners-maintain-rage-about/5523490 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.
Report finds a 300 million tonne shortfall in the government’s carbon plan http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/300-million-tonne-shortfall-in-government-carbon-plan-report/5517734 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.
AUDIO 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……..http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2014/s4017645.htm
A 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.” https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/23910255/a-nightmare-in-utopia/
Bloomberg study says scrapping renewable energy target puts jobs and investment at risk http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-26/bloomberg-study-says-scrapping-renewable-energy/5479200?section=business
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
AUDIO: Cheaper electricity from Weipa solar project final act of axed renewable energy agencyhttp://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-22/cheaper-electricity-from-weipa-solar-project-final/5469770?section=qld 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.
AUDIO Soon-to-be-axed Australian Renewable Energy Agency speaks out http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2014/s4002932.htm 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………