Australian news, and some related international items

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

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


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