Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Radioactive Tour brings anti nuclear discussion to Olympic Dam, Alice Springs and Tenant Creek

AustantinukeUranium deal with India a hot topic – 23-Apr-2014 http://www.themonitor.com.au/news-articles/140423-uranium-deal-with-india-a-hot-topicThe Australian Government’s signing of a uranium export deal with India was a hot topic of discussion at the recent Olympic Dam visit by members of environmental group Friends of the Earth.

The annual radioactive tour has been operating since the 1980s, and has taken thousands of people to the heart of the industry at destinations from Melbourne to Tenant Creek.
Local BHP Billiton employees from various sectors of the Olympic Dam operation, including environmental, radiation, community and external affairs took time to show the group through the operation on Tuesday, April 16.
The tour was followed by an informal question time in Richardson Place, where members of the group particularly focused on the company’s commitment to indigenous traditional land owners and the Federal Government’s stance on direct supply or uranium to India.
A BHP Billiton spokesperson told the group the company was working closely with the traditional land owners, including through employment programs and through financial dispensation into a trust.
He said the amount of money awarded to the trust was ‘confidential’, but ‘substantial’. 
The group asked many questions regarding the company’s ethical stance on supply of Olympic Dam Uranium to countries which could be using the product to fuel their nuclear armament programs.
The topic was particularly sensitive for one Indian representative ,  who said his country’s unstable government, lack of regulation, extremist religious groups and dense population were recipes for disaster.
The representative said India’s suspected nuclear armament activities were of major concern to humanity across the globe, and that companies like BHP Billiton should have an moral and ethical commitment to ensure their uranium did not reach the hands to those planning to build nuclear weapons.
Currently, BHP Billiton and other Australian uranium miners have legislative and regulatory obligations that cover mining, processing and the transport of uranium on road and by sea. 
The onus of responsibility for the product then passes to the Government at the port of destination.
The group continued on to Alice Springs and Tenant Creek on Tuesday afternoon as part of the 14 day tour, and will return to Melbourne on Sunday, April 27.

April 24, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Australian government, and Renewable Energy Panel chief Dick Warburton are fans of nuclear power

Liberal-choirWind and solar generation half the cost of nuclear REneweconomy, By  on 23 April 2014 “………in Australia, the government looks to be eyeing nuclear power as a clean energy option for the country’s future, alongside its dreams of abundant “clean coal.”Last year, an issues paper released ahead of the Abbott government’s energy white paper noted that slow development in carbon capture and storage, and difficulties with hydro, meant nuclear technologies continued “to present an option for future reliable energy that can be readily dispatched into the market.”

And Dick Warburton, Abbott’s hand-picked head of the federal government’s RET review panel, hasrevealed himself as a big fan of nuclear energy, describing it once as the only alternative to fossil fuel generation.

In an article published in Australia’s Quadrant magazine in 2011, Warburton and his c0-author wrote that “except for nuclear power, there are no straightforward strategies for reducing dependence on fossil fuels without large economic costs.” http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/wind-and-solar-generation-half-the-cost-of-nuclear-95493

April 24, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Sydney shows the way – communities can switch to clean renewable energy

text-community-energy

The City of Sydney has recognised the potential of community energy in its roadmap to move the city towards 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030. Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the IPCC’s most recent report has again underlined the extreme urgency of action on . “Addressing climate change will require action at all levels. Empowering communities to develop their own local, renewable energy projects will help deliver more clean energy,” Cr Moore said.

Communities can drive urgent switch to clean energy http://phys.org/news/2014-04-urgent-energy.html  Apr 22, 2014 Australia will continue to lag behind countries like the United States and Germany in heeding the UN’s latest call to urgently switch to clean sources of energy unless the burgeoning community energy sector is allowed to thrive, according to a UTS researcher. Community-owned renewable energy generation in towns and cities around the country can stimulate regional development, provide more resilient and inexpensive energy security and significantly contribute to Australia’s climate mitigation targets, UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures researcher Nicola Ison said.

“A growing number of communities, including local councils, are recognising this, however there are significant regulatory and institutional barriers that need to be overcome,” Ms Ison said.

“Across the world renewable energy is changing the way citizens and organisations think about and use energy. In the United States, more than 1,500 wind farms are owned by communities across 27 states and in Germany, customers own two thirds of all renewable energy generated.

“Councils, as large energy users in local communities and facilitators of local action in their own right, can play an increasingly important role in this transition.”

The City of Sydney has recognised the potential of community energy in its roadmap to move the city towards 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030. Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the IPCC’s most recent report has again underlined the extreme urgency of action on . Community-owned renewable energy generation in towns and cities around the country can stimulate regional development, provide more resilient and inexpensive energy security and significantly contribute to Australia’s climate mitigation targets, UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures researcher Nicola Ison said.

“A growing number of communities, including local councils, are recognising this, however there are significant regulatory and institutional barriers that need to be overcome,” Ms Ison said.

“Across the world renewable energy is changing the way citizens and organisations think about and use energy. In the United States, more than 1,500 wind farms are owned by communities across 27 states and in Germany, customers own two thirds of all renewable energy generated.

“Councils, as large energy users in local communities and facilitators of local action in their own right, can play an increasingly important role in this transition.” Continue reading

April 24, 2014 Posted by | energy, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Labor and Liberal keen on uranium mining, and on promoting geothermal energy

TweedleDum-&-DeeDennis Matthews, 24 April 14 The hot rocks geothermal energy industry has been generously supported by both Labor and Liberal governments. The first grant was $1million from the Federal government to the University of NSW in September 1999. Since then grants totaling about $300million have been made in support of the industry.

Focusing on one particular grant (The Advertiser24/4/14) obscures the real problem of why so much effort has gone into supporting this industry.

Funding has often been accompanied by considerable media hype. Claims of cheap, low greenhouse gas emission, renewable, electricity have not been realised and issues of water use and radioactivity have not been adequately addressed.

Although wishful thinking seems to have been a major factor, bi-partisan political support for the mining industry, particularly uranium mining, seems to have played a major role.

April 24, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Australia deliberately prevented a nuclear-free Pacific treaty, to obey USA’s interests

Declassified documents from the National Archives of Australia, including the 1985 Cabinet minute about the SPNFZ Treaty, show clearly that Australia designed the treaty to protect US interests in the Pacific, including the deployment of nuclear-armed warships and the testing of nuclear missiles.

Aust-two-faced-on-peaceInternational legal experts, including Don Rothwell, professor of international law at the Australian National University, have raised concerns that uranium sales to India would breach Australia’s obligations under the treaty. Rothwell has prepared a legal opinion stating that the SPNFZ Treaty prohibits members from selling uranium to countries that do not accept full-scope nuclear safeguards under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

This is consistent with past Australian government policy. 

Delaying The Nuclear-Free Zone In The Pacific http://concernedyapcitizens.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/pacific-islands-report-delaying-the-nuclear-free-zone-in-the-pacific/ By Nic Maclellan At the height of the nuclear arms race between the United States and Soviet Union, a treaty to create a South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone, or SPNFZ, was opened for signature on Hiroshima Day, 6 August 1985, at the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Rarotonga.

Twenty-eight years after it was signed on that day by Australia, New Zealand and island nations, the United States still hasn’t ratified its protocols, in spite of a request from president Barack Obama to the US Senate more than two years ago.

Next week, as Forum leaders gather in the Marshall Islands – site of sixty-seven US nuclear tests at Bikini and Enewetak Atolls – the US government will be eager to keep nuclear issues off the agenda, as it has been since the Treaty was first mooted. Declassified documents from the National Archives of Australia, and US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks, highlight longstanding opposition in Canberra and Washington to a comprehensive nuclear-free zone that might hamper US nuclear deployments in the Pacific.

The Forum meeting, and the US Senate’s continued stalling, coincide with on-going concerns that Australia’s decision to sell uranium to India threatens to breach Australian treaty obligations. As Conservative Australian governments in the 1960s debated the acquisition of nuclear weapons and purchased aircraft capable of delivering nuclear strikes in Southeast Asia, the labour movement across the region proposed a nuclear free zone designed to ban the bomb in this part of the world. The SPNFZ Treaty was finally negotiated in the 1980s after decades of campaigning by unions, Pacific churches and the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific movement. Continue reading

April 24, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

ABORIGINAL AUSTRALIANS AND THE WAR OF INVASION ,

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT SOUGHT: KEVIN GILBERT, ABORIGINAL AUSTRALIANS AND THE WAR OF INVASION ,   Philippa Scarlett 24 April 2014    by  In early September 1991 Kevin Gilbert was photographed by Richard Briggs against the background of the Australian War Memorial. He carries a cross in almost Christ like manner as he walks towards Anzac Parade. However it is unlikely that this symbolism was Christian. Gilbert’s creation spirit was Baiame. Rather the cross was generally symbolic of the sacrifice of the Aboriginal inhabitants of Australia during more than 200 years of undeclared war against invasion and of the ongoing suffering of his people. Gilbert himself said at the time

I represent Aboriginal people who have fought with honour and given their lives for justice and for the land – as none have done for so long as my people. This is a memorial to those who have fought and died and continue to die in the continuing massacre against us. Interview with Amanda UhlmannCanberra Times 3 September 1991. 

In seeking recognition of Australia’s first and unfinished war, and commemoration of the sacrifice of its participants he brought his plea and protest to the hub of remembrance of the war service of Australians and linked it with the phrase used to encapsulate the act of remembering war: LEST WE FORGET. The wayside memorial he constructed in a then vacant space on Anzac parade – already lined with officially sanctioned memorials – bears the sign THIS SITE IS A MEMORIAL TO ALL ABORIGINAL PEOPLE WHO HAVE DIED IN DEFENSE OF OUR LAND LEST WE FORGET…… http://indigenoushistories.com/2014/04/23/acknowledgement-sought-kevin-gilbert-aboriginal-australians-and-the-war-of-invasion/

April 24, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Australia’s commission of audit not allowed to cost Abbott’s “Direct Action” climate policy

Abbott-shhhhAudit not privy to multibillion-dollar direct action plan to reduce emissions  http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/audit-not-privy-to-multibilliondollar-direct-action-plan-to-reduce-emissions-20140424-zqya6.html#ixzz2zro4nYhK April 24, 2014  Lisa Cox  National political reporter The Abbott government’s multibillion-dollar “direct action” carbon reduction plan was not considered by the commission of audit, and key details of the scheme remain unknown.

 The head of the audit of government spending, Tony Shepherd, told Fairfax Media that the commission had not considered the controversial $3.2 billion policy because it was not provided with any details.

The comments come ahead of the imminent release of the government’s “direct action” white paper – expected as early as Thursday – elements of which have been closely guarded by the office of Environment Minister Greg Hunt. The paper is expected to clarify key pieces of information, including how “direct action” will work and the mechanisms behind the key component of the policy, the $1.55 billion emissions reduction fund.

Mr Shepherd said on Wednesday the commission had been unable to assess “direct action” because there was no information available on the policy during the three months it was conducting its review.

“The Commission of Audit couldn’t really look at it because we didn’t have a policy to look at,” he said.

“If they had a policy and it was out there we would have had a look at it, but in the absence of any detail we couldn’t.”

Mr Shepherd said that as a result, the commission’s report contained no information on “direct action”, although he did not necessarily view that as a problem, despite the scheme carrying a price tag of up to $3.2 billion.

“There’s a number of other government policies and things that are evolving at the moment,” he said.

“You’ve got to draw the line somewhere.”

The government is facing a tough battle to win over MPs with its plan to replace Labor’s carbon tax.

Labor and the Greens do not support “direct action” and Fairfax MP Clive Palmer declared this week that his Palmer United Party also would not back the “hopeless” policy.

Mr Palmer has threatened to reconsider his position on the carbon and mining taxes if the government does not bring direct action legislation to the Senate for debate.

 

April 24, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Australian government’s unseemly haste in selling uranium to volatile Middle East region

exclamation-Robb Fast-Tracks UAE Uranium Deahttps://newmatilda.com/2014/04/23/robb-fast-tracks-uae-uranium-dea  By Dave Sweeney, 23 April 14 The Federal Government has signed another uranium export deal with a dubious overseas partner – and without inspecting the country’s facilities. We need an independent inquiry, writes Dave Sweeney

In a move that marks the first time Australia uranium would be sold to the Middle East, Trade Minister Andrew Robb is fast-tracking a nuclear cooperation agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Last week hesigned a new treaty in Dubai worth 800 tonnes of Uranium a year from 2020. But in doing so, the Minister is treating our Parliament as little more than a radioactive rubber stamp.

The foundation for these sales was laid by former foreign minister and airline food critic Bob Carr, who signed the initial agreement with the UAE — a country with a secretive, unelected government situated in one of the world’s most insecure regions.

Consequently, the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties recently recommended that prior to any ratification of the sales plan, the International Atomic Energy Agency undertake physical inspections of UAE facilities.

But the Federal Government’s failure to take this or any other prudent step, in favour of providing “certainty” to the ailing uranium sector shows it has confused the commercial interest of Australia’s small, high-risk low-return uranium sector with our national interest. Uranium is a small contributor to Australian export revenue and employment, but when it comes to global impact and risk Australian uranium is playing in the major league. The Australian Conservation Foundation has used industry data to examine the sustained gap between the sector’s promise and performance.

The report, Yellowcake Fever: Exposing the Uranium Industry’s Economic Myths, highlights the urgent need for an independent cost-benefit analysis and a comprehensive and transparent assessment of Australia’s uranium trade. The sector’s employment contribution is tiny: the World Nuclear Association estimates there are less than 1800 jobs in Australia’s entire uranium industry, representing just 0.015 per cent of Australian jobs. From 2002 to 2011, uranium sales averaged $627 million annually and accounted for only 0.29 per cent of all national export revenue: small beer, but with a big hangover.

Why sell to the UAE? The seven emirates, including Abu Dhabi and Dubai, have one of the least participatory political systems in the world. In 2012, more than 50 human rights activists in the UAE were rounded up and detained without charge following calls for political reform. The Human Rights Watch 2013 world Report describes a worsening human rights situation in the country, with labour rights a particular issue.

The planned uranium sale treaty doesn’t take into account local human rights issues, political changes or broader social upheavals in one of the world’s most volatile regions. It states that the agreement “shall remain in force for an initial period of thirty years and upon expiry of this initial period shall be renewed automatically for successive thirty year periods”. If this is advanced Australia would be locked in. As Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said, the Federal Government should “take a deep breath” and ask “do they really want to be selling ­uranium into the Middle East at the moment?”

Despite the Federal Government’s repeated insistence that the uranium must and will only be used for peaceful purposes, there is clear evidence that international nuclear safeguards are stressed, under-resourced and effectively impossible to police. To simply state that Australian uranium will not be misused is dangerously naïve.

In the shadow of Fukushima — a continuing nuclear crisis directly fuelled by Australian uranium — we need policy based on evidence. Instead of fast-tracking irresponsible uranium sales to the UAE and India — or continuing to provide nuclear fuel to nuclear weapon states — we urgently need an independent assessment of the full impacts of Australia’s radioactive and risky uranium trade.

April 23, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, uranium | Leave a comment

Maurice Newman, Abbott’s top adviser, informs us that climate change is not real!

cartoon-climate-AustNo evidence that man has caused warming Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Lateline  Broadcast: 22/04/2014 Reporter: Emma Alberici

Maurice Newman, the chairman of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council discusses climate change and says that there is little correlation between carbon dioxide and the warming of the planet.

Transcript

EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: One of Tony Abbott’s first acts in Government was to appoint Maurice Newman as the head of his Business Advisory Council. Mr Newman is the former Chairman of both the Stock Exchange and the ABC. He’s our guest this evening and he joined me earlier in the studio for this exclusive interview. ……..
EMMA ALBERICI: It’s no secret that you don’t agree that man-made CO2 is causing global warming. Given there is now consensus among 97 per cent or so of climate scientists across the world that the view – around the view that human activity is responsible for climate change, what would it take to convince you?………

MAURICE NEWMAN…………the 97 per cent doesn’t mean anything in any event because science is not a consensus issue. Science is whatever the science is and the fact remains there is no empirical evidence to show that man-made CO2, man-made emissions are adding to the temperature on earth. We haven’t had any measurable increase in temperature on earth for the last 17.5 years……
EMMA ALBERICI: ……..Now 195 countries contribute to that. Nineteen academies of science across the world, including I have to say the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the CSIRO, NASA, the American Academy of Sciences, the British equivalent, the Canadian equivalent, some really reputable bodies around the world are now agreeing that it’s human activity that’s causing climate change. So I’m wondering, who is it that’s influencing you so that is so convincing you otherwise?

MAURICE NEWMAN: I just look at the evidence. There is no evidence. If people can show there is a correlation between increasing CO2 and global temperature, well then of course that’s something which we would pay attention to. But when you look at the last 17.5 years where we’ve had a multitude of climate models, and this was the basis on which this whole so-called science rests, it’s on models, computer models. And those models have been shown to be 98 per cent inaccurate.

Newman-Moaurice-climate

EMMA ALBERICI: By?

MAURICE NEWMAN: By Roy Spencer, who’s carried out a thorough review of all of the models and the empirical data which against both land-based and satellite-based measuring. And they were found to be wrong………

MAURICE NEWMAN: Yes he is a climate scientist.


EMMA ALBERICI: He is. He was at NASA. His colleagues at NASA disagree with him…………

 http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2014/s3990190.htm

April 23, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Australian uranium miner Paladin continues its revenue fall

graph-down-uraniumPaladin’s revenue continues to slide Revenue for uranium miner Paladin Energy fell in the three months to the end of March.
 SBS News, Source   AAP 22 April 14
 Uranium miner Paladin Energy’s revenue has fallen as the price of the nuclear energy source continues to decline.

The company’s sales revenue of $US88.56 million in the three months to March 31 was down from $US106 million in the same period a year earlier.

Its average sales price in the March quarter was $US36.82 per pound, down from $US38.40 in the first six months of the 2013/14 financial year, and $US55.22 in same quarter a year earlier…….http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/04/22/paladins-revenue-continues-slide

April 23, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, uranium | Leave a comment

Australian uranium miner Paladin’s production declines

Paladin production declines on Malawi mine closure Mining Weekly, By: Esmarie Swanepoel
22nd April 2014  PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Uranium miner Paladin Energy has reported a decline in production during the three months to March, after placing its Kayelekera mine, in Malawi, on care and maintenance in February.

During the quarter under review, Paladin reported a combined production of just over two-million pounds from its Kayelekera and Langer Heinrich mines. This compared with the 2.2-million pounds of uranium oxide (U3O8) in the previous quarter.

The Kayelekera operation produced 696 710 lb during the quarter, compared with the 777 015 lb produced in the previous three months.

Paladin suspended operations at Kayelekera in February this year, citing the depressed price of U3O8, and the unsustainable cash demand to maintain the loss-making operation.

Production at the Langer Heinrich operation, in Namibia, declined to 1.39-million pounds during the three months to March, compared with the 1.43-million pounds produced over the three months to December……..http://www.miningweekly.com/article/paladin-production-declines-on-kayelekera-close-2014-04-22

April 23, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, uranium | Leave a comment

Clive Palmer says that Abbott’s “Direct Action” climate policy useless and a waste of money

Abbott-fiddling-global-warmDirect Action is a waste of money: Palmer Herald Sun, 21 April 14 FEDERAL MP Clive Palmer has strongly indicated his party won’t support the Abbott government’s climate change direct action plan, labelling it a “token gesture” and a waste of money.

The Palmer United Party leader and mining magnate said the money allocated for the policy should be used for pensions, which could be under review in the May budget.

Mr Palmer said the rights of pensioners were more important and had greater priority than “a token gesture to addressing carbon issues”…….http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/direct-action-is-a-waste-of-money-palmer/story-fni0xqi4-1226891204355

April 23, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto and uranium deaths in Africa

antnuke-relevantUranium kills in Namibia http://www.news24.com/Columnists/AndreasSpath/Uranium-kills-in-Namibia-20140422 2014-04-22  Andreas Wilson-Späth 

That uranium is a radioactive and toxic substance with potentially lethal impacts on the people who dig it out of the ground is generally glossed over by those among us who argue for nuclear power as a clean, green, safe and sustainable source of electricity.

Along with other intractable problems faced by the atomic energy industry – like its propensity to lay to waste entire landscapes if and when things go wrong and the fact that we still don’t have a long-term solution for storing its noxious waste products – this is not in dispute. It’s merely a matter of unintended side-effects. Collateral damage.

For uranium miners in Namibia, however, their occupation in proximity to the metal has much more first-hand and personal consequences. A report soon to be released by Earthlife Namibia and the Labour Resource and Research Institute argues that long-time workers at the Rössing uranium mine are routinely exposed to unhealthy working conditions, radiation and dust.

For uranium miners in Namibia, however, their occupation in proximity to the metal has much more first-hand and personal consequences. A report soon to be released by Earthlife Namibia and theLabour Resource and Research Institute argues that long-time workers at the Rössing uranium mine are routinely exposed to unhealthy working conditions, radiation and dust.

The survey of current and former Rössing employees suggests that an anomalous number of them are dying of cancer and other mysteriously unexplained illnesses caused by their working conditions.

Rössing, which is located in central Namibia and employs over 1500 people, is majority owned (69%) by British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto. The next biggest shareholders of the mine are the government of Iran (10%) and our own Industrial Development Corporation (10%).

Rio Tinto officials have consistently denied that they’re to blame for any harm, insisting that their operations at Rössing and elsewhere, including their copper, gold, coal, bauxite, iron ore and diamond mines around the world, are well monitored and run ethically, for the benefit of local communities, respecting human rights and protecting the environment.

But a closer look at the multinational’s global operations reveals that Rio Tinto isn’t quite as squeaky clean as they would like us to believe:

• At the end of last year, radioactive and acidic slurry spilled from a uranium processing tank at Rössing. Two weeks later the damaged rubber lining of a similar tank at the company’s Ranger mine in Australia’s Northern Territory leaked more than a million litres of the stuff.

• In 2013, 33 miners perished when a tunnel collapsed at Rio Tinto’s Grasberg gold and copper mine in Indonesia – the largest portion of the total of 41 deaths at their global operations during that year which international trade union IndustriAll claims the company should have done more to prevent.

• Locals have blamed the Grasberg mine for pollution affecting the environment and population.

• In Madagascar, activists have accused Rio Tinto of “land grabbing and environmental devastation”.


• A lawsuit has been filed against Rio Tinto’s Bingham Canyon mine in the US state of Utah for five-year breaches in air pollution regulations. The organisations that brought the case claim, that on some days the dust from the mine has a similar “effect on people who are consistently outdoors” as “smoking a pack of cigarettes a day”

• In Mongolia, indigenous nomadic herders have raised concerns that an expansion of Rio Tinto’s Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in the Gobi desert would threaten the integrity of the local ecosystem along with their access to fresh water.

Of course Rio Tinto also made over $1 billion in profits last year. I guess in the minds of the company’s executives that justifies the occasional mishap.

- Andreas is a freelance writer with a PhD in geochemistry. Follow him on Twitter:@Andreas_Spath

April 23, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Does Australia really need to buy $14 billion joint air strikefighter jets?

JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER $14BN LEAP OF FAITH: BANDT HTTP://WWW.ADAMBANDT.COM/JOINT_STRIKE_FIGHTER_14BN_LEAP_OF_FAITH_BANDT 23 April 14

Greens Acting Leader Adam Bandt today said that Tony Abbott’s plan to spend close to $14 billion on 58 plagued joint strike fighter jets was a poor use of taxpayer funds at a time of supposed Budget restraint.

“Tony Abbott’s priority should be pensions not poorly performing planes,” said Mr Bandt.

“Tony Abbott is taking us on a $14bn leap of faith. So much for the Budget emergency.

“The JSF project has been plagued by delays, overruns and blowouts. There are even doubts about the jet’s performance capability.

“The Government should be 100% certain before spending close to $14 billion of taxpayers’ money that the jets are fit for purpose and genuinely in the national interest. “There are too many uncertainties over this project for Australia to commit to it in this way,” said Mr Bandt.

April 23, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Why did The Age TV promote an American pro nuclear film?

questionNoel Wauchope, 22 April 14, And, more importantly, when will The Age restore balance with an Australian documentary on nuclear/uranium issues, such as one of David Bradbury’s films?

Early this month The Age TV prominently featured “Pandora’s Promise”, so people across Australia could watch this glossy piece of advertising from the American nuclear front group, The Breakthrough Institute.

Today, I wasn’t able to find that nuclear infomercial on The Age’s TV site. Which is a little reassuring – they seem to be not continuing the promotion.

However, I am disappointed that I have not received a reply to my fully addressed, signed and posted.letter to The Age:

The Age  

Online Editor

PO Box 257 Melbourne VIC 3001

3 April 2014

 I came across The Age TV site, and found the Breakthrough Institute’s film “Pandora’s Promise” there.

 I had recently reviewed this film, on its Australian premiere in Melbourne, and found it to be very glossy and engaging, but essentially  a promotional feature for the nuclear industry.

 So it would bring in some balance if The Age were to show a film with a different point of view – and perhaps an Australian film, rather than American.   David Bradbury, for example, has made a number of films on nuclear/uranium issues – http://www.frontlinefilms.com.au/

 Can you tell me how The Age came to be showing this film?  I assume that Robert Stone and the Breakthrough Institute did not pay The Age to show it

 Sincerely

 Noel Wauchope

 

April 22, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

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