Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australian National University divesting from fossil fuels, but not from uranium

ANU defends divestments, says fossil fuels companies must diversify into new energy, The Age Heath Aston, political correspondent October 13, 2014 – The head of the Australian National University has defended a decision to dump certain resources stocks from the university’s $1 billion investment portfolio on ethical grounds, saying fossil fuel-reliant companies will not survive the next 20 to 30 years unless they diversify into new energies……

ANU is the first Australian university to divest from fossil fuels but in the United States 19 universities have sold out of investments deemed unethical or a risk to the environment, including the prestigious Stanford University, which has purged its $US19 billion ($22 billion) investment fund. ANU modelled its socially responsible investment policy on that of Stanford.

Professor Young said there had been a “torrent of support” from students and the wider community.

“They have been saying ‘don’t back down’,” he said. “There is tremendous enthusiasm out there around environmental issues and investment.”

ANU Student Association president Cam Wilson said 82% of 2000 students polled before the university made its decision supported divestment.

In an opinion piece written for Fairfax Media, Professor Young, whose ocean research has resulted in his consulting to a range offshore gas and oil companies, questioned the short-term thinking of the divestment critics.

“What will our industries be in 20 or 30 years’ time?” he writes. “I am confident they will not be in producing fossil fuels.”

He told Fairfax Media: “I don’t think fossil fuels will be a big part of the world economy in 20 to 30 years’ time. But, that said, there is a big opportunity for these companies to change the mix of what they produce.”

While seven resources stocks were dumped, ANU has retained investments in mining groups BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, as well as in Woodside Petroleum and Wesfarmers.

investing

Professor Young said those groups were more diversified and showed signs of evolving to new energy sources in future……. http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/anu-defends-divestments-says-fossil-fuels-companies-must-diversify-into-new-energy-20141012-114ypp.html

October 13, 2014 Posted by | ACT, business | Leave a comment

Australian National University sells off fossil fuel interests – but not enough of them

ANU decision to sell fossil fuel company holdings not enough: students By Lisa Mosley ABC News,  3 Oct 2014,  An Australian National University (ANU) decision to sell off about $16 million worth of its investments in seven fossil fuel companies does not go far enough, a students’ group says.

ANU said it would divesting itself of shares in Newcrest Mining, Iluka Resources, Oil Search and Santos, among other companies.

Vice-chancellor Professor Ian Young said it was important that the university did not invest in companies that are doing some form of social harm……….

Louis Klee from the group ANU Fossil Free said while it was a big achievement for the university, the decision did not go far enough.

He said the ANU still had major holdings in BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Woodside Petroleum.

“It is wrong for ANU to continue to profit from these industries that are responsible for the wreckage of the planet,” he said. …….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-03/anu-selling-fossil-fuel-company-holdings-not-enough-student-says/5789748

October 6, 2014 Posted by | ACT, business | Leave a comment

Canberra protestors worried about wind farms disturbing their rural setting

wind-farm-evil-1Residents fighting Jupiter wind farm plan Canberra protest, Canberra Times September 15, 2014  Land owners in communities along the Goulburn-Braidwood Road are continuing their self-described “David and Goliath battle” to stop a $400 million wind farm development proposed for 12,000 hectares in the area.

The Residents Against Jupiter Wind Turbines group last week said progress was being made in the fight, after another community meeting at Tarago and contact with Goulburn MP and planning Minister Pru Goward.

Planning is underway for a demonstration outside the ACT Legislative Assembly on Tuesday as group members want territory residents to know the local impact of some renewable energy sources.

An Australian-Spanish joint venture is developing the 110 turbine wind farm on the properties of 25 landholders. The individual turbines are set to be more than 110 metres high, with three 63-metre rotor blades, near small towns at Lake Bathurst, Tarago, Mayfield, Boro, Mount Fairy and Manar.

Group spokesman Michael Crawford said many of the residents were current and former Commonwealth and state public servants who had migrated to the area, east of Goulburn, and were desperate to preserve their rural setting……..

The group believes the state’s wind farm development guidelines are inadequate, and fail to take full account of impacts including noise, visual changes, sleep and health effects and property values…..

The company has several proposed wind farm projects in New South Wales and Victoria.

Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/residents-fighting-jupiter-wind-farm-plan-canberra-protest-20140914-10fvjo.html#ixzz3DRafelVv

September 15, 2014 Posted by | ACT, wind | Leave a comment

In spite of Tony Abbott, Australia’s Largest Solar Farm Opened

Australia’s Largest Solar Farm Opened http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4477 4 Sept 14  Canberra’s Royalla Solar Farm, owned by Spanish company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), was opened on Wednesday.

The 24MWp solar power plant  is located just south of Tuggeranong, approximately 23 kilometres south of the Canberra CBD and will generate enough electricity to supply around 4,500 Canberra homes.
Solar-Farm-Canberra
Comprised of 83,000 solar panels, it’s not only largest solar farm in Australia, Royalla is also the first large scale solar facility connected to the National Electricity Market (NEM).

Among those at the opening were ACT Environment Minister Simon Corbell, Spanish foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, Australian Solar Council CEO John Grimes and Clean Energy Council Acting Chief Executive Kane Thornton.

“This project has helped to demonstrate the exciting opportunity and massive benefits that large scale solar can deliver in Australia,” said Mr. Thornton.

“The Royalla Solar Farm is a showcase for what is possible using today’s technology, and has utilised many local businesses, suppliers and contractors to deliver a real boost to the local economy.” Continue reading

September 4, 2014 Posted by | ACT, solar | Leave a comment

ACT’s Uriarra solar project is important to the nation

Australia-solar-plugNational significance of Uriarra solar should not be underestimated, says ACT Environment Minister Simon Corbell August 14, 2014 Kirsten Lawson Chief Assembly reporter for The Canberra Times.

View more articles from Kirsten Lawson With the country’s biggest solar farm in Canberra’s south about to go live, Environment Minister Simon Corbell has defended the controversial Uriarra solar farm in the face of bushfire concerns and overwhelming opposition from local residents.

Mr Corbell said the 20MW array off the Monaro Highway at Royalla, which will go live in a couple of weeks, was twice the size of any other solar farm in the country and the largest feeding into the national grid. Its nearest rival was a 10MW solar farm in Western Australia.

He said the Uriarra solar project, now in planning, would also be 10MW and its significance on the national scale should not be underestimated.  He rejected residents’ characterisation of the 27-hectare solar array at Uriarra as an industrial site.

“These are PV panels sitting in a field,” he told the ACT Assembly. “They don’t create noise, they don’t create emissions, they don’t create all of those things that are associated with an industrial plant. But, of course, the opponents … want to characterise it as that because in doing so … they hope to attach the emotional language that comes with industrial, manufacturing or mining or other resource-intense facility.”

The solar farm was low impact, environmentally beneficial and simply harnessed the power of sunlight, Mr Corbell said………

The Liberals’ Andrew Wall said the project had a litany of flaws, including the damage it would do to property values in Uriarra and the bushfire risk. Residents were not opposed to solar power but to the site, he said.

But Mr Corbell rejected concerns about the power line, saying the village was already powered by an overhead electricity line through the same corridor as the planned solar-farm line.

The ActewAGL line is 11V, but Mr Corbell said it was “not a big difference when it comes to starting a fire”. “One spark will start a fire, it doesn’t matter about the power of the line,” he said.

Farmers wanted solar and wind farms because it helped them diversify and access a reliable income stream, he said.

The importance of the project should not be underestimated at a time when the federal government was sending a message to companies and countries around the world that Australia was not interested in renewable energy.

When Royalla begins operating in September, ActewAGL will pay it $186 for each megawatt hour fed into the grid. The company is expected to generate about 37,000 megawatt hours a year, and the maximum it will be paid for is 42,293 megawatt hours. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/national-significance-of-uriarra-solar-should-not-be-underestimated-says-act-environment-minister-simon-corbell-20140814-103www.html#ixzz3AcIlV6Od

August 16, 2014 Posted by | ACT, solar | Leave a comment

120 objections to Canberra solar farm -(a co-ordinated fossil fuel lobby attack?)

Government swamped by 120 objections to the Uriarra solar farm Canberra Times, August 12, 2014  Chief Assembly reporter for The Canberra Times. The government has been swamped by objections to the Uriarra solar farm, including from federal Labor MP Gai Brodtmann, who said it would damage the character and appeal of the village, block views, affect the rural feel and probably depress house prices.

Ms Brodtmann’s intervention will put pressure on the government, as will the weight of opposition from residents of Uriarra Village across the road from the planned solar farm. More than 80 are among about 122 people to submit submissions.

Just six submissions are in favour, and only one of them if from a resident. John White wrote briefly in support. “Quite frankly, as the village is advertised as being a sustainable eco village, I do not understand the other resident views for not supporting such a wonderful opportunity the village could have gained by this solar farm.”….. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/government-swamped-by-120-objections-to-the-uriarra-solar-farm-20140811-102rbe.html#ixzz3AEwFXw3x

August 12, 2014 Posted by | ACT, solar | Leave a comment

Community Energy Congress in Canberra, as Farmers warn against weakening Renewable Energy Target

wind-turbines-and-sheepFarmers, activists warn against reducing renewable energy target on Global Wind Energy Day http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/farmers-activists-warn-against-reducing-renewable-energy-target-on-global-wind-energy-day-20140615-zs8ix.html June 16, 2014  Public service editor Over the years, Boorowa grazier Paul Magee watched each of his five children become adults and leave the family farm to find work.

For him and his wife, Lynette, the opportunity to host wind turbines on their 700-hectare property, about 110 kilometres north of Canberra, may have come a little too late.

But the lamb farmer hopes the growing wind-energy industry will help lure young people back to the bush, and says the federal government must maintain its backing for renewable energy. “There is a possibility that one [of my children] could move back here and help to improve the farm and make it more productive – if the renewable energy target is not changed,” Mr Magee told a rally of activists outside Parliament House on Sunday, Global Wind Energy Day.

“There is a further possibility that others … may gain employment in the area. The economic benefits would help stop the drift to larger cities.”

A review of the so-called RET – an aim for 20 per cent of the nation’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020 – is due to be completed shortly, amid fears the Abbott government will reduce the target or scrap it entirely.

Last month, Treasurer Joe Hockey launched an unprompted attack on windfarms near Lake George, just outside the ACT, telling conservative radio commentator Alan Jones he found them “utterly offensive” and “a blight on the landscape”. Climate activists have also noted that the RET review’s leader, former Caltex chairman Dick Warburton, and other panel members have close links to the fossil-fuel industry.

Mr Magee said he could not understand the Treasurer’s view. “It could be argued that the very same four-lane freeway he was travelling on is more offensive and a bigger blight on the landscape, and indeed the urban development that has ruined the north shore of Sydney,” he said, referring to Mr Hockey’s electorate.

Small groups of residents near windfarms occasionally oppose the industry, saying turbines are noisy and reduce rural property prices.

However, NSW government polling in 2010 found almost nine in 10 residents in the region near the ACT border supported windfarms, including 61 per cent of people who lived one to two kilometres away from turbines.

Regardless of what happens to the federal RET scheme, ACT Environment Minister Simon Corbell told the rally that Canberra would maintain the nation’s most ambitious renewable energy policy: 90 per cent of the ACT’s electricity would be sourced from renewable energy by 2020.

He also noted that the Royalla solar farm – the largest in Australia – was just a few months’ away from being commissioned.

“The sad thing about that project is that it’s only 20 megawatts. When you look at renewable energy and solar energy around the world, you see that so many nations are investing in schemes and in projects that are in the hundreds of megawatts.

“In a country like Australia, we should be doing the same.”

Sunday’s rally preceded the 2014 Community Energy Congress, which will be held on Monday and Tuesday at the National Library. About 300 delegates are expected to attend from across Australia and overseas.

 

June 16, 2014 Posted by | ACT, wind | Leave a comment

Lined up against Renewable Energy – These Liberal and National Members of Parliament

Liberal-policy-1MPs unite against ACT’s renewable energy scheme, Braidwood Times, 1 April 14  Liberals and Nationals in NSW have joined forces to send a strong message to the ACT Government over its renewable energy policy: Leave our farms alone!

Windfarms have been controversial in the area surrounding the ACT and an110 tower ‘farm’ is in the wind for the area from Tarago, south across the Kings Highway down to Manar.

The Member for Monaro John Barilaro was joined by his State colleague the Member for Burrinjuck and Minister for Primary Industries and Small Business, Katrina Hodgkinson, Family & Community Services Minister, Minister for Women & Member for Goulburn Pru Goward, the Federal Member for Hume, Angus Taylor  and Goulburn Mulwaree Mayor Geoff Kettle, on top of a popular Canberra lookout to deliver the message on behalf of their communities…….http://www.braidwoodtimes.com.au/story/2189378/mps-unite-against-acts-renewable-energy-scheme/?cs=741

April 2, 2014 Posted by | ACT, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

In Canberra 80.000 homes to be powered by wind energy

wind-turb-smWind energy to power 80,000 Canberra homes   Chief Assembly reporter for The Canberra Times, 12 Mar 14,  Wind energy is set to power 80,000 Canberra households within six years as the ACT government announces details on Thursday of an auction for huge wind farms in the region.

The government will sign 20-year deals with successful bidders, who will get a guaranteed price for the energy they supply.

The news will energise wind farms at different stages of approval and construction that have been waiting for a guaranteed buyer for the energy. But it is also set to galvanise anger in country areas that will host forests of wind turbines powering the capital…..http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/wind-energy-to-power-80000-canberra-homes-20140311-34kox.html

March 12, 2014 Posted by | ACT, wind | 1 Comment

A boost for wind energy as ACT plans big renewables projects

WIND-FARMClean energy boost stirs stalled wind farms, Canberra Times, March 1, 2014  Chief Assembly reporter . The ACT government’s planned roll-out of large-scale clean energy projects is set to give new life to stalled wind farms near Canberra.

Infigen Energy, the company that runs the Capital 1 wind farm near Bungendore, already has approval for another 41 wind turbines at the site, generating about 100 megawatts of energy. General manager of development David Griffin confirmed his company hoped to take part in an auction expected later this year to win the right to supply the ACT with renewable energy for a guaranteed price over 20 years.

A second big project, near Collector, was approved last year for 55 wind turbines, generating 187 megawatts, and run by Ratch-Australia (80 per cent Thai owned, 20 per cent Transfield). Ratch could not be reached on Friday.

Another wind farm, near Yass with up to 152 turbines, is still before the NSW government.

Environment Minister Simon Corbell announced a vast increase in the ACT’s commitment to renewable energy last week, more than doubling the cap on feed-in projects to 550 megawatts, with the bulk of the funded projects in wind farms around Canberra.

Solar would make up most of the rest, but it is undecided whether solar projects outside the ACT will qualify…….http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/clean-energy-boost-stirs-stalled-wind-farms-20140228-33rrx.html

March 1, 2014 Posted by | ACT, wind | Leave a comment

ACT to keep electricity prices low by extending solar and wind energy

solar-feed-inACT extends renewables FiT to 550MW to drive big solar, wind, Reneweconomy, http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/act-large-scale-fit-solar-wind-26551 By  on 27 February 2014

The ACT government will amend its large scale renewables feed-in tariff to support the development of up to 550MW of wind, solar and waste to energy projects – amendments that are expected to help the Capital Territory to retain the lowest electricity prices of any state or territory in Australia. Continue reading

February 27, 2014 Posted by | ACT, energy | Leave a comment

The Aboriginal Tent Embassy, and the struggle against mining takeover of the land

handsoffthe establishing in Canberra, 1972, of the Tent Embassy, to protest against a court decision over mining operations on Aboriginal land.

To many it came as a shock when in April 1971 the Northern Territory Supreme Court decided against Aboriginal people and in favour of a mining company to have access to Aboriginal land. Australian common law, the justice concluded, did not recognise Aboriginal land rights (Reconciliation Australia, 2012).

on January 26th, 2012, the Tent Embassy held its 40th anniversary, making it the longest site of political agitation. The Embassy helped in the struggle for land rights and to end racial discrimination, sadly this is still an ongoing struggle (Korffs, J., 2012).

The Rights For Freedom Of Aboriginal Australians History Essay UK Essays.com 3 Jan 14 This essay focuses on the rights for freedom for the Aboriginal Australians who have lived in Australia for at least 40,000 years. The arrival of the Europeans in 1788 resulted in the significant change to traditional Aboriginal customs and way of life. Up until 1901 colonial governments and communities formally and informally discriminated against Aboriginal people (Rights and freedoms, 1945- the present, n.d.).

Three significant events that focus on this are the ‘Day of Mourning, 1938’, ‘The Freedom Ride, 1965’, and the ‘Aboriginal Tent Embassy, 1972’. Continue reading

January 3, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, ACT, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Legal bullying threats now adopted by wind farm opponents

wind-farm-evil-1justiceWe’re going to the bullying tactics, are we? I don’t know what it’s all about, but I assume that’s what it is, old school bullying tactics.”…..

Mr Poile said there were a lot of people and groups he did not recognise as locals, including anti-wind farm activist Sarah Laurie from the Waubra Foundation, based in South Australia.

Threat of legal action against wind farm hosts, Canberra Times,  October 29, 2013 An anti-wind farm resident of Collector says he will sue his neighbours should they become turbine hosts as part of a proposed wind farm in the small community north of Canberra. Continue reading

October 29, 2013 Posted by | ACT, wind | Leave a comment

SolarShare -Canberra’s exciting new community energy project

sunSun rises on a communal solar farm City News,  October 9, 2013 AS plans move ahead to build four fields of solar panels in the ACT, one of them Australia’s largest, there’s another with a more egalitarian spirit not far behind.

Launched in May, SolarShare plans to build a solar farm that will operate as a co-operative, rather than a company, so its member-shareholders will contribute to the cost of building its photovoltaic arrays and receive returns from the power they generate for years to come.

“Since then we’ve received about 200 registrations of interest from people who are keen to invest in excess of $670,000 in a community-owned solar farm, so we’ve received a fairly strong indication there that people support this idea, which is really great,” says project leader Lawrence McIntosh.

McIntosh is a renewable energy consultant who plays a central role in The Canberra Clean Energy Connection, a local, non-profit group that supports the ACT Government’s vision of Canberra becoming “the solar capital of Australia”…….http://citynews.com.au/2013/sun-rises-on-a-communal-solar-farm/

October 18, 2013 Posted by | ACT, solar | Leave a comment

Australian War Memorial should include the war between settlers and Aborigines

Why does the Australian War Memorial ignore the frontier war?  Paul Daley theguardian.com, Thursday 12 September 2013The battle between Aboriginal people and settlers is at the heart of nationhood but absent from war dead commemorations “……With the approaching centenary next August of the outbreak of the first world war, Australia is spending $32m to upgrade the memorial’s first world war galleries – part of meeting its mandate to help Australians “remember, interpret and understand” the country’s war experiences.

It is a broad and generous brief.

This mandate, however, has been narrowly interpreted by successive generations of memorial officials whose Anzac-centric focus continues to stubbornly exclude the fierce battles for sovereignty between Aboriginal Australians and pastoral settlers across the frontier, which are at the dark heart of Australia’s nationhood. Continue reading

September 13, 2013 Posted by | aboriginal issues, ACT | Leave a comment

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