Australian news, and some related international items

Queensland government incapable of properly monitoring Mining industries

exclamation-Summary of Auditor-General’s report on mines  SMH, 4 April 14 What was revealed in the Auditor General’s report on the monitoring of Queensland’s resource and waste industries by the Departments of Environment and Heritage Protection and Natural Resources and Mines.


“Poor data and inadequate systems continue to hinder EHP’s planning and risk assessments. As a result, EHP cannot target its monitoring and enforcement efforts to where they are most needed.”

This situation is exacerbated by the lack of coordination and sharing of relevant information across agencies, particularly between EHP and NRM……..

April 5, 2014 Posted by | politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Queensland’s Premier Newman breaks promise to keep ban on uranium mining

Queensland-nuclear-freeNo apology for dumping Uranium mining ban on 2nd anniversary of election of the Newman Government   Mark Bailey Keep Queensland Nuclear Free 24 March 2014,33604?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=MSC_Feed#.UzNVFahdV9U With the second anniversary of the Newman government this week, it is timely to note there has been no apology from Premier Newman for dumping his promise to Queenslanders before the last election to keep the ban on uranium mining in Queensland.

Premier Newman was explicit when he said;

“We have no plans and that’s as clear as I can be. The parliamentary team are very, very clear that we have no plans to develop any sort of uranium mines in Queensland.” ABC  16 Nov 2011

Yet, two years on there is less than 100 days left until dirty and dangerous uranium mines are made legal by the Newman government with approval power likely to be handed to them by the Abbott Federal Government.The safety record of uranium mining in Australia has been appalling with over 200 recorded safety incidents at Ranger mine, which is still shut down after a toxic spill last year of a million litres of radioactive slurry.

Not a single closed uranium mine in Australia has been successfully rehabilitated to this day with the last mine at Mary Kathleen a toxic mess to this day.

Queenslanders do not want the risk of radioactive contamination of their waterways, from truck accidents near their homes and schools and they certainly don’t want uranium being exported across the Great Barrier Reef.The Newman state government should suspend their dumping of the twenty-three year ban on uranium mining forthwith and conduct an independent enquiry into all implications of allowing uranium mining in our state so that communities, schools and existing industries can have their say in this far reaching decision.

March 26, 2014 Posted by | politics, Queensland, uranium | Leave a comment

Queensland govt moves to restrict objections to mining applications

civil-liberty-2smMove to limit ideological objections to Qld mining projects, ABC News, 28 Feb 14 By environment and science reporter Jake Sturmer The Queensland Government is looking to restrict who can object to mining applications, in a bid to crack down on what it calls philosophical opposition to projects.

Currently any group or person can object to applications, potentially sending the decision to the Land Court.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said it was “frustrating” for the Government.

“It’s obvious that the current process allows individuals or groups who are fundamentally opposed to the coal industry – for whatever reason – to use the objection process to frustrate and delay those projects,” he said. “The people of Queensland have elected us as a Government based on developing our coal industry to supply the world markets and our processes need to allow us to do that.”

In the next few weeks, the State Government will release a discussion paper looking at who can object to applications….

“The people of Queensland have elected us as a Government based on developing our coal industry to supply the world markets and our processes need to allow us to do that.”

In the next few weeks, the State Government will release a discussion paper looking at who can object to applications……

February 28, 2014 Posted by | civil liberties, Queensland | Leave a comment

Brisbane Aboriginal activists to push for land rights and sovereignty

handsoffAboriginal News Aboriginal Way – National Indigenous Radio Service (NIRS) Lateral Love   NIRS NEWS STORIES 05 FEBRUARY 2014 A number of Brisbane activists have formed a group to push for and further discussions on treaties, land rights and sovereignty.

Nganyaywana man Callum Clayton-Dixon is a co-founder of the collective and says treaties must be a grass-roots movement and not be administered by government bodies.

Mr. Clayton-Dixon says he welcomes Nigel Scullion and Warren Mundine’s recent interest in treaty talks and wants to bring the discussion into communities.

February 6, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Aboriginals wait to see if Cape York Peninsula can be protected from mining

handsoffLateral Love, 6 Feb 14 Traditional Owners in the Cape York Peninsula are still waiting on the State Government to submit information that would see parts of the Cape listed as UNESCO World Heritage.

Desmond Tayley is speaking for his traditional land in the Laura area, a cultural site with world-renowned rock art that is also a major tourist attraction.

Mr. Tayley says there has been no feedback by the Government and world heritage status would not just protect the site from mining……

February 6, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Griffith bye election: only the Greens care about climate change

Milne,-Christine-13Senator Milne said major parties were ignoring the preliminary warning signs of climate change and the implications that had for rural and tourism jobs.

“You cannot deal with droughts in Australia without acknowledging global warming”

The Griffith byelection is being held on February 8

ballot-boxSmgreensSmGreens use Griffith to push for climate change action , SMH, 4 Feb 14 senior reporter In 2007, climate change was deemed the most important issue of a generation. The bigger issue of climate change subsequently got lost in a complex argument, over two elections, about the merits of a carbon tax.

Seven years on, as Australia faces up to record summer temperatures and more intense cyclones, it has again been bought into focus by the Greens.

On Monday in Brisbane, Greens leader Senator Christine Milne chided the major parties for decisions which she said appeared to ignore the impact of climate change. She was in the city to support the Greens campaign to win the seat of Griffith, left vacant by Kevin Rudd’s retirement……. Continue reading

February 4, 2014 Posted by | politics, Queensland | 1 Comment

Solar energy brings profits to Cairns

solar-panels-and-moneySun powers hot returns as Cairns takes a shine to solar power for profitable asset CAIRNS is reaping the benefits of tropical sunshine, with annual returns on investment in local solar power more than twice those of most other assets. 24 Jan 14 

The city has been revealed as one of the top performers in Australia for giving the best return on solar investment when compared with shares, property, gold, global fixed interest and fine art.

National solar provider Energy Matters recently used consumer feedback to rank each town for solar viability.

Cairns came in fifth on the national list, with a 20.1 per cent investment return per year for almost a quarter (23 per cent) of solar-eligible homes that had invested in the power source as of last March.

Townsville ranked the country’s top solar town with a 21.8 per cent annual return on investment, closely followed by Gladstone (21 per cent), and Brisbane and Mackay (both 20.2 per cent).

The figures took into account each city’s sunshine hours, the cost of a solar system for that region, local electricity rates and the region’s level of government support.

According to the report, returns from solar lie well ahead of the average returns for Australian shares (9.8 per cent), residential investment property (9.5 per cent), global fixed interest (8.5 per cent), fine art investment (8 per cent) and gold (4.1 per cent).

“Australians are constantly looking for the best place to invest their money, yet they’re overlooking one of the best, and it’s right above their head,” said Energy Matters co-founder Nick Brass.

He pointed to the initial outlay costs and consumer confusion around available government support for preventing more people seeking out solar.

Wade Allen, managing director ofNaked Energy, said Cairns’ solar consumers were still on the rise, despite a dip in numbers after July 1 last year when the solar grid feed-in tariff dropped from 44 to 8.

“It’s no longer a ‘plug and play’ situation,” he said. “We’re sizing solar systems perfectly for what people can use … and that’s how we’re able to help them achieve a good return.”

January 24, 2014 Posted by | Queensland, solar | Leave a comment

Queensland’s Bjelke-Petersen government wanted to discriminate against Aborigines

text-historyJoh’s cabinet anxious about Labor rise,   Wednesday January 1, 2014 “…….Attorney-General Sam Doumany said the election of the Hawke government had paved the way for the Commonwealth to start making new sexual and racial discrimination laws.

His warning came in the wake of a 1982 High Court decision which found the Bjelke-Petersen government was acting discriminatorily by blocking the purchase of land by Aboriginal people in northern Queensland.

He said the High Court would ‘no longer provide any great protection’ because the majority of justices were ‘opposed to the long-term interests of the states’…..

The disposal of radioactive sand left over from sand mining was also at the fore as the  government grappled with where to dump the substance, which had a half-life of 10,000 million years…..

January 2, 2014 Posted by | history, Queensland | Leave a comment

Queensland and Western Australia’s bizarre decisions against renewable energy

Parkinson-Report-Why Tony Abbott may spark an Australian energy revolution  REneweconomy, By  on 19 December 2013 “……….The Queensland and WA governments are the most vocal opponents of renewable energy and rooftop solar. Yet it is they who are managing what are quite possibly the most unsustainable fossil fuel grids in the world. Both states rely hugely on subsidies (totaling $1 billion a year) to deliver the fossil fuel to the socket, and the government-owned entities still make losses.

The fact that they are trying to stop the rollout of solar and storage, and extend the life of moribund assets, beggars belief. The bizarre decisions taken in WA, where the government proposes to extend the life of its main mis-firing coal-fired generator, to subsidise the construction of diesel-fuelled peaking plants that may never be switched on, to retrospectively change solar tariffs, and declare it is no longer interested in large-scale renewable energy development, is just a taste of the extraordinary decisions being made…….

December 20, 2013 Posted by | energy, Queensland, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Queensland Government’s unreasonable attack on renewable energy

The large scale renewable energy target is probably the smallest component of the electricity bill. It’s interesting that McArdle chooses to attack this, and not the network costs, which account for around half of consumer bills.

It’s all about self-interest, and McArdle has just underlined the untenable conflict of interest in having governments acting as owner, regulator, price-setter and policy developer.


Queensland energy minister launches wild attack on renewables By  on 16 December 2013  The Queensland government has declared its hand in the upcoming review of the renewable energy target with an extraordinary – and in many places misinformed – attack on the costs of renewable energy.


The Queensland Energy Minister Mark McArdle wrote an opinion piece in The Australian on Monday challenging an assertion by Miles George, the head of Infigen Energy and a director of the Clean Energy Council, that renewable energy has a dampening impact on electricity prices. Continue reading

December 17, 2013 Posted by | energy, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Call for no uranium exported through Queensland port: Protect Barrier Reef!

Queensland-nuclear-freeAnti-nuclear campaigner seeks port uranium assurances    An anti-nuclear campaigner is calling on the Queensland Government to rule out that uranium will be exported through the Port of Mackay.

Last year, the Newman Government reversed a long-standing ban on uranium mining in Queensland.

The port’s operator, North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP), said it could be used to transport associated mining equipment.

Mark Bailey from Keep Queensland Nuclear Free says he has serious concerns about the possibility of the resource being shipped through the reef.”I don’t think any of us want uranium on the Great Barrier Reef and we certainly don’t want our tourism industry affected by an incident like a grounding on the reef in bad weather with a uranium ship,” he said.

“This has happened before, you know Cameco had a ship that hit bad weather in the Pacific. If that happens on the reef, the publicity will be very bad.”

He says he wants assurances Abbot Point will not be used.

A spokesman for NQBP says there are no plans to export the commodity through the Port of Mackay at this stage.

December 8, 2013 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, Queensland, uranium | Leave a comment

Australians really should be worrying about Ultraviolet Radiation

text-Merkel-cell-carcinomaUV radiation: A central factor behind Queensland’s record rates of Merkel cell carcinoma  November 25, 2013   Queensland has at least double the rates of the world’s deadliest skin cancer on record – yet much of the state are unaware the rare cancer even exists.

Merkel cell carcinoma is a highly aggressive form of skin cancer, with 60 per cent of patients dying within five years of diagnosis, compared to just 7 per cent of melanomapatients.

New research from Cancer Council Queensland, the University of Queensland and the Western Australia Institute of Medical Research has suggested ultraviolet radiation plays an important role in the development of Merkel cell carcinoma, contributing to Queensland’s record rates.

The findings will be presented at The Global Controversies and Advances in Skin Cancer Conference, hosted by Cancer Council Queensland in Brisbane today. Continue reading

November 28, 2013 Posted by | health, Queensland | Leave a comment

A new warning for Australia – on UV radiation and skin cancer

Christina Macpherson 27 Nov 13, Today’s item from the Courier Mail should concern people, especially Queenslanders  -

“…..You can still get burnt on windy, cloudy and cool days. UV radiation can penetrate overcast conditions and may even be more intense due reflection off the bottom of clouds, says Cancer Council CEO, Professor Ian Olver.  

“Australia experiences extremely high UV levels in summer around the country, so it’s important to slip on clothing, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat, slide on sunglasses and seek shade,” he warned.

Australia tops the world for getting UV radiation of both types UVA and UVB. The “hole in the ozone layer” seems to be out of fashion as a news topic in Australia.  The Antarctic ozone hole is a dramatic thinning of ozone in the stratosphere over Antarctica each spring.  This means that Australians are getting much more  UV radiation than ever before. We are vulnerable to all types of skin cancer, and now – the most dangerous type is on the increase.  They thought that the rare Merkel cell skin cancer was caused by a virus. Now they’re finding that UV radiation may be the cause.


Warning on new killer skin cancer: Merkel cell carcinoma  24th Nov 2013 

THE world’s deadliest skin cancer has taken a grip on Queensland, yet many people have never heard of it. Merkel cell carcinoma is a highly aggressive form of skin cancer, with 60% of patients dying within five years of diagnosis.

That compares to just 7% of melanoma patients. Queensland has at least double the world rate of the rare cancer.

New research from Cancer Council Queensland, the University of Queensland and the Western Australia Institute of Medical Research suggests ultra-violet radiation plays an important role in the development of Merkel cell carcinoma, contributing to Queensland’s record rates. The findings have been presented at The Global Controversies and Advances in Skin Cancer Conference, hosted by Cancer Council Queensland, in Brisbane.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the five-year relative survival rate for Merkel cell carcinoma was just 41%, compared to 93% for melanoma. “A total of 340 cases of Merkel cell carcinoma were diagnosed in Queensland from 2006 to 2010,” Ms Clift said.

“As with most cancers, the best chance of survival is early diagnosis. “This is particularly important for Merkel cell carcinoma as these tumours tend to grow rapidly.”

It was essential health experts developed public health campaigns to educate people about the cancer, she said. “Merkel cell carcinomas can be difficult to identify, and are sometimes confused with benign skin cancers,” she said.

“It is therefore imperative that Queenslanders get to know their own skin. “If they notice a new spot or lesion, or a spot or lesion change in shape, colour or size, they should visit their GP immediately.”

November 26, 2013 Posted by | health, Queensland | Leave a comment

Queensland, not the National government could control uranium and environment decisions

exclamation-Qld uranium mines could become state issue, 19 Nov 13 THE Queensland government could be given power to assess the impact of uranium mines in the state under proposed federal changes to environmental approvals.

The revelation emerged on Monday as the environment department was grilled by opposition and Greens senators about the federal government’s plan to create a “one-stop-shop” for environmental approvals.

The Queensland and NSW governments have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Abbott government over the plan, which aims to deliver faster approvals and eliminate regulatory duplication.

Opposition to the policy has been fierce, with critics claiming it will erode crucial environmental protections by handing federal powers to the states.

Australian Greens senator Larissa Waters on Monday quizzed officials from the environment department about whether the Commonwealth would retain power over nuclear activity under the proposed changes.

She said Environment Minister Greg Hunt had previously indicated nuclear activity would be “quarantined” under the changes, and asked if this was still the case.

Newly appointed department secretary Gordon de Brouwer told a Senate estimates committee that nuclear activity was “approved by the Commonwealth minister, and assessed under this agreement by the state”.

“So this does give away the assessment of uranium mining to Queensland?” Senator Waters asked about the proposed agreements.

“Yes, it allows the state to undertake those assessments, subject to the agreement,” Mr de Brouwer replied……

November 19, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Queensland uranium sales would bring radioactive waste importing to Australia

Queensland--antinukeUranium Mines More Dangerous Than Nuclear Power Confirms Japanese Atomic Expert At Brisbane Forum,32305#.UofD39Jwo7o 16 Nov 13, Fears for worker safety at future uranium mines in Queensland were confirmed by a top Japanese atomic expert at this week’s Australia-Japan Dialogue Forum in Brisbane.

Japan Atomic Energy Commission vice chairman Dr Tatsujiro Suzuki said at the forum “Mining actually poses larger risks than reactors, even when there are not accidents. Uranium miners are regularly exposed, there’s high exposure in areas around mines and the potential for atmospheric contamination.”

WASTES-1Anti-Nuclear Campaign Coordinator, Mark Bailey said Mr Suzuki’s comments showed why uranium mines were not worth the risk in Queensland. “The Ranger mine in the Northern Territory, in a similar wet season climate as North Queensland, has an appalling safety record with more than 150 documented mishaps including workers drinking and bathing in radioactive water.”

“The latest reported mishap occurred only last week.  The safety of workers and nearby communities cannot be guaranteed by the uranium industry given their very poor record.” Dr Suzuki also confirmed that Japan is set to run out of nuclear waste storage capacity within six years and is looking to sign deals with uranium suppliers who are prepared to help it dispose of radioactive waste. Mr Bailey warned “Once we allow uranium mines in Queensland it is inevitable that nuclear waste storage and nuclear power will soon be on the agenda. Uranium mines are the thin edge of the nuclear wedge in Queensland.” “Once the nuclear industry has their radioactive foot in Queensland’s door, they will want to move in and take over the whole house.”

“Queensland doesn’t need uranium mining, nuclear waste dumps or nuclear power and we should re-instate the ban on uranium mining promised before the last election before it’s too late,” said Mr Bailey. “The Newman government has no mandate from the people of Queensland to allow uranium mining as they explicitly ruled it out before the election.”

November 15, 2013 Posted by | Queensland, uranium, wastes | 1 Comment


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