Australian news, and some related international items

Queensland govt joins community in ‘major concerns’ over nuclear waste facility at Oman-ama

Queensland-nuclear-freeQueensland Government says it has ‘major concerns’ over nuclear wasteradioactive trash facility at Oman-ama RENEE VIELLARIS FEDERAL POLITICS THE COURIER-MAIL NOVEMBER 20, 2015

THE State Government could team up with a local com­munity to stop a proposed nuclear dump. A landholder at Oman Ama, 250km southwest of Brisbane, is competing against five other locations across Australia to become the nation’s first ­nuclear dump site.

The news shocked local residents throughout the Darling Downs, with some fearing terrorists attacks and worried for their long-term health.

The Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation and Science sent repre­sentatives to meet with resi­dents at Inglewood this week.

Energy Minister Mark Bailey said the State Government was given limited information about the Turnbull Government’s recent announcement about its preferred sites.

“Queensland currently prohibits the construction of a facility to hold nuclear waste, under the Nuclear Facilities Prohibition Act. The Government has no plans to alter the legislation,” Mr Bailey told The Courier-Mail yesterday.

“The Queensland Government has major concerns that a nuclear waste dump could be located so close to a community.”…….

November 20, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Ipswich, Queensland, at risk from nuclear waste,

Queensland-nuclear-freeIpswich at risk from nuclear waste, Queensland Times  | 20th Nov radiation-truck2015 THE FIGHT is well and truly on to stop hundreds of trucks a year loaded with radioactive nuclear waste from moving through Ipswich towards a national repository near Inglewood.

A site at Oman Ama is one of six slated by the Federal Government to store nuclear waste which has been slammed as “an environmental disaster waiting to happen” by Cr Paul Tully, who is also the national secretary of the Australian Nuclear Free Zones Secretariat.

Cr Tully said the federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg was “putting major cities across southeast Queensland under threat with hundreds of trucks a year carrying dangerous radioactive waste across the region”.

Cr Tully, who called the plan “total lunacy”, said Ipswich did not want such dangerous material transiting through the city.

“It will be a national repository which means that radioactive waste from North Queensland as well as southern states of Australia will come into south Queensland,” he said.

“Anything coming up the Pacific Highway will go through Brisbane, Ipswich and Toowoomba and anything coming from North Queensland would as well.

“So it does hold concerns that hundreds of trucks a year could be coming through our area.”A lot of it would come up through central NSW of course if they do select this site, which is one of six in Australia that has been nominated for further investigation.

“But if a truck, semi-trailer or B-double laden with this material had an accident and caught fire or rolled into a creek or river bed, then that is an issue. Brisbane, Ipswich and Toowoomba residents will be concerned at this act of madness by the federal government.” Continue reading

November 20, 2015 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, Queensland, safety, wastes | Leave a comment

Inglewood residents tell govt – “No nuclear waste dump here”

text-NoResidents tell officials they don’t want nuclear waste, ABC Radio PM Annie Guest reported this story on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 DAVID MARK: Residents of the southern Queensland town of Inglewood have told Government officials they don’t want Australia’s first permanent nuclear waste facility in their community.
About 150 people attended a community meeting in the town today. They met with officials who are overseeing the selection of one of six sites for the waste dump.

Most residents say they were worried about safety risks and property values declining, but one woman said the waste from the nuclear medicine that saved her husband’s life must be stored somewhere.

Annie Guest reports from Inglewood…….

November 19, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Queensland | Leave a comment

Public meeting in Oman Ama vents opposition to nuclear waste site proposal

radioactive trashSouthern Queensland community Oman Ama vents fears over potential nuclear waste site, ABC News, 18 Nov 15  Residents of a Queensland southern border community earmarked for a nuclear waste dump have gathered for a public meeting to voice concerns about the proposal.

Oman Ama, near Inglewood, is one of six sites shortlisted to host the country’s first permanent nuclear waste dump.

It comes with a $10 million sweetener but that is not enough to convince many local residents of the small rural community……The Federal Government wants one site in Australia and is due to make a decision by the end of 2016, with the site operating by 2018, or 2020 at the latest.

Government experts are trying to allay their fears with claims the dump will not be built anywhere if there is an environmental risk.

Oman Ama locals mainly asked about the risk if the waste escapes, how long it took to break down, what happens in a flood and how can they be sure it is safe.

Some yelled out their opposition, which drew claps from the audience.

Gavan Lahey said he was concerned the local catchment would be polluted……..

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, opposition to nuclear, Queensland | Leave a comment

Toowoomba shop owner Peter Campbell sees nuclear waste dump as a joke

Comic book seller says nuclear waste dump for southern Queensland has great potential ABC Southern Qld ,By Peter Gunders , 17 Nov 15 Peter Campbell does not claim to be a nuclear energy expert, scientist, or waste disposal expert.

But he knows his chosen industry — pop culture — and in that capacity, he cautiously welcomes the idea of a nuclear waste dump in his backyard of southern Queensland.


Late last week Inglewood, a small town west of Toowoomba, was name-checked as one of six locations shortlisted by the Federal Government as a possible site to store low-to-intermediate level nuclear waste.

“If there’s one thing comics have taught us, it’s that we could all gain superpowers,” Mr Campbell laughed. The co-owner of Brutal Deluxe, a Toowoomba store specialising in comics and video games, said nuclear themes pervaded pop culture.

“Bruce Banner was a normal guy until he was exposed to high levels of gamma radiation, and now he’s the Incredible Hulk,” Mr Campbell said.  “Right throughout pop culture, people are always being exposed to radiation.”  And if any problems arose at the nuclear dump?

“Well, there is not a gamer on this planet that isn’t playing Fallout 4 at the moment,” he said.

“And that shows that so much fun can be had in a post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland.”……..

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Queensland | Leave a comment

Ipswich’s Councillor Paul Tully urges residents to fight nuclear waste dump plan

radioactive trashTully speaks out against planned nuclear waste dump, 16 Nov 15   CR PAUL Tully has urged Ipswich residents and the community as a whole to prevent a nuclear waste storage facility less than three hours drive from the city from going ahead.

He said Ipswich had a proud history of preventing similar dumps going ahead within its city borders in the past. He drew the community’s attention to the issue on his Facebook page.

“The Federal Government has picked a potential site – one of six – near Inglewood 250km southwest of Brisbane to store nuclear waste from Lucas Heights in Sydney’s west and from other states of Australia,” he posted.

“This would mean hundreds of truckloads of hazardous waste coming through Brisbane, Ipswich and radiation-truckToowoomba via cities and towns in NSW every year.

“Say no to Queensland becoming a nuclear waste dumping ground for the rest of Australia.

The Ipswich community stopped a similar dump at Redbank in 1988 proposed by the state government at the time, which was finally scrapped by the new Goss government in 1989.”

November 16, 2015 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, Queensland, wastes | Leave a comment

Danger in transporting radioactive trash to Queensland

radiation-truckGoondiwindi mayor raises issues over transport of nuclear waste to Queensland, ABC News 13 Nov 15  The Mayor of a southern Queensland region shortlisted to store nuclear waste is concerned about how it will be transported, but is keeping an open mind to the proposal.

Oman Ama, 250 kilometres southwest of Brisbane,is one of six sites earmarked by the Federal Government, including three in South Australia, one in New South Wales and one in the Northern Territory. Goondiwindi Mayor Graeme Scheu said he did not want to jump to conclusions.

“The main question around it would be transportation, where it goes, so, so many questions that we don’t even have an answer for and the facts,” he said……..

The Federal Government is offering sweeteners to the community that agrees to house nuclear waste…..

Transporting waste to Queensland ‘total lunacy’

National secretary of the Australian local government nuclear free zones secretariat, Ipswich councillor Paul Tully, said “total lunacy” had overtaken the Federal Government.

Mr Tully said the federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will put major cities across southeast Queensland under threat with hundreds of trucks a year carrying nuclear waste across the region.”They will be transporting nuclear waste from the Lucas Heights reactor west of Sydney and other parts of Australia to Queensland,” he said.

“We don’t want Queensland to become the dumping ground for dangerous waste from NSW.”

He said similar plans in 1989 for a radioactive waste dump at Redbank in Ipswich had been thwarted after major environmental concerns were raised.

Kirsten Macey from the Queensland Conservation Council said regional communities should not be used as the scapegoat for a “dirty” nuclear industry. She wants the waste left in Sydney.

“We believe that where the regulator is – where they have the capacity to store it and monitor it, that’s where the nuclear waste should be stored,” she said. “That’s at Lucas Heights where the nuclear waste is being generated.”

November 13, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Queensland, safety, wastes | Leave a comment

Darling Downs, Queensland, residents shocked at proposal to site nuclear waste there

Queensland--antinukeDarling Downs locals opposed to potential Oman Ama nuclear storage site, 9 News, 13 Nov 15,   A property near the Darling Downs town of Oman Ama has been shortlisted by the Federal Government as a potential storage site for low-to-intermediate nuclear waste, but locals have told 9NEWS they are seriously concerned by the plan.

“Initally, horror, shock, how could they?” Liff Parr said.  “I would hate to find something like that happening in our area,” Jo Clark said.

Locals had not received any notice of the plans, Andrew Clark-Dickson said. “Up until seven o’clock this morning I knew nothing about it,” he said. “It’s got to be put somewhere, but I really don’t think it should be on top of the Murray-Darling Basin.”

Organic olive farmer Gesine Owen echoed his concerns. My biggest fear is the water contamination,” she said. Ms Owen said she had spent many years investing in infrastructure to attract tourists to the town.“We just don’t see why we should be picked,” she said.

The residents realise one landowner has volunteered to sell their property for the purpose of establishing a nuclear waste site, with the government offering to pay four times market value for the selected site………

The Australian Nuclear Free Alliance said Australian Aboriginal communities “are reeling from this announcement”.

“We are concerned about the lack of consultation with Aboriginal communities, which are already under attack due to unconventional gas mining, coal proposals and the roll-back of Aboriginal heritage protections,” Alliance co-chair Adam Sharah said in a statement.

November 13, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Queensland, wastes | Leave a comment

Council approval for central Queensland solar farm near Baralaba

solar-farmingSolar farm proposal near Baralaba in central Queensland gets Banana Shire approval, ABC News, 2 Nov 15 By Jessica Lodge and Jacquie Mackay The Banana Shire Council has given approval to the solar energy company FRV to develop a solar farm near Baralaba in central Queensland. In September, the Central Highlands Regional Council gave the same company approval to develop solar operations at Tieri.

Banana Shire Mayor Ron Carige said the project could create up to 200 jobs during the construction phase.”It’s a great opportunity for not only for the shire but for the community around Baralaba itself,” he said.

“So it’s right near the substation at Baralaba and the total area is 730 hectares but the panels will take up approximately 660 hectares, so it’s quite a large project.”

Councillor Carige said it was a great opportunity for the region moving forward………..

November 4, 2015 Posted by | Queensland, solar | Leave a comment

McKinley Shire, Queensland, promotes local business with renewable energy initiative

poster-renewables-rallyMcKinlay Shire in north-west Queensland sheds light on solar cost-saving plans for council, traders By Zara Margolis A north-west Queensland council has begun the second stage of a plan to help local businesses reduce their power bills. The McKinlay Shire has awarded a contract to a renewable energy company to install solar panels on nine local businesses and some council buildings.

Mayor Belinda Murphy said the company was finalising the solar designs, which should be installed by the end of the year. “The whole aim of council’s approach with this was really triggered by drought initially as well,” she said. “As I’ve said before, there is help for landholders but there has certainly been no direct help and support for businesses in these rural towns. “We identified this about 18 months ago and they were the ones who told us their biggest impacts are freight and power.”

Councillor Murphy said the panels would also be installed at a number of council assets. “Even just from a council perspective we’re going to have a projected power cost saving of around $60,000 per annum,” she said.

“Now we have a power cost annually of around $340,000, so that’s nearly a 20 per cent saving which council can then use to put back into other services, the community, other assets or into reserve.”


October 31, 2015 Posted by | Queensland, solar | Leave a comment

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s legal action against coal port at Abbot Point

justiceSeed – Risking the Reef Campaign
“Right now, there’s currently a proposal to build the  world’s biggest coal port on the Great Barrier Reef at Abbot Point. If built it would unlock the Galilee basin  – one of the largest reserves of coal in the world.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are already facing the impacts of climate change today, we need to be moving beyond coal and gas and transitioning to clean renewable energy, not digging up more of our sacred land. This means ensuring the proposed Abbot Point port expansion,
subsequent railway line and coal mines don’t go ahead. …

The Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners have launched a legal case in the Federal Court to reject this project. …  We’re sending a clear message to the banks that if they invest  in reef and climate destruction, then were dumping them. …
Take action now by heading to “

October 29, 2015 Posted by | aboriginal issues, legal, Queensland | Leave a comment

Barrier Reef to become a fossil fuel highway – Senator Larissa Waters

Waters,-Larissa-Senator-1Qld Senator Larissa Waters, Greens Deputy Leader & climate change spokesperson: 
Abbot Point EIS confirms Palaszczuk Government’s agenda to turn Reef into a coal highway 27 Oct 15:

“The Palaszczuk Government’s lodgement of the Abbot Point  coal port expansion final Environmental Impact Statement  with Minister Hunt today, confirms it’s forging ahead with  its agenda to turn the Great Barrier Reef into a fossil fuel  highway.

“The Palaszczuk Government is continuing to do Adani’s dirty  work for it,” Qld Senator Larissa Waters Australian Greens  Deputy Leader and climate change spokesperson, said.  “Labor has paid for this environmental impact statement with  taxpayers money, when usually the company itself foots the
“And now Labor is set to pay for the dredging in this World Heritage Area to create one of the biggest coal ports in the  world, which will turn the Reef into a highway for coal ships.
“There’s no guarantee we will get this money back – Adani is  mortgaged to the hilt and hasn’t attracted any finance for its  Carmichael coal mine. In fact 14 banks internationally have  ruled out financing it. …

“Queenslanders care deeply about our Great Barrier Reef and  halting global warming. The unprecedented amount of public  submissions to the EIS, at 55 000, is testament to
Queenslanders’ love for the Reef.  “So many Queenslanders are deeply disappointed that the
Palaszczuk Government has turned out to be just as bad as the  Newman Government when it comes to treating our Reef as a  highway for climate-destroying fossil fuels,”  Senator Waters said.”

Senator Larissa Waters,
Australian Greens Deputy Leader & environment spokesperson

October 29, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Queensland’s huge wind solar plant goes ahead

renewable-energy-pictureAustralia’s First Wind/Solar Plant To Be Built In Queensland October 28, 2015 Energy Matters Construction of a $140 million combined wind and solar energy facility in North Queensland is expected to begin within a year.

Kennedy Energy Park will go ahead as a result of a 50/50 joint venture agreement between Canberra-based Windlab Limited and Japan’s Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation.

The first stage of the Kennedy Energy Park will see 6 wind turbines and 64,000 solar panels installed. The wind turbines used will have the largest span in Australia – 136 metres in diameter. The first stage of the park will generate enough power to supply more than 25,000 Queensland homes.

The second stage will involve 1200 MW of renewable energy capacity; enough to meet most of the state’s contribution to Australia’s Renewable Energy Target.

Windlab Chief Executive Officer, Roger Price, says Kennedy Energy Park will be able to match North Queensland’s’ current energy demand profile more than 80% of the time.

“This particular site has been carefully mapped and we know it is predominantly windy through the afternoon and into the evening, and obviously experiences sunlight during daylight hours. This resource profile ensures almost constant energy production,” he said.

Flinders Shire Council has backed the project……..

October 28, 2015 Posted by | energy, Queensland | Leave a comment

Australian Conservation Foundation debunks argument for Mount Isa radioactive trash dump bid

radioactive trashAustralian Conservation Foundation questions Mount Isa radioactive waste dump bid By Zara Margolis The Australian Conservation Foundation says the creation a radioactive waste management facility in north-west Queensland will not be the economic saviour the region is looking for.

Last week, Mount Isa City Council voted to make a submission to the Federal Government to safely store Australia’s radioactive waste. Mayor Tony McGrady said the creation of a waste facility was timely given recent mining job cuts and could help secure future jobs.

However, nuclear-free campaigner Dave Sweeney said that would not happen and he was concerned pressure to secure the region’s economic future was clouding the council’s judgment.

“Mount Isa will not get the full information because people are already either ideologically leaning towards all things nuclear or so desperate to get a job in the door that they won’t look at the downside,” he said. “So our concern is that ideology, plus desperation, plus misleading or misinformation doesn’t make for a clear and considered basis.

“There’s a lot of misinformation, or missing information, about this process. This is not a big earner. We’re talking six long-term jobs and a small amount of money to be spread over a region or possibly a state in a community benefit package. “This is not a solution to the resource downturn or economic decline in Mount Isa.” The Commonwealth said other locations for the site could be considered, despite nominations having closed in May.

October 23, 2015 Posted by | Queensland, wastes | Leave a comment

Queensland’s revolutionary solar energy systems – on carparks and other commercial buildings

Are these solar panels the setting of the sun for coal mines? Brisbane Times October 22, Tony Moore Solar energy systems on top of shopping centres, car park shade covers, hospitals, airports and other commercial buildings are the beginning of the end for large scale coal power stations, one alternative energy developer will explain on Friday.

solar carparks Qld

Shakra Energy managing director Sam Khalil will on Friday outline how the solar energy system his company has installed as a “shade cover” over carparking at Buranda is now doubling as a solar energy generator. He says the system cut energy costs for the owner by between 30 to 40 per cent.

Mr Khalil believes companies and big energy users – like hospitals and huge retailers – are beginning to wake up the potential solar energy from their rooftops, completely separate to solar energy from homes.

It generates 147MW and save 122 tonnes of CO2 emissions from the environment each year.

“If we can save them 30 to 40 per cent on electricity bills that are $10 million, $20 million, $30 million a year, why wouldn’t you do it?” Mr Khalil argues.

“We are right at the forefront of where the future of energy production has to be in Australia,” he said.

“Right at the forefront of the job creation for making business more efficient so they can employ more people.”……..

Shakra Energy has placed solar energy panels on top of shade cloth covers that shade cars on top of PA Central on Ipswich Road at Buranda, directly opposite the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

It generates 100 kilowatts of energy, enough to power the shops and business in the Ipswich Road building, plus run the car park operations.

One hundred kilowatts – depending on what is in the house or the business and the size of the house of the business – could power between five and 30 homes or premises……..

Mr Khalil says their Buranda plant was the first commercial solar production facility in Queensland, outside a similar scheme on the rooftop at one building of the University of Queensland.

He said his company has recently been invited to lodge tenders for similar schemes at large commercial properties.

“Let’s just say hospitals, airports, major shopping centres,” he said.

Oxley Federal MP Bernie Ripoll and Greens Senator Larissa Waters will be at the launch on Friday……..

Greens Senator Larissa Waters praised the concept.

“This is just the kind of innovation that our Sunshine State needs to shine as a leader in the clean energy future,” Senator Waters said.

“The Palaszczuk Government needs to hurry up and implement the 50 per cent renewable energy target it promised in the election, instead of pushing ahead with coal exports through the Great Barrier Reef,” she said.

October 23, 2015 Posted by | Queensland, solar | Leave a comment


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