Anti-nuclear campaigner seeks port uranium assurances http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-05/anti-nuclear-campaigner-seeks-abbot-point-uranium/5137248 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.
UV radiation: A central factor behind Queensland’s record rates of Merkel cell carcinoma http://www.news-medical.net/news/20131125/UV-radiation-A-central-factor-behind-Queenslande28099s-record-rates-of-Merkel-cell-carcinoma.aspx?page=2 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.
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. Read more »
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. http://www.couriermail.com.au/lifestyle/health/ways-to-prepare-for-a-wet-summer/story-fnivsueq-1226768585528
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 http://www.cqnews.com.au/news/warning-on-new-killer-skin-cancer-merkel-cell-carc/2093729/#comments 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.”
Qld uranium mines could become state issue, news.com.au 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……http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/qld-uranium-mines-could-become-state-issue/story-e6frfku9-1226762510990
Uranium Mines More Dangerous Than Nuclear Power Confirms Japanese Atomic Expert At Brisbane Forum http://www.mysunshinecoast.com.au/articles/article-display/uranium-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.”
Anti-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.”
Top Japan nuke expert warns Qld on uranium http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/19813899/top-japan-nuke-expert-warns-qld-on-uranium/ 7 News, MARTY SILK -November 13, 2013 Mining uranium is far more dangerous to human health than nuclear power, a top Japanese expert warns. Japan Atomic Energy Commission vice chairman Dr Tatsujiro Suzuki says Queensland’s government must be extremely careful if it allows mining to go ahead.
The state wants to begin assessing uranium mining applications from next year after lifting a longstanding ban.
But Dr Suzuki warns that countries must plan every aspect of uranium mining meticulously. ”Mining actually poses larger risks than reactors, even when there are not accidents,” he told AAP at the Australia-Japan Dialogue in Brisbane on Wednesday.
“Uranium miners are regularly exposed, there’s high exposure in areas around mines and the potential for atmospheric contamination.
“You have to be very, very careful.”
Dr Suzuki says the key issue is how to safely store more than 1300 spent nuclear fuel rods. 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.
He added that an independent regulator should also ensure that Queensland uranium exports were only used for peaceful purposes.
Australia signed a deal to export uranium to India last year and Dr Suzuki said it couldn’t be certain that the uranium was only being used for civilian purposes.
India hasn’t signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and access to Australian uranium could help free up its domestic reserves for use in nuclear weapons.
Uranium industry wants special royalty discounts from Queensland government, despite its existing burdens on taxpayerite
Royalty discounts for uranium disputed http://www.northweststar.com.au/story/1901524/royalty-discounts-for-uranium-disputed/?cs=191 Nov. 11, 2013, URANIUM projects should receive royalty discounts, according to Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche. `Royalty relief should be something that’s offered not just in the Galilee Basin but around Queensland, and I mean it for coal and I mean it for minerals,” Mr Roche told ABC radio. “The concept has already been raised in relation to proposed uranium projects, for example.”
“The QRC are irresponsibly pitching to reap in larger uranium profits by paying less royalties at the expense of Queensland taxpayers if they are responsible economic managers.”
Mr Bailey called on the Newman government to reinstate the ban on uranium mining, saying it was an ongoing liability on the public purse. `The Newman government has no mandate from the people of Queensland to allow uranium mining as they explicitly ruled it out before the election,” he said.
Australian Conservation Foundation nuclear-free campaigner Dave Sweeney said the uranium sector was a minor contributor to employment and the economy, was a major source of domestic and international risks and was overdue for an independent inquiry into its effects on the environment, health, safety and security.
“Instead of backroom deals to facilitate an underperforming and contested industry, the LNP government should honour its responsibilities to the community and the environment by commissioning an independent public inquiry into the full costs and consequences of any uranium mining in Queensland,” Mr Sweeney said.
Uranium mining start faces hurdles, ABC News 2 Oct 2013, The Australian Uranium Association says it will be some time before uranium mining begins in Queensland……Mr Angwin says low uranium prices are a big deterrent.
“We’ve got low-cost competitors around the world who are doing much better than Australia is at the moment and we’ve got a relatively cumbersome assessment and approval process for environmental issues,” he said.
“So if you put those three issues together and particularly the low price of uranium then it’ll be some time before companies decide the time is right to mine uranium.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-02/uranium-mining-start-faces-hurdles/4993738
AUDIO: climate change causes dangerous jellyfish to move South, threatening Australia’s tourism industry
AUDIO Researchers say Irukandji jellyfish migrating further south along Qld coast http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-29/irukandji-jellyfish-migrating-further-south-along-qld-coast/5051580 AM By Nance Haxton and staff 29 Oct 2013,
Marine researchers say climate change could be altering the migration patterns of the dangerous Irukandji jellyfish along Queensland’s east coast.
The Irukandji is one of the deadliest marine animals, so venomous it inflicts excruciating pain that sometimes leads to death.
It has been on a relentless march southwards down the Queensland coast.
If the Irukandji becomes established off Queensland’s south-east coast, it would be devastating for the region’s tourism industry……
Activists protest return to uranium mining in Queensland http://www.centraltelegraph.com.au/news/activists-protest-return-uranium-mining-queensland/2065510/ 28th Oct 2013 ABOUT 20 people staged a colourful protest in Brisbane today to mark the first anniversary of the Queensland Government’s decision to allow a return to uranium mining in the state. The protesters gathered outside the Executive Building in the hope of catching State Government ministers as they entered the building for the weekly Cabinet meeting.
Members of anti-uranium group, Keep Queensland Nuclear Free, spent about 10 minutes chanting “No Mandate for Uranium” before dispersing. Anti-Nuclear campaign co-ordinator Mark Bailey said regional centres like Townsville, Mt Isa, Emerald and St George along with a number of smaller towns will be at risk from nuclear accidents.
“Rather than arrogantly place many Queenslanders at risk the government should at least facilitate an informed debate about the dangers and risks of uranium mining through an independent inquiry,” he said.
“It is highly unlikely a majority of Queenslanders would support the resumption of mining when presented with all the facts. ”Uranium mining is a dangerous, risky, small industry with big impacts on the environment, on workers, surrounding regions and potentially along transport routes.”
Queensland’s Largest Solar Panel Array Announced http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3998 27 Oct 13, Queensland University will soon be home to the largest solar power system in the state.
Announced last week, the 3.275 megawatt pilot plant will incorporate more than 34,000 ground mounted solar panels. The solar farm will be constructed on a 12.6 hectare former airstrip site at the University’s Gatton campus, which is situated 90km west of Brisbane.
Doubling as a research facility, the Gatton plant will augment the University’s existing St Lucia campus 1.22 megawatt photovoltaic array; which is currently Australia’s largest rooftop solar installation. Read more »
The Newman government must hold a fully independent and open inquiry into the real risks of uranium mining before Queensland starts down a risky pathway for existing industries, workers and our environment.
If it’s as safe as they claim, then they have nothing to fear from any inquiry.
Independent inquiry needed into uranium mining Brisbane Times, Mark Bailey, October 23, 2013 This week marks one year since the Newman government breaking its pre-election promise by overturning Queensland’s ban on uranium mining – without any mandate to do so.
Queenslanders across the state should be deeply worried about the dangers of mining and transporting uranium yellow cake due to the many radioactive risks involved. It was no surprise to hear Premier Campbell Newman admitting no research or modelling had been done before overturning the ban.
Given the extensive history of over 150 recorded mishaps at the Ranger uranium mine in the Northern Territory, why would our state allow a uranium mine located in our tropical climate prone to heavy summer rainfall and cyclones from the Coral Sea and the Gulf?
Given the vast amounts of radioactive sludge (or ‘tailings’) involved in uranium mining, the impact of inevitable extreme weather events slamming into mine sites with many hectares of tailings risks radioactive sludge spreading over vast distances in our state. That’s not a risk worth taking for existing industries in north and north-west Queensland let alone residents.
Uranium mines use vast amounts of water that are likely to come from the Great Artesian Basin for most of the year. While rainfall is often torrential in the wet season in north Queensland, much of the north west is dry most of the time.
The cumulative impact on the Great Artesian Basin of anywhere between one to five uranium mines may have a significant impact on water resources for other existing agricultural and cattle industries. Once one uranium mine is approved then other mines will likely be approved……
Shamefully, the Newman government has not ruled out exporting uranium across the Great Barrier Reef which should be a source of great national and international concern. Read more »
Don’t let the Australian government lose oversight of the NATIONALLY important (and financially failing) uranium industry
Uranium mining and export not a piece of yellow cake http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-uranium-mining-and-export-not-a-piece-of-yellow-cake/story-fnihsr9v-1226729513911 DAVE SWEENEY THE COURIER-MAIL SEPTEMBER 30, 2013
THIS week the Australian Uranium Association and other nuclear industry hopefuls will head to western Queensland for the Mining the Isa conference. Mt Isa is no stranger to mining but the region – and Queensland – would be well advised to treat the claims of the uranium sector with caution.
Globally the nuclear industry is under intense political, regulatory and community pressure since the Fukushima meltdown, a continuing nuclear crisis directly linked to Australia’s contested and contaminating uranium industry.
Recently the Newman Government released an “action plan” that seeks to open the door to uranium mining in Queensland but the LNP’s uranium road map is deeply flawed and in conflict with federal policy, global markets and community expectations. A key plank of the LNP’s plan is to have “all uranium mining proposals in Queensland assessed and approved by the state government”. Currently uranium mining and wider nuclear issues remain the clear responsibility of the federal government and this is as it should be.
Uranium mining is an issue of national interest and importance with extensive risks and long term impacts and is rightly a matter for the active consideration of the national government.
State governments, mining companies and the Australian Uranium Association, have long dreamt of the power to tick off on a new uranium mine being transferred to state governments in the hope that this would removing key checks and balances and speed up approvals. Read more »
Renewable Energy Options Discussed http://www.mysunshinecoast.com.au/articles/article-display/renewable-energy-options-discussed,31608#.UkN-kNJwonE
Energy Minister Mark McArdle is encouraging the development of new energy generating technologies that offer cost savings to electricity users.
Speaking today at the first annual OnSite Energy conference in Brisbane, Mr McArdle said an increasing number of solutions combining multiple technologies were entering the market.
“Emerging technologies have the potential, if implemented and managed correctly, to save electricity users money, address peak demand issues and defer the need to build network infrastructure,” he said.
“Positive outcomes can be achieved through the grouping of multiple technologies and the Newman Government supports these technologies where they are commercially viable.”
Mr McArdle said the three-day OnSite Energy conference would raise awareness of developing renewable energy sources. Read more »
Queensland government using the right language on mining on aboriginal land http://fredleftwich.com/2013/09/18/queensland-government-using-the-right-language-on-mining-on-aboriginal-land/
The Queensland Government has received two proposals to develop the Aurukun bauxite deposit in western Cape York. The government says it will evaluate the proposals based on their environmental merits as well as how they maximised benefits and returns to the native title holders, the Aurukun community and the state.
At least the government is using the right language in trying to maximised benefits and returns to aboriginal communities but to make sure, the government must release the details of the final contract showing that aboriginal groups are in deed receiving their fair share of profits. As I mentioned in my previous post, A treaty would help this process to achieve the best possible outcomes for all parties.