Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear industry interests helped along by South Australian government


Dennis Matthews 27 March 14 Today’s (Adelaide) Advertiser contains an article about a new uranium mine in SA. Apparently the SA Government has given $50,000 of taxpayers money to the Ian Wark Institute at the University of SA for them to study a way of recovering the uranium from this proposed in-situ-leach uranium mine.

ANSTO is also involved. The Ian Wark Institute was set up by someone with a long history of involvement in the nuclear industry. I think he was involved in the early days of the Synroc project, another ANSTO project which seems to have fizzled out after spending umpteen million of taxpayer’s money.

March 28, 2014 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Aboriginal victims of Maralinga atomic bomb testing

Australian atomic massacre still ignored By David T. Rowlands from Green Left Weekly  issue 971 June 29, 2013

Lennon,-Lallie-2006Lallie Lennon provided convincing testimony of the injuries suffered from the fall-out.
Nearly 60 years have passed since Totem 1, a British nuclear test in the Australian desert, was recklessly conducted in unfavourable meteorological conditions.

Nuclear testing of any sort, even in the most “controlled” of circumstances, is inherently abusive, a crime against the environment and humanity for countless generations to come. Yet the effects of Totem 1 were particularly bad, even by the warped standards of the era.

The mushroom cloud did not behave in the way it was supposed to. Instead of rising uniformly, part of it spread laterally, causing fallout to roll menacingly at ground level over a remote yet still populated corner of South Australia, sowing injury, illness and death in its wake.

The number of casualties is unknown because the secretive and unaccountable nuclear establishment has always declined to investigate the full impact of its own criminal negligence. But it has been suggested by investigators that perhaps 50 short-term Aboriginal fatalities resulted.

In addition to those who died, many others were exposed to harmful levels of radiation. The long-term health effects on these individuals have never been charted — but anecdotal reports of high cancer rates and horrendous birth defects in isolated “downwinder” communities have circulated.

At the time of the tests, it was well known by authorities that communities of Aboriginal people were close by. Yet the official attitude was that the concerns of a “handful of natives” could not be allowed to interfere with the “interests” of the British Commonwealth.

Imagine you are out with your family one morning when suddenly a loud explosion issues from the distant horizon. The ground rumbles and shakes, as though it were about to open up. Minutes later, a thick, churning dark dust cloud engulfs the surrounding desert countryside.

Terrified, with all your senses in recoil from these unnatural developments, you wonder if an event of apocalyptic proportions is taking place. And your troubles are only just beginning.

This is what happened to 22-year-old Yankunytjatjara woman Lallie Lennon and her three young children at Mintabie on October 15, 1953. A 10-kiloton device (roughly two-thirds the yield of the Hiroshima bomb) was detonated 180 kilometres away at Emu Field, near Maralinga.

Lallie and her son Bruce, aged 3, were covered in the gunpowder-smelling dust and smoke that came rushing through the trees with such intensity that it apparently created eclipse-like visibility conditions. “It went dark and dark,” recalled Lallie in 2006. “Dark — we couldn’t see anything. The place was black, you couldn’t see nothing.”

The levels of beta radiation contained in this toxic plume were so great that it felt like being “rolled in a fire”. The “kids were [ing] … it was terrible … We was glad we was alive but we got sick. We were sicker and sicker.”

About a year later, both Lallie and her son Bruce developed a debilitating skin condition that involves the periodic eruption of oozing, agonising sores all over the body.

Lallie said: “It went away and then came back and the sores were getting bigger and bigger every time … I was in a mess after the sores.” Her two daughters, who were in a tent at the time the mist swept through, were spared the beta burns, but developed other symptoms consistent with radiological contamination.

Lallie’s story first achieved public recognition when she spoke about her experiences for a 1981 documentary, “Backs to the Blast”.

Continue reading

March 28, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australia’s regressive politics – rejected in South Australia?

Deballot-boxSmnnis Matthews, 26 March 14, Is it possible that South Australians are smarter than the average voter? The results of the state election would seem to support this proposition.

Just when it seemed that there would be a change of government many voters decided that they would rather stay with the devil they know. Signals from Canberra that the former liberal party, which in recent decades has become the conservative party, was now becoming the regressive party did not go unnoticed.

It appears that regressive politics is being foisted on everyday life with the new political correctness being intolerance, rudeness, and downright bigotry. This may work in political circles but is it the way a civilized society should behave?

Should politicians take their lead from decent citizens or should we follow the example of those in the houses of parliament?

The answer to this question may well shape Australia’s future.

March 26, 2014 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Disinformation about Fukushima from Australia’s nuclear advocates

text-nuclear-uranium-liesFukushima apologies and apologists  Jim Green, Climate Spectator, 12 March 2014 “…..Nuclear apologists  Sadly, nuclear apologists have been slow to apologise for peddling misinformation. Adelaide-based nuclear advocate and conspiracy theorist Geoff Russell and Adelaide University’s Barry Brook insist that the Fukushima disaster was “deathless” despite a growing number of scientific studies giving the lie to that claim.

Last year the World Health Organisation released a report which concluded that for people in the most contaminated areas in Fukushima Prefecture, the estimated increased risk for all solid cancers will be around 4% in females exposed as infants; a 6% increased risk of breast cancer for females exposed as infants; a 7% increased risk of leukaemia for males exposed as infants; and for thyroid cancer among females exposed as infants, an increased risk of up to 70% (from a 0.75% lifetime risk up to 1.25%).

Estimates of the long-term cancer death toll include:

  • a Stanford University study that estimates “an additional 130 (15-1100) cancer-related mortalities and 180 (24-1800) cancer-related morbidities”;
  • an estimate of 1000-3000 cancer deaths by physicist Ed Lyman (based on an estimated collective whole-body radiation dose of 3.2 million person-rem to the population of Japan); and
  • an estimate of around 3000 cancer deaths, from radiation biologist and independent consultant Dr Ian Fairlie.

Indirect deaths must also be considered, especially those resulting from the failure of TEPCO and government authorities to develop and implement adequate emergency response procedures. A September 2012 editorial in Japan Times noted that 1632 deaths occurred during or after evacuation from the triple-disaster; and nearly half (160,000) of the 343,000 evacuees were dislocated specifically because of the nuclear disaster. A January 2013 article in The Lancet notes that “the fact that 47 per cent of disaster-related deaths were recognised in Fukushima prefecture alone indicates that the earthquake-triggered nuclear crisis at the Fukushima power plant caused extreme hardship for local residents.”

In Fukushima Prefecture, 1656 people have died as a result of stress and other illnesses caused by the 2011 disaster according to information compiled by police and local governments and reported last month. That number exceeds the 1607 people in Fukushima Prefecture who were drowned by the tsunami or killed by the preceding earthquake.

“The biggest problem is the fact that people have been living in temporary conditions for so long,” said Hiroyuki Harada, a Fukushima official dealing with victim assistance, “People have gone through dramatic changes of their environment. As a result, people who would not have died are dying.”

The claim by Brook and Russell that Fukushima was “deathless” has no basis in truth. They ought to take a leaf from Naomi Hirose’s book, bow deeply and


March 12, 2014 Posted by | South Australia, spinbuster | Leave a comment

South Aust election: Mr Van Den Brink candidate for Fisher opposes import of nuclear wastes

ballot-boxSmBy Dennis Matthews, 11 Mar 14 Three to four weeks ago I sent a questionnaire to the candidates in Fisher. Of the five candidates only Bob Such and Daryl Van Den Brink responded.

On the issue of expanding the nuclear industry in South Australia, both candidates wanted more debate on nuclear power and uranium enrichment but Mr Van Den Brink was opposed to importing nuclear waste.

In relation to electricity, Mr Van Den Brink supported the feed-in tariff for electricity from solar cells, tighter regulation of the electricity network business, and government incentives for energy efficient homes. He opposed making exporters of solar electricity pay more for the electricity network or higher tariff for users of air conditioners. Dr Such considered that the National Electricity Market needed an overhaul.

Dr Such opposed recent changes to the South Australian Electoral Act but Mr Van Den Brink opposed only the increased nomination fees.

Neither candidate supported an official apology to Aboriginal people for past injustices. Mr Van Den Brink wanted more debate, whilst Dr Such supported alternative measures.

March 11, 2014 Posted by | politics, South Australia | 1 Comment

South Australians not taken in by Business S.A.’s pro nuclear spin

Dennis Matthews, 4 March 14 Business SA has clearly not been paying attention (The Advertiser,4/3/14). We have had debates on all manner of nuclear issues off and on for decades including uranium processing and enrichment, nuclear power and importing nuclear waste.

The resounding response has always been NO.


Or is it possible that Business SA is not happy with the answer and think that by badgering the public every election year that they will finally get their way?

As shown by recent debates on nuclear power and nuclear waste disposal the general public is well and truly a wakeup to the likes of Business SA. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

March 4, 2014 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment


highly-recommended Nuclear Information Centre, Conservation Council of South Australia   INTRODUCTION   The ways in which a country or state can contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons are many and varied. They include direct and indirect, overt and covert, subtle and not so subtle; the line between contributing and not contributing is fuzzy and elusive. What may be ignored at one time may later be seen to be highly significant.

We will concentrate on the obvious and widely acknowledged contributions.

A successful nuclear weapons program requires:

  • A pool of knowledge
  • A supply of highly trained specialists
  • Research and development
  • A source of fissionable material
  • The facilities for converting the fissionable material into weapons grade
  • Testing of guidance and delivery systems, firing mechanisms, various materials, and complete weapons.

We will limit this article to contributions made in the post-war period 1945 to 1965, which constitutes the first phase of South Australia’s contribution to nuclear weapons proliferation.

History will probably record that the second phase started with the discovery of uranium at Beverly east of Mt. Painter (1969), at Honeymoon about 75 km north-west of Broken Hill (1972), and at Olympic Dam on the Roxby Downs station (1975).

Diagram S Australia nuclear weapons

The Olympic Dam mine at Roxby Downs has been exporting to nuclear weapons states since it began production in 1988. Continue reading

March 4, 2014 Posted by | South Australia, uranium, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Preference fixing for the South Australian election

ballot-boxSmThe Editor The Advertiser from Dennis Matthews, 2 March 14 John Patterson has the right idea (The Advertiser, 1/3/14), there is a lack of transparency in what happens to our vote in the Legislative Council.

However it is not as simple as requiring the minor parties and independents to let us know how their preferences are distributed. This is already done and the information can be found on the South Australian Electoral Commission’s website.

The problem is that some candidates participate in a preference fixing cartel, the members of which agree to give preferences to each other. On their own, none of the cartel members are likely to get a seat, but together they are assured of enough votes for at least one member of the cartel to get a seat.

You would think that preference fixing would be illegal, but it is not, and recent changes to the Electoral Act have not solved the problem but instead gave the Liberal-Labor duopoly an equally anti-competitive advantage in the House of Assembly.

March 2, 2014 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Bizarre election in South Australia, rigged by Liberal-Labor duopoly

Dennis Matthews, 27 Feb 14,   Thanks to dangerously defective changes to the Electoral Act rushed through the South Australian Parliament at the last minute by the Liberal-Labor duopoly, organized harvesting of preferences in the 2014 Legislative Council elections appears to be in full swing.

This “gaming” of the system produces unpredictable preference flows such as those that gave bizarre results in the recent Senate elections.

It is highly likely that gaming will result in the balance of power being held by a party that the vast majority of voters had no intention of electing to the Legislative Council.

Thanks to the Liberal-Labor duopoly, governing South Australia could soon become more difficult.

February 27, 2014 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australia’s low level radioactive waste spots

Environment Protection Agency reveals where ‘low level’ nuclear waste is stored in Adelaide suburbs MILES KEMP THE ADVERTISER FEBRUARY 25, 2014  SOME of Adelaide’s most prominent residential suburbs are home to radioactive waste, the Environment Protection Authority has revealed.

Other than the CBD, the Adelaide Hills with 39 sites has the most number of small storages which include low and intermediate low-level radioactive waste.

The details are revealed in documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, even though this has previously been denied by the EPA.

An EPA spokeswoman said most of the sources were being stored or used in machines that required radiation, but could not say home many were waste.

The majority would be unsealed radioactive substances used in premises such as nuclear medicine departments and sealed radioactive sources in plant and equipment used in mining, industrial, medical and scientific applications,’’ she said.

“The majority of sealed radioactive sources and unsealed radioactive substances in premises within SA are currently being used or stored.

“Any waste would be very low-level to intermediate low-level waste.’’

Other Adelaide suburbs which have sites include: Thebarton 27 sites, Bedford Park 26, Mawson Lakes 23, Osborne 21, Urrbrae 19, Norwood 17, Keswick 14, Woodville 13, Black Forest 10, Wingfield 11, North Adelaide 7, Glenside 7, Export Park 5, Gillman 5, Bellevue Heights 3, Cheltenham 3, Glenelg 3, two each at Camden Park, Edwardstown, Elizabeth,

Ashford, Kent Town, Regency Park, and one each at Evanston Park, Blackwood, Burton, Gepps Cross, Golden Grove and Noarlunga.In total the EPA lists 928 sites, mostly at mine sites in remote locations.

Family First MLC Robert Brokenshire said he sought the information using the Freedom of Information Act because people had a right to know what was being stored in their suburb.

February 26, 2014 Posted by | South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Support Independents in South Australian election

ballot-boxSmThe Editor. The Advertiser from Dennis Matthews, 25 Feb 14  Now that the positions on the Legislative Council ballot paper have been chosen by lottery people are starting to become aware of something very odd.

Apparently by chance, all the independents are listed at the end of the ballot paper. This is not bad luck but a deliberate act of the Liberal-Labor duopoly.

This discriminatory act , like the large increases in nomination fees and large increases in nominators required for each independent nominee, appears designed to marginalize independents.

However the duopoly may have done the voters a favour because it is now easier to find the independents amongst the 25 groups listed from A to Y on the ballot paper. The independents are those listed at the end of the ballot paper from O to Y.

If you feel that the Liberal-Labor duopoly have abused their power through undemocratic changes, at very short notice, to the Electoral Act then you can show your disgust by voting for one of the independents listed in the columns O to Y.

Now that the positions on the Legislative Council ballot paper have been chosen by lottery people are starting to become aware of something very odd.

Apparently by chance, all the independents are listed at the end of the ballot paper. This is not bad luck but a deliberate act of the Liberal-Labor duopoly.

This discriminatory act , like the large increases in nomination fees and large increases in nominators required for each independent nominee, appears designed to marginalize independents.

However the duopoly may have done the voters a favour because it is now easier to find the independents amongst the 25 groups listed from A to Y on the ballot paper. The independents are those listed at the end of the ballot paper from O to Y.

If you feel that the Liberal-Labor duopoly have abused their power through undemocratic changes, at very short notice, to the Electoral Act then you can show your disgust by voting for one of the independents listed in the columns O to Y.

February 26, 2014 Posted by | politics, South Australia | 2 Comments

Labor-Liberal skullduggery in coming South Australian election

To The Editor The Advertiser, 25 Feb 14

 from Dennis Matthews 

ballot-boxNominations for the March 15 state elections have now closed and the magnitude of the Labor-Liberal skullduggery are now clearer.

The recent changes to the Electoral Act have failed to do anything about voting problems in the Legislative Council. The voting paper will still be very large, comprising some 25 columns. If you want to vote below the line you will have to correctly number some 63 boxes.

There are 20 micro parties or groups of independents totaling  some 40 candidates, many of whom will be involved in preference deals that have outcomes that even experienced political commentators will be unable to decipher. Most of these candidates will lose their $3000 deposit, netting the state government a handy $120,000.

Meanwhile in the House of Assembly, for which the voting paper was straightforward, democracy has been dealt a serious blow. Thanks to the exorbitant nomination deposit the number of micro parties and non-sitting independents has been decimated.

February 25, 2014 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australia gets wave energy unit to power 1,000 homes

wave$7m wave energy unit heads to Port MacDonnell  24 Feb 2014, A 20 square metre wave energy unit will be towed from Adelaide to its position off South Australia’s south-east coast today.

The $7 million unit, developed by wave energy company Oceanlinx, will be tugged to Port MacDonnell. CEO Ali Baghaei says the unit will produce enough electricity to power 1,000 homes. He says the unit was meant to be connected to the grid last year but it was delayed.

“It’s been delayed because of weather and obviously it’s very important that we ensure that the unit commences its journey of four to five days during the best weather window period, as much as we can predict of course, hence why we have to assess the weather report and see what the tide master’s opinion is of the journey and so forth,” he said.He says it is a unique opportunity for South Australia.

“I believe that certainly this is the first of its kind, it’s the largest of its kind in the world, it’s one megawatt power and hopefully we will be able to demonstrate that successfully within coming months,” he said.

February 25, 2014 Posted by | energy, South Australia | Leave a comment

Draconian changes to South Australia’s Electoral Act

To The Editor The Advertiser, by Dennis Mathews, 21 Feb 14

ballot-boxSmThe Duopoly Election Bullies stand to gain from their draconian changes to the Electoral Act not only by excluding competition (The Advertiser,21/2/14) but whoever gets into government will get the revenue from candidates who lost their $3000 deposit.

If this system had been in place for the 2010 election the increased revenue would have been $268,000.

The changes to the Electoral Act were supposedly to prevent voters from having to fill out a very large voting paper for the Legislative Council and to prevent “gaming” through organized and complicated preference deals. The latter meant that voters had no idea where their preferences were going.

In actual fact the changes have affected both the Legislative Council and the House of Representatives, gaming will still occur in the 2014 election, and we may still get a very long voting paper for the Legislative Council.

Ironically we may end up with electing to the Legislative Council a candidate who lost their $3000 deposit because they didn’t get 4% of the primary vote.

February 21, 2014 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Climate change hitting Adelaide earlier than predicted

heatHot weather in Adelaide already at levels not expected until 2030, says Climate Council report ,The Advertiser  ELLEN WHINNETT  HERALD SUN FEBRUARY 17, 2014

THE frequency of hot-weather days in Adelaide has already reached levels previously not expected until 2030, according to a report by the controversial Climate Council.

The council — the publicly funded version of the official national climate authority cut off by the Abbott Government — will release its latest environmental report on Tuesday. It says heatwaves will become more common and severe in Australia and that Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra are already experiencing more extreme-heat events.

Adelaide has sweltered through a summer of record-breaking heat, enduring two severe heatwaves and more days above 40C than in any summer on record.
The council report says Adelaide’s heatwaves are an average 2.5C hotter than they were half a century ago, and peak heat days are 4.5C hotter…….

February 18, 2014 Posted by | climate change - global warming, South Australia | Leave a comment


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