“We are calling on the State and Federal Governments to stop any further approvals or development of the Wiluna uranium mine until the full project can be assessed and made public.”
Forty uranium mines is the plan for Western Australia The Stringer, by Gerry Georgatos November 29th, 2013“ Credible sources in the uranium sections of resource companies first told The Stringer, in February, of futurist uranium mining plans that are being deliberated by mining companies for Western Australia –……. A couple of insiders estimate potentially 40 uranium mines will arise right throughout Western Australia in the decades to come.
Environmentalists reject that this is possible while Aboriginal Elders resident on Country say they will resist uranium mining at all costs.Local Aboriginal Elder Mr Glen Cooke has travelled from Wiluna to attend Toro Energy’s annual meeting today to highlight community concern over Toro’s plans for uranium mining in the region. Mr Cooke and another proxy shareholder, Kylie Fitzwater, have come to Perth to raise concerns about Toro’s long term plans and the company’s failure to communicate these to Wiluna residents.
“Toro have been talking about one project on the Lake and now we hear that they are planning lots of uranium mines from Meekatharra all the way to Lake Maitland.”
“They never talked to us about that,” said Mr Cooke.
“Me and my family we never wanted one uranium mine, we sure don’t want seven of them scattered through that country.”
“Does this mean they will put uranium on trucks from all over and bring it to Wiluna and if so what will they do with the radioactive mine waste, and where will they get the water?”
“It’s just too dangerous. This is people’s homes, not just in town but we live all over and love all of that country. That place is a very special place – for all men north to south, east to west. It’s is too important to muck it up, once it’s broken it is broken forever, we could never get that back.” Read more »
Toro Energy – the company seeking to open WA’s first uranium mine – will be the focus of critical attention from local residents, Traditional Owners and State and National environment groups at its annual meeting in Perth today.
Opponents of the company’s uranium mining plans will greet Toro executives and shareholders with an independent report casting doubt on the economic viability of the company as well as the broader nuclear industry.
A theatrical performance outside the AGM will also demonstrate that the nuclear industry’s vital signs are ‘flat lining’.
“Toro have expanded their proposal from one risky and unviable uranium mine in Wiluna, to a series of equally small and risky deposits in the region” said CCWA campaigner Mia Pepper. “What they won’t tell shareholders is that this expansion plan will represent more delays, more costs, more environmental problems, and more community opposition.”
“Toro have failed to fully disclose the complexity, risk and lack of formal approval for its long term plans.”
“CCWA and the Australian Conservation Foundation oppose the current proposal and will actively contest the company’s plan for seven uranium mines across 200km and 2 lake systems which will involve a doubling of water use and radioactive mine waste”.
“Toro’s shareholders will have a very long wait before this company will be profitable, if ever. The conditional approval granted for the Wiluna mining proposal prohibits the company from doing any other preparatory works for a mine until thirty six conditions are met and further management plans are approved.”
“Financial problems have dogged the uranium sector with low uranium prices, high operating costs and a lack of investor confidence following the global decline in nuclear power post Fukushima,” said Ms Pepper.
“While some companies are cutting their losses Toro is on track for tough times ahead”.
It turns out that W.A.’s ‘Poles and Wires’ (not renewable energy) are the culprit in high electricity costs
The news is cold comfort to those who have been fighting myths and misinformation for years regarding the true villains of electricity price rises and extolling the benefits of clean, distributed energy generation - including a reduction in infrastructure spending. Sadly, it appears the message still may not be getting through to some.
$1 Billion Power Pole Price Blowout For Western Australia http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4039 21 Nov 13 ‘Poles and wires’ have been the major culprits behind electricity price increases in recent years – and there’s more bad news on this front for Western Australia. Western Power’s 5 year maintenance plan for its wood pole network may have originally been just a little optimistic on the expense and time side of things. It was initially estimated to cost $1.35 billion. Read more »
Power station plan promises ‘renewable energy to the south-west’ ABC News, Mon 18 Nov 2013, A private company is proposing to build a renewable energy station in Perth that would add power to the south-west energy grid using recycled waste.
A six-week public consultation period is open for New Energy Corporation’s proposal for the gas-fired power station in east Rockingham. Gas produced from waste material will be burnt to produce electricity for the grid.
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has already approved the technology for the company at a similar facility in Port Hedland.
New Energy’s Jason Pugh says renewable energy is a sustainable option considering the struggles of the south-west coal industry.”Certainly with some of the issues that the coal industry is going through and also the price of energy in the market at the moment, this project represents a real opportunity to get renewable energy to the south-west,” he said.
He says renewable energy is becoming vital considering the struggles faced by the coal-fired energy industry in Collie. ”The technology that we’re employing has already been approved by the EPA in our Port Hedland facility at Boodarie but we acknowledge that the community is the major stakeholder in this project, so we’re working really hard to inform the community through this process, firstly through the six-week period,” he said…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-18/power-station-plan-promises-renewable-energy-to/5099426
Mr Sweeney said substantial nuclear waste was created at Australia’s nuclear reactor Lucas Heights, 31 kilometres from the Sydney CBD, and not medical waste from cancer treatments and scientific research as the government has previously stated.
“Nuclear medicine is not the driver,” Mr Sweeney said.
“It’s deeply misrepresentative. The government has been asked not to use this language.”
Western Australia in nation’s nuclear waste dump sights SMH, Leanne Nicholson, 12 Nov 13 Australia’s nuclear waste could be dumped in Western Australia if a Federal Court challenge by traditional owners against a Northern Territory site selected by the federal government is successful.
WA, the only state with a dedicated low-level nuclear waste storage facility, has been identified by leading environmental group Australian Conservation Foundation as a legitimate option for a national nuclear waste dump if a challenge by Muckaty Station traditional owners is upheld.
Traditional owners will contest plans for the proposed low-level and intermediate level nuclear waste dump, selected by the then-Gillard government in 2010, on the Aboriginal freehold landholding, also known as Warlmanpa. The challenge states the nomination of Muckaty is invalid and the Northern Land Council did not correctly identify the traditional owners, did not consult adequately and did not get proper consent before recommending the site.
ACF’s nuclear free campaign director Dave Sweeney told Fairfax Media that if the challenge was successful, WA – previously named as a possible site for nuclear waste storage – would be considered a feasible location. ”Clearly if Muckaty falls over,” Mr Sweeney said, “everywhere is going to come back into the frame and WA wasn’t ticked off but it was in the frame. Read more »
WA’s biggest national park faces uranium threat National and state environment groups have vowed to fight plans for a uranium mine that would directly threaten Western Australia’s largest national park. The Australian Conservation Foundation and the Conservation Council of WA will join groups across the nation to challenge plans by the Canadian multinational Cameco, which today lodged an Environmental Review Management Plan for the Kintyre uranium mine at Karlamilyi National Park (Rudall River) with the WA Environment Protection Agency.
“Kintyre is in one of the most unique and diverse ecosystems in the country and is directly connected to WA’s largest national park,” said ACF campaigner Dave Sweeney. “The proposal to mine at Kintyre has been actively contested since the 1980s and will continue to be a priority issue for the environment movement given the high conservation values of the area and the unique risks of uranium mining.
“Many things have changed since the first proposal to mine Kintyre, including a severe and sustained slump in the uranium price and increased pressure on nuclear power from the growth in renewable energy and concerns fuelled by the continuing Fukushima crisis.“This is not the time – and certainly not the place – to give a green light to yellowcake.”
The Kintyre uranium deposit is nestled between two branches of Yanadagodge Creek which feeds springs and lake systems throughout the Karlamilyi National Park and the communities of Punmu and Parngurr. Radioactive contamination of water sources is already an issue in the area with elevated uranium levels found in Parngurr’s (Cotton Creek) drinking water.
“We will use every available avenue to challenge this dangerous proposal,” said CCWA campaigner Mia Pepper. “Cameco’s plan for a 1km wide, 1.5km long open pit only 500 metres from the Yanadagodge Creek could have devastating impacts on this fragile desert ecosystem.”
“Uranium poses unacceptable and unnecessary risks to the environment and public health. Cameco’s plan is a long way from being economically viable or environmentally approved.”
Cameco’s plan will be open for public comment for fourteen weeks.
Contact: Dave Sweeney 0408 317 812 or Mia Pepper 0415 380 808
Solar has power to cut grid reliance http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/19635839/solar-has-power-to-cut-grid-reliance/ Thousands of WA households with solar panels could begin disconnecting from the electricity grid once batteries became “affordable and reliable”, Australia’s peak renewable energy lobby has claimed.
Warning about the huge financial implications for traditional energy businesses unless governments got policy settings right, the Clean Energy Council said residential solar customers could soon become independent of the network. Read more »
Fire season is longer E Daniel Mercer, The West Australian October 30, 2013 Southern WA’s bushfire season is up to six weeks longer than 20 years ago, according to a leading firefighter who has warned that preparations are increasingly being hampered by climatic and urban obstacles.
Ahead of 35C temperatures forecast for Perth today, the Department of Parks and Wildlife’s Roger Armstrong said firefighters faced a double whammy as bushfires became more extreme but prescribed burning became harder.
The ominous comments from Mr Armstrong, the department’s principal fire planner, come after his agency burnt just 21,000ha out of a controlled burning target of 200,000ha across the South West last year.
Mr Armstrong said though an overhaul of the department’s prescribed burning policies had contributed to the most recent shortfall, in general it was becoming more difficult to do burns.
He said this was because weather conditions most suitable for burning – which usually happens in spring and autumn – were becoming less frequent so fewer burns could be carried out. He said that added to this was a growing intolerance in urban communities such as Perth of smoke associated with prescribed burns – a trend Mr Armstrong said was exacerbated by the tree-change culture.
Amid a dramatic decline in South West rainfall and rising temperatures, the upshot was likely to be more intense bushfires that would cause more damage to lives and property, he said.
“Certainly our observations are that our bushfire season tends to be about six weeks longer now compared to what it was 20-odd years ago,” Mr Armstrong said.
“Our prescribed fire opportunities have been constrained, which means we don’t get to treat as much of the landscape as we would like to. So the potential for bushfire, the area that’s available in high-fuel condition for bushfire, is greater.
“It’s a circuitous route and it’s here to stay.
“It is challenging, particularly where people with the sea-change, tree-change thing.”………………. Weather Bureau regional manager Neil Bennett said conditions typically associated with spring and autumn were becoming rarer as winter and summer increasingly prevailed in the South West. http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/19597504/fire-season-is-longer/
The investigation follows complaints to the ASX and ASIC by the Conservation Council and a shareholder, claiming that Toro has misled shareholders and investors by inferring that a newly discovered uranium deposit is included in their existing uranium mine proposal at Wiluna.
Toro Energy has an existing application to mine uranium at Wiluna which is limited to its Lake Way and Centipede deposits. This mining proposal has received a conditional environmental approval but requires a number of other approvals from both State and Federal regulators.
Nuclear Free Campaigner, Mia Pepper explained “The new deposit mentioned in Toro’s latest release to the ASX is not part of the current Wiluna mining proposal as suggested, and will require new and separate environmental and mining approvals which will add further delays and costs to Toro’s mining plans at Wiluna.
“This is not only misleading for shareholders, but we are concerned Toro Energy is attempting to avoid proper environmental assessment for their long-term plans for a uranium precinct at Wiluna.
“Toro want the ‘best of both worlds’ by promoting an expanded project to their shareholders and investors, while withholding the details of this expansion from the community and government regulators.
“We have also written to State and Commonwealth regulators calling on them to halt further approvals for Toro’s Wiluna proposal until they are able to undertake a full cumulative impact assessment of the company’s long-term plans.”
In addition to the lack of approvals, there are a range of serious environmental and other constraints to the expansion of the already problematic Wiluna proposal.
Ms Pepper continued “The Wiluna uranium proposal as it is, is an environmental catastrophe waiting to happen with plans to dump 9.1 million tonnes of radioactive mine waste in a Lake bed, and with only enough water for a third of the life of the mine.
“If Toro were to incorporate additional deposits, the proposal would be drastically different. A 100km network of small shallow uranium mines and waste dumps across two Lake Systems is very different to a single mine. The cumulative impact of these operations must be fully assessed.
People will be handing out economic reports to shareholders entering the AGM from 8.30am – 9am at the Celtic Club – 48 Ord St West Perth.
Media Comment – before and after the shareholders meeting:
WA government says no to new renewable energy REneweconomy, By Giles Parkinson on 8 October 2013 Western Australia has some of the best solar and wind resources in the world. But for the foreseeable future they are likely to go largely undeveloped because the state government has indicated that it will not support any new large scale renewable energy developments on its main grid. It will prefer instead to subsidise the construction of wind farms and solar farms in the eastern states.
The admission came in a series of speeches delivered recently by WA Energy Minister Mike Nahan which highlighted what a dog’s breakfast – and a very expensive dog’s breakfast at that – the state’s electricity grid had become. Read more »
NACCHO health political update week 4: National and WA peak bodies express concerns about Indigenous voice NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alerts 2 Oct 13
As we enter week 4 of the new Abbott led Government , the future of Aboriginal affairs and specifically Aboriginal health is still uncertain. Last week in Western Australia a number of Aboriginal organisations including NACCHO affiliate Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA), the Kimberly Land Council and the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples expressed concerns about “Indigenous voices”. Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA)
Western Australia’s peak Aboriginal health body says they agree wholeheartedly with recent statements by the Kimberly Land Council that Warren Mundine is not the only Indigenous voice but urges the government to remember that land isn’t the only Indigenous issue.
‘Tony Abbott’s Indigenous Advisory Council needs a strong voice from Western Australia, but that voice needs to represent all the interests and needs of Aboriginal people and their communities,’ says Des Martin, Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA)
While Mr Martin acknowledges land rights are an important issue, the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people cannot be forgotten, he says.
‘I agree wholeheartedly with Kirstie Parker’s statement that Warren Mundine isn’t the only voice for Indigenous people and I support what the Kimberley Land Council does, it is extremely important for all Aboriginal people to have their country and care for it to secure their future but if their health is still suffering then that isn’t a good thing for them or future generations,’ Mr Martin says.
‘We need broad representation on the Indigenous Advisory Council, not just land or business interests. Tony Abbott does need to take advice from more than one source when it comes to Aboriginal people. Read more »
The WA Water Corporation will purchase 100 percent of the wind farm’s output for its Southern Seawater Desalination Plant near Binningup. That plant is also powered by the 10 megawatt Greenough River Solar Farm – Australia’s first utility-scale solar farm.
“In a typical year electricity production from the wind farm will be equivalent to the electricity consumption of 35,000 homes and will displace 200,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions,” says Verve Energy.
The Mumbida Wind Farm has been designed to be expanded to 85MW in the future.
All Systems Go For Mumbida Wind Farm http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3964 1 Oct 13 The 55MW Mumbida Wind Farm in Western Australia has been officially opened. A joint venture of Verve Energy and Infrastructure Capital Group (ICG), the facility is located on farmland situated approximately 40km southeast of Geraldton in the mid-west of Western Australia. Read more »
Visy Group backs waste plan as funding flees http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/visy-group-backs-waste-plan-as-funding-flees/story-fn91v9q3-1226724734376 DAMON KITNEY SEPTEMBER 23, 2013
THE Pratt family’s Visy Group will not rule out proceeding with a revolutionary $300 million project to turn household garbage into energy that would generate 3000 jobs across the economy, despite federal government moves to slash funding for clean energy projects.
The government last week scrapped the Climate Commission and has previously indicated it wants to wind up the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation created by Labor to fund renewable energy projects that would otherwise struggle to get commercial backing.
Visy is seeking $100m in government funding for the $200m waste-to-energy plant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, or ARENA, the independent statutory body established to provide financing assistance for projects that strengthen renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Read more »
Wave Energy wins over wary investors CRITERION THE AUSTRALIAN SEPTEMBER 27, 2013: ”……….a jack-up rig is being towed from the North West Shelf to Perth’s naval base, to put in place Carnegie’s wave-power installation at Perth’s Garden Island naval base.
The 720-kilowatt plant will be the first manifestation of Carnegie’s CETO wave technology, which employs bulbous sub-sea structures anchored to the sea floor.
With the funding, an offtake deal and pesky state approvals in place, Carnegie is winning over hitherto wary investors.
While the construction aspect is not new — it’s akin to installing an oil rig — CETO technology is novel.
Carnegie so far has sunk $70 million into the technology, $50m sourced from its 7000-odd holders (whose patience and passion exceeds that of even the Dockers’ member base).
French utility EDF has chipped in $10m and is funding a joint pilot plant at Reunion Island, where power is generated from expensive diesel.
Carnegie has drawn down only $4m of $22m of federal and WA government grants. The federal money is sourced from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which the Coalition has no plans to gut (unlike the Clean Energy Finance Corporation). http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/wave-energy-wins-over-wary-investors/story-e6frg9lo-1226727885953#sthash.yuNFQiqh.dpuf
Fremantle Community Wind Farm , Pozible, By Claire Vanderplank, Raoul Abrutat, Louis Kent, Rowan Gallagher, Michael Fuller and Jamie Ally The Fremantle Community Wind Farm is an ambitious project to build 8 to 12 community-owned wind turbines along the breakwaters at Fremantle Port. With 8 turbines sized to fit within the port landscape, the project would produce enough electricity for 3300 average Australian homes.
We are so passionate about this project. It will produce clean energy and distribute profits locally. With Fremantle’s connection to the wind and water and its identity as a progressive city, the project has great potential to produce cultural and social capital. It also has educational and awareness-raising potential due to the prominent location. Check out our website and Facebook page for all the details.
The project is at a critical point in time; ready to go ahead however facing one key barrier, land access. The community’s voice is required to make it happen. There are too many myths and misperceptions blowing around regarding wind farms that are holding this, and other projects, back. We are on a mission to set things straight.