Australian news, and some related international items

Jobs and solar energy are the concerns of Canning voters

ballot-boxCanning byelection: Voters want jobs, solar energy: Greens, WA Times, 
September 1, 2015 The coalition is using the politics of fear in its bid to woo voters in the Canning electorate, but locals care more about jobs and solar energy, the Greens say.

Leader Richard Di Natale said it was “rich” that Liberal candidate Andrew Hastie told the party’s recent state conference it was “disgusting” others were using the byelection as a chance to kick the Prime Minister and advocate for solar energy.

But about half of the electorate used solar energy, including hot water systems, so solar was clearly an important issue, Dr Di Natale said.He referred to Friday’s Border Force debacle, saying locals were much more concerned about issues such as power prices, the West Australian economy and employment for young people………Greens candidate Vanessa Rauland, who runs a business that helps organisations reduce their carbon footprint, said she would move from Fremantle to the electorate if she wins. 

September 3, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Eric Schlosser in Australia to talk about #nuclear weapons

Investigative journalist Eric Schlosser on America’s history of nuclear weapons, ABC, Lateline  By Amy Sherden US author Eric Schlosser, best known for his book and film Fast Food Nation, has revealed how small human errors and complacency have led to the United States almost blowing itself up on several occasions.

The investigative journalist has been researching America’s history of nuclear weapons for his book Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident and the Illusion of Safety.

He delves into great detail on the “Damascus incident” of September 18, 1980, where a missile equipped with a nuclear warhead exploded in a launch silo at the Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas.

An airman conducting maintenance on the USAF Titan-II ballistic missile dropped a socket wrench about 24 metres, with the two-kilogram tool punching through the skin of the fuel tank.

The rupture caused a fuel leak and nine hours later the missile exploded.

An airman was killed and the launch complex was destroyed. But thanks to the warhead’s built-in safety features, it did not detonate.

Schlosser is in Australia for the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, talking about our delusions over nuclear weapons. Here are some of the key points from his interview with Lateline…….

September 3, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Tasmania set be be regional leader with the right renewable energy policies

The Abbott Government’s continued hostility towards renewables will see Australia slip down the ranks and fall behind. We cannot afford to be left behind.

Renewable energy promises to be one of the leading industries of the 21st century, and a long-term strategy should focus on attracting investment.

Over $2.5 trillion is expected to be invested in renewables in the Asia Pacific region by 2030 — we need to make sure this investment is made here in Tasmania.

map-Tasmania-solarRenewable energy policy key to growth HELEN POLLEY MERCURY SEPTEMBER 04, 2015

TASMANIA has led the way in Australia on renewable energy for some time now.We have set ourselves apart from the rest of the nation through the integration of wind and hydro technology, and by tapping into Bass Strait fibre cable opportunities.

Tasmania can continue to lead the way if the correct policies, strategies and mindset are put in place now. By looking at renewable energy as an investment in Australia’s future and leveraging new opportunities Tasmania could become a world leader in this field.

Tony Abbott and his Liberals have done everything in their power to mess with renewable energy in Australia, and come election time there will be a clear cut choice between Labor and the Liberals when it comes to renewable energy  Continue reading

September 3, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Solar energy news items – South Australia and Victoria

 Solar to replace nuclear and coal
UBS believes solar power could become the default power supply technology of the future (subscribers only) 

Energy company shows interest in building manufacturing plant in Adelaide
A Brisbane-based energy company flags the possibility of building a manufacturing plant in Adelaide, which will produce battery storage units for solar energy.

Solar energy project to create 30 SA jobs
THE South Australian government says the expansion of a Queensland-based Indigenous renewable energy company will create more than 30 job

Solar power storage system helps Croydon family slash power bill
CLEAN energy experts say home solar power storage technology could turn our power system on its head.

September 3, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Institute of Public Affairs to win prize from USA right wing group?

hypocrisy-scaleThinktank Institute of Public Affairs up for prize for role in repealing carbon tax, Guardian 2 Sept Organisation’s former policy director Tim Wilson – now Australia’s human rights commissioner – praised over efforts to counter ‘misinformation’ peddled by carbon tax advocates The Institute of Public Affairs is in the running to win an international prize for its role in repealing the carbon tax.

The rightwing thinktank is a finalist for the $US100,000 (A$142,000) Templeton Freedom award, granted by American non-profit organisation the Atlas Network.

A glowing description of the IPA’s campaign strategy against the carbon tax – which was passed under logo-IPA-wolfthe Gillard government in 2011 and repealed by the Abbott government in 2014 – is detailed on the Atlas Network website…….The IPA will find out if it has won the prize at a New York event in November.

September 3, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

New app ‘Welcome to Country’ teaches about Australian Aboriginal culture

‘Welcome to Country’ app teaches users about Aboriginal culture in Australia, Telegraph, 26 Aug 15  New app delivers a “Welcome to Country” video introduction when users cross a tribal boundary A new app that delivers a “Welcome to Country” video introduction when users cross a tribal boundary in Australia has been launched.

In the short videos a traditional owner (or elder) welcomes the user to their country and gives an overview of basic cultural protocols specific to the tribal area.

The app was created by Aboriginal company Weerianna Street Media with the intent of educating people on the Traditional Owners’ culture and heritage protocols right across the Australia. It uses GPS data from the device to work where the users are in relation to the country they are entering……….The first version of the Welcome to Country app contains more than 30 tribes and language groups, of over 500 groups, across Indigenous Australia……..

August 29, 2015 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

Naomi Klein on climate change: ‘I thought it best to write about my own raw terror’

Book-Naomi-KleinNaomi Klein, the Canadian author, film-maker and social activist, will arrive in Australia this month for a series of events. The author of No Logo and the Shock Doctrine  will be discussing climate change and capitalism, the key topics in her new bestselling book This Changes Everything. She spoke to Guardian Australia’s Oliver Milman. …

Naomi Klein: For someone with a background of economic justice, what scared me about climate change is not just that the sea level will rise and we’ll have more storms, it’s how this intersects with that cocktail of inequality and racism.

This is my attempt to lay out what disaster collectivism looks like. The primary reason people look away [from climate change] is that they don’t see a way out and are told that the solutions to climate change involves giving things up.

If we can chart a path to post-carbon economy, it will involve gaining a lot of other things. We can have a higher quality of life, more liveable cities, greater equality, heal historical wounds. It can be exciting.

Fear can’t be the driver. That’s the big mistake the environmental movement made – “we’ll scare the hell out of you and you’ll become an activist”.

There has to be a counter-narrative that we can have a different economy with more, better jobs.

August 29, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Nuclear power a costly relic, US economist warns commission

Nuclear power is an expensive resource that has no place in Australia’s future energy mix, a US economist has warned…. (subscribers only)


August 27, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Mining conference told BHP Billiton expects to spend millions expanding Olympic Dam underground mine 

BHP-water-guzzlerBHP Billiton expects to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on expanding its Olympic Dam underground mine in the next few years, a South Australian mining conference was told on Wednesday… (subscribers only)

August 27, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Vanessa Rauland, renewable energy advocate, is Greens candidate for Canning by-election

ballot-boxGreens name renewable energy advocate Vanessa Rauland as Canning by-election candidate, ABC News, 23 Aug 15  The WA Greens have named a renewable energy advocate as their candidate for the Canning by-election.

Vanessa Rauland, a small business owner and a lecturer at Curtin University, will run in the September 19 federal by-election brought on by thesudden death of Liberal MP Don Randall last month.

Ms Rauland said it was important to give voters a Green option.

“We know it could be a long shot to win this by-election, but we’re always trying to push up the vote and allow people to have the the option to vote Greens,” she said.

“We’ve seen it in Melbourne recently, the Greens took a seat from the Liberals there.

“Right across the board, Labor and Liberal have failed our community, from climate change to equal marriage to data retention.”

Ms Rauland said she would focus her campaign around renewable energy, arts and education issues……..

August 24, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Death of highly respected Aboriginal anti nuclear activist Nabarula

heartland.Traditional owner and Muckaty anti-nuclear waste dump activist Nabarula dies in Tennant Creek ABC Alice Springs  By Emma Sleath, 22 Aug 15  A senior traditional owner and activist against the proposed Muckaty nuclear waste facility has died in Tennant Creek.

The Warlmanpa elder, now known as Nabarula for cultural reasons, died on August 5.

Nabarula was part of an eight-year campaign against the Northern Land Council’s (NLC’s) nomination of Muckaty Station, 110 kilometres north of Tennant Creek, as a nuclear waste storage facility.

She was one of a group of traditional owners who took legal action against the NLC and the Australian government saying they were not consulted and did not consent to the proposal.

At a special sitting of the federal court at Muckaty, Nabarula threatened to “block the road and let the truck run us over” if the waste dump was approved.

In an out-of-court settlement, the Northern Land Council withdrew its nomination on June 10, 2014.

Nat Wasley, from the Beyond Nuclear Initiative, remembers delivering the news to Nabarula.

“I remember she did a little dance and put her fist up in the air,” Ms Wasley told 783 ABC Alice Springs.

“She was an extraordinary woman; I’m so proud and lucky to have known her.”

Nabarula’s family members were too distraught to speak to the ABC, asking Ms Wasley to speak on their behalf.

“There’s a lot of sadness and a lot of grieving,” Ms Wasley said.

“But there’s [also] a lot of joy in just pulling together photos and stories of her life …”

Ms Wasley said Nabarula was determined to fight the Muckaty proposal and did not falter throughout the long campaign.

“She was always making sure the young people were engaged and involved in the campaign events,” she said.

“But also with visitors … media, lawyers, interstate supporters, she always made time to sit down to meetings and to take people out bush if they wanted to.”

Earlier years……….

August 24, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Big Business, Liberal-Labor Duopoly out to wreck South Australia with grandiose #nuclear scheme

Dennis Matthews, 23 Aug 15, By their own economic standards, the Liberal-Labor duopoly, the Business Council, the mining industry, right wing political parties and their media supporters have all failed the people of South Australia.

South Australia nuclear toiletThe “get-rich-quick at any cost” mentality has been proven to be the wrong approach to ecological and economic sustainability but business and political interests still persist in promoting high-risk, capital-intensive, grandiose schemes.

A large number of diverse, labour intensive projects provides built-in insurance against the sort of catastrophic failure that has dogged the car and mining industries.

Despite prominent failures of the “big is beautiful approach” the same discredited groups are now pushing for an even bigger basket to put all their eggs by turning South Australia into the world’s radioactive cesspool, an action formerly reserved for impoverished third world countries desperately trying to drag themselves out of their colonial past.


August 23, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

NO economic argument for starting any nuclear facility in South Australia

highly-recommendedAn expanded nuclear industry in South Australia makes no economic sense Richard Denniss

The idea that the South Australian taxpayer should underwrite the cost of a nuclear waste dump or nuclear power station is as bizarre as it is expensive Some techno-optimists have managed to convince South Australians to bet on nuclear technology even as the rest of the world is walking away from its risk and cost.’ WMC Resources’ Olympic Dam uranium mine in the remote outback of South Australia.

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINThe South Australian government is conducting a royal commission into expanding the nuclear industry in the state. If the pro-nuclear positions taken by the majority of the commission’s advisory committee are anything to go by, this would mean two things: expensive nuclear power, and expensive nuclear waste.

The economic case for nuclear power is already shaky. Continue reading

August 19, 2015 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

Victoria can lead Australia to its clean, safe, Renewable Non-Nuclear future

Victoria-sunny.psdCaptD, 17 Aug 15, Unless all the people of Australia step up and challenge the Abbott government’s sabotaging of Australia’s clean energy future, states such as Victoria must take lead on renewable energy.

Because Australia is similar to Europe, why not have one part of Australia like Victoria, lead the race to clean safe Non-Nuclear Energy just like Germany is doing in Europe?

The first to go Renewable, Non-Nuclear will be the first to offer its citizens a safe, low cost energy supply that will not only power their economy but create the most good jobs for its citizens. Germany also receives most of its Energy from all the “small” private Energy generators that feed their Grid, not just a few Big Utilities, so the German people get to profit from the Energy they produce.

While this model may not benefit Big Utilities shareholders, it does allow a large number of German homeowners to pay off their Solar investments much faster which then allows them to enjoy “free” Solar Energy from then on. It is no wonder that electric Vehicles (eVehicles) are selling fast, since they too can be recharged using residential Solar which eliminates paying high prices for gas or fuel at the gas station.

It is no surprise that ever more people are starting to question the cost of their Energy and/or their reliance upon Big Utilities to supply that Energy, since they continually raise prices keeping ratepayers in “Energy Slavery”. Solar (of all flavors) provides a pathway toward “Energy Freedom” (once the loan is paid off) with little to no Utility bills for decades to come, which is why Big US Corp.s (like Apple, Google and Walmart) are now installing their own Solar farms.

Solar also can provide charging for eVehicles which again offer a path toward no more buying gas or fuel at the pump. BTW: Electric Motorcycles that can be driven on the highway cost about a penny a mile to operate* and require little to no maintenance as compared to an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Motorcycles. *

August 16, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Naomi Klein says Tony Abbott is a climate change ‘villain’

Tony Abbott is a climate change ‘villain’, says Canadian author Naomi Klein, Guardian, , 17 Aug 15  The writer, who is coming to Australia on a speaking tour, says she cannot tell where the coal industry ends and the federal government begins. Tony Abbott is a climate change “villain” who is repeating the slogans used by the coal industry in the US, according to bestselling author and social activist Naomi Klein.


Klein, who is heading to Australia for a series of public events, said the level of inaction on climate change in Australia was only matched by her native Canada.

“In Canada I can’t tell where the oil industry ends and the government begins and in Australia the same is true when it comes to coal,” she told Guardian Australia.

“The Abbott government is repeating the talking points of the coal industry, the same stuff I heard at the Heartland Institute, that ‘coal is good for humanity’ and ‘God bless coal’.

“We have elections in Canada in October and I hope we have a different government. If that happens, Australia will be isolated as a climate villain. At the moment we are giving you a run for your money.”

Klein, whose latest book, This Changes Everything, argues governments have fundamentally failed to deal with the issue of climate change, said Abbott’s promotion of coalmines and the attempt to keep climate off last year’s G20 agenda “crossed a line where it’s impossible to come back from”.

“One part I find particularly shocking is that Australia is very much on the frontline of climate change,” she said.

“Also, being a Pacific nation, your closest neighbours are facing a truly existential threat. So I find it even more shocking that Australia is a hotbed of climate denial.”

Klein said climate change would exacerbate social problems such as racism and inequality, predicting Australia would become “meaner” as it gets hotter.

“You see that in Australia where the treatment of migrants is a profound moral crisis,” she said. “It’s clear that as sea levels rise that this mean streak and open racism is going to become more extreme – climate change is an accelerant to all those other issues.”……..

According to the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, climate change will hit Australia harder than many other countries, with a temperature increase of up to 5.1C by the end of the century if the burning of fossil fuels isn’t curbed.

In this scenario sea levels would rise by up to 82cm by 2090, the number of days with severe bushfire danger would increase, snow cover would decline and droughts would become more extreme.

Klein said the denial of climate science was prevalent in English-speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, the US and the UK because of a “colonial settler mentality”.

“Countries founded on a powerful frontier mentality have this idea of limitless nature than can be endlessly extracted,” she said.

“Climate change is threatening to that because there are limits and you have to respect those limits. Where that frontier narrative is strongest is where denialism is strongest.

“The rest of Europe has a keener sense of boundaries – they’ve lived against the limits of nature for longer.”

August 16, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment


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