Australian news, and some related international items

White man’s greed for uranium mining is behind closure of remote Aboriginal settlements

handsoffClosure Of Aboriginal Settlements In Australia To Spark More Protests, International BusinessTimes, By  on May 26 2015 Australia is moving to close its remote Aboriginal communities since the government believes they are no longer sustainable. A new wave of protests is being planned for next week across the country.

Western Australia had previously said it can no longer afford to support basic services for communities in remote areas. The government said indigenous communities are hampered by social problems like drug and alcohol abuse. Reports of child sexual abuse and low school attendance rates were also cited as reasons for closure.

The government has already closed one remote community, Oombulgurri, with a population of 100. In November, its lone shop, school and hospital were shut down as the settlement was flattened by a bulldozer after all the residents have gone.

Aboriginal groups in Australia believe they have spiritual connection with the land of their ancestors. They said the government should pay to eliminate the social problems rather than shut down communities.

The indigenous communities argue that the government is planning to evict more Aboriginals to pave the way for coal and uranium mining. “This is white man’s greed,” said aboriginal community leader Jenny Monroe. She accused the government of creating “victims of trauma” and reiterated that the indigenous law is the law of the land.

Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett said more than 100 remote communities will be closed resulting in a resettlement of thousands of residents. Mr Abbott had backed the move and declared it was not the job of taxpayers to subsidize “lifestyle choices.”….

May 26, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

South Australia’s Nuclear Royal Commission needs to learn about AREVA’s financial and safety gloom

A negative learning curve on steroids What to make of the EPR saga? Areva is backing the wrong horse − the outcome of current political debates will result in a declining role for nuclear power in France, coupled to the growth of renewables.

A new report by ADEME, a French government agency under the Ministries of Ecology and Research, concludes that a 100% renewable electricity supply scenario is feasible in France. The report estimates that the electricity production cost would be €119 per megawatt-hour in 2050 in the 100% renewables scenario, compared with a near-identical figure of €117/MWh with a mix of 50% nuclear, 40% renewables, and 10% fossil fuels.

AREVA-Medusa1Areva has also backed the wrong-sized wrong horse: a giant reactor with a giant price-tag. That said, the backers of ‘small modular reactors‘ are having no more success than Areva. And Areva isn’t having much luck with its mid-sized ATMEA pressurised water reactor………

The EPR saga shows that developing modified versions of conventional reactors (in this case pressurised water reactors) can be complicated and protracted and can end in failure. How much more difficult will it be to develop radically new types of reactors? The French government’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety has recently produced an important critique of Generation IV nuclear power concepts. It states that there “is still much R&D to be done to develop the Generation IV nuclear reactors” and it is sceptical about the safety claims made for Generation IV concepts.

Feeling the pressure: Bumbling nuclear’s negative learning curve Jim Green, 21 May 2015, Climate Spectator

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAIN French state-owned nuclear giant Areva is offering to sell its ‘world leading’ nuclear technology to South Australia. The offer is being reported in the South Australian media without a hint of irony. A reality check is in order.

Areva has posted losses in each of the past four years including a €4.83 billion loss in 2014. Continue reading

May 22, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Nuclear Royal Commission makes it hard for remote area people to make submissions

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINNuclear submissions tough for some  MAY 22, 2015 SOUTH Australia’s royal commission into the nuclear fuel cycle is putting barriers in the way of community participation, particularly for Aboriginal people, people from remote areas and those with language difficulties, the Conservation Council says.

IT says the commission requires all submissions to be typed and not hand written and says they must be sworn in front of a justice of the peace.

The council says the requirement to find a JP will make it difficult for many in remote areas and especially for Aboriginal people to present their views.

May 22, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Mark Diesendorf shows why nuclear power is just not worth the risks

Accidents, waste and weapons: nuclear power isn’t worth the risks , The Conversation,   “……

The case for expanding nuclear energy is based on myths about its status, greenhouse gas emissions, proliferation, accidents, wastes and economics. Let’s take each in turn.


Nuclear is not, and has never been, a major energy force. Global annual nuclear energy generation peaked in 2006. Meanwhile its percentage contribution to global electricity generation has declined from its historic peak in 1993 of 17% to about 10% today. The only countries with significant growth are China, India, Russia and South Korea. In the rest of the world, retirements of ageing reactors are likely to outweigh new builds.

Greenhouse emissions

Continue reading

May 20, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Christine Milne will continue her fight for action on climate change

Milne,-Christine-13I’m off to save planet, says Christine Milne
Christine Milne has shed more light on her resignation as leader of the Greens, revealing she believes there is no chance of immediate Australian action on climate change – her driving ambition – and that she must take the fight elsewhere….. (registered readers only)

May 11, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Dr Helen Caldicott’s dedicated campaign against the nuclear industry

She will be among a who’s who of advocates for progressive causes, including US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden and anti-family violence campaigner Rosie Batty, speaking to 1200 people gathered in Melbourne over coming days to discuss issues and techniques at the Progress 2015 conference.
Caldicott,H1The hashtag crusaders, The Saturday Paper MIKE SECCOMBE 9 May 15 
How does ‘clicktivism’ stand up against the old-fashioned footslog of offline campaigning? Since she first set out on a course of social activism well over four decades ago, Helen Caldicott’s dedication to the anti-nuclear cause has taken her to some unusual places.

Continue reading

May 11, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

40 year fight for land claim- win for Yanyuwa people, in Gulf of Carpentaria

Aboriginal land claim success in Gulf of Carpentaria after 40-year battle, Guardian,  in Darwin, 6 May 15  Deed of grant handed to the Yanyuwa people, covering four islands and Batten Point, at Jawuma near Borroloola, correcting omission in first land grant After a near 40-year fight, the final 200 hectares of a contentious Aboriginal land claim has been handed back to traditional owners in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

On Tuesday the Indigenous affairs minister, Nigel Scullion, delivered a deed of grant to the Yanyuwa people, covering four small islands and Batten Point, at Jawuma near Borroloola.

The land rights claim – Australia’s first – was initially lodged in 1977, rejected and then reclaimed in 1992. However, when the title was finally handed over in 2006 a portion was “inadvertently omitted”.

“The land around Jawuma is of great cultural and historical significance for the Yanyuwa people of the area and I am pleased the title is now back with its rightful owners,” Scullion said.

“The handover of the land title will mean that local Yanyuwa families will once again be in a position to choose how the land is used. I applaud the Yanyuwa people for the journey they have undertaken to have their land and their culture recognised.”

A Yanyuwa woman and SBS journalist, Malarndirri McCarthy, told Guardian Australia that Wednesday’s ceremony was “incredibly significant for the conclusion of a very, very long journey for the Yanyuwa people and the surrounding clan groups”.

The 38-year battle had “really paralysed the progress of the region in terms of empowering the traditional owners”.

McCarthy, also a former Northern Territory minister, was among those who gave evidence to the land commissioner in 1992 at the second attempt to reclaim the land. The 1977 hearing had been held in the old Borroloola police station, which caused anxiety for those giving evidence……………

May 9, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Beyond Nuclear Initiative (BNI) calls forAustralian government transparency on nuclear waste site nominations

WASTES-1Window closes for waste dump sites nomination  6 May 15 A national environment group has called on the federal government to release details of possible sites for a national radioactive waste facility at the end of a public nomination period provided for landholders to nominate a potential site for Australia’s first purpose built national radioactive waste dump and store.

The revised national nomination process was launched after a dedicated community campaign stopped a national dump being built at Muckaty in the Northern Territory. In early March Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane announced a two -month public nomination period with a closing date of May 5.

The Beyond Nuclear Initiative (BNI) has urged the federal government to consider the full range of available management options, adopt transparent and inclusive processes and ensure any potential sites meet key social as well as environmental criteria.

“There are many people, particularly in regional and remote Australia, with a keen interest in and a close eye on this issue,” said BNI convenor Natalie Wasley.

“Muckaty was rightly labeled a disaster by Federal Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane. To move beyond a discredited Decide-Announce-Defend approach the government needs to show a commitment to genuine volunteerism- including ruling out any sites where land ownership or support for the dump is contested or unclear”.

“Previous failed proposals in both South Australia and the Northern Territory saw a pattern of government secrecy and community distrust.

“We urge the Minister to rebuild community trust and confidence by releasing the full list of nominations received through this process so nearby communities and affected people can have the greatest opportunity to consider and comment and Australia can have the best chance of advancing a responsible and effective radioactive waste management”Further context and comment: Natalie Wasley 0429 900 774


May 6, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Kintyre uranium project

Kintyre Uranium Project. WA (EPBC 2010/5637)

Minister’s approval decision and conditions

(Even though the decision has been made by Environment Minister Greg Hunt, concerned readers can still send him messages here: and here: )

May 4, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Julie Bishop downplays the biggest threat – nuclear war

Two prominent American strategic experts, Graham Allison and Dimitri Simes, have published a persuasive article in the current edition of The National Interest arguing Russia and the US are stumbling to war.
Canberra should not become so obsessed with the threat from ­terrorism, as real as that is, that we underestimate these other ­palpable threats to world order.
Julie Bishop exaggerates: Cold War puts Islamic State in shade PAUL DIBB THE AUSTRALIAN APRIL 30, 2015
  Our Foreign Minister gave a detailed and persuasive speech to the Sydney Institute on Monday about the threat from Islamic State/Da’ish. Julie Bishop is undoubtedly correct when she describes this terrorist organisation as a fundamental threat to our free society and to the system of the ­nation-state.

But I think she goes too far when claiming Islamic State is the most significant threat to the global rules-based order to emerge in the past 70 years, including the rise of communism and the Cold War.

The Cold War was not a period of comforting stability and mutual understanding of avoiding ­Armageddon. To the contrary, it was a time of deep strategic uncertainty and extraordinary danger. There were numerous near misses from the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 to the events of 1983, when the Soviet leadership believed the US was about to embark on a disarming first nuclear strike.

When US president Ronald Reagan saw the film The Day After it had an enormous impact on him. Pentagon briefings advised him that an all-out nuclear exchange between the Soviet Union and the US would see about 100 million cas­ualties on both sides in the first 24 hours and that America, the Soviet Union, most of Europe and Japan would cease to exist as modern functioning societies.

Much of the rest of the world, if not all of it, would have been ­subject to a nuclear winter ­involving massive radiation and catastrophic climate change.

Civilisation as we knew it would have ceased to exist. Continue reading

April 30, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

piggy-ban-renewablesThe Real State Of Australia’s Energy Resources Highlights Need For Significant Renewable Energy Investments, IBT,  By  on April 28 2015  “…………………Outlook For Australia’s Renewable Energy

The need for significant change to the Australian energy market is highlighted by the international effort to shift to renewable energy sources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The journey to a lower emissions economy has already begun for Australia with the introduction of the renewable energy target and other government policies.

In 2012, the Australian government had established the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, or ARENA, to provide funding for research, development and demonstration of renewable energy technologies. ARENA initiatives include helping renewable energy technologies move closer to commercialisation and providing system-wide solutions to renewable energy output variability. According to a press release on April 13, ARENA has announced a $20 million research and development round dedicated to industry-partnered projects that seek to commercialise renewable energy.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten released his own statement in response to the government’s white paper. The Australian Labor Party has fully expressed its support for efforts to boost renewable energy investments and retain jobs in the sector. Continue reading

April 30, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Aborigines bear the brunt of Australians’ unspoken racism

Aboriginal action groups are prepared for yet another arduous battle for political and physical space in a place that was once theirs.

Don’t mention the R word, The Guardian, 29 Apr 15  Sisonke Msimang

Is there a place where white people are more committed to faux race blindness than South Africa?

The first thing that strikes you when you arrive in Australia is how racist this place is, and yet how committed many Australians are to not talking about race. As a South African I recognise this purposeful, focussed commitment to faux race blindness. Even as someone slags off Aboriginal people and immigrants, and rants about the need to “reclaim Australia,” many here will insist that they are not racist………..

The levels of racism amongst many white Australians seem to match the levels of denial about their being racist. And there is no doubt that the deepest and most abiding forms of racism are directed against Aboriginal people. It is as though on some psychic level, white Australians are angry with Aboriginal people for still being here, for reminding them of their sins, for refusing to conform to their own ideas about what Australia is or should be……

white Australia’s history of dealings with the Indigenous people of this continent are as ugly as you’ll find anywhere in the world. Continue reading

April 30, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australia – a military colony of USA

THE US OF AUSTRALIA’S MILITARY PRESENCE, Curiouser and Cruriouser e musing APRIL 26, 2015    It is no real secret that the United States has had a military presence in Australia for a long time. I would speculate this presence became permanent as far back as WWI. The post WWII era saw the building of Pine Gap [plus at least 2 other US controlled bases on (under) Australia’s soil]… Pine Gap is still a vital component of the US arsenal according to the Age in July 2013…


and a potential pivotal target for a false flag event or other sinister plot…………..

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

Australia an international pariah for its anti climate action policies

cartoon-climate-AustAustralia seen as ‘public enemy No.1′ on climate, Peter Doherty says, The Age April 25, 2015  Health and Indigenous Affairs Correspondent  Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty says Australia is being seen internationally as “public enemy number one” on climate change and risks being isolated as China seeks to reduce its reliance on coal.

Professor Doherty, who is in Hong Kong for an Asia Society symposium on making cities more sustainable, said there was a perception that Australia was not playing a constructive role in the lead-up to the United Nations climate change conference in Paris later this year, which many see as the world’s “last best chance” for global action to reduce carbon emissions.

“Australia is being regarded as public enemy number one,” said Professor Doherty, who won the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine in 1996.

“That’s a statement that’s been made to me by a couple of people – so that’s obviously a kind of buzz that’s going around the climate change community.”

He said the Abbott government seemed to have “firmly popped themselves into the climate change denial camp”.

“I don’t know if that’s necessarily the position of the Environment Minister [Greg Hunt] but you can’t say that you accept the realities of climate change and then want to maximise the sale of coal – it just doesn’t make sense.”

He said Australia had gone from being seen as a global leader in addressing climate change under the former Labor Government, to being “behind the game,” under Mr Abbott’s leadership.

He said he was concerned Australia could be isolated internationally as China reduced its reliance on coal and made greater use of solar, wind and nuclear power.

“What worries me is that Australia will kind of be seen as the fall guy for this – the guys that didn’t do anything and really behaved irresponsibly – and we’re pretty vulnerable.”…….

Professor Doherty attacked the government for its decision to allocate $4 million to establish a think tank headed by “sceptical environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg.

“It’s in character, but it’s a pretty extraordinary thing to do, after all the talk about the need to constrain resources,” Professor Doherty said.

“To hand our that sort of money, presumably on the basis of no peer review whatever for what is really a blatantly political exercise – well, you know they’re the government and they can do it, but it certainly doesn’t cause you to have any great respect for them.”

He said Australia needed to do more to foster the use of renewable energy and sustainable building technologies, and said massive continued urbanisation in Asia offered enormous opportunities for Australian companies that excelled in these fields……..


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

AGL Energy to shut all coal power stations by 2050

Australian energy firm AGL to shut all coal power stations by 2050  About-face after buying coal power stations in 2014

*Will add to pressure on Australia’s coal industry

* Environmental lobby sceptical (Adds reaction from environmentalists, background)

By Byron Kaye SYDNEY, April 17 (Reuters) – AGL Energy Ltd, Australia’s No.2 power retailer and its biggest carbon polluter, said on Friday it would not buy any more coal-fired power stations and would close all its existing coal-fired power plants by 2050.

The company, which became Australia’s biggest owner of coal-fired power stations when it bought two plants from New South Wales state for A$1.5 billion ($1.17 billion) in 2014, announced the apparent about-face in a new “greenhouse gas policy”.

Although the shutdowns may be far in the future, the AGL policy introduces a domestic element to a slowdown already confronting the Australian coal industry as exports to Chinadrop and that country shifts towards cleaner energy options………

However, the move won only grudging praise from environmentalists.

“It’s good that they’re finally listening to the nine out of 10 Australians who want more renewable energy but it’s a shame that they’re going to keep pumping carbon into the atmosphere until 2050, when most of their dirty power plants would have been shut anyway,” said James Grugeon, director of market impacts at GetUp!, an activist group.  “It’s a step forward after several steps backwards.”……..

April 18, 2015 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment


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