Australian news, and some related international items

Ipswich, Queensland, at risk from nuclear waste,

Queensland-nuclear-freeIpswich at risk from nuclear waste, Queensland Times  | 20th Nov radiation-truck2015 THE FIGHT is well and truly on to stop hundreds of trucks a year loaded with radioactive nuclear waste from moving through Ipswich towards a national repository near Inglewood.

A site at Oman Ama is one of six slated by the Federal Government to store nuclear waste which has been slammed as “an environmental disaster waiting to happen” by Cr Paul Tully, who is also the national secretary of the Australian Nuclear Free Zones Secretariat.

Cr Tully said the federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg was “putting major cities across southeast Queensland under threat with hundreds of trucks a year carrying dangerous radioactive waste across the region”.

Cr Tully, who called the plan “total lunacy”, said Ipswich did not want such dangerous material transiting through the city.

“It will be a national repository which means that radioactive waste from North Queensland as well as southern states of Australia will come into south Queensland,” he said.

“Anything coming up the Pacific Highway will go through Brisbane, Ipswich and Toowoomba and anything coming from North Queensland would as well.

“So it does hold concerns that hundreds of trucks a year could be coming through our area.”A lot of it would come up through central NSW of course if they do select this site, which is one of six in Australia that has been nominated for further investigation.

“But if a truck, semi-trailer or B-double laden with this material had an accident and caught fire or rolled into a creek or river bed, then that is an issue. Brisbane, Ipswich and Toowoomba residents will be concerned at this act of madness by the federal government.” Continue reading

November 20, 2015 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, Queensland, safety, wastes | Leave a comment

National Party MP John Cobb happy to host radioactive trash – Merino farmers ARE NOT!

exultantOn Friday, Member for Calare John Cobb said he was very relaxed about the Radiation-Warning1proposal to consider Sallys Flat for the dump.

He said he felt the waste was so non-threatening that a person could put it in a bag and sleep on it without feeling any ill-effects.

Merino farmers at Sallys Flat fear nuclear dump next door, Western Advocate, 17 Nov 15  PRIME wool producers around Sallys Flat fear the potential establishment of a nuclear waste dump on a neighbouring property could put their livelihoods at risk.

Geoff and Robyn Rayner produce some of the best superfine fleece in the world at their Pomanara Merino Stud, close to a neighbouring property which has been shortlisted for a permanent radioactive waste dump.

The Rayners’ home is the closest residence to the site ……The Sallys Flat site has been offered to the Federal Government for use by the landowner.

The Rayners have just signed up to become a sustainable operation and said they had to meet stringent criteria. Now, with the prospect of nuclear waste on their doorstep, all that has been put at risk.  “The stigma sticks,” Mr Rayner said. Three generations of the family have made their living from the land. Now they wonder if they will have a future. Continue reading

November 19, 2015 Posted by | New South Wales, Opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

Indigenous Australians fight Liberal bigwig Grant Chapman’s plan for radioactive trash dump

handsoffIndigenous groups to fight plan for Flinders Ranges nuclear dump THE AUSTRALIAN NOVEMBER 18, 2015 Michael Owen Aborigines in the northern Flinders Ranges of South Australia are vowing to fight any move to make a site owned by a former senator the home of a national nuclear waste dump.

A group representing the ­Adnyamathanha people yesterday said it was fiercely opposed to any expansion of the nuclear industry. The group was shocked that Barndioota, along the Leigh Creek railway to Port Augusta, was one of six sites, including three in South Australia, being considered by the federal government to store low and intermediate-level nuclear waste.greed copy

Former senator and state Liberal Party president Grant Chapman jointly owns the long-term lease to
Wallerberdina, a station near Barndioota in the Flinders Ranges. If the site were chosen, it would house a ­storage facility over about 100ha in the northern section of the 25,000ha property.

Adnyamathanha Camp Law Mob spokeswoman Jillian Marsh yesterday said there was no support for the “imposition of a radioactive waste dump on ­Adnyamathanha country”.

“We are shocked that one of the three nominated sites in South Australia … is 377 Wallerberdina Road, Barndioota,” Ms Marsh said. “We understand that ex-Liberal senator Grant Chapman is the current owner of the nominated site that is a perpetual lease property and therefore no native title claim can be lodged.”

She said federal Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg should disclose who was consulted before sites were nominated. “We want no further expansion of the ­nuclear industry,” she said………

November 18, 2015 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

Public meeting in Oman Ama vents opposition to nuclear waste site proposal

radioactive trashSouthern Queensland community Oman Ama vents fears over potential nuclear waste site, ABC News, 18 Nov 15  Residents of a Queensland southern border community earmarked for a nuclear waste dump have gathered for a public meeting to voice concerns about the proposal.

Oman Ama, near Inglewood, is one of six sites shortlisted to host the country’s first permanent nuclear waste dump.

It comes with a $10 million sweetener but that is not enough to convince many local residents of the small rural community……The Federal Government wants one site in Australia and is due to make a decision by the end of 2016, with the site operating by 2018, or 2020 at the latest.

Government experts are trying to allay their fears with claims the dump will not be built anywhere if there is an environmental risk.

Oman Ama locals mainly asked about the risk if the waste escapes, how long it took to break down, what happens in a flood and how can they be sure it is safe.

Some yelled out their opposition, which drew claps from the audience.

Gavan Lahey said he was concerned the local catchment would be polluted……..

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, opposition to nuclear, Queensland | Leave a comment

 Investors urged to dump Toro Energy at company AGM

protest-2Conservation Council of Western Australia, 18 Nov 15,  Traditional Owners and environment groups will ask shareholders to withdraw support for Toro Energy highlighting community opposition to the company’s uranium mine plans and a flat lining uranium market at the Toro’s AGM today.

Vicki Abdullah, Traditional Owner of the Lake Maitland area where the company plans to mine uranium will be attending the AGM today.

Ms Abdullah said, “I’ve told Toro Energy time and time again that they are not allowed to mine at Lake Maitland, they have no right to destroy our homelands, our sacred places and the burial sites of our old people. You wouldn’t let them do that your home or your ancestors. Well I won’t let them do it to mine.”

CCWA Director Piers Verstegen, said “After ongoing weak performance we expect Toro Energy will be asking shareholders to ‘hang in there and be patient’, however the reality is that community opposition and weak market are serious impediments that are not going to go away.

“Uranium is unnecessary, unsafe and unwanted and we will be asking Toro shareholders to place their investments in more lucrative and responsible industries like renewable energy.

“Toro must also face reality and cease pressuring local communities and Traditional Owners causing anxiety and conflict over a mine that will never make economic sense” concluded Mr Verstegen.


November 18, 2015 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, Western Australia | Leave a comment

The Kakadu Charter led to stopping of uranium mining

kakaduThe 15th anniversary of the Kakadu Charter is a good time for Aboriginal and environmental advocates to re-confirm our shared concern, action and effectiveness for the long awaited total rehabilitation and completion of Kakadu National Park.

The Kakadu Charter Which Helped Stop A Uranium Mine Marks 15 Years Of Shared Values  Tomorrow marks a significant anniversary in a landmark battle to protect a people, and a place. Justin O’Brien and Dave Sweeney explain.
Continue reading

November 18, 2015 Posted by | history, Northern Territory, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Ipswich’s Councillor Paul Tully urges residents to fight nuclear waste dump plan

radioactive trashTully speaks out against planned nuclear waste dump, 16 Nov 15   CR PAUL Tully has urged Ipswich residents and the community as a whole to prevent a nuclear waste storage facility less than three hours drive from the city from going ahead.

He said Ipswich had a proud history of preventing similar dumps going ahead within its city borders in the past. He drew the community’s attention to the issue on his Facebook page.

“The Federal Government has picked a potential site – one of six – near Inglewood 250km southwest of Brisbane to store nuclear waste from Lucas Heights in Sydney’s west and from other states of Australia,” he posted.

“This would mean hundreds of truckloads of hazardous waste coming through Brisbane, Ipswich and radiation-truckToowoomba via cities and towns in NSW every year.

“Say no to Queensland becoming a nuclear waste dumping ground for the rest of Australia.

The Ipswich community stopped a similar dump at Redbank in 1988 proposed by the state government at the time, which was finally scrapped by the new Goss government in 1989.”

November 16, 2015 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, Queensland, wastes | Leave a comment

Strong objections to nuclear waste dump sites

text-cat-questionWhy is it that THE AUSTRALIAN and most media go on about medical wastes, but don’t mention the REAL problem – Lucas Heights nuclear reactor wastes returning from France?

Nuclear waste dump goes against the grain, THE AUSTRALIAN, REBECCA PUDDY ANDREW BURRELL, 14 Nov 15,  Grain farmer Cameron Scott is no green activist, but he promises to fight any move to build the nation’s first nuclear waste dump on his doorstep in South Australia’s wheatbelt.

Mr Scott is a key member of a coalition of neighbours in the town of Kimba, almost 500km northwest of Adelaide, who are strongly opposed to the region hosting a facility to store the nation’s low-level and mediumlevel radioactive waste.

“The first thing that hit me was safety — we’ve got kids, we’ve been here for three generations and we want to look after their future,” Mr Scott said yesterday, as he acknowledged deep tensions in his local community over the issue.

“What will this do for our price of land, who wants to buy land next to a radioactive waste dump and what will happen to the price of our grain?”

Kimba is ground zero in the deeply personal battle over the location of the dump, with two of the six shortlisted sites across Australia — all of which were voluntarily nominated by landholders — located in the district……… Continue reading

November 14, 2015 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Radioactive trash dump would damage tourism – Sally’s Flat residents say “NO”

radioactive trashSallys Flat should be removed from nuclear waste shortlist, residents say, ABC News 13 Nov 15  By Joanna Woodburn, Residents have slammed a proposal to store nuclear waste at Sallys Flat, near the historic gold mining village of Hill End in New South Wales’ central west.

The Federal Government has shortlisted six sites to potentially house a nuclear waste storage facility, including Sallys Flat, in the Bathurst district. Near the village of Hill End, the area boomed during the 1850s gold rush and remains a major tourist attraction, according to the local progress association.

The association’s Ross Brown said the historical significance and population of the area made it a poor choice for a nuclear facility…….

 On its website, the Hill End and Tambaroora Progress Association described Hill End as a “well-preserved gold-mining ghost town”, which draws thousands of tourists each year……….

Bathurst Climate Action Network head Tracy Carpenter said Bathurst, which is an hour away from Sallys Flat, had been a sister city with Okuma in Japan, one of the towns affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. “People cannot occupy [Okuma] since the tsunami and earthquake and the result [of] the nuclear disaster, and now we’re being slated as an area to dump nuclear waste,” she said. “It’s just appalling.”…….

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley said he would be surprised if the site was chosen……….”I think people in New South Wales will take an enormous amount of convincing for such a repository to be placed in our state, somewhere around Bathurst.

“We’re not talking about the outback, we’re talking about a pretty well populated area.”…….

November 13, 2015 Posted by | New South Wales, Opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

Yami Lester, victim of nuclear testing urges communities to fight nuclear waste dumping

SA Government ‘open’ to nuclear waste dump proposal despite previous opposition: Weatherill, ABC News, 13 Nov 15,  “…… Greens MP Mark Parnell said he wanted to see more detail on the proposal, but was suspicious of the agenda from Canberra. He was concerned accepting a site in South Australia could lead to the storage of high level radioactive waste.

“It’s no surprise that the Federal Government has its eyes on South Australia for its nuclear waste dump,” Mr Parnell said. “But what will worry people in this state is whether this is a precursor to a high level radioactive waste dump.”…

Lester, YamiIndigenous man Yami Lester, from Mintabie in the APY Lands, said the state and federal governments should not mine uranium, let alone store it.

Mr Lester was blinded from a radiation fallout in 1953 when the British and Australian governments conducted uranium testing near his community, west of Coober Pedy.

“It was terrible. Some older people died, I went blind and my cousin went blind, skin rash, diarrhoea and all that sickness,” he said.

“We had no treatment at all, the hospital nearest the clinic was 160 kilometres [away] at Ernabella, and we were sitting here, no doctor nothing.

“That’s why I’m scared of the government mining uranium. Better to leave it under the ground. Don’t touch it.”

Mr Lester urged the communities close to the proposed waste sites to fight against the dumps.

He said the state and federal government should learn from past mistakes.

“I don’t agree with [experts] at all. The Australian Government and the South Australian Government, people haven’t learnt from the mistakes that happened overseas, in Germany, Japan they haven’t learned from that,” he said…..

November 13, 2015 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Residents near Sally’s Flat, NSW, appalled at their area as potential radioactive trash site

radioactive trashLocals frightened by ‘appalling’ prospect of living near nuclear waste dump Michael Edwards reported this story on  Friday, November 13, 2015 
 MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: The Government has shortlisted six sites for a proposed nuclear waste dump.
Earlier this year landholders were invited to nominate land for the facility that will house almost all of Australia’s nuclear waste material. Sally’s Flat, north of Bathurst in central west New South Wales, is one of the areas that has been short-listed. Locals say they’re appalled at the prospect of living near a nuclear dump.

Michael Edwards reports.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: Twenty-eight landowners nominated their properties as a potential site for a nuclear waste dump. The Federal Government has whittled that list down to six potential areas – three in South Australia, one in the Northern Territory, one in Queensland and one in New South Wales.
Sally’s Flat, in the western New South Wales, is one of the places. It’s an area renowned for producing world-class wool.

LINO ALVAREZ: It’s a very fine place. There’s no industries here as such. Everybody works on the land.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: Lino Alvarez lives in Hill End, the nearest town to Sally’s Flat which is about ten kilometres away.  The suggestion the area could be home to a nuclear waste dump scares him.

LINO ALVAREZ: It’s a disgusting proposition that in a lovely part of the world in which people come and enjoy from cities like Sydney, it will be a danger to everything.  Continue reading

November 13, 2015 Posted by | New South Wales, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Malcolm Turnbull gets delivery of radioactive trash (fake) from Greenpeace

Greenpeace delivers fake nuclear waste to Malcolm Turnbull’s office, By Georgina Mitchell Celsius, 30 Oct 15The environmental group turned up to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s electorate office in Sydney on Thursday equipped with a truck, white suits and six yellow barrels painted with radioactive symbols to deliver a message that nuclear waste is everyone’s problem.

On Wednesday, Mr Turnbull said Australia could plausibly mine uranium, sell it overseas for use in nuclear power stations, then take it back as waste.

This proposition was abhorrent to Greenpeace, who said the waste would impact Australia for “literally thousands of years”.

Wastes to Turnbull 15

“The new Prime Minister has given some significant signals that his government is more interested in science and good policy than his predecessor, but the nuclear thought bubble is just plain wrong headed,” said Emma Gibson, Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s head of program.

“If the government really wants to boost the Australian economy, how about making us a world leader in solar power and the renewables industry?

“Mr Turnbull has indicated that he wants to lead a government focused on innovation, but nuclear power is heavy old tech. We need to move towards clean, modern solutions to our energy needs, like solar power and other renewables,” she said…..


October 31, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Don’t let Western Australia be a radioactive quarry and waste dump

CCWA Campaign: Let’s keep WA nuclear free! Don’t let WA be a radioactive quarry and waste dump

(Check out the information provided here about uranium exploration in WA and the Kintyre, Wiluna, Mulga Rock and Yeelirrie uranium mine proposals – and radiation and health issues)

Nuclear Free WA , 23 Oct 15  WA has never had a commercial uranium mine; we’ve had state wide bans on uranium mining and federal restrictions on uranium mining and a long history of public opposition.

After the 2007 state election the newly elected State Liberal Government lifted a long standing ban on uranium in WA. This came shortly after the Australian Labor Party changed the three mine policy which has since the 1980s meant that there could only be three uranium mines operating in Australia. With these two decisions WA has become the target for many uranium miners.

There are now approximately 140 companies with uranium interests in WA, there are three proposed mines which are engaged in the State’s EPA approvals process followed closely by another two proposals which are advancing their exploration programs followed by about 80 + other uranium explorations.

Uranium mining in WA is not a done deal

No uranium mine has been approved in WA at a state level or a federal level and there is mounting concern in the communities about the dangers and implications of mining uranium. There are strong calls for a public inquiry into uranium mining from environment, social justice and public health groups, from traditional owners, unions and politicians.

WA has a strong history of opposition against the nuclear industry, we know it’s radioactive, we know that uranium and its by products can cause cancer, we know uranium mining and milling is water intensive and that we’re a dry state, we know that in Australia despite regulations and controls we have contaminated mine sites and weapons test sites that have never been cleaned up to a safe standard.

Nuclear and climate change

The nuclear industry and those who support it continue to talk about nuclear power being the solution to climate change, but we know there is carbon pollution associated with every stage of the nuclear fuel chain. We know that as ore grades decline mining and milling processes become more and more carbon intensive. Nuclear Power is polluting, radioactive, expensive and finite; it is unsafe, unwanted and un-necessary.

October 23, 2015 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, Western Australia | Leave a comment

South Australian protest against expanding nuclear industry

Protesters warn of SA nuclear risks 9 News 11 Mar 15 Protesters have raised the spectre of the Fukushima nuclear disaster to warn against expanding the industry in South Australia.

The SA government has launched a royal commission to investigate whether the state should embrace nuclear enrichment, power production and the storage of waste.

Environmentalists have argued that the industry could generate catastrophic risks for the state.

 About 30 people gathered outside Parliament House on Wednesday, the fourth anniversary of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Propping up a giant inflatable “nuclear waste” barrel, the protesters held signs reading “Aus Uranium Fuelling Fukushima” and “SA: Renewable not Radioactive”.

March 11, 2015 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australia’s proud history of the win against nuclear waste, a win led by Aboriginal women

South Australia’s broad-brush nuclear review is meant to sideline opponents, The Conversation, Peter Burdon Senior lecturer at University of Adelaide  27 February 2015
“……..Lessons from history In February 1998, the Howard federal government announced plans to build a national radioactive waste facility in South Australia. Billa Kalina, a 67,000 sq km region in the arid north, was eventually selected as the preferred site. The plan was defeated after a six-year federal campaign.

One media narrative, as espoused in the AFR, is that this defeat was the result of a revolt by SA politicians. But this version of the story ignores the powerful campaign led by the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta, the senior aboriginal women’s council of Coober Pedy.

This story has been recorded by movement researchers Nina Brown and Sam Sowerwine and in a book, Talking Straight Out: Stories from the Irati Wanti Campaign.

Many members of the Kunga-Tjuta were survivors of the British government’s atomic testing in the 1950s and 60s, and so understood the devastating history of the nuclear industry. Upon hearing about the waste dump proposal, the group issued this statement:

handsoffWe are the Aboriginal Women. Yankunytjatjara, Antikarinya and Kokatha. We know the country. The poison the Government is talking about will poison the land. We say, “No radioactive dump in our ngura – in our country. It’s strictly poison, we don’t want it.

The traditional residents of this supposedly “benign and sparsely populated geology” fought hard to protect their country using the tools they had available. They explained, demanded, marched and sang. They worked with green activists and wrote passionate letters. They urged politicians to “get your ears out of your pockets”. They won.

As South Australia faces another push from the nuclear industry, we would do well to remind ourselves of these stories. To paraphrase the late historian Howard Zinn, we need to emphasise what is possible by remembering those moments in our recent history when people demonstrated their capacity to resist, come together, and occasionally, to win.

February 28, 2015 Posted by | aboriginal issues, history, Opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment


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