Australian news, and some related international items

Australian media ignored the indigenous achievements in opposing a nuclear South Australia

Dennis Matthews 24 Dec 15 In response to Dave Sweeney’s “good  nuclear news” – on the leadership of indigenous Australians in opposing the nuclear industry and nuclear waste dumping in South Australia

handsoffIt’s correct, in December Karina and Rose Lester shared the Conservation Council of SA (Conservation SA) 2015, $1000, Jill Hudson Award for environmental protection for their opposition to the nuclear industry, but, apart from a small column in The Advertiser which didn’t mention the nuclear industry I’ve seen no mention of this important event.

I looked for a media release on the Conservation SA website but couldn’t find anything.

Perhaps someone could put the media release on this website?

PS. The first winners of the Jill Hudson award were Adnyamathanha activist Dr Jillian Marsh and ABC journalist Rose Crane. I understand that Jillian is involved in fighting attempts to put the proposed national nuclear waste dump on Adnyamathanha land.

December 23, 2015 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, South Australia | Leave a comment

Twisting the public’s perception about ionising radiation

In Muller’s previous presentations on his YouTube show Veritasium, he has consistently confused the banana-spin
naturally occurring radioactive potassium K, with the nuclear fission produced radioactive isotopes…..Muller seems to have no understanding of the way in which bananas are used in the body

What Muller and Thomas are doing is following the script from the tobacco and asbestos industries.

This documentary “Uranium – twisting the Dragon’s Tail” is just Series One. I would love to know who helped to fund Gene Pool Productions for PBS and SBS to produce this. I’m betting that Series Two will follow before long, with a glossy and positive story about Generation IV nuclear reactors.

Muller, DerekThe half lie of the Dragon’s Tail. Online opinion,  By Noel Wauchope  Thursday, 27 August 2015 The documentary “Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail” is the latest glossy and highly sophisticated soft sell for the nuclear industry. It’s also, if you look at it closely, rather confusing.

I will start from the end, because that’s where the main message of this film comes out clearly “Just imagine a world where reactors can produce immense amounts of clean, safe, energy. There is no such thing as a future without uranium.” These final words are said against a background of soaring celestial choirs.

This seems to be the formula now, in nuclear promotion. The 2013 propaganda film “Pandora’s Promise” carried the same positive message – an ever rocketing energy demand to be met by ever increasing, indeed limitless, electrical energy provided by new nuclear reactors.

But, like ‘Pandora’s Promise’, this new documentary devotes the first two thirds of its series to discussing the negative aspects of the nuclear industry. Episode One covers its history, ill effects of radiation, the atomic bomb and its use. Episode Two continues this, with a sympathetic attitude to Australian Aboriginal concerns.

Unlike “Pandora’s Promise” this film does not denigrate anti-nuclear activists, and there is no attempt to ridicule Dr Helen Caldicott, as “Pandora’s Promise” did.

Indeed, the first two episodes are beautifully clear and accurate, as well as entertaining. Really, I couldn’t criticise them.

With the final episode – that’s when the message kicks in, and also when it gets confusing……. Continue reading

August 27, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, Nuclear Royal Commission | 1 Comment

Philip Adams – Late Night Live – gone over to the nuclear lobby?

text-cat-questionI was astounded to hear ABC Radio National’s Late Night Live programme last night. Philip Adams’ guests were two spruikers for the nuclear industry. Ben Heard, (occupational therapy graduate,now doing his PHd all about nuclear power – tutored by Australia’s top nuclear propagandist Barry Brook), and Hayden Manning Associate Professor with the School of Social and Policy Studies at Flinders University. Not  a surprise that he’s from Flinders Uni – that seem sto bde abit of a hotbed for nuke spruiking, and with Prof Pam Sykes funded by DOE to find out how ionising radiation is good for mice.


August 13, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | 1 Comment

SBS uranium documentary – mixed messages and a soft sell for nuclear lobby?

scrutiny-A Critical Look at ‘Uranium: Twisting the Dragon’s Tail’, truthdig,  Aug 9, 2015 By Stanley Heller A week or so before the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, I watched a curious documentary on PBS. It was called “Uranium: Twisting the Dragon’s Tail.” You can see it here. The presenter was a physicist named Derek Muller. What’s odd is that Muller concludes that nuclear power is not the way to go, but the way the film was edited, the message is the opposite: that nuclear power is relatively safe and that its technical problems are at the point of being solved. Continue reading

August 12, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, spinbuster | 2 Comments

Litigation in Malawi against Australian uranium miner Paladin

“There is a very strong perception that when Australian mining companies come here they take every advantage of regulatory and compliance monitoring weaknesses, and of the huge disparity in power between themselves and affected communities, and aim to get away with things they wouldn’t even think of trying in Australia,”

Australian miners linked to hundreds of deaths, injuries in Africa, SMH,  July 11, 2015 -Will Fitzgibbon Australian mining companies are linked to hundreds of deaths and injuries in Africa, which can go unreported at home. Some of the Australian Securities Exchange-listed companies include state governments as shareholders. One company recorded 38 worker deaths over an eleven-year period.

justiceIn Malawi, litigation continues against Paladin Africa Limited, a subsidiary of Perth-based Paladin Energy, and its subcontractor after an explosion disfigured one worker with such heat that his skin shattered when touched by rescuers. Two others died in the same incident.

Other allegations include employees in South Africa hacking a woman with a machete and Malian police killing two protesters after a mine worker reportedly asked authorities to dislodge a barricade on the road to the mine.

An investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, in collaboration with 13 African reporters, uncovered locally-filed lawsuits, violent protests and community petitions criticising some Australian companies.  Continue reading

July 11, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, politics international | Leave a comment

Adelaide’s Advertiser continues to spout pro nuclear advertising articles

news-nukeDennis Matthews, It is indeed pathetic that the pro-nuke lobby keeps repeating the same old one-sided arguments to support their out-dated, dangerous and dirty industry (The Advertiser, 15/6/15). This should be recognised for what it is, the standard tool of the propaganda merchant.

It is equally pathetic that others keep repeating the neurotic claim that opposition to the nuclear industry is some sort of conspiracy to prevent “rational debate” (The Advertiser, 15/6/15), a claim that flies in the face of countless inquiries run by manifestly pro-nuclear governments.

But the most pathetic thing of all is that a reputable newspaper keeps publishing these sorts of unproductive and boring contributions to what is claimed to be an important issue.

Let’s have not only a rational debate but also a debate that encourages the flow of new information not repetitive, mindless, propaganda that appears to be designed to brainwash rather than inform.


June 15, 2015 Posted by | media, South Australia | Leave a comment

Social media used by activists AND by corporate nuclear shills

Mike Seccombe’s article (The hashtag crusaders, Saturday Paper 9/5/15) discussed social media as a modern form of activism – particularly for the young. However, I’ve done a bit of searching on this, and discovered that yes – anti nuclear activists are more likely to be older persons, and female.  But – pro nuclear activists also tend to be older persons, usually male.
While social media is seen as a forum for the young, and for activists –  we’re inclined to see them as progressive or anti-establishment.
Not necessarily so, and the Twitter campaign against Dr Caldicott is a fine example of organised social media activism on behalf of corporations, in this case the nuclear lobby.  While it’s pretty sure that at present, in Australia, the numbers of progressive individuals tweeting are greater than the numbers of anti progressives, the very system of Twitter (and no doubt Facebook and others too) enables multiple messages to go out from just one source.

Well funded agencies such as the nuclear lobby use various algorithms to send out, for example, hundreds of Twitter messages from fake Twitter addresses 24 hours a day.
Having studied the tweets on #thorium #nuclear for 3 years, I find that they are repetitively tweeting advertisements, often linking to Youtube ads, and the continual anti Helen Caldicott attack.
Fortunately, Twitter has improved its reporting system, so that nasty personal attacks can be stopped.  I am hoping that Dr Caldicott has fnally addressed this herself. Now, Twitter enables people to report about attacks on another person. I’ve done this in relation to Dr Caldicott, and it seems to have worked, as the attacks have become less vitriolic.
Tony Abbott recently dismissed social media as unimportant – “digital graffitti”.  What an interesting comparison!  Time was when the walls along Melbourne’s railway lines were decorated with wonderful signs  – “Pig Iron Bob” and “Stop Uranium Mining”.   Graffitti had its impact in those days – so its modern equivalent has its impact now.
But people should be aware that corporate lobbies are using it too!

May 11, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

“THE AUSTRALIAN’ newspaper’s pro nuclear bias continues.

News-Limited1Isn’t it interesting that when a Liberal politician, with a background in auctioneering and estate agency, produces his particular pro nuclear argument, it gets coverage from THE AUSTRALIAN?  But when Dr Helen Caldicott, an internationally regarded expert on matters nuclear offers an informed insight into the South Australian nuclear proposals – then there’s no room for that, in the same newspaper.

Liberal Senator Sean Edwards is repeating a story that sounds remarkably familiar: “We could end up with zero or low-cost power” … “The more you reprocess, the more electricity you have to get rid of.”


Senator Edwards is “briefing”  Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane and Trade Minister Andrew Robb on the (non existent) Integral Fast Reactor 

April 10, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

“Bad taste” to mention climate change and Vanuatu devastateded by cyclone

Abbott-fiddling-global-warmVanuatu Devastated, Just Don’t Mention The Climate Change  New Matilda 18 Mar 15 While Cyclone Pam was bearing down on the tiny island nation, its president was at a conference in Japan, pleading for action on climate change. Richard Hil explains.

What are we to make of the gargantuan elephant in the ABC studio that failed to get a mention?

Despite breathing down the neck of ABC’s 7.30 anchor, Leigh Sales on Monday night, no reference was made to it during an interview with Joe Natuman, Prime Minister of cyclone ravaged Pacific Island nation, Vanuatu.

Perhaps Sales was being sensitive to the Prime Minister’s distressed state. He had, after all, experienced firsthand a category 5 cyclone and had seen his nation turned into rubble, with the death toll still rising.

The Prime Minister said that the last time his country was devastated by a cyclone was during the 1980s, but that was a modest category three system.

The nature and scale of the destruction wrought by Cyclone Pam, packing winds of over 250 kilometres per hour and waves several metres high, was in his words, unprecedented.

Despite the unusual ferocity of this event, Sales studiously avoided the unmentionable – anthropogenic climate change. Instead, the questions dealt with the emergency response, food and shelter requirements and the aid sought from and provided by Australia.

Sales was not alone in her reluctance to bring up the matter of human-induced climate change. Despite widespread and heartfelt declarations of support and sympathy there appeared to be an unspoken media censorship on this issue. Continue reading

March 20, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Adelaide Advertiser obligingly publicises pro nuclear shills

media-propagandaDennis Matthews, 13 Mar 15 Whilst belittling socially aware South Australian schoolteachers and environmentalists The Advertiser seems to be totally comfortable with pro-nuclear visiting British professors quoting numbers “suspect to challenge” and Japanese Professors supporting nuclear reactors and nuclear waste storage in Australia (The Advertiser, 13/3/15).

The British Professor is from the University College London, which has a campus in Adelaide, has had very generous funding from the people of SA but looks like closing its doors in the near future, and which appears to be a *Trojan Horse for the uranium mining and nuclear energy lobby.

The Japanese Professor is an “expert on international law” and as far as we can tell has no particular expertise on uranium mining, nuclear reactors or nuclear waste dumps but who claims that Australia could offer a “cradle to grave” solution to the nuclear industry. The people of Fukushima would be experts on that, but neither The Advertiser nor the esteemed professor of international law seems to be in a rush to talk about the reality versus the mirage.



* re UCL – a Trojan horse

see Adelaide’s University College London (UCL) -pro nuclear research funded by nuclear interests


March 13, 2015 Posted by | media, South Australia | Leave a comment

The Adelaide Advertiser starts publicity campaign for nuclear reprocessing?

a-cat-CANA pious article reminds South Australians that yes, there were health concerns about uranium mining, and yes nuclear waste is  a serious problem.

But by the end of this article – we are told that South Australia  “is an idea site for nuclear waste disposal, both national and international — with the potential for huge financial returns.”

and that “The international nuclear industry has made enormous advances in the past 30 years and many of the concerns raised by Mr Rann may have been addressed.”

and that these concerns “should be addressed, and hopefully dispelled, by the Royal Commission.”

news-nukeIt sounds to me as though the Advertiser, scripted by the nuclear lobby, is softening readers up for the idea of a nuclear reprocessing industry, with the rationale of (supposedly) curing the world’s nuclear waste problem


Rex Jory: SA is an ideal site for nuclear waste disposal, Adelaide Advertiser, 1 Mar 15  “……..As an adviser to former Labor Premier, Don Dunstan, Mr Rann studied aspects of the nuclear industry in Europe and the United States and in the early 1980s wrote a 32 page soft-covered book outlining his concerns about SA’s potential involvement in the nuclear industry.

Mr Rann, now Australian Ambassador to Italy, may have revised some of his beliefs, yet his book raises serious issues which the community and the Labor Party cannot easily ignore. No matter what recent advances have been made in nuclear safety, what was true, or perceived to be true, in 1980 cannot now be rejected without questioning 35 years later. Continue reading

March 1, 2015 Posted by | media, South Australia | 1 Comment

The Adelaide Advertiser misleads public on medical nuclear isotopes

The Editor
The Advertiser

Your correspondent Phil Day (The Advertiser, 24/2/15) is a victim of those nuclear industry spin doctors who try to use nuclear medicine to justify the use of nuclear reactors.

The nuclear waste that is being considered for dumping in South Australia does not come mainly from medical grade isotopes, it comes from nuclear power stations and from facilities for producing the fuel for nuclear power stations and nuclear weapons. The nuclear waste from medical grade isotopes is comparatively trivial.

I also hope I never need a CAT scan or X-ray because both use ionising radiation. However, neither CAT scans nor X-rays use radioactive isotopes or produce nuclear waste and hence their use to justify generating and importing nuclear waste is misleading.

Dennis Matthews


February 25, 2015 Posted by | media, South Australia | Leave a comment

The facts on the ABC’s Fact Check

The ABC Fact Check budget is modest, a tiny fraction of the $10 million mischievously bandied around. ABC Fact Check does not check the media, not ABC journalists nor any others. In the age of 24/7 news, frenetic social media commentary and shrinking newspapers, it interrogates the claims of elected representatives, prominent individuals, influential institutions and lobby groups engaged in the public policy debate. I would have hoped Mr Cameron would have seen that as a positive step.

Fact-check journalism began in the US following the weapons of mass destruction debate before the 2003 Iraq invasion. It has proliferated in the US, Britain, the EU, South Africa, Ukraine, Egypt and South America.

Russell Skelton, Editor, ABC Fact Check, Ultimo  THE AUSTRALIAn 11 Feb 15

February 11, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

The Adelaide Advertiser is in the grip of the nuclear lobby

news-nukeDennis Matthews, 9 Feb 15 From its comments denigrating would-be opposition to the nuclear industry whilst at the same time paying lip service against radical pro-development forces it’s pretty obvious that The Advertiser has already made up its mind about Jay Weatherill’s opportunistic so-called independent Royal Commission into the nuclear industry (The Advertiser, 9/2/15).

With subjective comments like those from the media, business communities and pro-nuclear politicians why waste taxpayers money on window dressing a foregone conclusion?

Once again the public is being led like lambs to the slaughter in the name of development, which in truth is nothing less than a proxy for narrow-minded, regressive, vested interests.

February 9, 2015 Posted by | media, South Australia | Leave a comment

Films record the sorry history of Australia’s involvement in the nuclear industry

highly-recommendedFilmSuperpit: Digging for uranium in the Australian cultural imaginary, [ excellent videos and pictures] National Sound and Film Archive, by Adam Broinowski The mining industry has been a central force in shaping Australian history in the 20th century. In fact, as is evident in the policy switch from the ‘Mining Super Profits Tax’ (Rudd/Gillard government) to ‘Open for Business’ (Abbott government)1, mining influence in Australian politics is direct and far-reaching. Any historical discussion of mining, however, should not overlook the historical relations between the Aboriginal owners and settler populations and their transnational partners…….

As the poisonous modern rituals of atomic testing were carried out (Monte Bello Island, Emu Fields, Maralinga), which included the use of Plutonium 239, both Australian and British officials repeated that the health risks were negligible, despite extensive local radioactive contamination

while some Aboriginal people from Ooldea were moved from their traditional lands to Yalata prior to the 1956–57 series of tests at Maralinga, there were still Aboriginal people using their camping grounds that passed through the Maralinga test site. As found in the Royal Commission (1975), the insufficient caution taken to ensure that all people were removed from the Area prior to tests was based on the false and negligent assumption that there were no longer people living on this land. Members of the Pitjantjantjara, Yakunytjatjara, Tjarutja, and the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta nations are said to have been exposed to radioactive contamination, whether in ‘black mist’ or other forms. Along with many Australian atomic test veterans, they developed chronic illnesses, the complications from which led to many premature deaths.

These ‘side effects’ were largely ignored as officials prioritised the plans to make Australia a ‘great power by 2000’ (such as Philip Baxter, Chair of the Australian Atomic Energy Agency)…….

In 1977, when the bid to mine one of the largest uranium deposits in the world at Ranger 1 and Nabarlek in the middle of the park was approved by the Fraser government, the Fox Report warned that mining waste would have to be stored for a quarter of a million years. Aboriginal elders also warned that mining ‘sickness country’ would lead to disaster…….

Given the ongoing damage caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster since 11 March 2011, with the Fukushima Daiichi reactor said to have been fuelled by Australian uranium (at least in part), one wonders how many more warnings the authorities and their transnational partners need. The image in Phantom Gold of a lone European settler in the desert who hunts for gold while dying from thirst, may indeed come back to haunt us.

August 4, 2014 Posted by | Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, media | Leave a comment


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,016 other followers