Australian news, and some related international items

3 South Australian sites picked for nuclear trash toilet, but locals resist

The indigenous group Adnyamathanha Camp Law Mob says while the property is governed by a perpetual lease, meaning no native title claim can be lodged over the area, Aboriginal heritage legislation does apply.

“We demand that the Federal Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg publicly declare who he has consulted regarding these nominations, and who has the authority to nominate these si­tes,” spokeswoman Jillian Marsh said in a statement.

Cortlinye and Pinkawillinie KIMBA is known as “the Gateway to the Gawler Ranges”. But some residents fear the township would become known as “the Gateway to the National Nuclear Waste Facility” should it be selected as the future site to store radioactive waste. Local farmers Toni Scott, Sue Woolford, Helen Harris and their families have vowed to fight any move to build the facility in their district.

“They’re saying this is a voluntary process but how is this voluntary?,” Mrs Scott said.

“We’re not volunteering, we don’t want any money and we don’t want to live next to it.’’

The group vowed to be vocal during the Federal Government’s consultation in Kimba next week

Nuclear waste repository in SA: What do the locals think? The Advertiser, 22 Nov 2015 BRYAN LITTLELY, PAUL STARICK and MEAGAN DILLON   PICKING a site for a nuclear dump is as contentious a decision as you will find. Whichever of the six Australia-wide candidates that is chosen to be the nation’s nuclear repository will acquire a degree of notoriety.

South Australia nuclear toilet

South Australia is home to three potential dump locations. Continue reading

November 22, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, opposition to nuclear, politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Queensland govt joins community in ‘major concerns’ over nuclear waste facility at Oman-ama

Queensland-nuclear-freeQueensland Government says it has ‘major concerns’ over nuclear wasteradioactive trash facility at Oman-ama RENEE VIELLARIS FEDERAL POLITICS THE COURIER-MAIL NOVEMBER 20, 2015

THE State Government could team up with a local com­munity to stop a proposed nuclear dump. A landholder at Oman Ama, 250km southwest of Brisbane, is competing against five other locations across Australia to become the nation’s first ­nuclear dump site.

The news shocked local residents throughout the Darling Downs, with some fearing terrorists attacks and worried for their long-term health.

The Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation and Science sent repre­sentatives to meet with resi­dents at Inglewood this week.

Energy Minister Mark Bailey said the State Government was given limited information about the Turnbull Government’s recent announcement about its preferred sites.

“Queensland currently prohibits the construction of a facility to hold nuclear waste, under the Nuclear Facilities Prohibition Act. The Government has no plans to alter the legislation,” Mr Bailey told The Courier-Mail yesterday.

“The Queensland Government has major concerns that a nuclear waste dump could be located so close to a community.”…….

November 20, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Inglewood residents tell govt – “No nuclear waste dump here”

text-NoResidents tell officials they don’t want nuclear waste, ABC Radio PM Annie Guest reported this story on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 DAVID MARK: Residents of the southern Queensland town of Inglewood have told Government officials they don’t want Australia’s first permanent nuclear waste facility in their community.
About 150 people attended a community meeting in the town today. They met with officials who are overseeing the selection of one of six sites for the waste dump.

Most residents say they were worried about safety risks and property values declining, but one woman said the waste from the nuclear medicine that saved her husband’s life must be stored somewhere.

Annie Guest reports from Inglewood…….

November 19, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Queensland | 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

Bathurst residents rally to protect Sallys Flat from nuclear waste

protestResidents rally to protect Sallys Flat from nuclear waste Residents in a Bathurst district village are rallying to fight Federal Government plans to store nuclear waste on a local property. Dozens of people have attended a public meeting at Hill End yesterday to discuss the proposal to house the material at nearby Sallys Flat.

Local resident Ross Brown says more than two-thirds of the community attended and all were opposed to the waste being dumped in the area. He said they were getting advice from environmental groups and federal MPs on how to stop Sallys Flat being selected by the government.

“It’s not a place where we want it to be, at Hill End or Sallys Flat,” Mr Brown said.”We want to know how best to object to it being at Sallys Flat or Hill End.

“Most people see that if the facility is here it will devalue their land. “They’re not really happy with the process of how it was selected.”

A committee is being set up as part of the community’s efforts to stop Sallys Flat being chosen.Mr Brown said locals would do everything they could to protect the area. “They’ve all offered methods in counteracting this proposal and show that the local community are (sic) entirely against it.”

November 18, 2015 Posted by | New South Wales, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Central West New South Wales wants consultation on nuclear waste dump plans

radioactive trashCalls for central west to consulted over nuclear waste plans A Bathurst environment group says a number of central west communities could be put at risk from plans to store nuclear waste in a local village.

The Federal Government has shortlisted six sites including Sallys Flat near Hill End, to house the material that is used in medical procedures and is currently stored at Lucas Heights in Sydney and in hospitals.

The Bathurst Climate Action Network says the impact of the local community and capacity of the road network need to be carefully considered before any decision is made.The president Tracey Carpenter said there were several questions that needed to be answered.

“Apart from the residents, Hill End being a national park, and the thriving community and a tourism attraction and the stigma that would come from being a nuclear waste dump, it needs to transported along our roads, through our centres,” Ms Carpenter said.

“That’s putting all our communities at risk.”

Bev Smiles from the Mudgee District Environment Group said it was not just people around Sallys Flat and the Bathurst district who would be concerned.

“Road accidents with nuclear waste are a highly relevant concern for people and the idea of having nuclear waste buried in your backyard, is something that I think people in a large area of the central west would not be comfortable with,” Ms Smiles said.

Ms Carpenter said it remained to be seen whether the local state MP Paul Toole supported his federal counterparts.“Politically it’s a really interesting issue because the local member Paul Toole opposed wind farms in our region on the grounds that it was divisive to the community,” she said.

“This would certainly be the ultimate division for a community.”

The ABC has contacted Mr Toole for a response.

November 16, 2015 Posted by | New South Wales, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Danger in transporting radioactive trash to Queensland

radiation-truckGoondiwindi mayor raises issues over transport of nuclear waste to Queensland, ABC News 13 Nov 15  The Mayor of a southern Queensland region shortlisted to store nuclear waste is concerned about how it will be transported, but is keeping an open mind to the proposal.

Oman Ama, 250 kilometres southwest of Brisbane,is one of six sites earmarked by the Federal Government, including three in South Australia, one in New South Wales and one in the Northern Territory. Goondiwindi Mayor Graeme Scheu said he did not want to jump to conclusions.

“The main question around it would be transportation, where it goes, so, so many questions that we don’t even have an answer for and the facts,” he said……..

The Federal Government is offering sweeteners to the community that agrees to house nuclear waste…..

Transporting waste to Queensland ‘total lunacy’

National secretary of the Australian local government nuclear free zones secretariat, Ipswich councillor Paul Tully, said “total lunacy” had overtaken the Federal Government.

Mr Tully said the federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will put major cities across southeast Queensland under threat with hundreds of trucks a year carrying nuclear waste across the region.”They will be transporting nuclear waste from the Lucas Heights reactor west of Sydney and other parts of Australia to Queensland,” he said.

“We don’t want Queensland to become the dumping ground for dangerous waste from NSW.”

He said similar plans in 1989 for a radioactive waste dump at Redbank in Ipswich had been thwarted after major environmental concerns were raised.

Kirsten Macey from the Queensland Conservation Council said regional communities should not be used as the scapegoat for a “dirty” nuclear industry. She wants the waste left in Sydney.

“We believe that where the regulator is – where they have the capacity to store it and monitor it, that’s where the nuclear waste should be stored,” she said. “That’s at Lucas Heights where the nuclear waste is being generated.”

November 13, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Queensland, safety, wastes | Leave a comment

Darling Downs, Queensland, residents shocked at proposal to site nuclear waste there

Queensland--antinukeDarling Downs locals opposed to potential Oman Ama nuclear storage site, 9 News, 13 Nov 15,   A property near the Darling Downs town of Oman Ama has been shortlisted by the Federal Government as a potential storage site for low-to-intermediate nuclear waste, but locals have told 9NEWS they are seriously concerned by the plan.

“Initally, horror, shock, how could they?” Liff Parr said.  “I would hate to find something like that happening in our area,” Jo Clark said.

Locals had not received any notice of the plans, Andrew Clark-Dickson said. “Up until seven o’clock this morning I knew nothing about it,” he said. “It’s got to be put somewhere, but I really don’t think it should be on top of the Murray-Darling Basin.”

Organic olive farmer Gesine Owen echoed his concerns. My biggest fear is the water contamination,” she said. Ms Owen said she had spent many years investing in infrastructure to attract tourists to the town.“We just don’t see why we should be picked,” she said.

The residents realise one landowner has volunteered to sell their property for the purpose of establishing a nuclear waste site, with the government offering to pay four times market value for the selected site………

The Australian Nuclear Free Alliance said Australian Aboriginal communities “are reeling from this announcement”.

“We are concerned about the lack of consultation with Aboriginal communities, which are already under attack due to unconventional gas mining, coal proposals and the roll-back of Aboriginal heritage protections,” Alliance co-chair Adam Sharah said in a statement.

November 13, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Queensland, wastes | Leave a comment

Camp Concern: protestors recall and reactivate anti nuclear campaign in Kakadu

“The mining company that has benefited and profited from the use of this area and the mining lease now needs to move towards a comprehensive clean-up.

“We’re still not completely aware of contamination problems that need to be rehabilitated.

“What’s promising is the protest from Aboriginal communities against the mining is as strong as ever. There’s a lesson [from Camp Concern] in partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists sharing information together.”

kakaduCamp Concern: Activists reunite for anti-uranium mining protest 40 years later inside Kakadu 105.7 ABC Darwin  By Emilia Terzon and Lisa Pellegrino , 27 Oct 15 As uranium mining near Kakadu faces an uncertain future, activists calling themselves Camp Concern have reunited inside the Northern Territory park to mark 40 years on from the launch of an anti-mining protest. Continue reading

October 28, 2015 Posted by | history, Northern Territory, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Walkatjurra Walkabout completes 5th walk against uranium mining in West Australia 16 Sep 15: “The Walkatjurra Walkabout, which started in 2011,  finished its 5th walk in the North Eastern Goldfields town  of Leonora on Tuesday. The walk, a collaboration of Aboriginal and non-indigenous people, is a moving community  protest against the proposed uranium mines in the region.

The month long walk, lead by local Traditional Owners,  covered almost 450 km’s from Wiluna to Leonora, passing  Toro Energy’s Wiluna uranium mine proposal at Lake Way and Cameco’s proposed uranium mine at Yeelirrie Station.  Walk participants included local Traditional Owners, people
from Australia, Japan, Taiwan, England, Sweden, Aotearoa (New Zealand), America and France.

The walks continue to attract people interested in learning about Aboriginal culture, caring for country and to share a united vision for a nuclear free world.

greensSmThe walk was also joined at Yeelirrie for two days by Federal Greens senators Rachel Siewert and Co-Deputy Greens leader Scott Ludlam along with state Greens MLC Robin Chapple.

The visit included a tour of Toro Energy’s uranium project at Lake Way near Wiluna with walkers and Toro Energy. Many of the participants have first hand experience of the
dangers of the nuclear industry, especially those from Japan and Taiwan, whose nuclear industry are fuelled by Australian uranium. … “

September 19, 2015 Posted by | aboriginal issues, opposition to nuclear, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Video: Walkajurra Walkabout protest Toro uranium mining project

Env-AustWalkajurra Walkabout begins fifth protest of Toro uranium mining project Anti-nuclear protesters have come together for the fifth consecutive Walkajurra Walkabout to oppose energy company’s Toro Energy uranium mining project.
By  Craig Quartermaine Yellarie Source:  NITV News 31 AUG 2015 

TRANSCRIPT Malarndirri McCarthy: The Walkajurra Walkabout has international anti-nuclear protesters and traditional owners gathered together on some of the richest uranium deposits in the country.

Craig Quartermaine: I’m here at Yellerie Station for the Walkajurra Walkabout that will continue for the next two weeks it’s a dynamic mix of people who make their way through country

After protesters set up camp, they had a breakdown of the meeting with Toro Energy before turning in for the night……

Kado Muir is the Tjurrura man who has lead the event for the last five years .

Kado Muir, Walkajurra Walkabout organiser: So if they ever got the approval to mine it, it would dig up a 50 kilometre area, taking uranium out of the ground, turning it over, extracting the ore, leaving radioactive materials behind, all this beautiful land will end up being a radioactive wasteland……..Basically all these people share this common goal with us the Aboriginal people of this land of keeping uranium in the ground and shutting down the nuclear industry.

September 3, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

South Australian govt warned by atomic test veteran not to expand nuclear industry

Maralinga British atomic test veteran warns State Government against nuclear expansion in SA, ABC News By Mike Sexton, 22 Aug 15 A veteran of the British atomic tests at Maralinga has warned the South Australian Government against flirting with a nuclear fuel cycle.

Avon Hudson served with the RAAF at Maralinga during the so-called minor trials when radioactive material including plutonium was atomised and, in the process, spread across the sandy desert country.

“It is alright when everything goes okay, but we know they don’t,” he said.

“If we get more and more nuclear power stations then the law of averages is we will see more accidents.” In the 1970s Mr Hudson became a whistleblower by going public with what he knew of the secret trials.

He also became an advocate for the servicemen who had been exposed to radiation during weapons testing in the 1950s and 60s.

He said the men were given little or no protection against the harmful exposure.

“I was handed over like a pick and shovel would be handed over for someone to do a job,” he said.

“[There were] no safeguards, no nothing.”

Mr Hudson estimated of the 8,000 Australian servicemen at Maralinga fewer than 500 remained alive today.

Now in his late seventies he is retired and living in the South Australian town of Balaklava, but continues to agitate against the use of nuclear energy and weapons……..Mr Hudson believed the dangers posed by nuclear energy outweighed the advantages, including the possibility of nuclear fuel being used to manufacture weapons……

August 24, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

Aboriginal elder Kevin Buzzacott speaks at strong anti nuclear protest in Adelaide

Buzzacott,-KevinNuclear dump would destroy our land: elder Aboriginal elders from across the country have joined scores of university students camping out in a stand against the storing of nuclear waste in Australia.

Protesters from far and wide have set up a tent community at Flinders University in Adelaide in protest against plans for a nuclear waste dump, in South Australia or anywhere else.

text-relevant“To the South Australian government, to the federal government, to the mining giants – don’t worry about trying to put the waste dump here,” Arabunna elder Kevin Buzzacott said on Thursday.

 “Because you’ll be wasting your money. We’ll be out there trying to stop it.” The action comes as the federal government is set to reveal a shortlist of prospective sites for a possible nuclear dump before making a final decision in 2016.

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINIt also coincides with South Australia’s royal commission into nuclear power, which is looking at whether the state should expand its involvement in the nuclear industry.

At least one SA Liberal senator says it should, with Sean Edwards recently urging the state to cash in by becoming a global player in the spent nuclear fuel recycling industry.

But Mr Buzzacott said a storage facility would destroy the sacred land of the country’s traditional owners. “We’ve lost a lot of sacred sites as it is,” he said. “We don’t want to lose any more. “We’ve been here 40,000 years. We’ve never touched the land – we love the land.”

July 10, 2015 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Nuclear Royal Commission, opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

The nuclear-lobby-stacked Royal Commission faces stiff opposition in South Australia

protest-2Renewables now! Nuclear not an option, Green Left, July 4, 2015 What about the new South Australian royal commission into the nuclear industry?

“……..South Australia has a nuclear industry the government wants to expand. There is uranium enrichment, but that is an economic non-starter, and then there is nuclear power, which is theoretically possible but very expensive and controversial.

text-relevantThe nuclear lobby is driving the idea that if you import other countries’ high-level waste, those countries would pay billions of dollars to get it off their hands. So there is all sorts of nonsense flying around South Australia, especially in the Murdoch press, that these billions of dollars would cover the entire cost of building nuclear reactors and would also allow the abolition of all state taxes.

But even with that sort of propaganda being circulated in the Adelaide Advertiser — a Murdoch tabloid — they found that fewer than one in six South Australians want a high-level nuclear waste dump.

It is a massive challenge, as the royal commission is stacked by pro-nuclear lobbyists. So it will issue a pro-nuclear report and we are doing the best we can to dull their enthusiasm.

We are building a separate campaign against the expansion. Traditional owners held a meeting in Port Augusta in April and this is the starting point to building an ongoing campaign.

A lot of these traditional owners have already experienced a track record of the industries of pollution and lies and they don’t want to be a part of it. They have seen the outrageous divide and rule tactics used by Heathgate against Adnyamathanha traditional owners. Then there is the long history of Olympic Dam uranium mine, and attempts to dump nuclear waste on Aboriginal land despite their ferocious opposition. Or go back to the Maralinga bomb tests in South Australia — there is a lot of history with people still suffering the varied impacts of that.

There is a lot of campaign strength in South Australia. Certainly we are putting in submissions to the royal commission but we don’t want to get sucked into their campaign too much because it is a fraud and the more important thing for us is to build campaigns and support Aboriginal people who want to build campaigns…..”  https: //


July 6, 2015 Posted by | Nuclear Royal Commission, opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

Big mining companies losing the public opinion battle

nuke fighterBig miners need to win hearts and minds in fight against environmental activism, Australian Financial Review, Jennifer Hewett, 3 June 15 The mining industry may have seen off the mining tax it despised but industry executives seem less certain about how to deal with a much more generic threat.

Environmental activism against the mining industry – particularly the coal and coal seam gas industries – is becoming more powerful, sophisticated and effective.

It ranges from protesters chaining themselves to gates or trees on mining sites to the divestment movement, which has seen groups ranging from the massive Norwegian sovereign wealth fund to Australian universities to French banks get out of fossil fuel investments or financing…….

the potential impact and risk of reputational damage from the level of environmental opposition is growing – making discussion about it a natural feature of the annual conference of the Minerals Council of Australia in Canberra on Wednesday.


A lot of frustrated companies belatedly realise they are losing the public relations battle and the support of large sections of the community, ………

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane says it has become a “war of ideology” and the industry must not stop pushing back against this sort of attack.

Guthrie poisoned-chalice-3But how best to do so is not so clear to the industry players…. Vanessa Guthrie, chief executive of uranium company Toro Energy, said her 30 years in the nuclear industry had convinced her it was necessary to fight with the heart as well as the head…….

The ability to be more persuasive becomes even more important given the momentum of the global movement to combat climate change by limiting or even closing down the coal industry. That means the protesters’ targets have changed.

Although Guthrie is sure environmental activism will return to her industry, she said uranium was going through a “quiescent” period while coal and coal seam took the heat. For the first time, there were no protesters outside last year’s annual uranium conference……

Aboriginal leader Warren Mundine, who formerly worked with Forrest and now runs his own Mundine-puppet
consultancy, said it was vital to engage with the community and use the right language as part of a “soft war”.

The companies are now slowly becoming more attuned to the need for this and using social media themselves. But so far there seems little enthusiasm for the sort of people-focused, soft big advertising campaign that helped put the industry’s case against the mining tax. …..

As a sign of the mood of the times, industry fund Auscoal Super, with more than $9 billion in assets and 76,000 mining industry members, says it’s changing its name to Mine Wealth+Wellbeing. Consider it the triumph of marketing over reality.

June 4, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment


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