Prime Minister Tony Abbott predicts $30 billion Olympic Dam expansion will go ahead POLITICAL EDITOR TORY SHEPHERD THE ADVERTISER SEPTEMBER 30, 2014 A $30 billion Olympic Dam expansion is likely to go ahead “in the months and years ahead”, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says.
BHP Billiton shelved the expansion plans in the face of low commodity prices and spiralling costs. However the expansion moved a step closer recently, after the Government waived stringent environmental tests to let them trial a cheaper way of processing minerals…….
BHP Billiton is expected to give more detail on their plans at their AGM in Adelaide in November. Chief executive Andrew Mackenzie has said they have reduced costs and might be able to go ahead with a smaller or incremental expansion.
Before the election Mr Abbott pledged to create the economic conditions that would give the expansion the best chance of going ahead.
Federal ministers have met with BHP and have been talking up the prospects of the expansion …….http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/prime-minister-tony-abbott-predicts-30-billion-olympic-dam-expansion-will-go-ahead/story-fni6uo1m-1227075708200
What neither industry likes to talk about is the pricing of the network – did they invest too much money in network infrastructure, and shouldn’t they take a write down on those assets, rather than just charging customers more?.
Gas networks attack solar policies, fearing mass defections By Giles Parkinson on 26 September 2014 Gas industry calls for solar hot water rebates to remove to try to slow down mass defections from gas networks it fears will be caused by soaring gas prices.
The Energy Network Association has released a report that suggests the industry could lose one quarter of its customers as a result of soaring prices. It says 1.15 million households could drop gas and defect to solar hot water in coming years. Continue reading
Investors lobby PM on renewable energy http://www.investordaily.com.au/36340-investors-lobby-pm-on-renewable-energy 01 October 2014 | Staff Reporter A group of institutional investors representing $1 trillion has accused the prime minister of undermining the Renewable Energy Target.
In an open letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbott published in the Australian Financial Review, the Investor Group on Climate Change argued that the savings of more than 10 million Australians are invested in a “clean energy future”.
“The health of our economy is vitally dependent on investor confidence in government and the stability of its policies,” the letter said.
“For years we’re been investing the savings of Australians in projects on the basis of bipartisan support for boosting renewable energy,” it said.
“This is now at risk. Our investments, together with skilled industries and jobs that the Renewable Energy Target is creating, are at risk due to the uncertainty of your government’s commitment to the legislated 41,000 giga-watt-hour target.”
Australia ought to be growing renewable energy rather than “stepping back” from its international commitments, said the letter.
“Investors need predictable long-term policies to be confident to make investments in the energy sources of the future,” it said.
“This environment requires bipartisanship on the need for more renewable energy, not less. We encourage you not to change that now,” said the letter.
The Investor Group on Climate Change includes AustralianSuper, BT Financial Group, AMP Capital Investors, Colonial First State Global Asset Managers and Cbus among its members.
to Energy White Paper Taskforce
Department of Industry ,
from D Jim Green
The White Paper misrepresents Friends of the Earth in relation to nuclear power and I am seeking immediate clarification on a couple of points.
The WP states: “However, the relative safety of nuclear power is reflected in a 2013 study commissioned by Friends of the Earth, which concluded that, “overall the safety risks associated with nuclear power appear to be more in line with lifecycle impacts from renewable energy technologies, and significantly lower than for coal and natural gas per MWh of supplied energy.”
Question 2: Why does the WP fail to note that the commissioned paper raised multiple objections to nuclear power, and that FoE UK retained its anti-nuclear policies as a result of the review process, e.g. from the article below ‘The non-nuclear energy pathway that Friends of the Earth advocates is credible …’
Please provide immediate answers to the above questions since the misrepresentation is a matter of great concern.
Please also advise if the Department or the Minister will immediately issue a media release correcting the mirepresentation. Alternatively, will the Department put a note on the relevant webpage noting that the WP fails to specify that the Friends of the Earth group in question is FoE UK and that FoE UK retained its anti-nuclear policies as a result of the review process.
Jim Green B.Med.Sci.(Hons.), PhD
National nuclear campaigner – Friends of the Earth, Australia
Dear Dr Green
Thank you for your email to the Energy White Paper Taskforce regarding the citation of the Tyndall Centre report.
To clarify, the paper released is the interim Green Paper, which is the basis for consultation on policy issues. Submissions received until 4 November will help inform the development of the Energy White Paper. We expect to release the Energy White Paper later this year.
On the referencing of the report, we note that the quotation is accurate, and the footnote referencing provides enough detail to clarify that the report is based on a UK analysis, and allows for easy access to the online report in full, including the report origins and relevant disclaimers, as would be normal practice.
We acknowledge your preference that the report be linked to Friends of the Earth UK more explicitly in text, rather than through accessing the commissioning and disclaimer detail of the report itself. Given that concern, should the reference be used in the Energy White Paper, we will ensure that the body of our text includes the distinction. We would appreciate your guidance as to whether the preference is to use UK, or the full ‘England, Wales and Northern Ireland’ as per the report cover.
Energy White Paper Taskforce
Department of Industry
Attachment 3: Nuclear energy issues p. 71 ………– In 2013, the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics found that, over the projection period to 2050, nuclear remains cost-competitive with both renewable and non-renewable technologies on a levelised cost of energy basis. …….
Groups fight for renewable energy target, Herald Sun AAP SEPTEMBER 29, 2014
CUTTING the renewable energy target (RET) will leave Australians reliant on natural gas and drive up electricity bills, a group of consumer and community advocates say.
THEY have written to Prime Minister Tony Abbott urging him to reject the recommendations of a review that called on the government to cut the target.
The economic, environmental and social impacts of the RET scheme were well-documented and overwhelmingly positive, states the letter from groups including the Australian Council of Social Service, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, the Consumer Utilities Advocacy Centre and the Clean Energy Council.
“If the RET is cut, Australia’s greater reliance on gas-fired power will increase the cost of power for all energy users,” they say…….http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/groups-fight-for-renewable-energy-target/story-fni0xqi4-1227073457547
Greens want Barnett to make emergency nuclear plan for WA http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/greens-want-barnett-to-make-emergency-nuclear-plan-for-wa-20140919-10iutv.html September 18, 2014 Brendan Foster With Australia on the brink of new conflict with Iraq, Greens MP Lynn MacLaren says she can’t believe the Barnett government doesn’t have an emergency plan if a nuclear accident happened at Fremantle Port.
On Monday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Australia would send 600 troops, including SAS soldiers and eight FA18 Super Hornets, to the Middle East in preparation for military action against the Islamic State terror group.
And on Thursday, more than 800 police officers raided homes in Sydney in an attempt to foil a plot to “commit violent acts”, including plans to behead a member of the public.
Ms MacLaren asked Attorney-General Michael Mischin on Wednesday night in State Parliament if the Liberals had an action plan for workers and residents living near the port in the event of the nuclear reactor incident from a nuclear-powered warship. Mr Mischin said a nuclear detonation was not a defined hazard prescribed within the Emergency Management Act 2005.
“The state emergency management arrangements allow for a controlling agency to be appointed for any hazard not prescribed in the act,” Mr Mischin said.
Ms MacLaren said as Australia prepared to send troops to Iraq, “we cannot afford to have a head-in-the-sand approach to an emergency response”.
“Since nuclear-powered vessels visit our shores, we need to be ready in the event of an accident or incident. The report tabled in response to my question was last updated in 2010,” she said.
“Nuclear weapons have been a major threat to world peace for decades, how can the state government not have an emergency response to the risk of a nuclear weapon detonation or accident?
“The consequence of even a small incident would be catastrophic. Yet, we should have a plan which factors in health care facilities and staff to provide triage care in the event of a nuclear detonation or other nuclear incident.” Ms MacLaren said with the Mayors of Peace Conference in Fremantle next week, the call to prohibit nuclear weapons was more important than ever.
Junko Morimito who will describe her experience as a 13-year-old in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb went off is one of the guest speakers at the conference.
“I will be attending the Fremantle Peace Walk which will take place on International Peace Day, Sunday 21 September – celebrating the opening of Fremantle Peace Grove. Tthis issue must be kept as a priority for leaders and the community,” Ms MacLaren said.
Bill Shorten says Renewable Energy Target vital to Tasmania’s north-west Yahoo News September 17, 2014 Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has called on the Federal Government to support the Renewable Energy Target (RET) during a trip to Tasmania’s west coast……Mr Shorten said the Government needs to retain the RET to ensure the proposed wind farm at Granville Harbour goes ahead.
“It beggars belief that you have got up to 200 jobs just waiting to roll: 33 wind turbines, one of the windiest areas in Australia,” he said.
“The community want them, they don’t share Joe Hockey’s view that somehow wind farms are sick-making.
“They want the jobs, they want the wind farms but what they need is a government in Canberra who understands that renewable energy is not some green plot but part of the sustainable mix going forward.”
Liberal Senator David Bushby gave assurances the Federal Government had not yet decided what to do about the RET……….
projects such as the Granville Harbour wind farms remain in doubt.
In her meeting with Mr Shorten this morning, West Coast Mayor Robyn Gerrity stressed the importance of the RET to the region.
She told 91.7 ABC Northern Tasmania that while there was not much Mr Shorten could do for the region she wanted him to support the retention of the RET to ensure the Granville wind farm went ahead.
“They could employ within weeks about 30-odd men to start doing the roadworks for it,” she said.
“The problem being, for them to source and get the final tick-off regarding financing, they’re relying on the Renewable Energy Target.”…….https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/25005137/bill-shorten-says-renewable-energy-target-vital-to-tasmanias-north-west/
Labor rules out making changes to scale down Renewable Energy Target 7 News, BY ENVIRONMENT AND SCIENCE REPORTER JAKE STURMER September 18, 2014 Labor has ruled out negotiating with the Federal Government to scale back the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
The Government is believed to be searching for a bipartisan compromise to scale back the green scheme, which was put in place by the Howard Government.
It was tweaked in 2010 to ensure that 20 per cent of Australia’s power would be generated by renewable resources by 2020.
It effectively gives industry support to renewables at the expense of established fossil fuel electricity generators.
A Government-commissioned review last month recommended closing the large scheme to new entrants and shutting it by 2030, or that it be ditched with the renewable sector limited to a 50 per cent share of new growth in electricity demand.
The Government is yet to reveal its position on the review but it is understood to be looking for a middle ground…………
The most recent meeting was held in the Liberal held seat of Barton in southern Sydney, which is held by just 489 votes.
Labor leader Bill Shorten used the opportunity to hose down talk that he would accept any negative change to the RET.
He was asked by one of the 200 audience members to promise that he would not negotiate down from what the current position is.
“We’re not about to abandon all the principles and the details of what you just said,” Mr Shorten said………Mr Shorten’s office later told the ABC that there would be no negotiation that would result in the scaling back of the RET.
The Palmer United Party also reiterated its position that it did not support any change to the scheme………https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/25037753/labor-rules-out-making-changes-to-scale-down-renewable-energy-target/
Shadow Environment Minister Jackie Trad exposes foolish decision of Queensland govt on uranium mining
LNP under fire as companies target Qld uranium http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/lnp-uranium-green-light/2384465/ Bill Hoffman | 12th Sep 2014 THE ALP has slammed the Newman government decision to grant mineral development leases to two companies planning to mine uranium in Queensland.
Shadow Environment Minister Jackie Trad accused the LNP of lying before the last election when it gave what she described as a clear commitment not to endorse uranium mining.
“The Premier gave a clear election commitment but the granting of six exploration licences shows once again the value of an LNP promise,” she said.
“In breaking the promise, the Newman Government is ignoring the widespread objections of Queenslanders, ignoring the substantial environmental risks associated with uranium mining, ignoring the risks associated with the transportation ofradioactive material and ignoring the risks to public health and safety.
“It is a massive betrayal of trust.
“We are just a few steps away from having trucks and trains filled with uranium making their way through communities to ports and waterways.”
Ms Trad accused the Newman Government of arrogantly ignoring the wishes of the majority so it could pander to the demands of powerful vested interest groups.
She said there had been no uranium extraction in Queensland since 1982. Any future State Labor government would move swiftly to reinstate the ban. “It remains our view that the risks and hazards inherent in uranium mining far outweigh the economic benefits,” Ms Trad said.
“Even if all known deposits of uranium were mined the expected royalties would only be around 1% of the state’s current royalty revenue.”Uranium mining simply doesn’t stack up on either economic or environmental grounds.”
Ms Trad will be on the Sunshine Coast as special guest at her party’s Sunshine Coast Hinterland branch forum on the environment and the Newman Government’s track record on green policy.
It will be held at Maleny Neighbourhood Centre on Saturday, September 27 at 2pm.
“Even if all known deposits of uranium were mined the expected royalties would only be around 1% of the State’s current royalty revenue,” she said.
“We are just a few steps away from having trucks and trains filled with uranium making their way through communities to ports and waterways.”
Ms Trad said there had been no uranium extraction in Queensland since 1982 and confirmed that a future State Labor Government would move swiftly to reinstate the ban” .
The 3 demands at the top of the IPA’s 75-strong wish list for a “better Australia” were the repeal of the carbon price, the abolition of the Department of Climate Change and clean energy funds.
Tony Abbott’s Year of Leading Dangerously, REneweconomy By Giles Parkinson on 8 September 2014 Just over a year ago, after it became clear that Tony Abbott’s Coalition would sweep to a federal election victory, the predominant thought among many in the clean energy and climate policy space was: Well, he won’t be that bad, will he?
Yes, he will, and he has been. As we noted in our pre-election summary on September 6 last year, there was every reason to believe that anAbbott government could be worse than people feared. And not it should be noted, by doing anything Abbott hadn’t already flagged, but by doing exactly what he said he would do.
Several months earlier, RenewEconomy flagged Five ways Abbott could kill renewables in Australia. They were: Kill the carbon price, the Clean Energy Finance Corp and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, make the renewable energy target unworkable, and disband the Climate Change Authority.
He has acted on all five. Here’s how he has progressed.
Can the carbon price. Tick.
Can or dilute the Renewable Energy Target, and make it unworkable. Tick. The Abbott government now has the recommendation it needs, from the controversial Warburton Review, now it just a matter of implementing them. The uncertainty in the industry has brought all large-scale investment to a halt.
Axe the Climate Change Authority. This was one of the government’s first acts. It hasn’t yet succeeded, but the CCA has been gutted by the departure of many key personal. It has been sidelined from the RET Review, and its key findings on climate policies and emissions targets are ignored by the government, and ipso facto by mainstream media.
Can the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. It’s still trying, with a vote to be presented to the Senate later this month. Funding has already been cut, but Abbott wants to cut all future funds and absorb the running of the committed projects back within a government department.
Can the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. It tried, but once again the Senate has stymied its attempts. Still, the CEFC can be directed where to direct its funds, and it is increasingly likely it will be given modified mandates to help out with the discredited Emissions Reduction Fund, the key plank of Direct Action policy.
A lot of what Abbott has sought to achieve in his first year was mandated by the Institute of Public Affairs, the conservative think tank that has become a voice for extreme right views and vested interests. Continue reading
This comes as pressure mounts on Labor to reach a “compromise” position on the issue. However, Labor appears unlikely to compromise its opposition to any change to the RET.
“The Abbott government shattered any notion of bipartisanship on the RET when it walked away from its election commitment to keep the existing 41,000 gigawatt hours by 2020 target,” said Mark Butler, Labor’s environment spokesman.
Guardian Australia understands that Pyne told a group of solar panel installers that he did not want to see any change to the RET, which requires that 41,000 gigawatt hours of Australia’s energy comes from renewable sources such as solar and wind by 2020.
Cabinet is divided over what to do with the RET, with Tony Abbott understood to favour its closure, while others, such as the environment minister, Greg Hunt, advocating that it be scaled back……
Analysis released by the Clean Energy Council on Monday showed that $15bn in investment would be lost if the RET was cut. The NSW economy would be worst off among the states, according to the analysis, losing $4bn, while Victoria would lose out on nearly $1bn. Queensland leads the way in terms of clean energy employment, with 4,600 jobs in solar power and more than 6,500 across the state’s renewable energy sector. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/08/government-retreats-on-renewable-energy-target-closure
The worry for the renewable energy industry is that Labor would be tempted to cut a deal: Its energy spokesman Gary Gray is no fan of renewables and once described himself, Macfarlane and former minister Martin Ferguson, another who wants the RET cut, as three peas in a pod.
Abbott reveals his true colours on renewables By Giles Parkinson, RenewEconomy 7 Sept 14,
If there was ever any doubt about the Abbott government’s antipathy to renewable energy, then a Senate report into the proposed abolition of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency mus surely put it to rest.
It has given a fascinating – and somewhat frightening – insight into the coalition government’s antipathy to renewable energy, and how it has thrown its support behind extreme right ideology against green energy.
The Abbott government keeps insisting that it is ‘pro-renewables’, a facile description it is hanging on to because it has not yet acted on the diabolical recommendations of the Warburton review of the renewable energy target.
But the government’s conclusions on the ARENA Senate committee shows it is anything but supportive. The coalition sided with two of the most committed anti-renewable lobbies in the country – the gas association and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. These were the only two submissions supported that the government’s move to abolish the agency, which will see all future funding stripped and current projects managed absorbed by the department.
The other 129 submissions supported retention of ARENA, Continue reading
“The RET is clearly delivering benefits for Australia, and Engineers Australia does not support moves to dilute or weaken its operation.
“Engineers are central players in delivering Australia’s energy infrastructure, and we stand by the need to create a long-term and sustainable energy sector in this country. Ongoing investment in renewables is a critical component of our energy security mix.
“Heavy reliance on fossil fuels creates a major vulnerability in our economy. If significant global action on greenhouse gas reductions occurs, the consequences for Australian energy exports and even Australia goods and services, due to their high carbon footprints, may be severe.
-“While we welcome strong public debate on this topic, we urge the government to stand by the RET in its current form. Engineers Australia believes that the RET should be retained to at least its present level,” said Dr Howe. -