Australian news, and some related international items

Australian Nuclear science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) not honest about cyclotrons

text-exposing-liesMedical isotope production in Australia: Should we be using reactor based or cyclotron technology? 15th January 2016  Dr Margaret Beavis MBBS FRACGP MPH Medical Association for Prevention of War, Australia Health Professionals Promoting Peace 
“…………It is interesting to note that the current ANSTO web page states:
“A recent report (2010) from the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency indicates that non-reactor technologies for Mo-99 production are still decades away from fruition, and expresses strong doubts as to whether they could ever substitute for reactor technologies. A 2010 13 accessed 13/1/2016 14 accessed 13/1/2016 10 article in the European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging comes to the same conclusion”.
 Clearly in 2016 this is not the case. It is surprising and concerning that the enormous and very well publicised technological advances made in Canada are not acknowledged. It is important that ANSTO provides up to date and balanced information to government and the public, so that it is not perceived as behaving like a vested interest. 
The research and development of cyclotron production of isotopes has created a significant manufacturing export opening for Canada. There may be an opportunity for the Australian government to partner with the Canadian research, and develop a manufacturing /export based industry in Australia.
Conclusion  Australia’s proposal to increase production of isotopes at the OPAL Lucas Heights reactor comes at a turning point in the technology. We have a choice as to whether we continue reactor manufacture, or develop cyclotron capacity in Australia.

Continue reading

January 21, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Mongolia secret [but failed] nuclear waste deal – a model for Australia?

This article relates to Mongolia, but the principles would also apply to Australia, on the basis that anywhere will do. The waste in question is not only Japanese waste, but also waste produced in nuclear power plants exported by Toshiba/Westinghouse

secret-agent-Smwhile ostensibly the negotiations were between the three governments, the plans for the deal were drawn up by the U.S. and Toshiba with the aim of selling nuclear power plants to emerging economies under a scheme called Comprehensive Fuel Service.

According to this scheme, vendors assure potential customers that they will handle any future nuclear secret-dealswaste produced by power plants the customers buy, which is why Mongolia’s acceptance of such waste is so important. Due to local resistance, neither the U.S. nor Japan has anywhere to dump spent fuel, even their own.

The reason Yamada became so interested in this topic years after the fact is that in the meantime, Toshiba has been caught up in financial scandals that have brought the company to its knees, and he wanted to explore the connection between Toshiba’s nuclear energy business and its fiscal woes.

the U.S., desperate to find a friendly country to accept nuclear waste, was pushing Japan to make a deal with Mongolia.

The elephant in the room for Toshiba is nuclear

Japanese press outlets often cover scoops from competing outlets, but it’s rare to build on a competitor’s story with original reporting, especially when the scoop is a few years old. In December, the weekly magazine Aera, which is affiliated with the Asahi Shimbun, ran an article about a secret meeting that took place between representatives of Japan, Mongolia and the United States almost five years ago. This meeting was first reported by Haruyuki Aikawa in the May 9, 2011, issue of the Mainichi Shimbun.

What interested Aera reporter Atsushi Yamada about the article was Aikawa’s assertion that Toshiba Corp. was on hand for the negotiations. Continue reading

January 19, 2016 Posted by | secrets and lies, wastes | Leave a comment

National waste dump is NOT NEEDED for medical nuclear wastes

nuclear-medicineIs Australia becoming the world’s nuclear waste dump by stealth?  December 2, 2015 -Dr Margaret Beavis 

When it comes to justifying new nuclear waste storage, a lot has been said about it being essential for medical diagnostics and cancer treatment. This is misleading. It blurs two distinct components of nuclear medicine – the production of isotopes and the use of isotopes.

Australia’s medical use of isotopes creates very little waste. In contrast, reactor production of isotopes generates considerable amounts, and ANSTO (the Australian national nuclear research and development organisation) is very quietly proposing to dramatically increase production to supply 30 per cent of the world market. This will significantly increase Australia’s nuclear waste problems.

On the “use” side, the vast majority of isotopes used for medical tests are very short-lived. They decay on the medical facilities’ premises until their radioactivity is negligible. They can then be disposed of in the normal waste stream (sewers, landfill etc) according to set standards. There is no need for a new nuclear waste facility for these isotopes. Most cancer radiotherapy uses X-rays, which does not produce any waste at all. A very small proportion of cancer treatments need radioactive materials, which also are too short-lived to require a remote repository, or are legally required to be sent back to the (overseas) supplier once used up. There is a very small amount of legacy radium relating to cancer therapy in the past, however, this has not been used in Australia since 1975.

On the other hand, using a nuclear reactor to manufacture radio isotopes creates a significant amount of intermediate and low-level waste. ANSTO has recently unilaterally decided it will dramatically increase its production of medical isotopes at the Lucas Heights reactor to supply 30 per cent of the world’s needs. This business decision assumes it will not have to pay for the disposal of the waste produced, even though it will need securing for many thousands of years.

This decision ignores the reality of technology that enables isotopes to now be produced using accelerators and cyclotrons; i.e. without using a reactor and without generating large quantities of radioactive waste. This is fast approaching commercial scale and economic viability. ANSTO’s decision contrasts with that of the Canadian nuclear authorities, who have for some years been actively phasing out reactor production, and pouring money into developing non-reactor technologies.

Canada, the world’s single largest producer of medical isotopes, independently reviewed its nuclear industry in 2009 and decided not to build a new reactor. Several reasons stood out: investment in reactor production of medical isotopes would crowd out investment in innovative alternative production technologies both domestically and internationally, Canada did not want to continue being the radioactive waste site for other countries’ nuclear medicine industries, it created supply vulnerabilities, and at no stage was it commercially viable without massive taxpayer subsidies.

The ANSTO decision represents vested interests entrenching a reactor-based model and crowding out development of other options. In many ways it is like the coal industry boosting production to stop wind and solar development. Like coal, the business model relies on not being responsible (financially or socially) for the waste it leaves behind.

We urgently need an open conversation about whether we want to pick up the world’s waste tab when it comes to producing medical isotopes. This is a policy choice that will leave Australia storing waste from isotopes produced for international markets. The market price for these isotopes does not factor in the price of storing this waste, which falls to the taxpayer and the community unlucky enough to be landed with it. It is taking Australia down a path that Canada has rejected.

The bottom line is that storage of nuclear waste from reactors is difficult, requiring long-term isolation and security.

We need transparent, informed and clear discussion of what our choices are. We have an obligation to future generations to minimise the waste we produce. There needs to be a considered and open debate about where existing waste is most safely stored in Australia. And it needs to be absolutely clear to ANSTO that we do not want to be left holding the world’s radioactive waste by default.

The Australian community is far from convinced about taking on more radioactive material on behalf of the international community. ANSTO needs to be much more explicit about what it is planning. As a government-owned entity it has a responsibility to be upfront and consult with the community.

When it comes to such long-term decisions about radioactive materials, sleight of hand is not good enough.

Margaret Beavis is a GP and national president of the Medical Association for Prevention of War.

December 2, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, reference, secrets and lies, wastes | Leave a comment


radioactive trashThe French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) has revealed to Greenpeace that the waste has been classified as high-level (long-life) waste according to standards set by ANDRA, the French national radioactive waste management agency. High-level waste is ANDRA’s most severe nuclear waste classification.

Areva documents have also confirmed that the waste still contains low quantities of plutonium.

The nuclear waste is due to be unloaded off the BBC Shanghai at Port Kembla in southern radiation-truckSydney in the early hours of Sunday, 6 December. It will then be transported to Lucas Heights by road for interim storage.
ship radiationSydney, 2 December 2015 – Nuclear waste returning to Australia this weekend by ship from France has been classified as high-level waste by French authorities, contradicting Australia’s claims over its radioactivity, a Greenpeace report has found.
Greenpeace’s investigation also found the waste still contains quantities of plutonium – highly toxic even in small quantities – despite reprocessing by French state-owned nuclear company, Areva.

“The Australian government is downplaying the danger of this shipment, saying it is liar-nuclear1intermediate-level waste that isn’t harmful unless mismanaged. But we know it contains plutonium and is classified as high-level waste by the French authorities,” said Emma Gibson, Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s Head of Programs. Continue reading

December 2, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies, wastes | Leave a comment

Australian govt to pay 4 times land value for nuclear dump site, plus #10 million to local community

Bribery 1

Sallys Flat should be removed from nuclear waste shortlist, residents say, ABC News 13 Nov 15  By Joanna Woodburn, “……The Government says it needs to build a facility to store the low and intermediate nuclear waste that’s been accumulating in at hospitals, universities and at the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in Sydney.

Landowners were asked to volunteer their land, with the government offering to buy it at four times the market value. Local communities are being offered $10 million for local projects.”…

November 13, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Exposing Michels Warren and Nuclear Waste Dumping in South Australia

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINNuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission WEEK 11 – MANAGEMENT, highly-recommendedSTORAGE AND DISPOSAL OF NUCLEAR AND RADIOACTIVE WASTE, Jim3 17 Sept 11115 

Michels Warren is a PR company working for the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission. The company was involved in the Howard government’s failed 6-year attempt to impose a national nuclear waste dump in South Australia. A great deal of information is available about the role of Michels Warren in this controversy thanks to documents released under Freedom of Information (FoI) legislation.

A September 27, 2000 email written by Stephen Middleton from Michels Warren talked about the need text shillto “soften up the community” and “sell” the repository: “We will lose ground once again unless we can soften up the community on the need for the repository and the reasons why SA has been identified as the best location. The prospect of the Minister announcing the preferred site before we can get to the community with something that explains what it all means makes my head spin. The wider research into issues such as Lucas Heights, uranium mining, the nuclear fuel cycle etc etc can be tackled as a separate issue. It should not hold up anything we are doing in terms of selling the repository to South Australians. The rest of the country probably doesn’t care less about the repository, but it is a big issue in SA. Further delays could be potentially disastrous.”

Why was a South Australian company willingly involving itself in the federal government’s nuclear dump plans? After all, Michels Warren itself acknowledges that the dump is an unwanted imposition on SA.

A 2003 Michels Warren document released under FoI legislation stated: “The National Repository could never be sold as “good news” to South Australians. There are few, if any, tangible benefits such as jobs, investment or improved infrastructure. Its merits to South Australians, at the most, are intangible and the range and complexity of issues make them difficult to communicate.”

So why was Michels Warren dumping on its home state? Money, of course. In total, Michels Warren was paid at least $487,000 to dump on SA … and possibly much more. Michels Warren staff were paid at rates up to $192.50 per hour for their work on the nuclear dump campaign.


An August 16, 2000 “high priority” email reveals that Caroline Perkins, a senior official in the secret-agent-AustDepartment of Industry, Science and Resources – at that time under the direction of Senator Nick Minchin – was asked to compile information on protesters. “[T[he minister wants a short biography of our main opponents in the Ivy campaign by about 11am our time (pre-rally)”, the email said. The rest of the email is blacked out under FoI provisions. The email refers to a Michels Warren employee – no doubt Michels Warren helped compile the biographies. Continue reading

September 18, 2015 Posted by | secrets and lies, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australian mining companies’ shameful record in Africa

Australia sells itself as a nation that can teach the world about responsible mining – Afghanistan is one willing student – but the record suggests our corporations have a callous disregard for the rights of civilians.

Why is it left to US NGOs to expose Australian mining’s wrongdoing in Africa? , Guardian , 27 july 15

There are hundreds of Australian mining companies working in Africa, but just one full-time Australian journalist. What does that mean for accountability? Australian miners are making a killing overseas. With little regulation or oversight, billions of dollars are being made in some of the most remote places on Earth.

The necessity of partnering with autocratic regimes has proved no impediment to investment. Human rights have been breached. Victims are largely invisible.

None of this should be surprising. If Australian companies operating internationally are mentioned in the media, it appears in the business pages and discusses the strengths of a CEO or share price. Rio Tinto, for example, receives largely uncritical coverage despite in the 1980s the corporation facing serious allegations of human rights abuses around the world, including in Papua New Guinea.

Two American non-profit media organisations, the Centre for Public Integrity and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, recently bucked the trend and released a stunning report, Fatal Extraction, on Australian mining companies working in Africa (in which no allegations were made against Rio Tinto). How revealing that this research was led from America and not Australia itself.

The findings of the report, produced in collaboration with African journalists on the ground, were shocking.

From the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Malawi, grim details of death, maiming and police and army brutality were revealed. Continue reading

July 29, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Barry Brook should be removed from the South Australian Nuclear Royal Commission

Brook,-Barry-glowsSo that’s the game plan − making absurd claims about Generation IV reactors, pretending that they are near-term prospects, and being less than “abundantly clear” about the truth. Time for these people to be held to account and for Brook to be removed from the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission’s ‘expert panel’.

Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce was forewarned about Brook’s track record of peddling scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINmisinformation but still chose to include Brook in his ‘expert panel’.

On the troubled worldwide history with fast reactors, see the report by the International Panel on Fissile Materials.

Barry Brook being less than “abundantly clear” about Generation IV reactors  Jim Green, June 2015, An 18 June 2015 guest post on Barry Brook’s website claims that Generation IV fast neutron reactors will be mass produced and “dominating the market by about 2030.”

Compare that Big Fat Lie with the following:

  1. The Generation IV International Forum states: “Depending on their respective degree of technical maturity, the FIRST Generation IV systems are expected to be deployed commercially around 2030-2040.” (emphasis added)
  2. The International Atomic Energy Agency states: “Experts expect that the FIRST Generation IV fast reactor DEMONSTRATION PLANTS AND PROTOTYPES will be in operation by 2030 to 2040.” (emphases added)
  3. A 2015 report by the French government’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) states: “There is still much R&D to be done to develop the Generation IV nuclear reactors, as well as for the fuel cycle and the associated waste management which depends on the system chosen.”

IRSN is also sceptical about safety claims: “At the present stage of development, IRSN does not notice evidence that leads to conclude that the systems under review are likely to offer a significantly improved level of safety compared with Generation III reactors, except perhaps for the VHTR …” Moreover the VHTR (very high temperature reactor) system could bring about significant safety improvements “but only by significantly limiting unit power”.

  1. The World Nuclear Association noted in 2009 that “progress is seen as slow, and several potential [Generation IV] designs have been undergoing evaluation on paper for many years.”

Continue reading

June 21, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Nuclear Royal Commission, secrets and lies, South Australia | Leave a comment

Institute of Public Affairs uses Australian tax breaks to push Climate Sceptic agenda

logo-IPA-wolfIPA uses Australian tax breaks to help fund U.S. climate skeptic’s libel defence Independent Australia   DeSmog Blog 16 May 2015 Environment charities like the ACF face having their Deductible Gift Recipient status stripped by the Abbott government, yet corporate mouthpiece, IPA, keep theirs to help fund U.S. climate skeptic Mark Steyn’s libel suit. Graham Readfearn fromDeSmogBlog reports.

WHEN THE facts on climate change become inconvenient or they start to rub your ideology or vested interest up the wrong way, then there are really only two options available.

Option one is to change your mind. Option two is to try and change, distort, misrepresent or just outright ignore the flood of scientific studies over decades showing the serious impacts of loading the biosphere with fossil fuel emissions.

Mark Steyn is a prominent conservative polemicist and writer in the United States and Canada who has chosen option two.

Australian “free market” think-tank The Institute of Public Affairs chose option two in the late 1980s and has stuck with it since.

Now a climate misinformation book produced by the IPA and paid for with the help of tax breaks in Australia is seemingly helping to finance Steyn in a high profile libel case.

So there are two stories to tell here – one about the libel case and the other about the book. The two meet up at the end……..

Changing Facts

The IPA keeps its funders a secret, although its supporters are known to include billionaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart and at least one major tobacco company.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the country’s Treasurer Joe Hockey, News Corporation head Rupert Murdoch are all big fans.

The IPA holds Deductible Gift Recipient status with Australia’s tax office, which means that anyone giving money to the think tank for certain prescribed activities, such as research, can claim a tax break on their donation.

Last year, the IPA started fundraising to produce a book called “Climate Change: The Facts” which, when you glance at the list of contributors, should have its semi-colon shifted forward to better reflect the contents.  It should really be Climate: Change The Facts.

The IPA decided it would use its DGR status to encourage people to donate cash towards producing the book, which the IPA said would cost about $175,000.

As I wrote on DeSmog last year, this meant Australia’s tax revenue would be a tiny bit reduced so a bunch of climate science deniers could spout their usual conspiratorial mush.

Mark Steyn, who has previously toured Australia thanks to the IPA, was one contributor. He has said the book will help “push back against the climate mullahs”………

On sale

The book has been produced and is now on sale internationally.

But according to retailers Amazon and Kobo, the book’s publisher is not the IPA but “Stockade Books” – a venture that’s actually owned by Mark Steyn. ……..,7715

May 16, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

A “corrupt process” brought proposal for Bjørn Lomborg Consensus Centre

sea level flat earthBjørn Lomborg centre earmarked for UWA in ‘corrupt process’, says Labor MP

Alannah MacTiernan says proposal to fund centre at the University of Western Australia came ‘directly from the prime minister’s office’ A research centre linked to controversial Danish academic Bjørn Lomborg was earmarked for the University of Western Australia through a “corrupt” process initiated by the prime minister’s office, parliament has been told.

The university backed out of the proposal, which was to have been funded by the federal government, after protests by staff and students.The West Australian Labor MP Alannah MacTiernan said on Tuesday that science has been the big loser under the Abbott government.

She said it was curious that the government had found $4m for the Australian Consensus Centre, a think tank which had at its heart a commitment to cherry-pick the scientific evidence which argued against urgent action on climate change.

MacTiernan said the education minister Christopher Pyne says the decision to fund the centre at UWA followed a proposal put forward by the university and Lomborg, but vice-chancellor Paul Johnson said the proposal was not initiated by the university.

The proposal arose out of discussions between Lomborg and the government, MacTiernan said. “It seems the offer came directly from the prime minister’s office and came to UWA only after the Australian Catholic University had rejected it,” she said.

“Extraordinarily, this special research initiative didn’t come through the Australian Research Council or any peer review.” It was a “corrupt process”, she said.

May 13, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies, Western 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

Govt secretive about 4 sites volunteered in South Australia for nuclear waste storage

secret-agent-AustRemote sites in South Australia offered for nuclear dump , THE AUSTRALIAN, 9 May 15   Up to four sites in South Australia’s far north have been put forward as potential radioactive waste dumps.

The federal government, however, is officially remaining tight-lipped about the response to its call in March for voluntary site nominations for a national radioactive waste facility, which closed on Tuesday.Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane’s office refused yesterday to say how many nominations had been received or where they had originated.

“There won’t be details or a breakdown of nominated sites released­ at this early stage,” a spokeswoman said. “Information about shortlisted sites will be released after an initial assessment period and after consideration by the minister. That is expected to be completed around July.”

A preferred site is not expected to be identified until at least the middle of next year.

This week the government released a request for tender on Austender, seeking expressions of interest from “suitable companies to undertake the necessary site characterisation work”.

The request also seeks the successful tenderer to assist in the “development of a detailed business case which will inform the government’s decision as to whether to proceed with the project and its cost”.

Federal Liberal MP Rowan Ramsey said his vast electorate of Grey, in South Australia’s far north, was anRamsey,-Rowan-nuclear ideal site for a radioactive waste dump as it was remote, sparsely populated and geologically stable. He said he had tried to nominate his own 2400ha farm, but was asked not to by Mr Macfarlane because of concerns of a potential conflict of interest.

“But as a consequence my understanding is there have been a number of other properties nominated in my community. I’ve encouraged people right across the board to nominate,” Mr Ramsey said. “I understand as many as four sites have been nominated in my electorate.”

The search for a site intensified last year after the federal government failed to convince a Northern Territory community to build a facility on its land.

This comes as South Australia’s royal commission into an expansion of the state’s role in the nuclear cycle picks up pace. Among other issues, the commission will examine whether to store international radioactive waste……..

May 9, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

A warning about paid trolls on social media

a-cat-CANAlready, trolls on Twitter have been running a scurrilous campaign against Dr Helen Caldicott. I believe that these Twitter trolls are Australia, and not connected with NASA or similar organisations. Their abusive tweets are so sill and insulting that I doubt that a serious agency would use them.
However, Australian should wake up to the increasing use of social  media by pro thorium nuclear shills.
it is not difficult to see how dangerous it is to have secret government agencies being able to target any individuals they want – who have never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crimes – with these sorts of online, deception-based tactics of reputation destruction and disruption
troll-nuclearInternet Trolls May be Trained Government Agents According to Leaked Document Health Impact News Editor, 3 May 15  Glenn Greenwald, a journalist, constitutional lawyer, commentator, and author of three New York Times best-selling books on politics and law, has been working with NBC News in publishing a series of articles on how covert government agents infiltrate the Internet to “manipulate, deceive, and destroy reputations.”

The information is based on documents leaked by National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden. Greenwald’s article, How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations, is based on four classified documents produced by the British spy agency GCHQ, and presented to the NSA and three other English speaking agencies reportedly part of “The Five Eyes Alliance.”

In this shocking piece, Greenwald publishes a copy of a spy training manual used entitled: “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.” Greenwald writes that agencies like the NSA are “attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.” Greenwald writes: Continue reading

May 4, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australia’s energy and mining companies in $60 billion tax avoidance?

dollar 2Energy company’s $11 billion transfer to Singapore rings tax avoidance alarm bells, The Age, April 4, 2015 –  Political reporter An energy company operating in Australia transferred more than $11 billion to the low-tax jurisdiction of Singapore in a single year, heightening concerns that Australia is being duped by tax-minimising multinationals.

The extraordinary scale of funds being moved out of the country by individual companies is revealed in an internal Australian Tax Office memo, obtained under Freedom of Information.

It lists 10 companies that channelled a combined $31.4 billion from Australia to Singapore in the 2011-2012 financial year.

An estimated $60 billion in so-called “related parties” transactions went from Australia to tax havens in the same year.

Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan and a number of his senior colleagues have recently flagged concerns about cross-border transfers and intra-company refinancing and the potential that they are linked to tax avoidance.

The Tax Office is particularly concerned about mining and energy companies extracting Australian minerals which have established “marketing hubs” in Singapore that appear to have little use other than as a destination for shifted profits. Continue reading

April 4, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Corruption investigation does not stop Western Australia from approving Kintyre uranium mine

briberyWA uranium mine approved despite looming corruption investigation, WA Today  March  6 Steve Holland WA Environment Minister Albert Jacob approved a controversial uranium mine proposal on Thursday despite a looming investigation into the dealings of representatives of the traditional owners of the land.

Cameco Australia, in a joint venture project with Mitsubishi Development, acquired the Kintyre uranium deposit in WA’s remote Pilbara region in 2008 and the final stages of approval are edging closer.

But dealings of the representatives of the local Martu people, including the business practices of the Western Desert Lands Aboriginal Corporation, are currently under investigation by the Office of Regional Indigenous Corporations, or ORIC. Continue reading

March 7, 2015 Posted by | secrets and lies, Western Australia | Leave a comment


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