NUCLEAR POWER and CIVIL LIBERTIES – theme for February 2011 In a nuclear power state, it becomes necessary and prudent to curtail civil liberties. Australia is already not crash hot on civil liberties. Further down this page, some examples of how the nuclear industry has already impinged on the civil rights of Australians
Australia could be heading for serious restrictions on civil liberties. The reaction to Wikileaks, of the Australian Government is the latest case in point. USA is hunting Julian Assange down, his life is in danger, yet Assange has broken no USA nor Australian law. Rather than supporting this Australian citizen, the Prime Minister has stated that Assange is acting illegally, and some parliamentarians call for his Australian passport to be revoked
Over the past few years, there have been some disturbing cases of the Australian goverment’s disregard of civil liberties, though these cases were mainly under the Howard government. There was the defamation of Dr Haneef, the innocent Guantanamo detainee, Mamdouh Habib, the poor treatment of David Hicks, and most notoriously, John Howard’s lie about the refugees “throwing their chidren overboard”.
For decades, Australia’s spy agency collected data on anti-nuclear protestors. Journalist Wilfred Burchett was virtually persecuted for publicising information about events in South East Asia, and about the radiation effects of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom bombings.
Civil liberties in relation to nuclear industry. Well, No 1 here has been the secrecy which has historically surrounded all things nuclear and uranium in Australia. The public, even the Government ministers, don’t know what goes on at Pine Gap, nor what is planned for Western Australia’s new US military base.
Historically there has been, and continues to be, secrecy surrounded British atomic bomb tests in Maralinga, and Pacific Islands.
More recently – there’s secrecy about facts on BHP’s plans to just leave leaking radioactive wastes for the tax-payer, who already subsidises Olympic Dam uranium mine. – more about secrecy at secrets and lies « Antinuclear
Civil liberties and ANSTO’s Lucas Heights nuclear reactor Dave Sweeney takes a look behind the razor wire and the secrecy surrounding Australia’s main nuclear facility..………….How can a government commit to Australia’s largest ever capital expenditure on science and technology without first consulting the nation’s scientific community and agencies? How can a political decision to build a new nuclear reactor in a growth corridor of the nation’s largest city be made ahead of any siting study, environmental impact statement or needs analysis? How can ANSTO–described in a Senate review of the reactor plan as an organisation with a deep culture of secrecy–be made more accountable? How was the deliberate misrepresentation by reactor proponents that people’s access to nuclear medicine was dependent on the construction of OPAL allowed? Habitat Australia | Find Articles at BNET
Civil liberties and the nuclear fuel cycle
Is nuclear power part of Australia’s global warming solutions?, Ian Lowe, …….The growing problem of terrorism makes the situation even more acute. The willingness of desperate people to engage in acts of gratuitous violence makes it imperative to protect the nuclear fuel cycle in military fashion. This adds both to the economic costs of nuclear power and the social costs of embracing the technology. Embracing the nuclear fuel cycle would both increase insecurity and justify further erosion of our shrinking civil liberties.
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