Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s media marketing push – mining in 2010, nuclear in 2011

In 2010 a marketing media blitz managed to convince most of Australia that poor deprived mining corporations really needed our charity. Gina Rinehart and other poverty stricken notables all helped get the sympathy needed to ditch Kevin Rudd’s Super Profits Resources Tax. Indeed BHP, Rio Xstrata were emboldened to team up with rught-wing unionists and Labor men, to ditch Kevin Rudd himself.

Tomorrow, BHP will graciously announce something like a $20 billion profit, even though they thought they were to be so hard up. A nice return for short term investment – but not for Australia’s future as non-renewable resources boom takes precedence over our environment, and financial future in view of the coming climate change extremes.

If 2010 was the year of media marketing charity to poor mining corporations, 2011 looks like being the year of marketing the “nuclear debate” in the interests of those same corporations. Australians will be urged to forget about renewable energy – and concentrate on BHP’s need to export uranium to China, maybe to India. maybe Australia should set up a nuclear waste import industry.

Little however, is being said right now, as Martin Ferguson and the government arrange to dump radioactive wastes on the land of Aboriginals at Muckaty. But as soon as that hurdle is over ….. Christina Macpherson

February 15, 2011 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

USA seeks personal information from Twitter

the new tactic is an “attack on the right to freedom of association – a freedom that the people of Tunisia and Egypt, for example, spurred on by information from WikiLeaks, have found so valuable”…..There is serious concern among Mr Assange’s legal team that other internet companies, including Google and Facebook, may have buckled under the US Patriot Act and surrendered their information without contest.

US targets Twitter in bid to trap Assange, Sydney Morning Herald, Paola Totaro in London,February 15, 2011 The US government’s legal hunt for Julian Assange will begin in a magistrates court in Virginia today when its Attorney General seeks a disclosure order on Twitter to obtain the names, dates and locations of anyone using its services to communicate with WikiLeaks. Continue reading

February 15, 2011 Posted by | civil liberties, Wikileaks | | Leave a comment

The “nominally Australian” chief of the Big Non Australian BHP Billiton

Describing himself as ”only nominally Australian”, the South African-born Mr Kloppers expressed the belief that Rio’s new chairman, Jan du Plessis, also a South African, would be ”more amenable” to a potential deal with BHP

Kloppers ‘offered secrets to the US’, The Age, Philip Dorling, 15 Feb 2011, BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers fears espionage from China, his business competitors and partners, and even the Australian government, but is eager to trade secrets with the United States, according to a secret cable released by WikiLeaks…. Continue reading

February 15, 2011 Posted by | people | Leave a comment

Kloppers of BHP behind the scenes – Wiklileaks

Kloppers had asked US diplomats for insights on China’s intentions and said he would be willing to trade secrets in order to obtain that information

Drilling Kloppers   Business Spectator, Supratim Adhikari, 15 Feb 2011, “….WikiLeaks. According to leaked US diplomatic cable, Kloppers took personal credit for derailing the $23.9 billion tie-up between Rio Tinto and Chinalco, describing the move as a strategic victory for BHP. Continue reading

February 15, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | | Leave a comment

Nuclear regulator fired – too keen on safety

Keen’s name has since been added to a growing list of senior mandarins and heads of federal watchdog agencies who have either quit or been fired, ostensibly for arguing their cases too forcefully, or adopting a positions frowned upon by the Harper government…..

Former nuclear regulator named to Eastern Ontario health authority By pauline tam, Ottawa Citizen February 14, 2011 OTTAWA — Linda Keen, the former nuclear regulator who was fired from her job after running afoul of the Harper government, has been appointed to the board of Eastern Ontario’s health authority. Continue reading

February 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The need to refute nuclear marketing man Martin Ferguson

the issues raised by The Australian need to be addressed well before the National Conference (Dec 1-2).

Behind nuclear’s new face Climate Spectator, 14 Feb 2011 Julie Macken “……With Martin Ferguson calling for a nuclear power debate at the ALP National Conference and the Weekend Australian’s front page headline reading, “Nuclear power’s friendly new face,” it’s looking like the nuclear lobby has been busy. Of course that’s what lobby groups do – lobby. Except in this case the lobbying is being done by the Minister responsible for Australia’s renewable energy portfolio and the story in The Australian was written by a reporter, not a lobbyist. Continue reading

February 15, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Plutonium mix nuclear plant a British financial disaster

Though the annual loss is kept secret, the cable – passed to this newspaper by WikiLeaks – states that it is “costing taxpayers £90 million a year” It remains, it adds, “a black mark for the entire industry”.

So the nuclear plant does not work, loses £90 million a year, and could be a security risk? Let’s build another, say ministers A bomb factory in our back yard, – Telegraph, UK, 14 Feb 2011, The so-called Mox plant could well go rogue, Geoffrey Lean. How’s this for timing? A week ago The Daily Telegraph published a confidential cable from the US embassy calling a controversial plant at Sellafield “one of Her Majesty’s Government’s most embarrassing failures in British industrial history”. Then, within days, ministers said they were minded to build another one like it. Continue reading

February 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australian Labor Party in the grip of mining companies

The great evil of Native Title Act was that it pretended to legitimise ‘extinguishment’ of land rights for the great majority of Aboriginal people…….

The Trouble with Labor, Westender – Brisbane’s Oldest Independent, Online Newspaper. 15 Feb 2011, Tim Anderson sees trouble ahead for Australia, while we still cling to our illusions about the Labor Party The mining companies – at the centre of the Australian oligarchy – were the main beneficiaries of the East Asian boom, yet have refused to share the benefits. Nor have we demanded it of them. This issue, of course, was behind the coup against Kevin Rudd…. Continue reading

February 15, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Mining companies’ victory over Australian Government

The stunning victory by the mining houses over the federal government was a victory of renters over owners, and a triumph of misinformation and emotion over logic……..It is worth remembering, too, that some of our richest mines are directly and discretely owned by foreign companies.

An opportunity missed on mining super tax, Sydney Morning Herald, Ian Verrender, February 15, 2011 “…..the most extraordinary transfer of wealth in the nation’s history is taking place right under our noses……Tomorrow BHP Billiton will deliver one of the biggest half-year earnings results in Australian and British history. Continue reading

February 15, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Freedom of speech activists claim to have details of Stuxnet computer worm

“Anonymous” claims to have Stuxnet access Online activists say they have details of worm that delayed Iran’s nuclear programme Josh Halliday ,,   14 February 2011 The “hacktivist” group Anonymous claims to have access to the sophisticated computer virus reportedly developed as a joint Israeli-US cyber attack against Iran‘s nuclear facilities. Continue reading

February 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

BHP’s record of safety failures in Australia

In June last year, BHP was fined more than $75,000 over the death of a worker at Olympic Dam, after it ignored its own safety rules….In 2008-9, five people died at BHP’s West Australian iron ore operations and another in 2009-10 at a WA nickel mine.

BHP may face safety charge Matt Chambers   The Australian * February 15, 2011 BHP Billiton could be charged over a 2009 Olympic Dam mine accident Continue reading

February 15, 2011 Posted by | safety, South Australia | | Leave a comment

Paladin uranium miner – net loss $29.5 million

Paladin posts $29.5m net loss, Sydney Morning Herald, February 15, 2011 – Paladin Energy has increased its first half net loss by 55 per cent to $US29.5 million ($29.5 million) as the uranium producer revised down its production forecast….

February 15, 2011 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment