Australian news, and some related international items

To Julia Gillard in Northern Territory – don’t dump nuclear waste here!

A message for the PM – Don’t dump on the NT, Environment Centre NT, 9 June 11,  Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s visit to the Northern Territory has sparked action over the Government’s plan to build Australia’s first national radioactive waste dump at Muckaty in the NT.

The Prime Minister will visit Charles Darwin University today as she attends the opening of a new science building with Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon.

“It’s fantastic that our Prime Minister Julia Gillard has come to the NT, it means we can tell her directly to her face- we don’t want a dump here and will fight this plan every step of the way.” said Cat Beaton, Nuclear free NT Campaigner from the Environment Centre NT.

The National Radioactive Waste Management Act will be debated in Senate sittings starting next week (June 14). The Bill, which names Muckaty as the only site under active consideration has been met with steady opposition from the NT Government, Traditional Owners, Unions, Church groups, Local Government Associations and medical and health associations.

“This dump is an insult to all Territorians. We are not the dumping ground for Canberra’s growing radioactive waste problems. Rather than recycling Liberal legislation, Ms Gillard needs to go back to Canberra and back to the drawing board on this issue.”





June 9, 2011 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

South Australia’s Legislative Council votes to protect Arkaroola from uranium mining

SA Upper House votes for permanent Arkaroola protection, Australian Conservation Foundation, 9 June 11, The SA Upper House has tonight passed a Greens motion calling on the SA Government to permanently protect the mountains of Arkaroola from mining.
This is the first time, after three previous attempts, that either chamber of the SA Parliament has voted in favour of protecting the iconic Arkaroola Wilderness sanctuary in the Northern Flinders Ranges.

Greens Parliamentary leader Mark Parnell, who moved the motion, said he was delighted it had passed.

“It’s clear that the Rann Government must now act to permanently protect this iconic part of South Australia.

“No longer can they ignore the overwhelming support in the South Australian community.  I strongly urge them to get on with the task,” he said. Continue reading

June 9, 2011 Posted by | politics, South Australia | | Leave a comment

Australia’s nuclear salesmen at Canadian “clean” energy talks

Australian scientists tops in international  talks about CLEAN ENERGY .  Sounds great, doesn’t it?   But what are these talks, and who are Australia’s scientific representatives?

Well, the (poorly attended) talks were in Canada, (another uranium producing country), and of Australia’s four representatives, two  look very like nuclear salesmen.

There’s Barry Brook, well known nuclear power enthusiast, and Robin Batterham, formerly of giant uranium mining company, Rio Tinto

Fortunately the other two have more believable credentials on clean energy.- Christina Macpherson

Aussie scientists dominate global energy talks ABC News By Sara Phillips, Jun 7, 2011 Australian scientists represent almost a quarter of invited guests at an international energy conference that aims to “reboot the global dialogue on energy”. The Equinox Summit 2030 in Waterloo, Canada has gathered 17 international experts in energy generation, storage and distribution to map a path to a clean energy future.

With the world in dire need of an alternative to fossil fuels to prevent further climate changing greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere, the race is on to develop and roll out cleaner technologies. Continue reading

June 9, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear | Leave a comment

Police charge student protestors at International Uranium Mining Conference

Four Students moved on from International Uranium Conference, Beyond Nuclear 8 June 11 Four university students were escorted by police from the Pan Pacific Hotel this morning after protesting at the International Uranium Mining Conference.

Dylan Lehmann (20), Amy Mowle (20), Alexandria Molony (19) and Elbert Rydall MacCurtin (22) were opposing the expansion of the nuclear and uranium mining industry in the wake of the Fukushima 1 disaster.

The students blocked the entrance to the registration of the conference bearing a banner stating, “Uranium Mining: Our Future for Short Term Profit. Are You Kidding?!”.

Group spokesperson Dylan Lehmann said, “We came here on behalf of the people who have had their lives destroyed by the nuclear and uranium mining industry, and on behalf of the environment which has been continually disregarded in the pursuit of toxic and contested industry.”…..

Hotel staff positioned themselves in front of the banner after the students refused to leave the premises.

After forty-five minutes, police arrived to remove the students from the building. They were issued with move on notices and summons to appear in court on charges of trespass.

The International Uranium Mining Conference is being held today and tomorrow to discuss the future prospects of the industry.

June 9, 2011 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear | | 2 Comments

Australia’s nuclear salesmen dream on, in secluded comfort in Perth hotel

In the safe and comfortable ambience of the Pan Pacific Hotel, Perth, the nuclear salesmen dream on.

Nuclear reactor by 2022, uranium body says, Sydney Morning Herald, Josh Jerga June 8, 2011 Australia should try to get its first electricity generating nuclear reactor up by 2022, despite the Fukushima nuclear plant accident in Japan, the head of the Australian Uranium Association says.

Michael Angwin, CEO of the AUA, told an International Uranium Conference in Perth on Wednesday he was puzzled why the country was debating a carbon price without talking about…….

June 9, 2011 Posted by | marketing for nuclear, Western Australia | Leave a comment

VIDEO: the human toll of Fukushima’s radiation fallout    VIDEO Japan’s radiation fallout ‘a monster you can’t see VIDEO (preceding ad is fun, too) World Blog Robert Bazell 8 June  “….as one gets closer to the reactor site, it’s easy to see how much human damage a radiation leak can cause.  As one engineer told me, “When nuclear reactors fail, they REALLY fail.”….. Levels in the air are two to 50 times the normal level. Radiation levels are high even in populous cities of 400,000 or more people – such as Koriyama and Fukushima City – each about 35 miles from the reactors. Most of the radiation escaped in the first few days of the accident and was deposited on the ground –in school yards, on people’s homes and in massive amounts in the farmlands that make up most of the area.  The government monitors the levels in the air at seven sites in Fukushima Prefecture, but radiation falls in particles, and a very high levels can remain in one place, while just a few feet away there’s very little.

No one knows what the long-term effects of the radiation will be. The health dangers of elevated but relatively low levels of radiation remains one of the biggest disputes in medicine. Residents worry about the effects on themselves, and on their children especially.  Farmers fear the crops they are planting this spring will never come to market after the fall harvest.  And everyone knows there is no end in sight to the crisis.  As Hideo Hanai, a cattle farmer, told me “It’s like being chased by a monster that you can’t see.”…

June 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Who runs Australia’s foreign uranium sales policy? Foreign Affairs Dept or Martin Ferguson?

From Australian parliament Estimates Transcripts | 8th June 2011 Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade  2 June 2011

Senator LUDLAM: Can you confirm for us that the Australian government policy still precludes uranium supply to countries that lie outside the NPT framework?

Dr Floyd: The current Australian government policy is that we do not. We must have a bilateral agreement for nuclear cooperation and one of the conditions of that is that they are a member of the non-proliferation treaty.

Senator LUDLAM: Has ASNO at any time supplied any advice to any Australian government minister or the Prime Minister on a bilateral nuclear deal with India?

Dr Floyd: No, we have not.

Senator LUDLAM: I understand that resources minister, Martin Ferguson, has told the United States embassy in Canberra that a deal to supply India with nuclear fuel could be reached in three to five years. But your office has not been approached to provide advice in that regard?

Mr Paterson: We have no comment in respect of any reports relating to another minister’s communication with an embassy.

June 9, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Legal challenge to Rio Tinto’s tactics in negotiations with Aboriginals

the clans of the Dhurili nation consider that their rights under Australian and traditional Aboriginal law have been breached, and that they have been improperly excluded from the negotiation process.

“Colonisation is still happening today, creating disharmony, by people ignoring due process.

RIO DIDN’T CONSULT US ABOUT MINING: NT TRADITIONAL LAND OWNERS, Australian Mining By Jessica Burke    8 June 2011, Mining giant Rio Tinto has been accused of failing to consult with several traditional land owners over a new lease agreement in the Northern Territory.

The Datiwuy, Golumala, Marrakula and Marranga clans, which make up the Dhurili nation may take legal action against the federal government and the Northern Land Council (NLC), the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

They plan to boycott the official ceremonial signing of the agreement between Rio Tinto and the traditional owners, set to take place in Arnhem Land today. Continue reading

June 9, 2011 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Navajo take uranium mining protest to Human Rights Commission

“I think we have very solid claims. It’s always been our client’s position that clean water is a human right.”

The United Nations also recognizes clean water as a human right,

Navajo Group to Take Uranium Mine Challenge to Human Rights Commission

 League of Individuals for the Environment 06 Jun 2011 

By APRIL REESE of Greenwire Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining, with the help of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, will submit a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights arguing that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s decision to grant Hydro Resources Inc., a license to mine uranium ore near Churchrock and Crown Point, N.M., is a violation of international laws. Continue reading

June 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment