Australian news, and some related international items

Australia will abide by court decision on nuclear waste dump – Prime Minister Gillard

Gillard heckled on last day of NT visit
 ABC News 10 June 11, By Michael Coggan
  “…..Ms Gillard says she thinks the intervention, which is approaching its fourth anniversary and involves measures such as child health checks and extra police, is working.

But arriving at Charles Darwin University to open a new $28 million medical training school, she was heckled by protesters who called for an end to the intervention and voiced opposition to a proposed nuclear waste dump near Tennant Creek……The Prime Minister also fended off protests about Federal Government plans to build a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station near Tennant Creek……

“I understand there is disputation about who the traditional owners are. We of course followed the advice of the Northern Land Council, which is the appropriate process for us to follow, but this matter is now before courts and of course we will abide by any decision that comes from those court proceedings.”

June 10, 2011 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal | Leave a comment

Australian Greens point out the long term value of renewable energy incentives

“The commission has, however, fallen into the trap of only measuring the effectiveness of policies in terms of how much they cut pollution in the short term, ignoring the fact that many of these are very effective industry development policies designed to transform the economy over the long term.”

The Greens are determined to ensure that, alongside a price on pollution, we put in place well-designed policies and funding streams to create a flourishing industry and start building here in Australia the kind of industrial-scale baseload solar power stations that are operational right now in Europe and America.

Party keeps renewable rebates on agenda, THE AUSTRALIAN, Sid Maher and Joe Kelly , June 10, 2011  THE Greens vow to push on with demands for renewable energy subsidies, despite the Productivity Commission finding they have raised the cost of emissions reductions for little gain. Continue reading

June 10, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Australia’s big polluters lobby against renewable energy schemes

End renewable schemes now: big emitters, THE AUSTRALIAN, Graham Lloyd, June 11, 2011 AUSTRALIA’S biggest carbon emitters have called for the immediate withdrawal of commonwealth and state renewable energy programs that the Productivity Commission has found cost billions of dollars for little result.

States that refused to wind back generous rooftop solar and other programs should be denied Grants Commission funds or GST payments, the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network said. The AIGN, which represents industries responsible for more than 90 per cent of Australia’s carbon emissions in mining, manufacturing and energy production, has lobbied the federal government’s multi-party climate change committee for reform.

“It may be that punitive action needs to be taken through a reduced distribution of Grants Commission funds or GST revenues to states that fail to make the required reforms to existing programs or continue to adopt new ones,” the AIGN says in a letter to the multi-party committee…….

A Greens spokesman said the party was keen for complementary measures, but it had always been critical of the ad hoc approach. The Greens have said the state-based feed-in tariffs have been very poorly designed and they wanted to see a carbon price…

June 10, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | | Leave a comment

Natural gas has a role in climate change action

Natural Gas Green Role : Andy Soos, Environmental News Network  June 10, 2011
Some people believe that all energy related problems can be resolved with renewable sources such as solar power or wind power. Maybe in the long term future this will be so. However, in the short term what is the best option for those fuels (energy sources) that we have? MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) has issued a report that states that natural gas will play a leading role in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions over the next several decades, largely by replacing older, inefficient coal plants with highly efficient combined-cycle gas generation. That’s the conclusion reached by a comprehensive study of the future of natural gas conducted by an MIT study group comprised of 30 MIT faculty members, researchers, and graduate students. The findings, summarized in an 83-page report, were presented to lawmakers and senior administration officials this week in Washington. The two-year study, managed by the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), examined the scale of U.S. natural gas reserves and the potential of this fuel to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Based on the work of the multidisciplinary team, with advice from a board of 16 leaders from industry, government and environmental groups, the report examines the future of natural gas through 2050 from the perspectives of technology, economics, politics, national security and the environment……

June 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Time that Australia dumped its Nuclear Energy Minister, Martin Ferguson

Today’s Age -( print edition, but not online?)  tells us “Australians turning away from nuclear power, but minister still going fission” – by Ellen Coulter bottom of page 13 of course – but still it’s in there. The main drift:

A Lowy Institute report will show that now only 35% of Australian s are willing to consider nuclear power.  A clear slide in public support for nuclear.

Meanwhile, Martin Ferguson predicts  that the Fukushima disaster will produce the outcome of better safety standards. (sounds almost glad – like – Fukushima is going to cause safer nukes, hooray!)  Even Rio Tinto uranium expert Andy Lloyd said that Fukushima had affected uranium prices, and warned thatnuranium is a “volatile” commodity.

Martin Ferguson is supposed to be Australia’s Minister for Energy –  not just nuclear energy. He is also not Australia’s Foreign Minister.   Yet at every turn, ferguson sabotages Australia’s chance to develop Renewable Energy. And, he pronounces on Australia’s relationship with india –  indeed Ferguson purports to know more about selling uranium to India than does our real Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd.

Even in Ferguson’s advocacy of the nuclear industry – he is leading WesternnAustralians up the garden path – promising a great booming prosperity with uranium mining –  at a time when it is becoming obvious that the uranium mining industry is in  a state of collapse – Christina Macpherson


June 10, 2011 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Australia’s mining industry to promote itself again with $multimillion advertising

Miners dig in to improve image,The Age Clare Kermond, Lucy Battersby.June 10, 2011 THE mining sector is ramping up its new multimillion-dollar marketing campaign, expected to run for the next three years, aimed at improving the industry’s public image. A second wave of ads about the industry’s contribution to the nation is due for release soon, with three already in rotation….

June 10, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, marketing for nuclear | Leave a comment

WA debate on nuclear energy

Debate: Is Nuclear Energy Essential in a Low Carbon Future? O2  Western Australia 9 June 11 Yesterday evening we went to the debate in The Grove library with Michael Angwin, CEO Australian Uranium Association vs Scott Ludlam, Australian Greens Senator for WA

It was very interesting and the room was full of people who listened to both parties and afterwards there were questions. The answers by Mr. Angwin were often longwinded without giving an answer to the question while Mr. Ludlum was pretty clear in his view and seem to know far more about it. He was very clear on the problems of nuclear energy; nuclear waste disposal, uranium mining and radiation to name a few.

Nuclear reactor by 2022, uranium body says 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 energy choices.

WA Government blows one million on dangerous, dead-end uranium industryThe Barnett Government’s costly support for uranium mining in Western Australia will leave the state littered with long-term environmental disasters, the Greens warned today.

Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said the ongoing problems plaguing Ranger mine in the Northern Territory and the decades-long multi-million dollar clean up of the defunct Rum Jungle mine illustrated the danger of uranium mining.
“Just last week it was revealed another seven million dollars will be spent just assessing how best to clean up the radioactive mess at Rum Jungle, and this is not the first time authorities have tried to rehabilitate the site since it closed 40 years ago,” he said ..

June 10, 2011 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Japan may evacuate more towns, Fukushima kids to wear radiation monitor badges

 delivered basic radiation monitoring devices to all 8,000 children in its schools. The children will wear badge-type dosimeters

Japan Considers Evacuating More Towns WSJ By YUKA HAYASHI, 9 June 11 TOKYO—Japanese government officials said they are considering evacuating more towns affected by radiation, after recent monitoring data showed new “hot spots” of elevated contamination farther away from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Continue reading

June 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bad news for uranium shareholders

Paladin reacts to share price drop SMH, June 10, 2011 Uranium miner Paladin Energy Ltd has sought to dampen market rumours about the company’s financing arrangements, a potential capital raising and a potential sale by Newmont Mining of its 6.71 per cent stake in Paladin.

Paladin issued a statement on Friday to clarify its position, after the company’s shares came under “considerable selling pressure” for two days……

EYE ON EQUITIES Analyst urges caution as First Uranium dips to all-time lows, DARCY KEITH Globe and Mail UpdateJun. 09, Shares in First Uranium Corp. (FIU-T0.56-0.02-3.45%) remain snuggled close to all-time lows after getting smacked Wednesday in response to weaker than expected fourth-quarter results. A resurgence in negative sentiment toward uranium producers after the Japanese nuclear crisis hasn’t helped matters.

Raymond James Ltd. analyst Bart Jaworski thinks investors may be wise backing away from the stock for the time being…..



June 10, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, uranium | Leave a comment

Australian uranium industry and Martin Ferguson in denial over nuclear power

Senator Ludlam said the desperate attempts by Minister Ferguson to resuscitate the reputation of nuclear power since Fukushima, including his comments today, were “reckless and futile”.

“The energy minister wants to sell uranium to India – which has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Russia – which has a horrendous recent record on foreign policy and assisted Iran’s nuclear program, and the United Arab Emirates – a dictatorship. He is not someone who can be taken seriously on this issue,” said Senator Ludlam

Uranium industry still pushes nuclear as Fukushima revealed to be twice as bad as first claimed – WA Senator, June 9, 2011 — tony serve The nuclear industry and its chief supporter Martin Ferguson are in a state of denial as they continue to promote nuclear power in the shadow of the Fukushima disaster, the Australian Greens said today.

A day after the Japanese Government admitted the radiation leaked from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was twice that originally claimed, the Australian Uranium Association called for a nuclear power sector in Australia. Continue reading

June 10, 2011 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Down go uranium prices, yet again

Commodities and commodity producers have been relatively weak over the same period, with many investors growing concerned by the steady stream of disappointing economic news flowing out of the United States in particular. But the declines have been mild next to the uranium-drubbing:

Uranium producers continue to slide DAVID BERMAN Globe and Mail Update, June 8, 2011 It has been a week since Germany announced that it would phase out its nuclear power plants over the next decade and nearly three months since Japan was hit by a devastating earthquake and tsunami, creating a nuclear crisis in the country. But Canadian uranium producers continue to drift lower.

  • RBC turns colder on uranium, downgrades Paladin
  • On Wednesday afternoon,Denison Mines Corp.(DML-T1.830.052.81%) fell 9.2 per cent and Uranium One Inc.(UUU-T2.90-0.19-6.15%) was down 8.7 per cent, both hitting new lows for the year after total declines of more than 50 per cent from their respective 52-week highs. Cameco Corp.(CCO-T25.890.010.04%), the biggest uranium producer, was down 3.6 per cent, bringing its total descent to 41 per cent. Continue reading

June 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Martin Ferguson working hard to promote uranium industry

WA Labor urged to face ‘uranium reality’ 9 News, josh Jerga 9 June, The West Australian Labor Party will have to “front up to the reality of life” in deciding whether to continue opposing uranium mining, Federal Resource Minister Martin Ferguson says.

WA Labor’s policy to ban uranium mining in the state is expected to come up for debate at its state conference later this month.

Last month, Mr Ferguson told a uranium conference in Sydney the WA Labor Party’s position was “ridiculous and not sustainable” and urged it to reconsider the policy.

On Thursday, however, the resource minister was more measured in his words, telling an International Uranium Conference in Perth the WA Labor Party had a hard decision to make….

…according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, companies spent $84 million on uranium exploration in WA during 2010.WA Mines Minister Norman Moore said it was an 87 per cent increase on the previous year, in which companies spent $45 million during 2010…

June 10, 2011 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Rio Tinto and ERA’s shame in Ranger uranium mine and collapse of share price in collapse of

 the collapse in the group’s share price from a 52-week high of $15 to yesterday’s closing price of $4.68 suggests, there is something very wrong with ERA….Most analysts now believe the development of a heap leach operation at Ranger will not proceed…

Ranger a ride of shame for ERA and Rio Tinto, The Age,  Barry FitzGerald.June 8, 2011“……….Bad news is selectively released to brokers and analysts, keeping the dissemination of ugliness to assessments of what it means in share price terms.

That is the strategy Rio has employed with its major shame in this country – Energy Resources of Australia, the Ranger uranium miner, of which Rio owns 68 per cent. Continue reading

June 10, 2011 Posted by | business, Northern Territory, uranium | Leave a comment

Martin Ferguson touts Radiation Register – but half of Australia’s uranium workers are not included

National radiation register for workers Sydney Morning Herald, June 9, 2011For the first time, workers in the uranium industry will have their exposure to radiation recorded on a national database, the federal government has announced.

Federal Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson announced the Australian National Dose Register on Thursday at an International Uranium Conference in Perth……..

Radiation dose register fails Northern Territory, Andrea Hayward May 31, 2011 Sydney Morning Herald  Half of Australia’s uranium mine workers have been left off the National Radiation Dose Register, a Senate hearing has heard.

Australian Greens senator Scott Ludlam said it was revealed in Senate estimates that workers at uranium mines in the Northern Territory had not been included on the register.

The workers account for half of those working in the uranium industry…..




June 10, 2011 Posted by | Northern Territory, politics | Leave a comment

Australian govt energy policy results in drop in renewable energy investment

Australia Drops In Renewable Energy Attractiveness Rankings (Again), Renewable Energy News,by Energy Matters, 9 June 11 The latest Ernst & Young Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices have seen Australia drop in ranking for the second time this year……Ernst & Young says Australia’s latest decreased ranking was due to a reduction in Government spending on renewable energy by AU$1.8b. The major cut to clean energy spending will reduce investment demand for wind power in Australia says the company, which has fallen four points in the wind index.

Australia also lost two points in the solar index after the Government announced plans to reduce the Solar Flagships Program by AU$250m and the capping of the Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme that provides incentives for solar hot water systems, saving AU$160m…….

June 10, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics | Leave a comment