Australian news, and some related international items

The growing positive and anti nuclear message of the Occupy Movement

 “The future of the human race requires the co-operation of its members.” 

our planet can no longer withstand the assaults of an increasingly destructive industrial civilisation.

Learning To Shine Through The Ruins, By Vincent Di Stefano, 30 October,2011, “…….The cultural awakening of the 1960s had made many aware of the presence of deepening flaws within industrial civilisation: Of the rampant militarism that had unleashed two unspeakably destructive World Wars; of the atomic slaying of the inhabitants of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; of the slash and burn methods of US imperialism that disgorged blistering gifts of napalm and poisonous defoliants into the wasted landscapes of Indo-China;

……..this abundance and the freedoms it has bestowed appear to have benumbed rather than sharpened our capacity to perceive and to interpret the divided reality that underlies our illusions of comfort and prosperity.

Despite the fact that the Chernobyl melt-down 25 years ago has already cost nearly a million lives , and despite the fact that hot Strontium from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant has been detected on the rooftops of houses in Yokohama 250 kilometers away, the nuclear industry, together with its marketing arm, the International Atomic Energy Commission continues to aggressively pursue their deadly interests….. Continue reading

October 31, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear | | Leave a comment

Redlight for Yellowcake: National spotlight on WA uranium plan

31 Oct 11 Environment groups from around Australia have joined West Australian trade unions, environment groups and civil society organisations to call for no uranium mining in WA. The groups have submitted a formal submission to the WA Environmental Protection Agency detailing their concerns over plans by Toro Energy for uranium mining near Wiluna in WA’s central desert.

Leading national and international groups including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Wilderness Society, the Australian Conservation Foundation and a number of States and Territory peak environment groups have urged the EPA not to approve the controversial Wiluna uranium mine and to instead support an independent public inquiry into plans for uranium mining in WA.

Public comment on the application for the Wiluna project, planned to be WA’s first uranium mine, closes today. Around two thousand submissions opposing uranium mining have been sent to the EPA. “There is growing national concern about the Barnett governments move to fast track uranium projects in WA,” said Conservation Council of Western Australia nuclear free campaigner Mia Pepper. “Many of the groups that support our call have a close experience of the costs and consequences of the nuclear industry and there is growing attention and resistance to this toxic industry in the West”.

The joint groups have identified fundamental deficiencies in the Toro Energy application including in such key areas as water, transport, cumulative pollution impact, Aboriginal heritage and radiation protection. These deficiencies are so significant that they preclude any credible approval of the Wiluna project.

“Many West Australians are opposed or have deep concerns about this planned industry, particularly in the shadow of Fukushima and the EPA should not sign off on this flawed project on the basis of this deficient application,” said Mia Pepper.“Radioactive waste lasts longer than a mining company and a lot longer than a Premier’s assurance. West Australian’s deserve no less than an independent public inquiry into plans for this contested industry.”

October 31, 2011 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | | Leave a comment

Australian government not seriously opposed to nuclear weapons proliferation?

Christina Macpherson 31 Oct 11.  These two motions to strengthen Australia’s stand against nuclear weapons proliferation were soundly defeated in the Senate today.  It would seem that both Labor and Liberal parties are well in the grip of the nuclear corporate lobby.   (However, the Government did reaffirm the current policy of not selling uranium to countries that have not signed the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty)

In the Australian Senate today  Senator Scott Ludlam moved:

That the Senate:  welcomes efforts taken by the Government to advance nuclear disarmament diplomacy, including the establishment of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament and the request for the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties to undertake an inquiry into the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament treaties involving Australia; and

calls on the Government to support the United Nations General Assembly resolution on the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons.

That the Senate— (a) congratulates the Government for maintaining Australia’s longstanding policy of predicating bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements on the condition of membership to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons; and (b) calls on the Government to identify the countries to which it will not permit the sale of uranium.

October 31, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Marius Kloppers to Adelaide to direct South Australian govt on Olympic Dam new uranium mine

Marius Kloppers pushes case for Olympic Dam expansion, BY:VERITY EDWARDS AND REBECCA PUDDY From:The Australian , October 31, 2011 BHP Billiton’s chief executive, Marius Kloppers, will fly into Adelaide today to meet new South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill to discuss the expansion of its Olympic Dam mine, including the importance of passing the indenture agreement before Christmas.  (Sorry – no more – I haven’t paid up for THE AUSTRALAN – C.M.)

October 31, 2011 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Few Australians aware of the environmental disaster that will be Olympic Dam uranium mine

The project was vigorously opposed from the start by both the local Arabunna and Kokatha peoples …..

 The mining operations are expected to produce 8 million litres of radioactive tailings every day – which will eventually leach into local aquifers – and will create 9 billion tons of radioactive waste that will need to be monitored for the next 10,000 years,

Virtually every adult Australian citizen was aware of the “carbon tax” …Very few, however, were aware that at much the same time, a project had been set into motion that made a complete mockery of any pretensions to act in a an environmentally responsible manner.

Learning To Shine Through The Ruins, By Vincent Di Stefano, 30 October, 2011,   “…….Despite the fact that the Chernobyl melt-down 25 years ago has already cost nearly a million lives , and despite the fact that hot Strontium from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant has been detected on the rooftops of houses in Yokohama 250 kilometers away, the nuclear industry, together with its marketing arm, the International Atomic Energy Commission continues to aggressively pursue their deadly interests.

On October 10th 2011 , both the Australian Federal Government and the South Australian Government obligingly rubber-stamped a massive industrial development at the Olympic Dam mine complex at Roxby Downs in South Australia that will, over the next 10 years, see an additional 19,000 tons of uranium oxide (yellow cake) produced annually for export every year. Australia already exports over 10,000 tons of yellow cake every year.

This mammoth project will result in the creation of the world’s largest open-pit mining operation. Continue reading

October 31, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, uranium | Leave a comment

Rupert Murdoch’s secret attack on Australia’s ABC

In hours, Murdoch could secure his stranglehold on the Australian media by acquiring our public international TV news network — and rob a struggling ABC of $223 million in funding. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is under pressure to give control over the network to Murdoch instead of the ABC — but together we can stop the deal.

 we desperately need to come together again. Murdoch’s mouthpiece The Australian has been leaking details of insider support for Murdoch in a blatant attempt to force Labor into backing his bid. Conroy knows that giving the network to Murdoch would greatly increase the media mogul’s corrupting influence and hurt the ABC, and is looking for a way out.

Together, we can give Conroy the public mandate he needs to reject Murdoch’s power grab and award the contract to the ABC. Send a message to Conroy telling him that Australians don’t want this dodgy deal — click on the link below and then forward to everyone:

Rupert Murdoch already owns 70 percent of Australia’s newspapers. Now he’s on the hunt for more media control, and he’s hoping we won’t notice. Through his stake in Australian News Channel, he’s been pushing hard to take over the crucial but low-key ‘Australia Network’: an Australian international public broadcaster that’s available in 44 countries. Murdoch has shown that his empire ruthlessly puts profits above all else — even hacking a murdered school girl’s phone to increase sales. With this extra network, Murdoch would vastly increase his power and take control of Australia’s public image abroad. 

The move is also a key part of his strategy to destroy public broadcasting and silence independent voices. Murdoch knows that the loss of $223 million in funding would severely weaken an already stretched ABC. It would mean the loss of many ABC journalists, and potential closures of overseas news offices. If we let Murdoch win, Australia will become the first country in the world to privatise its international news service.

Insiders say Communications Minister Stephen Conroy doesn’t want this outcome. He’s looking for a way to keep the money with the ABC and stop Murdoch from further increasing his corrupting influence. If huge numbers of Australians send messages, Conroy will receive the public backing he needs to decide against Murdoch’s bid. Send your message now and forward this note to your friends and family:

Earlier this year, Avaaz members in the UK forced Murdoch to drop his bid for a complete takeover of British broadcaster BSkyB, and last month we won the media inquiry here despite Murdoch’s fierce opposition. Now we have a chance to win again. With massive public support, we can rid the world of Murdoch’s corrupting influence for good. Something that would have been unthinkable even 12 months ago is now within our grasp, if we keep working together. Continue reading

October 31, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Soldier dying from depleted uranium caused illness

Depleted uranium, used in some types of ammunition and military armour, is the dense, low-cost leftover once uranium has been processed….

A high-ranking official from Veterans Affairs says a handful of vets mistakenly believe their bodies have been damaged by depleted uranium…..

the Federal Court of Canada has found depleted uranium to be an issue.  The court ruled the Veterans Affairs Department must compensate retired serviceman Steve Dornan for a cancer his doctors say resulted from exposure to depleted uranium residue.

Poisoned soldier plans hunger strike at minister’s office in exchange for care, Montreal Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press, 30 Oct 11,  MONTREAL  An ex-soldier who says he was poisoned while serving overseas is planning to go on a hunger strike outside the office of Canada’s veterans affairs minister until he gets medical treatment.

Or until he dies.

Pascal Lacoste, who believes his steady decline in health began after he was exposed to depleted uranium in Bosnia in the 1990s, intends to stop eating on Nov. 5. The Quebec City resident chose the date because he expects his weakened body to shut down six days later — on Remembrance Day. Continue reading

October 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Olympic Dam – A detailed submission to the Roxby Downs Indenture Bill committee

SUBMISSION TO THE SELECT COMMITTEE. NECTARIA CALAN, Friends of the Earth Adelaidc  /- Conservation Council of SA
Level 1, 157 Franklin Street, Adelaide SA 5000 Contact:, 26 October 2011

Re: Roxby Downs (Indenture Ratification) (Amendment of Indenture) Amendment Bill 2011

I ask the Committee to revisit the issue of consultation, in regards to the approval of the Olympic Dam
expansion as set out in Clause 11(3) which ratifies and approves the amendments to the Indenture. Continue reading

October 31, 2011 Posted by | Olympic Dam, politics, South Australia, uranium | , | Leave a comment

Devastating report on the radiation caused illnesses of Britain’s nuclear veterans

MoD survey shows three in four nuclear test veterans fear radiation has affected their health, Mirror,  by Susie Boniface,   30/10/2011 A devastating new report shows that eight in 10 of Britain’s nuclear test ­veterans went on to develop multiple medical conditions.

And three in four of the men who survived atomic blasts in the 1950s fear their health was ­damaged due to being used as ­human guinea pigs for Cold War scientists.  A survey by the Ministry of Defence shows 83 per cent have since developed ­between two and nine ­serious long-term ­illnesses. Some have more than 10.

Asked if they believe their health had been affected by being at a nuclear test site, 28 per cent said they were certain it had, 23 per cent thought it had and 24 per cent said it may have done – a total of 75 per cent. Only eight per cent said it definitely had not.

The study, the first MoD funded-research since 1993, vindicates 10 years of campaigning by the Sunday Mirror which has highlighted the ­crippling legacy of ill health veterans have suffered. Many have developed cancers and rare medical complaints.

Studies have shown they have six times the national rate of ­leukaemia and 10 times the rate of birth defects among their children. It was only after massive pressure from the veterans and this newspaper that the last government finally agreed to fund a £412,000 study into their health.

SPENDING SLASHED  The Coalition slashed the spend to £75,000 but 633 veterans still came forward to answer questions developed by two doctors with the British Nuclear Test Veterans’ ­Association.

The survey shows only 18 per cent of those polled are in “good health” and of those with a serious condition, only 16 per cent thought it was because of other than radiation. Veterans made a series of demands in the study, including a medical centre, better access to service medical records and a detailed ­genetic study of their descendants.

But experts did not look at ­the illnesses of ­vets’ children and grandchildren, saying the evidence was “of too ­variable a quality”.  Read more:

October 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Zealand call for inquiry into Australian uranium shipments

Uranium passing through NZ ports, Sky News October 30, 2011 A Greens MP has called for an inquiry into Australian shipments of radioactive uranium passing through New Zealand waters and ports in breach of its anti-nuclear stance.

Fortnightly shipments of Australian yellowcake uranium, totalling five thousand tonnes annually, are being shipped through New Zealand ports, according to documents provided to the Sunday Star Times by Green MP Gareth Hughes.

The paperwork shows the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) was unaware of the shipments for 13 years, until late 2009.

That agency had since been replaced by the new Environmental Protection Authority, and an EPA spokeswoman told the newspaper that even though ERMA was unaware of the shipments, the regime that permitted them to pass through New Zealand’s ports had still followed international best practice…..

A spokesman for Prime Minister John Key told the Sunday Star Times yellowcake was ‘Australian dirt, which is essentially harmless’…..

Hughes is calling for an independent inquiry, saying the shipments had no place in a nuclear-free country.

‘Why did the authority fail to approve it for so long, do we have adequate safeguards and response strategies, and what role is New Zealand playing in the international nuclear cycle?’ he said.

October 31, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | 1 Comment