Australian news, and some related international items

USA pushes Australia on military bases, on uranium sales to India

Australia under nuclear pressure, Independent Australia, 15 Nov 2011 The prime minister announced today that Australia is set to overturn its ban on uranium sales to India, a non-signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. The reason why she’s doing this is simple, Barack Obama asked her — because it’s good for the US economy.  Noel Wauchope reports……

As Australia’s biggest trading partner, one would expect that China would be receiving top consideration from the Australian government, but hey — Australia has to be nice to USA, doesn’t it? As we all know, it’s traditional that when USA yells “Jump!”, Australia responds “How high!?”

And so it is that, once again, the Australian government is in the process of jumping hurdles, as dictated by USA, however little sense that might make….. Continue reading


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

Uranium ‘debate’ the ALP will regret

 “It deliberately undermines the NPT, the rules nearly every country on earth has signed up for; only India, Pakistan and Israel have refused to sign on. “Australia’s prudent and principled stance for the last 41 years was based on these foundations.

The Prime Minister’s regrettable cave-in on uranium sales to India is the latest in a long and dishonourable line of ALP policy capitulations on uranium and nuclear security issues, Australian Greens nuclear issues spokesperson Scott Ludlam said today. “The mining industry is now setting foreign policy to suit their commercial interests, through their Cabinet representative Martin Ferguson,” Senator Ludlam said.  Continue reading

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

No reason for PM to change ban on uranium to India says Australian Conservation Foundation

With Prime Minister Julia Gillard saying she thinks Australia should start selling uranium to India the Australian Conservation Foundation has called on the Labor Party to retain the export ban while India refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

“The Labor Party has a long-standing, prudent and sensible policy of not supplying uranium to countries that will not sign the international nuclear non-proliferation treaty,” said ACF nuclear free campaigner Dave Sweeney.  “The non-proliferation treaty, while imperfect, remains a key international legal mechanism in restricting the spread of nuclear weapons technology.

“Uranium is a dual-use fuel – it can be used in reactors and it can be used to power the world’s worst weapons.
“Australia, as a significant global uranium supplier, has a responsibility to acknowledge that India is a nuclear-armed state that obtained its weapons capacity in breach of international commitments. “Adding Australian uranium to the mix would not ease the long standing tensions between India and its nuclear-armed neighbours or improve the effectiveness of the global nuclear safeguards regime.

“There is no compelling or convincing reason for Labor to change its policy.” ACF opposes uranium sales to nuclear weapons states and has long campaigned for Australia to phase out uranium mining and exports, including to Russia, China and India.

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

Protecting London’s Olympic Games with nuclear warheads!

Opening ceremony ticket holder Sharon James was delighted at the announcement, telling us, “If I’m going to be vapourised in an instant, I sure as hell want it to be at the hands of my own government, not because of some Johnny Foreigner on the look out for some after-life poontang.”

Nuclear warheads to protect Olympic village, claims Hammond, News Thump  (satire) 14 November 2011,  Defence Secretary Philip Hammond this afternoon confirmed that the Olympic games in London next summer will be protected from terrorist attack by a series of strategically placed nuclear devices.

In his first appearance at Defence Questions since taking over from Liam Fox, Hammond told MPs that the use of nuclear weapons in London would be a last resort in the face of a terrorist threat.

“We are prepared for every eventuality, and I want to make it clear that we would only destroy everything in and around London when all other options had been exhausted.” Continue reading

November 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Ground to air nuclear missiles to endanger, I mean, to defend, Olympic Games

Philip Hammond: missiles may be part of Olympic defence, Defence Secretary makes extraordinary claim after US concerns emerge over anti-terror measures, THE INDEPENDENT   PAUL PEACHEY,  15 NOVEMBER 2011 The Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, said yesterday that surface-to-air missiles could be in place to protect the 2012 Olympics, as the Government insisted its plans could cope with the country’s biggest security operation for decades. Mr Hammond’s statement in the House of Commons appeared intended to ease concerns after US disquiet with the arrangements. It is holding intensive talks with Britain and plans to send some of its own agents……

 The issue of security was raised in the Commons yesterday by the former defence secretary Liam Fox. He said that surface-to-air missiles had been used at Olympic Games since Atlanta in 1996. He asked Mr Hammond to confirm “there will be a full level of multi-layered defence and deterrence for the London Games, including ground-to-air-based missiles in London”.

The Defence Secretary told him: “All necessary measures to ensure the security and safety of the London Olympic Games will be taken, including, if the advice of the military is that it is required, appropriate ground-to-air defences.”..

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

Martin Ferguson, Minister For the Nuclear Industry avoids debate, avoids Aborigines on Muckaty waste dump

 Ferguson claims that Muckaty traditional owners support the dump despite clear evidence that a majority do not. Traditional owners have written to him repeatedly voicing their objections. They have repeatedly requested a meeting with Ferguson and he repeatedly refuses. Traditional owner Dianne Stokes said: “Martin Ferguson has avoided us and ignored our letters but he knows very well how we feel. He has been arrogant and secretive and he thinks he has gotten away with his plan but in fact he has a big fight on his hands.”

Traditional owners also initiated ongoing legal action in the Federal Court to try to stop the imposition of a nuclear dump — and Ferguson continues to claim they support the dump!

No Debate On Muckaty For Ferguson, By Jim Green, New Matilda, 15 November 2011 As Julia Gillard pushes to end the ban on uranium sales to India, resources minister Martin Ferguson won’t enter into debate on how we deal with nuclear waste at home, writes Jim Green

Federal resources minister Martin Ferguson issued a media release in September claiming that he welcomes debate on Australia’s radioactive waste management options. Friends of the Earth invited him to participate in just such a debate but we were told by his office last week that he wouldn’t participate.

Small wonder. The government’s ongoing effort to impose a nuclear waste dump on Aboriginal land in the NT is the most disgraceful example of “radioactive racism” since the Menzies government exploded atomic bombs on Aboriginal land in the 1950s.  Ferguson claims that Muckaty traditional owners support the dump despite clear evidence that a majority do not. Continue reading

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

Queensland to keep ban on uranium mining

Bligh against uranium mining despite Gillard push ABC News, 15 Nov 11 Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says her State Government remains opposed to mining uranium, with no intention of revisiting that policy.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard is heading for a showdown with the Left of her party, as she pushes to have Labor drop its ban on exporting uranium to nuclear-armed India……Ms Bligh says her State Government will not change its policy, despite Ms Gillard’s push. “If there is a debate at national conference about whether or not Australian uranium should be going to countries like India, it won’t change the policy that we have in Queensland, which is that we don’t mine our uranium,” she said……

November 15, 2011 Posted by | politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Hepburn Community Wind farm – a first for Australia

Its dream is for Australia to build dozens of community wind farms and solar parks over the next several years. One of the key measures in Australia’s new carbon price package is the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), which has AU$10 billion for renewable energy and “clean” energy finance. Community energy projects should have access to funds from the CEFC, which will rapidly accelerate the growth of the sector.

Community owned energy is the one of the most powerful ways to build the social licence of renewables and counter the extremists. This makes Hepburn Wind an achievement not just for the locals and others directly involved, but for the entire country.

Australia’s Carbon Price Should Support the New Community Energy Sector, Renewable Energy World, By Dan Cass , November 14, 2011 Australia is in the global spotlight for passing its new renewable energy package. A few days before the new measures passed, the senate saw a historic moment for community energy with the opening of Australia’s first citizen-funded wind farm.

(Watch the ABC TV story.) Continue reading

November 15, 2011 Posted by | energy, Victoria | Leave a comment

Nuclear advocate Bill Shorten joins Martin Ferguson in rubbishing renewable energy plan

Before the former AWU national secretary Bill Shorten received ALP preselection for federal parliament, he campaigned heavily for nuclear power and the scrapping of the ALP’s no new mines policy. The AWU has been at the forefront of efforts to change Labor’s policy and to lay the groundwork for a nuclear industry in Australia. – C.M.

Shorten joins attack of ‘unrealistic’ renewable target by Greens, The Australian , November 14, 2011 ASSISTANT Treasurer Bill Shorten is the latest Labor MP to attack the Greens over their desire for Australia to move to 100 per cent renewable energy, saying it is not “realistic in the slightest” nor is it Gillard government policy. Mr Shorten’s comments follow Energy Minister Martin Ferguson’s declaring the Greens advocating a move to renewable energy as “living in fantasy land”.

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

The speed of global transition to wind and solar energy

Technology transitions always happen faster than the conventional market predicts PV MAGAZINE 14. NOVEMBER 2011 BY:  RAY WILLS “…..What are the implications of rapidly shifting technologies for renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaics? Renewable generation of all forms continue to get cheaper while the price of fossil fuel rises, and governments may finally move to also eliminate global fossil fuel subsidies. Continue reading

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

Global renewable energy share rising, despite fossil fuel subsidies

Global renewable energy share in 2035: 18%, Renewable Energy Focus, 14 November 2011 The renewable energy share of the global energy mix could rise from 13% in 2010 to 18% in 2035, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 2011 World Energy Outlook. By Kari Williamson The rise in renewable energy would be underpinned by subsidies rising from US$64 billion in 2010 to US$250bn in 2035, in the New Policies Scenario. In comparison, the fossil fuel subsidies in 2010 amounted to US$409bn.

The share of non-hydro renewables in power generation is to increase from 3% in 2009 to 15% in 2035 with annual subsidies rising almost five time to US$180bn. The growth will be drive by the EU and China. The share of hydropower will remain at around 15%, led by China, India and Brazil accounting for almost half of the 680 GW of new capacity…..

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