Australian news, and some related international items

Greens Senator helping Julian Assange, amid silence from Australian government on Assange’s human rights

Scott Ludlam (left) in Europe to ‘protect Julian Assange’s human rights’ Herald Sun, : AAP December 26, 2011 SWEDISH officials have met an Australian senator to discuss the future of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. As extradition proceedings against the 40-year-old Australian continue in London, Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam has
embarked on a European mission to secure guarantees about Assange’s human rights, should he be extradited to the Nordic nation. Swedish prosecutors want Assange in Stockholm for questioning over allegations that he sexually assaulted two women in the capital inAugust 2010.

Assange denies the claims and is refusing to return to Sweden, fearing that the country will hand him over to the United States, where his secret-leaking website is the subject of a major investigation……

From February 1, Assange will face a panel of seven British supreme court justices for a two-day hearing where he will appeal the rulings of lower courts that he should be extradited to Stockholm.

Senator Ludlam plans to take the information he has learned in Stockholm to the Australian Parliament and seek cross-party support for the Government to do “everything possible to prevent this

Experts said the evidence may open Assange to a charge of conspiracy to commit espionage. Assange to face US spy charges Courier Mail,   December 25, 2011 JULIAN Assange may face spying charges in the US for his alleged role in stealing military documents. During this week’s hearing into the Private Bradley Manning case at

Fort Meade, Maryland, lawyers produced online chat logs which purport to show that the 40-year-old Australian coached Mr Manning on how to break passwords and gain anonymous access to military computer networks, The (London) Times reported. Continue reading

December 26, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, politics international | | Leave a comment

Success for Australia’s coal lobby, with new laws against wind farms in N.S.W. and Victoria

The state’s conservative Premier, Barry O’Farrell, .. has said that he personally opposes any no new wind farms.

public concerns about turbines have been “aided and abetted” by climate sceptics who have launched a Tea Party-style fear campaign. The campaign has featured local lobby groups protesting under the banner of “landscape guardians” – believed to be based on Britain’s Country Guardian.

The NSW Greens said the proposal would kill off the wind-generation sector in favour of coal seam gas projects

Australian state launches world’s toughest wind turbine laws, Telegraph UK 24 Dec 11 Australia’s most populus state has proposed the world’s toughest laws on wind turbines, with a plan to give all residents within 1.25 miles a veto over new projects.By Jonathan Pearlman in Sydney 23 Dec 20111. The New South Wales Government proposed the new rules following controversial rural wind farms which angered residents over noise and raised claims the vibrations cause stress and illness.

Under the proposals, turbines will be subject to a noise limit of 35 decibels, five decibels less than in the state of Victoria, which has similar guidelines. The NSW planning minister, Brad Hazzard, said the measures were “some of the toughest wind-farm guidelines in the country, possibly the world”. “One hundred per cent of neighbours have to be happy within that
two-kilometre zone,” he said. Continue reading

December 26, 2011 Posted by | New South Wales, politics, wind | | Leave a comment

Wind energy an important part of Scotland’s renewable energy success

Scottish renewable electricity on track for ‘record year  Figures reveal country is likely to produce its highest ever levels of electricity from renewable sources,   Wind turbines in East Renfrewshire feature prominently . Guardian UK, 23 Dec 11 Scotland is set to generate a third of its electricity from renewable sources in 2011. Scotland looks set for its highest ever renewables output, and could produce almost a third of its electricity from renewable sources by the end of 2011. Continue reading

December 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment