Australian news, and some related international items

Paul Howes, the nuclear lobby’s man aiming for Canberra?

Until very recently, both Liberal and Labor parties in New South Wales opposed uranium mining in that State.

Now the Liberal Party in government will allow uranium exploration, and no doubt permission for  uranium mining will follow.  Why else would uranium mining companies bother to dig?

New South Wales Labor opposition opposes the new move towards uranium mining.

But it’s interesting to see how forthright is Paul Howes, a very prominent union leader, with his eye on  apolitical career, presumably in the Labor Party –  in his enthusiasm for the nuclear industry.  Ziggy, and Barry, and the rest of the Nuclear Push must be thrilled to bits, with this little union go getter.

Paul Howes is quoted in today’s Cowra Community News,  as saying that   ” uranium exploration
is a step in the right direction, particularly as Australia looks to develop cleaner energy sources into the future.”

“cleaner?” –  Paul – you’ll have to think of a more sophisticated term that that. Nobody believes in “clean” nuclear any more.


February 17, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, people, politics | Leave a comment

Nuclear power: its thermal pollution of water

thermal water pollution is itself a very big problem……

The proposed Blue Castle Project will also face water-quality challenges

In hot water: The “other” global warming, BULLETIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS, BY DAWN STOVER | 15 FEBRUARY 2012 On January 20, a state engineer with the Utah Division of Water Rights approved two applications that would allow Blue Castle Holdings to take a total of 53,600 acre-feet of water from the Green River annually for a proposed nuclear power plant. That’s more than 17 billion gallons a year, enough for a city of 100,000 households.

The Blue Castle Project would be the first new nuclear power plant to go online in the American West since the late 1980s. So you might think it would be a model of modern water-conservation technologies. But you’d be wrong. Continue reading

February 17, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lynas Rare Earths company faces difficult regulations on radioactive waste disposal

Lynas must provide a detailed plan and location [ of  long term radioactive waste facility] 10 months after the licence is issued or it will not be allowed to operate.”

the onus on Lynas to return the residue to Australia in the event that its plan to commercialise the residue fails.
However, Aziz refused to entertain probes on media reports that Australia will not be accepting any of the residue back into the country.

The Atomic Energy Licencing Board (AELB) releases public feedback on LAMP, Free Malaysia Today, Stephanie Sta Maria | February 16, 2012 DENGKIL: In a move to fulfil the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) recommendation of public engagement over the Lynas Corp’s controversial rare earth refinery in Kuantan, the Atomic Energy Licencing Board (AELB) has begun releasing snippets of feedback collected during the public viewing of Lynas’ application permit.

AELB and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti)approved Lynas’ application for a temporary operating licence (TOL) on Feb 1, just three days after the deadline for submission of public feedback.
Anti-Lynas groups slammed the decision as “hasty” and accused AELB and Mosti of completely disregarding public opinion…… Continue reading

February 17, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Catholic Cardinal and priests join call to abolish nuclear weapons

700 prominent Australians call for nuclear abolition, National Catholic Reporter, Feb. 16, 2012, By Joshua J. McElwee More than 700 prominent Australians — including former prime ministers, defense ministers, and Catholic bishops and priests — have signed onto a statement calling on their country’s government to adopt a “nuclear-weapons-free” defense posture and to take steps to initiate a global treaty to abolish nuclear arsenals.

The statement, which was put together by Australians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention and announced Jan. 25, includes signatures from 713 Australians who have received the Order of Australia, an honor granted by Queen Elizabeth II to note achievement or “meritorious service” and similar to a knighthood in the United Kingdom.

Among the Catholics who have signed onto the statement is Cardinal Edward Clancy, who served as the archbishop of Sydney from 1983 to 2001. Jesuit Fr. Frank Brennan, former chairman of the country’s National Human Rights Consultation Committee, and Fr. Michael Tate, a former ambassador to the Holy See, have also signed. Continue reading

February 17, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, religion and ethics | Leave a comment

New South Wales Renewable Energy Guidelines aim to prevent small scale wind energy!

“The Guidelines place incredibly strenuous conditions on the development of wind farms that are
not faced by any other kind of development.

“They appear to have been produced to appease the small anti-wind farm lobby rather than achieving outcomes for the whole community,”

NSW wind farm guidelines shaft clean energy, Green Left,   February 16, 2012 The draft planning guidelines for wind farms in NSW, which are now open for public comment, have been labelled inconsistent, too restrictive and politically motivated by environment group Friends of the Earth.

“These guidelines talk about NSW planning to help Australia meet its the 20% by 2020 Renewable Energy Target, but at the same time could pose severe restrictions on the options available to achieve that,” said Ben Courtice, renewable energy campaigner for Friends of the Earth.
“The Guidelines refer to a NSW Renewable Energy Action Plan to be released in 2012, but pre-empt any such planning by placing a severe restriction on wind farms. The guidelines admit that wind energy is the cheapest form of renewable energy.” Continue reading

February 17, 2012 Posted by | New South Wales, secrets and lies | | Leave a comment

Hypocrisy of New South Wales govt – permitting uranium exploration, “but not mining”

Uranium in Broken Hill? 16 February, 2012   ABC News, By Natalie Whiting and Cherie McDonald     “………. Environemtal impact A local Greens member says he is concerned about the legislative change, saying the Government wouldn’t have overturned the ban if it didn’t intend to mine…

… the Greens Broken Hill spokesman Cameron Jones says local residents should think carefully if they want uranium
mining in the far west because that will be the result of exploration. “Exploring is lovely, exploring is what great people like Burke and Wills did, and Sturt did (but) mining companies are not like those things at all. “Mining companies don’t invest in exploration as they like to call it, unless they’re willing to go further.
“You don’t dig a hole in the ground and go ‘oh, we found something, let’s leave it there’, what you do is you dig a hole in the ground, you find it, and you find a way to dig it up.”
He says Broken Hill residents need to make a conscience decision about whether they want to be exporting uranium from the region…..

February 17, 2012 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australian government appoints Chairperson of the new Clean Energy Regulator

Clean Energy Regulator Chair appointed, EcoGeneration, 17 February 2012 The Federal Government has appointed Chloe Munro as the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the new Clean Energy Regulator.
Ms Munro is currently the Chair of the National Water Commission. She has worked at a senior level for both federal and state governments in Australia and overseas, as well as in the private sector.

The Clean Energy Regulator, implemented as part of the Clean Energy Regulator Act 2011, will implement and administer the carbon price mechanism, the National Greenhouse Energy Reporting Scheme, the Renewable Energy Target, the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units, and the Carbon Farming Initiative. As well as the Chair, the Regulator will include up to four expert members who are yet to be announced.

February 17, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Aboriginal drive for a national unity government

Aboriginal meetings across Australia to build national unity government, Goodooga, northwest NSW, 17 February 2012 – A prominent Aboriginal activist has announced a plan to visit Aboriginal people all over the country with the aim of forming a national unity government to be known as the ‘Sovereign Union’.

Michael Anderson, the last survivor of the four young men who set up the Aboriginal Embassy in Canberra in 1972, says it’s one of the outcomes of its 40th anniversary corroboree from 26 to 28 January. “We will commence formal talks when I meet with delegates of 45 Aboriginal nations from across the Murray Darling Basin at the end of this month in Canberra,” he writes in a media release.

“I will then travel to Western Australia to meet with representatives of the Nyoongar Nation and others who are in the process of organizing their delegates in Perth.”

Anderson says as other meetings are being organized all over the country the National Unity Government is raising funds for the operation. “I will be able to have governance meetings with Aboriginal people wherever and whenever they seek to join and become part of this National Unity Government,” he writes.

Anderson, a trained lawyer, says he will also seek talks with non-Aboriginal people “to explain what this new National Unity Government is all about”…. Contact:  Michael Anderson 0427 292 492   02 68296355

February 17, 2012 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment