Australian news, and some related international items

Federal Court hearing on Muckaty station legal challenge

“It is alleged that the Northern Land Council engaged in misconduct and breach of fiduciary duty because of the way they nominated the Muckaty site.”

26 March 12, Lawyers representing Traditional Owners in the Northern Territory will appear in the Federal Court in Melbourne tomorrow (Tuesday 27th March) to continue their legal challenge to the proposed nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station.  Continue reading

March 26, 2012 Posted by | legal, Victoria | Leave a comment

Earthquakes in South Australia, latest is near Olympic Dam uranium mine

SEISMIC SURGE IN FAR NORTH: 3.9 EARTHQUAKE NEAR ROXBY DOWNS, Coober Pedy Regional Times,  26 March 12, A 3.9 magnitude earthquake has struck near Olympic Dam in South Australia’s Mid – Far North overnight,   in addition to a spate of 4 separate earthquakes in the Far North of the state in the past week.

The succession of medium to significant earthquakes has promted  Geoscience Australia to begin setting up seismic monitoring equipment in the Far North where three of the earthquakes occured last week including a 6.1 magnitude quake….. The most recent earthquake which occured overnight is not far from the townships of Roxby Downs and Andamooka near the Stuart Highway, and situated within relatively close proximity to a number of the state’s mining and prospecting operations including the Olympic Dam uranium mine, whose massive orebody engulfs the 35km Masher’s Fault. ……

March 26, 2012 Posted by | safety, South Australia | | 1 Comment

4 earthquakes in South Australia’s far North within the past week

SPATE OF EARTHQUAKES HIT SOUTH AUSTRALIA’S FAR NORTH, Coober Pedy Regional Times, 24 March 12,  A spate of earthquakes all within a week of each other have occurred in South Australia’s Far North with three strikes on the APY Lands. A significant 6.1 earthquake struck near Ernabella (Pukatja), Fregon and Indulkana on the APY Lands at 8.25pm South Australian Daylight Savings Time CDT Friday night 23 March 2012. ..

… Three further earthquakes have struck South Australia’s Far North in the past week.

16 March a 4.3 earthquake struck in the Musgrave Ranges near Ernabella at a depth of 15 km.
20 March a 3.8 earthquake struck in the Musgrave Ranges near Ernabella at a depth of 10 km.
21 March a 3.9 earthquake struck between Oodnadatta and William Creek in the Arckaringa Basin at a depth of 0.007km.

March 26, 2012 Posted by | safety, South Australia | | Leave a comment

Australia has been warned of the earthquake danger to Olympic Dam uranium mine

SEISMIC EXPERT: “MAGNITUDE 7 EARTHQUAKE RISK OBSCURED AT OLYMPIC DAM URANIUM MINE”, Coober Pedy Regional Times, 31 May 2010 “Was the Clark Shaft accident at the Olympic Dam mine preceded by a seismic event?”

A geophysicist who investigated earthquakes for the US Geological Survey for 22 years, says that the connection between mining and seismicity [earthquakes] is obscured in Australia, particularly the seismic hazard of the Olympic Dam mine.

In a communication [Memo] sent to various federal and state government ministers [and others] on Tuesday 22 May 2010, Seismologist Edward Cranswick discusses the 35-km-long, steeply dipping Mashers Fault which passes through the middle of the Olympic Dam ore body.  A fault length which implies an earthquake of maximum about 7.

The same memo is available as a PDF

BHP Billiton has proposed to dig the largest open-pit mine on the Earth at Olympic Dam, 4.1 km long, 3.5 km wide, 1 km deep. As a geophysicist who investigated earthquakes for the US Geological Survey for 22 years [1], I strongly criticised BHP’s Olympic Dam Expansion Draft Environmental Impact Statement 2009 (ODXdEIS) [2] because it omitted consideration of seismicity, i.e., rockbursts or earthquakes, caused by open-pit mining, despite the fact that seismic hazard is well-known in the Australian mining industry …..

Traditionally, underground mines are deeper, and therefore, more seismically hazardous than shallow open pits, but the proposed pit at Olympic Dam will be as deep as the underground mine it replaces. Based on the dimensions of the open-pit, the results of McGarr et al. (2002) [19] suggest an earthquake of maximum magnitude 4-6 could occur.

The 35-km-long, steeply dipping Mashers Fault passes through the middle of the Olympic Dam ore body that is to be mined – that fault length implies an earthquake of maximum magnitude about 7…….

It is absurd – irrational, unscrupulously & tragically dishonest and unprofessional – that the ODXdEIS for the proposed largest open-pit mine on Earth does not address the principal hazard to digging that mine, triggered/induced seismicity and rockbursts……

March 26, 2012 Posted by | Olympic Dam, South Australia, uranium | , | Leave a comment

Climate change is bringing about earthquakes, as well as floods

The world we inhabit has an outer rind that is extraordinarily sensitive to change. While the Earth’s crust may seem safe and secure, the geological calamities that happen with alarming regularity confirm that this is not the case……….
Our planet is once again in the throes of an extraordinary climatic transformation — this time brought about by human activities……

Let the sleeping giant lie A changing climate isn’t just about floods, droughts and heatwaves. It brings erupting volcanoes and catastrophic earthquakes too By Bill McGuire -Guardian News, 25 Mar 12,    The idea that a changing climate can persuade the ground to shake, volcanoes to rumble and tsunamis to crash on to unsuspecting coastlines seems, at first,
to be bordering on the insane. How can what happens in the thin envelope of gas that shrouds and protects our world possibly influence the Earth-shattering processes that operate deep beneath the surface?

The fact that it does reflects a failure of our imagination and a limited understanding of the manner in which the different physical components of our planet — the atmosphere, the oceans and the solid Earth, or geosphere — intertwine and interact. Continue reading

March 26, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Video: the plight of Koodankulam’s anti nuclear protestors, in supposedly ‘democratic’ India

David Bradbury, 26 March 12, Please do watch this video….from Kudankulum.

Please take a look at the youtube clip   and at these brave, poor but passionately dedicated fisher folk struggling  to keep their kid’s environment nuke free people in southern India – facing off across the Indian ocean expanse to our wonderful land. We need to give them all our moral support and prayers we can possibly give in their uphill battle against the central Indian Govt who is telling PM Gillard to trust them with their uranium. They are a ‘robust democratic’ country….so says Julia.

March 26, 2012 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Global Aborigine network will fight nuclear waste dumping on Aboriginal land

It mentioned the Tao, who live on the outlying island of Lanyu (蘭嶼, also known as Orchid Island), as well as Aboriginal tribes in the US and Australia, as examples of indigenous people becoming victims of nuclear waste disposal on their traditional lands.

Groups to propose Aborigine network, Taipei Times, 23 March 12  SENEGAL CONGRESS:The network would give voice to the global Aboriginal community and focus on issues like nuclear waste disposal, environmental groups said. Environmental and Aboriginal groups yesterday said they would propose the establishment of an Aboriginal network at an upcoming congress in Senegal, with the aim of uniting global support for Aboriginal people on environmental issues.

“We hope to highlight issues such as the disposal of nuclear waste on Aboriginal land at the Global Greens Congress,” said Chiu Hsin-hui (邱馨慧), an official of the Green Party Taiwan, which drafted the proposal. The congress, to be held from Thursday to Sunday next week in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, will focus on global warming, clean energy, biodiversity and democratic development in African nations and other countries. Continue reading

March 26, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Corporate praise for Australia’s carbon tax

26 March 12 On ABC Television yesterday  General Electric  vice chairman John Rice praised  Australia’s carbon tax legislation “I applaud the Australian Government for having the courage to go through with it because I think over the long run, the world is going to be better served if there is a cost associated with the production of carbon,”

March 26, 2012 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment