Australian news, and some related international items

South Australian will have no say about radioactive waste transport through their State

South Australians will be given no say on the transportation of radioactive waste through the state as the National Radioactive Waste Management Act overrides all state laws. SA laws regulating the transport of hazardous materials will have no effect. South Australians will have no say over the mode of transport or the route taken or the timing of waste transportation through the state.

SA must win nuclear battle with feds, Independent Weekly (SA) Jim Green , 27 March 2012  
EIGHT years ago South Australians won a famous victory, forcing the Howard government to abandon its plan to establish a national radioactive waste dump in SA. The victory was all the sweeter because of the schoolyard-bully tactics of the Howard government including its use of compulsory land acquisition powers and its indifference to public opinion and to South Australian legislation banning the imposition of a nuclear dump…..

The current [nuclear waste] debate has important implications for SA. A federal government-commissioned report outlines four possible transport routes between the Lucas Heights nuclear site in NSW and the proposed NT dump site. Two involve trucking waste long distances through SA (one through Adelaide) and a third involves train transport through SA including Adelaide. The report also flags the option of spent nuclear fuel reprocessing waste being shipped from France and the UK to Port Adelaide then being trucked north. Continue reading


March 27, 2012 Posted by | safety, South Australia | | Leave a comment

Australian renewables Venture Capital fund ready to be up and running

Australian renewables VC fund ready to invest A$200m, Environmental Finance, 27  March 2012 An Australian renewable energy venture capital fund backed by the government is to start looking for investment opportunities.

The A$200 million (US$210 million) co-investment fund was set up in December, when the Australian government and Softbank China Venture Capital each provided A$100 million to the fund, which is managed by the Southern Cross Venture Partners (SXVP).

Last Thursday, the investment criteria were finalised, meaning the fund is now ready to invest, said SXVP.

The 13-year fund will provide start-up and early expansion capital to Australian renewable energy technology companies and assist with management skills needed to “commercialise their technologies”, said SXVP. “The fund’s investment approach is founded on the conviction that Australian entrepreneurs need to be internationally aware and
connected to be truly competitive,” said SXVP.

The Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund will form part of the government’s $3.2 billion Australian Renewable Energy Agency when it starts on 1 July 2012….

March 27, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Global warming might be happening faster than we thought

“If people keep emitting fossil fuels in the way we expect, with no price on carbon or no future policy initiatives, we expect a range of 1.4 to 3 degrees by 2050,”

Impact of climate change may be underestimated, ABC News, The World Today By David Mark,  March 26, 2012  A new study suggests climate scientists may have underestimated the effect of greenhouse gases, with global temperatures now predicted to rise by between 1.4 and 3 degrees Celsius by 2050. Continue reading

March 27, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Indigenous peoples worldwide have a vital role in addressing climate change

Indigenous peoples have not been involved in discussions about climate change in most countries said Henrietta Marrie, a Aboriginal leader of the Gimuy-Walubarra Yidinji Nation of Cairns. Indigenous and local peoples collectively represent more than a billion people 

The IPCC and United Nations University (UNU)  have organized this week’s main workshop to incorporate and “credibly validate” indigenous people’s traditional knowledge

Indigenous Peoples Needed to Meet the Challenge of Climate Change (includes VIDEO)National Geographic,  by Stephen Leahy, March 25, 2012 “Planning is not part of our culture. You just get up in the morning and do what you need to do for the day,” said Marilyn Wallace of the Kuku Nyungka ‘mob’ (aboriginal nation) in northern Queensland, Australia.

“Bama” or caring for their local territory is an important part of aboriginal culture and identity Wallace told participants at a mini-workshop in Cairns, Australia today Sunday March 25th prior to the start of the main workshop Climate Change Mitigation with Local Communities and Indigenous peoples  on Monday.

Caring for the land includes monitoring the impacts of climate change and using traditional knowledge to keep or sequester carbon she said.
Indigenous peoples and local communities are the least responsible for climate-altering emissions of carbon but they can play an important role helping to reduce emissions through the way they manage their lands. Continue reading

March 27, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ballarat, Victoria launches drive for big solar energy

National campaign aims to shine spotlight on big solar. ABC Ballarat,  By Margaret Burin, 26 March, 2012   Renewable energy advocates have begun a national campaign to promote large-scale solar power generation. About 50 groups around Australia are behind a campaign to push building large solar energy plants.

Supporters from Ballarat are the latest to launch the movement. Andrew Bray from the 100% Renewables group says large-scale solar energy is an underutilised resource in Australia. “We’re the sunniest country on Earth pretty much and we have no operating large-scale solar stations,” he says.

Mr Bray says large-scale solar power projects – which includes building solar towers and constructing panels in paddocks – are economically viable and can counter coal-fired power stations. “To give you some proportion, the normal coal-fired station is 750 to 1000 megawatts, and there’s no reason why solar power stations can’t scale up to that size.
“There’s a lot of know-how, lots and lots of know-how, in fact some of the major solar advances have come out of Australian universities and CSIRO, but industry needs to start putting out modest sized ones to learn how to do it and teach the financiers that the risks are quite modest.”
The Gillard Government has committed $10billion towards a new commercial fund, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. Mr Bray says if parliament passes the legislation, it will help drive funding for big solar projects….

March 27, 2012 Posted by | solar, Victoria | | Leave a comment