Australian news, and some related international items

Australians’ tax dollars going into nuclear weapons making

Did you order a nuclear weapon?  Indymedia 4 April 12,   The 6th of August 1945 was a dark day for my country. The United States had just dropped an atomic bomb on my town of Hiroshima. I was just 13 years old. Around 80,000 people died that day. Had I not been sick at home that day, I would have been one of them. My school friends were not so lucky. I would learn later that 360 of them had died in the blast. – Junko Morimoto (Hiroshima Survivor)

This is probably news to most of us – but our tax dollars are actively being invested in the manufacture of nuclear weapons, and the submarines and fighter planes to deploy them.

The Future Fund, the government fund designed to invest Australians’ tax dollars to ensure the future prosperity of Australia, invests in companies that manufacture nuclear weapons. The fund invests in companies like Honeywell International1 which is responsible for assembling nuclear weapons in the United States arsenal2.

Today, David Gonski is set to take office as the new Chair of the Future Fund. So far the Future Fund has gotten away with these unethical, immoral and possibly illegal investments because it has never had to defend them publicly. We can change that. With Mr. Gonski taking office today, the media spotlight will be on the Fund. By putting your name to the campaign, we can make sure that on his first day on the job Gonski is bombarded with questions around this issue.

Junko’s story is a powerful reminder that we need to come together to eradicate nuclear weapons. Making sure that our tax dollars aren’t helping manufacture them is the most powerful first step we can take.

April 5, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Queensland solar energy plan will go ahead, despite no help from government

 the nature of solar – there’s no waste, there’s no ongoing costs, there’s no emissions,

Funding cuts won’t cast shadow over Gulf solar plans ABC News  April 04, 2012 A plan to power properties in north-west Queensland’s eastern Gulf Country with solar electricity is likely to go ahead, despite cuts to State Government clean energy funds. Continue reading

April 5, 2012 Posted by | Queensland, solar | | 1 Comment

A clever solar energy tariff plan from Western Australian firm

Horizon finds a smart way to price a solar tariff,  REneweconomy, By Giles Parkinson   5 April 2012 Western Australia energy utility Horizon Power has achieved what appears beyond the capabilities of its larger peers in the eastern states, the Victorian and NSW governments and regulatory pricing authorities, and produced Australia’s first differentiated feed in tariff for rooftop solar PV.

Horizon, which services 100,000 residents and 9,000 businesses in towns and communities across the state, beyond the grid located in the south-western corner, is introducing area-specific solar feed-in tariffs which recognise a higher value for solar put back into the grid from remote locations, and a lower value for solar energy fed from near towns and alternative energy sources. Continue reading

April 5, 2012 Posted by | solar, Western Australia | | 2 Comments

Forget nuclear, clean coal, clean gas – renewables are ready to roll

Clean coal and clean gas is a pipedream and typical of Australia’s irrational debate around carbon and energy – something that stems from the influence of the fossil fuel interests over government, through royalties and donations.

We are ready to roll with renewables today, no new capital should be spent locking in anymore fossil fuel burning. As we deploy our renewables they will continue to get cheaper. We’ll learn as we go and, most importantly, we’ll benefit from the learnings that are continuing to benefit the world’s most innovative successful economies.

Clean fossils of the future? How about ready renewablesREneweconomy By   4 April 2012 There’s a lot of discussion and political jostling around energy options, decarbonisation, low-carbon or zero-carbon transition…..

Nuclear was not an option for Australia even prior to Fukushima. As second generation nuclear plants have a bad name and are basically off limits in any OECD country, the industry has come up with third generation plants, but these have so far proved impossible to get built. Not one is operating and the flagship plant, by the world’s biggest nuclear builder Areva, is still under construction. Its construction time has more than doubled to 10 years and its costs have more than tripled over original estimates. This plant in Finland is not expected to be finished for at least another two-to-four years, if ever.

With that in mind the nuclear proponents have leapfrogged their own suggestion of going third generation and now push fourth generation plant. Great on the drawing board, deep in a government-sponsored lab in the middle of nowhere US, and sounds great, but no one is selling one, which is telling – not GE, not Toshiba, not Westinghouse, not Areva. Just in case you didn’t get that, you can’t buy one at all, anywhere, period!… Continue reading

April 5, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

The Maralinga atomic tests veterans – further law cases to come

Nuclear test locations in the Pacific and Australia are similar to fall out ‘ exclusion zones’ at Chernobyl , Fukushima and other nuclear reactor accident locations , the truth of the science indicates this and if that is anti – nuclear there isn’t much we can do about it . At nuclear test locations the servicemen deliberately had no protective clothing or respirators, the scientists controlling and monitoring the experiments however did .Inside the exclusion zones around crippled reactors of nuclear accidents such as Fukushima all those working there are fully protected with respirators etc and rightly so .

Our guess is the Government will continue to use legal delaying tactics to prevent the truth of the science of causation being fully debated in an open court 

A Message from the Nuclear Veterans, Paul Langley’s Nuclear History Blog, Dennis Hayden, 5 April 12, THE DUST HAS SETTLED FOLLOWING THE SUPREME COURT DECISION THE UK CASE IS STILL ON GOING & UK MINISTERS’ JOY WILL BE SHORT LIVED    “…… the Government and nuclear industry will do everything in their power to keep the UK Atomic Veterans Claimants case from a full court hearing on causation . Continue reading

April 5, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal | Leave a comment

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) involved in uncompetitive dodgy business behaviour

Nuclear facility in hot water,THE AUSTRALIAN,  BY:LEIGH DAYTON , April 05, 2012 AUSTRALIA’S nuclear research facility engaged in uncompetitive behaviour to gain a lucrative and exclusive contract with NSW Health to provide radiopharmaceuticals for medical imaging, according to the Productivity Commission.

A damning report by the commission’s Australian Government Competitive Neutrality Complains Office, released yesterday, concludes that PetNet Pty Ltd – a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation – breached competitive neutrality guidelines, set in 2004.

The report confirms PetNet effectively undercut competitive bids from private firms by relying on its relationship to ANSTO.

The AGCNCO report follows testimony to Senate estimates in 2011 and early this year by ANSTO chief executive Adi Patterson that “we operate within our rules of competitive neutrality and efficient business operations”…….

April 5, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business | Leave a comment

Indigenous culture shows the way to meet challenges of climate change

Modern education and knowledge is mainly about how to better dominate nature. It is never about how to live harmoniously with nature.”

“Living well is all about keeping good relations with Mother Earth and not living by domination or extraction.”

Indigenous Peoples Can Show the Path to Low-Carbon Living If  Their Land Rights Are Recognized  National Geographic, by Stephen Leahy in Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples  April 4, 2012  Indigenous peoples are living examples of societies living, sustainable low-carbon lifestyles. Successfully meeting the global climate change challenge requires that much of the world shift from high carbon-living to low. Continue reading

April 5, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australian aboriginals’ complex system of conserving land, water, and biodiversity

Bill gives meaning to ‘Wagga’, The Daily Advertiser, 04 Apr, 2012  ,A WAGGA-educated academic historian returned to town at the weekend giving residents a new insight into the ‘Wagga Wagga’ name. Professor Bill Gammage from the Australian National University was invited to speak by the Wagga and District Historical Society about his latest publication telling those in attendance ‘Wagga’ means more than just ‘place of many crows’.

 His book, The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia, explores the discovery that Aboriginal people managed the land in far more systematic and scientific ways than ever before realised using a complex system of land management in fire and life cycles of native plants to ensure plentiful wildlife and plant foods throughout the year.

“It argues that Aborigines organised plants and distributed them in a way that would allow them to organise animals,” Mr Gammage said. “So when you take the name Wagga, which means place of many crows, it would actually be describing the landscape so they would know what it looked like,” Mr Gammage said. “They knew it meant there were plenty of crows, which meant there were lizards, snakes and grasslands which led to tubas and bulbs and a lot of open grass country.”…. .


April 5, 2012 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Resources | 1 Comment

Video solar energy news, coal compensation

Energy Matters Video News – Episode 63 – April 4, 2012, by Energy Matters This week, Virginia reports on price wars in Australia’s solar sector, Energy Matters becoming Australia’s first accredited REC solar professional, greening solar panel production and Victorian coal fired power stations receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in carbon tax ‘compensation’….

April 5, 2012 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment