Australian news, and some related international items

Uranium, environmental issues, make strange political bed-fellows

Nuclear power, climate change, pollution , public health, our children’s future –   these are issues that rise above and beyond politics.

That’s a a fact that is quietly emerging.  It is a reason why I try to steer clear of party political views, and especially because of the occasional surprises.  In England, for example, there’s the Tory politician Zac Goldsmith – a firm opponent of nuclear power.

In Australia, today, there’s prominent businesswoman Eve Mahlab, a darling of the Liberal Party, speaking up for Labor Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and for the public’s appreciation of renewabl energy.

And there’s supposedly Labor, Paul Howes, making it clear that everything, and particularly the environment, should be sacrificed for politcal gain – he seems to be further right than the Liberals.

And then there’s the record of  Bob Katter – notoriously far right-wing politician, speaking out against environmental pollution, and cover-ups in uranium mining.

May 14, 2012 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Toro Energy uranium miner Alternative Annual Report 2012

Toro Energy Alternative Annual Report 2012, by Jim Green, Dave Sweeney, Mia Pepper, 14 May 12,  This Alternative Annual Report has been compiled in the public interest to highlight the health, social, economic and environmental impacts of Toro Energy projects.

May 14, 2012 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Conflict of interest as mining industry advises Australian Government on coal-seam gas

Coal-seam gas advisers’ links to mining industry exposed BY: NATASHA BITA  The Australian May 14, 2012   MOST of the scientists advising the federal government on coal-seam gas pollution have financial links with the mining industry.

Four of the six members of the interim independent expert scientific committee on coal-seam gas and coalmining have a financial connection with mining companies, the Environment Department has revealed…… (subscribes only)

May 14, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | | Leave a comment

Mega Uranium’s Ben Lomond project, dangers to water supply, and Bob Katter

Jim Green, 14 May 12, The Ben Lomond uranium (and molybdenum) deposit is located 50 kms west of Townsville. It is owned by Mega Uranium, which purchased it in 2005

As at May 2012, Mega Uranium was undertaking prefeasibility studies with a view to determining the project economics, the preferred mining and processing options and the key steps in mine development. The recently-elected Liberal National Party state government has thus far maintained previous government policy of banning uranium mining, but Mega Uranium is betting on a change of policy.


 Far-right pro-uranium federal MP Bob Katter had this to say in Parliament on 1 November 2005:


 “ there is a limit to the dangers we will accept. In the case of Ben Lomond, the company said that there had been no spill. The government agency—the forebears of what we now call the Environmental Protection Agency—also said that there had been no spill. That was for the first three or four weeks. When further evidence was disclosed, they said, firstly, that there had been a spill but the level of radiation was not dangerous and, secondly, that it had not reached the water system from which 210,000 people drank.

For the next two or three weeks they held out with that story. Further evidence was produced in which they admitted that it had been a dangerous level. Yes, it was about 10,000 times higher than what the health agencies in Australia regarded as an acceptable level. After six weeks, we got rid of lie number 2. I think it was at about week 8 or week 12 when, as a state member of parliament, I insisted upon going up to the site. Just before I went up to the site, the company admitted—remember, it was not just the company but also the agency set up by the government to protect us who were telling lies—that the spill had reached the creek which ran into the Burdekin River, which provided the drinking water for 210,000 people. We had been told three sets of lies over a period of three months.

So I say to the people of the Northern Territory: make sure that ordinary people have some sort of oversighting mechanism. Do not leave it up to the government or its officials. They will dance to the tune played by whatever piper is in charge money-wise or politically. They will not answer to the tune of protecting the people. That has been my experience.”


May 14, 2012 Posted by | environment, Northern Territory, uranium | Leave a comment

Vicious attacks on Julia Gillard, Australia’s first woman Prime Minister

Both sexes are to blame for misogynist vitriol against Gillard, WA Today Eve Mahlab, May 8, 2012 Vicious attacks against the PM say more about our society than about her.

RUBY Hamad is right when she claimed on this page that hatred of women exists in the West. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in the Australian witch hunt for Julia Gillard, the first woman who has dared to become Australia’s prime minister.

Hamad is also right when she writes that patriarchy (usually defined as a system of society in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it) isn’t just men oppressing women, but requires the participation of women. This explains why some of the Prime Minister’s severest critics are women……

She has negotiated a tax deal with the mining industry. Although controversial, her carbon tax may encourage investment in renewable energy sources, investment most Australians see as worthwhile. ...

It is high time that decent Australian men and women spoke out against the misogyny being demonstrated so viciously against our first woman prime minister.

May 14, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Paul Howes’ fight against the environment

Green flak for Howes, The Mercury  JARRAD BEVAN   |   May 13, 2012  THE Greens have dismissed comments by Australian Workers Union secretary Paul Howes that the state’s future depends on standing up to the environmental movement. They say it is “populist grandstanding” from an old-school unionist stuck in a last-century economic mindset.

Greens leader Nick McKim said Tasmania instead needed to smarten its economy by transitioning away from an over-reliance on market-exposed heavy industries and bulk commodity exports.

“It’s the attitude of people like Mr Howes that put Tasmania’s economy in the vulnerable position it’s now in, and he has the temerity to fly in from the mainland and give us a lecture on economics,” he said.

Mr Howes said Tasmania’s main political parties had lost the public-relations battle to the environmental movement…..
Liberal MP Matthew Groom backed Mr Howes, saying Tasmanians were sick of being treated as the “plaything” for environmental groups or the inner-city constituency of the Labor Party in Sydney and Melbourne.

“They are sick of a Government that panders to green groups…..

TASMANIA needs to stand up to the environmental movement for the sake of its future, a Labor Party powerbroker says. T he Mercury Tassie told to toughen up  MATT SMITH   |   May 12, 2012 Paul Howes, secretary of the powerful Australian Workers Union, said the Government needed to resist the environmental movement … Mr Howes said Tasmania’s main political parties had lost the public relations battle to the Greens and the environmental movement.

May 14, 2012 Posted by | politics, Tasmania | Leave a comment

Canada, China, USA now selling solar technology to Japan

What a pity!   Australians designed and pioneered solat technology.

But we leave it to cold climate Canada, and other countries, to develop and make a success of this as an export industry.  And – we even have a Minister for Energy, Martin Ferguson, who quietly sabotages solar and other renewabke energy, every chance he gets!

Canadian Solar jumps into Japan panel market
Kyodo Canadian Solar Inc., the world’s fifth-largest maker of solar modules, plans to build a plant in Japan as soon as fiscal 2013 to become the first foreign company to produce solar panels here, company sources said. Continue reading

May 14, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Exposing the corporate front group The Heartland Institute

An ad campaign by the corporate front-group the Heartland Institute features the face of Ted Kaczynski alongside the phrase “I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?” Heartland is funded by Microsoft, Pfizer, and other major corporate sponsors, and I just signed a petition for them to pull their support of Heartland over these despicable, anti-science ads. Will you join me?

The Heartland Institute has a long history of playing dirty. Last year, Heartland was caught trying to sneak industry-written pro-coal propaganda into elementary schools, and previously they have acted as hired guns for the cigarette industry, distributing a paper titled “Joe Camel is Innocent!”.

These corporations have no business supporting Heartland. Join me in calling for them to stop funding these climate change denial smears –

May 14, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment