Australian news, and some related international items

Labor and Liberal Party leaders for Barkly, NT, both oppose Muckaty nuclear waste dump

Barkly candidates united against Muckaty, ABC Alice Springs  By Emma Sleath (Cross Media Reporter), 24 May 12 They’re on opposite sides of the political divide but Member for Barkly, Gerry McCarthy and Country Liberal Party  candidate Bec Healy stand united on Muckaty.

The CLP’s candidate for the Barkly, Bec Healy says she does not want to see the proposed nuclear waste facility at Muckaty Station go ahead. “I know some of the traditional owners out at Muckaty…and you have to be sensitive with how people live, that’s their life and I’m willing to support them,” she says.

The Federal Government put forward the proposal to build a radioactive waste management facility at Muckaty Station in 2008. The station is located 120kms north of Tennant Creek and leased from Indigenous landholders.

Ms Healy stands united with current Labor  Member for Barkly, Gerry McCarthy who maintains his strong opposition to the proposal.

“This is prime cattle country, this is important Indigenous land, this is a very important part of the Territory’s future, it doesn’t need to be contaminated with nuclear material,” he says.

Both candidates stand against their own parties federally on the issue……

Last week the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) announced their opposition to the Muckaty proposal, saying that they will actively support any trade unions ‘refusing to cooperate with the implementation of the policy.’…..

“Why put it over the top of our water table?”  says local business owner Wayne Walsh

“I don’t think they realise that we’ve got so much water underneath up here…one mistake and the whole territory’s dead, all the water’s gone.”……..

May 24, 2012 Posted by | Northern Territory, politics | Leave a comment

Wiluna locals unhappy on uranium plans

Western Nuclear free Alliance ,24th May 2012 Wiluna locals have sent letters to both WA Environment Minister Bill Marmion and Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke inviting them both to Wiluna to discuss the proposed uranium mine by Toro Energy.Wiluna local and senior law man Glen Cooke has been very critical of the consultation process and is now seeking consultation from the Ministers, with the support of others in the community.

Mr Cooke said “Toro Energy they only talk to a few people, always the same people. It’s not right, the people from Bondini’s (the community closest to the proposed mine) sometimes they don’t know about meetings, or they’re not invited to meetings or they can’t get to meetings. This is not right.”

“Marmion and Burke they will be making a big decision that will affect our community our dreaming and our health. Before they make a decision on what happens in our community, before signing away our country from many thousands of kilometers away they should come and look us in the eyes.”

Kado Muir, Chairperson of the West Australia Nuclear Free Alliance and Ngalia man said “The decision by EPA to approve the mining and transport of uranium has sent a shiver of fear through Aboriginal communities in the Goldfields. Our families in Wiluna face the prospect of having their country and environment poisoned by the Toro mine, while those of us living in Leonora and Kalgoorlie can only live in fear and hope that the road trains driving through our town does not have an unfortunate accident.

“The trucking of uranium down the Goldfields highway, sneaking around the back of Kalgoorlie and scurrying out of the State to South Australia along the Eyre highway is a striking commentary on the ‘not in my backyard syndrome’. Lead exports through Esperance and Fremantle demonstrated that industry and Government owned ports can’t cope with Lead, how will they ever transport uranium safely, it’s like playing Russian roulette with a loaded gun.

“This is an irresponsible politically motivated decision by the EPA to pander to Barnetts ‘development at all costs’ agenda for Western Australia. “The EPA needs to redeem its legitimacy and hold a full public enquiry as provided for under their Act into the wider environmental and public health consequences of uranium mining in WA” Mr Muir concluded.

(the signatures on this letter are only a few of the many many people in Wiluna who are concerned about the uranium mine at Wiluna- due to bad timing and meetings).

May 24, 2012 Posted by | aboriginal issues, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Precarious state of Fukushima’s nuclear fuel rods

The workers are like Samurai warriors, they’re like suicide workers. They know they are getting huge amounts of radiation going to the site. They can only go in, seconds to minutes, at a time doing work and then the next batch has to come in.

Chernobyl had a half a million workers who worked minutes at a time. Here we have a situation much worse than Chernobyl simply because we have basically five reactors that could go up. One reactor setting off the next reactor, that’s a huge amount of radiation, over ten times the radiation inventory found in Chernobyl.

“People don’t realize that the Fukushima reactor (Number 4) is on a knife’s edge; it’s near the tipping point.

includes videos and audio  Large Crack on South Wall of Fukushima Nuclear Reactor Number Four?   DBKP. May 20, 2012 By LBG1 We could have a disaster much worse, many times worse than Chernobyl.” Dr. Michio Kaku on the precarious state of the spent fuel rods in the severely damaged Fukushima nuclear reactor Unit Number Four building Continue reading

May 24, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Germany’s nuclear phaseout is going well – don’t believe the nuclear lobby’s spin

Busting the carbon and cost myths of Germany’s nuclear exit, Damian Carrington, 23 May 12  Critics of the atomic phase-out said energy emissions, costs and imports would all rise. They were wrong.  it’s worth taking a look at what actually happens when you phase out nuclear power in a large, industrial nation.

That is what Germany chose to do after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, closing eight plants immediately – 7GW – and another nine by 2022. The shrillest critics predicted blackouts, which was always daft and did not happen.

But more serious critics worried that the three things at the heart of th eenergy and climate change debate – carbon, cost and security of supply – would all head in the wrong direction. Here in Berlin, I have found they were wrong on every count. Continue reading

May 24, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) a winning strategy for superannuation investment

After decades of failed renewable energy support programs, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will prudently apply public funds to support private investors in bringing forward a more diverse, cheaper, cleaner energy supply. This is the winning strategy for mums and dads with their money in super and the investors who oversee it. The CEFC will build the foundations of the future our nation is demanding.

We can all invest in clean energySMH, Simon O’Connor May 24, 2012 “…….With the CEFC, the last pillar of the Clean Energy Future package is soon to become law. This makes it a good time to look at why the rest of the world is embracing this method of accelerating renewable energy investment, in a time of intense global spending pressures. Renewables are one of the few global industries that registered continued growth throughout the GFC. Clean energy investment is up 500 per cent since 2004.

Couple this with longer-term energy forecasts and most governments can see the importance of getting behind clean energy. Investing now in diverse sources is critical for the holy trinity of power: energy security, insurance against price shocks and lower energy prices.

Despite our coal and gas resources, Australia is in no way immune to potential price shocks. Most energy analysts believe it is only a matter of time before our cheap fossil fuels inflate to international prices, Continue reading

May 24, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, energy | Leave a comment

Australia-based Barefoot Power provides small scale solar power to 10 million impoverished homes

The Australia-based social enterprise Barefoot Power aims to expand access to its high-quality, energy efficient, affordable light-emitting diode (LED) lamps, home lighting systems and phone chargers, to more off-grid communities with expansion in Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria and India as a focus by 2015. The company has already captured the majority market share in East Africa.

Solar energy enterprise to provide 10 million with access to renewable energy , PR Wire 24 May 12 The BCtA is a global initiative that encourages private sector efforts to fight poverty, supported by several international organizations including the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

Ten million low-income people living in rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America
and the Caribbean, will gain access to low-cost solar energy by 2015, in part due to a commitment made by solar energy provider Barefoot Power   to the Business Call to Action  (BCtA).

The BCtA is a global initiative that encourages private sector efforts to fight poverty, supported by several international organizations including the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Continue reading

May 24, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, solar | | 1 Comment

Australia’s Kimberley – paradise or a Dubai-like industrial hub?

community opposition to the project is growing rapidly. A loose coalition of environmentalist groups has launched a national campaign to stop the project, supported by Aboriginal people desperate to protect sacred heritage sites and ancient graves.

Battle for the Kimberley SMH, Jan Mayman May 24, 2012 “….. ONCE it was paradise, an enchanted land of wild beauty, with endless beaches of dazzling white sand beneath magnificent red cliffs along the Kimberley coast. For more than a century people from all over the world were drawn there by the pearl-rich sea. In the old port of Broome, they settled and intermarried, creating a place of racial harmony unique in Australia,
with its own language, cuisine and music. In more recent times tourists have flocked there to enjoy its idyllic charm.

But everything is changing. The West Australian government wants to turn Broome into another Dubai, with a $35 billion liquefied natural gas plant 60 kilometres north of the town at pristine James Price Point. If it wins federal government approval it will be the world’s
biggest, producing 12 million tonnes of liquefied gas a year. But the project, driven by an international consortium led by Australia’s Woodside Petroleum, has bitterly divided Broome’s 16,000 residents…… Continue reading

May 24, 2012 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Close dirty coal-fired power stations – we want renewable energy, say Port Augusta residents

The State Government says above average lung cancer levels in the city are caused by smoking.

Locals lobby for renewable power May 22, 2012  Port Augusta residents want the town’s coal fired power stations replaced with renewable alternatives . Residents at Port Augusta in South Australia’s north have launched a campaign to replace the city’s two ageing coal-fired power stations. A community group has been set up to encourage a switch to renewable energy. Continue reading

May 24, 2012 Posted by | energy, South Australia | | Leave a comment