Australian news, and some related international items

On July 1 Australia joins international effort to address global warming

[Tony Abbott has] claimed regions will disappear, Whyalla will collapse. The population in Whyalla’s increasing and there’s a lot of investment there. I just think a lot of the claims that have been made from Sunday will be able to be tested against reality and I think people will think, “Well, you know, can we really believe what Tony Abbott’s on about?”

VIDEO Combet joins Lateline   28 June 12,
“……….[The carbon tax is]  meant to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in our economy over time because it’s important for Australia to play its part in international efforts to tackle climate change. We’re part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, an advanced economy like ours has to play its fair part, we’re one of the top 20 greenhouse gas emitters internationally and we’re the highest per capita emitter amongst the developed economies. So, we have to play our role and the intention here is to put a price tag on pollution so that there’s an incentive to cut greenhouse gas emissions….
what we’re implementing of course is an emissions trading scheme. I know we’ve discussed this previously, but when it does migrate to a flexible price in 2015, the government of the day will be setting caps so we can achieve a targeted emissions reduction.

Essentially what that means is the number of permits to emit greenhouse gas will be limited and cut each year so that we can achieve a specific emissions reduction target by 2020. So it will be effective, but of course we’re part of the international community. Other countries are doing similar things and a tonne of greenhouse gas emissions cut overseas or in Australia is – it doesn’t matter whether it’s here or overseas, as long as there’s greenhouse gas emissions cut and that’s why linking carbon markets is important…… Continue reading

June 29, 2012 Posted by | Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | | Leave a comment

Australia’s Labor and Liberal parties unite to pass discriminatory law against Aborigines

Indigenous leader Dr Djiniyini Gondarra from East Arnhem Land and Rosalie Kunoth Monks from Central Australia have jointly declared a day of mourning for Aboriginal people following the passing of the laws.

Former Family Court chief justice Alastair Nicholson said the government’s use of special measures could fail a High Court challenge. He said Ms Macklin’s response was ‘entirely predictable’ and maintained the consultation process had been a ‘travesty’.

Day of mourning for cont NT intervention  Big Pond News, June 29, 2012  Aboriginal leaders will hold a day of mourning after federal parliament passed legislation to continue the Northern Territory intervention for another 10 years.

Labor and the opposition teamed up to pass the controversial laws in the Senate in the early hours of Friday morning after a marathon debate, which started early Thursday evening.

The laws were amended to reduce the review period from seven to three years. Attempts by the Greens to heavily amend the laws, including cutting the sunset clause from 10 to five years, were defeated.

The Greens accused the government of sneaking the laws through in the shadow of the media storm over asylum seekers on the final day before parliament’s winter break. Continue reading

June 29, 2012 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Scotland’s renewable energy success

About 35% of Scotland’s electricity needs would have come from renewables last year – assuming consumption levels were similar to 2010. This would exceed the Scottish Government’s interim target of 31%….. “particularly encouraging when you consider that 2011 saw the highest output from renewable energy to date”.

The sector also already employs 11,000 people in Scotland

Renewable energy production doubles Jun 28 2012 Scotland produced a record amount of renewable energy last year, almost double the total from five years ago, according to UK Government figures. Continue reading

June 29, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Senate approves Aboriginal intervention by 10 years BY: PATRICIA KARVELAS  The Australian June 29, 2012  The government’s radical 10-year extension of the Northern Territory intervention has passed the Senate after a long overnight debate….. Most measures in the Stronger Futures legislation will be in place for 10 years Continue reading

June 29, 2012 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Lynas Corporation will have to agree to returning its radioactive wastes to Australia, unless it finds a permanent solution

The  Temporary Operating License  will only be issued after Lynas  fulfils two new conditions imposed 

AELB: Lynas committed to returning radioactive waste to Australia The Malaysian Insider By
Lisa J. Ariffin June 28, DENGKIL, June 28
— Lynas is committed to return all potentially harmful waste from its rare earths plant here to Australia despite its government’s firm refusal to take it in, Malaysia’s radiation regulator said today.

The Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB)  told reporters today the Australian miner would have to send home all residue that could not be turned into commercial products or if a location for a permanent disposal facility (PDF) here could not be determined or approved.

“Lynas will have 10 months to come up with a permanent disposal facility plan for its radioactive residue upon receiving its temporary operating license (TOL),”  said Dr Noor Hasnah Mohamed Khairullah who is special adviser to the AELB director-general.

“If they fail to find a location for the PDF, or if the plan is not approved, then Lynas has to return the residues back to Australia. Continue reading

June 29, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Japanese politicians organise Group for Zero Nuclear Power

 (Group for Zero Nuclear Power), made up of nine politicians from seven political parties

The lawmakers’ group plans to campaign for a phased scrapping of nuclear reactors, similar to the policy adopted by Germany.

Experts warn against restarting nuclear reactors in Japan, Times of India, Subodh Varma, TNN | Jun 28, 2012, NEW DELHI: Japan is in ferment as the date for restarting two of its nuclear reactors draws close after over an year’s shutdown. Hundreds have participated in protests at several places. Local councils are confused and divided. Two seismic experts publicly warned that the government is under-estimating the threat to these reactors which are located very near a seismic fault.

And a group of lawmakers cutting across political parties released a danger ranking of 50 nuclear reactors in Japan calling for their phased decommissioning. …. Continue reading

June 29, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Senator Christine Milne spells out the need for Australia’s action to reduce carbon emissions

The Climate Institute estimates the carbon tax could create up to 32,000 clean-energy jobs by 2030

the International Energy Agency has warned the world is on track for a six-degree increase in global temperatures.
“That’s planetary wipe-out,” the Tasmania senator said ahead of the carbon tax starting on July 1.

Carbon tax will create green jobs: Milne BY: JULIAN DRAPE   June 28, 2012   The federal opposition argues Labor’s carbon tax will squeeze the life out of the economy but the Australian Greens insist pricing pollution will actually help create new industries and jobs.

GREENS leader Christine Milne says growth in the United States and Europe is being driven by the need to move away from oil to renewable energy and the carbon tax will ensure Australia isn’t left behind. The “zero-carbon economy” will provide “big opportunities”, she told AAP. Continue reading

June 29, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Japanese govt plans big nuclear power restart, to save TEPCO from bankruptcy

Tepco’s Plans Restart of World’s Biggest Nuclear Plant, Bloomberg News By Tsuyoshi Inajima and Yuji Okada June 28, 2012   Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501), owner of the crippled Fukushima reactors, is committed to restarting another nuclear plant next year that is the world’s largest and itself was damaged in a 2007 earthquake.

Bringing the Kashiwazaki Kariwa power station online, even though it sets up the state-controlled utility for further conflicts with a nuclear-weary public, is part of “Plan A,” President Naomi Hirose, 59, said in an interview. The plan refers to a 10-year business reconstruction that handed control of the power company known as Tepco to Japan’s government. “We have no choice right now but to do our bestto carry out Plan A,” Hirose said on June 18. “We don’t have a Plan B.”

Tepco’s decision runs counter to polls showing the majority of Japanese want less reliance on atomic power after meltdowns at its Fukushima Dai-Ichi reactors last year. The radiation release and cost to the public of as much as $138 billion sparked anti-nuclear sentiment across the world. In Japan, all 50 reactors, including the seven at Kashiwazaki Kariwa, have been required to pass so-called stress tests introduced to improve safety after the Fukushima
disaster. Only two near the western city of Osaka have won permission
to resume operations, leaving 48 offline.

“Tepco’s plan is only wishful thinking” because no more reactors are likely to be approved this year, said Tomoko Murakami, a Tokyo-based nuclear analyst at the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan. “Without the restart, there is not much hope to revive the company.”……

June 29, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment