Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s Aborigines still being deceived out of their land – but they are fighting back

the main advocacy that we’re focusing on of course is still land rights. … Aboriginal people feel that they are still being deceived in terms of land.

Q&A: Aboriginal rights then and now  SBS World News Q&A between Michael and SBS Online Producer Chiara Pazzano 28 JUN 2012, 40 years on, the last surviving founder of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy says Indigenous Australians are still being deceived over their land.
Michael Anderson is the leader of the Euahlayi people of northern New South Wales and the last surviving of the four founders of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra.

Since that historic moment in 1972, he’s been a high-profile fighter for Aboriginal rights, but in a new interview with SBS for NAIDOC Week, he says while much has changed, Indigenous Australians are still
being deceived over their land……

Question: What are the main things that the Aboriginal Tent Embassy is advocating for now? Continue reading

June 30, 2012 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

“Stronger Futures” – discriminatory laws condemned by Aborigines and human rights groups

“We want an end to the intervention, we want to have control back over our lives, we want control back over our land and our communities.

Stronger Futures laws condemned after passing Senate ABC Radio Australia 29 June 2012 Indigenous and human rights groups have condemned the Senate’s rushed passing of new laws extending the intervention in remote Northern Territory areas.
It has been nearly five years since John Howard brought in the original policy.

Today’s passing of the Stronger Futures laws mean the current measures
will mostly continue for another 10 years. Continue reading

June 30, 2012 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Time to support the carbon tax and expose Abbott’s disinformation about it

Australia needs the carbon tax, The Age Editorial, June 30, 2012 ‘AFTER all,” Scarlett O’Hara assures herself in the concluding scene of Gone with the Wind, ”tomorrow is another day”.

It is advice Australians should take to heart, having been long assailed with dire forecasts that tomorrow, July 1, will not in fact be just another day. Instead, some would have us believe that it will be the beginning of our impoverishment and the end of civilisation as we know it, all because of the arrival of a Great Big New Tax. These claims are nonsense, uttered by people who think that if they repeat them often enough and without evidence, their fellow citizens will believe them
to be true.

For the record, here are the relevant facts about the carbon tax, which begins tomorrow. Continue reading

June 30, 2012 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

New wind farm near Barossa Valley would power 68,000 homes

Wind farm mooted near Barossa  June 29, 2012  Pacific Hydro has submitted an application to the Development Assessment Commission for a 42-turbine wind farm on the edge of the Barossa Valley.

The Keyneton wind farm would be north-west of Cambrai, with turbines running along about 15 kilometres of the eastern Mount Lofty Ranges. The company initially proposed 57 turbines for the area but reduced the number in response to community concerns about the visual amenity and potential noise. The nearest house to the wind farm would be about 1.7 kilometres away, with most homes between three and five kilometres from the project.

The wind farm would power about 68,000 homes a year. Pacific Hydro already runs the Clements Gap wind farm, south of Port Pirie, and is proposing another near Georgetown in the mid-north.

June 30, 2012 Posted by | South Australia, wind | , | Leave a comment

Massive anti nuclear protest: 100,000 rally outside Japan Prime Minister’s home

Huge Tokyo Rally Protests Nuclear Restart By MITSURU OBE And ELEANOR WARNOCK, WSJ, June 29, 2012, TOKYOTens of thousands of people protested against the nation’s first nuclear reactor restarts at the Japanese prime minister’s residence Friday, in one of the largest demonstrations since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant last year set off wide opposition to nuclear power.

The massive demonstration was called to protest a government decision to restart Sunday two reactors at the Oi plant in western Japan. It was the 14th demonstration organized by a coalition of anti-nuclear groups outside the premier’s residence since March 29. Organizers estimated the number of participants to be more than 100,000. The National Police Agency, which also releases estimates, was unavailable for comment. The looming restart of the two Oi reactors, a decision
made by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s administration amid power-shortage concerns, seems to have galvanized support for Friday’s demonstration.

The sidewalks in front of the prime minister’s office and near the Parliament were overflowing with protesters. Some participants carried handwritten signs, while others held aloft elaborate placards reading “No Restarts.” For more than two hours the crowd kept up a rhythmic cheer of “Against the restarts, against the restarts, against the restarts.”….

June 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan’s fast breeder reactor – costs soar way above conventional nuclear reactors

Fast breeder reactor far costlier than regular nuclear power generation TOKYO, June 29, Kyodo If the development of the controversial Monju prototype fast breeder reactor is continued, its costs will swell to over 1.4 trillion yen and its power generation costs will be 10,000 yen per kilowatt hour, roughly 1,000 times greater than a regular reactor, according to data compiled by Kyodo News.

 Construction of the Monju reactor started in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, in 1985 as part of the government’s policy of establishing a nuclear fuel cycle to make use of spent nuclear fuel at conventional atomic plants that run on uranium. Monju uses a uranium and plutonium mix as fuel.

 The facility of the government-affiliated Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corp. first reached criticality, a situation where a chain reaction of nuclear fission is sustained, in 1994.

June 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australian government looks to the future with its carbon policy

 more than 50 jurisdictions around the world, with a combined population of 850 million, will have a carbon price by next year.

Far from disappearing from the face of the earth, Whyalla’s OneSteel is investing $200m in a port upgrade. 

If Australia were to falter and defer carbon pricing, our industries would be stuck with old technologies in a global marketplace in which production processes are moving to lower-carbon energy sources. 

Pricing carbon is essential to our nation’s future, BY: CRAIG EMERSON  The Australian June 30, 2012   IF you believe the prophecies of carbon pricing opponents, the world as we know it comes to an end tomorrow. The sky will fall in, Whyalla and Gladstone will be wiped off the map, the coalmining industry will be annihilated and price rises will be unimaginable.

Now the truth: the carbon price will increase the general price level by 70c in every $100, households will experience average cost-of-living increases of $9.90 a week and average compensation will be $10.10 a week. Treasury estimates that with the carbon price in place 1.6 million new jobs will be created to 2020. Continue reading

June 30, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business | Leave a comment

Liberal government would first abolish carbon tax, second take action on carbon contracts

Abbott to act on carbon contracts BY: SID MAHER   The Australian June 30,  TONY Abbott has declared the Coalition will seek to renegotiate contracts signed under the carbon pricing regime, which would be abolished in the first act of a Coalition government.

Speaking after the government yesterday announced it had signed multi-million-dollar, two-year deals with the Alcoa aluminium smelter and the Energy Brix briquette manufacturer, the Opposition Leader said the Coalition would honour contracts that could not be renegotiated…. subscription only

June 30, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Burying nuclear waste – simpler, safer, and cheaper than new “fast reactors”

Of course, there is a simpler solution to the U.K.’s plutonium problem: bury it…… Such fast reactors are more expensive than even traditional reactors, such as Westinghouse’s new AP-1000 under construction in China and the U.S., which are estimated to cost roughly $7 billion apiece

Ultimately, however, the core problem may be that such new reactors don’t eliminate the nuclear waste that has piled up so much as transmute it.

Can Fast Reactors Speedily Solve Plutonium Problems?
The U.K. is grappling with how to get rid of weapons-grade plutonium and may employ a novel reactor design to consume it Scientific American By David Biello  | March 21, 2012 The U.K. has nearly 100 metric tons of plutonium—dubbed “the element from hell” by some—that it doesn’t know what to do with. The island nation does not need the potent powder to construct more nuclear weapons, and spends billions of British pounds to ensure that others don’t steal it for that purpose. The unstable element, which will remain radioactive for millennia, is the residue of ill-fated efforts to recycle used nuclear fuel.

One solution under consideration is to recycle the plutonium yet further—by using it as fuel in a pair of new, so-called “fast” reactors. Such nuclear reactors can actually “consume” plutonium via fission (transforming it into other forms of nuclear waste that are not as useful for weapons). The U.K. is considering a plan to build two of General Electric’s PRISM fast reactors, the latest in a series of fast-reactor designs that for several decades have attempted with mixed success to handle plutonium and other radioactive waste from nuclear power. The idea remains that fast reactors, which get their name because the neutrons that initiate fission in the reactor are zipping about faster than those in a conventional reactor, could offer a speedy solution to cleaning some nasty nuclear waste, which fissions better with fast neutrons, while also providing electricity as a by-product.

The U.K. is hardly alone in struggling to cope with nuclear waste, whether plutonium or otherwise. Continue reading

June 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

8 French nuclear reactors found to have serious safety problems

This failure raises even more questions in risk facilities, such as the plant of Areva LaHague whose pools contain the equivalent of 130 cores of nuclear power plants …

Severe abnormalities detected on fuel pools of eight French reactors    Greenpeace France 29 June 12 Network “power without atoms” received and analyzed internal documents released today to EDF and IRSN  who report anomalies on fuel pools of nuclear reactors Paluel, Flamanville and St. Alban. Abnormalities that could have serious consequences in case of earthquake.

See all the documents published  An anomaly on lines of swimming pools … Continue reading

June 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Australian govt really getting Aborigines off their homelands – it’s all about assimilation

Q&A: Aboriginal rights then and now  SBS World News Q&A between Michael and SBS Online Producer Chiara Pazzano 28 JUN 2012“……..What’s happening now with the Northern Territory Homelands policy after the Federal Government injected money to keep these communities living on their lands?

Michael Anderson  Well, it’s nice in words but in practice it’s not possible because the government is screaming about the fact that we can’t put the infrastructure into those places, into those isolated communities, which is a lot of bunkem.

You don’t have to put telegraph poles and electricity poles out to community, they can put up solar farms and
these solar farms will generate all the power they need for those communities. You know they can get out there and all they need is to connect water tanks to their homes, they can drill down to bores that are on a lot of those homelands and they will supply water. They can also set up horticultural programs in those communities where they can become self-sufficient.

This relocating is all about assimilation, nothing more…..

June 30, 2012 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Northern Territory | Leave a comment