Australian news, and some related international items

Thousands travel to Roxby Downs in anti-uranium protest against Olympic Dam mine

Roxby Council Administrator Bill Boehm said many protests against the mine had occurred without disrupting the town in the past. “From past experience, it appears that most of the protest action revolves around the mine’s operation with minimal direct impact on the Roxby Downs township,” he said.

Protesters vow to shut down Olympic Dam 7 July 12, HUNDREDS of police will be sent to Roxby Downs as thousands of protesters from around the country attempt to shut down the Olympic Dam uranium mine.

The Desert Liberation Front website has issued an open invitation to more than 10,000 people to attend the six-day protest, music and art festival to be held on the outskirts of the town from next Saturday.

It says it will take their protest to “Roxby Downs – gates of hell” to help “shut down the mine”. More than 1200 protesters have already indicated they will attend while 723 others are seeking transport. Continue reading

July 7, 2012 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Aboriginals and supporters march for human rights, land rights

Indigenous march marks long quest for rights, ABC News, By Myles Morgan, July 06, 2012   Hundreds of Indigenous people and their supporters have marched through the streets of Darwin as part of NAIDOC week celebrations.

Waving Aboriginal flags and banners, they chanted and walked to the accompaniment of clapping sticks.

Many were asking for the same thing: “Rights, land rights, equality, the same rights that other Australians take for granted.”… NAIDOC week is also marking 40 years since the Aboriginal tent embassy was set up at Old Parliament House in Canberra. NAIDOC week is also marking 40 years since the Aboriginal tent embassy was set up at Old Parliament House in Canberra….

July 7, 2012 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission’s damning report

FINAL REPORT (2) : Concern for people’s lives was not a priority July 06, 2012 THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
Concern for people’s lives seemed to be the last thing on the minds of officials at Tokyo Electric Power Co. or the central government as they scrambled to contain the nuclear disaster in Fukushima Prefecture last year.

This is one of the grim assessments that emerge from the final report issued July 5 by a Diet task force that investigated the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The Diet’s Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission suggested that health and safety concerns simply were not a priority.

The commission was especially critical of the lack of safety measures taken in the past as well as the initial response to the disaster triggered by the magnitude-9.0 Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. It concluded that plant operator TEPCO and the central government showed an utter lack of responsibility in doing everything possible to protect the lives of those most affected.

Delay in implementing measures proved to be costly The final report pointed to problems that arose after TEPCO and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) failed to implement safety measures even though they knew the plant was dangerously vulnerable to a major earthquake and tsunami crashing into the coast.

“The accident cannot be said to have been totally unexpected and there is no way that responsibility can be avoided,” the report stated.

July 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012

  The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012 is released. from Beyond NUclear 7 July 12 We are glad to announce that the report is now available for free download at

Twenty years after its first edition, the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012 portrays an industry suffering from the cumulative impacts of the world economic crisis, the Fukushima disaster, ferocious competitors and its own planning and management difficulties.

Key results of the assessment include:

 Only seven new reactors started up, while 19 were shut down in 2011. On 5 July 2012, one reactor was reconnected to the grid at Ohi in Japan and another unit is expected to generate power on the site within two weeks. However, it remains highly uncertain, how many others will receive permission to restart operations in Japan.

• Four countries announced that they will phase out nuclear power within a given timeframe.

• At least five countries have decided not to engage or re-engage in nuclear programs.

• In Bulgaria and Japan two reactors under construction were abandoned.

• In four countries new build projects were officially cancelled. Of the 59 units under construction in the world, at least 18 are experiencing multi-year delays, while the remaining 41 projects were started within the past five years or have not yet reached projected start-up dates, making it difficult to assess whether they are running on schedule.

• Construction costs are rapidly rising. Continue reading

July 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Listen to Tony Abbott avoiding questions about carbon tax, and about Julian Assange

Tony Abbott day on Hack  06/07/2012 reporter: Sophie McNeill and Michael Atkin  Since the price on carbon came into effect last weekend, Tony Abbott has been touring the country campaigning against the tax that he says will wipe out whole towns, close down industries and cause prices to go up and up and up so what’s his plan to tackle global warming?

July 7, 2012 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Which one REALLY is the liar – the Prime Minister or Tony Abbott?

Abbott is reported as saying during the post-election negotiations that he would ”do anything” to be prime minister. This implies that he, too, would have accepted a carbon tax as part of a minority government compromise.

Taxing the truth: why we must not let Abbott’s dogmas lie, The Age, July 7, 2012 Ian Robinson Opposition Leader Tony Abbott constantly accuses the Prime Minister of ‘lying’ when she made a commitment before the last election not to introduce a tax on carbon. But who’s the liar here? Continue reading

July 7, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Australian businesses don’t want repeal of carbon tax

The opposition climate spokesman, Greg Hunt, (left) repeated his prediction that if the Coalition won the next election, there would be no carbon price in Australia for the next 20 years.

Keith Orchison, a former head of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association, said Mr Hunt’s 20-year prediction was out of step with business. Investors in mining, power infrastructure and large manufacturing – which look 20 years or more ahead – were assuming a carbon price, he said.

Businesses reject Abbott’s vow to repeal carbon tax, SMH, July 7, 2012, David Wroe with Adam Morton and Paddy Doulman FEWER than a quarter of the biggest heavy greenhouse gas-emitting companies that will directly pay the carbon tax support Tony Abbott’s ”pledge in blood” to repeal the scheme, a survey by the Herald has found…

.The Herald asked 40 of the biggest emitters on the government’s list of 294 companies that will pay the carbon tax whether it was in their interests to repeal or change the scheme. Nine indicated they supported a repeal, Continue reading

July 7, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | | Leave a comment

When El Nino strikes, Australians will believe in global warming again, and in carbon tax?

This week, the weather bureau warned another El Nino event was looming for the coming year.

The last time Australia went through El Nino, the country had its worst drought in more than a century. Not surprisingly, many Australians drew a connection between the drought and climate change and the need for action.

El Nino may be good for Labor The West, Andrew Probyn   July 6, 2012, Shhhh! Don’t mention the war. As the great heatwave struck the US, knocking off thousands of temperature records, Bob Henson, a meteorologist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, was asked this week whether any of this could be down to climate change.

“Climate change is a political question,” he told Fairfax’s US correspondent Nick O’Malley. “I thought it was a scientific question,” O’Malley responded. “Well, it’s both.”

This was a fascinating exchange. Especially in a week where scientists could confidently announce they had confirmed the existence of the Higgs boson, the so-called God particle. Comparatively speaking, there’s less evidence of the Higgs boson than there is of climate change, but we believed the scientists when they told us they had found the elusive subatomic particle that explained mass.

The fact that Mr Henson went straight to the politics of climate change, rather than going to the cause of climate change
(anthropomorphic or otherwise) speaks volumes for the success of the campaign against the so-called “warmists”….. Continue reading

July 7, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | | Leave a comment

With extreme heat, USA waking up to Climate Change

Extreme weather shifts US attitudes on climate BY: LAUREN WILSON  The Australian July 07, 2012   ONE of Barack Obama’s top scientific advisers says extreme weather events are making Americans increasingly attuned to the threat of climate change, despite no evidence linking some of the events to global warming.

Jane Lubchenco, head of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, yesterday said climate change was being played out in the backyards of many Americans.  subscription only

July 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Military leaders concerned about USA yanking Australia into war

Former lieutenant-general Peter Leahy, who headed the Australian army for six years to 2008, is watching it all with increasing alarm, urging Canberra to be wary about falling in with US ambitions to maintain ”primacy” in China’s maritime backyard……

”My concern is that we are so embedded in the US planning process, we are so interoperable with them, that there’s this expectation we will be involved in whatever [the US] does … 

Hugh White, a former senior defence official and author of the earlier 2000 white paper, also fears Australia being drawn too tightly into US brinkmanship with China…….White points out that almost everywhere but inside Australia, the arrival of US marines in Darwin for six-month ”training rotations” is being viewed as the effective establishment of an American land base here – for direct deployment to conflicts …. And this, too, is being largely driven by Washington’s ”strategic pivot” towards China……..

Defence ready to muscle up, THE AUSTRALIAN, July 7, 2012 Australia has a choice: spend big preparing for war or focus on smaller regional skirmishes. Deborah Snow and Hamish McDonald report. It takes the skills of a diplomat as well as those of a soldier to head the Australian Defence Force. So it was startling to hear unusually plain talk from the present chief, General David Hurley, at a low-key event at the Lowy Institute in Sydney one evening last month.

Touching on the delicate subject of growing Chinese-US rivalry in the region, Hurley revealed: ”When I am asked by my US counterpart what’s my major concern about the relationship between Australia and the US, I say the relationship between your military and the Chinese.” Continue reading

July 7, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia’s carbon tax – dispelling the scare campaign against it.

the great tragedy of this is the groups behind this ludicrous scare campaign – the Minerals Council of Australia, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Australian Coal Association, and the Housing Industry Association – will never be brought to justice for the misleading conduct they’ve engaged in over the last two years.

One working week down, sky still above, Climate Spectator, 6 Jul 2012, Tristan Edis One working week after doomsday and as usual the media is still running tripe about the carbon pricing package. Gerry Harvey has realised that the carbon tax will actually be good for retailers like him. And finally some people are being brought to justice for scaremongering by the ACCC (ACT Renewable Energy and Polaris Solar), if only their powers extended to industry associations…… Continue reading

July 7, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Carbon tax a win for Bioenergy, Wave and Wind energy producers

AUDIO  Carbon tax winners: clean energy producers  ABC Radio The World Today, 6 July 12, “….entrepreneurs in the renewable energy sector are excited by what the carbon price will bring. Those already in the solar, wind and hydro power field are confident about the commercial future of their clean energy systems in the new low-carbon economy…… Continue reading

July 7, 2012 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment