Australian news, and some related international items

The anti nuclear lizard is biting back at Olympic Damn Uranium Mine

Lizards-revenge1Zombies, giant sea god join large anti-nuclear protest at Olympic Dam Erin Jones, Roxby Downs, The Advertiser, July 1, 2016

MORE than 100 anti-uranium protesters from across the nation dressed as zombies and marched to the “gates of hell” outside Olympic Dam on Friday. It marked the start of a three-day protest by the Desert Liberation Front outside the BHP mine at Roxby Downs, bringing with them a heavy police presence.

STAR Group officers, sniffer dogs, mounted police, dirt bike patrols, a helicopter and a drone were all visible at the mine site during the event’s first day.

About half of the 200 protesters, including children, walked 2km to the mine’s front gates chanting “leave it in the ground, Roxby’s going down”. Some protesters shook the gates, but vowed to keep the event peaceful.

Arabunna elder Kevin Buzzacott has also called on the police “to do right” by them and issued an open invitation to officers to attend their camp. “It’s always a peaceful protest even though others might say it’s not, but we always like to do the right thing,” Mr Buzzacott said.

“We got pulled up by the police and they questioned everyone like we’re terrorists, checking licenses and cars being defected. “So we would also like the other people to do the right thing and come and talk to us and have a cup of tea.”

Mr Buzzacott said the group only wanted to raise awareness on the dangers of uranium and called on BHP to close the mine within two years.

Police Assistant Commissioner Bronwyn Killmier said there had been no arrests on the event’s first day and people had protested peacefully. Ms Killmier said officers were not wearing weapons as protesters were acting peacefully and respectfully.  The event follows a similar protest in 2012 which lasted longer than a week and resulted in 18 people being arrested.

Among the colourful characters was a giant 2.5m Tongan sea god named Lumi. Its creator, Nick Wilson, took time off from his job as a puppeteer and travelled from Melbourne to give Lumi a first-hand look at a uranium site he said was poisoning his ocean. “Lumi is the Pacific Island god of ocean and death and he seemed too perfect not to bring,” Mr Wilson, 31, said.

Last night protesters were setting up a roadkill barbecue at their solar-powered camp, on Olympic Way, which included a communal kitchen, music stage and children’s activity tent.

The majority of events by the protesters have been kept under wraps, but marches to the gates are expected throughout the weekend.

The Advertiser understands truck deliveries to the mine were halted Thursday night and will resume Monday evening to minimise any disturbance caused by the protest. BHP Olympic Dam head of corporate affairs Simon Corrigan said they were working closely with police to ensure safe transport of mine workers to and from the site. “We have a great team of people at Olympic Dam who are focused on working safely every day,” Mr Corrigan said.

July 1, 2016 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

The week that has been in nuclear and climate news Australia

a-cat-CANI write as the dreary Australian election campaign draws to a close. It will be a grim scene for present, but especially future, Australians, if the Liberal Coalition government is re-elected. Prime Minister Turnbull, whatever interest he might have had in the past, in environment and climate change, has shown himself to be in the grip of the climate denying, Abbott-led right wing politicians.   We all thought Turnbull would move in a positive direction. It would be almost a relief to have Abbott back – know thine enemy.

Environmental policy threatened by Trans Pacific Partnership: this election could decide.

Labor is a lot better, on climate and nuclear issues. I will be handing out  how-to-vote cards for the Greens.  A vote for the Greens does not take votes away from Labor, as Greens give their first preference to Labor.  That compliment is not returned, however, showing that Labor is somewhat scared of the Greens.  One of the many great Greens candidate is in a South Australian electorate – Indigenous elder Dr Jillian Marsh – for Grey

Federal election candidates oblivious about the South Australian nuclear waste plan. Fiona Stanley surveyed candidates on climate change. She got good responses from minor parties, small response from Labor, and nothing from the Coalition.


Malcolm Turnbull backs importing foreign nuclear waste.  Taxpayers $100,000,000 to be spent up front BEFORE any decision on South Australia nuclear waste importing.   Blow to South Australian govt: BHP categorically rejects any role in nuclear waste importing. Citizens Jury: the ever climbing costs of Jay Weatherill’s nuclear waste dream. Protest outside South Australia’s Nuclear Citizens Jury.

Mark Diesendorf on Risks, ethics and consent: Australia shouldn’t become the world’s nuclear wasteland.  Nigel Carney analyses intrinsic flaws in the Nuclear Royal Commission. The (anti-nuclear) Lizard dances in Adelaide. China as market for agriculture, could be finished if nuclear waste dump goes ahead

Dr Helen Caldicott – a prophet With Honour outside her own country. (Why isn’t she asked as a witness to the South Australian Nuclear Citizens’ Jury?)

Port Augusta protest against federal government’s plan for dumping Lucas Heights nuclear wastes at Barndioota.

RENEWABLE ENERGY Australians Saving $1 Billion Per Year through Solar Energy. A solar energy revolution in mining.  Canberra’s community- owned solar farm to be largest in Australia.  New South Wales leading the nation with large scale solar farms.


July 1, 2016 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Indigenous elder Dr Jillian Marsh – Greens candidate for Grey, South Australia

Marsh, Dr JillianNuclear personal and political for Dr Jillian Marsh Politicians more often than not stick religiously to the party line when it USA election 2016comes to key policy issues.

But for The Greens’ candidate for Grey, Dr Jillian Marsh, the issue of a proposed nuclear industry in South Australia is not just political – it is personal, too. Dr Marsh is a traditional owner and elder of the Adnyamathanha people.

She endorses The Greens’ nuclear and uranium policy which outlines a future without uranium or nuclear energy production. But she said that her Aboriginal heritage motivated her to take the role as candidate for Grey and fight against the proposed nuclear dump.

“I know this is something I have as an obligation as an Adnyamathanha traditional owner,” Dr Marsh said. “I am required to step up to the mark … to take this on board for the sake of future generations.”

One of the proposed sites for a low to intermediate-level nuclear waste dump at The Wallerberdina station, near Barndioota in the Flinders Ranges, sits on Adnyamathanha land.

Dr Marsh was involved in anti-nuclear protest marches through Port Pirie and Port Augusta recently.She felt the the responsibility as a traditional owner and elder of the Adnyamathanha people to speak out about the federal and state government plans.

“Traditional owners, the Aboriginal people, have really had a gutful of this type of approach to community consultation,” she said. “They are always facing the prospect of their culture and country being damaged, destroyed, abused once again.”

Dr Marsh said that the consultation processes and uncertainty put a lot of pressure on aboriginal communities. “It creates a lot of ill-feeling in the community,” she said. “This type of uncertainty and angst is one of the things contributing to the shorter lifespans faced by our people.”

The translation of Adnyamathanha is “people of the rock” or “people of the rocky country” and Dr Marsh said this sacred cultural connection is under threat. “Our connection to the land is constantly being ransacked by ill-informed policies,” she said.

July 1, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, election 2016, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australian Marine Conservation Society’s scoreboard on Liberal and Labor policies

USA election 2016Reef election policies don’t go far enough:  Fight for the Reef AMCS (Australian Marine Conservation Society) June 16:

“The Fight for the Reef campaign’s final Election Policy Scorecard, released today (Wednesday),
shows that the next Australian Government will need to increase its financial commitment to the Reef,
regardless of which party wins office.

“Key findings of the scorecard:

“The Coalition’s $1 billion loan announcement is an existing climate fund rebadged as a Reef water quality initiative.
Assessing this policy announcement has been challenging as no further information has been forthcoming.
… Accordingly, the policy has been assessed as not meeting what is required to deliver the water quality reforms that are needed.

“The ALP’s promise to increase funds by $377 million is a good down payment, but it’s not enough.

“The ALP has scored green for two major Reef policies:
commitment to introduce a legal cap on pollution flowing from the catchment into the Reef and
a promise to reform the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to make it more independent.

“Both the Coalition and the ALP scored green for committing to satellite tracking of commercial fishing vessels to improve protection of green zones. … ”

From WGAR News ( WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia) Editorial Note: The Australian #Greens scored green for all items on the scorecard

July 1, 2016 Posted by | election 2016 | Leave a comment

Guardian’s video explains Liberal and Labor plans on climate change

see-this.wayUSA election 2016So what will the Coalition, Labor and the Greens do about climate change? A video explainer Lenore Taylor explains what each of the major parties plan to tackle the problem of greenhouse emissions. While the Coalition is planning to review its plans after Saturday’s general election, Labor is promising two new emissions trading schemes and the Greens have are advocating that Australia source 90% of its power from renewable sources by 2030 Lenore Taylor,Josh Wall and Clare Downey, Source: 29 June 2016

July 1, 2016 Posted by | election 2016 | Leave a comment

Fiona Stanley’s survey on political parties’ response to climate change

Climate-Report-CardThe climate change letter most candidates won’t answer Canberra Times, June 29 2016 Fiona Stanley I recently wrote to more than 1000 candidates in the federal election. I described how climate change is a real and growing threat requiring urgent attention, and that health professionals are seeing its impacts in medical practice right now and will be increasingly in the future.

The results distressed me. More than 100 independent candidates and those from virtually all minor parties and Greens responded to me with comments that were often constructive and extensive. There was only one individual response from a Labor Party candidate, and a courteous response from Labor campaign headquarters detailing official Labor policy. No Liberal Party candidate acknowledged my letter and there was no official response. Continue reading

July 1, 2016 Posted by | climate change - global warming, election 2016 | Leave a comment

China as market for agriculture, could be finished if nuclear waste dump goes ahead

Kristen Jelk, Your Say Last month I was in China promoting an Australian product that comes from SA which is pitched as a clean, green, environment. The full potential of the market in China for South Australian produce is immeasurable. From a Chinese consumers point of view, the environmental conditions where the product is sourced or grown, is pivotal to the choices made when purchasing.

Chinese consumers will pay top prices for products that are considered SAFE – produced where the source is known to be an unpolluted clean environment. Perception is everything, and if a consumer becomes aware that SA had developed a nuclear waste dump, then that perception of a safe environment will be shattered. It will not matter that the dump is in a desert, nor will it matter if the dump is considerable distance from prime agricultural land, nor will it matter if experts assure of safety standards.

South Australia nuclear toilet

The perception that would prevail is that SA will be a dumping ground for nuclear waste. If this is a discussion over commercial viability verses environmental risks long term, then I would argue that the real cost of the dump being located in SA is the loss in the perception that SA is a “clean, green” state. Questions would be raised over validity of the safety of the states produce.

Science does not dispel the pervading distrust of nuclear waste storage. Impassioned long standing anti-nuclear supporters cannot be placated and therefore ongoing discourse over the proposed dump will just shine a brighter light on the discussion world wide. The long term impact on the revenue of export sales will, without doubt be affected.

To risk the potential of long term growth in export sales due to a short term vision on job creation,( which is questionable ) is not good economics. SA has the potential to be a renewable energy ambassador with exciting projects already in development. We have to think globally, not locally if we are to sustain economic growth based on the real tangible asset that we have, which is our environment.

July 1, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Dr Helen Caldicott – a prophet With Honour outside her own country


the Smithsonian has named Dr. Caldicott one of the most influential women of the 20th century.

(Now why isn’t Dr Caldicott being asked as a witness in the South Australian Nuclear Citizens jury?) 

#WomanCrushWednesday: Dr. Helen Caldicott by Honora Gibbons, WAND Intern, Arlington, MA Dr. Helen Caldicott holds a special place in our hearts and history at WAND as our founder. Over her long career, she has demonstrated tremendous passion, skill, and dedication for consistently raising and calling citizens to action on the pressing nuclear and environmental issues of our time.

Caldicott was born in Melbourne, Australia. She earned her medical degree from the University of Adelaide Medical School. Her anti-nuclear stance is rooted in her identity as a physician and as a mother. As Caldicott spoke publicly on the health hazards of radiation, she rose to prominence as an activist for nuclear disarmament.

In the 1970s, Dr. Caldicott moved to the United States, joining Boston’s Children’s Hospital and briefly teaching pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. In 1979, the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster occurred, the worst nuclear power accident in U.S. history. Following this, in 1980, Caldicott resigned from her medical career in order to dedicate herself fully to the prevention of nuclear warfare and dependency on nuclear power. From then on, she worked to call attention to the world’s growing reliance on nuclear power and the dangers of the nuclear arms race. Continue reading

July 1, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Britain’s nuclear power industry hit by the Brexit curse

text Hinkley cancelledflag-UKBrexit curse hits nuclear power, new London runway, Ecologist, Paul Brown 29th June 2016 Following the vote to leave the EU, the UK’s energy and climate change policy faces major challenges, writes Paul Brown, with new nuclear power and a third London runway at Heathrow runway looking like the first casualties. …..Plans for four giant nuclear reactors to be built in Englandby the French are almost certain to be scrapped because opposition among trade unions in France has hardened since last week’s vote…….  time is rolling by and Électricité de France (EDF) is due to make a ‘final investment decision’ in September to build two 1,650 MW nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in southwest England. They were expected to be followed by two more to the east of London.

Time for the ‘coup de grace’

The Hinkley decision, already postponed repeatedly, has been in doubt for months because of the parlous financial state of EDF and the increasing opposition of a group of French trade unions, whose members fear that the building of nuclear power stations in the UK would divert much-needed investment away from home.

There are also question marks about whether the nuclear design is viable at all, since construction delays and cost over-runs have dogged the prototypes, and none is yet producing electricity.

The backlash against the British decision to leave the EU will not affect the decision, according to the immediate reaction from EDF and the French government, but the chances of the scheme being given the go-ahead in September now seem remote.

Mycle Schneider, an independent nuclear and energy industry analyst based in Paris, says that the Brexit vote would hand EDF “the perfect occasion to pull the plug on Hinkley Point without losing face”. He believes that the Brexit vote represents a “disaster” for EDF’s plan, and that a decision to press ahead with Hinkley Point is unimaginable at the moment……

Can’t pay, won’t pay?

Until the Brexit vote, the UK government was committed to building 10 new nuclear power stations as part of its ‘low carbon’ plan for the energy sector. The programme always seemed improbable, given the state of the nuclear industry worldwide, but getting private investors to support such a policy now seems even less likely.

One of the unlooked-for side-effects of the decision is to take the UK outside theEuratom Treaty that safeguards nuclear materials from misuse. Since the UK has the largest stock of plutonium in the world, and a large trade in nuclear materials with Europe, the US and Japan, this creates serious problems over who now regulates the industry.

July 1, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australians Saving $1 Billion Per Year through Solar Energy

graph solar saves Aust
Solar In Australia Saving $1 Billion Per Year 
June 28th, 2016 by  Australia can now boast of over 23.2 million solar PV panels saving citizens $1 billion on their power bills each year.

According to a new report from Solar Citizens, “an logo-Solar-Citizens-independent community based organisation,” Australia reached 23.2 million solar PV panels installed earlier this year — the equivalent of one per person in the country.

Solar Citizens also calculated the savings currently being made by solar owners on their regular electricity bills, analysing average electricity retail rates across all State and Territories over the past 8 financial years, revealing that solar households have saved $4.4 billion on their power bills since FY 2007–2008, and have been saving around $1 billion every year over the past three years.

“The pace of rooftop solar installation in Australia has been nothing short of phenomenal in recent years,” said Claire O’Rourke, National Director of Solar Citizens. “Solar panels are now a regular and normalised part of Australian life. In fact, Australians spend as much on their solar as they do on tea and coffee.”

In terms of investment, the report shows that 1.5 million Australian households and small businesses have invested more than $8 billion into rooftop solar PV. In fact, the investment figures reported in The State of Solar: Australia’s Solar Rooftop Boom are the highlight of the Solar Citizen’s research. During the 2014–2015 financial year, Australians invested $1.23 billion in rooftop solar — compared to only $118 millioninvested in large-scale solar projects in the calendar year 2014. So far, it is the hard-earned cash of Australian homeowners and small business owners that is driving the renewable energy transformation in Australia.

“Australians are leading the renewables charge and this new set of data plainly reveals that investment in solar PV has been the backbone of the renewables revolution in Australia,” said O’Rourke.

So far in 2016, Australia’s rooftop solar PV installation base has generated over 6.5 TWh, preventing 6.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

And with Australia about to go to the polls this weekend in the country’s federal election, this goes a long way to showing what Australians want from their politicians.

“Australian political leaders need to understand just how much the average Australian themselves have committed of their own money to play a part in the transition of our power system,” added O’Rourke. “With 5 million Australians (or 1 in 5 voters) living under a solar roof, this is potent political constituency.”

July 1, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, solar | Leave a comment