Australian news, and some related international items

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill’s deception about the Nuclear Citizens’ Jury

Weatherill nuclear dream

The Citizens’ Jury has delivered exactly what Jay Weatherill wanted- a summary of the Royal a-cat-CANCommission recommendations, with enough uncertainty to justify the nuclear lobby’s next step.

(I’m correcting a previous version of this post, here) The South Australian government already rushed through legislation that overturned  South Australia’s legislation against spending money on nuclear industry development, (making this retrospective of course – to cover the $millions already spent)

The next step is to overturn the whole Act, or at least those parts of it which prohibit importing a nd storing foreign wastes.

Weatherill is quoted in THE AUSTRALIAN today as saying ”

“they (the Citizens’ Jury) are asking us to also change the legislation to undertake that work”.

That is a lie. The jury was merely repeating what the Nuclear Royal Commission said. The jury kept to their brief – no decisions or recommendations – just regurgitate what the Commission said.

July 10, 2016 Posted by | Christina reviews, NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, secrets and lies, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australian Catholic Aboriginal leaders call for a TREATY NOW

text TreatyAustralia is the only country in the English-speaking world that does not have a Treaty with its First Peoples. The USA, Canada, New Zealand and many other countries have treaties with their First Peoples, recognising their rights and prior occupation of their lands. We can be part of this.

It was made clear during community consultations that many Victorian Aboriginal peoples do not want to be recognised in the Constitution, as it will be more of the same lip service we have endured for decades, like many of the promises made to us in the past that changed nothing.

Catholic Aboriginal leaders in Victoria call for a Treaty 28 June 2016 Sherry Balcombe, Coordinator, Aboriginal Catholic Ministry

 In 1986 in Alice Springs Pope St John Paul II gave the most dramatic recognition by the Church in Australia to Aboriginal people. He challenged the Aboriginal people to find their rightful place in the Australian Church. Following that speech, the Aboriginal Catholic people around Australia felt new life and inspiration.

We at the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria have been greatly supported by the Archdiocese of Melbourne and we acknowledge this support and are grateful for helping us make our voice heard. It takes courage to step across the cultural abyss, so many thanks to the Archdiocese.

I feel that it was a personal challenge to me, and continues to be, to find our rightful place; we are constantly challenged to justify ourselves.

For far too long governments, authorities and the Church have tried to do things for Aboriginal people. Our wish is to do things for ourselves. With your support, encouragement and collaboration we can make this a brighter, prouder and more inclusive chapter in Australia’s shared history.

Although dominant cultures in Australia see us as the victims and problems, we know and see our great warriors: people running organisations, bringing up families and educating the wider communities on the deep, meaningful contributions that we can make to the life of this great country.

We have the chance right now to move forward the right and proper way by working with Aboriginal people towards the common goal of a Treaty. Our people have struggled on the fringes of society for far too long. Continue reading

July 10, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Election result: no action on climate change

Australia's politiciansAustralians still waiting for climate leadership USA election 2016 Geoff Cousins, 10 July 16 

Judging from the federal election you wouldn’t know that the public call for leadership on climate change is the highest it has been for a decade in Australia.

In the past 12 months we’ve seen large sections of the Great Barrier Reef turn ghostly white from coral bleaching and sections of Tasmania’s ancient World Heritage forests reduced to cinders in unseasonal fires.  The images of Australian suburban homes and swimming pools teetering on the brink of collapse into the ocean off Sydney are burned vividly into the Australian public psyche as a prescient reminder of what’s at stake with more extreme and frequent storm surges predicted under global warming.

The next Federal Parliament must deliver genuine leadership to cut pollution and limit global warming to get in line with the concerns of voters across Australia.

The ALP stepped up early in the election campaign with strong renewable energy policies and Bill Shorten often spoke of his party’s plan to take “real action on climate change” in his pre-election pitches.

Strong policies on tackling carbon pollution from the Greens were announced early in the campaign, and other parties increased their environmental positions as the campaign wore on.

Disappointingly, the Coalition remain without a credible plan to cut pollution or support clean energy, and announcements for smart cities and reef protection were largely funded out of existing clean energy budgets. Continue reading

July 10, 2016 Posted by | election 2016 | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste – Interim storage containers not necessarily safe

Nuclear chain 7 wastesLobbyistsRule, – comment on The Advertiser, 11 July 16 

  The scariest thing about the Royal Commission’s dump proposal is the above ground, decades long “interim” storage. Japan and Germany use expensive solid cast iron containers  (up to 20 inches thick) to hold their waste.  The containers proposed for our dump uses thin pressurised containers that are only 5/8th of an inch (16mm) thick and are not cast but welded – they are like Baked Bean tins compared to the German casks. Sure these thin casks are placed into a thick concrete overjacket, but all that separates the fuel from the atmosphere (via the cooling vent) is just 16mm of welded stainless steel.

The temperatures inside these casks normally sit at 200 to 300 degrees Celcius – but if the vents of the concrete overjacket get blocked the temperature can rise to 500 degrees Celcius.

These casks have only been around for twenty years – they should start popping all over the USA in a decade or two.

All this information is available from the USA’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission web site for anyone to read.

July 10, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, South Australia, wastes | 1 Comment

Important questions for the South Australian Nuclear Citizens’ Jury

highly-recommendedDan Monceaux, 11 July 16 
Here are the 6 questions I placed on the Observer Wall at the Citizens’ Jury yesterday (in no particular order).

1) Jury should ask for access to all submissions made to the Parliamentary Committee currently considering responses to the NFCRC’s Final Report.

2) Jury should realise that future consideration is for a multi-lateral nuclear fuel centre, which could involve enrichment, reprocessing, fuel fabrication etc. Waste storage is an entry point: see “Nuclear Fuel Leasing” in the NFCRC’s Report for details.

3) Jury should ask: What is the defence sector’s interest in the nuclear fuel cycle? If defence wants it, how important is the economic case for further processing? Could these proceed without a commercial proposition?

4) Jury should consider the USA’s Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program and discuss why this was not considered in the NFCRC’s Final Report. it was submitted to the Commission as evidence.

5) Jury should consider the USA’s Radiation Exposure Compensation Act and discuss why this was not considered in the NFCRC’s Final Report. it was submitted to the Commission as evidence.

6) The jury should ask the question: what evidence did the Commission receive and choose NOT to include in its Final Report? Particularly on the topic of safety.

July 10, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Citizens jury concerned about economics of nuclear waste dump plan

Jury (1)Citizens’ jury questions economics of SA nuclear dump THE AUSTRALIAN  JULY 11, 2016   The bid to establish a nuclear waste storage facility in South Australia has suffered a further setback, after an independent “citizens’ jury” raised concerns about the economic viability of the project.
A citizens’ jury of 50 people met over two weekends to discuss the nuclear royal commission ­report, handing a nine-page summary to Premier Jay Weatherill last night.

But after hearing from experts, the jury questioned the economic underpinnings of the commission’s findings.

“There were varying views ­between expert witnesses on the economic viability of this project and therefore questions remain relating to the economic modelling by the royal commission ­report to feel comfortable progressing to further involvement,” the jury report said.>Mr Weatherill accepted the ­report from the jury, describing it as “commonsense”.

But he confirmed there was extra work to be done on the estimated size of the economic benefit. “They want some more work on the assumptions so they can be clear on what the benefits are and those assumptions are really what is the actual price an overseas country is prepared to pay for storing their waste in our country and that will only be known if we undertake that work,” Mr Weatherill said.

“That will require expenditure and they are asking us to also change the legislation to undertake that work, so it’s a commonsense recommendation and one we will work on.” Another 350 people will meet in October in another citizens’ jury to look at feedback from the statewide consultations………The South Australian Labor government’s examination into the merits of engaging in the nuclear fuel cycle has so far cost the state’s taxpayers $11.8 million.

This is despite Labor’s national platform, updated last year, strongly opposing establishment of nuclear power plants and any stages of the nuclear fuel cycle, other than uranium mining, in Australia. The platform states strong opposition to the importation and storage of ­nuclear waste from overseas.

In his opening speech to the citizens’ jury, Mr Weatherill said the group was not meant to arrive at a decision but “to actually ­arrive at a decision about whether the government can make a ­decision”……..Varying expert views on the economic benefits of storing nuclear waste have already prompted the government to review work already undertaken by its $7.2 million royal commission.

Opposition spokesman Rob Lucas questioned the value of the citizens’ jury to government. “If that is all there is it has been a massive waste of money which hasn’t clarified anything or progressed the debate at all.”

Mr Weatherill has committed to providing a response to the royal commission by the end of the year. The report royal commission’s recommended pursuing a waste dump.

July 10, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Citizens’ jury questions safety concerns surrounding dump proposal

Nuclear royal commission: Citizens’ jury questions safety concerns surrounding dump proposal, ABC News, By Daniel Keane, 10 July 16  A grassroots report into a proposal to build a high-level nuclear waste dump in South Australia has identified safety as a major concern.

The report by a citizens’ jury of 50 randomly selected South Australians also found “significant additional research” is required before residents can make an “informed decision”.

The report, presented to Premier Jay Weatherill on Sunday afternoon, followed four days of intense discussions and meetings with experts both for and against the proposal.

Timeline: SA’s nuclear dump debate Plans for a national nuclear waste dump have been on the agenda for decades, and for much of that time SA’s outback has been touted as a possible site.

“The jurors recognise there are potential economic benefits, but there are also substantial risks to consider,” the report stated. “There is a degree of uncertainty around both the benefits and risks associated with establishing such a facility…….

Nuclear radiation a concern to people, environment
Continue reading

July 10, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Professor Chris Sarra NAIDOC Person of the Year calls for a Treaty

text Treaty#NITV Video
‘Professor Chris Sarra makes a powerful call to Malcolm Turnbull
during his Person of the Year acceptance speech at the #NAIDOC2016 Awards’

Chris Sarra (July 9th 2016):

“I have a message for the Mayor…
the Premier of Queensland…
and for Malcolm Turnbull, (who will probably be the Prime Minister).

” … and when you are ready,
and when you have the courage,
and you are bold enough,
I am ready on behalf of my people,
and my people are ready to speak to you about a treaty

Full transcript: via News Mail

July 10, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Losing faith in Nuclear Citizens’ Jury process – today’s hearings

Unfortunately, despite the genuine hard work of the jury members,  it could all be a bit of a waste, or worse. The Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission NFCRC was over months ago. But whaddya know – the NFCRC seems to be well in control of the jury proceedings.

DemocracyCo people are trying hard, but are they the patsy in all this?

Dan Monceau reports on Facebook

At the session I observed yesterday, Lucinda Byers (of the NFCRC) was a major participant in the conversation about ‘Trust’.

Geordan Graetz, a Royal Commission staff member who was first disclosed in the Royal Commission’s final report was hanging around.

I notice today that Ashok Kaniyal, another Royal Commission staff member appears to be present.

The media manager for CARA (the Department of Premier & Cabinet’s new reponse agency) is Jenny Turner, who was previously Senior Communications officer, employed by the Royal Commission.

DPC is “in charge” of the process, but the Commission’s staff are clearly and quite intimately involved in this current Citizens Jury process.

July 10, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, South Australia | Leave a comment