Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear referendum would need to be Australia-wide – not just one State

referendumIan Fisher The Premier Of Sth.Australia Has Just Announced A Referendum Will Be Held To Decide If His Insidious, Insane, Underhanded, Deplorable,Idea Of His To Dump The Worlds High Level Nuclear Waste In This Pristine State Of Sth.Australia. I Draw His Attention

That This Must Be For The Entire Population Of Australia. And Not Just For South Australians. ??

I completely agree –  if there’s to be  a referendum on importing nuclear waste – then it has to be put to the whole of Australia.

text-cat-questionI am so puzzled. Why is Premier Jay Weatherill committing political suicide with this slavish obedience to the nuclear lobby? What does he owe them?

November 14, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

‘It’s only a flesh wound’ – Premier gets it wrong on radioactive waste


Dave Sweeney, 14 Nov 16 SA Premier Jay Weatherill’s decision to keep pursuing the unpopular plan to ship, store and bury high level international radioactive waste in South Australia is deeply disappointing and divisive, the Australian Conservation Foundation said.

“Premier Weatherill had an opportunity today to make sure a bad idea doesn’t become a forever mistake, but he opted to continue with the stress and division caused by this proposal,” said ACF nuclear free campaigner Dave Sweeney.

“Today was the day the Premier should have accepted that this controversial proposal does not enjoy community support.

“The Citizens’ Jury, a body established by the Premier, gave this plan a clear red light.

“Today was the day to understand that no means no.

“Unfortunately the Premier doesn’t seem prepared to accept either the jury’s decision or the reality that there is no state or federal bi-partisan political support for this risky idea.

“South Australia can do far better than be a dumping ground for some of the world’s longest lived and most dangerous poisons.

“ACF will continue to work with South Australians who want a bright future, not a glowing one.

“We will support Aboriginal people who want to protect their country and communities from the threat of radioactive waste.”

On Friday last week ACF joined with other environment groups and Aboriginal leaders to present Premier Weatherill with more than 35,000 objections to the dump.

November 14, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Nuclear enthusiast Jay Weatherill angry with Liberal Opposition, calls for referendum

weatherill-martyrNuclear dump in SA still on the cards as Premier calls for referendum, ABC News 14 Nov 16 The nuclear debate is not over yet in South Australia, with Premier Jay Weatherill saying he wants to hold a statewide referendum on the issue.

Mr Weatherill said the only path forward was through the restoration of bipartisanship “and a broad social consent secured through a statewide referendum”.

“Ultimately this is a matter for people to decide, not politicians,” he said.

“If broad social consent were to be achieved through a referendum, a local Aboriginal community would also be given a final right of veto on any future facility on their land…….

Mr Weatherill accused Opposition Leader Steven Marshall of withdrawing his support for a nuclear waste dump before the consultation process had been completed.

“The royal commission was clear bipartisanship is essential,” Mr Weatherill said…….

November 14, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Premier Weatherill persists in his pro nuclear dream

weatherill-martyrNuclear referendum as Jay stares down dissent InDaily, Tom Richards , 14 Nov 16 Jay Weatherill has dramatically stared down his cabinet waverers and laid down the gauntlet to the Liberal Opposition, vowing to continue down the nuclear path – with the question to be determined by a referendum. Weatherill told media a short time ago the Government had determined “that discussion should continue” on the divisive question of high-level nuclear storage, which was dramatically rejected last week by a citizens’ jury before Opposition Leader Steven Marshall withdrew Liberal support.

However, the Premier said, “the only path forward is the restoration of bipartisanship and broad social consent”, which he hopes to achieve through a referendum at an unspecified future date.

Weatherill was widely expected to drop any further pursuit of the nuclear option in the face of significant opposition – including within his own party. However, as forecast in InDaily today, he has opted to forge ahead in a move that will put his leadership – and his party’s re-election hopes – dramatically on the line.

“I believe continued public debate about SA’s role in the nuclear fuel cycle is important and ultimately it is a matter that the people should decide, not political parties,” he said………

The move effectively returns serve to Marshall, whose Liberals expected Labor to be backed into a corner by the public reaction to the divisive waste dump proposal.

However, it also means Weatherill will now become a key advocate, having resisted the overwhelming pressure to remove the issue from the political agenda altogether.

Crucially, he said local indigenous groups would be given a “right of veto” over any proposed dump – a key factor in the citizens’ jury’s rejection……His gambit will be met with incredulity from conservation campaigners who had all-but declared the dump a dead issue.

“Most of State Parliament have said ‘no’, the Citizens’ Jury have said ‘no’, economists have said ‘no’, ordinary South Australians have said ‘no’, and most importantly, Traditional Owners have very clearly said ‘no’,” Conservation SA chief Craig Wilkins said today.

“There is clearly no support or consent for this investigation to continue.”

November 14, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia | 1 Comment

Corporate nuclear lobbyists in Adelaide today, to promote nuclearisation of Australia

nuke-spruikersSm14 Nov 16 Members and supporters of the ANTI NUCLEAR COALITION are at the reception today for the 2 day Nuclear Fuel Cycle Symposium, organised by the strongly pro-nuclear organisation, Education and Opportunity in Waste Management at UCL (University College London) 220 Victoria Square, Adelaide’

ANTI NUCLEAR COALITION spokesperson Bob Lamb said, “No doubt this high-level corporate
symposium was planned to coincide with what was anticipated to be a successful Citizens’Jury outcome for Premier Weatherill and fRoyal Commissioner Kevin Scarce.” “Corporations such as those lined up for this event are accustomed to getting their way,” he said.

Included in the line-up for this event are two of the world’s largest builders of nuclear power plants: AREVA (France’s state owned nuclear industry utility) and Westinghouse (US). “Westinghouse designed and built the first nuclear submarine, which could be convenient given the push by numerous politicians and academics for Australia’s next fleet of submarines to be nuclear powered”, Bob Lamb said.

“Another noteworthy contributor is Sandia National Laboratories, which has been involved in developing the capability to conduct simulated nuclear weapons’ tests in contravention of the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, as well as upgrading nuclear weapons’ components.”

“Host for the conference, University College London (UCL) has provided, over many years, a
continuous stream of pro- nuclear spruikers in Adelaide. These academics have lobbied government and provided an expert advisor (Dr Tim Stone) to the Royal Commission. UCL is heavily sponsored by SANTOS, and BHP Billiton, of which Kevin Scarce is a shareholder.

“Until now a dump for imported high-level-waste has dominated the nuclear debate, but, in fact, the Royal Commission’s recommendations are about nothing less than the nuclearization of SA, beginning with federal and statelegislative changes to remove any limitation on the nuclear fuel cycle in SA.”concluded Bob Lamb.

November 14, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

South Australia’s ‘Community Views Report’ reinforces a resounding “NO” to nuclear waste storage

Regarding plans to import nuclear waste to South Australia, Friends of the Earth Australia notes that the Community Views Report released today is overwhelmingly negative and calls on SA Premier Jay Weatherill to abandon the proposal.


The Community Views Report follows major developments over the past week:

  • Two-thirds of the members of the Citizens’ Jury concluded that the proposal should not be pursued “under any circumstances”.
  • SA Liberal Leader Steven Marshall has clearly stated his opposition to the proposal and said it will be the “defining issue for the 2018 state election” if the Premier refuses to dump the dump.
  • Business SA chief Nigel McBride acknowledges that the proposal is “dead”.
  • Aboriginal communities across the state have repeatedly voiced their strong opposition to the proposed nuclear dump and their views are clearly reflected both in the Citizens’ Jury report and in the Community Views Report released today.

Dr Jim Green, national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia, said: “The Community Views report reinforces the deep scepticism and opposition revealed by the Citizens’ Jury process. The 53 percent opposed to importing nuclear waste far outnumber the 31 percent supportive of the proposal. Far more people oppose further consideration of the proposal than support further consideration. Opposition from Aboriginal people is overwhelming. Only 20 percent are confident that nuclear waste can be transported and stored safely. An overwhelming majority of people lack confidence in the SA government’s ability to regulate any new nuclear industry activities. Sixty-six percent are not confident that a nuclear waste dump would bring significant economic benefits to SA.”

“The people of South Australia have spoken. Aboriginal Traditional Owners ‒ who have always borne the brunt of the nuclear industry ‒ have spoken. Opposition Leader Steven Marshall has spoken. The Citizens’ Jury has spoken. Jay Weatherill must listen. It is time to dump the dump,” Dr Green concluded.

November 14, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

Community Views Report released by Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Consultation and Response Agency

community-consultationKey Findings of the ‘Community Views Report’.

Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Consultation and Response Agency, November 2016, ‘Community Views Report’.

Jim Green, 13 Nov 16  Page 19: The report states: “Over thirty per cent (31%) of South Australians interviewed in the three rounds of telephone surveys supported the storage and disposal of nuclear waste from other countries in the state, while 53% opposed the proposal and 16% were unsure or didn’t know enough.”

Page 18: The report distinguishes ‘representative feedback’ (participation in telephone surveys and focus groups by random selection) from self-selected feedback (feedback forms, online survey, conversation kit). In the representative feedback (4016 people), 43% of people supported or strongly supported continuing to explore the nuclear waste dump proposal, while 37% were opposed or strongly opposed. In the self-selected feedback (4499 people), 64% of people opposed or strongly opposed continuation, more than double the 29% who supported or strongly supported continuation.

Adding the figures together (which the report does not do):

1727 + 1305= 3032 people support continuing to explore the proposal

1486 + 2879 = 4365 people oppose continuing to explore the proposal

Page 34: Within the structured channels of feedback forms and telephone and online surveys, 198 people who identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander provided feedback. In terms of support for continuing to explore the establishment of a nuclear storage facility for international waste in SA, 34% of Aboriginal people in the representative sample (total 56 people) were supportive and 50% were opposed, compared to 16% supportive and 73% opposed in the self-selected feedback (total 138 people).

Combining the figures (which the report does not do):

Support continuing to explore the proposal: 19 + 22 = 41 people

Oppose continuing to explore the proposal: 28 + 101 = 129 people

The report states (page 9): “Many [Aboriginal] participants expressed concern about the potential negative impacts on their culture and the long-term, generational consequences of increasing the state’s participation in the nuclear fuel cycle. There was a significant lack of support for the government to continue pursuing any form of nuclear storage and disposal facilities. Some Aboriginal people indicated that they are interested in learning more and continuing the conversation, but these were few in number.”

Page 22: How confident are you that nuclear waste can be transported and stored safely?

Confident or very confident 20%

Not confident or not at all confident 70%

In four places the report produces survey results regarding what the next steps should be. In all cases the most common response was that the nuclear waste dump proposal should be stopped. In three of the four cases, stopping the proposal was vastly more popular than the second most common response:

p.23: 28% stop the proposal vs next most common response 7%

p.26: 18% stop the proposal vs next most common response 17%

p.29: 25% stop the proposal vs next most common response 8%

p.31: 28% stop the proposal vs next most common response 8%

Page 24: Self-selected feedback channels showed that confidence that the government would consider community views in its decision was low at 20%, with 70% not confident.

Page 28: Asked about confidence in government’s ability to regulate any new nuclear industry activities in South Australia, 43% of the representative sample (total 4016 people) said they were not confident, compared with 38% who were confident. Of the self-selected feedback (total 3330 people), 74% were not confident and 18% were confident.
Combining the figures (which the report does not do):

Confident: 1526 + 599 = 2125

Not confident: 1726 + 2464 = 4190

Page 30: On the question of confidence that a nuclear waste disposal facility would bring significant economic benefits to SA, 66% of the people who submitted online surveys, feedback forms and conversation kits (self-selected feedback) were not confident.

November 14, 2016 Posted by | NUCLEAR ROYAL COMMISSION 2016, politics, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Senator Nick Xenophon- nuclear waste dump “a stinker of an idea” – bury it forever.

Xenophon NONuclear waste storage industry in SA ‘dead for eternity’, Senator Nick Xenophon says, Adelaide Now State Political Editor Daniel Wills, The Advertiser November 13 INDEPENDENT Senator Nick Xenophon has declared nuclear waste storage in SA “a stinker of an idea” which should be “buried for eternity” as political support for the project collapses.

November 14, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Queensland government gives Adani coal mine special privileges

Qld Labor exempts Adani mine from  public submission and appeals on groundwater  Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) 9 November 2016:
“The Queensland Labor government last night passed the Environmental Protection (Underground Water Management) and
Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 (EPOLA Bill) and Water Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 (WLA Bill).

coal CarmichaelMine2

““The Queensland Parliament has passed last minute amendments to the Labor Government’s groundwater protection laws.
The effect is that the public, be they conservation groups or local landholders, won’t have any submission or appeal rights
on groundwater licences relating to the Adani Carmichael mine,” said Jo Bragg, CEO of Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) Queensland.

“Adani will still be required to obtain an associated water licence, introduced through the EPOLA Bill.
However, an exemption has been explicitly carved out for Adani
which removes the public and the Court’s power to undertake normal scrutiny of this licence. … ”

Water reforms passed
– exemption from public scrutiny for Adani and retrospective dewatering approval
demonstrate regulatory capture by mining industry  Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) 10 November 2016:

” … two last minute amendments are highly concerning as to their impact on proper management of our water resources
in Queensland from mining impacts, and suggest regulatory capture:

“X   Exemption for Adani from public and Court scrutiny of groundwater impacts of Carmichael coal mine …

“X   Retrospective approval of dewatering activities for many mines in Qld! … ”

Green groups fume over Adani’s water licence exemption

November 14, 2016 Posted by | climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Urgent need for public education and action on fluoridation of Queensland’s water

New Queensland Health data shows 3223 children aged 10 and under required hospital treatment in 2013-14 for dental caries (the scientific term for tooth decay or cavities).

More than 51 per cent of Queensland five to 10-year- olds who attended public dental clinics in 2014-15 had decay in their baby teeth. On average, four teeth were affected.

Decay in Queensland children aged five to 10 was 20 per cent higher than national averages to 2012-14 and 33 per cent higher in the permanent teeth of nine to 14-year-olds.

Queensland’s Chief Dentist Dr Mark Brown said he was concerned by the “high level of tooth decay” in children, describing it as “a significant problem”.

In terms of population, about three-quarters of the state has water fluoridation – up from less than 5 per cent before the Bligh government made fluoridated water supplies mandatory for communities of more than 1000 people in 2008.

But since 2012, changes made under former premier Campbell Newman have allowed councils to pull out of fluoridating water supplies.

“My concern is for the quarter of the population in regional and rural Queensland who don’t have access to fluoridation,” Dr Brown said. “That community is being left behind when most Australians now have access to water fluoridation.”.

Australian Dental Association state fluoride spokesman Dr Michael Foley said there was no doubt water fluoridation reduced the risk of decay.

  “We’re spending a fortune on general anaesthetics for kids with dental decay,” he said. “It’s stupid. Water fluoridation saves truckloads of money in saved dental costs.”

Dr Foley said he would like to see the State Government take control of fluoridating drinking water, rather than local councils. Continue reading

November 14, 2016 Posted by | health, Queensland | 6 Comments


logo-yes-2-renewablesVictoria’s Yes2Renewables campaign is expanding to South Australia. Individuals and renewables campaign groups such as Friends of the Earth Adelaide’s Clean Futures Collective, Solar Citizens, Climate Emergency Action Network, and Australian Youth Climate Coalition are joining together to defend renewables in SA.

South Australia is a renewable energy success story. The state is fast approaching 50% renewables and has booming solar, energy storage, and wind power sectors.

This success has made South Australia public enemy #1 for the fossil fuel lobby, who will do anything to stop our transition to 100% renewables.

In July, the fossil fuel lobby and their boosters in the media blamed renewable energy for price spikes caused by big coal and gas copanies gaming the market. And in September they blamed a blackout on renewables rather than the obvious cause: a one-in-fifty-year storm.

The fossil fuel lobby is prepared to sacrifice South Australian jobs, investment in regional communities, and our climate to protect their own interests.

In Novermber, community members met up at The Joinery in Adelaide to kick off a grassroots campaign to defend South Australia’s renewable energy leadeship. For more info, visit

November 14, 2016 Posted by | energy, South Australia | Leave a comment