Australian news, and some related international items

Aboriginal survivors of atomic bomb tests are not fooled by claims that radioactive waste is safe

Anthony Clark  Fight to Stop Nuclear waste Dump in Flinders South Australia June 1 

On September 27, 1956, an atomic mushroom cloud rose above the Maralinga plain – the first of seven British bomb tests.

Aboriginal people living around Maralinga didn’t have a voice in 1956.

Aboriginal people known as Kuyani/Adnyamathanha with Heritage rights over Arcoona Station near Woomera in 1998 found their voice and protested all the way to the Full Bench of the Federal Court of Australia culminating in a win against the Liberal Coalition Uranium Waste Repository causing the Federal Government to abandon the proposal.

The Adnyamathanha Nation since 2016 have once again been attacked by the Liberal Coalition Government through ANSTO with a proposal attached to a promise of $10 Million benefits to the closest community boundary which technically could be Flinders Ranges Council located at Quorn SA, whose council area is closer to Wallerbadina Station earmarked for the proposed Uranium Waste Repository (Dump)

Ask any of the Aboriginal Nations affected by the Uranium Waste left behind at Maralinga, if Uranium Waste is safe and you will quickly be educated by the sorrow despair and suffering culminating in early deaths and contamination of Song Lines and Sacred Grounds for both Male and Female if an area contaminated by Nuclear Waste is a good idea and you will quickly develop understanding against the idea from empathetic reasoning told by the few survivors living today!

June 2, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australia’s diplomats called “weasels” on Australia’s stand against nuclear weapons ban treaty

Anti-nuclear campaigners are scathing.

“Australia’s disruptive behaviour at the working group only served to isolate us from the vast majority of nations who are now working to ban nuclear weapons at the United Nations,” said Gem Romuld from ICAN.

“Australia’s moves backfired when the working group voted overwhelmingly in support of a ban; it was a wake-up call for DFAT.

“Australia is standing with the Trump administration and clinging to the dangerous concept that these weapons of mass destruction make us safe

Australia’s stance on the nuclear weapons ban treaty – and why our diplomats were labelled ‘weasels’, ABC News  By political reporter Stephen Dziedzic  3 June 17 Scott Ludlam ……….”Weasels. They called us weasels.”Did other delegates refer to the Australian delegates as weasels?”

It was an unusual question, but officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) sitting opposite the Senator did not look confused. They knew exactly what he was talking about.

And the exchange that followed briefly illuminated the most recent global negotiations to end nuclear weapons — and Australia’s role in them.

What’s the new agreement?Right now, more than 120 nations are trying to introduce a ban on nuclear weapons. A United Nations panel has now released a draft treaty. States who sign it would be forbidden from developing or manufacturing nuclear weapons. They would also have to get rid of any weapons they already possess.

The treaty’s champions argue the proliferation of nuclear weapons is an existential threat to humankind. And they say the woeful pace of global disarmament proves there is a compelling need for a new agreement that would exert moral pressure on states to disarm.

But there are plenty of problems.

First, none of the nine nuclear powers — including the US, Russia, China and the UK — support the new treaty.

Neither does Australia. The Federal Government has refused to take part in the treaty negotiations.

Why does Australia oppose the ban treaty? First, Australia argues that the treaty ignores geopolitical reality. Hardheads in the Government say that while everyone would like to see a world without nuclear weapons, the strategic environment is actually becoming more volatile and dangerous.They argue the US nuclear umbrella provides vital deterrence, and protects Australia.

For example, DFAT talking points obtained by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) say Australia “must be realistic about the environment in which we operate — North Korean provocations and nuclear tests are a case in point”……….

Why were we called the weasels? Continue reading

June 2, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Donald Trump is more honest about climate inaction than Malcolm Turnbull is

Brisbane Times Richard Denniss, 2 June 17  There is a depressing honesty about Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. It stands in stark contrast to the hypocrisy of Malcolm Turnbull’s big talk on climate change, which is accompanied by a $1 billion subsidy for the enormous new Adani coal mine. At least Trump is doing what he said he would do.

Trump shows his contempt for the world’s problems by withdrawing from a global agreement on the basis that he doesn’t think it’s in his nation’s interest, while Turnbull shows his contempt by remaining in that same agreement while funding the construction of a new coal mine that will still operate in 2080. Which is worse?

The “business case” for Turnbull’s coal line from the Adani mine to the Great Barrier Reef is that five other major coal mines will also be built in the Galilee basin. In the words of Resources Minister Matt Canavan, “what I’d expect to see, with the federal government wanting to open the Galilee basin, is that the rail line’s open access that other mines can use it and that we can, by building, connecting up a new coal basin in our country, create wealth, not just in one individual project but right across the board, that’s what we’d like to see”. Combined with the Adani mine, the other mines Canavan referred to would together produce 300 million tonnes of coal a year.

To put Turnbull’s coal expansion plans into context, Australia is already the world’s largest coal exporter. At 388 million tonnes in 2015-16, we have a larger share of the traded coal market than Saudi Arabia has of the world oil market. And the Australian government hopes to facilitate a doubling of our coal exports.

Think about that. Australia is a signatory to an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero in 33 years’ time. And Turnbull wants to subsidise the opening-up of a new coal basin in the hope that it will export an extra 300 million tonnes of coal a year. …….

June 2, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | 1 Comment

China and European Union to form a new commitment to combat global warming

Times 2nd June 2017 China and the European Union will announce a new joint commitment to combat global warming today, making a clear break from President Trump after he withdrew the United States from the Paris climate accord.

Critics said that Mr Trump’s promise to revive the coal industry could not be fulfilled. He was surrendering America’s leadership role on the world stage, they added – and China would step in. Nigel Purvis, a US climate negotiator under President Clinton, said: “Trump just handed the 21st century to China. It’s an opportunity for China to rebrand itself as the global leader.”

Mr Trump went against the advice of Rex Tillerson, his secretary of state; Gary Cohn, his chief economic adviser; his daughter, Ivanka; and the Pope. Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, had called the White House on Wednesday to urge the president to rethink. Elon Musk, the Silicon Vally billionaire who leads Tesla, the electric car company, said that he would leave the two White House councils on which he served as an adviser. “Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world,” Mr Musk said.

“If I were a Chinese policymaker I’d be baffled as to why Trump had offered us an open goal,” said John Ashton, who spent years negotiating with China as the Foreign Office’s special envoy for climate change. Other countries may respond by redoubling thei r commitment to the accord, as China and Europe are doing, or by seeking to water down their pledges, as some fear that developing giants such as India and Brazil will do.

June 2, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

European leaders dismiss Donald Trump’s claim about “renegotiating” Paris Climate Accord

 Guardian 1st June 2017 European leaders dismissed Donald Trump’s claim that the Paris climate accord can be renegotiated after the US president announced he will pull out of the deal struck in 2015 to seek better terms.

Shortly after Trump’s announcement the leaders of France, Germany and Italy released a joint statement rejecting Trump’s assertion that the climate deal can be redrafted. “We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated, since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies,” said chancellor Angela Merkel, president Emmanuel Macron and prime minister Paolo Gentiloni.

June 2, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The dilemma of North Korea’s march toward nuclear capability

As US military flexes, North Korea marches toward nuclear capability By Zachary Cohen and Brad Lendon, CNN June 2, 2017 

Story highlights

  • North Korea testing missiles at unprecedented rate
  • US shows of force just make North Korea more angry

How much damage can North Korea’s weapons do?

At this point, the pattern is familiar.

One week, North Korea fires off a ballistic missile, then US B-1 bombers stretch their wings over South Korea. The next, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversees another missile test, and two US Navy aircraft carriers show their might in waters off the Korean Peninsula.
This merry-go-round of military flexing in the Pacific has become the norm.
But as the US stacks more and more firepower in North Korea’s backyard, Pyongyang marches closer to nuclear capability — and analysts say there is little the world’s strongest military can do about it.
And with most estimates putting Kim’s unpredictable regime three to five years away from achieving its nuclear ambitions, the US is simply running out of time.
“There is no amount of military pressure alone that will compel Kim Jong Un to volunteer to eliminate his nuclear and missile programs,” said Adam Mount, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.
After two decades of sticking largely to the same ineffective playbook, the course is unlikely to change without a drastic shift in policy from an outside nation.
“The likely outcome will be similar to prior efforts,” predicted Robert Ross, a Boston College professor and China policy expert. “North Korea will call our bluff, the US will draw back from using military force, and North Korea will continue to develop their nuclear program.”…..
[Here CNN gives  a detailed timelineof events]……
How the Kim dynasty has shaped North Korea

China’s role

Diplomatic pressure is just as unlikely to cause either North Korea or the US to back down, experts say.
US President Donald Trump has often cited China, North Korea’s longtime ally, as a key player in reining in North Korea’s quest to have long-range nuclear missiles.
Earlier this year, Beijing called on Pyongyang to suspend its nuclear and missile testing while calling on the US to stop military exercises on and near the Korean Peninsula, which North Korea sees as a threat to its sovereignty.
But since then, the military merry-go-round has spun faster.
North Korea is testing missiles at an unprecedented rate — once a week — while there have been five B-1 bomber flights, just one of US military’s shows of force, since April 1.
Economic sanctions, which would need to be backed and enforced by China, don’t seem to be the answer, the analysts say.
China is wary of implementing sanctions on Pyongyang that would risk economic collapse in North Korea.
“The irony here is, if China amped up economic pressure on North Korea, it might lead to a collapse — which would mean more refugees even if a military conflict doesn’t take place,” said Dean Cheng of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative-leaning DC think tank.
it is unlikely China would be compelled to implement any sort of meaningful sanctions that stray from the status-quo when North Korea’s missiles do not pose an immediate threat to them, Cheng said.
“China’s priority is avoiding war on its border and it won’t sacrifice that to help US deal with North Korea’s nuclear program,” Ross told CNN. “Trump continues to rely on China and may be very frustrated by their inability to deliver.”

North Korea shows no sign of budging

Displays of US military power have only succeeded in escalating the situation — making the chances of Pyongyang giving up its missile program, which it sees as a deterrent to a military first strike from the US, very slim, according to Ross.
Statements from Pyongyang seem to bear that out.
“On May 29, the US imperialists committed a grave military provocation by letting a formation of infamous B-1B nuclear strategic bombers fly over south Korea once again to stage a nuclear bomb dropping drill,” said a statement from North Korea’s state-run media outlet KCNA.
“The gangster-like US imperialists are making all the more desperate in their moves to ignite a nuclear war despite the repeated warnings of the DPRK,” it said.
Mount, the Center for American Progress analyst, says the fact that the US hasn’t given North Korea any “red lines” it cannot cross means the Kim regime has no reason to stop moving ahead with its nuclear missile program.
“Deterrence requires clear communication to work effectively,” Mount said.
The Trump administration “seems to stake its credibility on North Korea refraining from developing an ICBM, without sending a strong signal to deter it from doing so. It’s the worst of both worlds,” he said.

The countdown is underway

Further complicating the situation is the unpredictable nature of the Kim regime — as well as a shrinking window of time before North Korea is able to develop a ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear weapon to the US.
“At some level we are going to be facing an unprecedented situation” if they are able to develop nuclear capabilities, said Cheng.
An additional concern for the US is the idea that Pyongyang is not simply interested in developing these missile capabilities for deterrence purposes as they have also long expressed a desire to “re-unify the Korean Peninsula” under their flag, according to Cheng.
“This is a regime that’s done a lot of things that are pretty out there and when you look at all of that one can’t be sure what they would do if they had nuclear capable ballistic missiles,” he said, adding that an invasion of South Korea could be possible if the North “thinks they can get away with it.”
The analysts see little hope for any resolution, diplomatic or military.
“Do we have a solution?” asked Cheng. “Probably not, but we haven’t had one for a long time.”


June 2, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Aboriginal Referendum Council and The ABC’s Q and A betrayal of the Aboriginal cause.

Perfecting Trickery: Referendum Council #noconsent to Recognition“On his return from Uluru, Ghillar, Michael Anderson, Convenor of the Sovereign Union, last surviving member of the founding four of the Aboriginal Embassy and Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic, details the rigged processes of the Referendum Council’s National Convention and the subsequent media:

““I was absolutely shocked and horrified at the disjointed discussion that occurred on ABC TV  Q&A last night ( 29 May 2017) from Parliament House, Canberra.

“In my opinion the conclusions that occurred at the Referendum Council’s National convention at Uluru were totally betrayed by the Q&A panel.

“Having been permitted to sit as an observer in the main National Convention of the Referendum Council at Yulara near Uluru, I was privy to observe the proceedings and I sat through the ‘Synthesis’ of the Regional Dialogues and  what they called the breakout workshops as well, where the key topics were ‘The Voice’, ‘Treaty’, ‘Strategy’.

“In respect of the Synthesis (summary) of the Dialogues it was very clear that nationally the specially selected people by the Land Councils (invitation-only delegates) independently concluded  that is must be made clear that First Nations sovereignty was never ceded.

“The next key point was the fact the people, from around this island continent, who attended these Regional Dialogues, were emphatic that they did not want a minimalist approach to constitutional reform and they did not want it to be symbolic. They wanted something substantive that would effect real and positive change.  It was very clear that they did not just want to remove Section 51(26) the Race Power,  because they did not want anything in the constitution that could be used in a manner that
would be detrimental to First Nations Peoples exercising their rights and their right to be self-determining.

“More importantly, the presentation in the Synthesis/Summary does suggest that an overwhelming majority of people, who attended these Regional Dialogues, were determined that, because sovereignty was never ceded, that Treaties should be made with Sovereign First Nations throughout the continent and they determined that our ancient tapestry of languages and cultures cannot be destroyed and lost forever to our future generations. …

“Despite all the rigging and wrongdoings, the consensus that was finalised was:

1)    Sovereignty was never ceded;

2)    Rejection of being ‘recognised’ in the constitution;

3)    No support a minimalist approach to constitutional reform;

4)    Agreement that a Treaty/Makaratta Commission be established to develop a national framework going forward
that would permit each Sovereign Nation State to negotiate their own respective Treaty;

5)    Removal of section 51 (26) from the constitution;

6)    Establishment of Truth and Justice Commission;

7)    Resolved also that the constitution of Australia should have a Bill of Rights; and

8)    Establishment of an elected Voice to the parliament and to ensure that this Voice has constitutional backing. … 

June 2, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Trial of Three Key Tepco Executives Starting

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

l3 key executive tepco

The trial of the three key Tepco executives in charge during the Fukushima disaster began this week. They are charged with criminal negligence, for not taking know safety measures to protect the plant against a large tsunami.
The trial
is finally taking place long after prosecutors in Tokyo refused to prosecute the case, thanks to a citizen group using a legal maneuver to force a case to be brought to trial.

The three key TEPCO executives are :
Tsunehisa Katsumata (ex-chairman)
Ichiro Takekuro (ex-vice president)
Sakae Muto (ex-vice president)

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June 2, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

80% of voluntary evacuees not yet returned to Fukushima Prefecture

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

evacuees june 1 2017.jpg

More than 80 percent of households voluntarily evacuating from Fukushima Prefecture after the nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant apparently have not returned to the prefecture even after the prefectural government stopped providing free housing, according to a survey by the Fukushima prefectural government.

More than six years have passed since the nuclear accident occurred. Many households have started new lives in the locations they evacuated to outside of the prefecture, finding jobs and seeing their children advancing to higher education. More and more voluntary evacuees have settled down in their new homes.

The survey was conducted on 12,239 households who voluntarily evacuated from areas outside the evacuation zone, including households in a part of eastern areas of the village of Kawauchi and other places where evacuation orders were lifted by June 2015, when the Fukushima prefectural government announced a plan…

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June 2, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Commercial plutonium a bomb material

Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

p8-gilinsky-a-20170601-870x580.jpgThe Rokkasho nuclear fuel reprocessing plant under construction in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture. Japan currently possesses 48 tons of reactor-grade plutonium

Reprocessed nuclear fuel can be used to make effective and powerful nuclear weapons

You would think that by now, in discussing the future of Japan’s plutonium stockpile, one fact would be incontrovertible: Commercial plutonium — often called reactor-grade plutonium — can be used as an effective nuclear explosive material in weapons. We are not talking about simple or primitive nuclear weapons, but modern weapons comparable in sophistication and performance to those held in the arsenals of the major nuclear powers.

Yet despite the availability of public information and repeated statements by knowledgeable officials, the advocates of commercial plutonium use as fuel still refuse to acknowledge the point. The respected Council for Nuclear Fuel Cycle (CNFC) prominently displays on its website an article that dismisses concerns expressed by nuclear experts over…

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June 2, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CSIRO report doctored to pretend gas cheaper than wind and

solarREneweconomy, By Giles Parkinson on 2 June 2017  The CSIRO Low Emissions Technology Roadmap report has been released by the Australian Coalition government, purporting to show that the cheapest avenue to cutting emissions is by limiting wind and solar and focusing more heavily on gas-fired generation.

But in reality, it shows no such thing. Or at least, it shouldn’t.

The report relies heavily on different scenarios. Extraordinarily, the primary scenario that focuses on high amounts of gas-fired generation and limits to wind and solar is paired with high gains in energy efficiency and energy productivity across buildings, transport and industrial processes.

But the scenario for high wind and solar assumes business as usual on efficiency and productivity, meaning that the wind and solar scenario assumes 50 per cent more electricity generation is required in 2050 than in the scenarios where the amount of wind and solar is capped, or higher levels of fossil fuel generation is assumed………

The report continues a sad history in Australia of analysis that is shaped to fit what appears to be a predetermined outcome.

How else to explain the decision to cost the high wind and solar scenario on the basis that there would be no gains in efficiency or productivity, where in reality these are the centre of high renewable planning. Wind and solar are the obvious path, but conservative governments simply don’t want to know…….

June 2, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

CLIMATE and nuclear news this week; Australia

As I write, the world is reacting to Donald Trump’s announcement  that America will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.  We knew this was coming, but it is still a shock. USA, under Barack Obama was, along with China, a world leader, at least symbolically, in the struggle to save the planet from catastrophic climate change. (Andy Borowitz of the New Yorker, has an original opinion on this.)

Issues about climate change, and of the Adani coal project dominate the news at present.

NUCLEAR Meanwhile important nuclear issues are going on, under the radar. There are the Western Australian planned uranium projects of Yeelirrie and Wiluna

CLIMATE. Donald Trump is a “climate criminal” – Australian reaction to the USA climate deal pullout. Massive implications for Australia, in new report on sea level rise.  Sea level rise threatening Australia’s East Coast holiday beaches.

New South Wales EPA must review procedures for managing contaminated land

Uncertainty about future of existing Indigenous Protected Areas..

RENEWABLE ENERGY Ross Garnaut – green energy will be win-win for South Australia. Australian States lead in move towards renewable energy boom.   Solar power plant for Northern Territory Aboriginal community -cuts reliance on diesel. Telstra funding construction of $100 million solar farm in northern Queensland. If Glencore wants cheap energy for Mt Isa, it should go solar. Josh Frydenberg predicts ‘big battles’ within Coalition after Finkel review


June 2, 2017 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Donald Trump is a “climate criminal” – Australian reaction to the USA climate deal pullout

Donald Trump labelled ‘climate criminal’ as Australian politicians react to US exit from Paris climate agreement, ABC News By political correspondent Louise Yaxley, 2 June 17  Both major parties in Australia say they remain committed to the Paris climate agreement despite Donald Trump’s announcement the US will withdraw from the deal.

The Coalition and Labor have labelled the US President’s decision disappointing, while the Greens have gone much further, with MP Adam Bandt using Twitter to call Mr Trump a “climate criminal”.

Pressure from all sides The messy withdrawal from the Paris agreement is a reflection of the pressure the President’s been under to both stay in, and pull out, of the deal, writes Zoe Daniel.

“Trump has just threatened our security and our way of life. Time to dump Trump,” Mr Bandt wrote.

“Trump’s ‘axis of denial’ is a greater threat to global security than terrorism.”…..

June 2, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Adani will profit from APPROVAL for coal mine expansion, even if the project does not go ahead

Malcolm Turnbull is considering spending almost $1 billion of his $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund on one project: a loan to a company controlled by the Adani family to enable it to build a 400 kilometre railway to get the coal to a deep water port near the Great Barrier Reef. By definition, such a loan wouldn’t be needed if the railway was commercially viable, which raises a disturbing question: if the railway isn’t viable, what about the mines it would rely on for business?

“One of the most profitable activities in Australia is the magical act of getting things rezoned, and that’s just as true for the mining industry.”

If Adani gets environmental approvals and a licence to mine, the value of its asset will have soared whether or not it actually mines. It could even onsell the asset without mining.

Even better, if it did onsell the project, it could maintain ownership of the railway, without which the next owners couldn’t get the coal to port.

Patriarch Gautam Adani has put ownership of the railway (the one that would be financed by the Commonwealth) into a separate private company owned by the family in the Cayman Islands. Should the publicly listed company that owns the mine go bust and have to sell, the mine’s new owners would still have to keep paying him.

Mine games. Why Adani is banking on the unbankable Peter Martin  2 June 17,

You would think Adani would have gone away by now.

The giant Indian conglomerate can’t get a loan for its proposed $22 billion Queensland coal mine from an Australian bank, it can’t seem to get one from an Indian bank, the mine would be so big it would depress the world coal price, and the Indian government plans to phase out coal imports altogether.

In documents released to Fairfax Media under freedom of information laws, the Queensland Treasury as good as described the project as “unbankable”.

What is being proposed is breathtaking: a series of coal mines 60 kilometres long. If scrunched together they would be 40 kilometres long and 10 kilometres wide – an area bigger than Paris, much bigger than Sydney Harbour.

It would be the biggest coal mine in Australia and the biggest export coal mine in the world. It and the neighbours in the Galilee Basin that would open up when the railway went through would double our export capacity. It’s more than important enough for the Australian government to take a serious interest in. Continue reading

June 2, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Trump: U.S. will withdraw from Paris climate accord

Trump: U.S. will withdraw from Paris climate accord

Paris climate deal: Donald Trump withdraws US from the accord, SMH, 2 June 17 Valerie Volcovici and Jeff Mason  Washington: President Donald Trump on Thursday said he will withdraw the United States from the landmark 2015 global agreement to fight climate change, spurning pleas from US allies and corporate leaders in an action that fulfilled a major campaign pledge.

“We’re getting out,” Trump said at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden in which he decried the Paris accord’s “draconian” financial and economic burdens.

“In order to fulfil my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord,” Trump said. Continue reading

June 2, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment