Australian news, and some related international items


NO RADIOACTIVE WASTE ON AGRICULTURAL LAND  IN KIMBA OR SA, President, Peter Woolford, Secretary Toni Scott, 28 June 17, It is impossible to find words to properly describe how utterly disappointed we are that Minister Canavan has seen fit to progress the two current sites nominated in Kimba to house the National Radioactive Waste Facility to phase two of the selection process.

We trusted the Minister’s promise that he would not progress the sites without proof that broad community support existed, which he had numerous times referred to as needing to be in the vicinity of 65%, a figured which we firmly believed should be the lowest possible definition of “broad’.

Last weeks community ballot returned a result of 57% Yes – 42% No. This result clearly indicated what those of us living in Kimba already know all too well, that our community is completely divided over this issue. The Ministers decision shows a complete lack of understanding and consideration of the impact that this proposal has had on our community over the past two years, and that this division will now continue to escalate.

Minister Canavan has repeatedly promised that he will not impose this facility on a community that doesn’t want it, yet has progressed nominations in Kimba where it is proven that 42.2 % of us do not. Our Community has been lied to. more


June 28, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | 1 Comment

ANSTO’s hidden agenda? – nuclear waste dump to precede tax-payer funded “new nukes”

From ENuFF South Australia Australia 20 June 2017, The hidden agenda becomes less opaque….. Coupled to the recent GenIV treaty endorsement, the proposed dumps will be used as additional justification for developing a commercial reactor industry “…. see, we have already resolved the ‘back end’ problem… “.

Since when have the Liberals’ been interested in Government having commercial money making enterprises? Never. We are witnessing the global military industrial wedge being hammered home…


“…. includes the use of ANSTO’ s property to bring together start-ups, high-tech industry … it will allow ANSTO to leverage its facilities to generate additional capability and increase opportunities for ANSTO to generate commercial revenues…”

June 28, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

For Australian climate scientists, climate change is becoming a personal and serious concern

research shows that if there isn’t a reduction in CO2 emissions, there will be up to 50 extra really hot days a year in northern Australia by the end of the century.

Professor David Griggs, who recently retired as director of the Sustainable Development Institute at Monash University, said Australia is in denial about climate change.

“Australians will have to adapt or die,” he said.

Climate scientists reveal their fears for the future, Lateline  By Kerry Brewster, Cradling her newborn baby girl, heatwave expert Sarah Perkins Kirkpatrick admits to feeling torn between the joy of motherhood and anxiety over her first-born child’s future.

“I always wanted a big family and I’m thrilled. But my happiness is altered by what I know is coming with climate change,” she said.

“I don’t like to scare people but the future’s not looking very good.

“Having a baby makes it personal. Will this child suffer heatstroke just walking to school?”

Dr Perkins Kirkpatrick is one of several climate scientists who Lateline spoke to, seeking a range of opinions from experts at some of the top climate change research units within major universities in Australia. Continue reading

June 28, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, personal stories | Leave a comment

Sea level rise isn’t just happening, it’s getting faster

WP,  June 26 17 In at least the third such study published in the past year, scientists have confirmed seas are rising, and the rate of sea level rise is increasing as time passes — a sobering punchline for coastal communities that are only now beginning to prepare for a troubling future.

Continue reading

June 28, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Washed up former Prime Minister Abbott still in the embrace of the nuclear industry

Australia should embrace nuclear subs: Abbott–abbott.html, 27 June 2017 Tony Abbott will deliver a speech on Thursday calling for Australia to embrace nuclear powered submarines

Mr Abbott has previously expressed his ‘regret’ at not considering off-the-shelf nuclear propelled subs while he was prime minister. The former PM will raise his concerns that Australia will not have replacement subs until the 2030s during his address.

The Turnbull Government awarded the contract for designing Australia’s new submarine fleet to French shipbuilder DCNS

Australia would have to buy the nuclear power from the US or Japan to power the submarines if the Navy bought nuclear submarines.

Businessman Dick Smith, Gary Johnston of Jaycar Electronics and John Singleton have previously taken out full page ads urging for the government to purchase for nuclear power submarines.

June 28, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Minister For Nuclear and Coal, Matt Canavan pushes forward with Kimba radioactive trash dump plan

SENATOR THE HON MATTHEW CANAVAN,Minister for Resources and Northern Australia 27 June 2017  KIMBA SITES TO PROCEED FOR CONSIDERATION FOR NATIONAL RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY Two proposed sites for a radioactive waste management facility at Kimba will proceed to the next phase of assessment.

The Government has accepted the nominations of land at Napandee and Lyndhurst under the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012.

 This decision was made after considering direct representations, the results of an independent postal ballot, and submissions in a more than 90-day consultation process.

Kimba voters were asked, in a poll conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission on behalf of the Kimba District Council, Do you support a nomination for a site being progressed to Phase 2 for further consultation for a National Radioactive Low/Intermediate Level Waste Management Facility?

The AEC declaration reported that of the 690 formal votes, there were 396 ‘Yes’ votes and 294 ‘No’ votes, giving a total in favour of proceeding of 57.4 per cent. The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science community consultation found widespread support from the direct neighbours of the nominated properties, with all but one direct neighbour supporting the assessment moving to the next phase.

In-depth consultation and technical assessments of the Kimba sites will now be undertaken.

Phase Two will engage people with all views.  The Kimba community will have another chance to express their views before a decision is made about the suitability of either of the sites to host a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

This does not change the Phase Two consultation that continues at Wallerberdina Station in South Australia after the community earlier demonstrated broad support for the discussion.

This next phase in Kimba will include:

  • Progression of a $2 million Community Benefit Package to fund local projects;
  • Employment of a Local Community Liaison Officer who will act as a conduit between the Government and community;
  • Creation of a Kimba Consultative Committee who will gather views about the project; and
  • The extension of the local project office, with staff continuing to be onsite regularly to answer questions as the site process progresses.

“Nuclear medicine is needed by one in two Australians on average, for diagnosis and treatment of heart, lung and skeletal conditions and a variety of cancers, and along with that comes radioactive waste,” Minister Canavan said.

“Radioactive waste is currently stored in more than 100 locations around the country, and international best practice is that it be consolidated into a single, safe and national facility.

“Progression to Phase Two does not constitute a final decision, rather, we now know that across the community there is broad support for continuing this conversation, and that is what we will do.

“I would like to thank everyone in Kimba for their involvement in this nationally significant discussion.”

At Wallerberdina Station, a process including a heritage assessment, technical studies and community consultation is continuing.

In line with the relevant legislation, the Federal Government can continue to accept and assess any new nominations until a final decision is made on the location of the facility.

For more information on the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility and site selection process, go to

June 28, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australian and International Hurdles to Adani Coal Mine Expansion

Final chapter in Adani loan deal, Saturday Paper, Karen Middleton , 24 June 17 “……..While the Queensland government has promised a royalties concession if the development goes ahead, it has also decided not to process the NAIF loan if approved – something that may require federal legislation to circumvent.

And for the Carmichael mine to proceed, the company must have concluded an Indigenous land use agreement, or ILUA, with the area’s native title holders.

Last week, the federal government and Labor combined to pass legislation to reverse a Federal Court ruling that all members of a registered native title claimant group in any relevant area were required to sign an ILUA for it to have force.

The move affected agreements well beyond the Adani ILUA and was welcomed by some Indigenous groups and opposed by others.

That followed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s promise to Adani owner Gautam Adani during a meeting in India earlier this year that he would fix the native title problems that were preventing the development from proceeding,

But the Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners are challenging the ILUA on three other grounds. The court hearing has been set down for next year.


Originally, Adani had said it expected to achieve financial close on its Carmichael project by December this year. But recently that date was revised to March – the same month the court is due to hear the ILUA challenge.

What is not clear is whether there is a NAIF deadline by which an applicant must prove it has fulfilled all requirements, or whether an application can remain live for as long as that takes……

In the latest public criticism of the whole proposal, an international group of high-profile conservationists wrote to Malcolm Turnbull late this week urging the government not to proceed.

The Ocean Elders, which include ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau, marine biologist Dr Sylvia Earle, businessman Richard Branson and Jordan’s Queen Noor, wrote that the mine would worsen damage to the Great Barrier Reef that Australia, as its custodian, had a global obligation to protect.

The group’s spokeswoman, marine biologist Earle, told ABC Radio that Australia should reject fossil fuels and hence the Carmichael mine, despite its advanced state of official approval.

“It’s never too late as long as the people and as long as rational individuals with power can change course, now that we know what we know,” Earle said.

A prime ministerial spokesman declined to comment on the letter.

One of the conditions of the NAIF approving a loan is that it must not be likely to “cause damage to the Commonwealth Government’s reputation or that of a relevant State or Territory government”.

Opponents of the mine are gearing up to argue that such global bad publicity should be grounds for refusal.

In her speech to the Cairns conference, Sharon Warburton said the NAIF must both reflect government policy and be independent of it.

“First NAIF must align with Commonwealth policy, and that is a whole-of-government position, remembering it is taxpayer funds we are deploying,” Warburton said. “Secondly – importantly – we cannot lend funds if all regulation at both a Commonwealth and state level are not in place.

“The other tremendously important parameter under which we operate is that it was set up to be an independent body making decisions independently of all outside influence.”

Given the attempts at influence being made on all sides of the argument, that may prove to be a challenge.

June 28, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, legal | Leave a comment

Convincing evidence that Greenland ice melt is speeding up sea level rise

Melting Greenland ice now source of 25% of sea level rise, researchers say, Japan Times, AFP-JIJI, JUN 27, 2017 Ocean levels rose 50 percent faster in 2014 than in 1993, with meltwater from the Greenland ice sheet now supplying 25 percent of total sea level increase compared with just 5 percent 20 years earlier, researchers reported Monday.

The findings add to growing concern among scientists that the global watermark is climbing more rapidly than forecast only a few years ago, with potentially devastating consequences.

Hundreds of millions of people around the world live in low-lying deltas that are vulnerable, especially when rising seas are combined with land sinking due to depleted water tables, or a lack of ground-forming silt held back by dams.

Major coastal cities are also threatened, while some small island states are already laying plans for the day their drowning nations will no longer be livable.

“This result is important because the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)” — the U.N. science advisory body — “makes a very conservative projection of total sea level rise by the end of the century,” at 60 to 90 cm (24 to 35 inches), said Peter Wadhams, a professor of ocean physics at the University of Oxford who did not take part in the research.

That estimate, he added, assumes that the rate at which ocean levels rise will remain constant.

“Yet there is convincing evidence — including accelerating losses of mass from Greenland and Antarctica — that the rate is actually increasing, and increasing exponentially.”….

“This is a major warning about the dangers of a sea level rise that will continue for many centuries, even after global warming is stopped,” said Brian Hoskins, chair of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London.

June 28, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s nuclear lobby ramps up its propaganda

Surely it is no coincidence that, as the federal government – Resources Minister Matt Canavan –  touts a further stage in the plan to park radioactive trash in rural South Australia, and the Liberals introduce a Bill to expand Australian Nuclear Science and Technology’s activities –   our favourite pro nuclear shill, Ben Heard, joins others to promote the nu clear industry  – in Adelaide Thurs 29 June 

  • Ben Heard, Founder & Executive Director, Bright New World  Ben is recognised as a leading voice for the use of nuclear technologies to address our most pressing global challenges
  • Nick Byrne, Chief Financial Officer, Heathgate Resources, – Uranium mining company, owned by USA weapons maker General Atomics
  • Kyra Reznikov, Special Council, Finlaysons Lawyers,  part in a study tour in the footsteps of the Royal Commission to visit nuclear sites in Finland, France and the UK

June 28, 2017 Posted by | South Australia, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Indigenous people fight uranium mining around the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon is our home. Uranium mining has no place here, Guardian, Carletta Tilousi, 26 June 17, The Havasupai resided in and around Grand Canyon for many centuries. This region is sacred – that is why we oppose the pollution of our land and water.

The Havasupai – “people of the blue-green waters” – live in Supai Village, located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Today our lives and water are being threatened by international uranium mining companies because the US government and its 1872 mining law permit uranium mining on federal lands that surround the Grand Canyon.

In 1986, the Kaibab national forest authorized a Canadian-based uranium company to open Canyon mine, a uranium mine near the south rim of Grand Canyon national park. The Havasupai tribe challenged the decision but lost in the ninth circuit court of appeals. Miners were just starting to drill Canyon mine’s shaft in 1991 when falling uranium prices caused the company to shut it down for more than two decades.

Havasupai ancestors share stories of the sacredness of the Grand Canyon and all the mountains that surround it. They have instructed us to protect the waters and the mountains from any environmental contamination. That’s why we stand firm against any uranium mining in the Grand Canyon region.…..

In 2012, we celebrated the Obama administration’s order that honored our request to stop thousands of unproven claims from going forward and to close the area to prospecting for uranium. Now, misguided politicians in Arizona’s Mohave County are asking Donald Trump to overturn the decision because they claim they need uranium mining to help grow their economy. We oppose their request because we don’t want them to pollute our blue-green waters.

Once again, our sacred water and lands are being attacked to profit other people. For this reason, the Havasupai people and citizens throughout the region have been gathering at Red Butte over the past two days to conduct prayer ceremonies and workshops, and to gain support and bring awareness to the poisonous legacy of uranium all around the Grand Canyon.

The Havasupai are resilient people. We have resided in and around the Grand Canyon for many centuries. This struggle is not about money to us, it is about human life.

Please stand with us to put an end to mining uranium in our home, which has always been the Grand Canyon. 
Carletta Tilousi is a member of the Havasupai tribal council.

June 28, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Twists and turns in the saga of Adani loan deal for giant Carmichael coal mine

Final chapter in Adani loan deal, Karen Middleton , Saturday Paper, 24 June 17, While the dealings of the government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility remain shrouded in secrecy, pressure mounts over funding for the Adani rail line.   “…….Among those addressing the annual Developing Northern Australia conference, held this year in Cairns, was Sharon Warburton, the chairwoman of the somewhat opaque Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, known as the NAIF.

The NAIF is a $5 billion-government-owned lender, set up to make concessionary loans to companies planning infrastructure projects in northern Australia that are of demonstrated public benefit and would not otherwise be able to proceed…..

The NAIF has not yet lent any money. But Warburton is hinting that it’s close to a decision on at least one application, the one that’s attracted the most controversy and has become an open secret: the request from Indian mining conglomerate Adani for $1 billion to fund a railway line to support its proposed Carmichael coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

“We know there is a lot of interest in NAIF and the Adani rail project,” Warburton told the conference on Monday. “I can confirm we are in our due diligence phase on that project.”

That translates as the final stage of assessment, with three other applications apparently also reaching finality. But, Warburton said, she could not say any more about Adani than that…..

Greens senator Larissa Waters said clean coal was “a lie”.

“This is straight from the big tobacco playbook,” Waters said. “Remember ‘light’ cigarettes? To meet the commitment under the Paris Agreement to keep global warming to safe levels, we need to reach zero pollution in the electricity sector transitioning away from coal. Building more coal-fired power stations is simply incompatible with the science.”

Environmental activists continue to mount a strenuous campaign against any kind of coal-fired power and the Adani mine development in particular, on the grounds that it represents an investment in a backwards-looking energy source that will add to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and damage the Great Barrier Reef…….

The company has sent mixed messages on whether it needs the NAIF loan to proceed, initially saying it wasn’t essential and then saying it was, a distinction crucial to NAIF’s considerations.

Details of any NAIF decision will only be published after it has been finalised and within 30 days of being taken.

Larissa Waters and Labor senator Murray Watt succeeded last week in establishing a senate inquiry into the NAIF, and Waters is pushing to have Adani called before it.

In recent senate budget estimates committee hearings, Labor and the Greens attempted to extract information on the status of the NAIF’s deliberations in general and the fate of Adani’s bid in particular.

As part of its processes, the NAIF must consult with Infrastructure Australia on projects it proposes to fund.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale asked Infrastructure Australia chief executive Philip Davies whether it had received a submission on the Adani rail line, as per the requirement that it must assess all projects seeking more than $100 million.

Davies said it had not…..

….NAIF director Karla Way-McPhail, who is chief executive of two companies that service the mining industry.

Minister Matt Canavan confirmed to a senate estimates hearing this month that Way-McPhail, who has spoken out in support of opening up the Galilee, was a friend whom he had recommended for the board…..

NAIF chief executive Laurie Walker declined to tell the senate estimates committee whether Way-McPhail or any other NAIF director had recused themselves from any discussions on the grounds of a potential conflict of interest. Walker said that was “not information that I think is appropriate to disclose”.

She said more than six conflicts had been declared…..

The Greens’ main focus has been on the suitability of the loan applicant rather than the assessors.

Larissa Waters wants the government to insert a “suitable person” test into the NAIF’s process for assessing loan bids, arguing she believes it would rule out Adani.

The Greens also want the environmental history test strengthened within environmental law and are calling for Adani’s approvals for the Carmichael project to be reviewed on the basis of “revelations about their environmental and corporate history” in activities overseas.

Waters has produced a private member’s bill to reflect the concerns but the government is not obliged to bring it forward for a vote……

despite Adani having announced with flourish recently that it had taken the final decision to proceed, others argue there are still obstacles to be cleared.

Tim Buckley, a director at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, believes it is not viable without massive taxpayer subsidies.

“The green light that Adani made such a fuss about a couple of weeks ago was actually just a sham,” Buckley told The Saturday Paper.

He has written a paper suggesting “defer, delay and pray” appear to be the company’s unspoken watchwords……despite Adani having announced with flourish recently that it had taken the final decision to proceed, others argue there are still obstacles to be cleared….

June 28, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

28 June More renewable energy and climate news

CEFC invests in lithium mine to help make Australia storage powerhouse
CEFC makes first investment in mining operation, as Australia seeks to grab lion’s share of lithium supply to the global battery

Clean coal’ and other dirty jokes
The Turnbull Government has introduced legislation to enable investment in coal despite the fact that there is just no such thing as ‘clean coal’.,10445
What does Finkel mean for community power?
Kim Shore
Community energy entrepreneurship could help deliver Finkel’s recommendations — especially distributed and independent power systems.

Abbott’s death-wish on industry: Freeze RET, ban wind, build coal
Giles Parkinson
On same day as major industrial project goes 100% renewables, Abbott calls for freeze on RET, ban on wind farms, and for government to build a new coal generator.

Victoria agribusiness turns to 196MW wind farm with 20MW storage
Victoria hydroponics vegetable producer turns to 100% renewable strategy for country’s biggest glass-house after nearly abandoning project due to gas prices. A 196MW wind farm and 20MW of battery storage will be built – separate to the Victoria battery storage tender.
ACT moves closer to reaching renewable energy targets
Granville Harbour wind farm strikes Hydro Tasmania deal to buy power
The people behind the $280-million Granville Harbour wind farm finally strike a deal to sell the power to Hydro Tasmania but still don’t have someone to build it.

West Coast wind farm ready to fly
ANOTHER wind farm in Tasmania’s West has moved a step closer to producing energy as the state reinforces its reputation as the nation’s renewable energy capital.

June 28, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

New South Wales largest solar energy farm to go ahead

Sunraysia solar farm, largest in NSW, gets planning approval By Giles Parkinson on 26 June 2017  The 200MW Sunraysia solar farm project near Balranald in western New South Wales has become the largest solar project in the state to receive planning approval.

Solar farm developer Maoneng, which has built the smaller 13MW Mugga Lane solar farm in the ACT (pictured below), said it received the planning approval last week nd hopes to begin construction by the end of the year and to be complete by the summer of 2018/19.

Maoneng says the solar farm will be located in one of the sunniest parts of NSW and is expected to produce around 530,000MWh of electricity a year. It is considering adding storage at a later date.

According to RenewEconomy data, a total of six solar farms have already begun construction in NSW – on top of the four already completed – and Sunraysia is one of at least 21 aspiring solar projects

“The development approval will be followed by further consultation with various stakeholders in developing detailed construction management plans,” Maoneng vice president Qiao Nan Han said in a statement

“This process will run in parallel to our current contractor selection process to ensure that all conditions of consent are correctly adhered to. We are looking to start construction by the end of the year with an anticipated construction period of 12 months.”



June 28, 2017 Posted by | New South Wales, solar | Leave a comment

Most Australians want renewables to be primary energy source, survey finds

Climate Institute survey points to overwhelming frustration with government’s inaction and lack of leadership on clean energy, Guardian, Elle Hunt, 27 June 17, Climate Institute survey points to overwhelming frustration with government’s inaction and lack of leadership on clean energy.

The vast majority of Australians want to see the country dramatically increase the use of renewable energy, a new survey has found, despite attempts by the federal government to characterise renewables as unreliable and expensive.

The Climate Institute’s national Climate of the Nation survey, published on Tuesday, pointed to frustration with the government’s inaction and lack of leadership on clean energy.

Of 2,660 respondents from across Australia, 71% agreed that climate change was occurring, continuing a trend established in the survey through 2014 and 2015. Two-thirds said they were highly concerned by its impacts, while 57% accepted that human activity was the main cause.

Ninety-six percent of respondents said they wanted the country’s primary energy source to be renewable, with support from either storage technologies (58%) or fossil fuels (38%). The phaseout of coal and replacement with clean energy received support from 59%, with 72% of those in favour calling on the government to drive the transition…..

the report found that people were generally in favour of the Paris agreement to curb global warming to 1.5-2C, and could not understand why the Australian government was not making stronger attempts to deliver on it.

Nine out of 10 people opposed walking away from the Paris deal as the US did on 1 June, while almost two-thirds (61%) said Australia should “work harder” to ensure it met its overall goals.

June 28, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

28 June renewable news Australia

Bills have become centre of the energy discourse galaxy in Australia
Ketan Joshi
Reality is boring: new technology gets cheap, simple and, increasingly, fit for purpose. There’s nothing magical, mystical or fantastical about this.

South Australia
S.A. to announce storage winner, delays EST mechanism
Results for South Australia’s battery storage tender expected in next week, as state government delays introduction of energy security target and may drop it altogether. Meanwhile, Victoria reports ‘strong’ response for its battery storage tender.

Cabinets call on West Coast wind farm deal
A power supply deal needed to underpin a $270 million West Coast wind farm development will be considered …

June 28, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment