Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Jeff Baldock looks to four times value of his land to host nuclear waste dump: others not so keen.

Opinion poll results 8 Jan 17 “3.30 pm – “NO vote is currently up to 76.75%

The Advertiser, South Australia is running an opinion poll –  Should a nuclear waste facility be built at Kimba? on their article
As choice of nuclear waste facility starts narrowing, people of Kimba are either excited or disgusted

[Ed note 12 Jan – at a later date, the “NO” vote jumped to 85%]

Jeff Baldock and family:  A Kimba nuclear waste dump on their property would be a bonanza for them

But what would it do for the market’s perception of South Australia’s farm produce?



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January 8, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Keep ANSTO’s deadly radioactive waste at Australia’s only accepted high grade nuclear waste dump, Lucas Heights. 

Paul Waldon, Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization, founded 1987… Australian Atomic Energy Commission, established 1952… Atomic Energy Policy Committee, created 1949…

How long it was on the drawing board is unknown. However the locals willingness to embrace and accept a nuclear waste producing machine with its ever growing stockpile of manufactured waste in their region is alive and strong.

For 69+ years the facility has been endorsed every time someone relocates to Lucas Heights/Barden Ridge and surrounding burbs,, or when a contract for a house or business in the area has been secured. 69 Years is along time in the cycle of a persons life, and presents a question:are there any surviving post nuclear residents residing in the district? So keep ANSTO’s deadly radioactive waste at Australia’s only accepted high grade nuclear waste dump, Lucas Heights. https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

January 8, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, New South Wales | Leave a comment

The Internet’s alternative media is informing people; Australia’s politicians are left behind

These days, the political-information network publishes every MP’s reiteration of the song as it happens, and people see it for the insincere, boring confection that it is.

New info networks v old political hierarchy, by CRISPIN HULL on DECEMBER 30, 2017MUCH is made of how the 24-hour media cycle is having a disturbing influence on politics in Australia and elsewhere, but perhaps it is not so much the change to the timing of publication, but the change to the nature of the sources that is causing the disruption. In the pre-internet model, news and opinion was presented to the public by organisations which were highly hierarchical. Media corporations had a CEO, an editor, news directors, various section heads, sub-editors, a chief of reporting staff down to the lowly reporters.

 

They were, and to some extent still are, like military organisations, though the average reporter might be allowed a little more initiative than the average foot soldier. Nonetheless, media outfits were highly directed. The political system was also a hierarchy – party leader, front-bencher, back-bencher, on the federal or state executive, chair of electorate machine, executive of electorate machine, party member.

Together they worked well. The political hierarchy produced the daily song sheet and it was repeated once in the newspaper and once on the TV news. It was received wisdom. The discussion agenda was defined.

Then came the internet, which is the opposite of hierarchical. Rather than the top-down hierarchies of traditional media it is a network, with links in all directions.

Using it, people have a far wider selection of sources of news, opinion and information. In response to the ease of publication people created new news and information sites where experts could speak directly to the public.

Sites such as The Conversation, Online Opinion, Pearls and Irritations, Crikey and dozens of others sprung up around the world. (So, of course, did sites run by ignorant, opinionated, non-experts.)

The result is that a greater political literacy and more nuanced discussion among people interested in politics replaced the pre-internet received wisdom. We now are seeing a trickle sideways. It is now far easier for many voters to become better informed than most MPs about a lot of issues.

It has perplexed politicians. By and large they have remained stone-deaf and trapped in their hierarchy. Continue reading

January 8, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Kimba town hopes to win top environmental award – but wants nuclear waste dump !!

where do we want to see Kimba in 300 years?  We’ll be a national centre for rubbish.

The community is a finalist for the Australian title of KESAB’s Sustainable Communities top town…..the award   honours the community that does the most to protect the environment  [!!!]

As choice of nuclear waste facility starts narrowing, people of Kimba are either excited or disgusted,  Erin Jones, Sunday Mail (SA) January 6, 2018 IF there are two words that can split an already isolated South Australian town and destroy lifelong friendships, they are “nuclear waste”.

Kimba, on the northern edge of the Eyre Peninsula’s vast grain-growing belt, is home to two of the three proposed sites where the nation’s radioactive waste might be stored.

Most city slickers probably only know about the town because of its giant silo artwork or the ageing giant galah structure. But it is where farming is the lifeblood of the community and where the proposal to use agricultural land as a nuclear site weighs heavily on some residents in the town of 650.

“We were a really tight-knit community but now we’re just a town,” says farmer Amy Koch. “We’re not even a community anymore.”

Everything changed two years ago when the owners of two farms nominated to be the site for a nuclear waste repository. The move has had a polarising effect. Long-time friendships have broken down, businesses have been boycotted and people deliberately avoid each other in the street and at events.

Mrs Koch’s friend, Rachel Yates, also a farmer, says the division between residents is palpable.

“When you go into town, you make sure you know a friend is going to be there and you have someone to talk to,” Mrs Yates says. “I’ve never seen anything like this that has divided the whole town.” The women are part of No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA — a group started in response to the two farming families offering their land.

If approved, the successful farm will hold low-level waste from the Lucas Heights nuclear facility, in NSW, and Australia’s intermediate-level waste such as that from industrial, medical and research applications. (Ed. note: no mention of the high level nuclear waste from the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, which will also come)

Many see the facility as a way forward, helping to boost the local economy and creating jobs.

Others say there will be little economic benefit and the town’s reputation will be tarnished.

Third-generation farmer Jeff Baldock defends his decision to offer 100ha of his Napandee property, 25km northwest of Kimba, despite some resistance.“When this process first started I felt physically ill going to Kimba and my family would feel really uncomfortable going to functions,” he says.“Twelve months ago I asked if it’s worth it but one of our neighbours said ‘If you believe in it you just have to keep going’. “Now we feel more than happy to go to town.

“Ninety per cent of people are still chatting away merrily to whoever but there is a group that has decided that they don’t want to be a part of that.

“I still say ‘G’day’ to everybody — if they choose not to say it back, that’s up to them.”

Mr Baldock and his wife, Jenny, nominated another of their properties last year but it was ruled out by the Federal Government following the assessment process and opposition.

As a result, they nominated their Napandee property, where they live with their children and five grandchildren. If successful, they will be paid four times the value of the land — believed to be about $400,000 — and Mr Baldock says they aim to crop the site’s 60ha buffer zone to put money back into the community through the local Agricultural Bureau and Lions Club.

But Mr Baldock believes the real benefit of the repository will be for the town’s residents in safeguarding them financially in the event of drought.

About 50 per cent of residents are employed in agriculture, according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. “This is an industry that doesn’t rely on agriculture, that’s the big thing,” Mr Baldock says.

“Seven of the last 10 years have been good but it won’t keep going that way and it might be a bit ugly if we have two or three droughts.

“We see this as drought-proofing the community.”

An Electoral Commission ballot of Kimba residents found 57 per cent of the 698 respondents — there are 1100 residents in the council area — agreed the sites should progress to the next round of consultation.

The process included a 90-day consultation period and the Government said there was widespread support from direct neighbours of the nominated properties, with all but one supporting proceeding to the next phase.

The Kimba properties have now joined Wallerberdina Station, near Hawker, to advance to stage two of consultation but the Flinders Ranges site is facing strong opposition from the Adnyamathanha people — the traditional owners — for cultural reasons.

Both communities now have access to $2 million worth of grants — from the Government’s community benefit fund for local projects to create economic or social benefits — in recognition of any disruption during the assessment process.

A $10 million fund for community development projects has been promised to the area of the final chosen site — expected to be announced in the second half of this year — which critics fear is a sweetener to encourage the waste facility’s approval.

Michelle Rayner believes the nuclear debate has already had positive benefits in town, including accommodation being filled with government workers and the media visiting on a regular basis.

Mrs Rayner, who owns Eileen’s cafe just off the main street, and her husband, Brett, proposed their Lyndhurst farming property as the other potential site to become the repository. That decision resulted in them being castigated by former acquaintances. but Mrs Rayner said the town needed something to boost its economic prospects.

“My husband wasn’t interested in it all initially but then he came to a community meeting and was blown away by the opportunities for the town,” she says.

“To become a government town, you’re guaranteed to have a decent hospital, better infrastructure and better internet communications.”

The Federal Government says wherever the facility is located, it will bring a minimum of 15 jobs in
administration, waste management and security.

As well, a facility of this scale would likely have additional investment in infrastructure such as roads and telecommunications.

Mayor Dean Johnson does not skirt around the issues and the importance of finding new ways to bring more people to the town, which currently has dozens of empty houses. “The truth is our population is on a slow decline and if we can’t turn that around our sustainability will be questioned,” he says.

“While we have the agriculture roots — and it will always be the main industry in Kimba  [Ed note: Not when then market learns about the radioactive trash dump nearby]— any opportunity to diversify the economy and bring more jobs into the town should be investigated.

“That’s not saying this definitely is the thing but we believe we have to investigate it fully and the community has supported that view.”

The stage two consultation process was announced in June and, last month, 16 community members were appointed to a local consultative committee by the Federal Government.

In total, 51 people applied and explained why they wanted to be part of the committee to act as a link to
the government, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and residents.

The committee is to provide advice on jobs and business opportunities, relay information on the project’s technical aspects and review nominations for the $2 million community benefit fund.

TEACHER Meagan Lienert — one of the committee members — supports the waste facility because of the benefits she believes it will bring, especially to the school’s 174 students.

She says medical and nuclear experts had run science lessons at the school and there was talk of access to scholarships at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, at Lucas Heights.

But she understands some people fear nuclear waste because they believe it will affect farming land.

“From my research, I can see the facility is safe and I know it won’t have any affect on the things around it but the fear some people have is real,” Mrs Lienert says.

“I don’t take that away from anyone but I hope to be able to help people gain a bit of understanding and perhaps relieve some of that fear through the consultative committee.”

No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA secretary Toni Scott is also on the consultative committee and raises concerns about whether the process will be fair.

Mrs Scott says there is a struggle to get information from the Government on why federal land is not used and how many jobs the waste facility will create, saying the number has fluctuated from 15 to 30.

“How do we trust the Government building this facility when we can’t even trust the process?” Mrs Scott says.

“We’re trying to get in writing that if there’s another vote what percentage the Minister needs for this to go ahead. The department head said he would need more than 65 per cent to build the facility but it has never reached 60 per cent.”

FOR two years, Mrs Scott has represented the group’s 204 financial members to oppose the facility, including making representations at Parliament House in Adelaide and Canberra.

“The key concerns we have are for our farming and our produce; we live in a big country and only 4 per cent is arable farming land — and we sit within that,” she says. “We think we don’t need to risk productive land when there is so much non-arable land. They should try a bit harder to find a suitable site because people aren’t very happy here and it feels like two years of a government process has been forced upon you.”

Kimba farmer and former federal Liberal MP Barry Wakelin is a member of the anti-nuclear group and believes the Government is struggling to find a suitable site — an issue plaguing successive governments since 1992.

“This is their third go after Woomera, Mataranka, and now we have the Kimba/Hawker situation,” Mr Wakelin says.

“The Federal Government has so many other options; it’s absurd to have a community divided on this issue.

“The other thing that weighs heavily on people’s minds is where do we want to see Kimba in 300 years?
We’ll be a national centre for rubbish.” Federal Minister for Resources Matt Canavan told the Sunday Mail 
no final decision on the site had been made. He says the Kimba community will get another vote on whether they support a facility — but says there is no “arbitrary figure” which will determine whether it will go ahead.

“The people of Kimba will have a chance to have their say again through another vote after this more comprehensive consultation period concludes,” he says. “There is no arbitrary figure for each step but I have always said there must be broad community support.” Mr Canavan says the process has been rigorous and transparent and a decision would not be made without consultation.

NEW LANDMARK PRAISED

KIMBA locals are forever trying to attract more visitors to their town — and now their efforts are gaining national attention.

The community is a finalist for the Australian title of KESAB’s Sustainable Communities top town — previously the Tidy Towns competition — after being named state winner in November.

The award — to be announced in April — honours the community that does the most to protect the environment, enhance their town and embrace sustainability.

Kimba Community Development Group chairwoman Heather Baldock says their entry included the Igniting Kimba arts project, which included stunning artwork on the town’s grain silos — a refreshing foil to the better-known but now tired-looking Big Galah.

“In a community where sport has always been important, art adds a whole other element to our community and it’s excited the locals even more than we expected,” she says.

“The media interest from across Australia regarding our silo art has been amazing and I think it’s something the whole community is quite proud of.

“We saw a 35 per cent increase in traffic when it was finished (in September) which was over 600 vehicles, so we’re pretty pleased with that.

“Anything that can make people stop for an extra night or two will help us economically because we have businesses that are struggling.”

The award also recognises the town’s grey nomad program, encouraging travelling retirees to work alongside local volunteers, pass on skills and, in return, stay for free…..http://www.adelaide now.com.au/news/south-australi a/as-choice-of-nuclear-waste-f acility-starts-narrowing-peopl e-of-kimba-are-either-excited- or-disgusted/news-story/ 8460ea159b77d47d915dc0abfc362b 37

January 8, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

The world’s nuclear build-up is a “chronicle of human madness”.

Doomsday Machine: US top-secret nuclear war plans exposed, NZ Herald, 7 Jan, 2018 , news.com.au, By: James LawA legendary whistleblower has exposed the US’s top-secret nuclear war plans that could bring humankind to extinction in an explosive new book.

In The Doomsday Machine, former White House nuclear war adviser Daniel Ellsberg argues that the world’s nuclear powers have had the ability to wipe all human beings off the planet since the 1960s — and current policies mean the risk of global annihilation are higher than ever today, reports news.com.au.

Mr Ellsberg became a whistleblowing legend in the ’70s when he leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times and other newspapers. The trove of photocopied classified documents exposed that the US government had lied to the public and the Congress about its involvement in the Vietnam War. Mr Ellsberg’s leaking of the documents has been dramatised in the upcoming Steven Spielberg movie The Post, out on January 11.

But Mr Ellsberg’s photocopying of top-secret government files didn’t stop with the Pentagon Papers.

 In his new book, he reveals for the first time that he copied an additional 8000 pages of top-secret material from his work for the White House and the RAND Corporation, a military research and development business that advises the US armed forces.

Much of his work at the RAND Corporation involved drawing up a secret plan, under president Dwight Eisenhower, for a nuclear war.

Mr Ellsberg asserts that much of what he learnt of the dire threats US nuclear strategy posed in the late ’50s and early ’60s is still true today.

Mr Ellsberg became a whistleblowing legend in the ’70s when he leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times and other newspapers. The trove of photocopied classified documents exposed that the US government had lied to the public and the Congress about its involvement in the Vietnam War. Mr Ellsberg’s leaking of the documents has been dramatised in the upcoming Steven Spielberg movie The Post, out on January 11.

But Mr Ellsberg’s photocopying of top-secret government files didn’t stop with the Pentagon Papers.

 In his new book, he reveals for the first time that he copied an additional 8000 pages of top-secret material from his work for the White House and the RAND Corporation, a military research and development business that advises the US armed forces.

Much of his work at the RAND Corporation involved drawing up a secret plan, under president Dwight Eisenhower, for a nuclear war.

Mr Ellsberg asserts that much of what he learnt of the dire threats US nuclear strategy posed in the late ’50s and early ’60s is still true today.

Mr Ellsberg writes that US nuclear plans have always been drawn up with the aim of striking first under all circumstances.

Successive presidents, Donald Trump included, have declined to change US military policy to “no first use”, which is a pledge not to use nuclear weapons unless first attacked by an enemy using its own nukes.

Mr Ellsberg argues that this creates an implied threat of nuclear attack on every state that might come into conflict with the US, such as North Korea, and only serves to encourage nuclear weapons proliferation.

“Indeed, it has encouraged proliferation in states hoping either to counter these American threats or to imitate them,” he writes.

“Of course, our insistence on maintaining an arsenal of thousands of weapons, many on alert, a quarter century into the post-Cold War era, nullifies our advice to most other states in the world that they ‘have no need’ or justification for producing a single nuclear weapon.”

One of the more alarming parts of the book is the revelation of what Mr Ellsberg calls “one of our highest national secrets” — that a number of people in the US have the delegated authority to pull the trigger on nuclear weapons.
“With respect to deliberate, authorised US strategic attacks, the system has always been designed to be triggered by a far wider range of events than the public has ever imagined,” Mr Ellsberg writes.

“Moreover, the hand authorised to pull the trigger on US nuclear forces has never been exclusively that of the president, nor even his highest military officials.”…….

Mr Ellsberg sums up by saying the world’s nuclear build-up is a “chronicle of human madness”.

“Most aspects of the US nuclear planning system and force readiness that became known to me half a century ago still exist today, as prone to catastrophe as ever but on a scale, as now known to environmental scientists, looming vastly larger than was understood then,” he writes.

“The present risks of the current nuclear era go far beyond the dangers of proliferation and non-state terrorism that have been the almost exclusive focus of public concern for the past generation and the past decade in particular.

“The hidden reality I aim to expose is that for over 50 years, all-out thermonuclear war — an irreversible, unprecedented and almost unimaginable calamity for civilisation and most life on Earth — has been … a catastrophe waiting to happen. And that is still true today.”  http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/books-magazines/books/chronicle-of-human-madness-doomsday-machine-exposed/news-story/d751e70985b7013c226128d03d4c8d3a

January 8, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Timeline of present and recent plans to dump radioactive trash in the Flinders Ranges

As choice of nuclear waste facility starts narrowing, people of Kimba are either excited or disgusted, http://www.adelaide now.com.au/news/south-australi a/as-choice-of-nuclear-waste-f acility-starts-narrowing-peopl e-of-kimba-are-either-excited- or-disgusted/news-story/ 8460ea159b77d47d915dc0abfc362b 37Erin Jones, Sunday Mail (SA)
January 6, 2018 “………..1998:
 The Howard Government announces plans for two low-level nuclear waste sites in SA, both at Woomera. Low level nuclear waste includes items like contaminated clothing, rags, tools, medical tubes and swabs.

2003: The SA Government passes a Bill banning the establishment of a low-level waste dump, but the Commonwealth tries to acquire the land at Woomera.

2004: The Federal Court rules that the acquisition is unlawful and the Commonwealth abandons its SA plans.

February, 2015: SA Premier Jay Weatherill announces a royal commission into the role the state could play in the nuclear future, including establishing a high-level waste facility in SA. High level waste includes spent nuclear fuels and waste from the vitrification process.

May, 2015:Mr Weatherill decides upon a citizen’s jury process, to decide whether SA should pursue a high-level dump.

November, 2015:Six sites across Australia, including two at Kimba and one in the Flinders Ranges, are short-listed for a low-level nuclear waste site.

April, 2016: Wallerberdina Station, near Hawker, in the Flinders Ranges, goes to the next stage of the consultation phase — ahead of the five other sites.

November, 2016:The majority of Citizen’s Jury participants vote against a high-level waste dump.

June, 2017 Mr Weatherill formally abandons his high-level nuclear waste push.

■ Two more properties at Kimba nominate to be a low-level nuclear waste site and also progress to the next stage of consultation.   http://www.adelaide now.com.au/news/south-australi a/as-choice-of-nuclear-waste-f acility-starts-narrowing-peopl e-of-kimba-are-either-excited- or-disgusted/news-story/ 8460ea159b77d47d915dc0abfc362b 37

 

January 8, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australian government deception on climate change policy

Cooking the books on climate change policy, The Age, 7 Jan 18, Eryk Bagshaw

 Two reports released on the same day, from the same government department with two very different sets of findings.

The Turnbull government’s climate change policy review would have you believe we are well on our way to reaching our international commitment of a 26-28 per cent reduction by 2030.

wo reports released on the same day, from the same government department with two very different sets of findings.

The Turnbull government’s climate change policy review would have you believe we are well on our way to reaching our international commitment of a 26-28 per cent reduction by 2030.

While the policy review states: “we have a record of meeting and beating our emissions reduction targets and are on track to meet our 2030 target,” the department’s emissions report admits clearly: “Australia’s emissions have risen in the past three years.” …….

An independent analysis commissioned by the Greens suggests the size of the abatement is now so great that it would require us to take all cars off the road or cows off farms, not in a decade, but tomorrow.

The laughable proposition underscores the size of the task in the decade to come.

The first step in addressing that gap is admitting that it exists. Which why the deliberate omission of a chart in a review that clearly shows Australia sailing way above its targets in the climate change policy reviews is so striking.

The department and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg consulted no less than 270 stakeholders and received 357 submissions but the government’s obfuscation in omitting the offending chart from its final policy review is remarkable.

By pretending it doesn’t exist, it has given themselves room to move.

Into that space falls the government’s concessions to “stakeholders”, aka big business, which have been carefully worded to essentially allows companies to increase their emissions if their production does. ……http://www.theage.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/cooking-the-books-on-climate-change-policy-20171229-h0ba0h.html

January 8, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment