Australian news, and some related international items

The decline of journalism in the mainstream media

Independent media: Our democracy depends on it, Independent Australia.  Cathy McQueen “………It is hard to open a newspaper of the mainstream media (MSM) or indeed watch a television “report” today without seeing content littered with the journalistic opinion of the person writing or reporting it — even if it purports to be “straight” news.

I hate to think of what Keating would think of the Australian MSM now. We have a good 70 per cent of it — the Murdoch press — that only publishes far-right propaganda most of the time and blatant lies the rest of the time.

The Honourable Paul Keating – The Privacy Imperative in the Information Age Free for All

The remainder of the MSM does its best to do their jobs – I am talking Fairfax and The Guardianand the ABC – but even they are not immune from serving the far-right agenda of the Liberal Party at times. The African gangs outrage in Victoria provides the perfect example in recent times. The ABC and Fairfax both fell into the trap of pushing Minister for Home Affairs Dutton and Prime Minister Turnbull’s divisive agenda with this, instead of calling power to account and debunking it as the myth it was.

The Guardian is another great example of a publication that is less than perfect on this front at times. While its content is usually truthful and could even be said to be somewhat left-leaning, its headlines make the whole idea of language intelligence pointless.

Every day The Guardian’s Australian edition serves us up a slew of headlines that not only reinforce the far-right by directly quoting the latest outrage from a Turnbull Government minister – as in, ‘Victorians are scared to go to restaurants because of African gang violence: Peter Dutton ‘ – but they almost seem to glory in it. Headline after headline does this. Are they just being lazy or are they deliberately trying to confuse?……….

My disgust with my former profession extends to the entirety of News Corp’s workforce.

How do they sleep at night, I often wonder? Apparently, a lot of News Corp journalists, vote Labor, which begs the question: How on earth do they get through a day at the office?………

What I wonder about these people is this: How can anyone who cares about journalism – a profession whose main role is to call power to account, to uncover corruption and act as society’s democracy watchdog as well as informing and educating – write far-right propaganda and lies every single day? Every single day. They obviously believe it but how can seemingly intelligent people believe this dangerous rubbish? Are they sociopathic? You have to wonder.

And it is not just the aforementioned [the Andrew Bolts, Miranda Devines and Niki Savvas ] who are the offenders. The ordinary, everyday journalists at Murdoch publications are frequently called on to rabble rouse about “dole bludgers”, or “Kooris”, or African “gangs” or you name it. They attack the very working class and middle-class people that read their publications and write stories that push the agendas of the one percenters and Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberal Party mates — the banksters and Big End of Town.

It must be either soul-destroying or they must be so desperate for money that they have no choice. I could not live with myself — which is why I am studying law now. I have two years to go and I am hoping the ethics of my future profession is not going to be besmirched like the ethics of my former one. It is safe to suggest that many Australian journalists have forgotten that ethics even exist.

So is there any hope left for journalism in this country? Will we ever see reporting that is free from opinion, like Keating encouraged, or that actually does the job a member of the Fourth Estate should do — call power to account, uncover corruption and act as a watchdog on our democracy?

I remain positive. Publications like Independent Australia are leading the charge against the right-wing propaganda that has crept into our MSM — and they are doing a great job. Every time I click on an IA story I am so grateful that journalists like David Donovan and Martin Hirst still exist and are brave enough to carry on a tradition that has kept democracies healthy all over the Western world.

By only writing right-wing propaganda thanks to the Murdoch Press and the rest of the MSM, we lost a decent ALP government under Rudd and Gillard. We have been left with the current travesty of far-right ideology that governs only for its mates and the one per cent — the banksters and big business. The rest of us, along with health, education and the social safety net and, indeed, the greater good of the country can go to hell. Throw in a little racism and lack of humanity in the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees for good measure. And don’t even start me on the egregious way the MSM have dealt with climate science and climate change.

Australians should think long and hard about their media and what it serves up to them. We have a lot of talented journalists in this country who I know would like to write the truth, be independent and not serve up right-wing propaganda, constantly. We need to encourage independent media like Ias much as possible by republishing its stories on social media like Twitter and Facebook, by telling our friends and family about it and generally supporting it with our clicks every single day. We need to thank people like David Donovan and Martin Hirst, personally, for what they do.

If we don’t, we risk the only decent journalism – The Guardian and Fairfax press sometimes excepted – left in the country. The ABC has moved so far to the right it is almost unrecognisable.

Next time you open an MSM paper read it and its headlines critically; remember most are serving the far-right agenda of Murdoch and his cronies, the IPA and the Liberal Party.

Tell your family and friends to be sceptical and read your independent media and press as much as possible.

Our democracy depends on it.–our-democracy-depends-on-it,11112

January 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | 1 Comment

Nuclear waste dumping decisions promoted as just a “local” issue – Australia unaware

How a planned nuclear waste dump in the tiny SA town of Kimba impacts us all, Independent Australia,  Should a remote farming community in South Australia be charged with the momentous decision of storing radioactive waste? Noel Wauchope reports.

THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT’S drive for a national radioactive trash dump continues.

It is being depicted by the Federal Government and the media as not a national matter. Indeed, it’s now not even a State matter concerning South Australia. It is now portrayed as just a local matter for small rural areas such as Kimba — population 1,100.

However, an opinion poll in Adelaide Now showed strong rejection of the plan for a nuclear waste dump at Kimba.

Kimba is an agricultural area, most noted for bushfires (Kimba means “bushfire”), wheat farming and a giant statue of a galah.

At the moment, Kimba is well in the running to host the national radioactive trash dump. In 2017, a Kimba town vote favouring this was 396 to 294 in favour. Not an overwhelming endorsement from this small community, but enough to keep enthusiasm for the project going, seeing as the matter is apparently of little concern to the rest of the State or the nation.

How come that Kimba is such a likely place for the dump?

Australia’s nuclear lobby has for decades been pursuing its plan for importing nuclear waste. In more recent years, this nuclear push has also turned its focus towards a dump for Australia’s own nuclear waste. The Australian Government, directed by its statutory body Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), joined in this because ANSTO is obligated by contract to deal with the high-level waste returning to Australia from processing in France and the UK. This waste is currently stored in containers at Lucas Heights in Sydney……….

in 2018, ANSTO and the ever-persistent nuclear lobby are going for what appears to be a moderate aim — the same old “low level” nuclear waste dump that Howard sought in 1998. The National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 stressed the idea that the selection of a site should be “consent-driven” — though, in fact, it gives the Federal Government extraordinary powers to override state/territory governments, councils, communities, traditional owners and, indeed, anyone else.

With the emphasis on landowners volunteering sites – and with financial inducements offered – rural South Australians were encouraged to come forward.

The Turnbull Government claimed it had:

‘ … widespread support from direct neighbours of the nominated properties.’

Farmer Jeff Baldock nominated his property – and will be paid four times its value – if his offer is successful. Wallerberdina Station, near Hawker, has volunteered. Both communities can expect $2 million in government grants plus a $10 million fund for community development for the chosen site.

No wonder that there’s enthusiasm for the project in this somewhat economically stressed area. However, strong opposition to the dump continues from traditional owners the Adnyamathanhapeople and from 204 paid-up members of the Kimba local group, No Radioactive Waste Facility for Kimba District.

The process has been fraught with problems, starting with the problem of overriding South Australia’s law against setting up nuclear waste facilities.

Because the discussion has been confined to communities in the region, there is little input from experts other than those provided by ANSTO. Farming community members have been transported to Lucas Heights at ANSTO’s expense and given reassuring technical information on nuclear waste storage in canisters. ANSTO medical and nuclear experts have been running science lessons in schools and offering hopes of scholarships to ANSTO.

A very problematic area, indeed, is the fraudulent story about storage of “low-level medical wastes” being the purpose of the facility. The practice of nuclear medicine has in no way been adversely affected by the absence of a national repository and it won’t in any way benefit from the establishment of a repository thousands of kilometres away from Lucas Heights. The real need is to store the processed spent fuel rod waste returning to Lucas Heights from France and the UK. This is classified by the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) as “high level” waste.

An equally problematic area is in the temporary nature of the planned waste storage. This long-lasting radioactive trash will require burial for its thousands of years of toxicity. Kimba – or whichever area ends up with this facility – is facing the risk of “stranded” nuclear waste.

An Adelaide Now article (no longer available online) quoted a local teacher, Meagan Lienert, assuring us that she has done the research and that the waste facility would not affect the local farming environment. This illustrates a major problem with the way that this issue is being pitched to the locals.

As food produce marketing expert Kristen Jelk discussed in community discussions last year on the South Australian Government site, ‘Your Say’ the perception of clean, green South Australia is all-important. The presence of a nearby nuclear waste dump would ruin that market.

Similarly, Kimba farmer Justine Major wrote to the Eyre Peninsula Tribune, concerned about the image of the local agricultural produce if the radioactive dump should go ahead.

While some in Kimba, including its Mayor, are keen for further investigation of the project as a promising boost for the local economy, are they aware of the irony in that Kimba was, in 2017 State winner of KESAB’s Sustainable Communities top town? This award honours the community that does the most to protect the environment and embrace sustainability.

They hope to go on to win the Australian title.

The Federal Government has set up consultative committees at the local level to advise on the radioactive waste facility proposal. Perhaps it is time for the rest of Australia to have a say.,11102

January 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

The Peace Boat is on its way to Australia



Right now, the Peace Boat is on its way to Australia. The Making Waves speaking tour will feature second-generation nuclear test survivor Karina Lester, ICAN Ambassador Scott Ludlam, hibakusha from Hiroshima and Nagasaki and former dairy farmers from Fukushima, all travelling aboard the floating international peace village. Join the tour and help us amplify the call for Australia and Japan to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.


Thursday 25 January 12-2pm

Foley Hall, Mouat St (between High St and Croke St) at Notre Dame University

Register here.


Monday 29 January 6-7:30pm

Gallery Yampu, 1 Jenkins St, Birkenhead

Register here.


Thursday 1 February 6-8pm

The Cube, ACMI

Register here.


Friday 2 February 12:30-2pm

Parliament Lawns, Salamanca Place. In the event of wet weather, we will move the event into Parliament House.

Free event. Register here.


Monday 5 February

PROTEST: Sign the nuclear weapon ban treaty! at 12:30pm, on the corner of Bent St and O’Connell St, Sydney CBD, in view of the Australian and Japanese Government offices. BYO broken nuclear umbrella.

PUBLIC FORUM and PERFORMANCES at 6-8pm, Redfern Community Centre.

Register here.

Follow ICAN Australia’s journey aboard the ship on our TwitterInstagram and Facebook pages.
We look forward to Making Waves with you for the nuclear ban treaty.
ICAN Australia.

January 17, 2018 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Big solar boom kicks off in SA with completion of 6MW Whyalla project — RenewEconomy

South Australia’s first completed utility-scale PV project officially opens next week, marking the start of a big solar construction boom in the state.

via Big solar boom kicks off in SA with completion of 6MW Whyalla project — RenewEconomy

January 17, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australian wind, solar investment hits record high as NEG threatens to push it off a cliff — RenewEconomy

The race to meet Australia’s large-scale renewable energy target has helped drive record investment in 2017, says BNEF. But the RET’s fulfilment could also see investment go off a cliff, with only the Coalition’s proposed National Energy Guarantee to cushion the fall.

via Australian wind, solar investment hits record high as NEG threatens to push it off a cliff — RenewEconomy

January 17, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Minerals Council says it makes political donations to gain access to MPs

Mining body says contributions ‘provide additional opportunities for the MCA to meet with members of parliament’, Guardian, Paul Karp @Paul_Karp, The Minerals Council of Australia has conceded it makes political donations and pays to attend fundraisers to gain access to members of parliament in a submission to a Senate inquiry.

January 17, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Chernobyl nuclear power plant transformed into a massive solar plant  [excellent graphs and photos] 

IT was the site of the world’s worst ecological disaster, but Chernobyl has risen from the ashes of its nuclear meltdown and is undergoing a massive makeover. News Corp Australia Network JANUARY 15, 2018 AT ground zero of Ukraine’s Chernobyl tragedy, workers in orange vests are busy erecting hundreds of dark-coloured panels as the country gets ready to launch its first solar plant to revive the abandoned territory.

The new one-megawatt power plant is located just a hundred metres from the new “sarcophagus”, a giant metal dome sealing the remains of the 1986 Chernobyl accident, the worst nuclear disaster in the world.

This solar power plant can cover the needs of a medium-sized village”, or about 2,000 flats, Yevgen Varyagin, the head of the Ukrainian-German company Solar Chernobyl which carried out the project, told AFP.

Eventually, the region is to produce 100 times the initial solar power, the company says. Continue reading

January 17, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australia’s record energy emissions, and still no plan to reduce them — RenewEconomy

Only the wilfully ignorant or blind could pretend Australia will achieve its emissions target under the Paris Agreement with no more than a pro rata reduction in electricity emissions.

via Australia’s record energy emissions, and still no plan to reduce them — RenewEconomy

January 17, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan Broadcaster Joins Hawaii in Issuing False Missile Alert

Bloomberg, By Gareth Allan, 

  • Error days after U.S. state caused panic with similar mistake
  • NHK apologizes on evening broadcast for erroneous warning

Japanese national broadcaster NHK issued a false alert about a North Korean missile launch, adding to questions about the reliability of early-warning systems after a similar incident in Hawaii.

 The broadcaster issued a “J-Alert” at 6:55 p.m. Tuesday via its app and website, urging people people to take cover inside buildings or underground. NHK corrected the error at 7:00 p.m. While its television channels didn’t cover the initial alert, an apology was subsequently issued on its scheduled evening news program, as well as on its website……

January 17, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Monash University builds campus-wide electricity Microgrid with Indra and Intel Technology — RenewEconomy

Indra today announced it has been chosen by Monash University as a key technology partner in a project to establish a sustainable electricity Microgrid at its Clayton campus.

via Monash University builds campus-wide electricity Microgrid with Indra and Intel Technology — RenewEconomy

January 17, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SA Water to install 6MW of solar PV in quest to cut power costs – to zero — RenewEconomy

SA water utility to install 6MW of rooftop PV in effort to cut annual electricity costs from around $55m to $0 by 2020.

via SA Water to install 6MW of solar PV in quest to cut power costs – to zero — RenewEconomy

January 17, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Strong investor support drives CleanTech Index to new highs — RenewEconomy

Australian CleanTech Index outperforms ASX200 again in December and Q2 FY18, as companies become mainstream, mature, profitable – and less reliant on government policy.

via Strong investor support drives CleanTech Index to new highs — RenewEconomy

January 17, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rising Seas Could Shrink Australia #auspol #ClimateChange #StopAdani — jpratt27

How rising sea levels could shrink Australia and spark a coastal exodus By Sean Ulm, Alan Williams, Chris Turney and Stephen Lewis PHOTO Australia’s coastline has moved before thanks to changes in sea level.Flickr: Travellers Travel Photobook, CC BY 2.0 With global sea levels expected to rise by up to a metre by 2100, we […]

via Rising Seas Could Shrink Australia #auspol #ClimateChange #StopAdani — jpratt27

January 17, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment