Australian news, and some related international items

7 February – Adelaide – NO Nuclear Waste Dumps  – A STATE ELECTION ISSUE

Protest Action @ 122 Pirie Street 17:45 February 07 2018

 We defused Js International Radioactive Bombshell, but at a cost to the State of 10+ million bucks. Don’t let that money be a complete write off – one of the recommendations from the NFCRC was “… both broad social consent and specific community consent must be obtained for any new nuclear activity to commence in South Australia”.

This finding was tabled & accepted by both houses of the State Parliament in October 2017.

The Federal Govt continues to pursue the placement of radioactive waste in SA, which constitutes ‘new nuclear activity’: therefore any State Government has a recognised obligation to ensure ‘both broad social consent and specific community consent’.


The current incumbent JW has failed to heed his constituency – whilst the Marshall Liberals have said diddly squat. And who knows what the X-men would deliver?

The Public Service Association of South Australia will be hosting the 3 Amigos in an Election Event at their HQ Feb 7.

South Australians, The fight did not end with the Citizens Jury Outcome. If you do not want this State to be a waste dump & want your voice heard: then you must continue standing steadfast against the nuclear spin cyclists.


Office Admin


January 29, 2018 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Australia as a target, in nuclear war

Hawaii’s false alarm: we’re right to question our safety from nuclear annihilation, Brisbane Times, By Smriti Keshari, Hawaiians recently experienced the most unimaginable nightmare, when an accidental alert went out a statewide warning of a “ballistic missile system” heading to the island. It happened at 8.07am on a Saturday.

Distraught residents did their best to find safety, parents drove miles to see their children one last time and some surfers even decided to paddle out for what they imagined was their last wave.

It was a false alarm, caused by human error, when a technician clicked on the wrong prompt on a computer screen.

Yet it served as a global wake-up call, and many around the world have begun to question the reality of whether their own country could be vulnerable to a similar incident.

In Australia, statewide emergency systems regularly use text alerts and landline phone messages to warn about bushfires, floods and other natural disasters. But could residents be woken one day by the threat of a missile headed towards Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne or the Pine Gap military facility near Alice Springs?

With no nuclear weapons of its own and no real nuclear-armed adversaries, the idea of an atomic-bomb attack may seem abstract to most Australians. But no country is safe from the nuclear threat. Defence analysts believe North Korea’s longest-range missiles could reach Australia. And although Australia’s geographic location makes it seem safe, experts say it is vulnerable to the effects of an all-out nuclear war between India and Pakistan.

Additionally, as an ally of the United States, relying not only on the protection of America’s nuclear umbrella but also home to a strategic site in the US missile-defense system, Australia could be among the first targets to be hit in a surprise nuclear attack against the US………

And the effects of nuclear weapons testing have had a lasting effect on the environment and countless communities around the world. In Australia, from 1953 to 1957, Britain’s nuclear tests caused lingering effects that affected the livelihood and health of Aboriginals years later.

Smriti Keshari is co-creator of the multimedia presentation the bomb, which featured during the Sydney Festival last week.

January 29, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear Racism in Australia

Jim Green, Anti-nuclear & Clean Energy (ACE) Campaign, Friends of the Earth, Australia,  January 2018 

The British government conducted 12 nuclear bomb tests in Australia in the 1950s, most of them at Maralinga in South Australia. Permission was not sought from affected Aboriginal groups such as the Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara, Tjarutja and Kokatha. Thousands of people were adversely affected and the impact on Aboriginal people was particularly profound.

The 1985 Royal Commission found that regard for Aboriginal safety was characterised by “ignorance, incompetence and cynicism”. Many Aboriginal people were forcibly removed from their homelands and taken to places such as the Yalata mission in South Australia, which was effectively a prison camp.

In the late-1990s, the Australian government carried out a clean-up of the Maralinga nuclear test site. It was done on the cheap and many tonnes of debris contaminated with kilograms of plutonium remain buried in shallow, unlined pits in totally unsuitable geology. As nuclear engineer and whistleblower Alan Parkinson said of the ‘clean-up’ on ABC radio in August 2002: “What was done at Maralinga was a cheap and nasty solution that wouldn’t be adopted on white-fellas land.”

Barely a decade after the ‘clean-up’, a survey revealed that 19 of the 85 contaminated debris pits had been subject to erosion or subsidence. The half-life of plutonium-239 is 24,100 years.

Radioactive ransom − dumping on the NT

From 2005−2014 successive federal governments attempted to impose a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty, 110 km north of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. A toxic trade-off of basic services for a radioactive waste dump was part of this story from the start. The nomination of the Muckaty site was made with the promise of $12 million compensation package comprising roads, houses and scholarships. Muckaty Traditional Owner Kylie Sambo objected to this radioactive ransom: “I think that is a very, very stupid idea for us to sell our land to get better education and scholarships. As an Australian we should be already entitled to that.”

The Liberal/National Coalition government led by John Howard passed legislation − the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act 2005 − overriding the Aboriginal Heritage Act, undermining the Aboriginal Land Rights Act, and allowing the imposition of a nuclear dump with no Aboriginal consultation or consent.

The Australian Labor Party voted against the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act, with Labor parliamentarians describing it as “extreme”, “arrogant”, “draconian”, “sorry”, “sordid”, and “profoundly shameful”. At its 2007 national conference, Labor voted unanimously to repeal the legislation. Yet after the 2007 election, the Labor government passed legislation − the National Radioactive Waste Management Act (NRWMA) − which was almost as draconian and still permitted the imposition of a nuclear dump with no Aboriginal consultation or consent.

In February 2008, Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd highlighted the life-story of Lorna Fejo − a member of the stolen generation − in the National Apology in Parliament House. At the same time, the Rudd government was stealing her land for a nuclear dump. Fejo said: “I’m very, very disappointed and downhearted about that [NRWMA legislation]. I’m really sad. The thing is − when are we going to have a fair go? Australia is supposed to be the land of the fair go. When are we going to have fair go? I’ve been stolen from my mother and now they’re stealing my land off me.”

Shamefully, the NLC supported legislation disempowering the people it is meant to represent.

The Federal Court trial finally began in June 2014. After two weeks of evidence, the NLC gave up and agreed to recommend to the federal government the withdrawal of the nomination of Muckaty for a nuclear dump. The Coalition government led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott accepted the NLC’s recommendation.

Lorna Fejo said: “I feel ecstatic. I feel free because it was a long struggle to protect my land.”

Owners have won a significant battle for country and culture, but the problems and patterns of radioactive racism persist. Racism in the uranium mining industry involves ignoring the concerns of Traditional Owners; divide-and-rule tactics; radioactive ransom; ‘humbugging’ Traditional Owners (exerting persistent, unwanted pressure); providing Traditional Owners with false information; and threats, including legal threats.

In 1998, the Howard government announced its intention to build a nuclear waste dump near Woomera in South Australia. Leading the battle against the dump were the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta, a council of senior Aboriginal women from northern SA. Many of the Kungkas personally suffered the impacts of the British nuclear bomb tests at Maralinga and Emu in the 1950s.

The proposed dump generated such controversy in SA that the federal government hired a public relations company. Correspondence between the company and the government was released under Freedom of Information laws. In one exchange, a government official asked the PR company to remove sand-dunes from a photo to be used in a brochure. The explanation provided by the government official was that: “Dunes are a sensitive area with respect to Aboriginal Heritage”. The sand-dunes were removed from the photo, only for the government official to ask if the horizon could be straightened up as well. Terra nullius.

In 2003, the federal government used the Lands Acquisition Act 1989 to seize land for the dump. Native Title rights and interests were extinguished with the stroke of a pen. This took place with no forewarning and no consultation with Aboriginal people.

The Kungkas continued to implore the federal government to ‘get their ears out of their pockets’, and after six years the government did just that. In the lead-up to the 2004 federal election − after a Federal Court ruling that the federal government had acted illegally in stripping Traditional Owners of their native title rights, and with the dump issue biting politically in SA − the Howard government decided to cut its losses and abandon the dump plan.

The Kungkas wrote in an open letter: “People said that you can’t win against the Government. Just a few women. We just kept talking and telling them to get their ears out of their pockets and listen. We never said we were going to give up. Government has big money to buy their way out but we never gave up.”

Nuclear War
One example concerns the 1982 South Australian Roxby Downs Indenture Act, which sets the legal framework for the operation of BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam uranium mine in SA. The Act was amended in 2011 but it retains exemptions from the SA Aboriginal Heritage Act. Traditional Owners were not even consulted. The SA government’s spokesperson in Parliament said: “BHP were satisfied with the current arrangements and insisted on the continuation of these arrangements, and the government did not consult further than that.”

That disgraceful performance illustrates a broader pattern. Aboriginal land rights and heritage protections are feeble at the best of times. But the legal rights and protections are repeatedly stripped away whenever they get in the way of nuclear or mining interests.

Thus the Olympic Dam mine is largely exempt from the SA Aboriginal Heritage Act. Sub-section 40(6) of the Commonwealth’s Aboriginal Land Rights Act exempts the Ranger uranium mine in the NT from the Act and thus removed the right of veto that Mirarr Traditional Owners would otherwise have enjoyed. New South Wales legislation exempts uranium mines from provisions of the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act. The Western Australian government is in the process of gutting the WA Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 at the behest of the mining industry. Native Title rights were extinguished with the stroke of a pen to seize land for a radioactive waste dump in SA, and Aboriginal heritage laws and land rights were repeatedly overridden with the push to dump nuclear waste in the NT.

While a small group of Traditional Owners supported the dump, a large majority were opposed and some initiated legal action in the Federal Court challenging the nomination of the Muckaty site by the federal government and the Northern Land Council (NLC).

Muckaty Traditional Owners have won a famous victory, but the nuclear war against Aboriginal people continues − and it will continue to be resisted, with the Aboriginal-led Australian Nuclear Free Alliance playing a leading role.

More information:  • Australian Nuclear Free Alliance Friends of the Earth 
The greatest minds in the nuclear establishment have been searching for an answer to the radioactive waste problem for fifty years, and they’ve finally got one: haul it down a dirt road and dump it on an Indian reservation.” −− Winona LaDuke, Indigenous World Uranium Summit, 2006

January 29, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, reference | Leave a comment

Thanks to North Korea and Donald Trump, accidental nuclear war could easily happen

North Korea and Donald Trump may be a recipe for accidental nuclear war — here’s how it could happen, Business Insider, DAVE MOSHER, JAN 29, 2018 

January 29, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Pacific islanders’ high incidence of birth deformities where population was exposed to French nuclear bomb tests

French overseas minister open to nuclear study, 1/26/2018

 The French overseas minister says she is not opposed to calls for a study into the possible genetic consequences of the French nuclear weapons tests in French Polynesia.
Annick Girardin has told journalists in Tahiti that there will be an answer to the recently raised calls for such a study.

Last week, a child psychiatrist, who had worked in French Polynesia for years, suggested that an independent investigation be carried out after noticing a high incidence of disturbed and deformed children among the off-spring of people exposed to radiation from the atmospheric tests.

Girardin has acknowledged the concerns, saying it has to be established how to deal with the question and to see if it is possible to work on it with other countries.

The minister has restated that the former president Francois Hollande recognised two years ago in Papeete the French legacy and assumed responsibility.

She has also launched a project in Papeete to build an institute of archives and documents related to the tests.
She has also frozen the sale of land in the city previously used by the navy for its command for it to be able to be used for a memorial site.

The head of the nuclear test veteran’s organisation Roland Oldham is dismissive, saying this will only see the light of day once people are dead.

He has continued to urge Paris to compensate the nuclear test victims suffering from poor health.

Until 2009, France claimed its weapons tests were clean but then passed a law accepting compensation demands.

Hundreds of applications have been filed since but almost all have been thrown out.

January 29, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Poor labeling of food in Australia leaves people stumped to know its origin.

Paul Waldon Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 29 Jan 18,  

The NRC and DOE and their plans to resurrect failed policies to deregulate large amounts of radioactive materials (14,00+ tonnes), and allow them into the general consumer market place.The last time they tried this, with a policy called “Below Regulatory Concern.” Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) and other groups mounted a national campaign that tapped public outrage and led to the 1992 revocation of the policy by the the U.S. congress. It was reported that this recycled material would end up in your pot and pans, belt buckles, tins and every other consumer good.
Less than two years ago while on a shopping expedition I came across a item that was radioactive at a large local supermarket, without opening the can I couldn’t say if the food or the receptacle was the source of the high reading.
The promotion of a radioactive waste dump at Hawker or Kimba has already had a impact with the stigma, relationships and more. Anyone that would consider abandoning radioactive waste in a environment know for cereal crops or livestock which will find its way onto the kitchen table for the children or anyone else, is irresponsible and reckless.

January 29, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment