Australian news, and some related international items

Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick exposes wider flaws in the Australian govt’s targeting of South Australia as nuclear waste dump

Senator Rex Patrick has shown up the hypocrisy of the Federal Government in its expensive frenzy to foist a nuclear waste dump on rural South Australia. And in instigating the Senate Inquiry into this process, has set in motion the discrediting of the whole National Radioactive Waste Management Facility sham.

However, the propaganda by Western Australian private company Azark is not reliable, either. There is indigenous opposition to nuclear waste dumping in the Leonora region,Western Australia.  Western Australia’s Labor government may not support Azark’s low level waste dump plan, may have its own plan for WA.s radioactive waste. This WA private offer is for low level waste disposal and is not for the Fed govt proposed above ground 100 year Store for 10,000 yr nuclear fuel wastes and long lived intermediate level wastes.

This  exposes Federal govt’s plan to have two dumps in one, to “co-locate” a long lived waste Store’ along side a low level disposal site. It exposes their priority to dump Federal govt owned long lived nuclear wastes at an above ground “stranded wastes” dump in regional South Australia.

June 13, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

South Australian site selection for a national radioactive waste facility is a “sham”, as Western Australian private project is revealed

South Australia nuclear waste site a “done deal: claims Senator Rex Patrick, The Advertiser, Erin Jones, Regional Reporter,   June 13, 2018 

Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick told The Advertiser the decision to establish a low-level facility at one of two sites in South Australia appeared to be a “done deal” following the revelation.

In August, Azark Project made a nomination to include the commercial operation of an underground storage facility, near the remote central mining town of Leonora, north of Kalgoorlie.

The South Australian senator, who visited Leonora, said the proposal appeared to have “considerable support” and unlike the two SA sites near Kimba and Hawker, did not need taxpayer funds to proceed.

“Resources Minister Matt Canavan needs to properly engage the proponents of the proposed site near Leonora or risk the whole selection process being confirmed as an absolute sham,” he said.

“It appears as though the new site is a ‘faster runner’ in the race, but won’t be allowed to participate because the Minister is determined to rush to select one of the South Australian sites despite there being a divided community.”

Azark Project chairman George Gear said the WA site had no environmental, land rights or water issues, and the proposal had support of the 2900 people in Leonora Shire.

Mr Gear said he had no confidence in the specially-formed government taskforce considering sites for the waste facility, given Leonora was not on the table.

“Apart from this being a superior site located in a mining area and in solid rock, this wouldn’t cost the taxpayer any money as it’s a private company that will build this,” Mr Gear, a former minister in the Keating government, said.

“The taskforce to date has either spent or committed $40 million and they haven’t finalised the project.

“Azark has completed all of its due diligence at its own cost and has offered to make it available to the taskforce — this invitation was not accepted.”

Mr Gear said Azark Project had decided to pursue the plan on its own, but was expected to meet Mr Canavan in Perth, today.

The Government is expected to decide in coming months whether to build the waste facility in SA, after a final ballot of Kimba and Hawker districts, on August 20.

Mr Canavan has previously said “broad community support” would be needed for the waste facility to go ahead — although no arbitrary figure has been provided.

The two-year site selection process has divided both communities — those in favour believe it would create economic opportunities, while those opposed say it will jeopardise industries.

The district where the waste facility is located would be rewarded by the government with a $10 million community fund to spend on local projects.

Both districts were already benefiting from a $4 million grants fund as a reward for being involved in the site selection process.

Senator Patrick this year successfully pushed for a Senate inquiry into the site selection process used for the national waste facility and an outcome is expected only days before the ballot, on August 14.

In a submission to the inquiry, Kimba’s mayor said more information on financial rewards and jobs was needed before the community voted in the ballot.

Mr Canavan did not respond to questions before deadline.

June 13, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Medical Association for Prevention of War – an urgent need for an independent inquiry into the production and management of Australia’s nuclear waste.

The Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia) Sue Wareham OAM MBBS Dr Margaret Beavis MBBS FRACGP MPH President Secretary Submission to Inquiry into the Selection Process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia

The appropriateness and thoroughness of the site selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility at Kimba and Hawker in South Australia, noting the Government has stated that it will not impose such a facility on an unwilling community.

We will address the key issue of “Broad community support”, as we believe the information provided to communities has been misleading. It is not possible to have genuine community consent and a truly “willing community” based on inaccurate and incomplete information.

We will also raise concerns regarding “related matters”, addressing plans to massively increasing the future production of nuclear waste in Australia. There has been very poor process, information and community consultation about this issue also, and it will significantly impact on the community selected for the NRWMF due to markedly increased levels of long lived intermediate level waste being produced for the next 40 years.

The Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia) works for the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction and the prevention of armed conflict. We promote peace through research, advocacy, peace education and partnerships. Our professional not-forprofit organisation has branches across Australia, and works globally through the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.

Nuclear waste is toxic material that can last for millennia, and despite billions of dollars of research over many decades there are still no safe long term solutions. As an organisation we support the creation of a Federal facility, but the current process is unacceptably flawed.

In summary our concerns are:


1) The NRWMF process as it stands is very divisive. Repeated, highly damaging processes imposed on previously cohesive communities are causing significant harms.

  1. Considerable amounts of persistently misleading information have been and continue to be presented to communities. Incorrect and incomplete information does not result in genuine consent or community support.
  2. In particular, despite many statements to the contrary, there is clear failure to observe international best practice standards for long lived intermediate level waste (ILW) management. There is no disposal plan whatsoever for ILW, which needs to be isolated from the ground water and the environment for 10,000-100,000 years, leaving the problem with many future generations of the affected community.
  1. The expansion will create 40 years of significantly increased production of ILW.
  2.  There is a lack of demonstrable “Net benefit” for the Australian community. The proposed expansion of medical isotope production needs genuine cost/benefit analysis to make sure this is not a heavily subsidised product being sold into the global market at the expense of the Australian community both now and in the future. Independent NEA/OECD economic modelling finds only 10-15% cost recovery of isotope manufacture when there is genuine inclusion of all costs.
  3. ANSTO has a narrative of global shortages, yet given falling demand and increasing global supply there is no shortage of Mo99 . The NEA/OECD predict a significant oversupply.
  4. 4) Again, there is no plan whatsoever for disposal of the additional long lived ILW generated. The current NRWMF process is just “kicking a highly radioactive can down the road”.

    Both processes are unacceptably flawed.

    MAPW urges

     Recognition that currently the information provided to communities is riddled with so much misinformation it calls into question the underlying validity of any community consent process.

     A halt to the current NRWMF process until such time as world’s best practice is followed. There is sufficient capacity at the Lucas Heights facility, once regulatory approvals are met, to store LLW and ILW well into the next decade.

    Cessation of expansion of nuclear medicine for export, and a phase out of exports, until there is demonstrated, publicly available, clear analysis of cost/benefit and plans for appropriate disposal of the substantial amount of ILW this process will generate.

     Transparent evaluation of “net benefit” to the Australian community. This as a whole must underpin the process, and be based on cradle to grave impacts of production.

    In closing, it is clear there is an urgent need for an independent inquiry into the production and management of Australia’s nuclear waste.

    Dr Beavis would be happy to appear before the committee if that would assist the inquiry. She is a GP with strong interest in public health issues, and teaches at the University of Melbourne in the areas of medicine, global health and nuclear waste.

June 13, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Government assessment of proposed Kimba nuclear waste dump area is a farce

Regina McKenzie Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA 12 June 18 The cultural assessment is a sham, just another token gesture by the Federal Government to tick a box, RPS failed to do a full cultural walk through and find the cultural significance of the area, they did not survey all Adnyamathanha people, to find the ones with the cultural knowledge of the area, they only did small pockets of area, also for the holes that were dug, no tests pits were done, only just standing watching a front end loader dig, no sieving whatsoever,

I suggested this but no, also hole for the water from drills was dug without a archaeologist present and a grader over a sandhill, no walk through no archaeologist in sight, they ran over marked heritage , a grindstone and dumped waste outside of work area , this assessment is a farce, no one listened , its just all tokenism, and all the underarm dealings behind closed door with the fanatical yes blacks , sounding a lot like insider trading to me.

June 13, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Trump – Kim nuclear summit – great PR show, with meaningless blather result

U.S. President Donald Trump, and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un seem to have both achieved their goals at the much hyped ‘nuclear summit’ in Singapore on June 12.

Kim achieved a kind of international recognition as an equal world leader, without having to give up anything, in the showy but fairly meaningless negotiation that went on .

Trump achieved his over-riding aim –  having the eyes of the world on him, his endless craving for attention being satisfied, for the moment, anyway.

The body language is more interesting than the waffly document outcome. We saw Trump’s super-long super-strong handshake, and pats on Kim’s back –  signs of dominance. We saw Kim’s eyes move sideways – a little nervous shiftiness?

It all could have been worse. Trump could have chosen, instead of his effusive praise for Kim, to say there is “a special place in hell” for Kim, (as Trump recently said of USA’s ally, Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau). And with Trump’s new and dangerously bellicose security adviser John Bolton, hovering about,  could have set off the “fire and fury” that he previously promised  North Korea.  I guess that Trump saved that for a later occasion, when he feels that he is not getting enough world attention.

The most interesting one, North Korea commits to work towards “complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.” Not a word about  “complete, verifiable and irreversible”. As the Washington Post commented, that one is “empty blather” too.

The fourth point is a weak statement on North Korea returning the remains of U.S. prisoners of war, from the Korean war.

Why on earth would Kim Jong Un want to give up his biggest bargaining chip – the ability to send nuclear weapons to neighbouring States, and even to the USA?  He saw what happened to Iraq and Libya. He can see how America is now backtracking from the nuclear agreement with Iran.

June 13, 2018 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

Full text of nuclear summit document from Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

Singapore summit: Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un document released after historic meeting 12, 2018, Sentosa Island

The text from the document signed by Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un has been made available. Here it is in full:

President Donald J Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong-un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth, and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new US-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong-un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

Convinced that the establishment of new US-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognising that mutual confidence-building can promote the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un state the following:

  1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
  2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
  3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.
  4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.
Having acknowledged that the US-DPRK summit — the first in history — was an epochal event of great significance and overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un commit to implement the stipulations in this joint statement fully and expeditiously.

The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations led by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the US-DPRK summit.

President Donald J Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong-un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new US-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.


June 13, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australia not doing its fair share on carbon emissions

Australia’s emissions reduction target ‘unambitious, irresponsible’
New Australia Institute paper finds neither Coalition nor Labor’s pollution reduction targets would see us doing our fair share, Guardian, Katharine Murphy @murpharoo 12 Jun 2018   

Pollution reduction targets for 2030 proposed by the Coalition and Labor will not see Australia contributing its fair share to cut greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris climate agreement, according to new research.

A paper from the progressive thinktank the Australia Institute finds the Turnbull government’s target of a 26-28% reduction on 2005 levels is “inadequate according to any recognised principle-based approach” and the Labor target of a 45% reduction is “the bare minimum necessary for Australia to be considered to be making an equitable contribution to the achievement of the Paris agreement’s two degree target”…..

The next round of international climate negotiations will be held in the Polish city of Katowice in December this year. The looming talks are critical to ensuring the signatories to the Paris deal maintain the momentum of their various emissions reduction pledges.

Unlike the United States, Australia remains in the Paris agreement, despite continued rumbling from conservatives about climate policy. However, the Turnbull government is still struggling to land its national energy guaranteewhich would impose emissions reductions in the electricity sector.

Because of internal pushback within the Coalition, and lobbying by some sectors, the government has not yet flagged a roadmap for emissions reductions across the economy, and there is widespread criticism of the lack of ambition in the target proposed for emissions reduction in electricity.

The latest official emissions data shows pollution increased by 1.5% in the year to December 2017. Australia’s emissions levels are now higher than they were in 2012 and have climbed by 3.6% since the carbon price was repealed in 2014.

Emissions are increasing in most sectors of the economy – in waste, agriculture and transport. Only one sector of the economy has recorded a decrease – the electricity sector – because aging coal-fired power plants have exited the system, and new renewables projects are coming on stream.

Merzian says Australia is continuing to “profit from high emissions rather than take up its fair share of reductions. We are unfairly shirking our global responsibilities onto others.”……..

June 13, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Where will climate refugees go?

Universal migration predicts human movements under climate change, Physics World, 12 Jun 2018 

Climate change is expected to displace millions of people through impacts like sea level rise, crop failures, and more frequent extreme weather. Yet scientists still cannot predict where these expected climate-induced migrants are likely to go in the coming decades.

A new study, published today in Environmental Research Letters, seeks to address this need by incorporating climate impacts into a universal model of human mobility.

To demonstrate the efficacy of the new approach, the study focused on the case of sea level rise (SLR) and human migration in Bangladesh, where the authors estimate that more than two million Bangladeshis may be displaced from their homes by 2100 because of rising sea levels alone.

The study, led by Columbia University, New York, used a probabilistic model combined with population, geographic, and climatic data to predict the sources, destinations, and flux of potential migrants caused by sea level rise.

Lead author Dr Kyle Davis, from Columbia University, explained: “More than 40 per cent of Bangladesh’s population is especially vulnerable to future sea level rise, as they live in low-lying areas that are often exposed to extreme natural events.

“However, SLR is a very different type of migration driver from short-lived natural hazards, in that it will make certain areas permanently uninhabitable.”

The team’s results using Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios showed that mean SLR will cause population displacements in 33 per cent of Bangladesh’s districts, and 53 per cent under more intensive conditions. By mid-century, they estimated nearly 900,000 people are likely to migrate because of direct inundation from mean SLR alone.

Under the most extreme scenario, of up to 2 metre mean SLR, the number of migrants driven by direct inundation could rise to as many as 2.1 million people by the year 2100. For all RCP scenarios, five districts – Barisal, Chandpur, Munshiganj, Narayanganj, and Shariatpur – are the source for 59 per cent of all migrants.

Their analysis considered mean SLR without normal high tides, so the results – both in terms of inundated area and displaced population – are conservative.

The researchers also estimated the extra jobs, housing and food needed to accommodate these migrants at their destinations. They found that to cope with the numbers likely to be displaced by 2050, 600,000 additional jobs, 200,000 residences and 784 billion food calories will be needed.

These results have clear implications for the places that are likely to receive incoming migrants…….

June 13, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Antarctic Ocean Discovery Warns of Faster Global Warming 

Climate Central   By Mikayla Mace, Arizona Daily Star  10 June 18

A group of scientists, including one from the University of Arizona, has new findings suggesting Antarctica’s Southern Ocean — long known to play an integral role in climate change — may not be absorbing as much pollution as previously thought.

To reach their contradictory conclusion, the team used state-of-the-art sensors to collect more data on the Southern Ocean than ever before, including during the perilous winter months that previously made the research difficult if not impossible.The old belief was the ocean pulled about 13 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide — a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change — out of the atmosphere, helping put the brakes on rising global temperatures.

Some oceanographers suspect that less CO2 is being absorbed because the westerlies — the winds that ring the southernmost continent — are tightening like a noose. As these powerful winds get more concentrated, they dig at the water, pushing it out and away.

Water from below rises to take its place, dragging up decaying muck made of carbon from deep in the ocean that can then either be released into the atmosphere in the form of CO2 or slow the rate that CO2 is absorbed by the water. Either way, it’s not good. Continue reading

June 13, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Kimberley Land Council (KLC and agencies)  wrong about Sovereignty

Ghillar, Michael Anderson 7 June 2018  ‘While the Kimberley Land Council (KLC) and the
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)
convene the Native Title conference in Broome, hosted by the Yawuru People,
Anderson shines another light on the KLC and its agencies’ agenda.'”Since I’ve left Warmun the community has been bombarded by yet another Native Title meeting run by KLC agencies.
Again, Senior Elders were bullied to attend but they have reassured me proudly, ‘I didn’t sign anything.'”In their reliable report-back they joked about the way the KLC Legal advisor, Douglas D’Antione,
was telling them lies about sovereignty.

“He said that the only way to get sovereignty is by conquering and that you need
an army and navy to get sovereignty, like the English people did!!

“He then said that the second way to get sovereignty was for the owners just to say:
“OK, here. This is yours.”
At no time did he acknowledge that First Nations sovereignty is pre-existing
and continuing and is the basis of the continental common law.”

~ Ghillar, Michael Anderson

‘Having looked at the map of the Native Title applications’ areas and
then comparing those maps with the Kimberley tourist topographical map
being sold in stands in garages and newsagencies and information centres,
I realised that the KLC agencies are demanding the Peoples authority
to put a massive Native Title application over a vast area of land that
is already reserved under the WA State law as being set aside
exclusively for the use of Aborigines only.

‘I informed the people that they are about to, or have,
authorised a Native Title application to go over a massive area of land
that they already own through the Aboriginal Land Trust of Western Australia
and it is exclusively theirs, if their families came from these particular lands.

‘When I asked the people why they would authorise such a claim they all said
KLC agencies never informed them of this fact at all.

‘The KLC agencies fail to provide documents ahead of the meetings,
try to prevent independent legal advice and
do not give back copies of any papers the people may have signed,
or have been coerced to sign.

‘I am now informed that the people of Warmun and surrounding areas
have made a decision to dismiss the KLCKRED Legal and ARMAEHSIS
and other KLC agencies from having anything to do with their lands and waters.

‘They are understanding the KLC agencies plan to
take over negotiations to enable mining on their lands.

‘I am informed that the people are now gathering in significant numbers
and will inform the Federal Court that they no longer wish to
pursue the Native Title determinations, because as one of the
Senior Elders, Mr. Patrick Mung, has said with words to the effect:

“For too long we have been signing papers for KLC and its agencies 
and there are a lot of things going on on our lands, 
but look at us, we have nothing

“When we ask for royalty money they tell us there is not enough in the bucket. 
We don’t want these people any more. 
We joined KLC because they said we were being ripped off. 
But now we have just gone from one rip off to another.” … ‘

Read more of Ghillar’s comprehensive, well-researched, challenging media statement here:

June 13, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Where’s the beef?

Beyond Nuclear International

Over-cooked rhetoric or actual progress at Singapore summit?

By Linda Pentz Gunter

There was a lot at stake, said the pundits, when Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un finally met at their much vaunted Singapore nuclear summit. Or should that have been at “steak”?  After all, Trump touted a pile of steaks as his own brand after a 2016 primary win in Florida, even though Trump Steaks hadn’t sold a cut since 2007 and the brand trademark was canceled in 2014.

So what can we really trust about what was “agreed” to in Singapore?

The headlines roared that the agreement signed between the respective US and North Korean leaders, meant “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula. But what emerged was a single piece of paper replete with glowing rhetoric, one grammatical error and little else. Not as fake as Trump steaks perhaps, but just as bland.

For sure the “optics”…

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June 13, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 12 Energy News


Science and Technology:

¶ International scientists have discovered that most of the oldest and largest African baobab trees have died over the past 12 years. They suspect the demise may be linked to climate change, although they have no direct evidence of this. The tree can grow to an enormous size, and may live hundreds if not thousands of years. [BBC]

Baobab trees (Getty Images)

¶ In a study published in the journal Science Advances, a team of MIT researchers said 39% of all the freshwater withdrawn from rivers, lakes, and reservoirs in the US is earmarked for cooling at power plants that use fossil fuels or nuclear power. They devised a way to recapture some of that water vapor with a process they say is cost effective. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Finland’s VTT Research Centre of Technology found that new wind power technology enables higher towers, longer blades and reasonable efficiency…

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June 13, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mapping Climate Change Impacts to the World Ocean


The world ocean supports 2.5 trillion dollars in economic activity annually and generates food for more than 1 billion people. Stable coastlines provide homes and livelihoods to hundreds of millions even as coastal ecosystems are among the most vibrant and productive on Planet Earth. But ocean health and all that relies on it is under serious threat from human-caused climate change.

(Resource Watch provides a graphical survey of various climate-ocean indicators)

A new series of maps produced by Resource Watch gives an analysis of present and future ocean health. And if fossil fuel burning continues, the prognosis isn’t good (follow this link and/or watch the above video to see more).

Present impacts to ocean ecology are already measurable in key regions such as the North Atlantic. There, ocean health is in decline from climate-change-related algae blooms, fishery losses, and expanding oxygen-deprived regions. Near the North Atlantic, the Baltic Sea…

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June 13, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment