Australian news, and some related international items

What will Scott Morrison mean for Australia’s nuclear -free movement?

Well – not much, at this stage. And anyway, I doubt that Scott Morrison will be Prime Minister for long enough to do anything about anything.  There’ll be an election before long, much.and perhaps Scott Morrison will not matter much.

All the same, I would bet that Morrison would promote the nuclear industry, if he could. As  now – we don’t know who will be his cabinet Ministers, but they’re all likely to be nucearphiles.  Morrison, more cunning than Peter Dutton, who led the political wrecking job that brought Morrison to the throne, has not been outspoken on matters nuclear.

BUT – here’s Scott Morrison expressing his support for the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission:

“This, I think, has been a very practical and very worthy process the South Australian government has been working through” MAY 11, 2016

August 24, 2018 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

With Scott Morrison as Australia’s new Prime Minister- no hope for action on climate change

“Scoal-Mo” as PM. What does that mean for climate and energy policy? REneweconomy Giles Parkinson & Sophie Vorrath, 

 It says something about the state of Australia’s politics that the new prime minister, the man who brandished a lump of coal in parliament, is considered a moderate, at least in comparison to the forces he beat to the job.

……a relief for the renewable energy industry in Australia – because it is clear that Dutton may have led Australia out of the Paris climate agreement and even brought renewable energy schemes to a crashing halt.

But it may not be cause for celebration. Morrison will lead and will have as his deputy Josh Frydenberg, the man who put together the National Energy Guarantee that proposed no new investment in wind and solar for a decade.

Morrison is known as “Sco-Mo”, an abbreviation of his name. But he might just as well be known as “Scoal-Mo” after brandishing a lump of coal thoughtfully lacquered by the Minerals Council of Australia in parliament in February last year.

But we were. In doing this, Morrison was pinning his colours to the mast of energy policy idiocy of the sort you find in the Murdoch media and on talk back radio, and on the front and back benches of the Coalition.

And Morrison dived even deeper into the murky depths of ignorance a few months later.

South Australia had followed that outage in February – caused by the failure of a gas plant to switch on – by building the Tesla big battery – in just 100 days – but Morrison decried it as being as useful as the Big Banana………

Morrison, as Treasurer, also ignored climate change in his most recent budget, making no mention of it in his speech, apart from insisting that Australia would “maintain our responsible and achievable emissions reduction target at 26-28 per cent and not the 45 per cent demanded by the opposition.”……

Right now, there is no policy in place. Australia’s emissions are rising, predicted to miss the weak 2030 target by a wide margin, and there is complete uncertainty about the National Energy Guarantee that Frydenberg has been spending a year putting together with the Energy Security Board and the big business lobbies.

Frydenberg has had to run the line between good energy policy and the madness of the right wing, and ended up with a policy proposal that sought no emissions reductions from the sector that can deliver the cheapest……

August 24, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, energy, politics | Leave a comment

Aboriginal group’s call for inclusion in nuclear waste vote now goes to the Human Rights Commission

Aboriginal group ‘just want to be included’ in vote on proposed nuclear waste dump in SA, By court reporter Rebecca Opie, The Human Rights Commission has been asked to decide whether an Aboriginal group should have a say on the location of a proposed nuclear waste dump in regional South Australia.

A community vote on the proposed dump on the Eyre Peninsula was referred to the commission following accusations it discriminated against Aboriginal native title holders.

The Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation last week won a Supreme Court injunction against the District Council of Kimba, postponing the postal vote which was scheduled to be sent out last Monday.

The group argued the vote of about 800 Kimba residents contravened the Racial Discrimination Act by not including native title holders. On Thursday, the group’s lawyer Daniel O’Gorman SC said the matter had been referred to the Human Rights Commission which could be a “shorter route to the finish line” than proceeding through the court.

He said he would urge the commission to give the matter urgent consideration, but he was still waiting to hear back regarding the timeline.

Outside court, Linda Dare from the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation said it was not fair her family could not have their say.

“It’s depressing that we don’t get to have a say over our country,” she said.

“Everybody else gets to have a say — the Government and everybody else, the Kimba residents — but it’s my family that’s missing out. “We don’t want it. It is on our country — they can’t give it to us then take it away just like that. It’s not right.”

Native title holders ‘just want to to be included’

During last week’s hearing, the court heard the majority of the 211 native title holders lived outside the council’s boundaries, and that excluding them from the vote had the effect of “nullifying or impairing their rights”.

The group’s lawyer Mr O’Gorman said his clients had no issue with the vote going ahead, they just wanted to be included in it.

“That’s all they want, they just want to be included, they don’t want to be treated any differently because their rights are Aboriginal rights,” he said.

“There is no justification for excluding people on the basis of native title rights.”

Michael Burnett, representing the District Council of Kimba, told the court the fairest manner for the council to conduct the vote was to comply with “the statutory procedure that applies in the case of elections”.

“It’s not a vote that has direct consequences … it’s part of a range of consultations that will be taken into account,” he said.

Mr Burnett said there were direct consultations taking place with native title holders about the proposed sites, a claim which Mr O’Gorman rejected.

August 24, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, legal | Leave a comment

Annabel Crabb outlines the demise of Australia’s climate policy in 7 killings

Australia’s recent climate change policy: A brief history of seven killings, By Annabel Crabb  

The story starts in 1997, when the brand-new Howard government (sweating through a brief and cock-up-infested first term during which it lost a series of ministers and most of the margin with which it had wrested power from Paul Keating) sends its environment minister, Robert Hill, to Japan for the seminal Kyoto Climate Summit.

At the summit, Senator Hill negotiates generous terms for his country in the global deal; Australia emerged with large concessions for its agricultural activities and is one of only three countries permitted to increase its emissions under the deal.

Senator Hill is welcomed home as a conquering hero.

However, over the years enthusiasm for the compact is replaced within the government by scepticism.

First casualty Continue reading

August 24, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, reference | Leave a comment

Climate change is not a future problem. Climate change is a current problem

More than a dozen local environmental groups from coast to coast have organized the Freedom to Breathe Tour, where journalists, activists, and environmental-justice experts will present vulnerable communities with their case for swift and dramatic action on climate change. The 21-day tour, which begins August 25 and will traverse the entirety of the American South and Southwest, will illustrate the current climate realities for communities of color in the nation’s most marginalized places.

“I don’t believe the science is inaccessible,”

August 24, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Vale Malcolm Turnbull: Man who saw the future and feigned to stop it — RenewEconomy

Malcolm Turnbull once said Australia had “every resource available … to meet the challenge of climate change except for one: and that is leadership.” We are still waiting. The post Vale Malcolm Turnbull: Man who saw the future and feigned to stop it appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Vale Malcolm Turnbull: Man who saw the future and feigned to stop it — RenewEconomy

August 24, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

No clarity in Australian govt’s $31 million grants for communities to host nuclear waste dump

Tim Bickmore No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia August 20

Australia Institute report 16 August 2018
Down in the dumps
Economics of a national radioactive waste management facility (NRWMF)

“The federal government now promises $31 million in local grants and infrastructure allocations for the hosting community, up from $10 million previously. However, whether these are net benefits, or simply relabelling spending that must occur to build and operate the NRWMF, or would occur
through other public funding channels, is not clear.”

August 24, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Right wing MPs wanted Dutton as PM to exit Paris climate agreement

MPs push for Paris climate exit under Dutton, The Age, By Eryk Bagshaw23 August 2018 Conservative MPs would ramp up the pressure on a Dutton government to exit the Paris climate agreement, opening up Australia to the risk of trade sanctions, stalling negotiations with the European Union and critically endangering relationships with the Pacific.

……..The conservative vanguard, led by former prime minister Tony Abbott and backbenchers Craig Kelly, Jim Molan and Eric Abetz, have been fierce advocates of dumping the Paris climate deal and delivering the Catholic school sector millions in extra funding.

The group has been instrumental in elevating Mr Dutton to within striking distance of the Lodge on a platform of lowering energy bills, cutting immigration and wrestling control of the Liberal Party away from the “inner-city elite”.

They have been aided in their campaign by Nationals MPs,  including former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce, who said last week: “People in the Kmart, people in the local pub, they don’t care about the Paris agreement.”

Mr Dutton refused to commit to the Paris agreement when he announced he was challenging Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for his job. “My judgment is that we do whatever reduces power prices,” he said. …….Mr Kelly, a Dutton ally, said there should a full national audit of the impact of the Paris target on the economy.

……..The agreement locks in an emissions cut of 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.

Pulling out of it, which can not be done before 2020, would put Australia in breach of international trade agreements, potentially endangering a free trade deal with the EU that is in the middle of negotiations.

Legislation does not have to pass Parliament to exit Paris. A prime ministerial direction to the joint committee on treaties would be enough to remove Australia from the deal.

Robyn Eckerlsey, a climate treaty expert at the University of Melbourne, said it “was a crazy thing” to be considering given the pledged targets are voluntary and there were no formal penalties……

The Pacific Islands Forum is due to be held in the first week of September, where Australia could be represented by Mr Turnbull, Mr Dutton, Scott Morrison or Julie Bishop if there is a party-room vote on Friday.

The landmass of some of the nations attending – including Kiribati and the Maldives – are directly threatened by rising sea levels…….

August 24, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Indigenous Literacy Day – 5 Sept
We can hardly wait to celebrate Indigenous Literacy Day for the 12th year running!

This year, our national celebration will be held on Wednesday 5 September, with events across the entire country. And we’re hoping to raise more than $300,000 to provide over 30,000 books to remote Indigenous communities nation-wide.

Two of our biggest events will be at Federation Square in the heart of Melbourne and at the Sydney Opera House.

In Melbourne, students from Victorian schools will be joined by our Lifetime Ambassadors and ever-popular authors Andy Griffiths and Anita Heiss, ILF Ambassador Shelley Ware (from the Marngrook Footy Show on NITV), artist/storyteller Gregg Dreise and Aunty Joy Murphy.

The celebrations will feature performances by a group of students from Worawa College, who have just published a new book, Deadly Sisters of Worowa. Anita and Shelley worked with these talented young women to develop their pieces of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Meanwhile, at Sydney Opera House, two more Lifetime Ambassadors, the renowned children’s author Alison Lester and musician Josh Pyke, along with Justine Clarke (of Playschool fame) and Natalie Ahmat (from NITV) will be performing alongside a group of remarkable women from the Binjari community near Katherine in the NT to celebrate their new books.

Last year, these women wrote and illustrated not one, but nine kids’ books in Kriol, their first language. In December the three board books, three picture books and three chapter books were launched to much acclaim in Katherine. Indeed, so popular has Moli det Bigibigi (Molly the Pig) proven, that an animated version of this book, which features a Weetbix-devouring pig, is well underway, with the narration in Binjari Kriol.

At the end of each of these celebrations, there’ll be a GREAT BOOK SWAP, where the students attending, swap a favourite book and make a gold coin donation to help boost the funds that support our literacy programs.

You can help close the literacy gap too! Find out how you can partcipate on Indigenous Literacy Day.

August 24, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

CSIRO roadmap finds hydrogen industry set for scale-up 

 24 Aug 18  An economically-sustainable hydrogen industry could soon be on the cards according to a blueprint released by CSIRO, the national science agency, which found that cost competitiveness is firmly on the horizon.

The National Hydrogen Roadmap sets out a path to develop the action and investment plans required to realise the full benefits of a hydrogen economy. Hydrogen is a clean-burning fuel with a range of uses, from powering vehicles, to storing energy.

Hydrogen can service multiple markets and if produced using low-emissions energy sources, will enable deep decarbonisation across the energy and industrial sectors.

Roadmap findings include:

  • Hydrogen technologies are reaching maturity, with the narrative now shifting from R&D to market activation.
  • Hydrogen presents a new export opportunity for Australia and could also play a significant role in enabling the further uptake of renewable energy.
  • While the benefits are clear, current barriers to market activation include a lack of supporting infrastructure such as hydrogen refuelling stations for transport, and the cost of hydrogen supply for some applications.
  • An appropriate policy framework could create a ‘market pull’ for hydrogen, with investment in infrastructure then likely to follow.
  • In or around 2025, clean hydrogen could be cost-competitive with existing industrial feedstocks such as natural gas, and energy carriers such as batteries in many applications.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall described the Roadmap as a unique opportunity.

“Australia has a unique and urgent opportunity to turn significant natural resources, including coal, gas, and renewables like solar and wind energy, into a low-emissions energy product and ship it around the world – in some cases literally exporting Aussie sunshine,” Dr Marshall said.

“CSIRO is at the forefront of innovation with our partners in industry, government and the research sector, like our recently developed, world-first membrane to separate hydrogen from ammonia for fuel cell vehicles.

“This National Hydrogen Roadmap provides a blueprint for growing Australia’s hydrogen industry through coordinated investment to be globally competitive.”
CSIRO Hydrogen Future Science Platform Director Dr Patrick Hartley said industry interest was evident.

“We’ve established a strong network of partners and collaborators that support current, practical research and technology development initiatives right across the hydrogen energy value chain,” Dr Hartley said.

“And while much of the required technology is at a mature stage, there is considerable scope for further R&D to further improve process efficiencies and develop new applications.”

The national science agency consulted broadly to develop the Roadmap, which was sponsored by 21 industry and government bodies.

August 24, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy | Leave a comment

Two major solar farms for Whyalla, South Australia

Steel city’s solar rush gets a head of steam  Whyalla could soon be home to two major solar farms after Adani Renewables announced it had received pre-construction approval for a 400 hectare project just outside the city. – …..(subscribers only)

August 24, 2018 Posted by | solar, South Australia | Leave a comment

Solar panels and energy storage for homes very popular in Britain

Independent 20th Aug 2018 The majority of the British public would like to install solar panels and home energy storage schemes if greater government assistance was available, a new survey has revealed.

In total 62 per cent said they would like to fit solar panels and 60 per cent would install an energy storage device.

An even greater proportion – 71 per cent – would be interested in joining a
community energy scheme if government support was there. Client Earth’s
chief executive James Thornton said: “These results make it clear that the
British public want action on climate change, and urgently. The government
can take the lead on climate quickly by cutting off the hundreds of
millions of pounds in annual subsidies to fossil fuel power stations and
other schemes that are giving carbon-intensive power generation an unfair
advantage over renewables.”

Jeremy Leggett, the founding director of the UK’s largest solar company, Solar Century, and author of The Winning of The Carbon War told The Independent: “Maybe fears about climate change are growing – justifiably – with the heatwave, but solar has been the single most popular energy technology in government surveys of consumer attitudes for a good few years now.”

He added: “The key issue here is that government is missing a huge opportunity, as things stand, to build a strong domestic
solar industry ready for the day – coming soon – when solar is cheaper than
any other form of energy, even in cloudy Britain.

They are backing the wrong horses: nuclear and shale gas, and seem willing actively to suppress solar to make space. They should at least take out a hedged bet on solar, and keep an export tariff for solar generation. As things stand, from next March they intend to allow energy companies to take excess solar electricity generated by solar ‘prosumers’ for free. That is really a
retrograde action, especially when you contrast it with the incentives for
solar generation elsewhere in the world.”

August 24, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

3 lessons to help Australia boost grid reliability & flexibility with storage — RenewEconomy

We’re past “trials”: storage is already providing reliability services in around 50 countries – it’s time to get on with it. The post 3 lessons to help Australia boost grid reliability & flexibility with storage appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via 3 lessons to help Australia boost grid reliability & flexibility with storage — RenewEconomy

August 24, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

AEMO cuts predicted uptake of household battery storage by more than half — RenewEconomy

AEMO – on advice from the CSIRO – has dramatically reduced its forecast uptake of battery storage by Australian households. The post AEMO cuts predicted uptake of household battery storage by more than half appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via AEMO cuts predicted uptake of household battery storage by more than half — RenewEconomy

August 24, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ageing fossil fuel plants putting supply at greater risk, says AEMO — RenewEconomy

AEMO says ageing coal and gas generators are becoming less reliable and increasing the risk of outages, particularly in Victoria this coming summer. But new wind and solar and storage and network investment will ensure reliability standard is met. The post Ageing fossil fuel plants putting supply at greater risk, says AEMO appeared first on…

via Ageing fossil fuel plants putting supply at greater risk, says AEMO — RenewEconomy

August 24, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment