Australian news, and some related international items


Friends of the Earth Australia Statement August 2019 

  1. Introduction 2. Nuclear Power Would Inhibit the Development of More Effective Solutions 3. The Nuclear Power Industry is in Crisis 4. Small Modular Reactors 5. Nuclear Weapons Proliferation and Nuclear Winter 6. A Slow Response to an Urgent Problem 7. Climate Change & Nuclear Hazards: ‘You need to solve global warming for nuclear plants to survive.’ 8. Nuclear Racism 9. Nuclear Waste 10. More Information 
  2. Introduction 

Support for nuclear power in Australia has nothing to do with energy policy – it is instead an aspect of the ‘culture wars‘ driven by conservative ideologues (examples include current and former politicians Clive Palmer, Tony Abbott, Cory Bernardi, Barnaby Joyce, Mark Latham, Jim Molan, Craig Kelly, Eric Abetz, and David Leyonhjelm; and media shock-jocks such as Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt and Peta Credlin). With few exceptions, those promoting nuclear power in Australia also support coal, they oppose renewables, they attack environmentalists, they deny climate change science, and they have little knowledge of energy issues and options. The Minerals Council of Australia – which has close connections with the Coalition parties – is another prominent supporter of both coal and nuclear power. 

In January 2019, the Climate Council, comprising Australia’s leading climate scientists and other policy experts, issued a policy statement concluding that nuclear power plants “are not appropriate for Australia – and probably never will be”. The statement continued: “Nuclear power stations are highly controversial, can’t be built under existing law in any Australian state or territory, are a more expensive source of power than renewable energy, and present significant challenges in terms of the storage and transport of nuclear waste, and use of water”. 

Friends of the Earth Australia agrees with the Climate Council. Proposals to introduce nuclear power to Australia are misguided and should be rejected for the reasons discussed below (and others not discussed here, including the risk of catastrophic accidents). 

  1. Nuclear Power Would Inhibit the Development of More Effective Solutions 

Renewable power generation is far cheaper than nuclear power. Lazard’s November 2018 report on levelised costs of electricity found that wind power (US$29‒56 per megawatt-hour) and utility-scale solar (US$36‒46 / MWh) are approximately four times cheaper than nuclear power (US$112‒189 / MWh). 

A December 2018 report by the CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator concluded that “solar and wind generation technologies are currently the lowest-cost ways to generate electricity for Australia, compared to any other new-build technology.” 

Thus the pursuit of nuclear power would inhibit the necessary rapid development of solutions that are cheaper, safer, more environmentally benign, and enjoy far greater public support. A 2015 IPSOS poll found 

that support among Australians for solar power (78‒87%) and wind power (72%) is far higher than support for coal (23%) and nuclear (26%). 

Renewables and storage technology can provide a far greater contribution to power supply and to  climate change abatement compared to an equivalent investment in nuclear power. Peter Farley, a fellow of the Australian Institution of Engineers, wrote in January 2019: “As for nuclear the 2,200 MW Plant Vogtle [in the US] is costing US$25 billion plus financing costs, insurance and long term waste storage. For the full cost of US$30 billion, we could build 7,000 MW of wind, 7,000 MW of tracking solar, 10,000 MW of rooftop solar, 5,000MW of pumped hydro and 5,000 MW of batteries. That is why nuclear is irrelevant in Australia.” 

Dr. Ziggy Switkowski ‒ who led the Howard government’s review of nuclear power in 2006 ‒ noted in 2018 that “the window for gigawatt-scale nuclear has closed”, that nuclear power is no longer cheaper than renewables and that costs are continuing to shift in favour of renewables

Globally, renewable electricity generation has doubled over the past decade and costs have declined sharply. Renewables account for 26.5% of global electricity generation. Conversely, nuclear costs have increased four- fold since 2006 and nuclear power’s share of global electricity generation has fallen from its 1996 peak of 17.6% to its current share of 10%. 

As with renewables, energy efficiency and conservation measures are far cheaper and less problematic than nuclear power. A University of Cambridge study concluded that 73% of global energy use could be saved by energy efficiency and conservation measures. Yet Australia’s energy efficiency policies and performance are among the worst in the developed world. 

  1. The Nuclear Power Industry is in Crisis 

The nuclear industry is in crisis with lobbyists repeatedly acknowledging nuclear power’s “rapidly accelerating crisis”, a “crisis that threatens the death of nuclear energy in the West” and “the crisis that the nuclear industry is presently facing in developed countries”, while noting that “the industry is on life support in the United States and other developed economies” and engaging each other in heated arguments about what if anything can be salvaged from the “ashes of today’s dying industry”. 

It makes no sense for Australia to be introducing nuclear power at a time when the industry is in crisis and when a growing number of countries are phasing out nuclear power (including Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Taiwan and South Korea). 

The 2006 Switkowski report estimated the cost of electricity from new reactors at A$40–65 / MWh. Current estimates are four times greater at A$165‒278 / MWh. In 2009, Dr. Switkowski said that a 1,000 MW power reactor in Australia would cost A$4‒6 billion. Again, that is about one-quarter of all the real-world experience over the past decade in western Europe and north America, with cost estimates of reactors under construction ranging from A$17‒24 billion (while a reactor project in South Carolina  was abandoned after the expenditure of at least A$13.3 billion). 

Thanks to legislation banning nuclear power, Australia has avoided the catastrophic cost overruns and crises that have plagued every recent reactor project in western Europe and north America. Cheaper Chinese or Russian nuclear reactors would not be accepted in Australia for a multitude of reasons (cybersecurity, corruption, repression, safety, etc.). South Korea has been suggested as a potential supplier, but South Korea is slowly phasing out nuclear power, it has little experience with its APR1400 reactor design, and South Korea’s ‘nuclear mafia‘ is as corrupt and dangerous as the ‘nuclear village‘ in Japan which was responsible for the Fukushima disaster. 

  1. Small Modular Reactors 

The Minerals Council of Australia claims that small modular reactors (SMRs) are “leading the way in cost”. In fact, power from SMRs will almost certainly be more expensive than power from large reactors because of diseconomies of scale. The cost of the small number of SMRs under construction is exorbitant. Both the private sector and governments have been unwilling to invest in SMRs because of their poor prospects. The December 2018 report by the CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator found that even if the cost of power from SMRs halved, it would still be more expensive than wind or solar power with storage costs included (two hours of battery storage or six hours of pumped hydro storage). 

The prevailing scepticism is evident in a 2017 Lloyd’s Register report based on the insights of almost 600 professionals and experts from utilities, distributors, operators and equipment manufacturers. They predict that SMRs have a “low likelihood of eventual take-up, and will have a minimal impact when they do arrive”. 

No SMRs are operating and about half of the small number under construction have nothing to do with climate change abatement – on the contrary, they are designed to facilitate access to fossil fuel resources in the Arctic, the South China Sea and elsewhere. Worse still, there are disturbing connections between SMRs, nuclear weapons proliferation and militarism more generally. 

  1. Nuclear Weapons Proliferation and Nuclear Winter 

“On top of the perennial challenges of global poverty and injustice, the two biggest threats facing human civilisation in the 21st century are climate change and nuclear war. It would be absurd to respond to one by increasing the risks of the other. Yet that is what nuclear power does.” ‒ Australian

Nuclear power programs have provided cover for numerous covert weapons programs and an expansion of nuclear power would exacerbate the problem. After decades of deceit and denial, a growing number of nuclear industry bodies and lobbyists now openly acknowledge and even celebrate the connections between nuclear power and weapons. They argue that troubled nuclear power programs should be further subsidised such that they can continue to underpin and support weapons programs. 

For example, US nuclear lobbyist Michael Shellenberger previously denied power–weapons connections but now argues that “having a weapons option is often the most important factor in a state pursuing peaceful nuclear energy”, that “at least 20 nations sought nuclear power at least in part to give themselves the option of creating a nuclear weapon”, and that “in seeking to deny the connection between nuclear power and nuclear weapons, the nuclear community today finds itself in the increasingly untenable position of having to deny these real world connections.” 

Former US Vice President Al Gore has neatly summarised the problem: “For eight years in the White House, every weapons-proliferation problem we dealt with was connected to a civilian reactor program. And if we ever got to the point where we wanted to use nuclear reactors to back out a lot of coal … then we’d have to put them in so many places we’d run that proliferation risk right off the reasonability scale.” 

Running the proliferation risk off the reasonability scale brings the debate back to climate change. Nuclear warfare − even a limited, regional nuclear war involving a tiny fraction of the global arsenal − has the potential to cause catastrophic climate change. The problem is explained by Alan Robock in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: “[W]e now understand that the atmospheric effects of a nuclear war would last for at least a decade − more than proving the nuclear winter theory of the 1980s correct. By our calculations, a regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan using less than 0.3% of the current global arsenal would produce climate change unprecedented in recorded human history and global ozone depletion equal in size to the current hole in the ozone, only spread out globally.” 

Nuclear plants are also vulnerable to security threats such as conventional military attacks (and cyber-attacks such as Israel’s Stuxnet attack on Iran’s enrichment plant), and the theft and smuggling of nuclear materials. Examples of military strikes on nuclear plants include the destruction of research reactors in Iraq by Israel and the US; Iran’s attempts to strike nuclear facilities in Iraq during the 1980−88 war (and vice versa); Iraq’s attempted strikes on Israel’s nuclear facilities; and Israel’s bombing of a suspected nuclear reactor site in Syria in 2007. 

6. A Slow Response to an Urgent Problem 

Expanding nuclear power is impractical as a short-term response to climate change. An analysis by Australian economist Prof. John Quiggin concludes that it would be “virtually impossible” to get a nuclear power reactor operating in Australia by 2040. 

More time would elapse before nuclear power has generated as much as energy as was expended in the construction of the reactor. A University of Sydney report states: “The energy payback time of nuclear energy is around 6.5 years for light water reactors, and 7 years for heavy water reactors, ranging within 5.6–14.1 years, and 6.4–12.4 years, respectively.” 

Taking into account planning and approvals, construction, and the energy payback time, it would be a quarter of a century or more before nuclear power could even begin to reduce greenhouse emissions in Australia … and then only assuming that nuclear power displaced fossil fuels.

  1. Climate Change & Nuclear Hazards: ‘You need to solve global warming for nuclear plants to survive.’ 

“I’ve heard many nuclear proponents say that nuclear power is part of the solution to global warming. It needs to be reversed: You need to solve global warming for nuclear plants to survive.” ‒ Nuclear engineer David Lochbaum

Nuclear power plants are vulnerable to threats which are being exacerbated by climate change. These include dwindling and warming water sources, sea-level rise, storm damage, drought, and jelly-fish swarms. 

At the lower end of the risk spectrum, there are countless examples of nuclear plants operating at reduced power or being temporarily shut down due to water shortages or increased water temperature during heatwaves (which can adversely affect reactor cooling and/or cause fish deaths and other problems associated with the dumping of waste heat in water sources). In the US, for example, unusually hot temperatures in 2018 forced nuclear plant operators to reduce reactor power output more than 30 times

At the upper end of the risk spectrum, climate-related threats pose serious risks such as storms cutting off grid power, leaving nuclear plants reliant on generators for reactor cooling. 

‘Water wars’ will become increasingly common with climate change − disputes over the allocation of increasingly scarce water resources between power generation, agriculture and other uses. Nuclear power reactors consume massive amounts of cooling water − typically 36.3 to 65.4 million litres per reactor per day. The World Resources Institute noted last year that 47% of the world’s thermal power plant capacity ‒ mostly coal, natural gas and nuclear ‒ are located in highly water-stressed areas. 

By contrast, the REN21 Renewables 2015: Global Status Report states: “Although renewable energy systems are also vulnerable to climate change, they have unique qualities that make them suitable both for reinforcing the resilience of the wider energy infrastructure and for ensuring the provision of energy services under changing climatic conditions. System modularity, distributed deployment, and local availability and diversity of fuel sources − central components of energy system resilience − are key characteristics of most renewable energy systems.” 

  1. Nuclear RacismTo give one example (among many), the National Radioactive Waste Management Act dispossesses and disempowers Traditional Owners in every way imaginable: 
    • The nomination of a site for a radioactive waste dump is valid even if Aboriginal owners were not consulted and did not give consent. 
    • The Act has sections which nullify State or Territory laws that protect archaeological or heritage values, including those which relate to Indigenous traditions. 

The nuclear industry has a shameful history of dispossessing and disempowering Aboriginal people and communities, and polluting their land and water, dating from the British bomb tests in the 1950s. The same attitudes prevail today in relation to the uranium industry and planned nuclear waste dumps and the problems would be magnified if Australia developed nuclear power. 

The Act curtails the application of Commonwealth laws including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 and the Native Title Act 1993 in the important site-selection stage. 

  • The Native Title Act 1993 is expressly overridden in relation to land acquisition for a radioactive waste dump.

9. Nuclear Waste

Decades-long efforts to establish a repository and store for Australia’s low-and intermediate-level nuclear waste continue to flounder and are currently subject to legal and Human Rights Commission complaints and challenges, initiated by Traditional Owners of two targeted sites in South Australia. Establishing a repository for high-level nuclear waste from a nuclear power program would be far more challenging as Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan has noted

Globally, countries operating nuclear power plants are struggling to manage nuclear waste and no country has a repository for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste. The United States has a deep underground repository for long-lived intermediate-level waste, called the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). However the repository was closed from 2014‒17 following a chemical explosion in an underground waste barrel. Costs associated with the accident are estimated at over A$2.9 billion

Safety standards fell away sharply within the first decade of operation of the WIPP repository ‒ a sobering reminder of the challenge of safely managing nuclear waste for millennia.

  1. More Information 
  • Climate Council, 2019, ‘Nuclear Power Stations are Not Appropriate for Australia – and Probably Never Will Be‘ 
  • WISE Nuclear Monitor, 25 June 2016, ‘Nuclear power: No solution to climate change‘ 
  • Friends of the Earth Australia nuclear power online resources 

August 15, 2019 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, technology, wastes | Leave a comment

Parliamentary Inquiry into nuclear power for Victoria

Inquiry to explore Victoria going nuclear, Yahoo News Benita Kolovos

Australian Associated Press, 14 August 2019  The Victorian parliament is set to explore lifting the state’s bans on nuclear activities in an effort to tackle climate change.

A Liberal Democrats motion for an inquiry into the potential for nuclear power passed the state’s upper house on Wednesday.

The 12-month inquiry will explore if nuclear energy would be feasible and suitable for Victoria in the future, and will consider waste management, health and safety and possible industrial and medical applications.

Liberal Democrat MP David Limbrick said the political climate – and actual climate – have changed significantly since nuclear energy was last seriously considered in the 1980s.

“The young people of today no longer fear nuclear holocaust. Today’s young have a new fear – global warming,” he told the Legislative Council…….

The Greens’ Tim Read said it makes “absolutely no sense” for Victoria to consider getting into nuclear energy.

“This inquiry is a waste of resources and a waste of time,” he said in a statement.

“Dredging up the tired old debate on nuclear will only delay the urgent work needed to end our reliance on coal and gas and transitioning to clean and safe renewable energy.”

Similar inquiries are being held in NSW and federal parliament……–spt.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9uZXdzLmdvb2dsZS5jb20v&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAABq2naeyyQ9ohtcPQW2Ho9e2-qDfI6XSbDwfZUneTxi4VhdT3GWx-zWbqg0MCFS2ArOO-cBI7xrEXbGJxc_Z4MEQGCMb8xZYz9GdF6dLu3azUPUvN5EB4x2GgyUSjwZkX1E93xGECuqxS4HnxqOETaVwytGf9KBTZIzT3QuaBP-R

August 15, 2019 Posted by | politics, Victoria | Leave a comment

21 August Senator Matt Canavan to hold closed meeting , then 2 open ones, in region designated for nuclear waste dumping


Queensland Sinister  Matt Canavan is having a closed door meeting with the Barndioota Consultative Committee  before the Hawker meeting. No doubt the serious nuclear waste dump decisions will be made then

But there’ll be open meetings  – ?window dressing – at Hawker 21 August, and at Kimba 22 August.

21 August Wed 3.30 – 430 pm Hawker Sports Centre – Druitt Range Drive, Hawker

22 August Thurs 11 a.m – 12. pm Kimba Gateway Hotel- 40 High St Kimba


August 15, 2019 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Mirrarr people to lead the Kakadu region’s transition from uranium mining

Kirsten Blair, Community and International Liaison, 15 Aug 19,   Gundjeihmi Aboriginal CorporationToday GAC chairwoman, Toby’s Gangale’s daughter: Valerie Balmoore signed an MOU with the Federal and NT Governments as well as mining company ERA committing all parties to a Mirarr-led post-mining future for Jabiru.

There is still much work to be done on Mirarr country including cleaning up the immense Ranger uranium mine. GAC and others will continue our diligent work in this area – and there are no guarantees the cleanup will be wholly successful – but restoration of country remains the absolute objective.

Mirarr continue to assert their rights as Traditional Owners and lead the way for people and country, this Jabiru story is evidence of a massive shift. The power in these images speaks for itself. Today is deeply hopeful for the Kakadu region and offers an incredible message for all communities resisting unwanted mining projects.

August 15, 2019 Posted by | aboriginal issues, environment, Northern Territory, uranium | Leave a comment

Jacinda Adearn and Scott Morrison – the contrast over attitudes to climate change

Australia has to answer to the Pacific’: Ardern weighs in on climate change responsibilities,  SBS 14 Aug 19, Australia’s climate policies are under the spotlight at the Pacific Islands Forum, but Scott Morrison has vowed to show up for the “hard conversations”.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has found herself caught in the middle of the Pacific island nations, who are calling for a tougher stance, and Australia, her country’s greatest ally.

Speaking at the Pacific Islands Forum, she has urged for greater action on climate change and made a thinly veiled criticism of Australia’s defence of its rising greenhouse gas emissions.

We will continue to say that New Zealand will do its bit and we have an expectation that everyone else will as well,” she told reporters.

“Australia has to answer to the Pacific, that is a matter for them.”

Ms Ardern noted New Zealand contributes a small amount to global emissions but said that wasn’t an excuse not to act.

“If we all took the perspective that if you’re small it doesn’t matter, we wouldn’t see change.”

This is in stark contrast to Energy Minister Angus Taylor, who has used Australia’s small global contribution when defending rises in domestic emissions.

The New Zealand leader also sided with Pacific nations by saying anything more than a 1.5-degree rise in global temperatures would have a catastrophic effect.

Negotiations on the wording of the final communique are ongoing, with smaller nations calling for a phase-out of coal, no new coal mines and for Australia to not use carryover credits to reach emissions goals……

Although regional security issues are bubbling under the surface, Pacific leaders are dedicated to focusing on climate change, which is threatening their survival. …..

Minister for the Pacific Alex Hawke, who now has the prime minister by his side, earlier admitted Australia was trying to remove mention of phasing out of coal in the final communique.

He described it as a “red line issue” for Australian negotiators.

Mr Morrison has delved right into the forum, holding bilateral meetings on Wednesday with Ms Ardern as well as Vanuatu leader Charlot Salwai, Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna and Tuvalu’s Enele Sopoaga.

Mr Sopoaga has not held back on his strong language against Australia, saying its aid for the region was no excuse not to reduce emissions or open new coal mines.

The Pacific leaders will spend Thursday together at a leaders’ retreat.

August 15, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international | Leave a comment

Mystery of evacuation ordered, – coverup over Russian explosion ?

Russian military orders village evacuation, then cancels it, following explosion that killed five nuclear scientists, Secrecy surrounding an explosion that killed five nuclear scientists and caused a spike in radiation levels has sparked fears of a cover-up in Russia, with authorities backflipping on orders to evacuate a nearby village.

Key points:

  • Medics who treated victims of an accident have been sent to Moscow for medical examination
  • Russia’s state weather service said radiation levels spiked in Severodvinsk by up to 16 times
  • Many Russians spoke angrily on social media of misleading reports reminiscent of Chernobyl

The explosion took place on Thursday at a naval weapons range on the coast of the White Sea in northern Russia.

State nuclear agency Rosatom said the accident occurred during a rocket test on a sea platform.

The rocket’s fuel caught fire after the test, causing it to detonate, it said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

Two days later, after a spike in radiation levels was reported, Rosatom conceded the accident involved nuclear materials.

On Tuesday (local time), the Russian military ordered residents of the small village of Nyonoksa to temporarily evacuate, citing unspecified activities at the nearby navy testing range.

But a few hours later, it said the planned activities were cancelled and told the villagers they could go back to their homes, said Ksenia Yudina, a spokeswoman for the Severodvinsk regional administration.

Local media in Severodvinsk said Nyonoksa residents regularly received similar temporary evacuation orders, usually timed to tests at the range.

Russia’s state weather service said radiation levels spiked in the Russian city of Severodvinsk, about 30 kilometres west of Nyonoksa, by up to 16 times following the explosion.

Emergency officials issued a warning to all workers to stay indoors and close the windows, while spooked residents rushed to buy iodide, which can help limit the damage from exposure to radiation.

‘People need reliable information’

Many Russians spoke angrily on social media of misleading reports reminiscent of the lethal delays in acknowledging the Chernobyl accident three decades ago.

US experts said they suspected the cause was a botched test of a nuclear-powered cruise missile commissioned by President Vladimir Putin.

Boris L Vishnevsky, a member of the St. Petersburg City Council, told the New York Times that dozens of people had called asking for clarification about radiation risks.

“People need reliable information,” Mr Vishnevsky told the Times.

“And if the authorities think there is no danger, and nothing needs to be done, let them announce this formally so people don’t worry.”

The five scientists that died in the explosion were buried Monday in the closed city of Sarov — which houses a nuclear research facility and is surrounded by fences patrolled by the military.

While hailing the deceased as the “pride of the atomic sector”, Rosatom head Alexei Likhachev pledged to continue developing new weapons. “The best tribute to them will be our continued work on new models of weapons, which will definitely be carried out to the end,” Mr Likhachev was quoted as saying by RIA news agency.

Medics who treated victims sent to Moscow

Medics who treated the victims of an accident were sent to Moscow for medical examination, TASS news agency cited an unnamed medical source as saying on Tuesday.

The medics sent to Moscow have signed an agreement promising not to divulge information about the incident, TASS cited the source as saying.

US President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Monday the United States was “learning much” from the explosion and the United States had “similar, though more advanced, technology”.

He said Russians were worried about the air quality around the facility and far beyond, a situation he described as “Not good!”

But when asked about his comments on Tuesday, the Kremlin said it, not the United States, was out in front when it came to developing new nuclear weapons.

“Our president has repeatedly said that Russian engineering in this sector significantly outstrips the level that other countries have managed to reach for the moment, and it is fairly unique,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.Mr Putin used his state-of-the nation speech in 2018 to unveil what he described as a raft of invincible new nuclear weapons, including a nuclear-powered cruise missile, an underwater nuclear-powered drone, and a laser weapon.

Tensions between Moscow and Washington over arms control have been exacerbated by the demise this month of a landmark nuclear treaty.

August 15, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Redirecting aid money to Pacific will not excuse Australia’s inaction on climate change

Tuvalu’s PM says Australia’s climate funding for Pacific ‘not an excuse’ to avoid emissions cuts, ABC, Pacific Beat , By foreign affairs reporter Melissa Clarke  13 Aug 19 Tuvalu has warned Australia that redirecting aid money to climate resilience projects in the Pacific should not be used as an “excuse” to avoid reducing emissions and phasing out coal-fired power generation.

Key points:

  • Tuvalu wants Australia to cut domestic emissions and stop opening coal mines
  • Countries like Australia have been urged to continue to fund the UN’s Green Climate Fund
  • Australia’s aid budget will stay the same, just redirected to fund climate change initiatives

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday morning announced a $500 million package of funding, redirected from aid spending, to help Pacific countries invest in renewable energy and become more resilient to climate and weather events…….

Speaking after a meeting of Smaller Island States (SIS), Mr Sopoaga also called on countries like Australia to continue to fund the UN’s Green Climate Fund, which helps developing nations cope with climate change.

“We certainly respect what Australia decides to do with its assistance in terms of how big, but we want … global actions,” he said……

Mr Sopoaga, Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and other Pacific leaders have become increasingly vocal in the lead-up to this year’s PIF leaders’ meeting in appealing to Australia to take a stronger stance on climate change. …..

August 15, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste dump: Barngarla group says indigenous ballots won’t fix its worries over vote discrimination

Nuclear waste dump: Barngarla group says indigenous ballots won’t fix its worries over vote discrimination The Advertiser, 14 Aug 19

An Aboriginal organisation at the centre of a legal battle over a radioactive waste dump site says a ballot for its own community would do little to dampen its discrimination concerns.

An Aboriginal organisation at the centre of a legal battle over the site for a nuclear waste dump says a separate consultation process for indigenous people will do little to dampen its discrimination concerns.

The Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation took Kimba Council to court over its plan to host a community vote to gauge support for a waste storage facility near the Eyre Peninsula town.

The organisation argued the poll was discriminatory because it excluded native title holders who did not live in the area.

After losing the Federal Court challenge in July, the Barngarla has lodged an appeal in the Full Court.

Resources Minister Matthew Canavan has since written to Kimba and Flinders Ranges councils saying he will approach indigenous organisations reaffirming his department’s offer to pay for a poll of their members, providing them with a voice.

But the Barngarla board told The Advertiser such a poll was “designed to exclude our people from having a say on equal footing to the rest of the community”.

“It is very simple to solve this problem – all which needs to happen is to allow our people the right to vote with the rest of the Kimba community rather that segregate us,” the board said.

The organisation said Mr Canavan had not provided a template ballot paper and associated material so the ballot could be run on equal terms. The council and Federal Government had also not agreed to consolidate all the results into one process.

The Barngarla board has written to Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt asking him to intervene.

Three SA sites are being considered for the radioactive waste dump – two near Kimba and one at Wallerberdina Station, near Hawker in the Flinders Ranges. It would hold low and intermediate-level waste, primarily from the production of nuclear medicines.

Polls in the Hawker and Kimba communities were due to happen in August 2018 but were stalled after the Barngarla court appeal was flagged.

The Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association (ATLA) has also lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.

Meanwhile, Government staff on Tuesday confirmed at a Flinders Ranges-based consultative committee meeting the minimum size of the nuclear site and its surrounding buffer zone would increase from 100ha to 160ha – as claimed by a source close to the project in The Advertiser last month.

The Government says the extra space will allow for features such as a water treatment plant, power infrastructure and road access, depending on the selected site.

Mr Canavan said the Government had “listened carefully” to communities when shaping ballot boundaries.

“At Kimba it extended to the entire local council area, while at Wallerberdina Station it is the local government area plus an approximate 50km radius,” he said.

“Wherever a boundary is defined there will be a number of groups outside that line, but the process gives those people the ability to fully participate by making a submission that will be taken into account in the decision-making process.”

A spokeswoman for Mr Canavan said details of polls among indigenous organisations would be worked out alongside any groups who wanted to participate.

Maurice Blackburn lawyer Nicki Lees, representing ATLA, said the organisation had made it clear it opposed a nuclear waste dump on its traditional land.

“If the Government is considering further consultation on this project, we would consider this in due course,” she said.

“However, it is important that this is a meaningful process, which hasn’t occurred to date.”

Adnyamathanha woman Regina McKenzie has previously told The Advertiser the long-running debate had disrupted her community.

August 15, 2019 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

The 2020 Japan Olympics – a propaganda ploy for the nuclear industry

August 15, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Kimba Council renews commitment to local community ballot on nuclear waste dump

Council commits to nuclear ballot, Rachel McDonald  ,14 Aug19,

August 15, 2019 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

$48.4 million, regularly for Adelaide’s beaches – but only $31 million dollars one-off for nuclear waste dump community

August 15, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australia tells Pacific Islands to “reflect” on climate action, dial down “crisis” talk — RenewEconomy

More detail on Australia’s efforts with the red pen at the Pacific Islands Forum, deleting all but one mention of coal, and pushing for climate “reflection” rather than action. The post Australia tells Pacific Islands to “reflect” on climate action, dial down “crisis” talk appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Australia tells Pacific Islands to “reflect” on climate action, dial down “crisis” talk — RenewEconomy

August 15, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Victoria parliament decides to hold its own nuclear power inquiry — RenewEconomy

Liberal Democrats motion to hold a 12-month inquiry into nuclear power for Victoria has passed the state Parliament’s upper house. The post Victoria parliament decides to hold its own nuclear power inquiry appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Victoria parliament decides to hold its own nuclear power inquiry — RenewEconomy

August 15, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RBA issues another warning to companies to take climate risks seriously — RenewEconomy

RBA deputy governor Guy Debelle issues fresh climate warning, telling risk managers to use their skills to account for climate change financial risks. The post RBA issues another warning to companies to take climate risks seriously appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via RBA issues another warning to companies to take climate risks seriously — RenewEconomy

August 15, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Adani beware: coal is on the road to becoming completely uninsurable — John Quiggin

That’s the headline for my latest piece in The Conversation. Although I use Adani as a convenient example, it’s about the bigger issue of whether insurers will flee from the potential litigation liability of insuring fossil fuel producers. Of these, thermal coal miners and generators are the most vulnerable because they are already marginal in…

via Adani beware: coal is on the road to becoming completely uninsurable — John Quiggin

August 15, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment