Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

A tiny percentage of South Australian people coerced into the decision on nuclear waste dump

This is a decision which will affect all South Australians, not just a tiny percentage of people who have experienced four years of federal government promises and pressure to acquiesce.

the Minister failed to mention the main component of the project — long lived intermediate level waste from the Lucas Heights reactor  

Farmers and Traditional Owners decry SA nuclear more  https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/farmers-and-traditional-owners-decry-sa-nuclear-vote, Michele Madigan,20 November 2019 

    • On 12 November, Senator Canavan, federal Minister for Resources, took a question from the rather more junior Senator Alex Antic. The questioner wondered whether there was any recent progress on the federal nuclear facility proposed for Antic’s own state of South Australia.
The Minister was delighted to have the chance to announce that in the district area of Kimba the long awaited vote to host both a permanent facility for national low level radiactive waste and storage for intermediate level radioactive waste had concluded. The result: 61.17 per cent voted in favour.
Unsurprisingly, Canavan failed to mention that voting rights in the poll were severely restricted. The Barngarla Traditional Owners, native title holders of the area, were given no voice. Farmers whose land is actually closer to the site were also excluded as their properties are outside the allocated narrow boundary. 
 
Surprising however, even to four year battle-weary opponents of the scheme, was the fact that even on the second and third questions offered him by the willing SA Senator, the Minister failed to mention the main component of the project — long lived intermediate level waste from the Lucas Heights reactor  
 
With the total vote consisting of only 734 ballot papers, the yes vote represented just 452 people. My letter to the Advertiser of 11 November 2019 pointed out that on these figures we have .027 per cent of South Australians speaking for us all. In her response on 15 November, task force manager of the project, Sam Chard, wrote to the Advertiser that ‘the transport of waste will be conducted safely’ — a careful phrase. Unfortunately not even a federal government can prevent accidents from happening as they surely will — and already have.
South Australian filmmaker Kim Mavromatis’ just released video of an historic 1980 road accident involving nuclear waste from Lucas Heights graphically demonstrates the severe effects on former NSW police officers Bob Deards and Terry Clifford, who were tasked with cleanup. While there is no doubt that modern transport containers will be of better quality than in the past, the men’s warning is obvious: ‘The more they transport, the more accidents will happen.’
A later South Australian example was highlighted by the Advertiser‘s front-page headline of 9 December 1994: ‘Radioactive drum spills on SA road’. ‘A drum carrying low grade radioactive waste from New South Wales to Woomera has leaked contaminated material on to South Australian outback roads … Port Augusta police confirmed last night they were conducting an emergency clean-up of the site about 2km north of Port Augusta …’
Coober Pedy Aboriginal women Emily Austin and Lois Brown’s alarmed response was published a few days later: ‘When they were washing the truck after the leakage, they even took the water away. Why? if it was low-grade toxic waste. It must have been dangerous.’ Their warning: ‘Also that accident might have been low grade but what about the next time?’
Long-term Friends of the Earth environmentalist Dr Jim Green reiterates that nuclear transport accidents are commonplace. ‘Indeed the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) acknowledges that a small number of nuclear transport accidents occur each year. If the industry is expanded, there will inevitably be more transport accidents. A British government database documents an average of 19 nuclear transport incidents each year. Countless thousands of Australians who live along potential nuclear waste transport corridors are being ignored and disenfranchised by the Morrison Government ”.

Union spokespeople are under no illusion that accidents are inevitable and about who will be automatically called for the cleanup. As Jamie Newlyn, South Australian Branch Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, warns: ‘MUA members work in critical points of the logistics cycle and therefore the safe handling and above ground storage for decades is of great concern to the MUA … ‘

A day of high temperatures and strong winds last month did nothing to deter opponents of the federal government’s nuclear plans from the latest Port Augusta Rally. Terry Schmucker, who owns a farm in nearby Poochera, had no vote in the recent poll. He was scathing about the inability of the nuclear industry to guarantee project safety when ANSTO has been unable to prevent radioactive leaks even on site.

After the rally, Aboriginal Co-Chairs of the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA), Dwayne Coulthard and Vicki Abdulla, led a strong contingent to present ANFA’s petition to the office of South Australia’s Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan: ‘South Australia has legislation that makes such waste facilities illegal: The Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 2000 … We ask you to act now and protect South Australia and its people from Minister Canavan’s site selection process that has caused so much distress to South Australian communities … ‘

No, Senator Canavan, South Australians don’t believe that 452 people in one small town have the right to agree to burden us with all the nation’s nuclear waste — and forever.

In fact the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation has just set another challenge. With the results of their own Australian Electoral Company internal members vote showing 83 No and zero Yes votes, the Barngala have issued a statement which reads in part: ‘BDAC has written to Minister Canavan advising him of the result. BDAC has requested that given the first people for the area unanimously have voted against the proposed facility that the Minister should immediately determine that there is not broad community support for the project. ‘

With the arrival of the voting papers for the proposed alternative Flinders Ranges site on 14 November, the intensity of the division between potential yes and no voters in the small towns and hinterlands of Hawker and Quorn seems to have hit fever pitch. The potential yes voters welcoming of a new ‘industry’ to the area seem to disregard the effect a nuclear facility will have on the major tourism industry and Adnyamathanha heritage; not to mention the threats to groundwaters in an area subject to seismic activity and floods.

This is a decision which will affect all South Australians, not just a tiny percentage of people who have experienced four years of federal government promises and pressure to acquiesce.

November 22, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, reference | Leave a comment

Scott Morrison’s devious and incorrect claim about emissions and bushfires

November 22, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Launch of Australia’s National Environmental Defenders Office

National Environmental Defenders Office launches    https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/sme-law/26968-national-environmental-defenders-office-launches, By Jerome D, oraisamy|21 November 2019 The new EDO will have offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart, Perth and Sydney, with all state and territory EDOs finalising their merger process over the coming months.

Launched yesterday, the national Environmental Defenders Office will “take high-impact enforcement cases to the courts to make sure the public interest is upheld, and our communities are properly protected by our environmental laws”, it said in a statement.

In explaining why the former environmental legal centres were now coming together under one roof, EDO CEO David Morris said that the environmental problems facing Australia are not bound by our state and territory borders.

“The Murray-Darling crisis spans four jurisdictions. Our iconic koalas are dying right up and down the east coast. Climate change doesn’t stop at any border,” he said.

“Now more than ever, national leadership is required to protect Australia’s natural and cultural heritage. That’s where the new national EDO steps in.”

Moreover, the merger will see us the new EDO become the “largest public interest environmental law centre in the Australia-Pacific region”, Mr Morris told Lawyers Weekly.

“With that additional scale comes opportunities to play a bigger role empowering communities and protecting places. We see big opportunities to increase our presence in the Pacific and to better serve local communities in remote parts of Australia, including northern Australia,” he said.

“Increasingly communities across northern Australia are seeking legal assistance in respect of gas developments and we intend to ensure that our expert lawyers are available to assist them.”  Merging also allows the EDO, Mr Morris added, to address the “problems of scale” identified by the Productivity Commission in its Access to Justice Arrangements report.

“That is, we’re able to centralise much of the offices’ administrative, financial and communications work freeing up our legal staff to provide better services to the community. The opportunity is that as a much bigger organisation we can play a bigger role at a national level on national issues, but at the same we’re committed to maintaining and strengthening connections to grass roots communities,” he said.

Another challenge and opportunity I expect will be big issues for us in the next twelve months will be coming to grips with what it means to be a distributed national team across a large area and multiple time-zones and multiple jurisdictions. We’ve got some tools and we’ve got some resourcing to improve our legal technology, rolling that out and implementing it will be crucial to the merger’s success.”

Australia is one of the “most naturally beautiful and biologically diverse places on Earth”, EDO’s statement continued, “but our environment is in decline”.

“There are more than 1,700 threatened species in Australia, we have lost more animals to extinction than any other country in the world. And while the Australian community expects robust accountability and oversight when it comes to environmental protection, trust in government processes and institutions has eroded to an all-time low.

Mr Morris said: “Regulations are regularly not enacted or enforced. Governments have cut resources to departments that are supposed to monitor breaches of environment law.”

“Companies routinely and intentionally breach state and federal environment laws. The problem is systemic and widespread because there is no clear legal deterrent.

“As a merged, national organisation we can share expertise, more closely scrutinise projects and address the widespread culture of non-compliance with environment laws.”

November 22, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, environment, legal | Leave a comment

UK election issues – climate crisis is the top concern

Climate crisis topping UK election agenda is ‘unprecedented’ change 
Environmentalists say such political focus on green issues ‘unthinkable’ just five years ago,
Guardian, Fiona Harvey Environment correspondent, Fri 22 Nov 2019  The climate emergency has risen to the top of the UK’s election agenda in a way that would have been “unthinkable” even five years ago, leading environmentalists have said, predicting that it augurs a permanent change in British politics.On Wednesday, Labour took the unprecedented move of putting green issues as the top section of its manifesto, the first time one of the UK’s two major parties has done so. Jeremy Corbyn led the appeal to voters with policies including an £11bn windfall tax on oil and gas companies, a million new jobs in a “green industrial revolution” and commitments on moving to a net-zero carbon economy.

“Such focus on climate and the environment would have been almost unthinkable five years ago,” said Shaun Spiers, executive director of the Green Alliance. “Tackling climate change runs through this manifesto in a way that is unprecedented from either of the main parties ahead of a UK general election.”

“It would not have been possible five years ago,” said Tom Burke, chairman of environmental thinktank E3G and former adviser to several governments, who said the move marked a permanent change in British politics, as younger voters in particular were “energised” over the environment. Public anxiety had been fuelled by people seeing extreme weather around the world, and the rise of climate activism in movements such as Extinction Rebellion and the school climate strikes reflected that. “The politicians are following the public on this, not the other way round.”

…….. The Liberal Democrats, while focusing on Brexit, have also made the climate emergency a key priority, promising to generate 80% of the UK’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030, to bring forward to 2045 the deadline for net-zero carbon, and to expand electric vehicles and ban fracking. The Green party wants to spend £100bn a year for the next decade on the climate crisis, replacing high-carbon infrastructure and creating jobs…. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/21/climate-crisis-topping-uk-election-agenda-is-unprecedented-change

November 22, 2019 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australia must stop burning coal by 2030- report from Climate Analytics

November 22, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

November 22 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Are We Doing Enough To Tackle Global Transport Emissions?” • According to the World Resources Institute, “72% of global transport emissions come from road vehicles, which accounted for 80% of the rise in emissions from 1970-2010.” And since 2012, emissions from the transportation sector have been increasing with increased traffic. [CleanTechnica] ¶ “US […]

via November 22 Energy News — geoharvey

November 22, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Finkel’s national hydrogen strategy gets green light, but could be lifeline for coal — RenewEconomy

Finkel national hydrogen strategy gets green light from COAG, but there are fears it will provide a lifeline to prop up the coal industry and dreams of “carbon capture”. The post Finkel’s national hydrogen strategy gets green light, but could be lifeline for coal appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Finkel’s national hydrogen strategy gets green light, but could be lifeline for coal — RenewEconomy

November 22, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

City of Melbourne leads second “bulk-buy” renewables auction — RenewEconomy

Melbourne Renewable Energy Project releases second tender, combining purchasing power of seven large energy users to source 113GWh a year of Victorian solar or wind. The post City of Melbourne leads second “bulk-buy” renewables auction appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via City of Melbourne leads second “bulk-buy” renewables auction — RenewEconomy

November 22, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Calix launches advanced battery reactor in Victoria — RenewEconomy

Calix launches $2.7m proprietary BATMn electric reactor for producing advanced battery materials, in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria. The post Calix launches advanced battery reactor in Victoria appeared first on RenewEconomy.

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November 22, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Energy Insiders Podcast: World’s biggest solar farm, and biggest battery — RenewEconomy

In a week of “world’s biggest projects”, billionaires Mike Cannon Brookes and Twiggy Forrest back huge project in Northern Territory, while Tesla big battery in South Australia gets an upgrade. The post Energy Insiders Podcast: World’s biggest solar farm, and biggest battery appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Energy Insiders Podcast: World’s biggest solar farm, and biggest battery — RenewEconomy

November 22, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NSW announces 3,000MW renewable energy zone, and energy security target — RenewEconomy

NSW unveils plans for 3,000MW renewable energy zone and “security target” as it admits “firm wind and solar” its cheapest energy option. The post NSW announces 3,000MW renewable energy zone, and energy security target appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via NSW announces 3,000MW renewable energy zone, and energy security target — RenewEconomy

November 22, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

COGATI: A tax on renewables paid to fossil fuels — RenewEconomy

COGATI is an extraordinarily complex beast, but its effect would be real and immediate – it would significantly reduce investment in large-scale renewables. The post COGATI: A tax on renewables paid to fossil fuels appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via COGATI: A tax on renewables paid to fossil fuels — RenewEconomy

November 22, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s first national environmental law watchdog puts polluters on notice — RenewEconomy

Australia’s first national, not for profit legal watchdog for the environment launches today with a mandate to ensure environmental laws are observed and properly enforced. The post Australia’s first national environmental law watchdog puts polluters on notice appeared first on RenewEconomy.

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November 22, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Smoke and mirrors: Taylor to meet states as global expert laments Australian “tragedy” — RenewEconomy

Energy ministers head to Perth for the first COAG energy council meeting in almost a year, with frustrations amongst State and Territory ministers high. The post Smoke and mirrors: Taylor to meet states as global expert laments Australian “tragedy” appeared first on RenewEconomy.

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November 22, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment