Australian news, and some related international items

Bob and Sue Tulloch: scrutiny needed on Radioactive Waste Management Amendment- paves the way to import foreign nuclear wastes


Bob and Sue Tulloch ( Flinders Local Action Group ) to Senate Inquiry on National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 [Provisions] Submission 72 

There is a lot of misinformation about the Federal Government’s proposed National
Nuclear Waste Management Facility at Kimba. Information has been with held from most Australians via a deliberate, discriminatory voting process, with only two South Australian communities ( Hawker / Quorn and
Kimba ) allowed to vote, (1300 citizens) a process that has so far failed them.

Do our law makers understand WHAT they are voting for?
This is NOT, just mainly a low level nuclear waste dump for hospital gloves and gowns. Two dumps co-located are planned. The second, a temporary storage facility, for far more dangerous intermediate level waste. This will include reprocessed spent fuel rods, used in the nuclear reactors at Lucas Heights, being returned to Australia from
France and the UK. Waste needing serious isolation from humans and the environment for 10,000 years. It is the temporary storage of this ILW, that worry people.

Case for keeping ILW at Lucas Heights
World’s best practice for dealing with Intermediate Level Waste, or High Level waste as classified in France and the UK, is permanent, deep underground burial. There are currently no plans for this to happen in Australia. There is also no time limit set for the storage of this waste, to be placed ‘temporarily’ in an above ground shed at Kimba, if moved from its current modern safe, secure storage facility at ANSTO’s Lucas Heights complex.

It is well documented that the cost of establishing a permanent, deep underground disposal facility for Australia’s relatively low volumes of ILW, is prohibitive. Unless the Australian Government is planning to subsidise the cost of establishing a nuclear waste storage and disposal facility at Kimba, by importing nuclear waste from overseas,
one must question the economical rational to relocate ILW to a second, temporary storage facility at, huge expense to the Australian tax payer.

Australian Nuclear Waste Law
Ref. Protecting Authority, Burying Dissent: An Analysis of Australian Nuclear Waste Law – Angela
Morsley. 2016
 This paper considers the Australian legal framework for a national nuclear waste repository. The paper argues that the current law protects the Commonwealth’s decision- making in relation to a repository site, at the expense of ‘the place for
public participation in the development of the land’, conservation of Aboriginal heritage and environmental impacts, legitimate protections that under the proposed changes to the Act will be even more eroded.

In 2010 the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee recommended that the NRWMA not be enacted unless mandatory provision was made for a Regional Consultative Committee. Closer analysis reveals that the RCC
has no power or influence over a Ministerial declaration, it’s function being merely to ‘facilitate communication’ between the host community and the Commonwealth’.
….. ‘Consultation may be provided for under the NRWMA, but there is no evidence to suggest that it has anything other that a tokenistic place within a legal framework that positions site selection as an almost inevitable outcome of nomination, supported by Ministerial fiat, rather than broadly sought public consent.’

The South Australian Parliament has legislation in place under the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000 to prevent the construction of such a facility and the transportation of radioactive waste through the state. The proposed
amendment to the NRWNA to nominate the Napandee site near Kimba as the‘relevant land’, will exclude all state legislation from regulation of all activities associated with the NRWMF. ARPANSA’s Code of Practice for the Safe Transport
of Radioactive Materials, is merely a code of practice and not a statute, is unenforceable in regards to the transportation of radioactive waste through South Australia.

Australia’s Future Nuclear Industry Involvement
Questions about nuclear power generation in Australia, future lucrative ‘fuel leasing’ plans involving an Australian Nuclear Fuel Industry as detailed in the following government reports, and the role a ILW storage facility at Kimba will play, need
clarification and public disclosure.
Australia’s Uranium – Greenhouse friendly fuel for an energy hungry world
A case study into the strategic importance of Australia’s uranium resources for the Inquiry into
developing Australia’s non-fossil fuel energy industry. November 2006

Final Report and recommendations of the SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission.
May 2016
Not without your approval: a way forward for nuclear technology in Australia;
Report of the inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia; Dec 2019
A report by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment & Energy.

The proposed amendments to NRWM Act, 4A, specifically, refers to ‘radioactive waste’ to be replaced with ‘controlled materials’ (ref ARPANSA Act 1998 ‘controlled material means any natural or artificial material, whether in solid or liquid form, or in the form of a gas or vapour, which emits ionizing radiation spontaneously’), and removal of the words ‘domestic origin’, can allow future operations of the storage facility to encompass nuclear power and nuclear fuel leasing industries as detailed in the Dec 2019 ‘Not without your approval’ report.

For these reasons, more scrutiny on this proposal should be obligatory, and a genuine national discussion implemented. Information supplied to the communities of Hawker/Quorn, Kimba did not include these possibilities, and ballot results obtained from 1207 votes does NOT therefore represent an honest national conversation.

To pass the proposed amendments to the NRWM Act now, would be irresponsible and premature to say the least.

May 26, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Legal action to follow the shonky National Radioactive Waste Management’s processes?


This is an extract from  Peter Remta  – submission to Senate Committee on National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020   [Provisions] Submission 65

All of the information on which the government has based its proposals for the facility has been completely one-sided and self-serving and without any opposing or contrary research and opinions being presented to the Kimba community.

At no stage has the government provided or suggested any review or assessment of its information by the general community of Kimba especially when its members have asked some awkward questions which were mostly responded to by deflecting information or simply left unanswered.

When it was requested to do so the government neither responded nor provided any financial assistance for an independent assessment and scrutiny of its proposals and the information provided by the government and the District Council to the Kimba community.

This is a most unfair and unsatisfactory situation considering the quantum of substantial grants made by the government to the Kimba and previously Hawker communities in order to obtain their approval for hosting the government’s facility.

To that extent the members of the Kimba community opposing the government’s proposals have been deprived of properly and fully testing the validity of the information given by the government as in many instances it lacked credibility and caused grave concern within the Kimba community.

All of this flies completely in the face of the facts and the implications of human rights described in the explanatory memorandum especially as the members of the Kimba community were deprived of the full benefits of those rights and their consequences.

The Kimba District Council has held two ballots to gauge the community support for
proposed facility with the later being in October 2019.
The results of that ballot were:
Voting papers issued 824
Formal votes accepted 735
Yes vote 452
No vote 283
Informal (no vote) 89

The government decided that the result is the percentage of yes votes of the total formal votes accepted and this is 61.5% in favour. However if the informal 89 votes were rightly included then the result is 54.8% in favour.

The voting base for this ballot was relatively limited as explained in the Federal Court decision dismissing the Barngarla appeal and even excluding the Barngarla many people within the Kimba region who should have been given a vote were not included The irony is that there were residents of the Kimba area who were denied a right to
vote yet they lived closer to the town than some of the eligible voters.

A previous community ballot was held at Kimba in June 2017 with people in the District being encouraged to participate in voting. While it was claimed that this ballot achieved voting of 57.4% in favour and 42.6% against on a total of 691 votes accepted the result in favour dropped to slightly less as they were not resident ratepayers which was the necessary qualification prescribed for the voting.than 50% based on the total of 793 voting papers issued.


For a proper and fair ballot vote the Kimba District Council which arranged the ballot should have provided the voters with full written explanations accompanying the voting papers as to both sides of the question to be decided by the ballot so as to enable the intending voters to make a fully considered and informed decision. This has not been done and therefore makes the result highly suspect and unreliable.

Most importantly all the information regarding every aspect of the facility has been provided solely by the government and has been completely one-sided without any information to the contrary or at least a proper scrutiny of the government’s proposals.

Still on the issue of informed consent the government has never enabled or offered the members of the Kimba community who oppose the facility to obtain their own independent advice and assessment of the government’s proposals or to provide funds to meet the costs involved.

This has become extremely important as some of the information given by or on behalf of the government or the District Council of Kimba as proponents of the facility has been misleading or plainly wrong.

It is a well established legal principle that the Kimba District Council owes a duty of care to its community in providing proper and full information on any important issue such as the proposal to establish the facility but the Council has quite clearly failed tosatisfy that duty at law.

Leaving aside any legal rights and remedies available to the Kimba community in that regard the most pragmatic and practical solution would be for the government to pay for a full and proper independent assessment and critical analysis of the whole situation for or on behalf of the members of the community opposing or questioning
the government’s proposals.

This could then be followed by a much wider based ballot which would include explanations of the for and against cases in full so that a properly informed decision can be made by the intending voters. In the overall situation this is probably the most important factor having regard to the mainly disingenuous or at least misleading information from the government over the past four years.

This becomes even more relevant having regard to the numerous requests for information which have never been satisfied by the government in any of its guises and to that extent the community of Kimba were deprived of their full rights described in the explanatory memorandum.

It would seem that in all the circumstances the members of the Kimba community opposing the facility (should they feel so inclined) would have a right of action against the District Council and probably the federal government on the issues of failing to provide full and proper information and holding a fair and more extended ballot based on that information.

It could readily be argued by the Kimba community members who feel aggrieved by the actions of the District Council and the government that the voting rights should be extended to a much broader area and include persons who are not necessarily on the ratepayers’ roll but still have a close affinity to Kimba. For example there are apparently instances of community members who are not on the roll but are much closer to the Kimba township than some of the persons entered on the roll.

May 26, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

An Email from Stichting Thorium MSR — The Industry Push to Force Nuclear Power in Australia

Why is the Majority Report of the Australian Senate here: so full of misinformation and a totally false set of technical assertions???

via An Email from Stichting Thorium MSR — The Industry Push to Force Nuclear Power in Australia

May 26, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Australian nuclear dump decision trashes indigenous peoples’ rights

May 26, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Australia could address another global threat by supporting the UN the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

May 26, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australian media is not doing its job to expose power and corruption

May 26, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

A tribute to the Maralinga traditional owners

This is a critical and never-ending land management responsibility which the Maralinga people, who suffered the environmental and health effects of the nuclear tests, have shouldered on behalf of the Australian community.

He was able to relate to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, cabinet ministers and homeless people alike. He treated everyone with candour and respect.

By word and deed he refused to accept that Aboriginal people were inferior

Why Archie Barton and the Maralinga traditional owners are the unsung heroes of the British nuclear test program in Australia  By Andrew Collett

Politicians, bureaucrats, scientists and advisers come and go. The traditional owners must plug on with the management and rehabilitation of their land — on behalf of us all.

Andrew Collett is an Adelaide barrister and one of the lawyers who has represented the Maralinga traditional owners since 1984. Find out more about the story of the people of Oak Valley and Yalata in a new ABC TV documentary, Maralinga Tjarutja, available to stream now on iview.

  The traditional owners of the 100,000 square kilometre Maralinga Lands didn’t only shoulder the harsh legacy of the British nuclear testing while it was happening in the 1950s and 60s.

To this day, they are managing the still contaminated test sites in far-west South Australia on behalf of Australia and Britain.

For this they receive little recognition and inadequate financial assistance — despite having established extremely constructive and enduring relationships with Australian scientists and government representatives.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following article contains names and images of people who have died.

The Maralinga people were kept away from their lands and from any knowledge about what happened in the nuclear tests from 1955 until they obtained land rights and finally returned to their lands in 1985 — an isolation of 30 years, or well over a generation in Aboriginal terms.

For that 30 years the Maralinga people were kept at the Lutheran Mission at Yalata, away from their traditional lands, isolated from their Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara communities over 400 kilometres to the north and from much of their vibrant Western Desert tradition and ceremony.

They fell prey to social and cultural isolation and deteriorating health outcomes.

When they returned to their traditional lands in 1985, having been granted land rights to all their lands apart from the test sites, a royal commission was sitting in London examining what had happened during the Maralinga nuclear tests and why.

A constructive partnership with governmen Continue reading

May 26, 2020 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, reference, wastes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Canadian farming community not happy about taking on nuclear wastes

Teeswater area debating taking on ‘forever’ nuclear waste project, Scott Miller CTV News London  25 May 20, WINGHAM, ONT. — Anja van der Vlies is worried about the future of her 1200 dairy goat operation, if Canada’s most radioactive nuclear waste is buried a couple side roads away from her family’s farm.

“It’s fairly close to where we farm. If I just look at the radius of 10 kilometres from the proposed site, so much food is being prepared here. What’s going to happen to that?”she says.

Right next door, dairy farmer Ron Groen has posted signs around his property sharing his concerns about the proposed project, just north of Teeswater.

“The waste is going to be radioactive for a million years, so basically the waste will be eternally radioactive and our kids, grandkids, 33,000 generations after us living in and around town will have to worry about this problem,” he says.

About 1200 acres of farmland north of Teeswater has been optioned by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization to potentially build Canada’s first permanent nuclear waste facility.

Over five million used nuclear fuel bundles, would be buried 500 metres under these Bruce County farms, if the community agrees to it.

Darren Ireland is one the landowners, whose agreed to option his land for the project.

“For me, it’s about five generations. This area has struggled for years to keep things going. I look at this as something, that we could be looking at for five generations, that’s huge,” he says.

The mayor of the municipality of South Bruce, Robert Buckle, also sees upside to the project…….

Signs opposing the project starting going up around the area around March. A local group has formed to keep nuclear waste out of South Bruce’s soil.

“The sooner we can stop this, the better for our community,” says van der Vlies…….

Two communities remain in the running to house Canada’s most radioactive waste. Ignace, in Northern Ontario, and the Municipality of South Bruce, north of Teeswater. One site will selected, no later, than 2023.

May 26, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

#ScottyFromMarketing – yes Australia is run by an otherwise talentless marketing man

Scotty from Marketing: What a way to run a country, Independent Australia,  By Jennifer Wilson | 26 May 2020,  Word is, Prime Minister Scott Morrison intensely dislikes the moniker “Scotty from Marketing” bestowed upon him last year by the Betoota Advocate.

It’s difficult to escape the strong impression that one of Morrison’s few talents is the grand announcement that, not much later, turns out to have minimum substance. Just one example is the $2 billion bushfire fund — $1.6 billion of which remains unallocated while survivors who lost everything are still living in tents and caravans without running water and toilet facilities…….

For the Prime Minister, the thrill is in the making of the promise, not the delivery of its substance, as may be in keeping with the general goals of a marketing man. Delivery is long and boring. Gratification comes immediately with the grand announcement and the praise with which it is greeted, particularly by the media. Who cares if the damn thing actually works or not?

So what if the $130 billion JobKeeper wage subsidy program has gone astoundingly awry in so many ways, not least of which is that it was overestimated to the tune of some $60 billion? Who cares? Announcing “the biggest economic lifeline in the country’s history”, as Morrison proclaimed at the time, brought him peak gratification and was immediately rewarded by lavish praise from business groups and the mainstream media……

Morrison’s primary goal is to persuade the punters he’s a good “dad” to the country and to this end, he seeks to dwell in the eternal present. The past is a country he increasingly needs to move on from, with a vicious cattle dog nipping at his heels — unless of course it’s got something to do with Labor that can be spun to his advantage. The future is of equal irrelevance, outside of Morrison’s personal ambitions. The Liberal Party itself is little more than a vehicle for the realisation of these personal ambitions, as is Morrison’s affiliation with his church — the man would likely hurl both of them under the bus if they in got in the way of the gaping maw of his gluttonous ambition.

Morrison’s primary talent is marketing himself. He did actually win the last Federal Election almost entirely without assistance from his ratbag crew of discontents and right-wing loons — and this is an indicator of his bottomless supply of self-belief and enviable lack of doubt.

Which brings us to China. On 22 April this year, Morrison had a phone chat with U.S. President, Donald Trump…….

What the mainstream media is far too inclined to overlook is Morrison’s utter ruthlessness. He is pragmatic and many appear to admire that quality, but it is a pragmatism whose genesis is to be found in breathtaking ruthlessness, and overweening self-interest — and it is not admirable. ……..

This is Scotty from Marketing. Find something to sell, and sell it regardless of the consequences. It’s the selling, stupid. What a way to run a country.,13931#.XsyKe2S6_gA.twitter

May 26, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Australia won’t budge on 2030 climate targets, keeps mum on longer term intentions — RenewEconomy


Morrison government won’t be revisiting its 2030 emissions reduction target and we’re unlikely to see any commitments to future targets any time soon. The post Australia won’t budge on 2030 climate targets, keeps mum on longer term intentions appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Australia won’t budge on 2030 climate targets, keeps mum on longer term intentions — RenewEconomy

May 26, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

May 25 Energy News — geoharvey


Opinion: ¶ “Why Are We Subsidizing Fossil Fuels? Seriously” • Supporting renewables can cut emissions and boost the economy, all while providing cost-competitive energy. The Trump Administration, however, continues propping up the fossil fuel industry, despite the sector’s real financial problems, which began long before the COVID-19 pandemic. [CleanTechnica] ¶ “Experts Warn Climate Change Is […]

via May 25 Energy News — geoharvey

May 26, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Once in a lifetime opportunity:” NSW farmer on why he wants to host a wind farm — RenewEconomy

Hanging Rock local Jim Robinson explains why he wants the 400MW Hills of Gold wind farm on his land and in his community. The post “Once in a lifetime opportunity:” NSW farmer on why he wants to host a wind farm appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via “Once in a lifetime opportunity:” NSW farmer on why he wants to host a wind farm — RenewEconomy

May 26, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NSW calls for wind, solar, storage ideas for first renewable zone in central west — RenewEconomy


NSW government wants to hear from wind, solar and storage projects interested in joining the state’s first Renewable Energy Zone. The post NSW calls for wind, solar, storage ideas for first renewable zone in central west appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via NSW calls for wind, solar, storage ideas for first renewable zone in central west — RenewEconomy

May 26, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment