Australian news, and some related international items

Kimba farmer, neighbouring Napandee, stands firm against nuclear waste dump on agricultural land

Confidential Submission. National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 [Provisions] Submission 37  Inquiry into National Radioactive Waste  Management Amendment

I am a farmer residing and working on a cereal crop and sheep property near the nominated site Napandee, within the Kimba District Council region. I have a good understanding of the project and I remain strong in my opposition to the siting of a Radioactive Waste Management Facility on agricultural land. Please find following my response in relation to the site selected.

The site selection process declared that the location should not be on agricultural land. The Code for Disposal of Solid Radioactive Waste provided by ARPANSA clearly stated that the siting of a Radioactive Waste Management Facility should not be on agricultural land:
“Section 3.1.29 (a) the immediate vicinity of the facility has no known significant natural resources, including potentially valuable mineral deposits, and which has little or no potential for agriculture or outdoor recreational use.”

The National Radioactive Waste Management Facility, Nomination of Land Guidelines, November 2016 also clearly stated in Attachment A, Section A8 under the Community Well Being Objective the criteria: “Is the site located within an area that is likely to be expanded upon for community or industrial use or for natural/agricultural use in the foreseeable future”. The weighting to this criteria when taking site selection into consideration according to the guidelines was stipulated as “High”

Both these documents show that the facility should not be located on agricultural land, and yet the nominated site at Kimba is specifically located on a farm. Directly next to farming country, and entirely neighboured by productive farms.

That this part of the ruling is not being enforced is beyond me. It would be apparent to most people that under best practice the production of food should be separated from the production or storage of nuclear waste. That it is not the case in other countries does not provide adequate reason as to why Australia should lower their standards with regards to this.
It is imperative that this part of the legislation is upheld and made mandatory, rather than being optional. The increased focus globally on the production and storage of food shows that society values a clean green source of food highly and the scrutiny around this is ever increasing.

Lack of Broad Community Support. The requirement for broad community support has never been defined which has created chaos and confusion throughout the process. Neither the definition of community, nor the term “broad” were explained prior to any research being undertaken, so any suggestion of support or otherwise has been clearly manipulated to ensure the required outcome is achieved. The constantly moving goalposts throughout this project has been an obvious undertaking, so that opposition is selectively removed. The division and angst created through the district is genuine and has had devastating effects. It has bred an attitude of bullying and intimidation, resulting
in a strong feeling of mistrust throughout the community.

Project of Best Practice. I note that a recent development project of significant size occurring on the Eyre Peninsula has secured an Aboriginal Land Use Agreement (ALUA) showing genuine commitment to working with the Barngala people in an inclusive manner. It provides evidence that the Barngala people are not opposed to development within their region, and for the Australian Government to not be able to achieve a similar agreement with the Barngala people should be a significant red flag process to trample over the opinions of both the Barngala people and the South Australian people. In
the attempts of best practice, ensuring that the South Australian law prohibiting the storage of nuclear material is upheld (not overridden) and that the unanimous opposition shown by the local indigenous community is acknowledged (not overridden) this site should have been removed as a contender. While overriding these things is possible, it clearly does not support the attitude of a “best practice” approach.

If the government was genuinely focussed on best practice, there would be a good explanation as to why the Leonora, WA site has been continually disregarded. I can only feel that there is a political agenda being pushed here, rather than a genuine effort to find a permanent solution.

June 16, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

Australian government has spent not one sent on finding a permanent solution for ANSTO’s nuclear waste

Kazzi Jai  Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste In The Flinders Ranges, 16 June 20, 

Remember that NOT ONE CENT has been spent to find a permanent disposal site for the Intermediate Waste – not ONE!


What does THAT tell about this current proposal? That the “promised 30 years +” is somewhat fanciful at best for dealing with the “tag-a-long” Intermediate Level Nuclear Waste at best!

STRANDED WASTE would more aptly describe it! And it becomes SOLELY SA’s responsibility and liability..

Oh, and the permanent disposal of the Low Level Nuclear Waste using concrete encasement is meant to hold and contain that Low Level Waste WITHOUT BREACH for 300 years? With our conditions and environment…ALL ABOVE GROUND??

Remember that the sites were chosen by LANDOWNER NOMINATION – not for the VERY BEST GEOLOGY!!

And the ONLY SIDE we have heard from is the Government with a VESTED INTEREST in making this happen.

But the main problem with the Legislation being amended at the moment is that NO-ONE and I mean NO-ONE can debate and perhaps stop a dump being built and a site being selected, based on incorrect assumptions.. That is against our freedoms and rights as Australian citizens to debate and put forward conflicting information and viewpoints to that of the Government.

Don’t get too smug about it – it means that ANOTHER dump can THEN be built anywhere else in Australia upon the Government’s mood without debate…..Let’s see…Rockhampton seems like a nice place for a nuclear dump….or Cradle Mountain….or Uluru….

June 16, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Scott Morrison gives a boost to uranium mining at Olympic Dam

Poor old BHP. My  heart bleeds!     The so-called “Big Australian”  (about 70% owned by overseas interests), is so poor that it’s had to get exemptions from just about every regulation that matters.  The SA Roxby Downs Indenture Act legislation allows the mine to operate with wide-ranging exemptions from the Aboriginal Heritage Protection Act, the Environment Protection Act, the Natural Resources Act, and the Freedom of Information Act.   There are constant problems with tailings such as ongoing seepage and large numbers of bird deaths.  

Probably  worst of all,  BHP plans to increase extraction of precious Great Artesian Basin water to an average 50 million litres per day for the next 25 years, with likely serious adverse impacts on the unique and fragile Mound Springs ‒ which are listed as an Endangered Ecological Community and are of significant cultural importance to Aboriginal people.

BHP plans to  to increase extraction of Great Artesian Basin fossil water “up to total maximum 50 million litres a day annual average” (above the volumes last assessed in 1997 and set at a max of 42 Ml/day) and give BHP rights to take GAB water – potentially up to 2070
Mining industries are becoming increasingly mechanised and automated.  If Scott Morrison were serious about promoting jobs, he’d be giving support to the service industries. But then, that would mean more jobs for women, and of course, Australia needs more “real’ jobs, blokey jobs

Olympic Dam expansion on fast track,e InDaily, 15 June 20

The Olympic Dam expansion is being fast-tracked as part of a Federal Government plan to boost employment and reduce the length and severity of the coronavirus-induced recession.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to today announce $1.5 billion to immediately start work on priority projects identified by the states and territories…….

BHP is proposing for a staged increase in copper production at Olympic Dam from 200,000 to up to 350,000 tonnes per annum.

The expansion has been granted Major Development status by the state government  ….

June 16, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, Olympic Dam, politics | Leave a comment

Coalition’s push to deregulate environmental approvals will lead to extinction crisis

Scientists fear Coalition’s push to deregulate environmental approvals will lead to extinction crisis
Scott Morrison’s announcement in wake of bushfires is ‘distressing’ and puts threatened species at risk, ecologists say,
Guardian,   Lisa Cox, Tue 16 Jun 2020  Scientists have expressed dismay and frustration at Scott Morrison’s latest push to deregulate the environmental approval process for major developments, noting it comes just months after an unprecedented bushfire crisis and during a review of national conservation laws.In a speech on Monday, the prime minister said he wanted to slash approval times for major projects by moving to a streamlined “single touch” system for state and federal environmental assessments.

Morrison said the change would be informed by the review of Australia’s environment laws, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act, which is under way. But his speech did not mention the environment or the act’s objectives to protect threatened species and ecosystems. ……

Scientists and environmentalists argue the act is failing to prevent an extinction crisisJust 22 of 6,500 projects referred for approval have been knocked back in the act’s 20-year history.

Australia has the world’s highest rate of mammalian extinction. Reporting by Guardian Australia has found the government has failed to implement or track measures for species known to be at risk, stopped listing major threats to species, and not registered a single piece of critical habitat for 15 years.

The listing of species and ecosystems as threatened has been delayed by successive ministers, funding has been directed to projects that did not benefit threatened species and hundreds of plants and animals have been identified as requiring urgent attention after the summer bushfire disaster.

The government has framed its commentary about the review around a desire to speed up approval times for projects as the country moves out of the economic shutdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. …..

Megan Evans, an environmental policy researcher at the University of New South Wales in Canberra, said one of the reasons approvals could be slow was because the capacity of the public service had been cut. …… we have highly ambiguous wording [in the act] which provides maximum discretion to the minister that reduces certainty and puts all power in the hands of the minister of the day. You can’t on one hand complain about the lack of certainty but then on the other shy away from measures that would actually provide greater certainty.”

The climate scientist, Bill Hare, said Australia’s approach to its natural environment was damaging not only for the country’s ecosystems, but its democracy……..

June 16, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, politics | Leave a comment

Green Recovery from COVID-19

Current 12th June 2020, With renewable energy more cost-efficient than ever before, there is a clear opportunity to forward decarbonisation in COVID-19 recovery plans. A new report entitled Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2020, put
together by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre and BloombergNEF (BNEF), outlines that globally 2019  saw the highest investment in offshore wind in one year and highest solar power capacity additions in one year, while looking into investment trends for 2020.
It argues that in order to get on the right track for keeping climate change to 2 degrees, globally we require the addition of around
3,000GW of renewables by 2030. This may fluctuate somewhat depending on the technology mix. 

June 16, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

BP faces $25 billion write-off as clean energy shift accelerates. In Australia, meanwhile … — RenewEconomy

BP flags $A25 billion write down as pandemic forces it to accept the clean energy transition will be much quicker than it thought. But, in Australia …. The post BP faces $25 billion write-off as clean energy shift accelerates. In Australia, meanwhile … appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via BP faces $25 billion write-off as clean energy shift accelerates. In Australia, meanwhile … — RenewEconomy

June 16, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fossil fuel “lockdown” urged to accelerate shift to renewables — RenewEconomy

“If we do not change the entire energy system, we are deluding ourselves,” says head of REN21, an independent policy advocacy group. The post Fossil fuel “lockdown” urged to accelerate shift to renewables appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Fossil fuel “lockdown” urged to accelerate shift to renewables — RenewEconomy

June 16, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

COVID-19, nuclear war, and global warming: lessons for our vulnerable world — IPPNW peace and health blog

The COVID-19 pandemic teaches lessons we must embrace to overcome two additional existential threats: nuclear war and global warming.

via COVID-19, nuclear war, and global warming: lessons for our vulnerable world — IPPNW peace and health blog

June 16, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rooftop solar reshapes W.A. grid, and retiring coal units won’t be missed — RenewEconomy

Latest 10-year forecast for W.A. grid highlights massive changes ahead as rooftop solar entrenches position as dominant technology, while the closure of two more coal units will not be missed. The post Rooftop solar reshapes W.A. grid, and retiring coal units won’t be missed appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Rooftop solar reshapes W.A. grid, and retiring coal units won’t be missed — RenewEconomy

June 16, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 15 Energy News — geoharvey

Science and Technology: ¶ “New Approach To Energy Management In Microgrids” • In a paper published in Energies, Monash University researchers argue that a transactive energy market could help consumers lower their power costs by reducing peak demand. It could also help consumers providing network services for the main grid to access revenues. [pv magazine […]

via June 15 Energy News — geoharvey

June 16, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment