Australian news, and some related international items

Another week in pandemic, climate, and nuclear news – Australia

I had vowed to leave the pandemic for everyone else to cover.  But, it’s too much. It’s too big.  I think that we are all dimly aware, now, that we’re not getting back to normal any time soon.  Today’s news – Coronavirus deaths top 600,000 worldwide as pandemic infections surge.  Amid the global pandemic, humanity still faces simultaneous existential dangers – nuclear war and climate change.

The pandemic is certainly a global crisis. Scientists call for climate change to be treated as a crisis, too. Climate change will make much of the planet too hot for humans to function.

July 16 was the 75th anniversary of the first nuclear explosion, “Trinity” in New Mexico. This anniversary was a timely reminder of the harm done to workers, and soldiers, by the nuclear weapons industry. The “Trinity” explosion was the beginning of America’s nuclear oppression of its own people.

  Some bits of good news –  Oxford coronavirus vaccine triggers strong immune response, trial shows .    The Search Engine That Plants Trees With Every Search Has Just Planted its 100-Millionth Tree.  (photo above)


This post I’ve repeated, due to large interest in it from viewers:  (Video) Pine Gap – USA’s secret spy base in Australia.

NUCLEAR.  Climate change a grave threat to nuclear power, especially in Australia.

Nuclear status quo in federal environmental law review:

  • no change to nuclear power prohibition 
  • uranium to stay a “matter of national environmental significance”
  •  federal government should maintain powers to intervene in uranium mining

NSW Parliament’s State Development Committee reports on the unaffordable costs of nuclear reactors (large or small).

Radioactive waste management Bill (languishing in the Senate)    Letter to Australia’s Senators – alarm over proposed National Radioactive Waste Amendment Bill.  George Gear submits on Radioactive Waste Bill – that Kimba site is technically, indeed totally, unsuitable.

Failed politician Cory Bernardi resuscitated – renewed zeal for nuclear and “Advance Australia“.  “Advance Australia” -the extreme right wing lobby group, says that climate change is a hoax.

Remote community loses their court fight to get uranium-free drinking water.




Greta Thunberg calls for immediate action on ‘existential crisis‘ of climate emergency.   The ever-increasing threat of coronavirus, but the global heating threat is even worse.

More pandemics to come – bat research is critical for prevention.

Thanks to Botswana, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has now reached 40 states ratifying it.

Nuclear bomb testing – the cruellest legacy of environmental injustice and racism. July 16 1945 – the first nuclear bomb test – the start of many more.

Because of the pandemic, nuclear power plants have to have safety checks done by remote means.

Investigative journalismmapping uranium.

July 20, 2020 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Nuclear status quo in federal environmental law review

The EPBC review interim report was released today. Here is the link to the report. There are some meme’s attached – please share – or share directly from the Don’t Nuke the Climate pages. Thanks!
In summary
no change to nuclear power prohibition
uranium to stay a “matter of national environmental significance”
– federal government should maintain powers to intervene in uranium mining
– set up national environment standards – to devolve assessments to state and territory governments *** this is the bit to worry about – this is largely already the case and has led to much poorer outcomes. The “national environment standards” have the potential to be deficient and have weak regulation as is already the case.

 Mineral Policy Institute and Friends of the Earth Australia,  20 July 2020
National and state environment groups have given a cautious welcome to the continuation of long-standing protections against nuclear risks in the current statutory review of the Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act – Australia’s federal environmental laws. The interim report released today has stated that the Commonwealth should maintain the capacity to intervene in uranium mining and made no recommendation to change existing prohibitions on nuclear activities, including domestic nuclear power.

Civil society groups made a joint submission to the EPBC review calling for the retention of the long standing ban on nuclear power and continuing federal oversight of uranium mining. The EPBC review committee’s interim report has flagged an intention to continue both protections despite lobbying from the Mineral Council of Australia to weaken these.

However, environment groups are concerned about a possible weakening of uranium mining regulations flagged in the interim report. Associate Professor Gavin Mudd, Chair of the Mineral Policy Institute, said: “The interim report proposes the further devolution of uranium mining regulation to states and territories, coupled to the establishment of ‘National Environmental Standards’. An obvious risk is that the standards will be weak, enforcement will be deficient as is already the case, and devolution will weaken the already inadequate oversight of uranium mining.”

“Uranium mining is different to other types of mining. Australia’s uranium mining sector has been dominated by license breaches, accidents, spills and a persistent failure to rehabilitate as promised. The last thing we need is a weakening of regulations and oversight. Apart from SA and NT every state and territory have a ban or prohibition on uranium mining. It is unsafe and unpopular and needs greater scrutiny, not less,” Assoc. Prof. Mudd said.

The Review’s interim report makes no recommendation to repeal the long-standing prohibition on domestic nuclear power. “Nuclear power is expensive, dangerous and unpopular,” said Dr Jim Green, national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia. “The prohibition in the EPBC Act reflects this. Nuclear is thirsty, produces high level nuclear waste for which there are no safe storage options and produces materials that can be diverted into nuclear weapons. It is a profound security and safety risk. And nuclear power is absurdly expensive.”

“Recent comments from the current Environment Minister and Opposition Leader show a clear bipartisan rejection of nuclear power. There is broad opposition among civil society as shown through a joint statement by over 60 organisations representing millions of Australians. Given the lack of social license for nuclear power in Australia we welcome the continuation of this prudent prohibition,” Dr Green said.

Following the Australian uranium-fuelled Fukushima nuclear disaster the UN Secretary General called for all uranium producing countries to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the industry. Groups have called on the Morrison government to now hold an independent review of the uranium sector.

July 20, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, environment, politics | Leave a comment

Cory Bernardi resuscitated – renewed zeal for nuclear and “Advance Australia”

Failed extreme right-wing politician Cory Bernardi seemed to have disappeared from the news.   His zeal for the nuclear industry did not go down well with the Australian public.

But no, Cory is now resuscitated in the media –   well, not exactly the reliable and respected news media. But he has found his natural habitat – where else but at right-wing paradise – Sky News?

And where has Cory found the political embrace that he craves?   in the Advance Australia lobby group – perfect for Cory – climate denialism, pro nuclear fanaticism, and ever so coy about where they get their funding.

So-here’s Cory’s Sky News spiel:        Nuclear is the ‘gold standard of power’ ticking all the boxes  – “Nuclear energy solves the climate wars unravelling around the world”  [Ed. note hang on, I thought that Advance Australia didn’t believe that climate change is real]  “You want reliable and cheap, affordable energy? Nuclear ticks that box too,

Advance Australia Director Liz Storer told Sky News:  “The sooner we get nuclear off the ground the better,” she said. “It’s the gold standard of power.”

July 20, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

“Advance Australia” – a group of older rich white men, aiming to get richer.

What is Advance Australia, the new conservative lobby group taking on Get Up! 7.30, By Ashlynne McGhee, ABC News  21 November 2018  Australia has a new conservative lobby group that wants to knock on your door, get in your ear and ultimately swing your vote.

Advance Australia’s named with a nod to our anthem and the hope it can rival the powerful left-wing lobby Get Up!

It has some prominent backers and a bold mission — but can it succeed?    The group’s financially and ideologically backed by a group of prominent business leaders including storage king Sam Kennard, businessman and former ABC chairman Maurice Newman and the Australian Jewish Association’s Dr David Adler.

Its national director is Gerard Benedet, who was the chief of staff to former Queensland LNP Treasurer Tim Nicholls in a previous life.   “We’re not aligned to any political party,” he told 7.30.

“We’re an independent movement of mainstream Australians, who are determined to protect, advance and defend mainstream values and freedoms.”

Get Up! National Director Paul Oosting says that’s rubbish.

“Advance Australia is a group of rich white men on a campaign to make themselves richer,” he said.

“They want to work on issues that are in their own self-interest, that are the vested interests of the corporate lobby they represent.”………..

Who’s donating and who’s joining?   It’s a little unclear.     Membership is free, so money isn’t necessarily flowing from new recruits……..

July 20, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

“Advance Australia” -the extreme right wing lobby group, says that climate change is a hoax

From Wikipedia 20 July 20 The national director of Advance Australia was Gerard Benedet, a former Liberal Party staffer who led the organisation during the 2019 Australian federal election.[3] Benedet stood down in September 2019, and was replaced by Liz Storer, former City of Gosnells councillor,[4][5] and advisor to Liberal senator Zed Seselja.[6]

High-profile backers include businessmen such as Maurice Newman, Kennards Self Storage managing director Sam Kennard, and Australian Jewish Association president David Adler.[2][3] Other members of the advisory council include security specialist Sean Jacobs and journalist Kerry Wakefield.[7] Queensland businessman James Power is also said to have been involved.[8]….

Benedet says the membership is 60 per cent male and has an average age of about 50.[1]

Advance Australia has been accused of astroturfing and being little more than a front for the Liberal Party, much as GetUp has been accused of being a front for the Australian Labor Party.[11] Advance Australia’s independence has yet to be tested, whereas GetUp has been cleared of ties to the Labor Party on three occasions by the Australian Electoral Commission.[12].

 The group believes that anthropogenic climate change is a “hoax”[6], with current national director Liz Storer describing of the teaching of the predominant scientific view as “the other side of the story being shoved down their throats. It’s already happening. The left have infiltrated our education systems. Any aware parent knows that their child is being taught the left’s ideology.  ”

July 20, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Solar PV panel waste will not become a significant problem — RenewEconomy

Solar PV is being installed faster than everything else put together (fossil, nuclear, and other renewables not counting wind) on the rooftops of homes and businesses, and in large-scale ground mounted arrays. Since the price of PV continues to fall, and since PV is essentially unconstrained, solar PV will probably grow to dominate not just……

Solar PV panel waste will not become a significant problem — RenewEconomy

July 20, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rooftop solar is the biggest generator in the market, but no one is in charge — RenewEconomy

Australia’s rooftop solar capacity is set to be 25 times bigger than the grid’s biggest remaining coal generators by 2025. But currently, no one is overseeing this huge resource. The post Rooftop solar is the biggest generator in the market, but no one is in charge appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Rooftop solar is the biggest generator in the market, but no one is in charge — RenewEconomy

July 20, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gas companies dominate shortlist for ARENA green hydrogen funding — RenewEconomy

Gas companies dominate the shortlist of seven projects seeking a share of $70m in ARENA funding for renewable hydrogen production facilities. The post Gas companies dominate shortlist for ARENA green hydrogen funding appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Gas companies dominate shortlist for ARENA green hydrogen funding — RenewEconomy

July 20, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Western Shoshone land stolen for nuclear weapons tests and waste dump

A dark legacy July 19, 2020 by beyondnuclearinternational

  Western Shoshone land stolen for nuclear weapons tests and waste dump, By Ian Zabarte Shoshone land was illegally seized by the U.S government, breaking a historic treaty, first for the atomic test site in Nevada, and then for the planned — but still canceled — Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste dump. Throughout, the Shoshone people have paid a terrible price.

As a Shoshone, we always had horses. My grandfather always told me, “Stop kicking up dust.” Now I understand that it was because of the radioactive fallout.

To hide the impacts from nuclear weapons testing, Congress defined Shoshone Indian ponies as “wild horses.” There is no such thing as a wild horse. They are feral horses, but the Wild Horse and Burrow Acts of 1971 gave the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) the affirmative act to take Shoshone livestock while blaming the Shoshone ranchers for destruction of the range caused by nuclear weapons testing.

My livelihood was taken and the Shoshone economy destroyed by the BLM. On the land, radioactive fallout destroyed the delicate high desert flora and fauna, creating huge vulnerabilities where noxious and invasive plant species took hold.

Nuclear weapons testing at the Nevada National Security Site has left a dark legacy of radiation exposure to Americans downwind from the battlefield of the Cold War. Among the victims are the Shoshone people, who, by no fault of our own, were exposed to radiation in fallout from more than 924 nuclear tests.

The Shoshone people never consented to the nuclear weapons testing.

“Yucca Mountain is a serpent…and if you don’t do the things you’re supposed to do the snake will release its poison.” Ian ZabarteToday, the media does not report Native American past exposure to radioactive fallout from US/UK secret nuclear testing and disproportionate burden of risk.

The Shoshone people cannot endure any increased burden of risk from any source including resumption of WMD testing by US/UK, plutonium disposal from the Savannah River Site, depleted uranium disposal, proposed high-level nuclear waste disposal at Yucca Mountain, coal ash uranium or fracking released radiation.

Nuclear testing is a violation of the peace treaty with the Shoshone, the Treaty of Ruby Valley, and the U.S. Constitution, Article 6 Section 2, the treaty supremacy clause. Nothing in the treaty contemplated the secret massacre of Shoshone people with radioactive poison from nuclear weapons testing within our own homelands. My tribe and family are the victims.

The enduring purpose of nuclear technology is the creation of weapons of mass destruction. Their tests within the Shoshone homelands are deliberate acts that destroy the Shoshone people. No Shoshone, not one person, should be sacrificed for the benefit of some Americans and the profit of the military industrial complex.

What the Shoshone people experience is a deliberate intent by the US to systematically dismantle the living life-ways of the Shoshone people for the benefit of the US and the profit of the nuclear industry. This meets the minimum threshold of genocide under both the UN Convention and the US enactments of the crime of genocide.

Nuclear weapons development in Shoshone homelands violates humanitarian law, human rights law and environmental law and is racist. Racism is a crime. It is called genocide, “a crime against humanity.”

To prove intent to commit genocide, we have only to look at the culture of secrecy of the military occupation of Shoshone homelands during and since the Cold War at the test site. The acts committed in nuclear weapons development and testing against the Shoshone people benefit other Americans. The Shoshone people suffer without relief or acknowledgement of our silent sacrifice. Secrecy is not transparent. Secrecy is not democratic and is unconstitutional when the acts are conducted in and upon the Shoshone land and people.

Nothing in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended in 1987, considered the fact of Shoshone ownership of the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste repository. Almost $15 billion was spent to characterize the site, giving it the label as, “the most studied piece of real estate in the world.” The Nuclear Regulatory Commission admitted in the licensing proceedings that the Department of Energy has not proven ownership.

Nevada took hundreds of millions of dollars for characterization studies from the federal government in grants equal to taxes from Shoshone property and gave nothing to the Shoshone. A clear case of taxation without representation to defraud the Shoshone people of our property interests.

What is needed now are hearings on and support for the extension and funding of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 2019. The Shoshone people need DNA testing and funding for tribal community health education on radiation basics and information on appropriate protective behavior to mitigate radiation exposure.

The Shoshone people are committed to the enforcement of law in the service of justice and human dignity. That is human growth and development, not nuclear weapons.

Ian Zabarte is Principal Man for the Western Bands of the Shoshone Nation of Indians.

July 20, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Green New Deals and Nuclear Power: should Nuclear Colonialism be permitted to continue? — County Sustainability Group

A group of premiers band together to develop nuclear reactor technology. Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick will work together to research and build small modular reactors. Ontario Premier Doug Ford, centre, looks on as Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, right, and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs shake hands during a meeting of Canada’s premiers in Montreal. […]

Green New Deals and Nuclear Power: should Nuclear Colonialism be permitted to continue? — County Sustainability Group

July 20, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

(Video) Pine Gap – USA’s secret spy base in Australia

This post goes back 10 years. It is now updated, due to public interest.  The video previously linked to this post, has now disappeared from the Internet. So, it is now replaced here with another video.


Pine Gap was built on traditional Aboriginal land, forcing removal of Aborigines from it

(Video) Mother of All DUMBs and Ops in Oz Red Center April 3,  Human Rights Examiner Deborah Dupre’ Australia has over 63 U.S. military bases. Locals say that at Pine Gap secret deep underground military base (DUMB) in Australia’s “Red Center,” not far from the “Town Called Alice,” there are more CIA employees than there are in the entire U.S. It is officially reported to have 1000 CIA employees. more at

(Video) Wikileaks CIA op one of many Down Under

July 20, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mapping uranium — Beyond Nuclear International

New Uranium Atlas tells its story and impacts across the world

Mapping uranium — Beyond Nuclear International

July 20, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ESB left in limbo after stalemate in ‘confidential’ energy ministers meeting — RenewEconomy

Energy Security Board faces uncertain future, as does policy transparency as energy ministers meet under new ‘confidential’ national cabinet rules for first time. The post ESB left in limbo after stalemate in ‘confidential’ energy ministers meeting appeared first on RenewEconomy.

ESB left in limbo after stalemate in ‘confidential’ energy ministers meeting — RenewEconomy

July 20, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 19 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “The End Of Fossil Fuels: Is It Here Yet?” • Peak oil has been a topic of heated conversation for decades. The usual definition describes it as the theorized point in time when the maximum rate of extraction of petroleum is reached, after which it enters into terminal decline. It may be here […]

July 19 Energy News — geoharvey

July 20, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment