Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – theme for January 2021

This ICAN  report  corrects the Australian government’s  misrepresentation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. 

Australians can be proud of historic efforts – Doc Evatt and the Labor Party led in the 1940s to establish the United Nations. Australia led in in negotiating and ratifying conventions against chemical weapons in 1972 and against landmines and cluster munitions in more recent times.   Gough Whitlam ratified the nuclear non-proliferation treaty in 1973 and that treaty is still important in stopping the spread of nuclear weapons.

Much more recently, Australians initiated the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) which grew to eventually bring about the successful movement towards the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. ICAN was awared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was concluded in July 2017 with the support of 122 states. Unfortunately, Australia was one of those few countries that did not vote for that treaty. Under this government, we didn’t even participate in the negotiation of the treaty, and we voted against the 2016 UN General Assembly resolution that established the mandate for negotiations. It isn’t a proud record.

With 51 ratfications, the Treaty will come into legal force on January 22. This is being ignored by the present Australian government.  However, The Australian Labor Party is committed to working toward the ratification of the treaty. The US alliance is very important to Australia and to the Australian Labor Party. Ratifying this treaty as a sovereign state should not affect our relationship with the incoming Biden administration.

ICAN Australia says ” While the entry into force of the treaty won’t make nuclear weapons disappear overnight, it will mark a significant shift in the legal and political framework around these weapons. They will be increasingly shunned like chemical and biological weapons. The treaty provides a multilateral legal pathway for all nations to further the stigmatisation, prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons. We won’t let Australia weasel out of it forever.”

December 15, 2020 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

2020 in Australia – a successful year for resistance to nuclear pollution

DAVE SWEENEY | Nuclear Free Campaigner, Australian Conservation Foundation | www.acf.org.aua   15 Dec 20,

A year ago today the then federal resources/radioactive waste Minister Matt Canavan read the room in the Flinders Ranges and stated: “I will no longer consider this site an option for the facility”.     https://www.minister.industry.gov.au/ministers/canavan/media-releases/national-radioactive-waste-management-facility-wallerberdina

Viva!! This decision was a great tribute to Adnyamathanha, the FLAG crew and wider community resistance.

In the year since

  • Canberra has turned to Kimba where they are facing a stiff fight and have failed in an attempt to rewrite the laws to remove people’s right to legally challenge the waste plan
  • SA Labor, Unions SA and many more civil society groups and state and national voices have come on board against the waste plan
  • The Australian Human Rights Commission acknowledged the three sisters – Vivianne and Regina McKenzie and Heather Stuart as Human Rights Heroes for their radwaste efforts
  • ARPANSA – the federal nuclear regulator – has confirmed that Australia’s worst waste can securely remain at Lucas Heights ‘for decades”
  • Matt Canavan is gone and we have a new Minister – the sixth in as many years – if radioactive waste had the same longevity as federal ministers it wouldn’t be an issue.
  • Collectively we are stalling the deeply flawed federal plan and shifting the story from the search for a postcode to the need for a credible process

Congratulations to all those who successfully defended the Flinders – and strength to those now actively contesting the dodgy Kimba plan.

 

December 15, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, opposition to nuclear, politics | Leave a comment

Law and Disorder: The case of Julian Assange

In the case of Julian Assange, what is on trial is nothing less than our right to know what is done by governments in our name, and our capacity to hold power to account.

Law and Disorder: The case of Julian Assange, DiEM25, By Pam Stavropoulos | 10/12/2020, 

What kind of law allows pursuit of charges under the 1917 United States Espionage Act — for which there is no public interest defence — against a journalist who is a foreign national?

The closing argument of the defence in the extradition hearing of WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange has been filed. For this and other reasons it is apposite to consider the authority invested in the law before which, in democratic societies, we are ostensibly all equal.

In fact, notwithstanding the familiar claims of objectivity (and as `everybody knows’ in Leonard Cohen’s famous lyric) the reality is somewhat different. Jokes about the law attest to this:

‘One law for the rich…’

‘Everyone has the right to their day in court — if they can pay for it’

‘What’s the difference between a good lawyer and a great one? A good lawyer knows the law. A great lawyer knows the judge’

The term ‘legal fiction’ calls into question the relationship between law, objectivity, and truth. On the one hand, law is the essential pillar of a functioning society. On the other, it is replete with anomalies both in conception and execution. To what extent can these perspectives be reconciled? High stakes are attached to this question.

Questioning claims of objectivity in the context of law.

Despite its routinely invoked status of objectivity, there are many grounds on which the law cannot be objective in any overarching sense. Judicial findings can be overturned on appeal (i.e. including in the absence of new evidence). This immediately indicates that the law, in common with other domains and disciplines, is subject to interpretation. ………
Conflicts of interest also pose challenges to the notion of objectivity in the context of law. In the case of Julian Assange, as DiEM25 and others have highlighted, conflict of interest would clearly seem to be operative. This is because financial links to the British military — including institutions and individuals exposed by WikiLeaks — by the husband of the Westminster chief magistrate who initially presided over the extradition case have been revealed. This chief magistrate refused to recuse herself and retained a supervisory role of oversight even in the face of this manifest conflict of interest. ……..
In the case of Julian Assange, the refrain that the law and its processes are ‘objective’ ensures that mounting critique of both the fact of his prosecution and the way in which the proceedings are conducted is not engaged with. It also serves to deflect attention from the fact that there is no precedent — i.e. in a profession which claims to respect it — for prosecution of Assange in the first place. ……..
In addition to the myth of the objectivity of law, it is important to engage with another entrenched myth — i.e. that the law is necessarily ‘apolitical’. In the case of Julian Assange, the political stakes are enormous. Continue reading

December 15, 2020 Posted by | civil liberties, legal, media, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australia left behind as world leaders brush off Morrison’s empty climate gestures — RenewEconomy

Morrison’s hollow climate rhetoric falls flat with world leaders, as Australia left further behind following new pledges at weekend climate summit. The post Australia left behind as world leaders brush off Morrison’s empty climate gestures appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australia left behind as world leaders brush off Morrison’s empty climate gestures — RenewEconomy

December 15, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

December 14 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Forget Oil Stocks: Renewable Energy Stocks Are Better Long-Term Buys” • With the pandemic and the growth of renewables, the oil industry’s future has dimmed considerably over the past year. That’s why it might be time for investors to forget about buying oil stocks and instead concentrate their efforts on the renewable energy […]

December 14 Energy News — geoharvey

December 15, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What are ewes eating? Wirsol adds 300 sheep to Gannawarra solar farm — RenewEconomy

Wirsol puts 300 sheep to graze among the panels of its Gannawarra solar farm, as part of a trial to help manage vegetation at the site in Victoria. The post What are ewes eating? Wirsol adds 300 sheep to Gannawarra solar farm appeared first on RenewEconomy.

What are ewes eating? Wirsol adds 300 sheep to Gannawarra solar farm — RenewEconomy

December 15, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NSW clean shift makes it pin-up state for renewable investors, but grid issues linger — RenewEconomy

Concerns around “random” grid connection issues and unpredictable federal policy dampen renewables investment confidence, CEC finds. Thank goodness for the states. The post NSW clean shift makes it pin-up state for renewable investors, but grid issues linger appeared first on RenewEconomy.

NSW clean shift makes it pin-up state for renewable investors, but grid issues linger — RenewEconomy

December 15, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment