Australian news, and some related international items

Kimba and the South Australian government must protect this precious agricutural region from nuclear waste dump’s danger of ground contamination.

Peter Remta, 29 Jan 22, Someone from Kimba should formally request the deputy premier what his government will do to ensure that the nuclear waste management facility at Napandee or anywhere else within the Eyre Peninsula will not lead to any radioactive ground contamination 

This is an issue entirely within the constitutional competence and responsibility of the state government and it cannot rely on the federal government to provide a solution

The radioactive contamination of prime rural land within the Kimba district and further afield would be a disastrous outcome for the state’s economy and population with the likelihood of the destruction of its agricultural industry 

The satisfaction of the resulting and incalculable claims for compensation due to the contamination would no doubt be completely beyond the state’s  financial resources

There is now a strong possibility of radioactive ground contamination due to the significant flooding and the use of an above the ground facility of escape or leakage of the nuclear waste if the facility were established 

The risks involved and the safety measures to overcome them are far too uncertain making it completely unacceptable to have the government’s proposed facility at Napandee

The risk will be incapable of elimination by the existing methods of containing the waste without using effective and proper geological burial in a suitable location

This request should be by way of addressing what the deputy premier raised in his letter posted by Karen Gray on Facebook on 13 January 2022

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Why are they all buying into the fantasy of ”new nuclear”, and propping up ”old nuclear” – theme for January 2022

The Bitter Truth

is that the ”peaceful” ”economically viable” nuclear industry is clearly failing.

All nuclear nations are devoted to their nuclear weapons industry. So the commercial nuclear industry must be kept alive – as it is essential to the weapons industry, including in space.

The other reasons.

The macho men and ”visionary” billionaires must see their dreams fulfilled – at tax-payer expense, of course.

It is too costly to shut down old big nuclear reactors, – by propping them up – extending their licences – those costs are passed on to our grandchildren.

The slick, smart, amoral, lobbying gang are ever on the job, feeding nuclear spin to media, politicians, and us.

They have no conscience, and no wisdom, and they sure don’t care about our grandchildren.

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners welcome expiry of uranium mine approval, but the fight isn’t over

Traditional Owners welcome expiry of uranium mine approval, but the fight isn’t over, NIT by Giovanni Torre 28 Jan 22,- Yeelirrie area Traditional Owners have welcomed the expiry of the environmental approval to mine uranium on their land.

The approval conditions for mining at Yeelirrie, near Wiluna in central Western Australia, required the proponent, Cameco, to substantially begin mining within five years. On 20 January 2022 the approval expired with that condition unmet.

Traditional Owners have fought against mining at Yeelirrie since the 1970s when the uranium deposit was first identified by Western Mining Corporation.

Kado Muir, Tjiwarl native title holder, Ngalia leader of Walkatjurra Walkabout and Chair of the West Australia Nuclear Free Alliance said that over the past five decades “our community got together, stood up strong and has fought off three major multinational corporations”.

“Today we celebrate that Cameco cannot mine at Yeelirrie,” he said.

Shirley Wonyabong, Tjupan elder and senior Tjiwarl native title holder said: “Our community has come together over this issue and we’ve been clear that mining at Yeelirrie will not happen.”

“That area is important and we have a responsibility to protect that country and keep the uranium where it is. When you stay together and united and you don’t let mining companies push you around you can protect country,” she said.

Mr Muir said Traditional Owners were calling on the state government to not extend approvals to mine at Yeelirrie and to withdraw the approvals entirely.

Lizzie Wonyabong, Tjupan elder and senior Tjiwarl native title holder said the community has “campaigned so long” to stop mining at Yeelirrie “because of the Seven Sisters, the importance of that area, because of the dangers of uranium when you dig it up and because of the risk of extinction of the stygofauna”.

“It’s time now to put an end to the mining threat at Yeelirrie. Withdraw the approval.”

…………Federal level approval for the proposed Yeelirrie project was granted in 2019, before the Federal Election, without key protections repeatedly recommended by the Federal Government’s experts.
…….. A spokesperson for Western Australian Minister for the Environment Reece Whitby confirmed on Tuesday that Cameco has applied to the Minister for an extension on the Yeelirrie uranium project and the Minister is waiting to receive a briefing.

January 29, 2022 Posted by | aboriginal issues, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Defence Minister Peter Dutton evasive about the 137 member nuclear submarine taskforce, which does not include a South Australian govt rep.

Submarine construction yard


Defence Minister Peter Dutton did not directly answer some of the questions, which came from government Senator James Patterson, including what the taskforce has delivered and to who, saying only that it is “still active”.

There are nearly 150 members on the federal government’s nuclear-powered submarines taskforce, including officials from a range of federal departments and 10 contractors who the defence department has declined to name, but no state government representatives.

The taskforce was established in September last year on the day the Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a nuclear-powered submarine program would be the first major initiative of a new AUKUS security agreement.

Answers to Senate question on notice published on Friday revealed more details on the group which is spending 18 months scoping options for at least eight new nuclear-powered submarines.

Led by Vice Admiral Jonathan Mead, the Canberra based Nuclear-Powered Submarine Task Force had 137 members as of 10 December, including secondees from several government departments and private contractors, according to the response from defence minister Peter Dutton.

Prime Minister and Cabinet, DFAT, the Attorney General’s Department, Australia’s nuclear organisations ANSTO and ARPANSA, the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, and 10 unnamed contractors are all represented on the taskforce, which reports to the Secretary of Defence.

According to the minister’s response, the taskforce’s terms of reference are to work with the US and UK to “to identify the optimal pathway to deliver” at least eight nuclear-powered submarines……

The taskforce does not appear to include representatives from the South Australian state government, where the boat building project is “intended” to be based.

Editor’s note: work has begun on a submarine construction yard at Osborne North in Adelaide (pictured), intended for construction of conventional powered vessels.

,……………  The defence minister did not directly answer some of the questions, which came from government Senator James Patterson, including what the taskforce has delivered and to who, saying only that it is “still active”.

The response suggests a possible misunderstanding of the question which referred the minister to Senate Estimates hearings in October when defence officials spoke of an earlier inter-departmental group assessing the feasibility of switching to a nuclear submarine program……..

In May 2020 the Prime Minister instructed the Department of Defence to examine the feasibility of acquiring the nuclear-powered submarines, and received a briefing on the outcomes – including it being possible – around six months later on December 18.

But a public announcement on the plan to establish a nuclear-powered fleet and scrap an existing $90 billion diesel powered submarine program was not made until September last year.

The government’s ultimate decision to scupper an existing $90 billion submarine project in favour of a nuclear powered fleet has caused diplomatic tensions, including French president Emanuel Macron accusing Mr Morrison of lying to him about the change…….

January 29, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia’s collapsing reputation – way way down on Transparency International Corruption Index

The way ahead

This report from an influential global agency adds weight to increasingly urgent calls for an investigative commission with similar powers at the federal level to Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission and the Independent Commission Against Corruption in NSW.

Australia should be able to do at least as well as Estonia

Australia hits new low on Transparency International Corruption Index

MICHAEL WEST MEDIA, |By Alan Austin, January 27, 2022  The decline of political and corporate standards in Australia over recent years is not just in the imagination of some critics. Transparency International released its annual corruption report yesterday which gives Australia the lowest score and global ranking since the series began in 1995.

The Corruption Perceptions Index is widely regarded as the leading global measure of public sector corruption. It offers an annual snapshot of the relative extent of corruption by ranking 180 countries and territories. Its methodology allows for comparison of scores across nations and from one year to the next.

Australia’s severe decline

Australia ranked seventh in the world in 1995 with a creditable score equivalent to 88 out of 100. Only New Zealand, Denmark, Singapore, Finland, Canada and Sweden scored better, but not by much.

Through the late 1990s and early 2000s, Australia slipped significantly in both scores and ranking, falling as low as 13th in 2000. But by 2007, Australia had recovered to 11th, and thereafter advanced further. Australia ranked eighth from 2009 to 2011 and resumed seventh slot in 2012. For the seven years from 2014 to 2020, Australia ranked between 11th and 13th.

Then suddenly last year, in just the one year, Australia tumbled from 11th to 18th in the global ranking. Its score fell from 77 where it has stayed for the last four years to a lowly 73. 

The seven countries which overtook Australia in combating corruption last year were the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Austria, Canada, Estonia, Ireland and Iceland.

Worst decade collapse in the developed world

Over the last ten years, the deterioration in Australia’s standing is the deepest of all advanced nations. From a 2011 score of 88, Australia tumbled 15 points to just 73 in 2021.

No other developed member of the Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) has fallen that far in that period. Of those 38 countries, 15 increased their scores over that time, 21 saw a decline and two remained unchanged……………..

Corruption on the public record

The specific reasons for Australia’s decline are not spelled out in Transparency’s report. Regular readers of MWM will, however, be familiar with the likely causes. They include the “sports rorts” affair, the highly problematic sale of floodwater rights, international money launderingpork barreling selected electorates, corrupt allocation of grant funds, allowing criminals to hide money in Australia’s property market, political fundraising, influence peddling, the East Timor electronic surveillance scandal and the outcomes of inquiries by state investigative commissions.

Some of these were identified in Transparency’s annual report last year, which reported:

“Australia faces several corruption challenges, including anonymous company ownership and money laundering. Following the FinCEN files, where thousands of leaked financial documents exposed a vast paper trail of money laundering across the globe, more than US$150 million were traced back to Australian banks.

“The country also shows severe deficiencies when it comes to corruption in international real estate. As a result of a 2006 law, properties can be bought and sold without due diligence and real estate agents, lawyers and accountants are not required to report suspicious activities. …………………………

“Despite multiple commitments, 131 countries have made no significant progress against corruption in the last decade. Two-thirds of countries score below 50, indicating that they have serious corruption problems, while 27 countries are at their lowest score ever.”

These include Australia.

The way ahead

This report from an influential global agency adds weight to increasingly urgent calls for an investigative commission with similar powers at the federal level to Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission and the Independent Commission Against Corruption in NSW.

Australia should be able to do at least as well as Estonia.

January 29, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

What You Should REALLY Know About Ukraine

the United States is standing with missiles on our doorstep.” Putin asked, “How would the Americans react if missiles were placed at the border with Canada or Mexico?”

The US Wants to Expand NATO  In addition to integrating Ukraine into the US-dominated economic sphere, Western planners also want to integrate Ukraine militarily. For years, the US has sought the expansion of NATO, an explicitly anti-Russian military alliance. NATO was originally billed as a counterforce to the Warsaw Pact during the Cold War, but after the demise of the Soviet Union, the US promised the new Russia that it would not expand NATO east of Germany. Despite this agreement, the US continued building out its military alliance,growing closer and closer to Russia’s borders and ignoring Russia’s objections.

The West Wants Investor-Friendly Policies in Ukraine   The backdrop to the 2014 coup and annexation cannot be understood without looking at the US strategy to open Ukrainian markets to foreign investors and give control of its economy to giant multinational corporations

The US Helped Overthrow Ukraine’s Elected President……. US Officials Were Caught Picking the New Government    …

Washington Used Nazis to Help Overthrow the Government   The Washington-backed opposition that toppled the government was fueled by far-right and openly Nazi elements like the Right Sector. One far-right group that grew out of the protests was the Azov Battalion, a paramilitary militia of neo-Nazi extremists.

What You Should Really Know About Ukraine, BRYCE GREENE  28 Jan 22, As tensions began to rise over Ukraine, US media produced a stream of articles attempting to explain the situation with headlines like “Ukraine Explained” (New York Times12/8/21) and “What You Need to Know About Tensions Between Ukraine and Russia” (Washington Post11/26/21). Sidebars would have notes that tried to provide context for the current headlines. But to truly understand this crisis, you would need to know much more than what these articles offered.These “explainer” pieces are emblematic of Ukraine coverage in the rest of corporate media, which almost universally gave a pro-Western view of US/Russia relations and the history behind them. Media echoed the point of view of those who believe the US should have an active role in Ukrainian politics and enforce its perspective through military threats.

The official line goes something like this: Russia is challenging NATO and the “international rules-based order” by threatening to invade Ukraine, and the Biden administration needed to deter Russia by providing more security guarantees to the Zelensky government. The official account seizes on Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula as a starting point for US/Russian relations, and as evidence of Putin’s goals of rebuilding Russia’s long-lost empire.

Russia’s demand that NATO cease its expansion to Russia’s borders is viewed as such an obviously impossible demand that it can only be understood as a pretext to invade Ukraine. Therefore, the US should send weapons and troops to Ukraine, and guarantee its security with military threats to Russia (FAIR.org1/15/22).

Continue reading

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Russia proposes US returns American nuclear weapons from NATO countries close to Russia

Russia proposes US returns American nuclear weapons from NATO countries stateside
According to Vladimir Yermakov, “currently there are about 200 American nuclear air bombs of the B61 family” in five non-nuclear NATO countries

MOSCOW, January 27. /TASS/. Moscow proposed to Washington to return all American nuclear weapons from NATO countries to US territory in the context of reviewing security guarantees, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control Vladimir Yermakov said in an interview with TASS.

“We insist that NATO’s ‘joint nuclear missions’ should be stopped immediately, all the American nuclear weapons be returned to US national territory and the infrastructure that allows their rapid deployment should be eliminated. This aspect is one of the elements of the package of measures proposed by us to Washington in the context of considering the issues of security guarantees,” he said.

According to the diplomat, “currently there are about 200 American nuclear air bombs of the B61 family” in five non-nuclear NATO countries. Thus, the alliance is capable of rapidly deploying nuclear weapons able to reach strategic targets on Russian territory. “[NATO countries] also retain the infrastructure ensuring rapid deployment of these [nuclear] weapons capable of reaching Russian territory and striking a wide range of targets, including strategic ones,” he pointed out.

At the same time, NATO engages non-nuclear countries in training for using American nuclear weapons against Russia. “Interaction between NATO member countries in joint nuclear planning is underway. NATO ‘joint nuclear missions’ take place with non-nuclear alliance members involved in training on the use of American nuclear weapons against us,” the diplomat stressed.

He noted that the US is modernizing its nuclear arsenal with a view of the increased applicability of such weapons in real conditions, above all, in Europe. “As for modernization, the US is consistently implementing a campaign on the renovation of practically all the components of the nuclear arsenal. The B61 air bombs in their newest B61-12 modification will have a decreased or variable yield but increased precision. This raises the question, which containment scenarios justify such ‘calibration?’ This clearly means betting on a ‘higher applicability’ of such weapons under real conditions, first of all, in Europe,” the diplomat stated.

On December 17, 2021, the Russian Foreign Ministry published draft agreements between Moscow and Washington on security guarantees and the measures of ensuring the security of Russia and NATO member states. The proposed measures include guarantees that NATO will not advance eastward, including the accession of Ukraine and other countries into the alliance, as well as the non-deployment of serious offensive weapons, including nuclear ones. On January 26, the US and NATO submitted to Russia their written response to Moscow’s proposal on security guarantees.

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Elon Musk SpaceX rocket on collision course with moon.

Elon Musk SpaceX rocket on collision course with moon

By Georgina Rannard
BBC News  A rocket launched by Elon Musk’s space exploration company is on course to crash into the Moon and explode.

The Falcon 9 booster was launched in 2015 but after completing its mission, it did not have enough fuel to return towards Earth and instead remained in space.

Astronomer Jonathan McDowell told BBC News it will be the first known uncontrolled rocket collision with the Moon……..

It was part of Mr Musk’s space exploration programme SpaceX, a commercial company that ultimately aims to get humans living on other planets.

Since 2015 the rocket has been pulled by different gravitational forces of the Earth, Moon and Sun, making its path somewhat “chaotic”, explains Prof McDowell from the US-based Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

“It’s been dead – just following the laws of gravity.”

It’s joined millions of other pieces of space junk – machinery discarded in space after completing missions without enough energy to return to Earth.

“Over the decades there have been maybe 50 large objects that we’ve totally lost track of. This may have happened a bunch of times before, we just didn’t notice. This would be the first confirmed case,” Prof McDowell says………………….

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NATO practices nuclear missile sorties near borders of the Russia-Belarus Union

NATO practices nuclear missile sorties near Union State borders — Belarus’ security chief

A breach of international norms and elementary rules of good neighborly relations by neighboring countries is already turning into an alarming trend, Alexander Volfovich stated

MINSK, January 28. /TASS/. The NATO Air Force is practicing sorties with cruise missiles, including with nuclear warheads, near the borders of the Russia-Belarus Union State, State Secretary of the Belarusian Security Council Alexander Volfovich said on Friday.

“The head of state drew attention to intensified flights by US strategic bombers near the borders of the Union State,” the BelTA news agency quoted Volfovich as saying.

“In our assessments, this means that the NATO Air Force is practicing employing cruise missiles, including those with nuclear warheads,” he said……………..

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Scientists say no to Solar Geoengineering

Scientists say no to Solar Geoengineering
28 Jan 22, More than 60 senior climate scientists and governance scholars from around the world have launched a global initiative calling for an International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment