Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear Waste Dispute in Court Wednesday 15 June 

Kimba Radioactive Waste Facility Judicial Review in Federal Court. Wednesday 15 June 2022:
initial directions hearing and hearing on discovery

Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC ICN 8603 
• The first directions hearing will occur in the Federal Court of Australia this Wednesday at
9:00am in Adelaide, with some solicitors and counsel attending by MS Teams.
• The directions hearing will start off the long process of judicial review on the facility.
• An immediate issue is that the former Minister Pitt would not provide the Barngarla
documents Barngarla needed for the judicial review. It is not clear what the new Labor
Minister’s position is now that they have won Government.
• The dispute on discovery includes records of all of the commitments Minister Pitt and
Minister Canavan made that a facility would not be placed on an unwilling community.
Minister Pitt abandoned this requirement in his reasons when he made the declaration to
select Napandee.

The Government is refusing to provide these records and the matter may now need to be
argued as a contested discovery application.
• Any dispute on discovery is likely to take several months.
• Barngarla, Indigenous leaders around Australia, and the environmental movement have all
called for the declaration to be withdrawn now that Labor has won Government.
Barngarla spokesperson quote:
“There were serious failings when the National Party selected Napandee, too many to outline of the area, trying to legislate away judicial review, breaching UNDRIP and abandoning the test ofbroad community support at the last minute without any warning to anyone. The former Ministerwouldn’t provide us the material we need to run our case. Leaving aside these tricks and theseefforts to exhaust us, we remain confident that we will win this if we have to go to Court. However,because of the terrible mishandling by the National Party, we again call upon the new Labor Ministerto quash the declaration. We do not want to spend the next two years in Court against the LaborGovernment. They know what the National Party did and they should do the right thing andwithdraw the declaration.”
For further comment, please contact: barngarlamedia@gmail.comhere.They included, denying the First Peoples the right to vote, not conducting a proper heritage survey

June 14, 2022 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, legal | Leave a comment

Julian Assange’s wife Stella Moris reveals how they raise children together while he is in jail waiting an extradition decision

In court, Julian has not been permitted to sit with his lawyers. And despite many applications since January 21, he has not been allowed to attend his own court hearings in person., My Australian husband Julian Assange is fighting for his life from within the confines of a three-by-two-metre cell in Britain’s harshest prison, Belmarsh.

The US has accused him of espionage as a result of his work with WikiLeaks in 2010-2011 and wants to extradite him to face court.

If his extradition goes ahead, Julian faces a maximum 175-year prison sentence. As his wife, I fear he will be buried in the deepest, darkest corner of the US prison system until he dies.

During another extradition hearing last year a UK magistrate blocked Julian’s transfer to the US over fears of “oppressive” conditions that could drive him to take his life.

On July 3, Julian turns 51. It will be the fourth year he has spent his birthday alone in a cell, without conviction.

Is our time together running out?

When Julian is taken from his cell to the prison yard he tilts his head up so his eyes can focus on the distance. If he narrows his eyes, the double razor wire above becomes a blur. Beyond is the open sky.

Julian recently discovered a family of nesting magpies. He spotted their home subversively nestled between the razor wire. I think our family is like those magpies.

When we are together, we are always a few metres from their nest. Our children — Gabriel, who is five, and Max, three — only have memories of their father within the brutal surroundings of Belmarsh prison.

We don’t know how long our children have left with their father. We don’t know if we can visit him or even talk to him on the phone. If the extradition goes ahead, US authorities retain the right to put Julian in conditions so cruel that no one in his position is likely to survive.

It is impossible for Julian and me to escape a feeling that he is on death row. Our weekly visits may be the only time we have left together. But for how much longer? A few months more, a few weeks, a few days and then only a few hours? I fear in the end we will count the minutes and the seconds.

Guards search inside my children’s mouths

Were it not for our children, this approaching catastrophe would be all-consuming. But Julian and I know these may be the only memories that our children will have of their father. We make our visits as joyous as possible.

I don’t need to explain to Gabriel and Max the reality of this place where we go to visit their father. They live it. The children walk under razor wire and past layers and layers of security to reach their daddy.

Guards search inside their mouths, behind their ears and under their feet. The prison dogs sniff them head to toe, front and back.

Last week, Gabriel slipped some daisies he had picked by the prison walls into his pocket to give to his father. After he passed through the metal detector his daisies were confiscated during the pat-down search by one of the guards, albeit reluctantly.

During visits, our family is allowed to embrace at the beginning and end. We can hold each others’ hands across the table. Julian and I are not allowed to kiss. But Julian would rather kiss his wife and be penalised than have that taken away from him too. So, we kiss.

Precious moments for life lessons

The children love visiting their daddy. Julian reads them stories. Gabriel shares his father’s fascination with numbers. Julian teaches them nifty tricks: the best way to peel an orange, how to open chips without losing any of the contents.

These things may sound small to most people, but they are our precious moments together. A canteen selling chips and oranges and the prison’s collection of children’s books are all that is on offer in the visitor’s hall we share with 30-or-so prisoners and their families once or twice a week.

On March 23, we were married in Belmarsh. The prison – normally filled with tragedy and isolation – was turned on its head for a few hours to celebrate our love and commitment. Our nest in the razor wire.

The last time the media photographed Julian was in 2019, through the scratched windows of a prison van.  The UK Authorities insist that our wedding photos not be made public ‘on security grounds’. In court, Julian has not been permitted to sit with his lawyers. And despite many applications since January 21, he has not been allowed to attend his own court hearings in person.

June 14, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Australia’s Energy Minister rejects nuclear power push

Hawkesbury Gazette By Paul Osborne and Dominic Giannini June 9 2022 

Energy Minister Chris Bowen has attacked the Nationals for suggesting nuclear power be considered in Australia’s energy mix, saying the party had no credibility after nine years in government.

Mr Bowen says nuclear would be the most expensive form of energy when Australians are already facing rising costs and inflationary pressures.

“Seriously? Nine years in office and then coming up with bright ideas on the other side of the election is point one. No credibility,” he said on Thursday.

“Nuclear is the most expensive form of energy. We have a cost of living crisis, energy prices going through the roof and what’s their big bright idea? Let’s have the most expensive form of energy we can possibly think of.”

…………………..  Labor has rejected the technology as too expensive and not a serious solution to reducing power costs or cutting emissions.

June 14, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull labels Peter Dutton a ‘belligerent blusterer’ over nuclear submarines claim., 13 June 22,

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has criticised previous defence minister Peter Dutton over the handling of the nuclear submarine deal with France.

Claims from Opposition leader Peter Dutton he tried to buy two US nuclear submarines to meet a capability shortfall have been labelled as “belligerent” bluster by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Mr Turnbull heavily criticised the former defence minister’s role in the scrapping of a French submarine deal in favour of acquiring nuclear vessels as part of the AUKUS alliance

With Australia set to get its own nuclear submarines by the late 2030s, Mr Dutton said he had planned to buy two Virginia-class subs from the US by 2030 in order to plug a gap for the vessels.

“It was just more blustering from Dutton … he’s a belligerent blusterer who wrecked a submarine contract,” Mr Turnbull told ABC radio on Monday.

“We’re now in a position where we don’t have any submarine program at all.

“Between (former prime minister Scott) Morrison and Dutton they did enormous damage to Australia’s national security.”

Former defence department secretary Dennis Richardson said it was wishful thinking that Australia could have received two American nuclear submarines by the end of the decade.

He took issue with the comments raised about the acquisition of US vessels as part of AUKUS.

“The more the Americans hear senior Australians talk about the possibility of getting them in five years’ time or in 10 years’ time, the more people in the American system scratch their heads and ask themselves whether they’re dealing with a country that seriously understands the depth of the challenge,” he said.

“It’s a long shot to think that we’ll get nuclear-powered submarines from the Americans by 2030.”

Mr Richardson said Australia did not have the port facilities needed to service nuclear submarines from America, even if they were acquired.

“The more the Americans hear senior Australians talk about the possibility of getting them in five years’ time or in 10 years’ time, the more people in the American system scratch their heads and ask themselves whether they’re dealing with a country that seriously understands the depth of the challenge,” he said.

“It’s a long shot to think that we’ll get nuclear-powered submarines from the Americans by 2030.”

Mr Richardson said Australia did not have the port facilities needed to service nuclear submarines from America, even if they were acquired.

“The speed with which we have moved to settle this matter, put a line underneath it and to move forward was very much welcomed by the French minister (for defence Sebastien Lecornu),” Mr Marles said

“France and Australia have so much in common,” he added, noting the European nation’s strong presence in the Pacific region.

Mr Albanese is reportedly planning to visit Paris in the coming weeks to further repair the diplomatic relationship.

June 14, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Disgraced Victorian Liberal MP Tim Smith – quitting politics – backs Dutton’s call for nuclear power

Smith backs Dutton’s nuclear push as colleagues dodge debate, By Annika Smethurst, The Age June 12, 2022 Victorian Coalition leaders won’t endorse calls from their federal counterparts to consider nuclear energy generation, despite the plan having the support of several state MPs.

Following the federal election loss, newly installed Liberal leader Peter Dutton and Nationals leader David Littleproud have both hinted that nuclear energy could be part of the Coalition’s future policy platform…………….

While nuclear power has some support among Victorian Coalition MPs, the state opposition has attempted to distance itself from the federal push, repeatedly refusing to endorse or reject nuclear energy when approached by The Age.

In response to individual questions on the policy, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy, Victorian Nationals’ leader Peter Walsh and shadow minister for energy and renewables Craig Ondarchie issued a joint statement claiming nuclear energy in Australia is regulated by the Commonwealth, and therefore not a state issue.

“As such any move would need to be taken at a federal level,” the Coalition spokesman said.

The statement was slammed by outgoing Liberal MP and former shadow attorney-general Tim Smith, who said: “Any serious opposition or government must at the very least put nuclear energy on the table.”

There is currently a federal ban prohibiting the use of nuclear materials for energy production, while Victorian legislation prohibits uranium and thorium mining and exploration………………………..

Another backbencher told The Age there should be an open conversation about the use of nuclear technologies given soaring energy costs.

Smith, who is quitting politics in November after crashing his car while drink-driving last year, agreed, saying the federal debate was both “timely and welcome” given the state’s baseload energy requirements……………………

June 14, 2022 Posted by | politics, Victoria | Leave a comment

Sky News Australia is a global hub for climate misinformation, report says

Sky News Australia is a global hub for climate misinformation, report says

Murdoch-owned channel creates and distributes content promoting climate scepticism across the world, analysis finds

June 14, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

”Zero chance of any nuclear power stations in Britain in the next decade”

”…………………. Former Business Energy and Industrial Strategy minister Jesse
Norman was one of the back-bench Tory MPs submitting a letter of no
confidence in the Prime Minister this week. He told Mr Johnson that
“Sensible planning has been replaced by empty rhetoric” under his
leadership. In his letter, Mr Norman poured cold water on hopes
that sites like Moorside in Copeland and Hinkley will see new nuclear in
coming years. “As a former energy minister I can tell you that there is,
for example, zero chance that this or any government will be able to build
a nuclear power station a year at any point in the next decade.” ………….

Labour member of Copeland Council’s Strategic Nuclear Energy Board Joseph
Ghayouba said: “He’s confirmed what local people have been saying for a
long time. The Conservative Party has been lying to the people of Copeland
for years. “Promising new nuclear and none ever appears. To get elected
Trudy Harrison promised to secure Moorside then broke her promise and said
there wasn’t a “magic money tree” for the project. Now it’s clear the
Conservatives have no plan to develop new nuclear in Copeland.”……….. Carlisle News & Star 13th June 2022

June 14, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japanese youths at Vienna Nuclear Ban Treaty meeting, call for abolition of nuclear weapons 

Japanese youths to call for abolition of nuclear weapons at Vienna meeting,   Fourteen Japanese youths plan to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons at the first meeting of signatories to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Vienna later this month.

In an online meeting on Sunday, Takahashi Yuta, a university student from Hiroshima, said the younger generation must take over from the atomic-bomb survivors, or hibakusha.

He said many young people will travel to the meeting in Vienna, and he wants to convey the hibakushas’ voices to the world.

Okuno Kako, another university student from Hiroshima, is also working on environmental

Okuno said if nuclear weapons are used, they would cause temperatures to fall globally. She added that nuclear tests and the production of nuclear weapons also adversely affect the environment.

She said she wants to appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons from the viewpoint of both environmental protection and peace, although they may appear to be unrelated.

The students plan to explain the hibakushas’ experiences at events organized by non-governmental organizations, and to give speeches calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

They also hope to convey the hibakushas’ views to representatives of the signatory countries in Vienna.

June 14, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment