Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

MP Susan Templeman represents Australia at landmark nuclear weapons ban treaty in Vienna 

MP Susan Templeman represents Australia at landmark nuclear weapons ban treaty in Vienna ttps://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/story/7791272/mp-susan-templeman-represents-australia-at-landmark-nuclear-weapons-ban-treaty-in-vienna/Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman has attended the first Meeting of State Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

Joining the conference as an observer, the Labor MP’s attendance was welcomed by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). A spokesperson said they see see it as “recognition the newly-elected federal government is willing to engage with this critical meeting as a step towards signature and ratification [of the treaty]”.

Held from June 21 to 23 in Vienna, Austria, Australia’s attendance as an observer will provide insights into how states parties intend to address serious questions about the treaty, including:


  • the adequacy of the TPNW’s verification and enforcement regime;
  • interaction with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which the Australian Government considers to be the cornerstone of the international disarmament and non-proliferation regime;
  • how states parties will work to achieve universal support, especially that of nuclear-weapon states.

“It was great to be in Austria to observe the first Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on behalf of Australia,” said Ms Templeman.

“Australia shares the ambition of TPNW states parties of a world free of nuclear weapons.”

Australia is not a party to the TPNW and Ms Templeman’s attendance as an observer does not represent a decision to join the treaty.

ICAN Australia campaigner Jemila Rushton, who is also in Vienna this week for the historic meeting, welcomed the Australian government’s decision to participate.

“We’re delighted that Australia will be officially represented at this important meeting. It’s a first step towards our country becoming a TPNW state party,” she said.

Australia will also attend the fourth Conference on the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons, hosted by Austria.

June 23, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

China accuses the US and UK of hypocrisy on press freedom for calling out Beijing’s crackdowns while putting Australian Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on trial for espionage

  • China accuses US and UK of hypocrisy over extradition of Julian Assange 
  • Assange set to face charges in the US over leaking of classified US documents
  • Chinese say the ‘trumped up’ charges expose press freedom double standards
  • Australian government says it is quietly discussing the case with US authorities

By DAVID SOUTHWELL FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA 21 June 2022  China has branded US and UK hypocrites on press freedom over the looming extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to face espionage charges that could land the Australian in jail for life.

Assange’s extradition to the US to face charges over the leaking of thousands of official secrets has been approved by British Home Secretary Priti Patel after a protracted legal battle.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin accused the US of pursuing ‘trumped up’ charges against Assange for exposing secrets about the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and about the CIA’s cyber attacks against other countries. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that the US and UK were conspiring against Assange using ‘trumped up’ charges to punish him for exposing US wrongdoing.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that the US and UK were conspiring against Assange using ‘trumped up’ charges to punish him for exposing US wrongdoing.

‘The US and Britain are cooperating in cross-border crackdowns on certain individuals,’ he said.

The case of Assange is a mirror that shows how hypocritical the US and Britain’s claim to uphold press freedom is. 

‘People enjoy fully freedoms to expose other countries and will be regarded as heroes if they do so, but they will be severely punished and considered to be criminals if they expose their own country or its allies and partners.’

………  Mr Wenbin said all eyes would be on Mr Assange’s human rights and expressed the hope that ‘justice’ would prevail over ‘abuse and hegemony’.

…………..  His defenders argue he exposed US war crimes and human rights abuses in Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, Iraq, and Afghanistan, as well as revealing the CIA’s covert activities against its own citizens…………………..

There have been calls for Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to make a public plea on behalf of Assange, which so far he has resisted.

Employment Minister Tony Burke said the government was making quiet ‘behind-the-scenes’ representations to the US over the case..……………. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10936875/China-calls-UK-press-freedom-hypocrites-Julian-Assange-trial.html

June 23, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, politics international | Leave a comment

Australia’s Nuclear past and future

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/nightlife/australias-nuclear-past-and-future/13941420  Richard Broinowsli on ABC Radio, 22 June 22, Australia’s complex relationship with nuclear technology has crossed most aspects of the industry – from uranium mining through to current defence policies. Our guest – former diplomat, Richard Broinowski has updated his authoritative account of Australia’s nuclear journey to include recent events such as the AUKUS deal.

June 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

People Don’t Think Hard Enough About What Nuclear War Is And What It Would Mean

Caitlin Johnstone,  https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/people-dont-think-hard-enough-about 23 June 22,

There’s a John Mearsheimer video clip from 2016 that’s going viral on Twitter right now, as old John Mearsheimer clips tend to do in the year 2022 when his predictions that western actions would lead to the destruction of Ukraine are coming horrifyingly true.

In response to a question about what the worst US foreign policy disaster has been, Mearsheimer agreed with a fellow panelist that at that moment Iraq looked like the worst, but said he believed US policy on Ukraine would prove much worse in coming years. He spoke of the fact that Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons, and that it’s entirely possible those weapons will be used if Russia feels threatened.

Because the Cold War is in the distant past, most people, especially younger people, haven’t thought a lot about nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence, and they tend to be quite cavalier in their comments about nuclear weapons, and this makes me very nervous,” Mearsheimer said.

It makes me nervous too. Especially when we’ve got a steadily escalating proxy war which the standoff in Lithuania could easily see spin out into a direct hot war between Russia and NATO powers, and when we hear the UK’s top army general telling troops to prepare for World War Three.

Most of what I see in public discourse about escalating aggressions between the US power alliance and Russia reflects the cavalier attitude Mearsheimer spoke of in 2016, as do my own interactions with people online. Most of what I’m seeing in the behavior of NATO powers indicates this cavalier attitude about nuclear weapons as well. People, from the rank-and-file public to the upper echelons of empire management, don’t seem to be thinking very hard about what nuclear war is and what it would mean.

As Mearsheimer said, this does seem to be because we’re so removed now from the days when everyone was acutely aware that the missiles could start flying at any time.

It just doesn’t sit well with people’s understanding of the world that it could all end through the same nuclear armageddon scenario their grandparents used to worry about. If two men were holding guns to each other’s heads it would be experienced as very dangerous at first, but after a while if nobody pulled the trigger the emotional tension would begin to diminish. If years went by and the men got older it would diminish even further. If they got so old they couldn’t hold the guns anymore and had their children take over for them, and then their children’s children years later, the emotional experience of the standoff would be all but forgotten.

But the guns never got any less deadly. The fact that nuclear war hasn’t happened yet means only that: that it hasn’t happened yet. Things that have never happened before happen all the time. There didn’t used to be nuclear weapons, now there are. Earth is currently a habitable planet, one day soon it may not be.

We came within a hair’s breadth of wiping ourselves out during the last cold war, not just once but many times. Any amount of nuclear brinkmanship opens up the possibility of nuclear war erupting in ways that are too hard to anticipate and plan for, because there are too many small moving parts, too many ways a nuke could be detonated as a result of technical malfunction, miscommunication, miscalculation and/or misunderstanding. The further things escalate between the world’s two nuclear superpowers, the greater the likelihood of this happening.

And of course the powerful have every reason to encourage this way of thinking to continue. If a critical mass of the population really understood that their lives are being threatened with nuclear war for no other reason than the US empire’s willingness to risk everything to secure planetary hegemony, they would immediately become hard to deal with. Empire managers plan on not just engaging in nuclear brinkmanship but also making things much harder on the public financially in their long-term agendas against Russia and China, and the only way everyone plays along with this is if they are kept from understanding what’s being done to them.

This is why the media have been acting so strange in recent years. Agendas are being rolled out which no sane person would consent to if they fully understood them, so their consent needs to be manufactured with massive amounts of propaganda. It’s also why internet censorship has taken a high priority during that same period of time: can’t have people using their newfound information-sharing capability to interfere in the narrative manipulations of the empire.

We’re being sedated into a propaganda-induced coma while immensely powerful people play profoundly dangerous games with our lives. It is in our interest to find a way to awaken as soon as possible.

June 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Let us move towards a world without nuclear weapons

Joint Statement by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) – First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – Vienna, Austria,
21-23 June 2022

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation (IFRC), which is composed of 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, are honored to jointly address this first meeting of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
The Japanese Red Cross Society and the ICRC were among the first responders to the atomic bombings of 1945. Having understood the horrors of nuclear warfare and the limits of our capacity to help, the international Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent is steadfastly committed to ensuring that these weapons are never again used and are eliminated.

The new international legal norm comprehensively prohibiting nuclear weapons in the TPNW is an historic achievement. It reflects global revulsion towards these weapons. It honors the hopes and dreams of atomic bomb survivors or “hibakusha” and the memory of so many victims who have not lived to see this day. The Japanese Red Cross, through its hospitals for hibakusha in Hiroshima and Nagasaki has for decades come to know and care for tens of thousands of survivors. As a representative of Japanese Red Cross youth, I would like to share some of what we have learned from the hibakusha.

Hibakusha have taught us why the scenes they lived through must “never again” happen anywhere on this earth. Their persistence, patience and humility have moved us and motivated us. As fewer and fewer hibakusha remain with us today Japanese Red Cross youth are committed to keeping their voices and stories alive for future generations. Without the testimony of the hibakusha nuclear weapons can become just a military-technical abstraction devoid of the ghastly horrors they rain down upon people and their societies. With the TPNW we now have a crucial tool that most hibakusha could only dream of: a global treaty that recognizes the horrors of nuclear weapons and bans them on humanitarian, moral and legal grounds. We thank the States Parties for responding to the appeal of humanity by establishing this legacy and invite all others to do the same.

Mr. President,

The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has consistently called for the prohibition of nuclear weapons since 1945. Recent advocacy efforts were launched by a resolution of our 2011 Council of Delegates that helped re-frame the nuclear weapons issue in human terms. The ICRC and National Societies throughout the world played a key role in the “humanitarian initiative” on nuclear weapons that gave rise to the TPNW and in supporting its negotiation in 2017.

Tomorrow, the same Council of Delegates is expected to adopt a new resolution and multi-year Action Plan on nuclear weapons that will welcome the adoption and entry into force of the TPNW and recommit the Movement to continuing work in all contexts to reduce the risks of nuclear weapon use and to keeping the catastrophic human costs of these weapons at the center of national and international debates. The draft resolution commits the Movement to “seizing with determination and urgency the unique opportunities provided by the entry into force of the TPNW to ensure that it ushers in a new era for nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation”. Our Movement will work tirelessly to promote all States’ adherence to the TPNW and its implementation as well as adherence to and faithful implementation of other mutually reinforcing international legal instruments on nuclear weapons.

We are grateful that article 7.5 of the TPNW recognizes the ICRC, the IFRC and National Red Cross and Crescent Societies as potential partners in providing assistance for implementation of the treaty and most notably assistance for the victims of nuclear weapon use or testing.

As a Movement with long experience assisting hibakusha while also assisting the victims of radiation releases following several major accidents at civilian nuclear facilities, we appreciate the trust given to us by States Parties. We warmly welcome the draft Action Plan being considered by this meeting and stand ready to support States Parties in treaty universalization, national legislation where needed, as well as in victim assistance. We look forward to opportunities to engage with States Parties in need of assistance in the preparation of the national plans called for in the draft action plan. We would also consider expanding our own support for victim assistance, to the extent possible, based on such plans and available resources.

In closing, we call upon all States to recognize the crucial role that the TPNW plays in international efforts to prevent the “catastrophic consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons” that all States Parties to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty have recognized.

States have a solemn responsibility to prevent these consequences, to reduce the risk that nuclear weapons will ever again be used and to move towards a world without nuclear weapons.

The TPNW now provides a road map to this end. Nuclear disarmament is a legal obligation under the NPT, a moral duty, and above all, a humanitarian imperative aimed at nothing less than ensuring the survival of humanity.

June 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fiji adopts nuclear weapons ban treaty

Fiji adopts nuclear treaty     https://www.fijitimes.com/fiji-adopts-nuclear-treaty/ WANSHIKA KUMAR 23 June, 2022, 

The cost of producing nuclear weapons is keeping resources away from addressing issues that matter like climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and global food shortage.

This was the view expressed by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during the first Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapon.

Fiji joined over 86 states to adopt a treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons and take the first step back from the knife edge of Armageddon.

Mr Bainimarama said they would work with all states to ensure a nuclear-free world and to heal the wounds of a dark nuclear legacy that continued to harm lives and communities throughout the region.

It is not idealism that convinced us, it is level-headed commonsense that calls on us to do away with this means of species extinction,” he said.

“Neither are we the fringe of the debate, we are a coalition, united by a shared value for human life.”

He said Fiji had contributed more of its sons and daughters to United Nations peacekeeping missions than any other country per capita.

“A global food crisis rages on a scale not seen in our lifetimes and a runaway climate crisis threatening livelihoods and the very future of our civilisation.

“Nuclear weapons will never defeat these enemies, they do not feed us, and they do not clothe us or keep out the rising seas.


“They are relics, multitrillion dollar monuments to the worst horror that war can create. They epitomise the same short-sightedness that created the climate crisis, worsen the pandemic and continues to keep food from the hungry.

“Worse, the staggering expense cripples our response to these challenges.”

Mr Bainimarama said the region had been used as a testing ground for nuclear weapons, and the perpetrators had turned a blind eye to the repercussions of their actions.

“We welcome this treaty’s consideration of the plight of those affected by the use and testing of nuclear weapons who have been silenced and denied the care and support they needed.

“I urge us to go further for these survivors by creating a policy framework that considers the existential impact on the nuclear testing of our oceans and environment, exacerbated by the climate crisis, and its long term consequences of the displacement of communities from the traditional lands due to ever encroaching nuclear waste.”

June 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The UK is searching the sea for a nuclear dump site with huge risks to marine life

 ”Protections clearly mean nothing when the nuclear waste industry wants to pave the way to a deep nuclear dump.”

By Charlie Jaay  •  euro news green,  22/06/2022

A new report delivers a damning verdict on the proposed seismic blasting in the Irish Sea.

The UK government’s Nuclear Waste Services (NWS) is set to carry out seismic surveys off the Cumbrian Coast between July and August this year. 

They are looking for a place to dispose of the waste produced by Britain’s nuclear reactors.

The report, commissioned by Radiation Free Lakeland, calls for these plans to be postponed, claiming the impact assessment by NWS is “deeply inadequate” and “lacking in appropriate scientific and academic rigour”.

What is seismic blasting?

Seismic blasting is a process that allows scientists to find out more about the geography of the sea bed. Loud, repetitive blasts of sound are produced from an underwater airgun – like a powerful horn – and their echoes are measured to map the underwater rocks

The airgun will fire every 10 to 15 seconds, throughout the survey period of around one month.

The surveys, commissioned by NWS, will be looking into the possibility of locating a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF). Deep under the seabed, this facility will be used to dispose of the UK’s toxic legacy of high level nuclear waste – the highly radioactive byproducts of nuclear reactors. 

Shearwater GeoServices, the company which last year saw the high court put an end to its work on South Africa’s ecologically sensitive Wild Coast, is carrying out the investigations.

According to a freedom of information request, a licence of exemption to carry out these surveys was given to NWS for ‘scientific research’. But Radiation Free Lakeland says the survey is not for ‘scientific research’ but a plan to dispose of nuclear waste.

“We commissioned an independent report because we need to counter the PR spin from the nuclear waste industry who are calling the seismic testing ‘non-invasive scientific research,’” says Marianne Birkby, Founder of the campaign group.

She argues that, rather than seismic blasting for scientific purposes, the plans facilitate a commercial venture for a “deep nuclear dump for heat generating nuclear waste.”

A limited company that wants to enable ever more nuclear waste from new nuclear builds, Radioactive Waste Management, is behind it, Birkby claims.

“Despite the marine protections this part of the Irish Sea has, it is an outrage that independent environmental impact assessments have not been carried out. Protections clearly mean nothing when the nuclear waste industry wants to pave the way to a deep nuclear dump.”

In response to the claims, NWS says “there is no requirement to undertake a public consultation for these surveys.”……

Seismic surveys can devastate marine life

Low frequency sounds generated by a single seismic airgun can extend over large distances, particularly in deeper waters.

They have been recorded at locations up to 4,000 kilometres from the source, and can blanket areas of up to 300,000 square kilometres with noise. Studies have shown that, because seismic surveys can disturb, injure or kill a wide variety of marine life, they can impact entire ecosystems.

Zooplankton are the base of the marine food chain and are extremely important to our ocean’s health. They are also very vulnerable to these loud noises, according to scientists.

Researchers have found that seismic surveys significantly increase the death rates of zooplankton in the 1.2 kilometre range they tested, killing all larval krill in the range.

Radiation Free Lakeland’s report says the surveys will take place when zooplankton populations are expected to be high. These creatures provide a food source for a wide variety of organisms including baleen whales, basking sharks and fish which, in turn, feed many other species.

Many other marine animals rely on sound for survival too. Seismic testing can interfere with basic functions such as communication, navigation, feeding and mating.

“Noise exposure can be a problem for a wide variety of Cetaceans-dolphins, porpoises and whales,” according to the Zoological Society of London’s Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme.

“Noise related impacts have also been causally linked to many cetacean stranding and mass stranding events globally.”

The NWS investigation will focus on a survey area five to 20 kilometres off the Cumbrian coast in the north west of England in an area of approximately 250 square kilometres. The proposed GDF may extend over an area of 25 kilometres square, deep beneath the seabed.

This region is one of a number of designated Marine Conservation Zones in the Irish Sea. It has protected habitats and is home to a number of European protected species, such as sea turtles, minke whales, common and bottlenose dolphins, and harbour porpoises…………………

Marine habitats are already under huge pressure from pollution, irresponsible development and bottom trawling – as well as the consequences of climate change, she explains.  Joan Edwards. Director of Policy at the Wildlife Trusts

We are concerned about the implications of seismic testing in the Irish Sea, which evidence shows can be devastating for marine life.”

The report claims many of the hugely important marine species found in the area have not been studied for their sensitivity to seismic surveys.

A ‘marked lack of transparency’ from Nuclear Waste Services

Marine radioactivity researcher and consultant Tim Deere-Jones is the author of Radiation Free Lakeland’s report. He says that NWS’s licence application for the seismic survey is characterised by “a marked lack of transparency.”

We are concerned about the implications of seismic testing in the Irish Sea, which evidence shows can be devastating for marine life.”

The report claims many of the hugely important marine species found in the area have not been studied for their sensitivity to seismic surveys.

A ‘marked lack of transparency’ from Nuclear Waste Services

Marine radioactivity researcher and consultant Tim Deere-Jones is the author of Radiation Free Lakeland’s report. He says that NWS’s licence application for the seismic survey is characterised by “a marked lack of transparency.”

The UK government, similar to many others, favours deep geological disposal to deal with the most radioactive waste – whether deep below ground or deep beneath the seabed.

However, there are still many concerns about this £53 billion (€62 billion) facility in the Irish Sea, which has not been tried or tested and provides no guarantees of safety. https://reliefweb.int/report/world/let-us-move-towards-world-without-nuclear-weapons

June 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gippsland set to be named as Australia’s first offshore wind zone — RenewEconomy

Victoria’s Gippsland coast could soon host to Australia’s first offshore wind projects and named the first ‘special region’ by the Albanese government. The post Gippsland set to be named as Australia’s first offshore wind zone appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Gippsland set to be named as Australia’s first offshore wind zone — RenewEconomy

June 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Renewables relieve price pressure as AEMO brings market back with training wheels — RenewEconomy

AEMO starts staged return of National Electricity Market, with renewables providing some relief from the heavy cost of fossil fuels. The post Renewables relieve price pressure as AEMO brings market back with training wheels appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Renewables relieve price pressure as AEMO brings market back with training wheels — RenewEconomy

June 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Global clean energy investment “finally” starts to increase, says IEA — RenewEconomy

IEA says clean energy investment is “finally” starting to rise again and is expected to exceed $US1.4 trillion in 2022, but there are problems ahead. The post Global clean energy investment “finally” starts to increase, says IEA appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Global clean energy investment “finally” starts to increase, says IEA — RenewEconomy

June 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 23 Energy News — geoharvey

Science and Technology: ¶ “Solar Power Plants Are More Missile Resistant” • Probably all of us have seen them the images of death and destruction in Ukraine. Every one has been heart rending. But, there’s one interesting piece of good news that came out of the country recently. It is the proof that it’s pretty […]

June 23 Energy News — geoharvey

June 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Evergen to invest more in solar and battery controls after fund raising led by FRV — RenewEconomy

NSW-based energy software company closes $A15 million fundraising round led by FRV-X, and says new federal government is a green light for investors. The post Evergen to invest more in solar and battery controls after fund raising led by FRV appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Evergen to invest more in solar and battery controls after fund raising led by FRV — RenewEconomy

June 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Russia’s justifications for invasion are not persuasive — IPPNW peace and health blog

The Russian government’s justifications for its war in Ukraine―the largest, most destructive military operation in Europe since World War II―are not persuasive.  Although Russian President Vladimir Putin’s primary argument in defense of the Russian invasion has been the threat of Ukraine joining NATO, that action, had it occurred, would have been perfectly legitimate under international law. […]

Russia’s justifications for invasion are not persuasive — IPPNW peace and health blog

June 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear test survivors’ plea for Australia to sign treaty, as they speak at UN meeting

ABC North and West SA / 21 June 22, By Bethanie Alderson  Three generations of First Nations survivors of historic nuclear tests have told the United Nations that Australia must do more to address the devastating impact the tests have had on their families. 

Key points:

  • Three First Nations survivors of nuclear testing share their stories at a United Nations meeting
  • They are calling on the Australian government to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
  • The survivors say they are facing intergenerational trauma from nuclear tests carried out in the 1950s in outback South Australia

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) invited survivors to address a conference in Vienna, more than 60 years after nuclear bombs were detonated in the South Australian outback.

Yankunytjatjara woman Karina Lester, Kokatha elder Sue Coleman-Haseldine and her granddaughter, Mia Haseldine, shared their experiences via video link from Port Augusta.

The women told the conference how the tests conducted by the British government at Maralinga and Emu Field in the 1950s had affected the health of successive generations of Aboriginal families from the region.

They called on the Australian government to sign the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which came into force in January last year.

Intergenerational toll

Survivor June Lennon, who was in the audience, said she was only a week old when her father covered her with a tarp to protect her from a nuclear blast at Emu Field.

She told the ABC her family would continue to suffer physical and mental trauma from the testing for generations to come.

“Most of our grandchildren have got pretty bad eyesight, and we were born basically with epilepsy,” Ms Lennon said.

“It’s quite likely that I’m going to die because I’ve got bleeding from my kidneys.

“We want to live. We want our children to live after us. We’re losing them at really young ages now and some of that is mental health issues.”………………

‘We still eat the bush tucker’ in test zone

Ms Haseldine outlined gaps she believed the government needed to address to support the next generation of survivors, including a commitment to greater research and education with Aboriginal communities on the impact of the testing.

“If we can somehow link those scientists or researchers studying DNA into people that live on community, eat food from this community,” Ms Haseldine said.

“We still eat the bush tucker that’s out there where fallout probably landed.”

Last year, Australian researchers found that radioactive particles released during the nuclear tests remained highly reactive.

Second-generation survivor Karina Lester noted in her presentation the importance of language for Aboriginal communities who never gave consent to the testing.

Our mob were not informed of those tests that were about to take place on their traditional lands,” Ms Lester said.

“It’s important for information to be in traditional language so they know of the impacts it has on our bodies and our environment.”…………………………….    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-06-20/nuclear-test-survivors-plea-for-australia-to-sign-treaty/101167332

June 21, 2022 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Greg Barns: Julian Assange and the Albanese Government – Enough is enough!

 https://johnmenadue.com/julian-assange-albanese-government-enough-is-enough/, By Greg Barns, Jun 20, 2022,

Now is the time to end a dangerous threat to basic freedoms and the rule of law.  The Albanese government has a critical role to play in ensuring that outcome.

The decision on Friday of UK Home Secretary Priti Patel to approve the extradition to the US of Australian citizen and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is not surprising in some ways.  Ms Patel has swallowed the ‘assurances’ of lawyers acting for the US that Assange would get a fair trial in an Eastern Virginia court on charges relating to his publication in 2010 and 2011 of shocking revelations about the war crimes and other serious misconduct perpetrated by the US and its allies in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  But Ms Patel’s decision drives home the need for the Albanese government to roll up its sleeves and ensure this Australian citizen does not face an effective death penalty of over 170 years in an US prison.

Unlike his Labor predecessor Julia Gillard and subsequent Liberal Prime Ministers Mr Albanese has rightly expressed genuine concern over the treatment of Assange.  He is on the record, on a number of occasions as saying that he does “not see what purpose is served by the ongoing pursuit of Mr Assange” and, as importantly, “enough is enough”. In a statement released by Foreign Minister Penny Wong on Friday night in response to the Patel decision, she also repeated the Prime Minister’s words.

More recently, in the context of a recent media conference, Mr Albanese indicated the Assange case was not one to be pursued by megaphone diplomacy.  An interesting comment clearly implying he is prepared to speak with US President Joe Biden about the matter, but in a closed door fashion.

The change in rhetoric and the sense that the Australian government might actually work assiduously to ensure that Assange, languishing with declining health in the notoriously harsh Belmarsh prison outside of London, is released and allowed to re-join his family, is a welcome development. Rome wasn’t built in a day and while there are many who understandably would like to see Mr Albanese dial the White House today, it is important to quickly get the approach right before that conversation, or conversations, are had.

The Assange case will drag on in the UK courts now given the inevitability of appeals against the Patel decision and a cross appeal against rulings in the original extradition case in 2021.  Meanwhile the threat to freedom of the press and the rule of law which this case poses remains potent.

Eminent Australian journalists such as the former Financial Times and Fairfax foreign correspondent Tony Walker, the ABC’s Kerry O’Brien and Andrew Fowler and the former SBS’ presenter Mary Kostakidis have been rightly warning about how serious a threat to journalists and publishers this case really is.  If the US is successful in prosecuting an Australian journalist and publisher for letting the world know the dirty secrets of the US military machine then this will have a chilling effect on press freedom.  And it will embolden other nations to follow suit.  If the US can seek the arrest of a journalist who is not a citizen of that country and who has not set foot in the US, then how can it, and nations such as Australia, criticise China for enacting a law last year which allows for critics of that regime to be hunted down irrespective of where they are in the world.

From the perspective of the rule of law the Assange case should trouble new Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus.  Extra-territorial reach of laws is generally thought to be stretching the idea that the law of a nation only applies to those who are its citizens or who allegedly commit crimes in territory that is governed by that nation’s laws.  To seek to extend the reach of domestic laws to those who have no legal connection to it by way of citizenship, residence or other ties to the jurisdiction, is anathema to the rule of law.  That is the danger presented by the Assange case.

Of course, some say the Assange case must be allowed to take its course via the courts because extradition is a legal process.  While that is true in the vast majority of cases this is an exceptional set of circumstances.  In that sense it is like the case of David Hicks, the Australian who found himself in the torture chamber that is Guantanamo Bay facing trumped up terrorism charges.  Rightly that case was resolved via the political relationship  between the Howard government here and the Bush Administration because it too was a case infused with a political overlay.

Now is the time to end a dangerous threat to basic freedoms and the rule of law.  The Albanese government has a critical role to play in ensuring that outcome.

Greg Barns SC is an Adviser to the Australian Assange Campaign

June 21, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, politics international | Leave a comment