Australian news, and some related international items

Australia isolated on UN nuclear treaty boycott

Protest outside Parliament House, Canberra, Tuesday 28th March at 8am

On Monday 27th March, the United Nations will begin the first of two sessions to negotiate a legally binding instrument for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons. This conference was launched by a resolution at October’s UN General Assembly, with support from 123 nations.

Australia announced it will boycott the negotiations despite being obliged by Article VI of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to pursue negotiations on effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament in good faith. The Government believes that nuclear weapons should remain an Australian defence option, via the policy of US weapons based ‘extended nuclear deterrence’. This contrasts to strong support for a ban amongst almost all neighbouring countries in South-East Asia and the Pacific.

Protestors will gather outside Parliament at 8am on Tuesday March 28 to support a ban treaty. Speakers will include Senator Lisa Singh, Senator Scott Ludlam and Bishop Pat Power.

The ban treaty negotiations have arisen from a series of conferences examining the devastating and long-term impacts of any nuclear weapon detonation. A critical mass of nations is now pursuing a new legal instrument to outlaw nuclear weapons, creating a global stigma on their production, stockpiling, possession, use and threat of use.

The US Government has pressured its allies not to participate in the negotiations over concerns of the impact a ban will have on the ability to plan for nuclear war. The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, will deliver a statement outside the General Assembly Hall as ban negotiations kick off on Monday.

A new poll* shows that 74% of Australians want the Government to support the UN ban negotiations, while only 10% agree with the boycott.

The major parties are divided on the issue, with the ALP platform firmly supporting “the negotiation of a global treaty banning [nuclear] weapons”. Anthony Albanese MP and Senator Lisa Singh have introduced motions in both chambers urging the Government to participate in the ban negotiations.

Indigenous nuclear test survivor Sue Coleman-Haseldine is in New York to speak at the negotiating conference on the impact of nuclear weapons testing. “The new treaty should make sure that countries have to look after the needs of impacted people. To look after us is also to look after our land,” she said.

“In a time of global insecurity, our world urgently needs this new action plan for pursuing nuclear disarmament – and Australia should embrace it,” said ICAN’s Outreach Coordinator, Gem Romuld.  “The ban negotiations are modelled on comparable bans on chemical and biological weapons and landmines. This is a timely and historic opportunity to make nuclear weapons illegal along with the other weapons of mass destruction”.

“Boycotting the ban talks flies in the face of Australia’s international obligations and casts doubt on our commitment to the UN. Australia must choose the right side of history and join the ban negotiations without delay”.

March 25, 2017 Posted by | ACTION, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Anti-Adani activists vow ‘direct action’ against mine contractor Downer

‘Campaigners will occupy work sites, chain themselves to machinery and clog phone lines, Galilee Blockade says’

Joshua Robertson @jrojourno 25 March 2017:
“A group of activists say the mining contractor Downer Group is the “prime target” of a civil disruption campaign to force it to walk away from a $2bn deal to build and run Adani’s proposed Queensland coalmine.

Galilee Blockade organisers warn members of their network will occupy work sites,
chain themselves to machinery and clog phone lines, among other actions that will cost Downer money
until it exits a non-binding contract over the contentious Carmichael site.

“The protest group, which differentiates itself from a growing number of anti-Adani campaigns
by vowing to engage in “direct action” that will result in mass arrests,  considers that the size and scope of Downer’s operations make it especially vulnerable. … ”

Carmichael coalmine  ‘The latest news and comment about the plan to build a huge coalmine at Carmichael in the Galilee Basin in Queensland.’

March 25, 2017 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Keep the ABC coal free

sign-thistext-relevantKeep the ABC coal free

Malcolm Turnbull just appointed Australia’s chief coal lobbyist to the Board of the ABC. We have to fight back to save the ABC from industry propaganda.

Once again, Turnbull is bowing to the pressure of the hard right and the coal industry. Now he’s even corrupting the mission of the ABC to report truth and facts.

The hard right hates the ABC because it’s something they can’t buy or kill — and it’s the most trusted institution in Australia.

So now they’ve pushed Turnbull to put one of their own on the Board, in hopes of corrupting its coverage.

Australians love renewable energy almost as much as they love their ABC. So, we have the power to fight back, if we all sign the petition and spread the word to everyone we know.

March 3, 2017 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Community Energy Congress Feb 27-28 highlights Denmark’s zero-carbon island

Local enthusiasm – in the New South Wales town of Armidale, or South Australia’s Kangaroo Island, for example – isn’t matched at the federal government level in Canberra.

federal-level support – through appropriate feed-in tariffs for renewable energy, and government incentives to adopt new technologies – is essential. “It is very important that the federal government gives it the right framework,”

 The Community Energy Congress takes place in Melbourne on 27 and 28 February.

renewable-energy-world-SmEnergy positive: how Denmark’s Samsø island switched to zero carbon The small island’s energy makeover took less than a decade and was spurred on by local commitment, providing a template for how regional Australia could transition to renewables, Guardian, , 24 Feb 17, Anyone doubting the potential of renewable energy need look no further than the Danish island of Samsø. The 4,000-inhabitant island nestled in the Kattegat Sea has been energy-positive for the past decade, producing more energy from wind and biomass than it consumes.

Samsø’s transformation from a carbon-dependent importer of oil and coal-fuelled electricity to a paragon of renewables started in 1998. That year, the island won a competition sponsored by the Danish ministry of environment and energy that was looking for a showcase community – one that could prove the country’s freshly announced Kyoto target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 21% was, in fact, achievable.

The contest didn’t bring with it funds to bankroll the energy transition. But it did pay for the salary of one person tasked with making the island’s 10-year renewables master plan a reality.

That person was Søren Hermansen, a Samsø native vegetable farmer–turned–environmental teacher. Hermansen has wielded his pragmatic, roll-up-your-sleeves attitude to great effect over the past two decades, turning his own rural community into a green powerhouse, and evangelising to communities around the world that they, too, can make the transition.

“It was not an overnight process,” says Hermansen, who heads the Samsø Energy and Environment Organisation, and is chief executive of the Samsø Energy Academy. He is currently in Australia to speak at the Community Energy Congress in Melbourne.

In less than a decade, the transformation to carbon neutral was complete. Continue reading

February 25, 2017 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Land Rights not Mining Rights Tell the government to stop attacking land rights


PETITION GOAL: 6,000 signatures

“Right now, George Brandis and his mates in parliament are pushing hard to weaken the Native Title Act,  we need your help to slow them down.

“The introduction of these amendments is a shameful attempt by the Turnbull Government to change the rules to suit their mates at Adani, and the mining lobby,  at the expense of Aboriginal rights.

“There has been no consultation with our mob, and now the government is trying to ram through these changes as an ill-considered, knee jerk reaction to the Queensland Resource Council’s panic.

“Attorney General George Brandis has had the Australian Law Reform Commissions’s report recommending 30 changes to the Native Title Act on his desk for two years and done absolutely nothing to progress reform.

“We call on George Brandis and the Federal Government to put the brakes on amendments to the Native Title Act, consult properly with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mob, and stop pandering to the scare campaign of the Mineral Council.”

February 20, 2017 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

No nuclear French Connection for Port Augusta, South Australia


Supporters of the anti-nuclear group ENuFF will travel to Pt Augusta on Wednesday Feb 8 to protest against the federal government’s latest attempt to dump the nation’s nuclear waste in SA; no matter where it is: the Flinders Ranges, Kimba or anywhere else.

ENuFF spokesperson Ally Fricker says, “Why is the federal government spending more money parading a French delegation around the countryside? French nuclear dumps also have problems. They too leak e.g. in Normandy and in Aube in the Champagne area and are opposed by primary producers and anti-nuclear groups, who say, When you stop producing the waste, then we will discuss disposal.

“But, even more significantly the Aube dump in the Champagne region east of Paris does NOT dispose of or store reprocessed nuclear waste.”

The French and Australian authorities categorise radioactive materials differently. When the French refer to intermediate level waste (ILW) they do not mean the type of waste currently being stored at Lucas Heights in NSW and which is destined to be transported (via an undisclosed route) to a, yet to be designed and built, National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) if, and when, one is built.

“Reprocessed nuclear waste is defined by the French and the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Report (see pg 95) as high level waste (HLW). This is highly radioactive and hazardous material and must be kept removed from the natural environment for thousands of years,” Ally Fricker says.

Containers currently containing the waste stored at Lucas heights have a life span of only 100 years.

“This is the waste that the federal government intends to dump or “store” in a centralised national dump for an indefinite period. It’s time for the government’s agencies responsible for this waste to stop the confusion. It’s time to tell South Australians what their real intentions are about the type of waste, how it would be transported, and how long it would be stored, or otherwise disposed of, in a national dump. We say stop producing the waste.”

February 6, 2017 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Australian govt to hold webinar on nuclear waste dump project, 23 February

text-Please-Notefrom No High Level International Nuclear Waste Dump in South AustraliaNational Radioactive Waste Management Facility project, 5 Dec 16 

The project team will be hosting a webinar which will consider the suitability of Australia’s use of nuclear medicine production facilities and cyclotrons and the case around importing and exporting nuclear medicine products. Some topics for discussion may include:

• Productive capacity of cyclotrons and nuclear reactors
• Importing and exporting nuclear medicine
• Waste generation from Australian production

The webinar will be live online from our Sydney office and accessible from any computer. You will be able to send questions to the panel members at any point throughout the discussions. The webinar will run from 9am to 1pm on 23 February 2016.

Please signal your interest in attending this event in person in your area to as this will assist us in our planning. If there is enough interest, we may look at hiring a hall.

January 6, 2017 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Citizens of Australia demand action to enforce South Australian Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000

sign-thisOnline Open letter requesting ACTION. Dear Commissioner of Police,

We are citizens of Australia who want action taken to enforce the law, including the South Australian Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000 (abbreviated herein as the NWSF(P) Act 2000).

We are sick and tired of being threatened with illegal importation of nuclear waste.

We are sick and tired of public money being spent illegally to plan and promote illegal importation of nuclear waste.

We want action now to stop current threats of illegal importation of nuclear waste. We want action now to deter future threats of illegal importation of nuclear waste.

It is clear that the NWSF(P) Act 2000 has been breached.

During 2015 and 2016, s13 has been breached by spending of public money on many promotional and planning aspects of illegal nuclear waste importation, as briefly described in Appendix A.

Since early 2016, there has been an open conspiracy to breach s8 and s9, with planning and promotion of importation and storage of nuclear waste into South Australia, as briefly described in Appendix B.

There are ten year imprisonment penalties and multi million dollar fines for offences – these are very serious penalties, in accord with the gravity of the threat.

As well as these offences against the NWSF(P) Act 2000, there are also other offences, including fraud, which may become more apparent as your investigation proceeds.

Please act now to enforce the law.

Please act now to end this illegal threat.

Please act now to “protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of South Australia and to protect the environment in which they live”. (Quote from s3 Objects of Act of the NWSF(P) Act 2000)

Appendix A Continue reading

November 25, 2016 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

2 Dec Adelaide – Put a nail in the coffin – Bury the Dump

Although Stephen Marshall has said the NFCRC Dump proposal is “dead and buried”, Jay seems to think there’s still some life in it if he waits a bit longer, for bipartisanship and community consent.

We need to tell him that this is a pipe dream, that “No” means “No – not now, not ever.”

We need to make sure that this proposal is indeed dead and buried, by giving it a good funeral – burying it deep so that it never again raises its ugly head.

Put a nail in the coffin – Bury the Dump
Parliament House steps,
Friday 2nd December, 5.45 (for 6 o’clock start)
Wear black, or yellow No Dump t-shirts. Bring black flags. Drums and bodhrans would be good, and any instruments that can play a funeral march. We will probably have a funeral procession afterwards – still to be arranged.

Obviously, we know that the proposal is not really dead – Jay has just taken the heat out of the situation for now. We know:
· the proposal is still on the table and there will be very strong forces pushing it behind the scenes;

· the Government has accepted the RC recommendations to encourage the expansion of uranium exploration and mining in SA, and to promote further investigation into nuclear power;

· the Federal Govt’s proposed dump at Barndioota is still on the agenda, despite the opposition of the Adnyamathanha people, and other local residents. Although the Federal Govt calls this waste “low and intermediate” level, there is doubt that this is accurate by international standards, and what it means in terms of toxicity.

But we want to strike another blow- shown our anger and show that we haven’t been deluded into thinking that it’s all over and we can pack away our banners and placards and go home.

This is not a celebration – we know we have limited cause to celebrate – but a chance to show convincingly what we want – the Dump dumped!!!

NOTE: Uniting Church Know Nuclear forum rescheduled for Nov 25th, now cancelled.

Anti-Nuclear Coalition SA – Individuals and organisations united to oppose the nuclear fuel cycle, with a focus, in the present context, on nuclear waste dumps in SA.


· Email:

November 25, 2016 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Australian civil society groups urge South Australian Labor to stick to party policy

Along with a closed door the Alliance is also calling on members of this weekend’s Citizen’s Jury into the international waste plan to have open ears.

alp-indecision 128 Oct 16 The No Dump Alliance has called on Labor delegates at tomorrow’s ALP State Convention to stick to their policy and uphold legislation that bans nuclear waste dumping in SA.

Alliance members will join other community groups in a peaceful demonstration outside the convention at the West Adelaide football club from 8am on Saturday to support the growing opposition inside the ALP to progress waste dump plans.

And in a big weekend for the nuclear debate, the Alliance – a broad cross-section of South Australian civil society, including Indigenous, public health, trade union, faith and environment groups and academics opposed to any move to import and dump high level nuclear waste into our state – is urging members of the Citizen’s Jury to pay attention to a range of witnesses appearing before them this weekend critical of the dump plan. Continue reading

October 28, 2016 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

South Australian organisation calls on Labor MP to defend Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000.

text politicsOpen letter to Hon Steph Key MP – ALP Member for Ashford

ENuFF[SA], Office Admin

Steph, thank you for speaking out about so many important issues.

This Saturday Oct 29, according to plan, we will be greeting you outside
the ALP state conference at Richmond.

We will be there as a follow up to the many thousands of people at the
rally at Parliament House two weeks earlier on October 15th.

We will be there to respectfully request something of you and your
fellow ALP members.

There is a law in South Australia, a righteous law that protects us and
our economy from nuclear madness. That law is under threat, we are under
threat, future generations are under threat.

Please be clear and firm in defence of the Nuclear Waste Storage
Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000.

Please consider the opportunity to assure us of your support for this
righteous law, in written statements and perhaps in a speech to us on
Saturday before you enter the conference.

Kind Regards,
People of South Australia

Office Admin

October 26, 2016 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

From No to Now: United civil society call on UN Day for Australia to support a nuclear weapons ban treaty

logo-ICAN Monday 24th October 2016   Organisations representing hundreds of thousands of Australians have joined the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons in a call for the Australian Government to support a growing global push to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.

In an open letter to foreign minister Julie Bishop ahead of a vote expected in the UN this week the fifty groups have urged Australia to ‘grasp this historic opportunity to outlaw nuclear weapons’ and to support increasing momentum for a UN conference in 2017 to ‘negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons’.

The Australian Government’s opposition to a ban on nuclear weapons is increasingly at odds with the majority of nations, including in our region where ASEAN nations and Pacific Island states have joined New Zealand in strongly supporting moves for a ban.

“We’ve waited a long time for the Nuclear Weapons States to fulfil their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and they have failed,” said former independent Senator for nuclear disarmament Jo Vallentine. “It is time for Australia to do an about-turn and get on to the right side of this historic decision”. Ms Vallentine will take part in a delegation delivering the letter to the Foreign Minister’s Perth office on United Nations day, Monday 24th October, before heading to the UN in New York for the historic vote.

“A 2014 Neilsen poll showed over eighty percent of Australians support a treaty banning nuclear weapons and it is time for the Australian position on this existential issue to move from No to Now”, said ICAN Australia’s Gem Romuld.

Signatories to the open letter comprise union, faith, women’s, public health, environment and international development organisations including the Australian Medical Association, Oxfam Australia, Australian Conservation Foundation, Uniting Justice and the Union of Australian Women, among many others.

October 24, 2016 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment


 logo No Dump Alliance

South Australians will rally outside Parliament House tomorrow to demonstrate concern over two separate proposals for nuclear waste dumps in the state.

  • The federal government has a proposal to establish a national nuclear waste dump at Wallerberdina in the Flinders Ranges on a deeply inappropriate site that has incredible cultural and heritage value to the Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners.
  • The Weatherill government’s proposal is to import one third of all the high-level nuclear waste on the planet – 138 000 tonnes – and manage it for 100,000 years, raising major concerns on safety risks, community consent and economic viability.

Both proposals have met with strong opposition from Traditional Owners and wider communities.

The rally, to run on the steps of State Parliament from 11am this Saturday 15 October 15, is part of a National Day of Action against the proposed nuclear waste dump. Details at

As well as generating significant community concern, the proposed nuclear waste dumps have raised again the issues of the series of secret British nuclear test explosions which contaminated areas of far west SA during the 1950s. This Saturday’s rally commemorates the 63rd anniversary of the first British nuclear explosion at Emu Field on October 15, 1953.

Karina Lester, event MC and No Dump Alliance founder said, “As Traditional Owners within this state we need to stand strong together and send a very strong message from ALL South Australians that we are not interested in becoming the nuclear waste dump of the world.

“All Traditional Owner groups need to unite and fight this as we all know the international waste storage facility is not going to be in Norwood or Unley – it will be in the far north of the state,” said Ms Lester.

Jamie Newlyn, Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia (SA Branch) said, “This project has flawed economic assumptions which pose a serious risk to the South Australian state budget, and offers no employment opportunities for at least 15 years. The needs of workers in SA are far more urgent.

“Maritime workers are potentially exposed to this waste, which is 100,000 times more radioactive than the uranium exported from the State. And the realities of human error and natural disasters mean these risks are just far too great to take.”

Alliance member and Chairperson of Aboriginal Congress SA Tauto Sansbury said, “People need think about what this means for their future, their children and future generations. We are talking about the importance of country and the preservation of culture and safety of our Peoples whereas the government seems more interested in economic development.”

Conservation SA Chief Executive and Alliance member Craig Wilkins urges South Australians to attend the rally on Saturday to express their concern.

“The only opportunity to stop this risk-laden proposal is community opposition,” said Mr Wilkins.

“So if you can’t attend the rally, please ask questions, visit and write letters to your MP so our representatives are in no doubt that we do not want a high-level nuclear waste dump in South Australia.”

The South Australian government says it will indicate by the end of this year whether it plans to proceed with the dump.

The No Dump Alliance is made up of a wide range of groups including unions, heath, faith and environment groups, and Traditional Owner representatives. The Alliance Ambassador is Yami Lester, atomic bomb test survivor and nuclear-free advocate.

To arrange media comment, contact Cat Beaton: 0434 257 359

October 13, 2016 Posted by | ACTION | 1 Comment

South Australians take lead on National Day of Action against nuclear dumps


radioactive trash

WHAT: Highly visual public rally against nuclear waste dumps

WHEN: This Saturday, October 15 – marking 63 years since the first Australian atomic explosion at Emu Field in South Australia. *

TIME: 11am – 12.30pm

South Australians will converge on State Parliament this Saturday, October 15, at 11am, to make a stand against two nuclear waste dump proposals for SA.

  1. The Federal Government’s proposal to establish a national waste dump at Wallerberdina in the Flinders Ranges which is highly contested by the Adnyamathnha Traditional Owners and wider community.
  2. The Weatherill Government’s proposal to import high-level nuclear waste from other countries.

Event program includes:

  • MCs: Karina Lester, Yankunytjatjara Native Title Aboriginal Corporation and Craig Wilkins, Chief Executive Conservation SA.
  • Professor Barbara Pocock, Mothers for a Sustainable South Australia (MOSSA)
  • Vivianne and Regina McKenzie, Yappala Station, Flinders Ranges
  • Joe Szakacs, Secretary, Unions SA
  • Mima Smart, Yalata Community, Far West Coast SA, and
  • Live performance of the Maralinga song by Johnny Lovett and Yalata band.

* Please note, this Saturday, October 15, marks the 63rd anniversary of the first atomic test explosion in at Emu Field in far west SA, which started a decade of secret British nuclear tests, including a series of explosions at Maralinga, that contaminated areas of the State and exposed South Australians to radiation.

More information:

Media enquiries: Call Cat Beaton on 0434 257 359

October 13, 2016 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Stop blocking progress on nuclear disarmament – Australian International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons calls on government

logo-ICANRight now Australia is at the UN taking part in the annual UN General Assembly talks, including in the disarmament committee, the First Committee. In about two weeks there is expected to be a monumental vote where the world’s governments can vote yes to beginning a negotiation for a ban on nuclear weapons.

For us plutonium headcases these are exciting days. A ban has been at the core of the work of ICAN for the last decade and the global movement on this has been growing beautifully.

However, not surprisingly to any of you, Australia has been blocking progress actively at every turn over the last two conservative govts. While we expect that they will drag their feet along with the nuclear weapon states, we feel it’s vital that our govt get a sense of the expectation from our community and citizens here that a ban on nuclear weapons is wanted. I could go on about the reasons but you all know these – that’s why you do the work.

If any of you are on social media, would you please consider retweeting or posting messages like the one linked below in the next day or two?

The handle used on all our social media platforms (twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc) is #goodbyenukes.

Anything you can do to push this in the next week or so would be appreciated.

October 13, 2016 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment