Australian news, and some related international items

Found – historic film of Aboriginal resistance to uranium mining

Kakadu uranium protest documentary Dirt Cheap unearthed by Northern Territory Library, ABC News By Matt Garrick 18 Sept 19  The rediscovery of an old VHS tape, left forgotten on the shelves of the Northern Territory Library, has unearthed a tense and important piece of Australian history.

Key points:

  • The 1980 documentary Dirt Cheap showcased the Mirarr people’s fight against uranium mining
  • The Northern Territory Library recently hunted down the only digital copy of the documentary so it could be shown at a film festival
  • Filmmaker Ned Lander says the movie created a stir at the time of its release

The rare copy of the nearly 40-year-old documentary Dirt Cheap, which details the early pushback against uranium mining in Kakadu National Park, was practically unwatchable due to its age……..

The film documented the concerns of the Mirarr people during what was a tense period of negotiation in the lead-up to the 1979 Ranger Uranium Mining Agreement.

It also showcased the pressures and broken promises the traditional owners faced. “It was very, very apparent to us that people were not ready to sign the agreement in relation to mining, and this was being done under pressure.

Mirarr resistance inspires protests around nation

Against the push of government and business interests, the Mirarr stood resolute in their bid to protect their land.

“As a child growing up I saw the struggle of my family, including my grandfather — they [had] been struggling,” traditional owner Jimmy Nabanardi-Mudjandi said.

I’m really proud of them, but it’s sad because they’re not here to see what the new future of Jabiru’s gonna be.”

The resistance from the Mirarr had a flow-on effect around the nation.

Banner-waving protesters took to the streets in Melbourne and Sydney in great numbers, scenes which Dirt Cheap captures in vivid detail.

“Mirarr people got major support from around Australia, from around the whole nation,” Mr Nabanardi-Mudjandi said.

Next stage of uranium mining looms

In the decades since the film’s release, uranium has been mined at Kakadu, but the Ranger mine is now expected to wind up in 2021.

Mr Nabanardi-Mudjandi said it was vital the land was protected during its rehabilitation.

“We are watching them, what they’re doing,” he said.

Mr Nabanardi-Mudjandi will be a special guest when Dirt Cheap screens as part of the Darwin International Film Festival at the Northern Territory Library at 5:30pm on Wednesday.  Contact Matt Garrick


September 19, 2019 Posted by | Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, opposition to nuclear, uranium | Leave a comment

On NITV A feast of films celebrating indigenous Australia, in leadup to 26 January

#AlwaysWillBe: films celebrating strength and survival on NITV, In the lead up to 26 January, NITV is playing the best Indigenous films and television series including Sweet Country, which will have its television premiere. By Grayson McCarthy-Grogan, 16 JAN 2019 

NITV is inviting all Australians to hear stories of our nation’s shared history from an Indigenous perspective.

Come and explore what 26 January means to Indigenous people, through a curated slate of distinctive programming.

Collectively housed under our #AlwaysWillBe special programming, stories of strength, resilience and survival, from across the country are coming to Channel 34.

Songlines (Season 2) – Daily, 7pm

Songlines Season Two brings a collection of six documentaries from some of Australia’s greatest and oldest storytellers. Each documentary presents an Indigenous Songline story.

Community and elders share their rich accounts of dreaming, serving as a reminder of the ancient roots of our country and the enduring power of its original people.

Songlines presents a chance to understand and celebrate our rare and precious heritage.

Songlines airs 7pm, daily from Sunday, 20 January until Friday, 25 January on NITV (Ch. 34). And will be repeated throughout the day, Saturday, 26 January…………

Connection to Country – Monday 21 January 11.35pm

Connection to Country follows the Indigenous people of the Western Australian Pilbara’s battle to preserve Australia’s 50,000-year-old cultural heritage from the ravages of a booming mining industry.

The Pilbara region sits in the Burrup Peninsula (or Murujuga) and is host to the largest concentration of rock art in the world, dating back over 50,000 years.

Connection to Country will repeat on Saturday 26 January at 10am on NITV (Ch.34)

Wik Vs Queensland – Tuesday 22 January, 8.30pm

In 1996 The High Court of Australia granted native title co-existence rights to the Wik Peoples of Cape York. The “Wik Decision” should have been a catalyst for positive change, but instead sparked a national, cultural and political fallout.

With unique access to never-before screened footage of a young Noel Pearson and Marcia Langton, this uncompromising feature documentary forensically explores the racism, fearmongering and political maneuvering that occurred in the lead up to the case, and its aftermath.

Told from the very personal Wik Peoples’ perspective, Wik vs Queensland causes us to question who we are as a nation today.

Another Country – Tuesday 22 January, 10pm

Narrated by David Gulpilil, Another Country is about his home Ramingining, a remote Indigenous community in North-East Arnhem Land.

But, in many ways, as the title suggests, it is ‘another country’. This award-winning 2006 film looks at Indigenous life before the arrival of white settlers.

This groundbreaking piece of cinema was the first film shot only in an Indigenous Australian language.

Occupation: Native – Thursday 24 January, 7.30pm

Filmmaker Trisha Morton-Thomas dishes up a fresh look at our colonial past. Exploring everything they never taught you at school, but should have.

It’s Australian history, but not like you have you ever seen or heard before. Trisha decides it’s time to go looking for answers, and along with actor Steven Oliver and several historians the film is a satirical recount of our untold
history.   Occupation: Native will repeat on Saturday 26 January, 8.30pm on NITV (Ch. 34).


January 18, 2019 Posted by | Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Exciting South Australian film project “Unwilling Nation”

Kim Mavromatis Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste In The Flinders 10 Dec 18 Ranges SELECTED FOR DOCULAB 2018 – We are really excited to be one of 6 teams selected to participate in the South Australian Film Corporation and Screen Australia Doculab Initiative.

OUR PROJECT : “Unwilling Nation” – a film about the 40 year fight to stop Nuclear Waste getting dumped in South Australia.
PROJECT KEY CREATIVES (Participating in the Doculab) :
Kim Mavromatis and Quenten Agius (Producers). 
Robyn Ravenna (Writer / Researcher).

Supporting the development of a range of documentary and factual projects in South Australia, Doculab is an intensive three day lab for factual screen-makers.

Courtney Gibson (SAFC Chief Executive ) said “Doculab is about putting weight behind SA documentary projects and teams, bringing them together as a community to provide latest market intelligence and develop their projects to optimal creative strength before they’re out to market, and we’re so pleased to be partnering with Screen Australia to make this happen”.

Sally Caplan (Head of Content at Screen Australia) said “The calibre of content emerging from SA is both locally and internationally recognised and it’s important to continue nurturing its vibrant screen community. The Doculab initiative is committed to developing the skills and knowledge of diverse documentary filmmakers. We firmly believe that incubating people and projects through mentorships, funding and fostering pitching skills to penetrate specific markets is essential. We’re excited to see new South Australian projects develop from this initiative that we hope provide longevity for the industry.”

December 10, 2018 Posted by | Audiovisual, media, South Australia | Leave a comment

The Power of the Documentary Breaking the Silence A film festival curated by John Pilger

28 November – 9 December 2018

‘Documentaries that go against the received wisdom are becoming an endangered species,
at the very time we need them, perhaps more than ever.‘ John Pilger

‘Documentary films are a powerful way to make sense of the world
at a time when we are being bombarded by more images and information than ever,
and which are often repetitive, omit critical truths and blur fact and fiction.

‘Acclaimed documentary film-maker, journalist and author John Pilger has selected
26 landmark documentary films of the past seven decades, to be screened at
the MCA and Riverside Theatres, Parramatta, in November and December.

‘John Pilger is renowned for his independent investigative journalism that
gives ‘voice to the voiceless’ and calls power to account.

‘The documentaries he has chosen beckon us to look behind facades
and not accept the conformity that can lead to war.
Co-presented with Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, the program features
a rare retrospective of some of Pilger’s own ground-breaking work, including his
debut film The Quiet Mutiny (1970) which exposed American troop insurrections in Vietnam,
and The War You Don’t See (2011), his history of the role of the media in war.

‘The festival will feature Q&As with filmmakers and John Pilger will open the festival
with an address on why we need more spaces for critical debate.
The Power of Documentary may change your mind.’

November 3, 2018 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

‘Adani and the War Over Coal’ – a new book: Quentin Beresford spills the devious beans

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Adani and the War Over Coal’ — a pox on both their Parties, Independent Australia  John Biggs 30 September 2018  The story of the devious and secretive negotiations between Adani and Australian governments of both stripes is appalling, writes John Biggs. “…… Conservation groups, Indigenous people and, eventually, a strong majority of ordinary Australians are outraged. In this book, Dr Beresford brings his sharp research and writing skills to tell this story of the war over coal.Gautam Adani had close connections with India’s PM Narendra Modi, who protected Adani over environmental and human rights violations in India. Adani donated heavily to both major Australian parties, especially to the Coalition. The Abbott and subsequent Coalition governments pushed for Adani as hard as they could. At first, so did Labor, but then sort of didn’t, but if certain conditions are met, well, maybe .


The major issues in dispute, as Bereford see it, are as follows.

Climate change

If all the Carmichael coal is burned – here or anywhere – the carbon emissions would be more than Australia already produces. That would likely tip global warming irreversibly. The pro-Adani group deny this.

Great Barrier Reef

The Reef is already seriously endangered by climate change, drainage from fertilised farmlands, and starfish. The mine would make matters immeasurably worse, as dredging (authorised byLabor’s Tony Burke) has already indicated.

Julie Bishop even denied the Great Barrier Reef would be in any danger.

Beresford notes (p.361):

‘None of the major parties has been prepared to unequivocally put the reef’s long term health over the interests of the fossil fuel industry.’

Great Artesian Basin

The Great Artesian Basin, vital for Australian agriculture, would be seriously endangered by the mine, either through using the water or by puncturing and draining the Basin. Adani supporters say this is exaggerated, and anyway coal mining is a thirsty business.

Native title

Doongmabulla Springs is in the mining area and is of high cultural significance to the Wangan and Jagalingou peoples. However Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) that favour developers have been foisted onto the locals. These are currently under appeal.

Economic case

The costs of mining coal are now higher than the costs of producing renewables — and the difference is rapidly widening. With Adani’s projected costs, current debts and likely returns, Adani is predicted to lose crippling amounts of money if it proceeds.

Adani’s poor safety, criminal and environmental record

First in India and now here, Adani operations have already badly polluted land in the Carmichael region.


Given all of this, why on Earth would Australian governments be so determined to support the Adani project?

Beresford discusses these issues and others in depth. His findings and assertions are fully referenced, his arguments convincing.

While much of this is due to the shocking judgement and wickedness of individual people, Beresford sees (p.360) as even more important the way in which the coal wars have transformed politics: …….–a-pox-on-both-their-parties,11949

October 1, 2018 Posted by | Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Focus: What we don’t know about the British nuclear tests in Australia  When we talk existential threats to life on earth these days, more often than not it’s about climate change. And yet, nuclear weapons still pose that threat. Focus delves into the past, present and future of nuclear weapons, with one of the world’s foremost anti-nuclear activists and an investigative writer, who is trying to uncover the truth of the British tests in the 1950s and 60s.

Duration: 1hr

Broadcast: Wed 19 Sep 2018,

September 21, 2018 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

We say NO to nuclear waste dump in South Australia

We Say NO is a short film bringing together voices from South Australia and beyond presenting clear and united opposition to the Federal government’s proposal for a Radioactive Waste Management Facility in the State. “South Australia has spoken. We say NO, and we mean NO.” Regina McKenzie “Many voices bring promises of wealth, but one State, with a cohesive strong voice, says We Say NO.” Lavene Ngatokorua For more information see:

August 22, 2018 Posted by | Audiovisual, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Peace Boat sails in to Hobart with anti-nuclear message

Peace Boat sails in to Hobart with anti-nuclear message

On Mornings with Leon Compton

 The anti-nuclear group who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year have sailed in to to Hobart on the “Making Waves Peace Boat”. They are on a national voyage with nuclear survivors to tell their stories and advance the call for Australia to reject nuclear weapons. Founder of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Tilman Ruff, tells Leon Compton everyone agrees nuclear weapons will have to be banned at some point. The question is, when?
Duration: 13min 41sec

February 3, 2018 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

Is nuclear power globally scaleable?

Nuclear Power: Caveats for Energy Policy 

Nuclear Power: Caveats for Energy Policy, Speaker: Prof. Derek Abbott, University of Adelaide, 1st Sept 2017. Is nuclear power globally scaleable? World energy consumption is 15TW. Energy efficiency could save perhaps 13TW. Consider 10 billion light bulbs in the world and replacing them with LEDs.

This could save 50GW – the output of 50 nuclear plants. Just the IEA countries alone in 2015 saved energy equivalent to the power consumption of the whole of Japan. If we were to seriously scale up to 15,000 nuclear stations we would only have 25 years worth of uranium left.

September 4, 2017 Posted by | Audiovisual, General News | Leave a comment

Dr Jim Green on Solartopia radio

The Fall of the Nuke Power Industry is welcomed in Solartopia Radio as we talk with Jim Green in Australia. Our first “down-under” guest is the nuclear campaigner for Friends of the Earth and edits the NUCLEAR MONITOR for the NUCLEAR INFORMATION & RESOURCE SERVICE. He fills us in on the current energy crisis in Australia and Elon Musk’s offer to solve it with a giant battery farm, a solution Jim Green basically dismisses. We then cover the thrilling demise of the global atomic power industry, starting with Fukushima and visiting the collective downfall of the American and European industries. We worry about China, Russia, India and South Korea. But Jim’s in-depth understanding of the collapse of the Peaceful Atom gives us profound hope. PRN.FM 23rd March 2017

March 29, 2017 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment

‘Utopia’, the film, can be viewed for the first time online

Bronwyn Lucas Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 20 Mar 17, 

‘Utopia’, the film, can be viewed for the first time on this site
If you’ve ever wondered whether the federal government might be trustworthy, whether our first nation peoples have been treated fairly and whether they have the right to have a whinge, then this film might make wake you up, if you’re like most Australians and asleep at the wheel … my biggest surprise was the integrity of ABC’s Lateline … oh … and Dave Sweeney who spoke at Hawker at our latest gathering? He appears briefly too!

Do we believe what the Feds say? It’s propaganda +++ and poor Kimba, about to have a three-month intensive ‘community consultation’ roadshow …

John Pilger – … a great Australian journalist!

March 21, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, art and culture, Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL | Leave a comment

Ghillar Michael Anderson interviewed on CAAMA Radio News

Anderson,MichaelProposed changes to Native Title Act “one of the vilest racist acts we’ve seen” – Ghillar Michael Anderson February 2017:

“A Bill before Parliament to amend the Native title Act in relation to Indigenous Land Use agreements has been described by a veteran Aboriginal rights campaigner as
“one of the vilest racist acts we’ve seen”.

Ghillar Michael Anderson, Convenor of the Sovereign Union says
the proposed amendments are a complete violation of the First Nations laws and customs
because each clan makes its own decisions about its own land and what happens on and within those territories.

February 27, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Audiovisual | Leave a comment

America’s secret military facility at Pine Gap makes Australia a nuclear target

VIDEOS here comprise  a three part interview with Donna Mulhearn, from Christians Against War, formerly a media adviser with the NSW Government. The text-from-the-archivesinterview details the role of Pine Gap as a secret US spy base. Donna discusses action (2007) she and other activists from Christians Against War attempted to carry out a citizen’s inspection of the secret US Pine Gap base, and the subsequent arrest and charging of these activists. She also exposes the utilisation of Pine Gap in triangulation of missle targets during the Afghan and Iraq wars.

PINE GAP & WAIHOPAI – THE SOUTHERN ECHELON  by reanimatedresidue  April 8, 2012  Pine Gap is a satellite tracking station located near Alice Springs in Central Australia. It hosts the largest CIA facility outside America. In the late 1960s, the then prime minister, Harold Holt, entered into an agreement with the Americans that led to the establishment of Pine Gap. Holt disappeared in December 1967 while swimming at Cheviot Beach near Portsea, Victoria, and was presumed drowned. Pine Gap is officially called the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap since 1988, previously it was known as Joint Defence Space Research Facility. Continue reading

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history | Leave a comment

Australia’s farmers feeling the effects of climate change

climate-changeBetting the Farm: Farmers confront climate change Climate change is here, and Australian agriculture is acutely feeling the effects. Three farmers explain how it’s impacting their lives and livelihoods.

By Jo Chandler for Background Briefing Real-world observations of temperature spikes, pasture growth and grape harvests across southern Australia reveal that the landscape is heating up at rates experts did not expect to see until 2030.

In some instances the rates of warming are tracking at 2050 scenarios.

Scientists concerned that climate change is biting harder and faster than models anticipated are campaigning for more research investment to protect Australia’s $58 billion agriculture industry from extreme weather.

Background Briefing has learned that their concerns about the capability of Australian research to address climate change will be validated in an independent review by the prestigious Australian Academy of Science.

The review, due for release in the next few weeks, has identified a substantial shortfall in the nation’s climate research firepower.

It’s understood that the review will recommend that the number of scientists working for CSIRO and its partners on climate science needs to increase by about 90. That is almost double the current number of full time positions.

Meanwhile, the reality is already confronting farmers on the front line, many of them battered by this last year of wild conditions.

Climate change makes farming more of a gamble than it ever was. It should be a complete concern to everyone who eats on this planet, because the whole world is going to be gambling on food production.

George Mills, Tasmania
We are seeing grapes ripening faster and ripening within a much shorter timeframe than they once did.

Brett McClen, Victoria
Climate change is here, there is no doubt about it … The hip pocket is when it makes you decide it is here or not, and it hurt our hip pockets, so we know.

Mark McDougall, Tasmania
Hear Jo Chandler’s full investigation into the impact of climate change on Australian agriculture on ABC RN’s Background Briefing at 8:05am on Sunday, or subscribe to the podcast on iTunesABC Radio or your favourite podcasting app.

October 1, 2016 Posted by | Audiovisual, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Liz Tynan on the secret history of Maralinga

Hear-This-wayABC Conversations interview: Liz Tynan on the secret history of Maralinga British nuclear testing on Australian ground: cover-ups, aftershocks and contamination. Dr Liz Tynan is a science writer, and senior lecturer at the James Cook University Graduate Research School.

In the 1950s and 60s, Australia’s then Prime Minister, Robert Menzies, agreed to provide land and support to the British nuclear test program.

At Maralinga in South Australia, the British exploded seven mushroom cloud bombs (the ‘major trials’).By doing so, they became the world’s third nuclear power, and created some of the most contaminated land on the planet.

Elements of the program were shrouded in secrecy. Prior to 1978, most people had never heard of Maralinga.

Then whistle-blowers and journalists began to expose the extent of the environmental and human costs of the program.

Listen now or download podcast at: (49min 21sec audio.)

August 15, 2016 Posted by | Audiovisual | Leave a comment