Australian news, and some related international items

Transferring US nuclear subs to Australia far from smooth sailing

26 May 2023 | Andrew McLaughlin Riotact,

A report prepared for Congress on the US Navy’s Virginia Class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) procurement program has highlighted what issues need to be considered and overcome to allow the transfer of US submarines to Australia.

Under Pillar 1 of the AUKUS construct with the US and UK which was announced by the leaders of all three countries in March, Australia is slated to receive between three and five Virginia class nuclear-powered submarines to begin replacing its own Collins Class conventional submarines from 2032.

After this, Australia plans to switch submarine classes and acquire eight SSN-AUKUS submarines under a cooperative program with the UK from 2041……………………………….

The report says Congress needs to consider several factors relating to the legislation, including whether the legislation needs to be considered under the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) or can be deferred, whether the authorisation should be provided for just the first two boats or can be expanded to up-to five SSNs, and when the SSNs would be removed from US Navy service to prepare for the transfer.

While this seems to confirm Australia will receive former US Navy SSNs instead of new-build boats, the report also asks Congress to consider whether that would be the case, whether new-build boats could be made available, or a combination of the two.

It says Congress should also decide, apart from the cost of the submarines, how much of a “proportionate financial investment” Australia will be required to make into US shipyards to expand the US’s submarine industrial base. Despite a plan for two Virginia boats to have been built per year since 2011, this has not been achieved due to ongoing workforce and materials issues, made worse in recent times by the COVID-19 pandemic………………..

The ability of the US shipyards to ramp up sufficiently to cover the sale of Australian boats appears to be somewhat questionable. ……………………………

The report further asks Congress to consider what will be “the net impact on collective allied deterrence and warfighting capabilities of transferring Virginia Class boats to Australia while pursuing the construction of replacement SSNs for the US Navy”.

It points out that supporters of transferring SSNs to Australia rather than keeping them in US Navy service might argue that “the deterrent value of introducing SSNs to Australia’s navy would be greater than the deterrent value of keeping those SSNs in US Navy service because a newly created force of Australian SSNs would present China with a second allied decision-making centre for SSN operations in the Indo-Pacific, which would complicate Chinese military planning”.

Conversely, it says opponents of the proposed transfer might argue that “it could weaken deterrence if China were to find a reason to believe, correctly or not, that Australia might use [its] Virginia-class boats less effectively than the US Navy would have, or that Australia might not involve its military … in a US-China crises or conflicts that Australia viewed as not engaging important Australian interests”.

As if to support this viewpoint, it points out that “Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles in March 2023 reportedly confirmed that, in exchange for the Virginia-class boats, Australia’s government made no promises to the United States that Australia would support the United States in a future conflict over Taiwan”.

May 28, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Stella Assange at Sydney rally: “It’s not just Julian who has lost his freedom, but all of us”

The whistleblower noted the comments of Australian Labor Party Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who has made extremely tepid statements expressing “concern” over Assange’s plight. Albanese has said that “enough is enough” in relation to the Assange case. He claims to have made private representations to the US and British governments on behalf of Assange, but has stopped far short of any public demand for the Australian journalist’s freedom.

Albanese has recently hinted at the prospect of a plea deal in the Assange case. Kenny forcefully rejected this course. “Is there a Hicks solution? Why should there be? He has not committed any crime. He should not be forced to plead to anything. We need our prime minister to stand up, not just say ‘enough is enough.’”

Oscar Grenfell@Oscar_Grenfell, 24 May 2023

Some 800 people attended a protest in Sydney yesterday morning demanding the immediate freedom of imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. People came from across New South Wales and from around the country to attend the rally, which was one of the largest demanding Assange’s freedom yet, despite being held on a weekday.

Speaking at the demonstration, Stella Assange, Julian’s wife, declared that the protesters were “at the forefront of a global movement for justice. A global movement that converges on one man, but the meaning of which goes far beyond Julian’s freedom. It’s not just Julian who has lost his freedom, but all of us. Because in order to keep Julian in prison, they have had to corrupt their own rules and their own principles.”

Stella, visiting Australia for the first time, noted that her tour had initially been planned to coincide with a scheduled visit of US President Joe Biden. He had been set down to attend a summit of the warmongering and anti-China Quadrilateral Strategic Dialogue this week in Sydney.

Biden cancelled, however Stella proceeded with the visit. She explained the crucial importance of the fight within Australia to securing her husband’s freedom. Assange is detained in Britain and faces extradition to the US, where he would be tried on Espionage Act charges carrying 175 years imprisonment for exposing American war crimes.

Assange is an Australian citizen. Stella explained: “Julian’s case is a case of global importance. But you guys are at the centre of it because Julian is an Australian, he’s a country boy, and he’s from this country. That means that the key to securing Julian’s release lies with you.”

Assange’s supporters in Australia were part of a “global movement” involving millions of people all over the world, she said. There is a growing recognition, internationally, that “he’s in prison because he exposed the crimes of others. No decent human being will ever tolerate that. The only people whose interest remains Julian’s imprisonment, are the ones who are guilty and implicated in those crimes.”

Within Australia, there had been a “sea change.” Only a few years ago, there had been “radio silence” on Assange’s case. But increasingly it was being discussed in the media, as well as by official politicians. This, Stella stressed, was a consequence of the demands made by ordinary people and a protracted grassroots campaign.

This fight had to be deepened, she said. “You guys need to shout louder, fight harder, put the pressure on each of your representatives, make Julian’s situation visible everywhere, every day, on your cars, on your shirts. Every day you tell all your friends, you talk about it with your family… Make sure Julian remains top priority until he steps out of that prison. I think we’re near, we can achieve this together.”

Stella noted that it was her first time in Australia, but it would not be her last. “I will come back here, home with Julian, and our kids who are Australian citizens will come home too.”

John Shipton, Assange’s father, placed the persecution of Assange within a broader context. Brown University, in the United States, had recently published a report showing that there had been 4.5 million deaths in the Middle East following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. An earlier document, from the same institution, estimated that the predatory US-led wars in the region had displaced 38 million people.

Speaking of those US interventions Shipton condemned a “hegemon standing in a river of blood.” He emphasised the striving of ordinary people for “justice” and “humanity,” which would ultimately be victorious. Assange’s case and the fight for his freedom were integral to this broader struggle.

Gabriel Shipton, Assange’s brother, said: “If anything is to be taken from Julian’s persecution, it is that it has mobilised people all around the world… The fight gives meaning to Julian’s work. It has brought us all together here to fight for something that is so important to our Western democracies and that’s a free press. How can we make decisions about what our governments do in our name if we don’t know? It’s not possible.”

David McBride addressed the protest. A former Australian army lawyer, he faces life behind bars for blowing the whistle on Australian war crimes in Afghanistan. They included verified murders of civilians and prisoners and other violations of international law. For these offenses, McBride, the man who exposed them, is the first to face court proceedings.

“There’s a good chance that even though I reported murders and cover-ups, that I’m going to go to jail for the rest of my life… It’s not something I hang my head about. It’s something I’m proud of… We need to stand up, the future of the planet depends on it.”

The whistleblower noted the comments of Australian Labor Party Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who has made extremely tepid statements expressing “concern” over Assange’s plight. Albanese has said that “enough is enough” in relation to the Assange case. He claims to have made private representations to the US and British governments on behalf of Assange, but has stopped far short of any public demand for the Australian journalist’s freedom.

McBride responded: “I say this to Anthony Albanese. Enough of you saying ‘enough is enough.’ It means nothing. Imagine if I had witnessed war crimes in Afghanistan, witnessed murder and cover-up… and all I said to them is ‘enough is enough.’ It’s not enough.” McBride called for Albanese to “step up to the plate” and secure Assange’s unconditional freedom.

Stephen Kenny, Assange’s Australian lawyer, issued the same demand. Kenny represented Australian citizen David Hicks, who was rendered to the American military prison in Guantánamo Bay as part of the “war on terror.” Hicks was eventually freed and returned to Australia, as the result of a powerful campaign led by his father Terry Hicks. David Hicks had been compelled to sign a plea deal, despite having committed no crime.

Kenny noted the parallels. “Like David Hicks, Julian Assange has not committed any crime at all. So why is he in jail?” The editors of other major publications, who were involved in WikiLeaks’ 2010 and 2011 releases, for which Assange is being prosecuted, remain at liberty. This, Kenny explained, made clear that the case against Assange was political and required a political solution.

He outlined some of the abuses of the British judiciary. This included placing Assange in a glass box at the back of his courtroom during the first extradition proceedings, denying him the right to participate in his own case. Assange’s lawyers, moreover, had filed their latest appeal in November. The British judges merely need to determine whether he has an arguable case, a process which Kenny said should take several days or at most a week. But six months on and this task has not been completed.

Albanese has recently hinted at the prospect of a plea deal in the Assange case. Kenny forcefully rejected this course. “Is there a Hicks solution? Why should there be? He has not committed any crime. He should not be forced to plead to anything. We need our prime minister to stand up, not just say ‘enough is enough.’”

The rally raised several political issues. Many of the speakers, importantly, emphasised the decisive role of mobilising ordinary people in the fight to free Assange.

Inevitably, the statements of Albanese and other Labor representatives have generated some hope within the Assange camp. But there is no indication, whatsoever, that Albanese is fighting for Assange’s freedom, behind closed doors or anywhere else. This week he refused to even meet with Stella Assange. Albanese was part of the Gillard Labor government, which in 2010 and 2011, played a central role in the initial stages of the persecution of Assange……..

May 27, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Hundreds rally against state government’s proposed increases to penalties for protesting

About 500 people have marched through the Adelaide CBD rallying against proposed changes to the state’s protest laws. 

The state government proposed changes to laws that would strengthen penalties for obstructing public places in response to Extinction Rebellion protests last week.

A climate change protester was charged with obstructing a public place after she abseiled down Morphett Street bridge with a rope and was suspended over North Terrace, causing traffic delays.

Another four protesters were charged with offences, including property damage, after allegedly throwing paint at the Santos building.

The proposed changes to the Summary Offences Act — backed by the state opposition — would mean anyone who “intentionally or recklessly engages in conduct that obstructs the free passage of a public place” would face possible three months jail or a $50,000 fine.

Currently, there is no option for jail time and the maximum fine is $750.

“One of the amendments that I’m moving will be to add in a sunset clause to this bill so that it expires in 12 months time. 

“We are also adding in a clause requiring a review after a 12-month period and I’ll also be introducing a reasonableness test so that people who are caught under this bill will have a possible defence.” 

About 80 community groups, including Amnesty International Australia, have signed a letter calling on the government to withdraw the bill. 

The organisations listed their support in a full-page advertisement taken out in Friday’s edition of The Advertiser titled Protect Our Right to Protest — Before It’s Too Late, which was authorised by the South Australian Council of Social Service. 

‘Almost wartime measure’

The Law Society of South Australia and the South Australian Bar Association have also jointly written a strongly worded letter to the Attorney-General outlining a long list of concerns about the proposed new laws.

………………………………………. The legal bodies raised concerns about the legal wording of the proposed reforms which would significantly shift the onus of proof for the offence of obstructing a public place.

“The effect is that a person only has to turn their mind to the possibility that an obstruction will occur, even though the consequence is entirely unintended, to be found guilty of the offence,” the letter states………………………….. more

May 27, 2023 Posted by | civil liberties, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australian Prime Minister Albanese refuses to meet with Assange’s wife

Oscar Grenfell@Oscar_Grenfell, 22 May 2023, WSWS,

Asked by independent MP Andrew Wilkie why he would not meet with Mrs Assange, Albanese brushed aside the question, declaring: “Who I meet with is determined by the priorities that my office has.”

Over the past month, Albanese has met with a multitude of business tycoons. He attended the wedding of right-wing radio shock jock Kyle Sandilands, alongside a convicted drug dealer and reputed crime boss. Most recently, Albanese fawned over US President Joe Biden in Tokyo on the weekend. Biden is overseeing the attempt to extradite Assange from Britain, and imprison him for 175 years for exposing American war crimes.

Albanese proclaimed in parliament, he was not interested in meeting Assange’s wife, which he said would be akin to a “demonstration” and “grandstanding.” Albanese sought to dress up the refusal by reiterating vague comments that “enough is enough” in relation to the Assange case, and he cannot see that anything is served by the WikiLeaks founder’s continued incarceration.

While Albanese claims he has made this position clear to the US administration, there is no evidence of that, including in extensive correspondence obtained under freedom of information requests between various American and Australian government bodies. Labor continues to give carte blanche to the very administration seeking Assange’s destruction.

The obvious question is: if Albanese won’t even meet with Assange’s wife, a basic act of respect and courtesy that he has extended to thousands of others over the course of his year in office, why would anyone think the prime minister is waging a fight for the imprisoned Australian journalist’s freedom behind closed doors?

As part of her visit to Australia, Stella Assange yesterday addressed the National Press Club in Canberra.

The speech was a powerful plea for Assange’s freedom, an exposure of the draconian conditions under which he is detained in Britain’s maximum-security Belmarsh Prison and a clear outline of the fundamental issues of democratic rights at stake in the attempted prosecution of her husband.

Stella noted a groundswell of support for Assange. She stated: “I would like to thank the overwhelming dedication of the Australian people, who have brought about a sea change in awareness and solidarity for Julian’s plight. This unity in support for my husband is a source of enormous encouragement for our family. It nurtures Julian’s ability to continue on.”

She added: “The reality is that to regain his freedom, Julian needs the support of his home country. This is a political case, and it needs a political solution.”

In discussing her presence in Australia, and also what she speaks about with her husband, Stella stressed Assange’s connection to Australia. He had been raised in the country, and had shared his extensive memories, from surfing in Byron Bay, to beekeeping in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges and riding a horse in the New South Wales Northern Rivers.

“That’s how I imagine Julian when he is free,” she said………………………..

Stella outlined the draconian security procedures required for her and her two children to visit their father. They had to pass innumerable checkpoints, searches and scans for their visits. The children had only ever seen their father in the inhospitable prison visiting room. For the elder of the two, now six years old, “Prisons feature in his dreams and his nightmares.”

Turning to the case, Stella stated: “A 175 year sentence is a living death sentence. A prospect so desperate that the English court found that it would drive him to take his own life, rather than live forever in hell. We must do everything we can to ensure that Julian never, ever, sets foot in a US prison. Extradition in this case is a matter of life and death.”

She explained: “For most people, Julian is a symbol. A symbol of staggering injustice, because he is in prison on trumped up charges for exposing the crimes of others. A symbol because he faces a bewildering 175 year sentence for publishing the truth. A symbol of a sophisticated form of state violence dressed up in complexity and indirection that not even Franz Kafka could have imagined.

“For the press and the public, Julian’s case is the most brutal attack on press freedom that the Western world has seen in the last 70 years. A foreign government is using the political offences in its statute books to indict a foreign national abroad, because of what he or she published in a different country.

“Accurate, damning publications exposing their war crimes. If sovereignty is to mean anything, if jurisdiction is a proper legal and political reality, the case against Julian cannot be understood as anything other than an absurdity.”

Despite the dire threat to press freedom, the address was largely subjected to a media boycott. Only a handful of nationally-recognised journalists attended. Several prominent publications sent junior staff, fresh out of university, armed only with arrogance and obnoxious questions based on the slanders that have been used to attack Assange.

The shameful display underscored the fact that broad sections of the official media function as nothing more than state propagandists. While they are cheering on each new step in Australia’s integration into the US preparations for war with China, this corrupted layer is hostile to a genuine journalist who exposed war crimes……………………………………….

May 25, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

60 Minutes Australia Keeps Churning Out War-With-China Propaganda

Australians are particularly vulnerable to propaganda because Australia has the most concentrated media ownership in the western world, dominated by a powerful duopoly of Nine Entertainment (who airs 60 Minutes) and the Murdoch-owned News Corp. This vulnerability is being fully exploited as the time comes for the western empire to beat the war drums against China.


60 Minutes Australia has been playing a leading role in saturating Australian airwaves with consent-manufacturing messaging in support of militarising to participate in a US war against China. A segment they ran a year ago is titled “Prepare for Armageddon: China’s warning to the world,” and features an image of Xi Jinping overlaid with war planes and explosions and captioned “POKING THE PANDA”. Another from a year ago is titled “War with China: Are we closer than we think?” Another from ten months ago is titled “China’s new target in the battle to control the Pacific.” Another from six months ago is titled “Inside the battle for Taiwan and China’s looming war threat.” Another from two months ago is titled “Is the Navy ready? How the U.S. is preparing amid a naval buildup in China.” 

All of these segments have millions of views on YouTube alone. Now this past weekend 60 Minutes Australia has aired back-to-back segments titled “The real Top Gun: US military in heated stand-off with China” and “Five countries secretly sharing intelligence say China is the No.1 threat,” both of which are as jaw-droppingly propagandistic as anything I’ve ever seen.

“It might sound like twisted logic, but military forces everywhere argue that the greater the firepower they possess, the greater the chance of maintaining peace,” opens 60 Minutes Australia’s Amelia Adams. “In other words, massive weaponry is the best deterrent to war. Right now the theory is being tested like never before, and much of it is happening in Australia’s backyard, the Indo-Pacific region. The United States wants the world, and more particularly China, to know of its increasing presence there, and to do that it’s putting on a spectacular show.”

What follows is 19 minutes of overproduced footage displaying this “massive weaponry” while Adams oohs and ahhs and gives slobberingly sycophantic interviews to US military officials.

“There’s something utterly mesmerising about the F-35 jet,” Adams moans. “The sound, the heat, and the power put this supersonic stealth fighter in a league of its own.”

“Colonel these are some very impressive machines you’re in charge of!” she gushes to an officer on an aircraft carrier.

“Yes ma’am,” the colonel replies.

Jesus lady, do your orgasming off camera.

Contrast this glowing ecstatic revelry with Adams’ open hostility later in the segment toward a Chinese think tanker named Henry Wang, claiming that he was trying to “rewrite history” for dismissing panic about a Chinese military buildup by pointing out (100 percent correctly) that China is spending a lower percentage of its GDP on its military than western nations.

“Every command, every maneuver, is being fine-tuned on this vast blue stage, where China has proven to be a bad actor, playing a long game of intimidating Pacific nations,” Adams proclaims over helicopter footage of US war ships. “But the US and its allies aren’t having it, bolstering their defenses — and it’s an impressive display.”

I defy you to find me footage more brazenly propagandistic than this, from any point in history. This is supposed to be a news show, run by people who purport to be journalists, yet they’re engaging in propaganda that looks like it came from a Sacha Baron Cohen spoof of a third world dictatorship.

As I never tire of pointing out, the claim that the US has been militarily encircling its number one geopolitical rival defensively is the single dumbest thing the empire asks us to believe these days. The US is surrounding China with war machinery in ways that it would consider an outrageously aggressive provocation if the same thing were done in its neck of the woods, which means the US is plainly the aggressor in this standoff, and China is plainly reacting defensively to those aggressions.

While the first segment unquestioningly regurgitates Pentagon narratives and gives supportive interviews to military officials, the second segment unquestioningly regurgitates talking points from the western intelligence cartel and gives supportive interviews to Five Eyes spooks.

“Showing off deadly weaponry in massive war games is a tactic China and the United States both use to try to avoid full-on combat,” says 60 Minutes Australia’s Nick McKenzie in introduction. “But the truth is the two countries, as well as other nations including Australia, are already battling it out in an invisible war. There are no frontline soldiers but there are significant skirmishes. Until now these conflicts have been kept quiet, but key members of a secretive alliance of top cops from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand are about to change that.”

“Their group is called the Five Eyes, and tonight they want you to know what they see,” says McKenzie, which is the same as saying “We’re telling you what the Five Eyes intelligence agencies told us to tell you.”

McKenzie literally just assembles a bunch of Five Eyes officials to tell Australians that China is bad and dangerous, and then disguises the western intelligence cartel advancing its own information interests as a real news story.

“There is one threat that alarms our partners more than any other,” McKenzie says over dramatic music, asking “Which state actor is the key threat to democracy in Australia and amongst the Five Eyes partners?” and presenting a montage of western intelligence operatives answering (you guessed it) China.

“The Americans describe a growing menace on our doorstep flowing from China’s increasing influence in the region,” McKenzie says, before asking an American official, “Do you see the Chinese state preying on Pacific island nations?”

“I believe so, yes,” the official responds.

Western journalism, ladies and gents.

Australians are particularly vulnerable to propaganda because Australia has the most concentrated media ownership in the western world, dominated by a powerful duopoly of Nine Entertainment (who airs 60 Minutes) and the Murdoch-owned News Corp. This vulnerability is being fully exploited as the time comes for the western empire to beat the war drums against China.

We keep being hammered by this narrative that “massive weaponry is the best deterrent to war,” when all facts in evidence say the exact opposite is true. It was the military encroachment against Russia and the conversion of Ukraine into a NATO military asset which provoked Putin to invade Ukraine, and all the militarization against China that we are seeing is only inflaming tensions and making war more likely.

And, I mean, of course it is; even a casual glance at the Cuban Missile Crisis reveals that powerful nations don’t take kindly to having menacing forces placed near their borders. So much of the propaganda indoctrination we’re subjected to in the 2020s revolves around convincing people to believe that Russia and China should react completely differently than the way the US would react if foreign proxy forces were being amassed along its borders.

So yes, Amelia Adams, claiming that aggression and militarism is the best path toward peace is absolutely “twisted logic”. It is as twisted as it gets. Because it is false. This is obvious to anyone who hasn’t yet been successfully indoctrinated into this omnicidal belief system.

We need to do everything we can to fight against this indoctrination now, because if we wait until the war actually starts it will likely be too late to resist.

May 25, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Government introduces Bill to exempt nuclear submarines from crucial environmental protection acts.

Government seeks to make nuclear submarines more hazardous

Independent Australia, By Bevan Ramsden | 23 May 2023, 

New legislation seeks to exempt nuclear power plants onboard submarines from crucial environmental protection acts, writes Bevan Ramsden.

THE GOVERNMENT has a bill before Parliament which, if passed, would exempt nuclear power plants on nuclear-propelled submarines from the requirement of two other acts: the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The bill is called the Defence Legislation Amendment (Naval Nuclear Propulsion) Bill 2023. The amendments involve inserting an additional paragraph in parts of each act to exempt ‘a naval nuclear propulsion plant related to use in a conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarine’ from the requirements in the parts of either of those acts which refer to nuclear power plants.

This must be of considerable concern to the Australian community as it is totally illogical to make a distinction between the nuclear plant providing the power to propel “conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines” and that of a land-based nuclear power plant in relation to controls and protections as it is indeed still a nuclear power plant.

The nuclear power plant on board a submarine needs the same or more requirements for control and protection as a nuclear power plant on land. Indeed, the uranium to be used in these proposed SSN submarines is enriched to the level that is used in nuclear weapons.

It also presents more danger than conventionally uranium-fired nuclear power plants to the naval staff operating inside a nuclear-propelled submarine as they live and work in very close proximity to the nuclear power plant powering the submarine. When in port, residents in the vicinity of the port are potentially exposed to the toxic impact of possible radiation leaks from the submarine’s nuclear power plant.

To pass these amendments exempting nuclear power plants on board a nuclear-propelled submarine from the requirements of these two acts would be a betrayal by Parliament of its responsibilities to the naval staff operating the submarines and to the wider Australian public, especially those in proximity to the ports which service nuclear-powered submarines.

The Federal Parliament has never had the opportunity to vote on Australia joining the trilateral AUKUS security treaty through which the nuclear-powered submarine technology is to be transferred to Australia.

Nor has it had the opportunity to vote on the decision for Australia to buy/acquire nuclear-propelled submarines.

Here is one, possibly the only, opportunity for Parliament to vote on an aspect of the nuclear-propelled submarine procurement and step in and take some responsibility in maintaining the controls and protection of the nuclear power plant on board a submarine by not exempting it from the requirements of these two acts.

The Senate has referred this bill to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee for review and report by 9 June 2023. Submissions can be made to it by 26 May. As many submissions as possible should be made to this committee urging that it recommend opposition to these amendments……………………………………..more,17538

May 24, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, safety | Leave a comment

Property values in Kimba? Not so good, since the town agreed to host a nuclear waste dump

Paul Waldon 23 May 23

When the fear of nuclear waste came to Kimba, the nuclear coterie commission a report.

“Points of claim taken from, The University of Queensland, final report November 2018.”

• Value in the residential housing market has fallen by 30-40% over the past 5 years

• As of July 2018, 35 residential properties were listed for sale compared with an historical average of 10-15.

• Perceptions are that not many people are moving to Kimba from outside the wider region.

The rental market is currently stagnant, with local landlords indicating a reduction of over 10- 20% in weekly rental rates required to attract tenants

• No new residential housing construction has occurred in the past 3 year

This is a sign of a town floundering, a town dying, a town with no future as long as it embraces the ideal of nuclear waste.

May 23, 2023 Posted by | business, South Australia | Leave a comment

AUKUS may turn out to be the largest financial swindle perpetrated by the United States and the United Kingdom against Australia and other Asia Pacific nations

 Now, it appears that Australia is becoming yet another naval base for the deployment of US and British fleets in the Asia-Pacific Region, including the basing of US nuclear submarines in 2026, without any hope of restoring economic ties with China and, consequently, the prior level of welfare in the near future. This is in addition to paying “compensation” under the guise of investing in unfeasible defense plans. 20.05.2023 Author: Bakhtiar Urusov

Equipment for the country’s ground forces “arrives with depressing regularity,” years behind time, and substantially over budget, according to a report issued on April 19 by the British Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee. For instance, the programs, which provide new Ajax armored fighting vehicles and Morpheus tactical communication and information systems, have faced significant difficulties. According to the MPs’ assessment, the issue is made worse by underfunding of the defense budget expenditures and the pound’s declining purchasing value in relation to the dollar.

Ten days later, on April 28 this year, the Royal Navy informed the public about the decision to decommission the HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier, launched just four years ago (in 2019), to be used as a donor for spare parts for the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier of the same class. According to the Royal Navy, the $3.72 billion aircraft carrier has docked more frequently than it has participated in naval operations, and the most recent maintenance cost $42 million.

This dispiriting news came just a month after the leaders of the US, the UK, and Australia had disclosed their ambitious long-term plans to build a nuclear-powered submarine fleet for Canberra on the basis of British technology, which will cost the Australian budget $245 billion.

When it comes to extremely sophisticated projects like nuclear submarines, it seems inconceivable that the parties involved would be so irresponsible as to neglect to evaluate the contractors’ capacity to meet their obligations. Still, if you trust the claims made by senior US, British, and Australian officials, the opposite is true in the case of AUKUS. Canberra would never have consented to work together on submarine design and construction with Great Britain’s waning technological strength otherwise. The example of the HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier shows that not only is Great Britain unable to complete a big naval project, but it is also facing significant technological difficulties in order to satisfy present ambitions for defense construction and equipment upgrades.

In the realm of economic crime, assigning work to a contractor who is known to be unable to perform is fraud, money laundering, or corruption.

In the context of Anglo-Saxon big politics, this appears to be retaliation against a certain sector of Australia’s elites for Canberra’s departure from a coordinated approach to restrain the PRC back in the day. This is primarily about the carefree era when Australia and China’s trading and economic relations remained unbroken, providing Canberra with significant revenue from exports to the PRC of a wide range of items, from wine and agricultural products to hard coal and other minerals.

Now, it appears that Australia is becoming yet another naval base for the deployment of US and British fleets in the Asia-Pacific Region, including the basing of US nuclear submarines in 2026, without any hope of restoring economic ties with China and, consequently, the prior level of welfare in the near future. This is in addition to paying “compensation” under the guise of investing in unfeasible defense plans.

All nations, including India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, and some ASEAN members that have been invited to participate in the AUKUS, should take a closer look at this alliance.

Bakhtiar Urusov, a political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.

May 22, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

‘Extremely difficult’ for nuclear energy to ever have a future in Australia- says Secretary of pro nuclear union

Outgoing Australian Workers Union national secretary Daniel Walton says he has witnessed “the pressures businesses have been under” with energy for the last decade……….

He said he has tried to take a “pragmatic view to finding energy solutions”.

“I think for nuclear, as much as I saw it as a fantastic opportunity, I think it’s genuinely going to be extremely difficult for it to ever have a future in Australia.”

May 22, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business | Leave a comment

Government gutted as PwC, Big 4 pick up $1.4b a year for giving advice

I did read where Australia’s Defence Minister Richard Marles was actually thanking PWC for their advice in the AUKUS deal to purchase nuclear submarines. But unfortunately now I cannot find that anywhere on the Internet

by Michael West | May 22, 2023 What’s the scam?

The Centre for Public Integrity has published analysis of political donations and government contract work for Big 4 firms EY, KPMG, Deloitte and PwC. What’s the scam?

The scam is legalised corruption on an industrial scale, a $1.4b a year scale. In Booming Business for Big Four Comes At a High Cost, the Centre has issued a tight bit of analysis but nothing we haven’t been rabbiting on about for years: rising donations, surging income from the outsourcing of government.

The Centre labels the return of billions in consulting work in return for millions in donations the “Return on Investment”. Say no more … except that one thing missing is here that the Big4 are partnerships, opaque structures which means they have no responsibility to disclose anything about their financials.

The government could insist they incorporate. It could whack a withholding tax on them which could withhold tax in the event of mischief, it could stop them buying lawyers to use ‘legal professional privilege’ to stonewall the Tax Office in litigation. And much more. It could act decisively on the PwC scandal. Has the Commonwealth DPP been briefed as to charges for the dozens of partners involved in selling Commonwealth secrets to multinational tax avoiders?

May 22, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Albanese urged to take stand against nuclear weapons during G7 summit in Hiroshima

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons wants Labor to send a ‘message to the region’ and sign and ratify a treaty to impose a ban on atomic weapons

Guardian Daniel Hurst 19 May 23

Anthony Albanese is being urged to take a firm stand against nuclear weapons when he attends the G7 summit in Hiroshima this weekend.

The prime minister has been invited to attend the summit in Hiroshima, which along with Nagasaki was devastated by the US atomic bombing in the closing stages of the second world war.

Albanese is due to arrive in the city on Friday afternoon and will join the mayor of Hiroshima for a visit to the Peace Memorial Park, including the ruins of the former industrial promotion hall now known as the A-bomb dome.

A Nobel prize-winning group, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican), has written to Albanese to urge him to make good on Labor’s promise to join a new treaty to impose an outright ban on nuclear weapons.

The party platform said a Labor government would sign and ratify the treaty, after taking account of factors including the need to work to achieve universal international support.

Ican cited Albanese’s speech championing the treaty in 2018 when he denounced nuclear weapons as “the most destructive, inhumane and indiscriminate weapons ever created”.

“At the 2018 National Labor Conference, you showed what strong leadership on this issue looks like,” said the letter from the co-chairs of Ican Australia, Dr Margaret Beavis and Associate Prof Marianne Hanson.

“You now have the unique responsibility to show the world once again what leadership on this critical issue looks like.

“We urge you to take the opportunity to advance Australia’s position on this treaty when you visit Hiroshima.”

The letter argued the acquisition of nuclear-propelled, conventionally armed submarines under Aukus “sharpens the need for a binding and permanent commitment that Australia will not possess, host or assist with the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons now or in the future”.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) is a relatively new treaty that imposes a blanket ban on developing, testing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons – or helping other countries to carry out such activities.

The TPNW now has 92 signatories, 68 of which have formally ratified it. But it is opposed by the United States and other nuclear weapons states, which argue it is out of step with international security realities.

The former Morrison government said the treaty’s terms were inconsistent with Australia’s obligations under the US alliance.

In November, the US embassy in Canberra warned that the TPNW “would not allow for US extended deterrence relationships, which are still necessary for international peace and security”.

Talei Mangioni, 29, who is a PhD candidate at the Australian National University’s School of Culture, History and Language, addressed a youth summit in Hiroshima late last month. She hopes Albanese makes progress on the issue.

The Ican Australia board member said she was touched to hear directly from hibakusha (survivor) Keiko Ogura about the “invisible scars” of the 1945 bombing and about visits to Japan by Pacific activists in the 1980s.

“At the moment Australia is really out of step with the rest of the region,” said Mangioni, who is of Fijian and Italian descent and whose research focuses on the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Movement.

“Most Pacific countries have either signed or ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. If he were to commit to the TPNW, I think it would send a great message to the region. The nuclear test legacy is a very serious issue in the Pacific and also for Aboriginal communities in Australia.”

During the Albanese government’s first year in office, Australia has taken some cautious steps to engage with the TPNW, including sending a backbencher as an observer to the first meeting of the parties in Vienna last June.

Australia followed that up by shifting its position at a UN committee in October to “abstain” after five years of actively opposing the treaty under the Coalition.

But Albanese and senior ministers have avoided giving a clear timetable for joining the TPNW………………………………

May 20, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Coalition clown show on nuclear on full display in Senate inquiry

A Senate nuclear power inquiry held its only public hearing on Monday. For the most part it was an opportunity for Coalition Senators to express their furious agreement with misinformation fed to them by pro-nuclear witnesses.

Jim Green 17 May 2023 2023

And it was an opportunity for culture warriors Matt Canavan and NSW Senator Hollie Hughes (Shadow Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy) to compete with each other to see who could get the most column-inches in the Murdoch tabloids and the most air-time on Murdoch’s Sky TV.

Canavan said he is getting fitted out for a koala suit to protest the loss of habitat due to wind farms. His laptop was adorned with a ‘Proudly powered by Aussie coal’ sticker even though he was in the ACT, which is proudly 100 per cent net renewable powered.

Hughes insisted that federal legislation banning nuclear power is “ridiculous” and “embarrassing”. That would be the legislation introduced by John Howard’s Coalition government and left untouched by the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison Coalition governments.

The Murdoch media dutifully parroted pro-nuclear nonsense from Monday’s hearing. But to his credit, News Corp’s national weekend political editor James Campbell noted that those “who seem keenest on nuclear energy as a solution to our climate change problems tend in many cases to be exactly the same people who up until five minutes ago were confidently telling us we didn’t need to worry about climate change at all.”

Hughes said last year that climate change is a “luxury issue”, that she opposed stronger emissions reduction targets, and that: “We could shut everything down tomorrow and all go live in trees.” As the Murdoch press noted, this was coming from the Coalition’s second most senior climate change spokesperson.

Public opinion

It was clear from Monday’s hearing that Coalition culture warriors are suffering under the delusion that nuclear power is popular, based on polls with loaded questions and/or tiny sample sizes.

The culture warriors are unaware of, or indifferent to, polls which find that support for nuclear power plummets if the question is posed as a local issue. A 2019 poll found that 28 percent of respondents “would be comfortable living close to a nuclear power plant” while 60 percent would not.

Another 2019 poll found that 19 percent of respondents would agree to a nuclear power plant being built in their area, 58 percent would be opposed and a further 23 percent would be “anxious”.

Inexplicably, Canavan said you “could call nuclear the great unifier”. In fact, the Howard government thought that promoting nuclear would be a great way to divide Labor and to divide the environment movement. It did neither, but it divided the Coalition with at least 22 Coalition candidates publicly distancing themselves from the government’s pro-nuclear policy during the 2007 election campaign.

More recently, Coalition members involved in a 2019 nuclear inquiry had to deal with submissions opposing nuclear power by the SA and Tasmanian Liberal/Coalition governments and the Queensland Liberal-National Party. Labor and environment groups were united in their opposition to nuclear power.

Each new generation of Coalition culture warriors needs to learn afresh that nuclear divides the Coalition, not Labor or the environment movement.

Small modular reactors

Attacking CSIRO for its GenCost nuclear cost estimates was a recurring theme at Monday’s hearing. CSIRO was accused of “cherry picking”, “misleading” the public, research which “doesn’t have much bearing on the real world”, and a “very incomplete process”.

Hughes said it is “misleading and deceptive” for CSIRO to cost small modular reactors (SMRs) but not large reactors. CSIRO doesn’t cost large reactors because the 2019 Coalition-led inquiry recommended retaining legislation banning large reactors. Ted O’Brien — chair of the 2019 inquiry and now the Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy — said “Australia should say a definite ‘no’ to old nuclear technologies”.

The Coalition culture warriors weren’t the least bit concerned about the difficulty of costing technologies which have no meaningful existence. Only two SMRs exist, one each in China and Russia, and those reactors don’t fit the SMR definition of serial factory construction of reactor modules.

The culture warriors were insistent that CSIRO should give much greater weight to ‘expert’ cost estimates, by which they mean vendor estimates. So let’s have a look at the track record of vendor estimates. The cost of China’s SMR was 2-3 times higher than early estimates. The cost of Russia’s SMR increased six-fold. The cost of the still-incomplete SMR in Argentina is more than 20 times higher than early estimates.

For large reactors, cost estimates for the only reactors under construction in the US have increased 12-fold. Cost estimates for the only reactors under construction in the UK have increased 8-fold. Cost estimates for the only reactor under construction in France have increased 6-fold. The current cost estimates for reactors under construction in those three countries range from A$25 billion to A$30 billion per reactor.

Yet the Coalition culture warriors think that vendor estimates should be taken as gospel and should underpin public policy making in Australia. CSIRO’s Paul Graham responded drily to the barrage of abuse: “We regard vendor estimates as the lowest quality data.


One witness told the Senate committee that US company NuScale estimates a cost of $4,200 per kilowatt for its SMR. In fact, NuScale’s latest estimate is A$30,000 per kilowatt (A$14 billion for a 462 megawatt plant). Despite lavish government subsidies amounting to A$6.3 billion, NuScale is struggling to secure private-sector finance to get the project off the ground.

NuScale’s history can be traced to the turn of the century but it hasn’t even begun construction of a single reactor. Likewise, Argentina’s SMR project can be traced back to the last millennium but it hasn’t completed construction of a single reactor.

In 1990, the Coalition’s energy spokesperson claimed that “new-generation reactors … are now coming into use”. A third of a century later, and we’re still waiting.

James Voss, Managing Director of Ultra Safe Nuclear Australia Pty Ltd, falsely claimed at Monday’s Senate hearing that the company is building SMRs in North America (“our first two plants that we’re building now”). The company still needs licensing approvals and funding before it begins construction.

Voss claimed that the there should be no taxpayer subsidies to facilitate the introduction of SMRs to Australia — but the company would not have made the progress it has in North America without taxpayer subsidies and other forms of government support, and it will grind to a halt without further subsidies and support.

The British government in the mid-2000s insisted that new nuclear plants would not be subsidised. But the UK National Audit Office estimates that taxpayer subsidies for Hinkley Point — the only reactor construction project in the UK — could amount to £30 billion (A$52.5 billion) while other credible estimates put the figure as high as £48.3 billion (A$84.5 billion).

Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Tania Constable told the Senate committee there is no difference between SMRs and nuclear-powered submarine reactors. If that were the case the US and the UK — Australia’s AUKUS partners — would have plenty of SMRs given that they have nuclear-powered submarines. They have none.

History repeating itself

Historically, Coalition leaders have backed off nuclear power in the lead-up to elections. The Howard government wrapped up the Switkowski nuclear inquiry in unseemly haste in late-2006, and tried to avoid the issue in the 2007 election year.

The Morrison government didn’t even bother to respond to the December 2019 Coalition-led nuclear inquiry. Nor did the government act on the inquiry’s recommendation to amend legislation to allow for the construction of “new and emerging” nuclear power technologies.

When announcing the AUKUS agreement, Morrison insisted that nuclear powered submarines wouldn’t lead to a domestic nuclear industry in Australia.

But under Peter Dutton, who was spruiking SMRs in his budget reply speech, the Coalition has gone so far down the nuclear rabbit-hole that it will have little choice but to promise to repeal legislation banning nuclear power if it wins the next election.

The Coalition will lose the election, ditch the nuclear policy and probably ditch the leader as well – 2007 all over again.

Then the next batch of Coalition warriors will come up with the bright idea of dividing Labor and the environment movement by promoting nuclear power. Rinse and repeat.

Dr Jim Green is the national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia and lead author of a detailed submission to the Senate inquiry.

May 19, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Richard Marles and the ‘seamless’ transfer of Australian sovereignty

Deputy PM wants to ‘break down the barriers’ of defence export controls to create ‘seamless’ trilateral industrial base under AUKUS


Speaking at the American Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, deputy prime minister and defence minister Richard Marles opened with an anecdote praising a former PricewaterhouseCoopers partner. It was an interesting choice given the tax leaks scandal engulfing PwC, which is making headlines globally, and last week forced the resignation of its Australian CEO.

But Marles was amongst friends. ‘I’m thrilled to be among so many great American companies contributing to Australia.’ He said the Defence Strategic Review had recommended the Defence Department become ‘a better customer’ to defence industry by adopting a new approach to acquisition. Furthermore, ‘the intimate relationship between the US and Australia at a government level implies an opportunity for the private sectors of both our countries.’ Christopher Pyne, yet again present with Marles, was approving.

In his speech, Marles talked about creating a ‘seamless’ defence industrial base between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. This will match the ‘seamless’ interoperability of Australian and US military forces, to be enabled by changes to Australia’s defence laws.

There are many national and international laws and treaties regulating defence industry and its exports, which get in the way of ‘seamless’. (Certain US senators want to TORPEDO them.) Marles sees these regulations as ‘barriers’ that need ‘breaking down’ to facilitate AUKUS.

He set the scene for his speech by delivering his oft-used lines:

We are seeing the biggest conventional military build-up in the world since the end of World War Two. And it is happening right here in our region.

Some rarely-reported facts are necessary for context when considering that claim.

Global military expenditure
 in 2022 was $2.24 trillion. Of that, the United States accounted for $877 billion (39%). China was second, spending $292 billion (13%) and Russia third, $86.4 billion (3.9%). (All US$.) The US outspent the next ten countries combined.

The US also dominates the world in major arms exports. For the period 2018-22, the five largest weapons exporters were the USA (40%), Russia (16%), France (11%), China (5.2%) and Germany (4.2%), who together accounted for three-quarters of all exports. Countries in North America and Europe accounted for 87% of all arms exports.

In Australia, there is remarkably little hard data on our defence industry. Australian Defence Magazine’s annual top 40 defence contractor listing provides the only snapshot.

The defence industry in Australia is dominated by some of the world’s largest multinational arms manufacturers: BAE Systems (UK), Thales (France), Boeing (US), Lockheed Martin (US), Rheinmetall (Germany) and Airbus (Europe). For four of the past five years BAE Systems has been the top contractor and Thales has been second. Boeing has been in the top five each time.

In 2017, an analysis by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (which also used ADM Top 40 data) showed that over the 20 years from 1995-2015, the largest five firms in any given year accounted for, on average, about 65% of total revenue of arms-related contractors. In a chart for 2015, the top 10 took 82% of the revenue and 91% of revenue went to the top 15, leaving less than 10% for the rest, which is where almost all Australian-owned arms companies exist. Updated research is desperately needed, particularly given the significant sums now flowing into this industry.

On the over-hyped subject of jobs, ASPI’s briefing provided useful data: ‘Defence industry accounts for 0.23% of jobs in Australia, and 2.9% of jobs in the manufacturing sector. In terms of annual revenue, defence industry accounts for 0.22% of Australian industry and 1.7% of the manufacturing sector. So, although Australian defence industry is undoubtedly important for our defence force, it represents only a trifling fraction of the overall Australian economy.’ Again, updated research is needed.

In his speech, Marles said the government’s injection of $3.4 billion into a new Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator will ‘help us start delivering advanced, asymmetric capabilities that benefit not just Australia but the US and the UK. And it will start to build a truly trilateral industrial base across our three countries that will see us more seamlessly transfer the skills, workers, and intellectual property we need.’ Australian taxpayers will support the US and UK industries. Why?

He also spoke of ‘breaking down the barriers’ of export controls to facilitate AUKUS.

While there is a shared mission between our countries and an agreement at the highest levels of our governments, there are significant barriers we must break down across our systems… This is particularly true of our export control regimes.

Regulations around transfers of technology, sensitive information and defence materiel are, of course, understandable.

The lip service to regulations being ‘understandable’ was immediately followed by:

But what is really clear is that if we are to realise the ambition of AUKUS, the transfer of technology and information between Australia and the US needs to be seamless…

Australia is committed to breaking down these barriers in our own system while maintaining the robust regulatory and legal frameworks to protect these transfers

The defence minister did not explain how regulatory control could be broken down while concurrently maintaining a robust regulatory framework.

Australia’s defence industry is already dominated by multinational US and UK arms corporations. Local industry (including local subsidiaries of global giants) has been historically lucky if it gained one third of defence acquisition spend, the remainder heading offshore.

If the government removes most of the regulation and creates a ‘seamless’ trilateral industrial base, it is hard to see how anything other than even greater flows offshore to the multinationals will eventuate, despite the political spin.

But what is really clear is that if we are to realise the ambition of AUKUS, the transfer of technology and information between Australia and the US needs to be seamless…

Australia is committed to breaking down these barriers in our own system while maintaining the robust regulatory and legal frameworks to protect these transfers.

The defence minister did not explain how regulatory control could be broken down while concurrently maintaining a robust regulatory framework.

Australia’s defence industry is already dominated by multinational US and UK arms corporations. Local industry (including local subsidiaries of global giants) has been historically lucky if it gained one third of defence acquisition spend, the remainder heading offshore.

If the government removes most of the regulation and creates a ‘seamless’ trilateral industrial base, it is hard to see how anything other than even greater flows offshore to the multinationals will eventuate, despite the political spin.

May 18, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Labor, Greens & Defence Experts call for AUKUS Parliamentary Inquiry

A range of high-profile politicians, former military leaders and academic experts have signed an open letter calling for a Parliamentary Inquiry into the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine deal, appearing in full-page ads today in the Australian Financial Review.

The letter is signed by Senior Former Defence personnel, a former Labor Premier, two former Labor frontbenchers, and other politicians and high-profile individuals.

Experts warn that significant questions about AUKUS deal remain unanswered and require parliamentary scrutiny in the national interest.

Key Points:

  • Signatories include Former Labor WA Premier the Hon. Carmen Lawrence AO, former Labor Minister the Hon. Peter Garrett AM, Former Shadow Minister Doug Cameron and Former Labor MP the Hon. Melissa Parke
  • Senior Defence signatories include Former Chief of the Air Force Air Marshall Ray Funnell AC, and Former Dep. Commander of the UN Peacekeeping Operation in East Timor Major General Michael Smith AO.
  • Greens signatories include Senator Penny Allman-Payne, Senator David Shoebridge and Senator Jordan Steele-John
  • Signatories include former MPs Tony Windsor AM and Dr. Rob Oakeshott
  • Military, political, and academic experts and leaders have called for a parliamentary inquiry into AUKUS, citing a range of concerns including:
    • The $268-$368 billion cost to the budget
    • The proposed approximate four-decade timeframe for delivery
    • The lack of workforce and skills to operate nuclear powered hardware.
    • Sovereignty and strategic policy concerns for Australia
    • Australia’s nuclear waste and NPT obligations

“For a policy of this magnitude and strategic significance, the AUKUS deal for nuclear-powered submarines has been politically rushed. It requires appropriate scrutiny in the national interest,” said Allan Behm, Director of the Australia Institute’s International & Security Affairs Program.

“At $268-368b this is one of the most expensive spending commitments ever made in Defence, with huge implications for our sovereignty that rightly require appropriate Parliamentary oversight.

“Experts and leaders across military, political and academic spheres hold substantial concerns which remain unanswered. Questions about our sovereignty, Australia’s obligations under the NPT, our ability to manage nuclear waste and our workforce gaps in operating nuclear-powered submarines are all outstanding.

“It’s only appropriate that the Australian people and the Parliament are given the opportunity to have their questions answered.”

May 18, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Community batteries

To power Australia without fossil fuels will mean using batteries to store
power from solar and wind. We often think this means home batteries – or
large grid-scale installations. There’s another size too: community-scale
or neighbourhood batteries, which are growing rapidly in Australia due to
support from state governments like Victoria and Western Australia and,
more recently, from the federal government.

They seem to solve a lot of
problems we know people are concerned about – such as enabling more
rooftop solar and helping to speed up a transition to renewables. But the
popularity of these batteries shouldn’t be the only factor in decisions
about where they are rolled out. Sometimes – and in some parts of the
grid – they make sense. At other times, they may not be the best

 Renew Economy 17th May 2023

May 18, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, storage | Leave a comment