Honest Government Advert – Carmichael Coal Mine
What an extraordinary, gutless capitulation by Josh Frydenberg Forget climate policy intricacies – through this pathetic retreat the government has again revealed its true nature, Guardian, Katharine Murphy, 9 Dec 16, What an extraordinary capitulation.
Just 24 hours of controversy from entirely predictable quarters and a carefully calibrated process to try to engineer a truce in Australia’s utterly wretched climate politics has been all but abandoned by its architects.
Josh Frydenberg has gone in the space of 24 hours from saying quite clearly the government would consider an emissions intensity trading scheme for the electricity sector to trying to pretend he said no such thing.
The retreat is, frankly, unseemly.
Actually, the retreat is more than unseemly, it’s pathetic – and the consequences of it stretch far beyond yet another apparent failure to do what needs to be done to ensure our economy makes an orderly transition to the carbon-constrained world that the Turnbull government willingly accepted when it signed Australia up to the Paris international climate agreement this time 12 months ago……
On climate policy the Coalition has backed itself into a tight corner of its own making – and it shows no sign of finding the courage, the steadiness or the integrity to try to manage its way out. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/dec/07/what-an-extraordinary-gutless-capitulation-by-josh-frydenberg
Dig for secrets: the lesson of Maralinga’s Vixen B The Conversation, Liz Tynan, 26 July 13 “……lack of knowledge about the British nuclear tests in Australia is not surprising. The tests were not part of the national conversation for many years. Even when older people remember that nuclear tests were held here, no-one knows the story of the most secret tests of all, the ones that left the most contamination: Vixen B.
Maralinga is a particularly striking example of what can happen when media are unable to report government activities comprehensively. The media have a responsibility to deal with complex scientific and technological issues that governments may be trying to hide. While Maralinga was an example of extreme secrecy, the same kind of secrecy could at any time be enacted again. With the Edward Snowden case, we have seen what can happen when journalists become complicit in government secrecy, and we have learned the press must be more rigorous in challenging cover-ups.
At Maralinga, part of our territory became the most highly contaminated land in the world. But the Australian public had no way of granting informed consent because no-one knew it was happening. Remediating the environmental contamination was delayed for decades for the same reason. While arguments might be mounted for the need for total secrecy at the time (although these arguments are debatable in the case of Vixen B), there was no reason to keep the aftermath totally secret as well. Continue reading
Finkel review criticises climate policy chaos and points to need for emissions trading Report warns investment in electricity has stalled, and existing policies won’t allow Australia to meet its Paris target, Guardian Katharine Murphy, 8 Dec 16, Australia’s chief scientist, Alan Finkel, has said investment in the electricity sector has stalled because of “policy instability and uncertainty” – and he’s warned that current federal climate policy settings will not allow Australia to meet its emissions reduction targets under the Paris agreement.
In a 58-page report that has been circulated before Friday’s Council of Australian Governments meeting between the prime minister and the premiers, Finkel has also given implicit endorsement to an emissions intensity trading scheme for the electricity industry to help manage the transition to lower-emissions energy sources.
While there is no concrete recommendation to that effect, the report, obtained by Guardian Australia, references the evidence from energy regulators that such a scheme would integrate best “with the electricity market’s pricing and risk management framework” and “had the lowest economic costs and the lowest impact on electricity prices”.
Finkel also notes advice from the Climate Change Authority which says market mechanisms have the lowest average cost of abatement, and of the options modelled, an emissions intensity scheme “had the lowest impact on average residential electricity prices”.
The positive commentary from the chief scientist cuts directly across political arguments the Turnbull government has made since dumping its nascent attempt to use the review of the Direct Action policy to explore an intensity trading scheme for electricity – equating carbon pricing with higher power prices for consumers……… Continue reading
Electricity industry pushes for carbon price to aid transition to clean energy system http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-08/electricity-industry-push-for-a-carbon-price/8104642 By political reporter Naomi Woodley Australia’s electricity industry has issued a strongly worded plea to federal and state governments to quickly decide on ways to transform Australia’s ageing energy grid.
In a joint statement released ahead of tomorrow’s Council of Australian Governments meeting, the groups representing generators, distributors and retailers say a national, market-based carbon price is the best option to make the transition to a cleaner energy system.
The Australian Energy Council and Energy Networks Australia said without change, customers face higher prices and an increasingly unstable electricity supply. Continue reading
The electricity provider has committed to buying 500 megawatts of power from wind and solar plants, more than doubling the amount of energy it can source from renewables.
It said on Wednesday it had bought the output from a planned 42.6 megawatt solar farm at Manildra in central west NSW, which will be able to power 14,000 homes per year when completed in 2018.
Managing director Catherine Tanna said EnergyAustralia was looking to lead the development of cleaner energy even though it owns two of the biggest coal power stations in the country. “These are the projects which will come to underpin energy supply in Australia as coal-fired power plants are retired,” she said in a statement. EnergyAustralia plans to ink a 13-year agreement with the Manildra farm by the end of December.
The company already has the rights to more than 450 megawatts of electricity from wind farms in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. EnergyAustralia’s pledge comes after Origin Energy inked a 15-year contract in March with the Moree Solar Farm in northern NSW, which can power 24,000 homes.
Stucco students install one of Australia’s first shared solar and battery systems for apartment block, 702 ABC Sydney ,By Amanda Hoh, 8 Dec 16, After 18 months of “bureaucracy” and jumping through regulatory hoops, the students of Sydney’s Stucco apartments have finally achieved their goal of spearheading a “solar revolution”.
The social housing apartment block in Newtown has become one of the first multi-dwelling buildings in Australia to install a shared solar and battery storage system.
Last week 30 kilowatts of solar panels were placed on the roofs and 36 batteries set up in the building totalling 42.3kW storage capacity. The solar system will now provide 80 per cent of the residents’ energy needs, with the remainder of electricity drawn from the grid. Each student is expected to save up to $35 a month on their electricity bill. “As poor uni students, that difference in a bill makes a huge difference,” Sarah King, Stucco committee president, resident and social work student, said.
“There’s also the great feeling of using green clean energy as opposed to dirty coal.
“As a cooperative, it’s quite empowering to have your own locally sourced power system, otherwise you’re quite vulnerable to what electricity companies are going to charge you. Stucco is a cooperative, not-for-profit housing complex for low-income students from Sydney University. There are 40 residents in the eight units who each pay about $90 in weekly rent. As a cooperative, the students self-manage the property, which is part-owned by the university and the Department of Housing.
How do students pay for solar? A software system was put in place to manage and analyse the energy output from each unit, meaning the Stucco committee now acts as its own energy retailer and issues electricity bills to the residents. For the energy consumption that is provided by solar, the students are charged a maximum of 10 cents during off-peak times and up to 40 cents during peak use.
They are currently in pricing talks with various commercial energy retailers for when the building draws from the grid.
The cost of the project totalled $130,000, with the solar technology costing $97,000……..The students received an $80,000 grant from the City of Sydney.
The remainder of the cost was made up from 25 years’ worth of sinking funds and “grassroots community efforts” of voluntary contributions and pro-bono work……The solar and battery system is expected to take about six to seven years to pay for itself, although Mr Janse Van Rensburg said the long-term gain and savings far outweighed the cost of the system…..The students have started a crowdfunding campaignto help rebuild the administration and sinking funds.
Calls for more solar as household tariffs dumped There are 1.6 million solar systems installed across the country; mainly in free-standing owner-occupied homes and in lower to medium income suburbs.
According to Claire O’Rourke from community-based organisation Solar Citizens, Stucco is “a pioneering project”, particularly as it was conceived by a housing cooperative.
“We’ve had a lot of anecdotal reports from apartment owners who have tried to get this [a multi-apartment dwelling solar and battery system] in place but have failed,” Ms O’Rourke said……..
“The real opportunity is in cities where there are more apartments and renters…….
The Solar Bonus Scheme in New South Wales ends on December 31, which means solar households will no longer receive a feed-in tariff when they redirect energy back into the electricity network. Solar Citizens is lobbying the Government for a mandated minimum tariff to pay solar owners.”Going solar now is the best way to save for the long term, because solar panels will last 20 to 25 years, batteries will last for a decade,” Ms O’Rourke said.
“Landlords and renters everywhere should be inspired by this project [Stucco] and look at starting up similar projects that help them save money and spearhead that revolution we want to see.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-08/stucco-student-housing-installs-shared-solar-battery-system/8103298
The $650 million, 116-turbine farm at Murra Warra, north of Horsham, was approved by Planning Minister Richard Wynne after no objections were received.
“We are paving the way for more investment and jobs in the wind sector and it’s great to see Murra Warra come online and deliver a boost to the region,” Mr Wynne said.
Project operator RES said the farm would create more than 600 jobs during construction, 15 ongoing jobs and remove more than one million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year from Victoria’s energy sector.
It is expected to generate enough energy to power 252,000 homes. RES is working with 18 families, across more than 4250ha, who are expected to receive lease payments for the turbines.
RES also manages a 75-turbine wind farm under construction at Ararat.
Adani’s mega mine neither financially viable nor justified, says energy analyst, ABC News, By Casey Briggs, 8 Dec 16, Adani’s mega coal mine in north Queensland is neither “financially viable nor strategically required” an energy commentator claims.
This week, Adani announced the mine’s regional headquarters will be in Townsville, and the State Government is promoting an “ironclad” handshake deal with the company to source workers from regional Queensland.
Despite the announcements, energy analyst Tim Buckley from the anti-coal think tank The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said there is still doubt over whether the mine is even viable.
“All of my financial analysis over the last four years says the mine is neither financially viable nor strategically required or justified,” Mr Buckley said.
“Financial closure is going to be a major obstacle, I have absolutely no doubt.”
“As the company has admitted, they have not been talking to any financial institutions about this project”
Federal government should study India first
A number of Australian and international banks have reportedly ruled out financing the mine. Adani has also applied for public financing for a $1 billion rail link from the Commonwealth Government, but it’s unclear if the loan will be granted.
Mr Buckley said the Indian Government’s plans to reduce and potentially end coal imports threatens the justification for the project. “[The Australian Government should] go and study what’s happening in India … before they give a billion dollars in taxpayer subsidy to a foreign billionaire who made an investment decision at the height of the coal boom in 2011 and hasn’t progressed the project for six years,” said Mr Buckley.
At the Paris climate summit in November 2015 India’s prime minister Narendra Modi declared that in the 21st century “the world must turn to the sun to power the future”…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-08/adani-mega-mine-neither-viable-nor-required-says-analyst/8100906
Adani faces more legal action as traditional owners vow to halt Carmichael coal mine http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-07/further-legal-action-planned-against-carmichael-coal-mine/8100326, By Kathy McLeish, 7 Dec 16, Traditional owners are set to launch further legal action against Adani’s Carmichael coal mine slated for central Queensland.
The Wangan and Jagalingou people claimed the $22 billion project impinges on their native title rights, and would extinguish their interests over 28 square kilometres of land if it goes ahead.
Spokesman Adrian Burragubba said the group was running four separate legal challenges to the project, and vowed to continue fighting. Continue reading
Australian government’s nuclear waste dump for Barndioota – a sly prelude for importing nuclear waste
It seems there is no way that the federal plan could develop into that grandiose project [the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission importing plan].
But the federal nuclear waste project starts the process in some important ways.
Environmentalists had better stop rejoicing and start examining the machinations behind the Federal Government plan.
Exhuming South Australia’s nuclear waste import dump plan, Independent Australia, 7 December 2016, The SA nuclear waste dump may be dead in the water but a nuclear waste import plan may now be a Federal affair, writes Noel Wauchope.
POLITICAL SUPPORT for South Australia’s nuclear waste import project has collapsed……..
You would think that, with an election coming up in 2018, Jay Weatherill might ponder on the advantages of making a gracious retreat, respecting the remarkably strong recommendation from his own Citizens’ Jury, that the international nuclear dump was not to go ahead “under any circumstances“.
But Jay Weatherill is persisting with the plan, even though it is a bell tolling his political suicide. We can only suspect that Weatherill has some very poor advisers, or that he is beholden to the nuclear lobby.
Let not the anti-nuclear movement rejoice
The plan for importing nuclear waste to South Australia has been several decades in the making and this recent government push has cost at least $13 million. The nuclear lobby is not giving up so easily. The focus now shifts to the plan for a Federal Government nuclear waste dump in Barndioota.
It would be naive to think that these two plans are not connected.
Australia has a relatively small but enthusiastic pro-nuclear lobby, led by Ben Heard and Barry Brook. Ben Heard – who has just started a pro-nuclear group seeking charity status – made the connection between the two waste dump plans, explaining why South Australia could take not only Australia’s but also the world’s nuclear waste.
It is a simple, and in a way logical, idea to say that once a place is radioactively polluted, well, why not choose that place to dump more radioactive pollution? ……..what if we got a nuclear waste dump in South Australia? One that started out storing “low level medical” nuclear waste but then got “intermediate level” nuclear waste originally derived from Sydney’s Lucas Heights nuclear reactor? Especially as medical nuclear wastes are so short-lived — radioactivity lasting generally for just hours, or a few days, it would be pretty silly to have a great big repository site, with not enough wastes to fill it.
……..if medical wastes are radioactive for only hours, or a few days, why would they need to be transported for thousands of miles across the continent? They are produced in very small quantities and currently stored near the point of use — in hospitals. (There’s actually a strong argument for the use of non-nuclear cyclotrons to produce these isotopes close to the hospitals, rather than at the centralised nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights in Sydney.)
So, an underground nuclear waste facility for medical wastes, at remote Barndioota, in South Australia, doesn’t seem necessary.
But then there’s the processed nuclear waste returning to Lucas Heights, from France and the UK. The Australian Government describes this as intermediate-level waste that isn’t harmful unless mismanaged. The French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) has classified it as high-level (long-life) waste according to standards set by ANDRA, the French national radioactive waste management agency. High-level waste is ANDRA’s most severe nuclear waste classification.
Nuclear Shipment Truth Exposed
It is pretty clear that the purpose of the proposed Barndioota nuclear waste dump is the disposal of Australia’s intermediate to high-level waste returning from overseas…….
It seems there is no way that the federal plan could develop into that grandiose project [the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission importing plan].
Federal nuclear waste project to start the process
But the federal nuclear waste project starts the process in some important ways.
First, the plan must navigate several legal difficulties. In 2010, former premier Mike Rann brought in laws to prevent a national nuclear waste dump being placed in South Australia — laws which would have to be repealed before the Federal Government could proceed. Federally, the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 did water down prohibitions on nuclear waste dumping but there are still provisions that have to be overcome, particularly in relation to Aboriginal rights.
Secondly, there is that Aboriginal question. I think that the State and Federal governments are justifiably wary of the opposition they might meet from Indigenous communities — and they are working on that problem. The South Australian Government recently imposed Aboriginal Regional Authorities upon the State’s Indigenous communities. These are being used to fast-track and rubber stamp development over much of the land. They would be integral to Jay Weatherill’s strategy of manufacturing consent……
An unspoken part of the process must surely be the development of the Federal Government’s nuclear waste facility in South Australia, which would conveniently overcome some big hurdles and would make that State look like an attractive place for a nuclear hub.
Environmentalists had better stop rejoicing and start examining the machinations behind the Federal Government plan. https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/exhuming-south-australias-nuclear-waste-import-dump,9814
Why would any reasonable society actually WANT to expose themselves to danger and the
greatest known risk to human kind and for a completely incomprehensible time of at least
100,000 years till the danger of contamination of earth, waters and human beings subsides!!!
For money? For jobs?
What substitute is money and jobs for some at the cost of clean air, uncontaminated water,
uncontaminated land for food growing, a safe environment to bring up children, a healthy
environment to bring up children, a clean environment for every generation?
What extraordinary motivation is driving those who want to risk all this to involve South
Australia our homeland further into the contamination from which there will be no return?
Josephite SA Reconciliation Circle
Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle
SUBMISSION TO ISSUES PAPER 4 “…Regarding the storage of high level (or nuclear long lived) waste, the Royal Commission must
• accept and
• make perfectly clear to the citizens of South Australia
that there are simply NO World’s Best practice for the storage of high level (or nuclear long
The material is simply too dangerous, will live on dangerously for an outrageous 200,000
years (CCSA 2015) – and despite the fervent hopes ofthe nuclear industryIlobby- there are
no technological solutions to its safe storage – now or likely to be in the foreseeable future
and quite possibly never.
Unfortunately there is no safeguard in the assurances of those who claim that the situation is
safe and weapons proliferation won’t happen ‘because we say it won’t ‘.
As long term South Australian citizens our members are well placed to know that –
in the Ernul Maralinga nuclear explosions and the later even more damaging so called ‘minor
trials’ which contained plutonium there were ready assurances given by those whose vested
interests were served by the nuclear explosions going ahead. (as quoted in 1.8. above)
The effects of the Emu and Maralinga fallouts affected many South Australians particularly
those living in the remote Far West and North West of our state and in the areas around
Coober Pedy. Many were Aboriginal and their life style of ground cooking and other factors
placed them in an extremely vulnerable position. This experience – personal in most cases
and to their families in others – is what galvanised the Senior Women Elders of Coober Pedy,
known as the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta (KPKT) to lead what became the national successful
campaign of 1998-2004 against the Federal Government’s imposition of a national radioactive
dump on their land.
All of us were living when the Government used the country for the bomb…Some were living at
Twelve Mile, just out ofCoober Pedy… Whitefellas and all got sick. When we wereyoung, no
women got breast cancer or any other kind ofcancer. Cancer was unheard of with me either and
no asthma. We were people without sickness.
The Government thought they knew what they were doing then. Now again they are coming
along and telling us poor blackfellas, ‘Oh, there’s nothing that’s going to happen, nothing is going
to killyou.’And that will still happen like that bomb over there. KPKTApril 1998 Continue reading
A nuclear power plant should be built in the western Victorian city of Portland to supply cheap electricity to Alcoa’s troubled aluminium smelter, according to a local-micro party MP.
Vote 1 Local Jobs MP James Purcell has warned that Portland, which has a population of about 10,000, will become a “ghost town” if the smelter closes and cheap power generation is not created. He says the recent power failure that damaged the Alcoa’s aluminium smelter illustrated the need for nuclear energy.
Earlier this month the smelter suffered a major setback when one of its two “pot-lines” was closed due to a disastrous power failure……..
Mr Purcell has called on the Andrews government to consult with the people of Portland to determine whether they would support a nuclear facility.
He said major industries, including wood chipping and wool processing were ideal for Portland. But they relied on substantial amounts of power. Mr Purcell said an energy efficient method of power generation would revitalise Portland and ensure the creation of “many thousands of jobs” into the future. “House prices will be double what they are and you finish up with a thriving town or region,” he said………
Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford told Parliament that the Labor Party’s national platform did not support the establishment of nuclear power plants.
She said the government was in “regular dialogue” with community leaders in Portland and would continue to work on a solution to the problems at Alcoa.
Greens energy spokeswoman Ellen Sandell urged Mr Purcell to abandon his push for nuclear power and support renewable energy sources.
“The people of Portland need sustainable jobs and clean energy. They don’t want a toxic waste problem and the dangers of a nuclear power plant in their backyard,” she said.
Alcoa is also negotiating a new electricity supply deal with AGL after the expiration of its previous contact that ensured affordable power. http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/call-to-build-nuclear-power-plant-in-portland-20161206-gt4zt8.html
Australian govt promotes coal and nuclear, despite public opinion and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank policy
the Australian government’s desire to have the AIIB’s investment strategy give more priority to fossil fuel projects runs contrary to Australian public opinion.
According to an online poll from Market Forces, taken between 15 and 19 August by Essential Research, 62% of Australians would prefer multilateral banks like the AIIB and World Bank to use taxpayer dollars to fund renewable energy projects.
The poll, of 1,017 respondents, found just 13% of Australians would prefer money to fund fossil fuel projects (with 26% unsure).
Australia lobbies infrastructure bank to invest in coal and nuclear power https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/dec/06/australia-lobbies-infrastructure-bank-to-invest-in-coal-and-nuclear-power Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank releases draft energy strategy prioritising renewable projects, Guardian, Gareth Hutchens, The Australian government is lobbying for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to put more emphasis on coal and nuclear after concerns renewable energy projects were being prioritised.
Draft guidelines were circulated by the bank that suggest it should prioritise investments in renewable energy projects across Asia while the Turnbull government has argued fossil fuels will play a significant role in energy generation in the region for decades to come..
Australia joined the AIIB in June 2015, with then-treasurer Joe Hockey pledging an initial $930m to the bank. The AIIB has been working with the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, and a range of other banks to satisfy an estimated US$8tn infrastructure shortfall across Asia.
The bank is still in the process of creating its identity, but its founding members, including Australia, have declared the AIIB should be a “green bank.”
The draft guidelines suggest the AIIB should not consider financing nuclear plants at this stage, because the bank would “have to develop the capacity to be involved in such complex and capital-intensive projects”. It says this decision could be revisited if justified.
It also suggests the AIIB should prioritise renewable energy generation over fossil fuel power. Continue reading
“Part 1 “The Adani mine is getting a lot of press after a recent protest in Melbourne rallied for the environment and the damages that the mine will cause.
However, here in QLD the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council is fighting an extensive legal battle against the mine to protect their country in Central Queensland .
“Brisbane Line Reporter Jack McDonnell spoke with Murrawah Johnson a spokesperson from the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council about the Adani mine and the councils campaign.
To gain a perspective of how long they have been battling this decision I asked her to tell her story about how she travelled around the world last year lobbying banks so they wouldn’t fund this mine.”