Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Battle Lines Drawn Over Indian Mega Mine

‘Murrawah Johnson, 21, of the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council, 
is among those standing in the way of the huge Carmichael coal mine project
in Australia’s Queensland state.’   http://menafn.com/1095149597/Battle-Lines-Drawn-Over-Indian-Mega-Mine   Stephen de Tarczynski | MENAFN Press 30 December 2016:

“‘Our people are the unique people from that country,’ says Murrawah,  whose name means ‘rainbow’ in the indigenous Gubbi Gubbi language.
‘That is who we are in our identity, in our culture, in our song and in our dance,’ she adds.
The mine’s estimated average annual carbon emissions of 79 million tonnes are three times those of New Delhi, six times those of Amsterdam and double Tokyo’s average annual emissions.

“The Wangan and Jagalingou, numbering up to 500 people, regard the Carmichael coal mine
as a threat to their very existence and have repeatedly rejected the advances of Adani Mining,
the company behind the project.
The traditional owners argue the mine would destroy their land,  which ‘means that our story is then destroyed. And we as a people and our identity, as well,’
Murrawah, a spokesperson for her people’s Family Council, told IPS. … “

January 1, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Bob Hawke spruiking nuclear power again – to an unreceptive audience

Hawke,-Bob-relevantBob Hawke pushes nuclear power at Woodford Folk Festival north of Brisbane BY MEGAN KINNINMENT ABC NEWS WED DEC 28 Former prime minister Bob Hawke’s assertion that nuclear power is the salvation for a planet ravaged by global warming divided the crowd at the Woodford Folk Festival, north of Brisbane today. But it was his assertion that Australia should take on the world’s nuclear waste that had the crowd most worked up, prompting several calls of “no thanks” from the audience.

Last night, pop singer Paul Kelly said Mr Hawke was a hard act to follow after he had the crowd singing along to Waltzing Matilda at the festival’s opening ceremony.

But today’s address under the big top did not meet with universal acclaim.

“The time has come when we’ve got to think big if we’re going to face the big issues of our time,” Mr Hawke told those assembled.

“We’re going to have to be prepared to think about changes that are quite radical.”

That comment was greeted with a round of applause.

Then he began to elaborate, advocating nuclear power.

“Nuclear power would be a win for the environment and an essential part of the attacking that must be made on this grievous and dangerous global warming,” he said.

“It would be a win for the global environment and a win for Australia.”…..Mr Hawke said Australia would benefit financially from the transaction and could use profits towards ending Indigenous poverty. http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-28/we-must-embrace-nuclear-power-bob-hawke-divides-audience/8151346?pfmredir=sm

December 30, 2016 Posted by | politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Conflict of interest as Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF) board members approve $1bn to Adani coal project

five of the seven Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF) board members have what it calls “strong ties” to the mining industry.

Adani’s Carmichael coalmine doesn’t meet infrastructure fund criteria, says Greenpeace https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/dec/21/adanis-carmichael-coalmine-doesnt-meet-infrastructure-fund-criteria-says-greenpeace

Analysis says $1bn of commonwealth funding would amount to paying $683,000 for each job generated, Guardian, , 21 Dec 16, Adani’s coal infrastructure should not be given money from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund since it does not meet at least two of the mandatory criteria, according to analysis by Greenpeace. Continue reading

December 23, 2016 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Queensland giant Carmichael coal project in doubt: Adani announces move away from new coal mines

India announces plan to step away from coal, casting doubt on approved Queensland Adani mine http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-19/india’s-plan-to-step-away-from-coal-casts-doubt-on-adani-mine/8131240

Key points:

  • The plan says no need for additional coal fired energy capacity in next decade
  • Six-fold rise in energy from renewable sources key part of national electricity plan
  • Josh Frydenberg said the Adani mine had to go ahead because India desperately needed it for energy

The new national electricity plan says India will not need any additional coal-fired energy capacity in the next decade.

India’s Energy Minister Piyush Goyal alluded to a renewables pivot when he spoke to Four Corners last year.

“I hope in the years to come we can see an explosion of renewable energy on the back of cheaper storage,” Mr Goyal said.

Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.

        

AUDIO: Listen to Stephen Long’s story (AM)

Tim Buckley from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analytics told AM the development was bad news for the Australian coal industry.

“They [India] say that they have 50 gigawatts of coal-fired power plants under construction already, so it’s far better to complete those than write them off as stranded assets,” he said.

“But no new coal-fired plants in India in the next decade.”

Mr Buckley said the plan had left the Adani proposal “totally stranded”.

“It is a white elephant, and it is six years past it’s use by date,” he said………

However, Adani rejects Mr Buckley’s argument, saying it needs to coal for itself.

“What happens to the market has no implication for Adani because we are supplying our own power stations with our own coal,” an Adani spokesman told the ABC.

Plans to fund billion-dollar railway to mineDespite these doubts, the Australian Government plans to give a $1 billion subsidised loan to Adani to build a railway to the planned mine.

When the then Minister for Resources Josh Frydenberg approved the Adani mine in north Queensland 14 months ago, he argued it had to go ahead because India desperately needed it for energy.

“I think there is a strong moral case here, it will help lift hundreds and millions of people out of energy poverty, not just in India but right across the world,” Mr Frydenberg said.

Mr Buckley said the International Energy Agency (IEA) had forecast that hundreds of gigawatts of new coal-fired power plants would be built in India in the next few decades.

“The Indian Energy Ministry is saying that is absolutely wrong,” he said.

“He instead articulates a plan that involves building 215 gigawatts of renewable energy, building another 20 gigawatts of hydro, building five gigawatts of nuclear, building a bit more gas, and dramatically elevating the importance of energy efficiency and grid efficiency in order to diversify India rapidly away from coal.”

December 21, 2016 Posted by | energy, Queensland | Leave a comment

Warning from UNESCO on Great Barrier Reef

barrier-reeefUNESCO says Great Barrier Reef is back in the danger zone (includes videos) 

December 19, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, environment, Queensland | 1 Comment

Greens urge Queensland government to reject $1 billion taxpayer-funded loan for Adani coal rail line

coal CarmichaelMine2NAIF funding: Greens call for Queensland government to put stop to Adani loan, SMH. Felicity Caldwell, 12 Dec 16.  Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk should reject a $1 billion taxpayer-funded concessional loan for the Adani Carmichael mine’s rail line, the Queensland Greens say.

The Greens say the Premier has the power to reject funding under the federal government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility………Last week, Ms Palaszczuk met with Mr Adani and announced Townsville would be home to the Carmichael mine’s regional headquarters.

The Greens’ statewide campaign calling on the government to reject the NAIF loan and protect the reef will start in the electorate of Mount Coot-tha, targeting Environment Minister Steven Miles’ seat.

Billboards will be erected in the electorate and will be accompanied with online videos and a doorknocking campaign. http://www.smh.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/naif-funding-greens-call-for-queensland-government-to-put-stop-to-adani-loan-20161212-gt9erv.html

December 16, 2016 Posted by | climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

The Australian tax-payer is the sole investor in Adani’s coal export plans.

Aside from the culture, environment and cost, is Adani a good investment?, The Age, Julien Vincent , 13 Dec 16, 

The Australian public is the sole investor in Adani’s coal export plans.

Adani is an Indian conglomerate that wants to build the largest thermal coal mine in Australia, a rail line of almost 400 kilometres connecting it to the coast, and a coal export terminal in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The coal would be shipped out through the reef, giving it a perfect view of the bleaching and mortality that has been decimating our valuable natural icon recently before being burned in power stations overseas, only to further contribute to climate change and ocean acidification, considered the greatest long-term risks to the reef.

Given that the reef sustains 60,000 jobs and provides $6 billion per year of economic benefit to Australia, investors may want to consider conflicts of interest before moving ahead.

Some other niggling environmental risks investors might want to consider is the drainage of 12 billion litres per year of water from the Great Artesian Basin and the impacts of coal dust on people’s health along the transport corridor, along with particulate matter from the power stations as the coal is burned.

coal CarmichaelMine2

We’d also want to be content with supporting a mine that has not received free, prior and informed consent from traditional owners, potentially making this a major human rights issue.

But enough of the existential threats posed to culture, people, sites of natural World Heritage and the climate.

Let’s look at the numbers. Last week’s proposal by the Australian government of a $1 billion loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund means as investors we need to understand the business case.

First of all, don’t be put off by Adani’s corporate debt, which is two-and-a-half times the size of the company. Or the fact that Adani’s share price is down 20 per cent this year. This loan would actually be going to Adani’s private family company, based in Singapore and ultimately owned by Atulya Resources in the Cayman Islands, where we can be sure the money will be totally secure.

The mine will supply new coal power stations in India, whose power minister said yesterday would not be required until 2022, and who wants to get India off imported coal within the next few years. The power will only cost twice that of new renewable energy, and so an exciting market has been identified among those living in energy poverty.

Should the India option fail, the coal could be sold onto the seaborne market, which has declined by 10 per cent in recent years, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Bernstein and others declaring it in structural decline.

Conditions like these have frightened off a few more faint-hearted commentators, such as the Queensland Treasury under the Newman government, which described the project as unbankable. Or Wood Mackenzie, which still considers the project as having a negative net present value.

Should the India option fail, the coal could be sold onto the seaborne market, which has declined by 10 per cent in recent years, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Bernstein and others declaring it in structural decline.

Conditions like these have frightened off a few more faint-hearted commentators, such as the Queensland Treasury under the Newman government, which described the project as unbankable. Or Wood Mackenzie, which still considers the project as having a negative net present value…….

It’s clear that our investment is going to make a major difference. But will it be enough? $1 billion is a huge lifeline but depending on what assumptions you make about the scale of the project or who you’re prepared to believe, this project is going to cost anywhere from $7 billion to $21 billion……http://www.theage.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/aside-from-the-culture-environment-and-cost-is-adani-a-good-investment-20161213-gta0nq.html

December 14, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners construct ‘legal line of defence’ against Adani and Qld Govt

legal actioncoal CarmichaelMine2http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/traditional-owners-construct-legal-line-of-defence-against-adani-and-qld-govt/ 7 December 2016:

“Announce Full Bench Supreme Court Appeal – natural justice sought

“Express Anger at Gautam Adani’s Failure to Meet

“The Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council have today announced a further action in their legal line of defence of their lands and rights against the imposition of Adani’s “mine of mass destruction”.  They have also expressed offence at multi-billionaire Mr Gautam Adani’s failure to meet with them during his visit to Australia to spruik the Carmichael project.

“Leading Aboriginal rights advocate, primary W&J Traditional Owner and Council spokesperson, Mr. Adrian Burragubba, says,  “We are constructing a legal line of defence because the Queensland Government and Adani are trying to bulldoze us aside.  We will not stand by while they sing from the same song sheet about their grandiose but hollow plans.

We are acting in the courts to stop this destructive project.  Our people, the Australian community, and the world deserve better than this cavalier, unjust and outdated approach to our shared future” …

“W&J youth leader and council spokesperson, Ms. Murrawah Johnson, says,
“It is our obligation as Traditional Owners to safeguard the future for our people and secure our lands and waters against this ‘mine of mass destruction’.
The W&J Council members have vowed to do everything in our power to stop the mine proceeding,
and we will take our concerns to the High Court if necessary.

““We are not easily intimidated. We will fight this mine until Mr Adani and his people pack their bags and head home”, she said.

“Lawyer for the Supreme Court Appeal and other matters, Mr. Colin Hardie says,
“There are  reasonable grounds for my clients to argue that they were denied natural justice
by the Minister for Mines in the issuing of the mining leases for the Carmichael Mine.
The denial of natural justice can create significant costs and cause distress to Traditional Owners,
leading to a profound devaluing of their native title to land and waters. … “

December 9, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, climate change - global warming, legal, Queensland | Leave a comment

Not justified, not financially viable – Adani’s huge coal mine project

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.

coal CarmichaelMine2

The mining giant will begin construction on its $22 billion Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee basin in central Queensland next year.

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

 

December 9, 2016 Posted by | business, climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Traditional landowners running legal challenges against Adani coal project

legal actionAdani 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/8100326By 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

December 9, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, legal, Queensland | Leave a comment

The Wangan & Jagalingou Family Council’s fight against the Adani mine

coal CarmichaelMine2 PART 1
http://www.4zzzfm.org.au/news/audio/2016/12/06/wangan-jagalingou-family-councils-fight-against-adani-mine-part-1
6 December 2016:

“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.”

Click the link for part 2:
http://www.4zzzfm.org.au/news/audio/2016/12/06/wangan-jagalingou-family-councils-fight-against-adani-mine-part-2

December 7, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Traditional Aboriginal owners will fight on against Adani coal mine

protestAdani mine leases – Queensland Supreme Court Judicial Review decision  25 November 2016

‘We will not be halted in our fight to protect our land and water, say Traditional Owners’

‘Further appeal being considered, full bench of the Federal Court still to rule’

“Today’s decision in the Supreme Court to dismiss Traditional Owners’ challenge to the issuing of the mining leases to Adani  by Mines Minister Anthony Lynham only strengthens our resolve and proves how worthless the State considers our common law native title rights to be, said leading Aboriginal rights advocate, senior Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owner  and W&J Council spokesperson, Adrian Burragubba. …

Lawyer for the five applicants to the Judicial Review, Mr Colin Hardie says,
“My clients will review the decision and consider their grounds for an appeal, looking especially at the way in which they believe they were denied natural justice before the Minister granted the mining leases”.

““We are concerned with the way in which the Minister has failed to consider the native title rights of our clients, and their obvious and plain rejection of the Adani project.   The fully informed and prior consent of traditional owners for mining projects is increasingly being recognised in international law and it should not be any different in Queensland”, Mr Hardie said. …” http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/adani-mine-leases-qld-supreme-ct-judicial-review-decision/

November 27, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Queensland | Leave a comment

Adani Carmichael coal mine faces many more questions and legal hurdles

legal actionCarmichael mine jumps another legal hurdle, but litigants are making headway, The Conversation,  Lecturer in Law, The University of Queensland, 27 Nov 16   The Carmichael coal mine planned for Queensland’s Galilee Basin has cleared another legal hurdle, with the state’s Supreme Court dismissing a legal challenge to the validity of the Queensland government’s decision to approve the project.

The court found in favour of the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, ruling that its approval of Indian firm Adani’s proposal was within the rules.

The decision is another setback for environmentalists’ bid to stop the controversial project. But Adani does not yet have a green light to break ground on the project, and legal questions still remain, both about this project and about climate change litigation more generally.

The Supreme Court ruling Continue reading

November 27, 2016 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Queensland government gives Adani coal mine special privileges

Qld Labor exempts Adani mine from  public submission and appeals on groundwater http://www.edoqld.org.au/news/qld-labor-exempts-adani-mine-from-public-submission-and-appeals-on-groundwater/  Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) 9 November 2016:
“The Queensland Labor government last night passed the Environmental Protection (Underground Water Management) and
Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 (EPOLA Bill) and Water Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 (WLA Bill).

coal CarmichaelMine2

““The Queensland Parliament has passed last minute amendments to the Labor Government’s groundwater protection laws.
The effect is that the public, be they conservation groups or local landholders, won’t have any submission or appeal rights
on groundwater licences relating to the Adani Carmichael mine,” said Jo Bragg, CEO of Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) Queensland.

“Adani will still be required to obtain an associated water licence, introduced through the EPOLA Bill.
However, an exemption has been explicitly carved out for Adani
which removes the public and the Court’s power to undertake normal scrutiny of this licence. … ”

Water reforms passed
– exemption from public scrutiny for Adani and retrospective dewatering approval
demonstrate regulatory capture by mining industry

http://www.edoqld.org.au/news/water-reforms-passed-exemption-from-public-scrutiny-for-adani-and-retrospective-dewatering-approval-demonstrate-regulatory-capture-by-mining-industry/  Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) 10 November 2016:

” … two last minute amendments are highly concerning as to their impact on proper management of our water resources
in Queensland from mining impacts, and suggest regulatory capture:

“X   Exemption for Adani from public and Court scrutiny of groundwater impacts of Carmichael coal mine …

“X   Retrospective approval of dewatering activities for many mines in Qld! … ”

Green groups fume over Adani’s water licence exemption

http://www.dailymercury.com.au/news/green-groups-fume-over-adanis-water-licence-exempt/3110429/

http://m.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/news/green-groups-fume-over-adanis-water-licence-exempt/3110429/

http://www.qt.com.au/news/green-groups-fume-over-adanis-water-licence-exempt/3110429/

November 14, 2016 Posted by | climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Urgent need for public education and action on fluoridation of Queensland’s water

New Queensland Health data shows 3223 children aged 10 and under required hospital treatment in 2013-14 for dental caries (the scientific term for tooth decay or cavities).

More than 51 per cent of Queensland five to 10-year- olds who attended public dental clinics in 2014-15 had decay in their baby teeth. On average, four teeth were affected.

Decay in Queensland children aged five to 10 was 20 per cent higher than national averages to 2012-14 and 33 per cent higher in the permanent teeth of nine to 14-year-olds.

Queensland’s Chief Dentist Dr Mark Brown said he was concerned by the “high level of tooth decay” in children, describing it as “a significant problem”.

In terms of population, about three-quarters of the state has water fluoridation – up from less than 5 per cent before the Bligh government made fluoridated water supplies mandatory for communities of more than 1000 people in 2008.

But since 2012, changes made under former premier Campbell Newman have allowed councils to pull out of fluoridating water supplies.

“My concern is for the quarter of the population in regional and rural Queensland who don’t have access to fluoridation,” Dr Brown said. “That community is being left behind when most Australians now have access to water fluoridation.”.

Australian Dental Association state fluoride spokesman Dr Michael Foley said there was no doubt water fluoridation reduced the risk of decay.

  “We’re spending a fortune on general anaesthetics for kids with dental decay,” he said. “It’s stupid. Water fluoridation saves truckloads of money in saved dental costs.”

Dr Foley said he would like to see the State Government take control of fluoridating drinking water, rather than local councils. Continue reading

November 14, 2016 Posted by | health, Queensland | 6 Comments