Australian news, and some related international items

Port Augusta, South Australia, becoming an Australian, a global, leader in renewable energy

Life after coal: the South Australian city leading the way
It was a coal town, predicted to be wiped out by the closure of two ageing power plants. Now Port Augusta has 13 renewable projects in train,
Guardian by Adam Morton 20 July 18 

The largest solar farm in the southern hemisphere lies on arid land at the foot of the Flinders Ranges, more than 300km north of Adelaide. If that sounds remote, it doesn’t do justice to how removed local residents feel from what currently qualifies as debate in Canberra.

As government MPs and national newspapers thundered over whether taxpayers should underwrite new coal-fired power, mauling advice from government agencies as they went, residents of South Australia’s Upper Spencer Gulf region have been left to ponder why decision-makers weren’t paying attention to what is happening in their backyard.

In mid 2016, this region was on the brink, hit by the closure and near collapse of coal and steel plants. Now it’s on the cusp of a wave of construction that investors and community leaders say should place the region at the vanguard of green innovation – not just in Australia but globally. There has been an explosion in investment, with $5bn spread over the next five years. There are 13 projects in various stages of development, with more than 3,000 construction and 200 ongoing jobs. The economy of this once-deflated region has been transformed and those who live here are starting to feel hopeful again….

In simple terms, the Upper Spencer Gulf transition story goes like this.  ……

At the same time, further around the gulf, the steel town of Whyalla was teetering precipitously after the owner, Arrium, put the mill in voluntary administration facing debts of more than $4bn.

Yet as the doom hit, there were also rays of hope as several clean power projects were mooted for the surrounding area.

Two years on, the Port Augusta city council lists 13 projects at varying stages of development. And Whyalla has unearthed a potential saviour in British billionaire industrialist Sanjeev Gupta, who not only bought the steelworks but promised to expand it while also spending what will likely end up being $1.5bn in solar, hydro and batteries to make it viable.

Gupta says the logic behind his investment in solar and storage is simple: it’s now cheaper than coal.

Johnson says he expects the Upper Gulf region to receive $5bn in clean energy investment over the next five years. “My gut feel – and I’m an optimist – is that they will all go ahead,” he says. “They are different technologies and they are playing in different markets, so they are not competing for power purchase agreements.”By any measure, the Bungala solar power plant is vast. Once its second stage is complete, 800,000 photovoltaic modules will cover an area the size of the Melbourne central business district……

Bungala is nearing completion, with work on the $425m plant expected to be finished by January. Its first section started feeding into the national electricity grid in May. Further west, ground has been broken on the 59-turbine, 212MW Lincoln Gap wind farm, though progress has temporarily stalled after developer Nexif Energy discovered unexploded ordnance from historic military testing on site.

As Guardian Australia visited the region, the South Australian Liberal government gave final approval for a $600m hybrid wind-and-solar energy park on the south-eastern edge of Port Augusta that proponent DP Energy says will be the largest development of its kind in the country. A second stage with more solar and a 400MW battery is slated to follow.

The world is going slow on coal, but misinformation is distorting the facts

At Cultana, just north of Whyalla, Energy Australia is investigating building the country’s first saltwater pumped hydro energy storage plant. It would draw water from the Spencer Gulf, pump it uphill when energy is plentiful and cheap, and convert it to hydro electricity at times of high demand. A decision on the project is expected in 2019.

All are potentially agenda setting, but none are as anticipated as the Aurora solar thermal power station. It is the culmination of a push that began in 2010. A research paper by advocacy group Beyond Zero Emissions formed the basis for the creation of Repower Port Augusta, a community group that built widespread support for bringing the developing technology to the region among councils, business and unions.

US developer SolarReserve took notice. It plans to use a field of mirrors to heat a molten salt system inside a 234-metre tower. It will both generate electricity and store eight hours of energy that can be sent out when the sun isn’t shining. The company says the $650m plant, to be built at the Carriewerloo sheep station about 30km north of Port Augusta, will be the world’s largest solar tower with storage and provide 5% of the state’s energy needs.

Aurora is not the only solar-thermal project linked to the region. Port Augusta is already home to a small concentrated solar-thermal plant owned by Sundrop Farms that it uses to run a hydroponic greenhouse that provides Coles with tomatoes.

Also on the horizon, and just as unique design-wise, is a proposal by Solastor, chaired by former Liberal party leader John Hewson. It promises new graphite-based technology to capture solar energy and store it in a load-shifting battery. Hewson says it will be a world-class project. “Solar thermal will take the market, there’s no doubt about that,” he says.

Why are developers choosing the Upper Spencer Gulf? Investors say it has several things going for it: great sunshine; a history of electricity generation that left strong connections into the national grid; nearby industry – particularly mine developments – demanding reliable energy; strong facilitating support from the Weatherill Labor government that has continued under the new Liberal premier, Steven Marshall.

…………“The Upper Spencer Gulf happens to be a very good place to start,” Garnaut says. “Some coal generation regions have good renewables and others don’t, and no others have them as good as Port Augusta. [But] the Port Augusta developments could be replicated in any region that has good solar and wind resources.”

The inclusion of solar thermal is crucial as it means jobs on a semi-industrial scale. Wind and solar photovoltaic plants bring plenty of jobs in construction, but few in operation. Solar thermal has more in common in operation with coal, using steam to spin a turbine. SolarReserve expects to have a 50-strong permanent workforce at the Aurora plant. …….


July 19, 2018 Posted by | energy, South Australia | Leave a comment

Promoting Nuclear Waste Dump – the sole purpose of Hawker Community Development Board

Tim Bickmore  No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia  So, it would seem that apart from dump promotions the HCDB has no other purpose.

As the HCDB is now neutral in concern to the NRWMF until the formal vote is counted this page will now be going into recess until this has occurred. Future meeting dates will be advertised on ‘Get About’ Hawker and in the town Crier. See you all again in September

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Planned nuclear dump sites – Access denied to Barngarla Native Title Representative Body.

Everybody For A NUclear Free Future, 14 July 18, After claiming there was no aboriginal heritage issues at the proposed Kimba suppositories, DIIS denies entry to Barngarla Native Title Representative Body.

“We wrote to the department on 21 February requesting access for sites, for the purposes of that assessment being carried out, and advising that the DAC would contact the department after that assessment had been complete for the purpose of working a way forward for these consultation processes. The department advised that they couldn’t provide access to the sites. You’ve been provided a redacted version of the report. The material that was provided following our initial submissions—I think that was only provided to you in the last few days—is somewhat compromised, but it has identified that there are nine confirmed sites and nine potential sites that are affected.

As part of that assessment team, which included some of the DAC board members here. Mr Brandon McNamara, who’s a Barngarla elder, invited the department to come along to a board meeting on 3 March and that invitation was declined. There were also statements made to the assessment team that the engagement of Dr Gorring to carry out the assessment was premature, which we find quite surprising. If the department has already issued statements that there’s no heritage and not provided information about what heritage assessments of its own it has made, to then make a comment that for Barngarla to carry out its own heritage assessments was premature is a bit surprising.”;db=COMMITTEES;id=committees%2Fcommsen%2F3b50aa48-41ab-4efe-92b1-1be895dcca94%2F0003;query=Id%3A%22committees%2Fcommsen%2F3b50aa48-41ab-4efe-92b1-1be895dcca94%2F0000%22

Office Admin

July 14, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Earthquakes happen in the Kimba area – not a good place for a nuclear waste dump.

Michael Skeet Kilowsky Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SAEyre Peninsula, SA, ML 4.5 1998 February 26, 14:13 UT
(Friday, February 27, 12:43 am CDST)
This earthquake occurred north of Cleve and south of Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, about 250km northwest of Adelaide. It was felt over northern Eyre Peninsula, and on Yorke Peninsula at a distance of about 110km from the epicentre. The maximum reported intensity was Modified Mercalli Intensity 4. Located by Sutton Earthquake Centre, PIRSA Adelaide.

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, safety, South Australia | Leave a comment

Breathtaking hypocrisy of nuclear enthuisiasts Minister Josh Frydenberg, and Rowan Ramsey

Paul Waldon Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, July 2 

An excerpt from Rowan Ramsey’s news letter…
[“Minister Josh Frydenberg visit to Wilpena and Rawnsley Park.” Members of the SA Department for Environment and Water discussed their pursuit of a nomination for World Heritage for parts of the Flinders ranges with Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg, Rowan and State Tourism Minister David Ridgeway in May.

The department is engaged in conversations with stakeholders to proceed. Both the Minister and Rowan also attended the 50 year celebration of tourism at Rawnsley Park. Congratulations to the Smith family on the world class experience they have created and their role in increasing the profile of tourism in the Flinders Ranges.] So I put it to everyone, what is Josh Frydenberg’s and his coterie’s sudden interest in World Heritage, Tourism or the environment of the Flinders, and politics.?

July 6, 2018 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Earthquake rocks planned area for nuclear waste dump Eastern Eyre Peninsula

Earthquake rocks Eastern Eyre Peninsula Kathrine Catanzariti  Eyre Tribune, 2 July 18  Kathrine Catanzariti

July 6, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Voting in Flinders Ranges Council is open to a broad range of people

Barb Walker shared a post. NO Nuclear Waste Dump For South Australia , 1 July 18 
Flinders Ranges residents, Adnyamathanha Yura and property owners, please read this carefully and make sure you are eligible to vote in the upcoming Ballot in August. This notice is specific to the October Council elections but you will still need to do the same checking for the August Ballot before July 31st.

The Flinders Ranges Council  June 15 at 3:58 PM

Voting in council elections is open to a broader range of people than state and federal elections.

The voters’ roll for council elections consists of two components – the House of Assembly (State) roll, and the council supplementary roll.

If you are on the State (House of Assembly) electoral roll you will automatically receive a voting pack in the mail in late October 2018.

If you are not enrolled on the House of Assembly roll you may be eligible to register on the council supplementary roll if:

You have been resident at your current address for one month and are not on the State Electoral Roll;
You are a sole owner/occupier of rateable property;
You are NOT an Australian Citizen but you have been a resident at your current address for one month;
You are a landlord for rateable property;
You are an organisation/business owner or occupier of rateable property; or
You are a group of owners or occupiers of rateable property.

To register for Council’s Supplementary Voters Roll please download the appropriate form from Councils website here:

July 2, 2018 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Brett Stokes shows how plans for nuclear waste dumping in South Australia have breached S.A. law

Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000. – No public money to be used to encourage or finance construction or operation of nuclear
waste storage facility
13. Despite any other Act or law to the contrary, no public money may be appropriated,
expended or advanced to any person for the purpose of encouraging or financing any activity
associated with the construction or operation of a nuclear waste storage facility in this State.

Prohibition against construction or operation of nuclear waste storage facility
8. A person must not construct or operate a nuclear waste storage facility.

Prohibition against importation or transportation of nuclear waste for delivery to nuclear
waste storage facility
9. A person must not—
(a) bring nuclear waste into the State; or
(b) transport nuclear waste within the State,
for delivery to a nuclear waste storage facility in the State


Brett Stokes – Appendices to Submission to Senate on Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia 

Appendix A

Breaches of s13 of the NWSF(P) Act 2000:

During 2015 and 2016, s13 has been breached by spending of public money on many promotional and planning aspects of nuclear waste importation, in particular the “Business Case” prepared by JacobsMCM for Kevin Scarce (Attorney General’s Department tender AGD 027852).

This “single-quote” Business Case document has been criticised because it was prepared by people with vested interests.

This “single-quote” Business Case document contains economic predictions which have been challenged by UniSA economists Barbara Pocock and Richard Blandy and by many others.

These economic predictions have been promoted as “facts” by Kevin Scarce and associates.

The amendment to s13 in early 2016 did not allow “spruiking” for nuclear waste importation, said Mark Parnell MLC.

– “The law now says that the Government can use public money to consult the community but they’re not to use public money for promoting or designing or even buying land for a nuclear waste dump.” – Mark Parnell MLC, April 2016

Many people have spoken out about the biased information and processes involved with the public funded Nuclear Schools Engagement Program, the public funded KNOW Nuclear advertising campaign, the public funded Your Say Nuclear advertising campaign and the public funded Nuclear Citizens Juries.

Therefore s13 has been breached during 2016 by participants in the Nuclear Schools Engagement Program, the KNOW Nuclear advertising campaign, the Your Say Nuclear advertising campaign and the Nuclear Citizens Juries.

The Nuclear Schools Engagement Program involved indoctrination of young children who were not all fooled:

“Listen to us more rather than spend days like today talking to us. Answer questions that deal with the negatives. Many questions were dodged by the experts.” Mt Lofty/Bridgewater Primary School.

“The day has provided an opportunity to find out more about nuclear storage in SA, but we feel as though the information has been biased and pro-nuclear” Streaky Bay/Ceduna.

“It was great to be given the opportunity and it was informative but all information has been very bias toward pro-nuclear. The other side needs to be heard!” Cleve Area School and Cowell Area School.

Appendix B

Threats and conspiracy to commit offences prohibited under s8 and s9 of the NWSF(P) Act 2000:

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

Detailed plans for importation and storage of nuclear waste into South Australia were produced in the “Business Case” prepared by JacobsMCM for Kevin Scarce (Attorney General’s Department tender AGD 027852).

These plans were then promoted by Kevin Scarce and associates.

June 27, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

Geologists warn that the Barndioota region is a dangerous site for nuclear waste dumping

Barb Walker to Quorn – Out & About Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA June 25

From: Professor Chris von der Borch
For distribution: The Advertiser, The Transcontinental, The Town Crier, Quorn Out and About, The Mercury and Get About – Hawker.
Received: Sunday, June 24th 2018

Subject: Proposed nuclear waste dump near Hawker.

“A site on the western slopes of the Flinders Range west of Hawker is one of the key areas currently under consideration for storage of low level, and the much more dangerous intermediate level, nuclear waste. A number of distinguished geological colleagues and myself, who collectively share many decades of geological research in the proposed area, are very concerned that the one of the suggested storage sites, in the Barndioota region, ticks “all the wrong boxes” as a fail-safe option.

Such nuclear waste, which would have a radioactive half-life of tens of thousands of years, needs a careful consideration of the geological parameters of a proposed responsible storage site, rather than what appears to be “political expediency”! And the site under consideration would certainly not satisfy these geological considerations.

It lies in one of the most seismically active regions of Australia. It lies in a zone which is subject to catastrophic flash-flooding and mudflow activity. The area is adjacent to a major saline lake, Lake Torrens, which is a “terminal drainage area”, meaning that all surface and underground run-off from the ranges ends up in the periodically drying surface lake sediments. So the bottom line is that, were such a storage site were to break down within the next several thousand years, radioactive material would end up in the surface sediments of Lake Torrens. Dry desert winds would then have the potential to disperse radioactive dust over large areas which may well be occupied by humans in the future.”

June 27, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, reference, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australian top university big-wigs are nuclear industry promoters

South Australia’s academic bigwigs infected with pronuclear delusions.
UniSA Chancellor Jim McDowell is also Chair of the ANSTO Board & ex-CEO of BAE.
AdUni Chancellor is Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce.

University of Adelaide and UniSA in merger talks, InDaily,   Bension Siebert- 19 June 18 The University of Adelaide and UniSA have announced historic talks to merge into a single university which they claim could be immediately placed within the world’s top 100 universities.

The governing councils of both universities have agreed to a six-month “period of collaboration” to negotiate a potential merger, according to a joint statement released by the universities today.

University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen and UniSA Vice-Chancellor David Lloyd will oversee a joint report into the prospective merger, to be delivered by the end of the year.

The university councils will decide on the viability and merits of a merger at that time.

In a joint statement, University of Adelaide Chancellor Kevin Scarce and UniSA Chancellor Jim McDowell say now is the right time to consider joining together as a single university.

“Now is the time to facilitate a conversation about whether uniting our universities would create a new internationally renowned university of scale that would be well placed to anticipate and respond to this changing landscape,” the statement reads……..
Merging the Adelaide University and UniSA was an ambition of former Labor Premier Jay Weatherill in 2015, but universities and both sides of federal politics were opposed to the idea. ……..

However, this morning Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham, Premier Steven Marshall and SA Labor Leader Peter Malinauskas all congratulated the universities on the move. …..

June 25, 2018 Posted by | Education, South Australia | 1 Comment

Nuclear waste dumping would destroy Adnyamathanha traditional land and cultural heritage

Heather Mckenzie Stuart Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 19 June 18 

Just thinking, the proposed nuclear rubbish dump been forced upon us and the rest of the Adnyamathanha people is like imperialism. It is an economic, political dominance over us.
We as traditional owners have not heard of or seen any report of the so called cultural heritage assessment that was done upon our traditional lands, so I believe and see that as tokenism, because the wider community of Adnyamathanha people weren’t involved or weren’t consulted in a proper manner and it looks like we will never get to see the cultural heritage report.
So why is there so much secrecy on the cultural heritage report because at the end of the day, we are the Adnyamathanha people and its our traditional land and cultural heritage, our overall a big part of our cultural stytem our Muda that will be destroyed.
It will be total cultural genocide, so please dont destroy our culture our Muda by ripping out the pages of our story lines just for a nuclear waste repository. Listen to the first sovereign people, the Adnyamathanha of the Flinders Ranges, because we know the end of the story and the consequences that the Muda will bring, please respect it as we dont want mankind to suffer today, tomorrow and in the years to come.
Leave the poison nuclear waste at Lucas Heights or wherever it is around the world today, we dont want it on and in our yarta its muntha, no good! Hopefully oned ay, but at the moment it is only a big dream, our knowlege of our yarta and of the Dreaming, our people will be accepted, respected and embraced by all non Aboriginal Australians as true history and sovereign people of the northern Flinders Ranges and surrounding areas so please dont put a nuclear waste dump on our yarta.
painting done by Regina McKenzie 6 yrs ago about Yurlus Dreaming tracks and where he went. This one depicts the a part of the tracks area where Yurlu went, but unfortunately now this area destined for a nuclear waste repository which will destroy the story and Dreaming tracks storyline and songs. 
 I want to stress, that I dont hate anyone regardless of race creed or colour all I want is for us as all Adnyamathanha people a tribal nation to be listened to by DIIS so that they dont destroy our cultural beliefs, our heritage our stories of creation of this land and where it goes.

June 19, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, Federal nuclear waste dump, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australian Premier Marshall’s pro nuclear stance, in agreement with nuclear stooge MP Troy Bell

Marshall still open to nuclear power In Daily, Tom Richardson  ADELAIDE April 11, 2018  Marshall today embarked on his third regional tour since seizing office at last month’s election, visiting the South-East seat of Mount Gambier where Liberal-turned-Independent MP Troy Bell is a firm advocate for nuclear power.

Marshall and Bell broke bread this morning, their second face-to-face meeting since election day.

Bell quit the party after being charged with dishonesty offences following an ICAC investigation. He is pleading not guilty in an ongoing court case……….

“I’ve always worked with Troy Bell… it’s quite obvious we share a lot of common aspirations for the people of the South-East,” he said.

One of those aspirations could yet be the establishment of a nuclear generator after Marshall last year flagged his interest in considering the industry, despite Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce rejecting it as a commercially viable option “in the foreseeable future”.

“There will be a time when it may become viable, and desperate times call for desperate solutions – and we are in a desperate situation,” Marshall told media in February 2017.

Bell, who spearheaded the Liberals’ South-East fracking moratorium before he left the party-room, is a strong advocate for nuclear power and told InDaily he was “absolutely happy to lead the discussion” about establishing a local industry.

Asked if he would advocate for a nuclear generator in the South-East, he said: “A small modular one – yes definitely.”….

June 18, 2018 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australian government decides against process towards Aboriginal Treaty

Kyam Maher started the treaty process as Aboriginal affairs minister and is now Labor’s spokesman for the portfolio.

“For far, far too long, policymakers have been doing things to Aboriginal people, not with Aboriginal people.”

A “massive amount of work” had been put in by Aboriginal people towards a treaty, he said.

He said the Premier had done “very, very little consultation” on the issue.

“To decide unilaterally without consultation to not go ahead with the most important reform process in Aboriginal affairs that we’re undertaking, I think there will be a lot of anger and it will be very difficult for the new government to operate with Aboriginal communities … letting them down in this way,” he said.

Yesterday, the Lower House of Victoria’s Parliament voted in favour of negotiating Australia’s first Aboriginal treaty, after the state’s Labor Government won crucial support from the Greens.

SA Government decides not to go ahead with Aboriginal treaties  The South Australian Government has scrapped a process to negotiate treaties with the state’s Aboriginal nations.

It comes on the same day the Northern Territory pledged to work towards a treaty with its Indigenous peoples. Continue reading

June 8, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, South Australia | Leave a comment

Japanese companies join in starting storage battery business in South Australia

TEPCO JV to enter Australia battery biz 30, 2018
 TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Jera Co., a joint venture between Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. and Chubu Electric Power Co., said Tuesday that it will enter storage battery business in Australia.

The thermal power and fuel company agreed to explore opportunities to deploy energy storage solutions in the Asia-Pacific region with Australian power company Lyon Group and Fluence Energy LLC, a U.S. storage battery maker partly held by German industrial giant Siemens AG.

Under their plan, the three companies will spend a total of ¥120 billion to build solar power plants equipped with lithium-ion batteries in three regions in Australia.

Their combined power generation capacities will reach some 550,000 kilowatts.

One of the power plants will be built in South Australia. It will have a 100,000-kilowatt battery system, one of the largest in the world.

The generated electricity will be sold locally. The companies aim to start running the power plants in 2019.

Jera expects to invest around ¥10 billion. The company hopes to learn know-how about the storage battery business, as the renewable energy market is forecast to expand.

June 1, 2018 Posted by | South Australia, storage | Leave a comment

South Australian Parliament Bill to protect whistleblowers

SA parliament to debate whistleblower laws

A law shielding South Australian journalists from liability for refusing to reveal their sources has passed state parliament’s lower house.

Laws to strengthen protection of whistleblowers have passed South Australia’s lower house of parliament.

The Liberal government on Wednesday passed legislation to shield journalists from criminal or civil liability if they do not disclose the identity of their sources when the information is in the public interest.

The proposed legislation would make the default rule that journalists cannot be compelled to answer a question or produce a document that may disclose the identity of an informant.

June 1, 2018 Posted by | civil liberties, South Australia | Leave a comment