I’m having a little trouble, concentrating this week. It’s bad enough that Australia is ignoring the nuclear threat, and the climate change threat. These are national, global matters – at least we will, as Tom Lehrer said “all go together when we go”. However, the news on how this country, this government, supports utter cruelty to children, especially Aboriginal children, and to refugees, – this personal barbarism to individuals – how on earth can Australians ignore this?
Independent inquiry finds that the ABC is not biased.
BHP Billiton’s costs for Brazil mine disaster – $3 billion and rising.
Back at the nuclear/climate front –
CLIMATE. Well, our new coal/nuclear enthusiast Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg has been making some pro renewable energy noises. I could almost feel sorry for him, although I can’t stand him, because he’ll be under attack now from the incumbent energy industry. The Turnbull government is unlikely to stand up to the coal and nuclear lobbies, and their bought friends in Parliament. Complete ecosystem collapse in sections of Great Barrier Reef.
As usual it’s all about SOUTH AUSTRALIA. They’re having Parliamentary Inquiry into nuclear waste importing. No need to get excited about this – the Committee members include 5 pro nuclear MPs and one anti-nuclear (Mark Parnell of The Greens). Global nuclear industry promoters influencing SA nuclear waste plan.
Meanwhile the government has launched its nuclear publicity juggernaut – this very day. Fortunately South Australian Greens prevented a law that would give full rein to taxpayer funded nuclear promotion.
- Wind and solar are NOT responsible for the doubling of wholesale energy prices in South Australia.
- Canberra solar project co-located with wind farm.
- Queensland’s Mt Emerald wind farm – construction to start in December.
- Tough new guidelines for New South Wales wind farms.
- Nick XenophonTeam backs 40% renewables.
- Solar and battery mini grid hits Melbourne suburbs.
It’s not too late to comment on this appalling nuclear lobby plan to make South Australia the world’s nuclear toilet. Yes, the South Australian govt will probably ignore you. However, as with Facebook, Twitter, and comments all over the place – the pro nuclear shills are active on this site, too – at http://nuclear.yoursay.sa.gov.au/discussions/nuclear-community-conversation-share-your-initial-thoughts-on-the-royal-commission-s-final-report
CLIMATE and NUCLEAR.
Federal Politics Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wasted no time in gifting to the nuclear and coal industries – the new Minister For Environment and Energy – Josh Frydenberg. Australia rates rather poorly on UN Sustainable Development Goals. Turnbull govt still backing Trans Pacific Partnership. Warning to Australia against being USA ‘deputy sheriff’ near China.
South Australia holding Parliamentary Inquiry in the nuclear waste importing plan. No report so far, but evidence was given by Craig Wilkins (Conservation Council Of South Australia), and by independent campaigner David Noonan.
Premier Jay Weatherill is launching a pro nuclear extravaganza. The tax-payers of this cash-strapped State are forking out at least $13 million this campaign to blanket the State with nuclear propaganda. First the Royal Commission fed them with a biased report recommending nuclear waste importing. Then a Citizens’ Jury was fed very dubious economic, health and safety information on this.
The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Consultation and Response Agency, (made up of nameless people) are sending out teams to 101 cities and towns to carry the pro nuclear message to the population.
Renewable energy. In South Australia the Liberal Coalition opposition appears to be behind the feeding of misinformation on wind energy, to the Murdoch media. In other States, the Coalition attacks renewable energy, and Murdoch media continues to publicise this. Nick Xenophon wants inquiry in South Australia’s renewable energy issues.
South Australia is set to get world’s biggest solar + storage project. Canberra’s solar farms with sun- tracking technology. Victoria to get record-breaking wind farm. Queensland: Catholic schools recognised by Vatican for solar energy success.
CLIMATE – ho hum – according to the mainstream media, well, climate just wasn’t an issue in the recent election. We face the prospect of another Liberal government toeing the line of its vehement climate denialist members. Australia takes quite a part of the blame in the disgraceful global web of climate denialism.
NUCLEAR – a South Australian special. The Weatherill Labor government organised 4 days of a so-called “Citizens’ Jury”. It was run by small South Australianall-female firm DemocracyCo. They probably shouldn’t have taken the job on, seeing that it was firmly set that this would not be any kind of a real jury. The job of the Citizens’ Jury was to make no verdict, no recommendations, but just to produce a summary of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission’s recommendations .
Which they did. Premier Weatherill is now touting their report as if it were the decisions of the Citizens’ Jury. The Jury people were intelligent, kept to their narrow brief, and produced this report.
DemocracyCo ran the Citizens’ Jury in a competent, well organised and fair manner. Because of the particular brief – it seemed natural that Royal Commission (RC) personnel were all about, and that most witnesses tended to be closely aligned with the nuclear lobby.
The good side of all this, is that South Australian citizens are becoming aware of this nuclear con job. There are critical comments all over the place, and especially sent to the RC’s own website. The Aborigines are not impressed.
There’ll be another Nuclear Citizens’ Jury in November. It will be interesting to see how that one works out, and what effect will result from South Australia’s coming nuclear propaganda avalanche.
(I’m correcting a previous version of this post, here) The South Australian government already rushed through legislation that overturned South Australia’s legislation against spending money on nuclear industry development, (making this retrospective of course – to cover the $millions already spent)
The next step is to overturn the whole Act, or at least those parts of it which prohibit importing a nd storing foreign wastes.
Weatherill is quoted in THE AUSTRALIAN today as saying ”
“they (the Citizens’ Jury) are asking us to also change the legislation to undertake that work”.
That is a lie. The jury was merely repeating what the Nuclear Royal Commission said. The jury kept to their brief – no decisions or recommendations – just regurgitate what the Commission said.
I write as the dreary Australian election campaign draws to a close. It will be a grim scene for present, but especially future, Australians, if the Liberal Coalition government is re-elected. Prime Minister Turnbull, whatever interest he might have had in the past, in environment and climate change, has shown himself to be in the grip of the climate denying, Abbott-led right wing politicians. We all thought Turnbull would move in a positive direction. It would be almost a relief to have Abbott back – know thine enemy.
- Former Liberal leader Hewson says climate change should be dominant election issue.
- The powerful influence of mining companies on Australia’s political parties.
- Climate protest march in Malcolm Turnbull’s electorate of Wentworth.
- Clean Energy Finance Corporation now being used as Coalition election slush fund.
- For women, climate change is an election priority.
Environmental policy threatened by Trans Pacific Partnership: this election could decide.
Labor is a lot better, on climate and nuclear issues. I will be handing out how-to-vote cards for the Greens. A vote for the Greens does not take votes away from Labor, as Greens give their first preference to Labor. That compliment is not returned, however, showing that Labor is somewhat scared of the Greens. One of the many great Greens candidate is in a South Australian electorate – Indigenous elder Dr Jillian Marsh – for Grey
Federal election candidates oblivious about the South Australian nuclear waste plan. Fiona Stanley surveyed candidates on climate change. She got good responses from minor parties, small response from Labor, and nothing from the Coalition.
Malcolm Turnbull backs importing foreign nuclear waste. Taxpayers $100,000,000 to be spent up front BEFORE any decision on South Australia nuclear waste importing. Blow to South Australian govt: BHP categorically rejects any role in nuclear waste importing. Citizens Jury: the ever climbing costs of Jay Weatherill’s nuclear waste dream. Protest outside South Australia’s Nuclear Citizens Jury.
Mark Diesendorf on Risks, ethics and consent: Australia shouldn’t become the world’s nuclear wasteland. Nigel Carney analyses intrinsic flaws in the Nuclear Royal Commission. The (anti-nuclear) Lizard dances in Adelaide. China as market for agriculture, could be finished if nuclear waste dump goes ahead
Dr Helen Caldicott – a prophet With Honour outside her own country. (Why isn’t she asked as a witness to the South Australian Nuclear Citizens’ Jury?)
Port Augusta protest against federal government’s plan for dumping Lucas Heights nuclear wastes at Barndioota.
RENEWABLE ENERGY Australians Saving $1 Billion Per Year through Solar Energy. A solar energy revolution in mining. Canberra’s community- owned solar farm to be largest in Australia. New South Wales leading the nation with large scale solar farms.
This Citizens jury panel is worse than I expected it to be. As for the link to “streaming” – it does not lead you there. It leads you to the Nuclear Royal Commission’s page where you’re invited to “register for discussion”. So much for public access to the hearings. This is a charade of the Citizens Jury Process.
To have any credibility a Citizens Jury on this nationally important matter should be televised, or at very least available as video, audio and transcript.
So you have to look back on their record – in Wikipedia, or better still, in this fine article by Independent Australia’s intrepid investigative journalist Sandi Keane – The Liberal Party’s nuclear dreams: The strange case of Dr John White and Ignite -display/the-liberal-partys-nuclear-dreams-the-strange-case-of-dr-john-white-and-ignite,6270
It might be a waste of time questioning Labor Party politicians and candidates on what they think about importing nuclear waste – Labor policy is strongly anti nuclear.
It’s probably good to question Nick Xenophon Team – as they are still making up their minds about this.
Waste of time questioning Greens – their opposition to the Nuclear Fuel Chain is rock solid.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA With the the rest of the nation paralysed in a sort of deadly dreary election campaign, the South Australian government is getting on with its push for a nuclear waste importing industry. It’s appointed SA-based startup business DemocracyCo, led by Emily Jenke, to run the Nuclear Citizens Jury on June 25-26. 10 randomly selected South Australians will be able to sit in and watch proceedings, chosen from those who register for this at Citizens Jury Viewing
The ‘pie in the sky’ financials of the South Australian Nuclear Royal Commission’s Report.
Senator Nick Xenophon, whose team might hold balance of power federally, after July 2, has stated his opposition to the waste import dump plan. “I can’t see the benefits are there that outweigh the risks”. “I don’t support importation of high-level waste.”
CLIMATE Most Australian prioritise Great Barrier Reef over coal industry.
Australian Greens set out plan for a solar South Australia.
NUCLEAR Our national survey of Labor politicians and election candidates: email and phone responses are dribbling in. Indications are that Labor politicians are in general very much opposed to any change in Labor’s anti nuclear policy, and especially to importing radioactive trash.
Labor leader Bill Shorten ambivalent at the least, about Australia importing nuclear waste
Greens propose a more rational way to deal with Lucas Heights’ returning nuclear wastes.
Labor would reinstate funding to environment legal centres.
Renewable energy. Solar change brings economic, social benefits to remote indigenous community Renewables Could Boost Australian Employment by 50% – NFP Report. Batteries an energy game changer. Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews has ambitious plan for boosting wind energy. Melbourne’s world first renewable energy project. Ever-growing boom in rooftop solar energy in New South Wales.
With 3 weeks to go until the federal election, watching the performance of our major parties is a pretty unedifying sight. If I hear the words “Jobs and Growth” one more time, I will do an Elvis Presley, and throw a tomahawk at the TV set. (Did Elvis really do that? But I digress) Today PM Turnbull mouthed a few motherhood statements about climate, but no policy there. Labor is better, with a promising renewable energy policy. (Of course, neither are breathing a word about Australia importing nuclear waste. Nor is Nick Xenophon, the rising star who might hold the balance of power after the election) ) The Greens have an economically sound renewable energy plan.
I have emailed all Labor MPs, Senators and Candidates, asking each if they want to hold to Labor’s strong anti-nuclear policy, which bars importing nuclear waste, or if they would agree to change it. Few replies, so far, and most replies simply dodge the question Australians! You could send your own t or use the sample at the end of this email. Contact details for Australian politicians and candidates are here.
On the State scene, South Australian Labor Premier Weatherill and Liberal Opposition Leader Steven Marshall are off together for a little nuclear lovefest in Finland, to look at Finland’s (not yet operative) nuclear waste repository.
The planned South Australian high level nuclear waste one will need to be up to 28 times the size of Finland’s. That’s around 112 square kms or 5,500 Adelaide ovals, 400 metres underground – and that’s not taking into consideration the 470,000 m3 of low and intermediate level nuclear waste.
Sample email to Australian Labor politicians
- Labor will:
- Vigorously and totally oppose the ocean dumping of radioactive waste;
- Prohibit the establishment of nuclear power plants and all other stages of the nuclear fuel cycle in Australia;
- Fully meet all Australia’s obligations as a party to the NPT; and
- Remain strongly opposed to the importation and storage of nuclear waste that is sourced from overseas in Australia.
It’s SOUTH AUSTRALIA again. You might all be getting sick of hearing about South Australia’s nuclear woes. But, spare a thought for the indigenous people of South Australia! They’ve been through all this before – and now again – the nuclear lobby planning to radioactively trash their homeland! And a thought for the decent, aware people of South Australia, who also fight to prevent their State, and their country being radioactively trashed.
It’s Submission Time Yet Again. Submissions about nuclear waste dumping will be received up until 1st July by the new JOINT COMMITTEE ON FINDINGS OF THE NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE ROYAL COMMISSION , Parliament of South Australia. Great timing, just the day before the federal election – so they hope that nobody will notice. Except perhaps again for all those nuclear companies, who have already sent in their secret submissions to South Australia’s shonky Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission.
South Australian ‘Citizens’ Jury’ to kick off expensive nuclear publicity juggernaut. Nuclear ‘Citizens Jury’ will be a farce if it relies solely on that biased South Australian Royal Commission. However, New DemocracyCo’s co-CEO Emily Jenke says Citizens’ Jury not about manufacturing nuclear consent.
NORTHERN TERRITORY. Rum Jungle still polluted 45 years after uranium mine was closed
Pro coal, pro nuclear John White still quietly running Liberal govt’s resources policy.
Australia covered up plight of Great Barrier Reef, Tasmania wilderness and Kakadu in UN Report
ELECTION 2 JULY
- Major political parties downplay environment as election approaches.
- Australian Conservation Foundation’s environment election scorecard.
- Transition to renewable energy favoured by most voters.
- Labor’s community solar hubs would benefit renters and pensioners. Labor’s renewable energy plan won’t cost taxpayers – Shorten. Labor will not support Adani’s proposed $16 billion Carmichael coalmine.
- Greens energy plan to generate $53 billion of investment in Queensland.
- Coalition electorates have highest proportion of solar powered homes
Infrastructure Victoria draft report includes nuclear power as an option.
Nuclear ‘Citizens Jury’ will be a farce if it relies solely on that biased South Australian Royal Commission
A big limitation of this so called first “Citizens’ jury is that it will take its information from the Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission. But there are important aspects that are almost completely glossed over in that Commission. For example – they barely mention the dangers of transporting radioactive trash. That is an issue of high concern internationally.
Quoting a recent UK report on the dangers of a radioactive accident or of a radioactive attack – “The report on nuclear security, compiled by Dr David Lowry, a senior research fellow with the US Institute for Resource and Security Studies, argues that nuclear materials transported by road, rail, sea and air are also potential targets.”
If the “Agenda Setting Jury” is going to rely only on that biased pro nuclear Commission for the topics for discussion, then the whole thing will be a farce
Investigative journalism lives! This one is brilliant. NBC4 is revealing LA’s Nuclear Secret – investigative journalism spells it out.
CLIMATE Christine Milne – We can ask every candidate about climate policy, and not vote for the polluters. Australian content removed from UNESCO climate change report. Australian govt pressured UN to remove Australian topics from climate report. Greg Hunt “didn’t know” his favoured climate report written by former Liberal candidate. Sydney experiencing heat 5 degrees above average for May.
NUCLEAR – SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Nuclear Royal Commission
- was worryingly vague about how much the taxpayer will be paying to set up the nuclear waste dump, and it’s about 40 years before any revenue from it.
- The countries that will be sending their radioactive trash will be (? politically unstable) South Asian and Middle Eastern, not USA, UK or Europe.
- Dr Andrew Allison assesses the FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS of South Australia’s Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission.
- Doubts about the integrity of South Australia’s “Citizens’ Jury” nuclear waste plan. Will the Citizens’ jury be able to say NO to nuclear waste importing for South Australia?
- Business South Australia’s Nigel McBride touts nuclear waste importing plan.
Darwin at Center of Nuclear Waste Controversy.
FEDERAL. Campaign to scrap SA nuclear waste dump plans goes national. Indigenous owners put Minister Frydenberg on the spot about nuclear waste dump. Both Federal Liberal and Labor seem to support nuclear waste import, Senator Penny Wong wavers. Independent Senator Nick Xenophon wants nuclear waste referendum, but only AFTER a dump site is selected.
Greens push for Inquiry and assistance to Maralinga nuclear veterans and civilians affected.
INDIGENOUS advocate recommends both Treaty and constitutional recognition.
I am in fact, in favour of the Citizens’ Jury Idea. Instead of us being ‘talked down to’ by experts, (who are likely to have a vested interest in the nuclear waste import plan), ordinary non experts hear all the evidence and opposing opinions, discuss these, and come up with a sensible verdict.
After all, that is what we expect in a criminal trial. We do not trust the verdict to “experts” although we do expect their opinions to be heard.
My problem with the South Australia’s Citizens’ Jury on nuclear waste importing is that it doesn’t seem to be given a truly jury role.
The letter sent to potential jury participants says that their task will be to produce an independent guide to help every South Australian understand the recommendations raised by the Royal Commission’s report.
No mention of a verdict on whether or not the jury thinks that the nuclear waste import plan should go ahead.
The Citizens Jury convenes diverse groups of citizens to study an issue deeply, discuss different perspectives on the issue, and recommend a course of action or craft their own solutions to address the issue at hand.
I would like to give newDemocracy the benefit of the doubt. Their all too brief notes on this plan do end with this statement:
The first stage of the project will run from May through November 2016, and results in a gateway decision as to whether or not there is broad social consent to continue to pursue opportunities related to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle.
CLIMATE CHANGE. Australia’s coming election: climate change policy to be a vote changer. Australia’s political leaders ignoring climate change, in lead-up to election. Great Barrier Reef should be a central election issue – Tim Flannery. As sea levels rise fast, CSIRO sacks world sea level expert ! Sydney Peace Prize to go to Naomi Klein.
Corporations rejoice as Fairfax media sacks a top investigative journalist
SOUTH AUSTRALIA. Now that South Australia’s shonky Nuclear Royal Commission is over, the push for making Australia the hub of global radioactive trash moves into a new stage. And, I’m happy to report, it is a troubled one!
South Australian Premier creates two new Nuclear Advisory Agencies. Unfortunately their touted “independence” is already in doubt. Parry Agius – founding member of Uranium lobby group – should not be on a new “independent” Nuclear Advisory Board. The S.A. government sets up parliamentary inquiry on proposed nuclear waste importing
The Citizens Juries are being organised by New Democracy. I’ve had several emails from them, in response to my questions, and I do think that they are trying to do this nuclear community consultation honestly and fairly.
However , there is considerable distrust in South Australia, about this process. Global nuclear waste dump for South Australia is opposed by women and Labor voters. Premier Jay Weatherill could now be in a dither over nuclear waste dump proposal. Aboriginal groups demand better consultation on nuclear waste dump plan.
ALP National President Mark Butler states that there is no change to Labor’s policy against importing nuclear waste . Maritime Union of Australia will fight plans to import world’s nuclear waste. No Dump Alliance – an anti-nuclear advocacy group launched.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA The Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission South Australia announced its recommendations – no surprises, just as this spurious Commission had planned from the beginning – South Australia will get mega wealthy by importing the world’s radioactive trash. Submissions to the Commission show up 10 things wrong with its case.
The Turnbull government will back this nuclear waste dump import plan. Labor is silent. Of course it’s not an election issue!
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill wasted no time in getting the ball rolling for this nuclear waste dump dream. He’s started a process of participatory democracy, though he doesn’t seem to understand the terms that he is using. Anyway, the kickoff is a so-called Citizens’ Jury (should be 12 people, but he’s choosing 50, or even 350)
However, the Citizens’ Jury or the Deliberative Poll (for larger numbers) could be a really useful democratic process, if it’s properly done.
Judging by the notoriously one-sided Nuclear Royal Commission, I expect this process to be another complete charade, run for the benefit of the nuclear lobby.
South Australian government officials are talking “informally” about BHP’s Olympic Dam as the site for the imported nuclear waste dump. However, BHP in its submission to the Royal Commission clearly states that it doesn’t want to have any involvement in storage or disposal of nuclear waste.
FEDERAL WASTE DUMP Federal radioactive waste dump siting is far from a sure thing, on an Aboriginal culturally and archaelogically significant area, and the certainty of resistance by indigenous and non indigenous people.