Australian news, and some related international items

Is South Australia so desperate that it would become the world’s nuclear toilet?

The Royal Commission did say most of the really dangerous stuff will have dissipated in 500 years. So South Australia should be relatively OK somewhere around 2600.

if this state is known for anything globally, it will likely be as “that place that takes all the world’s dangerous crap’’

Should South Australia be home to the world’s largest nuclear waste dump? The Advertiser July 28, 2016    “…….It’s a sure sign that we’ve given up By Michael McGuire — CASE AGAINST

IS there any greater sign that we have given up as a state than to volunteer to become a receptacle for some of the most dangerous material on the planet? Is there anything that says “We have completely run out of ideas” quite like becoming the place where nuclear waste fuel rods spend their retirement years?

There is a famous quote on the Statue of Liberty that proclaims “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free’’. Perhaps we could put something similar on the Mall’s Balls.

toilet map South Australia 2

“Give me your poison, your chemicals, your radioactivity, we’ll breathe them for you.’’ Continue reading

July 29, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan will be on Q&A next Monday evening.

Canavan, MattYou can submit a question/ upload a video question via:

or apply to be in the studio audience at:

This is a good opportunity to put issues around the SA Royal Commission, WA uranium mining and other nuclear issues on the Minister’s radar early on in his tenure.

July 27, 2016 Posted by | ACTION, General News | Leave a comment

The Nuclear Wasting Of South Australia – Poison In The Heart

greed copyPoison In The Heart: The Nuclear Wasting Of South Australia  Counter Currents by  — July 22, 2016 

“Nuclear weapons and nuclear power are both leading instances of the irrationalities 

that result from a social world that has been constructed to concentrate power 
in the hands of tiny minorities, and to make it possible for them 
to maintain and defend their power.”
 Andrew Lichterman, 2012
“. . . because a few, by fate’s economy, shall seem to move the world
the way it goes.”
 Edward Arlington Robinson, 1916

Our planet is deeply burdened. It presently harbours 390,000 tons of high level nuclear waste produced by nuclear reactors and weapons programs over the past 70 years. Spent nuclear fuel is one of the most dangerous materials on earth. Most of it is stored underwater in numerous cooling ponds throughout the world. High level nuclear waste is dangerous to all life for unthinkable periods of time. Plutonium, which is produced in every nuclear fuel rod, has a toxic lifespan of 240,000 years. With each passing year, a further 10,000 tons of spent fuel is added to the world’s accumulated stores of deadly waste. In addition to the spent fuel from nuclear reactors, vast amounts of lower-level radioactive waste lie scattered in mining sites, tailings dams, undersea dumps and soil-borne contamination on every continent.

We have no idea what to do with the stuff. The Americans sank over $13 billion into the construction of a massive underground repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. It was closed down in 2010 without taking in a single gram of nuclear waste. The Soviets didn’t bother with such elaborate schemes and until recently, simply dumped much of their waste – including obsolete submarines complete with nuclear reactors – into the Kara Sea and elsewhere in the Arctic Circle where they slowly corrode, leaching their lethal contents into the cold waters of the Arctic Ocean.

In the meantime, a small cadre of aspirational Promethean technocrats in South Australia have somehow decided that Australia holds the solution to the global problem of nuclear waste. The recently releasedNuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Report recommends that the South Australian government accepts over one third of the world’s high level waste for above-ground storage and eventual burial in yet-to-be-built underground repositories in the South Australian desert. The report proposes that South Australia imports 138,000 tons of high level radioactive waste in the form of spent fuel rods as well as an additional 390,000 cubic metres of intermediate level waste for storage and eventual disposal.

This has all been spruiked as a fail-safe commercial venture that will relieve the South Australian Government of its financial problems ever after and create a rosy economic future for generations that have yet to be born. Such madness blithely ignores the fact that the genetic and biological futures of those generations may thereafter be a different story…….

July 23, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Let’s talk nuclear waste economics, the only argument that governments find persuasive

South Australian government’s YOUR SAY website, Megan Riley 22 Jul 2016 Let’s talk economics, the only argument that governments find persuasive:

If storing nuclear waste is so lucrative how come those countries who produce it aren’t doing so?
If nuclear waste can be stored safely and effectively, won’t other countries get on board and then under-cut South Australia because they can cut out shipping costs to the other side of the world?

If spent nuclear fuel is so safe how come those countries who produce it aren’t storing it?
If the technology to store nuclear waste safely doesn’t exist, how come South Australia thinks it can do so safely?
Why does it seem to be a good idea to store this nuclear waste in volume and concentration unheard of in the history of the planet? Surely ‘spreading the risk’ by each country that produces the waste making their own arrangements is better for the health of the planet.
World markets are volatile – how can any economist predict how much countries will be willing or able to afford to pay for transport and storage of this waste in 10, 20, 50 or 100 years’ time?
Taking on this toxic waste and storing it safely becomes South Australia’s problem for hundreds of thousands of years – how can anyone guarantee that level of safety or the untold billions of dollars that it will take to keep this storage facility safe [from geological, meteorological and even ideological [terrorist] events]?
Nuclear fuel was seen as ‘the next big thing’ 40 years ago and yet the technology and the take-up of this fuel has NOT advanced in the way predicted. Why would anyone believe these ‘next generation’ reactors are just around the corner? Even the Royal Commission itself found that nuclear production of energy is unviable for the state. As it is unviable, less money will be spent in research and development and there’s less chance that ‘clean’ solutions to this poison will ever be found. Meanwhile, SA is left with the world’s largest pile of toxic waste to maintain for perpetuity.
How much will it COST to build a storage facility?
How much will it COST to maintain this facility in perpetuity?

I believe these are very valid concerns which have not adequately been answered by the Royal Commission. However, I believe the ethical considerations have much more weight.

The State Government will lose all credibility on Indigenous matters if it goes ahead with this nuclear facility. Both the state and the federal government are treating the outback as ‘terra nullis’ – an empty expanse full of ‘nothing’ where this waste can be stored out of sight and out of mind. They pay lip service to Aboriginal concerns but do not truly grasp the idea of connection to country. All of us, as human beings, are connected to country in a very real way. We can’t exist if our air and our ground and our water is polluted.

To quote EF Schumacher: The nuclear lobby “is a transgression against life itself, a transgression infinitely more serious than any crime ever perpetrated by man. The idea that a civilisation could sustain itself on the basis of such a transgression is an ethical, spiritual, and metaphysical monstrosity.” Why? Because nuclear fission [and it’s waste] “represents an incredible, incomparable, and unique hazard for human life” which “does not enter any calculation and is never mentioned.”

Like Midas, the Royal Commission is seduced by the idea of untold riches and it lacks the ethical, spiritual and metaphysical backKing-Mids-storybone to resist the nuclear lobby.


July 22, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Bendigo proposal for waste to energy generation

Bendigo councillor wants to turn waste to energy, Bendigo Advertiser,  Joseph Hinchliffe@joe_hinchliffe Council will discuss a plan to build central Victoria’s first waste-to-energy incinerator on Wednesday night.  18 July 16 

At this week’s council meeting, a notice of motion will be tabled by councillor Helen Leach that the City of Greater Bendigo investigate the establishment of a regional high intensity incinerator facility to dispose of and process non-organic and non-recyclable household and commercial waste to produce energy……

Cr Leach has invited the managing director of Phoenix Energy, Peter Dyson, to speak to councillors and city staff in August about the possibilities for a waste-to-energy incinerator in the region.

July 22, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Murdoch and the Liberals on the attack against renewable energy

News-Limited1Murdoch and the Coalition: This week targetting renewables, Independent Australia  Giles Parkinson 18 July 2016The Murdoch media and the Coalition are ramping up the war on renewables in the wake of soaring gas prices, writes .

THE MURDOCH MEDIA and conservative Coalition parties have ramped up their attacks on renewable energy in light of the big spike in electricity prices in Liberal-policy-1South Australia this week, saying that wind and solar are solely to blame for the state’s electricity problems.

Power prices spiked sharply again this week but energy analysts say that wind and solar are not at fault, pointing out that gas prices have jumped to record highs and the interconnector to Victoria was constrained due to delayed work on network upgrades.

But this has cut no mustard with the Murdoch media and the Coalition, who have used the incidents of the past week to renew their usually skewed attacks against the high levels of wind and solar in the state.

In an editorial entitled ‘SA power prices threaten future of economy‘, The Advertiser, Murdoch’s monopoly daily newspaper in Adelaide, thundered:

‘SA’s reliance on wind and solar power is responsible for these absurd prices.’

And threatened:

‘The state’s electricity supply cannot be left at the mercy of the weather gods and erratic spot prices. Labor’s great green energy experiment will cost it ultimate power in 2018.’

The editorial makes absolutely no mention of the record gas prices, or the energy cartel that it is defending.

Murdoch’s position has been eagerly supported by the local state opposition, which like all Coalition parties across the country – at both the state and federal level – is pushing back against any moves to increase the amount of renewable energy in the electricity system. Continue reading

July 20, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Dear Prime Minister: David Ritter’s letter on Climate Change

text-Please-NoteDear Prime Minister, Our Kids Are Trusting Us On Climate Change, David Ritter, CEO of Greenpeace Australia, July 15, 2016 We must not let them down. 

Dear Prime Minister,

Sincere congratulations on your re-election.

I am writing to you today, though, not as a voter addressing Australia’s leader, but as a father to a grandfather…….

I agree with you. Anyone who seeks a position of public responsibility is a trustee for their grandkids — indeed for all the children of the future. It is a solemn but beautiful duty to build and nurture a world that will enable the descendants of the Jacks, the Islas, the Rachels and the Josies, and all of their generation, to flourish long after we are gone. It is the greatest gift we can give……..

Like many Australians, I rejoiced when you took the prime ministership from Mr Abbott because I know you understand the need for a proportionate response to global warming. For whatever reason, your predecessor did not. But I won’t lie — I was badly disappointed in the first Turnbull Government for failing to do what is needed on global warming, and I’ve been publicly critical of that failure. Nothing personal of course, and nothing partisan either — I’ve had a go at plenty of ALP politicians in the past too, because my organisation is an independent watchdog in our democracy…….

The Australian prime minister who secures our country with a swift, fair and just transition away from fossil fuels will take their place as one of the giants of our national story. Any such leader will be able to look a child of our country in the eye and say with honour that they did all they could; that they did what was right in the face of the evidence; that they fully discharged their trusteeship.

My seven-year-old daughter, Josie, asked me recently what would happen if the grown-ups didn’t find a solution to global warming. I looked her in the eye and promised her that the grown-ups would sort it out; that we would not let her down.

From a father to a grandfather, I wish you the best of good fortune in leading our nation well.

July 18, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Professor Chris Sarra NAIDOC Person of the Year calls for a Treaty

text Treaty#NITV Video
‘Professor Chris Sarra makes a powerful call to Malcolm Turnbull
during his Person of the Year acceptance speech at the #NAIDOC2016 Awards’

Chris Sarra (July 9th 2016):

“I have a message for the Mayor…
the Premier of Queensland…
and for Malcolm Turnbull, (who will probably be the Prime Minister).

” … and when you are ready,
and when you have the courage,
and you are bold enough,
I am ready on behalf of my people,
and my people are ready to speak to you about a treaty

Full transcript: via News Mail

July 10, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Olympic Dam expansion scaled back, but still planned

BHP announces scaled back Olympic Dam expansion plans, ABC News By Angelique Donnellan  A low-risk rather than “big bang” expansion of the Olympic Dam mine in South Australia’s north will happen over the next five years, BHP Billiton has announced.

Key points:

  • Plans to redevelop mine were shelved in 2012
  • Smaller expansion now on the agenda
  • BHP Billiton is testing “heap leaching” to extract ore

Plans for a $30 billion redevelopment of the copper and uranium mine were shelved in 2012………

July 8, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Blockade continues at Olympic Dam uranium mine: anti nuclear protestors dig in

protest-2Anti-nuclear protest continues in SA , 9 News South Australia  3 July 1Anti-nuclear activists are maintaining a blockade of the Olympic Dam uranium mine in South Australia’s north after confrontations with police.

The action, which included blocking the main road to the mine, continued into the night on Sunday.

It involved a bonfire as well as singing and chanting early in the day, but escalated later to a clash with a strong police presence in when protesters attempted to move a large block of fake uranium onto the road……..Sunday’s action was part of a planned three-day protest at the mine site which began on Friday.

July 4, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Australian Greens face uncertain result in federal election

USA election 2016greensSmGreens face prospect that election result will not lead to gains Melbourne MP Adam Bandt was re-elected, while in the Senate a loss in South Australia could be balance by gain in Queensland  The Greens are struggling to pick up extra lower house seats targeted in Sydney and Melbourne where supporters were hoping for an upset and look set to return to parliament with the same number of senators the party had in the previous term.

Melbourne MP Adam Bandt was comfortably elected for a third time but as it stands he remains the lone Green in the House of Representatives, while in the Senate, the party has lost Robert Simms in South Australia but looks to gain a Senator in Queensland.

But Greens leader Richard Di Natale was high-spirited on Sunday, saying the party maintained hopes for taking the Victorian seats of Melbourne Ports and Batman from Labor, which remain too close to call. The party stood candidates in all 150 lower house seats across the country, with party sources claiming there has been a national swing towards them of around 2%.

However, Australian Electoral Commission figures have the party with 9.9% of the lower house vote, representing a swing towards them of 1.3%.

“We have had an extraordinary result in terms of the Greens vote across the country and certainly here in Victoria in some key seats,” Di Natale said.

“What we’ve seen in some states like Victoria is a swing higher than our national average. Victoria clearly is a powerhouse for the Australian Greens right now.”

Di Natale said early on in the election campaign he believes the seats that will turn to the Greens within the next decade include Batman, Wills, Kooyong, Melbourne Ports, and the Liberal seat of Higgins in Victoria, Grayndler, Wentworth, Sydney, and Richmond in NSW, and Fremantle in Western Australia.

July 4, 2016 Posted by | General News | 2 Comments

Climate protest march in Malcolm Turnbull’s electorate of Wentworth

USA election 2016Election 2016: Climate change activists march in Malcolm Turnbull’s electorate of Wentworth, ABC News,  26 June 16 About a thousand people have gathered in Malcolm Turnbull’s Wentworth electorate to demand action on climate change.

Speakers said climate change needed to be higher on the political agenda and told the crowd the Great Barrier Reef was dying under Malcolm Turnbull’s watch…..

June 26, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

25 June Live Streaming: South Australian Government’s Nuclear Citizens Jury

Citizens' Jury scrutiny

The Citizens Jury Livestream page has now appeared…/citizens-jury-one-livestream

Government Agency  Consultation Team – Brooke  24 Jun 2016  Just to assist in clarifying – the live streaming will be open for everyone to view. You will not need to be registered to see it. Further, each clip will be published on our YouTube channel and website so you can continue to view after the streaming has finished. We have designed a brand new website to facilitate this process.

Live streaming will commence at 10 a.m (presumably South Australian time)  on Sunday 26th June


10.00 am – 11.35 am  Panel 1 discussion: (live streamed)

  • South Australian Chief Scientist: Dr Leanna Read
  • CE SA Native Title Service: Keith Thomas
  • CE Conservation Council SA: Craig Wilkins
  • CE Business SA: Nigel McBride

12.30 pm  – 1.50 pm  Panel 2 discussion: (live streamed)

  • CE Northern & Yorke RDA: Kelly-Anne Saffin
  • CE The Ethics Centre: Dr Simon Longstaff
  • CE SA Chamber of Mines and Energy: Jason Kuchel
  • SA Health: Assoc Prof Michael Penniment, Director Radiation Oncology, Royal Adelaide Hospital

June 25, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Adelaide Nuclear Forum: Nuclear Waste Dump – Wrong Way For SA

South Aust Greens poster

At this well attended forum last week, people heard from  Professor Ian Lowe who posed the question “Why are we even considering this rather daft idea of setting up as the radioactive waste capital of the world?”.  Reminding us that a decision to establish a radioactive waste dump is a permanent decision and an unreasonable burden on all future generations, Ian concluded by saying “I urge you to position South Australia as the clean energy power house for Australia rather than the radioactive waste dump for the world”.

Adnyamathanha Traditional Owner and Greens Candidate for Grey, Dr Jillian Marsh talked about the impact the nuclear industry has had and continues to have on Aboriginal people and said “We’re not satisfied with the way our Governments are behaving. We’re not satisfied that they’re acting in our national interest. It’s time they started doing that”.

Highlighting how the Royal Commission’s Findings don’t stack up economically, The Australia Institute Economist Rod Campbell told us “I don’t know that much about nuclear engineering or South Australia’s geology. I’m an economist and I do know dodgy economic modelling when I see it”.

And lastly, Greens Senator for South Australia, Robert Simms, reminded us that the Greens are the only Party standing up with the community to stop South Australia from becoming the world’s radioactive waste dump.

June 17, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Batteries an energy game changer

AGL CEO Andrew Vesey, on the future of energy why batteries are the way to go.

June 17, 2016 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment


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