Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

South Australian Supreme Court rules that information on the Kimba nuclear waste dump can be made public.

Senator Rex Patrick · SA GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY FAILURE, 18bMay 21,

Yesterday a South Australian Supreme Court Justice overturned a decision by SA Energy and Mining Minister Dan van Holst Pellekann to keep information on the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) from the public.In August last year I made a Freedom of Information request to the Minister asking for access to correspondance between the SA and Federal Government relating to the establishment of a NRWMF facility at Kimba. In November he released four documents to me, with significant redaction on one of them.

When I challenged the redaction the Minister threatened me with legal costs. Yesterday Justice Hughes rejected the Minister’s arguments and found that the document he wished to keep secret was not exempt under FOI.People have a right to know what their Government is saying and doing so that they can properly participate in democracy. This is especially the case when there is a major issue being played out. Minister van Holst Pellekaan needs to rethink who he really owes a duty to. Ministers should serve the people, not their own narrow political interests. https://www.facebook.com/senator.rex.patrick/posts/924739811419769

May 18, 2021 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, legal, South Australia | Leave a comment

Federal Government’s budget details indicate increased nuclear waste storage at ANSTO, Lucas Heights, rather than a rush for a nuclear waste dump at Kimba South Australia.

The recent Budget sent mixed messages on this significant issue, both funding the current deeply flawed approach while also holding the possibility of a more considered pathway.

The budget allocations for radwaste were interesting: $100 million to advance Kimba (not good) but also $60 mill for increased interim ILW storage capacity at ANSTO 

Like radioactive waste, the Coalition’s waste dump plan will not die  https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/like-radioactive-waste-the-coalitions-waste-dump-plan-will-not-die,15096 By Dave Sweeney | 18 May 2021, 

Like the waste itself, a dubious Coalition plan to temporarily dump nuclear waste for a future government to re-locate, 100 years later, at another undecided location is long-lived and toxic, writes Dave Sweeney.

IN THE RECENT Federal Budget, as with much in life, the devil is in the detail.

One public policy area that received a bucket of cash but not a lot of comment is the Government’s approach to Australia’s radioactive waste. Like the waste itself, the political positioning around this issue has been both long-lived and toxic.

Since the mid-1990s, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, successive federal governments have sought to advance one management approach: regional or remote co-location. This involves centralising the bulk of Australia’s radioactive waste in two adjacent facilities at the one location.

One site is for the internment and disposal of low-level waste. This material, which needs to be isolated from people and the wider environment for up to 300 years, would forever remain at the site.

The neighbouring site would hold intermediate-level waste, which needs to be isolated for up to 10,000 years, in extended above ground storage in a purpose-built shed.

The plan is that a future federal government, sometime in the next 100 years, would re-locate this material for deep burial at another currently undecided location via an undisclosed and unfunded process.

Critics of this Federal waste plan see this as a short-term political fix rather than a credible approach to managing inter-generational industrial waste. They are calling for a policy recalibration away from the push to find a compliant or vulnerable postcode and towards a rigorous, transparent, and evidence-based process to identify the least bad management option.

Nothing about the nuclear industry, especially nuclear waste, is clean or uncomplicated.

The recent Budget sent mixed messages on this significant issue, both funding the current deeply flawed approach while also holding the possibility of a more considered pathway.

The Morrison Government remains intent (Budget Papers p138) on advancing a contested plan to locate the twinned national radioactive waste facility near Kimba, a small rural town at the top of South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.

The issue is deeply divisive with strong local supporters who see the facility as an economic lifeline and fierce critics who see the plan as a threat to the region’s primary economic driver — high-quality cereal cropping.

The local Native Title holders, the Barngarla people, have been actively excluded from participation in Federal mechanisms to measure community sentiment and are also vigorously opposed, as are growing stakeholder voices across the region and the nation.

The Barngarla have previously taken legal action against the Kimba site selection and, in a move to shut the door on any further legal contest, Resources Minister Keith Pitt has been spruiking an amendment to the Federal radioactive waste laws to remove key stakeholders right to judicial review.

Fortunately, this heavy-handed piece of legal corner-cutting remains blocked in the Senate. To their considerable credit, the Greens, Labor and most crossbenchers are not supportive of denying Australians a day in court to challenge a controversial project with inter-generational impacts.

Despite this stalemate, the 2021 Budget saw around $100 million dollars allocated to maintain momentum on a waste plan that lacks support, evidence or meaningful public health or radiological protection rationale.

Interestingly, though, the Budget also contained an allocation that may provide a much-needed circuit breaker.

A separate allocation of $60 million was made ‘to support the interim storage of intermediate level solid radioactive waste’ at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s nuclear facility at Lucas Heights in southern Sydney.

The majority of Australia’s radioactive waste – and around 95% of the most problematic intermediate-level waste – was both produced and is currently stored at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

Critics of the Kimba plan maintain that ANSTO is currently the best place to store Australia’s worst waste and that extended interim storage of Australia’s intermediate-level waste at Lucas Heights, coupled with a transparent review of future management options is the most prudent and credible approach.

Not only is the waste already there but ANSTO has certainty of tenure, a secure perimeter, is monitored 24/7 by Australian Federal Police and the waste will be actively managed as ANSTO’s operations are licensed for a further three decades.

Importantly, this approach keeps waste management on the radar of the agency with the highest level of nuclear expertise and radiation monitoring and emergency response capacity in Australia, and helps reduce the negative impacts of a highly politicised decision-making process like we are seeing with Kimba.

After community opposition and Federal Court action ended an earlier proposed waste site at Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory, ANSTO constructed and commissioned a new purpose-built store dedicated to housing reprocessed, spent nuclear fuel waste, which returned from France in late 2015.

This interim waste store has a conservative design life of 40 years, its license is not time-limited and it has (if required) regulatory approval to store these reprocessed wastes until the availability of a final disposal option.

Storage at ANSTO has been previously identified as a credible and feasible option by ANSTO and nuclear industry lobby group, the Australian Nuclear Association.

Most importantly, the CEO of the Federal nuclear regulator, the Australian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), confirmed to a Senate Inquiry in June 2020 that intermediate-level ‘waste can be safely stored at Lucas Heights for decades to come’.

Builders have a maxim: measure twice, cut once. This sensible approach should also inform Australia’s approach to radioactive waste management, especially in relation to the unnecessary double handling of intermediate-level wastes.

Nothing about the nuclear industry, especially nuclear waste, is clean or uncomplicated.

However, extended interim Federal storage – coupled with a comprehensive public review of the full range of longer-term management options – is the approach that is most likely to advance and realise lasting and responsible radioactive waste management in Australia.

Such an approach would help turn this political football into a worthy goal.

May 18, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

It’s not acceptable to ignore Aboriginal land owners, in order to impose high level nuclear waste on their land.


Kim Mavromatis,No nuclear waste dump anywhere in South Australia, 18 May 21, In 2020 it’s not acceptable to completely ignore the traditional owners of country and not acceptable to deliberately remove Independent Scrutiny or Rights of Appeal from the Legislation process. But these bullies don’t care what South Australia thinks.


The world classifies Spent Nuclear Fuel (10,000 times more radioactive than uranium ore) and Nuclear Waste from reprocessed SNF (still contains 95% of the radioactivity of SNF) as High Level Nuclear Waste but Aust and ANSTO classify it as Intermediate level – and that’s what the Fed Govt want to dump on SA farmland. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929

May 18, 2021 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

New developments: particle accelerators could make Lucas Heights’ Opal nuclear reactor obsolete. And the pro Kimba waste dump argument useless.


Greg Phillips , Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch Australia, 14 May 21

Lest we forget. The majority of the radioactivity they want to send to SA/Kimba is from the production of medical isotopes using a method that should be replaced by much cleaner/safer/reliable accelerator/cyclotron methods:”Pallas’s original business case was mainly based on the production of technetium-99m, which is obtained from molybdenum-99 via a generator. Despite the initially favorable forecasts for this reactor isotope, the business case ultimately did not hold up. This is partly due to the rise of the cyclotron, the linear particle accelerator (linac), and the advent of new large-scale production techniques, based on systems or reactors driven by particle accelerators, such as SHINE.

In the current market, the major role of research reactors is mainly determined by the production of technetium-99m, a SPECT isotope and by far the most widely used medical isotope in radiodiagnostics. But new suppliers will soon be entering the market, including SHINE, producers with cyclotrons, and a series of suppliers with linacs.More important than the future production of technetium-99m is the amazing innovative power of the accelerator technology.

For example, the PET isotope rubidium-82 has been marketed fairly recently for measuring the blood flow in the heart muscle. However, this treatment will soon face competition from the even more efficient PET drug fluorine-18 Flurpiridaz.

Although these treatments are more expensive than traditional technetium-99 (SPECT) treatment, they can compete because the imaging is very accurate and takes place in “real time”. This means that one treatment suffices, saving costs.

Pallas’ latest business case focuses mainly on the production of therapeutic isotopes for the treatment of cancer and tumors, with beta-emitter isotopes such as lutetium-177 and yttrium-90 in particular determining the picture in this growing market. But here too the question applies: can Pallas really withstand the innovative power of accelerator technology? Then it is not so much about SHINE, which can certainly become a formidable competitor of reactor manufacturers for the production of lutetium-177 (and later also yttrium-90), but mainly about the advance of new generations of therapeutic accelerator isotopes. For example, alpha emitters, and a new class of beta emitters, will conquer an increasing part of the current beta emitter market. …” more https://www.technischweekblad.nl/opinie-analyse/pallas-versus-de-innovatiekracht-van-versnellertechnologie?fbclid=IwAR2T6Ns_xt27fPBsbTHP0BkNG6x0Xk3x-nbaSJshNSQrZ2W5Q21C4GdvwY0  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021186047913052

  

May 15, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, wastes | Leave a comment

Senior Morrison government ministers support Iluka’s plan to reprocess rare earths (no mention of what they would do with the radioactive wastes)

Iluka finds favour in bid to build rare earths refinery, W.A. Today, By Nick Toscano, May 11, 2021

A proposal to build the country’s first full-scale rare earths refinery has secured the support of senior Morrison government ministers, as Australia works to position itself as a key supplier of raw ingredients in smartphones, electric cars and wind turbines.

The board of ASX-listed Iluka Resources, a $3.6 billion company, is assessing the feasibility of developing a refinery at Eneabba in Western Australia to process rare earths – a group of elements used in a range of high-tech products and military weapons systems……..    https://www.watoday.com.au/business/companies/iluka-finds-favour-in-bid-to-build-rare-earths-refinery-20210511-p57que.html

May 13, 2021 Posted by | rare earths, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Questions that must be asked of Resource Minister Pitt, about the new money for Kimba, designated as Australia’s nuclear waste dump.

The contentious Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 has been listed in the Senate’s order of business for Tuesday 11 May 2021 as number 11 in the government business—orders of the day

The senator representing the responsible minister for the bill is Senator the Hon. Zed Seselja as Minister for International Development and the Pacific.

It is now important that people who care about the Kimba community,about South Australia, about Australia should contact politicians, especially Keith Pitt, Rowan Ramsey, and also Kimba Mayor Dean Johnson, and ask them these vital questions about the money that the Federal government plans to shower on Kimba.

Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey MP, said the new nvestment highlighted the government’s commitment to
Kimba. Applications for projects will be open later in 2021 and will be assessed by Business Grants Hub in consultation with the Kimba community.

Pitt and Ramsay should be asked with regard to the latest grant:

1. How will it “drive further economic and socialimprovements across the Kimba community?

2. What is the economic success of Kimba?

3. What is the disruption which this has caused for the people in the area by the progress of the facility when
no effort has been made by Pitt and Ramsay to enable those objecting to the facility the opportunity to have an
independent assessment of the safety and economic consequences of the facility’s establishment?

4. Will the services and infrastructure under the new round of funding include payment for an independent assessment sought by the the many persons objecting to the facility proposals.?

5. Would the funding for this payment be made automatically by Pitt without the intended application process?


6. Does Pitt accept that a major part of the disruption to the people in the area has been caused by his government
failing in providing them with a safety case and enabling an independent assessment as demanded by them since the initial proposals for a facility?

7.Surely he would acknowledge that “this funding will be invested into therefore the disruption which this has
caused for the people who live in the area” by paying for an independent assessment as sought by them?

8. How does Ramsay expect that this funding will “include projects which will grow employment in the community”
when there is a justified fear and concern among many in the community that the facility’s presence will destroy the region’s economy“?

9. Is this “a warm welcome”?

10. How can Johnson justify this as “a win for Kimba businesses and residents” when there is the strong
likelihood based on overseas experience that the local economy will be destroyed through the presence and operations of the facility?

11. What are the important health care initiatives, tourism funding and economic diversification projects referred to in the media release as they presumably should have been normal funding obligations of the federal and state
governments?

May 11, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Minister Keith Pitt – desperate times, desperate measures – to get Kimba nuclear waste dump

Kazzi Jai  No nuclear waste dump anywhere in South Australia, 9 May 21

DESPERATE TIMES CALL FOR DESPERATE MEASURES!!….”Kimba community to receive $2 million funding boost8 May 2021Joint media release with Rowan Ramsay MP, Member for Grey

The Kimba community will benefit from an additional $2 million investment in services and infrastructure under a new round of the Community Benefit Program announced by the Coalition Government.”So….this PRESS RELEASE by Minister Pitt was released YESTERDAY SATURDAY 8TH MAY 2021. Interesting timing given that the Senate reconvenes THIS COMING TUESDAY 11TH MAY 2021!

More money to build public toilets?….Can’t have TOO MANY toilets!!….Or what OTHER Community Benefits projects would they be considering…..given that the GRANT money is not to be used for COMPETITIVE ADVANCEMENT or PERSONAL GAIN. Not looking at anyone specific there – maybe a certain MAYOR, and a certain other person EMPLOYED directly by the department from last Grant Round!!What really intrigues me is that Kimba Council released a public document 30th April 2021 regarding their ANNUAL BUSINESS PLAN AND BUDGET 2021-22 PUBLIC CONSULTATION DRAFT….and in it stated, under Non-Financial Performance Measures – 2021-22 (page 10)…

Lobby Australian Radioactive Waste Agency and the Minister for resources, Water & Northern Australia for grant funding promised as part of stage 2 of the establishment of the Nuclear Waste Facility. (Strategy3.1)“Feedback due 17th May 2021.So…..this announcement throws up a number of questions. Firstly, “lobby” is a term used to “try to influence the decision-making of a government or opposition representative in the exercise of their official functions”. Does this mean that the Kimba Council had no idea that the money was to be released as part of the continued Stage 2 – which Hawker now is no longer a part of?

Remember Matt Canavan (the previous minister) only announced the so called “New Community Benefit Program 2019-22” JUST MOMENTS BEFORE THE KIMBA AND HAWKER BALLOTS STARTED – on October 8th 2019!! So it isn’t an annual anticipated thing!!….especially when they named the Community Benefit Program 2019 – 22!! Of course Matt Canavan then jumped ship and resigned his ministry on 3rd February 2020.

Is it AGAIN to sway people in Kimba that they are “special”? Remember that $2 million is chicken feed in the grand scheme of things – even the total which would be now $6 million is chicken feed given what they intend doing – making the CURRENT EXPORT PRODUCING AGRICULTURAL LAND OF KIMBA A NUCLEAR WASTELAND….which is over 1700 KMS AWAY from the industrial producer of this nuclear waste – Lucas Heights!!Or is it a way of convincing people that sellout RAMSEY is worth re-electing in this coming Election Year for the Federal Government? (The latest that a Federal Election can be held will be next year May 2022.)

May 9, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Australia risks bringing on a nuclear war with China. Urgent need to change foreign policy.

Nuclear’: Grim prediction for what war with China would look like, Yahoo News. Brooke Rolfe· News ReporterSat, 8 May 2021  

Australia’s escalating rift with China could see the hypothetical prospect of war swiftly become a reality if the government doesn’t urgently rethink its approach, according to Hugh White, a leading expert on Australia’s strategic defence………..

Now our government has begun, with disconcerting nonchalance, to talk of war,” he wrote in The Saturday Paper.

“And yet our government seems to have no idea how serious, and dangerous, our situation has become, and has no viable plan to fix it. This must count as one of the biggest failures of statecraft in Australia’s history.”………..

“It would be a war the US and its allies would have no clear chance of winning. Indeed, it is not even clear what winning a war with a country such as China means. And it would very likely become a nuclear war,” he wrote. 

Recent reports from the government saying Australia’s troops should be ready for a military conflict suggest Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Defence Minister Peter Dutton are prepared to go to war with China, Prof White noted. 

He urged against any notion of heated conflict and implored the Federal Government to rethink its relationship with China from the ground up. 

China’s inevitable rise needs to be accepted, combined with “a new order in Asia” which includes the rise of India and Indonesia.

“Australia must conceive a new relationship with China, one that takes account of this reality and works to balance and protect the full range of our interests … this would require hard work, deep thought and subtle execution. It would mean a revolution in our foreign policy.”…….

He urged against any notion of heated conflict and implored the Federal Government to rethink its relationship with China from the ground up. 

China’s inevitable rise needs to be accepted, combined with “a new order in Asia” which includes the rise of India and Indonesia.

“Australia must conceive a new relationship with China, one that takes account of this reality and works to balance and protect the full range of our interests … this would require hard work, deep thought and subtle execution. It would mean a revolution in our foreign policy.” https://au.news.yahoo.com/nuclear-grim-prediction-for-what-war-with-china-would-look-like-051637841.html

May 9, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Gun totin’ gay-marriage opposing, sports-rorting Senator Bridget McKenzie leads the National Party’s push on behalf of the nuclear lobby.

Sky News.6 May 21, Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie, Nationals Senators earlier this year drafted legislation which would allow the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to invest in nuclear power. Ms McKenzie told Sky News host Alan Jones “we’re still waiting” for Energy Minister Angus Taylor to put the legislation through parliament and spark debate on the issue.

May 8, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Hunters Hill low level radioactive trash to be sent to USA

Are you turning green?‘: Neighbours’ relief as radioactive land to be shipped overseas, rioritised.  https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/are-you-turning-green-neighbours-relief-as-radioactive-land-to-be-shipped-overseas-20210429-p57nk3.html. , 30 Apr 21,

April 30, 2021 —  Up to 1800 tonnes of contaminated land affecting six waterfront properties in one of Sydney’s wealthiest suburbs will be sealed up and shipped to the US in a NSW government resolution that ends decades of anxiety over the harbourside blight.

After more than 100 years, pollution from a carbolic acid plant and a uranium refinery that led to the government’s acquisition of three Hunters Hill homes since the 1980s, and later prompted a parliamentary inquiry over health concerns, will be exported to Idaho over a meticulous, 18-month operation starting from July.

Following media reports that deaths and illnesses of former residents could possibly be attributed to contamination, a NSW parliamentary inquiry was set up in 2008 to determine the extent of radioactivity on the site, concluding it was difficult to establish any link between any reported cancer cases and the low doses of radiation.

However, it found there was a need to remediate the site, which included the government-owned foreshore.

In 2012, Property NSW attempted to have the material sent to a landfill in Kemps Creek, in western Sydney, but the proposal was abandoned after fierce backlash from the community.

A May 2019 proposal to encapsulate the contaminated material onsite in purpose-built cement “containment cells” was also rejected by residents as well as the local council………

Mr Stokes said the latest proposal had overwhelming support from the community and that he was pleased the stakeholders had finally reached an agreement.

“This safe and secure plan will mean these waterfront properties, which have laid dormant for decades, can now be used once the waste is safely moved away,” Mr Stokes said.

Member for Lane Cove and government minister Anthony Roberts, whose electorate serves the area, said the decision would be welcomed by residents after the waste “caused a lot of stress over the decades”.

Two of the three lots owned by the government are empty, while one contains an unused four-storey home with an indoor swimming pool that will have to be demolished. It is likely all lots will be sold on the private market once they are decontaminated.

According to a recent NSW government report on the remediation project, the fresh plan involves excavating the contaminated soil, sealing it in bags, loading them into shipping containers and transporting them to a secure facility in Matraville before shipping them overseas in scheduled consignments.

Property and Housing Minister Melinda Pavey said ANSTO would oversee the excavation and transport of the material and the safety of residents would be prioritised.  

May 6, 2021 Posted by | New South Wales, wastes | Leave a comment

Nobel prize winner Beatrice Fihn urges Australia to join the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, as public support for it grows

Australian government urged to heed public support for treaty banning nuclear weapons. Nobel prize-winning anti-nuclear campaigner Beatrice Fihn says ‘change is not only possible, it’s inevitable’    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/may/06/australian-government-urged-to-heed-public-support-for-treaty-banning-nuclear-weaponsDaniel Hurst Foreign affairs and defence correspondent@danielhurstbne Thu 6 May 2021

The Australian government is being urged to rethink its opposition to a new international treaty banning nuclear weapons, with a leading campaigner warning of the “indiscriminate destructiveness” of such arms.

Beatrice Fihn, the head of the Nobel prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican), will use a speech in Tasmania on Thursday to implore the government to heed strong public support for joining the treaty.

“Change is not only possible; it’s inevitable,” Fihn will say when she presents the annual Red Cross Oration at the University of Tasmania.

The Australian government has not joined the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a relatively new agreement that requires parties not to develop, test, produce, acquire, possess, stockpile, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons.

So far, the treaty has been signed by 86 countries, of which 54 have formally ratified it – but it has been snubbed by the nuclear weapons states including the US, Russia and China.

“Australia does not support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,” a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Wednesday.

The Australian government argues the new treaty “would not eliminate a single nuclear weapon” because none of the nuclear weapons states have signed it and because it “ignores the realities of the global security environment”.

The government also says the treaty would be inconsistent with its US alliance obligations. However, campaigners point out that several US allies, such as New Zealand, Thailand and the Philippines, have already ratified the treaty.

Fihn, who is based in Geneva and will be addressing the University of Tasmania via video link, will call on the government to act on the “strong and growing support that exists in Australia for this crucial new piece of international law”.

According to prepared remarks provided to Guardian Australia in advance, she will describe the treaty as an “incredible step forward towards a world without nuclear weapons”.

Fihn will say the countries that have joined the treaty are “leading the way forward to a world without nuclear weapons”.

“Meanwhile, in countries that have not yet joined the treaty, including Australia, people are speaking up against nuclear weapons and calling on their countries to join,” she will say.

“Cities around the world, including Berlin, Paris and Washington DC are adopting resolutions calling on their governments to join. In fact, the very first city to sign our Cities Appeal was Melbourne, followed soon after by Sydney – and we’re delighted that the City of Hobart is also on board.”

Polling commissioned by Greenpeace in 2017 found 72.7% of 1,669 Australians surveyed said they supported a ban on nuclear weapons as a step towards the elimination of all nuclear weapons.

“From Australia to Canada, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom, polls show that the majority of people want their government to join,” Fihn will say.

“Thousands of parliamentarians have pledged to work to bring their respective countries on board. In Australia, 88 of the current members of parliament have taken Ican’s pledge.”

The Ican pledge commits parliamentarians “to work for the signature and ratification of this landmark treaty by our respective countries”.

The federal MPs and senators who have signed up are mostly Labor politicians, including the opposition leader, Anthony Albanese, who has been campaigning against nuclear weapons since early in his political career.

The list also includes the Greens leader, Adam Bandt, and crossbenchers. The Liberal National party MP for Flynn in central Queensland, Ken O’Dowd, has also signed up.

In Thursday’s speech, Fihn will also emphasise the need to “amplify the voices of First Nations peoples in Australia and the Pacific who continue to suffer the horrendous impacts of nuclear tests carried out on their lands and in their waters by the United Kingdom, the United States and France”.

More than 75 years after the US bombing of the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945, she says, nuclear-armed states are spending billions of dollars each year to build new weapons and to keep the 13,000 existing weapons.

But Fihn says nuclear-armed states “do not prepare for what comes next, after the bombs are dropped”, citing reports that about 80% of hospitals were destroyed in Hiroshima. Out of 300 doctors in the city, 270 died or were injured; out of 1,780 nurses, 1,654 were killed or injured.

“They do not prepare for the hundreds of thousands of burn victims, for the blasted hospitals, for the injured and dying medical professionals left to heal an entire city,” Fihn says.

“The trauma of overwhelmed hospitals and overburdened doctors and nurses around the world who are struggling to meet the needs of patients during the Covid-19 pandemic shows just how impossible it would be for medical infrastructure to respond to even one nuclear weapon detonation.” The Australian government and other non-signatories are being encouraged to send officials to attend, as observers, the first meeting of parties in Vienna early next year.

Guardian Australia understands Australia will consider attendance closer to the event.

May 6, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Angus Taylor, Energy Minister – incompetent and ignorant – SO – VOTE HIM OUT

campaign gathers momentum

Kazzi Jai No nuclear waste dump anywhere in South Australia, 4 May 21

maybe we should start a campaign…. for the Federal Election coming ….with t-shirts which say VOTE RAMSEY OUT!Idea taken from this Bulletin article! · 

CAMPAIGN TO OUST ANGUS TAYLOR GATHERS MOMENTUM

The successful campaign to remove former Liberal prime minister Tony Abbott from his Warringah seat during the 2019 Federal Election is being replicated in other electorates.

A 30-year-old pilot from Thirlmere in the Hume electorate’s north-eastern corner – who has avoided politics until now – is behind the grassroots independent movement to oust his Liberal member and the Minister for Energy, Angus Taylor.

Alex Murphy followed the Vote Tony Out campaign and wondered why there wasn’t similar action to remove Mr Taylor.He set about canvassing local voters in 2020 through the Voices of Hume group. He found others were unhappy with the MP’s energy, climate and emissions reduction policies and involvement in the GrassGate, WaterGate and Clover Moore controversies.

Within three months, the campaign has attracted 350 subscribers and gained momentum by selling T-shirts, face masks and tote bags through social media, emails and meetings.

Its first meeting in Wollondilly on 17 April attracted between 50 and 60 people. The next Vote Angus Out meeting is scheduled for 30 May in Goulburn.

Vote Angus Out campaigners are mostly farmers and retirees who disapprove of many of the MP’s decisions, including his support for fracking on farmland and lack of support for the dairy industry, increasing the age pension and encouraging Australian-based industry.

”He’s there to represent the gas and oil industries first and foremost,” Mr Murphy said.

Mr Murphy believes there is more support for Mr Taylor’s removal, assuming retirees only represent the campaign’s demographic because they have more time on their hands.He also bases subscriber numbers on social media follows and email opens. However, if retirees are the true campaign demographic, there would be many who don’t use social media or email.

“People are getting sick of the same old things happening, and a lot of retirees see it as a way to leave something for their children and grandchildren,” Mr Murphy said.

Mr Murphy said he’s confident Mr Taylor will be gone by the next federal election and is seeking advice from Vote Tony Out campaigners.

It makes our job a lot easier to have a politician who is so easily targeted. His inaction on climate change and emissions reduction, and the fact he’s been implicated in a number of scandals, make him an easy target,” he said.

Mr Taylor was also recently voted the most incompetent cabinet member in the Morrison Government in a poll conducted by The Australian Financial Review.

On the other hand, Mr Murphy recognises that the Hume electorate is a safe Liberal seat.It will be a challenge to convince people not to vote for him, but at the same time, it’s certainly going to be a lot easier for us to convince people not to vote for Angus than not to vote for a lot of other politicians,” he said.

That’s why the Vote Angus Out campaign is also focusing its efforts on finding a strong independent candidate.“The problem is, a lot of the big parties are just as bad at taking large donations from fossil fuel companies. We really want to put forward someone who isn’t going to be beholden to those big donors,” Mr Murphy said.

Similar campaigns are also on the hunt for independents to challenge the Liberal member for North Sydney, Trent Zimmerman, and the Liberal member for Bradfield, Paul Fletcher. Both seats neighbour Tony Abbott’s former seat of Warringah. The Riot ACT / Hannah Sparks

May 6, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Are The Greens taking over from Labor as Australia’s progressive party – Tasmanian election results suggest this.

Have the Greens taken over the progressive mantle from Labor? South Wind,  4 May 2021 by Peter Boyer

Peter Gutwein’s win on Saturday is only part of the story of a fascinating election. ”……….. Predictably, Peter Gutwein won the election on the back of his fine response to COVID-19, recording an exceptional personal vote. People appreciated that this leader, in response to expert scientific advice, could make tough, confronting decisions.

But as the Greens’ Cassy O’Connor pointed out on Saturday night, while the premier chose to follow the science around contagious disease, he has relegated to a secondary position the science that warns of an unfolding climate catastrophe.

In building the Greens as a political force, founding leader Bob Brown fostered the view – perhaps unintentionally – that his party was the only way to environmental salvation. In times past I’ve found myself irritated by what seemed to be the Greens’ uncompromising approach to wicked policy dilemmas. Kevin Rudd’s doomed carbon pricing scheme was one such case.

In 2010, for the first and still the only time in Australia, the Greens became an integral part of government in Tasmania. Leader Nick McKim and then Cassy O’Connor took on the climate challenge on the basis that this responsibility is shared by all jurisdictions, everywhere.

That work culminated in O’Connor’s 2013 strategic plan, which remains the standout among a plethora of such documents that have arrived with fanfare over the years before being quietly shelved. Eight years later, her election night speech showed that this was no accident.

The buzz of leadership doesn’t rest easily with complex, slow-burning issues like climate change. Perhaps taking a cue from Rudd’s unseemly demise in 2010, Australia’s major party leaders and MPs continue to avoid making climate a front-rank policy issue.

Nowhere was that better illustrated than in the last parliament, in a debate over whether Tasmania should declare itself to be in a climate emergency. The only MPs arguing cogently for this fully justified move were O’Connor and her deputy, Rosalie Woodruff, while the rest of the parliament played partisan games.

On Saturday night O’Connor spoke of the Greens’ proposal for a bill to mandate planning for sequestering carbon, adapting to climate change, and annual sectoral emission targets, contrasting that with the major parties’ failure to come up with any coherent climate policy: “a shameful indictment”.

“We hear some Liberals gloating about the state’s climate record while they accelerate native forest logging,” she said. “Tasmania’s status as a net carbon sink is the result of decades of commitment and heart from the broader conservation movement and civil society, and the Greens’ hard work to protect this island’s extraordinary carbon rich forests.”…….

It was a long speech, bringing to mind another politician inclined to go on a bit, Gough Whitlam. The point about both is that they covered a lot of ground and had things to say that mattered, about life, community and government. O’Connor is a leader of real substance……

A century ago another small progressive party was said to be a mere annoyance that would soon disappear. The Labor Party rose to power as a voice for the powerless. On Saturday night, the most effective voice for that noble cause was O’Connor’s…..   https://southwind.com.au/2021/05/04/have-the-greens-taken-over-the-progressive-mantle-from-labor/

May 4, 2021 Posted by | politics, Tasmania | Leave a comment

Greenland’s election won by party opposing Chinese-backed Australian uranium and rare earths company

Greenland’s Rare-Earth Election

A vote last month answered an important question about the world’s largest island. The Atlantic
, ROBINSON MEYER  3May 21, ”’……… Since 1979, the ruling Siumut party has dominated Greenland’s elections; in all those years it has lost power only once, in 2009, after the island reformed its government and loosened ties with Denmark, which has ruled it for three centuries. Earlier this month, the democratic-socialist Inuit Ataqatigiit party (IA), Greenlandic for “Community for the People,” won an election with more than a third of the vote, after centering its campaign on a promise to cancel the controversial mining project.

Greenland, the world’s largest island, is populated by about 56,000 people, and its election is, in some ways, an extremely local story. The mining project is called Kvanefjeld, and it would excavate thorium, uranium, and rare-earth elements. Kvanefjeld is less than four miles from Narsaq, one of the larger cities in South Greenland and a local tourism center. (It also has an excellent brewery.)

“There is no way for me to have the mine, because it’s only six kilometers from our town,” Mariane Paviasen, 56, a local activist who ran for Parliament under IA, told me in an interview before the election.

But the election touches on some of the biggest issues in global politics: climate change, mineral economics, and indigenous sovereignty. Rare earths are used to make finely tuned magnets that are essential to modern electronics, including electric vehicles and wind turbines. There is some irony here: Greenland, whose ice sheet is a visual metaphor for the inevitability of climate change, will be mined to power the only technology that can stop it. But the actual interest here is not so overdetermined—like all true climate stories, it draws together questions of money, land, power, and growth. IA’s answer to those questions is not to oppose all extraction, but it has taken a less friendly stance toward some proposed projects. It is particularly opposed to mining that could create radioactive waste……..

The plans for Kvanefjeld had long been paused, according to Zane Cooper, an anthropologist at the University of Pennsylvania who studies how communities respond to mineral extraction. Then, during the pandemic, the plans seemed to accelerate. Greenland Minerals Ltd., an Australian-headquartered but Chinese-backed company, began pressing its plans forward, and the ruling Siumut party complied. The local population had worries, particularly about uranium, which is often found next to thorium, itself a sign of rare earths. A rushed series of public meetings in February gave residents little warning about how rumored uranium dust would affect their farms and settlements. When someone called in a bomb threat to a meeting that Siumut officials were due to attend, they canceled their appearance. Another party, the Democrats, announced it would leave the governing coalition, depriving Siumut of its majority and precipitating snap elections.

The election, on April 6, saw a major victory for IA. It won overwhelmingly in southern Greenland.

IA does not oppose most mining; what it opposes is uranium mining. Another mine, about 30 miles from Narsaq, meets its approval, and the party supports developing mineral extraction as part of a broader strategy. “I think it will work better for us to have our own mining company in Greenland,” Paviasen said. She also supports more economic diversification, embracing a larger role for tourism and local agriculture. Most vegetables in Greenland are imported from Denmark.

Greenland’s blessing and curse is the large block grant, equivalent to more than $500 million, that it receives every year from the Danish government. It makes up about half of Greenland’s annual budget. Greenland has promised to deposit about a third of the revenue from its mineral wealth into a sovereign-wealth fund modeled off the Norwegian oil fund, which could help it replace the Danish block grant

If IA does find a way to instill some measure of economic autarky in Greenland, then it would be the world’s first completely independent indigenous country, Cooper said. Onlookers expect that Greenland would seek independence from Denmark faster under the separatist IA party than the more moderate Siumut. But that remains a ways off: First, IA must figure out how, and whether, it can cancel the mine in a fjord. Greenland Minerals has vowed to fight the decision in court and in international trade tribunals. (Múte Egede, the new IA prime minister, did not respond to a request for comment.) It may seem like a narrow question, but it could have sweeping implications for the island’s 56,000 inhabitants—and for how the world’s largest powers comport themselves with regard to the world’s largest island.

If IA does find a way to instill some measure of economic autarky in Greenland, then it would be the world’s first completely independent indigenous country, Cooper said. Onlookers expect that Greenland would seek independence from Denmark faster under the separatist IA party than the more moderate Siumut. But that remains a ways off: First, IA must figure out how, and whether, it can cancel the mine in a fjord. Greenland Minerals has vowed to fight the decision in court and in international trade tribunals. (Múte Egede, the new IA prime minister, did not respond to a request for comment.) It may seem like a narrow question, but it could have sweeping implications for the island’s 56,000 inhabitants—and for how the world’s largest powers comport themselves with regard to the world’s largest island.  https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/05/greenlands-rare-earth-election/618785/

May 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, rare earths, uranium | Leave a comment

Australia represented (by Ben Heard) in Moscow in launch of Rosatom’s pro nuclear propaganda campaign.

Thousands Join Launch Of Rosatom’s Atoms For Humanity Nuclear Awareness Campaign, By India Education Diary Bureau Admin  May 3, 2021  Moscow: On April 30, over 3200 people from some 40 countries watched Rosatom’s Atoms for Humanity new nuclear awareness campaign launch event. The project is aimed at demonstrating the importance of nuclear technologies in achieving the UN Sustainable Goals through human-centered stories.

The project launch event Why Humanity Needs Nuclear brought together Polina Lion, Chief Sustainability Officer at Rosatom, Sama Bilbao y León, Director General of the World Nuclear Association, Dr. Maher Aziz, member of the World Energy Council, Ben Heard, founder of the Bright New World and Sergio Orlandi and Head of Central Engineering and Plant Directorate at ITER. Heroes of Atoms for Humanity joined the event to share their experiences participating in the campaign.

The [?] esteemed speakers discussed social, economic and environmental benefits of nuclear technologies and their invaluable contribution to solving the most urgent challenges of today and tomorrow.

May 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment