Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Adnyamantha Aboriginal elder considering legal action against federal government’s proposed nuclear waste dump

Aboriginal Elder Tony Clark concerned with nuclear waste facility, Transcontinental, Matt Carcich@MattCarcich 23 Mar 2017, Adnyamantha and Kujani Traditional Elder Tony Clark says if the federal government’s proposed nuclear waste facility at Barndioota continues to the next stage, a federal court legal intervention may take place.

Mr Clark has previously led the charge of the Kujani people’s Federal Court win against the federal government’s proposed nuclear waste facility for Woomera in 2004.

The potential intervention would come from a group of Adnyamantha and Kujani people who are concerned the proposed facility holds a significant risk to the survival of the Pungu Purrungha song line.

The songline travels across a body of water more than 70 kilometres in length from Hawker to Lake Torrens, and is an important piece of local Aboriginal history.

It’s also believed to be at least 85,000 years old.

Mr Clark said he’s opposed to the facility and that he and others are not afraid of taking potential legal action. “If they proceed to the next step on our country … then we would look towards seeking legal intervention in the federal courts,” he said.

The proposed site,130 kilometres north of Port Augusta, will store low-level and some intermediate-level nuclear waste. The low level purpose-built repository would be about the size of four Olympic size swimming pools with a 100 hectare buffer on the 25,000 hectare property.

Designs have not been prepared for the national repository but it will be modelled on above-ground storage and disposal facilities overseas……

Mr Clark said the ‘cultural and spiritual well-being’ of the Adnyamantha people is at risk if the facility proceeds, and he believes section 47 of the Pastoral Land Management and Conservation Act (1989) plays an important role in the facility’s future.

The act states an Aboriginal person may enter, travel across or stay on pastoral land for the purpose of following the traditional pursuits of the Aboriginal people.

Mr Clark said the Adnyamantha people’s cultural and spiritual well-being may be at risk if they can’t access the Pungu Purrungha song line and that this section shows no Pastoralist can stop Aboriginal people accessing a traditional site like the Pungu Purrungha song line.

“Our cultural and spiritual well-being is at risk, along with our physical contact to the land under various acts of parliament, including section 47 of the Pastoral Land Management and Conservation Act (1989).”

A Spokesperson for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science said the (federal) government has said it will deliver a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility in a centralised, purpose-built repository.

“The government has not formed a view that it should be located in Barndioota,” the spokesperson said…..http://www.transcontinental.com.au/story/4547617/nuclear-proposal-may-go-to-courts/ 

March 24, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, Opposition to nuclear, South Australia | Leave a comment

Former Minister Macfarlane keen to “protect miners from native title”

Minister-turned-lobbyist Ian Macfarlane says mines need protection from native title
Macfarlane urges MPs to pass legislation to protect land use agreements as Indigenous leaders call for consultation,
Guardian, , 13 Mar 17, The former federal resources minister Ian Macfarlane has said the majority of 126 mining projects under Indigenous land use agreements could be shut down pending renegotiations following a federal court ruling on native title.

His comments come after a federal court ruling in the McGlade native title case found that an Indigenous land use agreement (Ilua) was invalid because not all Indigenous representatives had signed it.

Macfarlane, who heads the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), said the ruling jeopardised mining projects already in operation under Indigenous land use agreements (Iluas) which had been signed by a majority of Indigenous owners but not every owner. This meant those projects – a majority of which are in Queensland – could be shut down pending new agreements.

The ruling could also affect the controversial Adani Carmichael coalmine.

Macfarlane said the implication of the ruling was that mining companies would need to seek the signatures of all Indigenous owners, including deceased people. …….

The legal and constitutional affairs legislation committee is examining a government bill that would amend the native title legislation to confirm the legal status of registered Iluas with a majority but not all the signatures of all claimants. Macfarlane urged the parliament to pass the bill.

But Labor and the Greens have argued that the Coalition is rushing the bill through without proper consultation with Indigenous communities.

Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners opposed to Adani’s Carmichael mine want the inquiry to be extended to allow proper consultation with Aboriginal communities.

“We are dealing with mining proponents who wish to destroy our country and disrespect our protocols on how we make decisions,” spokesman Adrian Burragubba told the committee.

“If the federal government intends to override the McGlade decision, the federal government would further disenfranchise the Wangan and Jagalingou people and further eliminate the voice of the true rightful traditional owners.”

The Cape York land council has objected to the legislation because it provides blanket validation for all agreements but it did not dispute certainty was required over Iluas……..https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/mar/13/minister-turned-lobbyist-ian-macfarlane-says-mines-need-protection-from-native-title

March 15, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal | Leave a comment

Decision reserved by Federal Court on Adani coal mine issue

justiceFederal Court reserves Adani decision http://www.theage.com.coal CarmichaelMine2au/business/mining-and-resources/federal-court-reserves-adani-decision-20170303-guq2gd.html  

The Australian Conservation Foundation must wait to learn if its latest challenge against the controversial Adani coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin has been successful.

The ACF appeared before the Federal Court in Brisbane on Friday to appeal a decision last year that gave the huge Carmichael project the green light.

But the full bench reserved its judgment after it heard submissions from the environmental group, federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg and Adani.

ACF barrister Saul Holt QC argued the original judge had erred when he found in favour of Mr Frydenberg and the Indian mining giant in August.

Mr Holt claimed the environment minister had not applied or misconstrued the law when he claimed if the mine didn’t go ahead, the same amount of coal could still be produced somewhere else in the world.

Mr Holt said the argument failed to address the impact the Adani mine would have on global warming and in particular, warmer water temperatures on the Great Barrier Reef.

“What someone else might do if this action doesn’t go ahead is irrelevant,” he said.

“The harm is still done by the emission of the carbon by Adani’s coal.”

However Richard Lancaster SC, representing Mr Frydenberg, said the original judge was correct when he agreed his client could only be “speculative” when it came to the impact Adani’s possible emissions would have on global warming.

Mr Lancaster said the projection that 4.64 billion tonnes of coal, or one-183rd of total worldwide emissions, could be produced by the Queensland mine was the “worst case scenario”.

Mr Lancaster said neither the original judge nor the environment minister had erred in their interpretation of the relevant acts.

The full bench of the Federal Court will hand down its decision at a later date.

March 4, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, legal | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners v Adani in Federal Court today then to Canberra to discuss Native Title Amendments

justiceaboriginal-flag-native-titlehttp://wanganjagalingou.com.au/traditional-owners-v-adani-in-federal-court-today-then-to-canberra-to-discuss-native-title-amendments/ Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council  27 February 2017:

“Traditional owners fighting the Carmichael megamine are on the front foot this week,                                   challenging in court the native title process which allowed the Qld Government  to issue a mining lease without their consent, and meeting with Federal MPs to present arguments why the Government’s amendments to the Native Title Act threaten the rights of Traditional Owners and fail to deal with the real issues arising from the recent McGlade decision.

Senior spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J)
Traditional Owners Council, Mr Adrian Burragubba
, says,
“The W&J Family Council have voted three times since 2012 to reject Adani’s sham deal, while the National Native Title Tribunal gave the green light to the Qld Government to issue Adani with a mining lease, after the mining company applied to have our decision overridden.
This is the crux of our appeal before the full bench of the Federal Court on Monday”.

Spokespeople for W&J, Mr Burragubba and Ms Murrawah Johnson, will also visit Canberra this week to meet with key Federal MPs about the Government’s Native Title Act Amendment Bill and explain the failures of the native title process.
Labor and The Greens voted against rushing the Bill through the House of Representatives last week. The Bill is now being scrutinised by a Senate committee which is due to report on 17 March 2017. … “

March 1, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, legal, politics | Leave a comment

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

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

“Announce Full Bench Supreme Court Appeal – natural justice sought

“Express Anger at Gautam Adani’s Failure to Meet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Traditional landowners running legal challenges against Adani coal project

legal actionAdani faces more legal action as traditional owners vow to halt Carmichael coal mine http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-07/further-legal-action-planned-against-carmichael-coal-mine/8100326By Kathy McLeish, 7 Dec 16, Traditional owners are set to launch further legal action against Adani’s Carmichael coal mine slated for central Queensland.

The Wangan and Jagalingou people claimed the $22 billion project impinges on their native title rights, and would extinguish their interests over 28 square kilometres of land if it goes ahead.

Spokesman Adrian Burragubba said the group was running four separate legal challenges to the project, and vowed to continue fighting. Continue reading

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

United Nations uphold their ruling in favour of Julian Assange

flag-UN.UN rejects UK appeal on Assange, Justice for Assange On 30 November 2016, the United Nations rejected the United Kingdom’s attempt to appeal the UN’s February ruling in favour of Julian Assange.

The decision therefore stands and the UK and Sweden are once again required to immediately put an end to Mr. Assange’s arbitrary detention and afford him monetary compensation.

Earlier this year the United Nations concluded the 16 month long case to which the UK was a party. The UK lost, appealed, and today – lost again. The UN instructed the UK and Sweden to take immediate steps to ensure Mr. Assange’s liberty, protection, and enjoyment of fundamental human rights. No steps have been taken, jeopardising Mr. Assange’s life, health and physical integrity, and undermining the UN system of human rights protection.

Now, the United Nations has found that the United Kingdom’s request for review of this decision (filed on March 24) was inadmissible; the United Kingdom has now reached the end of the road in its attempt to overturn the ruling. As a member of the Security Council and the United Nations Human Rights Council, the United Kingdom must respect its commitment to the United Nations, and release Mr. Assange immediately. Now, more than ever, moral leadership is required; maintaining Mr. Assange’s effective detention (which stands at six years as of 7 December, 2016) will only serve to green light future abuses against defenders of free speech and human rights.

Mr. Assange stated “Now that all appeals are exhausted I expect that the UK and Sweden will comply with their international obligations and set me free. It is an obvious and grotesque injustice to detain someone for six years who hasn’t even been charged with an offence.”….. https://justice4assange.com/?rejects

December 2, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, politics international | Leave a comment

Liberal and Labor quietly pass law to protect uranium industry from legal challenges

Tweedle-NuclearMajor parties push a losing uranium sector to India at great risk http://www.smh.com.au/comment/major-parties-push-a-losing-uranium-sector-to-india-at-great-risk-20161128-gszld4.html  Dave Sweeney , 29 Nov 16 

With little fuss or fanfare, Australia’s two major parties have this week agreed to fly under the radioactive radar and pass an innocuous enough sounding law with some very far reaching implications.

The Indian Civil Nuclear Transfers Act exists to provide “certainty to Australian uranium producers” who want to sell the controversial product to India.

In 2015 a detailed investigation by Parliament’s treaties committee found there were serious and unresolved nuclear safety, security and governance issues with the proposed sales plan. It also found a high level of legal uncertainty. Continue reading

November 30, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, politics, uranium | Leave a comment

BHP Billiton living in la la land on uranium: mining giant faces difficult questions at its Annual General Meeting  

 

BHPB-sad16th November 2016 Company Directors of BHP Billiton will face some difficult questions tomorrow at the mining giants Annual General Meeting in Brisbane.   The operator of the Olympic Dam uranium mine in South Australia’s north has been receiving much attention over the past year after the tailings dam collapse at its jointly owned Samarco iron ore mine in Brazil in November 2015, causing what’s been described as the worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history.

Anti-nuclear and social justice campaigner Adam Sharah is one of several delegates attending the meeting to challenge company directors on matters including the Samarco disaster and issues surrounding the Olympic Dam mine. Mr Sharah will question company directors about BHP Billiton’s position regarding nuclear regulation in Australia, new expansion plans for Olympic Dam, and plans to increase the height of the tailings dams at the mine.

In its submission to the recent South Australian Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle, BHP Billiton recommended that nuclear actions should not be regulated under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, the key piece of legislation for environmental protection in Australia, on the basis that uranium is just like any other mineral.  The company claims that “there is no scientific basis for uranium mining to be defined as a Matter of Environmental Significance…”[1]

“BHP Billiton is in la la land if they still believe that uranium is just like any other metal – no other metal has such an enormous range of international treaties – uranium is fundamentally risky, and BHP Billiton should act accordingly,” said leading Environmental Engineering academic, Dr Gavin Mudd.

“What would have been the impact of the tailings dam collapse in Brazil if the tailings were radioactive?” asks Adam Sharah. “Uranium and the tailings produced by uranium mining are unique both in their health and long term environmental impacts.”

“In the wake of the tailings dam  collapse in Brazil, there are concerns here in Australia about reports that BHP Billiton are seeking approval to increase the height of their tailings dams at the Olympic Dam mine,” continued Mr Sharah. “It is important that the company clarify this for the Australian public, Aboriginal custodians of the area, and its shareholders.”

Mr Sharah will also seek clarification on the progress of the company’s plans for an on-site heap leach trial at Olympic Dam as part of a cheaper expansion plan, after it shelved it’s grand expansion plans in 2012.

“It is always a concern when corporations start seeking cheaper, cost-cutting alternatives,” said Nectaria Calan, of BHP Billiton Watch. “These concerns are magnified by the fact that federal approval of the heap leach trial did not require any environmental assessment even though heap leach mining is not a method currently used on-site at the Olympic Dam mine.”

“Yet despite by-passing environmental assessment for the trial, and despite the legal privileges and exemptions BHP Billiton enjoy under the Indenture Act, which only applies to the Olympic Dam mine, the company is still lobbying through forums such as the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission to reduce regulation further.  This type of regulatory race to the bottom, characteristic of third world nations competing for foreign capital, will only make disasters like Brazils more common.”

BHP Billiton’s AGM will be held on Thursday 17th November, 11 am, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

November 16, 2016 Posted by | business, legal, politics, South Australia, uranium | Leave a comment

Australian government considering law to stop environment groups taking legal action

legal actionCoalition can bring back green ‘lawfare’ bill if Senate supports it, says Turnbull
Prime minister floats plan to reintroduce controversial laws to limit right of conservation groups to mount court cases,
Guardian, , 24 Oct 16, The government plans to reintroduce controversial laws to limit the legal standing of conservation groups mounting court cases if it thinks the new Senate will support them, Malcolm Turnbull has revealed.

At a press conference in Sydney on Monday Turnbull expressed concern that “systematic, well-funded” environmental campaigns were targeting major projects and flagged a renewed attempt to pass the law.

In August 2015 the Abbott government announced it would remove the right of most environmental organisations to challenge developments under federal laws unless they could show they were “directly affected”.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act allows any Australian citizen or resident who has engaged in conservation activities in the previous two years to bring a legal challenge to government environmental decisions.

The proposed changes followed a federal court decision that the then environment minister, Greg Hunt, had not properly considered all advice in his approval of Adani’s $16.6bn Carmichael coalmine.

After becoming prime minister Turnbull unexpectedly retained plans to introduce the laws limiting legal standing…….

The Greens environment spokeswoman, Senator Larissa Waters, said: “Stopping ordinary Australians from enforcing our environment laws would be a capitulation to the hard right inside the Coalition and yet another win for Tony Abbott.”

She added: “Gutting public enforcement of environmental laws is an attack on democracy and the rule of law.

“When governments fail to enforce or comply with their own laws, it falls to community groups to hold them to account.”

Waters said there were already strict rules that limit which cases go to court and frivolous or vexatious claims could be struck out.

On Tuesday a United Nations special rapporteur, Michel Forst, criticised the proposed law after a two-week visit to Australia investigating protections for human rights defenders, including environmentalists.

Forst said there were already significant obstacles to environmental litigation including complexity and the risk of a costs order if a case was unsuccessful.

An Australian Conservation Foundation campaigner, Basha Stasak, welcomed the UN rapporteur’s findings that environmental campaigners had been “vilified” for legitimate legal action.

She called on the government to “take on board the recommendations that environmental groups have a legitimate interest in decision making and in the courts” and withdraw amendments to deny them standing and deprive them of tax-deductible status. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/oct/24/coalition-can-bring-back-green-lawfare-bill-if-senate-supports-it-says-turnbull

October 27, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, politics | Leave a comment

Legal challenge to Adani’s Abbot Point plans in Queensland’s Supreme Court

coal CarmichaelMine2Adani’s Abbot Point plans face court challenge,SMH , 7 Oct 16   Whitsunday residents are bound for court in a bid to show the Queensland government failed the environment when it approved a port expansion for Adani’s new mega-coal mine.

Whitsunday Residents Against Dumping say dredging required for Adani’s expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal, north of Bowen, could do untold environmental harm and the mine itself will fuel global warming and endanger the reef.

Lawyers for the group will appear in the Supreme Court in Brisbane on Friday, arguing Queensland’s environment department failed to properly assess the port project before it gave Adani the go ahead.

The expansion is needed to ship coal from Adani’s planned $16 billion Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin…….

The action group’s case will be heart in the Supreme Court in Brisbane from 10am (AEST). http://www.smh.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/adanis-abbot-point-plans-face-court-challenge-20161007-grx2s3.html

October 8, 2016 Posted by | climate change - global warming, legal, Queensland | Leave a comment

Brett Stokes calls out South Australian govt on its illegal promotion of nuclear waste importation

Brett Burnard Stokes shared Your Say Nuclear‘s photo

We have laws, good laws, that are being subverted.

These laws are the embodiment of the will of the people.

I have asked many times why this propaganda exercise is omitting the facts about South Australian law and the prohibition of nuclear waste importation into South Australia.

I have pointed out the deception involved in pretending to be objective while omitting the facts about current law and the penalties per offence of ten years jail and huge fines.

I ask again for an end to this waste of time and money.

I call again for investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators.

(copy of my comment at Your Say Nuclear facebook page run by Dept Premier and Cabinet)

October 1, 2016 Posted by | legal, South Australia | Leave a comment

“Your Say” Has Jay Weatherill the right to spend #millions promoting nuclear waste dump?

text-your-sayPeter Lazic 16 Sept 16 What consent does Jay Weatherill have to spend $600 million dollars of taxpayer money to plan a nuclear waste dump, when the proposed dump may never get approved. This and the money spent to date on the Royal Commission, the road show, now TV advertisements, etc, is obscene and immoral

Noel Wauchope > Peter Lazic 16 Sep 2016

Especially as the SA Law says:

13—No public money to be used to encourage or finance construction or
operation of nuclear waste storage facility Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000https://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/C/A/NUCLEAR%20WASTE%20STORAGE%20FACILITY%20(PROHIBITION)%20ACT%202000/CURRENT/2000.68.UN.PDF

and the link http://yoursay.sa.gov.au/discussions/nuclear-community-conversation-community-discussion-consent

September 23, 2016 Posted by | legal, South Australia, wastes | Leave a comment

Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) lodges appeal against Federal Court’s approval of giant Adani coal mine

coal CarmichaelMine219 September 2016  “The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has lodged an appeal to the Federal Court’s decision which found the approval of Adani’s Carmichael coal mine to be lawful.

“ACF disputes the Environment Minister’s argument in court that the burning of coal from Carmichael mine will not have an impact on global warming and the Great Barrier Reef.

““This is a profound moment in the history of protecting Australia’s environment, as we attempt to stop a coal mine that would create 4.6 billion tonnes of climate pollution if it is allowed to proceed,” said ACF’s President Geoff Cousins.

““Australia’s system of environment laws is broken if it allows the Federal Environment Minister to approve a mega-polluting coal mine – the biggest in Australia’s history – and claim it will have no impact on the global warming and the reef.

““If our environment laws are too weak to actually protect Australia’s unique species and places,they effectively give companies like Adani a licence to kill.

““Be in no doubt, Adani’s Carmichael proposal is massive and will lock in decades of damaging climate pollution if it goes ahead, further wrecking the reef. … “

September 21, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, legal, Queensland | 1 Comment

Your Say: Immoral and illegal for Jay Weatherill to spend taxpayer money to promote nuclear waste dump

Weatherill,-Jay-wastesPeter Lazic 12 Sep 2016 What consent does Jay Weatherill have to spend $600 million dollars of taxpayer money to plan a nuclear waste dump, when the proposed dump may never get approved. This and the money spent to date on the Royal Commission, the road show, now TV advertisements, etc, is obscene and immoral

Ed note : Especially as the SA Law says:
13—No public money to be used to encourage or finance construction or
operation of nuclear waste storage facility Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000https://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/C/A/NUCLEAR%20WASTE%20STORAGE%20FACILITY%20(PROHIBITION)%20ACT%202000/CURRENT/2000.68.UN.PDF


http://nuclear.yoursay.sa.gov.au/get-invol…/statewide-survey

September 16, 2016 Posted by | legal, South Australia, Submissions to Royal Commission S.A. | 1 Comment