Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Federal court rules against Aboriginal group who wanted inclusion in nuclear waste dump ballot

Federal Court dismisses bid to stop ballot on nuclear storage facility near Kimba, ABC,  By Candice ProsserClaire Campbell and Sara Garcia  12 July 19, A South Australian Aboriginal group has lost a bid to stop a council ballot on whether a nuclear storage facility should be built on the Eyre Peninsula.

Key points:

  • The Kimba District Council planned to hold a vote to gauge support for the waste dump
  • Representatives of the Barngarla people were excluded from the ballot
  • They argued it contravened the Racial Discrimination Act, but the Federal Court dismissed the application

The Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation launched legal action against the District Council of Kimba, arguing it contravened the Racial Discrimination Act by excluding native title holders from the ballot.

The council planned to hold a vote to gauge community support among its ratepayers for having radioactive waste stored in their area, after the Federal Government shortlisted two sites near Kimba as possible locations for the facility.

A third site in Hawker, near the Flinders Ranges, has also been shortlisted.

The native title holders won an injunction to halt the ballot last year, while the legal challenge was being heard.

Justice Richard White ruled that no contraventions of the Racial Discrimination Act had been established, and dismissed the application.

SA Greens leader Mark Parnell said he was disappointed with the court’s decision.

“Here we are in NAIDOC week, celebrating Aboriginal culture, and the court has determined it is not a breach of the Racial Discrimination Act to deny traditional owners a vote on whether a nuclear waste dump can be built on their land,” he said.

“Clearly in this country we have a very long way to go before we achieve anything like reconciliation.

“The Aboriginal traditional owners have legitimate rights over this country, yet they’ve been denied a right to vote on whether a nuclear waste dump can be built.

“The Federal Government is obviously keen to get their project up but they only want to ask people who are going to say yes.”

In a statement the Barngarla people said they respected the Federal Court’s decision, but said their lawyers were considering an appeal.

“The Barngarla respects the decision of the Federal Court, as the court has to interpret complicated legislation,” the statement read.

“However, more generally we consider it sad that in the 21st century we are required to take legal action to allow us to have the right to vote on the major decision of the day.

“This case has been about standing up for the right of Aboriginal people to vote on important issues which affect their rights.”……….

 

Landholder Jeff Baldock [at left] has volunteered a portion of his property in Kimba for the proposed facility and said he welcomed today’s decision.

“Now hopefully we get to have our democratic vote … if there’s nothing else that gets in the road,” he told ABC News………

The proposal has the community divided, with Kimba resident and former Liberal MP Barry Wakelin also opposing the facility. …….

The latest Federal Government proposal is to build a single facility in regional South Australia for all of the nation’s waste. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-12/bid-to-stop-ballot-on-nuclear-storage-facility-in-sa-dismissed/11302852

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July 13, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, legal | Leave a comment

Adani mining project: Court asks Australian govt to look into public concerns

Adani mining project: Court asks Australian govt to look into public concerns  https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/international/adani-mining-project-court-asks-australian-govt-to-look-into-public-concerns  14 June 19

A local court in Australia has asked Federal Govt to listen to public grievances on Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme. It spells fresh trouble for Adanis and their billion dollar coal mining project

In what is being interpreted as fresh trouble for the Adanis in Australia, who are on way to set up USD 16 billion dollar coal mining project in the Queensland state, a local court has asked the Federal Government to listen to public grievances on Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme.
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), which had filed a case the Federal Government has said that the latter has conceded public grievances on the Adani’s water scheme were ignored.
ACF said, “This is a massive outcome for the broader community, who raised grave concerns about the effect this project would have on Australia’s precious water resources”, adding, “In conceding the case, the Federal Environment Minister has admitted the Federal Government failed to consider all of the thousands of valid public submissions about if and how Adani’s project should be assessed, in direct breach of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.”

According to ACF, “Those people were denied their right to a voice in this process. This win will ensure their voice is heard. Now the Government will need to go back to the drawing board and open up assessment of the project for public comment again. It’s a big moment in the Adani story, and it couldn’t have happened without the bold vision of ACF in launching the case, backed by the hard work and expertise of the legal team.”

It continued, “This win is a humiliating outcome for the Federal Government over its assessment of Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme – the plan to pump up to 12.5 billion litres of water a year from the Suttor River to the company’s Carmichael mine site. Thousands of Australians made valid public comments on Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme referral, many concerned about the project’s impact on our precious water resources during a time of extreme drought.”

According to ACF, “The Federal Environment Minister has now admitted her delegate did not consider these comments, as required by law. In fact, she has admitted that her Department lost an unknown number of public comments made over the controversial project. This botched process points to a worrying lack of oversight in core assessment procedures designed to protect Australia’s precious water resources.”

It insisted in a statement, “The Federal Environment Minister did not concede our client’s initial argument in the case, which was that the ‘water trigger’ should have applied to the Scheme. The ‘water trigger’ is a measure that ensures any action which has a significant impact on water resources and involves a large coal mining development requires a more rigorous assessment under the EPBC Act.”

It added, “The community is still no closer to having an answer on why the ‘water trigger’ should not have applied to the North Galilee Water Scheme – a project which will take billions of litres of water a year from Central Queensland to service a coal mine. The Australian people have a right to know the impact big projects like this have on their precious water resources.”

June 15, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, legal | Leave a comment

Adani coalmine: minister loses legal challenge on water pipeline assessment


Australian Conservation Foundation says case shows federal government hasn’t scrutinised Carmichael project, 
Guardian,  Lisa Cox, 12 June 19, The federal government will have to reassess water infrastructure for Adani’s Carmichael coalmine after conceding in a legal challenge that was lodged with the federal court.The Australian Conservation Foundation has succeeded in its appeal against the government’s assessment of Adani’s north Galilee water scheme, with the federal government admitting it failed to properly consider public responses to the proposal and even lost some submissions.

The new environment minister, Sussan Ley, will now have to reconsider the proposal, which would see a 100km-long pipeline constructed to transport 12.5bn litres of water a year from the Suttor river and Burdekin basin. The project would also expand an existing 2.2bn-litre dam to 10bn litres.

The government will need to reopen the project for public comment.

While the decision is a win for the environment movement in its fight against the project, it will not prevent Adani from commencing preliminary construction at the mine site if it receives approval for its groundwater plans from the Queensland government on Thursday.

But the ACF said the government’s concession in the case is a demonstration it has not properly scrutinised Adani’s plans…….

The ACF lodged the appeal last year, challenging Price’s decision not to apply the water trigger in her assessment of the water scheme.

Through the proceedings it became evident that the process leading to the minister’s approval hadn’t properly considered the more than 2,200 public submissions that had been made, with some even being lost.

As a result, the ACF amended the grounds to challenge the failure to consider those submissions and the government conceded.

The government could still face further legal challenge if it reapproves the project without applying the water trigger in its reassessment.

“The water trigger is in Australian law because water is scarce on our dry continent. It should be applied to every relevant proposal, including Adani’s plan to take billions of litres of Queensland’s precious water,” O’Shanassy said.

“ACF will continue to scrutinise all decisions around Adani’s proposal, including groundwater approvals that were rushed through on the eve of the election.”

A spokesperson for Ley said the decision had no bearing on the federal approval for the Carmichael coalmine itself…….

The outcome has some similarities to a 2015 challenge to Adani’s mine approval, which saw the then environment minister Greg Hunt’s decision to approve the mine set aside after he failed to consider advice about two threatened species, the yakka skink and the ornamental snake.

The mine was reapproved two months later.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/12/adani-coalmine-federal-government-loses-legal-challenge-on-water-assessment

June 13, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal | Leave a comment

Swedish court rules in favour of Julian Assange: he will not be extradited to Sweden

4 June 19

Sweden’s Uppsala District Court has found in favour of Assange: the court ruled NOT to detain Assange in absentia. The preliminary investigation can proceed without Assange’s extradition to Sweden. This was always the case as Assange has always cooperated with the investigation.

Suzie Dawson on Julian Assange’s mistreatment #FreeAssange

June 4, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, legal | Leave a comment

Julian Assange will now not face Espionage Act charges.  

Assange won’t face charges over role in devastating CIA leak   The decision surprised national security experts and some former officials, given prosecutors’ recent decision to go after the WikiLeaks founder on Espionage Act charges.  

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will not face charges for publishing Vault 7, a series of documents detailing the CIA’s arsenal of digital code used to hack devices  Politico, By 6/2/19

The U.S. Justice Department has decided not to charge Julian Assange for his role in exposing some of the CIA’s most secret spying tools, according to a U.S. official and two other people familiar with the case.

It’s a move that has surprised national security experts and some former officials, given prosecutors’ recent decision to aggressively go after the WikiLeaks founder on more controversial Espionage Act charges that some legal experts said would not hold up in court. ……

Prosecutors were stymied by several factors. First, the government is facing a ticking clock in its efforts to extradite Assange to the United States from the United Kingdom, where he is being held. Extradition laws require the U.S. to bring any additional charges against Assange within 60 days of the first indictment, which prosecutors filed in March, accusing Assange of helping former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning hack into military computers.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will not face charges for publishing Vault 7, a series of documents detailing the CIA’s arsenal of digital code used to hack devices | Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Justice Department has decided not to charge Julian Assange for his role in exposing some of the CIA’s most secret spying tools, according to a U.S. official and two other people familiar with the case.

It’s a move that has surprised national security experts and some former officials, given prosecutors’ recent decision to aggressively go after the WikiLeaks founder on more controversial Espionage Act charges that some legal experts said would not hold up in court. The decision also means that Assange will not face punishment for publishing one of the CIA’s most potent arsenals of digital code used to hack devices, dubbed Vault 7. The leak — one of the most devastating in CIA history — not only essentially rendered those tools useless for the CIA, it gave foreign spies and rogue hackers access to them.

Prosecutors were stymied by several factors.

First, the government is facing a ticking clock in its efforts to extradite Assange to the United States from the United Kingdom, where he is being held. Extradition laws require the U.S. to bring any additional charges against Assange within 60 days of the first indictment, which prosecutors filed in March, accusing Assange of helping former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning hack into military computers.

Second, prosecutors were worried about the sensitivity of the Vault 7 materials, according to an official familiar with the deliberations over whether to charge Assange. Broaching such a classified subject in court risks exposing even more CIA secrets, legal experts said. The CIA has never officially confirmed the authenticity of the leaked documents, even though analysts widely believe them to be authentic……

So instead, the Justice Department will go after Assange on the one count for allegedly assisting Manning and the 17-count Espionage Act indictment. There are no plans to bring any additional indictments prior to his extradition.  https://www.politico.eu/article/julian-assange-wont-face-charges-over-cia-leak-whistleblower-spy-tools-national-security/

June 3, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, legal, politics international | Leave a comment

Swedish court rejects effort to delay Assange hearing

  https://www.theage.com.au/world/europe/swedish-court-rejects-effort-to-delay-assange-hearing-20190529-p51s61.html  29 May 19.   Stockholm: A Swedish court has rejected efforts to postpone a hearing relating to Julian Assange, a lawyer for the WikiLeaks founder says.

A Swedish prosecutor this month filed a request for Assange to be detained for a June 3 hearing about a rape allegation.

Defence lawyer Per Samuelson told Reuters he visited Assange in British custody on Friday before seeking to postpone the hearing.

“One of the reasons is that Assange’s health situation on Friday was such that it was not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him,” Samuelson said.

“I meant that it should be postponed until I had time to meet again and go through the issues in peace and quiet. I suggested no specific date and meant it should be postponed until everything was ready, but the district court has now decided that this won’t happen .

he Uppsala district court, where the hearing is due to take place, was not immediately available for comment. A prosecutors’ office spokesman declined to comment.

Sweden reopened the investigation into alleged rape, which Assange denies, in early May. It was begun in 2010 but dropped in 2017 while Assange was in refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy.

Assange was arrested in London last month after spending nearly seven years inside the embassy.

If the court order is granted, it would be the first step in a process to have Assange extradited from Britain, where he is serving a 50-week sentence for skipping bail.

US authorities are separately seeking to extradite Assange on charges relating to the public release by WikiLeaks of a cache of secret documents, and last week unveiled 17 new criminal charges against him, including espionage.

The British courts will have to rule on the two extradition requests, with the home secretary having the final say on which one takes precedence.

June 1, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, politics international | Leave a comment

Australian companies, later, governments, may face legal action over climate issues

May 30, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming, legal | Leave a comment

Torres Strait lodges case at UN against Australia on human rights as climate change issue

May 27, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, politics international | Leave a comment

Australian courts will consider the risks of climate change to be foreseeable, thereby creating further responsibilities for companies and directors

May 23, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, legal | Leave a comment

Adani’s bid to bankrupt traditional owner hits court

Adani’s bid to bankrupt traditional owner hits court, Courier Mail 24 Apr 19,

A date has been set for Indian mining giant Adani’s case to bankrupt a traditional land owner who fought to stop its $2 billion Carmichael mine – and it falls just days before the Federal Election. …(Subscribers only)

April 25, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal | Leave a comment

Landmark High Court decision guides how compensation for native title losses will be determined

March 14, 2019 1.43pm AEDT William Isdale  Jonathan Fulcher 
theconversation.com/landmark-high-court-decision-guides-how-compensation-for-native-title-losses-will-be-determined-113346
‘The High Court has decided, for the first time, the approach that should be taken to resolving native title compensation claims. In a previous article, we said it would be “the most significant case concerning Indigenous land rights since the Mabo and Wik decisions”. The High Court’s decision yesterday certainly stands up to that description, and provides a degree of certainty for native title holders and governments. … ‘

March 16, 2019 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal | Leave a comment

Traditional owners and Western Australia’s Conservation Council continue legal action, to uphold environmental law  

Battle against Yeelirrie uranium mine continues for traditional owners and Conservation Council     https://thewest.com.au/business/uranium/battle-against-yeelirrie-uranium-mine-continues-for-traditional-owners-and-conservation-council-ng-b881125927z 5 March 2019  Traditional owners and the Conservation Council of WA are continuing their fight against a proposed uranium mine, fearing unique subterranean fauna in the project area will be made extinct if it proceeds.
Former State environment minister Albert Jacob gave the green light to Cameco’s Yeelirrie mine proposal in January 2017, just 16 days before the pre-election caretaker mode began. Yeelirrie is 70km southwest of Wiluna in the Mid West region.Together with members of the Tjiwarl native title group, CCWA challenged the approval in the Supreme Court but lost, and have now taken their   battle to the Court of Appeal.  CCWA director Piers Verstegen said the previous government was desperate to lock-in a uranium project before it lost power, going against the advice of the Environmental Protection Authority, which was concerned about the impact of mining on subterranean fauna.

“Stygofauna might be a relatively obscure species. In fact, these particular species of stygofauna were not known to science until the proponent started exploring for uranium in that area,” Mr Verstegen said on Tuesday.

“But the legal precedent here has much broader implications.

“We’re certainly very keen to be upholding environmental laws … which were never intended to be used by a minister or a government to approve the extinction of species.”

The matter was heard on Tuesday and a decision will be handed down at a later date.

March 7, 2019 Posted by | aboriginal issues, environment, legal, opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Conservation Council of Western Australia (CCWA) and three Tjiwarl Traditional Owners in court battle against uranium mining

WILDLIFE AND TRADITIONAL OWNERS REPRESENTED IN LANDMARK LEGAL CHALLENGE http://www.ccwa.org.au/landmark_legal_challenge?utm_campaign=nuclear_news68&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ccwa

The Conservation Council of Western Australia (CCWA) and three Tjiwarl Traditional Owners have continued their landmark legal bid to prevent the extinction of multiple species and protect Aboriginal lands from uranium mining at Yeelirrie, with a hearing in the WA Court of Appeal today.

The Yeelirrie mine proposal by uranium miner Cameco in the Northern Goldfields on Tjiwarl Native Title land was approved by the Minister for the Environment in the final days of the Barnett Government, against the advice of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), and against the outcome of an appeals process.

The EPA found that the proposal would cause the extinction of multiple species of subterranean fauna.

Bret Walker SC, Dr Hannes Schoombee, and the Environmental Defenders Office WA (EDOWA) represented Traditional Owners and CCWA in the legal challenge to the environmental approval for the Yeelirrie uranium mine.

CCWA Director Piers Verstegen said, “This important case is seeking to prevent the extinction of multiple species at Yeelirrie, and uphold the rights of Traditional Owners to protect sacred country from uranium mining.

“Mr Walker is one of Australia’s most eminent legal minds and his involvement with this case is an indication of its national legal significance.

“The approval of extinction at Yeelirrie at the stroke of a Minister’s pen cannot go unchallenged because it sets a dangerous precedent for all wildlife across Western Australia.

“We are proud to stand with three members of the Tjiwarl Native Title Group, Shirley and Elizabeth Wonyabong and Vicky Abdullah, who have been fighting to protect their country from uranium mining for many years.

“As well as the threat of extinction, Cameco’s uranium project would have a major impact on the landscape and ecosystems at Yeelirrie. It would involve a 9km open mine pit and processing plant, clearing 2421 hectares of native vegetation, and generating 36 million tonnes of radioactive mine waste to be stored in open pits.”

EDOWA Principal Solicitor Declan Doherty said, “This is a landmark case to test how Western Australia’s primary environmental law should be applied.

We argued that in approving the Yeelirrie uranium mine, Minister Albert Jacob failed to correctly follow the process set out in the relevant legislation.

“It will be an important test for how the legislation should be applied, which could have significant implications for future decisions of this kind.”

March 7, 2019 Posted by | legal, opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Australia’s democracy is threatened by Adani’s ‘legal intimidation’ tactics against community groups

Adani’s ‘legal intimidation’ tactics against community groups a ‘threat to democracy’, Guardian, Ben Smee


Eminent members of legal profession, including a former supreme court judge, critical of law firm’s strategy document, 
The Adani mining company’s “legal intimidation” tactics against community groups are a “threat to democracy” and “gravely concerning”, say eminent members of the legal profession, including a former supreme court judge and an expert on corporate lawfare.The ABC reported on Tuesday that a law firm hired by Adani, AJ & Co, wrote a strategy document urging the Indian miner to “play the man” and adopt an aggressive legal posture against opponents.

The documents suggested Adani should trawl social media for evidence of bias among activists and decision makers. It recommended using the legal system to bankrupt poorly resourced opponents, silence commentators and put pressure on government……

Brian Walters, a Melbourne-based QC and human rights advocate, is an expert on so-called Slapp suits – strategic lawsuits against public participation. He wrote the 2005 book Slapping on the Writs and said using the law to silence community groups undermined the democratic process.

“It is a fundamental feature of free speech that people should be allowed to comment on the way that corporations and other powerful people are using their power,” Walters said.

“What appears to have happened here is a large corporation has agreed to use, or has tried to use, threats of legal intimidation to silence the public in speaking out about its proposals.

“When corporations attempt to use the law not to achieve a legitimate forensic outcome but to intimidate those who criticise them, they are abusing the process of the law. They are bringing the law and indeed their own corporation into disrepute.”…..

The Environmental Defender’s Office Queensland said on Tuesday it had received a legal letter sent on behalf of Adani on 12 September “clearly designed to intimidate us”.

“Instead of spending its legal energy on complying with Queensland’s laws, Adani is hiring lawyers to silence its critics in a well-funded campaign of intimidation, EDO Queensland’s chief executive and solicitor Jo-Anne Bragg said.

A faction of Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners, who have been fighting a long-running native title case against Adani in relation to the Carmichael mine, said they had been targeted by the “malicious” tactics…… https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/19/adanis-legal-intimidation-tactics-against-community-groups-a-threat-to-democracy

February 21, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal | Leave a comment

ADANI TO WAGE WAR ON AUSTRALIA

Paparc, 19 Feb 19 

Just how bad does Adani need this mine?

Bad enough that leaked information has shown Adani and their lawyers will go after individual people, and attempt to use our legal system on our own government in an effort to bankrupt, jail and silence anyone stopping theirr mine.

“Lawyers for mining firm Adani proposed waging “war” on opponents of its controversial Queensland mine by using the legal system to pressure government, silence critics and financially cripple activists, according to documents obtained by the ABC.”

Adani are under investigation for tax evasion, and fraud (1), and have found themselves between a rock and a hard place with the massive mobilisation against the Carmichael mine in Australia putting the brakes on their cash cow.

Adani have a reputation for exploiting and destroying local communities and environments for profit, like the coal mine in Parsa, that drained the entire village of water (2).

—-> .1 ADANI CORRUPTION INVESTIGATION:
https://mobile.abc.net.au/…/adani-companies-facing…/8140100…

—-> .2 PARSA DRAINED OF WATER:

https://thewire.in/…/in-chhattishgarh-adanis-coal-mine-leav…

—-> MAIN STORY:

https://mobile.abc.net.au/…/adani-law-firm-put-fo…/10821470…

February 19, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, legal, politics | Leave a comment