Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

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

Australian Conservation Foundation ordered to pay costs for Adani case

coal CarmichaelMine2September 8, 2016. ENVIRONMENTALISTS have been hit with a massive bill after a Federal Court ruling in just one of many cases against the Adani coal project, while a second group has launched yet another attempt to derail the project….. (subscribers only) 
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/crime-and-justice/australian-conservation-foundation-ordered-to-pay-costs-for-adani-case/news-story/20a030d675a2edb873a9888fd1e152ea

September 10, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, Queensland | Leave a comment

Poll shows broad support for green groups using ‘lawfare’ to challenge mining ventures

legal actionMajority support green groups using ‘lawfare’ to challenge mining ventures: poll, The Age, Peter Hannam 4 Sept 16   The Turnbull government should make saving the Great Barrier Reef “an absolute priority”, and green groups should be able to use existing laws to protect the environment, new polling has found.

The ReachTEL survey of 2636 respondents commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation found broadbased backing for the reef and the use of the courts to challenge new mines, even among self-described as Liberal-National Party supporters.

The poll was taken Tuesday, a day after an ACF challenge failed in the Federal Court against the federal government’s approval of the giant Adani coal mine in Queensland. Some conservative politicians have accused green groups of using “lawfare” to delay major projects by testing approvals in court………Larissa Waters, the deputy Greens leaders, said the poll’s findings underscored the political risks for the Coalition.

“Last time the Coalition government tried to roll back our national environment laws, attack the voices of our environment and stop ordinary Australians from enforcing them in the courts, they got walloped,” Senator Waters said. “I’d be surprised if the government was out of touch enough to try the same attacks again.”

Sean Ryan, principal solicitor for the Environmental Defenders Office Queensland, said there already exists “a massive disparity” in financial resources available to the community compared with the mining sector……..http://www.theage.com.au/environment/majority-support-green-groups-using-lawfare-to-challenge-mining-ventures-poll-20160902-gr74v3.html

September 5, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal | Leave a comment

Appeal lodged against Western Australia’s Mulga Rock uranium mine project

legal actionAppeal against WA Mulga Rock uranium mine Sky News, Tuesday, 30 August 2016 An appeal has been lodged against the Environmental Protection Authority’s recommendation to approve the proposed Mulga Rock uranium mine in Western Australia’s Goldfields region.

The appeal was lodged on Monday by the Conservation Council of WA, the Australian Conservation Foundation, The Wilderness Society, Friends of the Earth Australia and the Anti Nuclear Alliance of WA.

The grounds for appeal include environmental factors for flora and fauna, mine closure, tailings management and impacts to water……

Following the EPA’s recommendation with 14 conditions, including having environmental and Aboriginal heritage management plans in place, it is now up to state and federal environment ministers to decide if the project will go ahead.

But CCWA campaigner Mia Pepper says the proposed mine sits in the Yellow Sand Plain Priority Community, which supports rare and endangered species.

‘If this mine were to proceed it would take 15 million litres of water a day from the environment and clear over 3000 hectares of native bushland and important habitat for 93 reptile species, 28 bird species and 10 mammal/marsupial species,’ she said.

‘This uranium mine would leave behind a legacy of 30 million tonnes of radioactive tailings and mine waste that would pose a threat to the environment for thousands of years.’

Earlier this month, the EPA rejected Cameco’s plan to mine uranium at its Yeelirrie project, 70km southeast of Wiluna, because the project posed unacceptable risks to subterranean fauna. – See more at:http://www.skynews.com.au/business/business/company/2016/08/30/appeal-against-wa-mulga-rock-uranium-mine.html#sthash.qqOmAFyx.dpuf

September 2, 2016 Posted by | legal, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Adani court decision: Traditional Owners say fight to stop QLD’s Carmichael mine continues

19 August 2016

legal actionCourt decision:

Traditional Owners say govt acted shamefully,

fight to stop Adani’s Carmichael mine continues

Defence of rights and country still has a long way to run

http://wanganjagalingou.com.au/adani-court-decision-traditional-owners-say-fight-to-stop-qlds-carmichael-mine-continues/

Senior Traditional Owner and spokesperson for the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) traditional owners family council, Mr Adrian Burragubba, says he is not surprised  by the decision handed down in the Federal Court in Brisbane today, while reiterating that they stand strong together and will continue to defend their human rights, and protect their traditional lands from Adani’s destructive Carmichael mine.

““The issuing by the Palaszczuk government of the mining leases, in support of Adani running roughshod over our right to say ‘no’ to this mine, was a shameful episode. We will continue to pursue all legal avenues, Australian and international, to defend our rights and stop this massive coal mine going ahead,” Mr Burragubba said.

“Wangan and Jagalingou council representatives, including Mr Burragubba, are currently challenging the leasesthat have been issued by the Palaszczuk government for the Adani Carmichael coal mine ina Judicial Review in the Queensland Supreme Court. The matter will be heard in November; and further legal actions are underway. …

Lawyer for Mr Burragubba, Mr Benedict Coyne said: “My client will take some time to review the reasons for judgment, and consider his appeal options in the context of numerous other legal avenues he is pursuing for justice for his people, both domestically and internationally.” …

August 19, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, legal, Queensland | Leave a comment

Indigenous challenge to Adani Carmichael coal mine dismissed by Federal Court

coal CarmichaelMine2http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-19/indigenous-challenge-to-adani-carmichael-coal-mine-dismissed/7765466~ Andrew Kos 19 August 2016

“The Federal Court has dismissed a challenge from a Queensland traditional owner to mining leases for Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.

“A member of the Wangan and Jagalingou people was trying to put a stop to the multi-billion-dollar Galilee basin project.

Senior traditional owner for the Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners, Adrian Burragubba argued that a determination made in April 2015 by the National Native Title Tribunal, relating to the proposed granting of two mining leases, was made incorrectly.

“He argued the approval of mining leases would extinguish native title over parts of the group’s lands.

“Mr Burragubba made the application for judicial review against the Queensland Government, Adani and the National Native Title Tribunal. …

“In his judgement, Justice John Reeves concluded that none of Mr Burragubba’s grounds of review had merit. “Justice Reeves said the tribunal did not fail to observe the rules of natural justice or constructively fail to exercise its jurisdiction. …

“While I respect the judgement of Justice Reeves, we will seek advice from our legal team on an appeal,” Mr Burragubba said. … “

August 19, 2016 Posted by | aboriginal issues, legal, Queensland | 1 Comment