Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Hiroshima Day protests call on Albanese government to scrap AUKUS, nuclear subs

 https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/photos-hiroshima-day-protests-call-albanese-government-scrap-aukus-nuclear-subs Kerry Smith, August 8, 2022,

The 77th anniversary of the United States’ atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan on August 6 was marked by gatherings around the country calling on the federal Labor government to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, to scrap AUKUS and the nuclear submarines and to bring Julian Assange home.

The Sydney rally was organised by the Hiroshima Day Committee.

Several speakers said the enduring and horrific damage of nuclear weapons should be enough to prevent their proliferation. But the integration of nuclear arsenals into militaries has raised the threat of conventional conflicts turning nuclear.

Gem Romuld from International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons said the growing number of countries signing on to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons represented a “new benchmark”. 

Greens Senator David Shoebridge said if Labor did not sign on by the end of the year, the Greens will move a motion that it does.

Nick Dean, representing the Sydney Anti-AUKUS Coalition, said the nuclear submarine deal must be axed and the billions reallocated to environment and social needs.

AUKUS is a threat to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty because for Australia to operate nuclear-powered submarines, it will have to become the first non-nuclear weapons state to exercise a loophole that would allow it to remove nuclear material from the inspection system of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

This will set a dangerous precedent allowing would-be proliferators to use naval reactor programs as cover for the development of nuclear weapons — with the expectation that, because of the Australia precedent, they would not face repercussions for doing so.

The Maritime Union of Australia, NSW Teachers Federation, the Red Rebels and campaigners for Julian Assange’s release lent their support.

Reverend Ray Minniecon acknowledged country, after several anti-war songs by singer-songwriters Patrick Harte, Margaret Walker, Jude, Chris Maltby and Antoinette.

At a gathering in Armidale protesters also called for freedom for Julian Assange who is being persecuted and tortured because he helped expose recent US war crimes. “What these acts of the US Empire have in common is that they were or are intended as a warning to others. It’s time to ban nuclear weapons, reject nuclear-powered submarines, jail the war criminals and free Julian Assange,” Bea Bleile said.

August 8, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Australian readers condemn the Morrison government’s AUKUS deal

Below are just a few of the many comments that readers made, on the article about Australia’s devious nuclear submarine diplomacy.

My own comment – going to the issue of whether the nuclear submarines would be obsolete before ever in use, was not published.

Still, the overwhelming content of the published comments was condemnation of the AUKUS deal. (I’ll publish more comments later, on this page)

KEEPITREAL Super power toys and massive debt.

Social D-Greaser benefit of the termination of the contract with the French will flow to the UK or US or both. Naturally, they both will be happy.
The new nuclear sub contract either with the US or UK, could cost Australia hundreds of billion dollars more than than that with the French.

In thirty/forty years time when we could expect the delivery of these nuclear subs, the technology could already be obsolete. China could operate their subs from the moon by that time, because they make things themselves.
All these maneuvering (changing the diesel propulsion to nuclear) is aimed to scare China. Does Australia think that it will have to face China in a war really? Why are we then, unnecessarily annoying the Chinese where our business interest heavily lies. Therefore AUKUS is all loss – loss for Australia.

Trim the cat The whole world now knows you can’t trust the duplicitous Australian government.

KEEPITREAL. Just get one thing straight, me may get into a hard and bloody conflict with China , however our Trade Minister is sure that our major exports of Coal and Iron ore to China will not be affected

Petra665 Way to go Mr Morrison. You’re duplicitous handling of this I suspect is related to your quest for your own power ambitions and hanging with the “big boys”.

You managed to put a key strategic partner in an embarrassing situation damaging their diplomatic relations with a key NATO member which Biden was keen to repair. Particularly as one of his key promises to the US electorate was that he would seek to mend the US relationship with NATO after Trump had trampled all over it. Well Done clap….clap…..

No vision- No policies- No direction – How good is that! This is Morrisons $5 billion lie.
He doesn’t care as it is not his money.

Figment. Anyone who is considering employing Morrison after 22 May should think again after reading this article.

Sir Rex So the short version is… the Morrison government was willing damage a range of long-standing and critical international relationships to play wedge politics for personal advantage on the home-front.
Gee Scotty, I hope those triumphant headlines uncle Rupert gave you were worth selling-out your country for…

Social D-Greaser Remember, the Chinese will be on Solomon Island now. If they have a military base in Solomon Island with 300 fighter planes, 20-30 nuclear propelled subs fitted with nuclear missiles, will we think of fighting with China. The US has a power rivalry. The US would want to dominate in the South China sea, China is aware of it. China is unstoppable, it will find its way out to reach its goal.

Australia joined the US in Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and any other wars the US asked for, led the Covid -19 investigation on its origin (thereby annoying China), terminated the 90 billion dollar sub contract with the French (only to please the US and UK) etc, still the US Secretary of State failed acknowledge the Australia’s contribution in the Afghanistan war.

Every time the US asked Australia to jump, Australia did not ask why but asked how high. That’s a bit shame. Nobody will give you respect, you have to earn it. The US would, probably, respect NZ more than Australia. Late NZ prime Minister David Lange (rest in peace David) resolutely opposed the entry of US nuclear arm ships in NZ port and still a good friend to the US. The US now , probably, considers NZ, a country with some backbone.

Question: Do you do anything that doesn’t involve how it can benefit yourself?

Alan This is a decision that needs to go to the Australian people, as the country’s political class in particular Morrison and Dutton who have shown the contempt they hold us in given the lies Morrison told the French in backing away from the conventional sub deal last year leaving us with a $5 billion compensation bill all for Morrison to be seen as a winner on a tiny world stage.

This is one decision that should never have been made by the partisan Morrison who has made the play just to further his time as prime minister which has only made us a target of the Chinese, has pissed off most of our Asia Pacific neighbours including France and has the potential to contaminate and make an Australian city off limits for decades if there is a operational or maintenance accident with the submarines – all of this because the erstwhile prime minister decided that it will help him remain the favoured incumbent after this election.

Morrison’s wedge tactic over the nuke sub deal failed with the small target stance of Labor, but it leaves the country in a horrible scenario, one that should never have been allowed to happen without every voter being consulted over.

Morrison has saddled the country with a ticking time bomb likely to blow up in 2040, long after he is booted in 7 days time.

Relotra No matter how you look at it, it was poorly done by the ‘only-ever-announcements, no-substance-ever’ incompetents of the Coalition led by a man who cannot apologise for his mistakes even in the face of his own unrelenting incompetence.
The Coalition’s eternal claim to be the masters of national security (& the economy) has been shown quite substantially to NOT be the case whatsoever. And when has it? Only ever in their own opinion.
And for the PM of Australia to be called a liar by another country’s leader is just extraordinary. Unheard of in public & the point made most clearly to the press. What an embarrassment for Australia.
It’s Time!!!!!!!!

Misnomerthey could allow Australia to pose a direct threat to the Chinese mainland”

Exactly. Our war mongers in Canberra aren’t interested in defence, they want war with China. They have written a $100+ billion blank cheque for the “crown jewels” (seriously?), leaving us without subs and defence for decades so hairy-chested Morrison and Dutton can bang the defence drums for an election.

The subs are a political play from a reckless, spendthrift government beholden to the US, which is happy to take a huge chunk of our debt-fuelled cash and let us fight their war against China.

Ditch the subs. They are a folly from an out-of-control government and should be the first thing Labor axes in the name of debt repair.

Inner West Andrew….  The French option should not have been discarded so readily on what appears to be a political process instigated by scotty from marketing in secret and using notes on the back of a beer coaster. The lack of proper policy development on the AUKUS deal is truly astonishing. Neither Britain or America are likely to have the spare capacity to help us obtain a fleet of even just 3 nuclear submarines for decades. meanwhile we have a massive capability gaps, just as Dutton appears determined to start a war.

Budawang The momentous decision to bankroll the US projection of power against China in the Western Pacific for decades to come was made without any public debate and without even consulting with Labor. This is not the sign of a well-functioning democracy.

lets be frank. Since ScoMo didn’t talk to Albo . Albo as PM should bite the bullet and CANCEL THE NUCLEAR DEAL . Its too far above our budget and capability. It will bankrupt us . Scomo has shown himself to be the most incompetent reactive idiot in a conga line of LNP incompetent reactive idiots. This is what happens when you have amateurs in the Lodge

Inner West Andrew….  The French option should not have been discarded so readily on what appears to be a political process instigated by scotty from marketing in secret and using notes on the back of a beer coaster. The lack of proper policy development on the AUKUS deal is truly astonishing. Neither Britain or America are likely to have the spare capacity to help us obtain a fleet of even just 3 nuclear submarines for decades. meanwhile we have a massive capability gaps, just as Dutton appears determined to start a war.

Budawang The momentous decision to bankroll the US projection of power against China in the Western Pacific for decades to come was made without any public debate and without even consulting with Labor. This is not the sign of a well-functioning democracy.

lets be frank. Since ScoMo didn’t talk to Albo . Albo as PM should bite the bullet and CANCEL THE NUCLEAR DEAL . Its too far above our budget and capability. It will bankrupt us . Scomo has shown himself to be the most incompetent reactive idiot in a conga line of LNP incompetent reactive idiots. This is what happens when you have amateurs in the Lodge

Phil 1943 Why wouldn’t the US and UK rush to accept the offer of a base – or bases, for their naval assets in Australia without the inconvenience of having to pay for them? If all goes as vaguely announced by the LNP, Australia will fork out big bucks for a smallish fleet of nuclear subs that will be serviced here in ‘joint’ facilities that will be shared with those two nuclear-experienced nations while we learn how to operate our submersible purchases.

During the twenty or so years while we wait for this questionable deal to coalesce, our allies will have new Australian bases to show on the maps of their global military facilities. And it’s going to cost us billions of dollars in the interim. We can only hope Albo says ‘no’.

mmanuel Can. The fact it makes us more of a target doesnt seem to have been given too much weight.

Allan Woodley. I guess that’s what he was doing in Hawaii during the bushfires

Southerner. So this puts into perspective China’s reaction to Australia, the trade bans and the Solomons and China’s spy ships cruising in international waters off Australia’s coast. Why does Australia need an attack capacity? Why would a nation of 25 million seek to be a protagonist? Why didn’t Morrison and Co spend the time building constructive, healthy relationships with the Pacific, our SE Asian neighbours and all our trading partners including China? Once again Morrison was playing domestic politics, keeping Albanese out of the picture, pursuing a fait accompli to reap what he saw as glory. Has Morrison made Australians safer? That is uncertain. Hopefully, this very dangerous man and his very bad government will be gone in 7 days time

May 16, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, opposition to nuclear, politics international | Leave a comment

Conservation Council of Western Australia continue their long fight for the environment, and to stop uranium mining.

This week we are celebrating a huge step forward in our sustained campaign to keep the door closed to uranium mining in Yeelirrie.  We have received word that a request made by the Canadian mining company Cameco to extend the environmental approval for the Yeelirrie uranium project has been rejected by Minister for Environment Reece Whitby. In 2018 and 2019, we challenged this approval in court. Now it has expired and time is running out for the uranium trade in WA.

This is a huge win for the local area, the communities and for life itself. The special and unique lives of the smallest of creatures, endemic subterranean fauna found nowhere else on earth would have most likely been made extinct had this project gone ahead, according to the WA EPA. 

We are now pushing for further protection. Under new provisions in the Environmental Protection Act s47A – Minister Whitby can withdraw approvals where the “commencement” condition has not been met. We are calling on the Minister to withdraw approvals for Yeelirrie, Wiluna and Kintyre – as all three projects have failed to meet these commencement conditions.  For over five decades Traditional Custodians from the Yeelirrie area have fought to protect the site from uranium mining.

Hundreds of supporters have spent time on country with Traditional Custodians, listening, walking, connecting with the country and standing up for a nuclear-free future. Traditional Owners, unions, faith groups, health groups, the WA and Australian Greens and WA Labor, and environment groups, we’ve all had a big part to play. For the full report and to heart what Traditional Owners, Kado Muir and Vicki Abdullah had to say please click here.

We are currently growing our campaign to protect Mulga Rock on Upurli Upurli Nguratja country, east of Kalgoorlie. This is WA’s one uranium project that has so far slipped through the next and last week through a merger this project is now being advanced by a team with links to the destruction at Juukan Gorge and dodgy mining operations in Malawi and Namibia. And we will continue to push for a withdrawal of approvals for Yeelirrie, Kintyre and Wiluna.

April 7, 2022 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Friends of the Earth Australia’s Submission to Environment Minister calls out the dishonesty in the proposal for a national nuclear waste dump at Kimba, South Australia

Provide reasons for why you believe this is/is not a controlled action.

As a significant “nuclear action” under the EPBC Act this Nuclear Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) Referral is a “Controlled Action”.

IT REQUIRES A FULL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT / STATEMENT (EIA/EIS) AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF PUBLIC ASSESSMENT.

In a nuclear action “the whole environment” is the “Matter of National Environmental Significance” protected under the EPBC Act. An EIA/EIS is warranted to cover the scope of this protected matter.

The behaviour of the Morrison government and the Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA) in relation to the imposition of a national nuclear waste dump in SA has been disgraceful. If Minister Sussan Ley is minded to require anything less than a full EIA/EIS at the highest level of assessment, she should consider the following:

1. The new South Australian government is clearly opposed to the dump, primarily because of the crude racism of the Morrison’ government’s willingness to impose a dump on Barngarla country despite the unanimous opposition of Barngarla Traditional Owners. Expect a hardening of that opposition if anything less than a full EIA/EIS is required.
2. Media silence is far from guaranteed as evidenced by the extraordinary recent coverage in The Australian and The Advertiser ‒ both Murdoch publications ‒ regarding BHP’s mismanagement of the Olympic Dam mine and in particular its mistreatment of Traditional Owners:
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/dam-busters-aborigines-battle-bhp-over-water-rights/news-story/5771234ab2fca122009e83720ecbaf01
https://todayspaper.adelaidenow.com.au/infinity/article_popover_share.aspx?guid=23a5b7bd-e6d5-4a82-972e-347f65874b3a

And also widespread national and international media coverage of Rio Tinto’s crimes at Juukan Gorge.
3. Community opposition to the dump in South Australia is building. Expect it to build further if anything less than a full EIA/EIS is required.

Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA) is the ‘proponent’ in this NRWMF Referral, as a non-independent office of the Industry Department. The Environment Minister must not make a decision to approve and allow the nuclear dump to proceed on the inadequate limited basis of non-independent input by the proponent, or on the basis of anything less than a full EIA/EIS at the highest level of assessment.

A public impact assessment must be carried out under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act ( EPBC Act). ARWA wants something less than a full EIA/EIS due to a separate ARPANSA licensing process, but the ARPANSA process covers different issues, under different legislation, and in no way could substitute for a full EIA/EIS under the EPBC Act. The ARPANS Act does not protect nor assess ‘the whole of environment’ protected matter involved here under the EPBC Act.

ARWA’s claim there is no alternative to the proposed dump is dishonest and Minister Ley is obliged to call out that dishonesty. Many alternatives are available. See for example the proposals in the paper online at:
https://nuclear.foe.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Responsible-Radioactive-Waste-Management-The-need-for-an-Inquiry-Final.pdf

In particular, the implicit claim that there is no alternative to ongoing storage of intermediate-level waste (ILW) at ANSTO is absurd and dishonest. Clearly ILW should remain at ANSTO because: a large majority of ILW is already stored there (well over 90 percent measured by radioactivity); Australia’s nuclear expertise is concentrated at ANSTO; security at ANSTO is vastly superior to that proposed at the Kimba dump site; it avoids unnecessary transportation; it avoids unnecessary double-handling given that the final disposal site for ILW will not be at Kimba (and could easily be in NSW or any state/territory).

The proposal to store ILW at Kimba is absurd and must be clearly rejected by Minister Ley.

March 22, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, opposition to nuclear, politics | Leave a comment

Students, Maritime Union, strongly oppose proposal for nuclear submarine base at Port Kembla

Nuclear submarine naval base at Port Kembla proposal opposed  https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/7655576/wollongong-protest-demands-end-to-nuclear-submarine-naval-base-plan/ Ashleigh Tullis   13 Mar 33

Dozens of people gathered in Wollongong to protest the “proliferation of nuclear weapons” following the federal government’s proposal to build a nuclear submarine naval base at Port Kembla.

Port Kembla has been touted as the preferred location for a future base for Australia and visiting nuclear-powered submarine fleets, under a federal government plan.

Rally organiser, Wollongong Undergraduate Students’ Association Education Officer Sean McLachlan said the protest at Wollongong mall on Saturday demanded an end to the AUKUS pact where the US and the UK will help Australia to acquire highly-sophisticated nuclear-powered submarines.

“We see this proposal as a significant act of aggression and exaggeration towards potential war in the future,” he said.

“This latest proposal of having the naval base in Brisbane, Newcastle or Port Kembla, in our backyard, is quite shocking.

“It will be met with strident opposition.”

Mr McLachlan said Wollongong had a strong history of “standing up against all forms of militarism”.

“We are saying no to the naval base, no to AUKUS and no to war,” he said.

“We oppose the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Nuclear power in any form requires uranium, mining and a massive investment into infrastructure which can be used for the proliferation of nuclear weapons.”

Mr McLachlan said ordinary people had no interest in the government investing in the military but would rather see money spent on expanding social welfare, public and social housing, disaster funding and climate change.

“This is what money should be funnelled into from the government – things that ordinary people could benefit from, not weapons,” he said.

“Instead of building a naval base that will only increase the threat of devastating conflict in the region, the $10 billion slated for this base should be spent on building new schools and hospitals.

“They claim there isn’t enough money for us, but there’s somehow always money for death and destruction.”

Maritime Union of Australia southern NSW branch secretary Mick Cross reiterated the union’s opposition to nuclear proliferation.

“The MUA has always stood for peace, internationalism and justice, and so condemns in any shape or form the proliferation of nuclear capability in any country, especially our own. This includes the development or proliferation of nuclear-powered defence vessels,” he said.

During the rally, Mr Cross said if the base was built, fishing would no longer be permitted, nor families using the foreshore due to security concerns.

“Shame on the LNP government and shame on those who think there is any positive aspect of this nuclear base being built in Port Kembla,” he said.

Mr Cross said he was worried about Port Kembla becoming a “target” once submarines were based there.

He added the port was now entering a “progressive” phase with a focus on jobs in renewable energy industry into the long term, and that was better than than short-term jobs that would be needed to build the base.

Mr Cross said the announcement was a “distraction” ahead of the federal election.

Members of Wollongong Undergraduate Students’ Association, Wollongong Socialists, Illawarra Greens, refugee campaigners, South Coast Labour Council and Southern NSW Maritime Union of Australia branch hoped Saturday’s rally would be the start of an opposition campaign against the proposal.

March 14, 2022 Posted by | New South Wales, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Traditional Owners and environment groups vow to fight Mulga Rock uranium decision

Traditional Owners and national and state environment groups say a decision
by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation to allow a
controversial uranium mine in WA’s Goldfields to proceed is unjustified and
inconsistent with the evidence.

The Mulga Rock uranium project has been declared to have met an important
‘substantial commencement’ condition that is required to maintain crucial
environmental approvals.

A condition of the Mulga Rock approvals – issued by the former Barnett government
– was that the proponent, Vimy Resources, must “substantially commence” mining
by 16 December 2021. Failure to meet that condition would have prevented the
company from pursuing the mine.

The company has failed to meet with the Upurli Upurli Nguratja registered Native
Title claim group, which is entitled to negotiate on an Area Use Agreement.

The company has continually failed to engage with and respect Traditional Owners
or understand processes and protocols on meeting with the claimant group.

Campaigners say to advance the project without consulting with the group is
disrespectful and out of step with community expectation and best industry practice.
“It’s very clear that as a native title group we don’t want uranium mining on our
country,” said Upurli Upurli Nguratja claimant Debbie Carmody. “This decision has
sidelined our voice and undermined the Native Title process”.

“Any progress to continue to develop this mine is done without consent and without
even having met with our claim group. We have been let down by the company and
now by the Government.

“We will continue to fight this project and stand up for our country and culture.”
Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) Nuclear Free campaigner Mia Pepper said it
was fanciful to say the project has substantially commenced.

“We will continue to fight this project and stand up for our country and culture.”
Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) Nuclear Free campaigner Mia Pepper said it
was fanciful to say the project has substantially commenced.

The Australian Conservation Foundation’s Nuclear Free campaigner Dave Sweeney
said while the company had done some premature and destructive clearing at the
site, it was not substantial

“If this mine proceeds it would cause unacceptable harm to the environment,
including damage to vital habitat for the endangered sandhill dunnart, which is found
in only a handful of locations across Australia.

“Vimy does not have the necessary finance and has not made a Board level decision
to pursue this mine. It still needs a range of approvals, permits, licences and
agreements.”

The Conservation Council of WA and the Australian Conservation Foundation, which
have opposed uranium mining in WA for several decades, are reviewing today’s
decision and exploring all available avenues to stop this mine from proceeding.

December 17, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Traditional owners say Vimy Resources is not listening to Aboriginal people

Tom Robinson Kalgoorlie Miner, Tue, 30 November 2021

Debbie Carmody spoke at Vimy’s AGM as a proxy for a shareholder. 

A Goldfields Aboriginal woman has taken her people’s opposition to Vimy Resources’ proposed Mulga Rock uranium mine to the company’s inner sanctum, and says Vimy is not listening to traditional owners.

Anangu Spinifex woman Debbie Carmody is descended from displaced Aboriginal people, who were forced off their country at Maralinga in South Australia by nuclear testing in the mid-20th century.

Now, she is a prominent voice against the proposed uranium mine 290km east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, within her traditional lands on the Upurli Upurli Nguratja native title claim — which was registered on January 22 this year.

She believes her people’s cultural and social relationship with their country is threatened by the prospect of uranium mining.

Ms Carmody travelled to Perth last Friday to join protesters at Vimy’s AGM, and spoke at the meeting as a proxy for a shareholder who was in opposition to the Mulga Rock proposal, and bought the shares to gain access to the company’s meetings.

Conservation Council of WA protesting against the proposed uranium mine in front of Vimy’s AGM last week. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

Ms Carmody said she told the AGM that Vimy had not consulted with UUN traditional owners and outlined the fears she holds for her country, but she said her protests fell on deaf ears.

“Our people have a long history with radioactive fallout and our families have died and have suffered rare and painful deaths as a result of radiation poisoning,” she said.

“We want to protect our special sites, the flora and fauna, and the underground water. We want to protect the destruction of our homelands.”

Last Thursday, Vimy Resources rejected claims it had not consulted with the UUN group, with interim chief executive Steven Michael saying the company met with Central Desert Native Title Services, which was acting on behalf of UUN.

But Ms Carmody said this did not represent proper consultation and felt the miner should have spoken to the UUN group directly.

“Vimy claimed to have consulted with Central Desert Native Title Services, I pointed out that they are not UNN with whom you should be speaking to,” she said.

“I also stated that all registered Native Title claimants have a right to negotiate, and therefore Vimy is not following due process.”

The company was given five years to begin work on Mulga Rock as part of ministerial approval for the controversial project issued on December 16, 2016 — at last week’s AGM the company listed a series of milestones it had met in the interim including the recent clearing of about 143ha at the site, but it is yet to make a final investment decision.

Ms Carmody said the clearing was disrespectful and showed “a lack of social value, moral and ethical leadership”.

December 2, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Morrison’s decision on AUKUS and nuclear submarines was made with no debate in Parliament

Our PM, Scott Morrison, struts the world stage, vilifies China (some of it deserved), but in the process is locking in Australia’s subservience to US foreign policy while guaranteeing increased US troop access and US spy stations on Australian territory for the future. Add to this the crippling cost of procurement of nuclear powered subs and the possible return of Donald Trump to ‘guide’ our nation into the future.

This sabre rattling at an external enemy will allow Morrison some catch up in the polls while the ALP is wedged. The huge crime here is to make a decision without debate in the Federal Parliament.

Times change, but some things regarding the nuclear industry and international political posturing remain the same.

Local anti-nuclear activists who chose to make a difference…https://www.echo.net.au/2021/10/local-anti-nuclear-activists-who-chose-to-make-a-difference/ By Ian Cohen October 7, 2021    Following the Nuclear Disarmament Party’s close loss with front man Peter Garrett in 1984, nuclear issues were at the forefront of people’s minds. We extended our influence far beyond our Shire. The pending arrival of nuclear armed warships sent the local region into overdrive. Benny Zable from Nimbin rolled out his ‘radioactive’ barrels for street theatre. Dean Jefferys based in Brunswick Heads came with his ultralight, Hoss (Ian Hoskens) of Main Arm with his megaphone voice and me with my surfboard.

September 1986 heralded the arrival of the largest assembly of international ships in Sydney Harbour’s history. Many were nuclear armed.

Our north coast contingent was vital to the success of the protest actions. Driven by a reckless, but heartfelt, desire to impact on the nuclear arms race and send a direct message to US President Ronald Reagan and USSR’s Yuri Andropov.

The mad concept of surfing the nose of a nuclear armed warship was mine, but Sydney Morning Herald photographer, Robert Pearce, from a media barge directly in front of myself and the warship, captured the image of a vulnerable surfer hanging onto the nose of a nuclear armed destroyer that went global.

Continue reading

October 9, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, opposition to nuclear, reference | Leave a comment

Can the Australian government ignore this powerful letter exposing the foolish decision to ”go nuclear” with submarines and AUKUS?

Ed. note. Here I summarise the points in this well-researched letter: Diplomatic Repercussions –  Geopolitical Tensions and Australian National Security(Why the decision makes Australias national security worse not better)  – We now have No Submarine Program at All.  – But Is Nuclear the Best Stealth? – Can we Build them at Osborne?  -Time to re-evaluate our Submarine Program? –The worst option is to do as we have now done. – Conclusion – This decision  should be re-visited

Conclusion

The submarine decision, especially within the context of the new ‘AUKUS’ grouping, but even taken on its own:

Worsens rather than improves Australias own national security, making us (more of) a nuclear target than we have ever been, and extending the targeting potentially from joint facilities to Australian cities and naval bases.

Worsens rather than improves regional security, adding impetus to regional arms racing, and increasing the likelihood that other Governments may decide they would like to have submarines fueled by HEU 

Leaves Australia currently with no replacement program for the Collins Class submarines

Makes no sense even within its own restricted terms of reference because it does not offer a submarine with the best stealth

—Requires a submarine  that may not be possible to construct even in part at Osborne. 

Letter Sent 5 October to Cabinet Security Cttee, Senate, Reps, DFAT, re Nuclear Subs, AUKUS,

PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT

HUMAN SURVIVAL PROJECTNUCLEAR SUBMARINES, AUKUS

Dear Prime Minister Scott Morrison, other decision-makers on the Australian nuclear submarines project, Cabinet National Security Committee, AUKUS:

Summary:

The decision to establish a new diplomatic/military grouping, AUKUS, deepens confrontational tendencies in the Indo-Pacific region and is hence destabilizing, and worsens rather than improves Australia’s national security. It helps to ‘paint nuclear targets on Australia’s backside’.

The decision to equip Australia with nuclear submarines fueled with highly enriched uranium is both destabilizing and proliferative even if technically within the letters of the NPT.  The decision to go with HEU fueled subs in particular opens a proliferation ‘pandoras box’.

https://thebulletin.org/2021/09/the-new-australia-uk-and-us-nuclear-submarine-announcement-a-terrible-decision-for-the-nonproliferation-regime/

The decision to ‘go nuclear’ with submarines has been justified on the supposed technical superiority of nuclear over conventional subs. However a look in detail at the real – world technical and operational characteristics of advanced conventional and nuclear subs shows clear technical superiorities on the part of advanced conventional submarines exactly where we are being told nuclear subs are superior – in the area of quietness and non-detectability. The technical case for nuclear over conventional submarines is not established.

No analysis, and no thought, has been given as to what are Australia’s real security needs, and into whether submarines of any description fit into it.

The decision leaves Australia with currently NO replacement program for the Collins Class subs.        

The Submarine Decision and AUKUS

The decision to cancel an existing, well – established, contract with the French Naval Group for a diesel version of the Suffren class attack submarine has not met with universal acclaim, particularly from the French.

At the same time, the  closely related decision to establish a new military/diplomatic grouping to be known as ‘AUKUS’ (Australia-UK-US) has also raised questions as to its  geo-strategic impact, and contributed further to the deterioration of our relations with China, and possibly with Russia, with potentially catastrophic implications for Australias national security and the safety of all Australians.

It has quite reasonably been suggested that the establishment of ‘AUKUS” cements Australia into an ‘Anglo-sphere’ that is intrinsically limited in scope (how for example, does it relate to the ‘quad’ of India, Australia, Japan, US?), that excludes other nations that have strong Indo-Pacific interests and are allies (including France itself, now snubbed and smarting), and above all, that deepens confrontational attitudes in the region, especially with China.

It is by no means clear that the decision to substitute nuclear powered submarines is even the best decision on technical grounds, or that nuclear powered submarines are necessarily superior in the respects that might be important to Australia and particularly in extreme stealth – to conventionally powered submarines, either the existing Collins class, the erstwhile projected French submarine, or to an evolutionary successor to Collins.

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October 5, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, opposition to nuclear, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Maritime and electrical trades unions stand against nuclear submarines

Maritime and electrical trades unions stand against nuclear submarines  https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/maritime-and-electrical-trades-unions-stand-against-nuclear-submarines Kerry SmithSeptember 21, 2021Issue 1320Australia   On September 21, International Day of Peace, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) said it opposed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s reckless commitment to develop nuclear-powered submarines as part of a military alliance with the United States and Britain.

At a time when Morrison should have been pursuing vaccination supplies and providing maximum support to our health system and millions of people in lockdown, he has been pursuing secret military deals”, the MUA said.

“The deal will continue to escalate unnecessary conflict with China. Workers have already been impacted, with seafarers stranded on coal ships and some trades shut down.”

The MUA said $90 billion had been “wasted with the previous submarine contract”, scrapped just five years after it was signed. Nuclear submarines will cost much more.

“Only six countries in the world have nuclear submarines, and they all have nuclear power stations”, the MUA said, adding: “Advocates for nuclear power and nuclear weapons have been emboldened. The submarines will use highly enriched uranium ideal for nuclear weapons.”

The government has repeatedly tried to set up nuclear waste dumps on First Nations people’s land and the decision will intensify that pressure.

Instead, the union is calling for the billions to be redirected to: building a strategic shipping fleet in Adelaide that could operate in cabotage and international trades; building renewable energy and offshore wind turbines to ensure we prevent global heating from exceeding 1.5°C; raising JobSeeker payments to well above poverty levels; pay rises for health workers and investment in public health systems; pay rises for teachers and investment in public schools to make them COVID-19 safe; and investment in firefighting capacity to be ready for the next bushfire season.

Workers have no interest in war with China or any other country”, the MUA said, adding that it stands in “solidarity with workers in all countries in opposing war and wasteful environmentally harmful military spending”.

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) is also opposed to the nuclear submarine deal, saying on September 16 that it would expose Australia to greater danger on multiple fronts.

ETU National Assistant Secretary Michael Wright said: “This decision represents a betrayal of responsibility to Australia’s non-nuclear policy and a betrayal of two generations of highly-skilled, secure, well-paying Australian shipbuilding jobs.”

Further, Wright said, nuclear technology is inherently dangerous: “Has Morrison given any thought to where the spent fuel rods from these nuclear submarines will be stored? Australians have a right to know the answers to these important questions before the prime minister makes such dangerous decisions on our behalf.”

September 23, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, employment, opposition to nuclear, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Anger grows over Australia’s submarine deal 

Anger grows over Australia’s submarine deal  https://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/military/anger-grows-over-australias-submarine-deal/news-story/2c14a4b514a7e24768696242428e6498

It’s not just the French who are angry about Australia’s submarine deal with the US and UK. Now, the outrage is closer to home.

When news broke that the US and UK will help Australia build nuclear-powered submarines by sharing their technology and knowledge, the French were furious. But they’re not the only ones.

As part of the new trilateral security agreement – known as AUKUS – the submarine deal will allow for the design and construction process to be sped up. It will help ensure the West maintains it’s edge in combat under water.

As part of the new trilateral security agreement – known as AUKUS – the submarine deal will allow for the design and construction process to be sped up. It will help ensure the West maintains it’s edge in combat under water.

Australia’s decision to tear up a deal for the French submarines in favour of US nuclear-powered vessels sparked outrage in France, with President Emmanuel Macron recalling the nation’s ambassadors to Canberra and Washington in an unprecedented move.

There’s also anger brewing from China, with Beijing describing the new alliance as an “extremely irresponsible” threat to regional stability. China has also quenstioned Australia’s commitment to nuclear non-proliferation, warning the Western allies that they risked “shooting themselves in the foot”.

Closer to home, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has warned Scott Morrison to keep the nuclear submarines away from her country’s waters, CNN reports. New Zealand has been a nuclear-free zone since the 1980s.

And right on our doorstep, many Australian residents and antinuclear groups are angry, concerned it may be Trojan Horse for a nuclear power industry. Because while Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines will not be nuclear-armed, the small reactors used to power them do produce weapons-grade uranium as waste.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Australia tweeted about the deal: “The nuclear-powered submarine deal raises serious concerns over nuclear proliferation as the UK and US’ models use highly enriched uranium.

“This is not prestige, this is provocation.”

The nuclear-powered submarine deal raises serious concerns over nuclear proliferation as the UK and US’ models use highly enriched uranium.
This is not prestige, this is provocation.#nuclearbanpic.twitter.com/QZLSTjhLoq— ICAN Australia (@ican_australia) September 17, 2021

“Important questions remain over construction of the submarines and the potential imposition of military nuclear reactors on Adelaide or other cities, making construction sites and host ports certain nuclear targets,” said Gem Romuld, Director of ICAN Australia.

“Military nuclear reactors in Australia would present a clear nuclear weapons proliferation risk and become potential sites for nuclear accidents and radiological contamination long into the future.”

Green Party leader Adam Bandt even likened the move to putting “floating Chernobyls in the heart of Australia’s cities”

Dr. Jim Green, National nuclear campaigner, Friends of the Earth Australia, said that nuclear powered submarines typically use highly-enriched uranium (HEU) fuel. This would undermine global efforts to phase out the use of HEU because of WMD proliferation and security concerns.

“The government wants to build nuclear submarines in suburban Adelaide. Does that put a target on our back? Is it prudent to build nuclear submarines in a city of 1.3 million people?

“What alternative locations have been considered, if any?”

Regarding waste products, Dr Green said: “The government has been silent about disposal of the high-level and intermediate-level nuclear waste generated by a nuclear submarine program.

“ … Waste from a nuclear submarine program would be dumped on Aboriginal land, as is the case with the federal government’s current plan to dump Australia’s nuclear waste at Kimba in SA despite the unanimous opposition of Barngarla Traditional Owners.

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September 20, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, opposition to nuclear, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Barngarla people hold Native Title land close to planned nuclear waste dump, but were denied a vote on this.

The nuclear waste site is planned for Barngarla Country, but the amendments will allow Traditional Owners to take the matter to court, https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2021/06/23/traditional-owners-can-challenge-nuclear-waste-dump-country-1?fbclid=IwAR0ZYwZRYOUQn58LdV3A0X4L1AeERiDi8ylqkVFcjReI5KQj7_fl6VTXcaABy Keira Jenkins
Source: NITV News, 23 JUN 2021
 The Senate has passed legislation that would allow nuclear waste to be stored at a remote site in South Australia, replacing current city facilities.

The Morrison government was forced to abandon key features of the bill to gain opposition support, including a provision that would have locked in Kimba as the new storage location.

Instead, Minister for Resources Keith Pitt can issue an ‘intention to declare’ a preferred location.

The amended bill, which passed through the Senate this week, also allows for a judicial review of the location if there is a dispute.

Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation welcomed the reinstatement of the right to a judicial review on the process.

“This is a great moment for democracy, and for those who appreciate the independent scrutiny of government action,” they said in a statement.

In 2019, the Australian Electoral Commission conducted a month-long community ballot, asking the question ‘Do you support the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility being located at one of the nominated sites in the community of Kimba?’

The ballot returned a 61.58 per cent ‘yes’ vote.

Barngarla conducted their own poll, saying they had been excluded from the AEC’s postal ballot.

100 per cent of the votes returned from Native Title holders said ‘no’ to the proposed nuclear facility.


Barngarla said the site selection process had been “completely and utterly miscarried”.

“No proper heritage assessment of the site was ever undertaken,” read the statement.

“… the most obvious and appalling example of this failed process was when the Government allowed the gerrymandering of the Kimba ‘community ballot’ in order to manipulate the vote.

“The simple fact remains that even though the Barngarla hold Native Title land closer to the proposed facility than the town of Kimba, the First Peoples for the area were not allowed to vote.

“…Mistakes have been made and the process needs to start again.”

June 24, 2021 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, legal, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Barngarla Aboriginals and Kimba farmers join forces to fight nuclear waste dump plan

Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation and No Radioactive Waste on Agricultural Land in Kimba or SA group 24 June 21, The issue of the nuclear waste facility is something which provokes significant emotion, and community opposition. However, no one else is as affected by it like we are. We issue this joint press release as the First Peoples for the Kimba area, and the farming communities who make their livelihood from the land because we are having our home, our land and our heritage threatened. We are the groups of people whose lives will be permanently damaged,if a waste facility is placed on our home.

We have fought hard and will continue to fight against a nuclear waste facility being placed on our home. We do not want it, and we will never support it. Our voices and views have been ignored by the Government. Local member Rowan Ramsey has been one of the main influences in pushing the Government to place a nuclear waste facility at Kimba. If you do not want this facility in SA orin the Eyre Peninsula or the Mid-North, then you must vote out Rowan Ramsey. We will never end this issue, whilst he is a local member.

The Government has completely and utterly miscarried the site selection process. There are many examples of this. No proper heritage assessment of the site was ever undertaken, andthey have marginalised the voices of the farming community throughout the entire process. However, the most obvious and appalling example of this failed process was when the Government allowed the gerrymandering of the Kimba “community ballot”, in order to manipulate the vote. The simple fact remains that even though the Barngarla hold native title land closer to the proposed facility than the town of Kimba, the First Peoples for the areawere not allowed to vote. They prevented Barngarla persons from voting, because native title land is not rateable. Further, they did not allow many farmers to vote, even though they were within 50km of the proposed facility, because they were not in the Council area. They targeted us, because they knew that if they had a fair vote which included us, then the vote would return a “no” from the community.

The process also ignores the fact that the Government never sought the views of the communities which will be affected by the transport of nuclear waste. Those communities, where the waste will be transported through, have had no right to have a say. SouthAustralians more broadly have had any rights to have a say.


Mistakes have been made and the process needs to start again. Instead, the Government sought to change the law to remove our democratic right to judicial review of their actions so that no Court could ever assess what had been done. We find this staggering, as checks and balances are needed for a functioning democracy. The removal of independent scrutiny is, for all Australians, frightening, Protecting judicial review was the issue before the Federal Senate on Monday. It is important to understand that this is what the Senate was debating. We have won our right to have judicial review restored in this process. The broader failures are matters which will have to be dealt with in the future.

The Government have been forced by the Senate to preserve judicial review. The table in Schedule 1 of the Government’s revised Bill, is merely a face-saving exercise, and has no legal impact or effect. Even the Government Explanatory Memorandum makes this clear. Their own document states: “Recognition of the three shortlisted sites confirms the sites as being nominated and approved under the Act, but does not limit the Minister from approving new nominations. The Minister may declare any approved nomination as a site, and is not bound to declare one of the three shortlisted sites”

The Government’s attempt to remove judicial review was so egregious and careless, that it provoked almost unanimous opposition across the political spectrum. This is a great moment for democracy, and for those who appreciate the importance ofindependent scrutiny of Government action, this is a day that the Barngarla people and the farmers at Kimba have saved one of the fundamental rights in a Democratic Country. Because the Government were opposed by everyone from very different political backgrounds, such as: Labor, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, the Greens and Senator Patrick, we consider it appropriate to express our thanks to all of these groups. This reflects the fact that judicial review is a pivotal right no matter a person’s political background. We thank everyone in no particular order, as it remains the fact that had they not stood together, the Government would have removed the democratic rights of judicial review from us, and set a precedent which would have weakened democracy for all Australians:

Labor: The Australian Labor Party deserves congratulations from all Australians for its actions. Without of the support of the Opposition, the Government would have gotten away with removing a fundamental democratic right from us and set aprecedent to remove that right every other time they did not get their way.

Labor listened to all of us, but in particular they lived up to their commitment to listening to the First Peoples for the Kimba area. The Barngarla worked extensively with Labor, and in particular the Shadow Minister Ms Madeliene King ensured that the Barngarla were entitled to review any further amendments before they wereintroduced. We intend to write to other members of Labor, such as Senator Wong who has fought for all South Australians to express our thanks. As a party, however, they have been outstanding.

More broadly, there is the issue of what to do if Labor win Government. Many in Labor do not support a process where Aboriginal people were denied the right to vote. We believe Labor will continue to fight for us. But that is tomorrow’s issue. Monday was about judicial review, and Labor protected us and by extension all Australians, by preserving our right to judicial review. •

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation & State Leader of One Nation in SA Ms Jennifer Game: It remains a simple statement of fact that without PHON and Ms Jennifer Game, there would be a nuclear waste facility on prime farming land, in circumstances where Aboriginal people were denied the right to vote, and Aboriginals and farmers would have no right to independent legal review.

For those of you out there who might relate to this side of politics, particularly the farmers in the Eyre Peninsula, who do not want a waste dump then we strongly suggest you look at what One Nation and their representative Ms Jennifer Game have done to save South Australia from nuclear waste. They said “no” and listened to the local farming community when the Local member ignored us.

The Barngarla also recognise the great work of PHON and Ms Jennifer Game. It is a testimony of our work together that we have prevented the Government from removing fundamental basic rights for all Australians.

The Greens: Special recognition must be given to the Greens. This is an issue that is central to the Greens, they have stood up and through their tireless and passionate advocacy have helped us immensely.

All Green supporters should be proud of their party’s efforts. In particular, Senator Hanson-Young has been a tireless advocate for South Australia. She was one of the first Senators to help us, and we imagine she will be with us to the end of this fight.

We would also like to acknowledge the strong words of Senator Thorpe. We agree that the Government has been tokenistic in its approach to the Barngarla people. What could be more tokenistic than saying they want to hear Barngarla views, but then deny the Barngarla the right to vote. It is our hope that with advocates likeSenator Thorpe, no other Aboriginal group will ever have to be treated in such a despicable way.•

Senator Patrick: Senator Patrick deserves great credit for his commitment to South Australia. He deserves the recognition of everyone committed to our State. He has been actively engaged on this issue from the very beginning. He has tirelessly fought to access Government documents under FOI so that South Australian’s can have access to the information which shows how badly this process has been miscarried.

We would like to thank Senator Patrick for his regular commitment and support to us in fighting to ensure our access to judicial review. Senator Patrick has also sought to find other solutions by trying to assess additional site options, whether Woomera or Leanora or others. We hope that this work by Senator Patrick will one day paydividends, and the Government will abandon its terrible plan to place this facility on prime agricultural land, which is significant also to the Barngarla People. •

The remaining cross bench: We would also like to thank the efforts of the remaining cross bench. Although we did not ultimately need to rely on their votes, we understand that they would likely have ensured our rights to judicial review. Theyspoke to us and engaged and should be acknowledged for their efforts.

Further information contact: Barngarla: barngarlamedia@gmail.com Peter Woolford: 0447 001 493

June 24, 2021 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Australian Senate vote on Kimba nuclear dump delayed till mid-May, but dump opponents will be fighting on

Kazzi Jai-No nuclear waste dump anywhere in South Australia, 19 Mar, 21, 

No need to fret though – our Fight and Drive to STOP this FLAWED DUMP PROPOSAL is NOT GOING TO STOP! We always knew that this FIGHT was going to be a LONG SLOW BURN.
So we will use this time to keep people informed of any information which comes to hand including “underhanded” activities …. and call BLUFF ACTIVITY exactly what it is – BLUFF – when it occurs!
Banking on people conveniently “forgetting” is NOT going to work this time round!
We have worked too hard and fought too long to let this one slide!
We only have ONE CHANCE with this to get this right – not only for us now, but also for future generations! This FLAWED PROPOSAL -ON MANY FRONTS – SHOULD AND MUST BE TAKEN BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD – AND DEALT WITH PROPERLY!
Keep strong – Keep informed – Keep fighting!
And take comfort in the knowledge that NOTHING in government ever happens quickly!

March 19, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Nothing clean about nuclear, coal or gas – Australian Conservation Foundation

The Australian Conservation Foundation has urged parliamentarians not to undermine Australia’s successful clean energy bank by changing its mandate to invest in dirty, dangerous energy options like gas, coal and nuclear.

The government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation Amendment (Grid Reliability Fund) Bill, which would give Energy Minister Angus Taylor power to direct the CEFC to invest in technologies that are not renewable and make investments that would not generate a financial return, is listed for debate today in the House of Representatives.

Some government MPs and Senators want the CEFC to be able to fund coal and nuclear.

“Undermining the popular and successful Clean Energy Finance Corporation would be a massive own goal,” said ACF campaigner Dave Sweeney.

“Talking up nuclear and new coal-fired power plants is a dangerous distraction from facing up to Australia’s very real energy challenges and choices.

“There is nothing clean about the fuel behind the Fukushima and Chernobyl disasters, which produces waste that remains radioactive for tens of thousands of years.

“There is no such thing as clean coal and the CEFC wouldn’t be considered a trusted investment partner if it was expected to invest in this outdated, dirty technology.

“Despite the urgent need to cut climate pollution – which is why the CEFC was established – no country in the world is choosing to set up a nuclear industry from scratch.

“When it comes to climate action, nuclear power is a dead end. The reactors that exist are expensive and risky; the promised new reactors don’t exist. Nuclear is not a credible climate response and has been repeatedly rejected by the market and the community.

“To spruik nuclear as the world approaches the tenth anniversary of the Fukushima disaster is an act of wilful blindness and political convenience – a fission fig leaf for politicians stuck in a previous century.

“Australia’s energy future is renewable, not radioactive.”

ACF is proud to have come up with the idea of a Clean Energy Finance Corporation in a 2010 report, Funding the transition to a clean economy.

February 18, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment