Australian news, and some related international items

Racist statements by mining magnate Lang Hancock, and claims that he had Aboriginal children

Lest we forget – the great mining magnates have not been so great on human rights.

This becomes an issue now, when their names can be attached to Australian sports teams. Surely an embarrassing whitewash of despicable public persons.

THE families of people claiming to be children born out of wedlock to Lang Hancock work in his mines, it was claimed yesterday. Gemma Jones  From:Herald Sun  February 15, 2012 

Aboriginal elder Hilda Kickett, 68, who has been accepted as Mr Hancock’s love child by his widow, Rose Porteous, said some of the relatives of seven other suspected part-Aboriginal children of the late mining magnate were even paid royalties from mines opened on their traditional land.

Many of Mr Hancock’s suspected grandchildren have taken jobs in family mines and others in the vast northwest of Western Australia, which was opened up by the businessman……

Mr Hancock, who discovered iron ore in the Pilbara, once called for part-Aboriginals to be sterilised.

He also dismissed indigenous land claims, saying: “The question of Aboriginal land rights and things of this nature shouldn’t exist.”

He referred to part-Aboriginal people as “no-good half-castes” and said to deal with those who were unemployed he would “dope the water up so that they were sterile and would breed themselves out in the future”. ….

October 18, 2022 Posted by | people, Western Australia | 1 Comment

While the nuclear/fossil fuel establishment pontificates, young Australia is on the move

My greatest challenge is…

Thinking up ways to help our 70,000 members make the biggest change they can on climate change. It’s a huge, global issue and sometimes it’s tough finding the most strategic points of influence. But ultimately, what we need is a movement of people all pushing in thesame direction, and luckily that’s what we’re building…..

Changemakers – Ellen Sandell Pro Bono News, April 23, 2012 llen Sandell, National Director at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, is profiled in Changemakers – a regular column which examines inspiring people and their careers in the Not for Profit sector. Continue reading

April 23, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, people | Leave a comment

Paul Howes, the nuclear lobby’s man aiming for Canberra?

Until very recently, both Liberal and Labor parties in New South Wales opposed uranium mining in that State.

Now the Liberal Party in government will allow uranium exploration, and no doubt permission for  uranium mining will follow.  Why else would uranium mining companies bother to dig?

New South Wales Labor opposition opposes the new move towards uranium mining.

But it’s interesting to see how forthright is Paul Howes, a very prominent union leader, with his eye on  apolitical career, presumably in the Labor Party –  in his enthusiasm for the nuclear industry.  Ziggy, and Barry, and the rest of the Nuclear Push must be thrilled to bits, with this little union go getter.

Paul Howes is quoted in today’s Cowra Community News,  as saying that   ” uranium exploration
is a step in the right direction, particularly as Australia looks to develop cleaner energy sources into the future.”

“cleaner?” –  Paul – you’ll have to think of a more sophisticated term that that. Nobody believes in “clean” nuclear any more.


February 17, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, people, politics | Leave a comment

Gina Rinehart and her influence on Australian media

Like him, [her father, Lang Hancock],  she once advocated opening up new mines in Australia by using nuclear explosions. Hancock got the idea of using nukes to excavate harbours from Edward Teller, the fiercely anti-communist ”father of the H-bomb”

 She is now putting her wealth into the climate change sceptics’ movement.

right-wing Melbourne think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, which has a long association with the mining industry. The IPA is secretive about its funding but it would be a reasonable suspicion that its rapid expansion during the past two years has been financed by Gina Rinehart.

 Will readers of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald soon have to endure regular opinion pieces from climate sceptics like Monckton and Plimer, and various others still stuck in the politics of the Cold War?

Mining in a new vein, SMH Clive Hamilton, February 2, 2012 IF GINA Rinehart succeeds in getting a controlling
interest in Fairfax Media, the only competition to the Murdoch stable of newspapers in Australia, the nation’s political landscape will be changed.
Although she is famously shy of publicity, enough has emerged to make it clear that Rinehart has political views on the far right of the spectrum. Those close to her have reported that she would like to use her wealth to gain political influence.
Last year Rinehart was named by Forbes magazine Australia’s richest person. She is reported to hold more than $20 billion in assets. Citigroup estimates she is on track to become the richest person in the world.

Rinehart inherited more than father Lang Hancock’s mining company; she took on his politics, too. Hancock was described by one journalist as “a swashbuckling right-winger who believed people and governments should bow to his will”. On workers’ rights, WA secession and special deals for mining, Gina is her father’s daughter. Continue reading

February 2, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, people | 2 Comments

Quotations from prominent Australians on nuclear power and nuclear weapons

“The nuclear power industry is unintentionally contributing to an increased risk of nuclear war. This is the most serious hazard associated with the industry.” – Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry, 1977

“We were interested in this thing [a planned nuclear power reactor at Jervis Bay] because it could provide electricity to everybody and it could, if you decided later on, it could make an atomic bomb.” – Former Prime Minister John Gorton

Quotes about safeguards and proliferation, Friends of the Earth, Jim Green 11 Jan 2012, 

…..Quoting from prominent Australians on nuclear power and nuclear weapons,    Jim Green, 11 Jan 2012, 

“Nuclear energy is a bad fuel, a dirty fuel, a dangerous fuel. This is not a good industry to encourage, and anyone that has an electricity program, ipso facto ends up with a nuclear weapons capability.” – Former Prime Minister Paul Keating, October 16, 2006, Herald Sun / AAP.

“Again and again it has been demonstrated here and overseas that when problems over safeguards prove difficult, commercial considerations will come first.” – Mike Rann, 1982, ‘Uranium: Play It Safe’. Continue reading

January 11, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, people | Leave a comment

Michael Angwin spins about radiation for the Australian Uranium Association

Uranium miners accuse Greens of fearmongering, ABC News, Myles Morgan,  October 21, 2011  “…….Uranium association chief executive Michael Angwin says the industry is relatively safe.

“There have been two recorded fatalities in the Australian uranium industry, neither of them caused by radiation,” he said.

“There is no evidence of deaths from radiation in the Australian uranium industry.”

October 23, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, people, spinbuster, uranium | Leave a comment

Ziggy Switkowski’s superficial views on Fukushima and nuclear power for Australia

Ziggy points out that there seem to have been no deaths directly linked to radiation. But his treatment of morbidity among those living near Fukushima (disease where the clinical picture is yet to become apparent) is at best superficial. The fact that the data are not yet observable does not prove they will be inconsequential……

There is no way the current government is going to back nuclear power. The few in the Australian Labour party who wanted to open that debate have been quiet since Fukushima.

Nuclear Power in Australia? Still a viable option?  Aussie news and Views 17 June 11 A reasoned post Fukushima comment on nuclear power? The article by Ziggy Switkowski published by The Australian is titled “Nuclear is part of the future” . It ends with: “no technology ticks as many mandatory boxes as nuclear power”. It deserves a closer look…….. Continue reading

June 21, 2011 Posted by | people | 1 Comment

I want to be able to look my children in the face

Audio I want to be able to look my children in the face, Phillip Coorey, Sydney Morning Herald, May 31, 2011 CATE BLANCHETT has dismissed attacks by Tony Abbott and other opponents of a carbon price, saying she will continue to do all she can to tackle climate change…… Continue reading

May 31, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, people | Leave a comment

Australia’s Minister For Nuclear Energy squashes solar power’s prospects

the budget cuts come as solar policy is in turmoil, as feed-in-tariffs, introduced over the past few years to support the installation of rooftop solar, are set to be wound back or abolished.

Spending, like meters, goes backwards and forwards, Sydney Morning Herald, Paddy Manning, May 14, 2011 The budget was dismal for the renewable energy industry and the Energy Minister just doesn’t get it.

MORE proof ricocheted through Twitter this week that federal Energy Minister Martin Ferguson doesn’t ”get” renewables. Continue reading

May 16, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, people, politics, solar | | Leave a comment

Martin Ferguson pushes nuclear power

Ferguson rejects call to abandon N-power  Matthew Franklin,   The Australian * May 05,  RESOURCES Minister Martin Ferguson has championed the future of nuclear power, rejecting calls that it be abandoned as an energy source in the wake of earthquake damage to Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant.
Mr Ferguson has also declared that the era of “cheap energy” in Australia is over, urging householders to accept that their demand as consumers of electrical appliances was driving up their power bills…..Ferguson rejects call to abandon N-power | The Australian

May 6, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, people | Leave a comment

Martin Ferguson pushes uranium industry, but not nuclear

A nuclear Australia is inevitable: Rio chairman, Sydney Morning Herald, Courtney Trenwith, May 6, 2011….The Minister for Resources and Energy. Martin Ferguson, was not persuaded by Mr du Plessis’s argument, saying Australia did not need nuclear power given the country’s abundance of low-cost and reliable alternative energy sources, namely fossil fuel and renewable.

Mr Ferguson said the Fukushima incident had not changed the government’s position on uranium exports. It would continue to support an expansion of uranium mining and the supply of the resource to countries that were signatories to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty…..’Australia’s uranium industry will continue to expand and my immediate priority is ensuring this happens in the proper way.”……

May 6, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, people, politics | Leave a comment

Radiation: time we listened to doctors, not nuclear physicists

There’s no group better prepared than doctors to stand up to the physicists of the nuclear industry….Physicists had the knowledge to begin the nuclear age. Physicians have the knowledge, credibility and legitimacy to end it.

Unsafe at Any Dose, New York Times, By HELEN CALDICOTT, April 30, 2011 “………There’s great debate about the number of fatalities following Chernobyl; theInternational Atomic Energy Agency has predicted that there will be only about 4,000 deaths from cancer, but a 2009 report published by the New York Academy of Sciences says that almost one million people have already perished from cancer and other diseases. Continue reading

May 2, 2011 Posted by | people | Leave a comment

A second Northern Territory Intervention, says Abbott

Abbott wants second NT intervention Herald Sun, April 28, 2011    FEDERAL Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has wrapped up a tour of Alice Springs renewing his call for a “second” indigenous intervention in the Northern Territory.

….., he wants the government to extend intervention conditions to Alice and other major centres of the Northern Territory.

April 29, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, people, politics | Leave a comment

John Howard and John White’s plan for Australia to import nuclear waste

Australian Strategic Partnership With The US | Independent Australia, 19 April 11,”.…….Howard and his chief nuclear adviser at the time, Dr. John White, were ready to come to the USA’s rescue back in 2006. Both were involved in the developmentof  the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, especially White who developed the Business Plan for GNEP.Julie Macken’s articles in the Australian Financial Review detailed the plan: Nuclear waste, including plutonium from the weapons industry would be transported to Darwin by submarine.  From there, it would be transferred to Serco Asia Pacific’s Great Southern Railway and transported by train to a supposedly geologically secure destination.  Maralinga or Savoury Basin was the bet. Continue reading

April 19, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, people, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

Martin Ferguson speaks with forked tongue at IRENA

Ferguson ….. spoke of Australia’s commitment to clean energy….But if you wanted to know what he really thinks about clean energy and resources, and what he thought his audience wanted to hear, you needed to read his speech to a business breakfast the following day. No prizes for guessing that the focus was on coal, LNG and uranium,

Clean out of time , Business Spectator, Giles Patkinson.  8 Apr 2011 Sometimes politicians travel so much and speak to so many different audiences that it must be easy to forget what they should be saying, and to whom. Particularly if your responsibilities straddle multiple portfolios, such as those of Martin Ferguson, the Federal Minister for Resources, Energy (both brown and green), and Tourism. Continue reading

April 9, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, people, politics | Leave a comment