The state government on Friday launched a three-month community consultation program on the recommendations rising from a Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle…….Mr Weatherill says whatever the outcome of that process, a final decision on the dump is still some way off, and will be proceeded by a series of “gated decisions” to move ahead cautiously…….
But South Australian independent Senator Nick Xenophon said only a referendum of all South Australian voters would be adequate for such a momentous decision.
“Because once we have a nuclear dump, that’s it. We will be known as the nuclear dump capital of the world,” he said.
South Australian Greens MP Mark Parnell also criticised the consultation process which he said had ignored the history of failures, cost overruns and risks associated with waste storage.
“The government says it wants South Australians to have the facts, but it has chosen just some of the facts to present,” he said. http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/07/29/sa-dump-decision-years-away-says-premier
Disruptive power, The Age, Richard Denniss , 29 July 16 The Productivity Commission is criticising the Trans Pacific Partnership, the head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is criticising privatisation, and the electricity industry is worried that competition from renewables might deliver lower prices to consumers. What on earth is happening to the Neo-liberal “agenda”?
We are witnessing a watershed moment in Australia’s economic and political debate. The grand narrative of “market good-government bad” is dead. Killed by the rent seekers and vested interests that couldn’t resist overselling the benefits to the same consumers and taxpayers they were busy gouging.
The mining industry can’t help asking for taxpayers to subsidise their rail lines…….
It’s hard to maintain the argument that government spending is bad for the economy when even the Institute of Public Affairs supports taxpayer funding for dams and coal railway lines in far northern Australia…….
The PC, which now refers to so-called “free trade agreements” as “preferential trade agreements”, recently said that the TPP includes provisions of “questionable benefit” to Australia. It was once heresy to suggest that a document called a ”free trade agreement” could do anything other than facilitate trade, but now the Lefties at the PC are encourage us to scrutinise the detail. Rules matter…….
the banks, the mining companies and the media moguls that shouted the loudest about “free markets” have always spent up big on lobbyists to ensure they got the rules they wanted. But now the cat is out of the bag. …….
As more and more batteries are installed in homes and businesses the peak load on the transmission network will be reduced, meaning that we will be able to save billions of dollars on line upgrades within and between towns and cities. Should that windfall accrue to those with an obligation to maintain the network, to the people who install the batteries, or be shared in some way? Rules matter……..
South Australia has cheaper electricity today than it had in 2007. There were no black outs during the so-called “crisis” and the vast majority of residential and industrial customers who are on long-term contracts didn’t even notice the five-minute surges in the wholesale spot price. When the interconnector upgrade is complete, and if a new interconnector with NSW is built, not only will SA be able to rely on more power from other states when the wind is calm, but SA will be able to export a lot more cheap energy when the wind does what it usually does in SA which is blow hard.
The fear that SA may soon be an even bigger exporter of cheap wind power is what is behind the recent “debate”. Their best chance to protect their profits is to ensure that the “market regulations” restrict the growth prospects for their main competitors. Rules matter. After years of getting the rules they wanted by arguing that they simply wanted “free markets” Australian rent seekers are now forced to win public debates about why we should give them the rules they want. It’s not going well for them.
Richard Denniss is the chief economist for The Australia Institute. http://www.theage.com.au/comment/disruptive-power-20160728-gqgazk.html
Greasing The Wheels: Report Lays Bare Extraordinary Govt Access For Queensland Miners, New Matilda By Hannah Aulby on July 29, 2016 There’s something rotten in the state of Queensland, and it smells a lot like gas and mining. Hannah Aulby explains.
There is little doubt that the mining industry enjoys a higher level of access and influence over government in Australia than the average citizen. It’s often difficult to measure exactly how far that influence extends, but at other times it becomes glaringly obvious.
A report released today by The Australia Institute and the Australian Conservation Foundation shows that the influence of the mining industry on government in Queensland is systematic and ongoing.
The report, ‘Greasing the Wheels: the systematic weaknesses that allow undue influence of mining companies on government, a Queensland case study’, provides six case studies of mining companies using political donations, high level political access, gifts and the ‘revolving door’ to influence legislation in their favour.
It shows that Beach Energy, Sibelco, Karreman, New Hope, Adani and Linc Energy have all received favourable treatment from government including retrospective mining project approvals, revocation of environmental protections and reversals of party mining policies.
These case-studies are just the tip of the iceberg. In recent days Linc Energy and QRC have provided fresh insights into a frightening trend…… https://newmatilda.com/2016/07/29/greasing-the-wheels-report-lays-bare-extraordinary-govt-access-for-queensland-miners/
SA nuclear waste dump referendum vote still possible, Premier Jay Weatherill says http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-28/referendum-on-sa-nuclear-waste-dump-still-possible/7668412 By political reporter Nick Harmsen The South Australian Government may not be in a position to make a final decision on whether to pursue an international high-level nuclear waste dump this year, Premier Jay Weatherill has said.
The Premier has previously said the Government’s plans to make a decision clear to parliament in November.
But Mr Weatherill today told a budget estimates committee any decision this year was likely to be just the first step. “I’d like to be in a position to make a decision about whether we’re able to pass the first threshold,” he said.
“And there is an important go/no-go threshold that needs to be considered by the parliament.”
The Government has assembled a series of citizens’ juries to help inform its decision.
Mr Weatherill told the committee he would not rule out holding a referendum on the nuclear issue.
But he said a referendum would not provide the level of nuance required. “In particular, some green groups are calling for a referendum,” he said.
“Of course they’re the same green groups that don’t want a referendum on gay marriage. But leaving aside that little internal inconsistency for the moment, I think I [a referendum] tends to close down debate rather than allow it to be developed.”
Coal fan Frydenberg’s figleaf fluttering in the wind
Environment and Energy minister Josh Frydenberg is claiming to be a convert to the cause of renewables but the grim truth is that this government has no interest in meaningful climate action., Crikey, Bernard Keane Alarmed at the criticism of his appointment as combined energy and environment minister, Josh Frydenberg has launched a media campaign to overhaul his image as that of the man who recently insisted there was a “strong moral case” for burning more coal and starting economically unviable new coal mines like Adani’s Carmichael project (not to mention his loathing of environmental groups).,… (subscribers only) https://www.crikey.com.au/2016/07/28/frydenberg-on-renewables-and-coal-but-no-real-action/
Well, not a whole lot, because out of the six members of this Inquiry, only one, Mark Parnell, has an antinuclear position. the other five all belong to political parties that, to put it mildly, are friendly to the nuclear industry:
Mrs Annabel Digance MP – Labor party. well, we all know how Labor MPs toe the party line, no matter what the evidence.
Submission to JOINT COMMITTEE ON FINDINGS OF THE NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE ROYAL COMMISSION Makes the case that Australians are being denied the bigger picture, and the NFCRC was deliberately or negligently selective in their assessment of evidence received. https://www.academia.edu/27087058/Submission_to_Joint_Committee_on_Findings_of_the_Nuclear_Fuel_Cycle_Royal_Commission
“………I believe that the South Australian people have a right to know about the implications of all relevant nuclear materials handling processes and their consequences for human health and the environment in advance of making or influencing any government decision to accept or reject spent nuclear fuel.
I am concerned that the Citizens’ Jury currently tasked with simplifying the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission may not comprehend the full extent of the Commission’s recommendations- that is, that they are seeking to enable currently prohibited industrial activities across the whole nuclear fuel cycle. Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, Government of South Australia, ‘Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Report’, 2016: pg. XV. http://yoursay.sa.gov.au/system/NFCRC_Final_Report_Web.pdf . Accessed 2016-07-01……..
3. the question arises: how selective or otherwise was the process of assembling its Final Report and recommendations? Why was certain information received not included in the Commission’s final report?
4. the first Citizens’ Jury did not hear from a presenter who was appropriately knowledgeable on matters of radio-biology and the pathways and effects of exposure to nuclear materials in environmental or occupational contexts (with respect to uranium and nuclear fuel). The only medical professional to address the jurors for any significant length of time was Associate Professor Michael Penniment.
It is my opinion that by not providing fundamental information about the connection between radiationexposure and the development of cancers and leukaemia, the Department of the Premier andCabinet is preventing the jurors from being able to adequately consider risks, which being bombarded by the opportunity of waste storage, and the numerous mechanical processes which would need to occur to enable it………
CHERNOBYL In his presentation to the jurors, Penniment went on to describe the consequences of Chernobyl incorrectly, stating that only 28 people died as a result of the incident, and that those were the first responder clean-up workers. This misinformation conflicts with all recent accounts of the disaster, including those published in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission’s own Final Report. No-one present in the room was able to correct him……
5 I supplied evidence to the Commission for its consideration demonstrating the different approaches taken to measuring and estimating the human health consequences of Chernobyl in my submission to the Tentative Findings. I had hoped that the Commission would compare these with its own references to UNSCEAR and the WHO. No such comparisons were reflected in the Final Report…….
FUKUSHIMA In the case of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, the Commission’s final report fails to reflect the gravity, extent of harm and technical complexities related to the incident and the response thus far……
6. [On the health effects on nuclear workers]
The Commissioner’s response to my question and correction demonstrate that the Commissioner was at that time unaware of the problematic nature of the elevated risk of cancers and leukemias experiencedby nuclear industry workers, despite my submissions. This also confirmed that the evidence I provided to the Commission was ignored, either wilfully or negligently. I reach this conclusion with confidence, given Chad Jacobi’s recent admission that all submissions were read by the Commission, and by him personally.
I have received further confirmation from the Royal Commission’s Chief of Staff, Greg Ward that Chad Jacobi was the chief author of the final report. If Jacobi read all of my submissions, what cause did he have to ignore the evidence that I provided?
NUCLEAR FACILITY EFFLUENT & EMISSIONS In my submissions to the Commission, I drew attention to several studies which identified or analyses clusters of leukemias in close proximity to nuclear facilities…….. The Commission chose not to include this controversial subject in its final report, despite a preliminary search revealing a substantial number of peer-reviewed medical research papers exploring this topic……..
NUCLEAR FUEL LEASING The Final Report refers to the prospect of establishing a nuclear fuel leasing scheme in South Australia, contingent on the establishment of a permanent storage facility for spent nuclear fuel. The report then goes on to say that such a program could provide a competitive advantage capable of improving prospects for the development of additional uranium processing activities in South Australia……..This process of gradual expansion into enrichment and fuel processing is summarised….
By my assessment, these statements reveal the broader intent of the Commission’s recommendations, yet this information is buried deep inside the body of the Final Report. The Commission suggests that South Australia work with established nuclear industrial players to add value to the currently exported product: uranium oxide concentrate.
SA govt’s Nuclear Consultation and Response Agency (CARA)TAFE SA will host a Video Conference (VC) for students on Thursday 28thJuly between12-1pm. Mr John Phelan, CARA’s Director of Engagement, will provide information during this session.TAFE SA Video Conference (VC) Campus Locations – Thursday 28th July 12pm – 1pm
Barossa.E1 video conference room Berri.E video conference room Elizabeth.E video conference room Mt.Barker.E video conference room Murray.Bridge.E video conference room Victor.Harbor.E video conference room Mt.Gambier.E1 video conference room Adelaide.E Video Conference room TAFESA Adelaide Bridge Pt.Lincoln.E video conference room Regency.M video conference room Whyalla.E video conference room Pt Augusta M video conference room Pt.Pirie.E1 video conference room Noarlunga.E video conference room Kadina.E video conference room
South Australian Greens prevented law that would give full rein to taxpayer funded nuclear promotion
Nuclear waste dump ‘spruiking’ with taxpayers’ money stopped by Greens http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-14/nuclear-waste-dump-‘spruiking’-with-taxpayers’-money-stopped/7325076 14 Apr 2016 An attempt to change the law in South Australia to allow public money to be spent on promoting a nuclear waste dump has been stopped with the Greens claiming a victory.
A law passed in 2000 to stop public funds from being used in any activity associated with a nuclear waste facility.
The State Government had tried to amend the law to allow consultation with the community on the results of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission. Greens MLC Mark Parnell said the proposed change was too wide ranging and the Upper House had stepped in to protect taxpayers.
“The Greens do accept that we do need to have a public debate,” he said.”We’re confident we know what the result will be but nevertheless the Government says they only want to consult, they don’t want to spruik and they don’t want to plan for a nuclear waste dump.”
He said the Government had attempted to “overreach”.”The law now says that the Government can use public money to consult the community but they’re not to use public money for promoting or designing or even buying land for a nuclear waste dump.”
I have many reservations about Sean Edwards’ proposal, but two obvious questions come to mind:
1/ If the deep-underground storage of nuclear waste is a “solved” problem and South Australia can supposedly acquire and implement the technology at low cost (leading to high profits…) then why can’t South Korea do that?
2/ If the generation IV reactors are going to solve the waste storage problem then why can’t an advanced technological country like South Korea do that? https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021186047913052/
Xenophon party backs renewables but wants Senate electricity inquiry The Australian July 25, 2016
NXT federal MP Rebekha Sharkie, who won the Adelaide Hills seat of Mayo from Liberal Jamie Briggs, said the party was committed to the renewables target, but NXT wanted a Senate inquiry into electricity prices “so we can get the arguments on the table and look to a solution”.
Ms Sharkie believed a second interconnector between South Australia and the eastern states could help the situation, though it had been discussed for 15 years without action…….http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/xenophon-party-backs-renewables-but-wants-senate-electricity-inquiry/news-story/3a2920c0274a22994f377395acb6b5bc
It’s time the Turnbull Cabinet came clean on energy http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/07/21/comment-its-time-turnbull-cabinet-came-clean-energy Forget merging the environment and energy portfolios – we need Minister for the Environment and for Clean Energy, writes Senator Larissa Waters.
21 JUL 2016 – In an ideal world, combining the federal environment portfolio with the federal energy portfolio, as Malcolm Turnbull has just done in his Cabinet reshuffle, would make perfect sense.
But in today’s political context, which sees big mining companies pour mega donations into the two big parties, it’s a troubling move, especially as the responsibility for the merged ministry falls to Josh Frydenberg.
Minister Frydenberg is a well-known coal supporter who has argued for nuclear power from his first speech in the Parliament. Alarmingly, Frydenberg’s appointment could signal Malcolm Turnbull’s support for nuclear is growing since he left uranium mining, processing and storage ‘on the table’ late last year, even though nuclear power is a dangerous, expensive and slow-off-the-ground distraction from job-rich renewable energy.
As Resources Minister, Frydenberg pushed ahead with a proposed nuclear waste dump in South Australia that stands to financially benefit a landholder who happens to be a retired Liberal politician, despite opposition from Traditional Owners.
Championed by Andrew Bolt as ‘Mr Coal’, the former Resources Minister believes there is a “moral case” for the Adani mega-coal mine. He argues that the coal mine will lift people in India out of energy poverty, ignoring the fact that four out of five people without electricity in India are not connected to an electricity grid so can’t access coal-fired power.
The solution to energy poverty in India is localised renewable energy. Unlike coal, clean energy doesn’t cause millions of premature deaths every year through air pollution a year or pollute local water supplies.
Given Minister Frydenberg’s track record, his approach to his role as Environment and Energy Minister threatens to be very different from what is required to save our Great Barrier Reef and safeguard our very way of life from global warming.
To give the Reef a chance and to protect our Pacific neighbours from sea-level rise, the title really should be Minister for the Environment and for Clean Energy. We need an ambitious, rapid transition to clean energy that embraces storage technology for reliability, provides assistance to communities affected by the end of fossil fuels, and helps workers with training to benefit from this job-rich 21st century industry.
Malcolm Turnbull’s Cabinet re-shuffle gives no indication that his government is up for the task of leading this necessary national transition from dirty to clean energy. Mr Turnbull has announced the largest Cabinet team in 40 years but despite the size and the breadth of issues covered in his colleagues’ titles, climate change has been completely ignored.
Climate change is the biggest economic challenge we face and a stand-alone Minister and Department would provide a serious advantage in meeting it.
Instead climate change has been completely forgotten and environment has been relegated to a part-time role for a known coal-loving, nuclear fan.
No wonder the fossil fuel lobby is happy.
Shortly after Minister Frydenberg’s appointment was announced, The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association put out a glowing media release. The Qld Resources Council executive Michael Roche said the sector had “won the trifecta”, in energy and environment and with Matt Canavan, who questions climate science while cheering on coal, taking over from Frydenberg as Resources Minister.
Some environment groups carefully expressed qualified hope that the merger of environment and energy could assist in the economic transition we so desperately need toward clean energy.
I’d love nothing more than for that to be true. However, the environment movement’s caution is well warranted, given the control fossil fuel companies exert over both the old parties.
As political donations are not disclosed in real time, we’ll have to wait for at least half a year to find out which big mining companies have donated with the aim of holding on to the polluting status quo.
From the looks of Malcolm Turnbull’s Cabinet reshuffle though, the dirty donations continue to be more than enough to keep the Prime Minister forgetting about the once-genuine concern he seemed to have for future generations surviving global warming.
Queensland Senator Larissa Waters is the Australian Greens Deputy Leader and climate change spokesperson.
Frydenberg signals $5 billion taxpayer frolic with Adani’s unwanted
fossil flop, Independent Australia Sophie Vorrath 24 September 2015 In a shock interview yesterday, the Turnbull Government’s new energy and resources minister, Josh Frydenberg, signalled that taxpayers would be stumping up funds for Adani’s unpopular Carmichael coal mine.Renew Economy’s Sophie Vorrath reports.
IF AUSTRALIA’s new Prime Minister and refreshed front bench are showing signs of being more progressive about renewable energy investment and R&D, it looks like they are also going to be far more candid about coal, and their plans to invest heavily there, too.
In an interview with Fairfax media on Wednesday, the newly sworn in energy and resources minister Josh Frydenberg was crystal clear on the government’s intent to use taxpayer money from its $5 billion Northern Infrastructure Fund to help get the Adani-owned Carmichael coal mining project off the ground.
And he was equally clear that the Turnbull Government’s attitude to developing new coal projects – despite the smart money being on all untapped fossil fuel resources staying in the ground, and despite the fact that most banks and institutional investors won’t touch the Galilee Basin project with a 10 foot barge pole – remains the same as the Abbott Government’s. Frydenberg told the AFR, repeating the mantra of his former boss:
[Carmichael coal mine is] a very important project, which will see significant investment in Australia and provide electricity to millions of people in the developing world,”
Anti-development activism can create major delays in projects and send investment offshore, and you have to be very conscious of that when there are such large time frames involved and we are competing internationally for investment in this country.
The trouble is, the sort of investment Frydenberg sees Australia competing for is looking more like divestment to the rest of the world, with a new report showing that there is now an estimated $2.6 trillion in coal, gas and other fossil fuel assets set to be dumped from the investment portfolios of 430 institutions and 2,040 individuals around the world…….https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/frydenberg-signals-5-billion-taxpayer-frolic-with-adanis-unwanted-fossil-flop-,8193
Nick Xenophon blames SA energy woes on ‘bad’ renewables rules, AFR, by Angela Macdonald-Smith, 20 July 16 South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon says the state’s energy problems are due to “bad decisions” in the design of the renewable energy target legislation that failed to take into account the impact of more intermittent generation on wholesale prices……..
Mr Xenophon said he would raise the suggestion of a Senate inquiry into renewable energy to consider issues as to whether some types of energy should attract a higher weighting in renewable energy certificates if they produced more reliable power, and to consider potential incentives for battery storage.
SA Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis says those blaming the state’s energy woes on its push into renewables have “completely misunderstood” the situation and insists the fault lies in the lack of a real national electricity market.