Australian news, and some related international items

Senate Report on Selection Process for Nuclear Waste Facility in South Australia

The report is at

It is 77 pages. I confess to have only skimmed through it at this stage.  It appears to be a careful attempt to bless the process, while not having a real opinion about it, one way or the other.  To be fair, it does contain a few questions, does not appear to be a “full go ahead” recommendation.

Coalition Senators Senator Jane Hume Senator Dean Smith put in Additional Comments. Short and not very interesting.

Greens, Senator Hanson-Young put in a longer Dissenting Report report, strongly criticising the process.

Senator Rex Patrick put in Additional Comments, also criticising the process


Chapter 2 Community sentiment

  1. 22. Recommendation 1 2.67 If a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility were to be sited in an agricultural region, the committee recommends that the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science work with local stakeholders, so that part of the remaining 60 hectare buffer zone can be used to grow and test agricultural produce, in order to reassure the community and agricultural markets that the produce from the surrounding region does not contain excessive amounts of radiation and is safe for consumption.
  2. 23 Chapter 3 Indigenous support
  3. 31 Recommendation 2 3.40 The committee recommends that the Minister intensify and expedite efforts to fully engage with the Indigenous stakeholders near Kimba and Hawker so that comprehensive heritage assessments for all nominated sites can be completed
  4. 33 Chapter 4 Financial compensation and incentives to communities

p.36. 4.22 The committee notes that it is unfortunate for a former politician, particularly one with significant exposure to the nuclear waste issues, to place the government in the invidious position of p. 37 deciding whether he should receive financial compensation for hosting a NRWMF on his property, thereby further politicising an already contentious process.

Recommendation 3 4.25 The committee recommends that the government undertake an independent valuation of the land to be acquired to ensure that the financial compensation is consistent with the original proposal to compensate the landholder at four times the land value.

  1. 43 Chapter 5 General comments about the site selection process
  2. 49 Recommendation 4 5.35 The committee recommends that the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science make submissions received during the consultation process publicly available in the circumstances where the authors originally intended for their submission to be made public. ((That requirement has apparently been fulfilled)
  3. 50 Recommendation 5 5.37 The committee recommends that the Office of the Chief Economist within the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science undertake a policy evaluation of the first two phases of the site selection process for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility.

The committee made no other general recommendation)


August 14, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Peter Malinauskas, South Australia’s Labor leader says the nuclear waste selection process is wrong

Katrina Bohr No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia, 12 Aug 18 

Had an extensive conversation in person with Peter Malinauskas, SA State Opposition Leader.

I shared my concerns for the people in the communities, and the process that’s been imposed on them.
He agreed that the process is wrong, and gave me his word, that the issue will be brought up in Parliament as soon as it returns.

He was shocked to hear how people’s health and lives are being affected. 
I’m holding him to his word!

August 13, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment


Kram Nikpmis Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 7 Aug 2018
The Federal Government selects prime agricultural wheat farmland and the most seismically active Flinders Ranges to become Australia’s Radioactive Nuclear Waste Central Depot. Questions have not been answered truthfully and the site selection process smacks of a fixed match.

NUCLEAR WASTE DUMP – Senate Committee of Inquiry

This is Maralinga 2018, where deception and bribery are at the helm of this decision, rather than an intelligent, transparent nuclear waste planning for the future safety of all Australians. There are infinitely better options for a national low level and INTERMEDIATE level waste dump providing world’s best practice PERMANENT facilities that have been put forward, which the Federal Government are choosing to ignore. For more

August 8, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment


Senator Rex Patrick Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, August 2 

Inquiry into the Site Selction Process of the Radioactive Waste Management Facility Canberra


At today’s hearing into the Site Selection Process for the Radioactive Waste Management Facility, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science were unable to explain what ‘broad community support’ is.

Instead, they’re going to leave that definition up to Minister Canavan who is on record saying he wants this issue done and dusted before the next federal election.

Noting the secrecy surronding all of this, the people in Kimba and Hawker are going to get to experience what it was like to vote in the Soviet Union -the State will tell you what’s best for you.

For a good ten minutes I tried to find out how the Minister will come to his decision, to no avail. Here’s a quick 50 second snapshot, but you can watch the full exchange here.

August 6, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Minister Matt Canavan is a real dill: doesn’t know what he’s talking about re nuclear wastes

Steve Dale   Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges , 2 August 18, SA  Canavan was also on ABC radio 891 Make sure you continue to listen to Victor Gostin. I have to re-listen but Canavan claims that the Vitrified Waste returning from France is “Low level”!

Here is Canavan talking about the Vitrified waste that returns from France

“when it comes back here the radioactivity of that material is not materially higher than the low level waste it does have a longer half life though, it will take thousands of years for that radioactivity to disappear… ”…/prog…/mornings/mornings/1003697

Brett Burnard Stokes calling out just one of the lies involved in this massive bribery and deception operation led by Con Job Canavan.

In Queensland where Canavan comes from, they make nuclear medicines without making waste … and Con Job Canavan pretends that does not happen … Con Job Canavan says the waste is an essential byproduct from production of nuclear medicines.

August 3, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Petition to South Australian Premier to block nuclear waste dump

State government urged to block nuclear facility, Marco Balsamo 2 August 18 A petition calling on the state government to block the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility has attracted over 10,000 signatures.

August 3, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

In South Australia pro nuclear people have been seeded into positions of power

Regina McKenzie  Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 2 Aug 18
We went to speak to Dan vanpelican , he stated that the State Liberal Party is going to change the legislation of the prohibition act, hmmm so the Premier is going to OK this filthy dump .
Barb Walker  Federal Government have always said they will override state legislation if they have to.  Marshall is weak and he is ignoring the people who put him in as Premier. He knows South Australia has already said a clear NO to the storage of nuclear waste. He is worthless.
Anne McMenamin This is not unexpected. It brings the International Dump back onto the agenda. Those who said that this will never happen because we have protective legislation forget how easily legislation can be changed. Remember who is the Libs’ Senior Policy Director – and now look at the Head of the Dept of Premier and Cabinet.

Many of these people have strong pro-nuclear beliefs, and want to see us with nuclear power, nuclear-powered subs (remember the French subs we’re going to be building were designed for nuclear power), more uranium mining, and, of course, the international dump. If you look into the bios of many of these people, you will find that there are a series of revolving doors between the military, weapons manufacturing and/or mining industries, academia, and public service. Pro-nuclear people have been “seeded” into many positions of influence.

August 3, 2018 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

99% of South Australians are excluded from vote on nuclear waste dump for South Australia

Susan Craig Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 24 July 18 

A national radioactive nuclear waste dump is proposed by the Federal Government for Flinders Ranges and Kimba and 99% of South Australian’s are not allowed to vote in the ballot being held next month – 20th August! Only people within a 50km radius of these sites are allowed.
Many South Australian’s do not know this is happening and we are being blindsided. Speak now before it’s too late. You may not have been given an official vote, but you do have a powerful voice. Voice your opinion now and make a noise by contacting your local government representative. Australia has a burgeoning nuclear waste problem and ANSTO at Lucas Heights has the capacity (500 hectares) and the expertise to continue to store Australia’s national nuclear waste for another three decades. This time frame should be used to develop a cohesive and intelligent permanent underground solution and currently our Federal Government has no plans in place to address this. Moving radioactive nuclear waste from one location to another doesn’t make any sense.

• The proposed site is for an ABOVE GROUND temporary facility, stored in above ground bins, 40kms from Wilpena Pound and in our wheat farming land at Kimba.
• Both low level and INTERMEDIATE radioactive waste will be stored.
• INTERMEDIATE level is classified HIGH GRADE in France and has a half- life of TENS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS. The containers proposed for storage only last for a few hundred years.
• ANSTO have the capacity (500 hectares) and the expertise to continue storage at Lucas Heights for another three decades.
• We should use this time to prepare a PERMANENT UNDERGROUND intelligent and cohesive solution to Australia’s burgeoning nuclear waste.
• Not just move it from one site to another.
Mr. Canavan said and I quote: “It’s perfectly safe”. So why move it?
• ANSTO currently store 10 tonne of intermediate level nuclear waste at Lucas Heights NSW.
• Another similar quantity of intermediate level nuclear waste is arriving from Britain in a few years and proposed for South Australia.
• Current nuclear medicine using isotopes can be replaced with new technology using Cyclotrons which have a half-life of just hours rendering the waste benign. Awesome!
• Many countries around the world are moving to Cyclotrons for nuclear medicine and Australia should investigate this!
*ANSTO are developing a nuclear waste storage system called SYNROC it’s a synthetic casing for nuclear waste. However, this will only be used at LUCAS HEIGHTS and there is no intention of using SYNROC for the storage of nuclear waste proposed for South Australia.
The Federal Government is showing total disregard, disrespect and contempt for the people of South Australia, including the Adnyamathanha community of the Flinders Ranges.

July 28, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | 1 Comment

Nuclear industry bigwig Jim McDowell now boss of South Australia’s public sector

JimMcDowell, most recently CEO of BAE Systems Saudi Arabia, now chair of Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation 

South Aust gets new public sector boss, 

Former BAE Systems chief executive Jim McDowell has been appointed to head up South Australia’s Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Premier Steven Marshall described Mr McDowell as a talented leader with decades of international business experience in industries critical to South Australia’s future prosperity.

“Mr McDowell is well placed to guide the South Australian public sector as we seek to take full advantage of the Commonwealth’s naval shipbuilding program and other defence contracts based in South Australia,” Mr Marshall said on Thursday.

July 27, 2018 Posted by | politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Scrutiny on Hansard reveals the Australian government’s confusion about nuclear wastes

 Australian environmental watchdog activists are studying  the tired old arguments rehashed in Parliament   since the 1950s. Here’s  a sample of their findings on nuclear waste .
Steve Dale  Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia  (Jan 2017)From 2006 – “We need to know what sort of fuel we are talking about, and it is important that we understand this. It is not physically Australian waste material that will be returned.
If you listen to the government, you would say we are getting a neat package of fuel sent back to us after it has been reprocessed. This is simply not the case. What we will get back will be a proportion of the by-product of spent fuel from every country that sends its waste to France for reprocessing, divided between the contributing countries.
Each country of origin of the waste will receive a proportion of different elements from the reprocessing of the fuel. The main elements are vitrified fission product—high-level waste compacted residues, the hulls and end pieces from the metallic casings—and also high-level waste uranium and plutonium.” Mr Snowden, 19 October 2006. Found with search terms “nuclear vitrified high”
  In various places it was mention that radioactive waste would be “safe” after 300 years. Members were obviously being told that by their advisors. The intense Gamma from Cesium-137 would be gone after 300 years, but the Plutonium etc. will be there for hundreds of thousands of years – I really got the impression that the members of Parliament were not being told the complete truth by their advisors/lobbyists.

July 26, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

South Australia’s Liberal government now happy with progress towards 75% renewables target

South Australia on track to meet 75% renewables target Liberals promised to scrap, Guardian,  Adam Morton , 26 July 18 

Liberal energy minister, who inherited policy criticised as a mix of ‘ideology and idiocy’, says he’ll ensure it does not come at too high a price 

South Australia’s energy minister says the state is on track to have 75% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025 – the target set by the former Labor premier Jay Weatherill and once rejected by his Liberal government.  And Dan van Holst Pellekaan pledged to ensure it does not come at too high a price.

But several expert analyses have found the state is likely to meet or nearly meet the aspirational target, which was not tied to a policy mechanism. The Australian Energy Market Operator has projected South Australia would have 73% renewable power by 2020/21 while consultants Green Energy Markets found it could reach 74% by 2025 without any additional policies being introduced.

The South Australian energy and mining minister, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, said that was also his understanding. “That’s what the reports I’ve read are saying,” he said. “We need to harness it properly so consumers aren’t paying too high a price along the way.”

Van Holst Pellekaan has responsibility for shaping the future of energy in a state that already gets about half its electricity from variable sources such as wind and solar – a situation that Weatherill described in 2015 as “a big international experiment”. The new minister has inherited some of Labor’s proposed solutions, including a giant lithium-ion battery, a 20-year power purchase contract to underwrite a solar thermal plant with built-in storage and a “virtual power plant” of solar and batteries across public housing sites. ……..

Speaking in his electorate office in Port Augusta, home to the state’s coal power until the last plant closed in 2016, and now with up to 13 clean energy at varying stages of development including the solar thermal project, van Holst Pellekaan said the shift from coal to more clean energy in South Australia had been messier than it needed to be, but was inevitable.

“We must transition away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it. And we need to do it sensibly.”

……… South Australia is also backing small-scale storage. Under a deal signed by Labor, the government is installing a “virtual power plant” – initially 1,100 solar panels and Tesla batteries in public housing backed by a $30m loan from taxpayers.

Van Holst Pellekaan announced last week an initial trial had been a success, increasing supply and the reliability of the network and lowering cost at times of peak demand. He said delivering Labor’s full promise of 50,000 public housing systems depended on private-sector financing and Tesla and the government signing off on the final program design.

The Labor scheme will sit alongside a Liberal-pledged $100m plan to subsidise batteries at 40,000 private homes. Details are promised in coming months………

He stressed the importance of improved connection between the states, particularly a long-mooted link between South Australia and New South Wales, to improve grid efficiency and reliability. The transmission company ElectraNet has recommended a $1.5b interconnector between South Australia’s mid-north and Wagga Wagga.

Van Holst Pellekaan, a National Basketball League player in the 1980s with the Hobart Devils, said South Australia’s energy policies were in line with recent advice from the Australia Energy Market Operator and the competition and consumer watchdog…..


July 26, 2018 Posted by | energy, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

South Australians do not want nuclear waste dump

South Australia rejects Liberal Government’s nuke waste dump

Australian Greens nuclear spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has slammed the Liberal Government’s bribe to the Hawker and Kimba communities as they tries to find a home for their nuclear waste dump. Polling commissioned by the Greens shows that the majority of South Australians want to stop the nuclear waste dump from being built in their state.

“Resources Minister Matt Canavan should be ashamed of himself for trying to bribe the community in return for dumping radioactive waste on them. Putting money on the table, just weeks before the Kimba and Hawker communities vote on whether they want a nuclear waste dump in their front yard smacks of desperation and bribery,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

“Polling shows the majority of South Australians want our state to put a stop to this project. Nuclear waste is not welcome in Kimba or the Flinders Ranges, and the rest of the state is behind these two communities in their fight against this proposal.

“The tourism industry in the Flinders Ranges and South Australia’s export gain market is all at risk if this dump goes ahead, along with the destruction of sacred aboriginal land and special women’s sites.

“A lack of community consultation and transparency cannot be forgotten just because the Minister pulls out his chequebook.

“While the community is being offered at one off $31m bribe, the Government is keeping secret how much money the individual owners of the chosen site, including former Liberal Senator Grant Chapman will personally pocket. This is poor form, the neighbours deserve to know how much profit Mr Chapman and others will get from selling out the rest of the community.

“Why won’t the Government reveal how much their Liberal mate will pocket from taxpayers ahead of the community ballot next month?

On Saturday it was revealed the Lucas Heights nuclear waste facility was rife with safety hazards, and today, Matt Canavan is tripling the offer to pay a community off so he can dump nuclear waste out of sight, out of mind. This is despicable, contemptuous behaviour from a Minister desperate to find tick something off his to-do list.”

Senator Hanson-Young visited the Flinders Ranges and the community of Hawker on Friday. She spent time talking with local business owners and tourism operations and was taken on a site visit by the local aboriginal leaders.

“The Flinders Ranges community has been put through extreme stress through this long, divisive process. The Flinders Ranges is one of the jewels in South Australia’s tourism crown – that would be lost if it is turned into a nuclear waste dump,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

“The Flinders Ranges is a pristine, untouched wilderness. We should be investing in tourism which would benefit our whole state, not dumping radioactive waste in the middle of it.

“It is horrifying that the Federal Government is planning to build a nuclear waste dump on a sacred women’s site. The brave Adnyamathanha women fighting to protect this site are standing up for preserving thousands of years of cultural significance, and they must be listened to.

“The Greens stand with those fighting this nuclear waste dump plan and commend their bravery for standing up to the Government to stop it.”

July 25, 2018 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

Sarah Hanson-Young – a politician who cares

Flinders Local Action GroupJuly 20

The Adnyamathanha and Flinders Local Action Group would like to thank Senator Hanson-Young for coming to The Flinders Ranges and meeting with us. You listened to everyone with kind empathy and understanding and it was a pleasure to be with you. Thank you Sarah.

July 25, 2018 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Australian government ‘s $31 million bribe to Kimba or Hawker, South Australia to host nuclear waste dump

$31 million in incentives offered to SA community that hosts national radioactive waste repository Adelaide Now, 23 July 18 THE Federal Government wants to lock in support for a radioactive waste facility in rural South Australia by tripling the incentive package for the community that hosts the repository to $31 million.

As two SA communities prepare to vote on August 20 whether to support the radioactive waste management site going ahead, Resources Minister Matt Canavan will on Monday announce an increased community development package.

Two sites near Kimba and one at Barndioota, near Hawker, have been shortlisted for the facility to host low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste.

The Government had promised to spend in excess of $10 million on job-boosting projects in the district where the facility is built.

Senator Canavan said the Government was now willing to provide:

$20 MILLION to deliver long-term infrastructure projects.

$8 MILLION to train locals and businesses to benefit from the construction and operation of the facility.

UP TO $3 million over three years for indigenous skills training and cultural heritage protection.

“As well as a brand new industry with around 45 new jobs, this enhanced package will ensure the successful community is ready and able to take advantage of the benefits of hosting this facility both during construction and the lifetime of its operation,” he said.

Senator Canavan said the new package had been developed after consultation with the local communities on how best to support people and industries near the waste management dump.

Funds could be used to support agriculture, tourism or other industries the community wanted to prioritise.

The proposal for the radioactive waste dump has divided neighbours and families in the short-listed districts.

The Government wants to choose a preferred site before the end of the year.

The two shortlisted communities have already been rewarded with Government development grants worth a combined $4 million.

Senator Canavan said the host town would become a key part of the Australian “science ecosystem” providing new career pathways for young people.

He said it would have similar employment impact to defence centres elsewhere.

“What shipbuilding or aircraft bases do for some communities … the national radioactive waste management facility will do for its host town,” he said.

July 23, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Australian governments finally admitting the dire fate of the Great Barrier Reef

Australian governments concede Great Barrier Reef headed for ‘collapse’ The Age, By Nicole Hasham, 20 July 18 ,  The world’s climate change path means the Great Barrier Reef is headed for “collapse” according to a plan endorsed by state and federal governments that critics say turns a blind eye to Australia’s inadequate effort to cut carbon emissions.

The federal and Queensland governments on Friday released a “new and improved” Reef 2050 Plan to save the iconic natural wonder, which explicitly acknowledges climate change poses a deadly threat to the reef.

The comments depart starkly from previous official efforts to downplay damage wrought on the reef for fear of denting the tourism industry.

Based on current climate projections, the outlook for coral reefs generally is “one of continuing decline over time, and in many regions, including the Great Barrier Reef, the collapse and loss of coral reef ecosystems”, the plan says.

It concedes that consecutive coral bleaching events and other stressors “have fundamentally changed the character of the reef”, which is one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. “Coral bleaching is projected to increase in frequency … those coral reefs that survive are expected to be less biodiverse than in the past,” the plan says.

The reef is the world’s largest living structure, covering an area roughly the size of Italy.

Coral reefs are particularly sensitive to the effects of climate change including higher sea temperatures, ocean acidification and more intense storms and cyclones.

The plan recognised that “holding the global temperature increase to 1.5°C or less is critical to ensure the survival of coral reefs”.

However WWF-Australia head of oceans Richard Leck said Australia’s emissions reduction efforts were not even in line with limiting warming to 2°.

He cited a 2017 report by the United Nations environment program that found Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions were set to far exceed its pledge under the Paris accord. This agreement aims to limit global temperature rises this century to well below 2° and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°.

“It is simply not good enough for the revised plan to suggest the global community must work to limit warming when Australia is not doing its fair share,” Mr Leck said.

The Australian Marine Conservation Society’s reef campaign director Imogen Zethoven said increased recognition of climate change as a threat to the reef must be followed by action…….

July 21, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment