Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Murder, corruption, bombings – the company at centre of Australia’s submarine deal

February 25, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australian government’s brazen duplicity concerning Julian Assange

What Assange and WikiLeaks said about Australia, https://www.smh.com.au/culture/books/what-assange-and-wikileaks-said-about-australia-20210129-p56xyo.html

By Jessie Tu  February 4, 2021 He has been called “truth-telling hero”, “evil and perverted traitor”, “heroic, trickster, mythical – reviled”. Robert Manne called him the “most consequential Australian of the present time”. The new US President has called him a “high-tech terrorist”.

The protean narratives of Julian Assange, who will be 50 in July, have been brewing since 2010, when his website published “The Afghan War Diaries”, “Iraq War Logs” and “Collateral Murder”, a video showing the US military killing two Reuters employees in Iraq.

December marked 10 years since Assange has been “arbitrarily detained” in Britain, according to Felicity Ruby and Peter Cronau in their introduction to A Secret Australia – a collection of 18 essays that survey the impact WikiLeaks has had on Australia’s media landscape and the consequences of our government’s attraction towards America’s intelligence and military empire.

The potpourri of authors and thinkers includes Julian Burnside, Antony Loewenstein, Scott Ludlam and Helen Razer, who critique “the powers opposed to openness and transparency” and examine the evidence, “not the likelihoods, the probabilities, the suspicions, and assumptions” around the “subversive, technology-based publishing house”.

WikiLeaks invented a “pioneering model of journalism” – one that embodied the “contemporary spirit of resistance to imperial power”, says Richard Tanter, from the school of political and social sciences at the University of Melbourne. It brought renewed debates on free speech, digital encryption and questions around the management and protection of whistleblowers who risk their lives to expose covert, deceitful actions by governments.

The documents exposed the “brazen duplicity” of the Australian government towards its citizens and presented “off-stage alliance management conversations”, Tanter writes. They invited the layperson into the green room of the performance that is politics and international diplomacy.
WikiLeaks unmasked reports that showed governments recommending media strategies to deceive the public, demonstrating their unethically utilitarian approach to international diplomacy and governance and “enlightened the public on the dark corners of wars”, writes journalist and author Antony Loewenstein.

Assange is still in a cell at London’s Belmarsh Prison, facing an appeal by the United States in its bid to extradite him to face charges for the 2010 publications. He is continuing to be “denied adequate medical care” and “denied emergency bail in light of the COVID-19″, says Lissa Johnson, a clinical psychologist and writer for New Matilda – one of the few Australian publications that have paid genuine attention to the WikiLeaks saga.

In Australia, there’s been a “striking absence of a solid debate on WikiLeaks in the mainstream public discourse”, according to Benedetta Brevini, a journalist and media activist who insists that our concerning “lack of a thorough and sustained debate” is incomprehensible. Loewenstein calls Australia’s lack of journalistic solidarity with Assange “deeply shameful”. He says we have an “anodyne media environment” – perhaps not unsurprising, considering our highly concentrated media market, one of the most severe in the world.

Most of the essays expostulate on the same things: Assange is a journalist, not a hacker. He’s won a Walkley Award (at least six mentions of this). We have an undeniable legal obligation to him. His persecution is a “gruesome legal experiment in criminalising journalism” – a long and tortured legal process that Ludlam declares “has degenerated into an unworkable shit-show”.

The standout essays come from Guy Rundle and Helen Razer – whose amusing voice cuts through the somewhat parched tenor of cold academic-speak that lightly threads through the other essays. Her addition is a breath of fresh air in the middle of a chain of same-same arguments.

The most useful essay is Rundle’s take on the historical basis for WikiLeaks. He surveys the swirling currents of Australian history that led to its founding, identifying WikiLeaks as a continuation of political activist Albert Langer’s resistance to capital.

“We need a whole new organisation of how recent Australian history is told,” Rundle concludes, seconding Lissa Johnson’s opinion that we demand citizens who “cut across the acquiescence and consent, remove the deadbolt on the torture chamber door, turn down the music and expose what is going on inside”. This collection of polemics, though at times repetitive, takes us closer to a future where these demands no longer seem beyond reality.

A Secret Australia: Revealed by the WikiLeaks Exposes,  Eds., Felicity Ruby & Peter Cronau, Monash University Publishing, $29.95

February 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, media, politics international, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Resignation of Dr Adi Paterson from Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation- Australian government keeps mum.

Kazzi Jai  What was I thinking? Fight to Stop a Nuclear Waste Dump in South Australia, 22 Jan 21,
Have been waiting AGES for the Answers to Questions from the Senate Budget Estimates October 2020 regarding ANSTO and more importantly questions regarding Adi Paterson’s sudden resignation…..
Well – finally the Answers have been tabled. They are in a rather odd format to access (ie not easily user friendly), but finally the Answers I was specifically after were to Questions 85 to 90 inclusive.
And what do we get? ONE LINE ANSWERS EFFECTIVELY WITH NO CONTENT!
In hindsight, should I have been surprised? No.
Here is the link to the page for those interested anyway…..Toggle the Question number then Select the Question or Multiple Questions on the side of the page close to the bottom….. and then press download to view.

2020-2021 Budget estimates – Parliament of Australia  more https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556

                            **************************************************
  1. Some examples of government answers to Senators’questions.

 Sen Kim Carr” (Question No 85) :  “Did Dr Paterson resign or was he asked to resign by the ANSTO board?

ANSWER. “There was no correspondence between the ANSTO Board and the Minister about Dr Paterson’s performance.”

Sen Kim Carr  (Question no. 87)  asked about correspondence between the board and Dr Adi Paterson.
ANSWER: “There is no written correspondence between the Board and Dr Paterson.

January 22, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Kimba’s cosy nuclear corruption

(from left – Mayor Dean Johnson, Maree Barford, Bruce McClear )
Maree Barford is the current Kimba Community Liaison Officer for the dump since 2017. She along with her husband Shaun bought the lease for the Kimba Gateway Hotel in 2014. They had lived previously in Rockhampton Queensland before moving to Kimba, and Maree’s father taught Keith Pitt at school!
Small world!
Anyway – they are receiving $75 000 from the last Community Benefit Fund! ….under “Audio and visual refit of the main function room of the Kimba Gateway Hotel, to modernise and expand conferencing and event capacity for community groups and business.”
They applied for it under “Muffolphin Pty Ltd (as trustee for Barford Family Trust)”
How the F%$# does that work??
Mayor Dean Johnson IS also a personal recipient of money from the last Community Benefits Program! To the tune of $141 000 dollars in fact!! To put a new bakery in the Kimba IGA supermarket which he is owner of!

Kimba’s Maree Barford new nuclear community liaison officer, Eyre Peninsula Tribune, Kathrine Catanzariti.  AUGUST 24 2017 

A Kimba local has been given the job of liaising between the community and government on all things nuclear.

National Radioactive Waste Management Facility Taskforce general manager Bruce McCleary announced on Thursday Maree Barford had been employed as community liaison officer – the first job created as a result of the community consulation on a potential National Radioactive Waste Management Facility at Kimba.

The announcement was made at the opening of a new project office in Kimba.

Mrs Barford moved to Kimba in December 2014 with her husband Shaun after they bought the lease for the Kimba Gateway Hotel.

She said she applied for the job because it would be great opportunity.

Her role will be to liaise between the community and the government.

“I’ll be engaging with the community and then letting the government know what is happening in the community and their views,” Mrs Barford said.

She will start her role on Monday, working full-time from the project office.

“I think I can be the voice for the community, being the link between the town and the government.” ……

Barford would provide a permanent, local presence to help keep the community informed and involved in all activities, alongside the project team and other experts who would continue to visit Kimba……..

January 21, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australia’s environmental scientists intimidated, silenced by threats of job loss

 

January 17, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, culture, Education, employment, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Why did ANSTO shut down National Medical Cyclotron, that made medical isotopes without nuclear waste?

Greg Phillips.  Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch, 13 Jan 2021,
Why did the “National Medical Cyclotron” (30MeV) get snuffed out after only 20 years? It was our only way of making Iodine123 here in Australia. Canada has been keeping its giant cyclotron (520MeV) going for over 40 years – and going strong.
Our National Medical Cyclotron was commissioned in 1990 and decommissioned in 2010 (the Opal reactor was officially opened in 2007 – perhaps that’s a clue). During this pandemic we have had to import Iodine123 at great expense from Japan. I get the feeling that ANSTOs management has been more interested in supporting “nuclear reactor partners” (eg. South Africa, China, UK..) than supporting a clean, resilient isotope supply for Australia.
I wonder how many of these new advanced Cyclotrons we could have bought instead of going down the Moly99 waste factory path. This cyclotron can make many medical isotopes, including Iodine123 and Technetium99. Also.. “The TR-24 cyclotron is designed to operate for more than 30 years and can be readily upgraded on-site.”    https://fiveyearplan.triumf.ca/teams-tools/tr24-cyclotron/  . https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021186047913052

January 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

ANSTO gets a blank cheque for its nuclear waste production at Lucas Heights?

Greg Phillips,  No nuclear waste dump anywhere in South Australia , 13 Jan 2021, Congratulations Canada! “Cyclotron-produced technetium-99m approved by Health Canada”. Why rely on a global network of aging, unreliable, toxic spewing nuclear reactors when you can have a local network of clean, reliable cyclotrons? Especially when pandemics hobble global freight networks. From the article: “The process is safe and precise, employing stable targets and producing little to no long-lived radioactive waste. And, with the right target and extraction systems, these cyclotrons can be used to reliably create technetium-99m regionally and without the need for reactor-based materials.”
… I should explain further for those who might be unaware… ANSTO has plenty of room its reactor waste (for many decades). It is their plans to try and supply Technetium to the world that will produce large amounts of extra nuclear waste.
Unlike cyclotrons, ANSTO’s method produces lots of waste – it involves irradiating enriched Uranium plates and then dissolving them in a strong caustic solution. Imagine the complexities (and potential risks) of handling radioactive+caustic waste liquids. Australian tax payers are subsidising the production of isotopes for other countries, and also having to fully fund the waste disposal. It is madness that can only happen when government hands blank cheques to an organisation…  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929

January 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, politics, secrets and lies, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Government’s Kimba nuclear waste dump slush fund – benefit goes straight to Kimba’s mayor

Community grants from the National Radioactive Waste slush fund..

Of particular interest in Kimba is the 2nd largest amount allocated = $141,667 – apparently for the Mayor to get a commercial bakery in his supermarket.

Whilst in the Flinders it appears that no $ allocations were given to any individual/family owned commercial premises.

Kazzi Jai  Fight to stop a nuclear waste dump in South Australia , 8 Jan 20 What the hell is going on when the Mayor of Kimba is a DIRECT RECIPIENT of the Community Benefit Program!
This is a BLATANT MISUSE OF POSITION AND GOVERNMENT RESOURCES!! For those who don’t know….Mayor Dean Johnson is owner of Kimba IGA which is to have a new bakery courtesy of the latest round of Community Benefit Program funding!
Pretty sure “community benefit” means “community” and not “individual advantage and advancement”!!   https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556

(From: National Radioactive Waste Management Facility New Community Benefit Program 2019-2022    https://www.business.gov.au/grants-and-programs/national-radioactive-waste-management-facility-community-benefit-programme/grant-recipients-2019-2022  )

January 9, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australian govt has quiet nuclear deal with China, but condemns Victoria-China medical research

Double standards on research cooperation with China, Independent Australia 4 January 2021,   The Government is hypocritical in its approval of Australia’s nuclear research body to work with China on the development of nuclear reactors, writes Noel Wauchope.

PRIME MINISTER Scott Morrison’s Liberal Coalition Government seems to remain in silent approval of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTOpartnership with a Chinese company to develop Generation IV nuclear technologies such as small nuclear reactors.

But it’s a different story when it comes to the Morrison Government’s concern to put a stop to the Victorian Labor Government’s cooperation with China in developing agricultural, communications and medical research.

We hear very little about the Australian Government’s research connections with China, managed under the Australia-China Science and Research Fund (ACSRF), which has the aim of ‘supporting strategic science, technology and innovation collaboration of mutual benefit to Australia and China’.

One remarkable collaboration between Australia and China is in the strategic partnership between ANSTO and the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) to develop the Thorium Molten Salt Nuclear Reactor (TMSR) and other Generation IV nuclear reactor designs.

In March 2019, Dr Adi Paterson, then CEO of ANSTO, welcomed renewal of this agreement and was reported as stating that it was “consistent with ANSTO and Australia’s interest in and support of Generation IV reactor systems”. This statement was made at a time when Australia’s federal and state laws clearly prohibited the development of nuclear reactors.

The Age quoted anonymous senior Federal Government sources who reveal that the Australian Government may use its powers to tear up a research agreement between the Victorian Government and China’s Jiangsu province. This agreement was signed in 2012 and renewed in 2019……….

The USA partly funds the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, which strongly advises against cooperative research with China. And, of course, Victorian Liberal Opposition leader Michael O’Brien was quick to join in the chorus, condemning the Labor Government for having the deal with China.

All this makes it all the more inexplicable as to why the Australian Government should have an agreement with China to develop nuclear reactors. Under federal law, Australia prohibits establishing nuclear installations.  ……..

There has been virtually no media coverage of Dr Adi Paterson’s deal with China, which goes back to 2015. I have previously written about this and the secrecy under which it was conducted.

Indeed, ANSTO’s operations and its funding have been conducted in secrecy, under the comfortable shroud of national security.

Right now, there is a move to corporatise the nuclear medicine facility at Lucas Heights as a separate entity to ANSTO. At the same time, the Government is in an unseemly rush to set up a nuclear waste dump near Kimba in South Australia. In the midst of all this came the sudden unexplained resignation of the CEO, Dr Adi Paterson.

The silence on all this is disturbing. It must be especially so for the small rural community of Kimba and for the Indigenous Title Holders as they wait in limbo for the vexed question of the nuclear waste dump to be solved. For the rest of South Australia, that is a concern, too. Victorians may well wonder why their medical research cooperation with China is seen as so dangerous. Meanwhile, is it okay for Australia’s nuclear research body, ANSTO, to work with China on the development of small nuclear reactors?  https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/double-standards-on-research-cooperation-with-china,14664

January 7, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, secrets and lies, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Assange hearing outcome could set an “alarming precedent” for free speech

January 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, legal, media, secrets and lies, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corpse rises in ABC Insiders !

What’s happening with ABC ‘Insiders’?  Independent Australia, By Alan Austin  2 January 2021  The capture of ABC Insiders by Murdoch’s minions was a topic of debate all year, with this April Alan Austin piece attracting in excess of 35,000 unique views.

…………Has the ABC’s Insiders program become a vehicle for the promotion of News Corp? Alan Austin has been watching with interest and alarm.

AN INTRIGUING development in Australia’s media landscape this year is that it appears ABC’s Insiders, a substantial television program paid for by taxpayers, has become a vehicle for the rehabilitation and promotion of Rupert Murdoch’s tawdry media empire.

The first 12 Insiders episodes since Speers’ arrival as host, have featured 36 guest appearances. Of these, 12 have been current News Corp employees and another four, recent departees. So 44 per cent of all guests from one stable.

There is no need for the ABC to reference anything from News Corp — certainly not as the key source of information. Australia has more than 30 important media organisations. It is itself a well-resourced generator of news and news analysis. Murdoch’s minions are entirely dispensable.

News Corp a legitimate news organisation?

News Corp is not a reliable source of information. It has long since abandoned any commitment to media codes of ethics. The Australian Press Council routinely finds News Corp outlets violate media codes of ethics. Fact-checkers in the UK and the USA have found the same.

Murdoch’s Fox News in the USA is the go-to outlet for President Donald Trump whenever he wishes to share his fabrications and falsehoods. According to the Washington Post, the U.S. President told 16,241 clearly identified lies in his first three years in office. Many of these were Fox exclusives.

In Australia, several senior Murdoch employees have been found guilty of serious falsehoods — and were then rewarded by their employer.

In the celebrated racial discrimination case Eatock v Bolt, Murdoch’s Andrew Bolt was found to have concocted at least 19 damaging false assertions against the Indigenous people he was attacking.

In the wrongful dismissal case of former editor Bruce Guthrie, the judge found two senior News Corp executives had been untruthful in their testimony before the court.

In Britain, Murdoch’s publications have lied, cheated, bribed police and engaged in an extensive range of criminal misconduct. A British Parliamentary Inquiry in 2012 found that Rupert Murdoch was ‘not a fit person’ to run a company in Britain.

As a result of police investigations into Britain’s phone-hacking scandal, a large number of News Corp personnel were arrested and convicted of criminal offences.

Political bias and the ABC

News Corp outlets spruik the commercial interests of the owners, which almost inevitably means supporting right-wing political parties. Normally this is not a great problem. Political biases are fine, provided they are balanced by other political biases. The issue with News Corp is much more insidious than just bias, as shown above.

Ruthless and remorseless

Among Australia’s most profound wrongdoings in recent times have been The Australian’s malicious condemnations of men and women who have served the nation well.

Professor Robert Manne of La Trobe University wrote this of the recent campaign against the Australian Human Rights Commission and its former president:

The attack launched by The Australian on Gillian Triggs and the Human Rights Commission has been obsessive, petty, relentless, remorseless and ruthless. In ‘Bad News‘ I documented similar campaigns – against Larissa Behrendt and Julie Posetti. But neither reached either the level of malevolence or the cultural significance of the current anti-Triggs campaign … What is happening to Gillian Triggs – a fine lawyer, a fine Australian, a fine human being – must be resisted with all the moral and rhetorical muscle liberal Australians can muster.

Other prominent people The Australian has sought to tear down with its frenzied campaigns of hate, include Carmen LawrenceJoan KirnerWendy BaconNatasha Stott Despoja, Margaret SimonsChristine NixonRoz Ward, Clover Moore, Margo KingstonAnna Bligh, Kristina KeneallyJulian DisneyEmma HusarYassmin Abdel-MagiedJulia Gillard and Jacinda Ardern. ………  https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/4-top-story-of-2020-whats-happening-with-abc-insiders,14657

January 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

A reminder of the danger of ionising radiation, after theft of a nuclear device

December 22, 2020 Posted by | health, secrets and lies, South Australia | Leave a comment

Australia’s Industry Department is bluffing in employing staff for non existent nuclear waste project

December 20, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan resorts to threas when asked to be transparent

MINISTER DAN van HOLST PELLEKAAN RESORTS TO THREATS WHEN ASKED TO BE TRANSPARENT, from Senator Rex Patrick’s fb page 18 Dec 20
In response to a request for transparency, Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan has outrageously instructed the Crown Solicitor to threaten me with costs.
Everything the SA Government does it does for public purpose and using SA taxpayer’s money. As such, South Australians are entitled to see all that the State Government does, admittedly with some exceptions.
I asked Minister van Holst Pellekaan’s office to provide me with correspondance between the State and Federal Government on the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility at Kimba, using SA Freedom of information laws. At first he failed to respond to the request in the timeframe required by the law, then he made a decision that hid (presumably embarrassing) information from me.
I have asked SACAT, the State’s independent umpire, to review the Minister’s decision. Minister van Holst Pellekaan has now threatened me with “costs” if I proceed. That prompts two questions: 1) what’s he trying to hide and 2) if he’s prepared to threaten a senator seeking transparency, how would he treat a regular South Australian that reasonably requested information from him? –

December 19, 2020 Posted by | politics, secrets and lies, South Australia | Leave a comment

Senator Rex Patrick contests Freedom of Information refusal about nuclear waste plan

Rex Patrick to ask SA Civil and Administrative Tribunal to reverse nuclear FoI refusal

An SA Senator will ask a court to decide whether his call for information on a nuclear waste facility should have been granted.  Advertiser –Matt Smith, December 16, 2020 – 

 South Australian senator Rex Patrick will tackle State Government lawyers after a Freedom of Information request concerning a nuclear waste facility was refused.

He will fight to overturn the decision in the SA Civil and Administrative Tribunal over what he describes as “a lack of transparency”.

Senator Patrick, pictured, said his FOI request was met with a “highly unusual” reminder from the Crown Solicitor’s office that if he were to fight the decision and lose he would be liable for costs.

He had asked for correspondence between Energy and Mining Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan and the Federal Government concerning the establishment of a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility in SA.

“FOI in SA is a farce. Late responses, cavalier exemption claims, delayed review processes and now threats if you push a request beyond the control of the very government department seeking to hide information,” he said.

A government spokesman said: “While it would not be appropriate to comment on matters currently before SACAT, it’s worth noting that the tribunal and only the tribunal makes a determination on whether costs are awarded, and can do so if satisfied that there are statutory grounds to do so.

No decision has been made in this matter and, as such, no application for costs has been, or can be, made at this time.”

It was revealed this week that reviews of FOI requests are taking more than six months to

complete.  SA Senator Rex Patrick takes nuclear FOI ‘farce’ to court | The Advertiser (adelaidenow.com.au)

See Senator Rex Patrick’s Face Book page post:

https://www.facebook.com/193047494589008/posts/836162363610848/

MINISTER DAN van HOLST PELLEKAAN RESORTS TO THREATS WHEN ASKED TO BE TRANSPARENT

In response to a request for transparency, Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan has outrageously instructed the Crown Solicitor to threaten me with costs.

Everything the SA Government does it does for public purpose and using SA taxpayer’s money. As such, South Australians are entitled to see all that the State Government does, admittedly with some exceptions.

I asked Minister van Holst Pellekaan’s office to provide me with correspondance between the State and Federal Government on the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility at Kimba, using SA Freedom of information laws. At first he failed to respond to the request in the timeframe required by the law, then he made a decision that hid (presumably embarrassing) information from me.

I have asked SACAT, the State’s independent umpire, to review the Minister’s decision. Minister van Holst Pellekaan has now threatened me with “costs” if I proceed. That prompts two questions: 1) what’s he trying to hide and 2) if he’s prepared to threaten a senator seeking transparency, how would he treat a regular South Australian that reasonably requested information from him?

December 17, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, legal, secrets and lies | Leave a comment