Australian news, and some related international items

New South Wales Renewable Energy Guidelines aim to prevent small scale wind energy!

“The Guidelines place incredibly strenuous conditions on the development of wind farms that are
not faced by any other kind of development.

“They appear to have been produced to appease the small anti-wind farm lobby rather than achieving outcomes for the whole community,”

NSW wind farm guidelines shaft clean energy, Green Left,   February 16, 2012 The draft planning guidelines for wind farms in NSW, which are now open for public comment, have been labelled inconsistent, too restrictive and politically motivated by environment group Friends of the Earth.

“These guidelines talk about NSW planning to help Australia meet its the 20% by 2020 Renewable Energy Target, but at the same time could pose severe restrictions on the options available to achieve that,” said Ben Courtice, renewable energy campaigner for Friends of the Earth.
“The Guidelines refer to a NSW Renewable Energy Action Plan to be released in 2012, but pre-empt any such planning by placing a severe restriction on wind farms. The guidelines admit that wind energy is the cheapest form of renewable energy.” Continue reading

February 17, 2012 Posted by | New South Wales, secrets and lies | | Leave a comment

Australian Professor Bob Carter opposed carbon tax, was paid by polluting industry front group

Scientist accepts ‘cash for climate’, The Age, Ben Cubby February 16, 2012  A PROMINENT Australian scientist has rejected as offensive any suggestion he is doing the bidding of a US climate-sceptic think tank that is paying him a monthly fee.   Confidential documents leaked from inside The Heartland Institute, a wealthy think tank based in Chicago and Washington, detail strategy and funding for an array of activities designed to spread doubt about climate change science, paid for by companies that have a financial interest in continuing to release greenhouse gases without government interference. The think tank has now issued a statement saying the strategy and budget documents had been stolen, and claiming one of them was faked……

 Among the documents that Heartland does not claim to be faked, is a budget showing payments to selected scientists.

One of the recipients of funding is Professor Bob Carter of James Cook University, a geologist and marine researcher who spoke at the “convoys of no confidence” protests against the carbon price last year alongside the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, and writes columns for News Ltd newspapers.

The documents show Professor Carter receives a “monthly payment” of $US1667 ($1550) as part of a program to pay “high-profile individuals who regularly and publicly counter the alarmist [anthropogenic global warming] message”.

Professor Carter did not deny he was being paid by The Heartland Institute, but would not confirm the amount, or if the think tank expected anything in return for its money……

Altogether, more than $US20 million had been spent funding and co-ordinating the activities of climate sceptics and bloggers since 2007, the documents suggest.

Other cash recipients include Anthony Watts, the leading US climate sceptic blogger, who is to receive $US90,000 for his work this year. Programs slated for funding include new curriculum modules that teach science from a climate-sceptic perspective, to be sent to US schools……

This year, the document says Heartland would “approach dozens of companies and trade associations that are actively seeking allies in this battle.”

The organisation’s funding comes from 1800 donors, including many manufacturing and resources businesses, and also drug companies….

The documents were first published on a Canadian website, DeSmogBlog, which monitors the public relations efforts by some industry groups to discredit climate change science.

“An important message here is for the media to learn how to recognise this co-ordinated attack on science and to see through the PR pollution that Heartland and its network creates to cast doubt on climate change,” said the website’s executive director, Brendan DeMelle…..   Read more:


February 16, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | | Leave a comment

The crooked campaigns of Fred Singer and Co to hoodwink the public on Climate Chnage

THE PLANET VS EAST BUMCRACK*: THE CORRUPT SCIENCE OF DR FRED SINGER Independent Australia: By Sandi Keane, 28 May 2011  “…….In Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway’s thorough inquisition into this public deception, Merchants of Doubt, Dr Fred Singer, Singer is confirmed as one of a small cadre of scientists who were, and still are, responsible for hoodwinking the public, time and time again. With strong industry and conservative political connections, they ran an effective campaign to mislead the public over a period of four decades. ….

Both Singer and Seitz pulled off their first major hoax on the public by denying the link between cigarettes and lung cancer. From 1979 to 85 Seitz distributed $45million to scientists around the country on behalf of F. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Their brief was to find other links to lung cancer other than cigarettes to get tobacco off the hook.
Fred Singer co-authored a major report attacking the US Environmental Protection Agency over the health risks of second-hand smoke. Singer’s anti-EPA report was funded by an indirect grant by the Tobacco Institute. Using a tried and tested tactic successfully adopted by Big Carbon in the later global warming “debate”, the grant was channeled through an industry funded right-wing think tank, the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution. …. The mainstream media in the USA, Canada and Australia are still presenting misinformation on global warming as if the debate is in full swing – 25 years after the U.S. national Academy of Sciences announced that global warming was occurring from man’s use of fossil fuels. Even the ABC gives air time to the likes of Prof Ian Plimer, Lord Monckton and other climate skeptics defending this as ‘balance’. Ian Plimer is a mining geologist and director of 4 mining companies, calculated to be worth around $350,000 p.a. ….
As in the US, astro-turf groups, funded by vested interests, sprung up everywhere to give the impression of community dissent. Landscape Guardians and Australian Environment Foundation are classic examples.  The Guardians (variously known as Coastal Guardians or Spa Guardians) use their highly successful misinformation campaigns to stop windpower from replacing coal. ….

February 16, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | | Leave a comment

“tea money” – Australian mining companies’ bribery in Africa and Asia

The US Securities Exchange Commission is investigating BHP Billiton for possible violation of anti-
bribery laws. The company has been under scrutiny after it was revealed it paid $1 million to the Cambodian government to secure a mining project in 2006. A senior Cambodian minister later described the payment, which has been unable to be traced, as ”tea money”…..

Firms tell of possible bribes, The Age, Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie, February 14, 2012, SEVERAL large Australian public companies have provided federal police with information implicating themselves in possible foreign bribery offences.
The Age understands companies involved in mining, exploration and other sectors in Africa and Asia have discovered possible evidence of overseas bribery during recent internal audits…. Documents released by the federal Attorney-General’s Department to The Age under Freedom of Information laws show that in May last year Australia had four active foreign bribery investigations. Continue reading

February 14, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | | Leave a comment

Japanese nuclear cult Aum Shinrikyo and its Australian activities

Aum In Australia Aum also launched a scheme of exploring the uranium mines in Australia. …… They also formed two Aum companies – Mahaposya Australia Pvt Ltd and Clarity Investments Pty Ltd – as front businesses to cover up their true activities…

Aum Shinrikyo In Pursuit Of Nuclear Weapons – Analysis, Eurasia Review  by:  February 2, 2012  Aum Shinrikyo has an apocalyptic belief structure where the world is divided into two opposing forces, good and evil. Shoko Asahara, who is leader of the cult, firmly believes that they will prevail after the apocalypse and are motivated to trigger the apocalypse because their own salvation depends upon fighting the final fight and eliminating the enemy. The prospect of nuclear war shaped Shoko Asahara’s concerns to preach that Aum followers would be the only survivors of a coming Armageddon.

It has been reported that Asahara’s obsession with nuclear weapons formed the foundation for all of his actions related to these weapons. He published several ‘symposia’ during his time as leader in which he made statements about surviving a nuclear holocaust….. Asahara began viewing Japanese and Western society as the enemy and advocated pursuing violent means to bring about Armageddon…. Continue reading

February 3, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | | Leave a comment

Time to expose the money that funds Australia’s climate denialist think tanks

“The public should know who is funding climate denial so they can properly judge the information put out by organisations like the Global Warming Policy Foundation,” 

“In Australia, the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) is a leading source of climate disinformation, yet it retreats into secrecy whenever it is asked about the source of its funding. Environment groups are upfront about their funding, yet denialists claim privacy.”

The first available set of public accounts shows the foundation, which has declared Australia as one of its areas of operation to UK authorities, received £494,625 in donations in its first year.

Bid to out the money behind the voice against climate changeSMH Graham Readfearn January 27, 2012 A British journalist’s court bid to unmask the financial backers of a group of climate change sceptics is being used to raise questions about how think-tanks are funded in Australia and whether they deserve tax exemptions.

The UK’s Charity Commission, which regulates charities in the UK, is being asked to release a document that would show the start-up funders of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, chaired by former UK chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson.

Launched in November 2009, the foundation has consistently challenged the mainstream scientific view that human emissions of greenhouse gases represent a significant risk to the planet and societies.

Later today, freelance journalist Brendan Montague will appeal to the UK’s Information Rights Tribunal for the release of a bank statement provided to the Charity Commission by Lord Lawson, which Mr Montague believes will identify the source of a $50,000 seed donation.

The case has raised the issue of how think-tanks engaged in public policy debates are funded and whether potential conflicts of interest should be declared. None are required by law to publicly disclose their funders. Continue reading

January 27, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, secrets and lies | , | Leave a comment

Secretive Victorian government sets up toothless freedom of information watchdog

Federal government figures say the calculations in the press release overestimate the expected costs [of Australia’s carbon tax] and ignore compensation to be offered to some.

Using freedom of information laws, the state [Labor] opposition asked Mr O’Brien’s Department of Primary Industries for all modelling and briefings behind the press release.

Four months later the department wrote back, denying access to all documents

The Baillieu government this year will put in place a freedom of information watchdog. It will not have powers over ministers or department heads, will be unable to review decisions relating to secret cabinet documents, and could ultimately result in longer delays.  

Baillieu hides carbon tax documentsThe Age, Clay Lucas, January 10, 2012 THE Baillieu government has been accused of using ”laughable” excuses to block the release of economic modelling it used to attack the Gillard government’s carbon tax.

The government cited public interest and privacy issues as reasons it will not hand over calculations behind a media release by state Energy Minister Michael O’Brien last July. The press release, titled Julia Gillard duds Victorians again, lashed the federal Labor government over its carbon tax plans. Continue reading

January 10, 2012 Posted by | secrets and lies, Victoria | | Leave a comment

Ian Plimer and co. manufacturing doubt on Climate Change?

Could their real agenda be in manufacturing doubt rather than the search for scientific truth?

If so, it wouldn’t be a first, as Naomi Oreskes points out in her recent book Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming.

Cherry-picking contrarian geologists tend to obscure scientific truth, THE AUSTRALIAN,  BY:MIKE SANDIFORD  December 31, 2011  GINA Rinehart notoriously claims she has never met a geologist who believes “adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will have any significant effect on climate”.

To listen to prominent “contrarian” geologists such as Ian Plimer, you might imagine she never could. But, despite the bluster, our contrarian geologists are out of kilter with their own community and seem deeply confused about the way the greenhouse effect – by adding more CO2 to the atmosphere, for example – has shaped both the past and the present.

All geology students learn of the importance of the greenhouse effect. It’s simply impossible to understand the geological record without it……. Continue reading

January 3, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, secrets and lies | , | Leave a comment

Mr Fraser said. “The Cold War was still in progress. It was a different world. “We’ve gotten far too close to the Americans.”……

In 1985, the then PM Bob Hawke withdrew support for the missile tests after a meeting with US Secretary of State George Shultz.

US planned to fire missile at Australia, secret Cabinet papers from 1980s reveal 
 By Samantha Maiden  The Sunday Telegraph January 01, 2012 

  • Fraser agreed for US missiles to be fired at Australia
  • Were to be fired into Tasman Sea off Cape Pillar

A SECRET US plan to test MX missiles by firing them from California to the coast of Australia was signed off on by then prime minister Malcolm Fraser. And it can be revealed that the federal Cabinet agreed to keep the intercontinental ballistic missile tests secret because it was “preferable for the matter not to become an election issue”. Continue reading

January 2, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history, secrets and lies, weapons and war | | Leave a comment

Secret plans by Australian government to set up international nuclear waste dump

a five-square-kilometer space would be built on the ground and a 20-square-kilometer space would be created 500 meters below the ground to store 75,000 metric tons of radioactive waste……The candidate area spread from Western Australia to South Australia

 if Australia agreed to host the disposal facility, it would help expand nuclear-related businesses, such as exports of nuclear power stations and the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, adding that the nuclear industry would last forever.
A plan to build a final disposal facility surfaced again in 2006 …The government that was then led by Prime Minister John Howard

Nuclear countries came close to solving problem of radioactive waste Mainichi Daily News. (By Haruyuki Aikawa, Japan December 13, 2011 LONDON —  “…The Pangea group of experts funded by nuclear energy-related companies and general contractors from many countries had been secretly planning to build an international disposal site for spent nuclear fuel in Australia. However, the plan fell through after an Australian news organization exposed it.

Continue reading

December 14, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies, wastes | | Leave a comment

Secret nuclear weapons plans for Australia – but files now mysteriously missing from National Archives

Treasures of Australia’s past lost from the National Archives by:Herald Sun Patrick Lion  From:The Daily Telegraph  December 13, 2011  HUNDREDS of rare files – including secret plans for nuclear weapons and personal files of prime ministers – have gone missing from the library responsible for preserving Australia’s history.

Over the past two decades the National Archives has lost at least 748 historic items, some dating back more than 150 years, from its official collection of documents, government files, letters, recordings and photographs.

Among the missing files on nuclear weapons and uranium from the middle of last century is a 1956 report, The Clandestine Introduction Of Nuclear Weapons In Australia……

December 14, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies | | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby’s power to prevent Australia debating uranium to India, and to promote arms race

ALP downplay arms control considerations, Crikey, December 5, 2011 , by NAJ Taylor “…….The power of lobbyists There are numerous lessons to be learned from the US experience, particularly since the similarities in the way the matter was debated there.

There as in here, well-funded and resourced lobby groups successfully denied Australian’s of a debate, and a complacent and shameful standard of media proliferated falsehoods and empty rhetoric as if reasoned evidence such that even Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd – who as recently as last month strongly opposed any deal with India – begrudgingly toed the line of the party leader given the announcement was made whilst he was in Dehli.

For instance, following the vote, Nitin Pai, editor of Pragati – The Indian National Interest Review, and Fellow at The Takshashila Institution tweeted that:

” Rory_Medcalf And let me say that the consistent policy advocacy by a certain Sydney based think tank surely played an important role…..

What is clear to me is that Australia’s prospects of being awarded a seat on the UN Security Council next year are bound to have suffered already.

December 5, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, secrets and lies, uranium | | Leave a comment

Lawyers press for revealing secrets of Maralinga’s baby deaths after nuclear bomb testing

the medical records of those 23 stillborn babies remain sealed and held by the National Archives of Australia.

Now, as British lawyers search for others to join the class action against the British Ministry of Defence, they will also push for the secrets of the Woomera baby graves to be revealed.

Secrecy surrounding the disturbing rate of baby deaths and research suggesting fallout from tests blanketed the town despite being more than 600km from the Maralinga testing sites, warrants those families investigating claims as part of the class act

The Children’s Graveyard at Woomera South Australia. Paul Langley’s Nuclear History Blog, 1 Dec 11 What was known and when?.  SECRET records detailing the fate of dozens of babies born in the shadow of Maralinga’s nuclear testing hold the key to a case building as the state’s largest class action. More than 100 South Australians have joined a class action against the British Ministry of Defence over deaths and disabilities they believe were caused by nuclear testing at Maralinga more than 50 years ago.

Among them are families of the Woomera babies – more than 60 lives lost, many without explanation, during the decade of nuclear testing, up to 600km away. Lawyers running the case say it is “just the tip of the iceberg”. They have heard only from people who are “very confident” they have a case for compensation. Already, families of some of the stillborn children, hours-old babies and toddlers who account for more than half the plots in Woomera Cemetery for the 1950s and 1960s, have come forward….. Continue reading

December 1, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal, secrets and lies, South Australia | , | Leave a comment

UK govt lied about the extent of the atomic bomb tests in Maralinga



 A spokesman for Rosenblatt solicitors, which is representing veterans from the UK, New Zealand and Fiji since taking up the case six years ago, said: “This is potentially very significant information for the progress of the case.”…      

 RAF veteran says government covered up scale of nuclear tests, Ex-airman’s evidence could prove crucial in court case against Ministry of Defence, THE INDEPENDENT, OMAR OAKES, PAUL CAHALAN  14 NOVEMBER 2011  A former RAF navigator has claimed the size of a nuclear bomb detonated during tests in the 1950s could have been three times bigger than the Government officially stated, in evidence which could that prove crucial for more than 1,000 service veterans suing the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for upwards of £100m. Continue reading

November 14, 2011 Posted by | secrets and lies, South Australia | , | Leave a comment

Effect of nuclear plants on marine life – are animal activists aware?

Indeed nuclear lobbyists in Australia operate by stealth not least in Adelaide. ( Comment from a readerof this page) One prolific blogger comes to mind who’s a member of an animal activist group. Impressive one thinks but hopping over to Barry Brook’s website and there he is lobbying for nuclear. This duplicitous gentleman (an animal activist no less) believes it’s quite acceptable for one nuclear plant to suck up a billion marine organisms and marine life every year in the US – the Indian Point nuclear plant.

Adding insult to injury he evaded responding to the fact that “since the advent of the nuclear age in the mid-1940s, the mass of radioactive 129I (t1/2 = 15.7 Myr) circulating in the Earth’s hydrosphere has increased nearly forty fold from its natural background level of 140 kg.

“Nuclear fuel reprocessing has been by far the major contributor, responsible for releasing 5400 kg of 129I (half-life 15.7 million years) primarily into the North Atlantic Ocean. Regional and global trends in the distribution of the 129I inventory are elucidated from an examination of more than 600 determinations of 129I in environmental samples from around the world. Because the major point sources are located in Europe and the United States, more than 99% of the present 129I reservoir is distributed in the Northern Hemisphere, where both 129I concentrations and 129I/I ratios in rivers, lakes, and shallow seawater are several orders of magnitude above the preanthropogenic background.

” …………………. We model the effect of a collapse in thermohaline circulation and project a concentration increase of more than 3 orders of magnitude in shallow oceans over the 10,000 years that follow if nuclear reprocessing is to continue at the present rate. ” “Filthy water cannot be washed.”


November 7, 2011 Posted by | secrets and lies, South Australia | , | Leave a comment