Australian news, and some related international items

More from David Bradbury – Day 1 at the Lizards Revenge anti uranium festival

As if to make a mockery of the so called autonomy of the recent award of Native Title to his people, Kevin Buzzacott (pictured)  had to get a permit from the police to drive down on a public road from his home to the north here to join the protestors yesterday.

So end of daylight going into music and dance celebration tonight and all is good. Very friendly feeling amongst everyone as people get to know their neighbors in pitched tents next to them. People chatting around camp fires, reviewing their part and impressions of today’s great march to the mine entrance gates where people dressed in very colorful outfits and hairstyles Bollywood and danced their booties off. Some amazing break dancing on the road to a very appreciative audience.

The cops who were thick in presence looked on stoney faced from behind the BHP wire and off to the sides. The cost to the taxpayer for this over policed event must be phenomenal. But we love the Land. We love the country. We know why we are here to protect country and the Future. As Uncle Kevin said at utoday’s press conference, “one bulldozer and 40,000 years is gone”.

July 14, 2012 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, South Australia | , | Leave a comment

Carbon Farming Initiative – a new enterprise for Aboriginal group

Capturing carbon, unlocking wealth for Aborigines BY: MARK SCHLIEBS AND PATRICIA KARVELAS  The Australian July 13, 2012 JOHN Kite is at the helm of a newly acquired, neglected cattle station in South Australia’s outback that could soon become one of the first indigenous-owned carbon farming projects in the country.

The 56-year-old from Watarru in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands in the state’s northwest has been put in charge of turning the 4900 square kilometres of scrub and rock into a money spinner for Aborigines under the Carbon Farming Initiative, which came into effect this month. Continue reading

July 13, 2012 Posted by | aboriginal issues, South Australia | | Leave a comment

Renowned film-maker David Bradbury will document anti-uranium protest at Olympic Dam

David Bradbury is traveling to Roxby with a small camera crew to document the actions at Olympic Dam as part of Lizard’s Revenge. He is driving down (ie. heading south) and is aware of the roadblocks the state is putting in place, but is hoping to make it down by today or tomorrow. His trip and the festival can be followed on Facebook:

 Letter from David Bradbury 10 July 12
Dear Friends ,I sense I am stepping into a maelstrom in going to Roxby. We’re on the road now and overnighting in Coonabarrabran before heading over the border via Broken Hill today. Trevor and I – two filmmakers – are traveling with 36 year old Aboriginal man Jarmanj and his 13 year old son to Roxby to join the Desert Liberation Army of ‘faithful ferals’ (mostly Generation Y)  who have organised this protest called for by ‘Uncle’ Kevin Buzzacott. The Lizard’s Revenge is a Dreamtime story of Kalta, a giant sleeping lizard, who lies with ‘poison’ in his belly under the ground at Roxby; his giant protective tail wrapping all around Australia. Roxby is sited at the Gates of Hell, the entrance to the giant Olympic Dam uranium mine, the largest deposit of uranium on the planet……

BHP Billiton who own the mine and run it ‘like Nazi Germany’; so one of the workers told me three years ago when I was there filming after he told me not so politely to put my camera away and ‘f- off’. The miners and the huge multi national mining giant don’t like their right to earn big money and profits ripping out the Heart of Australia and polluting the precious water supply of future generations. Continue reading

July 12, 2012 Posted by | Audiovisual, South Australia, uranium | | Leave a comment

Police agree on ‘right to protest’ – but block off road 4Km from Olympic Dam uranium mine

Police block mine road to protesters, BY: MARK SCHLIEBS  The Australian July 12, 2012   POLICE will set up roadblocks around BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam mine in outback South Australia, creating further anger and warnings of confrontations with anti-uranium activists who plan to “shut down” mining operations during a five-day protest at the site.

Two roads leading to the Roxby Downs mine, in the state’s remote centre, have been blocked ahead of the first day of the protest on Saturday. The road protesters planned to use has been blocked 4km from the mine’s southern gates.

Only mine workers, emergency services workers and people individually approved by police can use the roads.

Protest organisers had hoped between 200 and 2000 activists would attend the demonstration and a music festival. One organiser, Nectaria Calan, said yesterday the police were being deliberately antagonistic.

“They’re blocking a public road,” she said. “On the one hand, they’re saying we’ve got the right to protest but on the other hand they’ve already made moves to prevent us from doing so.” She said the activists would decide how the protest would proceed once they reached Roxby Downs, but would not rule out blockading the roads.

Hundreds of police reinforcements, including special operations officers, have reportedly been sent to the town….. A company spokeswoman would not confirm whether hundreds of private security contractors had been flown to Roxby Downs but said preparations had been made.

July 12, 2012 Posted by | civil liberties, Opposition to nuclear, South Australia, uranium | , , | Leave a comment

Olympic Dam copper/uranium mine’s future more doubtful, with rise of RECYCLING of metals

Olympic Dam is surely under review,” said UBS mining analyst Glyn Lawcock. “It’s not an issue of finding the cash,” he
said, but rather ensuring a good return on the investment……

Further curbing the appetite for refined copper, BHP now sees recycled scrap meeting up to 50 percent of China’s overall demand in the coming year for the metal, up from 35 percent now.

there is a much bigger question mark over it [Olympic Dam new mine] now

BHP Olympic Dam delay would tighten copper supply Reuters, By James Regan SYDNEY | Fri Jul 6, 2012 “….. A 25 percent drop in benchmark international copper prices since early 2011 has eroded potential returns from the project, and the economic slowdown in top base metal consumer China has dampened the demand outlook.

BHP’s scheme to quadruple output from Olympic Dam – the fourth-largest known copper deposit and largest uranium source in the world – is one a growing number analysts believe likely to be shelved until markets stabilize…. London copper prices have fallen to around $7,650 a metric ton (1.1023 tons) from a peak over $10,000 in early 2011 as big copper buyers such as car and computer manufacturers slow consumption… Continue reading

July 10, 2012 Posted by | business, South Australia, technology, uranium | | 1 Comment

Poor market outlook for copper/uranium will make BHP delay Olympic Dam plans

BHP May Reduce Copper Supply Reduced Demand in China Hurts Production, Wealth Daily,  By Swagato Chakravorty , July 9th, 2012 After a 25 percent decline in international copper prices since 2011, BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP) may need to reduce the global supply of  copper from late 2013 onward should the $30 billion Olympic Dam mine
project in Australia be delayed.
The sustained drop in copper prices has affected the potential for returns on the project, and China’s cooling economy has added on to demand woes. BHP intended to expand the mine in order to increase output fourfold from what is the world’s fourth-largest known copper deposit and biggest source of uranium.
40 percent of the world’s copper demand comes from China, which also cut its interest rates last Thursday for the second time as it increasingly focuses on shoring up its economy.
BHP is working on turning the Olympic Dam, which is currently a mine, into an open pit operation.
The board will make a decision by year-end on whether or not to continue the process, which would produce 750,000 metric tons of copper and 19,000 metric tons of uranium a year.
Right now the biggest problem is figuring out whether the current levels of copper will mean an oversupply as demand slows down everywhere…. for now, the analysts advise against the sort of mining expansion BHP is planning.
Reuters reports: “Now is not exactly the right time to be thinking of bringing more copper into the market and BHP knows this,” said Gavin Wendt, a mining analyst with MineLife in Sydney.

July 10, 2012 Posted by | business, South Australia | | Leave a comment

Peaceful anti-nuclear protest in South Australia might be met with police violence, as in the past

Still fresh for many campaigners are the memories and scars of an anti-nuclear protest  at the Beverley Uranium Mine in May 2000…. a nasty example of police violence 

we should also try to engage genuinely with the important moral issues that the protestors are highlighting.

Their agenda is quite public , which is more than could be said for the private sector interests they are protesting. We might also question why the police are deploying over 200 personnel to “manage” a peaceful protest and what violence police have instigated during similar events in the recent past.

Peaceful dissent and a lizard’s revenge  PETER D. BURDON ABC   10 JUL 2012 Protesters at the Beverley uranium mine were treated in a “degrading, humiliating and frightening” manner in 2000, according to a later judgement.

THE ANTI-NUCLEAR MOVEMENT in Australia can be characterised by several key themes – colour, lentils, solidarity and a commitment to nonviolent acts of resistance. Another pervasive theme that characterises the past forty years of activism is power imbalance. On one side of the struggle you have poor and sometimes dislocated indigenous people, students and concerned community members (greenies). On the other side there are billion dollar companies, the Government, State police and the media.

Such is this power imbalance that many campaigners will spend decades resisting without reward. Those who are fortunate to be involved in a campaign victory (or even a slight concession) have also seen promises betrayed and decisions reversed.

Yet, despite many crushing defeats, antinuclear activists continue to resist. They do so, not because they have nothing better to do, or because they are violent delinquents (the images commonly portrayed in the media), but because they are acting in accordance with their conscience. Continue reading

July 10, 2012 Posted by | civil liberties, South Australia, uranium | , | 1 Comment

Above Australia’s State and Federal laws – BHP and Olympic Damn uranium mine

Jim Green: Project a rule unto itself Adelaide Now, Jim Green July 10, 2012 OLYMPIC Dam is like a state with no environment, water, Aboriginal and FoI laws, says Jim Green. HUNDREDS of Australians will converge on BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam uranium/copper mine – and a camp up the Oodnadatta Track – from Saturday for five days of protest, education and entertainment.

The concerns leading people to participate are many and varied. The overarching concern might be expressed as a failure of governance – corporate and political.

Olympic Dam is a state within a state. It operates under a unique set of laws enshrined in the amended Roxby Downs Indenture Act.

That would be unobjectionable except that the Indenture Act allows Olympic Dam wide-ranging exemptions from environmental, water management and Aboriginal Heritage laws and, for good measure, it curtails the application of the Freedom of Information Act.

SA Liberal Party industry spokesman Martin Hamilton-Smith said “every word of the (Indenture) agreement favours BHP, not South Australians”. It beggars belief the SA Labor Government would agree to such one-sided terms and that Mr Hamilton-Smith and his Liberal colleagues waved it through Parliament with no amendments. Continue reading

July 10, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, South Australia, uranium | | Leave a comment

BHP Billiton’s open cut Olympic Dam copper/uranium project to be shelved indefinitely?

BHP (NYSE:BHP) Reports It Will Make Tighter Worldwide Copper Supply- USA Election News, 9 July 12  By: Jessica Honsinger   BHP Billiton Limited (NYSE:BHP) reported on Friday that it will make tighter worldwide copper supply from late 2013 onward if it delays work on its single-biggest project, the $30 billion growth of the Olympic Dam mine in Australia.
A 25% decrease in benchmark international copper prices since early on 2011 has eroded possible returns from the project, and the economic delay in top base metal consumer China has dampened the demand
viewpoint. BHP’s system to quadruple output from Olympic Dam the fourth-biggest known copper deposit and biggest uranium source in the world is one a growing number experts consider probable to be shelved until markets

July 10, 2012 Posted by | business, South Australia, uranium | | Leave a comment

South Australia: police ready in force for anti uranium protest at Olympic Damn

“We’d like as many people as possible to show that Australian community does feel marginalised by the decision to build the largest uranium mine in the world and show they care,”

Protesters vow to shut down Olympic Dam, Police reporter Doug Robertson The Advertiser July 07, 2012 HUNDREDS of police will be sent to Roxby Downs as thousands of protesters from around the country attempt to shut down the Olympic Dam uranium mine.

The Desert Liberation Front website has issued an open invitation to more than 10,000 people to attend the six-day protest, music and art festival to be held on the outskirts of the town from next Saturday. It says it will take their protest to “Roxby Downs – gates of hell” to help “shut down the mine”….. More than 1200 protesters have already indicated they will attend while 723 others are seeking transport.

Police sources have told The Advertiser “a couple of hundred officers” will head to Roxby Downs, including STAR Group, mounted police and others on dirt bikes….The protest and festival is named after the Aboriginal Dream Time story of Kalta, a lizard which belongs to the land around Olympic Dam. Desert Liberation Front’s Adelaide-based spokeswoman Nectaria Calan said busloads of supporters were coming from Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. Continue reading

July 9, 2012 Posted by | Opposition to nuclear, South Australia | , | Leave a comment

Olympic Damn Uranium Mine: BHP’s disgraceful record, and contempt for Australian Aboriginal rights

BHP has shown similar contempt for taking responsibility for the impacts of its actions in Australia. The recently amended Indenture Act which will apply to the new mine continues to exempt BHP from the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988, which applies elsewhere in the state. 

 It is clearly a conflict of interest to have a corporation with a commercial interest in a piece of land also making decisions as to whether this same piece of land has competing non-commercial values.

Uncle Kevin Buzzacott is an Arabunna elder. Arabunna land lies North of the mine site. The borefields which extract water for the mine from the Great Artesian Basin are located on Arabunna land. The recent recognition of the Arabunna peoples long standing Native Title claim does not give the Arabunna people any rights to contest the location of the borefields. The GAB feeds the mound springs scattered throughout the Lake Eyre region.  The springs are integral to the desert ecosystem and sacred to the Arabunna people. They have already been impacted by the water usage of the current mine. 

by Nectaria Calan, 9 July 12, The Lizards Revenge was first announced on the 10th October 2011, coinciding with the State and Federal approvals of the Olympic Dam expansion. Since then, Rio + 20 in June this year has highlighted the failure of the concept of sustainable development and the failure of individual governments and the international community to genuinely address the ongoing environmental destruction that has become a feature of our age. Continue reading

July 9, 2012 Posted by | aboriginal issues, South Australia, uranium | | Leave a comment

Huge wind farms to go ahead in South Australia and Western Australia

Go-ahead given for huge wind farm   5 July 12,    FINAL State Government approval has been given for the construction of a $900 million, 105-turbine wind farm in the state’s mid-north.

The 315 megawatt Hornsdale wind farm, to  be built 15km from Jamestown, would  be the state’s largest, with the capacity togenerate 1,050,000 megawatt hours of electricity a year. The Development Assessment Commission gave provisional approval to the development in May, with Planning Minister John Rau yesterday giving developer Investec Bank Australia the green light to begin the development. Energy Minister Tom  Koutsantonis said the project would create up to 250 construction jobs locally.

Mega wind farm for Mid West Daniel Mercer, The West Australian July 6, 2012,  State-owned power generator Verve is planning to significantly increase WA’s share of renewable energy supplies by spending $600 million to build the State’s biggest wind farm. Continue reading

July 6, 2012 Posted by | South Australia, wind | , | Leave a comment

New wind farm near Barossa Valley would power 68,000 homes

Wind farm mooted near Barossa  June 29, 2012  Pacific Hydro has submitted an application to the Development Assessment Commission for a 42-turbine wind farm on the edge of the Barossa Valley.

The Keyneton wind farm would be north-west of Cambrai, with turbines running along about 15 kilometres of the eastern Mount Lofty Ranges. The company initially proposed 57 turbines for the area but reduced the number in response to community concerns about the visual amenity and potential noise. The nearest house to the wind farm would be about 1.7 kilometres away, with most homes between three and five kilometres from the project.

The wind farm would power about 68,000 homes a year. Pacific Hydro already runs the Clements Gap wind farm, south of Port Pirie, and is proposing another near Georgetown in the mid-north.

June 30, 2012 Posted by | South Australia, wind | , | Leave a comment

BHP buys more Olympic Dam licences Jun 27 2012  BHP Billiton has bought four exploration licences for areas in the Olympic Dam region in South Australia for $3 million.
BHP bought the licences, and five exploration licence applications, from mineral exploration company Copper Range, which had been reviewing its presence in the Olympic Dam region since the departure of a joint venture partner.
BHP is currently considering a massive expansion of its copper, gold and uranium mining operations at Olympic Dam.

June 27, 2012 Posted by | business, South Australia, uranium | | Leave a comment

recommendations for BHP Billiton’s planned new copper/uranium mine at Olympic Dam

Olympic Dam / Roxby mine Recommendations 2012, by David Noonan, 18 June 2012:

Prevent South Australia becoming the Radioactive State by requiring BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam / Roxby mine to:

  •  only trade in copper and other non-radioactive products;
  •  not export uranium or to sell proposed radioactive copper-uranium concentrates; and
  •  leave the uranium and all other radioactive waste at the mine site.

 Repeal the Roxby Downs (Indenture Ratification) Act 1982 and the 2011 amendments to the Indenture to remove the extraordinary legal privileges granted to BHP Billiton including the override of state legislation that would apply to any other mining venture or commercial activity.

 Require BHP Billiton to commit to environmental protection measures to:  

  • dispose of radioactive tailings into the proposed new Roxby open pit and to rehabilitate the pit should it be constructed; 
  • prevent liquid radioactive waste leakage from tailings piles – including by required lining of the tailings piles; 
  • use renewable energy for the full electricity supply to the proposed new open pit mine, rather than the BHP Roxby mine plan for a jump of 12 percent in SA’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and to phase out use of fossil fuels for the electricity supply to the existing mine; 
  • stop extraction of Great Artesian Basin waters from Borefield A as soon as possible and to phase out rather than expand extraction of GAB waters from Borefield B; 
  • and commit to biodiversity projects that genuinely compensate for the loss of flora and fauna caused by the mine project, proposed new open pit and associated operations.

 Protect the unique ecology of the Upper Spencer Gulf and the breeding ground of the Giant Australian Cuttlefish by:   prohibiting the construction of a major desalination plant in this fragile region by BHP Billiton.

These Recommendations are based on my recent update of the relevant sections of the “2010 State Election Agenda for SA” (authored by CCSA, ACF, TWS and NCSSA) that I had a lead role in as then ACF national nuclear free campaigner.

June 18, 2012 Posted by | politics, South Australia, uranium | | Leave a comment