Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Premier Marshall must enforce South Australia’s legislation prohibiting nuclear waste dump.

June 21, 2021

 21 June 2021 ‒ Friends of the Earth Australia

By accepting amendments to the National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment Bill, the federal government has today abandoned its year-long attempt to shield its plan for a national nuclear waste dump in SA from judicial review. A vote on the Bill is expected this afternoon or tomorrow and the Bill is expected to pass.

Dr. Jim Green, national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth, said: “The Morrison government’s disgraceful efforts to override the unanimous opposition of Barngarla Traditional Owners to the proposed nuclear dump will be challenged in the courts and politically. Barngarla Traditional Owners are expected to launch a judicial challenge.

“Friends of the Earth welcomes SA Labor’s policy that Traditional Owners should have a right of veto over nuclear projects given the sad and sorry history of nuclear projects in this state.

“Premier Steven Marshall’s support for a nuclear waste dump that is unanimously opposed by Barngarla Traditional Owners is unconscionable, crude racism and Friends of the Earth calls on the Premier to support Traditional Owners ‒ and all South Australians ‒ instead of shamefully falling into line behind his federal colleagues.

“The SA Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act was an initiative of the SA Olsen Liberal government to prevent the imposition of an intermediate-level nuclear fuel waste dump in SA. The state legislation was strengthened by the Rann government in 2002. Premier Marshall should fight Canberra’s push to dump nuclear waste on SA and to override state legislation, as did Premier Olsen and Premier Rann.

“The SA Nuclear Waste Facility (Prohibition) Act mandates a state Parliamentary inquiry in response to any attempt to impose a nuclear waste dump on SA and the Premier should initiate that inquiry immediately.

“Repeated claims that most of the nuclear waste is medical in original are dishonest. Claims that 45 jobs will be generated are deeply implausible. The dump will likely be the thin edge of the wedge; indeed several Coalition Senators today linked the looming passage of the Amendment Bill to the development of a nuclear power industry in Australia.

“Measured by radioactivity, well over 90% of the waste is long-lived intermediate-level waste that the federal government wants to store above ground at Kimba until such time as a deep underground disposal facility is established. No effort is being made to find a location for such a facility so this long-lived waste would remain stored above ground in SA ad infinitum.

“Intermediate-level waste should be stored at ANSTO’s Lucas Heights site until a suitable disposal facility is available. The Morrison government’s plan to move intermediate-level waste from secure above-ground storage at Lucas Heights to far less secure storage at Kimba is absurd and indefensible.

“The Howard government had to common sense to abandon plans to co-locate intermediate-level waste with a repository for low-level waste, and Premier Marshall should insist that the Morrison government do the same.

“South Australians fought long and hard to prevent the Howard government turning SA into the nation’s nuclear waste dump. We fought and won the campaign to stop the Flinders Ranges being used for a national dump. We fought and won the campaign to stop SA being turned into the world’s high-level nuclear waste dump. And now, we will fight until the Morrison government backs off.

“South Australians have greater ambitions for our state than to be someone else’s nuclear waste dump,” Dr. Green concluded.

Contact: Dr. Jim Green 0417 318 368

The Australian government’s new strategy to get a nuclear waste dump at Kimba, South Australia.

June 16, 2021

Dr Jim Green, Friends of the Earth, 12 June 21, After being deadlocked in the Senate for exactly twelve months Resource Minister Pitt is introducing a revised radwaste amendment next Tuesday morning (June 15) that seeks to negate key objections to the federal governments approach to the siting of a national radioactive waste facility near Kimba in regional SA.


The changes mean that the Minister – rather than the Parliament – will choose a site and that choice will then be subject to legal review through Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1979 (ADJR) processes.

In some ways this is a positive campaign outcome – the federal agenda has been effectively stalled since Feb 2020 and the Minster has had to abandon his push to remove the right of legal recourse, an important reaffirmation of a (limited) check and balance. However, it does mean that the federal effort and momentum to advance the facility will soon significantly escalate.

The amendment restores the three shortlisted SA sites (Lyndhurst, Napandee, and Wallerberdina) as being open for consideration. This is despite Wallerberdina (the Flinders Ranges site) having been ruled out of consideration in December 2019 by former Minister Canavan.

The last listed supplementary explanatory memorandum on the right hand side of the below link outlines the main changes to the revised amendment.
https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r6500
<https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r6500>

I have not had formal confirmation but it is likely that this revised approach will satisfy federal Labor and that the Bill will be passed. After this it is expected that Minister Pitt will move to formally declare the Napandee site, near Kimba.

Once this happens it is expected the Barngarla lawyers (the Adelaide based firm Norman Waterhouse) will file a challenge to the site selection. This development will require a re-calibration – but not a fundamental change – of our strategy and an increased public face to the campaign for responsible radioactive waste management.

Will Kimba nuclear waste situation become untenable for Kimba District Council?

May 26, 2021

It is obvious that the South Australian government will have to publicly disclose all documents and information given or received by it which should presumably include all transactions with the federal government in its various guises.


The disclosures will also include the Kimba District Council which will put its councillors in an invidious position in trying to give the Kimba community impartial and independent advice while at the same time trying to justify its past actions with regard to the federal government’s proposals for the nuclear waste management facility at Kimba.

This untenable situation for the Kimba councillors may require them to stand aside while commissioners or administrators are appointed to run the Council

Time to question the authorities on the nuclear waste dump mess, the incompetence of ANSTO, and the ?inactive role of Kimba nuclear waste staff .

May 22, 2021


The decision in South Australia authorising the full disclosure of government  papers was made on the application of Rex Patrick by the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal by its president who is a Supreme Court  judge and not by the Supreme Court as I wrongly stated.

The practical outcome of the decision is that interested parties should now ask various federal and state governments and district councils for full disclosure of all papers relating to the nuclear waste facility at Kimba .

It has been suggested that the federal government is proceeding with the facility and related aspects WITHOUT AUTHORITY in the hope that the composition of the Senate will change in its favour after the federal election but this seems to me a forlorn expectation particularly if the preceding state election in South Australia were to see a change in government to the Labor Party.

However the actions and conduct of the federal government as to the facility are still badly prepared by persons who are ignorant and inexperienced in this area – this is the view of many overseas experts who consider that Australia does not know or understand what is involved with regard to nuclear waste engineering .

The incompetency of ANSTO is best exemplified by lengthy and now somewhat outdated development of the SYNROC process and the continued technical difficulties and breakdowns with the nuclear medicine facility at Lucas Heights 

Interested parties should also be questioning what work is actually being done by the government’s personnel located at Kimba since there appears to be no new outcomes through their presence 

South Australian Supreme Court rules that information on the Kimba nuclear waste dump can be made public.

May 19, 2021

Senator Rex Patrick · SA GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY FAILURE, 18 May 21,

Yesterday a South Australian Supreme Court Justice overturned a decision by SA Energy and Mining Minister Dan van Holst Pellekann to keep information on the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) from the public. In August last year I made a Freedom of Information request to the Minister asking for access to correspondance between the SA and Federal Government relating to the establishment of a NRWMF facility at Kimba. In November he released four documents to me, with significant redaction on one of them.

When I challenged the redaction the Minister threatened me with legal costs. Yesterday Justice Hughes rejected the Minister’s arguments and found that the document he wished to keep secret was not exempt under FOI.People have a right to know what their Government is saying and doing so that they can properly participate in democracy. This is especially the case when there is a major issue being played out. Minister van Holst Pellekaan needs to rethink who he really owes a duty to. Ministers should serve the people, not their own narrow political interests. https://www.facebook.com/senator.rex.patrick/posts/924739811419769

Bridget McKenzie Gun totin’, gay-marriage opposing, sports-rorting Senator leads the National Party’s push on behalf of the nuclear lobby.

May 9, 2021

Sky News.6 May 21, Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie,  Nationals Senators earlier this year drafted legislation which would allow the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to invest in nuclear power. Ms McKenzie told Sky News host Alan Jones “we’re still waiting” for Energy Minister Angus Taylor to put the legislation through parliament and spark debate on the issue.

Labor Party’s platform on uranium/nuclear and radioactive waste issues.

April 2, 2021

 

Dave Sweeey, 31 Mar 21, At its National Conference federal Labor adopted the platform (below) on uranium/nuclear and radioactive waste issues.

Clearly it is not what we would write but there’s a lot that is useful and important – including options to further contest Australian uranium sales, a commitment to responsible radioactive waste management and a rejection of domestic nuclear power.

Yesterday federal Labor also clearly reaffirmed its commitment to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (the ICAN Ban) in government.

Uranium

1. The production of uranium and its use in the nuclear fuel cycle present unique and unprecedented

hazards and risks, including:

 Threats to human health and the local environment in the mining and milling of uranium and

management of radioactive materials, which demand the enforcement of strict safety

procedures;

 The generation of products that are usable as the raw materials for nuclear weapons

manufacture, which demands the enforcement of effective controls against diversion; and

 The generation of highly toxic radioactive waste by-products that demand permanently safe

disposal methods.

2 Labor accordingly will allow the mining and export of uranium only under the most stringent

conditions.

3. In relation to mining and milling, Labor will:

 Ensure the safety of workers in the uranium industry is given priority. Labor has established a

compulsory register for workers in the uranium industry that includes regular health checks

and ongoing monitoring. The register is held by an independent agency and will be subject to

privacy provisions;

 Ensure Australian uranium mining, milling and rehabilitation is based on world best practice

standards, extensive continuing research on environmental impacts and the health and

safety of employees and affected communities, particularly Indigenous communities;

 Ensure the Australian public is informed about the quality of the environmental performance

of uranium mines through public accountability mechanisms;

 Foster a constructive relationship between mining companies and Indigenous communities

affected by uranium mining; and

 Prohibit the mining of uranium within national parks under International Union for

Conservation of Nature protected area category 1A, category 1B, and category 2, and listed

world heritage areas.

4. In relation to exports other than to India, Labor will allow the export of uranium only to those

countries that observe the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), are committed to nonproliferation

policies, and have ratified international and bilateral nuclear safeguards agreements.

Labor will export uranium only to countries that maintain strict safeguards and security controls

over their nuclear power industries.

5. In relation to India, an important strategic partner for Australia, commitments and responsible

actions in support of nuclear non-proliferation, consistent with international guidelines on nuclear

supply, will provide an acceptable basis for peaceful nuclear cooperation, including the export of

uranium, subject to the application of strong safeguards.

6. In addition, Labor will work towards:

 Strengthening export control regimes and the rights and authority of the International

Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA);

 Appropriate international responses to violations of existing safeguard commitments;

 Limiting the processing of weapon usable material (separation of plutonium and high

enriched uranium in civilian programs);

 Tightening controls over the export of nuclear material and technology;

 Universalising of the IAEA additional protocol making it mandatory for all states and

members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group to adhere to the additional protocol as a condition

of supply to all their transfers;

 Criminalising actions of individuals and companies that assist in nuclear proliferation;

 The development of an international guarantee of nuclear fuel supply to states foregoing

sensitive nuclear technologies;

 Revising the NPT to prevent countries from withdrawing from the NPT and passing a new

resolution in the United Nations Security Council addressing the penalties for withdrawal

from the NPT;

 Encouraging all nuclear states to join the NPT;

 Reserving the right to withhold supplies of uranium permanently, indefinitely or for a

specified period from any country that ceases to observe the non-proliferation safeguards

and security conditions applied to Australian uranium exports to that country, or which

adopts nuclear practices or policies that do not further advance the cause of nuclear nonproliferation;

 Supporting the maintenance and enhancement of international and Australian safeguards to

ensure that uranium mined in Australia, and nuclear products derived from it, are used only

for civil purposes by approved instrumentalities in approved countries that are signatories to

the NPT (with the exception of India) and with whom Australia has safeguard arrangements;

and

 Seeking adequate international resourcing of the IAEA to ensure its effectiveness in

undertaking its charter.

7. Labor will progress these commitments through diplomatic means including the re-establishment

of the Canberra Commission to re-invigorate Australia’s tradition of middle power, multilateral

diplomacy. In doing so, Labor believes that as a non-nuclear armed nation and a good international

citizen, Australia can make a significant contribution to promoting disarmament, the reduction of

nuclear stockpiles, and the responsible use of nuclear technology.

8. Labor will:

 Vigorously and totally oppose the ocean dumping of radioactive waste;

 Prohibit the establishment of nuclear power plants and all other stages of the nuclear fuel

cycle in Australia;

 Fully meet all Australia’s obligations as a party to the NPT; and

 Remain strongly opposed to the importation and storage of nuclear waste that is sourced

from overseas in Australia.

9. Labor acknowledges that radioactive waste management is a complex policy challenge that

requires the highest levels of transparency and evidence, while balancing the need of the

community to benefit from treatments for diseases like cancer. Accordingly, Labor will act in

accordance with scientific evidence, and with full transparency, broad public input and best

practice technical and consultative standards, taking into account the views of traditional owners,

to progress responsible radioactive waste management

Morrison government gets in early to disparage nuclear ban treaty, but Labor supports it

January 21, 2021

New nuclear treaty will be ‘ineffective’: DFAT, SMH,  Anthony Galloway, January 21, 2021, Australia says a new United Nations nuclear treaty signed by more than 80 countries will be ineffective in eliminating nuclear weapons from the world.The Morrison government has not signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which comes into effect on Friday.

The treaty, signed by 86 countries, bans signatories from testing, developing, producing, stockpiling or threatening to use nuclear weapons.

The Australian government decided not to sign the treaty on the basis that it failed to recognise the realities of the current international security environment.

Government sources confirmed there was concern about how the treaty would affect Australia’s dealings with the United States, including intelligence sharing through the Pine Gap satellite surveillance base near Alice Springs, because it banned signatories from doing anything to assist a nuclear weapon state in its nuclear plans.

New Zealand, which is part of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing agreement with the US, Australia, Canada and Britain, has signed the treaty…….

Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong said Labor welcomed the treaty.

“After taking into account the need to ensure an effective verification and enforcement architecture, the interaction of the treaty with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and achieve universal support, a Labor government would sign and ratify the treaty,” she said.

“Australia can and should lead international efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons. A Labor government would work with our allies and partners to this end and would always act consistently with the US alliance.”

Helen Durham, director for international law and policy at the International Committee of the Red Cross, said all countries should sign the treaty as it was the “most explicit and clearest expression that the horrific weapons need to be banned”.

“It deals not only with their use but also with their threat of use, with their stockpiling, with their production, with their development and their testing,” she said.

“This treaty is a great opportunity to move a very stagnated, to date, agenda forward and we would encourage every state to take up this opportunity.”

Dave Sweeney, co-founder of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, said the treaty was a “sign of hope for our planet”.

“The changed status of nuclear weapons means Australia faces a clear choice,” he said. “We either choose to be a responsible and lawful member of the global community or we remain silent and complicit in plans to fight illegal wars https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/new-nuclear-treaty-will-be-ineffective-dfat-20210121-p56vst.html

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) – lying and incompetent over Napandee nuclear waste dump fiasco

December 27, 2020

it does not matter what are the capabilities of the expert eventually selected by the tender offer as this will not overcame either the inherently unsuitable nature of Napandee for the government’s facility or the gross lack of regulatory compliance by the government of the internationally prescribed safety codes and regulatory requirements for the Napandee facility 

the disgraceful and insincere performance by the ANSTO management

28 Dec 20, It is amazing how much information you are given by various sources once you have begun to expose situations of improper or unfair conduct at a public level

I have just found out that ANSTO has approached two overseas experts in the field of nuclear waste to submit tenders in response to the tender offer published on 11 December 2021

In both instances the experts were told that their prime tasks would be  the corporatisation of the nuclear medicine facility at Lucas Heights as a separate entity to ANSTO and to establish the nuclear waste management facility at Napandee as planned by the federal government

It was suggested that the route to corporatise the nuclear medicine facility is now quite clear due to recent management changes at ANSTO

This probably relates to the resignation in rather unusual circumstances of Adrian Paterson as the chief executive officer of ANSTO since he was apparently against the corporate plans for the production of nuclear medicine

It was explained to the experts as to the other task that the Napandee facility has to reach operational status as quickly as possible and at the same time to discredit or prohibit the Azark Project underground repository at Leonora as this was proving a major embarrassment to the government

The words apparently used with regard to Azark were to “torpedo it” or “sink it”

It was suggested that the Leonora facility would cut across the efforts of the government to find a suitable location for the final disposal of the intermediate level waste which can only be stored at Napandee on a temporary basis

As neither of these experts has any presence in Australia which is a requirement of the tender ANSTO actually mentioned a couple of local groups who would be prepared to collaborate with those experts

While I am presently unable to verify this fact it seems that one of the overseas experts is linked with another expert group which is already a consultant for the Azark Project and it was also suggested that this consultancy be terminated as part of the tender process

If this can be established surely it is an attempt to lessen completion which becomes misleading and unconscionable conduct in trade or commerce under the Australian Consumer Law or is ANSTO exempt from any liability by Crown privilege?

However it does not matter what are the capabilities of the expert eventually selected by the tender offer as this will not overcame either the inherently unsuitable nature of Napandee for the government’s facility or the gross lack of regulatory compliance by the government of the internationally prescribed safety codes and regulatory requirements for the Napandee facility

You only need to watch the disgraceful and insincere performance by the ANSTO management at the Senate estimates committee hearing on 29 October 2020 including the inability to answer various questions which stemmed mainly from information I had given to the committee members

ANSTO has over 1,000 employees yet still suffers from gross errors in its operations and planning with seemingly little overview of its activities – moreover it remains a mystery what all these employees do because little realistic research and development has come from ANSTO.

No parliamentery sanctions for Australia’s Resources Minister, Keith Pitt, despite his lies and wrong statements

December 26, 2020
[Keith Pitt’s] complete disingenuity without attracting any parliamentary sanctions or chastising
No wonder The West Australian newspaper and its allied media sources gave Pitt an F for his ministerial efforts with the highest grading of course being A +
Peter Remta 26 Dec 20, How long can Keith Pitt remain with ministerial responsibility for such nationally important portfolios as water and mining and effectively the nuclear industry.
He continues to make statements that are in many instances plainly wrong and show his ignorance and in some cases his complete disingenuity without attracting any parliamentary sanctions or chastising.
No wonder The West Australian newspaper and its allied media
His comments seem to be aimed purely at gaining public credibility and attempting to sway the senators opposing his ill advised proposals
He cannot rely on his advisers and ministerial staff for his comments as the ultimate authority and control lies solely with him as the responsible minister.
No wonder The West Australian newspaper and its allied media sources gave Pitt an F for his ministerial efforts with the highest grading of course being A + https://antinuclear.net/…/australias-lying-minister…/