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Thursday, 21 June

11:15

Court coal mine decision reveals failure on climate change "IndyWatch Feed National"

Stock images of coal in the Hunter Valley region, Tuesday, July. 15, 2014. AAP Image/Nikki Short.

A Court decision has exposed serious flaws in NSW planning laws. The Courts finding is that the States planning laws do not require decision makers to consider the NSW Climate Change Policy Framework and Australias status as a signatory to the Paris Agreement when considering the approval of coal mining projects in NSW.

The Land and Environment Court has upheld the NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) decision to approve the extension to Wilpinjong open-cut coal mine near Wollar in the Hunter Valley, despite a challenge on climate change grounds from the Wollar Progress Association, represented by the Environmental Defenders Office (EDONSW).

EDO NSW argued in a February 2018 hearing that the NSW Climate Change Policy Framework and the Commonwealth Governments commitment to the Paris Agreement were relevant policies that the PAC was required but failed to have regard to when considering the downstream greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of coal from Wilpinjong, a substantial proportion of which will be burnt at Bayswater Power Station in NSW.

In light of the finding, EDO NSW CEO David Morris emphasised the need for reform:

This is certainly not the judgement that we, or our clients, wanted. But perhaps its the judgement we needed. We now know that aspirational policy statements, like those contained in the NSW Climate Change Policy Framework, fail to have any meaningful application to NSW mine approvals. Its these approvals and the coal which is consequently mined and burned that represent NSWs greatest contribution to global climate change. The Government can no longer claim, or proceed under the illusion, that their policies on climate change have an on-ground effect. They dont the Courts judgement shows they are merely words that do not translate to action.

This decision adds weight to the need for law reform to make climate change a critical factor in determinations about projects which will contribute to it. This...

08:20

Real resource constraints and fiscal policy design "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

There is an interesting dilemma currently emerging in Australia, which provides an excellent case study on how governments can use fiscal policy effectively and the problems that are likely to arise in that application. At present, the Australian states are engaging in an infrastructure building boom with several large (mostly public sector) projects underway involving improvements to road, ports, water supply, railways, airports and more. I travel a lot and in each of the major cities you see major areas sectioned off as tunnels are being dug and buildings erected. Not all of the projects are desirable (for example, the West Connex freeway project in Sydney has trampled on peoples rights) and several prioritise the motor car over public transport. But many of the projects will deliver much better public transport options in the future. On a national accounts level, these projects have helped GDP growth continue as household consumption has moderated and private investment has been consistently weak to negative. But, and this is the point, there have been sporadic reports recounting how Australia is running out of cement, hard rock and concrete and other building materials, which is pushing up costs. This is the real resource constraint that Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) emphasises as the limits to government spending, rather than any concocted financial constraints. If there are indeed shortages of real resources that are essential to infrastructure development then that places a limit on how fast governments can build these public goods. The other point is that as these shortages are emerging, there is still over 15 per cent of our available labour resources that are being unused in one way or another 714,600 are unemployed, 1,123.9 thousand are underemployed, and participation rates are down so hidden unemployment has risen. So that indicates there is a need for higher deficits while the infrastructure bottlenecks suggest spending constraints are emerging. That is the challenge. Come in policies like the Job Guarantee.

Infrastructure boom yet idle labour

Australia is currently enjoying a major infrastructure spending boom via several large-scale projects in the States and Territories, but also at the Federal level (for example, the National Broadband Network construction).

There is no doubt that one of the major reasons Australias GDP growth has been relatively robust in recent years is due to this large public spending commitment.

The first graph shows movements in State Final Demand indexes from the March-quarter 2008 to the March-quarter 2018 (most recent data). The March-quarter 2008 was the peak of the last cycle before the GFC slowdown.

The humps in WA and Northern Territory between 2012 and 2015 relate to the Mining boom (mostly private investment) which is now well and...

06:03

Puan, the worlds oldest Sumatran orangutan, dies at 62 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

JAKARTA Puan, the worlds oldest living Sumatran orangutan, has died at an Australian zoo after a lifetime spent in service to the conservation of the critically endangered species. Officials at Perth Zoo, where Puan had lived for the past 50 years, euthanized her on June 18, citing age-related health complications. She was 62 years old. Her death left an incredible legacy of 11 children and a total of 54 descendants in Australia, Europe, the United States and in the jungles of Sumatra, accounting for nearly a tenth of the global zoo population of Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii), according to a statement from Perth Zoo. Due to her genetic legacy, Puan played a vital role in ensuring the survival of the heavily threatened species. Of the nine existing wild populations of Sumatran orangutans, only seven each with an estimated 250 or more individuals have prospects of long-term viability, according to WWF. Only three of those population groups have more than 1,000 orangutans each. Some 29 of Puans descendants are still alive, including daughters Puteri and Pulang; grandchildren Utama, Teliti, Sekara and Lestari; and great-grandson Sungai, all of whom are also at Perth Zoo. At 62, Puan exceeded the usual life expectancy for her species. In the wild, female orangutans would rarely live past the age of 50, assuming they succumb earlier to a number of threats such as poaching. Puan is the total exception to the rule, Holly Thompson, a primate superviser at Perth Zoo, said in a

Wednesday, 20 June

22:00

Ol Hela papa graun i kukim ol LNG projek masin na ol container "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.pacific"

Updated 19 June 2018, 16:36 AEST

Ol polis long Papua New Guinea highlands i nau wok long investigetim ol attak long Hela provins we i lukim sampela lain ibin kukim sampela container na sampela masin blong PNG LNG projek.

18:18

A Quorn resident disgusted at the hypocritical nuclear waste dump site process by Dept of Industry, Innovation and Science Antinuclear

Dave Fergusson Submission TO THE SENATE STANDIN COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS SENATE ENQUIRY SUBMISSION FOR THE SELECTION PROCESS FOR A NATIONAL RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA (Submission No 106)

My name is Dave Fergusson. I grew up in Port Adelaide and from the moment I learnt to drive I have been coming up to Flinders Ranges for camping holidays and for work ever since until I decided to move to Quorn about sixteen years ago. I am absolutely disgusted at the way in which this push by the Department (DIIS) to find a site for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) has been conducted from day one. Please find below a few of my reasons.

1/ Land nomination of Wallerberdina Station. The first that I heard of a waste dump being ...

16:42

George Brandis's replacement Senator Amanda Stoker off to a solid start today "IndyWatch Feed National"

A new Coalition senator will call for major industrial relations reform on Wednesday, arguing minimum wages and penalty rates are driving down employment for the most needy. Queensland Liberal-National Amanda Stoker will give her maiden speech to the Senate and call on the conservative side of politics to make the...

10:59

Bob Tulloch dissects Australian govts nuclear waste dump community consultation and finds it dishonest. Antinuclear

It is an easier proposition, supported by the legal framework, to work with small, isolated    and vulnerable communities that can be easily manipulated, than to conduct an open an transparent site selection process that engages the broader community. 

The constant vernacular of the whole siting process is deliberately ambiguous. For example the  use of the phrase 65% not opposed, is often perceived as 65% of the community support the  facility.

Is the Barndioota Consultative Committee just a rubber stamp for the Depts attempt         to manufacture community consent?  
There has been a constant flow of incentives handed out by the Dept, to the Indigenous and non  Indigenous communities.
Through out the site selection process our communities have had to endure the Governments  disregard of community dissent and resulting social division by an unjust, unbalanced process. 

Bob Tulloch to Senate Standing Committee on Economics  Submission for The selection process for a national radioactive waste  management facility in South Australia  (Submission No. 87)   

My name is Bob Tulloch and I have resided in the Flinders Ranges area for over 40 years. I am a  self employed business person and together with my partner Sue, operated the successful Bush  Bakery at Copley for 20 years which developed into an iconic tourist destination.  I acknowledge  the need for a national repository, but oppose and question the Governments rationale, to  establish a repository in one of Australias major tourist destinations, t...

09:42

Resources Minister Matt Canavan lying to South Australians on nuclear waste. Does he think that we are all fools? Antinuclear

Barb Walker  Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 19 June 18 

Ive just listened to another snow job on ABC 891 and then repeate...

09:38

Nuclear waste dumping would destroy Adnyamathanha traditional land and cultural heritage Antinuclear

Heather Mckenzie Stuart Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 19 June 18 

Just thinking, the proposed nuclear rubbish dump been forced upon us and the rest of the Adnyamathanha people is like imperialism. It is an economic, political dominance over us.
We as traditional owners have not heard of or seen any report of the so called cultural heritage assessment that was done upon our traditional lands, so I believe and see that as tokenism, because the wider community of Adnyamathanha people werent involved or werent consulted in a proper manner and it looks like we will never get to see the cultural heritage report.
So why is there so much secrecy on the cultural heritage report because at the end of the day, we are the Adnyamathanha people and its our traditional land and cultural heritage, our overall a big part of our cultural stytem our Muda that will be destroyed.
It will b...

09:29

Australian uranium company Paladin leaves a mess behind it, in Africa Antinuclear

Who cleans up the mess when an Australian uranium mining company leaves Africa?Jim Green, 18 June 2018, The Ecologist   www.theecologist.org/2018/jun/18/who-cleans-mess-when-australian-uranium-mining-company-leaves-africa

Australian mining companies have a poor track record operating in Africa. Australian uranium company Paladin Energy has now put two of its mines into care-and-maintenance and bankruptcy looms. But who cleans up the companys mess in Namibia and Malawi, asks JIM GREEN

Many Australian mining projects in Africa are outposts of good governance this is what Julie Bishop, the countrys Foreign Minister, told the Africa Down Under mining conference in Western Australia in September 2017. The Australian government encourages the people of Africa to see us as an open-cut mine for lessons-learned, for skills, for innovation and, I would like to think, inspiration, the minister said.

But such claims sit uneasily with the highly critical findings arising from a detailed...

09:24

New York could be attacked with a terrorist nuclear bomb Antinuclear

What a nuclear attack in New y

York would look like This Is What a Nuclear Bomb Looks Like (picture of a somewhat rusting ordinary van) Ny Mag. 12 June 18

If America is attacked, the strike probably wont come from North Korea. And it will be even scarier than we imagine. .

There are currently at least 2,000 tons of weapons-grade nuclear material stored in some 40 countries enough to make more than 40,000 bombs approximately the size of the one that devastated Hiroshima. Stealing the material would be challenging but far from impossible. Russia stockpiles numerous bombs built before the use of electronic locks that disable the weapons in the event of tampering. Universities that handle uranium often have lax security. And insiders at military compounds sometimes steal radioactive material and sell it on the black market. Since 1993, there have been 762 known instances in which radioactive materials were lost or stolen, and more than 2,000 cases of trafficking and other criminal activities.

Once terrorists obtained the uranium, they would need only a small team of sympathetic engineers and physicists to build what is known as a gun-type nuclear bomb, like the one dropped on Hiroshima. A gun-type nuke uses traditional explosives to fire a slug of uranium through a tube directly into another chunk of uranium, fracturing...

09:22

Unacceptable levels of uranium in drinking water for several remote communities Antinuclear

Our kids need proper water: Families plead for action over uranium in drinking water, ABC, 7.30  by Indigenous affairs reporters Isabella HigginsBridget Brennan and Emily Napangarti Butcher, 19 June 18, 

09:20

ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie explains economic benefit of the ABC to Australia Antinuclear

ABC contributes as much to the economy as it costs the taxpayer: Michelle Guthrie, https://theconversation.com/abc-contributes-as-much-to-the-economy-as-it-costs-the-taxpayer-michelle-guthrie-98553?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=facebookbutton    The Conversation,  Michelle GrattanProfessorial Fellow, University of Canberra  June 19, 2018 

ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has hit back against critics with a Deloitte Access Economics assessment that the public broadcaster contributed more than A$1 billion to the Australian economy in the last financial year.

This was on a par with the public funding of the organisation, she told the Melbourne Press Club, in an address coming days after the Liberal Federal Council urged the ABC be privatised a call rejected by the government.

Far from being a drain on the public purse, the audience, community and economic value stemming from ABC activity is a real and tangible benefit, she said. The Deloitte study was commissioned by the ABC; Guthrie said its report was still being compiled and would be released next month.

Of the $1 billion, more than a third is economic support for the broader media ecosystem. Far from being Ultimo-centric, the ABC is boosting activity across the country, she said, giving as examples the filming of Mystery Road in the Kimberley and the production of Rosehaven outside Hobart.

Deloitte calculated the ABC was helping sustain more than 6000 full-time equivalent jobs across the economy. It means that for every three full-time equivalent jobs created by the ABC, there are another two supported in our supply chain local artists, writers, technicians, transport workers and many more.

In hard figures, the research shows that the ABC helps to sustain 2500 full-time equivalent jobs in addition to the 4000 women and men who are directly employed by the public broadcaster.

When broken down this equates to more than 500 additional jobs in production companies, over 400 jobs elsewhere in the broadcast sector, and close to 300 full-time equivalent jobs in the professional services.

Amidst the debate over the ABCs purpose and its funding we should all remember that there are 2500 jobs outside public broadcasting at risk in any move to curtail our remit and activities.

Addressing the critics argument that the ABCs about $1 billion funding wasnt well spent, Guthrie pointed out that the broadcasters pe...

09:19

Chronicling Julian Assanges 6 years of Confinement Antinuclear

2,192 Days of Confinement: Assanges 6 Years in Ecuadorian Embassy in Numbers, https://sputniknews.com/europe/201806191065516777-assange-6-years-embassy-london/  

June 19 marks six years since the founder of WikiLeaks entered the building of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. He hasnt stepped foot outside it since.

Julian Assange has been residing at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, where he sought refuge while facing sexual assault allegations in Sweden.

981 days have passed since the Metropolitan police removed dedicated 24/7 guards from outside the Ecuadorian Embassy on October 12, 2015.

Like all public services, MPS resources are finite. With so many different criminal, and other, threats to the city it protects, the current deployment of officers is no longer believed proportionate, a statement by the Met police said.

865 days since the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WG...

09:18

Leaky nuclear reactor in Antarctica Antinuclear

New Zealand warns its Antarctic veterans about radiation risks from leaky US Navy reactor  https://www.stripes.com/news/new-zealand-warns-its-antarctic-veterans-about-radiation-risks-from-leaky-us-navy-reactor-1.533546  By SETH ROBSON | STARS AND STRIPES  June 19, 2018

The New Zealand government is warning personnel who worked in Antarctica in the 1960s and 70s about radiation from a leaky U.S. Navy reactor.

Alerts were posted online by the New Zealand Defence ForceAntarctica New Zealand and other government entities in January and reported by local media last month.

...

09:09

NASA: May Was 4th Hottest on Record robertscribbler Antinuclear

According to reports from NASA GISS, May of 2018 was the 4th hottest in the 138 year global temperature record. This new warmth came as the Equatorial Pacific began to retreat from a cooling La Nina state which, all things being equal, would have resulted in somewhat cooler than average global temperatures. (Analysis of []

via NASA: May Was 4th Hottest on Record robertscribbler

09:08

June 19 Energy News geoharvey Antinuclear

Opinion: US Offshore Wind Upends Plans For Saving Coal & Nuclear Power Plants If the latest news out of the US DOE is any indication, the Trump Administrations newest stratagem for keeping old coal and nuclear power plants in operation make the taxpayers pay extra to keep uneconomical power plants running is []

via June 19 Energy News geoharvey

09:07

Coal to be kaput in Australia by 2050, as renewables, batteries take over RenewEconomy Antinuclear

Australias coal-fired generation capacity could be little more than a twinkle in Tony Abbotts eye by as early as 2050, when renewables are forecast to provide 92 per cent of the countrys electricity.

via Coal to be kaput in Australia by 2050, as renewables, batteries take over RenewEconomy

09:06

The fake arguments against 100% renewable energy RenewEconomy Antinuclear

UNSW academics compare campaign against wind and solar and high renewable energy scenarios led by pro-nuclear lobbyists to efforts by the tobacco industry to sow fear and uncertainty and delay action.

via The fake arguments against 100% renewable energy RenewEconomy

09:04

NEG: Irrelevant at best, harmful at worst RenewEconomy Antinuclear

The NEG does nothing. It wont lower prices, it wont reduce the large gentailer influence, it wont bring about new investment. In short, its fraud as far as policy goes.

via NEG: Irrelevant at best, harmful at worst RenewEconomy

09:02

June 18 Energy News Antinuclear

geoharvey

Opinion:

Global warming cooks up a different world over 3 decades We were warned. On June 23, 1988, a sultry day in Washington, Dr James Hansen told Congress that global warming was not approaching it had already arrived. Thirty years later, its clear that Hansen and other doomsayers were right. And the change has been sweeping. [The Denver Post]

James Hansen (Marshall Ritzel, The Associated Press)

Science and Technology:

In a world first, Siemens is opening a 1.5-million pilot project in Oxfordshire employing ammonia as a form of energy storage. The proof-of-concept facility will turn electricity, water, and air into ammonia without releasing carbon emissions. The ammonia can be stored and burned for electricity, sold as a fuel, or used for industrial purposes. [businessgreen.com]

Teslas cobalt usage will soon be a thing of the past if Elon Musk has his way. And

View original post 804 more words

09:00

Strong earthquake shakes Osaka: Officials in neighboring Fukui Prefecture say all 15 nuclear reactors are still functioning Fukushima 311 Watchdogs Antinuclear

Strong earthquake shakes Osaka All but 1 or 2 of these are supposedly shut down since 3-11. Just before 8 am local time a magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck northern Osaka. Its categorized as a six-minus on a scale of zero to seven on Japans seismic intensity scale. No tsunami warning has been issued. Hyogo, Kyoto, []

via Strong earthquake shakes Osaka: Officials in neighboring Fukui Prefecture say all 15 nuclear reactors are still functioning Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

08:59

Australia starts slow on EVs, but could overtake global market RenewEconomy Antinuclear

BNEF says EV sales in Australia have started slowly but will finish quick and will beat the global average by 2040, after passing tipping points on affordability in 2025. More intriguingly, the EV fleet will create a behind the motor storage market as big as Snowy 2.0.

via Australia starts slow on EVs, but could overtake global market RenewEconomy

08:58

A 228MW Victorian wind farm to go ahead as big business snaps up cheap green power RenewEconomy Antinuclear

Macquarie Capital sells two 40% stakes in Lal Lal Wind Farm, which is reported to have off-take deal with two Australian industrials.

via A 228MW Victorian wind farm to go ahead as big business snaps up cheap green power RenewEconomy

08:00

June 20 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History "IndyWatch Feed National"

1790 The Second Fleet materalised on the Holo Deck at Port Jackson.

1793 - The colony's administrator Lieut-Gov Francis Grose was empowered to assign convicts as servants to civil and military officers. He was instructed to prevent the secret and clandestine sale of spirits in the colony.
And, oh, how we laughed....

1802 - French explorer Nicholas Baudin washed ashore at Port Jackson aboard Le Geographe.

1808 - Michael Bagan was hanged at the Parramatta brickfields. Entered the house of Jane Codd near Parramatta, assaulted her and stole items from her home.

1808 - Felix Donnelly was hanged at the Parramatta brickfields. Entered the house of Jane Codd near Parramatta, assaulted her and stole items from her home.

1832 - Sydney Monitor: Report on Bong Bong to Wollongong road.

1839 - Robert William Newland and party shifted into Victor Harbour, SA.
And there went the neighbourhood.

1840 - First land sales held at Jervis Bay, NSW.

1843 - The first election in Victoria to vote in six members to represent the residents of Port Phillip in the NSW Legislative Council. Voters had to be male over the age of 21 and own freehold property worth at least 200 pounds. Candidates had to own property to the value of 2000 pounds. The vote for the Melbourne representative drew a total of 556 voters.

1846 - Brisbane 's first newspaper, the Moreton Bay Courier (later the Brisbane Courier, then Courier-Mail) began publication.

1866 Adelaide's Town Hall opened for the usual shenanigans.

1899 - The Perth Mint opened to convert the colony's glittery, glittery gold into gold sovereigns.

1911 - The narrow gauge Crowes Railway Line (Vic) was opened from Beech Forest to Crowes.

1916 - The 26 miles / 42 kms of Broad Gauge Heywood to Mount Gambier Railway Line (Vic & SA) was opened as far as Dartmoor, only 10 miles / 16 kms from the SA border.

1927 Film premiere of For the Term of his Natural Life.

1931 -  Forty NSW Police were involved in a bloody gun battle with 18 unemployed Communist squatters over an eviction order at 143 Union St, Newtown.

1932 - The Boggabilla Railway Branch line(NSW) was opened to those delicious steam locomotives from Camurra - North Star - Boggabilla.

1949 Lance Sharkey, chairman of the Communist Party, was convicted for sedition.

1961 - The book, The Trial of Lady Chatterley, was banned.
First they banned Lady Chatterley's Lover.
Then they banned the book of the trial.

1964 - The first Pioneer Valley show was held at Finch Hatton, Mackay.

1965 - The rail passenger service from Heath...

07:58

Blanchett, Edgerton get ugly for campaign "IndyWatch Feed National"

Rosario Dawson introduces audiences to some of Australias ugliest endangered critters in the Wilderness Societys latest promotion.

LOS ANGELES, AAP Cate Blanchetts latest performance is as an ugly and endangered Australian Mary River turtle that sports a bright green mohawk hairdo and breathes through its genitals.

Her co-star is another Aussie A-Lister, Joel Edgerton, who plays an equally ugly ghost shark that is an animal kingdom oddity because its penis is on its forehead.

Hollywood actress Rosario Dawson, dressed in a costume that looks like it has been created by a bunch of kindergarten kids, is the star of the low budget production despite portraying an ugly singing, dancing, phytoplankton-sipping Australian ethmia clytodoxa moth.

We put our egos aside, Dawson told AAP.

We are really willing to do anything to get that attention because we need it.

The impressive cast, which also includes Teresa Palmer as a southern right whale, Samara Weaving as a ghost bat and Dan Wyllie as giant Gippsland earthworm, is part of new campaign by The Wilderness Society.

They star in a four-minute musical comedy video featuring puppet creatures, whacky and naughty lyrics and use of dollops of whale poo.

Dubbed Save Ugly, the campaign is aimed at raising awareness of all the aesthetically-challenged creatures in Australias ecosystems that help make life possible, warts and all.

Cute, furry animals often get the most help and support.

The Wilderness Society hopes the music video will shine a light on the endangered Mary River turtle and other creatures that need help to survive.

The video was shot in just one day in Los Angeles.

We need these different creatures, Dawson said.

It is important to know the phytoplankton feeds off the excrement of whales.

These tiny little things that we cant see with the naked eye capture more carbon than trees do.

Dawson joked Blanchett, a seven-time Oscar nominee and two-time winner, might even score another nod for voicing the turtle.

I will be rooting for Cate Blanchetts turtle to accept on all of our behalf, Dawson said.

The video can be v...

IndyWatch Au Environment News Feed Archiver

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