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Thursday, 22 February

23:26

Best earnings growth since 2014 (led by NSW & QLD) "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Pay gap closing

It's been a pedestrian half-decade for salaries, especially if you're a man.

And that continued in 2017, with the average pay for males growing by about +2 per cent for ordinary time earnings. 


An awful lot of energy is directed to blaming immigration for this, but as with many other data releases the figures have generally followed a pattern of being very upbeat before the peak of resources construction, and then far more modest as we've come down the other side. 

That's particularly been the case in the resources states such as Western Australia, South Australia, and Queensland where average earnings growth was very strong up until 2012, and then cooled. 

This dynamic is perhaps most evident in full-time male total earnings. 


At the sectoral level, unsurprisingly mining was the weakest performing industry, with earnings essentially flat over the year to November 2017 - or down in real terms - although mining remains the highest paid sector of the economy with an average wage exceeding $134,000. 

The next highest paid roles tend to be in IT, where the average wage is now approaching six figures, and finance & insurance at just over $97,000. 

Pay gap closes

There was some...

23:09

Angry Abbott returns serve after criticism "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Tony Abbott has penned a blistering retort to his colleagues after his calls for cuts to immigration were dismissed by the governments front bench.

In an opinion piece for The Australian on Friday, Mr Abbott names and shames critics of his calls for cuts to Australian immigration, and suggests they have not read his speech.

One thing I am not going to cop is gratuitous criticism from ministers who are only in government because I led them there, the federal member for Warringah writes.

It is the prime ministers right to choose his ministerial team and, given some of the policies of this government, Im happy to serve on the backbench.

The former prime minister lobbed a grenade into the immigration debate this week by calling for Australias permanent migration intake to be slashed by 80,000 places per year to 110,000.

That sparked a war of words with senior coalition colleagues all slapping down Mr Abbott, and continuing after his latest string of suggestions.

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo was among those who rejected Mr Abbotts arguments against migrants, labelling his position lazy and inaccurate.

Despite not wanting to get into a tit-for-tat discussion with Mr Abbott he spoke out again from Washington, where hes part of a delegation to the US led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

He said housing issues raised by Mr Abbott were largely restricted to Melbourne and Sydney while other markets are experiencing price drops and only modest gains.

Lets not pretend this is about numbers of immigrants, the fact is Australia is a richer country because of immigration, he told Sky News.

Acting Prime Minister Mathias Cormann and Treasurer Scott Morrison have also drawn Mr Abbotts ire.

Youd think a government thats lost the past 27 Newspolls might be curious about how it could lift its game, Mr Abbott wrote.

But no, ministers have gone out of their way to attack a colleague who knows more about winning elections than anyone in the parliament.

Australias population is expected to grow by 11.8 million people by 2046, which is equivalent to adding a new city roughly the size of Canberra each year for the next 30 years.

The post Angry Abbott returns serve after criticism appeared first on Echonetdaily.

22:27

Brewarrina residents step up campaign against proposed nuclear dump. "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

22 Feb 18 Brewarrina residents, including Ngemba people with local cultural responsibilities, are stepping up their campaign against the proposal for national nuclear waste dump in the region. 

silent vigil will be held during the Council meeting at 8:30am this Friday February 23, followed with a rally on Saturday morning at 9:30am.

In November 2017 the Brewarrina Council revealed that a delegation had traveled to Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in Sydney and subsequently engaged pro-nuclear consultant Robert Parker.

Trish Frail, a Ngemba woman who is coordinating the local campaign to oppose the dump, said the community was shocked by the proposal.

This nuclear facility will not benefit our town, the community or the environment, Ms Frail said. 

Ngemba people are custodians for the Ngunnhu Fish Traps. The site is claimed to be over six...

22:22

Swedish Courts finding on dubious safety of copper canisters for radioactive wastes "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

MKG 20th Feb 2018, Translation into English of the Swedish Environmental Courts opinion on
the final repository for spent nuclear fuel as well as some comments onthe decision and the further process. The court said no to the application because it considered that there were problems with the copper canister that had to be resolved now and not later.

The translation shows the courts judicial argumentation and why it decided not to accept the regulator
SSMs opinion that...

22:15

Labors doublespeak about Adani coal mine plan "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Greens use Labors Adani indecision to ramp up Batman campaign
Activists seize upon Labors contradictory messages on Queensland coalmine in battle for inner-city Melbourne,
Guardian, Katharine Murphy Political editor @murpharoo 21 Feb 2018 

22:13

Townsville City Council censors documentary about Adani coal megamine plan "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Anti-Adani documentary screening axed for safety reasons, not politics, council says, ABC News, 21 Feb 18 By Josh Robertson   Public safety concerns, not politics, were behind the axing of the screening of a documentary on the Stop Adani protest movement, a north Queensland council says.

22:10

#StopAdani movement A Mighty Force coming to a screen near you. #Auspol #Qldpol #ClimateChangef jpratt27 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

A new film documenting the massive community movement to stop Adanis mega coal mine in Queenslands Galilee Basin, A Mighty Force, will screen in Bellingen on Friday March 2 and in Coffs on Thursday February 22. The events will also launch a crowdfunding campaign to cover legal costs for locals arrested last month disrupting work []

via #StopAdani movement A Mighty Force coming to a screen near you. #Auspol #Qldpol #ClimateChangef jpratt27

22:08

Donald Trump suggests extra pay for teachers who carry guns "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Trump floats pay bonus for teachers who carry guns in class, NBC News 22 Feb 18 WASHINGTON President Donald Trump expanded on his idea to train and arm some teachers with guns Thursday, suggesting that firearm-adept school staff be given a little bit of a bonus for carrying weapons, and promising federal funds for their training.

At a White House discussion of school safety solutions with state and local officials, Trump said highly adept peoplewho understand weaponry could carry guns in schools, estimating that between 10 and 40 percent of teachers could be qualified for such a task. Those who are would undergo rigorous training, he said, later adding that hed consider offering federal money for that effort. Officials cant just give a teacher a gun, he said.

Asked if he had concerns about teachers with guns making quick judgments in the chaos of a school shooting, the president said he did not, because they would be experts..https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-floats-bonuses-teachers-willing-carry-guns-class-n850281

16:42

Community Blockades Detention Center To Protect Asylum Seekers "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Community members have blockaded the gates of MITA detention centre in Broadmeadows this morning in a desperate bid to stop the deportation of Tamil asylum seeker, Santharuban. Grave fears are held for him should he be returned to Sri Lanka. As a former member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers), he faces plausible threat to his safety on return. Former Tiger members and returned Tamil refugees are routinely harassed, interrogated and some are subjected to torture by Sri Lankan security forces. The UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) has asked the Australian government to stop Santharubans deportation until it is able to perform an investigation. The Home Affairs Department has issued a deportation notice for the 22nd of February in spite of the UNCAT request.

13:48

Civil society decries FSANZ approval of Golden Rice "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

The recent release of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) approval report of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) application for a Golden Rice safety stamp and trade liability clearance have garnered negative reactions and widespread critique. 

12:51

Why can't Australia break up with coal? "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Governments all across the world are starting to shift away from coal-powered energy out of environmental and economic concerns. So why isn't Australia? 350.org Australia's Blair Palese explores.

11:30

So-Called Australia: Break Away From Break Free A Critique of the Environmental NGO Model of Organizing Direct Action (PDF) "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

breakaway

Introduction

Two minutes after getting on a minibus headed for Newcastle, the person seated next to me tugged at their friends arm in mild distress.

Noo, I forgot the selfie stick!

Without putting any blame on this individual, this brief interaction had already captured the essence of this protest for me. Truthfully, I already had an idea of what it was going to be like from past involvement in actions run by groups such as Direct Action Melbourne and 350.org, as well as from the communications hype in the lead-up. But I had gone on this trip to find out if my suspicions were warranted.

We were going to take part in a mass flotilla of kayaks which would block a shipping channel in Newcastle, home to the worlds largest coal port, preventing coal ships from leaving and entering. Signups happened online when the invitation was initially shared through 350.orgs email list and facebook promotions. Since then we had been kept in constant contact about logistics, shown inspirational videos and excitedly told about the well-known musicians and politicians who would be there on the day.

As we headed towards the Hume, the driver tried to break the ice by gauging everyones spirits onboard. How are we all feeling this morning?

So happy!, Excited!, came the replies.

Yes Were creating histo...

09:30

Petro Gold Spawned After El Petros $735 Million Sales "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Venezuelan president Maduro announces countries second commodity backed cryptocurrency Petro Gold the day after El Petros initial private sale raised $735 Million.

Maduro Doubles Down With Petro Gold

Once again President Nicolas Maduro took the podium to announce a government-owned cryptocurrency. This time instead of oil its the Petro Gold which is to be backed by precious metals.

Next week Im going to launch the petro gold, backed by gold, which is even more powerful, that will strengthen the petro, Maduro said in a televised speech. The Petro which launched on Tuesday is reported to have raised $735 Million dollars on its first day of private sales.

Scheduled to be capped at 100 million tokens with an initial sales price of $60 roughly the price of a barrel of oil the government could raise up to $6 billion if the Petro succeeds in selling out. So far 824 million tokens have been made available.

It is not yet clear whether the Petro Gold is to be backed by gold held in reserves or the countries gold resources. In fact, no details about the new currency were given besides that it would launch next week. This sudden announcement doesnt help the already highly criticized Petro and the Governments intentions for creating it.

Problems With The Petro

Widely seen as a poorly thought out solution to boost the floundering Venezuelan economy, where the fiat currency has been in a free fall for several years and inflation rates are as high as 600%, the Petro has been called a stunt and bogus currency by financial experts.

The Petro is really a top-down hierarchically controlled asset, and its much more akin to a new way to tokenize oil. When the first gold ETF appeared, they werent considered gold, but a different way of packaging the commodity. With Petro, we really have a new wrapper around oil.

Chris Burniske of venture capital firm Placeholder told Bloomberg.

Maduro himself now admits that the Petro was created in part as a way to skirt US backed economic sanctions against the country. While the US Treasury Department has warned investors that by buying the Petro they themselves could become subject to the same sanctions as creditors to the government.

The Petro Gold is not the first cryptocurrency backed by gold. The RMG backed by the Royal Mint in Britain was fi...

03:55

FIFTY8 Interviews Alba Weinman: Part III - The Spiritual Journey of Forgiveness and Entity Attachment "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

SOURCE - FIFTY8 MAGAZINE



https://youtu.be/MNslPniv1aI



FIFTY8 Interviews Hypnotherapist Alba Weinman

PAST LIFE REGRESSION HYPNOSIS / 6 PART SERIES

PART III - The Spiritual Journey of Forgiveness & Entity Attachment

I talk to Alba Weinman, a world renowned Hypnotherapist for those on the path of Spiritual Awakening. Alba talks about her sessions and how forgiveness is such an important part of her practice and hypnotherapy. She shares how forgiveness releases a lot of energy that holds us back. We also discuss entities and how they can attach to our frequency and how to release them with forgiveness and a higher vibration. Included is a session with an entity and how Alba uses her techniques to release them.

VIEW MORE CONSCIOUS CONTENT
https://www.fifty8magazine.com/content

02:41

PNG police forced removal of refugees from Port Moresby to Manus reveals resettlement farce "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

 

This article comes from the Refugee Action Coalition (Sydney)  21 February 2018.

In the early hours of Tuesday, 20 February, police arrested up to 13 refugees who had been living Aku Lodge.

They were being forcibly returned to Manus Island, but for unconfirmed reasons there was a problem with the plane. The refugees are now being held at another lodge in Port Moresby surrounded by up to 50 PNG police. Their mobile phones have been confiscated.

It is expected that the refugees will be moved to Manus Island once alternative transport can be arranged.

The refugees had been living at Aku for up to two years, after being moved from Manus Island, supposedly to be resettled in Port Moresby or further afield in PNG.

The refugees have simply subsisted in Aku since being relocated there no jobs; no welfare program; no trauma counselling not even the basic elements of what might comprise anything resembling a resettlement program. Essentially they became prisoners in the lodge, at risk of being robbed and assaulted if they ventured outside.

But their arrest and forced relocation back to Manus provides official confirmation that, contrary to the claims made by Minister Dutton, there are no PNG resettlement arrangements.

In 2016, there was an attempt to resettle six refugees in Lae. None are still living on Lae. Faced with the deprived circumstances in Lae in terms of jobs, health and safety three of the refugees actually made their way back to Manus Island and attempted to move back into the detention centre.

This forced relocation of refugees to Manus from Port Moresby puts the lie to the Ministers suggestion that refugees can be resettled in PNG, said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, The Minister cant hide behind that lie any longer.

There is no resettlement in PNG, and the shonky US deal will not provide resettlement places for all the refugees on Manus and Nauru. There is an urgent need for all the asylum seekers and refugees to be brought to Australia, where they can get the safety and protection they need.

The post PNG police forced removal of refugees from Port Moresby to Manus reveals resettlement farce appeared first on The Pen.

02:33

Turkey Will Be Ground Zero in the Next Global Debt Crisis "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Turkey is a beautiful country with a rich history, including Greek, Roman and Muslim influences, making it one of the most fascinating places on Earth. It is literally a bridge between East and West: The mile-long Bosphorus Bridge, just north of Istanbul, connects Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait.

Turkey has been a magnet for direct foreign investment from abroad and dollar-denominated loans by international banks to local enterprises. This investment enthusiasm is understandable given Turkeys well-educated population of 83 million, and its rank as the 17th-largest economy in the world, with a GDP of just under US$1 trillion.

The flood of bank lending and direct foreign investment has given rise to another flood of hot-money portfolio investors in Turkish stocks, chasing high returns with cheap dollar funding in a variation of the global carry trade. So-called emerging-market (EM) funds, offered by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and others, are stuffed full of Turkish stocks and bonds.

Jim Rickards in Turkey

Your strategist in central Istanbul, Turkey, on the site of the ancient Hippodrome, where chariot races were still held in Late Antiquity. In my many visits there since 1996, I have observed Turkeys shift from a firmly secular society to one dominated by religious and authoritarian rule. As Turkey turns its back on Western society, it still relies on Western institutions to deal with potential debt, currency and reserve crises. Turkeys new alienation from the West may mean that Western help will not be available in a future financial crisis.

But theres a dark side to this seeming success story. Turkeys external US dollar-denominated debt is so large that a combination of rising US dollar interest rates and a slowing global economy could quickly turn Turkey from model EM to the canary in the coal mine of the next great global debt crisis.

The risk of a major debt crisis beginning in Turkey is heightened by the rise of Turkeys President Recep Tayyip Erdoan as an autocratic strongman in the mould of Argentinas Juan Pern and other populist nationalists who have ruined strong economies.

Begin with a look at the Turkish debt situation. Turkeys debt is huge; one of the highest debt burdens of any EM. Turkey owes US$450 billion to foreign creditors, of which US$276 billion is denominated in hard currency, mostly dollars and euros. The remainder of US$174 billion is denominated in Turkeys local currency, the lira.

Both kinds of debt are problematic. The lira debt is a growing burden because lira interest rates have skyrocketed from 6% to 12%...

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Wednesday, 21 February

22:25

Queensland high-rise boom unwinds apace "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Apartment building slowing

Residential building work done for non-houses dropped by some 25 per cent in Queensland in 2017.

And this construction trend will continue in 2018 as the sector continues to rebalance towards equilibrium.

Not quite so many cranes expected in 2018 then, at least in the residential sector! 


As construction slows Brisbane's apartments are gradually filling up, as I looked at in a bit more detail here, but it's taking time for the stock to be absorbed.

The figures for engineering construction have been all over the show across recent quarters with some wild spikes in Western Australia due to the import of LNG platforms.

Looking at the smoother trend figures brings positive news.

Post-mining boom engineering construction is no longer dragging back the economies of Western Australia and Queensland, paving the way for an economic recovery for the resources states. 


Good to see.

At the national level residential building work done fell by about 5 per cent in 2017 as supply and demand look to swing back into balance.

However, this was more than offset by the rebound in engineering co...

22:00

February 22 On This Day in Australian History "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

1701 - Roebuck, the Royal Navy vessel on which William Dampier sailed to and explored the coast of New Holland including the Abrolhos islands and Shark Bay, was leaking and falling apart when she slowly and quiety sank in six metres of water at Ascension island in the Atlantic.

1791 - James Ruse was a clever little dicky-bird and proved he could sustain himself with the first land grant at Rose Hill on the bush block he dubbed Experiment Farm.

1796 -  Hawkesbury settlers agreed they will assemble for mutual protection when Aboriginal people were seen near their farms.
It has been intimated to the governor, that two white men had been frequently seen with the natives and
were supposed to direct and assist in those acts of hostility by which the settlers had lately suffered, writes Collins.
The two renegades, Wilson and Knight have shown the Darug that English muskets, once discharged, are useless until reloaded. This, says Collins, effectually removed that terror of our fire-arms with which it had been our constant endeavour to inspire them.

1805 - James Lovell was Hanged for forging and uttering (NSW).

1838 - William Moore was publicly hanged in High St Maitland for the murder of his master John Hoskyns.

1855 - There was order in the court for the trial of the 13 miners who lead the Eureka Stockade and who were charged with High Tea, High Tide and High Treason.

1867 - Royal Commission into the best means of clearing the Murray River presented its final report to Parliament.
Hmph, 5 mins in the country and they've soiled the mighty Murray already.

1874 - A number of Aboriginal men descended from the hill behind the Barrow Creek Telegraph Station and fatally speared the Station Master and a linesman.
The Kaytetye say the attack was in response to the theft of their land and the exploitation of the women by the new settlers. Reprisal was swift and severe and many innocent Aboriginal people were killed in the months following the event.

1879 - The Aussie artist, author and sculptor who scandalised society, Norman Lindsay, was found in a Bunyip nest.

1889 - Southern Cross was an iron steamship who was impaled amidships by an uncharted rock right in the middle of the fairway off Rocky Cape, north-west Tasmania, about half a mile offshore. Crew and passengers were saved with assistance from SS Herbert. It was hoped she may be saved with the rising tide, but it was not to be. Some gear was salvaged but all passenger luggage was lost.

1901 - Leading Aussie film pioneer Ken Hall was bumped into the world. Producing many films for both Aussie and overseas studios he gave us many Aussie classics that are still watched today.

1910 - The black hole in the ground, the W...

13:45

Civil society decry FSANZ approval of Golden Rice "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

The recent release of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) approval report of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) application for a Golden Rice safety stamp and trade liability clearance have garnered negative reactions and widespread critique. 

 

Civil society decries FSANZ approval of Golden Rice "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

The recent release of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) approval report of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) application for a Golden Rice safety stamp and trade liability clearance have garnered negative reactions and widespread critique. 

 

13:20

Melbourne, Australia: Community Blockades MITA Detention Centre in Desperate Bid to Stop Deportation to Danger of Tamil Asylum Seeker "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

MITA

Received on 21.02.18:

MEDIA RELEASE 
February 22, 2018.
For immediate release
Blockade happening now

Community Blockades MITA Detention Centre in Desperate Bid to Stop Deportation to Danger of Tamil Asylum Seeker.

Community members have blockaded the gates of MITA detention centre in Broadmeadows this morning in a desperate bid to stop the deportation of Tamil asylum seeker, Santharuban. Grave fears are held for him should he be returned to Sri Lanka.

As a former member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers), he faces plausible threat to his safety on return. Former Tiger members and returned Tamil refugees are routinely harassed, interrogated and some are subjected to torture by Sri Lankan security forces.

The UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) has asked the Australian government to stop Santharubans deportation until it is able to perform an investigation. The Home Affairs Department has issued a deportation notice for the 22nd of February in spite of the UNCAT request.  https://mailchi.mp/eb163a47cfa0/the-un-should-oppose-australias-deportation-of-sant...

09:57

The latest comments on ARPANSAs site about Code for Radioactive Wastes "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

James & Cindy Shepherdson   We feel very strongly that there should be no consideration at all of having any type of radioactive waste stored on agricultural land. ARPANSA also needs to take into consideration the social ramifications of any proposed site on any populated, productive land.

Janet Tiller Nuclear waste and food producing districts do not mix. I say no.
The whole process is flawed and one sided. The guidelines keep changing when the outcomes dont suit what the government are seeking.

Tiffany Congdon I am 100% against this proposal and my mind will never change. This whole process has turned a once thriving, peaceful and friendly town into a town of fighting, taking sides and the friendliness has definitely gone. I was born and bred in Kimba and I loved the community but this whole dump idea and how the town has divided was not something I wanted for my family so a few months ago we moved and we are the happiest we have been in a long time. This has made such a damaging impact!!!
Colleen Guidera  I am very much opposed to a Nuclear Waste Facility being built in the Kimba District or anywhere else in South Australia. Low level waste is hazardous for up to 300 years and Intermediate level waste is estimated to take tens of thousands years to decay. How can the Government guarantee it will be monitored? No amount of money or jobs is worth the stress and division in our community that the process so far has caused.

Graham Tiller   BROAD community support. Set figure 70% and dont change it.
Completely transparent and fair process a must.Not the present pathetic process. Not to be on any agriculture aquaculture and horticulture areas of food producing land. Food...

09:00

hunters Hill residents still waiting on government to clean up uranium contaminated land "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Hunters Hill residents wary of latest announcement on uranium contamination, ABC News, 20 Feb 18, By Jade Macmillan

Residents on Sydneys lower north shore have dismissed the Governments latest plans to clean up land contaminated by a uranium smelter more than hundred years ago as a hollow promise.

Property Minister Victor Dominello announced $30 million to remediate the waterfront land on Nelson Parade in Hunters Hill, the former site of the Radium Hill refinery, which closed in 1915.

The area was also occupied by a carbolic acid plant until the early 1900s and a tin smelter until the 1960s.

Residents have spent decades urging the Government to remove the affected soil, which the NSW Environment Protection Authority found it was contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons, coal tar pitch, arsenic and lead.

Having this funding should give the community confidence that we are determined to remediate the site, Mr Dominello said, ahead of a public meeting of more than 200 residents on Tuesday night.

The Government is currently considering suitable disposal locations for the waste, and is in discussions with the Federal Government on the possibility of using the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility earmarked for development in South Australia.

The minister did not provide a timeframe for the works and a site for the radioactive facility has not yet been selected.

Rosemary Manusu, 80, who has lived on Nelson Parade for...

08:48

Swedish court rules these nuclear waste containment canisters unsafe liable to corrosion. "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

 

Are these the same sort of  canisters planned by the Australian Government for Kimba, South Australia?

Swedens problem is also our ...

08:38

Mark Parnell outlines The Greens environment policy for the coming South Australian election "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

At the South Australian State Election Leaders Forum on the environment South Australia: Our Future, I outlined the Greens vision for an environment that is clean, healthy and resilient.

Protecting South Australias environment means:

 100% renewable energy by 2025
 A healthy River Murray
 Valuing our wildlife and biodiversity
 Protecting the Great Australian Bight
 Opposing destructive and polluting industries
 Marine sanctuaries
 Investing in our National Parks and Reserves
 No nuclear waste dump 
 Enhancing urban open spaces and landscapes

08:31

Nuclear waste canisters will themselves eventually become toxic radioactive trash "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Paul Richards No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia, 20 Feb 18, Even if they were the to last not 4, 40, or worlds best practice type with the limited liability guarantee of a 100 years;

The canisters after any time period, create yet more nuclear waste, along with their toxic radioactive contents, that all have to be repackaged creating more nuclear material to be stored.

This process, of repackaging, whether its 4, 40, or a 100 years, goes on indefinitely.

To add another layer of complexity to this utterly illogical process, this waste grows exponentially over this indefinite timeline of essential care.

As nothing but steady decay into volatile, life-damaging radionuclides occurs, phasing from one type to the next. A process that literally is indefinite, unimaginable in human governance terms.  Even if no nuclear waste and unspent fuel are created by the nuclear cycle, of mining, milling, rod construction and the reactor outcomes, including decommissioning reactors.

...

08:16

Is the promis of jobs worth the contamination of a communitys agricultural land ? "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Paul Waldon  Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, An irresponsible, nuclear ignorant proponent of nuclear waste with no business acumen or idea of economics, once said to me If one person gets a job, its worth it. So would one job that cost the taxpayer millions, that creates a tourist void, promotes the impact of the forever atomic stigma, divides families and friends, enhances the risks of contaminating the environment, and invites death, to name but just a few issues, have a greater value?. If so, the people that are espousing a nuclear waste dump in Hawker of Kimba, dont seen perturbed about the future of these communities. https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

08:10

The pretense that Lucas Heights nuclear spent fuel rods are an asset. No, they are wastes "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Steve Dale  Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia   If France and others stop reprocessing our spent nuclear reactor fuel, some organisations will no longer be able to call it an asset.

The spent fuel rods at Lucas Heights can only sensibly be treated as high level waste. The pretence that spent fuel rods constitute an asset must stop from the Research Reactor Review, Future Reactions: Report of the Research Reactor Review, 1993

08:08

Australias shocking cruelty to Aboriginal people with disabilities: Solitary confinement "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

The abuse of Aboriginal prisoners with disabilities in Australian jails is confronting, and ongoing.

In Part 3 of this special series for New Matilda, Michael Brull looks at the use of 
solitary confinement against disabled Aboriginal prisoners,
exposed in a report written by Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch (HRW) observes that under international law, solitary confinement means
confining a prisoner for 22 hours or more per day without meaningful human contact.
Prolonged solitary confinement occurs when solitary confinement is extended past 15 consecutive days.

HRW documents in its report that various specialists on international law
from various United Nations human rights organisations have found that under international law,
it is unacceptable to impose solitary confinement on people with disabilities
under any circumstances.

Read Part 3 of MichaelBrulls interesting, thought-provoking, comprehensive, compassionate & concerned article
focusing on the SolitaryConfinement of AboriginalPeopleWithDisabilities:

newmatilda.com/2018/02/19/behind-bars-part-3-australias-shocking-cruelty-aboriginal-people-disabilities-solitary-confinement/

08:06

Britains Local Governments support deep disposal of higher-level radioactive waste "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

GDF Watch (accessed) 19th Feb 2018, The Local Government Associations special interest group on radioactivewaste, NuLeAF, explain why the UKs Local Authorities support geological
disposal, and set out their expectations of Government policy. Guided by a
government White Paper published in 2014, the Geological Disposal Facility
(GDF) will be the repository for the UKs higher-level radioactive waste.

It will involve the construction of a highly-engineered facility many
hundreds of metres below the surface and spreading out over several
kilometres. Once all the waste has been placed in the site it will be
permanently sealed.

Given the nature of the material being disposed of, and
the scale o...

02:55

Revised TPP-11 text is largely unchanged: independent assessment and Senate Inquiry needed "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Media release, February 21 2018: The new text of the revised and rebranded Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership between Australia and 10 other countries without the US contains minor additional change since last November. Some other governments have demanded further changes, but the Australian government has not, Dr Patricia Ranald, AFTINET Convener said today.

The additional published text is only nine pages, with some changes from Canada to the non-binding preamble that mention cultural identity, indigenous rights and gender equity, but these are aspirational only, and will not affect the legally binding provisions in the rest of the agreement. There are also the 20 clauses which were suspended in November 2017 pending the US rejoining the deal.

The new text does not include new side letters between specific countries that were signaled when the text was finalised in January. It is not clear whether these will be released later.

Many of the most harmful clauses remain. The deal still includes special rights for foreign investors to bypass national courts and sue governments for millions of dollars in unfair international tribunals over changes to domestic laws, known as ISDS, said Dr Ranald.

The Australian government has not sought changes to provisions for more vulnerable temporary migrant workers, from Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Canada Mexico and Chile without testing if local workers are available. This is contrary to its own claims to have reintroduced such testing. There have been no changes to the chapters on trade in services and state-owned enterprises which could restrict future governments from re-regulating essential services like TAFE, energy and financial services, even if there are demonstrated market failures.

Dr Ranald explained that the 20 suspended clauses are mostly about medicine and copyright monopolies. Other governments had only reluctantly agreed to US propo...

01:02

Donald Trump: Making America Great or Keeping America Poor? "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Twenty-six years ago the Soviet Union collapsed under the weight of its military commitments, its oppressive surveillance bureaucracy, and its regimes loss of legitimacy. That experience has lessons for Trumps America writes Ian McAuley.

The Cold War, an arms race set against the backdrop of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), started and ended in Berlin.

Its start was the Soviet Unions blockade of Berlin in 1948, followed a year later by the first successful Soviet test of a nuclear bomb. Its end, or at least the beginning of its end, was the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, followed two years later by Mikhail Gorbachevs announcement of the Soviet Unions dissolution.

Americas Republicans, and the political right throughout the world, portrayed the Soviet Unions collapse as a victory of capitalism over socialism. Francis Fukuyama even said it heralded the end of history.

But the Soviet Union had been socialist in name only. Socialist idealism had died with Stalins rise in 1929, and the country rapidly morphed into a class-stratified society, with a chasm between the privileged class enjoying the spoils of nomenklatura and the masses living in miserable conditions and under the oppression of a surveillance state.

A more compelling explanation for the Soviet Unions collapse is the economic burden of its military and security apparatus.

A file image of a Russian warship (IMAGE: Christopher Michel, Flickr).

The Soviet Union had been on the victorious side in Europes war of 1939 to 1945, but it paid a huge price. Hitlers Wehrmacht had laid waste to the countryside all the way to the edge of Moscow. In re-taking its territory, and pushing all the way into the German heartland, the Red Army did the heavy lifting in defeating Nazism. While America provided the armaments for the victory, the Soviet Union provided the infantry.

In that war the United States and Britain between them lost one million lives, while the Soviet Union lost 25 million lives. At the end of the war the Soviet Union still faced its enemies along long land borders, while America and Britain went...

01:00

Time for FSC to Embrace Traceability, Transparency and Technology "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

In a new article in Yale Environment 360, renowned environmental writer Richard Conniff identifies fundamental problems facing the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification group. Unfortunately, in too many parts of the world, organizations such as the FSC are merely certifying the status quo. This often undermines any meaningful reform efforts to truly protect the worlds forests, by instead offering governments and companies the false appearance of good forest management and sourcing practices.

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) supports the principle and potential of certification to enhance legal and sustainable wood sourcing, and to improve forest governance. In the past, EIA has been encouraged by the possibility of responsible companies acting as role models for following the rule-of-law in forest producing countries.

However, it is becoming increasingly clear that certification be it under the FSC, PEFC or any of the dozen other labels - is not the same thing as due diligence, already a legal requirement for importers of wood products into the EU, US and Australia. FSCs lack of traceability and transparency make it difficult for buyers and the public to assess the claims of the certifier; under the current system, its all too easy for illegal and unsustainable timber to find its way into FSC-certified supply chains.

The passage of key amendments to the US Lacey Act in 2008 were followed by the entry into force of the EU Timber Regulations in 2013, and Australias Illegal Logging Prohibition Act in 2014. All of these laws prohibit imports of illegally acquired timber. Notably, they require companies importing wood products to conduct some form of due diligence to assess the level of risk that the trees were cut or traded in violation of the law. Knowing the origin of timber where the trees were cut is an essential first step in the due diligence process.

In the Yale360 article, FSCs director general Kim Carstensen states that the FSC system relies on external watchdogs to bring evidence of wrongdoings. However, at present, maps of FSC-certified concessions are not available to the public much less, details about when and where the timber was bought and sold through the production process. As a first step, release of FSC-certified concession maps would go a long way towards improving the system.

Ultimately, for the FSC to keep pace with evolving global norms, it must embrace technology. In a...

...

Tuesday, 20 February

22:17

Proposed Critical Mineral legislation undermines communities and clean water "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Thank you Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Lowenthal, and Members of the Subcommittee for the opportunity to testify before you in opposition to HR 520, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act. My name is Aaron Mintzes, and I am with Earthworks. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the destructive impacts of mineral and energy development, while seeking sustainable solutions.

Our primary concern is that HR 520 undermines the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Under section 5(b)(1)(F), the lead agency can let any state or federal agency determine:

Whether public participation will occur during the decisionmaking process for authorizing actions under the permit.

So, a state could say no public participation allowed. I worry this may result in unintended consequences. If you shut the people out, it may invite litigation or create additional delays the lead agency could avoid if they listen to what the people say.  It may not deliver the regulatory certainty permit proponents seek.

NEPA ensures that Americans can take part in the review and development of projects affecting our social, economic, and environmental health. For nearly fifty years, NEPA has provided certainty and predictability through a transparent process well understood by federal regulators, permit applicants, and affected communities.

And it works. In 2016, the GAO reported that BLM and the Forest Service average two years to permit a mine plan of operations.  This period is competitive with Australia, Canada, and Chile. Especially controversial projects may take longer than average.  Yet, permitting delays primarily result from incomplete information provided by the project proponent. Sometimes for perfectly legitimate reasons like good faith changes in plans of operations or fluctuation in commodity prices.

The United States of America is one of the worlds best places to mine

America owes our mineral investment attractiveness to three factors:

  1. The strength and certainty of our democratic institutions (like NEPA)
  2. Our rich mineral endowment
  3. Our uniquely permissive mining laws and regulations

The 1872 Mining Law    

The General Mining Law of 1872 considers mining the highest and best use of public lands, even where our public lands may be better suited for oil an...

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