|IndyWatch Au Environment News Feed Archiver|
IndyWatch Au Environment News Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.
An American Spy Base Hidden in Australias Outback, NYTNOV. 23, 2017 The trials and the Australian governments uncompromising prosecution of the protesters has put a spotlight on a facility that the United States would prefer remain in the shadows.
Margaret Pestorius arrived at court last week in her wedding dress, a bright orange-and-cream creation painted with doves, peace signs and suns with faces. Its the colors of Easter, so I always think of it as being a resurrection dress, said Ms. Pestorius, a 53-year-old antiwar activist and devout Catholic, who on Friday was convicted of trespassing at a top-secret military base operated by the United States and hidden in the Australian outback.
The Russian town in the shadow of a leaking nuclear plant https://www.ft.com/content/2d853158-d064-11e7-b781-794ce08b24dc
How do we keep Trump from launching nuclear
war? https://www.salon.com/2017/11/23/how-do-we-keep-trump-from-launching-nuclear-war_partner/ Washington
wakes up to a terrifying problem
How do you keep an impulsive and ignorant president, a man who has been described by his own Secretary of State as a f**king moron, from launching a nuclear war?
Queensland poll could be a show-stopper for solar, and consumers http://reneweconomy.com.au/queensland-poll-could-be-a-show-stopper-for-solar-and-consumers-11958/ By...
A new 24-nation survey shows Australians are more fearful about security threats including terrorism, nuclear attacks, computer hacks and health epidemics than most other countries.
The Ipsos poll found 82 per cent of Australians feel the real threat of a terrorist attack in the next 12 months 10 percentage points above the international average. That proportion was the same as Turkey, which has recently suffered a series of major terrorism attacks, and was only eight percentage points lower than France and the United States which have experienced multiple terrorist incidents during the past two years.
The proportion of Australians who feel a real threat of nuclear biological or chemical attack somewhere in the world during the next year rose eight percentage points to 79 per cent that was the fifth highest share among the 24 nations, and well above the international average.
By comparison, the proportion of South Koreans fearing a nuclear attack was 15 percentage points lower than Australia, despite heightened tensions with its nuclear-armed neighbour, North Korea.
Australians also had an above average share of respondents who fear being hacked for fraudulent or espionage purposes.
Social researcher, Hugh Mackay, blamed deliberate political tactics for stoking public fears in Australia.
Weve had a series of governments who have deliberately played on our fears and exaggerated threats, he said.
Why do governments do that? Well, because in Australia, and elsewhere, weve seen governments benefiting from fear in the populous.
Mackay suspects a more general epidemic of anxiety in the community also contributed to pessimism revealed by the poll.
The Ipsos poll, taken almost a year after the election of Donald Trump as US President, found 83 per cent of Australians believe the world has become more dangerous over the past year, up by two percentage points compared with a year earlier and three percentage points above the international average.
A separate poll on Australian attitudes to the world published by the Lowy Institute earlier this year found feelings of safety were at the lowest point in the 13-year history of the survey.
The Ipsos polling comes days after the federal governments foreign policy white paper drew attention to a number of entrenched security threats, including North Koreas long-range missile and nuclear programs, Islamist terrorism and the effects of climate change.
NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR BOMB TEST MAY HAVE KILLED CHILDREN IN SCHOOL COLLAPSE http://www.newsweek.com/north-korea-nuclear-bomb-test-may-have-killed-children-school-collapse-721759\ BY ON 11/24/17 North Koreas sixth and most powerful nuclear test in September and the 6.3 magnitude earthquake it provoked reportedly caused buildings to collapse in a village near the nuclear facility, including a school with more than 100 children in it, many of whom are feared dead.
An unidentified source told the South and North Development (SAND), a research institute that works with defectors from North Korea, about the situation in the village of Sindong-ri, located about five miles from the nuclear test site.
September 3 was a Sunday, but some 150 students were waiting in their classrooms to do some work, the source said, quoted in the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo. Casualties occurred when half of the school building crumbled.
The North Korean regime did not inform the people living in the proximity of the Punggye-ri underground nuclear facility of the impending test, so the powerful earthquake that followed the detonation of the 100-kiloton deviceseven times more powerful than the atomic bomb the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima in 1945caught citizens unprepared.
Dozens of the villages buildings, mostly built on wooden stilts, sustained damage that has yet to be fixed. Farmers couldnt even think of repairing the damage because theyre busy harvesting crops even though three months have passed since their houses were destroyed, the source said. Displaced farmers are staying in temporary shelters or living with neighbors whose houses sustained less damage.
Newsweek is unable to independently confirm the reports. The SAND Research Institute is a recently established organization that works in close contact with North Korean defectors. The group has previously published research based on interviews with 21 North Korean defectors from the Kilju County, in the North Hamgyoung province, where the Punggye-ri test site is located, saying that nuclear material leaked and contaminated water sources,...
Our Constitution doesnt contain an explicit paragraph for environmental protection, nor do we have a bill of rights.
Brendan Sydes said we have very few rights in our Constitution. We dont have the direct constitutional foundation for pursuing these sorts of actions, he said.
But there certainly is interest in trying to find duties or obligations deep within our legal system that would force the Australian Government to take climate change and the need to reduce emissions farm more seriously than they are at the moment.
Dr Tom Baxter, corporate governance lecturer at the University of Tasmania, says the Federal Government hasnt added a climate change trigger to Australias environment legislation. Environmental lawyers are trying to use other mechanisms to prevent companies like Adani digging up the Galilee Basin and shipping coal out through the Great Barrier Reef.
Should a healthy environment be a human right? These Norwegians think so http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/should-a-healthy-environment-be-a-human-right/9186144 23 NOVEMBER 2017 By Courtney Carthy
Wind Alliance to host public forum for landholders in Kentucky to bust myths about living with turbines http://www.northerndailyleader.com.au/story/5074983/farmer-busts-the-myths-behind-living-with-turbines/ Rachel Baxter , 24 Nov 17
Millions of dollars are being injected into the New England for large-scale renewable projects every year.
And while it might be daunting for many farmers, its a brave new world we have to get used to, Wind Alliance NSW organiser Charlie Prell says.
New nuclear power cannot rival windfarms on
price, energy boss says
Innogy Renewables chief claims future reactors will not be competitive as offshore windfarms become even cheaper, Guardian, Adam Vaughan, 23 Nov 17, New nuclear power stations in the UK can no longer compete with windfarms on price, according to the boss of a German energy companys green power arm.
Hans Bunting, the chief operating officer of renewables at Innogy SE, part of the company that owns the UK energy supplier npower, said offshore windfarms had become mainstream and were destined to become even cheaper because of new, bigger turbines.
Asked whether nuclear groups that want to build new reactors in the UK could compete with windfarms on cost, even when their intermittency was taken into account, Bunting replied: Obviously they cant.
His comments came after MPs criticised the 30bn cost to consumers for EDF Energys Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, and said ministers should revisit the case for new nuclear before proceeding with more projects.
Innogy recently secured a subsidy of 74.75 per megawatt hour of power to build a windfarm off the Linc...
It will be a nightmare for anything living there humans, animals, or plants, a geologist familiar with ionic clay rare earth mining told Mongabay. It will be a huge disaster. It will destroy the whole peninsula, added the geologist, who asked not to be named due to the sensitive nature of the situation.
Water contamination could spell trouble not just for public health but for the local economy.
Another blow to troubled Madagascar rare earth mine, Monga ...
A late spring cold snap ripped through western and central Victoria this month, causing extensive agricultural damage. Older farmers in the region say it was 'the worst frost since 1977.' Agriculture Victorias southwest grains regional manager Rob...... Read more
In his enthusiasm Mr Baker seems unaware that the processed nuclear waste returning from France is classified there as high level waste. The proposed dump for radioactive wastes in outback Australia is obviously intended to store those long-lasting toxic wastes. Australias nuclear reactor in Lucas Heights, Sydney produces these dangerous wastes, just the same as any other nuclear reactor.
SCE Plans Beach Burial of San Onofre Radioactive Waste in CanistersKnown to Crack and Leak in Less Than 20 Years! http://www.huntingtonnews.net/153108, November 22, 2017
Australia facing climate disaster on its
doorstep, governments white paper warns
Foreign policy paper says climate-related conflict and migration could put Australias economic interests under pressure, Guardian, Katharine Murphy, 23 Nov 17, Climate change is creating a disaster on Australias doorstep, with environmental degradation and the demand for sustainable sources of food undermining stability in some countries, especially fragile states, according to the Australian governments first foreign policy white paper in more than a decade.
Queensland election: Palaszczuk refuses to rule out Adani mine road upgrade funding, ABC, By Chris OBrien, 23 Nov 17, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has not ruled out helping central Queensland councils upgrade roads for Adanis planned Carmichael mine.
Ms Palaszczuk previously stated that taxpayers money would not be provided for the mine.
But The Australian newspaper has reported that some councils are negotiating for the state to take funding responsibility for roads. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-23/qld-election-palaszczuk-refuses-rule-out-adani-mine-road-funding/9183796
The Greens outline their balance of power demands, Brisbane Times, By Felicity Caldwell, 23 Nov 17, Banning cash-for-access meetings, scrapping the royalty holiday to Adani and $1 public transport fares will be among the Greens demands if the party holds the balance of power in the Queensland Parliament.
Fairfax Media can reveal the list of seven key demands from the minor party ahead of Saturdays state election
The Greens negotiating demands are:
The Greens campaign has been bolstered by an Essential Research poll of 430 people, which shows the party ahead in South Brisbane, currently held by Labor Deputy Premier Jackie Trad.
The poll has the Greens on 36 per cent of the first preference vote, 32 per cent to Labor, 24 per cent to the LNP and 8 per cent not sure.
However, the LNP will list the Greens last on its how-to-vote cards, which should give Ms Trad a boost in the two-party preferred count.
The state election will be held on Saturday, November 25. https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland-election-2017/the-greens-outline-their-balance-of-power-demands-20171123-p4yx6p.html
Qld farmers and graziers afraid to speak out against the Adani mine, says Bruce Currie, ABC AM By Katherine Gregory 23 Nov 17 Its not just urban southern greenies and pro-coal country Queenslanders involved in the Adani debate farmers and graziers in the north are also voicing their concerns. In north and central parts of Queensland, some say they are worried about the environmental impacts of the mine and their future livelihood.
Bruce Currie, who has land near Jericho, about 100 kilometres from the Adani site, said many graziers in the Galilee basin were worried about their groundwater security.
The people I have spoken to on the actual site are very concerned, he said.
Because any discussions theyve had with Adani, the company has not been prepared to accept the onus of proof.
Court cases have shown it is going to be extremely hard, if near nearly impossible, for landholders to get their water supplies secure if they have to prove its a mining company that destroyed them.
However, farmers like Mr Couture concerned about the mine face desperation for jobs in the region.
Mr Couture said though publicly the media was reporting that Bowen was pro Adani, in truth the town was split on the issue.
I would say its 50/50. The silent majority is not game to talk in public, because you...
Bendigo protesters march against Adani coal mine, http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/5077271/bendigo-protesters-march-against-adani-coal-mine/Bendigo Advertiser, 23 Nov 17, A group of activists marched on Bendigo politicians offices on Thursday, protesting the proposed Adani coal mine in Queensland.
The protesters gathered at Labor MP Lisa Chesters office at noon before marching to the office of Senator Bridget McKenzie. Carrying placards and wearing pictures of black lungs, members from the Bendigo District Australian Conservation Foundation delivered letters to both politicians.
Victorian Committee of Doctors for the Environment Australia chair Dr John Iser also spoke at the protest, voicing concerns about health implications of the mines coal pollution on its workers and surrounding communities.
It is the first of two events planned in Bendigo for the national Stop Adani Shakeup week.
Breathless in Delhi: a taste of environmental Armageddon | Brigid Delaneys diary Brigid DelaneyThursday 23 November 2017 12.28 AEDT It was like a London pea souper or the inside of one of Blakes dark satanic mills. But what it most reminded me of most of was a disaster movie. Photograph: R S Iyer/AP It was 
President Trump Just Made Trey Gowdy The
Most Powerful Man On Capitol Hill
November 22, 2017
Source: The Last Line of Defense | By Flagg Eagleton
For five years, Trey Gowdy asked the Oval Office for the tools necessary to do his job properly, and for five years he was told no by the Obama administration.
One of the most difficult parts of Trey Gowdys job as congressional inquisitor is security clearance. When investigating people who held titles like Secretary of State and Special Aide to the President or even President, Gowdy runs into the issue of security clearance all the time.
Its a matter of national security has become a term Mr. Gowdy hears far too often. It is the single-best excuse Hillary Clinton and her lawyers have been able to come up with when they dont have an actual answer to his questions.
President Trump has just removed that blockade. By executive order, Trey Gowdy has been given the highest security clearance possible. He could now sit in on presidential intel briefings if he felt he needed to.
The first thing Gowdy did with his newfound ability to investigate is to re-open the Benghazi case. There was a 6-hour window that Clinton never answered for because she said she was in meetings with the president and joint chiefs that were highly classified. Gowdy will begin his investigation by revisiting those discussions and finding out exactly why four men were left to die.
Next, with his newfound freedom of information, hell look into just how far Obama went when he sent weapons and cash to the Muslim Brotherhood after they took Egypt by force.
Nothing about this wonderful new power is going to be good for Obama, Clin...
Proserpine, 24th November: Community members are peacefully occupying the electorate office of Queensland LNP Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan this morning to protest his support for Adanis mega coal mine and the proposed Urannnah dam.
Adanis mega coal mine has dominated the state election campaign and is opposed by the majority of Australians. The Urannah dam, which is 60km southwest of Proserpine, is opposed by Traditional Owners, as it would desecrate sacred sites and damage their land.
Birriah Traditional Owner Kenny Dodd said:
We are the river people, our river is sacred. It is our life, it gives us the connection to our land and the beginning of creation. It is our duty to protect Urannah and our Biri (river) which would be devastated if this dam and coal mine that Jason Costigan wants go ahead.
Urannah dam would flood 330 square kilometres of riparian wet land. This is one of the countrys last wild rivers. It is shameful that Jason Costigan continues to talk as if this dam is a done deal when he refuses to meet with Widi native title holders.
Long term Whitsunday local and reef advocate Jessa Lloyd said:
The damage we are seeing on the Reef is unheard of. We need a local member who will safeguard rather than jeopardise our regions jobs which depend on a healthy reef and environment, not someone who in his own words, stands for coal.
We need someone who will protect our environment , respect the rights of Traditional Owners and look after local farmers who will manage our precious water resources far smarter than a coal mining billionaire with a questionable environmental track record.
Mr Costigan has publicly acknowledged that human caused climate change is occurring but wants to be able to quantify to what level that is occurring to suit his own political aspirations.
Airlie Beach businessman Paul Jukes said:
The community cant cop the cost of Costigans damaging stance. Hes in favour of lending a billion dollars to a foreign billionaire to build a coal mine with infinite water rights from the Artesian Basin for up to sixty years.
If we invest in renewable energy we would get more local jobs than the coal mine would ever bring and the Reef and everyone who depends on it would flourish.
Photos are being uploaded here
Media Enquiries: 0457 113 380
The post Community says Cost of Costigan too High for Climate & Reef appeared first...
The Queensland election has nearly come and gone, and the polls are suggesting that Labor will remain in office tomorrow.
Given what is at stake, the return of a Labor government is the preferable option.
Its record may not be exactly clean. But look at the alternative. This is a particularly obnoxious government, committed to an extensive extension of cuts to services and generous tax cuts for the wealthiest; a government far more committed to continuing and extending the coal economy; a government in an effective alliance with One Nation, the leadership of which, is bent on pushing the same to an extreme and implementing the politics of hate.
Preventing the rise of such a government may not solve all problems, but it will at least arrest the prospect of sliding down the black hole of an ideology and politics that will bring about a rise in economic and social harm. It will buy some time.
There must eventually be a turn to a clear cut alternative to neoliberalism and a shift away from coal extraction, towards building a more sustainable Queensland economy. The question is whether a Liberal National Party/One Nation government or a Labor government provide the best conditions to move forward.
The dark horse may be the performance of One Nation and the flow of its second preferences. The party had cashed in a growing disenchantment with the major parties. The driver is disenchantment with the state of the economy and the perception that the major parties dont care about people and are doing nothing to provide new opportunities and improve the situation.
As one local business owner in Townsville summed up how many feel: Just sick of the same relentless spiel. Nothing really changes.
One Nation began its election campaign standing high at 18 percent. This has now gone down to 12 percent, meaning that they are neck in neck with the Greens, who are also standing at 12 percent in the polls.
The main cause has been a series of Pauline Hanson led gaffs that have made her and herr party lo0oks like a collection of prize idiots.
Although One Nations failure has driven some back to the major parties, the level of disenchantment remains deeply seated. Consequently, there is still a measure of uncertainty as to what will happen tomorrow.
The disconnection will remain after he polling stations have closed and be an ongoing leading feature of Queensland politics.
There is also a growing divide between city and country, where the support for Hanson and One Nation is the strongest.
This part of Queensland is especially angry and if its concerns are not met, it spells ongoing and deepening trouble for both Labor and the LNP.....
APA contractors were caught trespassing on a farm near Coonamble, on the central-western plains of New South Wales on Monday.
The company aims to coal seam gas pipe through the area that has been extracted by Santos at the Narrabri.
Local opposition has grown, and farmers are playing a large part in it.
The trespassers were seen by the neighbour, who acted quickly. Within a short time, an impromptu farmers protest materialised on the farm and the gentlemen who had entered without permission found themselves surrounded by angry farmers who wanted them to leave.
Word spread quickly and all of a sudden there were upwards of 70 people there and 30 to 40 cars, one of the farmers.
There is a big no trespassing sign on the gate they wouldve climbed over. And right next to that is a biosecurity sign with the landowners number on, which they could have called, he added.
The contractors said they had a court order to access the land. They failed to produce it and left soon after.
Someone had obviously tipped off the police and they were on the property in force, almost getting there quicker than the farmers.
The quickness of the response is a good indicator of the extent of preparedness within the local community to take up the fight against coal seam gas. Many farmers are joining in, because they see a threat to their land and animals.
And the evidence to back this concern is over whelming. The use of high pressure and chemicals in the process, poses a serious risk of ground water resources being contaminated. Farmers are dependent on this water. So are other residents.
Regardless of the danger, companies like APA see a source for profit and operate where they enjoy the support of politicians.
The positive note is that coal seam extraction has become so unpalatable that the bulk of the Australian community is against it. This has seen hundreds of local alliances spring up and campaigns right around Australia to put a stop this noxious industry. Narrabri and Coonamble are part of this.
Each day the capacity of coal seam gas companies to press ahead becomes a little more difficult. The industry is almost at a dead end and is just waiting to be buried once and for all.
It just needs a bit more push.
The post Farmers....
This morning PNG armed forces have again stormed the Manus Island regional processing centre. Reports say they are beating the men and forcing them to leave. This follows yesterdays actions where approximately 50 of the 400 men were forced to move to accommodation that two days earlier the UN had found was unsafe and unready.
Amy Frew, lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre, said These men are scared, they are exhausted and they are despairing. After four and half years of limbo and uncertainty they still have nowhere safe to go. This mornings actions show that whatever they do, wherever they go, their safety cannot be guaranteed until they are evacuated from Papua New Guinea.
On Good Friday this year drunk soldiers from the PNG Defence Forces went on a rampage, tried to crash a vehicle through the detention centre fences and fired over 100 shots, including from an M-16 Assault Rifle, at the refugees detained inside. These attacks followed the murder of Reza Berati by contractors in February 2015.
PNG military personnel have attacked these men once before. They are terrified that while they remain in the centre they will be attacked again, and they are terrified if they leave they will be attacked by locals who are angry that after 4 and a half years the refugees are still on their island, said Ms Frew.
Over the last 4 years men, who have left the centre on day release have been targeted, beaten and robbed by members of the local population. Reports by Human Rights Watch show that these attacks have intensified in the last few months.
The UNHCR is maintaining a presence of the ground in Manus Island and reported two days ago that the new detention centre is not ready and unsafe, citing community tensions and a blockade which threatens the safety of the men at the new sites which are unsecured.
Weve seen report after report on the emerging disaster on Manus Island, but still Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Dutton sit in Canberra with their heads in the sand. These lives are in their hands, and these are the lives they can save, said Ms Frew.
Enough is enough. This is a humanitarian crisis of Malcolm Turnbulls own making. He cant close his eyes to this disaster any longer. These men must immediately be evacuated to safety in Australia, said Ms Frew.
For interviews or further information please call:
Michelle Bennett, Director of Communications, Human Rights Law Centre, 0419 100 519
The plan has the backing of the Bougainville government and strong support among project area landowners.
The National aka The Loggers Times | November 23, 2017
Q: Can you give a brief
overview of Bougainville Copper Limited?
HITCHCOCK: It is an exciting new era for BCL as an independently-managed Papua New Guinea company.
We are listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and the people of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville have a significant stake with the governments of PNG and Bougainville being our two major shareholders.
As a company, our core objective is to work cooperatively towards realising the vision of resuming active exploration and sustainable copper, gold and silver mining at Panguna, in central Bougainville, after mining ceased in 1989 due to conflict.
The successful redevelopment of the mine will deliver broad economic and social benefits and that is a prospect we are excited about.
Along with our Port Moresby office we have established a full-time team in Bougainville with an office in Buka. We were pleased to hold our first board meeting there in more than 27 years in August.
We are fortunate to have a strong board with a wealth of experience in PNG and Bougainville and a capable management team....
The Turnbull governments energy plan tipped to save households more than $100 a year on their power bills faces an early roadblock, with at least one state vehemently against the policy.
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill reiterated his opposition to the National Energy Guarantee ahead of a meeting of energy ministers in Hobart on Friday.
He believes the plan was focused on extending the life of coal-fired power stations and stalling the development of renewable energy.
His government continues to back an emissions intensity scheme, which would put the onus on power generators, rather than retailers, to bring on more renewable energy, cut emissions and reduce prices.
Every time we offer good faith what we see is essentially the commonwealth using bad faith to advance a scheme which is just about propping up coal-fired power stations, Mr Weatherill said.
Central to Fridays talks will be new modelling commissioned by the Energy Security Board parts of which were released earlier in the week.
It estimated the average household power bill would drop $120 under the guarantee between 2020 and 2030 compared to the business as usual approach, where the renewable energy target runs out as planned and is not replaced.
Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said the plan was recommended by a panel of experts and would deliver a 23 per cent reduction in wholesale prices.
Momentum is building behind the National Energy Guarantee with a large cross-section of business and community groups wanting the states to get on board with this plan for a more affordable and reliable energy system, he said in a statement to AAP.
Its unclear whether Labor governments in Queensland and Victoria will back the plan, but NSW has indicated it will urge all states and territories to agree to proceed with it.
The Business Council of Australia has called on ministers to put politics aside and end the deadlock on climate and energy policy.Australia needs momentum and decisive action to see the National Energy Guarantee implemented, chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
Denying Australians the opportunity for reliable, affordable energy in the name of political expediency would be simply unacceptable.
The Queensland state election will be a turning point for One Nation.
But whether it shows Pauline Hansons party is in a death dive or its stocks are on the rise is yet to be seen.
The death dive theory has the edge.
Hanson was caught by surprise by Labor premier Annastacia Palaszczuks decision to call a November 25 poll.
She was heading to India on a parliamentary delegation when she heard the news.
One Nation was forced to field fewer candidates and its campaign was not as organised as it could have been.
Hanson returned to the Sunshine State and took to the hustings after a champagne launch in the Battler Bus.
However, troubles with the vehicle put the campaign behind schedule.
Her partys state leader Steve Dickson has been kept busy trying to sandbag his own Sunshine Coast seat.
The federal wheels fell off the campaign when Hanson had a falling out with new senator Fraser Anning, who quit the party shortly after being sworn in.
On his first day in Canberra, Anning who replaced Malcolm Roberts after he lost his seat due to dual citizenship issues and Hanson had a party room spat over staffing.
In politics, disunity is death.
A Galaxy poll for News Corp found two out of five Queenslanders were less likely to support One Nation after the split.
Voters will remember what happened after the 1998 state election at which One Nation took 11 seats.
Within 12 months the party had disintegrated.
One Nation needs to pick up state seats in Hansons home state if it is to survive nationally.
Polling in the final week of the campaign puts its statewide support around 17 per cent.
But there are pockets of stronger support in north Queensland seats such as Thuringowa, Whitsunday and Hinchinbrook, as well as the southern seats of Lockyer and Bundaberg.
A solid showing could give One Nation a foot in the door for the next federal election in seats such as Herbert, Dawson, Wright, Flynn, Hinkler and Blair, as well as the Senate.
Hanson, who witnessed a car-wreck of a campaign at the West Australian election but still picked up seats, says shed be happy winning one seat in Queensland.
There are benefits in a weakened One Nation for Malcolm Turnbull, as he seeks to restore his own stocks.
It will give the coalition a better chance of bolstering its numbers in the Senate.
And it will raise hopes that LNP members in regional seats will be able to see off future challenges from the minor party.
However, undermining that is t...
GE sued for Fukushima disaster Lawsuit alleges unsafe design, cost cutting Japanese property owners and businesses near the Fukushima nuclear plant that melted down after a devastating 2011 tsunami filed a $500 million class-action lawsuit against General Electric for negligently designing the doomed plant. The lawsuit, filed yesterday in federal court in Boston, claims the 
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Taiwanese study finds that men exposed to higher levels of air pollution have poorer quality sperm. Add that to climate impacts and lung disease of fossil fuels.
New study reaches a stunning conclusion about the cost of solar and wind energy Building new renewables is now cheaper than just running old coal and nuclear plants. Nov 20, 2017, 11:34 am CREDIT: Patrick Pleul/dpa via AP file In one of the fastest and most astonishing turnarounds in the history of energy, building and 
The Australian Government is bracing for another round of
intense scrutiny at the United Nations this time focusing on its
efforts to combat racial discrimination.
Despite being a nation committed to fairness and multiculturalism, racism is a growing problem in Australia one that causes immense pain to racial and ethnic minority communities, and which threatens to tear our social fabric apart.
Next week in Geneva, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination will assess Australias compliance with a key international law that Australia pledged to uphold to tackle racism.
A coalition of Australian NGOs will brief the Committee in Geneva and present a report, endorsed by 53 organisations. The report documents Australias backward slide in the treatment of ethnic minority communities, refugees, people who seek asylum and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Committee is likely to question Australia about its cruelty towards people seeking asylum and the dire situation on Manus Island, which the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called a humanitarian crisis.
Australias poor record on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples rights will also come under review, including the alarming increase in governments locking up Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and taking children into child protection, the lack of progress on meeting Closing the Gap targets, racist social security policies, and the rejection of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
The Committee is also likely to ask Australia why it still lacks a federal human rights charter to ensure equality for all Australians.
Only last month, Australia was slammed by the UN Human Rights Committee for failing to adequately engage and respond to UN bodies and recommendations. The stinging rebuke came just a month after Australia was appointed to the Human Rights Council.
Crystal-clear water and lingering mix swell revealed some excited ocean activity in Central Florida last weekend both above and below the surface. On Saturday evening, at about an hour or two before sunset, 14-year-old surfer Kaia Anderson was bitten by what is believed to be a spinner shark off a Floridana Beach access in southern Melbourne Beach. "Kaia lives right next door to me, she's probably the nicest girl I've ever met in my entire life, and she and her sister go surfing every single day," said local pro Chauncey Robinson, who witnessed the attack. "I'd been up at the access watching the waves for 30 minutes prior and saw a shark go through a wave, but others thought it was a dolphin, since there were a few of those out, too. Then, probably ten minutes before it happened, I saw a spinner shark jump out the back and splash in front of everyone.
Victoria is spending $5.5 billion building the West Gate Tunnel, another $1 billion widening CityLink, probably $10 billion on the North East Link, $11 billion on Melbourne Metro, $8 billion removing level crossings, and, if the Coalition returns, more than $3 billion on the East West Link.
NSW is spending $16 billion on WestConnex, $14 billion on Western Harbour Tunnel Beaches Link, $9 billion on the F6 Extension, $3 billion on NorthConnex, $11 billion on Sydney Metro South West, $8 billion on Sydney Metro NorthWest, $3 billion on Parramatta Light Rail, $2 billion on Sydney Light Rail, and billions more on Sydney Metro West.
It would be nice to know it was money well spent.
There's a fiction that a benefit-cost ratio above "1" means things are OK.
Here's how it works. A consultant adds up all the costs over a period of 30 or 40 years and all the benefits. If the benefits are greater than the costs, giving a ratio of, say, 1.5, it is said to be worth doing. But if they are less, say, 0.45 (which was the ratio in the first study of in the East West Link), it is said to be a waste of money.
Often the studies are never made public, sometimes they are never conducted (as was the case with the national broadband network) and very often they are conducted as an "add-on"; financial bling to be sprinkled over the project after it has been approved and announced.
Melbourne's $5.5 billion West Gate Tunnel is a case in point. Sydney's $14 billion Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link is another. Internal NSW Transport emails released to me under freedom of information show an analyst complaining that his superiors had as good as completed the business case without access to the numbers.
"How something with no, repeat, no, benefit-cost analysis or traffic numbers can be construed as 80 to 90 per cent complete is beyond me," the exasperated official wrote. "The numbers tell us if the thing makes sense."
And the numbers are sometimes rigged.
A seminar in Melbourne last month on the use and abuse of cost-benefit analysis explored the ways.
One of the easiest is to hike the traffic forecasts. On some toll roads, the number of cars predicted to use them was greater than the capacity of the roads. Out of court settlements were reached between the modellers and investors in Sydney's Lane Cove Tunnel and Brisbane's M7 Clem Jones Tunnel.
Professor Jago Dodson of the RMIT Centre for Urban Research revealed that in the queue at a conference he had met one of Australia's senior transport modellers who had worked on at least one of those tunnels.
"Myself and another col...
Maybe the British Labour Party could get Nancy Pelosi to do some
stupid tweets for them as well. She is an expert at it see my blog
neoliberals masquerade as progressives. She thinks it is smart
progressive politics to post tweets criticising her political
opponents for a policy that explodes the deficit dumping debt on
every man, woman & child in America. A fallacious argument. But
moreover, a very stupid strategic argument because it fails to
educate the public on what deficits and public debt are and what
the capacities of a currency-issuing government and locks the
progressive side of politics into no-win dilemmas. When it is their
turn to govern they quickly find that they have no room to move on
government spending because their own taunts when in opposition are
thrown back at them. Same the world over. The progressive side of
politics seems to have a lame obsession with meaningless aggregates
like the size of the fiscal deficit or public debt to GDP ratio.
Pathetic is not the word.
In Australia, you still see headlines regularly like this one Our national debt blasts past half a trillion dollars which apart from the emotional language and framing that is meant to create fear immediately (blasts past) it also runs the line that:
Australias national debt has exceeded $500 billion, more than double the debt Labor added during the global crisis but in a fraction of the time, forcing the Coalition to defend its claim to be the better economic manager.
Which suggests that the conservatives (Coalition) are worse policy makers because their fiscal deficit has been higher.
The Labor Party in Australia has been demanding the Government drop its planned corporate tax cuts because they will lead to a debt blowout. Idiots.
The corporate tax cuts are bad policy but not because the deficit will rise as a consequence.
This sort of attack is mindless and doesnt advance progressive politics. In fact, it holds it back.
We know that there is a matching public debt issuance for the on-going deficits. So under those redundant institutional arrangements (more later), it is obvious that if the government is running a deficit then its debt will rise $-for-$.
To merely rehearse the line that if a government with lower public debt is doing a better job than one with higher public debt, which is basically the argument the journalist seeks to make in this case, is an exercise in ignorance or deliberate deception.
It might be true that the policies that are in place which deliver a higher fi...
Mt Toorongo is a magical spot: it is a mountain in the Central Highlands to the east of Melbourne. If you drive to the Baw Baw ski village from Noojee, it is the steep dark mountain that fills the skyline above you as you head through the last of the farming country at Icy Creek.
Not many people go there. Its a bit off the track, but is accessible quite easily via a number of dirt roads. As I understand the ecology of the mountain, it was burnt twice in close succession (in the 1920s and the infamous 1939 fires). So the eucalypt forest on the summit was replaced by a remarkable cloud forest of what are normally understorey species. The summit itself is a long ridge which offers wonderful views of the Baw Baw Plateau, the Latrobe Valley and distant Strzelecki Ranges to the south.
Like many forests in the region, the mountain has been relentlessly logged. Much of the cloud forest was chained down by bulldozers in the early 1990s and planted with Shining Gum (which is not actually indigenous to the area as I understand it).
But there are still pockets of cool temperate rainforest, and the forest at the treeline, composed of old wattles and myrtle beech, is a delight. It still harbours endangered animal species, too.
Recently, WOTCH (Wildlife of the Central Highlands), a volunteer group which focuses on citizens science like animal surveys, identified Leadbeaters Possums on the Toorongo Plateau, the northern slopes of the mountain. It is hard to overstate the importance of Toorongo Mountain and the plateau. Like the Errinundra Plateau, it has acted as a refugia in times of climate variation and climate change in the past, providing a place for the old Gondwanic species to retreat to when temperatures are warmer and fire regimes are stronger.
The Leadbeaters Possum was found in an area that was scheduled for logging and the discovery of the individual means that this particular section of forest will be protected. This is a great outcome, won by an inspiring group.
You can find out more about WOTCH via their facebook page.
Ongoing coverage of the Queensland election campaign for 2017. Check back for updates. Table of contents Jump to comments section. Antony Greens Queensland election 2017 guide. Queensland election: Breaking down the big promises from Labor and the LNP. Archive of The Courier Mails front pages during election 2017. (November 23, 2017) Day 26 Adani NAIF veto to be respected. . (November 23, 2017) Day 26 -Adani NAIF veto to be respected Adani NAIF veto to be respected Michelle Gately reported, IF QUEENSLAND is led by a Labor Government after Saturday, there will be no chance of Federal funding for the rail line vital to Adanis Carmichael Coal Mine. LNP Senator 
David is a full time carer for his son and in quiet times contributes to NoFibs. More at: http://nofibs.com.au/meeting-david-marler-nofibs-twitter-activist-by-griffithelects
By Dee McLachlan
Am I reading this correctly?
The Herald Sun reported today:
Three children were removed from the father and mothers care following serious concerns for their welfare, but the couple are now fighting a decision made by a childrens court that the children be immunised while in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services....
New Delhi: The international coal market is hardening on strong Chinese demand, brushing off the impact India was projected to have as a result of it reducing dependence on the imported dry fuel.
The global rise, surprisingly, comes even though the 13.6 million tonne gain in Chinas imports during January-July 2017 has not been enough to offset the 16.3 million tonne decline in Indias purchase of coal from the overseas market.
The Indonesian coal market, which is the main source of imported fuel for Indian power plants, too remains ebullient, proving wrong those who predicted an imminent end to the boom in the Southeast Asian countrys coal sector.
The Indonesian governments benchmark price for thermal coal has risen by more than 25% since June this year on strong Chinese demand for the dry fuel. The benchmark Indonesian thermal coal price in November is 12% higher compared to the same month last year.
This despite India continuing its focus on increasing domestic coal production to reduce coal imports. Moreover, India buys low-grade thermal coal from Indonesia which can be blended with higher grade coal before burning. In contrast, China majorly sources higher-quality of coal from Australia and South Africa...
The following was provided by Dr. Willie Soon, reproduced with permission from Dr Ian Flanigan. The Coalition referenced in the post is the current Australian Government, a Coalition between the Liberal and National parties. Core of climate science is in the real-world data by Dr Ian Flanigan News Weekly, November 18, 2017 The Government continues
We are always hearing about where is the best place for foreigners to invest [i.e. extract profits] but what about looking at the equation from the perspective of people in the target countries? Who are the best and the worst investors based on their track records?
Probably mining companies, logging companies, and oil palm companies are among the worst investors and the ones PNG should avoid?
Time for the World Bank / ADB / Australian Aid to fund something that would really be useful!
A COMPREHENSIVE study has just been completed about where in the world you would find the best and the worst jurisdictions in which to invest your hard-earned cash.
PNG Industry News | 22 November 2017
Published by PNGIndustryNews.net sister publication, the Mining Journal World Risk Report (featuring MineHutte ratings) is a comprehensive piece of work which gives a...
The shape of the next Labor government is becoming clearer.
This week we learnt that it will end the practice of signing Australia up to trade agreements that haven't survived a benefit-cost analysis.
Seriously. Korea, Japan, China. None of the three big agreements boasted about by Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull has been subjected to an independent assessment of its benefits and costs. And nor has the far bigger, 5600-page, Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement signed by trade minister Andrew Robb shortly before he resigned and took up a position with the Chinese investor that runs the Port of Darwin.
Nor have any of Australia's agreements ever had to face official scrutiny after the event. "Not that I am aware of," were the words used by a foreign affairs official at a parliamentary hearing.
The US-Australia free trade agreement at least faced an unofficial analysis about the time of its 10th birthday in 2015. An economic modeller from the Australian National University applied the framework developed by the Productivity Commission and found it had cut rather than boosted trade between Australia and the US and the rest of world. Trade between Australia and the US also slid, but for other reasons.
It's easy to see why it cut trade with the rest of the world. Like most exclusive agreements it gave special access to exports from its members. Here's how it would have worked with the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (had Donald Trump not pulled the pin): Vietnam would have been a member but Thailand would not have been. The US-based Peterson Institute for International Economics has found that Vietnam would have exported more to Australia (which would have boosted its economy) in place of Thailand, which would have exported less (which would have harmed its economy).
And Australia would have had to change the way it made things, cutting inputs from countries such as Thailand and Indonesia under complex "rules of origin" if it wanted special access to the US, even where that meant much higher costs. The Korea-Australia agreement included 5200 rules of origin.
It's little wonder that the business organisation closest to the action, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, finds its members less than keen to use the agreements trumpeted by the Coalition. Only 15 per cent use and understand the Austr...
Providing a $1 billion loan to underwrite Adanis proposed mega coal mine in Queensland would have serious negative impacts for Australias international reputation and unpick the progress of the Paris climate agreement, according to Christiana Figueres, a former United Nations climate chief.
Ms Figueres has written to the Turnbull governments Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), which is considering a concessional loan for a rail link from the mine to the coast.
The former executive secretary of the UNs Framework Convention
on Climate Change
sought to highlight that under the NAIFs own enabling legislation, it must not act in a way that is likely to cause damage to the Commonwealth governments reputation, or that of a relevant State or Territory.
Ms Figueres warned the expected total lifetime carbon emissions from burning coal from the proposed Carmichael in the Galilee basin would be 4.64 billion tonnes of carbon-dioxide, according to details of the letter obtained by Fairfax Media.
At its peak, the mines product would trigger emissions of 120 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent, roughly equal to what Australia has pledged to cut by 2030 from current pollution levels under its Paris pledges.
Based on these numbers, emissions that would result from burning Carmichael coal in one peak production year would completely cancel out the total emissions reduction effort Australia has committed to for the 13 years from now until 2030 under the Paris Agreement, she said
The rail loan, now being considered by NAIF, has been a key point of debate in Queenslands state elections, with polls indicating little support for concessional finance for Adani, a mining conglomerate owned by Indian billionaire Gautam Adani.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her government, if re-elected at Saturdays elections, would have no role in assessing the NAIF loan, effectively blocking it. Oppositional leader Tim Nicholls supports the loan and has blasted the premiers stance as putting thousands of regional jobs at risk.
Ms Figueres said her intervention was prompted by a deep concern for planetary well-being, I cannot, in all good conscience, remain silent on an issue that threatens to u...
In the third in a five part series on the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mine, Kristen Lyons looks at a deal struck between the miners and the local traditional owners, and why it just adds to the smell that pervades the entire project.
The Indian industrial conglomerate, Adani Enterprises well known for environmental damage and human rights abuses at its project sites around the world, and built upon a complex business structure with tax havens in the Cayman Islands entered Australia in 2010 with the purchase of coal tenements in the Galilee Basin, in Central Queensland.
Despite its controversial back story, some of which has only come to light since approvals were granted for its Australian project, Adani quickly rose to become a poster child for the State Government, based on promises its Carmichael mine project would deliver jobs and economic growth for regional Queensland.
Managed by its domestic arm, Adani Mining Pty Ltd, over the following years it developed a project proposal that included a coalmine, as well as rail and port infrastructure, thereby opening up the massive Galilee Basin for coal exports.
With seven years gone since acquisition of the coal tenements, and marred by substantial project downsizing, Adani is yet to start construction of its mega mine.
Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Family Councils (W&J) defiant opposition to Adanis proposed Carmichael mine has been central to this delay; opposition that has, in itself, exposed the dirty deeds Adani is willing to perpetrate against Traditional Owners who seek to defend their right to say no to a mine that would destroy their country.
This article exposes some of Adanis deeds, including its nefarious actions in reaching an agreement with Traditional Owners, as well as its use of an Indigenous Participation Plan and cultural heritage work as attempts to blackwash its corporate brand, all while walking over Traditional Owners rights.
These tactics, alongside collusion with state and federal governments, are all part of Adanis relentless pursuit of a land grab of Wangan and Jagalingou country. Yet the outcome of Adanis bullying tactics has not simply failed to achieve agreement with Traditional Owners for the destruction of their country, it has also eroded the companies social license to operate in Australia.
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