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Australian Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown offered his condolences for the loss of two more Australian soldiers in Afghanistan and reiterated his call for Australian troops to be brought home.

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Australian Greens – Uranium workers left off radiation radar – WA Senator

Uranium workers left off radiation radar – WA Senator

The logo of the Australian Greens political party.

Image via Wikipedia

Media release: Senator Scott Ludlam, Tuesday May 31st, 2011

Uranium mine workers in the Northern Territory have not been included in the National Radiation Dose Register, the Australian Greens revealed today.

Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam uncovered the loophole during Senate Estimates hearings today while quizzing representatives from the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA).

“On July 1, 2010, the register began collecting data on the radiation doses to which workers had been exposed. Covering five years, the register now has 16,000 individuals on the database but has no information on the radiation workers have been exposed to at the Ranger Mine in the Northern Territory,” said Senator Ludlam.

“The Australian National Radiation Dose Register was an election policy for Labor in 2007 and it is a great initiative despite being 30 years overdue. The system records the lifetime radiation dose of workers throughout their career in uranium mining and milling in Australia, enabling workers to access their own dose histories and notifying regulators when an individual has exceeded their annual dose limit, but excluding work in the Northern Territory is a huge crack in the system.”

“The system will only have integrity if all radiation workers are included. The Commonwealth has handballed the problem to the NT Government – we will pursue this issue until all workers are included.”

Media Contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302

Australia – Greens MEDIA RELEASE: Oil Spills threaten Our Ark on Barrow Island

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

MEDIA RELEASE

Oil Spills threaten Our Ark on Barrow Island

31 May 2011

Greens MLC Robin Chapple is aghast at revelations of the extent of persistent oil leaks and other environmental harm across Barrow Island.

“The Minister has admitted that Chevron has reported around 20 oil leaks across the island, from pipes discharging oil.”

Chevron Corporation

Image via Wikipedia

“I’ve seen photos of oil-soaked sites, and they appear to be large oil leaks, capable of causing significant environmental damage.”

“Barrow Island’s unique and endangered fauna coming into contact with these spills will be at immediate risk.”

“Of greater concern, is the risk of ground water contamination, or damage to surrounding coral and marine environments. From the evidence I’ve seen it appears that oil has not been recovered before seeping into the surrounding environment”

“In a separate incident, a marine vessel received significant hull damage resulting in an engine oil leak. The vessel was beached on Barrow Island and then towed across to Dampier Port.”

“I’ve asked questions in Parliament about this matter – and it appears the Minister accepts Chevron’s explanation that all 150 litres of leaked oil was recovered. Having reviewed photos of the incident, this seems unlikely.”

“I hold serious concerns that the Department of Environment and Conservation is not capable of properly managing industry on Barrow Island – which is increasingly looking like the final destruction of Australia’s Ark”.

“Chevron reports that 1,027 animals have died on site. This is an appalling lack of regard for the standards required of Chevron, in order to obtain approvals for work on Barrow Island. The EPA’s concern that protocols would not adequately protect our species is clearly now shown to be correct”

“This total lack of environmental accountability shows the Barnett/Gryll Government’s failure to regulate industry safely in remote fragile environments”

“I will not let these issues go – it is critical that Chevron remediate the contaminated sites, and implement effective conservation practices on Barrow Island.”

Photos of the oil leaks on Barrow Island, and of the vessel leaking oil are available at http://www.robinchapple.com/qdata

Note: In July 2003 the Environmental Protection Authority opposed the use of Barrow Island as a gas hub. In September 2003 the Western Australian Government provided in-principle agreement to the joint venturers for restricted access to Barrow Island nature reserve for gas processing facilities, as a foundation for the development of the Gorgon gas fields. That decision required special conditions including:

• formal environmental impact assessment demonstrating that environmental factors can be managed without unacceptable impact on conservation values; and

• development of standards for acceptable management of risk to conservation values and a clear demonstration that they can be met with a very high level of confidence.

(Available at EPA Bulletin 1101 July 2003 & Bulletin 1221 June 2006)

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 9486 8255

All the best

Robin Chapple MLC

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region

PO Box 94, West Perth WA 6872

41 Havelock Street, West Perth. WA 6005

Phone: (08) 9486 8255 | Email: Robin.Chapple | Freecall: 1800 138 610

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Rum Jungle’s toxic legacy: a multi-million dollar warning

Rum Jungle’s toxic legacy: a multi-million dollar warning

Kakadu National Park uranium mining Controlled...

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Media Release: Senator Scott Ludlam, Tuesday May 31st, 2011

Seven million dollars of taxpayers’ money will be spent on finding a way to clean up Rum Jungle uranium mine 40 years after its closure, the Australian Greens revealed in Senate Estimates hearings today.

Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said the $7million would be spent over four years just to determine how to deal with the defunct uranium mine’s toxic legacy.

“The government can’t tell us yet what the final cost will be. The multi-million dollar publicly-funded assessment is just the beginning. Forty years after this mine closed, it continues to be an environmental graveyard for the Northern Territory. How many decades and how many millions of dollars will it take to clean up Ranger mine, or Olympic Dam?”

Ranger uranium mine in Kakadu National Park has been plagued by a series of debacles. There have been more than 150 leaks, spills and license breaches at the mine since it opened in 1981. In 2009 a government-appointed scientist confirmed Ranger was leaking 100,000 litres of contaminated water into the ground on a daily basis. At present it is closed due to heavy rainfall and the danger of more leaks.

“The Northern Territory knows the nuclear industry all too well. That is why the Territory Government and local people oppose the planned Muckaty nuclear waste dump,” said Senator Ludlam.

The proposed law that would allow the building of Muckaty waste dump, the National Radioactive Management Bill, concentrates a huge amount of power in the hands of resources and energy minister Martin Ferguson – who has championed the dump.

“In correspondence this month Minister Ferguson referred to himself as the ‘minister responsible for nuclear policy’. Today I was assured there’s been no portfolio change or new title invented, so it appears Minister Ferguson – like Napoleon – has crowned himself,” said Senator Ludlam.

“In February WikiLeaks revealed Minister Ferguson has pushed for sales of uranium to India, despite that country refusing to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Is this the person the Government has in charge of nuclear policy? We need a Government that recognises that the nuclear industry – from uranium mining through to waste disposal – is a costly toxic mess for the Northern Territory and for Australia.”

Media Contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302

Greens announce legislation to end live exports

31 May 2011

Greens announce legislation to end live exports

The Australian Greens will today introduce a private members bill to end the live export of livestock for slaughter.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson for animal welfare today announced a two pronged approach to ending live export, calling for the immediate suspension of export licences, followed by a legislated ban on live exports.

“We will be tabling a Bill in the House of Representatives that ends export of livestock for slaughter. This is following through on a long held Australian Greens policy,” Senator Siewert said in Canberra today.

“In the first instance, the Minister must act to suspend licences for export and then ultimately this trade must be permanently ended.

“People are already writing to me expressing their shock at the images they saw last night. I was horrified when I first saw them and was horrified again last night.

“The Minister has not done enough on this issue, he needs to act now,” said Senator Siewert.

In WA, Senator Siewert’s home state, live export has been an on-going campaign for the Greens, and Lynn MacLaren, WA Greens MLC has today backed the federal push for legislation.

“Live exports cause unnecessary suffering and should be stopped altogether. If we continue to export animals to countries with little or no animal welfare protection, these animals will suffer unnecessarily. If we stop live exports we can stop this suffering and increase local jobs in meat processing,” Ms MacLaren said.

“On average, 180,000 cattle are exported from WA to Indonesia from the WA ports of Broome, Fremantle, Geraldton and Wyndham. In 2010 a total of 170 555 cattle were exported to Indonesia from Western Australia. Already this year, 7,010 cattle have been exported to Indonesia.

“The government continues to defend the industry in spite of overwhelming evidence of suffering, while the Greens have called for a replacement of live exports with a packaged meat trade,” said Ms MacLaren.

Media Enquiries:

For Senator Siewert – Chris Redman on 0418 401 180

For Lynn MacLaren MLC – 0403 721 951

Australian Greens_bill to stop live animal export_2011.pdf