W #Australia New minister should bring fresh approach to radioactive waste debacle. #nuclear #uranium

New minister should bring fresh approach to radioactive waste debacle

Australian Greens spokesperson on nuclear policy Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam. 25 March 2013.

The departure of Martin Ferguson from the Cabinet presents a circuit breaker for the Federal Government to progress a real solution for Australia’s radioactive waste problem, the Greens said today.

“If responsibility for the waste site is to remain with Mr Gary Gray’s portfolio, he should immediately move to drop the campaign to dump the waste at Muckaty Station,” said Australian Greens spokesperson on nuclear policy Senator Scott Ludlam.

“Rather than Mr Ferguson’s coercive approach, which is years behind schedule and embroiled in a Federal Court action, Mr Gray should take up the Greens proposal for an independent commission with the technical expertise to find a world’s best standard solution for Australia’s inventory of radioactive waste.

“The job of building an appropriate facility and finding an appropriate site for dealing with the country’s radioactive waste material clearly belongs in the science portfolio – currently held by Mr Greg Combet. The Government now has a chance to fix that mistake.

“The Greens will work with any minister who is willing to make a clean break with the terrible debacle left behind by Martin Ferguson.”

Media contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302

#australia #Uranium sales to #India: illegal, immoral, irresponsible @SenatorLudlam

Uranium sales to India: illegal, immoral, irresponsible

Australian Greens spokesperson for nuclear policy – Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam. 21 March 2013.

Negotiations to sell uranium to India that commenced this week must be abandoned immediately, said Australian Greens nuclear policy spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam.

“The Fukushima nuclear disaster began March 11, 2011, and more than two years on 160,000 people are still unable to return to their homes because of contamination of a vast area of Japan. There was Australian uranium in all four reactors at Fukushima, yet the Australian Government has learnt nothing. They are embarking on a deranged project to sell uranium to a country that has nuclear weapons, refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and has an appalling track record on nuclear safety,” said Senator Ludlam.

“Foreign Minister Bob Carr has defended India’s non-proliferation record, but India has produced plutonium for weapons from a Canadian-supplied reactor it pledged to use only for ‘peaceful purposes’. Minister Carr has also forgotten that just eight years ago, K. Subrahmanyam, former head of the national security advisory board in India, said: ‘…it is to India’s advantage to categorise as many power reactors as possible as civilian ones to be refuelled by imported uranium and conserve our native uranium fuel for weapons-grade plutonium production’. Make no mistake; Australian uranium would boost India’s nuclear weapons capacity.

“By pouring uranium into India, Australia would fuel an industry that India’s Auditor General strongly condemned in September 2012. There is no national policy on nuclear and radiation safety, and inspections, safety standards, emergency response plans, the supervision of licensing of nuclear sites, and the disposal of nuclear waste are all dangerously sub-standard.

“Hundreds of thousands of Indian men and women have mobilised in peaceful anti-nuclear protests – and they have been subject to severe, brutal repression from police. Five of the activists have been murdered since 2010 in the struggle against the nuclear industry in Koodankulam (Tamil Nadu), Jaitapur (Maharashtra) and Gorakhpur (Haryana).

“Australia selling uranium to India is a violation of the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference commitment to require full-scope safeguards as a condition of supply, and would be illegal under Article IV of the Treaty of Rarotonga which obliges signatories to not supply equipment or material to countries not under full scope safeguards.

“Selling uranium to India would be illegal, immoral, irresponsible, and would cause the people of India far more misery than good – all to squeeze out a few dollars more for Australia’s tiny and declining uranium sector.”

Media contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302

#Australia #Indigenous #mining @senatorludlam Koongarra’s inclusion welcome, but Kakadu remains incomplete

Koongarra’s inclusion welcome, but Kakadu remains incomplete

Australian Greens spokesperson on nuclear policy – Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam. 14 March, 2013.

The Greens today welcomed the inclusion of the Koongarra mineral lease in Kakadu National Park, but said Kakadu would remain incomplete until the Jabiluka and Ranger mineral leases are returned.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam praised the efforts of Djok Traditional Owner Jeffrey Lee, who had been in the public gallery when the Bill was introduced in early February.

“When Mr Lee came to Canberra a few weeks ago to witness this Bill being introduced, he said ‘Money comes and goes but the land is always here… If we look after it, it will look after us.’ …It’s difficult to comprehend the pressure Mr Lee withstood so we could get to this point, but I want to pay tribute to this fine and courageous man, a softly spoken and gentle man, who stood up to some of the most powerful interests on earth, and won,” Senator Ludlam told the Senate.

Koongarra was finally recognised in June 2011 by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for having both cultural and environmental significance. Mr Lee has acknowledged the support from the Mirarr people; especially their senior Traditional Owner, Ms Yvonne Margarula.

“The 1,228 hectare area of Koongarra should have been in Kakadu long ago, but will finally have the protection it deserves upon passage of this Bill. This is a step forward for the integrity of the Kakadu World Heritage area, but Kakadu will not be ‘complete’ until the Ranger and Jabiluka mineral leases have been reincorporated into the Park and custodianship restored to the Traditional Owners of the area.”

“Ranger uranium mine is a toxic blot on the landscape that leaks up to 100,000 litres of radioactive water into the park every day. There have been over 150 leaks, spills and licence breaches since the mine opened. Despite ongoing problems and aging infrastructure, ERA is considering expansion at Ranger. I call on the Environment Minister to protect Kakadu from the ongoing threat of Ranger,” Senator Ludlam told the Senate.

“Rehabilitating the mess at Ranger will be a long and difficult task, and one that won’t begin until the Government gets it right and returns it to the Park. For today though, we can all celebrate this outcome.”

Media contact; Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302

Important event for #Perth #MenalHealth – #Suicide prevention is everyone’s business: Free community forum

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Free suicide awareness community forum

Suppose you are concerned and want to reach out to a mate – what then? Join the local Ellenbrook Health & Wellbeing Community Group to promote the importance of mental health and wellbeing by attending this free community forum on recognising the signs that someone is thinking of suicide and how to keep them safe from harm. Learn about reaching out, giving support and getting help in this one hour awareness presentation.

This Read the Signs community forum is free for the public to attend thanks to the generous support of Tsokos Property and the initiative of the City of Swan.

When: 7-9pm, Tuesday 19th March 2013

Where: Community Meeting Room, Upstairs from Library Room, Ellenbrook

For more information or to RSVP contact:

Angie Roche on angie.roche

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Greens stand up for community radio

Greens stand up for community radio

Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, Deputy Leader Adam Bandt MP. 13 March 2013.

The Australian Greens will call on the Federal Government to fund community broadcasters’ digital radio services in Parliament today, marking the national day of action for community radio.

Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam and Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt will move motions in the Senate and the House recognising the great contribution made to Australian civil society by community broadcasters and calling on the Government to commit to adequate support for the sector.

“In the 2012 budget the Government left a funding shortfall for community digital radio services of $1.4 million per annum, making it impossible to maintain all of the current services. Community broadcasters are not-for-profit organisations and stations have already invested scarce resources to develop and support the production of content for their new digital radio services – without proper Federal support, that will go to waste and that waste could prove fatal,” said Senator Ludlam.

“Australia’s community broadcasters are an absolutely vital part of our media landscape and provide services that include specialist music, Indigenous media, multicultural and non-English language programs, religious, educational and youth services, print disability reading services, and community access programs. Their contribution is immense, and immensely important to civil society,” said Mr Bandt.

“At a time in which control of the mainstream media is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a shrinking number of oligarchs, the alternative voices provided by community broadcasters are more important than ever. The Federal Government must commit to keeping these vital services on the air,” said Senator Ludlam.

Media contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302

#australia media remains a corporate toy….1 year & 2 reviews later – media reform has been delayed long enough

One year and two reviews later – media reform has been delayed long enough

Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam. 11March 2013.

The Australian Greens today urged the Federal Government to finally take action on media reform.

Greens communication spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said the Government had sat on the Finkelstein report and Convergence Review long enough to produce a response.

“It is time the Government brought forward the full package of media reforms; a package that should promote media diversity and prevent further concentration of media ownership, protect the ABC and SBS, and promote community broadcasting.

“In regards to the broadcast reach rule – the 75 per cent rule – while in an age of convergence the current system may be becoming obsolete it is essential that local and regional news and content is protected through new ‘enforceable undertakings’ from the networks.

“The Greens are ready to work with the Government to get genuine reform. Such reform would include a new ‘public interest’ test on media acquisitions and mergers. We need action to prevent further concentration of media ownership but the Government is in danger of blowing this opportunity.”

Senator Ludlam said in addition to meaningful local content quotas, introducing a minimum spend for Australian children’s television and documentaries on subscription television would be good news for the arts and the economy.

“In the absence of meaningful local content quotas Australian production of original programmes will suffer when it’s cheaper to import from the US or UK."

Media contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302

#Australia #uranium – Two years on, major parties must face the facts of Fukushima

Two years on, major parties must face the facts of Fukushima

Australian Greens nuclear policy spokesperson Senator or Western Australia Scott Ludlam. 11 March 2013.

On the second anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam has urged the Government and Opposition to take responsibility for the consequences of Australian uranium exports.

“Australian uranium was in each of the reactors at Fukushima on March 11, 2011. Two years on there are still 160,000 displaced people unable to return home, and the plants have now become an open-ended liability.”

Senator Ludlam will give notice of a motion in the Senate tomorrow proposing an immediate review of uranium supply agreements to assess the risk of future disasters in customer countries.

“It would appear the Australian Government has learned nothing from the experience of supplying the uranium to fuel the Fukushima reactors.”

Media contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302