Uranium industry more likely to bite the dust than hit Paydirt
Australian Greens nuclear policy spokesperson Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam. 29 April 2013.
Today’s Paydirt Uranium Conference is a pre-emptive wake for the declining nuclear sector, Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said.
“With nuclear power in a terminal condition it is no wonder this year’s Paydirt conference has been downgraded to a one-day event. The world uranium price has dived from almost $US140 a pound in 2007 to just over $US40 a pound today. 150 nuclear stations in Europe are scheduled for closure. All the spin in the world can’t polish the nuclear industry.
“Despite the mineral commodities boom uranium remains a dud, accounting for a mere 0.29 per cent of the nation’s export revenue between 2002 and 2011 and for only 0.015 per cent of jobs. It’s a high risk, no reward racket; Australia – and the world – would be better off without it.
“There was Australian uranium in all four reactors at Fukushima, and more than two years on 160,000 people remain evacuated as a result, but the nuclear mafia and their supporters in Parliament have learnt nothing.
“Nuclear power is in retreat in Europe, Japan and the United States, so the industry is pursuing India – a country that has nuclear weapons, refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and has an appalling track record on nuclear safety – as a customer.
“Another potential customer, China, is following the path of the former Soviet Union in building multiple reactor types in a huge hurry, with a poor safety culture and zero tolerance approach to whistleblowers and investigative journalists. The 27th anniversary of Chernobyl was last Friday, yet the lessons of history are lost on the nuclear cheer squad.
“It’s time to put an end to this deadly, moribund industry and focus on the future of power generation – renewable energy.”
Contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302
Monday 29th April 2013
Explosion in online consumer data collection poses major threat
to privacy, warns marketing expert
Business School backs Privacy Awareness Week goals
A marketing expert at the University of Sydney Business School has warned of a mounting threat to privacy posed by a massive increase in consumer information being amassed in a way that does not comply with the code governing data collection by market and social researchers in Australia.
Honorary Associate Professor of Marketing, Dr Terry Beed, says that market research tools such as SurveyMonkey are now readily available to individuals or firms who may not use them correctly or ethically.
Dr Beed has recently completed a major review of the Market and Social Research Privacy Code administered by the Association of Market and Social Research Organisations (AMSRO) and co-regulated by the Australian Privacy Commissioner.
His warning coincides with Privacy Awareness Week (28th April to 4th May) – an effort by authorities across the Asia Pacific Region to boost consumer understanding of the mounting threat to privacy.
The University of Sydney Business School is partnering with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to promote Privacy Awareness Week ahead of changes to next year’s changes to privacy laws.
"The ground is changing under our feet," Dr Beed said. “There has been an explosion in the amount of personal data being gathered in the digital environment and it has revolutionised the way we go about marketing goods and services."
"However, much of this data is being gathered by people with no background in market and social research," Dr Beed added. "It is important that they are sensitised about working with consumers’ personal information in accordance with the privacy regulations."
Dr Beed says much of this information is being onsold to marketers often via data brokers without the knowledge or consent of consumers and in possible breach of the Privacy Codes, which are approved by the Australian Privacy Commissioner.
"Marketers are now using age, gender or product preferences to design highly targeted advertising," Dr Beed said. “While this may be annoying to some consumers it is relatively harmless. Of far greater concern is data that might be related to incomes, debt levels or health profiles which is gathered and onsold without any warning to the consumer.”
“Alarmingly, data analysis tools are becoming more sophisticated and are enabling the reconstruction of individual consumer profiles from a diverse range of sources,” he added
Despite the dangers, a recent survey found that very few Australians were fully aware of privacy protections in this country.
The survey, conducted by AMSRO which represents the established market research sector, found that 25 per cent of Australians claimed to have no knowledge at all of how companies were required to protect their privacy.
Trevor Watson Office 02 9351 1918,
Richa Mehta Office 02 9114 1121,
Dr Terry Beed Office 02 9114 2135
TREVOR WATSON | Director of Media
The University of Sydney Business School
Robin Chapple MLC
Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region
Dinosaurs Set Government Energy Policy
Friday 26 April 2013
Greens WA spokesperson on Energy and Climate Change issues, Robin Chapple MLC, today blasted the Premier’s free-market warhorse, Hon Mike Nahan, as he stumbled into energy policy with a classic throwback to dinosaur-age thinking on energy policy.
“Let’s not mince words – we all know what Minister Nahan really wants – an end to the Renewable Energy Target (RET), so his mates in the dirty fossil-fuel burning power generation sector can carry on churning out greenhouse gas emissions at a rate which has WA right up there in the top echelon of global polluters,” Mr Chapple said.
“Mr Nahan’s call for ‘root and branch review’ of WA’s RET commitments is music to the ears of his Premier, who has long called for targets to be axed.
“Now is the time that we need strong government policy to set the framework for the transition to renewable power, so the sector can deliver it, but all we get from this government is ad-hoc, piecemeal tinkering.
“Criticism that spending on renewables is pushing up prices is a cheap shot. The major increase in household power prices is to help fund the maintenance of our aging electricity infrastructure, and to meet the very high peak demand times.
“We have vast renewable resources in this state but are forced to accept old technology for the sake of fossil fuel contracts that this dinosaur Government is locked into,” said Mr Chapple.
“Of course this government can make renewable energy look uneconomic – by continuing to spend millions in taxpayer-funded subsidies to prop up our coal-fired clunkers.
“Get your heads out of the sand – follow our lead to a sustainable, pollution-free energy future, as detailed in our Energy2029 policy.
“Renewables can be economic – but only when we move away from the status quo of fossil-fuelled mega power stations.
Energy 2029 plan: http://www.greenswa.net.au/energy2029
For more information please contact Robin Chapple on
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
Our office provides a facility for members of the public to ask their own Parliamentary Questions through my website at http://www.robinchapple.com/ask-question. Questions on Notice are preferred, instructions and templates are provided.
Australia must not fuel the next Chernobyl
Australian Greens spokesperson on nuclear policy, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam. 26 April, 2013
On the 27th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, and with the sarcophagus around the ruined reactor falling apart, the Greens have thrown a spotlight on the declining uranium trade.
“The global economic crisis is delaying efforts to deal with the ongoing disaster of the ruined Chernobyl power plant. The sarcophagus built over the reactor has been crumbling for years. The neighbouring town of Pripyat remains abandoned and the surrounding areas uninhabitable due to persistent deadly levels of radiation almost three decades on.
“The Greens oppose uranium sales because the industry has refused to learn its lesson. To take one example, China is following the precise path of the former Soviet Union in building multiple reactor types in a huge hurry, with a poor safety culture and zero tolerance approach to whistleblowers and investigative journalists.
“In February this year a 600sqm section of the roof over the turbine hall at Chernobyl collapsed under the weight of snow. A new steel and concrete enclosure to encase the sarcophagus is under construction and on recent estimates will cost 2.3 billion US dollars. It is desperately needed now but won’t be completed until 2015 at the earliest.
“Estimates of the deaths caused by the Chernobyl disaster range into the hundreds of thousands. As the sarcophagus disintegrates, it breathes new vigour into that deadly legacy.”
Senator Ludlam has released:
A research paper on the situation at Chernobyl today and its ongoing costs: http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/chernobyl
A compendium of nuclear sector’s accident history: http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/sites/default/files/ltfs-full.pdf
Media Contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302
WA’s housing crisis demands bold and creative solutions
Greens national housing spokesperson Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, state housing spokesperson Lynn MacLaren MLC. 24 April 2013.
The Barnett Government is virtually ignoring the state’s housing crisis, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam warned today as new figures showed another surge in house prices and rents were tipped to double in almost 200 WA suburbs.
“The mining boom has driven up the cost of living, driven up the cost of housing, flattened trade-exposed industries, and attracted significant numbers of people to the State, yet the Barnett Government blissfully ignores the housing crisis gripping Western Australia,” said Senator Ludlam.
“Yesterday RP Data predicted that rents would double in 181 Western Australian suburbs in the next ten years, and house prices to double in hundreds of suburbs nationwide. While January, February and March saw a 1.7 per cent rise in the national median house price, the spike in Western Australia in recent months has been particularly severe – yet the major parties barely made mention of the housing crisis during the State election.
“The Housing Crisis Committee reports families sleeping in their cars, families splitting up to sleep at the homes of friends or relatives – families where there are one or two income earners but they still can’t afford a place to live. The median weekly rent in Perth is almost $500 and the minimum weekly adult wage is less than $600 – the weight of those numbers is crushing people.”
Senator Ludlam championed the Greens’ Convert To Rent programme as a way to transform the thousands of empty properties in Western Australia into affordable rental housing.
“The State Government won’t conduct an audit of vacant properties in WA but if the vacancy rate in Perth is the same as Melbourne’s – 4.94 per cent – that would mean about 30,000 properties lying vacant while 50,000 people are on the waiting list for public housing. Convert To Rent would offer grants to owners to make those empty properties available at 80 per cent of the market rent.”
Greens WA housing spokesperson Lynn MacLaren MLC promoted urban planning reform to solve the state’s housing crisis without a frenzy of expensive urban sprawl.
“The report produced by The Greens, The Property Council and the Australian Urban Design Research Centre – Transforming Perth – identifies the opportunity to build 250,000 new homes within the metro area by turning just seven of the city’s transport corridors into vibrant mixed-use high streets,” said Ms MacLaren.
“The State Government’s promise to build 20,000 homes by 2020 is a start but only a drop in the ocean while there are already 50,000 people in the public housing queue, and by 2020 the population of the state will be far bigger and demand far stronger. We need to get more affordable housing on the market now – this year – and that will take new ideas and the political will to get the job done,” Ms MacLaren concluded.
Convert To Rent – http://greens.org.au/files/Convert_to_rent.pdf
Transforming Perth – http://greenswa.net.au/sites/default/files/transformingperth.pdf
Contacts: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302
Canberra must engage United Nations on deadly crisis in Burma
Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam. 23 April 2013.
The Australian Government must use its seat on the UN Security Council to initiate immediate action in response to the horrifying rise of anti-Muslim violence and ongoing military brutality in Burma, the Greens said today.
“Human Rights Watch report they have found mass graves and evidence of forced displacement and other crimes against humanity in Arakan State (also known as Rakhine), where there are only three UN staff acting as observers. Significant United Nations observer teams must be sent in immediately – accompanied with aid and medical agencies,” said Australian Greens spokesperson on Burma, Senator Scott Ludlam.
“The Australian Government – and now the European Union – has shown inappropriate haste in pursuing business as usual, which undermines the Burmese movement for reform and turns a blind eye to the alleged complicity of Burmese officials in ethnic cleansing.
“The evidence indicates that the mass violence in Arakan/Rakhine is planned not only by racist gangs, but by the political leadership of the State itself. Yet the European Union, encouraged by Foreign Minister Bob Carr, has now lifted economic sanctions on Burma.
“The problem is not restricted to one state. There is also violence in Kachin and Metkynia states, in which there is no UN presence whatsoever.
“Members of the persecuted Muslim Rohingya minority make up four per cent of Burma’s population and are facing a coordinated and sustained assault from bigoted extremists – with the apparent support of local authorities. Last year tens of thousands of Rohingya people were forced to flee Arakan/Rakhine and 130,000 now live in refugee camps. Many more are attempting to reach Malaysia by boat to escape the violence.
“Violence from racist mobs is only one deadly factors in the Burmese crisis: The army has deployed artillery and its airforce against the Kachin peoples, causing widespread destruction, and a report has been sent to the International Labour Organisation claiming that Rohingya women are being forced into sexual slavery by the military.”
According to the Burmese Government’s own figures, two outbreaks of Buddhist-Muslim violence in 2012 left more than 200 people dead and 125,000 displaced, most of them Rohingya.
Contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302