@ Hal et al: The National Radioactive Waste Management Act …

Comment on Nuke dump: What’s the rush? by Jimmy Cocking.

@ Hal et al: The National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 was developed under the ALP’s Minister Martin Ferguson, which gave wide reaching powers to acquire land and override all state and territory laws see Section 12 and 20.
The recent comments by PM Turnbull reported in the Guardian from an interview in Adelaide are what is informing people’s concerns about an international waste dump…
“As Brett, the chef, was saying, and I think a lot of South Australians feel like this and it’s a perfectly reasonable view: we’ve got the uranium [and] we mine it; why don’t we process it, turn it into the fuel rods, lease them to people overseas; when they’re done, bring them back – and we’ve got very stable geology in remote locations and a stable political environment – and store them?
“That is a business that you could well imagine here.”
This also timed with the Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle in South Australia which indicates that again the nuclear lobby is looking to launch another offensive to lock our economy into a radioactive future.
We need a place to safely store these materials for thousands of generations … the process in nominating a site is not in the national interest as it is driven by self interest.
Self interest by those nominating the sites and self interest for ANSTO who wants to continue developing radioactive isotopes for medicine and research. However, the key to all of this is not the medical waste that is trumpeted out by the proponents of this project but the intermediate level waste that includes reprocessed fuel rods among other dangerous goods.
The nuclear age has passed, as we now enter the renewables plus storage age. Given the challenges of climate change, we need to adapt our energy systems. The old grid pushing out electrons with expensive poles and wires will be superseded in coming decades.
Creating dangerous products and waste as we are seeing with fossil fuels can no longer be tolerated. The trade offs that we now need to be looking at is trading out vested interests and trading in distributed, local energy systems that don’t have any longterm drawbacks.
Nuclear medicines can be made with cyclotrons and don’t need reactors that create dangerous waste.
If we’re talking about establishing a long-term nuclear waste repository – then let’s talk about shutting down the reactor and transitioning towards a renewable energy future.

Recent Comments by Jimmy Cocking

Extreme variability: local climate change right now
Thanks Alice Springs News for your comprehensive and informative article about the realities of climate change for Alice Springs. It is journalism like this that the world needs more of.
Thanks John Bell for providing your anecdotal analysis of the current situation. A better straw man could not be imagined. You actually strengthen our case for urgent action on climate change both locally and globally.
We all have a responsibility to ensure the world we hand over to the next generation is in better condition than we found it. To do so, we must transition rapidly to renewable sources of energy and develop community level responses to dealing with the impacts of the changing climate.
Thanks Alice Springs News for your commitment to the truth on this issue and as people who live in the heart of this country – demonstrating true leadership through your interrogation of the important issues and exposure of the truth.

Volunteers are beating buffel
@ Evelyn: Pine oil is also being used widely as an organic herbicide that breaks the cell walls of seeds. This is being used in areas where organic beef producers are concerned about the impact on their organic classification.
Rod Cramer suggested at the SA Buffel Forum that we need to have a political plan and political leadership on the issue of buffel grass.
Here is a quote from Tucson Mayor, Bob Walkup, in regards to buffel grass in his jurisdiction: “It’s matter of priority and public will. The public has to send a signal to its elected officials. If we don’t do something, eventually we’re all going to look out and say ‘What happened? How did this happen, and why didn’t we do something about it. Here we are in 2020 and we’ve lost our desert.”
— Bob Walkup, Tucson Mayor, 1999-2011
More information at the Arizona Desert Museum website http://www.desertmuseum.org/buffelgrass/
The most effective efforts in Australia to date are in SA. Unfortunately the resources have wound up for the coordinator position but the collaborative spirit of the taskforce lives on.
More information on the Buffel Taskforce in South Australia can be found here http://www.pir.sa.gov.au/biosecurity/weeds_and_pest_animals/weeds_in_sa/weed_id/plant_id_notes/buffel_grass
Here in Alice Springs we need to get the heads together and have targetted blitzes at the right time.
Alice Springs Town Council and the NT Government providing support for volunteers to get in and clear it.
People with maddocks and hoes, and others with spraypacks, where allowed and we need to beat the buffel back in areas that we value.
Olive Pink Botanic Gardens, Alice Springs Desert Park, Desert Knowledge Precinct and any number of the hills and other areas of high value. It’s one thing to walk together, it’s another to work together.

New control plan follows buffel grass outrage
@ Jason: You can you contact me at director@alec.org.au – we are keen to talk to interested and knowledgeable people about this caterpillar. Thanks, Jimmy.

Too much sun power in Alice?
Let’s hope that the community gets an opportunity to be engaged on the energy future of Alice Springs before the installation of any of these gas fired engines.
A roadmap to a renewable future is a great initiative, though it would be hopelessly compromised if these 10 engines aren’t put on hold until we had a plan to go forward with.
Territory Generation is an NT Government owned corporation. The NT Government is supposed to represent us, its constituents.
I can’t imagine there being one person in Alice Springs who doesn’t think we should get as much energy as we can from the sun.
So, putting both of these facts together, why is the NT Government owned TGen locking us into gas when the community and the rest of the world is heading towards solar?
We could be world leaders in gas and solar integration with investment in battery and storage innovation quickening the process for change. But instead, our generator of non-choice is aiming for the mediocre, ensuring that Alice Springs will be left at the bottom of the heap.
The time is now to let Chief Minister Giles and Essential Services Minister Chandler know that Alice Springs will not accept this. Investment in innovation is needed now, not in five years’ time. Now.
The 99-year lease of the port should be benefiting future generations, not funding short-term fossil fuel investments that exacerbate climate change.
The best way to benefit future generations is to invest in innovation to ensure the acceleration of product development and uptake. Solar + storage is where it’s at and there is no place with a more compelling case for it.
Let’s hope the next bunch of elected representatives actually understand that the future will be powered by renewables and not be bent over backwards for gas.

Fracking to be independently monitored: Minister
What absolute rubbish?! The current raft of Petroleum Regulations actually make the situation worse. Increasing uncertainty in the definitions and providing loopholes the size of canyons is not creating a robust regulatory system.
Although both are nice enough people, Dr Hunter is not independent, nor is Dr Hawke in this instance. This whole approach has been flawed from the start.
The NT Government is giving the illusion of doing something when it is actually weakening the system of protecting our water and the environment. There is not any certainty for industry either as these hopelessly flawed regulations will be thrown out by any responsible Minister and then the process will start again.
The NT EPA needs to be empowered to provide advice to the Environment Minister to approve projects that may have detrimental impacts on the environment, not the Mines and Energy Minister whose job it is to promote the industry.
The “improved” regulatory system under the CLP will have the Mines and Energy Minister promote, assess, approve and enforce compliance of fracking, mining etc and the Environment Minister comes in when there is not a “responsible” Minister, e.g. ports that aren’t ports like Port Melville and any other project that doesn’t quite fit the bill.
The CLP’s attempt to “improve the system” is a farce.
I wish I could be talking it up and telling everyone how good it is to have a government committed to improving the environmental assessment and approvals system but unfortunately I can’t.
The system is broken and needs a complete overhaul. Tinkering on the regulations will not do the job. Giving certainty to Territorians that the gas industry will not impact drinking water is what we need – these petroleum regulations are not going to do that, nor will unenforceable guidelines.
If you’re looking for legacy, Dave, these regs aren’t it. Handing over your approval powers to the Environment Minister and compliance enforcement to the NT EPA, well that would be a real step forward.

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