Adelaide FoE Notes

These posts are to appear in the fortnightly newsletter

Wentworth against Adani…

More than three-quarters of voters in Malcolm Turnbull’s Sydney electorate of Wentworth would support reviewing the environmental approvals for the controversial Adani coalmine, according to a new opinion poll.
A ReachTel survey of 676 residents in the prime minister’s electorate, commissioned by  the Australia Institute, found an emphatic majority favoured a review of the project approvals, including 70% of Liberal voters.
Opposition to the mine is a significant issue in the head-to-head contest between Labor and the Greens in the by-election in Batman

More details: Katherine Murphy in the Guardian.

Note: Election comment this issue (unless otherwise noted) is Authorised by Roman Orszanski, 65 Russell St Adelaide 5000Read more >>

Where do the parties stand on the proposed Nuclear Waste Dump?

Radioactive waste

One of the questions asked of the parties was whether they would

Protect SA from the threat of radioactive waste importation, storage and disposal.

Actively oppose the federal government plan for a radioactive waste facility in SA and support the state Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000 which makes any such facility illegal. Commit to further strengthen this legislation by removing the modified section 13(2).

 

The detailed responses given to the SA Our Future Questionnaire are as follows:

The Greens

11a. Categorically rule out the creation of an international high and/or intermediate level radioactive waste storage and disposal facility  Yes

11b. Actively oppose the federal government plan for a radioactive waste facility in SA                    Yes

11c. Actively support the state Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000. Commit to further strengthen this legislation by removing the modified section 13(2).                           Done! Thanks to Greens Bill

 

The Liberals

11a. Categorically rule out the creation of an international high and/or intermediate level radioactive waste storage and disposal facility  Yes

11b. Actively oppose the federal government plan for a radioactive waste facility in SA                    No response

11c. Actively support the state Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000. Commit to further strengthen this legislation by removing the modified section 13(2).                                                                                    The Liberal Party supports the current act.

SA Best

11a Categorically rule out the creation of an international high and/or intermediate level radioactive waste storage and disposal facility          Yes

11b.Read more >>

Where do the parties stand on the top ten environmental issues for South Australia?

33 environmental and community organisations scored parties on 36 key environmental issues.

The full response, with details on questions at  https://www.ourfuturesa.org.au

A summary of the “top ten” issues at star_ratings_for_top_10_issues (Out of 50: Liberal 18.5, Labor 21.5, Greens 50, SABest 38.5)

The ACF

The ACF have been handing out their leaflet comparing the parties on pollution, clean energy and protecting nature

 

They note:

  • The Greens are leading the way in South Australia, with five stars for policies on cutting climate pollution, ramping up clean energy and respecting and protecting nature.
  • SA Best made some good commitments on banning oil exploration in the Bight and fracking in the South East, but only back a 50% Renewable Energy Target by 2025, which SA has almost already reached.
  • We found Labor scored well on policies to make SA a global leader on clean energy (a 75% Renewable Energy Target by 2025!), but has a blind spot on banning oil and gas.
  • The Liberal Party scored lowest with 1.5 stars – they’re weak over radioactive waste dumping in SA and want to scrap the Renewable Energy Target.

 

 

 

Solar Citizens

Solar citizens have provided a detailed report on where the parties stand in renewables, and how they respond to issues raised in the Solar Citizens’ Repowering South Australia report. See https://www.solarcitizens.org.au/south_australian_election_guide

See separate entry on the nuclear waste dump issue.

 … Read more >>

Southpaw Backhander

The return of the Liberal Party government in Tasmania with a bare, reduced majority was not an unalloyed catastrophe for the progressive forces in the island State. Labor was returned with an increased minority on an issue of principle, pokies reform. This confirms the strong leadership of Rebecca White, who is arguably well poised to regain government at the next election, circumstances permitting; the Green vote was alarmingly static, not to say worse. There is the consolation that losing with a sound policy at least leaves a legacy to build on. But it is nonetheless a setback for progressive forces in Tasmania and nationally. It once again shows that excessive tension between Labor and the Greens only benefits the Tories, in keeping with the maxim that disunity is death. It is unhealthy that the Hodgeman dynasty administration has been returned to office, with its plans to log wilderness extensively and restrict the democratic right to protest to appease capital. Despite Hodgeman’s denials that the election was bought, there is no doubt that the massive advertising campaign by the gambling lobby, led by the Federal Group which owns the island’s two casinos, was a powerful factor.

Labor and the Greens can now only govern together. Labor’s primary vote has fallen to historic lows, while Bob Brown’s ambitions to `replace the bastards’ are illusory. Labor and the Greens are as doomed to serve the public together as the Liberals and Nationals are condemned to loot the public purse on behalf of vested interests as Coalition partners in crime. As a Tasmanian expat I have been arguing this case like Cassandra since my teenage years in Tasmania during the rise of the Greens in the 1970s. These basic political principles have national implications. As the 2018 Tasmanian General Election shows, they are ignored at the peril of the interested parties and the public, not to mention the environment.… Read more >>

CSIRO planning US military funded genetic extinction experiments in WA

A raft of emails obtained through a Freedom of Information request (The Gene Drive Files) reveal that CSIRO and University of Adelaide scientists are part of a US military funded global network researching a risky new genetic modification (GM) technique referred to as gene drives. The group have already identified six potential islands in Western Australia where they intend to use the technique to drive local mice populations to extinction.

Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA – the US military’s research arm) is contributing US$6.4M to fund the Genetic Biocontrol of Invasive Rodents Program (GBIRd). This is being spread between the CSIRO, the University of Adelaide, several US research institutes and the NGO Island Conservation.

The release of gene drives could have potentially catastrophic ecological consequences. Even gene drive proponents have now admitted that the gene drives are too risky to be released into the environment. We find it incredible that CSIRO and its GBIRd partners are already considering the environmental release of this technology.”

Gene drives are a new and highly controversial technique that can force altered genetic traits through successive generations. The GBIRd scientists intend to use the technique to develop mice that only produce male offspring in order to drive local populations to extinction.

Mice are notorious for stowing away on boats, which is how they have spread globally. One of the proposed release sites for the gene drive mice is Boullanger Island – a popular tourist destination just 1km from the mainland. There is no way that a release of gene drive mice there could be geographically contained.

Most rodents are considered keystone species in their ecological communities as herbivores, seed eaters and seed dispersers, and prey for many carnivores. Many other species depend on them for survival. The ecological impacts if mice are driven to extinction in their natural habitats in Europe and Asia could be catastrophic.… Read more >>