Community campaigners rallied in Port Augusta on April 30 to make a final call for the South Australian government to build a new solar thermal power plant in the town.
BP’s recent decision to pull out of a plan to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight has been dubbed “strategic” by the company’s exploration managing director, Claire Fitzpatrick.
In public policy, there are many dog’s breakfasts presented as considered initiatives. Rarely, though, are we served up such a self-contradictory, irrational and generally talentless a dish as the new “energy intervention” announced by South Australia’s Labor government on March 14.
Aimed at side-stepping conservative attacks over recent power cuts, the government’s plan makes some provision for storage back-up to underpin wind and solar. But mainly, the $550 million scheme consists of large-scale concessions to fossil fuel interests — in this case, the gas industry.
Right-wing politicians have blown hard on the anti-renewables dog-whistle since February 8, when extreme temperatures in South Australia were followed by rolling electricity blackouts.
Late that afternoon, power demand in the state spiked to near-record levels. From about 6pm, 100 megawatts — roughly 3% of the state’s total demand — was shed for about half an hour.
To most South Australians, Labor Premier Jay Weatherill’s plan for a vast outback dump to host imported high-level nuclear waste is dead, needing only a decent send-off.
Nevertheless, the Premier keeps trying to resurrect the scheme. Why?
To the fury of business spokespeople, South Australia’s “Citizens’ Jury on Nuclear Waste” has effectively exploded plans by the state Labor government to host the world’s largest nuclear waste dump.
The jury was intended by Premier Jay Weatherill to lend his scheme a garnish of popular consent. But in their final report on November 6, the jurors instead concluded that the dump plan should not go ahead “under any circumstances”. The vote was overwhelming, with two-thirds of jury members opposing the government’s projections.
Hundreds of people attended the first leg of the 100% Renewables Roadshow in Adelaide on October 31, demonstrating strong community support for renewable energy in South Australia.
Solar Citizens National Director Claire O’Rourke spoke about their Homegrown Power Plan, which maps out a proposal for how Australia can get to 100% renewable energy by 2030.
As part of this year's Anti-Poverty Week, a conference in South Australia A looked at how a lack of jobs is changing the nature of unemployment into an increasingly long-term phenomenon.
About 3000 people rallied on the steps of Parliament House on October 16 to protest against the state and federal governments’ plans to create nuclear waste dumps in South Australia.
This year the state government held the expensive — and some would say biased — Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle, which found South Australia was the perfect place to store the world's high-grade nuclear waste. It has just initiated a public consultation into the general idea of storing nuclear waste, which will continue into next year.
Low-income people, activists, community workers and others will gather in Adelaide on October 21 and 22 for “Power to the Poor — Silent No More”, a two-day Anti-Poverty Week conference.
The event — organised by Anti-Poverty Network SA, a grassroots group composed of welfare recipients struggling with poverty and joblessness — promises to be one of the largest Anti-Poverty Week events in the country.
BP announced on October 11 that it has abandoned plans for a $1.4 billion program to explore for oil in the Great Australian Bight, off South Australia.
The British petroleum giant said the decision, which delighted environmental groups, was made because the project was not economically viable. It said it would instead focus on projects it could exploit in the short-to-medium term.
[Ross Garnaut is a Professor of Economics at the Australian National University. In 2007 he was appointed to examine the impacts of climate change on the Australian economy and recommend medium to long-term policies and policy frameworks to improve the prospects for sustainable prosperity. The Garnaut Climate Change Review was finalised on September 30, 2008, with an update released on May 31, 2011. This is a speech given by Garnaut to the renewable energy summit hosted by the South Australian government on October 6.]
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Efforts to halt plans for nuclear waste dumping in South Australia have made important advances in recent weeks, with environmental, trade union, indigenous and other bodies pushing for a joint opposition campaign.
At a September 16 meeting called by the peak labour movement body, SA Unions, and the Maritime Union of Australia, members of at least 14 organisations resolved to work toward forming a coordinating committee “around the common objective of preventing nuclear waste dumps being established in South Australia”.