Monday, 26 March 2012

In Sydney? So is Nat Wasley to give an update on the Muckaty Waste Dump situation in the NT

Invitation to

Muckaty Waste Dump Update – Talk by Nat Wasley -
27 March 2012 - 7 pm

Tue, 27/03/2012 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

6 Pittwater Road, Gladesville


Special talk by Nat Wasley, Beyond Nuclear Initiative

in Gladesville, Tuesday, 28 June at 7pm.

Please come to hear the wonderful speaker Nat Wasley, BNI talk about the Muckaty Waste Dump.

For some background info, please see:

Beyond Nuclear Initiative (BNI) -

To hear some more from Traditional Owners, watch Muckaty Voices (you can find it on youtube), or listen to any of the audio of Muckaty mob speaking that is archived on the BNI

Latest Media Releases from BNI website:
15 March 12
Muckaty Traditional Owners send plea to Governor General.
Muckaty Traditional Owners opposed to a national nuclear waste dump on the Muckaty Land Trust north of Tennant Creek in the NT have written to the Governor General asking her not to give royal assent or sign the National Radioactive Waste Management Bill into law.
The NRWM [National Radioactive Waste Management Bill ] Bill passed the Senate on Tuesday and the amended legislation finally passed through the House of Representatives on Wednesday. The legislation preserves the highly contested Muckaty nomination, which is currently the subject of a federal court challenge by senior Traditional Owners opposed to the plan….

MR of 13 March 12
Half-truths and half-lives double community resolve to stop Muckaty nuclear dump
The Beyond Nuclear Initiative (BNI) says radioactive waste management legislation passed this afternoon in the Senate is deeply flawed and will not slow down the campaign against the proposed Muckaty radioactive waste dump in the Northern Territory.
The National Radioactive Waste Management Bill was introduced two years ago and is strongly opposed by the Northern Territory government, Traditional Owners and a growing number of trade unions and civil society groups.
The Senate passed laws on Tuesday that pave the way for medical, research and industrial waste to be stored at the Muckaty Station site 120 kilometres from Tennant Creek for hundreds of years.
In a last ditch bid to stop the waste dump 27 traditional owners have written to Governor-General Quentin Bryce inviting her to the Top End to meet and discuss their concerns.
"Muckaty is a very special place for us," the traditional owners of the Warlmanpa Land Trust wrote, adding they worried about the dump's impact on animals, bush tucker, old stories and new kids.
"None of the ministers have ever come to talk to us about the waste dump."
The Northern Land Council in 2007 nominated Muckaty Station, however a legal challenge by a group of traditional owners is now before the Federal Court.
The Governor-General is required to give royal assent to the laws….

This will be a wonderful and unique opportunity to hear an update on the Muckaty Waste Dump.

Hosted by Bennelong & Surrounds Residents for Reconciliation

Cambodia needs Australia's help: getting rid of landmines, cluster bombs, anti-personnel munition

Dale Hess - Calendar - 20120327 to 20120720

Tuesday 27 March, 6.30 pm: Public Meeting: Behind the Anti-People Smuggling Rhetoric.Refugee Action Collective challenges the dominant anti-people smuggling rhetoric, arguing that the criminalisation of people smuggling, combined with the militarisation of Australia¡¯s borders and the impounding and destruction of boats intercepted, makes the boat journey to Australia needlessly dangerous. Speakers: Arnold Zable (award-winning writer and refugee advocate); Sarah Hanson Young (Greens senator); lawyer for Indonesian fishermen; Peter Farrago (Refugee Action Collective member and former people-smuggler); Nockie Le (Vietnamese refugee). 6:30pm. Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth St, City (opposite Victoria Market). For more info visit

Wednesday 28 March, 7.30 pm:  Ridding the World of Landmines and Cluster Bombs:Cambodia Needs Our Help. Speaker: Professor Jeffrey V. Rosenfeld AM, leading Australian neurosurgeon; he treated landmine victims in Rwanda and Iraq. Venue: Melbourne City Conference Centre, 333 Swanston Street (near Melbourne Central Station, Tram stop 8, car parking at QV. General admission (including light supper) $25, Seniors/pensioners $20, Students $15. Payment:  1. Direct debit BSB 063-142 Account Number 10176145 Please leave name. 2. Send cheque/postal order to: S.I. Deakin Inc., R. Surridge, 107 Lwr. Heidelberg Rd., Ivanhoe 3079 with n/o. tickets, + stamped addressed envelope for return tickets. All funds go to Cambodia Research Project. Sponsored by Soroptimist International.  Contact 94971017. 

Friday 30 March, 6 pm-8 pm: Occupy Friday. Protest federal parliament's approval of the Muckaty Waste dump legislation. Two weeks ago the senate passed the controversial National Radioactive Waste Management Bill. The bill cements Muckaty, in the NT, as the chosen site for Australia's first national radioactive waste dump, despite strong community opposition and a federal court challenge.Come down to Occupy Friday this week at 6pm to hear from members of the ACE (FoE's Anti-nuclear and Clean Energy) Collective give updates on the fight against the waste dump. Also hear about the big Lizard's Revenge protest happening in July against BHP's proposed largest uranium mine in the world in the SA desert. We may also have a mock radioactive waste spill inMelbourne's CBD. Program: 6 pm - Info Workshop on Muckaty Waste dump and Lizard's Revenge with Ace Collective members; 7 pm - Films and photos projected onto Ziggy the huge blow-up anti-nukes elephant in city square! Featuring: - Muckaty Voices ¨C 10 min short film about fight against Muckaty dump; - Kylie Sambo- 16 yr old from Muckaty rapping against the dump; get down there and support people in Muckaty!

Saturday 14 April-Sunday 15 April. Workshop on Alternatives to Violence.  A Basic Alternatives to Violence Project workshop will be held at the Augustine Centre in Hawthorn.  Cost is $100 (waged) and $50 (unwaged). Places still available and enquiries welcome.

Thursday 19 April, 5.45 pm-7 pm: Sexual Violence in War. Professor Karen Engle directs a Human Rights Centre at the University of Texas law school. Since 1999, the UN Security Council has passed at least seventeen resolutions on protection of civilians, children and women in war. Professor Engle  will discuss the role of the international women¡¯s rights movement, and argue that calls for gendered analysis of war and peace have led to a nearly exclusive focus on the harm of rape and sexual violence. She will also consider the UN¡¯s use of celebrity diplomacy. Melbourne LawSchool, Theatre G08, 185 Pelham StreetCarlton

Saturday 21 April, 12 pm-8 pm:  Renewables Street Party. Meet Edinburgh Gardens, proceed to secret location. A roaming street party with multiple sound systems! Stop traffic and turn heads, get down with some nourishing beats, demand the state government change their policy on renewable energy.

Monday 23 April-Saturday 28 April: Putting an End to War. How to turn permanent war into permanent peace for this and future generations? The peace-making masters who have gone before us - Buddha, Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jnr, the Berrigans and the rest - have given us the tools, and shown us the way to put an end to war. We are called to act with courage, to walk in their footsteps, to walk in faith, to walk in the light, right through this long dark night of war-making.Join us for a week of discussion, theory and practice in the arts of faith-based nonviolent direct action. Further information and to register, contact Helen Bayes, director Silver Wattle Quaker Centre, 02 6238 0588; or helenbayes@me.comThe charges are for 4 nights only: Full board with Shared room: $264; Full board with Single room $308; Full board with camping $220; Self-catered camping $88.

Tuesday 24 April: Anzac Eve commemoration: An Evening with Michael Leunig and Peter Cundall. Favourite gardener Peter Cundall has recently released a CD of war poems which he will read for us to mark the occasion. Peter will be joined by Michael Leunig who will speak about the occasion.  We're just finalising the venue, so block out the early evening in your diary now.

Saturday 28 April, 4 pm-11 pm: Lizard Rising Rundraiser. Music fundraiser to raise money for July action planned at Olympic Dam. Lots of different bands at Irene Warehouse, 5 Pitt StreetBrunswick. Details:

Sunday 1 July-Wednesday 4 July: Jewish-Christian-Muslim Conference: The Prophet Motif - Meeting the Divine Challenge Today. This conference will explore the historical, social and spiritual dimensions of prophets and how we might hear God's voice and meet the divine challenge for our own times in a variety of different ways and with the unique JCMA mix of studying, discussing, praying, eating and sharing as we get to meet each other as people of faith in Australia. Venue: Conference Centre, Pallotti College80 McNamaras Rd, Millgrove (Melways: Map 289 A2).  Single room: $365 per person; Single sharing: $335 per person; Couple: $660 per couple Sunday Taster: $50 per person. Further information: 9650 3294;;

Saturday 14 July-Friday 20 July: The Lizard's Revenge - Olympic Dam expansion music/art/festival/protest. ... Sleeping underneath the ground there is an old lizard, Kalta the sleepy lizard. The lizard ain't so sleepy anymore. BHP is mining right into that Lizards body. The government has just approved an expansion of the Olympic Dam uranium mine, making it the biggest uranium mine in the world. Kalta is angry and wants revenge. Arabana elder Kevin Buzzacott is calling the people of the world to help the lizard shut down the mine. He is calling for people to come and heal the land in the name of peace and justice for the next 10,000 generations to come. The land is being irreversibly poisoned in and around Roxby Downs by the tailings dam causing dust and ground water contamination, and contamination of its workers. Party in a Dangerous Planet with Theatre, Cabaret and Art installations. Over 20 musical acts. Solar Powered sound system extravaganza and wind powered cinema. Location: Olympic Dam, Roxby Downs gates of hell - South Australia. Contact Email: Website: Hosted by the DLF - Desert Liberation Front in response to the governments decision to expand Olympic Dam mine.
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Friday, 23 March 2012

Kids, a library, and books-books-books

This Sunday, the big day out for kids: Children's Book Festival
Sunday 25th March, 10am to 4pm, on the lawns of the State Library of Victoria.

The Children’s Book Festival is back - bigger and better than ever, with more things to do than you can poke a puppet at. (Yes, we have puppets.) There are things that go (a fire truck), things that make noise (musical acts like the Mudcakes), things to create (workshops and drawing activities) and things to eat (a sausage sizzle). Best of all, there are things that tell stories: from the cheeky fun of Andy Griffiths and Leigh Hobbs, to the illustrative wizardry of Graeme Base and imaginative charm of Alison Lester.

And the weather’s looking good too, at an autumn-perfect 20 degrees รข€“ but rain, hail or shine, we’ve catered for Melbourne’s fickle weather, with loads of fun activities under marquees on the lawns, as well as inside the State Library and the Wheeler Centre. It kicks off at 10am - so grab the small people in your life and come along for a big day out in the wonderful world of children's books.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

A $2 billion handout to wealthy mining companies that unnecessarily distorts Autralia's economy.


News & media

Better ways to spend taxes than handouts to miners

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) supports any move to reform the wasteful, out-of-date fuel tax credit scheme, a $2 billion handout to wealthy mining companies that unnecessarily distorts our economy.
“Our cities are crying out for better transport, yet we give mining companies with record profits a $2 billion gift to keep driving their trucks,” said Charles Berger, Director of Strategic Ideas at ACF.
“This makes no policy or environmental sense. Make no mistake, this is mining companies receiving about $85 for every Australian man, woman and child.
At present, the federal government is spending about half as much money paying for businesses’ fuel as it does on funding our public schools.  How do we explain that to parents and teachers of those children?
“By removing this handout, we could put a significant dent in the cost of important policies like the disability insurance scheme, public dental cover for all Australians, or both parties’ parental leave schemes. Or we could of course spend that money on vital measures to reduce pollution in coming years,” said Mr Berger.
“The $2 billion mining companies receive annually is up from $1.2 billion in the 2005-06 financial year.  So during one of the greatest mining booms in history, miners have had access to an extra $800 million of taxpayers’ money.
“Just today, media reports predict iron ore exports will double by 2016-17. This is not an industry that needs our help, or our handouts.
“While hard-working Australians in the fast-growing western suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney, who have minimal access to public transport, pay 33 cents per litre in tax on petrol just to get to work, their taxes help businesses get it for next to nothing,” Mr Berger said.
“This is $2 billion dollars of taxpayer money that could be much better spent elsewhere."
Further reading:

National Neighbour Day - drop on by and say g'day

Next Sunday is Neighbour Day here in Australia.  A great time to say g'day and build community right on your doorstep.  In Ballarat, there are events planned:

The City of Ballarat is inviting residents to support National Neighbour Day either by participating in organised activities being held at local community/neighbourhood houses or putting on their very own neighbourhood party.
National Neighbour Day, Sunday 25 March, is a day for all Australians to celebrate community connectedness. This initiative aims is to raise awareness of the issues of isolation, security and the benefits of having connections within our communities.
National Neighbour Day offers a unique opportunity for the people of Ballarat to do something with their neighbours; simply say g'day, invite them over for a cup of tea, host a BBQ, chat over the fence or organise a street party.
Council supports National Neighbour Day each year and is once again encouraging the simple concept of neighbourliness by asking local residents to play their part in creating a safe, healthy and happy Ballarat community.
Organised events to support National Neighbour Day, 2012 include;
Wendouree West Community House:12-14 Violet Grove, Wendouree
Monday 19 March, 1 - 2.30pm. Scone baking demonstration at 1pm and preserving demonstration at 1.30pm. Drop in for a cup of tea and chat. For more information contact 5339 5069
Ballarat North Community House:  6 Crompton Street, Ballarat
Thursday 22 March, 10 - 11.30am. Nearby residents are invited to join a "Neighbours around the Corner" morning tea. For more information contact 5329 1101
Ballarat East Community House:507 Eyre Street, Ballarat
Saturday 24 March, 10am - 1pm. Join members of your community and Miss Jane from Power FM, the CWA, Breaze Local Food Group and the Ballarat Permaculture Guild for a morning of fun. Activities include: Veggie Patch Blitz, Scones, Breaze Local Food demonstrations and a Winter Veggie Garden workshop. For more information contact 5331 4107
Delacombe Community House:102 Leawarra Crescent, Delacombe
Sunday 25 March,10am -12pm. Polystyrene box gardening competition. Grow locally, learn to recycle and meet your neighbours, $3 entry.  For more information contact 0407 360 214

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The Activist’s Handbook – a step by step guide to participatory democracy

The Activists’ Handbook is a powerful guide to social change activism and an essential resource for anyone ready to make a difference.
The Activist Handbook - a step by step guide to participatory democracy
Australian environmental activist Aidan Ricketts offers a step-by-step guide and more to starting up or
getting involved in grassroots movements.
Providing all the essential practical tools, methods and strategies needed for a successful campaign and
extensively discussing legal and ethical issues, The Activists Handbook empowers its readers to effectively promote their cause. With lots of example documents and comprehensive information on digital activism and group strategy, this is the ultimate handbook to participatorydemocracy.
256pp.  Published by Zed Books, London, 2012.
$29.95 plus $6 postage
You can buy the book online here.
If you have been referred to this site from another social change organisation, select them first then press ‘click to buy'.

10% of each sale will go to the nominated organisation. Please consider listing FoE as the recipient. This information is from the site of Friends of the Earth, Melbourne. Thanks.
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Healthy river systems lead to healthy housing prices in the Murray-Darling Basin

News & media

Healthy rivers support healthy house prices

Analysis of the selling prices of houses in 90 local shires across the Murray-Darling Basin shows house values are rising — and they are strongest in river valleys that are in good ecological health.
The analysis, by the Australian Conservation Foundation’s economic adviser Simon O’Connor, shows a solid link between healthy rivers and a strong housing market.
“Houses in all parts of the Basin increased in value between 2006 and 2010, but house prices in regions where the river system remains in good health increased in value at a higher rate than house prices in the parts of the Basin where the river system is struggling,” Mr O’Connor said.
“Some opponents of a strong Murray-Darling Basin Plan have tried to suggest that returning more water to the environment would damage house prices in the Basin, but our study, using a more detailed set of data, tells a different story
“There is in fact a strong correlation between healthy rivers and healthy house prices.
“The best protection for regional communities and farming families is to keep the Basin’s rivers, Australia’s lifeblood, flowing.
“A strong Basin Plan is the best chance we have to secure a healthy environment and strong economy in the Basin."
The study used Australian Bureau of Statistics house price data from 90 councils and shires in the Basin and matched this information against the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s Sustainable Rivers Audit, which rated the ecological health of the Basin’s 23 major river valleys on a scale of extremely poor to good health.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

United Nations Association of Australia (Vic) - Business and Human Rights Workshops

An invitation to the United Nations Association of Australia (Vic) 
Business and Human Rights Workshops

The upcoming 
United Nations Association of Australia (Vic) Business and Human Rights Workshops – a corporate responsibility and sustainability leadership training program - may be of interest to you and your networks. Registration deadline for the first Melbourne workshop in the series is 22 March. Any assistance in promoting the program to your networks would be greatly appreciated.

The workshops, supported by AAR,  will be facilitated by Vanessa Zimmerman, Former Legal Advisor to the UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights and Principal Human Rights Advisor, Rio Tinto,with guest speakers including Shane Lucas, Group Head of Sustainable Development, ANZ and Dr Alexandra Guaqueta, Member of the UN Working Group Human Rights, Transnational Corporations and Other Businesses and the World Economic Forum Global Council on Human Rights, and formerHead, Social Standards and International Engagement at Cerrejon Coal.

The workshops invite professionals from diverse backgrounds wanting to learn more about business and human rights and how to apply the UN Guiding Principles – the global standard of practice on business and human rights - in practice. The workshops will build capacity to monitor and manage corporate human rights impacts and risks, and provide practical guidance on how to integrate human rights considerations into everyday business practices.
Please extend this invitation to your colleagues and networks.

Embedding respect for human rights into business practices is critical for risk management and the achievement of corporate sustainability objectives. In the face of legal, operational, commercial and reputational risks, business leaders are taking proactive steps to implement human rights policies, risk assessment and management strategies in core business and throughout supply chains.

This workshop series will provide participants with an understanding of the essential strategies and tools needed to develop and implement a corporate human rights policy and establish a human rights due diligence process in their own company/organisation.  
The Australian Government supported the unanimous endorsement of theUnited Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in June 2011. TheUN Guiding Principles are a global reference point for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights linked to business. They are relevant to Australian businesses in all sectors whether doing business at home or abroad.

The workshops are an essential program for corporate responsibility and sustainability managers, investors, risk and compliance managers, and corporate lawyers.

The workshops are designed for business, government, investor and NGO professionals responsible or accountable for corporate governance, CSR and human rights as well as those working in corporate strategy/affairs, human resources, supply chain management, sustainability/environment, ethical investment, legal, compliance and risk management, and community engagement.

For more information about the program please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

Catherine Sutherland  ||  Program Manager
United Nations Association of Australia (Victorian Division)
GPO Box 45, Melbourne VIC 3001

Click to enlarge

PS: Miss Eagle apologies for the short notice.  She only received this information on the afternoon of 21 March 2012 and has posted it as soon as possible.

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