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The Voice still festers and so does the government on reliable energy

Just when you thought the Voice had lost its momentum and it was something we could all forget about. Despite the referendum on ‘the Voice’ being soundly defeated by the Australian public, the South Australian government has ignored the referendum results and pressed on to establish a ‘Voice’ in their parliament. Less than 10% of eligible voters cast their ballot for the South Australian First Nations Voice to Parliament election. Indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders were asked to elect the 46 members of the state’s ‘Voice to Parliament’ in a non-compulsory election on March 16. Only 2619 votes were counted across the state, which is home to about 30,000 eligible voters. Just goes to show that the majority of Aborigines either accepted the referendum outcome or they are so divided over the candidates that they couldn’t be bothered to vote. We need to stop this rubbish! 

The Goondiwindi Regional Council and the Queensland government, in conjunction with Bigambul Aboriginal Corporation is planning to hand over the 220-hectare Toobeah Reserve to the Bigambul Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (BNTAC). Toobeah, is a small rural town of about 30 residents in the Darling Downs region about 400km southwest of Brisbane. The reserve is not only a recreational area for the town, but also houses a pipe bringing water to the town.  The residents are up in arms as there was no consultation, typical of this government. The granting of native title is becoming a scourge on our society, resulting in us being locked out of many areas which we used to enjoy. The Gecko knows this because, being a lizard, he gets around a bit. So, watch out, because the Voice is stealthily progressing and ignoring the referendum outcome not to have a Voice. Same goes with native title; land under Aboriginal native title now amounts to about 65% of the Australian continent. Aboriginals make up about 3.8% of our population and aboriginality is growing exponentially every day. Simple solution ……. claim aboriginality, because it is easy …… then put your hand out and let the money and benefits flow into your hand, better still, use a wheelbarrow. 

Our energy minister, Chris Bowen, continues to spin the propaganda regarding renewables and why we don’t need coal-fired power stations or nuclear energy to provide us with a source of reliable power, basically continuing the spin that wind and sun are free and batteries will be our savior. Perhaps the caption below will get the message across. 

Why is there such an aversion to using nuclear on land when the government is in favour of nuclear power at sea with our proposed nuclear-powered submarines? Defence Minister Marles talks up nuclear-power and Energy Minister Bowen talks down nuclear-power! Bowen’s propaganda about nuclear-power or coal-fired power generation not being required because we will have free solar and wind power plus batteries to serve all our needs, is downright delusional. If the serial ministerial failure, Chris Bowen, is so certain that nuclear-power is too expensive, why are other countries now embracing it and ramping up nuclear-power generation to provide a reliable source of electricity? 

At the COP28 UN climate talks, there was a declaration signed by 22 countries “to advance the aspirational goal of tripling nuclear-power capacity by 2050”. Naturally, with our government obsessed with renewables, Australia was not a signatory. Therefore, unless the government comes to its senses, the ‘funny’ above may prove to have a lot of truth to it! 

Currently, 32 countries have nuclear-power plants that generate electricity, with the contribution of nuclear to total generation ranging from less than 10% to above 70%. In 2022, 13 countries produced at least 25% of their electricity from nuclear. The largest generators of nuclear power are the US, China, France, Russia and South Korea. 

In the case of France, about 70% of its electricity is generated by nuclear-power plants; it is also a major exporter of electricity. There are currently 56 nuclear reactors, with a total capacity of 61 gigawatts. 

The amount of subsidies handed out by the government for renewables, almost entirely to wind and solar, has now grown to at least $15.6 billion. To provide batteries or pumped storage to firm-up intermittent wind/solar sources of energy would cost far more than this. The renewables-sympathetic Global Roam consultancy, using highly optimistic assumptions, estimates battery back-up equivalent to 70,000 Hornsdale Tesla batteries. That would put the cost at $6.3 trillion, or three-times GDP! And Bowen says nuclear power is too expensive! 

The problem is the population gullibly believes we are saving the planet and believes the propaganda by the government that wind/solar and batteries provide cheap electricity. Really! If all the costs are accounted for in the setup costs then it is far more expensive than coal-fired power generation and nuclear-power generation. There has certainly been no relief in the electricity prices as the cost continues to skyrocket. So much for our promised cheaper electricity and a saving of $275 per annum! 

The British government largely has changed its tune about nuclear and is currently planning for another eight nuclear plants. 

Bowen is keen to make the point that there are lengthy delays between the decision to approve a nuclear-power plant and its commissioning. The problem is deliberately obstructive regulatory agencies, excessive regulation and prevarication on the part of governments. Now, if there is a Voice to Parliament, a decision will never be made. 

The point here is that Australia is being left behind when it comes to the revival of nuclear power, notwithstanding our commitment to purchase nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS Agreement. And, we have uranium in abundance. 

Bowen argues that nuclear-generated electricity is simply too expensive to contemplate and renewable energy is by far the cheapest source of power. Rubbish!  

Read Part 2 in the next issue. 

Before closing, a little insight into the hypocrisy of the renewable brigade! 

Fact. We all know that in the outback there are chargers for your EV to provide electricity ….. powered by a diesel generator!  

The ‘Off-Grid Living Festival’ in Chiltern, Victoria, is a weekend to celebrate and investigate sustainable living in Australia. Half the stalls were powered by solar, however, festival organisers confirmed food stalls, which needed ‘ridiculous amounts of energy’, required a diesel generator. 

Say no more! Take care and be kind to yourself, 

Until next time, Gecko Chirps. 

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