Ben Heard

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Benjamin "Ben" Heard is a South Australian environmental consultant and an advocate for nuclear power in Australia, through his directorship of environmental NGO, Bright New World.[1]


Heard completed a Bachelor of Applied Science, Occupational Therapy from the University of South Australia and a Masters of Corporate Environmental and Sustainability Management from Monash University.[2] As of February 2015, he is a PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide.[3]

Heard worked as a Senior Consultant for GHD (2006-2008) and Senior Consultant in Sustainability and Climate Change at AECOM (2007-2009). He launched his own consultancy in 2009, ThinkClimate Consulting, which wound up in November 2016.

He was the founder and chief author of the blog, Decarbonise SA.

In 2012 he published the Zero Carbon Options report which presented a case for the replacement of aging coal-fired power stations near Port Augusta with a nuclear power plant.[4] Heard sits on the Independent Advisory Panel which informs the planned establishment of a national radioactive waste management facility in Australia as a member of the socio-economic sub group.[5] In November 2015, Heard was appointed to the International Advisory Board of Terrestrial Energy, a company developing molten salt nuclear reactor technology.[6]

Heard's blog Decarbonise SA was succeeded in November 2016 by the launch of Australia's first pro-nuclear environmental not-for-profit organisation: Bright New World.[7]

Nuclear power advocacy[edit]

Heard has co-authored articles with pro-nuclear environmental scientists Barry Brook and Corey Bradshaw,[3] and presented alongside them at public and institutional events. Heard has provided commentary on nuclear issues in the South Australian media[8] and has presented on the topic at Australian engineering,[9] resources sector[10][11][12] and local government events.[13] Heard's nuclear industrial advocacy continued in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. On 29 April 2011, Heard gave a presentation at the annual Local Government Association of South Australia conference entitled Nuclear power - from opponent to proponent.[14] The talk appeared in the event's program under the alternative title: Keeping the Lights On - the Irrefutable Case for Nuclear Energy.[15] Later that year, Heard traveled to Perth as a guest of uranium mining company Toro Energy to speak at an event hosted by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA). The event was entitled "The Cost of Carbon; Nuclear Energy: Australia’s Clear Energy Future?" and fellow panelists included Haydon Manning and Tony Owen.[16]

In 2012, Heard co-authored and published Zero Carbon Options, a report comparing nuclear and renewable energy options in an Australian context — specifically the replacement of the ageing coal-fired power stations Playford B and Northern located south of Port Augusta, South Australia.[17] Heard successfully raised $7,779 to support a launch event for the project from a crowd-funding base of 106 people.[4]

Heard has provided commercial services to uranium mining company Heathgate Resources,[18] has presented at the Paydirt Uranium conference[11] and has co-authored a series of articles promoting the nuclear industry for the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME).[19]

In 2014, Heard expressed his view that in order to decarbonise electricity generation "we shouldn't be waiting around for breakthroughs, we need to get on with what we've got. That doesn't exclude wind, solar, wave, geothermal.. but it has to include nuclear or we're not serious."[20]

In late 2014, Heard prepared a discussion paper for the Economic Development Board of South Australia entitled Critical Conversations which examined the "opportunities for rapid industrial development and revenue generation for South Australia through expanded involvement in the nuclear value chain". In 2015, Heard's discussion paper was submitted as part of the Economic Development Board's formal submission to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission.[21] Heard and Brook publicly supported the commencement of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission in March 2015,[22] and Heard subsequently supported Liberal party senator Sean Edwards' vision for a nuclear South Australia, describing it to The Advertiser as "entirely credible".[23] Heard further endorsed Edwards' vision by republishing his speech delivered on April 7 to The Sydney Institute on his blog, Decarbonise SA.[24]

Heard was awarded the United Uranium Scholarship from the Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation (ANSTO) in 2015.[25]

That December, Heard wrote:

"I want to make South Australia the nuclear recycling hub for the 21st century. I support the vision of Senator Edwards who wants high-tech jobs for South Australians for the next hundred years and beyond."[26]

In 2016, Heard launched Australia's first pro-nuclear not for profit environmental organisation, Bright New World. Bright New World's board is Chaired by Martin Thomas AM, former Vice President of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE). Fellow boardmembers are Rachael Turner, Stephanie Bolt and Corey Bradshaw.[27]

He was made an Honorary Member of the Leaders Institute of South Australia that year.[25]


  1. ^ England, Cameron (2012-05-01). "Nuclear for SA power says expert". The Advertiser. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  2. ^ "Mr Benjamin (Ben) Heard | The University of Adelaide Staff Directory". Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  3. ^ a b "Mr Benjamin (Ben) Heard". University Staff Directory. University of Adelaide. 2015-02-06. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  4. ^ a b Heard, Ben. "Zero Carbon Options - Launch the Report". Pozible. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  5. ^ "Independent Advisory Panel - Membership List". Archived from the original on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  6. ^ "New Appointment to International Advisory Board of Terrestrial Energy". Ben Heard. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  7. ^ "Thank you, farewell…and welcome to a Bright New World". Ben Heard. 2016-11-11. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
  8. ^ England, Cameron (2012-05-01). "Time to turn to safe, clean nuclear". The Advertiser. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  9. ^ "Australia's nuclear energy future in the spotlight". Mining Australia. Archived from the original on 2015-06-25. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  10. ^ "Infrastructure the issue as South Australia's resources sector meets in Adelaide |". Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  11. ^ a b "Ben Heard". Paydirt's 2013 Uranium Conference. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  12. ^ "Ben Heard - South Australian Resources & Energy Investment - South Australian Resources and Energy Investment Conference 30 April - 2 May". Archived from the original on 2015-05-29. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  13. ^ "Is pro-nuclear the best option for our make-or-break century?". Eventbrite. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  14. ^ "Local Government Association of South Australia - 2011 LGA Conference and General Meeting - LGA". 2012-03-28. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved 2015-06-30.
  15. ^ "2011 LGA Conference & General Meeting - Conference Program" (PDF). Local Government Association of South Australia. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 28, 2013. Retrieved 2015-06-30.
  16. ^ Heard, Ben (2011-09-28). "A debate we have to have- the wrap up of CEDA in Perth". Ben Heard. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
  17. ^ Heard, Ben (2012). Zero Carbon Options - Final Report (PDF). Adelaide, South Australia: ThinkClimate Consulting & Brown & Pang.
  18. ^ Heard, Ben. "Am I an environmentalist?". Decarbonise SA. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  19. ^ Heard, Ben; Brook, Barry. "Complete Nuclear Series". South Australian Chamber of Mines & Energy. South Australian Chamber of Mines & Energy. Archived from the original on 2015-04-13. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  20. ^ McHugh, Babs (2014-06-19). "Environmentalist argues in favour of nuclear power". ABC Rural. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  21. ^ Spencer, Raymond (2015-08-03). "Economic Development Board of South Australia - Submission to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission" (PDF). Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission. Retrieved 2015-10-16.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ Heard, Ben; Brook, Barry (2015-02-10). "Royal Commission into nuclear will open a world of possibilities". The Conversation. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  23. ^ Shepherd, Tory (2015-03-12). "Liberal Senator Sean Edwards unveils radical plan for a booming nuclear industry in South Australia". The Advertiser. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  24. ^ Edwards, Sean; Heard, Ben (2015-04-08). ""We must act and we must act now". Speech from Senator Sean Edwards". Decarbonise SA. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  25. ^ a b "Mr Ben Heard | Staff Directory". Retrieved 2017-10-31.
  26. ^ SA, Decarbonise. "On evidence, emotion and wisdom: A response to Senator Scott Ludlam". Ben Heard. Retrieved 2016-01-16.
  27. ^ "Board". Bright New World. Retrieved 2017-10-31.