« October 2009 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
about editor
advertise?
aust govt
big media
CommentCode
contact us
corporates
culture
donations to SAM
ecology
economy
education
election nsw 2007
election Oz 2007
free SAM content
globalWarming
health
human rights
independent media
indigenous
legal
local news
nsw govt
nuke threats
peace
publish a story
water
wildfires
world
zero waste
zz
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
official indymedia
Sydney
Perth
Ireland
ecology action Australia
ecology action
.
Advertise on SAM
details for advertisers
You are not logged in. Log in

sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Friday, 9 October 2009
'Single parties expert witness' in world heritage sandmine case alleged deception? Part 2
Mood:  sharp
Topic: legal

We have been in correspondence with the NSW Dept of Environment, Climate Change and Water since a court decision in mid August 2009.

The Land & Environment Court registry advises that their CD tape of the hearing is still unavailable despite a ordering same over a month ago. Something about a backlog.

Here is the second part to troubling material which is a little complex but important because this guy will be giving evidence on mining cases in NSW in the future. All this and more will be shunted off to the NSW Attorney General later today, as suggested should happen by the senior solicitor for Hawkesbury City Council, one of the parties in the litigation. Our role was as pro bono legal agent for two objectors Diamond and Sneddon, backed morally by several peak and local environment groups. If we had the bucks we could have cross examined the 'single parties expert'.

That is, in this jurisdiction the single expert is paramount with no other expert being allowed, though expert evidence can be presented for their comment:

..................................

Sent: Wednesday, September 09, 2009 6:00 PM
Subject: Tinda Ck Blue Mtns WHA - evidence of complex deep burial breach

Dear DECC......, ......
Tinda Creek proximate to Blue Mtns WHA, fallout of Birdon v HCC 11133 of 2009 decision of C'er Brown
I refer to correspondence yesterday at point no. 2 re complex facts of failure of miner Birdon to effect deep burial of dangerous dredge fines (14-20m) to date, and maybe forever.
Today we have clarified for ourselves the relevant diagrams in the 1996 consent/approved plans verifying where the obligation for deep burial (14-20metres) of dredge fines specifically arises. Given Birdon as below specifically claim they did 'complete stage 1' by 2002, and admit they have never buried at depth, they effectively admit their own breach. 
It appears this illegality regarding deep burial may continue despite the recent approval modification all the way to 2021 by C'er Brown in the LEC recently. The evidence follows:


 

Picture A above: Approved rehab plan April 1996 with stages 1 to 6 shown, especially stage 1 top left obscured (and see enlarged further below)


 

Picture B above: Point "F" of the rehab plan schedule at left to "shape ponds". What does this mean for stage 1? Refer next.
 


Picture C above: Stage 1 in the 1996 approved plans: The ponds are to be shaped as above, and notice especially "CLEAN WATER POND (CWP)". This plan is for ground level, while depth of a CWP follows:


Picture D above: Plan 3 of 3 shows the profile of a 'Clean Water Pond' at 14 to 20 metres depth (crown land from 15.26m).
Note too by former condition 3 and Part B of the 1996 consent (now repealed by the LEC decision) other stages can only follow completion of stage 1. Refer next:
 


Picture E above - staggered approval in Part B condition of consent in 1996, effectively repealed from August 2009.

Here is the Birdon/Bruce letter with the wrong claim to HCC dated 1st May 2002 that they have 'duly complied with stage 1' despite no burial of dredge fines at depth:


 
Picture F above: Bruce for Birdon wrongly claims compliance with stage 1 of the development without any burial of dredge fines as required.
We think our analysis above and Birdon's admission to the LEC they have never buried the dredge fines at depth 1996-2009, not only proves a non compliance with 1996 DA conditions all the way to 2009, but also risk of present or likely future breach of [Protection of the Environment Operations] Act: This is because of the likelihood of relatively shallow dredge fines leading to future collapsed dam walls and water pollution incident as per the 1989 $10K court penalty - the original motive for the deep burial given concerns of EPA and HNCMT etc in the mid 90ies.
................................
Regrettably we suspect the effect of the decision by the LEC's C'er Brown (still to see final conditions signed by LEC, available at counter at HCC, and not on web: pers comm 9 Sept 09) is to compress all 6 stages of the original approval into one continuous stage to 2021.
Now we fear the promised safe burial of dredge fines at depth in a final water body  now only requires compliance some time approaching the year 2021, and probably never: This timeline follows from a HCC legal document (we obtained off their planning file) re proposed draft consent conditions - deletion of conditions above  namely 3 and part B of the 1996 approval, combined with proposed condition 35 granting 25 year period of approval starting from 1996 to 2021, or if 2m t volume exhausts first. That last tonne will never be mined.
We understand some 350,000 tonnes of tailings remain at relatively shallow levels for what is proposed to be a 10 ha final lake water body.
........................................
A regulatory debacle? We think so. But perhaps DECC or Dept of Mines can take a constructive role better than HCC in addressing Birdon's failure to bury at depth for the last 13 years and bring some discipline on Birdon for the future?
Please feel free to respond by return email, or tel. 0410 558838.
Yours truly,
Tom McLoughlin legal agent objectors in Birdon v HCC 11133 of 2008 (approval by C'er Brown 18                                                                                                                                 August 2009 with changes to consent conditions)

Posted by editor at 1:00 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 9 October 2009 1:06 PM NZT
'Single parties expert witness' in world heritage sandmine case alleged deception? Part 1
Mood:  sharp
Topic: legal

We have been in correspondence with the NSW Dept of Environment, Climate Change and Water since a court decision in mid August 2009.

The Land & Environment Court registry advises that their CD tape of the hearing is still unavailable despite an order over a month ago. Something about a backlog.

Here is the troubling material which is a little complex but important because this guy will be giving evidence on mining cases in NSW in the future. All this will be shunted off to the NSW Attorney General later today, as suggested should happen by the senior solicitor for Hawkesbury City Council, one of the parties in the litigation. Our role was as pro bono legal agent for two objectors Diamond and Sneddon, backed morally by several peak and local environment groups. If we had the bucks we could have cross examined the 'single parties expert'.

That is, in this jurisdiction the single expert is paramount with no other expert being allowed, though expert evidence can be presented for their comment.

Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 5:30 PM
Subject: breach of cl283? - re alleged 'confusion' on approved plan, masking no deep burial of dredge fines breach. Umwelt Feb 08

Dear .....,
CC DECC .......
You will have our latest community media link on 'the wrong EIS' that was submitted to the LEC in Birdon v HCC 11133 of 2008. What a sham.
.....
Here is a brief of evidence I promised last week on the deceptive s.96 application document given to council as consent authority in 2006. There is a simple aspect to this and a more complex aspect.
1: Simple issue: Wrong allegation over which is the approved plan
See the highlight in yellow [of the extract of letter below]:


 

This claimed confusion above as part of their s.96 application (directly cross referenced attaching application form) is given the circumstances a calculated fraud: The approved plans were always known but inconvenient. Here are some images of the approved plans they were in breach of for years. They are 3 large format April 1996 plans by Port Stephens Design Services with a reference number:


 


 

 

The hammer blow in terms of evidence may be this: A memo by senior planner Greg Hall noting the approved plans are exactly what they are, implying that owner Tom Bruce/sandminer Birdon just doesn't like them:


 

No confusion. Just hard to comply with after cascading effect of non compliances especially re deep burial of dredge fines (below). This brings us to the more complex aspect of the deception regarding avoidance of requirements of the approved plan.
2. Complex deception: Cover up of miner failure to comply with deep burial of dredge fines in the approved plan to date, indeed also council failure to regulate compliance
Of particular problem for the miner has been their failure so far to comply with the approved plan (as shown above plan 3 of 3) with the burial of dredge fines 14 to 20 metres deep - possibly because too hard in engineering terms, certainly no crown land consent from 15.24 metres 1996-2009.
Umwelt's supplementary s.96 application letter of 24 July 2007 states at page 3 "The area under the existing Silt Pond [not to be confused with Stage 1 Dredge Pond] is not proposed to be extracted due to the depth of silt that exists in this area."
But they would be obliged to under a clearly identified "approved plan" April 1996, 3 of 3 as above. That's why it had to be airbrushed?
Birdon finally make the concession August 09 here in highlight below, even when legally they needed crown consent years ago:


 

We believe this failure to bury at depth, raised by the objectors only,  has forced Birdon (and council) to the negotiating table, to strengthen any consent orders. (Also the Jewell 07 water report of high evaporation effect supported by DECC has been influential.)
So only in August 2009 does Birdon reveal publicly a March 2009 Dept of Lands letter of permission to apply to extract and bury at depth using crown land, and still no commercial licence yet (?).
Another problem for the sandminer is they have placed silt up to 10 metres deep all over the main "stage 1 dredge pond" (they now call "stage 5") which was till this year the major (high evaporation) dam on the site. We estimate about 350,000 tonnes of silt there. This means they can't bury dredge fines at 14 to 20 metre depth without moving that difficult clayey tailings overtopping the sand resource. 
In their August 2009 response to issues in the case Birdon/Umwelt say they will decide later whether to mine below relatively shallow silt fines in a new "stage 5" overtopped with clayey silt - see bottom of page :


 

(We have a letter in the files we put into the court exhibits, signed by the managing director Bruce dated around 2002 that stage 1 of the quarry is "complete", so more evidence there never was any real intent to comply with the deep burial condition. )
Birdon clearly don't want to comply with the deep burial requirement since 1996 -2009, or now in 2009 or in the future. And especially in stage 1 dredge pond because there is so much of it.
What status is the 1996 obligation to bury at depth now, after C'er Brown 18th August 09 has waved through a new surface area plan and this latest uncertain 2009 EMP???
A recent letter from chief planner Owens 4 Sept 09 to objector Diamond suggests this non compliance re dredge fines burial is "temporary". As if, another 13 years? What indeed is safe for the environment, wildlife, people including bushfire workers using the lake for water resource? What islikely to be a stable landform, with dredge fines at the surface batters of a big lake?
No doubt the regime in the original approval was designed that way to keep dangerous silt away from the surface to avoid another $10K water pollution fine as happened in 1989 against former business partner Poyneed Pty Ltd/Jan Stout and sons.
This situation with deep burial of dredge fines is all very uncertain and unsatisfactory regarding lack of progressive rehabilitation requiring deep burial of dredge fines.
Nor have we even quoted yet the EIS which requires 30% only of site disturbance at any one time at section 5.1.2. Not affected by the new plan or new EMP either.
.........................
On another aspect we have the full water report now by Umwelt 08 for the miner as of last Friday attached. By way of contrast we have the Council report by Jewell 07 showing ostensible breach of water license volumes to 2007 due to evaporation effects. We don't believe Jewell 07 is wrong or that Umwelt/Jamieson have contradicted him on the real evidence. If DECC could corroborate this understanding by comparing the two reports maybe the miner could still be held to account for bleeding the creek dry for about 2 km.
I believe [deleted] at DECC has background on the Jewell 07 report and may be able to assist with a comparison of Umwelt for efficacy.
We will email the Umwelt report to DECC separately as it's a large electronic file given the diagrams.
Yours truly, Tom McLoughlin legal agent for objectors.

 


Posted by editor at 12:37 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 9 October 2009 12:44 PM NZT
Censored on Rooted blog out of Crikey Big Blog, sigh
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: independent media

Censorship is a curious beast. It appears amongst surprising folks you would never think for good or ill motives.

Yesterday we had cause to correspond with the Crikey editor re this irregularity below, and today our entries on Rooted are deleted, not simply 'awaiting moderation'. We give one paranoid explanation below - but if there is a more ethical explanation we would be interested to know. By the by we have that deed of settlement in the NSW Supreme Court in reserve for a suitable time, never web published and it's a cracker given we doubt any individual has successfully sued their own peak green group before in the history of Australia for maladministration if not corrupt behaviour. Embarrassing? You bet:

From: Ecology Action To: Jonathan Green
Sent: Thursday, October 08, 2009 4:47 PM
Subject: Rooted blog, blocked comment 1st Oct story - unwarranted

It may not be great grammar but the gist is there October 1 article.
Any chance of unblocking my comment (?) which was also copied onto a Bernard Keane string already - no worries there. What is the problem with Hepburn I wonder? Or is he wanting to use the intel and not spill the beans to the enemy?
For your information - on the paranoid side of things - I quit FoE Australia after busting my guts 7 years when he was still involved in Brisbane FoE about 2002.
I had cause to sue FoE Sydney Inc for trying to bully me out of my residential/commercial lease in 2003 and failing to honour their financial debt to me. It was in the NSW Supreme Court and I kicked their lazy dishonest backside where they paid my costs, backed off my lease and agreed to a derisory $50 a week rent - the savings I sent to a green campaign in Chile - $15K worth. Indeed the cheap rent was essential to that public interest agenda that FoE Sydney wanted to sabotage. A campaign that stopped a US $3B hydro smelter disaster for coastal fjordlands, 3 rivers a lake and 10K ha of virgin forest. Pathetic worms.
They wanted a confidentiality agreement. No way. They didn't even submit evidence despite having a big city law firm on pro bono while I was self represented. Never were such a perverse rump of by then backwater of the green movement so undeserving of legal help.
Hepburn however is a talent and industrious. It would be a shame if he is prejudiced on your public forum totally unrelated to past discipline.
On the other hand if he is going to censor me I might as well know.
Yours truly
Tom McLoughlin
..........................................


 

Here is the post as it appeared on another section of the Crikey discussion list but which was most appropriate in the dedicated environmental sub section called Rooted. People should know and judge for themselves:
  • Posted Friday, 2 October 2009 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    I commented yesterday on the Rooted blog, which curiously remains under moderation while being very moderate in content. The view underpins the real economic threat to Australia of dithering on climate regarding re-insurance sector, which all business depnends on in a rule of law context:

    As extreme weather affects more of the western developed economies the re-insurance industry will continue to ramp up the compulsory costs of insurance for any industry sector not seen to be mitigating climate change. At some point whole sectors or even countries’ balance sheet will be pushed off their insurance profile for just being hostile to long term financial health.

    Australia is surely rushing into that scenario and Malcolm Turnbull for one would be smart enough after HIH to know how disruptive that would be for big business behind the Liberal Party or Lablibs for that matter. Neither can afford that to happen in their career span.

    So it’s not just the Sarkozy threat of carbon tariffs on foreign (to EU buyer) products and services originating beyond their (my term) ‘credible climate mitigation programme’ (ccmp), but also the global re-insurance industry setting those [rogue] sectors ‘ legally adrift so that they can’t get OH&S or public liability or fire or any insurance whatsover. In other words send them into the liability wilderness just like the HIH fiasco did to numerous small business, builders [through no fault of their own].

    Sure China or India etc may buy ‘black’ [rogue] coal outside a ccmp, even more so if they buy up the [means of] production here, but who will provide the insurance to operate such a plant? My guess even if China or India buy the local resource with FIRB approval, unless the Australian Govt abdicates sovereignty of select economic geographical zones (and thus application of domestic labour and safety laws), not even a foreign owner will be able to operate WITHOUT INSURANCE.

    Indeed nothing happens in business without insurance, not even King coal power stations. Just ask Esso. [Meaning Longford Vic disaster multi million dollar public liability, workers killed etc].

  •  


     

     


    Posted by editor at 11:11 AM NZT
    Updated: Friday, 9 October 2009 12:09 PM NZT
    Thursday, 8 October 2009
    Nasty real politik on Turnbull in 'Wright was a crank' broadsheet report
    Mood:  accident prone
    Topic: aust govt


     

    There was a cruel picture of a goofy looking 30 something lawyer Turnbull in the broadsheet press earlier this week in Sydney. Might have been The Australian, indeed yes here:

    Spycatcher was mentally ill | The Australian
    6 Oct 2009


    From left Malcolm Turnbull, and author Wright in folksy hat seated on a city bench with Gough Whitlam no less, former ALP Prime Minister.

    There was a real politik subtext of the report about Peter Wright being regarded now 14 years after his death, 24 years after his book, by MI5 et al today as "a crank". Especially the claim Roger Hollis as director of MI5 was a KGB spy.

    Turnbull famously won a free speech case for the Wright publication here in Australia, though it has to be said Wright strongly hints he omitted alot of material anyway being 'a man who knew too many secrets' on the last page of the book. Wright was never in the director promotion stream because he came to the secret service through his science and technical not intelligence/spy training.

    The subtext of the article is Turnbull promoted a fraud, a mental case, a crank and so should be marked down in the current leadership "chaos" because he has risen based in part on that cache' of misconceived libertarian free speech record. The addition of Gough Whitlam just twists the knife given the ex PM is regarded as an economic failure though social welfare champion.

    The damage was all in the picture rather than the text content, and in the placement in the broadsheet of choice of the conservative intellectual Coalition voter. Nasty.

    The book doesn't read like a crank author but then that could be editor intervention too. But putting that aside back in 2003-4 when Turnbull was accessible to the public while seeking parliamentary office, and this writer chatted to him on Bondi Rd (outside Kemeny's supermarket after a feed at 3 Steps and near where my IT consultant lived), and exchanged emails once, he wrote to this blogger saying words like

    'it is accepted wisdom that Wright was wrong about Roger Hollis'

    How very interesting we thought at the time. We may even have blogged on it on Sydney Indymedia sometime since.

    We don't have the email - cleaned out several cycles ago but it's pretty much a direct quote.

    So the news article earlier this week sells Turnbull a little short. He was willing to email a mosquito in the political firmament 5 years ago and concede his client Peter Wright's book - remember it's a rule of law society with right to a lawyer of choice - was probably wrong. Does this itself show lack of judgement?

    On the other hand what is that old saying about disagreeing but defending to the death the right to free speech?

    A cheap shot at Turnbull, no doubt effective given the timing, and as usual anything can happen in politics which is a cruel business to be sure. What did Turnbull himself say recently - 'the Liberal party are unsentimental about the leadership'.


    Posted by editor at 9:57 AM NZT
    Updated: Friday, 9 October 2009 10:47 AM NZT
    Tuesday, 6 October 2009
    SAM micro news pageview stats for Sept 2009 - 19,132
    Mood:  flirty
    Topic: independent media

    Looks like SAM news blog is back on mains power after going wild for 6 months. Hopefully our productivity, interest and utility for diverse readers will increase accordingly. Time will tell.

     

    Previous monthly reader pageview figures for 2007, 2008 verified by screen shot (web host provider monthly pageview account details) checked and posted on or about 4th day of the month found in this thread:

    • September 2009 - 19,132
    •  August 2009 - 22,072 (host metric, not screenshot)
    • July 2009 - 18,293 (host metric, not screenshot)
    • June 2009 - 29,165 (host metric, not screenshot)
    • May 2009 - 32,125 (host metrics, not screenshot)
    • April 2009 - 23,421 (host metrics, not screenshot)
    • March 2009 - 34,255
    • February 2009 - 23,208
    • January 2009 - 27,462
    • December 08 - 21,858
    • November 08 - unavailable, host breakdown
    • October 08 - 20,343
    • September 08 - 20,746
    • August 08 - 25,344
    • July 08 - 22,855
    • June 08 - 27,440
    • May 08 - 25,046
    • April 08 - 19,250
    • March 08 - 20,803 
    • February 08 - 13,109
    • January 2008 -  19, 898
    • December - 11,627
    • November - 10,220
    • October - 9, 100 
    • Sept -  8,100 roughly, no screenshot
    • August - 8,845
    • July - 7475
    • June - 9675
    • May  - 9, 059
    • April  - 12,087
    • March  - 6,684
    • February - 5,372
    • January 07 -  2800 (3rd Jan - 3rd Feb 07)

    Posted by editor at 6:19 PM NZT
    Fran Kelly gets the scoop: Interview with Prof Elizabeth Blackburn Nobel for medicine
    Mood:  a-ok
    Topic: big media

    The voice of the winner is here this morning 6 October 2009 ABC radio national:

     6:35  Australian scientist wins Nobel prize for medicine

     


    Posted by editor at 5:39 PM NZT
    Briefing note from civil society group on 1997 NSW power sale
    Mood:  sharp
    Topic: nsw govt

    Mediocre laissez faire economic analysis has grown up around the alleged desirability of the defunct 1997 '$35 billion' (or is that only $25 billion?) NSW power sell off plan, rejected by the union movement and ALP conference. But not just those groups. Civil society groups were also very concerned as per this article in the UK The Guardian in 1997 which was provided to NSW MPs with the package below:


     

    The following documentation has never been web published before sitting in a plastic folder in the SAM archive for 12 years now. But we always knew it was quality information that should be kept for posterity, whether one agrees or disagrees with the weight of the arguments.

    As stated elsewhere, this writer slotted a copy of this briefing note under every NSW MP's door. A practice we learned from an earlier parliamentary officer job with cross bencher Clover Moore MP in late 1992, when Moore McDonald and Hatton's influence and power was in their halycon days. The unofficial circular under doorways was banned soon after and we may well have caused that. Certainly the anger in the ALP Right must surely have been white hot after their power sale plan fell over.

    As stated in the penultimate post regarding plans for the sale income in 1997:

    (b) we know of another $450M via John Connor (now of ALP aligned Climate Institute) which Carr planned to insert into a NSW version of Howard's $1B Natural Heritage Trust package in the sell off of Telstra. Indeed the 1997 energy sale plan was quite a monkey see, monkey do version of Carr copying Howard in 1996 federal election win. In NSW substitute power assets for telco, but it was all about smashing unions and getting the money. And people wonder why Carr jumped directly to Macquarie Bank from the premiership?

    The briefing paper from 1997 follows and main credit goes to freelance writer and academic Claire Gerson in Third Opinion magazine edited by Stevie Bee/Broadbent (now out of publication) who often worked overnight because back then internet speeds on landlines were so slow it was the only way to access his international sources. Also to then climate change campaigner Dietrich Willing of Friends of the Earth Sydney:


     

     


     


     

     


    ................................................................................

    Lastly here is a poster from nascent  NSW Green party from that time in 1997: 


     


     

     

     

     


    Posted by editor at 2:19 PM NZT
    Updated: Tuesday, 6 October 2009 4:00 PM NZT
    Fact checking 4 Corners push of a falling wall re Sydney transport woes
    Mood:  rushed
    Topic: nsw govt

     


     

    While agreeing with the overall thrust of the show last night there are some omissions and clarifications of significance:

    1. Obeid MP, hardly objective, quotes $35 B valuation of 1997 energy sale proposal. This figure is also quoted by Keating in (complete with banker consultancy conflict) the SMH in recent years putting the sale at $35B but conflating the 1997 and 2007 sale plans which are radically different. Keating here 6 May 2008 and note his disclosure eventually of financial conflict to Lazard Carnegie Wylie bankers, in

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/iemma-deserved-better-than-naked-obstructionism/2008/05/05/1209839545859.html

    However other literature we have seen from that 1997 controversy puts the 1997 sale figure at $25B not $35B. So we remain agnostic on the true figure. To be sure it's a big number but so is a $10B discrepancy.

     2. In fact the Iemma plan excluded various infrastructure reducing the sale down to some $10-15B. It took John Kaye MP (Greens) to expose Keating's in effect false advertising of the sale on the opinion pages of the SMH. Keating wanted people to think it was the 10 year delay that caused the price reduction from $35B to $15B and '$20B in lost income', when really it was apples with oranges. Tsk tsk. Perhaps this deception related to this:

    NSW power sale fees to tip $150m | Business | News.com.au 11 Dec 2007

    3. The unfettered market axiom assumed in the 4 Corners view of history behind the 1997 proposal is shallow and potentially very dangerous. SAM will publish material from that 1997 campaign from UK experience which is damning, by academic Claire Gerson, and circulated to all NSW MPs via FoE Sydney green group at the time by this writer by hand under their parliamentary office door. A practice that is now banned.

    4. Further to point 3, Argentina privatisations were a disaster. The gigantic Enron bankruptcy in the USA another disaster for social fabric and subject of withering doco on google video - Smartest Guys In The Room. And Lehman Bros collapse more recently in the GFC. In this sense public ownership of essential services has been vindicated big time. These are huge democratic issues beyond a once off sale of the family silver.

    5. As per the second episode of the long running West Wing tv show "Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc" because a rail project stalled doesn't mean it was the failure of the 1997 sell off that caused it. A whole list of broken promises for rail was mentioned.

    The rail extension to Bondi Beach we know alot about (and published source materials here ages ago) as then ward councillor at Bondi, and chair of the council environment committee. Bondi Rail was private public partnership with Macquarie Bank with Lend Lease involvement. So it was off Govt budget not part of the energy sale income. Second it was opposed for high priced ticket, failure of design over lack of mid way station, destruction of public park, cost of excavation in soft terrain for beach front station, and fear of high rise on air space rights (just like Bondi Junction/Gold Coast is today).

    6. An irony of point 5 is that 4 Corners last night showed Lee Rhiannon MP (Greens) who back in 1997 was a private Bondi citizen and a strong local voice against the Bondi rail/private capital. Rhiannon and her protege now Mayor of Balmain Jamie Parker, are shown promoting north west rail against the Metro in 2009. Horses for courses: 1997 against Bondi rail, 2009 for NW rail showing just how political the Sydney snakepit really is.

    7. Perhaps one of the biggest omissions is the political-economic reality of the disastrous thankfully stalled plan for a $5B secretive truck tunnel from Rozelle to Port Botany with cancer smog stacks in marginal Marrickville (held by Carmel Tebbutt on the Rees team replacing Iemma).  


    SAM here posted on this recently with YouTube background on container traffic. And note feature in SMH yesterday business section of container ship gigantism at least pre GFC (and note error in that story re alleged promotion of exports when Sydney has low container exports - it's all imports). Without that construction largesse another project of similar size has been vomited up in the form of the $5B metro in a similar geographical location.

    8. Another big ommission is that not all income of the 1997 energy sale was likely to end up in transport. More likely it was intended for a raft of political fixes and boondoggles. The green movement in NSW are as implicated in this as much as anyone:

    (a) We know of possibly an extra $billion spent on the Chatwood-Epping rail build (supposed to go Parramatta) due to complaints over a postage stamp of Lane Cove NP, in particular via Dr Judy Messer then chair of Nature Conservation Council and north shore egomaniac. The redesign involved was rejected by leading greens in FoE Sydney, Karen Morrison and others. This wasted $1B possibly more than anything probably cruelled the extension to Parramatta. (But it did boost the need for a democratic Green Party beyond such as Dr Messer, or Jeff Angel, who also championed the deal with Carr to entrench logging in public forests for 20 years 1/4 saved, 3/4 trashed).

    (b) we know of another $450M via John Connor (now of ALP aligned Climate Institute) which Carr planned to insert into a NSW version of Howard's $1B Natural Heritage Trust package in the sell off of Telstra. Indeed the 1997 energy sale plan was quite a monkey see, monkey do version of Carr copying Howard in 1996 federal election win. In NSW substitute power assets for telco, but it was all about smashing unions and getting the money. And people wonder why Carr jumped directly to Macquarie Bank from the premiership?

    9. We could swear we heard the presenter Wendy Carlisle suggest to ex RTA supremo, now Metro supremo Les Wielinga, that the 'NSW public more in sorrow than anger will see an extended metro when they believe it'. That is transposing the old saying. Just a small slip up but still confusing. Yes, a double check shows the journo fluffed her line, but we knew what she meant and so did big Les Wielinga.


     

    10. The use of press gallery journo Simon Benson of free market News Corp (Sydney Daily Telegraph) ideology is to put it mildly somewhat biased sourcing (and to think he started out as environment reporter). Of course Benson will sledge any attempt to prevent unfettered privatisation and weave whatever smear he can over such an outcome having built his journalistic career on the hegemony of the NSW Right. What else is new.

    11. In terms of real politik, voters ditching the NSW ALP as per the vox pop at the end of the show won't mean much in safe Liberal Party seats in the north west sector (where this writer is based 6 months now). That's the cruel real politik of the situation for voters. And perhaps even their own fault since they voted in the M2 tollroad way back in 1994-5 and 1999 when the NGO sector - including arrest of this writer as a protester - called for rail not tollway road  vision for Sydney. In that respect both Labor and Liberal are indistinguishable.


    Posted by editor at 12:06 PM NZT
    Updated: Tuesday, 6 October 2009 2:26 PM NZT
    Sunday, 4 October 2009
    Sunday political talkies: Turnbull leadership on the mend from bad bout of climate flu?
    Mood:  quizzical
    Topic: aust govt


     

    Author’s general introductory note   

     

    This is not a well packaged story. It’s a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies in Big Politics and Big Media. Perhaps the greatest utility is the headline synthesis above of the 3 or 4 shows followed in this session.

       

    For actual transcripts and/or video feeds go to the programme web sites quoted including Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.

      

    Other sources of pollie talkies on Sunday include SkyNews paytv Sunday Agenda, Radio National Monica Attard Sunday Profile show. And of course Sunday night shows SBS Dateline, Sixty Minutes and now Sunday Tonight on 7.  

     

    Media backgrounders.   

    1. We are working on a ‘Labor pimps the environment movement’ story soon. Here is an image for that piece to come before Environment Minister Garrett was pimped, and silent on the huge oil spill of North West Australia recently.


     

    Ironic given his famous performance outside Exxon offices back in the day before financial security as an MP in King Coal ALP.

    People forget that Graeme Richardson on the developer shill was formerly federal environment minister. It's all about real politik, nil to do with sincerity.

    1A. Laurie Oakes column in Sydney Daily Telegraph yesterday picks up the thread of conservatives for the environment as per Cameron leadership in the UK, likely next UK prime minister. We wrote this about Turnbull's difficult situation here on Crikey.com.au string on Friday here

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/10/02/malcolm-turnbull-leads-with-his-chin-again/#comment-39610: 

    I commented yesterday on the Rooted blog, which curiously remains under moderation while being very moderate in content. The view underpins the real economic threat to Australia of dithering on climate regarding re-insurance sector, which all business depnends on in a rule of law context:

    As extreme weather affects more of the western developed economies the re-insurance industry will continue to ramp up the compulsory costs of insurance for any industry sector not seen to be mitigating climate change. At some point whole sectors or even countries’ balance sheet will be pushed off their insurance profile for just being hostile to long term financial health.

    Australia is surely rushing into that scenario and Malcolm Turnbull for one would be smart enough after HIH to know how disruptive that would be for big business behind the Liberal Party or Lablibs for that matter. Neither can afford that to happen in their career span.

    So it’s not just the Sarkozy threat of carbon tariffs on foreign (to EU buyer) products and services originating beyond their (my term) ‘credible climate mitigation programme’ (ccmp), but also the global re-insurance industry setting those sectors ‘[rogue] legally adrift so that they can’t get OH&S or public liability or fire or any insurance whatsover. In other words send them into the liability wilderness just like the HIH fiasco did to numerous small business, builders [through no fault of their own].

    Sure China or India etc may buy ‘black’ [rogue] coal outside a ccmp, even more so if they buy up the [means of] production here, but who will provide the insurance to operate such a plant? My guess even if China or India buy the local resource with FIRB approval, unless the Australian Govt abdicates sovereignty of select economic geographical zones (and thus application of domestic labour and safety laws), not even a foreign owner will be able to operate WITHOUT INSURANCE.

    Indeed nothing happens in business without insurance, not even King coal power stations. Just ask Esso. [Meaning Longford Vic disaster multi million dollar public liability, workers killed etc].

     2. We noticed D Cameron on 702 misconceived the source of federal political concern about executive pay, presuming it was the ALP behind the issue. The innocent mistake was most revealing with Alison Carabine flatly contradicting referring to The Greens as promoting draft legislation, and Cameron without a hint of acknowledgement rapidly moving on to something else, anything else. That’s a certain political bias a la party liners segment always Lib and Lab, never 3rd party Greens with such profile. One assumes it’s about ABC budget from the govt benches tag team. 

     

    3. Excellent interview of Bill Waterhouse rich elderly author by Kerry O’Brien on 7.30 Report last week. The veteran journo has still got it, not least with the seniors brigade. 

     

    4. Keating goes in to bat big time for the legacy of musical genious Geoffrey Tozer. Good luck with that. A genius lacking common sense like his defender? 

     

    5. Someone called Karen Murphy had a great piece about Rudd back office in Canberra as real potential colour writer replacement for Annabel Crabbe who apparently has taken another gig (with ABC?). Murphy has the goods with his astute lines about youth fading in isolation, or as we might say a real politik pokies room with no clock or natural light. 

    5A. Great piece by Bruce Loudon on failed investigation of murder of Pakistan politician Benizir Bhutto 2 weekend's ago in The Australian.

    6. ZZ Tops song “under pressure” from Eliminator album, on Inside Business just now. How cool. Now if only they can slot in their hilarious song TV dinner. 

    7. Speaking of Big Media identities (as opposed to what Tim Blair, aka TB (an illness),  calls ‘sub’ media ones for this writer): Adam Spencer is getting a superficial but far reaching profile build lately. But the platform being ABC is the the real identity, and they make them and replace them just like former Queen of morning radio Angela Catterns back on casual shift at her alma mater and just as competent and effective as ever.  

    8. Regarding the big game at 5.15 pm later today. In our experience (!) of big games and watching the same, it’s the extra time for recovery from the previous big game that proves the difference on grand final day. The team from no. 8 (Eels) may be as good, but more tired to one that has rested an extra week, even with the best will in the world. This is the usual story in AFL, not sure about the contest in rugby league today. Which one is most rested? 

    9. SAM editor continues to buck the vicious NSW ALP defacto black list, after numerous victories against them in the last 15 years (stay tuned for backgrounder on 1997 energy sell off briefing note to all state MPs – never web published before). The standard smear is cynical innuendo by their apparatchiks including from within sectors of the NSW green movement, much like Jack Mundey was black listed from regular work for years punishment for his feisty independence. Or Noel Plumb for standing up to NSW Govt RACAC forest woodchip/furnace power plant sleaze. A recent Liz Farrelly column in the SMH has the gist regarding healthy values culled at birth in favour of sclerotic inbreds from the tribe. A mains power connection again has seen a consequent jump in productivity in the last week with various stories posted and training up on YouTube posting: A whole world of opportunity, and note other video hosting site engage media here:


     

     

     10. SAM readership figures have never dipped much below 20,000 per month and we expect it to increase again maybe up to 35,000 a month or more. Yes we can. We have gone back to jogging and fat free diet which is doing our heartburn/reflux the world of good. 

     

    11. KKK aka Minister Kristine Kershner Kenneally has hitched her career and political credibility to the wagon of planning professional Sam Haddad promoted to director under ex minister Sartor to head up Planning Dept some years back. In our penultimate post we outline via a youtube post the political role, and legally arguable role, played by Haddad in running the clock down on a FoI refusal prior to a sensitive Marrickville by-election Sept 2005. Sensitive because The Greens were hunting now deputy premier Carmell Tebbutt and the ALP couldn’t afford a Commission of Inquiry report to be released evidencing the economic driver of a Port Botany expansion for a $5 billion truck tunnel with consequent smoggy ventilation stacks (like M5 East killer) in …. Marrickville. Evidence from the CoI that may have changed the election result. Haddad prevented the voters from being informed as agent of executive government, which suggests he deserves as much political scrutiny as possible (contrary to Geraldine Doogue comments on Glover Thursday journo forum last week about “lynch mobs”). 

     

    12. Gittins as smh economics editor at same Glover journo forum abc radio goes strong and hard on excessive population growth. God bless you Ross for your policy analysis and ethics.    

     

    10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am 

     

    Scott Morrison shadow minister for Housing and Local Govt is talent. Missed first few minutes start due to daylight saving. Discussion of ETS – staunch support for leader Turnbull, q re time to expel Tuckey? Govt hypcrites says Morrison.  

    SM is very articulate and confident speaker and clearly talented. At ease in front of the camera. A serious brain. A Turnbull ‘squarehead’ if you like. Humour out take is Gillard joke about primary school birthday age guessing game, [which arguably might be a bit of sisterhood double standard exploiting gender stereotypes]. 

    Panel is Hartcher and Grattan of Fairfax Sydney and Melbourne respectively. Kick off on rates issue with RBA governor grab. Real estate chatter.

     

    Move on to refugee, policy “weakenings”. Humour out take re Turnbull lower in polls than

     

    Bruce Baird from Refugee Advisory Board or something. Usual arguments re airtravellers rather than boats. Case for more turnover in federal party like Baird himself. Topic moves on to Indian foreign student education sector.

     Close to credits with old mates chatting – a post Howard moderate broom is sweeping through the current liberal party. 

     

    Meet The Press - Watch Political Video Online - Channel TEN.

     


     

    Riley Diary 7, from 8.40am 

    Turnbull in choc factory in Adelaide Willy Wonka footage is great. [Echo of dollar sweets case of Costello fame.] Leadership formula, Tuckey rebuttal in cardigan man style. South Park character as Turnbull. Ompa loompas again and again.  Riley talkies in the studio. Leadership in play. Conservative tv engaged.  Polling probably shows Turnbull must stand for something. 

    http://www.seven.com.au/sunrise/weekend    

    9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.44 am 

    Didn’t start at 8.43 with Riley start in place already. Abbott is in the chair and talking up Turnbull leadership [against the Nats]. Had to jump 9 to 7 and back. Dutton as lost preselection for neighbouring seat as of last night in Qld seat. Abbott declines to play leadership (save the furniture) games of greenhouse policy – shows some integrity I think.

     

    Abbott pitch to govt – if govt don’t co-operate on coalition amendments then it’s the govt problems. ‘It’s about the party and the country’. Come up with a position.

     

    Move onto another milder domestic policy issue.

     

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/oakes

      

    Insiders 2: 9- 10am

     

    Leadership package. Morrison grab from MTP earlier.

     

    Panel discuss with Middleton sbs, Farr News corp Sydney, Henderson Sydney Institute.

     

    Turnbull is guest. No plans to leave as tenure for Wentworth. Committed to constructive role eg jobs protection along lines of US Waxman Markey Bill there. [So will quit leadership, like Robb from ministry.]

     

    Critical Q& A with compere Cassidy with a lot of cross reference to LOakes earlier, but Turnbull didn’t see all of it. Notes Abbott is friendly. Troubled by Dutton loss future leader, special case.

     

    Vox pop with rugby Parramatta supporters on exec pay and other stuff. Good footage, not very probative though.

     

    Chat on pensioner public housing costs [and note Seniors press this week front page story] Chat on Clive Palmer billionaire blimp re alleged racism to China rejected by panel unanimously with grab of Crean.

     Talking Pics, with Warren in circle work with Rudd ute.   

    http://www.abc.net.au/insiders

     

    Inside Business with Alan Kohler  

    Refer http://www.abc.net.au/insidebusiness/  


    Posted by editor at 12:01 PM NZT
    Updated: Sunday, 4 October 2009 12:14 PM NZT
    Saturday, 3 October 2009
    Haddad implicated in secrecy around smog stacks threat to Sydney residents, more on YouTube
    Mood:  sharp
    Topic: nsw govt

    SAM editor has finally taught ourselves how to upload DVD (VOB file) to YouTube. It involves video conversion programme Super, downloaded for free from Majorgeeks.com,  including working out preferred settings for YouTube upload easily found via google (eg say WMV file, which is also handy in the process for reduction in file size, 30 frames per second etc etc). Finally one must split any file longer than 10 minutes or longer than 100MB in size, via another free download programme Yamb found via google and a nervous download in terms of security integrity. Through all of this a 700MB file 14 minute file has become some 9 and 5 minute files of 78 and 44 MB file size respectively.

    Here is our submission in the last 24 hours:

                      

    This video from February 2007 shows background to plans of the NSW Government, Australia, to install a $5 billion truck tunnel via marginal seat of Marrickville to a vastly expanded Port Botany for gigantic new container ships. The film is about what is driving the tunnel/smog stacks project rather than the tunnel itself covered in more detail here:

    1st March 2007

    $5b secret road under Sydney

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw-act/b-secret-road-under-sydney/story-e6freuzi-1111113075104


    A tunnel must have smog stacks which will pollute and kill Sydney citizens from air pollution well before their time. More detail here:

    28 August 2009

    "M5 East pollution harming asthmatics"
    "POLLUTION levels in Sydney's M5 East tunnel are so high that healthy motorists who use it daily could develop respiratory problems within two years"

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/m5-east-pollution-harming-asthmatics-20090827-f183.html

    Botany Bay & Catchment Alliance (33 community groups) and local Green Party have been exposing this agenda for several years now, including BB&CA being a party to an official Commission of Inquiry. The CoI report urged minimising Port expansion but was kept secret prior to a sensitive Sept 2005 by-election in Marrickville by then Minister Frank Sartor via (then) Deputy Director of Planning Sam Haddad. The CoI report was released 3 weeks after that vote and ignored with maximalist project announced the same day.

    This film reveals many of the arguments put to Commissioner Cleland who retired soon after his work was done. This secretive agenda for massively expensive truck tunnel/smog stacks is still affecting govt leadership dynamics in 2009 with local MP and Deputy Premier Carmel Tebbutt newly appointed health minister and tipped to take the top job before March 2011 general election. Will she sell out local voters, particularly the young, sick, elderly and democracy itself?

    More at http://www.botanybay.info/

    and

    http://www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog

    See part 2 also on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXbT9dl94Zg

    Thanks for watching.

    [and]
                      
    Added: October 02, 2009, 02:50 AM
    Time: 5:04

     

    And here is the letter we refer to in the background signed by then Deputy Director of Planning Sam Haddad who also appeared last night in footage on ABC TV Stateline. We say this letter shows a very political agency on the part of Haddad for then Minister Frank Sartor and the NSW ALP given the sensitive timing of the Marrickville by election Sept 2005.

     

     


    Posted by editor at 10:37 AM NZT
    Updated: Sunday, 4 October 2009 10:27 AM NZT

    Newer | Latest | Older