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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Monday, 19 March 2007
Newcastle politics in last panicky sprint
Mood:  smelly
Topic: election nsw 2007

Our contributor Lynda writes:

Sent: Saturday, March 17, 2007 5:13 PM

Subject: NEWCASTLE POLITICS

 

 Hi All,


Spoke to a contact in Newcastle on Friday who had the good grace to say 'IF'  they expand Port Botany. Can only hope that there is a backlash from them. Cheers, Lynda

In full swing

 

 March 17, 2007  The Newcastle Herald

 

Both Morris Iemma and Peter Debnam know that their chances at next Saturday's election may well hinge on their fortunes in the Hunter Region, Jason Gordon reports.

 

BLOOD spilled, fresh blood injected, sheer bloody-mindedness. Welcome to  the bloody Newcastle election.

 

The most talked-about, moaned-about, smack-you-in-the-face election campaign in the Hunter's history will enter the home straight this week in much the same canter that it started in five months ago.

 

Only Dan Brown could have written a better script, although The Da Vinci Code's subtle conclusion could have been more easily picked.

 

At least four Lower Hunter seats could change hands next Saturday, significantly changing the region's political landscape, and that of NSW.

 

For anyone harbouring doubts about Newcastle's importance to the  Government, consider that Premier Morris Iemma is expected to kick off the final week of his campaign by joining the Blue and Red Army at EnergyAustralia Stadium tomorrow, raising hopes that the second half of the stadium might finally get a fully funded guernsey.

 

Strange things happen in marginal seats.

 


Posted by editor at 11:38 AM NZT
A sea of yellow hats and head lamps an election bribe or just damn good timing for Morris Iemma?
Mood:  lazy
Topic: election nsw 2007

Picture: images lifted off the Fairfax web site this morning, with thanks for this important public interest aspect to the cunning politicisation of an icon.

When is an election stunt actually a breach of the electoral laws against inducements to buy votes?

We wrote in late 2006 on Sydney indymedia

(and here it is 14th August 2006 Easy being green washed as huge coal loader destroys credibility of free light globes PR at inner city electorates? )

of the free light globes Easy Being Green programme http://shop.easybeinggreen.com.au funded by the NSW Govt in marginal green shaded seats of Balmain and Marrickville in 2006. Were these effectively buying votes on March 24 2007?

Well those give aways suddenly stopped theoretically two months after our IMC article (with credit due to Sydney Indy Media function and this writer), what a coincidence, after an audit showed (to paraphrase) 'the budgeted take up has been filled': 'Lightbulb giveaway is switched off' The Australian - 14 Oct 2006.

Or the threat of prosecution for election corruption looming against the Iemma Govt?: Compare Qld with very draconian penalties for any hint of corrupting influence on the integrity of their democratic system after the bad old Bjelke/Fitgerald Royal Commission days. Mike Kaiser who is a senior election organiser for Iemma, and from Qld, has come a cropper for the same strictures up there in Qld. Similarly witness the overkill jailing of Pauline Hanson in recent years for alleged misdemeanours reversed on appeal.

And notice the sensitive Marrickville seat was still being duchessed in November 2006 with freebie give aways via NSW public purse as per this PR froth Marrickville householders get help to turn their house green free ... again presumably funded indirectly by the NSW Govt public budget. This is the seat where the ALP has lied about a Marrickville Truck Tunnel plan both in the 2005 byelection lead up, and similarly exposed front page of the Daily Telegraph recently.

Now we see the brilliant PR free advertising for the Iemma Govt around a visual feast of yellow hats on the big meeja last night and today. Clever. Costing say $100,000 (?) in free hat ware and a reward for those who took the trouble to register and be organised to assist in the worthy goals of safety in a crowd, and to promote sun smart behaviour especially for kids. The free night time head lamps purely decoration?

 Picture: Our ugly but lovable toll gouging coat hanger because in the end it is indeed ours, but is it ALP Premier Morris Iemma's? Image lifted from tourism company http://www.bridgeclimb.com/

So you might think giving away hats IS justifiable and good public policy, but you might also call it very cunning leverage of incumbency to the morning and night political tv news bulletins. A real triumph of PR positioning all at taxpayer expense like those water adverts, and green light globes.

Iemma's team can all refer to the 75 year chronology as simply good luck one week before the vote that festivities precede the state election. A schedule, we say, that has been cynically exploited to this writer's impression by the incumbent government to throw a free party, the PNG version of killing and cooking pigs for a free feed for the voters.

This event in fact was so highly choreagraphed it has been revealed it was 'months in the planning, involving hundreds of people to organise' according to the Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk: 75th Anniversary spokeswoman on Adam Spencer 702 abc radio morning show this morning: How calculating and very unsurprising. It might even explain why bureaucrats took their eye off the ball with recent transport stuff ups when big ships visited here and unlucky failed maintenance caused a melt down. A bureaucracy under pressure to deliver the political premium rather than bread and butter daily competency?

A good party with a free yellow hat or headlamp for maximum PR visibility but a lousy provider? We think so.

Indeed the Opposition acknowledge just how political the event is by having  their big ticket roads policy on today Monday 19th March 07 in an attempt to meet this orchestrated PR coup.

Even an apparent suicide at North Sydney station yesterday according to radio reports was unable to stop the Iemma PR juggernaut, he is that 'good'.

The Herald today in its wrap around went with a front page equivalent of the manipulative PR yellow sea of hats being the headlamp hats for the night walkers (another $50k plus?),  but the tv bulletins dwelled on the daylight yellow caps yesterday, and this carried over to the wrap the Daily Telegraph. There's heaps of votes in that free coverage. Paid for by .... you the taxpayer: Politics won't be denied on Bridge's big day | NEWS.com.au

How cheap are peoples votes in our NSW Democracy - the cost of a yellow cap, or a little head lamp? Probably.


Posted by editor at 9:21 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007 11:35 AM NZT
Saturday, 17 March 2007
NSW voters have a 'ludicrous, ridiculous' choice: Frank Sinatra's gangsters, or the Ku Klux Klan racists
Mood:  down
Topic: election nsw 2007

Either way the NSW Public are facing 4 more years of bad governance under the influence of either major party, ALP or Liberal- National Coalition. Democracy is effectively broken here as illustrated by this sorry image:

Picture: ALP’s moral credibility: Huge sandmine hole next to Wollemi World Heritage national park on one side and Yengo NP/McDonald Wilderness on the other, 40 km west of Sydney next to the Singleton Road. The sand "pulled out" goes into the ALP controlled construction sector. The mine by Birdon Contracting Pty Ltd was illegal 1986-96 then given retrospective approval by Hawkesbury River Shire Council, and proceeded without valid development consent from 1996-2007 according to Environmental Defenders Office written legal advice. It is due for takeover by Adelaide Brighton Pty Ltd and most likely will be expanded to 270 ha and approved by Minister Frank Sartor in due course. It is killing the water flow in Tinda Creek into Wollemi natural heritage area. There is no real restoration of these huge sand mine sites. They are usually left as quicksand slurry pits (called 'lake' in the spin). Photo by SAM editor 14th March 2007.

Mark Colvin the veteran reporter and presenter of the ABC PM show last night posed the question: What if they held an election and no one came?

 

This apparently was in response to Peter Debnam's press conference earlier that day posing his own rhetorical question to the effect of: Why are NSW voters in the latest marginal seats Galaxy poll such masochists to still prefer the ALP 58:42 two party preferred? : Debnam throws in the towel

 

Good question Peter.

 

It’s a devastating answer in the headline above: Frank Sinatra was a Sicilian* and many other things too: An apologist for mobster killers in the mafia (like the ALP are killers of clean government and good public interest policy with their family cronyism devoid of merit), but the crooner wasn't racist, he loved his black brother entertainer Sammy Davis Junior. Similarly the NSW ALP bruvvers are not white supremacists but they are corrupt as the day is long:

Picture: Premier Morris Iemma, leader of the NSW ALP and reportedly an expert ethnic branch stacker.
 

But you can’t say that about the NSW Coalition. There are a thousand examples of their cunning subtext trawling the 5% racist redneck vote once rusted on to Pauline Hanson's One Nation, the latest being exchange of preferences with Fred Nile MP the so called ‘Christian’ Democrat.

It’s also worth remembering Nile has voted for every forest destroying legislative instrument ever presented since at least 1992 to this writer's memory. Nile has just targeted a Federal policy question proposing a ban on Muslim immigration in a state election no less:

Nile wants Muslim pause - State Election 2007 - smh.com.au,

 

and notice this demolition of the crackpot Nile election policy:

 

Crikey - Politics Etc - Fred Nile’s step-by-step guide to spotting ...

 

If the hood fits Fred, and by the shape of the head it looks like it would:

Thus young Australians are flirting with neo Nazi policies, like this convicted criminal who should have been sent to jail: Cronulla rioter guilty and free

 

But if John Robertson of the NSW Labour Council is right yesterday interviewed on radio there is a bigger cohort of voter concern than racial intolerance, namely 7 or 8% out there supporting the Your Rights at Work campaign against Debnam’s sponsor, PM John Howard and his “extreme industrial relations” turning our society into a ruthless Darwinian jungle.

 

Even allowing for posturing by unionist Robertson to claim electoral credit (who interestingly also spoke at the Climate Change Rally late last year 2006 in person with more here Climate march gallery 3.12.05), Robertson is surely right to a degree. Worker rallies of 40,000 last November 30 in the Sydney CBD with many more across NSW show that his point is fair.

 

Yet as a result of a systemic money politics, incumbency and diverse gerrymanders by the two party sleaze bags, 30% or more voters still feel there is nowhere else to go than Coalition or ALP despite racism,or corrupt policy (see examples listed below).

 

At least this election the rise of the Independents is being seriously discussed as per this candidate out in Windsor the othe day:

 

Picture: Steven Pringle resigned from the Liberal Party after losing pre-selection allegedly to the Christian Right of the Party in the seat of Hawkesbury and is recontesting in what is said to be an interesting contest 2007 New South Wales Election. Hawkesbury Electorate Profile ...

 

Quentin Dempster on Stateline last night 16th March posed yet another question: Will Peter Debnam, who presents as already defeated here resign a week out from the election so his more moderate rival and deputy Barry O’Farrell MP can go to the polls for the Liberal Party?

 

Debnam chuckled with hollow bravado at the impertinence of that question, just as Iemma and his Minister Tebbutt chuckled with arrogant assurance on the screen last night during the main ABC News bulletin.

 

And then there is the painful rise of the third force in politics: The Greens Party. They copped it again last Wednesday and Thursday in the 'Daily Idiot' as Leunig accurately cartooned last weekend, meaning The Sydney Daily Telegraph over their “liberal” drugs policy. Here are their sister News Limited papers chiming in:

 

Greens drug policy 'absurd, disgusting' - The Australian - 13 Mar 2007
Nile calls for MP drug tests - Melbourne Herald Sun - 14 hours ago

 

[Interestingly David Penberthy, the editor of the SDT running most strongly on the drug issue against the Greens is related to another Penberthy in the newspaper game of yesteryear at the Nationwide Review which crashed and burned.]

 

Indeed the Greens are portrayed by sleazy Iemma for the ALP as “ludicrous, ridiculous, unscientific” for their policies on harm minimisation. For years now the ALP have sought to position the Greens as pro drug use possibly to project their own guilt over huge donations from the clubs and pubs lobby. The Coalition are green baiting as usual via their Daily Smelly mouthpiece as much as possible possibly because their ex Premier Nick Greiner works for Big Tobacco. The hypocrisy surely is that more people are killed and hurt by alcohol and tobacco in society than other problematic drug use.

Picture: Fortune favours the brave? Lee Rhiannon MLC who is leading the Greens upper house ticket, gave a strong defense of rational drugs policy with fortunate back up by world class expert Dr Alex Wodak on ABC Trioli show recently.

The Greens up till 2003 have been too little and naïve to meet and demolish this stereotyping but I heard on ABC Trioli show late this week the policy bullies hit the wall, and the bigger they are the harder they do hit: MP Lee Rhiannon for the Greens stood and faced the attack and beat the ALP/Coalition policy thugs pointless.

 

The Greens don’t condone drug use but they do support reallocation of resources into harm minimisation and health approaches. Funny that, just like the scourge of prostitution was taken out of the hands of corrupt police and politicians into the decriminalised health and planning sector.

 

The truth is the Law and Order Industry (humorously called LauraNorder) need illegal drugs to run their huge budgets, power, prestige and jobs for the boys and girls.

 

Sydney does listen to Trioli in significant measure and she started out harsh and sceptical but she backed off good and proper as Dr Alex Wodak  of St Vincents Hospital slam dunked the major parties with this, to paraphrase:

 

'Q. Alex Wodak is Lee Rhiannon of The Greens right?

 

Ans. Yes. All the evidence internationally says they are’.

 

What was that about expert, scientific, public policy Morris? Who are the honest politicians in the election? Who have the proverbial courage, so often associated with voter shyness for being ahead of their time? Who indeed are ridiculous, preposterous, ludicrous and indeed liars? The ALP and Coalition, demonstrably so.

 

Dr Wodak even quoted the hero of right wingers (like shrieker Miranda Devine) for his case: free market economist Milton Friedman abhorred the prohibitionist failed polices over 8 decades in relation to unhealthy illegal drug use.

 

The Greens are in favour of criminal sanctions for all dealers of drugs, says Rhiannon. Rhiannon is also quoted in the news bulletins as not taking alcohol or other drugs herself personally. And another difference this election is that Jamie “horny goatweed” Parker (who by the by more than anyone haughtily encouraged this writer in person to get out of the Green Party in 2000, literally in the office of Lee Rhiannon in Macquarie Street), is not a candidate in Balmain.

 

Indeed Horny Goatweed got mugged 3 days out from the vote in 2003 while the Daily Smelly has shot its bolt a premature 10 days out with time for such counter attack by The Greens on the real facts and real expert advice.

 

Therein is the difference 2003 to 2007 apart from Parker losing his preselection (jumped or pushed?) and keep in mind politics is all about timing. Indeed I was moved to call and congratulate Rhiannon’s performance on Trioli's show with the advice – hold fast, its tough with black and blue bruises inevitable, but you are turning the corner on critical public policy reform.

 

Indeed Trioli doesn’t "have children" but Rhiannon does and criminalising youthful idiocy/despair into a life of crime is no way forward for any political analyst with half a brain. On the the Daily Telegraph's own biased terms over 25% of NSW voters agree with the Greens already and it will grow.

 

But the last word on drugs surely goes to liberal minded Democrat, Arthur Chesterfield Evans MD who fronted the drug test stunt by Fred Nile MP in state parliament press room calling for “a mental health test” as well. Laugh out loud. If it’s anything like the character test re stewardship of God’s creation that Nile has already dismally failed then Nile has no chance.

 

Truth is Iemma/Carr’s ALP majority this last 12 years have never been worried about “scientific” policy for the welfare and good government of NSW. Nor were they in the lead up to the Wood Royal Commission into police corruption. This writer worked in parliament and witnessed the ambition and shame that forced both major parties to go along with independent John Hatton MP now retired.

 

These major parties have always preferred feather nesting 'ludicrous ridiculous' policy to quote Premier Iemma back at himself, whenever democracy was asleep or apathetic. Here's one current list of such tragedies but it's only limited by space not examples:

 

1. East Darling Harbour site has toxins apparently:

 

Sartor told of toxic site 5 years ago

 

We hear the ALP’s excessive development plan is a bastardised version of architect Phil Thalis’s design (pers comm Sydney City Councillor) and he is really not happy. Jack Mundey famous for Green bans and on the government advisory committee rejected the bogus plan that ex ALP PM Paul Keating (that old developer mate from Bondi Junction) defends, and Jack the old unionist has gone very quiet since Maritime Union boss Robert Coombs was given a choice preselection into State Parliament via seat of Swansea. The whole thing reeks.

 

2. Legal and illegal land clearing in the millions of hectares with duchessed greenie Jeff Angel on the government’s peak advisory committee during this time 1998-2005, for more see report 27th Feb 2007 here: 

 

Revealed: legal land clearing's savage toll - Environment - Specials

 

The fact ex ALP Premier Carr mitigated this unfolding disaster just prior to his buckle in mid 2005 to the incoming Iemma forces puts the ALP ahead of the Coalition on land use but only barely, with Debnam way ahead on water policy. The Desalination Plant is just just more ALP construction industry cronyism it seems. Indeed The Greens identify Iemma’s “unscientific” policy on land clearing with this:

 

“ The government’s mapping does not pick up clearing where canopy is less than 20%. As a result it does not recognise clearing of open woodlands or grasslands. These areas are responsible for around 60% of all legal clearing in NSW. I challenged [Minister] McDonald about this technology in a meeting we had late last year. He promised to provide evidence that would support its effectiveness. Nothing has been forthcoming.”

 

Ian Cohen MLC, Green Party press release 28th February 2007, doing Jeff Angel’s job 10 years late but better than never.

 

I explained these facts of life about Green Party preferencing to the ALP in some parts but not others (say Monaro or Blue Mountains) due to Coalition support for land clearing last Wednesday to Riverstone Liberal Candidate Kevin Conolly outside Windsor Railway station at 7.15 am. Conolly supports his Party's repeal of 330K ha Goonoo Pilliga conservation reserve because of lack of park management funding.

 

Picture: Future MP Kevin Conolly? Former Catholic school teacher, presumably from the intolerant Christian Right faction of the Liberals. Conolly is after an upset from the ALP on about 11% margin Riverstone - State Election 2007 - smh.com.au. His federal Counterpart Kerry Bartlett is also doing it tough on minus .5% in the seat of Macquarie (and was out leafleting the commuters) after a federal westward redistribution taking in ALP strong holds of Lithgow, also more neutral Oberon etc.

 

We saw a ‘picfac’ of another rural regional Liberal Party candidate too, chubby Prue Goward in the Sydney Morning Herald 15th March 2007 Pushing Prue: can she speed into leadership? with alternative headline Goward seen as Libs' saviour on the Fairfax website:

 

Did she get her inspiration from this other biker political animal "Randall Nelson OAM AKA Animal" as described on his business card?

 

Picture: “Animal” is a Christian preacher in Kings Cross whose business card reads prophetically “When we do Right No-one Remembers When we do Wrong No-one Forgets.” Is this why the primary vote of the ALP and Coalition is going south and will continue to do so until the dam breaks?

 

Coalition candidates should read this letter from an enlightened farmer to save our animals so to speak: Letters: Farmers' argument comes down to reserves versus reserve fodder

 

 

3. Matthew Moore the Freedom of Information editor for the Sydney Morning Herald reveals 15th March 2007 the cheating over a hidden document preparing the way to bulldoze Beacon Hill public school on valuable land for developers. Simply more corruption. See

 

Ohhhh you wanted That document!!???

 

4. Telegraph report March 5th 2007 p17 that BHP-Billiton’s Appin Area 3 mine, southwest of Sydney has indeed cracked the Upper Cataract River as predicted by critics, 5 months after approval:

 

“Last October, The Daily Telegraph reported that the [Sydney Catchment Authority] had advised the State Government the mine should go no closer than 350 m to the line of the river. The operation, however, was permitted to go within 100m.”

 

Simply corruption.

 

5. Hundreds of thousands or even millions of feral critters live in our rural areas both national park and farmlands. Iemma has appeased cowboy shooters by allowing them into public recreation reserves like the USA where hunters take over. There probably is a place for professional full time efficient sharp shooters following a scientific kill program, accountable to government employers, but Iemma in a sleazy deal has the whole community

 

“Living in fear of stray bullets” (p26th March 4th 2007 The Sydney Sunday Telegraph),

 

says Robyn Gregg with toddler on knee, from Kulnurra north of Sydney regarding shooters in McPeherson State Forest. This is corruption of public policy and anti science and frankly outragous pandering..

 

 

6. Our climate change friend John Robertson, an ALP crony above all else, is described thus by profoundly likeable and good planning writer Elizabeth Farrelly as follows:

 

… to list Currawong [heritage area next to Kuringai NP] after so controversial a sale [by the NSW Labor Council] would be to invite damages. Why didn’t [Minister Sartor] do it when it was easy? The answer may lie with the Heritage Council. A public body with very private meetings, it is chaired by property type Mike Collins and lists among its members none other than Comrade John Robertson, an electrician who is also, as luck would have it, secretary of Unions NSW. See what I mean? It’s that cosy family feeling. Cosy nostra. Full circle.

 

 in Currawong is still oriented towards family ...2st Feb 2007.

 

That’s res ipsa loquitur (the matter speaks for itself) a perception of corruption in the governance of heritage land by this NSW government.

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

 

 

All of the above criticism risks offending Gandhi nonviolence when he says, as for politics so in life,

 

"10. Avoid exploiting weakness in your opponent. Aim for integrity, not simply to win. "

 

meaning adversarial point scoring in a race to the bottom, muck raking negativity, is not a sound basis for good governance. But the point about peaceful but confronting Gandhi was that he did still aim to win for the public interest with integrity and that is the way forward to reform NSW politics.

 

* this writer is 1/8 Italian and proudly so.


Posted by editor at 7:49 AM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 17 March 2007 1:04 PM NZT
Friday, 16 March 2007
Sydney Harbour Bridge walk: Intersection of politics, real safety concerns and Laura Norder
Mood:  rushed
Topic: election nsw 2007

Picture: Police on foot and on horseback widely seen as overkill at anti Forbes protest in Sydney in 2005 over rich elites taking over our Opera House venue in 2005 to make plans about our future (more pictures of rally at the end of this post).

SAM's editor even as a sometime legal adviser has never heard of a joint police force chasing down protester charges from another state to here in Sydney:

Anti-Terror Squad Raid and Arrest Protestors in Dramatic Swoop 

Picture: Anti G20 radical protesters in Melbourne in November 2006. What exactly is the problem with free speech, and who really is the danger to our society?

It may have happened but even up in Jabiluka (Northern Territory, hundreds arrested 1998) the authorities just wanted to evict the protesters back to the South or where ever.  This bespeaks deeper analysis on behalf of the activist community. Read on.

Harbour Bridge walk of 200,000 planned for Sunday March 18th 2007.

All ungated and frankly irresponsible organisation given bag checks at such as the BDO and similar events, cricket etc for public safety reasons (use your imagination in the age of errorism, and I don't mean lefty anti capitalists breaking a few McDonalds windows or similar, more the London Tubes) but nothing for this crush of people on Sunday.

The whole event this Sunday is designed as an ALP party stunt to impress the voters prior to the vote on 24th March. A flavour on abc adam spencer show this morning on location at the Bridge with allegations it is an ALP stunt.

BUT if something goes wrong, and we hope and trust it doesn't, it turns the voters into punishers of the ALP.  Already the ABC Glover show yesterday afternoon is alarmed 'it won't be safe' maybe, and Police Minister Watkins scolded Glover on air: "Richard ...Richard" it's all going to be fine says nice face on the jackboots Mr Watkins. Read on:

Iemma goes on the radio yesterday arvo too admonishing 4,000 unionists to NOT turn it into a protest event all wearing 'Your rights at work'. Get it? Stick to the 'party, vote ALP' vibe, not protest, especially if other causes like anti G20, anti Cheney leftists want equal protest rights in front of an audience.

Picture: Police push into a crowd that was trying to hold a peaceful street march February 2007.

Picture: More democratic protesters in Macquarie street Sydney CBD June 7th 2006 against Iemma Govt repeal of planning controls on developers

So what is exactly going on these last few days to our democracy. Our conclusion:

Picture: Friendly relations. ALP organiser at Morris Iemma's election launch in early March 07 in Hurstville shakes with senior policeman supervising public protesters out front of the Civic Theatre.

Police are shaking the social and democratic tree ... again....in preparation of the big ungated Sunday walk, and to avoid what Simon Santo abc state tv political reporter, and others (Sue Cato, spin doctor) are saying will be the next BIG transport test for the Iemma Govt, after 4 hour schmozzle on Wednesday night last: No excuse, says former rail boss

Any problems and its 'unhelpful PR backlash in the last week before the vote for the Iemma government', to paraphrase his machine man Mark Arbib on radio yesterday. That's the police agenda for their 12 year now ALP political masters - to keep it smooth, keep it orderly and quiet and bully anyone who wants to be loud agitators which actually is their democratic right ... at least in a democracy.

SAM's edtior being a middle class well educated type has written before at the time of the G20 footage from Melbourne of concerns about illegal vandalism in those protests. We much prefer the Gandhi style of activism:

 Gandhi nonviolence

Nevertheless we have very little doubt there is a political dimension to the timing and exagerated posturing of the 'anti terrorism police' indeed the Law and Order industry who don't want to solve 'the drugs problem' ever, or be done out of huge budgets and jobs.

We don't agree with aggressive protest tactics but are even more concerned about the anti democratic and oppressive tendencies of the police and their political masters. Premier Iemma leveraging the status of his office says the labour movement shouldn't wear T shirts in a block with the slogan "Your rights at work" like this rally November 30th 2006 part of a 300,000 strong group of rallies that day across Australia:

There is a word for opposing free speech - it's called fascism and was the guiding philosophy of another famous Italian who died at the end of a noose:

Benito Mussolini - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

People talk about the Aboriginal industry, but far far more is spent on the LauraNorder Industry metaphorically painting rocks and using protesters as punching bags: The anti WTO protesters in 2000 have just been paid some $750,000 by the Victoria police for illegal brutality back then:

Radical protesters receive secret payout By Natasha Robinson March 05, 2007 02:00am Article from: The Australian

A SECRETLY negotiated $700,000 compensation payment to S11 riot protesters who sued police for damages has been branded a "good outcome" by the Victorian Premier amid fury from the state's police union and the Opposition.

A group of 47 litigants blamed heavy-handed policing for injuries sustained at a riotous anti-globalisation protest outside the World Economic Forum at Melbourne's Crown casino in September 2000.

Premier Steve Bracks yesterday defended the $700,000 taxpayer-funded settlement - which comes after the public spent a reported $600,000 on the Government's legal bills - and said it would not set a precedent for future litigation by protesters. " at http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,21323913-1243,00.html

That's the legal truth of the police excessive force tactics, as reported by the right wing press, as much as any G20 anti corporate criminals protest. And the multinationals are criminals as the mass poverty and excessive affluence of the select few quite clearly shows. That's why a great range of Sydney folks including this writer attended the anti Forbes protests in 2005 as per this collage:


Posted by editor at 8:30 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 16 March 2007 11:35 AM NZT
Wednesday, 7 March 2007
Electioneering in dirty NSW - Police porn email scandal prefaces sex shops raid, covert Big Party candidates, sand mine payoffs
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: election nsw 2007

Years ago on Stateline abc tv show barrister Paul Matters alleged for his client in the Industrial Relations Commission that western Sydney state MP Gabrielle Harrison, a junior minister for the ALP at the time, had said to her staff words to the effect of:

 

‘This government is the most corrupt in the history of NSW’.

 

Harrison, a widow with young son, denied the claim but then disappeared from Carr government. If she did say it she is almost certainly right which is saying something given the Wood Royal Commission of the mid 90’s, the Askin Government, the Rum Corps 200 years back.

 

Here are our favourite hints, the tip as it were of the iceberg of corruption in NSW government and business sector in the context of this current NSW election:

 

1. NSW Police porn email

 

Back on February 14th the NSW Police Commissioner, Police Minister Watkins, and Iemma Government were embarrassed by this lurid story in the hothouse atmosphere of the election:

 

Police in porn email scandal | NEWS.com.au

By Gemma Jones, February 14, 2007 02:00am, Article from:

HUNDREDS of police are caught up in an email scandal after inappropriate material, some of it sexually explicit, was found in police in-boxes.

An audit of the in-boxes by the professional standards command in New South Wales has revealed up to 150 officers and civilian workers have been sent disturbing emails.

Police halfway through a widespread investigation were yesterday unable to rule out hundreds more police being involved.

Professional standards officers have begun interviewing police while independent auditors are interviewing civilian workers.

While police yesterday confirmed some of the emails were of a sexually inappropriate nature, they would not be drawn on whether any were pornographic.

Police would not comment on the investigation, refusing to reveal how many police and civilian workers were being investigated or how severe any punishment could be.

The investigation began after an audit was undertaken within sections of the police, with the results prompting swift action.

The in-boxes of some staff in the Sydney police radio room are being examined but it is understood most caught up in the probe unwittingly received an inappropriate email and had no part in distributing it.

A memo has been sent to all NSW police in the wake of the findings, warning them of the appropriate use of the police email system.

Head of the professional standards command, Assistant Commissioner Catherine Burn, confirmed that inappropriate emails had been identified.

She said disciplinary action would be taken if the outcome of the investigation warranted it.

"NSW Police does not condone any abuse of the police email system," she said.

"This investigation clearly indicates that we take this issue seriously and we are dealing with the matter appropriately.

"We don't tolerate inappropriate material being distributed via the police email system."

A report into the police force inquiry held at the end of last year revealed that some police believed sexually explicit talk and even pornography were acceptable.

The review by senior counsel Chris Ronalds into sexual harassment and discrimination in the police, called for management to taker a harder line against sexually inappropriate conduct.

It found some police were using mobile phones to show disturbing images to bypass the monitoring of work computers.

In 1999 it was revealed that several officers had used the police internal computer system to email pornographic images.

Police computer records and email in-boxes are audited annually by the professional standards command.

 

[bold added]

 

It is government Public Relations AO1 to cancel a bad story with another bigger or equal story preferably of confusingly similar subject matter: Got a bad RTA leak document story, do another RTA story about controlling hoon cars. Got a nature destruction scandal, do a new conservation decision story. It’s all cynical choreography rather than good public policy as such.

 

Later that day February 14th “just after midday” according to Big Media press report below the NSW Police, purely by coincidence we are expected to believe, and based on

 

“a six-month investigation triggered by a case involving child sex offences”

 

raided 7 Kings Cross sex shops allegedly illegally selling X rated items that as best we understand are not illegal to possess or view as non-violent erotica by consenting adults, but are illegal to sell here in NSW. They are legal to sell apparently in some other parts of Australia (?):

 

Here is the background in both major daily press widely covered February 15th 2007 in this tough cruel and yes sleazy city of Sydney, as well as the ABC:

 

Sex shops raided in porn hunt | The Daily Telegraph

 

Sex-shop sting: police arrest seven at the Cross - National - smh ...

 

Kings Cross child porn raid: seven charged - National - smh.com.au

 

Seven charged over sex shop raids

 

One can see by a google search of “nsw police porn email” with few results, compared to a google for “nsw police raid sex shop” that the PR benefit to the NSW Govt not to mention the conservative minded voters was highly successful. Indeed the earlier embarrassing story disappeared altogether.

 

The Herald even invited tips from readers to this email address: “What do you know about this case? scoop@smh.com.au” We at SAM might just send this article to them.

 

We had reason as a sometime media lawyer to research this turn of events and cannot help thinking this is very cynical timing. One might even suspect it was self interest and corrupt timing to protect jobs in government. The matter is up for first hearing today March 7th 2007 and the penalties from this patchily enforced ban on X rated real sex on screen in NSW are very very serious.

 

 

 

2. Covert big party candidates.

 

The reality has been well covered by the Big Media:  the 12 year old ALP Iemma government’s election launch at Hurstville airbrushed any history and indeed the “ALP” brand itself. This is understood.

 

In Marrickville the ALP’s Carmel Tebbutt was installed in a byelection in September 2005 at the time Planning Minister Frank Sartor and the ALP Govt, we say, corruptly covered up the existence of a plan for a huge $5 billion Inner West Tollway with toxic ventilation stacks and subsidence issues in …marginal seat of Marrickville full of busy Green Party agitators. Tebbutt won the election by a bare few points from the Greens Sam Byrne in September 2005 who later that year was made local Mayor. Byrne would have won if the Inner West Tollway plan was revealed at the time, as it was front page of the Daily Telegraph here:

 

Perhaps not surprisingly the ALP's Tebbutt has no mention of brand ALP on her electioneering materials going into the local letterboxes here in Marrickville. She rather is "your local MP", not a mention of the "ALP" to whom she owes her whole political career:

But it is not only the ALP which is on the nose it seems. We have also noticed this upper house candidate for the Liberal Party who is an entrepeneur of 10 or so organic markets across Sydney as well as a computer expert: Stephen Choularton. We don't know much about his candidacy and remain open minded but find it curious he doesn't reveal brand Liberal Party as best we can tell from this:

We can even sympathise after what happened to that rare creature in the Liberal Party here in NSW, the moderate environmentally conscious MP for that party, such as hapless John Ryan MLC:

sydneyanglicans.net - sydney stories - Liberals dump faithful Christian soldier

Sure enough we have now at the time of writing found this website for Choularton:

Stephen Choularton's Campaign Site for the the Legislative Council ...

with some savage comments about the ALP:

"What has a decade of Labor done for us:

  • public corruption,
  • decaying infrastructure, and
  • administrative incompetence.

Let's not turn hard labor into a life sentence!."

and

" Today the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in NSW is the Carr-Iemma Labor Government"

If you look hard you will find this under Biography "1996 Joined Liberal Party after arriving in Australia."

But it sure is hidden away. Yep another covert candidacy.

3. Rampant bribery in the sand mining sector in Sydney region?

We met our source yesterday and provided some pro bono legal advice. As such we are under obligations of confidentiality also as a solicitor client situation. However on the public record $50,000 was paid in 2006 by a sand miner Birdon Contracting Pty Ltd for a protester to go away (after suffering firebombing, death threats, shots at their home, family breakdown, over the last 13 years), when they complained about a current sandmine next to Wollemi World Heritage area. Yet the protest continues.

The Environmental Defenders Office has generated a 5 page legal advice of interest.

Our source tells us some staff at both Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury Council officers have been sacked or resigned in the last 5 years under the shadow of alleged developer financial co option by various sandminers. Here is one curious report of Dec 23 2004:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Council-suspends-manager-who-turned-its-fortunes-around/2004/12/22/1103391839237.html

Baulkham Hills especially is a part of town where tricky games with money and politics has been reported before

1. regarding visa for a developer and state/federal MPs back in July 2003:

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/07/25/1059084203392.html

2. developers monstering public parkland for housing construction, per Sylvia Hale MLC (Greens) http://www.sylvia.nsw.greens.org.au/modules.php?op=modload&name=PagEd&file=index&topic_id=18&page_id=233&tabno=7#section2

Our source reports a senior sand mining figure told him of corruption in the sector "It's $30,000 to keep your sand mine safe". Meaning if you don't pay it they [council regulatory officers] come down like a tonne of bricks on you.

We keep an arms length view, and particularly non financial public interest, of all these controversies but in NSW we tend to believe where

1. the big construction industry,

2. lots of cash and

3. NSW governance

are involved, that there is plenty of slurry to be thrown and most of it does stick, just as Gabrielle Harrison was reported to say and withdrew in a panic (as noted above).

The Green Party are right about developer corruption here, and no doubt it's at the ground floor of sand mine inputs critical to the sector. In fact this is why democracy in NSW is in fact broken by dirty money politics.


Posted by editor at 8:46 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 7 March 2007 10:58 AM EADT
Tuesday, 6 March 2007
Dangerous global warming impacts for major parties in NSW election
Mood:  cool
Topic: election nsw 2007

We watched the Channel 10 Cool Aid 2 hours plus special which network apparently rated fairly well at a respectable no.3 for the night after 8.30 pm last Sunday 4th of March. And we were impressed.

 

Building on the DVD and Oscar success of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth highly cuddly Sandra http://www.ten.com.au/ten/people_sandrasully.html

was sharper than we are used to seeing cutting across the political talent as needed with federal rivals Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Garrett. Crikey.com.au sad cynic Christian (not) Kerr called it ‘tv for morons’ yesterday without even watching, but he doesn’t look like this:

and there were 5 family/young adult mainstream templates of sorts for checking the carbon fatties (presumably Kerr). Dr Karl the expert science reporter

 

Dr Karl's Homepage

 

with the ABC gave us the low down on listening to real climatologists - not paid up liars (just as the Tobacco Industry lied for 50 years on causes of cancer), and Al Gore chipped in too. Highly polished John Dee, even Ian Kiernan from a 4 am start and plaster cast on leg had some kick urging a 10% renewable energy target up from 2%. Prof Tim Flannery and Australian/Troublemaker of the Year, and the show highlighted dangerous sea rise threat HERE for a real change.

 

Ian McHugh a science writer for Crikey was more favourable and like him I did flake out after a long day before the end, but not before rejoicing that Sandra & Co, who I did but once see passing by there in Harris St Pyrmont once as our eyes briefly met, was doing the ecology action work putting me out of a job. Go sister go.

 

Which brings us to this sad bad Big Media rabid Right sellout 'blogger' Jekyl/Hyde character Tim Blair:

 

Picture: From left, Tim Blair, Saturday Daily Telegraph  so called 'blogger' on newsprint, of passing resemblance to Mr Hyde character (middle) played by ‘Germanic’ Fredric March, (right), from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)  from the famous Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Wikipedia (Robert Louis Stevenson, 1888)

 

 

who was sledging the social movement to save our climate in the Saturday Daily Telegraph the day before the Cool Aid tv special:

Get it? Like Kerr at Crikey he is suggesting global warming threat is stupid satire, that people like you or this writer are pseudo ecological fascists or weedy fruit loops. (Never mind in my case 2 years with Media Monitors, another 2 as a corporate lawyer, a good science degree, 4 years as a successful local councillor, oozing concern for the public interest this last 15 years of activism.)

Blair presents as quite weird and not just in appearance like some grinning human Rotweiler, or wannabe fleshy 'Will Bailey' character from West Wing tv series (son of a NATO commander). I mean would you trust your kids' future with this 'journalist' obviously doing the work of Big Oil/Coal?

One problem for boorish Blair though: The Sunday Telegraph newspaper, that’s right the Sunday version of Blair’s own paper, was a co sponsor of the Channel 10 Cool Aid special tv show focused exactly on supporting the concerns of such as Professor Tim Flannery (who is the main focus of his sledge in the Saturday Telegraph). Here is the proof:.

 

In Allende’s Chile of the early 1970's they had a name for the Blair/Kerr types – the momia (in Spanish), as in ancient bandaged Egyptian mummies from the 1960ies horror movie genre, people incapable of adapting to new realities. People like real Germanic neo nazi fascist Pinochet who gunned down his rivals in sports stadiums, dropped others from helicopters into the sea and generally slaughtered 5,000 or more humanitarian activists and assorted left wingers all blessed by USA Secretary of State Henry Kissinger ("Do what you have to").

 

Blair’s futuristic satire is easily turned around with literary devices like

 

-Kissinger Life Centre – where those genetically imperfect are branded, and in the worst cases gassed.

- Le Pen [ultra Right French politician] Immigration Centre, say no more.

- Howard Twin Towers – one in the shape of the original bomb dropped on Hiroshima, the other a phallic symbol of his chicken hawk manhood.

- Thatcher Sports Stadium which doubles as an interrogation, justice and execution centre. Those arrested for jaywalking are held in stocks and beaten with cricket bats made in Saudia Arabia which now has a huge forest industry after the monsoonal rains moved from South East Asia.

- Iran Iraq war celebration day. Because misery loves company.

- Plutonium Day 25th Dec.

- White Elephant Day 26th Dec

- Cheney Sunscreen against a hot hot world, and the ever useful Bush motormower: Does  20 feet of a lawn to the litre. And it’s the only oil based product on the market.

- GM made electric car 0-200 km/hr in 4 seconds on compressed cng loaned to me by my neighbour, a Chinese guy who got into solar stocks back in 1998 and is now 3rd richest Australian. He has several vehicles so he can afford to let me borrow one.

Etc etc.

 

Meanwhile the NSW Minerals Council is attempting to censor these gung ho climate change activists doing satire on the coal industry:  Industry closes anti-coal website And here Mining Lobby Silencing Community Comment. Yet another report here in the Technology Section of the SMH http://www.smh.com.au/news/web/green-group-seeks-afghan-refuge/2007/03/06/1172943416664.html

 

Satire aside, the social movement for energy reform is real this election period in NSW as follows:

 

1. www.climatechangecoalition.com.au with lead candidate Patrice Newell in the Upper House pictured below at a tour of the Addison Rd Centre Marrickville 4th March 07 here (at left) in the art studio for Boarding House residents or ‘Roomies’ (middle is Terry Cutcliffe a gallery owner, and Patrice's polling booth organiser at right who remains nameless.) Her ticket has clout too with Genia McCaffrey North Sydney Mayor no. 2, and Cr John McInernie of Sydney City Council at no.3.

And this astute and no doubt sincere follow up:

 

Sent: Monday, March 05, 2007 6:45 AM

Subject: good to meet.

Tom, good to meet yesterday, Ecology Action Sydney looks like it does great work. I'm so encouraged by all the grass roots groups working in NSW. Don't get to hear about many of them in Gundy.

 So why is the government so unrepresentative?????

Cheers for now, hope your compost heap thrives.  PN

Patrice Newell
tel xxxxxxx
mobile xxxxxxxx

 

 

2. Protests at the pro coal mining ALP head office in Sussex St, Sydney CBD here as here: http://risingtide.org.au/node/390


3. Green Party promoted animation here:

From: "michele mckenzie" Sent: Sunday, March 04, 2007 7:06 PM

Subject: old coal animation  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDHSMnvtnBo

 

 

4. Public meetings in sensitive marginal seats as follows:

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

- WORRIED ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE? Put your concerns, questions, ideas and frustrations to our local candidates. WHEN Tuesday 6 March from 7-9pm, WHERE Marrickville town hall
 
Carmel Tebbutt MP for Marrickville (ALP)
Councillor Fiona Byrne (The Greens)
Pip Hinman (Socialist Alliance)
Patrick O'Connor (Socialist Equality Party)

Each speaker will give a short explanation where they stand on key issues
like coal and new mines, new energy sources and public transport
 
With guest speaker Dr Chris Riedy from UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures
……Hosted by Marrickville Climate Action Now

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

 

-  from The Glebe (News Ltd) free suburban press “Greenpeace will be running a climate change forum at Rozelle Public School [seat of Balmain] on Thursday March 8th, at 7pm”

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

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

 

5. Down the track this conference

 

Climate Law in Australia CONFERENCE

12 & 13 April 2007 National Museum of Australia, Canberra

 

Jointly organised by The Australian National University and the University of Melbourne, Climate Law in Australia is the first Australian conference to focus exclusively on the emerging legal dimensions of global warming.

 

… For more information, please contact The Australian Centre for Environmental Law (ACEL): Telephone 02 6125 3487 or E-mail acel.law@anu.edu.au

 

Information and registration forms are also available on the web at http://law.anu.edu.au/acel/Events.asp

……………………………

 

The Iemma Govt understand how sensitive this issue is as per The Greens reaction to his North Coast tour in the last week:

 

Media Release 27 February 2007

 

Climate change fund welcome - but where’s the train?

 

The NSW Greens have welcomed Morris Iemma’s announcement of a $310 million climate change fund, announced whilst he was campaigning in the Tweed today.

 

“The Greens support Mr Iemma’s announcement this morning, but the biggest policy shift that people on the North Coast were hoping for, a commuter train service between Casino and Murwillumbah, is still not on the government’s agenda,” said NSW Greens MP and North Coast resident Ian Cohen.

 

“A commuter rail service would mean less cars and buses on North Coast roads. This would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve road safety and travel times, and create transport options for the many North Coast residents who don’t own a car.

 

“Lobby group Trains On Our Tracks (TOOT) have developed a comprehensive plan, based on a feasibility study by Price Waterhouse Coopers, for a light rail commuter service between Casino and Murwillumbah. TOOT estimate this would involve a small upfront cost of $22 million on upgrading rail infrastructure. The ongoing running costs would be less, and the service more frequent, than the current XPT bus service. (For more detail see http://www.toot.org.au/dmdocuments/TOOT_Now_Plan.pdf )  “This commuter rail plan, for which the Federal Government has offered funding assistance, would be effectively revenue neutral for the NSW Government.

 

“Morris Iemma has missed a golden opportunity to beef up his climate change fund with a plan for a commuter rail service for the North Coast. It would be an economically sensible and environmentally friendly piece of essential infrastructure.

 

“Nevertheless, The Premier’s announcement is undoubtedly a positive. The Greens strongly support increased rebates for people that are prepared to make their home more energy efficient,” said Mr Cohen.

……………………….

 

And we hear via radio that Iemma and a Big Media gaggle are on his campaign bus today 6th March to the South Coast maybe to promote a picfac for this greenhouse friendly gas fired power station idea in Bega:

 

Gas-fired power on the agenda 27th Feb 2007 http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200702/s1858097.htm

 

To add to the Wollongong gas fired power station here in 2006 Govt signs off on south coast power station

 

But will Iemma face up to this issue of the 2003 election under Bob Carr

 

March 03 Background paper on south coast no woodchips, no charcoal election campaign 2003, with update Jan 05 at bottom.

 

over a Govt project to burn massive volumes of native forests for charcoal/power which his Minister Bob Debus was forced 7 days out from the vote to rule out in the press release below, which by the by the Sydney Morning Herald refused to report (because they backed the hugely greenhouse unfriendly plan?).

Indeed with Bob Debus retiring this election will the ALP's Morris Iemma return to trashing south coast forests as Bob Carr intended to add to the massive woodchipping of our natural carbon store still going on:

19/3/2003...NSW government 'Big Logging List' giving background to the Bob Carr/ALP government real forest performance in the lead up state election in March 2003.

 

One does wonder if the ALP will dishonestly support burning of forests again with Debus gone just as they support now the fantasy of ‘clean coal’ over the next 4 years:

 

The Greens NSW - Media Release 27 February 2007

 

"Clean coal" is a convenient untruth

 

Banking on "clean" coal as a climate change solution is a dangerous strategy that could end in environmental and economic disaster for Australia, according to Greens NSW Upper House candidate John Kaye.

 

Speaking after presenting a forum on climate change at the University of Wollongong, Dr Kaye said: "Both Premier Iemma and Opposition Leader Debnam are relying on so-called clean coal as a response to NSW's disastrously high greenhouse gas emissions.

 

"Responding to the biggest challenge facing this state with a promise of a technology that has not yet been proven is taking a massive gamble that places the future prosperity, health and safety of this state at risk.

 

"The Stern report commissioned by the UK government makes it clear that reducing emissions immediately is not only cheaper than waiting but also essential to limiting the total damage done by global warming.

 

 

"Yet Federal Opposition leader Kevin Rudd admits that it will be at least 20 years before clean coal technology is available for wide spread use. In the meantime, climate change emissions will continue and NSW will become even more dependent on coal.

 

"By waiting around for a technology that might or might not reduce emissions, this state will miss the boat on renewable technologies. "The Illawarra alone could benefit from more than 10 thousand new jobs in the near future if the NSW government pushes for a rapid uptake of renewable energy solutions like solar water heating and wind generation.

 

"While the idea that coal can be burned with low or no emissions is convenient for some politicians and the coal companies, it is a potential disaster for jobs and the environment.

 

"The Greens are calling for immediate investment in renewable energy technology to build an export industry. By not opening new coal mines and making an orderly and planned transition to a low greenhouse emissions economy, we can create at least 160 thousand jobs around Australia," Dr Kaye said.

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

 

Indeed there are disturbing rumours coming out of the south east community that NSW State Forest bureaucrats have designated over 124,000 hectares of public forest as 'dieback' which might be suitable from their point of view for the Eden chipper (running at 1 million tonnes a year) or for a wood to energy furnace of some kind (compared with gas energy plant above).

 

In our experience the ALP crony govt in NSW prefer 'pre emptive dieback' as here below (photos by this writer 9th March 2006 in Wandella public forest at Peak Alone near Cobargo): 


More images here: Wandella vandalism proof 3/06

Similarly in the agricultural regions: Revealed: legal land clearing's savage toll with Dr Hal Cogger ex deputy director Australian Museum via WWF reporting legal, let alone illegal clearing from 1998-2005 (Jeff Angel anointed as the so called 'greenest premier in Australian history' period) was a tragicly huge 639,930 ha with 104 million mammals birds and reptiles killed (as a conservative estimate).

We noticed another high class biologist "Allen Greer Mudgee" 26/2/07 under headline "Consuming nature", another retiree from the Australian Museum, in the letters page of the Herald sledging Minister Debus's so called 'national conservation highway' claimed to moderate the effect of climate change on biodiversity, as hopelessly inadequate.

SAM's editor estimates legal and illegal clearing is likely to be 1-2 million ha in the last 10 years in NSW. All under the ALP. Land clearing is a very significant measure of greenhouse emissions too. Laughably their rival Opposition Leader Peter Debnam on the recent Stateline 'Leaders' debate said 'our farmers are the original conservationists'. Some maybe are thus, like new farmer Patrice Newell above, but the great majority are not. And the government doesn't help at all which it could with stewardship incentives. No wonder voters are flocking to the Independents.

Truth is both major parties are hopelessly compromised when it comes to the destruction of our ecology critical to our future.


Posted by editor at 9:36 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2007 10:46 AM EADT
Sunday, 4 March 2007
NSW electioneering gathers pace in the streets and parks of Sydney
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: election nsw 2007

Image: Bondi Rd 3rd March, info stall in the centre left seat of Coogee for ALP MP Paul Pearce, who was sledged recently in the Sydney Morning Herald for leaflet boast"jail population continually increased and escapes declined by 85%".  Not really Pearce's style as a career lefty and likely off the LauraNorder Iemma songsheet. On the other hand local Green Party voters will like the extra 120,000 ha of national park as a swansong of Environment Minister Bob Debus, in an exclusive in the champion of LaurnaOrder policies, the Saturday Daily Telegraph: The timing in typical Debus competetent choreography probably relatest to 5000 strong National Parks Association meeting the same day: http://www.npansw.org.au/web/news/future.htm

 

Image: Bondi Junction, Oxford St 3rd March. Graffiti guerilla tactics either in or edge of Liberal Peter Debnam's seat of Vaucluse: A mixture of bohemians and stuffy excessively wealthy Establishment types.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Image above: A curious shop parading Union Jacks just opposite the graffiti against PM Howard (above), echoing the conservative  navy credentials of Peter Debnam. Perhaps Debnam has a future in retail (the image helpfully tilts Right)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture above and more below: Community rally at Botany Bay Beach off Foreshore Rd, Botany Saturday 3rd March, against expansion of Port Botany guaranteed to increase toxic transport congestion in most of southern metropolitan Sydney. Shade was a premium under the burning late summer day.

The Greens NSW - Media Release - 2 March 2007

 

Greens call on Iemma to can

Port Botany expansion

 

Greens MP Sylvia Hale will call on the Iemma Government to can the monster Port Botany expansion that motorway proponents are using to push for the construction of the F6, M4 east and Inner West Tollway, when she speaks on Saturday at a large public protest against the expansion (Botany Beach, 2pm, 3 March).

 

"It's time we started adding one plus one. All these motorway proposals lead back to the Port Botany expansion, which will add about 2000 more trucks to Sydney's roads each day," she said.

 

"We have the Liberals down south pushing for the F6, and the NRMA and Tourist and Transport Forum pushing for the M4 east and the $4.6billion Inner-West Tollway, all on the back of the Port Botany expansion," she said.

"Yet, the justification for more motorways is a port expansion that is unjustifiable in the first place," Ms Hale said.  "Sydney does not need this massive port facility. Stevedores, Toll and DP World have said they don't need it. The Department of Planning has advised against it. The community are certainly opposed to it."

 

"Even the Government's own Commission of Inquiry established to investigate the Sydney Ports Corporation's original proposal advised against such excessive expansion because it would put unworkable pressure upon infrastructure and transport systems throughout the city."

 

"In the meantime, the real costs of this unnecessary expansion will be borne by the whole community across all of Sydney," said Ms Hale.

 

Greens Candidate for Marrickville, Clr Fiona Byrne, whose 3-year-old daughter attends a St Peters pre-school right on the doorstep of the proposed entrance to the Inner-West Tollway, said parents are seriously concerned for the health of their children.

 

"If the tunnel is built the school will be cheek by jowl with an unfiltered stack and massive numbers of cars and trucks funneling into the entrance. If the tunnel is not built and the trucks use existing surface roads these kids will be breathing unfiltered car and diesel emissions," she said.

 

"Let's face it, the people who stand to profit from the Port Botany expansion are the Sydney Port Corporation and the property and construction industry, who over the past 8 years have donated more than $13million into the ALP's coffers, " said Ms Hale.

 

"Mr Iemma says he does things differently to his predecessor, but unless he cans this excessive and unnecessary expansion, the electorate will know that it just more of the same. Bob the Builder.lives on," she said.

 

Short background brief available on request.

 

Contact: Kath Haines (for Sylvia Hale) 0417 230 819, Clr Fiona Byrne
0401 719 120

Image above: State election candidates hold up protest signage for local press, from left Fiona Byrne in marginal seat of Marrickville, and left Ann Gardner in the safe ALP seat of Maroubra.

PRESS RELEASE  5th March 2007:  Botany Bay and Catchment Alliance

Bumper Breeding Season for Little Terns at Port Botany

One of the State's rarest birds, the Little Tern, has enjoyed a bumper breeding season at Port Botany this year.  Sydney’s  Little Tern expert, Darryl McKay, banded 19 chicks and recorded 9 fledglings.  “This was an outstanding result for the colony,” said Mr McKay.

"We are very pleased that this threatened bird is doing so well at Port Botany and this is in large part due to the dedication of some wonderful volunteers, and strong support from National Parks and the local community," said Ms Lynda Newnam, Chairperson of the Botany Bay and Catchment Alliance.

The nesting site is at the entrance to Penrhyn Estuary, at Port Botany, and was fenced by NPWS and monitored by bird-watchers from around Sydney as well as the local community.  “It is wonderful to have these beautiful, rare birds breeding so successfully in Botany”, said local environmentalist, Mrs Nancy Hillier. “The walkers, fishers and boating people who use this area responded very positively when asked to keep clear of the nesting area. There is great pride in having the Little Terns here.”

"The eggs and chicks can be taken by predators such as foxes.  Their nests are nearly invisible scrapes on the sand, often near the high water mark, so they are also vulnerable to storms and flooding, and vandals but the proximity to such a high security area as Port Botany brings with it protection that could not be afforded in most other areas”, Mrs Hillier added.

This breeding season will be the last for the Little Terns in this special place, because soon the nesting site will be covered with shipping containers, not eggs. “Sydney needs the Little Terns and the recreation area rather than more containers and congestion”, said Ms Newnam.

Further information:   Lynda Newnam, Botany Bay and Catchment Alliance

                                    www.botanybay.info

                                    chairperson@botanybay.info

                                    tel:  0409698321

Image above: MP Sylvia Hale addresses the crowd, Cr Peter Olive of Marrickville Council in blue shirt in the middle. The expanded port will increase container traffic from over 1 million p.a. to 3 million and then 5 or 8 million in coming decades, and consequent $5 billion tunnel with toxic ventilation stacks and subsidence as far as Marrickville.

Image above:  DVD here: ”Botany Bay’s Big Bang,” is a two-minute video launching Marickville Greens campaign against the environmentally damaging Port Botany expansion scheme, as per more detailed listing here http://www.nsw.greens.org.au/candidates/electorates/marrickville


Image above: Gary Blaschke recently lauded with an Order of Australia (2007) for community service, holds forth  in distinctive yellow T shirt 'Save Sydney No Port stranglehold'. Gary is a member of Botany Bay & Catchment Alliance http://www.botanybay.info/ 

Leaning on a tree in the shade in the background is Dean Sewell perhaps "the best photo journalist in Australia" who works for the Sydney Morning Herald and freelance, including tsunami affected Indonesia which ran in World Press apparently. Dean tells us he has been doing a study of the area for at least 20 years.





Posted by editor at 12:07 PM EADT
Updated: Monday, 5 March 2007 3:38 PM EADT
Thursday, 1 March 2007
ALP NSW coverup of the Marrickville Truck Tunnel by any other name
Mood:  down
Topic: election nsw 2007

SAM's editor sought by formal Freedom of Information in mid 2005, a taxpayer funded Commission of Inquiry Report into the expansion of Port Botany which would categorically evidence massive increase in truck container traffic via the Inner West of Sydney. The govt were sitting on the report by respected Kevin Cleland for months, and even changed Planning Ministers from Craig Knowles to Frank Sartor while community groups like my own Botany Bay & Catchment Alliance http://www.botanybay.info/ patiently waited. The report helped evidence the Ports agenda for the same Inner West Motorway in the news today, that we knew as the Marrickville Truck Tunnel in 2005.

A tunnel that would involve subsidence, toxic ventilation stacks and massive voter concern. Marrickville Byelection was scheduled for 17th September 2005 and the ALP were at risk from The Green Party's Sam Byrne.

The government ran the clock down on our FoI request. We smelt a rat over the Truck Tunnel damage in the byelection. The Planning Dept under Frank Sartor even refused despite numerous promptings by phone to give up a letter of refusal prior to the close byelection. This writer was forced to go into The Lands office in Bridge St CBD and refuse to leave until I was given the letter on 12th Sept 07 (as noted below in handwriting). But the refusal letter they couldn't provide to me was actually already drafted "6th Sept", and signed "9th September" by Sam Haddad (note the changed date by hand by Haddad). The same Sam Haddad promoted to head up the department sometime later from Deputy Director position.

We duly complained and sought a review but the byelection was held on Sept 17th and negative replies excusing the government cover up were received soon after. (These letters are copied below from the reviewing officer, and the electoral commissioner). A few weeks after the byelection the Port Botany report was released.

The Greens Sam Byrne lost by only a few per cent, and was then chosen to be Mayor of Marrickville Council later in 2005 being the quality candidate that he was.

Now the major story running in Sydney is the same secret Truck Tunnel this time before an election vote in the Sydney Daily Telegraph on page 1. I also mentioned this on 702 ABC radio talkback and am happy to take interview calls on tel. 0410 558838:

$5b secret road under Sydney

new tunnel

Exclusive by Heath Aston: THE RTA has secretly drawn up plans for a gigantic underground toll road through Sydney's inner west in a bid to ease the city's worsening traffic woes.

10 comment(s) about this story

Here are SAM's letters of that time evidencing the Government successfully covering their tracks in 2005 ... but not today:



 

 


Posted by editor at 9:29 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 1 March 2007 11:49 AM EADT
Sunday, 25 February 2007
ALP's minister Debus plays green voters for suckers with captured journo?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: election nsw 2007

How stupid does astute Bob Debus, the retiring NSW Environment Minister take the NSW voters for? Pretty stupid would be the editor's guess.

 

Here is his latest cheap PR stunt for the environment - worthy on its own terms but hopelessly speculative, uncorroborated (notice Qld Govt on abc tv news last night questioning it's national applicability), deeply inadequate at $7M to the task and gormlessly regurgitated by James Woodford at the Sydney Morning Herald as per most of his stories, and therefore untested, when this government's record is quite contrary to the objective of free migration of species in the age of climate change:

 

Route for wildlife to escape warming A 2800-kilometre wildlife corridor will be established along almost the entire east coast of Australia. 

 

 

Indeed the idea is lifted off The Wilderness Society’s national electioneering agendas anyway, which gives the clue to Debus’s nerves in a close election, including this extract of their map at The Wilderness Society - Australia  website as follows:

 

including this writer (TWS NSW Campaign Coordinator 1993-1994) having long campaigned against the scourge of logging and woodchipping of our eucaplypt natural forests here in the very exact zone of the so called conservation migration route along Eastern Australia’s fringe: The hypocrisy is breathtaking really. Debus presents as a priestly sort of policy gentleman but the truth is far more compromised.

 

The NSW Government including Debus directly cooperates with the foreign (Japanese) multinational SouthEast FibreExports Pty Ltd to destroy our natural heritage here, specifically in the new so called conservation migration zone:

 

In the words of TWS here NSW Forests

 

Southern Forests - Iemma's test!

At the last state election, the Carr-Iemma government put the last great forest icons on the south coast under temporary protection. The intention was clear - the community wanted these places protected and the government recognised this. But they went back on their intention. A fraction of the icons were protected. And then the logging started again. After a community outcry the logging stopped but protection remains only temporary. Premier Iemma must act NOW, before March 2007. The quolls, koalas and gliders need you to act on their behalf to get Iemma to deliver!”

We also received this recently:

From: Harriet Swift

To: ChipStop Network

Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2007 3:28 PM

Subject: [chipstop] Badja report

 

We went to Badja last weekend because we had heard reports of horrible logging there. It is true.
Anyone familiar with the area as it was in the time of the blockade will be shocked.
The right hand side of Badja Forest Road has been logged, all the way from the cattle grid where we held our last dragon action, almost to the corner where State Forests and police had their camp. Another section begins just as you turn right at that corner. A third section on the road to the Cascades, on the right hand side behind the spot where there was phone reception.
Fortunately, no more logging has been done around the old fort site or at Balook.
Some of the logged areas along the cascades road have been burned, even though there is E. fraxinoides (fire sensitive) in the vicinity.
We didn't see the quoll, but saw some scats. The platypus are still there, even though the river level was lower than usual.
Very depressing, but makes me think a Wielangta type challenge based on the quoll habitat in the escarpment forests is a good idea.
HS

 

Same ole, same ole, as per this campaign poster of photographs by this writer back in


Indeed the loggers are so happy with the governments they have paid for with extensive political donations over the years that WOODCHIPPERS BREAK TRUCK RECORD going into the Eden industrial facility, and even bragged late in 2006 in these terms resplendent with spin and deception:

 

[media release, December 2006, on National Association of Forest Industries website]

 

South Coast NSW timber communities celebrate million tonne milestone

 

NAFI member South East Fibre Exports (SEFE) achieves a record export figure of one million tonnes of woodchips from sustainably managed forests in 2006

 

Catherine Murphy, CEO of NAFI, congratulates NAFI member South East Fibre Exports (SEFE) for achieving a record export figure of one million tonnes of woodchips from sustainably managed forests in 2006.

 

Catherine attended celebrations to mark this outstanding achievement with over 600 south coast timber representatives in Eden today. SEFE’s woodchips exports are primarily bound for Japan where they are turned into high quality paper for Australian and international consumers.

 

“This milestone is a great achievement for the south coast NSW based export facility which employs over 300 people,” said Mrs Murphy.

 

“SEFE sources its timber from sustainably managed forests from NSW and Victoria which are as sustainably harvested to world class standards from Forests NSW and VicForests operations,” she said.

 

“The SEFE mill provides support for a number of local sawmills which are dealing with the recent downturn in the NSW housing market. These local sawmills are also major employers in the south coast area.

 

“Wood waste from SEFE’s chip mill also provides renewable energy for other local businesses. For example, Bega cheese uses wood residues from SEFE’s mill operations to power its cheese manufacturing facilities in Bega. This eliminates the need to rely on power from electricity generated by coal-fired power plants, which are major contributors to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

 

“This milestone is also significant considering the to disruption forestry and mill operations caused by environmental groups. These groups often employ illegal tactics to disrupt these operations.

 

“Reaching this outstanding export target of one million tonnes shows how ineffective these outrageous tactics have been.

 

“We congratulate SEFE and the south coast timber community on their outstanding success,” Mrs Murphy said.

 

………………………………

Picture: Truck exits "closed" public forest at Wandella NSW South Coast in 2005, past conservationist protest camp (on council road reserve land tenure) to the Eden chipmill.

 

 

This from the same Catherine Murphy who pre emptively accused green groups of supporting “eco terrorism” yet conservationists are the only ones bleeding in the industry’s cynical game of money politics, as shown here:

 

6th Dec 2006 - New paper: Logger terrorism under the Howard federal government

 

It all makes perfect sense, killing forest animals and plants for a living every working day of the week, terrorising greenies short of killing them too, but who doubts they would feed 'em into the chipper if they could at Eden:

 

 

This woodchipping obscenity is well understood by organised regional conservationists including Party political groups who might once have supported the ALP with preferences:

 

Braidwood Greens » Blog Archive » Greens announce preferences forEden Monaro

 

 

And clearly the NSW Government are embarrassed by their corrupt forest policy to cover up the details as here:

 

[Media release]

Greens in court to expose SE forests woodchip cover-up

22/02/2007

Greens campaigners are today appealing a decision by the NSW government to refuse to release the price at which native South East NSW forest timber is being sold to a highly profitiable Japanese company.
 

South East Fibre Exports chipmill, Eden NSW - The Eden chipmill is effectively a monopoly buyer and Forests NSW is a monopoly seller of pulp logs in NSW, so there is no commercial reason for this secrecy

Greens MP
Lee Rhiannon said, “The government is selling off our native forests for a pittance to a Japanese owned chipmill and is intent on hiding this fact.”

“Greens forest campaigners are today appealing the decision by Forests NSW to refuse to release this information under NSW freedom of information laws.

“Polls show 80 per cent of the public oppose wood chipping our native forests.

“The NSW government is failing the public by covering up how cheaply our native forests are being sold off. Forests NSW claims this information is ‘commercial in confidence’ to the company concerned.

“The Eden chipmill is effectively a monopoly buyer and Forests NSW is a monopoly seller of pulp logs in NSW, so there is no commercial reason for this secrecy.

 “The Ombudsman has shown how bureaucracies are increasingly using NSW’s weak FOI laws to shield themselves from their obligation to release information that is clearly in the public interest.

“This is clearly the case with Forests NSW.

“Last year the Iemma government voted against a Greens private members bill for an overhaul of NSW’s eighteen year old freedom of information laws.

“The Iemma government must believe it is in its best interests to hide its inadequacies.

“Our archaic FOI laws are capable of sheltering the government from criticism. This is one example of the shonky use of FOI exemptions.

“It is a continuing scandal that the NSW government is felling our native forests to have them shipped off-shore as woodchips, while trying to paint itself as an environmentally friendly party,” Ms Rhiannon said.

The hearing is at 10am this morning before the Administrative Decisions Tribunal, Level 15, St James Centre, 111 Elizabeth Street. The Environmental Defenders Office is representing Mr Gerry Watt.

Contact:  Greens MP Lee Rhiannon 9230 3551, 0427 861 568, Mr Gerry Watt 0439 737 530

…………………..

 

Indeed NSW forest destruction is symptomatic of corrupt politics in Australia with roughly 8 million tonnes of forest chipped nationally per year. In the last ten years 70 million tonnes of forest has been chipped under the current NSW and Federal governments elected in 1995 and 1996 respectively (as well as Victorian, and Tasmanian governments but less so the WA government today), all supporting destruction of our forests in an age of climate change. In short environmental criminals as per this map of Tasmania from TWS adapted from Google Earth apparently:

 


And notice this report of the determined support for the vandalism:

 

[Media release] 24 February 2007

Regional Forest Agreement Change is Alice in Wonderland Nonsense - Brown

 

“Humpty Dumpty: When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.

Alice: The question is, whether you can make words mean so many different things. Humpty Dumpty: The question is: which is to be master - that's all.”

 

 

"The agreement by Prime Minister Howard and Tasmanian Premier Lennon to drop the pivotal clause which protects rare and endangered species is Alice in Wonderland-style nonsense, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

 

"Justice Marshall ruled that the reserve system and management prescriptions used in the Wielangta forest do not protect the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle, Swift Parrot and Wielangta Stag Beetle.

 

"Mr Howard and Mr Lennon say that, without change to logging impacts, they can stare down this ruling by simply writing their contrary opinion into the Regional Forest Agreement.  This will not prevail," said Senator Brown.

 

Senator Brown said that regardless of the RFA change, logging in the 10,000ha Wielangta forest remains illegal.  Neither will this hollow manoeuvre by Howard and Lennon change Australian or international laws which require the habitat of rare and endangered species to be protected.

 

"My lawyers will study the RFA changes in the coming weeks.  I have no intention of backing away from challenging the Tasmanian woodchip industry's threat to endangered species," Senator Brown said.

 

Further information: Emma Belfield 0400 181 748

……………..

 

We met Minister Bob Debus (side kick of Bob No.2, ex Premier Bob Carr) a few times in our activist career back to 1992, including at a presser for the oil spill at Shell's Gore Cove oil terminal in Sydney Harbour way back in 1998, our parliamentary submission here:

 

3/8/99...Sydney Harbour oil spill by Shell ship transport contractor, indicative of rogue multinational, Submission to NSW Parliamentary Inquiry

 

(and more generally on that multinational here Shell Hell ). To be fair that mini Exxon Valdez vandalism to our beautiful harbour that Vice President Dick Cheney has just been touring for the tv cameras yesterday 24th February, as reported here:

 

 

Cheney says Hicks will be among first detainees tried

United States Vice-President Dick Cheney says David Hicks is likely to be among the first Guantanamo Bay detainees brought to trial.

 

….was all Shell’s incompetent fault some 8 years ago. Not the NSW government.

 

Purely by coincidence yesterday we butted up to the borders of new micro state Chenistan there in The Rocks next to the CBD where his hotel, the exclusive and bizarrely named Shangrila, is located to deliver the latest Sydney City News suburban freebie newspapers. 3 locations King George V Recreation Centre and two pubs full of tourists are on my list on the same street.

 

Perhaps Big Dick was going to his lunch date with the PM - as we walked to the first of our deliveries chatting with the street cops enforcing “the lockdown” a big black van with Men In Black suits went by, then a stretch limo emerged: Noticing their windows down I hurled some democratic advice “Arrest the war criminal, lock him up and throw away the key” The jolly front passenger cruising into the empty street hurriedly wound up the window, but I do have a loud voice so I know it went in. Then on leaving I suggested to the local officer ‘what we need is a Sydney bus driver to make a citizen's arrest and lock the bastard up’ referring to this local celebrity: Arresting bus driver up for award | NEWS.com.au

 

If only. Cheney's ideology is “scary” to borrow a term off the Sunday political talkies this morning, both in Iraq and in the Arctic Wildlife Reserve. Blood for oil. Just as the hypocrisy and anti environmentalism of the Australian Labor Party is scary for what it does to the souls of good people. Or is that just power politics everywhere and in every Party?


Posted by editor at 11:00 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 26 February 2007 8:50 PM EADT
Thursday, 22 February 2007
Morris's ministers and the NSW Gun Club 5% Hansonite redneck vote
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: election nsw 2007

 

Picture: A sporting shooter menaces an animal rights activist during the Duck Shooting season in Victoria a few years ago.

How revealing of this story today in the Sydney Daily Telegraph:

Labor trio loved by Libs By Joe Hildebrand: MICHAEL Costa spent his third day in hiding yesterday as the Liberals identified the Treasurer as one of the state's most despised politicians.

Not so much for the sledge of the three allegedly unpopular ministers Tripodi, Costa and Sartor.

No what was far more interesting was this:

"Mr Costa cancelled a scheduled appearance at the NSW Gun Club for some goodwill clay pigeon shooting yesterday after he realised there might be some media present.

Crestfallen organisers were forced to offer the expectant crowd some "last-minute apologies" from the timid tax collector when he failed to turn up.

Ironically, Mr Costa's cut-and-run job yesterday was highlighted even more by the appearance of Mr Sartor and Mr Tripodi days after their invisibility had been repeatedly noted by The Daily Telegraph and other media. ....

Back at the gun club, the only two Government MPs brave enough to show up were Land Minister Tony Kelly and old-school factional heavyweight Eddie Obeid.

But even these two tough guys got the jitters when they realised The Daily Telegraph would be attending the event.

Despite being listed to take part in a sort of celebrity shooting match, they mysteriously disappeared before the games could begin.

"Anthony Kelly? Anthony Kelly?" called out one innocent organiser.

Instead, the only politician who stayed on target was Nationals MP Adrian Piccoli.

He made his own day by outshooting the Shooters Party, something he was modest enough to mention only five or six times after the event.

Olympic gold medal-winning shooter Russell Mark suggested that perhaps it was best politicians stayed away from the shooting field anyway.

"Unlike their political lives, in shooting they've got to keep both eyes open and both ears open," Mark said afterwards.

"Exactly the opposite of what they do in Parliament."

[bold added]

This is just more evidence of the NSW Government's sly dishonest courting of the mad sporting shooter redneck, right to bear arms, Hansonite leaning, 5% ultra Right vote. People like this:

 Ned Wood's GUN LAWS IN AUSTRALIA

and here

http://members.iimetro.com.au/~hubbca/gunlaws.htm

a web site with spookily detailed profile of gun control advocate Dr Rebecca Peters http://members.iimetro.com.au/~hubbca/peters.htm and, and Green Party candidate and former intelligence officer Andrew Wilkie, a website obsessing about the impending fascist dictatorship justifying widespread gun ownership as per the USA. 

And there is real money behind the shooter politics too:

www.smh.com.au - Shooters' group factions clash on political funds 

"A special general meeting of the Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia has been called after the former Shooters' Party president David Leyonhjelm protested against a donation of more than $60,000 towards the Shooters' Party campaign by the association's Sydney branch.

A 10-person committee of that branch, which has more than 20,000 members, voted to give $60,000 to the Shooters' Party and hold another $40,000 in reserve for the campaign. The state division of the association is donating a further $250,000 to the party.

The president of the Sporting Shooters' Association and the No. 1 candidate on the upper house ticket for the Shooters' Party, Roy Smith, said it was just a couple of disgruntled members like Mr Leyonhjelm who were complaining."

The ALP real politik works like this: Do covert cosying up to the Shooters to let them know you like them even if they are Right of Genghis Khan, but just be discreet enough to not offend the other 90% of the electorate who want a safe society, indeed avoid photos of your gun toting ways in the Big Media if at all possible.

In a close election it could make all the difference. And this is a very close if not losing election:

Swinging voters worry Labor

The New South Wales ALP general secretary says he is concerned the party could be swept from power because of the large number of swinging voters across the state, including many in the Hunter.

Mark Arbib has revealed the party is campaigning in about 30 seats it believes could be lost to the Coalition or independents.

Mr Arbib told a function in Sydney that the party is expecting large swings against it due to the volatile nature of the electorate.

"At the moment the Coalition is claiming they will win 11 seats. On top of that there's also claims we're going to lose Newcastle, Maitland and Lake Macquarie. That's 14 seats," he said.

"It's a big change and obviously very, very hard for us to resist and this is what the Coalition is saying at the moment and if they weren't confident why would they be saying it?"

At http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200702/s1853781.htm

[And acknowledging that The Australian broke this story first on 21st Feb 2007 by Imre Salusinszky here showing the deliberately open warning by Arbib to the Right of the Party and public generally who read that paper, here

Labor warned of hostile swing

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21261027-2702,00.html ]

Get it? Ministers Costa, and Kelly both pulled out of attending the gun happy NSW Gun Club in reaction to media interest or similar concerns.

For some reason when I lobbied both Anne Davies at the Sydney Morning Herald and Joe Hilderbrand at the Daily Telegraph at the time of writing both seemed too busy or in the latter case particularly disinterested in this line of analysis, so I have decided even more so to spell out the background here for alternative media readers.

(The other sleeper in this story is how can Antony Green of impartial ABC be briefing the very ALP aligned Fabian Society as per the The Australian article? It's in the last two lines.)

This issue of endangerment of all public forest recreationalists, not just card carrying greenies, reaches across the broad spectrum, especially as shooting feral animals by a bunch of amateurs has no genuine scientific basis and most serious observers and rival stakeholders see it as purely pandering to cowboys:

Pambula: Keep Forests Safe

The most telling other piece of evidence was reported in Big Media back in 2006 here:

Safety fears as shooters comb forests
GAME hunters are now able to shoot in 142 state forests across NSW and they've already bagged 650 feral animals since legalised hunting began in March.
Sun Herald 30/07/2006

and here

Killers for conservation

This radical move to the right by the Iemma NSW government was roundly rejected by green and other civil society groups here:

Lee Rhiannon MLC - Hunting in State forests

and here

10th July 2006 More State Forests Turned into Hunting Grounds 

Another 46 State forests covering 422,100 hectares in the Central-West and Southern NSW have just been designated as hunting areas, putting in danger neighbouring landholders, campers and walkers visiting public lands while creating new problems for the control of feral animals.

“NPA
[National Parks Association] is alarmed about the NSW Government policy of turning over vast areas of public forests and woodlands to hunters,” said Andrew Cox, NPA Executive Officer.

“This brings to 155 the number of State forests made available to hunters for the next five years since the declaration of the first hunting areas by Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald, earlier this year. A total of 1.39 million hectares, or half of all State forests in NSW, are now declared as hunting areas, bringing into conflict forest users and hunters with their guns and pig dogs.”

“The Game and Feral Animal Control Act was passed in 2002 despite fierce opposition from environmental and animal welfare groups. Hunting on public lands is overseen by a Board that is required to have a majority of hunters,” said Mr Cox.

and similarly here: Nature Conservation Council of NSW - Hunting in State Forests is "bad news".

and here:

Feedback on shooting of dog in state forest

The shooting death of a domestic dog camping with its owner in a State Forest on the North Coast, has sparked more debate about the use of hunters to control feral animals.

Licenced shooters have been targetting feral animals in 152 forests as part of a State Government initiative known as 'conservation hunting'. We had a large number of callers on the issue with varying points of view.
At http://www.abc.net.au/rural/nsw/content/2006/s1723227.htm]

Which pet shooting incident ended up with these questions in Parliament:

0470 - SHOOTING ON PUBLIC LANDS

And unlike in Queensland where Illegal shooters face stiff fines - EPA/QPWS , here in NSW under this desperate NSW ALP government on the nose with voters, we have lax laws for unlicensed shooters too: Magistrate Heilpern responded to a question from this writer at a recent Beyond Environmental Law conference I reported here on SAM as follows:

"Magistrate Heilpern outlined the harsh exclusion by new regulation of [anti logging] protesters from public forest with his slogan “the [jack] boots are on” but declined to make electoral comment on the free rein now for shooters in those public recreation areas except to note it’s $550 fine for saving forests under a PIN notice from a govt forestry officer, but only $200 fine for shooting while unlicensed. The implication is clear the NSW govt supports shooters more than forests."

Barry Unsworth the blow-in ALP Premier in 1988 (after Neville Wran stood down, like Bob Carr in 2005, after a lengthy stint), was seen to be opposing the shooters "rights" and sending the Right into the arms of the Liberal-National Parly Coalition under Nick Griener elected later that year:

"JEAN KENNEDY: And, as the election [of 1988] drew closer, he [Premier Barry Unsworth] had a new issue to deal with, one which was dividing town and country gun control. At meetings like this in Bathurst, there was outrage.

[File tape]: The New South Wales government, without doubt and it can't be questioned, is using the law abiding sporting shooters of this state as scapegoats for their inability to control law and order on the streets of Sydney."

http://www.abc.net.au/stateline/nsw/content/2006/s1808369.htm

And no one is doubting current ALP Premier Morris Iemma is not a dedicated student of political history in NSW (being an apprentice of fixer ex Senator Graham Richardson) even at the expense of the citizens' real safety.


Posted by editor at 2:20 PM EADT
Updated: Friday, 23 February 2007 6:45 AM EADT

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