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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Sunday, 10 February 2008
Heath Ledger nailed the Skip role in Lords of Dog Town cultural docu-drama
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: culture

For those skeptics of the Heath Ledger career check out his pivotal role in this movie available at most DVD shops. As one wit on YouTube has pointed out, the whole movie was underpinned by his character role as Skip the flawed brilliant haughty entrepeneur of Zephyr skateboards 'based on a true story'. The first image below is a stand alone clip here.

The other images are a full trailer at the link to the collage. Not surprising his friends went to the ocean for his wake - which surely is a metaphor in our dreams and our life for the emotional journey we are all on in some way. We Australians blend in with the ocean, as one, knowing its huge and overwhelming, teaching respect. We have no doubt Heath Ledger was emblematic of coastal and therefore most Australians of his generation.


Posted by editor at 8:14 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 10 February 2008 8:56 AM EADT
Saturday, 9 February 2008
Addison Rd Centre General Manager 'Job Vacancy' closing date 1st April 2008
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: local news

Recently arisen, how brightly you shine



Addison Road Centre

Senior Management





The Addison Road Centre (ARC) is an equal opportunity employer and values the diversity of its workforce. This means that the person most capable of doing the job will be chosen, without discrimation based on age, sex, pregnancy, disability, race, colour, ethnic or ethno religious background, descent or nationality, marital status, homosexuality, transgender identity, or carer’s responsibility.



The ARC is an independent organisation pursuing the goal of providing a site where organisations and individual practitioners in the arts, culture, community and the environment can work together in a community-owned asset. The ARC aims to be a showcase of how diversity of communities defined either by locality, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, age, ability or interest can operate together to achieve social and environmental outcomes in a context of economic self-sufficiency.






Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, people with disabilities and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.



General Manager – Salary $65K per annum

Job Ref No: GM08/01



Are you an energetic and experienced manager with excellent interpersonal skills and management experience willing to be a central part of a team committed to servicing the infrastructure and administrative needs of clients?



An opportunity is available to join the team of the Addison Road Centre, Marrickville as it moves forward with a vital program of community service.



The General Manager will be a key role in the provision of best practice administrative services for over 40 tenants and 5 staff. You will need to be committed to protecting the interests and dignity of people in a wide range of community activities. The organisation is experiencing strong growth in the demand for its services and is undergoing organisational change. You will be working with the Board of elected representatives to achieve long term change.



Selection criteria:  We are seeking a senior manager with extensive experience in a client service organisation who can demonstrate outstanding leadership and management capabilities. The successful candidate will have experience in significant and successful organisational change and process strategic planning and financial management skills. A sound knowledge of the issues facing community centres on community land are contained in the information package available.


The operations of Addison Rd Centre are located on 3.4 hectares at 142 Addison Rd, Marrickville in the Inner West of Sydney.



The position has a remuneration package of $65,000 per annum.



Inquiries: Yvette Andrews (02) 9569 7633


Information Packages:  Terry Cutcliffe 9518 3709, 0412 590 779


Applications Marked “Confidential” To: Applicants can apply by email to mainoffice@addisonrdcentre.com.au


Closing date: April 1st 2008


Posted by editor at 6:52 PM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 9 February 2008 8:02 PM EADT
Friday, 8 February 2008
Community media in Sydney pushing on-line in 2008
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: independent media

Better late than never!

Alternative Media Group which is a struggling for profit independent press business in Sydney has made it's first tentative steps into the web sphere.

The decidely pinkish AMG notwithstanding the green coloured get up above, and no relation to this SAM website Sydney Alternative Media though our editor did work for AMG 2002-early 2007, has always "wanted to build up their web presence" according to "group manager Chris Peken. In fact this writer urged this approach a few months before the quite mutual fork in the road Feb last year.

So now it is so.


On another Sydney front re community media capacity building, the decidedly non profit Sydney Independent Media Centre, highly interactive self publishing website with somewhat national and globalised linkages has announced an open meeting for later in February 2008.

Again no relation to SAM here though we have been a dedicated contributor there too over say 10 years.

Additionally we here at SAM reported recently our webpage view figures up to 19-20K per month up from a previous 11K in December. Time will tell the significance of this jump in readership stats.

Meanwhile, over at the Big Indy taxpayer funded ABC media, somewhat hobbled by balance obligations as opposed to 'truth' obligations, we notice the last Sunday Telegraph was gracious enough to carry a letter from a 20 year ABC veteran senior executive, one Peter Wall of Lindfield. He praised mid morning jockey Deborah Cameron pictured with said letter, and the thrust was similar to our own observation here on SAM 2 weeks back that DC has the capacity and quality professional and personal in terms of standards which is not always the same as ratings. This remains our view as long as she gets the sleep to perform this demanding daily gig.

We presume this is the News Ltd Sunday Tele's way of saying their negative coverage the week before was a mere tickle up care of the brutish commercial sector. As said 2 weeks back "all things being fair which they are not" DC ought to do fine in that tough gig. And cannabilistic reptiles have plenty to move on with too given the general coverage today of Ray Martin embracing freedom from the private equity barbarians at Ch9:

News results for ray martin

Ray Martin quits Nine Network - 3 hours ago
RAY Martin last night quit Channel 9 after 30 years as one of the network's biggest stars. Sources said a simmering feud with management led to a final ...
Melbourne Herald Sun - 35 related articles »
Not the retiring type: Martin quits Nine - Sydney Morning Herald - 24 related articles »
Ray Martin resigns from Nine Network - NEWS.com.au - 30 related articles »


Posted by editor at 11:52 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 8 February 2008 4:35 PM EADT
Power sale debate Herald's neurotic growth fetish?
Mood:  sad
Topic: nsw govt

Michael Costa MP, at present the Treasurer of NSW gets a moderate leg up by the anonymous Herald editorialist today:

www.smh.com.au - Costa's critics short-circuited

They claim Costa is full of "political courage" taking on the unions. That reads like Yes Minister style foolhardy unsustainable politics.  

The Unions are just off a big big federal election win for their side and they have the 85% backing against the power public asset sale and a grassroots campaign 'Your rights at work' infrastructure in place. And they are not backing off:

Quit now, Labor chief tells Costa - National - smh.com.au

This is the kind of democratic movement on industrial relations in 2006-7 that the big knobs at the SMH would be none too comfortable with - it's economic justice that comes off their shareholders' dividends and senior executive bonuses. And one presumes that's the case with a $15B power sale too - less income for the corporate owners of Fairfax.

There is one line in the Herald editorial that reflects at the core their narrow neurotic capitalist approach to the political economy:

"New capacity is vital if the state economy is to continue to grow; NSW cannot continue to defer its long-term energy future."

This beauty of a sentence captures so many things:

- the sincere, genuine confusion manifested by the non sequitor of long term energy future in the 2nd leg as if it can be guarranteed by "new capacity/economic growth". One only needs to read the most grim foretelling (below) about dangerous climate change to show that this old style growth festish political economics is suicidal.

- For all the populist Eco pages and general environmental news, the Herald is essentially a growth capitalist institutional pillar with overpaid staff and owners, that doesn't get ecological sustainability because otherwise it would be talking about conserving capacity and reducing demand, not feeding the monster;

- the subtext of endless immigration even up to 150 million, as provocation, which just adds to individual consumption problems, underpinning demand which most thinking people have long realised causes a false housing shortage for greater corporate market and profit. Far better to increase our aid and support - like Cuba's medical diplomacy - to other countries than flog to ecological death our own land. Record levels of immigration are in fact out of control, and that's from someone who believes in a coffee coloured multicultural future, higher refugee intake, with all the curiousity, inspiration and hybrid vigour that brings a country (indeed underwrites) economic success. The 'wide wide open door' is a big business racket for such as Westfield retailers and Meriton high rise.

- it echoes the defiant ecological denialism of Costa, a proud 'brown MP' himself degrading the norms of behaviour in the NSW Legislative Council with his boorish rhetoric that the coal industry must expand and that the Green Party have no merit raising their generic concerns in general and on climate specifically. In short the swaggering Costa is a dinosaur on questions of environment and sustainable planning (eg Stateline April 2005) and this is well know: Attack of the Spivs | newmatilda.com

The combined union movement whose business is social capital, who deal in management, control, guidance, service to working people are not so arrogant as to rule out of real politik consideration the warnings of the ecological scientists and green movement especially on climate: Because dangerous climate is the biggest humans rights and security issue going around this 21C (only now being taken seriously by security experts as per ABC's Leigh Sales in her reportage yesterday) along with nuclear weapons proliferation.

Our politicians, captured by big corporate donations (read orthodox market capitalism), are not serving the working people of Australia sufficiently in relation to this climate threat, just as the ultra hierarchical 'corporate' communist party of China is not either with their endless growth projections affecting even their so called Green Olympics.



More than 60 tornadoes were reported in the Southern states on Tuesday and Wednesday, killing dozens of people and injuring hundreds.

And don't think we won't see cyclonic impacts on Sydney in our lifetime to compare with Cyclone Tracy. We at SAM believe we will within decades. Imagine what that will do to the power industry and working people. It's the biggest human rights issue of our lifetime but the neurotic Herald hasn't resolved that reality within its own editorial writer's clique.

Take a look at this article that ran in 'The Crimes' ie The Canberra Times earlier this Febuary 2008. It's a very grim foretelling. The ferocity of the lethal twisters pictured above this last few days in the USA just seems to reinforce the point.  


To: Subject: [NCEC] Fwd: Climate Code Red Released 4 Jan 2008

recommended reading....


Adrian Whitehead <zeroemissionsnow...> wrote:

Hi all,

One of the most important documents to be written for the global
climate campaign has been released on the web.

The document makes the case that the science is being misread and
miscommunicated and that the situation is far worse than most climate
commentators choose to explain, it then looks at appropriate goals and
solutions and argues for rapid reduction in atmospheric greenhouse gas
concentrations now.

Written by David Sprat and Philip Sutton the document is a must read
for any serious campaigner.

Down load the pdf from http://climatecodered.net/

The authors have asked that people do not email the PDF directly but
instead direct others to the website.

Also see article published in Canberra Times below signature block.

Best wishes


Adrian Whitehead
Zero Emission Network
Level 2, 140 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000

0403 735 118

Canberra Times Article  02 February 2008 - 10:05AM

Report attacks climate policy

Rosslyn Beeby

The Rudd Government's climate change policy has already been overtaken
by new science and will impose a "death sentence" on Australia unless
urgently updated, say the authors of a new report.
Former Victorian government adviser Phillip Sutton and David Spratt,
founder of climate change group CarbonEquity, say the Government's
policy lacks scientific depth and has been cobbled together from
reports now surpassed by new data on the rate and scale of global
In a hard-hitting report for Friends of the Earth Australia, they
claim the Government's commitment to reduce greenhouse emissions by 60
per cent by 2050 locks Australia into supporting a dangerous 3 degree
rise in global temperature and is based on a United Nations report 12
years out of date.
The Melbourne-based policy analysts also cast doubt on the scope and
relevance of the climate change review being conducted for the Federal
Government by Australian National University economist Professor Ross
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has said the review's findings will guide
future policies on climate, but Mr Spratt claims its terms of
reference pre-date the groundbreaking climate change report by British
economist Sir Nicholas Stern.
"The Rudd Government urgently needs to review and update its terms of
reference if the inquiry is to remain relevant, otherwise it's like
batting information back and forth like a tennis match, so the
Government can keep avoiding responsibility," he said.
The report, Climate Code Red: The Case for a Sustainable Emergency,
accuses the Rudd Government of adopting a timid "culture of
compromise" and low expectations in mapping a national response to
climate change.
"We contend that current proposals to establish caps of 2 degrees or 3
degrees as reasonable for avoiding climate change are not being
informed by the likely impacts and expert elicitations, but have been
shaped by the world of diplomacy, political tradeoffs and compromises
driven by narrow, short-term and national aspirations," the report
It urges the Rudd Government to treat global warming as a national
emergency requiring lower temperature targets, tougher emission
reduction targets and innovative energy strategies. The authors say
the greatest reduction in Australia's greenhouse emissions, and the
most economically efficient, can be made by comprehensive energy
efficiency programs and technologies that reduce per capita
electricity consumption.
"The scandal is that sometimes the most energy-efficient domestic
technologies and appliances aren't even on the market, or businesses
and consumers are not aware of the choice."
The report is endorsed by Ian Dunlop, former chief executive of the
Australian Institute of Company Directors, Opposition environment
spokesman Greg Hunt, Australian Greens climate change spokeswoman
Senator Christine Milne and United States policy expert Professor
Dennis Meadows.
Federal climate change minister Penny Wong is attending a climate
change conference in Hawaii and was unavailable for comment.
Mr Dunlop said the report offered a balanced analysis of the
challenges of climate change, "unadorned by political spin" and
proposed a realistic framework to tackle the emergency.
"The stark fact is that we face a global sustainability emergency. But
it is impossible to design realistic solutions unless we first
understand and accept the size of the problem. We know those
solutions, but what is lacking is the political will, firstly to
honestly articulate the problem and secondly to implement those
solutions," he said.
Senator Milne said global warming was now accelerating faster than
scientists had predicted, "leaving policy so far behind it is outdated
as it is released." She said the Greens pre-election climate change
policies, previously viewed as ambitious, were now conservative in the
light of new findings.
"Where then does that leave our new Federal Government, elected on a
platform of climate action far weaker than the Greens?"
Senator Milne said although the Spratt and Sutton report called for
policy makers to set aside politics, she feared "none of the people
now charged with setting Australia's emissions target ... have grasped
that this is a state of emergency ..."

End Article

Adrian Whitehead
Zero Emission Network
Level 2, 140 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000

0403 735 118

We are faced with social and environmental collapse within this century due to climate change and global warming. Given what is at stake, to do anything but advocate for the best and strongest chance avoiding this outcome is an act of an immoral and criminal nature.

What we must do is to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions as fast possible by implementing a goal of zero emissions across all sectors combined with undertaking human assisted sequestration options such as re-vegetation and bio char, while supporting natural sequestration. This is the goal of the Zero Emission Network.

We have perhaps 5-10 years to implement these goals or we will face unacceptable impacts and a risk of runaway climate change, hence goals set later than 2020 are meaningless.


This ran in Crikey.com.au yesterday:

Electricity services in NSW:

Jenny Haines writes: Re. "Why have Iemma and Costa woken the privatisation gorilla?" (Yesterday, item 10). Iemma and Costa have created this situation, and they can undo it by pulling back from the decision to privatise and giving the whole planning for future electricity services in NSW some more thought. Mark Byrne of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre recently recommended in New Matilda that if NSW wants access to more electricity at peak times, we could build a new power station Iemma and Costa's favoured option); we could source more power from interstate or we could encourage greater energy efficiency. The Owen Report only looked at the need for more baseload generation. Even if we do need more electricity, it does not mean we need another baseload power station. The company responsible for running the $7 billion dollar electricity market in Australia, NEMMCO, recommends using a peaking or intermediate plant. It also suggests paying end users to reduce their demand in peak times. Mark Byrne says that without the need for a new baseload plant, there is no need to privatise electricity in NSW. None of these ideas have been seriously addressed by Iemma or Costa and I suspect that the Unsworth Committee will not address them either. There is a way out for Iemma and Costa and they should take it. Drop the proposals to privatise and consider more options for the future of our electricity system in NSW.

Posted by editor at 9:21 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 8 February 2008 3:18 PM EADT
Wednesday, 6 February 2008
Chicken shop explosion calls up range of possible motives
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: local news
This story ran recently from inner Sydney, said to be in Ultimo but that's a little deceptive. Here is an image in The Australian  

It's actually the outer edge of the very big Broadway retail shopping precinct including major mall complex. To airbrush that geographical relation sounded curious to us and maybe a bit of corporate spin, so we went down there yesterday to have a sniff around.

We know this area quite well from our years of street press delivery and most recently leafleting for a public meeting at nearby UTS regarding the huge desalination debacle.

In particular we were interested in several coincidences: One is this ugly fire attack in neighbouring Glebe of a Chinese Temple which actually is only about 1 km away and only a week before hand, as per Sydney Morning Herald Jan. 31st reportage (we know this Temple too which is a very nice serene place): 

Burnt out ... fire has damaged Sydney's oldest Chinese temple.

Burnt out ... fire has damaged Sydney's oldest Chinese temple.
Photo: Andrew Meares


"Leichhardt police crime manager Peter Bailey said there was evidence of a forced entry but it was too early to say who might be behind the fire that badly damaged an office." 

No wonder the police are all over the firing of Nandos. We saw Police Rescue and Forensics removing some window frames yesterday maybe for tests, as pictured below.

Ultimo is known as a high Chinese Australian area too.

A completely different angle which might not involve ethnic issues at all in this latest destruction is that the shop was robbed earlier that Sunday night according to Edmund Tadros in this report in the Herald:

Blast shop victim critical - National - smh.com.au

In all the stress of that robbery could someone have forgotten to turn off the gas? That would be a very natural error to make, especially if the robbery involved weapons.

Another curious aspect of the Nandos fire and blast is that only 50 metres away opposite is this scene of destruction from the firing of St Barnabas in May 2006 as reported by the Herald again here:

St Barnabas Church in flames in the early hours. Photo: Sky News

St Barnabas Church in flames in the early hours. Photo: Sky News

We made our own artful photo collage in mid 2007 of 'St Burnabas' (self described):

Monday, 18 June 2007
St Barnabas one year after the big fire
Mood:  spacey
Topic: local news

And yet another curious aspect totally and quite possibly irresponsible speculation is this coincidental (?) state of affairs:

- the Mountain St Quadrangle residential complex over the Nandos is only about 6 or 12 months completed with those 1000 or so resident consumers.

- These 1,000 plus locals would be an important customer base for the fast food chicken retail sector. Nandos intersected the previous pathway of Quadrangle residents to the rival busy Oporto one block closer to Broadway mall complex, which it might be said is looking a little tired. Certainly they will be the retial outlet of choice again now.

We don't say there is any connection at all. But in our cynical mind we do notice the circumstances. We recall a hair dressing competitor who got in the habit of arson attacks by fire on his competitiors:

'Shampoo arsonist' jailed - National - smh.com.au 21 Sept 2007

And yet another potential angle is that chicken shops are fairly notorious for causing smoky fatty emissions (called pyrolysis) onto their closest neighbours - we know this from an Oporto shop dispute, in that case, at North Bondi going some 20 years in our local government days. Here is a sample from SSROC of how neighbours slowly can build up quite a head of steam unless they have really good carbon filtered air scrubbers etc (which cost comes straight off the profit - such that some shops prefer to mostly cook off site and transport in):

[PDF]  Goal To have a healthy community free from the effects of air ...

We took these photographs ourselves yesterday 2 days after the big blast with the acrid smell of fire still quite strong. Windows in the street frontage and Telstra pay phone opposite had already been fixed. Tiny glass fragments still littered the path opposite too:






Posted by editor at 8:07 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 6 February 2008 8:02 PM EADT
Tuesday, 5 February 2008
Media briefs after a restful weekend
Mood:  lazy
Topic: aust govt



1. Imre and the Sunday press cover the $15B NSW power privatisation genuinely hanging in the balance. We think the sale is motivated by the wrong reasons - avoid the legacies of bad governance by pump priming cash injection into the political economy via asset sales, leaving the same bad governance when the money is gone. Stories here:

Power privatisation stand-off down to the wire | The Australian

Sparks fly in struggle over private power

We remain suspicious this impending spectacle of an internal ALP meltdown over wanton public asset fire sale was the PR imperative of a national summit diversion yesterday by PM Rudd. Because the sale income will crank the $5B truck tunnel etc in Sydney and allow Rudd to claim action on holy "infrastructure" even if it destroys city wide amenity and health.

1.A Riley Diary on 7 last Sunday back ahead of the other Sunday Talkie shows with summary here:

Amusing mobile phone stuff up by now ex-Speaker Hawker at new federal MP orientation.


Satire on Rudd highly repetitive “core” political business promises, re inflation, industrial relations?, infrastructure, climate barely sneaked in, whales no mention


Twee Mr Smith goes to Washington



compared to ALP Stephen Smith foreign Affairs:


 [Noteworthy that Cond Rice has balance of power advantage versus neo con hawks re invasion of Iran. Watched the Pentagon Papers with James Spader 2003 and it’s a doozy complete with Life of Gandhi book image.]


[Compare Tim Robbins far more cutting view of US politics in  Bob Roberts than Frank Capra's approach - gets a sledge from Gore Vidal in DVD special feature.]




Cute use of black and white footage past to present.


Q&A refers to Treasurers Red Book very important information.


Sorry to Indigenous People big symbolism first actions tend to define govt. ‘Good moment for the country’, ‘long overdue’.


2. Mick Keelty, Australian Federal Police chief gets a bollocking all over the place in the wake of barrister Keim for Mr Haneef being cleared of professional misconduct. Only conservative stalwart Gerard Henderson has a kind and predictably selective word to say. Keelty's bad press seems mainly to have turned on history of political leaking allegedly by, or for, the AFP in the past including the Haneef case. The press see this as a matter of standing up to such bullying tactics to provide political space for a valid defence case: Here's one only broadsheet coverage

Out in the open | The Australian 

We do wonder to what extent the AFP are being smeared for the actions of sections of the Qld police leaking to their journo contacts at Brisbane based Courier Mail as allies of the then Howard Govt. Regardless, Keelty is still wearing it. We do have sympathy for the view based on legal theory that neither side of a big serious terrorism ie criminal law, case should indulge in deceptive narrow leaking which could well contaminate the jury/judicial process. This is distinct from fair neutral reportage keeping the legal system open, justice seen to be done, quite separate one hopes from sly spin and shouting headlines as happened with Haneef.

The main charge against the AFP chief by such as leading Victorian defence lawyer Rob Stary is one of hypocrisy and it does resonate for reasons that will follow:

In other words, the case against Haneef was already being spun against him off the record by government officials. Only then did Keim decide to respond with counter-leaks.

Melbourne lawyer Robert Stary, who has represented a range of terrorism suspects, says Keelty's comments were "breathtakingly hypocritical".

"The usual practice of the AFP in the arrest of any terror suspect in this country is to firstly issue a press release sprinkled with allegations that are either embellished, exaggerated or distorted," Stary wrote in a letter to The Age newspaper. "Often the charges and evidence presented before the court do not reflect those details distributed through the media."

Keelty's criticism of Keim's ethics rings hollow when he has remained silent about those government-sourced leaks that are aimed at working to the AFP's advantage.

Beyond this, Keelty is also media savvy and not shy about engaging in his own modes of spin. He speaks regularly off the record to editors and to certain senior journalists to promote his point of view.

So Keim is justified in saving his client. Editor of legal mag Justinian, Richard Ackland would likely agree as per this disapproving tone:

Look out, reptiles, here come Keelty's size 12s - Opinion - smh.com.au

But we also say our legal system is left quite tatty for open slather leaks which is surely the Big Media self interested agenda. To this narrow extent we agree with Keelty - trial by media by untrained journalistic goof balls is not a safe way forward, Ackland etc excepted.

That being said we add our experience: At a Supreme Court matter over APEC freedom to protest we happened to chat to a barrister bystander. He attended a conference with Keelty as speaker and reported to me comments attributed to Keelty something like: 'I've had discussions with judges

'You don't know what these people [terrorists] are like, what they are capable of. We've not seen anything like this before. We have to change our usual legal approach to meet the threat.'

We wrote about this fairly contemporaneous back in Sept 07:

Big Mick Kelty lobbying the judges out of court 2 years back?

You will notice the reference to passing the card of our barrister source to David Marr (see further below)

If truly out of Keelty's own mouth, on one view it suggests he's been seeking special treatment from the judges outside what's allowed by the legal norms of evidence or parliament. This might play under Howard PM never one much for the rule of law hobbling govt but many including in the ALP Govt probably have a higher opinion of the separation of powers and independence of the judiciary.

We have relayed this experience direct to prominent solicitor Adam Houda based on the concern for integrity of our legal system and his part in that process.

On another view Keelty was simply advocating his cause in open conference mode. But in private conversations away from the public eye? Did it happen? Over to you Mr Keelty.

On another tack top quality writer David Marr submits this last weekend "Top cop, bad time" in Sydney Morning Herald p23. It's offline which is a bit startling in itself. Of significance is:

"High ranking officers talk of colleagues too eager to agree with Keelty, too keen to tell him what he wants to hear".

We call this the daisy cutter hierarchical model of doing things under such as PM Howard.


3. The 'Part 3A Planning Act etc' institutionalised dictatorship of 'Mussolini Sartor' seeking to pump prime any form of ecoomic activity to similarly cover up poor governance of the NSW ALP is gathering a real head of steam. We have a good traverse of this generally unsatisfactory system in the initial sections of our submission to government recently on a very specific developement:

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Not surprisingly People quite like the amenity of their neighbourhoods and their democracy including at Local Govt level and the backlash is on with the assembled mayors here:

Mayors launch $500m revolt against Sheriff Sartor - National - smh ...


Councils are nearing melting point - Opinion - smh.com.au (go Genia!) 1 Feb 2008


State tried to pass on contamination costs - National - smh.com.au 2 Feb 08

with another echo in the burb press here (a clownish NSW governance?):

and here targetting MP for Balmain Verity Firth, no slouch in the PR spin game herself (front page of card at top above, overleaf below):


and the govt backlash on the backlash

Sartor threatens to name council hoarders in infrastructure funds ... 2-3 Feb 2008


4. The old dirty game of the ALP patronage machine discipline and support in equal measures depending on green lighting of the destruction of the environment, by the very environmentalists entrusted to protect same, is exemplified here with the rehabilitation of Peter Garrett's ministerial career: It's no accident this has happened in the wake of rubber stamping the dredging of Port Phillip Bay subject of major legal challenge, silence on dredging damage to come at Botany Bay in his own electorate and this:

Garrett gives go-ahead to Gunns to clear land for mill

AM - Garrett back in court over Port Phillip dredging

and SAM report here:

Saturday, 26 January 2008

The career reward is here for these displays of loyalty to the ALP gangsters:

Garrett powers back to climate change action

Don't think we don't know Peter Garrett selling out our environment for your own career advancement. We have exposed Jeff Angel as an ALP trusty in NSW and you won't get anything less. Your choice and your betrayal. You could have joined the Green Party and made a real difference along the party political spectrum. But your ego was too great.

It would be too much to expect Garrett taking any stand against this threat to Blue Whales, the holy grail of conservation of species:

Oil survey explosions a threat to sick whales - Whale watch - Specials

Just as the ALP are ineffective on this:

Sea Shepherd ship out of fuel in whaling chase - ABC News ... 

Japan vows to continue whaling, despite Greenpeace chase - ABC ...

Garrett is a PR champion no doubt as per a a little grab in the Strewth column 31 Jan 2008 about UNESCO listing of convict sites. But the question is whether he is a moral and real politik weakling wholly owned subsidiary of the ALP. There is little doubt in this writer's mind he's in a gilded cage, and must be read down accordingly.

5. Last and definitely not least, in fact probably presaging the end of the world as we know it either ecologically, and or culturally:

 By 2015, China will need half world's resources The Australian 2 Feb 08 p9 inside the careers section

The article quotes Rio Tinto , which is quite revealing given the Stephen Mayne soliliquy this morning just now on 702 radio with jockey Cameron re Rio Tinto 10% shareholding annexed by Chinese giant ChinAlco covertly through the London Stock Exchange. This puts rather a whole new perspective on some sad and ugly local happenings in inner Sydney, just when police and us here at SAM were congratulating ourselves how calm the Australia Day weekend was:

PM - 'Sacrilegious' temple fire rocks Chinese New Year celebrations

Posted by editor at 7:27 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 6 February 2008 8:02 AM EADT
Monday, 4 February 2008
The trouble with Mr Rudd's summit
Mood:  energetic
Topic: aust govt


The Rudd led Govt made it pretty clear they wanted an injection of real talent when they threw open their own staffing to advertising in the national press late 2007. Here's one rare reference in crikey.com.au despite lots of googling which suggests serious lack of Big media coverage: 

Pre-empting the weekend job ads Friday, 30 November 2007

These ALP staffers are now washing into Canberra apparently.

A sound approach reinforced by Rudd himself getting a job with Premier Goss via a newspaper advert in 1989. Rudd seems to be very catholic about these things annexing the talent, including a country music singer for Australian of the Year seemingly from another constituency.

So what did that approach late 2007 say about the federal ALP machine? That they are big and mature enough to know they have a problem and go poaching new talent a bit like brilliant thinker Ainsley Hayes in the West Wing tv show?

             Emily's Bio                                       

Or simply that they are desperate to avoid the stodgy result of nepotism and tribalism in their own ranks? That they really do believe in meritocracy?

Now we hear PM Rudd has called a summit in April for 1000 dinkum smarties with a catchy '2020' PR tag on the front page of both broadsheets today, described on AM here. Opposition Leader Nelson is quick to agree with the idea perhaps for getting in trouble for being too contrarian over Indigenous matters.

(Maybe Mr Nelson got too carried away with friendly obituaries for (in)famous curmudgeon PP McGuiness? Secular saint of scepticism | The Australian).

Kerry Packer's corporate lieutenant Sam Chisholm famously stated "Losers have meetings ..." which might have been more a comment on the ultra hierarchical PBL world - Big Kerry throwing a cricket ball full force at a lackey from the behind the desk is one way to 'meet' I suppose.

But there is an element of losers all the same: The ALP in NSW are f*cked morally having so compromised themselves on donations, reviled by their own union base for flogging the family silver in terms of public assets, and in the target sights of every press baron in town. And the WA Labor Party are in trouble too. No wonder Rudd feels the need to run interference on the PR train wreck damaging his own brand with a circus style 'look over here'.  A vaudeville involving intellectuals, and an event arguably of real merit, but the controlled timing is there all the same.

Many questions arise re this 1,000 best and brightest, which itself is a problemmatic criterion. The Govt panel decides. It is already a broadsheet kind of thing and hardly a mention in the Sydney Daily Telegraph today. Even chattering natural constituency ABC 702 jockey Cameron asks today 'why so soon after the federal election which promised new leadership? Exactly.

Sure it could be a Hawke style consensus building exercise as per the subdued Party Liners segment on 702 today. Not just a smart arse diversionary PR gambit which it has genuninely achieved already. It could be about consensus and injection of new talent. But 1983 was a very differen time, being the first ALP team back after the corrosive 1975 dismissal 8 years before. People still felt aggrieved about their democracy getting done over. Nothing like that here. It was the me too election after all.

Labor leader Kevin Rudd also promised to keep most of the Government's $34 billion worth of tax cuts outlined on Monday, except he would defer some of the $3 billion tax cut for people earning over $180,000, who would receive a reduced amount. In Rudd outlines tax vision Phillip Hudson October 19, 2007 - 4:36PM

It could be a natural flow on of those new ALP staffers wanting some serious intellectualism to engage with beyond the loyal stodge: The boredom factor. It could be.

But the PM's imprimatur just smells of real politiking, of pants on fire trickery:

1. As above the immediate benefit of diversion from very big brand ALP financial governance woes like this $15B doozy. My corner shopkeeper asked me today whether she ought to fix the interest on her mortgage today before the deadline. That question is so revealing of the very real troubles people are experiencing and the anger and blame they may be looking to apportion the government's way. [Our answer was 'not a financial adviser ... US recession possible ... inflation rising ... Rory Robertson ... very awkward juncture ...50:50 ...ACTU caution to Reserve Bank ...lots are fixing today ....yeah probably should!]  Then there is inflation threat up another .2% in a month;

2. the immediate reaction of most public intellectuals including this pseudo one is 'do I make the grade?'. This is a favoured cynical dynamic created by Big Parties leveraging flattery, access, status that goes with incumbency. It's essentially a form of disempowerment on robust critics with a 2 month burn time just when the ALP need it to obscure other troubles. In this sense the SAM micro news blog accepts the challenge. We wouldn't expect to be invited and would have a real quandary even if we were in case we also found our pants on fire trying to report it:


3. Will there be genuine indy community media reportage at this event? I don't think so. For all the talk by ex WA premier Geof Gallup about new technology, and Glyn Davis of Melb Uni saying 'contrary thinkers are included', we just can't see it happening. Which raises the real agenda here ....

4. The federal ALP need to regain the intellectual initiative they and any government are increasingly losing to ... the uncontrolled blogosphere. The 'interwebby' thingy. Web 2.0. Indeed the intricate control and patronage machine and revolving door between Big Politics and Big Media is being seriously diluted now. (We recently watched Sean Penn in All the Kings Men (2006) reflecting the real life and death of Huey Long, Governor then Senator for Louisiana 1928-1937: A great parable amongst other things about the crossover between Big Media staff to Big Politics. )

 Huey Long

We say the 'best and brightest' are already in effect summiting in cyberspace. And crucially are not branded by the incumbent ALP. What those who attend this Rudd summit risk for themselves is becoming not the best and brightest but the luckiest and vainest:  It's the siren call of status and access for the rich and privileged. Indeed the Think Tanks are keen with all their vested interests and hackneyed rhetoric:

Think tanks welcome 2020 Summit

5. Indeed this phenomenon of unaligned blogopshere is underlined by the diminished role of an aligned 'left wing' Get Up cyber network post federal election, which is widely viewed as having lost its raison d'etre of removal of the Howard Govt. Get Up have now effectively lost it's contrarian traction and been left to echo the Govt publicity. Worthy or not. Why bother? But the bloggers and crikey.com.au etc do not reheat their editorial. So how does the ALP get control of this burgeoning unaligned sector which is the defacto tendency of all Big Parties? The potential post Rudd election 'Get Up alter ego' which itself might yet turn on the Rudd ALP? A conference of knobs and those jealous wannabe knobs is a reasonable start to annexe the unaligned sector.

6. Which calls up our own view of meetings with, and organised by, politicians. They want to pick your brains, maybe recruit you, definitely control you. The unaligned blogosphere can be annexed as much as anyone if they take the bait with all the flattery and what is known in the trade as 'pissing in your pocket' - a warm feeling that turns decidely cold and unhygienic after a short time.

7. The ALP are in reality a struggling outfit when it comes to genuinely intractable problems - ignorant materialistic growth economics just won't cut it anymore as ecological oblivion bears down via dangerous climate change. The intrinsic contradiction in their soul is there, promoting biggest container ship access to shallow ports in Sydney and Melbourne, more tollway roads, and promoting forest destruction. Grist, a high level environmental news site in the US is already reporting we stuffed it as a human project. In this light a summit meeting of 1,000 will hardly change anything except to quieten the voices of dissent or intelligent public critique. Just as the Bali conference achieved no change for the better as such but was a great hand wringing voyeuristic face saver for doing nothing. 

It may be apparent we don't really believe in meeting process anymore.


Postscript #1 5th Feb 08

On one view it appeared PM K Rudd confirmed the attempt by the ALP to subborn public intellectual life with an on air invitation to ABC 7.30 Report's Kerry O'Brien 'to attend and report or participate'. It's all in the invitation. An amused KB mumbled a post script about conflict of interest participating and reporting - all on air. But he'd been flattered so the objective was achieved, 'one of the 1,000' by implication. This is the sleazy flattery that goes with Big Politics. Been there done that. KB has been there too. Take note 5th Estate and honest brokers everywhere that politics and idealism are only vaguely related. This is what Rudd is really worried about as the Reserve Bank considers interest rate rise today

The PM on his inflation battle plan

Of course the riposte is that this is all too jaundiced and cynical. But is it? Willy Stark in All The Kings Men suggests not possible.

Postscript #2 6th Feb 08

We keep recalling a brazen summer clerk at litigation firm Baker & McKenzie in 1990, much more assimilated in that culture than we ever were, sparring with the supervising partner about her "experience" in relation to some work matter. I was impressed and shocked with her quick fire comment "our experience is our experience". In other words, it's not for free and I don't give such away for nothing. A very precocious attitude but she was on the mark for an advice based industry. A very acquisitive Ayn Rand style of philosophy that underpins why lawyers get rich, but a summit of free ideas for brand ALP seems to me to the other extreme akin to the tragedy of the commons where pearls will either be cast into the mud, or creator totally gazumped.

For instance we recall apocraphyl stories of entrepeneurs (Dick Smith? Macquarie Bank as per Stateline Fri 1 Feb 08 transcript in due course? ] 'stealing' good ideas rather than 'supporting' the originator. A cynical way to get rich. Or in this case build political capital with minimal respect for the founder? Compare Stephen Mayne - still acknowledged as "founder" of Crikey.com.au, a serious media outlet, though onsold and no longer a controlling influence for a good 2 years. But there he is still the "founder" as per ABC slots and fair enough to. Hard to imagine brand ALP leaving that kind of space. Goodbye creative recognition?

We are talking intellectual property here. But also who gets the due status and brand control. The creator or the financier? Or both?

Of course balanced against this is the patriotic motive to serve our country for the common good and share but it seems very naive to serve the systemically corrupt ALP not least in NSW. Much better to build an alternative conceptual framework in genuine creative competition that can't be annexed with the tribal ALP brand burned on (or Coalition for that matter) with their fat wages and cronyism and dishonesty. Indeed as here just give destabilising ideas on a blog for instance to everyone before it can be hidden away in a box by Party or business cynics.

Postscript #3 8th Feb 2008

Resident 7.30 Report satirists have also cut loose last night with a quite cutting and jaundiced piece on the big 2020 event We feel that this was always likely to happen because it defied credulity to think that sooner or later someone (like SAM here) would call the ALP spinmeister's bluff and decide they didn't need or want the flattery of an invitation to feel good about oneself.

Indeed once a few trendsetters in public intellectual life expressed this sincerely it was always likely that roughly 20M less the actual 1000 would be offended either for 1. not being chosen or 2. being manipulated emotionally to be 'nice' for 2 months of critical real politik while waiting for same invite:

John Clarke & Bryan Dawe tackle Kevin Rudd's summit

We submit the underlying lesson for students of political communication from the amusing scorn of the inimitable duo (best viewed on the tape rather than transcript) is this: Don't do emotional manipulation, it's not nice between friends, and ditto government to citizens.

Posted by editor at 11:53 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 8 February 2008 4:30 PM EADT
Readership pageviews of this SAM micro news website: January 2008
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: independent media


We made a quantum change in readership figures this month jumping by nearly 100% to just under 20k page views. We haven't looked very closely at which story or set it was, but it may have been the 1,600 odd hits in one day regarding the Iranian frictions/Gulf of Tonkin/US Primaries around the time of the GW Bush visit to the region, and here also leveraging our understanding of the fabulous doco The Fog of War.

To be factual we peaked several days ago above 20K per month and coasted. We had our material for traditional Sunday Media Updates posting yesterday to stay up there but for the first time in maybe 6 months we were buggered and slept instead after consuming Riley Diary on 7. Glorious sleep, beaut dreams, shopping at Metro and watched the last Pirates of the Caribean blockbluster instead. We will post that Media Updates later today too, 1-2 days stale but still useful to readers.

But that doesn't fully explain the jump. It may be that our intellectual work is just getting better some 2 years down the non grog road, and here's a toast (!) to radio jock Steve Price taking the cure this Feb 2008. For instance we like to add some pithy praise/rebukes on the www.crikey.com.au threads which hopefully are meaningful and even witty. We've even got into the habit of 20 sit ups and 20 (bludger) push ups every day.

The google ranking for searches of 'sydneyalternativemedia' either local or global setting are quite suitable.

So now we are thinking about the managing of a moderate level of interest rather than how to get it. A higher class problem. Issues of balance, responsibilities over accuracy and corrections, personal sustainability but mostly how to enjoy the work while building my own social capital without running dry, like the Yangtze here in 2007:

We notice the '20-20 Summit' federal PM initiative also reported here in another broadsheet (though barely the tabloids?) in the Big Media coverage today and we will have lots to say about that in our next post and it may not be very pleasing to the ear of the federal ALP machine, but there you go: As the banner reads "sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy". If anything they will find it relevant.

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

  • December 11,627
  • November 10,220
  • October - 9, 100 
  • Sept -  8,100 (roughly, no screenshot)
  • August - 8,845
  • July - 7475
  • June - 9675
  • May  - 9, 059
  • April  - 12,087
  • March  - 6,684
  • February - 5,372
  • January 07 -  2800 (3rd Jan - 3rd Feb 07)

Posted by editor at 10:34 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 4 February 2008 11:40 AM EADT
Thursday, 31 January 2008
Saving Maroota environment from open slather sand mining?
Mood:  sad
Topic: ecology


It's been a hell of a week. 2 weeks really. A fusion of Cliff Hardy crime novella, Bob Brown charming enthusiasm and world weary Raymond Chandler cynicism. There's not much that keeps us from our SAM blog/slog running at a surprising 20,000 page views a month now (end of Jan 08) or even the 3 daily papers or even ABC current affairs. But by yesterday we were going cold turkey. It was all because we were turning this suitcase below, which belongs to one Neville Diamond, a pro bono client and sandmining activist, into something else:

Something of beauty. Being so tired at the end we even forgot to take a picture of the 2 inch thick submission being handed over at the DOP - jargon for Department of Planning, 33 Bridge St Sydney in the old Lands Dept sandstone. The pretty yellow tags lablled A to N; the largest bull clip restraining the rampant document from breaking out and swallowing the whole place like a scene from Brazil. And even now it's probably shuddering with malevolent vigour in the bowels of the place late at night like a cackling Triffid 'my s.52 Trade Practices Act is going to kill cook and eat your Part 3A Planning Act' [imagine eerie evil triffid noises about here].

We particularly liked this bit:

For a brief overview of the recent planning reforms, the EDO has assessed the current state of play. [PDF 92 KB]

Note the EDO July 2007 states:

“The new Part 3A reforms in 2005 introduced a new way of doing planning and development in NSW. The reforms were based on laws introduced by Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen in Queensland in the early 1970s: the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971. These rode roughshod over community consultation rights.” Jeff Smith Principal Solicitor, EDO July 2007

How fitting for my metaphorically ticking bundle of joy to end up in the government block where all the dirty land destruction deals are formalised under this NSW Govt: It was recently revealed this very spot at Bridge was meant to be public amenity until the Rum Rebellion (or is that mutiny?). Here was the imposing sandstone edifice where the same spirit of corruption was still being sanitised by the ornate corner statues silently holding forth, beseeching one to 'have faith' in government. As if. Art is nothing if not fiction even sculpture.

Coup costumes ... soldiers rehearse for the Rum Rebellion re-enactment at the Museum of Sydney.

The thing of beauty of which we write now at 2.45 am - knowing there is no sleep until then - was similar to the document at top left above. The web version is here 

Jan 08 - Objection to Maroota sandming unlicensed water use, failure to rehabilitate etc for 20 years 

but it's not the same in physical space, all 38 pages of closely argued politics, law, expensive expert evidence (even if its shouting down a corridor from 1998 over an earlier DA), pictures, some hints of rhetoric and some sincere malice to the vandals in the local and state govt as well as industry. Appendix M is a real cracker too, believe me:

M. 1997-2008 - litigation history of Neville Diamond 'for Dixon Sands (Penrith) Pty Ltd'

Having done Kinkos at Broadway nervously watching the clock we got the bicycle out of the van and treddled to Bridge St, making it with 1 1/2 hours to spare. For some reason we found ourselves whistling this catchy florid tune by a right wing Cuban, watching the cute women in their summer gear rolling down Pitt St (bike that is), not a care in the world. Maybe it was the surreal sub topical weather in the age of dangerous climate? Maybe my 1/8 Italian sense of operatic melodrama? Time even for some sushi and a natter with the council guy on clean up duty.

It was a special feeling that God allows in this vocation and so it was 12 hours ago. Of duty fulfilled, of a promise kept. If not I then who? No one else could do just this thing on Maroota. God plays Her games like that. Our submission, a 3590 kB brute, was emailed in already but nothing is as simple in the shark pool. Yes the email got there at 12.36pm says the guy at 'Major Developments' (told you it was like Brazil) but not the even bigger list of appendices here:

Legally materials have to arrive by the deadline in the DOP office. But some things are just much better on screen than in print like the lovely picture of the flowering bush as below. So what about referring to bulky and colour format items all in cyberspace via links sent in to the DOP? Well it's accessible to DOP but not really in the DOP. It's in cyberspace. We couldn't take the chance of an exclusion on this threshhold question well into the age of web 2.0. The law can be such an ass. So much for the paper less office.

But none of this mattered exiting the CBD, effortlessly swinging wide amongst the careening buses, and speeding taxis, past the cinema strip. We were in the zone, immune.

We remember a day like this, Friday Sept 13 1994, a black one indeed. Premier John Fahey betrayed the NSW Wilderness Act, the electorate, the state. And we eyeballed the chancy bastard in his lair as he ran his presser floating through security high in the State Office block protected by an invisible hand .... immune, not a lie spoken, nor barrier cheated. A storm brewed late that day too and pissed all over the city in torrents. Very Shakespearean. Some things are just wrong and the Earth was crying. And so it was 6 months later. Fahey could win an Olympics but not an election.

We tried to call the client to share the good news. For a week he'd been holed up in my poky joint rifling through volumes dictating his evidence, copping equal measures praise, scorn, prodding, cross examination, and judicious avoidance of the whirlpool of therapy style angst always a risk in these projects crushing people live. We could feel the tension then creeping excitement. He didn't feel nearly as pressured because the paperwork was my problem. In fact both of us were surprised at the quality but we believe this must be suppressed - near enough is not good enough. Our beady eye was ruthlessly fixed on the deadline and making it in good shape. Not one of those bullshit symbolic flag waving exercises.

But today he wasn't taking the call which is fair enough to. As Lowell Bergman might say from the movie The Insider we broke some egg shells there amongst the talk of 6 months in hospital in 1972, Led Zeppelin concert just after he got out, roadie work for ACDC in the Bon Scott days, family friend Barry Unsworth and more. He left me a Led Zeppelin DVD to borrow and that would have to do, and his watch both of which I have to return. We needed time out. I wanted to apologise for being so demanding now the brutish document was in, nearly as fat as the developer's own 'Environmental Assessment'. The kettle broke after years of perfect functionality so maybe there's my penance. What a day.

Sure enough a storm brewed Thursday night January 31st 2008. We know because some of it raced through Marrickville and it's reported here:

Storm lashes people still living under tarpaulins Thousands of western Sydney households again inundated when heavy storms hit the city last night. 

Life is mostly about water really and Maroota is no different as per this diagram from an expert civil engineer of some 30 years at the time Mr Howard Sullivan:

C4. 14 June 1998 Sullivan Environmental Consulting expert evidence on water consumption by FP Formation





Some things are just wrong as you can see from this picture above of an approved so called 4.5m deep haulage road that evolved into a 30m by 100m plus wide excavation. Did  the huge volumes go over the weigh bridge to pay the S.94 contributions? Good question that.


Indeed this story actually stretches way back to 1994 at a small place called Tinda Creek. We didn't know Diamond back then. He contacted me at The Wilderness Society about industrial mushroom composting to affect the eastern edge of the Wollemi National Park and his land too. We won that one in 1995. Then he dragged me out to his next flare up - Lot 198 Maroota. The pictures of that trip with a bloke called Shane are at:

F. 1996 - Maroota Lot 198 PF Formation/Etra Pty Ltd impacts Maroota Sands Swamp Forest

We did some publicity to agitate the increased threats to the bush valley. Diamond chanced his hand in a 1997 court case and went down in flames. So he looked me up for help early 1998 for another go and I brought in practitioner Bruce Woolf. That case was a draw, a legal Mexican standoff each pay their own costs with settlement terms here:

  • C. A full copy of the negotiated legal settlement conditions as agreed “without prejudice” (including handwritten notations in the court precinct in 1998) in Diamond v BHSC and John Graham (PF Formation/Etra Pty Ltd No. 10061/1998), no costs ordered against plaintiff Neville Diamond.
  • Suddenly Diamond was not such a loser anymore as regards Baulkham Hills Shire Council or PF Formation. Some remarkable things about the 1998 case: Going a whiter shade of pale seeing the BHSC counsel - Brian Preston who literally wrote the book Environmental Litigation 1989. Not so bad coming equal with that guy. Secondly the funding for the expert and solicitor Woolf was via undisclosed principal of Diamond, a man called Ken Dixon in fact rival sandminer to PF Formation, the developer in the case.

    We say undisclosed but everyone in the local industry basically knew. BHSC took their revenge at Diamond/Ken Dixon legal daring enlisting th help of this greenie by closing down Dixon Sands in 1999. This was the peak of 'The Sand Wars' - not a bad working title for a movie either, with all those industrial wasteland film set locations: Slurry pits where villians like Max Cady/ Robert De Niro in Cape Fear might gurgle to a sticky end.

    The rest is outlined in appendix M:

    M. 1997-2008 - litigation history of Neville Diamond 'for Dixon Sands (Penrith) Pty Ltd'

    Neville Diamond has never publicly confirmed this before and here it is on the internet for the world to read. He wants Dixon Sands to keep their side of 'the bargain' which is a hotly contested issue again. He also says he wants good environmental regulation.

    This writer absolutely does want to see good environmental regulation.

    Thus Diamond has sued former ally Dixon Sands and the Minister for Planning in 2003, and lost badly, though neither seem too keen to collect some $300K plus in legal costs for some curious reason, or have just given up trying to get it. Still one might ask how in 2003 an impecunious litigant Diamond could generate such legal costs without competent legal advisers for the Minister and PF Formation asking for a security for costs bond. One might ask indeed.

    Now in 2008 Diamond has come back for more pro bono help. We got a win in 1995, 1998 (qualified), 2008? The funny thing is it has to be pro bono otherwise no one will believe it's in the public interest. We had enough insight to realise this 10 years ago. That's just the way things go. It's God's work trying to protect God's creation.

    Posted by editor at 1:46 PM EADT
    Updated: Sunday, 3 February 2008 10:24 AM EADT
    Tuesday, 29 January 2008
    Acting General Manager Addison Rd Centre resigns effective this Friday
    Mood:  smelly
    Topic: local news

    We understand from a source that the Acting GM Peter Talmacs has resigned effective this Friday 1st February.

    Apparently Yvette Andrews, ex ALP staffer to Meredith Burgman, co author of The Ernies book, the current honorary President will not be going to work for Senator Faulkner after all but be taking the job at $65K p.a. of General Manager, for 6 months.

    The previous GM resigned in Sept 07 from memory. So that's two big changes in 4 months.

    We have also been on strike from our humble job there for 2 months and currently in discussion with the Australian Services Union about the place.

    To lose one GM is unfortunate. To lose two looks like carelessness.

    The role of Andrews is intriguing too, because how can you take a well paid job with a non profit organisation that you are on the governing board of to do the policy setting, without serious conflict of interest of the policy level to the staff level?

    The place is nothing if not riddled with power games and jockeying for position and control. Our reportage of the gerrymandered AGM of Nov 28 07 below makes that quite clear.

    We quite liked acting GM Talmacs and found him honest and quite efficient. Our feeling is he is too honest and we think his decision does him alot of credit and we wish him well.

    Which is also why we think our time has run out there too after 4 years.

    We have written alot about the history of the ARC this last year or so because it is the biggest community centre in Australia, it does have 3.4 ha of land in high value inner city with 45 years to go, and it is very much under potential:


    Local ALP shuts down website of 'biggest community centre'?


    Unauthorised newsletter Addison Rd Community Centre #3


    Why is Addison Rd Centre failing to reach its potential?


    'Ordinary Members' don't like successful Sunday Market at Addison Rd

    As a result at least of some of this community reportage one wonders if Andrews was a risky proposition for Faulkner not least Senate Estimates Committee hearings against such as loyal Opposition Senator Marise Payne, or Senator Kerry Nettle or similar.

    More recently it's become clear that the ALP Left aristocracy
    and fellow travellers have moved into annexe the ARC sans C in community, and shut down real democracy, at which time I realised I couldn't be working for these cronies much longer and avoid ongoing bullying or mistreatment even as a humble gardener and website builder. See:


    which currently reads for 6 weeks now:

    "Come back soon. We are just getting it better.
    This Website is still under construction"


    Apparently this writer is now being targeted with "misinformation" currently, the normal politics AO1 apocrophia symptomatic of ugly politics and the ALP Left, for daring to speak up about the place as is our democratic right. It is my community centre too and it belongs to the public interest. But it's taboo to talk about management and staffing and equitable leasing arrangements in case something 'bad' happens to you. So the place runs on Chinese whispers, snaky stares, emotional violence, and innuendo instead of transparent debate leading to honest and
    transparent governance. Like all rental spaces on equal terms, not who
    you know, or whether you've got the gerrymander at the AGM.

    Anyway that's our professional advice, as a solicitor, and community activist 16 years. There is no doubt the ALP Left have alot to be worried about too as the $7 BILLION truck tunnel and smog stacks are likely approved in the next few weeks and the sleep walking people of Sydney realise that their health and amenity is about to be destroyed big time in an intensification of Port Botany all the way to Parramatta Rd, not least the seat of Grayndler covering Marrickville.

    As we wrote on a crikey.com.au comment page recently - Gary Punch MP resigned for less (over the 3rd runway KSA impact on Sydney) from the federal ALP Govt in the 1980ies: More on this as extracted below from our SAM website


    8. The NSW Govt machine is running a story that the $7 billion public private M4 East tunnel tollway with interchange "under Anandale in Sydney's Inner
    West will go ahead in a short number of weeks. It' said to be a joint announcement between the Federal and State ALP Govt's, and dependent on $3B in funds from electricity privatisation as well as predicted toll revenues:

    $7bn missing link to be announced soon | The Australian

    'Missing link' road will cost over $7bn | The Australian

    Super ideal to provide funds for infrastructure | The Australian

    If it is true, which we assume it is, it puts the lie to Kevin Rudd's main priority to tackle climate change because endless growth in container imports and export of empty ones which is driving the transport linkage to Port Botany, can only massively increase greenhouse gas embedded
    production. As well making health and amenity hell for at least 1 million citizens in dormitory suburbs. In other words Kevin Rudd is effectively shown to be liar on climate change action he claims to be the priority this Australia Day weekend:

    We must prevail in year of challenges | The Australian

    This looks very much like:

    Strong-arm tacticians THE meeting was in a room in the NSW Premier's Department. [The Australian 26th Jan 2008]

    In particular

    "The minister [Sartor] can declare a site to be "state-significant", giving developers the go-ahead on big projects. Under Part 3A of the
    Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, projects that are objectively of state significance can go to the minister. Brad Hazard, the Opposition's planning spokesman, says of the Government's planning actions: "The reality is that anything Frank wants to get his hands on
    to, he takes."

    In other words planning is under control of a modern Mussolini, making the development approvals 'train run on time' with no democracy and precious little justice. More detail on the Port Botany intensification impacts across Sydney here:

    Friday, 18 January 2008
    It's a wholesale repudiation of the ALP's 1979 Planning Act checks and balances approach involving a political economic strategy of furious activity at any cost in any direction enriching a few and making the many miserable, in the blind hope that powerful vested interests in the Big Media and Business will like this NSW ALP Govt.
    It's as if the Govt has given up on the very concept of good
    governance, and that is quite tragic for us and them.


    Posted by editor at 12:14 PM EADT
    Updated: Friday, 1 February 2008 2:53 AM EADT

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