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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 20 March 2007
Monkeys on PM Howard's back will be hard to shake as Rudd polling 'soars'
Mood:  silly
Topic: election Oz 2007

Peter Costello is doing the PR lifting for the PM in the news today. And no wonder when these cartoons below from across the major dailies Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Sydney Daily Telegraph are reaching critical momentum, let alone the serious content in the text stories.

This opinion piece by a preferred leaker for the Treasurer Peter Costello, rival to the PM, is also more woe to Mr Howard for wetting the powder of his loyalist hard man Minister Tony Abbott:

Glenn Milne: Boot in his mouth 19 March 2007 AS the waves of scandal whipped up by Santo Santoro lap ever higher and the Government gulps for air, the recriminations inside the Coalition have already begun.

Mind you Ruddy (Kevin Rudd) as federal Opposition Leader seems to have his own PR blemish being consipicuously absent from the NSW election campaign by Morris Iemma formerly known as the parliamentary leader of the ALP in NSW.

There is another curious item (picture) at the bottom of our cartoon collage below, of Defence 'Wanker' .... err Minister, in the Howard government, Brendan Nelson in a report about the controversial $6/$15B billion deal with US arms dealer Lockheed Martin

(listed on google this way:"Lockheed Martin - We never forget who we're working for. As a lead systems integrator and information technology company, nearly 80% of Lockheed Martin's business is with the US Department of Defense and the US ...")

is also a very unflattering image. The headline "cockpit" possibly alludes to rumours about his vigorous love life (?) pushed by scurrilous ezine Crikey.com.au at times, and the whole picfac orchestrated by the minister is a response to this big hit on him here last Sunday night in the very high rating 60 Minutes here:

Dogfight You can forget health, forget welfare, wait till you hear how they're spending your money now. Fifteen billion dollars of it. All for a new war plane. A top secret project called the Joint Strike Fighter, our biggest defence purchase ever. But then Liam took a look at the fine print. For some strange reason, our defence chiefs have gone into the deal without seriously considering any other plane.

Where reporter Liam Bartlett (pictured here) did the Tom Cruise Top Gun (1986)thing

Posted by editor at 9:59 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 20 March 2007 3:45 PM NZT
Monday, 19 March 2007
Greens candidate menaced, target of chainsaw vandalism
Mood:  down
Topic: election nsw 2007

MEDIA RELEASE - 19 March 2007


Intimidation, vandalism at Greens candidate's home

cuts close to heart


Greens MP Lee Rhiannon has called on police to fast track their investigation of the destruction of a large number of native trees along the driveway leading to the property of Conny Harris, Greens candidate for the seat of Wakehurst.

Greens MP Ms Rhiannon said: "Dr Harris and her family were put in a dangerous situation last night. More than 10 native trees were cut down with a chainsaw and the family were blocked from using their driveway.


"This vandalism occurred between 11pm last night and 5 am this morning. The trees cut down were part of a massive bush regeneration project Dr Harris has been involved in.


"Dr Harris lives with her husband and three children in Oxford Falls. Both Dr Harris and her husband are doctors at public hospitals and were unable to attend work today.


"Dr Harris has a strong local profile as a conservationist and I can only guess that this act of vandalism has been done to intimidate her.


"She is recognised locally as an authority on eucalypts and native vegetation and lectures to plant groups and on community education days. This act of vandalism has caused her a lot of personal distress.


"Dr Harris' family have experienced this type of intimidation in the past. She has had her letterbox stolen and property vandalised.


"Emergency Services personnel have visited Dr Harris' property this morning to work out how to restore access to the family home.


"The police need to take this investigation seriously because the threat to Dr Harris and her family has been very upsetting."


Greens candidate Dr Harris said: "This kind of dirty politics is very irresponsible.


"These native trees are close to my heart and my family feels threatened.


"I am a doctor at a public hospital and was unable to get my car out of the drive and go to work today. This act has potentially harmed more people than just my family."

Posted by editor at 3:46 PM NZT
Pioneers lecture on internet based democracy work in Sydney
Mood:  special
Topic: independent media

Sydney Event 4-4-07 - The impacts and history of online activism

SMSA Food for Thought Series 2: DEMOCRACY

The impacts and history of Online Activism Wednesday 4th April 2007 at 12.30pm

The internet and its use as a tool to create a more democratic society. Direct actions, activist planning, e-petitions, emails to MPs.

Dr Matthew Arnison (one of the founders of Active Sydney & Indymedia) in conversation with Brett Solomon (Executive Director, GetUp) & Tom Dawkins (Founder of Vibewire)

The Food for Thought conversations take place every Wednesday lunchtime with discussions on various subjects such as ethics, democracy and how we can make a better world. Bring your lunch, admission is free.

For more information about SMSA events go to-

Cheers, Colleen 0410 325 913

Posted by editor at 2:26 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007 4:01 PM NZT
Minister Tebbutt, UN$W under Hilmer $ellout the sustainability business
Mood:  irritated
Topic: globalWarming

Picture: From "Ray of hope for solar power showcase after dark years of neglect" By Claire O'Rourke and Stephanie Peatling
March 15 2003 at
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/03/14/1047583701205.html with caption reads "Brighter future ... Climate Action Network's Kylie Hitchman, Danny Kennedy [until recently head of campaigns Greenpeace Australia], Philip Freeman and Janice Wormworth at the Solarch site. Photo: Robert Pearce" The article below reveals Solarch was burned down in suspicous circumstances in

Minister Carmel Tebbutt defending the seat of Marrickville is implicated badly in this terrible turn of events in Little Bay in south eastern Sydney, according to our source:

 "Check page 31 of the UNSW Strategic Plan 2006-10.  Little Bay site is said to have been purchased.  And it was the NSW Minister for Education - Carmel Tebbutt - who gave the green light for the site to be sold. "

No surprises that the University of NSW under soulless bean counter Fred Hilmer is also implicated after deciding to sell off the highly successful and popular Arthur St permaculture garden at Randwick.

Shameful betrayal of the public interested as it related to the age of dangerous climate change (notwithstanding fluffy 'don't you worry about that' type stories on the science of global warming these last few days). Our informant writes:

Hi Tom,



UNSW is getting out of the permaculture and sustainability business.



You might be interested in this as the Herald did a feature a couple of years ago:




The Solarch Building has significance for UNSW as the university was recognised as a/the leader in world solar research. They have been generating green power since 1994 (first building in NSW) and to the grid since October 1997:




Monday 5th February 9 [2007]:

3 Randwick Precinct Communities were briefed on the UNSW redevelopment of the Little Bay site. Local member was in attendance and when asked about State government influence said it had none. Questions asked at that meeting included - where would compensatory playing fields be and what would become of the UNSW famous SOlarch building.

There were no answers on the playing fields other than UNSW was looking at possibilities in Botany and Randwick. SOlarch was to be pulled down. It was put that the building was a symbol of solar research, generated green power and possibly had won award. Answer was that it was subject to a lot of discussion but end result was that it was coming down.



That night I followed up with some googles and found:


This is the UNSW annual report of 2003 http://www.cfo.unsw.edu.au/annual_rpt/2003.pdfwhere on page 70 reference is made to the sale.



Check page 31 of the UNSW Strategic Plan 2006-10. Little Bay site is said to have been purchased.  And it was the NSW Minister for Education - Carmel Tebbutt - who gave the green light for the site to be sold.   David Phillips Field(in Daceyville and not close to Little Bay)  is listed as possible replacement for playing fields see page 45 & 47, 30 & 31.  This document is dated April 2006.






see item 5of thisUniversity meeting http://www.secretariat.unsw.edu.au/faculty/facmin05/Built%20Env/Benvscm605.pdf





Friday 9th Feb] [2007].

Solarch was torched. The Age and Illawarra Mercury carried the story on-line as too did The Australian but all these papers said that it was a building on the Prince Henry site. THere has been no story by the Sydney Morning Herald. There were 8 firetrucks called to the site and reportedly 50 firefighters - no water to access on site to put the fire out.

inal seats.

Posted by editor at 11:56 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007 3:50 PM NZT
Newcastle politics in last panicky sprint
Mood:  smelly
Topic: election nsw 2007

Our contributor Lynda writes:

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



 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
Sunday, 18 March 2007
Our work ban on errant community centre tenant
Mood:  sharp
Topic: local news

All this muck in state and federal politics, as well as dodgy financial reporting by CEO Fletcher in Coles retail business giant as here The World Today - Coles accused of misleading shareholders could make one believe the community sector are surely above this moral corruption.


Alas not. Only the stakes are so much smaller. The emotional investment seems just as obsessive.


Example: A tenant at the local ARC wants special treatment. Reverse Garbage, Ethnic Child Care, The Bower, Art Studios, Sunday Markets all have visitors by car who on some occasions park on the grass degrading both the turf (which heaven knows is knocked around in the drought) and compacting the roots of the trees.


It’s usually a simple matter of the garden staff on the job politely but firmly asking the driver  to get ORFour grass and use the very adequate car park areas. And they usually are quite happy to. Almost invariably because they actually support and respect the shared objective of a successful community centre.


But not last Friday. Our imperious visitor was too important to bother with that. Then our anonymous tenant refused to take any responsibility for their ignoble guest plonked on the median strip, indeed was instantly and emotionally and verbally abusive, dishonest, aggressive and indeed corruptly seeking special exemption virtually threatening our employment for simply doing our job.


A real big shot as per the Billy Joel song.

Picture: Sunday market (left) at ARC yesterday. It's success depends on wise management of car parking (at right), instituted after fully 10 years of cheap talk and chaos, in 2004. Some closed shop types seem to think theatrical melodrama, and bully ragging, not to mention pandering, is a replacement for equal rights and responsibilities. Not on SAM's watch, not ever.


It was all so small and yet indicative of possibly a much greater and unsafely corrupt mind set. Certainly of arrogance and snobbery in this case. To be called a “nice boy” at 42, a part time solicitor with two degrees is quite hard to take really.


Fortunately we did not reciprocate and the General Manager who employs me treated this particular tenant with the merit s/he deserves. He merely required a file note to evidence the situation and helpfully there were witnesses.


And we all have our own power and can chose to exercise it in a proportionate and transparent way in what might be called upward management. It’s mainly a matter of careful analysis beyond the impertinent melodramatic histrionics where to insert the knitting needle.


So now it’s a work ban on this tenant at least by this worker. No removal of rubbish, no weeding or mowing, no special favours with mulching the back yard or pigeons in the roof, indeed no web updating of the fast improving  Addison Road Centre - ARC Home website which we have been seconded to assist with until we receive satisfaction.


We will win in the long run as night follows day. That's my version of accountability for low level corruption in a community centre: Qualitatively no better than other bottom feeding federal or state politicians or big business corruption but quantitatively an order of magnitude smaller. Indeed we will not be sidetracked.


The human condition, ain’t it lovely?



Postscript #1:  We have received correspondence disputing our version of events described above and now publish this record verbatim:


"Excuse me.....Can you not park there please [still 30 metres away walking down the front drive]....We don't want people parking on the grass and it's an [bad] example to all other people who drive into the centre. ....[no response].... I work here as a gardener at the centre. ....."


[sentence finishes next to the woman walking into Sidetrack Theatre looking increasingly scornful and totally not intimidated. I notice the back of the stationwagon is largely empty or maybe a few small items with blankets.]

"I am just unloading." she says with total confidence.

"It doesn't matter, its a matter of getting help with carrying something."

"Okay I will" [walks away in the other direction proving she is simply lying]

"Okay I will wait" [wait lamely as she wanders off to the main theatre, and give up after a minute knowing I've been lied to, and not very gullible.]

Then I put my head into Sidetrack front door and say to X politely but firmly -
"X can you take responsibility for your guest. She is parking on the grass and hasn't moved when I asked her."

[No answer, I then went away and did work for 5 minutes emptying the bin at the bus stop. Car still not moved.]

I go into X's office and ask politely "can you tell me the name of the woman parked out the front", then X launches into tantrum shouting and tirade. I leave his office with him shouting at me. I go outside and ask her politely "Can you tell me your name?"

[X grabs my arm while I try to ask my question again. I say ...]

"Keep your hands to yourself" What is your name please?

[X] "Her name is Sue Smith"

[I walk away at these insults to my work and my intelligence.]

[Me walking to the front office to do web page updating] "I will take it to the board."

[X] rushes over to the main office.

[X shouting at Ian Laird, ARC centre manager]

"Stop him harrassing my staff. He's in a bad mood for some reason. He's a nice boy. We are friends"
[me] "Not anymore..... You're drowning..... You aren't going to win." [by which I meant by shouting or bullying]
In point of fact I am 42 year old part time lawyer and community activist with 2 university degrees and I do my job without fear or favour.

Ian Laird, the centre manager, was completely bemused but also not that surprised at the tantrum by X. But I was.

Witnesses include artist Jeff Wood who was working on his chess set project nearby, who said "Tom did nothing wrong" to Laird. Quite true, I didn't do anything wrong. I was doing my job in a well tempered way and conscientous way and I will continue to do so while ever I have the confidence of the centre management.
Postscript #2: And when we say pollie muck, and big business muck (at Coles), and community sector muck (above), we note too Big Media muck (!) at that bastion of free press Fairfax with a cracking story today 20th March about Ron Walker ... of Fairfax no less ....conflict of interest jab in the ribs by top in house journo David Marr. Ouchy, ouch: Fairfax chief spreads blame for inadvertent Liberal link

Posted by editor at 12:27 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 20 March 2007 5:50 PM NZT
Sunday political talkies: 'specifically Pacific' focus not geo politik adventurism, as Rudd suffers 'altitude sickness'
Mood:  hungry
Topic: election Oz 2007

Picture: Mount Aspiring  in New Zealand (via google earth, photo by Kevin Bracy Knight http://www.panoramio.com/user/3821, ) Climbed by this writer in 1988/9 and what a hoot it was. Not the highest but perhaps most beautiful peak in our region of the world, just as Opposition Leader Rudd aspires to his own beautiful peak, PM of Australia, but says the ALP are still "at the base camp" despite good polling causing 'altitude sickness' (Mark Riley, 7) . And Kevin beware allegations of 'deceptive conduct' on the journey Aussie arrested for illegal guiding in Mt Aspiring - New Zealand ...

This aspect of Aspiring shows a 1,000 metre final pitch from base to summit at 3,033m above sea level , comparable to any  European peak for hardship I've been told, a 6 hour time warping 100% focus. Rudd will need similar to wrest control from the Coalition and like this writer's ascent that lovely day you only get one chance no reverse gear. Not least because it will melt (if not already) in the age of dangerous global warming.

Author’s general introductory note (skip this if you know this regular weekly column):


This is not a well packaged story. It’s a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies  in Big Politics and Big Media. ]


Indeed it’s the tv version monitoring task similar to what Nelson Mandela refers to here in his book Long Walk to Freedom (1994, Abacus) written in Robben Island prison (where he was meant to die like other African resister chiefs of history in the 19C), at page 208


“..newspapers are only a shadow of reality; their information is important to a freedom fighter not because it reveals the truth, but because it discloses the biases and perceptions of both those who produce the paper and those who read it.”


Just substitute ‘Sunday tv political talkie shows’ for "newspapers" in the quote above.


For actual transcripts go to web sites quoted below except with Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.


Picture: Mt Aspiring from another angle. Still 'at base camp' says 'saint' Kevin Rudd  to his ALP congregation with the climb all ahead despite 'high altitude' polling according to the Riley Diary today.

10 Meet the Press 8-8.30 am

Deborah Knight presenter, looking smart and also gorgeous, a fine combo. Paul Bongiorno don’t stay too long on holidays.


Khaki headlines in “all press” with footage of panicky PM in smoke filled RAAF flight emergency in Afghanistan. [A footnote to a fizzling twilight political career?]


Robert McLelland, shadow minister (Foreign Affairs?) fields diverse questions from Steve Lewis (The Australian) and Tom Allard on the panel and Knight also re govt  minister Santo Santoro self destruction, politics of smear, international security questions.


Rubbery figures intensely funny honeymoon metaphor with right wing voter snogging Rudd enthusiastically but implying it’s a temporary affair until thee rednecks return to Howard’s arms.


Pro Debnam attack advert on ALP in 2nd break.


Ethics expert Simon Longstaff (getting pudgy) correctly identifies opportunistic blood sport about character test of federal pollies many are failing. Not a noble process of accountability if the goal is not to win with integrity, [not simply to win (as per Gandhi dictum)]


Allard on Rudd in religion? SL says it’s a virtue for politicians to have good personal convictions, yet secularism is necessary for public interest representation by elected politicians, not crusading personal faith.


Transcript in due course www.ten.com.au/meetthepress


7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary


Humourous, quite edgy as usual.  Andrew O'Keefe and Lisa Wilkinson co-hosts and other media express implausibility of khaki PM moment in the press filmed running from the plane, but how did the cameras get out first in position, they ask. They know the public are bored with the PR tricks and the group laugh and skepticism is more revealing than the subject matter itself: Howard has a big credibility gap on a former policy trump.


[The knowing poise of Lisa staring right down the barrel of the camera unflinching as Andrew guilloutined the group cackle before it got risky said a lot. Normally she makes diversionary twitches when it’s a no go political risky area. This time its Andrew who does the reining in for a change with “Thanks kids”. Speaking of which Howard’s son doing “strategy” for 7 will be watching a tape of this for daddy O with consternation.]


Footage of vaudeville theatre by Abbott and Bishop federal north shore pollies diversion from woes of Santoro sacking for breach of share investment code of condust.


Riley slums down to NSW politics with Debnam satire as Frank Spencer physicals but not intellect which is out of his scope usually being Sydney not Canberra. But it does underline that there is really significant crossover of the two fields of power play in the Australian polity especially this double election year.


Amusing metaphor of Rudd with “altitude sickness” being so high in the polls.


Same attack advert for state election runs. Just as Debnam speech ran on ABC tv last night (just before West Wing on my tape). Live footage at Harbour Bridge 75th Celebration. More credibility gap about crowds and transport.


Web page here but no transcript usually: http://www.seven.com.au/sunrise/weekend


[2 and 9 shows to follow later this morning]


Picture: Mount Aspiring / Tititea Beware the ice shoot Kevin. Keep those ice screws, snow pegs, harness, safety rope,  carabiners and climbing partner close, and not least ice axe (bad taste Leon Trotsky  jokes aside.) And if you do get there remember its just as dangerous coming down Mt Aspiring rescue - 12 Mar 2007 - National News - New Zealand Herald

2 Insiders (abc) 9-10 am,  http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/ 


Talent is firstly Wayne Swan seeking to consolidate Santoro sacking to PM’s incompetence or worse.


Paul Kelly (News Limited’s The Professor) says Santoro sacking is “red hot”.


Panel is Misha Schubert (bleeding heart lefty Fairfax?), Malcolm Farr (moderate but edgy News Ltd Sydney based), Andrew Bolt (unreconstructed hard Right News Ltd Melbourned based).


Generally good show and light hearted vibe (as I trawled for Mt Aspiring images for the Rudd metaphor above) presumably shared relief they are not Santo Santoro a ruthless critic of the ABC network for one thing and credibility now destroyed.


Every person segment: (missed it).


Talking pictures looks at NSW electoral situation just as panel do, with Mal Farr effectively trashing Peter Debnam for lack of financial/budgetary policy substance (which is ironic being Coalition traditional strength).


Obligatory footage of Abbott and Bishop as per other two shows above.


9 Sunday 9-10.30am (to follow) http://sunday.ninemsn.com.au/sunday/


Taped show to be viewed in due course, and perhaps commented on here.


Gillard as Opposition IR spokes with Laurie Oaks.


Feature is panel of heavy duty ministers state and federal and Premier Beatie etc at Ch9 of about 20 people. It’s a very impressive lineup of real politik with traffic directed by Ellen Fanning.


Ross Coulthard does field reportage for the panel discussion.


Norma Khoury literary constroversy covered.


Debnam attack adverts run against the ALP as per 7 and 10 already in the final week sprint.


Transcript at web link above should be good.

Posted by editor at 9:53 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007 2:36 PM 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

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