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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Saturday, 31 March 2007
Building Addison Rd Community Centre healthy democracy* beyond influence peddling, self interest
Mood:  energetic
Topic: local news

* dedicated to a humble gardener and my hero Eddie Mabo.


The ARC is 3.4 hectares of prime inner city land the majority of which is open space, dedicated to the community with 35 tenancies of theatre, arts, non profit recycling, markets and cultures. It’s a genuine jewel of social capital in this city:




Like most people who work there I loathe the ARC and love it as well. It’s like one’s own family really. You can’t stand being in the same room at times but you know they are your own blood and tissue as well and there is no escaping the emotional ties not in this life, and probably not the next. A real quandary cie la vie. From the whimsical feministas at Reverse Garbage to the old dog at The Bower with Hansonite tendencies. Certainly honest effective communication is a big part of the challenge at such a place, with emphasis on honesty.


Stephen Mayne has written of this default fraught nature of community politics in his People Power party in the Victorian elections via ezine crikey.com.au, and in that case it ended in tears


Crikey - Politics Etc - Stephen Mayne’s farewell campaign diary


, and it’s no different in many social capital organisations we presume, whether it’s the Greens, Democrats, Greenpeace, The Wilderness Society or ARC. The key to avoid the tears is a healthy dose of humour, real moral courage, moderate expectations or less, in short healthy civil society, open debate and norms of behaviour, or as Gandhi says – to aim for integrity not simply to win (note Gandhi did aim to win too).


The ARC as most people will admit has suffered some intractable management problems in its 30 year History  Indeed the fact there was no 30 year anniversary celebrations in 2006 tells a story in itself. But in our view the dawn is rising and some of the nightmares are well behind us. There are 47 years to run on the community lease from the NSW Government (originally the Commonwealth Govt) and everything to play for to strengthen social fabric. We see a recent moral contest with the Sidetrack Rogue as a late breaking bad dream but it likely will pass too and generally the place is gathering a more honest vigorous and effective democracy and management.


This has not always been the case at the ARC. Dark mutterings of


-         “a tarantula in every draw” (attributed to the gallery curator),

-         “can of worms” (experienced Greens councillor)  

-         “grooming Meredith Burgman’s replacement” (elderly tenant),

-         “referring the bastards to ICAC” (not this author!),

-         “forces of darkness” (staff member)

-      "nothing ever happens" (veteran local council outdoor worker)


are giving way to

Picture: Kerry Lindberg, long time resident caretaker with his wife also named Kerrie.


-         new safe pedestrian access path,

-         open tender for community spaces,

-         objective rental formula (!)

-         transparent grievance procedure,

-         outdoor chess set,

-         nursery demonstration garden,

-         viable Sunday Market, and

-         functioning website portal.


Like lines in the car park achieved by retired manager Neil 2 years ago

after literally 10 years of cheap talk at board level, and who sadly had a heart attack soon after, and cute pocket garden of native plants (deliberately mowed over 3 years ago), the chaos is being sorted into healthy form and structure. There is hope where there was little in this depressed part of Marrickville. But there is also oh so much more hard work to do and still plenty of fluid creativity. Like a bastard political child born out of Whitlam’s anti Vietnam war policy the ARC has become a rather appealing adult with some adolescent rough edges still.


Recently we at SAM ran up against the old boy/girl network at ARC. Our job this last 4 years (at least until recently) involves part time gardening, but also website builder lately, and according to our sense of public duty we pinged a driver parking on the median strip out of area.

Picture: some of the 25 advanced aloe vera plantings by this writer last Thursday at the ARC frontage.

This is a humdrum if delicate matter usually. Please don’t park there, sets a bad example, etc. It’s usually met with responsiveness and cooperation.

But like the Marcus Einfeld saga/tragedy


Einfeld faces jail over $77 ticket - National - smh.com.au

a simple matter of a polite request to move blew up into disturbing old style issue of abuse of power, fraud, defamation, hierarchy and smear by a long time tenant and their political backers, potentially up to the Board level, and there is plenty of water to go under the bridge yet, as our correspondence attached below shows.


In Einfeld’s case a mere $77 parking fine may well see him end up in jail for a quite a time. (I personally find this very sad given my first big (winning) case was before the ex beak in 1991 in the Federal Court as a corporate litigation lawyer.) In the Sidetrack case a trivial parking ‘offence’ (not illegal, but certainly unauthorised, and damn disrespectful)  may yet turn into a case study of (ALP) cronyism and fraught community centre politics which might have a much bigger impact on society and democracy than the Einfeld Case will.


On the other hand it is just as likely to be an opportunity at educating the long suffering tenancies in how to assert honest vigorous democracy and equal accountability for high and low, from humble gardener to long time power brokers Don Mamouney or his alleged cipher Stavros Economidis on the Board.


The ARC as most people will admit has suffered some intractable management problems in its 30 year life. Indeed the fact there was no 30 year anniversary celebrations in 2006 is revealing. But in our view the dawn is rising and most of the nightmares are receding to ancient history.

 Picture: Terry Cutcliffe curator of Addison Road Gallery in January 2005 and his provocative signage in the style of Image Gallery - Collections - United Colors of Benetton - S/S 2007 ...

But that low scale furore as described in the letter attached below, narrowly avoiding criminal proceedings of the Local Court, is only part of the latest growing pains:

There is this from Max Burgess of the Law Consumers tenancy


, in combo with one of the several anchor tenants Greening Australia (NSW) Ltd (this latter it might be noted is a significant federally funded body but also one of say 4 or 5 anchor tenants):




I note that in the absence of any challenge to the validity of the Notice served on the Secretary on 26 February, 2007 and the expiration of the time (21 days) in which the Directors must call a meeting in accordance with clause 9.2.4 of the Constitution, Greening Australia Ltd and Law Consumers Association Ltd reserve the right to call a meeting of members in accordance with clause 9.3.1 of the Constitution.”


But what is the point of this agitation for what otherwise might be thought of as an 'EGM' or extraordinary general meeting, but technically is a simple general meeting aimed at gazumping a narrow Board meeting as has been the case in the last several years?


[Significantly the centre did have a Board of all tenants but this was changed around 1998  because it was found to be way too big and cumbersome:


"In 1998 it reformed its governance structure, replacing a management committee comprising a representative of each member organisation with a smaller Board that includes 4 Directors elected from members, 2 Directors elected by members who are honorary members (community representatives) and Marrickville Council [This structure itself has also been amended and refined in 2005]." ARC website quoting open source backgrounder by the centre management at History ]


There probably is a case for a hybrid process of formal general meetings of all members, and narrow workable Board committee. That is, not just an “open forum” one of which was held in the hyper busy 3 days before the 24th March state election, perhaps to out flank the above (?), and not attended by this writer for lack of notice, prone to accusations of cynical timing (?) .


The notice handed to this writer yesterday by accomplished democracy activist and dedicated Law Consumer stirrer Max Burgess reads as follows:


“The general nature of the meeting’s business is (clause 9.8.2):

  1. GALLERY / To adopt a policy for the long term management of the Gallery having regard to its development and the income which can be generated for the Centre.
  2. ADDISON ROAD SIGNS/ That the Board affirms it’s ownership of the signs at the entrance to the Centre and adopts a policy in which these signs can be made available to members of the Centre.
  3. ASSOCIATE MEMBERS/ That the Constitution of the Centre be amended to accommodate the needs of the Associate members. [we don’t know what this status involves: SAM editor]
  4. RENT REVIEWS/ That the Board adopts a policy where all members pay the same rent having regard to, but not limited to, quality of premises, location, services available, the circumstances of the member and utilisation.


Further notice is given that other business may arise”

Picture: Sunday markets are doing okay Addison Rd Centre lately, day of the Sydney Bridge Walk March 2007


Who knows, my own part time job at the ARC possibly on the skids might come up?


A potential can of worms indeed, but also an opportunity to take the high road. To reach for integrity not simply to win, to do good for the ARC generally and not for individual interests, for fairness and objectivity in all dealings with no fear or favour, to transcend influence peddling and dishonest postures.


Yep, plenty of water to go under the bridge building a health democracy at the Addison Road Centre. Cie la vie. The key is effective and honest communication like this blog article (we hope and trust).



Declaration: We have an fiduciary solicitor client relationship with one of the Board members on unrelated media matters (John Reynolds, Art Resistance) who has not been consulted on or  authorised any of this article (indeed he may be critical of this writer). As stated we are in the paid employ up until this week at least of the ARC for part time gardening and website building. We have never campaigned for/nominated for the ARC Board or applied for a tenancy at the ARC. The ARC accept our snail mail (ecology action sydney) for us via the front office (no letters to date in the age email) for personal security reasons.




From: ecology action australia

To: Yvette Andrews ; Stavros Economidis ;Robert Morrison; Rae Owen ; John Reynolds ; Geoff Hague ; Natalie McCarthy

Cc: gm addison rd centre; office admin arc

Sent: Friday, March 30, 2007 7:41 AM

Subject: building more honest democracy at the ARC



Dear ARC Board members



I will meet with Ian Laird today see how you are progressing with my complaint about abuse of power and emotional violence by the Sidetrack manager(s). I will also be progressing the ARC website build which is about 80% done and worth visiting here






Ian Laird  foreshadowed this discussion yesterday while I was planting about 25 advanced aloe vera plants into the street frontage pocket gardens which I obtained for free from some building renovators earlier in the week. This was my initiative like many other things at the ARC and elsewhere in the community sector.


At first I was feeling a little nervous anticipating your views, and then I came to a realisation about our relative roles in the community sector and I feel alot better about where to from here.



Here are some ground rules (good pun that) from my perspective before I hear from Ian Laird today:



1. There is no way whilesoever I am employed, or indeed otherwise,  I will be giving special treatment to any rogue tenant or pandering to their loud aggressive histrionics or indeed concocted or fraudulent theatrical smears. That's the bottom line the ARC Board have no real say in.



2. The Board can choose as it likes whether to support one of its staff simply doing their public duty, or not. That's a matter for your conscience. Your job is really not that important in the scheme of things. I simply remind you I have legal rights of A. natural justice (to be heard in a fair process) B. to confront Abdi directly within the framework of an ARC grievance procedure I have been promised in lieu of an AVO type legal process. I understand Abdi is posturing and demanding I be gagged etc in my gardening work or interaction with tenants or visitors. In this regard refer to point 5 below.



3. I don't have anything to prove to the Board. On the contrary as a community leader of some 16 years experience and ample qualifications, the Board has to prove itself to people like me, not the other way round. I won't be judged on my moral integrity or professionalism in the community sector by a Board that are only now getting to grasp with their actual responsibilities at the ARC. I've seen what plays for good management there over the last 4 years and learnt enough about the previous 10 years to know what's what. When I first came to work at the centre as a humble gardener the grounds were a disgrace - it was a symptom of the management culture and dysfunctional tenancies itself. I decided to tackle that MANAGEMENT dysfunction in a subtle and indirect way, not by powermongering through board elections or tenure or whatever but by cleaning the place up. One of the first threats I faced was the deeply cynical Gerry playing power games while handling a machete. Do you really think I would be so worried about a Board and its words after that?


Now that this external physical cleanup process is gaining momentum of it's own (only took 4 years) and reaching a natural conclusion regarding my pump priming,  it's time to address the root cause of that physical ugliness of 4 years ago, which is the ugliness of influential figures at the centre itself at the management level. This is indeed why this symbolic matter with Abdi goes beyond the trivial car on median strip. It goes to the heart of a balkanised history of emotional violence at the centre.

4. I know what happened with Abdi and that car owner on Friday 16th March. I know I was professional and polite and the request was scorned arrogantly.  I know that when this was addressed Abdi launched a disgusting tirade of abuse at myself but also Laird. I know that when I complained a fiction was concocted by Mamouney to cover up for Abdi and the car owner. And I have a useful witness in Jeff Wood proving pretty much my version of events. I'm not for turning, and I'm not for pandering to a politically constrained or influenced Board either. That's not how this works for me. You may be the power at the ARC, but I have my share of influence in the Sydney, NSW, Australia and even a small international degree also with my sister group in Columbia and a few other contacts.. So you have a real balancing act to deal with.



5. Depending on how this plays out I reserve the right to pamphleteer under each and every door at the centre, with or without a paid job, along the lines of my views above.  I will have my justice in this situation and the centre's tenants will be educated in honest democracy and they will learn and be responsive to that and take their issues forward. This is all to the good. And then my work at the ARC may well be completed after 5 years and I can move on to more important projects like John Howard's agenda for nuclear weapons in Australia.


Lastly, I have nearly finished updating the centre web site with one reservation, and I have notified about 5 different tenancies of their updates (ACV, Bower, CSC, CCCC, Bush Club, and others are vaguely aware like GA, RG, even updates of Sidetrack including latest event though they are particularly undeserving managers (as distinct from the acting crew). There is the latest clipping on the Food Forest volunteer drive also.



The reservation about the website follows: The website is an overly ambitious interactive tool and no wonder it's rollout stalled. On the other hand it is now a very powerful asset and the portal effect will now be synergistic creating much more profile and publicity for each of the individual groups via internet based society, further enhancing traffic to their own main websites as well. I have yet to work out the method of individual log in/sign on for each tenant  (I have been given Ian Laird's password). But it's all in the user manual and I will have worked through that by the end of today all being well (Friday 30th March).



I look forward to hearing Ian's advice (meaning your advice) today. Be assured whatever it is I won't be boxed in by such as Abdi via the politics of the ARC Board. I hope you get it right for the sake of the ARC.



Yours truly



Tom McLoughlin, principal ecology action sydney






Posted by editor at 11:18 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 2 April 2007 11:50 AM NZT
Thursday, 29 March 2007
More suffering at Villawood detention centre
Mood:  sharp
Topic: human rights
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2007 11:47 AM
Subject: Hunger strike ot support the detainees, today from 12 30 pm - Villawood detention centre, Bermengham Ave, Chester Hill

As the situation deteriorated at Villawood detention centre, with 2 detainees were taken to hospital in the last 2 days and more than 50 detainees are on hunger strike for the second day, we will be on hunger strike outside the detention centre from 12 30 pm today in solidarity with them. The detianees are demanding in writing from DIMA that they stop these violent actions and better treatment. We are demanding that the detention centre be closed and asylum seekers be released to the community until their applications processed.
To support the action or to join it, you can contact me on
0413 467 367
Jamal Daoud

Posted by editor at 6:28 PM NZT
Sydney Ferries job advert a week ago 'Injury Management Coordinator'
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: nsw govt

We noted this advert last Wednesday March 21st, 2007 in our pre election coverage:

"As if to balance the Herald shock horror story [about sundry State Govt failures] is a chunky advert p12 from Sydney Ferries Corporation in their rival The Sydney Daily Telegraph for an "Injury Management Coordinator". Which surely is a horse that has bolted?: Man dies after ferry collision - National - smh.com.au"

Tragically it looks like there is too much work to do again:

Three killed in ferry crash

Ferry crash BELLINDA KONTOMINAS 5:40am | Three people are dead and a 14-year-old girl is missing after Sydney ferry hits private boat.

The unions were keen to lampoon Opposition 'Leader' Debnam's national service in the navy but it looks like the ALP's navy man at http://www.sydneyferries might be the one who is out of his depth in delivering good safety systems on public ferries? Here is a report of his background: Admiral steps in as ferry boss quits - National - smh.com.au

Rear Admiral Geof Smith has the January disaster on his watch Sydney Ferries 'deeply regret' fatal accident. 14/01/2007. ABC ... which presumably is why the above advert was placed just prior to the election. Now he has this one too. We feel confident the Big Media will go the full work out of Government responsibility, if any, on this tragedy.

At least that's the perception until a full investigation is forthcoming.

Take care folks, its getting dangerous out there in Sydney transport land, and may they rest in peace. Condolences to the families at this awful tragedy.

Posted by editor at 9:49 AM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 29 March 2007 11:35 AM NZT
Tuesday, 27 March 2007
Bob Carr 'spivving' his atrocious record, Big Media 'Opposition' correct to thrash ALP
Mood:  down
Topic: corporates

Bob Carr is no longer chief spinner of the NSW ALP Government. He is now chief spivver for big corporations leveraging his political contacts to make money and salve his public relevance deprivation syndrome.

The Hon. (Bob) Robert John CARR,

He is on the front of business friendly The Australian yesterday which is appropriate because he is now a "spivver" for Macquarie Bank and Big Business generally with all those road building PPP projects in the bag.

Here are some of Carr's dishonest claims on radio in denial of why he was airbrushed from ALP history this last 18 months and especially election period by the real NSW Iemma ALP Govt, based on his whining to Adam Spencer 702 abc yesterday:

- Carr stopped land clearing in his term. A lie: Refer Revealed: legal land clearing's savage toll - Environment - Specials It was no real virture to be better than the redneck National Party driven Coalition by a few less hectares of destruction. In fact its arguable the ineffectual and vague enforcement criteria corruptly greenlighted panic clearing during Carr's last 5 years taking clearance rates up to a million hectares or more. Carr has no credibility on land clearing with one mitigating belated factor in 2005 as we got rid of the bastard - the 330,000 ha Goonoo Pilliga conservation decision that Iemma has ratified and the Green party treats as a serious commitment from Iemma, not Carr.

- Carr claims a so called "disjunction" of  Big "media bias" against the ALP government's record versus voter actual intention to return the ALP. Really? Carr quickly narrowed this biting of the hand that fed him his whole career by narrowing it to 2GB's "electronic pamphlets" for the Liberal Party. But then he showed his broad contempt for the sector again with "I've never seen such print media bias" cross referencing Neville Wran who feels the same (no surprises there - Wran blacklisted then journo Mike Bailey, the elite abc weather man today, for failing to follow Premier Wran's arrogant instructions).

In reality most political observers and likely voters actually saw the print media savaging of Carr's record as the defacto Opposition doing its job with an ineffectual and untrustworthy Debnam Liberal team failing to cut through. Nor should Carr take comfort from Wran quoted in the Herald meaningfully  26/3/07

"The newspapers had been feral in this campaign. I've never seen it's like in Australian politics. ....This is probably one of [the party's] greatest victories in history because Iemma inherited a grab-bag of problems and liabilities and he faced up to them". [bold added]

 Liabilities. That's you Bob. 

This 'attack the media' phenomenon is a cliche of ex pollies also exhibited by the slightly bitter Arthur Chesterfield Evans MLC who is likely to lose his seat for the Australian Democrats, as interviewed by the sceptical Fran Kelly, abc radio national early Monday 26th March 07. ACE complained about the "are you dead yet?" treatment he got during the campaign. Commisertions ACE, congratulations John Kaye (Greens).

As Monday's Daily Telegraph "Campaign Confidential" correctly implied

"where was Emperor Bob Carr, the man who built Rome Morris Iemma now defends? It appears Bob developed some kind of serum which means he is invisible to everyone except Peter Debnam. And so we dedicate this catalogue of sightings and fightings to a man who's so there he's not even there. We salute you, Bob - wherever you are."

Ironically Carr was front of their sister News Ltd broadsheet same day but no one doubts the ALP would have lost if Carr had been leader at the election. That's why he and his cabinet colleagues Knowles, Refshauge, Egan and finally Scully were drop punted out. Remember Bob? You were destroying brand ALP and that's why no one is actually listening to you now, or only to express disgust at your vain tragic record.


Postscript #2  A brief clarification that we wrote this article above before reading a day later this article by Big Piers Akerman of the right wing Sydney Daily Telegraph with much the same gist re Carr's vain delusions about his role in Iemma's recent victory: Claims on an empty victory

Postscript #1: Courtesy Stevie Bee

'Yesterday we were campaigning, today you voted'

While walking down the street, a politician is hit by a truck and dies.

His soul arrives in heaven, and he is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to heaven," says St Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see such a high official around these parts, you see, and so we're not sure what to do with you."? "No problem," says the politician, "just let me in."

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from 'on high.' What we do is have you spend a day in hell, and a day in heaven.? Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Okay, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the politician.

"I'm sorry but we have our rules."

And, with that, St Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a club, and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who'd worked with him.

Everyone is happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they'd had, while getting rich at expense of the people. They play a great game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne. Also present is the devil, who's really a very friendly guy, who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They're all having such a good time that, before he realises, it is time for him to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator closes. The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven, where St Peter is waiting for him.

"Now it's time for you to visit heaven," Says St Peter. So, 24 hours pass, with the senator joining a group of contented souls, moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp, and, before he realises it, the 24 hours have gone by, and St Peter returns. "Well, you've spent a day in hell and a day in heaven. Now choose for eternity." The politician reflects for a minute, then answers: "Well, I never would have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I'd be?better off in hell."

So, St Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. Now the doors of the elevator open, and he finds he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and debris. He sees all of his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash, and putting it in bags. The Devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder.

"I don't understand," stammers the Politician . "Yesterday there was a golf course and a club, we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, danced,? and had a great time. Now there's nothing but a wasteland full of garbage, and my friends look miserable. What happened??"

The Devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning; today you voted . . .

stevie bee

61 +2 9567 4006?

Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible. ? Thich Nhat Hanh

Posted by editor at 9:47 AM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 29 March 2007 10:33 AM NZT
Monday, 26 March 2007
Tebbutt declines cabinet confidentiality on road tunnel plan of "a good government" to raise her 6 year old instead
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: election nsw 2007

On Saturday we met then Education Minister Tebbutt as pictured here at the Warren Rd booth in Marrickville

and raised the horror scenario of a container truck accident in any of the Sydney motorway tunnels, as happened last Friday in Melbourne’s Burnley Tunnel.


Question: "Tom McLoughlin, SydneyAlternativeMedia news blog. On the record Minister, in relation to the terrible truck accident in the [Burnley] Tunnel in Melbourne, do you think that could happen here in Sydney with so many motorway tunnels?" Answer by Carmel Tebbutt local ALP MP for Marrickville: "I don't know anything about that. I really couldn't say."


The question required no answer. The point was all in the asking: We knew she was not the responsible minister for transport, emergency services, treasury or any other possibly related portfolio.


The point of the question was the subtext: Carmel Tebbutt as local member knows that the massive expansion of Port Botany will result in a road tunnel under Marrickville unless the politics are radically changed. All those containers can’t go on rail (40% maximum) and even the rail is disruptive already as per this recent letter to the editor:

Indeed local MP Tebbutt has been fighting off fiesty local Green Party members in the local Cooks River Valley Times March 8th 2007 front pager "Road tunnel"


"Labor MP for Marrickville Carmel Tebbutt, said the Minister has made it clear that there are no proposals before the NSW Government to build the M4 East or any such thing as an inner west motorway."


and from same paper apparently quoting her unchanged 2006 statements:


"While the $500 million investment in Port Botany will benefit the NSW economy , Sydney Ports Corporation must make every effort to ensure this proposed expansion does not adversely impact on the quality of life of local residents ..... I will continue to advocate the concerns of local residentsto Sydney Ports Corporation and ministers for Planning and Ports. As usual the Greens Party are offering no solutions".


In her February 2007 colour brochure Carmel states


 "Johnstons creek corridor abandoned/ The Johnstons Creek road corridor will be abandoned entirely between Parramatta Road and the Illawarra rail line. Road reservations on those roads which would have fed into Johnstons Creek road corridor, including Llewellyn Street and Addison Road, have also been abandoned. "This decision gives certainty to residents worried their properties may still be affected," said Carmel Tebbutt MP. " pictured standing next to colleague Minister Eric Roozendaal.


And then an expose of exactly what the minister has strongly implied won't happen, happened: $5b secret road under Sydney | The Daily Telegraph that is a secret RTA plan for a tunnel under Marrickville because anyone who has studied the Port expansion knows it's part of an overall scheme to deal with the 3 million plus containers, a tripling of volume.


And Tebbutt has form in the art of political double talk, and it would be very naive to think she is some kind of feminista political saint. Life is not like that:


"Ms Byrne [Greens candidate said] Ms Tebbutt "blatantly misled the public" about Greens preferences at the a climate change forum in Marrickville last Tuesday night. Ms Tebbutt told the forum that the Greens had preferenced the Coalition before Aboriginal Labor MP Linda Burney in the seat of Canterbury during the 2003 election ...This is false. The Greens have never preferenced the Coalition ahead of Labor in any state or federal electorate in NSW." in Valley Times p6 Thus 15th March 2007.


This is a direct accusation of electioneering fraud by Carmel Tebbutt at a public forum being levelled by The Greens.


Who knows if there is more to her move to the back bench? Maybe she saw those school kids late last week protest against the unfiltered Lane Cove Tunnel (Families protest against lack of filtration in Lane Cove Tunnel ...) which is in her portfolio. Maybe she considered our unexpected mortality as per those poor victims literally incinerated in the grim prophetic Burnley Tunnel and decided ‘no way am I going to miss my kid growing up’. On Friday we emailed to the local community this story on our blog:


 23rd March 2007

Container truck tunnel crash is Sydney's future too under ALP transport policies

As the three major dailies today editorialise to remove the ALP government in NSW in the vote tomorrow, and Ch9 prime time news ruin Opposition Leader Debnam's last pitch due to technical problems with a live cross, a tragic tunnel crash involving container trucks in Melbourne today (Road catastrophe: Tunnel crash kills three) underline everything wrong with the Inner West Motorway tunnel exposed by the press during this election for Sydney: $5b secret road under Sydney | The Daily Telegraph

Container truck numbers from the Port are set to skyrocket under the ALP (Task force to oversee Port Botany expansion. 25/11/2006. ABC News ...) to 3 million per year  at least (Port Botany - NSW Department of Planning) but likely even more than that (NSW Ports Growth Plan - Summary Sheet) with massive impacts on the Inner City congestion and suburban amenity from the Port Botany Expansion - 10/11/2005 - ADJ

The ALP over ruled an independent planning Commission of Inquiry (Port Botany expansion plan unwarranted: inquiry. 14/10/2005. ABC ...) and tried to stall the release of that report for 3 months (Port Botany Report - 15/09/2005 - QWN REP) making a new motorway tunnel an inevitability under the Iemma ALP Govt. One can assume fatal truck accidents like this today will also be an inevitability as above.

On Sunday another insecure road tunnel will open as the result of the election is finalised: Children at Lane Cove Tunnel protest - The Australian - 21 Mar 2007

Noxious road tunnels are indeed a powerful symbol of this ALP government as we go to the vote tomorrow as per The Greens last PR event for the day

The way Carmel tells it her son made it clear a couple of weeks ago she was needed at home. Morris Iemma says she told him on election night. Curious timing. Kevin Rudd is quoted pictured here The Glebe March 22nd 07 p3 presumably with no notion of Carmel’s intention to bail out to the back bench:


“When you’ve got Carmel as a senior minister in this government and as an effective local member, you are really getting double bang for your buck and I think that’s really good,” : Kevin Rudd

That’s false election advertising in reality.


In the same paper Tebbutt states “I think I am feeling nervous and anxious at this point” but in another local press article (a bit hard to locate now) she said she was a lot more relaxed than at the byelection 18 months ago, and that was the view of Deputy Premier Watkins too on ABC tv coverage last Saturday night. If the Greens were going to win it was going to be at the byelection. Only they suppressed the Commission of Inquiry report on the Port Expansion until 2 weeks after that byelection as well.


Indeed Tebbutt has moved from the comfort of an upper house seat with ministerial portfolio free of managing the needs of an electorate to a lower house seat with all the cost and expense for the ALP that implies and has decided to bail out to the back bench now?  And all the expense of a hard fought general election now to keep it?And she wants to bail out to the back bench?


Indeed Treasurer Egan virtually anointed her as a future Treasurer or Premier when he resigned with Bob Carr. Mind you who would like to look like the increasingly exhausted and aging Anna Bligh Deputy Premier and Treasurer (Queensland Treasury). Or pack on the kilograms as Chubby Morris below, or indeed Jodi McKay with increasing girth (pictured in the Telegraph) from all that worry contesting the seat of Newcastle.


That’s one hell of a conversation with your six year old for Carmel whose child has already grown up in a political family. (Sure enough, she is pictured with child in the press Tuesday 27th March.) That sure is enlightened parenting but lousy political organisation unless there is just a bit more to the story.


As a minister she could never defend Marrickville from toxic exhaust stacks from the inevitable push on to build a road tunnel under her electorate. Cabinet confidentiality would only be the start of her predicament. She would have to endorse the cabinet decision just like Gary Punch was expected to over the 3rd Runway at KSA and resigned instead.  Those shipping containers are coming as night follows day and her people and indeed family are in the firing line. She would never be re elected anyway after that in 2011 if she was seen to have betrayed her electorate. This is a fight she has to take on just like the Greens she has been sledging..


Also her husband federal MP Anthony Albanese is in real strife. If the ALP national conference supports expanded uranium mining as they will, Anthony will be stranded in a rampantly green voting area of Sydney. He will be lucky to survive the federal election and will need all his spouse’s help there.


So it's not only Mr Debnam whose “work here is done” to borrow the phrase from Two Weeks Out episode of the West Wing last Saturday night which cartoonist Warren must also have been watching by the look of this in the Telegraph today:

It looks like Carmel Tebbutt MP's work in covering up for the boys in Iemma's so called "good government" is over for the time being too as regards their Truck Tunnel. And that's a good thing. Bravo.


One last thing Morris: Go on a diet

Posted by editor at 9:51 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008 11:18 AM EADT
Update from sister group A Limpiar Columbia wetland project
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: ecology

We received this email yesterday from our Spanish translator based here regarding our sister group in South America named above which translates as Clean Up Columbia. We have donated about Aust$2,700 to this group in the last 12 months or so for which we feel very proud given the useful exchange rate for them. More here: Clean Columbia help 1/06

Sent: Sunday, March 25, 2007 9:30 AM
Subject: Timbiki Wetland

Hola Tom,
I know that your mind and hands are full with elections and so much happening at the moment, there is always something happening, but this time is crucial, it is probably because the future of the planet is at stake. I find it frustrating that it seems as if the majority of people don't understand it, and that to lessen our impact on what is sustaining us, the natural environment, can't be business as usual.

Picture: Pauline Azcarate- Castro, lead organiser of A Limpiar Columbia in Palmira.

Anyway, Paulina sent another report of her activities in restoring the Wetland, I even spoke to her on the phone this week. The situation as you know it is not better there, the group is fighting against big influencing landlords and multinationals, so from death threats, to bad publicity, you name it, they are going ahead with the plan to restore and recuperate the wetland. The area is dominated by sugar cane plantations which have destroyed the rivers and wetlands, so the small farmers have been left without water and their livelihood, so what they are doing now is fighting back to restore the area and praying for rain.

I will translate the report, it is around two to three pages and will send it soon, in the meantime I am forwarding the photographs, including wetland, members of the Foundation, farmers and local school students whom they are trying to educate and get them and their families on the project's side.
My arm and hand have improved a lot, getting better everyday, however, it is taking a long time to recover, and might take a year to get back the full strength, with patience and perseverance all we get there!
Take care and all the best
[Pictures with the email update follow]


Posted by editor at 5:01 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 26 March 2007 8:33 PM NZT
Retiring MP email after the NSW vote
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: election nsw 2007
From: "Bob Debus" <Bob.Debus@debus.minister.nsw.gov.au>
To: "ecology action australia"
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2007 11:27 AM
Subject: Re: Container truck tunnel crash is Sydney's future too underALP Iemma transport policies (Retiring from State Politics)

At the election on March 24 I will be retiring from state politics.  
This email address will not be active as of March 23.

If your matter is urgent please contact the new minister after the
election is finalised or ring the relevant department on - 
Attorney Generals - 9228 7777
Environment and Conservation - 9995 5000
Arts - 9228 5533


From: "Meredith Burgmann" <MeredithBurgmann@parliament.nsw.gov.au>
To: "ecology action australia"
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2007 11:27 AM
Subject: Re: Container truck tunnel crash is Sydney's future too underALP Iemma transport policies (I Have left Parliament)

I am leaving Parliament on the 24th March, however I am not taking up bowls.

All Parliamentary business should be directed to Jason Stewart on 9230 2548 or xxxxxxxxx
Personal Emails will be sent through to me on a daily basis.

Yours sincerely,

Meredith Burgmann

Posted by editor at 2:19 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 27 March 2007 9:45 AM NZT
Our news blog is growing
Mood:  cool
Topic: independent media

It's not the end of the month yet to properly report our hit rate. Still we noticed this provocative item in The Australian today:  Ghosts of blogging haunt net cemetery with Trioli ABC Sydney radio confirming it's a premature valedictory.

We can say our www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog is growing from 2,800 to 4,400 to 6,600 hits per month in the last 3 months roughly 8 days left to go in this 3rd one (we started January 3rd). Our biggest story so far was on the role of climate change in this NSW election (900 hits or so). That's a positive trend at least.

And there is another intangible measure of our fifth estate discipline on the 4th (Big Media) and 3rd (politicians) estate: We notice a sense of dejavu reading/hearing our language back at us. It could be parallel thinking but it's happening so often that it's either a lift, a crib, a  borrow (which is okay with our open copyright), or 3 degrees of separation in the endless creative recycling which is the human condition:

- This morning John Hewson refers to "squandered" opportunity by the Libs in this election (which was our nice word for Fred Nile's treatment of God's creation with his redneck voting patterns);

- In the Daily Telegraph editorial today we noticed the Iemma Govt refered to as "accident prone" which was also our mood emoticon choice in the blog template for our election report yesterday Sunday 25th March;

- In the Sydney Morning Herald today Davd Marr refers to the old axiom 'your enemies enemy is your short term ally' which was also our recent blogger terminology (to find an ethical resolution of Norman Thompson's criticism of Clover Moore's suspect developer donations back in the 2004 election to stave off the ALP gerrymander of City Hall).

- Again in the Herald today an image of candidate Prue Goward praying (or preying) in a Goulburn church similar to our metaphorical image (see yesterday - election report) of voters in a local church hall booth like sheep fulfilling some tired religous obligation. A lesson in faith over reality.

Or maybe it's just our ego noticing these echoes. But it happens alot.

No surprise specialised blogs are healthy. Trioli's crew wouldn't take my call on air this morning but they knew my surname (!). And anyway the Oz article above is spliced amongst the "Paul Kelly Blog" and the "Janet Albrechtsen blog"  in the newspaper's own website rebuffing the sense of their own article really. You can be sure the disciplined-by-blog Big Media are not really safe critics of blogging and resent the fact being told as professional journalists they never were that high on the intellectual or wisdom hierarchy in the first place. Think about it - they were the guys (gender neutral) getting the (f)arts degrees.

Which is why we enjoyed this piece so much as even more healthy discipline on the grotesquely overpaid and indeed captured 4th estate:

"Talk is cheap and newspeak beckons by Julianne Schultz is the editor of Griffith REVIEW (ABC Books) and the author of Reviving the Fourth Estate: Democracy, Accountability and the Media (Cambridge University Press)."

But what can be said about sustainable blogging is that one needs to be a creatively inspired person, and as such dependent on the medium, not so much for shallow self aggrandisement but as a safety valve and harmoniser of one's own maelstrom of insights as if to unload a burden, of too much knowledge. Indeed blogging, like painting, or singing, or book writing is pretty much for its own sake. It's not nearly enough to have a big ego (though it helps to get started) because, well, an ego per se just runs out of material which was the real message in the Oz: Celebrity might spread over the world like a thin sprinkle of radioactive dust from a massive burst of energy, touching everyone and everything, but it's not very useful, and in the worst cases a fatal germ.

And it certainly helps with blogger motivation if your previous truth telling has closed off all the orthodox pathways (just like Muhammed Ali was shut out) in a systemicly corrupt and grasping polity. In that case blogging is virtually an inevitability to sidestep the fascist gatekeepers and their powermongering.

Posted by editor at 1:28 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 26 March 2007 9:01 PM NZT
Dr Jim Green's excellent No Nuke News
Mood:  blue
Topic: nuke threats

We now publish Dr Jim's ezine as promised for the Monday following the NSW election. (We will publish later today some post mortems on the election including Minister Tebbutt going directly to the back bench, do not collect $200, do not pass go. )

We have one minor criticism about Dr Jim's newsletter. We disagree that Matthew Warren of The Australian is a safe reporter on climate change issues (as here Rebels of the sun | Science & nature | The Australian ) when it's well known that organ is financially conflicted with its paid for massive 'Special Advertising Reports' pandering to the Fossil Fool and uranium mining sector here in Australia:

Examples are not limited to the March 19th 2007 "Paydirt uranium conference/ A SPECIAL ADVERTISING REPORT" pages 38 and 39 including 'story' with no byline "SA Labor presses for end to no-nukes policy".  

Indeed Dr Jim has agreed in correspondence now that such a major reservation is in order when gleaning any value from the corporate voice of one Matthew Warren, as if he can really as mere journo expertly second guess the UN IPCC and other world class scientists like the USA based NASA scientist Dr Jim Hansen. I don't think so.

In this way Warren must be read down severely just as reputable scientists are being attacked for speaking up in the USA under the Bush administration.

Here is our second try at posting this item:

Image provided by Friends of the Earth Scotland.

March 15, 2007

Hello No Nukes News subscribers,
No Nukes News is produced by Friends of the Earth and is sent to over 930 subscribers. To un/subscribe, send an email with NNN-Subscribe or NNN-Unsubscribe in the subject line to <jim.green@foe.org.au>.
In this exciting edition of No Nukes News:
2. UPCOMING EVENTS - Kathleen Sullivan national speaking tour - cycle against the nuclear cycle - various other events in Adelaide - Alice Springs - Brisbane - Canberra Darwin - Hobart - Melbourne - Perth - Sydney.

For details on the Peace Convergence  - protesting US/Australia war training in Qld - see <www.peaceconvergence.com>

* Support for G20 arrestees
* Online Petition to Demand UK nuclear weapons Trident Cancellation
* ALP - uranium
* Talisman Sabre 2007
* Support the Pine Gap 6

Matthew Warren in The Oz predicting climate change policies.
NUCLEAR NEWS ITEMS are posted on the web at: <www.geocities.com/jimgreen3/nnn8.html> in these categories:
New information sources
Internationally-renowned disarmament campaigner jumps into river
Clean energy solutions:
Baseload electricity - debunking the myths
National nuclear waste dump proposed for NT
Water use of different energy sources
Nuclear weapons for Australia
Australia as the world's nuclear waste dump
Nuclear power for Australia:
Electricity options for Australia - '0.55 to stay alive'
Nuclear test veterans
Uranium mining in Australia
USA ANZUS alliance
Military bases
ASIO infiltrates Pine Gap campaign
Nuclear accidents - Sweden
Environmental racism
Lucas Heights - problems with new OPAL reactor
Palm Sunday falls on April 1 and will be a major national day of anti-nuclear events and actions ... Nuclear Fools Day. Please help spread the word about events in your region.
Excellent Palm Sunday website which is updated regularly:
Palm Sunday will help galvanise and organise opposition to the nuclear push, and send a message to the Labor Party ahead of its national conference in late April, at which uranium policy will be debated.
A whopping 58 organisations have endorsed the Palm Sunday events, and this list is growing every day! It's great to see the diversity of groups that are part of the alliance - see http://www.nuclearfoolsday.org/endorsers
The website now has fliers and posters which people can download. For people wanting to adapt the flier with their local details, a template is available there also for you to adapt. If you would like a personalised flier, please e-mail details to: azane83@gmail.com
The website again: http://www.NuclearFoolsDay.org 

For details of events, see the city listings below.

Information on most capital cities is now available on the website. If you have more information or would like to add your event, please e-mail us at jessica@icanw.org
- Kathleen Sullivan national speaking tour
- cycle against the cycle
- Adelaide
- Alice Springs
- Brisbane
- Canberra
- Darwin
- Hobart
- Melbourne
- Perth
- Sydney
Kathleen Sullivan is a disarmament educator, author, activist and producer who has been engaged in the nuclear issue for the last 22 years, during which time she has worked with youth, community organizers, academics, government representatives and nuclear industry officials in Austria, China, Finland, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and US.  She received her PhD entitled "This New Promethean Fire: Radioactive Monsters and Sustainable Nuclear Futures" through Lancaster University, UK.  Her independent research comprised nuclear criticism, environmental ethics, feminist theory, social theory and science studies.
From 2000 - 2006, she was the coordinator of the Nuclear Weapons Education and Action Project of Educators for Social Responsibility, one of the most significant youth programs in the US to teach nuclear awareness classes in the Public High Schools of New York City.  Currently, Kathleen is establishing her own NGO, the Institute for Disarmament Education and Action (IDEA) which will provide lesson plans, and interactive arts based activities for young people to engage in creating a nuclear-weapon-free world.
Kathleen is a consultant to the United Nations Department for Disarmament Affairs in New York, writing disarmament curricula for young people to be posted on the UN's Cyberschoolbus website.  She is also busy promoting her first film: an award winning feature documentary, The Last Atomic Bomb (2005).  In her spare time she is making a CD of anti-nuclear remakes from the American Song Book and learning how to play guitar.  She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
2 April 2007:  6pm. Workshop at Friends of the Earth, "Talking About Nukes to Inspire Action (and not Sleep or Suicide)" contact <michaela.stubbs@foe.org.au>
3 April 2007: 12.30 - 2.30 Workshop at Howard Florey Institute for nuclear activists on communications, contact <felicity.hill@mapw.org.au>
3 April 2007: 6.30. Film screening and workshop with Pax Christi, St. Ignatius Meeting Room 4, 326 Church St, Richmond, contact Harry Kerr <ahmkerr@hotmail.com>
4 April 2007: 5.30 Lecture & discussion on US nuclear policy, Centre for Public Policy, second floor of 234 Queensberry St. contact John Langmore <langmore@att.net>
5 April 2007: 4-6 workshop with MAPW on ICAN education tools, contact  Jessica Morrison <jessica@icanw.org>
5 April 2007: 7-9 Film Screening of "The Last Atomic Bomb", Howard Florey Lecture Theatre, Melbourne Uni, crn Grattan St & Royal Parade, contact   Kazuyo Preston <kazpres@optusnet.com.au>
11 April 2007: 7pm, Legislative Assembly, ICAN launch, A Nuclear Free Future, with Bishop George Browning, contact Dimity Hawkins <dimity.hawkins@gmail.com>
12 April 2007: lunchtime workshop 1pm. on Talking about Nukes to Inspire Action, Sydney Uni, contact Holly Creenaune <holly@asen.org.au>
12 April 2007: 6.30 Public Meeting with Friends of the Earth Nuclear Freeways Tour, Masonic Hall, Katoomba, contact Natalie Lowrey <natalie.lowrey@foe.org.au>
13 April 2007:  Dinner with local activists, contact Anne Noonan  <bunyip@bigpond.net.au>
14 April 2007:  WILPF Sydney meeting, contact Stella Boyages <sboyages@gmail.com>
14 April 207: Friends of the Earth launch event, 3pm contact Holly Creenaune <holly@asen.org.au>
An anti-nuclear cycle (Cycle Against the Nuclear Cycle 3 - CANC3) is being planned for later this year.
The idea is to ride from Rockhampton to Canberra and for other riders to ride from around Port August to Canberra (the long way).
They will aim to arrive in Canberra before the election I believe (TBC).
They will be riding along the coast and passing the spots where all of the possible nuclear power plants could be built.
This is the third ride of its type, the first being from Melbourne to Jabiluka in '98 and then Jabiluka to Perth in 2000.
It would be good if you could publicise this to people you know who may want to join the ride or who could assist in some way.
A website has been set up with more info at http://canc2007.org.au
This Saturday 17th March we are hosting a special presentation on permaculture in Cuba. The amazing Elvira will be sharing her inspiring stories and photos of organic gardening in Cuba, as well as screening the film "The Power of Community: how Cuba survived Peak Oil". Starts 7pm, the Karen Elliot Social Centre (cnr Hawker and Coglin Sts, Brompton), food provided by Food not Bombs, gold coin donation.
Friends of the Earth Adelaide
FoE Adelaide Clean Futures Collective meetings - every Tuesday night at 5.30pm at the Conservation Centre, 120 Wakefield St, Adelaide. All welcome.
0403 886951, 8227 1399
The meeting on the fourth Tuesday of every month is dedicated to welcoming new members and holding a workshop/skillshare. The topic of the next workshop on 27th March is making signs for the Palm Sunday Carnival, and future topics with guest speakers will be media, puppetry, public speaking, badge making, “Climate Change, Despair and Empowerment”, and many others. If you have a skill you’d like to share that would be useful for the group, let joel.catchlove@foe.org.au know!
Public Meeting
Nuclear Power?
A Waste of Energy!
Tuesday 20th March 2007
6pm for 6.30pm start
Ends 8pm
Tandanya Main Gallery
253 Grenfell St, Adelaide
Kevin Kamps - Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), Washington DC
"Nuclear Power & Radioactive Waste: No Solution to Climate Change"
Dr Jason Garrood - Medical Association for the Prevention of War
Introducing the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN)
Imogen Zethoven – The Wilderness Society
“The Federal Government’s Nuclear Agenda”
Chris Warren – Channel 7 Environment Reporter, MC for the evening
Free Entry
Refreshments and publications will be available
For further information please contact The Wilderness Society:
Adelaide: (08) 8231 6586
Sydney: (02) 9282 9553
Palm Sunday Peace Carnival!
This year Palm Sunday falls on April Fools Day, and all around the country, groups are preparing to mobilise for carnivals against the foolish wars and nuclear foolishness proposed for Australia.
Well over forty organisations have endorsed plans for an April Fools Palm Sunday nationwide, with events planned in Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Alice Springs, Darwin, Perth, Canberra and Sydney.
The Adelaide Palm Sunday Peace Alliance, currently composed of about 25 environmental, social justice, political, church and community groups, is organising a carnival at Victoria Square, calling for Australians to not be fooled by the nuclear push, but rather to work “for peace, for nuclear disarmament, against uranium mining and exports, and for a renewable, nuclear-free future”.
Already a number of speakers, performers, puppeteers, buskers, musicians and bands have confirmed their participation, including Peter Combe, Poetikool Justice, Soursob Bob, DJ Jimi and many more to be announced!
We enthusiastically invite you to be a part of this event - there are plans for permaculture contingents, for bicycle contingents, for puppet troupes, anti-nuclear choirs, masquerade groups, giant octopi and much, much more; so decorate your bike! Come in costume! Make a mask! Make noise! Fly a kite! Plan choreographed, nuclear-free dances! And bring all your friends! Feel free to pass this on to everyone you know, and if you want more details, contact Joel  (joel.catchlove@foe.org.au).
for a peaceful, nuclear free future
1.00pm, April 1, Tardanyangga/Victoria Square
Join us for a picnic, carnival and concert
FEATURING: Heather Frahn, Peter Combe, Poetikool Justice, Soursob
Bob, DJ Jimi and many more to be announced!
Details as they emerge at http://www.nuclearfoolsday.org/adelaide
Friday 27 - Sunday 29 April - ALP National Conference, Sydney. This conference will be a major point of anti-nuclear mobilisation as the ALP will vote to either overturn the no new uranium mines policy, or retain it and stave off a swag of new mines all around Australia. Lobby your local ALP rep to vote to keep the policy, see form letter below.
April 15-21 - Nepabunna community work trip. This Friends of the Earth initiated trip sees a group going up to Nepabunna indigenous township in the Gammon Ranges twice yearly. Activities involve working in bush tucker garden, maintenance in Nantawarrina Protected Area, and activities with children. Contact sophie.green@foe.org.au for more information
Sunday 18 March - Peace Brigades speaking tour, 12noon, Scots Church, cnr Pulteney and North Tce. Bring your lunch. Jodie Martire has just returned from Colombia where she spent 15 months volunteering with Peace Brigades as an international human rights observer. She provided protective accompaniment (unarmed bodyguarding) and political support to Colombian human rights defenders and members of communities of internally displaced refugees. Come and hear her stories.
Saturday 24 March - Zine & DIY Fair, including a Really Free Market! 12-5pm, Vaughan Place (behind the Exeter). Bring along your wares to trade, or any books, clothes, plants etc to giveaway at the free market - the only free market worth having!
As an independent environmental and social justice advocacy organisation, Friends of the Earth Adelaide depends on the support of its members and volunteers to keep it going. If you are not already a member, please consider joining us. Your membership directly funds our campaigns and helps maintain our independence from government and corporate funding. The membership fee is as little as $30 concession a year. Contact Joel.
0403 886951, 8227 1399
Palm Sunday
April 1
Flynn Church Lawns, Todd Mall, 12-2 pm 
BYO Picnic!
Free ice-cream & pony rides for kids!
Nat Wasley at the Arid Lands Environment Centre
<natwasley@alec.org.au> (08) 8952 2011, 0429 900 774.
Tired of the unrelenting pro-nukes agenda in the media and from all sides of
Want to hear both sides of the nuclear story?
The nuclear push is hotting up as both sides of government come out of
the closet with their nuclear intentions. Yet Australians still are
hesitant about uranium mining and most don’t want nuclear power plants in
their back yards. Join us for this forum and lively discussion of
Australia's position in the nuclear world, our energy options, nuclear waste
and jobs....
Speakers: Rosemarie Severin and Robin Taubenfeld - Friends of the Earth
Date: Thursday, March 15, 2007
Time: 6:30 for 7pm, Cost: Free
Place: Brisbane Workers Community Centre, 2 Latrobe Tce Paddington
Brought to you by the Brisbane Workers Community Centre & Friends of the
Earth Brisbane. FoEB is a member of the Queensland Nuclear Free Alliance
www.brisbane.foe.org.au or phone 0411 118737
Brisbane, Palm Sunday Peace Rally and March
11 am, 1st April
Queens Park, crn Elizabeth and George Streets, Brisbane
Responding to Climate Change: The call to “ecological conversion”
Date: Friday evening march 16 and all day Sat March 17
Hosted by: The Catholic Social Action Office and the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission
Forums Friday night and Sat morning: Workshops: 1:30- 3:35 – Friends of the Earth Climate Justice and Anti-nuclear Collectives will be hosting workshops on Sat afternoon.
Place: St James’ College 201 Boundary Street Fortitude Valley
For more info: Helen Allen 3891 5866
See program: www.sao.clriq.org.au
Press Club Debate: Ziggy Switkowski (Head of Nuclear Review) v Don Henry (Executive Director Australian Conservation Foundation)
Date: March 27 (tue) 2007
Place: Presidential Ballroom, Carlton, King George Square, Brisbane
Cost: $132 or table of to 10 $1,100!!!!! (contact Qld media club 07 3503 5777)
STAY TUNED FOR a PEOPLES ACTION – Ziggy protest or – Grassroots press conference or event to be announced
More info about grassroots media conference/action: 0411 118 737
The Great Nuclear Debate - w/ Prof Ian Lowe & guests
Date: March 29, 2007
Place: Brisbane Workers Community Centre
2 Latrobe Tce Paddington
Rally for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament Inc is organising the
Annual Palm Sunday Peace Rally and March
11am on Sunday, 1st April
Queens Park, cnr Elizabeth and George Streets, Brisbane.
Speakers will focus on Nuclear Free Australia and Talisman Sabre 2007
war exercises.
For more info call Joan Shears jshears@powerup.com.au
ph 07 3855 8178 or 07 3855 9497
Clean Energy Forum
Date:, April 19 (Thu) 2007
Time: 6:30 for 7pm
Place: Brisbane Workers Community Centre
2 Latrobe Tce Paddington
Australia/Queensland as a US bombing range: Operation Talisman Sabre 2007
and Shoalwater Bay - info night on Aus/US war games starting late May near Rockhampton
Date: May 17 (Thu) 2007
Time: 6:30 for 7pm
Place: Brisbane Workers Community Centre
2 Latrobe Tce Paddington
Ecological and Social Justice - forum and discussion
Date: June 21 (Thu) 2007
Time: 6:30 for 7pm
Place: Brisbane Workers Community Centre
  2 Latrobe Tce Paddington
Sustainability and Food - forum and discussion
Date:, July 19 (Thu) 2007
Time: 6:30 for 7pm
Place: Brisbane Workers Community Centre
2 Latrobe Tce Paddington

Nuclear Fools Day Sunday April 1
Rally 12pm ACT Legislative Assembly
Marching to Glebe Park, Civic
Contact CRANC on nonukescanberra@gmail.com or visit
www.nonukescanberra.org to stay in touch.
April 1 - meet 11am, Nightcliff Markets
Next planning meeting is at 6pm on Tuesday March 6. Ring Emma for details on 8981 1894 or email ecnturanium@iinet.net
Palm Sunday
Noon: gather at Franklin Square for walk to Salamanca lawns for Rally
at 12:30.
Speakers include: Senator Christine Milne, Ald Rob Valentine, Dr
Gerry McGushin
More details to come.
See Peace Tasmania for more information.
THE NUCLEAR SAHARA - Living with the legacies of French nuclear testing
Join us for an evening of slides and stories from the Sahara:
6.30pm  Sunday 18 March
Travellers Bookstore, 294 Smith Street, Collingwood 3066
Between 1960 and 1966, France conducted 17 nuclear tests in Algeria.
Last month, for the first time, the Algerian government hosted an international conference on the health and environmental consequences of nuclear testing in the Sahara. The meeting brought together former soldiers from France and nuclear survivors from Algeria, together with researchers from the Middle East, France, Tahiti, Japan, Australia and the United States. Nic Maclellan attended the conference and also travelled to the In Eker test site.
More details and a picture in the flier.
Please circulate to friends who might be interested
Drinks and nibbles provided. Please RSVP 0421 840 100 or email
Palm Sunday - Melbourne
1 April - 1pm Treasury Gardens, parade to Sidney Myer Music Bowl
peace festival, 3pm - 6
Help Wanted in Melbourne!
* huge number of posters to past up ... please help if you can
Palm Sunday collective meets weekly.
Some contacts:
Louise Morris - 9419 8700 - morris.lv@gmail.com
Felicity Hill - felicity.hill@mapw.org.au - 8344 1637
Jessica Morrison - 8344 1637
Talking About Nukes to Inspire Action (and not Sleep or Suicide)
Workshop with Nuclear Disarmament Education specialist from the USA, Dr. Kathleen Sullivan
Monday 2nd April, 6-8pm
Friends of the Earth Cafe, 312 Smith Street, Collingwood, 9419 8700
Nuclear issues can be very difficult to talk about.  The excessive destruction caused by nuclear weapons, the complicated science and technological questions, the extremely long time that nuclear waste remains poison, and the absurd budgets involved can be overwhelming and depressing.
Friends of the Earth and the Medical Association for Prevention of War invite you to learn how to inspire hope, enthusiasm and action  when you talk about nuclear issues.
Dr. Kathleen Sullivan is a nuclear disarmament education specialist from the United States who has worked with Educators for  Social Responsibility on their nuclear weapons project, teaching New York City high school students critical thinking skills about nuclear weapons.  She is generating 6 lesson plans, with tools, tricks and activities for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN).
Please come along to this workshop where Dr. Sullivan will share her tools and tricks, useful for public speaking, classrooms and generally boosting our confidence for speaking about nuclear dangers.

Nuclear Power? A Waste of Energy
When: Thursday 15th March 2007, 6pm – 7.30pm

Where: City West Lotteries House, 2 Delhi St, West Perth

Kevin Kamps – Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), Washington DC
‘Nuclear Power & Radioactive Waste: No Solution to Climate Change’

Dr. Harry Cohen – Medical Association for the Prevention of War
‘Introducing the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons’

Imogen Zethoven – The Wilderness Society
‘The Federal Government’s Nuclear Agenda’

Free Entry
Refreshments and publications available
Organised by:
The Wilderness Society; Anti-Nuclear Alliance of WA; Conservation Council of WA

Climate Change, Clean Energy and the Nuclear Trap – Moving from Alarm to Action

When: Monday, 19th March 2007, 6pm-9pm

Where: City West Lotteries House, 2 Delhi St, West Perth


Jo Vallentine – Jo Vallentine is the former Senator for the Greens and the Nuclear Nuclear Disarmament Party

Scott Ludlam - Scott Ludlam is a volunteer with the Fremantle Anti-Nuclear Group and the Greens lead Senate candidate for the 2007 election

The workshop will be an interactive look at energy campaigning in the age of climate change – how to shift our communities to a safe energy path and defeat the ‘nuclear renaissance’. Following short presentations, the workshop will invite creative input from participants.
Together with the University of Western Australia comes the Sun
Festival and concerns about Climate Change.
Held at UWA's Oak Lawn, on 1st April from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m
If you want more info about these Sydney events, or better still if you wanna get involved, contact
Holly Creenaune
0417 682 541
Saturday March 17: Nuke Bloc to join the global protest against Iraq war in Sydney.
Sat March 17, 12noon, SYDNEY TOWN HALL, Marching to Belmore Park for bands. Meet student and anti-nuke activists at 11:45am at the Queen Victoria Statue (outside Queen Victoria Building)  . 
Speakers include TOM KENEALLY * author, social change activist, SENATOR KERRY NETTLE * Greens, PAUL GARRETT * Maritime Union of Australia, HOLLY CREENAUNE *  Friends of the Earth, DAVID BERNIE * NSW Council for Civil Liberties, and MEREDITH BURGMAN * Australian Labor Party
Wednesday 21st March, 5:30pm - 7pm
Forum at UNSW with Mark Diesendorf (UNSW), Dr. Alistair Sproul (UNSW), and Holly Creenaune (FoE) addressing the NSW and Federal elections and real climate change solutions.  Venue TBC, contact Angie Rozali UNSW Co-Environment Director, ilazorangie@gmail.com / 0405 763 360.
Sunday March 25th, Creative working bee for Palm Sunday extravaganza, Friends of the Earth, 19 Eve St, Erskineville.  Contact Adam on adamwolf@riseup.net / 0401045536
Sunday April 1st: Palm Sunday Peace Parade, 1pm at Prince Alfred Park, Parramatta.  www.nuclearfoolsday.org or http://www.nswpeace.org/  Contact Holly Creenaune, Friends of the Earth,  holly.creenaune@foe.org.au / 0417 682 541
Tuesday April 10th, 6pm: Public meeting and Launch of Nuclear Freeways Tour! Location TBA. Contact Holly Creenaune, Friends of the Earth,  holly.creenaune@foe.org.au / 0417 682 541
April 12th Thursday - Talking About Nukes to Inspire Action (and not Sleep or Suicide): Sydney Uni, Wednesday April 12th, 1pm. Contact Holly Creenaune, Friends of the Earth,  holly.creenaune@foe.org.au / 0417 682 541
April 14th Saturday - Launch of Friends of the Earth Sydney and FoE Sydney Nuclear Free Collective - 3pm - Community Cafe - 40 Forbes St, Newtown.  Come for bands, awesome speakers, short films and be part of creating a new FoE Sydney!
April 27-29th ALP National Conference - be a part of organising and mobilising to retain the Australian Labor Party's long-standing No New Uranium Mines policy. To get involved, contact Holly Creenaune, Friends of the Earth,  holly.creenaune@foe.org.au / 0417 682 541
Support for G20 arrestees: a vital part of our social justice & environmental work
In November last year approximately three thousand people participated in actions to express their dissent against the G20 and promote their visions for an ecologically sustainable and socially just future. Many of those participating in the protests have been involved in local campaigns concerning a range of issues – climate change, justice for Indigenous peoples, workers' rights, forests, queer politics, gender issues, and much more. They saw the G20 meeting as an opportunity to challenge some of the root causes of the problems that they campaign against daily.
As you are no doubt aware, the police have arrested approximately 30 protesters, and are continuing to make arrests. They are taking extraordinary measures such as publicly depicting the faces of protesters they are interested in questioning, and laying very serious charges such as riot and affray (charges that could result in jail terms of several years). Arrestees are under very restrictive bail conditions, such as in some cases having to report to the police three times per week, surrendering their passport and not even being allowed to leave the state.
The actions that took place around G20 reflected the widely varying approaches of those present towards globalisation, the state and social change. Most people will have their own views about the strategies and tactics used at the G20 mobilisations - but whatever these are, it is vital that we all give strong, ongoing support for the people who are now facing police harassment and charges.
The criminalisation of protest activity has major consequences for all social justice and environmental campaigns. The state is using the G20 protests as an opportunity to create a climate of fear about direct action and public protest. This is a crucial time to stand up for our right to protest. We need to defend and endorse direct action as a legitimate part of our social justice and environmental campaigns.
The Ongoing G20 Arrestee Solidarity Network has formed to support the G20 arrestees, and to encourage people to question and challenge the increasing criminalisation of protest. As more arrests are possible, and as the court cases for those arrested are likely to take many months, we are in this for the long haul.
We need your support, and your solidarity to ensure that the spaces for all of us to protest do not continue to shrink.
This is what you can do:
- Please forward this email and attached flyer further through your networks
- While some G20 arrestees will be eligible for legal aid or are receiving pro bono support from a legal firm, some will need to pay for their own legal costs. Some potentially face fines of several thousand dollars. Please consider making a donation to help cover their legal costs – contact the solidarity line on 0408 307 722 or email afterg20@gmail.com for further details on how to make a donation.
- The publishing of the faces of 28 people by the Victorian Police in The Age and through the Crimestoppers website was a major invasion of privacy and potentially limits these people's right to a fair trial . You can submit a letter of complaint to the Press Council online at http://www.presscouncil.org.au/pcsite/complaints/compform.html  (see the Statement of Principles and Code of Privacy Standards at http://www.presscouncil.org.au/pcsite/complaints/priv_stand.html )
- You can write letters to the editor, and phone in at talk-back shows, to challenge the mainstream public perception of the events happening at G20.
- Do not give any information to the police about the G20 protests or protesters if you are asked. Use your right to silence and contact a lawyer if you have any concerns.   
- Actively challenge the idea that it's okay to dob in G20 protesters.  
- Contact the G20 arrestee solidarity support number 0408 307 722 if you have any questions or need any support in relation to the G20 arrests.
- If there are ways in which you or your organisation can offer support to those arrested (e.g. by helping to organise a fundraising gig), contact the Ongoing G20 Arrestee Solidarity Network on 0408 307 722 or email afterg20@gmail.com.
In solidarity,
the Ongoing G20 Arrestee Solidarity Network
IPPNW News Alert
Online Petition to Demand Trident Cancellation
The UK Parliament will be voting on whether to renew the UK's Trident  nuclear missile program on March 14, 2007 -- less than two weeks away.  If Trident is renewed, this ensures that the UK will have nuclear  weapons far into the future. As members of an international community  committed to the abolition of nuclear weapons, we must make our  collective voices heard on this issue.
US medical student Tova Fuller, in consultation with IPPNW's UK  affiliate, Medact, has created an online petition demanding the  cancellation of the Trident replacement. You can read and sign the  petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Trident_Petition. Please  forward this web address to all of your contacts. The petition deadline  is March 7, to allow enough time to disseminate the text and signatures  to key Members of Parliament before the debate.
More information about Trident and the blockade at the UK submarine  base at Faslane can be found at the IPPNW student website -- 
ALP - uranium
Please show your opposition to the push for the ALP to overturn its policy of opposition to new uranium mines. Send a letter to Rudd via this FoE website:
Talisman Sabre 2007
US and Australian war training
Talisman Sabre is the name of the largest ever military training exercises, scheduled for May/June 2007 and planned to involve over 30,000 US military personnel.
The 'Peace Convergence' is the answer to this, a network of peace activists, committed to challenging the war in nonviolent and creative ways. We will be travelling up to Shoalwater Bay during the excercises to demonstrate Australian oposition to the use of our soil for US training exercises.
If you'd like to get involved, check the website:
Support the Pine Gap 6
At dawn on December 9, 2005 a 'Citizen's Inspection' of Pine Gap took place causing Pine Gap to shut down for five hours. The reason? A group of four Christian pacifists had entered the base, seeking to expose the terrorist acts perpetrated from inside the base (while two others supported the action without entering the base). To support their work including their legal battle, , check this website: www.pinegap6.org
Announcing a green era
Where to go next in climate policy in an election year?
Environment writer Matthew Warren previews the next possible moves
February 24, 2007
MEMO from Prime Minister to Minister for the Environment. Subject: Climate change. Status: Very urgent.
Malcolm, great work with the light bulbs. We're going to need a few more ideas like that before the budget. I want to climate change proof the economy. And the election. I've asked the Treasurer to set aside a few billion to play with from the surplus.
The Government's rules on climate change policy remain the same: We can announce emissions reduction strategies similar to Labor but cannot be seen to be copying them.
Any proposal must minimise harm or impact on the economy; it's still our strongest suit.
All proposals must be genuine solutions or pathways to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Where possible, go after low-hanging fruit; trigger energy savings and efficiency improvements that have recoverable and recordable payback.
And finally, I like the incandescent light bulbs ban. The voters get it. Can you include some other affordable and highly consumer-oriented ideas that have high political impacts?
Thanks, PM.
Herewith is a list of 10 possible climate change announcements Australians may hear in the lead-up to the election later this year.
Green homes
THE Government will drive energy savings from two of the biggest energy consumers in Australian homes. Refrigeration comprises about 13 per cent of household energy use while hot water comprises 37 per cent. The Government will provide a $150 rebate for households purchasing a new refrigerator with 4.5-star or better energy efficiency. It will also provide a $250 rebate for households switching from electricity to solar or high efficiency gas hot water systems. These combined will save about 750,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year.
Global cooling
THE increased use of airconditioners has become a contentious symbol of increased energy use. The Government will mandate that all dwellings that install airconditioners should have insulation to an efficiency value of 3 in their ceilings. The Government will assist this by providing a $400 per household rebate for the insulation. About half the dwellings in Australia still do not have insulation. This rebate will therefore be extended to all homes wishing to install insulation if it does not exist. This measure will save about 470,000 tonnes of CO2 each year at a cost of about $44 per tonne of greenhouse gas.
Green cars
THE Government will accelerate the reduction of import tariffs on fuel-efficient cars, including hybrid vehicles, fuel-efficient diesel and petrol engines with a five-star fuel efficiency rating or better in the Government's Green Car Guide. Presently, an import duty of 10 per cent applies to all passenger vehicles and this is scheduled to fall to 5 per cent from 2010. This measure will cut the cost of low emissions vehicles by between $1000 and $2000, and save 750,000 tonnes of CO2 each year at a cost of about $266 per tonne.
Energy-smart offices
COMMERCIAL offices in Australia account for about 10 per cent of our greenhouse gases. Some of the cheapest energy savings can be made by simple retro-fitting of airconditioning, ventilation and by switching to low energy and smart lighting, which combined account for about 70 per cent of office energy consumption. The Government will set up an expert panel of energy efficiency experts who will work with the Property Council and associated agencies to underwrite the cost of retrofitting offices across Australia until 2012. These buildings will then be certified Energy Smart and the energy savings used to repay the cost of the initial retrofit. This scheme will therefore be revenue neutral, but is expected to save about two million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year.
Low-emissions targets
AT present the Government creates incentives for renewable energy by mandating a 2 per cent renewable energy target. The Government seeks to increase the scope and scale of this target by introducing a 10 per cent mandatory low-emissions technology target, which will include renewable energy as well as other low-emissions technologies including abatement technologies up to the equivalent of 0.2 tonnes of CO2 emitted per megawatt hour. This will exclude gas but foster the development of a wider range of low-emissions technologies. The present cost of the existing scheme of $40 to $70 per tonne of CO2 is expected to be halved by opening up a wider range of abatement options.
Go solar
THE Government provides financial assistance to those households investing in solar cells to provide renewable energy for their homes. But they are very expensive. A basic domestic solar power system starts at about $13,000 to save about 65 per cent of total electricity use. To date, about 8000 homes in Australia have taken advantage of the offer (of a rebate of up to $4 per peak watt) since 2000. The Government will therefore increase this subsidy to $6 and target 10,000 new homes each year. This will save about 48,000 tonnes each year at a cost of $100 per tonne of greenhouse gas saved.
Accelerated clean coal
COAL and gas provide more than 80per cent of Australia's electricity and power much of the world's economy. Being able to make them clean by capturing and storing greenhouse emissions underground is critical to a low-emissions pathway for the globe. Equally, if this technology is not cost effective or limited by technology or geology, it is critical Australia and the world know this sooner rather than later so we can make decisions about alternative technology pathways. To this end the Government will invest $500 million, matched dollar for dollar by the coal industry, to rapidly accelerate research and development of clean coal technology as well as accelerated geological surveying to identify all suitable storage locations.
Carbon-neutral air travel
AIR travel is a substantial source of greenhouse gas emissions. From 2008 all domestic air travel in Australia will be required to offset the greenhouse gases emitted for each flight. This is likely to add about $6 to $10 per seat per trip. This will be used to finance the sequestration of greenhouse gases in forests and other approved offset schemes. This initiative will add about $400 million to the cost of domestic air travel in Australia each year and save the equivalent of about 18 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.
Environment levy
THE Government recognises that the Australian economy is built on its access to cheap energy. But at the same time we must drive restructuring and efficiency if we are to remain competitive. Therefore, from 2010 the Government will place a price on carbon of $5 per tonne in the form of an environmental levy to raise about $2 billion, which will be reinvested into delivering energy savings and efficiency gains for Australian industry. This reinvestment will be managed by a panel of industry representatives, with particular focus on accelerating efficiency gains in energy-intense sectors such as metals processing, cement, electricity generation and pulp and paper processing. This reinvestment in the economy has the potential to save up to 50 million tonnes of greenhouse gas each year and will help climate change-proof Australian industry.
Emissions trading
A WELL-DESIGNED emissions trading system is widely considered the most efficient way to deliver across-the-board reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Recent reports have reinforced the Government's concern that a stand-alone Australian scheme will add considerable cost to business and households. Learning from the European experience, it is also clear that it is likely to take several years to establish a workable and efficient trading regime. Therefore this Government will begin development of an emissions trading scheme in Australia to begin operation by 2012, designed to integrate with global systems as they evolve. From 2012 each state government will be asked to nominate a 20-year regime of emission limits, which will form the basis for domestic trading from that date. New Zealand will also be invited to participate under the Closer Economic Relations agreement between our two countries.

Posted by editor at 12:35 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 26 March 2007 5:33 PM NZT
Sunday, 25 March 2007
Iemma's ALP taken back to '52:48', knives out in next few weeks
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: election nsw 2007

Picture: Voters in marginal seat of Marrickville yesterday in local Anglican Church hall: Democracy here feels like a religious obligation dominated by power mongering and frightening corruption, where the sheep are duped and abused.

[This replaces our usual Sunday tv political talkies article. We missed 10 Meet the Press, and 7 Riley Diary, we are catching 9 and 2 now.] 


As predicted by most the ALP have 4 more years with a lot of bark off them, no landslide, no restored credibility. The Big Media on election night were openly describing the winner as yet “deeply unpopular” (Riley, 7). And as we suspected the Big Press can take alot of credit for the late swing away from the government with all their threshing of brand ALP in the last 3 days or so.


John Howard was even willing to appear with the loser Debnam 20 minutes after his feisty concession speech. That’s not a PM scared of this result. In fact a defensible loss here enhances his chances federally a great deal.


Barry O’Farrell who might actually have won as leader, and once aspirant for the leadership looked tired and not very hopeful of taking Debnam’s job on the ABC panel. The catchcry for the conservatives is ‘1st swing against the ALP since 1988’ which rings true. Barry consoled himself the talent pool in parliament for the work of the official Opposition is greatly boosted with a senior prosecutor, maybe Prue Goward, enviro lawyer Stokes in Pittwater and others. This new blood should shake the tree and really exploit the Iemma Govt’s flaws, incumbency or not. With Debnam as leader with such gains when totally outspent by the ALP.


What Morris Iemma shows with his lack lustre victory speech is that he knows he bought the election with $100M + of taxpayer funded advertising, and pandering to dangerous forces in society – the construction lobby for the desalination plant at Kurnell, the gun lobby for cowboy shooters on public land, the developers more generally in every suburb of Sydney with a good $8M in donations in the last 6 years and gutting of planning assessment laws, the ALP bureaucracy’s own lust for secrecy.


The ALP will argue (eg Anthony Albanese, federal MP Grayndler taking in Marrickville on AM special this morning) that the Liberals failed to take one seat from the ALP government. But that's an exageration of the situation if technically true. No one doubts the MP's in Pittwater and Manly for instance though independents were effectively centre left labour if not Labor. And the Nationals in the Coalition did take an ALP seat out west of the state from Peter Black. And then many ALP seats are far more marginal. The Howard federal government will want to exploit that lurch to the right in the face poor service delivery by Labor in NSW. In short a far more polarised society.

(From Sydney Morning Herald election day 24th March 2007)

In effect Iemma has the same team on a slide and even heavier expectations (and didn't he look tired last night on tv) with very little public goodwill. It’s a recipe for grinding misery really and a difficult parliament. Not as bad as minority government but pretty grim.

There is not an informed person in NSW who thinks democracy is not at least half broken here as per the startling interview on Stateline last Friday here: The Last Interview


Perhaps Morris Iemma knows how thin the ice has got because he may have 'turned the phones off' for the sake of his family today, celebrating his Dad's birthday, but there he is on the box anyway trying to boost the ALP brand again on Insiders 2 in a live cross and 9 Sunday fielding brutal bouncers from Laurie Oaks.


Simon Santo on abc tv Insiders says the vote after about 75% stage is 53:47 this morning, with a swing of 3% to the Coalition. Last night one of the commercial tv stations was reporting 52:48. The ABC is calling 53 seats to the ALP but Sunday 9 is calling it 49 so far.


But the other ‘mandate with a message’ is surely for the NSW Greens. As Leigh Sales of ABC TV accurately suggested, to paraphrase ‘surely you would have expected to do better?’ An extra seat in the Upper House making now 4 Greens up from 3, of limited effectiveness still, beaten in Marrickville and Balmain seats it seems and on average only 8.5% of the primary vote in a year of unprecedented ecological awareness. Truly the Greens are not ‘an enviro group’ despite their colour code to quote Lee Rhiannon, contradicting her ally and new MP John Kaye who once said ‘we are of and from the environment movement’. That systemic confusion in short explains the muted gains of ever hopeful Greens. If they worked a lot harder and effectively on the broad environment and less on boutique social issues, or just more effectively on green and social issues they might actually win a lower seat?


One could only feel sorry for Fiona Byrne of the Greens with half obscured/over exposed postage stamp posters the opposite of the ALP or Liberals Peter Shmigel large format jobs, or even Clover Moore. If your party can’t present decent posters how can you manage an electorate? No doubt they tried their hearts out and their glossy leaflets I saw were very good. But all the materials have to be winners in the big game of lower house seats.


Which brings us to big hearted Rochelle Porteus candidate in the generally vain society of Balmain voters. If the ALP relied excessively on telegenic policy bimbos for cute packaging in this election, the Greens preselection of Rochelle suggests a shallow pool. She may be brilliant and have a heart of gold for all I know and God knows real beauty is not skin deep, but we are campaigning on earth not heaven. I made this point to a Greens stall worker a month ago, and she smiled with no dissent or offence. Rochelle did extremely well to get such a close competitive vote but not good enough. I don’t judge a book by its cover but that’s not voter land. At the least we should have seen a crash diet in the media age of biggest loser.


The Greens are vaguely going forward and holding their position and this is essential for healthy politics in NSW and Australia. But they are going very slow because they seriously lack a meritocracy in their culture where expertise and qualifications mean more than tribalistic ideology in the organisational wing. The triumph of safe mediocrity over geniune talent.


ABC election analyst Antony Green, even allowing for his known ALP leanings (briefing one of the thinktanks) and cynicism says this morning the Greens have reached "their ceiling" and that's a comment that hurts.


Mike Carlton says it's all about the next few weeks of slash and weeding in the NSW Government and that rings true: Next item of business, blood-letting in Macquarie St. Similarly Alex Mitchell says today in Fairfax Iemma will "ruthlessly deal with recalcitrants". Yep. It's a scary place here on Planet ALP.

Posted by editor at 9:42 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 25 March 2007 11:52 AM NZT

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