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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Monday, 23 April 2007
Reporting of ALP uranium mines debate so far ignores duress on sovereignty, domestic nuke weapons agenda
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: election Oz 2007

Picture: "Reactors are uninsurable, gas chief warns" article page 4 The Australian 23rd April 2007, offline for some reason.


A constructive and realistic way for Big Media to frame reporting of the upcoming ALP national conference debate on expansion of uranium mining is in terms of


- existing duress on Australian sovereignty if we ban U mines, and 

- domestic nuke weapons agenda if the Coalition win the election.


The observation that ongoing uranium mining is in fact related to these has been taboo up till now in a subliminal forelock tug to USA military industrial supremacy and diplomacy. And it is so pathetic and dishonest.


No wonder the ALP want to debate the extent of mining given these profound implications above, and seek to constantly review the situation.


No wonder leading figures with huge political experience are having real trouble already over where to strike a balance with Premier Beattie here doing two backflips in 2 months: This was March 07 pro-u mining PM - Beattie changes tune on uranium mining. This is April 07 no u mining: The World Today 23rd April 07: 


"Beattie wants no new mines policy to stay Even before the vote, Queensland's Labor Premier Peter Beattie has upset uranium companies in his state. Mr Beattie has written to the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union to say he will continue the no new uranium mines policy in Queensland, if he's given the choice."

The World Today, with apparently some argy bargy with staff what his real position is regarding a Palladin corporate takeover situation.


Similarly see the fancy footwork by Alan Carpenter Premier of WA who till now has been 'reliably' anti u mining: Rudd 'won't force uranium mining' | NEWS.com.au and Carpenter stands tough on no uranium mining policy. 23/03/2007 ... but see this slightly more equivocal report WA rejects uranium mining legislation | NEWS.com.au 


To suggest glibly as PM Howard does that it is all so easy and his party did all this "25 years ago" is not only trite but shows how really irresponsible and indeed mad, vain and corrupted by power he has become. The arguments against the whole nuke cycle are very compelling and well put by Anthony Albanese MP and Peter Garrett MP (and many others) as per this yesterday Interview: Anthony Albanese
Watch video , and here
Anthony Albanese: Proliferation must shape the nuclear debate,  and the image of former Nuclear Disarmament Party MP Peter Garrett on the front of the Sydney Morning Herald loyally supporting the union Work Choices campaign wouldn't hurt either: Rudd keeps on rockin'


Picture: Image in Sydney Morning Herald page 1 today, long time anti nukes Peter Garrett MP (ALP) soothes the masses on industrial relations with rhetoric, rock and roll, sharing the platform with Unions NSW leader John Robertson (not shown) yesterday 22nd April 2007.  

Au contraire PM. If we could avoid this uranium resource curse the better off we would be, but we can't avoid it. It's our lot.


First there is changeable duress on our sovereignty: The USA as the global top dog is so into the nuke cycle it's an article of faith for its allies to demonstrate loyalty by getting into the nuke cycle as well whether it is right or wrong. If the ALP, vying for real national govt power banned uranium mines (which I doubt they would ever do), we would soon have a very shaky sovereignty via takeover and undermining by  the CIA/USA military industrial complex overlords of this SME economy. Nor are we as small as NZ to duck this one. Some of we citizens like this writer would be happy to have that struggle to repudiate the clammy embrace of Uncle Sam, most of us would not, being rusted on to the USA alliance.


Ex PM Bob Hawke has already made that political judgement (remember "Yellowcake Bob" on the sticker buttons?) for the electability of the ALP under the skirts of the Australia-USA alliance in 1983 and following: Save the Franklin River by all means but expand uranium mining too throughout the 1980ies to stay sweet with the USA hawks, and lesser extent business here. Rudd and the ALP heavyweights will know this policy history. 


That is not to say all business leaders here think promoting the nuke cycle is an unqualified grown ups economic decision in the big bad world of commerce: There is this heartening report in today's The Australian on page 4, from a rival energy supplier, but don't look for it on their website, its been censored by the looks:


"Reactors are uninsurable, gas chief warns" The head [Paul Anthony] of the nations's biggest energy retailer, AGL Energy, has downplayed any prospect of the nation switching to nuclear in his lifetime, saying the power plants are "uninsurable". ..."so the government has to take a deep breath and say: 'We're going to underpin the uninsurable risk of the nuclear sector'"


On the other hand Australia is likely big enough that if the ALP allow ongoing U mining and take the pro industry political capital that entails, and win an election then such a government will still have sufficient political space from the centre left, and global stature, to politely decline nuke weapons on our soil that this writer feels sure PM Howard and the Bush regime is angling for. This is the second political threat of uranium mining. An incremental excessive embrace of the nuke cycle Howard style leads to domestic weapons proliferation ... in Australia. 


Domestic nuke weapons are a real prospect under the Coalition not some greenie fantasy or fear mongering. Respected defence expert Professor Hugh White for one acknowledges nuke weapons here are a very real question even if he generously assumes no such hawkish intent by Howard Don't mention the bomb - Hugh White - Opinion - theage.com.au dated March 1st 2007:


“once the fissile material is available, designing and building the bomb is relatively straightforward. So we should be quite clear about this - building an enrichment plant would take Australia a huge step closer to the capacity to build nuclear weapons. With such a plant, an Australian government would at any time be able to expel the international inspectors and turn the plant over to producing weapons-grade, highly enriched uranium. It would shorten the lead time for Australia to build its first bomb from 10 years or more to perhaps two years or even less……


:Hugh White is a visiting fellow at the Lowy Institute and professor of strategic studies at ANU.


Prof Hugh White is surely 'wrong', or we suspect pulling his punches about intent of this hawkish Coalition government. Howard or his protégé in the future would surely jump at a nuclear weapon role for Australia on the world stage. Howard has the vanity. He has the time still, and the means. White himself qualifies:


“The question, of course, is what happens if Asia changes? The growth of China and India, the strategic re-emergence of Japan, and uncertainty about America's post-Iraq trajectory all raise doubts about whether the next 30 years will be as peaceful in Asia as the past 30 or will be as turbulent as the 30 before that.”


And add to this nuclear Taiwan, North Korea, Iran, Israel and Indonesia aspiration for 'nuke power' by 2015 a mere 8 years hence. The next big nuke military industrial complex play is star wars 'defence shield' first strike capacity that China and Russia are freaking about already, hardly reported here but notice: Missile shield sparks new cold war threats | Defence | The Australian


Australia is certainly in the ‘shield’ (read first strike) plan, which seriously suggests nuke weapons capacity here sooner than most think.


Howard and Rudd are both following the nuke cycle script from 'Rome' ie Washington, to save their own careers, and Howard was always enthusiastic anyway. But Rudd is more likely to decline nuke weapons proliferation in Australia. That's the grim real geo politik reality of living under Uncle Sam's skirts if not hegemony via nuke weapons enforced military industrial complex.


This reality will change as global warming is found to be the biggest power on the face of the planet even greater than nuke weapon soft and hard power or even affluence. When that happens not only will the “social licence” for fossil fools be withdrawn but no one will give a hoot about economic imperialism via arms sales and nuclear protection rackets. Sustainability will be the catchcry.


It's nuke weapons and mining with the Coalition, or uranium mining. under the ALP, until we flip the political paradigm to real ecological sustainability.


The most disturbing thing for our democracy just now, in this writer’s view is not the export of uranium as such, as rotten as that is and wrong,

but that Rudd met


- US VP Cheney with a secret agenda about our democracy, and

- has done so again with Rupert Murdoch with a secret agenda just this weekend.


Howard habitually does too. That's the really scary thing about how uranium and nuke weapons and other policy is actually made by Big Politics and Big military industrial Business.


It is why our democracy is broken.

But the ALP conference debating how far to get into a bad business is fair enough, and mature. The idea this should be decided in isolation 25 years ago as per PM Howard is a joke. In an ideal world we would be totally out of the nuke cycle, as per the green movement and the ALP Left. But realistically to sustain our sovereignty in the now we have to balance how far to get in and that’s a judgement that is continually changing and necessary to review.

The fact the ultra hawk Bush is in power until January 2009 is even more relevant than who has the numbers at the next ALP conference.


Sent: Monday, April 23, 2007 11:16 AM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Senator Milne comments on Nuclear Power andRenewable Energy

RE: ALP Conference and Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Australian Greens climate change and energy spokesperson, Senator
Christine Milne, said:

"The Greens support this morning's call from the former vice president
of the International Court of Justice, Christopher Weeramantry, for a
new Nuclear Weapons Convention. Australia has 40% of the world's high
grade uranuium. We have a moral obligation to try to eliminate weapons
of terror not to feed their proliferation. Real leaders would leave the
uranium in the ground.

"The world is less safe and more vulnerable to nuclear disaster today
than it was at the time that the ALP first introduced its policy of no
new mines. The policy then was to halt expansion and to phase out
uranium sales, recognising that driving the nuclear fuel cycle globally
was contrary to the principles of peace and disarmament.

"With North Korea failing to meet its deadlines for halting its nuclear
programmes, Iran's pursuit of more nuclear reactors and the growing
threats of nuclear terrorism, now is not the time to push more uranium
into a deteriorating security environment.

"The ALP will be seen as hypocrites if they argue that nuclear reactors
and nuclear waste are not safe for Australia but put profits before
principle when it comes to supporting the very same reactors overseas."

Greens welcome call for 25% renewable energy target

Senator Milne said:

"The Greens call on both the government and Labor to reconsider their
opposition to the 25% Mandatory Renewable Energy Target in the Greens
Climate Bill currently before the Senate and advocated by a coalition of
environmental groups today.

"Neither Labor nor the Coalition is currently supporting this target.
Although Labor keeps saying the renewable energy target needs to be
increased from 2%, it has refused to put a figure on the increase

"Deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are essential to avoid
catastrophic climate change, and credible policies to achieve those cuts
must be implemented.

"Contrary to the Prime Minister's constant refrain that acting on
climate change will cost the economy too dearly, a 25% MRET  will create
new jobs and investment just as has occurred in Germany, Japan and

"California has legislated to require energy utilities to purchase 33%
of energy from renewable energy generators by 2020 and has poached
Australian expertise and innovation to do so. Why can't we benefit from
Australian innovation in our own country?"

Senator Milne will tomorrow release a new report that sets out the
'what, why and how' of real, science-based action on climate change and
oil depletion.

Re-Energising Australia will be launched at Parliament House at 11 am in
Committee Room 1S3.

For more information, contact Tim Hollo on 0437 587 562




Sent: Friday, April 20, 2007 11:13 AM
Subject: [Greens-Media] New reactor opens as ALP lines up to nuke environment and peace movements?


 “While John Howard opens the new nuclear reactor today, the Labor  party are lining up for the biggest nuclear policy betrayal since their  national conference in Canberra in 1984”, said Greens MP and environment spokesman, Ian Cohen today.  


“The concerns of Australians about nuclear waste, weapons proliferation and the nuclear fuel cycle are falling on deaf ALP ears.


 “Despite the song and dance routines of high profile ALP anti-nuclear campaigners, we are tragically confident that a reversal of the three-mines policy is a foregone conclusion. The end of the ALP National Conference on the 29th April will mark the death of principled Labor party opposition to the nuclear fuel cycle.

‘The Greens passionately believe that there is a strong link between the mining and export of uranium, nuclear power and nuclear weapon proliferation. Members of the ALP that agree with Greens’ policy on this issue, should be thinking about quitting their party, and coming over to the green side of politics.” Mr Cohen said.


In addition, Mr Cohen made a statement in support of the Victorian Greens, who are under fire from the Victorian ALP on nuclear issues.


“We strongly support our Victorian counterparts’ amendments to the Bracks Government's bill* on nuclear prohibition.


“Greens amendments will mean that if there is to be a Victorian plebiscite on nuclear activities, Parliament will decide the question. Victorian ALP attacks on the Greens are a proliferation of nuclear lies”. Said Mr Cohen.


Further Information: Nic Clyde: 0417 742 754
 Ian Cohen: 0409 989 466



This Bill will trigger the calling of a plebiscite of Victorian voters if the Federal government takes various actions in support of a nuclear facility prohibited under the Nuclear Activities (Prohibitions) Act 1983


See also Victorian Hansard, Legislative Council from Wednesday 18 April 2007 http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/hansard


Declaration: This writer is principal of ecology action Australia as here with determined anti nuclear stance nuke free Oz. In mid 1998 we provided pro bono legal advice to over 100 arrested protecters at Jabiluka anti uranium mine protests in Kakadu world heritage area in the Northern Territory. (We had permission of the sitting magistrate not being a local legal practitioner.) We also created a legal database of another 300 arrestees.

Postscript #1: Good report of the State government's WA and Qld versus SAust on Fran Kelly Radio National this morning 24th April 07: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/

Posted by editor at 2:42 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 24 April 2007 10:38 AM NZT
Sunday, 22 April 2007
Sunday political talkies: Rudd gets a big smooch from Murdoch as coal kills Future
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: election Oz 2007



Picture: Doug Cameron leader of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) features in most of the Sunday political talky shows today. Here he displays his broad civil society credentials at their Granville office as ally and sponser of Information & Cultural Exchange (I C E ) resource centre for diverse communities, on the field trip recently 13th Apil 07 for a 4 day  international OurMedia conference. Cameron is a senate candidate still up for pre selection. The I C E is a real achievement that will do him alot of good in that contest.

We had a brief chance to ask him:

"Do you think you will get a ministry if and when the ALP win the federal election? "

Doug Cameron amused: “Oh I don’t think so, there are a lot of voices against that happening. Anyway that’s not why I am doing it. It’s to get a voice for these issues.” [from his speech these include oppressive globalisation, centralisation of media, excessive corporate bonuses, extreme industrial relations, denial of the real global warming threat, poor innovation here in Australia, quarry farm and tourist destination]

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.

Pictures: Frontage of News Ltd's Sydney office shown here, with News Ltd owner Rupert Murdoch and his capacity for influence peddling featuring in most of the Talky shows today. From top left to right: This blogster's camera mightier than the News Ltd snapper as we traded clicks and I let him have a good measure of verbal sledges like 'wage slave'. Their mop in turn was mighiest of all against me and my chalked slogan. This stunt creating a stir was on August 31st 2006 on the morning after John Brogden tried to self harm many blamed on News Ltd harrassment. The chalked message "ALL YE LIARS ENTER HERE" is pictured below in the Insiders section of today's Talkies write up.



Saturday media backgrounder:



The ABC prime time tv news said it all last night, and its covered here in the Sunday press as well:


When Rudd met Murdoch subject menu was secretThe sight of Kevin Rudd emerging from the News Corporation building next to Rupert Murdoch triggered a stream of questions on the other side of the globe.


It was all in the tv images: Side by side strolling, Murdoch is asked – would he make a good prime minister. Murdoch stating with a big grin perhaps flattered yet again “Oh, I’m sure”. In other words, it’s over for John Howard bar the voting later this year.


But it's just moving the global warming political deckchairs really: Marian Wilkinson of Fairfax yesterday (offline)  reported page 22 in  “Clearing the air of spin”


“Murdoch is now tipped to make a major announcement on his empire’s serious approach to climate change next month, when he is expected  to announce all of News Corp’s businesses will pursue efforts to cut their greenhouse gases. [Clive] Hamilton asks whether this will leave Murdoch’s flagship [and rival of the Herald] newspaper here, The Australian, out on a limb because of past coverage of climate skeptics.” Etc etc



Indeed Tim Blair, human rottweiler, has subtly changed his tune in the Daily Telegraph yesterday in " Earth: Love it to death" with a rev head true fiction style graphic (deceptively no label) with the Oxfam, Greenpeace, Earthhour etc logos which is a big moderation on his previously shrieking, while still dressed up in contempt and disdain. The shift for those looking carefully is not that its a stupid cause but a stupid way to help the cause. Just in case Old Rupert turns to a spot of weeding of the old payroll.



What TB (!), or should I call him “bairt” (top left corner page 17, echoing Bart from the Simpsons?), ignores is that every reform needs to front end a good communication strategy which a concert to reach our youth can help with.


But it's not just TB (!) who should “get real”. So should the whole Big Media sector, not least press gallery: Since when did Rudd as alternative PM have the right to secret meeting agendas about democracy with a foreign citizen media mogul. Just like he had a secret meeting with Dick Cheney VP of the USA. This is pure Big Govt/Big Media arrogance of a bipartisan flavour.


That’s a broken democracy ALP style, replacing broken democracy Coalition style, and no amount of food chain patronage will change the truth. It’s another big fix, moving the deck chairs.



Even Xstrata Coal know we are in big trouble with adverts p9 The Australian Careers Section for “Environment & Community Adviser/ Newlands Coal”. A chunky advert noting “ 30 coal mines located in Australia, South Africa and Columbia, employing 11,000 people …Queensland 8 mines New South Wales 14 mines South Africa 11 mines”



Notice too Wendy Frew Reserves to dry up as clean coal becomes viable - Environment ...


Based on current industry growth and production rates of about 3.2 per cent a year, the state's 10,600 million tonnes of coal reserves would be exhausted by 2042, according to calculations done for the Hunter Community Environment Centre in Newcastle.

Those figures, calculated by analyst Greg Hall using official resources figures, do not take into account faster production that may result from the expansion of coal-loading facilities at Newcastle.

"This revelation is based on widely available industry data and we are stunned that the [State] Government has ignored it," said a spokeswoman for the environment centre, Georgina Woods.”


News Ltd are going to go carbon neutral which totally contradicts both the fossil fool industry spin in The Australia, and the more realistic implication of Warren’s cartoon of Howard nonchalance as Sydney heads toward ecological drought and destruction.



The Labor/labour movement are synthesizing the very scary new ecological realities: “Dennis Glover: The vulnerable fear neglect in post-carbon era ...


” Dennis Glover, Labor speechwriter, Latrobe University  The Australian p14 20th April 2007



Meanwhile the body snatchers over at Radioactive Body Suits R Us report UK nuclear sites kept body parts | The World | The Australian That’s the nuke industry John Howard likes at Lucas Heights surrounded by a million Sydney siders held hostage to his hawkish Strangelove nuke weapon fantasies: Don't mention the bomb - Hugh White - Opinion - theage.com.au


So Howard’s team are desperate to shut down media profile of Rudd example on Sunrise Ch7. Notice this corker story hidden away p20 Confidential gossip column (always important to glance over):



“Revealed: the secret Liberal strategy to have Rudd fired”


“Senior members of the Liberal Party lobbied Seven network boss Kerry Stokes to remove Kevin Rudd from his slot on the Sunrise program well before the [so called] fake Anzac service fiasco, fearing the Opposition Leader had too much exposure.”



Says it all really, as does the huge poll lead to ‘Team Rudd’.





10 Meet the Press 8-8.30 am



Paul Bongiorno directs traffic. Transmission break all purple and weird for 3 or so minutes. Jump to tv via video machine. Unless it was aeroplane interference with loud flyover? Foreshadows Doug Cameron debate with ALP leader.



Topic de jour is IR. Play the advert by union big corporate bonuses versus worker rewards. Who do you believe.



Michael Chaney Business Council of Australia (brother of Fred Chaney, blue blood Liberal Party pedigree).



Panel is Steve Murrow (?)someone from Fairfax, and Maria Hawthorne from AAP.



Boring. Pre 2nd ad break very funny rubbery figures of Paul Keating sledging world cup via The Australian rubbery figures (link somewhere??).



Doug Cameron 2nd guest. [and refer my final report OurMedia conference question to Big Doug at AMWU office at Granville in Sydney 10 days back].



Is it just choreography Rudd and Cameron? Very diplomatic re Rudd a good leader of ALP, can be PM. Saying the right things. All about democracy gist. Also fillip to Greg Combet.



PB asks re free trade agreements are disastrous, argues for fair not just free. Singapore, America, bad economic policy, not a vision for the future.



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




7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary



Comperes Lisa and Andrew in dark dark suits which looks quite nice. Sounding a little forced.


Riley Diary – 'Politics of dancing' sledge on Ch9 morning tv rivals who poached Rudd talent. Good dig at obesity problem for doing a chocolate pizza tv stunt there.


Not quite as funny as usual, reviving after fearsome mugging methinks. But serious discussion over Murdoch nod last night. Riley waters down Rupert’s significance but I don’t buy it. MR reckons NSW election shows the press don’t tip elections “only a few votes”, but that’s 70% press reach cranking the electronic media too. They at Sunrise methinks know that their network 7 has just been mugged by the other Big Media who hate them after the C7 pay tv litigation. And the hate is sincere.


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



Sunday 9


Adam Shand does big feature on Islander big boys in Sydney culture.


Important interview with Laurie Oaks over uranium with Anthony Albanese, Shadow environment minister. Very dextrous advocate on the problematic area up to national conference. Refers to rejection of Bob Carr privatization of electricity assets [in 1997].


Well worth checking the transcript, strong


Face to face with Laurie and Ellen Fanning. Murdoch is significant re Rudd brown nosing. Oaks looking fitter with crease on his cheeks (only a bit, keep going Laurie, good stuff).


On ALP conference: Conference 5 months from election is risky. Got to look fair dinkum democratic stoush.


Horror of Virginnia Tech. Just awful. All those young hopeful lives destroyed. Heart breaking stuff. A nation that’s in shock and lost its way in the spiral of violence and fear that is gun culture, which transposes to the foreign policy culture now.





Insiders 2



Run the Murdoch smooch as above. ALP polling strong.


Joe Hockey, tied in knots on Anzac forced labour, Murdoch scary endorsement of Rudd. Hockey paddling furiously away from his friendship … to keep his own Liberal job. Says Garrett a protester on steroids is not dignified, (the same kind of line Mal Farr uses on Kerry Nettle in a shameless agist beat up last Monday given she is foreign policy delegation of workload for Green Party.)


Hockey refuses again to put the boot into Rudd, basic decency shows through versus Downer thuggish character attacks about so called Rudd vanity. Hockey might just lose his career at this rate but save his self respect Valder style. And that’s okay. Go to the back bench Joe. It’s a healthier place.


IR focus of every person segment, youngish adults. Pretty sophisticated, but mismatch jazz soundtrack. More like techno. NSW/Qld rugby types.


Panel Mal Farr (News Ltd ‘good cop’), Misha nee Schubert (Age?), Piers Akerman (News Ltd ‘bad cop’).


Paul Kelly soliloquy – on IR spat with Cameron, diversion.


Banter about Murdoch influence and control of opinion in their press. Bit of disingenuous squirming. Akerman sledges protesters outside his News Ltd offices in Sydney, including this writer:

Pictures: Morning after self harm episode by politician John Brogden after false reporting by News Ltd, chalking by this writer back in 2006.

Picture: Day of the Lancet report of estimated deaths from the Iraq war racist military adventurism.

Talking pics: Great Moir cartoon, but even greater Andrew Taylor picture of scary hands of Rudd.

Replayed at 11.10 am on radio PNN 630 AM band.

Home page is http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/


Postscript #1 Monday 23rd April 2007


Three articles are notable relating to the above traverse of the Sunday Talkies one bearing on the political gravity of climate change, the other two re the tectoic shift in political allegiances of the business sector, who surely have children too.


1. That sinking feeling - Environment - smh.com.au SunHerald (NSW, Fairfax 22nd April 2007) with this cutting quote by earnest, angsty Australian of the Year Tim Flannery, who I must say is going way up in this writer's estimations:


"The scientific evidence is undeniable. And sea-level rises inevitable. So why is no one interested in the plight of our nearest neighbours, asks Erin O'Dwyer.

Environmentalist Tim Flannery munches on a club sandwich in a suburban Sydney shopping mall and casually begins predicting Armageddon.

"Sometime in the next 30 years, we face significant destabilisation," he says.

"Rapidly rising sea levels, maybe up to six metres. And hundreds of millions of refugees, because there are whole cities going under."

Hang on a minute. Millions of refugees? Fleeing devastated homelands? I have asked Flannery to predict the world our grandchildren will inherit. I was expecting flood and famine, not social ruin.

"We've seen what happened after September 11," Flannery continues. "People bunker down and see enemies everywhere.

"It's a world full of nuclear weapons, so who is going to be the first to push the button? That tribalism, that breakdown of international law and order, is to me the greatest threat."

It's an awful, worst-case-scenario. But Flannery is not alone in his dire predictions. ..........

"So by developing protocols to pay people in third-world countries to grow forests and sequester carbon, we can solve the problem. And you'll get peace and prosperity in these villages as well."

Not content to sit back and synthesise the science, Flannery is an ideas man who wants to put forward ways of holding back Armageddon. Yet he laments the brick wall in Canberra that greets his work.

"Why can't we make those commonsense investments that give us a better future rather than this bullshit that we have at the moment?" Flannery says."  [bold added]

Picture: Ngo colleague from Voice in Bangladesh, Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, Executive Director of Voices for Interactive Choice & Empowerment, at recent Our Media conference. We briefed him on opportunities for solidarity work over global warming threatening literally tens of millions of people there.

2. Captains of industry warm to Labor's pitch for a change of government... from the Weekend Australian by seriously good business journo Glenda Korpraal, regarding 900 seats filled in a dinner this Thursday to hear Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd prefacing their annual conference. The implication is clear as to the future leadership of this country:

"I've never seen anything like it," ALP national secretary Tim Gartrell told The Australian last night.

"It's the best response we have had to a Labor leader from the business community in more than a decade.

"We've been swamped with registrations for the Business Observers Program, and the dinner is nearly sold out with a week to go."

3. Gas lobby misfires with minister | Business | The Australian by another seriously experienced probing journo Nigel Wilson on resources for at least 15 years now in the same business pages. It's a story about big profitable companies rent seeking big tax breaks for investment in greenhouse friendly natural gas and 'their' minister Ian Macfarlane going very cold after that, under pressure from Peter Costello. It looks to be ending in tears. Nigel Wilson writes of a draft joint industry govt strategy paper (with all the juicy tax breaks) prep for their annual conference as follows

"[Macfarlane's advisers] felt the publication in The Australian of the launch proposition [of the contentious still draft strategy] was an attempt by APPEA [gas lobby] to ambush the minister.

Macfarlane was scheduled to give a keynote address at the opening plenary session of the conference on Monday.

He demanded - and received - a meeting with APPEA's councillors (some of them the chief executives of oil and gas companies) before he gave his public address.

By all accounts his words were trenchant, accusing APPEA of disloyalty and of failing to recognise the success of his previous advocacy.

Interestingly, he also accused APPEA of failing to get sufficiently behind the federal Government's opposition to the West Australian Government's controversial gas reservations policy.

The councillors were stunned, with a number saying Macfarlane was clearly nervous and apparently rattled by the prospect of a Labor victory at the federal election. " [bold added]

It goes on like that about "miffed" industry figures, "worse than hissy fit" by the Minister,"much bridge building ahead" "paper over the cracks" "naive" "tax breaks" and "improving Australia's greenhouse record". Good story Nigel Wilson in The Australian.

Posted by editor at 10:49 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 23 April 2007 10:53 AM NZT
Friday, 20 April 2007
EngageMedia and Creative Commons better than YouTube for ngo sector
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: independent media

Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2007 1:59 PM

Subject: Re: Independence Square in one minute.

Hi Tom,


Excellent work.


Many thanks.




Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2007 1:53 PM

Subject: Re: Independence Square in one minute.

Thats' fine. I've linked it to the YouTube website .... It likely should also go on the News [Addison Rd web] page which I will do now too.


There may be a way to upload the movie to the ARC website but I don't know how at this time.


My other response for Jeff and ARC generally is that a better control of video creations is via video share websites like


associated in some way with Creative Commons licensing locally out of Queensland University Law School but also based in San Fransisco international office:


Australia - Creative Commons


I met Andrew Lowenthal of the local engagemedia mob last week at the OurMedia 4 day conference. A very impressive young 25 something bloke. He points out when YouTube sold for $1billion plus, the worker bees and artists got ... bugger all.

YT apparently get to 'own it' all effectively because you give all your control for that posting. That's what I call a successful model grabbing altruism and intellectual property (IP)  for private profit. The [Addison Rd Community Centre] is not really compatible with that model.


Also CCommons is not against profit taking, only that it goes to the art workers at their level of copyright.


The creative commons licensing framework is powerful because you can choose how little or much you want to share your thing - copy okay/not, attribute/not, entire/part, and many other combo and permutations. It is strong legally apparently and has stood up in some legal cases.


Thus endeth the lesson on IP in the new net shark pool.


Regards, Tom


 For Jeff Wood's impressive mini movie via YouTube see

Independence Square


Out door Chess, 4m square, all pieces are styled on Redcoates and Rebles of the wars of Independence 1775-83. The centre inscription reads the words of Thomas Jefferson - all men are created equal





Posted by editor at 10:37 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 20 April 2007 10:49 AM NZT
Thursday, 19 April 2007
Gandhi's 10 principles of nonviolence, not passive not weak, full of courage
Mood:  blue
Topic: peace

In the wake of the horrors in Iraq, and the home of aggressive gun culture there in the USA with resultant horror there, and somehow a psychic link in attitude between the two, it seems timely to recall these idealistic principles from a man with a strong message of active peace. We like the picture of Gandhi below who made his own clothes as a subversive act of independence.

Trouble sought him out: The Assassination of Gandhi, 1948 , just like John Lennon as well who sang the beautiful Imagine:

Gandhi's ten principles of nonviolence:

1. Humiliating or deliberately provoking your opponent invites violence.

2. Knowing your facts and arguments well helps avoid violence.

3. If you are open about your cause your opponent is less likely to be violent.

4. Look for common ground between you and your opponents to promote trust and understanding.

5. Do not judge others.

6. Trust your opponent. They will sense this trust.

7. Compromise on inessential items to promote resolution.

8. Sincerity helps convert your opponent.

9. By making personal sacrifice you show your sincerity.

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

We at SAM blog presume to add this: The next unexpected tense situation you find yourself in, try copying this prescription for group harmony and anonymously pinning it up somewhere it can be seen. You will be surprised by its effect as everyone who notices finds themselves automatically agreeing with its common sense, albeit idealistic and often unachievable in total.

In the process of so agreeing each person actually opens a door to tolerance and a new idea of how to relate to their protagnonists ... in the work place, the home, in politics or where ever. But notice Gandhi was not passive. He promoted peaceful confrontation of injustice.

In our world there are endless causes for peaceful confrontation especially in an environmentally unsustainable western world.

Click here for one of many web links on the life and teachings of nonviolence guru Gandhi, still with the power to profoundly change people and make life easier.

Picture: From the John Lennon tribute page link above  presumably from the end of the Vietnam War era taken in the USA somewhere.

Posted by editor at 10:42 AM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 19 April 2007 11:08 AM NZT
Wednesday, 18 April 2007
Methane not the only rotten gas from Goulburn mega tip
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: nsw govt

We notice the good intentions of the Sydney Morning Herald with its weekly Eco segment. We would given it echoes our subterranean campaign to promote “ecology action” in a horizontal and even invisible way.

But we almost choked to hear Jeff Angel, of the Total Environment Centre doing his best to get in front of the most recent wave of waste reduction publicity in response to these articles:


All power to the super dump's stench - Environment - smh.com.au 


Rubbish piles up as recycling falters  PLAN to tackle Sydney's rising tide of waste was bound to fail because the State Government was not doing nearly enough to reach its own targets, a critique of NSW's waste strategy says.

Our wasteful use of rubbish - Environment - smh.com.au

Rivers of gold in our recycling bins - National - smh.com.au

The message is good, and the principle is right in the Herald editorial today – we do need a change of attitude. But to get that we need a change in politics and therein is the rub.


None of this is new really. In fact you could say it’s recycled from the Waste Act 1996 targets of a 60% reduction at 1995 levels junked by a progressively browner Bob Carr, with his fat electoral margins, and from 1997 in concert apparently with his handmaidens in the NSW Green movement …. Dr Judy Messer and Jeff Angel.


Harsh but consider the flow of startling correspondence below.


The heroic aging so called "junior officer" Frank Miller, land holder, member of the Goulburn Greens local chapter of that political party, now retired and deaf as a post, had alot to say back in 2000. The measure of Miller is that he was a tank driver in the 2nd World War … for the Germans. I asked him once why did he come to Australia? He said after the war when he heard what his country had done to the Jews he no longer felt anything for his country anymore, and he left.


Frank Miller clashed with Dr Judy Messer of the NSW Nature Conservation Council badly over the conduct of a campaign against the Goulburn land fill. And also Jeff Angel.


This didn’t surprise me. I know a bit about the politics of waste. I was ex officio a co-director of the Waterloo incinerator once in my role in local government. A role I used to close the old monster in 1997. What readers need to understand about reform of waste policies over to natural capitalism of the resource is that its all about closing off escape hatches.


Unless you do that, it’s out of mind out of sight and the pollies don’t have to do anything on their watch. So not rebuilding the waterloo incinerator was crucial to front ending redesign of products, container deposits, composting, waste plans by industry etc etc A thousand progressive policies in fact to be pioneered by the new waste boards. Otherwise it would just be burnt in a big incinerator escape hatch, or some other escape hatch like ...a big hole in the ground fed by city trainloads of waste to Goulburn. Out of sight out of mind. No reason to front end new resource focused policies as per the Herald series of articles above.


But this is where Miller, a strong ally of the Friends of the Earth group and Churchill scholarship winner John Denlay, effectively implies Messer and perhaps Angel pre emptively buckled to their mates in the ALP led by Premier Carr back in 1999/2000. And the correspondence tends to bare this out which I’ve kept 7 years. The faded faxes, the musty leaves of paper.


Not that it should surprise anyone. TEC campaigners pre the Angel exclusive directorship of TEC were champions for rebuilding the Waterloo incincerator opposed by Greenpeace, locals, Green Party, FoE etc. I was the spanner in their works and there was no $40M rebuild, it was closed. Particularly recall one time a media release I had hand delivered to EPA chief Neil Shepherd's desk by his gopher literally while meeting the Mayor of Waverley to get him onside. The old guard really hated that.


After that victory in 1997 I even persuaded Angel now ascendant at TEC to write 29/10/98 to Mayor Pearce at Waverley congratulating him on closing off another escape hatch for waste being “insinkerators”, a ban that this former Greens Councillor promoted.


But when it came to the Goulburn mega tip that Carr needed to green light to avoid delivering real policy reform just like his failures on


- water recycling with the North Shore Sewerage Tunnel,

- native forest woodchipping at same or higher levels,

- public transport decay,

- renewable energy shoved aside by coal mining,


the tenor of the letters flying thick and fast from regionally based and well respected Frank Miller living near Braidwood shows the Nature Conservation Council in thrawl to the ALP and its agents.


And we well remember Frank Miller bitterly complaining he got no help from these Sydney peak green groups while he was our green movement represenative, and official party to proceedings battling the government in the Commission of Inquiry into the Goulburn mega tip. An inquiry the government simply sidestepped with another consultant’s report.


History repeats just as the Port Botany expansion Commission of Inquiry was ignored, and numerous Environment Court decisions over ruled by the government because they didn’t like the umpire’s decision, so they find another decision maker and look for some tame green garnish to add some ethical flavour.






The Manager

Investigative Unit/ICAC

191 Cleveland St.,



Re Woodlawn Megatip Proposal


Dear Sir/Madam,


On behalf of the NCC [Nature Conservation Council of NSW] Waste Crisis Network I submit the enclosed documentation for your scrutiny …obtained while being party to the Commission of Inquiry …Sydney Catchment Authority …reversed its original rejection in its Submission-in-Reply to a reluctant acquiescence of the siting of a ‘major waste facility’ in the Sydney drinking water catchment without solid foundation or substantive reasoning. SCA’s final acceptance breaches the mandate imposed upon it by SEPP 58 as well as by the ‘Sydney Water Catchment Management Act 1998’


…Sincerely, Frank Miller [signed]






I would like to inform you that the NCC wishes to disassociate itself from the intention of that attached letter


Dr Judy Messer

Chairperson [NCC]






Facsimile Message

TO Dr Judy Messer/ NCC Chair

FROM Frank Miller/Waste Crisis Network/FoE

DATE 15.6.2000

Subject WCN submission to ICAC


I shall not attend tomorrow’s meeting.

Your attempt to prevent an ICAC investigation into the highly suspect circumstance surrounding  the SCA’s reversal  … despicable intervention severily [sic] damages the NCC agenda.


Cc Jeff Angel ……Goulburn Post






6 July 2000 draft draft draft


An independent expert has been appointed to assess the need for major landfill sites for Sydney’s waste …independent consultant Mr Tony Wright ….





“Nature Conservation Council of NSW Inc

Media Release

7 July 2000

[NCC] today congratulated the Deputy Premier, and Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning on his decision to further question the need for, and appropriateness of Megatip proposals for Sydney’s Waste.


….Kathy Ridge

Frank Miller






TO Waste Crisis Networker Peter Hopper

FROM Frank Miller/FoE

DATE 7.7.00

SUBJECT Response to Dr Refshauge’s Media Release


FoE can see no reason to ‘rejoice’ in Dr. Refshauge’s announcement  “to assess the need for major landfill sites for Sydney’s waste [via ‘independendent’ consultant Tony Wright]” …. The recently released report, produced by the Alternative Waste Management Inquiry’, chaired by Mr. Tony Wright, does not display any independence of thinking as it is heavily waste industry-dominated ... does not respond to its terms of reference … Ecologically Sustainable Development. …


EPA and the regional Waste Boards have accumulated over the years extensive data …. The alarming signal given by Dr Refshauge’s announcement is that even after 5 years …this gov. can think of nothing more than to continue with well and truly obsolete Mega-tips, while in other parts of the world governments are beginning to accept that that is a dead-end road


[signed] FMiller FoE Waste Campaigner





TO Kathy Ridge

FROM Frank Miller

DATE 10.7.2000

SUBJECT Press release


Please, do no longer put my name and number under NCC press releases. I would not like to be put into the position of having to publicly disagree with anything stated in a NCC press release. The NCC press release on the latest ‘initiative’ by Minister Refshauge was totally unacceptable as far as I am concerned.


[Signed F Miller]”




[NSW Hansard] 52 Parliament …06/08/2000…Hon RSL Jones …





Is it a fact that the Nature Conservation Council has asked the ICAC to investigate the extraordinary about turn by the Sydney Catchment Authority in its vigorous opposition to the Woodlawn mega-tip? …


Does the Minister realise that if this proposal goes ahead that it will lead to the dumping in Sydney’s water catchment of up to 25 million tonnes of rotting putrescible waste, which in any case should be composted?


Will the minister investigate also what pressure was put on the Sydney Water Catchment and by whom? Was it the [EPA] … Collex?”




[NSW Hansard] 52 Parliament Woodlawn Megatip 08/29/2000


….The Minister for Environment … I am aware that a junior officer of the Nature Conservation Council’s  Waste Crisis Network wrote to the [ICAC] …Dr Judy Messer wrote to the ICAC on 14 June 2000. That letter stated ….










Your fax is offensive


I don’t care what you suspect, you obviously don’t know what is being said or what opportunity the interview or announcement offered. And there are a lot of other threats to drinking water quality besides Woodlawn.


Your attitude simply alienates you from the people who thought they were working with you.


Please don’t bother to contact us again.


[signature] Jeff Angel




The suggestion implied from all this correspondence is that the green movement 'leadership' including Jeff Angel in the press and radio today pre emptively buckled to the Goulburn Mega Tip escape hatch way of doing things over 7 years ago under the Carr Govt. That's not very much moral credibility for grandstanding on waste reduction today, so roll on the dominance of the geniunely independent Green Party when it comes to environmental policy and campaigning. A real attitude change as per the newspaper editorial today.


Postscript #1 Echo of the cynical situation above in NSW politics April 19th 2007 by Elizabeth Farrelly Knights of old only added fuel to the ire

Posted by editor at 2:26 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 19 April 2007 1:10 PM NZT
OurMedia final report #3: Inspiring, deep and daunting challenges ahead not least Ch31 in Sydney hierarchical model
Mood:  hug me
Topic: independent media

Picture: From top left to right all taken Day 4 at ICE - Information & Cultrual Exchange, Granville field trip1.computer lab called Switch 2. brave Hong Kong democracy activist Oiwan Lam 3. rap artists in the sound booth 4. rap or is it hip hop artist 5. Switch work area 6. Voices of the Nile presentation 7. Melodic song from local youth 8. Interview of traditional owner 9. Somali TV product from ICE 10. Senate candidate from AMWU Doug Cameron.

The morning after the 4 day Our Media conference by the local UWS and UTS I woke up to Geraldine Doogue on radio national here Saturday April 14th 07


08:35: Citizen Journalism  Read Transcript Interviewing Stuart Allan Professor of Media Studies, University of the West of England, and Tony Walker Manager, ABC, Digital Radio www.abcdigitalfutures.net


The OurMedia gathering is described in one notice like this:


The 6th international OURMedia Conference (OM6) is to be held in Sydney in 2007. The OM6 Conference will bring together international and national experts, researchers, policy makers, activists and local community development practitioners to discuss ways to ensure a sustainable future for building …The Sydney conference is to be hosted by the School of Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney in association with the Centre for Cultural Research at UWS, and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney, with community partner Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE), an organization based in Granville, Sydney.
Past OURMedia conferences have been organized in the United States (2001), Spain (2002), Colombia (2003), Brazil (2004) and India (2005). These conferences have consisted of scholarly and academic presentations, media activism initiatives, policy workshops, community cultural development roundtable debates, new media labs, research-led forums and engagements by local media producers.

Concurrent with this conference there were some related stories about new media apart from the Radio National interview above: We also noticed:

 Boy dupes YouTube to delete videos, and

The main website for organising the Sydney OurMedia conference is here: http://www.ourmedia07.net/


An organisational website is here http://www.ourmedianet.org/general/about_us.html


The Sydney April 2007 conference documentation website is here:



A good summary website describing the enormous social and intellectual capital of this‘network and forum’ including the recent April 07 Sydney conference (the sixth international meeting) is here (including a few pictures)




My own humble 2 previous articles of the Sydney conference with some colourful images complementing this third report are here: at topic independent media on the right menu


- Thursday, 12 April 2007

Our Media conference #2: excellent capacity building continues


- Wednesday, 11 April 2007

When will it be Our Media?: #1 report: Conference of international practitioners kicks off


SAM reported the Australian Climbing Festival on the Easter Weekend where hundreds were greeted by two of the local traditional Aboriginal owners of the land in a 'welcome to country'. The audience were very appreciative and enjoyed the interaction. But at OM6 sadly there was no such authentic interaction the first day though a local was booked apparently. There was the UTS 3/2005 copy of the Southside News which was very strong in solidarity with local Aboriginal concerns. But I wondered about the no show.


In report #1 I noted there was a dearth of local activism in the Guthrie Theatre on opening day with some empty seats. This changed especially by the 4th day and there were always strong hints of an underbelly of activism from this writers schematic chalkings, to poster boards and Chilean posters, to Zanny Begg/Keg De Souza’s activist newspaper “If You See Something, Say Something”. There was also a Polymedia lab for unplanned activities which was at first quiet then gathered some steam.


In the end I concluded the lack of rah rah activism belied the depth of the OurMedia roots. The energy of the event was reflected more in the dull roar of the morning and afternoon tea breaks, and especially the raucous 150 dinner goers at Thai Phatong on Thursday night. This was a gathering of representative experts including CAAMA Aboriginal broadcasters from central Australia. The wikipedia article above notes too:

“Some 70 participants from overseas attended the Sydney conference. OURMedia 6 claims … 130 presentations from people in 35 countries, representing over one hundred organisations.

Currently OURMedia/NUESTROSMedios claims to … a network of over 500 persons from some 50 countries globally. It says that its "purpose" is to "connect scholars, practitionres, activists, artists, and policy-makers to provide spaces for dialogue and exchange".

Certainly the local UWS/UTS website has an impressive list of universities and countries of attendees.

The toned down nature of the event was explained as much by this comment at the end of the 3rd day during the organisation session for next time: “funding for this conference meant deleting activist from every application and then reinserting it in the conference itself.” The horizontal and subterranean nature of OurMedia and it’s deceptively academic style is also revealed by the absence of any formal secretariat so far.

Apparently Clemencia Rodriguez distinguished with her own wikipedia entry did most of this for several years but admitted at one point she “hates writing grant applications and I avoid it as much as possible” . This rang true as she presented a paper on sophisticated culture jamming of a rampaging cattle industry in South America via the salsa song tradition. More here at www.cfsc.org and www.comminit.com  But this sparse resourcing has had other affects: Somewhat exuberant and panicky exhortations of Gabriele Hadl  for us to stay for the planning work of the next conference. Hadl of Austrian orgins and a fluent Japanese speaker at Tokyo University was a stand out dynamic figure at the conference and obviously committed to the network.

During this session, activist and increasingly media practitioner, Jethro Pettit, the descendant of a campaigning newspaper owning abolitionist against slavery, also made a plea that Our Media get some more solid resourcing of its network organisation.

Perhaps in this way the international community, alternative and Indigenous media might get more of what it deserves while Multinational corporations co opt mass populations sometimes subtely, often blatantly.

Pictures: From top left to right, all taken day 3 at UTS Harris St 1.The highly impressive Ahmed Swapan Mahmud of Bangladesh group Voice www.voicebd.org with conference organiser Dr Juan Salazar of UTS 2. Chalkings relating to Big Media abc, News Ltd, Lake Cowal issue 3.  Tom Dawkins of www.vibewire.net at youth forum 4. dull roar of out of session fug 5. cute organiser 6. heavy weight organisers from left a. Jethro Pettit b. ? c. Gabriele Hadl d. ? from Canada e. Clemencia Rodrigeuz (refer wikipedia) f.Juan Salazar g. Elli Rennie  h. Alfonso Gumucio (wikipedia) 7. at right Ilaria Vanni of UTS here  8. very sparse Liberian radio station

In Sydney for instance we have the scandal of the Ch31 TV licence failing to broadcast excellent programmes produced by the ICE resource centre at Granville. We have local academics criticising 31 for its “woeful lack of a participatory model” and Ch31 Melbourne veterans describing their comparative success based on

1. low financial gearing and high volume advertising to small business

2. only groups directly involved in production of tv programmes are stakeholders in the management and operation of the channel.

In fact we made a point of a doorstop interview of Professor Wayne McKenna, dean of Uni of Western Sydney on Tuesday 10th of April 07 which proceeded like this:

SAM: Hi Professor, I’m with one of the programme providers for Ch31, can you answer a question on the record?

Prof: No, You’re with a programme provider?’

 SAM: Yes,

Prof: Off the record [......some things said, nothing too surprising].‘

Prof: On the record, we never intended to operate community tv. Our interest is educational opportunities.

SAM : So you need a partner to satisfy the investment by UWS so far [at least a $million]

Prof: Our aim is to consolidate the future of Ch31.

SAM: I suppose theres is a great need in that part of the city out at UWS?

Prof: Yes. When I pushed for it to be in Penrith it wasn’t very popular.

SAM: Do you think it’s possible to synthesize the education/training agenda with the community sector practitioners participation?

Prof: Yes, let me choose my words carefully. Yes I do think its possible and we would like to strengthen links there.

SAM: OK on that positive note thanks for your time .

But the hopeful words are not the actual experience of the community sector that had a functioning, viable and accessible Ch31 for a good 10 years admittedly of patchy quality, until it was put out to tender and allocated to a UWS back consortium that prompty took it off air for 18 months. Now limping along it is rumoured to be falling over with UWS a beggar in the marketplace to save its educational asset that really belongs to civil society not university beancounters as such.

It was civil society we inspected on the 4th day of the conference (as pictured at top), who were the losers in this betrayal of participatory tv broadcasting ideals in favour of thinly disguised training subsidy to Big Media TV sector: In particular the community around such as the Information & Cultural Exchange resource centre on Parramatta Rd in Granville http://www.ice.org.au/

On the ground floor of the AMWU building we got a stirring speech on fair trade and innovation from Senate candidate Doug Cameron, whose union sponsers the centre:

We had a brief chance to ask him: "Do you think you will get a ministry if and when the ALP win the federal election? "

Doug Cameron amused: “Oh I don’t think so, there are a lot of voices against that happening. Anyway that’s not why I am doing it. It’s to get a voice for these issues.”

[from his speech such as oppressive globalisation, centralisation of media, excessive corporate bonuses, extreme industrial relations, denial of the real global warming threat, poor innovation here in Australia, quarry farm and tourist destination]

The more I thought about the last 4 days of meeting and learning the more I concluded that for this world to avoid a brutal endgame from global warming, or terrifying nuclear proliferation as per this story from the AFP on April 12th

Russians warn against US missile defence project | The World | The Australian

we at SAM think one of the few ways to save this world would be if the media sector reformed itself to actually serve the People rather than their own excessive privilege and finances and access to Big Politics and Big Business. And that is a very big if. In fact anthropologists tell us that every civilisation has crashed and burned for exceeding their limits. But you won’t hear that in the mainstream media. No one wants to buy depressing reality like that. 

Postscript #1 19th April 2007, notes this unsatisfactory foray to the UN Security Council by Britian on global warming here, including reference to Bangladesh and Maldives at major risk:

UN rebuff for Britain on global warming

Posted by editor at 12:03 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 20 April 2007 11:35 AM NZT
Tuesday, 17 April 2007
Self censoring Gerard Henderson a public intellectual fraud?
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: corporates

Picture: Right wing Gerard Henderson as per his profile on the govt broadcaster website here is guilty of self censoring over hate speech of fellow traveller Alan Jones (pictured below).

There he is again, the old slogger in the Fairfax Sydney Morning Herald today. It was John Howard's office in the old days, and before that slumming at meetings of the ultra right The H.R. Nicholls Society in the early 1990's in Melbourne along with union buster Peter Costello.

Yep it's Gerard Henderson with his usual impressive house of cards which reads all fine until you notice the grotesque self censorship.

What is it today? What glaring omission? What hopeless moral blindspot leveraging his Big Media and Big Politics access to literally mind fuck the population?

Well the clue is in the headline Hate in the name of free speech because, as Mark Day in the Media section of The Australian last Thursday April 12th notes (below) and the whole media sector except Henderson will say, conservative broadcaster Alan Jones is guilty as sin, as found by the national regulator, of promoting gang related racist violence:

ACMA links Alan Jones to Cronulla violence. 10/04/2007. ABC News ...

Jones broadcast incited violence: ACMA - Breaking News - National ...

Picture: Alan Jones, radio broadcaster for 2GB, image lifted from The Australian, famous for the white supremacist notion "Australians are one culture many races" which is convenient because it implicitly promotes the anglo English culture as "the one" given the traditional colonial domination of the place, not least the Aboriginal indigenous.

And here is Mark Day laying it out in The Media section of The Australian

There must be a reckoning for Jones's vitriol | Mark Day | The Media, in The Australian April 12th 2007 ...

"Jones faced eight allegations of inciting violence or vilification. He got off five and went down on three. He described Australians of Middle Eastern origin as "grubs" and laughed heartily at the suggestion that "if you shoot one, the rest will run", and got away with it.

ACMA decided it could not be said that "an ordinary reasonable listener would have regarded the program as likely to urge, prompt or stimulate a person to violent action, inspire or encourage violence by way of assistance or approval." But when Jones read an email from a listener, he ran into trouble.

"J has a good answer," Jones said. "He says police and the council are impotent here, all rhetoric and no action.

"My suggestion is to invite the biker gangs to be present at Cronulla railway station when these Lebanese thugs arrive - the biker gangs have been much maligned, but they do a lot of good things - it would be worth the price of admission to watch these cowards scurry back on to the train for the return trip to their lairs.

"Australians old and new should not have to put up with this scum."

ACMA found the suggestion to invite bikie gangs to intimidate Lebanese rail passengers gave the impression that people of Lebanese or Middle Eastern background were forming gangs intent on causing harm to "Australians". ACMA said it was "of the view that an ordinary reasonable listener would regard the endorsement of the biker gang invitation as likely to encourage violence".

The findings against Jones contribute to a litany of findings against 2GB by ACMA. "

[bold added]


But this 'hate in the name of free speech' by a Howard Govt ally Alan Jones is not mentioned once in today's column by Gerard Henderson in a one sided Muslim and Left baiting exercise. The Green Left Weekly gets parodied in the last column but not Alan Jones on his own side of politics. That's willful blindness or willful propagandising to omit Jones role in hate speech.

Indeed in a curious echo of this magical ability of the ultra Right to airbrush their own noxious speech when brought finally to account we notice top W Bush adviser Karl Rove has managed to lose 4 years of emails that would reveal his cynical tricks to a US Senate judiciary committee: White House embarrassed by missing Rove emails

Here is Mark Day again at his blog of April 12th re pressure on the national media regulator here to actually do something about race provocateurs like Jones:

"After the cash for comment inquiry found against him, Jones launched a ferocious counterattack, declaring he was right and the ABA was wrong. As a tactic, it worked, because there was no mass audience defection. There is therefore no surprise that Jones has tried the same trick in the wake of the vilification finding against him.

But ACMA under chairman Chris Chapman is a different kettle of fish. Chapman, a little more than a year into his job, has been hit with a heavy workload as a result of media reform legislation passed last yea, and has struggled to sort out some of the loose ends of the legislation. But he has shown a steely resolve to stick to the letter of the law, which now gives him wider options to deal with Jones or any other transgressor.

Jones and Singleton say they will refuse to accept negotiated enforceable undertakings to ensure there are no repeats of the station’s three judgments of vilification in the past four months. That may be a show of bravado, but it is also stupid because Chapman can simply impose licence conditions, a higher level of penalty. " The Australian Mark Day Blog

Indeed the omission by Henderson of this powerful tension and reality involving Jones is so grotesque given Henderson's own choice of topic about "hate" and "free speech" we feel there is adequate evidence to label him a public intellectual fraud and moral lightweight/spinnner. An industrious propagandist. 

There does seem to be alot of double talk going on at the moment about ethical behaviour in the Big and little Media. Take this hilarious cartoon (which is so true) again in The Australian over the Network 7 Sunrise alleged "fake dawn" which frankly looks like a political and industry beat up of a high rating rival, their enemies leveraging the show's name over a 4 am early tribute to meet their schedules on ANZAC day.

Aren't people allowed to do anything before the ANZAC dawn service in Howard's Australia? Is it some kind of Lenten abstinence thing? A Ramadan like fast? Are you allowed to brush your teeth before the Dawn Service? It's a pathetic beat up really:


Posted by editor at 12:00 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 19 April 2007 4:47 PM NZT
Monday, 16 April 2007
Marrickville Council barmy or Alex Mitchell boofy ignoramus?
Mood:  mischievious
Topic: human rights

What's the validity of Marrickville Council putting a ban on any local tenderer dealing with Myanmar aka Burma? Curious. Veteran journo Alex Mitchell calls it "barmy". But Big Alex is wrong on this one.

As said on 702 public radio the audience probably don't realise the large number of Vietnamese-Australian business people in this writer's home suburb of Marrickville who no doubt have financial dealings with South East Asia, not least their old homeland of Vietnam not that far from Burma.

Do you think these locals are concerned about human rights in Vietnam and Burma and all of South East Asia? You can bet your bottom dollar they are so its pretty smart local politics to put a symbolic ban on the shockingly cruel Burma. We well remember an excellent report by Ginni Stien on SBS Dateline about that country's weirdness. But is it just symbolic?

Could some local Vietnamese Australian businesses tender for almost anything (including the proverbial local council toilet block) and also have financially dealings with Burma?

It's not that far fetched. In fact it's a very real possibility unless you live in an anglo tinted society that just airbrushed all the local immigrants in this part of Sydney.

Alex Mitchell you goose. Your gratuitous sledge in the SunHerald yesterday 14th April 2007 (Fairfax) in your Naked Eye column is hopelessly misdirected. 

If you feel the same let this veteran journo know at his published email address at armitchell@sunherald.com.au

Posted by editor at 10:51 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 16 April 2007 12:50 PM NZT
Sunday, 15 April 2007
Irish uni graduates April 22nd deadline to keep voter franchise for their Senate (6 seats) in national govt
Mood:  bright
Topic: world

Picture: Historic Hill of Tara potentially impacted by a big motorway project in Ireland likely to be influenced by the makeup of the Irish Senate with 6 seats decided by Irish uni graduates, but they must register their correct address by April 22 2007.

This is the land of the Bold Fenian Men that we visited in 2002 on our travels including this fab area, the Kenmare Stone Circle

----- Original Message -----

From: Maireid Sullivan
To: ecology action Australia
Sent: Saturday, April 14, 2007 1:49 PM
Subject: Re: April 22 deadline: calling all/any Irish citizen uni grads here in Oz: national govt senate election franchise (6 seats)

You are a real champion! Tom!
Thank you!
I just found out that the NRA (the Irish National Road Authority) has been planning IN SECRET to do the same thing in my county - Cork - a freeway through the lovely river Lee valley!! It is not a sacred site, like the Hill of Tara, but my perspective is that the challenge to Tara is the big wake-op call for the Irish.
The Irish Greens plan to re-think the whole transport strategy if they get in this time, which means putting a stop to the developers, and, I am hoping, a serious revamp of the NRA.
Since I've started working on a a new documentary about Geonomics (henry George, et al) I understand what is going on. I was puzzled at the makeup of NRA, until NOW! Today, when I got the news about the 'leak' from Cork, I remembered reading about the people who make up the NRA. they are all developers and business people of one kind or another. And, "naturally" the idea is to build highways and then land prices go up!

Thanks for doing this! Awakening to what is happening in Ireland is the same as "awakening" to what is happening everywhere, I think.
I'm pushing everyone I know to download our info. handbill, and photocopy a batch to hand out at gigs and parties! - if not putting on gigs expressly for the cause.

ecology action australia wrote:

Know any Irish visitors/residents here (who just happen to be Irish uni graduates) who might need to read this before 22nd April to vote in their national Irish senate election?
How's that - a system that gives 6 senate seats to graduates of Irish universities. Now that's what I call respect for education.
Only 8 days away to register their change of address to keep their franchise alive in May or June election 2007.
It will affect their environment over there as described below. This is part of a global alert email project by Irish related networks
Yours truly, Tom McLoughlin ecology action sydney, www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog
PS - feel free to pass on to your Irish contacts here in Oz.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2007 6:07 PM
Subject: Hi Tom

Dear Tom,
How are you?
Did I send you the below post?
I need to get this out very quickly - deadline coming soon. 
Could you help out by sending it to your circle?
Hope you are well!

Anam Cara for TARA arts action Alert!
Action Deadline: 22 April, 2007
This "Art Action ALERT!" is reaching out to every citizen of Ireland, no matter where you may be in the world at the moment. 

I am sure among your friends and contacts you know quite a few graduates of the National University of Ireland (UCD, UCC, UCG, Maynooth, NCAD, the teacher and nursing training colleges, and a few others). As this is a postal ballot, graduates can vote no matter where in the world they live as long as they are registered. Many registered initially at their parents' address after they graduated, but have long since moved.

If any of these people changed their addresses on the electoral role their votes would be very helpful in the upcoming Irish Senate elections.  To do so, all they need to do is to send an email to records@nui.ie by the 22nd of April: with their name, year of graduation, degree, previous address of registration and current address, and their details will be changed in time to receive a ballot paper before the next election, which is expected in May or June, 2007.

Here is how the Irish Senate system works:
A General Election to Seanad Éireann (Irish Senate) must be held within 90 days of the dissolution of Dáil Éireann (the Irish government). Seanad Éireann is composed of 60 Members as follows:

11 nominated by the Taoiseach (Prime Minister)
43 elected by five panels representing vocational interests namely, Culture and Education, Agriculture, Labour, Industry and Commerce and Public Administration.
SIX (6) elected by the graduates of two universities: - three each by the National University of Ireland and the University of Dublin (Trinity College).

In theory, Seanad Éireann does not recognise party affiliations. However, as the electorate for the panels is made up of the Members of the incoming Dáil, the outgoing Seanad, county councils and county borough councils, the composition of Seanad Éireann, including the Taoiseach's nominees, will tend to reflect party strengths in Dáil Éireann.
The Constitution provides that not more than two Senators may be members of the Government and this provision has been exercised twice in the last 60 years.
Martin Hogan deserves the No. 1 vote.
Take a look for yourself. Read what Martin Hogan has to say on his website:
And, if you have a website, please link to his website too.
The more links to his site the more visibility he and the issues he is trying to highlight will have.
The following notes are taken from Martin Hogan's website:
Martin Hogan
Environmental Campaigns

A healthy environment is good for our community, business, and future generations. We have a duty of care to leave a world to our children and grandchildren that they can enjoy as we have enjoyed it.
There are many committed groups and individuals in Ireland and beyond dedicated to ensuring that at least some of the beauty of the world is preserved for our children.
On a national basis there are two issues which will have far reaching implications on Irish society depending on how the Government handles them. The first of these has focussed on the community of Rossport and the second is the Tara valley issue.

Ireland's Offshore Oil & Gas

The campaign of the Rossport community of West Mayo opposing the laying of a pipeline against their wishes and their desire to have the gas from the Corrib basin processed safely offshore has received much attention over the last two years.
This campaign captured the minds of the public when five local men served over 3 months in prison by refusing to commit to the court that they would stand idly by while an unsafe pipeline was laid near their homes and community. The handling of this campaign by the State highlights a number of disturbing issues. Primarily, that the concerns of the citizens of a village of this nation were completely ignored in an attempt by Shell and Statoil, backed by the Government, to bully a small community into submission.
The attitude seems to prevail on the part of many in the Government that Ireland is still some form of banana republic who should go cap in hand to any big company who wants to locate here and that any community or group who stands in the way of this must be dealt with harshly and quickly.
In many ways, Shell and Statoil (as the two largest shareholders in the Corrib basin consortium) have borne the brunt of a national campaign that has developed in support of the Rossport community. Although unquestionably heavy handed, Shell and Statoil acted in many ways as any oil companies would have done acting on the deal they were given.
The real blame for this mess lies with the Irish government. Between 1988 and 1992, Fianna Fáil ministers drew up a so called "deal" that gave oil companies the right to extract oil and gas from Irish territory without paying a single cent in royalties and, under a taxation incentive, that allows the companies to write off their entire production bill against tax liability. It is the most favourable deal ever negotiated for the oil and gas industry anywhere in the developed or developing world.
The Government has argued that this was done to ensure jobs and safeguard supplies, but there are only a handful of Irish jobs being created and the Government does not even have first option to buy our own gas, given away for free, at market value.
It was the resistance of the Rossport community that helped heighten awareness of this unbelievable give away that sees billions of Euro of gas (at a time of spiralling gas prices) go to foreign companies without any benefit to Ireland. It is particularly bitter as Statoil, which is 75% owned by the Norwegian people, contributed so much to the provision of the social and transport infrastructure of that country.
It is hard to believe that the terms of this "arrangement" are still in place, and the minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources gave away another massive gas field off the coast of Donegal as recently as last summer. This field holds billions of Euro worth of gas.
This situation has to be addressed, the concerns of the people of Rossport fully heard and the terms by which hydrocarbons are extracted from Irish territory renegotiated to give some revenue to the Irish state.

Hill of Tara

The Tara campaign is another example of incompetent government handling of an issue that simply would not have arisen in any of our western EU neighbours.
The Irish people are faced with the double frustration of having our most famous and significant historical site threatened while having the construction of a useful motorway further delayed.
Why was this situation allowed to occur in the first place? Despite the long delays and expense incurred as a result of challenges in the construction of motorways at Carrickmines and the Glen of the Downs, the government decided to route the M3 next to Tara knowing that the result would be a long and destructive legal battle for all concerned.
If the government adopted normal road building methodology first widely employed by the Roman Empire over 2,000 years ago in realising that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line I might understand their position. However, the proposed route for the M3 goes on a semicircular route from Dunshaughlin around the hill of Tara and back to follow a reasonably straight path again.
The question must be asked why is this? There are no large mountain ranges or Amazon type rivers in the Meath area that I am familiar with. Why when the M3 could be built 5 kms away form Tara, 3.5km shorter, over €50 million cheaper and with the possibility of linking Trim to the new road was this not done?
I wonder whose land the M3 passes through near Tara and who would receive large payments from the us taxpayers for purchasing this land?
Environmental campaigns such as these highlight the need to involve people in decisions that affect their lives and the need to move away from the government's bad planning in Ireland once and for all.
The issues facing both the Tara and Rossport campaigns are broadly similar in that they have to be expanded so that the public see them as directly affecting their lives and the lives of future generations rather than believing the spin and falsehoods that the Irish government constantly trot out about them.

We have until 22 April to contact all Irish graduates living abroad.
Please forward this "Art Action ALERT!" to all of your Irish networks.
Join the the Anam Cara for Tara "Arts Action" campaign!
Sigh the Petition! Write a Letter! Send an Email!
Make a donation! Plan an awareness or fund raising event and inform your networks!
All contact information is online here: 
You'll find the petition link, Irish government and media addresses, a sample letter, plus templates for a downloadable poster, flyer, and an information handbill - and we will customize posters for anyone who wants to use them - without charge.

In good faith!
Maireid Sullivan
Anam Cara for Tara is an initiative of the Global Arts Collective:

Posted by editor at 5:55 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 16 April 2007 7:30 AM NZT
SAM blog gets more heat from rival sneaking off to Melbourne IT domain name registry?
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: independent media
We have forwarded this recently to community media stakeholders for the sake of transparency: 
"To pre empt any legally ill conceived claims that the blog name we are using is not allowed at law or ethics I am taking the step of explaining why we chose this name

www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog or SAM as we refer to it in shorthand.

We arrived at our name via experience as a sometime media lawyer in NSW, and a year as a trade marks examiner in the Commonwealth Public Service, and 2 years as a corporate litigation lawyer, and 15 years as a community media practitioner.

"Sydney" because we are based here and do most of our work here, this word is public property

"alternative" because our blog is alternative not in the sense of sexuality but alternative to news missed by the Big Media, or critical of the Big Media/Big Govt, so it is genuinely different from other products. We also generate news stories. We say this is a word that belongs to the public and notice the uses in websites of others below.

"media" - again a commonly used word belonging to the public.
We set up the website when Sydney Independent Media went offline for about 2 months late 2006/2007. At the time we were working for Alternative Media Group in distribution, not writing or editing, and we got no complaints from either of them for the use of our name, and still haven't after 4 months but wonder if the owner of the AMG has evil intentions against us.

Is our blog name too similar, and thus confusing to the public as regards Sydney Indy/Independent Media website?

Well we say our use of the word "alternative" is sufficienlty different in the combination of words. Also we conduct ourselves to clearly indicate we are not part of the "official" indymedia network, though we like and support that global network. We transparently link over to their sites as a different thing. We have no complaints from their active network so far this last 4 months so we feel they are satisfied with this.

In fact we formed the sydneyalternativemedia blog because the Sydney Indy/Independent Media had gone offline for quite a few weeks and we needed an outlet for our stories to be published, first on Melbourne indymedia and then setting up our own website in the lead up to the NSW State election. In fact Melbourne indymedia didn't really want voluminous Sydney based election material which is fair enough.

Is our blog name too similar, and thus confusing to the public as regards Alternative Media Group (AMG)?

We say no. The word "Media" belongs to the whole sector, as indicated by Sydney Indy Media in the market place, and any number of other entities.

The word "group" is quite different being completely absent in our name.
Conversely we use "Sydney" which is absent from AMG name (perhaps because the owner is a US citizen who may not really identify with this locality as such but rather identifies with the 'alternative' inner city culture as in the pro gay press like Sydney Star Observer and is interested to compete with their revenue streams. We have an arguably much more mainstream (yet we trust tolerant) focus.
The "AMG" as they are commonly known do not publish news on their website at all, only newsprint titles City Hub, Sydney City News, The Bondi View, as per advertising rates on their sparse website here:

Alternative Media Group - Upgrade In Progress

So they are in a quite different segment of the media market. Further, we do not advertise being associated with and essentially a non profit ecology action sydney, a micro ngo foundation here at http://cpppcltrust.com/ecologyactionsydney .
Notice our Copy Left style of free use of any of our material and without attribution here:
Thursday, 15 February 2007
Our free copright policy
Mood:  happy
Topic: copyright - SAM

Our material is for open use and is meant to be borrowed, recycled and reused or indeed stolen. It's free, and no need for attribution either. It really is free, and that's the owner and editor speaking, Tom McLoughlin solicitor in NSW.

The trend in daily reads seems to be increasing with 300 hits on some days, and 3,700 per month up from 2,800. We continue to note our language and/or content turning up either as a direct or indirect echo or perhaps parallel evolution in some high profile columnist articles, some distinctly centre left, and on the right too. 

SAM won't embarrass them by mentioning who:. Anyway we are confident enough to say it shouldn't be embarrassing - with 2 university qualifications and 15 years of public interest ngo politics behind the editor with 8 months a tea total, and bubbling synapses as a consequence..

We notice this website in the market place also

Alternative Media Links

(Which is a Telstra big pond Australian website.)
(Which uses the publicly owned terms "media group")
We notice the term alternative media is a commonly used and publicly owned term as here

Alternative media is the only way forward - On Line Opinion - 11/4 ...

Rumours in the web based news media sector of AMG complaints to Melbourne IT registration of our domain name.
We hear in the market place rumours that the owner of the AMG Lawrence Gibbons has malice against us, and thus we anticipate a complaint against our 4 month old start up SAM website news service over our domain name. In fact we met with his group manager Chris Peken last Tuesday to swap materials and bring closure to the professonal relationship where even Peken was at pains to distinguish himself from the owner's bad attitude.
The owner Gibbons has threatened to denounce us as "unreliable" to the market place which we feel is a gross misdescription, and we published to explain the real situation. Last night we voluntarily took down those explanations on the internet having served their purpose of informing the market place for several weeks, and include the basis here for specific stakeholders.
We simply refer people to the legal advice (attached below) we provided to Gibbons in March 2007 showing why we were unable to do his distribution work for a particular issue of the City Hub which would have been an illegal contract, after which he sacked us as an independent contractor for future distribution work after 6 years.
There is no doubt the legal advice is damaging to the owner's professional reputation and we see an element of revenge in postures since this affair. There is no doubt the timing was unfortunate given it was the day of the Mardi Gras in Sydney the owner (and some others) were forced to do his own delivery work to prosecute a personal crusade.
In any case it is a relief because we mostly saw the distribution work as a public service obligation at very great opportunity cost professionally and politically this last 6 years.
We are quite busy and satisfied to move on with our SAM website and other community sector work but its seems there may be an attempt by AMG to sabotage our domain name. If true it only reinforces why we are very comfortable to move on from AMG in the first place.
We feel quite satisfied our blog name SAM or Sydney Alternative Media,  is sufficiently distinctive of both Sydney Indy Media or SIM or IMC web based news, and Alternative Media Group or AMG, and follows conventions in the market place of publicly owned phrases already in use by diverse trading or ngo organisations.
We don't believe there is any real risk of confusion in the market place but we do believe there is a very real risk of a vexatious complaint against us to cause chaos and self aggrandise or petty vindictiveness. None of these motives are compatable with growing or expanding the community media sector that we feel so committed to, as per our reports on our blog here:
Thursday, 12 April 2007
Mood:  amorous
Our Media conference #2: excellent capacity building continues

Topic: independent media
Wednesday, 11 April 2007
When will it be Our Media?: #1 report: Conference of international practitioners kicks off
Mood:  chatty
Topic: independent media
Tom McLoughlin, solicitor in nsw
Attached legal advice to AMG dated 3rd March 2007 "

Posted by editor at 2:53 PM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 15 April 2007 3:35 PM NZT

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