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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Thursday, 24 May 2007
Traditional owners serve eviction notice on Govt loggers, support for Gulaga this Sunday May 27
Mood:  special
Topic: nsw govt

 ATTENTION - BIG NEWS - An 'Eviction Notice' was served this morning on 'Forests NSW' by sixteen traditional land owners of the Yuin people. (More information soon -23-May-2007)

See Interview with traditional elder.

© Photo - Andrew Brown

Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 1:43 PM
Subject: [chipstop] Forest Stand for Gulaga.

Be at Central Tilba this Sunday  May 27 ­ for the  Forest Stand for Gulaga. This is a simple community style event which you can participate in. The Forest Stand is an opportunity for people to come from all over  and show their support peacefully next Sunday.  More info see:


Gulaga Mountain needs your help now. It is a special place with important meaning for the Aboriginal community. Its beautiful spotted gum forests are home to numerous threatened species.  Logging of Compartment 3046 of Bodalla Forest (Gulaga Mountain) started on  14 May. You can join the blockade on Punkalla Road, (north of Central Tilba) or help in other ways. Check the website for details.


Posted by editor at 7:11 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 24 May 2007 7:21 PM NZT
Is Paul Keating financially conflicted over ALP Port Botany expansion plans, still capt whacky or crazy like a fox?
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: nsw govt
The old slugger ex PM Paul Keating is back self justifying, distracting, drawing fire from a fraught IR story involving 'Mrs Rudd" ie Ms Therese Rein  (and worth remembering Peter Costello's wife ostensible conflict of interest working for a bank as wife of the Treasurer, with Peter Costello's strong rebuttal - she is an independent emancipated woman who runs her own affairs independent of her manbag - not really sufficient but quite plausible and he got away with bar one Stephen Mayne at crikey.com.au ).

Move Parliament to Sydney: Keating

Paul Keating CATHARINE MUNRO | Paul Keating believes Australia should abandon Canberra as the capital and move Parliament to Garden Island in Sydney.

Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 12:10 PM
Subject: Re: IPART inquiry

This report from Lynda Newnam [below] relates somehow to Paul Keating on 702 radio this morning more than I suspect people really know. Keating was on the shill for Westfield to shepherd through that retail monster at Bondi Junction which has even broken the back of the real estate values in Double Bay with empty shops and red balance sheets. This was 97-2000 or so. He kept that very quiet until it was locked in.
My intuition is he is doing Brereton and NSW ALP dirty work with his comments to Trioli 702 radio show today that shipping containers should all go to Botany Bay, and close down the Sydney working harbour concept as it has died of natural causes.
No talk about decentralising to Newcastle and Port Kembla. In fact Trioli pressed him on Botany people hating that congestion already and he either missed or deliberately misheard her comment, going the sledge on 1930's nostalgia in Port Jackson. That shows what an insulting wanker he really is. (He did over the forest protection lists dudding Faulkner in 1995 too.)
Keep a weather eye and probe on where Keating is located in relation to expansion planning consultant dollars for Port Botany and the ALP Right self interested trough.
And as for his idea of a moving the capital from Canberra to Sydney - two responses
1. probably drawing fire in the 12 hour news cycle as Mrs Rudd gets in a spot of bother and needs to time to choreograph a response on Work Directions company and shaky employment contracts in the IR debate. Not so serious but needed time to regroup would be my expectation there. Keating is good at that vaudeville distraction with his natural bog Irish blarney
2. In Chile they had to move the capital to Valparaiso after coup and counter protests, and the principle applies in every country - if the national parliament is in the major city then opportunistically any political force can raise say 1-200,000 protesters to seek a coup. That's why they all have to be away from the major population centres - to literally protect democracy from itself. Thus we have Washington, Ottawa, Valparaiso, Canberra etc.
And then you have all the other security issues like we are going to have with APEC. Keating sure is a cunning old bugger but more trouble than he is worth.
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 10:08 AM
Subject: IPART inquiry

Hi everyone,

This is probably our last inquiry on the Port and it is all about traffic management - road and rail - and efficiency of supply chains.  The document is short - around 60 pages - and easily browsed.  You can download it for telephone for a copy(details below).   You don't have to address all the questions just choose those that apply.  But I would  stress how important it is to make your voice heard.  There are few areas in the Botany Bay catchment that will be unaffected by the traffic generated by the port.  The current footprint can achieve 2.6million(Dept of Planning figures) to 4million + TEUS(stevedores figures).  If the footprint is increased we will be looking around 6million + TEUS (Corrigan was suggesting 7million at the Commission of Inquiry).

This inquiry and any publicity associated with it is the last hurrah.  In the coming months the Federal government will be making commitments to the inland Gladstone/Toowoomba to Melbourne rail line.  It will be our opportunity to argue that the billions to be spent in Sydney supporting an expansion of the port footprint is a very bad state planning decision that exacerbates congestion problems in Sydney while ignoring the opportunities presented along the inland line and elsewhere.

The Government wants a 3rd stevedore for the new terminal and this was the reason why the COI recommendation for(effectively) 2 smaller terminal expansions was overruled.  The 2 stevedores operating at present, DP world(ex P&O) and Toll(ex Patrick) do not want another stevedore.  The MUA does not want another stevedore - there is a threat of using chinese labourers on special visas.  The Queensland Government will be leasing 2 berths to a 3rd operator(HPH) in 2010/2011 and this was announced in April.  It could be that HPH is not interested in Sydney but it is very unlikely. 

The Government also wants 40% of TUES moved in and out of Port Botany to go by rail.  At present about 20% go by rail.  Experts in rail freight/supply chain say the 40% cannot be achieved.  The Government also wants to spread the hours of the trucking operators to  24/7.  Again experts say that it can't be done because most small operators(trucks and warehouses) cannot afford to do it.  The Brereton report recommends 'penalities' for truck operators moving during peak hours.  The stevedores, and you can read the details in the IPART paper, operate a scheduling system that the truck operators have complained about.  The government has a quarrel with both the stevedores and the truck operators.  The Truck operators have a quarrel with the stevedores.  So IPART is an opportunity for the government to 'bash' both parties by pitting them against each other. 

Nevertheless the terms of reference are broad enough for a full review of the supply chain and that is why it is so important for groups like us to be asking questions - individually and collectively.  We may not have the hard data but we can be assured that there have been no comprehensive studies done of the supply chain in Sydney.  The government(and Sydney Ports) have not been interested in planning beyond the big picture.  That picture includes large land releases in the south-west and north-west for residential and wharehousing (1million plus sq meters of wharehousing over the coming few years), major infill developments off the major arteries and around the port and inner west, and intermodals such as Moorebank, Enfield, Eastern Creek, Ingleburn, Menangle and Minto.  This is solid labour party planning to build up and increase labour electorates and perhaps channel rewards to supporting land developers.  We can ask questions about rail, about the effectiveness of developments based on assumptions that 24/7 can be achieved.  We can ask for hard evidence of how supply chains operate.  We can ask about the F6, ramps for the M1, the expansion of the M5, and the M4East.  The government may hold to a big picture but the devil is very much in the detail.

Please encourage everyone you know to read/scan the IPART document and respond.  At present the port moves 1.4million TEUS with 80% of those going by trucks.  Their long term vision includes larger trucks(super B doubles - on Prince Highway, Foreshore, King Georges, M5, December 2006) and treble the number - at least.  And it includes a trebling of freight trains, at least.  Don't be deceived by the 3.2million cap on TEUS.  In the IPART terms of reference they are already referring to 3.9million and given the evidence from the stevedores we should expect around 6million.  Sartor can lift the cap on TEUS with the stroke of a pen. The major competitor Port Melbourne is planning for 7million TEUS by 2035.

Any questions please email me at chairperson@botanybay.info


Lynda Newnam


Review of the interface between the land transport industries and the stevedores at Port Botany

Invitation for Submissions The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (the Tribunal) is assisting the NSW Government with a review of the interface between the land transport industries and the stevedores at Port Botany, under Section 9 of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal Act 1992. The volume of containers handled at Port Botany is growing rapidly, and truck congestion and road transport efficiency are causing concern to industry participants. The Tribunal will examine charges and access arrangements relating to the road vehicle booking system, rail access arrangements and other services provided by the stevedores, and will make recommendations on how the efficiency of the land side logistics chain could be improved.  As part of the review, the Tribunal has released an Issues. Paper and invites submissions from stakeholders and the general public. Submissions may be sent via portbotany@ipart.nsw.gov.au.

The Issues Paper is available from the Tribunal’s website at www.ipart.nsw.gov.au or can be obtained by phoning Betty Carter on (02) 9290 8483. Submissions should be made by 8 June 2007. Information regarding the process for lodging submissions and the Tribunal’s privacy policy may be obtained from the Tribunal’s website www.ipart.nsw.gov.au.

Inquiries should be directed to Dennis Mahoney on (02) 92908494 or portbotany@ipart.nsw.gov.au James P Cox, Chief Executive Officer and Full Time Member Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal PO Box Q290, QVB Post Office NSW 1230

Posted by editor at 2:05 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 24 May 2007 9:20 PM NZT
Road workers clash at Irish monument - Hill of Tara as election approaches 24 May
Mood:  loud
Topic: world


Picture Hill of Tara ancient Irish heritage threatened by road builder

SAM news website also received this from our Australian contact:

From: Maireid Sullivan
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 10:08 AM
Subject: vicious attack on M3 protesters near Hill of Tara

News just in!

On the 22nd of May 2007 saw the contractors forcing the double toll road through Tara Valley with a vengeance. After three days of blockade by the protestors at the gates of the machinery compounds that stopped the destruction work - things suddenly changed. A massive amount of machines and personnel began to push this unwanted road. The Campaign to Save Tara group stood in front of the diggers, blocked the gates and tried to stop this destruction of our culture by putting their bodies in the way of the machines. The protestors were attacked and beaten by the workers while the Gardaí looked on - this event lasted 12 hours.

The national election will be held 24 May.
This has become an election issue, since Sinn Féin, Labour and Greens have announced they will reroute the M3 freeway away from the Hill of Tara region.
Vote Save Tara Valley now!


For the GlobalArtsCollective.org
and the Anam Cara for Tara arts action campaign
We also notice this corroborating source at an Irish 'indymedia 'self publish site

What can you do to help Save Tara?

author by Con Connor - Ireland's Druidschoolpublication date Thu May 24, 2007 01:32Report this post to the editors

You can ring or email the Irish newspapers and tell them of your disgust at procedures at Tara. You can tell your friends and family to Vote Save Tara Valley in tomorrows general election. A detailed report on human and animal bones and teeth found on the ground in Tara Valley today and Irish newspaper contact details and the phone contact details of the Camapign to Save Tara can all be seen at - http://www.druidschool.com/site/1030100/page/913570 and a report called "Brutality at Tara" can be seen at http://www.druidschool.com/site/1030100/page/913321 I spoke with and stood with the Campaign to Save Tara at Collierstown today. Many of them are sore with bruises and cuts from the unprovoked violent attack by Irish workers of Howley Construction but their spirit is strong. More people are needed to stand with them at Collierstown to stop the toll road. Phone contact details in the links above
Please share this message with friends.


Related Link: http://www.druidschool.com/site/1030100/page/471039
More background here The Hill of Tara

By T.S. Kerrigan
'What's next, a shopping center connecting the Lakes of Killarney? A strip mall in Dingle? Unprincipled people seem to be in charge of Ireland's cultural future... .' Click
here to see the full article.
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 12:17 PM
Subject: The spirits on the Hill

The spirits on the Hill
Irish Independent
Tara plan 'an attack on medieval studies'
Tuesday May 22 2007

OF all the issues at stake in the general election campaign, the 
controversy over the M3 motorway and the Hill of Tara enjoys an almost 
unique consensus.
During last week's TV debate the Leader of the Opposition asked the 
Taoiseach what ever happened to the promised Airport Metro.
Mr Ahern cited objections from the public. You can't simply steamroll 
over the wishes of the people.
The M3 is a case in point. The historical and cultural significance of 
the area around the mystical hill was highlighted yesterday at a 
conference in TCD.
The big guns of academia rolled out to lend their support to the 
campaign to have the €850m road rerouted.
They made their case with glee, revelling in their medieval expertise. 
We would be the first generation in 5,000 years to deface Tara.
How could Enda Kenny expect to be crowned king if he didn't make a stand 
on this issue?
Three weeks ago, the Minister for Transport turned the first sod on the 
motorway, oblivious to the fact that his colleague, the Environment 
Minister, already knew that a large and ancient site lay directly in the 
path of the new road.
It was the first of several bizarre episodes in an extraordinary 
election campaign.
One could be forgiven for imagining ancient, mischievous influences at play.

Posted by editor at 1:30 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 24 May 2007 2:46 PM NZT
Strong Black voices reject NSW govt logging at Gulaga South Coast forest
Mood:  special
Topic: nsw govt

Picture: Guboo Ted Thomas was the patriach of the local Aboriginal People around Gulaga on the south coast of NSW and a strong opponent of logging and woodchipping on his land from at least the 1970ies. In one famous example he confronted a bulldozer on his own.

Received from Harriet Swift Coordinator of ChipStop today, bold added:

Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 9:28 AM
Subject: Re: [chipstop] Merrimans, trad owner, trad cust, white structure land council

Fortunately, the Merrimans statement has now been fairly effectively knocked on the head by a group of 17 recognised traditional owners led by Arthur Ridgeway who has been staying with us at the camp.
Arthur was spurred into action and made a very strong statement against the logging on the Tim Holt morning program yesterday. No transcript available
He also, incidentally gave us permission to enter the prohibited zone at the log dump on Monday morning. Not sure how that would stand up in court, but it was good enough for me!

At 06:36 PM 23/05/2007, ecology action australia wrote:

worth recalling some guidelines on protocols I've learned over the years regarding traditional owners of bush
- in relation to the Gulaga area the patriach now dead Guboo Ted Thomas was really anti logging and his memory is a powerful symbol against the woodchippers even if there is a shift to a new deal with the State Govt - which is what we are seeing here, some kind of political deal or slippage from Guboo's time at least. He told me personally I was "on the right track" opposing woodchipping of forests, and he opposed the pro logging factions in the Black community from best I can recall.
- my guess the logging is still likely against the traditional law of those Aboriginal People if the truth were told.
- sure its on the foothills and sure Noelene might not oppose it but if the traditional owners [as distinct from Land Council rep who could be from anywhere, or traditional custodian with status less than trad owner] say they want logging then I think they become part of the problem because we are part of a national problem and an international problem which is bigger than just this mob.
- then there is the impact of logging on their traditional land buggering up the water catchment of neighbouring property owners.
- then there is ecological science......

Yours truly, Tom McLoughlin

 Postscript #1 www.tilbalogging.com

ATTENTION - BIG NEWS - An 'Eviction Notice' was served this morning on 'Forests NSW' by sixteen traditional land owners of the Yuin people. (More information soon -23-May-2007)

See Interview with traditional elder.


Posted by editor at 12:42 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 24 May 2007 7:07 PM NZT
Wednesday, 23 May 2007
Green MP attends south coast logging protest, more arrests, Council alarmed, local media escalates, Blackwashing by Iemma Govt?
Mood:  special
Topic: nsw govt

We have received these reports from local environmentalists and various network lists of the protests all this week at Gulaga/Bodalla Forest, but at the outset we note 2 things for some context:

1. Australia has about 5% forest land cover, and before colonisation it was only about 10% anyway of a huge continent. That's not that much to squander. The logger lobby always drag it down to local district proportions to hide this broad national reality (see MP Constance below). These are figures from the key Resource Assessment Council large volume of reports of 1992 or so and it still holds;

2. Patriarch until his death recently, Aboriginal elder Guboo Ted Thomas of the Yuin Clan on the Gulaga south coast told this writer directly 7 years back we were "on the right track" opposing the loggers and woodchippers. He hated their industrial vandalism on his land. He blockaded a bulldozer on his own in the 1970ies. Now he is gone other Black leaders there are turning a blind eye but it doesn't make it right. I seriously doubt traditional Aboriginal law would stand for it, and there are many ways to make duress on local needy Black communities, sometimes with political bribes in other directions, sometimes with threats. In fact the white law 1983 Land Rights Act here cuts across Aboriginal traditional owners, as developers and loggers well know. It does this by having dispossessed, relocated Black folks onto non traditional lands given land assets with no ancestral ties quite willing to trade it away. You could even call it Black washing. We wonder if that's the case with one such report below.

Sent: Monday, May 21, 2007 6:57 PM

Subject: [chipstop] gulaga blockade

Another successful day at the blockade with a mass walk in to the logging compartment. Seven arrests with 6 of those refusing bail conditions, so they were taken to Batemans Bay and an immediate court appearance.
Two of these brave souls were also subject to the Mathie injunction.
Estimates of the number present were about 70, but it was very difficult to be sure with people coming and going all the time.
An enormous police presence (10 cars, a bus and police rescue from Sydney) enabled the first loaded trucks to go out. The 3 Mathie trucks were kept busy all day taking loads from about 300 logs stockpiled over the past week. Some were huge. A very sad sight.

CHIPSTOP campaign against woodchipping the south east and east gippsland forests PO Box 797 Bega NSW 2550 Australia 02 64923134 0414908997   http://www.chipstop.forests.org.au


Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2007 12:25 PM
Subject: [chipstop] loggers stopped at gulaga

Loggers were stopped this morning by a tripod cabled to their machines. Work was stopped for the whole morning until they brought in a cherry picker to remove a possum from the tripod.
The possum was unfortunately arrested.


3 South East Radio ABC radio news reports


Council stays on sidelines of forest dispute

Wednesday, 23 May 2007. 07:22 (AEST)Wednesday, 23 May 2007. 07:22 (ACST)Wednesday, 23 May 2007. 04:22 (AWST)

Eurobodalla Shire Council says it is not going to take sides in a far south coast forest dispute.

The council yesterday backed away from a recommendation that it call in police to move on protesters who are camping on council reserves near where controversial harvesting is under way in the Bodalla State Forest, near Tilba.

Councillors instead referred the matter to the general manager who they were told has statutory powers to prosecute people for illegal camping.

Mayor Neil Mumme says the New South Wales Government has a responsibility to review overdue Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs).

"The difficult thing for council is this is a State Government issue," he said.

"What did come out of the day was there was quite a lot of passion in the public gallery and I guess the message we sent to the State Government was 'for God's sake, review your RFAs', it's part of your obligations and you are supposed to do that.

"There was a call to cease the logging to those RFAs [they] have been reviewed.

"Pretty much we are sympathetic to both causes. It is like a dollar each way for the council."


Clashes continue over Bodalla forest logging

Tuesday, 22 May 2007. 12:50 (AEST)Tuesday, 22 May 2007. 12:50 (ACST)Tuesday, 22 May 2007. 09:50 (AWST)

Anti-logging protests and police have clashed in the latest disputed forest of the south-east of New South Wales.

Seven people were arrested this morning after they refused to observe police orders to leave the section of Bodalla forest, near Tilba.

They were taken to the Narooma police station and have been charged with refusing to leave a prohibited area.

Meanwhile, the Eurobodalla Greens councillor, Chris Kowal, has accused the State Forests department of using his council as a pawn to control logging protesters in the Bodalla forest.

He claims that State Forests is behind a recommendation to tomorrow's council meeting that would allow police to remove anyone camping on council reserves and roadsides.

Cr Kowal says the recommendation may have an unforseen impact on tourism and paints council as the bad guys, taking the heat off State Forests.

But Cr Kowal's claims have not impressed the local MP.

Andrew Constance says most of the protesters are from outside the local area.


Conservationists bark up wrong tree: claim

Tuesday, 22 May 2007. 12:48 (AEST)Tuesday, 22 May 2007. 12:48 (ACST)Tuesday, 22 May 2007. 09:48 (AWST)

There is a claim on the New South Wales far south coast that conservationists trying to stop logging of a forest near an important Aboriginal cultural site may be barking up the wrong tree.

Forests New South Wales has begun logging in the Bodalla forest, near the base of Guluga Mountain, which the State Government last year handed back to the traditional owners.

Up to 60 protesters have been trying to stop the logging, claiming sacred sites will be damaged.

But Noelene Leha, co-ordinator of the Merriman's Lands Council, has no problem with the harvesting.

"Gulaga is a mountain, they're not logging on the mountain," she said.

"They're logging on the sides of a road leading to the mountain."

Yesterday, seven protesters were arrested at the logging site.


Sent: Monday, May 21, 2007 11:46 AM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Greens MP at forest blockade calls for urgent reviewof logging in Bodalla State Forest

Media release - 21 May 2007
7 arrested at blockade in Bodalla State Forest, Greens move to expand national park

Speaking at the site of a forest protest in Southern NSW today, Greens Upper House MP Lee Rhiannon congratulated protestors at the community action this morning to halt logging in Compartment 3046 of the Bodalla State Forest. 

"Protestors should be congratulated for their actions this morning to halt logging in the Bodalla State Forest. I send a message of encouragement to the seven people who have just been arrested at the logging coup," said Ms Rhiannon. 

"In parliament next week, The Greens will move a motion to make Compartment 3046 part of the Gulaga National Park.

"The actions of the people arrested today highlight the feelings of outrage that the community feels over the logging of this beautiful forest.

"The Greens will also move for an urgent review of logging in the Bodalla State Forest.

"Under the Forestry and National Parks Estate Act, this review should have already been conducted. The NSW government is flouting its legal obligations.

"In the face of climate change and severe water shortages, the NSW government should move to save our iconic forests rather than turn a blind eye to deforestation.

"Compartment 3046 is part of the headwaters for Corunna Lake and the state of the two stream crossings through which the compartment traffic travels is appalling.

"The direct action today is a clear way to send a message to the NSW government that logging in this high conservation area must stop", said Ms Rhiannon.

For more information  Lee Rhiannon 92303551 or 0427861568

Posted by editor at 9:52 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2007 11:48 PM NZT
Tuesday, 22 May 2007
Missing rocket launchers still at large in lead up to APEC in Sydney?
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: legal


This is a press release we noticed today from the legal authorities posted on Melbourne Indy Media a few days ago relating to a high profile mainstream media report in early April 2007:


Further charges over stolen rocket launchers This is a joint Media Release between the AFP and NSW Police.

As a result this report from the Murdoch press around the same story


Bail refused over alleged rocket launcher theft | NEWS.com.au states:


"TWO Sydney men, including an Australian army captain, have been refused bail after being charged with the theft of 10 army rocket launchers.


.....Mr Collins said only one anti-tank rocket launcher has been recovered by police. He said extensive searches had been carried out in bushland for the missing seven weapons, but their whereabouts were unknown.


......Police said the missing rocket launchers had been taken into account in security preparations for the APEC summit in Sydney in September."


The individual posting on Melbourne Indy Media states there is no update on the police website and speculates that this means the "seven" rocket launchers are still at large.


We find this state of affairs very scary including for innocent peaceful protesters who might be at risk.


Postscript #1


In terms of national security credentials two significant political developments here are


1. the interview on the 7.30 Report last night with highly respected army veteran Mike Kelly now a federal ALP candidate complete with glowing reference from Iraq Provision Authority's Paul Bremmer, and role in criminal prosecution of Saddam Hussein:


 "'Incompetent leadership' drives military lawyer to politics


Australian military lawyer Colonel Mike Kelly, who has served in some of the world's most dangerous locations, says the country's "incompetent leadership" is what has driven him to enter politics as one of the Labor party's star recruits. "


; and


2. the PR battle of the Iraqi Govt VIP's with Downer and Nelson parading Iraq's foreign minister in the press here Iraqi minister fails to sway ALP on troops - National - smh.com.aubut hardly rebutting the savage condemnation of the Occupation incompetence by Iraq ex Finance and Defence Minister on SBS last Wednesday May 16th (reported on SAM last Sunday)

Posted by editor at 7:05 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2007 1:09 PM NZT
What happened to the 'playgirl princess and the spies that saved her' story?
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: big media

Mmm, looks like a juicy gossipy story in the middle section of the teasers top of page one yesterday. Only trouble is the story pointing readers to the "Worldwide" section just isn't there in the newspaper. We flicked through the pages 3 times in case we were missing something.

I would have bought the paper normally if I'd seen that teaser. As it is we missed ours yesterday and only saw it for free at the local Marrickville Library a day later.

What did that naughty princess and the spies get up to I do wonder.

Especially after watching the disturbing (last episode?) of Spooks last Friday night on ABC TV where two top spies in MI5 are the full stop to the show in the most harsh way possible in a twisted plot involving the death of Princess Di.

We rang the News Ltd news desk just now, publishers of The Australian ,was immediately transferred, it seemed knowingly, to the voice mail of "MaryEllen" for what job or advice we don't know. We declined a sweet invitation to leave a message. 

It may have happened before where an advertised story doesn't appear in a top line daily newspaper (just as headlines can be mis spelt, rarely). But we can't remember ever seeing it before.

Posted by editor at 2:10 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 22 May 2007 5:16 PM NZT
Terry Hicks skips Sunrise 7 this time, father of the year and community media champ
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: independent media

Jill Hickson, film maker of ARTV program provider to TVS Ch31 community tv tells us her team interviewed Terry Hicks in person last Sunday morning (20th May 2007) at their Addison Rd Centre office. It will be broadcast sometime in the next few weeks on Sunday night 11.30 pm (with repeats at obscure hours).

Terry Hicks is of course the father of alleged terrorist David Hicks recently, finally, mercifully, returned now to Oz: Adelaide Now

We say alleged because we take the view the USA military commission may have been justice or not, but it wasn't seen to be done from our vantage point. 5 years too long. Chucked out by the USA Supreme Court for dodgy process along the way to rise phoenix like. Bullied into a plea and denied British citizenship. We would have to wait for a High Court of Australia decision endorsing the conviction of the younger Hicks before joining the sheepish chorus of Big Media here re "convicted terrorist" which sounds to us like a PR figleaf for the federal govt. Thus we lawyers are the last resort for human rights in a democracy.

On the other hand as a Gandhi type person we don't approve of mercenaries or similar with a psychological disposition to military violence. Between the two lies the politics and law of this situation.

But Terry Hicks is the father, and what a father he has proven to be:

My Australian Father of the Year - Eureka Street 

The Adelaide Review [Issues] Father’s personal fight for human rights

Naturally a controversial choice like the Sydney Peace Prize this year for Hans Blix who effectively opposed the Iraq war in favour of ongoing inspections regime and evidence based approach: Sydney Peace Prize for blunt Blix - World - smh.com.au

But what impresses us at SAM micro news blog now is this startling anecdote from Jill Hickson to paraphrase (as we dug her garden pond yesterday with recycled bath tub):

'While we were doing [the interview] the call came through from Weekend Sunrise at channel 7. Terry told them he had to fly out by 12 midday. They said okay come in, we will put you with Alexander Downer. Trouble is says Terry to the Sunrise researcher I'm booked with community tv. '

[Consternation follows, relative merits and stature, audience size, scheduling, will Terry cancel in favour of Sunrise?].

'Producer for Sunrise rings back and said okay that's fine, respects Terry's decision to do community tv as promised and wants to keep the options open for the future.'

Our comment would be: This was a big call by Terry Hicks, and supremely ethical. The enthusiastic amateurs of ARTV volunteer team organised by pro Jill Hickson were all in place and ready to go. But Sunrise were a much higher profile opportunity. We understand Terry didn't even pause. "End of story" was his conclusion when it was clear the scheduling conflict was impossible to resolve.

The guy has real class. And perhaps he well understands that it's the community good will for his campaign for human rights for his son, right or wrong, which underpins the return of his son in the first place. Groups like  GetUp! - Action For Australia - www.getup.org.au, and many others also from left to moderate right wingers.

In that respect we think he is most likely correct which presumably why he gave this talk to Melbourne University Law School in April.

Declaration: We do legal checking each week pro bono for the ARTV show at 11.30pm Sunday nights Channel 31 Sydney. An ex girlfriend with more radical politics to this writer  became a determined supporter of the Bring David Hicks Home campaign, and congratulations too for this reward for all that hard work.

Postscript #1 May 22nd 2007 at 8 am - Leigh Sales, reporter over reaches

Leigh Sales has published a book presumably through Melbourne Uni Press  which Richard Ackland, legal writer has reviewed here: Detainee 002: the case of David Hicks - Book Reviews - Books ... We have always found Ms Sales very appealing personally but feel quite annoyed with her shaky presentation of the David Hicks situation in this final phase. Ackland is judicious with praise of her book but actually is damningly faint too around concerns of congenital blandness there at the ABC. That is (my words) inability to take a line for truth rather than political mediation of powerful opposing forces in Australian society (read Coalition v ALP). And Ackland is not alone. The reviewer in The Australian from memory (offline?) came a similar conclusion of, well, which side of a many sided situation are you on? Inevitably the answer is every side and no side.

That's not to say its not a highly competent 'flesh on the story' research effort by Sales, to paraphrase Ackland's tick for a media mate.

But here is the drum Leigh from a fan till now. That's no way to really live a life. Doors open and doors close. You have to take a stand for something.

And here is my deconstruction of  Leigh Sales: A marked man for the rest of his life | Opinion of May 21 we think has some howlers (she did a deal for The Australian to extract her book too):

First the headline by the sub editor  - quite vengeful and malicious. No rehab in a Murdoch press paradigm. That's nasty.

Second she compares him to Mamdouh Habib selling his story turned into a PR disaster - actually wrong. It polarised according to prejudice but got out real evidence of real torture endorsed by our oh so real nasty federal govt. In that sense he got to tell his truth and thus save his sanity.

Three, Sales just seems shallow and sort of apples versus oranges quoting the mars bar survivor after 40 days in the Himilayas savaged by the Big Media. (As we recall it was 60 Minutes who paid for the story and went the biff via Richard Carlton, based on the facts?). Sales says the media will turn on him if he sells his story in an exclusive.

Err sorry wrong again. These deals are done every day - its called commerce and the Big Media accept that business paradigm more than anyone built on the advertising industry. No malice is motivated by more than competition. He also has children and been accused of being a no hoper father. That would be highly inconsistent to be attacked for trying to make a living. In fact grotesquely cruel given the suffering he's been through.

Then there is the old chestnut of training with Al Qaeda - well in fact it was the Taliban pre WTC terrorism as we recall it. The oppressive govt of Afghanistan but the govt no less. But its amazing how AQ is available as a pre emptive smear these days regardless of actual evidence, or actual existence, the bogey in the geo politik cupboard.

Then quoting Max Markson, a PR grub if ever there was - remember the dodgy Sherie Blair fiasco with bugger all money actually going to charity: AM - Cherie Blair begins controversial tour of Australia

And Max almost certainly is a dedicated Zionist, while Hicks almost certainly a dedicated anti Zionist which is not in fact quite the same anti semite or bigot or racist: Not even Max Markson would deal with Hicks | Media | The Australian

Lastly we say  if David Hicks considers a life of ecological study as a zoologist in the outdoors in particular compared to 5 years in gaol, then its a good idea. Nature is a known healer like the Tasmanian forests for WW2 veterans in a very shaky state after that scarring experience. It is known as a good thing in this age of climate change which helps with public reputation. And in the best of worlds can be apolitical (though not in this writer's case). Last but not least the environment movement often functions as a redeemer such as developer bankrupts like Ian Kiernan, or corporate pigs who turn over a new leaf like the current head of WWF Australia Mr Bourne and no doubt a long line of others, even Rupert Murdoch showing some green tinges lately.

Posted by editor at 9:25 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2007 10:08 AM NZT
Monday, 21 May 2007
Corrupt compromise of the public revenue by Treasurer Costa with Priest affidavit?
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: nsw govt

Picture: NSW Treasurer Michael Costa gave a very helpful affidavit to a trenchant critic of the NSW Govt allegedly in the lead up to the NSW election. But why did he put the public revenue at risk with such evidence? 
----- Original Message -----
To: NSW Auditor Cc: Sylvia Hale MLC Greens Justice spokesperson, ICAC NSW, Greg Pearce Shadow Treasurer, Stateline NSW, Crikey.com.au editor, NSW Law Society, Mike Carlton SMH/2UE,
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2007 1:13 PM
Subject: Referral of Andrew Clennell expose SMH re Costa 'pre election affidavit' questions over compromise of public revenue

NSW Auditor
CC Shadow Treasurer Pearce, Sylvia Hale (Greens - justice portfolio)
By email - 21st May 2007
Dear Sir
SMH expose of Treasurer Costa pre election (2007) affidavit favouring litigant against the NSW Crown
We have had a telephone conversation earlier today with the journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald Andrew Clennell who has written 2 articles extracted in full below.
Significantly Clennell suggests in our conversation the affidavit praising Priest sworn by Minister Costa was prior to the 2007 election.
I am editor of a micro news website called www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog with expertise in the community media sector for at least 10 years, 2 years as a reader analyst with Media Monitors, and a solicitor in NSW. In 1990-91 I worked in the litigation section of Baker & McKenzie until moving into the ngo sector this last 15 years.
My understanding of the media coverage in the last 6 or even 12 months to the NSW State election is that Mr Tim Priest was conspicuously absent from the cut and thrust of election battle when prior to that he was a very notable figure in the politics of this state around law and order issues. This impact was in particular as a result of substantial media support from Alan Jones at 2GB and his article in the conservative Quadrant magazine here of January 2004
The Rise of Middle Eastern Crime in Australia - Tim Priest ...
Although this article has been substantially attacked for being a blend rather a precise account of criminal events in my view the facts asserted by Priest have never been convincingly rebutted outright, though certainly weakened in terms of credibility. Nevertheless after the Cronullal riot in late 2005 there was a clear political strategy of the Debnam led Coalition to further exploit Priest's claims and witness as per this ethnicly charged report Alan Jones: I'm the person that's led this charge - National ...
Based on our legal experience now rather than political and media analysis we raise this critical question for the protection of the public revenue and legal integrity of the administration of justice in NSW: In my experience whenever a public servant including a minister like Michael Costa has competing legal or moral obligations regarding court evidence inevitably the evidence is provided by way of subpoena rather than voluntary affidavit.
We say if Costa was in agreement with Priest's legal claim, a friend or felt a moral obligation to support Priest for whatever reason he had a clear conflict of interest as a member of Cabinet to withhold any such affidavit until he was compelled by legal process. He indeed could have advised Priest's legal team to seek a subpoena to avoid his conflict of interest and indeed duty to protect the public revenue as much as was reasonable.
We are deeply concerned to know without knowing either way whether or not Mnister Costa may have offered an inducement to Priest to self censor any role in the NSW election period in order to obtain a favourable affidavit of evidence enabling a substantial payout to satisfy the $2.5M claim by Priest. For instance it would be our expectation that professional politicians at that level would well know the political equation involved as we have outlined above and that taking Priest out of the debate would be a political coup for the ALP government under very great pressure in their 4th re election contest since 1995, with a Premier virtually forced to retire in mid 2005.
In particular we note this revealing article by Mike Carlton quoting "police sources" last Saturday 19th May 2007
Let me tell you about the copper and the deal done - Opinion - smh ... .
We have added bold in these quotes:
"As Andrew Clennell reported in the Herald on Wednesday, "the affidavit is understood to contain words to the effect that Mr Priest could have made the senior ranks of the police service, such as assistant commissioner or deputy commissioner, had he not been sidelined after a stint at Cabramatta".

My police contacts say this is not a view widely shared at the higher levels of the force. But Costa's lunging intervention was enough. The police minister in office before the election, John Watkins, was advised by Commissioner Moroney and legal counsel to settle the action.

"There was a risk of greater cost to the taxpayer if this case continued," Watkins told me on 2UE on Tuesday. Claiming the matter was confidential, he refused to reveal how much had been paid out. But if Priest and his wife got even half the amount they were demanding, which seems at least possible, we are talking seven figures.

Whatever the worth of Costa's opinion, the truly startling thing is that a Government minister - the Treasurer, in charge of the taxpayers' money, for heaven's sake - should take sides with a claimant suing for a fat chunk of that money. It is, quite simply, bizarre."

We say it appears more than bizarre. It appears as a wild departure from the usual role of evidence by subpoena, instead an affidavit pre election. Putting this with the conspicuous silence of Tim Priest during the election period and we say res ipsa loquitur - the matter speaks for itself.

Please advise whether this course of conduct by Treasurer Costa has in fact wasted substantial public revenue for failing to adequately support the legal defence to the Priest legal claim.

We are similarly copying this correspondence to ICAC in order for them to inform themselves and consider whether this matter deserves investigation in case it involves improper political reasons for settling the legal action to avoid political criticism during the sensitive election period, as described above. Suffice to say we believe it does look that way on the information in the public domain.

Yours truly

Tom McLoughlin, editor www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog


Costa's affidavit help for Priest - National - smh.com.au
Andrew Clennell State Political Editor
May 16, 2007

THE NSW Treasurer, Michael Costa, wrote an affidavit on behalf of the disgruntled former police officer Tim Priest that could have led to higher damages being paid by the taxpayer in a Supreme Court action Mr Priest was taking against the Government.

The affidavit is understood to contain words to the effect that Mr Priest could have made the senior ranks of the police service, such as assistant commissioner or deputy commissioner, had he not been sidelined after a stint at Cabramatta.

The Government settled its case with Mr Priest on April 13 for an undisclosed sum. Mr Priest had been suing the police service for more than $2.5 million for "psychiatric injury", breach of contract and negligence.

The Herald learnt yesterday that the Government settled a separate action with Mr Priest's wife, Karen, the same day. There is speculation Mr Priest's settlement was as much as $1 million, based on past legal advice to the Government.

Mr Costa's office said yesterday the Treasurer had written an affidavit supporting Mr Priest's case.

Mr Costa's spokesman, Mat Jones, denied the affidavit had called Mr Priest a potential "future commissioner".

Asked if the document had talked about Mr Priest having had an opportunity to reach the top of the police hierarchy, Mr Jones said Mr Costa had no further comment.

The document reached the Crown Solicitor's office and NSW police legal services but it is unknown whether it reached the Supreme Court, where hearings were still some way off when the settlement was made.

The shadow treasurer, Greg Pearce, raised concerns last night about Mr Costa's actions. "I believe Tim Priest was poorly treated, but it's entirely inappropriate for Costa, as the Treasurer, to intervene in this way," he said.

The former police minister John Watkins, who approved the settlement with Mr Priest, said yesterday he did so after a recommendation from the Police Commissioner, Ken Moroney, and senior counsel that settling would save money.

"There was a risk of greater cost to the taxpayer if this case continued," he told 2UE.

However, Mr Costa, who as police minister in 2001 befriended Mr Priest and employed him as a consultant in his office, is believed to have pushed for the settlement.

Mr Watkins denied the settlement had anything to do with secret police documents on an operation known as Operation Retz that Mr Priest's legal team had been seeking.



Costa's whistleblower mate wins damages

Andrew Clennell State Political Editor
May 13, 2007

THE Iemma Government has paid out the controversial whistleblower and former policeman Tim Priest, who had claimed more than $2.5 million damages from the police service for "psychiatric injury" and a breach of contract.

It is believed the settlement follows a push on Mr Priest's behalf by the Treasurer and former police minister, Michael Costa, who befriended Mr Priest during controversy over crime in Cabramatta in 2001-02 and employed him as a consultant during that period. The office of the Police Minister, David Campbell, confirmed NSW Police Force settled with Mr Priest in early April, just after the election, but refused to say how much it had paid the disgruntled former officer.

Mr Priest repeatedly hung up on the Herald when it called him about the settlement.

Mr Costa, who would not comment yesterday, befriended Mr Priest after being introduced to him by the broadcaster Alan Jones in 2001. This followed Mr Priest's allegations to a parliamentary inquiry about the police handling of drug and gang crime in Cabramatta. The former police minister Paul Whelan and former police commissioner Peter Ryan lost their jobs in the wake of the Cabramatta affair. Mr Costa employed Mr Priest as an adviser on gangs for a time.

Mr Priest was suing the state of NSW, claiming psychiatric injury and alleging negligence and breach of contract concerning his service as an officer at Cabramatta.

The former detective came to prominence as a disaffected officer stationed at Cabramatta in 2001 when he accused his superiors before the parliamentary inquiry of ``criminal neglect'' in the handling of drug- and gang-related crime.

Last year he backed the claims of the then Opposition leader, Peter Debnam, that the Government was soft on gangs in western Sydney and confirmed he had spoken to the Liberal Party about standing for it in the March state election.

Settlement of the matter follows demands from the Supreme Court, after an application by Mr Priest, for internal police documents that the police force was keen not to release.

Settlement of the matter follows demands from the Supreme Court, after an application by Mr Priest, for internal police documents that the police force was keen not to release on Operation Retz - an investigation which led to the sacking of former assistant commissioner Lola Scott in 2002. It is believed that there is some potentially embarrassing information in the documents.

Mr Priest's case had been some way from being heard, with the ``discovery'' of documents still being worked out when the decision was made to settle, a police spokesman said.  Mr Priest's case was handled by Crown solicitors and the police legal services branch.

Mr Priest told a federal parliamentary committee in October 2002  that the office of Mr Costa had helped him receive some payment from the police service and a police pension.

``I was invalidated, medically retired from the police,'' Mr Priest said.

``Only recently I had been denied any compensation from the NSW Police but, owing to the interference and the persistence of Police Minister Michael Costa's office, that was set right.

'`I have received a lump payment and I am on a police pension of about $1100 a fortnight at the moment.'' The pension payments are believed to have been discontinued upon settlement.

Posted by editor at 3:15 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 21 May 2007 3:29 PM NZT
Do the math - 5 metre sea rise in 90 years on a non linear ice shelf collapse
Mood:  lazy
Topic: globalWarming

Picture: Quoting USA Today 12th May 2007 "   Iceberg B-15A, which broke off in March 2000, sits at a right angle to C-19, which broke away from the Ross Ice Shelf last last week."

Sent: Monday, May 21, 2007 10:28 AM

Subject: do the math on NASA's Dr Hansen advice of 5 METRE sea rise in 90 years with non linear ice shelf collapse

(Just another reason to stop forest destruction and land clearing of natural carbon store.)
Regarding your State of the Planet last week, I took the trouble to follow the links to quality Grist news site with Dr James Hansen NASA, (also carry a one to one interview with Rupert Murdoch). Hansen references his recent scientific paper that a more likely scenario than the IPCC predictions on minor sea level rise goes like this (be afraid, very afraid): 15 May 2007  An interview with renowned climate scientist James Hansen |  

 "I've actually written a paper and submitted it called "Scientific Reticence and Sea Level Rise" [PDF], because it just seemed to me that there was a gap between what scientists really thought and what was in the public knowledge in regards to ice sheet stability and sea level rise."

at the pdf  [bold added] dated 23rd March 2007

"Under BAU forcing in the 21st century, sea level rise undoubtedly will be dominated by a third term (3) ice sheet disintegration. This third term was small until the past few years, but it is has at least doubled in the past decade and is now close to 1 mm/year, based on gravity satellite measurements discussed above. As a quantitative example, let us say that the ice sheet contribution is 1 cm for the decade 2005-2015 and that it doubles each decade until the West Antarctic ice sheet is largely depleted.


That time constant yields sea level rise of the order of 5 m this century. Of course I can not prove that my choice of a 10 year doubling time for non-linear response is accurate, but I am confident that it provides a far better estimate than a linear response for the ice sheet component of sea level rise."

Dr James Hansen NASA.


Last weekend one of the commercial tv channels in Sydney reported footage of another ice huge like 200 sq km block falling into the Arctic sea: USATODAY.com - 124-mile-long iceberg breaks off Antarctica May 12th 2007


So do the maths - 1mm a year, 1cm in 10 yrs, 2cm in 20yrs, 4cm in 30yrs, 8cm in 40 yrs, 16cm in 50 yrs, 32cm in 60 yrs, 64cm in 70yrs, 1.28m in 80yrs, 2.56m in 90yrs. Total sea rise - 5.11 metres by 2100. Exponential rate of change is like that - very unforgiving.


Tom McLoughlin, editor www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog


Posted by editor at 12:30 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 21 May 2007 2:12 PM NZT

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