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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Sunday, 27 May 2007
Sunday political talkies: ALP families reach for their better selves in Rein company sell off
Mood:  chatty
Topic: election Oz 2007



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.





Media backgrounder:



ALP know how important this election is and are reaching for their better selves.



Front pages all about Therese Rein IR history, issue management. Said the right words – going to do the right thing for the country and for husband aspiring PM Kevin Rudd. As such any victory for ALP will always be in part due to her avoiding future conflicts of interest. Ita Buttrose on ACA or TT (?) she is the perfect capitalist wife for an ALP leader. Fascinating backgrounder from Amanda Gomes as then BRW journo that her dad was a paraplegic war veteran thus she specialized in work placements for so called intractable cases: Reported in Crikey.com.au It'll take more than a chat to sway Ms Rein Friday, 25 May 2007

Another subtext about all this is Treasurer Costello's wife Tanya was a high flyer with ANZ bank on a "6 figure wage" and refused to acknowledge any conflict of interest, when obviously there was a real perception of potential conflict if not actuality:  Why won't pollies or regulators move on the bank cartel? Tuesday, 28 February 2006 [Is that repeat entry on their database or new story at Wednesday, 1 March 2006?]

 Is this one mentioning Tanya Costello? Was there any legal duress on Crikey to delete the story? Do a search on crikey.com.au and you can't find the original story about Tanya Costello at ANZ. Mmmm Banks gouging millions on penalty fees -- but is it legal? Thursday, 22 February 2007. And not just Costello: Forget-Santo-what-about-the-PMs-conflict. Excellent work by crikey there and Mayne in particular.

And notice this from Kim Beazley at a doorstop 3rd August 2006:


"JOURNALIST: Tanya Costello, apparently, has been given a top job at the ANZ bank by friends of the Costello family. Do you think it’s appropriate?

BEAZLEY: I’ve been in politics for a very long time and the families of politicians bear tremendous burdens. I make life extremely difficult for my kids and my spouse as time goes by so I am always very, very cautious to make judgments. But we’ll take a look that. We’ll take a look at the circumstances but we’d want to know a fair bit more about the circumstances before we rushed to judgement."


Our other impressions: The whole affair will bolster Rudd’s standing with business no end. There will be niggling issues of whether it’s a confession of guilt. Kerry Obrien/Glen Milne target the 45c tradeoff for award conditions per hour is the hammer blow causing the sell down. The old story how rich people get rich. Syd Sunday Teleg muck rakes with 64 year old ‘sergeant major’ type, and 23 year old whiner. Pretty thin stuff. Also that she is decisive when the time comes, and does listen. Still involved in international business side of things.



That’s why her apology is warranted Kev so let her just make it, for being too good a business woman, a metaphor for our society being too good at profit and thus destroying our ecological limits ….that the ALP is doing better on in terms of rhetoric at least as per PG below.



Which brings us to evil blairt aka Tim Blair – virtually accusing anyone concerned about weather as ignoring terrorism as an issue. It’s a “child’s view” of history to quote Paul Kelly on the 1967 referendum in the news everywhere today. One other evil child being Anita Quigley’s pouting petulance about carbon tax on airtravel. Quite logical – just shows how she can’t even get market measures in her own paradigm. To evidence the point notice who the so called  terrorist deniers are – Ian Thorpe doing a Foxtel promo in the same Telegraph sister Sunday paper. The whole ALP who support the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban. Tony Blair who is as loud in Iraq as Climate Change.



It’s all “Freudian displacement” says Blairt. To realize how child like he is – consider we revere NASA for sending the first man to the moon. And Dr James Hansen the world leading expert warning us of 5m sea rise potential in 90 years is from …. NASA. As Al Gore says, listen to the doctor or die denying a problem.



That’s what I call a bad case of denial.



The last two weeks have been full of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership promoted by Bush-Howard hawks, with diverse variants of the expanded sector including missile defence which leads to escalated weaponry of Iran, China, NKorea, which leads to nuclear weapons deterrent on Australian, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea soil. Great revenue for the nuclear industry at the expense of an apocalyptic nuclear weapons exchange.



The end of the world, no less.



As to sorry day one cannot go past this movie Australian Atomic Confessions made with funding from the NSW Film and Television office by our Friend Greg Young and others in 2005 how Blacks were effectively murdered to do nuke weapons tests in the 1950ies in Australia under the Australian Government of Robert Menzies Liberal Party. [Declaration - we donated Greg Young's airfaire to a film festival screening in Taiwan in 2006 partially re imbursed by the festival organisers.]


Similarly we noticed the so called diplomacy by Rio Tinto this last week to get at Jabiluka uranium after repudiation across the board in 1998. But what they maybe don't realise is they can't bring Yvonne Margarula's dead brother back to life killed in a mining town by ultra violence.


White vices in a miniing culture and Aboriginal society don't mix very well is the point. [Declaration legal adviser to protester camp in 1998.]



10 Meet the Press 8-8.30 am



Deborah Rice looking as gorgeous and smart as usual.



 Peter Garrett – lead singer follows the lyrics written elsewhere by someone else. Ipsos McKay polls of 1000, 45% undecided who best on Climate Change (CC), with 35 leading 20 ALP v Coalition. 24%, 25% v important or important.



Sounding like an Opposition v Coalition on CC but more importantly v Greens.



Footage of Tuckey about late leadership changes. Panel of Steve Lewis Australian deep conservative, but presses quite effectively on lack of target with alp by 2020. Garrett negative carping on Coalition re tests of carbon trading.



Alison Carabine (r) of 2UE on panel too. 30% increase.




Garrett sledges Howard for twisting words around (!). The irony.

Garrett looking sleepy and a bit fraught. Dancing on his seat and rapid fire. Not so reassuring style really.



Topic goes heavily on whaling, PG doesn’t step back from tackling Japan more intensely. “Not aggressive, but firm.”



LC – celebrities – more show than substance? Quite an insightful dig at PG himself. Lacking substance as per the polls.



Rubbery figures does Howard lovers leap stale lover, Rudd playing Spanish guitar. Repulsive Howard then jumps onto fake platform, to advert of NCIS – looking for a mass murderer – Iraq anyone?


That disturbing advert implying a rape horror of fast mail. Like the 2 minute noodle advert. Real cringeworthy theme.




2nd guest Tom Calma on health and Aboriginal policy inequality. HREOC – Not one single item to improve inequality of life opportunities. Steve Lewis asks a bit frustrated.





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



7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary  - Come on 7 time to start streaming this on your website???!!!!



Good segueway for new compere Costello running running running ….Like her.



Very amusing Costello Rocky museum steps.



Therese Rein affair. Human and honest line by Rudd, and good point about modern working women but stuffed the language re stay at homes being appendages, which is exactly how women were treated  for ages.


Q and A – Andrew with MR.

Sunday 9


Q and A with Laurie Oaks missed the start of it – to avoid disgruntled employees in future.


Feature on toxic air.


Oaks with Deputy PM Mark Vaile. Significant conflict of interest for Therese Rein if husband Rudd became PM. Wealth based on govt policy of job creation. Big sacrifice.






Insiders 2


Mal Brough is the talent on 40 year anniversary of referendum on Aboriginal policy, in a reaction perhaps to the marginalization of South Africa in the UN etc.


Panel – Fran Kelly radio national, Brian Toohey A Fin Review, Piers Akerman Murdoch press Sydney


Paul Kelly soliloquy – big decision for Rein, did the right thing, re apparent conflict of interest. Showcase their own relationship.



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


Posted by editor at 11:06 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 27 May 2007 12:43 PM NZT
Friday, 25 May 2007
Bogus Barry Chipman and the great statistics fraud from the logger industry
Mood:  sharp
Topic: ecology


Recent correspondence to Crikey.com.au 
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 8:37 PM
Subject: Bogus Barry Chipman, bogus statistical deceptions

Barry Chipman (comments, 24th May 2007) is an expert at statistical deception. The genius is in his simplicity. Here's how the trick works. Limit the area of comparison in order to expand the proportion of forest allegedly protected. Here is the real statistic your readers need to know - in 1788 Australia only ever had 10% forest cover. By 1992 this was halved to only 5% forest cover. These figures come from the Resource Assessment Council Reports of 1992 (C'th Govt).  In 2007 there is likely even less than 5% forest cover but it may still be a reasonable working number. Last time I looked, Tasmania was part of Australia, not an isolated geographical construct not least sucking tax dollars out of the mainland. Then there is the global loss of forest cover. That's an even worse story of numbers. Keep your grubby hands off our forests Barry.
Signed, Tom McLoughlin, ecology action sydney
This is what Bogus Barry had to say yesterday on crikey.com.au ezine


Barry Chipman, Tasmanian state manager, Timber Communities Australia, writes: It looks like John Hayward (yesterday, comments) who recently claimed to be representing Tasmanians Against Pulp Mills, has exposed the greens' real agenda and that is to lock up all forest on private land in Tasmania. Clearly he is not satisfied with the 47% of native forest already in reserve. A reserve system that covers 2.9 million hectares of Tasmania's total land mass which includes 1.4 million hectares of native forest. These figures are not TCA's but can be downloaded from the Australian Government's website. For those wanting to know how the company proposing the pulp mill for Bell Bay manages its forest estate on its own freehold land, this information is available in a completely open and transparent way here and shows that 19% is already managed as conservation reserves. These two publicly accessible documents show that Tasmania's forest industry and its dependent communities have no hidden agendas and are proud of the balance achieved between conservation and timber values.

This is what the best scientists in Australia had to say in 2004, direct quote:

Statement of support for change on Tasmania's forests

9 September 2004

The Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) is widely perceived in the scientific community to have failed to deliver the intended protection for environmental, wilderness and heritage values that state and federal governments committed to when they signed the National Forest Policy in 1992.

The scientific processes in the Tasmanian RFA were overwhelmed by political compromises. Established criteria for forest conservation were not fully applied. There are large areas of high conservation value forest that would have been reserved if the RFA criteria for forest conservation had been fully applied.

Logging practices and the conversion of native forests to plantations have intensified in the seven years since the signing of the RFA, resulting in record volumes of export wood chip production. This intensification, combined with the well-documented inadequacies of the conservation reserve system (exemplified by the large areas of unlogged Eucalyptus regnans tall open-forest that remain unprotected) has produced highly modified forested landscapes with diminished landscape values.

There is an urgent need for Commonwealth government intervention to significantly improve the forest reserve system and to adequately protect landscape values. We believe that the conversion of native forests to plantations is highly undesirable, and is contrary to the spirit of the RFA, the National Plantations Policy, the Forest Stewardship Council and the Australian Forestry Standard.

In light of the extensive changes that have occurred in many of the most productive forest ecosystems in Tasmania, we believe that the reserve system should be significantly extended to include all high conservation value forests.


Professor Tim Bonyhady FAAH FSSA, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Professor Ralf Buckley, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD

Professor Mark Burgman, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Professor David Gillieson, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD

Professor Richard Hobbs FAAS, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA

Professor Peter Kershaw, Monash University, Clayton, VIC

Professor Jamie Kirkpatrick AM, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS

Professor Charles J Krebs, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Canberra, ACT

Professor Tony Norton, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Professor Harry Recher AM, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA

Professor Jann Williams, LaTrobe University, Bendigo, VIC

Associate Professor Jeremy Bruhl, The University of New England, Armidale, NSW

Associate Professor Brendan Mackey, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Associate Professor Nick Reid, University of New England, Armidale, NSW

Dr Deborah Rose FASSA (Senior Fellow), The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Dr Matthew Appleby, Tea Tree, TAS

Dr Colin Arrowsmith, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Dr Geoff Bedford, Cremorne, NSW

Dr Sarah Bekessy, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Dr Kirsten Benkendorff, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA

Dr Joe Benshemesh, Alice Springs, NT

Dr Sandra Berry, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Dr Mark Breitfuss, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Herston, QLD

Dr Karl E C Brennan, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, WA

Dr Don Driscoll, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA

Dr Alaric Fisher, Jingili, NT

Dr David Fraser, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Dr David Green, Rosny Park, TAS

Dr Ron Grenfell, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Dr Graeme Hastwell, CRC for Australian Weed Management, Brisbane, QLD

Dr Robert Henzell, Uraidla, SA

Dr Andrew B Hingston, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS

Dr Amy Jansen, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW

Dr Simon Jones, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Dr David Keith, Wildlife Research Institute, Sydney, NSW

Dr Dylan Korczynskyj, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, WA

Dr Michelle Leishman, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW

Dr Gary Luck, Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW

Dr Gang-Jun Liu, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Dr Michael McCarthy, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC0

Dr Tein McDonald, Woodburn, NSW

Dr Peter McQuillan, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS

Dr Silke Nebel, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW

Dr Kirsten Parris, Deakin University, Burwood, VIC

Dr S. "Topa" Petit, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, SA

Dr Emma Pharo, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS

Dr Pieter Poot, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA

Dr Lynda Prior, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT

Dr Libby Robin, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Dr Jonathan Stark, Fern Tree, TAS

Dr Alan Stewart, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW

Dr Barbara Stewart, Mullumbimby, NSW

Dr Elizabeth Tasker, NSW Department of Environment and Conservation, Hurstville, NSW

Dr Fleur Tiver, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA

Dr Arn Tolsma, Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Heidelberg, VIC

Dr Rodney van der Ree, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Dr Steven Ward, Mortdale, NSW

Dr Brendan Wintle, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Mr Keith Breheny, Midway Point, TAS

Mr Christopher M Carr, Armidale, NSW

Mr Oberon Carter, Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Heidelberg, VIC

Mr Yung En Chee, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Mr Paul Finn, Griffith University, Nathan, QLD

Mr Garry Germon, Gloucester, NSW

Mr Tim Heard, CSIRO Entomology, Indooroopilly, QLD

Mr John Hibberd, Kestel Reserch Pty Ltd, Wapengo via Bega, NSW

Mr Daniel Hunter, Dhurringile, VIC

Mr Boris Lomov, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW

Mr Michael McBain, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Mr Wieslawa Misiak, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS

Mr Julian Reid, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Canberra, ACT

Mr Paul Rymer, Woolloomooloo, NSW

Mr Matthew Sheehan, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS

Mr Phil Spark, Tamworth, NSW

Mr Garon Staines, Terrigal, NSW

Mr Paul Thomas, Lawson, NSW

Mr Christopher van Buggenum, Thirroul, NSW

Ms Rose Andrew, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Ms Janet Cohn, NSW Department of Environment & Conservation, Hurstville, NSW

Ms Nicole Cranston, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT

Ms Naomi Davis, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Ms Kate Hammill, NSW Department of Environment & Conservation, Hurstville, NSW

Ms Jane Jelbart, University of Western Sydney, Avoca Beach, NSW

Ms Melinda Laidlaw, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD

Ms Deborah Landenberger, University of Newcastle, Elermore Vale, NSW

Ms Samantha Lloyd, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW

Ms Nicky Meeson, Midway Point, TAS

Ms Maggie Nightingale, Alice Springs, NT

Ms Shirley Pipitone, Flynn, ACT

Ms Catherine Pohlman, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD

Ms Frances Quinn, The University of New England, Armidale, NSW

Ms Sally Radford, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW

Ms Elizabeth Rickwood, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Ms Karen Ross, NSW Department of Environment and Conservation, Hurstville, NSW

Ms Monica Ruibal, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Ms Libby Rumpff, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Ms Justine Shaw, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS

Ms Andrea White, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Ms Joanna Willmott, Kurrajong, NSW

Ms Jesse McCoullough, Albion Park, NSW

Miss Amanda Nascimento, Port Kembla, NSW

Contact: Professor Tony Norton ph.(03) 9925-3279; fax.(03) 9663-2517

Email: tony.norton@rmit.edu.au



Posted by editor at 1:07 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 25 May 2007 1:32 PM NZT
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

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