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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Thursday, 14 June 2007
DPP tenure at risk as NSW Minister investigated by ICAC?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: nsw govt


We hear that Premier Iemma on ABC radio noon today 14th June 07 via his Attorney General is consulting the Bar Association and NSW Law Society over the lifetime tenure of the DPP.

That's interesting. We think the Bar and Law Society may potentially have a conflict of interest getting involved in such "consultations".

Why so?

What if say a public watchdog was investigating a minister of the NSW Govt? Just say they were investigating them right now. If they were to make an adverse finding or discover adverse evidence, who would be obliged to proceed with prosecution of the NSW minister?

We think it would be Nick Cowdery, Director of the DPP who would decide to prosecute or not.

So the Law Society, and Bar Association as in effect chief officers of the court for their respective professions could be drawn into "thugging" of a DPP's life tenure, when their real interest if they were fully informed, might be to actually seek as much employment independence from the NSW Govt as possible.

We have been in correspondence with both the Law Society and Bar Association in relation to this.  We notice the Law Society carried the chief agent for Iemma on their Law Society Journal recently (as above).

We trust that doesn't affect their independent approach to the framework and status of employment of the DPP in these curious times.


Postscript #1 15th June 07

The more things change the more they stay the same:


DPP warns against fixed term moves

The New South Wales chief prosecutor has warned the State Government off any moves to limit his term to a fixed seven years.

Nicholas Cowdery has a lifetime appointment as the Director of Public Prosecutions, but the Premier says this is an anomaly and should be changed.

Bob Carr also says that if Mr Cowdery does not plan to move on soon, the Government might have to bring in the reform before his term ends.

Mr Cowdery says limiting the DPP's term could affect the independence of the office with political decisions being made to shore up a second term of employment.

"I would caution the Government to think very carefully before unilaterally altering the conditions against which I serve this office," he said.

"Unilateral interference with the terms of employment of a statutory office holder is not something to be undertaken lightly."


The President of the Bar Association Michael Slattery (whose office we lobbied yesterday on this) was on 702 ABC radio this morning just after 7 am. He pointed out the life time tenure of the DPP came in across many western countries to quarrantine the DPP from political interference in sensitive prosecutions - he didn't say but presumably like ex ALP MP Milton Orkopoulos pre 2007 state election, or say adverse findings by say ICAC of current ministers.

The Daily Telegraph is running a story with the line that the up until now esteemed ICAC have a director on a limited tenure term. The trouble with that example is that the ICAC have become quite mediocre and ineffective from this writer's view. Well who cares about us you might say. Significantly some influential writer(s) at the Murdoch owned Sydney Telegraph have reached a similar conclusion.

The Telegraph were concerned about some matter of public policy or other that wasn't pursued with quite the vigour or acuity that they thought was needed.

 Off the record a very senior journalist at Fairfax has made similar sceptical comments to this writer regarding the success rate or effectiveness of ICAC.

For our part we we worried about consistent failure of the govt over years to seriously prosecute rich farmers of outrageous breach of land clearing laws, and ICAC determination to avoid any flushing out  the sleaze behind that approach at political level.

It's a long time since we had the impressive ICAC's Ian Temby QC rampaging against Nick Greiner's tricky jobs for Indy MP's in the Metherell Affair. In that situation at heart was the protection of the environment concerns of ex MP Metherell who refused to deliver up his vote in parliament to destroy.... forests, in a hung parliament.

If only we had an ICAC with that kind of guts today. Maybe with life time tenure they would?

We suggest the last word should go to this scathing criticism of the federal govt sleazing of the independence of their federal public service by destroying permanent heads of department. Sound familiar?:

14th June 2007 Editorial Sydney Morning Herald

Manacling the mandarins

TENSIONS between politicians and public servants are inherent in the Westminster system, a fact exploited to brilliant effect in television's Yes Minister. But there is nothing funny about what has happened to the relationship between ministers and mandarins, between ministerial advisers and bureaucrats, over recent decades, and particularly under the Howard Government. The politicisation of the federal public service - the imposition of the electoral and ideological priorities of the party in power on supposedly apolitical officials - has gone so far it poses a serious threat to Australian democracy.

The warning bells have been rung by an authoritative insider, Andrew Podger, a former public service commissioner and head of three different federal departments. In the Australian Journal of Public Administration, Mr Podger says changes to the conditions under which departmental secretaries - they used to be called "permanent heads" - are employed, rewarded and penalised have eroded their independence and professionalism. The big turning points were the introductions of job contracts for secretaries (by the Keating government in 1994) and of performance-based bonuses as a percentage of their salaries (in 1999). These changes, and the increasing tendency to give all but "favoured" departmental chiefs contracts of three years, rather than five, have heightened the tension between the requirements that they be both professionally impartial and responsive to government wishes. The result, says Mr Podger, has been greater emphasis on "responsiveness" and a tendency on the part of senior officials to hedge bets, limit the issues on which to take a stand and craft documents more carefully.

It is depressing, given the roles of politicians and public servants in scandals and cover-ups such as the "children overboard" affair, mistreatment of migration detainees and AWB. Doubtless, Mr Podger will be accused of special pleading - he candidly admits having once been denied reappointment and once denied a bonus - but he is persuasive in his calls for a return to five-year contracts as the norm for secretaries, while retaining flexibility, and for the end of performance pay at this level. Unhappily, the Government is as unlikely to listen as it is to face up to the even graver problem posed by unaccountable ministerial advisers.

And now today in their  Editorial today:

Starving the DPP into submission

June 15, 2007
THE Iemma Government has long since stopped listening to its critics in the public service. Labor has installed its apparatchiks as department heads. Now one of the last independent voices is slowly having the gag tied around his mouth. That is the lesson to be drawn from the Government's attempts to bully Nicholas Cowdery, the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The DPP's budget is to be cut and the operations of his office are to be subjected to an extraordinary audit. Mr Cowdery may hold the office for life but the Government is looking at ways to ensure his successors do not. Mr Cowdery is not accused of serious malpractice or incompetence, though the Government would dearly like to trump up an overseas trip he had planned into a scandal. His real - his only - crime is candour. At different times he has been less than wholeheartedly in support of Government law and order policy. He made some tart, but justified, comments about the egregious state plan. But candour, under the Iemma Government, is the worst crime of all. Now Mr Cowdery will suffer for it. Yet the Government is playing a dangerous game.

Its first danger is that by neutering the office of the DPP, one of the few remaining independent sources of advice is silenced. We will not speak of the move as unwise: it is demanding too much to require wisdom in politicians. Let us just call it counterproductive. Governments of all persuasions need their servants to speak the truth without fear. How will they know what is happening in the world around them if all they hear is flattery or their spin played back to them?

Second, and more important, it is dangerous because it places too much power in the hands of the government of the day. The Iemma Government may not have heard of the separation of powers, but the rest of the community has. Once the DPP becomes subject to executive pressure - and that is the intention of the campaign against Mr Cowdery - the prosecutor risks becoming the attack dog of the government of the day. The impartiality of the law is put in danger. Temporary political storms whipped up against individuals or groups - and how many of those have we seen in recent years? - can then become truly oppressive. A DPP on a short leash becomes a direct threat to democracy. The Government should back off immediately.


The Green Party have chimed in here too:

15 June 2007

Govt tries another repellent for DPP pest

Greens MP Lee Rhiannon says the Iemma government*s proposed review of
the tenure of the NSW DPP is designed to strip the chief prosecutor of
protection crucial to guaranteeing his independence and indicates a
rotten government bent on silencing its critics.

*The judicial appointment model for the DPP, which has been adopted
in NSW and other jurisdictions around the world, is key to protecting
the prosecution process from political meddling,* Ms Rhiannon said.

*The government is clearly intent on putting the Director of Public
Prosecutions on limited tenure.

 *The Iemma government*s manoeuvre smacks of a school yard bully
set on securing its ascendancy.

*The review is one more attempt to silence a valuable critic of the
Iemma government*s popularist law and order policies. It follows
Treasurer Michael Costa*s plan to cut the DPP*s budget.

*The government*s bid to control key appointments and bury
information that should properly be in the public domain is eroding
democracy in this state.

"Mr Nicholas Cowdery QC has been an outspoken critic of Labor's justice

*Mr Cowdery had the courage to label the State Plan a 'political
and has resisted government attempts to meddle in his sentencing and
appeal decisions.

*Provisions exist to dismiss the DPP for misconduct that ensure
accountability alongside life tenure.

*Preserving the independence of the DPP is crucial for the quality of
justice in this state.

*Greens MPs will vote against any attempts to downgrade the NSW model
for DPP appointments,* Ms Rhiannon said.

Contact: Lee Rhiannon 9230 3551, 0427 861 568.


Powerful article here by Fairfax's Andrew Clennell 15th June 07

Cowdery has rare freedom to say what he thinks - for now  NICHOLAS COWDERY has been fearless in asserting his independence.

Telegraph story page 2 here, seems to be offline (maybe) - Fixed term moves on prosecutors

Posted by editor at 2:15 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 15 June 2007 10:51 AM NZT
M4 East road plan: ALP Premier's moral veil of therapeutic cloning can't cover environmental atrocities
Mood:  sharp
Topic: nsw govt

In the months leading up to the state election new Premier Iemma’s government was mercilessly attacked by both major dailies Sydney Morning Herald and Daily Telegraph for allowing the economy to stagnate. There were widespread fears as here  NSW economy a brake on prosperity: PM - Breaking News - National ... affecting the political news cycle.


These fears didn’t quite eventuate as reported here  NSW economy 'sound' despite low growth. 06/09/2006. ABC News Online and here: Growing NSW economy dodges recession fears - Economy - State


However we wrote a prediction 12 months ago on Sydney IMC website that the environment was in for a thrashing under Iemma as a result. We predicted it would be a lead foot on the accelerator for economic growth at any cost ….to save his venal political career. Similarly we almost got beaten up for writing this outside a polling booth on election day:


Picture: Embarrassing secret ALP policy? We chalked about 5 of these NO TUNNEL signs and they were washed off presumably by the ALP booth workers within 10 minutes before 7 am corner of Warren Rd and Illawarra Rd 24th March 2007.


In this sense Iemma is no different to predecessor Carr forced out in 2005 for lack of confidence as the moral veil for his atrocities disintegrated. Carr was all for the same Big Business cronyism, nepotism and favours to Big Business in the Union, Construction and Finance sectors involving various public policy atrocities: Tollway roads, congested expansion of centralised port facilities at Botany, pulling the teeth of the Environmental Planning Act. It was an evil ten years facilitated by a moral veil over the wickedness: In Carr’s case natural heritage protection with 300 odd national parks.


But Carr did his best to ruin even that with just as much forest destruction at record high rates still going on today: Chipstop Campaign in SE NSW


Iemma’s political strategy has been very simple and effective to date in response to the core issue of economic competence – take on huge public debt to finance rollout of infrastructure development at any environmental or amenity cost to pump prime the economy to moderate the savagery of the Big Media. So there was never any doubt about Anvil Hill coal mine approval under his regime as here, only the timing:


Anvil Hill approved: Iemma gutless on coal and climate change ...


Anvil Hill Mine Approved - Investor Relations > ASX/Media Releases ...


They Big Media/Big Business Complex must be fed big chunks of meat for their institutional clients/advertisers to keep the revenue churning over. And so former political numbers man at Sussex St, now Treasurer Michael Costa will roll out this strategy for the NSW budget on 19th June 2007 with some $10 to 20 billion in public debt.


But like Carr he needs a moral figleaf to suspend disbelief at the gorging and rorting at the expense of the public. As a long time participant and critic of NSW politics this writer has learned the public will only suspend their disbelief, even the more naïve plods in companies like Media Monitors, if there is a symbolic higher moral purpose to keep believing democracy is not in fact broken in an appalling money politik gerrymander. In Iemma’s case that figleaf is now apparent being therapeutic cloning: MPs to debate ban on therapeutic cloning - Breaking News ... to help find the cure to various illnesses.


Carr – natural heritage. Iemma – curing the sick. And the fact it involves sledging meddlesome Cardinal Pell is a side benefit with Mr Iemma senior reportedly being a bitter critic of the old village priest back in Italy.


It’s a cynical strategy for an ALP Govt that has lost its existential purpose and simply funnels money to its mates. But it causes some strange jarring results. Verity Firth MP newly elected in Balmain was busy leading the PR on therapeutic cloning but will have a new M4 East road through her electorate:


Photo of Councillor Verity Firth


No mention of this pre election. The road will certainly generate greater air pollution congestion and cancers needing a cure from cell cloning.


Similarly former minister Carmel Tebbutt and MP for Marrickville will also likely have a tunnel with cancer causing ventilation stacks for the same road. No wonder she bailed out of cabinet on election night, to get some daylight between herself and this thuggish cynical Premier:


Picture: Taken at 9.35 am election day 24th March at corner of Illawarra Rd and Warren Rd Marrickville, 3 hours after earlier incidents, 24th March 2007: Question: "Tom McLoughlin, SydneyAlternativeMedia news blog. On the record Minister, in relation to the terrible truck accident in the [Burnley] Tunnel in Melbourne, do you think that could happen here in Sydney with so many motorway tunnels?" Answer by Carmel Tebbutt local ALP MP for Marrickville: "I don't know anything about that. I really couldn't say."


MEDIA RELEASE - 13 June 2007

M4 East motorway another post election Labor bad news story

Greens MP and transport spokesperson Lee Rhiannon said today that Premier Morris Iemma and other prominent Labor MPs mislead the people of the Inner West by not announcing prior to the NSW election that they intended to proceed with the M4 East motorway through the inner west.

"Labor knows that the M4 East is a bad news story and they wanted to sweep their plans under the carpet until after the NSW election," Ms Rhiannon said.

"Prior to the NSW state election Marrickville MP Carmel Tebbutt, Balmain MP Verity Firth and Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal denied that the Labor government had any plans to build the M4 East.

"It is now clear that the Labor MPs were wolves dressing up in sheep's clothing.

"The M4 East will increase traffic congestion and air pollution and be a financial drain on the public purse.

"The Richmond Review revealed that inner surburban motorways such as the M4 East would not be economically viable.

"The Iemma government will have to take money out of schools and hospitals to subsidise this motorway.

"The costs of this project far outweigh any so-called benefits to the community. There will be increased traffic congestion, pollution, accident costs and reduced public transport patronage.

"This project does not fit into any strategic network planning for the Inner West.

"The Greens forced the release of papers last year that showed that the M4 East motorway was on the cards but the Iemma government were quick to put a cone of silence around their plans.

"The Iemma government mislead the public on this issue. Sydney will now be lumped with yet another traffic inducing expensive motorway", Ms Rhiannon said.

For more information: Lee Rhiannon 9230 3551, 0427 861 568


The last word should go to community group RAPS which has suffered the M5 East all these years as an indicator of what the rest of Sydney is now about to suffer.




R A P S Residents Against Polluting Stacks Inc, Sydney NSW Australia  www.nostack.8m.com

J  U  N E    2  0  0  7    N  E  W  S  R  A  P  S  #1









05    'SOMETHING IN THE AIR' - SMH 01.06.2007

06    'HEALTH FEAR OVER DIESEL' - SMH 01.06.2007








B R I E F  w R A P S  


*    Sign the global petition for world leaders to take action on climate change, in the lead up to tne next G8+5 summit.  http://www.avaaz.org/en/climate_g8/tf.php


*    Hello to the Botany Bay and Catchment Alliance which posts our newsletter to its website. Incrased container movements into Sydney will impact the already overloaded M5 East: http://www.botanybay.info/


*    Comment on the Independent Port Botany review before June 8: http://www.ipart.nsw.gov.au/search/search_results.asp?sidebarSearchTextBox=port+botany&Search=Search


*    Engineering firm Heggies has been contracted by Willoughby City Council to install, operate and maintain an Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station to assess the impact of the Lane Cove Tunnel on       

     local air quality. The station will monitor carbon Monoxide, oxides of Nitrogen (NOX), PM10 and PM2.5. http://www.infolink.com.au/articles/Heggies-to-assess-the-impact-of-Sydneys-Lane-Cove-Road-Tunnel-on-local-air-quality_z52104.htm


*    Farewell and best wishes to Sun Herald journalist Alex Mitchell, a long time supporter of RAPS who has now retired from the newspaper.


*    Residents around the Cross City Tunnel portals can now receive emails from the tunnel operators about planned venting of emissions from portals. Under the Conditions of Approval,vehicle emissions must be     discharged from the Tunnel through the stack except in emergencies http://www.crosscity.com.au/DynamicPages.asp?cid=99&navid=9 and air qualityreports:http://www.crosscity.com.au/DynamicPages.asp?cid=100&navid=9. But why just the Cross City Tunnel?


*    Read the government health study and compare the results with what residents had to say about the health of the effects of the Port Kembla smoke stacks: https://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/171_4_160899/westley/westley.html and http://www.sep.org.au/cancer/inquiry/index.htm and http://www.sep.org.au/cancer/findings.pdf


*    Sydney's transport system is unnecessarily confusing because passengers are not given enough information or encouragement to use major transit hubs, a NSW Auditor General's audit has found.

http://audit.nsw.gov.au/publications/reports/performance/2007/public_transport/publictransport-contents.htm and http://www.smh.com.au:80/news/national/lost-in-transit-were-going-nowhere-fast/2007/06/06/1181089151642.html?sssdmh=dm16.263558 and http://www.nsw.liberal.org.au/public_news_and_events/media_releases/transport_interchanges_labor_has_failed_to_meet_long_term_transport_needs.html and http://lee.greens.org.au/index.php/content/view/1886/50/

*    Queensland has become the first state to increase taxes on gas-guzzling cars in an attempt to encourage more motorists to buy fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles. http://www.smh.com.au:80/news/national/car-taxes-to-rise-in-green-drive/2007/05/30/1180205338904.html






RAPS is concerned very little has been done since the March election regarding the M5

East filtration proposal.


Latest news from the RTA is that it could be months before additional information required by

the Department of Planning's February Compliance Audit is gathered : http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/asp/m5.asp


However, RAPS will now meet with the RTA on June 19th





On 31st May, 2007, in response to a question by the the Hon David Clarke on the

progress of air quality improvements in and around the M5 East tunnel, Roads

Minister Roozendaal told the NSW Upper House that a package of measures

was being put in force to improve air quality in and around the tunnel, that the

government was committed to the installation of Australia's first road tunnel

filtration system and that a revised ventilation strategy would not commence
until the filtration plant was operational.


The Minister's answer, unfortunately, shows that little progress has been made, with

the RTA apparently sticking to its flawed plan, or the Minister not being kept properly



*    Minister's response: http://parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hanstrans.nsf/v3ByKey/LC20070531

*    Is the Minister in control? http://www.smh.com.au:80/news/national/minister-in-drivers-seat-on-road-to-nowhere/2007/05/30/1180205338928.html





The National Health and Medical Research Council's 'Air Quality in and around

tunnels' conference was held in Canberra on Tuesday 15th May, 2007. 


The aim was to provide advice to Federal Health Minister, Tony Abbot on the need

for new air quality regulations in and around tunnels.  It was chaired by prominent

epidemiologist, Professor Michael Moore of Queensland University with experts

on air quality such as Professor Lidia Morowska of Queensland University of

Technology, co-author of the recent WHO document on the design of health

investigations of the impacts of pollution.


In all, there were about 50 attendees from departments of health end environment

around Australia and others from medical and air quality backgrounds. Community

advocates included Graham Lorrimer from Victoria, who advised the community

on the Burnley tunnel and Sydney community representatives Professor Ray

Kearney and Mark Curran. 


Although it is clear that the most effective way of controlling pollution is at the source,

by cleaning up the fleet, reducing both traffic and congestion and the use of public

transport, it was also clear that there are significant concerns about the levels of

in-tunnel pollutants and the way in which they are regulated. In addition, there was

concern about the way in which impacts outside the tunnels are addressed.


There was a widely held opinion that the current 'rules' look inadequate and  that,

besides carbon monoxide- the only component currently regulated - it is important to

consider  nitrogen dioxide and particles, both by themselves, but more importantly

acting together.


The information is still embargoed but there should be an announcement  before July. 


The M5 looks to be amongst the worst polluted urban tunnels in the developed world.

What is considered bad in Europe is a daily event in the M5.


*     Watch RAPS conference webpage for updates: http://www.raps.bur.st/nhmrc/tunnels/index.html

*    Background media : http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21623225-421,00.html

*    RAPS discussion paper on regulation of pollutants in Sydney tunnels: http://www.raps.bur.st:80/nhmrc/tunnels/index.html





"    Air pollution could kill one Sydney resident every four hours by the year 2030

if the city's car obsession continued at its current rate, the lord mayor said today.


The figure is eight times the number of people killed in road accidents."


*    Daily Telegraph story from 07.06.2007: http://www.smh.com.au:80/news/news/something-in-the-air/2007/05/31/1180205408805.html



05    'SOMETHING IN THE AIR' - SMH 01.06.2007

"    Diesel produces fewer greenhouse gases than unleaded petrol but it is more

dangerous to our health.


Demand for diesel-powered cars is soaring. Australians bought more diesel cars

in the first four months of this year than they did in the whole of 2005.


However, the explosive growth is a double-edged sword."


*    SMH story from 01.06.2007: http://www.smh.com.au:80/news/news/something-in-the-air/2007/05/31/1180205408805.html



06   'HEALTH FEAR OVER DIESEL' - SMH 01.06.2007


" A big increase in the number of diesel cars - including those using so-called clean

diesel - has raised fresh concerns about the health effects of the fuel.


An immunologist, Ray Kearney, said the emissions from diesel had been linked to

asthma attacks, cardiovascular and respiratory disease and cancer. Governments had

been slow to legislate against it, he said.


"Diesel pollution kills people. One in five lung cancer deaths can be attributed to fine

particles from burning fossil fuels," Dr Kearney said.


SMH article: http://www.smh.com.au:80/news/national/health-fears-over-diesel/2007/05/31/1180205431088.html

and commentary: http://www.smh.com.au/news/news/comment/2007/05/31/1180205408796.html





" NSW motorists may be warned to wind up their windows when entering smoggy freeway

tunnels under a proposal being considered by the State Government.


A report resulting from last year's parliamentary air quality inquiry has recommended motorists

keep their windows up when driving through tunnels.


The Roads and Traffic Authority has continually declined to place health warnings at the entrance
to tunnels, but Parliament could force it to act."


*    SMH story from 27.05.2007: http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/smog-threat-for-drivers-in-tunnels/2007/05/26/1179601733713.html





" Sydney residents will be able to register for real-time Government SMS air pollution health

alerts under a proposal Premier Morris Iemma will take to Cabinet next week.


The Saturday Daily Telegraph reports that an email and SMS advance warning system would

be developed in response to key recommendations from a parliamentary air quality inquiry last year.


The inquiry report warned that 1600 people were dying every year from air pollution related illness."


*    Daily Telegraph story from 26.05.2007: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21795534-2,00.html?from=public_rss

*    Inquiry website: http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/committee.nsf/0/3ECF8ABFA09039A6CA257187000D2442





" A NSW government plan for real-time SMS air pollution health alerts is a sign the government

has failed to manage Sydney's transport crisis, the Greens say.


Under the proposal which NSW Premier Morris Iemma is due to take to Cabinet next week,

residents will be able to register to receive text messages providing pollution data across the

Sydney metropolitan area, The Saturday Daily Telegraph reports."


*    The Age story from 26.05.2007: http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Greens-criticise-SMS-smog-alert-proposal/2007/05/26/1179601713645.html





" New South Wales Greens say that a State Government plan for an SMS pollution alert is

an inadequate response to the city's air quality problems"


*    ABC online story from 26.05.2007: http://www.abc.net.au:80/news/newsitems/200705/s1934063.htm





" Premier Morris Iemma's SMS pollution alert system for Sydney is an admission of government failure to

manage this city's transport crisis Greens MP and transport spokesperson Lee Rhiannon said today.

"It is alarming that the Premier's plan for dealing with Sydney's smog
is to issue a warning rather than increase public transport and so
reduce the volume of traffic that is the cause of this pollution," Ms
Rhiannon said.

"The SMS pollution alert system is a doomsday response to Sydney's
dirty air that is killing more and more people."


*    Greens Media release from 26.05.2007 here:http://lee.greens.org.au/index.php/content/view/1886/50/



RAPS Inc is an incorporated community group representing residents and workers affected by the M5 East

tunnel, ventilation stack and portals. We meet on one Tuesday night of the month at Earlwood Bowling Club,

Doris Ave Earlwood NSW, Australia.


Please email us if you are thinking of attending to confirm that the meeting is on. cbri7447@bigpond.com 

RAPS Inc is funded entirely by $10 membership fees and community donations. We receive no grants from

council or government bodies.


We currently have significant costs, and need to build up funds for ongoing outlays such as public liability

insurance well and professional advice and help. Please help us to keep going by sending a donation to:

PO Box 270 Earlwood NSW 2206 Australia
Telephone: 061 02 9558 8863, 061 02 9573 0052, 061 02 9559 1278



RAPS Inc is a member of GASP, Groups Against Stack Pollution, a coalition of community groups with

similar aims and objectives affected by similar stacks from around Sydney's Cross City and Lane Cove tunnels.



Our email list is maintained in confidence at the sending address only.


To subscribe, unsubscribe or change email addresses for this newsletter reply to this email or send an

email to cbri7447@bigpond.com with "ADD TO MAILING LIST" or "DELETE FROM MAILING LIST" in the subject line.



So much for integrity in NSW politics

Picture: Green booth worker next to poster, election day March 2007.

Posted by editor at 1:44 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 14 June 2007 2:12 PM NZT
Poem for the Hill of Tara in Ireland on World Monuments Funds top 100 endangered world heritage sites
Mood:  sharp
Topic: world


Irish Times yesterday 13th June 2007
Greens agree on terms to join coalition government
And this forwarded by Maireid Sullivan
My friends,
Here is the latest news on the betrayal of all that Tara represents in Irish heritage, for fraudulent and treasonous political and financial gain!
This report from the Irish Times is followed by a brilliant new poem for Tara.
We must not give in, especially now that Tara has been listed on the World Monuments Funds top 100 endangered world heritage sites.
In solidarity!
for the Anam Cara for Tara arts action campaign
and the GlobalArtsCollective.org
The Road of Ancient Tara’s Ruin

Two dogs bark
A man nods and
the pilgrims shield
the flames on the hill
known as Tara.

For if Ireland has a heart- it beats in Tara.
Tara. Mating bed of sun and soil where
fire was born and water bled from
stone. Where winds blew seed
that fed the men of Eire.

Tara - Seat of Kings - not born - but fought
and Druid sworn. Where poet, priest and
pauper stood – arm in arm to hold the line
a thousand years. Nay! three thousand years
this lore of Eire.

This rising hill - where men
in battle roared and horses reared
as blades rose high and
curbed the arms that drove
the lance into the heart of Tara.

Recall the kings once crowned -
born of ancient creed who fed on
goose - now dead and slain -
and buried deep in
ancient Ireland’s name.

No more the threat from o’er
the sea rapes Tara. But incest deep
within her fathers land tears
her skin and bares the secrets
buried deep in Tara’s womb.

Blows still the wind on Tara’s slope and
stirs the ancient soul – still the blade is strong
and fast the lance that carves a path into her soul
as unsworn kings bleed her dry
while the jesters chew their fat.

Hold strong the Hill of Tara
let it beat in silence, rest. Shield her
burning heart and cheer
the roar of weary pilgrims lest we ride
the road of ancient Tara’s ruin.

Bill Clohesy 2007

Bill Clohesy has lived in Emerald, in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne, Australia, for 15 years. His work has been published in several Woorilla Publications and in Tain Magazine and has been presented on ABC Regional Radio. He won the Syd Cantlon Poets Award at the 2006 Kilmore Celtic Festival. He is currently working on a novel examining the relationship between the Irish and the Chinese on the Ballarat goldfields.
Postscript #1
Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2007 12:03 PM
Subject: More on Irish Green Party compromise

The following report just in from Dr. Murieann Ní Bhrolchain in Dublin (Spokesperson for Campaign to Save Tara)

Hi all,
Coverage of todays events as they unfolded. Greens voted to go into
Government with Fianna Fail by 421 votes for and 67 against. That's an
astounding majority. Campaign to Save Tara were at the conference all
day. It was quite an eerie experience with all the media presence and
the various pressure groups present. Not long back myself and sorry for
the delay in relaying information. We will be present at the Dail
tomorrow from 10am to draw attention to Tara - never saw so much
attention paid to the issue as there was today. Whatever else may be
said - the issue was at the heart of the formation of Government - come
to the Dail tomorrow and support us. The archaeological sites are still
there. The road can be moved - there is a National Monument in the way.
The Greens may get the Environment Ministry - in that case not all is
lost yet. So let's see what happens tomorrow when the ministers are
announced. there is a way around this.
And I'm not generally an optimist.

RTE News: Green Party meets for Govt deal vote
Greens gather amid protests
WEDNESDAY 13/06/2007 14:05:16

Posted by editor at 11:12 AM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 14 June 2007 4:07 PM NZT
Wednesday, 13 June 2007
Gullible Big Oz Media hawking dumb Republican beat up of US plaintiff lawyers practical joke on dry cleaner?
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: big media

All day we've been hearing the "only in America" story of a Korean American dry cleaner who lost a new judge's pants, and sued for $64 million. Here it is even on quality ABC AM

$64-million lawsuit over lost pants

The ranting, the ridicule, the outrage at litigous USA and mad lawyers.

A really popular story. Trouble is it's obviously a practical joke suit by the lawyer at the expense of his launderer to express his annoyance. Sure it's a cruel joke. Sure its almost certainly abuse of the legal process to get some revenge on a service provider gone wrong.

But it's a joke no more sophisticated than writing a cheque for $100M issued by Mickey Mouse Lotteries. Take one Statement of Claim form to the Local Court. Claim $1 billion dollars in damages. Have case thrown out AND ordered to pay court costs, but scare the bejesus out of the legally naive defendant.

The really funny thing is that the Big Media in dopey Australia (the Galilee to their Rome) are running it as if it is a straight story, complete with boosting by the traditional Republican think tank haters of plaintiff lawyers seeking to spin a practical joke back at the annoyed lawyer for losing his pants.

How gullible to these Rove style Republican ranters can you get?


Postscript #1 27th June 2007

As predicted above - Judge loses $54m lawsuit over lost pants - ABC News (Australian ...

The version we heard on ABC tv news 26th June last night was that costs were ordered against the sore pants loser and it would amount to some tens of thousands of dollars. Again as we predicted above. This just confirms to us this story was an attempt at a more generalised bash of plaintiff lawyers - critical to social justice in western democracies - traditionally hated by Republicans, hence a world class beat up for a frivolous vindictive litigant abusing their knowledge of legal process.

Posted by editor at 9:01 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 27 June 2007 10:50 AM NZT
Tuesday, 12 June 2007
In praise of George, front man for Warumpi, Black Australia's own Mick Jagger
Mood:  special
Topic: culture


From The Australian press today: The Warumpi Band's Neil Murray, who paid tribute to his late bandmate, singer George Burarrawanga. Picture: Stuart McEvoy Voice of Warumpi Band was the 'real star' 

[No picture of George which we understand is the cultural ethic after the death of an Aboriginal  man.]

We saw George, or "Georgie", along with an enthusiastic crowd at Waverley Oval in Sydney. It was around 1999 or so. It was the Survival Day concert that had been recently relocated from La Perouse in Sydney. It was my last of 4 years on the Waverley council and I was feeling pretty burned out and needing a change. I had decided to make way for an Aboriginal member of the local Greens Dominic Wykanak who was duly elected late 99, in place these last 8 years.

George has died at age 50, according to The Australian press yesterday and today. 

In 1999 he seemed at the height of his power, very lithe, very energetic and a very black traditional looking man. A superb rendition of My Island Home and other songs were performed. A successor to him and his band's artful music, Christine Anu, was also on the bill later the same day, in much gentler refined tones.

Picture: New mural in Marrickville reads "different past shared future"

But for me it was George's performance that was the eye opener. Wow. He was great. And the crowd response reflected that too. They started to jump.

In my beady way I noticed the tv coverage that night missed this gifted display, showing the more mainstream more everywoman looking Anu singing the exact same song My Island Home. I felt a little ripped off, like what's the problem, was George too loud, too black, too traditional looking? His rendition of the same song, which was in fact their song was superior in my view proven by the crowd reaction.

But I think it was just Christine's greater recognition to Australia generally at that stage in her career. She also became known for doing tv pre election advertising for the NSW government  a few years later with "It's a living thing" theme. Besides it wasn't a contest, it was what it was. You had to be there to get the best of George.

In fact we first heard of Ms Anu in about 1993 or so when we actually personally had this conversation at a Christmas function for The Wilderness Society like this:

Me: "Are you from the Metro Aboriginal Land Council ?" [an invitation sent by myself if memory serves]

Christine Anu: "No we're the entertainment." [looking as drop dead gorgeous as she was ever going to at that age]

Me: "Oh, okay".

And it was also the first time I'd ever seen another singer on the ticket that night at our function, held in the Old NSW Teachers Club in Bathurst St, and thinking, that guy is something special: Neil Murray of the one and same Warumpi Band playing solo. He was damn good too. Sang a song something like "Into the wilderness" a bit like getting away from it all in the Warumpi song "Good light in Broome".e

Neil is in The Australian today describing the enormous talent his colleague George was. God bless you George, condolences to your family, to Neil, Christine and all their fans. What a champion performer George was.

Tom McLoughlin (NSW campaign coordinator 1993-94, The Wilderness Society NSW)

Posted by editor at 2:55 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 13 June 2007 10:03 AM NZT
Green MP about to hit the skids in NSW, or about to get another big defamation payout courtesy Murdoch Press?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: legal

Above: Byron Bay Echo page 5, 12th June 2007

Ian Cohen MP is there on p11 of the Sydney Daily Telegraph in typically sensationalist terms apparently facing a complaint to police by a "Byron Bay business woman Donna Davis" alleging assault of some kind. This could be an allegation of anything from an unwelcome chinese burn to the wrist, to something more serious. Who would know.

One takes a sceptical view not so much of the woman making the complaint per se but of the purveyor of the story, and therefore it's truth.

How so? Let me count the ways, and subject to a reservation found below:

1. The Telegraph, and specifically this editor, David Penberthy, have a proven unsafe track record when it comes to reporting the private life of political enemies of conservative politics. John Brogden was a moderate targeted by the ultra right loyalists to John Howard. The blowtorch was so exagerated especially (from memory) the gratuitous third front pager the anxiety riven MP and Opposition leader tried to commit suicide in a fit of deep depression. The Liberals lost the seat of Pittwater there was such a blow back.

2. Again from memory Cohen has won an undisclosed defamation payout from the Telegraph for falsehood written by Piers Ackerman via top barrister Clive Evatt for Cohen. I seem to recall Cohen having another defamation proceedings under way though memory is vague on that. If this is so, we could be seeing a nasty revenge tactic, just as News Ltd run knee jerk attacks on Ch7 - owned by Kerry Stokes as Stokes sues them for alleged business thuggery over the marginalisation of the Stokes C7 pay tv venture (notice too James Packer another party defending the C7 litigation as owner of PBL/Ch9, has effectively sold out of the litigation with sale to private equity).

3. The timeline in the story itself is curious. The incident is said to be June 2 2006 but the complaint was made to police in January 2007 just prior to the state election. It was so damaging (not?) as to have been unheard of prior to the state election in March 2007. Even accounting for Cohen not being up for re election himself, it's hard to believe such ammunition, if it had strength wasn't flushed out in that seriously adversarial climate. The timing does seem equivocal as to whether the complaint was delayed for entirely human reasons, or to leverage the pressure of the election which would be quite cynical but sadly pretty common to relationship breakdowns.

4. In a reading of his book Green Fire at its launch in the 90ies Cohen outlined a moving account of domestic violence by a male protester in the Chaelundi forest protest camp around 1990, where the sisters in the blockade all lined up and literally spat on a young man who had offended their own social code. And how that young man took his humiliation in front of the whole camp. Powerful stuff. Is that the kind of guy who has lost his sense of right and wrong? Even in a tense relationship breakdown?

5. There is an overt feminist, but really power politik battle being fought for the female vote in the lead up to this tough federal election, and one of the covert battle fronts is in NSW State Parliament, including leverage of the media. So people are playing angles, Prue Goward MP, ALP Leader Iemma MP with his telegenic policy yuppies, and if Cohen is collateral damage well all to the good would be the attitude of the duopoloy major party gerrymander.

6. Then there is what I would call the Byron Bay factor. Fraught internecine social and no doubt sexual power politics amongst the new age and business hippie crew trying to invent a new society up there.

The one qualification is that the story is not by the usual attack dog Luke McIlveen, but a double headed byline of old hand Bruce McDougall with Kate Sikora. There is also mention of witnesses.  On the other hand the hallmark ridicule of the Greens Party by reference to Cohen allegedly "fond of surfing, cycling, colourful [also described as "outlandish"] suits and slip-on shoes" is there for daring to stand against said duopoly gerrrymander/Big Media complex. Pathetic journalism really which trivialises the serious questions underpinning the story.

In all the context, it looks very much like an innocent until proven guilty type situation. Time will tell.

This writer can't say Ian Cohen is our favourite MP even if on roughly the same side of politics, given we don't like the haughty culture of parliamentarians in general. Nor can we say that Cohen is above power games at the expense of his rivals inside and outside the green movement. But it's a whole different thing to join in an invitation to emotional and professional thuggery by the Daily Telegraph, or one David Penberthy.  

I mean we just don't know if staff of the Daily Telegraph have stopped beating their own wife, spouses, girlfriends or children yet? We do know they are episodic drug addicts (Stephen Mayne reports of culture there), serial defamers (senior reporters regularly and successfully sued), racist abusers of an ethnic security guard (refer IR legal decision), apologists for mass murder in Iraq (refer pro Bush war coverage) etc, and an insult to real editorial standards (common mentions Media Watch ABC) but that's a whole different matter. Or is it?

Declaration: The writer, Tom McLoughlin, was a member of the Green Party from 1993 - 2000, an ex girlfriend was a parliamentary staffer for Ian Cohen 97-99 or so.

Postscript #1, 13th June 2007 When we spoke yesterday 12th June neither Ian Cohen MP's office, nor Andrew Clennell state political editor at the Sydney Morning Herald seemed to think there is any relation in the timing of the report out mid yesterday that Paul Gibson MP of the NSW ALP would not be facing formal charges of domestic violence from some 17 years or more ago, involving alleged victim then MP Sandra Nori:

Nori: why I had to cut myself free

Sandra Nori. SANDRA NORI has broken her silence on her refusal to give a police statement about allegations that she was assaulted by her former partner and fellow Labor MP, Paul Gibson, saying she "has had enough of this issue to last a lifetime".

We are indeed more cynical. The Cohen story as flaky as it sounds does take the edge off the Gibson 'not charged' ALP embarrassment story, but even more significantly off MP Nori, who refuses to lodge a witness statement so she can move on with her life. For instance you can expect female MP friends colleagues of Cohen will have just that much greater pause to not engage on the Gibson/Nori matter today.

For instance that's a hallmark of systemic patriarchal abuse really that Nori does not feel free to tell the facts, which if she did would all likley echo back to say .... professional sport like rugby league ... do yer think?:

League man 'paid off rape victim' - leaguehq.com.au, League man 'paid off rape victim' - National - brisbanetimes.com.au,

A scandal story not so easy to find via google as it appeared front page Sydney Morning Herald on June 1st 2007.

Who released the details of Cohen allegation? Apparently it ran in the Fairfax Sun Herald of 10th June, then quite big story as above Murdoch Daily Telegraph 2 days later. The kind of story police might have organised, or ALP to diverrt attention of their own? That would never happen in Sydney surely not.

Here is that Sunday Sun Herald first story which indeed was issued by NSW Police

MP assault claim inquiry

Date: June 10 2007

Angela Cuming

A NSW MP has been accused of assaulting his former partner.

In a statement issued to The Sun-Herald on Friday, police confirmed they were investigating the alleged domestic assault.

The statement said that on January 31 this year a 56-year-old woman contacted police alleging that an incident took place on June 2 last year where she was assaulted by the man, whom she knew.

Detectives then launched an investigation.

A police spokesman said it took several months for key witnesses to come forward.

After further inquiries, several new witnesses were identified.

No one has been charged.

The police spokesman said that while investigations into the alleged assault continue, no further comment would be possible.


SAM news blog draws these conclusion: A media story management fix is in at the expense of the Greens, motivated by perhaps the NSW Police, perhaps the ALP Iemma Govt ministers.

This context suggests a vary calculated timing by the NSW Police from last Friday, to Sunday Sun Herald, To Tuesday Daily Telegraph to same day Paul Gibson MP no charges to proceed, to Sandra Nori MP in effect 'why I let down the sisterhood'. It may well be Nori is telling the truth about leaving the past where it belongs, but here's a cynical comment - she will get a good juicy ALP appointment in the next 3 to 12 months, state or federal. What's the bet, reward for cooperating in the choreography and resolving the ALP embarrassment?
A single middle aged MP is a easy prey in this meat grinder political climate too. Worth keeping in mind in this troublesome business.
Here is Cohen's strident denials here:
----- Original Message -----
From: "Nic Clyde"
To:[media lists]
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 10:59 AM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Statement from Ian Cohen in response to today’s Daily Telegraph article

Media Release                
 June 12 2007

Statement in response to today’s Daily Telegraph article

NSW Upper House Greens MP Ian Cohen issued the following statement
today in response to an article appearing in The Daily Telegraph:

“The accusations in the Daily Telegraph are false, malicious and
without foundation.

“I strenuously deny all such allegations which have been made eight
months after the alleged occurrence.

“This type of attack is unfair and personally devastating.

“I have instructed my solicitor to bring proceedings for defamation
in respect to these false accusations made to the media,” Mr Cohen

Nic Clyde
Adviser, Greens MLC Ian Cohen
Macquarie Street, Sydney, 2000
Tel: +61-2-9230 3305, Fax: +61-2-9230 2267
Mobile: 0417 742 754
Web: www.iancohen.org.au
Postscript #2 We did some leg work by phone this morning and it seems the NSW Police media unit have "a holding statement" dated 10th June 2007. This was generated we are told as a result of enquiry about the matter. So why the proximity to the day that no charges against Gibson/Nori explanations has broken?
We only get an answering machine for Angela Cuming, the fairfax journalist.
Who in fact was the source(s) of the Angela Cuming story that appeared last Sunday in the SunHerald? The complainant, an ALP staffer, the police? Or the newspaper's own initiative? Certainly the timing of the Cohen smear story is too close to the Gibson/Nori story to appear a coincidence. And it's very convenient for putting several fiesty Green MPs critical of either Gibson or Nori or the ALP in a glasshouse of sorts. That's tricky. But also very cynical. Nori had a public duty to reveal the truth. Maybe not now she is out of public office.
We wonder if Prue Goward MP (Liberal) would buy into this too, but get the impression she has copped enough criticism for so called prejudging guilt or not of Gibson in the absence of a statement from Nori.
But the really telling factor in all this is that Gibson is blackballed from a place in Cabinet as per Iemma in the media yesterday. That says it all really. The ALP Left are satisfied with that. Goward is too bruised to buy back in, and the Greens are wondering what hit them. Very cynical really.
Postscript #3
Crikey.com.au ezine reports today 13th June 2007
15. Political bite-sized meaty chunks

Christian Kerr writes:

Greens v boys in blue? "The Greens' chief policy strategist in Victoria has admitted she helped organise a cannabis festival," the Melbourne Herald-Sun reported over the weekend. "Freja Leonard, chief-of-staff to Victorian Greens MP Greg Barber, used to be a coordinator at Mardi Grass, Nimbin's pot celebration," it breathlessly continued. The story has left more people than just a few old stoners scratching their heads and asking what Greg Barber has done to cop such a story. Could it be calling for an independent crime commission to be established in Victoria along the lines of those in NSW and Queensland? Such a body in Victoria might well cause embarrassment for both the ALP and the boys in blue.

Posted by editor at 12:37 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 13 June 2007 7:49 PM NZT
Monday, 11 June 2007
Premier's warning to coal industry ....4 years ago at Dendrobium, Illawarra
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: globalWarming


Premier's warning to coal industry

November 5, 2003

 AUSTRALIA'S coal export industry must embrace greenhouse gas "offsets" if it
wants to do business with Europe and Japan in the future, Premier Bob Carr
said yesterday.
The Premier's warning of hardening attitudes to carbon and the
"indisputable" evidence of global warming came as he formerly opened BHP
Billiton's Dendrobium colliery at Mt Kembla.
"When I was in Europe a few weeks ago talking to a big bank in Holland, they
revealed there are two Australian coal suppliers who have been told by
European buyers that not only should they present them with coal, but
greenhouse offsets," Mr Carr told a gathering of company executives, miners
and guests.
"That's a challenge for us, to see our coal being sent overseas accompanied
by a certificate that in effect says measures are being taken back in
Australia to offset the release of carbon that comes when the coal is
incinerated making steel or in power generation plants.
"New mines like Dendrobium will provide new jobs for the Illawarra and put
millions through the economy, but we have got to plan for the day when the
markets in Japan and Europe demand we do something to compensate," Mr Carr

"That's a warning and a challenge."
BHP Billiton has invested $284million in Dendrobium - the once-bustling
Southern District's first new mine in 20 years.
During its expected 30-year life, the mine will inject about $400million
into the Illawarra economy and at full production 2.6 million tonnes of
coking coal and one million tonnes of thermal coal for electricity
generation will be won from the mine each year.
Mr Carr described the environmental constraints placed on the mine's
production and the involvement of the community in its development and
on-going operation as a benchmark for the nation's entire coal industry to
Later at a media conference, the Premier said because there was no dramatic
easy alternative to coal, it was all the more important to have some sort of
offset, and timber plantations was one option.
Mr Carr said NSW was already operating a carbon credit system with overseas
companies investing in plantations.
He said investments in other forms of energy will help companies get some
offsets that would help them sell their coal to Northern Hemisphere
countries increasingly concerned with greenhouse.
The Premier was uncertain about the impacts on state initiatives of the
failure to ratify the Kyoto Treaty on global warming.
"I think Europe will move towards its own controls on carbon regardless of
whether the Kyoto treaty is ratified or not and so will Japan," he said.
"One way or another this is going to be an issue that will not go away and
Australia must be ready to respond to it," Mr Carr said.
In a brief but hectic Melbourne Cup Day visit, Mr Carr also launched
Futureworld's Eco-Technology Centre at Coniston.
Mr Carr said the centre was set to become one of the Illawarra's foremost
education and tourist attractions allowing companies to promote the latest
environmental products.

Posted by editor at 1:22 PM NZT
Sunday, 10 June 2007
2 voices in Sydney on the miserable conflict in Palestine
Mood:  sad
Topic: peace


The Social Justice Network

Media release


9 June 2007


40th Anniversary of Israeli occupation of Arab lands:

Israeli occupation of Palestine and other Arab lands should end now


Israel had marked this year’s 40th anniversary of its occupation of West Bank, Gaza strip and Golan Heights with more oppression, continued detention without charges of Palestinians and Syrians and more blood shed in West Bank and Gaza strip. All this and the international community is watching carelessly with no action to stop these atrocities.


“We are very concerned about the international community’s hypocrisy when it comes to Israel’s treatment” said Jamal Daoud, the spokesperson of the Social Justice Network. “Israel is refusing to implement more than 65 UN resolutions, violating all international treaties about treatment of people under occupation and all relevant international law about military conduct during war time. Yet, the international community did not move to punish or isolate this renegade state”


“The heightened hypocrisy of the UN and the international community was in its clearest display last month. The Security Council was quick and within less than one week to meet and adopt resolution 1757 to form Special court to investigate the assassination of Mr Hariry, under article VII”


“We understand that there is no wide spread civil unrest, daily massacres, wide spread violation of international laws and treaties in the aftermath of this assassination. Yet the Security Council was quick to adopt such resolution, even without the approval of Lebanese political apparatus”


The Palestinians were subjected to ethnic cleansing since 1948, their rights as human being was and is still grossly violated, their elected parliamentarians are illegally detained and their lands are grossly confiscated daily. Israel also occupies lands of other neighboring countries, Syria and Lebanon. Yet, the Security Council failed to adopt resolution under VII article to stop all these violations and atrocities.


“All aspects of international dealing with Israel are highly hypocritical. The international community’s dealing with Iran’s nuclear program is another example” said Mr Daoud. “Iran is under immense threats from international security for trying to develop nuclear program for peaceful use”

We, in the network, are not necessarily supporting using nuclear energy as alternative. But at the same time we are observing that the international community is deadly silent on the fact that Israel is stockpiling tones of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction”


In this sad commemoration, we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese people under Israeli occupation. We condemn the international community silence on Israeli crimes and gross violation to human rights.


We also remember the struggle of million Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian refugees because of Israeli aggression and occupation. The anniversary is coming just weeks before the world’s celebration of World Refugee Day. We note here that the Palestinians are the largest refugee ethnic group.


The Network will work very hard to raise the awareness among Australians on this important social justice issue. We note also the deadly silence of most of Australian politicians to demand justice for Israeli aggression’s victims. 


The international community should act soon to force Israel to recognize and to implement international treaties and laws.


For media interviews, you can call Jamal Daoud on 0413 467 367


#2 From the Australian 9th June 2007 Israeli watchdog finds alarming level of indoctrination in Palestine


A GENERATION has passed since the 1967 Six-Day War that created the Palestinian territories as they are today. But the bleak portrait that emerges of Palestinian society through a study of its media and culture reveals the next generation is being radicalised almost from birth.

When Monica Attard and her researchers scan Australia's media for the weekly Media Watch program on ABC television, the focus is on plagiarism, misrepresentation or conflicts of interest. When Itamar Marcus, the director of the Palestinian Media Watch website, views TV broadcasts, he sees children being brainwashed to become suicide bombers. Marcus was in Australia this week to advise federal MPs and security groups.

PMW is an Israeli organisation, established in 1996 to monitor Palestinian Arabic language media and analyse such seemingly innocuous activities as summer camps, poetry, school books, crosswords and religious instruction. But PMW revealed last month that Hamas-owned al-Aqsa TV was broadcasting a children's program featuring a Mickey Mouse clone called Farfur who was preaching Islamic supremacy. After an uproar, Hamas stopped using Farfur for this purpose, but the indoctrination continues and children are a key target.

On May 27, a new music video clip was aired on al-Aqsa urging children to become shaheeds, or martyrs. It shows a pre-pubescent boy holding an AK47 while a chorus sings "machinegun and Koran in our hands". The child becomes a Hamas fighter and dies as the choir sings "the pure blood will produce honour and glory".

The promotion of martyrdom to children has been a recurring message since the second intifada. From 2000 to 2003, Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority TV broadcast a music video thousands of times depicting Mohammed al-Dura, a Palestinian child killed in crossfire in 2000, in shaheed paradise. The al-Dura figure says: "I am waving to you not in parting but to say, 'Follow me'."

The Palestinian Authority took it off the air after Marcus testified about it to a US Senate committee. "But it was suddenly broadcast again in June 2006 after the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit," Marcus says. "Israeli troops were preparing to enter Gaza to search for Shalit and the Palestinians wanted children to be on the frontlines.

"They convince the children that it's better to die and then if the children are killed they run to the media saying, 'Protect our children from the Israeli soldiers who are killing them.' In fact, the children need protection from their own leaders."

On March 21 this year, Hamas TV sank to a new low. It broadcast a clip of a four-year-old girl, Duha, whose mother blew herself up in January 2004, killing four Israelis. Duha sings: "Instead of me you carried a bomb in your hands. Only now, I know what was more precious than us. I am following Mummy in her steps", as she picks up a stick of dynamite. On March 8, Hamas TV interviewed Duha, now seven, and asked her where her mother was. She replied, "Paradise", and after prompting recited a poem about her mother that said: "Reem, you are a fire bomb, your children and submachinegun are your motto."

"This is pure child abuse," Marcus says.

For a population of little more than two million people in the territories, Palestinians would seem to have a thriving media with as many as 25 private TV stations. But there is remarkable uniformity. Programming on the two main satellite TV stations, PBC TV, also Fatah-controlled, and Hamas's al-Aqsa TV, which began satellite broadcasts in February, is indistinguishable. Fatah TV is very religious, interrupting programs for prayers five times a day and broadcasting nothing but sermons during Ramadan. There are also three newspapers: one belongs to Hamas, another to Fatah, and one is independent. Yet there is not much diversity of views. What PMW has monitored is a transformation in the Palestinian struggle from a nationalist battle to a religious conflict.

"From 1996 to 2000 we saw a steady incitement to hatred but it wasn't violence," he says. "In July 2000, it shifted to violence for God. It became so intense that on September30 we reported that 'the atmosphere today in Palestinian media is on the eve of the outbreak of war'. A week later, the intifada began."

Palestinian schoolbooks, which have been produced since 2000 by the Fatah-controlled ministry of education, couch the Palestinian struggle in religious terminology. "As long as the conflict was nationalistic, territorial, compromise could be a possibility. Once it's been packaged as a religious conflict for God, it makes it literally impossible to compromise," Marcus says.

Marcus sees this as part of a general process of Islamisation in many Muslim countries. "But Arafat and Fatah used Islamic terminology to give religious backing to their conflict. He did this for his own political gain but he ended up doing PR for Hamas, which now has 56 per cent of the seats," Marcus says.

The trouble is that Hamas objects on religious grounds even to the Jews' right to exist. For example, Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan cited a hadith (prophet Mohammed's saying) on March 30 on Palestinian Authority TV saying "the hour of the resurrection will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them, and the rock and the tree will say: 'Oh, Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, kill him."' Meanwhile, Fatah, which presents a moderate face to the world in English, shows a much more uncompromising one to Palestinian people in Arabic.

Marcus gives an example of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas saying in English to Condoleezza Rice on October 4, 2006, that "Hamas must recognise Israel". But in an Arabic interview the next day he said the opposite.

He adds: "People assume that there is a real difference between Hamas and Fatah. There is no difference except that Hamas says the same thing in English and Arabic whereas Fatah speaks the language of compromise in English and the language of Hamas in Arabic."


Posted by editor at 11:22 PM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 10 June 2007 11:32 PM NZT
John Howard's betrayal of practical reconciliation with broken $40M 1996 election promise for Cape York Land Use Agreement
Mood:  sharp
Topic: indigenous

This article in the Weekend Australian, Noel Pearson


The ideal equilibrium | The Australian Your Say Blog


should have read - John Howard’s 1996 betrayal of “practical reconciliation” $40M broken election promise for Cape York Land Use Agreement (CYLUA). Because those are the seeds of the desperation that Pearson is complaining about but refuses to acknowledge in his article:


Here is the reference for that broken 1996 election promise, compounded again in 1998 with another broken pre election media release promise of Minister Robert Hill


$40 Million in Federal Funding for Cape York Plan Media Release 16 ...


The money was never paid to jump start employment in the Cape and the CYLUA became a dead letter despite 1996 promises to support it prior to the Howard election ousting Paul Keating. The Wilderness Society corroborates this real history of Noel Pearson's new friends amongst the conservatives:


The Wilderness Society - Cape York and Robert Hill's folly


Noel Pearson of Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership

 appears to have become the catspaw of Big Capital through the pages of the anti green, big coal The Australian. Maybe he is getting worried that his compromise with the Howard Govt are about to run out of time come the next federal election.


Noel Pearson makes egregious slurs in his column this weekend. A slur that must not go unanswered. Nor should his airbrushing of the Howard Govt’s wicked failures in regards to implementation of the Cape York Land Use Agreement of 1996.


First the slur


“Few tears are shed when thousands die and billions suffer. It may be the underlying psychology of extreme Western environmentalism is that mass depopulation from disease and starvation would be an ecological benefit.”


But who exactly, specifically holds these views in Australia, Mr Pearson? The truth is the sensitivity to the rights of the environment springs from the same respect for all life and Indigenous People and culture.


I want to know if Pearson is accusing this writer of such. Specifically. If he is I will be looking at a defamation action.


In all of his article this weekend he omits in the most sleazy way the history under Howard that he lauds including achievement via one Greg Sargent of The Wilderness Society who tragically died of skin cancer some years ago, and can't speak for himself.


The context of the weasly Pearson article above such as disgusting editorial here and accompanying articles by “environment reporter” Matthew Warren here 


Extreme greens prevent growth


and here


Green means go for show | Science & nature | The Australian


tells its all.


Warren is the anti climate change green writer from the Coal Lobby that puts mafia in the phrase 'greenhouse mafia'. What will sea rise do to the Cape or the wetlands I wonder? And let's not forget Warren's pro uranium mining position for his paper, after the weapons testing in the jungles up there on the Cape decades ago. Here is the referencing ABC TV Documentaries: Fortress Australia


(We are advised that film by Peter Butt refers to a simulated nuclear test in the Iron Range National Park around 1972, and the local police sergeant died of a mysterious illness 10 months later.)


So we feel Pearson is indeed being positioned as the catspaw of big capital against independent and committed green movement which includes the The Wilderness Society, not beholden to any political party, unlike WWF to the Coalition, or ACF to the Labor Party, both big business in alliance setting.


It is all so pathetically transparent and immoral as the smear by Waren of Kevin Rudd’s Prius presumably chosen not only for greenhouse claims, but also for it's low particulate pollution impact, in urban areas at least as important an environmental agenda, and probably recyclables. These latter criteria are totally airbrushed in that article same edition of the paper. Typical. Toyota no doubt make other claims about their environmental performance that can be debated but at least they are pitching.


Why no mention of the Howard betrayal of “practical reconciliation” with the broken election promise of $40M to implement a pro cattle and agri industry model in that CYLUA? There was plenty of industry agenda within that CYLUA under Farley, Sergeant and Jacko.


That’s Pearson’s political bias and pandering to the current Howard govt, as charged by Mick Dodson in the Fairfax Press 2 weeks ago: Favoured leaders slated as government 'pets' - National - smh.com.au


I personally find the slur above an outrageous smear, and a disgusting wild exageration. Only weeks ago I was doing legal checking to reinforce Sam Watson’s interview on the Palm Island Death in Custody scandal for broadcast here on Ch31 Sydney, the same Sam Watson who features on the same page as Warren’s sleaze piece: 


Symbol clash at Palm cop's trial | The Nation | The Australian


In 1989 I completed my honours thesis: A legal foundation for Aboriginal Land Rights at ANU Law School virtually predicting the Mabo no.2 High Court decision in favour of native title rights, that launched Noel Pearson’s public profile. And I've kept faith with that 15 years since.


So the evil ultra violence inflicted on the Aboriginal people, which has precious little to do with the environment movement and who have been horrified by these historic wrongs, have taken their course with Pearson seeking revenge against the white people who love(d) him and love the Aboriginal culture possibly the most from our side of a wide gulf.


Isn’t it always the way, that you hurt the people who love you most simply because they are closest on the political spectrum. That’s another form of victim mentality, and shame. Stop taking your pain out on the greens Noel. It's not right. And it's not fair.



Postscript #1 Monday 11th June 2007


What appears to be happening with Noel Pearson from the recent  Australian Story Cry Me a River is that he is getting fat and middle aged, tired and jaundiced. He says as much that he 'is sick of this struggle' and wants a normal life. But the hard, profound truth from one who knows, is in a vocation regarding huge historical issues like social and land justice for Indigenous the world over, and environmental destruction by Big Capital the struggle is NEVER over.


It's not a timeline based on one person's life cycle or what life stage they have arrived at.


Later on yesterday after our angry repudiation of Pearson's generic smear we read this below at the heart of Pearson's media and industry allies at The Australian same edition page 40 9-10 June 2007 - shale oil extremism, as an indicator how these guys just don't get climate change imperatives AT ALL let alone sustainable development:


With oil on the skids, US hails shale  

The diagram shows to quote


"In the high desert near Rifle, Colorado, rods 600m underground to heat the shale to 370 degrees Celsius, the tempereature at which Teflon melts. The heat will be applied for the next four years to convert the hydrocarbons ....into high quality crude ....


"The old technique required them to dig the equivalent of the Panama Canal every month", said former Colorado governor Richard Lamm, whose tenure from 1975 to 1987 included the last attempt to extract oil from shale. "This new approach is a much more sane process, but that's all relative," Lamm says. "They're doing this in an immensely fragile area where wagon ruts from the Oregon Trail in the 1840's are still visible. It doesn't excite me because I think they're about to indelibly change our state."




And this shale is not some boutique aspiration, as the lead in says:


"Colorado and Utah have as much oil as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Venezeula, Nigeria, Kuwait, Libya, Angola, Algeria, Indonesia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates combined." 


and later


"If we waited a few million years, all this stuff would turn to oil" Rand's Bartis says. "Some people don't want to wait that long."


You can't get a better warning about extreme capitalism to the custodians of a 40,000 year old Aboriginal culture than that on Cape York. And there is shale oil in Qld too The Stuart shale oil project: will it be Beattie's Ningaloo or his ... , but if not shale oil someother extreme developer agenda. And if Pearson thinks he can ride that kind of bucking monster into a tame pony he is living an illusion. Big Capital is not like that and not interested a jot in respecting the human and environmental values of the Cape. It's all about big money and power. And vulnerability of middle aged men.


Postscript #2

Part A 

The Australian declined to publish my submission last night on their comments page to the story above:

This is what we wrote this morning, as well as copying the above to the Pearson's Cape York Insitute by email, and notice the challenge to the Murdoch press to publish this below or be exposed for censorship:

at 10.35 am 11th June 2005


It was John Howard and his minister Robert Hill who refused to support the pro economic development Cape York Land Use Agreement with greens and pastoralists as promised at both the 1996 and 1998 election.

Howard's regime destroyed that living treaty causing Pearson's cries of desperation now. And now he seems to be doing Howard's work as a wedge and a catspaw, as pointed out by Mick Dodson in the Fairfax press, as described on my blog.

Prove it isn't so, if you can, Noel Pearson in the lead up to this federal election. I am copying this to my blog to see if The Australian has the guts to publish it.

Unlike the censoring of my submission of last night ... tsk tsk, democracy of the blog, but only as far as you can control it?



Part B

Sent: Monday, June 11, 2007 9:34 AM
Subject: response to your director in The Australian, Australian Story, etc etc 
Dear CYI/Noel Pearson
It seems to me your director has been courting a serious response from the greenies down south, right down south here as far as Sydney, though I come from even further south on Bass Strait, Warrnambool originally, which means meeting of two rivers.
So here it is and its not that pretty. I met Gumbra Jacko, Peter Costello and Greg Sergeant and Rick Farley over the years and including 1994 Starke campaign here in Sydney the land of cancer causing Smog.
But even so I think your director is using unworthy wild exageration, and kidding himself he can ride a bucking monster like Big Capital into a docile pony as regards the best interests of the Cape and its people. That's my advice and my challenge person to person, white greenie to Black traditional owners.
A first version of this repudiation of the philosophical smear has been copied to federal MPs. Since then I've realised the Shale Oil indicator of the Big Capital madness via The Australian, and the nuke test in Iron Range National Park (which is quite significant given the nuke weapons deterrent on Australian soil agenda of this Howard Govt are moving toward, vis a vis USA Missile Defence relations with China, North Korea Japan Taiwan South Korea, Singapore and others etc).
Bucking monster indeed.
Respectfully yours,
Tom McLoughlin, principal ecology action australian http://cpppcltrust.com/ecologyactionsydney
editor www.sydneyalternativemedia.com
editor background
tel 0410 558838
Postscript #3
[Joint press release of 2003 by ACF and TWS, from our archive received by email June 4 2003 from The Wilderness Society]

Senate Inquiry called for as $40 million Cape York Natural Heritage Trust Plan Flounders

Conservation groups have today called for a Senate Inquiry into the failure of the Federal Government to deliver on the Prime Ministers pre-election promise to protect Cape York Peninsula.

To support their call, conservation groups released a review of the $40 million Cape York Natural Heritage Trust Plan, which shows that of $12 million promised for expanding and enhancing protected areas, only 1 % has been allocated.

"In 1996, the Prime Minister promised to ensure that Cape York Peninsula's 'high conservation areas are fully protected'. Yet seven years later, only $140 000 of the committed $12 million has been spent on this," said Australian Conservation Foundation Executive Director, Don Henry.

"Given the outstanding conservation values of Cape York Peninsula, it is deeply concerning that so little Commonwealth funding has been put into promises to protect high value conservation areas."

"A Senate Inquiry should ask what has happened to the Prime Minister's promise and where's the money?" said Mr Henry.

The Wilderness Society's National Campaign Director, Alec Marr said, "The review does show that $7 million of a promised $8 million has been spent on indigenous people's land management, which we strongly support."

Mr. Marr said "The groups are calling for a reformed Cape York Natural Heritage Trust Plan, focussing on:
- A strong voluntary property acquisition strategy for areas of high conservation value;
- Substantially increased funds for National Park and protected areas management;
- Recurrent funding for Indigenous Land and Sea Management Centres and other Indigenous conservation initiatives; and
- A Peninsula-wide conservation plan, including a weeds and feral animal strategy;
- Support for the development of ecologically sustainable industries."

"The recent Commonwealth Biodiversity Assessment highlighted the Cape as a critical sanctuary for Australian mammals and birds and the importance of conservation action. Yet the Prime Minister's $12 million promise is missing in inaction", concluded Mr Marr.

To view a full copy of the submission, visit 

For further information contact:
Don Henry, Executive Director Australian Conservation Foundation: 0418 501 395
Alec Marr, National Campaign Director, the Wilderness Society: 0417 229670
Postscript #3
More evidence of where this Howard Govt are coming from here?
Did Australia demand reversal on natives? Ottawa pulled support after Howard's visit

Posted by editor at 9:32 PM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 16 June 2007 10:25 AM NZT
Sunday political talkies - Is God angy, she seems to be
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: indigenous


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:

Picture: Tim Blair right wing blogger has realised like Wendy Deng wife of Rupert Murdoch, that Kevin Rudd's language skills are a profound change for the better when we have many big issues with China on climate change and security this next decade. Inset is the wonderful David Rowe in today's Sydney SunHerald echo of this below - great outdoor chess set at local community centre.


 -         state ALP battle cardinal Pell bringing ALP female politicians to the fore

- good economic figures airbrush under employment figures but never mentioned

-         Keating riposte to Costello alleged economic mastery on Lateline

-         G8 on climate change preface to APEC in Sept 07

-         But the trump of all was the ferocious and fatal weather storms in NSW with ship stranded, family killed outright in shocker road collapse, following rail shock crash harbinger start of the week. Is God angry – maybe she is.


10 Meet the Press 8-8.30 am


Kevin Rudd front, sounding  a little head cold fluey but clear and moderated.


Petrol monitoring.


Kyoto attack by PM footage. China and India massive increase coal generated ghg.


Rudd attacks ‘Pledge and Review’ back to late 90ies. Sounds strong. Carbon target, carbon trading. Canada 20% by 2020. Q. Nuclear as there? KR dodges saying market is the answer.


Never ever silly on nuclear. Leave to market. Sounding strong on clean renewables. Rich array achieve without taking on extra safety and environmental problems.


Joe Hockey as shrek with nice Scottish accent. Keating watched it shows he’s got too much time on his hands?


Panel quality of 2, Michelle Grattan Age Melbourne, Clinton Porteus Courier Mail Murdoch Brisbane, this is the Keating fall out section …


MG kicks off …even Keating says …..


Even under Keating …. In 90ies 3.2% productivity growth – straight out paraphrase of Keating on Lateline. All these road tested lines coming out re world boom IMF, World Bank.


Union threats – KR refers to Hawke Accord examples of 80ies. Fundamental economic reforms. Proud labour history – again responding to PK concerns.


Union knocked off Linda Kirk endorsed by Shoppies official asks MG.


CP – unemployment – ignores question goes to productivity, great silent story. PB brings him back – goes to training.


Max Gillies – via Get Up “claims to be independent” runs YouTube piece link


Footage of Howard change for the better mantra – time for change idea faltering?                     


No restore the balance, work family balance, housing affordability, Iraq, climate, education, new technology.


CP doing the Murdoch press job, Qld full page adverts in central QLD take on Beatie. Disagrees on local govt amalgamations. Voluntary.


MG – donate a home for the PM, by the business community in Melbourne. KR - Shouldn’t use Lodge or Kirribili for fundraising.


MG – Shergold playing political role, public service heads. Restore westminister. Times up.





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




7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary  -


Congratulations 7 for streaming this on your website (2 week delay?)



Very interesting and amusing again. Satire of PM but equally cutting of Rudd stuff up IF he were PM.


Mostly entertaining. Female compare in her stride too. Andrew is still the most natural with his chisel/dentist comment.


2 and 9 to follow



Sunday 9

Follow of drug story last week, Abbott embarrassed, but shows limited resourcing at 9 now for Sunday.  Move on to brain injury wonder drug, positive to balance negative.


Ray Martin with Dalai Llama – great work by Sunday, giving a proper respect to a religious leader of 100’s of millions. Standing against Chinese dictators censorship. Australian political 'leaders' won't meet him. What a disgrace. 

Missile Defence story is very good summary (again, by Tim Lester), Beazley conspicuous, Asia reaction very worried. The same old thesis we have been plugging away at for 12 months now on SAM and before that on IMC re Taiwan, North Korea, Japan, Australia promoting an arms race and nuke weapons deterrent on our soil. In short an arms race.




Insiders 2

Conroy on IT future, praises Hawke Keating achievements.


Everyperson segment – missed it.


Panel – Middleton SBS, Marr SMH, Ackerman Murdoch Sydney tabloid Sydney Telegraph.


Paul Kelly Murdoch broadsheet – on economic figures -


Panel talk on Keating stuff.


G8 climate change, Pell in NSW, Milne cracker story hurting PM Howard


Talking pics with Peter Andren MHR independent.


Akerman foreshadows more stories of nasty union behaviour this week.


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

Posted by editor at 10:59 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008 11:11 AM EADT

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