« July 2007 »
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
about editor
aust govt
big media
contact us
donations to SAM
election nsw 2007
election Oz 2007
free SAM content
human rights
independent media
local news
nsw govt
nuke threats
publish a story
zero waste
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
official indymedia
ecology action Australia
ecology action
Advertise on SAM
details for advertisers
You are not logged in. Log in

sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Sunday, 8 July 2007
Sunday political talkies: Louise Barry Get Up advert slams dunks cynical oil politics
Mood:  chatty
Topic: election Oz 2007

www.getup.org.au/campaign/PleaseMrHoward, which ran on channel 10 Sunday morning and maybe elsewhere.


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:




Saturday Sydney Telegraph was a LauraNorder howler. Details include:





-         page 5 grovelling apology to legal referees of Dr Patrick Power convicted, now on appeal of serious user of child porn. And all is revealed on page 1 SMH (who repeat their rival's blunder in their eagerness to embarrass the Telegraph by) referring to “perverts mates” in $480K defamation settlement, with more suits likely to come. The point being giving references in a legal trial doesn’t really equate to friendship of to a "pervert" if they didn’t know at the relevant time. They might just believe in telling the truth about their narrow knowledge of him: The Dr Jekyl to the hidden Mr Hyde. My guess the Herald are thus just as guilty of defamation with their own headline. Ironic eh?



-         So you’d think the Saturday Telegraph might go softer on loose allegations – no, page 1 banner headline referring to “Aussie raids/FIVE foreign ‘terror’ doctors in WA and NSW” Yep – it’s the unreconstructed law and order tub thump, when the radio news same morning says ALL FIVE have been released after mere questioning. Derr.



-         But in case there is any doubt about the vigour of LauraNorder we have at page 8 and 9 same SDT “Mad doctor cell linked to Sydney”,



-         NSW ALP desperate to get in on the act with “We’re going to smoke ‘em out” p13, “Another fine mess” page 14 “CSI Sydney: $22m for hi-tech crime lab” on page 19.



-         But don’t worry if you are white and nice, it will be allright, even if you commit $340K tax fraud and your name is Glenn Wheatley: “Stars rally to defend shame tax dodger” – it's all in the picture, blonde glamour wife, inset Farnham, Newton, 2 other nobodies from the cartoon infotainment world.




Meanwhile in the geo political LawNorder blooding curdling farce known as the Iraq War “Downer admits safety of oil key to Iraq war” page 14 Sydney Morning Herald 7/7/07 proving it is a lucky day for the Coalition since this should have been page 1 in place of other shallow stories, reinforcing our recent traverse of the Minister Nelson ‘incompetence/truth telling’ on oil motives (to quote Opposition Wayne Swan on Meet The Press today).


7/7/07 is 2 year anniversary of 52 killed London Tube bombing which is where Louise Barry comes into it below via Get Up.



We also noticed in The Australian, to be circulated (surely) in the seat of Wentworth to green leaning Liberal voters - "Turnbull 'helped' in Gunns case" - that is promoting old growth woodchipping disgrace. P7 5/7/07.




More weirdness p10 4/7/07 "Go green to lure recruits, military told" which surely is the converse of this in the press yesterday also in the Herald 7/7/07 p14 quoting "alleged bombmaker ....Kafeel Ahmed" using "global warming" as a cover for his international terrorism plans. Not fair on us greenies. 


Prescient article in Sydney City Hub indy press May 2007 p6 "Urgent action needed for Aboriginal Australia" (offline) by Chris Graham, editor of National Indigenous Times, and Walkley Award etc winner.


Also relevant to Meet the Press coverage section below is this:


Everest melt pictures earlier this year June 1 07 Sydney Daily Telegraph page 11,


and our report of Australian Climbing Festival themes here on SAM several months ago – at PM visit to Bega [didn’t report anti logging protest for 3 hours on main road through town:

Prime Minister John Howard visits, protester jams taffic

Last Update: Thursday, July 5, 2007. 11:20am AEST

By ABC South East

The Prime Minister John Howard travelled to the South East of NSW to address a reception in Bega.

An anti-woodchip protest was staged, coinciding with the visit and causing congestion in the main street of Bega. Protester, Scott Daines chained himself by the neck to a logging truck at a set of traffic lights when the logging truck was stationary.

For over 3 hours, the southbound lane of the Princes Highway was blocked while police considered how to manage the situation.

While one block up the hill at the RSL Club, the Prime Minster was speaking to an invitation only get-together as people concerned about the government's new industrial relations laws formed a silent protest outside the RSL.

Members of the Clean Energy for Eternity Group had also stationed themselves outside the club to make their point on environmental awareness.

While in the South East of NSW, the Prime Minister John Howard announced the Commonwealth will contribute ten million dollars toward building a pipeline from the Bega River to Yellowpinch Dam near Merimbula.

The project aims to drought proof a number of towns in the Bega Valley Shire and is estimated to cost a total of $20 million dollars.

Mr Howard told ABC South East Radio that he would welcome a debate about housing affordability in the upcoming electorate, citing 17 per cent interest rates under Labor's Paul Keating.

According to Mr Howard, "If the Labor Party want to make interest rates an election well we will remind them from the beginning of the campaign until the end that housing interest rates hit 17 per cent under Mr Keating. They've been dramatically lower under this government."

The Labor candidate for the seat of Eden Monaro, Colonel Mike Kelly also took the opportunity to comment.

He said people are really struggling at the moment to pay their mortgages. "When you listen to Mr Howard talk about interest rates it's the pot calling the kettle black, back in his time we had astronomical interest rates back over the 20 per cent interest mark", he said.

Mr Kelly continued, "The real issue at the moment is what's been revealed with the Treasury papers that have been acquired which show just how much of an impact the cost of financing loans has become these days. It's just massively eroded people's disposable income and that's having a huge impact on Eden Monaro."


Between 2,500 and 3,000 trees from SE NSW and East Gippsland are cut down every working day to supply the Eden chipmill
CHIPSTOP campaign against woodchipping the SE forests, 02-64923134, PO Box 797 Bega NSW 2550 Australia, http://www.chipstop.forests.org.au



10 Meet the Press 8-8.30 am




Sunday press round up – missed the start – Live Earth concert, massive truck bomb in Iraq




Wayne Swan is talent to preface Treasurer on Insiders, who will be with Oakes? Sledges govt re productivity etc discussion of security etc under Rudd.




Protester of the week – “eye candy” good male body, in brief swimmers saying there is no snow, climate change – like Everest picture in backgrounder above.





Adbreak – Get Up – Louise Barry – terrorism victim call to get out of the mess in Iraq. Very powerful stripped back home, polished boards, serious injury, clear language. Humble. Preface Monica Attard 9pm tonight of Brett Solomon as ALP front group or not?





Panel is Fran Kelly RN ABC, Glen Milne – several curly testers well briefed with treasury arguments [source is Costello himself?]. Kelly backs up. Swan holds own, fast talking, energetic, focused, no word trip ups. Leans back holding forth.




Milne looking more studious in glasses, lost weight, new suit suits him, stripes to offset the tubb. Does sharply himself.




Healers as killers in Bill Leak cartoon. Grim, sad stuff. Trouble is a healer can’t fix a tsunami of death as per the Middle East. It’s psycho meltdown for many of these doctors. [A contact in the Greens Avi Lemberg told me once it’s the little kids that knock you hard – and that was in Sydney, let alone over there via war.]




2nd Ad break – running extract of Get Up advert again. Prof Clive Williams – is she right? Gives credence, greater threat, Govt will say existed before. Very factual mild.




Milne – Paul OSullivan ASIO head says well educated as likely terrorist attacker. Tends to agree. Milne presses him on foreign airline pilots? How many here?




Kelly another scary scenario – phone call from Australia as trigger of a car bomb possible?




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









7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary  -





Howard in his electorate fruit shop with some ripper juxtapositions with coconuts etc. Satire about scissors, Hawke swearing in jest, serious sledge of polls under cover of astrology satire, Rudd less repetitive. Q & A about housing market upcoming this week or so.


Good laugh, great footage.











Sunday 9


Full on bikie organized crime story with Ross Coulthard. Goes hard, big Sunday 9 play. Whoa. Chilling. Corrupt either direct or systemic Qld police in the picture. Informant in another country building his new home. No wonder Beatie wants to get out.



Oakes interview with Ruddock – increasingly the crumpled pasty faced man. Just spoke for 60 seconds but not sure he said anything (?).



Teases out detention powers. How mad is this about phone calls from Australia as a trigger device. Ruddock waffles – sounds bogus, as Barry Cassidy says.



Doctors funding line of q from Oakes – this has more resonance – good wage. Ruddock says no comment in 60 seconds.



All released except original Haneef in Qld – in the clear? [A new David Hicks, hanging their hat on his one way ticket, but what does that mean? Dual passport? Cheaper fares?]



Here comes the alarm over well educated folks being a threat.



Oakes is very subdued and deferential, as if he has been fed some secret information to go soft. Solidarity amongst geriatrics, cynicism of the vain old men?



New law draft about any media advocacy terrorism. Wants States to be involved.








Insiders 2



Provenance of oil as cause of Iraq War – Age on Thursday, Nelson added to it. ALP pushed it along. Missed start of Peter Costello Treasurer – ideological commitment to democracy in Iraq, what has it done for them asks BC in Palestine or Iraq, more ideology.



Discusses housing prices, admits high, says not quite as high. Indigenous emergency – asks for goodwill, and grace. Will take more than 2 or 3 months.



Panel – Annabel Crabb Fairfax, Brian Toohey Fairfax Akerman News Ltd Telegraph shrieker, Akerman.



Paul Kelly soliloquy  on broad defence strategy.



Panel blather. Annabel Crabb sounding a little deferential and subdued maybe for her story dumping on Akerman’s paper and fearful of same.



Windup comments – Toohey says no Tampa arriving, consensus polls are adverse trend. [Cowards scared to predict Howard done, but fair enough given cornered rodent bites hard even in death throes.]



Akerman gives the game away that Get Up advert is strong stuff – hopelessly claims Louise Barry is exploited, which may well be sexist, certainly plain wrong given she is doing it calmly and with real determination.




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


Also great segment repeats via webcast here:





Postscript #1 Monday 9th July 2007


Downer and Howard are busy warning us of risks of travel in Indonesia here via webcast:


News Video | Sun, 08 Jul 2007 18:16:00 +1000 | Duration 45s

The Department of Foreign Affairs is warning of imminent terrorist attacks in Indonesia, possibly in Bali.

But that's not what happened before the Bali bombing killing 200+ including 88 Australians according to this VERY DISTURBING intelligence leak on open source:

on this man's watch - Minister Alexander Downer:





Posted by editor at 10:58 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 9 July 2007 9:16 PM NZT
Saturday, 7 July 2007
Linda Burney MP launches NAIDOC week action at Addison Gallery 2pm Sunday 8th July 07
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: indigenous
2007 NAIDOC Poster Competition winning entry

Tyeli Hannah poster design winner




Sunday 8 July: Exhibition of paintings, carvings, and artefacts by more than 60 artists. Exhibition opens at 2pm; Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony. Introduction by Yvette Andrews, President of Addison Road Centre. Address by Linda Burney MP Minister for Fair Trading/ Youth and Volunteers.
Addison Road Gallery: tel: 9518 3709; e: terrycutcliffe@aol.com; hours: 11-5 wed to sun.


2 real crocodiles (real but not live) will greet local MP for Canterbury,

 Minister in the NSW Government and Aboriginal woman Linda Burney who will launch National Aborigines’ and Islanders’ NAIDOC events at Addison Rd Community Centre.




Fun starts at 11am. All kids welcome. Art and Craft workshop with real crocodiles as artist's models. Draw a crocodile or make water lilies to surround the model. Traditional Indigenous food with roo burgers and a kangaroo cooked in a pit with hot coals. Didgeridoo players, dancers and story tellers. Learn about our Indigenous cutlure and be proud of it.

Films include "Vote Yes For Aborigines" and  shorts.
Admission $10; or $6 Concession.

Addison Road Centre 142 Addison Road Marrickville 2204  tel: 9569 7633



Posted by editor at 9:13 AM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 7 July 2007 9:28 AM NZT
Tuesday, 3 July 2007
'Neocons can't have it both ways on Arabs' says Andrew Sullivan, The Sunday Times/The Australian
Mood:  blue
Topic: peace

With the news cycle in a very big spin re the latest terrorist attack in Britain, including a link here

Tuesday July 3, 2007 1200pm AEST

UK terror plot arrest in Brisbane

MARK DAVIS 10:31am | Philip Ruddock confirms a 27-year-old junior doctor has been arrested at Brisbane airport in relation to the UK bomb plots. Slideshow: Bomb plot's Aussie link 

we think this article below is prescient. Revealing too that medically trained enemies of the West continue to seek their revenge, or whatever motivates them, over foreign affairs and geo politics of the Middle East, and ongoing ferocious loss of life:

[bold added]


Neocons can't have it both ways on Arabs | The World | The Australian

including this


As Ralph Peters, a former military intelligence officer, explained in the New York Post last Thursday: "We're stuck in Iraq, and it sucks. But were we to leave in haste, far more blood than oil would flow in the Persian Gulf. The disaster in Gaza's just a rehearsal for the Arab-suicide drama awaiting its opening night in Iraq."

But here, it seems to me, neoconservatism begins to devour itself. For the sake of argument, assume the premise about the violent dysfunctionality of Arab political culture.

Now ask yourself: if that's correct, how on earth did neoconservatives ever argue that we could produce a functioning democracy by force of arms in Iraq?

This is surely the self-contradiction at the heart of neoconservatism. [bold added] Even at the maximum surge strength, the US is helpless in the face of an Iraqi civil war that has only just begun, can be fuelled indefinitely by corrupt oil money, and is driven by centuries-old sectarian hatred between Shia and Sunni Muslims and decades of totalitarian trauma. And yet the neocons insist we should plough on, adding more troops, planning on permanent bases for indefinite occupation.

Well, you can't have it both ways. Either Arab culture without autocracy really is what we see in Gaza and Iraq or it isn't. If it is, then trying to build Western-style democracy during a brutal civil war in Iraq is a mug's game.

We have, I think, two options. We can withdraw from Iraq and play the grand regional Shia-Sunni war in the Middle East by proxy. Or we can enmesh ourselves much more deeply and irrevocably in a metastasising conflict. Such a conflict may well breed even more anti-Western terror and run the risk of inserting Americans into an ancient sectarian blood feud.

There are grave dangers in both options and no one should underestimate the risks of withdrawal from a power vacuum we created. But surely the lesson of Gaza and Iraq is that occupation will not transform Arab culture for the better either. It may, in fact, make things worse.

What I guess I'm saying is that if you take neoconservatism seriously as an analysis of Arab culture and the regional conflict in the Middle East, and you are primarily interested in the defence of the West, the case for cutting our losses in Iraq is a very strong one. [bold added]

But somehow the neocons are afraid to follow their argument to its logical and inexorable conclusion. We need to leave. Soon. Or reap a gathering whirlwind.

The Sunday Times"


Postscript #1

Sure enough the apparent phone link from Britain terrorists to a doctor here in Qld, which may or may not be significant, has the Big Media in a lather. Even to the extent of parody by crikey.com ezine today 4th July about lack of any real news value. What has got us puzzled is the really shallow lack of psychological insight in most of the gormless media coverage.

By this we mean the Big Media are taking the line of shock, horror that medical people are getting murderously violent. Yet the SAM editor was alive to this potential years ago based on this simple observation - with hundreds of thousands of gruesome deaths (eg Iraq whether from Gulf War #1, sanctions, Gulf War #2, The Occupation, or in Palestine from prison like conditions) who are the ones in society most exposed to the carnage, misery and indeed mass preventable fatalities? Who are most intellectually capable to generate a political analysis of the geo politics behind the blood and gore, at least in some fashion. The medicos obviously. How anyone can think this horror especially the broken bodies of children, won't take its psychological toll and indeed turn at least some from their hypocratic oath is the really bizarre thing, not that it happens.

Indeed it takes a determined ignorance akin to the role of the mainstream media in this disturbing movie, and in the current context ..... Israel's vicious cluster bomblets in the last days of the recent war in Lebanon; or the mass lethality of USA air strikes; or The Lancet report estimating hundreds of thousands of deaths in Iraq to think the doctors would be whistling while they work.

Hence last Monday night on 4 Corners Chris Masters asked a military man in Afghanistan 'will 10 locals killed in error result in 100 enemies?'. It's a straight forward multiplier well understood by the UN for instance. Not for nothing do people refer to 'the spiral' of violence.

By what blindness do our well paid, over indulged journalists/editors ignore such basic consequences of western geo politik foreign policy as a matter of basic human psychology? Is it some kind of willful blindness that the "other" is not also human in every way to ourselves in the West?

One might at least expect these dumb Big Media to have seen this fairly recent movie where the doctor character is positioned as an assassin by the CIA in the Robert Redford, Brad Pitt vehicle Spy Game - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia exploiting the doctor's desire for revenge. Script writers are obviously smarter than journalists.

Postscript #2 6.15 am 7th July 2007

A. Well, as the news breaks (from about 3pm July 6th) of more detention and interrogations of medical people here in Australia from ALP Premier press conferences in WA etc our analysis in postscript #1 has itself proven "prescient" (to quote oneself above).

(Why on earth our postscript #1  typeface today first appeared as 16 point when its supposed to be 12 point is just another small mystery of the internet and maybe the junior trainee spooks trawling such things. This has never happened before quite this way.)

B. Another 'gratifying' aspect for SAM news site if such a term is possible in this sad, grim geo politik is that like our post of Sullivan above, both major parties here gave broad defence speeches here eg at the Lowy Institute on Thursday eg ALP's Kevin Rudd Future Challenges in Foreign Policy - MP3, and Defence Minister Nelson prefacing interview here on AM here with summary here

Defence battlelines drawn ahead of election | News | The Australian 


and both ended up highlighting the miserable failure in Iraq:

(1) The ALP intentionally by focusing on regional priorities for the future, barely mentioning Iraq except to say it was as bad a result as Vietnam.

(2) The Coalition not intentionally but as a result of the AM interview, where Defence Minister Nelson, having swatted all night and maybe all week for a broad policy, was forced into ducking and weaving a Lillee like bouncer first up about 'Why are we still in Iraq?".  You could hear his imperious annoyance at having to account yet again and use up precious oxygen he wanted for his giant defence Mecanno set of assets, ships, planes, tanks etc most of which are not deployed in said Iraq. So unsettled we would say that he defaulted to usual condescending truth that energy/oil security was the motivation for being there. A truth that must not speak its name. Within a few hours he was being repudiated by Treasurer, PM and Chris Uhlmann of ABC was referred to his squandered leadership potential. Ouchy ouch.

By next day Nelson was even repudiating himself!

And the Opposition were making hay.

But it was true, in world attention getting Syrianna (the movie) style that oil underpins the Occupation in Iraq, and for that we give Nelson some credit. Maybe as a medical doctor he was in angst over this whole violent doctors things - and his role in taking so much life as defence minister.

Further we wrote about this on the Matt Price blog story in The Australian yesterday (he pushing the line Nelson's words were an accident, and we were in Iraq for the US Alliance - which Matt is just a semantic way of saying oil again). His blog was fresh and unblotted when we got to it about 8 am yesterday -  our comment was censored off when checked last night (?) hence the time to write it here again. Or maybe it's hidden in the 400+ comments there now.

(3) As a result of all this attack on the main flaw in the Govt's broad defence policy re the disaster in Iraq, fiesty penetrating well resourced cyber group Get Up has run a glancing blow on the govt's security credibility: A terrorism victim calling for withdrawal from Iraq, which echoed onto the tv news bulletins last night. Ouch. Here it is:

"Dear GetUp members,
Two years ago I was on a bus that was blown up by terrorists. Three months in traction and six operations later, I'm asking for your help to prevent this from happening to any more Australians.

These recent attacks in the UK have not only brought back some really painful memories, they've prompted me to make a television ad - and we need your help to show it. Please watch my urgent plea here:

I thought going to war in Iraq was supposed to make us safer, not put us in more danger. And now we're hearing it was for their oil. Some of you may have seen me ask John Howard from my hospital bed whether he thought what happened to me was a result of the war in Iraq.
I did not think then that two years later we would be still be in this position, where I feel compelled to ask Mr Howard the same question. Yet here we are - our military presence is not making the Iraqis any safer; it is not making Australians any safer. Why, exactly, are we there then?
I want to help the Iraqi people, but not at the end of a gun. Our involvement in the violence in Iraq will only lead to more violence. Why can't we instead spend the money on reconstruction programs?
I'm no expert, but I do know something about the real cost of terrorism. Please,
help me tell this to the Prime Minister.
Thank you,
Louise Barry
Survivor, 2005 London Bombings
GetUp member"

(4) We are pretty used to being censored by The Pompous/Big Media - even as we effectively scoop them on psychological insight into Arabic medical personnel reacting to a miserable history -

We were also censored off the Trioli talkback on Wednesday after being near first in the queue pre 9am and waiting 30 minutes. We wanted to address the land clearing vandals reported in the SMH -(see immediately preceding story) so we resorted to type back radio submissions

- she is "haughty" which is true, and

- that she is being "duchessed" having admitted a dinner in Government House by the National Trust which has always been a pseudo ALP Left qango;

- that the article below by SAM on the clearing issue is 'doing the ABC's work for them ....again'

Now we see Stateline last night here in NSW with Quentin Dempster pretty much running our story last night . But even he can't do a very good job though he knows the issues - dwelling on the views of the disastrous Jeff Angel dirctor of Total Environment Centre who was the peak 'green' representative on the state native vegetation committee from 1997 to 2003 and ongoing (?), when about a million hectares (of 80M ha state) was cleared and yet he still saw fit to pander to the ALP in 2002 in the SMH proximate to the next election that Carr was the 'greenest premier in the history of Australia'. Yeah right. Betrayal of duty and trust for those that know.

Angel over the same timeline also cut a deal with Lake Cowal cyanide gold mine to receive money for his group and cronies for greenwashing projects up to $6M direct from revenue of the gold mine to the outrage of the Green Party and independent groups like Rainforest Information Centre.

In around 1997 we attended a meeting of 6 or 7 green groups where Angel proposed to tradeoff land to be cleared by farmers in the Southern Mallee of NSW, land that had outstanding native title claim by Aboriginal traditional owners, not to mention intrinsic environmental values. (The native title case all the way to the High Court was eventually lost, but we didn't know that at the time.) Talk about racist. [Time permitting we will pull the file out soon.]

Over the same time line Angel's group with maybe 750 members gazumped all the much bigger groups like The Wilderness Society with maybe 5,000 NSW members to entrench 20 year logger 'resource security' in a "peace deal" with govt and industry paving the way for woodchippers in southern NSW that continues to kills 2-3000 trees every day including pristine areas of East Gippsland like Goolengook. Majestic Goolengook fed through the Eden chipper in NSW that Angel kept open in alliance with Bob Carr in breach of an election promise of 1995.

And Angel is hopeless at modern media presentation  - ugly to see on tv, and choked speaking voice so much so that Trioli recently told him on air to drink water (!) not realising (she from Victoria) it was his normal voice, Angel is the perfect ALP patsy to keep in his position with Iago's technical ability to talk out of both sides of his mouth. And that's why the NSW environment movement is broken and our natural environment is doomed under this ALP government - Jeff Angel's faustian deal by with corrupt ALP, probably the worst environmental leader in Australia's history.

So why did Dempster's show dwell on him next to Reece Turner of TWS on the panel last night on tv? Dempster is an acolyte of Angel's group TEC, and probably recognises this real politik power game, and has done several public events for him pushing him forward at the expense of the true independent environment movement like Chipstop in the south and the Green Party or The Wilderness Society. The corruption of the ALP infuses most aspects of NSW life even into the Establishment green groups desperate for grants and profile at the expense of the sacred environment they are honour bound to protect, and certainly the Big Media. 

Angel's real legacy - a choked, dishonest, hobbled green movement served on a platter to this 12 year old ALP Government, fiesty mid level campaigners cut off at the knees after a year or two, corrupt grants, mediocre pandering spiced with the odd criticism to cover his backside.

In short Milo Dunphy was right about Angel being a wholly unsuitable person to lead the green movement and the fact Dempster promotes him is shameless and immoral. 

Posted by editor at 1:51 PM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 7 July 2007 11:03 AM NZT
Time for NSW Minister to resume crown leases in hands of rogue farmer vandals
Mood:  rushed
Topic: ecology

We responded to the rogue farmer clearing vandals here:

Wednesday, 30 May 2007
Steve Truman of 'Agmates' of Gympie Qld - the 2nd hand farm machinery seller who likes land clearing
[found via top right calender buttons]
Now Wendy Frew, environment reporter has this story of the vandals carrying out their threat: 

FARMERS in NSW, Queensland and Victoria said they had chopped down as many as 4000 trees yesterday in a campaign to pressure state governments to weaken land clearing laws.

This builds on the disastrous environmental destruction of Macquarie Marshes international wetland (to be formally reported on by Federal Environment Minister Turnbull in the next 2 weeks or so), and reported again here last weekend by admirable journalist Marian Wilkinson:

Beautiful to barren, in fewer than 10 years


And this also front page yesterday re NSW Govt pandering to Crown leaseholders with sale of public property rights at a tiny pittance of their real market value - Your wilderness for sale, cheaply

And there in is the correct legal solution to these vast areas of the public estate held in trust by the agri industry west of the dividing range. A lease is a lease is a lease. Break the lease and get evicted.

We call on the NSW Minister Koperberg to evict these farmers for breach of their leases by vandalism.

Not for nothing does Professor Cullen who gives comfort to the NSW Govt on desalination water supply insurance

No stopping desalination even if dam spills over - Environment ...

, also says that farmers on unsustainable farm operations should be restructured out of the business

AM - Calls for Govt to cut funding for unsustainable farming.

And by definition increased land clearing proves the land on their farm already developed i.e. cleared, is not sufficient to make a quid without drawing down disastrously on the natural capital. Such farmers will never stop clearing because they are not very good.

We heard a joke comparison on the radio this morning between urban freehold land holders and farmers on their crown leasehold wanting to clear away as much as they like.  Au contraire.

It's time the rest of the political community and economy with their worthy drought assistance sympathies, and patient subsidies of farm sector stopped pandering to redneck vandals.

Agforce in Qld have already repudiated Truman in Gympie, and it's high time the responsible farmer lobby in NSW also did the same. Some do it right as here:

Farmer makes $1m for doing nothing at all | NEWS.com.au

with this heartening image captioned "Tree change ... Queensland farmer Peter Allen and his wife were ready to chop down their trees until Rio Tinto stepped in / Annette Dew"

We say not only prosecute for illegal land clearing in NSW in the age of climate change, but also resume the crown lease for breach of the terms of stewardship and occupation rights at a tiny non market rental. 

Time to stop pandering to agrarian socialist vandals. Indeed bring it on and do your job Minister Koperberg, and Premier Morris Iemma. 

Failure to take decisive action will prove beyond doubt the brown shadow of such as Treasurer Costa over the NSW Govt and failure of welfare and good governance as here editorial 2nd July 2007 Sydney Morning Herald:

Michael Costa: colour him brown

DOES it matter that the NSW Treasurer, Michael Costa, calls the writer and environmentalist Tim Flannery an idiot for his views on climate change? By itself, not at all. Professor Flannery is perfectly capable of defending himself against Mr Costa's gibes, just as the Treasurer is perfectly at liberty to make them. What matters, though, about Mr Costa's comments is the post he holds.

Mr Costa is a member of the ever-dwindling group of climate change sceptics. In British political terms, the Treasurer is old Labor, an heir to a tradition that includes the Whitlam government's Rex Connor and those Tasmanian administrations which gleefully dammed Lake Pedder and would have done the same to the Franklin River if Canberra had not intervened. Development and the jobs it brings are everything to this way of thinking; the environment is a peripheral matter, of concern to trendies and lightweights, to be given lip service at election time, but otherwise ignored.

His views led Mr Costa to oppose the desalination plant - not on environmental grounds, but because it is a needless waste of money: since climate change does not exist, the drought will break and fill Sydney's dams, and the plant will lie idle. He was overruled by the Premier, Morris Iemma. Mr Iemma is a man of strong opinions: he believes firmly whatever the voters believe, and climate change quite rightly worries them deeply.

Mr Iemma's Government is weighing the options for a new baseload power station for NSW. Mr Costa obviously will play a large part in that choice. It should concern all voters, then, that Mr Costa's views of climate change are likely to skew that discussion decisively in favour of a coal-fired plant, the cheapest and most environmentally damaging choice. Similarly, moves are afoot to raise the registration charges for heavy trucks, to reflect the greater damage which they cause to roads. This is good policy because it helps even up the competition between rail (where tariffs reflect maintenance costs) and road (where they do not), and promote less environmentally damaging transport choices. But it will bring powerful opposition from the trucking lobby. For Mr Costa, the environmental sceptic, that may be enough to kill the idea. Mr Costa's blind spot overshadows the entire state.


Celebrate Aboriginal Australia: 

Posted by editor at 11:17 AM NZT
SAM news website pageviews for month of June 2007
Mood:  happy
Topic: independent media



May 2007 - 9, 059

April 2007 - 12,087

March 6,684

February 5,372

January 2800

Posted by editor at 11:08 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 5 August 2007 11:10 AM NZT
Monday, 2 July 2007
Liberal author blows whistle on Howard climate policy cheat
Mood:  special
Topic: globalWarming

Quoting the Canberra Times today below, (and see also 4 Corners February 2006 interview in an episode called The Greenhouse Mafia ):

Are Australians getting the whole truth on global warming?

 2nd June 2007

Liberal attacks PM on climate
Natasha Rudra

A Liberal Party member and former ministerial speechwriter issues a book today which depicts the Prime Minister with a stranglehold on environmental policy, deliberately surrounding himself with climate change sceptics.

Bungendore-based author Guy Pearse wrote High and Dry after seven years of academic research at the Australian National University, and a career with a former senior government minister as well as lobbying.

He has come to the conclusion that John Howard has a deliberately skewed vision of an Australian economy heavily dependent on mining and other high-pollutant industries.

"He has never genuinely believed climate change to be that serious," Pearse said.

"At every level, if you look closely, you'll find that he has promoted sceptics around him."

Pearse, who is originally from Queensland, worked as a speechwriter for former environment minister Robert Hill from 1997 to 1999.

He said that his experience and research into climate change forced him to rethink his political ambitions within the Liberal Party.

"In about 2005 I really reached a fork in the road where I either toed the line and went back to Queensland and set up for a political career, or I took this issue on," he said.

"I arrived at the conclusion that the issue was more important.

"The deception was too great, and the deception is even worse now than it was then.

"I don't see in any way that I'm betraying the Liberal Party.

"I think this is a case of the leader betraying the party's legacy on extremely important issues.

"Even though I'm a Liberal Party member and have been for almost 20 years I just felt we had reached the position where I had an obligation to do what I'm doing."

He hoped his book would spark extreme change in the Liberal Party's policy, saying that it could take a spell in opposition to achieve this.

"I hope it drives change faster than would otherwise occur," he said.

"It's to fix the policy," the author said.

Posted by editor at 7:04 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 2 July 2007 7:44 PM NZT
Oo oo, ee ee .... doing the monkey with the ABC
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: big media

Images of Australian Broadcasting Corporation open day for tragics yesterday 1st of July 07 in Sydney. We particularly liked the opera devil banner from Mozart's Don Giovanni. We rang ABC corporate affairs this morning and suggested an obscure picture (which had fallen down the back of a desk and visible to the public) of a certain disgraced modern pop artist might need to be removed ... pronto.

The image of broadcaster Trioli looking suitably haughty in Italian operatic style also revealed a character trait. The wan ABC science presenter, James Vallentine inspired poise with a swelling audience in his capable hands.

150,000? Well maybe on the churn. Maybe 50,000. In any case it was a buzz as shown by the long queue walking through the tv sets. "I love the ABC" wrote one old guy in the guest book. "But does it love you?" I asked rhetorically. "I'm a member of the Friends" came the rebuke, avoiding the question really.

We had a longish talk with ABC International display and very friendly they were too. They have a far bigger audience than the ABC within Australia.

Sad to say we didn't cycle in having a load of 2nd hand books to sell. But notice cycling fan Adam Spencer involved in this October 17th 2007 . For those indoors abc.net.au/rollermache.

Postscript #1

How ironic that editorialist at The Australian would be criticising anyone, let alone the ABC of "bias". How mediocre. How hypocritical. Here it is if you can be bothered. Truth is the ABC is fiercely centrist committed mainly to itself whatever the actual facts or truth are. A bland conflation of so called balance and compromise of political power and money. That's why the environmental radio show Earthbeat was cut, while agri industry has a full hour every day, and it's own tv show.

And The Australian has the impertinence to say the ABC is "deep green Left". This is the typical News Ltd 70% press national coverage bully pulpit that discredits that self aggrandising joke media organisation.

Posted by editor at 12:01 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 3 July 2007 2:29 PM NZT
Sunday, 1 July 2007
Sunday political talkies 'fundamentally' untrustworthy federal government? Politics of a higher purpose? Voter jury still out.
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: human rights

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:

-          Costello chief of staff in serious hit and run. Whoa, that’s heavy.

-          Failed Errorism attacks in Britain will travel politically will feed into atmospherics of APEC with protesters the least of issues: Bus prisons pictured in recent SMH.

-          Attack as usual by $2 Tim Blair in Sydney Telegraph yesterday sounding in existential doubt

-         Radio National Saturday slot with Jacqui Katona was a zinger. She should be our Governor General if you ask me, wow talk about articulate Black woman, feisty independent, smart.

-         character issues for NSW Govt kicks on re Ab welfare failings front SMH Saturday.


10 Meet the Press 8-8.30 am

Hints in Sunday press of Howard Iraq exist policy? One wonders.


Mal Brough – Stephanie Peatling SMH, Mark Kenny Adelaide Advertiser


Child welfare detail 11,000 kids in NT remote areas, many thousands not attending school. Shortage of resourcing. Good probing questions in from both on panel re detail.


Workman like fairly mild interview.


USA ambassador ….. “fundamental” (twice), there is that word again, blather on climate change with credibility gap like a huge millstone as he drowns in words. But one thing resonates – grandstanding at APEC on this. Sounds shaky on ‘staying the course in Iraq.




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




7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary  -

Teaser has protesters showing the PM overboard – very amusing image.

Light piece on Bennelong fete, electioneering. Dwells on “when it comes too” verbal artifice of Rudd speechmaking, but nothing turns on it – it’s the 15 sec electronic media grab which only runs …. Once. That’s the cross tv journos at pressers should bear.

Polls on Tuesday. Rudd lacking

Criminal convictions of 2 Herald Sun journalists Harvey and McManus – underspending on veteran entitlements by $1/2 billion.  Self described rant against conviction for just doing their job. Reflects “very poorly on our democracy”. [I can feel a Big media traverse coming on this week.]

Andrew OKeefe “didn’t work at Nuremberg but works here” throw away line. Ouchy. Referring to Public Servants must just follow orders as per Mike Cartlon view of Shergold chief of staff to PM “just follow orders”. Couldn’t agree more with the OKeefe Carlton view of morality in modern govt – fuck that.




Sunday 9

Cross to Glasgow news update on terrorism attack.


Sue Gordon former magistrate 18 years. Very top down views. Knows the players. Wants to attack alcohol abuse. Presents like a battle axe with a good heart.


[Hints at the humbugging issue – if selective with quarantining then stable functioning families will be humbugged for money for drugs from relatives. Stay tuned for a report coming up in the major foreign press.]


US Iraq militarized society feature story. Long long story shows Sunday is having to lean a lot on easy content?


Laurie Oakes interview with Tony Abbott health minister –  parlt recalled maybe by late July but complexity delays too.


22K indigenous kids in NT to be health tested. Oakes drilling into the detail. Compulsory or not?


Varies with conditionality like immunization. What level of compulsion?


Oakes says :sliding around on this” in the question and sounds like it.


Mal Brough said compulsory on the announcement. Skating around, says Laurie.


PM compulsory at Sydney Institute. Telling porkies. Abbott claims some grace on this for the difficulty of the situation.


Oakes drills in – in the week since AMA constitutes assault.


How much cost? Tens of millions PM talking through his hat says Oaks. Abbott again asks for grace – work in policy progress. Have to address this “terrible situation”. Will pay as the bills fall due.


Why not acted earlier. Says Herron as Ab minister in 1996 was active on this.


Reference to Duffy column. Abbott read it, and his biographer. Cynicism is not the right response here.


[Abbott had cut through here – A higher purpose. I feel a big big election funding package in gestation – on both sides.]


73% voted yes state premiers


DNA test story of HMAS Sydney.


NSW Workplace safety tv advert paid for by NSW Govt. Politics of a higher purpose.


[go the little buffalo in the footage, solidarity bro]






Insiders 2


Opposition spokes Jenny Macklin on Aboriginal child welfare, strong rhetoric of unity, sidesteps ALP premiers critique, call for unity. Culture jams PM message with “will it make children safer”


Juxtapose persuasive Rex Wild QC and Noel Pearson similarly persuasive but quite different positions re NT at least.


English as a second language. 200 extra teachers.


Land issues. Why? Govt fudging.


Jim Middlton for Paul Kelly back from Iraq – late and heavy handed on Ab welfare but playing well for Howard. Problem in the detail unwinding. [Jim got a bitchy sledge from crikey.com that I don’t share – he seems very objective to me.]


Everyperson segment has cultural workers multiracial reflecting the various responses.


Tony Abbott footage: Style and emphasis – police in, social work out. More law and order.


Panel jumps into the land grab issue. Footage of PM – not the aim, can see a lot of double talk from Howard. Poisoning the initiative – just like the poisoned water holes of yesteryear?


Barry Cassidy leads double standards segment which is very very impressive. Tip our hat. Underage consensual sex by 16 and 14 year old versus miners immorality – highly differential. Religious orders footage of PM – highly differential.


[even so no excuse for action either]


Mal Farr argues my point about revenue cycle. Karen argues both revenue and electoral.


Karen does a stirling job hanging onto the land rights agenda in the face of huge emotional violence.


Emerging consensus we all share blame for this misery.


Talking pictures segment mostly about Ab welfare issues.


Talk of August election  possible. Footage of Howard very gingerly holding a baby. Rudd similarly folksy local radio.


Warren Mundine loose language. Criminal convictions of Harvy and McManus. Vic Govt pardon?


Humours Blair  footage [but as with all genuinely funny people this often a technique to mask genuinely flawed personality traits – read Iraq failure.]



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

Posted by editor at 12:02 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 2 July 2007 10:05 AM NZT
Friday, 29 June 2007
Advertisment: Historic list of exhibiters at Addison Road Gallery for NAIDOC day
Mood:  special
Topic: indigenous


Posted by editor at 11:19 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 2 July 2007 10:07 AM NZT
Thursday, 28 June 2007
Noel Pearson, Keating, Howard and their politics of money, power and shame
Mood:  irritated
Topic: health


When you read Noel Pearson in the Daily Telegraph today it flies along until the very last line where he reveals his hyperbole and indeed excess:

Here is the column here: Noel Pearson: We must all help to stop abuse

and the offending sentence here

"Those people will the protection of Aboriginal children to fail the same way and as vehemently as they will failure in Iraq."

The headline for Noel's Sydney Daily Telegraph piece 28th June calls for unity of purpose but the conclusion drives a dagger of emotional violence into the hearts of anyone who dares to vary not so much on goals, as methods. Lawyers like Noel Pearson, and this writer, are taught in law school this is known as 'blowing hot and cold'. It's a big no no in professional advocacy actually due to overt inconsistency.

The assertion by Pearson that some people in our political community actually will Iraq to fail in terms of the horrendously savage civil war  is plain wrong, and so much so it's actually a form of emotional violence on anyone daring to simply observe the truth that the Iraq Occupation has failed, past tense.


Celebrate Aboriginal Australia: 

 Linda Burney MP launches NAIDOC week action at Addison Gallery Marrickville 2pm Sunday 8th July 07

You are either for us or against us. Absolute truth. And this is our sophisticated Black leader?  It's surely a calculated form of rhetoric by Noel Pearson to pander to the Howard govt with the purse strings this side of the federal election. It is also a give away to Noel's limited objectivity let alone diplomacy.

A few weeks ago Noel was claiming in the pages of The Australian greens like this writer with a staunch commitment to Aboriginal social justice wanted billions of people to suffer and die. And there we were thinking we were trying to stop dangerous sea level rise to save millions of lives: Refer our website here for the details:

Sunday, 10 June 2007
John Howard's betrayal of practical reconciliation with broken $40M 1996 election promise for Cape York Land Use Agreement
Mood:  sharp
Topic:  indigenous

including analysis there of a slippery provocative article, egregiously airbrushing the true history of the Cape York Land Use Agreement neutered by lack of funding despite its grand substance:

The ideal equilibrium | The Australian Your Say Blog 


We understand Noel's megaphone is fundamentally a federal govt funded operation there at the Cape York Institute as shown here in Cairns 

We notice a Board member Ms. Lisa Paul is Secretary of a federal govt department who presents like another Howard loyalist Catherine Murphy at the head of the ultra political National Association of Forest Industries (read woodchippers like Gunns Ltd). And what an extremely political operation Murphy has run quite comfortable with overt industry violence on greens both physical and emotional.

To be fair there is also Geof Gallop former WA Premier on the CYI board. But there is also  Chairperson - Professor Marcia Langton a long time green hater (especially versus a heroic achiever for the environment being The Wilderness Society) whose academic career was in part built on financial support from ERA uranium miner if memory serves. ERA were responsible for the Jabiluka uranium mine farce in 1998 within Kakadu World Heritage national park, near Jabiru, which actually prefaced the failed Statehood referendum later that year, and then 2001 election loss of power from CLP's Shane Stone to the ALP's Clair Martin in the NT. Stone was a strong ally of Howard.


As the old saying goes - he who pays the piper ....

Thus Greg Sheridan a keen right winger lauds Pearson today and eagerly joins in the emotional and psychological kicking of many experts who have very justified concerns over 11 long years of the Howard Govt to question not just motives but far more importantly capacity or mentality for change, as distinct from grandstanding.

Similarly the editorial  tub thumps about "shameful protest" when the shame can be liberally apportioned on this topic:

- the 11 year delay by the Coalition federal govt let alone National Country Party in the NT up to 2001

- the shameless opportunism of an election context

- the amateurish glossing of detail by Minister Brough on 7.30 last night

- the fierce 'ownership' of misery and the cures of same by the centre left parties of the ALP, whether successful or not, in an obvious form of territorial defence.

Only a fool would think this is an easy problem from any side of politics. Addictions in particular are never so easy as just "law and order" let alone a very big cultural divide. But the effort must be made too.

Everyone is holier than thou that the children should come first, as per the Sydney Morning Herald editorial 28th June. Well that's about the only thing I've heard so far that rings true: Actions and money speak a whole lot louder than anything else.

Thus Pearson reminds us of that other great articulate advocate Paul Keating in the great debate over the 'true' modern history of reform in the Australian economy, starting out on Lateline - 07/06/2007: Paul Keating on the lead-up to the federal ... which morphed into Q & A in federal Parliament and then grew like topsy including:

21/6 Wayne Swan: Howard, Costello in state of denial | Opinion |

22/6 Peter Costello: Productivity all Greek to Rudd | Opinion | The ...

23/6 Productivity should be a spin-free zone - Business - Business ...  

23/6 The latest jobs blarney comes out in the wash - Opinion - smh.com.au

23/6 Both sides belabour a skills issue | Features | The Australian

25/6 We gave Keating free ride, says PM | The Nation | The Australian

25/6 Editorial: Reform is key to economic growth | Opinion | The Australian

back to Keating again with

26/6 Paul Keating: Libs are making it up | Opinion | The Australian

The ex PM makes some fantastic instructive points while periodically trashing his credibility with throw away hyperbole as if the bike has got the wobbles at high intellectual speed sommersaulting over the handlebars - saying for instance at one point interest rates were not an issue in the 1996 federal election. Err fraid so Paul. Just like they must have been for Howard in 1983. Whether Keating wins in the end on points I don't know, though I suspect he does actually.

This big economics debate is about who did what, when, did it work and who gets the credit, and the brickbats just like failure of welfare for Aboriginal children. There is plenty of blame and maybe praise to go around in my book. 

The issue of chronic poverty and cyclical abuse is intrinsically tricky, and when the debate is paralysed with confusion and emotion you can be pretty sure we are in the realms of power struggles rather than fact or truth. It's as old as human nature and group dynamics.

The timing of this latest govt action perhaps results from another more subtle influence - the embarrassment of budget surplus where no politician can with any moral sense ignore this festering problem with an excuse of too busy on something else.

As always the truth is a synthesis of many different angles and perspectives which is what democracy actually is. So we would recommend more listening and less emotional violence directed at political rivals. And more honest transparency about vested interests.

And listening doesn't mean suspending disbelief either. That's not realistic or honest.

As always it's mostly about the money and how it's managed, which is how those poor Aboriginal People got in this terrible mess in the first place. With economic sovereignty annexed by the Empire in their born to rule arrogance, then the stolen wages, then racial denial of citizens rights, and now hugely disproportionate life opportunities and welfare services, in a non English speaking remote culture. ESL programmes anyone?

It's all about the money for the Cape York Institute, to the major party spoils of the next federal election, to the funding not provided this last 11 years (eg $40m for CYLUA, 1996 broken election promise by John Howard, 1998 broken election promise by Robert Hill), to election promise$ up to Nov. 2007, to the free media the Howard leadership craves. How much indeed for the life of an anonymous child of different race and language who won't ever speak for themself or complain or cause embarrassment. Who effectively dies silently. The South in our North. And answer that honestly.

Up untill recently that black kid's life has not been worth very much at all. And everyone knows it. That's what Australia really is stripped back to the fundamentals. Pretty ugly isn't it? It's our character test and we've been failing it a long time now.

doug nichls and boy.jpg
From the movie Australian Atomic Confessions
Postscript #1 29th June 2007
We found Gavid Mudd's contribution on Crikey.com very instructive and worth repeating here (below) in full given this front page article in The Australian  today
Howard, Rudd dodge indigenous 'land grab' claims
which we have to say shows some serious editorial independence given the other blatherings in the newspaper of late. The Sky News guy on Trioli 702 picks up the theme too. These echo crikey.com's Bob Gosford lead story yesterday, we notice also
Howard's land grab: The (d)evil is in the permit detail
The overall impression is that funding for welfare has been withheld to leave a mess and move on in over the social disaster as if some heroic rescuer above moral reproach. Is the Howard Govt really that evil? They certainly took a torch to the CYLUA as explained above.

"Bininj culture really strong. You have to look after country. For your grandfather country, like mother country, take care." Yvonne Margarula, Mirarr Senior Traditional Owner.

Over to Gavin Mudd here 27th June Using children to nuke Aboriginal land rights:
 "As an environmental engineer, Gavin Mudd has over ten years' experience in issues concerning Aboriginal land rights and mining. He is a lecturer in environmental engineering at Monash University, and a concerned Australian. He writes:
It is ironic that at the time of the 40th anniversary of the 1967 referendum John Howard is in the middle of gutting the Northern Territory’s Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1976 (ALRA) -- the Commonwealth legislation made possible by that referendum.

The land rights were long overdue, hard fought for and won by Aboriginal people, but they are about to be critically undermined, not just by the politics of military-style interventions in problematic Aboriginal communities, but by a more insidious, as yet unrecognised agenda -- mining and nuclear waste on Aboriginal land.

The ALRA gives legitimate powers such as access permits for entry to Aboriginal freehold lands, a veto over exploration and mining and other activities. As noted by the 1974 Woodward Land Rights Inquiry, to deny Aboriginal people the right to prevent mining on their land is to deny the reality of their land rights.

Since gaining control of the Senate, the Howard Government has finally had the parliamentary power to gut the ALRA, which they are doing, but have needed a massive diversion before they introduce the most controversial reforms: radically altering the mining royalty regimes, and potentially remove the veto provision for exploration and mining.

It is no coincidence that many of the communities targeted for “military style intervention” are also areas that are heavily targeted for minerals exploration, particularly uranium, as well as for potential nuclear waste dumps. This includes Western Arnhem Land and Central Australia, where numerous known uranium deposits are being actively investigated by various wanna-be uranium producers.

I have personally visited numerous Aboriginal communities, including some with major social dysfunction and others which have escaped the tyranny of petrol sniffing, grog and domestic violence. This was achieved by the communities and took hard yakka over a decade (or more). Now, they are vibrant, positive and functional communities proud to be truly sustainable. Mining has rarely aided this process.

The use of “social issues” as a diversion to hide the gutting of Aboriginal land rights is malicious and cold-hearted. As with almost everything Howard does, there is clearly more at play -- perhaps it’s time to have a real debate about problems, true partnerships and the future.

As noted by Yvonne Margarula, Senior Traditional Owner of the Mirarr-Gundjeihmi clan of Kakadu and on whose lands the Ranger uranium mine and Jabiluka project lie, “None of the promises last, but the problems always do!” "

The editor met Yvonne Margarula of the Mirarr and Goldman Award winner (and beware the faulty link there to the Mirarr site which could be cyber squatting) in 1997, and at Jabiru going to court in 1998 (she faced a charge of 'trespassing' on her own traditional land for time immemorial!), and we hold her in the highest esteem here at SAM news site. We understand her family have been victims of mining industry culture in the past in the most extreme and fatal ways.


Postscript #2 This brutal, damaging article on the economics debate ran on June 28th a day after the first roughly drafted, and now much better edited, version of this article, to add to my list of a flurry of articles:

Michael Costello: History backs Keating's claim on economy

Posted by editor at 4:09 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 2 July 2007 6:25 PM NZT

Newer | Latest | Older