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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Thursday, 20 September 2007
Marrickville Film Festival #1 of 2007
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: independent media

Marrickville film festival last weekend 14th and 15th September at Addison Rd Centre was a goer by the looks of things. We missed the Friday night event too tired after 7 hours solid digging, sawing, composting etc. The programme sheet indicates 18 movies about 5 min each. On the next night we noticed about 150 people for the outdoor screening of ‘They’re a Weird Mob’. Mmmm. We  recognised the large projector screen, if not mistaken, from a certain giant Qantas dumpster near Wolli Creek railway in late 2002 rescued by moi. That’s the spirit of The Composter alive and well.


Apparently the film nights reflect a WW2 tradition of out door screenings on the same grounds.



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Posted by editor at 7:25 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 24 September 2007 10:55 AM NZT
Nelson cruels last Q time. Devine's Albrechtsen eny? Wheels fall off the Heiner play and Akerman career, switch to Rudd ticker?
Mood:  rushed
Topic: election Oz 2007

Why would Minister Nelson raise Pine Gap in a boring speech to cruel the scheduled 2pm question time of the last day of the last parliament before the election in 2007? To cruel the radio and web based ratings for the Opposition in their last attack perhaps, while the ABC tv perversely prefers senate question time? To symbolically show who's still boss? To try and wedge peace nik Peter Garrett MP again?

Nelson is fillerbustering as we speak, with a compulsory response by the Opposition Minister to confirm support for the Australia US alliance. More bleeding of listener numbers.

Picture: Peter Costello as PM heir apparent looks very worried about colleague Defence Minister Nelson crashing the scheduled start of the last question time of the last parliament of the Howard 2007 govt. He smells perhaps a very damaging final question time, which indeed has turned feral as we write.

In our press media catchup today we noticed some other startling political lurches in this "feral" last week of parliament as World Today's Eleanor Hall has called it today.

Notice Malcolm Turnbull getting a semi snub here from the sainted Al Gore, while Turnbull is outed by Miranda Devine seeking to display her inside knowledge of serious Liberal Party hierarchy, as Janet Albrechtsen was seen to do from her perch at The Australian recently by calling for Howard to stand down as PM.

We also noticed that this latest of several recent tub thumps by Piers Akerman in the Daily Telegaph today about the shredder in the Heiner affair from back in 1990 is about to become a whisper. A whisper? How so?

Meanwhile the big boys in the News Ltd broadsheet The Australian, yesterday noted a senior Liberal figure with high legal standing and the editorial both junked the Heiner scandal as in any way relevant to the suitability of Kevin Rudd as alternative PM. There goes that tactic in the Big Conservative press.

But Akerman runs it anyway next day in the sister Sydney Daily Telegraph desperate for an arrow to hit, while Gary Linnel formerly a 9 news chief, and other new chum to the SDT Steve Lewis but an old hand in the News Ltd stable has been sent downstairs from The Australian, to both do political reporting there. Get the picture? Akerman, Linnel, Lewis all in on the one national affairs bench at the SDT along with Malcolm Farr who regularly posts front page stories. 

That's too many fat *rses for one bench we suspect, well due for a generational change in the age of handover?

Methinks Akerman should assume the position and brace, as the wheels fall off his last pro Howard gambit on the old desperate Heiner matter, a tragedy no doubt but also long gone history.

And thus it seems wiser heads have realised a new attack on Rudd was needed, so switch to the health of Rudd's ticker as here?:

Rudd forced to defend his ticker


I had same heart op as Arnie: Rudd

Kevin Rudd 10:55am | Kevin Rudd likens himself to Arnold Schwarzenegger, following revelations about a heart operation 14 years ago. 

Sure enough this govt on its last legs is fast expiring, are getting nasty and dangerously wild as per this confusion of Iraq war legal service and Nazi death camp guards:

AM - Labor seeks Phelps sacking for Nazi comment

Picture: Rudd makes his 'I have a ticker' speech with great vigour, rival Tony Abbott desperately tries 'relevance' points of order, as Rudd quotes the Phelps Nazi slur story above. The damaging question time Costello feared at the outset?

The cartoonists are noticing the strange factor too with a growing vivisection/mutant theme first Moir, now Leak here

Now Anthony Albanese as 'leader of Opposition business' has been named and evicted for 24 hours from the last question time after going for broke calling the chair "an embarrassment" for allowing another speech by PM Howard for 10 minutes in their question time, and thus 'reflecting on the chair' as the jargon goes. More precious question time lost but maybe running a little interference on the PM's choreography too.

And now John Howard PM has the floor virtually quoting chapter and verse the old Karl Rove Republican method of puting up a smear at your own guy (allegedly smear of Rudd over his heart operation by his own ALP) and then blaming Howard's side for dirty tactics. The allegation by Howard he's the victim of such a Karl Rove trick does sound a bit neurotic. It sounds like a bit of a projection of his own side being quite interested in such trickery. A complex confusing mind game well understood by wonks but not the general public.

Here is an example via google of presumably a right wing attempt to do 'a Karl Rove' on lefties at indymedia alleging Howard's old man was a Nazi who fought in WW2, which obviously he was not. For a start he fought in WW1:

The Truth about John Howards Dead father | Sydney Indymedia

The story has been 'hidden' by the editors but might be found (?) in their hidden archive? We posted on that story string before it was hidden, hence the memory of it, saying it had an iffy Rove like nature to it and factually totally baseless. The bare google listing can be found with search terms "howard father nazi indymedia" proving it did exist once.

It was posted on the 'IMC' from memory about the time Dr Peter Phelps got in deep doo doo for his desperate Nazi allusion directed at ALP candidate for Eden Monaro Mike Kelly at a public meeting. An attempt to run interference to save Phelps? To road test a 'Karl Rove' on the Left or ALP via indymedia in Sydney? Who really knows. These mind games are so vexatious.

And then it was all over, and the MP's were off to defend their seats at the election?



Posted by editor at 4:09 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 20 September 2007 7:43 PM NZT
Wednesday, 19 September 2007
Rudd puts in another impressive AM show interview when it counts
Mood:  chatty
Topic: election Oz 2007

It's becoming apparent how intense the electioneering has become with a seriously difficult battle for both sides. Rudd as ALP leader was impressive with his communication skills this morning, as Howard is but alot older, and thus less vigorous prospects.

We also got these electioneering materials recently from Anthony Albanese in the mail in Marrickville, and from the Green Party off a pile off a big print run by Cr Chris Harris, 'Deputy Lord Mayor' of City of Sydney:



Posted by editor at 11:56 AM NZT
Scip tells 200 anon / 3,300 badged coppers 'the road is yours'
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: legal


As we travelled to Windsor by train to challenge a sand mine next to World Heritage Wollemi, we heard over the radio 1pm bulletin new Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione exonerate 200 anonymous coppers on the security detail at APEC, badgeless contrary to standing orders. We felt compelled to make a phone call to a friendly MP.

It's reported here too APEC violence reports go to Ombudsman: The headline reflects the fact the Sydney Morning Herald actually published about 30 anon police mugshots to make a strong point, also found here on SAM or IMC if you look elsewhere, which itself was a Big Meeja equaliser to the Daily Telegraph panel of "excluded persons" mugshots.

Our headline at top reflects The Chaser incredible footage of the security down near W Bush's Hotel Intercon (just across from my old office level 25, 50 Bridge St with litigation sharks Baker & McKenzie) when they as the 'Canadian delegation' were told by security "the road is yours". So West Wing, I almost expected to see 'Flamingo' and 'Eagle' or is that 'POTUS'?

The trouble for conservative Scip, cunningly leveraging the media shadow of the apparent Newspoll fillip to conservative law and order tub thumper PM Howard earlier in that day (who also blesses anon coppers), the trouble is ...3,300 other coppers in the CBD presumably did have their name tags on. And sure enough the ABC tv vision last night shows decent coppers with name tags in the front line of the rally following the Commissioner's standing orders, not afraid of their 'pin or hard edged plastic surface'.

A velcro tagged future for coppers or not, there are plenty of other matters, as ex Police Minister Peter Anderson has said on ABC radio last week, for the Ombudsman and independent review to properly look into. The Herald article above refers to some.

We are also worried here about the 'Aussies for ANZUS' pro Bush mob being positioned by police into an anti Bush rally on the Friday preceding the big rally at Hyde Park North. That looks just too cute for the law and order 'industry'.

Another howler - the evidence to the Supreme Court by police 'intelligence' was very divergent from what really happened eg not '20K' but only '3K' turnout, or '10-15k' if you listen to the ngo organisers (which we do because that fits our estimate from personal attendance - say 10K).

Another aspect of the court process - David Marr of the SMH made a cracking comment in a Monday post rally opinion piece at how so much was made by the riot commander of the narrow George St proposed route of the march, yet literally the 10K crowd on the approved route to North Hyde Park via Park St not George were funneled through a bottle neck gate. That's looks dodgy or incompetent. Marr commented on the gardenias copping (!) a hiding as the overflow walked over planters. How true. We saw that.

But perhaps of greatest concern is the willingness of Scip and senior pollies, Premier Iemma and PM Howard and now Opposition leader O'Farrell in NSW, to effectively make cosy exceptions for some police but not a handful (a figleaf?) of protesters who allegedly also acted unlawfully. There will be many lawyers and even a few lawyer politicians unimpressed with that bullsh*t. Do you think they might let the court and other legal bodies do their job and not pre empt the 'law and order' these 'leaders' so hypocritically espouse? Seperation of powers anyone? 

This aspect of barracking 'authoritarian populism' is starting to look like not just an Ombudsman's brief but a Police Integrity Commission brief: Because when the tone is set from above, and cops start deciding for themselves when to cut corners, that's the slippery slope to Joh's Moonlight state, or Blue Murder in NSW or what's going on in Victoria right now. Is that really the road church going Scip wants to go down?

Sure he can argue crims make vexatious complaints to paralyse police but that's not the crowd at the peace rally, and he knows it. It's about time he and the pollies gave due respect to the civil society leaders of that rally. The Big Meeja are giving that due respect because such as Alex Bainbridge and his team earned it. Time for a cup tea at head quarters or the big House?

Postscript #1

Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2007 2:08 PM

Subject: [Greens-Media]

Shock: Police Investigate Themselves And Find They Are

The public can have no confidence in the announcement by Police Commissioner Scipione that an internal police inquiry has cleared police officers of any wrongdoing after dozens of officers were photographed with their name tags removed when confronting protesters at Sydney’s APEC meeting, according to Greens MP and police spokesperson Sylvia Hale.

“When announcing the inquiry Commissioner Scipione is reported as saying  "The indications that I've got is that there are times when protesters have used these things in the past, and I would be horrified if police didn't take the right actions to protect themselves." (SMH 10/9/07)

“Can anyone claim to be surprised at the outcome of the internal investigation given that the Police Commissioner announced the result at the same time he announced he was setting up the investigation,” said Ms Hale.

“The oppressive nature of police actions and the lack of police accountability since Commissioner Scipione was appointed is of serious concern.”

His reported comment that “this is the way we do business in NSW now” (SMH 10/9/07), his refusal to allow an independent investigation into the allegations against police and his arrogant dismissal of breaches of police procedure by the numerous officers pictured without badges shows that the Commissioner is committed to a highly authoritarian policing model that involves systematic intimidation of the public and minimal accountability for police,” said Ms Hale.

“Video, pictorial and eyewitness evidence has been made public of police acting in an aggressive fashion, throwing protesters on the ground, arresting people without any basis and keeping protesters restricted in Hyde Park for no reason, yet none of this has been investigated.”

“There should be a full independent inquiry into the actions of police towards protesters during the APEC meeting,” she said.

“We must not accept this sort of authoritarian police behaviour. It should not be the way police business is done in NSW.” Ms Hale said.

Ms Hale will be moving for a parliamentary inquiry into police conduct at APEC when state parliament resumes.

Further information: Chris Holley 9230 3030 / 0437 779 546



Posted by editor at 7:50 AM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 22 September 2007 9:06 AM NZT
Tuesday, 18 September 2007
Shergold to perch at Sydney University to grab the $700K pa golden handshake?
Mood:  down
Topic: education
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2007 9:42 AM
Subject: Gavin Brown, Shergold at USYD

It all becomes clear. Gavin Brown as VC at USYD was in charge of security oppressing anti Howard pro free education rallies back in early May 07. I know because I've got a complaint into the NSW Ombudsman about ejection from campus for doing community media photos of security, name taking of students, the rally etc. A few weeks later the budget was a bonanza for the sandstones soon after. Now [crikey.com.au] say Shergold, the PM's man is going there. Talk about right to know.
Tom McLoughlin, editor www.sydneyalternativemedia.com

Posted by editor at 11:47 AM NZT
Yellow-cake John: Australia quietly signs up to nuclear club
Mood:  sad
Topic: nuke threats

 [Press release follows]

Yellow-cake John: Australia quietly signs up to nuclear club

Canberra, Monday 17 September 2007 

Australian Greens Climate Change
Spokesperson, Senator Christine Milne, today condemned the Howard
Government's action in signing up to the Global Nuclear Energy
Partnership overnight, without making any public announcement of that

Senator Milne said "In the dying days of his Government, John Howard has
signed up to George Bush's Global Nuclear Energy Partnership at a
meeting in Austria, seemingly without any public statements that he has
done so.

"GNEP is a truly Orwellian idea - spreading nuclear technology and
resources in the name of preventing nuclear weapons proliferation. It
can and will only make the world a more dangerous place by making the
ingredients for nuclear weapons available to more countries around the

"Having signed onto GNEP with barely a word to the Australian people,
John Howard must now come forward and explain what he has signed us up
for. Will we now be required to store the world's nuclear waste?

"This is a major public debate in Canada, where fears that becoming a
global nuclear waste dump would be a requirement under GNEP have thus
far made them hesitate before agreeing to join the club.

"The decision to sign onto the GNEP agreement overnight has put nuclear
issues fairly and squarely on the election agenda.

"Kevin Rudd must now step forward and commit to repudiating this
agreement if he wins the looming election."

Contact: Tim Hollo on 0437 587 562

Tim Hollo
Media and Communications Adviser
Senator Christine Milne
Phone: + 61 (0) 2 6277 3063
Mobile: + 61 (0) 437 587 562

Posted by editor at 8:24 AM NZT
Monday, 17 September 2007
120 scientists slam pulp mill for the Tamar in Tasmania: The Australian
Mood:  special
Topic: ecology
Scientists want more pulp mill research

By Glenn Cordingley | September 17, 2007

MORE than 120 scientists have appealed to federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull not to approve Tasmania's pulp mill at its planned location until further research is carried out.

The 128 experts have sent a signed statement to Mr Turnbull calling for a fully integrated independent assessment of the $2 billion Gunns Ltd project in the Tamar Valley, north of Launceston.

One of the signatories, Dr Francisco Neira, a research scientist at the Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute, says a detailed study along the Tamar estuary should be undertaken for at least one year.

The scientists represent fields including chemistry, zoology, botany, oceanography, atmospheric science, marine biology and environmental impact assessment.

They say key issues were left unexplained when Gunns withdrew the project from scrutiny of the state's independent Resource Planning and Development Commission in March this year, citing delays and escalating costs.

Premier Paul Lennon reacted by introducing a fast-track assessment process of the mill through state parliament.

The project has now been approved by Tasmania's parliament, but still needs federal environmental approval.

Mr Turnbull has delayed his own decision until a federal report is compiled by Chief Scientist Jim Peacock into what possible effects the proposal could have on marine waters and migratory and threatened species.

The results could be known as early as this week.

The scientists are concerned over the mill's "dumping of 64,000 tonnes of effluent per day in the Bass Strait", its impact on forests for wood supply, and air pollution in the Tamar Valley.

Dr Neira said there were "serious concerns with the state's fast-track assessment".

"Gunns and the Tasmanian Government have failed to properly assess the impacts of the pulp mill's effluents on the marine environment and the Tamar estuary," Dr Neira said.

He said studies along the estuary's length should be carried out for at least one year "to ascertain what impacts the mill may have on this highly sensitive estuarine ecosystem".

Dr Neira said the Tamar estuary acted as a breeding and/or nursery ground for numerous fish species including anchovy, flathead, yellow-eyed mullet and Australian salmon.

He said atmospheric experts had expressed concerns over the mill's location in the Tamar Valley "whose well-known inversion layer can trap air pollution for days at a time".

Posted by editor at 11:16 PM NZT
Newspoll swing of 4 points back to the Government despite Howard?
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: election Oz 2007

The ABC is reporting an 8 point swing back to the Howard led federal Coalition government.  And see here too at Sydney Telegraph Government claws back poll support which to our mind is actually a 4 point swing off the ALP to the Govt from 59:41 to 55:45.

We interviewed two centre right type voters, regionally based growers, at the Organic Food Market in Marrickville yesterday on Sunday. They sounded upbeat about the co prime ministership arrangement of officially nominating Peter Costello as the next Prime Minister if the Howard Government is re elected.

"It's good" the grower said, "It's an orderly change."

Well maybe. Or maybe the swing back to the government is because conservative voters (which we are not) like the idea of a change to Costello sooner rather than later?

9's Sunday show internet poll had 59% saying Howard should retire.

Mal Turnbull is airbrushing Howard from his newsletter too apparently: Turnbull flyer leaves out PM and Libs

The view on ABC is that Howard is now safe from any challenge in the Coalition party room tomorrow. Maybe so too. But is he electable? Time for a bigger change more like it.


Postscript #1 8am Tues 18th Sept

Fran Kelly on abc radio national just now with Treasurer but also "PM in waiting" was revealing for Peter Costello striking a chatty, amicable tone. In short the right kind of tone to appeal to the general public from a very low base of 18 per cent as preferred PM. So why so moderate and kind a tone? Whatever it is Peter Costello sounded like a man who has avoided a gallows, either as losing leader of the Coalition in a bloody, successful challenge in the party room today, or 'a never to be PM' frustrated wannabe. Has he avoided both now, or will Rudd spoil his party by winning the election? Even then Costello won't get the approbium. It looks like a close election for sure Howard v Rudd and all hands to the wheel in that federal election stoush.

Notice the flanking move via the Heiner affair in a speech by Senator Barnaby Joyce re yet more fallout of the dirty National Party Joh years back to 1990. A nasty corrupt murderous time in Qld that may have tainted the ALP during that time too? That effectively is the allegation back at Rudd who was chief of the Qld Premier's Dept back in 1990. Pretty old and desperate for the Coalition to trawl back so far? Probably.

Posted by editor at 9:29 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 18 September 2007 10:07 AM NZT
About to get the sack from ARC for free speech in The Composter #1 newsletter?
Mood:  hug me
Topic: independent media
[to my Addison Rd Community Centre network list]
Sent: Monday, September 17, 2007 6:38 PM
Subject: about to get the sack from ARC for free speech in The Composter #1 newsletter?

On Sunday last a Board Member Natalie McCarthy told me I was in trouble for producing a satirical newsletter with some good info about ARC in the lead up to the AGM in November and various topics of community interest. I believe the content was very fair, very moderate and honest. I'm happy to take any copy for The Composter #2 that can find fault with the newsletter, errors, corrections. I've been a community media practitioner for 10 years and a solicitor and I deny there is anything unlawful or contrary to my employment contract.
Today the centre manager (who has just resigned) rang me this afternoon. He told me he has been talking to the President Yvette Andrews and he wanted to know my views on staying in my employment at the ARC as a part time gardener and issues of allegedly bringing the centre into disrepute or defamation of anyone. I rejected any of these false claims.
I said my position was that there is no lawful reason to terminate my employment. Today I had two good briefing sessions with two tenants at the centre about where to from here after the current GM goes at the end of the week.
I recall a provocative sign on the street frontage last Christmas where John Howard was described as a "MAGGOT". Further I recall the President referring to that "incident" in approving terms at a very big NAIDOC function at the art gallery only a month ago. In comparison my little The Composter #1 newsletter is very mild and indeed valid democracy.
Thankfully we live in a democracy here in Marrickville so I'm not going to worry too much about this implied threat to my free speech.
I remain committed to energetic information flow and free speech at Addison Rd Community Centre.
Updates will be forthcoming as the situation develops.
Yours truly
Tom McLoughlin, part time gardener, editor, solicitor in NSW.
[The Composter #1 can be found on this news site at 16th Sept under independent media topic]
Postscript #1
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2007 7:53 AM
Subject: copy of board member email re my compost newsletter

Though Natalie doesn't like my satire in The Composter #1, I can say Jim who runs the Organic Food Market on Sunday liked the writing, said it was good, and said it was fine to distribute to all stallholders. Thanks Jim. Not everyone laughs at the same thing I guess.
Also I can add that the waste seperation education was popular and actually successful greatly reducing the general waste volume and tidiness for Monday at the centre in especially in front of Reverse Garbage. I think the general public liked the way I opened the bin lids for them.
Have a great day. Tom

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Natalie McCarthy" >
To: "ecology action australia" > Sent: Monday, September 17, 2007 8:44 PM
> Subject: Re: about to get the sack from ARC for free speech in The Composter
> #1 newsletter?
>> Dear Tom
>> Obviously you were to embarrassed to put your name on
>> the Composter.
>> I dont blame you as it was not even good satire, yet
>> there is so much to write about that is funny about
>> this centre prehaps I shall start to write my own ARC
>> Musical with the endless ridiculous happenings which
>> occur!
>> PS Just to clarify things, I didnt tell you you were
>> in trouble, I told you that you would get yourself in
>> trouble.
>> Cheers
>> Natalie
[bold added]

----- Original Message -----
From: "ecology action australia" To: "Natalie McCarthy" Sent: Monday, September 17, 2007 9:42 PM
Subject: Re: about to get the sack from ARC for free speech in The Composter #1 newsletter?

> actually I put my mobile phone number on it so anyone could call and find
> out. The reason I didn't put my name is because it added a bit of mystery. I
> was thinking of writing "by Sandy Bray",  a pseudonym similar to famous
> Hillary Bray who wrote for Crikey.com.au, and another comic figure called
> Sandy Stone which I think might be Barry Humphries.
> In any case thankyou and the other Bob Jellies there at ARC for making The
> Composter #1 a collector's item.
> Yours truly, etc ...

Posted by editor at 8:44 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 19 September 2007 7:48 AM NZT
Morris & Nathan the climate change nudists grab figleaf of level 3 water restrictions
Mood:  irritated
Topic: globalWarming

Picture: From top left at University of Technology meeting of Sydney Alliance to Avert Desalination 12th Sept 2007:  Vic Sims Aboriginal elder and singer of La Perouse, NSW Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell, Minister for Utilities Nathan Rees, Gary Blaschke of Botany Bay Catchment Alliance (also South West Environment Centre, No Port Enfield group), Sutherland/Kurnell community leaders.



On the weekend admirable Wendy Frew wrote up the new very big climate damaging Moolarben coal mine near Mudgee approved by the Iemma Govt. This adds to the outrageous Anvil Hill coal mine already approved by this NSW Govt.


Similarly the Iemma Govt promote a $2B desal dinosaur (DD) plant which will burn up precious renewable wind energy that should be replacing coal use not adding to energy use. The costs are likely to be much higher than the headline $1.76B as here


Plant to cost $50m a year Sydneysiders will pay desalination plant's private operators more than $50 million a year for 20 years. | Chances to save energy blown: report


This huge extra energy demand, and nasty damage to Botany Bay is being ‘greenwashed’ with renewable energy as greenhouse emissions are allowed to climb higher.


Meanwhile the federal electioneering Rudd/Garrett ALP colleagues and their Climate Change Institute patronised by Bob Carr are grandstanding their climate change credentials. Not hard by contrast with Howard’s Coalition but it’s mostly a cynical wedge game. Rudd and Iemma are both all for coal mining. They reckon Greens MP Bob Brown has ‘rocks in his head’ opposing coal.


But Iemma unlike Rudd actually has to publicly approve the dangerous coal mines and extreme DD while dam capacity is at 60% (a 4 year supply). No wonder Iemma is not on the platform with Rudd these days. Indeed Sydney has 1.2 metres of rainfall a year also available to some degree for a smart government who can catch it at reasonable price (not the $6B claimed by Minister Rees). Water pipes are leaking at 1000 breaks a year in Sydney too. And so the farce of NSW governance rolls on.


It calls up the great political necessity for PR propaganda to confuse the punters something is really being done about climate change at State level while coal and DD actually rule policy.


So what do we get in the tv news 7, 9, 2 and Sunday press on Sept 16th 07? Exhortations from naked Iemma that ‘climate change is real’, and so he is supporting indefinite level 3 water restrictions: New water cuts here for decades. A climate change figleaf of responsibility for brand ALP in NSW far more interested in promoting an extra million city dwellers and business activity over the next 35 years, a time period beyond sensible forecasting. Ditto NSW Utilities Minister Nathan Rees. The figleaf is just not that big.


The embarrassment of State Labor contrasting with pro Kyoto Protocol federal Labor is acute. At both levels of team ALP they support coal and overdevelopment and federally simply want to wedge Howard’s Liberal National Coalition, like Carr did Fahey at state level in a close contest in 1995 via wilderness forests. But just like ongoing woodchipping of forests today, the ALP green is surface deep on climate protection in 2007. Hence the level 3 PR figleaf: It just became too hard to justify a $2B DD conversion of sea water and let people piss it away unrestricted.


But you can’t fool all the people all the time as demonstrated by a public meeting held at the UTS in the CBD last week. A feisty mob of 200 friends of Botany Bay from Kurnell to La Perouse, Sutherland Shire and west to Chullora campaigned against the $2B desalination boondoggle for the construction and overdevelopment sector who donate big time to the ALP in NSW.


And their case against the DD has some political dynamite of interest to the State opposition. At the meeting were leader Barry O’Farrell, MP Malcolm Kerr, upper house MP Ficara , John Kaye MLC (Greens), Professor Stuart White of Institute for Sustainable Futures, green ngo champion Gary Blaschke, and in particular local Aboriginal elder Vic Sims. Vic is a highly respected artist and was incredibly charming with anecdotes about seeing a whale shark in the Bay as a child. The apology by Gary Blaschke from the podium for "stuffing up the Bay" to Vic Simms with eye contact from the front row was a profound moment.



Other letters of protest against the DD came from Bruce Baird MP, Lord Mayor Clover Moore, as well as news that Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull is looking into vandalism of international heritage values in the Bay. Not surprisingly responsible minister Rees also fronted the meeting for a bollocking and argued his case as best he could. Neither Premier Iemma or federal MP Peter Garrett responded to invitations.


The green groups have delivered 40,000 leaflets recently (17K by this writer) informing the public of annual increase of water bills of over $100 - an underestimate actually, more like $130 pa -  to subsidise the desal project not needed for at least 4 years. Prof White pointed out with demand management and wise water restrictions between level 3 and 4, we just don’t need the dinosaur at all … unless you believe in hyper development of Sydney, controlled by developers.


As Prof White told the meeting the cost of the DD is a lot of schools and hospitals, and its funny how all round Australia Premiers are retiring after signing desal contracts. Some gold watch.

Posted by editor at 9:19 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 17 September 2007 11:01 AM NZT

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