« December 2007 »
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
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Al Gore 22 minute Nobel Prize acceptance speech, with standing ovation
Mood:  special
Topic: globalWarming

Reported via Crikey.com.au and our screen shot during the speech turned out to be very similar to the one they chose with the ship's masts in the background so here it is:


Al Gore, Nobel laureate: The climate challenge, in his words


"He came, he saw, he helped to save the planet." Not a bad epitaph, and one that Al Gore might humbly argue. But for now, the former next US president will need to content himself with a Nobel peace prize shared with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The award was accepted in Stockholm yesterday, with Gore delivering a 22-minute lecture on the work still to be done in the battle against climate change. To watch the lecture click the following image. For a text version, click here .



Posted by editor at 4:24 PM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007 4:31 PM EADT
East Gippsland forest blockade of loggers contributing to dangerous climate change
Mood:  energetic
Topic: globalWarming
Picture: file picture taken from this website 
Media Release
11 December 2007


Climate Change Forest Blockade Remains


 A forest blockade in East Gippsland enters its second day this morning after police and government officers failed to remove protesters from logging equipment.  Thirty protesters are continuing to stop old growth logging, in the face of reports that deforestation is responsible for twenty percent of global greenhouse emissions.
 “If the Australian government is serious about addressing the threat of climate change, then old growth logging must stop immediately,” said spokesperson for the environmentalists, Mark Tylor.
 The logging coupe is north of Cann River, near the Errinundra National Park, and contains rainforest and habitat for the endangered Sooty Owl, which has reportedly been heard calling at night.
“The Federal government was elected on the issue of climate change, yet are failing to act to protect old growth forest, which is an important carbon sink and vital for the future of the planet,” continued Mark Tylor. 
The group of environmentalists have been in the logging coupe over the weekend, preventing logging from continuing.  Two people are locked to logging machinery and a person remains up a 30 metre high tree platform.  Search and Rescue police are expected to attend the site today to remove the forest blockade.
The protest follows forest blockades last week where logging was stopped in three logging coupes.
For comment
Mark Tylor (at the forest blockade)
Mobile: 0428125602
Trunk Phone: 03 5133 7077  wait for dialtone then call 838 4620.
For information

Posted by editor at 9:49 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007 9:58 AM EADT
'Koperberg affidavit' via Iemma/Kaiser as tactical prelude to $25B public sell off?
Mood:  rushed
Topic: nsw govt

There's an old tactic in Big Politics: If you have a road block - for example the ALP Left/Union alliance against a $15 billion energy industry privatisation - then throw in some dynamite to smash the logs in the way.

More background on the sale politic dynamic here via the major press, Herald first:

Power ranger Iemma ignites state with $15b

THE historic sale of NSW's power assets will raise as much as $15 billion and help pay for a "new vision" for urban transport, a European-style metro rail line, better country roads and improved water management.


[and in the Daily Telegraph here]

Editorial: Iemma plugs in to the positives

Unions vow to fight electricity sell-off

THE New South Wales Government may have a fight on its hands as it moves to sell off state-owned electricity retailers and lease its generators in a move worth up to $25bn.

michael costa 

Clumsy Costa jeopardizes sale

MORRIS Iemma has staked his leadership on a $25 billion power sell-off, but the coup was on the verge of collapse last night after a Michael Costa blunder.


In political terms a barrel of dynamite on the Left wingers in caucus, a real disaggregator, would have been the 20 year old  'Koperberg affidavit'.

Just imagine the damage it would do - targeting a prominent strongly performing ALP Left MP, indeed a potential rival for the premiership or deputy premiership - in a serious spill over an unpopular $15-25B sell off, and corroding the very will to fight given the notorious energy and morale sapping topic of gender politics, let alone one of the worst in that bracket being domestic violence. A perfect entre to the Right charging the ramparts of the Left in caucus to drive the power sell off vote through. Extremely disruptive but a fair price to pay for the political payoff in the minds of the ruthless Right?

The Koperberg affidavit has been released after the Rudd ALP was safely in place federally in govt so no collateral damage to worry about there. This timing virtually guarantees it was from the ALP side of politics in NSW.

Now Mike Kaiser very conveniently has bailed out to Qld as of the Big media late last week, if you listened carefully. Did he do the dirty deed? Now Kaiser is seeking a much safer port, possibly delivering the holy grail to his boss Iemma, and thus justifying anything he might want back up in Qld in the ALP Right coterie, not least a Brisbane based Rudd machine (or as they say officially 'working for new Qld Premier Bligh')?

It all fits, in a very Camora, Italian, Machiavelian, dare we say Iemma 'what ever it takes' style. (Always remembering we are 1/8 multicultural that way too.) There is motive and means and the only thing missing is evidence of which we don't have any to back this speculative theory.

But we like the balance and proportion of the suggestion. If it didn't happen that way we would be 'disappointed' in the ALP Right. Nor do we really expect to have evidence because Carr as a practised exponent was most fond of the "no fingerprints" principle just like Eric 'best machine is a silent machine' Roozendaal.

Posted by editor at 9:08 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007 12:26 PM EADT
Addison Rd saga takes new turn with strike action!
Mood:  chatty
Topic: local news
Picture: Acting general manager Peter Talmacs at the Addison Rd Centre, Marrickville has the conch to earn his $65K pa income.


Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 7:55 AM
Subject: unpaid wages claim, culture of mismanagement

11th December 2007

Dear Acting Manager Talmacs 

As advised yesterday I have a time sheet lodged for 24 hours work done from 14th to 28th November. I might add this includes $13 out of my own pocket for materials (bolts) from The Bower to secure the borders of the middle pocket garden. It's over 14 days since I lodged that time sheet. If I don't get paid for this work soon then I will be lodging a claim with the Industrial Relations Commission for unpaid wages. 

As to my reasons for going on indefinite strike effective from the end of that timesheet 28th November 2007, and return of my work key after 4 years there, as stated the reasons relate "to everything that's been going on this last 6 months": 

1. Sabotage of the centre website service to ALL tenants - The centre website was built by this writer and fair and equal profile was given to all tenants as well as reasonably up to date news and events. This was a low cost solution as instructed by the former GM to the longstanding deficit in a web based gateway to the centre. The website was highly praised by tenants and GM and even Board members. Again success is seen as a threat and I was removed off the work. The website now features an event 4 months stale that just happens to profile the cronies who control the Board to the exclusion of others more recent and compelling, not least the AGM of 28 Nov 07.
Picture: This writer still listed as of 8 am 11 December 2007 incorrectly as the centre website editor. Not true for at least 3 months. 

2. The fraudulent suppression of a greivance for harrassment by Board member Reynolds - This grievance was lodged in writing after a grotesque sabotage of centre authorised work in late July 07. Cronies on the Board in a transparently fraudulent manner over ruled the GM's correct decision (my legal advice too) this was in jurisdiction of the centre mediation policy. To hear you as acting GM parrot that fraudulent cover up yesterday by the Board I find to be quite contemptible and patronising, but actually a symptom of systemic corruption. Hardly surprising I suppose as the Board pay your $65K pa wage.
 Picture: ALP loyalist Yvette Andrews (middle) is 'honorary' President of Addison Rd Centre, and good chess player having learnt her political machine skills as staffer to career Lefty ex Legislative Council President Meredith Burgman . 

3. Financial mismanagement - at the AGM on Nov 28 there was concern from an old operator at the centre Vivi of Ethnic Childcare about the apparent $10K downturn in the main hall rental revenue. But there was NO CONCERN expressed by anyone amongst the 22 (of 42) tenants permitted to vote for the 7 person board,  at the 500 sq metre gallery space rent free for the last 4 years and strangely very low rental deal provided for the next 3 years. Indeed when we tried to ask about that question two people tried to stop my question from the floor going to Cr Peter Olive newly returned to the board, who was similarly concerned it was overly generous. We are talking lost revenue of $50K -$200K through maladministration, if not outright fraudulent dealing with public rental space, with more in the future. It is beyond doubt that an ethical board, after a reasonable period of free rent in return for renovation and fitout had been provided, should have required rent comparable to other non profit tenancies and failing that put the gallery space to open tender for any non profit organisation to bid to operate the space. This didn't happen presumably to protect a political crony. One Board member McCarthy has a (rent paying?) studio in this gallery and is a loyal ally of the gallery principal on free rent. Did they participate in the free rent for 4 years, and very cheap rent next 3 years, lease negotiation that troubles Cr Olive of the Greens? A clear financial conflict of interest. Another political ally Andrews within the association of ALP MP aristocracy (ex staffer of Meredith Burgman) that regularly attend events at the free rent gallery has been positioned as president on the centre Board. That's convenient for cheap lease deals.
Picture: Terry Cutcliffe in the controversial free rent gallery for 4 years having renovated and fit out the space, with another 3 year cheap rent deal with staggered rental increase from a very low base for 500 sq m two level space. Terry has excellent local ALP MP contacts Burney, Burgman to name two. He also supported Patrice Newell's run for the senate competing with the Green Party who he believes "are hopeless" (as opposed to?)


4. Large scale composter project incorrect location - only built 2 months ago,  it's located 10 feet from the CVA office contrary to the decision of the previous GM, contrary to 10 years of traditional location of such material 20 metres west of there at a safe distance, and contrary to my own clear advice this would cause an odour/health hazard in the heat of summer for nearby CVA office. I know CVA is worried too with good reason. It's well constructed but way too close. In my opinion this shows real stupidity as well as disrespect for staff expertise. 

5. Stormwater mis-management. Regarding the carpark main stormwater drain - the badly eroded washout above the street grill (due to poor gradient to the purpose specific main stormwater drain) had a fairly obvious solution - digging a new gradient and concreting it. There was constant interference with that solution indicating a deeply misconceived understanding of the volumes and proportionate direction of the stormwater flow off the main carpark. Again this shows willful ignorance and disrespect. The failure to concrete the drain or put a grill in has seen the main stormwater drain block and flood recently. 

6. Waste mis-management/double standards - at the same AGM a pathetic complaint about the public using centre bins while attending the Sunday community market was lodged in strident terms. But absolutely no complaint about up to one whole dumpster a week being filled from the Reverse Garbage tenancy. Apart from the ethics of this kind of landfilling by that kind of business, what about the cost? RG has one paid for dumpster of its own already but uses the centre's by the trolley load. This is grossly selective double standards picking on the Sunday market. And the totally unsubstantiated claim that the market reduces sales of RG by $1000 a month (or was it per week?) as claimed at the AGM. Not the increased cost of living. Not the RG product lines. No it must be the successful market. Now the RG principal is elected to the Board presumably to bully the market. (Along with claims one tenant can't access their office we find dishonest.)
I'm advised further that my waste recycling work on the Sunday market, highly successful as it was with glowing reports, has been prohibited, presumably by the officious board always ready it appears to destroy anything that actually succeeds ( in favour of political mates who can't even pay their rent but are happy to sublet studio space for that income?)


7. Anti democratic management? When we took an interest in the recent AGM and obtained two signatories from tenants endorsing our nomination to the Board we were told amongst other things on the night this was on 'a non conforming nomination form'. These official nomination forms were held by you acting general manager and you gave us no warning or advice about those correct forms. Why?

8. AGM election irregularaties - the 20 or so associate members of the centre have no Board representative despite a nomination by artist Barry Gazzard to the Board. His nomination was excluded by Assad Abdi of Sidetrack Theatre who duly allowed the RG principal nominated by Abdi's Sidetrack partner Mamouney. This is a transparent conflict of interest which means he was not a fit and proper person to be the returning officer for the AGM election. Further the grounds for rejection of the Gazzard nomination are clouded in mystery. A meeting of associate members should have been called to endorse a rep for the AGM election but the centre was responsible for calling the meeting to empower them and failed to do so. How convenient to avoid an associate member on the Board. 

9. Interference with private mail?: Recently a private letter from the NSW Ombudsm about a matter unrelated to any of the above was forwarded via the centre main office having been opened 'in error' you say by yourself. Given all of the above concerns, I keep an open mind on why the letter addressed to me was opened and who read it.

As always I remain a pro bono legal adviser as a solicitor in NSW, and community media practitioner. My loyalty is to the community sector broadly as has been the case for the last 15 years. My micro news website www.sydneyalternativemedia.com currently has 10,000 page views per month, including this letter published today.

Yours truly
Tom McLoughlin, solicitor

Posted by editor at 7:59 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007 9:48 AM EADT
Sunday, 9 December 2007
Sunday tv political talkies: The rush is on for the victors to write their history, true or not
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: aust govt

Picture: Trioli gets the post election interview of the year, Lateline 30th Nov 2007. In an interview lasting 19 minutes 42 seconds at one point the vision (here above) reveals a new open faced expression that Keating might describe as "relief" for Costello 6 years in Opposition, 13 years deputy leader, 11 years as Treasurer who wishes the new Opposition leardership of Nelson and Bishop his "best wishes" in "the prime of their life".  In effect "not furious" but feeling vindicated. Indeed the shock waves of that interview roll on in the Howard cipher Sunday Telegraph today on page 5 by Malcolm Farr in terms of "He [Howard] knows Peter has sh*t in his nest" in Costello angers Liberals. Howard is in both Sunday papers in a transparent set piece pic fac in a retreat PR exercise. One paper is even impertinent enough to refer quizically to the golf partners as "mates" [their speech marks]  which might mean security for the ex PM.

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

A bumper harvest since the federal election on Nov 24th as we catch up some revealing colour mag feature stories of high quality also:

- Tim Blair, News Ltd opinion editor in Sydney is we fear getting neurotic and maybe fearful for his job there at the Telegraph along with 'last Howard man standing' Piers Akerman (e.g. all those Hiener Affair articles). Last week we simply made the observation that News Ltd opinion writers are starting to actively express concerns about dangerous climate change and the need for action. These articles seem quite stark in their contrast to outdated dinosaur thinking on the issue (eg Blair), often in the same edition of the News 'Limited' newspaper. Our piece was here:

It's time for News Limited & PM Rudd to ditch Piers/loggers' anti science rhetoric on climate including graphics of cover story in News Ltd Australian Literary Review by Nobel Prize winning medico Peter Doherty contrasting with the dodgy stuff.

It seems this explains the graphic above for the Blair story of 'the doctor and the icky medicine' for the planet. Geddit? Doherty is the doc. Even the attack on 'ecology action' philosophical underpinning in the headline seems quite pointed. And true to form there is sensible commentary on climate elsewhere in the same Saturday edition of the News Ltd paper that Blair cuts loose (shown at the bottom). Meanwhile elsewhere in comic popular culture even Jerry Sienfeld (in the middle of the image in a review same day in Fairfax Herald) is using his children's Bee movie to teach an environmental message. Wake up Tim Blair. Ecological concerns are real.


- Uh oh, what can you make of this scary postage stamp story. This is alot more serious than the treatment it's getting - which is almost none:



- Sydney Morning Herald this weekend over eggs the promo of McKew scoop of 'How I done it' in next weekend's edition (see images below). We counted two full page adverts and two little teasers dotted through the news sections (the second full pager is in the business section). Is this the ALP 'history written by the victors' airbrush of Not Happy John and Wilkie/Greens 2004 unrusting of Bennelong from Howard, with Green preferences of Lindsay Peters getting her over line? Almost certainly, with the active collusion of Big Meeja SMH

1. keen to ingratiate with the new Rudd regime

2. desperate to crush the growing 3rd force in politics that will break their corporate economic grip on the country for a more ecological basis to modern civilisation.

It's all about power folks, not truthful reporting. But clearly McKew is the new 'Peter Garrett' PR vehicle for brand ALP. They need the Green senate vote while PG is effectively redundant in the PR stakes - though not intellectually as an undoubtedly bright ex lawyer rock star.

- Mike Kaiser is hi-tailing it back to Qld. The spin is that this was always the plan, but really we feel it goes like this:

Kaiser is perceived to be a practiced liar 'proven' by a scandal in Qld over his younger machine politic days as per this curious Independent MP website resource, and in an article this weekend by Clennell in the SMH he maintains that culture of 'whatever it takes':Kaiser admits he is going, but 'not going there' Beattie didn't want him in 2000 after the scandal up north hence the brief stint as an independent MP, and he was picked up by the understanding forgiving bruvvers in Sussex St who employ the same MO. Come on down Mike Kaiser CoS for Iemma in Sydney. Bligh's ascension as Premier of Qld means Beattie is no longer a blockage there for MK, the heat is off after all this while and

- anyway he could know too much about Gibson/Koperberg/Orkopoulos (alleged) criminal precedents - all of these factors are compelling 'return to sender' material i.e. back to Qld ALP machine.

Onya Mike. Another fat machine pay packet awaits no doubt.

Here's a picture below almost certainly courtesy of the NSW ALP 'whatever it takes' mob via ciphers at The Sydney Daily Telegraph mob 21st November 2007, 3 days before voting. This image we submit is the moral equivalent of the infamous racist dog whistle leaflet in Lindsay, only it's tailored to the gun happy hunter redneck lobby (about the same redneck demograph who hate Muslims only this time from a different and legal tack). A more refined and effective dog whistle? Undoubtedly.




- Tim Gartrell gives his national press club speech found via (bless them) the abc website here . We haven't read it all but notice the lead in about the battle post elections to claim an accurate telling of the history that soon follows the voting day itself. How true - refer McKew/SMH promo above, Howard to push his own memoirs in due course, all the spin of the last 2 weeks. So of course Gartell has his go too in his speech, as is his right for the victors. Similarly Morris and Baird on Lateline 7th December with Trioli (her last day earlier that morning as abc 702 radio announcer morning show? [no finishes Friday 14th Dec they tell us]:


Virginia Trioli talks to Liberal insiders Bruce Baird and Grahame Morris


Morris comes out with some howlers about not really losing just "running second" contrasting with Baird's view they 'they lost their soul' and Howard definitely should have quit in favour of Costello way earlier. To Morris it's all technical performance.  To Morris Howard stayed too long because he didn't want to be "selfish" and leave the party in a fix - talk about dishonest spin. The man was drunk with power (as Gerard Henderson does seem to concede now too in a recent SMH column). We haven't read Judith Brett in this weekend Herald in "Collapse of a man of steel", being the author of various conservative titles like 'Robert Menzies Forgotten People' etc.

Howard apparently is keen to write his own memoirs says Phillip Coorey  back on 3rd Dec 07 in the Herald, even if the elected Libs say John, we know ye not - Libs' undue rush to wipe slate - Opinion ...


- cracking cartoon by Nicholson above of malevolent 'baby' electorate about to get a new (panda/Mandarin speaking PM Kevin) teddy having just trashed a Howard PM Teddy. We did a double take in shock as we had a soft toy like that in childhood which the dog got to while the family loaned the place on holidays. We were very annoyed at the time too. (Has the older brother there in PMC somewhere been blabbing about moi?) Hopefully the role of blogging 5th estate accountability on Big Politics/Media revolving door is more high minded than shallow malice. Rather for us "it's the ecology stupid" but we find it gratifying to think we were part of the Howard Teddy destruction experience too. Very cathartic like this cracker from Moir day before polling:


- How much impact did the internet have on the election result. Alot I would say not least some 230K strong Get Up, even if that's churning alot of existing activism, because getting lots of bodies onto polling booths on the day is a real influence. Get Up get their spin into the writing of history here: Internet activists claim role in Howard's end - National - smh.com.au

- Paul Sheehan in the revisionism stakes writes a poison pen to Senator Bob Brown but it's so misconceived we find it pretty easy to demolish here on SAM in Paul Sheehan's hopelessly ignorant, deceptive analysis of Brown v Garrett


 - The ALP inspired and nurtured Climate Institute birthed by the looks out of the Australia Institute is said to be an independent lobby group. This image Innner West Courier 20th Nov 07 at p16 should clarify things. John Connor as their CEO is shown next to no less than 4 ALP candidates (and 3 MP's) at a Get Up (another so called indy) Walk Against Global Warming event pre election. Connor in an earlier job helped Bob Carr (a donor to the Climate Institute) broker a pro woodchipping 20 year resource security deal for the NSW logging industry in breach of a 1995 election promise to end the practice by the year 2000. He was employed by the NSW Nature Conservation Council very hard up for finances at the time and Carr as Premier offered them big contributions ($300K over 3 years) to cut the deal. This was rationalised on the basis of extensive new national parks. (There is always a rationalisation for bad environmental policy married to careerism.) To our eye Connor is jumping from the back of one crocodile to the next as quick as he can.


- appropo workaholic PM Kevin Rudd (see implication of Mal Farr Insiders earlier today) notice p21 of Sunday Life colour insert for one of the tragic press today, with graphic of Kevin and proverbial strong cup of tea in "How to leave WORK at work" as follow up to the over working Aussies who fail to take holidays story mid week. Here's a thought Kev - the people voted for you not least for your life time of discipline leading to an impressive work rate at this time in your life. On the other hand they voted for you over the other guy with just as great a capacity for work and "long days" and greater experience too. Might be time to have a little less faith in workaholism and more in the choice of the electorate that your values suit the times. The values you can't change no matter how hard you work. And they may change their mind one day again too and that's just the way it goes. But we like the fact you drink Irish Breakfast tea.

- Cobber Grattan today in her SunHerald piece focuses rather negatively - considering they already just got a thumping - on the travails of the federal Coalition 'leadership'. Is indeed Nelson/Bishop the real deal? The thread through her article and the general media not least Insiders panel today is that he isn't straight. Too much rodent slippery double talk. And you can see it in his long prose like talking style talking around things like Beazley did. That's not the cut through that Turnbull employs so well.

- Getting back to the Peter Costello future, Kerry Anne Walsh today Fairfax SunHerald reckons as per Harold Mitchell, that he could return to be leader no. 3 in this new cycle in time for the next vote. Mmm. it's offline by the looks in A Costello triple bypass: one leader gone, two to go p65 9 Dec 07. Logical but  retired MP Bruce Baird on Lateline 7 Dec thinks he's bailing out for sure.

- the new Robert Redford movie Lions for Lambs about the Afghanistan war is likely a cracking good movie, as per the Redford profile 24 Nov in Good Weekend, and Doogue on Saturday RN yesterday. The guy is an indy and environmental champ from a pretty tough background apparently.


-  Echoes of the Telegraph page 1 blowtorch last Friday analysed on SAM here: Split in NSW green movement in 2000 prefaces Lane Cove River rail crossing 'debacle' with this miserable Sydney rail management story day before polling 2 weeks ago and likely lost in the flurry:


Cure for train woes found: 23 new chiefs - National - smh.com.au


- Similarly day before polling about the sad mad Newhouse election campaign dashed on the rocks of a shaky personal life and very sharp legal rival here with Ackland traversing chapter and verse on the legals, but perhaps missing the point that the damage to the Newhouse candidacy in the minds of the free enterprise and business elite might not have been the legalities but that this "human rights lawyer" was actually on the ALP state govt machine drip at $600 per day. The kind of cushy financing to keep a govt preferred candidate afloat till election day that the Constitution was meant to cut adrift. How long did he have that job? Was it since the preselection or the highly publicised Vivian Solon case embarrassing to the Coalition govt candidate?


- reported on SAM earlier this week (with a healthy 530 readers that day, from Bali?),  now see this article barracking for a Rudd election ... by the Indonesian environment minister the day before the vote, which is indeed very unusual meddling in the electioneering of another country: Elect Labor to ease in post-Kyoto era, says Indonesian minister at page 7 23rd Nov 2007 Sydney Morning Herald. Seems to be offline.



- Senator Nettle presumably remains in the federal parliament until mid 2008. She gets sledged by Mal Farr on Insiders today while he congratulates 'young talented' Liberal senator Marise Payne who got shafted in the shadow ministries by leader Nelson. Indeed this is the litmus test of Nelson's failure to provide a real new broom. Why Nettle regularly got sledged by Farr we are not sure. He also annoyed Julia Gillard earlier in her career apparently. It may be he rattled their poise with his certainly sharp wits until they either learned or failed to deal with him respectively. Here's a pic of lefty Kerry with her lefty aristocracy famous unionist green bans advocate  Jack Munday Valley Times Nov 8th 07:


We find this adverse result for Senator Nettle getting turfed out a bit confounding. She is certainly smart, a very successful public speaker from her student days and energetic with it. Some decent activist credentials. It may be the numbers were stacked against her or maybe Farr has a point perhaps about ideological inflexibility, though we remain agnostic about that. Certainly the Green Party adverts were a cut above previous elections, like this one (we tried to find the cute woman from exclusive Oyster Bay in our clips but got this guy from Woolloomooloo):

Here is the Oyster Bay version which ran in the more conservative The Australian 21 Nov 07 p7. Very slick;


- Iemma, according to the Saturday Telegraph is going for power industry privatisation to break clear of the poisonous caucus infighting regarding his MPs Gibson and Koperberg. A cynic might say the Telegraph is applying the blowtorch on these essentially personal and arguably trivial matters in order to get the privatisation agenda through:



Iemma's power showdown

BESIEGED Premier Morris Iemma has demanded a showdown with his mutinous caucus MPs as his troubles over power and trains continue to grow.


Meanwhile contrary to the Telegraph spin about Iemma in political quicksand and at risk of losing the premiership over domestic violence allegations (from the last ice age they are so old), Imre Salusinszky is happily writing in the big serious sister rag The Australian saying there is no way Iemma is walking. Who to believe? Imre for mine.

- Matthew Warren at the do nothing on climate The Australian effectively says the civil society sector are the lunatics running the asylum over at Bali first week of the UN conference. Warren being ex energy industry cipher for the greenhouse mafia:

Bali gabfest funny if not so vital Environment writer Matthew Warren and Jakarta correspondent Stephen Fitzpatrick What a difference a day makes when you're debating global warming ...The madcap cycle of spin and subterfuge is a suitable allegory for the first week at the Bali talks: a veneer of big rhetoric, lots of meetings but no decisions; a trigger-happy media contingent being fed and led by a circus of activists only too happy to fill the vacuum until the real action starts next week. In short, the lunatics have been running the asylum.

Perhaps Warren's reputation has preceded him and he just has no one to talk to over there in Bali? Meanwhile nature is starting to crash in a juxtaposed article same edition: 


Climate toll starts to soar Greg Roberts Global warming is already having an effect on our most vulnerable species: birds


and this isn't funny either


Global warming to burn Aussie farmers

Siobhain Ryan AUSTRALIAN farmers are likely to be among the hardest hit in the world from climate change, losing up to a 10th of their production to g...


- A more ethical treatment of the UN Bali state of play is here in the rival Fairfax  Poor nations reap rich world's climate pain | smh.com.au, and Bali response must be action on global scale | smh.com.au



- Hilarious promo for the original 'rock music is from the devil' Rolling Stones Xmas book by Ronnie Wood GW 8/12/07



- Ian Macnamarra gets a qualified good rap in the colour magazine of The Australian this weekend, and its an interesting read. We are a fan here, and think he is best to not take it defensively or nervously. People say what they want but the fans keep coming back if its good work and they do. The kinder, gentler John Laws of the ABC.


- Albanese has a credibility gap in his own home turf, the same one that spawned the No Aircraft Noise Party so many years ago. It's really only the Greens who will keep Albanese honest in his dealings with big capital airport owners and airline industry but it's revealing that the local suburban News Ltd owned press are running these covers Dec 4 2007:




- Mixed impressions from the post election politics regarding the despised Gunns pulp mill. The share price crashed on the election of the ALP, but Gunns claims to have the finance in place anyway: Gunns shares walloped by pulp mill speculation. That was post election. This follows pre election (day before) assertions Gunns has money to build pulp mill - Environment - smh.com.au, which itself was a riposte to such as this targetting of financiers ANZ earlier in Nov 07: Mill foes hit bank on PNG links | The Australian


- What a profound article in the Good Weekend at p54 of 24 Nov 07 called Dirty money about the massive mining and refining of oil soaked tar sands in Canada. Really very scary stuff.



- The general vibe is that W Bush's USA will not attack Iran after the National Intelligence Estimate report, and thank the Lord for that. We think it is NOT a coincidence this happened after the thumping of man o steel Howard at the election on Nov 24. The logic goes like this: The aggregated USA security agencies who produce the NIW would have seen Bush weakened by a poll of an ally effectively of 13 million quasi yankees (ie we Aussies dear reader) and thought the timing was opportune to do the President over, assuming they really believed the gist of their NIE in the first place. Similarly read Hawks see end is NIE | The Australian


- When it comes to asbestos it seems it is never really over legally or health wise for Australians: Refer The Australian p40 Nov 26 07 (offline) with a summary here too via the Eric Beecher vehicle Business Spectator - New asbestos time-bomb for Hardie. The story is about a new cause of action via exemplary damages for those previously successful personal injury litigants. Just one more legal grenade thrown by Bernie Banton literally as he was slipping into the next world. What an incredible achiever. Vale Bernie Banton.




10 Meet the Press


Summer break for MTP - no broadcast 




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



Myspace web address: www.myspace.com/meetthepeople



7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary  -

Penultimate Riley Diary - worthy segment. Some good visuals and insights about genuinely happy ALP parliamentary party, but we noticed Conroy rather silent and subdued in one pan across the room. [He's been done over by traditional rivals in the Victorian ALP apparently]. 


Amusing spoof on Rudd mimicry of Garrett dance hand moves appropo nothing much except Garrett in the news for effective crushing by the brutal and dishonest ALP (see McKew history of the victors pitch in media background abov).


Amusement at motorbike riding pollies of the Coalition (BBishp, Nelson) with quip about the Brendidos.






Insiders 2


Last show for the year it seems. 


Talent is Super Cardigan Man aka Geof Lawrence, Secretary of the ACTU mate of Greg Combet no doubt. Holds the line on union valid role in Rudd PM future as a lobby group. Barry Cassidy - cracking question: "What are going to get for your $30 million investment?" or similar words.


Mild mannered GL says all the predictable things distancing from (what Steketee in the The Australian calls 'fat bellied swearing' unionist) cliches like the WA twins but you somehow feel there is some steel there in GL all the same, playing the long game.  An inspired choice to lead the ACTU in an election year to avoid the Coalition smear campaign of thugs etc, only time will tell if he is the right one post election.


Panel is Annablel Crabb after her breathtakingly good piece in the weekend Herald. Bravo. The Lombardi and Van gogh references were jewels. What a gorgeous mind.


Also relaxing were Mal Farr and Glenn Milne. Both looking better slept. Farr outtake is a plea for (as BC concurs with reference to 'Ruddbot') to return post election to "normal hours".


He's right. Ease back there champ. Get into a sustainable rythym. That's what that Howard early morning walks was all about. Rythym.


Glen Milne is last of the three on the couch. Builds on AC reference to Garrett shell like portfolio, to say that "sad" to see Garrett dismantled by the ALP machine, and sniggers of NSW ALP Right in particular.


[Certainly reflects the general vibe of major press with every second cartoon noting either Garrett back on training wheels or mouth taped shut or some other acceptance he's hobbled and gagged by ALP Govt  - as predicted by those who really understand the ALP machine politics like Senator Bob Brown of the Greens does. An important truth to be exposed. And the foundation motive of the Green Party formation re ALP culture of dishonesty - refer backgrounder above. In this sense 'the rodent' dishonesty aspect of Howard's prime ministerial term was well learnt in a game of flattering mimicry of rivals.]


Regular segments serviceable. Notice Warren in Talking Pictures joking or sledging (?) Walkley for Cathy Wilcox 'should have gone to Katsoukis' said with steely blank expression.


Warren has another striking line: Maxine McKew's mouth is like a mobile Lunar Park, refering to the front gate in the shape of smiling mouth. [Suggestive of famed ALP visual style over substance credibility gap for ex tv presenter McKew? Mmmm.]





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



Sunday 9


- Summer break - no Sunday 9 show.




Posted by editor at 10:21 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 10 December 2007 9:05 AM EADT
Friday, 7 December 2007
Split in NSW green movement in 2000 prefaces Lane Cove River rail crossing 'debacle'
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: nsw govt


The Daily Telegraph have gone the near fatal blowtorch on the NSW ALP govt:


End of the line for Morris

EXCLUSIVE: THE $2bn Epping to Chatswood underground rail link has been bungled. It is the Iemma Government's latest disaster - will it be its last?

89 comment(s) about this story

But one should be a little sceptical who specifically caused this particular stuff up as the fatal decision to tunnel rather than bridge the Lane Cove River was championed by one narrow faction of the green movement we came to know back then as "the urban bushland mafia". We understand it was this faction with excellent local Liberal Party connections who eventually got the ear of the Carr govt who in the end went for 'a shallow' (versus 'a deep') tunnel, when the great majority of the greens preferred 14 metre high bridge option for greater mass transit utility (more stations, design concerns).

We are advised this was a 'bridge too far' for the silvertails in Lane Cove (green or otherwise) who didn't want more busy viable train stations accessible to snot nosed westie students amongst other more ethical concerns of disruption to bushland and noise.

This writer loves urban bushland. We really do. But because they are small areas we accept as a trained ecologist that these have remnant amenity and aesthetic rather than major conservation importance - by contrast with say large intact (Indigenous) wilderness/world heritage quality national parks. In this case it was a balance between air pollution and remnant bush.

So when it came to the planning of the Epping to Chatswood rail line to expand mass transit (in the badly congested Sydney urban context) we considered 8 years back the loss of maybe 200 square metres of bush for the sake of an extra railway station/bridge over, not under, Lane Cove River as ethically jusitifiable.

At the time we were an organiser and natural areas campaigner for Friends of the Earth Sydney. We were receiving faithful reports from our long time (eccentric?) transport colleague Ted Floyd, who typically was outraged at the urban bushland mafia controlling the agenda for the whole enviornment movement in Sydney, ie by Dr Judy Messer as long time Chair of the Nature Conservation Council and also appointee to Sydney Water Board by the Carr Govt.

We spoke to Floyd again this morning and he confirms he got out of transport policy because it was "all too hard" so he went on to something 'easy' like drought and urban water policy.

Oh how the chickens have come home to roost now for Messer and her ilk pictured above receiving the Vincent Serventy Conservation Medal of 2000 (pdf here). But not because of Friends of the Earth Sydney our erstwhile green group, or the sustainable transport lobby or even the Green Party. We all got done over by the 'urban bushland mafia' only to read about it today in the press, and how. Ouch.

Indeed that wasn't the plan back in 2000 in the NSW Parliament Upper House or the view of the main weight of the green lobby like this submission. They were definitely for a bridge over the Lane Cover River for many good mass transit reasons as you can read below in Hansard and the Carr govt agreed with us to begin with.

As late as 26 April 2001 the bridge option was still being reported as the official one.  But the urban bushland mafia were still on the case, and to be fair this was their right in the normal Environmental Impact Assessment and submission process. Floyd refers to some kind of Carr Govt so called  'win-win' resolution in 2001 with a shallower tunnel cut and cover through the river.  Then Holroyd Council reported by August 2001 the shallow tunnel was in the official development plan and by 23 August 2001 InfoLink architecture trade newsletter confirms it. But even the peak National Parks Association, normally a great ally of the urban bushalnd mafia, back on 23 August 2001 seemed to think tunnelling at Lane Cove River was a wrong and dumb approach.. The controversy infested their own journal letters page too including a local council leafleting campaign to their 5,000 odd members.

The unexpected consequences of the bridge option being lowered to a cut and cover option started as early as 4th Sept 2001 according to a local MP for Roseville area. Shallow enough as well to impact one resident with cracks and subsidence issues in one spot along the corridor.

Here is some NSW Hansard of 30 May 2000 which is MOST illuminating , bold added for emphasis, and keep in mind this was all in the context of draining and desperate losing campaigns against the M2 and Eastern Distributor motorways, so most of the democratic base of the green movement wanted a mass transit win ..... badly (this writer was arrested on both campaigns 1995, 1997):

The Hon. R. S. L. JONES [5.15 p.m.]: The bill will amend the Transport Administration Act, the National Parks and Wildlife Act, the Public Works Act, the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and the Heritage Act in order to provide for the development of the Parramatta rail link. The bill enables land within the Parramatta Regional Park and the Lane Cove River National Park to be acquired for the development; confirms that the Public Works Act applies to the development; excludes the development from the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act which relate to the liability of private certifiers; allows approval under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and the Heritage Act to proceed concurrently; confirms that no compensation is payable for the construction and use of the tunnel, underground stations and platforms if the surface is not disturbed; and protects underground rail facilities from interference or damage.

It has been a long time coming, but finally the Government has produced a sound transport infrastructure and initiative that I and many public transport, conservation and resident groups applaud. Those groups include Action for Public Transport, Eco-Transit Sydney, Coalition for Transport Action Groups, Blue Mountains Commuters and Transport Users Association, Ryde-Hunters Hill Flora and Fauna Preservation Society, Bundara Bushcare Group, Blue Mountains Conservation Society, North Ryde Residents Group, New South Wales Urban Environment Coalition and Friends of the Earth. They all support the project.

Other members and I have received numerous letters of support for the project from individuals and families who live or have lived in or close to the Lane Cove Valley. I have also received a number of emails and representations from groups that are very much opposed to the alienation of any land from Lane Cove River National Park, and that is entirely understandable. The $1.4 billion Parramatta to Chatswood rail link, which will cover 27 kilometres and have five new stations, will be the largest railway line built in Sydney since the Blacktown to Richmond line in 1864. Seven existing stations on the Carlingford and western Sydney lines will also be upgraded during the project. The new double-track line will travel from Westmead through Parramatta, Carlingford, Epping and Macquarie University to Chatswood and St Leonards. It will offer great travel benefits to the residents of the western suburbs and other areas, including the Carlingford region, North Ryde, the Central Coast and the North Shore.

While concerns about the impact of the project on Lane Cove River National Park have not been addressed entirely through alterations to the plans, the Government has proposed a course of action that will ensure minimal loss of land and the addition of other land as a trade-off. I understand that this trade-off is not satisfactory to many residents and conservationists—and I fully understand why as I have passed through the area many times and was reminded of it today when shown photographs. Following discussions with Peter Katz and Bill Grant of the Parramatta rail link project, I understand that, while 1.9 hectares of park land must be acquired for the construction of the Parramatta rail link, only a small proportion of that land will be required permanently for the operation of the link. Any land excised that is not required permanently will be restored and returned to the park. The Government will also add to the park approximately a further 2.8 hectares of land at Brown's Waterhole, which featured in a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald.  .....

These additions to the park also ensure that the precedent set for similar or other intrusions into national parks in New South Wales is one of no net loss—that is, any intrusions must be mitigated with compensatory additions. It is understandable that many people are upset about the idea of losing this precious little piece of the park, which includes some important rock structures. In fact, the precedent set by this project goes further: not only will there be no net loss of land within the park as a result of the link, but the park will actually be larger. Although that is true, the same result could have been achieved without any net loss to the park at all.

While I understand that some residents would have preferred scrapping the planned 14-metre railway bridge through the edge of the park in favour of a tunnel, I understand also that such modifications would have severely reduced the public transport benefits of the project. Others oppose that view. The tunnel option would require building a tunnel under the Lane Cove River. It would also require 800 metres more track and eliminate the proposed stations at Delhi Road and the University of Technology, Sydney [UTS] Kuring-gai campus.

The maximum gradient at which rail track can be built is a grade of three in 100. Therefore, railway lines can rise and fall at a rate of only 3 per cent. The combination of the depth of the tunnel required to get under the river and the maximum rail gradient mean that the proposed stations at Delhi Road and UTS Kuring-gai would have to be constructed at a depth too great for safety. In the event of an emergency, platforms have to be cleared in four minutes and everyone must be able to reach a safe location within six minutes using fire stairs, not escalators. According to our information, this would not be possible at stations that are 50 to 75 metres underground.

The removal of the Delhi Road and UTS Kuring-gai stations would serve to take an expected 10,000 train passenger movements from the line each day, many of which would replace car trips. That is up to 3.5 million train trips per year. Abandoning the two stations because of the depth of the tunnel would also mean that a third of the 27 kilometres of line would be underground without stations. The tunnel option also places a constraint on the operating capacity of the railway as it is considered undesirable to have more than three trains in a single segment of tunnel, however long. Operational safety protocols also allow up to three trains only in a tunnel section at any time as it is not considered safe to bank up more trains in a long tunnel section. The bridge option, on the other hand, splits the underground train line into two sections and would, as a result, accommodate twice as many trains and lead to speedier recovery from delays. The bridge option would also be less intensive due to the shallower gradients and shorter distance, and it would have no operating costs. ....

The Hon. Dr A. CHESTERFIELD-EVANS: ... The issue that has caused the most controversy is the crossing of the national park. I have received 66 letters, 25 emails, and submissions from Helen Fern, David Robinson, Caron Morrison and Jim Donovan of Action for Public Transport, among others.

The crossing of Lane Cove River National Park by a low-level bridge, which is the favoured option in the departmental material, has the advantage of requiring the least construction and the lowest gradients. Another advantage is that commuters will have a view, albeit fleetingly, of the park. As the Hon. R. S. L. Jones said, there is the important aspect of improved safety for trains because of access to the bottom of the tunnel. A newspaper article the Sunday before last reported that the Greens made a deal to support this option in return for saving Browns Waterhole. Labor people have quietly murmured to me that Browns Waterhole was already going to be incorporated in the park, but it was smart to get the Greens vote. I am not able to comment on the rights or wrongs of that; I merely note it in passing. ....

I received a submission from Caron Morrison, who has studied this matter for some considerable time and has been an activist, particularly for the Lane Cove River National Park. Her submission on this matter is significant. It states:

There is a real merit in the argument that the rail line should proceed to St Leonards, rather than to Chatswood. Unfortunately the M2 contract, signed by Bruce Baird several years ago makes consideration of this route extremely difficult. The M2 contract contains a clause which requires the State Government to financially compensate the Motorway operators if the patronage levels are affected by alternative transport in the area of M2 influence. This can be either private roads or public transport, and is referred to as an "adverse material impact". I have a good reason to believe that the State Government has received legal advice that, because the St Leonards route more closely parallels the M2 than the Chatswood route, this option could become extremely expensive for the State as a whole. Once again, we see that the M2 involved much more than the destruction of bushland and communities.

.....If the route is set by such a constraint, the option of building a bridge is probably the lesser of a number of possible evils. ....

I quote from Caron Morrison, who deals with this humbug extremely well. Although she may be in this House tonight, she does not normally write about this House as we do not get that much publicity. She said: 

    Mrs Chikarovski and Mr O'Farrell appear to be attempting to present themselves as Parliamentary "guardians" of the Lane Cove Valley. This makes me deeply unhappy. These two individuals have had plenty of opportunities to protect the bushland of the Lane Cove River and its tributaries. When the M2 issue was being hotly contested, and constructed, Mrs Chikarovski was fighting for preselection in Lane Cove, and when in government was a staunch supporter of Bruce Baird, Minister for Roads. Mr O'Farrell was Bruce Baird's Chief of Staff. Many of us tried, and failed, to protect the Valley, but none of us were as well placed as Mrs Chikarovski and Mr O'Farrell. Why didn't they protect the Valley when they could?......

Caron Morrison continued: 

    Peta Seaton, the Opposition Environment Spokesperson, issued a press release on May 26 saying that Labor and the Greens had "sentenced thousands of road users to decades of future road transport problems". That is arrant nonsense. I could easily accuse Bruce Baird and the M2, or even Laurie Brereton and the Harbour Tunnel of that particular sin, but I cannot say that Peta Seaton's argument has any validity at all. When Ms Seaton says that "Bob Carr is treating national parks as vacant construction space", I can only say that I wish she had been there when the Devlins and Terry's Creek bushland was being cleared for the M2.

Caron Morrison went on to say: 

    I am also worried by the Opposition's insistence that this rail line was their idea. That is certainly not my interpretation of events. I distinctly recall being contacted by several large engineering firms, including Barclay Mowlem, Abigroup and Ove Arup, in the very early 1990s, when they were canvassing community support for the then-called Macquarie Rail Line (Chatswood-Parramatta). Over time, and with a number of other people, I attended several meetings to discuss this proposal, only to see them lose interest after they formally approached the Fahey Government. I formed the impression that the Government had asked them to delay their interest until after it had the M2 up and running. It may be my imagination, but at the time it seemed that reducing its interest in the Macquarie Rail Line was beneficial to Abigroup who now has a major interest in the M2 consortium. It cannot be disputed that the construction of this rail line was part of the Fahey Government's 1995 campaign platform, but it was there as a result of a concerted community and corporate campaign. It was there to defuse community anger and concern over the M2, not because they genuinely had the communities' interests at heart.

That is merely one activist's opinion [very trusted expert, SAM editor] , but it is nice to talk to someone who was there at the time. The Opposition is strident in its saving of a tiny bit of park when it puts a motorway through a huge slab of it. I need to be persuaded that the rail link has to go across the park. If it cannot go along the Epping Road route for either technical or contractual reasons related to the M2, then that is the best option. ....

The construction of the bridge should include noise-mitigation engineering, similar to that used under the Tivoli Theatre. I understand that trains can run on rubber tracks to reduce their noise. It cannot be disputed that the proposed route damages the park, but we may not be able to use Epping Road, even though it would be preferable from the point of view of workers along Lane Cove Road, the residents of Lane Cove, the high density housing along Lane Cove Road, and the industrial areas of south Artarmon and along Epping Road.

The Hon. HELEN SHAM-HO .... The Guardians of Lane Cove River National Park also stated that a "patronage demand study" from an unspecified source revealed that 2,600 people would commute daily to UTS in 2021. This figure is questionable in the extreme. Estimates by Action for Public Transport suggest that commuters using the UTS station alone will make about 10,000 to 12,000 trips per day. While we cannot look into a crystal ball to see whose prophecies about patronage will come true, I remind honourable members that the campus at UTS has about 5,000 students. If we consider also the number of local residents who would be likely to use the station, I suggest that Action for Public Transport's prediction is more likely.

Another inconsistency within the presentation by Guardians of Lane Cove National Park was that, on one hand, it stated that UTS Kuring-gai is situated in "a remote area of bushland" but, on the other hand, it alleged the campus is already well serviced by public transport. ...In the past week I have been inundated with letters, emails and faxes about the impact of the proposed bridge in Lane Cove River National Park. Community groups including the Blue Mountains Conservation Society Inc., North Ryde Residents Group, Bundara Bushcare Group, New South Wales Urban Environment Coalition and Eco-Transit Sydney support the existing rail link proposal. Other groups including the Fullers Bridge Residents Association, the Environmental Liaison Office, Willoughby Environmental Protection Association, Guardians of Lane Cove National Park, West Lindfield-Killara Residents Group and West Killara Residents Action Group have sent me letters arguing against the bill.

As in any similar situation in which railways are being built there is considerable criticism from the residents who do not want the project in their backyard, including, in this case, the Leader of the Opposition, Mrs Kerry Chikarovski. On the other hand, through the newspapers and the briefing I received from the Parramatta Rail Link Project Director and other concerned parties, I have been informed that the area affected is not pristine bushland. Indeed, the area in which the bridge is to be constructed was a vineyard, an orchard and a rifle range before its present incarnation as part of the park. Some opponents of the bridge suggest that the tunnel should be built. To build a tunnel under the Lane Cove River, it would be necessary to dig in the rock beneath the river at a considerable depth so as to penetrate under the problematic soils and rocks.

I was advised that this alternative route would necessitate 27 kilometres of underground tunnel with no stations to be constructed because of factors such as topography and exceeding the gradient at which it is safe to construct rail stations. Stations which would then be scrapped would be those at UTS and Delhi Road. I believe the experts. The Hon. J. F. Ryan said that we parliamentarians would understand those simple terms and judge for ourselves whether the proposal is good or bad. I suggest that the tunnel does not resolve perceived problems with the construction of the rail link. Instead, it creates more problems. Is it not the purpose of the link to provide better, safer and faster public transport options? A tunnel stretching 27 kilometres underground should be the last resort. It is usually only in cases where there is no alternative that such a long tunnel would be constructed with no stations in its entirety, as it can be dangerous in emergencies.

Furthermore, if the tunnel option were to proceed, many thousands of people would not have access to a station which they would have if the bridge over the river were to be built. The public needs stations to access the benefits that train transport can bring. If an underground station were to be constructed at UTS I have been told that it would need to be at a depth of more than 60 metres. ......

 For all of the reasons I have outlined, I am absolutely not opposed to the construction of the bridge.

The Hon. Dr B. P. V. PEZZUTTI: What I am most concerned about is the political trade-off and sell-out of the national park. If honourable members think that is over the top, I refer them to a press release issued on 22 May by Judy Messer from the Nature Conservation Council. The press release is headed "Political Trade-off is a Sell-out for Lane Cove National Park" and expresses my views and the views held for a long time by people up that way. As many honourable members would know, there have been many plans to construct various freeways through that area to connect Hornsby to the freeway at Lane Cove. The press release states: 

    The Nature Conservation Council of NSW has expressed strong opposition to the construction of an overhead railway bridge within the Lane Cove National Park and the political expediency driving the decision-making.

    "Whilst NCC supports the proposed Parramatta Rail Link in principle, the NCC is always concerned that public transport initiatives should not occur at the cost of conservation of NSW's natural and cultural heritage", said Council Chairperson Dr Judy Messer. "The NCC is specifically disturbed that the current preferred option will result in an unacceptable level of impact on Lane Cove National Park and the adjoining bushland areas of high conservation value."

    Dr Messer said that adverse impacts will include: loss of biodiversity and habitat values, public open space, recreational amenity, Aboriginal and European cultural heritage, the alienation of national park lands, and unacceptable noise.

They are all the things that the Hon. I. Cohen and Ms Lee Rhiannon sprout about every single day.

[Interruption from gallery]

I agree with that comment from the public gallery: "Used to." Dr Messer continued:

    "The Council is further concerned that the NSW Government proposes to enact legislation to remove the affected portions of land from the jurisdiction of the National Park—

something, of course, that the Greens are complying with— 

    thus pre-empting the outcome of the EIS but in no way legitimating the destruction of park land."

    "It should also be noted that the Lane Cove National Park has over 1 million visitors a year thus confirming its premier recreational importance for the people of Sydney. Clearly the overhead bridge option is not at all acceptable. There is no way that the dedication of Brown's Waterhole will compensate for this gross alienation of national park values."

Despite this press release and this now considered opinion by the Nature Conservation Council—

The Hon. I. Cohen: A person in the Nature Conservation Council. It wasn't the opinion of the whole organisation. There has been a lot of debate within the organisation.

The Hon. Dr B. P. V. PEZZUTTI: That is what Dr Messer, the head of the Nature Conservation Council, said. I accept that the Hon. I. Cohen is a forthright person who does his job with some diligence. However, I will read from an article from the North Shore Times: 

    Conservationists and the State Government have cut a deal, swapping a patch of bushland in return for supporting a bridge across Lane Cove National Park.

    Greens MLC Lee Rhiannon has secured a commitment from Transport Minister Carl Scully that Browns Waterhole, near South Turramurra, will be gazetted as part of the Lane Cove National Park.

It is an awful shame that Ms Lee Rhiannon does not have that commitment from the green Premier or, in fact, the Minister for the Environment. The article continues: 

    In return Ms Rhiannon is expected to support a rail bridge across the Lane Cove National Park as part of the Parramatta-Chatswood link.

    The Browns Waterhole land has long been part of a political football—a small parcel of bushland contained in the abandoned freeway corridor formally earmarked for a connecting link between the M2 and F3. ....


Yet the tunnel under the river was indeed built according to the urging of a narrow green faction led by Dr Judy Messer and the so called Guardians of  Lane Cove River Park etc we knew as the 'urban bushland mafia' over the consensus of the greater majority of the green movement and the debate in the NSW Upper House back in 2000. Such is the evolution of the green movement from a weaker Green Party 8 years ago to a much stronger machine today in 2007 when a democratic support for the bridge option would have stuck. How the bridge option unravelled in 2001 making way for the tunnel we are not too sure and imagine Dr Messer might be able to explain better. We are going to dive back in the files and see any clues.

The NSW Govt are marshalling their PR forces today but it's looking bad for them. Very bad. And the dinosaurs in one faction of the green movement.

Posted by editor at 9:24 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 7 December 2007 4:18 PM EADT
Chinese dictatorship to free press: There's our way or no way
Mood:  sad
Topic: independent media


Posted by editor at 9:08 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 7 December 2007 9:16 AM EADT
Thursday, 6 December 2007
NSW Law Society President warns about errorism erosion of civil norm of client confidentiality
Mood:  not sure
Topic: legal


Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2007 3:18 PM
Subject: From the President - December 2007 .....

Client Legal Privilege

As issues of national security continue to dominate the political arena, preserving the rule of law is becoming increasingly challenging as executive government seeks to increase access to various sources of information. Of particular concern is the current discussion with regard to expanding the range of powers given to investigative bodies allowing them to probe into all aspects of lawyer-client relations.

The Law Society maintains that full and frank exchange between lawyers and their clients is fundamental to ensuring the appropriate carriage of justice. Legal privilege is the client’s privilege and citizens’ rights must be protected against expedient, fear-based, legislative incursions.

It is important that laws are reviewed in a manner that does not lead to an erosion of confidentiality and privilege. The Law Society will co-operate with relevant bodies to maintain an ethical and independent legal profession and provide strong protection for the exchange of confidential information between lawyers and their clients.

The Society’s submissions on the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Discussion paper on Client Legal Privilege and Federal Investigative bodies are available on the Law Society’s website at www.lawsociety.com.au/15434. Similarly the Law Council of Australia submission can be accessed at the Law Council’s website. The Society’s recently formed Ethics sub committee on The Rule of Law will also be looking at issues of confidentiality as part of its brief. You’ll find more about this sub committee in the December issue of the Law Society Journal.


Hugh Macken
Senior Vice President


Also of interest is this initiative of the Law Society to enforce ongoing ethics training for solicitors at least once every three years: 


The Council of the Law Society of NSW proposes to amend Rule 42 of the Revised Professional Conduct and Practice Rules by the insertion of a new 42.1A requiring a practitioner to complete, as part of the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) requirement, one (1) unit of ethics education every three (3) years. The Council also proposes to make various other amendments to the Rule including .... The current rule is set out at: www.lawsociety.com.au/page.asp?partID=722

The Law Society invites comments and submissions on the proposed rule. These should be forwarded to the Secretary, Law Society, 170 Phillip Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000 or emailed to ethics@lawsocnsw.asn.au by 30 November 2007

.[proposed new ethics training rule] 

42.1A If the holder of a practising certificate is required to undertake a course of continuing legal education, that continuing legal education must include a component relating to legal ethics that deals predominantly with the role and responsibilities of legal practitioners where:

42.1A.1 the component is to be undertaken at least once in every compliance period, or such shorter period as may be determined by the appropriate Council, and is to comprise at least one unit in the units of continuing legal education that the holder of the practising certificate is required to undertake.

42.1A.2 "compliance period" means:

(a) in relation to a person who was the holder of a local practising certificate at 1 April 2008:

(i) the period starting on 1 April 2008 and ending on 31 March 2011, and

(ii) each further period of 3 years ending on the third anniversary of the expiration of the previous period, or

(b) in relation to a person who became or becomes the holder of a local practising certificate after 1 April 2008:

(i) the period starting on the next 1 April after the person became or becomes the holder of a local practising certificate and ending on 31 March in the year that is 3 years after the start of this period, and

(ii) each further period of 3 years ending on the third anniversary of the expiration of the previous period.

Posted by editor at 4:58 PM EADT
Updated: Friday, 7 December 2007 8:32 AM EADT
Spooky world of multinational espionage keeps idealistic activists nervous
Mood:  hungry
Topic: human rights


A BAE Harrier GR.9


In this age of multinational corporate "greenhouse mafia" prosecuting their agenda by fair means or foul, ie to protect their obscene profits, comes this cracking, intriguing story in UK's The Guardian of Dec 4 2007 : Martin and me (which may well be a title satirising the famous slummy fictional movie Withnail and I).

The Guardian story is no joke for idealistic activists who want peace, love and sustainability via democratic grassroots group process. It's a fair dinkum story of broken trust and espionage and infiltration by BAE Systems - Europes largest arms company - of a non government peace group called CAAT or Campaign Against Arms Trade. This gives the flavour of the serious sh*t they get involved in


CAATnews 200 February - March 2007 490kb or webpage version Includes: Legal challenge to ending of SFO investigation; Shut DESO - the big push; using local media; Tanya Tier interview; local campaigns news; arms trade shorts.

The Guardian story is the latest sad, dangerous, unnerving thread in a long line of govt and corporate trickey to protect multinational interests from civil society attempts at moral accountability in the western economic system.

Sydney Indy Media here carry a reaction from local well travelled activist Ciaron O'Rielly to the 2003-2007 BAE/CAAT expose :

The memories begin for me in mid- '96, when I arrived in England for the first time in 17 years. I came primarily from East Timor solidarity activism in Australia to support a friend, who I had met at the Washingon DC Catholic Worker and who had been active in solidarity with me while I spent 13 months in prison for disarming a B52 on the eve of the first Gulf War. She and 3 other women (using one of the hammers we had used on the B52 and New York and would later use at Shannon in 03) were in Risley Prison (England) following a £1.5 million disarmament action on a BAe Hawk fighter at BAe, Warton, Lancashire. The Hawk figther was already painted in Indonesian Air Force markings and was due for immediate export to the genocidal Suharto regime to be used on the people of East Timor. "Seeds of Hope Ploughshares".... http://www.plowsharesactions.org/webpages/weba.htm 


As you can see Soeharto sponsored terrorism of East Timor with BAE hawk jets puts our own region in the picture as regards the santised history of UK based BAE whether you approve of taking a hammer to private property or not. We have to admit we find it hard to condemn in light of the mass murder in East Timor for decades. Not our way but you can see the logic. And the logic of BAE instituting asset protection strategies.

This documented espionage of CAAT reminds of the recent John Pilger movie War on Democracy which apparently carries a very disturbing direct quote from a CIA senior officer who effectively concedes 'sure it's all about keeping the USA financial interests on top by any means possible' with reference to the dirty war in South America in the latter 20C against it's people via local foul dictators such as Pinochet. Ugly ugly stuff. You can catch the video in parts on YouTube starting here.


None more ugly than this one via the BBC referring not to Chile but Argentina in this case while noting Nixon/Kissinger's Operation Condor aggregated all these countries:

       A court in Argentina has convicted a former Roman Catholic police chaplain of collaborating in murders during the country's military rule.
Christian Von Wernich 

Von Wernich showed no emotion as he was sentenced

Christian Von Wernich, 69, was convicted for involvement in seven murders, 42 abductions and 31 cases of torture during the 1976-83 "Dirty War". Survivors say he passed information he obtained from prisoners to the police. As he was sentenced, Father Von Wernich showed no emotion. Protesters torched his effigy outside the court. The trial in the town of La Plata, 60km (35 miles) south of Buenos Aires, had lasted for three months. Father Von Wernich initially avoided prosecution by moving to Chile, where he worked as a priest under a false name.

We recall seeing a movie on SBS made in Spanish and perhaps set in Mexico where the radical lecturer mentored the idealistic students in their activism, not fully realising the security agency had their hooks into their teacher and were blackmailing him for the activist details. Of course all the naive idealists were turned in. We took mental note of all this - if a script writer could think it and actors could portray the scenario realistically I got to feeling it was probably quite possible.

We take the view in progressing community media and ecological sustainability concerns one should maintain reasonable transparency and avoid violence in order to best avoid the fearful and over zealous govt agents who do make fatal mistakes at times. For instance the poor Brazilian man shot dead for being in the wrong place and wrong time in the age of errorism on the London Tubes, may he rest in peace:

BBC NEWS | UK | Shot man not connected to bombing

Similarly we take the view best to not trust anyone too much, admittedly a fairly depressing road to follow.

Interestingly we noted these thoughts on the Sydney Indy Media news post linked above 12 hours ago and they were censored off the site. In fact contrary to usual form there are no comments allowed on that particular feature story. We are not sure if it means there are too many inflammatory comments or just mine.

Posted by editor at 1:07 PM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 6 December 2007 4:21 PM EADT
Bah humbug! Who cares about the global situation really?
Mood:  special
Topic: world

Earth Status report - 2007

If the population of the Earth was reduced to that of a small town

with 100 people, it would look something like this:


57% Asians

21% Europeans

14% Americans (northern and southern)

8% Africans






52% women

48% men




70% coloured-skins

30% caucasians




89% heterosexuals

11% homosexuals




6 people would own 59% of the whole world wealth

and all of them will be from the United States of America


80%  would have bad living conditions


70%  would be uneducated


50% underfed


1 would die


2 would be born


1 would have a computer


1 (only one) will have higher education


When you look at the world from this point of view,

you can see there is a real need for solidarity,

understanding, patience and education.

Also think about the following -
This morning, if you woke up healthy, then you are happier

than the 1 million people that will not survive next week.  

If you never suffered a war,


the loneliness of the jail cell, the agony of torture,


or hunger,


you are happier than 500 million people in the world.
If you can enter into a church (mosque) without fear of jail or death,  

you are happier then 3 million people in the world.   

If there is a food in your fridge,


you have shoes and clothes,


you have bed and a roof,


you are richer then 75% of the people in the world.





If you have bank account, money in your wallet and some coins in the money-box,


you belong to the 8% of the people on the world, who are well-to-do.


If you read this you are three times blessed because:   

1. somebody just thought of you.


2 . you don't belong to the 200 million people
that cannot read.


3 . and... you have a computer!


As somebody once said:  

" - Work as if you don't need money,


- Love as if you've never been hurt,


- Dance, as if nobody can see you,


- Sing, as if no one can hear,


- Live, as if the Earth was a heaven."


If you like, send this to people you call friends.
If you don't send this, nothing will happen. But,

if you send it - someone will smile




So start living & stop worrying, You don't know how blessed you are!


Posted by editor at 10:52 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 6 December 2007 11:09 AM EADT

Newer | Latest | Older