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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Friday, 18 January 2008
Trigger Trioli's successor has got the goods for tough 702 mid morn gig
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: big media
Virginia Trioli 
Virginnia "Trigger" Trioli while in the 702 chair mentioned late 2007 'that everyone hears this show' meaning we presume the vested interests and stakeholders in the quite big and dynamic business of politics in NSW, if not the actual ratings war itself which apparently is on at the moment for commercial listeners.

Trigger is an inspired nickname given the similar surname and the quick fire verbal facility that she brought to the work. Too much ego some said early to which we here scoffed derisorily - how exactly can you have too much ego in combat with the larger than life doyens of Sydney? Certainly a healthy ego is essential if not sufficient.

She did the job proud parading her general neutrality like a double edged axe blade like some media style intellectual Xena amazon as the barbarians milled around. Too warlike? It is the home of the bear pit.

Now Deborah, aka Debbie (if you are Sir Jimmy Little), Cameron is in the chair all this first week, and she is quite the worthy and indeed more than that talented, successor. Trigger has left a lasting impression to be sure and now the audience will go on another personal journey.

Cameron has already met the infamous sleep cycle impact which in brutal fashion can steal 20 IQ points turning a charming conversationalist into a leaden bore. Julie McCrossin never quite got to that stage but she got out quickly all the same. Who can forget the Adam Spencer meltdown at one time at unfortunate Trigger's expense early on in his placement - we called it the Margaret and David moment from then SBS Movie Show - the chalk and cheese frisson of friction. Oh how we recognised the symptoms after 2 years night shift at Media Monitors.

Cameron clearly has the intellect and journalistic professionalism and experience, with several years in Japan apparently. She also fits the times for the Federal ALP hegemony in several stylistic ways (refer below). 

Also her dead straight no hesitation, just the facts 'breaking news .... 2 killed in a winery in the Hunter Valley' tells you she is tough which she will need, no risk. The vocab is tops with a breathtaking 'confrere' thrown in at an impossible angle like a key in a bank safe going click just when I was sure she'd surely lost her balance on a circus rope.

And sufficient flashes of inspiration and genuine humour to attract more attention.

Appealing broadcast voice with quite a deal of kindness (an under rated quality?) and grace (ditto) to help mediate the brash harshness of Sydney daily grind, sufficient patience to manage a googly of a call back literally 1 minute to first week's end. Made it.

Yep, she's  got the goods. Her image on the website reminds of a Japanese style westerner, with a somewhat severe Lathamesque buzz, that could do with more colour to match the Sydney festive season (is black ABC neutrality?) but actually her background looks more Paddy Irish Australian with her career kicking off with the Warrnambool Standard (now owned by Fairfax a long time now), Canberra Times and Sydney Morning Herald. That's Irish Catholic territory as a stereotype, and if so won't hurt with the ALP. She appears in black which is quite their colour too.

Deborah Cameron (Click for larger image.)

It may be we have given a soft 1st week review having been born and bred our first 18 years from the same provincial Victorian Town of 15,000, doubling every summer holidays. It's possible. Nothing to do with old drunkard Eric our grandfather who was a senior journo or subby for the Herald whom we never met.

All being equal - meaning fair politics - she will be quite good, or good, or very good. However NSW politics and life is not fair, and therein is the white knuckle ride that is 702 radio 'real news' mid morning show. Vale Trigger, entre [insert nickname for Deborah Cameron here, too early to say].

Posted by editor at 12:19 PM EADT
Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008 1:41 PM EADT
Greens state election 07 protest warning on Port Botany expansion is coming true
Mood:  sad
Topic: nsw govt

SAM reported on this community protest way back in March 2007

Picture above and more below: Community rally at Botany Bay Beach off Foreshore Rd, Botany Saturday 3rd March, against expansion of Port Botany guaranteed to increase toxic transport congestion in most of southern metropolitan Sydney. Shade was a premium under the burning late summer day.

Now we read more corroboration of the massive transport impacts that perhaps 2M of Sydney's 4 million residents are sleep walking into, led by the narrow minded hyper growth economics of this sleazy NSW Government. Nor are the official opposition any better, and they must do better to have any credibility.


There are plenty more transport, noise, air pollution and outright dangerous traffic impacts on the way for the sleep walkers as reported here:




7 March 2007 ALP NSW coverup of the Marrickville Truck Tunnel by any other name

Friday, 23 March 2007
Container truck tunnel crash is Sydney's future too under ALP transport policies
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: election nsw 2007
Picture: from News Ltd inside the Burnley Tunnel in Melbourne today after a horror crash that killed 3.

As the three major dailies today editorialise to remove the ALP government in NSW in the vote tomorrow, and Ch9 prime time news ruin Opposition Leader Debnam's last pitch due to technical problems with a live cross, a tragic tunnel crash involving container trucks in Melbourne today (Road catastrophe: Tunnel crash kills three) underline everything wrong with the Inner West Motorway tunnel exposed by the press during this election for Sydney: $5b secret road under Sydney | The Daily Telegraph

Container truck numbers from the Port are set to skyrocket under the ALP (Task force to oversee Port Botany expansion. 25/11/2006. ABC News ...) to 3 million per year  at least (Port Botany - NSW Department of Planning) but likely even more than that (NSW Ports Growth Plan - Summary Sheet) with massive impacts on the Inner City congestion and suburban amenity from the Port Botany Expansion - 10/11/2005 - ADJ

The ALP over ruled an independent planning Commission of Inquiry (Port Botany expansion plan unwarranted: inquiry. 14/10/2005. ABC ...) and tried to stall the release of that report for 3 months (Port Botany Report - 15/09/2005 - QWN REP) making a new motorway tunnel an inevitability under the Iemma ALP Govt. One can assume fatal truck accidents like this today will also be an inevitability as above.

Posted by editor at 10:14 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008 11:04 AM EADT
John Howard's legacy: Sanitised Exclusive Brethren human rights abuse?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: human rights

 In terms of institutional misogyny in Australia the Exclusive Brethren are right up there, turning the young female members into economic slave cannon fodder.

For those who take the time to look at this EB mob seriously as the ABC 4 Corners have done, as noted here on SAM last year (see below), either conservatives or leftwingger, can only wonder how a Prime Minister of Australia ever got mixed up with this pack of ultra hierarchical grubs:

Tuesday, 16 October 2007
Now the whole dirty business of the quasi religious business cult using modern forms of economic slavery and control to gouge their profit are in the news again today 18th Jan 2008, with another clipping of interest from 2007 included. Perhaps most notable is the impertinence of this cult involving itself so deeply in Big Politics behind a facade of neutrality and other-worldliness. Or perhaps that John Howard would never let his own professional daughter, lawyer Melanie, be oppressed and suppressed with a blanket ban on access to higher education let alone computers. SAM here finds the EB very creepy:

Postscript #1 21 Jan 2008 
Sect schools to get $10m, despite ALP unease THE secretive Exclusive Brethren religious sect is poised to receive more than $10 million in Federal Government funds this year, despite the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, describing it during the election campaign as an extremist cult that breaks up families.


Posted by editor at 9:43 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008 4:40 PM EADT
Australia quality think tanks don't make the cut in international study
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: independent media


A respected US think tank has been doing some naval gazing at their own sector from the dynamic home of think tanks over there. Mark Latham once referred to this robust culture as impressive with a specialised lobby on every street corner (perhaps referring to Washington itself).

The FPRI itself is based in Philadelphia and according to a report of ABC radio national Asia Pacific programme 18 Jan 2008 none of Australia's think tanks make the top list of 20 or 30. That means neither the cashed up Lowy Institute with its top academic profile, nor Australia Institute with its well qualified and talented (ex) leader Clive Hamilton (see below), nor the right wing business funded mobs like Institute of Public Affairs with ratbags like Jennifer Marohassy on land use and conservation issues, or Centre for Independent Studies. 



And this could well be a legacy of 10 years of anti democratic control tactics against civil society organisations by the Howard Govt said to be reversed by the new Rudd Govt:

Labor to lift gag on critics | The Australian

...maybe (ironically same day, same newspaper edition) .....

Political gag can be of no public gain | The Australian

"Julian Cribb | January 09, 2008 IN a poor omen for scientific and intellectual freedom in Australia, barely a month after the Rudd Government was elected it appears to have been caught trying to censor science."

...which resulted in this balancer by the Minister Kim Carr, in the following week Education supplement ..

Debate charter promised for boffins 16 Jan 2007

The background to the report is here:

The Global "Go-To Think Tanks”: The Leading Public Policy Research Organizations in the World

Gone are the days when a think tank could operate with the motto “research it, write it and they will find it”. Today, think tanks must be lean, mean, policy machines. The report that follows summarizes the findings of a pilot project to identify some of the leading think tanks in the world, and provides lists of what might be called the “go to think tanks” in every region.

Related is local Clive Hamilton moving on after a distinguished contribution to public life via his Australia Institute:





Posted by editor at 7:34 AM EADT
Pat Farmer MP embroiled in pre election racial flare up?
Mood:  not sure
Topic: nsw govt

Previous recent post on this topic:

Tuesday, 15 January 2008 Memo Pat Farmer MHR: You can run but you can't hide from the Islamic School racism issue



Posted by editor at 7:12 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008 7:31 AM EADT
Thursday, 17 January 2008
Is Janet Albrechtsen losing the plot? [Postscript: Paddy surely is!]
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: big media
Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2008 11:38 AM
Subject: are you losing the plot there, or serious?

By coincidence I saw your celebrated column of 7/9/07 in my clips which has surely been vindicated regarding your influential call for Howard to hand over the baton nearly 3 months before the vote. On your game there:
Then I read your column yesterday presumably from Canada given the many references where you effectively call for:
- the removal of anti villification legislation by attacking a govt investigation of a complaint by a minority group, which body hasn't even ruled yet. And you a lawyer who upholds due process? Strange.
- promote free speech to such extremes I almost expected you to openly authorise burning of the USA flag from the safe distance of the neighbouring country. I don't think so.
 Are you suffering psychic shock at the fast paced unravel of the Howard halcyon days? The systematic dismantling that Rudd as PM is undoubtedly qualified to do according to his own lights, as Bureaucrat Man? Is that why you are licking your wounds over in the land of the melting swamp post climate change? 
Do you ever get the feeling in moments of introspection that given your political views above and your physical presentation you missed your time in an Australian Freedom and Fatherland Party ie fascism of the 1920-30ies? 
In short are you losing the plot? 
Tom McLoughlin, editor www.sydneyalternativemedia.com
Postscript#1 18 January 2007
P.P. McGuiness apparently relieved of command of the right wing Quadrant, kick started so rumour has it by CIA anti communist funds decades ago, has a patronising condescending piece of impertinence in The Australian today: 
It may well have been written from PP's perch there at the window seat of the Unity Hall Hotal in Balmain where he is often ensconced. And his opinion piece has about as much appeal as wet old carpet at closing time. 
Apparently an academy award and a shared Nobel Peace Prize for Al Gore regarding dangerous climate change "makes no sense". PP knows better, or is that noes better (!) than any other career contrarian? Give it up PP - the age of ecological denial was your time in the 20C, now it's our time so shove off by which I really do mean sincerely SHOVE OFF permanently.
God's time will do. It can't be long now.

Posted by editor at 6:43 PM EADT
Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008 4:16 PM EADT
Is Peter Cochrane increasing the risk of equine flu outbreak?
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: nsw govt

Picture: A letter to the editor some 12 years old now and still a cracker everytime we read about Peter Cochrane ex MP and his brumbies.


We notice "the vaccuum" as Sue Cato of 702 abc radio spin doctors puts it, a media season generating quite a few stunts and fillers, some of them Big Media generated but also sneaky pollies.

We've had the water tanks on Parliament House by Nathan Rees MP Minister for bottled electricity ... err delivery of the hugely expensive, vandalistic desalination plant.

We've had Peter Garrett MP on the ice runway in Antarctica, and before that reviving the junk the plastic bag agenda. And again with the Chinese fossils homeward bound.


But Peter Cochrane, ex Nationals NSW MP is possibly our favourite so far, ever since we helped expose him misleading a NSW Coalition party room while a national party MP in the early 1990ies: By producing maps of so called "inaccessible by terrain" of the Kosciuszko area.

This was his way of claiming govt bureaucrats were destroying freedom and the Australian way of life by declaring even more wilderness areas when viewed in aggregate that excluded horse trails. Seems the "inaccessible by terrain" areas via a picture off the local regional tv (when he flashed the diagrams), had the odd township, airport and other sundry trafficable areas that the city slickers wouldn't second guess. But they di via deft work of concerned local conservationsists who took that picture off the tube.

From about that time on Premier John Fahey seemed to go very cold on the crusading Cochrane MP on his backbench and his anti green clique, and the lot of them were turfed out in March 1995, in no small part to such as Peter Cochrane's vehement anti environmentalism. At the time we named this the Cochrane 'horse rorts scandal, after the more famous Ros Kelly 'sports rorts' whiteboard scandal at federal level.

Now we have this story below beating for all its worth in quiet radio time too, which either omits or glosses some salient facts:

1. Cochrane as a commercial horse trekker has a clear financial conflict of interest with the public interest;

2. Given his record above he really does lack credibility;

2. After the huge and costly inconvenience of the equine flu outbreak perhaps the Big Media might question whether the brumbies are carriers of the flu, and whether Cochrane's threat to mingle is putting the livestock and hobby industry in peril ... all over again? But they don't have the equine flu, we predict he will say. But how does he know for sure?

Here is the Herald reportage: Anger at Brumbies cull 16 Jan 2008, but it's also run on ABC radio too:

Date: January 16 2008


RENEWED calls for a cull of wild brumbies in Kosciuszko National Park have prompted a former National Party MP to act as a human shield by riding among the herds.

But the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service yesterday said no cull was being considered, and that horses in the park could be effectively managed by trapping and moving some of them.

The former federal National Party member for Monaro Peter Cochran, who owns a commercial horseriding operation in the area, said he would do whatever it took to stop horses being taken away.

"If it means that we get in amongst the brumbies to make sure they don't go in to the traps, then we'll do that. If it means we have to get in the way of aerial shooting, we'll do that," Mr Cochran told ABC radio.

The brumbies are blamed for trampling native vegetation and destroying waterways in the park, and the National Parks Association of NSW yesterday called for a resumption of aerial shooting, which was banned six years ago after a public outcry.

The Parks and Wildlife Service has prepared a draft plan for trapping and managing the horses. It will be considered by the Government. If approved, it will be adopted in March, and trapping would then resume.

Ben Cubby


Posted by editor at 5:10 PM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 17 January 2008 6:36 PM EADT
Minister Rees water tank 'stunt' a neat diversion from $5-10M Kangaloon waste?
Mood:  not sure
Topic: water

Water is not the only thing being diverted (!) it seems in this otherwise worthy initiative and coverage in the press yesterday with picture stories:

But then the cynical gene kicks in when your ex ALP ministerial staffer informant with some kind of property interest in the local catchment tells you same day of the big press and tv coverage that $5-10M in pipe infrastructure tapping into the Kangaloon aquifer has been dismantled. And thus the cost of the experiment too.

Kangaloon ..... what the f***? Kangaloon was hyped a couple of years back as one solution to avoid a second dam for Sydney by then state minister Bob Debus, that is in combination with a raft of other water strategies like the one above. The Opposition, being pro dam, hated the idea naturally as indicated by Hansard here Nov-Dec 2006: 

 Ms Peta Seaton to the Attorney General, Minister for the Environment, and Minister for the Arts—

What is the Government's response to community reference group calls for a five-year moratorium on any proposed taking of water from the Kangaloon aquifer to augment Sydney's supply?

  1. When will the Government accept the recommended moratorium?
  2. When will the Government address the specific issues underlying the moratorium call?
  3. Will the Government agree to subject its assessments to independent scientific evaluation?


The Kangaloon Aquifer has been subjected to extensive scientific investigation over the past two years, and these scientific investigations have been independently peer reviewed. The investigation program and any permanent utilisation of this resource is also subject to the independent regulatory oversight of the water regulator, the NSW Department of Natural Resources. None of these expert peer reviews or the regulator have recommended a moratorium.

I am advised that the technical reports have already been peer reviewed by Don Woolley, an eminent hydrogeologist with more than 40 years experience. The NSW Government also provided funding to the Upper Nepean Community Reference Group so that they could have access to an independent hydrogeologist (Dan McKibbin) for their submission. I understand that neither Mr Woolley nor Mr McKibbin recommended a five-year moratorium. 

More Big Media news reports on the issue here:

These site specific reports are in the context of this much earlier global plan when Carr was still in harness as Premier:

All that's left ... Bob Carr yesterday at Warragamba Dam, which received very little of Sydney's rainfall. He is seeking future sources of water for Sydney.

SMH: All that's left ... Bob Carr yesterday at Warragamba Dam, which received very little of Sydney's rainfall. He is seeking future sources of water for Sydney.
Photo: Dean Sewell

 ...as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald back in October 2004 Water lifeline meets resistance - Environment - www.smh.com.au

The Kangaloon/experimental aquifers aspect caused alot of controversy too but it wasn't a seat the ALP were worried about:

Assuming our informant is right and the cost of the Kangaloon trial is good money after bad it becomes clear by way of contrast why the water tanks/St James Lake story is so pollie friendly. Minister Rees would much prefer talking about that than the Kangaloon fizzer. Or indeed the incredibly costly, extravagant desalination supply strategy.

But you can't kid all the people or even all the Big Media all the time.

Posted by editor at 12:21 PM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 17 January 2008 5:04 PM EADT
Syriana man Bob Baer's prescient comments on W Bush v Iran
Mood:  special
Topic: peace

Two big stories (below) running in the international press this last 6 weeks call up an old article about the original Syriana man we came across trawling a dusty pile of press (copy extracted below, with cute letter in The Australian). It appears W Bush can't rationally convince of a case to attack Iran over WMD after the December intel report and he now is moving to a more business minded model of selling weaponry into a proxy army:

U.S. Says Iran Ended Atomic Arms Work - New York Times 3 Dec 2007

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Bush says committed to [US$20B] Saudi arms deal | Reuters 14 Jan 2008



Posted by editor at 9:26 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 17 January 2008 11:58 AM EADT
Wednesday, 16 January 2008
NSW Scientific Committee to help forests with final determination to list hollow bearing trees
Mood:  energetic
Topic: ecology

 More here at the National Parks website in this sequence:

www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au then Nature & conservation, then Native plants & animals, then Threatened species, then Scientific Committee determinations, (including more about the Scientific Committee)  including this definitional reader Final determination to list loss of hollow-bearing trees as a Key Threatening Process, then Final determinations by date, then Loss of Hollow-bearing Trees - key threatening process determination Gazetted Friday, 5 October 2007,

The fact sheet definitional reader on the significance of hollow bearing trees is particularly important: Final determination to list loss of hollow-bearing trees as a Key Threatening Process

Got that?

And if you want to know more about the legal and political enforcement of this conservation decision you can apparently contact the Department of Environment & Climate Change. Relevant government officers include:

Alison Schumacher tel. 02-9995 5486

Lind Bell tel. 02-9995 5449

Better late than never:


10 JANUARY 2008




Yesterday conservationists stopped Forests NSW and logging machinery from entering Buckenbowra State Forest compartments 516/517 adjacent to The Corn Trail.

This area is less than one hour west of Mogo, which adjoins Monga National Park and is an iconic wilderness area.

The Corn Trail is an iconic tourist destination for many bushwalkers and horseriders.

Eurobodalla Shire Council has been publicising this area as a “must see”.

The Australian Tourism Board has selected the South Coast as an area they will highlight and actively promote this year because of its significant wilderness and tourism potential.

FNSW informed residents early last year that they would be logging the area.  When residents registered their disapproval FNSW stated they wouldn’t be logging the area. FNSW failed to inform the residents that they were beginning logging yesterday.

These are yet more examples of FNSW misinforming the public.

 “Given that deforestation is one of the biggest contributors to Climate Change, it is our duty to protect these native forests, particularly as the Southern RFA has not had it’s five yearly review and is now two years overdue,” said Tony Whan, a South Coast resident.  “FNSW are operating in the dark in a criminal and corrupt manner.”

Despite reassurances in May last year from Minister McDonald that the RFA review will begin “fairly shortly”, to date there has been no announcement of this review.

Conservationists are calling on both the State and Federal Governments to terminate the Regional Forest Agreements and rezone these compartments as FMZ1 (ie. No logging) or to transfer them to Monga National Park- Buckenbowra Wilderness.

For any further information please do not hesitate to ring 0437471763. 

And see this picture taken in 2006 at Peak Alone inland of Cobargo, and note the hollows at stump level let alone crown and boughs critical for endangered fauna habitat:

and this one from the same area in 2000 taken by this author, campaigner is Millie Wee, of Friends of the Earth Sydney at the time:


and this one from another part of the South Coast of NSW:



Other indicative logging historical photographic record from the NSW south coast during the life of this NSW ALP Govt:

Deua Forest photo gallery logging Jan 2005, 2001 

Monga Forest post logging photo gallery Dec 2004 

Gulaga/Dromadery Forest photo gallery protests 2005-2007 

Wandella/Peak Alone Forest photo gallery vandalism proof 3/06


and further afield over the border in Victoria to be sure but still being fed through the 100% foreign owned Eden chipmill in NSW:


East.Gippsland 'Forest Forever' photo gallery 3/2005

Posted by editor at 8:57 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 16 January 2008 12:15 PM EADT

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