« March 2008 »
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
Friday, 14 March 2008
Judenrat* Jeff Angel's monumental arrogance revealed on Stateline NSW: 'Only I can tame treasury'
Mood:  down
Topic: nsw govt


Jeff Angel


 * Judenrat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Judenräte (singular Judenrat; German for "Jewish council") were administrative bodies that the Germans required Jews to form in each ghetto in General Government (the Nazi-occupied territory of Poland), and later in the occupied territories of the Soviet Union.

The Judenrat was an important extension of Hitler’s government and was charged with solving the problems that arose in the occupied community. The Judenrat operated post offices, hospitals, soup kitchens, day care centers, and vocational schools. They also collected taxes and paid salaries for certain types of work.

These bodies were responsible for local government in the ghetto, and stood between the Nazis and the ghetto population. They were generally composed of leaders of the Jewish community (with the exception of the Soviet Union, where Jewish organizations were eliminated in 1930s). They were forced by the Nazis to provide Jews for use as slave labor, and to assist in the deportation of Jews to extermination camps during the Holocaust. Those who refused to follow Nazi orders or were unable to cooperate fully were frequently rounded up and shot or deported to the extermination camps themselves.

In a number of cases, such as the Minsk ghetto and the ?achwa ghetto, Judenrats cooperated with the resistance movement. In other cases, Judenrats collaborated with the Nazis, on the basis that cooperation might save the lives of the ghetto inhabitants.[1]

"The Community Council - the Judenrat, in the language of the Occupying Power – is an abomination in the eyes of the Warsaw Community…" — Chaim A. Kaplan, 23rd April 1941.



Don't be misled by the headline into thinking this is some shallow bigoted anti Jewish post below. This writer believes there are many beautifuil Jewish (and Arabic) people in this world. Both Ian Cohen MLC and John Kaye MLC both of the Green Party are of Jewish Australian heritage and both are opposed to the privatisation of public energy assets (see below).

What this post is about is the historically accurate, yet still taboo subject apparently (according to Melbourne University Press's Louise Adler for instance, another prominent Jewish Australian), of a minority group of Jewish collaborators with Nazi fascism in WW2, for their own preservation amongst an evil holocaust. The ultimate betrayal. Given the widespread destruction of the non human environment that biologists lament we are literally living today, even sleep walking through, the comparison is entirely apposite.

Dr John KAYE,  MLC

The point is the old aphorism about the fruit does not fall very far from the tree. Angel by his career is demonstrably a collaborator with the ALP Right in NSW on every big environmental policy controversy going. They will freely admit that they "can work with Jeff". This is not a compliment given what we know of the corrupt ALP this last 10 years. We can only conclude Angel has a genius for this double game learned from somewhere like the infamous Judenrat phenomenon, just as others have referred to the NSW polity suffering the Stockholm Syndrome, and it's taken us a good many years and environmental tragedies to distill this reality. 


Ian Cohen

If the Iemma govt had wanted a really honest and credible expert on energy production from a practical environmental perspective free of political baggage and compromise he could have retained either Dr Mark Diesendorf, Institute of Environmental Studies at University of New South Wales:


Or Professor Stuart White (Expert profile: Professor Stuart White) at the University of Techology Sydney, Institute for Sustainable Futures  
Stuart White

Or maybe even Professor Peter Newman of the Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy at Murdoch University. But in true Yes Minister form it had to be a bloke who would deliver on the intellectual fix in a somewhat plausible way:



Quentin Dempster's NSW Stateline tonight (14/3/08 here in due course) has attempted to provide a platform for the two 'independent' members of the Unsworth pro privatisation committee, of NSW $10-18B publicly owned energy assets. These are Jeff Angel and Harry Herbert.

But all it's really achieved is to reveal Jeff Angel's monumental hubris to think he is greater than parliamentary democracy itself as represented by the elected Green MPs, publicly declared ALP MPs, silent Opposition, the remaining wavering ALP MP's, and civil society itself via the near unanimous ALP conference delegates, and unions and membership of branches, and such groups as Public Interest Advocacy Centre.

Apparently none of these can stand up to the nameless Treasury officials 'already acting like rapacious private corporations blocking any green initiatives' according to brilliant Jeff.  Jeff Angel must interpose himself conveniently as self appointed honest broker.

It 'has to be' indispensible Jeff Angel, who 'coincidentally' will be rewarded with political gratitude and rewards beyond (till now) his wildest dreams courtesy Iemma and Costa for timely sophistry.

'Only' Jeff Angel you see can deliver closure of coal fired power stations. Only Jeff and his brave 700 member band of TEC, with media oxygen via say abc Stateline can bring these wicked treasury rednecks to heel.

Never mind an elected Parliament and government responding to overwhelming public demand for action on dangerous climate change. No, the powerful insights of Jeff are greater than all that wisdom and energy of civil society put together. As if.

This is the biggest con trick of Angel's career trying to draw down all the political capital of the dangers of climate change into his own policy hands and self aggrandisement. To gazump democracy itself.  It has nothing to do with which is the better model, public or private, to restructure the energy sector - demonstrably more possible in public hands given the natural monopoly and universal service obligations.

Angel by all means is entitled to his opinion such as it is. The poblem is the brazen fraudulent assertion he has much authority to speak for anyone but his own hopelessly compromised group of 700, which actually stood for something under Milo Dunphy when it was founded by architect Dunphy in 1972.

Angel's bizarre fantasy, pandered to by the gormless, or ALP aligned cynics, is an insult and denial of the huge political momentum developed by others on action against dangerous climate change. Angel has been seeking a chess board approach to real politik his whole career, undercutting and drawing down political capital built up by thousands of others, usually behind their backs and covertly with whoever has the sinecures to trade. Jeff the client, and the collaborator greenie. The gazump artist.

Whether it be 1,500 urbanites arrested fighting to save the south east forests of NSW as organised by The Wilderness Society in the early 1990ies. Then somehow these ecological patriots belong to Jeff Angel by 1995 appointed onto govt 'RACAC' panel which then endorses Premier Carr's 20 year logging guarrantees in a forest deal underpinning the ALP's  ('helping trees and jobs live together')1999 tv advert re-election campaign. Even when Carr makes it clear he will break an earlier election promise to close the Eden Chipmill.

Or Greenpeace organising the 'Green Olympics' in 1993 - then suddenly dioxin (still) at Homebush is off the agenda by 1999 via the confusing noise of govt funded TEC/Green Games Watch 2000

Or dirty Lake Cowal $6M 'Environmental Trust' in the face of hot protest over cyanide gold mining in the late 1990ies. All of these have been well reported here on the sydneyalternativemedia micro news.

Make no mistake, Angel is a carpet bagger of the highest order.

Angel's arrogance claims in effect none of the assembled political action or wisdom of others matters because only he is the authentic greenie, and only he can bless a deal and we all should tug our forelock and let him sort it out. We submit the guy has become a monster sucking the very life out of the green movement for his own self agrandisement. He is a real and present threat to the Green Party let alone future green orientated government. He is literally the greenwashing servant of the endless economic growth fetish championed by Iemma because the profits of the energy sale will go straight to a $5B truck tunnel under Sydney.

Never forget the true accounting of our State of the Environment underr self appointed impertinent Angel leadership of the NSW green movement since 1996 on the death of fiesty independent Milo Dunphy. For 11 years until 2008 we have experienced in this state:

- record levels of land clearing for agriculture up to 2 million ha at least

- record levels of woodchipping of native forests out of Eden topping a million tonnes a year

- record levels of tollway road and car fleet intensification.

- very high levels of waste going to landfill still

- promotion of racist biobanking tradeoffs of areas with native title woven in to the mix.

- record level of highly green house gas embedded shipping container imports

- record level of greenhouse emissions by NSW and via our coal globally

- record level of economic immigration (regardless of refugee obligations) urged on by growth fetishists like Harry Triguboff and Frank Lowy and many others at the top end of town;

- the same or worse air quality in the Sydney air basin

- death of much if not all of the Murray Darling river system (with recent death of Prof Peter Cullen a sad metaphor for his life's work)

Are green people starting to get the message? Should we change something in this picture? Do you think Angel might actually be part of the ALP destruction industry rather than a provider of solutions that perhaps the Green Party might promise with it's ground breaking work on political donations?

The truth is Treasury officials follow the direction of government ministers and the real politik forces on the premiership. The truth is no premier can stand against the species survival instinct manifested by state, national and international imperatives on structural economic reform demanded by the threat of dangerous climate change. Unions are well alive to the level of this threat as per Stern, Garnaut, Gore, Garrett, Wong, John Robertson's Unions NSW alliance with the NSW Nature Conservation Council, with this article just one strand in that theme:

Climate a worker's right | The Australian 6 Mar 2008 ... UNIONS plan to broaden their workplace rights agenda by pressuring employers to reduce the impact of climate change in individual workplaces

It doesn't depend on one captured Angel, democracy never does depend on one. Is this why he doesn't trust democracy and never unlike Dunphy sought to work for and with the public masses? Always behind the scenes chess playing? Compare Cohen and Kaye above actually working up political capital under their own steam and the facts behind their own case. And going to the people in a vote.

Our very collective survival depends on a mass process of change like the existential threat of WW2. The truth is these so called nameless treasury officials will follow the will of the people like every other time and the rest is sophistry. It will certainly be worse under a CEO legally obliged to maximise profits with no govt public interest  handbrake at all. 

 Angel's hollow claim that he is indispensible to getting action on climate is just that. Self aggrandising rubbish. Rather he is the bottleneck on a spontaneous evolution of a far more ecologically sustainable polity because he prematurely draws down everyone else's hard work. What a blood sucker.

The truth is there is no Iemma premiership if the democratic base of the ALP conference rejects the sale privatisation. He will be replaced, and so what? And with him may well go Angel's patronage machine. The truth is there may not even be any ALP Right controlled government either because if Iemma doesn't order economic restructure then a new social semocratic force in NSW politics will replace that style of ALP including removal of current brown ALP MPs. All to the better.

Even taken with a grain of salt, it's interesting that ex Premier Nick Greiner is talking 'warm and green' in his recent 20 year anniversary speech having evolved his thinking on environmental imperatives in this 21C, and soft pedalling on rampant privatisation:

 Time to stir up the wooden spoon state - Opinion - smh.com.au

And thank heaven for that. The next generation of Liberal Party aparchiks need to be ecological conservatives too to have any credibility.

Because dangerous climate threat is that big. All this bogus posturing about extra billions from asset sales for economic growth fetish infrastructure will be a waste of good money after bad as the new ecological limits further grip our way of life. Whether it's massive carbon pricing, or taxes and import bans on high greenhouse gas embedded products from such as India and China. All of this will and must happen over the next few years.

Before the oceans really start to rise.

And Angel thinks that key energy assets are better in the hands of anti union corporations, who would have run the place with asbestos if they could have got away with it, when it is the unions who actually hold the real democratic social capital (via their coverage if not their membership) to facilitate such massive social restructuring. As if tinpot autocrats like Angel or Iemma could ever achieve such a social revolution of sustainability. All they are good for is sterile games of chess.


This is what John Kaye MP stated recently about trusty Jeff Angel, getting in the queue behind all the other gazumped idealists this last 15 years:

Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 3:15 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Environment movement not heard in Unsworth report

Environment movement not heard in Unsworth report
Media Release: 10 March 2008
The Greens are gravely disappointed that Total Environment Centre (TEC) Director Jeff Angel has supported NSW Treasurer Michael Costa's scheme to sell-off the electricity industry.
Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: "It's not surprising that the Premier's hand-selected supporters signed off on the privatisation.
"It is quite shocking that Jeff Angel ignored the arguments of the overwhelming majority of the environment movement.
"The only opposition came from the three union representatives. Their dissenting report captured the key environmental, economic and social arguments against the sell-off.
"Selling off the retailers removes an important ingredient in the move to greater energy efficiency. Public ownership is essential in protecting household energy bills in a time of rising prices.
"The generators are responsible for 37% of the state's greenhouse gas emissions and which ever way it is packaged, handing them over to the private sector is bad news for the climate.
"In return for a handful of recommendations to consider or investigate various environmental options, Mr Angel lent his authority to Treasurer Michael Costa's disastrous scheme.
"Jeff Angel has been prepared to trade off the environmental and social benefits of public ownership for the flimsy chance that some of his suggestions might be adopted.
"Mr Angel has fallen for the beads and blankets trick. On the hope of getting something useful, he has signed on to the sell-off.
"The campaign to protect public ownership and control of the electricity industry will continue regardless of the outcomes of the Unsworth committee," Dr Kaye said.

For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455


Posted by editor at 9:19 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 17 March 2008 5:58 PM NZT
How could ex MP Burgmann have supported Joh style Part 3A repeal of green laws in NSW Planning Act?
Mood:  down
Topic: nsw govt
Experience ... Meredith Burgmann points to her long history opposing inappropriate development.

Sydney Morning Herald image yesterday 13 March 08 "Experience ... Meredith Burgmann points to her long history opposing inappropriate development."
Photo: Sahlan Hayes

In our previous post we identified City Hall aspirant Meredith Burgmann ex MP President of the NSW Legislative Council having endorsed as a loyal ALP member the 2005 Part 3A amendment of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 brought in by Minister Sartor.

In a recent submission on a major sand mining development to the Dept of Planning:

1/08 Maroota sandmining 

our research extract on Part 3A reads as follows (and we commend this material to Adam Spencer of abc 702 who interviewed Burgmann last Thursday, noting without more at this point that Spencer sits on the Sydney University senate with Burgmann's niece Verity Firth MP):

Political/legal context


Regretably this DA is another exemplar of:


Strong-arm tacticians Elisabeth Wynhausen in  The Australian 26th Jan. 2008




in relation to ramming through ‘major developments’ against community standards and ecological sustainability.


In particular this quote:


"The minister [Sartor] can declare a site to be "state-significant", giving developers the go-ahead on big projects. Under Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, projects that are objectively of state significance can go to the minister. Brad Hazard, the Opposition's planning spokesman, says of the Government's planning actions: "The reality is that anything Frank wants to get his hands on to, he takes."



This theme regarding the dictatorial and/or arbitrary use of Part 3A of the EPAA reversing the proud history of the NSW ALP in Government from the intent and effect of the 1979 Act has been picked up extensively by civil society as here:

1. NSW Nature Conservation Council background paper at Major Projects (Part 3A) developments:

 Lack of transparency

The concentration of power in one person, the Minister for Planning, is bad enough, with clear implications for corruption. To make this worse, the decision-making process surrounding Part 3A developments is unclear, with environmental impacts, submissions from community groups and the public, and the thoughts of other government departments merely needing to be 'considered' by Frank Sartor."

Weakening of other laws
Under Part 3A, many standard approvals are not required, meaning effectively the Minister for Planning becomes the consent authority for these actions. Approvals that are no longer required include: ….


- Clearing native vegetation or state protected land (under Native Vegetation Act )

- Permit to excavate from riverbanks or shore, or to interrupt the water flow (under Rivers and Foreshores Improvement Act) ….

- Water use approvals, water supply, drainage and flood control works, controlled activities and aquifer interference (under Water Management Act) …

- Excavation permits, required for any likely impacts on relics (European heritage) under the Heritage Act ….


Part 3A also changed the National Parks and Wildlife Act so that developers will not be prosecuted for harming protected fauna without a licence, if the work carried out is essential for Part 3A projects. ….


What about environmental impact assessment?

For Major Projects, the Director General determines the Requirements for environmental assessment. The Director General then writes a report to the Minister for Planning, including a statement whether the developer's environmental assessment met the Requirements. The Minister must 'take into account' this statement when deciding whether to approve the development. However, amendments made in 2006 – controversially described as ‘housekeeping’ measures by Frank Sartor – mean the Minister can now approve a development application under Part 3A whether or not the environmental assessment complies with the Director General’s environmental assessment requirements.

For Part 3A projects, environmental assessment requirements are ‘tailored’ to a particular project. This means that the Director-General determines the assessment requirements based on consultations with ‘relevant’ (as decided by the Director General himself) public authorities. Consequently, if the Director General misses something (e.g. air pollution impacts) when writing the Environmental Assessment Requirements, then such impacts do not need to be investigated by the developer."


The peak green groups Media Release from when Part 3A was introduced reads:

Law removing community's right to appeal massive development passes


Friday, 10 June 2005

Environment groups are outraged that NSW Parliament last night approved a Bill which makes major and alarming changes to environmental laws in NSW. Both major parties pandered to the development industry, but set dozens of community groups against them, they said.

"The passage of this appalling piece of legislation represents the greatest set-back in environmental protection laws in over 25 years. On his tenth anniversary as Premier, this Bill will ensure that Bob Carr is remembered as the 'anything but green' Premier," said Cate Faehrmann, director of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

"The Bill gives the Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources largely unchecked powers when assessing the most significant and potentially environmentally damaging projects.

"The Government was hard-pressed to even demonstrate the need for granting such broad, discretionary powers to the Minister. The best example they could come up with to justify this dangerous piece of legislation in Parliament was a bridge collapse over the Derwent River in Tasmania - which occurred decades ago," said Ms Faehrmann.

"The Bill is so flawed that even the Coalition saw fit to propose amendments which would have provided at least some checks and balances limiting the Minister's broad discretion.

"But Coalition concerns over the Bill in the end amounted to mere rhetoric. If the Opposition were serious about addressing community concerns they would have supported a move to refer the Bill to a Parliamentary Committee for Inquiry," said Jeff Angel, Director Total Environment Centre.

"An Inquiry would have been entirely appropriate, particularly given the level of community concern and lack of consultation surrounding the introduction of the Bill.

"The fact that this Bill was ultimately approved by both sides of politics is a clear indication of how little public opinion matters and how much the property industry matters to both Labor and the Coalition. But you can't win government by just pleasing the developers and there is now a big hole in the parties' community credibility," Mr Angel said."


See also their [the peak green groups] Position Paper on Part 3A in particular:

·  That an independent body, with members appointed by relevant groups/organisations rather than by the Minister, replace the Minister as the consent authority for the purposes of Part 3A.

·  That equal weighting and consideration be given to social, economic and the principles of ecologically sustainable development (ESD) when determining each development application. This should take into account previous decisions and cumulative impacts.


2. NSW Environmental Defenders Office - EDO Public Seminar – “Part 3A and the Public Interest” Cate Faehrmann, Nature Conservation Council of NSW - listen to speech [23:47 mins] Cr Sam Byrne, Local Government and Shires Association - listen to speech [19:20 mins] More information on the Part 3A amendments For a brief overview of the recent planning reforms, the EDO has assessed the current state of play. [PDF 92 KB]

Note the EDO July 2007 states:

“The new Part 3A reforms in 2005 introduced a new way of doing planning and development in NSW. The reforms were based on laws introduced by Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen in Queensland in the early 1970s: the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971. These rode roughshod over community consultation rights.”  


quoting Jeff Smith Principal Solicitor, EDO July 2007


Also note:


EDO Paper  Part 3A Technocratic Decision-Making and the Loss of Community Participation Rights: Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 by Ian Ratcliff, Jessica Wood and Sue Higginson updated Feb 2007


Also note:


EDO letter Rachel Walmsley Policy Director dated 25 May 07 to Sector Strategies and Systems Innovation Department of Planning Re: State Environmental Planning Policy (Major Projects) including:




Additional approvals 

The consequence of the listing of a class of development as a Part 3A project under the Major Projects SEPP is that certain licences and approvals required by other Acts are no longer required. Under s75U of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, t hese include: the concurrence of the Minister administering the Coastal Protection Act 1979, approvals under Part 4 of the Heritage Act 1977, permits under section 87 and section 90 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 and water use approvals under sections 89-91 of the Water Management Act 2000


These other approvals constitute important safety nets, and help ensure that all potential impacts of a development are adequately considered when the Minister makes his decision. The departments that are responsible for granting these additional approvals have the necessary expertise to adequately assess issues such as pollution, heritage and threatened species licences. The listing of a class of development under the Major Projects SEPP means that these issues may be validly ignored. Furthermore, even those approvals that still apply under Section 75U (such as an Environmental Protection Licence) cannot be refused. Given these consequences, the EDO opposes the listing of classes of development as Part 3A projects. Developments should be considered individually to determine whether they are appropriate for consideration under Part 3A.


Also note:


Environmental Defender's Office New South Wales (Ltd), Fact Sheets - Major Projects and Critical Infrastructure, including

Environmental Assessment of Major Projects and Critical Infrastructure


Major Projects

The environmental assessment requirements for major projects and critical infrastructure are far more discretionary than the requirements for developments under Part 4, and activities under Part 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.


Once a development or activity is declared by the Minister, or identified in the Major Projects SEPP as a major project, Parts 4 and 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 no longer apply to the project, nor do the provisions of Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) or Regional Environmental Plans (REPs). Whilst the permissibility of a proposed major project in the provisions of a LEP or a REP is a matter for that the Minister must consider in determining whether to grant consent to a major project, the fact that a project is prohibited in a LEP or a REP will not necessarily prevent it from being approved. ….


State Environmental Planning Policies also do not apply to major projects unless the policy expressly states that it applies to the particular project. Part 3A also sets out different environmental assessment requirements for major projects


Unlike the provisions of Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 which require proponents of integrated development applications to obtain additional approvals under other legislation, such approvals are not required for major project approvals. Approved major projects are exempt from having to obtain the following approvals:


- concurrence of the Minister for development within the coastal zone under the Coastal Protection Act 1979.

- permits for dredging or damage to mangroves or seagrasses or to obstruct the passage of fish under the Fisheries Management Act 1994.

- approval under the Heritage Act 1977 for works affecting properties listed on the State heritage register or for excavation works which may affect relics. In addition, an interim heritage order cannot protect a heritage building, work, relic or place from being destroyed in order to carry out an approved major project.

- permits under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 to interfere with or destroy Aboriginal objects.

- consent to clear native vegetation under the Native Vegetation Act 2003.

- permits to excavate the bed or shore of rivers and coastal lakes and lagoons under the Rivers and Foreshores Improvement Act 1948.

- bush fire safety authority under section 100B of the Rural Fires Act 1997.

- water-use approvals, water management approvals and activity approvals under sections 89-91 of the Water Management Act 2000.


In addition, the following orders and notices cannot prevent an approved critical infrastructure project from being carried out:


- an interim protection order under section 91A of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 to protect significant areas or areas which may contain threatened fauna or flora.

- a stop work order issued under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 or the Fisheries Management Act 1994.

- an environment protection notice issued under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

- an order made under section 124 of the Local Government Act 1993.


Once a major project is approved by the Minister, there is little another authority can do to prevent the project from being carried out. If an approved project requires an aquaculture permit, mining lease or environment protection licence under other legislation in order to be carried out, then another authority is not permitted to refuse that approval.




 The clear implication is that planning in NSW is under control of a modern ‘Mussolini style’ autocracy, making the DA ‘train run on time’ with hardly any democracy or justice, for instance as regards in this specific case:

-         need for future water licensing (now repealed) in a very water stressed location both for neighbours and the immediate environment due to unlicensed overuse in breach of the 1998  and 1989 consent.

-         Extreme failure to follow progressive rehabilitation requirements 1998 or 1989 consent.

-         Protection of a public land heritage lookout  on Trig Hill from extreme vandalism including destruction of sensitive vegetation and private profiteering for sand mining profits off public land.


Thus endeth the lecture on the ALP's disgraceful vandalism of the planning regulatory framework, that is under the Party of Government that sponsors Meredith Burgmann for City Hall in 2008.

Posted by editor at 1:18 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 14 March 2008 9:19 PM NZT
Thursday, 13 March 2008
The trouble with Meredith Burgmann, career lefty, disaster tourist, feminist
Mood:  down
Topic: nsw govt

Picture: Which big sister do you want with that latte?

Burgmann is the kind face of the wicked ALP Sussex St machine in this writer's opinion. By way of declaration we worked as a volunteer for Clover Moore's election to City Hall in March 2004 and more of that below - 95% pure we would say and the last 5% is the spice that makes her human and interesting too.

We would be voting for the Green Party candidate regardless in Sept 2008 on ecological emphasis alone.

Burgmann is in the news on abc 702 radio yesterday morning on the strength of the article in The Australian

12 March 2008 Ex-MP eyes Sydney Lord Mayor job - ABC News (Australian ...

Naturally the SMH has their own catch up today via trooper Wendy Frew:

13 March 2008 Candidates step up for city's top job - National - smh.com.au

In some ways both Moore and Burgmann are baby boomer dinosaurs of the progressive side of politics in the inner city but Moore has the edge for her lack of ideological blinkers which too often means cavalier 'any means to an end' behaviour.

It's not convincing or probitive to consider Burgmann was arrested in the Green Ban days - talk about ancient history - but she is forced to trade on that to argue she's against developer corruption. Her own colleague Jack Mundey has gone to The Greens as most thinking and honest environmentalists have.

In terms of currency in the South East Forest protests of the early 1990ies 1,500 people were arrested. Without wanting to sound agist or bigoted against baby boomers at least that's after The Beatles halcyon days of the early 70ies. What about the M2 tollway protests in 94-96? Eastern Distributor?

Indeed Burgmann dutifully voted for the outrageous undermining of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 by lower house colleague Knowles in the name of "integrated development assessment' around 1997-8. Similarly she rubber stamped every other draconian attack by the ALP Govt up until her retirement in 2007. That includes vicious, egregious Part 3A repeal of a raft of environmental legislation under the umbrella of the  ground breaking 1979 Act.

For this alone Burgmann is totally compromised in relation to developers.

And we admire her history against the vicious aparthied regime over the Springbok Tour in the 70ies too but what about East Timor in the last 20 years? Might be a problem for the Whitlamites that.

It's no accident Meredith got to the top of the Legislative Council in the greasy pole rotten ALP machine. That's the real point here.

She's been to Bosnia and West Africa as we heard her talk but we felt it was rich white woman adventures on a disaster tourism holiday. This might be harsh and unfair but there it is.

It's the rotten ALP tag, and her decades long role now in sanitising that brand that will knock her out in a contest with proven independent Clover Moore just as Councillor Michael Lee was rejected convincingly by voters in all the socially disadvantaged areas of the expanded Local Govt Area in 2004.

Photo of Councillor Michael Lee

A Federal MP for 17 years and Minister

It's no accident that ambitious power player Cr Verity Firth is Burgmann's niece (that old ALP brand tribalism again) and state govt minister who sits with Councillor Lee on Sydney City Council. Firth who is hand in glove with developer Sydney University preying on open space at Callan Park in her Balmain electorate.

So much for arms length from developers. Presumably Firth wants aunty Meredith to take over her workload while she steps up to 'Environmnet' ministry.

Nor is Burgman flattered by the poor governance of her feminist co author and former staffer Yvette Andrews at the very large community space at Addison Rd Centre:

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Who has presided over the destruction of the cyber gateway for over 8 months (work this writer did in good faith, non aligned, equal prominence to all tenancies):

addison road centre "Come back soon. We are just getting it better. This Website is still under construction."

Talk about cynical. This writer was moved to publish this satirical job advert

Addison Rd Centre General Manager Job Vacancy closing date 1st April...

Nor is Burgmann free herself of the Addison Rd taint of poor governance as mate Andrews is well known to protect Gallery director Cutcliffe, an ALP aligned grifter who has enjoyed 4 years rent free 2003-7 despite $30K paintings on private sale. Cutcliffe's lease has been sanitised with highly discounted lease from 2007 under Andrews management via a new 'non profit entity' created for the purpose with guess who reputed to be on that company directorships? It's unconfirmed but the claim by one tenant is that it is in fact Meredith Burgman who has given presentations at same gallery.

Turning to Clover Moore's credentials as Mayor of a big budget local government power centre while also State MP, this dual role was tested in 2004 with the electorate. Burgmann is trying to run this again but it doesn't resonate. In 2004 editor Gibbons of Sydney City Hub that we worked for 2002-7, said to the effect 'half Clover is worth more than 1 ALP'. Nothing has realy changed in that respect.

There have been political ructions and disagreements over say traffic in East Sydney and free press distribution protocols versus News Ltd MX free commuter paper. But not nearly enough to come near Burgmann voting for Part 3A.

Sure there has been dirt about some developer aligned donations from 'Living City' on the right of politics who wanted to prevent ALP hegemony at City Hall if their own couldn't win. And sure there are issues of precious Clover personality cult with any big ego, high powered personality. Or the shallow theatricality of PR postures - she once told me as a 2 month researcher in her parliament office in late 1992 that she changed her outfit 4 times for meet the electorate day given the diversity of her constituents.

But fact is Clover is not the corrupt ALP. And that's about all you need to know really.

Election declaration: Written and authorised by Tom McLoughlin, Marrickville tel 0410 558838, published as news comment.

Posted by editor at 7:41 AM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 13 March 2008 9:06 AM NZT
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Our prediction on Unsworth energy sell off 'report' was a bullseye
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: nsw govt




We wrote about the majority hand picked Unsworth Committee being a fix for the Iemma- Costa sale agenda 2 months back.

 Monday, 21 January 2008 NSW Energy privatisation: Trusties on new committee make it a sell off stack?
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: nsw govt

Sure enough, with the three unionists being hung out by the 2 cynical bureacrats Kruk and Richmond, then add backbench ALP Right machine stooges like Daley and Whan. That's already 4 versus 3.

Then Angel already badly compromised as explained below leaves welfarist Harry Herbert with his begging bowl, needy for support for the MSIR in Kings Cross and essentially irrelevant to the big politics.5 or maybe 6 to 3.

As Bernie Banton pointed out in the great asbestos struggle, it was the unions who helped out when no one else did. And so its left with them again to put spiv ALP back on their heels, if at all.

It's all been a Sussex St machine sleaze to dupe the Big Media if at all possible. Thankfully not all is captured reportage as here:

10 March 2008 Sparks ahead as power report splits Labor - National - smh.com.au

Which corroborates our own dismal view of the ALP machine grasp right into the heart of the formal green movement in NSW in the form of Jeff Angel, that Milo Dunphy so greatly feared: 

Thursday, 16 August 2007

 A specific case study is detailed here: 

 15/3/04...The dirty Lake Cowal cyanide gold mine trust terms discussed here in 'Lake Cowal and real politik of mining decisions under Carr govt'

and similarly

1998-2008 Lake Cowal scandal in Central NSW,$6M slush fund for select green groups, cyanide leaching for gold, pit as deep as Centrepoint Tower is high. Globally on average 79 tonnes of waste is produced for every ounce of gold. More info and links here

Another shocker back in 1997 was Angel shepherding the racist 'biobanking' developer/land clearer concept past native title/Racial Discrimination Act concerns as if these just didn't matter. This writer was seriously angry about that as explained here:

'bio banking initative' in 1997 with a decidely racist native title extinguishment agenda ,and other ineffectual native vegetation land clearing policy


This trusty role  of Angel (our description) has been a subject of ongoing comment by veteran Alex Mitchell on crikey.com.au such as this on Tuesday:

Veteran greenie shocks with NSW private power support 11 March 08

Once reader/blogger says Angel was 'suckered' but sadly this is contrary to all experience and our determined whistle blowing, at great cost too:

Tom McLoughlin Says:
March 12, 2008 at 7:38 pm

Alas, Jeff is no sucker, my sincere belief is he is a suck up - and that’s my view as a solicitor in NSW with plenty of back up. Greenpeace on the other hand are likely duped, being far less cynical, genuinely financially independent and either youthful inexperience on the vagaries of this complex policy debate or reassured (falsely) by a VERY experienced NGO operative in Jeff Angel. Too tricky to belong in the green movement if you ask me.

Never forget Jeff was in the foyer outside Carr’s personal office in 96 and was told by the upbeat staffers they had a plan to ‘do a Telstra’ and set up a $450M green fund with the revenue from the public’s natural monopoly, which will always turn a healthy profit. Which of course implied Big Jeff to get a cut of that action and greater status for a green blessing.

The ALP Right have always said “we can work with Jeff”. Given what we know of the rotten ALP machine this is no compliment.

Self interest and self aggrandisement of Jeff at the helm of good ship TEC is the agenda, always has been, and why my friend and mentor Milo Dunphy, TEC founder, never trusted him even as his co-director (a status which itself was a manipulative impertinece). Nor do I trust him, since at least 1996 on a raft of policy issues. His career is littered with busted or disillusioned mid level idealist campaigners sold short in trade offs of political capital that Jeff never built or earned. Carl Drury (Snowy River), Frank Miller (Goulburn landfill), myself and ChipStop network on the Eden chipmill, Traditional Owner Neville Williams/Benny Zable/Ian Cohen/Ruth Rosenhek re Lake Cowal cyanide pit mine, Dr John Kaye of the Greens over the Unsworth report. As I have said to angsty Dr Kaye, get in line John.

Angel says the energy sector already operates like private industry. I heard him on ABC radio. This is demonstrably false regarding say level of unionism, govt power to control universal service obligations and pricing for poor folks. It also totally ignores that market failure has delivered us the climate threat. Who in their right mind thinks the capitalist market will not cheat on the solutions? As I like to say WW2 was not resolved by leaving it to market forces, for God sake.

Fact is Jeff should be working INSIDE the ALP Right government.

By the way why did the ALP pay off TEC to fund the Green Games Watch in 95-96 (Faulkner as federal environment minister)? Because in 92 in the bid document no less the SOCOG cheated by fraudulently claimed two green groups endorsed the green bid - TEC and NSW Nature Conservation Council. Rather than stand against public popularity for the Games, these two groups took the pound of flesh instead. But all it achieved really was to confuse the hard hitting agenda of Greenpeace who were the real architects of the green bid - to clean up a world scale [dioxin] pollution problem at Homebush - still there under the cap, still in the fish too.

More chapter and verse here:

  • spin regarding unresolved dioxin threat at Homebush Bay via splitting tactic of govt funded Green Games Watch 2000 versus Greenpeace
  • greenwash of Lake Cowal cyanide mine with a $6M green fund for collaborating peak green groups
  • Here are a swathe of recent articles about the big sell off agenda, with the pro Work Choices, anti union Big Press predictably editorialising for the sell off agenda, while journalists like Hildebrand at the Telegraph, and West at the Herald provide critical balance to other moderately centre right leaning Salusinszky (Australian) and Benson (Telegraph):

     - Sparks ahead as power report splits Labor - National - smh.com.au West 10 March 08

    - Thumbs up for power privatisation, Salusinszky The Australian p31, 8-9/3/08 (offline)

    - Power stations want permits to pollute Wilkinson SMH 6 March 08, relegated to p6

    - Public float to clinch power sale 6 March 08, pushed to page 1

    - Power changes hands | The Australian 3 March 08

    - Unions to support Iemma on carve-up | The Australian March 1-2 08

    - ALP Left ready to fight Costa - National - smh.com.au 29 Feb 08 West

    - Private power 'cheaper' | The Australian 29 Feb 08

    - Power to the people | The Australian 'Victoria proves privatising energy benefits consumers' 29 Feb 08 editorial

    Clever use of debt enriches debtors - On Line Opinion - 28/2/2008 Nicholas Gruen economist, contra sale

    - Fire up Morris - or you will really feel the heat, Benson, Telegraph strangely offline p21 27 Feb 08

    - MP power backs Premier's enemies | The Daily Telegraph 27 Feb 08

    - What do we want? Secure power supplies - Editorial - Opinion - smh ... editorial 27 Feb 08

    - Power industry seeks $100b investment 27 Feb 08, Wilkinson/Cubby SMH (strangely offline, with minor significant correction listed instead)

    - Now even their own MPs are revolting - National - smh.com.au p1 SMH27 Feb 08 West, Clennell, Robins

    - Iemma to push through power sale | The Australian 26 Feb 08 (Brad Norrington)

    - Let there be light through regulation, not ownership - Opinion - Home Treasurer Costa, Herald opinion page 26 Feb 08

    - Union sell-off protest, but Costa powers on - National - smh.com.au West, 26 Feb 08

    Sun rises over the waters of Lake Cowal - the dawning of another day across this timeless and priceless jewel of nature.

    Posted by editor at 8:38 PM NZT
    Updated: Thursday, 13 March 2008 9:03 AM NZT
    Ongoing APEC police powers ignore misleading evidence to the NSW Supreme Court Sept 07?
    Mood:  incredulous
    Topic: legal


    Today the Herald press/web reports that the authoritarian tendencies of the NSW Govt are continuing with a determination to keep the police powers from APEC:

    March 12 2008 Tough police powers outlive APEC - National - smh.com.au

    In the shadow of this legal develppment is more news about the unpopular prosecution of the Chaser team just this morning:

    Chaser's APEC stunt goes to court 10:56am | Hearing date set over charges for fake motorcade during APEC.

    What the NSW Govt is not willing to talk about though is the wide divergence between protester reality compared with sworn evidence by the police hierarchy that we listened to in the NSW Supreme Court.

    More on this Supreme Court free speech aspect as reported by this writer back in Sept 2007:

    Wednesday, 5 September 2007

    Decision on APEC protest march at 2pm in NSW Supreme Court
    Mood:  not sure
    Topic: legal

     Gandhi's confronting non violence
    Mood:  special
    Topic: peace

    Then there is still unresolved failure of the national security authorities

    Tuesday, 4 September 2007
    No matter how hard the authorities tried to shut down free speech or embarrassomg protest to President Bush outside his own consulate there was no denying the democratic issues to be expressed to government at all levels:
    Thursday, 6 September 2007
    And we were inspired by The Chaser's art and courage, a high point in Australian culture of free speech:
    Friday, 7 September 2007
    The cynicism of the NSW police popular authoritarianism became apparent with a shepherding of a vexatious right wing group into the midst of a vast majority of anti Bush protest events:

    8 Sept 2007
    The NSW police also got caught out singing different songs which is a problem when one script is sworn evidence before the Supreme Court:

    September 9th, 2007 Was it 3K or really 10K at the SBC rally and march? It does matter! with this addendum "Police evidence to the Supreme Court predicted 20K, then '3K'On September 10th, 2007 ecology action ... says:

    ... the police/govt claimed in PR postures on Saturday late arvo that there were only 3K.

    That's a huge differential actually from police evidence in court [compared] to media PR after the event.

    And diverges hugely from the protest organisers estimates of at first 5K, then upgraded to 10K on the day.

    There is a clear pattern here I submit of the police presenting dishonest spin to the public, [and also] quite seriously in evidence to the Supreme Court.

    The senior police better watch how they go, getting way too clever and adopting sleazy ALP media management style tactics,  this is proper fodder for

    1. the Police Integrity Commission

    2.  ICAC

    3. arguably potential allegations of perjury (a criminal offence) before a Supreme Court judge Michael Adams in the case over the anti Bush rally/march last week.

     Having said all this, we do agree with UWS academic Kennedy in the SMH today young police are indeed being used as political pawns in a hard fought dangerous law and order bait and switch federal election dynamic, power arm wrestle between Howard/Federal Coalition versus ALP/Iemma State govt proxy for Rudd federal Opposition.

    The fact remains the police like everyone must act according to law in performing their genuine public safety and security function.

    There must also be honesty on the party of the civil society ngo groups both inside and outside the Stop Bush Coalition that .01% of people at the rally were a real threat to public safety. As a lawyer and long time ngo activist and community media practitioner I am quite comfortable in conceding that point to Police Commissioner Scipione, Minister Campbell and the nervous coppers on the line. I felt a few of those nerves myself on Saturday.

    Overall democracy came through with some pretty bad bruises and scrapes - quite alot more communication and analysis to review what we've been through is probably in order Mills, Scipione, Campbell, students Paddy and Jones on that list (and SBS and 60 Minutes too as young stars), Bainbridge etc.

    Some positive dialogue might be order, and quite a bit more trust. We can all agree surely this was no g20 farce, and one up on Melbourne folks for strategic savvy all round. Ha ha. (Speaking as a refugee from Victoria, God love 'em.)

    [and this further addendum]

    Thankyou, police numbers take the protest to a minimum 6K/13K? On September 10th, 2007 ecology action ... says:

    We never contemplated counting the police in the march and rally numbers, but that's our cliched stereotype of the dear brothers and sisters in blue.

    I declare they have two eyes, two arms and legs. They are human like us and they were there.

    Heaven be blessed we must count them as at the rally making a healthy 13,000 at the rally march.

    Great stuff. The official rally count just keeps growing to reach the police evidence to the Supreme Court judge Michael Adams last Wednesday of in fact 20K likely attendance, but down a little because of the rain up until 10am.

    See - telling the truth was never so easy, eh Chief Superintendent Stephen John Cullen, in the witness box as Commander of the Riot and Public Order Squad. It's all on the transcript for some kind of review, can't wait. 

    And let's recall the living democracy of the Stop Bush APEC rally:



    Posted by editor at 2:42 PM NZT
    Updated: Thursday, 13 March 2008 6:31 AM NZT
    Gavin Hillier, prominent retired logging unionist on Stateline footage as protester no.5?
    Mood:  caffeinated

     Hillier in 1995 NSW Govt RACAC panel

    Was that Gavin Hillier on the Stateline footage last Friday? It was a strong story by Nick Grimm showing a familiar face and voice exhorting the crowd of (xenophobic?) protesters in Camden. The transcript of the show reads this voice to the rally against a Muslim school :

    "PROTESTOR 5: You've got to worry about winning. Winning is the glory. There's no guts and there's no glory in losers. You must win.

    We are still trying to confirm Big Gavin's presence. It a very strategic, machine politik kind of rhetoric and Hillier was always regarded as "colourful" in harness as secretary of the NSW/national logging division of the CFMEU. His AWU website quote him as "I'll never be stopped!" and "He says the secret to improving wages and conditions is to be strategic and be united."

    Big Gavin presents like a Kevin Reynolds/Joe McDonald type figure, that is an old style campaigner not least in girth.  Is he also a xenophobe or is it just the planning issues? Or ALP machine tactics? Maybe it wasn't him?

    Gavin Hillier: Crown Employees Division
    Gavin Hillier: Crown Employees Division, current AWU website

    Hillier once offered to sort this writer out physically at the back of the Broadway Hotel in about 1998 in a Politics in the Pub event. To be fair I did my share of loud provocative heckling (along with others like John Corkill in the audience) which must have been vexatious.

    Hillier's offsiders were actually more willing to turn the situation into a fist fight until the bar manager encouraged us all to leave the premises quietly. Tempers settled down after that.

    Here is some antecedents of pro forest woodchipper unionist Gavin Hillier

    Early in 1995, the NSW State Secretary of the Construction, Forestry and Mining Employees Union, Mr Gavin Hillier told ABC Radio's Background Briefing that damage to equipment occurred as part of struggles to unionise workers. Hillier said: " ... we know how to sugar trucks. We had to hit them and hit them hard. And you (conservationists) probably got the blame for it too along the track. I'm telling you now that they knew who it was, we told those contractors that you behave your fucking selves or the same thing will happen".(footnote 3) Following Hillier's statements there was a deafening silence from the timber industry.

    footnote 3. Gavin Hillier, NSW election, Background Briefing, Radio National 2RN, Sunday March 19 1995.

    In Victorian Police Report on Anti-Environmental Action sourced to author Bob Burton via The Wilderness Society website 1999.

    We only ask Hillier's role because we have written about this issue before out at Camden:

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

    And there is a public interest with all this 'white flight' reportage from public schools implying lack of discipline and/or cross cultural tolerance.

    We think sensitive responsible big media coverage is important because we fear a pressure cooker of blowback criminality if this conversation is not held at the highest and lowest levels:

    6 March 2008 Read on the next page

    In the hot house of the federal election it may be that the ALP have been caught playing to the right wing fringe in a triumph of ambition over morality as per this report:

    Rudd opposed to Islamic school - Local - General - Camden Advertiser 23 rd Nov 2007.

    We recall coverage by crikey.com.au about the Tas logger embrace of then PM John Howard down at the Hobart Town Hall in 2004. If memory serves they published an image which unfortunately we can't locate, with one forest worker having a "white power" tattoo. Mmm. That's a curious echo.

    Posted by editor at 12:54 PM NZT
    Updated: Wednesday, 12 March 2008 7:47 PM NZT
    Early morning life in the burb
    Mood:  lyrical
    Topic: culture








    Posted by editor at 10:40 AM NZT
    Updated: Wednesday, 12 March 2008 11:19 AM NZT
    Monday, 10 March 2008
    Albanese's asbestos shame in the heart of Grayndler
    Mood:  incredulous
    Topic: health

      Anthony Albanese  

    Anthony Albanese has been the Member for Grayndler since 1996.


    Addison Rd Centre is supposed to be the biggest community centre in Australia. Located in the inner west of Marrickville at no. 142 Addison, it is certainly big with some 42 tenants of diverse nature. It was an army barracks then immigration centre and since the 1970ies a state government lease to a community board. There are several groups on federal govt grants like Children's Services Central and  Greening Australia one way or another.

    This writer was an employee on the grounds staff at the ARC from 2002 to 2007.


    We have written previously of the dubious ALP controlled management of the centre with current general manager Yvette Andrews, one of the ALP Left 'Meredith Burgman all stars':

    Saturday, 16 February 2008

    and more here

     Tuesday, 29 January 2008,

    Acting General Manager Addison Rd Centre resigns effective this Friday
    Mood:  smelly
    Topic: local news

     and will again regarding the determined secrecy of the finances of the rent free, privately run gallery for 4 years 2003-2007 while having $30K picture(s) on sale, with no accounts submitted over this 4 year period as we understand. Beautiful works no doubt sold out of public land and for whose profit or purpose? 


    One might well ask from a green and left point of view this time, where indeed does the money go, and where is the transparency? Into a Patrice Newell/Phillip Adams campaign to sideline The Green Party in the last federal election might be one line of inquiry:

     Or to keep a struggling gallery up and going, in competition with the general market, so why no public reporting of financial accounts?

    But this post is primarily about the scourge of asbestos because we are heading into the budget season and local federal MP Anthony Albanese, a big wheel in the new federal government is on notice his time is up on this issue.

    As Minister for Infrastructure he is lock step with the state govt on a highly polluting $5B truck tunnel under his own electorate. Meanwhile a shameful legacy of asbestos is festering at Addison Rd despite a childcare centre on the grounds, community markets, any number of community events on the green.

    This shameful situation has continued for 30 years at least under governments of ALP and Coalition. But Albanese is the man in harness now and has at least since 1996 been responsible for getting a solution to this real and present danger. Alternatively its his state MP wife Carmel Tebbutt. Either way it's the ALP government.

    What is Albanese going to do about it? Those asbestos rooves are badly weathering. It's a health time bomb. At the very least they should be treated with sealant via a spray gun by experts. They should be totally removed and replaced, if not the whole of the buildings - by order of the State Govt authorities. 

    It's not just Mr Rudd's recent forced (?) backflip on cuts to carers in the current razor gang budgetary process in tight fiscal times and inflation that have the govt in a rock and hard place situation. It's life and death issues like the ongoing scandal of the taboo subject of asbestos at Addison Rd Centre, facilitated by the conspiratorial (lack of?) governance that keeps such concerns a closed shop.

    Mr Rudd can praise Bernie Banton at his funeral caused by asbestos but the Addison Rd Centre reality with various federal government grantee tenants doesn't quite gel with that public stance, does it?

    Posted by editor at 6:19 AM NZT
    Sunday, 9 March 2008
    Sunday political talkies: Nelson on the skids for character issues in poor poll
    Mood:  not sure
    Topic: aust govt

    Picture: Big Mal looks like he's been burning the midnight oil last Thursday on ABC TV, as his 'leader' Nelson hits 7% record low preferred PM status. Either Mal has a cold or he's working very hard on 1. the upcoming budget, and 2 a leadership challenge. By comparison he looked quite well slept this Sunday morn on Ch9 Sunday with Laurie Oakes.



    Author’s general introductory note (skip this bit 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 – this section under construction till later Sunday/Monday


    -         Malayasia election spill underway

    -         China trying to improve death sentence human rights re Olympics


    Sunday 9 7.30am- 9.30am


    -         Coulthard interview about USA as modern Rome with an author/analyst, don’t presume USA will stay, need for benevolent structure for the world

    -         Feature on Zoloft danger of anti depressants

    -         Greenwood on private equity barbarians takeover attempt on Qantas controversy about plane ownership involving Allco financiers may be owners while on the skids!

    -         Feature on chocolate with Tim Costello. Powerful footage of child economic slavery Ghana and Cote Dazure (spelling).  Australian Confectionary Manufacturers Association – promise by 2005 no longer child labour choc. Little has changed. Daniel Street political reporter – going in hard on a moral issue. Ivory Coast discussed – still taking the cocoa. World price of cocoa gone down over last 20 years. Price in supermarket is too low. Footage of easter eggs coming up.  [had to bail out for Riley diary]








    10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am


    Nelson on as talent. Down market on this early low viewer show. Shows working but also trouble getting a gig in higher status shows? Some sound rhetoric about “ascendant” ALP new govt, “bread and circuses” now major economic challenges.


    Circles under eyes, pretty smooth talking, right we want an effective Opposition. Turnbull introduced, “coming to get you?”. Slick but false answer ‘Swan as Treasurer is the worry’.


    Support Kyoto, dropped Work Choices, accepted apology, new President Stockdale. Sounding pretty determined, AMA credentials called up, not make a difference. Bit of steel there, true enough.


    Howard introduced speech for pro war in Iraq. Calls up Nelson defence minister history and Howard record.


    Out take – Nick Minchin blooper not in “government” anymore, pretty innocent.


    Jennifer Hewitt (News Ltd The Australian), Steve Lewis (News Ltd tabloids) on the panel, both serious Big Media reptiles. Nelson on the attack on economic issues. Accused in turn of Whitlamesque by Treasury [truth seems to be Howard Govt high spending underwritten by implicit brutal IR in a grim competitive package, in terms of lowered govt debt on to public then make ‘em work harder desperately to pay those debts, a real cannon fodder style of governing. Coalition’s own bread and circuses approach?).


    Nelson pushes Productivity Commission/Miranda Devine article approach – ignores culture of throw away, peak oil feedstock issues.


    Out take Nicholson animation from Oz. Economy crashed due to high interest rates. Funny but scary too airplane metaphor.


    Christopher Pyne film rolled, missed it, may have been Lateline. Nelson supports merge with National Party – eminent good sense. Drive it? Says yes he is. Strong view about it. Needs to come from Federal level leadership, organizations. Strongish line there.


    Hewitt counters re ex ministers AWOL – Nelson takes a soft line on hard workers blowing off steam after defeat. Sounds plausible but last chance kind of talk. Not planning to force clarifications? Spoken to Costello, Downer – won’t say what said. Any super Saturday?


    Laurie Oakes with Turnbull, disingenuous about no comment on leadership when he’s on the camera. Lapsed says LO, not rule out a challenge the other day. Didn’t rule it out. Turnbull eyes are well slept and a little tired but not nearly as much as last Thursday on 7.30 which suggests he has been working up something and hard.


    MT is a little patronizing about Nelson doing a good job and working hard as if to say he will have a high status job when he is leader. On treasury matters. Turbull pushes carer/pensioner fearmongering, LO sounds skeptical as per Riley tip off.


    LO attacks quietly on rain making for $10M.  Treasury says spending like Whitlam Govt. LO must know more about social services budget like Riley backgrounded. That ML has not.


    ML talks down some sectors of economy, two speed economy, talks with some force of worrying forces, plays pensioners carers card yet again, but has overplayed it.





    Meet The Press - Watch Political Video Online - Channel TEN.




    Riley Diary 7


    No point peaking early, early days, Monty Python bright side of life. Same Mal Turnbull footage ‘no comment’ while looking chuffed. Interest rates higher than interest in Nelson. ‘safe as houses’ faux par.


    Tanner economic metaphor on pies and tim tams. Got to go on exercise. Spare tyre, double chin.


    Footage of Howard, Yankees singing Waltzing Matilda. PNG singers Goroka is no. 1. with mud mean trd costumes. Billums  Petals thrown by teenagers – very moving.


    Q & A in 2004 how to vote cheques, were one off payments. Not going to take the money away formalize in the social services budget – sounds like he’s been tipped off by Swany on his excellent budget adventure.


    Re 7%, give him time theory, but new territory, only got one shot. Turnbull should take it with Nelson arms tied. Annabel Crabb more with asthma.






    Insiders 2: 9- 10am


    Dennis Atkins Courier Mail on the couch new talent (News Ltd), Misha Schubert Age/Fairfax – relentless Rudd machine. Glenn Milne News Ltd Australian. Hockey as State Opposition Leader talk in the press.  Hockey is not a match for OFarrell intellect?


    Julie Bishop. Film footage – St Kevin media support will run out of steam when the tough questions are asked. “decent caring competent” politician. Defending her deputy leadership position in a spill. Quite a coathanger image is Ms Bishop. Always strikes me as hard and ruthless with lots of edges.


    Pushes the carers card, already


    Every person segment riding school. Two women trash Nelson. Bloke says back off. They pick his dishonesty ‘slimey sleazy’. Contrasting sincerity of Rudd. Turnbull (was it?) is ‘a true Liberal’. Rudd do great things if get their social agenda right.


    73 to 7 per cent figure is staggering figure. Discussion.


    Latham piece in AFR this week worth a look, great grip on language re “corroborree of chattering classes”.


    Final observations – joke about prostrate cancer Peter Costello, Libs will retain Brisbane mayoralty, do well in local council elections resist merger. Milne says Rudd made a precedent now ruling out stuff pre budget.


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

    Posted by editor at 9:10 AM NZT
    Saturday, 8 March 2008
    Death of powerful eco feminist forest defender Val Plumwood
    Mood:  special
    Topic: ecology

    [under construction] 

    SAM's editor read the sad news by former local resident of Braidwood James Woodford in the Sydney Morning Herald. It felt like seeing the movie Into the Wild again.

    8 March 2008 Philosopher as prey, a life of survival  Mauled by a crocodile, Val Plumwood lived to tell an amazing and intellectually challenging tale. James Woodford farewells a conservationist.
    Not being much of a fan of James Woodford's hopeless embrace of 'limited' woodchipping of native forest, we wanted to check my own files and materials on Val and indeed found some precious material of hers, and some strong memories of her intervention in 1996 as Friends of Mongarlowe River when the blokes were going to stuff up her beloved Monga. None of this is in the Woodford piece, perhaps having married a PR operative for State Forests some years back now.


    We had no idea this was posted on the SMH website last week
    A google search brings these up but if not mistaken not in the press copies (?) because this writer would have remembered them. A curious omission from the press copy methinks, possibly the last patriarchical slight (?) of a seriously radical thinker:
    She has her own signficant wikipedia entry here


    SAM has some some materials evidencing Val's contribution to conservation in our Monga file, especially busy in 1995-1996 period which are original record of the timely contribution in an awkward political phase.






    Having taken images of much of the file, we are posting a lengthy piece with links to follow soon to honour Val Plumwood and the forest she loved.


    It's also by way of recording our own role from that time which was much more extensive than has been published before in the Sydney green movement around colour photocopy briefings to all the power players in Sydney (political and media). This will become clear from the materials.  We remember even showing the pictures to Waverley's Mayor Barbara Armitage at the time. Not least getting Colin Dorber for the industry to agree to concede at the 'DFA' negotiations at Hurstville NPWS in 1996 Monga was "rainforest" and bad PR for the industry to log, a lay down misere (so it seemed). Tony Hastings painted a picture to celebrate the moment that he witnessed in 96 in those sterile offices. Yep to visit Monga was to love the place and want to save it:


    In summary Val's critical role at that time (and one expects other times we can't directly report on) goes like this and with all politics context is crucial:

    Carr wins close state election March 1995 and in victory speech promises to save the forests, which tipped his win in close seats like Coogee. He wins by 3. He was himself surprised by that - very charming at the time. This was the culmination of 3 years of slog for this writer which began for us in 1402 in Coolangubra with giant 400 year old 'brown barrels also fund at Monga (see below):

    In truth this fight had been going on since the woodchip mill was opened in the 1970ies.

    The NSW Forestry Commission as it was still known started getting sneaky trying to subvert the state govt election platform, logging identified wilderness in Deua (mid 1995) and targetting Badja and then Monga in less well known areas. Their mode of operation was much like the RTA divide and rule approach in urban Sydney. Flatter and sleaze a few individuals over the real environmental impact, usually conservative otherwise ignorant locals who hardly understood the high impact integrated woodchipping intensity. Brand them as the symbolic moderate majority and sideline the ecologically minded in the local landholders then promote the compromise in the media and to the pollies.

    This was tried but thankfully failed at Croobyar closer to the coast in late 1994, in no small part due to this writer stepping in and demanding a complete halt for The Wilderness Society, no deals in the lead up to the election. It was touch and go with police literally driving to the camp that fateful day Dec 94 forcing the NPWS to in turn step in to issue a stop work to avoid bad press for the state govt in an unwanted clash. Monga was re run of the same dynamic:


    Hence this memo to self in 1995:

    Based on such work as this from TWS Canberra:

    At Monga late 95/96 on the range near Braidwood. Ian Barnes/Nick Cameron of Forestry had tame folks in a group called Tallaganda Community Action Association locked in to logging places like this:


    Picture: Eucalyptus fastigata or Brown Barrel in compartment 836 of Monga taken summer 95-96, with from right Steve Taylor, Indra Esguerra, Andrew Wong and one other unknown.


    Picture above: The famous plumwood/pinkwood rainforect species is picture here with Andrew Wong of The Wilderness Society still an ANU student at this stage 1995.


    Val Plumwood intervened with a new Friends of Mongarlowe River group as early 1995 and certainly by January 1996 in combo with such as Cath Moore prominent in the Local Green Party. She wasn't having any of that compromise rubbish by these men in TCAA. I have the materials for the showdown called for 22 Feb Braidwood RSL.








    This writer treked down from Sydney FoE office myself just like Croobyar in late 94: At a certain point in the politiking you have to actually be there to fortify the local folks. I met Val for the first time. Andrew Wong represented The Wilderness Society and being fairly new to public speaking rambled too much. Val was furious and seemed to blame me as a 'senior organiser'. But FoE as a group had little profile compared to TWS, my ex group so it wasn't up to me. In a way the incident says everything good and scary about Val. She was sick of men stuffing things up, even on the same green side of things, but mainly the industrial loggers and spineless local landholders.

    Val Plumwood (surname taken after the rather feminine 'pinkwood' local rainforest species) was the foot in the door for Monga stopping the loggers sleazy politics on the local scene around Braidwood in 1996, no doubt about it. By sheer force of character and intellect. As Woodford reports she put her land where her mouth was too dedicating it to a conservation agreement with the government.

    There is a federal election newsletter called Earthright February 1996 with a two page article by Val. It's important to get this on the public record and the internet.


    She signs off with this

    "Note: This is not an Aboriginal story, (although I have tried to follow some of their explanatory conventions), but the word "Monga" is said to mean "place of many ferns" in the relevant Aboriginal language. Val Plumwood"

    She loved that place and no doubt the forest loved her.

    Interestingly the word Monga has provenance all across the world. Just as Val Plumwood's intellect has travelled the world too at various universities in the United States and here in Australia.  There is a very high quality Monga Bay website based in Madagascar from memory, website all about conservation and global leading science that is often cross reference on ezine crikey.com.au. Val would definitely approve of this mission:

    It's also a term used in Bangladesh referring to a time of hunger in the seasonal cycle. I understand there is a river Honduras too. A style of salsa. A word in Zambia (Congo?).  A location in Japan, and Mozambique.


    How intriguing, very much like the mysterious and ferocious intellect of Val Plumwood herself.
    Of course as we now know the loggers came back for Monga in 2001 causing serious damage, and a substantial if not all of the area has been included in National Park by late 2004 linking Deua and Budawang, as a sop in some ways for the ongoing devastation by the Eden Chipmill especially in East Gippsland.
    Most of the materials in this post are dated for the period 95-96, and I expect most likely are not included in this book I notice just now for the first time: 
    Monga intacta After over a decade of campaigning, the whole of Monga Forest is now protected and gazetted as Monga National Park. Many of the people gathered knew the ins ...
    It looks like a good book, and maybe could have benefited from some of the original materials at the post above. The SAm editor was never invited to contribute or interviewed and I didn't know about that book launch by TWS. That's how things play in the green movement.
    It's been instructive to spend some time to get some of our history on record on the web for this period. It's actually very educational about real politik of winning forest campaigns against the forces of darkness which our expertise, and probably distinct from academic skills or artistic merit.
    Vale Val Plumwood, dedicated forest defender. RIP sister of the forest. Condolences to her friends and family and professional colleagues at this time. There appears to be a growing determination to hold a memorial event for her "next month" which seems like an excellent plan.

    My feeling is many from Sydney will be interested to support such an event. Not least the feminist movement.


    Posted by editor at 9:01 PM NZT
    Updated: Sunday, 9 March 2008 10:50 AM NZT

    Newer | Latest | Older