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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Thursday, 17 April 2008
Sydney Daily Telegraph lead story frozen out by tv big media peers as dodgy?
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: big media

 Image:Its A Wonderful Life Movie Poster.jpg

A fairly incredible white knuckle ride in the 'back story' to this report here:

Wednesday, 16 April 2008
According to our media monitoring yesterday the Sydney Daily Telegraph story applying it's (in)famous (melo)dramatic blowtorch on a pillar of society hit a brick wall of incredulity. Did the story ramp up through the day and onto the nightly tv news bulletins? Were peers in the relatively bigger TV news sector of the Big Media willing to back the trashing of a legal professional's reputation? Put themselves in the line of fire of a defamation action on the strength of the journalism of Janet Fife-Yeomans, and editor David Penberthy?
No, no, and no, they declined. What's  more the ABC TV prime time news sunk the slipper in to the SDT agenda with another legal angle altogether, which might be sobering discipline on both the Tele and the "popular authoritarianism" of the NSW Govt [to borrow a phrase of Quentin Dempster].
In summary as best we could tell:

- all the tv nightly news ABC and commercials stood off the story. So did the current affairs and 7.30 Report;

- what was most profound was the lead ABC 7pm flagship tv news led with an incredible repudiation of the Daily Telegraph agenda by

(a) ignoring the story totally, and

(b) running as no. 1 lead a related story about lack of safety/resources at Newcastle Family Court precincts - which is NSW AG Hatzistergos's ministerial responsibility and VERY embarrassing.

The Telegraph runs a smallish story today Thursday 17 April 08 well into the paper, no picture, cleaning up loose ends,  as if by way of belated 'balance' sourcing the instructing solicitor. Only it's way not proportionate or contemporaneous with the damage of their front page story against the barrister the day before. This might only mitigate fertile defamation action for the day before.

The blowtorch story against the harried barrister is virtually all over next day: It's not many people who survive the Telegraph blowtorch in such good shape. It's usually a one way street like John Brogden, others before, others no doubt in the future.  
We are impressed. Like James Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life the civil rights lawyer Tania Evers obviously has got alot of social capital goodwill out there, including from such as this writer for her pro bono support of a disabled volunteer/friend of ours, at least within reasonable limits.
We can't comment on the facts of the legal case in the screaming front page headline because we don't know them well, and as a lawyer we are bound like everyone else by the court gag order. But we do note with a great deal of irony this other story running yesterday about the bad, sad fact of sexualised children being given implanted contraception in Qld:
The World Today, ABC - Wednesday, 16 April , 2008  12:20:00 Reporter: Annie Guest
[with this concluding extract following]
ANNIE GUEST: But how do you decide whether they are making an informed decision about having sex given that they are needing to have this contraceptive implant? Perhaps it would indicate that they’re not making fully informed decisions?

MATTHEW BOWDEN: Because of guardianship laws. They would not be able to make that decision independently.

ANNIE GUEST: An anti-child abuse campaigner says she's shocked to hear young girls are being implanted with contraceptives, but the executive director of Bravehearts, Hetty Johnston, says she also gives the practice qualified support.

HETTY JOHNSTON: It has to have some sort of tattered support. It’s horrifying to think that those words are even coming out of my mouth but the last thing we want is 12-year-olds pregnant. But look, it could only be with education, it needs to get … we need to get some education into these communities.

LISA MILLAR: Hetty Johnston from Bravehearts ending that report from Annie Guest. 
We simply add that one reason things end up in court is because the facts are contested, and sometimes related to social situations quite out of the experience of normal reasonable people, which the courts and legal professionals are then given the frightening job of wrestling with into a framework of justice and truth - it's a hard job to be respected not trashed.
Postscript from mid February 2010


Posted by editor at 2:33 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 19 March 2010 10:40 PM NZT
No room at the 2020 inn for big idea on reform of the money/land use system
Mood:  not sure
Topic: aust govt

59 year old Bob Irvine, a NSW public servant, family man, and dedicated professional in the natural resources management area has submitted this quite unique view of how money has changed in purpose over the centuries.

He argues that the future lies back when money did not control land use governance as such. Bob has been polishing this conceptual analysis for years apparently so it's sincere and likely quite wise.

We suspect there is something very big buried in his well written fairly short paper. Too big perhaps this side of a very disruptive reform of modern society and governance to a more ecologically sustainable basis. Relevant all the same as mainstream institutions do indeed contemplate a post carbon emissions economy.

Thankyou for the paper Bob Irvine and we will read it with interest along with any readers of Sydney Alternative Media website.

Can New Money and Good Accounting Save the Planet from Human Induced Ecosystem

Service Degradation (Climate Change, etc.) and Bring Health, Wealth and Happiness to All?

In "The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy", (Præger, 2007)[1] David

Shearman and Joseph Wayne Smith contend that our market economy and unfettered

corporate power is as instrumental as our excessive carbon effluent in the collapse of Earth's

ecosystem services. They argue that human induced ecosystem service degradation (Climate

Change, etc., etc.) and the rapid rise in wealth of the liberal democratic political economies

are closely related. Both are the result of the freedom granted to citizens and corporations to

plunder the Earth's social and natural resources without accounting for or paying for the cost.

Consequently they find that a different sort of political economy is essential to enable and

allow effective action by all humans to halt our destructive activities and to prevent and

remediate the degradation of the ecosystem services upon which all life on Earth depends,

particularly our excessive consumption, extinction of species and destruction of ecosystems.

These are challenging words, indeed.

We who look, read, and think with the leisure, education and science that our "free market"

economies have enabled, know that the Earth's ecosystem services are very badly damaged

(the evidence is incontrovertible), that the survival of our human species is threatened (the

threat is real), and that our "freedom to plunder" is the CAUSE of most of this damage.

Shearman and Smith find (p.71) that humanity has three options for sustainable economies:

* a "free market" liberal democracy with refinement (monetary valuation of

ecosystem services, commons trading, green accounting, etc., etc.). They find this

inadequate since "freedom to plunder" is the cause, and a refinement is not enough.

an ecocentric liberal democracy (eg. the Australian Aboriginal economy) They agree

this would work, but would entail a revolution in knowledge, science and human value

systems and would be resisted by existing vested interests (power and capital), so that

no existing democracy would freely chose this option. They dismiss it as unrealistic.

* an authoritarian government with strict enforcement of ecological protection

(dictatorship of the wise) They conclude that "this may be the only solution for

humanity". They contend that the Earth's capacity to provide ecological services will

be extinguished without strict control of all human activity affecting the environment.

Shearman and Smith's classification of the options for a sustainable human political economy

is helpful for framing a proper consideration of just what a "sustainable political economy" is

and how one could deliver and sustain the revolution in human behaviour needed to stop

human induced ecosystem service degradation, promote useful activities and quickly direct

all humanity's creative and scientific energies to the task of regenerating ecosystem services.

These may be the only options to respond to the present threat, so clearly seen by Malthus at

the time the worst of this trouble began, but the question of the best mix is an interesting one.

Shearman and Smith's clear thinking; health and science knowledge; and, good scholarship

cut through the noise of the 'Climate Change' debate bringing clear focus to the main question

of our human future, allowing wise readers to understand and accept that in the getting of our

great wealth great harm has been done, and to realise it is our certain responsibility to fix it.

Read the full paper here

Posted by editor at 12:46 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 17 April 2008 2:27 PM NZT
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
Civil rights lawyer Evers gets the News Ltd blowtorch but is it a beat up?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: legal


We write as a lawyer in NSW and community media practitioner. We are bound by the court order not to discuss the facts of the case.

The Sydney Daily Telegraph are the right wing screamers usually when it comes to the administration of the law and beat up on the independence of both the judiciary and the profession.

The barrister in question today Evers gave pro bono advice to this writer as legal tutor for a disabled claimant under the Family Provision Act last year 2007. (The matter was referred on to a practitioner who is a councillor on the Law Society itself, because Evers was too busy with other case work.)

Evers was recommended to us by the principal lawyer of the Intellectual Disability Rights Centre as first choice for helping my friend of 10 years "Mary" (not her real name) with a chronic but harmless illness.

By the look of Evers office in Martin Place she has done pro bono and public interest work for the mentally disabled or afflicted her whole life. This has to count for something, maybe even alot.

We make no comment on the facts of the story in the Telegraph as pictured above except to note the repudiation of the factual characterisation by Evers herself. We understand that the complaint to the Legal Services Commissioner may not be the DPP itself. If true it may be one error by the Daily Telegraph already.

Significantly the LSC is under the jurisdiction of the NSW Attorney General's office but independent of the Minister John Hatzistergos MP (ALP) who does not have "power of direction over them", according to Ms Kerry Henderson Acting Assistant Legal Servicers Commissioner.

We are advised that under Section 723 of the Legal Profession Act 2004 it can be an offence to publish the name of the identity of the complainant to the LSC except in certain limited circumstances (such as consent by the complainant? - we would have to check all of this in the section itself).

Apparently the story has run on 2GB and 2WS already in some form or other.

The complaint will take it's course as it should. Paramount is the welfare of the child and the search for justice.

Meanwhile we note:

1. the potential for Evers as cannon fodder between the power frictions and appeasement relations between DPP Cowdery and AG NSW Hatzistergos could well be in play

2. in the same edition of the Daily Telegraph that newspaper's grip on public morality is again on display - 3 and 1/4 pages of grog adverts. Which leads to any number of sexual assualts and criminal violence. That's sad.

3. We wonder what affect this front page blowtorch will have on a big murder trial Evers is defending in court today? Is it a strategic attack from an earlier case? Indeed is it an interference in the administration of justice by coincidence or intention in a defence lawyer doing their work?

There is alot more to come out on the factual matrix regarding this complaint apparently to the Legal Services Commissioner, not reflected in the Daily Telegraph story (how unsurprising is that), and we say that with a compelling source.


Refer to a a more recent story next day here on SAM describing how peers in the Big Media dealt with the Sydney Daily Telegraph 'leadership' above. It's not very flattering.

Posted by editor at 10:36 AM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 17 April 2008 2:19 PM NZT
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Chinese military goons to spy on democracy activists in Canberra, for retribution in Tibet?
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: human rights
The fact PM Rudd said the China military so called "thugs" would not be shadowing the torch relay, and has been over ruled by the IOC with it's 'democratic global mandate' to make any policy it likes to (like a royal king or emperor in fact) is a little embarrassing . Yes. But it's trivial.
Chinese military SPIES taking pictures of democracy activists in Canberra and seeking retribution from relatives or friends is not trivial:
Hamish McDonald reported recently Sydney Morning Herald p22, 29 March 08 Running rings around the truth - World - smh.com.au
12 Apr 2008 that
"Russia's Novosti news agency reported that in Gansu province alone the Public Security Bureau has arrested 2302 people since the pro-Dalai Lama protests began in mid-March, with 432 (including 170 monks) still in custody. That suggests the total arrested across the Tibet Autonomous Region itself, Sichuan, Qinghai and Yunnan, might run into many more thousands."
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 12:17 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Chinese security and human rights?

15 April 08

Chinese security and human rights?
ACT Greens MLA Deb Foskey today called on the ACT Government to explain
the rules of engagement for Chinese security officers who will accompany
the torch.
"Kevan Gosper for the IOC has announced that Chinese 'Torch Protectors'
will travel behind the torch when the relay is run in Canberra" Dr
Foskey said today.
"The questions I would like the ACT Chief Minister or the AFP
Commissioner to answer are:
* If the Chinese Security Officers will be carrying weapons
* If they will be required to comply with ACT Human Rights
* On what occasions will they be asked to assist the police or
Australian security officers on duty and what are their rules of
"I had understood from the ACT Government that all necessary security
would be managed by the AFP."

"This appears to be a complete backflip."

"I know the Chief Minister has absolute confidence in the AFP.  How does
the use of a bus load of 'Torch Protectors' sit with that belief?" Dr
Foskey asked.

Roland Manderson   Media Advisor
ACT   Greens    MLA  Deb  Foskey 
Legislative Assembly for the ACT
ph(02)62050551      m 0412241379


The pro China rally here recently has been well analysed here via ClubTroppo blog ezine: Jeremy is bemused by pro-China protests.

Posted by editor at 3:40 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 April 2008 3:51 PM NZT
Cooks River sustainability spirit survives a harsh downpour
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: local news

It was mostly about sustainability on the roads last Sunday.

Earlier that day at dawn a school of fish 10 metres wide was bubbling and flashing luminous silver just east of the Undercliffe Bridge on Cooks River. The mudcrabs - the non human kind - were still in their burrows:

Sadly the Cooks River Festival last Sunday 13th April 2008 this time sponsored by Marrickville Council and previous week by Canterbury Council just down the river, got washed out early afternoon as did the pro China rally in the Sydney CBD apparently - which is possibly justice too for not listening to the Tibetan sincere calls for democratic and human rights.

This image at top above was taken heading into the Chinese dominated Paddy's vegetable markets in Chinatown.

But before bailing out of Steel Park where the Cooks River Festival was held (giving a lift to a hapless stall holder Les Saxby of Murrin Body Products and Ydaki Didge & Dance Australia) we took a bunch of photographs with people still hanging in there, and even enjoying themselves:

Here's a flavour of the stalls on departure:






Posted by editor at 12:23 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 18 April 2008 9:54 AM NZT
Adam Spencer show drops the moral imperative on 702 post 4 Corners expose?
Mood:  sad
Topic: big media

Adam Spencer

702's Breakfast Presenter


Adam Spencer began his career in radio by winning the Triple J raw comedy championship in 1996. From there, he became the well known co-presenter of Triple J Breakfast between 1999 and 2004.

Adam holds a first class honours degree in Pure Mathematics and has an immense interest in science. Adam’s "Little Book of Numbers" has been translated into many languages and he has since written another called "More Mind Numbing Maths".

Adam has also toured for the last 3 years with Dr Karl Kruszelnicki in the SLEEK GEEK TOUR, which is held during Science Week and is an hilarious one hour show combining ground breaking science with side breaking comedy.

Adam has had extensive experience on various boards and authorities - he continues to serve on the Senate of the University of Sydney, the NSW Premier's Advisory Committee on Greenhouse and Global Warming and the NSW Health Department's Clinical Ethics Review Committee as well as being an ambassador for the Fred Hollows Foundation and helping out with numerous charities.

We hope you'll enjoy listening to Adam Spencer on 702 ABC Sydney.


Sent: Monday, April 14, 2008 11:42 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Challenge to Labor and Liberals to bring inimmediate donation reform

Media Release
15 April 2008

Challenge to Labor and Liberals to bring in immediate donation reform

NSW Greens MP and donations spokesperson Lee Rhiannon responding to
tonight's Four Corners program has called on all political parties to
publicly commit to not accept donations from corporations and to ban
them from contributing to party fund raising events.

"Tonight's Four Corners has been a damming indictment of the
relationship between corporate political donors and the major
parties," Ms Rhiannon said.

"The numerous scandals involving developers and hotel companies in
tonight's program will continue as long as the Labor and Liberal
parties accept these donations.

"The Four Corners report has again revealed that business people
donate money to buy access to political leaders. This will only end
when corporate donations are banned.

"Both Premier Morris Iemma and opposition leader Barry O'Farrell have
said that they support a ban on donations, but both Labor and the
Liberals have plans for fund raisers in coming weeks.

"Mr Iemma and Mr O'Farrell will look even more hypocritical if they
talk about bans while accepting money from donors at fundraisers. They
need to immediately agree to not accept political donations from
corporations and other organisations," Ms Rhiannon said.

Director of the Greens Democracy4Sale Research Project Dr Norman
Thompson said "The entire system of electoral funding must be reformed
immediately.  The public needs to be confident decisions made by our
government are for the public good and not for those with the deepest

"Spending limits for election campaigns need to be introduced to rein
in the race by political parties for ever larger war chests.

"Banning donations to political parties needs to go hand in hand with
a cap on party election expenditure and spending by special interest

"All donations from corporations and other organisations should be
banned.  Capped donations by individuals are important for allowing
Australians to engage in the political process.

"The Greens have developed a comprehensive plan for positive reform of
our electoral funding system," Dr Thompson said.

For more information: 0427 861 568



Each and every news bulletin inlcuding on the half hour this morning from 5.30 am refers one way or the other to the expose on 4 Corners last night about developer donations scandal, but the ABC early morning shift in Sydney flagship 702 station carefully avoids any mention to our ear.

Spencer who is on the Sydney Uni Senate takes an interview with a maths genius, Wiggles ticket scalping, alcohol criminal violence with friendly mentions of PM Rudd and the 2020 Summit on this moral agenda.

But no mention of the developer donations scandal infecting the state ALP root and branch which we presume is on the main press pages today. Maybe. No ferreting out of prominent ALP figures even like Botsman, Luke Foley, developers and so many more possible.

We predict the Exec Producer for Spencer will say that the Cameron shift at 8.30 am will pick up the issue. No suggestion of that in the prelude at 7.30 am.

We have another view - ever since veteran Alex Mitchell took a swing at Spencer for allegedly being too friendly with the state ALP, not least Verity Firth MP for Balmain being on Sydney Uni senate also.

Sydney Uni are developer of choice for Callan Park open space by the ALP Govt. He is implicated in that developer agenda. In fact we put that to him once in an email as below

(As we write another friendly mention of Sydney Uni's Simon Chapman re prostrate.)

There is another story cooking too about Sydney University that Spencer's team could have picked up which ran on Crikey yesterday regarding the Sydney University/State Govt nexus, but didn't:

Crikey.com.au 14 April 2008
18 . Disharmony at Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music

Nicholas Pickard writes:

You can almost hear the strains of violins coming from the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music. It could even be a major performance of the Ride of the Valkyries, because somebody down at "The Con" is feeling very annoyed.

The big point of contention is Professor Kim Walker who has been Dean of the institution for the last four years. Walker is apparently pushing all the wrong keys because now the Governor of NSW and Chancellor of Sydney University, Marie Bashir has been dragged into the tussle. ........


Is this the proverbial airbrush of the issue de jour as the Greens lead a call for Royal Commission?

Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2007 9:44 AM
Subject: Callan park a uni campus ......Re: a friendly reminder

> Well without getting too deep just a spontaneous response I suppose based on
> 1. I just had coffee and was a little fiesty
> 2. a nice word quite true, yet I find the whole Warragamba plume story a
> false diversion from Nathan Rees culpability for Breaking the Silence
> failure by him and Orkopoulous, that Stoner was thrown out of the parliament
> for yesterday. Notice Koperberg says - there is no problem. It's classic PR
> management.
> And the crypto trauma etc of 1998 is why they won't go water recycling now,
> but its so cocky to jam the Aboriginal child abuse problem with a Warragamba
> non threat. I mean get real. It's been raining for 2 weeks and they only now
> have a worry about turbidity?
> Rees is the real fear. He worked for Iemma. Almost certainly breifed against
> Bryce Gaudry - deselected.
> My thesis is Iemma knew all about Orkopoulos scandal well before his press
> conference in 2006 getting in front of the curve ball. That's the point.
> 3. Minister for 'Callan Park' Verity Firth - big grab from your show
> yesterday - when she is a demonstrated sleaze on broken election promises
> a. dry boat store in Rozelle Bay
> b. M5 East
> c. Anvill Hill opposition.
> As MP for Balmain she should be slam dunked for selling off mental health
> services for a university campus ...... let me guess which one.
> Your in the picture big brain.Cya Sunday.
> Yours truly, Tom
> It's all sleaze.
> ----- Original Message -----
> Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2007 8:24 AM
> Subject: RE: a friendly reminder
> and your point is...
> adam s
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tom [mailto:ecologya@telpacific.com.au]
> Sent: Thursday, 28 June 2007 7:29 AM
> To: 702 Breakfast
> Subject: a friendly reminder
> Below is the result of your feedback form.  It was submitted by
> Tom (
ecologya@telpacific.com.au) on Thursday, June 28, 2007 at 07:30:16
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> From:
> comments: its public radio not the Sydney Uni Senate. Put that in your
> turbidity.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


We notified the executive producer at the ABC above material at about 8am at least to check it out, and it would be fair to say he was combative, which is fair enough and probably an occupational hazard. That's accepted. No one wants a wimp running the independent ABC. But also unwisely dismissive in this case given the above evidenced pattern of concern.

His view, on the spur of the moment to be fair, is that they had nothing to add to the story editorially speaking. But we don't buy that for one. The ALP Left participating and speaking up against the "empty pursuit of power" was devastating and fresh material.  As was the Koperberg $50K family law settlement allegation, true it is a bit hot legally speaking after the Sunday press. As was the fresh contact with the Hardie company and Norman Thompson interviews about their covert subsidiary company donation called Marbal Pty Ltd.  All fresh material in our view. The extra access to MP for Wollongong was also fresh.

But only if you are looking at all this free of an ALP allegiance one way or the other?

All good grist for the 5th estate on a growing readership trend as here but what about ABC's proud history of setting the standard? We submit Sarah Ferguson for 4 Corners has indeed set the standard that 702 morning show have not managed to reach on this occassion. And that is indeed noteworthy.

Posted by editor at 9:21 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 April 2008 9:23 PM NZT
Marrickville Legal Centre providing community service on 4 areas of law
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: legal

Picture: Open Day recently, 338 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204 tel. 9559 2899, fx 9558 5213, as part of NSW Law Week.

With so many topics of conversation to provide alternative media service it is sometimes easy to forget that there are public interest workers out there just getting on with it.

We do tip our hat to these folks whatever their overall political allegiances or machine loyalty.

We do presume without being sure for instance that the local legal centre is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Albanese ALP Left. [Principal solicitor Andrew Taylor since advises not at all, never met local Federal MP, which is a surprise in itself.]

We took the time to eat their free sausage sandwiches and interview the principal solicitor recently on the occassion of their open day.

Andrew Taylor told us they cover four areas of law - tenancy, children, adult, domestic violence. We presume this means also civil and maybe criminal as well. With 3-4 lawyers full time.

They are noticing an increase in employment and debt related issues. 

Andrew got a little philosophical at our suggestion saying our "system is rampant with shallow materialism" underlying alot of problems, but he's not against development that has social benefit.

Resourcing is from state and federal governments.

In a quite heartening sign, he noted they get ALOT of pro bono support from the profession - and here comes a surprising list - very happy to include here, and may there be more of this eh?:

Clayton Utz

Gilbert Tobin

Phillips Fox

Corrs Chambers

Blake Dawson


- and several others.


We then spoke with their children's specialist lawyer, Katrina, quite the cross cultural liaison with an Aboriginal lady/child visitors to the open day we noticed later. This youngish lawyer mentioned negative stereotyping of youth after the infamous Corey Delaney incident and if she had one wish it would be for more balance and sympathy for youth in relation to fairness, rehabilitation, and recognition of youth disadvantages (no money for paid spaces like restuarant dinners for a night out).

We like these folks, not least for a year at Canberra Welfare Rights Centre as a volunteer in 1988-9.

Posted by editor at 8:49 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 30 April 2008 6:38 PM NZT
Monday, 14 April 2008
Jeff Angel and the invention of racist bio banking agenda in 1997
Mood:  sharp
Topic: nsw govt

We read Jeff Angel's high minded 'moral and intellectual leadership' on the environment in the Sydney Morning Herald here today

14 April 2008 Jeff Angel: It's about social cohesion, not bricks and cement 

in the preface to the cracking 4 Corners expose tonight.

In reading this one needs to keep in mind Angel is generally the go to man for green rubber stamp for the NSW ALP Govt such as the huge $15 billion power privatisation agenda in NSW, against the views of the much more representative Green Party. Angel is on any number of government blessed committees from Native Vegetation Committee, to Natural Resources Audit Council , to National Packaging Covenant, previously Govt funded Green Games Watch 2000, and every other political fix the NSW ALP Govt have cooked up.

But you wouldn't get that from the pristine article in the Herald today. Angel is actually very friendly with this ALP Government.

Jeff Angel always was good at getting in front of a political wave, and indeed a political deal making wave. And the Sydney Morning Herald need cover too, as it was their determination to boost the housing development sector in 2005 to 2006 that has played a significant role in the developer shadow over NSW governance as summarised here:

12 April 2008 Developer heaven in NSW as the Big Media 'ordered' in 2005-6?
Mood:  sad
Topic: nsw govt

including this extract:

"Tom McLoughlin 12/04/08 6:17PM

You will notice that my traverse above was written quite early this morning.
Notice I mention a shift from Parliament to the executive. Secondly a shift in govt approach from about "2.5 years ago".
This was all written by me without the knowledge or reading of the lead story on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald today by Wendy Frew and others. I’ve just finished reading it. It’s a strong story and Planning shadow minister Hazzard is making hay over this "rotten" situation earlier today on radio and now I know his factual platform:
"Files expose sway of developers" 12 April 2008, Sydney Morning Herald http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/files-expose-sway-of-developers/2008…

The Herald story corroborates nicely my analysis [below] in a direct example of developments in the Hunter. As good as Frew and colleagues are and professional too, what the story omits editorially speaking is the corporate self awareness at Fairfax that the ALP under Iemma moved to accelerate any and all economic development as a direct reaction to both major newspapers signalling that they were going to go feral and fatal on the NSW ALP govt if the economy didn’t turn: Here are some samples via google:

- 7 Feb 2006 Slump hits home - National - smh.com.au

- 2 Sept 2005 Harder they fall: Sydney’s biggest housing slump - National - smh …

- 2 July 2005 NSW’s economic slump hits home - Business - Business - theage.com.au

- Sydney boom bleeds NSW economy - Business - Business - theage.com.au , By Ross Gittins, August 16, 2005
"It’s now clear that the NSW economy is the worst-performing among the states and its once-booming housing market is at the heart of the problem. Question is, who’s to blame?"

It saddens me to provide political logic for the ALP spivs but that’s the real politik reality. They trashed the integrity of the planning system as a matter of parliamentary majority. That’s what Part 3A is for vertically integrated into the electoral majority.

This was around 2005-6. At which time I totally gave up the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act as a dead letter, that Wran had pioneered in 1979 to keep integrity in the planning system.

Sad huh? Keep going independent media sector. Keep going."

We reported on Jeff Angel's green lighting of the great bio banking developer scam originally in 1997 here: And we think it justifies a full re publication of the inestimable 'leadership' of Big Jeff, always in front of the curve:

Monday, 17 December 2007
Systemic racism in NSW behind the 1997 origins of 'bio banking' aka 'tradeoff' land clearing?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: indigenous

When we first read Henry Reynolds - Law of the Land published 1987 - we were shocked by the reference to 'sado masochistic Sunday afternoon hunting parties', and of 'childrens skulls smashed in'. This was Tasmania of 19th and 18th century colonial times that Julia Gillard euphemistically calls "settlement" surely not realising the unintended fiction - at the hands of brutalised convicts doing the British Govt's dirty work. As eloquently argued by many since it would take a triumph of willful blindess for we the Australian ancestral benefactors of the active theft or inheritors via disease and violence to quiet the whispering in our hearts, just as the UK Govt with the remoteness of distance might effectively ignore the truth.

We wove that 1987 book into our honours law thesis in 1989 called A Legal Foundation for Aboriginal Land Rights around the nascent concept of Native Title which was in fact recognised by the High Court of Australia 3 years later in Dec 1992. The famous Mabo Case and surely a hero of the age. But in 1989 we never quite nailed down what Australia was legally because the British empire had officially 'conquered' some of their global dominion in which case local people's land law continued in some form say under a treaty like Waitangi in NZ, and 'settled' other 'empty' land. But Australia seemed to be "sui generis" which is latin meaning "one of a kind" mentioned in some of the writings in dusty old common law cases from India and South Africa. 

Now we conclude Australia was neither empty/settled or peopled/conquered in the minds of the UK seat of government. We personally have no doubt it was a covert creeping invasion and consquest using convicts as the catspaw of the Empire. It was invaded by convict criminals sent in with sickness and violence to clear out whatever they came across. All very convenient and racist to not even formalise an international legal categorisation for the hapless Aborigines who lived so very close to nature.

In 1993-4 we played an active role at least here in NSW in reforming The Wilderness Society's national approach to such issues into a quite strong and ethical Land & Rights Policy which prefaced alliances over such campaigns in Starcke and Jabiluka of the 1990ies with Traditional Aboriginal owners of land. (We were not the instigator of such a reform, rather this was a couple Larry and Marg from memory, but we loved the change.) This was in a time when Noel Pearson was pretty friendly to the non govt group too. 

The essence of the TWS reformed policy was to recognise large intact natural areas known as wilderness under the NSW 1987 legislation as in fact Indigenous land, and secondly while never walking away from the goal to conserve such lands, to never seek to pre emtively extinguish that traditional, custodial Indigenous history in any deal making with other stakeholders in land such as govt, agri or other resource extraction industries.

One implication of that huge symbolic shift was that it could theoretically involve the TWS both supporting a native title holder's ownership and at the same time campaigning against them if they sought to act as a vandalistic black developer of crucial conservation values. This was a risk deemed essential in a new moral path for the green movement and for the nation post Mabo. It felt right and it was right.

5 years later 1997 we realised the game of covert extinguishment was still under way in NSW but this time by the NSW Govt Depts,  farmers and also either using or willingly with the aid of certain green groups.

Indeed the name of the game in conservative politics under the federal Howard govt was extinguishment of the Mabo legal test of 'ongoing physical connection with the land' and in the most redneck parts of the nation it looked like the bulldozer was the preferred method as here in Qld:

And not just the bulldozer to ensure extinguishment of native title with ongoing agri industry pressure on govt for corporate welfare via freeholding of govt leasehold land to the non indigenous squattocracy of the Western Division here:

And the farmers had their reasons to seek out their "bucket loads of extinguishment" as the Howard Govt proudly expressed in Federal Parliament, if they didn't care about the morals, because they knew they were being stalked legally after Mabo and after the Wik case earlier like this report dated April 2000:

This particular legal saga was trashed by the High Court of Australia in August 2002 as explained here [pdf file]

Native Title and the Western Division of NSW

eventually raising the question whether all that pre emptive land clearing was really needed in either NSW (see one report of the sorry landclearing detail here) or Qld (above) up to that point.

In 1997 the green groups were not to know how the legals would work out not least after the Federal Court decision in favour of the native title claim relevant to a huge areas of western NSW.

It was in this context that the 'leaders' of the NSW green movement were summonsed to this:

We particularly remember Jeff Angel blessing these endeavours by Jamie Piddock and being "very impressed" for franchising the idea of "clearing tradeoffs" by farmers. Jeff's blessing some 10 years ago is in stark contrast to some quotes in the press last Saturday Dec 15th 07 (below). Not a mention of native title extinguishment. Not a mention except by this writer as confirmed by the contemporaneous notes of the time. Here is Piddock's briefing note of this 'environmental' initiative to keep the farmers happy, and sideline the Blacks altogether (and note our very bad handwriting):


Our alarm at this attempt to promote trade offs of one area of native bush for another, after 200 years of land clearing and a general scientific understanding that no more land clearing was desirable in Australia at all, let alone to extinguish critical historical native title rights, and with a green stamp on them was pretty much ignored. This was a shameful day for the NSW green movment with Jeff Angel ascendant. Hence the careful notation of the documentation and signature and dating by hand above. Angel in particular should account for this (while Jamie Piddock is God knows where). Not least because he was busy on ABC radio last Saturday morning Dec 15th and in the Sydney Morning Herald with pretty much the direct opposite view against exactly this kind of 'bio banking tradeoff land clearing in favour of regional conservation outcomes' which the govt jargon for green lighting, greenwashing developer bush clearance.


In principle 1997 good, 2007 bad? Western NSW 'Black Land' good. Sydney urban bushland bad? Go figure. This may be what Jeff Angel said on 702 on air to be 'good in principle, its the implementation that matterrs'.

Angel is clearly right in 2007. But he was woefully wrong in 1997 so what's changed? Bob Carr is no longer premier is one significant factor. The ascendancy of the far more independent and fiesty Green Party is another.

Are you reading this Warren Mundine, prominent in the NSW ALP?

Some of us have a long memory about such things and we can prove it. Here is some of our confidential briefing notes of that shameful May 12 1997 cave in to redneck land clearing deal to further oust the Blacks from the Western Division:





Posted by editor at 10:31 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 14 April 2008 10:59 PM NZT
ABC radio Party-liners segment is systemic bias against minor parties especially the Greens?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: big media



Neal Blewett former federal ALP minister, and John Hewson former leader of the federal Liberal Parliamentary Party have 10-15 minutes on Sydney radio as we write. These guys are independent spirits no doubt and smart observers of political life no doubt too.

They or similar ALP and Coalition are given a free go every week. But is this according to the ABC charter for all Australians? We doubt it. 

The trouble is that a good 30% of the electorate don't vote for either but are channelled there by the systemic two party preferred voting system.

There is plenty to agree and disagree with from such as Blewett and Hewson, such as the the penultimate post about timing of Quentin Bryce as Governor General as brand ALP goes into meltdown here in NSW. Neither go that timing point perhaps because both are still a little too friendly to Big Power.

We are willing to bet that both have participation in either current state or federal government official bodies with sitting fees or whatever?

This weekly segment needs review and revision. What we would suggest is a Little Party Liners segment in addition to balance. With one rep from the Green Party, and one from say the Nats or other right focused group like Steve Fielding. That would be much fairer and representative of the true voter demography in terms of airtime.

That is if the ABC is serious about "balance".

Posted by editor at 11:25 AM NZT
How the Rudd machine plays the Big Media: Lesson for today re GG Quentin Bryce
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: aust govt

'A good machine is a quiet one' - Eric Roozendaal, NSW secretary of the Labor Party, Sussex St, now MP in the NSW Parliament.

When the 2020 Summit was originally announced about 3 months ago it was a big circuit breaker in the 24 hour news cycle. If you go back to the cut and thrust and trend in real politick coverage for about a week prior you will notice it was all about the devastated reputation of the Iemma ALP Govt.

We are not quite sure what exactly was the particular whiff of corruption or incompetence at that time 3 months back out of so many these many last months.

Now all the momentum in the real politik coverage on brand ALP as the "effusive" praise for PM Rudd winds down over his whirlwind global tour, is the upcoming 4 Corners developer donations scandal, on a past week of disastrous coverage, not least the front pager by Frew et al in the Sydney Morning Herald last Saturday:

12 April 2008 Secret files expose the sway of developers - National - smh.com.au

With our addition to the chronology building on that great insight here:

 12 April 2008 Developer heaven in NSW as the Big Media 'ordered' in 2005-6?
Mood:  sad
Topic: nsw govt

Also the set piece main 2020 Summit has some real internal flaws and risks which have been amply identified by both the 4th and 5th estates, as per our summary round up here:

12 April 2008 Grown ups summit a tame affair with climate change credibility gap?
Mood:  party time!
Topic: aust govt 

So the 2020 "shindig" would be an unwise PR strategy for brand ALP this coming week as any kind of "circuit breaker" (and they do know their PR job) because it could well be an electric shock still.

Brand ALP neeeds another 24 hour news cycle circuit breaker badly, and it has to be something well in their control (like an appointment of GG) and it has to be quite big to be convincing. Enter high achiever and highly telegenic Ms Quentin Bryce, no doubt a favourite of the Qld ALP machine, and "safe". Like long suffering Donna Moss, Ms Bryce is not only brainy but she is also like "a long glass of milk" to quote the final series of West Wing.

Janel Moloney as Donna Moss in West Wing TV series

Pure of heart and soul, synonymous with wholesome, by all accounts. Wonderful PR material on all the front pages today 14 April 08, as she no doubt deserves her whole life. Only Ms Bryce you are being used by the patriarchy and one presumes you have the wit to know it too, and maybe rise above that? Or not?

For mine this lady would have been an even better GG material not least for her handle on relations with China here:

Sarah Ferguson  May 17, 2007

Sarah FergusonSarah Ferguson is a reporter for the Channel 9 Sunday programme. Before joining Sunday, Sarah worked for the SBS programmes Dateline and Insight. She came to Australia in 1999 having worked as a journalist in Europe and the US.

As Deborah Cameron has asked in her federal politics Q&A with Phillip Williams (usually ACT Stateline) as we write 9.06 am on 702 ABC 1(14th April 08)

"Were you surprised by [PM Rudd's] announcement so quick out of the blocks?"

Cameron did not mean to imply a cynical calculation, but it is so revealing that she picked up the significance of the jolting lack of warning. Will this profound Rudd diversion work to smother the smell of the Iemma Govt on brand ALP? Like air freshener in a can over the corpse of a dead cat?

We doubt it, but maybe it will.

Posted by editor at 10:57 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 April 2008 8:21 AM NZT

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