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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Friday, 18 April 2008
NSW Stateline nails Sartor contradicting Director General of Planning on market sensitive land
Mood:  sharp
Topic: nsw govt

The transcript will become available soon here for 18 April 2008.

NSW Planning Minister Sartor is alleged to have acted partially in favour of a developer Stockland in relation to sale price of crucial public land from the owner Wollongong Council.

At issue is the integrity of a valuation of public land. But there is a trick in such questions.

The guiding rule from our time as a local councillor at Waverley in Sydney 1995 to 1999, as ex officio co director on the Board of the Waverley Woollahra Process Plant (which was earmarked for multi million dollar asset disposal), as a former corporate lawyer, and still a solicitor today:

the value of market sensitive land is by definition what the market will pay, not simply theoretical guidelines. The market is set by the buyers and sellers in this case only two entities - Wollongong Council and Stockland.

Theoretical valuations based on theoretical buyers and sellers don't count for a hill of beans compared with an actual buyer and seller in real negotiation. These two constitute the market. It all depends what it's worth to those two parties in all the myriad of factors from how much do they need the money to how much do they need the land, what they can afford, how patient, how the rest of the world influences their view etc etc etc.

To tediously repeat the point, as director of Waverley Council's building and development department Paul Anderson was fond of telling we councillors in 1995-9 the real market value of any land is WHAT THE MARKET WILL ACTUALLY PAY. No more or less. Theoretical valuations are just that.

In this case we have Wollongong Council as custodian of a public land asset at Sandon Point, and an actual buyer Stockland developer. The value of the land is based on each party's bargaining power: Land that was compulsory to the success of the whole development commencing so naturally this makes the land value much higher to that particular buyer. That's what a market system is. It's not an objective value for anyone else, or an average of anything. 

That's why the Dept of Planning director general Sam Haddad has correctly written in a briefing note, as reported,  that the State Govt ought not get involved in the price being negotiated for the public land between the buyer and seller. The allegation, and its a heavy one, is that Sartor did get involved as a facilitator, or in his own words do "mediation", rather than arms length consent authority.

Apparently the council was demanding a high price and Stockland wanted Sartor to intervene on the price. The allegation is that Sartor intervened to reduce the sale price below the price being bargained for between the public owner and private company buyer. If so that would be partial as in corrupt conduct.

One speculates that Stateline have documentation leaked to them from someone aggrieved by the State govt (including Sartor) sacking the political leadership of Wollongong Council?

We heard on the Stateline show tonight widely divergent numbers like $4M or $8M and $700K for parkland 'needed' for an access road and it all sounded quite strange to us. Talk of land swaps as well. The compere Dempster said he has submitted the information with the NSW Independent Commision Against Corruption.

Stateline ran extensive footage of a journalist, without doubt the brave Andrew Clennell of Sydney Morning Herald at a press conference about a week ago, challenging Premier Morris Iemma on perceptions of corruption. Clennell also challenged on the NSW Govt's 'totalitarian' tendencies  

It was a brutal and savage exchange barely covered by strained scoffing laughter by the politicians. That called up the sinister systemic "joke" of corruption inquiries. In one segment Sartor even called up Dempster's role in the Fitzgerald Inquiry into the corrupt Bjelke-Petersen. This is particularly ironic as Part 3A of the Planning Act that Sartor uses to  railroad approval of development is based on a 1970 Act of the Bjelke Petersen era (according to Jeff Smith, principal solicitor of the Environmental Defender's Office).

Sadly we saw Indigenous MP Linda Burney running interference for the Premier in the press conference which shows what a tough operator she is and also how implicated in sanitising this allegedly corrupt government.

Burney's seat of Canterbury is adjacent to Iemma's seat of Lakemba, with both underpinned in part by Canterbury Council as best we can tell. Iemma's people control Canterbury Council (according to recent research for an environmental team leader job interview this writer actually participated in about 3 weeks ago at those council chambers). 

Conclusion: Burney will be dependent on Iemma's goodwill for her pre-selection.


Posted by editor at 9:47 PM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 19 April 2008 3:53 PM NZT
John Coates AOC/IOC loyalist 'takes out the trash' as front pages taint the brand
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: big media

The timing of Nick D'Arcy fate today is highly related to the front pagers even earlier today, as well as tv news coverage the night before about a completely unrelated criminal matter in NSW. Cie la vie. It might have been the same result for alleged 'bad boy' D'Arcy anyway, just not today?:

John Coates of the Australian Olympic Committee has just dropped D'Arcy from the Olympic Team, via live broadcast on ABC radio at 10.30 am roughly 18 April 08 AustEast standard time, while criminal charge is pending against him, along the lines of 'will or is likely to bring the Olympics into disrepute' or words to that effect. Due natural justice submission process (in a legal sense) and appeal rights duly acknowledged

The Olympic Inc big business/politics media management strategy is well understood as per the "taking out the trash" episode on West Wing tv series also discussed here:

"The West Wing" Take Out the Trash Day (2000)

 Usually on a Friday in that fiction, but also for real today as above.

Posted by editor at 12:41 PM NZT
Asbestos dust in Bayulgil area: Greens force investigation
Mood:  blue
Topic: health

 We first became aware of this issue via a mpeg radio broadcast on www.SydneyIndyMedia.org.au [to be advised soon] 

  March 20 2008 Assault on Washpool with John and Binna mp3 

[our comment at the time follows]

This is hot On March 20th, 2008 ecology action ... says:

Well done Kaput radio, very important story. 

Timbarra country is indeed spectacular perched wetland, almost like misty rainforests of PNG with rocky outcrops. So if its like that it's great, and I recall seeing some top images of the place too: Lifted this of NRMA website


 and Glen Innes Information Centre


Kwiambal falls

I recognise Johnny Chai's voice in the interview with all that experience over the successful struggle to protect Timbarra, which I donated to about 8 years back.

Very revealing of the cyanide mining agenda. Price of gold has skyrocketed lately too.

Washpool is one of the areas protected at least in part in the 1990ies under the Wilderness Act 1987 (NSW).

 Here's a bit of the conservation history here to 1999,  which is then superceded by the NSW Govt forest decision for the Upper North East RFA/CRA govt strategy. So whether these miners are exploring in conservation tenure or otherwise is a mystery to me.

One thing I do recall is that the Dept of Mineral Resources tend to drive a truck through most conservation legislation except for national park itself.

So it could be unprotected legally identified but unprotected wilderness intended for protection under the 1987 Act process mentioned above. 



Greens MP Lee Rhiannon - Media Release  - 17 April 2008

Asbestos dust in Bayulgil area: Greens force investigation

NSW Greens MP Lee Rhiannon today welcomed a commitment from the NSW Minister for the Environment to seek urgent advice from NSW Health as to whether to investigate possible health risks from asbestos dust rising from roads in the Baryulgil area, following the Greens questions about the use of tailings from the James Hardie Asbestos mine in Baryulgil to build roads in the area.

"The Minister for the Environment Ms Verity Firth says she will also ask Clarence Valley Council  whether it's monitoring roads for potential asbestos contamination, 'and take appropriate action once the detailed advice has been obtained','" Greens roads spokesperson Ms Rhiannon said.

This commitment comes in response to questions from Lee Rhiannon to the Environment Minister:

"The Greens share the concerns of locals about the plumes of dust that cover vehicles, residents and animals created by the consistent traffic from logging trucks and tourists visiting the Washpool World Heritage Park.

"It is high time the NSW government stopped ignoring concerns about this potential risk.

"Asbestos is a silent killer. On this issue there is no room for the complacency that for so long resulted in the refusal of governments and James Hardie to acknowledge the real dangers of asbestos.

"I trust that Ms Firth will ensure NSW Health and the local council treat this issue with the seriousness it deserves.

"The three decades during which the Baryulgil mine operated left lasting scars on the health of workers and residents, many of whom were Aboriginal. Many have since died or been seriously affected by asbestos related illnesses.

"It is very important that the NSW government and local councils actively manage the toxic remnants of the Baryulgil mine," Ms Rhiannon said.

For more information: 9230 3551, 0427 861 568

Posted by editor at 12:32 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 18 April 2008 1:48 PM NZT
China Inc weaves it's political web with Visa Inc to sanitise Olympic Inc
Mood:  blue
Topic: corporates

Received in the snail mail 17th April 2008 below. How many other financial institutions are doing China/AOC/IOC Inc's propaganda work for them sanitising the systemic abuse of human rights in China? Any bank with Visa credit/bank card one presumes which we suspect is literally every financial institutin in the world.

One thing that you won't see pictured in these sanitised brochures from the multinational big business of sport are such as these from murdered democracy activists in Tibet in the last few weeks. Their lives are nothing apparently:

Evidence of dead bodies from Kirti Monastery

Press Release - 18th March 2008

The attached photos of dead Tibetans provide the most damning evidence seen so far that lethal force was used by Chinese security forces at protests staged by Tibetans in Aba town (Ngawa) in Sichuan province.

The photos, which clearly show gunshot wounds, were taken on Sunday night and Monday morning at Kirtii monastery. As Free Tibet Campaign reported on 16 March 2008 (release below) an eyewitness told Free Tibet Campaign's contact in Dharamsala that he had seen Chinese security forces fire into the crowd of Tibetan protesters and that he had seen 13 Tibetans killed as a result of the firing. Other eyewitnesses reported seeing 30 Tibetans shot dead.

These photos, together with the eyewitness statement, provide conclusive force that lethal force was used at Aba town by the Chinese security forces on 16 March 2008. The photos directly contradict recent denials to the press by Jampa Phuntsog (Chairman of the Tibetan Autonomous Region Govt) and China Premier Wen Jia Bao that Chinese security forces had not used lethal force.

The photos were taken long before the Chinese government's deadline of midnight Monday and prove that the use of lethal force has been in force long before the Chinese government's supposed deadline for protesters to turn themselves in before the use of force would be used.

Matt Whitticase of Free Tibet Campaign said: "These photos provide shocking proof of the brutality being exercised by Chinese forces in forcefully putting down Tibetan protests. It is not acceptable for national governments to call merely for restraint from the Chinese government. Government leaders must immediately condemn China's clear use of lethal force and demand that China's leaders stop their brutal crackdown on Tibetan protesters."

Release sent on 16 March:

3. Kirti Monastery, *Ngaba* County (Ch: Aba) Sichuan Province

Free Tibet Campaign's contact in Dharamsala has received by phone several eyewitness accounts to events in Ngaba County today.(Ch: Aba)

One eyewitness reported seeing Chinese security forces shooting dead thirteen Tibetans. One of the Tibetans was named as Lobsang Tashi. The eyewitness reported that the protest was started by three monks from Kirti monastery and was joined by hundreds of monks and lay people. The protest took place 2km from Kirti monastery in Ngawa County. The protestors called for the release of the Panchen Lama. Protestors demanded the release of two monks from Kirti monastery who got arrested yesterday. According to the eyewitness police shot tear gas into the crowd and beat many of the protestors. The police then shot live round of ammunition into the crowd. According to the eyewitness this led to the confirmed deaths of thirteen Tibetans. Many more Tibetans were injured. The eyewitness then reported that the protestors reacted angrily to the use of firearms and the deaths. The protestors burned down several police vehicles and the Public Security Bureau HQ.

Other eyewitnesses to the protest that have spoken by phone to our contact in Dharamsala are reporting that up to 30 Tibetans were killed when the armed police shot into the crowd.

Our contact in Dharamsala spoke to a monk who had returned to Kirti monastery after the protests to which he had been an eyewitness. In a telephone conversation at 3pm Beijing time the monk told our contact that he had seen 8 Tibetan bodies arrive at the monastery. Two were monks, one a lay female and five were lay people. The eyewitness told our contact that a further 2 bodies arrived at the monastery half an hour later. The bodies were thought to be those of students involved in the protest.

Click on the link below for pictures

Please note that these photographs are of a very graphic nature. Discretion is required.

Click for photos of the dead in Kirti (graphic)


For background, please read our
earlier press releases.

For further information please contact Matt Whitticase at matt@freetibet.org
Or call on +44 (0) 207 324 4605/+44 (0)7515 788456


Posted by editor at 10:31 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 18 April 2008 12:08 PM NZT
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

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