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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 24 June 2008
Unsubtle sledging of Green Party in the Senate is not real democracy?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: aust govt

Who is Doug Lowe? He is the former ALP Premier of Tasmania, a man of high integrity, and by all accounts about as opposite to another ex Premier Paul Lennon as you are going to get. If memory serves he resigned rather than capitulate to the vandals in his own side of politics over the Franklin river issue after shameful vandalism of Lake Pedder in the 1970ies. A tourism goldmine destroyed.


He is mentioned in dispatches below by the greenies, who grew up to become the Greenies, Party that is. Who grew up even more in 2008 to share balance of power replacing the Australian Democrats in The Senate from July 1:

Sent: Monday, June 23, 2008 3:56 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Franklin Anniversary a Big Hit

Franklin Anniversary a Big Hit

The 25th anniversary of the High Court decision which saved the Franklin
River is proving a big drawcard. Almost all 1000 tickets to the gala
event in the Federation Ballroom of Hobart's Grand Chancellor Hotel have

"We're delighted" says host Senator Bob Brown. Among recent acceptances
to join Bob Hawke, Doug Lowe, David Bellamy, Pierre Slicer, Christine
Milne, Karen Alexander, Peg Putt , Dick Smith and ABC TV's Peter
Thompson (a former Franklin campaigner) at the event were Premier David
Bartlett and actress Lorraine Bayly (who addressed a number of Franklin
rallies in Hobart and Canberra in 1981 - 82).

Five film-makers from the Franklin campaign - Paul Smith (1977), Michael
Cordell (1979), Bob Connelly (1980), Robert Hazlewood and Roger Scholes
(1983) will be there as well as journalists, blockaders, West Coast
supporters and former minister for National Parks, Andrew Lohery, who
was arrested on the Gordon River. Democrat MP Norm Sanders will appear
in absentia.

Songsters include Lisa Yeates, Ian Paulin and (Goanna's) Shane Howard
who is flying in from Ireland to sing the campaign anthem 'Let the
Franklin Flow'! Author Richard Flanagan will reflect on the Franklin
victory. Further details are at
<http://www.franklin25th.com/> .

"In an age of much greater environmental alarm, the Franklin campaign
continues to send out shock waves of optimism around the world. Against
huge odds, the wild river was saved because it galvanized national
public opinion. Latest polls show the environment is easily the biggest
issue for the future on people's minds," Senator Brown said.

Further Information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 ....

We wrote back to the industrious Ms Bennett in these terms earlier today:

Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 3:49 AM
Subject: Doug Lowe, ex ALP Premier to come to Canberra? could be real good

One more thing - Lynn Allison was projecting their own cross bench melt down on to The Greens in a rather malicous wish of history repeating itself perhaps leveraging the bogey of Tasmanian state political history (right or wrong, there remains the self serving ALP Liberal Party version of history which has currency). Might be a good time to invite that ex Premier of Tasmania to Canberra - what's his name - who stood down over the Franklin River - only one with integrity left says Bob Brown somewhere at the time. Lowe was his name I think.
In June 1980, the Labor government of Doug Lowe decided to place the Franklin River into a Wild Rivers National Park. This compromise proposal involved ...
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 3:43 AM
Subject: Re: [Greens-Media] AAP invents disagreement

top work this media release. it's all uphill from here and why the Greens have to build their own media, and I don't mean branded 'Green media", I mean asserting the centre ground 'media' (the way News Corp asserts gungho free market is the "news" simpliciter, when it's really Lib Party barracking). This is subtle but crucial lesson for the Greens and progressives to learn to get off the tit of essentially hostile big media - not so much the journos as the top execs and advertisers.
You are the right people for the job on the cross benches. Lynn Allison wishing for a double dissolution on Sunday was pathetic I thought. Talk about middle class comfort zone deflated. Stott opposing the regressive GST and walking against work choices says alot to me.
The AD were always too soft on affluenza killing the planet, the causes of affluenza killing the planet, while making lip service. That's why Richard Jones MLC was such a maverick for the AD here in NSW first half of the 90ies before Cohen got in, a green before Green Party existed against such as Liz Kirby in his own party.
Such as ex staffer Simon Disney for Jones would have good insights on that I reckon.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, June 23, 2008 2:07 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] AAP invents disagreement

Monday, 23 June 2008

AAP invents disagreement

At the Senate doors this morning Greens Senators Bob Brown and Christine
Milne pointed to options, other than cash compensation, for the
government to relieve the burden of climate change costs on low income

Senator Milne pointed to the Greens' EASI scheme to retrofit all
Australian households with energy saving options such as insulation and
solar hot-water systems, which would permanently reduce power bills and
greenhouse gas emissions.

Senator Brown pointed to investment in fast, efficient public transport
as a way to give low income earners assistance in coping with rising
petrol prices.

"We aim to permanently relieve costs for consumers through assisting
them to avoid higher energy and petrol bills," Senator Brown said.

The AAP report saying the Greens' 'can't agree amongst themselves' is
invented and was not tested on either Senator.

Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 .....

Ebony Bennett
Media Adviser
Office of Greens Senator Bob Brown
Mobile: 0409 164 .....Ph: (02) 6277 ....Fax: (02) 6277 .....

Visit Bob's new myspace site at:

By way of comparison with one who 'sets a standard' in the Big Media, have a look at this guy who is on our govt funded ABC screens most nights, take 30 years, talk about make history:


Posted by editor at 8:32 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 24 June 2008 9:07 AM NZT
Does Coca Cola bottled water at Peats Ridge have a chook poo contamination problem in the future?
Mood:  not sure
Topic: health



As explained in our penultimate post we are a pro bono lawyer acting as an agent for a community objector to Coca Cola Amatil (CCA) bottled water extraction rates at Peats Ridge Springs/Mangrove Mountain, near Gosford on the NSW Central Coast.


What our review of the documentation has revealed based on CCA and state government's own documents is this from the affidavit of the community objector Neville Diamond sworn 13 June 2008:

Concerns flagged by the Dept of Agriculture in writing as far back as 2003 of nitrates from the chicken for meat farm production at the site next door and the potential for contamination of the bottled water product. Chicken farming as a business sector has intensified in parallel with the increased retail business of the bottled water industry. This doesn’t seem to be a very sensible combination for managing the risk to public health. In this respect I attach marked “M “ a letter from NSW Agriculture dated 4 December 2003:


"It is normal agricultural practice to use fertilisers containing nitrogen, any excess nitrogen not taken up by plants could leach into groundwater. Nitrates and nitrites in drinking water can be a health risk. Referral to the Central Coast Public Health Unit may be necessary." 

Further in this respect I attach marked “ AB “ a report of ERM consultants to CCA/Peats Ridge Springs dated  Sept 2004 at page 11:

If nitrate concentrations in on-site wells continue to increase despite this strategy, more significant measures would be considered in consultation with DIPNR, which may include (but not limited to):

·         Installation of additional production wells farther from the Azzopardi property boundary, which appears to be a significant source of elevated nitrate in groundwater,;




·         A decrease in the rate of groundwater abstraction to halt the advance of nitrate-impacted groundwater on site.


Further measures to address increasing groundwater contamination from offsite sources may be considered as required, and would involve consultation between PRS [CCA] and DIPRNR”

[And at p15]

“It should be noted that the commercial success of PRS [CCA] business is strongly dependent on compliance with the relevant water quality standards (ANZF, 1987), such that minimising the on-site encroachment of nitrate-impacted groundwater is a common objective of both PRS [CCA] and DIPNR.”

Similarly in the ERM report dated October 2003 attached marked “ AC “ states:

- “The ANZFA 1987 Food Standards Code – Standard 08 – Mineral Water criteria were not exceeded in any well on any sampling occasion;

- Nitrogen (as nitrate plus nitrite and total N) mean concentrations are higher in wells MB5, MB10 and MB11, positioned along the boundary with the Azzopardi poultry farm, compared to wells MB2 and MB7. This indicates that the poultry farm activities, particularly with respect to disposal of manure, may be impacting groundwater beneath the site. However, nitrogen concentrations do not appear to be increasing with  time, indicating that the groundwater system at the site is in steady-state (refer Annex A) [not included here]. Note though, that there is a trend evident in MB2, in which both the NOx and TN concentrations increase and then decrease. In the context of fractured groundwater system, this indicates either a one-off nitrogen pulse moving through the system or an intermittent nitrogen source, and


* Groundwater flow at the site is to the southwest and south-southwest with an average hydraulic gradient of 0.03 to 0.04.”

We will be submitting to the Land & Environment Court and the court of public opinion that an increase to permanent extraction of 66 megalitres a year raises a real question over wise public health policy of a water extraction for bottling next to expanding (uncaged) chicken farming nearby.  



But what has this to do with Climate change in the graphic above anyway? Well food production should be close to metropolitan markets to save on fossil fuel use. This strongly suggests Peats Ridge/Mangrove Mountain should have a priority for traditional agricultural use, not bottled water which essentially same water product is already transported by gravity fed pipe system.


Other articles here on SAM micro news service about Coca Cola at Peats Ridge/Mangrove Mountain here:

- 24 June 2008 Coca Cola's nominated, and court appointed expert 'blinks' twice on report deadline?



- 1 June 2008 Coca Cola Amatil bottled water legals: Ratepayers force reversal by Gosford Council so far



- 1 June 2008 Objecter seeks to be heard in Coca Cola bottled water case after driest May on record


21 May 2008 Coca Cola in Environment Court on 6 June over Mangrove Mtn bottled water extraction

Posted by editor at 7:15 AM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 28 June 2008 10:06 AM NZT
Coca Cola's nominated, and court appointed expert 'blinks' twice on report deadline?
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: legal

We are doing pro bono work for a community objector in the bottled water extraction case at Peats Ridge Springs. Coca Cola Amatil are cutely known as David Kettle Consulting, their agent, in the legal proceedings, full name David Kettle Consulting v Gosford City Council no. 10429 of 2005, NSW Land & Environment Court (LEC).

What is intriguing is this: The court appointed expert hydrologist Anthony Lane of Melbourne, who right or wrong the local community objectors do actually distrust, has begged off his deadline for reporting on the impact of permanent 66 megalitre per year extraction from Peats Ridge Springs.

As we understand he was due 6th June at a callover at the LEC, which was delayed to 20 June, when an email from him was read out by barrister Nick Eastman representing Coca Cola, as retained by Coca Cola's Yvonne McKay of 71 Circular Quay East, Sydney NSW 2000. He is now due to report after an overseas trip and a delay 'entirely due to other work' he says. What other work? Twice bitten?

The Registrar has now adopted a deadline of 21st July 2008 and further mention on 29th July 2008.

It is fair to say the Registrar of the Land & Environment Court was "concerned". A short email was read from Lane, nominated by Coca Cola as "expert" and agreed to by Gosford City Council, who just happened to fail to warn community objectors for a full month during this phase, contrary to their legal obligations of notification under the Environmental Planning Act. We have the General Manager of GCC in writing admitting this "oversight". This delay meant objectors could not become a party in time to nominate respected experts from Sydney Basin with good reputations on the tricky perched sandstone aquifers here. Something Melbourne doesn't replicate in topography.

As we wrote to the principal of the Environment Defenders Office yesterday:

The big news from the call over last Friday was that the CAE has in my words "blinked" asked for 2nd extension of time because the job is bigger than he realised. This is the guy in 2006 who ticked off greater extraction. He should have all the detail. [We suspect he is] dodging .... because of the experts cross referencing in Neville's (my research) affidavit that exposes him ....... I can smell it - he's worried if Diamond becomes a party we will juxtapose ERM 2004, Dr Marshall 2008 pers comm, and Noel Merrick UTS 2006. The irony is that ERM are CCA's own expert. Love that.
Last Friday we were listed at 10am in the Notice of Motion list, which Notice was actually noted by the registery staff for 9.30am, and after a long wait, despite being first on the list for 10, our own Notice of Motion was heard by about 10.45am, and referred on request by the Registrar in court 1A, level 1, to duty Judge Nicola Pain. At 11.30 am Judge Pain on level 10 agreed to hear our application for joinder as a party or in the alternative as 'an intervenor', which is apparently like a participant but not a full party.
We have to make our submissions in writing by close of business Wednesday 25th June 2008 why we should be a party.
This will then be heard at 4pm on Friday 27th June 2008 and go for an hour or so. In the meantime CCA and GCC lawyers will inform themselves of our 9 page affidavit with 151 pages of attachments the vast majority of which are their own documents they already have and should know about.

Posted by editor at 6:23 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 24 June 2008 7:14 AM NZT
Sunday, 22 June 2008
Sunday tv talkies: 'cost of fuel was 70c litre @ 4% income, now $1.70 @ only 3%' !?
Mood:  chatty
Topic: aust govt



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 and/or video feeds go to web sites quoted including Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.


Media backgrounders

- full page grog adverts march on with an increase noticed in the Fairfax press, in the face of federal govt moves to get a grip on the legal drug pushers. The collection of press adverts from start of June just gets fatter.


- Deal between Indonesian and Australian Govt to transfer unwell unhappy Schapelle Corby, one wonders.


- local Cooks River Valley Times seems to have been taken over by the ALP as a cookie cutter suburban weekly freebie with pictures of ALP politicians leavened with a few other rivals dominating. What a shame a genuine indy paper has gone the way of most others. Wondered why their editor wouldn’t touch corrupt management at Addison Rd Community Centre with General Manager job still not advertised to the public November to May and probably still not in June (to be confirmed).




9 Sunday 7.30 – 9.30 am


Many things said in jest are true – feature on despair.com marketing exercise. Very amusing. Joke Says it attacks the motivational industry. But the underlying message to moi is that the 20C growth political economy is WRONG on so many levels and most people know it in their bones.  Ellen likes it “just because you’re necessary doesn’t mean you’re important” cue picture of a cog in a machine. Reminds of Prince Charles railing against rampant ambitions of the proles.


- tax tip from Ross G – sign the form!


- Quite longish report on Dick Pratt big legal stoush over criminal charges for price fixing about false evidence. Quite personal profiles of Pratt and ACCC Graeme Samuel.


- Ch9 ACA have the ‘key’ witness to the Iguana restaurant club argument. Stat dec’s said to have been drafted with help of Belinda Neal – again totally equivocal. What matters is if she asked them to lie at all. A stat dec is an essay so for clarity and relevance one needs to confine and focus – these are indeed political skills that Neal would have a view on. Certainly she has a potential conflict of interest over what goes into the stat dec IF she did something wrong and wanted it covered up. It’s not just coaching, but also rather  did she exercise undue influence or criminality in the content? It’s all equivocal until the interview runs and how true that is. Also the staffer has been paid and so she has a conflict of interest to justify the money she has been paid with something sensational. Money for evidence? It’s a real worry too.


- A Whale of a Time, June 22, 2008

Sunday takes you to the Chile's Gulf of Corcovada, meeting place of the biggest creatures on the planet - the Blue whale.

Scientists studying the recovery of Blue Whales in the South Pacific more than a decade ago were disappointed to spot only a few during their long voyage.

Then, a couple of the scientists decided to take a sight-seeing cruise through the Gulf of Corcovada and were surprised to see 60 Blue whales in just four hours.

Now there's a campaign to preserve this sanctuary for the ocean giants, under pressure from development projects such as intensive salmon farming.


Feature about sexualizing of children. Quite solid story, a lot of visual evidence in context, Australia Institute with ex exec director Clive Hamilton withstood legal threats. Same reporter p87 full pager Sunday Telegraph today.


[reminds last week of the Suare (spelling) FM picked up from north or south coast here in Marrickville joking about Milly Cyrus only 15 year old, how she’s dating a 23 year old, and middle aged leering male announcer egg beating this comparing her to naughty Britney Spears etc, and then playing Bryan Adams “Heaven”. Get it 23 and 15 year old. It didn’t sound right.]


Intro for Senator Stott Despoja, lots of footage. NS looks emotional “a little heartbroken”, a person of still some youth and ideals, now a mature parent, crushed by history. Ellen says its dead parrot territory (a worry for Sunday to take this line with its own shaky status in evolved 9, less Laurie Oakes these days).


Ellen takes issue about her own ambition as divisive. Talks about difficult work life balance. Cut off by Insiders.


[she opposed regressive GST, she walked against Work Choices with pram – I know because I invited her into the throng while she stood there weighing up whether to join in the peoples push in late 2006. “Come on Senator, good see you here supporting the people” or something like that.  She said her other half [pr flack Smith, husband] would not be very pleased! Good stuff Stott.










10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am


Julie Bishop, as a deputy Opposition leader. Neal issue is bad behaviour, and 2nd what cover up.  JB sews innuendo about Kevin Rudd involved in her management of the controversy.


Not calling for sack yet.


Great advert for clean emissions Isuzu diesel trucks with white handkerchief.


Panel is Hewitt, Farr both News Corp.


Petrol prices – 5c coalition policy. Sledges Rudd on ‘[blowtorch on OPEC’ comment.


Bishop tries to quote markets at ALP’s Ferguson about bulk buyer not getting a discount in pitch to OPEC. Actually that’s often how markets work. Cut price or go elsewhere or change purchase of energy equation.


Costello as leader if stays? Any team would be glad to have him leader or other role.


Show runs into spectacular Blue Whale story from Chile – wow, wow, wow. A childhood dream comes true.


After 2nd adbreak – Lynn Alison. Historic footage merge with other parties? Negotiating with Climate Change Coalition. Sledge’s the Greens.


Lyn Allison at deathknell of the Australian Democrats – says votes went up after the GST and they did what they promised to make it fair. Seems in denial of the backlash for regressive tax even if it made the social services budget more secure. Rich got richer is the political issue with their tax lawyers.


Gazumped by Natasha Stot on ch9 anyway.


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


Riley Diary 7, 8.35 am

Missed due to clash with Clive Hamilton interview on exploitation of children on 9.


Q & A with Riles over Ferguson at OPEC downward pressure. Sledging articulation challenged Martin.


Explorations to sensitive areas, speculators in oil.


Insiders 2: 9- 10am


Jim Middleton in the chair for Barry.


Annabel Crabb, Meglo and Andrew Bolt discussing papers especially Belinda Neal. Much sense from AC. New hairstyle, looking good for tv I reckon. “Parable about NSW politics” powermongering and aggression is the implication. Rings true.


Nats leader Warren Truss. Gippsland election.


Everyperson segment 3 older guys in woodchop sport, agrees with my take out the guy in the advert is “not a regular axeman” [probably for use of Canadian axe head, reminds of no.2 in ANU O week wood chop competition, all that rockclimbing training].


July 4th Ross Garnaut – petrol prices will rise  big time says Chris Uhlmann, Govt must  play the long game, not the short game on fuel watch. Meglo says Chris is right. Rattled Rudd but electorate more rational on this than the pollies realize, captured by 24 hour news cycle. Bolt disagrees that the pollies are better at analyzing what the punters worry about. Meglo disagrees as per the headline above. [The truth we think is in the middle somewhere no one knows. Between short and long term. Also between elastic and inelastic demand – less elastic the bigger the political problem.]


Talking pictures – good value. Especially Keating sledges over pallor



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

Posted by editor at 12:06 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 23 June 2008 9:51 AM NZT
NSW Stateline implies Minister Hatz is a fatty food friend, especially $2M political donors, hurting our kids?
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: nsw govt


We sometimes feel normal people don't watch NSW Stateline on ABC TV, only wonky tragics, the terminally bored, or dateless. Or all three? Or maybe 1 follows 3 causing 2? Never mind. We never aspired to normality as such. Leadership is more our style, or as Damien Minton, gallery owner, suggested earlier this year "you've always been good at getting in front of things". Well thankyou for that DM.

The point is Nick Grimm - who once conceded he does refer to SAM micro news here on occasion - and the usual compere Quentin Dempster at Stateline (recovering from a little heart corrective surgery according to the 'iguanas' at the Sunday Fairfax Naked Eye column (a week back), are two of the state's best journos. And Deborah Rice is rather nice too as stand in compere (though we often get her mixed up with a doppleganger on Ch10). And they got up on their hind legs with this story:

Extreme Dissatisfaction A medical researcher receives rough justice.

by Nick Grimm and Renata Gombac from the ABC's Investigative Unit.


 Now if Minister Hat did get extremely angry, he will have a coronary about this story because, as they say in the classics, the truth hurts. Some choice quotes, with bold added:

 NICK GRIMM: It all raises questions about the extent to which academic freedom has been eroded at Sydney University under the watch of this man, Vice Chancellor Gavin Brown, who this evening will be celebrating the last day in the job he's held since 1996.

In contrast, not only has Michael Booth seen his promising career destroyed, but years of medical research have been laid waste and the fight against childhood obesity and other health problems has received a significant setback. ....

NICK GRIMM: Not so long ago, Michael Booth enjoyed a high public profile as a Director of the NSW Centre for Overweight and Obesity. He held a coveted senior research fellowship with the National Health and Medical Research Council and he was a regular expert media commentator on Australia's burgeoning public health crisis.

MICHAEL BOOTH (archive footage): And if left unchecked, will probably shorten their lives considerably.

WAYNE SMITH, PUBLIC HEALTH, SYDNEY UNIVERSITY: Michael is a talented researcher. We don't have that many talented researchers and for his career to be at least interrupted and perhaps cut short is a shame for research. .... 

BEN FREEDMAN, ACTING DEAN, FACULTY OF MEDICINE (voiceover): "I have pleasure in informing you that you have been awarded the title of Associate Professor. May I take the opportunity of congratulating you on your appointment and thanking you for your willingness to contribute to the University's activities."

NICK GRIMM: Somewhat controversially, the key finding of the SPANS research was that it's over-eating and not lack of exercise that's the key cause of Australian children getting fatter, contrary to the arguments of the fast food industry. He also had data showing that without urgent intervention, large numbers of young people were likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes.

MICHAEL BOOTH: They were really quite explosive data.

NICK GRIMM: And in April 2006, Michael Booth was asked to discuss these findings at the NSW diabetes summit. He showed Stateline a series of emails illustrating that he first requested and received permission to do so from NSW Health. .... 

NICK GRIMM: Michael Booth soon discovered he was in deep, deep trouble with the Minister. John Hatzistergos had had Michael Booth's report in his possession for eight months but had not yet officially released it.


NICK GRIMM: Documents shown to Stateline reveal that Gavin Brown himself referred the matter that had so offended the Minister to the investigator who would eventually recommend Michael Booth's dismissal, officially for ethical misconduct. ...

 NICK GRIMM: Dr Booth did eventually succeed in forcing the university to conduct a review of his dismissal. In April this year, the university's review committee, which included a retired Supreme Court judge, found that his sacking was unreasonable because he had not been afforded procedural fairness when the matter was investigated. Michael Booth says that's now cold comfort. ....

NICK GRIMM: Stateline isn't suggesting that the Minister directed the actions that led to Michael Booth's dismissal, but it does appear that his anger may have been instrumental in what some might argue has been the university's overreaction to his alleged misdemeanours. ....

NICK GRIMM: Within 24 hours of Stateline advising the university we were doing the story, Dr Booth received a settlement offer from its lawyers. However, the compensation offered falls well short of covering his legal and medical bills, already in excess of $100,000. Michael Booth does not intend to accept the offer. .... 

DEBORAH RICE: We sent the Minister's office an invitation to respond to allegations about his role in the fall of Michael Booth. A spokesman told us Dr Michael Booth has been under investigation by the University of Sydney with respect to allegations of serious impropriety. The matter has not been finalised. .....


One other piece of background: We took an interest in ex Minister for Health, now super minister John Hatzistergos, when he first appeared on the front cover of the NSW Law Society. This spoke volumes to us at least about the creeping annexation of all things State of ALP to be on the lawyer's union magazine cover in matey pose when he is actually the lawyer's boss in many ways - oversight of courts, govt legal business and departments etc. Frankly we felt that front cover was inappropriate lack of independence, though a fair enough subject of reportage of the new man as AG.

(Indeed we reflected recently how lucky we are, at least presently, to have a paralegal temping job through a regular job agency - to our surprise we have 57 words per minute on the keyboard -currently placed in one of the few firms surely outside the pervading ALP influence. We are doing document admin/integrity in corporate restructures - on a strictly confidential basis - strictly, otherwise go to 'gaol' in the Monopoly game sense or even real sense, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Or more likely goodbye practising certificate - disgraced for breach of solemn oath - we struggled mightily to achieve off a low base.

Ironicly for a greenie, it's a job we are probably well suited for, being totally cured of affluenza way back in 1992 if not earlier. If we must work for Da Man, actually a woman, to earn an honest living it might as well be nuts and bolts work on sound corporate process.)

We also took notice of The Hat some many months back in an amusing column by Joe Hildebrand in the Daily Telegraph on state parliament rounds, as alter ego for that organ to Simon Benson. Each ingratiate themselves with either major 'party' meaning Coalition Opposition (Lib Nat), or ALP, respectively, to get their access. Access which means of course stories for you dear reader from each side of institutional power. That's how it's done. Same for Fairfax with say Coorey into the Coaliton at federal level and Hartcher the Rudd Govt. Or something like that.

Hildebrand wrote of the menacing tendencies of 'The Hat' Minister Hatzistergos, who according to Joe had issued a fatwa against him. The article was important, even for the satirical back pages Saturday edition, because by going public JH and editor were calling The Hat's bluff. It was good copy too, and you could hear the Coalition cheering 'their' man at The Daily Blowtorch aka The Terror on.

The Hat presents as a serious behind the scenes kind of guy, but also no slouch with set piece media choreography. He's slender so no obvious physical addictions. He's a lawyer by training if memory serves. He was Health minister in the cracking story last Friday by Stateline but now is Attorney General but also super minister picking up sidelined Education Minister Della Bosca's duties. He doesn't play act in the upper house from our direct observation, distinct from Costa or Della. He gives every impression of doing power paper work or wanting to be back at his desk pulling the wings off bureaucrats and activist academics. But does he have a touch of the 1970ies Greek fascist generals about him?

 The Hat, so says NSW Stateline above last Friday in a 15 minute tour de force, not least via horror backing music 3 times akin to the famous Jaws or Psycho shower scene, is seriously implicated in doing over a child obsesity expert Dr Booth at Sydney University. Raising questions of academic independence, says Stateline (under our old friend departing Vice Chancellor Gavin Brown on around $600K pa, whose people had us evicted for 9 months off campus in a wanton abuse of power reported here:

5 March 2008

NSW Ombudsman helps protect community media 5th estate free speech on uni campus
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: independent media 

Further The Hat sat not on a mat (!) but on this expert Dr Booth's report for 8 months suggesting as we paraphrase it, Minister Hatzistergos was suppressing the potentially financially and politically "explosive" academic research finding that it was over eating by children, and not lack of exercise that was a main cause of obesity. This in turn directly implicates the fizzy drink makers and fast food giants of Super Size fame with their PHD researched tv advertising dollars (refer great documentary The Corporation).

This issue of obesity is indeed big as per reportage in recent days:

Obesity epidemic: We are the world's fattest | NEWS.com.au 

THE obesity epidemic has been drastically underestimated and we're now the fattest nation in the world, a report says.

This is indeed bad: For the economy, for gross national happiness, for health, and if climate threats are as bad as some say, bad for our prospects of survival when the going gets tough. Time to get in training folks to work off the flab - institutionally as per these pathetic power games above, and personally.

Notice this research on donations by The Green Party regarding one big fat food corporate Coca Cola Amatil no doubt via their profound democracy for sale website, in another context of waste management but equally applicable to influence on health policy:

"Ian Cohen recently called for a moratorium on all political donations from beverage companies, particularly whilst a national review of the viability of a container deposit scheme is underway. Coca Cola have donated over $900,000 to the ALP over the last nine years."

Ian Cohen MLC, The Greens, media release NSW Government joins in Coca Cola greenwash 21/05/2008


Coca Cola have donated almost two million dollars to the major political parties in this country over the last nine years,” said Upper House Greens MP Ian Cohen.

“What the developer donations scandal has revealed in NSW is that political donors make donations in order to gain preferential access to and/or treatment from MPs and Ministers.

“He who pays the piper calls the tune. There should be a moratorium on all political donations from beverage companies, particularly while a national review of the viability of a container deposit scheme is underway.

“Voluntary waste management schemes have consistently failed to achieve targets for recycling and resource recovery."

Greens to Coca Cola: “stop political donations, start container deposit” 15/05/2008


One assumes the other big food corporates are making similar donations to the State of ALP? Might this be the root cause of the Minister's anger and indeed sitting on such a report for 8 months? We do tend to think so.

Interestingly CCA PR flack is Sally Loane now, ex ABC, and married we understand to district court judge Robert Sorby whom she reports they met in Canberra when she was in the Press Gallery. Mr Sorby did what exactly? Federal ALP opposition staffer? We have no idea. It appeears he was appointed under the current ALP govt at least as far back as 2001. As far as we know it's all proper and at arms length.

We notice Judge Sorby drawn into this media - law controversy over free press and administration of justice recently. He aborted a trial in 2006 reported on by the SMH's Sexton who is hanging tough in the face of criticism, retracted in confusing form.

The informal political networks run deep of colleagues and mates, innocent or otherwise, including across the sisterhood in the health and Sydney Uni sector (Bashir, Firth, Loane, Burgmann etc all here as per this website for the worthy cause of breast cancer research).


Now we recall Nick Grimm as a gun former 7.30 Reporter. We also recall he is no slouch on legal issues. We think he has nailed the alternatively slick and lethal Hat to the wall. For the sake of children's health here and nationally we hope that the Hat gets the kind of big media blowtorch over the buried obesity expert's report that Belinda Neal is getting over alleged abuse of power, or other arguably more shallow matters.

But that would mean confronting fat food advertisers and retailers who 'feed' the big media, tv and corporate press.

One cannot help but feel proud of the ABC sometimes. Well done NSW Stateline. Dempster may have been physically missing but his Macduff like influence could be felt across the airwaves. Get well QD. Beware the witches!

The Three Witches as portrayed in the 2006 film Macbeth.

Postscript #1

Sent: Sunday, June 22, 2008 11:08 AM

> Dear Sam,
> Regarding your surprise that Hatzistergos should
> appear on the front pages of your conservative lawyers
> union here is a chronology :
> 1. January 2007 - Geoff Dunlevy becomes President.
> 2. March 2007 - election and Hatzistergos becomes
> Attorney General.
> 3. September 2007 - Dunlevy is appointed to the bench
> as a magistrate.
> Mr Dunlevy was very Labor 'friendly'.
> An article by Chris Merritt in the Australian
> newspaper on 30 August 2007, Law Society chief made
> magistrate:

> I do not suggest  Mr Dunlevy was other than admirably
> qualified for appointmnt as a magistrate or there is
> anything untoward in the timing of events.
> BUT they are the historical facts.

Posted by editor at 6:30 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 24 June 2008 6:13 AM NZT
Friday, 20 June 2008
SAM micro news goes back into the wageforce
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: independent media

We got a text from the teacher in the subject of this cracking, and yet confusing story, that we provided some free legal advice and correspondence in support about 12 months back:

17 June 2008

Teacher's pest: top health official sacked - National - smh.com.au [top of page 6]

Trouble is we missed the story! We have been back in the waged workforce some 3 days now. It's cramping our ability to follow all the power media threads. We feel a bit like HAL singing DAISY as we lose our edge with the big media deconstructions.

Then our host server for email, not website, went down for an incredible 3 days, the time it took Christ to rise from the grave.

Cie la vie. That's what a maxed out credit card will do for ya, even as we drink powder skim milk and cycle to and from the CBD.

But we are not finished yet in the story that is the SAM micro news blog.

In the meantime we enjoyed the Sydney posters stoush being played out on a wall or pole in an inner suburb near you:




Posted by editor at 9:00 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 20 June 2008 9:17 AM NZT
Sunday, 15 June 2008
Sunday tv talkies: PM Rudd does good in Japan, News Corp run interference via Neal, Della
Mood:  chatty
Topic: aust govt

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 backgrounders


- secrets of hitman in SunHerald scary.


- missed reading time a lot (doing 160 page affidavit content v Coca Cola bottled water case) of the press and crikey this week, so bound to miss detail and unintended revelations.


- We noted the increasingly feral tone of the Sydney Telegraph, of News Corp, which reads increasingly like the Liberal Party newsletter. But they are tearing strips off the Iemma Govt and for that alone readers will probably cheer out of weary animosity and desire for change. Della is suing for defamation about drinking, but today’s follow up edition is pretty much as willing with 4 staff with stat decs hanging tough as if to say we have our witnesses for the defence in the defamation proceedings.


- Our own view of the Della/Neal story is that it’s a crude demonstration of brute News Corp power of the terror blowtorch for not much gravity. A real bootstraps exercise, Reptiles of News Corp stripe v Spivs of ALP stripe, ramped by public energy assets debate. As John Robertson has said, it’s going to get ugly, but he could never have imagined the snake of big corporate media slithering in this direction. Koperberg confirms he will cross the floor against the sell off too. As Michael Kirby High Court Judge has asked rhetorically of Andrew Denton: Doesn’t the media run the country?

1 he wasn’t drinking as claimed – strike one;

2. It proves nothing he drafted an apology like lawyers do every day as part of defamation mitigation processes, a false issue – strike two;

3. an argument in a hotel involving hostile staff possibly Liberal Party provenance – suspicious – a key to all this is the really obnoxious atrocious impudent snide attitude that some Young Liberals can manifest. One has to have been on a polling booth to really know what some of these uglies are capable of in provocation. Is that the case with one or more of these staff? We do wonder. Like in 1996 making jokes about Murray Matson the Greens candidate having AIDS to all the voters going into the byelection . Even Peter Debnam had to counsel them Later one of them was expelled from the Liberal Party. But it was all a game to these young thugs of emotional violence.

4. As Stateline reveals last Friday the language in the staff stat decs is not natural – suggests police language like shadow police minister Gallacher ex under cover copper might use?

5. So what’s the case really? Neal has a history of temper way less than criminal. Sure address that hardly a ‘federal case’ as they say in the movies. Give up coffee (not so bad we found lately) which both irritates the digestion and causes dehydration without realizing it

6. News Corp looked to after a revenge attack on the ALP over their alcohol advertising dependence – which now has morphed into an attack over dishonest stat decs.

7. It’s not corrupt to swear differing views of witnesses. Indeed the classic movie 12 Angry Men is an allegory about exactly that. Great script and movie with Henry Fonda – check it out. Ironic because the Daily Telegraph ran a story about the same thing a few months ago.


Our suggestion would be stake out the Shakespeare or similar hotels near Holt and take pictures of News Corp staff getting pissed. Because this looks like a revenge on the ALP generally on curbing the alcohol industry which are major full page advertisers. We have recommenced our count of these since early June as per previous counts from May 20. It’s adding up to a lot of retail dollars.


Big storms in US mid west, intensity of climate change?


Alan Jones rumours in press winding back at age 67.


World Youth Day could still be a big impact on Iemma’s credibility. Clover Moore stoush today over failure of Catholic Church to pay $150K bond for 3 month use repair of up to half of Hyde Park.



9 Sunday 7.30 – 9.30 am


Line about Venezeula only 5c a litre for petrol, full tank at $3.


Ellen does story about splittist group in Tibetan Budhism critcising the Dalai Llama. Quite persuasive westernized speaker, head shaven, maybe natural variation in doctrinal views. Talk about yellow and red which looks very suggestive of China for red tactics by the Dalai to keep the flock onside.


Ross Greenword tips re tax and cars


Buy in story about excessively super rich. 1930ies 50% wealth was inherited in US, now new wealth. Author refers to Richistan.Top 10% with $70 trillion more than GDP of Japan etc.


Lifestyle story about an obscure illness. Ellen is suitably skeptical.


Another ‘big’ story about death row pets and banning pet shops like they do in City of Sydney apparently. Clover Moore in the story when I return from Riley Diary.


Macdonalds advert “proud partner” of Beijing Olympics, no doubt like that well known ‘health’ drink Coca Cola?


Ellen does the big interview with Lindsay Tanner, second week Laurie Oakes is MIA, despite weekend Telegraph column. Maybe he’s been pushed finally. Starts latish like 8.48, 10 minute quickie before 9 am.











10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am


No show, golf coverage. NSW Teachers advert runs as usual in golf show, not such good match of viewers? Maybe okay. Great supa cheap auto advert, [apparently moving into bicycle market too]



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




Riley Diary 7, 8.35 am


Great footage of Japanese visit by PM, with Riley. Aussie beef bbq invite to PM Jap.


[Notable for no melt down on whales as per out thesis it’s all a sublimation of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuke bombs in WW2 and a call for understanding and sympathy over that mass carnage from that human family, all from Africa after all.]


[Segment reminds of a great 70 minutes film Sanshiro Sugata, first movie 1943 by Akira Kurosawa from local video ezy, watched last night.]


Della Neal controversy. Pattern of unacceptable behaviour. Anger Management Movie

US comic.  [Footage reminds of aggressive questioning via Stateline of Clennell off camera ‘it’s alright to lie to the media but not to you?’aimed at Iemma presser, implying Della and Neal no stat dec, bald denials to the media a political lie?


Acting PM Senator Evans – last ice skater standing principle. Lookalike joke very good re Damo at 7. Not enough ego, they reckon.


OKeefe jokes that if the place was named Iguana Joes it would have blown over already. Fair point I thought.


Bit of impromptu legal commentary by Andrew OKeefe post Diary [having been at Allens previously] but as he possibly knows under the Legal Professions Act 2004 unless he has a current practicising certificate he can’t hold himself out as a lawyer, but he was ambushed on live tv having “a legal mind”, quite innocent. What he said sounded right that a stat dec is on oath and thus [possibly if not an innocent mistake?!] perjury if retracted.






Insiders 2: 9- 10am


Della Neal cramping Rudd on profound inter country diplomacy on nukes and regional cooperation. Trivial overwhelmed the profound says Barry. Led into Iemma’s leadership speculation.


Talent is Foreign Minister Smith.


Press roundup – Sunday Age subsidies in developing countries problem says Martin Ferguson. Not such a good look.


Milne talking about pre mix drinks of ute drivers – quite a look given Milne problems – election advert could be called ‘whingeing Warren’ with his Canadian axe head which I’m not sure a real bush boy would use instead of a regular axe head. And that ute didn’t have many scratches in the tray. But his eyebrows did heroically attempt to meet in the middle.


Stephen Smith – mogodon man really – but safe with it, some chat about $35M for hybrid cars.


Everyperson segment middle aged air club of some kind, chat about $70M state federal subsidy to private car company Toyota. A lot of skepticism. Nearly out of date already, need better, newer stuff [million cars sold a year, what a waste of national wealth.]


Panel – Lenore Taylor argues not innovation, rather current technology. Rudd footage ‘a new business’ claims its innovation. Manufacturing not R&D subsidy. Car he was next to as plug in will not be the plug in here says Brian Toohey.


Lenore Taylor, Milne, Toohey deconstructing the policy in a tough way. May be answers but not coming through from the govt.


Not a lot of money, compare $5 billion assistance. Nelson asks question about where 35M will go, Toyota man hasn’t allocated money. Local Toyota quotes damaging already underway with out subsidy. [all this ignores foreign relations]


Paul Kelly – praises Rudd effort in Japan. BUT calls for reality check. Won’t reduce emissions, no innovation dividend, Rudd govt new form of industry policy by green politics. Great risk – won’t be very effective at all. Great orthodox brilliant politics – running The Australian free market line as the ship of state leaves the News Corp/The Australian dock.


As to Della PK says – Della machine man critical, Iemma looks weak. Says the coverup is the morality tale. Worse than the error. National implications? Epic struggle in NSW trying to privatize electricity opposed by NSW conference, unions, strong against vested interests. Important issue, tied to national electricity market, reforms pushed by the Rudd govt. Better result through COAG, needs NSW working cooperatively.


BC notes pics in Sunday Telegraph – contrary to work choices treat staff with dignity and respect [ignores the Young Lib obnoxious factor as a real potential].


Why the fascination with it asks BC? That’s the media introspection story totally ignoring the News Corp malice of which Taylor, and Milne are egg beaters with their excuses. Milne talks about ‘knows no boundaries’ great after swing at rival Stephen Mayne live on stage. Joke.


Neal – caught with an acid joke against Coalition MP Mirebala, tried to split hairs after being called out on it. Cover up worse than the offence.


Iemma pretext not told about drafting of apology by Della – won’t change regardless of quasi legal issues of police investigation says BC and Cassidy.


Julie Irwin runs the sexism line, as ALP MP. Taylor notes the devaluing of currency if the facts are not there. Prue Goward rejects (footage on sbs insight by the looks).


Nuclear disarmament non proliferation – important agenda agrees Toohey. Serious problem of [dual use], what has stopped nuclear war is [MAD] correctly notes shield agenda of [Star Wars], wrecks the anti ballistic missile treaty of Nixon. Yet Stephen Smith implied earlier this year says Toohey that they will cooperate with US shield agenda. Milne agrees important agenda.


Taylor says lacking detail re co-chairman. General theme says Milne as too shallow. Thought bubble, bumper sticker. A lot of this is naysaying of moribund Big Media who need a clean out for a 21C political economy [e.g. moi!].


Japan relations – footage of Japan visits to Australia as zero. Question of over reach in China? [The concern is mitigated I would say with visit to Hiroshima etc]


Garrett low numbers on whaling issue as hypocritical ‘over promised’. Greg Hunt quotes 10 clear statements  of Rudd re IWC better to Int Court Justice better pre election, but not now. Taylor says no court is wise. But she is wrong. That’s what courts are actually for.


Discussion about national economic tensions.


Talking pictures – Rudd in Japan, hybrid cars,


WYD over $130M expense, Toohey rips into the expense re parks affected etc.


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

Posted by editor at 12:03 PM NZT
Saturday, 14 June 2008
S*x and the Sydney CBD
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: local news




Posted by editor at 2:25 PM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 14 June 2008 2:38 PM NZT
Views from a Sydney CBD high rise
Mood:  cool
Topic: local news




Posted by editor at 2:00 PM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 14 June 2008 2:24 PM NZT
80,000 colour leaflets call for protection of Botany Bay wildlife
Mood:  special
Topic: nsw govt



Posted by editor at 1:42 PM NZT

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