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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Oops: Coca Cola pushing their non green product in SMH* eco pages
Mood:  sharp
Topic: big media

Oh dear, how did a  celebrity profile of all good green things get Coca Cola's controversial, arguably greenwashed bottled water product into the Eco pages of the Sydney Morning Herald today? Especially when it's inserted under an article about ... greenwashing?!:

17 Sept 2008 Time to learn what's in a name When 'free range' is free for all, green claims can be dubious, writes Keeli Cambourne.

This is what the SMH said about bottled water and cross subsidy to Landcare earlier this year:

23 Feb 2008 Message on a bottle labelled as greenwash - Environment - smh.com.au

Ethics ... Nanette Lamrock has attacked the Landcare Australia and Coca-Cola Amatil deal.

Ethics ... Nanette Lamrock has attacked the Landcare Australia and Coca-Cola Amatil deal.
Photo: Paul Mathews

The story reads (bold added):

Mount Franklin dominates the $544 million bottled water market and is an expert in marketing campaigns that tap into community issues: its pink lid campaign to pledge $1 for cancer research for every wish made through its website is one of the most successful marketing campaigns in recent history.

The chief executive of Landcare Australia, Brian Scarsbrick, said he was aware of "some" concerns about the deal but that the positives outweighed the negatives. "We are a middle-of-the-road environmental organisation and we like to work with big companies to influence them to a more sustainable position," he said.

Its spokeswoman, Sally Loane, said Coca-Cola Amatil was an industry leader in saving water, citing beverage industry figures showing bottled water accounts for just 0.01 per cent of aquifer reserves. "Any individual who claims we 'rape the environment' is speaking from the depths of ignorance. The facts reveal a very different picture. Can we do better? Of course, but we are committed to being a good corporate citizen, particularly when it comes to water," she said.

But the organiser of the Bottled Water Alliance, Jon Dee, said: "One has to ask the question whether Coke has done this deal to distract attention away from the serious environmental questions that are now being asked of the bottled water industry. In particular the issues of water sourcing and the climate, waste and litter impact of bottled water, as well as the extremely low recycling rate for plastic water bottles.

"Given the current level of criticism being levelled at the bottled water industry, even the less cynical could be forgiven for thinking that this is just a greenwash exercise."

And this is what USA based 'Brandweek' had to say about the bottled water market as financial turmoil crosses the land (bold added):

Has the Bottled Water Well Finally Run Dry?

Sept 7, 2008

-By Kenneth Hein

The market for bottled water may be drying up. Despite massive discounting, brands like Aquafina and Poland Spring are experiencing a sales drought unlike any the category has ever seen.

After almost a decade of triple and then double-digit growth, sales volume grew less than 1% for the first half of the year, per Beverage Digest, Bedford Hills, N.Y.

The chief culprit: the economy. Shoppers are less interested in paying for a product that they can get for free.

A secondary reason is that green-minded consumers have become active in railing against buying plastic bottles in bulk because many will end up in landfills. The fact that gallons of fuel are used to transport a product that is available through the plumbing is another concern. Finally, there is a widespread belief that PET bottles leech toxins into liquids if frozen or heated up, a claim which is widely disputed.

"The category has felt the impact of the negative publicity it has been receiving lately," said John Rowan, editorial director at Beverage Marketing, New York.

In addition, the industry's sheer size has made such a slowdown inevitable, he said. "Bottled water is No. 2 in volume behind soft drinks. Something that big can't grow forever."

The industry's response so far has been deeper discounting. The average price of bottled water was down 6.6% at supermarkets for the four weeks through Aug. 10, per IRI. Dasani led the way with a 10% decrease.

A recent report by Brand Keys, New York, based on responses from 26,000 consumers in the first quarter, shows "value" was the No. 1 attribute consumers were seeking in a bottled water, beating out "purity." Such findings, coupled with the widespread price cutting, has raised fears that the category has fallen victim to commoditization. "I was walking home last night and saw a sign with 'water 99 cents' crossed out and replaced with '89 cents.' So there it is. How much is water worth?" said Brand Keys president Robert Passikoff.

One beneficiary of the commoditization has been private label. Sales for such brands rose 17.2% for the first half, per Beverage Digest.

There is considerable trading down to private label and tapping into the cheap 24-bottle case segment, said Gerry Khermouch, editor of Beverage Business Insights, West Nyack, N.Y.

Khermouch said Coke and Pepsi have no one to blame but themselves."To a certain extent, Coke and Pepsi decided not to chase that unprofitable business. This, of course, is ironic as even basic bottled spring water was premium priced until Coke and Pepsi entered and turned it into the latest front of the cola wars."

Coke and Pepsi's solution has been to shift its resources behind enhanced water brands. Ad spending in the U.S. for Coke's Glacéau Vitaminwater was $39.5 million in the first half (excluding online), per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. This exceeded the spend behind all of the regular bottled water brands combined.

Of the top regular water brands, Aquafina led the pack, spending $5 million on media for the first half of the year. Its efforts are directly aligned with its sponsorship of Major League Baseball. PepsiCo more than tripled its budget for SoBe Life Water, compared to the first half of last year, spending $22 million. "Consumers are seeking variety. Flavored and enhanced waters are a great answer to that demand," said a Pepsi rep.

The enhanced water category grew 18.4% in the first half.

Kim Jeffrey, CEO of Nestlé Waters, Greenwich, Conn., acknowledged bottled water was "experiencing slow growth compared to historic levels. Nielsen data shows our category is highly susceptible to an economic downturn."

Jeffrey is confident it will rebound: "Seventy percent [of bottled water consumers] came from other beverage consumption. They didn't come to our category from tap water."

John Sicher, editor of Beverage Digest, agrees. "If the economy improves and consumers begin to feel better, we're going to see at least some increase in the growth rate of bottled water again," he said.

Nevertheless, Mark DiMassimo, co-founder of Tappening.com, which promotes drinking tap water, said a cultural shift has occurred: "Instead of being a badge for health and status, bottled water has now become a badge for environmental wastefulness. And, cost sensitivity is coming up fast. It's caught in the same storm as Starbucks is. It felt good to be a little extravagant a few years ago. Now, it doesn't feel good to waste money. [Especially considering that] being charged for water is like being charged for gravity."

* Postscript #1 18 Sept 2008

We left a message yesterday for the SMH environment editor Marian Wilkinson (who we hold in high regard too) about the apparent contradiction above. Today we noticed this in the Business pages media and marketing Thursday page by Paul McIntyre

18 Sept 2008 Steps on the green scale | smh.com.au


 waxing lyrical again about the issue of greenwashing and quoting Jeff Angel of Total Environment Centre on 'the need for a high level of rigour'.

We found this profoundly ironic given Angel was prominent in 2008 in arguably greenwashing - via support for the Iemma Govt's Unsworth Committee Inquiry Report - of a proposal to privatise this state's energy industry. Angel would say it was only qualified support but Angel having been in the lobbying business for 30 years we say he well knew he would be used as a green figleaf, and the conditions he proposed would likely be duly shelved (and they were at least as we understand it).

Dr John Kaye MP of the Green Party famously issued a press release repudiating Angel for collaboration with the Iemma sell off alleging airbrush of climate change policy implications of an otherwise anti green Govt led by ostentatiously brown ex treasurer Michael Costa.

This mainstream Big Media coverage of the green washing issue just gets more weird by the story.

Posted by editor at 3:35 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 18 September 2008 2:54 PM NZT
Burgmann lone ALP voice left on Sydney CBD council?
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: nsw govt

We spied newly re elected Cr Black yesterday at around 11 am whom we also crossed paths with literally in the streets of Erskineville a month back - he leafleting for the Clover Moore team, myself for Botany Bay & Catchment Association. We had a little natter about rival Burgmann's antecedents.

This time it was in the herd of Town Hall railway station. Whippett like middle aged somewhat academic looking Black was walking fast somewhere. We had just been considering whether to drop into Cr Harris of the Greens for an update.

"Councillor, let me walk with you" in my best West Wing voice, trying to mask a shocking head cold. "Tom McLoughlin. We crossed paths on the streets in Erskineville. How are the results looking?"

A spark of vague recognition for man on a mission Black, and conversation to this effect: "We have 5, Shane Mallard Liberals is in, one councillor still to be decided ....

"What about the Greens".

"They have two."

"Oh that's right someone called Doutney. What about the ALP?"

"Meredith Burgmann is elected."

"Is that all? Only 1?" in incredulous tones.

"That's right".

So now the truth is there for all to see. We made sure at the right time the local and Sydney CC stakeholders got a copy of this evidence of local political sleaze. One assumes the convenience of email networking took it's course with barely a nudge from the author here:

----- Original Message -----
To: Yvette Andrews ; gm@addisonrdcentre
Cc: senator.bob.brown marise@marisepayne; Norman Thompson ; senator.faulkner ; Clover Moore ; charris@cityofsydney; tpooley@cityofsydney; pblack@cityofsydney; vfirth@cityofsydney; mhoff@cityofsydney; rkemmis@cityofsydney; mlee@cityofsydney; jmcinern@cityofsydney; smallard@cityofsydney; m.knox@smh; Olive ; marrickville.greens
Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 1:54 PM
Subject: shadow around political mates of candidate Meredith Burgmann in Sydney Town Hall election?

Hi Yvette,

I don't suppose you've undertaken a competitive job selection process since you got the position there as general manager of Addison Rd Centre after being President as well? That would make it December 2007 to August 2008 by now I suppose?

That's the advice I've got from my source there at Addison Rd Centre current to 8 July 2008.

Is this because you are co-author of the Ernies book with VIP Meredith Burgmann or for some other special reason justifying an exemption from normal public advertising of positions in public organisations?

Here is my faithful report to the general community sector, without fear or favour 25,000 readers per month on the micro news website here:

Tuesday, 26 August 2008
Yours truly
Tom McLoughlin, editor www.SydneyAlternativeMedia.com/blog, solicitor in NSW

The hubris of the ALP in NSW is not just evidenced by gooses like ex Police Minister Matt Brown by the look of things. Suffice to say there was no response from aparatchik Yvette Andrews, or her mentor Terry Cutcliffe in the bcc along with all the tenants there at Addison Rd 'Community Centre' in Marrickville.

And so the scandal of ALP closed shop in my community centre rolls on.

But Burgmann can't hide behind the travails of the ALP at State Govt level - she is part of the problem as evidenced by this successful ALP candidate in Balmain ...against the swing - the numbers don't lie:



Posted by editor at 7:30 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 17 September 2008 10:16 AM NZT
Rescue the Murray River Redgums: The Wilderness Society
Mood:  cool
Topic: ecology



noun a person using internet campaigning tools to bring about social or political change.

    Dear Supporter

Send your message to the NSW Government asking them to protect NSW's River Red Gums

Take Action:
.Rescue NSW's River Red Gum Forests today!
.Send this to a friend

With your support The Wilderness Society is working hard to protect New South Wales' River Red Gum Forests, but right now I urgently need your help to ensure the State Government does the right thing,

Please take action in one easy step, by sending a message to Premier Nathan Rees urging him to protect our precious River Red Gums.

The health of the Murray River and its River Red Gum Forests are intrinsically linked – a healthy river needs healthy forests.

However, our River Red Gum Forests are not doing well – in some areas, 75% of the trees are already stressed, dead or dying and they are being further degraded by destructive logging and grazing. The forests act as filters for the river – if the New South Wales Government is serious about protecting the health of the Murray River, then it needs to protect our River Red Gums.

Often referred to as 'The Kakadu of the South,' River Red Gum Forests are also vitally important habitat for a threatened and endangered species and play host to many thousands of migratory birds each year. Plus, they attract tourists to the region, who are an important part of the local economy.

Logging, primarily for low values products such as firewood, fence posts and railway sleepers, is destroying the very values that these forests have become famous for.

Replacing logging with well-managed National Parks will protect the forests, ensure that the Murray retains its natural filter system and continue to provide vital income to the region.

The NSW government needs to urgently commit to creating National Parks from our State Forests in full consultation with local Traditional Owners.

Taking action to protect NSW's River Red Gums in easy and only a click away.

Thank you in advance for making a difference for the future of our River Red Gum Forests and for your ongoing support.

Peter Cooper
NSW Campaigner
The Wilderness Society (Sydney) Inc

The Wilderness Society (Sydney) Inc

PO Box K249 Haymarket, NSW, 1240 Australia
Phone: (02) 9282 9553
Fax: (02) 9282 9557

Posted by editor at 7:02 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 19 September 2008 8:46 PM NZT
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
Nelson spill motion: It's Costello v Turnbull in late 2009, early 2010?
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: aust govt

Picture: Profound graphic lifted off Sydney Morning Herald in mid 2007 emphasising then PM Howard's obstruction on climate change policies.


Peter Costello, humble backbencher, former Treasurer 11 or so years, keeps his appointment with Fran Kelly on ABC radio national today just before 8am 16 Sept 08. A day late as he cancelled Monday's media appointments to settle down the hysteria perhaps.

Costello has vouched that he 'is voting for Brendan Nelson'. Gerard Henderson in Fairfax and ABC sister station makes the point 'Costello is the best choice to lead and if not running then Turnbull is next best choice'. Yes but in our view that's not the criteria in real politik time which turns on positioning for the prize of prime ministership contest in 2 years time.

Costello is transparently relying on Nelson as his time buffer and blocker. Turnbull has nominated to fly the flag and show his guts, and in our view will likely lose against Nelson, and most MPs this far out will be more interested in their traditional comfort zone of policy and values framework built in large part by Howard-Costello. They want systemic change and serious policy rebuild like a parent wants the flu or a kid likes the dentist. Not at all. The Howard malaise lives on.

Which only means as long as the MP for Higgins remains in the Parliament the significant spill will be 6-12 months out from the next projected federal election not in one hour just after 9 am today AEST. The next election is expected in 2010 sometime, months before the NSW one in March 2011.

So for the ALP the next year or so will be Rudd v slippery Howard proxy Nelson. If Rudd and the centre left of politics slowly crush Nelson as they did Howard, then and only then will it be time for the real change in the centre right of politics on climate change, industrial relations, natural environment, water buy backs in the Murray Darling and so on.

And how has the swing to the right in WA influenced all this? Alot would be our view. It's emboldened the Hard Right to hold fast to the Howard legacy strongest there flush with mining royalties and most infavour of extreme IR agenda, but surely ignores the views of the majority of the population in the eastern states. It's a false dawn for the Liberals and Nats if the ALP and centre Left, Greens based on population spread across the nation, see it for what it is: An artefact of the mining boom.


 Picture: Mid 2007 on the floor of parliament in tense discussion with then PM Howard lifted off the big media websites at the time.

Postscript from 10.30 am: We were wrong!

As it happens the federal Liberal Party have decided to go for real change from the Howard-Costello-Nelson legacy by voting 45 to 41 for sharp blade Malcolm Turnbull. Crikey.com.au say this morning media barracking for Big Mal is simply for better copy (the boredom factor with Nightwatchman Man Nelson). Maybe so. Ominously Nelson has refused any front bench position. Similarly Costello is also back there as lead weight or rival.

The close vote doesn't alter the fact we got it wrong here at SAM. Maybe the blanket coverage of Costello's memoirs in the last week was more surfeit than nostalgia for the colleagues. Maybe there was a critical mass of loathing for the failed old leadership clique and desire for not only clear air but a clean break?

Picture: Shadow Treasurer Turnbull gives his Opposition budget in reply speech to the Canberra Press Club mid 2008. These images lifted off the web feed by SAM at the time.

Turnbull has his chance now to make his mark on the national stage for real and if he succeeds the Liberal Party will be a different creature in 12 months. So will the ALP to meet the Opposition leader's credentials. If he falters or is bested by the Rudd machine Costello in particular may well seek resurrection like Colin Barnett new premier of WA 5 weeks after planning his retirement.

 Picture: lifted off Crikey.com.au in late 2007 (if memory serves).

Here is a collage of the Wentworth 2007 stoush where we could have seeded the electorate with anti John Howard - Not Happy John leaflets from the 2004 contest in Bennelong. We could have but didn't because the ALP candidate Newhouse refused to campaign against the Gunns pulp mill. So I dumped them on Turnbull's doorstep for them to "pulp":

 Picture: visit to the western end of Wentworth electorate in August 2007 by SAM, and then outside the Bondi Junction electorate office same day.

The federal ALP in Wentworth just didn't deserve the help:


And here is one of the victims of Turnbull's 'wet work' as Christian Kerr terms it from The Australian in 2007 pre election - new councillor Rose Jackson elected Sept 2008, wedged over the ultra right in the Eastern Suburbs Jewish community unquestioning support for nuclear armed Israel, with an arguably corrupt Prime Minister:


Posted by editor at 9:53 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 17 September 2008 9:46 AM NZT
NSW Police Force ramp up secrecy says News Corp, civil liberty folks
Mood:  not sure
Topic: nsw govt

Back on 27th August 2008 we took a call from Chris Merritt. It went something like this:

'Hi, yeah I know your name you're a senior journalist, legal editor with The Australian, used to write for the Fin Review.

Sure I have Oliver's number, I don't want to cramp your style.'

This was all in response to this briefing I sent to the acting editor of The Australian Media Section here in this email string about a civil liberties/right to know/citizen journalism situation involving NSW Police:

Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 12:43 PM
Subject: as discussed, for Lara Acting Editor The Media

Oliver who had his charge dismissed is email at far bottom in the string. Then next back from there is my response to him, then first below is my package to the civil liberties types making out the pattern of 4 different cases I'm aware of brazen police over reaching (even when they have good cause it seems for those arrested same time as my guy Oliver Hopes.)
The hook for the Right To Know folks probably is the incredible invitation from the Police hierarchy as per articles below) for citizens to get involved in citizen reportage (actually dobbing - just not on the coppers!) as below. 
I can't let you have the letter I wrote to the Redferm Command without Oliver's permission due to legal confidentiality as former client (suggesting just drop the charges/it's a waste of time - diplomatically leaving out that it could also result in ....).
But I can tell you the policeman who gave dubious if not outright dishonest evidence and issued the Court Attendance Notice dated 26 May 2008 was Constable ..... Command.
The charge was "Hinder police". It was dismissed last Friday 22 August 2008.
Yours truly
Thomas McLoughlin (solicitor in NSW restricted certificate)
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 10:21 AM
Subject: in confidence, Oliver Hopes hinder police case dismissed in Local Court last Friday! Damn good.

I refer to previous correspondence about pro bono case, which ended up with Slater & Gordon on a fee basis. Also copy to civil rights campaigner Kristian Bolwell of the Fire Brigade Union, nsw solicitor.
Barrister was Mr Crawford Fish apparently. (Bragging rights here: Barrister apparently said my letter to police to drop the charge was "very good". Too bad they didn't - wasted court's time and lost the case. Good show all round by defence team.)
There is definitely a pattern of behaviour going on here by local Sydney police to avoid reportage: See also Matt Khoury story in The Media (bible of the media industry) in The Australian 2 months back as linked below. There was another fairly high profile in the Sydney Morning Herald pre World Youth Day too:
with this extract posted Sunday 13 July 08:

Picture: Saturday 12th July 2008, 10am. The bonhomie was mixed with the heavy security in the tunnel under Central Station . The plods and pseudo plods really didn't like me passing my card to this coloured gent. Nor did they appreciate me standing 10 paces away, nor did they appreciate me taking a picture of them from 40 paces away, and indeed the short blonde copper (Constable Phillips, City Crime - Commuter) made it her business to stalk over to me 40 paces away and officially ordered me to leave the area. "On what legal basis?" I asked and  "Because you don't want a witness? Is that what you are saying?". "Because you are intimidating" came the smooth practised reply. So there you have it - taking a picture of police in the course of their duty is "intimidating".  All under the flag pictured above of our fair democracy you understand. 


Nor is this the first time local inner Sydney cops have tried these tactics over recording of their police work. We are well aware, as is the ABC, of a case yet to be heard in court regarding police confiscation of a camera phone from a witness to a brawl outside a local inner city pub earlier this year, who we understand was then ordered to delete the footage in a police cell while being stood over by two local policemen.


Very very ironic given these two reports here exhorting exactly this kind of citizen media:

As a riposte we told one of the security guards about our readersip figures to which he said with contempt "You only see one side of life." Well actually we did see the aggressive drunk the night before and were glad for the security being present then. What worries us is fare evasion (not that we know the facts) leading to more serious charges for a public transport service that should be near to free anyway on public policy grounds.

Yours truly
Tom McLoughlin, editor www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog tel 0410 558838,
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 8:55 AM
Subject: yeah! you earned it, fortune favours the brave, smart, honest Re:

Hey Olli,
this is great stuff having your charge of hinder police dismissed last Friday. I rang and spoke to your mother earlier this morning sort of by coincidence as I found a story in the press here on the weekend doing my catchup, which is a BIG echo of your experience, and remembered you were about due for your hearing.:
And you know about my experience a month back too during the start of World Youth Day reporting/observing an arrest at Central Railway.
I'm so pleased you kept your nerve, got the help you needed, and have got the charge dismissed, and your mum got a barrister too and you got the result you deserved. You deserved to get costs I think, only fly in the soup.
I would love to do a report on my micro news website anytime. And ....
Kind regards,
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 10:18 PM

hey tom, we won the case on friday. we didnt get awarded costs but atleast i dont have a criminal record. thanks again for all your help. many of the things you told me .... helped alot. are you taking on coca-cola? sounds like a david and goliath battle. how were they so rough to you? hope things are well. olli.


[For those eagle eyed you may be wondering why this writer didn't progress the case himself - the reason being after intial correspondence and first appearance our principal solicitor chucked in his practising certificate (or something) end of 07-08 financial year and we couldn't act unsupervised past 30 June 08, hence Slater's took on the case as house lawyer for the family's employer. We remain an out of work 'junior' lawyer though under s.63 of the Land & Env Court Act 1979 we can do pro bono as a court agent in that jurisdiction.]

All this resulted in this article by Chris Merritt here next day 28th August 2008 in The Media section of The Australian in terms of right to know agenda, even though google lists it as Sept 1st for some reason: 

28 Aug 08 Call to reform police powers | The Australian

Chris Merritt, Legal Affairs editor | August 28, 2008

CIVIL libertarians have called for reform of police powers after a Sydney art student was arrested and pressured to delete video footage of a violent clash between 20 late-night revellers and between 30 and 40 police.

The incident has raised concerns that police are sending mixed signals about the value of "citizen journalism" in fighting crime, as well as their treatment of reporters who might film or photograph them in action.

It took place one month after they appealed for the public to send them videos to help identify criminals.

Art student Oliver Hopes was charged in April with hindering police after he used his camera-phone to record them using capsicum spray to subdue violent revellers in April.

The charge was dismissed last week after Mr Hopes' barrister, Michael Crawford-Fish, presented the Downing Centre Local Court with separate footage of the incident that had been taken by a security camera.

"The whole incident has darkened my view of the police," said Mr Hopes, who did not save the footage after he was told by police to stop filming.

He said the deleted footage would not have shown any misconduct by police.

"It's not another Rodney King," he said, but it could have shown the extent of the violence. "They saw me filming and told me to move back, which I did. They then said 'Turn that off' and I kept filming. He said 'Give me the phone' and I turned it off and put it in my pocket. He said 'Give it to me' and I said 'It's off. It's cancelled'. And he then said 'That's it, you're under arrest'."

Later, when he was being held overnight, police entered his cell, handed him the phone and told him to delete the footage.

"They told me it was against the law to film people and there were special provisions covering the media," he said. He explained that the footage had never been saved but he was still charged with hindering police.

The action over Mr Hopes' camera-phone forms a sharp contrast with the launch in March of a scheme in which NSW police had invited the public to send video footage of crime directly to a police website. The scheme, known as Project View -- Video Image Evidence on the Web, had been developed by assistant commissioner Bob Waites.

Last November, NSW police arrested journalist Matt Khoury after he witnessed a raid on a nightclub and made it clear to police he would be filing a story on the incident.

Mr Khoury had been charged under "move along" legislation but police withdrew the charge just before the case had been due to go to court.

NSW Civil Liberties Council president Cameron Murphy said police generally had no authority to order video footage to be deleted. But they would sometimes be justified in seizing footage if it were needed as part of an investigation.

He was deeply concerned about both incidents.

"There has been a steady increase in police powers to stop people, search them and move them along," he said.

"This is very dangerous and it's the sort of thing that over time will lead to a police state," Mr Murphy said.

Nice for Cameron Murphy of NSW CCL to get the quote, truth is they are so under resourced or something they didn't answer ANY email or telephone approaches by this writer over the months of this saga. Nor did NSW Ombudsman. Only PILCH charity referral service responded and then in the negative. And of course News Corp above for the gritty story.

Now we have yesterday a quite serious feature by the Sydney Daily Telegraph about another burgeoning aspect of NSW Police secrecy while keeping in mind the press mainly want to have access to the juicy news stories and therefore mixed motives - as they say in the media game 'if it bleeds it leads'.

The links to this latest unresolved front in right to know/public safety versus good policing practice/operational confidentiality is here:

15 Sept 08  Stalkers preying on our schools | The Daily Telegraph

15 Sept 08 Community alarm over silence of police | The Daily Telegraph

15 Sept 08 [offline] Attacks on children increasing (Sydney Daily Telegraph

15 Sept 08 [editorial] Hamstrung by NSW Police's new communication system Sydney Daily Telegraph

15 Sept 08 Police radio blackout is a concern for civic safety | The Daily Telegraph ...

Posted by editor at 7:46 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 17 September 2008 6:58 AM NZT
Monday, 15 September 2008
Nelson ... agricultural Nightwatchman Man ...wants to bat on past lunch on day 2
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: aust govt

The ABC and no doubt other big media are reporting a spill motion in the federal Liberal Party room tomorrow morning.

What it shows is the tactical cunning of Nelson with a pair of twos in his hand given Costello while in the Parliament will not contest for now. So Nelson can win on that front.

For the same reason Costello doesn't want to go so very early in the tedious 2 years out election cycle his rival Turnbull will not find the spill tomorrow morning very convenient.

So as agricultural as Nelson is, and mind numbingly determined to survive, so he also can damage Turnbull by exposing him as not having the balls if he also doesn't challenge.

Which only leaves Turnbull to grab the holy grail too early only to burnout in time to fit Costello's timing of a year hence to really make a run within reach of the federal election. Is this the tag team Nelson and Costello have been cooking?

And why would Nelson want to stay in the miserable job anyway at such low polling and drag the party to the destructive divisive Howardista Right? All we can come up with is that Nelson must be a masochist.

Sure while he remains in the middle - to further tease out the 5 day test match metaphor - the scorer has to record him, the crowd have to notice him unless they nod off or leave the stands altogether, which judging by the polls they are indeed doing.

Nelson can't win this test match all he can do is play for time and get a draw by not getting out, even as the crowd and the scorer know in their heart who is the better team. In this sense Nelson is Kevin Rudd and federal ALP Parliamentary Party's best friend.

Sooner or later Brendan Nelson is going to have to face his own Hippocratic Oath in light of his support for the murderous Iraq blood for oil scandal. Until then he will keep batting on in denial. Anything is better than facing that. Facing himself.

Posted by editor at 9:39 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 16 September 2008 9:29 AM NZT
Sunday, 14 September 2008
Sunday Political talkies: Concussion wave through NSW, WA, federal Lib establishments
Mood:  chatty
Topic: aust govt


Author’s general introductory note

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.


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


Media backgrounders


Big storm in Huston Texas region – begs the question of climate even if only by perception.


Federal ALP gets critical mass to whack the Nats in NSW by buying water rights to Toorale for Warrego into Darling River, with NSW Govt support and Qld premier Bligh gifting another slab of water as well. All good.


Important article by Michael Duffy explores so called credit rating agencies who frauded the subprime market with their bogus advisories while still be quoted as gospel by Michael Costa on NSW creditworthiness. Maybe, or maybe another crock of baloney from either or Moody’s/Standard & Poors, MCosta.


Falling behind meta reportage recovering from Coca Cola Amatil litigation in LEC last 3rd and 4th Sept, and ongoing saga of illegal sandmine near Wollemi World Heritage national park. Got the clips, just not the time.


Fscists seeking to destroy Left wing led ALP NSW Govt eg Michael Costa, Brendan Nelson.


Too much political upheaval is not enough as HG would say re NSW and Costellology.


NSW Stateline’s Dempster and others refuse to repeat what Steve Price stated last Thursday morning on commercial radio – that ex Planning Minister Frank Sartor was seen the day before with Imre Salusinszky who wrote the lead in The Australian that saw new Police Minister Matt Brown resign. In other words that Sartor was “the drop”. But the other journalists are providing cover for Imre’s source. Is this real reportage? Or protecting their own careers?


Price himself doesn’t repeat the allegation re Sartor in his Sunday Telegraph column today – important because it could determine if Sartor stays or another byelection in yet another seat – and remember doubling of M5 East will be another big ventilation stacks problem in seat of Rockdale.



Impressions as electoral commission booth worker (long day 7.15 am to 8.30 pm) South Ward Marrickville – included serving John Sutton CFMEU national secretary, and older bother of Canterbury Mayor Rob Furolo etc etc. Good day. ATL vote 380 Greens, 244 ALP, 180 independent in white picket fence/semi industrial mix.


Reading up on drinker Eric McLoughlin (relative) 2nd Fairfax war correspondent (ever?) and first Australian correspondent to WW2 ‘Eastern Front’ actually a 1000 km from Moscow in comparative luxury/safety in Soviet Union under strict censor, booted out back to London eventually already hints of a boozer. ‘Extraordinary rapport with Robert Menzies’ says chapter 11 of the MUP book.


Grylls as youngish Nat townie business man decides to today who will form govt in WAS after backlash against Carpenter ALP. Notably supports clean skin Alan Carpenter as a person.


Hard working Linda Silmalis doing the NSW Govt backgrounders for News Corp in Sydney Telegraph building her journalism career.





10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am


Press round up includes NSW local council elections favouring Greens and Independents like CBD Mayor Clover Moore with swings of “up to 20% to her in heartland ALP in Roseberry” contrary to compromised Meredith Burgmann )whose co-author still hasn’t done a competitive selection process for her sinecure at Addison Rd Community Centre.


Guest is Nick Minchin from marginal state of SA talking big trying to obscure the obvious that Costello is still in the seat of Higgins.


First out take  takes Nelson self deprecating joke – walk on water complain couldn’t swim.


Panel is Cobber Grattan – Age/Fairfax and John Stanley 2UE. Bread and butter budget issues. Postures and honking mostly. Toyota Landcruiser tax says Minchin. Squibs tax on luxury cars tried on in his own ex Cabinet as ex Finance Minister. Great question that.


2nd out take Tandberg very busy cartoon – missed the gist.


2nd guest is Senator Barnaby Joyce. Rabbits on. What he doesn’t realize is that Costello likes the discomfort of the Howard Hard Right that he is still there. Get used to it.



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



Riley Diary 7, 8.35 am


Costellogy memoirs. Nice shot of Chris Uhlmann with peter Costello strolling in corridor. Great footage of Costello electorate stuff and some wit. Footage of Hewson re Costello lacking balls to grab leadership.


Riles – most ‘over this’. Only about promoting his book claims Riles. Nice genuinely funny, blames Howard, wife, Downer,






9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am


Joe Hockey Opposition on ….? Is talent. Started at least by 8.37am 8.41 onward here. LO goes hard on s.56 constitution. Nelson to press club Bill to “seek to increase”. Turning interview into a a bloody visit to the dentist. Hurts to listen to Joe banging on. Joe takes it manfully on the chin, loyalty to Nelson uppermost. Even smiling bravely. He’s a gutsy speaker is the Hock under severe fire. An interview that begs for a leadership change.








Insiders 2: 9- 10am


Sunday Telegraph cover shown about Turnbull sitting tight is different to my copy about council elections “Poll-axed”.


Intro re Costellology. 2010 still in parliament. No long term future as backbencher says Andrew Robb in the studio – showing the reach on struggling Opposition.


Panel is Fran Kelly, David Maher Fairfax/SMH, and Tim Blair DailyTele/News Corp. Something about 15% support for ALP in NSW Govt alleged. Blair looks more relaxed and focused, clipped which is the tv mode.


Andrew Robb waxes on cult of messiah unhealthy echoing Costello ‘cult of leadership’ unhealthy in Liberal Party. Robb on Grylls any coalition with ALP is “farcical”.


Everyperson segment in gym with young blokes in a mob ‘spin session’ on exercise bikes.


Paul Kelly re Costellology – Menzies and Howard both spent many long desperate years in Opposition to become successful prime ministers. Just untenable that PC will stay as backbencher.


Kelly says Nelson’s lack of cut through has not been just about Costello interference.


Maher and Blair expose some real wit and good tv. Grubby Politics as good name for a band.


Antony Green – Greens take Leichhardt and Marrickville, Clover takes Sydney CC, Libs resurge in Waverley behind Greens and ALP, and Libs resurge in Randwick also.


TB right that ALP in NSW has its own opposition.


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




Posted by editor at 12:02 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 15 September 2008 9:26 AM NZT
Friday, 12 September 2008
Memo Ellen Fanning, don't cross the fine line* on our ABC
Mood:  sharp
Topic: big media


What's carrots on the road got to do with good broadcasting? Alot more than the local government election ward system apparently.

So we exercise junkies learned pre 7am this morning taking snaps of the wonderous Cooks River in the dawn light listening to 702 compere Ellen Fanning standing in for big brain Adam Spencer.

But that's not really good enough is it on standard bearer ABC.

It's been a good and even great week for stand in broadcaster Ellen Fanning having been dumped along with the rest of Sunday 9 quality current affairs show.

A real talent, mature professional savvy, yet Fanning betrayed pride before a fall in judgement this morning. Earlier this week she pulled off two great and influential interviews:

1. Peter Coleman as co-author of the Costello (-ology) literature hitting the stands any day now;

2. Noreen Hay MP in breaking story about sacking of Matt Brown MP as Police Minister and all round goose.

The mis-judgement in our view was honking on (and she should watch out for that descriptor) about squashed carrots in the shadow of the 6-7 am low ratings period preferring to cut short the role of local government with a sledge.

Yes this writer has spent 4 years 1995-1999 in that milieu. Yes we are offended at the soft headed, overpaid, condescending, dismissive tone about the grassroots level of government. And I just know the hundreds and thousands employed in the same sector will agree with me. Them's ratings Lady.

The level of govt closest to the people. That do the most with least amount of money. That look their ratepayers in the eye week in and week out.

The economists and big media on the drip of multinational corporations one way or another will say it's an indulgent inefficiency. Anachronistic wards based on ridings of yesteryear for Godsake.

Only they would be wrong - when you look into the reality of grassroots politics because it's the great anchor of social cohesion along with the welfare system. When an MP or journalist at either State or Federal level - all invariably on a wage well over $100K per year and haughtily secure in that knowledge as Warren Beatty so insightfully noted in Bullmore - give the People a cold shoulder in their cosy sinecures it's Local Govt they get a hearing.


And vice versa when council loses the plot back to the other 2 levels. Governance in this country is a three string puppet, not two and we are lucky to have that depth of stability. Like the old mining propaganda advert you'd miss it if it wasn't there.

Thankfully sharp blade Fanning noted the laughably "hypothetical" nature of the recall of NSW Govt idea just because it's a Left faction premier: Hence the barracking by Opposition Iraq war champ Nelson at federal level, and sundry numbskulls keen for another Chile 1972 capital strike by big business (not least Fairfax board). Vale Allende. Such are the saving graces of Ms Fanning and indeed our ABC.

* Fine Line, 6 part sbs documentary by Ellen Fanning on the media industry made in 2000 as here http://nla.gov.au/anbd.bib-an000028661694


Posted by editor at 9:24 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 12 September 2008 5:17 PM NZT
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
Lifestyle change for Della Bosca pays off in press today
Mood:  energetic
Topic: nsw govt

What is the political price for being fat? It's pretty high would be our guess.

We predicted back on 15 May 2008 that an exercise regime for big John Della Bosca could counter intuitively be the saving of his career. Sure enough the often cruel Sydney press today are all very approving. Credit where it's due now medium size John. Here was the prediction:

15 May 2008 Della Bosca's bright political future on two wheels?
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: nsw govt

Here are some stories today:

Della Bosca slim, trim and back to health - National - smh.com.au  9 Sep 2008

Smaller Della Bosca has a big role | The Daily Telegraph 9 Sep 2008

Posted by editor at 2:19 PM NZT
Sunday, 7 September 2008
Sunday Political talkies: 'climate' of high variability in Australia
Mood:  chatty
Topic: aust govt


Author’s general introductory note



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.


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


Media backgrounders



Missed the start at 8.40am


Rodney Cavalier as NSW ALP historian on Doogue Saturday breakfast abc radio national with profound round up of history of ALP with 3 labour parties in parliament in the 1940ies until Curtin, Chifley, McKell got them to unify and made NSW an ALP state for 80% of the time since. That Iemma lost the plot with that role of nurturing the party and the government both in the job description.


AM programme does round up of byelections in Mayo and Lynne and WA state election this Sunday morning – check their website for transcript in due course. Caught a bit of Julie Bishop running the line anti federal ALP vote – like new tax on domestic gas etc.


90c half price deal for Sunday Telegraph today in joint promotion with NRMA for father’s day. 




10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am



Press round up shows Greens strong performance in lower house seat in Mayo over saving the Murray River and Climate Change issues.


Joe Hockey – happy fathers days all round, Paul Bongiorno. General chat about electioneering with due Coalition spin. Argues anti Federal ALP vote


Blooper outtake of Lib missing a division forgot to be Pavlovian.


First adbreak with dad about public education for Teachers Federation.


Skirmishing over dental plans with footage of Min Roxon.


Panel is News Corp’s Steve Lewis and similarly Jennifer Hewitt with their The Australian.


Footage of Turnbull about something about economy/interest rates.


Second adbreak teachers advert.


Ross Garnaut report last third of the show – John Sutton national sec of CFMEU. Emissions scheme permits raise funds for welfare – moving away from coal as energy source? No hasty retreat from coal. Big export industry, good at it.  Issue is techno fixes.


Q from SL not as alarmed as Paul Howes from AWU – ans all shoulders to the wheel including big corporates. Takes a mild approach. Argues significant funding to technofixes – CCS, demonstration plants, pour resources into this and make it a winner. A lot of voices in this not criticize Paul Howes. Range of energy sources in future.


Footage of credits shows JS of CFMEU very stiff and cool. Takes two drinks of cup rather than chat in the out take. SL says nothing. It takes Paul Bongiorno to engage in social chit chat. Normally the guests chat a lot. Sutton was mild in presentation but this body language suggests serious grim attitudes otherwise?


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



Riley Diary 7, 8.35 am


Battlers, aspirationals, working families evolution of language. “working families” grab from West Wing, running line by Rudd and Barak Obama. “Working farmers” get’s a walk out.

Gillard picfac with innocent school children – standard lazy big media big politics exploitation.  Girls emancipation agenda probably valid.

Chats about Belinda Neil and Nelson and Julie Bishop on another feminist political dynamic.

Riles: Stunning week in politics, Libs by fingernails in Mayo, WA cliffhanger, NSW change of premier and cabinet blows up, Lynne big shift to Independent. Theme in all this of want change. Fed up with spin. Want action, or give heave ho or gives themselves the heave ho. Stop talking and do something. Question about pollies educate can’t do much – question own reason for their existence. Local and intimate terms. Politicians on notice – not a bad way to be.



9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am



LO with Kevin Swan as treasurer. Lost govt in WA, NT big hit, waiting for a whack at NSW.  Shift is on? KS stick to good policy.


Borrowings in NSW are higher so interest rate impact is higher, compared with other states not as badly affected. Disproportionate affect also more exposed in to international finance sector industry.


LO says Costa says basketcase in NSW and new premier agrees. Will you bail out?


KS speaks a bit franticly which he might think feels like energetic but might not realize that it’s the weight of his words and he might better do well to sound firm and sure rather than panicky. In times of worry he needs a high reassurance quotient.


Resubmiting luxury car tax.


Q. could you live on the pension? Says no – gave $500 bonus last year.


[clever Coca Cola advert promo “no artificial colours or flavours, never has, never will” most popular drink in the world … including with Michael Costa sugar free – he is a caffeine junkie for sure hence the mood swings.]


Great report on music for prem babies as a buy in from USA. Quite charming – human condition says the Doc.




Insiders 2: 9- 10am



Wrap about WA in hung parliamentary situation with National Party holding the key. Is it conceivable the nationals do a deal with the ALP. Grills is a young party leader. Nats won a seat of Libs, not impressed by big office or dep premier position, look at seat of Lynne lose their identity. Non negotiable point is royalty for regions – not getting the benefits. Colin Barnett due to retire big success story – first two weeks taken up with Olympics – backfired, sprinted 2 weeks to the line. On verge of premiership.


Runs deeper for Labour – a lot of blame for negative campaign. Campaign collapsed – Carpenter talked about green issues about against uranium mining and against gm crops.


In seat of Mayo – 52 to 48 against Greens without ALP running. [That’s a serious funding boost to the Greens to wisely invest.]


Interview with Rob Oakshot new federal independent now in Lynne. Leveraging tension between ALP State history and coalition rivals. His own qualities just makes it easier to go that way.


Press roundup – Annabel Crabb with heart on her chest (chunky jewellery – so nice) round up pic Sunday Times WA – pics re hung parliament Carpenter v Barnett happy. Sunday Mail winners are Lib and Greens. Mal Farr says incompetent campaigning of Libs. Brian Toohey – NSW politics sensible to sack Costa and Reba Meagher but how to address economy etc.


Brendan Nelson – minor party give a fright in Mayo? Nelson avoids question most cynically talks about WA. No Labor candidates and no preferences, Family First 11% with renegade Bob Day up from 4%.


Sledges Rees and Tebbutt as same production team as Carr and Iemma but wrong faction so not so plausible, also mispronounces Rees as in peace not please. Irony is lost of Mr 12-17% giving ‘the worst govt in Australia’ advice. Nelson calls for constitutional changes to bring on election – typical born to rule alarm at left wing leadership. Discusses Belinda Neal.


Everyperson – sail blokes from NT. Harsh on federal libs. A lot of work up there.


Paul Kelly soliloquy, says NSW turmoil was party breaking the govt – ‘crisis in goverannce’ pure big business narrative spiteful about failure to privatize and gorge on public assets of a natural monopoly. Says it will damage the economy and public will suffer – doubt it just big shareholders and overpaid executives.


Chat about byelections – Toohey urges Barnaby Joyce be made leader asap.

AC describes “amazing”  presser by Costa breach of confidences once out of cabinet.


Farr reckons petition of parliament immediate recall. No confidence motion be put and govt win on the numbers. Nathan Rees biography discussed. Belinda Neal anger management etc.


Talking pics “our David” referring to David Rowe – genius. Lots on shootin candidate Palin and Putin too.


Palin similar to Obama compelling personal stories and great advocacy ability.


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

Posted by editor at 12:12 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 9 September 2008 7:50 PM NZT

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