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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Sunday, 5 October 2008
Sunday political talkies: Federal Govt 'can't speculate' on anything financial anymore
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


Peter Fitzsimmons reckons Julie Gillard is 'hot'.


Full page booze adverts are back in the news big time.


Festival of the boot part 2 later today.


OJ goes down, The Juice on A- peal.


Karry Ann Walsh nails the problem today in “A greed constituency”.


10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am


Deb Knight as compere. GFC – global financial crisis. Press roundup as usual – Henson moral panic story for using children as artistic fodder. Australia should take Tuvalu population [and their TV domain name? Could be good economics.]


Wayne Swan as Treasurer on the low rater as the talent. Shows the Govt serious or reaching? Name dropping US undersecretary of Treasury ….whoever.  GFC – package absolutely essential re bad debts.


“Can’t speculate ….”about share market, or reserve bank. Big question of banks not passing on full reduction in interest rates in future.  [Shows banks under some pressure.]


Outtake Russel Crowe getting applause for bad maths on socialist give away for USA on late night live. [tried to divide 700B by 300M, how do you do it? What is 1 billion in US terms 1000,000,000? Or $100,000,000


Panel Jessica Irving smh, and Mal Farr. MF question. “Can’t speculate on May budget ….” Both sharp tools in the shed.


Can’t confirm 18 weeks parental leave. [There’s a scratch in the record dear Eliza, dear Eliza!]


Animation out take is a cracker – got and opposition of rich people for  rich people by rich people. That’s our democracy.


2nd guest. Academic prof Steve Keen. Exponential debt levels here in Australia over the last 40 years. This guy is so so so good. Our own debt bubble.


GFC bail out package was a wrong move. Competition as economic vitamin C. Problem is too much competition. MF – what think of $20B infrastructure splurge. Keynsian rather than neo classical. Helps balance sheet but ignores debt. Last year 260 billion debt. Demand is going to fall just like ‘America’.



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



Riley Diary 7, 8.35 am


Very clever comparison of the GFC and Australia as the fishing trawler heading into the perfect storm of movie of the same name. Rainfall overlay on Mal Turnbull metaphor on multiple interviews that going to get wet but not sink. The more they say it the more scared we all get and distrustful.


Chats after the tape - Riley in cream suit looks interesting. Reserve bank this Tues.





9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am


Intro News re GFC, and other stuff. OJ goes down.


Clashes directly with Riley Diary for first 5 minutes.


Julia Gillard is the talent as deputy PM. GFC is the topic. Moves onto banks passing on rate cut or not and then infrastructure good investments that also stimulate the economy.







Insiders 2: 9- 10am


GFC intro with Jim Middleton, namesake on panel with Meglogenis and Henderson looking more like Akerman in profile (?).


Bipartisan support ignoring the Keen analysis on MTP.


Cross to Roland in Washington. Delay re Bush authority. Gone in 4 months, quacking noises getting louder.


Meglo press notes Milne story no rate cut pass through in full. Prestige vehicles on slide. Henderson tub thumps on talent scouting for child models moral panic.


Peter Costello is the talent. Interesting choice given Sydney rounds discussing his book.

Agrees with Swan and Rudd will be okay. Australia should continue to grow. Own role doing a bit with the World Bank. Yes changed financially.


Costello lists some tough question for govt on banks – “highly profitable”. Should be passed on in full. Presents as breezy and insightful sabbatical style break from Treasurer, front bencher jobs as we blogged earlier this week after Seymour Centre talk with the perfumed steamroller Jana Wendt.


Soliliquy by Chris Uhlmann as federal political reporter about impact of the GFC to affect climate change approach of the USA next year?. Grab comparison Wayne Swan last month and this month about not passing on the full rate cut.


Panel discusses banking. Henderson argues private confidential conversations with banks and govt. [Fascist hierarchy?] Grab about Turnbull opportunism capacity for banks to pass on full cut.


Panel chat. Henderson tries an apologia for GW Bush – pathetic stuff really.


Talking pictures – Patrick Cook and Mike Bowers who are both now freelancers ex Bulletin, ex Fairfax smh.


Predictions at the wind up, Henderson gives a advertorial for “excellent” Costello memoir.


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



Posted by editor at 11:51 AM NZT
Saturday, 4 October 2008
Coke Cola juggernaut hits corrugations: Pumping trial and risk continues to 2011
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: legal


We took a call yesterday from the SMH journo yesterday responding to our update. It's a reasonable report but as with these things there's some missing elements, and the headline is misconceived as dear reader you will see. So we thought we better fillout the complex and highly tactical background.

We emailed Ben Cubby this tipoff Friday morning copy to local objectors from Wednesday prior, as court agent for activist intervenor Neville Diamond in this Land & Environment Court case:

Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2008 8:59 PM
Subject: CCA got 35 ML/YR permanent with 66 ML/YR trial ongoing to 2011

I have a copy of the orders and judgement from earlier today 9.30 am. Neville also.

I will mail a copy up to you guys - Jane I guess or Margaret or both.

No costs orders against anyone. Our 2 extra consent conditions failed to get up, one to ban bulk export and the other revegetation - though this latter one got closer than I expected.

Moore/Taylor took serious notice of the climate change concerns - and we did well to get that evidence in even though we are not acknowledged directly about that. But given no one else ran the issue up except GCC in their pleadings (Statement in Reply document) says to me we had to be in the case all along and not trust GCC.

Well done xxxxxx for photocopying for me the CSIRO report - again not mentioned specifically but you can see them leaning on it in their cross referencing of other legal cases on the precautionary principle re climate.

For me the critical turning point in the case was Lane being chosen as CAE [court appointed single party expert] who was alwys going to go for an approval.

There is a paragraph too that gets it wrong regarding Peter Campbell evidence which he will want to read, mixing Peter up with Mr Hitchcock on the water sharing committee. There is also an embarrsing typo in the documents referring to trial until 2911! Sounds good to me but should read 2011.

The Commissioners also notably extracted in their judgement exactly the same text I lifted from Lane in my submissions, that contradicted his own verbal evidence to a fair degree.

So in conclusion we kept the trial. And they got 35ML permanent.

Thanks linesman, thanks ball persons! Until the next tennis match.

Kind regards, Tom
Which is not quite the same spin as the Herald headline writer as above which does bear some resolution of the different versions, ours being the more informed (we humbly submit).

To explain: CCA wanted to get free of their existing 66 ML/YR trial from the 2005 judgement because a trial is just that - it puts their whole approval in jeopardy if they fail the trial. So there was no "extra water" in the court decision which has always been at 66 ML/YR since 2005. That is 66ML/YR before the court decision, 66ML/YR after the cout decision. But contrary to the Herald slant Coke are hamstrung by another 3 years of risk of trial conditions, as they should be. That's a job well done by the community sector.

How so? Because with the trial leash CCA know from history in the Peats Ridge area they can't go anywhere near the 66ML/YR without some major impacts all carefully measured with monitoring bores. Which is why in their trial up to late 2007 they refused to pump more than an average 35ML/YR for the last 3 years despite a court authority (some argue mandatory requirement) to trial 66 ML/YR fearing the consequences of resultant scientific data being exposed. Indeed the court decided this latest data only justified 35ML/YR permanent approval up from 25 ML. So their trial over the last 3 years has got them only 10 ML/YR extra permanent increase to 35 ML.

In reality CCA squibbed the 66 ML/YR trial and paid the price with another 3 years - go back and do your homework. Good decision LEC.

Indeed when CCA tried in 2006 to pump at a higher rate of 66 ML they ended up in court again for a plummeting water table in what became known as the "Trigger Case". This refers to a trigger where the CCA bores automatically shut off at 10 metres depth - which was loosened in CCA's favour to 15 m. In that case CCA applied for but lost their application for unlimited depth so you can never over-estimate the chutzpah of CCA . The LEC being the only thing between big political donations to the ALP Govt with their so called independent public servant bureaucrats.

This latest decision is not a win for Coke. No costs orders were made against any objector party, neither council or intervenor Diamond. Even when we didn't get our extra consent conditions. Indeed if we hadn't been there alot of climte change evidence would have been airbrushed.

Coke didn't get their trial conditions removed which was their stated case in their application and pleadings, so their appeal was only "upheld" to the extent of a minor increase of 10 ML/YR permanent increase free of the trial consequences in 2011 depending on the data at that time. Here indeed is that very pleading to delete the LEC/Moore C. prescient trial at 66 ML/YR imposed since 2005:

And notice Dr Noel Merrick in the story above as "the groundwater expert" at UTS. Our advice, and we are happy to be corrected, is that he is a computer modelling expert, not a qualified hydrologist. He is reported as admitting this at a boisterious public meeting in 2006 or so.  

A quick look at his resume online indicates:

 Research Expertise

  • Groundwater modeling – flow, solute, contaminants, stochastic.
  • Optimisation modeling - resource management, groundwater allocation, dewatering, pump-and-treat
  • Electrical geophysics - software, resource assessment, salinity monitoring
  • Computer programming - FORTRAN, GAMS 

Later on in the resume he indicates:

Academic Qualifications

  • PhD, 2000, University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Graduate Course in Hydrology, 1981, The University of New South Wales.
  • Graduate Diploma in Data Processing, with Distinction, 1980, The New South Wales Institute of Technology.
  • Master of Science Research Degree, 1977, The University of Sydney.
  • Bachelor of Science Degree, 1971, The University of Sydney

Professional Society Memberships

  • MIAH - Member, International Association of Hydrogeologists
  • MASEG - Member, Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists
  • MNZHS – Member, New Zealand Hydrological Society
We added the bold regarding graduate course in hydrology. A degree does not quite make for profound expertise in a highly contested legal case. What was the Phd in? We suspect it was in computer modelling. And the memberships of various hydrologist professional bodies does not quite get you there. There is heavy emphasis on the computer modelling aspects in this resume. And clearly Merrick is a smart man. That's not the question. For those who aren't aware the highest expertise in this area of groundwater in Sydney sandstone is referred to as a hydro-geologist. And that leaves wide open the area of ecological expertise of groundwater dependent ecoystems.

No one is saying Merrick doesn't have knowledge of these, but is he the expert beyond his computer modelling career? We do wonder.

Yet Merrick is offering arguably unqualified ecological impacts advice to anyone who will listen? - Mr Lane who was the hydrologist single parties expert in the case, the local press in a letter in May 2007, and to the SMH here. But he's not an ecologist, and he's not a hydrologist. We asked Lane in cross examination who in turn admitted in writing he relied on Merrick for his expert evidence .... 
McLoughlin: 'He's not a hydrologist is he?'
Lane " Is he not?"
McLoughlin: "So that's your evidence, you understand him to be a qualified hydrologist?"
It was about to get ugly and Commissioner Moore intervened to keep it all polite and smooth. But the point was made.

Indeed Dr Merrick has written in effect that he is a potential joint venturer with Coca Cola funding his proposals for future academic studies of Peats Ridge. In other words he appears to have a potential financial conflict of interest. In this case Merrick was happy to endorse a whopping '30% reduction in stream baseflow'. Too bad if you're an eco-system in the surrounding national parks dependent on that 30% of water resource!

There is simply no scientific environmental impact assessment by Merrick, State Govt or CCA for such an outrageous posture. Indeed it contradicts the gist of Merrick's own Nov 2006 170 page report which suggested sustainable yeild for that catchment had been over estimated by 100%. Which was why CCA wanted to get him onside and out of the way? And wanted to offer to jointly fund his future studies? And why the local Catchment Management Committee refused to endorse the next Merrick CCA joint study for lacking independence?

The main parties in the litigation didn't want to consider Merrick's Nov 2006 academic report which tended to contradict his new view of things by May 2007 in the clammy embrace of CCA. This writer forced them to include it in evidence to the expert Lane. He got the report with only 4 days to interpret the complex data 14 July 2008, final report 18 July, hence the verbal consultations with Merrick direct as conceded by Lane in writing in his final report.

This Nov 2006 Merrick report is realistic about the historical over-allocations and uncertainties of unlicensed water use such that grant in 2005 to Coca Cola from 25 to 66 ML/YR (in contrast to any other rival applicant) was in the context of existing unsustainability. In other words in isolation the CCA increase is 'a minor impact' if it were a sustainable paradigm but in reality its salt into the wound and the local farmers know it. No double talk can hide that reality.

There is no doubt a govt funded independent study of water usage in the Peats Ridge, Somersby Plateau should be done, whether by Merrick or otherwise, but not funded by CCA to compromise the results. And why hasn't it been done? Because it appears there is rampant sandmine and other unlicensed water use in the area making for a real can of worms, and just like water regulation in many other areas of the state. Of that CCA is quite accurate. It's another state govt dog's breakfast.

As we understand rather than address the local water supply systemic over-allocations which Dr Merrick implies in his own correspondence then minister Frank Sartor indulged in 2007 in some corporate welfare and approved a $27M water pipe down from the Hunter to keep the local Gosford Wyong water supply going.

And what does this all mean for future water use by CCA at Peats Ridge? Quite likely once they go pump over the tried and tested 35ML/YR average their monitoring will start to show big problems just like it did in 2006 with a plummeting water table impacting local farms. It ain't over yet by a long chalk. And the anti bottled water forces are getting stronger as people's discretionary income for this luxury is going south. Same as tap water indeed! Ben Cubby got that right.

Another minor nit pick in the SMH story. The NSW Nature Conservation Council rep might well have a valid opinion about the broad situation of bottled water. But they didn't have anything to do with the community litigation in the LEC in 2008. The people on this author's radar were Scott Hickie ably assisting Ian Cohen MLC, campaigner Jon Dee, Clean Up Australia and to a lesser extent Waverley Mayor Ingrid Strewe (till recently) and similarly Peter Macdonald of Manly council.

An extensive history of the latest litigation and our role as SAM editor sometime court agent can be found here:

Monday, 29 September 2008

Friday, 19 September 2008
Thursday, 18 September 2008
Monday, 4 August 2008
Friday, 25 July 2008
Friday, 18 July 2008
Friday 18 July 2008 -  
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Saturday, 5 July 2008
Friday, 4 July 2008
4 July 2008 -
Friday, 27 June 2008
Friday, 27 June 2008
Tuesday 24 June 2008 -

Posted by editor at 11:08 AM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 16 October 2008 4:26 PM NZT
SAM micro news viewer stats for Sept 2008, down to 20,746
Mood:  not sure
Topic: independent media

We lost 5000 plus hits somehow over the last month! Less a slump as a mini crash. Not that we are too stressed about it. One week laid down with a rotten cold. Flat out with a distracting environmental law case about sandmining adjacent to a world heritage Blue Mountains, other pro bono legal help as tutor for a disabled volunteer. Getting a more serious exercise regime. But these are all excuses, we just do what we do and the readership figures can please themselves.

We got out biggest thrill this month catching out new Opposition Leader Mal Turnbull making a mild gaffe about the national football codes, blogging it and watching it run all week, not to say SAM was the template, but then again maybe it was.

Also sometimes we wonder if our readers are the political activists and hacks who are at times too busy to slum it here say when Parliament is sitting affecting readership. Or maybe there are lots of shareholders who were riding the slippery dip of global financial markets this last fortnight.

On the other hand we similarly try to keep our eye in with comment threads on such as crikey.com.au but less so this last month - which we think might also draw some interest back to the SAM site.

Or maybe we just don't have a clue what builds circulation at all?!

Previous monthly reader pageview figures for 2007, 2008 verified by screen shot (web host provider monthly pageview account details) posted on or about 4th day of the month found in this thread:

  • August 08 - 25,344
  • July 08 - 22,855
  • June 08 - 27,440
  • May 08 - 25,046
  • April 08 - 19,250
  • March 08 - 20,803 
  • February 08 - 13,109
  • January 08 -  19, 898
  • December - 11,627
  • November - 10,220
  • October - 9, 100 
  • Sept -  8,100 (roughly, no screenshot)
  • August - 8,845
  • July - 7475
  • June - 9675
  • May  - 9, 059
  • April  - 12,087
  • March  - 6,684
  • February - 5,372
  • January 07 -  2800 (3rd Jan - 3rd Feb 07)

Posted by editor at 10:44 AM NZT
Friday, 3 October 2008
Breezy Peter Costello reclaiming his mojo on sabbatical?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: economy


We watched the well to do mostly older crowd fill about 2/3 of the Seymour centre last night for Costello and Coleman interview with skinny Jana Wendt. Not a Keating! musical full house in the same venue but respectable turn out still.

A couple of times I really wondered what the hell was I doing there (the spurned interviewing the spurned) but glad I went via complementary MUP/crikey ticket. Just rang up and they had one left. Even asked the 2nd audience question about the international financial bailout.

The crowd were quite satisfied I would say even the mild mannered provocateurs.

Peter Coleman presents like a calm overseer. Costello looked uncharacteristicly humble in Coleman's presence. Coleman mentioned how from early on PC presented "like Bob Hawke" as destined "for national leadership of some kind".

This is our take out:

- no regrets from PC refusing the poison chalice offered by Howard after the federal election loss.

- not just affecting a relaxed demeanour, he presents like a man happy in the bosom of his family, with references to 4 months solid of 16 hour days in the concrete bunker on that first budget and then 11 more after that.

- some cracking lines scribbled down in the dark:

- there is a real "buzz" in politics that you don't get anywhere else" spoken like a man who hasn't retired by a long chalk

- APEC 2007: "the week of madness" meeting Putin, Hu, Blair etc during the day, consulting with colleagues about Howard's leadership at night "it could be yours ... it was a saga .... these guys were where I was in 1994 ... " implying he always knew Howard would never hand over, renew the govt. There was an "unreality" and "bizarre" flavour to the APEC week.

- he was in "a psychological" traffic jam'

- it was "better for him and for others" that he vacate the leadership team after the defeat

- "the point of politics is not to be the opposition leader"

- to Jana Wendt  on how long will he stay in Parliament "how that will play out will be determined in the next couple of years".

- issues that he would have handled differently in govt - there were many - Kyoto, reconciliation, and on and on the list went.

All the while wishing Malcolm Turnbull his best. Ouch.

For some reason I wrote down this conclusoin which was not said "hates unions more than Howard", and "Howard family were the imperium" meaning not the Liberal Party whose advice the PM declined when it came to the crunch during APEC.

As I said to the old dears chatting behind me "he's coming back, I can tell".

And what was my question? It went something like this:

The vice president of the US Federal Reserve from 1996 to 2006 was on World Today show yesterday, and I noticed your opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald too. He said the Congress were right to vote down the bail out package. What's your opinion and of the new bail out package too?

In short that new bailout package with conditions should pass and will pass, but that the people on mainstreet were right to be very upset about paying for the irresponsible behaviour of some people on the markets. It was much longer than that but that was the gist.

There was plenty more I've left out and he didn't convince me to vote Liberal or anything but it was a useful evening.

And the biggest elephant of all was not so much silently in the room as bestride the whole building unnoticed by presenters or audience: The Iraq War.

As if on cue Malcolm Turnbull was on Sydney abc radio first item on the morning show. Methinks it would not be a reach to say he was briefed on Costello's little soiree of the night before and felt the call of some publicity of his own?

Posted by editor at 3:46 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 3 October 2008 4:28 PM NZT
Monday, 29 September 2008
Comment: Premier Rees didn't learn from that side swipe obviously
Mood:  blue
Topic: nsw govt


Lord, I aint’ goin’ down to no race track
See no sports car run
I dont’ have no sports car
And I don’t even care to have one
I can walk anytime around the block.

- Bob Dylan’s Blues


What's a few hundred trees when between 2500 and 3000 native eucalypts are being fed into the Eden Chipmill on the far south east NSW coast every day?

That's the environmental damage at the Olympic Park precinct at Homebush with Premier Rees approving some mindless V8 car races apparently.

He could have bought into a solar car race perhaps. Or some other more forward looking style of event. But like the ALP, and society more generally he just doesn't get it.

Like Paul Kelly who writes for The Australian he obviously thinks the growth fetish is just fine as the Murray Darling carks it, as rental in Sydney turns oppressive, as native species head south, and the rate carbon emissions escalates. How wrong can leaders be. We should be exporting teachers to help educate the people of the world with alternatives so they can reduce the global population. Instead we escalate exports of coal.

Keep going this way Nathan and we will all be living "in caves" as a result of dangerous climate change. The symbolism really so stinks.

The irony is that Rees was a competitive cyclist who was seriously injured when some redneck car driver took a U-turn and wiped him out broken shoulder and all (so he says somewhere in the Big Media).  But he still didn't learn much from that it seems .....like cars and people are a poor mix.

Posted by editor at 8:00 PM NZT
VP candidate Palin levers Aaron Sorkin's Charlie Wilson's War movie for picfacs
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: big media

September 25, 2008    

Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska met Wednesday with President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan at the Intercontinental Hotel in New York.  

We don't run a story category for the USA presidential elections. We feel it would be impertinent from this far away for a 290 million population 'democracy'.

But we can't help noticing that the author of the Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts movie 'Charlie Wilson's War' based on a true story as set out in the DVD special extras package was the same guy who wrote the West Wing first season or two. That is Aaron Sorkin. Really excellent writing it is too. All based on a true story too.

The real womanising drug taking Charlie Wilson (as he confesses on the DVD special extras) is here:

Charles Wilson (Texas politician)

 The real Joanne Herring played by Roberts is here in Afghanistan via Pakistan:

Joanne Herring in Afghanistan with the mujahideen,  how Joanne Herring won Charlie Wilson's War
Joanne Herring in Afghanistan with the mujahideen

And though Sorkin was gone by the time the later seasons ran with the coloured Matt Santos candidate in West Wing tv series modelled on the real life Barak Obama, one gets the feeling there is a fair bit of life and art merging here. After all visual mass communication is what tv drama and election politics have in common.

Sooo in the Wilson movie the Julia Roberts character - who is a real life oil billionaire or something like that - holds a banquet and presentation of the president/dictator of Pakistan namely General Zia. Scary huh?

Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq 

In a brutally blunt line in the movie the Roberts character asserts her guest in the USA 'had nothing to do with the hanging judicial murder of Mr Bhutto', father of Benizir Bhutto. As if.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

Sooo now Sarah Palin, another right wing fantasy character from real life, is meeting another Paki leader in the news recently, this time democratically elected. Thank heavens for small mercies.

And if you think this reference to Charlie Wilson's War movie and Sarah Palin is a reach then how come this story ran 8 September here, via Sunday Times?:

8 Sept 2008 Charlie Wilson's new war against 'sniffy' academics | The Australian

It's all part of the same right wing sticht: "... reinvigorated by a recent heart transplant" says the article of real life Charlie, which is sort of like what Sarah Palin is to John McCain.

Posted by editor at 5:59 PM NZT
Coca Cola Amatil to make declaration to the stock exchange any day now?
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: legal



Coca Cola Amatil have written to the Land & Environment Court regarding the hearing of Sept 3 and 4 in Kettle [agent for CCA] v Gosford City Council and Diamond (Intervenor) 10429 of 2005 seeking extra information on when a judgement might be forthcoming.

Notice the reference to water volumes allowed: Basically they have DA approval for 25 ML/YR which is likely used up by now or soon will be, and have had a temporary license up until Dec 2007 for 66ML/YR under their DA approval.

In other words until the decision one way or the other from the Land & Environment Court in a quite complex and tricky case, hotly contested by neighbouring agricultural land users, community group and the green movement, Coca Cola are faced with running out of their license allocation for their Peats Ridge water bottling plant.

And as their barrister Peter Tomasetti stated/implied in the court on Sept 4, as a public company they have obligations to declare to the market place what their trading situation is. At that time they suggested they had some 3 weeks supply available under their license which bring us to about now 25 late Sept 2008 if not already passed.

One local writes to SAM micro news today that he believes CCA have only themselves to blame as the local staff at Peats Ridge were having their water resource bulk exported by tanker to the CCA Smithfield plant which could have been kept back for the licensed water bottling at Peats Ridge:

Sent: Monday, September 29, 2008 10:20 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: LEC No. 10429/05 David Kettle Consulting v. Gosford City Council

> Dear Tom.
> Thanks for CCA letter to L&EC This confirms my understanding of the licensed allocations to be 2 seperate amounts
1@25ml & 1@41ml.PRS has reached their 25ml limit for this year. The 41ml subject to the trial conditions is not available to them due to the refusal by GCC to convert the status from temp to perm.The temp / trial period expired Dec 2007.The DWE docs Fraser [counsel for GCC] produced at court don't alter the fact that PRS [Peats Ridge Springs Ltd subsidiary of CCA]  is currently restricted to 25ml. Access to all or part of the 41ml is subject to the courts decision.
> CCA have been aware of this restriction of 25ml since GCC refused their application in Feb 2008 however they chose to use up part of their limited allocation for bulk removal to their Smithfield processing plant therefore putting at risk having enough water left to keep the PRS plant operating as a bottling plant.
> In the last paragraph of the letter they are using economic blackmail on Comm Moore to try to gain access to the 41ml . This should be pointed out to Council so that Council make it clear that CCA put their PRS plant in this position THEMSELVES and it is not acceptable to try to now blackmail the Court.


Nor is the Court's judgement quite the official end of the controversy in this current phase going on for many years now. There are a whole lot of thorny questions being asked in NSW Parliament about how CCA managed to get a state govt license increase in water from 25 to 66 ML/YR (subject to a DA approval for the same amount via the court) compared with neighbouring landholders routinely rejected for any increase. As well as a cognate Water Bill also before the parliament.

One begins to suspect why former minister Nathan Rees preferred to jump up the ladder rather than stick around in this problemmatic portfolio:



Posted by editor at 4:58 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 29 September 2008 5:43 PM NZT
Della Bosca goes News Corp alcohol advertising, Scipione gets the collateral damage?
Mood:  party time!
Topic: nsw govt

NSW political watchers know it's a pretty big dynamic here. Sometimes it takes alot of study to join all the dots resulting in the 130 coppers with convictions on the beat story today in the Sydney Daily Telegraph today:

So try this chronology:

1. Kevin Rudd's dad tragically dies from after effects of a car crash - driving under the influence like thousands of Australians tended to do in the 60ies and 70ies. Kev nurses a grudge for 40 years and not just on his own behalf but every victim of booze 

2. PM Rudd announces campaign against binge drinking generally and 'alcopops' in particular. Teetotal NSW police commissioner Andrew Scipione echoes the theme as does every other non addicted Australian with still half a brain left to preserve, or career ambition to nurse

3. Just for fun SAM micro news site here starts collating the highly prominent and expensive full page alcohol industry adverts in the press (as pictured below), particularly but not just News Corp press like the Sydney Daily Telegraph

4. Della Bosca gets caught swearing at a News Corp journo for losing his license for excessive demerit points (for speeding) and suffers frighteningly negative PR featuring cartoon of a bicycle disappearing up his ample backside. We at SAM counter intuitively encourage big bad Della to make lemonade as it were by going the exercise option.

5. Spouse Belinda Neal gets caught applying traditional ALP Right emotional violence in the parliamentary chamber, then denying that she even mentioned "devil child" or whatever it was

6. Neal gets into a high profile fracas with endless 'he said, she said' innuendo, eventually dismissed by the coppers, but providing hectares (!) of News Corp (and other big media) press about 'fragile' (not) Belinda. Alcohol plays a significant role in the proceedings, consumed by her or served to juniors by the staff, or none of these, as you please.

7. Della meanwhile goes the exercise option with a vengeance - as suggested at point 4. Turns up with a new ministerial job some months later half the girth, after 'the smoking sword' as it were of Nathan Rees doing a good renditiion of Macbeth on the colleagues. It's a rough tough business this real politik to be sure, to be sure.

8. New Health Minister Della Bosca calls for a serious consideration of ban of alcohol advertising ... which just happens to be a significant income earner of the sworn enemies at Sydney Daily Telegraph, as well as being a worthy public policy idea.  Teetotal Scipione echoes the concern as per 40K hospital alcohol related admissions a year as way out of control. Too right DB, too right. Hard to implement  an advert ban but like smoking bans a sensible measure to curb the carnage out there.

9. Which all brings us to SDT running their front page blowtorch '130 cops with convictions on the beat' story today. Mostly minor convictions, some maybe quite serious, but out of a workforce of say 10,000 we have to ask, well derr? Is this the editorial/management at News Corp saying to NSW Govt and Police Commissioner to back off with a little real politik tickle up via bad PR? We do think so. It all just hangs together, plus the fact the NSW Police have been cutting off big media direct access to the police radio frequency with all those useful news leads.

In conclusion all we can say is: Keep going Scip, keep going Della Bosca, keep going Ruddster. We like it. And a ban on advertising booze will do more for the economy than alcohol advertising has ever done given the opportunity cost, injury rates, stupified afternoons after a liquid lunch etc. True alcoholic drinks in moderation can be mildly socially beneficial while cigarettes have pretty much no redeeming features but hey we still think it's the drug dealers versus the rest. Will it actually happen? Not this side of a Green Party Govt it won't.

Posted by editor at 3:56 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 29 September 2008 4:57 PM NZT
Sunday, 28 September 2008
Sunday Political talkies: Cool hand Mal or 2 bit Hussler on pension policy? Likable goose on Festival of the Boot.
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


Caught the last 30 minutes of Obama v McCain debate which the latter was winning, but Bruce Wolpe says the voters would’ve been trending to Obama on the economy after the last week of financial markets turmoil.


Cool hand Luke dies – vale Paul Newman, what a guy. Slapstick. Colour of Money.



10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am


Pensions theme – footage of Macklin Nelson-Turnbull Bill ignores 2 million pensioners.


Paper round up ignores booze attack lead front of Sydney SunHerald. Deborah Rice in chair – Jenny Macklin ignores first question could you live on $270 a week. Ignores it a second time.


$1000 interim payment? Macklin hair looks blonde green, with koala eyes, that droning nasal voice. Waffles on, footage of Senator Joyce.


Out take of Swan sledge of Turnbull re Roosters in AFL [which was a SAM story headline actually and maybe possibly the first to use the line – them’s the breaks big Mal – without fear or favour, repeated in full below].


Panel – Glen Milne news corp looking pudgy but healthy, Louise Dodson AFR rare appearance these days.


Helen Dent Australian Shareholders Assoc. Bit clunky, drags something over the mike, good message on corporate crime, verbal handwringing. Chunky jewellery drags on bench top again. Executive payrate question – blows ASA trumpet. But ASA have rep of weak attitude in light of Stephen Mayne. Rhetoric on reward for failure. Hand action chunky jewellery. Deborah Rice mimics the hand movements.


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



Riley Diary 7, 8.35 am


Kevin 747 prime tourist theme. Missy Higgins also in New York. Footage of Rupert Murdoch and many nameless folks. Roosters, Swans, AFL, Ricky Ponting for Brownlow etc. Quite a goose but all very shallow.


Talkies with Riley not a lot achieved on Kyoto etc. Cuts into Oakes on 9 switch. Discusses $4 billion non bank lending segment.





9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am


Talent is Lindsay Tanner as Finance Minister. Gets to the hard issue of pension benefits [to share in wealth of resources boom]. Won’t rule it out before next year’s budget.






Insiders 2: 9- 10am

Panel is News Corp heavy with Mal Farr and Piers Akerman from the same Sydney paper Daily Telegraph, and Annabel Crabb from Sydney Morning Herald Fairfax.


Press roundup only caught Pat Farmer living in Mosman trying to serve seat of Macarthur, who completely failed to stand against racism in Camden school issue.


Humorous footage of Gillard and Turnbull at AFL grand final breakfast. Gutsy for Malcolm to turn up and take the gibes. Boilerplate on international financials. Under pressure on IR delivery for union backers. Claims ACTU adverts at Liberals and called out on that.


Talent is Julia Gillard.





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






Tues 23 Sept 08 8.05 am

Turnbull an AFL 'rooster', League 'swan' .... and an everyperson 'goose'?!
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: aust govt


Funny to hear Mal Turnbull with Fran Kelly abc radio national just before 8 am this morning in the shadow of the higher rating 7.45 am local radio news on sister abc station.

After cutting strips with a sharp box cutter blade off the Rudd govt "bungling" over timing of bans on naked versus broad short selling vis a vis international market bans on some or all of these, he gets the usual September festival of the boot question.

If he had not been saturated with media engagements all this week he might have had the energy to listen to Barry OFarrell his NSW Liberal Party counterpart answer the same question only half an hour earlier on 702 abc Sydney.

And sure enough Big Mal stuffed it saying he barracked for the Roosters in the AFL which are actually a League team. And Swans in League which is actually an AFL team and then fully correcting himself.

Proving what exactly? That like most mature minds he doesn't give a stuff about big business sport anyway unlike say the amateurs above? That he never earned his sporting component of the Rhodes scholarship after all and he's faking it? That he is only an everyman like bookish Bob Carr isn't? That questions about sport is stupid for political leaders worried about a financial meltdown comparable to the 1930ies great depression. And dangerous climate change comparable to nothing else in recorded history?

Anyway we just wanted to use swan, rooster and goose in the same headline.

Posted by editor at 10:53 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 28 September 2008 12:26 PM NZT
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
Bob Carr in $1 Billion play for privatised plantations in NSW mini budget?
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: nsw govt

Picture: poster in increasingly marginal seat of Marrickville on Carrington Road in the 2005 by-election won by then upper house MP now Deputy Premier Carmel Tebbutt in move to the NSW Lower House.
Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 10:52 AM
Subject: forests: mini budget is the dynamic? Re: [chipstop]

Carr's posturing is likely about the mini budget in say 4 weeks re BIS Shrapnel valuation of nsw plantation assets at $1 billion which annual revenue income cross subsidises the native forest woodchipping industry:

More here

Plantation sell off in NSW for $1 billion in public revenue?

He's very manipulative like that. Carr like Keating is a master of conflicted self interest, as consultant to Macquarie Bank.You can't privatise the plantations asset without a political framework for curtailing or shutting down native forest woodchipping.

One ought not get too polly anna about Carr's environmental credentials as Ian Cohen seems to be doing here  below in the attached media release to create some space for a mediator/profile role for himself as a deal maker.

Here is a quite accurate history of Bob Carr on the environment when it mattered:

  • Carr ALP dodges 1999-2003
  • Carr ALP dodges 1995-99

  • as well as Carr logging legacy for south east NSW (let alone East Gippsland):

  • Having said all that I do support implementation of the bipartisan 1990 Public Accounts Committee report to sever financial ties between plantation and native forests, further that the only likely way that can be done is through an asset sell off process where the public actually gets something for their plantation assets instead of being bled dry by the native forest/woodchipping/conversion sector in a cross subsidy.

    I know The Greens, academic Judith Adjani, TWS and no doubt the CFMEU and nominal Lefties like minister Carmel Tebbutt don't agree but then I don't think they've consulted or understood the 1990 bipartisan PAC committee report recommendations (which TWS elder Rod Knight showed to me in 1992), or in Adjani's case understood the land baron political economic dynamic of state forest agencies - a critique the former chief of CSR wood products made about her Forest Wars book - on stage at the launch of her book at Gleebooks in Sydney.

    In any case I would say it's all about the mini budget process - not Bob Carr's commitment to the environment per se. Just as his seed donation to the Climate Institute was about the real politik of wedging the Libs and Nats on Kyoto for election of the Rudd Labor govt, then backsliding on coal mining after that. If his politiking on the environment is seen as virtuous then that's just an added bonus as far as Carr is concerned as one of the 4 amigos with Brereton, Richo, Keating.

    Also of interest is that Rudd recently stiffened his resolve on climate re Garnaut modelling here:
    SMH 20 Sept 08 Rudd delivers a low blow on Garnaut modelling Stephanie Peatling
    KEVIN RUDD has told industry and environment groups it is necessary to support an ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target, in an apparent reference to the more cautious approach advocated by his climate change adviser, Ross Garnaut.

    Mr Rudd's statement was made after a briefing of industry and environment groups on the Federal Government's plan for a $100 million international institute to spearhead research on capturing and burying greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

    Mr Rudd nominated the lowest level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere modelled by Professor Garnaut as "necessary" but did not say any more.

    That level was 450 parts per million, which scientists say offers a chance of avoiding dangerous levels of climate change but which Professor Garnaut said "reluctantly" this month was almost impossible to reach.

    Maybe the PM is getting really scared about the implications of all this, as he should be.

    Yours truly,

    Tom McLoughlin principal ecology action sydney, editor

    4 attachments

    ................................. Attach #1

    Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 8:44 AM
    Subject: [chipstop] penny wong on bob carr letter

    From Senate hansard for yesterday. Note that Penny Wong does not answer either of Christine Milne's questions other than with platitudes about the RFAs.

    QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE - Emissions Trading Scheme
    Emissions Trading Scheme

    Senator MILNE (Tasmania) (2:27 PM) ­My question is to the Minister for Climate Change and Water and relates to the large volumes of carbon captured and stored in Australia’s native forests and vegetation. Does she agree with former New South Wales Premier Bob Carr that protecting native forests is fundamental to fighting climate change and that keeping carbon locked up or sequestered in Australia’s native forests instead of logging them not only will slow Australia’s rising greenhouse gas emissions but will also have biodiversity benefits?

    Senator WONG (South Australia) (Minister for Climate Change and Water) ­I thank Senator Milne for the question. I know that this has been an issue that the Greens have previously raised. As you would be aware, the government does recognise the importance of Australia’s forests in terms of both their biodiversity values and also because they remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as part of a comprehensive effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are committed, and this is something that was made clear prior to the election, to maintaining a robust system of regional forest agreements.

    Senator Bob Brown ­They destroy forests.

    Senator WONG­I understand, Senator Brown, that that is not a position with which your party agrees, but that is the position that was made very clear prior to the election. The 2008 State of the forests report shows that there has been a 1.5 million hectare increase in the area of forest added to the reserve system since 2003. I am advised that 23 million hectares of native forests are now in formal reserves. We welcome the ANU research on carbon storage in intact natural forests in south-eastern Australia. The government’s national carbon accounting system does draw on Australian research from peer reviewed scientific studies and encourages research in these fields.

    The senator would also be aware that the government’s proposal in the green paper is for a voluntary opt in for forestry which would enable landholders who wish to enter the CPRS to do so subject, obviously, to the maintenance and permanence of such forests. That is currently the proposal in the government CPRS green paper. I do understand that Senator Milne and Senator Brown may have a different set of views on this issue.

    Senator Bob Brown ­Well, you are wrong.

    Senator WONG ­I meant from the government, Senator Brown, not between one another. As I said, we do recognise the importance of Australia’s forests. We have a clear commitment to maintaining a robust system of RFAs and I again reiterate through the green paper that the government is proposing in its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme a voluntary opt in for forestry. That is important and it is predicated upon the recognition that forests can form an important part of our fight against carbon pollution and our fight to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. The proposed opt in through the green paper would enable landholders to voluntarily opt into the system to establish a forest and to generate a credit as a result of entering the system. That obviously creates an incentive for sequestration where it is appropriate for forest activity for the establishment and maintenance of forests. I make the point that once landholders are in the system then in accordance with the Kyoto accounting rules they would have to remit a permit to remove those forests.

    Senator MILNE (Tasmania) ­Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. I thank the minister for her answer although I noticed that she studiously avoided answering whether or not she agreed with former New South Wales Premier Bob Carr. I also note that in her answer she focused on the opt in for plantation forestry, not talking about native forest as standing stores. So I ask: can the minister explain why the forests of Indonesia and PNG are carbon stores and must be protected from logging to save the climate, but the forests of Australia are not? Is this a case of Australia hypocritically saying to the world, ‘Do as I say on the protection of your forests, but do not do as I do on the logging of ours’?

    Senator WONG (South Australia) (Minister for Climate Change and Water) ­I reiterate, Australia, as the senator knows, does have a system of management of forests that has been through an extensive process. Obviously there is the matter of historical record and I note that this is not actually my portfolio, but we have been very clear about our support for the Regional Forest Agreements. I understand that some in the chamber have a different view about this. But very clearly, we do have not only forest management practices and regulation in Australia, but also extensive land clearing legislation at a state level and the green paper goes through that in detail and explains that we do believe there is regulatory management there in terms of land use, which is appropriate. In terms of the senator’s question about Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, the government has made it clear that we do see­(Time expired)

    .................................Attach #2

    Sent: Monday, September 22, 2008 4:13 PM
    Subject: [Greens-Media] Tebbutt has a lot to learn from Carr

    Media Release from Ian Cohen MLC                                       
     22 September 2008
     Tebbutt has a lot to learn from Carr
    Greens MP Ian Cohen has today recognised Bob Carr for his role in
    supporting the environment movement when he was Premier and his
    continuing support for the environment. 
    “Bob Carr was the first Labor premier to work well with the Green
    movement,” says Mr Cohen.
    “He took environmental and greenhouse issues seriously.  When he was
    Premier, Bob Carr acknowledged the importance of environmental issues and persued parliamentary pressure on his government to achieve
    “This was reflected in his strong conservation initiatives but people
    may remember Carr for his relationship with Milo Dunphy, one of
    Australia’s leading conservationists.  Carr also pioneered the
    permanent protection of forests under his premiership.”
    “It is a relief to hear Bob Carr’s comments after dealing with a
    Labor government that has turned decidedly brown", said Mr Cohen. 
    “Carmel Tebbutt could follow in the footsteps of Bob Carr and lead
    the charge against climate change.  The federal government isn’t going
    to make the changes and take the necessary risks in order to avert
    dangerous climate change”, said Mr Cohen.
    ‘Why can’t the NSW government set the standard for all state
    governments and put laws in place that protect old growth and previously logged forests.  Every time a tree gets logged under the existing regional forestry agreements we are a step closer to disastrous climate change”, says Mr Cohen.
    “The new Minister for Climate Change Carmel Tebbutt would do well to
    listen Bob Carr”, said Mr Cohen.

    .............................Attach #3

    Sent: Monday, September 22, 2008 8:44 AM
    Subject: [chipstop] Fwd: [forest_alliance] SMH: Carr targets PM on logging

    How many years did Bob Carr have to do something about the forests?

    To: forest_alliance

    They're logging at Bermagui? wtf?

    Carr targets PM on logging

    ...................................................Attach #4

    Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2008 9:09 AM
    Subject: [chipstop] chipmill vigil and truck count this thursday

    Walk Against Woodchips Chipmill vigil and truck count this Thursday
    To mark Keri and Clover's passing through Eden, the birthplace of woodchipping in Australia, we will hold a one day vigil and truck count at the chipmill corner (Edrom Road/ Princes Highway approx 20 kms south of Eden) on Thursday 25th September.
    A few of us will roll out our swags there overnight on Wednesday 24th so that we don't miss the first trucks going in from 4.30am.
    Keri, Clover and supporters will spend some time with us before heading on down to East Gippsland. If you can spend all or part of the day with us, you will be most welcome.
    The trucks counts are an extremely useful exercise. We record the type of load, companies, the direction from which they arrive and various other useful data. This information has been immensely valuable over the years , allowing us to follow trends in the and counter some claims of the industry (eg; they do not take logs over 60cms diameter).
    This is a great opportunity for East Gippsland forest supporters to meet Keri and maybe walk for a time with her along the difficult stretch between Eden and Orbost.
    We have had an excellent weekend with the Walk Against Woodchips arrival in Bega on Friday, successful public forums on native forests and climate change in Bega and Bermagui and a fantastic music/ fundraising gig in the Tanja Hall last night.

    Between 2,500 and 3,000 trees from SE NSW and East Gippsland are cut down every working day to supply the Eden chipmill
    CHIPSTOP campaign against woodchipping the SE forests, 02-64923134, PO Box 797 Bega NSW 2550 Australia, http://www.chipstop.forests.org.au
    CHIPSTOP on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vJuZya1X00

    Posted by editor at 12:52 PM NZT
    Updated: Tuesday, 23 September 2008 1:28 PM NZT

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