« October 2008 »
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
about editor
aust govt
big media
contact us
donations to SAM
election nsw 2007
election Oz 2007
free SAM content
human rights
independent media
local news
nsw govt
nuke threats
publish a story
zero waste
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
official indymedia
ecology action Australia
ecology action
Advertise on SAM
details for advertisers
You are not logged in. Log in

sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Thursday, 30 October 2008
Stephen Mayne, shareholder activist, goes Toll hunting in AGM season
Mood:  energetic
Topic: corporates


The Mayne Report has just lobbed into our inbox. It's the next vehicle for former News Corp business reporter Stephen Mayne. Previously he founded then sold the Crikey.com.au web based news service.

The share holder activist business ezine refers to rousing skirmishes over $55M in executive bonuses at Toll Holdings, if I have the gist right, with this invitation:

Feel free to click below for the web version of this and send the link around because this scandal really does need maximum public exposure. And let's hope the papers give it the full treatment in the morning.

Do ya best, Stephen Mayne

Posted by editor at 7:35 PM NZT
Diamond Diary Part 5: Illegal works on crown land intercepting Tinda Ck headwaters
Mood:  blue
Topic: legal


This is the 5th part of the serialised Diamond Diary quoting the 60 year old activist's sworn affidavit in proceedings in the NSW Land & Environment Court 40733 of 2008. His case Diamond v Birdon Contrcting Pty Ltd & Anor was lost recently on technical grounds such that the substantive issues of illegal environmental vandalism have not been tested. He consents to his affidavit being reproduced here.

There are some deletions as marked based on legal considerations. Diamond's main grievance has been damage to Tinda Ck which crosses the Old Putty Rd aka Singleton Rd. The private land is sandwiched between Wollemi and Yengo National Parks which are both World Heritage listed and listed wilderness areas under the Wilderness Act 1987 (NSW).

In June 2007 a hydrological expert Chris Jewell working for Hawkesbury Council reported that the watercourse into the world heritage area has been cut by 37% and this will increase to 53% if the sandmine is expanded.

Neville Diamond's story continues:


Attempt by Birdon/staff to smear me over their illegal works on crown land intercepting

Tinda Creek headwaters, s.94 contributions refund proposal

52. By way of request to admit facts Birdon wrote 10 September 2008 and we responded as follows:

1.That during his ownership of Lot   DP a diversion channel was constructed along the northern boundary of such without any approvals to divert the northern arm of Tinda Creek into a dam that was built on Lot which was also constructed without any approvals.

Point 1, no DP number included. But to anticipate, during Diamond's ownership of Lot 1 a dam was built by a contractor working for Stout/Poyneed in about 1984 with Diamond's permission. This was lawful - for instance RFIA legislation didn't apply until amended in 1992. Then the west to east, northern diversion channel was built just north and parallel of the boundary of Lot 1 on crown land by Mr xxxxxxxxxx working for Stout/Poyneed and/or possibly Birdon around 1988-89 in Diamond's absence when he was living in Londonderry.  Diamond had nothing to do with this channel.


2.That the diversion channel and the dam restricted the flow of Tinda Creek.

Point 2. Diamond is not an expert on this but his view is that the diversion channels could not effectively restrict the flow of Tinda Creek because the hydrology of the valley there is like a sponge as set out in Paul Bourne's/DLWC officer's memo of around 1995. And as set out in the 1984 and 1996 EIS. In other words the land is all permeable and channels and dams don't hold water unless they are clay lined. The connecting diversion channel diagonally across Lot 1 connecting the dam to the northern interceptor channel to drain excess water threatening the sandmine was built soon after around 1989. It was built by xxxxxxxxx again for Stout/Poyneed/Birdon with the knowledge of Diamond under duress from the sandminers.


3.That he approached me with a proposal for Birdon to be able to claim a refund of all of the section 94 contributions it had paid to Council for its operation of Tinda Creek upon condition that he received 50% of any monies recovered.

 Point 3. It is admitted that in about 2006/7 Diamond provided advice about potential refund of s.94 contributions (estimated at around $200-300K) on the basis council had breached the s.94 plan by not handing it over to the RTA ever since the 1989 Donges v BHSC decision in the LEC required them to. There was an additional precedent case about handing back s.94 contributions not applied to their purpose under the relevant plan [Engadine Area Traffic Action Group Inc v Sutherland Shire Council no. 2 (2004)]. And that Diamond sought commercial benefit for the advice by way of negotiation to set off the compensation he continues to claim against Stout/Poyneed and their business partner and successor Birdon, for instance the stolen assets of $88,500.  


A further basis for seeking the refund was [to persuade] Birdon they had a lapsed consent since 1999 and payments since then were misconceived. Such a concession would involve instituting a new EIS [by Birdon] and bringing about rehabilitation of Tinda Creek with modern management approach.




Legal tests regarding security for costs


– professional approach to the pleadings in  Amended Application in Class 4

56. I was in the middle of the Coca Cola water bottling case as public interest intervenor with help from my court agent and the EDO when the HCC released their final report on the Tinda Creek s.96 moodification for a meeting of 29 July 2008. As said above Liberal councillors and on past voting behaviour were going to vote for approval against the advice of their staff for refusal. So in short time I drafted an application in class 4 with my agent and put together a substantial affidavit – running out of time to number the pages for the evidence, and filed and served it just hours before the council meeting.

57. The original application has two sections with

·         paragraphs 1-5 seeking declarations regarding breach of the planning laws - lapsed consent with consequences of that, and

·         paragraphs 6 to 13 seeking declarations for a logical and practical method of rehabilitation for Tinda Creek at the expense of the sandminer over 2 years and 9 months.

Part of the supporting evidence was Council’s own report of 29 July 08 agreeing with the EDO and no doubt their own legal advice that consent had lapsed.


58. My agent faxed the stamped Application to Council the afternoon of 29 July 2008 and Full Council deferred the whole matter pending my case. As I understand it this ws their own legal advice, though they could have voted to refuse the DA according to council officer’s recommendation.



59. In preparing my evidence on the interlocutory security for costs hearing of 21st October 2008 I have organised with help from my agent other compelling evidence of unlawful activity by Birdon such that I have drafted an Amended Application with help of my agent and EDO seeking new declarations from paragraphs 16 to 25 regarding

·         para 16 – out of approved area

·         para 17 and 18 - lack of Crown consent as part owner for the Das

·         para 19 – breach of clause 283 of the EP& A Regulation 2000 for false and misleading statements regarding misleading plan submitted with s.96 modification DA

·         para 20 – legal question for testing by the court as to whether a s.96 modification can justify a new EIS as designated development

·         para 21 – failure to implement “a series of monitoring bores” in the 1995 EIS plan, at page 23, supported by expert reports Ecowise (2005) and Jewell (2007)

·         para 22 – failure to obtain a water license sufficient to cover the volume of water use for the sandmine.

·         para 23 – failure to submit water use figures to DWE under the water licenses

·         para 24 – failure to submit annual compliance reports under under consent condition A.33.

·         para 25 – failure to obtain various permits for clearing of trees in “proposed stage 2a”


60. With the help of my court agent and the EDO I am now proposing to particularise the declarations sought according to usual court process in the next week. This is regardless of whether I win or lose the security for costs hearing because I know the community and green movement will be able to use these documents in a new litigation which likely will have someone like Peter Waite OAM, or combined green and community groups, willing to initiate new proceedings against Birdon to see the WHA.


Cronulla Precinct Committee Incorporated v Sutherland Shire Council

by Pearlman J, unreported 29 July 1998:


To avoid a security for costs order Pearlman J referred to various factors which constitute “special circumstances” beyond public interest:


- proceedings involve no private gain – yes in our case

- contribute to the proper understanding of the law – yes regarding false use of s.96 modification for a designated development

- the basis of the challenge is arguable – yes given all the supporting evidence against Birdon from both experts and local and state government documentation and circumstances of the case

- the purpose is clearly to protect the environment – yes the adjacent WHA includes Tinda Ck




- Cable Investments Pty Ltd v Meltglow Pty Ltd (1995),

61. The tests in Cable are addressed as follows following the summary of Lloyd J in Diamond v Birdon & Anor (2007) judgement 40900 of 2006:

(1) application for security by Birdon is brought promptly

– yes

(2) the strength and bone fides of the case in which security is sought:

Yes, the HCC officer’s report agrees the consent has lapsed, as does the EDO written advice that the consent has lapsed, the voluminous material to show Birdon are operating illegally (outlined further below) and have done so for a long time and the declarations/orders sought are justified. There is very substantial public interest for the welfare of a World Heritage Area demonstrated. The WHA is at some risk of dangerous climate change threats as per expert CSIRO evidence raising the precautionary principle. See further below regarding the strength of this case under a separate heading.

(3) whether impecuniosity of the applicant results from the respondent’s conduct, the subject of the claim

Yes in part as pleaded above from menaces and intimidation destroying a property management asset at Tinda Creek. And from theft of substantial assets by staff of Birdon. And from gross intimidation rendering the Applicant a pensioner suffering from stress.

(4) Whether security for costs is oppressive by denying an impecunious citizen or organisation a right to litigate

Yes because the Applicant has a special interest as a former neighbouring land holder whose property rights and quiet enjoyment have been adversely affected such that

(5) Whether there are other persons behind me likely to benefit to provide security

There is no other person likely to benefit except the general public interest. The court agent is acting pro bono. The community groups are only interested in protecting the waterway and the WHA.

(6) Any person willing to undertake a security for costs for the plaintiff

Not in the current circumstances of another threshold issue outstanding regarding estoppel of the previous consent orders.is resolved in the Applicant’s favour.

(7) “Whether the applicant for security is in substance the plaintiff or the proceedings are defensive in nature”

The applicant for security is being highly defensive to avoid legal accountability regarding illegal sandmining operation.


- strong evidence for the declaratory orders sought in the Amended Application


62. This section of my Affidavit of Evidence in Reply amounts to a first draft of the points of claim to support the declaratory orders sought in the Amended Application filed and served the same day. Following the order of the Amended Application:


1. A declaration that the consent for development application 134/95 (the “DA 134/95”) granted by Second Respondent to the First Respondent retrospectively formalising the existing sandmining at Lot 2 of the property described in Schedule 1 at Tinda Creek (the “Property”), operating from 1991 to 1996 without consent, has lapsed.



(a)   Letter General Manager HCC to Birdon dated 15 January 1996 showing unlawful operation ‘for several years’

(b)   Memo dated 29 Dec 1995 by Paul Bourne DLWC to file CC Mr Radcliffe Legal Branch, “An unauthorised extractive industry is currently operating at the site”;

(c)   Letter of consent dated 23 December 1996 – found at annexure 1 pp 7-11 of the bundle (numbered from first page) of the affidavit of Neville Diamond filed and served 29 July 2008 (“First Diamond Affidavit”).

(d)   Council’s chief planner Owens by report to full council 29 July 2008 at pages 64 and 65, and recommendation to cease operations on page 70 regarding mandatory consent condition 4. Refer annexure 20.

(e)   Consent condition A. 4 reads  

·         “Details of [erosion and sedimentation control devices] shall be submitted and approved by Department of Land and Water Conservation prior to any works commencing”.

There is no DLWC approval.

(f)     Evidence of no DLWC approval obtained under consent condition 4

1.      Letter Marwan El Chamy for DWE 17 Sept 2007 to GM/Greg Hall/HCC, copy at p49 of the First Diamond Affidavit

2.      EDO letter of advice to Diamond dated 27 Sept 2006

3.      Letter dated 26 June 2007 by Greg Hall Town Planning Co-Ordinator HCC to Birdon Contracting Pty Ltd: “Council has now received correspondence from the Department of Water and Energy …in respect to condition 4 and this has been referred to Council’s Solicitors for comment and advice.”


(g)   Evidence suggestive of dishonest claims of DWLC/DWE approval under consent condition 4

1.      Letter of 3 March 2008 Marwan El-Chamy Manager Licensing, South for DWE to General Manager of Hawkesbury City Council: “the Department reiterates the advice contained in its letter of 17 September 2007. / Notwithstanding claims made by Mr Bruce in his declaration, the Department is unable to locate any documentary evidence to support Mr Bruce’s claims. / Discussions with staff involved in the Tinda Creek matter at the time in question have also failed to substantiate Mr Bruce’s claim of a verbal approval by a Departmental Officer”.

2.      Letter dated 6 June 1996 by (Birdon consultant) Port Stephens Design Services  to HCC re documentation for sandmine DA including detailed drawings sedimentation control, stockpile protection, diversion drain, nth creek stabilisation etc’

3.      Letter 15 July 1996 Marwan El-Chamy DLWC [DWE] to GM-HCC re ‘design sediment basin’

4.      Letter dated 22 April 1997 John Pye HCC Development Control Officer to Tom Bruce-Birdon to address “Sedimentation control devices  to be installed within the drainage channels …..”

5.      Pye to Bruce dated 30 June 1997 – ‘address environmental management plan ....erosion and sediment controls

6.      Pye to Bruce 21 August 1997 re letter of 7 July 1997 – ‘environmental management plan is insufficient ....should demonstrate sound environmental practice during establishment operation and rehabilitation and end use …. s.94 contributions not paid 3 months’

7.      Letter Bruce to Pye 22 Jan 1998 ‘we believe our environmental plan of 7.7.97 cover this’

8.      Letter dated 15 Dec 1998 Birdon to Pye-HCC “Erosion & sedimentation control devices  were installed and are maintained. Dept of Land & Water Conservation approved system designed and council has approved devices installed”

9.      Letter dated 1 May 2002 Birdon to Pye-HCC “Erosion & sedimentation control devices  were installed and are maintained. Dept of Land & Water Conservation approved system designed and council has approved devices installed”

10.  Evidence Tinda Creek at or near the sandmine site fall under the jurisdiction of the River & Foreshores Act 1948, and therefore required permits under Pt 3A to disrupt the creek which in the normal course would require documentation of the type in approved “Erosion and sedimentation controls” under consent condition A.4. The failure to obtain such permits is highly suggestive of avoidance of an approved details under consent condition 4

11.  Memo 3 January 1996 by Paul Bourne of  DLWC “Subject: Tinda Creek sand extraction EIS …..The status of Tinda Creek at the site has been reviewed, and the Creek is now regarded as a “river” for the purposes of the Rivers & Foreshores Improvement Act 1948 (refer p7 of the EIS)”

12.  Undated memo DLWC re inspection “12 December, 1995  …..obvious that Tinda Creek (under the Water Act definition) starts to develop definition and stream characteristics immediately downstream of the sand extraction operations”

13.  Memo 29 Dec 1995 DLWC copy to Mr Outhet Riverine Corridor Unit “I agree that the site is part of a lake and is also within 40m of a river under the RFI Act (due to the presence of the “existing” diversion channel as shown on the plans) David Outhet Senior River Scientist 29.12.95.

14.  Memo W. Conners 25 jan 1996 “regulation of the site be carried out under the Rivers & Foreshores Act”


Some of these documentary materials not in the First Diamond Affidavit are at annexure 31.



Previous posts in this series are here:

Tuesday, 28 October 2008 Diamond Diary Part 4: Attacking the messenger, not the vandalism Mood:  don't ask, Topic: legal

25 October 2008 Diamond Diary Part 3: Getting to grips with the costs regime in the NSW Land & Environment Court, Mood:  not sure, Topic: legal

Thursday, 23 October 2008 Diamond Diary Part 2: How I went bankrupt 'doing litigation for Dixon Sands' Mood:  accident prone Topic: legal
Wednesday, 22 October 2008 Diamond Diary Part 1: Amazing career of environmental litigation Mood:  on fire Topic: legal
Tuesday, 21 October 2008 World heritage vandal gets technical win in Land & Environment Court ...for now Mood:  accident prone Topic: legal

16 October 2008 Hawkesbury City Council public duty to protect their World Heritage park in court Friday 9.30am Mood:  blue Topic: legal

Friday, 10 October 2008 Misleading plan and letter by sandminer in threat to Blue Mtns World Heritage Area? Mood:  sharp Topic: legal

6 October 2008 Google Earth reveals illegal drain intercepting Tinda Creek to World Heritage area? Mood:  sharp

Posted by editor at 5:04 PM NZT
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Bermagui South Coast koala forest: Protest update from Harriet of Chipstop
Mood:  hug me
Topic: ecology


Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 6:58 PM

Subject: [chipstop] Bermi logging today

Hi chipstoppers

Bermi logging continued today, with the same heavy police presence as previously this week although it appears the Riot Squad may have been having a day off or even gone home..

  • We discovered today that the logging contractor is Bruce Mathie and Sons. This adds to our conviction that this logging has been carefully planned to limit conservationist protests.
  • Mathie is the logger who successfully sought a Supreme Court injunction against the Wandella 8, activists who formed the core of a blockade against the logging of Peak Alone (Wandella State Forest) in 2005. Injunction http://thebegavalley.org.au/4159.html
  • This injunction imposes a lifelong ban on the 8 experienced and skilled activists, who are largely associated with South East Forest Rescue. ForestsNSW obviously believes that by engaging this logger to carry out the Bermagui logging, it will minimize the effectiveness of protests.
  • Other developments: after some argy bargy, the police are allowing protest gatherings to continue in the mornings at the bus stop, provided various banners are moved.
  • The school bus driver with the anger management problem was prevented by police from leaving his bus this morning, but this didn’t stop him shouting some gratuitous advice to the police about how they should deal with us.
  • The "Harvest Plan" is finally available, although at first glance not very illuminating.

Chipstop has a new page on the website to collect together some of the information about the logging. If you think there is anything useful that could go up there, pls let me know.


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,
CHIPSTOP on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vJuZya1X00


From NSW Police website


Friday, 03 Oct 2008 09:07am

Police on the Far South Coast are warning protestors that activities during forestry logging operations which are illegal and dangerous will not be tolerated.

The Far South Coast Command has been advised that NSW Forests are to commence logging compartments of the Bermagui State Forest in late October 2008.

Superintendent Michael Willing, Far South Coast Local Area Commander said "police from the local area command and various sections, including the Public Order Operations Support Group, Highway Patrol, and Rescue Squad will be part of an operation which will be conducted in the area of the logging and will focus on ensuring the protection of persons engaged in lawful activities."

"We have received information which leads us to anticipate that a number of protestors will converge on the area. Our message to them is clear.

"We are committed to maintaining public order, and anyone who engages in unlawful or dangerous activity in or near the logging operation will have action taken against them.

"This action may be the issuing of on-the-spot fines or Court Attendance Notices, but where offences are continuing and are dangerous police will where necessary arrest and charge people," Supt Willing said.

NSW Forests advises that the state forest in which the logging operation is taking place will be closed to unauthorised persons. Entry into those closed areas is an offence.

Likewise, interference with the free movement of equipment or people within, or to and from the logging operation is also an offence. If any such offence is detected, police will be taking action.

Police have also taken the opportunity to remind everyone of some of the offences which attract On-the-spot fines.

" Trespassing into a prohibited forestry area start at $100.
" Being near harvesting or hauling equipment on-the-spot fines start at $1000.
" Intimidating Employees by preventing the free movement of equipment or people attract a fine of $5500 and or 2 years imprisonment.
" Other offences associated with disrupting a workplace also attract fines starting at $5500.

Police said they will attempt to facilitate protest requests in order to minimise the disruption, but if a hard core minority are intent on disrupting or hijacking genuine protests swift action will be taken and those involved will be removed.

Superintendent Willing said, "anyone who intends on protesting is encouraged to contact police to discuss their intentions so we can facilitate lawful activity,

"Our policing operation at the Bermagui State Forest is not focused at preventing lawful and peaceful protest as we respect people"s rights, but rather at unlawful and dangerous activity, Supt Willing said.
Bermagui State Forest Koala Survey
Extract from NSW Legislative Council Hansard and Papers Tuesday 28
October 2008 (Proof).
Page: 27
Mr IAN COHEN: My question is directed to the Minister for Primary
Industries. Can he explain the process behind the new koala survey
method used in surveying Bermagui State Forest compartments 2004 and
2005? To what extent did the survey find evidence of the presence of
koalas, which of course is koala droppings? Can he advise what actions
he or Forests New South Wales will take against contractors if they
failed to halt logging upon the sighting of koalas?
The Hon. IAN MACDONALD: I thank Mr Ian Cohen for his question. Over a
period the honourable member has raised issues relevant to forestry, and
basically his position seems to be that we should cease native forestry
activity in many parts of the State. I point out to him that round the
turn of the century, a number of agreements were struck which led to a
massive 5.5 million hectares of State Forest land being incorporated
within the National Estate, so there has been a significant transfer of
native forest.
The Hon. Marie Ficarra: What about the koalas?
The Hon. IAN MACDONALD: I will come to koalas in a minute. I will
answer the question my way, thank you. The issue is that there is a
relatively small percentage of that former State Forest estate held by
Forest New South Wales to meet 20-year wood supply agreements under a
Forestry Industry Structural Adjustment Program [FISAP] entered into in
recent years. Those agreements have led to the regeneration of the
industry and considerable improvements in the technology employed in
activities of the region. In relation to the Bermagui State Forest, it
is a 183-hectare forest. It was logged selectively 20 years ago and
clear-felled some time before that. It is not an old growth forest.
Secondly, an extensive survey was undertaken by Forests New South Wales.
I believe it is a very scientific and well-balanced study and it shows
that there was no permanent colony of koalas in that area.
In relation to the spotting of koalas, the practice would lead to the
assessment of that colony, and I believe that would be checked out and
monitored. The point is that we need to supply in accordance with wood
supply agreements. They are 20-year agreements and they have a fair
amount of time left. Many workers are involved on the South Coast and
indeed on the North Coast in this industry. If we were to pull out from
providing this hardwood, given that the demand for timber is not
decreasing despite the economic downturn*there is still a lot of
demand for timber products in New South Wales*it would lead to
increased importation of timber. That timber most likely would come from
South-East Asia or Brazil, or one of the countries the environmental
protocols of which are far inferior to protocols that are available and
enforced in New South Wales in relation to the selective harvesting of
We are committed to sustainable harvesting of the remaining forest. We
do not believe the koalas are under threat. We believe that that is a
furphy that has been put about by people who have no evidence. I have
seen their statements relating to the south-east forests. There is no
scientific evidence. Forest New South Wales is right. It has done the
work, and
I believe the forest is being sustainably logged.
Mr IAN COHEN: I ask a supplementary question. The Minister clearly said
that the department is committed to logging in that area. Does the
Minister agree that the export of woodchips, described by a former
Federal Minister as "a bastard of an industry", is absolutely
overcommitting the resources of that area?
The Hon. IAN MACDONALD: Again, the member states an inaccuracy. These
forests are valuable saw logs used for a number of different products
that are in high demand.
Mr Ian Cohen: It is the wood chipping*
The Hon. IAN MACDONALD: Wait a second! The woodchip component of it is
in the field of residues, and that is created in the process of felling
these trees. No timber company would convert saw logs to woodchip. That
is just economically insane.
Bermagui State Forest Logging Protests
Extract from NSW Legislative Council Hansard and Papers Tuesday 28
October 2008 (Proof).
Page: 25
Ms LEE RHIANNON: I direct my question to the Minister for Police. Did
officers stationed at Batemans Bay police station in collaboration with
Forest New South Wales hold a meeting at the Bermagui Country Club in
September to warn locals associated with calling for forest protection
not to protest when logging commenced in the Bermagui State Forests?
Does the holding of this meeting reflect that Batemans Bay police
officers have adopted a zero tolerance policing approach to forest
protesters? Considering that since logging started in Bermagui State
Forest on 27 October with a group of about 40 protesters gathered in the
vicinity, about 15 police cars, more than 20 police, including members
of the Public Order and Riot Squad, a mobile police command bus and two
police rescue vans have been in attendance, will this level of policing
continue for the coming six weeks of logging in this area? What is the
anticipated cost of this operation?

The Hon. TONY KELLY: The Far South Coast Local Area Command of the New
South Wales Police Force has been advised that New South Wales Forests
is to commence logging compartments of Bermagui State Forest later this
month. As in the past, protests are expected. As always, the New South
Wales Police Force is committed to maintaining public order. For this
reason, local police and various commands, including the Public Order
and Riot Squad, Highway Patrol and Rescue Squad will join together to
conduct an operation. This operation will focus on ensuring the
protection of persons engaged in lawful activities. Local police have
made it clear that anyone engaging in unlawful or dangerous activity in
or near the logging operation will have action taken against them. When
offences continue and are considered dangerous, police will arrest and
charge people as necessary. Police respect people's rights to protest
during these times; in no way are they looking to prevent lawful and
peaceful protests. Police have asked anyone who intends to protest to
contact them so that they can attempt to facilitate lawful activity,
minimise disruption and focus on protecting the safety of everyone
27 October 2008

Logging started in Bermagui State Forest compartments 2004/5 today.
1. The arrival of the logging crew was preceded by at least 12 police vehicles, one a sinister looking black "riot control" vehicle, one an 18 seater bus (empty), several paddy wagons (empty), police rescue, a police communications bus to, inter alia intercept our mobile phone calls and various other police 4WDs. There were possibly others which came from the Cobargo direction which we did not see.
2. About 50 conservationists assembled at the bus stop on the corner of the Wallaga Lake Rd and the Cobargo Rd from 7am. This central point was selected because we did not know exactly where the logging was to start.
3. The roadside boundary for the 2 compartments is 12 kms long, with multiple entry points. It was next to impossible to predict where they would enter as ForestsNSW had failed to:

  • mark up any areas other than visual protection strips
  • erect any "prohibited zone" signs, as required if they are to invoke SF security Regs.
  • release a full Harvest Plan, explaining in detail areas to be logged. Only the maps had been supplied to members of the Biamanga and Gulaga NP boards.

4. Police vehicles assembled at Box Flat Road, off the Cobargo Rd near the council water tank, on which some thoughtful person has recently painted a large "no woodchipping" message.
5. At about 8am semi-trailers were observed entering Box Flat Road carrying logging machinery. We were not able to tell which contractor has been engaged to do this logging.
6. One of our people went to the Box Flat Rd corner on his motor bike to investigate and to film, but was told by police to leave "as he was in a prohibited zone" (not true because there were no signs, as required).
7. By about 11.30am some "prohibited zone" signs had appeared along the roadside boundaries of the logging compartments.
8. No chainsaw or tree felling noises can be heard from the road as they have started at the far end of Box Flat, closest to the river and furthest from the road.
9. As loggers left this afternoon two private security guards arrived to camp overnight near logging machinery.
10. Another highlight: the school bus driver stopping to pick up a couple of kids left his bus in a rage, grabbed several of our placards and threw them towards the road. Shouting angrily, he tore down and damaged a banner attached to the bus stop, using words that had attracted a $150 fine for one of the activists in Bega Local Court two weeks ago.

MEDIA STATEMENT 26 October 2008

NSW and Victoria collude to limit forest protests
Conservationists have accused the NSW and Victorian Governments of colluding to limit forest protests in south east NSW and East Gippsland.
"The two states have timed highly controversial logging operations to start at exactly the same time," according to the convener of the forest activist group, Chipstop, Ms Harriett Swift.

"We learned on Friday that the long awaited logging of Bermagui State Forest will start on Monday within hours of hearing that bulldozers were moving onto Brown Mountain in East Gippsland.

The Bermagui logging has been the subject of pro-active preparations by the NSW Police who have threatened a zero tolerance approach to protesters.
Brown Mountain is part of the Snowy catchment and much prized by conservationists for its 'valley of giants'.

"Forestry agencies clearly intend that the simultaneous logging operations will ensure that skilled activists from one state may not be available to assist colleagues in the other," Ms Swift said.

"It may be no coincidence that these logging operations come hard on the heels of widely reported attacks on conservationists attempting to save Tasmanian forests last week. NSW and Victorian forestry agencies may also expect these attacks to have drawn some activists away from this region," she said.

Ms Swift said that it is a pity that NSW and Victoria can"t manage this level of co-operation on useful activities such as saving the Murray River.
26 October 2008

Posted by editor at 8:33 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 29 October 2008 9:08 PM NZT
Is the Woodford Blog the real deal, or self censoring logger story?
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: independent media


We started our micro news/blog as an offshoot of our Sydney IndyMedia contributions, and our Alternative Media Group resuscitations of the Sydney City Hub (in administration in 2001) hence the hybrid name Sydney Alternative Media. Sometimes we follow the Big Meeja, sometimes they echo us leaving a smug feeling of vindication and self worth.

We take seriously our goal of independent and trustworthy.

Like the old saying about the definition of good journalism, we get the odd bit of hate mail. One this week was from Bob Beale copying in James Woodford of "Real Dirt" based on a bit of media monitoring analysis we did on our Sunday Political Talkies way back in June 2008:

 From: Bob Beale

To: SAM micro news 

Cc: James Woodford, Real Dirt

Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 2:56 PM

Subject: Your Sunday political talkies blog

 ......We may not see eye to eye, but is it too much to ask – once again - that you play the ball and not the man? Is there a problem with agreeing to disagree? Your tedious and puerile personal taunts and keen eye for conspiracies no doubt reveal something about your personality but they enlighten no-one about anything else. It is possible, you know, to be respectful to people who hold divergent views from your own. It even encourages others to respect you – and your views – in return. I’m sure you are by now aware that the converse is also true.  

Should you feel the need to return to these issues again, I suggest that you take into account the following: 

First, I hope I’m not telling you how to suck eggs here (after all, you write with such authority on the media that I can only imagine my few decades of involvement are inadequate), but it simply is not possible in either a tight op-ed piece or short radio interview to comprehensively canvass a complex issue, especially given short deadlines. It follows, therefore, that it’s easy to take one report in isolation, seize on its omissions then read into them whatever you like. It’s called a cheap shot. .......

Notice the moral inconsistency of Beale's exhortation to play the ball and not the man (a principle we agree with) then slipping into personal insult of "peurile and tedious". Such inconsistency is the hallmark of  trench warfare applying slippery language wrestling for the high moral ground based on mixed motives. Naturally we returned serve accordingly and reject his whining as misconceived. It was fair comment and he just didn't like it.

We are not so surprised even as Big Bob Beale is at UNSW and former environment editor at the SMH, and now PR operative for Prof Michael Archer. He wrote most recently in the Sydney Morning Herald extolling the 'virtues' of commercialisation of National Parks. One day early this year we got a call from blogger Tim Blair of News Corp fame also requesting a change/take down which we negotiated to a satisfactory outcome for rivaling ideologies. This was about his time at The Bulletin and reportage nuances of the David Hicks affair.

But we do find ironic that since Monday this week we have been following the Bermagui forest protests and there is no coverage on Woodford's blog. Woodford is a hobby/serious farmer based on the South Coast so the logging protest is in his general region of the world.

He is a former environment writer for the Sydney Morning Herald. But we know his spouse is a former PR operative of the NSW Govt logging agency. We also believe he puts career before the environment. On logging in particular we have felt for some years Woodford has feet of clay and we know that's the suspicion amongst the ChipStop network of environment groups in South East NSW.

His blog specialises on

"An Australian environmental news website edited by author and journalist James Woodford: photos, blogs, a weekly summary of the best stories, the latest discoveries and guest viewpoints."

But the fact is there is no entry on Woodford's website on a serious logging dispute which claims to publish "The real dirt, the whole dirt and nothing but the dirt" all in capital letters no less.

By contrast his own alma mater Sydney Morning Herald has at least published the koala forest logging story on its website, if not the hardcopy version (as per our penultimate SAM story here). Today there is an amusing letter writer responding in the hard copy as follows:

Incident of the passive verb

The article "Last koala habitats get the chop" (smh.com.au, October 28) refers to the police issuing "a warning against violent protests, in light of recent logging-related incidents in Tasmania, which saw an activist's car smashed". Please get rid of that passive verb. It was loggers who took a sledgehammer to a car with an activist inside it - the incident saw nothing.

Naomi Blackburn Darlinghurst

(SMH 29/10/08, p10) 

So is Real Dirt "trustworthy, independent"? We started out in January 2007, Woodford kicked his thing off on April 2008 judging by the archive. We feel a cetain flattery of imitation, probably misplaced.

Don't get us wrong: We believe Woodford knows alot and no doubt has his loyal audience. And we do support growth of the indy media sector but we also support truth in advertising, advisedly. We will give him a few more days and wait and see where his news sense and reportage integrity takes him.

Posted by editor at 6:44 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 30 October 2008 11:31 AM NZT
Web story heralds NSW Govt logging of Bermagui koala forest
Mood:  hug me


Picture: Mainstream residents of NSW South Coast earlier this week reject a native forest logging future for their publicly owned natural heritage, taken at Cobargo near Bermagui forests.


This story ran on the Sydney Morning Herald website dated 28 October but never made the city hard copy yesterday or today:

Last koala habitats get the chopMay still be using the area ... koalas are known to travel up t

Picture: May still be using the area ... koalas are known to travel up to 50 kilometres in search of mates or food.
Glen Watson

Ben Cubby, Environment Reporter
October 28, 2008

BULLDOZERS rolled in to some of the last remaining koala habitats on the South Coast yesterday, marking the start of what police fear could be a divisive logging operation.

Forests NSW workers plan to log about 180 hectares of native eucalypt forest from the coast north of Bermagui, for a mixture of wood veneer products and woodchips.

But environmentalists and local residents are planning a long campaign to keep the forest undisturbed.

New studies by the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change show only a handful of koalas remain in the district - perhaps a dozen out of a Far South Coast population once counted in the thousands.

None have been found within the logging zone itself, although the discovery of koala droppings suggest the animals may move through the area from time to time.

The NSW Government said logging in the two zones north of Bermagui would not affect the koalas.

"Extensive surveys have shown there are no koalas in the two compartments involved in the current harvest and few in the South Coast area," the Primary Industries Minister, Ian Macdonald, said in a statement.

A coalition of local environment groups, called the South East Region Conservation Alliance, said that koalas may still use the logging zone, and said a koala management plan for the district was not yet complete.

"These public forests are of critical importance to the survival of the remnant of the koala population," said a spokesman, John Hibberd.

"The remnant here is thought to be about 10 to 12 individuals, and there's a very real chance that the loss of this habitat, together with the pressures of climate change and drought, could see them die out," Mr Hibberd said.

Koalas are known to travel up to 50 kilometres in search of mates or food. Protesters, some of whom volunteered in a koala-spotting survey over the past two years, believe the logging would make the few remaining animals more isolated and vulnerable to bushfires.

Workers from Bruce Mathie and Sons, the company that has a contract from Forests NSW to carry out the logging operation, have been instructed to halt work if any koalas are sighted.

As protesters established a camp in the forest yesterday, police put in new temporary speed limits on nearby roads and issued a warning against violent protests, in light of recent logging-related incidents in Tasmania, during which an activist's car was smashed with a sledgehammer and a camp destroyed with petrol bombs. Police from the Public Order and Riot Squad were patrolling entrances to the state forest at Bermagui yesterday.

The South East Region Conservation Alliance said logging in native forests was no longer necessary because Australia had enough mature plantations to meet all its domestic wood needs.

The Bermagui state forest was logged 20 years ago, and clear-felled in 1928.


Instead today the Herald runs this story today, important too for the demise of influence of ex treasurer, redneck Michael Costa (bold added):

Sea-level rise threat to coast 29 October 2008

"SYDNEY'S iconic beaches, coastal houses, commercial property and roads will be threatened by rising sea levels by 2050, while the city's temperature is expected to rise by at least 2 degrees, a new scientific study, launched by the Premier, Nathan Rees, reveals.

"Today, the science is in for Sydney," Mr Rees said yesterday as he proclaimed the influence of the climate sceptic and former treasurer Michael Costa at an end in NSW.

"The Costa era of ambiguity around this issue is over. Along with the rest of the NSW public, I recognise that climate change is a reality and that the NSW Government needs to prepare for it," the Premier said. "There is no longer a climate-change sceptic at the centre of government decision-making in this state".

The study commissioned by the NSW Department of Climate Change, and adopted by the Government, was carried out by the University of NSW and uses research from the United Nations' peak scientific body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

It examines the effect of climate change on the greater Sydney metropolitan region from the Central Coast to Wollongong, along with other regions in rural NSW. The full state study is expected to be released in January.

By 2050, Manly will get narrower as the tide line climbs closer to buildings.
Important story but so is the forest story. We have been following the traffic from wonderful group Chipstop on our email networks:
From: Samantha Davis
Date: 28 October 2008 9:33:52 PM
To: Five Forests
Subject: Bermagui Logging

Dear Friends of The Bermagui Forest , The Five Forests , and everyone with an interest in protecting our invaluable Natural Heritage.
Register your support for the campaign to rescue our Forest from the ruthless logging industry.
You can do this by coming along to our peaceful vigil every morning near the junction of the Cobargo Bermagui Road and Wallaga Lake Road, even if you only have a few minutes to spare on your way through town.
Sign the petition, have a cup of tea. And discuss the situation.
Then send our Ministers emails, letters and phone them.
Let them know that the people of this town value our
Forest and watercatchments and want them PROTECTED.

The total collapse of the promised community consultation process has left us no options.

IF YOU THINK THIS FOREST IS WORTH SAVING , and the other forests that are in line for the same fate are also worth saving,? please take the time to contact our? ministers.
We demand changes to forest management and a complete review of  The Regional Forest Agreement which is allowing the destruction to continue.

Contact our Ministers.
Carmell Tebbutt , Deputy Premier and Minister for Climate Change and the Environment?
Level 30
Governor Macquarie Tower,
1 Farrer Place,
SYDNEY 2000 NSW? Phone (02)9228 4866 Fax. (02) 9228 4855

Premier Nathan Rees? ?ph. office 92285239

Begin forwarded message:

Subject: Press Release
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2008 05:24:05 +0000

Over 40 community members from all walks of life took time off to meet at the Bermagui-Cobargo turnoff on Monday morning. They were gathered in a peaceful protest against the logging of the Bermagui State Forest for woodchips.

'' There is a perception amongst the forest conservation community that there is a concerted effort across the eastern states to mount a co-ordinated pillage of contentious native forest areas' said Tony Whan, forest activist with South East Forest Rescue. ' The Upper Florentine in Tasmania, Valley of the Giants in East Gippsland, and Bermagui in the South East of NSW are being simultaneously logged'

Friends of Five Forests spokesperson Suzanne Foulkes expressed concern over the failure of Forestry NSW to arrange the promised community consultation meeting with the Department of Environment and Conservation to discuss the?fate of Bermagui's last koala colony and their habitat.

Inspite of the Harvesting Plan only being released on Friday the logging machinery was moved into Bermagui's beautiful forest this morning under very heavy and unneccessary police protection.

This industry has a history of environmental vandalism, uncontrolled erosion, siltation of river systems and the destruction of biodiversity and vital carbon storage.
The question must be asked. How is it our police have been compromised into protecting an operation that is, under the legislated requirements of the Regional Foresty Agreement, illegal?

For further information call Lisa or Tony 0437471763


Posted by editor at 6:03 PM NZT
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Diamond Diary Part 4: Attacking the messenger, not the vandalism
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: legal


Picture: Taken March 2007, this was the wetland catchment of Tinda Creek until the mid 80ies when a farm dam was excavated and rapidly expanded without lawful approval into a sandmining operation, until 1996 when Hawkesbury City Council gave it retrospective approval.

This is the 4th part of the serialised Diamond Diary quoting the 60 year old activist's sworn affidavit in proceedings in the NSW Land & Environment Court 40733 of 2008. His case Diamond v Birdon Contrcting Pty Ltd & Anor was lost recently on technical grounds such that the substantive issues of illegal environmental vandalism have not been tested. He consents to his affidavit being reproduced here.

There are some deletions as marked based on legal considerations. Diamond's main grievance has been damage to Tinda Ck which crosses the Old Putty Rd aka Singleton Rd. The private land is sandwiched between Wollemi and Yengo National Parks which are both World Heritage listed and listed wilderness areas under the Wilderness Act 1987 (NSW).

In June 2007 a hydrological expert Chris Jewell working for Hawkesbury Council reported that the watercourse into the world heritage area has been cut by 37% and this will increase to 53% if the sandmine is expanded.

Neville Diamond's story continues:

My experience of menaces and a history of violence from sandminers at Tinda Ck


33. I was owner of a block of land subject to bank mortgage adjacent to the sand mine from 1981 to 1996 where I lived part time with my wife and child. During this time our sole source of reliable water was Tinda Creek until the sandmine started turning the water in the late eighties into a “chocolate milk shake”. Before this the creek was like expensive bottled mineral water.


34. The Stout family company Poyneed Pty Ltd operated an illegal sandmine from ‘a farm dam’ from 1984 to 1989 using Tom Bruce’s Birdon Contracting Pty Ltd for plant and equipment from 1989. When they started going out of business due to regulatory breaches, a $10,000 pollution fine, and ........ Birdon moved in as a business partner around 1989 especially as he was owed money by Poyneed. As I understand Birdon and managing director Tom Bruce became the controlling interest from about 2004.


34A. I also had a property with a house at Londonderry about 80 km away which I bought in 1984. Soon after I expressed concerns in 1985 about the unstable dam structures from the mining operation by Stout at Tinda Creek my wife suffered a home invasion on 6 Nov 1985 and beat us up, and menaced both of us and my 4 year old son with a 303 rifle.  This event is referred to by Bignold J in his decision accepting my evidence in Farrell v Diamond 1990 at annexure 1  at page 4. I believe this was to warn me off any complaints at Tinda Ck in the future.


35. In 1989 as a result of a year of complaints about water pollution of our pristine and only reliable water supply and given my extensive local knowledge and experience of sandmining, the sandmine operated at Tinda Creek by the Stout family trading as Poyneed Pty Ltd  - was fined $10,000 for water pollution. Colour copies of the water showing high turbidity – what I call a chocolate milk shake – from that time are found at annexure 27.

36. From that time on I was particularly harassed and threatened by certain staff at the sandmine some of whom remain working there for Birdon all these years later.  In around1990 my house at Londonderry was shot up while myself and wife were in the building. My 2 tanker trucks, 1 table top truck and 2 cars were fire bombed twice around 1990. This resulted in reports to NSW police and I know who did it but they have never been prosecuted. I believe this was a revenge for the $10K fine and closure of the sandmine which had grown  from a 3 ha farm dam to a 15 ha sandmine without any lawful development consent at that time until finally getting retrospective DA approval in 1996.  For instance Council issued a stop work order in 1995.


37. One aspect of the menacing and criminal harassment was the systemic theft of my movable property on Lot 1 adjacent to the sandmine on Lot 2 including a licensed guns kept on the remote farm property. A list of the property that has been stolen by some staff at the sandmine is attached to a letter at annexure 26  


I understand from the local police in the Hawkesbury that a man called ........ employed by Birdon was charged and convicted of illegal possession of a firearm belonging to myself and stolen from my house at Tinda Creek Lot 1 in about 1996. See annexure 28 for picture court exhibit on my returned gun when he was convicted of stolen goods in custody.  

 Soon after this theft all the sheep in the Walker’s neighbouring place were shot dead. The Walkers were allies of both myself and my agent Tom McLoughlin in the Wollemi Legal Fighting Fund. Attached as annexure ….. is a greeting card from the Walkers to Tom McLoughlin after we won the Mushroom Composters struggle in 1995-6.


38. In 1996 I was forced to sell my land at Tinda Ck by my bank because my tenants could not get clean water due to the sandmining such that I could not raise rent on the asset anymore and service the mortgage and was finally forced to a mortgagee fire sale after years of environmental impacts from the unlawful sandmine.


39. Even more recently the staff and owners of the sandmine habitually threaten and menace me because they see that it has always worked to some degree in the past.  I refer to a transcript of evidence regarding ………… I refer to my affidavit 7 November 2006 regarding this history of violence against me typed up by my mother in large block letters at annexure 29  The affidavit refers to a PINOP which is police jargon for “Person in need of protection”.




40. I refer to a statutary declaration of Bill Sneddon dated October 2008 regarding ........ menaces and threats I experienced in  2005 and 2007 at annexure 30.


41. I refer to the uncontested affidavit seeking a postponement of the evidence in reply timetable to 13 October 2008 where I state:

6. Now I believe I have to take further advice and precautions for my security and to further investigate the gravity of death threats:.  I have learned just today 23rd September 2008 that an environmental activist in the Hawkesbury City Council Local Government Area has received a death threat 3 weeks ago and a death threat to his family, for democratic protest about some issues. I’m told these threats were from persons claiming to be with the ...... bikie gang. I am told at this incident the environmentalist was asked words to the effect of “Do you know Neville Diamond? He’s ruined a million dollar sandmine business. We’re going to do the same thing to him”.


7. The seriousness of the death threats are reinforced by the incident at the site inspection of the sandmine in 2007 at Tinda Creek with Hawkesbury Council officers and consultant Chris Jewell when an angry worker, who has been identified as ....... by plant manager .........., tried to assault me. This was only avoided by the intervention of Greg Hall of Council. This was reported to the police same day. I have also been forced to seek 3 apprehended violence orders against .............in 2004, 2005 and 2007 for death threats by him which on each occasion were settled by mediation with his solicitors. On the last AVO application and mediation ........ agreed to instruct all his employees specifically his foreman and the bikie member to not approach or threaten me.


8. I am already on the pension for stress and these incidents coming from the sandminers at Tinda Creek are affecting my ability to comply with the timetable.


42. My agent .........   (who is also an unemployed solicitor in NSW on a restricted certificate), is the source of the information about this latest death threat, via a local Hawkesbury environmentalist who came to see him in early October 2008 to in turn caution me. He has the name of the informant and I believe the threat was made. 

43. In reality [it is alleged] Birdon have been pulling every dirty trick legal and ....... to avoid accountability over destruction of Tinda Creek and the LEC is the last hope for forcing them to obey the planning law.


Attempt to smear me with pollution fine via sabotage of storage tankers


44. In answer to the Birdon’s solicitor letter received by email 9 Sept 2008 where I am asked to make admissions as follows:

I refer to previous correspondence and hereby request that Mr Diamond disclose as to whether he has ever paid all or any of the fines and costs imposed upon him by Bignold J in Farrell V Diamond decision dated 9 May, 1990.


This is a reference to the vengeful sandminers continued their vendetta against me for seeking protection of Tinda Creek especially after the $10K fine on the sandmine. My tankers with hazardous waste water in storage at my Londonderry property were sabotaged releasing a serious pollution spill. This criminal act by sabateurs resulted in my prosecution - not for the spill - but for storage for so long without a permit, though the evidence showed the NSW Pollution Control Commission were well aware of my storage of the waste in those tankers for an extended period. I was also fined for not displaying a waste industry sticker on the windscreen – which had been smashed and the truck firebombed already. As a result I was fined a relatively low $2,100 for a serious pollution event because Bignold J accepted that it was sabotage beyond my control in Farrell v Diamond 1990 at annexure 1.




45. Vested interests associated with the sandmine have sought to use this pollution fine to spread a strategic smear and chill around me to diminish the status of my grievance. They attacked the messenger so HCC might ignore complaints of unlawful operation of a sandmine which only received a retrospective consent in 1996 from Hawkesbury City Council after 10 years of unlawful operation. And even then from 1996 continued to operate illegally for lapsed consent for breach of condition 4 – lack of state dept approved erosion and sedimentation control plans.

46. It is most ironic to me that after 24 years the Council has agreed with me in their latest report of 29 July 2008 that the sandmine’s consent has lapsed for failure to comply with consent condition 4. The truth is it’s been a cowboy operation all the way through with systemic breaches of consent conditions exploiting the remote nature of the operation and thugs who work there.


47.  In 1997 I commenced legal action 10041/1997 against Birdon unlawful sandmining as referred to at at 1.n and 1.o in Byrnes/Birdon letter of 9 Sept 2008 setting out their Grounds for the strike out motion attached at appendix ……. The settlement of that court action, with no costs order,  was based on an agreed option to purchase my block of land back from Birdon which they bought in a forced bank mortgagee sale at only $130,000 when the property was valued at $ 260,000


48. Again the criminality of certain staff at the sandmine came into play. I planned to use a certain asset – a bulldozer heavy machinery located on my former block of land at Tinda Creek on Lot 1 – to raise the $10,000 deposit for a bank loan. I had engaged a mechanic to repair the dozer to make it fit for sale.


49. In 2006 an innocent tilt tray truck driver called Owen Tonkin told me and I believe it to be true that in 1999 .......and ......... who still work at the sandmine arranged for him to pick up my dozer and effectively steal it using false pretences offering him a three way split in sale of the dozer. I bought it for $6,000 in the early 90ies and my mechanic Bill Morris rebuilt it. It was worth about $10,000. They  stole the dozer effectively preventing me from raising a deposit to exercise the formal option by end of 1999. I reported it stolen in 1999. I spoke to Skarstrom in 1999 and he told he knew nothing about it.


50. As a result of all this nastiness by the sandminers when I lost my property in 1996 by forced mortgagee sale to Birdon I resolved to get inside the sand mining industry and learn how to reform the planning and environmental issues around this sand mining racketeering in order to get some personal justice for driving me off my land and to protect Tinda Creek catchment. My involvement in all kinds of public interest projects and working for Dixon Sands at Maoorta has mainly been about learning how to get justice at Tinda Creek. This is the case I want to finish and hope never to appear in the Land & Environment Court again.


51. I believe that ........  the aggressive and violent and criminal attacks on me and my family [are] a way of covering up ..... illegal sandmining activities from 1989 onwards. ......


(to be continued)


Previous posts in this series are here:

25 October 2008 Diamond Diary Part 3: Getting to grips with the costs regime in the NSW Land & Environment Court, Mood:  not sure, Topic: legal

Thursday, 23 October 2008 Diamond Diary Part 2: How I went bankrupt 'doing litigation for Dixon Sands' Mood:  accident prone Topic: legal
Wednesday, 22 October 2008 Diamond Diary Part 1: Amazing career of environmental litigation Mood:  on fire Topic: legal
Tuesday, 21 October 2008 World heritage vandal gets technical win in Land & Environment Court ...for now Mood:  accident prone Topic: legal

16 October 2008 Hawkesbury City Council public duty to protect their World Heritage park in court Friday 9.30am Mood:  blue Topic: legal

Posted by editor at 1:34 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 28 October 2008 3:45 PM NZT
Sunday, 26 October 2008
Sunday Political talkies: Enjoy the view, it's free in a Global Financial Crisis!
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


Nice column by Annabel Crabb again this weekend re political nouse trumps legal tactics.



Fairfax implicated in special mini metro treatment.


SAM pushes it's serial on damage to Blue Mtns World Heritage area.


SunHerald Sydney today has big GFC story with no byline on page 3 today.


SAM piece on 4 Corners kicks off a Libs v Nats frame? Echoes or parallel with SAM in Canberra Gallery coverage. Big Bill Heffernan turns up on MTP 10 below, aka "Ghost who walks"





10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am


Press roundup reference to Sydney Sun Herald re $320 billion IMF bailout BUT the story has no byline or even news service reference like Reuters or AAP. WTF?


Nice quote Mal Turnbull re PM Rudd “control freak”. Nice quote Rudd v Turnbull support indy regulators like Ken Henry and RBA governor Stevens.


Out take is Nats NSW leader Stoner shooting reference from media conference platform. The Momentum on that ‘gaffe’ or ‘joke’ is growing. It could destroy Stoner not per se but through the replaying. [He later said “Get over it” which might play well to redneck Nat voters, rusted on but surely will send a chill to the rest of the polity.]


Tanner is the talent – drones on with safe boring hands, which is what you want in a GFC.


First adbreak – newish Teachers Fed advert with www.forourfuture.org.au website (tbc).


Excellent talent on panel with Michelle Grattan – starts with R question “recession”. Tanner drones on with safe hands. Then shelves the wooden, and goes real conversation.


Debate around Ego Turnbull Opposition v PollyAnna Govt.


Mark Kenny Adelaide Advertiser (solid, News Corp).  Serious questions, serious thought. Hard question about remainder of surplus. Not a real $22B as growth projections. MG picks up on this.


Q. If you are wrong on projections – Won’t project, Q. that implies you can go in deficit given past surpluses?


Tanner says very difficult to get clear picture.


2nd guest is Big Bill Heffernan – preface take is Heff and Boswell going at eachother. Runs his thesis on Wran removal of preferential voting (don’t really get this, ignorant on my part).


Tries gravitas re climate change, global food task, possibly 1.6B people being displaced. Real possibility 0 allocation after the $10B spend on improvements. With modern telecommunications and transport nowhere is quarantined.


Q. from MG re gene IP on breast cancer is a real problem, choke public policy and initiative. Challenged in Europe and lost the case. Ban patenting of human genes. [Agree].


Tooralie purchase. Serious blue says BH, buy it “sight unseen”, two independent valuations says Mark Kenny.


$350 per megalitre pricing there … run out of time.


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




Riley Diary 7, from 8.30am


Essay on the ties of PM and Opposition leader. [On reflection looks to us like penis metaphors, used to think ties were to cover the buttons or keep a cold breeze out from the shirt gaps!]. Red for Turnbull colour of … love, anger, war? Blue for Rudd colour of … authority, power, Liberal Party?





9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am


Missed most of the start of this, clashing with Riley Diary. Federal Minister for Immigration, Senator Chris Evans.


Under pressure to cut immigration by 25% as per Opposition Sharman Stone.


Caught on pointy end of capital punishment policy issue. Alan Jones Sydney 2GB has broken cover to oppose the death penalty in relation to the Bali bombers. Recognition that it leads to no clemency for Australians overseas, as well as degrading ourselves as a country to the level of those killers.


Got in trouble with PR junkie PM Rudd double talk on death penalty to avoid right wing shock jocks calling for blood after murder of 200+ tourists in Bali. Nasty grim tragedy.








Insiders 2: 9- 10am


Preface footage, great footage of spiky emasculated pollies talking but powerless regarding GFC.


Confirmation of Minister Wong staying out of Libs v Nats after 4 Corners [as per


Panel is Annabell Crabb (Fairfax), David Marr (Fairfax) and Andrew Bolt. All suitably feisty and in form and a little spiky. Special note of lovely AC changed hair style, dressed casual all the better to admire her brain.


Craig Emerson as Small Bus minister is the talent – droning on safe boring hands, like Tanner, bit less wooden at the start out.


Very competent and democratic values on display. With energy, and steady voice. Takes moral high ground on political opportunism. Asked a simple question can Australia avoid recession. Strategic error in his answer perhaps – goes into lengthy detail. Should has said one word … Yes. Then taken the follow up question on the detail. Longer the answer the more nervous he may sound … in effect, no intention. Don’t over egg the pudding Craig.


Everyperson section a vote of confidence in the Govt from the heartland Labor demographic, blokes in a family.


Panel mulls, Paul Kelly soliliquises (!).


Strong theme the whole morning re Turnbull going personal attack on Ken Henry. Turnbull was ahead of the curve on this issue re financial markets etc, made a lot of progress. PK says Rudd most aggressive he’s been since elected this week. Reckons he knows got dent Turnbull’s economic credentials. Rudd going to G20 next month.


Bolt gets a tactical advantage over Marr in the repartee. Getting personal. Bolt is about right there is a problem either RBA should have advised and didn’t about unlimited guarantee, or did so advise originally and the govt has hid that. Seems they didn’t and 5 days later the RBA and govt took action to refine the deposits guarantee.


AC gets and acknowledge’s Bolt’s probative points not least because of her excellent last column.


Acknowledged Barnaby Joyce “best question of the day”. Following the same cadence as Ken Henry “How … long ….would ….it ….take?” to do modeling of $10 billion half surplus splurge to maintain confidence? [Notice Ken Henry was “ W…..R….O…N….G….exclamation mark” BJ 5 – KH 6, wins on the finishing line! Good Rumpole tv that.]




Great talking pictures segment with “Mark Gordon?” as First Dog on the Moon cartoonist. Picks up same cartoon as MTP 10 above re Super Kev – but forget to mention the muscly headed Kev is indeed a scrawny wannabe in legs and arms and lacks cred. Which is the devilish Moir subtest. Beware PM!


Chats about US. AC watches Costello, head down after attack on Ken Henry’s personal integrity by Mal Turnbull as current leader.


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





Inside Business – 2 at 10am


Boffin talks about bank deposit guarantees, Perpetual, AXA, old very low gearing, conservatively managed, compared to Banks very highly geared. Profound affect on your industry says Alan Kohler.


Consequences flow on. Underlines impact unstated by Federal Govt. Really welcome Treasurer Swan statement last Friday.


Honest broker Nicholas Gruen of Lateral Economics – there is a run on the ‘banks’ but meaning the mortgage brokers not at the heart of payments system but still an $80 billion segment of the domestic financial market. Very carefully spoken, damage to shadow banking system. Thinks Govt should thinking more about guaranteeing and buying assets. Good value talent this guy, Ross Gittins likes him too.



Posted by editor at 11:10 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 27 October 2008 12:29 PM NZT
Saturday, 25 October 2008
Violent Howard logger legacy lives on in Tasmania funded by .....you and me?
Mood:  down
Topic: aust govt


Sent: Saturday, October 25, 2008 11:41 AM

Subject: crikey ran video too, grim

Yep, another video ran on crikey.com.au during the week too of full on sledge hammer trashing of a car. Ten thousand readers?
Big echo of this package I think
Lab Lib, what's the difference? Not much in Tasmania it seems. The irony is it has a population of say 500K, and is subsidised to large degree from our GST taxes etc, which in turn subsidises the private logging corporations in our national forests.
What a disgrace.
Tom McLoughlin
[crikey.com.au 23 October 2008]
13 . Violence and extinction in Tasmania’s forests

Rooted blogger Tim Hollo writes:

The last three days have been quite a revelation of exactly what's going on in Tasmania's forests. Regardless of the rhetoric of sensitive management of the forests, the real story is one of wantonly sending species towards extinction and viciously attacking those brave souls who stand up for protection.

On Monday, Bob Brown launched a new report by Margaret Blakers and Isobel Crawford into the state of the Swift Parrot (pictured). This amazing parrot, named in honour of its ability to cross Bass Strait in 3 hours (the ferry takes all night!), is listed as endangered, but, as the paper argues, should be upgraded to critically endangered as its population has recently crashed below 1000 pairs thanks to the logging of its only breeding grounds - the forests of south-eastern Tasmania.

Last Friday, Forestry Tasmania proudly announced that they would halt logging in the Wielangta coupes where the birds are nesting this season. Once the birds are gone, of course, Forestry will continue the slash and burn, destroying forever one of the last remaining nurseries for this beautiful little bird.

Bob made the point to Fran Kelly on Radio National breakfast on Monday that, with a species on the brink of extinction and the State Government doing nothing to protect its long-term future, the Federal Government has the right and the responsibility to step in and terminate the Regional Forests Agreement that covers the area preventing the Federal Government from taking any action to save the bird.

When challenged on the issue by Fran Kelly on this morning's breakfast, Peter Garrett ducked the issue, passing the buck to the Tasmanian Government:

"Under the RFA Act, it is the responsibility of the Tasmanian government to ensure that those management prescriptions that have been identified as necessary are undertaken and it's our expectation that that would be the case... The EPBC [Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation] Act does not apply, and hasn't for some time, to override or to provide ... any necessary or additional actions over the RFA. Now that's always been the case."

A bold move by one of my former heroes.

Meanwhile, the Tasmanian Government, in whose trust Minister Garrett places the fate of the Swift Parrot, is led by a man crassly and wilfully ignorant of science. A recent study by the ANU has backed up what many of us have been arguing for years -- that standing forests are far more valuable as carbon stores than they are as woodchips.

Premier Bartlett, on the other hand, told The Australian newspaper that "I don't think the logging of old-growth forests is necessarily related to climate change" and called the clear global position that standing forests are more valuable than logged forests "b-llsh-t". You can read what Christine Milne has to say about that here.

But just to confirm one of the worst weeks for Tasmania's forests in years, we were notified last night of a horrific attack on protesters in the Florentine Valley yesterday, brave people from Still Wild, Still Threatened, trying to protect forests on the eastern edge of the World Heritage Area. They had locked onto a car in the middle of a forestry access road, peacefully but effectively blocking the ability of loggers to gain access and chop down the trees. They were attacked in their car, with loggers bashing the vehicle with a sledgehammer, eventually dragging one protester out and kicking him in the head. One particularly brave protester caught it on a phone camera and the footage is now making its way around the globe.

A warning. This footage is not for the faint-hearted, or for those who dislike coarse language.

Posted by editor at 12:44 PM NZT
Yes, green 'leader' did take wrong turn on steep rail at Lane Cove
Mood:  sad
Topic: nsw govt


Ironically - given SAM's penultimate post - it was Fairfax that carried the story earlier this week about the awful, awful problem of what looks like a badly designed, too steep track on the Chatswood to Epping link under the Lane Cove River:

Epping rail noise 'won't delay opening'

October 23, 2008 - 8:38AM

"RailCorp chief executive Rob Mason said the noise exceeded acceptable levels when train carriages tested on the track travelled the steep, curved section under the Lane Cove River.

"Yes, the noise, using our existing CityRail trains is too high compared with the same trains in our other tunnels of the network," Mr Mason told ABC Radio on Thursday.

Fairfax newspapers reported that train noise levels reached 90 decibels, comparable to a Boeing 737 plane coming in to land."

The SAM editor knows a bit about why the steep section was constructed. We know that the Urban Bushland mafia with Dr Judy Messer as their champion as chair of the NSW Nature Conservation Council would brook no counter arguments from Friends of the Earth Sydney (this writer's then home group) or other public transport campaigners about the extra stations from a 14 metre high bridge option.

The letter writer to the Sydney Morning Herald 24 Oct 2008 rings true. It saddens me to say so, but they are so right.

The Urban Bushland mafia within the green movement had to have every last fraction of the Lane Cove National Park sacrosanct, as daily some 2,500-3,000 native trees in public forests are woodchipped down at Eden, and 400 plus people die prematuresly from bad air quality in the greater metropolitan area. Losing perspective? We do think so. Some of that 200 square metres of the park was already disturbed land apparently.

It's only a consolation now for the green movement that it was not the now ascendant Green Party sector nor was it several other peak groups.

Dr Judy Messer, you should face up to this disaster, not least your haughty policy agenda to the exclusion of other public policy concerns and other credible voices in the green movement. Bring on the accountability we say, both within and outside the green movement. Talk about Baby Boomers sitting on their digs too long.

The whole grim affair was reported by SAM micro web news back in December 2007, bouncing off a News Ltd front page screamer:

Friday, 7 December 2007
See in particular extensive quoting there of NSW Parliamentary Hansard about that split in the green movement. Here is the front pager:

Posted by editor at 11:40 AM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 25 October 2008 12:22 PM NZT
ALP pandering to Fairfax with mini metro to Darling Island as predicted by SAM?
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: big media


The revolving door Big Media to Big Govt and back never seemed more obvious than today. The ALP both federal and state are determined to deliver a rail link to Fairfax first stop out of the CBD. Call it a Mini Metro, call it a North West Metro. But Fairfax will get a link to their new office tower  on Darling Point/Darling Island at quarrantined Pyrmont just like News Ltd have got Central one block away from the Holt St Harlot.


Click here to close this window


As High Court Judge Michael Kirby said to Andrew Denton's Show responding to a flippant 'should the media run the country?' with "Don't they already?"!

 Picture (above) of the SAM web micro news fleet vehicle (the bicycle) in front of the new Fairfax building on Darling Island Pyrmont taken earlier this year.

Talk about a 2010 ALP federal election strategy pandering to a big news organisation's commercial and staff needs before the public interest. We made the same analysis back on 24 March 2008, some 5 days after this front pager below regarding the metro plan just coincidentally being first stop out of the CBD at Pyrmont Darling Island.


The political imperative is we suggest consipicious by the secretive cosy chats PM Kevin Rudd had with Fairfax heavyweights in a media exclusive earlier this year. The PM was openning the new dark squat tower office of Fairfax back on 8th May 2008 when John Lyons of News Ltd was manhandled away from questioning the PM striding into the new Fairfax bunker.

SAM commented on the Sunday Political Talkies weekly web post following:

"- ALP machine in trouble for manipulation not least with John Lyons manhandled asking question at Fairfax picfac – with ALP Inc advert for metro line juxtaposed in The Aust Friday p3, with metro first station out of the CBD, Fairfax Pyrmont area of 1 Darling Island. Talk about cynical corporate welfare for haughty Fairfax e.g. Ron Walker and mates. And cynical attempt by ALP Inc to buy editorial interference in the Oz with big 1/4 page 3 advert. It's so brazen most will hardly notice the pandering to big media rent seekers."

Certainly the cloak and dagger choreography is captured by the tone of Lyons's piece here below, and methinks his journalistic instincts were right to be suspicious even if he doesn't quite make the 'train connection', pardon the pun, that we do. Even when the metro PR advert runs next to his own piece also below.

But then he didn't spend 5 years slogging work out of an office based at Pyrmont and Ultimo as distribution manager as this writer did for now unrelated Alternative Media Group owned by Lawrence Gibbons so we well know the transport island effect there.



Here is Green MP Lee Rhiannon's media release in this latest 'Bart Simpson, Doh!' moment in NSW politics:

Sent: Friday, October 24, 2008 2:08 PM

Subject: [Greens-Media] Mini metro plan a costly mistake

Media Release - Greens MP Lee Rhiannon & Leichhardt Greens Mayor Jamie Parker - 24 October 2008

Mini metro plan a costly mistake

Greens MP and transport spokesperson Lee Rhiannon says Premier Nathan Rees' new CBD metro plan is ill-thought through, expensive and an exercise in policy on the run. Ms Rhiannon says the billions would be better spent on finishing existing heavy rail projects and extending light rail to other areas of Sydney.

NSW Greens MP Lee Rhiannon said:
"The Premier wants billions from Infrastructure Australia to build a new metro system when he can quickly and easily create a city loop by extending the existing light rail system for a fraction of the cost," Ms Rhiannon said.

"This is a mini plan from a mini premier. The money would be much better spent on completing existing heavy rail projects and extending light rail to other areas in Sydney.

"The route outlined will face technical difficulties, demanding extensive tunneling through steep gradients and around city office blocks. Darling Harbour and White Bay present a real challenge.

"The costs will be astronomical at a time when the NSW government is crying poor.

"With peak oil and climate change the Premier can't afford to continue with these kinds of follies. Sydneysiders need real public solutions not this kind of drivel.

Leichhardt Greens Mayor Jamie Parker said:
"The sensible option for the Inner West is right under Nathan Rees' nose: extend the existing light rail service. 

"This is the obvious solution that can be done much more quickly and at a fraction of the cost.

"If Mr Rees wants to provide additional public transport for Rozelle he can easily run light rail off into that suburb.

"It's clear the Premier has been propelled by fears of losing inner city seats rather than good transport planning.

"For years the Greens have been campaigning with the community for better light rail services in our area but Labor has ignored us.

"Now the polls aren't looking so good and the Premier has responded by pulling this flimsy plan out of a hat.

For information:
Lee Rhiannon - 9230 3551, 0427 861 568. Jamie Parker - 0418 428 089

Lee Rhiannon, MLC
The Greens
Parliament of New South Wales
Macquarie St
Sydney 2000
Tel: +61-2-9230 3551
Fax: +61-2-9230 3550


 Picture (above): The new Fairfax building front reception. A wilderness of mirrors?


Just a thought but it could arguably, theoretically be a breach of the election laws if the railway station at Pyrmont to service Fairfax was intended as a federal or state government bribe to a private corporation for favourable election coverage. Not saying it was, just wondering.


Posted by editor at 10:21 AM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 25 October 2008 11:29 AM NZT

Newer | Latest | Older