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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Monday, 3 November 2008
Media Monitors email scam echo of an earlier email gambit ... at Media Monitors
Mood:  mischievious
Topic: local news

A big page 3 story last weekend in the Sydney Morning Herald brought back some interesting memories of our 2 years at Media Monitors 1999 to 2001 inclusive of the 9-11 disaster. We had the night shift and what an unhealthy work cycle it really was.

The recent story was about email mischief by two staffers with a right wing shock jock:

1-2 Nov 2008 The naked truth of a shock jock duped - National - smh.com.au

But back then it was about an email to all state and federal govt politicians about a Media Monitors manager. But we get ahead of ourselves.

We met Bernard Rooney there at MM and we raised some $4,000 for East Timor in the inaugural 100 km charity Trailwalker in 2000 via workmates. In 2001 we went in the event again as pictured below middle shot with Bernard 2nd from right. Or on his back in the top photo.

And what was the email about? Well if memory serves a certain MM manager was doing a spring clean for the CEO, in one of those company wide job reviews. Now we quite liked Bernard. He was a solid kind of a worker but he'd been targeted for the chop.

The word on the shop floor was that he was being told to do work he hadn't been trained for and then told he wasn't performing to standard.

Then on the night of 9-11 we had our leverage. Seems this ruthless manager by the name of JH was seen watching the live coverage in the 2nd floor offices in the old Cleveland St Building. They were still a few years from moving into the Federal Police building a few blocks down the same street.

Our hero JH was heard to say "It's all dead news, no one wants to buy it." This was in house talk - the newsworthy importance of a story - often disasters like earthquakes or volcanoes - doesn't correspond necessarily to any of the big business and govt clients wanting to buy a copy. In short the people who run society want things directly naming them, or impacting their business in order to organise their PR and strategy.

As it was happening it was 'only' a criminal disaster story in a foreign country that no Australian client needed to get. No one knew who the companies inside were. Or how it would change the world.

We don't mind saying doing the Media Monitoring of every newspaper published in the country over that period, especially the Fin Review front page of The Falling Man, probably took it's toll and may have affected our thinking.

It was not so long after that that one of the readers died of a stroke as well, a disabled guy known to his workmates and friends as Skip.

So anyway if Bernard was about to get the boot (to restart a new career as a Greens Councillor at Canada Bay) a certain employee at MM thought the govt clients might like to know what ruthless managers were thinking as literally 3 thousand people were being murdered in the workplace at the World Trade Centre: "It's all dead news, no one wants to buy it".

There's no accounting for moral perspective, or tactless use of language.

The workers will have their satisfaction even if by internet cafe. 

Posted by editor at 6:04 PM EADT
Sunday, 2 November 2008
Sunday Political talkies: Ms McKay's 'weird aggressive' mates in NSW ALP?
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


* Oliver Stone film director with a very mainstream capitalist pedigree with a father who worked on Wall Street describes Senator McCain like this in Weekend Review in The Australian 25 Oct 2008, at p21 in film review of W about the current US president:


"I think McCain's a very special story because he was never a soldier," Stone says coldly. "He's said he never saw the results of his own bombing. I saw the damage we did [in Vietnam], I saw the corpses, the decay, I smelled the flesh, I saw the people  who'd been napalmed, people who'd been killed by shrapnel, mutilated, I saw horrible things.


"McCain was a prisoner and he has a siege mentality. He doesn't see a balanced portrait of cause and effect; there's something missing in the man, mentally."


* Today’s Sydney SunHerald - Rudd warning on global recession hit on Australia – and blaming NSW for economic failures. Looks like return of fire on Keating's ‘culture war’ over interpretation of Gallipoli .


* Rudd's bold attack on NSW ALP politics possibly informed by Imre Salusinszky's piece this weekend  p31 of  The Australian that the PM can go to the election after NSW because he convenend parliament in Feb 2008 giving him until after March 2011 when NSW must. Not sure if this is true but very important if it is, in "Forcing polls may save Rudd".



* Rudd is also emboldened by China releasing a report saying they recognise the challenge of climate change as evidence that in terms of international momentum it's a happening thing to get on board the climate change expres, via ABC China correspondent here -

China warns of more natural disasters 30 Oct 2008 ... The Chinese government has made dire predictions of increased disasters due to global warming. China correspondent Stephen McDonell reports ...

* Sunday Telegraph - Minister for Tourism Jodi Mackay, who took the NSW seat of Hunter in the wake of the creepy ALP MP Orkopoulous arrest and conviction for child abuse and drug use, worries about “weird aggressive” hut user with a “fetish for conspiracy theories”. McKay says this justifies developers being greenwashed into national parks with commercial tourism to guarantee “safety”. The story is "National parks face a fork in the track" by Claire Harvey p37 2 Nov 2008. 


Who is she worried is stalking around in national parks?: Former or current ALP MPs and ministers

- Orkopoulous, convicted of child sex and drug abuse? 

- Matt Brown MP, alleged harrassment?

- Paul Gibson MP alleged domestic violence?

- Belinda Neal MP, alleged bullying?

- Tony Stewart MP, alleged bullying?

- Steven Chaytor, ex MP alleged domestic violence, overturned on appeal?

- Paul Keating ex PM with his famous (political) aggression?

- Joe Tripodi MP with some scandal there about alleged harrassment.

- Nathan Rees who was maybe 'weird' cycling 1000 km in a week', and preferring V8 revheads at Olympic Park?

- Or maybe Mal Turnbull who is known to have a few conspiracy theories about Treasury chief Ken Henry and has an explosive temper (at least when he was younger)?.  

Or is Ms McKay MP worried the Shooters Party MPs and their Game Council/Sporting Shooters mates with their Deliverance style pig hunting and their guns will stray out of the 1 million hectares of State Forest gifted by the ALP Govt. Stray into national parks and get their skinning knife out and “stab” innocent campers?


Picture: Hunters during the bird shooting season in Victoria intimidate a conservationist/animal rights protester, image taken several years ago.


The irony is that lead greenie Andrew Cox of the big conservative NSW National Parks Aassociation, opposed to commercialisation, is about the most mild mannered NGO rep under the heel of this aggressive weird NSW ALP government. Let’s see Ms McKay argue her case against the Greens Lee Rhiannon MLC MP on Stateline – I’d like to see that. The fact is there is huge opportunities for development of commercial tourism next to and outside national park boundaries and the rest is greenwash:


The Greens say a developer contributed more than $50,000 for Jodi McKay's printing.

The Greens say a developer contributed more than $50,000 for Jodi McKay's printing. (ABC TV)


Jodi Makay MP might do better resolving issues of her own about developer donations and internal ALP corruption:

14 April 2008 We haven't declared all donations: NSW ALP - ABC News (Australian ...

with spin off into the Sydney City Council elections where the ALP were reduced to a rump of one only (Cr Burgmann who has left for the US elections):

Labor election funds tangled in development August 25, 2008 by Malcolm Knox

And then we notice the corporate sponsorship of the Sunday Telegraph to the tourism awards from the new minister with probity questions about developer donations:

* Range of pre-emptive efforts by rivals of John Howard ex PM Howard years in 4 installments out on Nov 17 by Fran Kelly, and 2 other ABC veterans. Good summary in the Weekend Australian today by John Lyons. Pre-emptives as follows:


* Mal Turnbull "The Opportunist" charging "bull" last weekend's front colour mag Weekend Australian,


* Peter Costello flying flag on his financial credentials as a statesman ex treasurer here 15 October smh

We must not sow the seeds of the next crisis - Opinion - smh.com.au

 * George Brandis damns Howard with faint praise, not least for marching away from Menzies social liberalism, and economic Deakinism leading to an inevitable neurosis and collapse of the Party.

23 Oct 2008 The Howard paradox | The Australian


* John Robertson pictured at his squatters homestead like home at East Kurrajong, who walked with the greenies against climate change pre federal election.





But what about the forests John? Record levels of woodchipping at Eden for trees like this?


Just one tree


It's true it's not just one chair, in the propaganda in the Good Weekend here this weekend, it's whole forests including giants like this of which say 50-80% will be woodchipped, or burnt on the forest floor:


 * Keith Orchison of the energy industry in various veteran capacities is throwing his lot in with the CFMEU coalminers and woodchippers as climate change denialists or more accurately sophists, as per this quote last 1/5 of his column in the climate change denialist The Australian:


The "unintended consequence" risks of emissions trading to the economy are well illustrated by the pulp and paper mills. They have virtually no capability to pass on extra costs to customers because they are exposed to vigorous international competition - from countries such as China, Brazil and Indonesia - within Australia as well as overseas. Overseas suppliers have managed to grab 40per cent of the Australian papermarket.

As the sector is striving to get across to Wong and her colleagues, if the domestic mills become non-viable and close in the medium term, there is a flow-through effect to tree growers and sawmillers.

Overall, the forest industry employs more than 80,000 Australians. Ultimately, argue the millers, if they fail, fewer trees will be planted (because the growers have less income), less timber will be available to the construction industry (because the sawmillers will be less viable) and more concrete and steel will be used in buildings, involving an increase in carbon emissions.

How much of this information will be on the table when federal cabinet finally comes to make a decision about emissions trading - not just when to introduce it but, even more important, how to support emissions-intensive, trade-exposed domestic industries against global rivals - is anybody's guess.

Wong's focus is transparently on positioning the Government on the high ground for the critical negotiations on a post-Kyoto Protocol treaty at a meeting to be held in Copenhagen in 14 months.

Who in the cabinet, therefore, has responsibility for ensuring that this ground is not made up of the rubble of the Australian manufacturing sector?

Keith Orchison is director of Coolibah energy consultants and editor of the Powering Australia yearbook. He is a formerenergy industries association chiefexecutive.

in 22 Oct 2008 Climate plan pulps employees downstream | The Australian


* Sad to read ex ex ex Treasurer Michael Costa trying to crawl to revive his destroyed reputation in The Australian with the most ironic of titles "When principle gets left behind". Not the guy you would go to for moral guidance. In 24 Oct 2008 Deep green elitists in charge | The Australian


* Minister Tripodi et al pull off the electricity privatisation policy mark 2, in the last 36 hours, and wait to see fireworks with the United Services Union. He is also moving to annexure all executive political power in the NSW ports sector as per this low key but important article: 1 Nov 2008 Joe Tripodi's bill is a ports power grab | The Australian



* The highly praised First Australians can be veiwed again on the net apparently and see this profound advert adapting what looks like a real historic document only 60 years ago, as Obama leads the US presidential race. How incredible.


[Media Watch reveal that the document is an advert gimmick, it's not historically accurate but claims to reflect the actual implementation in the 1950ies behind the actual bureaucratise of an official White Australia policy.]



10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am


Press round up re Age Rudd warns of global recession impact on Australia.


US election round up.



Panel is Jennifer Hewitt with dodgy deposit guarantee story in The Australian labeled as WRONG. Also Phillip Coorey of Fairfax.



Out take is joke cracked by Mal Turnbull – something about nude bathers on the beach as the tide goes out.


Talent is Chris Bowen as Assistant Treasurer.


Classic out take of McCain ‘winning’ by one vote.


 2nd guest is


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




Riley Diary 7, from 8.30am


Riley who did a tour of duty in the US previously is back there and saying it's like Disneyland for political junkies.



Really good traverse of the campaign in summary leavened with some understated humour, with comic Tina Fey meeting the real Sarah Pallin complete with Deliverance soundtrack etc.







9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am


Talent is Foreign Minister Stephen Smith - mostly about US election and pretty general and competent if not a bit boring.





Insiders 2: 9- 10am


Panel Dae Levine Essential Media, Bruce Wolpe of Fairfax and ex foreign minister Alexander Downer.


Chris Uhlmann re Rudd on global recession in the Sunday press, and attack on ‘sick man’ of Australian politics namely NSW.


Discussion of phone call with George Bush ‘re G20?’ Was it Chris Mitchell the editor of The Australian who leaked the story?


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




Posted by editor at 12:31 PM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 4 November 2008 8:08 AM EADT
SAM website delay via US server in lead up to US election?
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: independent media

We seem to be experiencing a major delay in posting from here in Australia as the electoral process reaches a frenzy there in the United States. It's no secret that Obama's campaign has leverage the internet to historic levels in the last year and it may be that both Democrat aligned and Republican aligned forces are saturating the web to the exclusion of foreign folks.

We noticed too it was virtually impossible to watch the video of the day from say the Daily Show as posted via crikey.com.au, and we presume the traffic was simply too high.

Posted by editor at 10:25 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 3 November 2008 10:06 AM EADT
Friday, 31 October 2008
Keating's bait and switch on Stewart MP scandal plays Big Media for fools over Gallipoli?
Mood:  down
Topic: big media

 Rees Minister 'abuses woman staffer'

Accused of abusing female staff member ... Small Business Minister and Bankstown MP, Tony Stewart.

We've watched Paul Keating's career quite closely since about 1992. But he's been playing politics as one of the 4 amigos (Carr, Richardson, Brereton, Keating) since at least the mid 1970ies, standing next to ex PM Whitlam on his dismissal in 1975.

No comment … the Assistant Health Minister, Tony Stewart, during question time in Parliament yesterday.

No comment … the Assistant Health Minister, Tony Stewart, during question time in Parliament yesterday.
Photo: Ben Rushton

Now his mate Tony Stewart, numbers man for the ALP Right, is on the skids with the nominally Left Rees Govt for some abusive treatment of a staffer. (This follows a ramp up of equity and justice claims for pollie staffers by the crikey.com.au ezine about l0 days ago.) 

Both big press in Sydney are after Stewart now today in a career ending sense.

What's a guy, in this case an ex PM mover and shaker, to do? Dependent as he is on the ALP right for any number of NSW Govt sinecures? The Pineapple Mafia are runnings things for the ALP federally so no joy there.

Keating, or as we like to call him - TMCSI, The Master of Conflicted Self Interest - needs such as struggler Tony Stewart MP, chip off the old block. Needs his numbers and his favours in the future. Stewart needs the PR interference and cover, and he needs it today. Right effing now.

So the King of Political Vaudeville does "a Henson": He pulls on a highly sensitive emotionally charged topic of debate for which there are multi-factorial perspectives and issues all of which are essentially moot, and of tangential or marginal significance with a GFC, a climate package, a brown coloured US Presidential nominee. A moral panic by any other name. Where many many people of good faith but who are not so cunning or political will think it's a genuine posture by Keating that demands engagement. It's Keating at his usual highly manipulative, very corrosive, and essentially a mind f*ck waste of time by all concerned with good public policy and integrity in government.

Thus we say ABC 702 breakfast show this morning were played like a fiddle by the Keating 'Gallipoli debate' effectively running interference and cover for Tony Stewart, loyal foot soldier of the ALP Right here in Sydney. They even had a highly expensive violin on the show. And that's a pretty fair metaphor for Paul Keating, a multi million dollar, polished, squeaky fiddle.

Not for nothing, notice in the smh picture below this is the Jubilee Room in NSW Parliament where they hold estimates. It's the sandpit of the ALP Right. In attendance were several amigos Carr, Keating pictured, Brereton, honourary amigo ex Premier Neville Wran and a range of others. Plenty enough to cook up a PR gambit. It's what these folks know.

Signing up … Blanche d'Alpuget and Graham Freudenberg.

Signing up … Blanche d'Alpuget and Graham Freudenberg.
Photo: Nick Moir .

Posted by editor at 8:32 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 2 November 2008 10:12 AM EADT
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

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