« November 2008 »
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
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
Saturday, 8 November 2008
Forest terpenes help make rain and natural global dimming: science report
Mood:  cool
Topic: globalWarming

Terpenes! The role of terpenes adds to our knowledge of how forests cycle water naturally. The role of forests up until now has been summarised here in this diagram (terpenes not indicated)

Now we need to add into the diagram that forests naturally produce a natural haze of tiny particles called terpenes, which seed rainfall of correct droplet size. Correct in the sense that they create normal clouds and drive the natural monsoonal and rainfall patterns in predictable fashion for agriculture and human society.

Till now we have mainly been concerned with the impact of logging on this water cycle as follows;

Now we can say logging also removes terpenes from the rainfall cycle.

This compares with industrial particulates which is known to also form droplets and changed landscape scale rainfall patterns including failed monsoonal rains in North Africa: 

Four Corners - 21/03/2005: Global Dimming

These particles are also blamed for global dimming of some 10% of sunlight from reaching the earth's surface. That's incredible.

Notice this string of email in several parts about the role of terpens and the complexity of the inter relationship with global dimming, natural and unnatural.


Scientists discover cloud-thickening chemicals in trees that could ... 31 Oct 2008
Scientists discover cloud-thickening chemicals in trees that could offer a new weapon in the fight against global warming

    * David Adam, environment correspondent
    * guardian.co.uk,
    * Friday October 31 2008 16.46 GMT
    * Article history

Trees could be more important to the Earth's climate than previously thought, according to a new study that reveals forests help to block out the sun.

Scientists in the UK and Germany have discovered that trees release a chemical that thicke ns clouds above them, which reflects more sunlight and so cools the Earth. The research suggests that chopping down forests could accelerate global warming more than was thought, and that protecting existing trees could be one of the best ways to tackle the problem.

Dominick Spracklen, of the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science at Leeds University, said: "We think this could have quite a significant effect.
You can think of forests as climate air conditioners."

The scientists looked at chemicals called terpenes that are released from boreal forests across northern regions such as Canada, Scandinavia and Russia. The chemicals give pine forests their distinctive smell, but their function has puzzled experts for years. Some believe the trees release them to communicate, while others say they could offer protection from air pollution.

The team found the terpenes react in the air to f orm tiny particles called aerosols. The particles help turn water vapour in the atmosphere into clouds.

Spracklen said the team's computer models showed that the pine particles doubled the thickness of clouds some 1,000m above the forests, and would reflect an extra 5% sunlight back into space.

He said: "It might not sound a lot, but that is quite a strong cooling effect. The climate is such a finely balanced system that we think this effect is large enough to reduce temperatures over quite large areas. It gives us another reason to preserve forests."

The research, which will be published in a special edition of the Royal Society journal Philosophical Transactions A, is the first to quantify the cooling effect of the released chemicals. The scientists say the findings "must be included in climate models in order to make realistic predictions".

Because trees release more t erpenes in warmer weather, the discovery suggests that forests could act as a negative feedback on climate, to dampen future temperature rise. The team looked at forests of mainly pine and spruce trees, but Spracklen said other trees also produce terpenes so the cooling effect should be found in other regions, including tropical rainforests.


Sent: Sunday, November 02, 2008 6:23 PM
Subject: Re: [chipstop] Chemical released by trees can help cool planet, scientists find

At 05:40 PM 2/11/2008, you wrote:

I know that weensy particles called nuclei are needed for moisture to form around and make clouds and rain. Basic weather dynamics. Those can come from dust or from the minuscule particles forests send up when they do their evapotranspiration thing. Not sure how different this is to the chemicals they are talking about below. But it's great to see it reinforcing of the role forests play in rain making. An old farmers saying was something like ' The rain follows the trees '. Australia's euc forests also give off such a haze, especially in warm weather.  


I did a quick search and found that terpenes are definitely present in eucalypt leaves, too. Although most of the scientific discussion seems to be related to the digestibility of leaves by marsupials and to the eucalypt's characteristic of retarding growth of young plants close to them, I don't see why we shouldn't extend the European conclusion to our forests too.


Sent: Monday, November 03, 2008 8:01 AM
Subject: [chipstop] complexity of unnatural global dimming Re: [chipstop] Chemical released by trees can help cool planet, scientists find

Just a little brief on the incredible complexity in this area. If you google 4 Corners and global dimming you will get their show in about 2005 about how since 1950 or so about 10% less sunlight is reaching the earth. That's big.
How so - well it looks like its industrial particulate pollution over that time. Similar effect of cloud formation too.
But the clouds formed this way are slight different sized droplets which cause a change in rainfall pattern they say. Resulted in famine in Africa from failed monsoonals due to European particulates etc.
Soooo ....what's that got to do with terpens - well there has been a measurable plateaux in temperature rise in the last 2 years apparently.
My firm belief is that this correlates with Chinese and Indian huge economic expansion .... namely particulate pollution. Which in turn has carried it's component of global dimming over the world.
I know the particulate pollution from China is huge and impacts neighbour Korea etc. Then there are the Indonesian peat forest fires every summer.
In short global warming forcings have the foot on the accelerator of temperature increase. Pollution has the foot on the brake as well. Terpens sound like a natural enhancement of the braking effect.
Notice too the increase in pollution derived dimming has major implications for lung diseases and changed landscape scale rainfall patterns.
Yours truly, Tom
Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2008 12:22 PM
Subject: [chipstop] Chemical released by trees can help cool planet, scientists find

From a scientist on the topic ...

Yes, it is correct but only part of a much more complex story (ref NSF Newsl. 2006-2007).

Similar to the di-methyl sulphide produced by marine algae, many forests release significant quantities (100s of mt/an) of volatile terpenes and pinenes that oxidise and coagulate in the air to produce aerosol micro-nuclei responsible for forming persistent humid hazes. We can see them as the natural blue haze of our 'Blue Mountains' or the smokey haze of the Smokey Mts in the US.

In addition to these natural haze micro-nuclei, humans have also been releasing vast equivalent quantities of smog, smoke and particulate micro-nuclei into the air adding to these humid haze levels over lagre areas eg the Asian brown haze over India to China.

These haze water micro-droplets absorb incoming solar radiation and thus result in the well documented global dimming (of up to 15%) and cooler surface temperatures. However because they increase humidities these persistent hazes also decrease pan evaporation levels (by some 10%). This plus the inability of the small haze micro-droplets to coalesce into the larger drops needed to form rain has resulted in part of the systemic decline in rainfall over affected areas such as southern Australia or Asia where the brown haze is associated with a 30% decrease in monsoonal rainfall.

While dimming the solar intensity at the earth's surface, the absorption of heat by the increased levels of persistent haze micro-droplets is also responsible for much of the warming of the lower atmosphere. In fact the hazes have a double warming effect absorbing short wave solar radiation while in the liquid phase and absorbing long wave re-radiated infra red heat from the earth's surface while in the water vapour phase, the earth's dominant natural greenhouse effect. Hence managing these hazes is critical if we are to cool regions and the planet in time to avoid the otherwise dangerous climate meltdown.


Meanwhile we in SE Australia at Eden NSW allow 1 million tonnes of trees to be woodchipped per year including this one recorded a few weeks ago (via Goongerah East Gippsland over the border in Victoria):

Posted by editor at 7:56 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 8 November 2008 8:43 AM EADT
Friday, 7 November 2008
Minister Tebbutt slicing NSW south coast forest to get '89 conservation reserves'
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: ecology

Harriet Swift a qualified journalist and local land holder from Bega writes:

Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2008 9:40 AM
Subject: [chipstop] Bermi tomorrow

Hi greenies
Just to confirm, .....tomorrow at the Bermagui logging compartment .... Meet at the bus shelter on the corner of Wallaga Lake Road and the Cobargo road  by 8.30am.
The koalas need you there with your placard!
This animal was seen and photographed less than a year ago almost directly over the road from Box Flat Rd, where logging started last Monday. See
NSW Primary Industry minister may think there are no koalas around, but this critter looks a lot like one to me.
See you tomorrow?


Indeed the spin doctoring of the NSW government continues so as to avoid the gravity of the picture above.

We will try to explain to those of good faith how we understand the public's natural forest estate: At 20% land cover 200 years ago it was  like two loaves of bread in an already sparsely forested wide brown land continent.

Now come forward 220 years and we only have one loaf left, or 10% land cover and most of that is trashed and disrupted as well. 

Picture: One loaf of bread left today symbolising the 10% of forest cover we have, which is down 50% on the 20% landcover we had in 1788.

And Environment Minister Tebbutt was on abc tv news in Sydney last night arguing that 89 conservation reserves were already in place on the NSW South Coast. What does this really mean?

No need to worry about logging of koala habitat down there as per reports of the ABC tv and Sydney Morning Herald here?:

1. www.smh.com.au - Last koala habitats get the chop  Date: October 28 2008. Ben Cubby Environment Reporter.

2. PM - Protestors push for preservation of native forests 6 Nov 2008 Reporter: Jayne Margetts

MARK COLVIN: With a fresh round of logging starting in NSW, conservationists are calling on the State Government to stop cutting down native forests.

Logging has just begun on an area of land at Bermagui on the state's south coast.

Protestors have been out in force arguing that all native forests should be preserved as carbon sinks, and as valuable habitats for animals.

Jayne Margetts reports.

(Sound of chain saw)

JAYNE MARGETTS: Another swathe of Australia's native forest is getting the chop.

This time it's a 180 hectare area of land in between two national parks at Bermagui. John Hibberd from the Conservation Alliance wants it and other areas like it to be preserved as carbon sinks.

JOHN HIBBERD: All native forests are really important for carbon sinks. As they get older more and more carbon is stored in them and we believe that if native forest logging stopped in Australia a massive saving in carbon emissions could be made at the stroke of a pen.

I'm not talking about carbon emissions straining and something in 10 to 15 years time, right now the Federal and State Governments across Australia could massively reduce the carbon emissions of this country.

JAYNE MARGETTS: Environmentalists and local residents have begun a campaign to protect the forest.

ENVIRONMENTALISTS: Save our forests!

JAYNE MARGETTS: Protestors say the forest is a valuable habitat for animals, especially the severely depleted koala population. But so far their calls have fallen on deaf ears.

POLICE OFFICER: Your arguments, your discussions about koalas are irrelevant to me.

JAYNE MARGETTS: The police have been blocking them from entering the logging site.

POLICE OFFICER 2: All you people right now are currently within the exclusion zone

PROTESTER: Remove the loggers then.

POLICE OFFICER 2: If you don't leave the exclusion zone you'll be arrested. Okay? You've got 2 minutes.

JAYNE MARGETTS: One woman who swore at a police officer was carted off to the station.

FEMALE PROTESTOR: I wanna be arrested!

JAYNE MARGETTS: Environmentalist Prue Acton says the forest is only just recovering from the last logging operation 20 years ago.

PRUE ACTON: The spotty gums are only just coming back, when they're starting to have their full carbon and their full size and their full beauty and the understorey is coming and the animals are returning and the soil is stabilising. What are we doing instead? We're just going to chop them down.

JAYNE MARGETTS: Research from the Australian National University is adding weight to the campaign. A study has found that eucalypt forests hold three times the amount of carbon than was previously thought.

And there are economic arguments too.

Dr Judith Adjani, an economist from the ANU say the logging of native forests is unnecessary.

JUDITH ADJANI: We can substitute for, easily substitute for all of our native forests chip exports using our hardwood plantation resources. If we want to not log native forests we can do that because we have enough plantations both hardwood and softwood to meet virtually all of our wood needs.

JAYNE MARGETTS: The protestors are hoping to get their message through to the state government.

John Hibberd again.
JOHN HIBBERD: We're asking the State Government to immediately intervene in this matter. We want them to stop the logging not only in this Bermagui corridor forest but also in the forest to the South where the logging is intended to move next year and where the koalas are actually living and breeding at the moment.

And we also want them to scrap the Regional Forest Agreement. That agreement was made 10 years ago. It's now out of date. The world has moved on.

JAYNE MARGETTS: But The NSW Environment Minister Carmel Tebbutt says large areas of forest are already protected under legislation and there's no plan for a review.

CARMEL TEBBUTT: There were very important conservation gains that came out of the Regional Forest Agreements. 300,000 hectares of national parks and reserves added for example in that Eden area as a result of the Regional Forest Agreements. Now it is simply not possible to go back and unpick those agreements, without placing at risk those important conservation gains.

MARK COLVIN: NSW Environment Minister Carmel Tebbutt ending that report by Jayne Margetts.


The trouble for Minister Tebbutt and all of us is that Australia never had much forest to begin with. Since 1788 via agriculture and now especially mechanised woodchipping we have already lost fully 50% of our forest.

Of the 10% forested land cover left on the fringes of the continent today barely 1/10 of that is mature forest with hollow bearing trees. You could think of it as the chewy crusts at the end of the loaf of bread. Most of this 10% forest land cover remaining is being sliced up. Some is divided into reserves and the rest is allocated to high intensity logging by private companies. The bigger the reserves the bigger the thrashing for anything outside the reserves including koala habitat. 

The mature type of forest with nesting hollows in trunk and branches is essential to protect wildlife from going extinct locally and nationally. But it is also the type of forest industry most want to log - usually for higher volumes of chips, and usually good rainfall areas desirable for conversion to defacto plantation by high rotation logging.

Forest destruction is one of several reasons why Australia has the worst mammal extinction records in the world.


Minister Tebbutt is actually green lighting more slicing and dicing of the last loaf of bread on the table.

(Our bread board and table is made of wood too, but in our case it was recycled from a council throwout. Experts tell us we can provide most if not all our timber needs from existing plantations).

Ms Tebbutt can say there's 89 conservation reserves in SE NSW already but it's all one national forest really being cut into smaller and smaller pieces with roughly half given to the private profiteers. Like the one loaf of bread which can be sliced into 19 then cut again into 38, 76 and finally 144 pieces these symbolise the large number of new fragmentated reserves. 

It's a politician's word game really: The longer the list of reserves the better it sounds but this ignores the context of a mostly treeless Australia. NSW for instance is 80 million hectares in size and most of it has no forest. So much for political sophistry.

And the smaller forest areas are easily degraded and local populations of wildlife slip into extinction - in this case the favourite koalas on the NSW South Coast at Bermigui. This is for real. It is happening now. On our watch. Not 100 years ago.

The real issue is not 89 reserves, rather

- the amount of national forest cover,

- the species and forest types, scarcity of categories,

- the level of maturity of forest type,

- green carbon storage regarding climate change, and 

- rate of logging, which is still extremely high and mostly for woodchips to Eden (1 million tonnes a year, some of the best forest in the world).

Given this national, and global, context industry and tame pollies always try to bring the focus down to the local and regional level to imply a large resource is being shared between conservation and industry. Indeed that's why the egregious Regional Forest Agreement rhetoric was invented - to destory the notion of a scarce national forest estate. That's very deceptive by industry and government. It's public property being vandalised for private gain. In Europe they hardly have one forest. Same with Asia.

It's a shame the police on the NSW South Coast don't realise they are being manipulated to help destroy their own environmental future: Notice Harriet from Chipstop in this report also

Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2008 6:47 PM
Subject: [chipstop] police antics at Bermagui logging

Hi chipstoppers
Police antics at Bermagui continue to be extraordinarily heavy handed. Here are some examples:

1. Yesterday we conducted a walk along the edge of the prohibited zone towards the logging and were met by huge numbers of police . It was largely uneventful - a couple of people got PINs (Sam got a PIN and stint in the paddy wagon for taking the piss out of Inspector Jason Edmonds) but most people complied when told by police to leave. Not much choice, given their numbers.  The event was all very fluffy and staged but was probably OK TV footage. However, the funny thing was, once the main crowd left and just a few enthusiasts remained, the police became even more attentive. We were practically surrounded. Police drove by constantly in 4WDs leaning out their windows video-ing us. Others lurked in the bush behind us. One suspects they may have been expecting some more concrete action from the hard core, but they didn't get it. Eventually they gave up and went back to their post at the water tank.

2. Another instance occurred that morning when a small group started making a large sign in the sand on the beach, hoping that the ABC helicopter would see it as they left. The police turned up and told them to leave; making a sandcastle sign on the beach is apparently now illegal.
This was all quite remarkable, but today's action took the cake.

3. Two nights ago somebody wrote in very large neat white letters on the bermagui road at the approach to the logging compartment words like: flora, fauna, CO2 sinks, forests, life. It was very expertly done and must have taken hours! Today, the Bega Valley Shire Council Jetpatcher spent 2 hours spraying tar over the painted words. There was nothing wrong with the road; it did not need any repairs. The police told the council to do it because it was an "urgent and serious traffic hazard."

This gets more and more silly. I know of one example of offensive large graffiti on a road in Bega  200 meters from the Police Station that is probably a greater traffic hazard given its sexual content. That has been there for six months without a visit from the Jetpatcher.

Stay tuned for more. I am a great believer in never picking a fight with the police; our argument is not with them and they always have the last word,. However, this behaviour is exceptional. I guess they have to do something to justify their absurdly large presence there.


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

This all reminds of the over eager APEC police September 2007 some of whom were exposed for failing to wear their name tags. The implication being they were willing to bend the law for a bit of extra judicial biffo against peaceful protesters.

Meanwhile we notice James Woodford has censored this logging of public forest koala habitat off his so called Real Dirt blog here. Even when it's in his local region.

Rather he's authored a story about how the State govt is wisely marshalling the Shoalhaven water resources which is run on page 4 of the Sydney Morning Herald. Too bad koalas don't like to swim eh James?

Woodford, only seems to run government endorsed stories these days. When it comes to water it helps that his spouse - after working PR for State Forests as the logging agency - then worked for the Southern Water Catchment Authority all on the government drip. So is it news or spin?

Posted by editor at 1:28 PM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 9 November 2008 11:12 AM EADT
Diamond Diary Part 6: Evidence of illegal operations of sandmine impacting world heritage
Mood:  sad
Topic: legal

Next Tuesday 11th November 2008 the application to "modify" the above sandmine by allowing another whopping 1.3 million tonnes of sand to be extracted will be considered. It comes before the great and good Hawkesbury City Council under the leadership of Liberal Party Mayor Bart Bassett and other notable councillors as former mayor Rex Stubbs and Liberal Party candidate Kevin Connolly.

Most reasonable observers might think for a designated development like this such an expansion right on a creek running into the Blue Mountains World Heritage area would justify a new EIS. The last time it was before council on 29 July 2008 it was recommended by the chief planner Matt Owens on legal advice to be refused and a notice to cease to operate be issued.

Some councillors suggested they would vote against their own officer's recommendation. Neville Diamond took it to the Land & Environment court before councillors could vote. He lost on financial technicallity around being an undischarged bankrupt. Now it is going back to council for determination.

Since then community groups like Colong Foundation for Wilderness, NSW National Parks Association, The Wilderness Society, Blue Mountains Conservation Society and local Hawkesbury Council Watch and other residents have all expressed concern.

Below is the final part in the diary by way of affidavit of Neville Diamond former neighbour of the Birdon Contracting Pty Ltd sandmine which has been operating for more years illegally than legally this last 20 years. The company has made significant profits while giving the neighbours, the local council and the state authorities the run around ... and worse.

Way back in 1995 after 10 years of illegal operations an Environmental Impact Statement was prepared to regularise the whole thing which states at page 21 unders section 5.1.2


"Rehabilitation will be undertaken on a regular programme, ensuring on ly 30% of the site contains areas affected by the sand extraction."

The site pictured above taken in a council flyover in 2005 shows no staged rehabilitation at all. Clearly there was meant to be staged approval from 1 to 6 as each stage was rehabilitated. The developer is in breach big time.

Reports that the State have not been too busy with prosecutions of mining companies is also a public concern:


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

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


[Diamond Diary continues from Part 5 here]

- 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:

[continued at paragraph 62, order 2 of 25 sought]


2. A declaration that the Second Respondent had no power to grant the consent on the 14th of December 2004 for an application by First Respondent under section 96 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (“EPAA.



Follows from lapsing of consent from around 1997 for failure by Birdon to comply with consent condition A.4.



3. A declaration that the Second Respondent has no power under the EPAA to grant consent to the  section 96 application under the EPAA lodged by First Respondent in 2006 to modify the DA.



Follows from lapsing of consent from around 1999 for failure by Birdon to comply with consent condition A.4. Refer also to copy of s.96 application 2006 by Unwelt for Birdon dated 11 July 2008, and follow up correspondence from Unwelt dated 24 July 2007 from  at annexure 32


4. A declaration that the consents for development application 192/85 and DA 134/95 above, and the purported s.96 modification approval of DA 134/95, were all granted retrospectively by the Second Respondent for work already commenced without lawful approval.



(a)   Regarding DA 192/85 this is my Evidence from knowledge of the council file and direct observation.

(b)   Regarding DA 192/85 illegal works and demands for restoration works refer to letter of GM McCully – GM of HCC to Stout dated October 14 1988. Refer annexure 33.

(c)   Regarding s. 96 modifications after 1997 for DA 134/95 follows from lapsing of consent from around 1999 for failure by Birdon to comply with consent condition A.4 in relation to the later consents,

(d)   Admission  by council by their letter of Letter General Manager HCC to Birdon dated 15 January 1996 at annexure 31 mentioned above. Refer also limited conditions of consent for a ‘farm dam’ 11/11/86 at annexure 1 page 6 of First Diamond Affidavit.

(e)   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, copy at annexure 33 for particulars of order 1 sought.


5. A declaration that DA 134/95 was a staged approval with deferred commencement for each individual stage 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 dependent on full compliance for the previous stage with (a) the rehabilitation plan and (b) the consent conditions A. 1 to 33 of the consent as set out in the letter of consent from the Second Respondent to First Respondent dated 23rd December 1996 including background in two reports of the Second Respondent of 10th December 1996.



1.      Letter 24 December 1996 by Peter Lee, Branch Manager Buiding & Development to Neville Diamond – “The approval is subject to conditions as a Staged Approval for compliance with each stage of the operations.”

2.      Letter dated 20/8/96 by NSW NPWS Lou Ewins Manager Environmental Planning Unit SYDNEY ZONE to GM/HCC: “As noted in previous correspondence, the Service recommends that should consent be given Council should consider a staged approval process with approval of each stage dependent on satisfactory performance of environmental safeguards (as assessed by proposed water quality monitoring) and site rehabilitation.”

3.      Memo officer Greg Hall of HCC to Malcolm Ryan dated 17/9/2003 “Legal Opinion of the Consent “would be carried out in stages and in recognition of concerns raised by the residents and govt agencies for the development to pollute ….staged approval under Sec 91 AB be permitted … further stages only permitted where the development can illustrate that the revegetation/rehabilitation is taking place ….”

4.      Letter of legal advice by Abbott Tout to GM HCC dated 12 July 2000 to GM -HCC regarding staging and deferred commencement and refers to evidence of meaning contained in the original officers report to full council dated 10 December 1996, and resolution of council same date.

5.      Precedent case of Baulkham Hills Council v Dixon Sands (Penrith) Pty Ltd 98/40130 by Lloyd J


Documents about staged development referred to above are attached at annexure 34


6. An order that the First Respondent and their respective servants and agents and assigns, including successors in title, be restrained from using, or permitting to be used, or causing to be used, the Property until such time that the Respondent has a lawful development approval for any future sandmining.


7. An order that the First Respondent and their respective servants and agents and assigns, including successors in title, be restrained  from using, or permitting to be used, or causing to be used, upon the Property all plant and equipment associated with extractive industry specifically the wash / screening plant/cyclone, including the associated  house / dwelling /sheds and the septic tank system, until such time as a building application has been considered and approved by Council.


8. An order that the First Respondent and their respective servants and agents and assigns, including successors in title, be restrained  from using, or permitting to be used, or causing to be used, the Property for any extractive industry until such time as the First Respondent has caused to be carried out upon the Property the progressive rehabilitation and revegetation of

(a) Tinda Creek including restoration of natural flow running through the Property; and

(b) the Property itself.

9. An order that the First Respondent must substantially commence rehabilitation of  Tinda Creek including restoration of natural flow on the Property, and the Property itself within 9 months and be completed within 2 years of commencement of rehabilitation works.


10. An order that the First Respondent retain within 3 months an independent qualified hydrologist to assess the interchange between Tinda Creek and the sandmine on the Property in order to formulate a rehabilitation plan, the assessment to be completed within 6 months. The hydrologist should consider work by Chris Jewell in a report on the Property for the Second Respondent in 2007, current water licences and the principles of ecological sustainability including advice of NSW Department of Environment & Climate Change. A copy of instructions to the consultant to be provided to the Applicant and the Second Respondent.



11. An order that the First Respondent retains within 3 months an independent qualified ecological consultant to prepare a rehabilitation plan for Tinda Creek on the Property and the Property itself, the plan to be completed within 6 months. A copy of instructions to the consultant to be provided to the Applicant and the Second Respondent.


12. An order that the Second Respondent obtain a qualified independent peer review of both the hydrological assessment and rehabilitation plan. This can be paid for out of the $50,000 rehabilitation bond held the Second Respondent.


13. An order that if the First Respondent fails to substantially commence implementing orders 9 and 10 within 3 months, or fails to finalise plans within 6 months, the Second Respondent must proceed to do so at the expense of the First Respondent


14. Such further orders as the court deems necessary for rehabilitation of Tinda Creek and the Property.



Declarartory orders 6-14 sought are a regime over the next 2 years and 9 months described with the help of my court agent for rehabilitation and recovery of Tinda Creek which follows from findings of the lapsed consent above, and the absence of any new EIS or approval for works to continue, in support of HCC officer’s recommendation of 29 July 2008 to recommend issuing a cease to operate notice.


16. A declaration that First Respondent has operated on Lot 2 DP 6288806 out of the approved area to the north east of the site, the approved areas being that which is set out in the amended plan no. PS91/E130 by Port Stephens Design Services dated April 1996 as referred to in the 1996 development consent conditions A. 1 and 2.



(a)   Memo to file dated 10 May 2005 Greg Hall Town Planning Co-Ordinator “Meeting on the 2 May 2005 with Tom Bruce concerning DA 134/95…when the site plan of the EMP is compared with the EIS and approved plans the excavated area is outside the approved plans … Tom in discussion acknowledged that the mining was outside the area shown on the plans (referred to in the consent).”

(b)   Letter 7 November 2005 Greg Hall Town Planning Co-Ordinator to Birdon Contracting Pty Ltd: “It is noted that some drainage works are now being undertaken on an adjoining property and under the provisions of Section 96, Council officers are of the view that the addition of an additional property onto the description of the development consent DA 0134/95 could not be considered under Section 96. In this regard a new development application may be required for proposed works as they cannot be considered with the provisions of Section 96 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.”

(c)   Letter dated 26 June 2007 by Greg Hall Town Planning Co-Ordinator HCC to Birdon Contracting Pty Ltd: “The plan submitted with the s.96 application shows the proposed extraction area being approximately 22ha however the consultant Port Stephens Design Services confirmed in writing that the area of extraction by the original application was 14ha. [new para] The current application to modify the consent proposed to increase the area of extraction from 14 ha to approximately 22 ha. [new para] Based on the information provided with the current application it would appear that the total extraction of 2,000,000 tonnes over 25 years will not be exceeded however as the area of excavation on the site has increased from 14ha to 22ha details need to be provided to demonstrate how this total will not be exceeded with the increase in area of extraction.“  Copy of letter annexure 31 mentioned above for particulars of order 1 sought.

(d)   Letter 12 March 2006 Robert Montgomery Executive Manger Town Planning Services  to Neville Diamond: “Council has previously written to Birdon Contracting in respect to use of the adjoining property.

(e)   Letter 30 August 2005 Tom Bruce - Birdon Contracting Pty Ltd to Greg Hall, Robert Montgomery HCC “Firstly our EIS applied for development of the mining of 22 hectares. Drawings of the mining plan & rehabilitation plan did not indicate this area. This was due to control of the bypass channel [of natural water course of Tinda Creek] around the site so it did not effect the property of the northern boundary.  ....To continue mining to maximum depth we wish to extend mining into the north eastern corner of our 22 hectare mining site. “

(f)     Refer page 3 section 2.2. of Umwelt Australia Pty Ltd report for Birdon dated June 2006 “The location of the diversion drain along the eastern boundary of the current extraction area limits the extent of resource that could be extracted to approximately 15 hectares compared with the 22 hectares identified in the EIS (Port Stephens Design Services 1995)”

(g)   Expert Report of hydrologist Chris Jewell for HCC report of June 2008: section 4.1 in second last paragraph to that section on page 11: "If the final landform involved a lake occupying the entire 22-ha operational site, as now proposed, then the reduction in outflow to Tinda Creek would be 204 ML/year, or 53 per cent."

(h)    Misleading and or deceptive so called “confusion” over the 1996 approved plan in the Umwelt s.96 covering letter of 11 July 2006 attaching plan SK2 of the same job number showing a 22 ha excavation site. Refer annexure "35" for these.





17. A declaration that the 1996 development application DA 134/95 by the First Respondent was an invalid application under the applicable Environmental Planning & Assessment Regulation, because there was no consent of the Crown as part owner of the land below 15.24 metres according to the title deed for DP 628806.



(a)   Letter 7 March 2005 Stephen Fenn Policy Adviser Minister for Lands to Neville Diamond: “However, I understand that at no time during the processing of the Development Application by Hawkesbury City Council was the Department’s consent either sought or given to the activity.”

(b)   Title deed Lot 2 Search Dept of Lands dated 3/11/2003: “EXCEPTING LAND BELOW A DEPTH FROM THE SURFACE OF 15.24 METRES BY CROWN GRANT”

(c)   Approved plan map 1 of 3 PS91/E130 dated April 1996 shows “DREDGE FINES” the bottom 6 metres of a 20 metre excavation.

(d)   Unwelt report of 2006 at page 1 under Introduction 1.0 “current sand dredging and extraction operations at ‘Tinda Park’ …..with sand extraction extraction proposed to an average depth of 20 metres over a 22 hectare area.”

(e)   Refer EDO advice dated 29 November 2004 at p.3

Copy of these documents is at annexure36



18. A declaration that the s.96 modification application by the First Respondent dated 6th July 2006 for DP 628806 (“s.96 Application”) was an invalid application under clause 115 (h) of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Regulation 2000, because there was no actual consent of the Crown as part owner of the land below 15.24 metres according to the title deed for DP 628806.


Refer evidence for declaratory order 17 above.


19.  A declaration that the s.96 Application was false and misleading for presenting and relying on a plan SK2 instead of the well defined approved “Plan No PS91/E130, dated April 1996” as per the development consent condition A. 1 of 1996:

 - thereby suggesting Tinda Creek was 500 metres from the sandmine excavation on DP 628806 when it is adjacent to and formerly through the sandmine site;

- falsely suggesting the approved “EXTRACTION AREA” is significantly larger than it is.



(a)   Umwelt letter of 11 July 2006 with s.96 modification application: Jamieson/Umwelt for the sandminer Birdon write: "The first reason for seeking this modification application is that since consent was granted there has been confusion as to which plan Consent Condition 1 is referring to as PS91/E130 is the Job Number used .... as a result there are many figures and plans showing a range of things that have PS91/E130 on them" [bold added] referred to in the annexure 32 above

(b)   Jamieson attaches a convenient diagram called "JOB No. PS1/E130 DRAWING No. SK2" which just happens to show a bigger extraction area than the one approved in the detailed actual DA consent with plan from back in 1996 which is "Plan No PS1/E130, dated April 1996".  The date is all important as the identifer and Jamieson airbrushes that reality. The SK2 diagram also truncates the watercourse of Tinda Creek to a mere 100 metres or so from the Singleton/Putty Rd, when in fact it runs all the way to the now sandmine which interrupts the natural watercourse.  

(c)   The diagram later proferred by Umwelt for Birdon in their correspondence of 27 July 2007 to Greg Hall of HCC “Proposed Final Landform” to progress their s.96 modification application, has never been advertised to the public. Refer annexure 32 above

 (d)    Also there is no record of rehabilitation to give efficacy to the new final landform with restored area in the south west corner such that the lake window will remain at 14-15 ha in the approved plan of 1996 compared with 22 ha if the new stages 1a and 2a go ahead under the s.96 application. There is no evidence in the HCC officer’s report of 29 July 2008 to verify this rehabilitation claim.

(e)   There has never been a proper or thorough environmental study of the new stages 1a and 2a because the 1996 EIS was limited to the approved area in the consent.

(f)     6 diagrams from the EIS as amended by the April 1996 plans approved in the consent conditions A1 and 2 provide further evidence of the situation, at annexure 37



20. A declaration that the section 96 modification of 11 July 2006 on behalf of the First Respondent constitutes a designated development under s.35, s.36 of Schedule 3 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, and therefore requires a new Environmental Impact Statement.



Refer EDO letter of advice dated 17 Sept 2007 at annexure 38


21. A declaration that the First Respondent is in breach of consent condition A.1 to comply with “documentation of Environmental Impact Statement dated 1 November 1995 as amended” in respect of “a series of bores will be installed to monitor groundwater behaviour” at page 23: For instance as recommended by the First Respondent’s consultant Eco-wise Environmental dated 27/10/2005 attaching at Appendix 2 report of Golder Associates dated October 2005 at section 4.0 Recommendations, 2nd dot point “Installation of six shallow and deep monitoring well pairs on Site to assess groundwater flow” pursuant to orders by consent in LEC proceedings 40230 of 2005.



(a)   Memo dated 18 January 1996 by John Williams of DLWC recommending monitoring bores

(b)   Page 23 of the EIS of 1995

(c)   Page 7 of the Golder report attached to the Ecowise report for Birdon October 2005 pursuant to the orders by consent of 9 Sept 05 in settlement of proceedings 40230 and 40430 Diamond v Birdon & HCC.

(d)   Illegal bores in pictures from HCC council file


For documents refer annexure 39


22.  A declaration that the First Respondent is using more water than is allowed by their water licenses.


(a)   Refer EDO advice letter of 17 Sept 2007 by principal solicitor Kirsty Ruddock: “Increase in water usage (see report of C. Jewell dated June 2007). In particular, the existing water licences only allow for use of 55 ML of water (see 40 ML licences - ……). The report of C. Jewell dated June 2007 indicates the existing quarry is using at least 98ML”

(b)   Wayne Conners memo for DLWC dated 16 March 2005 states “Net water extraction is therefore 155.5 megalitres” at 30 hours per week. Refer p128 of the First Diamond Affidavit, annexure 14 to that affidavit;

(c)   Ray Bygraves for Birdon at the meeting Sept 2007 at HCC briefing meeting with Chris Jewell said they pumped for 25 hours week.

(d)   From 1996 to 2004 Birdon operated with no water licence, only obtained these after the 2005 consent orders of the LEC in 40230 and 40430 Diamond v Birdon & HCC. The application to the DIPNR for the water license attached a misleading diagram area as to area of approved extraction. Copy is available.


23. A declaration that the First Respondent is in breach of their water licenses 10BL162737 and 10BL162738 conditions 9 and/or 10 requiring submission of hours and pumping figures.



(a)   Affidavit of Luke Phelps for DWE dated 3 Sept 2008 in these proceedings at paragraph 16 cross referring to subpoena to DWE by Diamond paragraph 12 dated 21 August 2008 “a copy of pumping figures including hours required by Birdon ….as set out in the Licenses  10BL162 737 and 10BL162738…” Answer by DWE “”I am informed and I believe that DWE does not possess any such records”

(b)   Copies of licences referred to in (a)

(c)   Diagram from DIPNR file of false alteration to diagram 7.2 “extraction area” viewed by Diamond pursuant to subpoena in 2005 proceedings.


Documents referred to in annexure 40.


24. A declaration that the First Respondent is in breach of consent condition A.33 for DA 134/95 for not submitting annual compliance reports regarding consent conditions and all permits and licenses.



(a)   Refer HCC chief planner’s report of page 69 “Compliance with this condition has been low” with details there.


25. A declaration that trees cleared on the Property between 2005 and 2008 in the “Proposed Stage 2a” area in the s.96 modification application of 2006 was unlawful due to no permit from the Second Respondent under their Tree Preservation Order, and/or Part 3A Permit under Rivers & Foreshore Act 1948 (NSW) which was in force during this time, and under consent condition A.1 at page 23 which says there will be no further clearing for the development.



(a)   Refer last page of Letter of consent of 23 December 1996 stating TPO applies to this site. Diamond has read the HCC file up to this month 2008 for the last 10 years and there is nothing there about TPO

(b)   Diamond subpoened the DIPNR file in 2005 proceedings and there was no reference to RFIA permits for Tinda Creek.

(c)   Refer to references to particulars for declaratory order 1 regarding application of RFIA Act 1948 to the Tinda Creek site.


* The Applicant Diamond also relies on the bundle of evidence in the First Diamond Affidavit subject to relevance.


Breach of Commonwealth law regarding protection of World Heritage Area outside the jurisdiction of the LEC

63. I refer to the Federal Court precedent case of the Flying Fox Case:

In that case it was impacts from adjacent landholder using an electric grid to kill endangered flying foxes - in their thousands -  in breach of the World Heritage Act 1983. At Tinda Creek here it is killing off a large segment of World Heritage catchment by diverting it's water into a highly evaporative lake from sandmining.

I understand that now the 1983 legislation is folded into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 that protects Cth threatened species and World Heritage areas. Or it should under Federal Minister Peter Garrett's responsibility.

I am thankful of Kirsty Ruddock principal solicitor of the EDO for the last legal clarification of the new EPBC legal framework.



Signature of deponent

 Neville Diamond

Signature of witness

 Tom McLoughlin

Name of witness

Neville Diamond

Address of witness


Capacity of witness

solicitor in NSW








Posted by editor at 11:31 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 8 November 2008 12:15 PM EADT
Coach Carter Obama, Big Media colour coded observations of US election
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: big media


We guessed 296 to Obama needing 270 electoral college votes. And how wrong we were. He stormed into the 350ies or so. Yet it seems most New York Times readers were also "nervous" on election day. And the story of race surely is the basis of those nerves.

We did our own little vox pop the afternoon of the awesome McCain concession speech and the even more awesome victory speech by Obama.

One South American buddy sent a text of jubilation, the Persian or maybe Arabic guy in the corner shop was excited and told me later he stayed up all night watching the news till 3 am. Another very jaded South American buddy said nothing would change or jobs would be lost poor countries in a US protectionist policy.

My 30 year old female neighbour said only half joking "until they shoot him" while the shop keeper also said he was in danger.

Even so you can tell in this very mixed race suburb of Sydney a certain bounce in the coloured residents. A bounce in everyone. Even as we spied a notorious white supremacist incognito in the main street early on election day.

What strikes us is how stark the claim in the Big Media that Obama is the first "Black" president. How did it come to this of defining people by their colour rather than the content of their character as Martin Luther King would have it? Or is the colour simply an artefact.

One defensive journalist said his parentage has been well documented. But maybe it's my post racial attitude that just ignores the colour and finds much more significant that:

1. His mother had a Phd (in anthropology)

2. His dad was an economics graduate from Harvard

As Oprah has said "it's because he is brilliant". On a trivial level we recall that Obama is what we call coffee not black, while this writer is pink not white, and one of the guys in my neighbourhood surely from North or Central Africa is indeed coal black. The Indigenous in Ten Canoes are somewhere in there again. But the Big Media in particular simplify and stereotype because they can.

There is no doubt that Obama is adopted by the civil rights movement from Jesse Jackson crying on tv, to 95% of African Americans voting for Obama. We shed a few tears and punched the air too. But did Obama represent their struggle? There is no doubt he provides blessed inspiration but we are not convinced he was the civil rights candidate per se even as he is adopted across the globe by minorities. As he says himself he was the mainstream candidate.  He needed voters far beyond the relatively small proportion of African Americans which he demonstrably did receive.

His biographer was on the 7.30 Report last night pointing out that he was raised by his caucasion mother, adding to pictures of his 'white' western grandparents who obviously loved him to bits. That he had to learn in 2000 how to connect with struggling 'black' voters. That his friends in school were 'white'.

By chance we watched a quite inspiring sports movie based on a true story  2 weeks out from the US election. It's called Coach Carter and good value:

Here is the wikipedia entry for Kenny Ray Carter:


Carter gained notoriety in 1999 when coaching the Richmond High School Oilers. He canceled all of his undefeated basketball team's games and practiced for eight days -- forfeiting two games (one non-conference game and one alumni game) -- because fifteen team members had unacceptably poor academic performance. This event was known as "the lockout", and his actions were criticized by the school, players' parents, the community, the schools where his team was scheduled to play, and media commentators.

Carter maintained that his athletes must take their studies seriously as good academic performance would give them access to college and other opportunities in life. Public opinion eventually changed, and he was praised for his determined emphasis on encouraging proper life priorities for his team.

The story of the 1999 season is in the 2005 film Coach Carter, with Carter played by Samuel L. Jackson.

The DVD dramatisation carries an interview with the man himself with emphasis on close knit family and high expectations for African Americans.

It was a good window into that community about a pioneer for success against a backdrop of psychological victimhood. It echoes commentary how Obama avoided victimhood growing up outside the 'black' community. Just as Colin Powell is said to have Jamaican roots longer emantcipated from the historical slavery grievance.

Many writers here have spoken about Obama as president elect being in effect very 'white' in his upbringing and even of 'white' guilt motivating voters to pick Obama. What worries us is this approach just doesn't get the true message of MLK that it's irrelevant. Colour blind is the way to go and judge a man on "the content of his character".

And I can add one other piece from my genetics course in a zoology degree. A healthy combination of diverse genes will throw up hybrid vigour above even the two already superior parents. And that I think is the true nature of Obama. A superior human being from the union of Africa and European humanity. This is stock standard good breeding in The Man. That indeed is a message of hope for humanity in a complex world.

The biographer on tv last night said he was driven by ambition to resolve the "failure" of his father. But I think that too may misunderstand that Obama is just a better mind with that hybrid factor than either his mother or father which is a great credit to both regardless.

Meanwhile in the damaged and sick eddies and currents of humanity some one wrote some weeks back in a public toilet at Addison Rd Centre Marrickville: "the only good black man is a dead black man". So there is no doubt the sickness of racism still exists out there. We didn't see it, an Irish chap I was chatting too warned me so it could be painted over as quickly as possible. I hope it was.

Posted by editor at 8:43 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 8 November 2008 7:24 AM EADT
SAM micro news pageview stats for October 2008 stable at 20,343
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: independent media

For some curious reason we have taken a structural dip of about 5,000 reader/pageviews. We don't really know why. It correlates with the Global Financial Crisis so maybe less people had internet accounts they could afford to pay?

It's been the usual thrills and spills in NSW politics: Another MP took a fall possibly on behalf of ex PM Paul Keating. We serialised the highly dubious environmental record of the sandmining industry adjacent to the World Heritage Blue Mountains, with still part 6 of the serial to go.

We also provided background to the culture in Media Monitors in 2000-2001, logging of Koala habitat in Bermagui which ran on ABC TV news last night (but not it seems the Woodford blog), explaining the links between a mini metro rail project and the new Fairfax office in Pyrmont, Libs stalking Nats at Tooralie, Ken Henry being too green on climate for the Coalition, and so on.

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

  • September 08 - 20,746
  • August 08 - 25,344
  • July 08 - 22,855
  • June 08 - 27,440
  • May 08 - 25,046
  • April 08 - 19,250
  • March 08 - 20,803 
  • February 08 - 13,109
  • January 08 -  19, 898
  • December - 11,627
  • November - 10,220
  • October - 9, 100 
  • Sept -  8,100 (roughly, no screenshot)
  • August - 8,845
  • July - 7475
  • June - 9675
  • May  - 9, 059
  • April  - 12,087
  • March  - 6,684
  • February - 5,372
  • January 07 -  2800 (3rd Jan - 3rd Feb 07)

Posted by editor at 8:14 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 7 November 2008 8:41 AM EADT
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
ALP machine disciplines Keating via dumping of state MP for Bankstown?
Mood:  energetic
Topic: nsw govt


We made hay last Sunday in our Political Talkies headline and coverage leveraging a comment of Ms Jodi McKay MP, NSW, Minister for Tourism:

 Sunday, 2 November 2008 Sunday Political talkies: Ms McKay's 'weird aggressive' mates in NSW ALP?
Mood:  chatty
Topic: aust govt

In effect it was a culture jam of her (or the journalist's?) allegation of "weird aggressive" folks in national parks. Her implication was a clumsy smear on all mainstream bushwalkers using national parks that you would never want to share a night with in a hut.

In our experience of huts in conservation areas - admittedly mostly in New Zealand's mountain country as we generally camp here in Australia - the people you meet in huts in remote areas are self selecting. They are generally the healthiest, most sensitive, most sociable, and interesting people, often from foreign lands with cute accents (like the Swedish folks on Mt Aspiring near Wanaka). They are also usually so tired from a day's walk the last thing on their mind is making trouble.

It was too much for McKay MP to be smearing national park users in general as an entre for developers like Packers 5 toasters proposed for Thredbo in Koscuiszko National Park only a year or so back, with all the sewage load on the park that implied: Refer Colong Foundation [PDF] Bulletin 205 (Good work by Fiona McCrossin, sister of media identity Julie).

But we digress - in our list of arguably 'weird aggressive' people we thought Ms McKay might have been projecting onto bushwalkers from her own milieu included ... Tony Stewart MP facing allegations of bullying.

Now the loyal ALP female blonde attractive staffer has decided to press her complaint about bullying, and MP Stewart has been stood aside.

But is it as simple and brutal as that? We do wonder. As written late last week in another piece here on SAM, Paul Keating seems to have got an attack of the political vaudeville deliberately calling up a "divisive" argument about the role of Gallipoli versus Kokoda. As if there is a competition, with him as self appointed judge and jury. The story is here:

Friday, 31 October 2008

Not surprisingly PKwas sidelined by PM Rudd as raising a can of worms that interfered with the ALP Govt(s) messages and clear air. We thought the timing so curious we wondered if Keating was actually running cover for his mate in NSW Cabinet Tony Stewart, MP for Bankstown. Paul Keating was MP for Bankstown for all those years too.

As Premier Rees has said his and deputy Tebbutt's ascension have been a tectonic shift in nominally Right to Left factional politics here in NSW. Stewart and Keating are in the Right. Keating has no entre into the Pineapple Mafia out of Rudd and Swan's Qld machine at federal level. He needs Tony Stewart MP in NSW Cabinet on such sinecures as design of Barangaroo east Darling Harbour.

But Rees, Robertson, Bitar, Foley/Thistlewaite, Arbib, of the NSW Machine, and by extension PM Rudd too, don't need ex PM Paul Keating, or his proxy Tony Stewart MP. That was the tectonic shift after the blue over public energy privatisation

When Keating ran this impudent letter via Alan Ramsey's column last Saturday we felt it was crazy brave: It's worth extracting in full because in a way it's Keating swansong regarding real political influence, like Morris Iemma is so ex Premier:

What you get for having a shot at Keating - Opinion - smh.com.au Alan Ramsey November 1, 2008.

Paul Keating took dead aim at Kevin Rudd yesterday. He did not miss. Keating has never taken a backward step to jingoism, let alone posturing at his expense, and yesterday afternoon, very deliberately, he gave his successor as Labor prime minister a verbal thumping such as Our Kevin has not experienced publicly by a Labor colleague in his 10 years in national political life.

The words, by email from Keating's office, were headed simply: "PJK rebuttal of K. Rudd's remarks on Gallipoli." Here is the full text:

"The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, said today that I was wrong to reject the popular view that Australia was redeemed at Gallipoli. I should have thought the Prime Minister might have noticed I have spent most of my political life rejecting so-called popular views. A political leader's true task is to interpret events and reality to a conscientious nation. It is not to wallow in jingoism in the hope this might find some harmony with an old chord.

"Had I, as prime minister, accepted Kevin Rudd's view of today, that 'I am absolutely proud of it' - that is, that he is proud of having Gallipoli as the focal point of Australian remembrance of military service abroad - then I should never have turned that focus back to Kokoda as the one true 'Battle for Australia', as I did in 1992.

"The Prime Minister recently declared an official 'Battle for Australia' day, though without any reference to the fact, unpopular at the time, that I had sought to redress and rebalance the country's wartime history by calling Kokoda the 'Battle for Australia' to reflect the strategic truth. The truth and not the jingoism.

"Or the stylised and rote remembrances by the RSL's leadership.

"Yesterday I was commenting on what the historian and author Graham Freudenberg had written in his outstanding history, Churchill And Australia. Freudenberg said that owing to 'Australia's own ambivalence about itself and to prove the British race in the Antipodes had not degenerated, in an almost theological sense, Australian Britons had been born again into the baptism of fire at Anzac Cove'. Yesterday I was agreeing with Freudenberg's imputations in that extract: that we had no cause for ambivalence about ourselves in 1915, that left alone in the Antipodes we had not degenerated and, therefore, had no need of being 'born again' at Anzac Cove.

"After federating in 1900, by 1914 the country was doing quite well in the first great flush of Australian social and economic nationalism. We had no need of sacrificing Australian men to prove we were legitimate, any more than we needed to earn our nationhood. But none of that went on to diminish the bravery of the Anzacs at Gallipoli, whose sacrifice did deepen our understanding and sense of ourselves, including subsequently, our national identity. The pity was our enhanced identity cost them so much.

"This was the point I was making yesterday, making it in such a way as to endorse, and make explicit, the view Freudenberg had expressed.

"There is another point the Prime Minister should grasp. The possession of the prime ministership does not automatically invest anyone with wisdom; this has to be displayed upon the conscientious consideration of facts, moments and events. Kevin Rudd says Paul is 'completely wrong on that, completely and utterly, absolutely 100 per cent wrong'. Well, that is Kevin Rudd's view. But on this subject that cuts no ice with me.

"I suggest he could do the country a greater service by taking the long view of history, from now just on a hundred years ago, to reflect on the world then and what we now know about the 20th century, especially as it relates to European history and to the history of Australia within it. Whether Kevin Rudd decides to give young Australians the appropriate lead or otherwise, they will work it out. But what they will most appreciate is some direction for their thinking based on substance and truth and mature reflection which, in this case, a century of hindsight provides."

No, PJK did not miss.

We demur here Alan. Keating may not have missed but he's seriously miscalculated. Keating came a cropper in the pages of the SMH earlier this year, falsely conflating two different financial proposals in his opinion piece seemingly biased by his position with investment banker Lazard Carnegie Wylie . Indeed he left out accounting of $10-15 billion of value in power assets between a different proposal in 1997 to 2007. It was cute rhetoric by ex PM Keating but hopelessly misconceived financial analysis. It smacked of conflicted self interest and the Greens seized the error as loyal opposition in NSW.

One problem for Keating is that he might (as Imre Salusinszky has written) believe the script writer of his namesake musical. We did enjoy the show too, impressed pre federal election by the full house at the Seymour Centre, but we did notice it wasn't an historic document. It left out Keating's trashing for woodchips of the "Deferred Forest Areas" - best forest in Australia released to the loggers in 1993-4 contrary to his own government's National Forest Policy Statement. This was Keating's way of diverging from Hawke's Resource Assessment Commission (people like Clive Hamilton).

This is still have it's consequence today:

We still have the filing cabinet of those historic documents of the DFA selling out our environmental future. Interestingly Senator Faulkner was  done over by Keating as then Environment Minister. Faulkner was at the book launch last week where Keating launched into the Gallipoli issue. Rudd calls Faulkner "a wise owl".

Also notice comments in crikey.com.au ezine last Friday 31 October in the unsourced Tips & Rumours to the effect (subject to correction by them) that only one sitting MP, Senator Faulkner, was at the function of former ALP Right luminaries Carr, Brereton, Keating, Wran etc:

Graham Freudenberg's much-awaited book Churchill and Australia was launched in the Jubilee Room at Parliament House in Sydney yesterday by former Prime Minister Paul Keating. The launch was attended by a glittering band of Labor identities, academics and media. They included Senator John Faulkner, former Premiers Neville Wran and Bob Carr, former Treasurer Michael Egan, Channel Nine's Laurie Oakes, broadcaster Mike Carlton, Tony Whitlam QC, Foxtel's Kim Williams and Blanche D'Alpuget. Extraordinarily, not a single sitting Labor MP bothered to attend. It raises the question whether any of them can read.

Or it raises the question of who is being frozen out? Generational change anyone? 

Now Keating has arrived at true real politik irrelevancy courtesy of his own machine. Sure Tony Stewart MP is the collateral damage via a staffer's vexed complaint but it's Keating who is being given the message and it's a serious one. There is an irony and symmetry to this result - live by and die by the machine.

Rudd beat Howard by transcending divisive politics and the "Howard haters". Howard mirrored Keating's penchant for wedge and division which people have grown leery of with such genuinely serious and worrying issues to tackle cooperatively like dangerous climate threats. Keating's model of doing politics is broken, even when it's for an ostensibly honourable goal like the Republic, just like the Barak Obama inclusiveness has found fertile ground and is increasingly ascendant.

Alan Ramsey said Keating didn't miss with his email to Rudd's people. One might call it's Paul's Pearl Harbour: Awakening the giant of the federal ALP machine's anger. We know how that ended.

An epithet for Paul Keating: "Bring back the biff" well describes Rugby League of the 1970ies in your formative stages, indeed the flower of your youth, but it's not how we do things in the 21st Century.

Posted by editor at 5:42 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 4 November 2008 8:53 AM EADT
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

Newer | Latest | Older