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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Saturday, 6 December 2008
Constant forest defender Bruce Dover at rest after 8 years battle with bitou bush
Mood:  special
Topic: ecology



Bruce Dover environmentalist, died of mesothelioma last Sunday after a short devastating illness. He was surrounded by love in his last 2 months. He got the poison in his lungs decades ago working in a glass factory. A good life taken early in his sixties, a family guy with 4 sons and various grandchildren.  
An outdoors man who loved his forests  

.......and tried his best to close the Eden chipmill for 20 years.


He spent the last 8 years killing noxious bitou bush in Botany Bay National Park where his ashes now lie as of yesterday.

His sons, half brothers from 14 to 20 something, are shown below after the friends and family have started walking back to the carpark. Earlier they posed for a picture but this one shows them in their private thoughts in a sense still looking up to their beloved dad:


More images of Bruce's environmental activism follow including letter from Minister Peter Garrett


, pics taken by Bruce of the Japanese Ambassador in Canberra


, of the director of The Wilderness Society Alec Marr on the road outside the chipmill.


Of outdoor exploits and beloved family.

Rest in peace Bruce Dover, founding member of the ACF Forest Campaign Group in Sydney since the mid 1980ies.


Sent: Monday, December 01, 2008 12:52 PM
Subject: a constanst forest activist Re: [chipstop] vale Bruce

oh that's really sad news. I saw Bruce in the old ACF office, the early George St one before moving to another George St office. It was 1992. There was Bruce and Margaret Barnes and James Woodford came from TEC to give a "SEFA" briefing.
Bruce was a dedicated forests man - how true. He did stalls from memory during the SEF protection bill in 92-93 but also The Wilderness nominations 92-94 generating 26,000 or so submissions. We did some combined stalls TWS/ACF. A record effort, relating to some 750K hectares of intact forest some park, much of it not. He got out amongst the mainstream where it really mattered. 
This action generated momentum along with many other strands of activism, including blockades (Simon Benson for Daily Telegraph at the Eden chipper march 95, NEFA rolling blockades), helped change the govt in 1995 in a tough close green election. It's a real politik lesson that the Big Parties even today still remember.
They will also consider that lesson in the lead up to a close 2011 election (?) not least Rees a product of the 90ies activism. Nick Greiner was quoted in the press last weekend urging the NSW Coaliton to be greenish.
Again from memory he helped with the 2 big Sydney Town Hall meetings in the late 90ies. He was a rock and I really respected him for his constancy.
God bless you Bruce. What a star for our environment.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2008 12:51 PM
Subject: [chipstop] vale Bruce

Hi greenies.

Some very sad news - our old friend and colleague Bruce Dover from the ACF Forest Campaign Group in Sydney Bruce lost his battle with mesothelioma this morning.

Longer term campaigners will remember Bruce for his prominent role in the Walk Against Woodchips (x2), the charcoal campaign, Forests for Water Roadshow, Threatened Species roadshow and many other forest campaigns.

When a few of us occupied the chipmill office a few years ago, it was Bruce in the guise of a camera toting “tourist” who recorded the event on film as we were thrown out. His photo of Keith airborn in mid flight exiting the office is still one of our most prized possessions.

Bruce loved nature and never wavered in his commitment to end woodchipping. He told me a couple of weeks ago that  his biggest regret .... is that woodchipping goes on, in spite of all our efforts.

Yes we can end it!


Posted by editor at 11:46 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 6 December 2008 1:46 PM EADT
Annabel Crabb the heir apparent
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: big media

Alan Ramsey is a cornerstone of the Fairfax press business. He is a must read because of his corporate federal political memory and a host of other qualities. He can be a bit of a "lounge bar bore" as Kerr and Mayne (both then at crikey.com.au) cruelly - and jealously - argued a few years back .... until recovered self confessed alco Kerr got on the same treadmill at The Oz broadsheet, and well done there CK.

Crabb has got what it takes. Whether she gets the gig we have no idea. Whether she wants it is another big one. Looking at crusty Ramsey she would have to be searching her soul about locking in a certain future.

What brings SAM's owner editor to this judgement I hear you ask, just as we predicted Deborah Cameron would succeed in the crunch job after Trioli at ABC 702 radio? AC is clearly smart and writes well with an appealing dry wit. But that's not nearly sufficient. She's really very honest and strong and that brings gravitas. A keystone has to have gravitas. Hair style has nothing to do with it as follows:

1. Last Saturday 29 Nov column AC declares a brazen attempt by the Deputy PM Gillard to duchess her with a personal call about 'Tim's hair care product'. All so innocent - not. But only the beady eyed and cynical would understand the need to declare. Even better if she had refused the gifts outright. But AC reveals she accepted the trivial gifts - the real import was the deputy PM making the call not the value or source of the shampoo. The attempt to blurr the lines of separations of 2nd (executive) and 4th (press) estates, infamous revolving door.

2. On Meet the Press 10 next morning, we watch with jaded eye as AC defers to News Corp colleague to ask "the question" about Tim Mathieson over alleged nepotism for an honourary health ambassadorship role. This looks tragic we think. The duchessing has taken it's course as per 1 above. But then Crabb breaks out of the gilded cage with the spirit of a real pillar of the 4th estate so essential in our democracy: A crunching question on the real issue de jour - failure to properly manage money in a time of economic strife with computers in schools roll out double the cost announced at election time.

Nor was it a simple question. It took maybe 30 seconds to a minute to ask. And Gillard didn't answer it because she had no answer really. And it showed. The natural order was re-established. Accountability was reinforced. Faux sisterhood was subordinated to the business of democracy and professional arms length.

Step on up Annabel Crabb, your country needs your service and as they say on the West Wing, where's the choice in that? You are a little fresh by comparison, and we think you made a minor factual mistake in today's column (Bidgood really did mispeak by leaving out a second "not" in his mangled double negative pommie defense of mate PM Rudd), but these are indeed trivial, amplifying the greater reality. Our imperfections colour the jewell and provide the space to grow into the role.

As No Drama Obama has revealed, you feel like 'this is what I should be doing'. SAM can tell which is our blessing and our curse.

And Old Ramsey? You will be missed Dude, you will be missed. Well played, that's some innings Dude. It's all one can ask for in this veil.

Posted by editor at 10:37 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 6 December 2008 11:36 AM EADT
Friday, 5 December 2008
Bidgood MP did good on Aminov protest photos, no risk
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: big media
MP apologises to petrol protestor
Pictures above and below from Sydney Daily Telegraph: Immolation prevented ... AFP officers douse Marat Aminov with water.
There have been some interesting developments over the "controversial" Aminov protest pictures sold to the Sydney Daily Telegraph for charity.

The photo was of police well in control of the situation. Indeed the picture may have headed off an actual suicide bid by leading to the coverage the protester so desperately wanted. Who really knows?

We covered this issue in our penultimate post around PM Office control games, rival big media punishment tactics, and the role of every citizen to do community media.


We have contributed to a Crikey.com.au string by media expert Margaret Simmons along these lines:


Ailie Bruins
Thursday, 4 December 2008 3:12:22 PM
An MP takes a photo of a protester and it is used by a newspaper. The message of the protester is lost in the beat up about the MP.

What was the man protesting about? What drove him to such lengths that he tried to set himself alight outside parliament?

The story that the MP has committed some heinous transgression smacks of spin and media management.

Perhaps the MP’s biggest sin was that he excluded Fairfax . Or, was it because he circumvented the middleman in the modern ‘news’ cycle — the public relations / media professionals. So PR flexed its mighty muscles and the MP copped it.


Tom McLoughlin
Thursday, 4 December 2008 3:46:52 PM
Well said Ailie. After hearing AM but before looking at the Sydney press I made it my business to address this story in the framework of CENSORSHIP of community media and that's what it is really about.

"Insensitive, inappropriate"? For taking a picture invited by the protest to promote his own profile. Get real. Of course it was okay to take pictures. Then was it wrong to ask for money? Well there is no doubt someone was going to buy his intellectual property in the Big Media. And that's what it was - intellectual property. So it was only a question of price and who should ethically benefit.

On principle I don't think there is any objection to him profiting from his own work EXCEPT that he was in harness as an MP and therefore on our tab. So he was wise to donate it to charity. If he had been out of hours, or on holidays it would have been fine.

I reported the basic claims of the Aminov's on my blog on 19 October ....2007, with a picture via, from memory, an email from Jamal Daoud, who is quoted in the news this week. 14 months ago. It's here again today www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog

That's how pathetic the govt department DIAC have been. But the attempt to sanction Bidgood (who 'did good' amplifying the humanitarian protest as any decent photographer, blogger, indy media, or agitator would have), sanction by the PM's office is all about fear of the policy and politics of refugees, detention and stateless people.

To dress it up as wrong is pure ALP machine stock standard emotional violence in the name of playing the angles. In my humble opinion the rest is sophistry and internal Big Media rivalry.

I rang Bidgood's phone about 9.30 a.m. and left a message as above as they were in hiding. I can just imagine the staffer listening as the calls came in. I also left a message at the Telegraph's editorial desk., and Senator Hanson Young, Greens. And the Bidgood angle of the story has been killed stone dead, amen whether by coincidence or Big Govt shame.


Tom #2
Thursday, 4 December 2008 3:59:32 PM
In fact only recently the Big Media in their maddening hypocrisy praised the "beautiful" snapshots taken by a bevvy of MP's from Bob Brown/Greens to the MP for Wannon David Hawker (which covers my old home town of Warrnambool). Some pics good, some pics bad? What a load of nonsense. We are all media practitioners now - get used to it Big Media and show due respect while you're at it.

They really get my goat with their holier than thou exclusive role and airs and graces. Too dumb to do law or medicine more like it:

"Pollies on other side of the camera" Sydney Sun Herald, Kerry-Anne Walsh
November 16, 2008


Tom #3
Thursday, 4 December 2008 4:10:08 PM
... and then there was the poltiical cartoonists on the tv the other day with their exhibition of superb works - http://www.nma.gov.au/media/media_releases_index/political_cartooning_exhibition_wraps_up_2008/

Guess what - first prize is $1,000

Conclusion: Anyone can create an image and profit from it, cash or in kind (often worth alot more in career terms). Some even do it while moonlighting.


Thursday, 4 December 2008 4:17:15 PM

It's not illegal. It's not unethical. It's not immoral.
The protester sought it.

The media constantly asks us to submit our photos.

Is there a list of people that are not allowed to submit their photos?


Tom #4
Thursday, 4 December 2008 4:21:22 PM
My last word on this I swear - the cops were there obviously doing the security as per their expertise. For Joe Hockey or anyone (like those dunces Cato and Timbo on spindoctors abc sydney this morning) to say the MP shouldn't record a serious political statement/action is just bizarre. That would really be wrong. That would be an attempt to censor the MP's free speech via his photo image. In the USA they would be howling about PM's Office trying to breach the constitutional rights of his MP.

It's only a matter of charging for the image and who benefits and he's answered that - just like gifts declared and donated to the local orphanage. Talk about silly season kicking in on cue.
Tom McLoughlin
Friday, 5 December 2008 5:15:13 AM
Not so fast Jenny. The MP lacks real politik judgement would be my guess as a "novice" but the question is here did he lack moral judgement? I am totally unconvinced as a 15 year non profit campaigner for community media. I say it was a duty for him to take those pictures. That was the point of the protest. You admit yourself it got the story up and frankly I will be VERY surprised if the Aminov Family are not sorted within a month now.

He got beaten up by the ALP machine running scared of adverse coverage from one sector of the media running tattle tail to the PM's office over the "money" who panicked and forced a grovel statement. That is a media sector who got shut out of access to the image. They took revenge. If he'd shared it equally and even required a donation to charity by all of them none of this would have blown up in my guesstimation.

Last evening the aggrieved sector of the Big Media such as Chris Uhlmann [and we say this despite Walkley award, as well as a good streak of sanctimony as an ex seminarian/ACT independent candidate], on abc tv prime time news again went the biff: Tones dripping with condemnation 'for taking a photo', as if. Karen Middleton of SBS similarly went the biff about 'taking a picture'. Censorship? Right to know? They used the MP's grovel statement as moral 'proof' but it isn't. They levered early MP doorstops who were gulled by biased rival press that morning. It's proof of real politik censorship from his own boss/media rivals.

The biff was compounded as Kerry/7.30 rightly noted 'a video has turned up' further embarrassing Bidgood dated from Oct. So there's the proof. A video irrelevant to the question of mertis of taking 'the photo', cheap emotional violence. Th video ironically was good votes in the evangelical bible quoting North Qld (forget SE Oz comfort zone). And notice Uhlmann's Catholic rivalry.

Wiser heads like Annabel Crabb stood off Bidgood on cross to Richard Glover abc 702 4.45pm, and Brissenden on 7.30 said he was "controversial" to take the pic. It's all about Big Media turf protection! Did the commercials cover it on 9,10, 7? I wonder.


In the mix is this media release from The Greens:

Thursday 4 December 2008

New border protection agency must service human rights

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says the Government's new Australian
Customs and Border Protection Service must treat compassionately and
humanely people who arrive by boat to seek asylum in Australia.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced the formation of the new agency
today, a day after a boat of 35 suspected asylum seekers was intercepted
off the Western Australian coast and escorted to Christmas Island for

"What kind of service will this new agency be offering to those who need
our assistance and protection?" asked Senator Hanson-Young.

"We cannot forget: it is not illegal to seek asylum. It is a right under
international law."

Senator Hanson-Young said that Australia must learn from the mistakes of
its past immigration policies.

"We have an opportunity to move forward to a more humane, compassionate
approach to the treatment of asylum seekers, and the opportunity to
rebuild Australia's international reputation," she said.

"Let's not allow ourselves to slide back to the dark days of the Howard
and Ruddock immigration regime and all that it brought: Tampa, children
overboard, the reprehensible tragedy of the SIEV-X and more than 200
cases of lawful residents being detained.

"The politics of fear must not cloud our actions on matters of human
rights and justice."

Senator Hanson-Young expressed concern at the detention on Christmas
Island of those who recently arrived on boat.

"Christmas Island's detention facilities should be closed, and we should
do away with this 'out-of-sight, out-of-mind' attitude towards asylum
seekers who arrive by boat.

"All processing of claims for asylum should be done promptly and fairly
on the Australian mainland, where processes can be overseen and
community support services can be more easily accessed.

"The Greens will be closely monitoring the progress of the detainees on
Christmas Island."

Media contact: Gemma Clark on 0427 604 760

Postscript 8th December 2008:

The major party liners on abc 702 radio still push the orthodox emotional violence line against Bidgood MP, and we sent the Cameron Morning show these comments where her own colleagues disagree with their presentation:

Your own Barry Cassidy Insiders yesterday said words to the effect of 'there was no problem with him taking a photo' it was trying to sell it.


Annabel Crabb Sydney Morning Herald in her weekend column effectively said it was inconsistent of Big Media to criticise the sale of photographs of people's suffering.


Brissenden on 7.30 last Thursday refused to go further than to say it was "controversial".


My point is that - it is every citizen's duty to do citizen media of important political actions and statements and Bidgood would have been very wrong to NOT take those pictures. To avoid conveying the message of the protest would have effectively been political censorship.


The projection of Fairfax, ABC, and PM's Office of the idea Bidgood was exploiting suffering of Mr Aminov to make money while police had him under control (Cassidy's point also) is just self serving tosh. For instance the PM's office are dead scared of the refugee/immigration debate keen to shut it down if at all possible. The rival media wanted to punish an MP playing favourites with News Corp.


Having said that Bidgood should have distributed the photographs for free, or by equal donation of all commercial media to charity. Why? Because he was moonlighting from his MP duties on our time.


editor Tom McLoughlin


Posted by editor at 5:25 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 8 December 2008 1:23 PM EADT
Thursday, 4 December 2008
MP Bidgood photo snapper a hero of community media reportage on humanitarian case?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: independent media

Picture: Photo [by a supporter] sent to SAM blog micro news last year taken at Railway Square in Sydney, outside the Dept of Immigration & Citizenship (DIAC) of a long running protest over these stateless people. These are the same Aminov family in the news today.


The attacks by the PM's office and competing big media on an MP promoting the profile of a humanitarian case (duly and correctly published by the Sydney Daily Telegraph today) appear totally disingenuous if not dishonest.

 MP roasted over petrol protest pics
MP apologises to petrol protestor

KEVIN Rudd has slammed a Labor MP who took and gave out pictures of a protester who doused himself in petrol in dramatic scenes at Parliament House.

They are also an attack on community media practise. Here is the holier than thou from Fairfax today:

MP in cash for photograph scandal

PHILLIP COOREY | A Federal Labor MP has been carpeted by the Prime Minister's office after he allegedly tried to sell pictures he had just taken of a man threatening to set fire to himself outside Parliament House.

The fact is the Big Media don't like being gazumped on their news gathering work by the public or a commercial rival. They will seek to embarass any person, MP or public including bloggers who seeks to take up their closed shop role in a serious way - unless it's for free. The competitive sniping of the big media amongst themselves is similarly legendary.

This MP was quite within his rights to seek a fee from commercial media to donate it to charity. As if the journalists on their big fat wages shouldn't have to pay for someone doing their work for them. There is no issue of self interest here at all, only of professional jealousy.

The MP was also right to take the picture and try to amplify the media coverage of the humanitarian case by offering the pictures around.

What is 'unforgiveable' as far as Rudd's minders and office are surely concerned, is that this case is embarrassing to the government responsible for resolving the 10 year long case. It also echoes pressure coming to bear on the PM in the last several question times (eg via Sharman Stone MP), and in The Australian, about an increase of boat people and fraught policy on border protection and refugee detention:

People smugglers try again - Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP17 Nov 2008 ... This fifth boat that has been intercepted on its way to ...

Corrupt Indonesian officials put visas on sale | The Australian 3 Dec 2008

It may have been this same desperate protester who jumped into the chamber from the public gallery earlier this week, but in the normal course his protests were censored from both the radio and tv coverage.

In other words no problem with the MP taking pictures, or 'selling the picture' to benefit charity and profile an important humanitarian issue, but lack of real politik judgement about his own Govt's problems on immigration and refugee policy.

But Bidgood's moral judgement was just fine as far as we are concerned, and his engagement with popular community media practise is just fine by us. And we say that with 15 years in the non profit community media sector about a humanitarian case that has been unresolved for a good 10 years.

We have an archive picture which may be of these same protesters from outside the Immigration Dept here in Sydney also which we will publish (see above) again and refer this post back in late 2007:

Friday, 19 October 2007
Hunger strike by the Aminovs
Mood:  sad
Topic: human rights


Our correspondent writes: Attached is a photo from the hunger strike staged by Aminovs family outside Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) yesterday. The Aminovs decided to take the matter further and will go on a day of hunger strike outside PM's house this coming Sunday. The hunger strike will start 10 am - 4 pm, outside Kiribilli house, Sunday 21 October 07.  

There demands are:
1. Speed up the process of the visa, on highly humanitarian basis Or,  Grant them humanitarian visa instead of parents visa.
2- Issue them a photo ID to enable them to move more freely and comfortably.
3- Allow them to access Medicare services (on humanitarian grounds) and other basic settlements services (English classess...).
They will be joined by few friends and other long time similar case/s.
Please come along for solidarity and to protest the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers by Howard's governement

Posted by editor at 9:36 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 4 December 2008 11:49 AM EADT
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Joe Stiglitz, Naomi Klein, Hernando De Soto lifting the veil on GFC, GEC
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: world

This event is dated 20 October 2008 so actually is a little stale, and should be updated with this piece November 17th 2008 we also linked to here:

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


Posted by editor at 8:45 PM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 3 December 2008 1:59 PM EADT
Local open publishing website driven off line
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: independent media

This screen print looks ominous regarding the local radical Sydney Independent Media:

Postscript 3 Dec 2008: It's back up which is all to the better in the free speech agenda. We also dropped into Perth IMC which is vibrant. Then Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane (this last one at least as far as a google) and it looks like these are dormant or gone.

Meanwhile web 2.0 rushes ahead regardless. Did the radical geeks at IMC in big cities in Australia just go and get jobs and mortgages? Join even bigger more effective Get Up! Or as they say on the grassy knoll, something got to them?

Here in Sydney the Alternative Media Group (a privately owned business) is chugging along. And micro news SAM here of course. To complete the indy alternative news list would include Crikey.com.au and New Matilda which surely qualify as minor not micro news media.

Posted by editor at 7:52 PM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 3 December 2008 1:51 PM EADT
Monday, 1 December 2008
SAM traffic counter returns to service
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: independent media

We read Tim Blair in the Saturday Telegraph, or TB as we like to say, sledging gutsy lefty Anthony Lowenstein for having only 200 hits a day on his blog. Which is largely irrelevant as he is also a mainstream freelance journalist as well.

Anyhow we noticed our traffic counter back in business from our US host server, but it looks like we might have lost a good 6 days traffic there at about 500 a day.

Yesterday was a good day:

Postscript 3rd Dec 2008: This image shows we lost 6 days of traffic metrics roughly 19 Nov to 25 Nov:



Posted by editor at 8:00 PM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 3 December 2008 2:29 PM EADT
ALP Govt(s) destroy best forest on mainland Australia at Brown Mtn East Gippsland
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: aust govt

Jill Redwoord writes as follows:

Sent: Saturday, November 29, 2008 7:02 PM
Subject: [chipstop] Brown Mountain - new YouTube clip

Dear all,
please check out this brand new 3 1/2 minute clip on Brown Mt and send it to everyone you can think of. Thanks.

We took a look around this fantastic unprotected forest over the Easter Holidays in 2005 here:

East Gippsland Forest Forever Fest photo gallery March 2005 


Posted by editor at 7:21 PM EADT
Updated: Monday, 1 December 2008 7:37 PM EADT
Sunday, 30 November 2008
Sunday political talkies: COAG learns to love the deficit b*mb
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

* 27,000 children die of poverty today (and every other day) according to Princeton Professor of ethics Peter Singer, and 194 people mostly rich westerners, some of them Australian citizens, are murdered in Mumbai by fanatics this last week.

* Turnbull in trouble with the big banks front of AFR last Tuesday suggests Turnbull probably was right about his criticism to implement only a $100K limit - to keep the mortgage backed investment funds liquid. Gillard made hay with the headline in federal parliament - regardless of merits?

* Hartcher reckons it's bad policy not bad capitalist system leading to GFC with followup GEC. But he ignores several things in his smh feature column - millions of US citizens needed public housing regardless so this was done via the capitalist method. It ignores the Afro Americans were carrying the army load of Iraq so that's domestic politics to support the subprime loans. It ignores the cut in social services again resultant of Iraq war cost as per Joseph Stiglitz. In other words Hartcher is trite and not really addressing geo political economy applying to the USA. In other words Hartcher is not the last word.

* More likely last word this evening on web and digital abc2 Fora Naomi Klein and Joseph Stiglitz Sunday at about 6 pm. Important viewing as per Democracy Now post here on SAM Nov 19th.

* Mike Smith in The Oz missed the Mumbai terror by 3 minutes. Amazing record of survival in his high flying banking career.

* Federal Bill IR demise of Work Choices surprising lack of controversy in the last week.

* Dogs are howling for Julie Bishop to stand down from shadow treasurer job, as per Van Onselen article in Sydney Sunday Telegaph

[to be continued]

10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am

Deputy PM Gillard on big health COAG deal federal and state, job generator some 130K new jobs, over 4 years?. Trails economic responsibility in GFC, claims 75K jobs in economic security package of previous weeks. Rhetoric of Premier Barnett WA agrees with a deficit approach where responsible [tag team with The headline is a $15B deal. Turnbull deficit sledge footage, 6 years last time.

JG is highly groomed looks like Tilda Swinton in a Clooney movie - the villain.

Panel Annabel Crabb smh (took haircare freebie from Gillard's defacto wrote it up yesterday to defend his honourary health ambassador role - bad decision AC), Mark Kenny Adelaide Advertiser gets first Q.

Q. on workchoices, exceeded mandate from MK?  Boilerplate.

AC question is hardline, no concessions re double cost promised at the election. [Feeds into Turnbull narrative of long deficit.] Follow up equally brutal almost suggest AC has got the blowback on her friendly column yesterday for Mr Gillard.

Footage of stakeholder group on abc childcare sledging banks as arbiters of 380 centres uncertainty. Receiver to announce more this week.

Kenny asks question regarding partner health role. PB followed up surprised? Says not, also that good for her to be thinking of men's health issues - that resonates a bit positioning her partner as special access for men generally. But it's replete with spin. Is a case for parallel with Rein as spouse of PM honourary roles. Trouble is the question of merit of the choice comparative to high profile celebrities, health experts etc.

2nd guest is Premier Bligh - pushes "architecture" buzz word. It's a Qld re election of ALP policy given Beatty/Dr Death scandal. AC asks whether NSW got the lion share for fiscal incompetence. Bligh left defending NSW. Confidence in process, national approach. MK - political threat resolved?  Help a lot.

PB election? Sept 2009 expected to go full term. [Maybe]

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


Riley Diary 7, from 8.30am

Brown ponchos good bad ugly (dwelling on W Bush), does evangelical choir and star wars wardrobe comparison. Cute footage of local visits, donations "viva Kevin Rude"

Sarah Hanson Young image fairly flattering, sprinkler alarm on Rudd presser, funny deficit admission with lightning symbol in question time MPI speech.

Q&A about big COAG agreement [worth some $15B over 5 years]



9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am

Treasurer Swan on 5 year COAG agreement. Sounding quite calm, less shouting rhetoric.

$10.4 billion strategy, more on infrastructure, some announcements prior to Christmas.

Traverse deficit discussion, rhetoric about Colin Barnett as Premier of WA [seen as career long fiscal conservative?].

Swan is earning his grey hair after bedding down COAG yesterday. Looking and sounding like a monkey off his back this morning. Turning into a fireside chat with LO, mild mannered relaxed, no drama Obama approach is successful.

Optimistic living here in Australia, is depressing seeing the problems overseas, crisis has moved onto the developing world. Optimistic about China still, India suffered security and GFC at same time has consequences.

Tax reform possible in future?



Insiders 2: 9- 10am

Footage of premiers on COAG cooperative federalism of $15B health education over 5 years. Benchmarking for performance incentives. Round up by Paul Kelly for The Australian.

Foreign Minister on Mumbai political murders of rich westerners. Footage of there and Thailand airport protests.

Panel - Brian Toohey (AFR), Dennis Atkin News Corp/Courier Mail/Brisbane, Piers Akerman News Corp/Daily Telegraph/Sydney.

Akerman draws link between Kashmir and David Hicks. Kerry Ann Walsh - Sydney Fairfax SunHerald.

Talent is Andrew Robb, shadow minister. "Mountains of cash out there, no liquidity, all locked up". Says irresponsible to have a deficit in various ways. May not have cut through even if true. Robb asked about Julie Bishop which is cute given he is heir apparent for her treasurer job. Says hands full with job he's got.

Everyperson at Bondi Icebergs 3 crusties generally satisfied with the government.

KAW re "word games" [instituted by The Australian, shameless hypocrisy of journalists with their headlines playing ...."word games"]

Toohey ramps up critique of middle class welfare for self funded superannuants, $1,400 each next week. Akerman wails at "lack of management" re computer and NBN rollout.

Footage of Turnbull attack re ‘ALP deficit lasts for 6 years'.

KAK notes IR demise of Work Choices surprising lack of controversy in the last week.

KAK plea to reform question time in lower house. Toohey calls for fair go for Wayne Swan as treasurer.

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

Inside Business - 2 at 10am

Conroy as Telecommunications minister talks a good game on NBN. Says the open competitive process has been vindicated. Telstra is being treated as a bid. Conroy says it's an arms length process and he hasn't seen the 6 bigs. McGauchie agrees it should be considered by the expert panel.

Refer http://www.abc.net.au/insidebusiness/

Posted by editor at 11:00 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 1 December 2008 1:08 PM EADT
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Solar evangelists converge on Darling Harbour as Pope installs PV* panels
Mood:  special
Topic: globalWarming

* PV stands for photo voltaic solar energy derived electricity (eg for lights, computers, other appliances at about 15-25% energy efficiency from the sun's rays). This is distinct from another form of solar energy being thermal solar (heat energy up to about 30-40% efficiency) generally used for hot water systems (often the biggest drain on household energy bills). PV and solar thermal are often used in tandem. See an example of both types of panels pictured below.  We are no expert but we understand these levels of efficiency are similar to conventional coal or nuclear sources given network leakages, rules of entropy (to degrade energy) in physics.

Picture: From right, Artur Zawadski of Wizard Power and chairman of convening group Australian New Zealand Solar Energy Society, Monica Oliphant president of convening group International Solar Energy Society (UN affiliated, daughter in law of nuclear physicist Sir Marcus 'Mark' Oliphant), Professor Deo Prasad of UNSW, John Susa of multinational (Chinese) solar company TrinaSola, and Dr Muriel Watt of UNSW

Picture: Slide from Dr Muriel Watt, UNSW on where we are, and where we are not, as in foot dragging (our word) by the current federal government on renewable energy policy. Minister Garrett did give a speech (which we missed) but according to another expert observer he failed to address 'MRET', gross 'FIT', 'RE' and Innovation Funds for renewable energy. These terms are mandatory renewable energy target, feed in tariff, renewable energy.

Yesterday we attended gratis via IMCS conference organisers the 3rd International Solar Energy Conference in combination with the 46th Annual Conference of the Australian & New Zealand Solar Energy Society. The ANZSES were also holding their AGM last night to adopt a new constitution and appoint a new CEO/CEO structure to get in shape for the years ahead.

We are talking literally a sunrise sector that is big money, big energy, big global outreach via UN affiliations, and big names at this conference like Prof David Mills featured in a new movie premier last night called The Future Makers in conjuction with Discovery Channel.

By coincidence we were reading via Crikey.com.au ezine that the Pope has joined the solar photo voltaic evangelists in their quest for "grid parity" over the next 10 years. This term refers to the point at which the cost of solar energy is the same as grid power (not sure if this is only running cost, or includes capital set up cost via loan with interest/amortisation of cost).

Refer the Vatican news here:


  • The Vatican goes green Ruth Brown
  • and more directly here via Reuters complete with photo slide show for the devout tourist:

    Vatican set to go green with huge solar panel roof

    Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:02pm EST

    By Philip Pullella

    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican was set to go green on Wednesday with the activation of a new solar energy system to power several key buildings and a commitment to use renewable energy for 20 percent of its needs by 2020.

    The massive roof of the Vatican's "Nervi Hall," where popes hold general audiences and concerts are performed, has been covered with 2,400 photovoltaic panels -- but they will not be visible from below, leaving the Vatican skyline unchanged.

    The new system on the 5,000 square meter roof will provide for all the year-round energy needs of the hall and several surrounding buildings, producing 300 kilowatt hours (MWh) of clean energy a year.

    The system, devised by the German company SolarWorld, will allow the 108-acre city-state to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by about 225,000 kilograms (225 tonnes) and save the equivalent of 80 tonnes of oil each year.

    The Holy See's newspaper said on Tuesday that the Vatican planned to install enough renewable energy sources to provide 20 percent of its needs by 2020, broadly in line with a proposal by the European Union.

    The 1971 Nervi Hall is named after the renowned architect who designed it, Pier Paolo Nervi, and is one of the most modern buildings in the Vatican, where most structures are several centuries old. The hall can hold up to 10,000 people.

    It has a sweeping, wavy roof which made the project feasible and the solar panels virtually invisible from the ground. Church officials have said the Vatican's famous skyline, particularly St Peter's Basilica, would remain untouched.

    An editorial in Tuesday's newspaper appealed for greater use of renewable energy.

    "The gradual exhaustion of the ozone layer and the greenhouse effect have reached critical dimensions," the newspaper said.

    By producing its own energy the Vatican will become more autonomous from Italy, from where it currently buys all its energy. The Vatican is surrounded by Rome.

    Pope Benedict and his predecessor John Paul put the Vatican firmly on an environmentalist footing.

    Benedict has made numerous appeals for the protection of the environment. The Vatican has hosted a scientific conference to discuss the ramifications of global warming and climate change, widely blamed on human use of fossil fuels.

    Environmentalists praised the pope last year after he made a speech saying the human race must listen to "the voice of the earth" or risk destroying the planet.

    (Editing by Tim Pearce)

    Back at Darling Harbour great speakers, nice venue, good people, huge challenges. Lunch served in plastic throw aways which is a bit of a jarring note. Glad we took the solar ride yesterday and thanks to the conference organisers for the complimentary community media access.

    We are still waiting for Minister Garrett's speech to arrive via email via their parliamentary staff (!?). The staffer suggests it may be on the ministers website here - and indeed so it is:

     Speech to the 3rd International Solar Energy Society Conference, Asia - 26 November 2008

    We are advised he didn't take any questions. Here is his $6M solar announcement for Alice Springs via media release of same day. Apparently there was controversy whether he would make it at all:

    13 Nov 08 Garrett snubs energy conference | theage.com.au

    But on that score the Minister did better than shadow minister Greg Hunt, a sharp thinker too, who cancelled next day, and conservative non govt group WWF's Greg Bourne, formerly oil company BP, was also a no show. Bourne according to rumour had been called to Canberra at short notice (?!).

    We later spoke with Gordon Stewart, Sales and Business development manager of Suntech Australia (whose founder Dr Zhengrong Shi  of UNSW is richest man in China reportedly) who noted that the federal govt White Paper on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (previously Emission Trading Scheme) is thought to be released as soon as next week. A great profile of Suntech's founder involvement with Uni of NSW in Australia is here via old show Sunday on channel 9:

    The richest man in China 7 Oct 2007

    Profound footage there of Dr Shi sounding like the Chinese version of Al Gore, full of passion for the ideals not just the bottom line. Great stuff.

    Picture: Scott Friar, as chief of mulitnational Spanish renewables energy company Abengoa. Scott is a Texan with a style like Sol Trujiho, with dry twist. Made some profound comments about the solar sector having to reprove their technology of 1983 again in 2008.









    Posted by editor at 6:52 AM EADT
    Updated: Friday, 4 May 2012 3:30 PM NZT

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