« March 2009 »
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
about editor
aust govt
big media
contact us
donations to SAM
election nsw 2007
election Oz 2007
free SAM content
human rights
independent media
local news
nsw govt
nuke threats
publish a story
zero waste
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
official indymedia
ecology action Australia
ecology action
Advertise on SAM
details for advertisers
You are not logged in. Log in

sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Friday, 6 March 2009
SAM micro news website pageview stats for February 2009 - 23,208
Topic: independent media

Screen shot above taken on 5th March accurate to the 3rd of March according to the host metrics, which is our usual time of the month for this post. Fairly happy with consistency of reader figures. Could go sensational and bring them up, but we prefer the echo chamber approach into Big Media thinking on our genuine merits, not manipulation of the public's knee jerk emotions. That's good for peace of mind.

Usually we like to traverse significant stories for the past month with inside comments but that will have to wait - perhaps in an edit on the weekend.

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:

  • February 2009 - 23,208
  • January 2009 - 27,462
  • December 08 - 21,858
  • November 08 - unavailable, host breakdown
  • October 08 - 20,343
  • 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 2008 - 19, 898
  • December - 11,627
  • November - 10,220
  • October - 9, 100
  • Sept - 8,100 roughly, no screenshot
  • August - 8,845
  • July - 7475
  • June - 9675
  • May - 9, 059
  • April - 12,087
  • March - 6,684
  • February - 5,372
  • January 07 - 2800 3rd Jan - 3rd Feb 07

Posted by editor at 10:52 AM EADT
Submission to NSW Govt/DECC lawyer Gordon Plath on fine silt deathtrap in the Blue Mtns WHA, Hawkesbury LGA
Topic: legal

Beware the 3 or 4 letter acronym. DECC in the headline stands for Dept of Environment and Climate Change. WHA is for World Heritage Area. LGA is Local Govt Area.

Plath whom we know of from our student days at ANU law school is manager of environmental litigation at DECC these days and good luck to him for that too.

Below is our letter regarding an appeal in the Land & Environment Court of NSW by Birdon Contracting Pty Ltd/Tom Bruce as managing Director represented by solicitor Russel Byrnes (also doing the Balmain harbour boat tragedy case) based in Surry Hills. Veteran environmental lawyer Stephen Griffiths of Pike Pike & Fenwick is representing Hawkesbury City Council. We are agent as per the LEC rules for objector Neville Diamond.

The case is set down for 16-18 March 2009. The area in question is shown above in the lower half image of 2005 as per a HCC flyover. The top image is the 'before' image from the early 1980ies. What has changed is an open farmland area with the rising of Tinda Creek in the far background converted to wet open cut sandmine.

This has cut 37% water flow to Tinda Creek and likely to cut 53% if it continues according to council's independent expert Chris Jewell, hydrologist. The World Heritage Area of Wollemi National Park is the neighbour having it's water strangled, along with other cowered neighbours of the sandminer. No wonder various groups including big conservative National Parks Association have bought into the issue here:

From: Andrew Cox NPA
To: ecology action australia
Cc: Zoe Palmer ; Keith Muir ; Alan Catford (PMC)
Sent: Thursday, March 05, 2009 6:58 PM
Subject: Concern over Tinda Creek Sand Mine

Dear Tom,

National Parks Association is a community-based conservation groups establish in 1957 and seeks to protect our natural areas.

We support your efforts and the efforts of Neville Diamond to prevent the continued operations of the sandmine at Tinda Park adjacent to the World Heritage listed Wollemi National Park.

For over a decade now, concerns have been raised about the suitability of the site and the likely impacts on the national park and its catchments. Their apparent illegal operations confirm our fears about the mine.

We are opposed to the continuation of the mine due to its detrimental impact on the water table and the runoff from discharges from the site into Wollemi National Park.

Please note that I will be on leave from Monday 9 March for five weeks. After that time, please contact Zoe Palmer, who will be acting in my position.

Kind regards

Andrew Cox,
Executive Officer
National Parks Association of NSW
PO Box 337, Newtown NSW 2042; Tel: 02 9299 0000; Fax: 02 9290 2525
Email: execofficer@
Website: www.npansw.org.au

'protecting nature through community action'

Here is the letter to DECC's legal man Gordon Plath:

From: ecology action australia
To: gordon.plath@environment.nsw.gov.au
Cc: Keith Muir ; bmcs@ ; Andrew Cox NPA ; Peter Cooper ; Kirsty Ruddock ; sgriffiths@ppf
Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 7:08 PM
Subject: update on legal appeal re Birdon Tinda Ck sandmine
Dear Mr Plath/Gordon, managing solicitor DECC NSW,
CC Stephen Griffiths Pike Pike & Fenwick for Hawkesbury City Council
Birdon Contracting Pty Ltd (Tom Bruce managing director) v Hawkesbury City Council 16-18 March 2009 in the LEC, re Tinda Creek sand mine impacting Blue Mountains World Heritage Area
I write as agent for Neville Diamond as per the LEC Act 1979.
As suggested late last year in the email attached below dated 10 November 2008 the Hawkesbury Council did vote 12 to 0 against approving the s.96 variation for the Birdon Contracting P/L sandmine on the grounds of lapsed consent and therefore out of jurisdiction to extend the life of the mine in this way.
My pro bono client Neville Diamond suggests the consent had already lapsed for similar reasons on the previous occasion of a 2004 s.96 variation approved by a previous manifestation of the council. Now council newly constituted following the election of Sept 2008, and since 2004 now with a new
- general manager
- director of planning and
- mayor
have agreed with my client's legal argument of lapsed consent.
The HCC refusal decision has been appealed by Birdon/Tom Bruce as sandminer and goes to the LEC on March 16-18, 2009.
Though not strictly on the issues of the case re lapsed consent decision, there are two broader public interest issues for DECC's, and perhaps court's, consideration and indeed raised by us in verbal submissions before the council vote, namely safety and water supply to the World Heritage Area:
1. The fine silt tailings are a public liability quick-sand death trap and contrary to the staging plans approved by council way back in 1996 where the silt fines were meant to be 14 to 20 metres below the pond surface in the lake final landform. The developer prefered not to pay for crown consent license for depth 15.24m to 20 metres and dumped silt fines closer to the surface.
These silt fines are now situated from 1m to 5 below the surface water down to 14 metres depth according to the developers own verbal admissions to council in 2004 and 2008. This depth will be easily accessed by children, adults or wildlife with no safety fences anywhere in the final approved lake landform.
We estimate the silt fines cover an area of 400m by 200m (80,000 m2). The tonnage of silt fines we estimate at 376,000 tonnes (based on a 65:35 sand exported to silt fines ratio, with 700K tonnes sold since 1996 consent).
No doubt the council are aware any expansion of the sandmine hole/'lake' final landform makes the situation ever more dangerous (as well as compound damage to water flow in the Tinda Ck World Heritage area). This safety problem is not going away for people or wildlife.

We see options for a return to a safe sand mine operation as follows:

(a) In the short term exclusion fencing of the unsafe ponds;
(b) longer term
(i) The silt fines in this incorrect location would cost $millions to relocate safely to the DA approved greater depth, and there is no Crown consent from 15.24 to 20m depth anyway. This was the original plan for final land form with lake. The high cost relates to the highly viscous quality of the silt fines - hard to lift, hard to carry, hard to dump. There is next to no chance of this option being implemented; or
(ii) Capping the silt fines with at least 2 metres of surface compacted solid fill as has happened successfully with sandminers PF Formations at Maroota lot 198, and similarly Dixons at lot 196.
Unlike Maroota mining sites that are ridge lines where silt fines eventually dry out over years here at Tinda Ck the whole quarry is sited in wetland. If, and only if, a 2 metre cap albeit under water has efficacy starting from dry surface sloping to say 3 metres under water, we estimate 400m x 200m x 2m depth making 160,000 m3 of clean fill needed to quarrantine the dangerous fines for anyone swimming or entering the lake final landform. This would have to come from existing cleared adjacent private land of the developer.
The cost of this would be $500K to $1M plus at current prices for truck, loader, dozer, dredge barge, labour prices. This approach delivers a safe final landform of a lake as intended.
(iii) capping and filling in total the hole(s) with silt fines up to dry ground level final landform - which also benefits the re-establishment of the flow in Tinda Creek by removing a major source of evaporation of concern to the DECC: Kieran Horkan, Unit Head Sydney Industry letter to G Hall of HCC dated 17 Sept 2007 -
"10. As part of a remediation action plan to minimise evapotranspiration from open water DECC recommends that open water areas be reduced as much as possible".
We estimate this option would require 400,000 m3 plus of clean land fill from existing cleared adjacent private land owned by the same developer on lot 2. (Calculated as an area of 200m x 400m of silt fines from 1 to 5 m depth from surface water and another 2 metres to orginal dry ground level; That is 200m x 400m x 5m (average) depth = 400,000 m3.)
The cost of this mitigation would be $1-2M plus - in effect a penalty for breach of the 1996 DA staging - to relocate fill from adjacent cleared private land (and otherwise unprocessed) using dozer, loader, trucks, dozer again, roller and landscaping. This provides a safe lake final landform as intended.
(iv) A best case scenario for re-establishing flow in Tinda Ck to the World Heritage Area: We estimate 700,000 tonnes of clean fill to cap all holes from existing land cleared land owned by the developer.
The cost would be $2-3M.
2. Peak environment groups The Wilderness Society, NSW National Parks Association, Blue Mountains Conservation Society, Colong Foundation for Wilderness and local neighbours have all written and expressed alarm at the strangulation of water into Tinda Creek catchment in the Wollemi section of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area due to the sandmining.
Council's expert whose report we have dated May 2007, who we also trust and rely on, namely hydrologist Chris Jewell has advised that if the developer expands according to his s.96 variation he will impact Tinda Ck water flow into the world heritage area by up to 57% [bold added]:
"Although an assessment of the site water balance indicates that it is unlikely that, to date, the quarry has had a significant impact on the water balance of Tinda Creek, as the operation proceeds, evaporative losses from the ponds will increase and the reduction in outflow from the upper catchment to Tinda Creek will become significant. If the site is closed with a water-table window lake remaining, then a long-term reduction of the order of 37 percent of the original outflow from the catchment upstream of the quarry is possible. Losses will be higher if the final landform includes a lake extending across the entire 22ha site." ................

?If the final landform involved a lake occupying the entire 22-ha operational site, as now proposed, then the reduction in outflow of Tinda Creek would be 204 ML/year, or 53 per cent.?

Chris Jewell in correspondence dated 13 October 2008 to us maintains the final landform in the s.96 variation is at least 17 ha based on Birdon/Umwelt?s own final landform diagram, which is up from 11 ha in the EIS/approved plans.

The water loss is therefore likely to be greater than 37% and closer to 53% which is unacceptable. You will also be aware generally of CSIRO report of July 2008 of downward trend rainfall for NSW in the climate change paradigm, which Commissioner Moore relied on late 2008 to apply the precautionary principle in a judgement adverse to Coca Cola Amatil at their Peats Ridge water bottling plant. (We provided that evidence to the Commissioner).
There is a third issue regarding issues of veracity of the sandminer - including deceptive references to the wrong approved plans by their consultant Umwelt - which the court may possibly address as part of the lapsed consent argument. We submit clause 283 of the EP&A Act 2000 Regulation regarding misleading and deceptive conduct may be involved.
In conclusion we invite DECC to play a role as a friend of the court and/or provide expert advice as needed on finding a way forward in this mess that has become the Tinda Creek sandmine impacting a World Heritage Area in a lower rainfall reality.
Yours truly, Tom McLoughlin, legal agent for Neville Diamond.
Attachment: Original written submission to HCC found here, our additions in red typeface:
----- Original Message -----
From: ecology action australia
To: gordon.plath@environment.nsw.gov.au
Cc: terrigal@ ; castlehill@ ; LOP
Sent: Monday, November 10, 2008 7:41 AM
Subject: fyi as mentioned sandmine issue Wollemi Fw: Final part 6 re Tinda Ck Blue Mtns World Heritage before council Tues 11 Nov 2008

Attn Gordon Plath [managing] solicitor/DECC legal branch
My information is that the majority of Hawkesbury City Councillors on the Liberal controlled council will be voting against the expansion of the sandmine tomorrow evening 11 Nov 2008 but you never really know.
Notice CC list - big press, HCC councillors all factions, Peter Garrett's man Ben Pratt, ngo groups, Ian Cohen MP office, council expert Chris Jewell, nsw env minister, local govt minister. And above to the related ministries in the state opposition. No more secrets for this cowboy sandmine unlike the last 20 years of menaces and violence.
Here's hoping the council do the right thing and follow their senior officer's recommendation to refuse the expanded development impacting the Blue Mtns World Heritage area.
Yours truly
Tom McLoughlin, court agent for Neville Diamond.
----- Original Message -----
From: ecology action australia
To: bart.bassett ; barry.calvert; council@hawkesbury ; kevin.conolly@; christine.paine@; bob.porter@; paul.rasmussen@ ; rex.stubbs ; leigh.williams@
Cc: Jackie ; ben.prattEAFed ; chrisJewell ; Ben Cubby SMH ; Kirsty Ruddock EDO ; Keith Muir Colong ; Peter Cooper TWS ; Andrew Cox NPA ; BMCS ; cate faehrmann NSWNCC ; r.chapple@bmwhi.org.au ; Scott Hickie ; bmwhi@bmwhi.org.au ; bmcs@bluemountains.org.au ; stateline ; ian.cohenMPGreen; dp.office@tebbutt; perry.minister ; bensonsDailyTelegraph

Sent: Saturday, November 08, 2008 7:54 AM
Subject: Final part 6 re Tinda Ck Blue Mtns World Heritage before council Tues 11 Nov 2008

The sandmine using between 37% and 53% of Tinda Ck water into the Wollemi World Heritage Area - as climate change bears down on us all - is going before Hawkesbury City Council again this Tuesday 11th Nov 2008. The chief planning officer's report recommends refusal and to issue a notice to cease operation.

Last and final part 6 of this series of evidence about the issue is here:

Previous items in this serial 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

----- Original Message -----

From: Tara Cameron President Blue Mtns Conservation Society

To: Tom McLoughlin

Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2008 12:11 PM

Subject: Tinda Creek

Dear Tom,

The Blue Mountains Conservation Society has over 1000 members and is extremely interested in developments impacting upon the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Hence we are concerned about the Tinda Creek Sandmine in respect to its impact on the Wollemi National Park. We are particularly concerned about the tailing ponds and their capacity to reduce the amount of water to Tinda Creek. Water quality is also a problem that we would focus upon.

The Society will be discussing this issue at our next Management Committee Meeting.

Yours sincerely,

Tara Cameron


Picture: 1996 thankyou card to this writer in 1996 from Leslie Walker objector and former neighbour of the sandminers,whose sheep were mysteriously shot dead and has now left the district.

Posted by editor at 9:06 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 6 March 2009 10:41 AM EADT
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
Of gay Liberal MP rumours, redneck Liberal green baiting, shaky Costello pulpit, and fatal bee stings
Topic: aust govt

Inman as Mr. Humphries in Are You Being Served?

Yes it's Mardis Gras time, festival of tolerance, diversity and creativity in Sydney this weekend.

We are fond of this time ever since we as "distribution manager" unintentionally made Lawrence Gibbons, owner/editor of gay friendly mag Sydney City Hub, deliver 9,000 copies of his own newspaper on Mardi Gras weekend 2007: A small problem of the cover being tacky, undeliverable in family outlets, subjudice of a criminal case underway regarding sex shop products putting our solicitor's qualification at risk, and possibly conflict of interest with his partner's planning work for ... the sex industry.

And being this time of year perhaps explains the rumour indirectly via Northern Beaches Liberal Party source that a certain federal Opposition MP and pugilist has allegedly left his wife and "moved in with a man" in Canberra.

Let me count the real politik explanations of this latest rumour mongering:

1. If true so what? Sorry for his spouse, kids, life goes on. Private lives are officially irrelevant. Well no, perception on that side of politics is just as powerful as any other side so not irrelevant, more's the pity:

2. 'Move in with a man' is cute ambiguity given all kinds of rough tough hetero MPs share houses to deflect rental costs while in Canberra;

3. Promotion of Christopher Pyne MP as manager of Opposition Business over Tony Abott is bound to cause uncomfortable frictions - as distinct from enjoyable ones (?). We suggest the Abbott rumour mongering could well be a bit of gay community whispering payback for Abbott sledging Pyne and being forced into a groveling apology last week. Indeed leader Turnbull has surely consolidated his own vote in the Eastern Suburbs with the promotion of Pyne, whom 7's press gallery man (married, kids) Mark Riley compared to John Inman aka Mr Wilberforce Clayborne Humphries in Are You Being Served comedy show in his last Sunday roundup on family friendly Sunday Sunrise.

Riley Diary 1 March


Riley Diary 1 MarchPla

4. The rumour gathers some pace from the real life recent blackmail criminal conviction and suppression of male MP identity as reported from Victoria recently. Who is it hardly matters, it's the synchrony of the thing which all devilishly effective rumours build on as pure fiction:

22 Feb 2009 MP blackmail attempt on gay sex film - National - BrisbaneTimes A MAN attempted to blackmail an Australian politician after secretly filming them having sex


Indeed we know about adverse rumours. Jeff Smith the director of the NSW Environmental Defenders Office rang last Monday after 6 pm as if to apologise that this writer didn't get an interview for 2 solicitor positions there. They had 45 applications apparently and he wanted to acknowledge the past work together and collaboration.

We took it on the chin, but are left wondering all the same what past political and policy and indeed moral conflicts over corruption in my own sector have done to place one pretty firmly on a blacklist.

We are good enough to beat the high priced lawyers at Coca Cola Amatil last year in the Land & Environment Court with a pair of twos in our hand so to speak (as per this decision under what's known as the Double Bay Marina Rule at paragraph 23 before Pain J, and this decision where we participated on a narrow basis including cross examination of CCA's Director of Corporate Affairs - Alex Wagstaff) but not good enough to be paid for it. Yet it's the path we choose no point crying victim.


Which brings us to Peter Costello lecturing the G/greens about getting serious on nuclear power in the SMH today 'if they really want to tackle climate change which can only be done with techno fixes':

Perhaps Obama can convince the holdouts | smh.com.au Perhaps Obama can convince the holdouts. Peter Costello; March 4, 2009

Like all lawyer politicians and indeed like another former treasurer Paul Keating, one has to read down his self interest: Costello needs the numbers of the hard right - that's Julie Bishop's people in WA and Nick Minchin people in SA, all gungho uranium miners. And given the recession and jobs tub thumping one potential growth sector is uranium exports.

But we are reminded of another big mining company Woodside and one of their staffers Lisa Hamilton based up north west Port of Dampier way - as far away from her home town of Devonport Tasmania as you might possibly get. As we took our nostalgic mid life web surf we first noticed another student 'colleague' now acting NSW Solicitor General Karen Ferris. Quite an achievement. Then we came to Lisa Hamilton pictured in a Woodside annual report looking the same ANU Law student, computer science double degree of the 1980ies plus 20 years. Was she happy? Certainly well paid. Does she still follow the ruthless Ayn Rand philosophy?

Half-length monochrome portrait photo of Ayn Rand, seated, holding a cigarette

Serendipidy is an amazing thing. Because back in the mid eighties Hamilton's honours thesis around 1986 was on the innovative approach of common law actions in industrial relations. In short union busting. Indeed the kind of legal action that Peter Costello took in the famous Dollar Sweets Case that Melbourne based Crikey regularly refers to in relation to Costello. The union busting case that made Peter Costello the national politician he is today.

Only we suspect the brains behind the Dollar Sweets common law cause of action busting the union was not Costello but Hamilton's honours thesis. Is Costello actually derivative, grabbing the fame from a successful female legal graduate? Should he really be lecturing folks in the Green movement on intellectual and moral rigour? Folks like Senator Christine Milne in strategic alliance with Opposition Leader Turnbull on climate change/ETS senate inquiry? Turnbull being a sincere rival to Costello's leadership aspirations?

Costello is also seriously weighed down by his active Cabinet support of the Australian Government for what Nobel prize winner in economics Joseph Stiglitz calls the $3 trillion Iraq war. A war that surely has contributed to the USA 'leadership' of the world into a globally synchronised recession. Again is Costello really able to lecture anyone about intellectual rigour on his own preferred turf of the national accounts?

We think Peter's time has passed for him to have lost his way on green matters so badly. And we thank Lisa Hamilton for the whole line of inquiry/narrative all these years later. And we hope she is happy too.


Which brings us to the loud green baiting by this week's Inner West Courier suburban freebie, strong hold of the Green Party with tragic picture of Vic bushfire destruction and headline "Passions inflamed/Ashfield Liberals blame Greens for massive bushfire death toll - Page 9."

There is nothing probative in the story. It's stock standard smear and green baiting. Indeed it's profoundly ignorant not least from the reality of the logging industry having converted whole landscapes of wet old growth and rainforest to dry sclerophyll: The tinder box of the megafire today. A point well made in effect by bushfire expert Phil Cheney below in this precious quote provided via Jill Redwood of green group Environment East Gippsland below in Forestry Tasmania (2001), Thinning Regrowth Eucalypts - Native Forest Silviculture Technical Bulletin No. 13 Second Edition, Forestry Tasmania.

And a prefacing explanation of the relevance: The firestorm at Kinglake and Marysville etc monstered up mainly on state forest with high intensity logging history, as well as existing cleared farmland and also forestry plantation. This is the taboo that state and federal governments dare not declare responsibility for because that's 50-100 years of false land use policy steering the wet areas of national forest estate to megafire in the age of drought via a predominance of dry sclerophyll forest types.

Notice especially the reference to alteration of the humid microclimate as a result of logging and increase in fuel loads:

"Planning Considerations

Fire Risk

One of the major planning constraints associated with thinning is the higher level of fuel present after the operations. It is not considered feasible in Tasmania to carry out fuel reduction burns in thinned coupes because of the high fuel loads and the sensitivity of the retained trees to fire. The location of thinned coupes amongst conventionally logged coupes is problematic, as it is not recommended that any regeneration burn take place within two kilometres of areas with high levels of flash fuel within two years of harvest (Cheney 1988).

Tree crowns (heads), bark, and other harvest residue make up the fuel load. The climate on the floor of the forest is altered by thinning, with higher wind speeds and temperature, lower humidity, and lower moisture content in the fuel itself. Understorey vegetation characteristics change because of these changes to the microclimate, especially increased light. Bracken ferns and cutting grass may grow vigorously, each having a far higher flammability than the replaced woody species (Cheney and Gould 1991)."

Maybe the Ashfield Liberals are Ayn Rand supporters too, and hope to drive a wedge between Turnbull and Milne on the deceptive Emissions Trading Scheme? To assist the Costello leadership aspiration?

When the Liberals like Peter Costello, or the Ashfield Liberals, start lecturing the logging industry - on destruction of wet old growth and Tasmanian rainforest leading to tinder box dry sclerophyll over landscapes encouraging megafire risk - then we know they will be serious on the environmental challenges of the 21C. Moral high ground indeed.


Thank heavens for the David Penberthy balancer over 2 pages today about bee stings killing more people than sharks despite press panic:

Penberthy: Get tough on bees, Rees

Penberthy: Get tough on bees, Rees
I'VE got shark fever, an obsession with sharks is hard-wired into my brain. Blog live with David Penberthy from 1pm.

The same newspaper and other media could report the same concerns about increased shark sightings and attacks without going the Jaws style movie rhetoric. But selling panic is the name of the game. Which is only slightly less obnoxious than publishing this letter below:

As Greg Barnes wrote on crikey.com.au recently regarding Miranda Devine a refugee from the same Sydney Daily Telegraph now with Fairfax Sydney Morning Herald: Encouraging people to political violence is a breach of anti terrorism laws. The letter writer and the newspaper are probably in criminal breach of that law here. Like in cricket all it would probably take is an appeal to the umpire.

Posted by editor at 10:16 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 5 March 2009 1:18 PM EADT
Monday, 2 March 2009
Gosford Council: Dick Persson expert administrator report to State Govt for over 3 weeks now
Topic: nsw govt

Flood victims / NEWS.com.au

Picture: Collage via News Limited: "Gone ... Adam Holt, 30, and Roslyn Bragg, 29; their two daughters Madison, 2, and Jasmine, 3; and Ms Bragg's nephew Travis Bragg, 9 / NEWS.com.au composite image:"

One of many contacts on the central coast confirms early this February that Dick Person, formerly NSW Government administrator at the sacked Port Macquarie Hastings Council, has completed his report into Gosford Council.

This is the council that willingly gave away control of the old Pacific Highway at Piles Creek after the devastating untimely death of a family of 2 adults and 3 children in a washed out section of road.

NSW Govt to take back Old Pacific Hwy ABC Sat Dec 6, 2008 9:01am AEDT

The Sydney based coroner was scathing of lack of local government rigour:

Culvert tragedy: coroner blames council - National - smh.com.au 18 Sep 2008

Similarly this quote from the SMH:

"An "incompetent and ineffective" NSW council is entirely to blame for a highway collapse that killed five family members, including three children, a coroner has ruled.

In damning findings, deputy NSW coroner Paul MacMahon said Gosford City Council had failed to provide the most basic road maintenance, and that neglect had cost five lives.

Adam Holt, his partner Roslyn Bragg, 29, their young daughters Jasmine, 3, and Madison, 2, and Ms Bragg's nephew Travis, 9, died when a culvert collapsed and swallowed part of the Old Pacific Highway at Somersby, north of Sydney, in June last year."

And then we have this follow up:

Council risks second road collapse - National - smh.com.au 22 Sept 2008

and this

Pipes corroded before road collapse: inquest ABC Tue Jul 1, 2008 12:45pm AEST An inquest into the deaths of five people in a road collapse on the New South Wales central coast has heard Gosford Council failed to keep adequate records of repairs needed to the roads.

and this

Documents reveal collapsed highway section needed repairs ABC Mon Oct 15, 2007 8:04pm AEST

There are a legion of hostile residents and ratepayers in Gosford LGA or so it seems:

Mayor defends 'most complained about' council ABC Thu Oct 30, 2008 1:37pm AEDT

Yet the Person Inquiry was haphazard at best. Many did not know how to make public submissions. Indeed there wasn't any public advertisement calling for these. Did Dick Person access this torrent of information?

Piles Creek 12

Another contact says there has been a report of alleged corruption sent to ICAC regarding deliberately deleting the content of resident complaints from the council's own information database. Of cooking the information flow. Who would have thunk it?

The inquest heard the Gosford City Council were 'aware of structural problems'.

Picture: The inquest heard the Gosford City Council were 'aware of structural problems'. (ABC TV)

Another contact says there are two (not one) KPMG reports one of which allegedly calls for directors at Gosford to be sacked. Did Dick Person see this particular KPMG report? Does it exist?

Yet another contact says there are two reports by a state government and Gosford council retained consultancy called Internal Audit Bureau into alleged incapacity of Gosford to properly do land use planning and assessment in relation to water licensing. Are these the kind of skills also involved in landscape engineering, say for road safety? Did Dick Person access that as yet IAB confidential report?

Suffice to say our submission to Dick Person was sent direct via his email address at Port Macquarie Hastings not via Gosford Council.

We look forward to Dick Person's findings and the State Government response not least for the memory of those 3 dead children and their hapless parents. Will they get justice?

Posted by editor at 7:32 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 2 March 2009 8:05 PM EADT
Online legal research update at UNSW with Mr Cool
Topic: legal

6 points of Mandatory Continuing Legal Education. How could I resist, especially with some one else paying.

Actually it sounds like the legal version of accountancy, or maybe weeding, but no it was a very enjoyable hob nobbing with the partner from Turnbull Hill, and the Clayton Utz senior associate or probably partner. As the google graphic shows today, online data bases actually have their lighter moments (a Dr Seus theme shown here but not likely to endure):

We discovered that moi can still mix it with these guys after all those years of activist grovel: The police prosecutor dude from up Grafton way who knew about some of the real bad guys in Underbelly 2 back in the day. The union lawyer taller than Nick Seddon (the formidable contracts lecturer at ANU law school, again back in the day - last usage we promise).

And the cream was our lecturer, hippie zen style Colin Fong complete with nifty ringtail possum hair style. This intrepid guy knows his precedent data bases. Subscription or free source? Even does a bit of open university social capital in Western Sydney. This guy was too cool for law, and yet here he was out of the big firms giving back to the grassroots, well in my case at least.

So there I was 10 minutes late, pumped up by cycling in sub tropical rain, clammy wet shorts and shirt hanging out, clasping change of clothes and bag , sheepishly walking into a room of sharp female lawyers. The backbone of the legal service industry in fact. Talk about gender imbalance. (Which reminds of an old girlfriend now "acting solicitor general of NSW" I notice on one of those mid life nostalgic web surfs - but that's another story: That's what you get for 20 years of public servant grovel - quite an achievement to be sure. Still pondering how one could work for 'them' or something as ephemeral as a mortgage.)

Then one by one the other guys arrived. 5 in succession for the next 2 hours or more. All late and not a blink of shame. Disorganised? I commented to the refugee from CCH reference service:

"What does this say about the blokes?"

"I'm saying nothing" came the very knowing reply.

Perhaps this recent MCLE experience also explains the vivid dream last night turbo charged by fresh air and hard yakka: Attending moot court arriving late, empty room then surrounded by raucous students and referred to as son of the surgeon general - go figure.

Back in reality Colin The Cool got me to ask for consent for the sufficiently anonymous photograph angle above and write this report "in the next week?". Yes, except the schedule got a little misplaced. There's that bloke thing again. So now here it is full of Hawkesbury fresh air to kick it along. I told him I would need to spice it up with some newsy angles like:

  • how judges control which cases get an official report (a PR factor of bias in there?), no doubt of interest to the right wing baiters of plaintiff lawyers and so called activist/undemocratic judges as per USA experience. Reports involving sleeping judges, or perverse outcomes get censored as "unreported"? Combine this with our direct knowledge of the assiduous Media Monitors account with the NSW Judiciary and you know this 3rd arm of the executive care about their PR. On the other hand the monitoring helps prevent breaches of sub judice;
  • Good online research by the Big Media and journalists generally should help better deal with the Right to Know agenda explained here recently: Suffocating in a state of secrecy | The Australian 14 Feb 2009;
  • how some companies hide their presence in law reports via use of an agent's name (tsk tsk Coca Cola Amatil, Land & Environment Court, just look for David Kettle Consulting Land & Enviornment Court of New South Wales);
  • saucy law reports covering Errol Flynn's sex life, "its all there" apparently;
  • topical legislation this month to give more property rights to same sex couples etc. Must be the same legislation front page of the Sunday Telegraph yesterday about property claims for mistresses. A big topic at News Corporation it seems;
  • that someone can make alot of money doing a progressive update of Family Law precedents because a comprehensive guide doesn't really exist.

One exercise task involved finding the technically accurate name of the recent federal government Stimulus Package: "Which one?" was my smart *rse question, no. 1 or no. 2? Funny that I was the only one cued into current affairs who actually noticed the ambiguity. " It doesn't matter" - which was true for the exercise involved - came the unintentionally profound response from Mr Cool. He meant package no. 1 but indeed neither according to orthodox economic analysis will make a jot of difference to the sad sorry synchronous global economic downturn. Thrift people, thrift. Get with the programme.

Other useful tips we noted in addition to the text book "A practical guide to legal research" Milne, Tucker Lawbook 2008, and loose leaf study notes explaining "Boolean" and "proximity operators":

  • Pandora held by the National Library keeps a record of old websites:
  • Google can't search some data bases like phone numbers, you have to go to the online White Pages/Yellow Pages, then search
  • There is an "invisible web" of other data for those who know how
  • Austlii is a critical tool not least "advanced search" of discrete data bases, "Noteup" for referencing by other reported cases, along with Comlaw and legislation.gov.nsw.au for status of legislation, and then parlimentary websites for status of bills.
  • Austlii are fibbing (lawyers fib?) when they claim they reproduce the CLR's (Commonwealth Law Reports to you common folk) which carry the High Court of Australia historical case reports. They are similar but not the same because they do not carry the case summaries apparently as per the old CLRs. Also in this modern age the court publishes their own reports in what's knows as "media neutral" form, that is undiluted by any publishing house. Gone are the days when a judge could say "I can't hear you" for quoting the unauthorised case report using say the ALJR instead of the CLR publishing house. It's all online direct from the HCA and other courts.
  • If you are in the money there are subscription legal data bases Lexis Nexis, CCH and Thompson, Law Book online (phew).
  • As well as industry journals like Lawyers Weekly which may be free. Similarly The Australian carries google searchable legal industry articles every Friday in their press. As does the Australian Financial Review which is overpriced both online and press.

And Cool also took us back to the first "bulletin board" case of the delightfully named Justice Ipp in 1994 in Western Australia, which was about the internet before it was called the internet: It was only because librarians get together and hobnob that it was indexed under internet and is accessible to online precedent searches today:

That WA case Rindos v Hardwick has resonance today and has influenced thinking world wide: Take this 1994 article extracted onto the web here:

This article is reprinted with permission from the June 13, 1994 issue
of The Nation [USA] magazine. (c) 1994 The Nation Company, Inc.....
Individuals, however, are still responsible for their own words
communicated through cyberspace. The first trial for libel by
e-mail--held in Australia--concluded with a substantial fine being
imposed on the offending e-mailer. In that case, an anthropologist
fired by the University of Western Australia sued another
anthropologist, claiming he had been defamed in a computer bulletin
board message. The case went to the West Australian Supreme Court,
which ruled in April that libel in cyberspace is actionable. David
Rindos, who has a doctorate from Cornell University, was dismissed
last June because of insufficient productivity. A supporter of Rindos
posted news of the firing on the DIALx science anthropology
international computer bulletin board; many colleagues e-mailed their
support for him, but Gil Hardwick, an anthropologist working in the
field in Western Australia, posted a message criticizing Rindos.
According to Justice David Ipp, it declared that Rindos's career was
based not on academic achievement "but on his ability to berate and
bully all and sundry." The message also contained "allegations of
pedophilia," in the words of Rindos's lawyer, and falsely implied that
sexual misconduct had some bearing on his firing by the university. 

Twenty-three thousand people around the world have access to the
bulletin board on which Mr. Hardwick's message appeared, and most of
them are professional anthropologists and anthropology students. "The
defamation caused serious harm to Dr. Rindos's personal and
professional reputation," Justice Ipp declared. "The publication of
these remarks will make it more difficult for him to obtain
appropriate employment.... The damages award must compensate him for
all these matters and vindicate his reputation to the public."

Although it's easier to win a libel case in Australia than in the
United States, the same circumstances here would produce the same
result, according to Martin Garbus, an attorney and a libel law
authority. The Internet is not a free space when it comes to libel; it
is subject to the same libel law as any publication.

In the Australian case, the libelous message had been posted on a
bulletin board available to thousands; but even individual email
messages can cause legal problems. The day is not too distant when an
e-mailer will find himself or herself in court, perhaps in an
employment discrimination suit, for a statement uttered only in a
single e-mail message. E-mail messages, like other written
communications, are discoverable in legal proceedings, according to
William Parker, director of the office of academic computing at the
University of California, Irvine--they can be subpoenaed and presented
as evidence in court. And that's only the beginning: It turns out that
your old e-mail is not necessarily gone just because you deleted it.
At my campus of the University of California, and probably at most
universities as well as private corporations, backup copies of most
e-mail messages are retained on tape as part of the nightly backup of
the main computer. Ollie North was unable to destroy evidence of the
Iran/contra cover-up because the White House maintained a backup copy
of the e-mail system on which he had plotted his crimes. Erasing his
hard drive and shredding his paper copies didn't help. Most e-mailers
are as vulnerable today as North was. Parker's advice: "You should not
say anything via e-mail that you would not say publicly."

Which takes us to our next MCLE outing in mid March - Media Law and Defamation. Can't wait.

Posted by editor at 5:26 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 2 March 2009 7:32 AM EADT
Silly billy subbies unusual stuff up at SMH
Topic: big media

What's wrong with this image below? The highlighted extracts on the flagship editorial opinion piece are transposed. Never seen that before. That looks like excessive staff cuts and undue pressure to moi:

Posted by editor at 5:14 AM EADT
Sunday, 1 March 2009
Economic wheels, rudder fall off Sydney Daily Telegraph's $9 Billion fantasy truck tunnel to Port Botany?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: nsw govt


Maybe the Sydney Daily Telegraph brain's trust who are beating this story:

Vote grab sinks Sydney road plan | The Daily Telegraph24 Feb 2009 ... A $9 BILLION roads plan to solve Sydney's transport and congestion

might take a look at this story above from their own sister newspaper via The Australian, in the Wall Street Journal.

Call me a stupid greenie, commercial lawyer, evolutionary ecology graduate, and otherwise grovelling gardner, delivery van driver, bottle shop attendant, and reader analyst, but the synchronised global recession looks alot like there is no economic case any more for super containers to Port Botany (or Port Phillip in Melbourne for that matter).

No doubt the army of sub-contractors and tradies out there need a $9 billion meal ticket. Trouble is, a glorified truck tunnel to Port Botany as a cover for every mega road project wet dream of the Roads  Minister is probably a white elephant.

And how did we get all this congestion in the first place? More mega roads rather than sophisticated public transport? Do you think? We can't even get an integrated ticket organised. 

Far better if that army of job hungry workers were set to work on real sustainability projects - like wave power energy for instance. Geo thermal. Solar photo voltaic and water heater power on every northerly facing roof.

Or urban friendly bike paths. Or water tanks. Or ..... the list is endless really.

Posted by editor at 1:49 PM EADT
Updated: Monday, 2 March 2009 12:00 PM EADT
Addison Road Centre spills general manager and board at special general meeting
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: local news

 Picture: A chubby Yvette Andrews in red next to then conservative independent Mayor of Marrickville Morris Hanna, with a local chess expert at right. Pathetic political chess for real has been going on at the ARC for years

Not a word it seems of reportage in the big or little media at the forced removal of ARC community centre general manager Yvette Andrews, ALP aparatchik and colleague and co-author of Meredith Burgman. Though we missed the latest NSW Stateline where Australia's biggest community centre might be discussed. Maybe. 

GM Andrews who never faced a competitive job selection process for over 15 months for her $60K job, as appointed by political mates on the board. What a scandal.

The ARC itself is in the heart of federal MP Anthony Albanese's seat and Minister Carmel Tebutt's state electorate but they won't touch this with a barge pole. And now the scandal has climaxed with Andrews departure in mystery amongst allegations of violence and powermongering. The community are left guessing what is going on with our community centre run by a closed shop there.

There have been unconfirmed reports that Marrickville Council in the last 6 weeks specifically declined to nominate anyone to participate on the Board under Andrews. Then we heard of 3 and then 4 members of the Board resigning in the last month as well. Now a recent special meeting appears to have finished the execution of the Andrews tenure: One of at least 4 different sources we have there emailed us as follows:

Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2009 10:13 PM
Subject: ARC

Nothing much happening at ARC. John Reynolds is in charge.. Geoff Hague is back on the board. Yvette Andrews is gone. There are three vacancies on the board. Apparently nothing controversial happened at the SGM. Don Mamouney got support for a new five year plan. A new GM is to be sought through advertising. Hardly a trace of Andrews, her husband or Burgmann remain. A new chance for some transparency and good governance. Best wishes. 

SAM wrote of the special general meeting to be held last Wednesday here:

Saturday, 7 February 2009
And perhaps the Big Media have vacated the field given we have done so much reportage on the saga: 
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Monday, 20 October 2008 Questions with notice for Addison Rd Community Centre AGM 5 Nov 08
Mood:  chatty
Topic: local news
Tuesday, 8 July 2008 Burgmann's mate in job sinecure at closed shop Addison Rd Centre
Mood:  sharp
Topic: nsw govt

Thursday, 3 April 2008 Addison Road Community Centre board minutes leak out, suggesting more ructions?
Mood: quizzical
Topic: local news

Saturday, 9 February 2008 Addison Rd Centre General Manager 'Job Vacancy' closing date 1st April 2008
Mood: a-ok
Topic: local news
Monday, 14 January 2008


It may be we are witnessing a metaphorical choo choo train just going round and round in circles: There is no lasting progress in governance at the ARC, in our view, until there is a total reform of transparency in the centre. That is:

- minutes of Board Meetings should be public (board meetings probably should be held in public too);  
- there should be a regular centre newsletter for tenants and the public alike;
- the centre greatly suffers from lack of a social central meeting place for tenants and visitors, that could be provided by a kiosk or cafe. This could be run on a non profit basis as per all tenancies. Currently every group and the public are balkanised and lack synergy.
This culture of secrets has led to long time affiliates and/or tenancies orchestating irregular lease deals. It has meant two categories of tenants with a great many artists and small tenants having no voting franchise at the AGM in a ruthless gerrymander. It has resulted in one large gallery space collecting private rent and making private sales with no financial reportage while using this public building for 4 years.

Picture: 15 months later and the ALP fix at the ARC is shattered just like this old slab of concrete in the course of this writer's gardening duties: Take a year of frustration at systemic bullying by a dishonest board, one sledge hammer .....

Posted by editor at 12:04 PM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 1 March 2009 1:22 PM EADT
Sunday political talkies: Torn Curtain of recession and dangerous climate change lead to Copenhagen?
Mood:  not sure
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 

* Most of big press and political coverage a bit hollow this week due to gravity of the Victorian bushfire tragedy, with funerals to roll out constantly for a week or more. 

* high awareness of bushfire risk in the Hills district and north west of Sydney region, builds on Richmond as potential threat for megafire in future implied by Stateline interview with John Connor  quoting NSW Bushfire Co-operative Research Centre report of 2007. Range of quality, and not, bushfire coverage here: [extract of email] 

Bushfires spark ACT hazard reduction debate 

News Video | Mon, 23 Feb 2009 19:47:00 +1100 | Duration 2m 4s


search out http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/ NSW edition, video is still up on main page, still to be archived by them:

24 Feb 2008 re Canberra Residents reflect on 2003 firestorm

'Weston Creek built next to highly flammable fine forest ....', didn't tell the public days ahead despite level of threat, volunteers ready but not deployed early, new broom through fire bureaucracy after that, insurance industry as 'the black hat'.


[Rudd says Fran Bailey in a marginal seat, Liberal, is doing "an extraordinary job" as per Insiders show recently to quote Barry Cassidy. She will have alot of influence - and huge responsibility for failure to protect her towns????? suddenly interested in prescribed burning:

Vic MP delivers impassioned plea to Parliament

Federal Liberal MP, Fran Bailey, pleads for resolve to heed lessons from 'black Saturday' bushfires on fuel loads and concrete shelters in an emotional speech to Parliament.


"ALEXANDRA KIRK: Much has been said about not allowing history to be repeated.

FRAN BAILEY: But you know people have said that before following other disasters. Back in 1988 I had discovered that the Victorian Education Department had a plan to build 72 of these, what I call a community and school safe shelter. Only one has ever been built. We've got to do better than that.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: That's struck a chord with Kevin Rudd.

KEVIN RUDD: We are, I think all of us in this place, not just struggling with the dimensions of what's happened personally and emotionally; but also struggling with the burden of history that you present us with.

And the burden of history is this: there have been many inquiries before about many fires. I hate to think how many of those recommendations have not been acted on. Sighs…. So what do we now do to make it different?

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The Prime Minister's lent one of his staff to work with Fran Bailey on all that she asks.

She's also pleaded with the Federal Government to attach conditions to the millions of federal dollars that go to state and local governments for roads. To do something about a problem first identified more than 150 years ago.

FRAN BAILEY: I'm going to suggest here today that we tie that funding to fuel reduction programs; because unless we do something, nothing will be done. And this is something colleagues, I hope that we can have a unanimous agreement on.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Kevin Rudd says he's considering her every wish. Fran Bailey's also urging him to find innovative ways to help businesses that have been destroyed, such as trout farming.

Eighty per cent of the nation's trout is produced in her electorate; and she wants locals paid to replace fences instead of volunteers doing the work.


Ongoing bushfire threat:




[.........more of the black hat stereotype media coverage here. Arsonists and real estate predators, but the candidacy is still open to smear any hapless greenie ....]

PM - Friday, 20 February , 2009  18:30:00

Fire bargain hunters labelled vultures



Talkback as we write on abc 702 a good half an hour re media  role and then talkback implying the big media are the "black hat" for exploitative coverage.


Leading scientists discuss latest climate change data

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Broadcast: 23/02/2009


"JOHN BRUMBY, VICTORIAN PREMIER (archive footage, '7.30 Report', Feb. 9): There's clear evidence now that the climate is becoming more extreme. You know, those people who doubted that - we had temperatures of 48 degrees."


 Notable malice of opinion writer Hills News/Fairfax owned, 24 Feb 09 re alleged “silence ofgreenies” regarding the Victorian bushfires and “stance against controlled burning”. An outright defamation given the firestorm monstered up on state forest/plantation/farmland and hardly on national park. Answered in  his own flagship SMH for instance. Similarly here on SAM 30 hours after the tragedy and constantly thereafter. Pathetic politicking over a desperate tragedy really. And dishonest given the decades of destruction of wet forest types by the logging industry.

Ironic that rival Hills Shire Times runs front pager of Cumberland State Forest (run by the loggers as a demonstration forest in North Sydney) showing quite a lot of ground litter with father and son pic. 

*  8 weeks of flooding in North Queensland sending remote communities to despair. Covered by AM-WT-PM late last week. Otherwise not much of a look in rest of Australia.  

* Turnbull targeted for ancient logging record in Today’s Sunday Telegraph with double pager and separate front end news article. MT might care to consider that the greens do a good line redemption. That everyone is a lot greener now? That the transparent ALP attempt with their secret dosier to split the Green Party and Coalition in the Senate on the ETS/greenhouse model, is hypocrisy of the highest order: The ALP have Michael O’Conner of the logger union on their national executive and supported destruction of more rainforest and mature forest  for decades. Classic forest in Tasmania, East Gippsland. All of world heritage quality as well. Fact is these major parties are as ugly as eachother on forest destruction. Turnbull’s past sins pale in comparison, as wicked as they are. 

* As the big press lose their business model they are running a lot more flesh stories. And These are primarily female flesh, especially News Corp press, including Dame Murdoch’s The Australian. When she dies, now at 100, surely that paper will too?.  

* In the same vein over at Fairfax – has too many light, derivative stories posing as news, more suitable in a medical or other expert journal short piece. 

* What odds a shark feeding frenzy in the Harbour today, for simply tempting fate, with young bloke seriously attacked at Avalon breaking news.  



10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am


* Press round up re insurance issues in bushfires (SunHerald, family/defacto laws change

* Gillard as deputy PM is talent re swinging unemployment.


Wayne Swan joke piece on rhinoceros mispronunciation.


CPSU public servants union advert ran here as on Ch9 (?)


* Panel is Annabel Crabb/Fairfax [who should be doing Ramsey’s space, as political colour writer].

* JG won’t admit companies on danger list, must have one, dissembling with formula of words.

* JG can’t say what they will do about excessive executive pay. Lewis very pointed “what will you do”, JG refers to G20 process [very lame]. Agrees major public concern.

* boilerplate in support of Joel Fitzgibbon.


2nd adbreak out take – “toxic bore” comment by Abbott of PM Rudd, amusing cartoon Howard was too.


* Senator Fielding – swinging vote on what?

Alcohol advertising, tax on one particular product not effective. Keeps using the term “it’s crazy”. Good argument about industry wide focus.

* On Fair Work Bill - admits close to unionist Joe Debruin (conservative Shoppies union?). There it is again more subdued “it’s crazy”.


Fade out is blurred to avoid revealing friendly chats off screen, lip readers?


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



Riley Diary 7, from 8.30am


Focus on Chris Pyne versus Tony Abbott, mince versus macho, poodle versus Doberman.


Various references to Toxic Bore, versus Toxic Assets.


Q & A at end suggesting restrained approach is correct

Notes Chris Pyne is effective. Also shores up Turnbull’s home seat vote in the alternative (read gay) crowd. Notes Green Party 4 times tried to control executive pay rates and ALP and Coalition voted against.





9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am 

Scheduling avoids clash with Riley Diary.


* Adbreak has CPSU on job protection in the public union sector.

Followed by Radio Rentals no credit check adverts. Such irony given both relate to the global financial crisis.


* Hockey as Shadow Treasurer. Infighting angle gibe re Abbott v Pyne. Apology resolves it.

* Stimilus argument – distinguishes increased retail result with Britain where same increase over dec qtr 07 to dec q 08 without cash splash.

* Hopes it’s 100m than marathon, if latter we will be out of funds.

* No one has monopoly of wisdom regarding stimulus effectiveness, as per advert in Wall Street Journal advert of 100 economists to Obama – it won’t work argued.

* Defence minister issue [beat up, given endless budgetry largesse, squealing at cut backs in a recession.]. Oakes refers to General Fumble running Defence, minister being disobeyed. Generals lose their job? Hockey says minister should be working with senior staff o


Today Sunday copying the blonde woman and mild mannered home body model of Sunrise 7.





Insiders 2: 9- 10am


* Leads with Bonds job losses, reruns for all 2009. JG and Swan presser. No one’s job is safe comment by Minister Carr. Turnbull grab about govt fumbles.


Panel is Fran Kelly abc RN, Akerman News Corp.


* Sunday press -


FK - CPSU adverts lead Canberra Times Sunday press.


PA – insurance bushfire story, question of equity argued [turns on how unprecedented the megafire, how foreseeable]. BC intervenes re bonus for those who insured. Like self funded retirees.  Mal Farr colleague at News Corp – charity didn’t turn on insurance policy. PA agrees. PA refers to Teague royal commission.  [In other words it’s a subliminal  blame game angle over who took proper preparations just like  clearing and controlled burning.] Complete with ugly smile of Akerman.


Farr about Kim Carr and jobs.


* Talent is Lindsay Tanner  as Finance Minister. [Cassidy keeping his ALP Melbourne mate in seat of Melbourne in front of the audience? Too cynical! Maybe not as Cassidy refers to Australian Democrats in 2004 CEO pay rates bill, when Greens have the running for long time, suggests anti Green bias of BC.] Q re 25K per month at 5K per week will make Bonds look like a good week? One could almost hear the sharp intake of breath as the question answered itself.


-  CEO pay rates, don’t want governments mandating pay rates. Sounds weak. Not ruling out binding vote option of shareholders. [Sol Trujiho bails out $30M richer front page of The Australian this week looks shocking.]  BC picks up the thread on Telstra ex CEO without mentioning his pay rate.


- happy to pay pensioners. Refers to Harmer Report.


* Mike Bowers every person segment of some kind. Bowers needs the work post Fairfax.

* Pacific Brands/Bonds – no more incentives. Farr agrees. PA says lack of monitoring of govt grants. Got to be tied.


Farr notes in the USA 500K jobs per week are being lost. Phew.


PA raises huge immigration quota. ‘Not’ looked at yet [wrong JG tried to hose down, just not viable policy]. BC says targeting skill shortages. PA says what, podiatrists. FK – can’t stop completely.


FK re pay rates Pac Brands CEO not so high relatively, but Board rise at same time needs transparency.


* Defence minister issue: Grab – lively debate about Defence costs out of control and running their minister, Angus Huston as CDF accused of tricky nuancing. FK says bad luck about publicity. Akerman similar. Good value discussion here. FK offsets Akerman both in fair form too.


* Footage of sludgy PM Rudd confirming his “toxic bore” status. People like it still – 730K voters changed sides. PA amusingly refers to Stokholm Syndrome, [or perhaps ‘Copenhagen Syndrome’]


* Qld election – due to fall, 5 terms. Opening there for Springborg.  Pauline in the clear on money motive as a candidate “bum rap”.


* Talking pictures – Wong images as tough, Rowe brilliant again, etc etc


* Sky footage of Tom Switzer The Australian opinion editor.


*  FK predicts Ridout/AIG will provide cover for the govt to delay ETS via their Govt Bill.  Farr – missed it. PA lack of judgment shows by reference to SAS unhappy and what happened in Bangladesh. Said in a flippant way but as BC points out “a very nasty situation” – trust Akerman to exploit mass fatalities for a cheap political point. Nothing changes at News Corp.


* Another clumsy out take this week? No, smooth.


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


Inside Business – 2 at 10am


Recession porn continues regarding shares, equities etc. Overseas had 2 x 50% reductions in market, here only one 50%.


Expert says share markets 4 or 5 years to recover.


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




Posted by editor at 10:32 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 1 March 2009 10:43 AM EADT
Sunday, 22 February 2009
Sunday political talkies: Shadow play beyond light of a hellish megafire
Topic: big media


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

National day of mourning for bushfire victims.

10 Meet the Press: 8- 8-30 am

Wayne Swan as treasurer, Hartcher and Schubert on the panel. Boilerplate.

Brumby, as Vic Premier, at one point very contemplative. A Saul moment in his life.

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

Riley Diary 7, from 8.30am

Very amusing theme about shadows in the Liberal Party re Costello intentions.


9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am



Insiders 2: 9- 10am

Panel is K Middleton, Meglo and chubby Blair.

Feature interview is new shadow treasurer Joe Hockey. Go on a diet Joe.

Vox pop in WA re J Bishop stepping down.

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

Inside Business ? 2 at 10am

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

Posted by editor at 10:18 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 22 February 2009 10:27 AM EADT

Newer | Latest | Older