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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Saturday, 28 November 2009
Eco intervention at tax payer funded logger industry conference
Mood:  energetic
Topic: globalWarming



As indicated in recent posts on this micro news blog, a logger industry conference has been hosted by the federal government in the form of a QANGO called Forest Works in Canberra.

Here is their self referential back slap at taxpayer funded expense:

And notice this image from John Howard's time as Prime Minister in the newsletter of the Australian conservatives funding the redneck loggers and unionists in the native forest woodchip sector:

We can report that the industry conference received some special attention from ecological activists earlier this week. It started with ALP national executive member Michael OConnor, chief of the Forestry Union within CFMEU, choking on his morning coffee at a Manuka Bakery Cafe to see this writer's laptop with anti woodchip graphic.

(And note the C namely Construction Union in CFMEU announced disaffiliation from the ALP according PM Rudd in question time.) 

 The 'conversation' went something like this 7.15 am:

SAM editor - Ain't democracy grand? This is definitely a workers cafe.  Swiss neutrality in the bakery cafe, eh?

O'Connor - bleary eyed, blinking silence, then nervous uncomfortable laugh.

Picture: Michael O'Connor, ALP national executive member and logger unionist and apologist for forest woodchipping, leaving Manuka cafe in Canberra 24 Nov. 2009.

Later that morning we attended the Hyatt Hotel with Forest Climate Mobile Billboard display where the industry conference was based. The giant sign was funded and organised by ChipStop based in Bega of which this writer is a supporter since foundation, and South East Region Conservation Alliance.

At the Hyatt we met up with regional, Canberra and Sydney environmentalists, some peak groups, some grassroots. In particular Winiata Puru attended as custodian of the long running Aboriginal Tent Embassy in front of Old Parliament House. At the time we were in Parliament House watching question time so here is a picture of Winiata in 2006:

 Puru is a gifted singer and a veteran of the successful blockade saving habitat of three rare owl species (Sooty, Masked, Barking Owls) at Croobyar State Forest in November 1994 leveraging sensitive pre election politics. He is also a legend in Canberra with real clout in social networks.  

 It is with his permission we carried the Aboriginal Flag in Canberra at the rally and on our vehicle as here on busy Belconnen Way:


Some images are on recent posts on SAM and here is another by Lorraine Bower first above, and one following:

canberra forest futures conf 029 by lozzab2003.

Local WIN TV attended and ran a story on the nightly news.

Later that night we returned to Parliament House to display the mobile billboard and forest-to-woodchip-to-energy smoke stack display given this egregious proposal back for the NSW South Coast forests. This was also the location of the formal conference dinner in the main hall of Parliament. Noel Plumb all suited up of Sydney affinity group ChipBusters, feisty Michelle Slater of the Dandenongs, Mal Fisher of Sydney office of The Wilderness Society in charcoal suit and lithe activist Frederica in glamour frock infiltrated the $300 a head dinner.

Plumb then regaled the dinner attended by 30 federal MPs for fully 12 minutes at first with the microphone on the main platform and then with his own lungs when this was turned off, House rules!

Here he is being escorted off the New House forecourt in high spirits:


And the climate criminals at the dinner? A list might start like this (?) off the dinner brochure circulated, balanced by another unauthorised brochure:


The following brochure front and back was circulated to every table at the dinner. Way to go Michelle!


Posted by editor at 9:57 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 30 November 2009 8:00 AM EADT
Samples of south coast NSW press on mobile forest climate billboard
Mood:  sharp
Topic: globalWarming


Posted by editor at 8:25 AM EADT
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Forest climate billboard in Canberra attracts official concern
Mood:  chatty
Topic: globalWarming

We are all legal and exercising representative democratic duties with our billboard banner 23 - 26 November 2009. The objectives include national logger conference at historic Hyatt Hotel and funded by federal government, and federal parliament sitting on climate change legislation. 

It was a thrill swinging through the Hyatt with the feeling our grandfather Eric McLoughlin would have hung out here with PM Bob Menzies. What would the war correspondent journo think of his grandson writing this today?

By our reckoning we have had 7 professional chats with official authorities over the past week:

1. Uniform highway patrol at Cobargo - is that your car? Nope, borrowed. License, solicitor's card, and away.

2. Uniform Australian Federal Policeman on bicycle, federal Parliament precinct, caution and direction off the Hill because no permission to protest with vehicle.

3. Uniform ACT car patrol while propped on Commonwealth Ave, caution and potential parking fine under consideration.

4. Plain clothes AFP officer Hyatt Hotel, logger industry conference, together with hotel security general liaison.

5. Tactical Response Group officer in overalls caution not to enter Hyatt or approach guests with placards or brochures.

6. Day Chief AFP security Parliamentary Security by phone, night chief AFP security in person direction to park in Federal Drive (new and old House)

7. ACT parking ranger in Civic next to Garema Place as stationwagons cannot use loading zones in the ACT (unlike NSW).

Some images follow:









Posted by editor at 2:39 PM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 28 November 2009 8:08 AM EADT
Forest climate billboard travels south coast to Canberra for Parliament
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: globalWarming

Our banner billboard education tour has travelled from Bega to Canberra via Narooma and Batemans Bay (as per the press photo below published yesterday by Narooma News) in time for the federal govt sponsored logging and woodchip industry conference on 24 and 25 Nov 2009.

Feedback has been polite, deferential, approving and in one only case nasty.



Here are some pics from various towns raising awareness:


Picture: Merimbula beachfront


Picture: Main street of Pambula



Picture: Bega annual Rotary Family Fun Day, with highly popular giant slide in the background.


Moruya outside federal MP Mike Kelly's office:

Only after 4 days on the south coast at generally sympathetic tourism and service economy of Merimbula we heard some venom with a couple in a drive by verbal insult "You can stick that sign up your arse" and "You bloody idiot." Tsk Tsk.

Received from behind sun glasses and a benevolent silence as if to say have a nice day.

Posted by editor at 2:22 PM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 28 November 2009 8:41 AM EADT
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Canberra leg of giant forest climate billboard on big day for Parliament
Mood:  special
Topic: aust govt

Restful sleep - in the back of the stationwagon in the quiet Canberra burbs. This flyer has been drafted by the wonderful Harriet Swift convenor of Chipstop.

Taking breakfast in Manuka cafe bakery when ALP national executive committee member strolls in for his coffee at 7.20 am. Ain't democracy grand. Swiss neutrality in the bakery as he spies on my laptop images. Tsk tsk.

Hope he doesn't graffiti the billboard outside in front of the church.

Posted by editor at 7:34 AM EADT
Monday, 23 November 2009
Bega Fest #5: Peter Andren's sister endorses forest climate billboard
Mood:  happy
Topic: globalWarming


We were honoured to meet Patricia Andren who lives in a retirement home on the South Coast. She is sister to Peter who was independent federal member of parliament for the central west of NSW seat of Calare.  Peter tragically died of cancer and was widely respected and maintained a huge majority in the seat.

She has met local Liberal MP in the state parliament Andrew Constance at her residence and has written to every other state MP about protecting the wild forest landscapes of the south coast.

Go Patricia!


Over this last 3 days this writer has enjoyed positive chats with:

- farmer from Bemboka

- retired tree feller

- ex forestry dozer driver, ex mining industry indigenous family man

- self funded retiree

- local science teacher

- assorted local environmentalists

- festival organiser

- tourism hostel manager

- local journalist

- other stall holders

Day 3 was approaching fast with some minor excitement good and bad.

Posted by editor at 8:17 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 23 November 2009 8:52 AM EADT
Bega Fest #4: Day 2 sees great community participation
Mood:  amorous
Topic: local news

Images of festival here which doesn't do justice to the busy schedule of events in various locations including church hall, community college, outside stalls, council chambers, local library.

Here is the "High Noon" debate notable for its big attendance, ABC presenter Tim Holt as moderator and excellent diagrams presented by local Dr Matthew Nott (medicine) and convenor of local Clean Energy for Everyone group. The critic of Global Warming also had a witty style about him and local property and business identity Rob High.



We managed to note in the Q & A session the potential role of global dimming (refer abc 4 Corners doco about 5 years ago) re aerosol particulates out of China and India massive industrialisation could be playing a role in dampening temperature rise without altering the underlying forcings from green house gases.









Posted by editor at 7:55 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 27 November 2009 2:34 PM EADT
Saturday, 21 November 2009
Bega Fest #3: Set up first day under the heat and dust
Mood:  crushed out
Topic: local news

Some images of first day of 3 day event on the NSW South Coast. Moderate to small turnout Friday 20 Nov 2009 as NSW more broadly suffered a heat wave. However the cooler weather late same evening suggested a great day to follow, which did in fact prove the case.

Some images of our experience follow: Including press catchup in the directors chair next to the billboard display, with a distinctly biblical environmental theme in the Big Media:









Posted by editor at 12:07 PM EADT
Updated: Friday, 27 November 2009 2:26 PM EADT
Bega Fest #2: Provocative climate forest billboard pitch
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: globalWarming

Picture: From left Cr Keith Hughes, Bega Valley Shire, his partner Harriet Swift convenor of local ChipStop group, John Kaye MP (Greens), Dr Bronte Somerset (Phd in Education) web builder for SERCA, Dr Prue Acton (OBE, hon doctor Arts) also of SERCA. SERCA is South East Region Conservation Alliance.

Hot afternoon had the good array of stalls in the Bega CBD Friday 20th November 2009 sweltering. A big wind change at 3pm had most of us winding down.

There was a moderate turn out of the public on this weekday start of a 3 day event for the inaugural Bega Festival with the theme of community in transition.

The local college band was hip and cool with quality jam, especially keyboard and lead guitar.

Public reception to the billboard message was good with only one silent head shake. Interesting given the hot weather and the diabolical issue of bushfire safety well understood in every rural region. SERCA funded the billboard, this writer and another colleague funded and built the mobile billboard.


Posted by editor at 7:41 AM EADT
Bega 'in transition' Festival #1: Price of solar panels have fallen 40% in 2 months
Mood:  special

Interesting to talk with industry veteran Dennis Pont on the BP Solar Panel stall yesterday regarding the point of fact above.

It seems the near parity of the Australian dollar greater buying power and the slashing of the Federal Govt subsidy to consumers have both acted to slash prices. Solar panels are now 40% cheaper. Incredible.

Perhaps this helps explain the decisiveness of NSW Premier Rees in agreeing to a gross feed in tariff effectively promoting power stations on peoples rooves. We can predict a new real estate boom in north facing roof space as in the German scenario.

Posted by editor at 7:04 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 21 November 2009 7:09 AM EADT

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