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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Local authority figure view on Premier Kristina Keneally in Heffron
Mood:  chatty
Topic: nsw govt


Well, we sent an email request for some comment "for publication" at 7.12 am this morning.

Lynda Newnam who for a long time was web master of Botany Bay & Catchment Alliance umbrella to 33 community groups, and appears to be the author of this post screenprint above, writes back quite soon after.

As a fierce critic of the Port Botany expansion we expected a rocket from Lynda (compared with say this on New Matilda recently) but we have to say it's pretty mild or complimentary actually. Here it is as something of a balance to some previous posts here on the new Premier:

Lynda writes as follows:

Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 9:34 AM
Subject: Re: Lynda, your view of Keneally for publication?

Hi Tom,

I have been telling people that Kristina would be the next Premier since May 1. I saw her at the handover of the Prince Henry Community Centre and it struck me then that she had the confidence, commitment, energy and desire to take the job on. 
Kristina has accumulated a wide variety of experience representing a diverse electorate.  She came into Heffron in the early stages of the Port Expansion and when Orica hit the headlines with the groundwater contamination and other issues like the HCB stockpile.  She also has constituents within the City of Sydney boundaries and those affected by the proposed ED ramps at Eastlakes.  There are large pockets of social disadvantage in her electorate.   Botany and Banksmeadow were incorporated into the Maroubra electorate at the 2007 election so she no longer has consituents facing those issues but she does carry the experience unlike someone like Barry O'Farrell who has represented a relatively privileged residential electorate. 

When Iemma was dumped her husband Ben was quick to follow.  Ben had pulled the State Plan together.  Cricial as I might be with the details it is a document that guides debate on issues at a State level.  We have too little debate on the big issues and the pity is that the State Plan and Metrostrategy aren't taken more seriously.  Ben Keneally's gone onto a job with Better Place the Electric Car promoters.  Looks like a sensible move.  Can't understand why couples like Albanese and Tebbutt think they are a good look, and the Coutts-Trotter's appointment to head Education (when he hadn't been a teacher and had a criminal record) made Plibersek look very poor.   I think it shows they spend too much time with uncritical friends rather than out and about in their electorates facing people who disagree with them. 

There is a strong cultural difference.   That 'can do' American approach.  Not suggesting there aren't negatives with this approach but I think the look will ultimately work in her favour. She isn't afraid to talk to people who oppose her.  I got the impression when she headed Planning that she paid attention to advice from her senior staff and supported their policies through to Cabinet.    The problem with Planning is there is insufficient debate in the broader community.  Lots of talk about Sydney needing to accommodate millions more but no consensus on whether this should happen, or if it should how it needs to be done.   I saw Kristina earlier in the year at a meeting where the Victoria Park development was being discussed.  She came with handouts for the audience and various people to field questions.  
The handout started with details on what level of population needed to be accommodated in the future along with demographics such as proportion of over 65s. The meeting lasted over 2 hours and she was prepared to answer any questions.  I don't agree with the policies but I did think she handled herself well and showed respect for the audience.

She gets ruffled by a few of the key Liberals but I don't like the sexist comments they come out with and I think a lot of other people feel the same.  It's silly lazy stuff, a poor substitute for doing research and hitting out on the facts.  Pearce has been chief Liberal interrogater for a while now and I think he does a good job generally and he did show up flaws in her modus operandi.  I suspect she will have learnt from that experience.  She does appear to be a learner and I think her domestic situation would support this.  Intelligent husband working in a 'green industry' with two young children and community connections which she works on (eg. church on Sunday).........not unlike the Prime Minister.  Looks infinitely better than Rees.  I could never work out what Rees stood for.  He waded into the Super 8 contract like an enthusiastic schoolboy.  Then silly stuff like the picnic on the bridge, wedding in New York, while at the same time signing off on the metro.   

I was in Queensland when I heard the news that Tripodi had been dropped and I couldn't believe it.  Whatever you think about Tripodi he was one Minister who had some clues on how to get the Port working.  The government, of its own making, has lots of 'challenges'.  Problems with the stevedores, the carriers, security, congestion, rail, intermodal operation.  This is the stuff that makes our economy go around so they really couldn't afford to take the eye off the ball on something so big.  I suspect the move to get rid of Rees came from many directions particularly 'business leaders' and motivated by a concern that NSW could be turned into a basket case as happened in Victoria pre Kennett. 

I see Kristina's appointment as a positive move and thought Rees was a mistake from the start. This is a government with ministers who are floundering but the same can be said about a lot of the senior people in the public service.   There should be more pressure on the Liberals to articulate policy so that we can debate an alternative direction for NSW.  At present it is a free ride for O'Farrell and that's not good for any of us.

cheers, Lynda

Posted by editor at 10:10 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 8 December 2009 11:59 AM EADT
Prof James Hansen of NASA Goddard Institute talks to ABC Lateline
Mood:  special
Topic: globalWarming


This interview last night was beautifully expressed and profoundly scary as the choir assembles in Copenhagen. Hansen says global cap and trade is a BIG mistake. Hansen makes our own esteemed Tim Flannery look like a dilettante (dabbler).

The interview, still to be posted on the ABC Australia website will appear here in due course http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/ for 7 December 2009

Note especially the references to methane tipping points from frozen tundra and ocean continental shelf. Grim.

Posted by editor at 9:22 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 8 December 2009 12:03 PM EADT
Kristine Keneally, ideological lurv child of spiv Paul Keating!?
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: nsw govt

Here is a bit of ABC news below with thinly disguised ALP spin in the headline if not content which ran yesterday 7 Dec 2009: ABC have a mere 3 comments on this story before they closed it down from comments. But this quote has us most intrigued because Keating has been deafeningly silent on the Rees sacking:

But Kristina Keneally has affinity to the New South Wales right other than through her husband and his friends.

Outside church I ask her who is her political hero. She replies: “Paul Keating”. And she waves away the criticism of being a captive of the Right with the mantra: “I am my own woman, I stand on my own two feet.”




Kristina Keneally: consultative healer” (as if) by Matt Wordsworth, a true westie journo, state political reporter there.

We took a swing past Paul Keating's official website last night. Most of the links don't work as per the graphic above. Perhaps Paul (and Richo?) have been too busy with other things?

As we noted on a crikey.com.au story comment string, Keating has form in the big developer stakes: We were involved alot as Bondi Beach ward councillor in the issues of Westfield regional sized predatory shopping complex located in a sub regional location. We voted against it in council because it was destined to create retail carnage for neighbouring strip shopping etc. This was 1997.

Keating was discovered some years later to have been a covert consultant to Frank Lowy big cheese at Westfield no doubt to navigate both ALP controlled Waverley Council and Craig Knowles as then ALP planning minister on the Westfield gig.

We strongly suspect Keating with his overdevelopment history will be involved in the Keneally ascension, not least due to his deafening silence right now.

Posted by editor at 9:12 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 8 December 2009 9:28 AM EADT
Other micro news community media websites go into a lull?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: independent media

We've been worried for a while about the indy media websites network. Our little SAM micro news is a complement. But a while back Melb stop taking news posts. We started SAM when Sydney went down for many weeks prior to the 2007 state election.


Now we read Sydney is down again. Meanwhile the ABC has boosted it's web presence with "The Drum" which itself responds to "The Punch" out of News Corp which really are both rips of Crikey.com.au, and the more centre lefty version New Matilda.

Our old employer Alternative Media Group/City Hub/Bondi View/City News is still in there pitching (with a good new website by the looks) as well as Green Left Weekly with their ideological oomph.

However the links at the left column for Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Arafura, Darwin official indymedia are all down now. That's pretty sad but maybe standard evolution of fringe to mainstream succession. Perth however, befitting their resource power house economy are still going strong. Thank heaven for that.

Posted by editor at 8:41 AM EADT
Big media in denial over whopping 33% primary vote for Greens in Higgins?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: aust govt

The 7.30 Report politics package last night was dense with content including Peter Garrett stating ex Lib leader Mal Turnbull in his blog has belled the cat or tolled the bell or something (re climate policy ructions).


However the big Green Party by election vote surge especially in Higgins probably exposes the fused Lib-Lab position on climate change more than anything. As Bernard Keane on Crikey.com.au notes yesterday  -10 years ago the Green vote would have been 5% even in a one major party contest. Either the Australian Democrats or a worthy independent would have taken the running, and the public funding - at a profit.

ABC psephologist Antony Green says in effect Green Party rhetoric is stupid, and hyperbolic, because the ALP vote simply transfered to the Greens in the by-elections, nothing to see here, all move on. We say Annoying Ant misses the point entirely - the faithful transfer of the ALP and no doubt other voters to the Green Party in tens of thousands is the big deal. It confirms The Greens as the real third party force and increasingly competitive to win a lower house seat. It also suggests they are a viable main Opposition in the future.

Meanwhile the big media obsess on ex Lib leader Mal Turnbull's blog, and that he will cross the floor in the lower house where his vote is entirely irrelevant on the strict numbers there. True there is big symbolism in Turnbull voting against his own party which might influence senators where the numbers do matter in Feb 2010 parliamentary return.

But the subtle inconsistency of the Big Media is clear: The symbolism of a huge primary vote for 'minor party' The Greens is 'hyperbole'. But the symbolism of Turnbull doing a blog is hard news? Fact is the ABC like the big media generally are rusted on to the two party system to the great disservice of democracy in Australia.

Posted by editor at 7:44 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 8 December 2009 8:50 AM EADT
Sunday, 6 December 2009
Sunday tv political talkies: Leadership spills, by elections and big media thrills in prelude to holiday season
Mood:  chatty
Topic: aust govt


Picture: Image lifted off dynamic presentation on Sydney Morning Herald from NASA Goddard Institute showing warming pattern in 2008. This is the last frame of a 100 year progression.

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. Perhaps the greatest utility is the headline synthesis above of the 3 or 4 shows followed in this session.


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.


Other sources of pollie talkies on Sunday include SkyNews paytv Sunday Agenda, Radio National Monica Attard Sunday Profile show. And of course Sunday night shows SBS Dateline, Sixty Minutes and now Sunday Tonight on 7.  


Media backgrounders.  

Picture: No it doesn't relate to last week's news, but we just have to use this image of aging Rupert in killer mode. It took us ages to get the frame.

10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am 

In recess – didn’t run.


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

Riley Diary 7, from 8.40am 

Viewed via their website at http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/sunrise/video/weekend/index.html?autoplay_id=17002787#embedded-video-top

Wrap of leader Lib spills - Turnbull like Ceasar knifed, Tony Abbott winner action man, Sopranos image, Bishop as cockroach survivor as deputy leader. Lots of fake laughing spoof, Abbott has cut through, too much re last election stuff ups re Bernie Bantam, swearing on platform with Roxon, nakedness of Abbott the swimmer [pathetic big media obsession].

Q&A with Riley on byelections credit to Abbott no loss or swing against.

GFC aside, climate legislation big reform failed, carbon tax better.


9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.44 am 

Abbott is the talent missed virtually all of it – damn. It's here on the Liberal Party website as a transcript and given Abbott's "definition" it's easy to imagine the speaker next to the words, at:



From the brief bits of footage we saw of Oakes/Abbott via Insiders on 2 we would say LO was in deferential and subdued 'give him as much rope as he wants' mode. As if to lay down the underfelt for the topside carpet later on, whatever ever the pattern turns out to be. Not to say Oakes doesn't have the inner mongrel only that he wanted to park it today.

The text indicates that Abbott is indeed a modern media politician in terms of cut through capacity for meaningful brevity. That's not policy efficacy or wisdom but it can appear so like W Bush ever so certain and wrong on so many things.

[We can add another insight - we detected about 2 months ago a subdued and reflective Tony Abbott. A personality finesse if you like. Less aggressive, more humbled. It was, we thought at the time, as if someone had given him a priceless gift but he couldn't talk about it yet. But he was grateful, so grateful he didn't feel the need to brawl over more trivial matters. It was in this new phase he openly stated "no one is perfect" like some form of personal absolution.  So here's a theory. John Howard told him he would have his support to replace Turnbull and Howard has been working that up for months with such as Minchin, including via 4 Corners?]




Insiders 2: 9- 10am


Package on leadership ructions and result with sound track of Priscilla. Now inhouse Crabb on panel with big hair straightend. Dennis Atkin News Corp/Courier (Bris), and …


Wrap up of 2 Lib byelections – presentation of Abbott ‘success’. Cassidy talks up Bradfield result and deliberately (?) ignores whopping 35% primary in Higgins. Is that anti Green bias?


Talent is Joyce, looking fat, and strident as ever pontificating on byelections says blue collars in Asquith booth of Bradfield. Abbott quoted as public servant. Joyce introed as front bench loyalist of Abbott. Runs lines about Rudd jetsetter, overseas, vanity on global postures. Typical deep selfishness and cruelty of Nats. Joyful about demise of ETS law, Gillard gesture law again. Very fast talking and articulate. Looks more rested, less redneck physically. Says price rises on fundamentals. Joyce says interested in lower house seat.


Joyce waxes lyrical on climate law on ETS only one major disagreement with Turnbull as leader which is the ETS otherwise a good leader. Claims $3.7 billion hole in figures of govt. Says huge debt can’t afford it.


Vox pop on Abbott choice, santa theme.


Brian Toohey soliloquy damning AFR view of govt climate bill “bad joke” from otherwise moderate. Ouch. Ouch. Rudd will hate that analysis impact. Greg Hunt mentioned in dispatches, getting a run now. Move onto nuke power aspects of Abbott Coalition prospective policy.


On IR Abbott grab re Abbott undoing Keating Hawke reforms back to 1970ies. Rudd scares on cutting holiday pay etc.


Paul Kelly notes Abbott being himself. Will target the workers and Howard battlers. Highly conventional approach. Abbott will get real close to people. Content polarizing, personality is endearing. Rudd is narrow remote technician control freak. Abbott will try and fill in the gaps people don’t know Kevin Rudd.


Oh dear pregnancy precedes you Annabel Crabb, seemingly hormonal reactions to conflicted interest in bad boy Tony from the female half of the population.


Talking pics Abbott ascension ‘gift to the media’. Sad Turnbull, really very sad. Matt Price award, Tony Abbott people skills in 2007, Nelson in 2008 queues at petrol station, tie with every baby is valuable footage emoting. In 2009 Fielding re Tamiflu swine flu fool, Rudd psycho chook says Joyce, etc etc.


Out take has Toohey $7B plus giveaways was the worst decision Rudd made all year – brown and other coal power generators just have to keep operating, nothing more.




Inside Business with Alan Kohler  .

Talking point – the lucky country for real. Eco jeweler – bravo.

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


Posted by editor at 11:21 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 8 December 2009 9:54 AM EADT
Saturday, 5 December 2009
Did SAM micro news lock in the wall to wall puppet theme in big press?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: independent media

Sometimes we wonder if we are behind, in the middle or in front of the Big Media. Thursday night was one of those 'in the middle' experiences.

We had spent the day at Macquarie St picking up the vibe and watching question time. We listened intently to ABC radio news bulletins on the rail in, and back to the Hawkesbury.

As the 6.30 pm spill was scheduled to proceed we reached back into our Non Govt experience to note KKK - Premier Kristine Kerscher Keneally - was hopelessly compromised on the Port Botany expansion Commission of Inquiry of 2004-2005. In her own portside electorate of Heffron no less. We quoted chapter and verse of now retired Planning Commissioner Kevin Cleland.

Here is the story headline, and date stamp:


Arguably the importance of the SAM story was due to editors and journalists considering in real time Thursday night how to follow up the scorching speech of deposed Premier Nathan Rees for their Friday 4th December editions. If they had an RSS feed or whatever they would have the evidence via SAM of the finance and policy link Tripodi to Keneally at Port Botany Commission of Inquiry finding.

Only now do we realise that the article we grabbed from our photo file was via the Wall Street Journal/Domestic News Corp adding to the credibility, complete with the reference to Tripodi and Sartor in our handwriting back in January 2009.

Our recent posts on political stories from Canberra question time on location might have added to the cred too.

Then notice this headline with the same "meet" headline angle in the SMH following day 5th December 2009:

Get it? SAM writes 'KKK meet C'er Cleland'. Then SMH writes 'meet .....'

Perhaps it's our imagination. In any case the puppet theme is well entrenched mainly from deposed premier Rees speech the day before. As Richard Glover the arvo of 4 Dec 09 called it "burning the barns ad salting the fields" colourful metaphor.

But the rock solid evidence of motive putting Tripodi as Ports Minister and financing KKK in 2003 together with developer vested interest over expansion of Port Botany in her own electorate, makes clear they are politically linked for all time. KKK no doubt like everyone remembers who got them a start in their career [witness First Dog on Crikey 4th Dec to his departed editor Jonathan Green yesterday in a beautiful cartoon]. And fact is the strings are there whether she feels the pull or not. As GK Chesterton refers to Catholicsim - a string that lets you wander to the end of the earth and return to your master's side with one tug.

The front pages in Big Media got it right and so did the ex Premier.



This image that ran on 7.30 Report last Thursday night showed Tripodi was subdued - as he was in question time 2-3pm from our own eye witness in the public gallery.

But not Eddie Obeid who was in high spirits as shown above far right.

Interesting because after the Iemma dispatch in 2008 from the premiership Tripodi appeared to be bubbling over (see below via footage shown last night by 7.30 also):


Not to forget the golden rule of ALP and other aparatchiks - an effective machine moves "silently". Eric Roozendaal said that. It's wrong but they believe it. A good machine should work quietly but detectable to monitor it's workings, and never silently because that gives no clue as to its efficacy. It's called transparency in civil society.

However on the body language that we saw via Big Media yesterday, and viewed ourselves in parliamentary question time, we would say Tripodi is really sad, aggrieved even, and Obeid who is in high spirits has primarily run this destruction of Rees? So who is behind Obeid? Stewart and behind him Keating? One does wonder. We rule out Carr because he was in group pic endorsing Rees only weeks ago. That leaves deafening silence of Keating.

Posted by editor at 7:20 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 6 December 2009 10:26 AM EADT
Friday, 4 December 2009
Red's last pitch in praise of Redgum Forests
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: nsw govt



There we were sitting in the public gallery of NSW Parliament yesterday in our orange casual shirt. The Sergeant of Arms was chummy and several times said "You've got the best seats in the House." Five reserve seats were never filled for most of this last Question Time for Premier Nathan Rees, the red head MP for Toongabbie.

Earlier as we entered the building environmentalists like Mal Fisher and friends from The Wilderness Society were wearing their Redgum korflute sandwich boards front and back.

Still as Premier, Mr Rees mentioned various things on the land use front. Green MP Ian Cohen responded yesterday:

Sent: Thursday, December 03, 2009 6:10 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Rees for red gums – goal scored

Ian Cohen MLC
The Greens
Legislative Council
Parliament House

Rees for red gums – goal scored

Today the Premier made a commitment to conservation in NSW, announcing
that the Millewa Riverina Red Gum Forest will added to the National Park
estate. The Barmah-Millewa is Australia’s largest River Red Gum forest
and the biggest ecosystem of its type in the world. The Barmah portion
of the forest, on the Victorian side of the river, was made a national
park last year.


“I congratulate Premier Nathan Rees in announcing that
he will create a new National Park and protecting for posterity 660 km²
of iconic River Red Gum forest and Ramsar-listed wetland,” says Ian
Cohen, Greens MLC.  “Many people have worked hard for many years to
convince the Government that the protection of these forests needs
urgent attention. Premier Rees has listened to the experts – the
Natural Resources Commission, the recent group of 57 scientists and many
other scientists – who have confirmed that the Red River Gum forests
of south-western NSW are heavily stressed.


“I hope the release of the
report from the Natural Resources Commission on 21 December will provoke
the Premier to preserve the remainder of the High Conservation Value
River Red Gum forests.


“The exit assistance package of $48 million
should be used for setting up sustainable industries and job creation
and is not just a one-off hand-out. The rainforest decisions of the Wran
Government in the 1980s and those of the Old Growth forests of the1990s
show how a well-targeted assistance package can lead to sustainable and
adaptive long-term employment.  


“The traditional owners, the Yorta
Yorta people, are calling for a handback/leaseback arrangement for the
Millewa country. I hope any future plans for the area take this into
consideration. “Saving this eco-system, the ‘green lungs’ of the
Murray, is a great contribution to the Labor Government’s
environmental credentials.  Nathan Rees joins his predecessors in
expanding the national parks system – and for that I commend him.”

We assume still as Premier Rees was referring to cabinet decisions yesterday morning not attended by Keneally or Right colleague Michael Daly MP. We saw this via labrinthyne email networks:

Premier acts to protect River Red Gums

Date: Thu, 3 Dec 2009 14:37:21 +1100
From: Lauren Solomon


Dear All
Please find attached speech and media release from the Premier today on the Government’s commitment to the protection of the River Red Gums.
We would welcome any comments your organisation may have on today’s announcement.
Feel free to give me a call if you need more info.
Kind Regards,
Lauren Solomon
Office of the NSW Premier
Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place SYDNEY 2000

 Is the Redgum decision locked in?

This may well be the Cabinet decision early yesterday as grand Rees legacy.
But Andrew Stoner MP as leader of the Nationals impromptu response to SAM's question outside the chamber was that:
'it would have to pass with legislation through the Assembly and Upper house Council. It might get through there [Assembly), but not the Upper House'
In Question time Rees in particular also said they ruled out shooting in national parks - again a Cabinet decision?
In Rees's strong performance in Q time yesterday, last time as Premier, he sledged the Opposition on social services and education and especially the National Party over protection of natural heritage. He sounded proud of 'doubling conservation areas in the last 15 years of the ALP Government' for instance. He did have us smiling too.
At one point he said if elected the Nationals would 'mine, log and burn the national parks'.
Is this a reference to a past or future biomass power generator proposal on the NSW tourism south coast? Or simply the Nat's interest in excessive ideological hazard reduction burning irrelevant to bush/town interface areas of critical risk?
Certainly it was election bait. Rees also was adamant in his speechifying there would be no shooters in national parks as if another Cabinet decision was locked in. 
He said 'the ALP had gone too far compromising it's environmental beliefs to deal with the situation in the Upper House' meaning Shooters Party MPs there, no doubt responding to this kind of coverage:


Rees didn't speak at great length so the words he did choose were deliberate. SAM here kept eyes on Joe Tripodi by leaning forward to see the back bench place nearly as distant from Premier Rees as possible. Tripodi hardly spoke to anyone or anyone to him while seated, or leaving, compared with Sartor who chatted with female colleague. (Sartor apparently missed the Premier job by 3 votes after losing 25 to 22 in the Centre Unity faction meeting.)
Keneally looked physically small but obvious in blue power suit. Personally, blonde and blue jars here. Suggests depression to us.
This morning Keneally has said on radio she wants Rees on her front bench - that is in the Cabinet again. Our bet he will take that offer, in fact we would take bets on it.
The trouble with these cabinet decisions sticking on redgums, no shooting in parks, is that Keneally and her Right colleague Michael Daly did not attend the Cabinet meeting yesterday morning according to media reports.

Already The Greens are reacting to Keneally based on her record with developer donations:

Sent: Thursday, December 03, 2009 7:45 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Kenneally's donations and planning decisions makeher a poor choice

3 December 2009

Kenneally's donations and planning decisions make her a poor choice

Commenting on the Labor Caucus election of Kristina Kenneally to become
the NSW Premier Greens MP Lee Rhiannon said that her links with the
discredited planning system and acceptance of developer donations made
her a poor choice for the top job.

"No new Labor Premier can save the NSW government" Ms Rhiannon said.

"Ms Kenneally is damaged as a public figure before she even starts in
her new job because of her role as Planning Minister.

"The Greens Democracy4sale Project shows that in the six years Ms
Kenneally has been in the NSW parliament she has received more than
$170,000 in donations.

"The new Premier's first big test is if she will follow through on the
former Premier Rees' promise to ban developer donations. The debate on
the legislation to put this ban in place has been held up because of the
late night Labor Caucus meeting.

"During a recent Budget Estimate Hearing Ms Kenneally defended the
system that allows property developers to make donations to political
parties while their development applications are being assessed at the
state or local government level.

"Ms Kenneally's elevation to the Premier could well mean that Labor
will struggle in the political wilderness for an even longer period when
they are defeated in 2011.

"The new Premier has so much baggage associated with over development
it is hard to see that she will be able to achieve the bounce in the
polls Labor power brokers so desperately crave.

"At the recent Badgerys Creek Inquiry Ms Kenneally effectively said
that there is no problem with lobbyists meeting with Planning Department
staff. And she washed her hands of having any responsibility or any need
to know about these meetings.

"Clearly Labor MPs just don*t get it. The public doesn't care who is
premier, they just want to see Labor gone," Ms Rhiannon said.

Who doubts Keneally will backslide on environmental protection Cabinet decisions despite her smooth yankee rhetoric about trust? The history on vandalism of Botany Bay within her own Port side electorate of Heffron is not encouraging.

Posted by editor at 9:40 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 4 December 2009 10:12 AM EADT
Top science confirmation logging relation to increased bushfire impact
Mood:  hug me
Topic: wildfires


We have published on this previously on SAM micro news based on this ecology action web page referencing: Bushfire science back to 1995 publication with science referencing.


Now good scientific vindication from top scientists reported in The Canberra Times yesterday, in this way:

Logging could boost fire risk: study

03 Dec, 2009 10:22 AM
Large-scale logging could increase bushfire risk for Australia's moist mountain ash forests, creating bigger fuel loads and drier, more combustible conditions, new research says.

A world-first study led by Australian National University ecologist Professor David Lindenmayer has found gaps in the forest canopy allow the forest floor to dry out, increasing flammability by as much as 50 per cent in some cases.

The team looked at the impacts of industrial logging in moist forests across the world, including tropical rainforest, North America and Russia's wet conifer forests and mountain ash forests in southern Australia.

Professor Lindenmayer said the study had ''huge implications'' for future forest management and bushfire control in Australia.

''We can't ignore the risks, particulary in the face of climate change. These trends are occurring in moist forests right across the planet. There are no excuses, no reason to claim Australia's forests are somehow different. We've got to face up to reality and do some serious thinking,'' he said.

The study, published by the international journal Conservation Letters found logging altered forest fire regimes by changing the amount, type and moisture content of fuels. The paper's four authors include University of Maine conservation biologist Malcolm Hunter and Canadian Forest Service senior research scientist Philip Burton.

Professor Lindenmayer said the team wanted to investigate whether logging made forests more or less fire-prone. ''This is a question that gets debated after any big bushfire, and we usually hear all sorts of uninformed opinions from lobby groups. So we said, 'Right, let's do some serious science.' We looked at moist forests because fires usually occur at a relatively lower frequency than dry forests.''

The team found logging changed moist forest microclimates, drying out understorey vegetation and leaf litter. Roads built for logging access also increased the number of ignition points for fires, and the area of forest edge susceptible to drying.

The study said research published almost 15 years ago, found clear-felling of moist forests in southern Australia led to ''the development of dense stands of regrowth saplings that created more available fuel'' than if the forests were not clear-felled. Professor Lindenmayer, who has spent more than 30 years doing research in the mountain ash forests near Marysville, said decades of logging had ''created a legacy of ecosystem disturbance that will be felt for centuries''.

Posted by editor at 8:43 AM EADT
NSW ALP hypocrisy, Right, Left, Centre Unity

Della Bosca of all people after his affairs talking about "family and community" with Fran Kelly on abc RN this morning.

A ten minute interview by ex Deputy Premier John Watkins with James O'Loughlin on abc 702 sydney praising all the players and not mentioning once from his perch in Ryde the desperate need for a north west rail link.

Paul Pearce MP of marginal Coogee praising ex Premier Rees for seeking to confront the developer lobby - a long time principle held by Pearce, who just happened to roll over on a desecration of Bondi Beach during the commercial Olympics in order lock in his State MP pre-selection in 1999.

Premier Nathan Rees in question time we witnessed argues for public funding of elections, indeed implying it was a Cabinet decision, an issue close to the heart of Quentin Dempster likely to run on NSW ABC Stateline this evening. At the cost of $50M a throw.

Yet Rees got the job in the first place mainly for delivering a $2B desalination plant surplus to requirements and deeply criticised.

New Premier Keneally says in big media this morning she 'wants to establish trust' with the community, having closed her eyes for the last 5 years to the wicked expansion of Port Botany impacting her own electorate of Heffron and potentially another 50 suburbs in the future. Indeed 'Merits' Keneally has ignored expert planning report of Commissioner Kevin Cleland for years on this project (as per our penultimate post here).

Deputy Premier Tebbutt was also challenged by the Opposition in question time whether she will remain in her position to support 'the puppet of malign forces Obeid, Tripodi and Sartor'? We have the answer last night with Tebbutt's clay features beside Keneally after the leadership vote.

Will Keneally implement publicly funded elections at $50M a throw breaking the death grip of patronage we all saw in Wollongong and know is spread through all of NSW? We do hope so but won't be holding our breath. Maybe we will hear on abc 702 morning show with Deb Cameron.

What of defacto premier Graham Wedderburn (the 'silent premier') sighted there in the Bear Pit flanks yesterday afternoon, shifting his weight from toe to toe like a prize fighter coralled by forces beyond his control. Does he understand the legal let alone political doctrine of frustration of contract now his man Rees has gone? In other words, what chance a senate seat after this mess causing Prime Minister Rudd and gopher Mark Arbib both a migraine?

And then we have Barry O'Farrell's Opposition. One has to sit in Parliament to see what a bunch of rough, rat cunning, tired, cynical old boys the great majority of the Opposition present as. No wonder Robert Oakshott MP took a ticket to the federal parliament to get away from this bunch of cronies. And the ALP backbench looks just as bad generally speaking. Representative? Ethical? Not on your life.

Posted by editor at 8:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 4 December 2009 8:52 AM EADT

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