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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Thursday, 10 December 2009
True fictions - Tony Abbott's 'new' shadow cabinet
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: aust govt

There's a harsh view across the land that Tony Abbott is not a Liberal Party leader but defacto Conservative Party man. We spied this in downtown Windsor yesterday and with a bit of magic paint altered "Bob and Dot" to ......



Posted by editor at 10:50 AM EADT
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Premier Keneally back when she was a sensitive local MP portside in 2004
Mood:  not sure
Topic: nsw govt

Depressingly we read a policy wonk in her team state - might have been via 'journo' (hyperbole merchant) Carty in Sun Herald - 'there will be no green gums, blue gums or whatever colour' under the Keneally regime. Whether that means post last Cabinet of Rees to protect redgum forests we don't know

On the other hand view this below just in, indicates Keneally understands human impacts of bad environmental policy - industrial pollution.
Glad I sent that bushfire science brief (refer SAM button on wildfires) to cabinet and upper house putting people and property at risk logging wet forest types. However I will send it to lower house this morning now too.
KKK has announced a caucus briefing.
What we don't have is a briefing about Ben Keneally, husband and policy wonk. Perhaps Lynda at BBACA can help us with that?
Lynda based in Laperouse notes this speech of yesteryear, which provides a contrast to the high level power politics in play this last few weeks:
Cheers Tom
Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:26 PM
Subject: KKK

Hi Tom and xxxx,

Came across this.  Thought you might be interested:

Cheers, Lynda

Orica Ltd Toxic Waste Destruction Proposal

Page: 11083

    Ms KRISTINA KENEALLY (Heffron) [5.27 p.m.]: I welcome the news that the proposed destruction of 60,000 barrels of hexachlorobenzene [HCB] waste will not take place at Botany or, indeed, in an urban area. Last week the Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources announced that Orica Ltd had withdrawn its application to construct, operate and eventually decommission an HCB waste destruction facility at Botany, and that the Government has accepted a report that recommends the waste be moved out of Botany and destroyed in an alternative, remote location. This great news is the result of hard work and dedication by local community members who have fought for many years to have our concerns addressed. In June I led a delegation of community representatives to meet with the Minister for Planning to express concerns about Orica's proposal to destroy HCB waste in Botany.

    The delegation I led consisted of people from the Botany, Pagewood and Hillsdale areas who are members of the community participation and review committee [CPRC], a group that was set up to oversight Orica's proposal to destroy the waste. The CPRC has been meeting for approximately seven years. I am a member of the committee. Orica proposed to use a process known as GeoMelt to destroy this highly toxic waste. When we met with the Minister we told him that we believed the previous environmental impact statement and commission of inquiry into the GeoMelt proposal failed to consider adequately several issues, including transporting the waste to another site for destruction and liability for the local community. As a result, Minister Knowles convened an independent panel of technical experts to review Orica's proposal. This is a welcome move, and shows that the Government listens to local residents' views.

    The panel consisted of three scientists with a broad range of skills and expertise, including, crucially, consulting with the local community over planning and environmental issues. Throughout the duration of the work the panel consulted with the CPRC through regular meetings. The CPRC was able to give feedback and raise issues important to the community every step of the way. I am incredibly pleased that the panel report has recommended that the waste be destroyed at an alternative, remote location, that the long-term storage of the waste be addressed and that Orica lodge an environmental damage bond. This is a major win for our local community. All these issues are what our community fought for. Many residents in the City of Botany Bay participated in community meetings and in the CPRC. To them goes the credit for this great outcome.

    I would like to acknowledge those community members here: Louis Carvalho, Olivera Erturk, Dina Lawes, Lynda and Garry Newman, Paul and Beverley Pickering, Julie White, Michelle Grossback, Lauren Thomas, Julie Spies, Carla Smolenski, Lil and Reg Jory, Veronica Fisher, John Tullis, Paul Brown, the chair of the CPRC, Councillor Brian Troy from the City of Botany Bay, George Collison, John Tourrier, Jane Castle, Charles and Carol Abela, Alice McCann, Julie Gennissen, Larry Collis, Craig Wunsch, and Giovanna Fuote and her sisters. Two of the long-turn residents of the CPRC are Botany resident Nancy Hillier and Maroubra resident Richard Smolenski, both of whom featured in an SBS documentary 60,000 Barrels on the HCB issue. Nancy and Richard in particular ensured that the community had many victories along the way that led to this announcement.

    The CPRC demanded community involvement. They made Orica front up to the public. The community demanded a 60-day exhibition period for the environmental impact statement, which, I am advised, has never been done before. It was granted. We, the community, fought for the right of appeal to the commission of inquiry, and Minister Knowles set up the independent panel. Richard Smolenski told me, "Once we started the fight people started coming out of the woodwork." Residents from Hillsdale, the Italian community in Mascot and other newly arrived immigrants joined in with long-time residents to join the campaign. I congratulate Nancy Hillier, Richard Smolenski, community members and the rest of the CPRC. I would like to give special mention to Mayor Ron Hoenig and the City of Botany Bay, who were consistently opposed to the GeoMelt proposal, and strong advocates for the community on this issue. In addition, they made Botany town hall available for CPRC meetings. I would like to conclude with a quote from Nancy Hillier:

    This is not the end of it. We won his battle, but we have to win the war. The waste has to be disposed of in an area that is not environmentally sensitive and that is not populated. The CPRC will ensure this waste is destroyed in a fit and proper manner.

    A coalition of the local community, State and local government brought about this positive result, and with the CPRC we will continue to work with the Government.

Posted by editor at 9:18 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 9 December 2009 9:20 AM EADT
4 items on 'planning' 'lands' and 'environment' ministry in NSW now
Mood:  rushed
Topic: nsw govt

So meet new 'planning minister' Tony Kelly who already doubles as the 'lands minister' and also meet 'new environment minister' Frank Sartor.

And notice the first item is a farewell from new Premier Keneally to her 'planning' portfolio. We haven't seen the Jacfin Pty Ltd scandal turn up in Green Party rhetoric (yet) but The Australian/Opposition pick up the threads here too.

None too encouraging for governance of NSW and notice bold added for some choice bits.

The new Premier can say they are all "merits" based but in a healthy democracy potential conflict of interests are shunned. As the good book says, you cannot serve two masters - in this situation either good policy, or ALP corporate fundraising opportunities.

The Greens likely most left wing MP in NSW is going so far as to support a hung parliament here on New Matilda. Lefty Labor are apparently meeting this weekend to regroup against the Right onslaught according to the SMH here:

"Several ALP branches, with the support of the secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Andrew Ferguson, have called a meeting of rank-and-file party members, on Saturday, to vent their anger at the dumping of Mr Rees."

in Keneally promotes Sartor and Kelly Date: December 8 2009

..................................#1 of 4

Keneally decision gives top Labor donor $3.5m windfall | The ...

Imre Salusinszky, NSW political reporter From: The Australian December 07, 2009 12:00AM

ONE of Kristina Keneally's last decisions as NSW planning minister has delivered a $3.5 million windfall to Jackie Waterhouse, the mystery woman who was the biggest donor to NSW Labor between 2005 and 2007.

On October 28, Mrs Keneally, who was sworn in as Premier on Friday, used special planning powers to approve a proposal by Ms Waterhouse's private company, Jacfin, to build a warehouse complex at Erskine Park, in outer-western Sydney.

The decision was made despite serious objections by Penrith council, including that the warehouse will encroach upon a biodiversity corridor running through the Erskine Business Park.

It also overrides objections by the Planning Assessment Commission, the special body set up under Mrs Keneally to remove politics from planning decisions by dealing with large development applications where political donations are involved.

Last year, The Australian revealed that Ms Waterhouse, who was related by marriage to bookmaker Robbie Waterhouse, donated $300,000 to NSW Labor coffers between 2005 and 2007, much more than the next-largest donor, developer Kingold, which kicked in $190,000.

In a determination on September 21, the PAC raised numerous objections to the Jacfin proposal, including that it would crimp part of the biodiversity corridor -- designed to preserve the integrity of native bushland -- from a recommended width of 90m to 70m.

The PAC report concluded that "the approval of the application should be deferred until the applicant has submitted amending plans".

However, in its response to the PAC report, submitted to the Department of Planning on October 14, Jacfin refused to give ground on the corridor.

This did not prevent Mrs Keneally issuing her determination a fortnight later.

A Department of Planning spokesman said yesterday the PAC's recommendation for a 90m average width for the biodiversity corridor "would make it very difficult for a viable development to occur on the site".

The PAC's requirement for a minimum width of 70m had been met, he said.

"The PAC's recommendations helped the department negotiate a better environmental outcome for the site than what was originally proposed, whilst securing important economic and employment outcomes for the site."

Ms Waterhouse, 61, has property holdings in outer-western Sydney that are estimated to be worth more than $500m.

Rarely sighted in public, she was married to John Waterhouse, the cousin of Robbie Waterhouse.

After divorcing Mr Waterhouse in the early 1990s, she had a brief and tempestuous marriage with bookmaker and financier Robert Blann.

Ms Waterhouse did not return calls yesterday.

Local property sources have told The Australian that Ms Waterhouse's land would have gained $3.5m in value as a result of Mrs Keneally's decision.

..................................#2 of 4

Sent: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 12:36 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] (Hale MLC) When will she ever learn?

Media Release

>From Sylvia Hale, Greens MP and Spokesperson for Planning

2 December 2009   - For immediate use

When will she ever learn?

Sylvia Hale MLC, Greens spokesperson for Planning, today condemned the
Minister for Planning’s promoting a development proposal at Marsden
Park that is currently being considered by her Department. The
Minister’s extolling the benefits of the development will raise
doubts about the impartiality of any decision the Department makes in
relation to the proposed rezoning.

“Minister Keneally has clearly learned nothing from the debacles of
the Catherine Hill Bay and Sweetwater developments,” said Ms Hale.
“The Land & Environment Court declared the Catherine Hill Bay
approval void because of perceptions that Minister Sartor’s decision
had been influenced by a ‘land bribe’.

“ Minister Keneally was then ignominiously forced to concede the
illegality of the Sweetwater approval on the same grounds.

“Yet only months after those decisions, we have the Minister
spruiking the alleged benefits of the Marsden Park Industrial Park
rezoning, and even going so far as to specify the number of extra jobs
that might be created and the value of road upgrades.

“It would be difficult for the Minister to be more blatant about her
support for the proposal.

“For her then to ask the public to comment on the draft plans is the
height of hypocrisy.

“Does she really expect anyone to believe that any notice will be
taken of public submissions?

“The public is well aware of how token the public submission process
is. The record shows that, despite thousands of public objections to
Part 3A developments, the Minister ends up approving almost all of

” The other ingredient common to the Marsden Park plans and Part 3A
approvals such as Catherine Hill Bay and Sweetwater, is the malevolent
influence of political donations.

“By the Minister’s own admission, the movers and shakers behind the
rezoning proposal are significant donors to the Labor, Liberal and
National parties. The Johnson Property Group has donated $494,000 to the
ALP, $136,00 to the Liberals, and $14,000 to the Nationals. Valad Funds
Management and the Winten Property Group have given $19,000 and $7,000
respectively to the ALP.

“So there we have planning NSW-style: a poisonous brew of developer
donations mixed with a perception that the Minister has made a decision
in advance of a token public submission process,” Ms Hale said.

 Contact: Colin Hesse on 02 9230 3030 or 0401 719 124

.............................................#3 of 4

Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 3:50 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] (Hale MLC) Keneally and Kelly - new names but noreal

Media release

>From Sylvia Hale MP, Greens Spokesperson for Planning

8 December 2009   - For immediate use

Keneally and Kelly - new names but no real change

Tony Kelly’s reincarnation as the new Minister for Planning means
that NSW can look forward to no real changes to NSW’s discredited
planning laws say the Greens.

“As a former General Manager of Wellington Council, Tony Kelly is
well aware of the intense opposition within local government and the
community to Part 3A of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act and
the transfer of decision-making powers from councils to unelected
regional planning panels dominated by Ministerial appointees,” said
Sylvia Hale MLC, Greens Spokesperson for Planning.

“Only by immediately amending the Act to delete Part 3A of the Act,
by dissolving regional planning panels and rewriting the housing codes,
will Mr Kelly show that he is genuinely committed to the change the
community so desperately wants.

“But his past performance as Minister for Lands suggests that it will
be business as usual, so far as Planning is concerned.

“On the basis of his record there is little reason to hope that he
will move away from planning policies and decisions that have favoured
major donors and large corporations at the expense of residents and the

“When Lands Minister, he consistently supported for de facto
privatisation of a large portion of the Killalea State Park.

“The bankruptcy of the Mariner Finance and Babcock and Brown, major
donors to the ALP and the prime movers behind the Killalea Coastal
Developments’ proposal, gave him the opportunity to accede to the
community’s wishes and bring the Agreement to Lease deal to an end.

“But he did not do so, despite the intense public opposition to the
project and the South Coast Labor Council’s Green Ban.

“Being now both Minister for Planning and Minister for Lands, Tony
Kelly faces an intolerable conflict of interest between his role as
overseer of Crown Lands and the Minister responsible for determining
development applications for use of those lands,” said Ms Hale.


............................#4 of 4

Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 7:20 AM
Subject: Meet the 'environment' minister Sartor .... Fw: planning

Again from Lynda who is a profound digger of info, think a Laperouse version of Harriet in Bega. I've already read this clip below from earlier in the year re Sartor postures as an indy 'honest' broker when dumped onto the backbench. But the Cleland CoI into Port Botany expansion proved he was just another [xxxx] in 2005- reversing the CoI findings following Cabinet diktat.
On the other hand Sartor is a brawler which might be of some use. On the other to that - Keneally is parking him just like Howard did Turnbull as Fed Env Minister. It's a leadership rival thing and expedient.
"Reform coastal management" in the article below is ironic not least given Justice David Lloyd finding of land bribes on Sartor's watch in coastal areas. (wake up Peter Garrett for that matter). Ouch! Sartor is so compromised the Right machine have him by the short and curlies now.
xxxxx is catching up methinks on the grim realities, not being quite the media obsessive here. Tragic lifestyle.
Regards, Tom
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2009 10:35 PM
Subject: planning

this one surprises me - Tony Kelly, Minister for Planning, Minister for Infrastructure, Minister for Lands
perhaps a vote of confidence that Sam Haddad can run the show and Kelly won't interfere
and this one will generate a lot of comment but what about this -

The morphing of former NSW Planning Minister Frank Sartor from the best mate of the developers to the hero of environmental activists is in full swing.

Since being dropped from the Cabinet by Premier Nathan Rees last September, Sartor, MP for Rockdale in southern Sydney, has been on a charm offensive and busily re-inventing himself.

Last week he was in the Tweed Shire on the NSW-Queensland border meeting Hastings Village Progress Association and the Sustainable Villages Alliance to discuss their long-running campaign against inappropriate development in the beachfront community.

He has other appointments with community groups in Newcastle and on the South Coast in the coming days.

Sartor, the former Sydney Lord Mayor and ex-independent, has caught media attention with a new campaign to reform coastal development legislation, a burning issue among NSW residents who don’t want their coastline defiled and turned into mini-Gold Coasts.

He told the Tweed Daily News: “There is a need for new State environmental planning laws that cover the whole coastal area. These laws should focus on the whole coastal areas  — from the dunes right back to the estuaries  — and should take into account the impacts of climate change, population growth and other development.

What is needed is State planning legislation that is clear, unambiguous and strong. I think the community would accept that there is need for appropriate development if there is greater consultation and transparency, from the developer and the government, and they feel they are part of the process.”

But SartorMark II hasn’t won everybody over. Many environmental activists still recall his high-profile involvement with major developments at Pitt Town, Catherine Hill Bay, Sandon Point, Anvil Hill Mine and the $2 billion Kurnell desalination plant, just to name a few.

However, Sartor has become the premier-in-waiting for The Murdoch press — The Daily Telegraph and The Australian  —  and Fairfax Media — The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sun-Herald. Others in the cheer squad are former Prime Minister Paul Keating, former premiers Bob Carr and Morris Iemma and former Olympics Minister Michael Knight.

The success of the Sartor push is predicated upon Nathan Rees imploding in the polls and the Caucus being spooked into yet another premiership change before the state election in March 2011.

Unhappily for the conspirators, yesterday’s Newspoll showed an improvement, albeit a small one, for Rees. In January and February, Labor’s primary vote jumped four points to 30 per cent while the Coalition dropped one point to 42 per cent.

A total of 37 per cent of voters are satisfied with Rees’s performance and 39 per cent are satisfied with the performance of Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell.

When Newspoll asked the question: Who do you think would make the better premier? 34 per cent said Rees and 29 per cent said O’Farrell.

In just seven months in the job, Rees has managed to outpoll O’Farrell as preferred premier which leads to the conclusion that Rees is cutting through while O’Farrell isn’t.

As Rees improves his game, his premiership will become safer and caucus will batten down the hatches for the election. The sound you can hear in the background is the regime change fanatics from News Ltd and Fairfax Media grinding their teeth in fury.


Posted by editor at 8:34 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 9 December 2009 9:13 AM EADT
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

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