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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Sunday, 20 December 2009
Bushfire in Castlereagh reported as Londonderry?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: wildfires

It's bushfire season here. Being a Hawkesbury District local we took a drive around the latest bushfire in .... Londonderry?

Funny because all the streets we drove down in Londonderry don't have any fire indicators. But as you go west to nearby Castlereagh you can find alot. And it's "Castlereagh" based on the street signage footnote printed there.

No doubt with that 43 degree heat and gusty wind late last week the bushfire threatened Londonderry but looks alot like the bushfire was actually in Castlereagh about 4 km further west.

We put it down to the silly season, and or grim predictions of tragedy and disaster running ahead of the flames.

Posted by editor at 12:59 PM EADT
USA healthcare arm wrestle trumps planet's health?
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: globalWarming

We noticed the Washington Post web front page for 20 Dec 09 (our time, 19 Dec 09 over there) goes with healthcare and a record snow storm, with Copenhagen climate conference nearly a footnote:


Similar with New York Times only their 'global edition' (inset) has climate change as the lead:

It sure looks like global warming just got crunched by Obama's domestic political imperatives. 

Posted by editor at 12:45 PM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 20 December 2009 12:52 PM EADT
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Green Senators email solidarity campaign via Copenhagen for the AOSIS
Mood:  hug me
Topic: globalWarming

The primary vote in the latest polling in NSW has The Green Party here at 17% up from around 11%.

Similarly the federal Green Party reps are busy in solidarity with the Association of Small Island States at Copenhagen as per this email just in 6 hours ago by the magic of the intertubes. We would have posted more on the Austalian interface with the UN conference but we've been at the NSW Supreme Court on a charity mission for a colleague for 3 days:


Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2009 12:42 AM
Subject: Send Island leaders a message of support for their climate stand
Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne

A message from Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne

Join the campaign online

Dear friend,

I am writing to you again from Copenhagen, where the conference has been reverberating for days with the brave voices of island leaders.

The island leaders, from Tuvalu to the Maldives, Grenada to Kiribati, are pleading for serious climate action from developed and developing countries alike. They rightly point out that the kind of weak deal that rich countries like Australia have on offer is a suicide pact for them and they will not sign it.

Support the island leaders now!

But Kevin Rudd responded to this heartfelt plea from the world's most vulnerable people by trying to bully them into submission. He picked up the phone and started to call Pacific leaders, berating them for what he called their "unproductive stance". You can read about it in my blogs from Copenhagen on our website.

These island leaders will be coming under immense pressure from the world's largest and richest countries in the next few days. Those who want a political outcome more than they want a meaningful safe climate outcome are pressuring the islands to pull back and accept a weak deal.

Island leaders need our support now!

Stand with Tuvalu impromptu protest pic

All Australians who support the brave stand taken by island leaders should get behind them now.

We need to tell them not to listen to Mr Rudd, and reassure them that many Australians stand with the islands in their call for survival.

Please take a few minutes to email these leaders to give them your support.

Yours in hope,



Meanwhile ironic that the right wing shock jocks are whining about police resources over this banner below when literally millions of Australians agree with this Greenpeace message. The people's house? We paid for it (literally).

Also notice how pathetic The Sydney Daily Telegraph are not publishing the unfurled banner in their press edition yesterday, while the Sydney Morning Herald did. What would owner Rupert 'give the planet the benefit of the doubt' Murdoch think of their News Limited (literally) values, let alone common sense? Here is the Greenpeace blog posting, with link to a short video:

 We've just noticed this blog site from New Matilda here http://newmatilda.com/copthis/

and no doubt there is plenty more at www.crikey.com.au

and public broadcaste www.abc.net.au

Posted by editor at 5:44 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 17 December 2009 6:20 AM EADT
Sunday, 13 December 2009
Sunday tv talkies: Climate protest as NSW Premier starts drought tour
Mood:  chatty
Topic: aust govt




Author’s general introductory note   

This is not a well packaged story. It’s a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies in Big Politics and Big Media. 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.  

1. We noticed yesterday's Saturday Telegraph with a suggestive front page "Little battler", after discussion late last week about Abbott's book "Battlelines" and "Abbott's army" being equivalent to "Howard's Battlers". Which echoes for good or ill with the big billboard about 'the next climate "battleground". Abbott and Joyce are getting trashed in serious commentary but the front pager was about a sick baby in hospital - a diversion story by conservative Telegraph?


2. Having just checked the Sydney press on the web - which is different to the hard copy - in the Sydney SunHerald this about Copenhagen, rather than Sydney


Protesters demand climate for change


This about forests in the world rather than Australia as such by Peg Putt:

We flex our lobbying muscle in fight for forests (great pic there)


3. But this about Sydney:


Marchers shout a message all the way to Denmark ABOUT 80,000 people took to Australian streets yesterday for a Walk Against Warming designed to send a message to leaders at the Copenhagen climate change summit.


There is a good photo collage by the look of it at this link (we did critique of poor photo coverage of protests at APEC on crikey string last week as 'sepia tone', maybe this collage is a reaction?). Can't see the stack display in there

Peter skips swim to join climate protest GLOBAL warming is a serious, political and scientific issue - even when you're only eight years old.


ABC web coverage is here including video:


Massive turnout for Walk Against Warming




They say 90,000 nationally.


4. The News Corp Sunday Telegraph looks almost empty of coverage on the web at least, something about Garnaut supporting ETS approach.


5. Little micro news SAM ran this yesterday featuring a Canberra image of the black stacks and TWS on forests as well, perhaps leading to the Peg Putt story today (?):


Walk Against Warming event in Sydney at 1pm today at Martin Place
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: globalWarming


6. 40K were in Melbourne, 5K in Sydney according to ABC tv last night about 5th story in the lineup at 7 pm. We have to say the Climate Institute - which unlike The Greens - supports the big polluter CPRS was a sponsor of WAW which is a problem. ABC web say 90,000 nationally participated in protests.


7. Meanwhile the NSW premier is going on a 2 day drought tour in the regions which are apparently 80% drought declared. She was out with the bushfire service near Bathurst late last week.


8. The real worry in terms of Big Media is that SMH had a personality piece and pics on front of the SMH about Keneally (about tears for dead helicopter pilot bushfire service NPWS – no doubt sincere) but didn't ask her about her position on climate change (given Pell is against, Pope is for action).


9. The other big worry is SMH lead feature was about a 6 million population in Sydney in 20 years without one question about a 350K yearly immigration level (nationally). That's outright big business bias (developer dollar). Journo's are Jessica Irvine and Matthew Moore.


10. Most of the Sunday political talkie shows will be in recess today - will check all the same.


11. Plenty of references to ongoing bushfire threat on abc radio and I imagine elsewhere. Our images here of water bombing at Gross Wold lower Blue Mtns from a distance of maybe 20 km as the crow flies:


Picture: Image by this writer from Londonderry toward Grose Wold lower Blue Mtns by this writer last Friday, with the tiny dot in the smoke above the valley being the sky crane water bomber/helicopter (much more visible going to and from by the naked eye).


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 

Distracted during this but mostly about ascension of the 'Abbott Family' like the Addams Family tv monster shockers suggesting the new Opposition Front bench are whackos, which echoes much of the other Canberra press gallery to date.



9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.44 am 

Will it run? Not seen. LO article in the SMH is like Riley quite uncomplimentary of the new Abbott Opposition front bench especially Barnaby Joyce.




Insiders 2: 9- 10am


In recess. Last weeks Q&A instead here




Inside Business with Alan Kohler  .

in recess.

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


Posted by editor at 10:34 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 13 December 2009 10:38 AM EADT
Saturday, 12 December 2009
Walk Against Warming event in Sydney at 1pm today at Martin Place
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: globalWarming

More info at this link on the image:

In relation to forest protection issues notice:

* This display will be attending regarding South Coast of NSW opposed to a forest biomass furnace for energy production

 A recent letter in Bega District News about this reads as follows:

Burning issue.


The response from SEFE [South East Fibre Exports, formerly Daishowa Woodchip Mill at Eden] to being denied exhibition space in the Clean Energy Expo highlights some interesting points.

It is clearly beyond the scope of the Corporate Affairs Manager to understand that burning native forests to create electricity is neither clean, green, or alternative.

Rather, it shows a lack of understanding for ecology and the basic life systems of this world in which we live.

Explained simply, cutting down forests has a negative impact on our soils and on water quality and availability.

It releases carbon into the atmosphere and destroys the habitats and therefore lives of numerous species.

The unmanaged regrowth forests further suck up vast quantities of our limited ground water supplies, robbing streams, rivers and catchments of the water needed to sustain life.

The current practice of chipping 90 per cent of these forests and exporting them as woodchips is another big carbon footprint.

But the proposal to burn these forests as waste wood and produce electricity somehow makes the industry see it as an alternative energy source.

Vince Phillips and others may try and wear a green hat, but I don’t think so and congratulations to the Clean Energy committee for drawing the line.

(Even knowing the change of mind) my comments stand, but my question is where do we stand on forests, what value do we place on our ecological systems?

Maybe SEFE should set up in the street with their information for direct questioning and feedback from the community.

I think the discussion about this issue needs to be had and has only just begun.

The Forest Forum on Saturday afternoon at 1pm might provide a starting point for some directions into our common forested future.

Skye Etherington



* In Tasmania

The Wilderness Society - Tasmania Updates

Tasmania Updates - The Wilderness Society

Dear Tom,

Walk Against Warming
Timbs Track, Upper Florentine Valley
12 noon Saturday 12 December

Walk Against Warming logo

I am writing to you from Copenhagen, where I am representing Tasmania's ancient forests at the international climate talks.

I will show images and video of the Walk Against Warming to world leaders attending the climate talks. By being part of the Walk, you will be showing them that you want strong urgent action and the protection of the world's forests.

Come along and join the call for a strong international deal at the Copenhagen climate talks.

Walk Against Warming
Timbs Track, Upper Florentine Valley
12 noon Saturday 12 December

Special guest: Peter Cundall

I've just heard that Australian folk-music legend Xavier Rudd will be attending the Walk Against Warming. I'm sure he'll be inspired to sing you a song or two.

Timbs Track in the Upper Florentine is off the Gordon River Road, about 90 minutes drive from Hobart. Click here for driving directions to Timbs Track.

We are encouraging everyone to use sustainable transport to go to the Walk Against Warming.

Buses from Hobart - tickets are $20 return. Buy your tickets from the Wilderness Society Shop in Salamanca, phone 03 6234 9370.

Carpool - don't travel with empty seats in your car. Register as a driver or a passenger at www.coolpooltas.com.au  First-time users should read 'How it works' under the 'About the Cool Pool' tab.

Thank you for your support of Tasmania's ancient forests. Please help me convince world leaders to protect the world's forests and secure a safe climate for our future.

Gemma Tillack
Climate Change and Forests Campaigner

PS: Keep up-to-date with what's going on in Copenhagen through my twitter feeds and daily blog. Go to wilderness.org.au/copenhagen

 * In Copenhagen

Our chance to protect the world's forests

Dear Tom,

Luke Chamberlain
Forest Campaigner Luke Chamberlain gives an update on what we'll be doing at the Copenhagen climate summit

The Copenhagen climate summit, from 7 - 18 December, is the deadline for committing to a successor to the Kyoto protocol - which Australia joined in late 2007.

Those present will be discussing the degree to which developed and developing countries should reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Wilderness Society has been at the forefront promoting the role nature can play in safeguarding our climate.

Find out more about the role we'll be playing in Copenhagen »

25% of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by logging and degrading forests and bushland - so protecting forests makes climate sense.

Stopping deforestation is, in principle, cheap and simple - don’t cut them down.

But it gets more complex when countries are asked to regulate the problem. Finding a solution to these issues is one of the strongest hopes for the Copenhagen summit.

Our special Copenhagen page has the latest from our Climate Change Campaigner Gemma Tillack via daily blogs from the climate summit, and you'll be able to get the latest climate tweets on our Twitter page.

Get the latest at our special Copenhagen page »

Thanks for your support - stay tuned in the coming days for more updates.

The team at the Wilderness Society



Posted by editor at 8:00 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 12 December 2009 9:10 AM EADT
Friday, 11 December 2009
New book - sustainable event management by Megan Jones
Mood:  bright
Topic: ecology

We can't say we have reviewed this book by the author pictured above, and maybe there will be issues to debate, but the notion of a sustainable event framework in itself is excellent. All that waste! It's terrible and embarrassing at so many Sydney events and suggests serious stupidity. It's published by UNSW which is encouraging.

So hopefully Megan Jones has made a serious contribution to changing that for a mere $70 price. Nor do we have a hard copy here. So we just repeat extracts of their PR blurb for your information:

 Sustainable Event Management: A Practical Guide
Published December 2009 through Earthscan

Home Grown Solutions – From Australia to the World

Newcastle’s Meegan Jones returns to Australia after working for the past three years in the UK as Sustainability Manager for the producer of Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds Festivals, Festival Republic, to launch her first book - a comprehensive guide on Sustainable Event Management.

Meegan has spent the past 20 years working in events, focusing in recent years on developing sustainability in event management.

She has developed sustainability solutions at Peats Ridge Festival in Australia and worked on sustainability issues for Live Earth India and the London Marathon. Meegan is currently the global greening consultant for the next round of Live Earth events, is the events consultant for UK-based music industry climate impact organization Julie’s Bicycle and is on the working group for Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) events industry sector supplement.

Meegan is also working with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) on their new Music and Environment Initiative, to be launched in 2010.

In Australia until end of January 2010, Meegan will then take up new events and sustainability challenges in India.

Sustainable Event Management: A Practical Guide” is published by Earthscan and can be purchased from UNSW Books or through the book’s website www.sustainableeventguide.com

Price is $69.95 and will be available in Australia from 15th January 2010  



About The Author:

Meegan Jones is an events professional focusing her work on developing sustainable management solutions for live events. Apart from producing practical solutions to sustainability challenges, working with industry peers she has researched and developed benchmarking and systems for assessing the impact of events. She uses her experience in marketing and event management across the retail, music and media industries to create scenarios which engage and activate the audience, performers, crew and the supply chain.


Meegan has worked for the past three years in the UK as Sustainability Co-ordinator for Festival Republic (Reading, Leeds, Latitude & Glastonbury Festivals), developed sustainability solutions at Peats Ridge Festival in Australia, and has worked on sustainability issues for Live Earth India and the London Marathon. She is currently sitting on the working group for Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) events industry sector supplement, is global greening consultant for the next round of Live Earth events, and is the events and festivals consultant for UK-based music industry climate impact organization Julie’s Bicycle. ______________________________________________________________

Author: Meegan Jones (meegan@thegreeneventguide.com)

Released: December 2009

Publisher: Earthscan (www.earthscan.co.uk)

_____ Reviews_____________________________________________________

‘I had already been committed to bringing about a change in the perception of festival-goers towards their impact upon the environment, Meegan successfully made that change happen. Meegan got me to where I wanted but much further and this book explains in a wonderful explanatory manner how every event can move towards our common goal. Sustainability!’

Melvin Benn, Director, Festival Republic UK

“Meegan is a global curator of sustainable change for the events industry. This truly practical guide offers easy to understand education and achievable initiatives to any industry practitioner looking for solutions where little has been previously documented or available. For an industry historically hesitant to make the smallest of changes Meegan demonstrates how simple it can be to improve the sustainability of any event.”

Jane Fullerton-Smith, Director, Sustainable Event Solutions (Australia)

“Finally, a book that gathers all the knowledge about running a sustainable event and presents it in one easy to understand, well thought out format.

Possibly one of the most important books written on event management this decade, a must have for organisers of events everywhere"

Matt Grant Festival & Creative Director Peats Ridge Festival 2009 

Posted by editor at 8:29 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 12 December 2009 9:06 AM EADT
BOFFA blogs to harvest anti ALP sentiment
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: nsw govt

We have received two unsolicited blog emails from NSW Leader of the Opposition Barry O'Farrell or BOFFA as he seems to be known.

Here is our response and main email received below. We've kept the font and size of BOFFA as it was received. So make your own judgement. Our response in the preface relates to the tatty record of energy privatisation in the USA courtesy of Enron scandal. Our reference to hung parliament is echoed by a posting by Lee Rhiannon MP (Green Party) on New Matilda recently called Hang this!


Sent: Thursday, December 10, 2009 11:42 AM
Subject: mmm Re: Why YOU deserve a NSW election now

Schwarzenegger after Enron collapse  (Smartest Guys in the Room, free on Google Video)? Not your best argument there Barry, but I get the gist. We all do.
Am barracking for a hung parliament myself. Too bad the fed Lib party just turned Conservative according to Kort on abc just now.
Tom, editor
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, December 10, 2009 11:01 AM
Subject: Blog: Why YOU deserve a NSW election now

Barry O'Farrell imageBarry O'Farrell, Leader of the NSW Opposition

Dear Ecology Action

Last week NSW found itself with its fourth Labor Premier in four years - chosen by those Nathan Rees described as the 'malignant and treacherous' forces with the Labor Party, Eddie Obeid and Joe Tripodi - with the public again denied any say.

In his last press conference as Premier, Nathan Rees, proclaimed:

"Should I not be Premier by the end of this day, let there be no doubt in the community's mind, no doubt, that any challenger will be a puppet of Eddie Obeid and Joe Tripodi." (click here to watch it on YouTube)

The State's latest leadership change - and the methods used by Joe Tripodi and Eddie Obeid to deliver another ally into the Premiership - again highlights why Labor doesn't deserve to govern: public interest was again ignored; the main motivation was self-interest and Labor's election prospects.

Despite the different face at the top, nothing has changed - same factional warlords calling the shots, same Labor arrogance and incompetence, same problems facing families and business across NSW.

Where was the public's opportunity to have a say in who would be the next State Premier?  For the second time in 15 months - and just two and half years since the last election - you were denied any opportunity to have a say.

Earlier this year I announced that a NSW Liberals & Nationals Government would examine the option of 'recall' elections for NSW.

Recall elections - which apply in 18 US States and in British Columbia, Canada - provide the community with a means of forcing an early election.

It increases accountability, offer a safeguard against political abuse by government and can help restore confidence back into the political system.

The idea of being forced to an election by the community would provide government - even this NSW Labor Government - with the incentive to perform throughout the entire four-year term and not just in the months leading up to an election.

A recall election was the mechanisms that allowed Arnold Schwarzenegger to become Governor of California in 2003.

I believe a NSW recall provision is worth considering and debating.

In government, the NSW Liberal & Nationals intend to appoint an independent panel of constitutional experts to advise on the appropriateness and best model of introducing a recall election provision in NSW, including putting the matter to referendum at either the 2012 council or 2015 State election.

Let me know what you think about the proposal by commenting on Facebook, leave a comment at "Have Your say" or sign the early election petition at www.startthechange.com.au.


Posted by editor at 8:02 AM EADT
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

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