Picture: Alec Marr, Director of The Wilderness Society 3rd from left, taken off a collage in the TWS Sydney office wall display.
We briefed colleagues yesterday on a page 3 story rudely interrupting our Easter Monday holiday (doing the ironing actually). It refers to Alec Marr so called out of the loop in Canberra, pictured above next to Albanese, Garrett etc in the lead up to the federal election. The politicians know where the weight is, as we do.
We wrote before about the central role Lyndon Schneiders has played as a rival for Marr's job, an ambition missing from the Age stories in February. The SMH have to that extent updated. But they also failed to get to the history of perverse manipulations by one Judy Lambert, a senior figure in TWS with in our view some terrible impacts on forest policy in Australia, not least as former policy fixer for discredited ALP Enviro Minister of yesteryear Ros Kelly.
We believe J Lambert has some major conflicts to explain, and accountability for past job review fraud cutting a swathe through the national organisation of TWS in the 1990ies. We understand J Lambert is involved again in the rebel group in 2010, having requisitioned a town hall meeting in Melbourne.
Here is our update to colleagues given the beat up by the SMH yesterday:
Sent: Monday, April 05, 2010 4:29 PMSubject: TWS will be fine, 45K members etcI have no private interest or connection with any of the stakeholders which becomes important given many undeclared conflicts in this dispute.I had a call from a member of the national executive regarding Lyndon Schneiders resigning early last week. From what I can see there is nothing really new in the story in the SMH from the coverage in The Age over a month ago other than Lyndon spitting the dummy. That earlier story is hereI spoke to that Age journalist for half an hour last month after the story about a common sense approach needed regarding democratic empowerment of the 45,000 membership which often is not the same as the admin functionary cliques that develop in branches of TWS (read below 1994 primary doc with figure involved in 2010) sometimes with no understanding of campaigning imperatives (like current death struggle with Gunns Ltd).In my time it was functionaries thinking TWS was a shallow PR factory existing to employ them while activists out on the line put their lives at risk. Marr on the other hand has been on the front line many times. #1 defendent in the Gunns Case.The recent New Matilda story #1and #2and comment string covers the situation.What the SMH story today and Lyndon's quotes don't reveal is that he apparently is the long time ambitious rival candidate for the director's job, with alleged destabilisation campaign to achieve that. Also the national campaign committee attack on Marr was after an IR dispute involving the attempted sacking of a talented, dedicated individual arguably implicated indirectly in breach of intranet privacy obligations of national management team.(I consulted the IT manager for ACF who is an old school friend of mine and he noted there are legal consequences of hacking private email, let alone national management. That sacking was overturned in the Tas IR Commission, but is itself being appealed by the national body. I read the lengthy judgement at first instance and there are some problems with the decision - failure to make a glaring finding of fact regarding burnout of the individual, somewhat perverse finding about the attitude of Alec Marr arguably lacking evidence.)Also in the SMH today the notion that AGMs of the national meeting of TWS are held in a national conference plenary is not what I recall back in the early 90ies. They are held at the same event in parallel but always a very small private affair for security of the organisation. The idea that 150 or 200 would be at a national AGM of TWS during the national conference sounds like fantasy to me. For instance anyone who pays their dues might stack the AGM - infamous redneck Jennifer Marohasy being the most extreme case (in print quoting Wilderness News via subscription one assumes).Also significant in the ructions is the conflicted role of an old fixer exposed herehttp://www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog/index.blog/1991387/exposing-j-lambert-power-player-in-the-wilderness-society-machinations/with a degree of fraud to her record from way back in 1994 (again in 2010?) when she effectively helped remove the previous national campaign team. Advisedly. The primary documents are there and a long time coming out 15 years later. The fact this person was previously a fixer for ALP federal environment minister Ros Kelly (who was sacked in a funding scandal) before returning to TWS machinations is not lost on this writer.It may be this posting with hard evidence of fraud national management job review process in 1994 has scattered the rebellion in 2010 given the implications. Same person requisitioned the rebel meeting in Melbourne in February.Lyndon while achieving great things in Qld is a marked man over the Qld Wild Rivers controversy so the notion he could take up the national directorship is fairly fraught, with fierce critic Pearson likey to meet Obama later this year in Australia, and Garrett refusing to progress world heritage without such as Pearson's approval. That's a snooker.The best thing for Lyndon in my view would be to get involved in the NSW state election campaigning not least Eden deal koala power plant. This would empower TWS locally and help everyone to move on including his spouse Felicity Wade as NSW campaign co-ordinator for TWS.All in all, the most significant news is that Lyndon has resigned which indicates he is no longer a rival candidate within the main national organisation, but possibly remains so outside. The best way forward is mediation with an expert wilderness supporter like former federal court judge Murray Wilcox who is available apparently.Meanwhile Gunns Ltd is on the skids and the share market is calling for the head of the CEO for alleged insider trading before the share price crashed. Alec Marr was #1 defendant against Gunns Ltd for good reason.Regards, Tom McLoughlin (state campaigner TWS 1993-94)
Meanwhile here some nice pictures of the koala forest campaigners, also supported by The Wilderness Society here in NSW, as per the large laminate Koala poster (their materials from the 2003 state election if memory serves):
Picture: 1994 cartoon representation of regional forester Ian Barnes undertaking illegal logging at Croobyar State Forest, by public servant and covert activist Geof T.
No wonder there is uproar on the NSW South Coast about logging of a prime tourism resource - a rare yet viable koala colony at Mumbulla, and also precious water supply. We note a protest ripple even as far as USA Today via AAP and London's CCTV9 (video and text). Longer local reports here recently:
Logging starts, koala battle goes on
JENNIE CURTINMarch 30, 2010
LOGGING has started in a forest containing the only known colony of koalas on the far south coast, despite warnings the work could threaten the marsupials.Forests NSW began harvesting timber for woodchipping and high-quality logs in the Mumbulla State Forest near Bega. Work is expected to continue for six months.Conservationists, with the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, the Wilderness Society and the Australian Koala Foundation, are setting up a vigil at the site this morning in an effort to stop the logging.Locals said just last week they had found koala tracks on roads close to the work area. But Forests NSW said koalas had been found in the east of the forest, not in the logging area, which is further west.The fashion designer Prue Acton, who has battled to protect the koalas and who recently discovered a bugging device, which she believes is linked to her campaigning, on her telephone at her home near Bega, said the work could destroy the patch of habitat left in the area.''This decision by Premier Keneally to log these critical regional koala habitats comes down to a few jobs in a dying industry and faulty regional forests agreements which fail wildlife, climate and water,'' Ms Acton said.''What about the extinction of these regional koalas, the sustainability of forests and, ultimately, the planet - our children's future?''The Greens MP Lee Rhiannon called the logging ''environmental vandalism'' and said it showed that the environment was the ''poor cousin'' to logging in NSW.''For too long now the NSW government has refused to end the logging of south-east native forests,'' Ms Rhiannon said.''Stopping chipping will not only save endangered animal communities like the koalas now at the mercy of chainsaws; it will also stop the millions in taxpayers' dollars which flow to subsidising the industry.''
And here is Harriet Swift (pictured below left with Prue Acton) of ChipStop with Green Party MP yesterday also:
31 March 2010
Koala habitat logging blockade back on
Greens MP and spokesperson for South East NSW Lee Rhiannon and Chipstop spokesperson Harriett Swift have called on the NSW government to honour the agreed temporary halt to logging in the Mumbulla Forest by removing all their forestry equipment from the site and returning it to the local depot.
Speaking from the site of the blockade to Ms Swift stated, "Protesters this morning have successfully blockaded the entrances to the planned logging area in Mumbulla Forest that would threaten koala habitat.
"A large turn out of locals are staging this peaceful protest as we have no confidence that the NSW government is committed to protecting the habitat of the last known population of koalas on the NSW south coast and abiding by the agreed halt on logging.
"There are a group of loggers waiting here to start work.
"Forests NSW still have the prohibited zone declaration in place for logging this area, the roads are closed as is usual in any logging operation and the mechanical harvesters and bulldozers are all here, along with the logging trucks and the logging crews.
"So why would we believe the word of Minister Ian Macdonald that logging is on hold.
Ms Rhiannon said, "Premier Kristina Keneally should insist on a moratorium on logging and that has to mean all equipment is removed from the proposed logging area and returned to the local depot.
"Mr Macdonald's past performance as primary industries minister suggests that he will be looking for ways to continue logging. I am not surprised that the locals are continuing their protests and that they don't believe the word of this minister.
"Leaving the equipment in the forest undermines the studies to determine the presence of koalas in the proposed logging area. Evidence of koalas is not going to be found amidst all this disruption.
"Ms Keneally has a chance to take a stand for the environment.
"Surely she does not want the voters to remember her as the Premier who trashed the habitat of koalas," Ms Rhiannon said.
Yesterday we also contributed with an email to relevant Ministers and Opposition as follows:
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 2:42 PMSubject: Koalas: Croobyar Forest 1994 precedent under Minister Hartcher/NPWS stop work order Re: [Greens-Media] Koala habitat logging blockade back onIn a comparable community blockade involving The Wilderness Society and local Indigenous activists (Paul Ferguson and Winiata Puru) directed by elder Guboo Ted Thomas (RIP) at Croobyar SF- where 3 endangered owls (Sooty, Masked, [Powerful] owls) were surveyed in November 1994 (4 months from the state election) -the Liberal Party Environment Minister Chris Hartcher and the NPWS ordered 3 circular areas of 1km radius each (or maybe 1km diameter? ) for protection from loggers.Tom McLoughlin, TWS state organiser in 1994, tel. 0410 558838
Picture: Winiata Puru, forest defender at Croobyar on the south coast in 1994, campaigner for Lake Cowal traditional owners (shown here), and guardian of the Aborignal Tent Embassy in Canberra in 2010. A very fit musically gifted 55 year old champion of environmental and social justice concerns.
As per the email last, we recall another forest area called Croobyar SF back in 1994 north of Mumbulla, in the "Bateman's Bay Management Area" where illegal logging was being undertaken by the very same government forest 'manager' Ian Barnes for the NSW Govt under then Commissioner Hans Drielsma - now behind the Gunns pulp mill for Forestry Tasmania.
Mumbulla and Yurammie mentioned above falls within the neighbouring Eden Management Area which at least had a quick and dirty Environmental Impact Statement as inadequate as it was. That EIS was overtaken in the early 1990ies by a Parliamentary Inquiry, private members bill sponsored by Clover Moore MP for Bligh, then coarse grade somewhat political "CRA" negotiations over the same Eden MA after the Carr election in 1995.
CRA stands for 'Comprehensive Representative Adequate' being a euphemistic phrase out of the Keating Govt National Forest Policy. These CRAs inevitably led to political 'Regional Forest Agreements' (RFA): Coarse and often dirty decisions as made clear by the article in the SMH today on water and koala resource at risk of being trashed by private logging interests at direction of the redneck State Forest agency. Carr boasted hundreds of new national parks but internal RACAC maps show modest purple areas of new park, next to long time existing national parks in dark green, and even bigger logging area in light green to reveal the truth behind the spin: Refer internal nsw govt RACAC maps posted here.
Ian Barnes in particular has form on forest vandalism:
Picture: Ian Barnes and NSW govt forest agency avoided any EIS for logging public forests in Batemans Bay forests for 20 years despite requirement of the 1979 Environmental Planning legislation.
With environmental legal advisers to attend Tenant Creek to discuss a nuclear waste dump proposal with traditional owners, with background here via the ABC NT website:
And the federal government running a PR tour of some other Aboriginal folks at Lucas Heights reactor also from the same area with similar ownership status earlier this week, we found this profound document in a recent filing/throwout:
ANT NOT THE CRAZIEST
The announcement:After a very successful talk’s last year, newmatilda.com is holding its second In Conversation discussion panel.
The topics:Who Can You Trust?
Who is a credible source online?
The speakers:Jackie Dent: ABC Opinion Online & UN Afghanistan spokesperson
Antony Lowenstein: Author of My Israel Question, journalist, blogger
Tom O’Loughlin: Sydney Alternative Media- Editor of micro news site & solicitor
Edmund Tadros: SMH.com & investigative journalist
The questions people may wish to ask if they attend this “successful talk’s”:
• On complex issues, how seriously should we take someone who can’t even judge age or gender?
• Why might someone be so much milder in print than he is online?
• Should we trust someone who betrays his own family?
Yet Antony isn’t the craziest bug on New Matilda’s panel. He’s joined by Tom O’Loughlin, editor of sub-fringe conspiracy site Sydney Alternative Media. Talk about your credible online sources; this boy makes ol’ Ant look like, I don’t know, a journalist.
(Via Dylan Kissane)
Monday, 7 January 2008Tim Blair damaging the News Ltd/Sydney Daily Telegraph brand?
Mood: not sure
Topic: big mediaat
Picture: Screenshot for www.rapidvisa.com.au
Perhaps Scott Morrison (Lib), Opposition Spokersperson on Immigration might be better served in terms of alleged illegal immigration numbers to look at this possibly unregistered business, either in the legal or immigration agency sector (?). One suspects this is a much bigger issue than humanitarian boat people asylum seekers.
How indeed can this service guarantee immigration to Australia at the price of $699? Are clients using this service already cutting corners to jump the queue?
This business was commented on at recent Community Reference Group meeting organised through the Law Society of NSW as an item of interest, and not just because of the cut price.
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.- Bob Carr has more credibility on trans fat than on ‘300 new national parks’ given he condemned a much larger area of public forest heritage to the woodchippers in NSW as proven by internal govt maps obtained by SAM.
- All this talk of Abbott as a gay icon seems tohave followed an obsequious interview by radio legend Alan Jones, understood to bat for the other team. Cut and Paste in The Oz ran quotes of Jones blather.
- Is it true as Bernard Keane reported, that Glenn Milne is no longer with News Ltd – missing from the Sunday Telegraph today?
- The local freebie Hills to Hawkesbury Living p15, 19 March 2010 states via Ray Williams MP (Lib) and a Sydney Morning Herald article that a long time ALP loyalist Mr Tom Forrest formerly chief of staff of Premier Iemma but also other roles back to 1995, now RailCorp's general manager of executive business, directed deletions from an adverse report on the $5.3B Metro, including:
"questions the basis of the governent's claim that the $5.3 billion seven-kilometre line between Central and Rozelle would relieve congestion in the CBD, especially during the morning peak hour. It is also noted that the CBD Metro project project alone servies no recognised [or planned] areas of high population or employment growth. ... The CBD Metro does not serve these journeys".
- Recent SMH on March 19th last had coverage of air pollution from the mining/coal industry in NSW perhaps relating to the infrequent spruiking for nuclear energy in it's opinion pages. Sure enough a letter was published calling for nuke energy. Only trouble is these also are known to promote lethal pollution as revealed by SAM recently quoting a 2002 US study of 8 reactors closed down in New York State, resulting in a marked reduction in childhood cancers. So it may be a case of choose your poison to keep the lights on.
- SAM's editor is going back to the law, as per family tradition. Not sure yet sure what that means for the SAM blog averaging around 35,000 pageviews per month these days. Well except for the obvious. Certainly we will be bound by total confidentiality so no stories from that source. And oversight of the big media will fall by the wayside especially as we do endless reading to pick up the threads. We can see some big charity donations coming up to salve our democratic conscience. (SAM in another life was known to send $15,000 to Chile to employ a journalistic and visual artist to help save 3 rivers, Ceurvo, Blanco and another one, a lake, 10,000 hectares of mature forest and adjacent fjordlands. The threat came from a proposed US $3 billion hydro smelter called Alumysa. ) And so the wheel turns.
10 Meet the Press: 8- 8-30 am
Lead in PM Rudd success in first debate “may be decisive” for election year. Humour footage of Pyne MP and chamber. Press round up re Earth Hour event, more (failed?) asylum seekers to Sydney, Abbott ultra triathalon day ‘putting his health at risk”.Pyne is talent as Education Opp minister and leader of Opp business in Reps.Pyne answers refugee compassion point with itinerant via 3rd country [Sri Lankans by boat?]. Humour out take Abbott falling worm sledging Rudd.Panel is El Hall abc World Today. M Kenny Adeliade Advertiser (News Ltd). Re BER education school halls. Adbreak.Abbott fitness [fetish] with grab of Swan – where does he get the time? Pyne makes crack about Bonge going for a jog. 2nd guest – Dr Sally McCarthy
Riley Diary 7, from 8.40amWorms in the health debate against Abbott. Much focus on his ultra triathalon today with Joyce demotion woven in. Parallel with Oakes interview. Riley refers in Q&A as a form of “madness”.
9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.44 am
[pre interview large wrap of Abbott triathalon adventure, Barry OFarrell advert for NSW election for Liberal Party]
Opening line by LO to Joyce – you just said off air that after 3.8 km swim Abbott looked like “a gutted rabbit”. [Joyce lacks discipline just like in Finance.]
Barnaby Joyce as now shadow minister water, regional development and some other things. Getting into froth mode again. Frothing about Toorale station [furphies]. “Metaphor” used regularly. Rapid talking style.
Joyce “four and half thousand people have come into the country illegally” this year. [Sums up his understanding of the international treaty obligations for asylum seekers.]
[Joyce looked terrible in our view, in real politik terms, not personal preference.]
Insiders 2: 9- 10am
Riley style worm package to Lenny Kravatz hard rock. 71% ch9 for Rudd. Press round up with panel Mal Farr (News Ltd) says it’s a profile build, does have enough time. David Marr (Fairfax) – its flagellation. Grab of Wayne Swan – too little time. Grab of Gillard PM with a plan on health, and ‘fitness instructor with an attidude’ re Abbott. Akerman runs pro Abbott line, raised lots of charity money and Labor has similar picfacs.
Grabs of Joyce and Pyne on other tv shows re Abbott fitness.
Roxon as Health Minister says lack of policy is the problem. Too much time to develop policy.
Inside Business with Alan Kohler .
Picture: Intrepid Sydney sider Peter Woof at left, lifted from the Paul Watson website.
We wrote recently asking "Why did Tony Abbott assualt Peter Woof?" a few weeks back here:
It was about Sydney Uni student days in the 1970ies in those heady days of youth. The story referencing Peter as a colleague of Paul Watson of the famous Sea Shepherd got got over 2000 hits:
We called Peter's relatives for a follow up and they passed on our mobile number. He sent a text recently with email address to reach him in Guyana.
Correspondence goes as follows:
Hi Peter, Guyana sounds fascinating and a little scary. Trust you are well
and doing good works as always.
When I did that interview with you 3 years ago, in fact in first week of
my community news blog January 2007, I didn't know it would help fashion
prime ministerial politics now. The blog indy news now pulls around 35K
readers per month which is okay. Regular Sydney Indy Media has folded for
The issue of Tony Abbott as Opposition Leader in prime ministerial debate
on health policy is leading news today Tuesday 23 March 2010. He has had
some limited success in polling lately hence necessity to address him as a
About a week ago, I republished the interview here:
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Why did Tony Abbott assault Peter Woof?
Topic: aust govt
Like the picture on Watson's webpage too.
With federal parliament sitting it got 2000 plus readers which is high for
Next day (what a coincidence - not) PM Rudd had the confidence to assert
that "It's good to have Mark Latham back in the Parliament" in Question
Time in a comment on Tony Abbott as leader. This was an allusion to
volatile aggressive personality as part of the real electioneering contest
to be called later in 2010. Others in the ALP had used the line but now
the PM was signing up - based on .... evidence on SAM micro news blog (?).
Well done Peter!
So it seems that incident all those years ago has managed to reflect on
the character of a leading politician today, admittedly a long time ago
and he does refer to the youth defence, which has fair degree of traction.
We received direclty a broadcast email from Mr Abbott which we also
published in terms of balance about health policy:
Thursday, 18 March 2010
Opposition Leader Abbott email to SAM on '$1B health gouge' claim
Topic: aust govt
If you want to add anything or comment about this state of affairs then
the voters, but especially the big media, would be likely to read it off
my news blog and weave it into their thinking if not actual specifics.
Hence my call to check in with your father who does sound proud of you
Also I have forgotten name of corroborating NSW govt public servant that
knew about the incident, as referred to in the story. Probably doesn't
Yours truly, Tom McLoughlin mobile 0410 558838
PS I tried to call by mobile, return button got the international beeps
but no ring tone. So hung up. Perhaps text message not sent by handset
Message sent by me. I received your call and the mobile rang.
Not the first time that I have tried to answer a call with no success.
Telecommunications periodically dodgy in this part of the world.
Sometimes even a text takes a day to send. Texts can also arrive out of
When Mum calls, it takes her two goes. I then call her back on the skype.
So, I text, or if you have an office phone, I can use skype to call. That
costs 3 cents per minute, not 28cents. Emails are free, of course.
In Guyana I am training would be chemistry teachers, as part of
http://www.cuso-vso.org at the Cyril Potter College of Education
Also trying to finish my M.Ed. - up to now, it was computing in education,
but this time - globalisation and the curriculum, for the final unit. ....
Anyway, just to confirm - well, this is my email.
My skype name is ....and my phone in Guyana .....and we are UTC-4, so mentally add 9 hours and make it a day earlier, to
get the time here.
You would be 10:36am Tuesday 23/03 and here it is Monday evening, 19:36pm,
at time of writing.
Lots of fresh tropical locally grown fruit here, I can hear the mangoes
ripening 'as we speak'. A whole pineapple for 50cents equivalent. My pay
is equivalent to $270, per month, although it may be 3 months before I see
any of it. So, the "100 mile diet" is easy to implement here.
Peter's comment on the now famous Abbott health budget graph found at the story http://www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog/index.blog/2000394/opposition-leader-abbott-email-to-sam-on-1b-health-gouge-claim/:
Tuesday, 23 March 2010 - 12:20 PM NZT
Name: "Adjusted for inflation"Tony is playing optical illusions again.
Solidly recommend calculating the percentage increase each year and then
reduce by inflation. Looks to me like there has been no "real" increase,
except in the year before the election 2007 - but I am not about to hunt
In brief - 03-04 to 04-05 Increase = 6.1%
4.7%, 6.0%, and, in the year prior to the Rudd win... you guessed it - 10.7%
This is a typical trick of governments thinking that they will lose, it is
called "expectation setting". Others call it 'pork-barrelling'. Still, on
Abbott's figures, one can hoist him on his own petard, and show just how
he spends money in the year before the election.
[And in response to SAM's comment about skin cancer risk, the following ...]
The loss of melanin in white people is now thought to have been caused by a mutation in just one letter out of 3.1 billion letters of DNA.
Picture: Noel Plumb at left being ejected from a logging industry event inside Federal Parliament November 2009
We noticed an unusually long abc talkback earlier this week by "Noel" from "Ryde" on the ABC Deborah Cameron Morning show. He waxed lyrical about why ratepayers should pay their fair share for council services. Fair enough.
And he went on, and on, and on. Not so much talkback as open line, take as much air as you like. It was average sort of radio, neither good nor bad, but why so long?
This was the same Noel who waxed lyrical a week or so earlier about being a sailor on Sydney Harbour for 30 years in relation to concerns over the Barangaroo - Keating /Lendlease - monster. Fair enough only it went on and on. Very generous I thought. And we don't remember him sailing (?).
We do know Noel, a little too well, active in the conservation movement in NSW on and off since the mid 90ies. Here he is earlier this year out front of federal parliament again after haranguing the National Association of Forest Industries, photo taken by this writer, and sorry for the lack of red eye on the camera setting :
Now Noel has an interesting provenance in NSW politics. As we understand he helped deliver preferences to ALP Deputy Premier John Watkins in a usually Liberal area for the seat of Ryde until he retired earlier this year. This is in the same area as Maxine McKew, a well known former ABC presenter, in the federal seat of Bennelong. As far as we know Noel didn't run in the seat for the Watkins related byelection and it is now held by Victor Dominello (Lib).
Noel previously ran for the Australian Democrats, has been a staffer for Ian Cohen MP of the Greens and we are not sure who he is affiliated with now.
He leads a small but active Sydney affinity group called Chipbusters relating to woodchipping in south east NSW also this last 6 months or so, especially the koala habitat there. We remain concerned that name is too similar to ChipStop organised by Harriet Swift based in Bega already of 10 years standing but she doesn't seem to mind.
Of significance in the upcoming election is that as we understand it Noel was part of a narrow local lobby, including Dr Judy Messer former chair of the Nature Conservation Council, and contrary to public transport activists across Sydney, that successfully prevented a rail bridge over Lane Cove River at Epping which arguably resulted in major delays and perhaps $1B in extra cost for the new Chatswood to Epping line. That blowout arguably prevented the line ever reaching Parramatta as well as a saga of noise and gradient problems.
Watkins can be very deferential to Plumb as we have observed, and we notice the former Deputy Premier was on abc segment Partyliners a week or so back complimenting Premier KKK, from his perch as CEO of Alzhiemers Australia. A silent machine to quote fixer Eric Roozendaal MP (ALP).
We emailed Noel and asked him his plans in the seat of Ryde, as well as some dorothy dixers, and we wait patiently for an answer, as follows:
Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010 9:10 AMSubject: Community media re Noel Plumb as state election candidate in Ryde?Dear Noel,Given your increased public profile recently including quite long soliliquy on abc 702 yesterday morning around 9.25 am, as caller from the public on local council issues in Sydney broadly, some questions for community media publication:1. Are you intending to run as a candidate in the seat of Ryde now held by Liberal Victor Dominello?2. Will you run as an independent, or Greens or Australian Democrats, or even pre-selection for the ALP given John Watkins has retired?3. If as an independent, or minor party, what chances do you think you will have in influencing the final outcome in Ryde, and the state if it's a hung parliament scenario, with your preferences, including any relevant statistics from past elections?4. Given your role as convenor of Chipbusters around forest conservation will preference negotiations include for instance policy promises on(a) closure of the Eden Chipmill as promised by Bob Carr in the 1995 election?(b) Similarly rejection of power generation using native forest feedstock?(c) Protection of koala habitat on the NSW South Coast?(d) Protection of all NSW forest identified for comprehensive, adequate, representative reserve system given barely 10% of Australia has forest land cover with rare quolls, gliders, owls, possums, frogs and other wildlife live in these landscapes?(e) A ban outright of logging of any wet schlerophyll forest types as natural bushfire fuel management, which logging converts to dusty dry flammable regrowth?Look forward to your response in due course.Yours truly, Tom McLoughlin www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog tel. ....[current readership 35,000 per month]
SAM's editor in a previous life campaigned hard for Clover Moore as Mayor of Sydney City Council first election with active envelope stuffing and poster runs deep into ALP turf.
And we did gladly second election, more subtly, overlapping with the existence of SAM: By noting that ALP rival Burgmann was compromised by such as her own profile/tourism piece in New Matilda ezine by airbrushing the horror of North Korea's death camps; and also a tricky co-author colleague avoiding public hiring protocols at Addison Rd Community Centre. All matters of fair comment, and viral emails. The ALP got only one seat at the second outing against the Clover locomotive (partly due to ICAC Wollongong scandal too).
Clover is criticised by some as a career opportunist, says rival Cr Chris Harris of the Greens in a telephone conversation with SAM. Yet SAM's view like the owner editor of the City Hub, Lawrence Gibbons, has been: 'half of Clover as state MP doubling as mayor, is worth a whole Michael Lee' (referring to her ALP rival first election, former federal minister). Clover has credit as a community independent.
Indeed in the first election Larry Galbraith as organiser for Clover had us dressed up on town hall steps for the ABC tv camera as former Sydney City ALP Mayor Pat Hills MP of post war boom era as a precedent.
Today we have another contribution in relation to Mayor Clover Moore who says she signed a confidentiality agreement on radio this morning. This in effect restrains her from fully carrying out one of her duties under the Local Government Act 1993 in NSW in relation to the Barangaroo $5B development:
Mayor denies conflict of interest on Barangaroo MATTHEW MOORE AND JOSEPHINE TOVEY March 26, 2010
We know about these councillor duties because they came up in a comparative situation when this writer was ex officio co-director 1995-97 with about 16 other board members on Waverley Woollahra Process Plant Inc (aka Waterloo Incinerator owned by Waverley and Woollahra Councils). Ironic because we were elected onto Waverley Council Sept 1995 on a staunch platform opposing a $40M rebuild of the dioxin spewing monster, and to close it down. We represented the Greens as a pioneer into local government (though membership is now lapsed). We left most of the incinerator files with the 3 new Green councillors when we moved on to other projects, but we did find this from the EIS company Maunsel:
My membership on the Board was designed by the ALP to shut The Greens and the community voice down or at least quarrantine it. I was having none of that. In 1996 we were both a director of the Incinerator and sending a media release to chief of the Environment Protection Authority Neil Shepherd to close the polluting monster down just as council leadership were meeting the EPA boss. I rang the secretay to Shepherd so she would take the presser into the meeting! This brought howls of outrage from the ALP leadership at council. Threats to report us to the Dept of Local Govt to show cause why we should not be dismissed for breach of director and or councillor duties to the WWPP Inc. (Keeing in mind Cr Plummer ALP was employed by same LG Dept, working for LG Minister Ernie Page MP for Coogee which itself overlaps with Waverley council area). In short a choreographed stitch up led by Incinerator supporter ALP Mayor Barbara Armitage.
My quasi legal political response was to rapidly research the Local Government Act 1993 objectives and duties of councillors (in the offices of the Environmental Defenders Office actually). These statutary obligations include communicating with the ratepayers, informing the public, and leadership. These are balanced against other concerns like act in best interests of the council which is a subjective beast.
Here is an extract of section 232 of the LG Act here with some highlighing:
What is the role of a councillor?[section] 232 What is the role of a councillor?
(1) The role of a councillor is, as a member of the governing body of the council:• to provide a civic leadership role in guiding the development of the community strategic plan for the area and to be responsible for monitoring the implementation of the council’s delivery program......(2) The role of a councillor is, as an elected person:• to represent the interests of the residents and ratepayers• to provide leadership and guidance to the community• to facilitate communication between the community and the council.
The incinerator union delegate even came to our workplace at Friends of the Earth Sydney in high emotion that the workers were being shafted by "a mole". He was invited in and we talked about the open campaign against the facility, agreeing to disagree, and he talked about the work processing often disgusting waste of the Eastern Suburbs. He left unhappy but alot less angry. Perhaps he could see the writing on the wall and that we also were human beings.
Cr Norman Lee as an ex ALP indepedent was quite acidic at the special meeting early 1997 where this writer was meant to be the main course, roasted. He soon realised I was going to buck their interpretation of the legal obligations by relying on the LG Act provisions above as a community independent councillor. Even if it was arguable as a conflict of laws situation, it was sufficient political cover and they dropped their proposed reference to the Local Govt Dept. (As a footnote, we faced all this alone, with the Green Party local branch including such as Lee Rhiannon, Jeff Ash, councillors still to be elected all no where to be seen busy no doubt busy elsewhere.) The incinerator was closed by State Govt decision later in 1997.
Which brings us back to Clover on the Barangaroo 'Delivery' Authority, bound by confidentiality. As a community media person and high consumer of mass media we did note this last few months the apparent silence of the City Council leadership as the developers and govt, effectively represented by (self interested?) Paul Keating, were all over the Herald and the ABC radio. Silence of the Mayor as consent?? That was the unresolved question in our mind, and presumably in most of the general public's too. Obviously this concern has boiled over in the press today.
Now Clover says this morning on ABC radio she has been fighting the good fights behind the scenes and "reasonable people" will understand this. The jury is still out on how true that is. Cr Mallard (Lib) was impacting in his critique on abc radio that councillors in the broad have been kept in the dark by Mayor Clover over an historic upscale $5B redevelopment.
To paraphrase Cr Harris by phone earlier today regarding Clover's achievements so far at Barangaroo:
1. the light rail concession is not really integrated into city transport being more of a tourist detour Central to Circular Quay possibly along Sussex st. 'That's not integration' presumably referring to the junked metro.
2. the tri-generation sustainable power plan for the buildings are now virtually standard practice e.g. condition of consent on the CUB site due to Cr Harris and Michael Mobbs litigation, as well as in place for SHFA building at Workplace Six, so this is not a Mayoral achievement as such.
Now Clover similarly might wish to reconsider her duties under the Local Governmnent Act and whether that provides sufficient legal and or political cover to go much much harder on the Barangaroo developers, and in a much much more public way. And the question of silence in the past remains to be resolved. No doubt Mayor of Sydney CBD is a tough gig, as always.
We had enough of the 'paper avalanche' after 4 years as a mere independent councillor on a suburban munipality, and here is our parting leaflet personally delivered to 4,000 letterboxes late 1999 endorsing our successor Dominic Wykanak, who is still going strong in Bondi Ward: