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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Sunday, 19 December 2010
Verrender, Van Onselen display their $15B stupidity on power asset profile
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: big media

On the issue of the sale (sell out?) of NSW power assets we keep reading the cannard of the 1997 sale proposal being worth $30 /$25 billion then only $15B under Iemma in 2007 and now only $5B (or $3B after the coal mine).

These are not the same asset bundle. As pointed out by John Kaye MP (Greens) some years ago the 1997 proposal included the poles and wires which may be Transgrid authority.

 No doubt there are other variations in the asset profile for the 3 DIFFERENT sale proposals.

For so called professional journalists or opinion writers in Fairfax and News Ltd in the space of 2 days to get their articles wrong by a mere $15B while promoting their critique is an outrage of public misinformation, probably as bad as the performance of the NSW Govt itself.

No wonder the Govt is so bad. The 4th estate is a sad projection of incompetence. The irony is that this makes the case for Wikileaks regarding actual sourcing of information to cross check the dopes in the big media.

Van Onselen's story may not be online but it appears at p100 today of the Sydney Sunday Telegraph.

Verrender's piece in the weekend Sydney Morning Herald is here:

Seller's remorse hits as power station buyers jump for joy

One stupid quote here:

"At just $5.3 billion, with maybe another $2 billion to come, NSW taxpayers have been royally shafted, ripped off and taken for a ride. At least, that's what the critics would have us believe. And, superficially at least, it's difficult to argue with them.

In 1997, those same assets were in the books at $25 billion. But within two years, the value had plummeted to $16 billion."

Posted by editor at 8:34 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 19 December 2010 8:35 AM EADT
Sunday, 21 November 2010
Wikileaks pioneer targetted for exposing more truth of Iraq death count
Mood:  loud
Topic: big media


This cartoon above ran on ABC Insiders on 31 October 2010:


They are by David Pope, also referred to in this report:


Pope honoured as Cartoonist of the Year

Posted Sun Nov 7, 2010 11:13am AEDT

Canberra cartoonist David Pope has won one of Australia's top cartooning honours, taking out the 2010 Cartoonist of the Year Award in Melbourne last night.

He beat five other finalists to take home the top award.

Pope has been drawing cartoons for the alternative press in Australia since the mid-1980s and for The Canberra Times since 2008.

He says former Canberra Times cartoonist Geoff Pryor created the space in the paper for his brand of political cartooning.

"I've been very lucky to follow in the footsteps of Geoff Pryor at the Canberra Times, who really created the space at the paper where you are given free rein to make political comment about the news of the day and social events," he said.

"It's a terrific space to have and he created that space in the paper over 30 years."

 Over to Insiders comment here:

JASON CHATFIELD: Yes, oh it was a godsend, incredible. It was a slow news day and then just a shoe flew in and every cartoonist in the country stood up and applauded.

There's two reasons that I'm excited that John Howard is back on the scene. One of them is that I get to draw John Howard again.

The other one is that I get to hear Mike Bowers do a John Howard impersonation.

MICHAEL BOWERS (in John Howard voice): Oh not tonight!

JASON CHATFIELD (in John Howard voice): Oh stop it Mike, yeah!

(Referring to Paul Zanetti's cartoon, www.zanetti.net.au):

MICHAEL BOWERS: The shoe throwing incident just gave so many visual metaphors and visual puns for you guys. It was just fantastic.

JASON CHATFIELD: It was amazing. Yeah we've got a Zanetti here with "three shoes?" and then Tony Jones here saying, "Oh the third one is from Costello."

Very good. I'm surprised it's an actual shoe and not a fluffy slipper or something.

(Referring to Jason Chatfield's cartoon, jasonchatfield.com):

MICHAEL BOWERS: You've picked up on it as well.

JASON CHATFIELD: I did. Yeah I mean it was just the fact that that week it got so much press for the book.

He's written everything that's happened to him and then this happens.

And you know I can imagine him just sort of sitting there thinking, oh "Damn, I could have put that in the book."

MICHAEL BOWERS: If they go to a second printing I'm sure it will be in the book.

JASON CHATFIELD: There'll be an addendum yeah, Lazarus writing still.

MICHAEL BOWERS: Me and the shoe.

JASON CHATFIELD: Lazarus reeling.

(Referring to David Pope's cartoon in the Canberra Times):

MICHAEL BOWERS: David Pope from the Canberra Times has really gone for the jugular.

JASON CHATFIELD: Yes. This is one of the sharpest gags I've seen all week.

MICHAEL BOWERS: "The legacy resurrected."

"Sorry is this a bad time?" coming from the skull as they pour out of the Iraq War with the Wikileaks man opening the door on it.

JASON CHATFIELD: This is such a good cartoon. And he's just hit it straight on the head.

The deeply cynical attempts to smear Assange of Wikileaks in the big media remind of the devastating critique of some in the big media - like Fox News today - in a re-run of the 1986 Olive Stone movie Salvador whitewashing massive fatalities by a right wing dictator convenient to the USA fascist influence in Central America.

Director Oliver Stone, a Vietnam War veteran, talks about the movie here:


The movie cast included such notables as:

Truly I say to the Big Media in their coverage of Assange this is their Bonhoeffer moment in terms of professional morality: They can reflect the facts or self censor and sanitise in the face of seemingly overwhelming power of the USA military machine. And yes the death rate in Iraq is comparable with Nazi Germany if not as great.

*    *     *

Which all reminds of the sly Cut & Paste in The Australian yesterday, scolding the Greens (as if the criminal News International have any moral stature on such things) for referencing climate change/global warming as akin to coal trains as death trains in the Holocaust.

Ironically The Australian is 'correct': Inundation and changed monsoonal rainfall patterns from Africa to South East Asia and the Amazon will affect hundreds of millions of people as well as diverse species in nature. Which means the comparison to the Holocaust is inappropriate. The death rate from climate impacts of coal trains will be far, far worse than the Holocaust.

Which of course is anathema to the death cult like worship of the Holocaust as the greatest evil that man has ever been capable of.

Regretably not.

Posted by editor at 7:27 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 21 November 2010 7:54 AM EADT
Sunday, 7 November 2010
Elvish climate protesters at GMT in 2009 get off with a stern lecture
Mood:  chatty
Topic: local news

Another not so cryptic photo from a grovelling lawyer's existence:



Posted by editor at 12:29 PM EADT
Saturday, 9 October 2010
They always said you were so weird ...
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: peace

Thank you John Lennon, an influential life echoing down the years, posted at the anniversary of his death, or something like that around this time in alot of big media. The header refers to a line in a song by George Harrison in tribute to his band brother on his untimely death. But on balance I went for another song link demonstrating such influence in the current day, like the lovely "IMAGINE" banner below in 2007: Eddie Vedder cover of a well know Lennon song, apparently channeling Dylan at the time.


Posted by editor at 7:26 PM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 7 November 2010 12:14 PM EADT
NSW forest still being trashed - Dampier SF NSW south coast Oct 2010
Mood:  sad
Topic: nsw govt


Posted by editor at 5:14 PM NZT
Saturday, 2 October 2010
Too much time on a long weekend
Topic: about editor







Posted by editor at 11:40 PM NZT
Sunday, 18 July 2010
Abbott in Green Zone - but where are the WMD Tony?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: peace


Posted by editor at 6:38 PM NZT
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
SMAGE enviro writer plays catch up on tired Wilderness ruction
Mood:  mischievious
Topic: big media


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 PM
Subject: TWS will be fine, 45K members etc

I 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 here
I 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 #1 
and #2
and 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 here
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):







Posted by editor at 6:07 AM NZT
Thursday, 1 April 2010
'Manager' Ian Barnes & co implicated in 20 years of past illegal logging of south coast koala, owl, quoll tourism resource?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: nsw govt


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

March 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 PM
Subject: Koalas: Croobyar Forest 1994 precedent under Minister Hartcher/NPWS stop work order Re: [Greens-Media] Koala habitat logging blockade back on

In 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:


We've been traversing the Croobyar Forest winning blockade of 1994 and realise there was never any EIS done for the whole Bateman's Bay Forest MA for 20 years, much of that under Ian Barnes control for the NSW Govt logging agency. Thus most logging was illegal for two decades.


Croobyar forest in 1994 is quite comparable to the Redgum forest controvery of today 2009-10 with no EIS despite the 1979 Environmental Planning and Assessment Act requirement, forcing recent litigation and political decision making. In the case of the BB MA in the 90ies Carr resolved the illegality with a political CRA negotiation to forestall legal action and then passed forest legislation in the late 90ies gazumping any legal need for an EIS: Causing a major split in the green movement against any political deal given continued logging threat to the tourism economy, lack of an EIS ever done, and minimal community loyalty to the Eden chipper geographically much further south. 

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.

(In the Redgum situation no intervening forest legislation has ever been passed to gazump need for an EIS under the 1979 Act, hence Premier Rees/Sartor/Keneally have to intervene to resolve the long running illegality there).
This lack of an EIS was a major bone of contention in the 1990ies: The Wilderness Society thought about a legal challenge given there was an EIS for Eden and Corkill legal victory in late 1991 re no EIS done for Chaelundi in the NE.
Conclusion: Barnes is thoroughly unreliable on forest fauna issues given he was willing to operate outside the law for many years up to the late 90ies, in BB MA: Not surprising given he served originally under Commissioner Hans Drielsma who now runs Tasmania Forest Commission promoting the ultra controversial Gunns pulp mill. Dreilsma was effectively run out of NSW by about 1996.


Here is more of that successful Croobyar forest blockade in the lead up to another NSW election 1994-1995. Back then it was then Environment Minister Chris Hartcher who directed his chief bureaucrat Robyn Kruk (yes same one in the news lately) to issue a stop work literally as the police and logging agency were riding in to bust the greenies. We were told later there was only an hour in it:









Posted by editor at 2:14 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 2 April 2010 10:31 AM NZT
Historic Aboriginal leader speech on nuke threat to ALP Conference of 1984
Mood:  special
Topic: nuke threats

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:

 Long term radiation from possible dump needs attention

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:




Posted by editor at 11:13 AM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 1 April 2010 11:18 AM NZT

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