« February 2007 »
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
about editor
aust govt
big media
contact us
donations to SAM
election nsw 2007
election Oz 2007
free SAM content
human rights
independent media
local news
nsw govt
nuke threats
publish a story
zero waste
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
official indymedia
ecology action Australia
ecology action
Advertise on SAM
details for advertisers
You are not logged in. Log in

sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Thursday, 1 February 2007
Iemma, Garrett, and 'mate' Angel spin an exclusive climate googly at Howard government in his favourite newspaper
Mood:  loud
Topic: globalWarming

On the PM show last night Peter Garrett as Shadow Minister gave a somewhat waffly interview to hard head Chris Uhlmann here:




leaning on the front page story on climate change story in the Sydney Daily Telegraph lifting out to another 2 page spread with colourful graphics:


PETER GARRETT: Well look, just think about where we would be if John Howard had done something about greenhouse gas emissions 10 years ago. I mean, the front page of The Daily Telegraph today …”


 The PM show ran the same story from the Daily Telegraph just prior


But the city's been given a dire warning about the impact of climate change on its future from the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation).

It's a report commissioned by the New South Wales Government. The study predicts temperature rises of up to five degrees, and a decrease in rainfall of up to 40 per cent, over the next 70 years.”




Premier Iemma is quoted about this “doomsday” scenario and their seems little doubt the whole exercise was aimed at hurting the Howard federal government, widely viewed as a failure on this policy area, having been a repackaged CSIRO 2004 report trimmed to focus on Sydney’s future and released by Iemma’s office.


Not only hurt Howard perhaps but marginalise the attack being worked on by the Herald using the Angel TEC research:


Water crisis plan sinks in red tape



But today the Tele rival Sydney Morning Herald is very not amused  for being trumped yesterday


Climate data fit for recycling

THE State Government's green credentials were under scrutiny yesterday after it was caught out recycling 2004 data on climate change and was forced to admit its own agencies were too slow to make water savings.


And here


Analysis: All hot air: Iemma's reign of hypocrisy


And here


Editorial: In a spin over climate change


Hell hath no fury like a newspaper scorned for their rival.


But it also echoes the lengthy story we wrote yesterday about one Jeff Angel who similarly ran on abc 702 radio news bulletins both early and late though curiously not in the middle, boosting the message that ‘politicians have to start behaving themselves’ in light of the CSIRO report. That story here on SAM


Angelic greenwashing of water guzzling cyanide gold mine at Lake Cowal posted 31st January 2007


goes on to analyse the very ALP NSW Govt friendly history of Angel in the past around the Lake Cowal gold mine for one, and many parallel green concerns, particularly while Carr was Premier.


This has to be balanced against Angel’s attacks on the Iemma government in the Herald yesterday for their water inefficiency and their policy of long wall underground mining for coal on abc radio.


Perhaps Peter Garrett is effectively the pro ALP brand greenie now who can defend or neutralise anything Angel serves up at least in PR terms, The Green Party have annexed the role of powerful honest brokers and the ALP know it, and thus Angel is finally losing his protection racket modus operandi.


Perhpas Angel is only left now with actually building public support if he can for a position like Milo Dunphy always did, not just co opt others campaign work burning them in the process  in order to draw down government sinecures? Which calls up why did he take the wrong path originally? Was it for being stuck in the shadow of a giant like Milo Dunphy who took pollies head on, or genuine lack of ability? Time will tell.


Postscript #1


And as angry as the Herald is for being cut out of the CSIRO report story exclusive attacking Howard, this report today in conservative The Australian by Mike Steketee, is also very negative but not very persuasive, and virtually concedes the election to Iemma regardless 

"Mike Steketee: Iemma's banana republic

01 February 2007

IF you were writing a script for how to get in trouble in the run-up to an election, you simply could not go past NSW. It has the lot, including a child sex scandal, a flagging economy and the fallout from the Government's long neglect of capital spending in areas such as water and public transport. ...

The Iemma Government is not mainly to blame for the NSW economy lagging behind the rest of the nation. Rising interest rates have hit the housing market harder in Sydney and the resources boom is sucking jobs and investment interstate. But a government prepared to scare off investors for short-term political gain does not help.

The state election will not hang on this issue, particularly because the Opposition is even more irresponsible. So large is the Government's electoral margin, so powerful the benefits of incumbency and so discredited the Opposition that the Government on present indications will be returned with a reduced majority. But the ramifications of its behaviour are much more serious and longer lasting than any of the issues on which voters will be asked to exercise their choice.

Mike Steketee is The Australian's national affairs editor."

Postscript #1

An amusing article ran bottom left of page 4 of Daily Telegraph the following day 2nd Feb 07: "Scoopful of sour grapes"

"Having been scooped again on a major exclusive, The Sydney Morning Herald yesterday resorted to lying to deflect its failure to cover the CSIRO climate change report. The Daily Telegraph beat its rival on Wednesday with a page 1 exclusive on the CSIRO report commissioned  by the State Government. To cover its embarrassment at being beaten, The SMH wrongly claimed the report was old."

They similarly quote Premier Iemma accussing the SMH of "petty jealousy".

Posted by editor at 8:56 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 8 February 2007 8:20 AM EADT
Big Brother Feds oppressing ngo dissent, just like Little Brother NSW govt?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: election Oz 2007

The well written and idealistic comment piece by Sarah Maddison and Clive Hamilton  January 27, 2007 which leads in with


"Many welfare organisations have discovered that criticising policy is unacceptable to this Government"


was a good read, and mostly true to this writer with some 15 years in the non government group sector. It was circulated to us by environmentalist David Lockwood. The article is here:


The repression of the bleeding hearts


One comment regarding the complexity of the situation from this ngo minnow with no govt funding: The NSW ALP govt does the same thing.


Clive Hamilton is on the happy side of that favouritism as regards state largesse. Ex Premier Carr is on his Climate Institute and was cued to launch his sustainability book in 2005 at Parliament House in Macquarie St while as Premier overseeing woodchipping of a million tonnes of natural forest per year in breach of an election promise made in 1995.


Clive didn't see the inconsistency of that and wrote to me to the effect of 'You have a chip on your shoulder'. Which of course is true too regarding that issue.


A case in point was defunding of the 'NSW Ethnic Communities Council' as a way of conservative Carr addressing the momentum of the One Nation challenge to right wing voters. The other case in point is sidelining the far more representative and bigger membership The Wilderness Society versus the 700 size Total Environment Centre which was far more compliant to the then Carr govt as


"the greenest premier in the history of Australia"


to quote Jeff Angel in late 2002 in the Sydney Morning Herald prior to the March 2003 vote. That was an outrageous pre emption of the green movement in an election cycle.


Conclusion: Both major parties are corrupt when they can get away with it as regards robust discipline of critical comment by the NGO sector.


The difference is that the Howard Govt are bigger and have been there the longest and thus are most guilty of oppressing non govt groups.


Postscript #1 5th Feb 2007


And the Establishment chill, possibly via Howard Govt contacts in business, against Clive Hamilton's Australia Institute is in this article following, while noting the legal timing of the court action reported is back in November 2006 is before this latest book of Maddison and Hamilton about 'Silencing Dissent' in early 2007:


DJs sues over child exploitation claims

Images from David Jones kids summer catalogue ADELE HORIN | David Jones is suing the Australia Institute over claims the giant retailer's advertising sexually exploited children.

Posted by editor at 7:59 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 6 February 2007 7:26 AM EADT
SAM news blog clocks 2800 hits first month, Sydney Indy Media back online too
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: independent media

We are fairly happy with our Sydney Alternative Media website as we lead into the NSW and federal elections, and gather together the strands of news value from diverse social contacts here in Oz, but also Aussies scattered by the global wind to Canada and South Korea.

It was intended to substitute for http://sydney.indymedia.org/ which went offline for maintenance and upgrade for about 6 weeks, and is now thankfully back up in the last few days.

This calls up the role of blogging news and how it can relate to collectivist and much more public interactive official indymedia sites like SIM and say alternative news media blogs like SAM. My feeling the greater editorial control of a blog can raise the quality of a read while SIM provides a genuinely well known and globally connected  brand for public access to get that critical news story into the community.

Also blogs are generally hosted by blog companies and therefore subject to that control while indymedia have greater stand alone technical capacity and multiple redundancy built in if ever there was a censorship agenda against bloggers per se.

2,800 hits for SAM in just under a month is nothing earth shaking but enough to feel okay about, and worth pursuing. This level of interest is in January which is supposed to be a quiet time though this year is not so typical with 2 big elections marching on with NSW March 24th and federal election perhaps in November 2007.

The trend in daily reads seems to be increasing too with 179 for the last day. Lastly we have noticed our language and even content turning up either as a direct or indirect echo or perhaps parallel evolution in some high profile columnist articles, one distinctly centre left, another on the right. We won't embarrass them by mentioning who.

Our material is for open use and is meant to be borrowed, recycled and reused. It's free, and no need for attribution either. It really is free, and that's the owner and editor speaking.

Posted by editor at 6:39 AM EADT
India's President calls for public feedback on solution to terrorism via yahoo blog
Mood:  crushed out
Topic: peace

Our man in South Korea Jarrah Keenan, with plenty of reason to ponder the question of peace south of the DMZ there, sends this intriguing message about a Gandhi style internet based process to find the solution to terrorism:

Howdy Tom! I thought this question on Yahoo! Answers might be interesting to you.

any chance of adding this to SAM and MIM? it's really very thought provoking - global democracy in action!!!

What should we do to free our planet from terrorism?


Posted by editor at 6:18 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 1 February 2007 7:05 AM EADT
Energy lobby still in thrall to fossil fool greenhouse mafia says Milne
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: globalWarming

As the 7.30 Report last night ran this

Australia ignoring solar power, says pioneer

Australia's leading solar power innovator leaves the country tomorrow, frustrated because he believes this country cannot see past its rich coal and uranium reserves, and recognise that the sun is Australia's richest energy resource of all.

in effect a profoundly depressing coverage of groundbreaking solar energy technology going to China, Europe and the USA out of Australia to help save our planet, to strains of denial of Industry Minister McFarlane and to this ear a sound of voters rushing for the door, Senator Milne of the Greens below identifies where the Howard government, and the energy sector here have gone so horribly wrong. And she is right.

It is a depressing and very frightening manifestation of an earlier profound report on ABC flagship 4 Corners about an insiders club 'greenhouse mafia' here:

The Greenhouse Mafia

Reporter: Janine Cohen Broadcast: 13/02/2006

Four Corners returns for 2006 with a whistleblower … and revelations of a powerful insiders’ club...

"Having found out what I’ve found out, I find it impossible to continue with a clear conscience without speaking out" - whistleblower interviewed by Four Corners.

Are Australians getting the whole truth on global warming?

Not according to evidence given to Four Corners, which returns with disturbing allegations about the power wielded by industry lobbyists, the self-proclaimed greenhouse "mafia". http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2006/s1566257.htm

Over to Senator Milne .... 


Wednesday, 31 January 2007

No time to delay climate action - Howard must price carbon now

Australia cannot afford to wait for experimental technology to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions and advocates of this 'wait-and-see' approach
are risking catastrophic climate change, the Australian Greens said

Greens climate change and energy spokesperson Senator Christine Milne
said a report commissioned by the Energy Supply Association of Australia
(ESAA) was self-serving, arguing for the nation to put its hopes in
carbon capture and storage, and ignoring the potential gains from energy

"It is in the interests of the fossil fuel industry to claim that
renewable energy and energy efficiency are no solution to climate change
and that we must rely instead on an experimental and costly technology,"
Senator Milne said.

"The ESAA should be advocating improving energy efficiency and demand
reduction - the quickest and cheapest way to reduce emissions - but of
course this in not in their members' short-term financial interest.

"The Howard government has deliberately refused to review the scope of
renewable energy and energy efficiency to meet deep greenhouse reduction
targets, instead directing all its efforts at 'clean coal' and nuclear
power, which it favours.

"This policy failure has driven renewable energy technologies like solar
thermal power company Solar Heat and Power offshore where it is
recognised that solar thermal power is a probable replacement for coal,
nuclear and oil.

"The urgency of action on climate change is reinforced with the release
today of a CSIRO report on the likely impacts for NSW. The forecasts are

"Australians have a right to be angry with their governments for
continuing to prop-up polluting energy interests and failing to treat
climate change with the urgency it demands.

"We need a national effort, starting with the federal government setting
a national greenhouse reduction target, introducing an emissions trading
scheme and a carbon tax on transport fuels, a higher mandatory renewable
energy target and investment in public transport."

Posted by editor at 5:52 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 8 February 2007 8:06 AM EADT
Kaye exposes slashing of education programme for western Sydney teens
Mood:  irritated
Topic: election nsw 2007

As the Sydney Daily Telegraph education reporter Maralyn Parker notes the "arrogant" and "complacent" attitude of Minister Carmel Tebbutt, who is also MP for marginal seat of Marrickville in an article yesterday

Voters can count, too

Greens aspirant and favourite of the Teachers union, Dr John Kaye, slams the education policy of the ALP on their own credentials of social equity, and he does look to have a very sound point:

Struggling teenagers in Western Sydney getting a raw deal

Media Release - 31 January 2007

The Greens today called on the Iemma government to reverse its
appalling decision to dismantle a number of highly successful
educational programs targeted at disadvantaged young people in
Western Sydney.

Greens Education spokesman and Upper House candidate John Kaye,
said  "Youth Outreach, Chifley Centre Programs and volunteer tutors
with TAFE have contributed to keeping young people in school who
would otherwise drop out.

"It is a disgrace that these valuable and highly effective programs
are being sacrificed, when the 63 wealthiest private schools continue
to receive $59.6 million each year from the state government.

"These programs support young people who are not going to school, by
employing youth workers who are able to liaise between school and young people.

"Each of these programs is a triumph for good practice in public
education that deserves the full support of the Iemma Government.
Long term, sustainable funding for these programs is a start to
making sure the most disadvantage young people get the help they need
to stay at school.

"These cuts are a short sighted approach to education and will strike
hard at young people who are finding life tough. The Greens are
committed to making sure that all young people have the best start in life.

"The Greens are also concerned that funding for Plumpton Babies is
inadequate and may have been reduced. This program allows school aged
mothers to bring their babies to school while continuing their education.

"There couldn't be a more stark contrast. Youth Outreach programs
cancelled while SCEGGS Redlands gets $1.3 million a year from the
state government. Chifley Centre and TAFE tutor training programs
de-funded while Trinity Grammar gets $1.7 million a year.

"If Labor is serious about addressing the welfare needs of students
in the West and South West of Sydney, they will take on the wealthy
private school lobby and free up the funds needed to continue these
important programs.

"The money is there. It is the political will in Macquarie St that is
missing," Dr Kaye said.

Posted by editor at 5:40 AM EADT
ASIO got it wrong with Nauru detainee says Nettle
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: human rights

[media release follows]

Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Greens Welcome release of Nauru detainee

Greens Senator Kerry Nettle today welcomed the release of detainee
Muhammad Faisal from detention after five years.

"The release of Muhammad Faisal, following a fresh security assessment
by ASIO, raises serious questions about the accuracy of ASIO
assessments," Senator Nettle said.

"This man's life has been ruined and his mental health destroyed because
ASIO got it wrong. What could possible have changed about Mr Faisal's
security status during five years detention in Nauru," asked Senator

"Asylum seekers' claims should be assessed on their need to for
protection, not on a secret, bogus security assessment."

"After visiting him last year, I'm thrilled that Muhammad will be able
to live in the community. It's a shame for his mental health and
Australia that it is five years too late," Senator Nettle said.

Posted by editor at 5:36 AM EADT
Air quality crusader takes the final journey: Charles William Briers RIP
Mood:  sad
Topic: ecology

We received this email below from Charles' email sender address late last night. We published in full his latest RAPS newsletter only days ago, and met him a few times at his place in Earlwood just over the hill from the Turrella M5 East toxic pollution stack.

His last Residents Against Polluting Stacks newsletter is here on SAM at:

Wednesday, 24 January 2007
Iemma spinning portal toxic emissions from M5 to fit election timetable: RAPS
Mood:  rushed
Topic: ecology

[received 23rd January 2007]

Charles, Rest In Peace, cobber. You ran the good race right to the end. No one can do better than that. You will be sorely missed:

Charles Briers passed away earlier this week.  He had been battling various
complications of Parkinson's disease.

Our heartfelt thank you's to all who have sent messages of condolence and

Charles' funeral will be held at 10am this Friday at the South Chapel,
Crematorium, Linden Street, Sutherland, NSW :

Please come along and celebrate the life and love of a truly good man.

Donations in lieu of flowers to Parkinson's Australia.

Thank you.

Gina Briers and family
31 January 2007.

Posted by editor at 5:17 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 1 February 2007 5:30 AM EADT
Wednesday, 31 January 2007
crikey.com.au expose Howard's Cammora style Italian fix for Vanstone
Mood:  down
Topic: election Oz 2007

SAM's editor is 1/8 Italian apparently on my mother's side, from Calabria area. It's confusing because I am quite attracted to dark skinned black haired types but am Germanic Irish fair looking fellow.

I was advised by an Italian traveller that this is the home of the Cammora organised crime mobsters, whereas the Mafia are from Sicily:


Crikey.com.au have written about another form of Italian organised 'crime' in their editorial today which is entirely homegrown courtesy the Australian federal government:

Italian jokes aside, the wink-wink-nudge-nudge-who-me-yet-to-be-confirmed appointment of Senator Amanda Vanstone as the new Australian ambassador to Italy is merely the latest example of why politicians deserve to be held in such low esteem.

This is what the sacked Vanstone
told Sky News about her non-appointment to Rome yesterday:

My departure from cabinet is completely unconditional, absolute and final. It's not conditional on anything … The prime minister, when he made his statement, said that I was keen to continue in public service ... That's right, but there's a whole range of opportunities there … I don't know that I'm heading anywhere … Anything is an option. I'm here and I've got four years left on my Senate term. I may be made an offer … I may stay in parliament, who knows. ... I'm still thinking about that.”

Really? Try telling that to the current Australian ambassador in Rome, Peter Woolcott, the fall guy who has been instructed by the Department of Foreign Affairs to pack his bags, pull his kids out of school and return to Canberra almost a year earlier than his tour of duty was scheduled to finish.

Of course, when the non-appointment is announced the Senator will be surprised, honoured, humble -- and shameless. So will the Prime Minister. And the well-earned reputation of senior politicians as conniving, self-serving, hypocritical liars will be preserved, yet again.

If Amanda Vanstone gets her dolce vita quid pro quo it won't be a case of arrivederci, but good riddance.

Posted by editor at 3:32 PM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 31 January 2007 3:42 PM EADT
Angelic greenwashing of water guzzling cyanide gold mine at Lake Cowal
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: water

An influential figure on environment in this state has a dirty secret (and likely many more) which dilutes the moral authority of his role, say on climate change on abc radio this morning.


Jeff Angel was once described to this writer by the national director of the The Wilderness Society Karenne Jurd in 1992 as “such a bastard”, and it took quite a few years to see where she was coming from. At the time it just seemed professional jealously. But that was a naïve view.


At the time I decided to defy Jurd and work on Angel's draft South East Forest Protection Bill by taking a temporary job in NSW Parlaiment with Clover Moore MP on the cross benches to the Fahey minority government. The job was to shepherd the SEFPB through the Parliamentary Committee Inquiry involving inter alia Kim Yeadon (later forest minister), Pam Allan (later environment minister) and Craig Knowles (later planning and health minister and heir apparent to Bob Carr before crashing out). Clover was the MP sponsor of the private members bill which played well with innner city voters given 1500 arrests on the issue in 1989-91 period.


Those were heady days with John Hatton MP down the corridor saying 'Everyday I feel like we are getting stronger', and his indefatigable staffer Arthur King famous for organised crime locking him in a car boot for 3 days who told me 'brevity is golden'.


Maybe if I had taken that meeting with Jurd I would have made some quite different decisions. The SEFPB did its job of promoting a new ALP government in 1995 and I went back to The Wilderness Society in 1993. It was Angel's project but it was his senior Milo Dunphy that I met first at TEC and respected for his kindness of spirit and great experience.


This morning on ABC radio news Angel was heard positioning as the honest broker on need for ‘politicians to behave properly’ on another alarming report this time from ‘credible, conservative, portentious’ CSIRO. More detail here:




This climate change story precedes the next big scary report of the International Panel on Climate Change due any day now


UN report turns up heat on PM


which this observer understands will likely still underplay the urgency for failure to properly factor in sea rise due to rapid glacier warming discussed more here:




Here is an image and caption from that scientific article of 12th January 2007 of the decline of ice cover in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s all downhill for ice, and up for sea rise over the next century, decade by ominous decade (also canvassed by Phillip Adams Latenight Live radio show with 3 climate scientists recently).

Figure 2: Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent in September for all seven integration of the CCSM3 with observations from satellite era shown in black.


In Australia its not ice melt, or even sea rise (including here) which is alarming people so much as change in rainfall resulting in drought.


Angel is busy exploiting that widespread concern over water sustainability too in the TEC franchise on environmentalism: He is in the lead front page story today Sydney Morning Herald about failure of the Iemma Govt to do it's own housekeeping on water conservation plans, as here: 

Water crisis plan sinks in red tape

Water gushing from a tap. A STRATEGY to save billions of litres of water has become so mired in bureaucracy that the State Government has approved only 15 per cent of the plans to slash usage.

All well and good. This is the core work of any public interest non government organisation.


The story by Anne Davies, a top political reporter, builds on this TEC statement involving TEC riding the publicity wave of concern on water recycling here: Government inaction cripples key program to save Sydney's water 


But the question is whether TEC have an honourable history and honourable intent to deserve any profile on this issue in the first place? Sure its useful and embarrassing to expose the Iemma Govt on it's own performance and feeds into Fairfax owners' determination to oust the ALP, but rewarding TEC's director with greater influence, and typically, government funded participation in the policy responses only maintains a shallow protection racket with no real duopoly party political reform for ecological protection.


In fact the ALP get more cocky with every environmental problem that they just have to buy off Jeff Angel.


Like an alcoholic the institution of democracy gets a short term fix via aggrandisement of the TEC with its 700 odd members, but is left more tatty and unreliable than before once the hangover sets in as the money runs out and no systemic change in political power is achieved.


Protection racket? Yes, as illustrated by the following irreconcilable opportunism by Angel's TEC:


In the Lake Cowal area of central western NSW the water table has reportedly fallen 30 metres from 20 metres below ground to 50 metres, and farmers can’t reach it with their bores. It is also the place where a controversial gold mine churns through water for it’s cyanide leaching process having commenced in 2004 after political approval some 5 years earlier:


3rd Nov 06 - Lake Cowal cyanide gold mine chewing up farmers drought water, 20m water table drops to 50 m depth!


There are rumours local farmers are being paid off to keep quiet. Most independent green groups hate this mine in NSW:


Nov 06 - Alarm of independent greens over miner 'Environment Foundation' pay off to badly compromised 'peak' greens


But three ‘peak’ groups led by Jeff Angel at the Total Environment Centre found a way to participate in an ‘environmental foundation’ that suggests the mine is environmentally responsible while being paid $100,000 a year to run their green projects out of cyanide dependent gold mining profits. To quote their website:


“During the operational life of the mine, payments exceeding $2 million are expected to be made to the Lake Cowal Foundation. Although largely funded by Barrick, the Foundation also attracts external funding and works with a range of other groups and organisations.”




"The current members of the Foundation include the Total Environment Centre, National Parks Association, Nature Conservation Council and Barrick Australia Limited. The Lake Cowal Foundation is managed by a Board of Directors represented by five Directors including two environmental NGO representatives, a local landholder representing the Bland Shire Community, one independent scientist and a representative from Barrick."






It is well worth noting that this deal for mining company funds to select tame green groups was made and commenced well before the mine actually commenced around 2004. That is the pay off was in place well before the time of the mine as a fait accompli.


Indeed this author has tracked the real politik of the cyanide gold mine from the furore of bird kills at a similar mine at North Parkes on 60 Minutes, then Timbarra mine which was beaten off by green groups, and now Lake Cowal gold mine approved with green sinecures by the ALP Government under ex Premier Bob Carr:


15/3/04...The dirty Lake Cowal cyanide gold mine trust terms discussed here in 'Lake Cowal and real politik of mining decisions under Carr govt'


This dirty scandal of pay offs to greenie groups, or “duchessing” being the term used by Milo Dunphy founder of TEC in 1972 (and mentor of this writer), as hush money on a water guzzling mine to help their political mates (or conversely blackmail them for a green kiss off), is a game breaker for Jeff Angel’s compromised credibility in the lead up to the state and federal elections.


Rainforest Information Centre, The Green Party, Friends of the Earth Australia, local Traditional Owners like Chappy Williams and many others condemn the cyanide water guzzling mine but Angel’s affinity group are being financed by it indirectly. And he still presents to Big Media as “independent” and often gets away with it.


Demonstrably false.


But it is a sophisticated operation this protection racket. At the same time deals are being cut to go quiet on Lake Cowal cyanide monster we have the story above,  or this other issue on the Total Environment Centre website:


"New Report: longwall mining destroying NSW rivers, Thursday, 25 January 2007, Underground coal mining is resulting in major damage to the state's water resources and the Iemma Government can no longer afford to ignore the problem says a report released today by the Total Environment Centre.



A good strong conservationist line, but totally inconsistent and hypocritical compared to the Lake Cowal scandal. The two approaches are in fact irreconcilable. It is grand opportunism to keep TEC in business. Karenne Jurd was right.


This writer has followed Angel’s career at close quarters and from a distance since 1992. Milo Dunphy, it is also fair to say rejected Angel’s professional ethics. The green movement is littered with burnt and broken middle ranking green campaign experts on forests, Snowy River, Zero Waste, Olympic Games, transport and more that have been gazumped or sidelined by Angel via an inside running and back room deal making with the corrupt NSW government. I know most of them over the years. This writer is one of the burned.


Another example is the creation of the Green Games Watch with government money to buy off green groups' complaints of govt fraud in submitting in the 1993 bid documents to the International Olympic Committee that these green groups endorsed the government's 'green bid'.


Another example is juicey negotiating grant money for forest discussions with the Carr government which junked the promise to end woodchipping of natural forest by the year 2000, back to 1 million tonnes a year out of Eden chipper, in fact more than at the height of forest protests mainly organised by The Wilderness Society in 1990 with 1500 protester arrests


The model of sell out has eroded somewhat over the last year or two as the strength of the Green Party has progressed, who have no need for ALP sinecures, and factual and objective postings like this one work there way into the consciousness of fair minded observers and environmentalists alike, but the legacy of corruption of how the ALP does business is still there for all to see, evidenced by the Lake Cowal cyanide mine deal condemned by such as Ian Cohen MLC (The Greens) this writer and others.


All of this should be transparent to the environmental, political and media community.


As if to underline the point of the demise of independence of certain so called 'peak' green groups taking industry money brokered by compromised government at Lake Cowal, here is the Green Party's real and searching water reform policy going into the 2007 election:

Media Release - 30 January 2007

Greens 2007 election urban water policy (detailed policy included)

Greens MP and Upper House candidate Lee Rhiannon - launching the Greens
urban water strategy today - said the major parties have underestimated
the community's willingness to treat water as a precious commodity
and be part of the solution to drought.

"The major parties have failed to read the community mood. There has
been a welcome shift in support for water recycling, but we must not
lose sight of the enormous capacity of the public to save water and
use it more efficiently," Ms Rhiannon said.

"The major parties are scared that Sydney residents will punish them at
the ballot box if they don't promise big ticket engineering solutions,
like desalination.

"The Greens plan for Sydney centres on rainwater tanks, local grey
water treatment, stormwater harvesting, wastewater recycling, improved
efficiency and stronger restrictions.

"By abandoning plans to pre-emptively construct a desalination plant,
the Greens' strategy potentially saves $1.2 billion, at least half
of which can be invested in these measures.

At a glance, the Greens policy (attached) involves:

 + Doubling the current rebates on rainwater tanks and allowing
   consumers to pay off the cost of tanks as part of their quarterly
   water bill. This would encourage a six fold increase on uptake rate,
   reduce water demand by 10 million kilolitres (10 GL) each year and
   cost just $66 million.  We aim for Sydney to have 250,000 water
   tanks by 2011, up from the current 20,000.

 + Improving household water efficiency, including accelerated
   retrofitting of households and banning water inefficient appliances.

 + Local recycling and reuse projects for industrial and commercial
   premises, including on-site grey water pilot projects with the
   goal of re-using most water at least three times.

 + Enhancing BASIX to ensure all new and renovated dwellings and
   commercial premises are water efficient and maximise the capture
   of rainwater, stormwater and wastewater.

 + Immediately introducing Level IV water restrictions, backed up by
   enhanced enforcement and community education. By banning outdoor
   hosing and placing stronger requirements on some businesses and
   government agencies, storage levels could be safely held above
   the 30% trigger for a desalination plan.

 + Financial assistance to low income households to reduce their
   water demand and increase efficiency. This includes rebates on high
   efficiency appliances for pension card holders.

 + Making Sydney Water a partner with households in reducing water
   consumption, not just a government cash cow.

 + Abandoning plans for the desalination plant and aquifer pumping.

 + Commencing the process of closing ocean outfalls and phasing out
   the environmentally disastrous pumping of water from the Shoalhaven.

"Times have changed, and the government needs to work on a permanent shift
in how we manage water.

"Our policy will see Sydney through this and subsequent water crises and
avoid the need to spend money on expensive white elephants like desalination
and aquifer pumping," Ms Rhiannon said.

For more information:          Lee Rhiannon 0427 861 568


The Greens Community Water Solutions Package for Sydney

January 2007

1. Emergency drought measures

The Iemma government scrapped plans to introduce level IV restrictions
when the storage levels fell to 35% in February 2006 in favour of
building the desalination plant and aquifer pumping.

With no time left to introduce other water savings measures, the Greens

 - immediately introduce level IV restrictions. These would ban outdoor
   hosing, further restrict the filling of swimming pools and place
   tougher limits on some businesses and government agencies. They
   are designed to reduce water consumption by 30%.

 - back the restrictions up with enhanced compliance enforcement and
   community education. Working with the community to develop
   widespread confidence in compliance is important to the success
   of the restrictions.

 - abandon the pre-emptive plans for the desalination plant and aquifer
   pumping. These are expensive and environmentally damaging. The
   desalination plant could add up to 1.4% to NSW's stationary source
   greenhouse gas emissions.  If a 500 ML/day plant were operated
   for 50% of the time, it would provide only 15% of Sydney's annual
   water consumption. Sale of this water would earn about $30 million
   in net revenue which is an extremely poor return on a $1.2 billion

Level IV restrictions and compliance measures are only needed because of
past failures to treat water as precious commodity. If Sydney had reduced
amount it had taken from its dams by 20% over the past five years, then
water storage would currently be at 58.5%. There would be no water crisis.

2. Preparing for the next drought

Climate change is likely to deliver Sydney a more hostile climate
with increasingly frequent and severe droughts. The lessons of the
current crisis should not be wasted.

While protecting the reliability of the water supply requires careful
planning, building expensive supply side options like desalination in
an ill-considered attempt to drought proof Sydney is likely to be an
expensive failure. Demand side options like water tanks and improved
efficiency are cheaper and more reliable. They also continue to make
economic and environmental sense even in the absence of drought.

The Greens would implement cost effective and environmentally sensitive
options to reduce Sydney's vulnerability to adverse rainfall patterns,

 - banning water inefficient appliances. We would work with other state
   and territory governments to develop a nation-wide ban on the sale
   of appliances that unnecessarily waste water.

 - the widespread use of rainwater tanks in homes, businesses and
   public buildings, by increasing subsidies, removing barriers and
   developing financial arrangements that allow consumers to pay off
   the cost of rainwater tanks as part of their quarterly bill.

 - financial assistance to low income households to reduce their water
   demand and increase efficiency. This includes rebates on high
   efficiency appliances for all pension card holders.

 - strengthening the water component of BASIX to ensure that all new
   and renovated dwellings and commercial premises are water efficient
   and maximise the capture and use of rainwater, stormwater and
   reuse of wastewater.

 3. Making Sydney a world leader in water wisdom

In the longer term, Sydney's environment and economy can benefit
from a change in the way we think about water.  The experience of
the drought and the development of new technologies mean that the
community is now is a position to break away from outmoded thinking
that treats our storages as inexhaustible and the oceans as a dump.

The Greens will work with the community to implement modern notions
of water supply and sewerage services that include:

 - The grey water revolution. The Greens would urgently implement
   on-site grey water pilot projects with the goal of re-using most
   water at least three times. The best focus for these projects
   would be on domestic uses such as clothes washing and shower
   water. Separating easily re-used grey water before it is mixed
   with more contaminated products, especially human and industrial
   waste, will reduce the energy required to process it to potable or
   near potable levels. Doing this locally will significantly reduce
   transport costs and pumping energy.

 - Sydney Water a water services provider, not just a water supplier.
   Sydney Water is publicly owned. Last year it provided $193 million
   to the state government. Sydney Water's business model means the
   more water Sydney uses, the greater the short term profit that is
   delivered to the NSW government. Instead of just providing water
   at the meter and taking sewage at the street, Sydney Water can
   become a partner with households in reducing water consumption and
   overall costs. This involves changing the structure and culture
   of the organisation and removing the incentives to sell more water
   and make bigger dividends.

 - No public private partnerships that lock Sydney into a waste-driven
   future. Public Private Partnerships deliver short term capital
   at the expense of long term flexibility and environmental
   sustainability. Most private sector projects, such as sewer mining
   and desalination proposals, have contractual requirements that
   work against water efficiency and water self-sufficiency measures.

4. Expenditure and water savings

The following table describes some of the Greens' water initiatives.
The cost for each year over 2007 to 2010 and the total water savings
potential per year by 2015 have been estimated using data from the
Review of the Metropolitan Water Plan by ACIL and the Institute for
Sustainable Futures.  The total cost over the four years is less then
one half of the cost of the desalination plant.

Option                                  Additional Cost  Water Savings
                                          ($million/yr) (GL/yr by 2015)
--------------------------------------------     ------        ------
Water Tanks: double the current rebate               66            10
and encouraging a six fold increase
in the uptake

Residential indoor water efficiency:                 20            12
accelerated retrofitting and increased
rebates, including low income households

Residential outdoor water efficiency:                10            12
community education on water efficient
gardens and on-site landscape assessments

Local recycling and reuse programs:                  20           100
developing, implementing and monitoring
household and neighbourhood grey water
reuse projects. Initially as pilot projects
leading to widespread implementation

Enhanced BASIX: increasing the requirements          20            23
on water savings in residential housing design

--------------------------------------------     ------        ------
TOTAL:                                              136           167

For comparison, total water consumption for Sydney between
1 July 2005 - 30 June 2006 was 528 GL.

Posted by editor at 12:54 PM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 8 February 2007 8:11 AM EADT

Newer | Latest | Older