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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Friday, 23 March 2007
Container truck tunnel crash is Sydney's future too under ALP transport policies
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: election nsw 2007
Picture: from News Ltd inside the Burnley Tunnel in Melbourne today after a horror crash that killed 3.

As the three major dailies today editorialise to remove the ALP government in NSW in the vote tomorrow, and Ch9 prime time news ruin Opposition Leader Debnam's last pitch due to technical problems with a live cross, a tragic tunnel crash involving container trucks in Melbourne today (Road catastrophe: Tunnel crash kills three) underline everything wrong with the Inner West Motorway tunnel exposed by the press during this election for Sydney: $5b secret road under Sydney | The Daily Telegraph

Container truck numbers from the Port are set to skyrocket under the ALP (Task force to oversee Port Botany expansion. 25/11/2006. ABC News ...) to 3 million per year  at least (Port Botany - NSW Department of Planning) but likely even more than that (NSW Ports Growth Plan - Summary Sheet) with massive impacts on the Inner City congestion and suburban amenity from the Port Botany Expansion - 10/11/2005 - ADJ

The ALP over ruled an independent planning Commission of Inquiry (Port Botany expansion plan unwarranted: inquiry. 14/10/2005. ABC ...) and tried to stall the release of that report for 3 months (Port Botany Report - 15/09/2005 - QWN REP) making a new motorway tunnel an inevitability under the Iemma ALP Govt. One can assume fatal truck accidents like this today will also be an inevitability as above.

On Sunday another insecure road tunnel will open as the result of the election is finalised: Children at Lane Cove Tunnel protest - The Australian - 21 Mar 2007

Noxious road tunnels are indeed a powerful symbol of this ALP government as we go to the vote tomorrow as per The Greens last PR event for the day:

MEDIA RELEASE - 23 March 2007

Greens 'De Grout' Lane Cove Tunnel opening

The Greens MP and roads spokesperson Lee Rhiannon today staged a mock
opening of the Lane Cove Tunnel, with 'Premier Iemma' and the 'Tunnel
CEO' cutting a ribbon and exchanging cash besides a filthy, smoking,
unfiltered stack.

"The Greens have been forced to do a 'De Grout' and cut the ribbon
before the official opening. The difference here is that former Labor
Premier Jack Lang was proud of his harbour bridge and put the people
before banks," Ms Rhiannon said.

"Delaying the tunnel opening until the day after the election is a
'you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours' arrangement between the NSW
government and tunnel operators designed to keep a potential Lane Cove
Tunnel stink away from the polling booth.

"Premier Iemma might want to sleep in on Sunday and leave the tunnel
opening to the workers, but Sydneysiders will wake up to all the sins
of another motorway.

"Motorway tunnels are a potent symbol of Labor in office.

"Sydney's tunnels represent the abandonment of opportunities to build
a more sustainable Sydney and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

"The government's promise that tunnels will be accompanied by world
class bus, bike and pedestrian facilities are out-and-out lies, with
the Lane Cove Tunnel being a fine example.

"Lest we forget the Cross City Tunnel that stands as a hollow monument
to Labor's incompetence. It's here that profits came before the public
interest by closing local streets, funnelling traffic and obliterating
bus and bike lanes.

"Secret tunnel deals have resulted in millions of dollars worth of
compensation handed to private sector tunnel operators that could have
been spent on schools and hospitals.

"Public confidence in impartial government has been shaken by the free
flow of donations from tunnel builders, financers and operators to
both Labor and the Opposition. On the off-chance the Coalition is
elected tomorrow these donations suggest it will be tunnel business as

"Lane Cove Tunnel consortium members donated more than $2.2 million to
the major parties during the last seven years, of which almost $1.1
million went to Labor.

"Across Sydney public health is being affected by Labor's stubborn
refusal to filter what experts call the 'new asbestos' from the Lane
Cove, Cross City and M5 East tunnels.

"After the election the Greens will continue to campaign with the
community to reform political donations, promote open government,
invest in public transport, filter motorway tunnels and say no to new
motorways," Ms Rhiannon said.

Posted by editor at 7:30 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 23 March 2007 8:30 PM NZT
Thursday, 22 March 2007
Marrickville, Balmain tipping to the Greens despite the Rudd glow?
Mood:  crushed out
Topic: election nsw 2007

Kevin Rudd federal Opposition Leader has exchanged exaltations with Premier Iemma on the tv news tonight, and is pictured in today's edition of The Glebe (News Limited suburban freebie, in a quick turnaround given his visit only today), walking in Leichhardt in the marginal seat of Balmain. We have edited the picture to try and show what we call Rudd Love from onlookers:

The picture of the onlookers is especially revealing we think because there is a certain expression implying "there is our next Prime Minister". It is an innner city electorate friendly to the ALP true but Norton Street is pretty up market, not your average battlers.

The picture below shows other items in the letter boxes and front yards today in the marginal seat of Marrickville. Most damaging probably is the ALP state government failure reported in the Valley Times to filter toxic emissions in the M5 East Tunnel. The volume suggests the major parties are fighting hard over Minister Carmel Tebbutt's seat such that it will fall to the Greens, or not.

Posted by editor at 8:22 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 22 March 2007 9:03 PM NZT
It's Small Thursday for Morris Iemma, thanks to nasty sticky note trick, but Greens do well too
Mood:  surprised
Topic: election nsw 2007

Well who would have thunk it: A sticky note doing over hapless Mr Debnam of the Liberals on our Herald today front page hovering above a very happy pro federal ALP headline Rudd raids Telstra fund for supernet (pictured below). This follows the 'Big Wednesday' (after the surf movie of same name) of nasty Big Media like a dumping surf on Morris Iemma's ALP yesterday. Thus we have dubbed today 'Small Thursday' instead.

This complements of course Ruddy, Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd, adding his "star" power to an Iemma set piece speech today apparently. It also exposes as rubbish our theory yesterday of a 3 day combined press perfect storm against Iemma at the end of the election period. The Telegraph today similarly runs on a human interest story unrelated to the NSW election. But then again there are still two days to go.

Does the sticky note have an authorisation text on it for the electoral laws? Yes indeed over the back if you ever checked it

"Authorised by S. Kaine, ALP 377 Sussex St, Sydney. Printed by Adprint Visual Pty Ltd, 25-29 Wangaratta St, Richmond."

But what caught our eye next was the bold deep green supplement "How to live GREEN" also advertised on the front page with a spunky model on lawn sofa. If that's not subliminal advertising for a certain minor party I don't know what it is, totally free.

(It contrasts with a very nasty head kick by the Telegraph back in 2003 where they placed a Greens Party paid for colour advert next to a same shade of green image of a big paddy field where an Indonesian terrorist Bali Bomber hails from. Talk about conservative malice.)

Actually our sticky note was over the pneumatic said model but here is the supplement cover in full:


Ian Cohen MLC (Greens) has issued this devastating critique of the Coalition rednecks aka The National Party:

The Greens NSW Media Release March 22 2007

Nationals' scorched earth policies ruin Opposition's credibility on environment, say Greens.



The NSW Opposition cannot hope to win any credibility on the environment as long as the National Party continues to call for wind backs of land management practices, said Greens MLC Ian Cohen.



"The Labor government has let down the conservation movement in key areas of land management, leading to massive amounts of land clearing and destruction of threatened species. The Greens are the only viable opposition on this issue, as the Opposition would make the situation far worse." Mr Cohen said.



"While the Greens work towards improving the government's land management, the National Party threatens to take us back 50 years. The Opposition will not win middle ground on the environment with the millstone of the National Party around their necks.


*The Nationals have promised to:



-  Reverse National parks in western NSW

-  End sanctuaries zones in Marine Parks

-  Send coastal rivers westwards with no consideration of environmental impacts

-  Allow cattle to graze in National parks

-  Allow commercial logging to be considered a routine agricultural management activity and not be subject to environmental regulation.



"Land clearing in NSW generates as much as 35 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year, which is the equivalent of more than 7 million new cars on our roads. The NSW Labor government needs to show its commitment to ending broadscale land clearing, which it promised to do by the year 2000.



"The Greens will work towards closing the loopholes in Native Vegetation legislation including:



- Ensuring that a stringent code of practice is introduced and enforced for Private Native Forestry.

- Amending the loophole for 'invasive native species' clearing to ensure sustainable management of thickening native scrub.

- Mandating the use of appropriate satellite technology for monitoring landclearing.

- Ensuring that on the ground monitoring and compliance are enforced."



Further Information: Ian Cohen: 0409 989 466

Well said.

Posted by editor at 10:28 AM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 22 March 2007 9:18 PM NZT
Wednesday, 21 March 2007
Premier Iemma may need a helicopter in this perfect storm of Big Media hostility
Mood:  energetic
Topic: election nsw 2007

Picture: What’s going to happen to Morris? He’s fit, but the surf is up and he is going to need all the polling muscle he has built up over the last 18 months. His electoral fate comes down to the punishing Big Media rough and tumble this next 3 days. (Images from 27th March 2006 by this author, ripples of Cyclone Wati reach Sydney's Tamarama Beach.)

At the risk of coming across like a sycophantic Imre Salusinszky in The Australian this last week or so, I have sneaking admiration for Morris. He played Aussie Rules as a young bloke. Like that and woud kick a footy with him any day. He's a sophisticated Italian Aussie - tick for that too. And yes I'm envious because he's got a great family and career success.

But as a wonk I am really enjoying the washing machine beating he is getting in the mainstream press today, with more expected these next 3 mornings Thursday, Friday and Saturday. No wonder he looked boyish and subdued on ABC tv last night declining to condemn anti coal protesters as he braced for the press stories coming today. The threshing is ferocious and the bruising something fearsome.

As they say (eg Matt Price recent column), there is nothing so entertaining for a wonk as a pollie in trouble. Almost as relaxing as watching someone else work hard. Call it a streak of sadism.

And the press today had it all, not just the front page biffo regarding

- Sydney Daily Telegraph worst trains in the world story based on a serious study dishonestly covered up Sydney trains world's worst and having been on say the Paris underground and Santiago service I thinks it's probably good criticism, and not entirely 'comparing apples and oranges' even when you take into account greater density of population re pricing or greater areas to cover re infrastructure cost ; and

- Sydney Morning Herald safety threat from train disasters again from "suppressed documents" prised out via FoI procedures, and richly complemented by another secret school principals document of 10 years of failed maintenance in public schools Schools left to deteriorate Cover-up: rail crash risks compared to Granville

No there was too much 'funny' election grist in the press today really to meet my writing deadline, but here goes as best one can:

- Lord Mayor 'a hypocrite' on donations from developers by said lick spittle Imre, a very clever fellow, in The Australian quoting political donations expert researcher Norman Thompson who has quite a deal of credibility here. Yes a measure of truth regarding Clover Moore as Mayor and MP running this Saturday for showing ostentation as a career lefty, and for getting a bit patchy on ethical funding sources but this should be balanced against the great need in 2004 to oust the ALP state govt attempt at gerrymander of City Hall.

Unsurprisingly in 2004 the Liberal developer side of politics equally wanted the ALP out on the basis of your enemy's enemy is my ally and chipped in $30,000. That's the grey world of real politik. Declaration: this writer uses old Clover how to votes from the 2004 municipal election for note paper including this story and was a volunteer like Norman for that campaign. [And note coverage next day 22nd March Clover is reported helping to serve meals on wheels to poor residents - that's the spirit we admire Clover.]

- the revelation p9 of the Herald that Alan Jones of 2GB is AWOL this last week, actually laryngitis.

- the mesmerising elegance and intellect let alone ethical brilliance of Elizabeth Farrelly with one of her best  Voters face a stark choice which by the way balanced the revolving door every Wednesday of the duopoly federal MP gerrymander at top right of the same page with Tanya Plybersek MP (ALP) (this space should rotate to the 30% of political reps not ALP or Liberal);

- As if to balance the Herald shock horror story is a chunky advert p12 from Sydney Ferries Corporation in their rival The Sydney Daily Telegraph for an "Injury Management Coordinator". Which surely is a horse that has bolted?: Man dies after ferry collision - National - smh.com.au

- Patrice Newell candidate in the upper house and arguably spoiler to the Green Party gets the fluffy lifestyle spot with little colour pic p51 in "style food and wine" by Sue Bennett in the Teleg. Which reminds of her other half Big Phil Adams piece yesterday on the "oxymoronic politics" of the greenhouse debate like "clean coal and safe nuclear power". So true Phil (and don't forget the declaration of interest next time?): Oxymoronic politics rules the greenhouse debate

- After our sledge yesterday, to wit

"Mind you Ruddy (Kevin Rudd) as federal Opposition Leader seems to have his own PR blemish being conspicuously absent from the NSW election campaign by Morris Iemma formerly known as the parliamentary leader of the ALP in NSW."

Now read today: Rudd to bring star power to campaign Is this the metaphorical helicopter rescue service in our headline for Morris in the Big Media Surf? (ha ha)

- Minister Tebbutt education minister as we reported yesterday ('Minister Tebbutt, UN$W under Hilmer $ellout the sustainability business') is implicated in doing over the Solarch facility at UNSW sited at Little Bay in the eastern suburbs. Conveniently as she debates with Trioli there is a matey piece about the UNSW staying in the sustainability business after all, maybe, in ten years, perhaps: Science turns sun, surf into green energy (ten years regretably is political shorthand for never never)

-  Strong moderately scary advert in the Herald by the National Seniors with a pox on both major parties "Poor responses from both parties highlight policy shortcomings"

- A reminder on the madness of USA gun culture by Mark Coultan on the back page of the Herald Even superheroes can die in gun-crazy Gotham  - too bad Morris is busy promoting it Lee Rhiannon MLC - Greens E-Brief No. 163 

- And MY FAVOURITE from the press today, a little complex but oh so embarrassing to our favourites at the NSW Police and Daily Telegraph:  Police Drug raids cancelled POLICE were forced to cancel a major drug operation on Sydney trains and buses last week because the State Govt feared another transport meltdown.

Actually the strap line reads in the paper version "Panicky Government cancelled police operation" but it's not that embarrassing to the Govt on sound public policy grounds, because it was only ever a pre election anti drugs Law and Order Industry beat up and self indulgence designed to do over the progressive Green Party on decriminalising drug users, harm minimisation and sanctioning of dealers.

This is clear from the choreographed front page and 2 page follow up mugging of the Greens on the very same Thursday last week edition of the Telegraph. Prepared in concert by the Telegraph, Iemma Govt and NSW Police. Only we were spared the cynicism via one broken pentograph the Wednesday night before on a harbour bridge train instead which put 40,000 commuters in very angry public transport treacle, and wiped the cynical pre set media beat up of the Greens in favour of a beat up of the ALP itself.

Now the police and Telegraph via their old slugger Luke McIlveen (well known to Media Watch discipline), are recycling the half warmed last weeks news, after the Greens have rebuffed the cynical dishonest reportage of their drugs policy. Which reminds us of the amusing comment by the Herald veteran Damian Murphy on Monday p9 under the headline "It's unofficial: the Greens have won" being a sledge on their rival the Daily Telegraph for their web based election site clearly being monstered by Green party supporters - and who could blame them for some cyber discipline after all their Big Media malice.

And what were the police going to find anyway? People drinking out of cans of coke?:

"Coca-Cola denies ever having used cocaine in earlier versions of its drink but will not say whether the natural leaf forms part of its secret recipe.  Until a few years ago the Atlanta based company bought tonnes of leaves annually." in Things go better without Coke, say Bolivians - World - smh.com.au dated 19th March 2007.

- Perhaps my WORST example of electioneering in the press today is Fred Nile borrowing the Green Party's clothes with a "DAM THE WATER SHORTAGE" slogan on page 4 of the Daily Telegraph promoting water recycling but also to build a new dam. Nile is truly yesterday's man and surely would have dammed the famous Franklin River in 1983 if he could have. The man is an ugly piece of work on so many levels squandering God's creation:

And a final word from Triple S, that is formerly Senator Santo Santoro and his cute witicisms

"The wise man in the storm always prays to God, not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear. It is the storm within that endangers him, not the storm without." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson."

And speaking of deliverance from Big Media storms, you can almost hear the dramatic dueling banjoes from here suggesting political life and death struggle. As I said to that lady producer on the abc talkback this morning, its not the dying days of the election at all. It actually started today and has 3 daily press print runs to go, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Good time to start praying Morris.

Posted by editor at 9:34 AM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 22 March 2007 10:26 AM NZT
Tuesday, 20 March 2007
Monkeys on PM Howard's back will be hard to shake as Rudd polling 'soars'
Mood:  silly
Topic: election Oz 2007

Peter Costello is doing the PR lifting for the PM in the news today. And no wonder when these cartoons below from across the major dailies Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Sydney Daily Telegraph are reaching critical momentum, let alone the serious content in the text stories.

This opinion piece by a preferred leaker for the Treasurer Peter Costello, rival to the PM, is also more woe to Mr Howard for wetting the powder of his loyalist hard man Minister Tony Abbott:

Glenn Milne: Boot in his mouth 19 March 2007 AS the waves of scandal whipped up by Santo Santoro lap ever higher and the Government gulps for air, the recriminations inside the Coalition have already begun.

Mind you Ruddy (Kevin Rudd) as federal Opposition Leader seems to have his own PR blemish being consipicuously absent from the NSW election campaign by Morris Iemma formerly known as the parliamentary leader of the ALP in NSW.

There is another curious item (picture) at the bottom of our cartoon collage below, of Defence 'Wanker' .... err Minister, in the Howard government, Brendan Nelson in a report about the controversial $6/$15B billion deal with US arms dealer Lockheed Martin

(listed on google this way:"Lockheed Martin - We never forget who we're working for. As a lead systems integrator and information technology company, nearly 80% of Lockheed Martin's business is with the US Department of Defense and the US ...")

is also a very unflattering image. The headline "cockpit" possibly alludes to rumours about his vigorous love life (?) pushed by scurrilous ezine Crikey.com.au at times, and the whole picfac orchestrated by the minister is a response to this big hit on him here last Sunday night in the very high rating 60 Minutes here:

Dogfight You can forget health, forget welfare, wait till you hear how they're spending your money now. Fifteen billion dollars of it. All for a new war plane. A top secret project called the Joint Strike Fighter, our biggest defence purchase ever. But then Liam took a look at the fine print. For some strange reason, our defence chiefs have gone into the deal without seriously considering any other plane.

Where reporter Liam Bartlett (pictured here) did the Tom Cruise Top Gun (1986)thing

Posted by editor at 9:59 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 20 March 2007 3:45 PM NZT
Monday, 19 March 2007
Greens candidate menaced, target of chainsaw vandalism
Mood:  down
Topic: election nsw 2007

MEDIA RELEASE - 19 March 2007


Intimidation, vandalism at Greens candidate's home

cuts close to heart


Greens MP Lee Rhiannon has called on police to fast track their investigation of the destruction of a large number of native trees along the driveway leading to the property of Conny Harris, Greens candidate for the seat of Wakehurst.

Greens MP Ms Rhiannon said: "Dr Harris and her family were put in a dangerous situation last night. More than 10 native trees were cut down with a chainsaw and the family were blocked from using their driveway.


"This vandalism occurred between 11pm last night and 5 am this morning. The trees cut down were part of a massive bush regeneration project Dr Harris has been involved in.


"Dr Harris lives with her husband and three children in Oxford Falls. Both Dr Harris and her husband are doctors at public hospitals and were unable to attend work today.


"Dr Harris has a strong local profile as a conservationist and I can only guess that this act of vandalism has been done to intimidate her.


"She is recognised locally as an authority on eucalypts and native vegetation and lectures to plant groups and on community education days. This act of vandalism has caused her a lot of personal distress.


"Dr Harris' family have experienced this type of intimidation in the past. She has had her letterbox stolen and property vandalised.


"Emergency Services personnel have visited Dr Harris' property this morning to work out how to restore access to the family home.


"The police need to take this investigation seriously because the threat to Dr Harris and her family has been very upsetting."


Greens candidate Dr Harris said: "This kind of dirty politics is very irresponsible.


"These native trees are close to my heart and my family feels threatened.


"I am a doctor at a public hospital and was unable to get my car out of the drive and go to work today. This act has potentially harmed more people than just my family."

Posted by editor at 3:46 PM NZT
Pioneers lecture on internet based democracy work in Sydney
Mood:  special
Topic: independent media

Sydney Event 4-4-07 - The impacts and history of online activism

SMSA Food for Thought Series 2: DEMOCRACY

The impacts and history of Online Activism Wednesday 4th April 2007 at 12.30pm

The internet and its use as a tool to create a more democratic society. Direct actions, activist planning, e-petitions, emails to MPs.

Dr Matthew Arnison (one of the founders of Active Sydney & Indymedia) in conversation with Brett Solomon (Executive Director, GetUp) & Tom Dawkins (Founder of Vibewire)

The Food for Thought conversations take place every Wednesday lunchtime with discussions on various subjects such as ethics, democracy and how we can make a better world. Bring your lunch, admission is free.

For more information about SMSA events go to-

Cheers, Colleen 0410 325 913

Posted by editor at 2:26 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007 4:01 PM NZT
Minister Tebbutt, UN$W under Hilmer $ellout the sustainability business
Mood:  irritated
Topic: globalWarming

Picture: From "Ray of hope for solar power showcase after dark years of neglect" By Claire O'Rourke and Stephanie Peatling
March 15 2003 at
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/03/14/1047583701205.html with caption reads "Brighter future ... Climate Action Network's Kylie Hitchman, Danny Kennedy [until recently head of campaigns Greenpeace Australia], Philip Freeman and Janice Wormworth at the Solarch site. Photo: Robert Pearce" The article below reveals Solarch was burned down in suspicous circumstances in

Minister Carmel Tebbutt defending the seat of Marrickville is implicated badly in this terrible turn of events in Little Bay in south eastern Sydney, according to our source:

 "Check page 31 of the UNSW Strategic Plan 2006-10.  Little Bay site is said to have been purchased.  And it was the NSW Minister for Education - Carmel Tebbutt - who gave the green light for the site to be sold. "

No surprises that the University of NSW under soulless bean counter Fred Hilmer is also implicated after deciding to sell off the highly successful and popular Arthur St permaculture garden at Randwick.

Shameful betrayal of the public interested as it related to the age of dangerous climate change (notwithstanding fluffy 'don't you worry about that' type stories on the science of global warming these last few days). Our informant writes:

Hi Tom,



UNSW is getting out of the permaculture and sustainability business.



You might be interested in this as the Herald did a feature a couple of years ago:




The Solarch Building has significance for UNSW as the university was recognised as a/the leader in world solar research. They have been generating green power since 1994 (first building in NSW) and to the grid since October 1997:




Monday 5th February 9 [2007]:

3 Randwick Precinct Communities were briefed on the UNSW redevelopment of the Little Bay site. Local member was in attendance and when asked about State government influence said it had none. Questions asked at that meeting included - where would compensatory playing fields be and what would become of the UNSW famous SOlarch building.

There were no answers on the playing fields other than UNSW was looking at possibilities in Botany and Randwick. SOlarch was to be pulled down. It was put that the building was a symbol of solar research, generated green power and possibly had won award. Answer was that it was subject to a lot of discussion but end result was that it was coming down.



That night I followed up with some googles and found:


This is the UNSW annual report of 2003 http://www.cfo.unsw.edu.au/annual_rpt/2003.pdfwhere on page 70 reference is made to the sale.



Check page 31 of the UNSW Strategic Plan 2006-10. Little Bay site is said to have been purchased.  And it was the NSW Minister for Education - Carmel Tebbutt - who gave the green light for the site to be sold.   David Phillips Field(in Daceyville and not close to Little Bay)  is listed as possible replacement for playing fields see page 45 & 47, 30 & 31.  This document is dated April 2006.






see item 5of thisUniversity meeting http://www.secretariat.unsw.edu.au/faculty/facmin05/Built%20Env/Benvscm605.pdf





Friday 9th Feb] [2007].

Solarch was torched. The Age and Illawarra Mercury carried the story on-line as too did The Australian but all these papers said that it was a building on the Prince Henry site. THere has been no story by the Sydney Morning Herald. There were 8 firetrucks called to the site and reportedly 50 firefighters - no water to access on site to put the fire out.

inal seats.

Posted by editor at 11:56 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007 3:50 PM NZT
Newcastle politics in last panicky sprint
Mood:  smelly
Topic: election nsw 2007

Our contributor Lynda writes:

Sent: Saturday, March 17, 2007 5:13 PM



 Hi All,

Spoke to a contact in Newcastle on Friday who had the good grace to say 'IF'  they expand Port Botany. Can only hope that there is a backlash from them. Cheers, Lynda

In full swing


 March 17, 2007  The Newcastle Herald


Both Morris Iemma and Peter Debnam know that their chances at next Saturday's election may well hinge on their fortunes in the Hunter Region, Jason Gordon reports.


BLOOD spilled, fresh blood injected, sheer bloody-mindedness. Welcome to  the bloody Newcastle election.


The most talked-about, moaned-about, smack-you-in-the-face election campaign in the Hunter's history will enter the home straight this week in much the same canter that it started in five months ago.


Only Dan Brown could have written a better script, although The Da Vinci Code's subtle conclusion could have been more easily picked.


At least four Lower Hunter seats could change hands next Saturday, significantly changing the region's political landscape, and that of NSW.


For anyone harbouring doubts about Newcastle's importance to the  Government, consider that Premier Morris Iemma is expected to kick off the final week of his campaign by joining the Blue and Red Army at EnergyAustralia Stadium tomorrow, raising hopes that the second half of the stadium might finally get a fully funded guernsey.


Strange things happen in marginal seats.


Posted by editor at 11:38 AM NZT
A sea of yellow hats and head lamps an election bribe or just damn good timing for Morris Iemma?
Mood:  lazy
Topic: election nsw 2007

Picture: images lifted off the Fairfax web site this morning, with thanks for this important public interest aspect to the cunning politicisation of an icon.

When is an election stunt actually a breach of the electoral laws against inducements to buy votes?

We wrote in late 2006 on Sydney indymedia

(and here it is 14th August 2006 Easy being green washed as huge coal loader destroys credibility of free light globes PR at inner city electorates? )

of the free light globes Easy Being Green programme http://shop.easybeinggreen.com.au funded by the NSW Govt in marginal green shaded seats of Balmain and Marrickville in 2006. Were these effectively buying votes on March 24 2007?

Well those give aways suddenly stopped theoretically two months after our IMC article (with credit due to Sydney Indy Media function and this writer), what a coincidence, after an audit showed (to paraphrase) 'the budgeted take up has been filled': 'Lightbulb giveaway is switched off' The Australian - 14 Oct 2006.

Or the threat of prosecution for election corruption looming against the Iemma Govt?: Compare Qld with very draconian penalties for any hint of corrupting influence on the integrity of their democratic system after the bad old Bjelke/Fitgerald Royal Commission days. Mike Kaiser who is a senior election organiser for Iemma, and from Qld, has come a cropper for the same strictures up there in Qld. Similarly witness the overkill jailing of Pauline Hanson in recent years for alleged misdemeanours reversed on appeal.

And notice the sensitive Marrickville seat was still being duchessed in November 2006 with freebie give aways via NSW public purse as per this PR froth Marrickville householders get help to turn their house green free ... again presumably funded indirectly by the NSW Govt public budget. This is the seat where the ALP has lied about a Marrickville Truck Tunnel plan both in the 2005 byelection lead up, and similarly exposed front page of the Daily Telegraph recently.

Now we see the brilliant PR free advertising for the Iemma Govt around a visual feast of yellow hats on the big meeja last night and today. Clever. Costing say $100,000 (?) in free hat ware and a reward for those who took the trouble to register and be organised to assist in the worthy goals of safety in a crowd, and to promote sun smart behaviour especially for kids. The free night time head lamps purely decoration?

 Picture: Our ugly but lovable toll gouging coat hanger because in the end it is indeed ours, but is it ALP Premier Morris Iemma's? Image lifted from tourism company http://www.bridgeclimb.com/

So you might think giving away hats IS justifiable and good public policy, but you might also call it very cunning leverage of incumbency to the morning and night political tv news bulletins. A real triumph of PR positioning all at taxpayer expense like those water adverts, and green light globes.

Iemma's team can all refer to the 75 year chronology as simply good luck one week before the vote that festivities precede the state election. A schedule, we say, that has been cynically exploited to this writer's impression by the incumbent government to throw a free party, the PNG version of killing and cooking pigs for a free feed for the voters.

This event in fact was so highly choreagraphed it has been revealed it was 'months in the planning, involving hundreds of people to organise' according to the Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk: 75th Anniversary spokeswoman on Adam Spencer 702 abc radio morning show this morning: How calculating and very unsurprising. It might even explain why bureaucrats took their eye off the ball with recent transport stuff ups when big ships visited here and unlucky failed maintenance caused a melt down. A bureaucracy under pressure to deliver the political premium rather than bread and butter daily competency?

A good party with a free yellow hat or headlamp for maximum PR visibility but a lousy provider? We think so.

Indeed the Opposition acknowledge just how political the event is by having  their big ticket roads policy on today Monday 19th March 07 in an attempt to meet this orchestrated PR coup.

Even an apparent suicide at North Sydney station yesterday according to radio reports was unable to stop the Iemma PR juggernaut, he is that 'good'.

The Herald today in its wrap around went with a front page equivalent of the manipulative PR yellow sea of hats being the headlamp hats for the night walkers (another $50k plus?),  but the tv bulletins dwelled on the daylight yellow caps yesterday, and this carried over to the wrap the Daily Telegraph. There's heaps of votes in that free coverage. Paid for by .... you the taxpayer: Politics won't be denied on Bridge's big day | NEWS.com.au

How cheap are peoples votes in our NSW Democracy - the cost of a yellow cap, or a little head lamp? Probably.

Posted by editor at 9:21 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007 11:35 AM NZT

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