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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Friday, 15 February 2008
Legal thrills and spills at Jabiru courthouse anti Jabiluka U mine 1998
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: nuke threats

We came across this educational experience in our old files on work for the Mirrar Traditional Owners campaign in the Northern Territory, Spring 1998, Third Opinion magazine, out of print now:



Posted by editor at 8:47 PM EADT
Updated: Friday, 15 February 2008 9:03 PM EADT
Another suspicious fire in Broadway retail area?
Mood:  on fire
Topic: local news

Three days after the widely reported fire at Broadway shopping centre we took a look at the damage this afternoon - despite a surly traffic monitor who maybe had experienced too many fumes. He tried the old one about getting permission to take photographs in a public street - and then lectured me on compulsory voting being anti democratic! Mmm, and we were feeling sympathy.

All this suggested quite a worried attitude about retailers going out of business. And we can see the logic in that. We reported recently on 3 other suspicious fires in the general area, 2 last month and one another 2 years before:

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Our colleague on the sand mining sagas had a point of view about another motive - protection racket (!?) But this was pure speculation. In the meantime what really matters is that the air in the shopping complex was not the usual crisp cool fresh air conditioned norm. In fact it was uncomfortably warm. We took our tea at the little UniLodge arcade over the road instead.

And the scorch marks were damn high on the building too, and the number of high powered generators out in the street were going for it full bore trying to keep the retail heaven going. Below are more pictures of the fire that remains unexplained:




Posted by editor at 7:24 PM EADT
Updated: Friday, 15 February 2008 8:20 PM EADT
Super container ships presage dangerous climate change via dredging of Botany Bay, Port Phillip Bay
Mood:  irritated
Topic: globalWarming

A profound game breaker in the dangerous climate change scenario was published yesterday and this is where lifestyle, transport and survival of the planet all converge in one all mighty scary confrontation of the profound ecological limits of  'neo liberalism' as a way forward for Australia and humanity.

We have been writing about the big power sell off agenda supposedly to grow economic development as somehow a form of social progress according to ALP leaders Iemma and Rudd. For instance to get the money to build a $5B truck tunnel to serve a Port Botany expansion:
'Secret' $5 billion tollway to tunnel under city | NEWS.com.au [2007]


Then this ran yesterday in a hammer blow to the credibility of the top ALP and neoliberalism generally:

 and notice this
Super gigantic container vessel "Xin Ya Zhou," meaning "New Asia," China's first with complete proprietary intellectual property rights, is delivered to the owner in Shanghai, East China, Sept. 8, 2007. [Xinhua] 
These jumbo ships are what the highly opposed and controversial dredging at Port Botany and Port Phillip Bay are all about. But it's suicidal madness to pursue this ever bigger growth fetish.

We at SAM were vaguely aware of the ecological reality of climate impact of super container ships back in  January 2008 when we noticed Minister Garrett flying to Antarctica and considered an anecdote from one Judith Greeening: This retired yoga afficianado and vegetarian told me of her trip with rich sister on a tourist ship to Antarctica in the late 90ies. She commented on the huge volume of fuel they needed to get there and back.
But that's only half the equation on greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions: the super containers are filled with ghg embedded retail products from China and India, so that's yet another impact on the global commons. Facilitating these jumbo container ships is starting to look like a very dumb idea. As is unqualified neo liberalism, ie well intentioned economic growth trickle down economic benefits. It's a much more complex world now and survival of the species is the prize for getting it right, otherwise dangerous climate tipping points, enclavism and game over for the human project. Crash out or smooth landing? In many ways the choice is ours.

We rang abc 702 radio at the time and said for all the other tourism impacts of an airlink it might help save on greenhouse impacts to fly comparative to big ship.

And now the UN IPCC chief Dr Rajendra Pachauri  corroborates the suspicion with his quotes as per these damning words on the major shipping industry:
"This is a clear failure of the system. The shipping industry has so far escaped publicity. It has been left out of the climate change discussion. I hope [shipping emissions] will be included in the next UN agreement. It would be a cop-out if it was not. It tells me that we have been ineffective at tackling climate change so far."
Other press updates on this hard fought convergence of retention of public power assets, transport planning and dangerous climate threat at the highest levels of politics in NSW and Australia that we have noticed:

- Costa confirms talks on new power station - National - smh.com.au 13th Feb 2008

- Bulldoze old power stations, says adviser - Environment - smh.com.au 14th Feb 2008

- from back in 2007 the hugely greenhouse embedded super container ships First China-made 8530-TEU container ship delivered

Meanwhile the global credit crunch is also taking its toll [Media release follows]:

Credit agency report tells Iemma to dump electricity privatisation

Media Release: 14 February 2008

A new report by Standard & Poor's gives a clear warning that this is a particularly bad time to be privatising the electricity industry, according to Greens MP John Kaye.

Dr Kaye said: "The Iemma government sets its entire economic policy direction by the credit ratings handed out by Standard & Poor's.

"Premier Iemma cannot selectively ignore this report which graphically describes the impacts of the drought, the carbon market and global financial turmoil on the sale price of the electricity industry.

"Standard & Poor's is not the first organisation to say that potential buyers are being made nervous by the climate of financial and policy uncertainty.

"The Greens, the union movement, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and energy industry experts have been telling NSW Treasurer Michael Costa for months that he has embarked on a dangerous path that could result in a fire sale of assets.

"Mr Costa wilfully ignored our warnings but now he and the Premier have no choice but to take notice.

"This report gives the Premier the excuse he needs to reign in Michael Costa and put the sell-off on ice.

"It would be irresponsible to forge ahead with privatisation now that Standard & Poor's have warned potential buyers of the risks," Dr Kaye said.

For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455

Posted by editor at 6:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 15 February 2008 6:55 AM EADT
Thursday, 14 February 2008
Genetic Engineering of food crops opposed by large slice of civil society
Mood:  rushed
Topic: ecology

The famous Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki was a world class geneticist until he got into the history of his discipline. As he tells it (from memory via ABC radio national in the dim mists of time) he found that the leading scientists of the early 20C were pretty much gungho eugenicists and probably racists. As we understood his reflections it was carthartic and he decided to redirect his enormous talents not least advocacy into ecological sustainability.

So we thought of Suzuki when we saw the above advert (7th Feb 2008 p5 The Australian) which manifests a very serious disagreement even into the agri business and global commerce as explain here in the Big Media:

GM ban bolsters state split | The Australian 9th Feb 2008


             SA's GM crop ban divides the State
11 February 2008

The issues are further expounded here:

Media Release from Ian Cohen MLC
Friday 8 February, 2008
South Australia – new homeland for NSW canola farming refugees?
Mike Rann is to be congratulated for today extending South
Australia’s moratorium against the growing of genetically modified
food crops.
“Mike Rann’s decision today in favour of an indefinite extension of
their moratorium cuts straight through the GM industry spin coming from
Ian Macdonald’s office here in NSW,” said Upper House Greens MP Ian
“They have extended their moratorium because they are concerned about
the damage to their agricultural sector that GM food crops represent.
“They want to maintain their clean green image, which their
Government recognises is critical to the marketing of South
Australia’s food and wine products.
“If it’s critical in SA, why isn’t it critical in NSW?
“The South Australian Premier’s press release also demolishes an
argument repeatedly put to the Parliament here about price premiums for
GM free crops.
“Ian Macdonald told the Upper House on the 28th November last year
that ‘Australia is, in fact, not achieving price premiums for bulk
non-GM canola in the international marketplace’ .
“Mike Rann today quotes ABARE as indicating ‘that in some of this
season’s markets there were significant premiums for GM-free
“Farmers in NSW should pay close attention to what happened today in
“Our farmers have been hung out to dry by the NSW ALP, by the Liberal
Party and worst of all by their own people - the Nationals.
“SA’s Agriculture Minister is right to warn that ‘we must be
mindful that there’s simply no turning back once the moratorium has
been lifted’,” said Mr Cohen.
Further Information: Ian Cohen: 0409 989 466 or Nic Clyde on 0417 742

Nic Clyde
Adviser, Greens MLC Ian Cohen
Macquarie Street, Sydney, 2000
Tel: +61-2-9230 3305, Fax: +61-2-9230 2267
Mobile: 0417 742 754
Web: www.iancohen.org.au


Media Release from Ian Cohen MLC
Tuesday 5th February 2008
Legal advice torpedoes protection for GM-free farmers
New legal advice obtained by Greens MP Ian Cohen warns that biotech
companies will still be able to sue NSW farmers for patent infringement
despite the so-called ‘legal liability’ protections negotiated by
the Coalition at the end of last year.
“Our advice is that the Gene Technology (GM Crop Moratorium)
Amendment Act 2007 will not protect NSW farmers against patent
infringement actions that may be pursued by biotech companies.
“Whilst the amendments will provide some cover for farmers in NSW
courts, it will provide none against the Patents Act which is
enforceable through the Federal Court.
“Farmers were relying on the Opposition to make sure they were
protected by a solid legal liability regime. Instead, they buckled under
the Government’s pressure and now farmers are left with a legal Swiss
cheese standing between them and the biotech multinationals.
“The Coalition told the Upper House in November of last year that
their amendment would ‘ensure that if a non-GM grower gets GM material
on his property, he will not be liable to prosecution as a result’.
Clearly this is a promise they were never able to make and cannot keep.
“It’s no surprise that a Rural Press survey of farmers in October
of last year found that only 27% want the option of growing GM grain
crops. Farmers tell us this is because farm gate benefits remain
unproven and legal liability issues have not been sorted out. In
addition, the community tell us they don’t want to eat GM foods.
“Farmers have been sold a dud with these GM canola amendments. The
crop is famous for the promiscuous pollination that makes segregation
from GM-free product impossible. Unfortunately our major party
politicians are equally infamous for their promiscuous pollination of
bad legislation.
“The moral majority are right on this one – the only way to protect
against GM foods is to ‘just say no’,” said Mr Cohen.
Further Information: Ian Cohen: 0409 989 466 or Nic Clyde on 0417 742

Which leaves us to ask - What would David Suzuki think about all this as surely one you might trust on such science and ecological concerns of cane toad like GE super weeds jumping fences, hybridising with wild plants, over leaping species boundaries with unknown ripple effects in the very chemistry of life at protein and amino acid level replicated off the DNA itself, of terminator genes annexing farmers to multinational dependence. Even the CSIRO seems to be embroiled in hosting a debate on this matter.


Next best source would be Bob Phelps of the Gene Ethics Network in this debate for 20 years as per Online Opinion listing:



Bob Phelps, Bob Phelps is Director of the GeneEthics Network. Author's website: GenEthics Network

We need to take five and consider the future of our GE-free reputation
Environment - 13/08/2003
US genetic engineering on the skids
Science & Technology - 15/11/2001

Generically Manipulated Optimism: fast track for GMOs
October 2000 Feature - 15/10/2000


We managed to contact Bob Phelps and our interpretation of the situation on the real politik dynamic is:

  • There are contrived monopolies being contructed with Big Agri Industry parallel movement of 1. $300M private equity (including names like Cornish in a recent Stock & Land, found in Victoria) are gearing up to go on an acquisition crusade, with 2. vertical integration of farming by such as Dow, Bayer and Monsanto to control seed availability and screw the family farmer that way.
  • truth telling scientists like John Williams, as a member of the Wentworth Group, and Maartin Stapper recently sacked from CSIRO allegedly for speaking out on GE, allegedly being suppressed (?). More detail The People versus Victoria | newmatilda.com 13 June 2007 by Katherine Wilson

On the pro-GM side was State Treasurer and Innovations Minister John Brumby, a fierce GM food advocate. Below him was Agriculture Minister Joe Helper, by name and nature. Rubbing shoulders with them were Premier Steve Bracks, CSIRO, the DPI, and most of the media.

A complex of industry lobbyists followed including the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) and their PR arms, like the IPA's Australian Environment Foundation (not to be confused with the citizen-supported Australian Conservation Foundation). Driving these were multinationals Bayer and Monsanto, leading the vastly-funded gene technology industry.

And on it went. A squad of vocal scientists in receipt of GM funds were plotted alongside the panel appointed to review the bans. On the panel: the lovable Sir Gus Nossal, who has spoken cautiously in support of GM food crops, and Merna Curnow, who represents the pro-GM Grains Research Development Corporation. (Not much is known about the third panelist, Christine Forster.)

Finally, there was Australia's Chief Scientist, the formidable Jim Peacock: friend of John Howard, founder of GM companies, lodger of contentious GM patents, who recently called those opposing GM foods 'self-serving unprincipled minorities.'

If the whiteboard's pro-GM camp reeked of fiscal and political power, the GM-free side had people power. Celebrity chefs Margaret Fulton, Charmaine Solomon, Maggie Beer and Stefano Di Pieri sat alongside nutritionist and biochemist Dr Rosemary Stanton, epidemiologist Dr Judy Carman, medical scientist Professor Stephen Leeder, and erstwhile CSIRO soil scientist Dr Maarten Stapper, who claimed to have been sacked for speaking out about the dangers of GM crops.

Supporting them were health and environment groups and, well, most people. In every poll taken to date, the public is overwhelmingly opposed to GM food. So are an even larger majority of polled farmers, who don't want GM food crops.

Finally, there were allies like celebrated geneticist Dr David Suzuki, who has said: 'Any scientist or politician who tells you [GM] foods are safe is either very stupid or lying.'

  • Premier Brumby in Victoria is a crude 'economic development at any cost' dinosaur as per this [PDF] media release Brumby's GM canola: doomed to fail 5th Feb 2008, just like the blind faith in the growth fetish driving highly controversial dredging in Port Phillip Bay for super container ships (echoing Iemma in NSW at Botany Bay).
  • Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (SLAPP) suits by Big Agri against independent farmers in North America who try and buck the stitch up, or unlucky farmers who get contaminated by GE crops, have been rife in the USA with confidentiality settlement agreements. Refer  Monsanto vs Schmeiser, with Percy Schmeiser, a real cropping expert with his own wikipedia entry 


      Monsanto vs Schmeiser
The Classic David vs Goliath Struggle...


  • The European Union have maintained a ban on GE foods apparently as per this report in the New York Times late 2006 which closes down our market there if we go GE

Both Sides Cite Science to Address Altered Corn By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL A proposal to ban the planting of a genetically modified corn strain sets up a bitter war within the European Union. December 26, 2007

  • Have no doubt about it, big money politics is in play here as per Katherine Wilson referenced above:

So when GeneEthics (a network of farmers, scientists, foodies and concerned citizens) failed to get studies showing negative impacts of GM into media reports, its supporters raised enough money to buy a series of advertisements in the Grains Research and Development Council's magazine, Ground Cover. After publishing one ad, Ground Cover, dependent on big agribusiness dollars, cancelled five subsequent GeneEthics ads. 'The GRDC is funded by farmers and taxpayers, yet we can't even buy space in their journal. This was the only way of reaching an audience of 50,000 graingrowers,' said GeneEthics executive director Bob Phelps. As Jeffrey Smith's Seeds of Deception documents, this is the norm for scientists worldwide who attempt to publish research showing the negative impacts of GM. The free market of ideas, says Phelps, is free not just to those who can afford it, but to those who agree with it.


Posted by editor at 7:17 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 15 February 2008 5:16 AM EADT
Wednesday, 13 February 2008
Big Aboriginal flag flown at Jabiluka 1998 appears in Marrickville today
Mood:  happy
Topic: indigenous

Dynamo Dave was an enthusiastic supporter of Tradtional Owner Yvonne Margarula in 1998 in the Northern Territory.

Sadly Dave died of cancer in 2006 here in Sydney. Out of his belongings this historic activist flag was rescued and can be flown today to celebrate the national event of sorry day in Federal Parliament.

We noticed all of SBS, ABC2, 7, 9, 10 carried the live feed. How unusual to see the only dedicated community tv channel so badly under resourced on TVS31 being forced to carry nursing home exercise routine - not that there is anything wrong with that.

ABC 702 radio carried the broadcast and unlike the chamber microphones picked up the crowd in the main hall slow hand clap of Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson. Ouch. PM Rudd looked disconcerted, and Nelson himself looked in real pain at the end of his generally sympathetic speech - trapped by dinosaurs in his own ranks. Jon Faine with the narration for the ABC made it clear later what the noise was.

Here's a Big Media sample:

Kevin Rudd says sorry

Prime Minister apologises to stolen generations.

In all this emotion we notice the astute and jealous politics of the ALP to own the reconciliation agenda. Whether this is all virtue or self interest we are still pondering. ABC's Chris Uhlmann in the Canberra press gallery also noted the role of calculating wedge in his comments to Tony Jones on ABC TV. Seven's Mark Riley and Ch9 nightly news coverage note some Rudd staffers played to the crowd reaction against harsh aspects of Nelson's speech, rather than keep a bipartisan neutrality.

Highlights for SAM micro web news included the pride and enjoyment of academic Jackie Huggins, and the softer side of very tough minded Marcia Langton on 7.30 last night. Fred Chaney, ex Coalition MP was beaut too. The dead straight to camera apology of PM Rudd with not a blink or quaver. The reference to St Paul which we wrote only recently in our traverse of Brideshead Revisted about action with love over loud words otherwise it's merely a 'clanging gong'.  And even the nerves of Opposition leader Nelson showed how very serious this matter was.

Tragically the Coalition party were vulnerable to this wedge for a long term history of lost opportunity to embrace an ancient and impressive culture though obviously people like former MP Fred Chaney, and ex PM Malcolm Fraser, from that side of politics are absolute champions for cross cultural understanding. We get the impression these two at least are regularly welcomed in fellowship by their Indigenous compatriots. It just goes to show it doesn't have to be that way.

We got the feeling Nelson's spirit was willing and humbled by the event but ambition for his side of politics as traditional land barons got the better of him.

Many years ago we had an appointment in Canberra but by night we had no where to go and no budget either. We crept into the Aboriginal Tent Embassy ready to grovel but it was otherwise deserted. Our boldness came from having visited there with Winiata, and Paul Ferguson, Aboriginal blokes at the Croobyar forest protest on the NSW South Coast in '94. Steve Lalor was our Aboriginal Liasion colleague at The Wilderness Society back then. And then there is young Jimari in our guidance for about a year later in the 90ies.

The moving conversations with elder Guboo Ted Thomas of the NSW South Coast. Meeting Yvonne Margarula at Jabiru courthouse, and her stalwart defender Jacqui Katona both in Sydney.

The rascally kids out at Mootwingee sharing a kick of the footy. The dignified elders down from Cape York. Monkey Mark local rap artist.

Eddie Mabo in our honours law degree thesis in 1989, who changed our jurisprudence.

This is their day for a fair go in their own country.

Postscript #1 14 February 2008

 We took some time to trawl the active comment threads on crikey.com.au not least the absence from the ritual of John Howard, machine man par excellence whose divisive ways finally exhausted Nov 24 federal election 2007. He still has proxies there in the parliament too.

We came across this major reversal Howard suffered early in his prime ministership which we are proud to have helped in our small way:

While we are in cynical mode another thought about ALP virtue overlap with self interest - the northern and western half of the country needs as many willing workers in the booming resources sector as they can train up and get. And there is good precedent for this in the cotton sector in NSW:

7.30 Report - 08/01/2007: Aboriginal Employment Strategy gives ...

Rudd's wife is a very rich re-employment expert. It all seems to add up economically speaking. It does make us wonder this motive of the Howard 'Intervention' in 2007 ongoing also. That Marcia Langton for one says must remain 'hard edged' (as per 7.30 above).

Only the profound morality of the occasion even managed to overwhelm these grasping realities. As we wrote on crikey.com.au threads paraphrasing the literary giant de Lampedusa in The Leopard  'history is often  lost in the retelling, with all the different perspectives and adaptation to the times'. We feel like this is one of those times so big it's nearly impossible to perceive it all. Maybe like God herself. Very emotional.

Posted by editor at 3:15 PM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 14 February 2008 7:13 AM EADT
Tuesday, 12 February 2008
NSW energy public assets: Rudd tries to 'assasinate' democracy in $25B sell off, union in 'hospital induced coma'?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: aust govt


Killing democracy in East Timor aka Timor Leste has been a deadly national 'sport' there since at least the invasion by Indonesia 30+ years ago, and by neglect of coloniser Portugal for probably a century or longer before that: 

Location of East Timor

 Ramos-Horta to make 'full recovery'8:49am | But East Timor President remains in coma and will undergo more surgery. | Democracy under the gunAnalysisStan GrantStrife aheadUN reaction

But when Australian PM Rudd correctly seeks to reinforce and consolidate a revived democracy in the face of assassination attempt(s) over there the complexity of this calculating man in relation to NSW democracy is brought into stark relief:

For it is a direct contradiction for PM Rudd to support sale of the huge ($25B) publicly owned natural monopoly on energy in NSW as he did yesterday/today in the 24 hour news cycle in a transparently set piece PR gambit, last shot in the locker for the yes case (as the whole plan was unravelling politically and conceptually over the last weekend): 

Rudd backs Iemma's power sell-off | The Australian 

Iemma welcomes Rudd sell-off support | Herald Sun 

Rudd backs NSW electricity privatisation - Breaking News ...

But will it be enough when it is opposed by 86% of the public in NSW? This is a stratopherically high number in such surveys even higher than Rudd's ascendant popularity figures, hence websites like this organised by Unions NSW:

Shock A Pollie

1. Get informed

Understand the dangers of privatising power by reading the materials on this site.

2. Get connected

Join our Stop the Sell-Off mailing list and email this site around to your friends and family.

3. Get Active

Use the 'Shock A Pollie' to send a direct message to the Premier that you do not support the power sell-off.

Take Action Now - Shock A Pollie!


This democratic opposition is "problemmatic" as per Rudd's press statement in the way the very principle of democracy is to East Timor hit men who put President Ramos Horta in a hospital induced coma. (May God and those good surgeons help him survive.)


The picture is becoming quite clear about PM Rudd as a real politik grifter. If it were just the unions with a limited representative base of 15-20% then no matter. But the survey unionist Thistlethwaite is brandishing speaks for pretty much everyone on this issue:

" DAMIEN O'CONNOR - NSW ALP LEFT FACTION: It is an issue about traditional Labor versus spiv Labor.
IAN MACDONALD - NSW ALP MLA: The Hogg/Egan proposition is a suicide note to the Australian Labor Party.
DR PETER BOTSMAN - UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN SYDNEY: If this goes ahead, it means privatisation of everything will be sanctioned. It means that every state Labor Party, every federal Labor Party across the country will embrace privatisation of essential services. "

in Proposed Privatisation of NSW Power Industry Ch9 Sunday 31 August 1997

Bob Carr was a very popular Premier having brooked no reversal for nearly  2 years since his election March 24 1995. Then he was slam dunked on public energy assets sale proposal in 1997. That's the real politik precedent for popular leaders like Rudd selling out the public interest to remain cosy with the big end of town. That's what the whole work choices industrial relations campaign was about - economic justice.

To be sure Rudd's stock of real politik capital is very high in this angel dust, honeymoon period not least clothed in the moral veil of the national apology tomorrow which the public and Big Media rightly support:


And therein is the logical strategy of getting Rudd's public endorsement for Iemma by the NSW ALP Right against democratic feeling on our public energy assets.

The public are surely right and Rudd is wrong. And even this early Rudd has very real credibility gaps on serious policy:

- as Noel Pearson points out today in a moving feature about views from the crest of a giant sand dune, how sincere can it be to rule out compensation from a $30B surplus and unequivocally support a national apology?

 - NOEL PEARSON: When words aren't enough

 It doesn't quite gel, and indeed it isn't right as Michael Mansell, Bob Brown and many others correctly note. It's grasping PR on the apology without addressing an important policy implication. The failure to even read an embargoed advisory text to Opposition leader Nelson underlines the grasping Rudd ALP posturing. On this Nelson has a point and Kudelka reflects this in his insightful cartoon today, main page The Australian:

- The 2020 Summit of Rudd is widely seen "as a joke" to quote The Daily Telegraph online headline

 Rudd's summit fast becoming a joke | The Daily Telegraph 11 Feb 2008

, which diverges greatly from the print headline by the by ("Hardly a guest list to inspire the nation"). And there are many more threads to that thick rope of scepticism in the Big Media this last 5 days from Clarke & Dawe, Andrew Bolt, Barry Cassidy, Kerry OBrien etc.

- The there is the doozy of them all: Dangerous Climate Change. Signing an exhausted almost redundant Kyoto is nice symbolism but junking medium term strict reduction targets as Ross Garnaut, as Rudd's man has been talking up, is indeed a joke: Crikey - Garnaut loses the plot - Garnaut loses the plot by Clive Hamilton 29 Jan 2008

 Will Rudd go the growth fetish as implied by the expanded energy/immigration/dinosaur growth economics that got us in the cross hairs of dangerous climate change? You bet. This is what he means by "fully support" Iemma's asset sales - to build a $5B truck tunnel to a Bay dredged, expanded Port Botany whose biggest export is empty containers on very climate unfriendly foreign multinational owned jumbo ships with hugely greenhouse embedded retail junk. In other words Rudd's commitment to real climate change discipline is a bald and exposed as his Minister Peter Garrett's scalp. It's a carpet baggers' sincerity.

- And here is more reality check on climate change funding: Of $643M in budget cuts notice Glenn Milne in Hello, budget pain | The Australian 11th Feb 2008 

Trouble was, back at the National Press Club, Tanner was mounting the inflation case for cutting precisely the programs Wong was promoting in Melbourne. Immediately after his speech, the Finance Minister issued a statement detailing an immediate $643 million in spending cuts as a down payment on the promised rigours of the May budget.

The line items appeared obscure. But closer examination revealed that at least three measures - the defunding of the Asia Pacific Network for Energy Technology and the Low Emissions Technology and Abatement program, and the reduction in money for the Renewable Remote Power Generation Program - were going to contribute $49.2 million to Tanner's budget bottom line. And then there was the $3 million knife taken to the funding for the CSIRO research vessel Southern Surveyor. ..... [bold added]

In other words, the Southern Surveyor is an example of just the sort of "scientists, engineers and (research) capacity" Wong lauded in her Melbourne speech as being essential to the frontline battle against the effects of climate change.

This column brought these anomalies to the attention of Wong's office. In mitigation they say the Low Emissions Technology and Abatement money had not yet been committed and the Asia Pacific Network for Energy Technology constitutes an overlap with existing research and development programs.

These details aside, the fact remains that the Tanner-Wong episode is an important symbol of an inevitable transitional phase for the new Labor Government. And the transition is from the high-minded rhetoric of election promises and goals on issues such as climate change to the realities of government, dirtied by the hard stuff of inflation and interest rates.

 - And this credibility gap today:

Lobbyists still roaming unchecked | The Australian 11 Feb 2008

MINISTERIAL meetings with lobbyists are still going unrecorded, with the federal Government's register of lobbyists not yet in place despite plans to have it up and running before parliament opens this week.

Nine weeks after Kevin Rudd released his long-awaited code of conduct for ministers, the Government has no way of implementing its ban on contacts with lobbyists not on the public register.

A spokesman for Special Minister of State John Faulkner confirmed the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet had not finalised the register but said it expected to put it on its website once complete.

"It's still under construction and it will be available as soon as it's humanly possible," the spokesman said.

More than 600 lobbyists currently have unsupervised access to Parliament House via a special pass system, with non-profit groups, industry associations and commercial lobbying firms all beating paths to new ministers' doors since the election.

Concerns about the role of lobbyists have been heightened in recent years by the controversy surrounding former WA premier and lobbyist Brian Burke.

Rudd is a rich man who only believes in open slather economic growth of a materialist kind to appease institutional economic forces and promote his own political career. On some of these issues like the apology it happily coincides with public interest, on others like the public's hard earned and profitable energy assets it almost certainly does not:

Why do the public oppose the sale anyway?: Multinationals will exercise capitalist creative destruction on the sector in their pathological pursuit of profit as per doco The Corporation.


This is systemic, it's not 'a few bad apples', it's the main game, the modus operandi:

That is well understood. The unions have lots to fear from that private equity foreign, multinational barbaric corporate tradition of

  • cut costs,
  • slash workforce,
  • increase prices,
  • draw down huge dividends to reward investor shareholders in the takeover.

It's transparently the method.

But corporations are an invention of society's legal system. And society should decide what corporations can and can't do with natural monopolies on questions of economic and environmental justice, so embarrassingly illustrated by the Yes Men here:


Otherwise it's just a sell out of democracy to corporate capitalism. An accessory to assasination. In East Timor its bullets, in Australia words are bullets.

The unions/workers' basis of concern to save their jobs and their very lives is therefore clear. But what of the environmnet? If prices go up surely that will reduce greenhouse emissions with reduced use, even at the expense of cold poor people in winter, for the greater good and all that?

But that's not how corporations work. They will maximise production and sales to increase income. They will price the poor out of their energy and sell at comparative volume based discounts to their mates in Big Business making profitable widgets of any description to maximise their own sales. Energy use will massively increase. Highly mechanised operations will make labour insecure and workplaces fatigue ridden high risk and fatal worksites. Unions will be banished. One can hear Big Business revving already:

Greiner backs power sell-off | The Australian 11 Feb 08

The King Penugiuns of the Sub Antarctic will be extinct anytime soon

King penguins in peril as planet warms | NEWS.com.au 12 Feb 2008

as most every government pays lip service to dangerous climate change yet sleep walks on as per capitalist tradition,  as will be extinct alot of pensioners and poor people prone to every latest bug going around in their cold run down residence. Not the rich pollies with their corporate donations. The poor people.

The alternative to really addressing dangerous climate change is to reduce reuse refuse recycle on a huge scale and conserve energy supply. And subsidise new clean forms from the public sector in terms of labour expertise and know how. For that we need a union movement's social capital. We don't need PM Rudd's sophistry.

But Rudd will smile angelically as he did with Laurie Oakes last Sunday on 9  in a sunny glow and cut the ribbon of the $5B truck tunnel

 $5b secret road under Sydney | The Daily Telegraph 1st March 2007

 and any other PR opportunity and democracy will have been betrayed.


Postscript #1 13th Feb 2008

Richard Farmer of Crikey.com.au writes today of yet more credibility gap for angelic PM Rudd:

The Headline seeker. Kevin Rudd is a skilled man in the search for a headline and the 10 second television news grab. On 18 November he promised that Parliament would meet before Christmas. The impression of a new Prime Minister keen to get on with the job was well received. Parliament met for the first time yesterday. On 29 November he promised that there would be no holidays for his new ministry but for Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Once again, the image of a team keen to get on with the job. In truth the government went into the normal Christmas holiday hibernation with Mr Rudd at the cricket and his deputy Julia Gillard acting as boss. And yesterday we saw the extent of another Labor promise – the promise that Parliament under Labor would sit for five days in a week not the four or even three that marked the Howard years. When the Leader of the House Anthony Albanese unveiled changes to the standing orders setting out the rules for this new "full-time" parliamentary week it became clear that the extra sitting day on a Friday would be nothing more than a Clayton's sitting day. There will be no question time, no votes and no quorums; what Parliament will have is a talk fest day where members can be present if they want to get something on the record while having no real need to be present at all.

And Simon Benson of the Daily Telegraph takes the 'way it is' line with this apathetic piece about crude ALP power politics aka 'spiv ALP':

Simon Benson: Labor pulls plug on unions

Postscript #2 15th Feb 2008

Other press updates on this hard fought debate at the highest levels of politics in NSW and Australia that we have noticed:

- Costa confirms talks on new power station - National - smh.com.au 13th Feb 2008

- Bulldoze old power stations, says adviser - Environment - smh.com.au 14th Feb 2008

- Shipping emissions twice level of airlines SMH Feb 14 2008

- from back in 2007 the hugely greenhouse embedded super container ships First China-made 8530-TEU container ship delivered

Posted by editor at 9:22 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 15 February 2008 5:58 AM EADT
Sunday, 10 February 2008
TV political talkies 2008: Sunday 9 swinging hard, Rudd in the Summer of his life, reptiles poised
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: aust govt

Picture: To fit the scheduled sorry day event this week at the national Parliament, Grass Seed Dreaming - like Van Gogh's Sunflowers (series of paintings)  raft of themed works - based on the artist Barbara Weir's experience of hours spent as a child sent to hide in the long grass from the govt man whose job was to take her from her Indigenous family in Utopia, Northern Territory. These artworks can sell for tens of thousands today. As explained here and here and here, and here:

Author’s general introductory note (skip this bit if you know this regular weekly column): This is not a well packaged story. It’s a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies  in Big Politics and Big Media.



Indeed it’s the tv version monitoring task similar to what Nelson Mandela refers to here in his book Long Walk to Freedom (1994, Abacus) written in Robben Island prison (where he was meant to die like other African resister chiefs of history in the 19C), at page 208



“..newspapers are only a shadow of reality; their information is important to a freedom fighter not because it reveals the truth, but because it discloses the biases and perceptions of both those who produce the paper and those who read it.”



Just substitute ‘Sunday tv political talkie shows’ for "newspapers" in the quote above.




For actual transcripts go to web sites quoted below except with Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.



Specific introduction for today


There have been some usual sly subtexts and gambits in the weekend and recent press, balanced up with some good old fashioned skeptical bollocking of the 2020 Rudd Summit spin vehicle. In short democracy working sort of:


Well the tv scheduling has changed to a much more contested furious remote control button changing situation, but the same shows are back. We don’t have pay tv so the Sky 9am show today is not covered as usual.


We say extra use of the remote but actually good old pen and paper too as we can't type our brainstorms direct when such as Laurie Oakes is in Q&A with PM Rudd on 9, while Barry Cassidy is grilling Mal Turnbull as Opposition Treasurer on 2 at 9.05 am. Or similarly Van Onselen on 9 is dishing the dirt on macabre face tilt, koala eyed ex MP WA lobbyist Grill, while Mark Riliey goes through his amusing insightful paces at 7 at 8.35 am.



The last Sunday Talkies here on SAM micro news website was literally 2 months ago Dec 2nd 2007 here




and notice this late last year too Nov 25th 2007:


Sunday TV political talkies: (delay in transmission) it’s a new same ol’, same ol’

Yet in truth its been a busy busy 8 weeks plus for the new federal govt as most political watchers know, and in this respect see our Sunday 9 comments re interview with Mr Oakes who is definitely baaack.



Media backgrounder


- First praise where it's due: Garrett has identified $16M for a joint World Heritage bid and management authority with PNG government of the magnificent Kokoda Track environs. We visited the Lae cemetry in 1990 and there's no forgetting those headstones of 18-25 year olds, loved brother, son, husband. Conservative MP Charlie Lynn MP makes the same point about this values expanding journey and he's spot on. No forgetting:

Rudd to fast-track Kokoda listing | The Australian

We find this impressive because, rather than a few 'big men' in the village(s) getting some action, as claimed by a local guy who put me up all those years back, and those few sending their kids to private school in Australia, maybe they can all get a school on location? We said as much on abc 702 morning radio last week and got sledged later in the morning for nonsense by the ex PM Howard aligned spinner Bob Lawrence, but listen up BL, winners are grinners, losers weepers:

Kokoda Track protest stage-managed | The Australian

- so it is with a heavy heart (well not really) we bring this blast from the past 1998 when Shane Stone was Chief Minister of the Northern Territory and Peter Garrett was busy organising his career as the ALP Minister for the Environment (in the guise of green group ACF President), only we activists targetting Jabiluka uranium mine in solidarity with traditional owner Yvonne Margarula just didn't know it: As crime writer Malcolm Brown notes June 8th 2004 in the SMH:

The Greens leader, Bob Brown, warned Labor politics would "stymie" the enormous contribution Mr Garrett had yet to make to Australia's future.

"The prospect of Peter being inside the party that, for example, is woodchipping Tasmania's ancient forests at the greatest rate in history, concerns me for Peter's sake," Senator Brown said.

The executive director of the Australian Conservation Foundation, Don Henry, said he was "grateful for the work" of Peter Garrett as ACF president, a position he has held since 1998.

Holding the office of president of one of the peak environment groups puts Mr Garrett at odds with the Labor Party on the issue of Tasmania's old-growth forests.

The ACF wants immediate protection for 240,000 hectares of Tasmania including all high conservation old growth forests and wilderness areas. But the Labor Party has said it will not jeopardise timber industry jobs by abandoning the existing Regional Forests Agreement.



Speed and ambition. But truth to tell we also find this picture impressive because who hasn't been just a little confronted by the dress wearing man, sometimes a Sydney experience, and here we see Garrett when he was on the side of the angels if not fairies, in the lead up to Mardi Gras season (!), in sympathetic non judgemental mode. That actually takes guts and a moral centre so for this we give respect. While exploiting the NT editor's cynicism 10 years later (!). PG sort of lost that centre in our view: Those wicked ALP carpet baggers like Bob Carr, and all those years of ego bending cheering crowds.
Here is a picture of Garrett same issue of the NT News which did not lead under the heel of CLP Stone's regime, tucked away at p6:

and in modern times

"Bininj culture really strong. You have to look after country. For your grandfather country, like mother country, take care." Yvonne Margarula, Mirarr Senior Traditional Owner.

- the proposed sale of the profitable $15B public energy assets in NSW took a weird turn in the big business friendly Sunday Telegraph: The editorial blathers on trivialising the huge issues of principle and economic justice as mere personal power games. Indeed the cynicism of Costa jumping from Labor Council (now Unions NSW) to a ministerial career back in 2003 or so, and widely held view he will jump in typical ammoral style to big business asap, is somehow reversed (in typical ALP mind f*ck style) as a smear on Bernie Riordan as prominent opponent of the sale. It's all about sewing dissension and disaggregating solidarity in the union movement.

The stories appear offline including the editorial:

- The power struggle over energy sell-off at p89 10 Feb 08 complete with soft PR pics of otherwise reviled Iemma/Costa, and grey haired Riordan under. There's nothing new in the story by Linds Silmalis suggesting she is on the Premier's office drip. It's woeful coverage with 85% of the public against the sale;

- The lights are on but no one's home at p83 which is little more than a union bash, echoing the same anti union folks at Fairfax we covered here


Contrary to the spin in the Big Media we think removal of Iemma and Costa from NSW politics can only be progress for working people.

Mr Riordan's advocacy was quite convincing and credible on ABC Stateline last Friday and that would have hurt Iemma and Costa's agenda:

08/02/2008 Bring It On! The ALP versus Mr Iemma

 John Kaye MP, another vigorous and effective critic refers to "rumours of dealmaking" here 10 Feb 08 (media release)

"For the Greens, public ownership of the retailers is not negotiable.

"Reflecting widely-held sentiments in the environment movement, the party is deeply concerned that the electricity industry will need to change dramatically to slash emissions.

"Public ownership of the retailers is essential to protect consumers from what will be an increasingly volatile and dangerous wholesale market.

"Retailers driven by profit will not be willing or able to work with households to reduce total demand.

"Retailer privatisation would squander opportunities to create a low carbon industry that also makes sure electricity bills don't skyrocket.

"While there are rumours of a deal being brokered by the Labor leadership, we urge all unions and party members to stay firm on protecting public ownership of the retailers.

"Trading off the sale of the retail arms of Energy Australia, Integral and Country Energy to keep the generators in public hands would be a pyrrhic victory.

"We should see this rumoured deal for what it is: an attempt to divide the opposition to privatisation.

"If it goes ahead, there is no doubt that Treasurer Costa or one of his successors will come back and finish off the job," Dr Kaye said.

And Kaye jumped on this from amongst others News Ltd US abandons joint clean coal experiment | NEWS.com.au and ABC Clean coal loses funding in United States - 06/02/2008The World Today - Clean coal research hits tax hurdle: Here is Kaye's take on the situation:

Collapse of US clean coal facility another blow to NSW privatisation
Media Release: 5 February 2008
The decision by the US government to abandon the FutureGen carbon capture and storage project undermines yet another argument for privatisation of the NSW electricity industry, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
Dr Kaye said: "A major component of NSW Treasurer Costa's $15 billion privatisation was a massive private sector investment in carbon reduction technologies, which is increasingly looking like the impossible dream.
"The Iemma government justifies the environmental risks of long term leasing of the state-owned generators and the sale of the retailers by arguing that it would encourage investment in clean coal technologies to reduce carbon emissions.
"The collapse of the world's largest clean coal project makes a mockery of Treasurer Costa's attempted green washing of privatisation.
"The Iemma government's sell-off scheme relied on ensuring that the private sector would invest between $3 to $4 billion in retrofitting the state's existing power stations with carbon capture and storage and would pony up the additional money to build new base load generation with low carbon technologies.
"The Bush administration has just delivered a body blow to carbon capture and storage.
"By pulling their $2 billion investment out of the FutureGen project in Illinois, the US administration has delivered a massive vote of no confidence in clean coal and consequently in Michael Costa's electricity privatisation deal.
"The electricity industry in NSW is responsible for 57 million tonnes of CO2 each year.
"It makes no sense to hand over 35% of the state's greenhouse gas emissions to private owners when carbon reduction technologies are increasingly looking farcical," Dr Kaye said. 
 For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455

Minister Macdonald in the NSW Govt has rejected the interpretation but they do sound worried in this undated statement presumably on or about 5th Feb 08.

- big advert from anti Genetic Engineering food campaigners at p5, The Australian 7th Feb 2008. We will write on this in a new article having interviewed Bob Phelps by phone last Friday but more background is here:

GM ban bolsters state split | The Australian

- As explained in greater depth in the segments below the ALP have moved into spin mode defending their "talkfest" 2020 Rudd ideas summit: Queue forms for Ruddfest | The Daily Telegraph. At Insiders segment below:

Discussion of the 2020 summit at some stage: Correctly notes as we did on SAM the 7.30 Report riposte 'conflict of interest' of the media getting involved. Cassidy refers to 'skepticism around' about this talkfest (see media backgrounder above in due course like Nelson to replay public questions as rival claim on public opinion/participation.) Bolt gets in a second fix over what sounded like a revelation that his boss John Hartigan will be participating in the summit, but went on to say it's a conflict of interest being there and criticising later.

And notice our coverage back here:


Certainly is a level of scepticism (with thanks to SMH, link to one of their product adverts):


- We did write to Blair along greenie lines re cancer operation pending despite pointed colour coding of the tumour he had removed from his plumbing as green gremlin. We suggested that it would be hypocritical to offer false sympathy but still we offered the Maker might have a Saul/Paul Damascene conversion in store for him if he got through because the green sector does a good line in "redemption". He's running pictures of presumably himself post operation at his personal blog:



It's a matter of record he didn't but this headline does indeed suggest he's been thinking about it. And he does keep refering to correspondence from a greenie hater called Global Warming. Methinks the mountain is moving a bit despite this bravado, and no we don't approve of hate mail even to Tim Blair:

How I survived to fight the Greens another day

 - speaking of News Limited journos spinning off into Weird Joe Hilderbrand appears to be experiencing some existential angst with this dangerously risky flirtation with domestic violence as a suitable topic of satire. 'Things that batter' faux par by Alexander Downer comes to mind. Some things are just not funny: Domestic violence is one of them.

Which is sort of what his side column indulges in too. Attacking Deborah Cameron at the ABC, but why bother? Is Joe getting envious of thethe ABC gig of Telegraph cartoonist Warren, or what? Otherwise we can't explain it except to say Joe is a b*tch. Here he is:

Women aren't funny - am I right? | The Daily Telegraph with side bar offline Ode to the glorious delights of Deborah p87 Feb 9 2008.

To which we just now submit this:

Joe, Joe, Joe.

You seem to be losing your way a bit mate. Very talented writer but why the implied misogyny even under cover of satire? Take a breath mate and step back from yourself a bit. How many female comics literally have careers being funny? Your premise is indeed whacky.

And the flirting with domestic violence - which is oh so real and contemptible in our society - as a suitable topic for satire. I don't get it. You are so not that guy.

Is that writing on the public energy asset sales, a $15B gambit, making you question your place in this institutional world?

And why go at Deborah Cameron who is doing fine. Are you secretly envious of such as Warren with his own gig on ABC? Do you in fact need a change my friend?

- If you ever had any doubt about the broad social support for reaching out to Aboriginal Australians this week it's the matriarch of famous son Rupert Murdoch who controls the News Corp global media behemoth in surely an authorised picture. Any News Ltd journo who doesn't take the hint doesn't want to keep their job, run in rival Fairfax too:


- A variant on the 2020 ALP PR gambit to mind f*ck the public intellectual life of the nation via vain flattery, rather than focus on heavy issues like intractable economic troubles (inflation, skills deficit, reliance on hyper immigration to crank retail and building sectors): It's a "We feel your pain" puff piece on Tanya Plybersek's life work balance feature p78 9 Feb 2008 Saturday Daily Telegraph called Having it all comes at a price (offline)

- Those cynical "fresh food people". Macca ABC radion Sunday morning had a cracking talk back caller who said, dripping with cynicism, that 'the peanuts sold by the fresh food people are from China, not Kingaroy' and  'the oranges sold by the fresh food people are from California not Mildura'. Ouch. Now we see this rather brazen PR sticker inserted in to the Sunday press. It's another weird mind f*ck and cynics might say its easy to show solidarity after it rains:

- In the cynicism stakes what about this deal by western corporations who donate hand over fist to political parties who support bombing Iraq to bits and occupying forever, then offer to be paid in oil to help Iraq pump more oil:

Payment in kind suits oil giants fine, p12 Resources section in Careers of Weekend Australian 9-10 Feb 08.


- Meanwhile Glen Milne praises California's Republican Governor Schwarzenegger for his economic clout behind climate friendly economics, back on Jan 21 2008. This is the direct opposite of the oil sands in Canada which is hitting climate policy turbulence: Climate change, economic reality hit oil sands Wall Street Journal via The Australian p27 Thurs 7 Feb 08 (offline).

- That wacky environmentalist James Woodford, down on his south coast hobby farm with gaggle of children, has figured out in his inimitable way that kangaroo meat is better than domesticated bovines or sheep, not realising perhaps that mass production of meat without systemic parasite controls made possible by that very domestication could lead to a further escalation in hydatid to rural communities:

Landline - 23/10/2005: Tapeworm continues to thrive in wild dog ...

Hydatid can be lethal, especially to children and is found in the offal of kangaroos of interest to dogs then to you, and given millions of kangaroos are being gutted each year one does wonder the risk factor.

Wild dog in a cage
Hydatid tapeworm
Hydatid tapeworm eggs

The wild animal hunting industry don't like to talk about the natural evolutionary pressure always present from parasites (as we wrote here and here) which cannot be nearly as easily managed in a domestic situation. It's all under control they say, but being financially conflicted, they would wouldn't they?

The Herald continues it's Eating Skippy agenda without addressing this scary subtext.

- How green indeed: How green was my campus | The Australian of 30 January 08. A good question for anti green Fred Hilmer busy ruining the green credentials of the UNSW as all bean counters tend to do:


Monday, 19 March 2007






9 Sunday 7.30am- 9.30am

Rueful wincing smiles at the earlier start all round. [More sympathy for the ABC morning presenter shift now?]. Bait set from the get go of "bombshell" revelations about Brian Bourke still playing footsies with WA ALP ministers. Still, says smiling partner in palsied bluff Julian Grill held in a freeze frame like a smiling Kraken of developer corruption.

The other bait right off the mark is PM Rudd 'to appear in just over an hour with big Laurie Oakes'. You might call this the quid pro quo pre election of Nov 24, not to suggest any favouritism by LO but LO made a big difference to the credibility of brand Rudd on the way up for presumably sound journalistic reasons.

Long chunky adbreaks, sold at a lower rate?

Ross Greenwood back in Q& A with compere Ellen (presumably to soften departure of alpha male Ray Martin from the station) on consolidation of the resources boom 'for the next 20 years' [itself echoes Tim Blair poison blog yesterday Sydney Daily Telegraph] reference to $165 billion BHP/Rio Tinto takeover bid

All very upbeat but also noting two stroke economy of interest rate rises to home owners suffering inflationary effects of resources boom.

[Huge flaw in this analysis - dangerous climate change which all the narrow corporate analysts are sleep walking into based on ... tradition. More fool them and us. They won't believe it until they can like St Thomas see it, put their hand in the wound, in this case say 2 metre sea rise.]

 Underbelly gets predictably long promo just after 8am to cruel MTP kick off on 10. 

Next we see is political presenter youngish blade Van Onselen, tv friendly looks, bit beefcake like to be tough (?) accessing Julian Grill in WA spinning 'nothing to see here, move on', normal money politics (!) being the strong implication, while premier Carpenter is looking down the cameral barrel 'I'll sack yer' if ministers work with Grill/Bourke.

An eloquent portrayal of why the ALP and democracy itself is broken in WA and NSW via corporate and PR influence. Tough talking Carpenter now sporting a paunch riding his desk for all it's worth is contra mundum his own corrupt Party. No wonder Geof Gallup was depressed and left it to a younger man to tilt at the windmill of money politiks

As said above Grill is like a carpet bagging tilt faced wide koala eyed macabre palsied undertaker. Truisms about age and treachery over youth and talent come to mind.

Then Oakes interview with PM Rudd:

- The guy is in the summer of his life, blonde, fit, alert, clearly happy with his achievement and meaningful role. LO opens with a cracking good human interest question in a generally soft toned interview, which is also a deceptive volume because it can mean the unseen spider web, the trap wherein lies the hammer blow, the crescendo of pain. But the old lethal fangs were sheathed today, no fatal ambush by the 4th estate coppers, not least because history must be nurtured up to this Wednesday and most all want to share this moment 200 years coming:

Q.  Are you used to being called PM?

Seemingly innocent soft potentially lethal expose of hubris at the season opener: The answer was equally disarming: 'No, look over my shoulder to see where the other guy is'. Quips about having been Humphrey, Bernard and the PM in Yes Prime Minister.

It's all in the delivery. He's very much at ease. The guy has resolved something quite deep in the id. On the sorry day event he mentions an hour an a half with an 80 something victim of the stolen generation of the 1930ies. (It's like he's seen his beloved mother again who died in 2004. ) The guy is glowing like he's got a halo. Oakes is actually deferential which is quite a thing to see.

And it's true enough this is a holy moment coming up and Rudd is quietly rejoicing in it like a sincere Christian might.

100 Aboriginal representatives will have their expenses paid to attend said with a tiny quaver. Howard ex PM said not to be attending. Some ex ALP PMs not available also. Makes it sound like the door is open to Howard yet like some antipodean Lord Marchmain simply dragging his feet?

After the adbreak the second half of the interview kicks off on what should traditionally be more fraught and pressure filled topics but somehow are veiled with angel dust from the earlier topic: Inflation, education, skills, uni policy, no change to tax cuts, interviews himself on whaling. without denying for a moment 'big difficult complex problems' like State Govt dependance on pokies revenue which he's 'been looking at' which surely is ominous for shareholders in Aristocrat, including quite a few bruvvers on his side of the fence.

In summary it's easy to believe Rudd is doing a good job, and whether he is or not is buried under the fact he is definitely enjoying the job. We may be seeing the goofy Kevin Rudd in action as distinct from the grey man we've always known. These can be brilliantly inspired phases of one's life however short or long they last.










10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am

Hard to keep with with this and Ch9 in parallel. Treasurer Swan sounding earnest and a bit flat and embattled like he's running hard to stay in one place. Standard ALP boiler plate about financial discipline re rates rise, inflation, supply side reform of skills and infrastructure.

Fran Kelly abc RN, Mal Farr News Ltd SDT, on the panel which actually are heavyweights (ha ha) in the national press gallery fillip to MTP nervously up against 9.

All the elements of higher level contest yet still lacking spark somehow. Nicholson cartoon was mildly funny about ego of PM Rudd with Howard/Costello in soup line. 

Skip to US theatrical contest but I tuned out as over it, though other viewers probably like it (?).



Transcript in due course www.ten.com.au/meetthepress ,



Myspace web address: www.myspace.com/meetthepeople




7 Weekend Sunrise: 8.35-40 am Riley Diary  -

Amusing and insightful at the standard we've come to expect conceptually and visually. First big clue is very healthy moustache of a punter, laced with spaghetti western audio track, and then grabs of both Rudd and Nelson referring to a mythical "silver bullet" to fix inflation or whatever other real politik is threatening. Entre to footage of squeaky clean Lone Ranger a la Hollywood invention segue to "Kevinator" tag (ie Terminator of ex PM Howard) - a bit of a stretch but hey it is satire. Cutting use of Tonto "not make sense". Which fits nicely with the bullshit detector sounding off over the Summit 2020 plan.

 Indeed in the Q&A post video Riley refers to this Govt needing a "Minister for the Banking Sector" which is actually very cutting because 1. It's likely true to control the rampant gougers 2. Opposition Turnbull implied as much earlier in the week and 3. Kevin Swan as Treasurer is supposed to be that minister, or maybe Lindsay Tanner as minister for Finance.

In other words Riley has not been bluffed by the Monday last Summit PR gambit to annexe his editorial on say the interest rate rise the next day. Nor have any of the other serious big media, and that's all to the good for a functioning 4th estate, let alone junior 5th estate here.

 Deputy Leader Bishop plugging away on AWAs for WA (!).

Seven makes likely sincere positive noises about the reconciliation sorry day event via compere Andrew OKeefe and Riley due acknowledgement.

MR brilled shorter hairstyle for the new season.








Insiders 2: 9-10am
We finally get back over to 2 from 9 barrelling along with film review to its 9.30 or so business segment.
Panel is Bolt in pink shirt like Elvis and his blue suede shoes, and somehow works for tv, if only as an implicit right wing gibe at 'socialist ABC'. Safe hands Lenore Taylor of AFR and Annabel Crabb of the at times breathtaking prose. Bolt gets snookered on ALP needing support of cross benches in the Senate effectively saying A=B=C, with C being Green Party are good, as the out take shows Bolt holding his head in dismay.
Mal Turnbull as Opposition Treasurer right at the opening reveals a haughty swagger with his big brain and references to Orwellian flexibility over economic data by the Rudd Swan team literally as Rudd is skating over the same on 9. These are the highlights in an avalanche of arguments and sidetracks. Bolt just before the final credits states 'he's not ready for prime time, needs coaching'. Ouch. True and discipline on a big dangerous talent.
Discussion of the 2020 summit at some stage: Correctly notes as we did on SAM the 7.30 Report riposte 'conflict of interest' of the media getting involved. Cassidy refers to 'skepticism around' about this talkfest (see media backgrounder above in due course like Nelson to replay public questions as rival claim on public opinion/participation.) Bolt gets in a second fix over what sounded like a revelation that his boss John Hartigan will be participating in the summit, but went on to say it's a conflict of interest being there and criticising later.
But Bolt got some revenge with challenging who was stolen in the stolen generation. Stay tuned came the response eventually.
All the bollocking of the 2020 summit still conceded the vain will climb over themselves including from their own media sector as per this report in the Sunday Telegraph.



Home page is http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/

Posted by editor at 8:59 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 11 February 2008 10:07 AM EADT
Heath Ledger nailed the Skip role in Lords of Dog Town cultural docu-drama
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: culture

For those skeptics of the Heath Ledger career check out his pivotal role in this movie available at most DVD shops. As one wit on YouTube has pointed out, the whole movie was underpinned by his character role as Skip the flawed brilliant haughty entrepeneur of Zephyr skateboards 'based on a true story'. The first image below is a stand alone clip here.

The other images are a full trailer at the link to the collage. Not surprising his friends went to the ocean for his wake - which surely is a metaphor in our dreams and our life for the emotional journey we are all on in some way. We Australians blend in with the ocean, as one, knowing its huge and overwhelming, teaching respect. We have no doubt Heath Ledger was emblematic of coastal and therefore most Australians of his generation.


Posted by editor at 8:14 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 10 February 2008 8:56 AM EADT
Saturday, 9 February 2008
Addison Rd Centre General Manager 'Job Vacancy' closing date 1st April 2008
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: local news

Recently arisen, how brightly you shine



Addison Road Centre

Senior Management





The Addison Road Centre (ARC) is an equal opportunity employer and values the diversity of its workforce. This means that the person most capable of doing the job will be chosen, without discrimation based on age, sex, pregnancy, disability, race, colour, ethnic or ethno religious background, descent or nationality, marital status, homosexuality, transgender identity, or carer’s responsibility.



The ARC is an independent organisation pursuing the goal of providing a site where organisations and individual practitioners in the arts, culture, community and the environment can work together in a community-owned asset. The ARC aims to be a showcase of how diversity of communities defined either by locality, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, age, ability or interest can operate together to achieve social and environmental outcomes in a context of economic self-sufficiency.






Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, people with disabilities and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.



General Manager – Salary $65K per annum

Job Ref No: GM08/01



Are you an energetic and experienced manager with excellent interpersonal skills and management experience willing to be a central part of a team committed to servicing the infrastructure and administrative needs of clients?



An opportunity is available to join the team of the Addison Road Centre, Marrickville as it moves forward with a vital program of community service.



The General Manager will be a key role in the provision of best practice administrative services for over 40 tenants and 5 staff. You will need to be committed to protecting the interests and dignity of people in a wide range of community activities. The organisation is experiencing strong growth in the demand for its services and is undergoing organisational change. You will be working with the Board of elected representatives to achieve long term change.



Selection criteria:  We are seeking a senior manager with extensive experience in a client service organisation who can demonstrate outstanding leadership and management capabilities. The successful candidate will have experience in significant and successful organisational change and process strategic planning and financial management skills. A sound knowledge of the issues facing community centres on community land are contained in the information package available.


The operations of Addison Rd Centre are located on 3.4 hectares at 142 Addison Rd, Marrickville in the Inner West of Sydney.



The position has a remuneration package of $65,000 per annum.



Inquiries: Yvette Andrews (02) 9569 7633


Information Packages:  Terry Cutcliffe 9518 3709, 0412 590 779


Applications Marked “Confidential” To: Applicants can apply by email to mainoffice@addisonrdcentre.com.au


Closing date: April 1st 2008


Posted by editor at 6:52 PM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 9 February 2008 8:02 PM EADT
Friday, 8 February 2008
Community media in Sydney pushing on-line in 2008
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: independent media

Better late than never!

Alternative Media Group which is a struggling for profit independent press business in Sydney has made it's first tentative steps into the web sphere.

The decidely pinkish AMG notwithstanding the green coloured get up above, and no relation to this SAM website Sydney Alternative Media though our editor did work for AMG 2002-early 2007, has always "wanted to build up their web presence" according to "group manager Chris Peken. In fact this writer urged this approach a few months before the quite mutual fork in the road Feb last year.

So now it is so.


On another Sydney front re community media capacity building, the decidedly non profit Sydney Independent Media Centre, highly interactive self publishing website with somewhat national and globalised linkages has announced an open meeting for later in February 2008.

Again no relation to SAM here though we have been a dedicated contributor there too over say 10 years.

Additionally we here at SAM reported recently our webpage view figures up to 19-20K per month up from a previous 11K in December. Time will tell the significance of this jump in readership stats.

Meanwhile, over at the Big Indy taxpayer funded ABC media, somewhat hobbled by balance obligations as opposed to 'truth' obligations, we notice the last Sunday Telegraph was gracious enough to carry a letter from a 20 year ABC veteran senior executive, one Peter Wall of Lindfield. He praised mid morning jockey Deborah Cameron pictured with said letter, and the thrust was similar to our own observation here on SAM 2 weeks back that DC has the capacity and quality professional and personal in terms of standards which is not always the same as ratings. This remains our view as long as she gets the sleep to perform this demanding daily gig.

We presume this is the News Ltd Sunday Tele's way of saying their negative coverage the week before was a mere tickle up care of the brutish commercial sector. As said 2 weeks back "all things being fair which they are not" DC ought to do fine in that tough gig. And cannabilistic reptiles have plenty to move on with too given the general coverage today of Ray Martin embracing freedom from the private equity barbarians at Ch9:

News results for ray martin

Ray Martin quits Nine Network - 3 hours ago
RAY Martin last night quit Channel 9 after 30 years as one of the network's biggest stars. Sources said a simmering feud with management led to a final ...
Melbourne Herald Sun - 35 related articles »
Not the retiring type: Martin quits Nine - Sydney Morning Herald - 24 related articles »
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Posted by editor at 11:52 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 8 February 2008 4:35 PM EADT

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