« April 2008 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
about editor
advertise?
aust govt
big media
CommentCode
contact us
corporates
culture
donations to SAM
ecology
economy
education
election nsw 2007
election Oz 2007
free SAM content
globalWarming
health
human rights
independent media
indigenous
legal
local news
nsw govt
nuke threats
peace
publish a story
water
wildfires
world
zero waste
zz
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
official indymedia
Sydney
Perth
Ireland
ecology action Australia
ecology action
.
Advertise on SAM
details for advertisers
You are not logged in. Log in

sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Adam Spencer show drops the moral imperative on 702 post 4 Corners expose?
Mood:  sad
Topic: big media

Adam Spencer

702's Breakfast Presenter

 

Adam Spencer began his career in radio by winning the Triple J raw comedy championship in 1996. From there, he became the well known co-presenter of Triple J Breakfast between 1999 and 2004.

Adam holds a first class honours degree in Pure Mathematics and has an immense interest in science. Adam’s "Little Book of Numbers" has been translated into many languages and he has since written another called "More Mind Numbing Maths".

Adam has also toured for the last 3 years with Dr Karl Kruszelnicki in the SLEEK GEEK TOUR, which is held during Science Week and is an hilarious one hour show combining ground breaking science with side breaking comedy.

Adam has had extensive experience on various boards and authorities - he continues to serve on the Senate of the University of Sydney, the NSW Premier's Advisory Committee on Greenhouse and Global Warming and the NSW Health Department's Clinical Ethics Review Committee as well as being an ambassador for the Fred Hollows Foundation and helping out with numerous charities.

We hope you'll enjoy listening to Adam Spencer on 702 ABC Sydney.

 .............. 

Sent: Monday, April 14, 2008 11:42 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Challenge to Labor and Liberals to bring inimmediate donation reform

Media Release
15 April 2008

Challenge to Labor and Liberals to bring in immediate donation reform

NSW Greens MP and donations spokesperson Lee Rhiannon responding to
tonight's Four Corners program has called on all political parties to
publicly commit to not accept donations from corporations and to ban
them from contributing to party fund raising events.

"Tonight's Four Corners has been a damming indictment of the
relationship between corporate political donors and the major
parties," Ms Rhiannon said.

"The numerous scandals involving developers and hotel companies in
tonight's program will continue as long as the Labor and Liberal
parties accept these donations.

"The Four Corners report has again revealed that business people
donate money to buy access to political leaders. This will only end
when corporate donations are banned.

"Both Premier Morris Iemma and opposition leader Barry O'Farrell have
said that they support a ban on donations, but both Labor and the
Liberals have plans for fund raisers in coming weeks.

"Mr Iemma and Mr O'Farrell will look even more hypocritical if they
talk about bans while accepting money from donors at fundraisers. They
need to immediately agree to not accept political donations from
corporations and other organisations," Ms Rhiannon said.

Director of the Greens Democracy4Sale Research Project Dr Norman
Thompson said "The entire system of electoral funding must be reformed
immediately.  The public needs to be confident decisions made by our
government are for the public good and not for those with the deepest
pockets.

"Spending limits for election campaigns need to be introduced to rein
in the race by political parties for ever larger war chests.

"Banning donations to political parties needs to go hand in hand with
a cap on party election expenditure and spending by special interest
groups.

"All donations from corporations and other organisations should be
banned.  Capped donations by individuals are important for allowing
Australians to engage in the political process.

"The Greens have developed a comprehensive plan for positive reform of
our electoral funding system," Dr Thompson said.

For more information: 0427 861 568

 

....................

Each and every news bulletin inlcuding on the half hour this morning from 5.30 am refers one way or the other to the expose on 4 Corners last night about developer donations scandal, but the ABC early morning shift in Sydney flagship 702 station carefully avoids any mention to our ear.

Spencer who is on the Sydney Uni Senate takes an interview with a maths genius, Wiggles ticket scalping, alcohol criminal violence with friendly mentions of PM Rudd and the 2020 Summit on this moral agenda.

But no mention of the developer donations scandal infecting the state ALP root and branch which we presume is on the main press pages today. Maybe. No ferreting out of prominent ALP figures even like Botsman, Luke Foley, developers and so many more possible.

We predict the Exec Producer for Spencer will say that the Cameron shift at 8.30 am will pick up the issue. No suggestion of that in the prelude at 7.30 am.

We have another view - ever since veteran Alex Mitchell took a swing at Spencer for allegedly being too friendly with the state ALP, not least Verity Firth MP for Balmain being on Sydney Uni senate also.

Sydney Uni are developer of choice for Callan Park open space by the ALP Govt. He is implicated in that developer agenda. In fact we put that to him once in an email as below

(As we write another friendly mention of Sydney Uni's Simon Chapman re prostrate.)

There is another story cooking too about Sydney University that Spencer's team could have picked up which ran on Crikey yesterday regarding the Sydney University/State Govt nexus, but didn't:

Crikey.com.au 14 April 2008
18 . Disharmony at Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music

Nicholas Pickard writes:

You can almost hear the strains of violins coming from the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music. It could even be a major performance of the Ride of the Valkyries, because somebody down at "The Con" is feeling very annoyed.

The big point of contention is Professor Kim Walker who has been Dean of the institution for the last four years. Walker is apparently pushing all the wrong keys because now the Governor of NSW and Chancellor of Sydney University, Marie Bashir has been dragged into the tussle. ........

 ..................

Is this the proverbial airbrush of the issue de jour as the Greens lead a call for Royal Commission?

Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2007 9:44 AM
Subject: Callan park a uni campus ......Re: a friendly reminder

> Well without getting too deep just a spontaneous response I suppose based on
>
> 1. I just had coffee and was a little fiesty
>
> 2. a nice word quite true, yet I find the whole Warragamba plume story a
> false diversion from Nathan Rees culpability for Breaking the Silence
> failure by him and Orkopoulous, that Stoner was thrown out of the parliament
> for yesterday. Notice Koperberg says - there is no problem. It's classic PR
> management.
>
> And the crypto trauma etc of 1998 is why they won't go water recycling now,
> but its so cocky to jam the Aboriginal child abuse problem with a Warragamba
> non threat. I mean get real. It's been raining for 2 weeks and they only now
> have a worry about turbidity?
>
> Rees is the real fear. He worked for Iemma. Almost certainly breifed against
> Bryce Gaudry - deselected.
>
> My thesis is Iemma knew all about Orkopoulos scandal well before his press
> conference in 2006 getting in front of the curve ball. That's the point.
>
> 3. Minister for 'Callan Park' Verity Firth - big grab from your show
> yesterday - when she is a demonstrated sleaze on broken election promises
>
> a. dry boat store in Rozelle Bay
> b. M5 East
> c. Anvill Hill opposition.
>
> As MP for Balmain she should be slam dunked for selling off mental health
> services for a university campus ...... let me guess which one.
>
> Your in the picture big brain.Cya Sunday.
>
> Yours truly, Tom
>
> It's all sleaze.
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2007 8:24 AM
> Subject: RE: a friendly reminder
>
>
> and your point is...
>
> adam s
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tom [mailto:ecologya@telpacific.com.au]
> Sent: Thursday, 28 June 2007 7:29 AM
> To: 702 Breakfast
> Subject: a friendly reminder
>
>
> Below is the result of your feedback form.  It was submitted by
> Tom (
ecologya@telpacific.com.au) on Thursday, June 28, 2007 at 07:30:16
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>
> From:
http://www.abc.net.au/contact/default.htm
>
> comments: its public radio not the Sydney Uni Senate. Put that in your
> turbidity.
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> HTTP_REFERER:
http://www.abc.net.au/sydney/stories/s1870545.htm

......................................

We notified the executive producer at the ABC above material at about 8am at least to check it out, and it would be fair to say he was combative, which is fair enough and probably an occupational hazard. That's accepted. No one wants a wimp running the independent ABC. But also unwisely dismissive in this case given the above evidenced pattern of concern.

His view, on the spur of the moment to be fair, is that they had nothing to add to the story editorially speaking. But we don't buy that for one. The ALP Left participating and speaking up against the "empty pursuit of power" was devastating and fresh material.  As was the Koperberg $50K family law settlement allegation, true it is a bit hot legally speaking after the Sunday press. As was the fresh contact with the Hardie company and Norman Thompson interviews about their covert subsidiary company donation called Marbal Pty Ltd.  All fresh material in our view. The extra access to MP for Wollongong was also fresh.

But only if you are looking at all this free of an ALP allegiance one way or the other?

All good grist for the 5th estate on a growing readership trend as here but what about ABC's proud history of setting the standard? We submit Sarah Ferguson for 4 Corners has indeed set the standard that 702 morning show have not managed to reach on this occassion. And that is indeed noteworthy.


Posted by editor at 9:21 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 April 2008 9:23 PM NZT
Marrickville Legal Centre providing community service on 4 areas of law
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: legal

Picture: Open Day recently, 338 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204 tel. 9559 2899, fx 9558 5213, as part of NSW Law Week.

With so many topics of conversation to provide alternative media service it is sometimes easy to forget that there are public interest workers out there just getting on with it.

We do tip our hat to these folks whatever their overall political allegiances or machine loyalty.

We do presume without being sure for instance that the local legal centre is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Albanese ALP Left. [Principal solicitor Andrew Taylor since advises not at all, never met local Federal MP, which is a surprise in itself.]

We took the time to eat their free sausage sandwiches and interview the principal solicitor recently on the occassion of their open day.

Andrew Taylor told us they cover four areas of law - tenancy, children, adult, domestic violence. We presume this means also civil and maybe criminal as well. With 3-4 lawyers full time.

They are noticing an increase in employment and debt related issues. 

Andrew got a little philosophical at our suggestion saying our "system is rampant with shallow materialism" underlying alot of problems, but he's not against development that has social benefit.

Resourcing is from state and federal governments.

In a quite heartening sign, he noted they get ALOT of pro bono support from the profession - and here comes a surprising list - very happy to include here, and may there be more of this eh?:

Clayton Utz

Gilbert Tobin

Phillips Fox

Corrs Chambers

Blake Dawson

Freehills

- and several others.

........................

We then spoke with their children's specialist lawyer, Katrina, quite the cross cultural liaison with an Aboriginal lady/child visitors to the open day we noticed later. This youngish lawyer mentioned negative stereotyping of youth after the infamous Corey Delaney incident and if she had one wish it would be for more balance and sympathy for youth in relation to fairness, rehabilitation, and recognition of youth disadvantages (no money for paid spaces like restuarant dinners for a night out).

We like these folks, not least for a year at Canberra Welfare Rights Centre as a volunteer in 1988-9.


Posted by editor at 8:49 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 30 April 2008 6:38 PM NZT
Monday, 14 April 2008
Jeff Angel and the invention of racist bio banking agenda in 1997
Mood:  sharp
Topic: nsw govt

We read Jeff Angel's high minded 'moral and intellectual leadership' on the environment in the Sydney Morning Herald here today

14 April 2008 Jeff Angel: It's about social cohesion, not bricks and cement 

in the preface to the cracking 4 Corners expose tonight.

In reading this one needs to keep in mind Angel is generally the go to man for green rubber stamp for the NSW ALP Govt such as the huge $15 billion power privatisation agenda in NSW, against the views of the much more representative Green Party. Angel is on any number of government blessed committees from Native Vegetation Committee, to Natural Resources Audit Council , to National Packaging Covenant, previously Govt funded Green Games Watch 2000, and every other political fix the NSW ALP Govt have cooked up.

But you wouldn't get that from the pristine article in the Herald today. Angel is actually very friendly with this ALP Government.

Jeff Angel always was good at getting in front of a political wave, and indeed a political deal making wave. And the Sydney Morning Herald need cover too, as it was their determination to boost the housing development sector in 2005 to 2006 that has played a significant role in the developer shadow over NSW governance as summarised here:

12 April 2008 Developer heaven in NSW as the Big Media 'ordered' in 2005-6?
Mood:  sad
Topic: nsw govt

including this extract:

"Tom McLoughlin 12/04/08 6:17PM

You will notice that my traverse above was written quite early this morning.
Notice I mention a shift from Parliament to the executive. Secondly a shift in govt approach from about "2.5 years ago".
This was all written by me without the knowledge or reading of the lead story on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald today by Wendy Frew and others. I’ve just finished reading it. It’s a strong story and Planning shadow minister Hazzard is making hay over this "rotten" situation earlier today on radio and now I know his factual platform:
"Files expose sway of developers" 12 April 2008, Sydney Morning Herald http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/files-expose-sway-of-developers/2008…

The Herald story corroborates nicely my analysis [below] in a direct example of developments in the Hunter. As good as Frew and colleagues are and professional too, what the story omits editorially speaking is the corporate self awareness at Fairfax that the ALP under Iemma moved to accelerate any and all economic development as a direct reaction to both major newspapers signalling that they were going to go feral and fatal on the NSW ALP govt if the economy didn’t turn: Here are some samples via google:

- 7 Feb 2006 Slump hits home - National - smh.com.au
http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/slump-hits-home/2006/02/06/113907417…

- 2 Sept 2005 Harder they fall: Sydney’s biggest housing slump - National - smh …
http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/harder-they-fall-sydneys-biggest-hou…

- 2 July 2005 NSW’s economic slump hits home - Business - Business - theage.com.au
http://www.theage.com.au/news/business/nsws-economic-slump-hits-home/200…

- Sydney boom bleeds NSW economy - Business - Business - theage.com.au , By Ross Gittins, August 16, 2005
"It’s now clear that the NSW economy is the worst-performing among the states and its once-booming housing market is at the heart of the problem. Question is, who’s to blame?"

It saddens me to provide political logic for the ALP spivs but that’s the real politik reality. They trashed the integrity of the planning system as a matter of parliamentary majority. That’s what Part 3A is for vertically integrated into the electoral majority.

This was around 2005-6. At which time I totally gave up the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act as a dead letter, that Wran had pioneered in 1979 to keep integrity in the planning system.

Sad huh? Keep going independent media sector. Keep going."

We reported on Jeff Angel's green lighting of the great bio banking developer scam originally in 1997 here: And we think it justifies a full re publication of the inestimable 'leadership' of Big Jeff, always in front of the curve:

Monday, 17 December 2007
Systemic racism in NSW behind the 1997 origins of 'bio banking' aka 'tradeoff' land clearing?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: indigenous


When we first read Henry Reynolds - Law of the Land published 1987 - we were shocked by the reference to 'sado masochistic Sunday afternoon hunting parties', and of 'childrens skulls smashed in'. This was Tasmania of 19th and 18th century colonial times that Julia Gillard euphemistically calls "settlement" surely not realising the unintended fiction - at the hands of brutalised convicts doing the British Govt's dirty work. As eloquently argued by many since it would take a triumph of willful blindess for we the Australian ancestral benefactors of the active theft or inheritors via disease and violence to quiet the whispering in our hearts, just as the UK Govt with the remoteness of distance might effectively ignore the truth.

We wove that 1987 book into our honours law thesis in 1989 called A Legal Foundation for Aboriginal Land Rights around the nascent concept of Native Title which was in fact recognised by the High Court of Australia 3 years later in Dec 1992. The famous Mabo Case and surely a hero of the age. But in 1989 we never quite nailed down what Australia was legally because the British empire had officially 'conquered' some of their global dominion in which case local people's land law continued in some form say under a treaty like Waitangi in NZ, and 'settled' other 'empty' land. But Australia seemed to be "sui generis" which is latin meaning "one of a kind" mentioned in some of the writings in dusty old common law cases from India and South Africa. 

Now we conclude Australia was neither empty/settled or peopled/conquered in the minds of the UK seat of government. We personally have no doubt it was a covert creeping invasion and consquest using convicts as the catspaw of the Empire. It was invaded by convict criminals sent in with sickness and violence to clear out whatever they came across. All very convenient and racist to not even formalise an international legal categorisation for the hapless Aborigines who lived so very close to nature.

In 1993-4 we played an active role at least here in NSW in reforming The Wilderness Society's national approach to such issues into a quite strong and ethical Land & Rights Policy which prefaced alliances over such campaigns in Starcke and Jabiluka of the 1990ies with Traditional Aboriginal owners of land. (We were not the instigator of such a reform, rather this was a couple Larry and Marg from memory, but we loved the change.) This was in a time when Noel Pearson was pretty friendly to the non govt group too. 

The essence of the TWS reformed policy was to recognise large intact natural areas known as wilderness under the NSW 1987 legislation as in fact Indigenous land, and secondly while never walking away from the goal to conserve such lands, to never seek to pre emtively extinguish that traditional, custodial Indigenous history in any deal making with other stakeholders in land such as govt, agri or other resource extraction industries.

One implication of that huge symbolic shift was that it could theoretically involve the TWS both supporting a native title holder's ownership and at the same time campaigning against them if they sought to act as a vandalistic black developer of crucial conservation values. This was a risk deemed essential in a new moral path for the green movement and for the nation post Mabo. It felt right and it was right.

5 years later 1997 we realised the game of covert extinguishment was still under way in NSW but this time by the NSW Govt Depts,  farmers and also either using or willingly with the aid of certain green groups.

Indeed the name of the game in conservative politics under the federal Howard govt was extinguishment of the Mabo legal test of 'ongoing physical connection with the land' and in the most redneck parts of the nation it looked like the bulldozer was the preferred method as here in Qld:

And not just the bulldozer to ensure extinguishment of native title with ongoing agri industry pressure on govt for corporate welfare via freeholding of govt leasehold land to the non indigenous squattocracy of the Western Division here:


And the farmers had their reasons to seek out their "bucket loads of extinguishment" as the Howard Govt proudly expressed in Federal Parliament, if they didn't care about the morals, because they knew they were being stalked legally after Mabo and after the Wik case earlier like this report dated April 2000:

This particular legal saga was trashed by the High Court of Australia in August 2002 as explained here [pdf file]

Native Title and the Western Division of NSW

eventually raising the question whether all that pre emptive land clearing was really needed in either NSW (see one report of the sorry landclearing detail here) or Qld (above) up to that point.

In 1997 the green groups were not to know how the legals would work out not least after the Federal Court decision in favour of the native title claim relevant to a huge areas of western NSW.

It was in this context that the 'leaders' of the NSW green movement were summonsed to this:

We particularly remember Jeff Angel blessing these endeavours by Jamie Piddock and being "very impressed" for franchising the idea of "clearing tradeoffs" by farmers. Jeff's blessing some 10 years ago is in stark contrast to some quotes in the press last Saturday Dec 15th 07 (below). Not a mention of native title extinguishment. Not a mention except by this writer as confirmed by the contemporaneous notes of the time. Here is Piddock's briefing note of this 'environmental' initiative to keep the farmers happy, and sideline the Blacks altogether (and note our very bad handwriting):

 

Our alarm at this attempt to promote trade offs of one area of native bush for another, after 200 years of land clearing and a general scientific understanding that no more land clearing was desirable in Australia at all, let alone to extinguish critical historical native title rights, and with a green stamp on them was pretty much ignored. This was a shameful day for the NSW green movment with Jeff Angel ascendant. Hence the careful notation of the documentation and signature and dating by hand above. Angel in particular should account for this (while Jamie Piddock is God knows where). Not least because he was busy on ABC radio last Saturday morning Dec 15th and in the Sydney Morning Herald with pretty much the direct opposite view against exactly this kind of 'bio banking tradeoff land clearing in favour of regional conservation outcomes' which the govt jargon for green lighting, greenwashing developer bush clearance.

 


In principle 1997 good, 2007 bad? Western NSW 'Black Land' good. Sydney urban bushland bad? Go figure. This may be what Jeff Angel said on 702 on air to be 'good in principle, its the implementation that matterrs'.

Angel is clearly right in 2007. But he was woefully wrong in 1997 so what's changed? Bob Carr is no longer premier is one significant factor. The ascendancy of the far more independent and fiesty Green Party is another.

Are you reading this Warren Mundine, prominent in the NSW ALP?

Some of us have a long memory about such things and we can prove it. Here is some of our confidential briefing notes of that shameful May 12 1997 cave in to redneck land clearing deal to further oust the Blacks from the Western Division:

 

 

 

 


Posted by editor at 10:31 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 14 April 2008 10:59 PM NZT
ABC radio Party-liners segment is systemic bias against minor parties especially the Greens?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: big media

 

 

Neal Blewett former federal ALP minister, and John Hewson former leader of the federal Liberal Parliamentary Party have 10-15 minutes on Sydney radio as we write. These guys are independent spirits no doubt and smart observers of political life no doubt too.

They or similar ALP and Coalition are given a free go every week. But is this according to the ABC charter for all Australians? We doubt it. 

The trouble is that a good 30% of the electorate don't vote for either but are channelled there by the systemic two party preferred voting system.

There is plenty to agree and disagree with from such as Blewett and Hewson, such as the the penultimate post about timing of Quentin Bryce as Governor General as brand ALP goes into meltdown here in NSW. Neither go that timing point perhaps because both are still a little too friendly to Big Power.

We are willing to bet that both have participation in either current state or federal government official bodies with sitting fees or whatever?

This weekly segment needs review and revision. What we would suggest is a Little Party Liners segment in addition to balance. With one rep from the Green Party, and one from say the Nats or other right focused group like Steve Fielding. That would be much fairer and representative of the true voter demography in terms of airtime.

That is if the ABC is serious about "balance".


Posted by editor at 11:25 AM NZT
How the Rudd machine plays the Big Media: Lesson for today re GG Quentin Bryce
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: aust govt
 


'A good machine is a quiet one' - Eric Roozendaal, NSW secretary of the Labor Party, Sussex St, now MP in the NSW Parliament.

When the 2020 Summit was originally announced about 3 months ago it was a big circuit breaker in the 24 hour news cycle. If you go back to the cut and thrust and trend in real politick coverage for about a week prior you will notice it was all about the devastated reputation of the Iemma ALP Govt.

We are not quite sure what exactly was the particular whiff of corruption or incompetence at that time 3 months back out of so many these many last months.

Now all the momentum in the real politik coverage on brand ALP as the "effusive" praise for PM Rudd winds down over his whirlwind global tour, is the upcoming 4 Corners developer donations scandal, on a past week of disastrous coverage, not least the front pager by Frew et al in the Sydney Morning Herald last Saturday:

12 April 2008 Secret files expose the sway of developers - National - smh.com.au

With our addition to the chronology building on that great insight here:

 12 April 2008 Developer heaven in NSW as the Big Media 'ordered' in 2005-6?
Mood:  sad
Topic: nsw govt

Also the set piece main 2020 Summit has some real internal flaws and risks which have been amply identified by both the 4th and 5th estates, as per our summary round up here:

12 April 2008 Grown ups summit a tame affair with climate change credibility gap?
Mood:  party time!
Topic: aust govt 

So the 2020 "shindig" would be an unwise PR strategy for brand ALP this coming week as any kind of "circuit breaker" (and they do know their PR job) because it could well be an electric shock still.

Brand ALP neeeds another 24 hour news cycle circuit breaker badly, and it has to be something well in their control (like an appointment of GG) and it has to be quite big to be convincing. Enter high achiever and highly telegenic Ms Quentin Bryce, no doubt a favourite of the Qld ALP machine, and "safe". Like long suffering Donna Moss, Ms Bryce is not only brainy but she is also like "a long glass of milk" to quote the final series of West Wing.

 
Janel Moloney as Donna Moss in West Wing TV series

Pure of heart and soul, synonymous with wholesome, by all accounts. Wonderful PR material on all the front pages today 14 April 08, as she no doubt deserves her whole life. Only Ms Bryce you are being used by the patriarchy and one presumes you have the wit to know it too, and maybe rise above that? Or not?

For mine this lady would have been an even better GG material not least for her handle on relations with China here:

Sarah Ferguson  May 17, 2007

Sarah FergusonSarah Ferguson is a reporter for the Channel 9 Sunday programme. Before joining Sunday, Sarah worked for the SBS programmes Dateline and Insight. She came to Australia in 1999 having worked as a journalist in Europe and the US.

As Deborah Cameron has asked in her federal politics Q&A with Phillip Williams (usually ACT Stateline) as we write 9.06 am on 702 ABC 1(14th April 08)

"Were you surprised by [PM Rudd's] announcement so quick out of the blocks?"

Cameron did not mean to imply a cynical calculation, but it is so revealing that she picked up the significance of the jolting lack of warning. Will this profound Rudd diversion work to smother the smell of the Iemma Govt on brand ALP? Like air freshener in a can over the corpse of a dead cat?

We doubt it, but maybe it will.


Posted by editor at 10:57 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 April 2008 8:21 AM NZT
Time for Evan Thorley MP to admit discreet ALP agenda in seed funding of Get Up?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: aust govt

 Evan   					Thornley

We like and respect Bret Solomon of self described "independent" Get Up not least for his career history with fiesty charity Oxfam, but we also well understand he cannot escape the covert ALP provenance and seed funding of Get UP not least via Evan Thorley MP in the machine Vic Upper House perch and IT entrepeneur rich man former CEO of Looksmart.  

Picture: Owner of Sydney City Hub Lawrence Gibbons once told this writer the reason disgraced share trader Rene Rivkin was being picked on in the Big Media was because 'he is Jewish'. We scoffed at this. Sometimes we get the impression Gibbons has an affirmative action agenda given his cultural background as here too with Bret Solomon? Just asking. And no criticism either, Solomon also appeared on the back page of a Australian Financial Review Boss colour mag because he is indeed influential.


Here is Thorley explaining his business pedigree out of the USA back on 26/7/2003 to the ABC business show:

 Business Breakfast - 27/06/2003: LookSmart chair discusses plans ...

Internet entrepreneur Evan Thornley is pursuing less technological pursuits, having just returned to Australia after nearly seven years in the US.

The founder of the Internet search company, LookSmart, Mr Thornley is one of the few survivors of the tech crash that claimed so many of his dot-com peers.

He remains chairman of LookSmart and is taking a particular interest in ways of improving Australia's export strategies.

Evan Thornley spoke to Michael Rowland about his plans for the future, now that he's settled back in his home town of Melbourne.

Solomon himself admitted in a talk we attended at the Sydney Mechanics in Pitt St on 4 April 2007 that Thorley was his source of income: Here is our report at the time:

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

And to show we are not trying to pick on Get Up out of jealously for their huge reach and effort online (as we try and wannabe), here was our balancer a few days later:

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Thorley presumably has fanchised here the US Democrat cyber model of political outreach of 2003-2005, and such as MoveOn.org financed by such as billionaire George Soros long time advocate for "open societies".

 

Here is Get Up's full on engagement with the 2020 Summit in 5 days indicating both genuine enthusiasm and endorsement of the narrow scope of the event - because they are inside the tent.


Maaate. It would be naive to expect very much cutting critique from Get Up about the 2020 summit?:

Sent: Friday, April 11, 2008 8:31 PM
Subject: What's your 2020 vision?

Dear Tom,

Only 1000 people will be deliberating Australia's future at next week's 2020 Summit - but that's not to say your voice won't be heard. Incredibly, 118 of the chosen delegates are GetUp members, including our Executive Director Brett Solomon, so we're starting a conversation to make sure that your voice is added to theirs before they begin their dialogue about Australia's future.

Have your say on what you want our country's future to look like on our 2020 forums - and we will deliver your ideas direct to the decision makers heading to Canberra:

www.getup.org.au/2020

 

The forums have been started by GetUp members attending the Summit, and they're keen to make sure your ideas are heard. Add your comments and your new big ideas to our online forums - to make sure the Summit recommendations reflect the issues that are important to you.

The Summit is a golden opportunity to let the Australian Government - and a whole range of people representing the Australian community - know where we'd like our country to go. We'll deliver the top ideas from each forum to the Summit delegates, so add your idea now and vote for the ones you care most about:

www.getup.org.au/2020

It's rare to have such a concrete opportunity to look beyond the immediate political term in Australia - but it's forums like these where nation-building ideas are born. This is your chance to let those on the inside of 2020 know what you think.

Thanks for making it happen,
The GetUp team

PS - If you're a GetUp member going to the Summit and we haven't been in touch yet, please let us know by emailing Sally@getup.org.au.

PPS - It's National Youth Week - an important time to remember the thousands of homeless young people living on our streets. Click here to hear Tegan talk about her experiences. Tegan is a homeless young person involved with the Oasis youth centre, which was featured in a documentary, 'The Oasis', screened on the ABC last night.

.............................

Postscript #1 15 April 2008

Brett Solomon makes a call in to discuss the above post: As I get what he says - '

pre and post Rudd election Get Up is all about building "a progressive society", that GU is not a front for the ALP, the Democrats, or the Greens.'

It was a rattling good discussion and there is no doubting Brett's communication skills. But we did more talking than he did about the lessons of co-option in real politik, and that maybe the ALP have more reason to maintain a covert role of influence in the past of Get Up than to exploit their idealism than Get Up will ever have for covering up their past. Noted New Matilda restructing by way of comparison.

We added that issues of independence in the lead up to the 2020 Summit this week are an even greater reason for consideration of issues of independence even accepting that its' a grey, grey world with an amalgam of admirable and less motives in every time and space/event. He had to bail out of the vibrant discussion after about 10 minutes in his busy life, with good grace too.

We do agree Get Up have some proud and worthy initiatives post Rudd election, on Sorry, Tibet, Pay Equality, Pulp Mill, Climate Change. This is all to the good in terms of individual identity of Get Up non aligned.

We noted the highly strategic timing of the appointment of the new GG to sanitise brand ALP especially in NSW and post conversation we note that Get Up on such a large stage and influence is only as good as it's last tennis match. We urged Brett to stay on that "highway of diamonds". It wasn't exactly advice he asked for but he listened a bit I would say.


Posted by editor at 9:27 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 April 2008 11:16 AM NZT
China Inc's catspaw: Brainwashed youth diaspora crank Olympic nationalism in Sydney streets here?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: human rights


As a uni student in 1989 and 1990 we lived with two different Chinese households in Canberra in the suburbs of Downer and Curtin. They were very good housemates, if less than western standards of house cleaning. Being a bit of a bush pig here that was okay. It was an indicator of perhaps '2nd world' social standards of the mechanic, a motel worker, an academic who explained the concept of the internet (in 1990!).

It was a cold winter. We literally lived on $4500 income, food, rent, books, before getting a job with Baker & McKenzie big corporate law firm in Sydney.

Recently we spent 6 months tutoring a great 16 year old I will call  'Lucy' (as in actress Lucy Liu) of Chinese Australian background but born in China. Always with grandma hovering.

Her English was pretty good for a second language but had some rough patches.

Lucy got over 90 in the end in her HSC even after fainting at school a month prior to the exams. We didn't know if it was a serious medical condition or not. That's when we had the "It Takes Personal Courage Talk" in earnest tones. It went like this: 

Ok. So we don't know if it's a serious medical problem or nothing. The truth is no one else is going to do this for you. Really. Others can help like me as your tutor. But you have to decide to fight for your own corner, and your future. It takes commitment.  No one else can make this choice for you.

That was it, right between the eyes, no hedging, no escapes, no excuses. She was young enough and tough enough to take it and it's what she needed to hear too, based on a trust we had worked on for months.

I was never prouder than when she went on and completed her HSC and got access to a tertiary course. For doing herself and her family justice. Bravo. It does take courage and she had it. Where is she now I have no idea.

She suggested I could make alot of money working in China using my English or such like, and tried to set me up with a relative. She taught me a maths multiplication game ambitious kids play over there. Told me about the cut throat lassez faire Shanghai rip off merchants and con artists. How one had to be at the top of your game just to hang on to your dough.

And with the Beijing Olympics on the way in a few years she was right as long as I avoided disease carrying rats (like Rudd famously was threatened by early in his diplomatic career). But that's not our vocation. Rather it's harrassing anti environmental corporate fascism via crikey.com.au and here.

But the broader point is this - It may have been the discussions over Macbeth where the nature of democracy, and good governance came up: Violence for political power versus say Gandhi philosophy? The Mao dictum of "political power grows from the barrel of a gun", or in Macbeth's case a sword in that famous profound Shakespearean play.

Image:Charles Kean as Macbeth 1858.jpg

I suggested "a metaphor" beloved of HSC study guides using the Chinese Revolution over so called Emperor's noblesse oblige (not a very credible claim but at least analogous).

Image:Macbeth3.jpg

The memories are all a bit misty now like the witches bedevilling Macbeth in the picture above. But what I do remember clearly is this : Lucy, this otherwise perky teenager was extremely reticient to make even study talk about the flaws of a Chinese Govt regarding power through violence.

I pressed her on this dogmatism in someone so young - why not? It's only a student's essay and study, and it's a sound point too about the themes in the play about rivalry for political power, whichever side you take.

Oh no, I don't think that's a good idea. To criticise the govt of China. I just don't think so.

It was a fear she had no words or emotional equipment to articulate, as I saw it. It was a bridge too far for this otherwise ambitious bilingual teenager with the rebellious interest in gangsters, working to fit into two cultures - east and west. 

Indeed there was still ill feeling in the family about the father insisting on taking out Australian citizenship, not least after Tiananmen Square in 1989 (which even if exagerating reportage was surely a disaster for democarcy in China).

This intelligent gutsy Lucy's fear and awe of the central Beijing Govt suggested brainwashing to not even manage criticism in a student essay. I could feel a chill hand in the room. We feel this same chill hand sanitising Beijing relations with Tibet has been on display in the main streets of Sydney CBD yesterday in a rally 13th April 2008. An unquestioning loyalty as per ABC tv coverage here:

News Video | Sun, 13 Apr 2008 17:58:00 +1000 | Duration 2m 4s, Over one thousand demonstrators have gathered in Sydney to call for fairer and more objective reporting on events in Tibet.

This is my firm feeling. Proud of their emerging world power status - go China - will be the emotion. But it's a brainwashed loyalty. If "some western media" are "liars" as per the placards about the devastations of Tibet, much like the Japanese raped Nanking, then why simply is there no free press in Tibet?

  

  Japanese soldiers entering
Nanjing

In Tibet and Beijing both, no transparency to foreign eyes. No freedom of speech to criticise or organise a rival political party or media outlet for 50 years now.

Most Chinese born and raised, and likely diaspora in Australia too, with their satellite tv media consumption, don't even know what Tiananmen was about really.

But I can report that Martin (not his real name) on that day in 1989 was stomping through the house very upset "Chinese Govt very stupid" he kept saying "Very stupid" over the reportage of Tiananmen Square tanks rolling into the student protests. Because when he knew what was happening he reached an opinion for himself.

That's what professional media reportage is all about. Telling the truth and letting that truth take it's course. In short the Big Media should be aware this brainwashed effect of a closed society under the control of Beijing central is not going away. It's a preferred tactic of soft power by this enormous world power including through it's own diaspora here.

In this Olympic season though it's somewhat of a two way street of communication including at grassroots level. Though the road rules are a little lacking in this engagement still too. Let's keep this two way flow going. That's a constructive way forward for both parties, with truth as our guide.

...................

Postscript #1, 14th April 2008

Crikey.com.au 14th April 2008 runs this revealing sheet sourced to the Chinese Embassy here organising public rally support:

An anonymous tipster writes:

The following points are based on an internal document circulated by the Chinese authorities in Australia to the Chinese Students Association of 7-8 April. It has two options for public action appended. The large "spontaneous protests" witnessed in Sydney yesterday are an indication of this kind of mobilisation effort. The following is a direct translation of the original document:

Executive Summary: This activity is a voluntarily organised and spontaneous peaceful patriotic activity. The aim of this activity is prevent the disruptive actions of Free Tibet campaigners (the Chinese used is Zang du fenzi - Tibet Independence Elements) and Anti-Chinese elements from interfering with the Olympic torch relay.

Roles and Duties: The National Flag Group -- is to hand out Chinese flags and Olympic flags to friendly onlookers; The Picket Group -- will maintain order under the direction of the group leader. All members will follow instructions to protect the Olympic torch; The Propaganda Group (i.e., the PR team) -- will hand out leaflets to standers-by, onlookers and others; and, The Visual Recording Group -- will record the words, pronouncements, provocations and malicious actions of Free Tibet campaigners. Moreover, this group will record all other useful material.

Discipline: Obey orders, act collectively. Prevent all actions that can in any way be detrimental to the image of China, including words, comments and provocative behaviour, or any use of force. When confronting provocation you must be aware that the media will exaggerate even your most minor actions without any basis in fact while willfully ignoring those of the Free Tibet campaigners. You must remain calm and cool. The Visual Recording Group must be sure to be timely in taking footage of the provocations and destructive activities of the opposition. There must be reasonable use of the national flag and slogans. Do not drop any or leave any behind. When speaking to outsiders firmly maintain that this is entirely a spontaneous activity. You must accept no media interviews in the name of any group or collective. Keep a reasonable distance between yourself and the torch-bearer. Maintain a smiling face to onlookers, the media and other peaceful demonstrators. Demonstrate the good behaviour of the Chinese. Wear light and casual clothing. We suggest that you wear light colours.

Costs: The organisers will pay costs in advance. However, if any participants wish to pay for themselves they will be most welcome.

Promotional Strategy - Option 1: The Canberra leg of the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay will begin at Capital Hill where Parliament House is located. The harmonious flame of the Olympic Torch will set alight the emotions of this garden city. The Australian Chinese Youth Exchange Promotion Association cordially invites all patriots, Chinese students studying overseas, patriotic young people as well as all of your friends and relatives to join hands as witnesses of this historical moment, to raise your arms and cheer! The aim of this activity is to share the Olympic Spirit and Great Chinese Civilisation with the whole world. The organisers will provide bus transportation from Sydney to Canberra return, as well as breakfast and lunch. Participants will also be presented with Olympic keepsakes. We will cooperate closely with the police to ensure the safe protection of the Olympic torch. Whenever any willfully disruptive individual is found they will immediately be handed over to the police to be dealt with.

Signed: The Australian Chinese Youth Exchange Promotion Association (a non-profit organisation sponsored by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Australia).

Promotional Strategy—Option 2: Chinese Students in Australia Welcome Committee for the Olympic Torch The Australian Chinese Students Association (ACSC) hopes that the vast majority of Chinese students studying in Sydney will participate in the welcoming ceremony for the Olympic Torch in Canberra, and by so doing cheer on the Beijing Olympics. We welcome the enthusiastic participation and mobilisation of all students, as well as their friends. We welcome people from all walks of life to sign up, regardless of gender, age or nationality. We will provide free transportation as well as breakfast and lunch. Our buses will be available at five different locations for pick-ups. Protesters have to apply to demonstrate ahead of time! Therefore any protesters who attempt to disrupt our force must be handed over to the police immediately.

Signed: The Australian Chinese Students Association (a non-profit organisation sponsored by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Australia).


Posted by editor at 7:41 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 14 April 2008 9:48 PM NZT
Sunday, 13 April 2008
Sunday tv talkies: Rudd mediates China Inc, Canberra security Industry sell out free speech?
Mood:  chatty
Topic: aust govt

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.

  

Media backgrounder – this section under construction till later Sunday/Monday

   Sunday 9 

Greenwood story with Minister Sherry over pipe dream of 15% super [not least because it’s a waste of lifestyle NOW when the future is almost certainly a dark chasm with 5-10 metre sea rise in 20 years, taboo subject that in the political economy].

 

Priceless footage of ALP MP/Sydney Mayor (at same time) Pat Hills flaming underpants “gotcha” on steps of Sydney Town Hall in 1956, as first reported by Crikey.com.au

 

Fanning gives space to Free Tibet campaigner in the studio, but it’s mostly a set up, with footage of jostling, water on the flame being called “violence” while in Tibet, Beijing govt shoot protesters. Where is the real violence? No footage of dead bodies in Tibet. 9 is part of the corporate fascism really.  IOC/AOC taxpayer funded security servant Ted Quinlan whines about free speech protests potential in Canberra [echoes the fascist suppression of Stop Bush Coalition at APEC in Sydney 2007]. Shaky camera of colour and movement in San Fransisco supposed to be more “violence” – as if.

 

Free Tibet guy talks up”fantastic” outreach and awareness, and nonviolence approach, softy spoken. “Mixed message” blah.

 

Quinlan is blatantly part of the big security industry financial trough, retirement age sincure beating up the situation for more business. Totally unreliable and unsafe source on how to conduct a democracy.

 

Feature about pre natal testing. Skipped it to watch Riley Diary. Likely important to all breeders.

 

Laurie Oakes (LO) with leader of the national party – what’s his name (!).

 

Bouncer starts with Nelson “going nowhere”. Talks up loyalty to Nelson. LO drives in the nail red dodgy national tour. Turnbull? Truss acknowledges skills, how luke warm? Yep, talks up lots of time, wants to stall. Agree with Rudd criticism of China, trap question. Truss does endorse free speech. Publicly? Yes. Both traps given LO column in the SDT yesterday.

 

Hammer blow, re Nelson in tangle in public way. Pathetic? Mature relationship, sticks to the sound position, leaves Nelson stranded.

 

http://sunday.ninemsn.com.au/sunday/default.asp

    10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am 

No show today, golf tournament. US masters?

 

Meet The Press - Watch Political Video Online - Channel TEN.

   Riley Diary 7 Great film footage in both UK and Beijing of Rudd tour. Cute images of Queen brass band going through their paces with pop songs, and small talk wasted opportunity. Also acronym man Rudd descending into bureaucratise is a window to his soul. Unwise name games with Hu and Wen Chinese leadership with satire of Abbott & Costello famous skit, like Bill Leake in The Australian. But it’s got a dangerous hint of racial disrespect there, ironic because the Chinese have pretty much the same superiority complex and with that we have real potential for social and geo political disjunction between countries. This is not Big Media leadership worth following. In fact it’s dangerously dumb given the world power status and infamous soft power stalking by China Inc. Wake up Riley! Wake up Bill Leak! The best satire recognizes and leverages fact like shooting a satellite out of space to warn the US off bombing their oil supplier Iran, in January 2008. Get it? 

http://www.seven.com.au/sunrise/weekend

   

Insiders 2: 9- 10am

 

“Effusive” praise of Rudd world trip. True. And praise is fair too. Rudd’s historic responsibility is to mediate discourse with enormous world power China. And he is up to that job, thank God for that, not least language skills. He can have that comment for free identified by this writer way before the election.

 

[Reminds of my eldest sister Catherine McLoughlin about his Rudd’s generation and a Mandarin speaker if memory serves, having heard of or spoken to her for way too long. Based in Melbourne somewhere. My brother who works in PMC somewhere really should make use of that family connection, do me no use at all on this micro news website, in respect of either! Black sheep territory!]

 

Shadow foreign minister Andrew Robb doing as much cover as on Nelson, making him look worse for having to explain and interpret him, which actually is the leader’s job to run cover for wayward ministers. In short Robb by his competence is making Nelson look bad.

 

Robb has a narrative about Rudd which is quite insightful indeed re superficial, poor judgment skating over everything – manic activity trying to do too much not well [there is resonance here like a star footy player in a bad team run ragged and achieving little – just manic, poor judgement]. Again highlights Nelson lacks “a narrative”.

 

Robb does not condone “violence” of protests. Again a joke analysis given shot dead in Tibet by China. Disruption that leads to violence is not acceptable but must defend our values.

 

Genocide in  Tibet? Barry Cassidy declines the term unlike George Brandis – 40-50 years history, closed by China leaves a real question. Exactly right, like 2 million dead in famine in North Korea in closed society. Cassidy sanitizing China looks like a sell out for Rudd achieving very very little except barely holding the democratic line in face of huge soft power pressure.

 

Every person segement looks like Sydney Uni climbing gym, or maybe Tempe. Could be anywhere. Very bright yoof one guy with a voice like Silverchair lead.

 

Panel – extra plane for Rudd ego? Crabb, Meglo, Milne.

 

Polling shows Rudd even more popular. Points for performing on the world stage. Milne agrees with some of Robb manic superficial stuff risks Rudd. Trouble with the analysis is that PM keeps meeting the bar, and indeed growing in the job, maybe as a result of having to rival Howard and learn his ways. [The key to Rudd is that he keep growing in the job, and civil society and free press play a big role in that process, not always friendly to his personilty cult.]

 

Uhlmann notes some indulgence at Brookings Institute and “fit of acronyms” like Riley above. Dangers? Cometh hour of China, cometh Rudd? World stage would be political domestic death.

 

Milne coverage effusive even gushing. Need perspective. Tibet message never to play in China, used PR of energy security from Australia instead. Exactly.

 

Cassidy interprets China gesture re Tibet in the next few months. Not very arms length comment. More sanitizing?

 

Crabb notes Robb conservative agrees with protesters having the right. Not just Richard Gere. PM Rudd has another engagement on 24 April to avoid the torch relay in Sydney, has sport minister (Garrett of the protest history?).

 

Meglo runs profound Steketee article line on ministers having space from PM [ letting a 1000 flowers bloom, and avoid Rudd daisy cutter of other ideas and talent as per Button career exemplar].

 

2020 Summit – Milne says accelerant including Republic – policy benchmarks that Rudd will be measured against [no but raising expectations, AC uses my term re 1000 flowers].

 

Nelson is a constitutional monarchist, not a royalist. Cruel ridicule of Nelson voting for two teams in AFL, voting Lib and ALP.

 

Moves to leadership discussion – Nelson must perform by the budget. Milne re Abbott deserves fair go and time but can’t win election. Only needs a small shift to lose the job

 

[what is missing in this analysis is that Turnbull is not nearly as fit or sharp as he was in his younger days. Took a $2M campaign to hold his seat of Wentworth. Has cut through, could do a lot better than Nelson but may descend into stodge. Needs a sound moderate exercise regime and diet probably to keep up to the game against a profound Rudd operation].

 

Nelson back on track if does well on budget speech and Gippsland by election. Looks bad chickens out on playing a few cords. Unlike Clinton on saxophone, or Obama jiving, or Costello’s Macarena.

 

Discussion of budget, Swan from Washington/IMF street interview not really a “doorstop”. A lot of informed speculation. Moves to Reserve Bank must handle the media. Meglo says no should be a circus performer. Pay him to call it as he sees it. Milne says should show compassion.

 

Microphone dead air troubles AC and GM,noticed 3 times in all.

 

Talking Pictures – cartoonist for WA Newspapers. Leak re Tintin but David Rowe has got it Enter the Kevin [Dragon]. Mike Bowers cracking joke “give back Harold Holt”. Footage of London public meeting, [wonder if Marina Ritossa was there]

 

Rudd the media creation given a menace about his ego ordering people around when they have a loudest gets the question.

 

Precious footage of John Button. Sad tone amongst all the panel there at his death. Predictions missed them.

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

Posted by editor at 12:17 PM NZT
Saturday, 12 April 2008
Is Tim Blair perverse in his focus today or what?
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: big media

Tim Blair has exceeded himself again. He's gone all greenie, animal rights obsessive again - meanwhile every other newspaper and even his own newspaper has actually covered the human rights protests over the Beijing Olympics, as above. Here is the Crikey.com.au profound image that makes Blair look like wet lettuce:

Blair's column is less a red herring as a limp pinkish sardine given the intrinsic drama and geniune humour in seeing the might of the IOC and Beijing spin machine humbled by grassroots activism across the globe. We were laughing during all the live radio coverage of the San Fransisco farce while power walking the Cooks River Trail. What a hoot. Talk about perverse airbrush.

Obviously this saturation coverage of the civil society groups in a good cause of Tibetan human rights was just too much for poor Tim such that his ideological blinkers saw saplings while surrounded by a veritable forest! That's sad.

How much other dysfunctional stuff does our resident Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde have in that mixed up mind of his? Yes one does feel clammy just going there.

 

 


Posted by editor at 10:35 PM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 13 April 2008 11:23 AM NZT
Developer heaven in NSW as the Big Media 'ordered' in 2005-6?
Mood:  sad
Topic: nsw govt

As much as we like to see this NSW ALP Govt get a good kicking as they do front page of the Sydney Morning Herald today in a strong story about nexus between major developer donations and planning outcomes, there's a major missing piece in the chronology there:


By which we mean the Big Media exhortations to increase housing development to boost the NSW economy in 2005-06, which in turn have amplified the developer donations to get the formal approvals.

Our view is that a suite of articles in 05-06 had a major impact on the trashing of the Environmental Planning system and major increase in developer donation$ by way of gratitude for the Part 3A repeal of about 7 different protection acts. For instance Sydney Morning Herald, referenced below, but also Sydney Daily Telegaph as well on the demise of Carr's premiership. The message implicit in the Fairfax, and Daily Telegraph, menace was clear, crank the economy or get a Big Media thrashing.

And so new Premier Iemma and loyal Planning Minister Sartor did by fair means or foul, and getting ever more cosy with developers and their donations in gratitude at least at administrative level.

To integrate this fact into the Herald chronology in no way excuses the blatant conflict of interest of developer donations to the ALP machine while waiting on planning minister discretionary decisions. It is not only a "perception of conflict" that Iemma acknowledges. It is an actual conflict of interest regardless of Chinese walls between policy and admin within the ALP.

Still it remains the case quite arguably that it was the Big Media that caused the quantum shift of this ALP Govt to intimate relations (as here in my post on a New Matilda string about developer donations earlier today):

Tom McLoughlin 12/04/08 6:17PM

You will notice that my traverse above was written quite early this morning.
Notice I mention a shift from Parliament to the executive. Secondly a shift in govt approach from about "2.5 years ago".
This was all written by me without the knowledge or reading of the lead story on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald today by Wendy Frew and others. I’ve just finished reading it. It’s a strong story and Planning shadow minister Hazzard is making hay over this "rotten" situation earlier today on radio and now I know his factual platform:

"Files expose sway of developers" 12 April 2008, Sydney Morning Herald

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/files-expose-sway-of-developers/2008…

The Herald story corroborates nicely my analysis [below] in a direct example of developments in the Hunter. As good as Frew and colleagues are and professional too, what the story omits editorially speaking is the corporate self awareness at Fairfax that the ALP under Iemma moved to accelerate any and all economic development as a direct reaction to both major newspapers signalling that they were going to go feral and fatal on the NSW ALP govt if the economy didn’t turn: Here are some samples via google:

- 7 Feb 2006 Slump hits home - National - smh.com.au
http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/slump-hits-home/2006/02/06/113907417…

- 2 Sept 2005 Harder they fall: Sydney’s biggest housing slump - National - smh …
http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/harder-they-fall-sydneys-biggest-hou…

- 2 July 2005 NSW’s economic slump hits home - Business - Business - theage.com.au
http://www.theage.com.au/news/business/nsws-economic-slump-hits-home/200…

- Sydney boom bleeds NSW economy - Business - Business - theage.com.au , By Ross Gittins, August 16, 2005
"It’s now clear that the NSW economy is the worst-performing among the states and its once-booming housing market is at the heart of the problem. Question is, who’s to blame?"

It saddens me to provide political logic for the ALP spivs but that’s the real politik reality. They trashed the integrity of the planning system as a matter of parliamentary majority. That’s what Part 3A is for vertically integrated into the electoral majority.

This was around 2005-6. At which time I totally gave up the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act as a dead letter, that Wran had pioneered in 1979 to keep integrity in the planning system.

Sad huh? Keep going independent media sector. Keep going.

 

This comment just extracted  builds on a story on New Matilda 

NSW Politics 9 Apr 2008 What's with the Back Flip? Lee Rhiannon and Norman Thompson

NSW Labor's plan to ban political donations comes after years of dodging calls from the Greens and community groups to do just that

and my first comment earlier today as follows:

Tom McLoughlin 12/04/08 6:59AM

To preface my comment, first I was a Green Party member 1993-2000 then lapsed to non aligned status. Second was a Cr at Waverly similar 95-99.
That declared I suggest the Greens via Norman Thompson and sponsor Lee Rhiannon have been unduly modest in their role in the long build up to this situation at the Gong being exposed which actually is the ALP State Machine proper, only caught red handed in one geographical location. And only because stand over men were leveraging the BAD reputation of ICAC for doing precious bloody nothing for years always deferring to the woefully under resourced Ombudsman role (mal administration short of corruption) and no doubt under resourced Auditor General (waste again short of corruption). ICAC itself likely very under resourced.
I saw ICAC chief commissioner at the Gong hearings get stroppy with Cr Gigliotti for being duped by the stand over men claiming to be ICAC officers milking $500K out of their victims. But the Commissioner should be looking in the mirror too, because like top movie The Departed there is a smell of a rat(s) like ICAC manager of Investigations McCabe by coincidence leaving to work in a high paid job at the Maritime Authority of NSW working with now infamous Scimone in what he thought was a safe parking station.

Only I don’t believe in coincidences like that as a lawyer admitted in 1990.

(As Egan in Opposition, later NSW Treasurer, said to Carr early 90ies - ‘you will live to regret this ICAC bill’ - revealing several things: Many like Egan in the Parliamentary and machine upper house ALP never believed in transparency or honesty as per ICAC goals, and/or knew their own party were dirty, like Askin before and had alot to fear. While Carr the populist, maybe idealist, wanted to consolidate the gains represented by North Coast land developer scandals of the late eighties/90ies.)

The Greens have been unduly modest, even as an ex member, because as Michael Duffy has pointed out, hardly your card carrying Greenie, in his SMH column perhaps a year ago now, this website of the Greens dishing the chapter and verse on the sophisticated laundering of developer donations

(undoubtedly for policy via Mark Arbib as machine boss at Sussex St , as now retired Hotel Lobbyist Thorpe freely admitted - was he drunk? - to the SMH last week)

that website of research and detail was highly educational. Highly instructive of the best democracy money can buy:

http://www.democracy4sale.org/

Duffy a well known conservative wrote that he was going to vote Green in the last state election. There is nothing more profound to say than that - as surprising as Kissinger getting a Nobel. And Duffy is wise and right even coming at this from the Right because credit where credit is due. Honest business people who want to make a buck are being tainted and ripped off in the endless game of playing favourites. It’s moral chaos here in the governance of NSW.

On Stateline NSW last night footage 11 April 08 played of Sartor as planning minister, highly implicated in a pattern of developer donations, stating there is not evidence whatsoever of any ‘development decision that was not based on the merits’ under what’s known as Part 3A, which is the minister’s call in and discretion to decide power.

This like Nazi propaganda is a lie, applying the big lie will work best approach. How so?

Anyone who googles the Environmental Defenders Office or the NSW Nature Conservation Council briefing papers, will find that Part 3A amendments to the pioneering Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 ere all about repeal of merits criteria. Lets run through some of the systemic check and balances that Part 3A repealed:

Assessments under

- The Heritage Act
- Threatened Specied Act
- National Parks & Wildlife Act
- Rivers and Foreshores Improvement Act
- Coastal Protection Act 1979
- Fisheries Management Act 1994
- Native Vegetation Act 2003
- Rural Fires Act 1997
- Water Management Act 2000, or predecessor 1912 Water Act where still in force

are all formally over ruled.

 


Picture: Protest by civil society/green groups around June 2005 at trashing of the Planning Act by 'Part 3A' amendment for state significate developments repealing a multitude of checks and balances.

But you have to watch carefully with sophist Sartor - and this is how sophisticated this abuse of power really is: The developers still have to address many of these concerns under "DOP directors requirements" but you see these are discretionary now, and weakened with omissions and unenforceable. All these LEGAL checks and balances have all been shifted out of the Parliament into executive discretion.

Looks sound but it’s as rotten as a house with termites. The environmental assessment process has always been limited and flawed for lack of auditing, and discipline on liar ‘expert’ guns for hire. Under cl.283 of the EP&A Regulation it is indeed an offence to "knowingly" lie about material in an EIS or similar document BUT one can simply plead "it was a mistake, an error, an oversight" and these documents are routinely 2 inches thick anyway. It takes an expert auditor to audit them. In short the integrity of the EIS process, not least under flexible director’s requirements, has been pretty much trashed.

You will find a summary and links about these repeals to the EDO, NSW NCC material at a submission to the NSW Dept of Planning on some of the latest sandmining cowboy operators here Jan. 08:

"1/08 Maroota sandmining"
http://www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/id158.html

Sartor wants to style himself as the expert benevolent dictator planner who get’s it right on "the merits" so nothing to see here, move on, but really he is sanitising the worst excesses of dictatorship by completely unravelling the 1979 Act and putting in place env assessment by yes men and client dependents of his discretion in either public service career, or developer decision making, or access as per the infamous phone call to a developer to attend his fundraising dinner ‘which he can’t recall’ anymore but Stockland do as reported in the SMH by expert state roundsman Clennell.

The situation stinks and the coincidences of developer funding for approvals keep piling up, but it is rotten, and its not a coincidence.

But here is the taboo in all this - about 2 1/2 years back both the Herald and the Telegraph Big Media ran a unity ticket to beat up the ALP Govt on depressed economic conditions - presumably damaging their profits.

Newly installed Iemma, Sartor etc made a quite blatant shift to destroy the EPA Act which elected Neville Wran in 79 (via his praetorian minister Paul Landa) in oder to crank the economics of the State. So the Big Media have some real responsibility for creating this monster of subjective development and rotten donations culture. They wanted the economic pedal to the metal and the ALP spin machine took them at their word. And it worked up to March 2007 state election too. Now the chickens are coming home to roost for all as amenity and common decency and self respect all go south.

Which is also why such as New Matilda are so important, as are all the other indy media sector, and are the ethical journalists still in the Big Media monoliths grovelling away at the truth of money politics.

God help us in NSW. Actually God will if we help ourselves and throw off these spivs and liars.


Posted by editor at 8:34 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 14 April 2008 10:25 AM NZT

Newer | Latest | Older