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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Sunday, 22 March 2009
Judgement reserved in 'illegal sandmine' case impacting Blue Mtns world heritage
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: legal


 Picture: Current image from Google Earth dated around 2003, says one objector. The image reveals silt tailings - which act like quicksand - to the very surface of the tailings pond. The council approval in 1996 of the final lake form is contrary showing tailings should be at 15-20 metres depth for public and environmental safety.


We wrote recently here about the 20 year saga of a 'farm dam' operating really as a sandmine dominant purpose:

8 March 2009 Submission to NSW Govt/DECC lawyer Gordon Plath on fine silt deathtrap in the Blue Mtns WHA, Hawkesbury LGA
Topic: legal

As far back as 1989 the operation copped a $10,000 fine in 1989 for water pollution of Tinda Ck into the Wollemi National Park.

Then Hawkesbury Council in its wisdom approved the illegal sandmine in 1996 after mediation with all private and govt agencies and community. One retired councillor is known to have done the excavation work on the original works.

Since that time various neighbours have reported a string of mysterious and violent events. A home invasion and sabotage of waste tankers. Sheep on a nearby hobby farm all being shot dead. Bushfire mysteriously ignited and burning out fences worth $10Ks. Rave parties and all the recreationals that go with that.

In 2004 an extension of time variation lodged in 1999 was finally approved literally 5 years later with the sand mine operating regardless.

In the current proceedings Birdon Contracting Pty Ltd v Hawkesbury City Council 11133 of 2008 the sandmine is seeking a 1.3M tonne "variation" of the existing mine. Trouble is they need to expand because they have buried dangerous 'silt fines' - the clayey leftovers of washing of sand extracted - at the surface of the tailings ponds instead of 15 to 20 metres deep. So they have breached their 1996 approval. What's worse the final landform 'lake' will be a death trap for wildlife and people as a result of shallow quicksand just below the water surface (as pictured above).

Last week we wrote to the peak green groups following this case:

Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 9:19 AM
Subject: HCC GM instructs council lawyer for inspection to go ahead on first day 16 March after all

Dear conservationists
I'm advised via objector Diamond apparently in conversation with the General Manager of Hawkesbury City Council Peter Jackson last night my letter of concern has caused  Jackson to reconsider - and he has directed his lawyer Stephen Griffiths - a senior partner no less of firm Pikes - to go back to the court and seek the inspection proceed on the first day as per usual court practice.
Lawyer Griffiths has called Diamond again this morning literally as writing this and confirmed this application will go ahead this morning. Fingers crossed.
That indeed was the purpose of my letter: That any orders by consent waving the illegal sandmine through would not go quietly. This is good, assuming it happens by Monday 16th March when the case commences.
Russel Byrnes who is solicitor for sandminer Birdon in response to my letter of concern has made various threats to me about my legal career even though I am acting as agent only not solicitor - as permitted by the legislation of the LEC. I have copied these threats to the EDO for their file.
And lawyer Byrnes denies being a business partner of Birdon Contracting Pty Ltd, the sandminer which was put as a question. But this is what he said in his sworn affidavit sworn 20 October 2008 at para 16 (sub paragraphs 54 and 55) and I quote:
"Mr Bruce also knows that my interest in such a venture [another sandmining proposal] is in partnership with his daughter and son in law who are my partners in other business venture." 
I repeat this is Byrnes own affidavit. Clearly Byrnes is more than just a lawyer in this current matter, with personal and financial ties with the family of managing director of Birdon, Tom Bruce.
It's not at all relevant but I understand Tom Bruce likes to take an annual vacation skiing the slopes of Aspen. He's done very well out of this illegal sandmine to date if not other business. And now he wants to sell this one to Adelaide Brighton Cement and cash out. And avoid responsibility for all the damage done too.
And so the preparation for the case 16 to 18 March continues. We are in the clinches and care and attention to detail is a priority now. Wish us luck.
Yours truly
Tom McLoughlin, agent for the objector Neville Diamond.
As it happens the court decided later that Wednesday 11 March 09 instead to hear a preliminary legal issue on the first day and not proceed with the inspection. In case this question made the whole 3 day hearing redundant. Fair enough too.
Trouble is the preliminary issue became a 3 day hearing last week attended by this writer. There is now a reserved judgment and that's before even taking evidence and objectors submissions with the court standing in the shoes of the council as consent authority. This second half will have to be rescheduled sometime, if at all. That's the normal process of 'a merits' review in what is known as class 1 of the court's jurisdiction with the court as the council reconsidering the whole thing.
We can report that solicitor Stephen Griffiths of Pike Pike & Fenwick for HCC was very vigorous and at times we think masterful in presenting the evidence and legal authorities. The whole argument was about consent condition 4 back in 1996 and whether 'details of erosion and sedimentation control' had been 'approved by the Department of Land & Water Conservation', now the Dept of Water & Energy. No doubt to avoid the very $10K fine for water pollution 7 years earlier in 1989.
Evidence from the manager of licensing from DWE Marwan El Chamy who was the relevant officer back in 1996 gave evidence in person. There was also appearances by owner of the mine Tom Bruce, DLWC/DWE officer Greg Brady and retired council officer John Pye. Curiously this last officer issued a letter of compliance for the sandmine despite admitting in the witness box that sandstone rock barriers were still outstanding.
The case for the sandminer depends on an April 1996 plan which includes limited side notes of erosion and sedimentation control which was in turn scrutinised and then reported on in Nov 96 to HCC, subject of an official mediation conference 4 Dec 96 and then built on later in Dec 96 with official extra condition 4 requiring (additional?) 'details approved by DLWC' . In effect Birdon say they recycled the April  96 plan without anything extra and got verbal approval by a 'phantom' DLWC officer. Manager El Chamy disagrees that a verbal approval would have been given and he certainly personally didn't give approval.
It was at times frustrating being in the court knowing about evidence that has not yet gone before the court given the preliminary nature of this phase of the case. For instance we understand that one retired legal officer for DLWC Ray Jerems wrote a legal advice contradicting the views of numerous departmental field officers that Tinda Creek did fall within the Rivers and Foreshores Improvement Act. That these officers saw that as their statutory approval role and that consent condition 4 mirrored that reality.


We understand from a senior source in the current DWE that the Jerems legal advice is 'rubbish' (actually a four letter word), the RFIA really did apply to Tinda Creek as per the views of variously Wayne Connors, Paul Bourne, John Ross in writing in the mid 90ies. But back at head office according to Jerems if DLWC had to treat Tinda Ck as under the protection of the RFIA with part 3A permits and buffers 'they would have to do it for all of them'.
That is a resourcing and staffing problem to protect smaller NSW waterways. Better to ignore the legislative duty? In other words systemic failure to apply the RFIA. The RFIA has now been replaced by another legislative framework according to senior officer El Chamy speaking to this writer outside the court last week.

Picture: Image from 1995 off the DLWC file of erosion and sediment hazard created by Birdon at Tinda Ck.


Now the decision of Justice Nicola Pain has been reserved in this complex long running factual matter.
However one very revealing exchange came on the second day. Stephen Griffiths for Council stated that if the judge decided in favour of the sandmine on the preliminary legal matter regarding enforcement of consent condition 4, and then also on the merits for an expansion there would likely be proceedings by 'government agencies and/or council' for breach of the Protection of the Environment Act and for non compliance with consent conditions.
One suspects the willingness of Hawkesbury Council to bring rigour so late in the day against Birdon sandmine takes a lesson from the furore over the preventable deaths reported in the Gosford Council Area recently, including here:
Related postings:
Tuesday, 28 October 2008 Diamond Diary Part 4: Attacking the messenger, not the vandalism Mood: don't ask, Topic: legal

25 October 2008 Diamond Diary Part 3: Getting to grips with the costs regime in the NSW Land & Environment Court, Mood:  not sure, Topic: legal

Thursday, 23 October 2008 Diamond Diary Part 2: How I went bankrupt 'doing litigation for Dixon Sands' Mood:  accident prone Topic: legal
Wednesday, 22 October 2008 Diamond Diary Part 1: Amazing career of environmental litigation Mood: on fire Topic: legal
Tuesday, 21 October 2008 World heritage vandal gets technical win in Land & Environment Court ...for now Mood: accident prone Topic: legal

16 October 2008 Hawkesbury City Council public duty to protect their World Heritage park in court Friday 9.30am Mood: blue Topic: legal

6 October 2008 Google Earth reveals illegal drain intercepting Tinda Creek to World Heritage area? Mood: sharp


Posted by editor at 11:24 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 22 March 2009 11:37 AM NZT
Saturday, 21 March 2009
Minutes of Addison Road Community Centre during Board upheaval
Mood:  not sure
Topic: local news


As described in the previous story here are the minutes, as provided by one Sue Paraha, perhaps the new office administrator at the ARC sent noticeably from the email of former General Manager Yvette Andrews:

Subject: Minutes of the Last 3 Meetings
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2009 09:38:55 +1100

Dear Member,

Please find attached the minutes for the last three

Sue Paraha

We haven't checked them for legals or content yet and publish them as a public service until we also get a chance to read them: 


# 1 of 3


Draft Minutes of Meeting: 4th February 2009Children’s Services Hut 21

Attendance/ ApologiesNarelle Mantle (Pres), Wolfgang Spranz (Sec), John Reynolds, Laurel Draffen, Emma Synnott, by invitation, Yvette Andrews (manager). Apologies: Margaret Carey 

Minutes            Adoption of Minutes, 3 December 2008                                                                                                                 NM/LD                           Carried           

Business arising from the minutes 

That Board minutes will be posted on the website in PDF format once they are adopted by the Board and that financial statements adopted by the Board will be available upon request.                                                                                                ES/LD                           


(I left the meeting briefly and am not sure if the January 29 minutes were adopted or anything else was addressed -YA).          

Sidetrack Lease Don Mamouney joined the meeting at 7:15pm. He requested that Yvette Andrews leave the meeting. The Board did not agree to his request. Don Mamouney then addressed the meeting and took questions from Board members about Sidetrack’s request for a new lease. Don left the meeting at 7:45pm. 

A discussion about the role of the Board took place. Yvette Andrews raised the issue of bullying and harassment in the workplace and presented the Board with a Workcover claim. She read details of the claim to the meeting and asked the Board to ensure that their obligation to provide a harassment free workplace was met. Yvette Andrews left the meeting at 8.00pm. (Minutes to here by YA who then left the mtg.)   

Narelle Mantle resigned from the board and left taking with her ARC board documents. It included a Workcover claim that was lodged by Yvette Andrews.  It was noted that the claim was neither discussed or clarified. No details of the claim were revealed to Board Members. 

A Motion to resolve the Sidetrack lease issue was moved 

“Sidetrack is to be offered a 3 year x 3 year lease with a rental review to occur at the end of the first 3 year period.  The lease will be conditional on Sidetrack conforming to all principles of the Addison Road Centre.” 

Moved by Emma Synnott   Seconded by Wolfgang Spranz 

Carried unanimously It was then noted that the legal advice being sought in relation to the allegation of violence was not received by the board therefore the board affirmed the need to seek that legal advice ASAP. 

Laurel Draffen then resigned from the board.

Emma Synnott also resigned from the board. 

The meeting ended at 8.45pm(2nd half minutes by JR & WS)



#2 of 3

Emergency ARC Board Meeting  8th February 2009 6.30pm

Venue: Addison Rd Centre Office Meeting Room

(Called according to the Constitution rule 17.2 ‘a director may at any time and the secretary on the request of a director must convene a director’s meeting.’)

Called by Directors: Wolfgang Spranz and John Reynolds


Agenda:            Attendence and Apologies

Wolfgand Spranz, John Reynolds, Sam Iskander – Apologies Margaret Carey


                        Minutes last Board Meeting

Approved    Moved:  WS                                                        Seconded: JR


1. This Board appoints John Reynolds as President in accordance with Constitutional rule 17.4.1          

Moved WS                                         Seconded  SI


2. This Board appoints Wolfgang Spranz as Secretary in accordance with Constitutional rule 19.1 and 19.2

Moved  JR                                           Seconded  SI


3. That a resolution be sought to the present conflict situation at the Centre which if deemed neccessary includes seeking legal advice.

Moved JR                                            Seconded  SI


4. Due to the current unavailability of the 3 signatories to the Addison Road cheque account the board appoints temporarily 2 signatories, (John Reynolds and Wolfgang Spranz) to the cheque account to replace Narelle Mantle and Margaret Carey.  

Moved SI                                             Seconded  WS


5. That this Board support the call by Members for a Special General Meeting called for February 25. It is proposed that this meeting discuss a future vision for the Centre. The Board welcome initiatives in this direction towards greater collaboration and information exchange at the Centre so all Members stay informed as well as contribute to the direction of the Centre.

Moved WS                                          Seconded SI


8. To appoint Geoff Hague, representative of Ordinary Member, Ultimo Project as a director under Constitution rule 15.5.1

Moved  JR                                           Seconded  WS

 This appointment is according to ‘subject to this Constitution if a lessee Director’s or an honorary Director’s office as a director of the Company is vacated before the end of their term, the Board may appoint a Replacement Director to hold office for the remainder of that term. A replacement Director must satisfy the criteria in clause 15.3.1 or 15.4.1 (as the case may be).’ 

In passing this resolution, according to constitution rule 15.5.2

‘The appointment wil be effective from the date of the relevant Board Meeting.’Meeting ended 7.55pm


#3 of 3



Minutes of Meeting 16th February 2009

Addison Rd Centre Office Meeting RoomMeeting commenced: 6.10pm 

Agenda:                        Attendance and Apologies

                                    Minutes last Board Meeting

                                    Business arising from Minutes

                                    Resolution 1: Letter to Yvette

                                    Resolution 2: Letter to John Blair

                                    Resolution 3: Elsa Dixon Grant

                                    Resolution 4: Reverse Garbage Roof

                                    Report on Community Gardens

                                    Report on Sidetrack Lease

                                    Report on Toilets

                                    Report on the Great Hall

                                    General Business

 Attendance: John Reynolds (JR) Chair, Wolfgang Spranz (WS) Secretary, Geoff Hague (GH)Apologies: Sam Iskander  

Minutes last Board Meeting 8-2-09

Moved:  WS               Seconded: JR                           Adopted

 Business Arising from Minutes

No business arising from minutes

JR welcomed GH to the Board

 Resolution 1: Letter to Yvette Andrews (YA) tabled

Discussion on the situation of YA who has lodged a Work Cover Claim relating to harassment in the workplace.  She already had taken 2 weeks leave as directed by Narelle Mantle the previous president and is now on 3 weeks sick leave. The Board noted that a resolution for her return to work needed to be worked out. The Board noted that YA has not provided adequate information or an explanation by her of the events that led to her lodging the claim.


GH informed the Board that YA had contacted him last week after he was appointed to the Board to organise a meeting with him for this Wednesday 4pm at building 24 at the Centre. He indicated that he did not know the reason for the meeting and he stated at the start of the meeting with YA, he would inform her that he was going to audo record the meeting so it was clear as to what was discussed between them.

 The Board resolves to send YA a letter requesting a written explanation of the events which led to her Work Cover claim to be in written form by 20th February in order that the Board can adequately resolve the situation.

Moved GH                  Seconded WS   Adopted


Resolution 2: Draft letter to John Blair tabled

Discussion on draft letter

 The Board resolves to send John Blair a letter noting his resignation and requesting a letter of explanation regarding the alleged assault on Don Mamouney.

Moved  GH                  Seconded  WS             Adopted


Resolution 3 – Elsa Dixon Indigenous Grant

At previous Board meetings, there was some confusion about who was responsible for this grant. It has now become clear from reading the project outline that ARC is responsible for the grant. The recent events at the Centre involving YA and JB have put the project in jeopardy. Without consultation with the Board, YA took a decision to end the Indigenous project and prepared a letter to the funding body stating that the project has been terminated, John Blair resigned and the money is to be returned. The question was raised: did YA have the authority to make this decision without any reference to the Board?


Information about the grant was tabled: $20,000 of the project has been spent (largely on JB wages) but there is over $30,000 remaining. The project was due to finish in June 09.


The Board has been in contact with members of the project’s Advisory Committee and they have indicated their willingness to have the project continue.


The Board has been in contact with Katrina Morgan, the DET officer administering the project. She confirmed that YA contacted her to cancel the project citing the ARC Board as dysfunctional. Katrina also informed the Board that she had been approached with the idea that Reverse Garbage (RG) take up the grant and continue with the project.


Yesterday, JR talked to Narelle Mantle (NM) from RG regarding this situation. NM indicated that if ARC continues with the project, RG will withdraw their application and support the ARC project.


Katrina Morgan has set up a meeting with John Reynolds this Thursday, 10am.


All agreed that the project was a good one for the Centre and should be continued. GH mentioned that the website should be promoting this and the Centre should be using the website more. 


Resolution 3:

The Board reaffirms its support for the Elsa Dixon Indigenous Grant and in consultation with the EDIG representative and the Advisory committee work out a suitable plan for continuing the project.

Moved GH                   Seconded JR                Adopted 


4. Reverse Garbage Roof

Report on RG roof. Minutes of a previous Board meeting (July 9, 2009) were tabled where a decision was made by the Board to:


That ARC commit $20,000 to a new roof. RG is committed $10,000 and any additional costs to be split 50/50 with RG.       

WS to investigate the current quote and consult with RG on the details of the type of roof repairs.


Resolution 4:

That the Board reaffirm the necessity of replacing the RG roof as soon as possible. ARC continues to commit $20,000 and RG $10,000 to the project.

Moved JR        Seconded GH  Adopted 


5. Community Gardens

WS reported on the Community Gardens. He has a meeting with them

Leanne informed WS that the money for CG comes out of a special bank account that has members’ fees and plot rental fees which is used to pay costs for CG. They provided a budget for their costs which include: supplies and gardening tools.


At the meeting with CG, WS will explain the changes at the Centre, explain that the expansion of the gardens out the front of the artist huts and El Taller Huts has to be removed. Leanne will provide details and balance of bank account to WS tomorrow. 


Resolution 5:

The Board agrees to pay the CG invoices over the next 3 – 4 months pending money being in bank account.

Moved JR        Seconded WS              Adopted


6. Sidetrack Lease

The February 4, 2009 Board meeting agreed to give Sidetrack a new lease. JR asked Leanne to start to prepare the lease in order for the board to review and discuss it prior to signing. JR mentioned some of the problems with leases and suggested that the Sp General Meeting on Feb 25, at the Centre might set-up a subcommittee to look at the leases and general equity issues.


Resolution 6:

The Board agrees to put a proviso in Sidetracks lease which states that it would be  ‘subject to any changes to leasing adopted through the special general meeting that has been initiated’,

 Moved JR                   Seconded WS  Adopted


7. Toilets

The toilets at the front of the complex are in a bad state of disrepair and are the most used public toilets in the Centre. JR has asked Leanne to get a quote for their repair. JR is approaching SCRAP to get a quote for a rainwater tank which would collect the rainwater from Sidetrack’s roof to be used in the flushing of the front toilets.


8. Great Hall

A meeting with Aerialise last week agreed to undertake repairs to the floor and the roof of the Great Hall as well as build a storage cupboard. Bob Cooney has estimated $5-6,000 for the work. The floorboard wood rot is quite substantial. ARC workers would also be involved in helping get rid of the woodrot where the chairs are stored and concreting that area. Flaps are also to be installed on the outside doors to keep water out and the drains need to be regularly cleared to help mitigate flooding.


9. General Business

a) JR asked the Board members to take responsibility for projects they have a strong interest in. GH volunteered to work on the Front Gate project.


b) Greening Australia: are organising a Business day clean up of the Centre on Tuesday 24th February 2009. The Board endorses the clean up and asks that Leanne email the details to all members, ass. Members and others at the Centre.


c) Letty Scott, an indigenous, black deaths in custody activist passed away on the 14th February of cancer.

 The Board agrees to donate $100 to help defray funeral costs for Letty as they are fundraising in order to get her body buried in Alice Springs.

Moved GH Seconded JR Adopted

 Meeting ended 8pm


Posted by editor at 11:08 AM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 21 March 2009 11:14 AM NZT
'Peace' breaks out at Addison Road Centre, back slaps etc but to what end?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: local news


And so the next chapter in the patchy history of Addison Rd Community Centre rolls on. It seems the radical film maker John Reyolds behind the nascent festival above is now the new president until the next AGM. We had an email from the Inner West Courier about the ARC but whether they have written any stories about it I do wonder. The local press have been hopeless till now at covering this story it seems:

Sent: Monday, March 09, 2009 3:52 PM
Subject: addison road board

Hi Tom,

Is there a number I can call you on regarding the Addison Road Centre board?Regards,Sam Worrad, Journalist, Inner West Courier.

We received this amongst many emails recently:

Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2009 1:10 AM
Subject: ARC

Peace seems to have broken out at ARC. There appears to be not a trace of Andrews, her husband or Burgmann. As far as I know the ALP has disappeared from the place which was Burgmann's last bit of influence. How quickly things can change. Your efforts played a part in cleaning up the place. Activism does have its place. Keep up the good work.
Best regards
Not so fast! We replied as follows in a somewhat depressing way:
Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2009 6:18 AM
Subject: Mmm ...Re: ARC

Thanks for the comments. Now that it is known (?) I'm moving out of the area mid April I'm getting some 'good on you' type comments. I suspect it's just relief a real activist is moving on. And nostalgia perhaps given the ARC is rudderless.
Peace? Mmm.  I wonder. After so many years of secrets and favourtism and bullying culture and I do wonder.
The key is transparency as an ethos. Circulating the old minutes is one positive step. But it's a very very very low base.
Here are some real problems.
1. Reynolds as president - he installed Andrews and allowed her position to remain without advertising for close to 18 months. That's not an honest broker.
2. I personally have a grievance for bullying against Reynolds which the Board refused to deal with under their so called grievance procedure.
3. Reynolds is proudly militant in his dealings with Ch31 and doesn't believe in Gandhi style social action at all. Good luck ARC.
4. Where [are] the explanations and excuses of the resigned board members to the general public, let alone tenants.
5. The gerrymander against 50% of the tenants namely artists and the like is still well in place with one token vote at an AGM.
6. The grounds are in a bad state - look at the piles of dirt between ChildCare and Conservation Volunteers. They are emblematic of leakage of nutrients out of the system  and poor ground keeping. This returns the centre back to 2003 when I started there - 5 times worse. The converse are the lawn dead/dirt patches being the norm rather than the exception. The attempts at systematic composting are gone to generate mulch for the grounds. Also the mowing too short is dumb. Look out street frontage. Unswept is the norm.Unweeded planters.
7. Reverse Garbage have annexed open space with a shipping container likely without any debate or DA from council. Open space!
8. Mamouney personally authorised the felling of several young healthy gum trees which arguably were a risk to the power lines - a few years ago. Trouble is it was highly illegal. That's why the stumps were ground down and you can't see them. This attitude prevails as does his influence along with dinosaurs like Vivi. The grounds crew knew it was illegal too. I got an opinion from Helen at the nursery - all good healthy trees. No transparency.
9. And to really prove nothing changes - Terry Cutcliffe still has no obligation to provide financial reports for all that free rent and indeed positive rental income from studios.
10. The budget no doubt is still in dire state and Andrews was willing to go because the place was increasingly broke and couldn't pay her anyway. One reason for the state of the budget is poor marshalling of assets  - like the rent free gallery and ancillary rooms over 500 sqm. Also with the grounds looking fairly dodgy there will less interest in events on the grounds.
11. The website which might have been really interactive and a nurtured resource of all tenants has gone dormant or moribund for a good 12 months. Sad since I was instrumental in building it.
All in all the dinosaurs are firmly entrenched and suppressing the next generation from having a genuine role in their own community centre. I put it down to the arrogance of the boomers. And I specifically refer to Cutcliffe, Mamouney, Vivi while you would probably include Burgmann.
Yours truly
Tom McLoughlin
This correspondence builds on 'leaks' earlier this month. Leaks but really just plain old communication about matters of general public interest which should be orthodox transparency which somehow in the 'State of Fear' in Sydney and NSW becomes mystery and shame:

Subject: Re: ARC Steering Committee
Date: Mon, 09 Mar 2009 15:53:10 +1100

To all members and Associate Members
ARC Plan Steering Committee

Following the Special general meeting of last week we are
calling for  nominations from Centre users to be part of the
Steering Committee for  the New Planning process.
The steering committee should have reasonable representation
from the  main interest areas of Centre users. There are 6
main types of interest  areas in the Centre...

Community Service, Educational, Environment, Cultural,
Theatre&Performance, Visual Arts

We would like to get a cross section of people connected to
the major  interest areas of user groups represented on the
Steering Committee. If  you would like to volunteer to be
part of the Steering committee please  fill in the attached
form and return it to us by 13/3/09. Even if you  have
already sent an expression of interest to join the Committee
you  should still fill in the short form. Please note this
invitation is also  open to associate members.

Also please remember that there will be many other
opportunities to  participate in the planning process once
it is up and running.

John Reynolds


One cynic responds as follows:

Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 12:09 PM
Subject: Fwd: Re: ARC Steering Committee

> [Hello] Tom,
> This is all a waste of time and money.  When Don was last
> president of ARC in 2005(?) he produced the ADDISON ROAD
> The report appears to have been professionally done and is
> fairly exhaustive and, of course, very little of it has been
> followed through.  What they are now proposing to do is a
> repeat of the same.

As we always say when it comes to Addison Road Centre transparency is the key, so we applaud these minutes being circulated unlike so many before, and we post them in the next story in full, as per this email:

Subject: Minutes of the Last 3 Meetings
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2009 09:38:55 +1100

Dear Member,

Please find attached the minutes for the last three

Sue Paraha

We don't know who Sue Paraha is either, presumably a new office administrator amongst a steady procession. We wish her well like all the others .... if they do a good job and act in an even handed and transparent way.

Posted by editor at 10:38 AM NZT
Marcus Einfeld aging disgracefully?
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: legal

We helped run a case before then judge Einfeld in 1990-91 in the Federal Court sitting here in Sydney. We were a young gun working for a top ten city law firm Baker & McKenzie, actually covertly recovering from malaria after an adventure in Papua New Guinea 18 months earlier.

Back then we had no idea what was likely to transpire in the news:

Former judge Marcus Einfeld gets at least two years jail ... l ... Sydney Morning Herald 20 Mar 2009

There will be a range of emotions we expect in the legal profession about all this. The few (!) honest lawyers will be shaking their head praying this is not their fate 20 years down the track. The liars in the profession will be just relieved that it's someone else that is copping it and not them. And the conventional crooks will also be cheering that someone so high has fallen so low down with them confirming their twisted view of a rotten world.

But back then in 1990 it was all about defending the concept of billable hours totalling some $600,000 against a Hong Kong developer Datuk Tan Sri Wong himself in dispute with his bank Westpac. They were all in the financial proverbial as regards the Burgundy Royale Casino project in Darwin and now Bakers wanted to be paid for their legal work.

This big debt collection was a graveyard for lawyers and no one wanted it. We rolled up our sleeves in the dusty storage room with some 200 boxes of files. We monopolised the word processing pool and produced "a magnificent" document according to senior partner Keith McConnell. Even so he couldn't save us from the sack later in 1991 when the mini property recession kicked in.

The folks at Bakers knew our values didn't match and they were so right. We left for 2 years at The Wilderness Society with one year gratis, in the process helping change the NSW Govt in the close fought March 1995 election over forest protection issues.

In any case we won the case which judgment came down in 1992. What we mostly remember was the necessity as an integrity test of the firm swearing an affidavit outlining where some reconciliations of the data were needed because in such a huge bill in two volumes there was bound to be some duplication or typographical errors. We feel that it was this very evidence of adjustments  clarifying the evidence taking account of human error which non the less left the overall picture of $600K of unpaid expensive legal work amongst corporate sharks very much intact.

Indeed it evidenced the integrity of the work of Baker & McKenzie. It evidenced the efficacy of the legal industry use of billable hours. Because if the evidence had not stacked up the whole concept of billable hours was at risk in Australia. But Einfeld J known back then ironically as the honest broker delivered victory to this writer and we are ever thankful for it. Though we have regrets being an instrument of the legal industry ability to charge such lusty fees ever since using that model. We were but doing our job as a young blood.

Indeed in 2006 when we applied successfully to re-commence legal practice we cross referenced the above material as much as to say you better let me back because folks, you owe me!

But we digress. These are our considered views on the Einfeld story so far:

1. He was indeed a legal lion. He represents a similar character to that played by Anthony Hopkins in political thriller All the Kings Men novel and now 2006 movie. It's a vehicle for Sean Penn, with political advisory from James Carville. The Hopkins character, revered retired judge also comes to a sticky end.

2. Time is the master of us all. Like the riddle in a cute section of Lord of the Rings nothing defies time. It reduces mountains to dust, turns oceans into desert and so on. In the human context we age and our great youthful powers decline.

3. Our view is the great and good Marcus Einfeld has a neurosis about his age and declining years. A very human frailty about getting old. The vanity of the legal lion is that he is in denial of his age. An error of judgement over a trivial speeding fine has evolved into a vain lie about making a mistake to somehow sublimating into an emblem of a much greater truth - that he is no longer the lion. Truly time is the master of us all.

The silver lining in all this is that Marcus Einfeld's fall from grace is a salutary lesson for all about aging. That we ought accept our middle age and older age just as conservationist  Milo Dunphy profoundly stated that death is part of living. Quite a profound comment that.

And remember Marcus Einfeld, Australia and Sydney especially does redemption very well. Start planning your cure for the pride before a fall. The lesson that there is no fool like an old fool in denial of their age. Community work at a soup kitchen perhaps. Counselling for yourself and by you for others.

Posted by editor at 10:07 AM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 21 March 2009 10:16 AM NZT
Fat merchant Ronald stalks grounds of Rozelle Public School in 2006?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: aust govt


 Picture: Taken by this author Tom McLoughlin February 2006, spied while driving down Balmain Rd Rozelle, Sydney. Did they have NSW Education Dept permission for this blatant use of public school assets to make an advertisement for their corporate PR?

Another political/business stunt?:

 20 March 2009 McDonald's maths program 'not an ad' Sydney Morning Herald

The subtext to the M for Maths, M for McDonalds spin of their CEO in the news this last 24 hours and more relates to this:

Spotlight on the redhead

Julia Gillard, complete with inbuilt red livery, needs political friends in business asap. The Opposition are attacking the economic "competence" of the Government in federal parliament as businesses hit the wall.

Similarly Gillard has just lorded it over the business lobby with the skewering of the so called Work Choices 'Frankenstein monster'. You could be forgiven for thinking you were in a giant solar workshop in Canberra amongst charge regulators, deep cycle batteries and inverters given there was so much talk about reconnecting 'the electrodes'.

 Over-Consumption... (Ben Heine) (Ben Heine) Tags: world poverty life apple smile poem drawing earth fat south fastfood rich north cartoon grease eat fries hamburger laugh planet manger terre junkfood gras bigmac ronaldmcdonald consume mcdonald global destroy consommation provocative overconsumption benheine

And then there is are the systemic job losses due to the real monster of 'the Great Recession' with the Government strategy (just like 1990) to park youth in training. Well it was always going to attract McDonalds' legion of critics, as per this image lifted off "Uncyclopedia". Grim isn't it?

Image:Milk or die.JPG

And what does this all add up to? Gillard endorsing a blatant attempt at corporate recruitment with national headlines they could not have paid for advertising their corporate 'character'. For those distracted by the sophistry of alleged honest motives - a corporation is a corporation is a corporation. It acts to increase profits, or more likely defend them from rampant health and nutrition activists.

Too cynical? Look at the history. Look at the picture at Rozelle Public School above.

This is how the issue played when we wrote back on 7th February 2006:

Ronald making fat kids using public school grounds? Minister Tebbutt pls explain

submitted by Tom McLoughlin, ecology action sydney
ecologya@....phone: 0410 558838

Fat kids indeed. What is the Ronald McDonald corporate trojan horse of highly paid developmental psychologists on the Advertising Industry payroll doing in a public school grounds in Rozelle surrounded by a film crew and children making an advert of dubious benefit to NSW children. Did money change hands?

Picture: Just another image for Super Size Me, The Corporation, and The Yes Men? Photograph taken by this writer on or about Saturday 28th January 2006. Conveniently in the shadow of the long weekend holiday following Australia Day perhaps away from normal detection by the school authorities?

This would be one for Helen Steele and Dave Morris and the McLibel documentary.

McDonalds Night Shot by Tony the Misfit.

The item would go something like this: McDonalds have crafted their advertising message to include local taxpayer funded school grounds as a backdrop for recruitment of the target child audience into diet choices skewered toward their fatty, salty, sugary, highly processed, composite foods.

In this case it reveals maladministration of the public school grounds and raises serious questions for the relevant Education Minister in the NSW State Government, Carmel Tebbutt. For instance how much money changed hands if at all for McDonalds to be filming there?

Related story here:


Last Update: Monday, January 30, 2006. 5:07pm (AEDT)

Greens seek food ad ban

Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown wants a ban on all food advertising during children's television viewing hours.

The Greens proposed amendment to broadcasting legislation is being sent to other senators today.

Senator Brown says it is important to ban food advertising when children are watching TV, as obesity creates low self-esteem

"Obesity shortens and reduces quality of life and those are things, as a doctor in the past, I've been keen on," he said.

"I think public health is the best delivery of medicine."


Green Party latest offering too

[So do the Greens get the time to watch Futurama? 8 till 8.30 pm Channel Ten Tuesday nights, cartoon for adults and children perfect demographic for pathetic unhealthy food advertising, seriously!?]

Tuesday, 7 February 2006

Greens' move to ban junk food ads gets public acclaim

Greens Leader Bob Brown's move to ban junk food advertising during children's TV viewing hours is getting a very good public reception.

Senator Brown plans to move an amendment to the Broadcasting Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1), when it is placed back on the Senate agenda.

"The public feedback is close to unanimous. I hope the Senate vote reflects this when the bill finally comes before the Senate," Senator Brown said.

Senator Brown congratulated Tasmanian Liberal Senator Guy Barnett for his work in childhood obesity but said that the move to ban junk food ads was not "extreme" as Senator Barnett describes it.

"I agree with Guy that the epidemic of childhood obesity should be a national health priority, but I think it follows logically from there to ban junk food ads to kids just as we banned smoking ads a few decades ago," Senator Brown said.

Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603

Ebony Bennett
Media Adviser
Office of Greens Senator Bob Brown
Mobile: 0409 164 603
Ph: (02) 6277 3170

Posted by editor at 7:45 AM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 21 March 2009 8:19 AM NZT
Sunday, 15 March 2009
Sunday political talkies: 'The purpose of politics is not opposition leader' - Costello
Topic: big media


Author’s general introductory note


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.  




For actual transcripts and/or video feeds go to the programme web sites quoted including Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value. 




Other sources of pollie talkies on Sunday include SkyNews paytv Sunday Agenda, Radio National Monica Attard Sunday Profile show. And of course Sunday night shows SBS Dateline, Sixty Minutes and now Sunday Tonight on 7.   



 Media backgrounders  


* Royal Commissioner draws veil of ‘sensitivity’ over initial hearings with victims on location in Victoria. News Ltd The Australian newspaper are seriously annoyed, and we tend to agree. 


* Moir cartoon rerun of Turnbull instead of Howard with cataclysms all around. 


* conservative press get nasty against Pauline Hanson using 30 year old nude photographs to trash her credibility. TVs are running the story this morning. It’s a News Corp version of the Rudd in a strip club story – loaded with malice. 


* Garrett rocking along but MIA as federal environment minister on Qld oil spill, in an election week no less, shallow over substance is the lasting impression 


* Barry OFarrell ignores the reality of Enron doco available on google video of Bushwacking of Gray Davis, even claimed on Stateline Davis was corrupt as well as incompetent as Enron literally shut down traffic lights and caused fatal accidents, and huge windfall profits. Still went bankrupt with Enron deeply corrupt.

* SAM possibly first to call the Costello leadership agitation last Saturday. Crikey editorial finishes the week as Costello a “stalker”. We also carried this back in October 2008:


Friday, 3 October 2008


* Lisa Hamilton honours thesis 1988 or so, later IR Freehills Melbourne probably the real brains behind Costello’s Dollar Sweets case leveraging common law IR legal cause of action. That’s our memory of an ex girlfriend now counsel at Woodside NW WA. 





10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am


Press round up Garrett, Hanson, stimulus effectiveness. New set looks okay.


Talent is Tony Burke re Agri minister, arts law city man, looks a bit like Larry or Doug Anthony but it’skin deep. Enjoys his job no doubt. Big guy as per side shot.


PB targets ETS issue.


Humour break – Rudd and the swear jar as per X


Panel Is MGrattan Fairfax/Age, Milne NewsCorp – good weight.


MG on unemployment increase. 11% in last recession figure. TB uses the recession word. No map? Relies on economic modelers, very lame response. Didn’t even talk up his own agri sector good news. Eyes looking shifty in full glare of headlights of big media questions.


TB - Credibility in Copenhagen. Sledges [flip flop] Turnbull but gently. Then stronger later pandering to work choices and climate skeptics.


Estimates bushfire 12K km fences, thousands stock. Permananent plantings take 5 years.


Humour break re Costello references in Parliament and Moir cartoon.


Public Service Union tv advert re essential services.


Polling thermometer economy – environment only fell 5 points since September versus 36 point increase for economy now leading at 69%. Says most surprised env holding it’s ground.


Sounds a credible survey speaker Randall Pearce.


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



Riley Diary 7, from 8.30am


Parly word games and acceptance of the ‘Great Recession’, ‘Rudd recession’ etc. Peter Costello mystery in an enigma. Footage of PC waving to Rudd but methinks its waving goodbye not hello, and hostile for splashing ‘his’ surplus [again we see it as GST rollback in effect]. Q&A with Riles after this. Tony Abbott asleep in the Liberal Conference yesterday.






9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am 

Synchronised with Riley. Talent is foreign minister Stephen Smith but all domestic issues first section.


Agrees with our view above re strip club analysis Rudd in strip club. [ALP could come out swinging against abuse of political process against Hanson as a game of misogyny, even as they disagree with her policies. That might position Premier Bligh though.]


Goes into Afghanistan. Conference in Hague 31 March UN conference. Smith labouring a little on his answer.





Insiders 2: 9- 10am


 Opens on Costello in Howard walkies mode. Riley Diary style soundtrack. Chris Uhlmann called in early. “Up to no good”. “Overshadow”.


CU: Having effect on policy shifting Turnbull to Right, abandoning ETS. Costello could still end up in the orchestra pit but appearances damaging Turnbull.


Sunday Press – goes to Gerard Henderson 1/3 party room back Costello, 28 versus 21 anonymous 11 undecided as per Sunday Telegraph [pointed refusal to cover Pauline Hanson so far]


Misha Schubert, Annabel Crabb also. Midnight Oil reprise. ‘Long time since 30 seconds of Garrett’. Henderson attacks media trivia on page 1. He’s so right. Schubert and Crabb should have damned this story but lacking in fibre.


Swan as treasurer in London – 10% unemployment by Christmas? Won’t agree to that. Banks do more to keep jobs here? Swan sticking with CPRS to position for green jobs.


Everyperson via Brisbane presenter about ….?


Discussion about “crazy” party. Costello is “passive aggressive”. Turnbull thrives on confrontation. Henderson notes the votes have increased since last 10 years under Howard.


Cross to Anna Bligh one week out Qld vote. Gender discussed. Choice is about parties etc.


Discussion about salty/bad/toilet language.



Website cross referencing here: http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/



Inside Business


Essential viewing for summary of Emissions Trading Scheme. Interesting to see dweeb Miles Prosser as aluminium industry, previously logger industry, stooge from non descript student at Ursula College residence ANU in the eighties. 


Kohler's talking point is a cracker about 20 spectators at the G20 running out of excuses, with roundup of causes of the GFC and 2 years of debt adjustment and rising unemployment.



Refer http://www.abc.net.au/insidebusiness/


Posted by editor at 11:12 AM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 15 March 2009 11:38 AM NZT
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Laundering of illegal sandmine damaging Blue Mtns World Heritage, via imminent 'consent order' absent judicial analysis?
Topic: legal


To the Chief Judge Land & Evnironment Court, Brian Preston J

CC Counsel for Dept of Water & Energy, Tim Holden
Counsel for Dept of Environment & Climate Change
Stephen Griffiths, Pike Pike & Fenwick
General Manager, Hawkesbury City Council
Russel Byrnes, solicitor Birdon Contracting Pty Ltd
Environmental Defenders Office
National Parks Association
The Wilderness Society
Colong Foundation for Wilderness
Hawkesbury Council Watch
Minister for Environment NSW
Green Party MPs
Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Daily Telegraph

Dear Chief Judge

Birdon Contracting Pty Ltd v Hawkesbury City Council no. 11133 of 2008  set down for 16-18 March 2009

I take the unorthodox approach of writing this open letter as agent for objector Neville Diamond supported by peak non government groups opposing an illegal sand mine adjacent to World Heritage Blue Mountains/Wollemi National Park at Tinda Creek. My letter is about the process and efficacy of the LEC.

From before you were a judge as counsel for Baulkham Hills Shire Council over sandmining at Maroota in the mid 90ies I have been monitoring the performance of your Land & Environment Court in my role as a vocational public interest advocate, and community media practitioner. And I've reported your fine speeches to the Environmental Defenders Office/Sydney University Law Conference.

Nevertheless it's a general conclusion of the non government sector, right or wrong, that the LEC has via the oppressive costs regime and political pressure become the developers court despite the fine intentions of the 1979 legislative model creating the court, the Planning Act and so on: That the LEC is being crushed by the weight of dark forces: Money talks and public interest walks. Lawyers get paid and the public interest goes begging.

There are honourable exceptions like the recent $400K fine for illegal landclearing of an internationally protected wetland. But the traffic is nearly all the other way, including by reversal of court decision by a corrupted parliament on a diet of developer donations.

So much for real politik.

Now we learn from Stephen Griffiths/Pike Pike & Fenwick, solicitor for Hawkesbury City Council, of cancellation of a court inspection scheduled for 16 March 2009 in Birdon Contracting Pty Ltd v Hawkesbury City Council no. 11133 of 2008. See letter attached. The fix, your honour, is in.
We are advised by Griffiths this was due to the approach of Russel Byrnes solicitor (and business partner?) for Birdon to the registrar 'so as not to waste the time of the court of 6 hours driving out to the site'. HCC apparently didn't even appear on the motion. Maybe they supported it?

One can well predict orders by consent will now proceed before even community objectors are able to give their evidence to the court sitting in the shoes of council on this s.96 variation hearing: Will the public interest objectors even get to put their evidence to the court of the 376,000 tonnes of illegal silt fines death trap proximate to the surface of a tailings dam, contrary to DA approval to bury at 15 metres depth, which would have been revealed by such an inspection?
That might unravel the whole narrative and false postures of the illegal sandmine for over 13 years?

A mess that embarrasses HCC as well as condemns sandminer Birdon? That reveals the DWE regulator as having been duped or distracted from their duty?

Will the HCC's own expert report by hydrologist Chris Jewell of massive intervention of the water flow in Tinda Creek to the world heritage area even be ventilated? Or suppressed?

The details of this demonstrably illegal mine are published as a publicly accessible archive here:
8 March 2009
I respectfully submit your honour that the LEC is under scrutiny, as much as Birdon, as much as HCC and the DWE/DECC. The ngo sector and the court of public opinion will be watching the process and substantive outcomes of this case closely. Just like the recent Coca Cola Water Bottling Case where the public interest achieved some real satisfaction via the judgement of Commissioners Moore and Taylor late 2008, with this writer agent for the same public interest objector with NGO support via ruling of Pain J. Win or lose in the Birdon matter.

In the latter eventuality we will approach the the Administrative Decisions Tribunal using Freedom of Information laws as an alternative forum in which to get justice for the World Heritage Area and the safety of the public.
Please do not hesitate to contact the writer with any queries on tel. 9558 9551 or 0410 558838 or by return email.

Yours truly

Tom McLoughlin, agent for objector Neville Diamond, principal/owner
www.SydneyAlternativeMedia.com/blog 25,000 readers per month.

Posted by editor at 8:33 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 10 March 2009 8:53 AM NZT
Sunday, 8 March 2009
Sunday political talkies: Pollies decline 'recession' rhetoric porn, as Big Media calls for 'clarity' threaten sentiment?
Topic: big media


Author's general introductory note


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.


For actual transcripts and/or video feeds go to the programme web sites quoted including Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don't really give you the image content value.



Media backgrounders


[not exhaustive, missed Fri to read, press piling up like Weekend Oz, Doogue early Sat morn. Catchups later ? maybe.]


* No balls cartoons have finally got to Peter Costello after his '18 years as in parliament and 18 months on the back bench'. Smooth line about his defecto sabbatical.

* Picture of Rees with Tony Abbott, solidarity over gay rumour mongering? ABC Glover promo quotes joking about Prince Charles "coming out" very self referential. Great headline "this spin is for a good cause". But whose spin is it? ALP likely.

* Schanfreude bounce in polls for Rees as premier of NSW as a result of Qld losing its AAA rating, that is not NSW, and who cares about a AA rating anyway given the crook rating agencies??

* Tax stimulus advert half tabloid pages common to both Sunday papers now.

* ALP derived attack on Abbott page 14 Sunday Telegraph today. Detect a weak link now? Politics is such a brutal game. Though perhaps Abbott got an ALP friendly pic in Sunday Herald as balancer at page 4?

* 4.5 million job losses in USA in recent months out of population of 300M or so. Do the math for Australia at 20 million.

* Rudd emotes in story feed to old tired Laurie Oakes in Saturday Daily Telegraph. Stop being a cipher Laurie.

* Costa runs his line in 2 page spread for News Corp ? his natural home of the Liberal Party newsletter.

* Malice of subliminals of front pager on Friday of 'green' ocean with maybe a shark - is it a dolphin???? Who would know for sure? Looks like a shark. Telegraph have form on this kind of sly attack on the Green Party subtext. Pretty deplorable exploitation of shark attacks and injury for cheap politics.

* SBS Sound Relief music promo for natural disaster relief. Category 5 cyclone through this morning.

* ABC AM last Saturday completely misinterprets real politik of Turnbull essay about corrupt copper Rudd metaphor, all about pushing Costello profile out of the big media. Very personal but Rudd not the real target. It's Costello. Too mild Lyndal Curtis master of detail not overview.

* Hartcher looks like he get's it this weekend with more politics in his column and less economic theorizing - which admittedly is his strength only he doesn't have Ross Gittins job. Still have to read it.

* Interesting story about tremours in NSW and dam safety with graphic p 20 Sunday Herald today.

* Interesting story Selling off the heart of our nation about concerns of extremists buying up agriculture.

* SAM's editor gets 3 tax assessments moderately in our favour. Phew. Relocation plans going quite well, due by April 15. Many challenges in new set up, not least bushfire bunker construction, mains grid connection, telephone, cleanout of the dead rats. Boiling sanitse and wash all kitchen items. Antiseptic over all touch surfaces. Tea tree woody weed. Removal of old cars in storage by scrap metal guy. You know regular activist grovel.

* Zimbabwe - Nelson Mandela's eldest son was killed in a car crash while he was leading the resistance from Robben Island. Speculation about that as sabotage too. Google might clarify.



10 Meet the Press: 8- 8-30 am


Lead in is footage of earnest mode Rudd warning all that the recession is real and coming to where you live. Gallery believe him too. [Hark back to last show November Insiders Govt sledged for not being honest about recession Kerry Anne Walsh]


Talent is Bob Brown senate Green leader: Equal opportunity being gay professional and MP weekend of Mardi Gras. [Builds on Michael Kirby opinion piece very well written ex High Court Judge now retiring.]


So far excellent interview: Reverse whether recession or not. Who invented technical recession. Therese Rein $1M bonus is her own business, but 3 times PM?s income (her husband). So diplomatic.


Out take is 'jokey' ex porn star footballer Capper and Pauline Hanson in Qld election seat. Trivialising their candidacies in a Big Media choreography. There to be taken.


Panel Alison Carabine, of 2UE and Marius Benson of ABC radio news


Grab of Ross Garnaut seemingly agreeing recession will happen.


AC: Why not delay due to the recession causing emission reductions.


Can't take a Chamberlain attitude to dangerous climate change. 150 million on the move by mid 21C, Shanghai to ???,' record of natural disasters here' Quite compelling answers, we thought, yes we would say that.


AC Qld litmus test jobs over boutique green issue? BB No jobs jobs jobs in sustainable industries is the way to go as per Qld state election.


MB: Politics - Senate block so Labor ETS fails. Ian Dunlop formerly of the coal industry condemned ALP package. Logging not least Tasmania, emphatic.


Viewer question: ETS cause lose jobs. Employer export benefit if greenhouse labeled products as per European market.


AC sounding tetchy BB hasn?t implode as predicted by gone Aust Dems, 42 billion splurge wasted, helping the govt with wastage?


Refused to be a wrecker [as positioned by the whining Australian Democrats].


AC recession still. BB ? That?s right. Job creation happy and green country.


Alcopops tax back in Senate - $200M should go into a health fund.


Out take humour - socks and jocks draw is empty.


Grab of Turnbull, ETS is going to


Listening problem Senator Ron Boswell. Damaged the format of the interview. RB - ETS will be a tax on every motor, conveyor belt, every job. If we go it alone China India going to ignore, will achieve nothing.


MB - climate change human activity? RB. Debate over - equal sides of scientists on each side. [That?s a lie.] Support any form of an ETS?


Don?t telegraph - personally against it, Coalition unclear.


AC - ALP proposals Fair Work bill, agree with Costello, cost jobs.


Grovelling apologies from Bonge to RBoswell. Never seen such a bad ongoing technical glitch perhaps due to remote location of RB as Qld Nat??? Sometimes they get feedbacks but fix during the interview. What about



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



Riley Diary 7, from 8.30am


Pollies under pressure - looking grim - Swan, Rudd, Turnbull expressions.

Keating gave it to us straight - had to have.

Rudd - global cyclone

Julia Gillard - fudged it.

Turnbull - fudged it.

Costello - gave it straight. Footage on Q&A indulging himself and stalking the shark himself.

Q & A with Riles and comperes. People do know and quotes Howard and Costello said global tsunami was coming. And Govt has pushed the same angle. Big day for Turnbull next Saturday?? Missed it.


O'Keefe shows his worth again re Gay or Lesbian





9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.40 am


Missed the start - but got THE question about most MPs see Opp Leader job as being stalked by Costello.


'Elephant questions first quickly'.


I do not tell lies says MT about any colleagues - question about offered shadow treasurer job. Declined


Charms LO with rhinoceros pronunciation joke. Sharp and lively comment.


Attacked Rein as PM wife, why? Involved her in The Australian ? - MT wants everyone to read [I bet see backgrounder comment at front]. Disingenous answer congratulations when LO is right that it's a veiled attack. But it's also a fair attack because she is in the real politik and to suggest otherwise is patriarchal. If she is playing an honourary role then keep it strictly so. No half way houses.


LO - political risk involving Rein, you and wife are rich and vote against $900 per pensioner and tax payer. Says voting for responsible financials. On personal matters - ALP have viciously attacked him for a lifetime. Says dereg and privat that enabled he and wife considerable wealth. Biting the hand feed him.


Economy - MT this is the elephant. PM has been apocalyptic.


LO - inconsistent given what you MT quote `gravest threat in our lifetime? Sept 2008?


Says it's about the language. So fudging the LO question. [Convicted of being a politician. Not a hanging offence.]


LO - March 2008 to Neil Mitchell, again similar to LO. MT says talking about words not economy . Wasting time talking about this. A year ago I didn?t think it was likely. Narrative of inconsistency by LO but Rudd could hardly bear up to that test either - ['science on forests will decide logging policy' as loggers destroy every fire restant wet old growth and rainforest they can access - because it?s the highest growth and volume of timber, but thereby converting whole landscapes to skinny regrowth dry sclerophyll.]


A real engagement with LO tackling him on his ground, giving real punches back. LO is a bit of bloat and deserves a workout.


Very funny back to comperes about 'getting squeezy in here with pesky political pachyderms'. That's real competition for 7 Sunrise, reversed seating blondy on right today. Indeed broad smile of Turnbull getting a glass of water showing he was under pressure has probably put LO and Turnbull in a good light.






Insiders 2: 9- 10am


Stimulus 1 Dec 08 Swan v MT, Costello emerged as 3rd wave.


Panel is KAW, Dennis Atkins, Bolter.


Moral hypocrisy issue of Reins income and fair political game or not. Compare with high paid Bonds exec contrast with owner Reins.


Talent is Foreign Affairs Minister Pakistan. Big issue. Pakistan needs help. What can we do to help. [It's Indonesia mark 2. The West have a big challenge to help these people. And they to help themselves to harmony in diversity.]


Afghanistan comes into conversation. Whole segment prefaces major foreign challenges for us for real.


Zimbabwe - help rebuild policy questions. Risks to be involved. Should start to help social and economics of the country not just condolences for death of his wife, mother of his six children. Open inquiry.


Comments on personality politics. All disingenuous.


Everyperson - buskers in Adelaide Fringe festival. 90 year old much better. Very articulate: "Who knows". Great images, and quality buskers.


PM using "all the risk on the downside". Journalists gripe about this: But none honest enough to note it's a gotcha scenario about "recession" talking the economy down which as real consequences beyond the next newspaper sale. So Big Media are trying to hurt the public with talking down sentiment. The pollies are probably being more responsible.


BC agrees with 90 year old 'who knows?'. Bolter says Rudd too doesn't know. Argument moves to who will make it worse. Who will prolong. [It?s a battle of ownership over definitive negative.]


Bolter argues Bonds working to save remaining 5K jobs. Spin or substance? Who can say?


Costello Q & A show, looking fitter, has exercise regime. "engaged in a civil war Tony". 3 times said this is my policy.


Footage of rhetoric - "economic cyclone" per Rudd. MT talks storm metaphors. [Indicates Rudd affected by the Vic bushfire politics - Vic ALP 'can't stop' the megafire firestorm, seems to be sublimating his tour of empathy duty down there to the global economics.]


Cyclone Hamish - for real cross to Lawrence Springborg. With a purple ribbon. Ribbons always now it seems. On Murray Darling - says 60% of waters released. 100% of NSW used, SA 65 times that originates there. Bit disingenuous given headwaters function of Qld? Certainly can talk and talk smooth. Won't reveal business donors says scared of ALP thuggery. Quite are resonating line but bad policy and behaviour all round.


GG is doing political work, not a ribbon cutter says KAW, Bolter says turning into a hack, back in the box. BC says becoming an issue. [Goes right back to the 7.30 Report interview said she wouldn't just proclaim new bills. That was a weird. And broke the feel good narrative with shadows of 1975.]


Talking pictures: Bob Brown stunning nature images in court case costs 280K re Wielangta. Genuinely good work.


Bolter says Hanson tantrum shows been given a hard time and panel agrees jail for crime she didn?t commit changes people. Subtext won?t buy into adverse coverage, she gets a free pass from the system.




Refer http://www.abc.net.au/insidebusiness/



Posted by editor at 10:00 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 10 March 2009 9:04 AM NZT
Friday, 6 March 2009
SAM micro news website pageview stats for February 2009 - 23,208
Topic: independent media

Screen shot above taken on 5th March accurate to the 3rd of March according to the host metrics, which is our usual time of the month for this post. Fairly happy with consistency of reader figures. Could go sensational and bring them up, but we prefer the echo chamber approach into Big Media thinking on our genuine merits, not manipulation of the public's knee jerk emotions. That's good for peace of mind.

Usually we like to traverse significant stories for the past month with inside comments but that will have to wait - perhaps in an edit on the weekend.

Previous monthly reader pageview figures for 2007, 2008 verified by screen shot (web host provider monthly pageview account details) posted on or about 4th day of the month found in this thread:

  • February 2009 - 23,208
  • January 2009 - 27,462
  • December 08 - 21,858
  • November 08 - unavailable, host breakdown
  • October 08 - 20,343
  • September 08 - 20,746
  • August 08 - 25,344
  • July 08 - 22,855
  • June 08 - 27,440
  • May 08 - 25,046
  • April 08 - 19,250
  • March 08 - 20,803
  • February 08 - 13,109
  • January 2008 - 19, 898
  • December - 11,627
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Posted by editor at 10:52 AM EADT
Submission to NSW Govt/DECC lawyer Gordon Plath on fine silt deathtrap in the Blue Mtns WHA, Hawkesbury LGA
Topic: legal

Beware the 3 or 4 letter acronym. DECC in the headline stands for Dept of Environment and Climate Change. WHA is for World Heritage Area. LGA is Local Govt Area.

Plath whom we know of from our student days at ANU law school is manager of environmental litigation at DECC these days and good luck to him for that too.

Below is our letter regarding an appeal in the Land & Environment Court of NSW by Birdon Contracting Pty Ltd/Tom Bruce as managing Director represented by solicitor Russel Byrnes (also doing the Balmain harbour boat tragedy case) based in Surry Hills. Veteran environmental lawyer Stephen Griffiths of Pike Pike & Fenwick is representing Hawkesbury City Council. We are agent as per the LEC rules for objector Neville Diamond.

The case is set down for 16-18 March 2009. The area in question is shown above in the lower half image of 2005 as per a HCC flyover. The top image is the 'before' image from the early 1980ies. What has changed is an open farmland area with the rising of Tinda Creek in the far background converted to wet open cut sandmine.

This has cut 37% water flow to Tinda Creek and likely to cut 53% if it continues according to council's independent expert Chris Jewell, hydrologist. The World Heritage Area of Wollemi National Park is the neighbour having it's water strangled, along with other cowered neighbours of the sandminer. No wonder various groups including big conservative National Parks Association have bought into the issue here:

From: Andrew Cox NPA
To: ecology action australia
Cc: Zoe Palmer ; Keith Muir ; Alan Catford (PMC)
Sent: Thursday, March 05, 2009 6:58 PM
Subject: Concern over Tinda Creek Sand Mine

Dear Tom,

National Parks Association is a community-based conservation groups establish in 1957 and seeks to protect our natural areas.

We support your efforts and the efforts of Neville Diamond to prevent the continued operations of the sandmine at Tinda Park adjacent to the World Heritage listed Wollemi National Park.

For over a decade now, concerns have been raised about the suitability of the site and the likely impacts on the national park and its catchments. Their apparent illegal operations confirm our fears about the mine.

We are opposed to the continuation of the mine due to its detrimental impact on the water table and the runoff from discharges from the site into Wollemi National Park.

Please note that I will be on leave from Monday 9 March for five weeks. After that time, please contact Zoe Palmer, who will be acting in my position.

Kind regards

Andrew Cox,
Executive Officer
National Parks Association of NSW
PO Box 337, Newtown NSW 2042; Tel: 02 9299 0000; Fax: 02 9290 2525
Email: execofficer@
Website: www.npansw.org.au

'protecting nature through community action'

Here is the letter to DECC's legal man Gordon Plath:

From: ecology action australia
To: gordon.plath@environment.nsw.gov.au
Cc: Keith Muir ; bmcs@ ; Andrew Cox NPA ; Peter Cooper ; Kirsty Ruddock ; sgriffiths@ppf
Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 7:08 PM
Subject: update on legal appeal re Birdon Tinda Ck sandmine
Dear Mr Plath/Gordon, managing solicitor DECC NSW,
CC Stephen Griffiths Pike Pike & Fenwick for Hawkesbury City Council
Birdon Contracting Pty Ltd (Tom Bruce managing director) v Hawkesbury City Council 16-18 March 2009 in the LEC, re Tinda Creek sand mine impacting Blue Mountains World Heritage Area
I write as agent for Neville Diamond as per the LEC Act 1979.
As suggested late last year in the email attached below dated 10 November 2008 the Hawkesbury Council did vote 12 to 0 against approving the s.96 variation for the Birdon Contracting P/L sandmine on the grounds of lapsed consent and therefore out of jurisdiction to extend the life of the mine in this way.
My pro bono client Neville Diamond suggests the consent had already lapsed for similar reasons on the previous occasion of a 2004 s.96 variation approved by a previous manifestation of the council. Now council newly constituted following the election of Sept 2008, and since 2004 now with a new
- general manager
- director of planning and
- mayor
have agreed with my client's legal argument of lapsed consent.
The HCC refusal decision has been appealed by Birdon/Tom Bruce as sandminer and goes to the LEC on March 16-18, 2009.
Though not strictly on the issues of the case re lapsed consent decision, there are two broader public interest issues for DECC's, and perhaps court's, consideration and indeed raised by us in verbal submissions before the council vote, namely safety and water supply to the World Heritage Area:
1. The fine silt tailings are a public liability quick-sand death trap and contrary to the staging plans approved by council way back in 1996 where the silt fines were meant to be 14 to 20 metres below the pond surface in the lake final landform. The developer prefered not to pay for crown consent license for depth 15.24m to 20 metres and dumped silt fines closer to the surface.
These silt fines are now situated from 1m to 5 below the surface water down to 14 metres depth according to the developers own verbal admissions to council in 2004 and 2008. This depth will be easily accessed by children, adults or wildlife with no safety fences anywhere in the final approved lake landform.
We estimate the silt fines cover an area of 400m by 200m (80,000 m2). The tonnage of silt fines we estimate at 376,000 tonnes (based on a 65:35 sand exported to silt fines ratio, with 700K tonnes sold since 1996 consent).
No doubt the council are aware any expansion of the sandmine hole/'lake' final landform makes the situation ever more dangerous (as well as compound damage to water flow in the Tinda Ck World Heritage area). This safety problem is not going away for people or wildlife.

We see options for a return to a safe sand mine operation as follows:

(a) In the short term exclusion fencing of the unsafe ponds;
(b) longer term
(i) The silt fines in this incorrect location would cost $millions to relocate safely to the DA approved greater depth, and there is no Crown consent from 15.24 to 20m depth anyway. This was the original plan for final land form with lake. The high cost relates to the highly viscous quality of the silt fines - hard to lift, hard to carry, hard to dump. There is next to no chance of this option being implemented; or
(ii) Capping the silt fines with at least 2 metres of surface compacted solid fill as has happened successfully with sandminers PF Formations at Maroota lot 198, and similarly Dixons at lot 196.
Unlike Maroota mining sites that are ridge lines where silt fines eventually dry out over years here at Tinda Ck the whole quarry is sited in wetland. If, and only if, a 2 metre cap albeit under water has efficacy starting from dry surface sloping to say 3 metres under water, we estimate 400m x 200m x 2m depth making 160,000 m3 of clean fill needed to quarrantine the dangerous fines for anyone swimming or entering the lake final landform. This would have to come from existing cleared adjacent private land of the developer.
The cost of this would be $500K to $1M plus at current prices for truck, loader, dozer, dredge barge, labour prices. This approach delivers a safe final landform of a lake as intended.
(iii) capping and filling in total the hole(s) with silt fines up to dry ground level final landform - which also benefits the re-establishment of the flow in Tinda Creek by removing a major source of evaporation of concern to the DECC: Kieran Horkan, Unit Head Sydney Industry letter to G Hall of HCC dated 17 Sept 2007 -
"10. As part of a remediation action plan to minimise evapotranspiration from open water DECC recommends that open water areas be reduced as much as possible".
We estimate this option would require 400,000 m3 plus of clean land fill from existing cleared adjacent private land owned by the same developer on lot 2. (Calculated as an area of 200m x 400m of silt fines from 1 to 5 m depth from surface water and another 2 metres to orginal dry ground level; That is 200m x 400m x 5m (average) depth = 400,000 m3.)
The cost of this mitigation would be $1-2M plus - in effect a penalty for breach of the 1996 DA staging - to relocate fill from adjacent cleared private land (and otherwise unprocessed) using dozer, loader, trucks, dozer again, roller and landscaping. This provides a safe lake final landform as intended.
(iv) A best case scenario for re-establishing flow in Tinda Ck to the World Heritage Area: We estimate 700,000 tonnes of clean fill to cap all holes from existing land cleared land owned by the developer.
The cost would be $2-3M.
2. Peak environment groups The Wilderness Society, NSW National Parks Association, Blue Mountains Conservation Society, Colong Foundation for Wilderness and local neighbours have all written and expressed alarm at the strangulation of water into Tinda Creek catchment in the Wollemi section of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area due to the sandmining.
Council's expert whose report we have dated May 2007, who we also trust and rely on, namely hydrologist Chris Jewell has advised that if the developer expands according to his s.96 variation he will impact Tinda Ck water flow into the world heritage area by up to 57% [bold added]:
"Although an assessment of the site water balance indicates that it is unlikely that, to date, the quarry has had a significant impact on the water balance of Tinda Creek, as the operation proceeds, evaporative losses from the ponds will increase and the reduction in outflow from the upper catchment to Tinda Creek will become significant. If the site is closed with a water-table window lake remaining, then a long-term reduction of the order of 37 percent of the original outflow from the catchment upstream of the quarry is possible. Losses will be higher if the final landform includes a lake extending across the entire 22ha site." ................

?If the final landform involved a lake occupying the entire 22-ha operational site, as now proposed, then the reduction in outflow of Tinda Creek would be 204 ML/year, or 53 per cent.?

Chris Jewell in correspondence dated 13 October 2008 to us maintains the final landform in the s.96 variation is at least 17 ha based on Birdon/Umwelt?s own final landform diagram, which is up from 11 ha in the EIS/approved plans.

The water loss is therefore likely to be greater than 37% and closer to 53% which is unacceptable. You will also be aware generally of CSIRO report of July 2008 of downward trend rainfall for NSW in the climate change paradigm, which Commissioner Moore relied on late 2008 to apply the precautionary principle in a judgement adverse to Coca Cola Amatil at their Peats Ridge water bottling plant. (We provided that evidence to the Commissioner).
There is a third issue regarding issues of veracity of the sandminer - including deceptive references to the wrong approved plans by their consultant Umwelt - which the court may possibly address as part of the lapsed consent argument. We submit clause 283 of the EP&A Act 2000 Regulation regarding misleading and deceptive conduct may be involved.
In conclusion we invite DECC to play a role as a friend of the court and/or provide expert advice as needed on finding a way forward in this mess that has become the Tinda Creek sandmine impacting a World Heritage Area in a lower rainfall reality.
Yours truly, Tom McLoughlin, legal agent for Neville Diamond.
Attachment: Original written submission to HCC found here, our additions in red typeface:
----- Original Message -----
From: ecology action australia
To: gordon.plath@environment.nsw.gov.au
Cc: terrigal@ ; castlehill@ ; LOP
Sent: Monday, November 10, 2008 7:41 AM
Subject: fyi as mentioned sandmine issue Wollemi Fw: Final part 6 re Tinda Ck Blue Mtns World Heritage before council Tues 11 Nov 2008

Attn Gordon Plath [managing] solicitor/DECC legal branch
My information is that the majority of Hawkesbury City Councillors on the Liberal controlled council will be voting against the expansion of the sandmine tomorrow evening 11 Nov 2008 but you never really know.
Notice CC list - big press, HCC councillors all factions, Peter Garrett's man Ben Pratt, ngo groups, Ian Cohen MP office, council expert Chris Jewell, nsw env minister, local govt minister. And above to the related ministries in the state opposition. No more secrets for this cowboy sandmine unlike the last 20 years of menaces and violence.
Here's hoping the council do the right thing and follow their senior officer's recommendation to refuse the expanded development impacting the Blue Mtns World Heritage area.
Yours truly
Tom McLoughlin, court agent for Neville Diamond.
----- Original Message -----
From: ecology action australia
To: bart.bassett ; barry.calvert; council@hawkesbury ; kevin.conolly@; christine.paine@; bob.porter@; paul.rasmussen@ ; rex.stubbs ; leigh.williams@
Cc: Jackie ; ben.prattEAFed ; chrisJewell ; Ben Cubby SMH ; Kirsty Ruddock EDO ; Keith Muir Colong ; Peter Cooper TWS ; Andrew Cox NPA ; BMCS ; cate faehrmann NSWNCC ; r.chapple@bmwhi.org.au ; Scott Hickie ; bmwhi@bmwhi.org.au ; bmcs@bluemountains.org.au ; stateline ; ian.cohenMPGreen; dp.office@tebbutt; perry.minister ; bensonsDailyTelegraph

Sent: Saturday, November 08, 2008 7:54 AM
Subject: Final part 6 re Tinda Ck Blue Mtns World Heritage before council Tues 11 Nov 2008

The sandmine using between 37% and 53% of Tinda Ck water into the Wollemi World Heritage Area - as climate change bears down on us all - is going before Hawkesbury City Council again this Tuesday 11th Nov 2008. The chief planning officer's report recommends refusal and to issue a notice to cease operation.

Last and final part 6 of this series of evidence about the issue is here:

Previous items in this serial are here:
Tuesday, 28 October 2008 Diamond Diary Part 4: Attacking the messenger, not the vandalism Mood: don't ask, Topic: legal

25 October 2008 Diamond Diary Part 3: Getting to grips with the costs regime in the NSW Land & Environment Court, Mood: not sure, Topic: legal

Thursday, 23 October 2008 Diamond Diary Part 2: How I went bankrupt 'doing litigation for Dixon Sands' Mood: accident prone Topic: legal
Wednesday, 22 October 2008 Diamond Diary Part 1: Amazing career of environmental litigation Mood: on fire Topic: legal
Tuesday, 21 October 2008 World heritage vandal gets technical win in Land & Environment Court ...for now Mood: accident prone Topic: legal

16 October 2008 Hawkesbury City Council public duty to protect their World Heritage park in court Friday 9.30am Mood: blue Topic: legal

6 October 2008 Google Earth reveals illegal drain intercepting Tinda Creek to World Heritage area? Mood: sharp

----- Original Message -----

From: Tara Cameron President Blue Mtns Conservation Society

To: Tom McLoughlin

Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2008 12:11 PM

Subject: Tinda Creek

Dear Tom,

The Blue Mountains Conservation Society has over 1000 members and is extremely interested in developments impacting upon the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Hence we are concerned about the Tinda Creek Sandmine in respect to its impact on the Wollemi National Park. We are particularly concerned about the tailing ponds and their capacity to reduce the amount of water to Tinda Creek. Water quality is also a problem that we would focus upon.

The Society will be discussing this issue at our next Management Committee Meeting.

Yours sincerely,

Tara Cameron


Picture: 1996 thankyou card to this writer in 1996 from Leslie Walker objector and former neighbour of the sandminers,whose sheep were mysteriously shot dead and has now left the district.

Posted by editor at 9:06 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 6 March 2009 10:41 AM EADT

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