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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
West Atlas deluge technique exemplified by Kuwait Fires doco 1992
Mood:  rushed
Topic: ecology



The concept of the water hose 'deluge technique' to assist capping rogue oil wells at risk of ignition (for example sparking from drilling machinery) is shown in this 36 minute IMAX documentary movie (also available at a local DVD store):


This remarkable movie was nominated for an Academy award and relates to a 9 month, 10,000 strong workforce, project. Initial estimates were 5 to 10 year schedule.

There are many differences between the West Atlas oil leak situation and the Kuwait situation in that the oil leak has not ignited here, and no doubt that's the way it's intended to stay; The Atlas leak is a few hundreds metres under the ocean while in Kuwait there were some 700 burning land based oil wells.

However the movie does indicate the high drama involved. When initially extinguished by various means including ventura pipe, jet engine blast or explosive charge, this intervention was accompanied by a deluge of sea water via high pressure hoses to keep temperatures low enough for machines to approach. And secondly to prevent re-ignition with super heated surroundings just prior to extinguishment.

Posted by editor at 2:00 PM NZT
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
Red centre comes to east coast of Australia in climate portent
Mood:  spacey
Topic: ecology


As a religious portent out of Shakespeare that 'something is not right' the dust enveloping most all of 4 million population of Sydney metro right now, today, is hard to beat.

In the United Nations in New York as we write politicians are talking climate policy. In Sydney it's climate and traffic mayhem with 10 international flights cancelled already apparently. Biggest dust storm in Sydney for 70 years says one report, though other 'big ones' have affected other parts of Australia more often like Adelaide and Melbourne.

The politics ought not be underestimated though because Sydney is the weight in terms of concentrated population.

Public broadcaster ABC radio leads in with REMS's ironic 'End of the World as we know it'.

We remain agnostic about whether the reddish early morning glow featuring in morning newspaper websites (as above) is more sunrise refraction than actually red dust. At 9 am the light is yellowy grey and life is proceeding with say 1000 metre visibility.

Asthmatics and the unwell are being cautioned, smoke detector false alarms are at record levels, and cameras are getting dust clogged, again according to local abc radio. An articulate intrepid caller from Wilton to the same station reckons he measured 2.57 grammes of dust per square metre off an outside glass table. Now a  (foolish?) listerner is miscalculating '10,000 sq metres in a square kilometre' with Sydney metro at 2000 km sq. Actually 1000 m x 1000m means there are a whopping 1 million sq metres in a sq km.

So the amount of topsoil dumped on Sydney would be:

1 million metres sq x 2000 km sq x 2.57 grammes = 5140 million grammes

or according to a handy web converter here making 5140 tonnes.

But keep in mind that this dust has blanketed say 50% of NSW which is 80 million hectares in area (from my previous time on conservation land use policy). Converting that to km sq  by another handy web converter is 800,000 km sq. Sooo .... conservatively half of NSW at:

400,000 km sq /2000 km sq x 5140 tonnes = topsoil lost at sea.

We make it 1,028, 000 tonnes of top soil lost from the outback of NSW into the Pacific Ocean.

What effect all that dust has for good or ill will be interesting such as 

- marine life which can use the nutrients (like a documentary of Central America fish stocks and the dust off the Sahara) or 

- climate in neighbouring New Zealand (glacier melt due to darker covering and sun absorption?).

It all reminds of this natural spectacular sunrise some months back in clear skies in the Hawkesbury:



Posted by editor at 11:26 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 23 September 2009 12:48 PM NZT
Thursday, 11 June 2009
20cm 'stick' insect comes in from the cold, Cattai NSW
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: ecology







Posted by editor at 8:25 AM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 11 June 2009 8:30 AM NZT
Wednesday, 24 December 2008
How to beat big oil, big govt and big auto ..... with a bicycle trailer and exercise
Topic: ecology

It's a bicycle kind of holiday break. We are onto our 3rd new bike project in as many weeks as well as a somewhat oversized bike trailer cut down from old sign board assembly. See picture above. No rego, no petrol, no parking fees. Quite alot of exercise and careful navigation and load management.

With bike trailers 'it's all about articulation". That is where the trailer pivots on the bicycle to steer safely, and sufficiently low centre of gravity to avoid bouncing. This big trailer is surprisingly versatile with small turning circle. This is our third model in 12 months and a serious beast. Children are amused and curious especially with furniture on board. It's a great conversation starter - did you make it (not really it's a conversion), is it heavy (not bad with gears, just take it slow), you could fit a fridge on that etc.

We've made two serious trips from Marrickville to Bondi Junction and back with 'stuff', and the last load was a whopping 46 kg in weight not including the trailer itself. Yes we were tired due to both the heat and weight despite the very low gears making it all doable. On the other hand our fitness is bouncing back after a day or two as well. Also our 5 plus years experience in Sydney delivery driving work has added alot of value - to track the back streets and ridgelines that one ignores in a van but become your life and soul on a bicycle with a heavy load.

We were shocked one early morning with big trailer in tow to find we arrived in Bondi Junction from Marrickville in only an hour with plenty of energy in 'the tank' which is actually quite comparable with car travel time but no petrol costs.

Ideally our trailer would be a foot narrower at the side of the road. Currently it is not at all suitable on main roads with fast traffic. Luckily we are sufficiently knowledgeable of secondary roads, lanes and Centennial Park bike circuit etc to still navigate safely. Since taking the picture above we have added a rear mirror ($3 bargain from The Bower) to the right hand side handle bars which is perfect for managing rear approaching traffic. We have also removed the heavy wire cage replaced with light weight plastic bread trays and milk crates.

We are becoming surprisingly proficient in stripping and rebuilding bikes, learning via the web a shrader (car) versus a presta (high pressure) tyre valve. Also we are becoming quite religious about vitamin E cream on the hands making degreaser and soap that much more effective after every workshop session.

And speaking of workshops there is this great community social capital venue here which we will be checking out in January 2009 called The Bike Club. Their congregating times are Monday evenings apparently with more details here showing their old location in Forbes Ave Newtown and now 1 Phillip St Waterloo:

Header image

Nunnery Bike Workshop - Fix, Build, Hang out, or Talk about Bikes at our Workshop!

Take your pick!The Nunnery Community Bike Workshop, at 1 Phillip St, Waterloo, collects abandoned bikes and parts to create working bikes to put back into the community. This bikes are put together by you, the community, with help from others who come. It is also a place to fix up your bikes with the tools and parts available. Come and learn to fix bikes, show us how to fix bikes, fix your bike or a friend?s, or just come and have some tea and coffee. Everyone is welcome!

To see the latest happenings and news at the workshop, go to our Discussions and Events page.

Here are some other successful bike trailer models we've seen around the place. And we understand you can even buy them at K-mart these days. Now that's a surprise.

Posted by editor at 10:56 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 24 December 2008 12:02 PM EADT
Saturday, 13 December 2008
Is the ALP green? Bob Walshe OAM really is green and a great role model
Topic: ecology


This post is not a comprehensive survey of federal or NSW Govt policy and performance. Rather an activist wannabe politician's intuition and insight into some evolutions in the last several days.

* We called Bob Walshe OAM yesterday as friend, colleague, role model.

Now 85 years old, joint founder of Total Environment Centre in 1972 when he gathered 12 people together and asked Milo Dunphy to be the director. Also founder of Sutherland Shire Environment Centre. He's been known to wear bad brown suits and is a wiry bright eyed intrepid thinker. However he is not so well at the moment but still loved and respected in that part of the world for being so real. Last year he had us loading boxes of leaflets and distributing my share of 10,000 or so.

Our excuse was to congratulate him on being recognised as one of 100 top "most influential people" in Sydney in 2008 in the Sydney Morning Herald colour magazine. This guy is green. The Herald story didn't have a picture of the man in action because he has been resting at home. We've been searching for a picture at a recent rally outside Macquarie St where Bob was present and we might find it yet. Here he is in a related newspaper:


* The same day we heard Nathan Rees as new Premier on abc radio refer to NSW as smart, energetic (or something like that) "and green". Well we wonder.You can say it Mr Rees. But it's going to take alot more than a few solar panels to change the real record. It's a good thing you are young - it's a long long journey ahead champ. The trouble with ALP politicians is that when the heat is on they tend to melt like chocolate figures. We reached a different conclusion about the real ALP years ago as the loggers won 20 year resource guarantees from the then Carr Govt in 1999 - in effect just as intense level of logging in the public's estate for private profit.

* Just recently the Rudd Govt, which is indeed close to the Rees NSW Govt, was on front of The Australian newspaper being pressured by other world leaders like Nobel Prize winner Al Gore, former US Vice President, and Prime Minister of the UK Gordon Brown. Their concern was Australia backsliding on commitments to the next round of treaty negotiations on climate change emissions. Recently Monica Oliphant an Australian from the International Solar Energy Society noted 193 countries of smaller emissions than us are watching our efforts in Australia as a symbolic indicator of the real intentions of the developed world. These 194 countries in total comprise 30% of global emissions.

Not surprisingly The Greens, with their official party status in Federal Parliament now see an opportunity to further shift the whole political spectrum despite sledges by PM Rudd on 7.30 recently about aggrieved "radicals" and preferring the middle path. Al Gore? Gordon Brown? 193 countries that expect better? Mmm. Here are The Greens in a Media Release recently:

Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 10:06 AM
Wong's Howard game at climate talks will send voters to the Greens

Hobart, Wednesday 10 December 2008

The electorate will not forgive the Rudd Government for holding back
global progress towards responsible emissions reductions, the Australian
Greens today.

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong is taking the Howard Government's
negotiating tactics to the Poznan meeting, adopting the same positions
and even flying the same negotiators, led by Jan Adams and Robert Owen
Jones, to the conference. The Greens now provide the only real
alternative for voters who want to see action to protect the climate.

"Australians who voted last year to end the Howard decade of climate
denial will be deeply troubled by what the Rudd Government is doing,"
Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Climate Change Spokesperson, Senator
Christine Milne, said.

"As Minister Wong prepares to deliver plans for Australia which will
refuse to grapple seriously with the problem, she is laying the
groundwork in Poznan by help to hold back global progress.

"The clear reports from Poznan are that Australia is still blocking the
25-40% negotiating range in order to justify what it plans to do next

"There is no way that Penny Wong will allow the rest of the world to
show up Australia's backwardness by adopting a 25-40% negotiating range.

"Nobody should be in any doubt that the Rudd Government is intent on
trying to save its own image at the expense of people and ecosystems
from the poverty-stricken in Bangladesh to Queensland's coastal
communities to farmers in the Murray-Darling."

Australia won runner up "Fossil of the Day" award from the Climate
Action Network yesterday for supporting Japan's move to shift the agreed
emissions baseline from 1990 to 2000.

The Rudd Government is also playing a dangerous game over forestry

"The hypocrisy of continuing to log our own tremendous carbon stores in
Tasmania and Victoria while lecturing Indonesia and PNG on protecting
their own forests is beginning to provoke angry responses.

"It is utterly reprehensible that the Rudd Government will not take on
the State Governments and require them to stop logging these magnificent
stores of carbon and biodiversity that are our beautiful forests.

"Australians voted 12 months ago to move on from Howard-era climate
politics, and they will be deeply troubled to see that very little has
changed under Kevin Rudd."

Come join the conversation at GreensBlog <http://greensmps.org.au/blog>

* Forests of course are greatly related to climate regulation because of the "green carbon" not only above ground but in massive quantities in the soil of a living healthy forest according to ground breaking research by CRES at Australian National University. Which makes the ALP's evil attitude to destruction of forests so disgusting. We have written often of this over the last 2 years. Here are some reminders and some other issues that show the theme of "beige" ALP:

Picture above and more below: Community rally at Botany Bay Beach off Foreshore Rd, Botany Saturday 3rd March 2007, against expansion of Port Botany guaranteed to increase toxic transport congestioni??in most of southern metropolitan Sydney. Shade was a premium under the burning late summer day.

Posted by editor at 4:39 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 4 January 2009 10:57 AM EADT
Saturday, 6 December 2008
Constant forest defender Bruce Dover at rest after 8 years battle with bitou bush
Mood:  special
Topic: ecology



Bruce Dover environmentalist, died of mesothelioma last Sunday after a short devastating illness. He was surrounded by love in his last 2 months. He got the poison in his lungs decades ago working in a glass factory. A good life taken early in his sixties, a family guy with 4 sons and various grandchildren.  
An outdoors man who loved his forests  

.......and tried his best to close the Eden chipmill for 20 years.


He spent the last 8 years killing noxious bitou bush in Botany Bay National Park where his ashes now lie as of yesterday.

His sons, half brothers from 14 to 20 something, are shown below after the friends and family have started walking back to the carpark. Earlier they posed for a picture but this one shows them in their private thoughts in a sense still looking up to their beloved dad:


More images of Bruce's environmental activism follow including letter from Minister Peter Garrett


, pics taken by Bruce of the Japanese Ambassador in Canberra


, of the director of The Wilderness Society Alec Marr on the road outside the chipmill.


Of outdoor exploits and beloved family.

Rest in peace Bruce Dover, founding member of the ACF Forest Campaign Group in Sydney since the mid 1980ies.


Sent: Monday, December 01, 2008 12:52 PM
Subject: a constanst forest activist Re: [chipstop] vale Bruce

oh that's really sad news. I saw Bruce in the old ACF office, the early George St one before moving to another George St office. It was 1992. There was Bruce and Margaret Barnes and James Woodford came from TEC to give a "SEFA" briefing.
Bruce was a dedicated forests man - how true. He did stalls from memory during the SEF protection bill in 92-93 but also The Wilderness nominations 92-94 generating 26,000 or so submissions. We did some combined stalls TWS/ACF. A record effort, relating to some 750K hectares of intact forest some park, much of it not. He got out amongst the mainstream where it really mattered. 
This action generated momentum along with many other strands of activism, including blockades (Simon Benson for Daily Telegraph at the Eden chipper march 95, NEFA rolling blockades), helped change the govt in 1995 in a tough close green election. It's a real politik lesson that the Big Parties even today still remember.
They will also consider that lesson in the lead up to a close 2011 election (?) not least Rees a product of the 90ies activism. Nick Greiner was quoted in the press last weekend urging the NSW Coaliton to be greenish.
Again from memory he helped with the 2 big Sydney Town Hall meetings in the late 90ies. He was a rock and I really respected him for his constancy.
God bless you Bruce. What a star for our environment.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2008 12:51 PM
Subject: [chipstop] vale Bruce

Hi greenies.

Some very sad news - our old friend and colleague Bruce Dover from the ACF Forest Campaign Group in Sydney Bruce lost his battle with mesothelioma this morning.

Longer term campaigners will remember Bruce for his prominent role in the Walk Against Woodchips (x2), the charcoal campaign, Forests for Water Roadshow, Threatened Species roadshow and many other forest campaigns.

When a few of us occupied the chipmill office a few years ago, it was Bruce in the guise of a camera toting “tourist” who recorded the event on film as we were thrown out. His photo of Keith airborn in mid flight exiting the office is still one of our most prized possessions.

Bruce loved nature and never wavered in his commitment to end woodchipping. He told me a couple of weeks ago that  his biggest regret .... is that woodchipping goes on, in spite of all our efforts.

Yes we can end it!


Posted by editor at 11:46 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 6 December 2008 1:46 PM EADT
Friday, 7 November 2008
Minister Tebbutt slicing NSW south coast forest to get '89 conservation reserves'
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: ecology

Harriet Swift a qualified journalist and local land holder from Bega writes:

Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2008 9:40 AM
Subject: [chipstop] Bermi tomorrow

Hi greenies
Just to confirm, .....tomorrow at the Bermagui logging compartment .... Meet at the bus shelter on the corner of Wallaga Lake Road and the Cobargo road  by 8.30am.
The koalas need you there with your placard!
This animal was seen and photographed less than a year ago almost directly over the road from Box Flat Rd, where logging started last Monday. See
NSW Primary Industry minister may think there are no koalas around, but this critter looks a lot like one to me.
See you tomorrow?


Indeed the spin doctoring of the NSW government continues so as to avoid the gravity of the picture above.

We will try to explain to those of good faith how we understand the public's natural forest estate: At 20% land cover 200 years ago it was  like two loaves of bread in an already sparsely forested wide brown land continent.

Now come forward 220 years and we only have one loaf left, or 10% land cover and most of that is trashed and disrupted as well. 

Picture: One loaf of bread left today symbolising the 10% of forest cover we have, which is down 50% on the 20% landcover we had in 1788.

And Environment Minister Tebbutt was on abc tv news in Sydney last night arguing that 89 conservation reserves were already in place on the NSW South Coast. What does this really mean?

No need to worry about logging of koala habitat down there as per reports of the ABC tv and Sydney Morning Herald here?:

1. www.smh.com.au - Last koala habitats get the chop  Date: October 28 2008. Ben Cubby Environment Reporter.

2. PM - Protestors push for preservation of native forests 6 Nov 2008 Reporter: Jayne Margetts

MARK COLVIN: With a fresh round of logging starting in NSW, conservationists are calling on the State Government to stop cutting down native forests.

Logging has just begun on an area of land at Bermagui on the state's south coast.

Protestors have been out in force arguing that all native forests should be preserved as carbon sinks, and as valuable habitats for animals.

Jayne Margetts reports.

(Sound of chain saw)

JAYNE MARGETTS: Another swathe of Australia's native forest is getting the chop.

This time it's a 180 hectare area of land in between two national parks at Bermagui. John Hibberd from the Conservation Alliance wants it and other areas like it to be preserved as carbon sinks.

JOHN HIBBERD: All native forests are really important for carbon sinks. As they get older more and more carbon is stored in them and we believe that if native forest logging stopped in Australia a massive saving in carbon emissions could be made at the stroke of a pen.

I'm not talking about carbon emissions straining and something in 10 to 15 years time, right now the Federal and State Governments across Australia could massively reduce the carbon emissions of this country.

JAYNE MARGETTS: Environmentalists and local residents have begun a campaign to protect the forest.

ENVIRONMENTALISTS: Save our forests!

JAYNE MARGETTS: Protestors say the forest is a valuable habitat for animals, especially the severely depleted koala population. But so far their calls have fallen on deaf ears.

POLICE OFFICER: Your arguments, your discussions about koalas are irrelevant to me.

JAYNE MARGETTS: The police have been blocking them from entering the logging site.

POLICE OFFICER 2: All you people right now are currently within the exclusion zone

PROTESTER: Remove the loggers then.

POLICE OFFICER 2: If you don't leave the exclusion zone you'll be arrested. Okay? You've got 2 minutes.

JAYNE MARGETTS: One woman who swore at a police officer was carted off to the station.

FEMALE PROTESTOR: I wanna be arrested!

JAYNE MARGETTS: Environmentalist Prue Acton says the forest is only just recovering from the last logging operation 20 years ago.

PRUE ACTON: The spotty gums are only just coming back, when they're starting to have their full carbon and their full size and their full beauty and the understorey is coming and the animals are returning and the soil is stabilising. What are we doing instead? We're just going to chop them down.

JAYNE MARGETTS: Research from the Australian National University is adding weight to the campaign. A study has found that eucalypt forests hold three times the amount of carbon than was previously thought.

And there are economic arguments too.

Dr Judith Adjani, an economist from the ANU say the logging of native forests is unnecessary.

JUDITH ADJANI: We can substitute for, easily substitute for all of our native forests chip exports using our hardwood plantation resources. If we want to not log native forests we can do that because we have enough plantations both hardwood and softwood to meet virtually all of our wood needs.

JAYNE MARGETTS: The protestors are hoping to get their message through to the state government.

John Hibberd again.
JOHN HIBBERD: We're asking the State Government to immediately intervene in this matter. We want them to stop the logging not only in this Bermagui corridor forest but also in the forest to the South where the logging is intended to move next year and where the koalas are actually living and breeding at the moment.

And we also want them to scrap the Regional Forest Agreement. That agreement was made 10 years ago. It's now out of date. The world has moved on.

JAYNE MARGETTS: But The NSW Environment Minister Carmel Tebbutt says large areas of forest are already protected under legislation and there's no plan for a review.

CARMEL TEBBUTT: There were very important conservation gains that came out of the Regional Forest Agreements. 300,000 hectares of national parks and reserves added for example in that Eden area as a result of the Regional Forest Agreements. Now it is simply not possible to go back and unpick those agreements, without placing at risk those important conservation gains.

MARK COLVIN: NSW Environment Minister Carmel Tebbutt ending that report by Jayne Margetts.


The trouble for Minister Tebbutt and all of us is that Australia never had much forest to begin with. Since 1788 via agriculture and now especially mechanised woodchipping we have already lost fully 50% of our forest.

Of the 10% forested land cover left on the fringes of the continent today barely 1/10 of that is mature forest with hollow bearing trees. You could think of it as the chewy crusts at the end of the loaf of bread. Most of this 10% forest land cover remaining is being sliced up. Some is divided into reserves and the rest is allocated to high intensity logging by private companies. The bigger the reserves the bigger the thrashing for anything outside the reserves including koala habitat. 

The mature type of forest with nesting hollows in trunk and branches is essential to protect wildlife from going extinct locally and nationally. But it is also the type of forest industry most want to log - usually for higher volumes of chips, and usually good rainfall areas desirable for conversion to defacto plantation by high rotation logging.

Forest destruction is one of several reasons why Australia has the worst mammal extinction records in the world.


Minister Tebbutt is actually green lighting more slicing and dicing of the last loaf of bread on the table.

(Our bread board and table is made of wood too, but in our case it was recycled from a council throwout. Experts tell us we can provide most if not all our timber needs from existing plantations).

Ms Tebbutt can say there's 89 conservation reserves in SE NSW already but it's all one national forest really being cut into smaller and smaller pieces with roughly half given to the private profiteers. Like the one loaf of bread which can be sliced into 19 then cut again into 38, 76 and finally 144 pieces these symbolise the large number of new fragmentated reserves. 

It's a politician's word game really: The longer the list of reserves the better it sounds but this ignores the context of a mostly treeless Australia. NSW for instance is 80 million hectares in size and most of it has no forest. So much for political sophistry.

And the smaller forest areas are easily degraded and local populations of wildlife slip into extinction - in this case the favourite koalas on the NSW South Coast at Bermigui. This is for real. It is happening now. On our watch. Not 100 years ago.

The real issue is not 89 reserves, rather

- the amount of national forest cover,

- the species and forest types, scarcity of categories,

- the level of maturity of forest type,

- green carbon storage regarding climate change, and 

- rate of logging, which is still extremely high and mostly for woodchips to Eden (1 million tonnes a year, some of the best forest in the world).

Given this national, and global, context industry and tame pollies always try to bring the focus down to the local and regional level to imply a large resource is being shared between conservation and industry. Indeed that's why the egregious Regional Forest Agreement rhetoric was invented - to destory the notion of a scarce national forest estate. That's very deceptive by industry and government. It's public property being vandalised for private gain. In Europe they hardly have one forest. Same with Asia.

It's a shame the police on the NSW South Coast don't realise they are being manipulated to help destroy their own environmental future: Notice Harriet from Chipstop in this report also

Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2008 6:47 PM
Subject: [chipstop] police antics at Bermagui logging

Hi chipstoppers
Police antics at Bermagui continue to be extraordinarily heavy handed. Here are some examples:

1. Yesterday we conducted a walk along the edge of the prohibited zone towards the logging and were met by huge numbers of police . It was largely uneventful - a couple of people got PINs (Sam got a PIN and stint in the paddy wagon for taking the piss out of Inspector Jason Edmonds) but most people complied when told by police to leave. Not much choice, given their numbers.  The event was all very fluffy and staged but was probably OK TV footage. However, the funny thing was, once the main crowd left and just a few enthusiasts remained, the police became even more attentive. We were practically surrounded. Police drove by constantly in 4WDs leaning out their windows video-ing us. Others lurked in the bush behind us. One suspects they may have been expecting some more concrete action from the hard core, but they didn't get it. Eventually they gave up and went back to their post at the water tank.

2. Another instance occurred that morning when a small group started making a large sign in the sand on the beach, hoping that the ABC helicopter would see it as they left. The police turned up and told them to leave; making a sandcastle sign on the beach is apparently now illegal.
This was all quite remarkable, but today's action took the cake.

3. Two nights ago somebody wrote in very large neat white letters on the bermagui road at the approach to the logging compartment words like: flora, fauna, CO2 sinks, forests, life. It was very expertly done and must have taken hours! Today, the Bega Valley Shire Council Jetpatcher spent 2 hours spraying tar over the painted words. There was nothing wrong with the road; it did not need any repairs. The police told the council to do it because it was an "urgent and serious traffic hazard."

This gets more and more silly. I know of one example of offensive large graffiti on a road in Bega  200 meters from the Police Station that is probably a greater traffic hazard given its sexual content. That has been there for six months without a visit from the Jetpatcher.

Stay tuned for more. I am a great believer in never picking a fight with the police; our argument is not with them and they always have the last word,. However, this behaviour is exceptional. I guess they have to do something to justify their absurdly large presence there.


Between 2,500 and 3,000 trees from SE NSW and East Gippsland are cut down every working day to supply the Eden chipmill
CHIPSTOP campaign against woodchipping the SE forests, 02-64923134, PO Box 797 Bega NSW 2550 Australia, http://www.chipstop.forests.org.au
CHIPSTOP on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vJuZya1X00

This all reminds of the over eager APEC police September 2007 some of whom were exposed for failing to wear their name tags. The implication being they were willing to bend the law for a bit of extra judicial biffo against peaceful protesters.

Meanwhile we notice James Woodford has censored this logging of public forest koala habitat off his so called Real Dirt blog here. Even when it's in his local region.

Rather he's authored a story about how the State govt is wisely marshalling the Shoalhaven water resources which is run on page 4 of the Sydney Morning Herald. Too bad koalas don't like to swim eh James?

Woodford, only seems to run government endorsed stories these days. When it comes to water it helps that his spouse - after working PR for State Forests as the logging agency - then worked for the Southern Water Catchment Authority all on the government drip. So is it news or spin?

Posted by editor at 1:28 PM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 9 November 2008 11:12 AM EADT
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Bermagui South Coast koala forest: Protest update from Harriet of Chipstop
Mood:  hug me
Topic: ecology


Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 6:58 PM

Subject: [chipstop] Bermi logging today

Hi chipstoppers

Bermi logging continued today, with the same heavy police presence as previously this week although it appears the Riot Squad may have been having a day off or even gone home..

  • We discovered today that the logging contractor is Bruce Mathie and Sons. This adds to our conviction that this logging has been carefully planned to limit conservationist protests.
  • Mathie is the logger who successfully sought a Supreme Court injunction against the Wandella 8, activists who formed the core of a blockade against the logging of Peak Alone (Wandella State Forest) in 2005. Injunction http://thebegavalley.org.au/4159.html
  • This injunction imposes a lifelong ban on the 8 experienced and skilled activists, who are largely associated with South East Forest Rescue. ForestsNSW obviously believes that by engaging this logger to carry out the Bermagui logging, it will minimize the effectiveness of protests.
  • Other developments: after some argy bargy, the police are allowing protest gatherings to continue in the mornings at the bus stop, provided various banners are moved.
  • The school bus driver with the anger management problem was prevented by police from leaving his bus this morning, but this didn’t stop him shouting some gratuitous advice to the police about how they should deal with us.
  • The "Harvest Plan" is finally available, although at first glance not very illuminating.

Chipstop has a new page on the website to collect together some of the information about the logging. If you think there is anything useful that could go up there, pls let me know.


Between 2,500 and 3,000 trees from SE NSW and East Gippsland are cut down every working day to supply the Eden chipmill
CHIPSTOP campaign against woodchipping the SE forests, 02-64923134, PO Box 797 Bega NSW 2550 Australia,
CHIPSTOP on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vJuZya1X00


From NSW Police website


Friday, 03 Oct 2008 09:07am

Police on the Far South Coast are warning protestors that activities during forestry logging operations which are illegal and dangerous will not be tolerated.

The Far South Coast Command has been advised that NSW Forests are to commence logging compartments of the Bermagui State Forest in late October 2008.

Superintendent Michael Willing, Far South Coast Local Area Commander said "police from the local area command and various sections, including the Public Order Operations Support Group, Highway Patrol, and Rescue Squad will be part of an operation which will be conducted in the area of the logging and will focus on ensuring the protection of persons engaged in lawful activities."

"We have received information which leads us to anticipate that a number of protestors will converge on the area. Our message to them is clear.

"We are committed to maintaining public order, and anyone who engages in unlawful or dangerous activity in or near the logging operation will have action taken against them.

"This action may be the issuing of on-the-spot fines or Court Attendance Notices, but where offences are continuing and are dangerous police will where necessary arrest and charge people," Supt Willing said.

NSW Forests advises that the state forest in which the logging operation is taking place will be closed to unauthorised persons. Entry into those closed areas is an offence.

Likewise, interference with the free movement of equipment or people within, or to and from the logging operation is also an offence. If any such offence is detected, police will be taking action.

Police have also taken the opportunity to remind everyone of some of the offences which attract On-the-spot fines.

" Trespassing into a prohibited forestry area start at $100.
" Being near harvesting or hauling equipment on-the-spot fines start at $1000.
" Intimidating Employees by preventing the free movement of equipment or people attract a fine of $5500 and or 2 years imprisonment.
" Other offences associated with disrupting a workplace also attract fines starting at $5500.

Police said they will attempt to facilitate protest requests in order to minimise the disruption, but if a hard core minority are intent on disrupting or hijacking genuine protests swift action will be taken and those involved will be removed.

Superintendent Willing said, "anyone who intends on protesting is encouraged to contact police to discuss their intentions so we can facilitate lawful activity,

"Our policing operation at the Bermagui State Forest is not focused at preventing lawful and peaceful protest as we respect people"s rights, but rather at unlawful and dangerous activity, Supt Willing said.
Bermagui State Forest Koala Survey
Extract from NSW Legislative Council Hansard and Papers Tuesday 28
October 2008 (Proof).
Page: 27
Mr IAN COHEN: My question is directed to the Minister for Primary
Industries. Can he explain the process behind the new koala survey
method used in surveying Bermagui State Forest compartments 2004 and
2005? To what extent did the survey find evidence of the presence of
koalas, which of course is koala droppings? Can he advise what actions
he or Forests New South Wales will take against contractors if they
failed to halt logging upon the sighting of koalas?
The Hon. IAN MACDONALD: I thank Mr Ian Cohen for his question. Over a
period the honourable member has raised issues relevant to forestry, and
basically his position seems to be that we should cease native forestry
activity in many parts of the State. I point out to him that round the
turn of the century, a number of agreements were struck which led to a
massive 5.5 million hectares of State Forest land being incorporated
within the National Estate, so there has been a significant transfer of
native forest.
The Hon. Marie Ficarra: What about the koalas?
The Hon. IAN MACDONALD: I will come to koalas in a minute. I will
answer the question my way, thank you. The issue is that there is a
relatively small percentage of that former State Forest estate held by
Forest New South Wales to meet 20-year wood supply agreements under a
Forestry Industry Structural Adjustment Program [FISAP] entered into in
recent years. Those agreements have led to the regeneration of the
industry and considerable improvements in the technology employed in
activities of the region. In relation to the Bermagui State Forest, it
is a 183-hectare forest. It was logged selectively 20 years ago and
clear-felled some time before that. It is not an old growth forest.
Secondly, an extensive survey was undertaken by Forests New South Wales.
I believe it is a very scientific and well-balanced study and it shows
that there was no permanent colony of koalas in that area.
In relation to the spotting of koalas, the practice would lead to the
assessment of that colony, and I believe that would be checked out and
monitored. The point is that we need to supply in accordance with wood
supply agreements. They are 20-year agreements and they have a fair
amount of time left. Many workers are involved on the South Coast and
indeed on the North Coast in this industry. If we were to pull out from
providing this hardwood, given that the demand for timber is not
decreasing despite the economic downturn*there is still a lot of
demand for timber products in New South Wales*it would lead to
increased importation of timber. That timber most likely would come from
South-East Asia or Brazil, or one of the countries the environmental
protocols of which are far inferior to protocols that are available and
enforced in New South Wales in relation to the selective harvesting of
We are committed to sustainable harvesting of the remaining forest. We
do not believe the koalas are under threat. We believe that that is a
furphy that has been put about by people who have no evidence. I have
seen their statements relating to the south-east forests. There is no
scientific evidence. Forest New South Wales is right. It has done the
work, and
I believe the forest is being sustainably logged.
Mr IAN COHEN: I ask a supplementary question. The Minister clearly said
that the department is committed to logging in that area. Does the
Minister agree that the export of woodchips, described by a former
Federal Minister as "a bastard of an industry", is absolutely
overcommitting the resources of that area?
The Hon. IAN MACDONALD: Again, the member states an inaccuracy. These
forests are valuable saw logs used for a number of different products
that are in high demand.
Mr Ian Cohen: It is the wood chipping*
The Hon. IAN MACDONALD: Wait a second! The woodchip component of it is
in the field of residues, and that is created in the process of felling
these trees. No timber company would convert saw logs to woodchip. That
is just economically insane.
Bermagui State Forest Logging Protests
Extract from NSW Legislative Council Hansard and Papers Tuesday 28
October 2008 (Proof).
Page: 25
Ms LEE RHIANNON: I direct my question to the Minister for Police. Did
officers stationed at Batemans Bay police station in collaboration with
Forest New South Wales hold a meeting at the Bermagui Country Club in
September to warn locals associated with calling for forest protection
not to protest when logging commenced in the Bermagui State Forests?
Does the holding of this meeting reflect that Batemans Bay police
officers have adopted a zero tolerance policing approach to forest
protesters? Considering that since logging started in Bermagui State
Forest on 27 October with a group of about 40 protesters gathered in the
vicinity, about 15 police cars, more than 20 police, including members
of the Public Order and Riot Squad, a mobile police command bus and two
police rescue vans have been in attendance, will this level of policing
continue for the coming six weeks of logging in this area? What is the
anticipated cost of this operation?

The Hon. TONY KELLY: The Far South Coast Local Area Command of the New
South Wales Police Force has been advised that New South Wales Forests
is to commence logging compartments of Bermagui State Forest later this
month. As in the past, protests are expected. As always, the New South
Wales Police Force is committed to maintaining public order. For this
reason, local police and various commands, including the Public Order
and Riot Squad, Highway Patrol and Rescue Squad will join together to
conduct an operation. This operation will focus on ensuring the
protection of persons engaged in lawful activities. Local police have
made it clear that anyone engaging in unlawful or dangerous activity in
or near the logging operation will have action taken against them. When
offences continue and are considered dangerous, police will arrest and
charge people as necessary. Police respect people's rights to protest
during these times; in no way are they looking to prevent lawful and
peaceful protests. Police have asked anyone who intends to protest to
contact them so that they can attempt to facilitate lawful activity,
minimise disruption and focus on protecting the safety of everyone
27 October 2008

Logging started in Bermagui State Forest compartments 2004/5 today.
1. The arrival of the logging crew was preceded by at least 12 police vehicles, one a sinister looking black "riot control" vehicle, one an 18 seater bus (empty), several paddy wagons (empty), police rescue, a police communications bus to, inter alia intercept our mobile phone calls and various other police 4WDs. There were possibly others which came from the Cobargo direction which we did not see.
2. About 50 conservationists assembled at the bus stop on the corner of the Wallaga Lake Rd and the Cobargo Rd from 7am. This central point was selected because we did not know exactly where the logging was to start.
3. The roadside boundary for the 2 compartments is 12 kms long, with multiple entry points. It was next to impossible to predict where they would enter as ForestsNSW had failed to:

  • mark up any areas other than visual protection strips
  • erect any "prohibited zone" signs, as required if they are to invoke SF security Regs.
  • release a full Harvest Plan, explaining in detail areas to be logged. Only the maps had been supplied to members of the Biamanga and Gulaga NP boards.

4. Police vehicles assembled at Box Flat Road, off the Cobargo Rd near the council water tank, on which some thoughtful person has recently painted a large "no woodchipping" message.
5. At about 8am semi-trailers were observed entering Box Flat Road carrying logging machinery. We were not able to tell which contractor has been engaged to do this logging.
6. One of our people went to the Box Flat Rd corner on his motor bike to investigate and to film, but was told by police to leave "as he was in a prohibited zone" (not true because there were no signs, as required).
7. By about 11.30am some "prohibited zone" signs had appeared along the roadside boundaries of the logging compartments.
8. No chainsaw or tree felling noises can be heard from the road as they have started at the far end of Box Flat, closest to the river and furthest from the road.
9. As loggers left this afternoon two private security guards arrived to camp overnight near logging machinery.
10. Another highlight: the school bus driver stopping to pick up a couple of kids left his bus in a rage, grabbed several of our placards and threw them towards the road. Shouting angrily, he tore down and damaged a banner attached to the bus stop, using words that had attracted a $150 fine for one of the activists in Bega Local Court two weeks ago.

MEDIA STATEMENT 26 October 2008

NSW and Victoria collude to limit forest protests
Conservationists have accused the NSW and Victorian Governments of colluding to limit forest protests in south east NSW and East Gippsland.
"The two states have timed highly controversial logging operations to start at exactly the same time," according to the convener of the forest activist group, Chipstop, Ms Harriett Swift.

"We learned on Friday that the long awaited logging of Bermagui State Forest will start on Monday within hours of hearing that bulldozers were moving onto Brown Mountain in East Gippsland.

The Bermagui logging has been the subject of pro-active preparations by the NSW Police who have threatened a zero tolerance approach to protesters.
Brown Mountain is part of the Snowy catchment and much prized by conservationists for its 'valley of giants'.

"Forestry agencies clearly intend that the simultaneous logging operations will ensure that skilled activists from one state may not be available to assist colleagues in the other," Ms Swift said.

"It may be no coincidence that these logging operations come hard on the heels of widely reported attacks on conservationists attempting to save Tasmanian forests last week. NSW and Victorian forestry agencies may also expect these attacks to have drawn some activists away from this region," she said.

Ms Swift said that it is a pity that NSW and Victoria can"t manage this level of co-operation on useful activities such as saving the Murray River.
26 October 2008

Posted by editor at 8:33 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 29 October 2008 9:08 PM NZT
Thursday, 16 October 2008
Big conservative NSW green group not happy with disney style national parks
Mood:  blue
Topic: ecology


[Media Release follows]


MEDIA RELEASE - 14th October 2008



NPA today released legal advice that confirms its worst fears about proposals before the NSW Government regarding the protection of national parks that will turn 50 years of conservation on its head.

“We wondered why big development and tourism interests were pushing to insert the word ‘tourism’ into the National Parks Act,” Andrew Cox of NPA said.

“Now we know why. Our legal advice confirms that it would allow developers to build all sorts of trashy things like amusement parks and fast food joints in our national parks.”

“Big industry has been pressuring the Government behind the scenes. They think they can get their way without the public noticing. They pretend to be all soft and eco-friendly but there’s a dingo under the possum-skin cloak,” Mr Cox said.

“Under existing national park laws, developments are only allowed if they support the main purpose of parks, which is conservation, and low impact visitor activities. This is what’s stopped our parks from being urbanised and Disneyfied.”

“If the NSW Government goes ahead with these changes we can wave goodbye to the international tourists who come to see our clean, green and natural attractions. The people’s sanctuaries of peace and serenity will disappear, piece by piece,” Mr Cox said.

“Our legal advice says that national park protection would be weakened by a ‘radical shift’ in the objects of the National Parks Act. Putting ‘tourism’ into national park management principles would have similar consequences. It will be much easier to allow ‘purely commercial tourism activities and associated developments’ by ignoring the conservation priority.”

“This will privatise the people’s parks, the only places left where we can still go to escape crass commercialisation everywhere else. It would be a disaster.”

“The proposed changes to the National Parks Act are unnecessary and fundamentally change the purpose of national parks. No other state except Tasmania have the word tourism in their national parks legislation.”

“Documents obtained under FOI confirm that the proposal is being advanced by the Taskforce on Tourism and National Parks. We fear the Taskforce will recommend the opening up of national parks for new accommodation that can better be sited outside national parks or in nearby towns. We have formally sought written assurances from the Environment Minister on some of the worst possibilities, but this request has gone unanswered.”

The Taskforce on Tourism and National Parks is due to release its draft report in several weeks.

“There is just one question people need to ask themselves. If you take away the legal protection, do you trust this Government, any Government, with your national parks?” Mr Cox concluded.

Contact details:
Andrew Cox on 02 9299 0000 or 0438 588 040

Posted by editor at 9:56 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 16 October 2008 10:20 PM NZT
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Rescue the Murray River Redgums: The Wilderness Society
Mood:  cool
Topic: ecology



noun a person using internet campaigning tools to bring about social or political change.

    Dear Supporter

Send your message to the NSW Government asking them to protect NSW's River Red Gums

Take Action:
.Rescue NSW's River Red Gum Forests today!
.Send this to a friend

With your support The Wilderness Society is working hard to protect New South Wales' River Red Gum Forests, but right now I urgently need your help to ensure the State Government does the right thing,

Please take action in one easy step, by sending a message to Premier Nathan Rees urging him to protect our precious River Red Gums.

The health of the Murray River and its River Red Gum Forests are intrinsically linked – a healthy river needs healthy forests.

However, our River Red Gum Forests are not doing well – in some areas, 75% of the trees are already stressed, dead or dying and they are being further degraded by destructive logging and grazing. The forests act as filters for the river – if the New South Wales Government is serious about protecting the health of the Murray River, then it needs to protect our River Red Gums.

Often referred to as 'The Kakadu of the South,' River Red Gum Forests are also vitally important habitat for a threatened and endangered species and play host to many thousands of migratory birds each year. Plus, they attract tourists to the region, who are an important part of the local economy.

Logging, primarily for low values products such as firewood, fence posts and railway sleepers, is destroying the very values that these forests have become famous for.

Replacing logging with well-managed National Parks will protect the forests, ensure that the Murray retains its natural filter system and continue to provide vital income to the region.

The NSW government needs to urgently commit to creating National Parks from our State Forests in full consultation with local Traditional Owners.

Taking action to protect NSW's River Red Gums in easy and only a click away.

Thank you in advance for making a difference for the future of our River Red Gum Forests and for your ongoing support.

Peter Cooper
NSW Campaigner
The Wilderness Society (Sydney) Inc

The Wilderness Society (Sydney) Inc

PO Box K249 Haymarket, NSW, 1240 Australia
Phone: (02) 9282 9553
Fax: (02) 9282 9557

Posted by editor at 7:02 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 19 September 2008 8:46 PM NZT

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