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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Monday, 1 March 2010
Peter Garrett's imposing to do list is not so shabby
Mood:  energetic
Topic: aust govt

Seems big media think Peter Garrett is going to be dogging it. We added this comment to First Dog cartoon today which got the 'under moderation treatment' so far:

Serve that dog some hot dinner.

Meanwhile those of us who like critters might want to consider this remaining to do list for Mr Garrett.

- Mitigating the $43 Billion (that a real billion not a Joyce billion) Gorgon development, class 1 nature reserve at Barrow Island etc

- Ancient rock art in the Kimberley - everywhere in a resources hot spot

- Whaling v Japanese earth rapists

- Old Growth forests in Tas, NSW, Vic under the EPBC Act

- $2B Tas pulp mill wheels falling off in a state election, while GMO plantation estate of Euc. Nitans appear be naturally toxic to waterways (Australian Story).

- Arnhem Land Aboriginal employment programme over 1 M hectares

- Cape York World Heritage negotiations with the Pearsons in a preface to Barak Obama meeting local Black jurists like … said Pearson shouter (?)

- Tillegra Dam/Kooragang Island wetlands decision, worth $500M to $1B cost to the NSW Govt

… and probably lots of other stuff I have no clue about.

But apparently this is less important than insulation according to the latte set in the big media.

Posted by editor at 7:29 PM EADT
Nicole Campbell 'local business woman' in Alexandria, ALP candidate for Bennelong '04?
Mood:  mischievious
Topic: nsw govt



Bike paths and protesters eh? Where have we heard that name Nicole Campbell before? Not an ALP hack doing Meredith Burgmann's work for her in the ABC news today?

Here is Ms Campbell back in 2004 in the Not Happy John campaign days.


Posted by editor at 7:12 PM EADT
Updated: Monday, 1 March 2010 7:24 PM EADT
Sunday, 28 February 2010
Sunday tv talkies: Polling a bit flakey, federal health reform really coming
Mood:  chatty
Topic: aust govt




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. Perhaps the greatest utility is the headline synthesis above of the 3 or 4 shows followed in this session.


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.  

- Day After Tomorrow on tv movies still packs a punch on 7 last night.

- Rudd meeting insulation tradie protesters outside the Big House in Canberra reminds of a scene in the West Wing when POTUS Jed Bartlett under extreme political pressure jumps out of the security convoy to talk to voters on a tourist visit to Washington DC. Man of the people etc. Was it first or second season? We don't recall but wikipedia has the episode list.


- BSE  - bovine spongiform encephalophy – or something like that is growing controversy. Govt has full page advert in press today via industry figure.


- Lenore Taylor ex News Corp front page SMH last week. News Corp revolving door with big politics with opinion piece by one David Gazard “former political adviser to John Howard and Peter Costello”, not to mention Sinodonis in The Oz. Glen Milne may become redundant yet.


- finally PM Rudd appears on Insiders but only because he is desperate for PR with his brittle polling popularity slipping. Abbott is now on 40% preferred PM – which is not good for public policy on climate or just about any other green policy issue.


- News Corp comments moderator deletes our comment about aggressive far right peanut gallery  on their string for Laurie Oakes column. Pathetic organization.


- hard man Tony Abbott was reported as taking 7 hours or something  to complete a triathalon.


- Offsiders sport show this morning refers to News corp behaving ‘coercive tendentious’ is like Frank Sinatra description of Australian journalists as “two bit hookers”. But then compere Cassidy states “that was Insiders last week” regarding discussion of The Australian as biased (as per David Marr comments etc)


- What’s to be made of the SMH still trying to identify a colour writer to replace Annabel Crabb. First it’s Marr, then Devine, and pre New Year there was another feature writer who was good. Make up your minds, or give SAM the gig!

- When a liar calls a liar a liar? We recognised a talkback caller on abc 702 late last week, let's call him N waxing lyrical about his credentials as a 'sailor for 30 years on Sydney Harbour' in reference to the Keating/Barangaroo phallus like gazump on the official design competition. Now having known N for 15 years, and visited his home several times and worked on joint projects over that time we can't recall one nautical item literally or in conversation. Not one safety jacket, sail cloth or salty rope. Maybe he has been out on the Harbour in that time - in a Sydney Ferry?

10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am 

Riminton in the chair. Footage of PM Rudd etc. Press on big quake, polling 50:50 major parties. Talent is Abbott. Q re pursue Garrett more? Shifting focus to PM and govt – says all talk no action. Says long way to go despite polls.


Lack of value in schools stimulus. Humour out take Roxon golf ‘balls’ to her opposite.


After 1st adbreak Panel is Lewis News Corp, Schubert The Age. Principle of federal takeover. Abbott blames bureaucracy, management boards Qld and NSW, renegotiate health agreements.


Lewis on Sorry Day like Anzac Day? Black armband? Abbott – lets wait and see. [Dorothy dixer.]


Schubert on trust – work choices, medicare safety net. Agrees adjust promises due to radical changes. ‘Crisis of faith in this govt’ over promising on petrol grocery prices.


Lewis finally asks hard question – Joyce moved as finance minister. Lame answer about Joyce not Garrett on insulation. Argues Tanner airbrush of insulation scheme as nitpicking. “Barnaby doing a good job”.


Riminton – play book from Republicans spoiler role in Senate. Denied. Israel let Australia down? Says unclear full facts. Don’t assume bad faith. [totally lame]. Humour out take is Warren on Garrett bob sled toon.


2nd guest – Prof Clive Williams on Israel


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


Riley Diary 7, from 8.40am 

Rose Bay sign Rudd sucks. Mini me theme Mark Arbib look alike to Minister Garrett. Rudd stand by “next week” . “Whose going to save me” Oils clip. Q and A re Beattie game play. Rudd action on GFC not all well designed. Combet is Mr Wolf of govt (fixer? Refer Pulp Fiction).



9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.44 am 

Winter Olympics coverage again, refer feature story in Saturday News Corp Sydney Daily Telegraph Telegraph Rudd says he's dropped the ball which gets a bollocking by aggressive right wing commenters typical emotional violence.





Insiders 2: 9- 10am


Riley style package terrorism, insulation, Israel rip of Oz passports for political murders. Garrett looking … sullen, like a spoiled lad who has always got what he wanted. (?). Just another ego driven pollie who has crashed (?).


Panel on press – Lenore Taylor Fairfax  re polling headline is confused and incorrect. LT and Farr shows Abbott consolidated vis a vis Hockey. G Henderson – TA has ‘people skills’. Farr notes image of Garrett in casuals exaggerated but Dept got a rough deal major economic programme not equipped to implement.


Henderson claims Abbott is sincere about pay rates as if he is poor?



PM Rudd has PG as second class minister? In effect no because env minister is a big job on pulp mill, Traveston dam etc. PM sounding a bit better with his head cold, but also looking a little pale. Q. Combet has job so troubles in future blame who? PM says mine. Praises Combet. Alan Hawke to administer very experienced. PM plays GFC card, not an excuse, but that’s the context avoid global economic disaster.


Moves onto health. Finally gets to GFC for failed July 09 deadline. Says no excuse [but in effect the reality]. Had problems with delivery. Didn’t properly understand the complexity. [in our experience everything takes longer than it looks, everything because you inevitably get fresh information as you go].


Says govt deserves a whacking in the poll now and in the future. Shows a smile intends to get on and do it on health – clearly hinting there is a big reform coming. Double dissolution as late as October.  Colour returning to Ruddy visage as interview continues. Looking more natural and relaxed and smiling.


Holds to climate as absolutely profound. Through everything at it. Thinking about 20 years from now. Cost a trillion dollars, a real trillion dollars not Joyce one, in 20 years. Refers to “watching facial expressions” [which was our blog line on crikey strings]


Convincing rejection of sexist quote attributed to him in SMH.


Reconciliatory nod each way compere BC to PM quite dignified.




Vox pop – nursery staff on Garrett.




Panel discussion on PM Rudd be more accountable. GH says over reaction. Takes a softer line about bureaucrat gibe. (GH sees himself). Farr says boredom factor while Abbott is [everyman] cut through. Grab of radio call scared oldie to Niel Mitchell. Resolved with Dean Meaghl at ETU.


Taylor points out Cabinet responsibility for blocking co-payment. Grab from Good News Week – Rudd is the 26th in the job with a d*ck.


GH says Hamas figure is no loss, hiccup in relations with Israel. LT – nothing Australian Govt can do. Impact on now travelling in ME. GH says Stan Hu is a bigger issue. Farr – Mossad won’t consult with ASIS etc on such things. Farr accuses GH of supporting killing of Hamas leader.


Joyce grab on net public private debt bigger than US. LT notes TA lame defense Joyce not actually a minster yet. [agree lame].  GH praises Gillard more rigorous policy in our schools: Number is guarantee of privacy.




Inside Business with Alan Kohler  

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


Posted by editor at 10:58 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 1 March 2010 9:28 AM EADT
Saturday, 27 February 2010
Tony Abbott's culture of complaint in the luckiest safest country in the world?
Mood:  hug me
Topic: world


All this griping and choreographed danger and trouble over electrified insulation reminds us of the final speech of the previous sitting week in federal parliament. It's very sobering and perhaps a timely reminder to count our blessings in Australia:

[At pages 69 -70 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Thursday, 11 February 2010 in PDF format from here http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/reps/dailys/dr110210.pdf ]


Ms PARKE (Fremantle) (4.54 pm)—On 13 January

the television news started to penetrate Australias

summer reverie with images of the devastation in Haiti

caused by the earthquake that had occurred in the late

afternoon of the previous daythe anguish on faces of

shocked and terrified survivors, the bodies in the

streets, the injured, the crushed buildings, and aerial

views of the national palace, the cathedral and the

Christopher Hotel, which housed the United Nations

headquarters, all collapsed in ruins.

I talked on Monday in this place about the devastation

suffered by the Haitian people in this disaster.

Again, I offer to the citizens of Haiti my deepest condolences.

This terrible event also resulted in the largest

loss of staff lives in the UNs history. Over a number of

days the news emerged that almost 100 UN staff from

28 countries had perished in the mass of concrete and

rubble. This included four of my friendspeople I had

worked and socialised with in Kosovo and Gaza. In

such difficult places, your friends are your family.

Luiz Carlos da Costa was the deputy head of the UN

stabilisation mission in Haiti. Words can hardly do justice

to this gentleman of the worlda brilliant, warm,

charismatic, soft-spoken Brazilian man who was also,

as described by his wife at his memorial service, dropdead

gorgeous. Like the former Secretary-General

Kofi Annan, Luiz started out in the UN as a messenger

boy and worked his way up over four decades to one of

the highest posts in the UN system. He was responsible

for recruitment in UN peacekeeping for decades and he

signed my own appointment letter when I started with

the UN peacekeeping mission in Kosovo in 1999. Luiz

was known for his professionalism and dedication to

the UN, for his kindness and for his egalitarian treatment

of staff and his fierce loyalty to them. As the secretary-

general said in his condolence statement:

He was a mentor to generations of UN staff His legacy

lives in the thousands that serve under the blue flag in every

corner of the globe.

I remember Luiz once telling me how sad he was at the

death of his fellow countryman Sergio Vieira de Mello

in the Baghdad bombing in 2003. What a devastating

blow to Brazil, the UN and the international community

to have now lost both of these incredible international

civil servants. I worked with Luiz and his assistant

Jerome Yap in Kosovo and later in New York.

Jerome, from the Philippines, steadfastly supported

Luiz over the last 15 yearsaccompanying him to

Kosovo, Liberia and Haiti. Jerome was a happy person

who loved to sing, and he was a member of the UN

choir. I kept in touch with Jerome through Facebook

but my last message to him went unanswered as he too

was tragically killed in Haiti.

Emmanuel Rejouis, from France/Haiti, and Emily

Sanson, from New Zealand, were friends of mine in

Kosovostaying with me and my housemate Matthew

at one stage. They later married and had three beautiful

daughters. After stints in many countries they were

posted to Haiti. Emily was at work at the UN when the

earthquake struck. She ran home to where Emmanuel

was taking care of their daughters, but the building was

collapsed. She found her youngest daughter Alyahna

alive under Emmanuel’s body—he had been sheltering

her when he died. Their other two little daughters did

not survive. Emmanuel was a kind and gentle person

who loved his family and his fellow human beings.

Their daughters Kofi-Jade and Zenzie were beautiful

and sassy children.

Another close friend lost in the Haiti quake was

Jean-Philippe Laberge, a French-Canadian with whom

I worked in Gaza, along with his wife Victoria. I was

on the UNRWA panel that interviewed Jean-Philippe

for the job as an Operations Support Officer in Gaza. I

liked him immediately as he was smart and funny and

laid back, while being completely professional. As his

friends have noted in our condolence letter to Victoria

and his mother Marjolaine: he had a mischievous style,

which masked his essential shyness, and he was one of

the most sensitive and caring persons you could meet

as well as being a thoroughly reliable colleague and a

true leader, making the right decisions in difficult and

dangerous situations, as was often the case in Gaza.

The nicest New Years Eve I ever experienced was a

few years ago at a party Jean-Philippe and Victoria

held in Montreal. Many of the Gaza friends were together

againsuch a lot of champagne, such beautiful

memories. In one of those strange coincidences, Jean-

Philippes memorial service is happening now in Montreal

as I speak and my thoughts are certainly with him

and his family, especially Victoria and their two young


To all of my UN friends who are gone, it was a

privilege to have known and worked alongside you. As

one mourner put it:

You thought only of bringing good to the world


represented all that is best about the human race … Marcel

Proust thought that people who have passed away remain

with us through our memories of them. “It is as though,” he

wrote, “they have gone abroad”.

So, then, Luiz, Jean-Philippe, Jerome and Emmanuel,

you and your fallen colleagues have gone abroad to

join Dag Hammarskjold, Sergio Vieira de Mello, Count


Folke Bernadotte, Iain Hook, Jean-Selim Kanaan and

many other UN soldiers for peace. But our memories

of you will remain strongly with us and will fortify us

in carrying on your work to restore dignity to the lives

of the worlds most vulnerable. In the immortal words

of Wordsworth:

What though the radiance which was once so bright

Be now for ever taken from my sight,

Though nothing can bring back the hour

Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;

We will grieve not, rather find

Strength in what remains behind.

Posted by editor at 11:25 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 27 February 2010 11:32 AM EADT
Comment: Is Ken Henry to 'blame' for so called insulation 'debacle'?
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: aust govt

Picture: PM Rudd indicates inner turmoil at the sign off on 7.30 Report just as compere Kerry OBrien looks down and away as if ashamed of his old ALP employer: Ruddd's thin lipped 'smile' indicates a disjunct with a pained expression around the eyes. Next day Minister Garrett is effectively sacked from the $2.5B insulation programme.

Some spontaneous reactions to the imbroglio, taking a broader view of the real politik, beyond demotions and promotions and all that PMC, Opposition choreography:

 - Abbott Opposition opposed the stimulus because of the debt implications. But really because of the huge popularity it would buy the Government?

- According to this interpretation 'safety' as an issue is really secondary to the main motive of trashing free or near to free insulation as a vote buyer. In effect running interference on a NSW ALP Right/Mark Arbib style give away like the free light globes and hats and lights on the Harbour Bridge in 2007 state election.

- Insulation in that sense is a vote buyer with oomph because as my landlord says for his home - "it really works" this last hot summer meaning when he gets home 6 days a week driving his truck his house is fairly cool. That's like a How To Vote Card multiple times a day every hot day of the year.

- In one sense nsulation is the Rudd's govt's AWB bribery scandal, at least a little: Using taxpayers money to buy an advantage for a treasured political sector. In this case blue collar tradie vote, in that earlier case national party farmer types.

- But is it really 'a bribe' morally speaking? We believe the surplus in the budget pre GFC was built up over 10 years via the GST being a 10% hike on all consumables in a regressive tax. It seems eminently moral and ethical for a government to return that to the same people who paid it as least to some degree with broad give aways that pump prime the economy.

- We haven't seen one media release from The Greens free subscription list praising Garrett or seeking to intercede on Garrett's behalf over insulation or renewable energy. Now Senator Brown is in the news challenging his successor Combet will be any better. Implying Brown wants a battered Garrett to keep his broader portfolio? Mmm, that's a bit cold then warm mixed message for us. No doubt The Greens know the programme was an ALP  vote buyer too aimed at sidelining their eco role too.

- It was Ken Henry, Treasury Secretary who famously advised - go hard, go early, go households ... or something like that to avoid a miserable recession during the GFC late 2008 to avoid say 200K job losses, social dislocation and statistical fatalities that go with that kind of thing - suicide, domestic violence, drug use etc. In this sense Henry, no where to be seen in general media, was the motivation behind Garrett's rushed and amateurish building programme. Just do it, indeed.


Posted by editor at 9:52 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 1 March 2010 6:57 PM EADT
Monday, 22 February 2010
Minister MacDonald to kill redgum forests of the Murray River, NSW?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: ecology

Sent: Monday, February 22, 2010 8:01 AM
Subject: River Red Gum National Parks Under Threat


The River Red Gum National Parks are under threat.

A final decision on Red Gum Parks is likely this week but there is a strong chance it will not be a good one.

The Minister for forestry, Ian MacDonald, has said he does not agree with the recommendations of the Natural Resources Commission and he is doing everything he can to bring them down.

In the mean time, forestry are trying to open up new areas for logging in the Millewa forest.

Please make a phone call today in a last ditch effort to save the Red Gum.

Premiers Office:  0292285239
Minister for Environments Office:  0292285811

Ask for the adviser working on River Red Gum.  Let them know:
  • They need to deliver on the promises which they made last year.
  • The full reserve areas recommended by the Natural Resources Commission need to be protected.
  • Logging has to stop in the Millewa forest.
For more information, see our website www.npansw.org.au

Thank you.


Red Gum Icons Campaign
National Parks Association of NSW

Posted by editor at 10:10 AM EADT
Sunday, 21 February 2010
Sunday tv talkies: After the financial crisis, a new electoral mandate ASAP?
Mood:  chatty
Topic: aust govt

 Picture: Signed poster picked up at ANU film club in 1983, same venue apparently where the Rudd's hooked up some years earlier. Doug Scott even then was famous for breaking two legs in 1977 at the shins in a looping 30 foot fall at the end of a safety rope on The Ogre ("It is famous for being one of the hardest peaks in the world to climb: twenty-four years elapsed between the first ascent in 1977 and the second in 2001." ) and then crawling down the mountain ... on his knees (for 8 days) and surviving to tell the tale. There's a metaphor for Minister Garrett in there somewhere.



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. Perhaps the greatest utility is the headline synthesis above of the 3 or 4 shows followed in this session.


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.  

- SAM here started a trend perhaps with our gibe about Kevin ‘science’ Rudd meant in an ironic way: That is talk not substance on ecological science let alone other issues.

  - Our latest view is the so called GFC has wiped the election platform of late 2007 and the government must go to an election based on the current economic status because it’s not their fault but they must renew their mandate.


 - The desperate beat for burn offs goes on promoted by the logging industry who truth to tell have a 50 year history of highly mechanised broadscale conversion of wet forest fuel management to dry schlerophyll regrowth forest (as per Hastings and Tantram Case in Vic Supreme Court illegal rainforest logging around 2005).

Prof Lindenemeyer et al have done the science too.

Devine runs the redneck line in SMH yesterday in choreography with Bolt in Vic Herald Sun on Friday. Crikey bites back with a grim rejoinder by bushfire victim on Friday, not least comment by former Wildfire editor Frank Campbell in the string. So called Timber Communities Australia (name change from Forest Protection Society given  breach of s52 of the fair trading legislation for deception) convene a public meeting in Eden yesterday as the area is declared a natural disaster area - for flooding rivers, and high rainfall.

Does the logging industry in the business of killing things (and now indirectly lots of people) have any shame politicising the death of over 100 people as result of their own transformation of landscapes to dry schlerophyll?  Don't get us wrong - called as a witness at the NSW 1994 bushfire inquiries for The Wilderness Society (Parliament, and coronial inquiry) - we are all for fire breaks at town bush interface, but logging 600 year old wet forests should be banned as a crime against public safety and the eco system. And real accountability for ripping the moisture out of our forests should start like yesterday.


10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am 

Hugh Riminton as compere (Bonge!?), guest is Joe Hockey, Ross Garnaut.


Footage of PM and Opp leader on hustings including Abbott with children. Lead in questions about Garrett and insulation. Garrett is the fall guy?  Traverse same issues, ‘1,000 homes death traps’. ‘Rudd bet the house on Copenhagen and lost’ ‘Direct action’ until world agreement’. Whaling, next November after an election. Haven’t seen the legal advice to decide. [False] choice about dialogue or threats.


Panel Alison Carabine RN abc, question on penalty rates to stay. Award modernization worse off effects. Panel – Peter Hartcher on cost of debt promises. Medibank private should be sold. PH goes in hard re lack of economic cred re TA praising NZ, Finance minister chicken little routine sky falling, Hock in tutu (on network 10).


‘avoid recession while you help us avoid boredom?’ Hockey says they take some credit for avoiding recession including his bank laws. Spend the deficit.


$250M fee cancellation for tv fta opposition flip flop? Against now due to Murdoch meeting.  Denials. Humour out take Moir cartoon on Hanson going to pomme land.



Govt running a mile from climate ETS? Need a price on carbon. Mainstream science costs better to act ahead of time. Diabolical policy problem so politics reflect that, momentum against action. Go with the Greens proposal – says it’s not theirs but yes.


Hawke says Garnaut co architect of reforms of 80-90ies.


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


Riley Diary 7, from 8.40am 

Good package skeptical tone about Tony Abbott lead in with the truck incident. Forget rest.



9 Sunday newshour Laurie Oakes interview 8.44 am 


Looks like Winter Olympics and no show, refer also Saturday Sydney Daily Telegraph, about Garrett and insulation and broader context of ALP utilizing the guy.





Insiders 2: 9- 10am


$250M fta tv license freebie. Shakeout puts Abbott with Murdoch. Package to Bruce The Boss music 56 channels nothing on. Strong policy lead in by Insiders.


Tangent on smears/scandals of golfing day passes etc, PM and a $2 raffle ticket. Dynamics of sector.


Conroy on license fta fee, Kaiser appointment, Rudd pace on PS etc. All quite convincing.


Vox pop ANU film club [know it quite well, where we met Doug Scott – famous mountaineer here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Scott - as per this picture.


Panel on insulation – kids on roof footage, Minter Ellison advice is “the smoking gun”. Didn’t answer it on PM. Implication is had it for a long time. Broader implications – grab of Hock on MTP 10, goes to Rudd PM as well.


Panel on subsidy to fta tv $250M.  Discussion of News Ltd emphasis attacking the govt. Heavy lifting on ideological issues. Marr runs “peculiar dual role” newspaper. Fran says Govt is in trouble, could be a oncer she says.


Talking pictures funny as usual. Follow up about big rig Joe Hockey as the driver?




Inside Business with Alan Kohler  .

Talking Point – lack of competition in the bank sector is flowing on to lack of competition generally in the small business sector for lack of finance. Ouch.

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


Posted by editor at 11:13 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 21 February 2010 11:33 AM EADT
Thursday, 18 February 2010
Dear Tony, how to turn right safely on a fast two way country road ....
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: aust govt


Politician demands driver makes right hand turn "just here"?  City based Comcar driver stops in the middle of the road thinking a right hand blinker provides adequate protection and warning for traffic behind?

Here is our experience of 6 months living on Wisemans Ferry Rd Cattai in the Hawkesbury in 2009 (where the sand trucks barrel along to the sandmines at Maroota via Pitt Town). And we already had 5 years delivery driving cars and vans around the inner city, with license for 25 years and no crashes.

Whenever you slow down on a country road with fast traffic and apply the right hand indicator - in our case most every day returning home - this ambiguously suggests you are encouraging an overtake on your right. Like a gesture you want to drive below the speed limit. If they do overtake and you do turn right your driver door will connect with their bumper bar and quite possibly instant death.

You have two much safer choices than relying on the correct interpretation of an ambiguous right hand blinker, as you approach your right hander:

1. The best method is put your hazard lights and start slowing down 200 metres from the right turn. This will cause the traffic behind to slow right down behind you every time. They will be wondering if you have an engine failure or there another danger like animal on the road. Traffic further behind will slow down on the brake lights in front. They key is to do this gradually and well before the turn, avoiding any necessity to actually stop. Then you will have enough time to turn right well clear of traffic behind when you switch from hazards to right indicator. It seems like alot of fuss for simple right turn but it's heaps safer.

2. Indicate left and pull over to the left and stop leaving the open road for the traffic behind. This is not always as easy as it sounds because inevitably there will be 2 wheels on gravel and you want a spot with real clearance on the road's edge. Once there wait for traffic to pass then make wide turn right across both lanes of the road, watching out for any new oncoming traffic in the meantime.

There is nothing like a sand truck up your *rse on a country road on a down hill incline where the trucks go faster than your 1989 Ford Corolla sedan to clarify safe turning method!


Posted by editor at 9:54 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 19 February 2010 3:26 PM EADT
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Oh, those comments ...
Mood:  chatty
Topic: independent media

We have just trawled 16 pages of comments from back stories here on micro news SAM.

Regretably we didn't realise our email prompt was out of date having shifted servers to the national carrier due to 3 quick takeovers and bust for the old server.

Perhaps now we can be more timely and responsive to folks who comment.

Sorry if anyone felt ignored, or snubbed this last year or more. Nor are we particularly offended by sledges. We only care about being sued for defamation for illegal comments, excessive use of memory space, or porn intrusions.

Otherwise we feel secure enough in ourselves to handle most genuine comments for or against. For instance we percieve emotionally violent comments reflect more on the writer - take note supporters of Tim Blair, who surely doesn't benefit from reflected aggression.

By the by yesterday we posted on a certain peak green group and daily readership figures jumped to 1750 odd pageviews which is alot more than usual. The sincere piece works on several levels - as we knew it would.

Posted by editor at 8:18 PM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 17 February 2010 8:34 PM EADT
Punchy Abbott does have alot in common with Latham but less brains
Mood:  chatty
Topic: aust govt

We have just corrected Richard Glover ABC Sydney radio in an email to the announcer as follows:

Abbott is Latham

Latham is smarter with a first class honours in economics.

Abbott punched Peter Woof out in student politics at Sydney University. Peter Woof was a teacher on the NSW South Coast, and in Canada, later worked as mechanic for Paul Watson Sea Shepherd, was a housemate of mine in the early 90ies, Peter's parents live in a leafy suburb Wahroonga from memory.

I've interviewed Peter Woof about the same incident. Abbott took a bevy of lawyers threatening costs to Glebe Magistrates Court and intimidated Woof to withdraw the charge.


tel. ....

Indeed here is our story right near the start of this micro news website journey 3 years ago:

Why did student activist now minister Tony Abbott punch Peter Woof?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: election Oz 2007

By Tom McLoughlin, solicitor in NSW, editor www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog 

The editor had an interesting interview recently with long time qualified high school teacher here in NSW, and Canada, Peter Woof, a long time supporter of environmental causes.

He tells an interesting story from his parents lounge room in Killara  (a pretty exclusive north shore suburb of Sydney):

In 1978 25 year old Woof stood up to student politician, now federal government health minister, Tony Abbott who he says was allegedly caught doing unethical or perhaps illegal things like changing the locks on the student union offices and other things.

Woof says Abbott, a well known boxing enthusiast now if not then, punched Woof in the face. Woof was a 24 year old technician employed at Sydney University.

The date can be corroborrated by reference to civil assault suit documentation against Abbott presumably created for Woof in the Glebe local court at the time. Woof represented himself but was totally out muscled financially, he says, by 'half a dozen' barristers and lawyers who turned up at the preliminary hearing turning the civil suit into a high risk of huge legal costs against the alleged assault victim Woof.

Woof assumes these expensive lawyers taking a student activist dispute to another level were paid for by Abbott's 'rich father'. (It also suggests a serious fear of a  blossoming conservative political career almost destroyed at birth.)

This legal bullying tactic arguably at the expense of justice has the echo of the vexatious legal suit by Gunns Ltd bullying of Tasmanian environmentalists in the last few years.

Woof withdrew the civil suit he says under financial duress.

Peter Woof is a very experienced and qualifed person. He has an engineering degree. He is a qualified radio operator and mechanic who ws driving an LPG 4 cyllinder sedan in the early 1980's years before LPG was so popular. He owns his own house.

Woof is no shrinking violet. He is a friend and colleague of anti pirate whaler Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd fame.  Woof has participated in environmental protests including conviction for entirely peaceful protests against a nuclear warship in Sydney Harbour and the docking of a rainforest timber ship in the 1980ies and 90ies. During this period in 1986 Woof held down a high school teaching job in Bombala, a well known 'Timber Town' in NSW.

The Canadian teaching accreditation authority are aware of this lively history and have endorsed Woof's employment as a talented and committed non prosletising high school teacher. He is flying out today to continue his teaching job in remote Saskatchewan Canada


Woof notes that global warming has massively contracted the viability of traditional 'winter roads' (over frozen swamp and bog) in remote Saskatchewan, such that only one month mid January to mid February is now safe for high volume road transport during winter. This is too small a window he says to properly provision remote areas prefacing a depopulation of large swathes of North America in the future.

Peter Woof can be contacted by email on:

[pwoof dot bigpond dot net dot au]

Woof whose eyesight is suffering long sightedness in middle older age is no longer able to do much close work but obviously has some very interesting tales to tell still in his career of environmental advocacy back to the Franklin River blockades and earlier.

The alleged assault by Tony Abbott was openly discussed at a recent reunion of the Sydney Bushwalkers Club in 2006 and there are likely to be several sources to corroborate this version of student activist history of the 1970's here in Sydney.

One such witness in the 1970's approached Woof (attending with his elderly parents) at the dinner and said words to the effect of "It's a pity Peter you didn't knock Tony Abott's block off when you had the chance."

Obviously the student politics back then was very willing. Woof's social companion who made this comment unprompted is now a senior executive with a NSW Govt agency (details held by the editor).

Posted by editor at 5:06 PM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 16 March 2010 9:54 AM NZT

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