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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Sunday, 29 January 2012
Collective big media amnesia of 2003 fire attack on Aboriginal tent embassy
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: indigenous

Interesting to read Laurie Oakes in a News Corp lead opinion piece this weekend with a comment that only a twisted mind would view Tony Abbott's recent words as suggesting a tear down of  Aboriginal tent embassy.

Oh really?

Wikipedia carries this entry:


"There have been a number of suspicious fires at the site, with the most devastating being the loss of 31 years of records when the container burnt down in June 2003.[8]"

Reference: "^ Yaxley, Louise (19 June 2003). "Aboriginal Tent Embassy burnt out". The World Today. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 31 May 2010.

We say Oakes is suffering amnesia, and not just about suspicious fires during the halcyon days of the Howard regime served by Tony Abbott. We note David Oldfield nurtured his bigoted One Nation party in Tony Abbott's electorate office.

Fact is Tony Abbott is sitting on the fence on constitutional reform in favour of the Indigenous and is part of the former racist regime on native title.

We say Piers Akerman gave the true version of Tony Abbott's views on the Aboriginal Tent Embassy today in the Sunday News Corp tabloid - an honest form of racism, if you like. To quote the bloated one:

"The 40th anniversary of this monstrosity should be it's last."

 Or in colloquial terms - tear it down.

13 years ago Tony Abbott's current mentor, then PM John Howard, delivered bucket loads of extinguishment of native title.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Including the lazy big media giving a shallow view of political reality.

Posted by editor at 6:46 PM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 29 January 2012 6:55 PM EADT
Thursday, 28 January 2010
Responding to the tired 'terra nullius in Cape York' slur in crikey today
Mood:  sad
Topic: indigenous


This ran in the crikey comments today, and we responded narrowly on one aspect below regarding the alleged terra nullius slur: 


Wild Rivers not so “wild”:

Richie Ahmat, chairman of Cape York Land Council, writes: Re. “Abbott braving the rapids over Wild Rivers legislation” (14 January, item 10). The extraordinarily distorted rant about the Wild Rivers declarations on Cape York by the Wilderness Society’s Tim Seelig cannot pass without comment. It’s not worth addressing every libellous and malicious charge against Noel Pearson, but the following statement needs a response.

Seelig claims (wrongly) that Tony Abbott and Noel Pearson “cooked up” Mr Abbott’s Private Member’s bill announcement. He goes on: “Abbott and Pearson are suggesting we can only address indigenous disadvantage by allowing unlimited and unrestrained destructive development in our natural environments, trashing our pristine rivers and landscapes in the process”.

Mr Pearson and all Cape York indigenous communities are on record stating they want a river protection system that boasts no in-stream mining, excessive water pumping or new dams. The only difference between conservationists and our communities is we don’t want to be airbrushed from the landscape.

Even the term “wild” tries to sell an abhorrent “terra nullius” message that our communities haven’t existed or lived in harmony with our lands and waterways for tens of thousands of years. Seelig’s “pristine rivers” are in that condition because of the environmental stewardship of indigenous people for many generations.

To suggest we’re about to change those historical environmental habits, and that whitefellas need to now charge in and save our pristine waterways from the very people who have cherished and tended them for thousands of years, is racial paternalism of the worst kind.



We responded there as follows based on some political research: 

Regarding ‘Wild Rivers not so Wild’ I’ve just been searching my files for the feature opinion piece by Noel Pearson for the Cape York Land Council circa 1996, in the Sydney Morning Herald. No luck, but the message was strong and memorable referring to “Indigenous Wilderness” with all parties putting humanity in the landscape in alliance with The Wilderness Society who helped save Starcke holdings earlier that decade from US investors for traditional owners. No doubt that was then, and this is now but it’s big history.

This was in the context of a reconciliation document between peak green groups and Cattleman’s Union for a joint World Heritage nomination in light of the Wik legal decision. To avoid protracted litigation. In light of an approaching election and a shaky ALP government. Mr Pearson should hold to his word and call off Mr Ahmat in relation to this rhetorical slur about “Even the term “wild” tries to sell an abhorrent “terra nullius” message that our communities haven’t existed ..”.

No one in the green movement proper in modern times argues critical ecological areas are not original Aboriginal Land. It’s how it is managed today and the future that counts.

So Mr Ahmat for the CYLC is opening up a tired f(r)iction regarding cultural slights about humanity out of the landscape. What I did find in the dusty files pre Howard was the “Historic Land Agreement Cape York Peninsula” media release by these parties TWS, Pearson for CYLC, Cattleman’s Union and ACF dated 5 February 1996, with backgrounder chronology, and “Heads of agreement” as a first step under “Section 21 of the Commonwealth Native Title Act”.

Pearson in his own separate media release for the CYLC “welcomed the top priority that the two national conservation organisations, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and The Wilderness Society (TWS) have put on the Cape York regional land use agreement as a federal election issue.” No suggestion of terra nullius complaints there from Mr Pearson working with TWS.

Attached to the media kit is a statement by PM Paul Keating 5 Feb 1996 stating “Today’s announcement of an historic landuse agreement on Cape York represents a watershed in the reconciliation process and a major boost for environmental protection of one of our most pristine regions. / It lays the foundation of consensus for the creation of one of the world’s truly great protected areas ….”

Then John Howard was elected. I also relocated two big fat files of news clippings 1996-7 promising bucket loads of extinguishment of native title under Wik by the new regime - in breach of the Racial Discrimination Act. Who doubts Howard and Deputy PM Tim “bucketloads of extinguishment” Fischer poisoned the creek in Cape York right up until 2010?

What is apparent is that item 19 in the 1996 Agreement has failed, and here I smell Coalition cynicism, broken $40M election promise to fund same:

The nomination for World Heritage listing of any land on Cape York Peninsula shall proceed only where there is a management arrangement which is negotiated with all landholders who may be affected directly by such listing.”


This leaflet above from a file otherwise stuffed with news clippings from 1996 and 1997 to extinguish and limit the High Court decision in the Wik Case, tells the story of how the Howard regime did as much as possible to unravel reconciliation. Hand in glove with that aggressive redneck agenda has been the desire to vandalise the environment, not least in Tasmania's forests. Other Howard Govt agendas include converting the North to a new agricultural development zone as the Murray Darling Basin literally crashes.

In this context several Qld green groups supported state legislation to prevent a Howard Govt attack on unregulated rivers in the Cape York, with a World Heritage listing a forlorn hope at national and international level. Now Howard is gone it's may well be time to pick up the pieces of the former Cape York Land Use Agreement. Regretably Rick Farley as gifted mediator has since died but perhaps there is another in the wings?

This will not be easy:

Cape York group to fight World Heritage bid  Posted Fri May 22, 2009 9:37am AEST



Posted by editor at 5:45 PM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 28 January 2010 6:26 PM EADT
Wednesday, 13 February 2008
Big Aboriginal flag flown at Jabiluka 1998 appears in Marrickville today
Mood:  happy
Topic: indigenous

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

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

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

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

Here's a Big Media sample:

Kevin Rudd says sorry

Prime Minister apologises to stolen generations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Postscript #1 14 February 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by editor at 3:15 PM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 14 February 2008 7:13 AM EADT
Monday, 17 December 2007
Systemic racism in NSW behind the 1997 origins of 'bio banking' aka 'tradeoff' land clearing?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: indigenous

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Native Title and the Western Division of NSW

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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







Posted by editor at 9:58 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2007 3:42 PM EADT
Monday, 5 November 2007
Sea of Hands 10th anniversary concert in Victoria Park Sydney
Mood:  cool
Topic: indigenous


Posted by editor at 10:59 AM EADT
Sunday, 16 September 2007
Sunday free to air tv political talkies: Rudd does a stripped back Iemma style election launch with no Morris?
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: indigenous

Picture: Protesters at Premier Morris Iemma's election launch in early 2007, concerned about a state govt overdevelopment in the sensitive seat of ...Bennelong. Meanwhile  Howard swears to stand by Bennelong



Author’s general introductory note (skip this if you know this regular weekly column):





This is not a well packaged story. It’s a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies  in Big Politics and Big Media.





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





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





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




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




Media backgrounder 




We noticed on the vision last night Rudd, and the night before, with no NSW State Premier within cooee, perhaps to avoid protesters like those pictured above. Or here below at the ALP National Conference. Pesky protesters about real stuff. Don't they know they didn't pay for the best democracy money can buy:


- On reflection it looks like Ruddy (Rudd's bold challenge)

is trying to spook the Coalition about the proximity of the election, they being  on tenderhooks if and when Newspoll dumps on PM Howard next Tuesday 18th Sept and his backbench really stares at the political abyss for real. More here via The Curmudgeon (we do love)

  • Alan Ramsey: PM bowled over by the bright side of life
  • - Fallout for the Iemma/Howard law and order tub thump after APEC continued to dribble in the suburban freebies via front pager sympathetic to the protesters in the Earlwood/Canterbury Valley Times Sept 13 07, and News Ltd owned The Glebe at page 7 13 Sept picture story re Daniel Jones prominent in SBS Dateline coverage pre big rally, and an impressive young bloke too.


    - Which calls up the NSW Police Media Unit prize for Talking Turkeys in the The Media supplement, inhouse media industry bible:


    - Speaking of jelly backs, we notice Jeff Angel director of Total Environment Centre oft in the news seems to have found his voice regarding cosy secretive govt committee processes (eg renewable energy), and seems indeed to be singing like a bird about Part 3A repeal of planning and environmental protections (a prominent lead letter in the SMH a week or two back: See Rule rides roughshod over community voices in decision-making ... signing for some 50 groups as distinct from say the 120 member groups of the Nature Conservation Council and non aligned groups like Greenpeace and this writer's small network). Angel is often on abc radio and Stateline last Friday here in NSW (By Any Other Name ) again attacking the ALP State govt. But it all looks too little too late and face saving to this writer as regards Angel's past collaboration.


    It seems too much of a coincidence such new found back bone coming after SAM here writing a withering, and we think accurate piece about Angel's 10 year history of giving comfort to the Carr led ALP in NSW (he famously wrote in the SMH in 2002 that Carr was the greenest premier in the history of Australia). Yet Angel's complaints now source from Carr's governance (including Carr's Part 3A) and Angel helping achieve such a disastrous majority for Carr in 1999 and 2003:


    Thursday, 16 August 2007




    This process no doubt self aggrandised Angel's status and role, but at the immeasurable expense of the NSW and Australian environment in terms of land clearing (about 2M ha in NSW alone), woodchipping (at least 10M tonnes natural forest onging in NSW, 80M nationally) especially in East Gippsland but exported out of Eden, cyanide mines at Timbarra and Lake Cowal, failure to really deliver a 'green' Olympics, and any number of other depredations. And that's not counting corrupted governance of the NSW ngo green sector itself. Just ask Noel Plumb ex CEO of National Parks Assocation and a swathe of mid rank green campaigners. Angel till now has been the Howard of the NSW green movement. Ruthless. Which is why the Green Party is an essential contrast.


    - Surprisingly turgid article by James Woodford, Jeff Angel protege and NSW ALP groupie about how to write fiction - for 10 year olds? p53, August 26 2007 Sun Herald. Woodford has been absent Fairfax media for quite a few months now.


    - Naomi Klein has a very tightly written piece in the Good Weekend presently, updating what JK Galbraith called the "military industrial complex" which bleeds the social services budget of the USA dry to promote it's "disaster economy" as Klein denotes it. How true. Some stats - in 2001 there were 2 security oriented lobby firms in the USA and in mid 2006 there were 543 linking legislators to venture capital. Another - as of December 2006 there were 205 of 245 that could be tracked out of a total of 360 released from Gitmo had been totally cleared by their home countries of any terrorism. She laments the commercialisation of security for lacking real democratic rigour, but methinks JK Galbraith sadly has been here before too.


    - Same Good Weekend has a funny piece on Shrek, err IR Minister Joe Hockey who prefers to "observe pain" not live pain, hence the hard days work on the back of a quad bike looking at the view? Quite obviously a spoiled youngest child and cowardly about his real wet liberal values under the Howard regime. Sad really.


    - Amusing to notice the Daily Telegaph acknowledging Howard's "hubris" in the Saturday editorial after the PM has put a daisy cutter through the Liberal Party organisation such that he owns all good news and thus still a 49% personal approval rating. All it signifies is he will be last to drown, such that Warren's cartoon has Howard as a toss up "can't win with/without him" on a coin. Truth to tell Howard is a tosser.


    - Not that Rudd is less so if Mike Steketee in his book review "The Steel in Rudd" Australian Literary Review July 4 2007 p10 is to be believed" "determined ....innate conservatism ... humility ... didn't come naturally ....accepts where power lies ....never challenged anything [as a student] ... pragmatic". A perfect PM for a convict/survivor society?

    - AAP story in Resources within Career section of the Australian every week p10 sept 15 re Robert Purves's Environment Business Australia re binding targets on climate change.


    Meet the Press

    Hockey IR minister with compere Paul Bongiorno. Displays his Howard loyalty despite Sunday Age story Speculation won't peter out about Costello ascension still quite possible this Tuesday re next Newspoll.


    Avuncular Joe but mostly waffle.


    First adbreak IR advert by unions against Howard extreme system, they say.


    Jennifer Hewitt now with The Australian, and Mark someone Adeliade Advertiser both News Ltd folks.


    Good question re Joe happy to be fall guy on IR? He really does look like Shrek. Amusing but is it ministerial? Not really.


    Hewitt drives in the nails on Costello/Howard oscilliations as per disturbing vivisection cartoon by Moir yesterday.


    Saturday, September 15, 2007.


    Next guest is John Conner who in fact is aspiring ALP politician like Peter Garrett by the judge of the funding sources, Carr involvement in same Climate Institute, just as Carr used forest protection to drive a wedge on Liberal National Party in NSW then trashed them like this at Badja 2007, which Conner helped to facilitate when CEO of NSW Nature Conservation Council, hand in glove with ... Jeff Angel.


    Footage of Garrett claiming hypocrisy. Ironic given his own failure on Tas pulp mill.


    Conner sings a slick song re Kyoto, like a lawyer looks at the questioner?, not the camera so all we are seeing is a profile. Now to front with panel. Strong grasp of his subject, and progressive setting. Handles Hewitt bouncer easily. Very fluid talker, even a little haughty (before a fall?).  Looks and sounds like ALP pollie material after this interview. After the wedge has worked, with not one less coal mine. Camera out take has chatting going strong because climate change really is the wedge despite piss weak ALP, and inevitable post election sleaze - like the Tas pulp mill (subject of a Sydney) conference Balmain Town Hall yesterday.

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





    7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary  -



    Howard leadership, Python allusion we used earlier this week, very gross and bloody re only a flesh wound, blood spirting from stump(s). "Your a looney". 'Team work' with cartoon music.


    Savage satire. Frightening politics.


    Again Don Bradman allusion we also have sledged, team won but he got a duck and footage of Howard lousy bowling style.


    Q & A Howard stay on backbench is incredulous.









    Insiders 2


    Julia Gillard as Deputy Opposition leader is talent. Trawls Coalition leadership travails notes uncertainty point as the real crux of the problem for Howard, Costello and Coalition generally.


    Claims Costello in lock step with Howard, worse on IR, lack policy like ALP as per question time in Parliament last week. Vote for Rudd is really a vote for him. Declines Carr triumphalism.


    Panel Fran Kelly (abc radio national), Glen Milne (News Ltd) both very acute. Misha Schubert Age also clever.


    The 'Howard/Costello leadership' - co joined - "Coward leadership" is the Glen Milne line, ouch.


    Misha also reckons Costello is more problematic for the ALP with Howard’s measure.

    Similar to 9 slow mo deconstruction of the  power transfer, as the big power cogs turn from Howard to Costello in the minds of hundreds of thousands of viewers in a mind meld with the show’s script, and not pushed but holding hands, like Oakes and Costello on 9 at roughly the same time similarly taking hundreds of thousands of viewers.

    Very interesting, not seen such a consensus in footage in real time before.


    Milne says PM is being airbrushed out of local MP campaigns according to his advice. Fran Kelly says Coalitino morale down. Tips housing affordability policy emergence. Misha schubert quietly says policy emergence on early childhood. And Milne says Textor Cosby will meet on when to call election (? not sure I got that).




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



    Sunday 9


    Costello with Laurie Oakes. Diumvirate? Costello leaves open he can be drafted, words show he won’t challenge if newspoll is bad on Tuesday. Won’t break his word to  Howard to run with him as his deputy. But if Howard loses his job, he has to reconsider obviously. He will be released from that word as his bond.

    Costello sings the govt (ie his own) virtues on economic credentials.

    LO teases out the confusing situation of who has finality on policy settings.

    LO coauthor policies? Costello labours responses around Treasurer costing as usual and team work. Mouths all the words but sounds very problematic.

    LO, supporters worry PC will be tainted if lose the election. PC says that’s the way it works in Cabinet system.

    It’s a slow pace scary dangerous interview you can hear the rusty cogs of changeover from Howard to Costello turn against age and time and grime for lack of use. But turn they do.

    Costello livens up what he stands for, strong economy, education, enfranchising people etc etc. Fluid, positive lively animated.

    LO uses co-prime minister tag, Costello doesn’t blink and answers accepting the tag. The slow big cog turns another half wheel.

    Costello goes on with his economic soliloquy re future funding etc.

    LO delicately asks what he would do as prime minister. Costello again answers accepting the tag, as ostensible prime minister. The big cog turns another half wheel. Like backing a giant truck into a narrow drive. They both look at eachother knowingly at the transfer of power symbolism on the screen.

    Last week poll had 59% surprisingly vote Howard should stand down as PM.

    Feature story on alcohol drugs.




    Posted by editor at 8:34 AM NZT
    Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008 11:08 AM EADT
    Friday, 13 July 2007
    Kids activity day NAIDOC celebrations Addison Rd Community Centre
    Mood:  happy
    Topic: indigenous
        Photographs by Vivienne Dadour, adapted by the editor here.



    Linda Burney MP launches NAIDOC week action at Addison Gallery Marrickville 2pm Sunday 8th July 07


    Posted by editor at 3:57 PM NZT
    Updated: Friday, 13 July 2007 11:44 PM NZT
    Tuesday, 10 July 2007
    Looking Forward Looking Blak: Exhibition 142 Addison Rd Marrickville
    Mood:  special
    Topic: indigenous

    NAIDOC celebrations are held around Australia in the first full week in July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week (see History of NAIDOC), and its acronym has become the name of the week itself.

    The week is celebrated not just in the Indigenous community, but also in increasing numbers of government agencies, schools, local councils and workplaces.

    At the local Marrickville Addison Rd Community Centre a big event was held last Sunday 8th July 2007 with more events all week there with more detail here:  Linda Burney MP launches NAIDOC week action at Addison Gallery 2pm Sunday 8th July 07

    Here are images of the launch at ARC:

    Postscript #1 11th July 2007

    While most Big Media are involved in supporting the underlying positive message behind NAIDOC, politically minded people probably unwisely seek to leverage the event. This was evident in the event above in some speechmaking but we didn't bother to report it because it was a negative energy compared to the greater truth of such a friendly positive cross cultural vibe as proven by the artwork too showing a love of land, love of life, love of humanity.

    That is not to say some artworks were not cutting in their politics too. So it's not reality to sanitise/ go all Pollyanna either. These messages of the Indigenous are pretty strong in the Big Media on January 26th Australia Day aka Invasion Day aka Survivial Day. But it is a choice, and here at SAM we make an ethical editorial decision to amplify the "celebration" as per our introduction which is a straight lift from the official NAIDOC website.

    Which brings us to today front page poison headline in today's low rent Sydney Daily Telegraph appealing to the white trash One Nation types

    referring to this "sorry song" about the stolen generation subject of a federal govt report called Bringing Them Home in a NSW School songbook.

    Here is their deliberately provocative, argumentative piece that inevitably leads to angst tension and dissension:

    Kids sing Aborigine apology

    Kids taught to sing Aborigine apology

    CHILDREN as young as eight are being taught to sing sorry to Aborigines in a widely distributed song book, sparking concerns that NSW students are being "politically indoctrinated".


    But for all those schools with lots of Aboriginal and non Aboriginal kids it's probably a great song as per this very profound witness of Bob Randall and his very well known song "Brown Skin Baby .... they take him away" which actually happened to the artist at age 7:


    Funny isn't it how our kids are supposed to learn about the death and heroism of Gallipoli, but not about the sad history of Australia too. We read the other day of how anti semitism should not be sanitised in another context. Well exactly.

    Another ugly editorial performance by the Daily Telegraph. It's not a song of shame. It's a song of historical reality. By the by, the first picture above by Barbara Weir is based on her experience as a child of hiding in the long grass for hours whenever the white welfare officers came to "steal" her from her parents. The price tag is $26,500.

    What is quite wicked is the sneaky way the Telegraph headline is slyly equivocal, from one angle addressing a past 'shameful' situation of stolen children, but then leading into a text attacking schools for allegedly politicising children as the 'real' shame. Gallipoli anyone - conscription, abuse of colonials by British idiot generals, warfare to solve international disagreements .....?

    Here is the Bob Randall tune - and it takes a heart of ice and stone to deny the emotional power of the song for its tenderness           

    YouTube - Bob Randall: "Brown Skin Baby (They Took Me Away)"

    Postscript #2 12th July 2007


    Cllr Dominic Wy Kanak  Dominic Wy Kanak - Greens
    message (w) 93698027
    (mob) 0401 006 380
    (h) 9130 8460

    From: DominicK@waverley
    To: "ecology action australia" Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 1:56 PM
    Subject: Re: Great Bob Randall Song - Brown Skin Baby on You Tube, refer Daily Telegraph troublemaking today

    > Good article Tom , Give it to 'em Brother ....
    > THAN..X..
    > dominic


    Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2007 9:20 AM
    Subject: Re: Great Bob Randall Song - Brown Skin Baby on You Tube, refer Daily Telegraph troublemaking today

    Hey Cr Dominic. Really encouraging to get your feedback for all those cross cultural reasons. You've stuck it out 8 years there now at Waverley. Moving on in Sept? You must be very determined. Great stuff. One of the best things I ever did was handing over the baton. Even when those ALP cynics went for you via the Telegraph and your litigation efforts.
    My feeling is, it's worth pushing George Newhouse federal campaign along too, even though he is tainted with the ALP thuggery.
    On reflection my post on the Smelly story was strong for timeliness and combination which is my expertise, but nothing without referencing to such great original Indigenous work. Pretty humbling that artistry and the song by Bob Randall too. I've been lucky to see artwork in the Prado in Madrid, Louvre in Paris, Gaudi garden in Barcellona and one of the Picasso Museums. The best Aboriginal artwork is as grand and inspiring and different again - a real privilege to see. And probably more than Australia deserves. As the old saying goes -a  thing of beauty is a joy forever.
    I helped build the roof of the veranda to the ARC art gallery 2 working days over the last two weekends and then it started to rain a bit on the launch day. How excellent. Good turn out too.
    There are some hidden ripple effects of that post of mine. I broadcast emailed to state and federal MP's. Only extra right wing Stoner for Nats at state level took up the Smelly thesis of  'school song political correctness' on abc radio. A far better description of Gallipoli war glorification to children (see below) if you ask me. Then the Telegraph failed to crank it's Wednesday front pager run up to the weekend for today's Thursday edition. (will have to check the inside pages and other press)
    I rang abc morning show at 6.45 am then 7.15 am, and news radio room at 8.15 am and they all declined to "meet the Telegraph's power" with contrasting material, as I suggested to them because it would just draw attention to the poison (my word). But World Today abc radio show at midday with Eleanor Hall is made of sterner stuff and hosed the Tele story with this:
    School bans 'Sorry Song'

    A school in NSW has banned students from singing a song with lyrics that calls for an apology to be given to Aboriginal people. A NSW politician is worried that young children are being indoctrinated while at school, but the song's composer doesn't know what all the fuss is about.

    The Telegraph web version Wednesday amended to the State Govt via Della Bosca hanging tough and refusing to pull the song off its curriculum.
    Presumably all this affected the Telegraph approach today. Wait for Fri and Saturday. But my feeling is that broadcast email of mine, and confrontation of information (meeting what I suspect was the Howard inspired sleaze in the federal marginal seat on the south coast with significant Aboriginal population), helped neutralise the story. My email counter evidence may well have leaked to such as Keating via federal colleagues in his party.
    Now Paul Keating is in the radio news today from a speech last night attacking Howard 'glorifying nationalistic Gallipoli which he compares with Kokoda, and being intolerant and constantly suspicious of other cultures' which keating calls being unpatriotic.
    The Telegraph has run a near fatal front pager attack on Howard instead today. Maybe because the gambit fed to them via Howard running dogs fell flat, and they have gone the punisher for their editorial exposure.
    And nothing exceeds like success: Howard is on the abc radio just now having forgotten his Franklin seat candidate playing into the 'he's past it, under pressure, time for a change' - story of the Opposition. From experience, you forget and stumble when you are under desperate pressure. No doubt you know the feeling too in politics.
    Kind regards, Tom

    Posted by editor at 10:25 AM NZT
    Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007 11:24 AM NZT
    Saturday, 7 July 2007
    Linda Burney MP launches NAIDOC week action at Addison Gallery 2pm Sunday 8th July 07
    Mood:  lyrical
    Topic: indigenous
    2007 NAIDOC Poster Competition winning entry

    Tyeli Hannah poster design winner




    Sunday 8 July: Exhibition of paintings, carvings, and artefacts by more than 60 artists. Exhibition opens at 2pm; Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony. Introduction by Yvette Andrews, President of Addison Road Centre. Address by Linda Burney MP Minister for Fair Trading/ Youth and Volunteers.
    Addison Road Gallery: tel: 9518 3709; e: terrycutcliffe@aol.com; hours: 11-5 wed to sun.


    2 real crocodiles (real but not live) will greet local MP for Canterbury,

     Minister in the NSW Government and Aboriginal woman Linda Burney who will launch National Aborigines’ and Islanders’ NAIDOC events at Addison Rd Community Centre.




    Fun starts at 11am. All kids welcome. Art and Craft workshop with real crocodiles as artist's models. Draw a crocodile or make water lilies to surround the model. Traditional Indigenous food with roo burgers and a kangaroo cooked in a pit with hot coals. Didgeridoo players, dancers and story tellers. Learn about our Indigenous cutlure and be proud of it.

    Films include "Vote Yes For Aborigines" and  shorts.
    Admission $10; or $6 Concession.

    Addison Road Centre 142 Addison Road Marrickville 2204  tel: 9569 7633



    Posted by editor at 9:13 AM NZT
    Updated: Saturday, 7 July 2007 9:28 AM NZT
    Friday, 29 June 2007
    Advertisment: Historic list of exhibiters at Addison Road Gallery for NAIDOC day
    Mood:  special
    Topic: indigenous


    Posted by editor at 11:19 PM NZT
    Updated: Monday, 2 July 2007 10:07 AM NZT

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