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Tarnished credentials of Bob Carr's ALP NSW Govt 1999-2003

Preface and update here

9 Mar 2006: Blast from the past, Sid Walker former Executive Officer NSW Nature Conservation Council 1990-1995 on Carr's broken 'ban on woodchipping' promise.

21/3/05...Objective analysis of Carr on the environment, it's not the TEC director? [discusses undue positive reports by SMH/TEC re Carr regime '95-99,'99-03 and Green Party/other ngo balance effect]

Material on this page below focuses mainly on the NSW Govt period of 1999 to 2003.  For the Carr Govt "dodges"  up to 1999 see: 

30/1/99...The REAL Carr govt on forest protection and destruction, prelude to 1999 election

The State election is on March 22nd 2003. All material here is written and authorised by Tom McLoughlin of 1 Henry St Turrella NSW 2205. Apologies for the constant negative trend in the commentary. This is appropriate however given the outrageous amount of public funds used by this and other governments to exaggerate their achievements and to cover up their failings.

Index for items below

  1. last update (iteration no.4) on nsw forest logged list 1996-2003 inclusive posted to 19th March 2003
  2. What will old growth woodchipper Carr do with RFA reviews 2003 ?
  3. Carr's out of control spin, Police, transport cost $1 million (a year) - according to the mainstream press.
  4. Bob Carr in 2000, 'Struggling to stay awake at the wheel' according to Sydney Morning Herald, and former state Auditor General.
  5. Nature Conservation Council spits the dummy and gobs on Premier Bob Carr!? Extracts of Kathy Ridge executive officer summer newsletter article
  6. Premier Carr's blessing for the dioxin producing Brightstar waste to energy/incineration plant in Wollongong.
  7. Carr defends business on container deposits


1. last update (iteration no.4) on nsw forest logged list 1996-2003 inclusive posted to 19th March 2003
see also


2. What will old growth woodchipper Carr do with the government's Regional Forest 'Agreements' or 'RFA' reviews 2003?

An indication of the ongoing conflict over NSW forests especially along the coastal eastern division is suggested by a leak from the Qld timber industry which has taken the hard decision to get out of native forest logging altogether:

A leaked memo in 2000 from the office of Wilson Tuckey, then federal Forestry minister, admits their RFA (native forest logging plans) promote violence. At least 'we're not beating each other up in the forest with axe handles like they are in all other parts ...' says Qld logger.

The memo reads

"we're not beating each other up in the forest with axe handles like they are in all other parts of Australia where Mr Tuckey's priorities seem to be prevailing"  per Rod McInnes, Qld Timber Board in June 2000 quoted 7th June 2000, in a memo from the office of the federal Minister for Forestry, Wilson Tuckey, to NSW, Vic, WA, Tas logging industry groups.

The leaked memo from Tuckey's office goes on to acknowledge that these comments by the Qld Timber Board representative

"severely undermine the concluded RFA's and are a godsend to the opponents of native forest harvesting."

Well they are a godsend. The 'RFA' logging process indeed has in built flaws that lead to dysfunctional forest conservation policy outcomes and violence BY LOGGERS as happened in the infamous cases in the Otways, and in East Gippsland, in recent years.

The miracle is that violence hasn't erupted in NSW as a result of outstanding discipline on the part of the green movement forced to blockade logging in national parks. The govt in NSW even admits 5,500 hectares of old growth (which happens to be high humidity and fire resistant) has been logged in the last 3 years: NEFA Media Release 22/3/02 quoting govt figures for period March 1999 to March 2002.

(Notice that Tuckey is at it again in the media today 21st January 2002 promoting arguments around the freak cyclonic
greenhouse induced conditions of fire afflicted Canberra. Will Tuckey ever learn to be constructive? Tuckey wants to log more wet old growth forest generating even more dry sclerophyl fire prone forest.)

Ironically the leaked memo (via the office of the federal ALP opposition) applies equally to the RFA logging plans of the Carr ALP govt in NSW which have the same in built flaws of logging old growth and endangered species habitat as per
NEFA media release of March 2002.

The first RFA (logging plan) subject to a 5 year review in NSW in 2003 is for NE NSW and other areas of NSW soon
thereafter. The Carr govt is up for election in March 2003.

Will Carr use the concurrence of:
A. March 2003 election and
B. RFA review timetable

to finally put the fire generating native forest logging industry out of its misery and announce social justice adjustment packages for loggers into other parts of the timber industry? We live in hope he will ever keep his 1995 promise to ban woodchipping of native forest.

3. Carrs out of control spin, Police, transport cost $1 million(a year)

If you are a voter then regretably you are also a mug. We all are. Why? Because we unintentionally pay for the blatant re-election propaganda of the major parties under the cover of genuine public information programmes.

On one day two years ago, 17th July 2000, in an extraodinary coincidence of press parallel thinking, three articles were printed in three different states reporting crooked use of public funds for political advertising.

The above headline is a grab from p12 of the Daily Telegraph of that day. It reports as you can expect the Carr govt blatantly using public funds for self serving political profile.

The first sentence by journalist David Penberthy reads

"Bob Carrs media machine is spinning out of control with taxpayers now forking out $1 million a year so the Government can manage the news on transport and law and order." Etc etc

A similar story ran in the Courier Mail the same day, page 2 headed up "Policy explanations raise advertising spending." First sentence by journalist Matthew Franklin reads:

The Beattie Government has spent $700,000 in public money in the past year advertising decisions about tree clearing forestry and energy policy.

But just in case you might think this was a News Ltd beat up on ALP state governments there was this story, same day 17th July 2000 in the West Australian page 8: "Sewer ads political, claims Kobelke"

The first section of the story by journalist Michael Southwell reads

"New taxpayer funded television advertisements about the State Governments infill sewerage program have been branded political propaganda by the Opposition. Labor frontbencher John Kobelke says .."

blah blah blah attacking the soon to be ousted Court govt.

So there you have it you are paying to re-elect the ALP and Coalition at your next state election, in NSW that's March 22 2003.

Noticed too another little trick of incumbency. Last night 21st Jan 2003 Waverley Mayor Paul Pearce, the pre-selected candidate for state seat of Coogee, got a profile story up about a clayton's ban on alcohol at Bondi Beach - on prime time tv news of a certain publicly funded television station. (Clayton's ban because its not an enforced ban unless you are an "undesirable" with the wrong taste in alcohol: We are talking westies "maaate".)

But the tv journos were canny enough to delete his name or any picture of the Labor candidate. Well done ABC tv news. However the sister radio station next day 22nd Jan 2003 were more obliging with a good 5 minute free grab for the Mayor/ALP candidate as he danced on a pin head trying to explain how this was not a kill joy ban aimed at residents but only the undesirables. Let me say again, we are talking the poor multicultural westies here again.

(I admit I have an advantage with this one as I was elected onto that council for 4 years along with Pearce, and the only Bondi ward councillor that actually lived in the Bondi Beach region. I got to meet the westies, and local hoons, in all their glory. Especially that summer night in 1995 when the glass bottles flew, smashing against police cars, to the delight of the generally bored crowd!)

Onya Mayor Pearce.

4. Bob Carr in 2000, 'Struggling to stay awake at the wheel' according to Sydney Morning Herald, and former state Auditor General

2 years ago David Humphries senior writer at the Sydney Morning Herald wrote 'Struggling to stay awake at the wheel' (p1 26/2/00) referring to the off hand and gratuitous performance of Bob Carr at an energy industry gathering. Has anything changed?

Humphries wrote of Carr

'Eccentricity is OK, it can be engaging. But you've got to stay awake at the wheel of State. Mussolini, after all, was at his most popular when he had the trains running on time. After he over-expanded his horizons, they strung him and his girlfriend up in a Milan public square.'

Mmmm harsh words indeed from a journo with a reputation for even handedness.

The Humphries article reads remarkably similar to a corker of an article by former Auditor General of NSW Tony Harris writing on the opinion page of the Australian Financial review a month later p20, 7/3/00 in 'Conservative Carr is stalled'. Harris leads in with

'Some say he is the most intellectual of Australia's leading politicians. But this capability is not being applied to the State's big problems. The NSW Government seems to have gone on a walkabout.'


'The Opposition's claims of 42 recent shootings, attempted murders and killings in Sydney's western region of Cabramatta were also ignored by ministers. When the Police Commissioner, Peter Ryan, returned from overseas, he was reported to declare that there were 50 NSW police districts with worse crime statistics. This was meant to solve the problem and soothe concerns.'

Ex NSW Auditor Harris then wrote a feature 'Clever Carr' p82 AFR 7/7/00 echoing these observations,

'Thanks to a strong economy and the Olympics, the NSW Opposition is likely to remain irrelevant while Bob Carr is Premier. But his arrogance is beginning to wear thin, even with supporters'

In relation to a gratuitous performance by Carr in Parliament Harris goes on:

'Carr's answer had all the ingredients expected of a politician confident and assured in his position. Indifference served with scorn accompanied by disdain.'


'Journalists who are supportive are treated well.... Those critical ... are often treated poorly by the plethora of press secretaries employed by government ministers.... none is forgiving.'


'Carr's apparent imperviousness to criticism also stems from his mastery of the media where he once worked.'

and this pearl from Mr Harris:

'The NSW Opposition might not yet know how to win government, but it has one advantage, it has no cause for arrogance.'

Ouchy. Now John Brogden is up to bat for the Opposition with just a hint of confidence on his face on tv last night, while Carr was being harrassed by rabbly school kids chanting unreasonably 'we need a school'. Then again perhaps the little blighters really do 'need a school'.

Have to hand it to those pre teens protesters, all excitement and innocence - not often you see Carr looking like a rabbit in the spot light on prime time ABC news.


5. Nature Conservation Council spits the dummy and gobs on Premier Bob Carr!?

Extracts of Kathy Ridge Executive Officer summer newsletter article 2002/2003.

[Intro by Tom McLoughlin of Ecology Action Sydney.

The umbrella group for most big and small green groups in NSW - though not all e.g. Greenpeace, NEFA, ecology action and some others - has laid the boot into Bob Carr's 'green' credibility. The NSW Nature Conservation Council is supposed to be a networking and service provider to the green movement rather than a spokesperson per se but the group is recognised in NSW legislation and has undoubted stature and influence with the community and the public. Often it does act as a small 'g' greens spokesperson.

The NSW NCC is emphatically stating there is something wrong in the state of Denmark. It is a safe bet to say Bob Carr is following former NSW ALP Premier McKell's successful rural electoral strategies to win over redneck votes from the coalition. However, Carr has forgotten one thing - McKell was a Premier for a pre-environmental age of the mid 20th Century, when the word 'ecology' was barely invented, and 'environmental flows' meant the reverse of today i.e. damming the next floodwater, not saving the fish or South Australia's water supply.

But don't take my word for it - read the esteemed Ms Kathy Ridge in her last newsletter for summer 02-03, soon to bail out for a legal career as a judge's associate. A careeer change can do wonders for the vocal chords, they say. Extract follows,]

"Selling out the environment"

"Kathy Ridge [pictured, lead story, page 1 Environment NSW, the quarterly newsletter of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW Summer 2002/3]

"At the time when the landscape of NSW and its dependent regional communities are suffering the worst drought in 100 years, the Carr government has backed away from the very reforms that would have delivered a more robust environment.

"The last two months has [sic] seen the NSW government fail to put in place two of the most important strategic natural resource management frameworks - the Native Vegetation Management Strategy, and the State Water Management Outcomes Plan.

"Both policy frameworks were designed to guide the work of regional natural resource committees, including Catchment Management Boards, Regional Native Vegetation Committees and the Water Management Committees.

"Without clear policy positions being articulated by the government, community based planning has been an utter failure dogged by poor data, insufficient resources and lack of transparency and accountability in committee processes.

"It has also limited the discussion of the value of the outcomes within government. Each of the draft regional vegetation plans are of varying quality with no cohesive statewide direction being discernible. The extensive, not to mention expensive, Water Sharing Plan process is going to deliver less than a 0.5 per cent increase in water for the environment statewide, and very little of that increase is protected as environmental health water.

"Against the backdrop of landscape scale failure to address land clearing and over extraction from our rivers, the ongoing destruction of old growth forests, woodchipping and charcoal threats, loss of valuable public lands to developers and suffocating stacks in our suburbs, Carr could well be advised to not rest on his environmental record.
"It will be a long 'hot' summer, both politically and environmentally speaking."


6. Premier Carr's blessing for the dioxin producing Brightstar waste to energy/incineration plant in Wollongong

Title: Bob Carr's dioxin laden green energy future for urban and regional NSW?

2nd Jan 2003

author: Tom McLoughlin, ecology action sydney (, acknowledgement to Lyndall McCormack waste reduction campaigner

Premier Bob Carr's latest announcement on green energy for NSW on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald [2nd January 2003], relying on biomass burning, hides a more sinister reality. Carr launched a biomass demonstration plant in Wollongong in 1999 built by BrightStar corporation which has been slammed by Ethical Investment researchers recently as a dioxin emitter. The Brightstar burner is built for re-location so it can be moved around NSW and the countryside to burn up waste and produces dioxins in your local area.

Analysts of environmental politics will not be surprised to read on the front of todays Sydney Morning Herald that Bob Carr's new greenhouse reduction law relies on burning biomass as a leading source of "green energy" to reduce greenhouse gases.

Nor will they be surprised to hear Carr ally Jeff Angel (no declaration of govt funding or election authorisation) on radio broadly supporting the Carr government.The old one two PR play Jeff is known for.

Thus Carr theatrically states today that this cements (.. for quotes) .. NSW's position as the greenest state in the country and a world leader in this area.

However my informant from the non govt waste crisis network reveals that they have a recent letter from researchers for the Ethical Investment organisation that the Wollongong incinerator burning

(euphemistically called pyrolosis, or gasification)

- of green waste and rubbish -

(euphemistically called biomass)

for energy built by Brighstar corporation, launched and blessed by Bob Carr, is NOT ETHICAL AND NOT GREEN. Reason is that it is a serious emitter of dioxins. Which is why Greenpeace and the WCN don't support incineration butrather a zero waste philosophy.

Amazingly the Brightstar plant is constructed for easy transportation around country NSW, so their dirty dioxin producing biomass burner might be visiting a country town near you if the gentle folk of Wollongong get too upset over even more chemicals in their environment.

I say even more as Bob Carr also blessed the polluting Port Kembla Copper Smelter and scorned the local environmental movement in the process. In the last two months Planning Minister Refshauge announced prosecution of PKC for breach of emission standards.

7. Carr defends business on container deposits 

Green Left Weekly page 2, 21st March 2001

By Barry Healy

Sydney- Anti-waste campaigners have accused NSW Premier Bob Carr of defending the interests of the packaging industry, after he announced his opposition to new container deposit legislation.

Container deposit legislation (CDL) would force packaging companies to take responsibility for thteir products by requiring manufacturers of bottles and cans to pay 5 cents for the return of the containers they make.

A public inquiry into CDL is due to makes its report soon and si widely tipped to support the idea. Industry lobbyists have been campaigning hard, winning Carr's public backing on March 5.

'If you establish a different system then the economics of kerb-side collection is going to be knocked about and it might collapse', he claimed.

However, Peter Woods, president of the NSW Local Government Association, told the national broadcaster that CDL in South Australia, the only state where it could be established before the packaging industry organised against it, has not undermined kerbside recycling.

'The bottles and containers that are put out at kerb-side derive point something of a cent each", he said. "But with container deposit legislation, in South Australia it's five cents returnable plus two cents handling.'

'That's seven cents. You don't need to have too many bottles and containers put out with kerb side to offset the income from a huge number of these containers.'

Woods said that the kerb side recycling industry is subsidised to the rate of about $100 million annually in NSW. He desribed it as a 'spurious industry'.

'I'm amazed the premier would come out and say such a thing when there's a public inquiry taking place', Woods said. 'Maybe he's speaking in defence of the packaging industry who have opposed every move possible that would force them to take responsibility for the waste that they generate.'

[and notice this]

Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 08:34:25 +1000
From: Stuart White>
Subject: Independent Review of Container Deposit Legislation in NSW

You may be aware that a research team at the Institute for Sustainable Futures conducted an Independent Review of Container Deposit Legislation for the NSW Minister for the Environment, the report of which was released in March 2002.

As you are no doubt also aware, this has been a strongly contested issue in Australia and internationally for more than 25 years. Following the release of the report of the Independent Review, the Beverage Industry Environment Council (BIEC), on behalf of the Packaging Industry Sector, commissioned Access Economics Pty Ltd to critically assess the report of the Independent Review.

I have prepared a response to the issues raised. This and other relevant documents, including a link to the Access Economics Pty Ltd report itself, can be found by following the appropriate links at:

Note that these pages are being updated reasonably regularly. Feel free to pass these details on to any colleagues for whom they may be relevant or useful.

Should you require any further information, or a more detailed response to the issues raised in the Assessment report or other documents, do not hesitate to contact me. I am also available to provide a presentation or briefing to you or your colleagues on the issues raised. Please contact Lucy Hall on 02-9209 4697 or by email on to arrange a suitable time.

Stuart White


Dr Stuart White
Institute for Sustainable Futures
University of Technology, Sydney
P.O. Box 123 BROADWAY 2007
New South Wales AUSTRALIA

Tel. +61-2-9209 4356
Fax +61-2-9209 4351

Location: Suite 213, National Innovation Centre, Australian Technology Park, Cornwallis Street, Alexandria, Sydney
UTS CRICOS Provider Code: 00099F

8. Carr & Egan electricity industry sell off, $450 million green fund in 2003? - deja vu October 1997? 

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