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Nov 06 - Alarm of independent greens over miner 'Environment Foundation' pay off to 'peak' greens

"Lake Cowal mine Trust

North’s Lake Cowal gold mine project, near Parkes, was quietly given assent in March 1999 by the Carr Government (in the lead-up to the State election), in line with the recommendations of the second Commission of Inquiry. This came as no surprise to most, with only a few voices, including NPA’s, challenging the acceptability of the venture and its legacy - a huge deep hole filled with contaminated water intruding forever into an outstanding freshwater wetland.

Establishment of the Lake Cowal Environmental Trust by signatories to the Memorandum of Understanding (Total Environment Centre, Nature Conservation Council, Save Animals From Extinction and NPA, along with Norths) is now being actively pursued; the aim is to have the Trust in place by October 1999.

Anne Clements & Associates are developing a strategic framework for protection and enhancement of the important natural values.

High priorities are to mitigate encroaching salinity, which seriously threatens the long-term viability of the wetland system; and to ensure protection of key sites for nature conservation. The brief also includes establishing a sound geographical information system data base, and initiating constructive dialogue with others having a key interest in the area, such as Aboriginal people, landowners, ecologists and naturalists.

Lake Cowal lies within Wiradjuri land, whose representative at the Inquiry advised that native title issues would need to be addressed. In response to correspondence, Anne Reeves, as NPA’s representative on the MOU initiative, has commenced discussion with representatives of the Wiradjuri Council of Elders, to look for ways which maximise the outcomes for nature conservation while meeting Wiradjuri concerns for their traditional lands.

Anne Reeves Vice President "

In National Parks Association Journal of August 1998

To: [various green campaign groups]
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2006 9:54 PM
Subject: Well the 'peak' green groups are there still Re: Lake Cowal Foundation

"The current members of the Foundation include the Total Environment Centre, National Parks Association, Nature Conservation Council and Barrick Australia Limited. The Lake Cowal Foundation is managed by a Board of Directors represented by five Directors including two environmental NGO representatives, a local landholder representing the Bland Shire Community, one independent scientist and a representative from Barrick."
There is plenty more about Angel in the central and west division riding over native title legal rights in a forerunner of the bio banking concept where he wanted to trade uncleared land on leasehold for other land to go into permanent conservation zones. This was with Jamie Piddock of WWF.
I was very queasy about this because the Wik case after Mabo made it clear this was almost certainly Aboriginal native title land because lack of disturbance meant ongoing connection could almost certainly be proved: A good way for the farmers to wedge the blacks using the greens. My TWS training had prepared me to avoid such shonky and immoral betrayal of the indigineous. My concerns were repudiated. And the western leasehold case for native title failed unlike say the recent Noongar case. But we didn't know it would fail. Just as we waited to see if the Yorta Yorta would win.
You have to get involved in promoting a truly independent environment movement. The current peak group system has been corrupted. I am sorry to tell you this and with honourable exceptions like Greenpeace who are determinedly financially independent.
I have absolutely no regrets repudiating the dirty business I saw and I still feel pretty confident that truth will come out eventually just like this rotten guy in the ALP Orkopoulos after suggestions of improper conduct back to 1997. Boy that's quite a delayed reaction but we've seen it before like Costello Howard succession agreement more than 10 years back becoming front page news.
Hold to your integrity. That's the take home message.
Yours truly, Tom McLoughlin
This link give more on my operation:
To: [independent green groups]
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2006 9:34 PM
Subject: Re: Lake Cowal Foundation

up until now my understanding has been via Peter Prineas in a chance meeting that the [Nature Conservation Council] of NSW pulled out of the corrupt foundation funded out of the gold mine cyanide leaching process. This was about 18 months ago. Prineas is a tough guy and pretty straight although quite [....].
I will have a look at web site quoted below next at
It would not surprise me at all that Jeff Angel at Total Environment Centre has progressed the deal regardless, as I attended the NCC meeting then in George St way back in 1999 or so, as a member of their elected executive when he conned us all that it was the best deal for the environment.
Said the real issue there was dry land salinity. That there was no water in the lake. When I found out it was a major lake in times of flood as per pictures with huge numbers of birdlife (I am a zoology graduate) I felt totally betrayed. Which is why I pursued it with Prineas later on.
I resigned from NCC executive for similar issues, around 2000 having been elected twice, concerning my view of corrupt govt funding to NCC and aligned groups that exported woodchipping to East Gippsland and guaranteed 20 year logging guarantees to the industry in NSW which was never the 1995 election promise.
But, and it's a big but, the same sell out has occured on EVERY policy area if you talk to the right people: Usually middle to senior rank campaigners who have actually done the work on say
- waste reduction,
- transport,
- Homebush Bay up to the Olympics,
- land clearing,
- anti woodchipping.
Really its endless. People say Milo Dunphy was a vain old philanderer and a fool. I knew him well and visited him at his home. He was a lonely guy but very straight, very tough and very smart. He knew Jeff was crook and so do I.
Call me names if you like but I believe we have a rolled gold collaborator at the apex of the NSW green movement and it is a really really big problem. This is the best working theory I have and its very hot to handle: Louise Adler ( a left wing Jewish woman) publisher at Melbourne Uni Press talks about the Jewish collaborators with the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto to make sure they were spared. As a result this collaborator stock are more highly represented in the survivor pool proportionately from WW2 atrocity.
You can see where I am going with this. A culture of collaboration that destroys that which is most precious in order to survive oneself. It's enough to drive anyone to drink to reach this kind of conclusion. Fortunately I swore off grog 5 months ago and so far so good.
You have to make your own peace of mind, but my sincere advice is that every ranking campaigner I know has been done over, from John Denlay (waste) to that guy on the Snowy River, to TWS on anti woodchipping agenda, to Lake Cowal trad owners, to Lidcombe Waste Depot at Homebush Bay near a school. Always to the inside running of TEC with the power and money men via Jeff Angel cutting a deal. And with a measly 700 members gazumping the movement.
My study of him shows when he is out of his democratic depth he sometimes calls in the ACF for numbers (nominally as they are so absent in NSW) and thus its generally an ALP controlled agenda through them.
My formula to spike this is whenever he comes out with a bogus position like say on this foundation do 3 things PUBLICLY
1. Point out that Angel and TEC do not speak for your organisation and whoever you can get to add on
2. That TEC is financially dependent on government grants or govt mandated agreements (like this MOU) and is therefore in no way to be seen as independent. This is is a killer for them politically and must be pursued in contrast to say The Green party (even when they are being populist and not very ecological at least they are not financially compromised.)
3. TEC has a membership of 700 which is too small to represent the green movement in NSW. (but beware they have some important loyalists like say Quentin Dempster from naivety or what I don't know.)
Until groups generally have the guts to do this, despite the claims you are splitting and smearing and causing trouble, your individual issue will be smashed by the government working through the TEC rubber stamp, and likely shepherded through by the SMH which is always pro economics and stuff the environment when push comes to shove. Jeff is their man to prevent radical greens running our movement.
The genius of the man is that disillusioned people give up and disappear never linking up with other campaigners to compare notes how they got done over. But I am determined to write the history of this bastard if its the last thing I do for those woodchipped forests condemned by an ALP bastard government with a chunky majority who needn't have betrayed its promises in 1995.
Yours truly
Tom McLoughlin, principal ecology action sydney, solicitor in NSW
----- Original Message -----
From: "benny zable" To: [independent green groups]
Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2006 10:37 PM
Subject: Re: Lake Cowal Foundation

> Dear Ruth and Jane
> Thank you for sending me this!
> I am am outraged by this finding. I had no idea about this agreement. This
> is a big betrayal.  We need some sort of liason between us and the Total
> Environment Centre and Co. This is not OK to have a Total Environment Centre
> making such deals, that compets with Uncle Chappy, Friends of the Earth, the
> Rainforest Information Centre and other environmental groups who have put
> resources and time to protest to expose and act on what is clearly an abuse
> of Aboriginal heritage and environmental degredation. To set up a foundation
> for Lake Cowal preservation first and formost needs the permission and
> endorsement from Uncle Chappy let alone to make a monetry deal.
> Have they held discussions with Uncle Chappy?
> Who where the parties that authorised these deals?
> How long has this foundation been in operation?
> Are they aware of our ongoing campaign?
> I will raise this with folks at the Rainbow Chai Tent on Sunday.
> We need some explenations. There is also some rumors of a sell out by the
> Total Environment Centre on the Anvil Hill mine . Is this true?  What are
> the facts?
> We need transperancy and acountability in the environmental movement.
> What about a conference with all the players associated with the Lake Cowal
> campaign including those on the front line?
> Benny Zable
>>From: Ruth Rosenhek <

>>To: [independent green groups]

>>Subject: Re: Lake Cowal Foundation
>>Date: Thu, 9 Nov 2006 19:12:08 +1100
>>my gawd, what a farce!  Check out this paragraph:
>><<The COI found that the project could be developed and operated in a
>>manner that was compatible with the environmental values of Lake Cowal. The
>>Cowal Gold Mine was met with some opposition from Environmental groups and
>>organizations. After considerable consultation with these groups, a
>>Memorandum of Understanding was signed and the Lake Cowal Foundation (LCF),
>>a not for profit Environmental Trust was established in June 2000 with the
>>objective of protecting and enhancing the natural environment in the Lake
>>Cowal region. The Lake Cowal Foundation is primarily sponsored through a
>>negotiated royalty from the Cowal Gold Project, for the life of the gold
>>project. During the operational life of the mine, payments exceeding $2
>>million are expected to be made to the Lake Cowal Foundation.>>
>>Sure, we need to respond but there is so much to respond to!
>>for the Earth
>>At 12:01 PM +1100 9/11/06, Jane Morrison wrote:
>>>Hi All,
>>>I thought you might like to know that the Lake Cowal Foundation has a
>>>website and is calling for donations to "conserve the lake"!!


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