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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Gavin Hillier, prominent retired logging unionist on Stateline footage as protester no.5?
Mood:  caffeinated

 Hillier in 1995 NSW Govt RACAC panel

Was that Gavin Hillier on the Stateline footage last Friday? It was a strong story by Nick Grimm showing a familiar face and voice exhorting the crowd of (xenophobic?) protesters in Camden. The transcript of the show reads this voice to the rally against a Muslim school :

"PROTESTOR 5: You've got to worry about winning. Winning is the glory. There's no guts and there's no glory in losers. You must win.

We are still trying to confirm Big Gavin's presence. It a very strategic, machine politik kind of rhetoric and Hillier was always regarded as "colourful" in harness as secretary of the NSW/national logging division of the CFMEU. His AWU website quote him as "I'll never be stopped!" and "He says the secret to improving wages and conditions is to be strategic and be united."

Big Gavin presents like a Kevin Reynolds/Joe McDonald type figure, that is an old style campaigner not least in girth.  Is he also a xenophobe or is it just the planning issues? Or ALP machine tactics? Maybe it wasn't him?

Gavin Hillier: Crown Employees Division
Gavin Hillier: Crown Employees Division, current AWU website

Hillier once offered to sort this writer out physically at the back of the Broadway Hotel in about 1998 in a Politics in the Pub event. To be fair I did my share of loud provocative heckling (along with others like John Corkill in the audience) which must have been vexatious.

Hillier's offsiders were actually more willing to turn the situation into a fist fight until the bar manager encouraged us all to leave the premises quietly. Tempers settled down after that.

Here is some antecedents of pro forest woodchipper unionist Gavin Hillier

Early in 1995, the NSW State Secretary of the Construction, Forestry and Mining Employees Union, Mr Gavin Hillier told ABC Radio's Background Briefing that damage to equipment occurred as part of struggles to unionise workers. Hillier said: " ... we know how to sugar trucks. We had to hit them and hit them hard. And you (conservationists) probably got the blame for it too along the track. I'm telling you now that they knew who it was, we told those contractors that you behave your fucking selves or the same thing will happen".(footnote 3) Following Hillier's statements there was a deafening silence from the timber industry.

footnote 3. Gavin Hillier, NSW election, Background Briefing, Radio National 2RN, Sunday March 19 1995.

In Victorian Police Report on Anti-Environmental Action sourced to author Bob Burton via The Wilderness Society website 1999.

We only ask Hillier's role because we have written about this issue before out at Camden:

Tuesday, 15 January 2008, Memo Pat Farmer MHR: You can run but you can't hide from the Islamic School racism issue

And there is a public interest with all this 'white flight' reportage from public schools implying lack of discipline and/or cross cultural tolerance.

We think sensitive responsible big media coverage is important because we fear a pressure cooker of blowback criminality if this conversation is not held at the highest and lowest levels:

6 March 2008 Read on the next page

In the hot house of the federal election it may be that the ALP have been caught playing to the right wing fringe in a triumph of ambition over morality as per this report:

Rudd opposed to Islamic school - Local - General - Camden Advertiser 23 rd Nov 2007.

We recall coverage by crikey.com.au about the Tas logger embrace of then PM John Howard down at the Hobart Town Hall in 2004. If memory serves they published an image which unfortunately we can't locate, with one forest worker having a "white power" tattoo. Mmm. That's a curious echo.

Posted by editor at 12:54 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 12 March 2008 7:47 PM NZT

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