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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Thursday, 6 March 2008
How Fred Nile and NSW ALP turned a 4 yr fixed local council term to 4.5 yr, twice
Mood:  not sure
Topic: nsw govt

The Sydney Morning Herald today solemnly advises

"[Local] Council elections were last held in 2004."

Which indeed was the case. This is by way of background reporting this story:

 Council elections brought forward ABC New South Wales

So now the local council elections are on Sept 13 2008, two weeks earlier. At first we thought most local govt elections were in Sept 2003 and thus now a year over due (from Sept 07), because we know they were held in Sept 1999 before that, and Sept 1995 before that. That is every 4 years at a time we held such humble office. The AEC website confirms councillors are elected for “4 years”. But somehow a 4.5 year term has effectively been inserted twice between Sept 99 and Sept 2008

The Hansard March 5th 2008 via NSW Minister Tony Kelly in the 2nd Reading speech in the Upper House ‘explains’ it all in convoluted fashion, as follows:

The Hon. TONY KELLY (Minister for Lands, Minister for Rural Affairs, Minister for Regional Development, and Vice-President of the Executive Council) [3.37 p.m.]: …..

The Act was then amended in 2003 to postpone council elections from the second Saturday in September 2003 to the fourth Saturday in March 2004. The change was the result of the Local Government Amendment (Elections) Act 2003, which, when introduced into Parliament, was intended to change the election date from the second Saturday in September to the fourth Saturday in March for all future elections. The purpose of these proposed amendments was to align the local government election cycle with the local government strategic planning process.

The amendments were also designed to shift local government council elections out of the same four-year cycle as the State elections so that New South Wales voters would no longer be required to go to the polls twice in the same year. This shift will also ease the burden of the New South Wales Electoral Commission having to conduct State and local government elections within six months of each other.

We don’t find this explanation in bold above about delay of 6 months from Sept 2003 to March 2004 very convincing. Indeed the Opposition’s Don Harwin MP in Hansard states 26 June 2003 when the first 6 month delay was enacted:

It says a lot about the attitude and cynicism with which the Government has approached the entire electoral process and its mandate. If ever there was a bill for which the Government did not have a mandate, it is this bill [Local Government Amendment (Elections) Bill]. The loud and articulate opposition of Ministers, Government members, and Labor Party activists in the lead-up to the March State election on the issue of forced council amalgamations, when the Government articulated that it stridently opposed forced council amalgamations, has been shown to be utter deceit. The bill is the foundation of a process that will lead to forced council amalgamations. The Coalition strongly opposes that.

The arguments that the Government has put forward for this bill are, at face value, plausible. Few people would argue against the suggestion that there is a benefit in not having council elections in the same year that a general State election is held. For a long time I have believed that that is desirable. However, the Government's second principal argument, in relation to the council budgetary process, is much less plausible. The idea that a councillor elected in March can get on top of all the complexities and issues involved in preparing a budget for the coming financial year, only a matter of weeks after being elected, is complete nonsense.

Rather we think the whole schedule went topsy turvy when the ALP started stalking Sydney City Council from at least 2003 as per Harwin's speech, but quite possibly as early as 2001 as per this call:


Interestingly the simply Rev. Gordon Moyes became a colleague of Rev Nile in the Upper House in 2002 replacing Elaine Nile MP who retired. Fred Nile MP is very friendly with the ALP govt and supported the disruption of the 4 year fixed term by the ALP in 2003.

Sydney City council was indeed amalgamated with South Sydney Council in a massive power play by the ALP:

City super-council on the way - www.smh.com.au 21 Nov 2003

South Sydney Council is about to give up its fight for survival, merging with the City of Sydney to create an inner-city super-council controlled by Labor.

The Mayor of South Sydney, Tony Pooley, will propose the merger at an extraordinary meeting of his council next Wednesday, following a damning internal assessment of its financial future.

The move would end the stand-off between the two councils and give the State Government an opportunity to ram through amalgamation.

A merger would also greatly strengthen Labor's chances of controlling the City of Sydney for the first time in more than a decade, installing the former federal minister Michael Lee as lord mayor.

The election for the new super council was held on March 27 2004 along with the rest of the state 6 months delayed, but the ALP’s cynicism was punished severely and they lost City Hall (with this writer a volunteer for Clover Moore MP):

Clover Moore is off to Town Hall  By Alex Mitchell, State Political Editor
March 28, 2004 The Sun-Herald

So in summary the State Govt appear to have invented 4.5 year terms in 2003 pushing it to 2004 to get the super council in, which then got pushed out yet another 6 months in 2008 courtesy of Fred Nile MP and the Govt pandering to the vain old man, who for some reason liked the month of Sept rather than March. Actually his reason is here from Hansard 2003 again:

Over the years the local government election. has been held effectively in September. Why does the Government want the election to be held in March? I will put forward a practical reason for the change. It is difficult for minor parties and Independents to get ready for election by March. I know that it is difficult for the Christian Democratic Party, being a minor party, to get mobilised for an election in March. That may not be the case for the Australian Labor Party, the Liberal Party or the National Party. It is difficult for minor parties because staff go on holidays over Christmas and January.

We have puzzled over this for years because those 4 years of ours Sept 95-Sept 99 due service as Bondi ward councilor at Waverley - until we made a baton change to now Indigenous Deputy Mayor Cr Dominic Wy Kanak -  are branded on our memory banks:

  Cllr Dominic Wy Kanak   Dominic Wy Kanak, Deputy Mayor - Greens

If you look real close you will see the editor's name on a plaque at the front of the Library at Bondi Junction, which we do feel proud about too:




Posted by editor at 12:46 PM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 6 March 2008 1:47 PM EADT
Cameron, part of the furniture
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: big media

It's quite apparent the Deborah Cameron leg of the ABC Sydney 702 radio line up is part of the real politik furniture now, in quick time. Perhaps marked by The Whiltlam's Gotta Love This City just played.

We noticed at 8.30 am lead in this morning 'the cardigan effect' that ABC does so well dressing its real A category power audience with sound waves. It was confirmed in previous days by first Malcolm Turnbull Opposition Treasurer inspired to ring in and interrupt the Party Liners segment on Tuesdays (?).  

Confirmed again by a state govt minister Ian Macdonald ringing in yesterday to tackle the FoI investigative journalists Moore (SMH) and McKinnon (7) to challenge their description on food shop hygiene reporting.

It's in the intellectual force she brings to analysing the State Govt ructions with quite a reptile's beady eye. Yep Trigger Trioli has her worthy successor.

Where are her limits? One hopes she doesn't exceed like success, as Alan Jones surely has with his low rent sun spot climate change denier yesterday, with no balancer. That's not journalism, that's pandering by Jonesy ever the showman. And it's not really doing any favours for what's surely coming this 21C.

Posted by editor at 9:42 AM EADT
Read on the next page
Mood:  smelly
Topic: legal

There has been a curious pattern of vandalism in the centres of harmony this last 6 weeks since Australia Day January 26th 2008. 

For those who tap into our quite big dynamic of real politik in NSW one could not help but be aware of logical concern in the lead up to Australia Day. Some fundamental aspects fostering social harmony do not change in a hurry. And Australia Day is always a platform for whatever is going. Everyone in real politik knows this.

Nor has this city forgotten only 2 years previous Dec 11 2005 was very sad in terms of torn social fabric and imperative for counter politiking.

The Saturday front pager of the Sydney Daily Telegraph was telling of a breath of fresh air building on the Nov 2007 federal election, and conversely an affront to those contrary?

We hope and trust the centres of harmony are not suffering the capricious and cruel consequences of that step forward here and here of a country that has turned a page because some can't or won't read on.

Today a suburban library re opens after 5 weeks closure after determined vandalism because to quote Cyndi Lauper a diverse community is not only interesting but also a strong one.

Posted by editor at 7:46 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 6 March 2008 8:33 AM EADT
Wednesday, 5 March 2008
Who can you trust online, or anywhere really?
Mood:  sad
Topic: independent media

Who can you trust? Such a little word, such a massive issue, personally, professionally, local, state, federal. Trust underpins a viable society because otherwise one is paralysed by constant threats of cheating.

We got a whiff of that malaise in an SBS show on constant 'price points' put onto daily life in Kenya otherwise known as demands for bribes. In Australia however it's called Macquarie Bank and their famous coin with the hole, making more out of less:


Joe Hildebrand picks up the farcical nature of a society without trust recently too:

Sartorial elegance is costly Joe Hildebrand – Friday, February 29, 08 (05:35 pm) IT’S fair to say that the whole concept of house pride kind of passed me by in my youth, but it struck me this week that as a man in the soft-grey glow of his early 30s it would seem unbecoming not to start experiencing it now.

In the last week we've had two requests for comment to other sections of the 'up by their boot straps' independent (micro/minor) news sector. Always ready with an opinion we are happy to be approached. One from NZ of all places, another from the groovy NewMatilda (now on our right hand sidebar) for a panel discussion on 2nd April 2008. For instance this cracking read:

nsw politics 3 Mar 2008 Treasurer Costa Lot by Ben Eltham

Their topic is:

Newmatilda.com is holding another In Conversation panel discussion on Wednesday April 2nd.

 Our last years panel- “Is Online Media Dumbing Down Journalism” was very successful with speakers such as Liz Jackson, Peter McEvoy, Dylan Welch and Carrie Lumby on the panel.

 We would like to invite you to be in the panel for our next discussion:


Who Can You Trust?

Who is a credible source online? With the proliferation of blogging, amateur experts and user generated content- has the investigative journalist become redundant?


Due to your work on your blog we think you be an ideal speaker for our panel. We are trying to get bloggers/journalists from a range of backgrounds.

Who do you trust indeed. We are working up our submission already and will attempt a positive approach. However the obverse also applies, as in, who do you distrust on the offline media, even while being an obsessive media consumer of same.

Exhibit 1 and 1A is the Sydney Morning Herald "paper of record" today. Their pie charts on p6 as shown above regarding ALP versus Coalition fails to address "environmental protection" when arguably this was the difference between Carr and Fahey in March 1995, and even underpinned the Metherell Affair bringing down the Greiner Premiership in 1992(Metherell became an independent rather than support wholesale forest/wilderness destruction, sat on the cross benches and was 'encouraged' to take a job out of parliament as head of the NSW EPA instead, enter ICAC).

Environmental protection, and not simply "public transport" is a big ticket item in the real politik of NSW. Clennell as their gun state political reporter knows, or should know, this when he interprets the Nielsen polling company pie charts.

The omission by Clennell/Neilsen/SMH is even more curious given at heart it's been the rock steady determination of The Green Party to flush out democracy for sale political donations that has got us in this meltdown with ICAC into Wollongong right now as a specific exemplar. Also it underlines why Peter Garrett joined the wrong party if he wants real change versus vanity. Though he is surely helping educate the ALP who need him alot, but not nearly as much as Australian politics needs The Greens. Because it's an interlocked political spectrum and by remaining steadfast the rest of the political family has been forced in the Greens direction, bravo Green Party, in particular Norman Thomson et al at:

Political Donations - Democracy4Sale — The Greens NSW

And it's not just Metherell/Greiner 1992, or Carr/Fahey 1995 (and arguably 99, 03, on other greenwash with the Coaliton re Nats being slow learners) but arguably Rudd v Howard leverage climate change in Nov 2007 but still no pie chart in the economic rationalist Big Media. But you can't fool all the folks all the time. The green in Green Party just won't go away like a spot on Mrs Macbeth's hand.

The real politik implication in the airbrush of the "environmental protection" pie is that the National Party leg of the Coalition is dead weight, and therefore of no utility in a pro NSW Coalition agenda in the Herald [or 2nd lead on ABC tv nightly news]. Certainly the NSW ALP have been exploiting that low base for 12 years now (including via ngo trusties) not least Part 3A of the Planning Act dictatorial destruction of nature, because no matter how evil 'they couldn't be worse than the Nationals'?

Or could they, given even the Nats criticise bogus "biobanking" recently via leader Andrew Stoner - the thesis seems to be the Nats copped lots of political pain early 90ies on North Coast Land Deals so they want equal treatment for the ALP corruption with developers today, which is a fair point Mr Stoner. Bravo. Extract here:

> Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2008 16:20:15 +1100
> Subject: [NCEC] Nationals come out against BioBanking and developer influence
> North Coast Environment Council (& friends) discussion list
> In Tuesday's Macleay Argus the paper published the following article:
> STATE Government links with developers, raised at an Independent
> Commission Against Corruption inquiry last week, are worrying for the
> Mid North Coast, Oxley MP and NSW Nationals Leader Andrew Stoner said
> yesterday. Mr Stoner said high development on the Mid North Coast had
> local residents concerned about possible corruption between
> developers and the Government. "People in our neck of the woods are
> very concerned," Mr Stoner said. "I've had many people contact me
> from the Mid North Coast about the stench of corruption."
> Specifically, Mr Stoner said the bio-banking legislation introduced
> by the Government could be exploited.
> The scheme lets developers offset any loss of biodiversity caused by
> their projects through credits purchased from a bio-bank, which uses
> the money to conserve threatened species in other areas. Mr Stoner
> said land on the coast that was previously protected was in danger of
> being developed as developers trade off land elsewhere.
> State Parliament resumes today and Mr Stoner said the fireworks
> would begin as the Opposition pursued the government over what he
> said was a stench of corruption in the ALP. He said an inquiry in
> the Parliament's Upper House would investigate donations to the
> Government from developers. The links were raised at an ICAC inquiry
> into Wollongong City Council that began last week. Some State
> Government ministers have been drawn into the controversy. A former
> employee of the council, Joe Scimone, is a friend of Waterways
> Minister Joe Tripodi. Mr Scimone's recruitment to NSW Maritime is
> under investigation by ICAC because of his friendship with the
> minister responsible for the department. He is also a subject of the
> ICAC inquiry into Wollongong City Council. Mr Tripodi has said
> Maritime recruited Mr Scimone, and it was all proper and "at arm's
> length". Health Minister Reba Meagher, Police Minister David Campbell
> and Tourism Minister Matt Brown have all been put on notice by
> Premier Morris Iemma that they would be investigated over any
> allegations made against them. The three ministers have all been
> linked to Mr Scimone, who was a member of the ALP. It was
> also revealed that a company linked to a developer at the centre of
> the ICAC inquiry had donated money to Mr Campbell's and Mr Brown's
> election campaigns last year. "No doubt there is a huge stench of
> corruption," Mr Stoner said yesterday, But the Deputy Leader of the
> Coalition said the Opposition would be unlikely to pursue a vote of
> no confidence in the Government. "A lot of people have contacted me
> and said we can't wait three years (to get rid of this government),"
> Mr Stoner said. But he added a vote of no confidence would not
> succeed in the lower house, where the ALP holds the majority of
> seats. He said blocking supply at budget time was a course of action
> available to the Opposition but the public service would grind to a
> halt, and a dismissal by the State Governor would require very
> serious corruption allegations to be proven. Mr Stoner said the
> Opposition would be proposing legislation this week to cap donations
> by developers to political parties.

To reinforce this shallow effort on natural heritage real politik reportage the otherwise commendable ECO page(s) from page 12 today are two thirds government greenwashing today courtesy of the "Green Globe Awards" (funded by NSW Dept of Environment and Climate Change) which at least are not the Power and Energy industry "special advertising report" we are used to seeing in The Australian. But it is thinly disguised advertising for the NSW Govt and we wonder about the editorial control of the content now too.

The big light green colour scheme over 4 additional pages is desperately needed to sanitise with greenwash the smell of the ALP corruption on display at ICAC and Macquarie St itself. 

In terms of editorial problems we noticed at least one - Page 15 - Peats Ridge Festival  under the headline "fun and frugal". Only the festival didn't occur in the 2007/08 summer break and we know this for a fact. But why was it cancelled is the story: A local activist wanted to instruct us as a pro bono lawyer on commencing action in the Land & Environment Court for alleged failure of the land owner for the festival venue, one wealthy and influential Mr Barton Lawlor, to obtain a conforming Development Application for the parking area, and possibly time frame for part of the area,  from Singleton Council.

Apparently locals have been the victim of success at Peats Ridge parked out and other environmental amenity impacts galore, so it seems. Either it was "too muddy" this year due to rain or legal discretion played a more significant role given the dry weather 4 days before the event, and no rain during the schedule advertised in the city entertainment press. In other words quite a deal of financial outlay sacrificed.

The overall point in all this is that for all the environmental concerns of the Sydney Morning Herald which are real enough, and which can be impressive, the newspaper is suffering a neurotic conflict over materialistic growth economics covert subtext. This affects the quality of their political coverage when fully 10% are now voting Green Party (a taboo perhaps) as above absence of pie chart on an issue 'owned' by that Party. It's affecting SMH's editorial control of their own content as above too.

Another example was Ross Gittins' excellent story as economics editor recently on limit to growth after Garnaut, contradicted in juxtaposition by the editorial in the same paper opposite page:

Thursday, 28 February 2008


Maybe Gittins should be handed over the real politik stories a bit more too with cracking and valid expose of the racket of hyper immigration (quite exclusive of refugee obligations):

An inconvenient truth about rising immigration | smh.com.au Ross Gittins; March 3, 2008. JOHN HOWARD never wanted to talk about his booming immigration program.  It seems Kevin Rudd's lot doesn't want to either.

And it is this increasingly obvious deficit in a grand old lady of the Big Media which creates an opportunity for a micro general news media outlet which has a 21C conceptual framework of ecological sustainability in its political economic assumptions to increase readership and influence. That is online micro news service SydneyAlternativeMedia here - trustworthy for it's subtext of ecologically sustainable economics, and real politik, compared to growth fetish economics.

Posted by editor at 9:41 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 6 March 2008 5:38 AM EADT
Tuesday, 4 March 2008
Chicken shop explosion is now being treated as arson
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: local news

As of midday today the police are reported as saying that accelerant was used to cause a fire at a Nandos chicken shop in the Broadway-Ultimo retail precinct in Sydney just beyond the CBD.

Sydney explosion deliberate: police12:07pm | Chicken shop blast that critically injured a man was arson, say police. | Photos

We reported on this a month ago here, with photo of window frames being removed at the direction of Police Forensics for further testing a fews days after the explosion:

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Posted by editor at 4:47 PM EADT
Monthly pageview statistics for SAM micro news website Feb 2008
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: independent media


Latest monthly pageview figures for February 2008 indicate a return to normal transmission with quite reasonable growth of some 1,500 pageviews in a month, from December 07.

 This is down from the rather freakish near doubling of pageviews in January 08, we don't really understand what it was - but latest theory is around the Pat Farmer MHR story of around January 15 or 16 re running from ultra right politics in his Western Sydney seat, a story with a sting in the tail for the ALP too.

Whatever it was we don't have much faith in shooting stars, more like turn up for slog day in day out, and small advances in productivity. This seems far more likely to be sustainable to us.

Previous monthly reader pageview figures for 2007, 2008 verified by screen shot (web host provider monthly pageview account details) posted on or about 4th day of the month found in this thread:

  • February 08 - 13,109
  • January 08 -  19, 898
  • December - 11,627
  • November - 10,220
  • October - 9, 100 
  • Sept -  8,100 (roughly, no screenshot)
  • August - 8,845
  • July - 7475
  • June - 9675
  • May  - 9, 059
  • April  - 12,087
  • March  - 6,684
  • February - 5,372
  • January 07 -  2800 (3rd Jan - 3rd Feb 07)

Posted by editor at 2:00 PM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 4 March 2008 2:17 PM EADT
NSW Ombudsman helps protect community media 5th estate free speech on uni campus
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: independent media

Picture: Campus security in pseudo police uniforms shadow anti Howard Govt eduction rally 2nd May 2007 a few weeks before the last budget of the Coalition Govt, taken by SAM editor who was soon after harrassed off campus and issued with a termination of license notice effectively banning us from the open campus indefinitely.


File this one in the 'chickens chase foxes' file. 

We wrote back on December 14 2007 about the ongoing 6 month ban from Sydney University Campus as a blanket approach to anyone who seemed to be stiring up trouble but actually was doing lawful community media reportage. We say we were doing our democratic duty, the security claim SAM refused to provide lawful reason for being on campus and failed to cooperate in answering questions, even as we handed them our solicitor's ID card. Naturally we rejected that view. Here is one backgrounder:

Friday, 14 December 2007
This followed the original report of Sydney University's inner jackboot revealed in all its glory on the day of the public rally itself;
And another update as here:
Thursday, 15 November 2007
So now through the excellent advice and assistance of NSW Ombudsman's Michael Conaty, and a certain determination by this writer, has resulted in this reinstatement below ... only took 8 months, with no admissions of wrongdoing by either side (the CC to a Mr Fisher is general - legal - counsel for Sydney University), and the letter is signed by one Professor Richmond Jeremy, don't you know who also has carriage of the Callan Park development. We have raised a theory with the good Professor that community media access could well be similarly suppressed on an expanded Callan Park campus contrary to the freedom on that public open space land tenure present now. He takes "exception" to our rhetoric, but then he would talk his book, as any developer will:

Here is the legal paper trail too, if anyone is vaguely interested:

----- Original Message -----

From: SAM To: Conaty/NSW Ombdusman Cc: Senior ABC journo: Jeremy USYD; Higher Education supplement The Oz; senior SMH journo
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2008 12:11 PM
Subject: re failure to reinstate public license to attend USYD campus area Re: 28 days notice to cancel termination on undertaking

22 Feb 2008
Dear Michael Conaty at NSW Ombudsman's Office
As discussed yesterday the USYD continue to string out their original abuse of power by failing comprehensively to reinstate my public license to attend the campus on any number of publicly advertised events with the effect of stifling my community media work this last 8 months.
As predicted from my telephone conversation in Dec 2008 with you, the USYD have taken no action to reinstate despite saying they would in writing late last year, and despite, to quote:
"[Conaty] suggests a deadline for your [USYD] answer should be 28 days.": 18th December 2007 as below
The USYD appear to be cavalier in failing to re-issue me with a license to attend an otherwise generally publicly trafficable campus. This delay reinforces the deliberate censorship or victimisation as experienced in the original complaint of May 2007 trying to shut down my timely reportage of an education rally. It does feel like it.
Nor do I have any particular need or purpose except the principle of my vocational work of free community media. Do you think there might be any prospect of punitive damages against the USYD if they perservere with this capricious agenda?
I look forward to the renewed assistance of the NSW Ombudsman's office in this farcical situation, and I thank the heavens that such a check and balance exists in our government institutions. Certainly it is a case study in a potentially heavy handed control of public open space at Callan Park in the future. A real warning on curbs to democratic free speech via land tenure.
Yours truly
Tom McLoughlin, solicitor, editor www.sydneyalternativemedia.com, tel. 0410 558838,
----- Original Message -----
From: SAM  To: Jeremy ; Fisher
Cc: Conaty Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2007 8:14 AM
Subject: 28 days notice to cancel termination on undertaking

Without prejudice
Reply address: 1a/50 Warren Rd Marrickville 2204
Professor Jeremy, USYD
CC Richard Fisher, general counsel USYD
Michael Conaty, NSW Ombudsman, investigating officer
By email
18th December 2007
Dear Professor
Breach of norms of free press community media on campus at student education rally 2nd May 2007 - 28 days notice to cancel termination of license upon undertaking here
I refer to previous correspondence in particular of 3rd December 2007:
9. Having said that, I accept that you are most likely offering in good faith "to withdraw this Notice on receipt of a written undertaking from you to comply with the reasonable inquiries and directions of the University's authorised officers in future". I do so undertake with this email correspondence and without prejudice as to what has occurred on 2nd May 07. On that we do disagree. [bold added]
Late last week I discussed the ongoing termination of licence for a good 7 months now with Michael Conaty, investigator at the NSW Ombudsman's office.
Without seeking to verbal Conaty, my understanding is that he suggests (and I agree) that I should write to you separately here repeating the above written undertaking regardless of any other outstanding issues which could take quite a while to resolve.
My understanding is that he suggests a deadline for your answer should be 28 days. I said I thought it should be much less given the 7 months delay already. However I accept his advice and his view that my previous letter of 3rd December may well be held up in the USYD legal office for other entangled concerns. I note his advice that failing action by you within 28 days that the NSW Ombudsman office 'can always revive the matter'. We take that on board and feel you should be aware of this too notwithstanding his previous willingness to close the matter.
I think you may want to also consider that we maintain a file on the USYD property interest in Callan Park as a future campus as reported in The Glebe and Inner West Courier recently, and feel the attempted May 2nd 07 exclusion of community media at a public event is a serious aspect of the planned expropriation of that public park land. I am intending to write to Hal Greenland and Friends of Callan Park, Green Party etc about what we say is this previous oppressive aspect USYD management culture. As an essentially public institution we say USYD should always be subject to community media reportage in a healthy democracy including in principle at places like a future Callan Park campus, if that eventuates. We feel there is a public interest right to know about such a change to public access regime in a traditional open access area.
Please let me know within 28 days of this letter that you have cancelled the termination of licence to attend the USYD campus, failing which I can pursue the termination again with the NSW Ombudsman's office.
Please feel free to contact the writer by tel. 0410 558838, ......and note new reply address above .........2204.
Yours truly
Tom McLoughlin, solicitor in NSW, editor www.sydneyalternativemedia.com
----- Original Message -----
From: SAM To: Jeremy ;  Fisher 
Cc: Conaty Sent: Monday, December 03, 2007 1:19 PM
Subject: Tom McLoughlin community media 2nd May 2007 USYD campus student education rally

Without prejudice
Professor Jeremy, USYD
CC Richard Fisher, general counsel USYD
Michael Conaty, NSW Ombudsman, investigating officer
By email
3rd December 2007
Dear Professor
Breach of norms of free press community media on campus at student education rally 2nd May 2007
I refer to your letter of Nov 15 2007 offering to reinstate my general public licence to attend the campus.
Thanks for your contact just prior to the federal election. I am copying in Richard Fisher based on previous exchange of correspondence and also Michael Conaty at the Ombudsman's Office for reasons that will be apparent.
1. My first letter was 2nd May 07 via electronic email with revealing photos therein. USYD have only responded 6 months later by your letter of 15 November 07. Six months later in fact. Frankly I don't buy the convenient excuses about miscommunication there at USYD.  A cynic would say this was only due to the eventual involvement of Conaty at the Ombudsman's office and on that we hang our hat.
2. With due respect you start out 2nd paragraph asserting the "private property" status of the front lawns there. To my mind (High Distinction in Land Registration at ANU in 1985!) this looks like shallow posturing. Everyone knows the Uni is massively publicly subsidised thus the reliance not on private trespass laws but the statutory Inclosed Lands Act just like Darling Harbour and Opera House etc which is your legal right. So yes it is quasi private, but conversely it is quasi public. Hence the whole public licence/termination regulatory regime.
3. That being said I prefer to not bandy legal niceties of land tenure with you. I'm busy, no doubt you are to.
4. The truth of the incident whether in your reports or not is that at law I don't need permission 'to photograph without consent' as you put it. Further, to be entirely accurate I was asked my name as I moved on to the gathering of students and their rally which was the next newsworthy location some 30 metres away. Your man tried to run interference by holding me up to get my name in his little note book, and I said "You can walk with me. I am working." He didn't follow me into the midst of the gathering student protester crowd. Quite wisely I thought.
5. Some 60 minutes later I was surrounded by 4 security as I tried to get my bicycle to leave with the rally. They had been photographing and monitoring my community media work all this time as evidenced by my record and were clearly stalking me for the opportunity to pounce. Only well after the rally was moving off did they demand my name and details. There was some clarifying debate about their legal power and then I gave my solicitor's card with ID. I repeatedly answered the question "Do you have a lawful reason to be on the campus?" with the incredulous response "I'm here to report the student rally for community media. I'm the reporter and editor for Sydney Alternative Media.com."
6. There can be no mistaking the motive and intention of these security staff. It was straight out oppression of free media coverage of the student rally, and of their method of dealing with that student gathering. Very unimpressive in a democracy actually. Your letter 'as you are advised' is in reality an impertinent deception to suggest otherwise.
7. I submit the cancellation of public licence was because of my answer of my purpose for attendance being community media, not the provision or not of ID. That looks quite a dishonest rationale. My ID was provided as evidenced by the cancellation notice itself. Not to mention the menacing threats to arrest me, while standing over and around me simply trying to continue coverage of the rally. In fact it looks highly consistent with the facts that the threats to arrest me were a clumsy attempt to prevent coverage of the strong rally down Broadway.
8. Without doubt given my solicitor status and stated community media role the Termination of Licence Notice was demonstrably not "reasonable in all the circumstances". Again with due respect this is legal bluster and face saving.
9. Having said that, I accept that you are most likely offering in good faith "to withdraw this Notice on receipt of a written undertaking from you to comply with the reasonable inquiries and directions of the University's authorised officers in future". I do so undertake with this email correspondence and without prejudice as to what has occurred on 2nd May 07. On that we do disagree.
10. I am not so naive in this day an age not to accept the proper role of security especially for a vulnerable student body and diverse international concerns. That's accepted. My point remains upon presentation of the solicitor photo ID card that was the time for your over zealous and frankly anti publicity security staff to back off and let me proceed on my way. It could easily have been dealt with by correspondence to resolve any future concerns.
In conclusion Professor, I do believe the USYD remains quite exposed to the claim of staff seeking to constrain public reportage of a potentially very embarrassing student rally (which actually got minimal coverage hence my interest to provide community media profile) some 2 weeks before the highly sensitive federal budget. That we submit is the awkward subtext you cannot avoid.
On the other hand it would be somewhat foolish in diplomatic terms to not acknowledge that since November 24 2007 we do indeed live in somewhat kinder times in terms of debate and dissent. At least that's my provisional view. May it continue to consolidate.
I have submitted to your general counsel an estimate of my legal time/costs in seeking to have what we say is a wrongful termination of licence reversed, and unresponsiveness for a good 6 months in the critical pre federal election period. I press that modest estimate with the University (eg a gratuity/no admission of wrongdoing on your part), to cover my time and effort. In this way I would be willing to withdraw my complaint to the NSW Ombudsman for the perceived legal injury and embarrassment caused in the course of our community media work, as well as the approximately 6 hours now of legal time drafting and settling correspondence about this issue.
Your continuing ban on my attendance at the campus is noted which will take same into its 7th month and to my mind compounds the potential quantum of my legal compensation including via the Ombudsman's office.
Please do not hesitate to contact the writer on tel. .......or 0410 558838 to discuss any of the matters above, or by return email (note updated server address).
Yours faithfully,
Tom McLoughlin, solicitor/editor www.sydneyalternativemedia.com


Posted by editor at 11:24 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 4 April 2008 7:07 PM NZT
Monday, 3 March 2008
From Wall St to Wollongong, Daryl Hannah as Beth Morgan, Paul Matters v ALP Right developers
Mood:  sad
Topic: nsw govt

Years ago in tragic wonky form we watched agog as Paul Matters (ex unionist rep South Coast Labour Council, in new role as legal advocate barrister for a hapless staffer of ALP MP Gabrielle Harrison in an employment IRC dispute) was in turn quoted by Quentin Dempster on Stateline. The effect of the allegation was that said staffer in her wrongful dismissal case claimed she heard her boss Harrison refer to the State ALP Govt as

'the most corrupt government in the history of NSW'.

Harrison duly denied ever saying it though it was claimed so in sworn evidence. This may all have been before standard ABC web based searchable archival data base putting it at 2002 or earlier. The damage possibly was done because junior minister Harrison exited state politics soon after because if she didn't say it the gist of the embarrassing disloyalty to the Labor Family Business must have been noted. Ms Harrison one suspects was too honest and a poor fit.

Indeed in retrospect these quotes from the SMH say plenty about Ms Harrison out of love with the ALP Parliamentary Party and corroborate our general memory of the events:

Ms Harrison was described by the Premier, Bob Carr, as a Labor Party hero in 1994, when she was elected in a byelection after the death of the incumbent member, her husband Andrew Ziolkowski.

She was quickly elevated to the front bench and held the sport and recreation portfolio for five years. But Ms Harrison's star fizzled in 1999 when she was dumped from the front bench and her former electorate secretary, Anne Stonham, launched legal action against her over allegedly harsh and unfair working conditions.

Ms Stonham, who worked for Ms Harrison from 1994 to 1997, claimed in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission that Ms Harrison had neglected her duties as a local member and kept photos of opponents in a locket. The case has still to be finalised.     ...

Ms Harrison, who could not be contacted last night, told ABC radio that her decision had nothing to do with the Stonham case.

"I've just had enough," she said. "I think you know in your heart when it's time to move on and I knew that, so it was a difficult decision but I've made it.

"I guess it's been coming slowly that I felt that I should move on. It's the sort of job that you have to give your heart and soul and your life to.

"You can't do the best job you possibly can when you're wishing you were somewhere else, and I've been wishing I was with my family more."

in  Ballot rules row after Harrison quits ALP By Robert Wainwright, State Political Correspondent
December 21 2002

Roll forward some 6 years we hear 'a source' in Wollongong (ie referred to via abc 702) reckons words to the effect of: 

'if an administrator is appointed at the Gong by Justice Cripps via Premier Iemma then it will mean the Wollongong Council is effectively run from Iemma's Macquarie St'.

Ain't that the truth.

We did notice Mr Matters in the press recently too in a picture sledging the corrupt Wollongong Govt for a community group down there. Quite the indy advocate is our Mr Matters all these years later. And good luck to him too.

Matters seems to have come a cropper developer influence some 10 years ago having been shunted out of his secretary role in the SCLC with Michael Costa, as then unionist leader keen to flog off Currawong on the north shore. A real battle of old Labor versus spiv Labor within the union movement itself:

Currawong: How Costa squanders workers' assets' , 6 December 2000 Green Left Weekly by Dave Bell - "a NSW Teachers Federation delegate to Labor Council of NSW"

We watched the 1987 Wall St the movie yesterday, twice with Michael Douglas as best actor Academy Award winner ousting Broadcast News the same year with the high promotion budget and no awards at all. We watched once with the director's comments and what a geat study of greed it is:

The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that: Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right; greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms, greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge — has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed, you mark my words — will not only save Teldar Paper but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.: Gordon Gecko soliloquy to stockholders meeting in Wall St 

Ground breaking frame of the information technology age in 1986-7 just before the share market crash of Sept 1987, released in Dec 1987 (where this writer lost a year's Canberra public servant superannuation, Trademark's Office).  A classic and homage by right leaning Oliver Stone as director to his dead father who worked as an intellectual style economist on Wall Street.

When we saw the deeply amoral compromised Daryl Hannah character Dariane, that Hannah had trouble channelling apparently, in all her natural beauty and charm we realised with a shock we were looking at .... Beth Morgan at the ICAC hearings this last fortnight ... who we presume also wanted to do "alot more than just survive".

To quote wikipedia: . The defense of greed is a paraphrase of the May 18, 1986 commencement address at the UC Berkeley's School of Business Administration, delivered by arbitrageur Ivan Boesky (who himself was later convicted of insider-trading charges), in which he said, "Greed is all right, by the way. I want you to know that. I think greed is healthy. You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself."

Some stand out lines of the movie:

"The main thing about money, it makes you do things you don't want to do":

spoken by actor Hal Holbrook, which director Stone underlines "It's true".

"when you look into the abyss you find your own character":

again by 'soothsayer' character Hal Holbrook.

We felt an urge to take the DVD into the ICAC hearing public gallery today and give the shop copy to the badly wounded Ms Morgan, that she might become the Charlie Sheen character who indeed weeps and switches track back onto the road to redemption, the social contract under the law.

"Maybe it's the price you have to pay"

Says actor father Martin Sheen to actor son Charlie Sheen, referring to the imminent jail sentence as he faces with grit and honesty his own wrongdoing.

We would urge Morgan to watch this movie if she ever gets to read this blog. Douglas who plays the black hat so well is in life actually very idealistic. The whole thing is a parable. It will make her feel better to know plenty have been there before and some have even survived looking into the abyss. It's a question of character.

Posted by editor at 10:23 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 3 March 2008 3:24 PM EADT
Sunday, 2 March 2008
Sunday political talkies: Swany's excellent (budget) adventure, anticipation grows for elite 'people' summit
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: aust govt



Picture: Outside ICAC Sydney office Friday 29th February, suggesting, if nothing else, that NSW governance is a wilderness of mirrors (a phrase borrowed from 'brilliant' but damaged alcoholic paranoid CIA director Angleton) such that even ICAC will have trouble sorting it all? 




Author’s general introductory note
(skip this bit 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 – this section under construction till later Sunday/Monday



- Constant reports this last week on sleazy money politics in NSW not least our report from ICAC hearing last Friday on SAM. Veteran Alan Ramsey flushes out the NSW ALP doing over the federal govt national interest in a curfew free air transport link. Talk about foul the nest with land developer greed. A cracking read from the 'lounge bar bore' as some unkindly have called old Alan:

Saturday March 1, 2008 What chance now of keeping the bastards honest?

The NSW govt seem to have a strategy of pushing forward such as Verity Firth MP as their honesty figleaf who in fact is also greatly compromised in terms of policy integrity over attempts to flog Callan Park open space for high impact development (along City Rd now) by Sydney University, a better class of developer presumably:


Morris Iemma has been forced into print late last week which boasting the achievements of this "good government" which are all too humble in nature and duly way below the fold line bottom left:

Hysterical headlines do not tell the true story of our state - Opinion 29/2/08

The general public perception and closer to the truth surely was the scathing list of failure in the Daily Telegraph editorial:

For state's sake, wake up Iemma | The Daily Telegraph

where we counted 9 black marks.

- Back on 17 Feb 2008 we had this below in our usual Sunday Talkies traverse, with a 7 days time delay cranking the story to highest levels of awareness 14 days later. Good stuff Big Media, even Alan Jones sensitive generational’ interview on 2GB kicked it along when it counted.;

Promo Ross Coulthard at 8.08 am with medical misconduct story, important but not particularly political in nature except organization integrity of health system, which probably is political State v Federal resourcing and talent.

Business, economic roundup with Ross Greenwood clash with 10 MTP something about banks being scared to lend now.  

Bega Valley doctor – Reeves. Looks grim about cover up. Coulthard very strong interview with medically abused women. This story will run.


- Mark Aarons of Left ALP aristocracy, in the SMH this weekend 


Labor's ties that grind - National - smh.com.au  

follows Lateline debate with John Robertson, essential listening confuses union membership level and union coverage of a sector via award protections for all workers as the same concept, totally letting freeloaders off financial responsibility for industrial justice legacy. Yet the constricted base of talent for the ALP parliamentary party from their union base is clearly a problem too, however it arises.

The issue Aarons and most all within the Labor/labour paradigm totally misses is that work in an age of high mechanization and information in 21C is not nearly as high priority or fundamental value as in 20C. Rather institutional integrity, ecological sustainability, and spiritual fulfillment are all far more important 21C concepts compared to the WW2 peace dividend of wealth creation through hard work. What indeed is science and mechanization for than to make life easier for all? Thus economic growth through high labour and material inputs is outdated 20C thinking.

That’s not to say abandon discipline endeavour or commitment to effort to stay balanced and avoid atrophy and malaise but it does mean a lesser role for unionism/ALP representing collective labour, making as much sense as a collectivization of computer terminals, giant mining trucks, or cars.


-         4 Corners retrospective on Joh Bjelke Peterson and the last 20 years since,  this Monday

-         Eric Abetz in trouble over Nazi family cultural legacy, Abetz recall was vehement supporter of dictatorial Exclusive Brethren economic misogynist slavery cult. Ironically Abetz says judge me on my own merits. We do Senator, we do.


- Science, nurture and nature: the great forestry debate 22nd Feb 2008


-  Crikey circulated the nomination form for the 2020 federal govt summit 24 hours to deadline. So we sent one in with a defiant tone, and no false modesty amongst some 3000 other jostlers:


My presence will assist a successful event: A principled dedicated non smoking teetotal community media practitioner who will report back fairly to the community sector with an independent legal and ecological eye, with no personal agenda; An enthusiastic respectful participant in forums. Our history of knockabout experience, good education, and ecological achievement will add a powerful flavour to the discourse dominated by proud over achievers in other fields. My qualities, off a very humble base, are a premium for social and economic restructure in a massively carbon constrained future, and which this summit - already with something of a credibility gap - needs.


This is what we really think will happen, that is nothing!:


Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 6:25 PM

Subject: dobbed you in as referee! Fw: Thomas McLoughlin ecologist, community media practitioner, solicitor

[personal referees] 

Hey you guys, I sent in an application to the big conceited govt summit, and dobbed you two in as personal referees. Hope you don't mind.  

Just tell them whatever you like. But it's not going to happen anyway so don't worry about it. 

Check the humble self recommendation - they need me! So I think anyway. 

Cheers Tom. … 


Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 6:19 PM

Subject: Thomas McLoughlin ecologist, community media practitioner, solicitor

Please find my application form attached. 

Yours truly 

Tom McLoughlin, solicitor, editor www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog



Sunday 9 7.30am- 9.30am


-         Dubai lack of human rights story amongst the desert and oil wealth

-         Geraldine Brooks successful Australian author based in USA.

-         Prince Harry PR service as a soldier in cotton wool.

-         Same advert as on 10 re 6 to 3 cylinder car Accord.

-         Trump story wank. Actually no – its  a damn good short story about money overtaking personal life. Good tv competing with good expert tv on 10.

-         More good tv reprising Bega butcher doctor story, they broke, full credit. Lorraine Long Medical Error Action Group, another lady victim, all praise for courage.

-         Answer to online poll re cutting C02 emissions greater than 60% by 2050 poll last week –  on 32% or so say yes. Conservative audience, shows how dumb and unscientific in denial the affluent really are.



Laurie Oakes with Wayne Swan – colourful youth, twenties beat up in Sunday press. Rudd at high school was no rager. Swan spikes the strawman story, almost as if planted by his own side. Gets on to the glazing budget detail.


Multiple references to The Australian.





Picture: Who will be the winners and losers in the upcoming tight federal budget. This fellow pictured catching a nap in the sun yesterday under the razor wire looks unconcerned in new PM Rudd's 'core nation'.



10 Meet the Press:  8- 8-30 am


Press roundup, not much of interest.


Lindsay Tanner, sweetener $150 for teen dental, good idea to mentor dental hygiene. Meanwhile promotes fiscal rigour.


Missed out take of Rudd aside.


Advert – what the F? Car with 6 to 3 cylinder technology, sure. Then bright green prospectus for “sub soil”.


Panel Philip Clark 2GB, tax cuts inflationary burden on home owners at the other? Says progressive cuts, participation rate,


Michelle Grattan – interrupts the eye glazing rhetoric of Tanner sounding like a Treasurer actually. Didn’t catch a whiff of meaning.


Tanner looks pinched scrubbed and bleary eyed, working hard. He’s like on auto pilot – burn out material? MG – middle class welfare, echoes PC above.


Smart talker from Odyssey house re binge drinking, James Pits (spelling?), been on abc 702, African American guy quite the telegenic icebreaker. Should do more tv.


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



Riley Diary 7


Missed the start, some choice clips of PM behaviour – some theme about awards like the academy awards. Spoof about “core” cliché. Quite funny. Footage of Helen Clark looking older and tireder.


Q&A re summit 5 min each take 31/2 days, big challenge to get anything coherent.






Insiders 2: 9- 10am


First 100 days, booklet presser by PM Rudd.


Press round up, Abetz relo, Swan in 70ies tickle up, dental plan


Panel is Taylor AFR, Meglo Oz, Aker SDT.


Talent is Roxon as Health Minister.


Usual segments, interesting, fair degree of cross spectrum bonhomie. Including Akerman making some telling points from the Right re Meglo blog more impact than a 2020 summiteer, Taylor holds out on consultation, echo of Riley skepticism.


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


Picture: Someone's gotta do it - Camperdown historic cemetery 1st March 08

Posted by editor at 10:21 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 3 March 2008 10:20 AM EADT
Friday, 29 February 2008
Questions remain how stand over man Younan passed himself off as ICAC officer
Mood:  not sure
Topic: nsw govt

Picture: Where ever you look there are developers including "Stockland" outside the ICAC hearing room as a gaggle of media monitor figures exiting today.


The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is the kind of place where they give the media an emergency exit plan like on a Qantas flight. Everything should be fine but they are defying 'gravity' only in this case the ruthless game of money politics in NSW.
It's easy to fall into a frivolous attitude with the cartoon like characters straight out of the Sopranos lined up at this hearing. Really they do look so. Big fairly harmless guys like Cr Frank Gigliotti in the witness box today in the Gong-gate, upset over his wife's breast cancer who just wanted the sinister stand over man Younan to leave him alone.
The Commission played footage of a case of Chivas Regal from Gigliotti going into Younan's car boot ostensibly to keep the ICAC itself quiet, that he was impersonating: Here it is already on News Ltd websites:
Whiskey scandal brewing
THIS is the moment a councillor caught up in the ICAC sex-for-development case gave a case of whiskey to conmen posing as corruption investigators. Video of the handover was released today as Morris Iemma told a female MP caught up in the scandal to stand down and Wollongong council's future is on the rocks. More
At this point the hearing room door opened as someone entered and guffaws of laughter could be heard from the Media Room as the flaks watched the same footage across the foyer.
Maybe it was Friday cabin fever for these folks - serious reporters like Deborah Cornwall (7.30), Wendy Frew (SMH), John Lyons (The Australian) and the bloke from the ABC tv who usually does the whimsy (maybe his exec producer also has a sense of humour). And others I don't recognise.
But a flippant reaction to proceedings would be wrong. Certainly the beak Judge Jerrold Cripps was techy with miserable Gigliotti, who was doing no giggling and didn't enjoy his gig today. We made a drawing of him with his ample girth resting on the desk surface in front, balancing on the chair edge, as if to concede it was always going to be inadequate:

One of the meeja agreed it was a case of racketeer "wolves amongst sheep" with Gig arguably being the latter.

In fact we found the hearing room a little intimidating amongst the ethnic folk even with our own 1/8 Italian heritage - what were these guys really capable of? We started to see the sense in sitting at the back where one is less noticeable amongst the serious players, or camp in the media room itself.
Frank Vellar who for want of a better metaphor was an older version of the Matt Damon character in The Departed deep in the mire, reverting to Italian for emphasis, bedding the talent Beth Morgan. She was sitting (significantly?) next to John Lyons (The Australian) most of the morning suggestive of some kind of media deal. She will surely run the naivety defence with tender age, those looks, and benign sexism, it just might work. On the other hand Vella is quoted today referring to his male developer and councillor peers as "smarter than a fox" and "they will eat you" to one Cr Zanotto.
We went to the ICAC pursuing a theory, that like Matt Damon in the movie they had or have a rat deep in their midst. We suspect so from the Debra Jopson story front page Sydney Morning Herald 21/2/08 namely:
Maybe this Melinda McCabe formerly Manager of Investigations at ICAC who turns up working with disgraced Joe Scimone at the Maritime Authority is the real Matt Damon in this story? We pressed Nicole Thomas, media officer for ICAC on this point and she called back quick smart but only to say ominously "no comment".
Certainly Judge Cripps wanted to know why the hell Gigliotti was so convinced a hefty grub like Younan could possibly be an ICAC officer. It was indeed incredulous, and to hear the detail was to feel the chill clammy embrace of Big Younan and even sympathise with his victims. 'How stupid' we are supposed to think unless .....there is or was a rat deep down in the ICAC burrow. In that case it could ring true to hapless Gigliotti, who otherwise didn't seem that stupid, well and truly hooked by Younan, who did in fact trade on the allegation ICAC was dirty. It's a scenario likely to greatly unsettled the beak too.
We all have to hope it was a mere ruse.
Then there is the quandary of Ms Morgan, senior planner. One journo said she's irrelevant now, and a retired senior planner of 35 years experience in the public gallery told this writer she was "naive". The Daily Telegraph runs a story today pretty much to the effect she has already been punished by humiliation as a pawn, if not porn, or hooker for gaming developers:
is the title on the web, but actually the headline in print is 
This woman deserves our support
with a big neutral image clutching legal folders. How's that for friendly spin?
On the other hand we recall a Peter Corris crime thriller where the willing participant in a Bonny & Clyde sex and robbery adventure is later absolved for being young, female, and emotional. Certainly Morgan, possibly with her mother sitting next to her, is such in the back of the court - mortified, quietly distraught even as Vellar gave his evidence this morning at one point looking up, and who knows maybe even to the back of the court but probably to his lawyer.
We admit to a cynical streak still - something doesn't quite gel with us in all her genuine anxiety - reportage of writing the ethics policy then breaking it; leadership training programme in Bondi Junction, fooling around with a married developer, her own divorce, joining in the table of knowledge tactics meetings; failing to officially report Joe Scimone's harrassment while knowing his political connections; Noreen Hay MP elected in 2003 and a certain age and ripe for a challenge like Jodi McKay got that seat of Bryce Gaudry up in Newcastle. Or maybe just her tone of voice in the tapes played today at the hearing.  Just how ambitious and calculating was Ms Morgan? Was her goal a political career in the end, short circuiting the money men drip feed to the other councillors, for her own political aspirations? Was she ever a member of the local ALP herself? Did she fancy herself after the Greens stole Cunningham federally in 2001?
Did she look at Nicole Cornes in South Australia and think I can do that, all I need is financial backing?
Noreen Hay has just been ditched too, as we read this arvo on the Sydney Morning Herald 3.32 pm today

ALEXANDRA SMITH 3:32pm | Premier orders Wollongong MP to step down as secretary for health.

Our theory re Morgan stalking Noreen Hay MP is probably all fanciful and unworthy and certainly lacks any factual basis, all circumstantial surmise. Possibly says more about this writer's obsession with real politik. But then we just wonder, was there two Beth Morgan's? The besotted naive mid level planner, or the bored ambitious calculating amoral political animal who knew the power geography too well and the role of money in that paradigm, whose general manager was literally in it up to his neck as well, but not her immediate superviser Director of Planning? Ms Morgan had ability and opportunity, maybe motive, and we wonder.
Was she in fact too good a student of reality in that frog pond and taking a career path? Anxiety more about the existence of the ICAC itself putting a spoke in the whole sorry affair including her escalator upward?
There were some choice comments in the hearing about the "fuckwit deputy" and "mini me" etc present councillors. Truth to tell Beth Morgan couldn't have been worse.
Judge Cripps gave natural justice notification to all the lawyers as the day's hearing drew to a close that under S. 74C of the ICAC Act:

[74C Reports relating to local government authorities

(1) The Commission is authorised to include in a report under section 74 a recommendation that consideration be given to the making of a proclamation under the Local Government Act 1993 that all civic offices in relation to a local government authority be declared vacant if the Commission is of the opinion that systemic corruption exists within the local government authority.]

they would need to address this potential recommendation to govt for dismissal of the Gong council. 

We already know from his press conference a week ago Premier Iemma is keen to sack the council too.
State Govt will be keen to quarrantine Wollongong Local Govt at every turn, including ditch Noreen Hay MP, a loyal servant of the regional ALP but not nearly as good looking as Ms Beth Morgan.
The ICAC broke up early - 1.30 pm today - probably so the Big Meeja could work up the audio and visual material provided on disk for the weekend splash. Nicole Thomas as media officer like a heavily armed navy frigate, if not battleship, was keeping jealous watch again over the media fleet. Earlier she dispensed AV disks, and now ever more transcripts as we left in search of honest sunlight.
We used the exit plan.

Posted by editor at 3:49 PM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 1 March 2008 10:22 AM EADT

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