You are here

Sheila Newman's blog

Fire and Wildlife conference Nov 9 - See inside for Video re Victoria's disastrous fire and forest policy

Video and transcript inside This film, made for the conference exposes the lived experience of corrupt, stupid and lethal Victorian forest and fire management, despite and because of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. The name of the film, "Firebug Economy," comes from Jill Redwood's description of a desperate way of making money out of fires by people in the declining logging business. In the film Jill also talks about the low flammability of old growth forests and the horrible synergy of forest removal, wildlife loss, and global warming, greatly accelerated under Victoria's 'planned burns policy'. Government policy has been stealthily converting old growth forests into plantations. Is the final aim is to sell them for farmland and urban development as Victoria burns? Please come to the Pause and Review conference in Melbourne 9th Nov 2014 at Kindness House, 288 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy Melbourne. Starts 10am. Contact: Maryland Wilson 0417 148 501. Jill Redwood of Environment East Gippsland is famous for leading the first ever successful case by an environmental organisation against a government logging firm. In this film we find that the trees granted protection in the famous EEG court case against VicForests have since been vengefully felled.

New Russian theory relates rainfall decline, fires and climate change to forest removal

In the light of the upcoming "Pause and Review" conference (November 9, 2014) on how Victoria's 5% per annum burning off will destroy most wildlife, along with forests and climate, I am revisiting the biotic pump theory on these pages. Whilst many people have been aware (but have mostly been ignored) that vegetation, especially forests, creates rain, and whilst desertification has been linked to deforestation historically many times, there is a new and robust theory to explain how this may happen. There is a short and a long version at Prof. Victor G. Gorshkov and Anastassia Makarieva's theoretical physics site here: "Biotic regulation pump." The authors also have pages at academia.edu. A journalist overview, "'Biotic Pump' Theory Suggests Forests Drive Wind and Rain" is available on the Environmental News Network.
See also How logging causes forest firesOriginal source of article:Rainforests may pump winds worldwide by Fred Pierce, New Scientist, 1st April 2009, issue no.2702.

MH17- The Untold Story - Russian investigative documentary

Video inside. 23 minute Russian documentary investigating the downing of MH17, using footage from reporters on the scene shortly after, and engineering analysis, plus follow-up on reports made early in the piece, but since buried in the western news. The official investigative teams have still not come up with any definitive answers, and certainly no evidence that Russians or even East Ukrainian separatists did it, let alone had any motive, despite prejudicial and inflammatory stances by our own primeminister, Mr Abbott. At the time of the tragedy, civil conflict in the area prevented international experts from conducting a full and thorough investigation. It seems that the western-backed Kiev government (under Poroshenko) went all-out to bomb the area continuously, leaving one to surmise that they wanted to destroy evidence and keep observers away. The wreckage should have been collected and scrupulously re-assembled to identify all the damage, but this standard investigative procedure was never carried out. Until that’s done, evidence can only be gleaned from pictures of the debris, the flight recorders or black boxes and eye-witnesses’ testimonies. This may be enough to help build a picture of what really happened to the aircraft, whether a rocket fired from the ground or gunfire from a military jet.

Seriously interesting new way to track politicians' votes on all issues!

Open Australia is a website that makes Hansard more accessible and searchable. But now Open Australia has come up with a fantastic democracy tool. You can put in the name of any politician, or a policy, and see how they voted on it. Not only that, you can see a history of their votes, whether they tend to cross the floor, whether they tend to vote unusually, and who else in parliament might be their ally! There are also heaps of clickable explanations of parliamentary jargon and details of matters voted on.I'm really impressed! Whoever wrote this program deserves congratulations!

Invitation to Green Wedges Coalition AGM & election forum next Tuesday 28 October

SavingVictoria: Invitation to Green Wedges Coalition AGM & election forum next Tuesday 28 October; Wildflower walks in the western grasslands, PPL rally vs the EWL.

1. Please consider the Green Wedges when you vote next month. With this in mind, the Green Wedges Coalition is hosting an election forum at our AGM, at 1pm on Tuesday 28 October, in the Legislative Council Committee Room at Parliament House, Spring Street, Melbourne.

Judith Sinnamon "Wallum" Australian flora paintings Brisbane October 24 - 8 November

Opening today, Friday 24 October 2-4pm.. Judith Sinnamon's paintings are notable for their portrayal of Australian banksia flowers in their many manifestations, although she also paints other plants and subjects. Her style is meticulous, yet cheerful, free and full of light. This will be her third exhibition at Edwina Corlette Galleries in Brisbane. You will have to be quick to snap one up. Paintings may be pre-purchased via the gallery. "Wallum," the title of her exhibition, or "wallum country", is an Australian ecosystem of coastal south-east Queensland, extending into north-eastern New South Wales. It is characterised by flora-rich shrubland and heathland on deep, nutrient-poor, acidic, sandy soils, and regular wildfire.

Ebola: Statement from the Nurses re gross negligence at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital

This is the shocking inside story of total incompetence and negligence from some registered nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas who know what happened at that hospital following the positive Ebola infection of first the late Thomas Eric Duncan and then a registered nurse who cared for him, Nina Pham. The Registered Nurses contacted the nursing union, National Nurses United, because of the highly risky lack of training and preparation. They apparently chose to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation. The fact that nurses everywhere, including in Australia, now fear speaking out on anything demonstrates how bad for our health is a deregulated employment sector based on dreadful job security, hiring of young rather than older, more experienced and confident nurses, and imported nurses, for anti-social economic, organisational, and insurance reasons. Originally published on the website of National Nurses United, where you can also comment.

Another take on Whitlam, Population, Energy Resources, and the Khemlani loan scandal

   

The Australian government seemed to be boldly seizing the initiative to defend Australia's energy resources against a background of worsening international events. As other old colonies across the sea rose up and nationalised their oil reserves, there are signs that the Whitlam Government was planning to do the same, when it was cut down. When I was engaged in a research thesis that I finished in 2002, I approached the history of the Whitlam government at an angle from which it had not previously been approached. This article is based on an extract from Sheila Newman, The Growth Lobby and its Absence in Australia and France, 2002. (This is a new URL that does not require log-ins)

Vale Gough Whitlam - last real ALP foe to the Growth Lobby

There had been almost continuous high immigration from 1949-1970 – although immigration from 2009 dwarfs those figures now. Whitlam related population growth statistics to high land prices and the need for more appropriate management of development. Menzies had brought in policies that favoured the private housing industry over the public housing supply. Whitlam would try to counteract this tendency which now drives homelessness and overpopulation.

In 1973 land prices increased by up to 46 per cent in Melbourne and Adelaide and 34 per cent in Sydney. The highest increases were in outer-metropolitan areas where rapid population growth exceeded the supply of serviced blocks. The Whitlam government attempted to establish Federally funded public land development agencies in each State which would "establish a presence in the market sufficient to influence the general level of land prices and the rate of development of particular areas". This was intended to "create direct competition with private developers" "with a vested interest in the escalation of land prices" by "selling to home builders at the cost of production of the block." Whitlam also attempted to stabilise Australia's population numbers and to plan for Australia to become self-sufficient. See the full thesis.

Macedon Ranges really needs your help

We are asking (pleading) for everyone’s help to convince the State government to give Macedon Ranges the protection it promised in 2010: State policy in the form of a Localised Planning Statement [LPS] that retains Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 [SPP8].

Macedon Ranges Council has hijacked the ‘protection’ process by producing its very own LPS that isn’t SPP8 but a blueprint for growth and development that damages what everyone values about Macedon Ranges. It won’t keep Macedon Ranges rural; it won’t stop suburbia; and it’s definitely NOT protection. It’s less than we have now.

Video: Open Mike session at Thomson vs Doyle Population Debate 13 October 2014

Audience with open microphone, commenting and asking questions of Kelvin Thomson and Mayor Doyle at the "Big Population Debate" on 13 October 2014 at Deakin Edge, Federation Square, which attracted well over 200 people from peak ratepayers, planning and environmental groups. It culminated in a call by Mary Drost, of Planning Backlash, for a referendum on Australia's population growth. Both Kelvin Thomson and Lord Mayor Doyle agreed that this was a good idea.

Attention Mr Shorten: IMPORTANT: MH17 and Australian leadership at the G20 summit

This letter, written to Mr Bill Shorten, leader of Australia's opposition, criticises the basis of his position on MH17 and the attitude he has officially expressed towards President Putin of Russia's attendance at the G20 summit. The letter cites scientific analysis that casts huge doubt on the involvement of a missile. It points out that there has been no official report on the results of any investigation of MH17's fate, notably nothing to implicate Russia. Unofficial copies of documents (samizdat)[1] are thought to indicate that the countries participating in the MH17 investigation have signed a secret non-disclosure agreement where any participant (including the very suspect Kiev) has the right to veto publication of the results without explanation. The truth about the cause of the horrifying fate of the 298 appears to have been subsumed by propaganda to which Australia's Prime Minister and opposition leader both shamefully bow. The letter suggests that Australia should not subscribe to baseless attacks on Putin in order to help the US's bid maintain position in a unipolar world. The BRICs countries and Indonesia and Argentina - arguably our natural allies - are unlikely to be impressed by such dishonesty and it serves no good cause.

Hilarious debate on gay rights and population politics between Irish Senator David Norris and Oksana Boyco

World and European overpopulation as viewed by a warm, humane, generous, down-to-earth and witty Irish senator in a surprising response to an interview about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights (LGBT rights). I am a great fan of the interviewer, Oksana Boyco, but in this episode her interviewee outshines her in my opinion, making for a most unusual program. David Norris, who speaks Irish and Hebrew, and has lived in Israel, is also famous for a recent parliamentary speech on Israel and Gaza, which I have embedded at the end of this article.

Housing affordability crisis driven by demand-side factors

"Address population growth, tax concessions and foreign buyers." (Sustainable Population Party). The federally registered Sustainable Population Party says Australia’s housing affordability crisis is largely driven by demand-side factors, rather than supply-side issues. The party will take its message to the street at upcoming auctions across Melbourne, including The Block Auction on Sunday October 11.

Kangaroo raid and mad wildlife laws create havoc and distress

Human officials just seems to dream up worse and worse situations for kangaroos and carers. Wildlife activists often go to considerable expense to try to help government plan to transfer kangaroos out of the way of new roads and housing developments instead of shooting them. The usual response is that it is too difficult to transport kangaroos. The wildlife rescuers keep a watch, but usually one day they find that the kangaroos have all gone. Then someone will find some mass graves. But, when it suits the government, it seems it's all too easy to transport kangaroos, with police escorts no less.

Parliamentary speech: Sen Madigan deplores Abbott's Social Services ammendments

John Joseph Madigan, Independent Senator for Victoria: "Job seekers are in a tough job market. One only has to do check the Ballarat Courier or the Latrobe Valley Express from Saturday to see how many jobs are being advertised. When the government allows the employment market to be flooded with 457s, what do we expect? When the government goads industry upon industry to leave our shores, what do we expect? When the government cannot figure out how to manage its defence procurement needs over a long period, what do we expect? When the government cannot figure out how to use our abundance of natural gas for our own cheap electricity, what do we expect?" Full short speech inside, made October 1st, 2014 in Federal Parliament. Headings were added by candobetter.net editor.

Video: Melissa Parke MP - speech on how restricting our freedom and privacy won't protect us from terrorism

Melissa Parke, ALP Member for Fremantle, West Australia, was the only MP to dissent against the passing of the new so-called anti-terrorism laws in Australia, which make huge changes to our privacy and civil rights.

Ms Parke (10:45am) — I wish to start my comments on this Bill by making reference to a case that came before the House of Lords in relation to the detention of foreign terrorist suspects indefinitely without trial under the UK's Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act, where Lord Hoffman, in a dissenting judgement, said:

Kelvin Thomson MP: No to the East West Link Road Tunnel

Video and Transcript inside: Federal Labor Member for Wills, Kelvin Thomson, spoke in Parliament against the signing of contracts and the construction of the East West Link Road Tunnel, also known as the Royal Park Freeway. Before the election the Liberals were in favour of independent cost benefit analysis for major projects, yet now in government, they are avoiding undertaking one for the East-West Link in Melbourne, the freeway through Royal Park. Mr Thomson wrote to the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, and his Parliamentary Secretary on 27th August, to seek appropriate and publicly transparent economic modelling, environmental assessment and community consultation before tens of billions of dollars are spent on a tunnel that makes no economic sense, will damage our environment and which will hurt local communities. (23/9/14). Note that Kelvin will be publicly debating Victoria's population growth policy with Melbourne Mayor Robert Doyle on 13 October in Melbourne at Deakin Edge in Federation Square from 5.30-7pm.

Russia warns of nuclear disaster if Syria is hit

Republished from RT (5/9/14). See also: IAEA says looks into Russian warning on Syria nuclear site – Reuters (6/9/14).

A military strike on Syria could lead to a nuclear catastrophe if a missile were to hit a reactor containing radioactive uranium, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman warned. The remark comes as the US continues to push for a military strike on Syria. "If a warhead, by design or by chance, were to hit the Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR) near Damascus, the consequences could be catastrophic," Aleksandr Lukashevich said in a Wednesday statement.

Confused about ISIS? Maybe that's what your leaders want. Video and transcript

"In Paris this week [week of September 20], the great and the gruesome came together to discuss the existential threat of ISIS, but the two countries actually doing something meaningful about that threat - Syria and Iran - were of course not invited. Confused? You won't be after you have heard our first guest, Hasib Risby, a commentator on the region and part of digital resistance." A very clear analysis of what is happening with ISIS, Syria, Iran, and the US in the Middle East, by George Galloway and Gayatri Pertiwi with Haseeb Rizvi. The original program (with no transcript) is at http://rt.com/shows/sputnik/189028-isis-summit-paris-uk/

Torquay: Growth! Is bigger better? Forum 17 November

Join the discussion, and hear Australia’s leading experts explain the issues. Speakers are Prof Ian Lowe, Prof David Karoly, Geoff Carr, and state election Q and A candidates in the South Barwon electorate. MC is Rod Quantock. Organised by Graeme Stockton of the Surf Coast Energy Group.

Video: Brown Mountain trial aftermath - interview with Jill Redwood

Jill Redwood, as coordinator of Environment East Gippsland, conducted a landmark environmental court case that saw her group awarded damages against the Government Forestry corporation, VicForests, who were told to conduct proper investigations for the presence of threatened species in areas they logged and to design and enact plans to safeguard them according to the law. Three years later the Giant Trees Walk on Brown Mountain, which EEG had created in order to develop awareness of the rape of East Gippsland's forests, has been destroyed by persons unknown, equipped with heavy equipment and chainsaws.

Save Our Suburbs sends Vic politicians pre-election planning survey

Save our Suburbs (S.O.S.) have developed the attached survey on planning issues for candidates at the coming State Election. They are writing to ask planning groups to sign on to the survey. They will be listing all groups supporting the survey. The more groups that are signatories, the more influence the Survey will have, both on candidates and political parties, and also in the media.

Kafkaesque administration of Bandicoot legislation in Victoria - a visit to DEPI's castle [1]

A few days ago wildlife biologist, Hans Brunner, came to see me to ask me to publish the following report on the continuing failure of Victorian government to responsibly protect bandicoots. He also reported his personal experience on a recent visit to the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (accompanied by Gillian Collins, Michelle Thomas, and David Nichols).

Video: NATO has dropped the ball but Russia and China have picked it up and are running with it

In this Crosstalk interview by Peter Lavalle with journalist, Pepe Escobar, and economist, Martin Hennecke, the point is made that after 9-11 in 2001, the United States 'took its eye off the ball' to concentrate on the 'war on terror'. Now all it has is the war on terror, but while its attention has been focused on war for 13 years, China and Russia have made many new alliances with the BRICs countries and the future looks better for China and Russia than for the NATO group and its allies. Also criticism of the European and Anglophone press as fixated on personalities and imagined agendas to the exclusion of practical reality. Compares austerity debt in Europe to debt in China and Russia (very low). Refers to evolution away from the petrodollar

Hastings port threat taken to Switzerland

Tuesday 16 September 2014. A Westernport community group representative has headed to Switzerland today to present the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, the body in charge of international wetland treaties, with a letter outlining the imminent threat posed by the massive Port of Hastings development to the bay's extensive wetlands.

This is the first step in having Westernport Bay listed on the Montreux Record, a Ramsar register of internationally important wetland sites in which changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference.

Australian-Syrian org begs Obama to work with Syrian Government against ISIL

Update 13 Sep 14: Embedded Syrian Girl video The ISIS Syrian Rebel Debacle Decoded added as Appendix.

Syria could be America’s key ally against ISIL and other terror groups. Instead, the U.S. has chosen to align with Saudi Arabia, a country where churches are banned and women are not permitted to drive, and a country that has funded and directed much of the insurgency, both ‘moderate’ and extreme, in Syria. President Obama's latest military action decision ignores the work of journalists Sotloft and Foley, who exposed brutality of so-called moderate rebels that Obama wants to arm. Australians for reconciliation in Syria call on the Australian and US governments to heed the wishes of the people of Syria; to support the Syrian army’s fight against terror groups; and to respect its right to work for peaceful political changes without foreign interference. We can honour our own freedoms, equalities and responsibilities in Australia by respecting those of Syrians.

Baird government on verge of environmental insanity?

Moves by senior ministers in the Baird government to open up rare native bush to broadscale land clearing and cripple powers to stop illegal clearing were described as ‘insane’ today.

PM Tony Abbott in Bradford Oration pushes selling 'air-space' to high-rise developers as immigration runs amok

The latest propaganda inundation to force people to accept overpopulation as a fait accompli is coming from the so-called "Bradfield Oration",1 which is to be inaugurated by that mass-media propaganda horn, Australia's Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. The University of Sydney and Lend Lease have been described as 'key partners' in this 'initiative'2 which will steer university students their way by awarding an associated prize. So much for independence in academia, eh?

The current publicity machine anoints some architect from New York to tell Australians how to suck eggs for their greedy masters.2 Vishann Chakrabarti is being used to frighten the people of Sydney with a "build up or else" and to market the idea of selling air-space to developers so that they can build the residential towers residents have been fighting for generations. This concept of selling airspace is obscene in the context of human rights as well as Australian values of freedom and nature accessible to all. Australia's self-appointed leaders are in the business of making everything for sale by privatising all natural rights and resources. They should be put on trial for this as a criminal conspiracy to advantage a few at the expense of the many citizens whose taxes they abuse for their own ends. Unfortunately they also make the laws.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Sheila Newman's blog