Thursday, October 8, 2009

Some Greens Media Releases

Greens to move quickly in Higgins [8/10/09]

The Greens will move quickly to select a candidate in the Higgins
by-election, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"I expect the Greens will announce a strong candidate by October 24 to
give voters in Higgins a genuine alternative. This will coincide with the
Green New Deal conference in Melbourne."

"The Greens will take up the fight against the coalition. Prime Minister
Rudd should commit the Labor party to putting forward a candidate. A
repeat of the situation in Bradfield would be an insult to the voters of
Higgins as well."

"Peter Costello and Brendan Nelson should resign their seats now. The
people of Bradfield and Higgins are being denied a member of parliament
for the crucial sittings of parliament when the emissions trading scheme
legislation will be debated," Senator Brown said.

Government should acknowledge corruption in Afghanistan [8/10/09]

Prime Minister Rudd and Foreign Minister Smith should speak out against
the serious claims of election fraud and corruption against senior
government figures in Afghanistan, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown
said today.

"With Australians risking their lives to maintain the government in
Afghanistan, our government should be taking serious action to address
these very severe revelations of corruption."

"Australia's involvement in Afghanistan should be debated by parliament,
the human and financial cost of these operations cannot otherwise be

Revelations of electoral corruption by the United Nation's sacked deputy
in Afghanistan, Peter Galbraith, are deeply disturbing and must make the
Australian troop's job and safety much harder," Senator Brown said.

What's happening with Gold Coast health services?

An advertisement for the Gold Coast Medical Association's 'Free Medical Talks' in the local Murdoch rag

These talks may be free to the public, but they are basically marketing - for health services and treatment that you will need to pay a pretty penny for.

Ask yourself why the private sector has such a control over the provision of these services on the Gold Coast.

The Queensland Government are involved (in the form of representation from the Gold Coast University Hospital) which lends the show a veneer of legitimacy. Unfortunately, this corporatisation of government services to fit in with private corporate interests comes at the expense of a truly "public" health system.

Do you really want to live in a community where only the rich can access the latest cancer treatment at private hospitals that have been subsidised by the public purse?

Health care is a right, not a privilege.

Are these trees also doomed?

Trees on the corner of Turpin Street and Brisbane Road, Labrador

Last month we reported on the obliteration of 16 Norfolk Pines in Harley Park to make way for an unnecessary highway expansion.

A sign on Brisbane Road says:

Gold Coast Highway Upgrade

Roberts Street to Government Road. Total Cost $128 million. Robert Street and Broad Street Stage Completion late 2009.

The widening is progressing back along Brisbane road, and as at yesterday, fences have been moved and surveying work is being carried out.

It can only be a matter of time before these trees are also removed.


"Coles is now a more beautiful place to shop"
By the way, if anyone here is in marketing or advertising...kill yourself. Thank you. Just planting seeds, planting seeds is all I'm doing. No joke here, really. Seriously, kill yourself, you have no rationalisation for what you do, you are Satan's little helpers. Kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself now. Now, back to the show. Seriously, I know the marketing people: 'There's gonna be a joke comin' up.' There's no fuckin' joke. Suck a tail pipe, hang yourself...borrow a pistol from an NRA buddy, do something...rid the world of your evil fuckin' presence.
Bill Hicks

But What About The Whales?

Mother and baby humpback off the Hervey Bay coast

"Impact on industry"????

How would you like it?

And what happens to all those sharks that the shark nets catch? Does anyone keep statistics on those? And if not, they should be published.

After all, remember how we spent all that money saving the grey nurse shark off Julian Rocks?

ABC online reports on 'Doubt over soundness of whale protection plan':

Marine authorities say they are not convinced scaring humpbacks with the sound of killer whales will keep them safe.

Four humpbacks have been caught in shark nets on the Gold Coast in south-east Queensland this year.

The latest was a juvenile humpback off Mermaid Beach yesterday.

Queensland shark control program spokesman Tony Ham says more information is required before sound devices are attached to shark nets.

"We'd certainly be happy to engage that type of research finding as long as there's no significant impact on other industries," he said.

"Obviously the whale watch industry is one of those, not to mention the tourism industry, and the last thing we would want to do is disturb their migration pattern too much."

When was the last time you had a "Queensland Salad"?

You remember the "Queensland Salad"?

Don't you?

Those family barbeques a decade or so ago, or counter lunches long past?

Lettuce, beetroot, cucumber, grated carrot, boiled eggs, orange slices, pineapple rings, tomato, cubes of cheese, salad onion, corn niblets, and a simple oil and vinegar dressing (or mayo if you're in the money!) with perhaps a banana on the side?

Actually, it's whatever's in season, locally available, or whatever's in your fridge.

That's the Queensland Salad.

Not char-grilled baby octopus on a bed of something or other, cajun chicken on a mango/avo/macadamia jus w. sundried tomato and rocket which costs 29.9, or a pretentious concoction of seared something or other served on a wilted this and that sourced from a wank "pretend" organic farm with a ridiculous dressing.

Sure most of the ingredients aren't produced/grown in Queensland anymore, but hey, that's because we're so sophisticated these days!

The Queensland Salad is you. Simple. Why deny yourself any longer?

After all, it is supposedly our 150th!

Protect Our Coral Sea

Take action and ask your Federal MP now:

The world’s oceans are in trouble. In the last 50 years, 90% of big ocean fish have disappeared due to overfishing.

Less than 1% of the Coral Sea within Australian waters is fully protected. Without a high level of protection, the beauty and biodiversity of the Coral Sea will diminish over time.

It’s important that we do something now.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Question for 'Q&A'

A question for Germaine Greer:

What kind of role model for Australian women do you think Belinda Neal and Janet Albrechtsen are?

Where's Willy?

Who's that on sax? Wasn't Wilbur Wilde the resident saxophonist?

It will only work if you want it to work

Wind Turbines At The Runaway Bay Sports Centre

According to the Gold Coast monomedia [7/10/09], the Gold Coast City Council has received a report (written by ARUP) which concludes that "council would need to spend $650 million on turbines to power its operations from Coolangatta to Yatala."

How much does the Federal Government tip into the coffers of the fossil fuel industry again?
$4 billion?

$650 million sounds quite reasonable.

Justice Must Not Kill

From Australians Against Capital Punishment:

In support of the World Day Against the Death Penalty

Australians Against Capital Punishment invite your participation

SUNDAY 5pm 11 October ‘09

at the Lizard Corner,

(junction of Russell & Boundary Sts West End)
Speakers & Solidarity

followed at 6pm by a shared Banquet at Huong’s restaurant nearby

(upstairs 83a Vulture St West End )
dinner cost $25

RSVP to 0423 709 445
by Thursday evening 8 October
please advise of special dietary needs

Justice Must Not Kill

Currumbin Wild Life Sanctuary Hospital

From Queensland Parliament Hansard [7/10/09]:


(9.30 pm): On Friday, 11 September the long-awaited and desperately needed state-of-the-art Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary hospital was officially opened much to the delight of animals and humans alike and to warm applause from a devoted local community. In the past 12 months the rackety old facility treated a record 4,500 injured wildlife and was literally falling apart at the seams. I know full well the struggles, the dedication and the considerable skills of staff and volunteers. I am also aware of the obstacles, especially financial ones, that had to be overcome.

This was a dream many years in the making. No-one carried the dream more uppermost in their mind than resident veterinary surgeon, Michael Pyne. To Michael’s credit and that of the entire Currumbin Sanctuary team, led by the sanctuary CEO and the President of the National Trust, their determination was absolute. The hospital was made possible by generous donors, but I am very angry to say that the state government has not contributed one single cent towards the running of our sanctuary nor to this important facility to treat ill and injured wildlife. Shamelessly, the Premier used our sanctuary for a publicity stunt two days before the last election. I shall remain steadfast in my quest to lobby for state government funding for our beloved sanctuary.

There is no doubt our koala population is under threat as a result of rapid urbanisation and development in South-East Queensland. I am keen to do what I can to raise awareness to protect this unique Australian marsupial. The recent opening of the much-needed wildlife hospital has placed the spotlight on the plight of our native animals and creatures who are subjected to increasing danger from human encroachment into their shrinking habitats. These vulnerable mammals are fighting to survive and I urge all honourable members to get behind the campaign by koala advocacy groups to make sure our councils and the state government take urgent steps to safeguard their habitats.

I have noticed a reduction in the number of koalas in my own acreage neighbourhood where it was once not uncommon to see them. Most nights I hear a lonely male koala grunting out his mating call to no avail. This is not surprising when figures reveal a 20-fold increase of wild koalas requiring medical attention in the past eight years.

On National Koala Day at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on Friday, 25 September I had the exquisite pleasure of officially naming a female koala joey after placing a successful and high bid at a corporate fundraising event earlier in the year. I named her Yani-Colleen and she is a real cutie at eight and a half months of age. I chose Yani because it means peaceful and Colleen after my mother who passed away during my teens and means young female.

As honourable members have heard, it has been a busy time for Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. The Queensland Heritage Council has entered it in the Queensland heritage register after a nomination from the National Trust of Queensland. I urge honourable members to come and visit us soon. Members can come and feed the lorikeets for free and show their support for our Green Guardian program.

Bendable Learnings

Don Watson being interviewed by Kerry O'Brien on this evening's '7.30 Report'

It will be interesting to see if any politicians are game to utter the phrase "going forward" after this interview!

Who's The Bunny? Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Bid

'Spring Hill Voice' can today exclusively reveal that the Gold Coast is set to become the venue for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

This of course has nothing to do with the predicted decline of the U.S. dollar in the same year.

The Chief Blighty is flying to Delhi to pledge her allegiance to the crown.

"The Gold Coast is definitely up to the task," she said.

The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will feature events such as coal lump throwing, competing with private health companies and insurers in niche cancer markets, the tilting at wind turbines scavenger hunt, and the yummy mummy 4wd drop off the kids at the exclusive private school classic.

The "Coal-Put" is tipped to be hotly contested between Australia and the US.

This event rewards the shortestsighted for inabilty to predict prices for coal. Queensland is the favourite. One contestant, Blighty, is reported to have the power to hurl dark matter at anyone who looks like they could possibly offer the citizens any hope of an alternative to her ubiquitous reign.

"Follow the money," said an uninformed source close to the source of this report.

Endurance events such as the "sit-on-the-kerb-waiting-at-the-bus-stop-because-there-is-no seat- or-shelter", will showcase the best world class public transport the Gold Coast has to offer.

Getting shot at short range whilst working for minimum wages at a "Mc" or "Subway" outlet at Labrador by some hopeless desperado, will be the highlight event. Just getting shot during the course of some petty crime gone wrong will probably not qualify contestants for competion.

The free-style Taze, which involves getting "Tazed" by Queensland Police, while answering questions is proposed as an exhibition event at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Read about it

Yes there IS something about Peter

Remember this [March 2007]?

Bashed Peace Activist Abandoned By The CMC

This is a photo of peace activist Jim Dowling the night he was arrested. He lives in ex-policeman Peter Dutton's Queensland electorate. A year and a half ago Jim Dowling was assaulted by police at a public meeting at Queensland University of Technology. This week he received a letter from the Queensland Police informing him that he was wrong in his assessment that the police had acted unlawfully.

He says the Assistant Commissioner of Police informed him:

“These enquiries revealed that the allegations subject of your complaint could not be substantiated. Therefore I do not propose to take any further action and I now consider the matter to be finalized.”

Mr Dowling says that at no stage has he been interviewed or questioned about what happened by the police or anyone from the CMC (Crime and Misconduct Commission).

He says, "After a day or two of recovering from a small dose of self pity I dutifully filled out a CMC complaint form available online. There were only a few lines to explain my complaint so I attached the short article I had written about the event... I naively thought this was just the start of my complaint process rather than the only thing the CMC would ever want to hear from me."

The police told him they wouldn't investigate the matter until the charges against him were heard and determined. It was to be six months before this occurred and a further two months of deliberation before the Magistrate ruled that he had done nothing for which the police could detain him and the charges were dismissed.

"She said the evidence of all my witnesses (who included lawyers and former federal attorney general Michael Lavarch) was credible. She declined however to state the obvious: that the contradictory police and security guards' evidence was therefore not credible, and that they had therefore perjured themselves," said Mr Dowling.

He then informed the CMC in writing of the outcome of the trial and said that his complaint now also included the allegation that the police and security guards had perjured themselves in court.

"This was in June 2006, immediately after the Magistrate had ruled police acted illegally in arresting me. It was to be a further five months before a friendly “investigating” police officer contacted me. His name escapes me because, other than that few minutes of conversation, I never heard from him again....I asked him when he was going to interview me. He told me that would not be necessary, as he had enough information from my initial complaint and a transcript of the court case of charges against me...

"When I insisted he at least try to interview Peter Dutton’s assistant (she was present at my assault, but police had tellingly declined to produce her as a witness), he reluctantly took details...

"Not a few weeks, but four months later, the only “report” I have received is the abovementioned sentences from the assistant commissioner. It is interesting to note that the commissioner had still watered down my complaint to, 'Essentially you complained that police assaulted you and used excessive force during the course of your arrest and detention. Further that handcuffs were applied too tight and that police had accused you of stealing oxygen.' I had never complained that handcuffs were too tight, but rather that Constable Jennings had lifted me up by my handcuffs behind my back as he was dragging me. This had caused my wrist to bleed. I also was not complaining about feeling insulted by police accusing me of 'stealing oxygen' but was merely mentioning his smart-alec reply when I told him I could not breathe with his hand on my neck forcing my head between my legs.

"There is no mention of most of the assault, no mention of illegal arrest, perjury, police collusion in evidence etc. The 'investigating' police obviously think there is nothing wrong with police officers having word for word the same personal recollection of events in their sworn statements, including the same spelling mistakes.

"Oh well, maybe it was all a dream………Not sure if I want to wake up to the real world though…."

If Dutton is so fantastic, why doesn't he just run for Dickson and win it?

Mining uranium fuels a massive toxic problem

Greens media release [6/10/09]:

The mining and export of Australian uranium only digs us deeper into the unsolvable conundrum of nuclear waste – while also supporting the growth of nuclear weapons, the Australian Greens say.

Responding to comments this week by Australia’s Co-Chair of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, Gareth Evans, the Greens’ Nuclear Spokesperson Scott Ludlam said that no one around the world had managed to solve the nuclear waste problem.

“Meanwhile, we have every reason to be concerned that Australian uranium is being used for nuclear weapons proliferation,” Senator Ludlam said.

“There are two options for our uranium exports: either they will end up in nuclear weapons or they will end up in a multinational toxic waste dump – which is why we should get out of this toxic and obsolete industry,” Senator Ludlam continued.

“The uranium mining industry will continue to do all it can to highjack debate about our looming energy crisis.

“While this is allowed to happen, arguments for clean renewable energies that are able to meet our base-load power needs far more efficiently and with vastly lower greenhouse gas emissions – while carrying none of the risks and waste problems of the nuclear cycle – will continue to struggle to be heard.”

Simpson petition 4wd ban?

Well no actually.

Just remember if it's in the corporate press, it's probably not true.

Here is a media release from Fiona Simpson MP's website:

4-wheel drive petition correction

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Letter to the Editor

Dear Sir

I need to correct your story (SCD 7.10.09) which is completely wrongly reported. I have not called for higher registration for four wheel drives. Nor do I support the banning of 4-wheel drives. I had not even made a comment upon Mr Barry Craft's petition which I tabled in State Parliament. MPs routinely table petitions for constituents which present contentious points of debate which are not necessarily held by the MPs. I have always believed it is a citizen's right to have petitions tabled.

Yours sincerely

Fiona Simpson MP

Shadow Minister for Transport and Main Roads

Member for Maroochydore

Compare today's reaction in the media to this piece from a few months ago:

Angry Queenslanders have their say

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Queenslanders have voiced their anger over the Bligh Labor Government’s rising cost of living through one of the largest e-petitions ever tabled in Parliament.

The e-petition, tabled today by Shadow Minister for Main Roads and Transport, Fiona Simpson was signed by more than 100,000 Queenslanders.

Ms Simpson said the petition has provided a voice for people angry at the rise of car registration costs.

“The Premier needs to take the fact that 109,935 people have taken the time to sign this petition on board.

“This is among the highest number of signatures any e-petition has received in Queensland which should prove to the Premier just how angry the community is.

“The Premier does not have a mandate to increase the cost of fuel, electricity, water, or car registration.

“Queenslanders feel ripped of by the Premier and her Government and are demanding to be heard.

“It is time the Premier listened.”

International Living Wage Action Week Underway

Garment worker Joli Akhter and her family eating breakfast. Dhaka, Bangladesh, August 2009. Credit line: Taslima Akhter/Clean Clothes Campaign

'Clean Clothes Campaign' reports [1/10/09]:

A living wage is a human right, but for most workers in the garment industry this is a right denied. From October 5 – 11th CCCs across Europe and partners in other parts of the world are taking action to demand that retailers make a commitment to ensure workers are paid a living wage. ...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wanted: Genuinely Edgy Art And Inspirational Leaders

Photographer Peter Panzoff poses what appears to be four underwear models (one of whom bears a remarkable resemblance to the PM) wearing fedora hats?

Brisbane journalists know how to conflate two non stories and come up with something that raises eyebrows - in a quizzical rather than an inquisitive fashion.

Although much excitement ensued on the very day local photographer Peter Panzoff launched his new exhibition - Panzoff's Panzen Down Panzen Off: Retail Catalogues, Politicians And Fedora Hats - it has been revealed the PM has no formidable opponents in the lead up to the next federal election.

Why the circumstances of this story have arisen is not clear, but evidently it has something to do with former Prime Minister John Howard, and over twenty years of monomedia.

Art critic Mandy Blanden, who is currently undertaking a PhD in extracting meaning from nothing says these days there is a distinct correlation between art, politics and public relations.

"I think Peter Panzoff's exhibition, which examines banality in a rudie nudie context is an imaginary event and will be held in the dark recesses of your mind," she said.

Dear Queensland Museum

In 1979, a major termite fumigation programme was undertaken throughout Brisbane.

We've asked the Queensland Museum where we can find out which public buildings were treated and what type of chemicals were used in this process, as Dr Brenton C. Peter's wrote about it in his article about the West Indian Drywood Termite in the 'Wildlife Of Greater Brisbane: A Queensland Museum Wild Guide':

The West Indian Drywood Termite (Cryptotermes brevis) is considered the world's most destructive drywood termite and has caused considerable economic damage wherever it has become established. The termite is one of four 'tramp' species in Queensland. Cryptotermes cynocephalus and Cryptotermes domesticus have been introduced from South-east Asia and the Pacific to areas around Cairns and further north, mainly through commerce. Similarly, Cryptotermes dudleyi has been introduced to Thursday Island and is established there.

The West Indian Drywood Termite was first found in Maryborough in 1966 and this discovery was followed by a survey and treatment campaign that was extended to Bundaberg in 1974. The termite was proclaimed a notifiable pest under the Diseases in Timber Act 1975. One year later, it was discovered in several multi-storey buildings in Brisbane and a major fumigation programme began in 1979. About 570 buildings, including suburban houses, and many items of furniture have been treated since then at a cost to the State of $10 million. The extensive infestations in Maryborough and central Brisbane are thought to have resulted from separate introductions of the pest in timber imported with war materials by the US Armed Services during World War II.

Damage is restricted to construction timber, furniture and, occasionally, paper products. There is no record of its occurrence in other situations. A colony of West Indian Drywood Termites can survive in susceptible timber the size of a matchbox for several years. It is most commonly found in pine, especially Hoop Pine (Araucaria cunninghamii), and cabinet woods including maples (Flindersia spp.), Red Cedar (Toona australis) and Silky Oak (Grevillea robusta).

West Indian Drywood Termites living in Hoop Pine typically produce reddish brown faecal pellets ('frass'). These gradually blacken with age and are usually different in size and shape from that of the Native Drywood Termite. Frass from the West Indian Termite is larger and more pointed. The head of the soldier is also more wrinkled than that of the native species.

The Greater Brisbane Region has a rich diversity of native termites, some of considerable economice importance. The exotic West Indian Drywood Termite is an unwanted addition. However, the major threat it posed in Queensland has been substantilly diminished as a result of the ongoing containment programme.

Queensland's Plastic Cup Job Loss Outrage

Queensland gets more and more sophisticated by the day!

Thousands of Queensland "glassies" are set to lose their job job jobs if the Government proceeds with it's ban on glasses in certain licensed premises throughout the state.

"It goes without saying," said Mr P. L. Street, President of the Everybody Loves To Hate Us (E.L.T.H.U.) Union.

"If you replace glasses with plastic cups, then there will be no glasses for hard working working families to collect and wash," he said.

But the Chief Blighty denied any hard working working families would lose their job job jobs with the implementation of the new policy.

"Plastic cups will stop people getting angry when they've had one too many," she said.

In conjunction with the glass ban in licensed premises, a parliamentary committee is considering swapping the glasses in licensed premises with the plastic cups in fast food establishments.

"This will be the environmentally friendly aspect of the policy," said the Chief Blighty.

"Given that fast food establishments are going upmarket lately, with the addition of culinary items - such as the McAnus Burger - on their menus, we thought they ought to be rewarded for the good they are delivering to the community," she said.

The myth of "disaster" from ageing populations is the fallacy that growth must be unending

'Can Do Better' again [5/10/09]:

... Adding more people will never keep our population young. Adding more people to “replace” or “compensate” for our dangerous ageing population is surely a way to blow-out our numbers! ...

French organise national resistance to Privatisation of Post Office

'Can Do Better' reports [5/10/09]:

... In the tiny village of Ambazac (Haute-Vienne) near Limoges, the 88 villagers voted 85 to 3 against privatisation of the Poste. The mayor delivered her own vote against privatisation publicly. She also said, "It would be unreasonable for a President of the Republic and a government to ignore the People's voice. In the rural region there are so many people who rely utterly on the public postal services."

The local postie took heart at the concerned and conscientious public reaction, which he could see taking place, since the ballot box was on the counter of the local post office.

All over France citizens voted in villages, towns and cities in this way. ...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

SEQ monomedia celebrates International Tenants Day

By suggesting how outrageous it is that poor folks are able live in such prime real estate:

A Surfers Paradise site once destined for a $600 million development has instead become home to the low end of the rental market with people living at the beachfront site for a mere $350 a week.

The Pacific Beach project has been left hanging in the air with developer City Pacific going into liquidation.

Co-owner of the block, property industry figure Craig Perry, paid $100 million to amalgamate the site on the corner of Wharf Road and Old Burleigh Road.

Luxury apartments were planned before City Pacific ran into financial trouble, owing $100 million to banks.

The beach shacks and three storey walk-ups have remained, with immigrants and students living on the property for an average of $350 a week. ...

And spruiking a market that still has a very long way to fall:

According to the property clock, the best time to buy is at the bottom, 6 o'clock, just after the oversupply has hit and properties are at a discount to their underlying value.

And either side of 6 o’clock is generally considered bargain time. Of course, the opposite is true for sellers.

The top of the market, or 12 o’clock, is the best time to sell, when prices are at their peak. And either side of midnight is still okay.

So what’s the time in your market right now?

Queensland – 6 o’clock

Brisbane is trailing the property market recovery but as it shakes off its hangover there will definitely be growth, RP Data national research director Tim Lawless says.

"It is moving more from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. Adelaide and Brisbane are in similar positions because they both had quite similar growth phases in 2007, so the 2009 growth rates have not been very high," he says. ...

IUT statement for the International Tenants´ Day, October 5 2009 :

“Tackling the financial crises with new deal for affordable housing”

Housing and construction is one of the largest financial sectors - and a key instrument in tackling the present financial recession. Housing construction can boost regional and local markets and can set the financial wheels in motion.

Increased investment in affordable rental housing, where social and public housing play a major role, would be a major contribution in getting local economies back on track! Public investments must focus on areas that can provide the greatest social and economic benefits.

Government investments in energy efficiency renovation have several benefits; saving energy and money, and at the same time a reduction in CO2 emissions. The recession together with high energy costs has hit low income households the most and many have problems paying the housing costs.

The numbers of evictions are steadily rising. These households urgently need housing assistance. Social urban development is suitable instrument to attack inequality and fight social exclusion and segregation. Not-for-profit housing companies and public housing companies are major stakeholders in these processes. ...

*UPDATE* Interestingly these letters [dated 1/10/09] lobbed in the mailboxes of northern Gold Coast residents today:

Routine Assessment of Rental Accommodation

Officers from Gold Coast City Council are presently undertaking routine assessments of rental accommodation in the abovementioned suburb and this is your opportunity to request an internal assessment of the premises, should you wish.

Council's Local Law No. 16.1 (Rental Accommodation) requires that premises offered for rental accommodation meet certain minimum health, safety and amenity standards. This local law is administered by Council's Environmental Health Officers primarily through an assessment program or in response to a complaint.

Should you have any concerns or issues relevant to the above and wish to have your premises inspected at an appointed time please contact Council on (07) 5581 6220 the above number.

Defects found as a result of any assessment will be forwarded to the owner of the property who is then required to undertake the necessary works within a reasonable timeframe. Please do not hesitate to contact Environmental Health Compliance should any further information or assistance be required.

Yours faithfully ... Executive Coordinatory Environmental Health Compliance

Missing Plaque: Reuben Pelerman Reserve, Southport

A plaque commemorating the life of Gold Coast businessman and philanthropist Reuben Pelerman has vanished.

Mr Pelerman is well remembered for rescuing the Bears AFL club, in early 1990 after the collapse of owner Christopher Skase's Qintex Group.

Community Garden Planned For Musgrave Park

The 'Labrador Leader' reports [18/9/09] that the Howard Group (who developed Sphere) are constructing a Community Garden in Musgrave Park:

The garden will feature:

* 50 accessible raised garden beds 8m2 in area and 600mm in height, for growing vegetables and flowers
* a 1.8m high perimeter fence
* storage facilities for gardening tools and equipment
* space for future expansion of the garden over time

For further information phone 5581 6984

A Queensland Government "Community Renewal" sign - adjacent to the "Sphere" development, which states:
"Parkwood Rugby League Club Upgrade. A Queensland Government Community Renewal initiative, developed in partnership with the Department of Employment and Industrial Relations and deliverd by Career Employment Australia."

The "Sphere" Development

Musgrave Park

Maned (Wood) Duck (Chenonetta jubata) family? Southport Sharks' training ground carpark - also adjacent to "Sphere" development [3/10/09]!

New source of genetic pollution found

'Truefood Network' reports [1/10/09]:

This morning, Greenpeace set up a mobile Biohazard Research Centre at a GE canola field near Geelong, southern Victoria. What did we find? Commercial beehives contaminated with genetically engineered (GE) canola pollen.

Honey samples were collected from hives just metres away from a GE canola field and were found to contain Monsanto's Roundup Ready canola pollen. This means people buying honey from this hive will be eating GE food without knowing it, and before it's been properly assessed as safe to eat. The GE canola farmer is not obliged to inform his neighbours about what he is growing, so the beekeeper has been kept as much in the dark as everyone else.

This follows the recent discovery of GE canola growing along roadside verges near Berrigan, New South Wales and Horsham, Victoria. » Read more

South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia still have crop bans in place.

Why is Greenpeace doing this?

From the research centre, Greenpeace will monitor wind speed and pollen flow onsite to determine how far pollen from the GE canola crop is likely to spread.

Greenpeace is taking action to draw attention to GE canola being approcved for release in Australia under the Howard Government, without proper studies into the impacts on human health or the environment. Roundup Ready canola has been shown to have adverse effects on livers in Monsanto's own rat-feeding studies. It's also been banned in Europe.(1)

As federal Health Minister, Nicola Roxon needs to step in and ensure independent proof that GE crops and foods are safe "beyond reasonable doubt". This is what the ALP promised at the 2007 federal election.

We also need biodiversity studies to examine the impact these new crops and farming techniques have on surrounding plants, insects and animals.

Farmers, chefs and community visit the centre

Local farmers and community members joined Greenpeace at the research station to protest the spread of GE canola. Organic farmer Evan hardy says, "I'm concerned that the introduction of GE crops will remove choice for all farmers. GE contamination will lead to the increasing domination of agriculture by large chemical companies and an increased reliance on toxic herbicides."

Melbourne restauranteur, Duré Dara, has come to the centre to express her concerns. "We need our governments to be more responsible and to think about genetically engineered food in a much more considered way. Food protection is an issue that affects tourism, our global image and the health of our citizens."

Ms Dara co-manages the Nudel Bar and Residential restaurants, and is one of close to 200 leading chefs and restauranteurs who have signed the GM-free Chefs' Charter.

Take action

Use this online form to ask Nicola Roxon to ensure that:

* GE crops are only approved if they are proven to be safe 'beyond reasonable doubt'; and
* All GE foods are clearly labelled.


(1) Eating in the Dark: How Australia’s food regulator is failing us on genetically engineered food, p 22.

Save Yungaba for the people!

An email from Yungaba Action Group to supporters [2/10/09]:

Dear Yungaba supporters and friends,

Please help us with our publicity drive for nominating Yungaba as the ideal site for the Indigenous and Immigration history museum.

Brisbane City Council has called for suggestions for an appropriate place to establish this museum. This begs the question, do the various levels of government communicate, and how can a building such as Yungaba be overlooked, ignored and worst, sold off without due regard to its incredible historical value to so many Queenslanders?

One must ask why, when there is $2,000,000 available at a federal govt. level via the Jobs Fund for heritage projects, the building is State Government owned and they could obtain a significant amount of $$ from Australand by selling the surrounding space, and with a contribution from Brisbane City Council, who have identified the need and no doubt allocated a budget for such a public space; is Yungaba being developed into 10 luxury private residences which the general public will be able to view from a distance 2 days a year in heritage week?

The point: Yungaba should be restored and made available to the general public of this city, both as a museum for immigration and indigenous history and a multicultural arts space, a vibrant and living heritage and celebration of our diversity as a city and state!

Please register your views:

The Lord Mayor has asked people to contact him on with their suggestions for a venue for this museum.

Also contact our Premier Anna Bligh and ask her why????

We have set up a Yungaba Group on Facebook – spread the word by sending it to all your contacts and Facebook friends.

If we are just 6 degrees of separation from anyone on the planet, then we are just 6 clicks away from creating such a strong social network that selling Yungaba will no longer be an option for any poll-driven political party. It can be done!!

Delene Cuddihy

Yungaba Action Group

Ph: 040 259 729

PS. YAG members are invited to our Annual General Meeting at 4pm on

Saturday 10 October at 17 Drury St, West End.

Please RSVP to me by email.

Please note: if you are unable to attend you may give a written proxy to another member.

Students, educators protest IMF meetings

'Hurriyet Daily News' reports [4/10/09]:

"Three people climbed a 15-meter-high pillar in Istanbul’s central Taksim Square on Sunday and hung a banner protesting the International Monetary Fund, news agencies reported.

The three were members of a leftist student group called the Student Collectives, and the banner read, “Get out IMF – Student Collectives.” The protest lasted an hour under heavy rain. The pillar holds police security cameras and municipality cameras used to watch traffic in the square. While the three people were hanging the banner, another three read the group’s press statement.

“The representatives of imperialism and colonialists are in our country for days,” read Eren Can. “They did not come to our country with good intentions. They plan how to exploit more, how to leave more hungry and poor.”

As two of the three people on top of the pillar came down, police took them into custody. Others warned the third climber that police were waiting for him. Hakan Demir, the third protester, waited atop the pillar for almost an hour in the rain and chanted slogans. A firefighter using a fire ladder reached the protester and attempted to cut down the banner. But Demir did not allow him to and took down the banner himself. Meanwhile, police also approached Demir on the ladder to convince him to end the protest. Demir refused but was eventually taken into custody after he finished his protest.

Protest with bare feet

In a protest Saturday, a group of members from education trade union Eğitim-Sen walked barefooted down Istiklal Avenue in Taksim, protesting the IMF and World Bank. The group carried banners reading, “Transportation is a right and cannot be impeded,” “We demand free education, job security and free transportation.”

Representing the group, Hatun İldemir from Eğitim-Sen said IMF and World Bank policies made fundamental public services, such as education, health, housing and transportation, a market good. İldemir demanded that the government re-evaluate who in society is eligible to benefit from free public transportation.

Another group on Saturday protested the IMF, World Bank, and Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association, or TÜSİAD. The group gathered in front of Galatasaray University and carried a banner reading, “Your money and missiles can go to hell. We want peace.” The group walked to TÜSİAD’s building and finished their protest."

Free Public Transport - An Idea Whose Time Has Come

From 'Free Public Transport: The Solution To Pollution':

"In the early 1980s, the Greater London Council under Ken Livingston slashed fares and began to move towards free public transport. The policy was backed by 71 per cent of Londoners, but was destroyed by the Thatcher government and the Law Lords, backed by the car, haulage and oil industries.

Within a year, ticket prices in London had doubled, car journeys had rocketed and there was an extra 6000 accidents on the city’s roads. A similar policy in South Yorkshire under David Blunkett was similarly torpedoed.

That was before global warming and the dangers of greenhouse gases became widely accepted by scientists. Twenty years on, our towns and cities are heading towards permanent gridlock and scientists are pressing the panic buttons. And the idea of free public transport is starting to make a comeback.

In the Belgian city of Hasselt, which covers an area double the size of Dundee, congestion was eliminated in the late 1980s after the introduction of a totally free public transport system. Within a year, bus passenger journeys rose by 870 per cent and have now increased by over 1000 per cent. In dismal contrast, the Scottish Executive has set a target for an annual increase of one per cent in bus journeys and two per cent in rail journeys.

The Danish government has commissioned a research group to examine the feasibility of a free public transport system (Copenhagen Post November 22, 2006 ).

The Melbourne Age newspaper, edited by Andrew Jaspan (a former editor of the Sunday Herald, The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday) has called for state-wide free bus travel in Victoria (A radical idea, The Age, May 5 2006)

Matthew Parrish, a Tory MP under Margaret Thatcher, who played a key role in destroying South Yorkshire’s cheap fares policy, now admits he was wrong and has called for London-wide free bus travel:

“I was wrong. I have changed my mind…Never mind the ideology, it just makes sense.” (It’s big, it’s red, and it’s free – and it will save London; The Times. May 8 2003)

Visit Scotland (formerly the Scottish Tourist Board) recently published a report which set out the policy implications of global warming by 2015:

“In order to reduce dependency upon the car, we will see a number of measures to move people onto public transport. These will include free public transport for all in Scotland, whether this is buses or trains”. (Visit Scotland report: Tomorrow’s World, May 2006)"

A poetic consolidation of weekend news

"I know the hills are alive with Grand Final Fever Captain Von Trapp, but can sex give you cancer?"

Dutton misses out
on the McPherson pre-selection
but they'll find him another seat
before the next election

Bligh says $27 million
for 250 fat cats
will mean we get more frontline staff
what a load of cr*p

60 jobs and a long term legacy
says Anthony Albanese
of the millions to be spent
on an NRL HQ? Oh pleasey!

I bet if you were detained
in Villawood for 3 years
and they called it a "serious administration error"
you'd want more than 70 Gs

according to a documentary
to be screened on the ABC
with other client states
Australia has similarities

forget about the pesticides
mining tailings or pollution
viruses and house mice
hold the cancer solution

Murcott says Sydney's stifled
by a "culture of mediocrity"
Ellwood says the Tank Street Bridge
has poetic qualities

why won't our Prime Minister
meet with the Dalai Lama?
are his gallstones causing him
that much of a drama?

they're protesting in Rome
against Silvio Berlusconi
the Letterman scandal lingers
yet Australia remains the only

country in the world
other than maybe China
where most of its press is owned
by one motherf*cker

tsunamis, earthquakes typhoons
such horror overseas
so how can I send some dollars
and not through corporate charities?

If you know, please email us at

Saturday, October 3, 2009

You found us!

'Spring Hill Voice' is in the middle of an IT meltdown. Normal service will be resumed ASAP.

In the meantime, we'll be posting here.

"Just as in 1939 we had to give up on a massive scale the comfortable lifestyle of peacetime, so soon we may feel rich with only a quarter of what we consume now. If we do it right and with enthusiasm, it will not seem a depressing phase of denial but instead, as in 1940, a chance to redeem ourselves. For the young, life will be full of opportunities to serve, to create and they will have a purpose for living."

From 'The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning by James Lovelock' (as published in the latest edition of 'Adbusters' magazine)