Tax exempt status of Environment NGOs targeted. Are you a #FriendofFoE? asks @Takvera






Hundreds of thousands of Australians each year volunteer with or donate to environment not-for-profit organisations like Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Wilderness Society, to name just a few. Now it seems the Federal Government is stepping up it’s attack on these organisations through tightening the definition and taxation exemption status for donations to these organisations. Australians do believe in a fair go and are willing to support in both unpaid time and money the ongoing environmental work and advocacy of these organisations. Millions of dollars is contributed each year by individuals to support a wide range of activities, including ‘on the ground’ work, education and training, grassroots activism and […]






Innumerate or deceptive: @adropex dissects @TheIPA ‘report’ into ABC coal coverage #leardblockade






Innumerate Ignorance or Calculated Deception It is unfortunate that the IPA, and in particular James Paterson, did not take note of the ‘scholarship’ referred to in their recent report of the ABC’s coverage of ‘Australia’s energy choices’ and apply it to their own publication. It would undoubtedly have saved them the embarrassment of making public a deeply flawed piece of political rhetoric loosely dressed up as a quasi research effort that would never pass the most basic academic peer review. A mere glance at the report’s title is sufficient to sound warning bells that the proffered document may not tick all the ethical research boxes. Whilst ‘Public Broadcaster or Green […]






Labor’s Mark Dreyfus QC takes stand on #freespeech: Abbott and Brandis honour Voltaire only in the breach






The Coalition will never waver in its defence of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. — Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) March 13, 2013 Oh the terrible irony for George Brandis QC in fronting the latest Abbott Government attacks on free speech through its terror legislation. Brandis was one of several moderates in the Howard Government who stood firm behind liberal principles to oppose its draconian anti-terror legislation in 2002. As editor of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Webdiary I documented the true Liberal dissenters fightback in great detail; indeed it was their dissent which enabled the Labor Party to risk adding its voice to the debate. And in my book […]






A Eureka Stockade moment? Your #BentleyBlockade brief before NSW Police ‘Operation Stapler’






Northern Rivers communities unite against government-endorsed gas mining frenzy In protest against the mining frenzy that is gripping the country, the community-led non-violent blockade at Bentley in the Northern Rivers of NSW is emerging as one of the largest social uprisings the country has witnessed. The blockade of the drill site, which began almost four months ago in response to the planned tight sands gas mining of prime agricultural land, has grown steadily in size with thousands of people, from all walks of life, regularly attending. From landholders to professionals and doctors to academics, writers, teachers, Mayors and Indigenous elders, grandparents and even members of the Clergy – the community […]






New Politics, New Media: On-the-ground #MarchinMarch reporting by citizen journalist @jansant






By Wayne [email protected] 20th March 2014 It’s normal to start a story at the beginning. I’m going to start smack bang in the middle with this one, as it sums up one of the many factors which forced 100,000 plus people to MarchInMarch (MiM) around Australia. I say forced intentionally. People don’t take to the streets in the numbers they did last weekend unless they feel their backs are against the wall. Driving up the Hume after covering the Melbourne MiM I listened to ABC News Radio (ABCNewsRadio). News updates reported that thousands of people had marched around the country over the weekend. This was about the sum total of the reports. After […]






Crystal ball predictions for politics 2014 by @sarah_capper






By Sarah [email protected]_capper 14th February 2014 Our federal representatives, who we ushered in with gusto last September, returned to Canberra this week – the land of what Wikipedia (hey, if it’s good enough for the Environment Minister) describes as being home to “politics, public service, pornography,pyrotechnics, pot and prostitution – the “Six P’s” as they are known.” Let’s make it seven: PRIDE. It may seem like an eternity, but the Abbott Government has been in power for just over 100 days (approaching the 150-day-mark). Typically, modern Australian political parties get at least two terms to flex their governing muscles. The first term is often reserved for doing the “tricky” business – running with agendas that are not […]






The ‘climate chaos’ challenge and the courage of candidates’ convictions in #GriffithVotes: @GriffithElects reports






  According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia had its hottest year ever in 2013 and we have now experienced heatwaves and destructive fires in the first month of 2014. Twitter went viral this week with reports that Prince Charles has said of climate change sceptic that they are like “headless chickens” (of course, we would say chooks in Australia). Well I’m right with Prince Charles when he says, “It is baffling, I must say, that in our modern world we have such blind trust in science and technology that we all accept what science tells us about everything – until, that is, it comes to climate science”. All of […]






Cory’s book: Part 3 of a blow-by-blow fact check series by @adropex






By Lesley [email protected] 30th January 2014 Cory Bernardi opens the third chapter of his book, The Conservative Revolution, by stating the obvious: that children learn from their home environment and the people directly around them, generally through observation and participation; the better the environment and the role models, the better the lessons the child will carry through to adulthood. However, Bernardi is adamant that the most favourable environment to be that of the “traditional” family, comprised of the biological father and the biological mother, who are both the moral teachers and role models to their children. Interestingly, Bernardi makes no mention of the traditional role of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins […]






Cory’s book: Part 2 of a blow-by-blow fact check series by @adropex






By Lesley [email protected] 19 January 2014 In Chapter 2 “The First Pillar: Faith” Bernardi presents a strong and considered study of the historical contribution Christianity has made to Australia’s national development and how this heritage is represented in the laws and moral codes of Australian society today. Bernardi proposes that faith is fundamental to a healthy and hopeful society and provides the “common thread through which our laws, our instinct and our social fabric are entwined.” Faith provides us with a set of values, moral guidelines in which we can trust and a framework for decision-making. Bernardi goes on to discuss how he believes individuals develop faith. Some people develop their […]






Cory’s book: Part 1 of a blow-by-blow fact check series by @adropex






By Lesley [email protected] 13 January 2014 Intro: in part one of a @NoFibs series, Lesley Howard examines and fact-checks the preface and Chapter 1 of Cory Bernardi’s book The Conservative Revolution. A lot has been said in recent days about Cory Bernardi and about statements he makes in his book The Conservative Revolution.  It seems that Bernardi’s stand on certain issues has, at the very least, inspired controversy and for some, outright disgust. Looking at mainstream and social media reports it would appear that Bernardi has many detractors and that if he has any supporters they have been noticeable by their silence. It also appears that some of the critics have not […]