When has the suspension of the rule of law ever been a win for humanity? asks Fr Rod Bower @FrBower

A version of this piece first appeared on Anglican Parish of Gosford Facebook page. There is a great evil being perpetrated in the name of the Australian people and up until this point in time, with the compliance of the majority. That popular amenability must now quickly become a minority if Australia is not to be considered among the ranks of international pariahs and rogue states. States from which refugees flee seeking protection from countries with compassionate and decent governance. The recent ABC 7.30 Report identified the trauma caused by the policies executed by successive Howard, Rudd, Gillard and Abbott Governments. Australia’s detention of refugees, including children, is ‘cruel, inhuman […]

Maules Creep Coal Mine #leardblockade. Who’s the umpire? asks @greekmcchic

The moans of senior mining industry identities are increasing as they condemn environmental protestors for “not accepting the umpire’s decision” on mining approvals and conditions. The problem is, it’s them who refuse to accept the umpire’s decision Stephen Galilee, Mark Vaile and Phillip Christensen have all emerged recently condemning legitimate community protests while big mining fails to honour key planning conditions. Controversial miner Whitehaven Coal has the ambition to be “one of Australia’s largest, and lowest-cost, producers of high-quality coal” according to the 2014 Annual General Meeting statement of its Chairman Mark Vaile. This would be largely off the back of its Maules Creek NSW coal mine, which will more […]

The #protectgloucester camp: @coolmccool reports

  The Protect Gloucester camp is now open and ready for business. Situated among breath-taking scenery close to AGL’s fracking site, the camp is manned by a team of dedicated locals, who have put in many hours of hard work to get the camp ready. Built to meet very stringent regulations demanded by the local council authorities, the camp has scores of neatly laid out and spacious drive-in/drive-out plots which would put many a paid caravan park to shame. Visitors are welcomed at the gate by volunteers and informed of the camp rules, briefed on the facilities available, and are made to feel very welcome. Some of the plots are […]

Time to be Alert … And a little bit Alarmed? – the @sarah_capper column

Yes, that’s right, last week Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the Government was raising Australia’s ‘terror alert’ status to ‘high’.  While technically this means a terrorist attack on Australian soil is now regarded as “likely”, the PM was quick to clarify that “this does not mean that a terror attack is imminent. We have no specific intelligence of particular plots.” Fast forward one week as Australians woke to the news of police raids on houses in Sydney and Brisbane. Almost 900 police were involved with 15 people detained and at this stage, one charged with conspiracy to prepare an attack, another charged with weapons offenses. Based on media reports, the […]

Dear AFP, please investigate #Ashbygate at last, sincerely @GrahamPerrettMP

8 September 2014 Mr Tony Negus Commissioner Australian Federal Police GPO Box 401 CANBERRA ACT 2601   Dear Mr Negus Tony, Re: Potential Commission of Criminal Offences by the Honourable Mal Brough MP 1.  I refer to the attached correspondence in relation to this matter dated 21 December, 2012 and 19 March, 2013 containing information alleging criminal offences may have been committed by the Honourable Mal Brough MP. 2.  These potential offences came to light during the proceedings brought by Mr JamesAshby against Mr Peter Slipper in the Federal Court, which proceedings have now been discontinued by Mr Ashby. 3. On 23 June, 2014 you indicated by letter that as the Full […]

#murdochmafia climate change denial: @ekidna1 and @DrRimmer on countering @rupertmurdoch propaganda

[clear] In Australia, there has been a fierce debate over media reporting of climate change, particularly by the Murdoch media empire. In a recent interview in 2014 with Sky News, Rupert Murdoch, the chief executive officer of News Corporation and 21st Century Fox, maintained: ‘We should approach climate change with great scepticism.’ He commented: Climate change has been going on as long as the planet is here. And there will always be a little bit of it. At the moment the North Pole is melting, but the South Pole is getting bigger. If the sea level rises six inches, that’s a big deal in the world; the Maldives might disappear […]

Australia at #CSG war on home soil: Invoking ANZAC to back #BentleyBlockade and #Pilliga

Just after Anzac Day I saw a film clip from the Bentley Blockade near Lismore, where 2000 people had gathered to block access to coal seam gas mining company Metgasco.  In a misty dawn they had held their own Anzac memorial service.  After ‘Lest we forget’, the camera panned to an older country woman.  She said  “We’re fighting a cause as important as what our ancestors did”. Then a Vietnam veteran, wearing the medals he hadn’t worn since that war ended, said  ”What we see happening here is not what they fought for”.  And I thought  “He’s right!”.  Most of the Anzacs were young men from country Australia.  One can […]

Citizen journo @Wendy_Bacon on Joe’s ‘Widen the Gap’ budget

[clear]Last night I headed over to FBi, a successful not for profit radio station in inner Sydney to meet up with the Budget_Aus team to listen to Treasurer Joe Hockey deliver his first budget speech. We were hosted by Heidi Pett and the rest of the FBi Backchat team who were working on their show about the budget for next Saturday morning. We were all there to support the idea of open access to information and data journalism and in particular, Rosie Williams who is the founder of Info_Aus and No Fibs’ data journalist. Info_Aus has created Budget_Aus which has allowed us to search a database for information about the budget […]

A pollie lied and actually got pinged for it! Barry O’Farrell gives punters Easter cheer: @YaThinkN comments

[clear]   Okay we all know that Sydney is the centre of the Universe; just ask every major paper and the TV stations. This week has been particularly bad for those that are not fortunate enough to live in the most important city in the country – yes, note use of sarcasm font there – with all the news being ICAC, royals, Badgerys Creek second airport, and finally the fall of Barry O’Farrell. Even the bloody NRL had only Sydney games on Good Friday. Now, being Easter and living in a pretty nice Queensland tourism spot, we have a full house of rellies and friends, so of course there has […]

Crystal ball predictions for politics 2014 by @sarah_capper

[clear] By Sarah Capper  @sarah_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 […]