Citizen Journalism

Posts Tagged ‘LNP’

Will Driscoll be charged with lying to parliament?

In Corruption, David Marler on April 21, 2013 at 9:41 PM

DriscollNewmanDavis

By David Marler
April 21, 2013
Source:

BRISBANE, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman lost another seat in parliament this week with the resignation of Scott Driscoll from the LNP.

The tally of MP’s quiting the LNP now stands at four with  Newman’s 78 seat majority falling to 74. In addition, 3 Ministers have resigned over nepotism and incorrect ministerial record keeping.

Driscoll had been suspended from the party several weeks ago but will now serve as an Independent for his seat of Redcliffe.

He is also facing seven investigations over financial  mismanagement with community group Regional Community Association Morton Bay (RCAMB) and retailers union Queensland Retail Traders and Shopkeepers Association (QRTSA).

On Friday 12th April, the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) heard multiple irregularities in the way Driscoll had presided over QRTSA.

Alarmingly, it was alleged he deliberately excluded many key executive committee members to meetings where elections were held. One of those excluded was John Hockings, who had brought the official complaint to the QIRC.

Documents had been lodged with the QIRC stating that Hockings had resigned his position from QRTSA. He confirmed through his lawyers that this was not the case. The legal team requested access to all documents lodged with QIRC as it was likely other executive members had been struck off also. It now raised serious fraud questions.

The QIRC was also told that Driscoll had wrongly disposed of QRTSA assets and property. Requests from Hockings to Driscoll for the receipts of sales were repeatedly ignored.

The Industrial Registrar also noted a discrepancy between the 835 QRTSA members officially lodged with QIRC and the 164 members that had been supplied to Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ). These irregularities pointed to a gross mishandling of elections.

With the beginning of a sitting week in the Queensland Parliament, Driscoll did not attend, stating he needed to care for wife Emma who was home with an undisclosed illness.

In his absence, the Government removed him in his position on the ‘Parliamentary Health and Community Services Committee’. His replacement was the failed former Arts Minister, Ros Bates who was embroiled in nepotism claims.

Led by LNP President Bruce McIver, the party executive was also done with him. They scheduled him to appear at a Saturday meeting to ‘show cause’ as to why he shouldn’t be expelled from the party.

As this news broke, The Courier Mail released February text messages in which Driscoll vowed to an associate that he would never be pushed out the back door but to go out ‘guns blazing’ and that he would release a book of ‘where the bodies were buried’.

However, for all his bravado, he remained a political coward and resigned the night before the meeting.

His resignation letter was bizarre and he blamed Labor for the whole smear campaign against him.

“Now all Labor seem to want to do is throw mud and attack people on a personal and family level. Smear and slander based on gossip and rumour is not a valid alternative to having a good policy platform and having an honourable intent to serve the Queensland community. I don’t think they quite get that concept yet.”

He made odd references to movies in order to absolve himself of any wrongdoing. Read the rest of this entry »

Imagining an amazing innovative future with Labor’s NBN

In Stephen Neate on April 14, 2013 at 7:40 PM
The choice of pill is most definitely yours...

The choice of pill is most definitely yours…

By Stephen Neate
April 14, 2013
Source: yathink.com.au

We are living on acreage and there is nature all around, made more alive and real by the fact that it never seems to stop raining. It is so green and alive we can smell and hear life all around us. The stage is set for some spiritual epiphany about Gaia, although all I can think of are concepts that appear to exist more in science fiction than my immediate surrounds.

In another life I am sure I would have become an engineer or inventor, or perhaps that may come some time in the future. Either way, I believe the trick in life is to keep learning. Challenge your gray matter wherever possible, assume there is always someone smarter and more knowledgeable on any given topic than you, and just keep thinking. That – and a wish to be a Jedi in the future – is probably why I write software, enjoy coding and am passionate about this collection of computers tied together called the internet.

This internet thingy and the proposal of National Broadband Networks in Australia by differing political parties has been on my mind a lot over the past few months. The recent piss-weak proposal by the LNP has galvanised me into unexpected action. This is the second article about it I have written in a week. Normally my interaction online is very limited – hell I don’t even bother with microphones when gaming (I also swear too much and apparently some take offence, bless their fucking little souls.)

Anyway, the point of this article is to say:  The Australia of the near future that I want to live in needs the most state of the art top shelf broadband network ever invented.

I do a have few reasons why, but before getting into them I’d would like to explain a couple of tech points.

ALP = FTTH style NBN

LNP = FTTN style NBN

NBN – The ‘National Broadband Network’ for all intents and purposes means the internet for most people. It’s not actually, it is akin to saying that road outside your house is actually your work place. Unless you actually work on the road, that road merely provides a simple method for you to get from home to your work. The NBN is exactly the same. It allows your data request to go out and fetch information (email, movie, web page…) from a computer that is also connected to the NBN, as clearly all the information available to you is not residing in your house.

FTTN – Fibre to the node, a simple termination point of high speed fibre to a node near your premises. (home or business).

FTTH / FTTP – Fibre to the house or Fibre to the premises. As simple as it sounds – fibre running from the central exchange directly to the premises.

Copper – In relation to talks about the NBN this is the road outside your house. It is a seriously inferior product to Fibre Optics when talking about communication. It has worked well for countries all over the world, but just as we no longer use steam trains, the tech has advanced.

Nodes – Essentially they are the train stations for the NBN when switching between a 10 carriage train of bandwidth/speed down to the passenger car delivery to your house. These are an essential aspect of the fibre to the node NLP option and only allow high speeds to a premises when they are within a few kilometres to the premises. In other words we need a fracking truck load of them across the country (60,000+) that all require service, maintenance and enough power to probably run some of our smaller cities.

Fibre Optics – The so called new kid on the block, and I say ‘so called’ as it appears that researchers at Corning Glass found out how to make it commercially in 1970. More on Corning Glass shortly. Put simply this is undoubtedly the future of our tech, leaving copper so far behind as to appear stone-aged. Read the rest of this entry »

@NoFibs NBN policy articles curated by citizen journo @pascalg15

In NBN, Pascale Grosvenor, Telecommunications on April 11, 2013 at 4:44 PM
Credit: Malcolm Turnbull Facebook - Spoof by The Geek

Credit: Malcolm Turnbull Facebook – Spoof by The Geek

By Pascal Grosvenor
April 11, 2013

With all the claims and counter claims going back and forth via Twitter or Facebook I’ve been getting frustrated,because there’s lots of incorrect facts and sometimes outright lies being perpetrated. People on both sides of the political debate have been guilty of this.

My goal is to collate the articles I’ve read about the NBN Co’s FTTH or the LNP’s FTTN alternative in one place. I’ll regularly update this list.

FTTH is Fibre to the Home (sometimes referred to as FTTP or Fibre to the Premise)

FTTN is Fibre to the Node (the Telstra junction box at the end of the street)

I hope people find this useful.  I include articles from both sides of the debate – please post comments or suggestions for extra articles to include.  I won’t accept anything from the ALP or Liberal party websites or from politicians for obvious reasons.

Please post your comments or suggestions for extra articles to include.New links added 18/4/13 – they’re highlighted in yellow.

Disclaimer : I’m personally in favour of the ALP’s NBN. I think it’s the best option.

Note re Comments : Any comments with swearing or personal abuse of me (or anyone else) will not be approved. Play the ball not the person …

Technical/ IT based blog posts :

Credibility And The Alternate NBN (by @mwyres)
http://michaelwyres.com/2013/04/credibility-and-the-alternate-nbn/

Not All Technology Is Equal (by @sortius) http://sortius-is-a-geek.com/?p=2883

Coalitions NBN plan to stop consumers taking control of media (by @sortius)

Why not FTTN ? NBN Myths (comparing FTTN speeds) http://nbnmyths.wordpress.com/why-not-fttn/

Coalition’s NBN plan: where’s the cost of the copper? http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/14/coalition_broadband_plan/

@sortius on how and why the Coalition’s NBN policy is designed to fail (australiansforhonestpolitics.wordpress.com)

Comments by ex Telstra linesman http://fibreorcopper.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/broadband-user-experiences/#comment-2

Articles in favor of FTTN :

Why the Coalition’s NBN plan makes sense http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/government-it/why-the-coalitions-nbn-plan-makes-sense-20130410-2hkx2.html

Broadband utopia is a pipedream: analyst
http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/government-it/broadband-utopia-is-a-pipedream-analyst-20130411-2hnl8.html#

Turnbull has saved the NBN http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/4/10/infrastructure/turnbull-has-saved-nbn

The case against /problems with FTTN – told by photos :

Worst of the worst: Photos of Australia’s copper network http://delimiter.com.au/2012/05/01/worst-of-the-worst-photos-of-australias-copper-network/

Some more articles :

#Fraudband is an #NBN fail, even for punters By Stephen Neate

A tale of two NBNs: the Coalition’s broadband policy explained http://theconversation.com/a-tale-of-two-nbns-the-coalitions-broadband-policy-explained-13304

News articles & opinion pieces from mainstream media :

The Coalition’s NBN policy is a triumph of short-termism over long-term vision (pcauthority.com.au)

NBN $17b cheaper, but slower (smh.com.au)

Coalition NBN Policy: Six Things To Think About (gizmodo.com.au)

Coalition’s NBN alternative bad for regional Australia : says telco expert http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/coalitions-nbn-alternative-bad-regional-aus/1823370/ …

NBN debate full of ‘erroneous’ information http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/government-it/nbn-debate-full-of-erroneous-information-20130404-2h8m9.html

Telstra will decide Coalition’s NBN: Hackett http://www.zdnet.com/au/telstra-will-decide-coalitions-nbn-hackett-7000013724/

Personal accounts of people now using the NBN :
(or who want to be on the NBN asap)

Imagining an amazing innovative future with Labor’s NBN
https://australiansforhonestpolitics.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/imagining-an-amazing-innovative-future-with-labors-nbn

Jack McCaw’s NBN story
https://australiansforhonestpolitics.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/jack-mccaws-nbn-story/

We are now connected to the NBN. Here’s a run-down on the install. And the speed!
http://alankerlin.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/we-are-now-connected-to-nbn-heres-run.html

Pass or fail? Kiama mum grades the NBN
http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/1356891/pass-or-fail-kiama-mum-grades-the-nbn/?cs=12

Why Jake’s impatient for the NBN
https://australiansforhonestpolitics.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/why-jakes-impatient-for-the-nbn/

Examples of other countries deploying FTTH :

Benefits of Ultra-Fast Broadband http://ufb.org.nz/benefits/

Japan launches world’s fastest home internet 2Gbps : http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/japan-launches-worlds-fastest-home-internet-20130416-2hxge.html

Taking on Provo, Utah failure proves Google is serious about FTTH http://www.tellusventure.com/blog/taking-on-provo-failure-proves-google-is-serious-about-ftth/

France Telecom strikes FTTH network pact with Bouygues Telecom http://www.fiercetelecom.com/story/france-telecom-strikes-ftth-network-pact-bouygues-telecom/2012-01-17#ixzz2QnW70ZIF

Coalition’s NBN plan to stop consumers taking control of media

In Kieran Cummings, NBN, Telecommunications on April 9, 2013 at 3:40 PM

skynews_861870

By Kieran Cummings (@sortius)

April 9th, 2013

The Coalition held its broadband policy launch at, wait for it, Murdoch’s Fox Sports, And the press secretary handed out copies of Murdoch’s Daily Telegraph instead of policy documents. Guess what the final outcome of Malcolm Turnbull’s broadband plan will be. The policy debate will heat up over the coming months because there are massive amounts of detail missing from the policy.

Turnbull was combative, if not outright belligerent. From the outset he was unable to give details on even the basics of his policy in answer to questions such as ‘How long will the copper last?’.

I had thought that finally Turnbull would release a policy filled with cogent arguments and factual information, but this was not to be so. Instead the press conference was laced with misinformation, leaving me feeling underwhelmed and annoyed. Details are even more scant in the press release offered up by www.liberal.org.au. Most of the document is merely an attack on the current NBN and vague figures like ‘estimated $90b’ & ‘up to 100Mbps’. There’s no real meat in this policy, and the oft quoted ‘background documents’ are non-existent.

So because I can’t do deep policy analysis I have to go with this policy being a Claytons policy – lots of words, but nothing to say. The best any journalist can do is look at the assumptions and see how out of kilter with reality they are.

There are no details on the future plans of the Coalition or on what will happen to NBN Co once the build is completed. Unfortunately for Turnbull, Tony Abbott played his hand early, stating unequivocally that an LNP government would sell off the NBN. No details as to whether they would uphold the legislation that ensures NBN Co remain a wholesale-only company and be required to foster innovation and competition.

If anything, the build and sale planned, to deploy VDSL via FTTN, would stifle innovation and quash competition within the network. With Vectored VDSL, as Turnbull keeps stating will be deployed (but not mentioned once in the policy document), competition is incompatible. You cannot run multiple ISP’s vectored services via the same cable.

The next thing to look at is the LNP’s build estimates. Unfortunately there is no data to support the costs given, however there seems to be a large amount of information missing on ongoing maintenance costs, power consumption costs for running the cabinets and the cost of acquiring Telstra’s copper network. All of these together would seem to wipe out any reduction in the $40b-odd an FTTP deployment is estimated to cost.

There is no way the Coalition are anywhere near the mark with their $90b estimate to build FTTP, especially since even they have even said it would cost ‘several thousand dollars’ per user to run FTTP from a node. If we look at the BT example of FTTP upgrades and extrapolate an average user being charged ad-hoc rates close to $7000 per premises, it will cost users approximately $65b to upgrade all services. Seeing NBN Co is not charged ad-hoc rates, this cost would be far lower (closer to $30b for an end-to-end fibre service). So the savings from the Coalition are merely offloading costs from off-budget financing to end-user financing.

The main question is who benefits from the savings? It’s certainly not end-users. It’s certainly not businesses. It’s most certainly not retail service providers. The people who benefit will be the people who buy the network.

So who could possibly buy the network? Optus, iiNet, or even Vodafone? The three might be able to handle such a big fixed line network; however they do not have the technicians to maintain the copper. The only player capable of handling such a network is Telstra as they already have technicians and contracts with third parties to maintain the network.

So the end result would be Telstra selling their copper to NBN Co for an inflated price then buying it all back at a discount price, as no other company would want to take on such a liability as $1b per year in maintenance costs to run the copper network.

The fact that Murdoch’s subsidiaries have been so involved in this policy release betrays who is calling the shots. It’s not Turnbull (or as Abbott named him, Mr Broadband), nor is it Abbott. It’s clear that Murdoch’s media empire does not want FTTP – just read any of their papers on any given day to see the utter contempt for NBN Co in any article on the NBN.

The bottom line is that this is all about control. With FTTP the control is in the hands of consumers, giving them an opportunity to utilise Over-The-Top (OTT) services and remove the need for Foxtel if they wish to watch pay TV services.

With FTTN the need for satellite dishes and coaxial cable connections is vital to maintain internet speed while watching pay TV. Turnbull’s claim that VDSL is capable of carrying HD streams is myopic at best, as he ignores the technological advancements in broadcast systems such as the soon-to-be-released 4K broadcast standard.

@jtwyman John Twyman Speed difference between the #NBN & the Opposition's #fraudband proposal

@jtwyman John Twyman Speed difference between the #NBN & the Opposition’s #fraudband proposal

Even the most compressed 4K video requires at least 20Mbps of bandwidth, so the Coalition’s plans for a minimum of 25Mbps is severely lacking after network overheads are taken into account. The only way users on FTTN will receive 4K video is to utilise a dedicated connection to pay TV providers, meaning OTT providers are left out in the cold.

Essentially this policy ignores future needs of Australian consumers and business in favour of end-of-life technologies. Utilising such technologies ensures the control of media in Australia is maintained by the likes of Murdoch and his ilk.

If voters can take anything away from today’s policy announcement it’s this: the Coalition do not want to see Australia’s telecommunication network progress, but merely want to waste $30b delivering what’s there now to sell it off to the people who screwed up the network in the first place.

Read More:

Why Murdoch’s media is gunning for your NBN

Jack McCaw’s NBN story

Why Jake’s impatient for the NBN

What happened to honest politics in Queensland? Scott Driscoll shames Newman

In Corruption, David Marler on April 8, 2013 at 12:15 PM
Scott Driscoll with Campbell Newman during the election campaign in 2012. Source: The Courier-Mail

Scott Driscoll with Campbell Newman during the election campaign in 2012. Source: The Courier-Mail

By David Marler

April 7, 2013

The Queensland State election of 2012 delivered the traditionally safe Labor seat of Redcliffe to Scott Driscoll of the Liberal National Party (LNP).

Driscoll was born in Redcliffe and was involved in a number of community groups which helped raise his profile in the electorate. He became president of the Queensland Retail Traders and Shopkeepers’ Association (QRTSA); a lobbying group which represented the interests of small retail businesses, and was a patron of the Redcliffe Community Association of Moreton Bay (RCAMB), a community group which helped the homeless and those with mental illness.

He was also the largest single donor to Premier Campbell Newman’s election campaign, donating  $55,000.Upon entering Parliament, he was appointed a member of several Parliamentary committees, the State Development, Infrastructure and Industry Committee and Health and Community Services Committee.

In February this year The Courier Mail revealed that Driscoll had not disclosed his pecuniary interests in the community groups. It alleged that he had been directing QRTSA and RCAMB throughout 2012 whilst an MP, and that donations and disposed assets of QRTSA had not been properly accounted for. This prompted former employees of Driscoll’s to come forward citing sexual harassment claims.

It then emerged that Driscoll had used his electorate office for meetings of his extra-parliamentary interests and had staff working on QRTSA and RCAMB projects, and had had approached Woolworths and Coles on behalf of QRTSA to seek donations for lobbying on their behalf. Both companies declined his offer, and Woolworths reported the approach to the Liberal Party hierarchy.

Norsefire, a company owned by Driscoll’s wife Emma, was paid by both QRTSA and RCAMB for consultancy work. Emma was also added to the RCAMB payroll as HR administrator.

Driscoll denied all financial improprieties in a parliamentary speech, but would not speak to the media. He resigned his directorships and updated his pecuniary interest register claiming an ‘oversight’. He also significantly updated his pecuniary interest register to include several properties and sent flyers to his constituents informing them that all allegations were false, including the sexual harassment claims.

RCAMB subsequently collapsed due to lack of funding. Twenty three staff were stood down owed 2 weeks wages. During 2012, RCAMB had received $1.4 million in funding from both State and Federal Governments. Two weeks earlier, Queensland Minister for Communities Tracy Davis told Parliament her department was working with RCAMB to resolve the financial problems, but RCAMB staff told the media no one had been in contact.

QRTSA is now largely defunct, and a new association was created in its place called the United Retail Federation (URF).

At first Premier Newman backed Driscoll, stating it would be up to voters to decide at the next election and calling for an end to trial by media. He defended Driscoll in Parliament, calling the allegations an Easter egg hunt.

Ultimately he was forced to suspend Driscoll from the LNP. He referred Driscoll to the Parliamentary ethics committee but stopped short of referring him to the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC). Newman then adopted a ‘Sgt Shultz’ defence, saying he knew nothing about the allegations and could do no more as Driscoll was no longer a member of the Government.

Queensland LNP President Bruce McIver had been warned about Driscoll’s attitude pre-election but took no action.  To the 2013 allegations, he told the media all information had been passed to the relevant authorities – but would not specify exactly what information or to which authorities – and that he had not informed Newman.

McIver then attended the Redcliffe branch of the LNP and spoke of his fears of losing the seat should something be found wrong with Driscoll, and that the scandal had jeopardised the Liberal’s chances of taking the Federal seat of Petrie from Labor at the upcoming Federal election.

The Driscoll affair currently involves six investigations:

  • Queensland Health has commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct a forensic investigation into RCAMB.
  • The CMC is assessing the documents by the RCAMB whistleblower.
  • Driscoll has been referred to the Ethics Committee over pecuniary interest declaration.
  • Another complaint on ‘ghost invoicing’ at RCAMB was received by Queensland police.
  • Complaints relating to RCAMB have been received by the Queensland Auditor-General.
  • The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission is investigating complaints received on QRTSA.

The details of the saga with links are at Norsefire burning.

Why this punter’s cheering for the underdog, despite her Labor colours

In Fairfax, MSM, News Limited, Noely Neate, Press Gallery on February 21, 2013 at 5:13 PM
Credit @GeorgeBludger http://flic.kr/p/bkfykN

Credit @GeorgeBludger http://flic.kr/p/bkfykN

By Noely Neate
February 21, 2013
Source: Yathink.com.au

I am not a big fan of the ‘hating the MSM’ club to be found on Twitter, as I really don’t feel you can lump a whole profession of print, radio and television journalists in the one basket.  I have seen some good reports in the Main Stream Media, albeit not too many in recent months.

I also often wonder how much of what we see is actually the individual journalist’s choice?  Regardless, the anti-MSM crowd are dead right on one thing. It does not matter what Prime Minister Gillard says or does, it will be spun in a negative manner.

This has been patently clear for months and, frankly, has gotten to an embarrassing stage.  I am sure there must be some news anchors out there who see their auto-cues and think to themselves, ‘Seriously, you want me to read this shit out on air, again…?”.

This morning is a perfect example.  By 9am I was yelling,  ‘For God’s sake just shoot me now & put me out of your misery’ at the computer screen & TV. All forms of media blaring ‘OMG! Gillard has folded on Victorian Government Hospital funding demands’ (or something similar).   In fact, if you actually get past the derogatory headline “Gillard buys health peace for $107m”, The Victorian Government has not been given any money. They (and most likely the Qld Government) have played silly buggers and not met the requirements of the agreement, so instead the funds ‘will be immediately paid directly to hospital administrators’.  No mention of that in the news. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story or a PM Bash, I suppose. And before any journalists yell at me, I have been one of the few actually defending you!  Exhibit A: Eleventy-nomics, Brough, Ashbygate Trifecta –  Proof MSM should not always be a dirty word.

Another aspect I hate is the non-questioning crap.  Since when can an opposition leader say whatever the hell he likes and not be asked one bloody question or asked to actually justify – back up with facts – the assertions being made?

The MRRT is an issue in point. The Government has been knocked pillar-to-post for not pulling in much cash for it.  I have to admit that as a punter I would have loved to have seen us, the public, get a bit more of our share.  As a small business owner, hell, I’d love to have even a quarter of the deductions the big mining companies get.  Anyhow there are a lot of factors involved and if you take the party rants out of the equation the fact is, Original mining tax ‘would cost billions’, the opposition once said. Again, no mention of that around the traps in the media, just a buried item by a well respected Economics Correspondent.

Speaking of which, I will not even start on how every single respected economist said that not trying to get a surplus was actually a good idea for the country in the current world economy… Again, never let the truth get in the way of a good story or media beat up.

I could write pages of examples. It looks like the ALP will be gone at the next election, and the media are making damn sure that they are buried.  Ms Gillard could perform the miracle of eradicating world hunger and it would still be spun as “Gillard enforces will on public” or “Who was screwed out of the Hunger deal” or “US unhappy not consulted by Gillard in latest world domination scheme”.

You get my gist here. It is really bloody sad.

Now I am not sure that the ALP are what is best for this country.  I am not a fan of single mothers being kicked in the guts and not a fan of the factional rubbish that goes on internally in the ALP, it is so not democratic.  BUT punters have a right to OPEN & UNBIASED information to make their decision. Read the rest of this entry »

Cinderella, Sunshine Coast Style

In Ashby Conspiracy on February 1, 2013 at 6:57 PM
  1. This is a story about the struggle to become one of the elite by doing their dirty deeds, collecting damaging information to hold power and getting rich along the way.  The moral of the story is : there are none, no morals that is. The lesson is: If you are not one, an elite, you will never be one. Better people have tried.The players: 1. Peter Slipper, long term initially National, then Lib federal MP in the seat of Fisher on the Sunshine Coast, QLD.
  2. @geeksrulz v strong hunger for money. See spending patterns. Taxpayers should not be happy with this MP.
  3. Player 2. James Ashby, one time radio announcer with attitude, strawberry farm PR, Slipper PR staffer, political grub.
  4. @marxdeane strawberry farm connection is intriguing. Just haven’t worked it out yet.
  5. Gowinta Strawberry Farm in liquidation and on the market as one business or 11 properties: http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2012/11/27/550825_property.html
  6. @sloughly @independentaus Just for good measure, the farm now with caravan park ripe for rezoning to res ie Big Bucks: news.com.au/national/sunshi…
  7. Player 3. Mark McArdle, longtime State Lib, now LNP member for Caloundra, wife was employed and ‘let go’ by Slipper. Evidently a different faction, perhaps different interests. Maybe lack of trust.
  8. @sloughly @independentaus And guess who has history in ‘losing’ investors money: laborview.blogspot.com.au/2…. BTW Slippers wifes family are in R/E.
  9. Player 5. Bronwyn Bishop, longtime Federal Lib MP At a fundraising event at the strawberry farm in better days. Spruiking to the old folks about that nasty carbon tax.  It’s not over til the fat lady sings, as they say. 

Updated: Questions for Mr Abbott at the National Press Club

In Ashby Conspiracy, Margo Kingston on January 30, 2013 at 11:53 AM

Sky_Abbott_31012013.Still010

January 31 Press Club review: There are many reasons why the Canberra Press Gallery is failing to fulfil its democratic role. A collapse in media revenues, 24 hour filing, no time to stay with a story and investigate it, an atmosphere which sees journos run from one ephemeral topic to another in waves, an exodus of experienced practitioners with a corporate memory, the removal of quality newspapers as the bedrock of serious journalism…

When an institution is in trouble, leadership is required.

I was proud of the gallery I once belonged to today. It was on trial, and it delivered a solid performance. I was moved to tears, though, by the leadership of two of its most experienced, rational, hard-working, intelligent members. I know both of them. They are strong, fearless, and dedicated to the core values of journalism.

They broke Abbott’s silence on Ashby, and Laura Tingle also called Abbott on his policy of turning his back on hard questions.

As a result, they have opened a crack in the Coalition’s strategy of refusing to address the implications of the smoking gun Federal Court judgement on Ashby. Then another experienced press gallery journo, Lyndal Curtis, got an answer from Abbott on Thomson that removed all his clothes regarding his backing for Mal Brough. It is now up to the journo colleagues of these three women to pick up the ball and run with it.

Several days ago I urged citizen journos to find great MSM journos and support their work:

I think in terms of collaboration between Social Media and committed MSM journos. Old media is fighting for survival and new media can’t thrive without quality journalism reaching a broad audience. Flux. Each of us is helping shape what is to come.

The media silence post Ashby is system failure. Many MSM journos feel it too. If a way is not found to get the truth a dangerous line will have been crossed in terms of democratic checks and balances.

The Court has done its job. Politicians feel they cannot press for official accountability because of MSM silence. Social Media has demanded MSM action for 5 weeks yet even Richard Ackland’s column and the Sunshine Coast Daily’s devastating interview with Brough, in which he lied about the Press Gallery, drew nothing in response.

So Social Media must think laterally. And we are. And we must give maximum support to MSM journos who see their work as a vocation and are prepared to fight for its values.

Here is Laura Tingle’s question and Abbott’s answer, Lenore Taylor’s follow-up and his answer to her and Lyndal Curtis’s inspired question on Thomson. Abbott lied on Brough’s transparency. He promised that Brough would now answer questions. He promised to reveal the statistics on his press gallery press conferences. He failed to answer other points. And by his own words about the PM’s position on Thomson he condemned Brough to dis-endorsement – if journos keep the pressure on.

Where is the #Ashbygate Outrage? Keeping an Eye on the media.

In Ashby Conspiracy, Noely Neate on January 8, 2013 at 3:34 AM

By Noely Neate
Source: YaThink
Date: December 13th, 2012

Keeping an Eye on the media

The day after Gillard’s (now famous) ‘misogyny’ speech I woke up thinking I was in the twilight zone.  Everyone I knew was amazed or affected in some way, yet, the morning news and papers barely referred to it, instead focussing on Slipper resigning?  I was seriously, WTF?  Thankfully over the next few days the so-called ‘serious’ media commentators were basically shamed into at least acknowledging it (even if in some terribly conservative white male stances) by social media and overseas media.  This whole #Ashbygate (as it is referred to on twitter) episode is a major déjà vu, the only difference is, not only am I am in the twilight zone, I am outraged!

Yes, Slipper had some repulsively juvenile texts, though of course without the “abuse of the process of the Court” (Justice Rares words, not mine, see “full judgement here” we, the public, would not even have been aware of the sexists texts, BUT, in reality the texts have now not been found to be illegal, just ‘vulgar’.  To be perfectly honest, the texts reek more of a man suffering a mid-life crisis trying to impress the perceived cool kid on the block, not so much aggressive sexism.  Regardless, it is not a good look, though am sure there are worse out there in MP land if we grabbed all their texts for the last 5 years?  What outrages me is the fact that a few people through their actions decided they would try to change the face of our democratically elected landscape. Read the rest of this entry »

The media now operates with all the subtlety of a Pugilist.

In Ashby Conspiracy, Craig Emerson on December 24, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Subtlety lost

By Craig Emerson
Date: 24 December 2012
Source: Craig Emerson

Newspaper Front Pages Collage

At Sydney University in the early 1970s a course simply called “Government” was offered to economics, arts and law students. It was a time of social upheaval and the election of the Whitlam Government had ended 23 years of conservative rule. The Murdoch press had backed a change of government.

My tutor in Government, Lex Watson, a gay rights activist, had set us a task: to identify bias in the media. But as left-wing as Lex was, the six-week project wasn’t about left versus right, it was about the techniques used by the print media to slant a story to suit an editorial position.

During those six weeks I learned many of the established techniques, simply by comparing the treatment of the same story in different newspapers. Placement on an odd-numbered page gave a story greater prominence than on a left-hand side, even-numbered page. A front-page story in one newspaper might have been well back in another. An otherwise balanced story might be thrown out of balance by the editor’s headline. And oh so important, an archived photo of a scowling or cheerful politician could be retrieved from the files to capture the editor’s intent. Read the rest of this entry »