typing is not activism….

environ mentalism, fresh articles, interviews & checkitouts from Sydney.

Archive for the ‘interview’ Category

Tassie Pulp Mill Video round up

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Malcolm Turnbull(shit into action) was on Lateline tonight. Given that he received the independent report from chief scientist Jim Peacock today, Tony Jones asked him to dance the “what the report said” jig. Interesting. Very much so. Watch it here.

or stick around and check out this unbleached goodness…..

brief and to the point, and I reeeeeeally like the thought experiment at the end.

recently posted media exclusive featuring Paul Lennon and Gunns CEO John Gay speaking candidly with Tasmania’s youth. Features startling revelations about the Premier’s childhood and how it has effected his vision for Tasmania. Not to be missed.

new ad for Tasmania from Senator Christine Milne

one of many worthwhile mill-related addresses from he of huevos grandes, Greens Senator Bob Brown

a revealing interview with Paul Lennon. . . actually, it’s not that revealing. . . this just summarises what’s been in the papers all year – but does it bee-yoo-diffly.

wacky cute-weird Tasmanian pulp mill doco featuring Matt Damon…. seriously….. it’s Matt                  Damon.

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September 25, 2007 at 1:37 am

H.S.I.: Mammalian Intent – Australia-Japan whaling latest.

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Efforts by Humane Society International (H.S.I.) to legitimize the Australian Whale Sanctuary took a step forward at the Federal Court of Australia in late September.

In 2004, H.S.I. first sought an injunction – an order seeking to restrain action that would otherwise be an offence – to prevent the Japanese whaling fleet operated by Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd slaughtering whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary, Antarctica.

The process was interrupted in 2005 by the determination of Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock that allowing H.S.I. to sue the whaling company would not be in Australia’s national interest.

The full bench of the Federal Court, however, determined that H.S.I. should be able to proceed with their action. Three years on, H.S.I. must now seek advice from the Attorney-General as to whether the Howard government still views enforcement of Australian law in Australian waters off Antarctica as purely discretionary.

The timing is now crucial for over a thousand whales facing explosive and electrified harpoons this summer in the name of “scientific research”.

Since the year 2000 when the relevant Australian laws were enacted, Japan has killed over 1200 whales within the sanctuary’s waters alone. Ably supported by Junior Counsel Chris McGrath and senior solicitor Jessica Wood from the Environmental Defender’s Office, Stephen Gageler Q.C. presented locations and numbers of whales killed to the court from detailed records kept by the whalers.

In Gageler’s discussions with Justice Allsop, the subject of last season’s Antarctic hunt was naturally discussed. A seriously reduced kill by the Japanese was attributed to intervention by Sea Shepherd as well as a 10-day fire and breakdown aboard the factory ship Nisshin Maru. Allsop J. did also ponder aloud why Sea Shepherd, “the other side, as it were” were not arrested on their visit to a Melbourne port following the “altercation”. The discussion turned to the possible nature of ports as places of refuge. Read the rest of this entry »

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September 23, 2007 at 2:16 pm

Pulp Mill Essentials

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Is it a link to a lively discussion which demonstrates just what a fucktard one must be before qualifying as a spokesperson for woodchipping, or have i decided to turn this into a blog featuring grown-up television shows and former 60 Minutes reporters forced to do dispute resolution soft porn to earn a crust? Click the pic and find out / spin the wheel, raggedy man!

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September 13, 2007 at 11:29 pm

Us Air Force – suiting up for Holocaust via Tehran?

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Part of the beauty in the writing at Counterpunch and perhaps even moreso at Harpers is that it really cuts through the static on issues that are actually submerged rather than clarified by saturation media coverage.

More particularly, I remember a string of nights late last year when I tracked Middle Eastern news coverage and commentary late into the night expecting to see “The Inevitable Iran Incident” which would set off all the dominoes put in place for just such an event. The wind was taken from U.S. sails setting course for a bloodied Persian shore and regional apocalypse by an Iraq failure that seemingly could no longer be spun into anything but that – a failure, a badly planned and fatally unsuccessful war launched from a platform of deliberate deceit and achieving the exact opposite of all stated intentions, but perhaps most unstated goals: privatization, deregulation, and seizing of strategic territory and resources by lethal and toxic force.

But I digress. It was a few months into the year before US Bush-it artisans were able to keep a straight face while blaming US deaths and failure in Iraq on, not the fuckheads who launched the war from Washington, Texas, but on Iran. Incredibly, some of this shit does seem to have stuck.

Alexander Cockburn has just filed this article, “Will the U.S. bomb Iran?” at Counterpunch. In his typically straight-up-the-middle style, Cockburn eviscerates the forthcoming peachy Iraq outlook by 2-star trainer-come-George’s favourite 4-star general Petraeus.

Amid the disaster of their Middle Eastern strategy Bush and his advisors may hype themselves into one last desperate throw, emboldened by the fact that the selling of the surge has been a success even though all the Democrats need to do is cite the UN, which says the number of Iraqis fleeing their homes has gone from 50,000 to 60,000 a month. Or quote Associated Press which counted 1,809 Iraqi civilians killed in August, compared with 1,760 in July. The Sunni split in Anbar province is not one likely to be replicated in Baghdad or elsewhere and anyway had nothing to do with the hike in US troop levels. Bush didn’t dare go to Baghdad.

But he also relays Noam Chomsky’s latest outlook on the US position on Iran, and it’s very worthy reading.


More alarming perhaps than informed speculation are the nuggets of info which fall from the pages at Harpers like a piano from a monorail. The current commentary from a former CIA official outlining why he now believes that an attack on Iran is not just probable, but highly so, is nerve-tingling.


It looks like a military strike is in the works and I base that on two things: observable fact and the rhetoric emanating from the White House. There’s a lot of movement of troops and materiel into the region–it’s stuff the United States can’t hide. It’s a huge expense to put Navy battle groups in the Gulf and we’ve got three of them there. We’ve also moved new fighter planes to Guam amidst much public fanfare. You can plainly see the upturn in US Naval activity in and around the Norfolk Naval installations. The movement of ships, re-supply, ammunition loading and general level of activity is high.

The Naval facilities and the ammunition loading areas are well known, and the activity is readily visible, especially at night. There’s a stream of ships coming in to load up and when they take off new ones come in. There’s only one part of the world where all that stuff is heading. Also, everyone I know who would be involved in an attack on Iran–pilots and other air assets–is gone. Normally some of them are around but now all of them are away at the same time.

The insight sits well amongst a survey from February of this year of attitudes and observations by independent security and foreign policy analysts, and another of former CIA officials.

It is insane, but the Doctrine of Preemptive Defence – as illegitimate as it may be – has enough credibility now within the realms of those likely to unleash it – America, Israel, Britain, and associated toadying client states – that we may very well wake up soon and find that this war going on around the world has truly become a World War.

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September 11, 2007 at 1:43 am

Greedy Gunns – Having Their Chips, And Eating Them Too.

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The impact statement which Gunns felt sure would land them a pulp mill in Tasmania’s scenic Tamar Valley has been deemed inadequate, inaccurate and incomplete at 7500 pages. At over 10,000 pages, it remains so.

But the document has reluctantly yielded nuggets of truth. It is now clear why Gunns is resisting pressure to relocate the proposal to its large plantation estate at Hampshire in the state’s north.

According to Wilderness Society (TWS) spokesperson Vica Bayley, documents within the Integrated Impact Statement for the pulp mill reveal the entire Hampshire plantation estate is to be exported as woodchips. Read the rest of this entry »

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August 28, 2007 at 10:53 am

Video Party to Celebrate 10 000th hit – bring popcorn!!

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The last thing we need to do is revalidate the obsession with decimal milestones. . . but I also figure 666 666 hits is a pipedream so please enjoy this passing moment in blogging hysteri-er-history.

It’s a good excuse to share one of the most beautiful bits of longform music video I’ve ever seen. Although you no doubt share my disdain for decimophilia, please oblige your ears, eyes, brain and soul with this little celebration feast.

Turn the lights right down, turn the volume way up, and set faces to stunned.

This is “We”.

“don’t you write the laws?” “no, no. we pass the laws.”

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John Clarke & Bryan Dawe – like The Yes Men, they are purveyors not of identity theft, but of identity correction.

If you have slow download speeds, please to be enjoying figuring out of this picture while youwait for youtube.


Revealing & unaired interview with George Bush

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The interviewer does very well – the lack of sucking-up throws him right outside his comfort zone and he has a hard time getting through his freeze-dried answers. Almost looks like he’s going to clock her just before he starts repeating his phrases. It would have been nice to see how quickly he would have fallen apart if he had to justify executions and torture signed off on by himself as an adjunct to his touching little Iraqis-with-amputated-hands anecdote.

Very revealing interview, apparently conducted around November 2006.

Pulped Uncut – mapping the political fiasco of Gunns’ election timebomb.

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Recent rumblings from Tasmania have revealed a chasm of accountability and due process so vast you could push a $2 billion pulp mill through it. This chasm will soon hit the federal election radar, forcing at least one major party to abandon their current strategy of issue neutralization.

The main powers have taken three relatively complicit positions. Tasmania’s Labor government has chosen NAP – ‘not any problem’. Even as the Liberal opposition unsuccessfully support calls for an ICAC, they endorse the project – as does former Liberal Premier and Gunns’ director Robin Gray. Federal Minister for Environment and Water, Malcolm Turnbull, is invoking NMP – ‘not my problem’, and the federal ALP have decided NOPE – ‘not our problem either’.

Read the rest of this entry »

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May 28, 2007 at 8:51 pm

Pulp politics 101 – Gunns fiasco will hit federal election

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Will hopefully post full version (about 40% longer) here in the next day or so. But for now please visit New Matilda, grab yourself a free 4 week subscription (or a very affordable year-long one) and check out the story that’s been eating me for the last 6 weeks. Am absolutely stoked that Matthew Newton has allowed the use of his beautiful Weld Angel for the article.

From the page:

The situation is still extremely volatile. On 2 May, Les Baker, General Manager of the Gunns Pulp Mill Project, let slip on a Christian website that ANZ will be securing finance for the mill. There is speculation that this would conflict with ANZ’s obligations as a signatory to the Equator Principles. And on 17 May, the Wilderness Society (TWS) launched a Federal Court action against Turnbull and Gunns. Led by a highly experienced legal team, TWS’s challenge alleges Governmental bias, abrogation of due process, and seeks delay of the current process until its legality can be determined.

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May 23, 2007 at 4:22 pm

Alternative News Online – 10 suggestions & a question

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WOW!!!! Sexy title, huh?

Here’s a list of recommended online news sources I recently put together for a zine. IMHO, it’s worthwhile, but certainly not comprehensive. Check some of these out for yourself and see what you think. The question is – what are your preferred corners of the web for alternative/progressive/radical/actual news, commentary and analysis? Please bomb the comments with your own suggestions. Read the rest of this entry »

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May 8, 2007 at 4:42 pm

Mmmm, get a load of that Finnish – more pulp fiction insights from Dr Warwick Raverty

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The following is a communication from Dr Warwick Raverty on April 19, just after the Tasmanian Govt announced the appointment of SWECO (which is apparently an imaginative shortening of ‘Swedish Company’) as independent consultant for assessment of the Tamar pulp mill proposal. Simon Bevilacqua has just run an interview with Dr. Raverty about pulp mill emissions, and a more lengthy recounting of the RPDC experience in Europe may be of interest to TT readers.

As you’re all aware by now, Dr Raverty is very appreciative of those CSIRO colleagues who continue to support his right to speak freely as an individual, and he is speaking entirely on his own behalf and not in his capacity as a CSIRO employee. Will be getting more articles to you all soon from informational places further along the current track (promise) but hope you find this useful for now. The words that follow hereafter are entirely Dr. Raverty’s: Read the rest of this entry »

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April 30, 2007 at 11:09 am

And now for some light relief….

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click on the pic to read Henry Rollins‘ answers to 15 different readers’ questions about politics.


HR: The most messed-up political systems are the ones supported by those who say their system is the fairest and the best, to the point where they feel the need to spread that system to other countries without asking said countries what they think. These are the ones who seem to have no problem ignoring the hypocrisy and shortcomings of their system, but demand that others use it anyway. It’s like only selling damaged goods to people, then robbing them of the cost if they don’t want to buy the product. If you dare to point out the parts of the product that could be improved upon, you are told that you hate the product. That is pretty messed-up.

…this is the “did you eat the last cookie?” face…

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April 24, 2007 at 10:35 pm

Silencing Dissent: How the Australian government controls public opinion and stifles debate

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Silencing Dissent is an appropriately red, incendiary book detailing how the Howard Government is undermining democracy and playing by its own rules.

To learn more, I spoke with Dr Clive Hamilton, co-writer and executive director of the Australia Institute. In 2004, Hamilton and co-editor Sarah Maddison had researched nearly 300 NGOs representing concerns across Australia. While 9 per cent said the Federal Government encouraged public debate, 90 per cent felt funding cuts were a threat to dissenting individuals and organizations. Read the rest of this entry »

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April 22, 2007 at 5:41 pm

Raverty under pressure – detailing the latest silencing strategy

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“…my New Zealand General Manager told me in a one-on-one meeting, acting as judge, jury and executioner, that this publication of ‘confidential CSIRO information’ contravenes my terms of employment and as a consequence I am to be removed from my current position of Sustainability Coordinator for the pulp and paper section of Ensis, consigned to a ‘back room’ and that my file is to be marked ‘Never to be Promoted’…” Read the rest of this entry »

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April 22, 2007 at 3:02 am

An Interview with Dr Warwick Raverty – Tuesday April 17: SWECO PIC, Premier Paul Lennon, the Tasmanian Pulp Mill Task Force, defamation, a retraction and due process

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A verbatim transcript of the first 12 minutes of a two hour interview conducted with Dr Warwick Raverty follows this introduction. Significantly, we spoke on the very day that Steve Kons announced SWECO PIC as the independent consultant chosen to assess the pulp mill proposal for the Tamar Valley and accordingly advise the Tasmanian Government.

More of this far-reaching discussion will be brought to you in the coming week, but the intention of this interview was to prepare for an article due out shortly. Having spoken with Tasmanian Time’s Lindsay Tuffin, to whom I’m sure many southerners are grateful for a kick-arse genuinely independent media source in Tassie (especially in times like these), here comes that part of the discussion which focused on the appointment of SWECO.

Pertinent to this interview, Dr Raverty is speaking on his own behalf, and his opinions and comments have nothing to do with his role in the CSIRO, or in the Joint venture Ensis, to which he is presently seconded. Notwithstanding this fact, in the course of our discussion he expressed sincere and strong appreciation for senior staff at the CSIRO who, while neither implicitly supporting nor condemning his views, have both supported and maintained his right to speak publicly on his own behalf despite pressures they themselves might be experiencing. Dr Raverty had 20 years experience in the kraft pulping and paper industry before joining CSIRO in 2000.

In further clarification on a genuinely unrelated matter, Dr Raverty would like to expressly withdraw any suggestion that Gunns will be storing vast quantities of chlorine on site which, if gasified, would kill everything in a fifteen kilometer radius. He has now been assured by Les Baker, representing Gunns, that all such potentially hazardous chemicals will be used in the mill as they are produced. Baker insists that they will not be stored in massive quantities on site as Raverty previously thought. Raverty maintains that this misunderstanding would not have occurred had all information about the operation of the mill been provided by Gunns in a clear and timely manner in the course of the now defunct RPDC panel’s assessment of the proposal’s detail. Read the rest of this entry »

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April 21, 2007 at 4:10 pm

Silencing Dissent: an interview with Clive Hamilton – April 17, 2007

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What follows is the full version of a 20 minute interview with Dr. Clive Hamilton, executive director of The Australia Institute, conducted as preparation for an article about the book he has recently edited and contributed to with Sarah Maddison, Silencing Dissent. The summary impact of contributions from a range of authors is not only certainty that the Australian government is deliberately controlling public opinion and stifling debate, but a keener, specific awareness of the insidious processes by which this is occurring.

On a personal note, Hamilton’s Growth Fetish was the first book grounded in economics which I found to be not only highly readable, but to actually give both hope and reason to better understand the subject. In this Information Age (does that imply a Post-Information Age?), his multi-disciplinary proficiency, expansive critical thought, and refreshing accessibility are natural resources which offer an opportunity for social, economic, ecological, and political advancement in Australia. At the very least, he is a provocative thinker, and grounded as his ideas are in human rather than partisan values, they should also find resonance with a number of peoples across the globe.

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April 18, 2007 at 11:22 pm

Some Readommended Recconing

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April 16, 2007 at 12:21 pm

Interview with Federal Greens Senator Christine Milne – transcript

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This interview – conducted with Senator Milne the morning after the Pulp Mill Assessment (Approval) Bill first cleared the Tasmanian Lower House – extended to the politicization of Tasmania’s disappearing old growth forests, what Mark Latham’s ‘Tasmanian disaster’ was really about, and an extreme crisis of confidence in Tasmania that has shifted the focus from a threat to the environment to the state of a dying democracy. There are some particularly interesting insights into major party politicking at the federal level around Tasmania’s possible futures.

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April 12, 2007 at 11:33 am

Tamar Pulp Mill 101 – the Dependent Assessment Process

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The Tasmanian pulp mill recently exploded into Australian media, putting a focus on public anger and political shadiness in Tasmania. Premier Paul Lennon gave a different version of events than a former Justice of the Supreme Court , and described Jaakko Poyry – the consultant employed by logging giant, Gunns – as ‘a world leading independent expert’ before a Parliament which looks set to pass one of the most poorly and destructively written laws in living memory. For both Liberal and Labor, this crisis of democracy may well become a Federal election issue. Like an open wound, the situation gets more intriguing the closer you look.

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March 27, 2007 at 10:42 pm

Sea Shepherd in Antarctica (2006/07) or Nisshin Implausible…

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Captain Paul Watson’s Sea Shepherd fleet has been accused of piracy and even terrorism, but the fact that he is walking free after his recent return to Australia perhaps tells another story.

People were captivated, earlier this month, by the actions of the Sea Shepherd anti-whaling ships, the Farley Mowat and the Robert Hunter, in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary, where whaling is prohibited. It was a riveting story — ruthless ‘pirates’ dodged satellite tracking by steering through 400 kilometres of pack ice, ships collided and crew went missing. Read the rest of this entry »

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March 25, 2007 at 7:28 pm

Puppet Up! an interview with Brian Henson

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A burly American detective interrogates an Angolese koala while a French ferret translates. The koala has just robbed a bank…a sperm bank. A bespectacled Orang Utan tells a bedtime story about stealing Dick Cheney’s brain and shooting a dog, then breaks into ‘The Big Fat Buddha Song’. Piddles the diapered puppy gets amorous with a puppeteer’s arm on stage while a nervous presenter barks instructions at her from video walls mounted around the theatre.

These are some hysterical scenes you won’t see when the Jim Henson Company brings Puppet Up! – Uncensored to the Melbourne and Sydney Comedy Festivals, because the show isn’t just live – it’s improvised.

the big fat buddhas in Edinburgh

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March 22, 2007 at 5:42 pm