Saturday, December 26, 2009

Bye Bye Bogey Hole - Let's Support Our Landmark

The Newcastle Herald identified the Lands Department’s real agenda for Crown Land Reserves when it stated that “authorities would be unwilling to spend money on repairs (at the Bogey Hole) with no prospect of financial return” (NH, 24/12/09).

The Department uses spin and  PR terms like “tourism, revitalise, attract investment,” but it’s all part of a strategy for a massive sell-off across the State that’s been occurring since the Carr Government days and it has accelerated since the 2007 election.

Ironically only about a week ago a Sydney newspaper magazine  featured the Bogey Hole as one of the State’s iconic ocean pools and a tourist attraction.

The selloff  ranges from high conservation value natural areas to playing fields and urban parks; and  including Coffs Harbour, Wollongong (Killalea State park), Leichhardt, Port Macquarie and many other places. Commitments to add land to national parks have also been reneged on.

The  coastal plan for Newcastle includes high rise apartments on Tramway Reserve, a pocket park and breathing space between high rise and the Ocean Baths  in historic Newcastle East(what’s that got to do with tourism?); and the commercialisation of part of Empire Park. Public open space areas are soft targets.

Since the last election, Lands Minister Kelly has reneged on his commitment to consolidate Merewether Surf House’s (MSH) land tiles to offer a long term lease with a heritage agreement. Now this sensitive site is targeted for a massive commercial redevelopment.

The Bowling Club site adjacent to King Edward Park is to have a restaurant/reception centre on land Newcastle Council asked to be returned to parkland in 2002. They were ignored.

The Lands Department claims any income will be used to fund other Crown land management/improvements in the region. I’ll wager, however, that none will be used to help maintain King Edward Park or the Bogey Hole.

In essence, this State Government is flogging off to private developers, land that the community values and uses for  social, cultural, recreational, environmental reasons. 

What a disgrace!

Keith Parsons.
Newcastle 2300.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Innocide and the Future

The Apology to Young and Future Australians

From Glenn Albrecht, Citizen, 17 Wanliss Street, Jarrahdale, Western Australia.

My fellow Australians,

We have reached the point where we must come together to acknowledge a severe injustice being perpetrated on current and future citizens. We must say to you; the recently conceived, newborns, infants, young children, youth, young adults and all future generations in Australia, that we are sorry that your future is being put at risk.

The callous abuse and mistreatment of the earth and its climate is a source of deep shame. In particular we need to offer you, the innocent and non-consenting parties to this destruction, a profound and deep-felt apology for failing to consider your interests. You are not responsible for the mess we are making of your future.

To all those who will be disadvantaged and who will have their life potential cut short by climate chaos … we say sorry for the innocide.

To avoid a warming and unpredictable climate you, the occupants of the future, need right now to be represented by well informed people with wisdom and ethical courage. Instead you have political and other leaders, who, in their denial or inaction on the reality of a warming world are putting the nation, families and whole communities at risk.

It is an unfolding tragedy that leaders are risking the future of the Earth for dubious benefits in the here and now. The so-called representatives of the people of Australia must be seen and judged for what they are … intellectually and ethically bankrupt. We must apologise for their lack of wisdom and their failure to look after those they ought to represent.

For this gross lack of integrity, for putting children and families last and for the abuse of those in science who are the messengers about our warming world … we say sorry for this tragedy.

It is a dark period in our history when critically important decisions about a genuinely sustainable future are being unduly influenced by those with vested interests. The time has come for us to stand up to such selfishness and egocentricity. To continue to abuse the earth and bring suffering to its future inhabitants is an ethical failure of the highest magnitude.

We must apologise in advance for the massive hardship that will occur to every facet of life as the climate gets hotter, disease, heat stress, drought and fire frequency increase, agriculture collapses, sea level rises and powerful storms wipe out our coastal communities. For all these things and more that will happen in the foreseeable future ... we say sorry.

My fellow citizens, we must care about the future. We must make a rapid transition to an ecologically sustainable economy, one that is in harmony with our environment and climate. With courage and hope we can right a future wrong in the here and now.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Speakout in support of Tamil refugees

Newcastle No War Collective speakout in support of the Tamil refugees

Friday 20th November 

Noon to 1pm

outside Federal member Sharon Grierson's office

cnr Hunter & Auckland st, Newcastle

Download a leaflet with the main points you'll never get from the mainstream media:

page one-

page two-

Enquiries- niko 0406296141

Friday, October 23, 2009

Newcastle Premiere of "Capitalism: a love story"

Capitalism, a love story, Friday 6 November, 6.45pm for 7pm

In Newcastle, with its array of activist organisations, this film should go down well.... at the:

Greater Union Theatre, King St, Newcastle

Light supper afterwards

Green Left Weekly benefit showing- please invite your friends, family, etc.

$20 / $16 concession Contact : Steve 0409 878485 Niko 0406296141

Mike Moore's new film explores the disastrous impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives of Americans (and by default the rest of the world)

Download a flyer for printing-click here

Monday, October 12, 2009

The latest bit of junk TV advertising...

about coal is hilarious. I nearly fell off my chair when they pointed to the line of coal ships, with those poor sailors from far-away lands being ripped off by vessels under flags of convenience. On a more serious note, here's an excellent response from the Getup Crew:

Have you seen what the coal lobby is up to? Right now they're blanketing the airwaves in coal country marginal seats with a new ad campaign, in an attempt to undermine our transition to a clean-energy economy and strong-arm politicians into giving them extra handouts. 

We need to expose their ad campaign for what it is: a highly-paid rebranding exercise. The good news is we have just the ad to do it. Once people see it, every time they see the coal lobby's ad they'll think of our parody. That means you could make every marketing dollar the coal lobby spends work against them. 

In just weeks the Government will decide how much extra tax-payer assistance the coal industry will get - can you chip in to get this ad on air before Parliament resumes next week? 

The coal lobby has brought out the big guns - the same man behind 'Kevin07' is running their campaign. And there's already signs it may be working - with key politicians dancing to the coal lobby's tune. They want to further weaken the Government's woefully inadequate emissions trading scheme with even more exemptions for the coal lobby. 

You can show Labor and Liberal leaders alike that there's something more powerful than the polluting lobby: everyday Australians, like yourself, who are fed up with weak action on climate change and are willing to do something about it. 

If we can raise $50,000 in the next 48 hours we'll buy ads on TV spots like Meet the Press and Sky News, as well as in the areas that the coal lobby are running their ads, so that Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull can see that Australians are not buying the coal lobby's line: 

As part of our ReEnergise Australia campaign, GetUp members have been going door by door, block by block in targeted marginal seats across the country. They've been telling their friends and neighbours about the importance of renewable energy to Australia's environmental and economic future. 

Don't let the coal lobby undermine the grassroots efforts of your fellow GetUp members and volunteers with their slick marketing tricks. Watch this ad and donate to stop the coal lobby in its tracks. 

Thanks for being a part of the solution,
The GetUp Team 

PS - GetUp members are taking the story of clean-energy jobs to Australia's doorsteps. But in order to get that message out, we have to counter the marketing ploys of well-resourced lobby groups like the Australian Coal Association. Watch our ad and donate to send the message that cutting emissions creates jobs.

----- 'end of Getup's response. I reckon its a great idea. Below Above is a pic from the action at Woronira dam- protest against plans to mine underneath Sydney's water supply. Zane Alcorn (drily) remarked (somewhat acidly) "maybe Tillegra Dam was proposed to replace Woronora"...



Tuesday, October 6, 2009



Sydney Town Hall, George St Sydney

PAUL McALEER, MUA (Sydney Branch)
Professor JAKE LYNCH, Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies
RIZ WAKIL, Afghan refugee...

End the War Now!
Bring the Troops Home!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Save Mayfield Pool (Australia) Goes Solar

On the 19th August 2009 Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) donated $15,000 to the Save Mayfield Pool campaign, representing the community contribution to the solar heating initiative and basketball half court upgrade of Mayfield Pool and grounds. This is probably the very first initiative in Australia where a coal company has financed the installation of renewable solar infrastructure to a community facility.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Port Waratah Coal Services donates $15,000 to Solar Heat Mayfield Pool

Out the front of the Mayfield Swimming Pool, pointing to one of the new signs.
L-R: Libby Delgatto (PWCS); Liam Phelan (SMSP Campaign); Lord Mayor John Tate (NCC); Graham Richardson (PWCS); unidentified (NCC); Susan Denholm (NCC).

Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) has this morning (19/8/09) donated $15,000 to the Save Mayfield Pool campaign, representing the community contribution to the solar heating initiative and basketball half court upgrade of Mayfield Pool and grounds.

Solar heating is scheduled to be operational in the week before 3 Oct 2009 when the pool opens. They expect the water temp could be up around 18-19 on opening day.

Plant upgrade works are underway with additional new signage out the front of the Pool, a shade structure over the new kids playground, and even the bins have been painted.

Save Mayfield Swimming Pool acknowledges Port Waratah Coal Services' (PWCS) support for Mayfield Swimming Pool for improvements at Mayfield Swimming Pool.

Graham Davidson, General Manager of Port Waratah Coal Services, presents cheque to Liam Phelan of the Save Mayfield Swimming Pool Group. Also pictured are members of the Save Mayfield Swimming Pool Campaign (from left to right) Mel Nelson, Lisa Hyde Mills and Kate Conner with son Ned.

SMSP Campaign spokesperson Liam Phelan said “We are pleased that Newcastle City Council and PWCS are working together constructively to support important community infrastructure. The support of PWCS is appreciated and underscores the responsibilities and opportunities for businesses to contribute to wellbeing of the communities in which they operate.

“Our local neighbourhoods and community assets are important to us. The local community – in Mayfield and beyond – has shown overwhelming support to save and improve Mayfield Swimming Pool. The support of PWCS and Council recognises the value of Mayfield Swimming Pool to our community.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pigs May Fly

On the Newcastle Herald’s front page (Saturday 25/6/09) we read of the ‘Super Port’ that will triple our coal exports to 300 million tonnes per year and issue in an era of prosperity. But for how long?

On page 12 the other side to this story is buried in a political quagmire known as the Carbon Emissions Trading Scheme (CETS).

Our Governments make only token approaches towards this country’s transition to a clean energy economy. Like all addicts they profess to be kicking the habit, only to invest huge sums of our money in the long term viability of their addiction.

Peter Lewis’ cartoon was excellent. There is no difference between Mexico and its drug money addicted cartels and Australia with its fossil fuel money addicted Governments.

Opponents to change say ‘pigs may fly’ before Australia moves away from coal. And they can rest assured that billions of our dollars are being spent on such delusions as coal sequestration to enable those ‘pigs to keep flying’.

But be aware that everything that goes up must come down, and when these ‘pigs’ start falling we had better have a secure roof over our heads (preferably solar panelled) to break their fall.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Burying our Convict Lumber Yard

(Overlay of Convict Lumber Yard site on present day landscape in Google Earth from the 1830 Armstrong Plan)

There is currently before Newcastle City Council a development application for part of the Convict Lumber Yard site.


The Convict Lumber Yard should remain open space and free of development.

The Convict Lumber Yard was established at the inception of the Penal settlement at Newcastle, between the years 1805-1808, and was fully functional by 1820.

The historic site was identified by distinguished archaeologist Damaris Bairstow in the 1989 Excavation Report (1989) as “the only known site in Australia to retain evidence of early convictism on a broad scale”. (p.7)

We have a strong concern for this Region’s heritage and actively work to research, document, investigate and celebrate its history, which is so important to the Australian national identity.

It is a potential world heritage site, and as a community, we should be strategically working towards having it recognised as such.

With specific regard to the proposed development we are concerned that important archaeological features and relics of the Convict Lumber Yard site will be built over in the ensuing development.

These archaeological features and relics identified in June 2007 in the test excavation by Archaeological & Heritage Management Solutions Pty Ltd (AHMS) are of State significance.

The Coal River Heritage Precinct (of which the Convict Lumber Yard forms part) is on the NSW State Heritage Register and should be protected for future generations. No building should be allowed to overshadow it, or bury it.

The proposed development, and amended plans put forward, does not in any way enhance or protect the heritage values of the site. Rather, they bury our heritage under their development.

In addition, a 500mm buffer zone is completely unacceptable. It is recommended that any construction should be at such a distance as not to disturb the integrity of the archaeological site.

The development site is within the Archaeology Zoning Plan area. The 1989 Conservation Policy strongly argued that the Convict Lumber Yard site should be a prominent feature in the Newcastle landscape, and any new structures and plantings, which might impede the view of the site, were to be avoided.

This proposed construction would therefore destroy the authenticity of the historic site, and will in all probability ruin this City’s chances of attaining world heritage status for our iconic site.

The Convict Lumber Yard is also arguably the site where Australia’s first autobiography and dictionary was compiled.

The convict James Hardy Vaux (1782 – fl.1841) wrote his book containing an account of his life up until the end of his sentence at Newcastle’s penal settlement and vocabulary of the ‘Flash Language’ in Newcastle during the years 1811-1814 under the reign of Commandant Thomas Skottowe. His biographers affirm that his work was the first full-length autobiography ever written in Australia, and his Vocabulary of the Flash Language the first dictionary ever compiled in Australia. In addition the Convict Lumber Yard is also the site where two important colonial treasures, namely the two Chests constructed for Governor Macquarie (and now held in the State Library of NSW in Sydney), were constructed.

So it is not only an important and unique early colonial industrial site, birthplace of colonial industry in the Colony, but also a literary and cultural centre of national importance as well.

This site is therefore a potential world heritage site, and so this proposal to build over the top of it will certainly be viewed as a retrograde act towards our future tourism potential and opportunities and national identity.

Our ultimate goal is to ensure that Newcastle’s historic places achieve world-class distinction and recognition.

To do this its history has to be properly researched, documented and safeguarded for future generations so that people can continue to recognise and be inspired by this Region’s significant achievements.

The Convict Lumber Yard is a ‘Nominated Place’ as part of the Coal River (Mulubinba) Cultural Landscape National Nomination and is currently under consideration by the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.

We must ensure that The Convict Lumber Yard heritage site, that has forged the most important developments in this Nation’s history, is properly accorded the respect it deserves.

Burying such achievements should not be an option.

The Virtual Convict Lumber Yard circa 1840 [An Interactive Presentation by George Drewery c.1990s] prepared as a 360 Quicktime. Be sure to view with the Quicktime Viewer for 360 effect and click on convict arrows for 3D views of Convict Lumber Yard. (11 MB Mov File]

Monday, June 22, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Iran morns for its heroes

Today Thursday Iranian people morn for 8 dead people killed by direct shot in demonstrations against the Ahmadinejad's cheat in election.Ahmadinejad's Government continues violence against peoples protest.There are reports about attacking to students in university campuses in Tehran, Tabriz , Isfahan and Shiraz. Although ahmadinejad's government has limmited news channels and foreign broadcasters. BBC persian confirms death of 8 people and several casulties including girls and students.

Police shoot people in Tehran

Iran in blood and fire

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Stop Sri Lanka’s genocide of the Tamil People

Public meeting
Speaker: Dr Brian Senewiratne, Physician & Human Rights Campaigner.
Held as part of the 23 May National Day of Action to oppose the genocide of Tamils
* Time for a liberated Tamil homeland
* War criminals must be tried
* Medical aid, independent observers, and media into government-controlled camps
* Freedom of movement

Hamilton Station Hotel, Beaumont St, Islington

Click here to download high-resolution copy of poster suitable for printing.

Info : Zane 0401 466831 Niko 0406 296141
Organised by Newcastle No War Collective

Sunday, May 17, 2009

screening of The Carbon Connection 
plus 3 short films featuring local climate activists:

Bayswater                                                                             Eraring                                                                                   Flotilla 2007

$5 or &10 (solidarity)
Fri 5th June
at Suspension Espresso Coffee Lounge
3 Beaumont St. Hamilton

Download a high-quality copy of the poster for printing by clicking here

Friday, May 1, 2009

Venezuela : 10 years of the Bolivarian Revolution!

Public meeting with Nelson Davila, Head of Mission, Venezuela Embassy.

Tuesday 5 May 6.30 pm

Joy Cummings Community Centre, 61-63 Scott St, Newcastle East.

Click here to download high-quality flyer to print 'n paste up

Hear about how Venezuela is creating a new society and the work of the Australian Venezuelan Solidarity Network, including its brigades to Venezuela.

Organised by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network contact Steve on 0409 878485

Also: Venezuela’s alternative Tuesday 5 May 12:00 noon

 Room V107 Mathematics building, University of Newcastle, Callaghan. Talk by Nelson Davila, Head of Mission, Venezuela Embassy. Sponsored by NewcastleUniversity Students Association, Resistance, Australian Venezuela Solidarity Network.

Monday, April 20, 2009

MAY DAY in the Newcastle

Anti Capitalist Ball!

Friday 1 May 2009 - 8:00pm

Lass O’Gowrie Hotel Railway St Wickham.

Come as your favourite revolutionary or the most despicable capitalist scumbag. Bands: Fuji Collective, Dhopec and Doubting Thomas. Benefit for Green Left Weekly. Contact Zane on 0401 466831

Newcastle May Day March Down Hunter St from Pacific Park to Civic Park 

Sat 2 May 2009 - 10:00am

Down Hunter St from Pacific Park to Civic Park 

Themes: Preserving Workers Rights, International Solidarity and our Environment. 

Enquiries: 4929 1162.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Have your say on emissions trading

Dear friend,

The Senate wants to hear what you think about the Rudd Government's emissions trading scheme.

The Greens have established a Senate Inquiry into Climate Policy, which will report on the environmental adequacy of the Government's scheme. You can directly address Senators – before they vote on the scheme – by making a submission.

Have your say on emissions trading.

The best the Government itself can say about its so-called 'Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme' is that it is better than nothing. The Greens disagree. It is worse than useless.

The Government's plan will undermine existing policies to move Australia to renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean transport. It will pay polluters billions of dollars in compensation and use the voluntary emissions reductions you make to free up even more permits for polluters. Worst of all, it will lock Australia into a weak 5% emissions reduction target and close off the option of achieving the much deeper cuts in greenhouse emissions we need to prevent climate catastrophe.

Have your say on emissions trading.

If you want an emissions trading scheme that makes polluters pay instead of paying them to keep polluting, a scheme that creates new green jobs and stimulates investment in clean industries, a scheme that will see Australia play its fair role in preventing climate catastrophe, then please tell the Senate you don’t want a scheme that’s ‘better than nothing’ – you want the best emissions trading scheme there is.

Have your say on emissions trading.

Thank you,
Christine Milne
Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Earth Hour: Breathing Life into our Community


Media Release 

16th March 2009

As part of World Earth Hour, a new environmental network is being launched in Newcastle. Transition Town Newcastle is part of a world-wide movement responding to the twin pressures of Global Warming and Peak Oil in an inclusive and integrated way.

A spokesperson for the group, William Vorobioff said, “We need to start planning for a community that is less reliant on oil. We can’t wait for governments to legislate the change. For our children and for our planet, we need to start breathing life into our own communities now. We need to build resilient, sustainable ways of living together.”

To celebrate Earth Hour, Transition Town Newcastle is being launched with a forum “Breathing Life into Communities”. The forum begins at 5 pm just before Earth Hour on Saturday 28 March 2009 at Hamilton Baptist Church, Lindsay Street, Hamilton. While the adults are being engaged in the community forum, children can take part in “Earth Ticklers”, a creative drama workshop about caring for our planet. The group will also launch the new Australian edition of The Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins, the co-founder of the Transition Initiative.

Agenda and  flyer for the workshop can be downloaded here

After the forum and workshop everyone will move across the road for a picnic in Gregson Park at 7pm followed by the Earth Ticklers performance, wandering minstrels, a lantern parade and observing Earth Hour at 8.30pm.

William Vorobioff said, “Through the forum we want to explore the many ways in which people living in Newcastle are helping create an environmentally sustainable community. We want to bring people together and explore what motivates them to take action and to think about how we can work together”.

“The Transition approach not only recognises the need to reduce our greenhouse emissions but also recognises the threat of pending resource depletion particularly through a reduction in oil production. Rather than focusing on the threat, however, we are focusing on creating a dynamic, resilient vision for the future. We believe that sharing a creative, inspiring vision can help bring about powerful change. We are looking forward to sharing people’s ideas and enthusiasm so that together we can breathe life into our community”.

The forum is being organised by Transition Town Newcastle and is sponsored by Osmosis Creative, Climate Action Newcastle, Hamilton Baptist Church and Newcastle City Council.

For interviews: William Vorobioff on 4967 3231 or 0414 408 956
  Geraldine O’Connor on 4926 1606 or 0417 292 414

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Community Bank® campaign launched

Mayfield Community Bank® Steering Committee • media release •  Wednesday, 11 March, 2009

Invitation to support the establishment of a Mayfield Community Bank® Branch of Bendigo Bank.

A Community Bank® branch is a locally owned and operated company, which functions as a franchise of Bendigo Bank. Bendigo Bank and the community company are each entitled to agreed portions of the revenue of the local Community Bank® branch and the local company is responsible for paying branch running costs.

When the local company begins to make a regular operating surplus, after the payment of branch running costs, and Bendigo Bank’s share of the revenue is received, the remaining funds are available to be reinvested back into the community through dividends to shareholders and grants to community groups and projects.

The local committee and Bendigo Bank will officially launch the campaign – the first stage in a process to gauge community interest in the concept. Those who feel passionately about the establishment of a branch are also encouraged to join the steering committee.

Steering committee spokesperson Niko Leka urged people interested in the Community Bank® model to attend a meeting on Sunday, 22 Match at the St Columbans Church Hall, 39 Church Street, Mayfield, beginning at 4pm.

Committee members and senior Bendigo Bank staff will be available at the meeting to answer any questions local people may have about the Community Bank® model and the Mayfield campaign.

Bendigo Bank currently supports 229 Community Bank® branches throughout Australia. The number of Community Bank® branches has doubled in the last four years and in the same time frame, customers have tripled their commitment of banking business to the community network, increasing it to more than $11 billion.

More importantly, in excess of $21.7 million in Community Bank® branch profits has been returned to community projects and $12 million has been paid in dividends to more than 50,000 local shareholders. 

Add to those contributions the employment of more than 1000 staff members and daily expenses in the local economy and you have a truly meaningful contribution to those communities and to local prosperity.

Mr Leka said behind those numbers are hundreds of stories of Community Bank® branches making a real difference to the lives of local people.

“Last financial year, the North Richmond Community Bank® Branch returned more than $118, 000 back to the community and paid a 11 cent dividend to local shareholders.
“That’s a great contribution and it’s time Mayfield benefitted too,” he said.
Branches also have extended trading hours, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 12pm on Saturdays.

Click here to download a good quality copy of the poster to distribute as widely as you can! The more people there are, the sooner we get local banking up & running....

Media enquiries: Anne Rooke-Frizzell 4968 3648 or Niko Leka 0406 296 141 • 

email: • Visit blog:

If you're interested in helping to organise, join the e-list:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Grafitti wall Re-Launch Sth Newcastle Beach Skatepark

This Saturday, 28th Feb 2009.
10:00 Aerosol art... & then:

12:00 - 18:00 - live hip hop acts & DJ's
12:00 - DJ
12:30 - Laird & lomas
13:00 - Soul purpose
- Aerosol art area Finishes.
13:30 - Tunz-1
14:00 - Dhopec
14:30 - Urban Freeflow
15:00 - Mojos Lab
15:30 - Nameless
16:00 - Nikkita
16:35 - Blades
17:20-17:25 - (changeover)
17:30 - Thats Them
18:00 - stage closes.
"Check it out!

Make sure you come down for relaunch... support legal graffiti culture
" -Zane Alcorn

Whacky councillors and the Herald need to
stop the war on graffiti,
start the war on
climate change!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Gaza: End the Silence & Make YOUR voice heard

... because the media won't. Download this email from Sonja Karkar, Australian Friends of Palestine, explaining how out of 35 letters to the media in Melbourne, only one was published. Download the 35 letters and decide for yourself if they were unpublishable.




Please come to Charlestown this coming Saturday- the more bodies, the more impact and the more chance that our voices will have an influence.

Go to the GETUP survey and take opportunity to request that Australia break ties with Israel until it respects meets UN resolutions and International Law. 

Have you sent a letter re Gaza to the Ncsle Herald & not had it published? Send it to and NoWAR Collective will display it during the action in Charlestown

Download printable copy of the flyer (3 per page) from here (colour) or (black n white)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

From Protest to Campaign this Saturday

Its not over yet

Hi all
As Israeli tanks re-enter Gaza, even more important that you make it
to Saturday's meeting 2pm Suspension Coffee Lounge Beaumont St Hamilton to work out longer term protest/campaign.

Re delegations to Gaza- see below:

1. From Australians for Palestine, Kamahl Mashni is being sponsored to go with the George Galloway delegation- download details here. 

2. Another delegation, Melbourne Palestine Solidarity Network, go to this link 

" Hi All,

Some of us are involved in organising a delegation to Gaza. Assuming we get permission we will be leaving soon. We are trying to get Trade Union members along if possible and representatives from other groups. If any comrades are able to come or have contacts who might be interested please contact me ASAP 0406 402 401.

The program will involve the following: 

The departure will be in mid February, depending on arrangement with Egypt;
The trip will be 7-10 days;
We will visit destroyed areas, hospitals, meet with the injured and NGOs;
We will witness the effect of war and siege on 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza;
All transportation and accommodation will be covered;
We have limited resources to help with some flight costs.

If you are interested in attending please let us know ASAP as we are trying to get permission within the next 10 days.
Ema Corro"


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Nobbys should not be privatised for profit

The inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America
appears to herald an attempt to change the culture of that country.

The decision of Peter Garratt to throw away sovereignty of Nobbys heralds the
return of the Commonwealth of Australia to obeisance to feudal benefice.

I intend to spend some time today mourning my country's loss of vision.

Helen Smith

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

All Aboard The 73rd Study Into Newcastle Rail

Minster David Campbell MP.,
NSW Minister for Transport,
Level 35,
1 Farrer Place,
Sydney 2000

Dear Minister Campbell,

A member of the Premier’s Task Force to study Newcastle rail explained to me in 2005 that he must study the previous 70 reports on this subject to make the 71st report. In 2006 then NSW Transport Minister John Watkins told me;

“You have won! Rail services between Newcastle and Sydney will not be cut, however for political reasons I’ve had to authorise a study into electrification to Warabrook”.

So in 2006 the ALP was re-elected on that mandate. $500,000 later in October 2008 the 72nd report declared that the Warabrook proposal wasn’t feasible.

A month later an unelected developer, General Property Trust demanded a 73rd report. Hunter Development Corporation CEO Craig Norman is now proceeding with the developer’s demands.

Also, Minster for the Hunter Jodi McKay tells us:

“She expects the community will be consulted”.

But she didn’t enlarge on who would consult whom.

The last national survey reported that most commuters using Newcastle rail services come from Lake Macquarie, then Maitland, then Newcastle. All the previous studies despite their various titles of ‘Lower Hunter’, ‘Hunter Regional’ ‘Newcastle rail’ etc. have considered nothing but the 5 km from Broadmeadow to Newcastle. Can we expect the 73rd study to pretend to consider the effects on the people who use the rail? Can we be confident in expecting this seventy third study will be conducted by transport planners rather than real estate planners?

In 2006 NSW Democrats politician Arthur Chesterfield-Evans lamented that there were 23 reports on Newcastle Rail still being held by the government as ‘confidential’ for no obvious reason. At least that still leaves fifty more reports for the public to peruse. But at what cost? We were told $500,000 was set aside for the Warabrook electrification inquiry. If all the studies are of that order then the NSW taxpayer has paid out something like $35million so far for studies that achieved almost nothing. I hope that the government is not involved in that type of expense all over NSW.

Minister Campbell, it would restore a great deal of confidence to see the government take control of this situation, and put a stop to these eternal expensive developer initiated studies and let the government and the people put their energies into more useful pursuits.

Thank you for your time and considerations.

Yours faithfully,
George Paris

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Wens 21st

Hammo clocktower 5_30 pm - pls download and print off flyer at top to put up around the place or give out to people.

Dont be deceived by the fake ceasefire just announced.  Jo Trainor reported from the Sydney Rally on Sunday, that John Pilger spoke of the timidity of the media & the Australian Labour party's support of Israel. He said “The media has built a wall between the massacres in Gaza and the truth of what has happened there”  (Download her report here with useful links).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Australian Solar Institute Launched Today

A new Australian Solar Institute was launched today at the CSIRO facility at Mayfield, New South Wales.

The institute will fund solar energy research projects and create export opportunities for Australian businesses.

The Energy Innovation Fund, which was set up by the Australian Government to support research and development in clean energy technologies, is providing $100 million for the establishment of the Australian Solar Institute.

The chief of the division of energy technology at the CSIRO, Dr David Brockway, says the research will initially focus on solar thermal technology and photovoltaics (PVs).

"The principal objective is to reduce the cost of energy from solar technologies, in the solar thermal area," he said.

"What we're using is sunlight to produce high temperatures and to generate electricity and in the PVs it's direct electricity production from photovoltaics - the project is designed to make the technologies as cost competitive as we can in the future."

Key objectives of the Australian Solar Institute include:

  • advancing and accelerating innovation in solar thermal and solar photovoltaic technologies in Australia
  • driving research that will have a major impact on the efficiency and cost effectiveness of solar technologies
  • increasing the competitiveness of solar technologies
  • retaining local and attracting international expertise in solar energy research to Australia
  • establishing Australia as a key player in the development of solar energy technologies in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Australian Solar Institute was officially launched at its Newcastle headquarters on 15 January 2009 by the Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP, Minister for Resources and Energy.

A fact sheet [PDF, 55KB] has been developed to provide greater detail on the Australian Solar Institute and its planned operations.

The majority of the Institute's research funding will be allocated through a competitive grants program. A smaller proportion of research funding will be provided to core Institute projects and activities. The Institute's competitive grants program will be designed to encourage any Australian researcher in solar photovoltaic and concentrating solar thermal technologies to apply for funding. This includes researchers from the public and private sectors.

Guidelines for the competitive grants program will be developed over the coming months, with the allocation of these grants occurring through an open, competitive and transparent process.

An Establishment Committee and an Interim Executive Director have been appointed to begin work immediately on bringing the Institute into operation. The Committee and Interim Executive Director are developing the Institute based on consultations with stakeholders and the directions set out in a scoping paper [PDF, 110KB]. The scoping paper, released in late 2008, was prepared by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism following consultation with stakeholders.

A governing board and permanent Executive Director will later be appointed to allow the Institute to commence full operations by July 2009.
Further information on the Institute will be made available later in 2009. An Australian Solar Institute website is currently under development. Once the website is launched, a link will be provided on this webpage.

Any queries or comments relating to the Institute should be forwarded to:

Denis Smedley
Solar and Clean Energy Innovation
Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism
P: 02 6213 6401

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Red Cross - Alex Thomson (Channel 4) interviews Mark Regev

Alex Thomson (Channel 4) interviews Mark Regev (Israeli Government Spokesman) over why Israeli soldiers prevented Red Cross officials from reaching dead and injured Palestinian civilians.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

GAZA - Rally Wens 14th Jan 5:30

Even if the Israeli army were to succeed in killing every Hamas fighter to the last man, even then Hamas would win ... in [the] face of the mighty Israeli military machine, it will look like a fantastic victory, a victory of mind over matter. 

What will be seared into the consciousness of the world will be the image of Israel as a blood-stained monster, ready at any moment to commit war crimes and not prepared to abide by any moral restraints. -Uri Avnery.

For full text of this important analysis go to web page or download Word copy 

Protest against the brutal Israeli invasion of Gaza and demand an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal!

Wens 14th January 5:30pm

Hamilton Clocktower

Beaumont St Hamilton.

Download flyer from here (not from the image)

Please write emails, letters, or phone Australian, Israel, US & UN parliamentarians & key figures from the addresses available in here (in Word format)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Free Palestine? Yes we can!

These are the decisions from the 50-strong rally at Hamilton Clocktower on Jan 7th:

Ncsle NoWar Collective meeting in the beergard
 Hamilton Station Hotel
 4pm Saturday 10th Jan
 to decide What we'll do next Wens-

The rally was deliberately optimistic in the face of the brutal and inhumane carnage wreaked by Israel upon the citizens and their children in Gaza. It opened with the chant:
Free Palestine? Yes we can!

Beginning with George Burchett's proposed "two word solution"
The emphasis was upon solidarity and collective action. This means continuing to protest publically and organising and conducting a boycott against apartheid Israel.

Actions taken included signing of the letter to Sharon Grierson that was also circulated at last week's rally, a petition to trade unions, and a contact list. The overwhelming conclusion by the majority of speakers was that Israel is embarked on a programme of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. The implication of this is that even if Israel does call a ceasefire, that it will only be a further ploy. This makes a continuing boycott even more necessary, as an effective form of protest that will not end with a mere "ceasefire".

Audio is available of some parts-
Intro (Niko, Chair)
Roger Markwick
Dennis ?Siedel
Kerry Vernon
Phillippa Parsons
Zane Alcorn
Conclusion (Chair)

It is vital that you join the Newcastle NoWAR ( or the Facebook group"Protest Against Israeli Actions in Gaza"
-thats the best way to not only be informed but also to participate in decisions regarding these actions.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Nobbys Privatisation Back on the Cards

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts is inviting comment regarding the new plans for Nobbys headland submitted on the 22 December 2008.

The original proposal was rejected by Minister Peter Garrett on the 19 May 2008.

The new plan shows 7 units and a 46 seat restaurant, the proposed new 'Managers residence' of the last proposal is exactly the same but renamed Units 6-7. The open space has been left around the lighthouse.

Even though the proposal looks better, with the lighthouse free of obstruction, the plans are still of great concern as the problems with servicing the proposed restaurant and units are still present, especially the excessive vehicle traffic that will be required along the historic Macquarie's Pier to service the facilities. It's a huge improvement in terms of massing of buildings, and good to see that the light house tower is remaining a free-standing 'object'.

However, according to UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Urban Development for Asia and the Pacific Chair, School of Architecture and Built Environment Professor Steffen Lehmann, the crucial question remains:
How do they envisage to organise the access? The vehicular traffic (guests, staff, garbage collection, kitchen delivery, etc etc etc) will destroy the precious quality of the pedestrian walk! The immature idea to run a hourly bus will not work - we know this already.

Best would be to totally skip the over-night stay component, and to limit access by vehicles. There are all arguments for a good cafe up there, but none for a small 'boutique hotel'.

Most people would agree that the prime objective is to allow safe community public access to the Nobbys Headland, without compromising the security of the Port installations there.

Again, as with the original proposal, the prime objective for such a culturally and important iconic site should not be financial.

The Gerald asks will the community be freely allowed to wander around the units? How much vehicle traffic will there be along the historic Macquarie's Pier breakwater?

Why is this proposal on Newcastle's most important heritage and cultural icon, on public crown land in the hands of a private developer?

It is also misleading that the development is referrd to as 'Proposed Adaptive reuse of Nobbys Headland' , when it includes a new development (Units 6-7) there will be no interpretation of the history of the site and the signal station will also be made into a 3 story accommodation unit, there will not be a focus on interpretation, future research or educational aspects of the site.

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts is inviting public comment on the latest proposal by the 8th January 2008. Documents are below. (Reference Number: 2008/4672)

Title of Referral: Nobbys Lighthouse Pty Ltd/Tourism and recreation/adjacent to Nobbys Lighthouse, Newcastle/NSW/Nobbys Headland Redevelopment
Date Received: 22 Dec 2008 Reference Number: 2008/4672
Notification from EPBC Act Date of Notice Documents
  • Invitation for Public Comment on Referral
22 Dec 2008 Referral Attachment A Attachment B Attachment F Attachment D Attachment E Attachment C

The Citizen Card

I believe Aaron Buman’s idea of a “Newcastle Card” is poorly argued, divisive and discriminatory (H, 29/12). It would place Newcastle residents into two camps; ratepayers and the rest. Non-ratepayers have rights( and they vote in Council elections).

Most tenants may not pay rates directly, but rates are factored into rents that they pay. Most are relatively low income earners.

Would his idea include libraries, the new museum, beaches, Merewether Baths , parks and ovals?

The possibilities are endless. Why not charge to use public toilets, children’s playgrounds, cycleways or to promenade on the Foreshore? Then there are non-rate paying residents who don’t have off-street parking. Why not charge a fee to park in the street?

Many suburban pool users are low income earners with families, who pay rent and don’t have the luxury of a back yard pool.

Do ratepayers’ partners get one if the property is listed only in one name? Would each child receive a card?

Blackbutt is not, as Cr Buman alleged, a “zoo”. It’s a regional park and reserve. And you already pay a fee to visit the animal enclosures. Further, there is no “entry fee to access Fort Scratchley”, though there is one for the tunnels.

And what would motivate local retailers to give “bonuses” exclusively to ratepayers, as with NRMA cards?

Novocastrians are very reluctant to pay to use Council facilities. There is no point in having them if they are not used or underused.

For instance, the year after I successfully moved in Council in 1996 to remove the museum entry fee, the attendance figures soared by over 400%. If non-rate payers feel discriminated against, they will feel even less inclined to pay a fee.

Cr Buman’s card idea does not accord with Newcastle City Council’s objective (which he supported in 2004) of a caring, compassionate community.

Keith Parsons.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Rally for Gaza... again!


Rally for Gaza

Wens Jan 7th

Hamilton Clocktower

Beaumont St Hamilton4pm

"Join the dots: from Gaza to GITMO"- the 7th is close to International Shut Down Guantanamo Day (11th) and it would be appropriate to also speak out against the regimes of terror around the world.

Download flyer to print & circulate

On Dec 31st, 20 people gathered at the Clocktower to condemn Israel's action in bombing Gaza as an act of ethnic cleansing. The key demand emerging from the speakout were for an unconditional immediate ceasefire on Israel's part. An open letter to Sharon Grierson MP was read out and signed. An electronic copy in Word format is available here, and will also be sent to her. We also resolved to become more informed regarding the boycott of Israeli goods and services.We need to keep the pressure up- especially as the Israeli PR machine dominates the mass media!