Occupy Sydney Headline Animator

Monday, 14 December 2015

Remember the Lindt Seige? Or just what govt & MSM want you to focus on?

 On December 15th Australia waited in anticipation for then treasurer Joe Hockey to make his mid year budget statement. His government who market themselves on fiscal prudence were about to announce a horror $40 billion budget deficit.
Then out of left field a man with a curious history of dealings with government departments appeared out of left field and took hostages in Lindt Café in Martin Place. As in 2001 when the 9-11 distraction turned the political fortunes of the Howard government from oblivion to re-election the Lindt siege was exactly what the Abbott/Hockey government needed to distract the public with fear from the "budget horribilus".

  Man Haron Monis was investigated by ASIO as many as four times and on an ASIO watch list in 2008-2009 then removed. No reasons are publicly given for his removal. A litany of apparent government systemic failures saw Australia not respond affirmatively to an Iranian government request for his extradition on serious criminal charges and other errors of fortune for Monis which saw him freed on bail on accessory to murder and over 40 charges of sexual molestation which were pending. Was he controlled by ASIO or other government agents? We don't know.
 We know first hand that there was a major military training exercise by counter terrorism units at this location on 30 April / 1st May 2013 on the very block where Lindt Café is. The then 24-7 Occupy Sydney  occupation were surrounded by it.  

 We do know that the Lindt Café siege which killed two innocent civilians and left Monis incapacitated to tell tales by death, clearly demonstrated the incapacity of Australian State and Federal Police military and security agencies to deal effectively with an apparent lone wolf hostage event. This failure comes 13 years after the 9-11 attacks in New York were used as a pretext to pass a raft of laws which gave police extraordinary powers to deal with much more professionally organised incidents than this.
 The N.S.W. police response might well have used an episode of the Keystone Cops as an instruction manual, so inept were their responses. Why for example did they not utilise the undoubted skills. The roof of the lower section of the then Westpac building diagonally opposite Lindt café provides an ideal position for a marksman to selectively target an individual in Lindt Café. If police don't have such skills then the military certainly do. Did the failure to deploy such marksmen at this and other available locations sign the death warrants of the innocent Lindt café manager and lawyer whose unfortunate choice of timing put her in the wrong place at the wrong time?
  For the Abbott government the Lindt café siege succeeded in taking the heat off them and their toxic budget. Falsehoods such as Hockey's use of the wheat price to justify the budget blowout went unexamined. The mainstream media had world coverage and a rapt publics attention which drove their ratings and advertising value into positive territory. State and federal police were able to use the public fear driven tactics that flowed from the Port Arthur massacre to get more funding and powers to the delight of their political masters. Government should control the people - not the people control the government. As the Liberal National and Labor parties desire the relationship to be.
 So on the 15th December 2015 N.S.W. Premier Mike Baird's garish display will commemorate not an act of terrorism on Australian soil but 

Saturday, 12 December 2015

The more we find out about Harris's Budvalt the less we like

 Carinda  was a stable  farming  community where multi generational locals managed  their properties largely in sympathy with the local ecosystem and respectfully of each other. 

 That all changed when ruthless Agribusiness Harris Brothers, trading locally as Budvalt, came to town.
 This is a peep into the window of Budvalt and its contemptible conduct on the properties which it has acquired. It's doubtlessly extermely profitable for them and they pursue those profits without concern for the consequences to locals or the impacts their farming methods have on community water sercurity .
  •  It seems multiple layers of government whom we are told have oversight may be sleeping.
  •  Harris first Carinda acquisition was Miralwyn from an American broadacre developer. Since then they have snapped up Swires historic Brewon and  Rumleigh Stations.(Harris also acquired Swires 
  •  An area of the Brewon property known as Warnocks paddock once grew lush Mitchell grass described by those who value it as a dry weather stock feed as the finest example in Australia. Over local community objections aided and abbetted by government intransigence Harris ploughed the mitchell grass including the local stock route which has right of way across their property turning it into another monocultural desert of wheat. There is some justice- the crop failed. 
  • The Harris's Rumleigh property received a curious water allocation from then Water Minister and local MP Kevin Humphries. As part of this process an "aboriginal consultant" from Narrabri was brought in to sign off on aboriginal concerns without reference to the local and directly impacted Brewarrina aboriginal community. The famous ancient Brewarrina Fish traps (Baiame's Ngunnhu) experienced record water lows as a result.
  •  Budvalt also controversially acquired the Glenacre aggregation, 4 properties whose previous owners have every right to feel that they were swindled by their bank. 
  • The local economy is hurting as much of the work available goes to backpackers. The reason is the same as why miners use "fly in fly out"- non locals don't care about local communities or ecosystems and are not across the issues anyway..
  •  It is reported by local observers that Harris trucks damaged the local road and Harris ordered his managers not to repair the damage.Not profitable? 

Occupy Sydney report of January 2015,  P & J Harris and Sons of Budvalt Pty Ltd have engaged in more concerning major environmental law breaches even though it appears the Office of Environment and Heritage, the Environmental Protection Authority and the Local Land Services have no powers to prosecute. We have been advised by the OEH that the clearing, burning of trees in total fire bans, crop dusting of native trees and grasses that have been reported for the last 2 years will not result in a prosecution, it will not even go the land and environment court.

 The relevant current relevant ministers are Niall Blair (DPI Water, NSW)  and Greg Hunt (federal,  environment)
1. Peter Harris's Budvalt was given permission to extract water from the Barwon river at his Rumleigh, Brewarrina property to water his cotton crop in February 2015 during a pumping embargo on the Barwon-Darling. 
Apparently this was permitted by the NSW Office of Water based on his Water Access Licence (WAL) being a Class A licence that includes Section 48 where the irrigator can apply for special permission to pump, These licences are usually for permanent plantings such as an orchard. This Section must include consultation with key stakeholders including local affected farmers and aboriginal groups. Our inquiries reveal that  the consultation process was at its highest flawed. There is suspicion that it may be corrupt: for example the local Aboriginal community were represented by an Aboriginal representative from Moree who had no right to be talking on behalf of the Ngemba people. This approval was delegated by then Water Minister and local state MP Kevin Humphries to NSW Office of Water. News reports at the time stated that the Barwon dependent towns of Walgett and Brewarrina were experiencing critical water shortages with other cotton growers having no such access to water when there was a rise in the Barwon In May 2015.  This  process must be called into question when determining the legality of the licence grant.  

2.  In June 2015 Budvalt Pty Ltd sowed wheat into a Travelling Stock Reserve such as Warnocks Paddock on Brewon Station at Carinda
Paddock on Brewon Station,  that were once famous for native Mitchell grass that includes part of the ‘Warnocks Paddock” that has been subject to ploughing and crop dusting of native Mitchell grass and native trees.3. The Local Lands (LLS) Services website promotes that “TSRs provide pasture reserves for travelling or grazing stock. These reserves can be beneficial in times of drought, bushfire or flood. They are also used for public recreation, apiary sites and for conservation. Local Land Services manages the land to strike a balance between the needs of travelling or grazing stock and the conservation of native species”.
4. The terms of the LLS  TSR’s on Brewon Station has been totally and perhaps illegally circumvented by Budvalt owner operators Peter and Jane Harris and Sons.
5. Budvalt then applied to pump water for irrigation from the Marthaguy Creek at Carinda and to do works from “Riverview” to “Geera Cotton”.
6. The advertising of this application was suspicious as the DPI only advertised it once in the Walgett Spectator and the Koori Mail. They would have achieved about the same coverage by advertising in the Adelaide Advocate.  If Harris had genuinely wanted the Carinda people to know about his intention to pump from their creek he would have ensured the attached Development Application was advertised publicly in Carinda and was put in the print version of the Carinda Comment as one of the editors is married to a Harris manager and lives on the Harris owned cotton farm “Willewaa” at Carinda.
7.The earthworks between “Riverview” and “Geera” have already been completed, a 2 km channel has been constructed and water had already been moved between “Riverview” and “Geera” before Budvalt applied for permission.
8. The Carinda people took up a petition to object to the pumping application, it will be interesting to see if the DPI still approves the application to pump. This flyer promoting the petition is also on the Carinda Comment facebook site.