Sunday 11th of April 2021

the koalas are getting confused...


Premier Gladys Berejiklian has dumped upper house Liberal Catherine Cusack from her role as a parliamentary secretary and announced plans to reverse changes to a key koala planning policy after the upper house MP voted against a government land bill.

The plan to "revert to operations" under the former so-called state environmental planning policy 44 by the end of November followed Thursday's defeat on Ms Cusack's vote of intended changes to a related Local Land Services Bill.

Ms Cusack's decision to divert the Land Services Bill to an upper house committee headed by Greens MP Cate Faehrmann prompted an evening partyroom gathering of Nationals MPs angry that a bill that would have given farmers greater rights to clear land had been blocked.

"Our farmers deserve certainty and they do not deserve to be held to ransom by a Greens-controlled inquiry," Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro said in a joint statement issued on Thursday evening.

"[We] have agreed the NSW government will revert to operations under the former SEPP 44 by the end of the month and in the new year we will develop a policy to protect koalas and the interests of farmers," it said.

Ms Cusack's vote was crucial in blocking the bill, which went down 18-19. The move, in effect, prevented that bill's passage until well into 2021.

Following the vote on Thursday, Ms Berejiklian released a separate statement saying she had removed Ms Cusack as the parliamentary secretary for the cost of living.

"Following her decision today to move a non-government amendment to a government bill, I have made the decision to immediately remove Ms Catherine Cusack as a Parliamentary Secretary," the premier said.

It is the second time Ms Cusack has lost her role as parliamentary secretary. She resigned as parliamentary secretary for education and the Hunter in 2017 after sending Ms Berejklian a nine-page letter criticising members of her cabinet.

The koala planning policy issue threatened to split the Coalition in September, with National MPs arguing the changes went too far and limited how farmers could use their land.


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one could start to feel sorry for daryl...

Looking at the incessant rigmarole from this incompetent (and nasty to heritage buildings) government lead by that (annoying) woman (who should have resigned), one coud start to feel sorry for Daryl Maguire as he fell for the lust of Gladys... Who knows, we might get to hear his version of event, one day... Meanwhile:


Why are heritage-listed buildings treated with such contempt by our unimaginative ministers? The power station may look ugly to Treasurer Dominic Perrottet but it could become a lively destination. Eveleigh Carriageworks and Cockatoo Island are great examples of creative conversions. It’s time our politicians gave more consideration to what constitutes a great city. It’s not more roads, ever taller buildings and certainly not a phallic casino which gobbles up precious harbourside space.

Ingrid Haydon, Long Jetty

Another gross error of judgment by the government. We have already seen the threats to the Powerhouse, Sirius and Willow Grove. The power station is suitable for adaptive reuse, like the Tate Modern in London. But to the Treasurer, its just another cash cow opportunity for developers.

Jan Wilson, Glebe


The decommissioned power station once fed the largest metropolitan tramway network in the southern hemisphere. As with London’s Battersea power station, White Bay’s turbine halls and stacks visually enhance the inner west skyline like a ‘‘cathedral of industry’’. From a technological angle, it’s the only intact utility of its type left in the state. That Arthur Stace, Sydney’s ‘‘Mr Eternity’’, was born in its shadow adds to the site’s historical significance. Demolition was always going to be the hidden agenda of the superficial philistines we have in government.

John Williams, Balmain


Why do I get a feeling that the state government is being steered by sharp spivs and urgers? Now the leading characters in this continuing farce are gambolling over the power station. They smugly diminish the social worth and our city’s history by calling it a ‘‘rave cave’’. This trio dismiss proposals from leading architects to restore this magnificent early 20th century industrial building and create the perfect gateway precinct to White Bay. Despite being included on the NSW Heritage Register in 2006, nothing appears to be safe from this government of tunnels and tax. Limited by imagination, short on vision. Despite their recent travails, there is an increasing arrogance to this wrecking crew.

Rob Asser, Balmain



SMH 20/11/2020



See also: the libs are toxic... in the nasty bastards who see history in the way of their new toys, are at it again...



The controversial koala bill that previously threatened to split the NSW Coalition has been scrapped.

Just months ago, the policy jeopardised the unity of the Coalition when Nationals leader John Barilaro threatened to move to the crossbench, claiming the new protections went “too far” in favour of koalas.

Rather than have the bill examined by a parliamentary inquiry, the government made the snap decision on Thursday night to dump the legislation altogether.

This follows more than six months of negotiations between Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Mr Barilaro to find a balance between koala protection and land rights.

During debate in the NSW Upper House, a vote was put forward to refer the koala bill to a committee which triggers a parliamentary inquiry.

Liberal MP Catherine Cusack crossed the floor and voted with Labor, the Greens, the Animal Justice Party and Independent Justin Field in favour of the inquiry.

Ms Cusack’s vote was the decider, leaving the Liberals, Nationals, Fred Nile and One Nation one vote short.

The ABC understands Ms Berejiklian personally tried to persuade Ms Cusack from voting against the government, but ultimately failed.

Ms Cusack was subsequently sacked as parliamentary secretary.

“Following her decision today to move a non-government amendment to a government bill, I have made the decision to immediately remove Ms Catherine Cusack as a parliamentary secretary,” Ms Berejiklian said afterwards.



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La madam Gladys does not like dissent... Read from top. Poor Daryl...

the koalas problem to vanish by destroying them...


Yet here in Australia, we’re witnessing a different kind of reign of terror, narcissism and corruption hidden in spin and contradictions. A hard-hitting, objective Fourth Estate would be calling for charges of crimes against nature to be laid at the doorsteps of the Morrison and Berejiklian Governments.    

Our wildlife is being wiped out. The Morrison and Berejiklian Governments are actively destroying Australia’s wildlife heritage.

In NSW, the latest extinction plan is focused on Campbelltown koalas, a population whose habitat spreads across the Greater Macarthur Growth Area, destined to be a huge metropolis.

The largest surviving disease-free population remaining in the state has resulted in massive efforts by the community to ensure their survival.   

Community angst has been focused on LendLease’s project to build a new 1,700 housing estate at Mt Gilead.

As a result of the ongoing outrage, demonstrations, submissions and protests, in December 2019, Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean and Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes requested advice on the protection of the Campbelltown koala population from the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, specifically:

  • the adequacy of the proposed measures for koala conservation proposed by property group Lendlease on land referred to as Mt Gilead Stage Two;
  • the consistency of these measures with the NSW Koala strategy;
  • what, if any, additional conservation measures are considered necessary;
  • what, if any, site-specific measures for koala species should be incorporated into the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan for the Greater Macarthur Growth Area to support the long-term viability of the koala population; and
  • whether east-west corridors linking the Nepean and Georges Rivers can contribute to the conservation of the Campbelltown koala population and, if so, which east-west corridors and what measures should be taken to ensure their effectiveness.

An Independent Expert Panel was established to provide the advice. Several members of the panel had been appointed to previous “independent panels”.

The majority of the members has previously been appointed to the NSW Koala Strategy expert panel in 2018.

The appointees included:

  • Dr Kathy Belov, Professor comparative genomics at Sydney University. Her major focus is on the Tasmanian devil. Professor Belov is a NSW Koala Expert Panel member. Belov’s statement on her appointment to the NSW Koala Strategy expert panel indicated her concerns: ‘I particularly welcome the opportunity to develop veterinary training courses in partnership with agencies including Taronga Zoo’;
  • Professor Jonathan Rhodes, University of Queensland, a member of the NSW Koala Strategy Expert Panel stated: ‘This Strategy provides an important starting point and I look forward to seeing future development of the strategy that ensures the long term stabilisation and increase in koala population in New South Wales’;
  • Dr Chris Armstrong, PhD in Chemistry is the Deputy Chief Scientist and Engineer, a member of the NSW Koala Strategy Expert Panel and leader of the report on Campbelltown koalas; and
  • Dr Carolyn Hogg, University of Sydney. Dr Hogg’s focus according to the University website is: ‘developing better tools and technologies to integrated molecular genetics into real-time conservation management decisions.’

Armstrong, Belov and Rhodes serve as Expert Advisory Panel members for the NSW Koala Strategy.



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rules are meant to be broken...

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has admitted she should have self-isolated and cancelled meetings after having a coronavirus test last week.

Key points:

  • Gladys Berejiklian had a rapid COVID-19 test in her office last Tuesday
  • Last night the Shadow Health Minister Ryan Park questioned how the Premier could isolate in her office
  • Ms Berejiklian said she had no COVID-19 symptoms and got tested only as a precaution

After months of urging the people of NSW to "do the right thing" the Premier has conceded to breaking her own rules about isolating.

Ms Berejiklian got a COVID-19 test in her parliamentary office on State Budget day last Tuesday, but continued to meet with colleagues while waiting for the results.

She said she had started to lose her voice and decided to have the test out of an "abundance of caution".

A negative result was returned in around two hours.

However, last night the Opposition questioned whether the Premier should have had contact with colleagues while waiting for her results.

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May Gladys resign in peace... She's done enough damage to this State...

next station: zetland...

Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore is urging the government to reverse its decision not to build an underground railway station in the inner city suburb of Zetland as part of the $27 billion Metro West rail line, arguing it is critical given the area’s soaring population.

Government documents marked “sensitive” and obtained by the Herald show that a station at Zetland was included in plans for Metro West until 2019, when the suburb was suddenly dropped.

Cr Moore said it was “incredibly disappointing” the government did not have a station at Zetland in its immediate plans, adding: “we will not give up on one [because] it is essential”.

Zetland forms part of the Green Square precinct which spans Beaconsfield and parts of Rosebery, Alexandria and Waterloo. The precinct’s population of about 33,000 has been forecast to grow to 74,200 by 2041.


Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the government was aware of the high population growth around Green Square and was looking at a range of transport solutions.

He did not elaborate on the solutions but the government has previously had discussions with the City of Sydney about operating trackless trams to Green Square.

Labor MP for Heffron Ron Hoenig said the government needed to explain why it scrapped the station, which was critical to servicing the state’s most dense and fastest growing area at Green Square.



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Unless Trackless Trams have dedicated lanes in highly congested traffic, they will be thingies to nowhere fast. Ah, yes I know... The Gladys government is planning to sell public housings to developers and demolish a few suburbs (leftovers sold to said developers) to pay for a new highway to Zetland. Piece of cake... Add a few Cafés by the side of the road (see: mediocre perrottet wants to change your city with his mediocre thinking and a few outdoor cafés...) and Perrottet will be happy... But please don't touch any bloody thing!

the NSW gov wants to destroy millions of trees...

The NSW Roads Minister ordered his top bureaucrat to clear millions of trees along every highway in NSW even though the agency said it had no authority to do so, it has emerged.


Key points:
  • Andrew Constance said he knew the department needed an overhaul after his request was denied
  • Transport for NSW secretary Rodd Staples said the department didn't have the power to comply with his directive
  • However a spokesperson for Mr Constance insists the directive was legal


Andrew Constance made the direction in the aftermath of the Black Summer bushfires in a letter to then secretary of Transport for NSW (TfNSW) Rodd Staples.

Mr Staples was terminated last year and received a severance of more than $830,000.

Mr Constance told a budget estimates inquiry today that the failure to comply with this instruction was one of the reasons he believed the department needed to go in a "new direction".

"What's gone on there is a classic example of what needs to change," Mr Constance said.

"Because after that event when lives were put at risk ... my expectation is we get the trees back from our highways because I'm sick of people dying, running off roads hitting trees ... I've got photos on my phone of an example where a tree came down on a car and could have killed someone.

"We clear underneath transmission lines extensively, but for whatever strange reason we seem incapable of getting it back off our major arterial highways in advance of these types of events."

Mr Constance said he raised the issue with Mr Staples on a couple of occasions and didn't find it "particularly acceptable" that it wasn't actioned.

He wouldn't confirm whether this was one of the reasons why Mr Staples was terminated.

"The direction of the agency is going to change, and as a result there's also a need for the leadership to change," Mr Constance told the hearing.

In the letter from February 2020, Mr Constance referred to bushfire-related road closures on the Kings and Princes Highway as the reason for the directive.

"I am writing to instruct you ... to establish a 'clearance zone' around all state-managed highways, by ensuring trees within 40 metres either side cannot obstruct vital road access," he wrote.

"In January 2020, thousands of cars were queued on the Princes Highway from Milton to Ulladulla, with many evacuees waiting for over 10 hours to evacuate due to fallen trees and spot fires causing delays."

Five months later, Mr Staples replied to Mr Constance, outlining various initiatives in place to improve the safety of the road network and explaining that TfNSW weren't able to comply with the 40-metre clearance directive.

"TfNSW has limited power to establish a 40-metre clearance zone under the Roads Act 1993," he wrote.

'No good directing a person unlawfully'

Former NSW auditor-general Tony Harris told the ABC ministers were within their rights to issue directives but needed to be sure what they were asking for was within the legal and financial powers of the agency.

"He needs to be sure that the direction he's issuing can be undertaken and it seems in this case he hasn't done that," Mr Harris said.

"I'm aware that Constance was intimately affected by the fire so it's not a surprising direction.

"It's good that he would write it down so that it's clear and unequivocal ... but there's no good directing a person unlawfully."

Opposition finance spokesperson Daniel Mookhey said Mr Constance had treated Mr Staples unfairly after he provided him with honest advice. 

"It was wrong for the Minister to effectively order his department to destroy millions of trees through massive broad-based land clearing," he said. 


"It reeks of an abuse of power to then fire the secretary after he warned the order might have been illegal."


Mr Harris added that it was legal for a minister to sack senior public servants without giving a reason.

"Because they can do it without reason, it's really hard to test the reasonable-ness of the decision," he said.

"In fact, the officer can't test it, he just lines up and gets a ruling from the remuneration tribunal and then he goes."

In a statement after the hearing, a spokesperson for Mr Constance insisted the directive was legal.

"Transport for NSW is under the direction and control of the Minister for Transport and Roads," they said.

"It is within the Minister's rights to direct his agency to take steps to provide a safe road network."



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