Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Northern Land Council bars journalist from visiting Muckaty – planned nuclear waste dump site

censorshipThere is a very important wider issue in all this – irrespective of my visit – “If the radioactive waste facility goes ahead, will journalists and indigenous rights advocates like me be able to have access to freely visit it and report on any issues associated with its operation?”

Northern Land Council puts out ‘Not Welcome’ mat for site visit at Muckaty. #wasteontrial  http://songlines.org.au/2014/06/04/northern-land-council-puts-out-not-welcome-mat-for-site-visit-at-muckaty-wasteontrial/ June 4, 2014 by Bruce Reyburn One of the hallmarks of an open democracy is the ability of the media and human rights advocates to go freely to contested places where they can report on what they see and learn in the process.

MuckatyAs I have just found, this is not the case in one part of Australia.In keeping with the tight provisions of the Australian government legislation for a radioactive waste facility, a site on “Muckaty” was ‘volunteered’ by one small ‘local descent group’ (or part thereof) of Warlmanpa people in return for a few million dollars – and then nominated to the Australian government by the Northern Land Council. All done by the book, according to the NLC.

Other Warlmanpa at Muckaty objected to this process – hence the present Federal Court case presently underway in Melbourne, thence Tennant Creek, Darwin, Melbourne.

The Northern Land Council is a respondent in this Federal Court case, along with the Commonwealth of Australia.

Under the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act a permit is required to enter onto Aboriginal land (as defined by that Act).

Issuing permits is a function of the relevant Aboriginal Land Council to process permit applications.

Soon after I decided to blow the budget and travel to Tennant Creek to see old friends and listen to Warlmanpa people’s evidence in their Federal Court case, I realised that the Federal Court would travel to Muckaty to view the site nominated for the Australian government’s radioactive waste facility. This proposed radioactive waste facility site is on Aboriginal Land gained by a traditional Aboriginal land claim under that Act, and has a pastoral lease “Muckaty” over it. Muckaty is in that part of the Northern Territory covered by the Northern Land Council.

Therefore I would need a permit to visit Muckaty and the proposed site if I got the opportunity, either as part of the court case or separately during my short visit, with Warlmanpa people who might want me to help tell their story to the wider world.

Accordingly, I made an application to the Northern Land Council, nominating a couple of different dates and mentioning that I aimed to write about these matters on myhttp://www.songlines.org.au blog.

When I did not get a reply back I sent an email to the NLC asking about the progress of my permit application. Copies of that correspondence are included below My application does not appear to have been referred to the traditional owners of Muckaty, but the NLC legal section.

On the basis of that I have been effectively blocked from visiting the proposed radioactive waste site…..

The main question in my mind is this – “Is the decision of the Northern Land Council to deny me access to visit the proposed radioactive waste site a decision which:

(a) truly reflects the wishes of the traditional owners of Muckaty, in whose name the Northern Land Council operates or
(b) was it a decision based on other than normal considerations and
(c) if it was not normal practice, was the decision in keeping with the relevant legislation regarding the role of the NLC in processing permits?”

There is a very important wider issue in all this – irrespective of my visit – “If the radioactive waste facility goes ahead, will journalists and indigenous rights advocates like me be able to have access to freely visit it and report on any issues associated with its operation?”

 

June 5, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, media, Northern Territory | Leave a comment

Aboriginal art exhibition “Flow of Voices” highlights environment and history

Aboriginal elders paint pre-mine tragedy GINA FAIRLEY Visual Arts Hub,  3 JUNE, 2014
A new exhibition from remote mining country provides a ‘prequel’ tale that goes back to colonial frontier massacres Jacky Green’s potent pictures of the environmental impact of the Macarthur River Mine’s (MRM) on the remote Gulf Country of Borroloola recently offered a powerful example of the way art tells an important contemporary story.

But the region, which sits just below the Gulf of Carpentaria in the Northern Territory, has an equally charged story of land and dispossession from colonial times which is now the subject of a  matching exhibition Flow of Voices 2: Stewart Hoosan and Nancy McDinny……….in this unrecognised frontier war about one-sixth of the population lost their lives in lawless massacres and violence (600 men, women and children in official records),’ said Cross Arts Projects director Jo Holder.

‘Nancy McDinny and Stewart Hoosan insist that the settlement of Australia wasn’t a simple story of Aboriginal people acquiescing to the occupation of their land, but one of resistance where many people fought back against violence, sexual abuse and dispossession’, Holder added in a statement.

‘When they were powerful old people, didn’t know how to speak English but used to talk in language, saying, “We not going to give away our land. This is our land. It belong here. This is our history, our story and our dreaming”,’ said McDinny.

The old people who set up Waralungku art centre – including McDinny, Hoosan and the late Ginger Riley (from Ngukkur) – wanted to make history paintings to account for their peoples’ agency and overwhelming belief in their just claim on their land. Renowned for their colour and realism, ‘many paintings from the Gulf are unique conceptual and analytic documents about history and contemporary issues,’ explained Holder………The partner exhibitions ‘argue for proper consultation, environmental monitoring, restoration and community benefit in exchange for resource extraction. Without proper respect for people and country racial hierarchies and “imperial” attitudes persist,’ said gallery director Jo Holder.

Green’s work captures that sentiment: ‘I want to show people what is happening to our country and to Aboriginal people. No one is listening to us. What we want. How we want to live. What we want in the future for our children. It’s for these reasons that I started to paint. I want government to listen to Aboriginal people. I want people in the cities to know what’s happening to us and our country.’

The artists and Waralungku Arts are proud to announce their plan to found a Yanyuwa, Garrwa, Marra and Gudanji People’s Keeping Place and Knowledge Centre at Borroloola.

Flow of Voices 2:
Cross Art Projects, Kings Cross
22 May – 28 June 2, 2014
www.crossarts.com.au
www.waralungku.com        http://visual.artshub.com.au/news-article/news/visual-arts/aboriginal-elders-paint-pre-mine-tragedy-244014

June 5, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, media, New South Wales | Leave a comment

Mark Willacy’s book “Fukushima” – essential reading

Book Mark WillacyThe case for Mark Willacy’s Fukushima, The Conversation, Ashley Ng, 2 June 14,

“……….Willacy is a meticulous investigative journalist. Invariably questions would arise as to whether the disasters of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami could have been mitigated or, in the case of the Fukushima disaster, prevented.

Willacy distilled hundreds of hours of interviews from ordinary people to the ex-Prime Minister which, together with official reports, provide compelling arguments that this indeed could have been the case at every level. Such is the benefit of hindsight.

Fukushima underscores the importance of Australia’s correspondents for bringing veracity to the reporting of events affecting our region. Perhaps with the exception of a cadre of Japanese freelance journalists, Willacy outlines why the Japanese kisha kurabu press clubs, formed from the dominant Japanese news organisations, would not have subjected Japan’s power companies and government officials to the same degree of relentless scrutiny leading up to and following March 11, 2011.

Willacy’s Fukushima stands as a strong historical document. But like the ancient granite stones that warned generations of Japanese of the dangers of tsunamis of times past, the lessons contained within the book’s pages are perhaps at risk of being ignored at peril.

The distaste for the Japanese nuclear industry has receded. In 2012, the pro-nuclear Liberal Democratic Party was swept back into power and plans to restart nuclear power plants across the country have commenced. Notably, this includes the Hamaoka nuclear power plant, which sits directly above a fault line in a region where a large undersea earthquake is expected within the next 30 years.

This reason alone makes Willacy’s Fukushima essential reading.http://theconversation.com/the-case-for-mark-willacys-fukushima-24980

June 2, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, Resources | Leave a comment

Murdoch media takes its”facts” on renewable energy from fossil fuel and right-wing promoters

Parkinson-Report-Why the Murdoch media hates renewable energy so much, REneweconomy,  By Giles Parkinson on 26 May 2014 Here is an admission. For more than two years, over two stints, I wrote a weekly column on green energy for The Australian newspaper, called Greenchip.

It appeared prominently on the business pages, and on no occasion was I ever instructed by any editor to take a certain angle, and my copy was never changed to convey another meaning – although one sub-editor did choose the word “seaweed” in a story about algae fuels.

That’s the way it should be. And possibly the way it still is. But I make mention of it now because the position of the Murdoch media towards renewable energy has become a major issue: It appears designed to bring a multi-billion dollar industry to a halt, and apart from ideological reasons, or sympathy with vested interests, it is not clear why.

Certainly, it is not based on the facts.

Some of the reporting on renewables from the Murdoch global network has been laughable, such as the assertion by one Fox News reporter that solar could never work in the US because it didn’t have as much sun as Germany. Continue reading

May 27, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Why did The Age TV promote an American pro nuclear film?

questionNoel Wauchope, 22 April 14, And, more importantly, when will The Age restore balance with an Australian documentary on nuclear/uranium issues, such as one of David Bradbury’s films?

Early this month The Age TV prominently featured “Pandora’s Promise”, so people across Australia could watch this glossy piece of advertising from the American nuclear front group, The Breakthrough Institute.

Today, I wasn’t able to find that nuclear infomercial on The Age’s TV site. Which is a little reassuring – they seem to be not continuing the promotion.

However, I am disappointed that I have not received a reply to my fully addressed, signed and posted.letter to The Age:

The Age  

Online Editor

PO Box 257 Melbourne VIC 3001

3 April 2014

 I came across The Age TV site, and found the Breakthrough Institute’s film “Pandora’s Promise” there.

 I had recently reviewed this film, on its Australian premiere in Melbourne, and found it to be very glossy and engaging, but essentially  a promotional feature for the nuclear industry.

 So it would bring in some balance if The Age were to show a film with a different point of view – and perhaps an Australian film, rather than American.   David Bradbury, for example, has made a number of films on nuclear/uranium issues – http://www.frontlinefilms.com.au/

 Can you tell me how The Age came to be showing this film?  I assume that Robert Stone and the Breakthrough Institute did not pay The Age to show it

 Sincerely

 Noel Wauchope

 

April 22, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

University of Western Australia has resisted intimidation from climate denialists

intimidationConspiracist’ climate change study withdrawn amid legal threats  April 2, 2014 Peter Hannam Lunar landings? Made in Hollywood. Smoking causes cancer? No way. And as for climate change, better not ask.

Or rather, better not study – at least if the case of a Swiss-based journal is any guide. It means that if a paper is published that the climate deniers don’t like the look of, they can bombard the journal with complaints or threats

Climate change academics say the decision by a publisher to retract their paper examining the links between conspiracy theorists and denial of global warming because of legal threats could have a “chilling effect” on research.

Frontiers in Psychology last month retracted the paper, Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation “in light of a small number of complaints”, the journal said on its website.

A year-long investigation “did not identify any issues with the academic and ethical aspects of the study,” it said. However, the probe found “the legal context (to be) insufficiently clear”.

The paper, though, is being carried by the website of  the University of Western Australia where one of its authors, cognitive scientist Stephan Lewandowsky, was based.

“Sadly, it has turned into a routine for outsiders with no scientific standing to approach, bully, or intimidate journals, editors, and academics,” said Professor Lewandowsky, now at the UK’s University of Bristol.

One person commenting on the Frontiers’ website asked for the ‘‘full details of the investigation,’’ saying the paper had been ‘‘derogatory and insulting’’ by naming people as conspiracy theorists who were ‘‘merely pointing out errors in the previous paper’’.

According to Graham Readfearn ofDeSmogblog.com, the legal threats were that the paper was defamatory.

 Scientific rejection

The genesis of the rejected paper was a 4000-word paper in Psychological Science in 2012 by Professor Lewandowsky and co-authors that explored the links between an endorsement of free-market economics and a rejection of climate change science.

Support for free markets was also a predictor of rejection of mainstream science in other fields, such the link between smoking and cancer, the authors wrote.

Endorsement of a range of conspiracy theories, such as a belief NASA faked the moon landing in a Hollywood studio or that the FBI had killed US civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King Jr., also predicted a climate change denial stance.

Professor Lewandowsky and co-authors then studied how internet bloggers reacted to their initial work, producing the Recursive Fury paper that Frontiers published in February 2013 and has now retracted.

“The extent and vehemence of contrarian activity provided a particularly informative testbed for an analysis of how conspiracist ideation contributes to the rejection of science among web denizens,” the authors wrote.

Responses took several paths: opponents objected to UWA alleging misconduct by Professor Lewandowsky; requests for freedom of information were submitted seeking emails and documents; findings were re-analysed to show the facts did not exist; and several theories began circulating “with arguably conspiracist content”, the researchers said.

Two typical conspiracist attributes emerged: an immutable belief that “something must be wrong” and that the authors were engaged in intentional malfeasance”, they wrote.

‘Bombard’ the journal 

John Cook, a researcher at the University of Queensland and a co-author of the second paper, said the Frontiers’ decision to retract the work might have a “chilling effect” on research.

“It means that if a paper is published that the climate deniers don’t like the look of, they can bombard the journal with complaints or threats,” Mr Cook said.

“Knowing they have had success once might embolden them to try to retreat the strategy again.” (Mr Cook also helms the Skeptical Science website.)

Kim Heitman, a lawyer for the UWA, said the university had done its own risk analysis before publishing the paper online. “There’s no reason to take it down,” Mr Heitman said.

The university had also received complaints from some groups. “It’s quite relentless,” he said.

“There’s always a close interest in everything that Steve (Lewandowsky) does,” Mr Heitman said. “We are conscious that we are going to be targeted by people opposed to his works.”

The university, though, had also received plaudits from around the world for its decision to publish the paper.

“I couldn’t list them,” Mr Heitman said. “And I wouldn’t list them, having regard to the fact that anyone who issues a ‘thanks UWA’ will probably get their own enquiry.”

‘Spineless’

Elaine McKewon, one of the retracted paper’s three independent reviewers, said Frontiers had been “spineless” in its response to complaints. Kim Heitman, a lawyer for the UWA, said the university had done its own risk analysis before publishing the paper online. “There’s no reason to take it down,” Mr Heitman said.

The university had also received complaints from some groups. “It’s quite relentless,” he said.

“There’s always a close interest in everything that Steve (Lewandowsky) does,” Mr Heitman said. “We are conscious that we are going to be targeted by people opposed to his works.”

The university, though, had also received plaudits from around the world for its decision to publish the paper.

“I couldn’t list them,” Mr Heitman said. “And I wouldn’t list them, having regard to the fact that anyone who issues a ‘thanks UWA’ will probably get their own enquiry.”

‘Spineless’

Elaine McKewon, one of the retracted paper’s three independent reviewers, said Frontiers had been “spineless” in its response to complaints……….http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/conspiracist-climate-change-study-withdrawn-amid-legal-threats-20140402-35xao.html

April 3, 2014 Posted by | media, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Legal bullying made a scientific journal remove its article about climate change

intimidationThe journal that gave in to climate deniers’ intimidation The Conversation,  Elaine McKewon,  Research Associate, Australian Centre for Independent Journalism at University of Technology, Sydney 1 April 14, 

In February 2013, the journal Frontiers in Psychology published a peer-reviewed paper which found that people who reject climate science are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories. Predictably enough, those people didn’t like it.The paper, which I helped to peer-review, is called “Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation”. In it, cognitive scientist Stephan Lewandowsky and his colleagues survey and analyse the outcry generated on climate skeptic blogs to their earlier work on climate denial.

The earlier study had also linked climate denial with conspiracist thinking. And so by reacting with yet more conspiracy theorising, the bloggers rather proved the researchers’ point.

Yet soon after Recursive Fury was published, threats of litigation started to roll in, and the journal took the paper down (it survives on the website of the University of Western Australia, where Lewandowsky carried out the study).

A lengthy investigation ensued, which eventually found the paper to be scientifically and ethically sound. Yet on March 21 this year, Frontiers retracted the paper because of the legal threats.

The episode offers some of the clearest evidence yet that threats of libel lawsuits have a chilling effect on scientific research………

the journal’s management and editors were clearly intimidated by climate deniers who threatened to sue. So Frontiers bowed to their demands, retracted the paper, damaged its own reputation, and ultimately gave a free kick to aggressive climate deniers.

I would have expected a scientific journal to have more backbone, certainly when it comes to the crucially important issue of academic freedom. http://theconversation.com/the-journal-that-gave-in-to-climate-deniers-intimidation-25085

 

April 2, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, legal, media, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Australia NEEDS to see “Utopia”- and stop white-washing its Aboriginal history

film-UtopiaIt’s nothing new that other countries are expressing shock and outrage over this film, whilst Australia tries to ignore its content. For further information, check out the mounting pile of political denials following reports from visiting UN officials.
It’s a crying shame, because Australia NEEDS to see this.

Utopia: An Aboriginal perspective, Black Feminist Blogspot, BY TRACKERJANUARY 7, 2014 Award winning investigative journalist John Pilger’s new film Utopia will be a powerful weapon to raise awareness about Aboriginal Australia, according to Arrente writer Celeste Liddle*.  On flicking through the UK reviews of John Pilger’s new documentary film “Utopia”, one thing quickly becomes apparent: Pilger has created a hard-hitting film that is of extraordinary importance.

Utopia, which was released in the UK in November, has consistently received rave reviews. CineVue refers to it as “as an examination of forgotten injustice it’s quite simply essential viewing”. Metro states that the film is “confrontational, eye-opening and saddening viewing”.
As someone who has been lucky enough to see the film, I cannot say I am at all surprised that four-star ratings have dominated, with the slightly lower ratings seemingly limited to criticism about the length of the film and Pilger’s interruptive and bombastic-at-times interview style.
It is frequently described as a “must see”, its content as bleak, confronting and disturbing and its core arguments as compelling and shameful.
In short, since its release, it has shaken viewers in the UK and awoken them to some unspoken truths in this country. That the film may not have the same reaction in Australia is not a surprise to me. The content, after all, covers the appalling situations and vast injustices facing many Indigenous Australians. Continue reading

February 28, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Abbott’s Australia – the land of cover-ups and secrecy?

Abbott-shhhh

The ABC is uniquely placed.. because it is not beholden to commercial interests. Rather than leading the day’s news with a story about Justin Bieber, because that will generate the largest audience, Aunty tells people what they need to know.

Cover up and secrecy in Abbott’s Australia, Aljazeera,  PM pans ‘unpatriotic’ national broadcaster for holding govt accountable to its electorate  ,   7 Feb 14, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has something in common with Egypt’s military government – he expects the government-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation to be a cheerleader for the country and decries the reporting of stories which portray Australia negatively.

But while the Egyptian government has jailed Al Jazeera journalists  for making Egypt look bad, Abbott has to find other methods of curtailing criticism. Continue reading

February 8, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Political bias at Australia’s ABC

text save ABCStatus Update By Don’t blame me I didn’t vote for Tony Abbott POST BY PAGE MEMBER RICHARD O’BRIEN:
“Political bias at the ABC? Here is a list of all ABC board members appointed since 1996.

Howard government appointments:

Donald McDonald – Liberal Party member and long-time friend of the Howard Family.

Michael Kroger – Liberal party powerbroker and former president of the Victorian Liberal party. Member of the right-wing think tank the Institute of Public Affairs (“Ding!”)

Judith Sloan – Right-wing labour market economist, News Ltd Columnist and outspoken critic of the ABC. Associated with right-wing think tanks the Centre for Independent Studies, the HR Nichols Society and the IPA (“Ding, Ding!”)

Ross McLean – Former Liberal party MP for Perth.

Leith Boully – Member of the Murray-Darling CAC with close ties to the Liberal party. Former member of the NT Young Country Liberal Party.

Maurice Newman – Close friend and confidant of John Howard and founder of the Centre for Independent Studies, a right-wing think tank identical to the IPA (“Ding, Ding, Ding!”)

Janet Albrechtson – Right-wing columnist for News Ltd. Associated with the CIS and IPA (“Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding!”)

Ron Brunton – Former right-wing columnist for News Ltd. Climate change skeptic, critic of the stolen generations report and Director of Indigenous Affairs at the IPA (“Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding!”)

Steven Skala – Former director of the CIS (“Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding!”)

Keith Windschuttle – Right-wing historian. Outspoken critic of the ABC and regular keynote speaker for the CIS and IPA (“Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding!”)

Peter Hurley – President of the SA Hotels Association and major donor to the Liberal party and right-wing think tanks…oh bugger it (“Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding!”)

Jonathan Shier – Right-wing opponent of all public broadcasting. Was appointed with a mandate to attack the ABC but resigned after 19 months. Guess who called for this guy’s appointment. (“Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding!”)

Mark Scott – Former staffer to NSW Liberal minister Terry Metherell.

Rudd/Gillard appointments

James Spigelman – No known political affiliation.

Julianne Schultz – No known political affiliation.

Cheryl Bart – No known political affiliation.

Fiona Stanley – No known political affiliation.

Jane Bennett – No known political affiliation.

Five ABC board appointments fall vacant in the current government’s term.

DING-DONG!!!”

February 7, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Malcolm Turnbull, Maurice Newman, Tony Abbott, on climate change

What Malcolm Turnbull thinks.  “……the fact is that Tony and the people who put him in his job do not want to do anything about climate change. They do not believe in human caused global warming. As Tony observed on one occasion “climate change is crap” or if you consider his mentor, Senator Minchin, the world is not warming, its cooling and the climate change issue is part of a vast left wing conspiracy to deindustrialise the world……”

“there is a major issue of integrity at stake here and Liberals should reflect very deeply on it…..”

Many Liberals are rightly dismayed that on this vital issue of climate change we are not simply without a policy, without any prospect of having a credible policy but we are now without integrity. We have given our opponents the irrefutable, undeniable evidence that we cannot be trusted……

When You Have Advisers Like Newman Why Would You Need Scientists? The Australian Independent Media Network  BY JOHN LORD 2013 on JANUARY 1, 2014 In The Australian newspaper December 31 (otherwise known as the official newsletter of the LNP) there appeared an article by Newman-Moaurice-climatethe Prime Minister’s business adviser Maurice Newman. Creditable broadsheets would not have given it a column inch but that’s Murdoch for you. What follows is lying at its most blatant.

In one of those rare moments I have momentarily found myself lost for words so I have decided to rely on the commentary of others with the final word left to Malcolm Turnbull….

In an interview, Mr Newman said protection of climate change policies and the renewable energy industry by various state governments smacked of a “cover-up”…… Continue reading

February 1, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, politics | Leave a comment

Tony Abbott launches new attack on Australian Broadcasting Corporation

text save ABCTony Abbott blasts national broadcaster: ABC takes ‘everyone’s side but Australia’s’  Canberra Times, , 29 Jan 14 Reporter Prime Minister Tony Abbott has berated ABC News, arguing that it is taking ”everyone’s side but Australia’s” and that journalists should give the navy the ”benefit of the doubt” when it comes to claims of wrongdoing.

In comments that also suggest the media should act as cheerleaders for the country, Mr Abbott ramped up his recent criticism of the ABC…….

Acting Labor leader Tanya Plibersek defended the ABC on Wednesday as a “longstanding part of Australia’s cultural fabric”.

“From emergency broadcasts in times of trouble to coverage of the events that shape our nation, the ABC is there, free for all Australians,” she said.

Ms Plibersek said that every government had been subjected to close scrutiny by the ABC since the broadcaster began, “and we should all welcome that”.  http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-blasts-national-broadcaster-abc-takes-everyones-side-but-australias-20140129-31lt8.html#ixzz2rozai1tE

January 29, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, politics | Leave a comment

Treaty with Aborigines needed – Pilger’s new film “Utopia”

film-UtopiaJohn Pilger’s damning new film about indigenous Australia SMH, Julian Drape, December 31, 2013 “……London-based Pilger returns to outback Australia for this documentary film to find little has changed since his 1985 work The Secret Country.The Utopia of the title refers to the Northern Territory region north of Alice Springs…….

Pilger, 74, sees a treaty and genuine land rights as the key to improving the position of the original owners of Australia. Anything less, including the current talk of constitutional recognition, is simply a “distraction”, he says.

The film opened in the United Kingdom in mid-November and screens in Sydney on January 17. Subsequent limited dates include Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Alice Springs. Pilger would have been delighted to show Utopia in Australia first but no local distributor offered a cinema run.

“One Australian distributor refused to take the film because he said it was ‘too dark’ and ‘it might upset people with its myth-busting’,” the veteran journalist says.The film was commissioned by ITV in Britain and funded entirely in the UK…..

Pilger doesn’t apologise for taking such an uncompromising view.”Unlike the US, Canada and New Zealand, no treaty was ever negotiated between the lawful owners of Australia and those who took their land,” he says. “International law is clear – there has to be a treaty.

“If the Australian political establishment believes it can continue to look the other way and deny the first Australians their basic rights they are seriously mistaken.”……

Pilger reminds the viewer that Bob Hawke in the 1980s walked away from genuine land rights in the face of a racist scare campaign from the mining industry. He draws parallels with Julia Gillard’s decision to fold on Labor’s mining tax in 2010.

“The revenue lost is estimated at $60 billion,” the director says in the film. “Enough to fund land rights and to end Aboriginal poverty.”……

Child abuse is one of the rationales for taking children away, yet the NT has one of the lowest rates of reported child abuse in Australia, Pilger says. He argues Australians shouldn’t still need educating about the plight of indigenous Australia, but if they do he hopes Utopia helps.

“Utopia tells them the truth,” he says. “If people choose to ignore the research and evidence in this film then their prejudice is unshakeable.”….. Utopia is on limited released in Australia from January 17. Details at utopiajohnpilger.co.uk   http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/john-pilgers-damning-new-film-about-indigenous-australia-20131231-303tf.html#ixzz2povi3A9Z

 

January 8, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Abbott govt and Murdoch Press attack Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

Murdoch and Abbott combine to silence the ABC, Independent Australia  3 January 2014 Reports on the Abbott Government and News Corporation’s coordinated assault upon Australia’s public broadcaster have ignored numerous key factors, writes Alan Austin.

 

The Abbott Government is ramping up endeavours to reward its principal promoter Rupert Murdoch with greater media control.

Murdochracy-2

Ministers are now openly attacking the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s foreign television service. As usual, neither Murdoch’s nor the Coalition’s people are telling the truth.

This week’s mini-furore started whenThe Australian ran a front page beat-up attacking the national broadcaster’s management ofAustralia Network, headed ‘ABC put on notice over foreign TV’. Continue reading

January 3, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

Interview with John Pilger about his new film “Utopia”

film-UtopiaUtopia - a powerful film about the subjugation of Aboriginal First Australians 09/11/2013 An interview with the maker of Utopia, John Pilger John Pilger, the renowned investigative journalist and award winning film maker, has recently completed a new film, Utopia, which deals with the subjugation of the Aboriginal First Australians. Niall Mulholland interviews John about the film’s themes, followed with a review of UtopiaSocialistworld.net

Your new film, Utopia, is a powerful and harrowing look at the legacy of colonial genocide and successive government policies on Australia’s indigenous people. What made you return to this theme?…….. Continue reading

November 14, 2013 Posted by | aboriginal issues, media | Leave a comment

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