A big issue in the NSW state election in 2011 was the Part 3A planning law which handed development consent for many major projects over to the Minister for Planning backed up by selected panels of experts. Councils and communities felt betrayed by Labor and hoped for something better from the Liberals, who promised to return rights to the community. Now eighteen months later, those same communities and Councils are fighting proposals put forward in an O'Farrell government Green Paper that look even worse.
Big Plans For NSW Development
A promised overhaul of NSW's planning framework has drawn the ire of resident and environment groups, whose contributions have been scrapped in favour of cosier relations with developers.
Asylum Seekers protest against indefinite detention on Nauru
Earlier in the year, I prepared a timeline covering the events for the period between 2001 and 2007 during which the Australian coalition government locked-up people seeking asylum on the tiny Pacific nation of Nauru, 4000 kilometres away from Australia. I prepared the timeline because I was upset by the way the Australian media failed to inform the public about the history of detention on Nauru at the time when the Gillard Labor government decided to restart the so-called Pacific Solution by opening detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island in PNG. After all, people who are eighteen now were still in junior high school when the earlier events occurred. This lack of backgrounding by the media makes it easier for politicians to mislead the public. By presenting the news in a very narrow frame, significant issues are made invisible.
Nauru Asylum Seekers Protest Delays
Yesterday more than 200 asylum seekers on Nauru held a protest to demand the Australian government start processing their applications for asylum - and close down the camp, reports Wendy Bacon.
Speaking at Wikileaks forum at NSW Parliament - September, 2012
Speaking at Wikileaks forum at a NSW Greens forum in NSW Parliament - September 2012
Why I'm a contributing editor at New Matilda
This week I became a contributing editor the Australian daily online publication New Matilda which is reader funded publication available free to all.
Effective media accountability does not have to threaten journalists' independence
Journalists, especially those from News Ltd, and right wing commentators promote the illusion that the Australian Gillard Labor government is threatening to 'regulate' the media in response to rigorous scrutiny of its performance. It has even been suggested that the Australian Labor Party is bullying News Ltd which is by far the most powerful media owner in this country.
Media Report interviews me about leaving full-time employment as a journalism academic at UTS
Richard Adey from the ABC Radio National's Media Report interviewed me last week about leaving UTS after 21 years.
The second part of my New Matilda timeline on the "Pacific Solution'
Yesterday, New Matilda published the second part of my Pacific Solution Timeline. The second part begins on New Year's Day 2004. As champagne corks were popping in Australia, asylum seekers in Nauru detention centre were on a hunger strike. Some were in hospital after vomiting blood and losing consciousness.
The Three Waves Of Nauru Anguish
Is Nauru the answer to the political impasse over asylum seekers? We must not forget the brutal realities of detention on Nauru and the trauma associated with it. Wendy Bacon continues her timeline.