In late October, New Matilda began our series on James Packer's proposal for a new casino in Sydney. I worked on this series with Lawrence Bull.
№ 6 in Packer’s Sydney Casino
Economists question Packer's promised bonanza for NSW
This week, New Matilda continued our series on Packer's proposal for a hotel with casino at Barangaroo South on the edge of Sydney Harbour. Lawrence Bull asked two economists what they thought of James Packer's claim that his casino would deliver $400 million to NSW and they raised lots of questions:
№ 5 in Packer’s Sydney Casino
NSW has laws to control casino industry but Premier O'Farrell wants to cut free
Today, New Matilda published another story in our series on James Packer casino deal. This one explains how casino regulation works in NSW and how O'Farrell's plan to "get on with it" removes a lot of safeguards put in place to protect NSW against organised crime and corrupt influences which have a history targetting casinos.
№ 4 in Packer’s Sydney Casino
Red Tape Cut For Packer
Tough laws regulate gambling in NSW - and they're about to be bypassed to help James Packer build his casino. The independence of casino regulation is being challenged. Wendy Bacon reports.
№ 3 in Packer’s Sydney Casino
The Casino Macquarie St Wants
Packer makes his Sydney casino proposal seem inevitable with strong support from LNP Premier O'Farrell and Treasurer Mike Baird, urged on by NSW Labor
№ 2 in Packer’s Sydney Casino
The Questions O'Farrell Won't Answer
New Matilda had some questions for NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell about James Packer's casino plans. We got a reply from his office - but no real answers. Here’s our exchange with the Premier’s office.
№ 1 in Packer’s Sydney Casino
Who Is On Team Packer?
No businessman in Australia can rival James Packer's political and business connections. This is a summary of Team Packer in 2012
Communities planning rights under attack from NSW government
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.