Imagining an Independent Inquiry into Federal Attorney General Christian Porter
Porter denies a rape allegation but does this really settle the question of his fitness for the office of Australia's first law officer?
Porter denies a rape allegation but does this really settle the question of his fitness for the office of Australia's first law officer?
№ 17 in Public Land is Our Land
Behind the Greater Sydney Parklands spin - part one
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet's policy advisor was on icare's payroll for 2 years. What does Edward Yao have to offer, and why did icare pay for it?
Through his pioneering role in the green bans movement, the union leader made environmental concerns mainstream
On January 31st, hundreds of people protested outside News Corp Australia in Holt Street Sydney. Here's an edited version of my speech.
An introduction to my contributions to EXTRA!EXTRA! newspaper, which was part of the Art Gallery NSW exhibition, Making Art Public'.
Hundreds of artists, staff and students support UNSW Art and Design Director of Indigenous Programs Tess Allas, whose contract was terminated in October.
After visiting the site of the first Green Ban, Kelly's Bush, I wondered if it might be time for some new public art in that location.
№ 2 in Sceptical Climate
Global warming was already a story by the late 1960s. So why are parts of the Australian media still spreading disinformation about climate change?
John Kaldor's first public art project was Wrapped Coast Little Bay in 1969. In this piece, I reflect on the social context of those times.
Finally, after 119 years, NSW is on the cusp of abortion reform - no more delay and no more amendments, say health and legal organisations
It's taken more than a century of brave action by women to decriminalise abortion in NSW
Journalism is not a crime - why I support Julian Assange
№ 16 in Public Land is Our Land
№ 41 in Inside Westconnex
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Here are 2 stories and one video that I want to share before the NSW election. Abortion -It's Time; Selling NSW -Berejiklian style; and a video about tolls
№ 40 in Inside Westconnex
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Why wouldn't NSW Labor even cost what it would take to cancel Stage 3 of WestCONnex? Does part of the answer lie in Transurban donations?
№ 39 in Inside Westconnex
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What sort of operation deliberately hides air monitoring results from parents with sick children? You guessed it. Transurban which controls SMC
№ 1 in NSW 2019 state election
Sydney Stadium court case reveals the NSW government can cancel its contract with Lendlease to demolish Sydney Stadium for about $1 million.
№ 38 in Inside Westconnex
WestConnex Strathfield monitor was the only Sydney monitor to breach both PM 10 and PM 2.5 national limits in 2018.
№ 37 in Inside Westconnex
PM 2.5 annual average levels 2018 : A comparison of WestConnex M4 East monitors with results for NSW OEH monitors
On November 27th, I will give two workshops in investigative skills at 'Not-Only-Artist Run Initiative' Frontyard that will be free and open to anyone.
№ 35 in Inside Westconnex
The NSW government could face serious questions from a NSW parliamentary committee about the Sydney Gateway project.
№ 34 in Inside Westconnex
WestConnex contractors handling of complaints about a dust storm near Haberfield School on April 9, raises questions about the governance of WestConnex.
№ 31 in Inside Westconnex
How can the community trust WestConnex air monitoring when NO2 spikes over several days and then disappears without explanation?
№ 30 in Inside Westconnex
NSW Planning approved WestConnex Stage 3 despite receiving formal advice from the NSW EPA that a more detailed environment assessment of impacts was needed
№ 29 in Inside Westconnex
Parents need answers from the NSW Gladys Berejiklian government about why pollution levels at Haberfield Public School have been so high this year.
№ 28 in Inside Westconnex
“We have never before observed such high values for negative air pollution concentrations as we see in the Westconnex data” – Dr James Whelan, EJA
№ 27 in Inside Westconnex
Westconnex construction sites expose residents to dangerous levels of particulate matter.
№ 26 in Inside Westconnex
Air monitoring around WestConnex M4 East shows pollution levels above national standards & raises serious health concerns.
№ 25 in Inside Westconnex
Last week RMS submitted its massive Response to Submissions and Preferred Infrastructure Report on behalf of Sydney Motorway Corporation to NSW Planning.
№ 24 in Inside Westconnex
An apparent conflict of interest has arisen in the choice of the company Pacific Environment.
№ 23 in Inside Westconnex
Homes, community centres, worksites and open spaces will be exposed to increased health risks if NSW Planning approves WestConnex’s M4/M5 tunnls.
№ 22 in Inside Westconnex
The NSW EPA has strongly criticised the Sydney Motorway Corporation’s environmental assessment of the proposed WestConnex Stage 3 M4/M5 tunnels.
№ 21 in Inside Westconnex
The NSW Berejiklian government announced last week that it plans to tear down and rebuild Sydney Cricket Ground Allianz stadium.
№ 20 in Inside Westconnex
Newtown residents weren't surprised when the NSW government broke its promise that there would no clearways on King St.
№ 19 in Inside Westconnex
When the first tollway fails to reduce traffic congestion, your next project comes into play. Tollways are the gift to the road lobby.
№ 18 in Inside Westconnex
The Westconnex planning process is ridden with conflicts of interest. The recent Federal audit report provides more disturbing examples.
№ 15 in Public Land is Our Land
The Crown Land Alliance is calling on NSW MPs to defer the passing of the Crown Land Bill until 2017
№ 17 in Inside Westconnex
Lucy Turnbull supports the NSW government's development agenda including WestCONnex. If she didn't, she wouldn't be head of the Greater Sydney Commission
№ 16 in Inside Westconnex
On January 7, I laid a complaint against the NSW Department of Planning & Environment for its inequitable & sloppy handling of submissions to the M4East
AECOM was paid millions for the Westconnex M4 East tunnel EIS. Its critics are asking whether gaps & flaws in the EIS are due to conflicts of interest.
№ 15 in Inside Westconnex
Westconnex's 'community information' kiosk at Marrickville Metro might be better described as publicly funded misinformation
№ 14 in Inside Westconnex
An edited version of Wendy Bacon's submission to Federal Department of Environment on NSW RMS referral of a threat to endangered species from Westconnex
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A brief introduction to the Westconnex EIS process
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Based on my own experiences, I'm not surprised that the NSW public is losing trust in the Baird government's commitment to transparency and open access.
№ 13 in Public Land is Our Land
A coalition of community groups campaigning to protect public land called for a full parliamentary inquiry into the management of Crown land last night.
№ 12 in Public Land is Our Land
A review of Crown Land dealings with the Paddington Bowling Club has found evidence that an ex-senior Crown Lands officer may have acted "corruptly"
№ 11 in Inside Westconnex
Inner West residents packed into Leichhardt Town Hall in June to call for a halt to the Westconnex project a parliamentary inquiry has been held.
№ 11 in Public Land is Our Land
With its old management facing criminal charges and its business model broken due to tight alcohol restrictions, Paddington Bowls has closed its doors.
№ 4 in Lynas and its missing waste plan
№ 10 in Inside Westconnex
NSW government is paying millions to global company AECOM to prepare an EIS for the Westconnex motorway. The same company is already helping build it.
№ 7 in Women‘s Refuges
This story is based on a speech for Students for Women's Only Services vigil 'Stop Killing Women' held on May 25 at UTS.
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№ 6 in Winning on Welfare Street
Bruce Begnell knew he owned his home in Welfare Street but couldn't prove it until some old records were unearthed from the NSW State Archives.
On May 22, several hundred people including many Rohingya refugees rallied in Sydney, calling on the Australia to assist asylum seekers fleeing Myanmar.
№ 9 in Inside Westconnex
Campaigners against the Westconnex motorway say feedback sessions are a 'sham'; Newtown MP Jenny Leong moved a motion to suspend Westconnex
№ 8 in Inside Westconnex
As evidence mounts against the case for the Baird government's Westconnex Motorway, Roads Australia guests face mock tollway protest at corporate dinner.
An insider's perspective on NSW state election campaign for the new electorate of Newtown in inner Sydney. Greens' Jenny Leong won the seat
№ 7 in Inside Westconnex
A new coalition of community groups & health professionals has formed to campaign against hidden health impacts of the Westconnex and Northconnex tollways.
A short discussion with one Mid north coast voter in the seat of Oxley. He didn't vote in the NSW Election 2015 but considered voting Green
Greens organise crypto party in Sydney as part of campaign against data retention laws.
№ 6 in Inside Westconnex
The Abbott and Baird government continue to keep our community in the dark about Westconnex.
№ 6 in Women‘s Refuges
Problems have continued to emerge since NSW handed a number of refuges over to faith-based organisations.
№ 5 in Women‘s Refuges
The shake-up last year of women's refuges by the NSW Government is having dire consequences for vulnerable women and children.
№ 5 in Inside Westconnex
An infographic on Westconnex policies for the NSW state election March 28, 2015
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On March 16, City of Sydney Council organised a meeting to discuss the Westconnex. It ended with a vote to stop the project. Here's my edited speech
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When I tried to unravel the story behind WestConnex, Tony Shepherd threatened to sue me. Here is my reply.
№ 5 in Winning on Welfare Street
Welfare Street residents lodge objections to a developer's application to subdivide land on which their Homebush homes stand.
№ 2 in Inside Westconnex
Dial a Dump accuses Westconnex of being aggressive and secretive in its dealings
№ 1 in Inside Westconnex
For six months, Westconnex secretly negotiated to buy a waste dump for a giant interchange, without informing the local residents of their plan.
№ 9 in Public Land is Our Land
Dealings between the Paddington Bowling Club, CSKS Holdings and the NSW government are under investigation but some important evidence has gone missing.
№ 4 in Winning on Welfare Street
The NSW government is involved in a land deal organised by a lawyer who hid controversial Obeid family investments.
№ 3 in Winning on Welfare Street
A Homebush block was reported in the media as subdivided when sold as 12 properties .When Wendy Bacon investigated she found no subdivision had occurred.
№ 2 in Winning on Welfare Street
Who are the private investors 'sold' Welfare St when the NSW government still owned it. Lance Rosenberg is involved but who else? It's hard to find out.
№ 1 in Winning on Welfare Street
How developers keen for quick returns moved in on affordable housing on Welfare Street in Western Sydney. Part One: The auction and the media.
№ 8 in Public Land is Our Land
The NSW Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing is taking action against the Paddington Bowling Club to remove its licence. But the noise goes on.
№ 4 in Women‘s Refuges
In June, Sydney's Muslim Women's Association refuge faced closure. After a strong campaign, it won back its NSW government funding
№ 7 in Public Land is Our Land
NSW Land and Environment Court rules Woollahra Council was right to put CSKS Holdings DA on hold until NSW ICAC investigates land deal
№ 3 in Women‘s Refuges
As a range of inner city services are saved from the NSW Goverment’s axe, attention is turning to the fate of refuges in regional areas.
The National Curriculum is of huge significance which is why it's of public interest that a dramatic rewrite has been recommended by a racist and sexist.
This is a partial transcript of Barry Spurr's emails first published in New Matilda
Labor MP Albanese says first spy bill too rushed but will he act to stop unseemly haste to pass second security bill opposed by civil liberties groups
Professor Spurr's report on the English literature syllabus of the National Curriculum Review calls for a return to tradition including more Bible study
LNP government set to give ASIO more power. Greens and 3 cross benchers oppose bill. Given media freedom was at stake, why was there not more opposition?
Journalism, education, accuracy and activism. A short response to News Corp Australia's Miranda Devine.
№ 6 in Public Land is Our Land
The NSW government has referred a report into a Paddington crown land lease to ICAC and is considering withdrawing its development consent.
№ 2 in Women‘s Refuges
More than 25 feminist women’s refuges in NSW have lost their government funding, with their buildings being handed over to religious or other charities.
№ 1 in Women‘s Refuges
2014 is the 40th birthday of Elsie’s, a refuge for women escaping domestic violence. It began as a women's liberation squat in inner Sydney.
№ 5 in Public Land is Our Land
A Sydney lawyer has accused the NSW LNP government of misleading the NSW parliament about its knowledge of a legal opinion from a renowned trust lawyer.
If you believe the generous tributes to Neville Wran, NSW under his government was a paradise. In reality, corruption and dirty deals were rife, writes NM contributing editor Wendy Bacon.
№ 10 in Packer’s Sydney Casino
For a party that was swept to power on a platform of anti corruption and transparency, the NSW Liberal Party is looking very grubby today.
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NSW Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner has announced a review of dealings between NSW Crown Lands and the Paddington Bowling Club
№ 9 in Packer’s Sydney Casino
There's a small issue that has been niggling at me all week. It's about Sinodinos and Packer.
March in March was a resounding success because of its diversity, not in spite of it. It should move us to do more for those suffering under Tony Abbott, writes NM contributing editor Wendy Bacon.
Nearly10,000 protestors gathered in regional city centres around Australia today for marches against Abbott government policies which organisers say lack 'decency , transparency and accountability'.
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First media report of the 2008 Inquiry into Paddington Bowling Club
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How Developers took over Prime Crown Land in Paddington
Holding vigils might not be enough to shift politicians' minds, but it's important to place on the record our opposition to crimes committed in our name.
Joe Hockey's refusal to sell GrainCorp to a foreign agribusiness giant wasn't just a cave-in to the Nationals. A history of corruption and sensitive politics were also involved, writes Wendy Bacon.
Why I support the Greens and voted for them in the September 2013 election
From Roger Corbett's appearance on Lateline to News Ltd's bias, a politicised media has been a prominent feature of this election - but media policy has barely rated a mention, writes Wendy Bacon.
Images are now weapons in a communication war and the government is skilled at restricting real journalism, favouring manufactured soundbites instead.
Kevin Rudd's intervention in the NSW ALP is welcome. But the secret approval process for Packer's casino proves it's business as usual for the mates who run the state, writes Wendy Bacon.
When I woke this morning, the first images that came into my mind were those of naked corpses of young Sri Lankan Tamil women.
№ 24 in Roseanne Beckett: A Miscarriage of Justice
Roseanne Beckett passes Channel Seven's lie detector test.
№ 23 in Roseanne Beckett: A Miscarriage of Justice
Despite questions hanging over both the Crown and NSW Police involved in the convictions of Roseanne Beckett, why has no one been held accountable?
Yesterday, Stephen Conroy announced an ultimatum: if his media reforms aren't accepted verbatim in parliament, he'll dump the lot. Is there anything in the package worth defending, asks Wendy Bacon.
I'm a fan of Michael Carlton's who writes the backpage on Fairfax's weekend NewsReview. Last weekend, he tackled the 'farce of the mining tax', the latest sympton of what he calls Labor's 'terminal disease.'
Most of the focus on today's Federal Court judgement in the case brought by ex-Federal Parliament Speaker Peter Slipper against his staffer James Ashby will be on the central finding that Ashby's sexual harrassment case against his ex-boss was an abuse of process.
Yesterday, in a dramatic backdown, the Australian government agreed to allow 56 Tamils asylum seekers who were due to be deported to Sri Lanka to make applications to be granted asylum as refugees. Today, the Australian government is once again planning to deport another group of Tamils who have been subject to a "screening out" process which denies them the right to proceed with a a full refugee application.
Today, the Australian government released more than 500 men, most of whom are Sri Lankan, from detention on bridging visas into the community. Most of these men have arrived since August when the Gillard government reintroduced its harsh new policy aimed at deterring people from traveling by boat to seek asylum.
On November 30, New Matilda published a report by Adam Brereton and myself which included the comments of Professor of Developmental Psychiatry Dr Louise Newman who explained how detention centres like the ones on Nauru and Manus Island produce feeling of abandonment, despair and psychiatric disorders. On the same day, Dr Michael Dudley is Chairperson of the Suicide Australia Prevention Board since 2001 spoke at a protest rally outside the Federal Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek’s office. As he spoke scores of asylum seekers detained by the Australian government on the Pacific island nation of Nauru were on hunger strike with one, Omid laying critically ill in a small Nauru hospital after refusing food for 50 days. A few hours later he was taken by air ambulance to a hospital in Brisbane.
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If James Packer urging Sydneysiders to back his casino plan is 'news', then that's news to Wendy Bacon. She asked senior journalists at the SMH what they thought of Packer's journalistic debut.
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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
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
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.
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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.
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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
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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
No businessman in Australia can rival James Packer's political and business connections. This is a summary of Team Packer in 2012
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.
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.
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.
Speaking at Wikileaks forum at a NSW Greens forum in NSW Parliament - September 2012
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.
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.
In June, the Australian parliament debated refugee policy proposal put forward in a private member's bill by Independent member Rob Oakshott which if passed would have meant asylum seekers arriving by boat would be sent to Malaysia or to the tiny Pacific nation of Nauru, which had played a key role in the notorious Howard government's Pacific Solution.
Nauru is back on the agenda. Have we already forgotten the Howard years? Wendy Bacon has delved into the archive to recover a blighted history. Part one of NM's Pacific Solution timeline today.
In early July, Murdoch University academic Anne Pedersen and others wrote a letter about Australian refugee policy. The letter was circulated and along with 200 others, I was glad to support this initiative as I had become increasingly frustrated with the way the political choices in the refugee debate was being portrayed by the media.
I was asked to submit 400 words to the Sydney Morning Herald as part of regular feature which puts the same question to four people. I was the 'academic",
No Coal Seam Gas Mining In Sydney spokesperson Jactinta Green applied for documents under Freedom of Information laws ( called the Government Information (Public Access) Act) relating to the NSW drilling license approval process for coal seam gas, .
Documents obtained under FOI show that the NSW Government allowed coal seam gas drilling exploration in Sydney while 'uncertain' about the risks, reports Wendy Bacon.
On World Press Freedom Day, the University of Technology published this short article on media freedom. It was also published by the Pacific Media Centre.
As it was seriously misleading, I responded to The Australian article attacking my piece on Lee Rhiannon with a short letter.
I was surprised to see The Australian's James Madden responded to my article on Lee Rhiannon in the Drum with a news article.
On April 21, I published an article responding to what I see as unfair attacks on Lee Rhiannon. All politicians should be open to scrutiny but the attacks on Rhiannon ignore her record of acting in favour of transparency and public participation.
On April 20, the Sydney Morning Herald's Alexandra Smith took up the Keep Carmel campaign twitter story .
Nicole Gooch and I continue our investigation into the Keep Carmel Twitter campaign run by One Small Planet during the 2011 NSW Election. The NSW Greens announced that they have complained to the NSW Funding Authority.
"Claimed" said a tweet on the ‘Keep Carmel’ Twitter feed. Carmel Tebbutt had just won the inner-Sydney seat of Marrickville by a tight 0.9 % margin.
Article by Nicole Gooch and I about .....
When I first heard that there were plans for a coal seam gas company was planning to drill a short way from where I live in Inner City Newtown, Sydney, I could barely believe it but I found out that it is deadly serious.
This NSW election New Matilda story by Nicole Gooch and I was about a Hunter Valley lobby group Newcastle Alliance which declared itself as a 'third party organisation' and ran print and radio ads urging voters not to vote Labor. The Non- Labor candidates included Mayor John Tait and Liberal Party candidate, Tim Owen, previously the deputy commander of Australian forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the lead-up to the NSW 2011 State election, Nicole Gooch and I published a number of stories about the notorious Part 3 A leglislation which took power of planning decisions away from Local Council and gave it the Minister for Planning and panels appointed by the Minister. After the election, the new Liberal and National Party government is repealing Part 3A but it is not yet clear what form its replacement will take.
How NSW Police violently confiscated Free Assange banners at a Sydney Protest