WITH THE ABC CHAIRMAN GONE … What needs to be done to restore ABC INDEPENDENCE

The LNP has several pieces of legislation before the parliament that seek to undermine the ABC’s role or change its editorial charter, some at the behest of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.

-the LNP has cut the ABC Budget by a reported A$83M

-with reviews into its efficiency, competitive neutrality at the request of commercial competitors

 WITH the majority of the ABC Board having careers in either real estate or mining, is it any wonder that the facts behind the loss of housing affordability and mining interests appear to have been concealed!

With Justin Milne gone, how does the ABC go about restoring its crucial independence?

Justin Milne, returning to his home in Sydney after resigning from his post as chairman of ABC. Joel Carrett/AAP

The ABC’s former chairman, Justin Milne, has propelled himself from obscurity to infamy in just four days. Along the way, he has ended the tenure of the ABC’s first female managing director, prompted two federal inquiries, revealed the dysfunctional relationship between the national broadcaster’s board and its upper management, and laid bare the politicised climate in which the ABC operates.

But on the positive side, it’s just possible that he has opened up a discussion that’s sorely needed about the independence of the ABC and the pressures that work to undermine it.

Milne’s position became untenable following leaks that appeared to reveal serial interventions in day-to-day management. These included petitioning former managing director Michelle Guthrie to sack senior journalist Emma Alberici and to “shoot” political editor Andrew Probyn because the government didn’t like them.

Read more: Justin Milne quits as ABC chairman after furore over attack on political editor

The leaked emails suggest Milne wanted particular staff removed to protect the ABC from its many strident critics in the federal Coalition government, and that he actively lobbied on a wide range of causes, including Triple J’s decision to move the Hottest 100 from Australia Day. He opposed the move because it offended his friend, the then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.



“Nobody from the Government has ever rung me and told me what to do in relation to the ABC.” Justin Milne, who has just resigned as chairman, talks to ’s @leighsales in an exclusive interview. More tonight on 7.30.


The ABC board met today without Milne and asked him to stand aside. But Milne instead offered to resign. Afterwards, he told ABC journalist Leigh Sales:

Clearly there is a lot of pressure on the organisation. My aims have been to look after the interests of the corporation. And it’s clearly not a good thing for everyone to be trying to do their job with this kind of firestorm going on so I wanted to provide a release valve.

Milne’s resignation has provided some resolution. But Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s hope that “normal transmission” will now resume is the wishful thinking of a government that desperately hopes the ABC won’t become an election issue, either in the impending Wentworth by-election or at next year’s general poll.

Scott Morrison


ABC Board and Chairman have made the right call. Time for the ABC to resume normal transmission, both independently and without bias. That is what Australia’s taxpayers pay for and deserve.


The government has announced an inquiry, to be conducted by Mike Mrdak, secretary of the Department of Communications and the Arts.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said it would determine the facts and restore confidence in the national broadcaster.


But as several critics have pointed out, a review conducted by someone who answers to the minister is unlikely to considered independent, especially as it was the government that Milne was seeking to appease.

Labor’s Communications spokesperson, Michelle Rowland, and others have dismissed the proposed inquiry. Paul Murphy, chief executive of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, labelled it a “whitewash” and called for a full public inquiry.



ABC leadership crisis demands full public inquiry https://meaa.io/2zxFgsF 

See MEAA’s other Tweets

The Opposition and the Greens have supported a separate Senate inquiry to investigate the issue with wider scope and greater powers. Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said it was needed “so we can question members of the board about what has really been going on”.


She also called for a clean sweep of the entire board because of questions about what it knew about Milne’s interventions and its failure to protect staff:

We need a broom through the board and we need to give the public broadcaster a fresh start.

ABC’s independence under threat in other ways

This chaotic week has exposed the increasingly politicised climate in which the ABC now operates and the inconsistencies in the government’s narrative about the independence of the national broadcaster.

Both Fifield and Morrison have declared their support for the ABC and suggested that Milne’s reported interventions were unacceptable. But the party they represent is at the same time attacking the ABC on numerous fronts.

It has several pieces of legislation before the parliament that seek to undermine the ABC’s role or change its editorial charter, some at the behest of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.

Read more: A public broadcaster that bows to political pressure isn’t doing its job

It has cut the ABC’s budget by a reported A$83 million, and subjected the broadcaster to reviews into its efficiency and competitive neutrality, at the request of its commercial competitors.

Fifield is himself a regular complainant about ABC journalists on the grounds that they have not reported on the Coalition fairly.

On Monday, which now seems so long ago, the former ABC staff-elected director Matt Peacock observed that for all her faults, Guthrie did at least stand up for the ABC’s independence. He told the Media Files podcast that Guthrie understood its importance and did her best to defend it. It was an astute observation, given that independence has become the dominant theme of this unedifying week.

This is hopefully the main topic that will be explored in the impending inquiries. The issue of independence transcends the appointment of a new chairman or managing director, although clearly the next permanent occupants of those roles need to understand what a public broadcaster does and the importance of fearless, civic-minded journalism.

Read more: Why the ABC, and the public that trusts it, must stand firm against threats to its editorial independence

Questions about independence go to the way appointments are made to the board – a process that has been politicised by both major parties. It is about what a public broadcaster is and whether governments are prepared, on the one hand, to support and fortify the ABC against its critics and, on the other, to leave it alone to do its job.

Others have called today for the government to ensure board members are appointed at arm’s length, as is meant to happen under existing rules, and to appoint directors who have media experience and a passion for public broadcasting.

As Marcus Strom, president of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, told ABC News, the staff deserve better and are sick of being treated like “political footballs”.

For the millions of Australians who care about the ABC, this has been a wearying week in which odd alliances have emerged. It’s a strange day, for example, when an editorial in The Australian concurs with the unanimous sentiment of ABC staff.

But the disruption won’t have been in vain if more awareness emerges about the fragility and importance of the ABC’s editorial independence.

SOURCE:  https://theconversation.com/with-justin-milne-gone-how-does-the-abc-go-about-restoring-its-crucial-independence-103987?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20September%2028%202018%20-%201123210046&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20September%2028%202018%20-%201123210046+CID_afa3df4dc46dc03a0b769fd615bcdebc&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=With%20Justin%20Milne%20gone%20how%20does%20the%20ABC%20go%20about%20restoring%20its%20crucial%20independence





THE ABC BOARD to 27 September 2018

THE ABC Chairman has now resigned for reasons reported.

We have highlighted the involvement of the Board Members in industries which may be contrary to the interests of Australian First Home Buyers and communities subjected to mining and/or overdevelopment.

The ABC Board

  • Justin Milne B.A., F.A.I.C.D
  • Justin Milne B.A., F.A.I.C.D


1 April 2017 – 31 March 2022

Justin is the Chairman of the ABC, MYOB, and NetComm Wireless Ltd.  He is a Non-Executive Director of TABCORP Holdings Ltd and NBN Co.

During his executive career he was a Group Managing Director at Telstra, responsible for BigPond Broadband and Telstra’s Media businesses. Prior to working at Telstra, he was CEO of OzEmail and the Microsoft Network.  Before moving to Sydney in the 1980s, he was a film producer in Adelaide.

He is a past board member of the SA Economic Development Board, Quickflix Ltd, Pie Networks, a number of Chinese new Media companies, and a past President of the Internet Industry Association of Australia.

  • Peter Lewis

    Peter Lewis

    2 October 2014 – 1 October 2019

    Peter Lewis is the Chairman of * McGrath Ltd, a Non-Executive Director of Gravity Media Group Ltd, and a member of the Advisory Board for Anacacia Capital.

    He previously held board and advisory positions with the International Grammar School Sydney, TXA Australia Pty Ltd, Norwest Productions Pty Ltd, Propex Derivatives, Australian News Channel Pty Ltd, B Digital Ltd, VividWireless Ltd and Yahoo 7 Australia.

    He has extensive experience in financial management for media companies and has been the CFO of Seven Network Ltd, Seven Group Holdings Ltd, Seven Media Group, and Seven West Media Ltd.

    Peter is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, a member of the Australian Society of Certified Practicing Accountants and a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia. He is Chair of the ABC Audit and Risk Committee.

* McGrath Ltd/Limited:  Founded in 1988 by John McGrath, McGrath has been established as one of the leading residential real estate service providers in Australia with a strong market presence in NSW and the ACT, a growing presence in Queensland and entered the Victorian market at the end of 2015.

  • Dr Kirstin Ferguson

    Dr Kirstin Ferguson

    PhD (QUT), LLB (Hons) (QUT), BA (Hons) (UNSW)
    12 November 2015 – 11 November 2020

    Kirstin Ferguson is an independent company director on ASX100, ASX200, private company, and government Boards.

    Her current Board appointments include: SCA Property Group Ltd; EML Payments Ltd; and Hyne & Son Pty Ltd.

    Kirstin was previously a non-executive director of * CIMIC Ltd, Queensland Theatre Company, SunWater Ltd, Queensland Rugby Union, and Dart Energy Ltd, and is a former CEO of a global consulting company operating in the mining and resources services sector. She began her career as an Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force.

    Kirstin is an Adjunct Professor at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Business School and a member of Chief Executive Women and Women Corporate Directors. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Kirstin is the creator of the global social media campaign #CelebratingWomen and is the author of Women Kind: Unlocking the power of women supporting women.

CIMIC Group Limited (formerly known as Leighton Holdings prior to April 2015) is a leading international contractor.[1] It is active in the telecommunications, engineering and infrastructure, building and property, mining and resources, and environmental services industries. It has operations in AustraliaSouth East AsiaNew Zealand, and the Middle East. Leighton Holdings was rebranded as the CIMIC Group in 2015.[2][3]

CIMIC stands for Construction, Infrastructure, Mining and Concessions.

  • Donny Walford

    Donny Walford

    24 November 2015 – 23 November 2020

    Donny Walford is the founder and Managing Director of national businesses Bottom Line and behind closed doors®, and is currently on the Board of * KeyInvest Ltd and the South Australian Venture Capital Fund. She is an Advisory Board member for NDA Law, and a Founding Member of International Women’s Forum Australia.

    Previously Donny was a Board Director for Australian Associated Advisers Pty Ltd,, Australian Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Defence Teaming Centre, and the Heart Foundation (SA) and she served as Chairman for the Australian Dance Theatre.

    Donny is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a graduate of the Institute’s Chairman’s mentoring and Mastering the Boardroom programs, and a graduate of the Macquarie University Executive Management program.

* KeyInvest Ltd  have been providing retirement living options across South Australia and Victoria since 1985. With villages in Chiton (Victor Harbor), …, as well as Horsham in Victoria …

  • Dr Vanessa Guthrie

    Dr Vanessa Guthrie

    Hon. D.Sc, PhD, BSc (Hons)
    23 Feb 2017 – 22 Feb 2022

    Vanessa Guthrie is a highly accomplished Executive and Director with a career spanning 30 years in the resources sector across diverse roles in operations, environment, community and indigenous affairs, corporate development and sustainability. She has qualifications in geology, environment, law and business management, including a PhD in Geology, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science from Curtin University in 2017 for her contribution to sustainability, innovation and policy leadership in the resources industry.

    Vanessa is currently Chair of the Minerals Council of Australia, Deputy Chair of the WACA, a Non-Executive Director of Santos Ltd, Adelaide Brighton Ltd, and * Vimy Resources, and a Council Member of Curtin University. She is an active member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Chief Executive Women (CEW), and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).

* Vimy Resources Limited (VMY, formerly Energy and Minerals Australia Limited) is a uranium exploration explorer and developer, with its primary asset being the Mulga Rock Project.

  • Georgie Somerset

    Georgie Somerset

    23 Feb 2017 – 22 Feb 2022

    Georgie Somerset is a rural industry leader and strategist with a background running her family cattle business.  She has board experience across the not-for-profit, government and industry sectors as a Director of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland section), the Royal Flying Doctor Service Foundation and the Children’s Health Queensland Hospital & Health Service, and as Chair of the Red Earth Community Foundation, South Burnett.

    Georgie is General President elect for AgForce Queensland Farmers.

  • Joseph Gersh

    Joseph Gersh

    B Com LLB (Hons) (MU)
    11 May 2018 – 10 May 2023

    Joe Gersh practised law for 20 years as a senior partner and has had significant business experience with a range of public and private companies. He is currently the founder and Executive Chairman of Gersh Investment Partners Ltd, a specialist real estate investment bank.  He is also a director of The Sydney Institute. From 2003–12, he was the inaugural Chair of the Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation, and was a member of the Payments System Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia between 1998 and 2013.  Joe has also held numerous board positions in the arts community, including Deputy Chair of the Australia Council.

  • Jane Connors

    Jane Connors

    Staff Elected Director

    1 May 2018 – 30 April 2023

    PhD (UTS), Grad Dip Applied History (UTS) BA (Hons)(ANU)

    Jane Connors has been with the ABC for more than 25 years. Her previous roles included Executive Producer of the Social History Unit, Manager of Radio National and Head of Industry Policy and Strategy at ABC Radio. Jane is currently an advisor with the Editorial Policies team. She has a PhD in Australian History and is the author of Royal Visits to Australia. She is a member of several advisory bodies including Sydney Living Museums and the Centre for Media History.

SOURCE: http://about.abc.net.au/who-we-are/the-abc-board/





ABC BOARD MEMBERS SELECTED BY THE LNP … one of which is a Developer!! wt *

Paul Barry

REVEALED … in an ABC NEWS interview 27 September with Paul Barry, Media Watch and Peter?  That …

-ABC Board Members were selected by the LNP

-with only one having a journalism background


IS it any wonder our ABC has not been able to tell the truth about what is behind The Housing Affordability Crisis for Australians … while where we live is being annihilated!

The 7.30 programme last week focused attention on Older Australians as those to blame for booming house prices


-foreign buyers

-real estate tourism to buy Australian housing with a Residency Visa thrown in (Visa manipulation through various Visas)

-no Anti-money Laundering Legislation for the Real Estate Sector

-Proxy onshore agents

-FIRB ruling allowing developers to sell 100% of “new homes” to foreign buyers



When will the Media be able to tell the truth?



‘He had to go – that’s the way these things happen,’ says former staff elected director Quentin Dempster as ABC Chairman Justin Milne resigns


Duration: 03:10
First posted 27/09/2018

Download audio

Justin Milne has resigned as Chairman of the ABC.

The ABC Board met this morning without Mr Milne. After that meeting the Board asked Mr Milne to step aside.

The ABC Board is meeting at noon today to decide who will be the Acting Chairman.

Former staff elected director Quentin Dempster speaks to ABC’s Steve Chase.

“It’s obvious that whatever the rights and wrongs of this chairman Justin Milne had to fall on his sword because the reputation of the ABC is now at stake and the board have prevailed on him,” he says.






Owner of firm given NSW LIBERAL printing contracts donated $30,000 to party


At least one TV news segment failed to mention that the recipient of such good fortune (aka of taxpayer $$’s) was the local Liberal Branch president …..

The Printing Nine …….

Owner of firm given NSW Liberal printing contracts donated $30,000 to party

The owner of a company used by senior Berejiklian government ministers to print taxpayer-funded electoral material despite not having commercial printing facilities has donated nearly $30,000 to the NSW Liberals over the last eight years.

Zion Graphics, a business owned by Bella Vista branch president Rudy Limantono, has been used by Corrections Minister David Elliott to print electoral brochures and other material since 2011.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, Western Sydney Minister Stuart Ayres and Mental Health Minister Tanya Davies also used the company to produce material, in 2016 and 2017.

Innovations minister Matt Kean has also used the company, along with several Liberal MPs including Riverstone MP Kevin Conolly, Kuringai MP Alister Henskens and Seven Hills MP Mark Taylor.

NSW Corrections Minister David Elliott has spent thousands of dollars with Zion Graphics, which is owned by a Liberal Party donor and is understood not to own any commercial printing facilities.
NSW Corrections Minister David Elliott has spent thousands of dollars with Zion Graphics, which is owned by a Liberal Party donor and is understood not to own any commercial printing facilities.Photo: Kate Geraghty


BuzzFeed News on Tuesday night reported that Zion Graphics did not have commercial printing facilities and instead outsourced its printing works to Hills Banners, taking a generous cut of public money to process the printing requirements of Mr Elliott’s factional ally, federal MP Alex Hawke.


That report estimated Mr Hawke had spent close to $500,000 with Zion Graphics, a company owned by Hillsview Pacific Pty Ltd, in which Mr Limantono is the only shareholder.

Mr Limantono has donated $9399 to the party since 2013, although a small fraction of that is for membership fees, NSW Electoral Commission disclosures show.

Hillsview Pacific separately donated $19,254 between 2010 and 2012.

An example of political donations made by Rudy Limantono to the NSW Liberals.
An example of political donations made by Rudy Limantono to the NSW Liberals.Photo: Supplied

A NSW Liberal source told The Sydney Morning Herald that the Bella Vista branch was one of few “swing” branches that was not factionally aligned.

Zion, which has no website nor Facebook page, is registered to the address of Mr Limantono’s family home, to which its phone number also redirects.

When contacted, the company declined to comment.

Mr Limantono told BuzzFeed News that his company had “evolved from a graphic design house, full fledge commercial printer, to currently a print management company – which handles design, print, mail processing and Australia Post distribution”.

Mental Health Minister Tanya Davies, Western Sydney Minister Stuart Ayres and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet all used Zion Graphics to produce material.
Mental Health Minister Tanya Davies, Western Sydney Minister Stuart Ayres and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet all used Zion Graphics to produce material.Photo: AAP, Supplied


The Herald has seen brochures distributed by Mr Elliott as early as October 2011 that carry the disclosure: “Printed by Zion Graphics … using parliamentary entitlements.”

The latest is a July 2018 newsletter.

Corrections Minister David Elliott has printed multiple brochures with Zion Graphics.
Corrections Minister David Elliott has printed multiple brochures with Zion Graphics.Photo: Supplied


Mr Elliott said it was a “matter of public record” that Mr Limantono was president of a Liberal branch in Mr Elliott’s electorate.

“I have used Zion Printing for more than a decade, but I do not use them exclusively,” he said.

“They are in my electorate so of course I would use them and I used them in my professional capacity before I was in Parliament.”

Mr Elliott denies any wrongdoing, and said the expenditure was within the guidelines.

Mr Hawke has also denied that his printing costs are excessive.

It is unclear how much Mr Elliott has spent with Zion.

But BuzzFeed News reported Zion charged $7150 for a run of 30,000 newsletters, while Hills Banners said it would charge $4000, leaving Mr Limantono with a 45 per cent profit.

A spokeswoman for Mr Ayres said: “All printing is undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the NSW Parliament.” A spokeswoman for Ms Davies said it was an issue for her electorate office.

A spokesperson for Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said: “Minister Perrottet’s electoral office uses a variety of printers for electorate material including Zion Printing.

“All electorate expenditure complies with Parliamentary guidelines.”

Kylar is The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age’s CBD columnist. He recently covered federal politics, business and NSW politics for News Corp.

Alexandra Smith is the State Political Editor and a former Education Editor at the Sydney Morning Herald

Lisa Visentin is state political reporter. She has previously covered urban affairs, and worked in federal parliament.

SOURCE:  https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/nsw-liberals-used-party-donor-s-firm-with-no-printer-to-print-newsletters-20180926-p5061r.html






It is believed the new airport and airport city will be a catalyst for investment and economic opportunities.







  1. This Bill:
  2. a) constitutes the Western City and Aerotropolis Authority (the Authority) as a statutory corporation subject to the control and direction of the Minister, and
  1. b) provides for the Authority to have a governing Board comprising 7 members

appointed by the Minister, and

  1. c) confers functions on the Authority in relation to the development of land in its operational area which will include the area identified in the proposed Act as the Western Sydney Aerotropolis.


  1. This Bill establishes a new government agency to develop and plan the aerotropolis precinct in Western Sydney. Establishing the authority was a commitment made under the Western City deal which is an agreement between the New South Wales and Commonwealth Governments and eight local councils.


Type: Government
Status: Awaiting Assent, Wed 26 Sep 2018
Origin: Legislative Assembly
Member with Carriage: Ayres, Stuart (Harwin, Don)
Long Title: An Act to constitute and confer functions on the Western City and Aerotropolis Authority; and for related purposes.

Legislative Assembly
Initially introduced in the Legislative Assembly
Introduced by: Ayres, Stuart
Notice of Motion: Tue 18 Sep 2018
Introduced: Wed 19 Sep 2018
First Reading: Wed 19 Sep 2018
2R Speech: Wed 19 Sep 2018
Second Reading: Wed 26 Sep 2018
Third Reading: Wed 26 Sep 2018
Date Passed LA: Wed 26 Sep 2018


Legislative Council
Member with Carriage: Harwin, Don
Introduced: Wed 26 Sep 2018
First Reading: Wed 26 Sep 2018
2R Speech: Wed 26 Sep 2018
Second Reading: Wed 26 Sep 2018
Date Committed: Wed 26 Sep 2018
Reported without amendment: Wed 26 Sep 2018
Report Adopted: Wed 26 Sep 2018
Third Reading: Wed 26 Sep 2018
Date Passed w’out amdt: Wed 26 Sep 2018


·         Passed Parliament: Wed 26 Sep 2018

Documents and Transcripts
Text of Bill: First Print.pdf 
Previous Version(s): Not available at this stage.
Explanatory Notes: XN Western City and Aerotropolis Authority Bill.pdf 


Transcript of speeches:
2R Speech LA Second Reading Speech LA
2R Speech LC Second Reading Speech LC


Amendments for Consideration:
Legislative Assembly

No amendments.
Legislative Council



Amendments Agreed To:
Legislative Assembly

No amendments.
Legislative Council

No amendments.


Bill digest

See Legislation Review Digest No. 14 of 2018 for an examination of this Bill by the Legislation Review Committee.

SOURCE:  https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/bills/Pages/bill-details.aspx?pk=3551





Major test for Sydney’s transport network from Epping to Chatswood rail line closure

WHO could possibly believe this closure will be anything other than UTTER CHAOS?

BECAUSE “the bus interchange” is still under construction … looks like it will be another three months before it is operational!

PARKING is at a premium at Macquarie Park Shopping Centre/Business Park/University with time restrictions, fees and fines.

The 13-kilometre Epping-to-Chatswood line opened in 2009 was a marvellous boon to the Macquarie Park/Ryde area connecting one to all over Sydney …

THIS line was the latest in the Heavy Rail Network … the first to be pulled apart by the LNP!  

It won the Sulman Award, the prestigious public architecture prize in 2010

Australian Institute of Architecture New South Wales Awards  … an elegant and innovative integration of engineering and architecture!

WHEN in opposition the LNP in 2011 prior to the NSW Election proposed to pull it apart for the NWRL!


Major test looms for Sydney’s transport network from rail line closure


Gabby Fernandez’s daily commute from the St George area in Sydney’s south to Macquarie University in the north usually takes her 90 minutes.

After the Epping-to-Chatswood rail line is closed on Sunday for seven months, she expects it to take her at least two hours because she will have to switch from train to bus at St Leonards.

Arts student Gabby Fernandez expects her journey time from St George to Macquarie University to increase significantly.
Arts student Gabby Fernandez expects her journey time from St George to Macquarie University to increase significantly.Photo: Nick Moir

“I’m not going to drive. Parking here is a nightmare,” the first-year arts student said.

The temporary shutdown to allow the line to be converted to carry single-deck metro trains will be the biggest jolt to Sydney’s transport network since new bus timetables and routes in the CBD were put in place in 2015 ahead of the construction of the $2.1 billion light rail line.

The 13-kilometre Epping-to-Chatswood line opened in 2009 but will now become part of the $8.3 billion Sydney Metro North West line which will extend to Rouse Hill.


The closure will force up to 20,000 commuters a day to catch replacement buses or drive.

It will put pressure on already congested local roads, especially in and around Macquarie Park, and has required a rejig of timetables and services for the wider rail and bus networks.

The real test of the transport changes – and commuters’ patience – will come in just over two weeks on October 15 when students return from school holidays.

The real test will begin when students return from school holidays.
The real test will begin when students return from school holidays.Photo: Nick Moir

Transport Minister Andrew Constance encouraged the public to plan their trips, and avoid peak travel periods if they could.

“There are going to be some challenges in terms of congestion in and around the Macquarie Park precinct – everyone knows that,” he said.

“We are well prepared for those 20,000 commuters who will no longer have a passenger train service between Epping to Chatswood. Everyone needs to be aware of this change.”

As well as the university, Macquarie Park is home to the second-biggest business precinct in Sydney after the city centre. Large companies such as Optus, Sony and Microsoft have thousands of staff between them based at their offices there.

“We know it’s a congested part of the city now. We know that as a result of this closure people may opt for their cars. I would urge people to use public transport,” Mr Constance said.



Under the plans for alternative transport, a dedicated fleet of 124 pink-painted buses dubbed “Station Link” will run on seven routes at least every six minutes during peak periods.

They will include high frequency services from Epping train station to Macquarie University during semesters.

Mr Constance said people would need to allow for extra time of up to 20 minutes for their journeys but for some there would be reductions in travel times because of changes to the broader rail network.

The pink buses will replace trains during the seven-month shutdown.
The pink buses will replace trains during the seven-month shutdown.Photo: Nick Moir


The start of the line’s closure has been timed to coincide with the start of the school holidays, when traffic volumes are lighter, in a bid to iron out any problems.

Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said the completion of road works at Macquarie Park to improve traffic flows were running to schedule and she did not expect them to interfere with the shutdown.

“It has been a challenge getting all of that work done in time for this period,” she said.

Mrs Pavey said road officials would be keeping a close eye on major thoroughfares, and adjustments to the timing of traffic lights would be made to improve the flow of vehicles. Extra police would also be put on, and Station Link staff wearing distinctive pink clothing would be on hand to assist commuters adjust to the changes.

The impact of the shutdown will flow through to Sydney’s broader public transport network.

Trains that previously ran between Hornsby and Sydney’s CBD via Macquarie Park and the North Shore Line will be replaced by limited-stop services via Strathfield on the T1 Northern Line.

That means more trains will start or end at Central Station during peak periods, forcing commuters to switch trains if they intend to travel onto CBD stations such as Town Hall or Wynyard.

Matt O’Sullivan is the Transport Reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

SOURCE:  https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/major-test-looms-for-sydney-s-transport-network-from-rail-line-closure-20180925-p505tc.html





NSW Supreme Court rules against sunset clawbacks in landmark win for buyers

A developer persuaded some buyers to rescind, however 12 refused realising he was trying to cancel their contracts to resell at a higher price …
so he took them to court!
This meant a 2 year legal battle for buyers but fortunately the changes to the legislation were tested and protected these buyers against the developer trying to enact sunset clawbacks to increase profits.

The Harmony development in Surry Hills.

NSW Supreme Court rules against sunset clawbacks in landmark win for buyers

CHINA is still stealing intellectual property — but that’s not the biggest problem

MORE of this is likely, when will we in the western democratic tradition wake up to what this totalitarian regime is doing to our society, business and sovereignty?
ASPI Report raises a very concerning issue that if intellectual property of Australian companies or universities are stolen China can manufacture products without the cost of research and development!With the consequence Australian firms can be put out of business …-companies conducting R & D are storing information on computers connected through the internet to ChinaBut Professor Greg Austin from UNSW Canberra Cyber argues that a bigger issue was with China pressuring foreign corporations investing in China to hand over their intellectual property under Chinese law.-that Donald Trump has put sanctions on Chinese corporations and companies due to that policy

PERHAPS countries should band together to both increase pressure on China or impose costs on China, and protect companies from coercion by China.

The Coalition Government in response alleges it has strengthened Australia’s cyber security arrangements.  Let’s hope they are stronger because the Chinese Video Surveillance Network of Hikvision and Dahua has been widely used by the Australian Government and across Australia!!!!!


China is still stealing intellectual property — but that’s not the biggest problem


FBI Wanted posters

The ASPI report says China is likely to be in breach of its bilateral cyber espionage agreements.

China has continued to steal intellectual property from other countries, according to a report out this week — but one cyber security expert says that’s not the real issue.

report released this week by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute says that China is clearly, or likely to be, in breach of its bilateral cyber espionage agreements.

And it warns that if Australia doesn’t ramp up the pressure, China is unlikely to stop.

The stakes are high

“Essentially, it’s the lifeblood of economies,” said Fergus Hanson, the head of the Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre.

If ideas from companies or universities are stolen, products can be manufactured by companies in China without the need to pay research and development costs.

*The firms that initially designed those products can be out-priced and killed off.

Mr Hanson said he spoke to a broad selection of government officials and industry while doing the research.

*”Firms that are conducting R&D are basically storing information on computers in their headquarters or around the world, and because it’s connected through the internet to China, China is able to remotely access that.”

The Institute’s report looked at incidents from the United States, Germany and Australia.

These included cyber espionage attacks on Rio Tinto, and the Bureau of Meteorology in 2015 by a foreign intelligence service, reported to be Chinese.

“It’s become clear that China is in fact continuing to steal intellectual property, albeit with slightly different tactics from before,” Mr Hanson told The World Today.

“China is narrowing its targets and hitting a smaller number of companies, but still continuing with the activity,” he said.

‘The US Government does the same thing’

But Professor Greg Austin from UNSW Canberra Cyber said the evidence that information was applied in the marketplace for commercial gain was “very thin”.

“The ASPI report puts almost no evidence in the public domain of a significant case where the Chinese Government has stolen commercial information since 2015 and put that to the advantage of a Chinese private sector corporation.”

For example, he noted, the United States Steel Corporation and Westinghouse, two companies named in the US indictments, have not in fact suffered any commercial disadvantage.

“So the picture is not really what ASPI and others are painting — one of decreasing competitive advantage of Western corporations because of what’s happening. That’s not the reality.”

Professor Austin described industrial espionage as just a normal part of international relations — practiced by China, but also by the United States, France and Israel.

“If you look at the CIA organisational chart, you’ll see that two of its four intelligence directorates are involved in scientific, technical and economic espionage,” he said.

“I’m confident that the Chinese Government continues to engage in intellectual property espionage; I’m confident that the United States Government does the same thing.”

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) logo is reflected in glasses

PHOTO Professor Austin says the US also engages in intellectual property espionage


Bigger things to worry about

Professor Austin said some of China’s lawful business practices are a more concerning problem.

“The bigger policy issue that the US Government put on the agenda in a special report in March this year … was the Chinese policy of pressuring foreign corporations investing in China to hand over their intellectual property … under Chinese law,” he said.

“This is part of the Chinese government’s indigenisation campaign.

“They’ve decided that they can’t lock out the foreign technology corporations because they need them very much.

“But if they’re going to have to put up with them, then they’re going to insist on regimes that allow more comprehensive transfer of their intellectual property through new partnership agreements and sharing agreements with the Chinese domestic corporations.”

US President Donald Trump has put sanctions on Chinese corporations and companies due to that policy, Professor Austin said.

“And that’s a practice that Australia needs to pay more attention to, not the almost unstoppable practice of Chinese government theft of commercial secrets through espionage,” he said.

ASPI is warning that countries like Australia, the US and Germany need to do more to stop the threat.

Mr Hanson said countries should band together to increase pressure on China.

“We need to start putting this issue onto the international agenda, putting it onto the agenda with China … and if it doesn’t respond, looking to impose costs on China for that behaviour.”

Supplied photo of detained Rio Tinto worker Stern Hu

PHOTO The ASPI report says “it also seems that a bribery case against a Rio Tinto executive and Chinese-born Australian citizen was used to enable further cyber espionage”.


But Professor Austin said the Australian Government would be better off putting its policy effort into protecting companies from coercion by China, rather than focusing on “the hardly proven cases of cyber espionage for commercial gain”.

“I think the Australian Government needs to get behind Australian corporations and protect them from the same pressure that’s coming on US corporations who hand over IP if they want to invest in China,” he said.

“I think we need to shift the conversation a little bit from where ASPI put it today with the release of this report.”

In a statement, a spokesman for the Government said: “Australia condemns cyber-enabled intellectual property theft for commercial gain by any country”.

“As a matter of principle and long-standing practice, the Government does not publicly discuss specific cases, including those outlined in the ASPI Report, which may prejudice national security or compromise commercial confidentiality and privacy of Australian businesses.

The Coalition Government has strengthened Australia’s cyber security arrangements, including through the consolidation of cyber security policy in the Department of Home Affairs.

“Through actions such as our Cyber Security Strategy and the rollout of Australian Cyber Security Centres nationally, we are working to ensure that businesses and communities are resilient to cyber threats, including to cyber-enabled IP theft.”

Calls for ABC chairman Justin Milne to go over claims he tried to get a journalist sacked

IT would appear the claims by the LNP that the ABC has a “Leftie Bias” have now been unravelled … with what appears to be an email revealing the Chairman attempted to get a journalist sacked …

“This morning, Fairfax Media reported that it had been given an email from May 8 in which Mr Milne told Michelle Guthrie, who was sacked as managing director on Monday, that the Coalition Government hates Alberici.”



Calls for ABC chairman Justin Milne to go over claims he tried to get a journalist sacked


Justin Milne is facing calls to resign as ABC chairman after a report that he sought to have chief economics correspondent Emma Alberici sacked following a backlash from the Coalition Government.

This morning, Fairfax Media reported that it had been given an email from May 8 in which Mr Milne told Michelle Guthrie, who was sacked as managing director on Monday, that the Coalition Government hates Alberici.

“I think it’s simple. Get rid of her. We need to save the ABC — not Emma. There is no guarantee they [the Coalition] will lose the next election,” he reportedly wrote.

Mr Milne didn’t comment on the accuracy of the Fairfax report in a statement released this morning, saying instead:

“The job of the ABC Board is to independently govern the Corporation, protect its best interests, ensure that it is well funded, well managed and that our content is of the highest standards. That is precisely what the Board has done and will continue to do. I do not propose to provide a running commentary on day to day issues which arise in pursuit of our duties.”


Prime Minister Scott Morrison said reports Mr Milne called for Alberici to be sacked had not been confirmed. He declined to comment on whether Mr Milne should resign.

Acting Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek said it would be a “shocking abuse of power” if the Government pressured the ABC to get rid of a reporter.

She’s called on Communications Minister Mitch Fifield to say what he knows.

“Is it true that the Government has put pressure on the ABC to get rid of journalists? Is it true that the Prime Minister was involved in putting this pressure on the ABC?” she asked.

Ms Plibersek said the ABC can only maintain its reputation for integrity and independence “with the support of its board and an absolute refusal to buckle to political interference”.

Mr Fifield has since released a statement saying that while there have been times when he’s raised factual errors in ABC reporting, he’s always respected its independence.

“I have never involved myself in staffing matters, nor am I aware of any member of the Government who has sought to do so. The operations of the ABC are entirely matters for the board and management of the ABC which, by law, the Minister does not have a role in,” he said.


Michelle Rowland, Labor’s communications spokeswoman, said she directly called Mr Milne to discuss the Fairfax article and there remained “serious questions to be answered”.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said Australians deserved a full explanation.

“Mr Milne must step down immediately and allow journalists in the ABC, in our beloved public broadcaster, to get on with their jobs,” she said.

The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) called the reports “deeply disturbing”.

They would indicate Mr Milne has no understanding of editorial independence, proper complaints handling processes, or the appropriate distance a board chair needs to keep from staffing matters. If true, Mr Milne should resign immediately.


When asked if Mr Milne could remain as chairman, former ABC managing director David Hill told ABC News Channel “sadly, I think not”.

“I think he has to consider his position and he has to go. It is not even the board’s or the chairman of the board’s role to decide on hiring and firing staff, that is a matter for management,” he said.

Alberici told ABC Radio Melbourne’s Jon Faine that she had not heard that the chairman wanted her sacked until she read it today.

“It’s disappointing if it’s true, obviously. You don’t want your chairman to hold such a dim view of you and your journalism,” she said.

TRANSCRIPT/VIDEO: Former ABC managing director David Hill calls for Justin Milne to go (ABC News)




AUSTRALIA has failed to counter the flow of corrupt proceeds from abroad into the national real estate sector.

Notwithstanding the weaknesses in Australia’s approach to stopping foreign real estate purchases being used to launder money, the OECD said Australia had stepped up its enforcement of foreign bribery since 2012.

It would appear at the date of this report in December 2017 that there were merely seven convictions in two cases and 19 ongoing investigations when the solution would be enforcement of the ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING LEGISATION FOR THE REAL ESTATE SECTOR (the second tranche) … shelved for more than a decade, and again in early 2018!!

In order to avoid taking this action the Turnbull Government set up a consultation committee!!!

OECD warns of money laundering through Australian real estate

Australia has failed to counter the flow of corrupt proceeds from abroad into the national real estate sector.
Australia has failed to counter the flow of corrupt proceeds from abroad into the national real estate sector. Jim Rice


It is worrying that the latest international review of Australia’s detection and investigation of foreign bribery has pinpointed serious weaknesses in federal government efforts to guard against the laundering of corruptly obtained money through the Australian real estate sector.

Australia needs to take urgent steps to address this gaping hole in our financial system, according to the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions.

The call for action comes two years after the influential Financial Action Task Force concluded that Australia’s real estate sector was at significant risk for money laundering.

The OECD has followed the lead of the FATF and highlighted the fact that under Australian law, real estate agents, accountants and auditors, members of the legal profession, and other Designated Non-Financial Business Professionals (DNFBPs) are not subject to Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) obligations.

Until the government takes action the sole gatekeeper for determining the integrity of real estate transactions ...
Until the government takes action the sole gatekeeper for determining the integrity of real estate transactions involving foreigners is the Australian banking system. That clearly worries the OECD. Darren Pateman

In other words, the entire ecosystem for the buying and selling of property using cross-border fund flows is beyond the reach of regulators.

The federal government says it is considering implementing laws to fix this weakness in the system. But it has to be said it has been dragging the chain.

Until the government takes action the sole gatekeeper for determining the integrity of real estate transactions involving foreigners is the Australian banking system. That clearly worries the OECD.

It does not believe the major financial institutions provide sufficiently robust protection against Australia being used as a place for laundering corrupt funds.

In July experts from Canada and Korea met a range of relevant stakeholders in Australia across the public and private sectors, media and civil society as part of the OECD’s evaluation of anti-bribery.

During one of the meetings the experts heard the views of J.C. Sharman, an Australian academic and international AML/CFT and anti-corruption expert, on the Australian AML/CFT system’s failure to counter the flow of corrupt proceeds from abroad into the Australian real estate sector.

“Professor Sharman attributes the gap to a lack of willingness to take action rather than a lack of capacity, stating that Australia has some of the most powerful AML/CFT laws in the world,” the report said.

“He provides several examples where banks or AML/CFT authorities have failed to act on suspicious payments, and information from interviews with Australian bankers that believed the Commonwealth government did not take seriously enough the issue of inward flows of corrupt proceeds.”

Professor Sharman, who is the Patrick Sheehy Professor of International Relations at the University of Cambridge, this year published The Despot’s Guide to Wealth Management (Cornell University Press).

The book argues that “the vested interests of banks, lawyers, and even law enforcement often favour turning a blind eye to foreign corruption proceeds”.

His examples of the failures of the Australian system include the following:

banks willing to process payments for properties on behalf of persons facing corruption charges abroad, without checking the legality of the funds;

a wire transfer that did not raise red flags even though it came with an associated message that it was for “jihad”; and a bank that had over 90 suspicious transaction reports (STRs) lodged regarding a certain customer, which did not result in action being taken by the bank or the AML/CFT authorities.”

The federal government response to these claims was to highlight the work being done by the financial intelligence agency, AUSTRAC.

“In the last two years, AUSTRAC has conducted 150 compliance assessments of reporting entities, resulting in 211 recommendations to improve processes and procedures and 274 requirements in relation to non-compliance in which remediation programs have been established,” the report said.

“In the most serious cases civil enforcement proceedings are available and have been applied against the Tabcorp group of companies which resulted in Australia’s highest ever corporate civil penalty of $45 million.

“AUSTRAC has recently commenced proceedings against a major Australian bank for alleged money laundering violations.”

However, in rushing to AUSTRAC’s defence, the federal government indirectly highlighted the repeated failings in the financial system.

It said that a targeted compliance campaign conducted between January and June 2016 in relation to customer due diligence procedures uncovered widespread deficiencies.

“AUSTRAC conducted 28 on-site assessments of financial institutions and the inspection of 888 customer files for compliance with due diligence requirements,” the report said.

“The campaign resulted in AUSTRAC identifying deficiencies with the customer due diligence procedures in 13 institutions and those entities were issued a formal requirement to undertake remediation activity. Those entities have now finalised their remediation programs.”

However, we know from AUSTRAC’s latest amended statement of claim in its civil case against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia that AUSTRAC has been ineffective or powerless in forcing institutions to fix what it claims are systemic issues.

The OECD suggests there could be a greater role for the Foreign Investment Review Board in policing against corrupt money being laundered through real estate.

It says FIRB “could potentially play a greater role in detecting and reporting suspicious transactions in the real estate sector, and leverage available information from the Australian Taxation Office, AUSTRAC and the Australian Federal Police to act on suspicious transactions relating to foreign investments.”

Two positive developments that could enhance Australia’s ability to detect illicit flows from foreign bribery are the creation of the Fraud and Anti-Corruption Centre under the auspices of the AFP and the establishment of the Fintel Alliance, a public private partnership to fight money laundering, terrorist financing and organised crime.

But the OECD experts were told by a major Australian bank that is a member of the Alliance that so far it has not addressed foreign bribery.

“An Australian academic specialised in AML/CFT stated that, to succeed, the Alliance needs to address the close relationship between Australian banks and the Government,” the report said.

The examining experts said that the steps taken by Australia since its last evaluation by the OECD Working Group on Bribery five years had been insufficient.

They said Australia had focused too heavily on the illicit flows related to bribe payments and too little on the incoming flows that represent the proceeds of bribing foreign public officials (such as those obtained from public procurement contracts obtained through foreign bribery).

“The lead examiners therefore consider previous recommendation only partially implemented and recommend that Australia “take further steps to raise awareness of foreign bribery as a predicate offence to money laundering, including by providing additional guidance with case studies and typologies to reporting entities regarding the detection of foreign bribery predicated on money laundering (in particular, through the real estate sector)”.

Notwithstanding the weaknesses in Australia’s approach to stopping foreign real estate purchases being used to launder money, the OECD said Australia had stepped up its enforcement of foreign bribery since 2012.

There have seven convictions in two cases and 19 ongoing investigations.

The report identifies several other achievements and good practices, including strengthened whistleblower protections in the public sector, amendments to the foreign bribery offence to address previously identified weaknesses, and the creation of new false accounting offences in the Criminal Code.

Other key recommendations include the need for Australia to: ensure that Australian authorities have adequate resources to effectively enforce the foreign bribery offence; proactively pursue criminal charges against companies for foreign bribery; and enhance its whistleblower protections in the private sector.

SOURCE:  http://www.afr.com/brand/chanticleer/oecd-warns-of-money-laundering-through-australian-real-estate-20171219-h07emq