Monday, February 20, 2006


Yip folks, the discussion around whether to move to Word Press or not has been won by the Word Press team. A warm round of applause for them please. Yip, this site has now moved to, please update your links and bookmarks accordingly. I hope you like the new site, it's more blue than green but that's not a change in my politics, I assure you! The best bit is that I now have a page dedicated to archiving my film stuff so it all sits nicely on one convenient site. Great eh?! So come on over folks, it's getting nice and cosy over there!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Watch out!

You Are Lightning
Beautiful yet dangerous People will stop and watch you when you appear Even though you're capable of random violence You are best known for: your power Your dominant state: performing
Hat tip Span

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Australia isn't racist

Nah, not at all.


Advice needed

I'm thinking about moving from Blogger to Word Press. Any thoughts? Alternative suggestions?

Doing it for the trees

And the possums ironically ;)

For those of you who don't already know I've been working for the Wilderness Society for the last few weeks, and slightly to my surprise, I'm loving it. In a way it's exactly the same as my last job, except without the bad bits! I get to spend my day standing on the street talking to people in the community about environmental issues that affect them. And that's all I do! It's fantastic. No office, very little paperwork and about the same level of abuse as I got in my last job ;) And even better I get to travel.

A couple of weeks ago I got to go on a road trip around Eastern Victoria visiting small towns and talking about the work of the Wilderness Society. It was great, cause not only did I get to get out of the city and see a bit more of Australia but I also got the opportunity to see some actual wilderness.

The first day that we were out we got to go and have a swim in a river near Sale. While we were there we saw a couple of Black Cockatoos which are pretty rare. And then on the way back we saw kangaroos, wallabies, and an emu! Very Australian experience.

On another night that we were away we went and did a walk within the Tarra Bulga National Park in one of the areas heavily populated by the Mountain Ash, which is one of the trees the Wilderness Society is very keen to protect. Standing at the base of a tree that was around before Jesus was born is quite the humbling experience. I also got to have my first up close experience with some leeches which wasn't quite so pleasant, but novel nonetheless! Especially since one of them was trying to have a feed on the lower eyelid of one of my friends. Ick!

But the reason I bring this all up is because I just want to take an opportunity to talk about the current campaign in Victoria being run by the Wilderness Society. For those of you readers who aren't local, you need to be aware that water is a very big issue in Australia, in particular Victoria, and even more so in Melbourne. The Government is spending quite a lot of money on a big PR exercise trying to get Melburnians to be more careful with their water and conserve where possible. Yet at the same time, they are allowing the large scale deforestation of the areas around the Thompsons Dam which is the main water supply for Melbourne.

This is stupid on a number of levels. Firstly, the old trees are the ones that are very good at capturing water and cleaning it before it runs into the catchment. So keeping them there is important. Secondly, the runoff created by the logging is making the catchment water very dirty, so more money is being spent on cleaning the water up before it is drinkable. And thirdly, the new trees that are planted in the spaces that are cleared, need to use a lot of water to grow so they are sucking up the water that we could be drinking. So much water in fact that Melbourne Water did some research and came to the conclusion that we lose 50% of our water supply by cutting down the forest around the catchments.

It's the economy stupid, the water in that Dam is worth $147 more than the forest around it. Yet how much are the people of Victoria getting for the wood that comes out of that forest? $0.11 a tonne, yip that's it. So imagine a 15 tonne, approximately 500 year old tree, Victorians are paid $1.65 for it. I would like to think a 500 year old tree is worth more than $1.65 to Victorians.

So of course the major response is jobs and wood. Well, the wood one is easy. There is now enough plantation forest resources online in Victoria to completely cover the requirements for forestry and more so. There is now no need at all to log old growth forest. The second one is answered by the first. There is no need to cut down on the number of forestry jobs, the workers just need to be cutting down the right trees. It's the decision makers that are being targetted, not the workers (who aren't making the real money out of this anyway, but that's another whole story..).

But it's not just the trees or the water or the jobs, there is also a wide range of plants and animals that depend on those forests for their very survival. When we cut down those trees, we destroy their homes.

So if you're reading this thinking "shit K, this is really bugging me, what can I do to help?", it's easy, just join the Wilderness Society. The Wilderness Society is Australia's most successful wilderness protection organisation, and can only do the work they do with the lobbying strength of the membership numbers.

Consider it an investment, for every dollar you invest, you get an acre of protected wilderness. Dare you to find a property investment with returns that good! And of course, you should vote for political parties with forest friendly policies, which I will of course inform you about in due course.

Thanks for listening.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Tent Embassy

Wow I just had one of the most amazing few days of my life on a trip to Canberra to visit the Tent Embassy.

I was asked at the end of my time there what the highlight for me was. And I decided to share that further. The highlight was being given the opportunity to sit at the feet of elders and just listen. There are some truly amazing people involved in the campaign for Sovereignty in Australia and to be able to sit and listen to the tales of a lifetime of resistance was truly awe-inspiring. And it was terribly sad.

Some of the stories I heard over the last few days of genocide were heart-breaking to say the least and it makes me really sad that so few Australians know the true history of their past.

But the spirit there was amazing. There were plenty of successful meetings that went on. And a strong statement came out from the Embassy which amongst other things, declared the 26th of January Aboriginal Sovereignty Day.

What blew me away though was the spirit there. The fires are certainly burning strong and are only going to burn stronger this year.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Egad how long has it been!

Sorry anyone who got sick of looking at boring old posts. Although the conversation around the top 10 list got interesting briefly.

So the reason I've been absent from here is because I'm so bloody busy.

Finally got some work working for the Wilderness Society which I'm absolutely loving. I get to spend all day outdoors talking to people about environmental and all sorts of other political issues, and it's face to face so I'm actually engaging with people. Fantastic. And it's taking me around Victoria next week so I get to check out East Gippsland and other delightfully cool places like that.

However the major thing occupying my time is the Black GST Campaign. I'm actually in Canberra at the moment at the Tent Embassy, here for a few days to 'celebrate' Invasion Day. And to assure my crew bakc home, my Tino Rangatiratanga flag is flying high, they love it here.

It's quite nice to be checking out the Capital. Although, I was asleep when we arrived at 7 this morning so I have no idea what the place looks like except for Parliament, and this giant syringe tower thing they've got here. But the weather is lovely and the people are nice.

I'm currently hanging out doing some work in Parliament itself (yay the Greens) and it's pretty cool. The building is like this giant military style hobbit hole, it's great. And they actually have security here. Had about 15 people check my bags on the way in - X Ray machines and all. Although, I think that may have something to do with the fact that John Howard is about to deliver a major speech to the Press Club about racism in Australia.

More on that one later.

Anyway, back to work, supposed to be writing a press release.

Love you all.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Surprise surprise

Hat tip Span.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Racist questions cultural protocol

I see Mr PC Eradication man questioning the Golden Bay volunteer fire brigade signing a written agreement with local iwi to respect tikanga.

"I'm uneasy about the whole idea of a written protocol," he said. "It feels divisive, it separates people as opposed to bringing them together. These things ought to be resolved through dialogue." Mr Mapp said dialogue and sensitivity were "hugely important" and services like the police and coroners offices had learned that. "It has been an important part of building understanding, but to then formalise it. . . that just doesn't feel right to me."
So let me get this straight. Mr Mapp has no problem with people respecting each other, no problems with people trying to undertsand each other. He just has problems with them writing it down when they do? WTF? This is nothing other than out and out racism. Mr Mapp has attempted to gain political mileage out of story by taking a story which is about positive workings between different groups of people and objecting to it purely because the story involves tangata whenua. If the Golden Bay volunteer fire brigade signed an agreement with the local RSPCA about the protocols about rescuing animals, do you think Mr Mapp would have any objections? If the Golden Bay volunteer fire brigade wrote agreements with local car wreckers about what to do with wrecked vehicles, do you think Mr Mapp would have any objections about that? Of course not, it would be a sensible, practical thing to do. If you have an agreement with another organisation about how you will work together, you write it down and both parties sign it. Admit it Mr Mapp, the reason it 'feels' wrong is because it conflicts with your middle class, white male existence of ignoring the needs of others. I want to congratulate the Golden Bay volunteer fire brigade for their positive moves to work with their entire community. I have been involved in the process to develop a MoU before, and it is hard work. So congratulations on completing the MoU and thank you for all of your hard work looking after the people of Golden Bay.