Home' InDaily : October 30th 2009 Contents October 30 - November 5, 2009
The Independent Weekly
You'll remember we broke the
story behind Labor's dishonest
campaigning in marginal seats.
The ALP has been push-polling,
a technique which doesn't try to
gauge public opinion as much as
People were rung by callers
posing as independent pollsters
but who were secretly in the pay
of the Labor Party. They were
told, under the guise of questions,
that Opposition Leader Isobel
Redmond was soft on crime.
Now the ALP has gone further.
We've got mail from voters
in Klemzig and, of all places,
Lower Mitcham, which is Liberal
frontbencher Martin Hamilton-
Smith's seat of Waite.
"I have just received the
offensive and grossly misleading
postcard apparently put out by
the Labor Party," writes Peter
"This postcard has no indica-
tion on it that the Labor Party
issued the card which is intended
to very unjustifiably denigrate
Liberal Opposition Leader Isobel
Redmond and the Liberals.
"In very small print it claims to
be sourced from Hansard.
"I suggest that if so it has been
very selectively sourced from
Hansard and does not accurately
reflect the position of Ms
Redmond and the Liberals."
Has it backfired?
"Any political party using
these grossly unacceptable
tactics like Mr Rann and Labor
are not suitable material to be in
Government in South Australia,"
No one knows how urban legends
start and country stories are even
less reliable, so we don't know the
truth behind the many yarns which
have spread about the Boot Tree
just out of Wanilla, on the Eyre
Some folk say the Boot Tree has
a connection to the 2005 bushfires,
which left a grim human death toll
and burnt out 95 per cent of the
pastures, and which started in this
Others disagree. But the number
of boots and shoes keeps growing ...
Hear'say was overjoyed
to receive a visit to our
newsroom last week from
the member for Croydon, Michael
Atkinson. He had a letter to
drop off and then go back to the
onerous task of smashing civil
On Tuesday, he announced
that the state of South Australia
filed its High Court appeal
against the Supreme Court
decision which ruled that part
of the Government's Serious
and Organised Crimes Act was
The Attorney-General wanted
to point out in his letter that
Hear'say had erred, and indeed we
have. We said he'd introduced into
parliament two words which we
won't repeat a second time. Mick
accurately points out that Liberal
Leader Isobel Redmond had used
the two terms before.
In a question to the Attorney on
March 5, she mentioned the title
of an unsavory film which uses
the common name for Equus afri-
canus asinus and the male partner
of puppet duo ***** and Judy. Ms
Redmond mentioned the title
after the film's producer, Mark
Herbert, had been not altogether
wisely lauded by Government as
"one of an impressive group of
professionals suitable for a key
role as an adviser at the SA Film
Mr Atkinson's missal to us
also accuses someone who he
describes as "the Liberal's spokes-
man on legal affairs spokesman
Miss Vickie Chapman" (Mick,
it's "Ms" not "Miss", and "spokes-
woman" or "spokesperson", not
"spokesman") of describing on
radio certain members of the
community in terms masturbato-
rial and excretory.
We're not going to repeat the
words in his letter again, either.
"Miss Chapman must give
thanks to the Lord as she recites
her bedtime prayers that she
is not, as other MPs, one who
stigmatises these people," Akto's
We warned you it would get dirty
The Government is up to its usual
tricks of obfuscation. We asked a
simple question of Tourism Minister
Jane Lomax-Smith: Do we pay a fee
to John McEnroe to play in the tennis
challenge, and if so, how much?
The minister flicked the ques-
tion to Hitaf Rasheed, GM of
Events SA, which is part of the
Tourism Commission. He said the
Government was "not involved in
any payments to players in the World
Not directly, perhaps. But the
Government siphons the money from
one pocket to the other. It sends a
cheque to Events SA, which in turn
"sponsors" the event.
"Events SA backs the WTC through
marketing and financial support,"
acknowledged Rasheed, but that's as
much as we're allowed to know.
The dollar amount is a state secret.
"The extent of (the support) is
commercially confidential as the
events business is highly competitive
and publicising this information
would provide an advantage to
competitors in the sector," Rasheed
A hard McEnroe to hoe
Passenger rail advocates in NSW
are steaming. The Centre for
Independent Studies says rail
connections between Sydney and
neighbouring cities need to improve
and business-class carriages would
be a good first step.
Report authors Jennifer
Buckingham and Dr Oliver Marc
Hartwich say travelling by train
was once a pleasant experience, but
standards have fallen on routes like
Sydney to Wollongong, Katoomba
"Not only does the train trip from
Newcastle to Sydney take longer
today than it did in the 1920s and
1930s, it is also less comfortable,"
"Nowadays drinks are served
even on short-haul budget flights
at 30,000 ft but not on slow-moving
CityRail trains on the ground."
At least they've got rail services
to regional cities. SA doesn't have
daily service to Port Augusta,
there's no service at all to the
world-famous Barossa Valley, Victor
Harbor or Mt Gambier, the state's
second-largest city. Our once-
excellent passenger network has
been ripped up and sold for scrap.
526 between Terowie and Burra in 1970
Photo: Bob Wilson
It's not only the State Government
which uses public money to
advertise itself. The Burnside
Council, besieged by public outrage
over the sale of the ratepayer-owned
Chelsea theatre, is fighting back --
with ratepayers' money.
It took out huge ads promoting
its stance, using ratepayers' funds
to campaign against ratepayer
John McEnroe: secret funds between the
strings. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
Photo: Kate Elmes Boot hill
Meanwhile, SA Greens senator
Sarah Hanson-Young has called
on the Senate to lift the standard of
debate on asylum seekers to avoid
the ugly language used so far.
"We have seen our Prime
Minister refer to asylum seekers as
'illegals', a Northern Territory MP
describe them as 'scum' and Liberal
Federal MP Wilson Tuckey even
insinuated they are terrorists," said
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