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an Aussie's viewpoint on Australia's first daily Internet newspaper.
Since October 1995

This on-line paper is now archived for perpetuity in the National Library of Australia

Wednesday 3rd September 1997
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Yesterday one milestone was reached for this daily on-line newspaper with readership topping 100,000 for the first time.

The second milestone is now but a month away, one that makes us the oldest on-line daily newspaper in Australia. On the 7th October 1995 we posted our first daily news... and have continued to record the news every day of the year since this time.

Some of the annual highlights can be seen including the Hindmarsh Bridge fiasco, the Super League farce, the 1996 floods in Queensland and the launch of Pauline Hanson's One Nation in Ipswich.

The publicity given Lorenzo Ervin by Left Link and the subsequent remarks made by a journalist from the Courier Mail were summed up in one in today's edition of that paper under the heading "Ex-Panther urges Olympic boycott". (ie Leave One Nation out of the picture and the story gets publicised).

By that I mean although my tip-off of the Left Link post resulted in the article being published today, no reference was made on the confirmed association of Left Link with the Australian Labor Party.

The article reads in part, American black activist Lorenzo Ervin has called for an international boycott of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, and is using the Internet to rally support."

Maybe I missed something here but I do not see any reference to the well publicised link between the ALP and the hosts of this promotional posts.... especially after I have had long and detailed discussions with journalists with the Courier Mail about that link. Perhaps the Chiefs of Staff of that paper should revisit the AJA code of ethics.

The article quotes many of his statements made in the post including "...also refers to Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party as a "fascist, white supremist electoral movement" (had to get that one in didn't they) and then states that a spokesman for Prime Minister John Howard said Mr Ervin "has an axe to grind".

"Australia is committed to a non-discriminatory immigration policy," the spokesman is quoted as saying, "Ervin's claims are simply ludicrous and should be given no weight whatsoever."

And a spokesman for the Sydney Olympics organising committee president and minister for the Olympics Michael Knight said Mr Ervin's comments were "ridiculous". He was "100% certain" that no country would boycott the 2000 Olympics.

At just after 8.30am this morning I phoned the Sydney Olympics organising committee to tip them off directly on the source of the promotion - now that the papers have taken up half the story. After taking their research lady (on-line) through the links from the Australian Council of Trade Unions home page she thanked me and said, in her words, she would "refer the matter to the legal department".

At just before 11am I phoned Philomena Bisshop at the Prime Minister's office off-line and gave them the links.

Neither were aware that I was with One Nation nor of the location of the file before my call.

Developments from this are more likely to be seen in the media although I will try to keep track of them as they happen.

Postscript: Absolutely no follow-up was made by either!

Well now aren't the hounds baying for Prime Minister John Howard's blood following the decision to shelve the media ownership changes.

"About Turn" in today's Courier Mail says something about media collusion with political parties, oh how the water leaks through the cracks when it suits the media moguls. Here is what transpired following the government's decision to shelve the media ownership changes, firstly Howard denied that he had done a back flip on media ownership laws.

Opposition Deputy Leader Gareth Evans said Mr Packer would not be a "pretty sight" when he thought about "what Mr Howard's done to him".

Cheryl Kernot said, "It's got nothing to do with principle and everything to do with opinion polls which were showing quite clearly that Australians thought John Howard was in the pocket of big business, and some specific big businessmen as in media moguls".

Crown Prince of the "goons" and Packer's mate has got to be Victorian State Premier Jeff Kennett who blustered away to the media like an old fart scarcely covering his obvious bias in continuing his "most favoured" status with the media mogul.

Here's a tale that Scrooge himself would have been proud of. One of the men listed on BRW's Rich List - the top 500 in Australia - 72 year old Doug Moran is suing his son's widow for Au$255,000 for an alleged unpaid debt.

Moran senior, whose company, Doug Moran Holdings Pty Ltd, operates the largest number of privately owned hospitals and nursing homes in Australia, initially sued his son Brendan... but he committed suicide 3 months after the action against him by dad was initiated.

Moran senior, whose assets are estimated at about Au$250 million, was not deterred when this development occurred - simply taking the action up against the widow, Kristina Moran.

Now Kristina has requested that the court, in the light of Brendan's death, strike the case out... while the debt rises by Au$73 a day in interest - yes that is being claimed in the action brought by Moran senior as well.

Guess we know how he got rich.

Making the news" -
an indepth exposť of media and political collusion at the highest possible levels in Australia.


The leader of the National Party, Tim Fischer, will come under the spotlight by the party organisation later this week for his handling of the Native Title debate.

It is understood that the National Party's federal council will meet in Canberra this weekend to consider a demand that the party once again take a hard line of this issue. The Coalition Government will table a 400 page document which will introduce legislation aimed at dealing with the High Court's Wik decision.

It is understood that the major concern of the National Party is focussed around the failure to protect over 1,000 pastoral leases in New South Wales from native title claims.

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Fairfax lost more than 5% of its share value yesterday dropping 18 cents to Au$3.12 after Federal Cabinet's decision yesterday to shelve any changes to media ownership laws in the short term.

Packer's Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL) shares rose 5.9 cents to Au$8.009 as concerns of the financial effect of such a takeover dissipated. Speculation now surrounds what Packer will do with his 15% in Fairfax - valued at Au$350 million as he is unlikely to hang around while his investment vegetates.

An analyst said, "I think there's a reasonable chance (Mr Packer will) just decide its all too hard, got better things to do with the dough and he's got better options."

The Chairman of Fairfax Sir Lawrence Street said yesterday, "It means that the Government is no longer going to be coming out from time to time and speculating about dismembering Fairfax.

"To me that was utterly abhorrent."

Personal trivia, from the global office:

Another beautiful day in paradise.... light rains yesterday and overnight.

Have a good one.

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