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Originally published 30Sep2009


WWS-v-BSC case adjourned till Nov

A SMALL WIN for Byron Shire Council and for MCAN this week, because the Court are taking the Woolworths sewage matter very seriously – they have not disputed our councillors decision to refuse the s68. In adjourning the case till November, the court confirms that Wws sewage application requires more analysis.

THANKS to everyone who turned up on Monday and supported our cause. It was a wonderful boost to see how many people do care and came along, even after all this time. It"s your energy and support that keeps us going, so thank you. Thanks also to Garry and Duncan (and me) who gave speeches to the Commissioner out there in the sunshine on Station Street, with maybe a hundred or so people from both sides, gathered about. Robert Hart our webmaster has put up a video on our website Tim Robertson, our Senior Counsel, was supportive and his questions covered much ground, and its great that both sides got to hear important data. The next day at the Land & Environment Court in Ballina, our Counsel Tim was clear and easy to understand in Court, not so the opposition who mumbled and had (I thought) an aggressive attitude.

THE L & E COURT CASE has been adjourned until – probably – November 18,19 & 20 in Sydney. We still have not seen the new sewage plans for Woolworths, about which we were supposed to be addressing the court! Since the Woolworths case was apparently still not ready, Tim Robertson, our Counsel, informed the court that we would be filing for Wws to pay the extra costs of having another hearing later. There are 3 main contentious issues: 1) Groundwater 2) Buffers 3) Pumpout. Our independent experts will be taking new soil samples from 27m down and members of MCAN are glad that at last independent tests are being taken. Our experts have also asked to see a financial plan of the onsite sewage management system so Wws have to be upfront and know what they are getting into, rather than deciding at the last minute that its too expensive and they will rely on pump-out which is contrary to Byron Local Environment Plan.

DEMO – at the onsite inspection of Land & Env Court in Mullum on Monday. This was not a "battlefield" as described in the N. Star – in fact it was quite a friendly gathering and everyone was very well behaved. Some of the Mallams lot got a bit excited and seemed to welcome an opportunity to blame us for their job insecurity, not realising that

a) If Woolworths put up a workable sewage plan in the first place, their supermarket might well be built by now. Our actions have only highlighted the fact that their sewage proposals stink and that is why the project is delayed – they still have the approved plans which can go ahead when they come up with a workable sewage solution, or wait for the new Mullum STP (sewage treatment plant).
b) Woolworths have 9 self service checkout points which will be overseen by one person. The Mallams employees who carried placards saying Woolworths = job security, have apparently been assured of interviews with Wws, not jobs.

NORTHERN STAR POLL: Does Mullum need a Wws? Currently the voting is neck and neck – please add your vote online.

SBS INSIGHT PROGRAMME: Well done Paul Madeiros of Edens Landing who represented the Mullumbimby alternative to Wws. It was a great programme and we had maybe 10 mentions of our fight to stop Woolworths. That gives us plenty of street cred and opens the door to further national coverage. Keep writing to the national papers, folks. "Here's the live chat that happened after Insight for anyone who couldn't get online. Good overview of how we as Australians feel about the issue...a real spread." Says Susie Forster, our resident film-maker and video archivist. Watch out on our website for her upcoming clips.

RULES FOR RADICALS book by Saul Alinski – basic rules are available online The excerpt from their webpage of how to transform energy of grassroots groups and transform it into effective anti-corporate activism - how to use principles to create an emotional commitment to victory – no matter what:

RULE 4: "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules." If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity's very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)

RULE 5: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." There is no defense. It's irrational. It's infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Letter writing to media and internet networking – mention the Insight programme as its topical and Mullum"s fight is really topical; the shonky sewerage plans and check out Wws Corporate Responsibility Report on Rule 12 says to go after a person, rather than the institution. One person to expose in the media is Wws CEO Michael Luscombe who says on Wws website:

"This is our first integrated Corporate Responsibility Report. It describes the work we are doing, and the results we"ve achieved in the last year, on a wide range of topics within corporate responsibility. It"s about giving life to our philosophy of "Doing the right thing" whilst increasing transparency around our business operations and performance."

KU-RING-GAI – the Northern Sydney community who organised the recent "Death of Democracy" rally in Sydney have produced this video to show the on-going destruction of their natural and cultural heritage. This movie, which shows the effects of the new Part 3A Planning Laws, is hardly believable. If you have ever felt like you can"t be bothered to be an activist, this"ll shake your foundations.

Chow for now, folks

© copyright mcan| Website design webmaster Robert Hart   Today's date Wed 22nd Jan 2020 06:08pm UTC