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About this website

SydWalker.Info is a personal website. I live in tropical Australia near Cairns. I oppose war, plutocracy, injustice, sectarian supremacism and apartheid. I support urgent action to achieve genuine sustainability and a fair and prosperous society for all. I rely upon - and support - free speech as defined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (see below).

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"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers"

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Unless otherwise indicated, material on this website is written by Syd Walker.

Anyone is welcome to re-publish material sourced from this site, as long as the source is acknowledged with a hyperlink.

Material from other sources reproduced here is presented on a 'Fair Use' basis. I try to cite references accurately. Please contact me if you have queries, comments, broken link reports, complaints - or just to say hello.

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FNQ: The Poverty of Political Debate
Nov 17th, 2008 by Syd Walker

This morning I listened to a couple of interviews on local ABC radio.

The first was with a representative of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce. The second interview was with a local union representative (from the AWU). The context for the discussion was the global economic downturn. How may it affect Far North Queensland? What can we do to keep our region’s economy afloat?

Both contributors, I have no doubt, are nice well-meaning people. But what struck me was the utterly vacuous nature of their analyses and proposals. As business is the base of the Coalition Parties – and organized labor the bedrock of the ALP – our apparent inability to take swift, intelligent, interventionist action for our future benefit becomes explicable.

If our local political elites had half a brain, they’d be busting with proposals for significant Federal investment in this region.

We need major projects to stimulate the economy. We also need to develop a more sustainable way of life. BOTH are urgent priorities. Projects that deliver BOTH will enjoy very widespread support.

So where is FNQ’s ‘ready to go’ list of sustainable development projects which our local politicians could be selling – right now – in the corridors of power down south?

Here are a few suggestions:

· Upgrading the region’s sewerage systems to world best practice
· Systematic remediation of te region’s toxic sites
· Large-scale forestation to reestablish riparian and wildlife corridors
· Building a new, high-efficiency rail system for the region
· Upgrading the region’s infrastructure for disaster amelioration
· Establishing more state-of-the-art eco-tourism visitor facilities on public lands

Cynthia Who?
Mar 31st, 2008 by Syd Walker

At last, there’s someone running for President in the USA who is a real inspiration.

A dark-skinned, highly-articulate, insightful politician, with bucket loads of charisma, focused on big picture issues, passionate in defence of the under-privileged and environment – and gutsy enough to take on the most powerful and dangerous vested interests on the face of the earth.

This politician is well-placed to win a Party nomination – although that will not be finally decided before the Party’s convention in the northern summer.

What’s more… she’s a woman.

Haven’t heard of her?

Why would you? Which part of the Australian mass media wants to talk about her?

After all, why would the Murdoch Empire of Limited News give a break to someone who speaks like this?

Why would an insipid and gutless ABC (or SBS, or BBC) cover a politician whose discourse lies outside their cosy, conspiracy-denying, egregiously pro-Zionist and essentially pro-war consensus?

What else is left? The magazines you encounter in the newsagent or at the supermarket checkout? Forget it. This woman’s hairstyle is not favoured as a topic of discussion for the masses.

Cynthia McKinneyIndeed, if the mainstream media has its way, there will be virtually no coverage at all of the remarkable individual who, to my way of thinking, is the most credible and exciting candidate for US President in 2008, notwithstanding Barak Obama’s great oratory.

But the blogosphere can and does do better than fake news media, so (perhaps for the first time?) … meet Cynthia McKinney.

FNQ 2025 – A Disgruntled Preview
Mar 28th, 2008 by Syd Walker

Sometime very soon, a draft FNQ 2025 Plan will be released, setting the direction for land use planning in this region for the next few decades.

The draft will be open to public comment, but from the outset the inside word has been to expect few changes to the draft in the final version.

This plan, in other words, if our State political masters and mistresses have their way, is almost done. After the great unwashed get to look at it, there may be minor tinkering around the edges – but nothing fundamental.

Not only is the fate of FNQ being determined, behind closed doors, at this moment. The State Government’s explicit intention is to make the plan statutory. In other words, if we ever want to change FNQ 2025, we must talk to the State Government about changing the law (although statutory reviews are likely).

One might think this is exciting widespread interest throughout the region, but until now, there has been little public focus on FNQ 2025. There hasn’t been much to get teeth into. Just a plethora of opportunities to be consulted – to what effect heaven only knows.

Before Christmas, I spoke to one of the planners by telephone. They were all very busy, but she was good enough to take a few moments off to answer my questions. I kept them brief.

First I wanted to know about population growth scenarios. What scenarios were being used?

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