All posts by Workers BushTelegraph

Workers BushTelegraph discusses current and past events, books and film with the aim of sharing worker political education and consciousness. WBT poses 3 questions: who owns the land, workers control of production and democratic rights.

Not so free to choose

A Gallup poll for years has been regularly asking people who they think the government works for, and it has usually been running about 50% saying “the few and the special interests, not the people.” Last year it went up to 82%. – Noam Chomsky, 1996

Democracy & Local Government Elections 2020
Andy picks out some radical election music.
Noam Chomsky talks on Democracy.
Ian and Andy discuss the need to vote in local government elections and government intervention at times of crisis.

Vote for Me – John Williamson
Federal Two Ring Circus – Redgum
The Candidates Find Common Ground – Chumbawamba
Too Absent to vote – Locksmiths
Not so free to choose – ?

Bruce Pascoe – 'cartwheels turned up tubers'

Great repudiation of what we were taught in Australian schools …

Paradigm Shift 4zzz fm 102.1 Fridays at noon – 12pm Fri 20 Mar 2020

An interview with Bruce Pascoe, author of the book Dark Emu, which has shed new light on aboriginal history pre-colonisation.

?PRE ft. bAbE Sun and C.P.G. – Why is my history such a mystery?
Mojo Juju – Native tongue
Kerrianne Cox – Woman got no history
South West Syndicate – The next chapter
Magic Dirt & Richard Frankland – Who made me who I amaboriginal agriculture

Workers BushTelegraph

Paradigm Shift 4zzz fm 102.1 Fridays at noon – 12pm Fri 20 Mar 2020

An interview with Bruce Pascoe, author of the book Dark Emu, which has shed new light on aboriginal history pre-colonisation.

Andy interviews Bruce Pascoe, author of Dark Emu

?PRE ft. bAbE Sun and C.P.G. – Why is my history such a mystery?
Mojo Juju – Native tongue
Kerrianne Cox – Woman got no history
South West Syndicate – The next chapter
Magic Dirt & Richard Frankland – Who made me who I amaboriginal agriculture

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Defending Forests

Paradigm Shift, community radio 4ZZZ FM 102.1, Fridays at noon on 13th of March 2020 .

This week we catch up on forest blockading around the country – hearing from direct action campaigns to protect native forests in the Tarkine in Tasmania, in the central highlands of Victoria, and at Helms in South-West Australia.

Andy interviews activists stopping logging in forest ecosystems that took millions of years to evolve by storing carbon and producing huge species diversity … Listen @


Insurge – Lock on
The Great Shame – Old growth
Mooks and Shanto – For a handful of timber
Brenda Liddiard – Forest song
David Rovics – A kiss behind the barricades
Formidable Vegetable – Plant some trees

Paradigm Shift (4ZZZ fm 102.1 Fridays at Noon) on soundcloud.

Radical change in Local Government

Radical Change?
This week (6 March 2020) the Paradigm Shift (4ZZZ fm 102.1 Fridays at noon) looks at radical change in local government. There is a discussion with Jonathan Sri the councillor for the Gabba ward. We cover his background, the fight against developers, radical community engagement, Democratic Rights, Land Rights, Justice for Deebing Creek, Housing and Child Safety.

Jonno Sri looking at West Village

Rivermouth – Propaganda (You can’t trust the LNP)
Mouldy Lovers – Six foot fences
Mouldy Lovers – Paint Bomb Grenades
Cachicamo Latin Harp – Medley

Local Government and Land Rights

Native title is not Land Rights and Reconciliation is not Justice” – Gary Foley at Sam Watson’s funeral 6 December 2019.

Paradigm Shift Friday 28 Feb 2020 4ZZZ fm 102.1 at noon.

Yesterday on Thursday 27th Feb I drove out to Deebing Creek near Ipswich about an hour from Brisbane. I went via the Centenary Highway and arrived near Stage I of a housing development at a roundabout where the Centenary highway converges with Grampian Drive and Pisasale Drive. The latter was named after Ipswich former mayor Paul Pisasale now in jail for corruption. Surely authorities should review the name of that road?

Along Grampian Drive on one side were new houses and on the other side was bushland. I could see two camps in the bush both with aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags waving. The bushland was similar to country where I grew up in the 1950s. A place called Moggill just across the Brisbane River from Ipswich was a farming dairy and pineapple growing district.

Some Aboriginal land sat idle after colonisation – the bora rings, middens, carvings, scar trees and rock art remained relatively untouched Aboriginal people were rounded up and put on missions like Deebing Creek. So I parked at the end of Grampian Drive and began walking over country. Along the way I saw Nissan huts left there by the army, the old mission and school were only visible through the large Palms and old trees planted nearby so many years ago. The ground is sandy loam and the grass lush after rain with creek flowing into small lagoons. High Tension power lines cross the land. They head toward the Swanbank Power station along an easement in the bushland once the sole preserve of the Yuggera people.

Now land has become valuable – small blocks  with houses covering 90% of the blocks and selling  from $328,000 says the developer sign across the road.  This may seem cheap to people living in Brisbane but houses are squashed together, no trees or gardens can grow on these blocks. The authorities who allowed this cared little about the quality of townships like Ripley just around the corner from Deebing Creek.

State governments only wished to provide cheap dwellings for workers needed to service South-East Queensland. It was Queen Victoria who stole the land from aboriginal people.

Now the land has become valuable deals have to be done. Governments and NGOs report alarming statistics of drug use, domestic violence, family breakdown, youth incarceration and suicide.

Developers like STOCKLAND, A V JENNINGS and FRASERS want the land. Two groups have challenged them – one under the banner of sovereignty and the other under the banner of traditional ownership and native title. Negotiations are being conducted with the native title holders but not the sovereignty group.

Ian interviews Karen Coghill from Justice for Debbing Creek and Jim Dodrill President of Ipswich Ratepayers & Residents Assoc and IRATE. 

Special guest is Colin Hewitt, President of the Local Government Reform Alliance.


Dee Kay – Time for Sum Akshun

How Labor Governs in Ipswich

“Opportunism will always produce Opportunists. Once you allow the politician to boss the show, he will give away everything to save himself, because he believes himself indispensable to the show, and in fact ends by becoming the show himself, and making a holy show of the rest of us. The supposed strong point made by the defaulters is their practical achievement of something in our time . . . legislating up to public opinion as all politicians do. But no party worthy of the name of Labour will follow public opinion; it will make and mould it.” – Presidential Address of Mat Reid at the 1907 Qld Labour Conference.

Here is a podcast of the show. It includes a discussion with Bill Heck, ‘Team Work’ candidate for councillor in Ipswich Division 3 and another iterview with Greens mayoral candidate, Pat Walsh. Bill Heck said that his campaign is funded by a waste management firm.

John Jiggens interviews John Shipton about his son, Julian Assange, who is up for extradiction to the US facing life in prison.

Please like and share.

If there is any follow up info that you think important please drop me a line.

Paradigm Shift
4zzz fm 102.1
Fridays @ Noon
0407 687 016

Full interview with Pat Walsh, Greens mayoral candidate for Ipswich.

Local government in Queensland, broken?

Paradigm Shift on community radio 4zzz (fm 102.1 Fridays at noon) is covering Queensland local government elections. This is the second in a series in the lead-up to voting on 28 March 2020. Please contact the announcer Ian on if you wish to contribute.

Ian (Paradigm Shift) and Elizabeth Handley (Brisbane Residents United) discuss the 2020 Local Government elections.

Ian interviews:
Chelle McIntyre – Candidate in Toowoomba
Gary Duffy – Ipswich Mayoral candidate

Jumping Fences – Sounds of our town
Bobby Darin – Mack the Knife
Joni Mitchell – Night Ride Home

2020 Qld Local Government Elections

“These are dangerous days
To say what you feel is to dig your own grave”
– Sinead O’Connor

Paradigm Shift (4zzz fm 102.1 Fridays at noon) on Friday 7 Feb covering Queensland local government elections which is part of a series in the lead up to voting on 28 March 2020.

Brisbane (Meanjin) is a city of the homeless, especially in summer when it is warm; its a place of summer storms, of weatherboard homes, high-rise on a floodplain, a dirty river slicing urban sprawl into a north / south divide. A port city to export coal and wheat. An aerodrome without curfew with two parallel runways. Meanjin, a city of deaths in custody where street marchers were arrested in their thousands crying out for democratic rights in the 1970s. This river city is hot and humid. The climate has changed. Creeks are flooding through developments with banks falling down. It is not safe for strangers, especially if they are young women, who have been attacked and killed only metres from police stations. Once it had central markets in Roma Street, trams and trolley buses, now it has freeways and traffic jams.

Each September, this city is on fire.

Ban on Street marches 1977-1979

Once dominated by Labor the Brisbane City Council is the largest local government in the southern hemisphere with a $3.15 billion a year budget.

Curiously it has a library network without parallel where you can borrow books, film and magazines from and about anywhere in the world.

Yet developers run city hall.

To quote from Maaate – Bribe Proofing the Public Purse against Good Blokes by Bernie Dowling:

Something is broken at councils in south-east Queensland. By 2017, it could not be ignored. The Crime and Corruption Commission, an independent investigator created by State Parliament, called an inquiry to investigate the conduct of the 2016 elections for the councils of Moreton Bay Region, Ipswich and the Gold Coast.”

This inquiry was later broadened out to include Logan City Council. As a result many corruption charges were laid against councillors and the entire Ipswich City and Logan City Councils were sacked by the Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe.

So, with 2020 local government elections imminent, I attended the postponed Reimagine Brisbane: Ideas Fiesta and Policy Conference held on Saturday 31 January 2020. The conference was delayed out of respect for the deceased Sam Watson, an aboriginal leader who grew up in Mt Gravatt in Brisbane and who had such an impact on this city.

At the end of the plenary session, councillor Jonathan Sri made a call for feedback and further discussion. This is Paradigm Shift’s attempt to do so. This is part of a series where I wish to tell a wider audience what important work is being done behind the scenes by activists to improve representation at local government levels here in the capital and in regional Queensland. There are local government reform alliance groups around the state particularly about amalgamation of shires but little is known about candidates who are part of this reform. I hope to remedy that.

Michael Berkman (Member for Maiwar) proposes to stop corporations influencing councils and government from giving political donations.

Ian discusses local government with Rob Pyne from North Qeensland.
Topics covered are – Is it a Climate change Election? – where power lies – what are councillors paid – corruption in Ipswich and Logan City – Operation Belcarra into how elections are funded – calls for ICAC style inquiry – ad hoc changes – higher accountability than state government elections – amalgamation from 156 councils down to 77 councils – cairns amalgamation of Port Douglas with Cairns – should have combined Cairns with Kuranda and not Kuranda with  Mareeba – distribution of funds – money raised by commonwealth – state and federal should do more – a lot of money spent on Douglas shire – bridges needed to be replaced – councils often the biggest employer – infrastructure – the public interest – transparency – councils should operate water infrastructure – local repesentation versus party representation – influence of News Corp on elections – bad media coverage – Queensland Government Reform Alliance

Andy talks with Jim Dodrill from Ipswich Ratepayers & Residents Association about how his campaign against corruption ended in both he and his father being bashed.

David Rovics – Margot Black Campaign Song
Ruth Mundy – Love in the time of coral reefs  
Jumping Fences – View from a Wooden Chair

Citizen Journalism

“If freedom of speech is taken away, then, dumb and silent, we may be led like sheep to the slaughter” – George Washington

PShift (4zzz fm 102.1 fridays at noon 31 Jan 2020) looks at various citizen journalists helped by John Jiggens (Bay FM) and Andy Paine (Paradigm Shift).

This show is about citizen journalism. Professors of International Relations are writing books about the “End of History.” This has been going on ever since Fikuyama article of the same name appeared in the National Interest just months before the Berlin Wall came down.

Now it is Clinton Fernandes “What Uncle Sam Wants.” Articles about whether the United States can have a cogent foreign policy. And more about what we can learn from the American New Left of the 1960s.

At least one of these books is based on 700,000 pages of Wikileakes downloads supplied gratis to the professors of International Relations by their greatest ever research assistant, Chelsea Manning. Her work was supplemented by Edward Snowden. These are the endowments to modern scholarship provided by citizen journalists like Julian Assange.

For the past ten years Paradigm Shift has reported on the exploits and subsequent persecution of Assange, Manning and Snowden. These were three of the best citizen journalists and anti-war research assistants of those years.

Now another investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald is facing jail time. Dr John Jiggens looks at another disturbing case of the global attack on a free media.

There is also Andy’s interview with Charlie Massey ‘Call of the Reed Warbler’ and various songs, poems, and skits.

Thanks to ‘Bring Julian Home’, ‘Waging Peace’, Andy and the various artists & activists who provided relevant material for this show.

Western Window
Trains go south with guns
And bats hang on fruit trees
While hills roll in slumber
Pinkish in sunset mist
Green and blue
No war here
As bellbirds sing

Ian Curr
31 Jan 2020

31 Jan 2020

Nina Simone-Backlash Blues
Phil Monsour and the Crisis Actors-Our House is on fire
Happytown-Ballad of an Outlaw
Billy Bragg-Between the Wars
Lionel Fogarty-My Cry is Lost in a Name
George Telek-West Papua
Midnight Oil-Blue Sky Mine
Ruth Mundy-Adani Song

Say No to War on Iran

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. – Eisenhower.

Listen in to Paradigm Shift (4ZZZ fm 102.1 Fridays at Noon) 24 Jan 2020 … today’s (24 Jan) show: ‘No to War on Iran‘ or listen online @ Paradigm Shift on Soundcloud.

Ian has discussions live with Annette Brownlie (Independent and Peaceful Australia Network) Maureen Todhunter (Just Peace, Brisbane, Corey (formerly Paradigm Shift) and interviews long time peace activist Gareth Smith Historical background on Iran prepared by Bevan Ramsden (IPAN) and Andrew Fullarton (IPAN).

“Demons of Hell” by Franz Dowling and Margaret Prestorious with sound recording by Corey.
“Who killed Reza Berati?” by Phil Monsour
“El derecho de vivir en paz” by Victor Jara sung by various Chilean artists.

Climate Change War

Significant mobilisation has been brought about by the bushfires in Australia. Uni Students for Climate Justice should be commended for organising these protests. People’s disenchantment with the federal government has been crystallised by the tragic consequences of the fires over the Christmas period 2019-20. That is why 10,000 people turned out at the rally in Brisbane on 10th Jan 2020. The bushfires and smoke have dissipated in Queensland and, predictably, so did the numbers at the follow-up rally.

So why have mobilisations on climate change been wrested from Extinction Rebellion or #Stop Adani or #Frontline Action on Coal?

There has been little discussion about people trying to stop the trains at Camp Binbee near Bowen in North Queensland. Not that facebook is any guide, but acceptances for the #Galilee Rising campaign are still small, reflecting the reality that getting people to where the coal is being exported, far from the big population centres, is difficult.

At the last rally in Brisbane on 17th January 2020, I listened to an excellent speech by Oula from Uni Students for Climate Justice about how the bushfires have displaced people from their homes.

Syria – the Levant

There are claims that climate change was a contributing factor to the civil war in Syria (2011-2020). Syria, a largely agrarian society, had experienced a terrible drought forcing farmers off their land. Moving to the cities was followed by unemployment, poverty and tensions with their city cousins. When people began to protest about this in 2011, the Assad government cracked down hard on some, leading to civil war, or so the theory goes. There is no doubt that Syria experienced a severe drought in the lead up to the civil war and that this had a major impact in a country whose economy depends on agricultural production.

The Assad government is secular and provides protection for various religious groups. For example, Christian living in Syria support Assad because he guarantees them safety. Although some authorities say that there has been a bitter split in the Christian community because of the civil war. However this may reflect views of Christians outside the country who don’t need protection. I don’t know.

The Syrian speaker at the rally concentrated on the failure of the Australian government and the fossil fuel companies and how the Australian government has demonised refugees by placing them in detention. The reality is about 3.8 million Syrians have been made refugees in neighbouring countries by the civil war. That’s one third of the population! Lebanon and Jordan took the bulk of these refugees.

The facts of the campaign against Scott Morrison are outlined in several articles on this website under Brisbane: ‘Sack Scomo’ series I, II, III and so on).

Academic versions of the debate can be found elsewhere. John Quiggan on his blog of the same name gives a good academic account of the forces at play however the language used is often technical. Quiggan does make an economic argument against the federal government’s denialism protecting profits.

So it is little wonder that the main slogan of the Sack ScoMo demonstrations has become Make the Corporations Pay! The corporations that profit from burning fossil fuels at least.

Attempts have been made to link the onset of war with climate change and bushfires. However more emphasis is placed on how bushfires have mobilised people not on why they were linked.

Discussion has centered on how difficult it is to mobilise people against a U.S. war on Iran. Trump is to the anti-war movement what bushfires are to the Climate Change movement. When the US President backs down as he did in June 2019 after threatening to fire missiles into Iran people don’t come out on the streets. Marxists call this the ‘objective conditions’.

On this occasion it looks like an accomodation has been made between the antagonists. Activists have spent years watching the crowds dwindle on peace and refugee issues. Vibrancy has gone out of the refugee movement with the slow absorption of asylum seekers from detention offshore to community detention onshore . The peace movement has been in the doldrums since the 2003 Iraq War and the disaster it caused the people of Iraq.

We do need to make a stronger case for why sitting home watching the television or surfing the internet is not an option. Some people feel secure because their wealth is not under threat, the stock market is on the rise, super pensions are paying dividends, the haves are happy with Morrison if a little concerned about the fires. They think their wealth will protect them from climate change.

We need to organise workers, to mobilise their unions. The Queensland Council of Unions Secretary spoke at the first Sack Scomo rally echoing the feeling in the crowd that getting rid of Morrison is not enough.

This article does not claim to be definitive. It poses questions that should be addressed especially in a society like Australia that has limited knowledge of the Middle East.

People should attempt to find out what is going on and attempt to explain the crisis to others. It is important because successive Australian governments have sent troops into the region and provided intelligence to the United States for no good reason. The refugee crisis has been provoked by Australian government intervention.

Finally we need to discuss the reasons for success or failure of actions taken in the public arena and how to build and organise a stronger anti-war movement.

Ian Curr
0407 687 016
Paradigm Shift 4ZZZ
21 Jan 2020

National Protest Rallies
(IPAN together with unions, community and other anti-war organisations has called a national day of protest and in support of the international day of protest against war on Iran)
25th January, 2020
at the following locations:
PERTH: 11 am outside U.S. Consulate Contact:
SYDNEY: 12 midday outside Sydney Town Hall Contact Nick 0420 269 929
ADELAIDE: 1 pm on Parliament Steps Contact 0404 629 764
BRISBANE: 11am, King George Square: Contact Annette 0431 597 256
MELBOURNE: 1pm, Steps of State Library: Contact Shirley 0417 456 001
NEWCASTLE: 11am, Westfields Kotara: Contact Bevan 0418 697 528
ALICE SPRINGS: Courthouse lawns, time TBA Contact Jonathan 0403 611 815
Bring our troops home from Iraq
No Australian Naval vessel for U.S. war in straits of Homuz
Keep Australia out of U.S. wars

For more information …