Author Archives

Racism not Goodes enough

BY ALEC SMART The allegation that racism was at the heart of the relentless crowd booing that irked Australian Rules’ football player Adam Goodes has reignited, following recent screenings of a documentary film on his career, The Final Quarter. It was further augmented by ABC sports commentator Charlie King, himself of indigenous descent, who singled […]

Builders’ battles belittle betterment

BY ALEC SMART Whilst cracks appearing in new apartment buildings are dominating news headlines and analysts point the blame at dodgy builders, lax inspectors, corrupt developers and poor governance by the NSW Government, a vicious feud continues between two of the most powerful forces in the construction industry – the ABCC and the CFMMEU. In […]

Seaside sculptures walking away

BY ALEC SMART Sculpture by the Sea, the annual three-week artists’ trail that takes place between late October and early November every year on the seafront walkway between Bondi Beach and Tamarama, is threatening to leave the area after this year’s event. It will end 22 years of incredible artworks set imaginatively into the landscape, […]

Sewer side no solution

BY ALEC SMART In a Federal Court battle at the end of June in Sydney, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) lost a significant case against toiletries giant Kimberly-Clark, over ‘flushable’ Kleenex brand wet toilet wipes, which the ACCC claimed were not suitable for sewage systems. The ACCC alleged that Kimberly-Clark breached Australian consumer […]

Cracks appear in NSW building policy

BY ALEC SMART Mascot Towers, the Sydney apartment blocks from which residents were urged to vacate on June 14 after structural cracks appeared in the basement, remain uninhabitable. Tenants are expected to pay for superficial repairs, although it has since been revealed the flats are moving in a ‘downward motion’ – sinking into the ground, […]

Star Observer moves in with City Hub

BY ALEC SMART Sydney Star Observer magazine, which has been documenting the activities of the gay and lesbian community for 40 years, went into Voluntary Administration last month. The title has been acquired by Out Publications, a new company established by Lawrence Gibbons, the publisher of City Hub newspaper. The oldest LGBTIQ+ newspaper in the […]

15 years awaiting justice

BY ALEC SMART Search for ‘TJ Hickey’ on the internet and you’re likely to be directed to webpages featuring articles headlined ‘TJ Hickey, 10 years, no justice’, ‘TJ Hickey, 13 years, no justice’, and so on. The latest links are reminders that 15 years have now elapsed without a Public Inquiry that might satisfy the […]

Driverless locomotion commotion

By Alec Smart On May 30, Sydney Metro announced that a multi-million-dollar contract was awarded to a construction consortium to continue replacing and rerouting the T3 Bankstown Line, which involves new tracks, stations and driverless trains. However, opponents say an upgrade is unnecessary and that the purpose of the Metro line is to encourage more […]

Killer dying with his secrets

By Alec Smart In 1987 I hitch-hiked a ride with notorious serial murderer Ivan Milat. So, too, did three of my associates, on different occasions, ten years apart. All of us were intimidated by him and never forgot the ordeal. None of us believe he is innocent, as he claims, and we remain convinced there […]

Weedkiller on trial

BY ALEC SMART Sydney councils are considering suspending use of a notorious glyphosate-based weedkiller, RoundUp, in the wake of a US court case. A couple were awarded a record $AU2.9 billion after a jury agreed it caused their non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a blood cancer. Fairfield Council has phased out the weedkiller and Georges River Council will […]