What if this year’s records extend last year’s? 2 months to go…

On Saturday the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) was less than 0.1 °C below last year’s record set in August. Traditionally the global peak temperature for the year is reached in March. This year will probably be well and truly off this chart, yet humans are still burning fossil fuels at an increasing rate driving us ever faster towards global mass extinction in runaway warming as polar permafrosts and retreating ice-sheets release vast stores of soil carbon as methane and CO2.

Note that about 90% of the excess solar energy absorbed by our planet goes into the upper layers of the oceans before being redistributed via increased atmospheric humidity and heat to fuel increasingly extreme and lethal climates and weather events.

The only hope our species has to stop this apocalypse is to reverse greenhouse emissions (stop new emissions and ‘draw down’ and sequester some of the existing excess) and reflect more solar energy away from Planet Earth.

Isn’t it time we made our governments work towards this rather than increasing the obscene profits of their mates and patrons in the fossil fuel industries?

If you want more evidence in favor of this choice, please read my past posts on Climate Sentinel News. As well as using your vote effectively, Vote Climate One suggests a number of things you can do between elections to pressurize your governments to work with you (rather than against) to solve the climate emergency.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Lethal Humidity for Derna – a 9/11 event in the climate crisis

(Rev. 2 – 29/10/2023)

Water was the cradle and mother of all life. When the world is too hot it is also the destructor that erases life, as in Derna, Libya on 11/09/2023

Life originated in the sea, dependent on and driven by water based chemistry. When our remote ancestors colonized the land more than 300 million years ago they had to carry enough water in their bodies to keep the organic chemistry of life working. Even today, between 50 and 60% of our body weight is the water surrounding and supporting our metabolic chemistry — truly water is the cradle of our life. Water-based chemistry is also controlled by temperature. Most of life’s chemical processes are facilitated and regulated by proteins called enzymes. Protein structure and function are strongly dependent on the temperature of the surrounding water. Water temperature also affects the rates of chemical reactions irrespective of any changes do enzymes.

For billions of years, complex life on Earth has evolved to live in a temperature range between water’s freezing point and a maximum of 35-45 °C. Mammals (like us) and birds who have evolved evaporative cooling (e.g., sweating) can survive somewhat higher environmental temperatures for a while if they can maintain the flow of water through their bodies. However, if our body temperature rises more than a degree or two above 40° for more than an hour or so it’s lethal because enzymes begin to denature and the chemical processes in our body cells no longer coordinate the keep us alive. We die ! (ref Wikipedia Colonization of land, Thermoregulation, Human body temperature).

As our planet grows ever hotter as a consequence of human’s industrial conversion of fossil carbon into greenhouse gases, rising temperatures are triggering a growing range of extreme and increasingly lethal ‘weather’ events. Many of these involve the effects of excess heat working with the physical properties of water — and we are far from understanding all of the implications for understanding this.

The latest example of lethal humidity at work was the rapid intensification of tropical rainstorm Otis in less than 24 hours into the “apocalyptic” category 5 hurricane that struck the tourist town of Acapulco on the Mexican Pacific coast around 1:00 AM on 25 October, 2023. None of the forecast models run on the 14th predicted that it would even become a hurricane at all. And then there’s Tropical Cyclone Lola, the earliest cat. 5 cyclone ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere that has just savaged Vanuatu on the same day.

Last month’s example of lethal humidity working in unprecedented ways is presented below.

During the dark early hours of Sept. 11, 2023 hot water demonstrated the power of humid air to erase life in the the normally dry drainage upstream from, and in the center of the Libyan city of Derna in a cataclysm never before seen in its ~2,600 year recorded history.
This satellite imagery can be viewed by anyone with a desktop computer by downloading the freely available Google Earth Pro (Windows, Apple, Linex), searching for “Derna, Libya”. Vision beginning with Planet Earth will zoom into about 8 km above your requested location. If you then search for “Al Sahaba Mosque” vision will zoom in to about 1 km showing the latest high-resolution satellite imagery of Derna’s center from late morning on Sept 13, around 56-58 hours after the peak of the cataclysm. Using your mouse wheel you can zoom in to ~12 m above the ground where you can readily see the ant-like shadows of individual survivors crossing the now dry wadi on foot, and the first attempts to make temporary roads to reconnect eastern and western parts of coastal Libya. Earth Pro also provides access to historical imagery (click the Time Time icon) allows you to travel back in time through historical imagery. The most recent imagery (also providing the highest resolution) prior to the cataclysm is from June 19. This provides the “before” vision of Derna. Unfortunately the post-cataclysm imagery has only limited coverage. The image above, at one edge of a Sept. 13 tile crossing the wadi provides the before and after in a single image. The image below compares the before and after of the mosque and the area to its north. The red lines are sight lines and measurements left by various measuring tools I used in trying to understand and reconstruct what what happened here in the early hours of Sept. 11.

The idea of “lethal humidity”

I was reminded of the fact that humidity can be lethal by Dr Andrew (“Twiggy”) Forrest’s recently initiated speaking tour on the climate emergency to economic forums, world leaders and top universities in the world. He stresses that if global warming is not stopped and reversed, a major killer will be heat deaths caused by the growing heat accompanied by excessive humidity from the increasing amount of water evaporated by the high temperatures.

Forrest, one of Australia’s leading multi-billion dollar mining and industrial carbon emitters, has accepted the reality that global warming caused largely by his and other industries will cause near-term human extinction. He began broadcasting his concerns and the absolute urgency of stopping and reversing the warming if we are to avoid social collapse and subsequent extinction. He first raised this at the Boao Asia Forum — sponsored by China in Perth on 30 August (transcript here), and more recently at Oxford University (video below) – the start of a global lecture tour to key universities around the world accompanied with meetings of world leaders and at COP 28.

As Forrest said in the Boao Address, this is not a concern for the future, but right now! Substantial numbers of people are already being killed by the accelerating warming. The main killer will be what he calls “lethal humidity”. As noted above, if the air is too hot, and humid as well, without air conditioning we die within hours. (He says that survival in these areas will depend on air conditioning – assuming the power doesn’t fail). Forrest stressed that large areas of the world, including areas of India, China and America are crossing that threshold right now. These points were reiterated and expanded on in a lecture and “Fireside Chat” at Oxford University .

In the “Fireside Chat” sponsored by the Rhode’s Trust, Forrest expanded considerably on his ideas expressed at Boao and lecture covering the urgent and critical need for people in general to force governments and industry to act seriously on climate change. This Q&A ‘chat’ runs for another hour, but is well worth listening to if you have any concerns about futures for yourself and your family members.

My Climate Sentinel News article following up on the Boao address, Billionaires & action groups can save the world together! summarizes the contexts (including his ‘time out’ from empire building to earn a PhD in marine ecology) that led Forrest to his current mission — and what the climate and environmental action movement needs to do to assist the global mobilization needed to stop and reverse the warming process.

However, as strongly as Forrest stresses the dangers of the heat deaths humidity will cause in our progress towards global extinction, high humidity can also be even more catastrophically deadly in other ways.

The lesson of Derna, Libya is that humidity can lead to the destruction of not just human lives, but all visible life in given areas, and even the infrastructure created by humans or any other evidence that life ever existed in those areas.

Another way too much water in the atmosphere will kill us

On 10 September, 2023, the ancient and small but relatively prosperous port city of Derna, Libya had a population around 100,000 people. Its history traces back to the settlement of Cyrenaica (the eastern, coastal part of Libya) by the ancient Greeks in the 7th Century BCE. It was an easy place to settle because the inland plateau area was suitable for agriculture and the small delta of the wadi draining the plateau offered a reasonable area of flatish land close to sea level on the normally steep shoreline for a port and settlement. Since Derna was settled it has been a secondary port city that served at various times as a regional capitol that was comfortably wealthy from the agricultural productivity of the hinterland during periods with adequate rain and its proximity to Rome on the other side of the Mediterranean. Under Muammar Gaddafi, Derna benefited from Libya’s oil revenue.

However, due to Derna’s location on the sediment fan (or delta) formed at the mouth of a relatively steep wadi draining somewhat more than 500 km², it has been subject to occasional damaging floods. But nothing remotely comparable to the 11 September cataclysm had ever been recorded before in Derna’s 2,600 year history.

What happened in the early hours of 11 September literally ‘erased’ more than 20% of the city and more than 10% of its total human population from the earth. Derna warns us that water, the cradle and mother of all life (can and will destroy most of that life if we allow the planet to grow much hotter than it it already is.

“Evaporation” is what happens as individual H₂O molecules break free from a liquid mass of water to form the gaseous phase or vapor of water that basically dissolves in the atmosphere. As liquid water warms, the rate of evaporation increases up to a limit determined by the pressure of other kinds of gases forming the atmosphere. If the vapor molecules become frequent enough they will begin to stick together to “condense’ back into the liquid state. it takes a lot of extra energy for a water molecule to actually evaporate free of a mass of liquid water. This energy is released as the “heat of condensation” when the water molecule returns to the liquid state. The rates of condensation and evaporation vary significantly with changes of temperature.

Aside from controlling the rates of evaporation and condensation, temperature also strongly influences how much water vapor can dissolve into the air before it starts condensing. As air temperature increases, the amount of water vapor it can carry before condensation begins also increases about 7% for every °C of temperature increase.

Global 2 m (‘surface”) air temperature has been in in world record territory since the end of May this year. Sea Surface Temperture has been been in world record territory since mid May (more than 7 MONTHS!). Hotter water evaporates more water vapor, hotter air absorbs and transports ever more water as vapor.

“Gas Laws ” relate air pressure, density of a given mass of air. As air warms it absorbs energy to become less dense by expanding. As it cools, its density increases and heat is released. In the atmosphere this leads to convection. with warm air rising and cooling as it expands while tending to cool further by radiation of excess heat to space until it cools enough that again becomes dense enough to sink alongside rising hotter air.

More details of the physics of water, how its various states are measured, and water’s implications for weather can be found in my mailing to politicians, “Act Now – Later may be too late” and in the related “Global Climate Change Now“.

My presentation linked below makes the case that Derna demonstrates how heat and too much water in the atmosphere can do far worse things than just cooking people by preventing evaporative cooling. The more water vapor in the atmosphere the more water there is to drop on the land, and the more heat energy there is available to force wet air masses high in the sky to squeeze out the last drop of what was already an excess load of water as rain and ice (the freezing of ice from water releases still more energy (the energy of fusion) to drive the weather to even further extremes.

Where Derna was concerned, another consequence of having several unbroken months of high temperatures setting daily and occasionally all-time records, the jet stream system that normally keeps cold spots and warm spots moving around the world basically broke down — becoming very weak and chaotic. The combination of record high land and sea temperatures over summer with stalled heatwave conditions all around the Mediterranean provided optimum conditions to load the atmosphere with a truly prodigious amount of water. The availability of so much water and heat energy resulted in the formation of Storm Daniel. With little or no jet stream, Daniel was left to wander more or less randomly around the eastern Mediterranean. Daniel first dumped more than 700 mm of rain were dumped on areas of Greece to flood more than a third of that country’s prime agricultural lands, and then more than 400 mm on the Libyan city of Al Beyda a few km west of the upper end of Wadi Derna’s watershed. These numbers are already crazy & incomprehensible, but a fluke of bad luck associated with the particular landscape of Cyrenaica may have added even more kick to the already stupendous amount of peak water in the pipeline provided by the wadi. The catchment’s main reach on the plateau behind Derna runs from west to east, and it’s probable that Daniel’s rain cells were also moving from west to east at a comparable speed to the progress of the flood peak down the Wadi.

In any event, except for the last (possible) fluke, this kind of increasing storm intensity is a predictable product of global heating — which is what makes the Derna situation so alarming. If we allow the world to continue heating at an ever faster rate (as driven by Earth’s Energy Imbalance), lethal humidity will soon be be cooking so many people and trashing so much infrastructure needed to feed ourselves and condition the ever hotter air to a livable temperature we will face social and ecological collapse. If this happens humans will no longer have the capacity to do anything further to stop the runaway warming that will put all of the accessible soil and organic carbon back into the atmosphere. The worst global mass extinction event in Earth history so far will then run its course unhindered.

The presentation ends with a possible silver lining — humans working together can do very remarkable things if sufficiently motivated. I’ll write more on this later, below.

Download a PDF version by clicking HERE. Note: Throughout the presentation there are many links to the web to source materials or other relevant information. These should work if you click on them.

Some comparisons to think about

Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 2011

Several of the commentators on the Derna cataclysm said it was like a tsunami. I spent a couple of months trying to measure the impact of the Japanese Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of 2011 that led to the destruction of four of the Fukushima Dai Ichi nuclear power plants from the vast array of news, social media postings of videos, and the Google Earth record. Obviously, the tsunami affected thousands of kilometers of coastline, but nowhere did the 2-3 waves of the tsunami as comprehensively erase the evidence of human existence as happened in Derna.

[Google Translation of title] “Great East Japan Earthquake] People fleeing the tsunami in Minamisanriku Town, Miyagi Prefecture (different angle)”. This is a snapshot from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_vIGlCk6ME There were countless videos like this (many now no longer accessible). Note that most of the structures being destroyed were wooden houses that were floated off their foundations before being crushed in the melee.
The comparison here is from the Japanese fishing port city of Minamisanriku of an area approximately 60% the size of the area depicted in the first graphic of this post from where one of its rivers meets the sea. Here, concrete buildings remain intact and except for the river mouth where significant soil has been removed, roads and the concrete slabs and foundations of buildings remain relatively intact. Boats in the upper picture were all destroyed, cast on the land or dragged out to sea on the return waves.
Devastation after tsunami in Rikuzentakata, Iwate, Japan. This image, which was originally posted to Flickr, was uploaded to Commons using Flickr upload bot on 7 April 2011, 15:40 by Akira Kouchiyama. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

At Rikuzentakata, one of the worst hit cities, the tsunami wave reached heights of 13 meters (third floor of surviving buildings), and possibly killed 10,000 people. Wooden structures were completely demolished, but roads and concrete infrastructure remained largely intact as can be seen in the large trove of imagery accessible via Google.

Unlike a tsunami that normally involves only two or three killer waves at the most, Derna’s flood seems to have lasted several hours – long enough to strip everything away more-or-less down to bedrock!

Possibly cataclysmic valley floods in other parts of the world

My first contact with cataclysmic flooding was in the summer of 1976, when I was teaching for a year on a temporary appointment at the University of Colordo in Boulder, where I was a near witness to the deadliest disaster of any kind in Colorado’s history. One very muggy (humid) afternoon a very ominous and noisy system of dark clouds and lightening passed over the university. I thought of possible tornadoes, but no rain was falling yet. Soon after this the storm cell got stuck in the valley of the Big Thompson River draining Glacier National Park ~ 45 km north of Boulder along Rocky Mountains forming the Continental Divide. The humid prevailing winds from from the prairie at around 1,600 m altitude were trying to push the storm over the Divide. The upper (western) third of the Big Thompson catchment is surrounded on three sides by ridges more than 3,500 m high (as can be followed on the clear contours of Global Watersheds‘ “Topographic” or “Thunder Forest” base maps). The storm cell dumped 300 mm in less than 4 hours. The resulting flood formed a “wall of water” more than 6 meters high that rushed down the steeply sloping canyon (2.4% gradient for the last 3 km — as measured to the accuracy allowed by Google Earth Pro) at a speed estimated to be 6 m/sec with a discharge rate of with a discharge of 1,000 cubic meters per second, killing 143 people (mostly campers).

As measured in the “slow lane” on the flat land in front of Al Sahaba Mosque well before the flooding reached its maximum height (upper floor of the main mosque) and erased the shrines and the 1,400 year old graves of the Companions of the Messenger of God, the water there was already moving at around 4 m/sec well before the flow reached its peak height. The peak speed over the wadi itself was probably two or three times what was measured in the Big Thompson flood!

When the flood happened, I was living in one of the University’s faculty flats situated alongside Boulder Creek. This has a drainage of 340 km² and cuts Boulder in half (a city that was then comparable in size and relative affluence to Derna with its Al Sahaba Mosque). I immediately considered what happened at Big Thompson and soon found other lodgings. Big Thompson had less sever another flood in 2016 that also caused substantial damage. So far, Boulder has been lucky.

Other potentially dangerous river systems

Other river systems with deeply incised valleys capable of producing cataclysmic floods under appropriate conditions that I know personally because I have lived in their neighborhoods are Melbourne’s Deep Creek-Maribyrnong system above Footscray and the Yarra River above central Melbourne. The Maribyrnong catchment above Footscray measures 1,300 km², and the Yarra river catchment at Kew (deeply incised from Warrandyte through Kew) measures 3,900 km² (or 5,500 km² measured at its mouth Port Philip Bay that includes the Deep Creek-Maribyrnong as a tributary). Both the Yarra and the Maribyrnong have flooded, with the Maribyrnong having its worst flood in several decades this time last year. Derna style floods fueled by high temperatures and lethal humidity would have unimaginably worse consequences for the cities these rivers flow through. (Note: the free Web ap, Global Watersheds, will plot the watershed extent and area for any point on the land in the world on a range of base maps. For understanding the landscape, I recommend “Satellite” – good but several years out of date, and “Topographic” or “Thundercloud” for clearly labeled elevation contours).

Catchment map from Global Watersheds, Google Earth Pro image from 22/04/2023. The controlled concrete spillway is located at the upper left edge of the dam, with the engineered topographic “natural” spillway near the lower right. This can be examined in more detail in Google Maps’ satellite view.

Possibly Victoria’s most dangerous drainage is the Campaspe River draining into the Murray Valley Vote Climate One’s home base in Kyneton is located in the middle of this catchment that begins just over the hill from where I live. The river is held back by Lake Eppalock, formed by a 650 m long embankment dam (i.e., similar to Derna’s mud-pie dams) that at full supply holds back 300,000 megaliters of water (possabably 1000 x as much as the Derna dams) from a catchment above the dam of 2,100 km². Unlike Derna’s dams that had no provision to manage spillage over the top of the dam. Eppalock has a well designed “controlled” concrete spillway with a maximum capacity of 8,000 m³/sec, as well as two “emergency” spillways enabled by the existing topography. [Based on Global Watersheds topography and Google Earth, the second emergency spillway is no more than a narrow topographic low that could pass only a small fraction of the volume passing over the engineered spillways.] In October last year, (and once in 2011), with the dam at 130% of full capacity, flooding exceeded the capacity of the controlled spillway with an outflow of 103,000 megaliters a day! (more than a third of the lake’s entire capacity at full supply in one day!).

Excellent drone vision is available for the effect of this outflow on the spillways, i.e., erasing the road along the top of the emergency spillway and scouring away the earth down to the bedrock forcefully enough to eat into the rock itself. Fortunately the scouring did not reach the concrete leveling wall designed to ensure that the overflow was spread uniformly across the very wide spill area to minimize concentration of the erosive flow of the water on small areas.

Google Earth imagery of flood scouring of the emergency spillway. Red lines show the location of the original road (erased) and the temporary replacement road below it. Arrows point to the deepest gouges eroded into the basement rock. Some of the erosion is a result of the prior spillage of the reservoir in 2011, but it is clearly deeper here. The leveling wall is clearly visible along the bottom of the graphic

Even more detailed imagery of the functioning of both spillways and very real damage sustained by the emergency spillway during and after the 2022 flooding is provided by Joel Bramley Photography.

Noting that the 2011 and 2022 floods were caused by ‘ordinary’ decadal scale extreme weather events, one wonders whether the dam would survive a Derna scale cataclysm.

The Wadi Derna dams across a topographically sloping drain could only hold small volumes of water limited by the dimensions of the sloping drain and height of the dams and were completely empty until Daniel arrived. By contrast Lake Eppalock is on the edge of a plateau where the topography allow the storage of many times the volume of water of the gorge immediately behind the dam. At full supply, Lake Eppalock has three main reaches. Two are approximately 10 km long, and the third is 5 km long. In places each of these is more than a km wide. Unlike the Derna dams, Epalock has well engineered spillways to minimize the likelihood of overtopping and it’s maintained. But, very much like the Derna dams, it is a ‘mud pie’ construction susceptible to cracking and slumping (especially if overtopped):

  • Significant cracking was observed on the crest of the main embankment at Lake Eppalock for many years, but in recent years increasing movement upstream [slumping?] during low reservoir levels indicated a progressively deteriorating stability situation. Investigations also revealed cohesive filter material [clay?] that would allow a crack to propagate. A fast-tracked [emergency?] remedial works program was completed in 1999 to rebuild the highly vulnerable upper rockfill shells and filters, both upstream and downstream. [Davidson et al., 2000. The Dam Safety Upgrade at Lake Eppalock]

Downstream, the Campaspe cuts through the center of the small farming town of Rochester, 56 km N of the Eppalock Dam. The 103,000 megaliter/day flooding over Eppalocks’ spillways soon flooded around 1000 of Rochester’s 1500 homes on its way to meet the also flooding Murray River in Echuca rising higher and causing a lot more damage than the 2011 flood, which was the first time Lake Eppalock spilled over the emergency spillway. Today, half of the flooded homes are still uninhabited, with some of the repairs expected to take another year for all of them to be completed because it seems there is no capacity left in the system to finish the work any sooner.

Rochester in the 2022 flood
Rochester, Vic., flood levels at 2011 Campaspe River flood
The extent of the 2022 flood was substantially worse than the 2011 flood indicated by the red line.

The end game

The stark reality is that climate change, currently driven by Earth’s exponentially growing energy imbalance, is already stressing human society to the point that we cannot even maintain a status quo where we are able to repair extreme weather damage as fast as it occurs. As cataclysm and catastrophes increasingly concatenate and overlap due to continuing global warming, resources and capacities will decline at an ever faster rate, until society can no longer avoid collapse into chaos and barbarism, and then near term extinction.

We are truly facing an existential emergency. If we cannot mobilize the the scientific, technological, and human resources reverse the imbalance to slow, stop, and reverse global warming in the very near term, the exponential growing feedbacks (primarily carbon emission from soils, permafrost, oceans and accessible fossil sources) that are driving the energy imbalance will be unstoppable until all the accessible carbon has been transferred to the atmosphere as greenhouse gases. By then humans and most other complex organisms on Earth will be extinct.

Personally, I think humans, if they can work in a focused way and cooperatively together to fight the common enemy, actually have the capacity to stop the lethal feedbacks while they are still in their early stages of ramping up. This thought is based on 14 years focused and in-depth research and writing on the co-evolution of humans and our technologies, 17 years working as an engineering knowledge management systems analyst and designer for what was then Australia’s largest defence project engineering and construction organization, and a lifetime student of evolution grounded in physics and Earth and marine sciences.

I am also old enough to remember the end of WWII and am fully aware of how America entered the war as a disunited mob of apathetic to passionate pro fascist isolationists to pro communist utopians. Yet, within weeks of being dosed with the reality of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, the mob united, turned scientific glimmers into totally new sciences, technologies and logistcs, crafts into massive assembly lines, and anarchic mobs into war machines. The global war was won in Europe with America’s help with the German surrender on 8 May 1945; and by America in the Pacific with Allied help with the Japanese surrender on 2 September 1945 after the atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August (well under 4 years). This was followed up by the formation of the United Nations (a good start towards global government), and the restoration of many nations to a road to prosperity under the Marshall Plan.

The realities reviewed above show that humanity is currently facing the most lethally dangerous crisis in our evolutionary history, probably even more extreme than the End Permian mass extinction event that our ancestors survived 250 million years ago. If we accept this reality it should motivate us to work together collectively with the necessary focus and discipline to put the Apocalyptic Horsemen back into their mythic stable in God’s Scroll so we can escape from the down-hill highway to Earth’s Hothouse Hell (see also David Spratt’s series on Climate Code Red).

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Earth’s annual healthcheck — and our future

A compendium of graphs plots key indicators of our changing climate. Unless trends are reversed today’s lethal extremes will be lethal new normals’.

Climate scientist Zach Labe shows us in a collection of simple graphs from his WordPress page how many of Planet Earth’s vital signs have been changing over recent decades. He plots the best available data, and lets the plots tell the story without adding his redundant commentary.

However, If you want, you can still follow links that explains how the data was collected and analyzed. Click on Climate Visualizations at the top of the screen to open a pull-down menu, and then on FAQ and my methods at the bottom of that menu.

Plotting the reality

Four critical variables (the three critical greenhouse gases and global average temperature) show us how our changing climate is progressing.

The collection of graphs shows completely unambiguously that ever more heat energy is being loaded into our planetary climate system to make it hotter and more humid — where heat and humidity are the drivers for all kinds of extreme weather events.

If you look at the most recent years of Rising Temperature (beginning with 2020) you might think temperatures have stopped rising. However, this is almost certainly dangerously wrong. We have just finished an unusual three successive periods of La Niña conditions that result in below average global temperatures. GIven the generally increasing rate of temperature rise, the next El Niño periods are likely to be substantially hotter than the last ones (2014-2019) when Australia suffered the record-breaking bushfires of our Black Summer that even burned temperate rainforests that survived previous fires for many hundreds of years.

What do the graphs tell us?

In the past VoteClimateOne’s Climate Sentinel News has posted many articles attesting to the increasing frequency, extent and ferocity of extreme weather and the increasing chaos and costs these cause.

As the energy in the climate system continues to rise, catastrophes will increasingly overlap such that more damage and chaos will be caused by following events before recovery from earlier ones is complete. We are already seeing examples of this in NSW’s Northern Rivers and southwestern areas. At some point (in the not distant future — if global warming is not reversed) the still growing social and physical costs will lead to social and physical collapse of society.

Can you do something to change the picture?

At this point both major political parties in the NSW government are still defending and even subsidizing the fossil fuel industry’s (coal and gas) continuing increasing emissions of greenhouse gases.

It is time for you to help elect a government able to act effectively against the climate emergency by ensuring neither party has a majority to do things without people’s support. Hard-right members in either party who will do deals with anyone to stay in power to enforce their religiofascist dogmas tend to ignore even stark objective realities such as the climate crisis shown by Earth’s vital sighs. Such people need to be replaced by electing teals, other community-oriented independents and Greens who accept the reality of the climate emergency and are willing to prioritize acting on it.

My Climate Sentinel News article, Is Premier Perrettet a far-right puppet, or the puppet master?, documents and explains how the kind of ultra dogmatic hard-right politicians got into power that most need to be replaced by parliamentarians who will represent and work for the voters’ benefits. As the now deceased Lyenko Urbanchich, ex MLC David Clarke, federal Senator Alex Hawke, the Tudehope family and the Perrottet family have shown on the far right of the NSW Liberal Party, if your faction can fill key positions in party and factional organizations with collaborators who can organize cadres of ‘storm troops’, it is easy to put whoever the faction ‘leader(s)’ may want into Parliament. The party’s ‘safest’ seats are taken over by using the cadres to subvert preselections by branch stacking and simple thuggery or by bypassing preselection entirely with direct appointments (as has been demonstrated many times over the 40 years of history covered in my article).

Here I focused on the Liberal hard-right. But it should be recognized that Labor also has had and probably still has a very similar hard-right. This was made most evident in the impact Bob Santamaria had on the Labor Party in the 1950’s that led to it a near-lethal split to form the Democratic Labor Party. I have not had the time to adequately research the NSW Labor Party, but its leader, Chris Minns shares many characteristics with Dominic Perrottet, and has even backed and defended him over the treatment of climate protester Violet Coco. Like the Liberals, Labor also safe seats giving factions many opportunities to subvert real democracy. To me this is more than enough reason for VoteClimateOne to advise voters in such seats not to vote for factional puppets in hopes of making the seat marginal. Even if you don’t get rid of the puppet this time, you may be given a real opportunity in the next election to preselect someone actually representing you (rather than someone dogma) in the next election.

How to vote?

We won’t suggest who you should vote for. However we try to show you in our NSW voting guides where we think each candidate in your electorate stands relative to action on the climate emergency and whether we think there are reasons a particular candidate might be considered to be a puppet or less trustworthy on issues than others in the electorate. These recommendations won’t be complete or final until we have had a chance to work our way through those on the ballots provided by the Electoral Commission.

Featured image

Featured image from Dettre, M., (18/08/2022). Lismore City News, Questions over NSW flood victims’ buyback / More than a thousand people lost homes in the NSW Northern Rivers floods. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS).

Health Minister Minster Mark Butler says ongoing trauma can manifest in increased rates of anxiety, post-traumatic stress and domestic and family violence: “Mental health is one of the government’s highest priorities and I recognise that these flooding events have been hugely traumatic for many people,” he said…. For some of these communities, this has been their fourth flood in 18 months.”

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Is Premier Perrottet a far-right puppet, or the puppet master?

Religious fascism on the far-right of the NSW Liberal Government.

Dominic Perrottet’s responses to Violet Coco’s demonstration against government inaction on the climate emergency were so disproportionate that I had to uncover what stimulated them — a red-back spider’s web of political influence and manipulation. The Slovenian fascist/anticommunist, Lyenko Urbanchich, began to build it by infiltrating the NSW Liberal Party in the mid 1970s via his presidency of the Liberal Ethnic Council, membership in the powerful Liberal Party State Executive (beginning 1977), and his “mentoring” of Opus Dei Catholic convert, David Clarke (also a member of State Executive and MLC 2003-2019). The web was maintained and kept growing as Clarke mentored Alex Hawke (Australian Senator for NSW since 2007) and at least three of ‘supernumerous‘ Perrottet family of Opus Dei[1] devotees who dominated the Young Liberals and State Executive. Dominic celebrated this at his 21st birthday party in 2002 by wearing a Nazi uniform. The spiderweb now seems to be owned by Dominic (currently state Premier) and two of his brothers (political operatives) with the aid of David Tudehope.

A Redback Spider with [her] latest catch in my garden – DrFacetious
Turn the spider’s web into a crime wall

The following article is long, but sorting the major threads in the web of influence and control into a coherent picture was a major and surprisingly informative and important task.

First thread: Why would NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet say it was “pleasing to see” a woman sentenced to a minimum of 8 months jail for delaying motorists to warn that humanity faces extinction from the climate emergency.

Climate activist jailed for blocking Sydney Harbour Bridge granted bail – Violet Coco was part of a protest that disrupted morning peak-hour traffic. / By William Ton, 14/12/2022 in Channel 7 News[1a]

Is Perrottet’s feeling of pleasure important?

A very serious question for NSW voters is: What is more important to you and everyone else? That you and a few hundred or even a few thousand people might be inconvenienced for half an hour or so, because a one lane on-ramp to a bridge that you use on your way to work is temporarily blocked?

Or that highly qualified scientists who have studied Earth’s climate system for many years agree that the entire human species (including you and all of your family) face increasing misery from a crescendo of climate disasters. And that this crescendo is leading to the possible extinction of all humans in several decades or so from accelerating global warming?[2]

What do you say to the many thousands of NSW residents who have already been “inconvenienced” as their properties, businesses and lives have already been irrevocably ruined by extreme bushfires, flooding, and drought – almost certainly made worse by global warming that has already occurred over the last few decades?

Contrast Violet Coco’s “offense” with that of the filming of a scene from the upcoming Fall Guy “action film”. This closed the entire Harbor Bridge, and the surrounding city roads for 7 hours, from 3 am to 10 am! Trains continued to run, but footpaths and cycle ways were also closed. For the inconvenience this caused, the Federal Government gave the production company a $30 million grant, that was topped up by a $14.5 million grant from the State Government’s “Made in NSW” fund.

No cars or pedestrians were allowed across the bridge during the movie production. Credit: 7NEWS (from the article)
Watch: The spectacular Ryan Gosling stunt that shut down Sydney Harbour Bridge

Warren Barnsley, 23/01/2023 in 7Life

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet acknowledged the “inconvenience” of the bridge closure “for many people”, but claimed the disruption was justified.

“The positive is that NSW and Sydney have become massive attractions for the film industry,” he said on Sunday.

“The film industry in our great state supports thousands and thousands of jobs.

“I think it’s a great thing and a testament to NSW and our film industry here, that it continues to grow.”

See the video

According to Premier Perrottet, this “disruption” and “inconvenience” for “many people” (probably tens of thousands over the 7 hours of closure) was “justified” for the purposes of the film industry distracting us from doing something about a grim future… but the closure of a one-lane on-ramp for around half an hour for the purposes of warning all people of the catastrophic dangers we face from uncontrolled global warming is a heinous crime deserving 15 months in prison.

Left-wing activists slam Ryan Gosling’s movie The Fall Guy for closing down Sydney Harbour Bridge – after climate protester was sent to jail for eight months for blocking the expressway

Caleb Taylor for Daily Mail, Australia, 22/01/2023

‘Sydney Harbour Bridge closed this morning for filming. All lanes closed both directions to cars, bikes, pedestrians. What prison sentence will they get? Oh wait…It’s for money making purposes not for reducing emissions to save the climate,’

Read the complete article….

Violet Coco’s crime was protesting against the the fossil fuel industry’s continuing rape of our Mother Earth that is literally threatening survival of our families and our species in a global mass extinction event triggered by the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. Even the highly conservative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that cannot bring itself to discuss “extinction”[3] accepts and advertises the fact that our entire civilization is threatened with global catastrophe from global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions (see Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability)[4].

For this Coco was sentenced to 15 months jail, with a minimum of 8 months. Compare this with the Fall Guy’s $44.5 million reward for totally blocking the main connection between the northern and southern halves of Sydney for 7 hours.[5]

That the extent of Coco’s sentence is so pleasing to Liberal Party Premier, Dominic Perrottet, seems to show that he considers Coco’s protest worse than most criminal offenses except rape and murder. In fact, “the majority of offenders are not sentenced to prison”[6] at all. She is now out on bail[7] until March, when her appeal against the sentence will be heard:


But the question remains: Why was Coco’s sentence so harsh and is this justified?

Any attempt to find an answer says a lot about Perrottet’s character a human being.

05/12/2022 – The Guardian: NSW premier describes jailing of climate activist Deanna ‘Violet’ Coco as ‘pleasing to see’[7a]

Asked about the jail term …, Perrottet said the sentence was “not excessive” and warned others against taking part in protests that “inconvenience people”. [To Perrottet the crime is protesting, not inconveniencing — as he soon proved.]

If protesters want to put our way of life at risk, then they should have the book thrown at them and that’s pleasing to see,” Perrottet said. [What about the fossil fuel polluters whose impacts on global warming are putting the life our entire civilization and species at risk of collapse and extinction? Why is he pleased to reward them with project approvals and government grants?]

We want people to be able to protest but do it in a way that doesn’t inconvenience people right across NSW.” [More than a bit of hyperbole — a one lane on-ramp to the Sydney Harbor bridge was blocked for around half an hour.]

He said the sentencing should serve as a clear lesson” to people who wanted to protest. [See first para above]

My view is that those protests literally started to grind our city to a halt,” he said. [Putting this view in context, what about the inconvenience climate catastrophes have already caused people in (e.g., in Lismore), many of them who still have no habitable homes after global warming-related flooding or incineration?]

The clear message here, and it is a clear lesson – everyone has the right to protest, but do so in a way that doesn’t inconvenience people.” [i.e., that doesn’t inconvenience people in the fossil fuel industry.]

Read the complete article….

Is it important what these circumstances say about the ‘leader’ and Liberal Party in power in NSW?

Perrottet’s callous expression of pleasure over and support for punishment of people protesting[8] to bring attention to the fact that many people are suffering greatly and even dying as a consequence of government supported greenhouse gas emissions reminds me of the actions of government autocracies like Stalinist/Putinist Russia and Nazi Germany.

I suspect that this is a fundamental character flaw of many privileged, privately educated and ‘born to rule’ males who entered politics in their teens as Young Liberals. These have been well represented on the hard right of the of the Liberal Party in NSW.

Hints of fascism

Dominic Perrottet, born in 1982, was President of the NSW Young Liberals in 2003 by the age of 22. He served on the NSW Liberal Party executive between 2008 and his appointment in 2011 to the Legislative Assembly for Castle Hill at 28. Then, he was fast-tracked through two more electorates to be NSW’s youngest Premier ever[8a] in 2001 soon after his 39th birthday.

Choosing to wear a Nazi uniform at his 21st birthday party do[9],[9a],[10],[11], as quoted here from an anonymous source by the Daily Telegraph, would certainly seem to fit the ‘born to rule’ mold.

15/01/2023 – Daily Mail Australia: Party attendee recalls Dominic Perrottet offered to REMOVE Nazi uniform to a Jewish friend during his 21st birthday as speculation about his future as premier grows[11]

It was the year after we had taken over the Young Liberals,’ [when Clarke protege Alex Hawke was elected president] the source told the Daily Telegraph.

We’d taken over a lot of the branches … We were feeling on top of the world….

‘I don’t remember too much – we were young and there was some drinking … so it is a bit of a blur.

‘But I do remember Dom in his Nazi uniform, which he offered to take off that night.’

Sources at the party say another guest was also wearing a similar Nazi uniform.

The party took place in the lower level garage and driveway of Mr Perrottet’s split-level family home in Sydney’s northwestern suburbs.

It was well attended, with sources recalling seeing from 50 to 100 people.

Among the guests were Mr Perrottet’s close-knit group of friends, ex-students from Redfield College in Dural [an Opus Dei boy’s school], where he had attended high school, students from Sydney University where he was studying law, and Warrane College, the Opus Dei residential college attached to the University of NSW.

One guest, an unnamed sitting NSW MP, attended in a Osama bin Laden costume. 

No photos have yet been released of Mr Perrottet’s costume, though sources suggest his father walked around with a camera at the event. 

Read the complete article….

A more comprehensive summary of the circumstances surrounding Perrottet’s 21st birthday party is provided in an article by Oscar Grenfell on the World Socialist Web Site[12]. To me the article seems well researched (see below). The Nazi connections with the NSW Liberal Party’s far-right extremists known as the “Uglies” were via the infamous Liberal strongman Lyenko Urbanchich/Ljenko Urbancic;[13]

17/01/2023 – World Socialist Web Site: Australian Labor Party saves right-wing NSW premier after admission he wore Nazi uniform[12]

Perrottet and the “Uglies” faction

In the 1970s, Ljenko Urbancic, a Slovenian migrant, came to prominence in NSW Liberal circles, becoming president of the Liberal Ethnic Council in 1977. Urbancic was an unrepentant Nazi and a war criminal.

As documented in Mark Aarons’ book War Criminals Welcome: Australia, a Sanctuary for Fugitive War Criminals Since 1945, Urbancic was “a close confidant of President Rupnik,” head of Slovenia’s Nazi-aligned government.

Aarons wrote: “Urbancic earned his title of ‘little Goebbels’ from the Yugoslav War Crimes Commission precisely because he was one of the most proficient and fanatical propagandists in German-occupied Europe.” Urbancic legitimised the Holocaust, as it was underway, with foul anti-Semitic tirades, and was complicit in the mass murder of European Jewry.

After his record was exposed, Urbancic’s colleagues in the NSW Liberals prevented his expulsion. The war criminal had assembled an informal faction, dubbed the Uglies, that would continue, in all but name, for several decades [seemingly up to 2023!].

A 2016 article in the Australian Financial Review [seen in the original] noted: “Despite official moves to expel him from the party, Urbanchich survived and worked hard with David Clarke, a conservative Catholic solicitor, and a Liberal member of the NSW Upper House, to recruit new members to the Uglies faction.”

In 2004, the Sydney Morning Herald [also seen] reported that NSW Liberal “moderates are claiming that right-wing Catholics, including members of the secretive Opus Dei organisation, have helped stack branches, taking control of the Young Liberals from the moderates for the first time in decades.

“A significant number of the 125 male students at Warrane College, affiliated with the University of NSW—where Opus Dei is entrusted with pastoral care—have been signed up to the Randwick-Coogee Young Liberal branch, according to a membership list seen by the Herald.”

The article cited NSW Young Liberal President Alex Hawke who “refused to comment on allegations of branch stacking,” but declared: “We had large membership growth and I’m very proud of that.” Hawke was then a staffer for Clarke and was described in the press as his “protege.”

Among those from Warrane College, who entered the Liberal Party at this time, was none other than Mr Perrottet.

As the Daily Telegraph [also seen] reported last week, in discussing Perrottet’s birthday party: “The guests included Mr Perrottet’s close-knit group of friends, ex-students from Redfield College in Dural, where he had attended high school, Sydney University where he was studying law, and Warrane College, the Opus Dei residential college attached to the University of NSW where he resided.” [see also]

The Telegraph continued: “Guests recalled other predominantly right-wing members of the Young Liberals being in attendance, including federal MP Alex Hawke, who told media on Friday night he had attended events with Mr Perrottet but did not recall being at his 21st.

The source remembered the mood on the night to be particularly jovial given the faction had just taken control of the organisation from the moderates. ‘It was the year after we had taken over the Young Liberals,’ the source recalled. ‘(Upper House MP) Nat Smith was trying to take over Ryde. Alex Hawke was Young Liberal president. We were feeling on top of the world.’

Clarke’s son-in-law Kyle Kutasi was president of the University of Sydney Liberal Club for the two years before the position was handed to Perrottet. After he became premier, a 2021 Sydney Morning Herald [also seen] profile of Perrottet noted that one of his first positions within the Liberal Party had been to work “as a staffer for David Clarke.

In other words, Perrottet’s party not only marked his 21st birthday. It was a celebration of the factional triumph of the Uglies.

Given its origins in Urbancic’s activities, some may see Perrottet’s decision to wear a Nazi uniform in a different light to those presented by explanations of historical ignorance. Was it, they may ask, at the very best, an “ironic” nod to the forces who had set the ambitious young politician’s career in motion?

Read the complete article….

Following Urbanchich’s death in March 2006, the Sydney Morning Herald reviewed Urbanchich’s involvement with the Liberal Party.[14]

I will now review these fascist / Opus Dei connections on and through Dominic and the Perrottet family on and through the radical right-wing of the NSW Liberal Party in more detail because they seem to be still alive and functioning up to the present state election.

As a Young Liberal, Dom Perrottet was immersed in Catholic fervor and fascism within the far right of the Liberal Party

Arguably, the fascist undertones in Dom Perrottet’s youthful character (as demonstrated in the scandal of his wearing of the Nazi uniform for his 21’s birthday party) were molded by his strong family, educational and social connections (1) to the right-wing Catholic organization, Opus Dei[15]; and (2) to NSW Liberal MLC, David Clarke[16], his Nazi and Opus Dei influenced mentor, political sponsor and power broker on the extreme right of the NSW Liberal Party.

These influences may have colored Dominic’s desires both to crush protest and his pleasurable response to harshness of Violet Coco’s sentencing. They may also have a more general (and what I would consider to be a malign) influence on his actions today as state Premier looking for reelection; and continued leadership of the NSW Liberal Party.

Paul Grigoire in his recent article, “Jesus the Agitator and the Perrottet Anti-Protest Regime” explores some ideas about what happens when a religion originally reflecting people’s needs and desires becomes enshrined as an autocratic theocracy[17]. These ideas are particularly relevant here, and will be explored again in my conclusion to this essay.

Because Dominic Perrottet was continuously and profoundly surrounded by religio-fascist[17a] influences in his family, at school, through his university days, and even beyond his election to Parliament, these influences need to be explored in more detail in the next sections. Not only have they probably affected Perrottet himself, but also for what is revealed more generally about the diabolical nature of far right-wing factions (Labor Party included!) in the NSW Parliament.

Opus Dei’s influence Dominic’s family and school environments

As far as his family influence is concerned, Dom’s parents, John and Ann, were Opus Dei “supernumeraries”[18]. Dom Perrottet’s father, John, testified in the Opus Dei newsletter of 16/02/2004[19] that he and his wife Anne closely followed St. Josemaría Escrivá’s[20] teachings. St. Escriviá[21], born in Spain 9/01/1902, died in Rome 23/06/1975, canonized in the Vatican by Pope John Paul II on 06/10/2002), founded Opus Dei in 1928. Tony Jones, in a 2006 episode of ABC’s Lateline[22]. explores the nature of Opus Dei and its involvement with Redfield College soon after Dom’s graduation from that environment. ABC’s Four Corners 2023 episode, “Purity”[23], describes how Escriviá’s version of Catholicism still permeates the schools and study centers he founded today, including Redfield College[24].

Dom, his father John, and several if not all of his 6 brothers attended Redfield. Several other NSW politicians are also affiliated with Redfield, including: Liberal MLA Nathaniel Smith – Government Whip[25], MLC Damien Tudehope — Finance Minister[26]; and Labor MLC Greg Donnelly[26]. Beginning at time 36.40m, “Purity” discusses Redfield College’s involvement educating boys[23], including a snippet from a July 2000 ABC Compass program (that I have been unable to source) where Dom’s parents John and Anne clearly say they are supernumerary members of Opus Dei and what this means to them.

Unavoidably, Dom Perrottet’s schooling would have been heavily imbued by Opus Dei’s teachings. Redfield College, where he was one of the top students and school captain, was supervised by Opus Dei “chaplains”. Dom was active in student politics as a Young Liberal while studying commerce and law at the University of Sydney.

While studying at Sydney Uni and working the Young Liberals, he lived in Warrane College[27] at University of NSW (that also strongly influenced his father[19]). Warrane was also established by Opus Dei members[28],[29] where “The ethos of the College was to be closely associated with the principles and values of Catholic doctrine;” as continues today[30] (see also Opus Dei’s current point of view[31] on Warrane). Dom Perrottet in his own words describes (some of) his Warrane experiences{32]. His father, John[19], and at least five of his seven brothers[33], John, Gabriel, Alex, Charles, and Oliver[34], were also residents at Warrane during their university days. Alex, is currently Dean of the College, and was previously an associate dean there[35]. According to his father, at least one of Dominic’s brothers (probably Alex) is an Opus Dei “member” (a celibate “numerary“?[36]).

NSW’s Liberal Party fascist connections to Dominic Perrottet via Lyenko Urbanchich and David Clarke

The Fascist influence (plus yet another another Opus Dei thread in Dom Perrottet’s background) is likely via David Clarke (b. 1947), a rabid anti-communist and beginning in 2002, a Young Liberal promoter of the religious right/’fascist’ “Uglies” faction[37] in the Liberal Party. Clarke’s suspected fascism was probably enhanced by his close association with (and probably mentoring by) the notorious Nazi collaborator/sympathizer Lyenko Urbanchich. From the mid 1960’s through his death in 2006, Urbanchich was a major power broker and branch stacker on the extreme right of the NSW Liberal party[37]. Both Clarke and Urbanchich worked together as members of the State Executive of the Liberal Party.

Guided by or working closely with Urbanchich, Clarke quickly became an accomplished branch stacker for the religious right[38], and was elected to the NSW parliament in 2003, where he remained until 2019.[16] While not a member, David Clarke is a co-operator[39] of the Opus Dei “personal prelature”[40] of the Roman Catholic Church (see also, Clarke’s own description of his involvement with Opus Dei[41],[41a]). Brought up as an Anglican, Clarke was drawn to Opus Dei’s version of Catholicism by his wife, a member of Opus Dei.[42]

A 2007 article by Mike Steketee in the Australian[43] summarizes Urbanchich and Clarke’s creation of the Uglies’ faction and their involvement in shaping the Liberal Party’s far right around the time Perrottet was beginning his close involvement with the Young Liberals:

04/10/2007 – The Australian: Liberal loss may lead party into arid zealotry[43]

An insight into the group that controls the NSW party comes in historian Ian Hancock’s new book The Liberals – the NSW division 1945-2000 (The Federation Press). Informed by access to Liberal Party records as well as ASIO files, it is a story of passionate personalities fighting for the party’s soul against more sober-minded pragmatists. One of the former is David Clarke, now a NSW Legislative Council MP and right-wing leader instrumental in his faction’s recent successes. Little known outside the party, a parliamentary career and public profile always have run a long second to Clarke’s dedication to moulding the Liberals to his own image of a true conservative party .

Hancock writes that in 1970 an ASIO informant saw Clarke and Lyenko Urbanchich, who was to become one of the NSW party’s most controversial members, at a meeting of the Australia-Rhodesia Association addressed by the anti-Semitic Eric Butler of the Australian League of Rights.

Clarke was a vice-president of the association, as well as of the Australia-Chile Society. Clarke’s obsession at the time was with fighting communism and he was prepared to overlook the shortcomings of white minority governments in Africa, as well as what became the brutal dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, in pursuit of his cause.

Urbanchich was the first president of the Liberal Ethnic Council in 1978 and Clarke became one of its executive members. The following year, the party conducted an inquiry into allegations against Urbanchich and found that articles he had written as a Slovene nationalist in the 1940s contained “virulently anti-Semitic propaganda”. The party’s state executive recommended his expulsion but the vote at state council fell [just] short of the 60 per cent majority required.

During the controversy, Clarke proposed a public rally in support of Urbanchich, which he predicted would be attended by between 5000 and 7000 people, including 3500 Croatians. Hancock observes: “This perhaps was the first occasion in the party’s history where an office bearer thought it appropriate to utilise ethnic warriors for a political battle.”

The point of this history is that it captures Clarke as an ideologue whose zeal tends to lead him towards extreme positions. With the communist dragon slain, he and his followers have turned their attention to a moral crusade. One of [Clarke’s] disciples is Alex Hawke, whose election as Young Liberal president in NSW in 2002 [-2005, succeeded by Dominic Perrottet in 2006, who then served on the Liberal Party State Executive from 2008 to 2011] ended two decades of control by the moderates. [Hawke] went on to Clarke’s staff before toppling sitting federal Liberal MP Alan Cadman to gain preselection for the safe Sydney seat of Mitchell for the coming election….

Read the complete article….

Besides the above excerpt from the Australian, the Sydney Morning Herald from 2005 provides more early detail on Clarke’s relationship with Urbanchich:

10/10/2005 – Sydney Morning Herald: A right wing and a prayer[44]

Whatever the truth about David John Clarke, … the upper house MP is not only the leader of the most powerful factional force inside the NSW Liberal Party but … this role is the culmination of a deliberate, unswerving political and recruitment strategy which began four decades ago – and has now come to a triumphant fruition.

“The far right have never had such dominance. They control more than 70 per cent of the executive, the Women’s Council, the Young Liberals and now, they – and David Clarke – control the leader,” says a senior Liberal Party official.

To really get a sense of who Clarke is – and what shaped his political beliefs – it is necessary to wind back to the mid-1960s. Clarke, then a conservative and politically active law student, joined a group called the Fifty Club, whose main aim was to provide a forum for anti-communist campaigners.

The club was headed by Ljenko Urbancic, who had migrated to Australia in 1950 and became active around the Liberals’ migrant advisory council, then a driving force in the recruitment of anti-communists, particularly from central and eastern Europe. Many had collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, according to the historian Mark Aarons.

Urbancic, who was later exposed as a former Nazi propagandist, was a charismatic figure and, with a handful of others, worked meticulously to create an active, far-right bloc within the Liberal Party. The first evidence of their activities emerged in 1966 when they launched a vicious campaign against the Sydney lawyer Ted St John, a candidate in the Warringah by-election. He was pilloried by the faction as a “white traitor”, his “crime” the support of black political prisoners under apartheid in South Africa.

Clarke was then also an office bearer of the Australia Rhodesia Association, a role he would retain until the late 1970s. The faction had also launched its first major foray to seize strong representation on the party’s 800-strong state council, using the recruitment strategies born in the ’50s of targeting recently arrived migrants, particularly those fleeing communist regimes, to stack branches and increase its control.

By this time, the old migrant advisory council had evolved into an autonomous party division, known as the Liberal Ethnic Council, becoming the body which provided Urbancic, Clarke and others with a formal vehicle to harness Sydney’s migrant communities.

Read the complete article….

Early relations between Urbanchich and Clarke are further discussed in Saleam’s University of Sydney PhD thesis covering the years 1975-1995[45] [search independently within the document for “Urbanchich” or “Clarke”]. Urbanchich’s direct influences on the NSW Liberal Party prior to 2000 are detailed in debates recorded in NSW and Federal Hansards. Urbanchich’s Nazi connections are considered in most detail in the Australian Senate Hansard Adjournment Debates of 04/09/1980[46] [search in the document for “Urbanchich”]. Some of this history also involving Clarke is discussed in the NSW Legislative Council Hansard (24/09/1997) by the Hon. P. T. PRIMROSE in his contribution to the Governors Speech: Address in Reply[47] [search in the document for “Urbanchich” or “Clarke”].

March 2003 to March 2019:[16] David Clarke the Political Manipulator: Member of NSW Legislative Council

Reports of Dominic Perrottet’s early formal relationships with David Clarke are possibly confused by the fact that his brother, Charles Perrottet, was Clarke’s Chief of Staff at least up to early November 2009, and was heavily involved in Young Liberal political skullduggery.[48] As the following history will show, Clarke’s association with at least two more of Dominic’s brothers and other religious extremists on the far-right of the state (and the federal Liberal Party in NSW), including Dominic, was close and strong up to and probably including the lead up to the 2019 state election.

Other than the Perrottets, several other players on the far right of the NSW Liberals have also been closely associated or worked with Clarke.

  • Kyle Kutasi (Clarke’s son-in-law) heavily involved in Young Liberal branch stacking exercises and other dubious acts. His roles will be discussed below
  • Damien Tudehope (NSW MLC, until last week Finance Minister, and father of) Thomas Tudehope (son) were others who will also be discussed below closely involved with Clarke.
  • Federal MP, Alex Hawke[49] (raised Anglican, now Hillsong Pentecostalist) was closely associated with Clarke into Clarke’s first term in the Legislative Council. Probably with Clarke’s help, Hawke was President of the NSW Young Liberals from 2002 to 2005[49a], Federal President in 2005 and 2006[50], and elected to the Australian Parliament for Mitchel, NSW in 2007 to the present. (Dominic Perrottet was only 22 years old when he replaced Hawke as NSW Young Liberals President in 2006[49a]). Hawke also served on Clarke’s staff and helped with controversial mass recruitments (i.e., branch stacking) in north-west Sydney before the previous state elections[51].

From here on in this essay I will use media clippings to tell the story in their words, not mine.

An ABC Stateline program exposed some of Hawke’s activities, apparently for Clarke.

02/09/2005 – ABC Stateline: Extremists[51a]

QUENTIN DEMPSTER: … The apparent suicide attempt of John Brogden on Tuesday night – the day after his resignation as leader of the Opposition and State Parliamentary Liberal Party – has raised serious questions about the use of dirt files – or adverse information reflecting on character – in John Brogden’s political destruction and personal despair. … David Penberthy, editor of the ‘Daily Telegraph’, under attack this week, has said that his paper’s stories about Mr Brogden’s behaviour, quote: “Wouldn’t be appearing, if there weren’t people inside the Liberal Party who were trying to get them out,” unquote. Who were these people inside the Liberal Party? Journalists protect their sources, so we’ll probably never know for sure. Just who’s behind the political destruction of John Brogden and the extent to which journalists have allowed themselves to be used in that process – they’re the main issues to emerge from this dramatic week. And tonight a serving Liberal Party MP, Patricia Forsythe, MLC, says extremists and zealots of the religious right are taking over the party.

QUENTIN DEMPSTER: Faced with damning headlines arising from his public admission of inappropriate behaviour and a racist remark at a social function on July 29, on Monday at 11am opposition and Liberal leader John Brogden resigned.

JOHN BROGDEN: The majority of my colleagues have urged me to stay and their loyalty this morning has been absolutely outstanding. That’s exactly why I am resigning. Their loyalty to me must be returned by my loyalty to the Liberal Party.

QUENTIN DEMPSTER: It was a humiliating end to the 36-year-old’s leadership. But through his oft-repeated and abject apologies about his behaviour, which had occurred one month before, Mr John Brogden’s suspicions about Liberal Party back room machinations emerged in this context.

REPORTER: Are you prepared to say now that there was no-one in the Liberal Party working against you on this story?

JOHN BROGDEN: I think that’s pretty clear that that was the case.

REPORTER: That no-one in the Liberal Party…

JOHN BROGDEN: No, that they were.

REPORTER: That they were spreading?

JOHN BROGDEN: I think that’s pretty clear. One of them has been named in today’s media – the Federal President of the Young Liberal Movement, Alex Hawke – has been named as pushing it. He needs to take a long hard look at himself.

QUENTIN DEMPSTER: In a statement that day, Alexander Hawke, Federal President of the Young Liberal Movement of Australia, issued a blanket denial of any involvement the media reports that led to the exposure of John Brogden’s behaviour.

STATEMENT BY ALEXANDER HAWKE, 29 AUGUST 2005: The allegations that I in any way pushed this or assisted this affair are false. I have not spoken to a single journalist, on or off the record about this matter.”

QUENTIN DEMPSTER: Alex Hawke works for Liberal Party Upper House member David Clarke. Former State, now Federal Liberal Bruce Baird has confirmed now-widespread reporting that Mr Clarke and Mr Hawke have been organising for an emerging right faction within the parliamentary and organisational wings of the State Liberal Party. In May, the faction won a narrow majority on the party’s 20-member state executive. Events this week have confirmed that the power of the moderate parliamentary faction known as “The Group” has now been eclipsed. Both Mr Hawke and Mr Clarke have declined Stateline’s request for interviews. Like Mr Hawke, Mr Clarke has denied any involvement in the exposure of Mr Brogden’s behaviour. David Clarke entered the Upper House on the Liberal ticket at the 2003 State election. In his maiden speech he declared himself to be a strong Christian, a conservative, a constitutional monarchist, opposed to institutionalising homosexual concepts, such as same-sex marriage, and unchangeable opposition to the culture of abortion and human embryo stem cell research and compulsory student unionism. David Clarke, 58, a devotee of the Catholic Church’s Opus Dei order has been a life-long member of the Liberal Party. It’s not the first time he’s been involved in controversy. In the late 1970s, he was on the Liberal’s ethnic council and was pictured in a 1989 book which covered the political activism of Lyenko Urbanchich and his organisational work to develop an extreme right-wing network in Australia.

QUENTIN DEMPSTER: When you say extremists and zealots, are you prepared to name the extremists and zealots?

PATRICIA FORSYTHE: Look, I’m prepared to say that within the parliamentary party I am very fearful of the power of David Clarke.


PATRICIA FORSYTHE: Because he has around him a significant group of people who are absolutely fixated on their agenda, and a very narrow agenda. When I talk of extremism and I talk of zealots, I’m talking about a group of people who in my view seem to lack a focus on normal human decency of tolerance, and the sort of compassion that most of us see is at the heart of the liberalism. It’s the basis upon which we operate, as individuals standing up for the rights of individuals – that’s not what these people are about. They’re trying to shift the agenda of the Liberal Party. I’ve been in the Liberal Party all my adult life. I believe my policies are grounded in good liberal principles. And I don’t see that in many of these people.

QUENTIN DEMPSTER: It’s a hard right agenda. It usually goes to social issues like abortion, same sex marriage, euthanasia, homosexuality, things like that. It’s the religious right. Is that what you’re talking about?

PATRICIA FORSYTHE: Yes, at the heart of it is a religious right, but it seems to be an extreme religious right, because people are invoking religion and yet my understanding of religion is also one of tolerance and compassion. What is lacking in this agenda is any sense of tolerance and compassion. You are either with them on all of those policies or they want to take you out.

Read the complete article….

2006: In the run-up to 2006, Clarke’s agents are working to take over branches to control the Liberal Party

Janine Cohen’s 2006 report for ABC Four Corners explores how genuinely democratic branches were infiltrated and turned into puppets of the religofaschistic extreme right of the Liberal Party, beginning with the Petersham-Lewisham branch in the western suburbs of Sydney that had been nurtured by the Mihic family for more than 50 years[52]:

17/07/2006 – ABC FOUR CORNERS: The Right Stuff[52]

JANINE COHEN: Betty Mihic and her family ran the Petersham-Lewisham branch in the western suburbs of Sydney for more than 50 years. In 2004 the Prime Minister presented the 78 year old and her sister Anne with a meritorious award for their services to the party. How much have you loved your local branch of the Liberal Party?

BETTY MIHIC: Oh, it’s been the main part of my life really, and my sister. We just loved it.

JANINE COHEN: Then one day a young stranger named Kyle Kutasi started attending the Petersham-Lewisham branch meetings. He was asked if he knew any factional players in New South Wales, and he said he didn’t. On the day of the 2005 Petersham-Lewisham branch annual general meeting, Betty Mihic had baked cakes and made tea.

KEN HENDERSON, NSW LIBERAL STATE EXECUTIVE (1995-2000): At 2:30 on a Sunday afternoon about 20 people congregated on the footpath, had a little meeting, marched down the hallway.

ELLEN LIAUW, LIBERAL PARTY BRANCH MEMBER: Pretty much after we sat down, Kyle Kutasi, his entourage arrived and it was also Alex Hawke and Kyle’s parents and a few other people that I obviously didn’t know.

KEN HENDERSON, NSW LIBERAL STATE EXECUTIVE (1995-2000): A Young Liberal stood at the end of a dining room table with his arms folded in an aggressive sort of manner and challenged every step of the way the right of people to vote.

ELLEN LIAUW, LIBERAL PARTY BRANCH MEMBER: It just turned icy. You could tell that there was some sort of a confrontation.

KEN HENDERSON, NSW LIBERAL STATE EXECUTIVE (1995-2000): It was the most distasteful things I’ve ever seen in all my time in politics.

ELLEN LIAUW, LIBERAL PARTY BRANCH MEMBER: They just snapped people, they wouldn’t allow people to finish talking. If somebody made a point or tried to say something, they were pretty much talked down.

JANINE COHEN: Kyle Kutasi and his supporters took over all the positions in the branch. Kutasi took over from Bette Mihic as president.

KEN HENDERSON, NSW LIBERAL STATE EXECUTIVE (1995-2000): When it was all over they grabbed the papers, they marched out the door and you had these little old ladies and gentlemen sitting there with the afternoon tea ready on the side table just absolutely in shock and horrified at what had gone on.

ELLEN LIAUW, LIBERAL PARTY BRANCH MEMBER: She was in shock. I do remember another lady was crying. Her husband, Betty’s husband, was sort of slumped over the side of a cupboard.

JANINE COHEN: According to some of those at Betty Mihic’s branch that day similar takeovers are happening all over New South Wales. They say that Kutasi was a sleeper, working on behalf of the party’s right-wing faction, that far from not knowing factional leaders he is close to – and was following a strategy devised – by this man, David Clarke.

ELLEN LIAUW, LIBERAL PARTY BRANCH MEMBER: It’s very difficult to protect a branch from someone like Kyle, especially if they slowly muscle in and then bring other friends in with them. How do you protect a branch?

JANINE COHEN: For the last few years an obscure backbencher has been the subject of speculation by New South Wales political observers. Three years ago David Clarke was elected to the State’s Upper House. He’s a moral conservative and a devotee of Opus Dei.

MICHAEL OSBORNE, NSW LIBERAL STATE PRESIDENT (1996-1999): Well, my experience with David Clarke and at the time was that he had views which were, in my opinion, intolerant towards religion, views which were not compatible with the modern role of women as the broader community sees it, and views on abortion that are not compatible with the broader community’s views.

JANINE COHEN: Few dispute Clarke’s right to hold hardline opinions within a broad conservative movement. What his opponents are concerned about is his apparently determined campaign to capture the party’s organisation and shift the New South Wales Liberal Party to what was once its right-wing fringe. Clarke’s faction this year gained absolute control of the all-powerful State Executive of the Liberal Party. Clarke says he has no religious agenda for the party. His critics disagree.

JANINE COHEN: Clarke first surfaced in the ’70s as a member of the right-wing liberal group called by their enemies the ‘Uglies’. The Uglies were led by Lyenko Urbanchich, a migrant who had fled Slovenia after World War II.

IAN HANCOCK, LIBERAL PARTY MEMBER AND ANU HISTORIAN: He stood for the preservation of the things that he thought were essential to Australian democracy, namely the monarchy, the family, old values. I mean, he would be opposed to anything, as all the right wing were, to homosexual law reform, to drug reform, to feminism, to removal of censorship to pornography, the whole range of those things which were identified as Liberal trendyism.

JANINE COHEN: Urbanchich and his supporters started branch stacking in the Liberal Party.

IAN HANCOCK, LIBERAL PARTY MEMBER AND ANU HISTORIAN: I think there is evidence in the Liberal Party files of the Uglies engaging in forming and stacking branches and there is also evidence of senior Liberals within those branches feeling as if they no longer belonged. I think what you do have direct evidence of them engaging in, is intimidation. And there were plenty of examples of that.

CHRISTOPHER PUPLICK, FORMER LIBERAL SENATOR, NSW: The Uglies were the beginning of an attempt by people to penetrate the Liberal Party, which led to a reaction. Now, they were well organised. They were, in fact, a faction that didn’t have the Liberal Party’s best interests at heart.

RECORDING: Are there Nazis in Australia? Are there Nazis in Australia?

JANINE COHEN: The hatred between the Uglies and The Group intensified in 1979, after an ABC documentary exposed Urbanchich as a Nazi propagandist, who’d written a series of anti-Semitic articles in Slovenia during World War II. Urbanchich claimed the articles had been doctored by the Nazis. His friend and supporter, lawyer David Clarke, gave him legal advice.

JOHN DOWD, NSW LIBERAL LEADER (1981-83): David Clarke was not a high-profile person at that stage. He did not express views. He was not seen up front. He was perceived as a lieutenant who carried out the views of Urbanchich and co in their branch stacking and endeavouring to take control of a large measure of the party.

JANINE COHEN: A move within the Liberal Party’s State Executive to expel Urbanchich failed by a handful of votes to get the 60% majority needed. David Clarke reportedly organised the numbers to stop Urbanchich’s expulsion for writing the articles.

IAN HANCOCK, LIBERAL PARTY MEMBER AND ANU HISTORIAN: But there did seem to me, I must say, looking at the evidence that’s available on the Liberal Party records, that there’s a fair case for saying that he wrote a series of anti-Semitic – quite ferociously anti-Semitic – articles around 1944.

JANINE COHEN: In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Lyenko Urbanchich and David Clarke’s power base waned. The Group, known today as the moderates, controlled the Liberal Party in New South Wales for many years. They dominated the State Executive and ran the party, controlling many preselections.

IAN HANCOCK, LIBERAL PARTY MEMBER AND ANU HISTORIAN: They played a zero sum game of politics. It didn’t allow for broad church didn’t allow for any right-winger to go on the ticket, despite Nick Greiner’s pleas that they should. I would say that one of the problems The Group has got since then came from that moment when they behaved exclusively, instead of inclusively.

JANINE COHEN: Then in 2003, David Clarke launched his public political career, winning a seat in the New South Wales Upper House. But Clarke had already shown a keen interest in the party membership most crucial to the future – its young people.

JOHN HYDE PAGE, FORMER YOUNG LIBERAL: In about the year 2000, we started seeing David Clarke coming along to Young Liberal meetings, just sort of maintaining this baleful silence somewhere in the background. But as the power of the right wing within the organisation grew, and their numbers grew, obviously his involvement in the decisions of the organisation became much more prominent.

MICHAEL OSBORNE, NSW LIBERAL STATE PRESIDENT (1996-1999): If the group controlled by David Clarke are promoting people within the Liberal Party, within the Young Liberals, it’s almost inevitable that they will seek to promote the same views that Clarke and his colleagues espouse.

JANINE COHEN: In 2003, one of Clarke’s proteges and a personal staffer, Alex Hawke, won for the second consecutive year the presidency of the New South Wales Young Liberals. Traditionally progressive, NSW Young Liberals under Hawke did a backflip on social policy. Clarke’s critics say it’s the strongest evidence yet of his views starting to effect policy agenda.

JOHN HYDE PAGE, FORMER YOUNG LIBERAL: Everything about it’s changed, the whole outlook of the organisation. A few years ago, an organisation that was pro-republic, pro-gay rights, sort of very sympathetic to the concerns of minorities and women, now an organisation that’s rabidly conservative.

JANINE COHEN: Young Liberals are used by both the right faction and the moderates as the foot soldiers in factional warfare in which control goes to the faction which has the most branches. John Hyde Page used to stack branches in the wealthy harbourside suburbs of Sydney. He says he did it for the moderate faction, which responded to the right with its own power play. He’s written a book about his experiences, soon to be released. What is branch stacking? …

[JOHN HYDE PAGE gives a detailed explanation of what branch stacking is, how it works, and its results from his own extensive personal experience doing it for the moderate “Group” and from his observations of it being done by the religiofascists, and especially Kyle Kutasi, on the extreme right.]

JANINE COHEN: Last year, three people were suspended by the Liberal Party for paying for the renewal of other people’s memberships. The most extreme of those cases involved Kyle Kutasi, the man who turned up at Betty Mihic’s branch. In breach of party rules, he renewed multiple memberships using one credit card. It’s unclear whose credit card he was using.

JOHN HYDE PAGE, FORMER YOUNG LIBERAL: He was suspended from the Liberal Party for membership rorts which were so profound and blatant that even the right wing had to support an expulsion motion to get him out of the party for at least a year.

JANINE COHEN: Kyle Kutasi is reportedly engaged to David Clarke’s daughter, Anne Marie, and has been a major branch stacker for the right wing. Four Corners has statement and statutory declarations from people who have complained that Kutasi has been abusive and intimidating to fellow Liberals. Kutasi claims that Four Corners has been misled by his political rivals. …

JANINE COHEN: And it was in 2005, after taking over many other branches, that Kyle Kutasi and the right turn their sights on the Petersham-Lewisham branch. Betty Mihic complained in a letter to the party that her branch had been targeted for take-over by David Clarke “As part of the extreme right wing fundamentalist push “to take over the Liberal Party.” She said the tactics used were frightening, intimidating and members were treated aggressively. Betty Mihic said the tactics were similar to those she observed the last time David Clarke and Lyenko Urbanchich attempted to take over the New South Wales Party in the 1970s. The letter was leaked to Four Corners but Betty Mihic refused to discuss it. Betty, in her letter, actually says they have an extreme-right agenda, or religious agenda. Is that your view?

KEN HENDERSON, NSW LIBERAL STATE EXECUTIVE (1995-2000): I would take that view as well. From my experience, yes.

JANINE COHEN: Ken Henderson knows Betty Mihic well. He was regional Liberal Party president for five years, and Betty Mihic’s branch was under his supervision. He’s a conservative Liberal and a former member of Clarke’s inner circle. Is this happening in other branches across New South Wales?

KEN HENDERSON, NSW LIBERAL STATE EXECUTIVE (1995-2000): I believe so. I believe it’s becoming quite common now.

[After a long discussion of branch stacking in the lead up to 2006, the transcript concludes as follows:]

JANINE COHEN: Don’t you think ordinary supporters of the Liberal Party would be shocked about all this? Don’t you think they think that people who belong to the State Council would be voting themselves?

MICHAEL DARBY, LIBERAL PARTY FEDERAL COUNCIL: What planet are you from? People really expect political parties to function like political parties.

DR JOHN HEWSON, FEDERAL LIBERAL LEADER (1990-1994): If it’s a well-founded accusation, there should be an inquiry. And I think the Liberal Party ought to be pretty concerned about any of those claims.

JANINE COHEN: In this year’s State Executive election, the right faction won an even greater majority – an unprecedented 80% of the vote. This means it now has the power to suspend sections of the party’s constitution. How do you think the right gained such a huge majority on the State Executive?

FRAN QUINN, NSW LIBERAL STATE EXECUTIVE (1997-2002) Through branch stacking.

JANINE COHEN: And blank ballots?

FRAN QUINN, NSW LIBERAL STATE EXECUTIVE (1997-2002) And blank ballots. Yes.

JANINE COHEN: Did you think it would ever come to this?

FRAN QUINN, NSW LIBERAL STATE EXECUTIVE (1997-2002) No. Not to this extent anyway.

JANINE COHEN: Four Corners spoke to more than 100 Liberals during the making of this program. Some party figures portray the situation as normal political jousting. State leader Peter Debnam and senior party officials declined to be interviewed. The concern for many Liberals is that the NSW party is at risk of no longer being a broad church.

DR JOHN HEWSON, FEDERAL LIBERAL LEADER (1990-1994): It’s the hardline right religious element that you should worry about, in my view, ’cause they have no concept of the broader realities in the electorate.

JANINE COHEN: Furthermore, they fear that branch stacking, vote rigging and factional control of preselections is eroding the integrity of the party. What’s at stake, they say, is democracy within the party.

MICHAEL OSBORNE, NSW LIBERAL STATE PRESIDENT (1996-1999): It requires a coalition to be formed between the parliamentary leadership and the organisational leadership to stop it, to make sure the influx of hundreds of new members into a branch, the obvious targeting of areas is stopped and that the people who are responsible for it are, in one way or another, prevented from doing that – that’s what’s required.

ELLEN LIAUW, LIBERAL PARTY BRANCH MEMBER: I guess I’m afraid for the future of the Liberal Party because we find it very difficult now to get people to turn up on election days. What’s going to happen if we disenfranchise people like Betty? Nobody will be turning up. You might was well stick a ‘how to vote Liberal’ card on the side of a door and leave it at that, and hope for the best.

Read the complete transcript….

The above extract leaves a lot out – the whole story of how ‘undemocratic’ the preselection process can be if the only people toeing the religiofascistic hard line can be preselected for election. And in 2023 this kind of denial of democracy is still plaguing this month’s state election….

2009: Young Liberals in action during the Clarke/Hawke split

Some exchanges in the July 21 runup to the Sydney University Liberal Club AGM give some idea of how far right Young Liberals thought about democracy worked to fix elections.

22/07/2009 – VEX NEWS: Faction Fight : NSW Liberal Right torn apart by feud[53]

The split in the NSW Liberal Right continues to develop in new and mysterious ways.

Forces aligned with upper house MP David Clarke and a younger brigade associated with Alex Hawke MP continue to fight for dominance. Some see it as an inevitable generational divide taking form, others see it as an epic struggle between small government libertarian types and more socially conservative Christian true believers.

VEXNEWS received an email that touched on some recent events in NSW which gives you an indication of the depth of feeling between the two camps. …

Read the complete discussion…. Search text for “Urbachich”, “Clarke”, “Hawke”, “Perrottet” (Charles / Dominic), Kutas”

July 27 – Young Liberal correspondence gives an “after action review” of the battle for the presidency of the Sydney University Liberal Club.

28/07/2009 – VEX NEWS: Return of the Uglies[54]

THE RETURN OF THE UGLIES: NSW Liberal Hard Right MPs invade Sydney Uni Liberal Club and fail

Thinking of the Warrane College set Blog published by Landeryou (Vex news – Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet. Associated with former factional leader David Clarke, Perrottet attended the Opus Dei-run Redfield College — where one of the men behind the “Children’s Future” flyer teaches. Perrottet has also advocated for cuts to pensions to stop the state “acting as a substitute for the family“.)

Read the complete discussion…. Search text for “Opus Dei”, “Clarke”, “Hawke”, “Perrottet” (Charles/Charlie, Dominic/Dom

An overview of the larger and continuing civil war in 2009 between the recently split Clarke and Hawke factions on the far right of Liberal Party is provided by the Sydney Morning Herald.

07/11/2009 – Sydney Morning Herald: Down and Dirty in the Liberal Party[55]

The war between David Clarke and his one-time protege, Alex Hawke, for political control in north-west Sydney has taken a surreal turn:

… The target was Alex Hawke, a 32-year-old federal backbencher whose footsoldiers are battling for control of Liberal branches in Sydney’s north-west, where Hawke’s seat of Mitchell is centred. Their rivals are the forces of state upper house member David Clarke, a leader of the ultra-conservative Catholic wing of the party and Hawke’s former employer and mentor.

… The YouTube posting [illustrates] this. … It manipulates the 2004 German film Downfall and portrays an enraged and bunkered Hitler ranting at cowed lieutenants. Captions purport to translate the exchange as an attack by Hawke (as Hitler) on his deputies for failing to wipe out the Clarke forces. [Note: The video is no longer available] …

The YouTube posting … manipulates the 2004 German film Downfall and portrays an enraged and bunkered Hitler ranting at cowed lieutenants. Captions purport to translate the exchange as an attack by Hawke (as Hitler) on his deputies for failing to wipe out the Clarke forces. An email chain seen by the Herald seems to link the clip to a junior Turnbull staffer, Thomas Tudehope, and a key Clarke staffer, Charles Perrottet, though both have denied it. The Herald does not suggest involvement or knowledge by Turnbull or Clarke, and Hawke slammed the video as an ”anonymous smear”.”

A Hawke ally says: ”The problem is that there is a perception in the community that there is an extreme group of Catholic fundamentalists trying to take control of the party.”

[Additionally, on September 30, 40-odd Clarke supporters turned up to a Baulkham Hills Young Liberals meeting at Hawke’s electorate office. Hawke ordered staff to call police, saying the new arrivals intended to cause trouble. Abrams, who arrived after the initial confrontation, told supporters Hawke blatantly tried to exclude new members who might have challenged Hawke’s control of the branch. But a Hawke supporter says Clarke forces were trying to secure Clarke ally, Damien Tudehope (father of Turnbull staffer Thomas [Tudehope]), into the state seat of Baulkham Hills.

… [The stacking and dirty tricks go on!… and on!]

Read the complete article….

The Hitler parody video led to the resignations of two operatives from their Liberal Party staff positions: Charles Perrottet (Dominic’s most involved brother working for Clarke) and Thomas Tudehope (Damien Tudehope’s son and online media advisor to Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull). The fallout also appears to have led to the cancellation of a ‘peace treaty meeting’ between the party’s state president, Nick Campbell, Hawke, Clarke, and prominent right-winger, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells.[56]

2010: Clarke successfully continues his controlling influence on the religiofascist right wing

In the battle to control the right wing of the Liberal Party, Alex Hawke’s forces failed to take preselection away from David Clarke in the Legislative Council’s North West Province, giving him another 8 years to influence and shape the Liberal Party’s religiofascistic extreme right wing.

20/02/2010: Sydney Morning Herald – Religious right chief defeats challenger[57]

THE Liberal Party powerbroker David Clarke – known as the leader of the ”religious right” – survived a challenge for his upper house seat last night led by his former lieutenant Alex Hawke, which will ensure he can serve in the Legislative Council for another eight years.”

Read the complete article….

Beyond protecting his own incumbency, Clarke worked to extend his ‘influence’ by ensuring that his collaborators were preselected in as many districts as possible. For example, Dominic Perrottet, was preselected in Castle Hill over the wealthy Ashley Pittard, Vice Chairman of the Liberal Party Finance Committee and has donated more than $360,000 to the Liberal Party since 2007,[58] seemingly demonstrating that Perrottet’s allegiance to Clarke’s dogmas was more important than funding election campaigns.

An ABC News report documents some of Clarke’s other successes and failures in his war with Hawke in the run-up to the 2011 election.

15/11/2010 – ABC NEWS: The Liberals’ preselection battles have not derailed their campaign[59]

… [T]he Liberal Party’s head office [has used] new powers to override the branches – the first time it has ever done so.

“It is only in rare circumstances that State Executive would intervene and overrule the local branch members. We believe in this instance, such action is warranted,” said Liberal State President Natasha Maclaren-Jones.

Factional unrest in the seat of Baulkham Hills led one candidate, Damien Tudehope [a Clarke operative elected to Parliament in 2019], to take action in the New South Wales Supreme Court.

Mr Tudehope tried unsuccessfully to delay the preselection contest over a dispute about the eligibility of some branch members to vote.

In the neighbouring seat of Castle Hill a dirt sheet on the candidate Ashley Pittard was circulated to some journalists. Mr Pittard ultimately lost to Dominic Perrottet.

There were also dummy spits by two losing candidates in the Vaucluse preselection.

It is not surprising there has been fierce competition for seats in the state Liberal Party – with the Coalition apparently on track for victory in March 2011.

It shows high-quality people are willing to stand for the party because they want to be part of a Coalition Government.

Labor on the other hand has struggled to attract high quality candidates – something the ALP strategist Bruce Hawker conceded last week.

“It has been a long time since we have really gone out of our way to find people who can bring really highly skilled and finely tuned skills to the political process in New South Wales,” Mr Hawker told 702 ABC Sydney.

“We haven’t had a QC [Queen’s Counsel] for example drawn into the ranks of the party since the late Jeff Shaw was recruited into the Upper House by Bob Carr in the mid-1990s.”

Yesterday the Liberal Party was able to achieve what Mr Hawker complained the Labor Party has been unable to do.

In the seat of Cronulla the Liberal Party preselected the barrister Mark Speakman SC (Senior Counsel – equivalent to a QC).

While factional fighting over preselections has boiled over in some seats it has not derailed the Liberals, or led to World War Three as some warned.

The disputes did lead to (limited) negative media coverage, but the good news for the Liberal Party is the messy work is now done well ahead of polling day.

Read the complete article….

2011: Clarke’s religiofascist influence ensures that Dominic Perrottet was preselected to and won the lower house seat of Castle Hill[60]

26/03/2011 – Crikey: NSW State Election 2011: Castle Hill

Castle Hill is a narrow south-to-north electorate located 25 kilometres north-west of the Sydney city centre, extending from Carlingford north to Castle Hill itself. It is the successor to the electorate of The Hills which was abolished at the redistribution before the 2007 election. The Hills was created at the 1962 election when it was won by Max Ruddock, father of Philip, who held the seat until 1976. Michael Richardson became member at a 1993 by-election after his predecessor Tony Packard was convicted of using surveillance devices on customers at his car yard. After surviving repeated preselection challenges over the years, most recently before the 2007 election by Australian Family Association spokesman Damien Tudehope (who more recently sought preselection in Baulkham Hills), Richardson announced he would not seek another term in mid-2010. [Tudehope was finally elected to the Legislative Assembly for Epping in 2015].

The ensuing preselection developed as yet another turf war between the David Clarke and Alex Hawke forces of the Right. The former favoured Dominic Perrottet, political staffer and factional operative, who was said to be organising for a move against Richardson before his retirement announcement. The Hawke camp’s candidate was Ashley Pittard, fund manager to Frank Lowy. The faction was reportedly deeply concerned at the prospect of having a Clarke man working turf covered by Hawke’s electorate of Mitchell, and sought a deal with the moderates in exchange for backing of their candidate Matthew Kean in Hornsby. Perrottet nonetheless prevailed and Pittard quit the party, which reportedly came as a blow in light of his fundraising record.



Even before a Tudehope managed to be elected to high office, the evidence suggests that this conservative Catholic family were propagating David Clarke’s factional influences behind the scenes in the Liberal governments. Frances Jones’ Catholic Connection blog focusing on the roles Damien Tudehope and his brother, Anthony, played in association with the prosecution of Catholic priest Father Finian Egan, charged with the sexual abuse of four children in two parishes near Sydney during a 15-year period in the 1970s and ’80s.

08/07/2012 – SMH: Charged priest’s political link[61]

The NSW Attorney-General, Greg Smith, is under fire for letting a senior staff member with links to Father Finian Egan block the release of government documents relating to the alleged paedophile priest.

Damien Tudehope, Mr Smith’s chief of staff, refused access to the documents despite once having worked as Father Egan’s solicitor. The priest was arrested in May and charged with multiple sex offences against boys and girls stretching back decades.

Mr Tudehope’s brother Anthony Tudehope, a barrister, attended the police station with the Catholic priest when he was charged.

Mr Smith used to attend Father Egan’s church in Carlingford and thanked him in his inaugural speech to Parliament for his ”Irish wit and pastoral devotion to his flock”. …

Read the complete article….


Mike Baird appointed PM. In the Cabinet, David Clarke remains Parliamentary Secretary for Justice; Dominic Perrottet, a Clarke protege, is appointed Finance Minister.

26/04/2014 – SMH: Onward Christian soldier- a premier’s faith[62]

As Mike Baird moved into the Premier’s office this week so did a significant influence: Jesus Christ.

Mr Baird is a proud and committed Christian who once considered becoming an Anglican minister. His rise to the top has seen a concentration of powerful religious conviction among the upper echelons of the new government.

New finance minister Dominic Perrottet – a former protege of one-time ”religious right” faction leader David Clarke – attended Redfield College in Dural, a school run by the conservative Catholic order Opus Dei.

Mr Clarke … remains parliamentary secretary for justice.

Throw into the mix the deputy Premier and Nationals leader Andrew Stoner – who attends the evangelical C3 church – and the Baird/Stoner government is shaping as the most devout in living memory.

Read the complete article….

The hard right faction forces David Clarke into the background to allow them to increase their power over the Liberal Party as a whole

13/10/2014 – SMH: Liberal hard right faction dumps leader and regroups after ICAC[63]

The hard right faction of the NSW Liberal Party has formally dumped long-time leader David Clarke and regrouped in a bid to reinvent itself after hearings of the Independent Commission Against Corruption devastated its parliamentary ranks.

In what is being seen as a major realignment, cabinet ministers Jai Rowell and Matthew Mason-Cox have rejoined the faction they split from two years ago to significantly boost its influence within the party structure.

The pair have emerged as leaders of a newly strengthened hard right faction along with former NSW Liberal deputy director Richard Shields and party state executive member Peter Poulos. Mr Rowell and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts form the new parliamentary leadership, with Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet also influential.

The new grouping claims seven of the 20 members of the party’s state executive.

Read the complete article….

Hard right Opus Dei ally Damien Tudehope ran against the Liberal party in 1999 as the Australian Family Alliance candidate for the NSW Legislative Council. After that he nominated successively for the safe Liberal seats of Baulkham Hills, Ryde and Epping, but withdrew each time for factional reasons before the preselection stage. However, in the lead-up to the 2015 election, Tudehope was successfully preselected for the ultra-safe seat of Epping after defeating Nathaniel Smith, son of the incumbent right-wing Catholic Greg Smith.

28/10/2014 – Daily Telegraph: Damien Tudehope, 61, wins Liberal preselection for the blue ribbon seat of Epping[64]

The 61-year-old [Tudehope] smashed his closest rival Nathaniel Smith, son of incumbent Greg Smith, 103 to 27 at the preselection battle held at the Epping Club on Thursday night.

It is understood there was a reluctance to impose a family dynasty on the electorate and that Mr Tudehope was favoured for his experience in politics, having served as Mr Smith Snr’s chief of staff when he was attorney general.

His profession also worked to his advantage, with Mr Smith Snr and his predecessor Andrew Tink both working as lawyers before serving in the safe-as-houses seat, which the Liberals hold on a 27.5 per cent margin.

Lawyer Noel McCoy, who was seen as a favourite, pulled out of the contest at the last minute — it is understood he urged voters to back Mr Tudehope when it emerged he had slightly more support.

Read the complete article….


The following article highlights Damien Tudehope’s powers to influence government in his previous role as Chief of Staff to the then Attorney-General as noted above in 2012:

18/03/2015 – Daily Telegraph: Candidate to deliver tough lesson to his former boss[65]

FORMER attorney-general Greg Smith was advised against changes to the bail laws by then chief-of-staff Damien ­Tudehope, who looks set to take his old boss’s Epping seat at the state election.

The 61-year-old Mr Tudehope said he opposed the changes to the bail laws enacted by Greg Smith and revealed the two had numerous “vigorous debates” about the issue: “(The law change) didn’t take into account that magistrates would take a very lenient approach

“If I had been in that position I probably would have been more cautious. I would have been careful to consider the victim before going to the legislature.”

Mr Smith’s bail laws removed a presumption against bail for serious offences, replacing it with the legal test of assessing if an offender posed an “unacceptable risk”.

Mr Tudehope is a former lawyer and chief-of-staff to Mr Smith and has ­revealed ministerial ambitions.

The devout Catholic and father-of-nine said greater attention should be placed on the prison system and he would like to see the Justice Department split, with him taking on a new portfolio as Minister for Corrective Services.

Mr Tudehope is a member of the controversial Roman Catholic Opus Dei movement [and at least two of his sons are associated with Opus Dei colleges (Redfield and Warrane)[66],[67],[68]].

Read the complete article….


According to Crikey, the religiofascists Damien Tudehope and Dominic Perrottet (who was Baird’s Finance Minister) on the Liberal’s hard right probably controlled Mike Baird even though he was elected because he didn’t share their views.

05/10/2016 – Crikey: Will the right wing turn Teflon Mike into Turncoat Turnbull?[69]

Mike Baird is electorally popular at least in part because he does not share the extreme right-wing views of the radicals in his party. But they own him anyway.

Elected in 2015, the current Liberal member for Epping Damien Tudehope once ran against the Liberals as a candidate for the Australian Family Association and served as the spokesperson for the same organisation, funded by B.A. Santamaria (of National Civic Council fame). A staffer to former attorney-general Greg Smith (himself a past president of Right to Life), Tudehope has added petitioning against Safe Schools to his list of morality issues, which include adoption and abortion.

Also against equal marriage is Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet. Associated with former factional leader David Clarke, Perrottet attended the Opus Dei-run Redfield College — where one of the men behind the “Children’s Future” flyer teaches. Perrottet has also advocated for cuts to pensions to stop the state “acting as a substitute for the family.

As the SMH noted in 2014, the Baird/Stoner government was then shaping up as the most devout in the country. Baird seemed to be able to balance the retrograde obsessions of his own party members and maintain his popularity through steering a conservative economic, rather than social, course. After several missteps within his own Coalition — the Nationals’ revolt over greyhounds being the most recent — Baird now presents the same vulnerable position as Malcolm Turnbull to a resurgent right currently riding the hobby horse of equal marriage. Meanwhile, the favours required to pass electricity privatisation from Fred Nile are yet to be called in, in an upper house where no one holds the numbers and two Bills relating to abortion are foreshadowed.

All this comes at a time when fringe religious groups are working to cement their ties with the Liberal Party. Dominic Perrottet remains a spokesman for Marriage Alliance despite that organisation copping a public scolding for using an internal Liberal Party email list. The organisation itself is run by Sophie York, a Liberal Party candidate and councillor of the Catholic Lawyers Guild. …

Read the complete article….

2018 Perrottet and Tudehope play musical chairs in preselections to keep their hands on the levers of power

When Premier Mike Baird retired from politics in January 2017 and was replaced by Gladys Berejiklian, Perrettet was promoted from the Finance Ministry to Treasurer and Deputy Premier, plus several other ministries. Infighting over safe seats in the run-up to the 2019 election threatened both Perrottet and Tudehope.

24/09/2018 – THE NEWDAILY: Berejiklian’s deputy backs down in last-minute peace deal[70]

Treasurer [and Deputy Premier] Dominic Perrottet has backed down on his bid to unseat Castle Hill MP Ray Williams, in a last-minute deal to settle instability in the New South Wales government.

ABC reports Mr Williams will stay put and Mr Perrottet will instead move to Epping, in an agreement struck just minutes before Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s 6pm deadline. [Note: the ABC link, including 3 related articles gives substantially more detail on how the religofascists fight over the spoils of safe seats in their heartland. [Note the ABC link provides access to four additional articles providing much more detail on how the spoils came to be divvied up.]

The New Daily was only able to confirm a deal was reached and that Mr Williams would not be moving.

Epping MP Damien Tudehope will reportedly move to the upper house, replacing the retiring David Clarke. …

Read the complete article….


Shortly after the liberals led by Gladys Berejiklian were returned to power in the 2019 NSW State Election the factional warfare resumed between Alex Hawke’s “moderates” and those on the far right now including the Perrottets and Tudehope carrying on with Clarke’s aim force “family values” on the state.

06/08/2019 – SMH: ‘Absolute pain’: Internal division exposed in Liberal feud[71]

Members of the Liberal Party’s hard-right faction are attempting to erode the support of factional rivals in Sydney by organising religious freedom meetings that double as branch stacking events.

The politicians targeted in the stacking exercise include federal MPs Julian Leeser (Berowra) and Alex Hawke (Mitchell), as well as state representative Ray Williams (Castle Hill) [is the targeting of Williams pay-back because he resisted Dominic’s attempt to take over his seat?]

NSW Finance Minister Damien Tudehope, a senior member of the party’s hard-right, spoke at at least one of the meetings, as did one of his staffers, who was allegedly critical of Mr Leeser.

Christian Ellis, who had worked for Mr Tudehope since the March state election moved on to new opportunities in July, according to the minister’s office.

Text messages obtained by The Herald also suggest Jean Claude Perrottet, the brother of NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and employee of Mr Tudehope, was also working to sign up members to Liberal branches in the Sydney Hills district. [Following in the footsteps of his elder brothers Dominic and Charles in the previous decade?]

The texts appear to show Jean Claude Perrottet working to sign Liberal members up to branches between February and May, including photographs of the membership sheets. In one exchange he says “we must be discrete [sic]”.

Richard Whitington’s thoughts on the crazyness of the religiofascist infighting on the Liberal Party far right that continued even after Glady’s Berejiklian managed to win a third term in power for the Liberal Party.

21/08/2019 – Richard Whitington/Politics: Aborting at 5 months? Are Libs about to terminate another leader?[72]

Happy snap with one Tudehope in London, while another Tudehope was in Sydney, with others, having a brain snap.

[Thomas] Tudehope is an adept practitioner of social media, one of the pioneers of its use in political campaigning. Back when Malcolm Turnbull was Leader of the Opposition (before he was deposed by Tony Abbott), Thomas was Malcolm’s social media manager. He left the role in 2009 amid allegations, denied and never proven, that in supporting Turnbull’s moderate faction of the Liberal Party, he’d engineered a tasteless post against a far-right factional enemy, Alex Hawke, portraying Hawke as Hitler.

On becoming PM in 2015 (after he’d deposed Abbott) Turnbull re-hired Thomas Tudehope as social media manager.

Meantime, Alex Hawke deserted the radical right of the Liberals, did a deal with the moderates, served as an assistant Minister under Turnbull (after Turnbull deposed Abbott as PM), and is now a Minister in the Morrison Government (after Morrison deposed Turnbull; well, OK, Turnbull “deposed” himself).

Hawke is being credited with helping to strategise Morrison’s “feint” manoeuvre – momentarily shifting a few votes to Peter Dutton, just long enough to frighten people into voting, instead, for Morrison, at the next ballot. 

Another alleged accomplice in the anti-Hawke post back in 2009 was Charles Perrottet, brother of the NSW Treasurer, Dominic. Charles worked for a time for another arch-conservative Liberal MP, David Clarke. Charles also made one of those “I don’t recall” appearances at the ICAC hearings into corrupt political donations which claimed the careers of then-Premier Barry O’Farrell, and several others.

Charles is not to be confused with Treasurer Perrottet’s other brother, Jean Claude, who in 2017 faced but was found not guilty of rape charges.

Alex Hawke, like Charles Perrottet, had also been a David Clarke staffer.

Clarke has now left the NSW Parliament but his remaining factional allies on the conservative right are playing merry hell over the way Premier Berejiklian has tried to rush through a bill to “decriminalise” abortion in NSW. She’s caved to them and deferred a vote on the issue for another month.

Read the complete article….


Alex Mitchell, a former Sydney Sun-Herald State Political Editor whose commentary appears every Friday, gives his view of the hard right’s increasing powers to direct Liberal politics in NSW:

24/04/2020 – Pearls and Irritations: ALEX MITCHELL: Changing of the guard in NSW[73]

Damien Tudehope, ultra-conservative Minister for Finance and Small Business, is the new Leader of the Government in the NSW Upper House. He replaces former Arts Minister Don Harwin who quit in disgrace. The Liberal Party’s right-wing faction is now calling the shots.

When NSW Legislative Council MLC Damien Tudehope was appointed Government Leader of the House in mid-April, his salary shot up to $345,152. The promotion came with a limousine and chauffeur, luxury offices in Parliament House, a personal staff and a full bar and fridge (exclusively for guests).

Premier Gladys Berejiklian approved Tudehope’s grand new job but Parliament House is swirling with rumours that in fact Deputy Liberal Leader, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, made the call. If so, Premier Berejiklian appears to have ceded control of her Government to the Liberal Party’s right-wing faction and its two leading powerbrokers, Perrottet and Tudehope.

Both are Catholics, close friends, political allies and uncomfortably ambitious. Working closely with the NSW division’s John Howard, Tony Abbott and Alex Hawke, their aim is not to defeat Labor but to defeat Liberal “wets” who are secret “socialists” like Malcolm Turnbull.

Talking about the Federal Parliamentary Liberal Party in Canberra, former Prime Minister Turnbull told Leigh Sales this week: “The right-wing operates in the Liberal Party … the way they operate is to basically bully and intimidate people. And what they do … is to create enough mayhem, enough damage, that people in the middle say, ‘It has got to come to an end, how can I stop this terrible horror?’”

Warming to his theme, Turnbull let fly at the “sea of paranoia” in Canberra: “Power for power’s sake is what drives far too many people in politics. I would say most people in politics frankly and a huge number of people in the media. It is just power for power’s sake. It turns them on. It is an aphrodisiac. A drug, whatever you want to call it.

The Tudehope-Perrottet alliance on Sydney’s North Shore goes back a long way. In 2010, Tudehope, then a spokesman for the grandly titled Australian Family Association, a rabidly anti-gay and anti-abortion lobby group, failed in a bid to become Liberal candidate for the safe seat of Baulkham Hills. Tudehope, a father of nine children and reputedly a member of the Opus Dei sect, the strong arm of orthodoxy at the Vatican, rose to attention campaigning against PM John Howard’s ban on same-sex marriage in 2004.

He ran for the Lower House seat of Epping and won. He was gifted the seat by former NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith, another reported supporter of Opus Dei, who employed Tudehope as his chief of staff. Tudehope held Epping from 2015 to 2019.He relinquished the seat in a deal with Dominic Perrottet who wanted to shift from marginal Hawkesbury to safe-as-houses Epping. In exchange, Tudehope sought pre-selection on the Liberal ticket for the Upper House and duly became an MLC in March 2019. One month later he walked straight into Berejiklian’s Government as Minister for Finance and Small Business.

Tudehope’s mercurial rise in the Parliamentary Liberal Party is nothing short of astonishing. Elected to the Legislative Council one year ago, Tudehope has climbed from backbencher ($169,192 per year), to committee chairman ($190,342), to junior Minister ($309,621), to Government Leader of the Upper House ($345,152). That’s a whopping pay rise of $175,960 or 100%. All in a mere 12 months.

He is now concentrated on pet projects: stopping any reform of euthanasia laws, reversing Parliament’s legislation supporting gay marriage and decriminalising abortion (he opposed both law changes) and recruiting new members to Parliament’s prayer breakfasts.

Read the complete article….

2021 Dominic Perrottet becomes Premier:

When Gladys Berejiklian’s unfortunate secret love affair with former NSW MP and allegedly corrupt political operator Daryl McGuire was outed in the ICAC hearings she was left with little choice but to resign from Parliament,[74] Dominic Perrottet rose to the top of the heap as the new Premier and leader of the NSW Labor Party. He now had his hands on all the public reins of power – as well his influences on increasingly entrenched family and co-religious zealots.

05/10/2021 – SMH: Dominic Perrottet: From big family to the Premier for families[75]

Dominic Perrottet speaking after being elected leader of the NSW Liberal Party and PremierCredit:Dominic Lorrimer

… “Until now, all of our Liberal premiers have been infrastructure premiers, building roads, rail, schools and hospitals for communities right across our state, and that will not change with me,” Mr Perrottet said in his first public statement after Tuesday’s leadership ballot. “But I will also be a family Premier, focusing on how we can make life better for working families, living the Liberal values of opportunity, aspiration and hard work.

Mr Perrottet has enjoyed a political rocket ride since being elected to NSW Parliament as the member for Castle Hill in 2011, aged 28 (he has since shifted to the seats of Hawkesbury and then Epping).

He was promoted to the front bench just three years later when he became minister for finance and services in the Baird government. When Gladys Berejiklian became premier in January 2017, he was elected deputy leader of the Liberal Party and took on the Treasury portfolio.

Mr Perrottet, who turned 39 last month, will be the youngest person ever to become Premier, a post established in 1856 while New South Wales was still a British colony.

But it has not all been plain sailing – Mr Perrottet’s political career was almost derailed in 2020 over revelations of financial mismanagement and the underpayment of injured workers by the public insurer icare, which was set up when he was finance minister.

Mr Perrottet is popular with business – one lobby group said he had been “a great advocate for the business community” throughout the pandemic and lockdowns – but others are cautious about how his personal religious values could influence broader policy choices as Premier. A devout Catholic, Mr Perrottet voted against removing abortion from the state’s criminal code in 2019.

During his political career, Mr Perrottet has styled himself as a reformer and during his first press conference as Premier he identified John Howard and Paul Keating as leadership role models.

Soon after becoming Treasurer in 2017, Mr Perrottet told the Herald: “You don’t get into politics to stay still. You get into politics to reform.”

A leading member of the Liberal party’s right faction, he has been involved in politics since he joined the Young Liberals. He worked as a staffer for David Clarke, then a leader of the Liberal Party’s conservative right.

Read the complete article….

The last paragraph above may be inaccurate. Dominic was undoubtedly nurtured and mentored by David Clarke, but I have found no other statements that he actually worked directly for Clarke. The author may be confused by the fact that brother Charles Perrottet was an important staffer and acknowledged operative for Clarke for some time.

Two of his brothers have clearly been heavily involved in ‘works’ to shape NSW Liberal politics towards the hard right. Charles Perrottet’s activities have been highlighted in several of the media clips extracted above.

Dominic Perrottet’s youngest brother, Jean Claude, is also beginning to make waves as he comes of age. His history in the press started on a bad note when he was around 20.

10/08/2017 – SMH: Jean Claude Perrottet found not guilty of St John’s College sexual assault[76]

… Jean Claude Perrottet, the younger brother of NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, was at the ball as a guest of a college resident, and spent the evening drinking, dancing, and having a political argument with “a leftie”.

A 19-year-old woman got ready with friends, drank champagne, and was spotted running into the crowd and dancing like “crazy” at the end of the night.

Mr Perrottet and the woman met and kissed on the dance floor at the after-party, then moved to a canopy of trees near an area called the Lemon Grove.

What happened next, in the early hours of October 18, 2015, changed everything.

The woman remembered being raped, repeatedly telling Mr Perrottet to stop and get off her. Mr Perrottet remembered some consensual sex acts, before the woman sat up, said she did not want to continue, and they stopped.

In the NSW District Court on Thursday, a jury of seven women and five men took less than two hours to find Mr Perrottet not guilty of three counts of sexual assault.

The defence case was a textbook example of the principles of “beyond reasonable doubt” and the burden of proof.

Mr Perrottet, who comes from a large family belonging to the conservative Catholic order Opus Dei, later told police there was no way they had sexual intercourse [and where have we heard that before? “It’s against my religion,” he said.

Read the complete article….

Some of the gory details in Jean Claude’s own words from the court case as presented in the Murdoch Press:

03/08/2017 – Daily Telegraph: Jean Claude Perrottet sex assault trial: I was a ‘drunken mess’[77]

THE morning after Jean Claude Perrottet allegedly raped a woman at a university party he admitted he had been drunken “mess”, a NSW jury has heard.

Perrottet, 20, is on trial at the Downing Centre District Court after pleading not guilty to three counts of sexual intercourse without consent after a University of Sydney end-of-year formal in October 2015.

“OK, so as I remember more of last night I’m really sorry for being a complete mess,” Perrottet said in a message to a friend read out in court today.

“I need to stop getting next level f***ed-up every time I go out,” he said in another message.

“Was I completely embarrassing myself?”

“F*** like I am trying to remember things but the only thing I can remember is having an argument about politics with a leftie,” he said in the series of messages also read out to the court.

Read the complete article…. and two others that are linked.

The bottom line here, is that this young sprout of what is supposed to be a quite godly family has clearly demonstrated and admitted to a significant lacks of sobriety, self-control, and ethics – saved from what might have been a conviction by a smart lawyer.

However this may be, by 2021 young Jean Claude Perrottet is Secretary of the NSW Young Liberals.[78] He also began to make waves there.

14/08/2021 – News.com.au: NSW Treasurer’s younger brother rebels by opposing mandatory coronavirus vaccination[79]

The NSW Treasurer’s younger brother has rebelled against his sibling by co-signing a Young Liberal motion to oppose the state government’s mandatory vaccination policy for hotspot workers.

Jean Claude Perrottet, 24, seconded a motion at the youth wing’s Thursday meeting to oppose “calls for the introduction of mandatory or coerced vaccination”.

It was a rebuke of the position backed by his older brother and state Treasurer Dominic Perrottet to require that tradies from Sydney coronavirus hotspots get vaccinated before returning to work.

A youth wing source said the younger Perrottet, the secretary of the NSW Young Liberals, advocated strongly for the motion, which also included calls to oppose so-called “vaccine passports”.

Read the complete article….

2022 Redfield ‘old boys’ / ex fascist Young Libs with Dominic Perrottet in the lead still calling the shots

The Guardian article here, shows that as 2022 begins, the religiofascist far right is still alive and well in its preparations for the 2023 election.

23/01/2022 – The Guardian: The Right stuff: why shellshocked NSW Liberal moderates are fearing factional fights[80]

Last week, a prominent member of the Liberals’ right faction, Tim James, snared the safe New South Wales state seat of Willoughby replacing the former Liberal premier Gladys Berejiklian, a leading moderate, in the lower north shore Sydney seat.

[I]n NSW, at least on the surface, there appeared to be peace within the warring factions, of which there are three: the moderates, the hard right and the smaller centre right. The hard right is dominated by conservative Catholics with the premier, Dominic Perrottet, its poster boy.

The centre right, controlled by the federal immigration minister, Alex Hawke, is more closely aligned with Pentecostal and Protestant churches and boasts Scott Morrison as its high-profile member.

[A] decade in the wilderness a desperate Barry O’Farrell convinced the factions they should declare a detente in the interests of winning government.

The peace was cemented under Berejiklian. Hard-right leaders like Perrottet, who has been a central player in the factions since he was in the Young Liberals, and Damien Tudehope, who commands influence in the north-west of Sydney, prospered, becoming treasurer and finance minister. David Elliott, a leading figure of the centre right, has risen too. So did the leading moderates such as Kean.

At least in cabinet, the factions had checked their weapons at the door.

But there was always the question of who would succeed Berejiklian.

[H]as the deal emboldened the right and diminished the moderates?

“It’s been the best infiltration I have seen in my life,” says one disillusioned moderate. “Rather than beat us up, they got us to do what they want.”

How much Perrottet’s rise has strengthened the right is debated within the party – there have so far been no attempts to push a conservative social agenda.

“Perrottet is not offensive to most moderates – he mainly sticks to economic issues and he’s endorsed net zero by 2050,” says a senior moderate.

[T]he new rules for preselecting candidates have provided an avenue for increased influence and there are signs right operatives are active.

The NSW Liberal party said: “There were three outstanding candidates contesting the preselection, with Tim James selected by members to represent the party at the upcoming election, based on his vision for the community.”

James had a bloc of 11 Young Liberals from the right who were eligible to vote under party rules that allow Young Liberals to attend branches where they live or adjoining branches. They included Thomas Ryan, who is married to Francesca Perrottet , the premier’s sister; Anthony Swales, an electorate staffer for state minister Anthony Roberts; Pierre Okosdinossian, a graduate of Redfield College, the conservative Catholic school attended by Perrottet; and Benedict Kang,

In 2018 Kang wrote in the conservative Spectator: “At the heart of the political process is grassroots action … Something is astir in the air, and the winds of change, of reform, are blowing. This article may very well be prophetic, and I sincerely hope that it is. Join a party, be the conservative voice, change the tide of battle. Believe me, there has never been a better time to be young, restless, and right-wing.”

There is clear evidence elsewhere that conservatives have heeded the call and signed up to branches in anticipation of the Warringah rules.

Branches that had just five or 10 members have seen numbers swell to the 30s in the past two and half years.

Read the complete article….


Jean Claude Perrottet was “missing” when supposed to appear before a NSW Parliament upper house inquiry run by Greens and Labor on alleged links between NSW Liberal councilors on Hills Shire Council with a developer where senior members of his party had been “paid significant funds in order to arrange to put new councillors on The Hills Shire Council”; and branch stacking, where it was alleged that Jean Claude and former Liberal Party State Executive member, Christian Ellis, approached a Liberal Party member, Frits Mare to get $50,000 to fund a branch stacking operation to unseat Alex Hawke from his federal electorate.

As reported in the articles below, the Parlimentary inquiry initially focused on Hills Shire Council, that involved brother Charles, who mentioned several times above as one of David Clarke’s branch stacking operatives.

Dom Perrottet was queried about this at a press conference, where he replied:

22/02/2023 – News.com.au: Search for Premier’s brother, other missing witnesses spans multiple days[81]

“Leave my family out of it…. Leave my family out of it…. I’m serious… No… I’m serious…. Leave my family out of it… I’m here elected to represent the people of NSW, these are unsubstantiated allegations. They are made in an inquiry established by the Labor Party a month out from an election…. I think the public can see exactly right through it.

3:47 PM, 16/02/2023 Sky News Live

Contrast this with his words when first elected to Parliament[82] (NSW Legislative Assembly Hansard and Papers Tuesday 31 May 2011): “I would like to particularly single out my brother Charles, who has worked alongside me in politics. We have been a team from the start and will be a team to the finish. … I would also like to thank the following people for their friendship, guidance and advice: … Kyle Kutasi, … Thomas Tudehope, Damien Tudehope, … Phillip Elias…“. All of these have been clearly identified in the excerpts above as operatives nurtured by David Clarke, and he is clearly adopting them here as his own.

And today as I try to finish off my unraveling of the spiders’ web, there is still more on the context of alleged/suggested involvement of Liberal Party members and the two Perrottet brothers in this shady affair:

Is Dominic Perrottet the right stuff to be Premier?

As the election looms, people may be questioning whether they really want the kind potentially absolutistic religiofascist government envisaged by the Urbanchich/Clarke/and Opus Dei nurtured cadres of Young Liberal storm troops and their followers. Dominic Perrottet’s teflon sheen seems to be tarnishing, as various issues of his high-handedness and ethical blindness begin bubbling to the surface at the same time.

In a Sydney Morning Herald story mainly focused on the current factional turbulence around gambling issues, and the fact that David Elliot failed to be preselected for any lower house seat or offered a winnable place on the upper house ticket in the forthcoming election because none of Perrottet’s faction backed it. Also, Elliot, a strong supporter of the gambling industry Perrottet is trying to regulate is also the person who warned Dominic Perrottet of the talk in his hard right faction about the ‘uniform fiasco’ at his 21st birthday party was likely to become public soon.

14/01/2023 – SMH: The fancy dress party that came back to haunt the premier[83]

In the West Pennant Hills garage of the Perrottet family home, the third-oldest child Dominic celebrated his 21st birthday. It was 2003 and the future premier was marking his coming of age, surrounded by family, school and university friends and allies from the Young Liberals, which he would go on to lead two years later.

Among those at the party were right-wing warrior, now government whip and Member for Wollondilly Nathaniel Smith as well as federal MP Alex Hawke. But it was the birthday boy’s decision to wear a rented black, imitation Nazi uniform that would be the most memorable aspect of the night.

It would be 20 years before that detail re-emerged, when Perrottet was the most senior politician in NSW. He was also at war with his own faction and locked in battle with one of his senior ministers.

That minister is David Elliott, who is more than happy to be called the government’s resident bomb thrower. Elliott is retiring from Macquarie Street after he could not convince Perrottet’s conservative faction to back his preselection. Even hopes that Elliott could be added to the upper house ticket were dashed, ensuring his long – and colourful– political career will end in March.

Those close to Elliott acknowledged that the “born politician” is not ready to leave politics and is bitterly disappointed that he could not be thrown a lifeline. He often recounted the story of Perrottet begging him to stay in state parliament, and is undoubtedly angry that he was cut adrift.

Read the complete article….

Will voters’ memories Perrottet’s meddling in cemeteries return to haunt him?

07/10/2021 – Crikey: Breaking ground: Perrottet’s first big test pits church v state over Catholic cemeteries[84]

The NSW government is accused of breaching ICAC rules over ‘repeated, exclusive dealings’ with the Sydney archdiocese over burial grounds.

The newly installed NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet is moving quickly to rebadge himself as a man of the centre, but there remains the unexplained — and as yet unresolved — saga over how he, as state treasurer, has handled the demands of the Catholic Church.      

The issue is Sydney’s cemeteries and who controls their management. It is also a story of power, influence and how the church fights for its interests.

The sharp end of the story is a claim that Perrottet as treasurer pushed the merits of proposals backed by the Catholic archdiocese of Sydney — despite an assessment by senior bureaucrats from two separate departments that the church’s business case did not measure up.

There is a parallel claim that Perottet and others in the government may have run close to breaching ICAC rules on direct dealing — rules which dictate how the government should deal with a prospective supplier of services to avoid corruption.

Yet another fishy thread in the web surrounding Perrottet involves graves… According to Callum Foote in Michael West Media, “key Catholic members of Parliament moved to hand control of the state’s cemeteries to the Catholic Church despite clear warnings from independent and government bodies that the move would see $5bn of excess capital controlled by the Catholic Archdiocese“. This would give the Church control of all NSW cemeteries for 200 years![85]

22/10/2021 – Michael West Media: The “Catholic Cabinet”: Perrottet’s $5bn cemeteries bid dwarfs Gladys’ gun club frolic[86]

MWM has been told that initial expert analysis expects the new development would cost the state approximately $500 million, which would have to be spent immediately if the new cemetery space would be ready in time.

As a result, Option 6 would turn what could be a net financial benefit for NSW into a half-billion-dollar liability overnight. Over the next 50-years, Option 6 would hand control of more than $5 billion in excess capital to the Catholic Church.

Investment NSW provided advice on Friday, September 28, that Option 6 did not meet the NSW ICAC’s Direct Dealings Guidelines. The guidelines, instituted in 2018, are for “public sector agencies involved in direct negotiations with external parties to manage corruption risks, but recommends they avoid the practice if possible due to the high level of those risks.”

Then treasurer Dominic Perrottet was warned multiple times by ICAC that his meeting with senior Catholic lobbyists in 2017 also did not meet with the guidelines.

Since 2017, senior Catholic lobbyists have met Coalition ministers dozens of times to try to avoid amalgamation and ensure the church remains involved in the cemeteries sector, having previously tried to lease the whole sector for $1 billion in 2017 after forming a consortium.

When the ministers met on Monday, September 27,  they were presented with the original five options developed by the public service along with the rushed-in Option 6.

Out of the lot, only Option 1 was supported by all government agencies and was in accordance with the ICAC Direct Dealing Guidelines.

Cabinet voted that Option 1 and the rushed Option 6 be referred to the Expenditure Review Committee for further consideration.

The ERC is now made up of Treasurer Matt Kean as chair, with Premier Perrottet, Finance Minister Tudehope, Nationals Leader Paul Toole and Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello as members.

All five are avowed Catholics. The Expenditure Review Committee is expected to review Option 1 and Option 6 on November 11.

The similarities between Tudehope’s interference with the cemetery decision and Daryl  Maguire’s interference with the $5.5 million shooting club grant are striking.

Read the complete article….

Then there are issues involved in Perrottet’s approval (as NSW Treasurer) of the gun club grant leading to Berejiklian’s resignation as Premier was illegal:

13/07/2022 – The Klaxon: EXCLUSIVE: Perrottet’s $5.5m gun club grant illegal[87]

The $5.5 million grant NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet awarded to a regional NSW gun club was illegal, with the project failing to meet any of the funding requirements under the legislation, investigations reveal.

The grant to the Australian Clay Target Association (ACTA) in Wagga Wagga is at the heart of the scandal that saw Gladys Berejiklian resign as NSW Premier and is the focus of an ongoing probe by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

The Klaxon previously exclusively revealed it was Perrottet – as NSW Treasurer – who personally approved the highly controversial $5.5m grant, which has been the central focus of the ICAC’s public hearings.

It can now be exclusively revealed that Perrottet approved the grant despite the gun club development failing to meet legal requirements.

Perrottet made the grant, for ACTA to build a new club house and function centre, from the Restart NSW Fund.

That was after earlier plans to have the funding come from the NSW Office of Sport were rejected by that department.

The Restart NSW Fund was created in 2011 to house funds from the NSW Government’s sale of “poles and wires” electricity infrastructure.

It is governed by the Restart NSW Fund Act 2011, which expressly stipulates the types of infrastructure projects that fund money can legally be used for.

Allowable projects include transport and roads infrastructure, health and public services infrastructure, infrastructure in areas “affected by mining operations” and infrastructure “required for the economic competitiveness of the State”.

The Australian Clay Targets Association’s “large clubhouse/ conference facility” development on the outskirts of Wagga Wagga NSW meets none of them.

Perrottet has not denied the $5.5m grant was illegal.

He has pointed The Klaxon to Infrastructure NSW for “recommending” he approve the grant.

Yet the law shows it was entirely Perrottet’s responsibility, as NSW Treasurer, for ensuring legislative requirements were met and that the grant was for a legally allowed purpose.

Read the complete article….

Berejiklian resigned in part because her secret lover, Daryl McGuire ‘organized’ this grant.

Did Dominic Perrottet resign? No, Dom was too busy trying to do the cemetery deal mentioned above for his Catholic brethren as he was inheriting the Premiership….

And there are still more sticky issues in Perrottet’s messy spiderweb.

02/02/2023 – SMH Opinion: Can this ‘Teflon premier’ reclaim power, or has too much stuck to his team?[88]

In less than a month, the premier has had to issue an impassioned apology for wearing a Nazi uniform to his 21st birthday, and he was name-checked in an ABC Four Corners report on schools linked to the ultraconservative Catholic order Opus Dei. Former students alleged that the schools, including Perrottet’s alma mater Redfield College, where he was captain, attempted to recruit teenagers to Opus Dei. They also claimed its sister girls’ school, Tangara, discouraged students from getting the HPV cervical cancer vaccine. The program made for very uncomfortable viewing.

Perrottet had a charmed run in his early political career, as he rose to finance minister and then treasurer, until a political near-death experience gave him an almighty jolt for a young minister who was not lacking in self-belief. Revelations emerged of financial mismanagement and the underpayment of injured workers at the public insurer icare. The insurer was Perrottet’s baby – established when he was finance minister – and the problems plaguing icare made it all the way to his office. Perrottet’s trusted and long-term chief of staff was forced to resign and the minister confided to allies that he thought he would also need to quit.

After ricocheting from one crisis to the next as a new premier (Omicron, floods, risky byelections, a jobs-for-the-boys scandal and more floods), Perrottet finally had some clear air at the start of this year and gained momentum to prosecute his case for overhauling poker machines in NSW. That appeared to be at risk of ending as the focus turned to Perrottet and became personal.

And yet, he has weathered the storms. Rather than end him, they have humanised him. Politics is a popularity contest and Perrottet has managed to lift his profile and shake some preconceived views. A Labor strategist worried this week that Perrottet might “do a Lionel Messi” – Argentina’s World Cup hero – and drag his team over the line.

But Perrottet’s government is ageing, his team ill-disciplined. Little may have stuck to the Teflon premier, but the greater test for voters on March 25 may be how much has stuck to the team.

Read the complete article….

All of the above has not given me the time to explore the Perrottet Government’s record on climate action. On the surface it doesn’t look too bad. But the activities in the spiderweb cast a completely different picture of the Perrottet Liberal Government.

For example: Increased coal mining in NSW has a high potential to add still more greenhouse gas emissions to drive global temperatures higher yet:

28/02/2023 – The Guardian: Eight coal projects to be considered by NSW forecast to add 1.5bn tonnes to global emissions[89]

Eight coal projects the New South Wales government will consider in 2023 would add at least 1.5bn tonnes to global greenhouse gas emissions if they all proceeded, according to analysis by Lock the Gate.

The anti-mining group said it was the largest proposed expansion of coalmining in the state since the Paris agreement on climate change was signed and showed a need for changes to planning laws to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

The analysis considered eight proposed expansions of existing mines that could be assessed and determined in NSW in 2023.

Lock the Gate’s NSW coordinator, Nic Clyde, said the Perrottet government’s policy of allowing coal projects to continue was undermining its stated climate goals to cut emissions by 70% by 2035 and to reach net zero by 2050.

“Dangerous climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels like coal has led to devastating extreme weather events all over NSW,” he said.

“[The planning minister] Anthony Roberts should have amended planning laws to put a safe climate before coal and gas mining, but he has failed to do so.

“Due to his failure to act, NSW is now staring down the barrel of the biggest climate bomb from coalmine expansions since the Paris agreement – putting our future at risk.”

Read the complete article….

But Perrottet is telling the coal industry that he most certainly has their back!

22/02/2023 – The Guardian: NSW could invest in coalmines if companies can’t raise the cash, Dominic Perrottet told gathering[90]

The New South Wales government was open to investing in coalmines if companies couldn’t raise adequate capital themselves, the premier, Dominic Perrottet, told a gathering on Sydney’s southern outskirts late last year.

The comments, contained in a recording provided to Guardian Australia, raise questions about how far the government would go to support fossil fuels if re-elected, according to Labor, the Greens and teal independent candidate Jacqui Scruby.

Addressing a question about rising electricity prices at an “afternoon tea meeting” on 3 November at the Engadine Bowling Club, Perrottet said higher bills hurt individuals and small businesses, with “a substantive impact on employment” as increases get passed on.

“[The government] is working very closely with the private sector in relation to securing the operations of coalmines because what we see is a substantive issue where private capital is not being invested in coal,” Perrottet said. “They don’t have the financial capacity to do it.

“Now we’re going to work very closely with them on that. We’re talking about what is absolutely … needed to secure society, being energy.

“There’s not just a profit obligation, there’s a moral obligation, a social obligation to the states. I’m engaged in those discussions. No doubt it’s a big challenge going ahead, but it’s not just the short term – it’s long-term thinking as well, because this problem is not going away.”

Scruby, who is running for the seat of Pittwater at next month’s state election, said Perrottet’s consideration of investing in coalmines amounted to “gaslighting the Australian public by saying they’re leading on climate while promising taxpayer funds to the coal industry”.

Read the complete article….

Crikey has the last word on Perrottet (and by extension) on the religiofascist right wing dominated Liberal Party in power

The NSW premier has managed to shift perceptions of his core beliefs during his rise. On the eve of an election, will this pirouetting help him cling to power?

24/02/2023 – Crikey: Reinvented Perrottet’s many conversions on the road to Macquarie Street power[91]

Dominic Perrottet has done quite a job of reinventing himself since becoming NSW premier 18 months ago, with his wife and seven young children in tow.

Perrottet has been forced to perform several pirouettes in a bid to cling to power at the coming election. The moves have meant jettisoning the closest of old friends and even his own core beliefs.

Crikey has counted the ways in which new Dom has taken shape. It all raises the question: what does he really stand for?

No more Nazi

New Dom was contrite when it was revealed last month that he had kitted himself out as a Nazi at his 21st birthday. (Phew, no photo yet.)

He could cite the ignorance of youth for his lack of judgment back then, but what about his late career adoration of Donald Trump?

Dumping Trump

Old Dom was all over Donald Trump when Trump won power at the end of 2016. Perrottet hailed Trump’s presidential win as a victory for those who have been taken for granted by the elites in the political establishment.

“There is a silent majority, a forgotten people, who feel like the values they hold dear are no longer being represented by the political class,” he posted to social media. “In fact these values and the people who hold them are looked upon with contempt.”

Dumping Tudehope

When finance minister Damien Tudehope resigned last week over undeclared shareholdings, Perrottet lost more than just a parliamentary colleague. In politics, ideology and values, Tudehope and Perrottet had been brothers to the end.

At the age of 66, Tudehope made way for the younger Perrottet to shift into his seat of Epping in Sydney’s north-west Bible belt. (The seat is the de facto property of conservative CatholIc politicians.) In return, Tudehope took a position in the NSW upper house. The family friendships also crept into public office, with Tudehope’s daughter Monica being employed as Perrottet’s chief of staff.

Conversion on gay conversion

The question of banning gay conversion therapy has been a tough one for Perrottet.

After days of media pressure he came to the party late last week with a promise to introduce legislation (joining several other states) if reelected. But he has already flagged religious exemptions. 

“There is no place for harmful practices in our state. Since this issue was raised, people have raised with me examples of food deprivation, electroshock therapy. Well, those practices are wrong, and we will move to outlaw them,” the premier said at a multi-faith forum on Wednesday night, reported by the Nine mastheads.

“At the same time, we will not ban prayer, we will not ban preaching. That is fundamental to freedom of religion in this state and in this country. We can do both. We can ban harmful practices and we can protect freedom of religion in our state.”

[But, conversion therapy is good as long as Hillsong Church does it!]

Perrottet has also put distance between himself and the Catholic Church over laws enabling voluntary assisted dying (passed in NSW last year). He further antagonised the church by failing to attend the funeral of Cardinal George Pell.

Perrottet has at least bent to the secular will in important ways. The question for the Liberal Party must surely be: when will it secularise itself?

Read the complete article….

The messy redback spiderweb of fascist, religious, family and personal connections presented on my crime wall depicted herein, and wrapping up in Hardaker’s concluding comments above, raise my final question: What is driving Dominic Perrottet’s desire to be state Premier and control the Liberal Party?

I found very little evidence that Perrottet is a genuine democrat working to govern in a way that best represents people’s needs and wants in his attitudes towards people with different priorities to his own (e.g., Perrottet’s callous and vindictive comments about Violet Coco and others risking jail to bring people’s attention to the existential dangers of global warming). The choices seem to be between a desire to mold the way people live and act according to the dogmas and doctrines of the Opus Dei version of Catholicism he has been immersed in for more than half of his life, or ultimately, his attraction to the kind fascist power represented by Nazi uniforms and control of a spider’s web of family, collaborators, agents and puppets. Hardaker’s demonstration of Perrottet’s willingness to apply political thuggery and sacrifice his catechistic doctrines to enhance/protect his control nx power points strongly to (a possibly subconscious) desire to work towards gaining Hitlerian/Trumpist/Putinist/Xi-ist fascism (defined as follows from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary).


  1. : a political philosophy, movement, or regime … that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
  2. : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control


If you are intending to vote for major parties on the basis of leaders’ character. Chris Minns, Labor’s opposition leader shows Perrottet’s lack of compassion and support for the civil liberties of those using protest as a wat to bring attention to the dangers of climate change and other threats to society.[92] Consider these quotes from Chris Minns, NSW Labor’s opposition leader[93], also a right-wing Catholic[94]. who seems to be a Perrottet supporter, as sourced from the World Socialist Web Site[12]:

  • “Almost as soon as Perrottet had concluded his Thursday press conference admission [that he’d worn the Nazi uniform], his nominal opponent in the state election, NSW Labor leader Chris Minns, hailed the premier’s ‘sincere and heartfelt apology’.”
  • Both Minns and Albanese, together with the media, have accepted Perrottet’s explanation. Despite being the president of the Young Liberals at the University of Sydney in 2003, Perrottet has claimed that he was so historically ignorant as to have no idea whatsoever of the significance of identifying himself with the Nazis. It was all a youthful mistake.
  • “Minns outlined the bipartisanship on COVID and every other plank of ruling class policy. ‘From my first day as opposition leader, I have not hesitated to back good ideas from the NSW Liberal government,’ Minns wrote. ‘Whether it was dealing with COVID, or the national energy package, when they got it right, I backed them in. That’s the way I practice politics, and it’s the right thing to do’.”

We need to elect governments who focus on real-world issues, such as the realities of global warming, climate change, and the impacts of increasing numbers, extent and ferocity of climate disasters — not those simply looking for political power and perks for their own sakes. This can be best achieved by ensuring that no political power can govern as a majority in its own right (i.e., by replacing the fascists seeking power and their time-serving puppets with community independents (teal and other independents genuinely representing their electorates) and Greens (specifically focused on real-world issues). Parties can still lead, but if we are to have governments that can function in the face of climate catastrophes they fascist tendencies must be subject to veto and their fanciful ideas must be tested in debate with realists.

Those of us in Vote Climate One, looking at your electorates from a basis of accepting the scientific realities of climate and environmental change will do our best to assess which candidates can be trusted to base their voting on realities rather than faith in political and religious dogmas and or pure personal averice.

The concluding picture is a snippet of reality….

A kangaroo in floodwaters in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Photograph: Andrea Myers/AAP (From the Guardian, 5 January 2023 in Darling River at Menindee set to break 1976 flood level
Notes and references:

[5] Taylor, C. (22/01/2023), Left-wing activists slam Ryan Gosling’s movie The Fall Guy for closing down Sydney Harbour Bridge – after climate protester was sent to jail for eight months for blocking the expressway. Daily Mail Australia.

[51] Clennell, A. (02/20/2010). Religious right chief defeats challenger. Sydney Morning Herald/National.

[52] Cohen, J., (17/07/2006). The Right Stuff. ABC Four Corners. Transcript.

[73] Mitchell, A., (24/04/2020). ALEX MITCHELL: Changing of the guard in NSW. Pearls and Irritations – John Menadue’s Public Policy Journal/Politics.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Climate Council warns of wet future for Oz

Climate change, driven by burning fossil fuels, contributing to the Great Deluge, is consigning Australia to escalating climate disasters

Most of Australia’s East Coast from Cape York south to the Victorian border has had over a meter of rain by the end of October — with the rains still continuing. Some of these areas have had more than 2 meters, and a few more than 3 meters! Many rainfall records have been smashed in all of the eastern states: Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania; leading to almost constant flooding through the whole area that is continuing today. The latest reports from the BOM tell us the rains will continue into summer.

This is clearly a function of global warming. Physical laws dictate that as air temperatures rise, the air can carry more water vapor before it begins to condense as rain. Higher temperatures increase the rate of evaporation of water from soils and standing water – encouraging drought. Seemingly contradictory warmer air can precipitate more water in areas where it is raining. As the water condenses out as rain it also releases its ‘heat of fusion’ — and more heat is available to drive more extreme winds able to carry rain to high elevations before the rain freezes to fall back to Earth in devastating hail storms. Over larger areas there is also more energy available to fuel increasingly powerful cyclones.

Increased water means increased plant growth, increased temperature increases the rate at which soils and vegetation dry out — ensuring ever more catastrophic wildfires.

Ever more floods, fires and tempests cause increasing damage to infrastructure and people’s livelihoods and property until the catastrophes follow one another so closely that there are simply not physical or human resources left to repair the damage from one catastrophe before the next catastrophe causes even more damage. If the warming is not stopped this progression leads inevitably leads to social collapse (as we are already seeing in parts of the world), agricultural collapse (and famines as we are already beginning to see in Africa and the Middle East), ecological collapse (as we are already seeing in marine habitats with coral reef communities, kelp beds, sea grass meadows), and finally, population collapses when the land has literally been swept bare (areas in Africa are already on the edge of the cliff).

With the collapse of society, humans will quickly lose the scientific and engineering capabilities to fight further climate change already dialed into the system, such that there will be little hope of avoiding near-term global mass extinction. Continuing ‘business as usual’ support of the fossil fuel industry more-or-less ensures this grim outcome.

The Climate Council’s report, presented below, presents the facts and explains what they mean here in Australia, and some of the things we can to moderate and mitigate the expected damages. This is a good start, but I would be a silly liar if I said this was all we need to do in order to keep from utterly destroying our future.

Vote Climate One will continue to do whatever we can do to encourage serious government leadership and action to fight climate change. Please do what you can to pressure your representatives to counteract the self-serving special interests who consume our resources and return little or nothing from the super-profits they take overseas.

If we can help get climate savvy governments on the problems that really matter, they may be able to mobilize enough action so we can survive our accidental disruption of Earth’s Climate System so our kids and grandkids inherit a world they can live in….

Let’s hope that we can stop global warming soon enough to leave them with a future where they can survive and flourish

Featured Image: Rainfall and Flooding 2022 – Queensland to Tasmania. Current year data from 1 January to 2 November, sourced from Bureau of Meteorology, 2022. Graphic from Chapter 2, The Great Deluge: Climate Extremes in Action, in the featured article.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Hurricane damage: Not Florida… Canada!

Global warming gives extreme weather more energy to play with. Unless global warming is stopped and reversed, economies will begin collapsing.

More areas will suffer more extreme damage more frequently, effecting more people…. Until economies can no longer repair the damage from the last catastrophe before the next catastrophe strikes, and begin to collapse into anarchy and chaos…. The same extremes will also begin collapsing whole natural and agricultural ecosystems, eventually leading to mass extinction as the process accelerates.

For example:

Structures and debris float near the shore in the aftermath of ex Hurricane Fiona in Rose Blanche, Newfoundland, on September 25. (John Morris / Reuters / via the Atlantic)

By Alan Taylor, 26/09/2022 in The Atlantic

Photos: The Aftermath of Hurricane Fiona in Eastern Canada

After causing heavy damage across parts of the Caribbean and Bermuda last week, Hurricane Fiona moved north toward Eastern Canada, making landfall this weekend as a post-tropical cyclone. The downgraded storm still packed heavy rain and winds, gusting up to 110 mph, driving storm surges and knocking down trees and power lines. Hundreds of thousands remain without power as emergency crews and utility workers work to clear debris and rebuild lines. Below is a collection of recent images from Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland.

For all the pictures, see the complete article….

After striking Puerto Rico and wiping out the entire electrical distribution network for the population of 3 million people on the island, Fiona sideswiped Bermuda, then its storm clouds smashed through the Canadian Maritime Provinces, and ended up as a pool of hot air and rain that melted a record lot of ice in southern Greenland:

With continued global warming these catastrophes can only get worse — as demonstrated last week by Category 3 Hurricane Ian that smashed through Cuba, Florida, and North Carolina, killing at least 125 people as confirmed by body count. I’ve seen no statement of how many are still missing (many victims may have been washed away by the storm surges). This case will be discussed in more detail in another article under preparation.

…And then there is the continuing deluge in eastern Australia, where every river in NSW west of the Dividing Range is in flood as I write this.


Stopping and reversing global warming is the only issue that really matters

There is a vast array of scientific and observational evidence showing that not only is the world growing ever warmer (thanks to the profligate burning of fossil carbon beginning with the Industrial Revolution), but that we have now warmed our planet enough that we are beginning to cross ‘tipping points’ for a number of positive feedback processes in the Earth System that will continue driving temperatures still higher even without further human intervention. Once positive feedback takes control of the thermostat, Earth’s temperatures will continue rising at an accelerating rate in a runaway global warming process until semi-stable ‘Hothouse Earth’ temperatures are reached. These temperatures will like be too hot and be reached too fast for large slowly reproducing organisms like humans to survive. The result will be our planet’s 6th global mass extinction event. At least two or three of the previous mass extinction events in our fossil record also seem to have been the result of runaway global warming.

Note: Straightforward laws of physics will produce this result unless humans can stop and reverse the process – and we are approaching a point of no return where no conceivable human intervention will be able to stop the feedback process before the fuel is exhausted or the system self-destructs.

Given that we are major users and producers of greenhouse gas emitting fossil fuels, we have to take the responsibility to do something about this….

We need to turn away from the the Apocalypse on the road to hothouse hell, and we won’t do this by continuing with business as usual!

It seems to have taken the clear thinking of Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old girl who concluded school was pointless as long as humans continued their blind ‘business as usual’ rush towards extinction.

Listen to Greta’s speech live at the World Economic forum in Davos 2019. Except for her reliance on the IPCC’s overoptimistic emissions budget, everything she says is spot on that even she, as a child, can understand the alternatives and what has to happen.

In other words, wake up! smell the smoke! see the grimly frightful reality, and fight the fire that is burning up our only planet so we can give our offspring a hopeful future. This is the only issue that matters. Even the IPCC’s hyperconservative Sixth Assessment Report that looks at climate change’s global and regional impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities makes it clear we are headed for an existential climate catastrophe if we don’t stop the warming process.

In Greta’s words, “even a small child can understand [this]”. People hope for their children’s futures. She doesn’t want your hopium. She wants you to rationally panic enough to wake up, pay attention to reality, and fight the fire…. so our offspring can have some hope for their future.

In our present situation where most of our governments are still supporting and even funding fossil fuel production and use, the most effective actions we can take as individuals is to change our governments to prioritize action on climate change above all other things. Nothing else matters if we have no future….

States are probably even more important than the Federal Government where climate action is concerned

States enable and regulate mining and production of fossil fuels, and many of the important sources of emissions. Planning, industrial, rural, public safety and others are all primarily state concerns where political and administrative decisions may have considerable impact on regulating carbon emissions. Thus, if you are concerned to influence how your state acts in relation to the climate emergency, you need to elect representatives who will do this rather than bow down to wealthy patrons and vested interests who want to protect their short-term profits rather than humanity’s longer-term future.

Applying your decision to preferential voting on the ballot

If you believe that our present COALition government will govern in your interests rather than their patrons in the fossil fuel and related industries, then go with the flow and don’t concern yourself with the likely consequences of going down their fossil fueled road towards runaway global warming. On the other hand, if you think it is better to work for a sustainable future where your children and their children can hope for a happy future, Vote Climate One can help you elect a government that will actively lead and support this effort.

Our Climate Sentinel News provides access to factual evidence about the growing climate crisis to support your thinking, In the May Federal Election, our Traffic Light Voting System made it easy to use factual evidence about where each candidate in your electorate ranks in relation to their commitment to prioritize action on the climate emergency. We have modified this for the Victorian State Election in November.

Let’s hope that we can stop global warming soon enough to leave them with a future where they can survive and flourish

Featured image: Debris surrounds storm-damaged houses in Port aux Basques on September 26. # (John Morris / Reuters — from the featured article)

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Urgent action needed now to stop warming!

Aside from some flooding Australia has had it fairly easy compared to increasing frequency, extent, and severity of climate catastrophes in other parts of the world.

Don’t let our cooler La Nina and Indian Ocean dipole conditions fool you. The rest of the world really suffering!

Bill McKibben, is an American environmentalist, author, and journalist who has written extensively on the impact of global warming and and leads the climate campaign group 350.org. Here he summarizes evidence from increasingly frequent, extensive, and ferocious climate catastrophes in the Northern Hemisphere that shows global warming is continuing to accelerate.

As many articles posted on Climate Sentinel News in the run-up to Australia’s May 21 federal election also show, nothing we have done to date has measurably slowed the acceleration of global warming that may well lead to runaway warming and global mass extinction of humans and most other complex life on Earth. To stop this process while we can, our nations need to actively mobilize now to stop all carbon emissions and begin rapidly ramping up research and pilot projects to recapture and safely sequester some of the excess carbon already in our atmosphere.

Removing our COALition Government and electing several more ‘teal’ community independents to Parliament in the election just passed has finally given us a Labor Government that might be able to prioritize real climate action. However, because Labor continues to have its share of special interest puppet masters in the fossil fuel industry, pressure still needs to be applied by voters and their teal representatives in Parliament to speed climate action.

As the featured article here shows, we are already seeing the kinds of climate catastrophes able to cause mass human die-off events directly from the climate extremes themselves or famines resulting from associated crop failures.

A buoy rests on the cracked mud of Lake Mead in Nevada, in normal times America’s biggest reservoir (from the article)

by Bill McKibben, 23/08/2022 in the Crucial Years

Water, Water Nowhere – Except the spots that are flooding

China is enduring a truly remarkable heatwave—by some accounts “the worst heatwave known in world climatic history.” (Its main competitor for the title may be last year’s insane ‘heat dome’ that ran Canadian temperatures up to 121 Fahrenheit). The heat just never lets up over some of the most densely populated land on planet earth: It hit 113 degrees Fahrenheit in Chongqing Thursday, the highest temperature ever recorded in the country outside of desert Xinjiang. It hit 110 in Sichuan, which is a province of…80 million people, or two Californias. When it gets that hot, water just evaporates—Sichuan is 80 percent dependent on hydropower, but the reservoirs behind the great dams like Three Gorges are falling nearly as fast as Lake Mead and Lake Powell. The province has cut power day after day, including to Tesla and Toyota factories, and to many of the firms that supply the planet’s auto parts; the EV revolution is being held up by the effects of the problem it is trying to solve.

Read the complete article….

Featured Image: Own resources.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

August 2022 Greenhouse Gas Report

No evidence here that humans have done anything yet to stop and reverse GHG emissions to get us off the road to Hothouse Earth and global mass extinction.

As the ocean ice around Antarctic approaches its maximum spread for the year, on 19 August 2022 Antarctic sea-ice extent is the second lowest ever as recorded in the satellite era as recorded by the US National Snow & Ice Data Center. As sunlight again begins to shine on the antarctic polar region more of the ocean surface is exposed to solar heating that will warm the waters surrounding the ice cap to speed glacial melting and slow the formation of more sea-ice next winter.

July’s trends in global warming continue in August. Heatwaves, fires, and droughts in the Northern Hemisphere continue, e.g:

In the run-up to Australia’s May 22 Federal Election many articles on our Climate Sentinel News documented the reality, mechanisms and dangers humans face if global warming is allowed to continue. If global warming runs away due to already documented feedback mechanisms heating will continue at an accelerating rate that will soon rise beyond the capacity anything humans can do to stop it.

Critical time is wasting. It is time for all of our politicians, new and old to lead our country in massive mobilization to stop carbon emissions and start implementing carbon capture and sequestration processes able to extract excess amounts from the atmosphere. Biological processes are likely to scale up a lot more successfully than engineering solutions. Geoengineering to increase Earth’s reflectivity (i.e., albedo reduction) may also help. We know how to stop emissions, but sequestration and albedo reduction will require significant research that needs to start now.


Featured image: See July’s report for details.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

S Hemisphere already seeing 2080 storms now

New studies show winter storms in the Southern Hemisphere are already reaching intensities predicted for 2080. Climate emergency is real!

Winter storms in the Southern Hemisphere. Credit: NASA Worldview (from the article)

By Weizmann Institute of Science, 26 May 2022 in Phys Org

New data reveals climate change might be more rapid than predicted

A new study, published today in Nature Climate Change, will certainly make the IPCC—and other environmental bodies—take notice. A team of scientists led by Dr. Rei Chemke of Weizmann’s Earth and Planetary Sciences Department revealed a considerable intensification of winter storms in the Southern Hemisphere. The study, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Yi Ming of Princeton University and Dr. Janni Yuval of MIT, is sure to make waves in the climate conversation. Until now, climate models have projected a human-caused intensification of winter storms only toward the end of this century. In the new study, Chemke and his team compared climate model simulations with current storm observations. Their discovery was bleak: It became clear that storm intensification over recent decades has already reached levels projected to occur in the year 2080.

Chemke, Ming and Yuval’s study has two immediate, considerable implications. First, it shows that not only climate projections for the coming decades are graver than previous assessments, but it also suggests that human activity might have a greater impact on the Southern Hemisphere than previously estimated. This means that rapid and decisive intervention is required in order to halt the climate damage in this region. Second, a correction of the bias in climate models is in order, so that these can provide a more accurate climate projection in the future.

Read the complete article….

Featured Image: NASA. Remote sensing from orbit has now been observing for decades how our planet is changing and providing massive amounts of data for increasingly accurate forecasts of climate change. Our futures depend on taking these predictions seriously…..

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.

Towards a future of mass deaths from heat waves

Months long NB4 heat waves on the Indian subcontinent are likely to cause mass deaths as the world continues to warm. Australia may follow.

Predicted temperatures for Pakistan and northwestern India at 12Z Thursday, May 12, 2022, from the 6Z Thursday, May 5, run of the GFS model. The model predicted temperatures of 45-50 degrees Celsius (113-122°F) over a large region. Grey surrounded by green is the area of highest temperature — 47 °C (Image credit: weathermodels.com – from the article)

by Jeff Masters, 05/05/2022 in Eye on the Storm – Yale Climate Connections

India and Pakistan’s brutal heat wave poised to resurge: 2022 will likely be one of the coolest years Earth will experience in the foreseeable future; much more intense heat waves are in India and Pakistan’s future.

A brutal, record-intensity heat wave that has engulfed much of India and Pakistan since March eased somewhat this week, but is poised to roar back in the coming week with inferno-like temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius (122°F). The heat, when combined with high levels of humidity – especially near the coast and along the Indus River Valley – will produce dangerously high levels of heat stress that will approach or exceed the limit of survivability for people outdoors for an extended period.

The latest forecasts from the GFS and European models predict an unusually strong region of high pressure intensifying over southern Asia in the coming week, bringing increasing heat that will peak on May 11-12, with highs near 50 degrees Celsius (122°F) near the India/Pakistan border. May is typically the region’s hottest month, and significant relief from the heat wave may not occur until the cooling rains of the Southwest Monsoon arrive in June. But tropical cyclones are also common in May in the northern Indian Ocean, and a landfalling storm could potentially bring relief from the heat wave.

Read the complete article….

Featured image: An Indian woman drinks water on March 29, 2022, during a fierce heat wave. (Image credit: UNDP India ) / From the article.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.