Stewart Fist, journalist, columnist and film-maker.
A web-site on lobbying for investigative journos.
Technology-related from The Australian newspaper.[Now mainly of historical interest]
This is a self-indulgent web-site. I mainly wanted to republish some newspaper columns and articles I have written over the years which still have some relevance. It also includes a hotch-potch of other subjects that interest me.
The web site was originally established also for the Plateau Group, a loose, non-structured, non-commercial discussion group (mainly) of journalists, which has a focus on a number of Australia's social and political problems.
The convenor of the Plateau Group:
70 Middle Harbour Rd.
LINDFIELD, NSW, 2070
|This site is only slowly being rebuilt after another previous site was hacked. Sorry!
- LOBBYING & THINK-TANKS
Members of the Plateau Group have worked for many years at exposing scientific and general lobbyists who often secretly work for various industry and corporate special interests. The Libertarian think-tanks around the globe are financed and organised through the Atlas Network to provide these services.
- THE "MinEV" ROAD VEHICLE
Australia has lost its car manufacturing business to China and other Asian countries. However there is a very viable market niche for small electric-cars mainly for the elderly, if the State governments would jointly adjust their license conditions. This niche lies between electric wheelchairs, gophers, and small conventional vehicles.
- VIRUS RELATED
This is a time-line of the main decisions made politically during the Covid-19 pandemic. There is also some other useful material on previous viral pandemics and epidemics.
- HOMES FOR THE HOMELESS
This is a design for a very small (but cosy) low-cost demountable home we promote as "H4H - Homes for the Homeless, built by the homeless". It offers both a design and way of mass-construction for these demountable basic fully-featured (toilet, hot-shower, washing and cooking) minimal home using unskilled volunteers.
- PLATEAU HOMES FOR THE DISADVANTAGED
The average family home in an Australian suburb occupies a large blocks of land and has 3 or 4 bedrooms. Many of the smaller old family homes gained a second-floor, because the capital-value increase was an effective tax dodge.
Small houses with small gardens are almost non-existent. Yet, to the elderly and disabled, the availability of a rentable small house with garden is the key factor they need to consider to maintain their independence and keep the beloved family pet. High-rise, serviced apartments and retirement villages are not the ideal solution.
Aged people need to remain in their own community and their own suburb; among friends, family, neighbours, familiar shops and service providers - and keep their pets and have a small garden. Plateau engineering is a valid way of recovering small-home sites from the transport authorities and endless bitumised council car-parks.
- PLATEAU SUBMISSION
This is the main Plateau proposal for Lindfield in New South Wales. Our emphasis was on end-of-life planning for the elderly during the transition phase to the nursing home; specifically the need to find a smaller house, sell or lease the old family home, and arrange their affairs for the inevitable decline, and then a transition to assisted-care, the nursing home, and palliative care. There are many associated problems experienced by the disabled and disadvantaged single parents.
The Plateau is an engineering approach which generates social and financial solution to many of the problems experienced by ageing residents (singles or couples) via a new form of social housing:
- It depends on cooperative ownership and self-funding through a mutual building society.)
- It's a way of providing small homes in the CBD of suburbs at a reasonable cost,
- It prohibits speculation in these public assets so as to provide a permanent solution to a perpetual problem.
- It seeks to avoid the ghettoism of retirement villages, by creating a mixed community with children.
- UNDERGROUND DEVELOPMENTS
The Plateau Group's discussions of suburban social housing also led to the realisation that there were other cheaper techniques of construction of public facilities which did not consume valuable ground space. Since land area is the main component of building cost in a city and suburb, and the availability of central free land the main limitation of many public projects, this is an important concept worth developing further.
- ECONOMIC MYTHS & MISCONCEPTIONS
This is commentary on some of the economic concepts that are used to guide Australian and other nations' politics.
- CLIMATE & ENERGY
Climate change is central to the future well-being of Australia. This depends to a very large degree on abandoning fossil fuels and developing alternate sources of useful energy - including wave and tidal power.
Many Australian politicians have the mistaken belief that Australia needs a much larger population to establish itself as an important global power. In fact, a reasonably small population (commensurate with natural resources) is the best legacy we can leave to future generations. Libertarian lobbyists are fooled by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures into believing that these relate to individual wealth and well-being.
- NORTH-WESTERN AUSTRALIA DEVELOPMENT
These are a couple of papers on the development of the Kimberley's area in the northern half of Western Australia. We suggest that the Western Australian state, the largest single political entity in the world, is far too big for efficient government from Perth. We believe there is also an important role here for the development of renewable energy projects, and of construction facilities relating to Australia's foreign relations with its northern neighbours.
- OCEAN SENTINEL PODS
An idea for constructing anchored ocean platforms on the edge of the continental shelf adjacent to the North West coast to dissuade risk-taking refugees sailing from South-East Asia.
Health & Environment
- CELLPHONES & RADIATION DANGERS
A number of years ago Stewart wrote extensively about the possible harmful health effects of the pulsed-power GSM/DTMA cellular phones. It was established at this time that these pulsed-power handsets, pressed against the side of the head, could conceivably damage DNA. That doesn't necessarily mean that modern CDMA phones (which don't pulse their output power) or the newer 5G are a danger.