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Wednesday, 30 December


(We) can do better: Put out the Otways fires now using aerial water bombing planes "IndyWatch Feed National"

Wildlife and people who live in and love the Otways need us all to place pressure on the Victorian government to use effective fire-fighting, in the form of aerial water-bombing, instead of allowing these fires to burn themselves out whilst consuming our remaining forests and wildlife. Parks Victoria, CFA and DELWP (said DELWOP) use labour hire and equipment companies, and create an emergency bureaucracy and pay themselves massive bonuses during fires giving them a direct incentive to keep them burning - almost invariably making the future landscape more flammable - deprived of the insects and animals that break down flammable fuels. Like children with matches (an a financial incentive) they cannot help themselves and consider wiping parks, wildlife, homes and businesses and tourism out when people are not killed a success!

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: Generations yet to be born will be lost to the prison system & to suicide "IndyWatch Feed National"

Generations of children are growing up without any parenting, set adrift by the impoverishment that led their parents to low level offending, by a shallow system bent on retribution. Many Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children are growing up with at least one parent in jail. These children are hit by the trauma, but their […]


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Dogs don’t have to encounter wildlife to endanger it "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

I am writing (not for the first time) to defend the rights of the echidnas, wallabies, snakes and goannas who live in the Nature Reserve in Brunswick Heads. This is a protected place – a haven in a fiercely intrusive world – where horses and dogs and other introduced animals are not allowed. Especially dogs.

For walkers into this safe space, please keep in mind that animals communicate by a sense of smell more than by sight. Your dog may be a member of the family, may never hurt another being, but dog’s urine and poo are definite forms of communication, ‘I am here!’ and being carnivorous, their scent indubitably more assertive than herbivores, pronouncing them to be predators.

Some of our native animals, cute, threatened, diminishing, are so gentle they may be incurably affected by fear. A wildlife carers manual (Dooley, C. Macropology, 2004, p. 19) states “Stress is a macropod’s number one enemy and the thing that causes most macropods to die. ‘The causes of fear are numerous’, but  ‘Closeness to things their instincts tell them are predators eg dogs’ is one within everyone’s ability to reduce. Echidnas and other native animals in reserves may suffer similar effects from fear, or internal injuries from a ‘play’ with a friendly dog.

So, even though Fido or Rover or cute little Cinnamon may not dig up an echidna’s burrow (even though it is in dog’s nature to be a dog), even though your one, two or even three dogs (three dogs!) may be on leads and never encounter a native animal face to face, be aware, be sensitive, be a custodian, our undefended natives may not need to meet them face to face to be permanently affected.

Keep your dogs and horses to the allocated areas. Please.

Teeya Blatt, Long-time Brunswick Heads resident and lover of native wildlife.





Deaths In Custody Watch Commitee WA blogs: Fine flouters face extra time in jail "IndyWatch Feed National"

People who flout fines could have to spend longer in jail to pay off their debt under options being explored to recoup an outstanding bill that has blown out to almost $362 million.

Attorney-General Michael Mischin is looking at reducing the $250-a-day “cut out” rate for time behind bars for fine defaulters, as well as scrapping regulations that allow offenders to clear their debts at the same time as they are in jail for unrelated offences.

Read the rest of the story at The West Australian, 21 December 2015.


Fire Earth: Major Disaster Declared for Oklahoma "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Oklahoma Declared Federal Disaster Area Oklahoma Severe Winter Storms and Flooding (DR-4247) The White House has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Oklahoma in the areas affected by severe winter storms and flooding during the period of November 27-29, 2015. The hardest hit areas include the counties of Alfalfa, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, […]


Bill Mitchell – billy blog: Spain in limbo but has not rejected austerity "IndyWatch Feed"

On the Sunday before last (December 20, 2015), Spain conducted a general election, which has left the nation in limbo. Alex Tsipris, the Greek Prime Minister, still trying to hang on to the image that he is a progressive leader in some way, tweeted once the results were known that “Austerity has now been politically defeated in #Spain, as well. Parties seeking to serve society made a strong showing #20D”. I wonder who he is trying to kid … “as well” – as well as where? Certainly not in Greece, which was the implication of his tweet. And, to be clear, certainly not in Spain. While the conservative Popular Party (PP), which has overseen the most recent imposition of austerity and is firmly pro-EU and pro-euro, did not gain an absolute majority, they did win the most seats (123 in the Spanish parliament) and were well ahead of the other major austerity party, yes, the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), which won 90 seats). Even the left-wing We Can party (Podemos), who won 69 seats is not planning to exit the common currency. There is no hope of an anti-austerity coalition forming.

The Eurozone is biased, by design, towards austerity. I say that because the fiscal rules embedded in the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) and its extensions (the six-pack, two-pack, and the fiscal compact) are so restrictive that in a crisis, the Member States’ fiscal balances will too easily breach the allowable ceilings and trigger the Excessive Deficit Mechanism.

In other words, in many cases, the cyclical responses alone (the so-called automatic stabilisers) will likely push the fiscal balances beyond the permitted threshold and force the governments to introduce pro-cyclical fiscal contraction – that is, discretionary cuts to the net government spending at a time when the non-government spending cycle is also contracting – which is the anathema of responsible fiscal management.



"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": New England, Australia: Nathan Tinkler's Dartbrook coal play "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

I hope that you had a happy and peaceful Christmas.

The proposed sale of the mothballed Dartbrook coal mine Anglo American plc to the Nathan Tinkler controlled Australia Pacific Coal (Stock Exchange ticker AQC) for a price of up to $A50 million (here, here, here) has been greeted with a degree of incredulity and indeed anger in some quarters.

Under the terms of the deal, AQC will acquire:
  • Anglo American's 83.33% interest in the Dartbrook JV
  • a 100% interest in Anglo Coal (Dartbrook Management) Pty Ltd, manager of the Dartbrook JV 
  • a 83.33% interest in Dartbrook Coal (Sales) Pty Ltd, marketing agent of the Dartbrook JV (
The consideration for the acquisition includes:
  • a A$25 million cash payment
  • a royalty over AQC’s share of coal from the Dartbrook joint venture at a rate of A$3.00 per tonne of coal sold or otherwise disposed of and A$0.25 per tonne of any third party coal processed through the Dartbrook infrastructure, but capped at A$25 million (subject to escalation in accordance with CPI). 
  • in ad...


The Extinction Protocol: Missouri governor warns of ‘historic and dangerous’ floods "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Missouri Flooding
December 2015MISSOURIMissouri’s governor warned Tuesday of flooding and swollen river levels that could exceed levels seen in a devastating flood in 1993, and he pleaded with drivers to stay off inundated roadways. Thirteen people in Missouri have died in floods caused by severe storms over the weekend, and although the rain has moved on, swollen rivers are still rising and won’t crest for days, Gov. Jay Nixon said. “It’s very clear that Missouri is in the midst of a very historic and dangerous flooding event,” Nixon told reporters Tuesday. “The amount of rain we’ve received, in some places in excess of a foot, has caused river levels to not only rise rapidly, but to go to places they’ve never been before.”
Nixon declared a state of emergency Monday, and on Tuesday he activated the National Guard to assist first responders and to secure areas evacuated because of the winter storms. Several roads were blocked into the tourist mecca of Branson, where nearly 200 families were asked to evacuate voluntarily and the Red Cross opened a shelter on the Branson Strip. At Rockaway Beach near Branson, residents said the flooding, which peaked Monday night, was the worst they’d ever seen. “I’m usually pretty good about coming up with a game plan, and yesterday, literally my mind shut down, because I didn’t know what to do,” Rick Pickren, owner of White River Trading Co., an antique store, told NBC station KYTV of Springfield on Tuesday.



The Extinction Protocol: More earthquakes strike California and Oklahoma "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Quake California 2
December 2015CALIFORNIA – A moderate earthquake shook an inland area of Southern California near San Bernardino on Tuesday night, giving a start to thousands across a heavily populated area with more than one person comparing it to a rumbling big rig. There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries, however. The U.S. Geological Survey says in a preliminary report that the magnitude-4.4 quake hit in foothills northwest of San Bernardino about 5:38 p.m. at a depth of about three miles, a report from the U.S. Geological Survey said. Aftershocks of magnitude 3.8 and 3.2 came minutes later, and dozens of tiny aftershocks followed in the next few hours. People reported feeling the earthquake throughout the suburbs east of Los Angeles, which is about 50 miles southwest of the epicenter.
Brenda Torres, 24, a waitress at Papa Tony’s Diner in San Bernardino said customers were a bit shook up but kept calm. Nothing in the restaurant rattled or broke and the quake was so short there wasn’t even time to take cover under a table. “At first I thought it was a semi-truck that had hit the building or something,” Torres said. Laura Melgoza, 23, a college student and cashier at WaBa Grill in San Bernardino, said she and her co-workers headed toward the front of the building as the restaurant shook. “I was just panicking,” she said. “It was the biggest one that I’ve felt.” Tim Franke, a dispatch supervisor with the San Bernardino County Fire Department communication center, said there were no reports of damage or injuries, but the shaking was...


Aboriginal News Group Newswire: Canada's Lost Women - Al Jazeera English "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Canada's Lost Women - Al Jazeera English: Since the 1980s, over 1,000 indigenous women have been murdered in this developed North American nation, yet, according to campaigners and human rights groups, too few of these cases have resulted in arrests or prosecution.

Amid mounting claims of official indifference to the problem that some say has its roots in racism and the country's colonial past, People & Power asks why police and the government are not doing more to tackle crimes against Canada's first nation females.


Aboriginal News Group Newswire: Trigger Happy Chicago Cops Still Run the City - New America Media "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Trigger Happy Chicago Cops Still Run the City - New America Media: An irate Sam Adam Jr., another of Jones’ lawyers, said the police didn’t clean up her blood after killing her. Adam invited reporters inside the home to see the dried blood.

The comments shocked the already angry crowd who wore “Black Lives Matter” buttons, “[Chicago Mayor] Rahm [Emanuel]Has Failed Us” t-shirts and passed out fliers with the headline “Outrage” in bold black type that related the deadly shooting of Jones and Quintonio LeGrier, Jones’ upstairs neighbor. Some of the protesters carried a cloth poster with the names and faces of black men shot to death by police. Many said if they call the police for help, the police will kill them.

The entire event played out as neighbors stood on their porches with their arms folded, shaking their heads in disbelief. Police were nowhere to be seen in the neighborhood, which is a mix of African American and Hispanic residents living in frame, brick and stone buildings.


Aboriginal News Group Newswire: Tiamzon couple insists murder raps fabricated by military � Bulatlat "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Tiamzon couple insists murder raps fabricated by military � Bulatlat: MANILA – Political prisoners Wilma Tiamzon and Benito Tiamzon reiterated that the murder charges filed against them were fabricated by the military.

In a hearing Dec. 10, Edwin Zata of the Philippine National Police –Region 8 said he was part of the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) team who went to the alleged mass grave in Inopacan, Leyte in August 2006.

The Tiamzon couple is among the 70 who were charged in connection with the alleged mass grave.


Indian Country Headline News: Wounded Knee SOLD - Tim Giago to Buy It for $3.9 Million "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Tim Giago, Lakota, renowned journalist, publisher and founder of publications such as the Lakota Times, Native Sun News and Indian Country Today, has told ICTMN ...


Papua New Guinea Mine Watch: Newcrest coy on Hidden Valley shutdown "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Miner refuses to confirm or deny rumours but says operations ‘returning to normal’ after death closes road…

Hidden Valley

Rosalyn Albaniel | Post Courier

AUSTRALIAN Miner Newcrest has confirmed operations at Hidden Valley in Morobe Province, are returning to normal.

This was from the PNG country manager Peter Aitsi, who was responding to reports that had surfaced of a shutdown on site.

While this report was neither confirmed nor denied Mr Aitsi did however confirm that as of December 10 the company had begun using the long haul road, which had been closed.

“I can confirm that as of December 10, we were able to start using the long haul road for Hidden Valley – so essentially the mine is returning to normal operations,” he had stated.

Mr Aitsi had explained that the stoppage in the use of the road had come about as a result of a fatal accident which had occurred along this access road.

“A sub-contrator tow truck involved in recovering a broken down prime mover had lost control and crashed,” he said.

Reports are that the worker had died. He said the Hidden Valley Joint Venture and Mineral Resources Authority inspectors had conducted an investigation in November into the accident and the road access had been closed off to heavy vehicles. This was under the directive of the MRA inspectorate branch.

“We have worked closely with the various sections of MRA...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Byron Bay Blog: School Holiday Activities in and Around Byron "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Local businesses have got school holiday activities for kids down pat over summer!
Whether you are looking for a creative craft activity, green-finger workshop, watersport, musical show, school holiday dance lesson, learn equestrian skills or you want to try your hand at some circus tricks and stunts… it’s all happening here!


You can even search for Fairy Houses by following the Fairy Trail in Brunswick Heads! Pick up a map in the Brunswick Heads Visitor Centre and get searching!

In terms of FREE events and activities, the libraries are offering various craft and science-based workshops including origami, kite-making, microscope art and gizmo’s and gadgets. Please note; bookings are essential! Circus Art is also holding free balloon twisting workshops every day at 1pm and Bunnings will be offering its free in-store Christmas and school holiday craft workshops.



Catallaxy Files: Who is embarrassed by Mal Brough? "IndyWatch Feed"

I’m going to disagree with Terry Barnes – a somewhat rare occasion. In his weekly The Drum column Terry reflects on the resignation of Jamie Briggs and Mal Brough.

Some are making his simultaneous move against Brough and Briggs an example of Turnbull’s decisiveness. In Briggs’s case, definitely yes, but Brough had become an embarrassment weeks ago: the Government’s aim was to not give Labor a scalp while Parliament was sitting. Why Turnbull appointed someone under such a cloud as Special Minister of State, with a brief to clean up parliamentary entitlements, is also something that raises questions about the PM’s political judgment.

It isn’t clear to me why Brough was under a cloud. Okay – there was the “yes but no” incident.

But it won’t excuse his answering the identical question (whether Brough asked Peter Slipper’s staffer James Ashby to obtain the then Speaker’s diary) yes to the 60 Minutes cameras and no to the Parliament.

That is an after-the-fact problem. Brough was already under investigation. For what you might ask? Well for bringing to public attention the behaviour of Peter Slipper – a former Liberal MP who had his snout firmly jammed in the trough. A man who subsequently defected from the Liberal Party to become speaker and prop up the then Gillard government. A man who the Liberals only then decided to expose as being overly fond of his Parliamentary privileges.

It is all a bit too smelly for my liking.

So Mal Brough – given the job of cleaning up Parliamentary entitlements – has to leave his position under a cloud after having already exposed Slipper? I don’t think Turnbull is being decisive at all. He should have stood up...


John Quiggin: Do we need a global tax to stop rising inequality (crosspost from Crooked Timber seminar on Piketty) "IndyWatch Feed"

One of the more depressing features of Capital in the 21st Century is the air of inevitability attached to the much-discussed r > g inequality. This is exacerbated, on the whole, by the fact that Piketty’s proposed policy response, a progressive global tax on wealth, seems obviously utopian.

What about a much simpler alternative: increasing the rate of income tax applied to the very rich, and removing preferential treatment of capital income? Piketty’s own work with Saez yields the conclusion that the socially optimal top marginal rate of taxation, after taking account of incentive effects, would be 70 per cent or more. Such rates prevailed, at least nominally, in the mid-20th century, without obvious ill effects. Again, Piketty provides the relevant evidence.

So, is there something about a globalised world economy that renders a return to high marginal rates of taxation impossible?

One crucial objection has been tested and refuted. Over the course of the 20th century, numerous small countries and some larger ones (notably Switzerland) established themselves as tax havens, willing to accept bank deposits and other capital flows from citizens of other countries and shield them from the efforts of the governments of those countries to collect taxes, or penalise tax evasion. Given the benefits of being a tax haven, it seemed likely that some jurisdictions would simply reject any attempt at an international effort to combat tax evasion.

The OECD put this proposition to the test when, in 2000, it listed a number of jurisdictions, such as Andorra and Liechtenstein as un-cooperative tax havens, because they declined to implement proposed standards of transparency and exchange of information. All of these jurisdictions ultimately capitulated and were “whitelisted”. The label “tax haven”, once sought-after, is now repu......


Peter Martin: Why we'll have to pay polluters to stop polluting, as soon as possible "IndyWatch Feed"

Get set for a scorcher.

None of what you've been noticing is wrong, it really is much hotter than in your childhood.

And it's getting hotter. The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration says this year will almost certainly be the hottest on record, following on from last year which was the hottest year recorded.

So far, nine out of the world's hottest 10 years on record have begun with the number 2. That means they took place after the year 2000 rather than in the 1900s, when most of us grew up.

The good news is that the Paris talks showed our leaders are on to it. Ministers including Julie Bishop committed first to holding the increase in the global average temperature to "well below" two degrees (where most of the Arctic melts) and then to "pursuing efforts" to limit it to 1.5 degrees.

It's already one degree hotter than it was before industrialisation. The emissions pledges taken to Paris would have kept the increase to only about 2.7 degrees. That's why the ministers pledged to come back every five years with new and tougher targets and to explain how they are going to meet them.

The implications are jaw...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Turnbull loses two ministers in one day "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Canberra, AAP – Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s judgment is under fire following the loss of two ministers in one day and accusations he tried to bury the bad news.

Cities Minister Jamie Briggs quit the ministry on Tuesday over an ‘error of professional judgment’ involving a female public servant at a Hong Kong bar, while embattled frontbencher Mal Brough finally succumbed to mounting pressure over his involvement in the James Ashby affair.

Mr Briggs said he fell short of the standards required of a minister in the incident which offended the woman on a late night during an official visit to Hong Kong in November.

‘I’ve apologised directly to her but after careful reflection about the concerns she raised and the fact that I was at a bar late at night while on an overseas visit, I have concluded this behaviour has not met the particularly high standards for ministers,’ he said.

Mr Brough will stand aside as special minister of state and defence materiel minister pending police inquiries into the Ashby saga.

Mr Turnbull said he and Mr Brough had agreed he should step aside even though he stood by his scandal-plagued minister through weeks of Labor demands for his resignation in November.

Acting Labor leader Tanya Plibersek accused the prime minister of preparing for an early election by trying to ‘take out the trash’ during a time of year when most Australians weren’t paying attention.

Mr Turnbull must’ve known about Mr Briggs’ incident weeks ago, she said.

‘He saved up all the bad news for a day between Christmas and New Year when he thought no one was listening,’ she said in Sydney.

Mr Turnbull’s decision to appoint Mr Brough to the ministry despite ‘red lights flashing’ about his involvement in the...


Head Space: Behold! The biggest business in the world – In the name of … "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

All the top religious institutions in the world be it Christian, Islam, Hindu, Mormon and so on and so forth have a net worth and annual income much higher than most or all the top business corporations in the world. If we have to adopt a successful business model based on the learnings from these […]


: Transport Minister Nalder’s recent public declaration to legalise uber failed the Litmus “reason” Test. "IndyWatch Feed National"

Notwithstanding the current chaotic under regulated Western Australian transit market place, has been the recent decision by the beleaguered transport minister to openly declare the government’s intention to legalise uber. On the 18th of this month Minister Nalder officially announced that uber would legally be incorporated into the transit sector, albeit that its participation would […]


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Star: Karmai community celebrates "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

THE Korumburra community came together for a special Christmas celebration at Coleman Park, Korumburra recently. More than 130 children, their families and educators converged on the park to celebrate together a wonderful year. 

The occasion was also attended by a special visitor in red, arriving on the fire truck and handing out goodies and Christmas wishes to the children.

After Santa’s departure Bronwyn Beach, president of the board of Karmai Community Children’s Centre, gave a wonderful acknowledgement to more than 70 years of service by three inspiring educators. 

Bronwyn first spoke of both Lyn Stein and Julie Osmond, who gave 41 years service and 21 years respectively, educating the children of Korumburra.

What an amazing impact they have had on the children and families of the town.  

Lyn has even taught three generations of some families – an exceptional feat for anyone.

Lyn and Julie’s partnership has been one of synergy and Julie shared how, over the years, they have become so in tune they often finish each other’s sentences.

They are retiring to spend time with their families and explore the next adventures in their lives. 

Bronwyn also thanked Ebony Knox, who has been working at Karmai for 10 years. Ebony has also been an integral part of the Karmai family and is taking on a new adventure in the city for 2016.


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Star: Sue’s opinion a winner "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"


GIPPSLAND Southern Health Service encouraged everyone to provide feedback on their Annual Quality of Care Report this year.

As an incentive, everyone who provided feedback went into a draw to win a Christmas hamper.

All responses received are collated and help GSHS develop future reports that will incorporate suggestions for improvement.

Last year the health service only received three completed feedback forms and this year received 68.

The Quality of Care report is designed to increase community awareness about GSHS, and the approach it takes toward providing high quality care for patients, clients, carers, residents and their families.

The report demonstrates GSHS’s commitment to the delivery of safe care and includes commentary on the key quality improvement projects it has undertaken, along with stories from patients, consumers and staff to highlight some of the quality improvement efforts made during the year.

Whilst the competition has closed, GSHS is still welcoming feedback on the report which can be obtained at both the Korumburra and Leongatha hospitals.

The report may also be viewed, and the feedback form completed, online at

Christmas bonus: winner of Gippsland Southern Health Service’s raffle, Sue Wright, receives her hamper from CEO Mark Johnson.

Christmas bonus...


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Star: St Joseph’s students wow audience "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

STUDENTS from Korumburra’s St Joseph’s Primary School lit up the stage with their school production recently.

Performing at Mary MacKillop Catholic Regional College, they gave a whole school production of The Samaritan Within with a modern twist.

“We stayed true to the original parable but each class performed their own dance,” director Laura Muranty said.

“The parable cast was of 18 students from grades 3 to 6, with the school choir also performing.”

The message of the production was to show faith and love in God, and for people to be heroes in their own right.

Committing to a semester of practicing and work, the students enjoyed having the opportunity to perform in front of parents and friends on the stage to see the school year out.

Colourful wings: from left, Milla, Claudia, Lucy, Brooke, Heidi and Carter dressed up as butterflies for the St Joseph’s Primary School production.

Colourful wings: from left, Milla, Claudia, Lucy, Brooke, Heidi and Carter dressed up as butterflies for the St Joseph’s Primary School production.


Aboriginal News Group Newswire: Historic 'Comfort Women' Agreement Still Requires Action | Wilson Center "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Historic 'Comfort Women' Agreement Still Requires Action | Wilson Center: One place to start is to discourage elected officials from criticizing the agreement. While Japan is a democracy with a broad spectrum of views, criticisms by elected officials and government appointees of previously-issued apologies have suggested inconsistency if not duplicity in Japanese attitudes towards the “comfort women” issue. The Prime Minister should also carefully reconsider the advisability of visits to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine and the government approval of revisionist textbooks that whitewash Japan’s imperial legacies. These actions will speak louder than any words.


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Star: Volunteers rewarded by council "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

COMMUNITY groups across the region received $142,180 from South Gippsland Shire Council at the presentation of Community Grants recently.

The program supports community initiatives that enhance the quality of life, heritage, recreation and cultural opportunities in the shire.

Groups wishing to apply for funding under round two of the Community Grants have until March 31, 2016 to apply through council’s website.

The recent presentation was held in the Leongatha council chamber.

Grand plan: the Toora Recreation Reserve’s Shane Corrie (left) and Andrew Pattie received $10,000 from Cr Jeanette Harding to build a new machinery shed.

Grand plan: the Toora Recreation Reserve’s Shane Corrie (left) and Andrew Pattie received $10,000 from Cr Jeanette Harding to build a new machinery shed.


"IndyWatch Feed Cvic": The Network: Women's history: skillbuilding, work experience and a lifetime with shorthand - Pitman's and Gregg's "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

I am publishing this post because it is a look back into women's history and experience.
It has had thousands of views.

Do you remember learning pitmans shorthand?
Posted by Starts at 60 on Monday, 28 December 2015


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Star: Marriotts has it all "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

CLEAN up and protect yourself this summer with help from the friendly staff with expert knowledge at Marriotts Motorcycles and Power Equipment in Leongatha.
Tim Marriott and the team can help you clean up with a great range of Stihl brushcutters or take care of some serious situations with Deuscher and Greenfield walk behind slashers.
Look after yourself with their fantastic range of firefighting equipment including fire pumps, trailers and firefighting units, with many brands available in store including: Silvan, TTI, Honda, Subaru, Yanmar, and Briggs and Stratton.
Marriotts MPE also stocks tree watering equipment, so get on in and don’t get caught short this

First response: Tim Marriott of Marriotts MPE with some of the fantastic products available instore now for your firefighting requirements.  He can offer the best in reliable firefighting pumps and knapsacks from a great range of brands.

First response: Tim Marriott of Marriotts MPE with some of the fantastic products available instore now for your firefighting requirements.  He can offer the best in reliable firefighting pumps and knapsacks from a great range of brands.


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Star: Discover Antarctica at Phillip Island "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

IN AN Australian-first, WWF-Australia and Phillip Island Nature Parks launched a fully-immersive ‘Antarctic Journey’ attraction at Phillip Island last Wednesday, December 23.
The new visitor experience is located at the Nobbies Centre and complements the range of visitor experiences at Phillip Island Nature Parks, including the nearby world famous Penguin Parade.
The exhibition tells a powerful story of the magnificent landscapes and wildlife along the journey from Phillip Island to Antarctica via the Southern Ocean, providing guests with a rare opportunity to experience up close one of the world’s last untouched wildernesses.
Large, breathtaking images and video footage of key iconic wildlife including whales, penguins, albatross and seals guide visitors through the interactive exhibit.
A highlight of the experience is the world-class ‘Augmented Reality’ area, where technology allows visitors to stand on the ice in a virtual reality Antarctic environment. They can then ‘interact’ with key wildlife species and be amazed by their size and beauty.
The ‘Antarctic Journey’ is a permanent exhibition and is open seven days a week. More info at
Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Anthony Carbines said, “I hope the exhibit will inspire guests to learn more about the awe-inspiring wilderness of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.
“Antarctica is under serious threat from climate change. Experiencing the Antarctic landscape through the new exhibit will undoubtedly highlight to visitors why we must take action to protect this unique natural landscape for future generations.”
“I’m excited by the partnership between WWF and Phillip Island Nature Parks, and it is this type of collaborative approach to conservation that is making a positive difference to our natural environment.”



"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Star: Work of windmill art "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

GRANT Flather has taken something ordinary and turned it into a piece of extraordinary art.

Mr Flather came across a tilted windmill on a South Gippsland property and chose to resurrect it into a piece of art.

“To me, it looked like the windmill was looking at something on the ground near its base. It got me thinking what if these old machines were actually alive?” he said.

Mr Flathers went on to construct A Meeting of Minds, a sculpture that depicts the windmill leaning over a young child who is holding a miniature fairground windmill.

The child is constructed with pieces of old machinery and represents a youth from the future with an appreciation for traditional farm mechanics like windmills.

“People would be surprised to hear at one stage there were over 90 windmills in Yanakie alone. Farmers relied solely on the windmills to transfer water from underground or from dams across their farms,” he said.

“A single windmill could draw water from 200 feet underground and push the water over a kilometre along pipes. It’s a shame the windmills are disappearing. I think they are quite beautiful,” Mr Grant said.

“It is quite a subtle piece really. The idea came very early on. I sketched it very quickly.”

The sculpture can be viewed at Lucinda Estate in Leongatha until the end of January.


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Star: Jo Fennell farewells pharmacy "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

THE New Year will ring in the changes for Jo Fennell of Nagel’s Pharmacy.
After working at the Leongatha pharmacy for a total of 30 years, Jo is about to call it a day. Her last day at the pharmacy will be New Year’s Eve, this Thursday, December 31.
For the last 17 years, Mrs Fennell has been the face behind the Estee Lauder counter but her job description has extended far beyond that.
She started back in 1967 where she did a 10 year stint under then owner, the late Lindsay Smith.
“I started with Lindsay Smith when I finished school. Back then I used to run the mail to the post office, wash the windows and lino floors as well as be a sales assistant,” Mrs Fennell recalled.
The job has been varied and at different times Mrs Fennell could be selling a knee brace, nose drops, a tube of toothpaste or helping at the dispensary.
In the early 1970s, Mrs Fennell was appointed store manager before taking a break to have children from 1977.
In 1995 she returned and worked for a few years under owners Brian Smith and Brett Nagel until Mr Nagel purchased the remainder of the business.
In 1998 Mrs Fennell became the counter manager for Estee Lauder. One of her favourite jobs was to apply make-up.
In fact, one of the last jobs she will undertake on Thursday will be to do the make-up for three people for a New Year’s Eve wedding.
In her time at the pharmacy she has met “so many beautiful people”.
“It is a lovely place to work in and Brett is a great boss,” Mrs Fennell said.
There will be plenty of pursuits for Mrs Fennell as she heads into retirement.
For a start there are the seven grandchildren, helping out her daughter (Krisha) and son-in-law (Michael) at the Rusty Windmill Cafe, the odd game of golf at Woorayl, plus her work as a civil celebrant.
Husband Greg is timing his retirement after 42 years as a bricklayer to coincide with his wife’s, which will mean more time to spend together....


Aboriginal News Group Newswire: 'Raped' polio worker claims police trying to cover up the crime - Pakistan - DAWN.COM "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

'Raped' polio worker claims police trying to cover up the crime - Pakistan - DAWN.COM: The victim said that Khan warned her to give up her job as "it was haram and part of American conspiracy against Muslims". He threatened the victim of dire consequences.

The lady said that few days after this incident, five men barged into her house at midnight and two of them – in police uniforms - allegedly raped her, while the other three tortured her family.

However, the FIR says the men took away Rs40,000 from the victim’s place and has no mention of rape charges, DawnNews reported.


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Star: Speak out on autism "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"


THE accessibility of services across health, education, disability, housing, sport and employment available to people living with autism will be examined by a parliamentary inquiry, The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath announced recently.

Ms Bath said the inquiry would enable local families, teachers and community groups to have their say on important issues that affected the lives of those living with autism spectrum disorders.

“The Parliament’s Family and Community Development Committee will consider the adequacy of existing services as well as those that will be provided through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS),” Ms Bath said.

“The committee also wants to find out the projected demand for services across a range of areas.”

Ms Bath said once the committee has completed the inquiry, its report would provide the parliament with up to date information in a range of areas, including:

  • prevalence of autism spectrum disorder in Victoria;
  • the availability and adequacy of services provided by the commonwealth, state and local governments across health, education, disability, housing, sport and employment services;
  • the adequacy of services to be provided under the National Disability Insurance Scheme;
  • evidence of the social and economic cost of failing to provide adequate services; and
  • the projected demand for services in Victoria.

The Nationals’ Gippsland South MLA Danny O’Brien urged Gippslanders to take part and make submissions to the inquiry.

“It’s important the committee hears a wide range of views through public hearings and submissions, to gain an in-depth understanding of the issues and how services could be improved,” he said.

“The committee will hold public hearings in Melbourne and across regional Victoria, with a schedule to be finalised shortly.”

Mr O’Brien said all submissions would be treated.........


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Star: Beach rubbish tip "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"


BASS Coast Shire Council will finally clean up an eyesore along Inverloch’s foreshore after lobbying by agitated residents.

Concrete rubble, include slabs with steel reinforcing protruding and broken pipes, are now sitting on the beach below the boat ramp overflow carpark.

The ugly sight has infuriated residents who believe the mess is a blight on the town’s reputation as a holiday destination and spoiling Inverloch’s inlet beach.

Rubble has even been washed further down the beach and visitors have even cut their feet on the sharp rock.

Council will finally act to clean up the mess, despite some residents calling for action for a long time.

Resident Henry Sedelies was furious.

“I’m aware this is called the new Inverloch tip which is exactly what it is,” he said.

“They used to dump bricks and rubbish there four years ago. It should be cleaned up.”

Another resident, Kathleen Roberts, was also incensed.

“If I did this (dumped rubbish) I would be fined severely,” she said.

“It’s worse than ugly now because it will break down and ruin the beach.”

Her husband David Roberts said, “They have to put bluestone in there like they used to.”

Council’s manager of sustainable environment Deirdre Griepsma said, “Council acknowledges the area looks unsightly and requires attention.

“Council has been seeking funds for some time to improve revetment walls in the area, and has had ongoing discussions with Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) regarding funding to undertake works.

“Council has allocated funds to construct a rock revetment wall at the site which has been subject to wave erosion. Council is currently designing this wall and will then seek necessary approvals, including consent from the DELWP.”

Council expects construction works will start in early 2016 after the holiday period.

“This will include removal of unsightly rubble........


Catallaxy Files: Bring Tony into Cabinet says Eric Abetz "IndyWatch Feed"

Now being reported at The Australian: Eric Abetz: now bring Tony Abbott back to cabinet

Liberal senator Eric Abetz has called for Tony Abbott to be brought back into the cabinet after the sudden departure of two frontbenchers embroiled in controversy.

Cities Minister Jamie Briggs was yesterday forced to resign in disgrace after admitting an “error of professional judgment” in relation to an incident involving a young female public servant in Hong Kong while Special Minister of State Mal Brough stepped down pending the outcome of a police investigation into his role in the Peter Slipper affair.

Very messy and not a good look. I’m still not sure what Briggs had done, but I have to say that he would have to be off his rocker if he was a member of the cabinet and tried any of that Bill Clinton stuff.


Independent Australia: Brough and Briggs booted as sneaky Turnbull takes out the summer trash "IndyWatch Feed"

Brough and Briggs booted as sneaky Turnbull takes out the summer trashMalcolm Turnbull ditches problem drinker Jamie Briggs and Ashbygate AFP target Mal Brough while everyone is on holidays. Ross Jones reports. read now...


Aboriginal News Group Newswire: Human Research Loopholes: Alive and Well | Electronic Frontier Foundation "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Human Research Loopholes: Alive and Well | Electronic Frontier Foundation: The Common Rule was created in 1991 as an outgrowth of the Belmont Report, a series of ethical and principles and guidelines created by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research to address issues raised by the Tuskegee experiment. The Common Rule claims to strike a balance between the three goals identified in the Belmont Report: 1) respecting persons, 2) ‘beneficence’ (i.e., maximizing the social value of science and research), and 3) justice.

This federal policy purportedly binds the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and numerous other agencies, including the CIA and Department of Homeland Security (per Executive Order 12333). But as we’ve seen, these agencies are adept at honing in on small loopholes, so the proposed language needs a serious edit if it is going to provide any real protection.

EFF filed a comment when HHS first proposed this update in 2011, and we are drafting a new comment laying out our biggest concerns to file by January 6, 2016.


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: New tour bus for the Bay "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

The double-decker sister of Byron's Magic Bus will run a regular hop-on, hop-off route around the town. Image supplied

The double-decker sister of Byron’s Magic Bus will run a regular hop-on, hop-off route around the town. Image supplied

The Magic Bus is a local iconic transporter which has now become a part of the Byron Shire landscape. The double-decker will see its sister act born next month when a hop-on-hop-off tour service is launched in Byron Bay.

The new tour bus is an open-top red double-decker bus, restored to its former beauty. The bus tour, run by the same local family who run the psychedelic Magic Bus charter service, is a one-hour circuit of Byron Bay’s most scenic attractions that lets passengers hop off and back on at a later stage, to enjoy the Bay’s walks, beaches and lookouts, before finishing off the circuit.

The tours begin next Tuesday January 5. For more in formation visit

The post New tour bus for the Bay appeared first on Echonetdaily.


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Byron residents face a year of ‘zero internet’ "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Not happy, NBN. Sunrise residents make their point. Photo Eve Jeffery

Not happy, NBN. Sunrise residents make their point. Photo Eve Jeffery

Eve Jeffery

Residents of the Byron suburb of Sunrise face more than a year without internet access when their neighbourhood becomes a dead spot after north coast internet service provider Linknet closes on January 31.

The federal government has left Linknet without compensation after NBN Co took over local services. Unfortunately the NBN service does not cover all local residential and business customers.

Spokesperson for the Sunrise Residents Group Robyn Wilcox said the loss of internet service to the area has terrible implications for children still at school, for home businesses and activities such as banking online.

‘It has come as a shock to many families and business people who study or work from home in Sunrise and other parts of Byron Shire, as well as businesses in the Byron Arts & Industry Estate, that they will have zero internet access in just over four weeks’ time’, she said.

Forced out

Ms Wilcox said that for most of Sunrise there has never been ADSL. ‘We don’t have line-of-sight for fixed wireless to any of the towers on St Helena or elsewhere’, she said.

‘We can’t get 4G, cable or satellite. Our saviour was Linknet. Now they have been forced out.

‘We have watched this happen over the last couple of years, but we still hoped this day would not dawn.’

Ms Wilcox says the resident group has contacted local......


"IndyWatch Feed Cvic": Natural Newstead: The tail tells the tale! "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Both Shining and Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoos have been regular visitors to the home garden since their arrival in the spring. Their distinctive penetrating, mournful calls announce their presence, often causing a commotion among small birds such as wrens and thornbills that fall victim to the parasitic cuckoos. Both species are similar in appearance with a coppery sheen to the upperparts and a barred breast – this latter feature is incomplete in Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo.


Horsfields Bronze-cuckoo, Newstead, 28th December 2015.


The barring of the breast and flanks is less extensive in Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo – the long white eyebrow is another difference.


A Superb Fairy-wren (just out of frame) provoked an agitated reaction from the cuckoo.



"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: New rules mean trouble for koalas, say activists "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Changed forestry regulations would put further pressure on the north coast's endangered koala population, environment groups say. Photo

Changed forestry regulations would put further pressure on the north coast’s endangered koala population, environment groups say. Photo

North coast environment groups and the National Parks Association of NSW are calling on the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to abandon plans to overhaul logging regulations, which will dilute protections for koalas.

Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (IFOAs) are the rules that regulate logging in NSW. The EPA is currently writing new IFOAs which are due for public consultation in early 2016.

Documents acquired by environment groups and EDO (the Environmental Defenders Office) under freedom of information laws show that the new rules will spell more trouble for already beleaguered koala populations.

The new IFOAs seek to replace on-ground surveys with habitat models to streamline pre-logging koala surveys. Models use expected predictors of koala occurrence such as plant community types and presence of feed trees to predict where koalas should be. The groups say this will not work.

Dr Oisín Sweeney, science officer with the National Parks Association of NSW (NPA), said, ‘The experts who reviewed the EPA’s models found that they can’t predict the occurrence of koalas because they don’t take into account either the social nature of koalas or past disturbance.

‘Basically koalas, like humans, like to stay close to their families. These social ties mean that habitat is not the sole driver...


Geoengineering Watch: The Contrails Conspiracy Is Not Only Garbage, It’s Letting Aviation Off The Hook Too "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

chemtrail-sky-with-jetSource: The Disinformation Directory Original story by George Monbiot in The Guardian: Response written by Marla Stair-Wood George Monbiot is concerned about airplane emissions. He is so concerned about aviation emissions, he penned numerous essays on the subject since 1996, when he became a columnist for The Guardian. One would think the armies of


Free Hawai`i "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"


Please Take A Moment & Submit Yours Today.

Visit To Submit Your Testimony To The DOI - Itʻll Take You Less Than One Minute To Do It....


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: The Spirit of Falls "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Andrew-KidmanOver the past twenty years, Andrew Kidman has earned a dedicated following as a filmmaker and singer/songwriter.

Since the release of his 1996 debut Litmus: A Surfing Odyssey (acclaimed as ‘easily the finest surf film of its decade’), Kidman has continued to intertwine his love of surfing and music relentlessly and without compromise, inadvertently inspiring a whole generation of new riders and artists who have collectively contributed to what has been described as a ‘soul-surfing renaissance’. Kidman’s latest project is Spirit of Akasha, a sequel to the iconic 1972 surf film Morning of the Earth which was launched with a live soundtrack by Kidman’s band The Windy HIlls and guests at the Sydney Opera House as part of the 2014 Sydney Festival.

This Falls Festival, Uki-based Kidman brings it home with a screening and a live score by Windy Hills. It was an ambitious and breathtaking vision, realised in sumptuous simplicity. However, filming was a little more complex!

‘For Spirit of Akasha we had about 10 cameramen working on it,’ says Kidman. ‘Basically we were all giving our take on what we thought Albie (Falzon) did, whatever we were inspired to create; and the soundtrack was the same. The original soundtrack to Morning of the Earth was like a gold record; we just said to everyone involved, just let it inspire you, it’s a beautiful film.’

Morning of the Earth remains a touchstone for surfing culture. Kidman believes it’s owed largely to the power of the original sound.....

"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: The rise and rise of Nattali Rize "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"


Blue King Brown frontwoman Nattali Rize just seems to grow more beautiful by the year – her face, her heart, her talent… it’s truly a force to be reckoned with.

The girl we first met on the streets busking with Carlo has gone a long way, and is quickly becoming an international musician in her own right. Nattali Rize returns ‘home’ to play the Hotel Brunswick on Sunday.

Tell me what has been happening with Notis on the solo project you have been completing in Jamaica…

Earlier this year Notis from Jamaica and I released our debut EP, New Era Frequency. It’s actually nine tracks in total including three dub mixes. I moved to Jamaica a couple of years ago after meeting Notis in Melbourne while they were on tour with Jimmy Cliff. We wrote and recorded our first single that night we met, so we decided to pursue that connection and embark on this collaboration project together… and after many days and nights writing and recording till the early hours in Kingston, we have created something we all feel is unique and fresh in terms of the cross-cultural collaboration and in terms of actual sounds that have come from out collective inspiration and creativity.

We have also realised a huge part of this dream, which was to tour this project. We’ve toured through the US and Canada this year as well as a couple of Jamaican shows, and we are all really excited to be bringing it back to Australia where it all began!

Why the move to Jamaica? Is this part of a push to a more inter.......


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Toad venom on filmmaker’s menu "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"


North coast filmmaker and psychonaught Dean Jefferys is now raising funds for his film about a psychedelic toad, a relative of the notorious cane toad.

Jefferys is perhaps best known for his 2000 film Shamans of the Amazon and his activist work for protecting whales.

Jefferys describes his new film The God Molecule and the Shamanic Toad as ‘a personal journey into the mysterious shamanic and microscopic world of the most powerful entheogenic molecule known to man, 5-MeO-DMT or “The God Molecule” as many are now calling it.

‘Unlike its cousin N,N DMT, used in the ayahuasca brew, 5-MeO-DMT appears only in a few plants and in the Sonora Desert Toad from Mexico.’

The film follows a small group, including the filmmaker Dean Jefferys, as they travel around Central and South America to experience 5-MeO-DMT rituals with toad medicine shaman Dr Octavio Retig and the Piaroa and the Secoya tribes who ‘have an ancient culture of using 5-MeO-DMT’.

The Periwa Indians use the 5-MeO-DMT in their snuff and the Secoya add leaves containing 5-MeO-DMT to their ayahuasca brew.

Jefferys plans to film Dr Rettig in ritual with the initiates and then later hear from them of their experience. In January 2016 Dr Rettig will travel to the Amazon rainforest in Venezuela to experience the 5-MeO-DMT Yopo snuff ritual and share the toad medicine and stories with a Piaroa Yopo shaman.

Those interested in the film can see more at

The post Toad venom on filmmaker’s menu appeared first on Echonetdaily.


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Has your Christmas food hangover created an overhang? "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Practising Nutritionist, Rachel Jeffery says that it’s hard to keep the momentum going on new year diets. Photo Tree Faerie.

Accredited Practising Dietitian Rachel Jeffery says that it’s hard to keep the momentum going on new year diets. Photo Tree Faerie.

Rachel Jeffery

Have you had a break from your sports over the festive season? Is it time to start thinking about your training and exercise plan for 2016? Are those few extras kilos that have crept on over Christmas, going to make you sluggish and not at your peak performance?

Every year, thousands upon thousands of people have good intentions to make this the year to lose weight or get their eating habits back on a healthier path. Like everyone else, sporting people have the same intentions and goals. But how many people really succeed? Will you be at your best come competition time?

Normally we all start off quite well, but it is hard to keep the momentum going and even harder to know the best foods to eat, with so much conflicting information in the media.

On a whole, it is reported Australians are becoming fatter and our eating habits are leaning more towards fast-and-fatty takeaway foods. In National records kept it is estimated that two-thirds of Australian adults and one-quarter of our children are now overweight and obese.

Weight gain occurs when you eat and drink too much while limiting p....


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Media’s most mentioned sporting folk "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Most-mentioned-sports-people-in-the-Australian-news-media-2015-1In another year that proved controversy is king, Nick Kyrgios was the sportsperson most mentioned in 2015 by Australian media.

According to Isentia Media Monitoring, a year of run-ins with tennis authorities and allegations of poor behaviour both on and off the court shadowed the young star’s rapid rise in the ATP rankings since he burst onto the scene at last year’s Wimbledon. As well as on-court sledging and claims of tanking, he was dropped from the Davis Cup team and had a verbal stoush with Dawn Fraser.

Meanwhile he finished the year at 30 in the ATP rankings.

Other notables are former Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke is second on the list, with more than 220,000 mentions across the year.

He led Australia to a fifth Cricket World Cup win after defeating first-time finalists New Zealand at the MCG in March, but a disappointing Ashes tour to England followed, with Clarke announcing his retirement from all international cricket before the last Test, following Australia’s losing its fourth series in a row in England.

Former coach John Buchanan criticised Clarke’s captaincy style following his retirement, with extensive debate in the media about his legacy. Clarke and his wife Kyly announced the birth of their daughter Kelsey Lee in November.

The second tennis player in the top three, Bernard.........


Indian Country Headline News: Frankenfish Fail: Yurok Ordinance Bans Genetically Engineered Organisms "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

The Yurok Tribe has passed the first ever tribal ordinance banning genetically engineered organisms such as GMO corn or altered salmon from its territory....


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Derailed acid train still off limits "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Scene of a freight train derailment at Julia Creek, Qld. Police have established a 2km exclusion zone at the site after all 26 carriages of the train came off the tracks around 10.30am on Sunday, spilling diesel fuel and 200,000 litres of sulfuric acid. The area is remote and difficult to access due to road flooding. Photo Queensland Police

Scene of a freight train derailment at Julia Creek, Qld. Police have established a 2km exclusion zone at the site after all 26 carriages of the train came off the tracks around 10.30am on Sunday, spilling diesel fuel and 200,000 litres of sulfuric acid. The area is remote and difficult to access due to road flooding. Photo Queensland Police

Brisbane, AAP – It could be days before a derailed freight train which spilled tens of thousands of litres of sulfuric acid in northwest Queensland can be properly assessed.

All of the train’s 26 carriages overturned at the Quarrells site, 20km east of Julia Creek, on Sunday.

Police say it was carrying 819,000 litres of the highly corrosive acid of which 31,500 litres leaked from one carriage.

Heavy rain and muddy ground have hampered efforts to reach the train, roughly 100 metres from the nearest road.

Queensland Rail said staff had not been able to access the site with a police exclusion zone of two kilometres not expected to be lifted until at least Thursday.

A spokeswoman said it was too early to say ho...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: IS issues ruling on sex with slaves "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Washington, Reuters – Islamic State theologians have issued an extremely detailed ruling on when ‘owners’ of women enslaved by the extremist group can have sex with them, in an apparent bid to curb what they called violations in the treatment of captured females.

The ruling or fatwa has the force of law and appears to go beyond the Islamic State’s previous known utterances on slavery, said Cole Bunzel, a leading IS expert at Princeton University.

It sheds new light on how the group is trying to reinterpret centuries-old teachings to justify the rape of women in the swaths of Syria and Iraq it controls.

For a US government translation of the fatwa click

The fatwa was among a huge trove of documents captured by US Special Operations Forces during a raid targeting a top Islamic State official in Syria in May.

The news agency Reuters has reviewed the document, which has not been previously published, but couldn’t independently confirm its authenticity.

Among the fatwa’s injunctions are bans on a father and son having sex with the same female slave; and the owner of a mother and daughter having sex with both.

Joint owners of a female captive are similarly enjoined from intercourse because she is viewed as ‘part of a joint ownership.’

The United Nations and human rights groups have accused the Islamic State of the systematic abduction and rape of thousands of women and girls as young as 12, especially members of the Yazidi minority in northern Iraq.

Many have been given to fighters as a reward or sold as sex slaves.

Far from trying to conceal the...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: National road toll rises to 25 "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Sydney, AAP – Three separate crashes in NSW and Victoria have brought the country’s national holiday road toll to 25.

In the first incident, two cars collided head-on in Whittingham, northwest of Newcastle, on Tuesday afternoon.

Police say the driver and only person in the first car, a woman, died at the scene.

Hours later, a 28-year-old motorcyclist was critically injured in a crash in Matraville, east Sydney.

Police say he was thought to have collided with a tree. He died in hospital shortly afterwards.

In Melbourne two people were killed after their car slammed into a tree and burst into flames.

The car was on its way to Geelong when it veered off the road at Altona on Tuesday night, hitting a tree, police said.

The driver and passenger died at the scene.

The deaths bring Victoria’s holiday road toll to seven, while NSW’s has reached nine.

Six people were killed in smashes on Boxing Day, making it the worst day so far.

The Northern Territory is the only state or territory not to have recorded any road deaths during the holiday toll period, which began last Wednesday.

* The national road toll period runs from 0001 December 23, 2015 to 2359 January 3, 2016 local times.

The post National road toll rises to 25 appeared first on Echonetdaily.


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Spanish man freed from cage after years "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

The legs of a man, 59, in a three-square-meter dovecot in Dos Hermanas, Seville, Spain, 29 December 2015. Photo EPA

The legs of a man, 59, in a three-square-meter dovecot in Dos Hermanas, Seville, Spain, 29 December 2015. Photo EPA

Madrid, DPA – A man has been freed after spending almost 20 years caged in a three-metre square dovecote in southern Spain.

The 59-year-old is believed to have been held in captivity by his brother and sister since 1996.

The discovery in the town of Dos Hermanas outside Seville was made after an anonymous tip to the police, who arrested the man’s 76-year-old brother and 61-year-old sister for unlawful detention and abuse.

The older sibling stated that his brother had psychological problems and was kept confined for his own good.

According to a police statement on Tuesday, the victim was found lying on an old mattress, completely naked and in a ‘wretched state of health and hygiene.’

He was taken to hospital.

The post Spanish man freed from cage after years appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Truth Seekers Musings: Happy New Year, or same old same old? "IndyWatch Feed"

Happy New Year, or same old same old? Well, here we are, within a few days of the end of the year, and what we know for sure is that the Turdball, alleged, “government”, is still playing Abbott’s games   … Continue reading


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Culture Roundup – Wednesday 30 December, 2015 "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Amazing Drumming Monkeys at the Byron Theatre on Wednesday

Amazing Drumming Monkeys at the Byron Theatre on Wednesday

Getting the kids to monkey around

Australia’s favourite little kids’ show is coming to the Byron Theatre on Wednesday with their interactive drumming show. The Amazing Drumming Monkeys have been wowing audiences around Australia and overseas for the past 12 years! The Monkeys combine a unique blend of puppetry, live music, comedy, and heartwarming themes to deliver a fun-filled interactive show for the whole family.

This is an adorable little variety show aimed at 1–8-year-olds, and is also great entertainment for all ages.

The two monkey puppets (Bongo and Congo) play African drums, lead audiences in songs and dances, and give everyone a chance to play a little drum during the show. The Monkey show also features beautiful messages, such as caring for the planet, and getting along with one another. 11am.

Cost: $15pp, $13 concession, family of 4: $50. Bookings:

Art for sale by Coastal Creatives

Tired of all the consumerist crap in the shops that Christmas brings? Then get off the new super-highway (before you forget how) and take a look at the wonderful and inspired works of art at the Coastal Creatives Art Sale on at the Newrybar Hall over the Xmas break. A group of 10 local artists have gotten their various artistic wares together in a collective and are having a festive season show. For sale are a ple...


Fire Earth: Historic Flooding Underway: Town Evacuated "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Mandatory evacuation order issued for West Alton, Missouri The U.S. Coast Guard has closed a large section of the Mississippi River near St. Louis due to flooding. Historic flooding is underway. Up to 12 inches of rain since Monday have inundated a vast area in southern and central U.S. Water has topped the Consolidated North […]


EcoWatch: 20 Most Popular Eco Hashtags of 2015 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"


Here are the 20 most popular hashtags on Twitter inspired by the...


The Ecologist: Defeated: rich countries' plan to impose investor rights in WTO trade deal "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Rich nations at this month's World Trade Organisation summit in Nairobi failed in key objectives, writes Alex Scrivener, like the inclusion of investor rights as in TTIP, TTP and CETA. But the unfair order of global trade remains in place, and the greatest danger for poor countries is that the neoliberal agenda will now be forced upon them in opaque regional and bilateral trade deals.


EcoWatch: USDA Whistleblower Accuses Agency of Censorship of Pesticide Research "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"


"Censorship of public agency science does not affect only scientists—it concerns the public at large as well as...


Latest News: Obama will look for ‘every opportunity’ to push climate plans in 2016, experts say "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The president is likely to focus on the environment in his final year in office, and Congress can do little to stop him


Earth First! Newswire: Tidings to All Ye Who Would Build Pipelines Here: From Southern Oregon Rising Tide "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

from Southern Oregon Rising Tide

postcard_front small

Over the holidays, Southern Oregon Rising Tide mailed festive postcards to several of their fracking foes with a special message: Bring the pipeline, expect resistance. Donning elf hats and tree-climbing apparel, SORT members scaled a snow laden doug fir tree that stands in the path of the proposed Pacific Connector Pipeline near Ashland, OR.

Pipeline construction still awaits final approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Department of State Lands, so trees on the 95-foot-wide, 232-mile-long pipeline easement are safe for now. But the message from the grassroots to the corporate world should be clear: this pipeline is a bad investment.

Veresen (VSN), the parent company of Jordan Cove, has continued to lose value in the stock market since 2014. This fall, the company revealed to FERC that they have yet to...


Indian Country Headline News: Year of Clout: 10 Stories of Indigenous Environmental Influence in 2015 "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Indigenous activism continued to influence the environmental movement and policy, with some major victories, most notably the defeat of the Keystone XL pipeline....

Indian Country Headline News: Sexual Assault Victims Suffering Because of Reduced ER Hours "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

The impact from Rosebud Hospital’s reduction in emergency room hours continues to expand as sexual assault victims on t...


EcoWatch: Trump Ties With Pope Francis for Second Place as ‘Most Admired’ Man of 2015 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"


The runners-up to Obama, Donald Trump and Pope Francis, both garnered...


EcoWatch: Victory: Obama Signs Bill Banning Plastic Microbeads "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"


Following the footsteps of California’s historic microbead ban, the Microbead-Free Waters Act ...


EcoWatch: 5 Reasons 2015 Was One of the Most Important Years in Decades "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"


2015 was a breakthrough year for our environment. The nations of the world agreed to a...


: Thank you Senator Sue Lines, the Winmar family, Janette Henry, Dameyon Bonson, Riyadh Al-Hakimi "IndyWatch Feed National"

There is a profoundly long way to go in bridging classist divides, poverty, in ending the juxtaposition of affluence nearby grinding poverty. Nearly two and a half million Australians live below the Henderson Poverty Line. One million Australian children live below that line. Nearly 20,000 children aged 12 years and less are homeless. But hey, […]


new illuminati: Dolphin Sounds Generate Images, Research Team Discovers "IndyWatch Feed National"

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Tuesday, 29 December


Earth First! Newswire: Australia Train Derailment: Floods Impede Sulphuric Acid Cleanup "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

from Associated Press

 The train came off the rails near the small town of western Queensland. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

The train came off the rails near the small town of western Queensland. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Floodwaters are hampering efforts to clean up a remote site in north-east Australia where a freight train carrying sulphuric acid derailed on Sunday.

The train was carrying around 200,000 litres of the highly corrosive substance when it came off the tracks near the small town of Julia Creek in western Queensland, police said.

All 26 wagons derailed and a small amount of acid and diesel fuel were spilled, police said. Three people were treated for minor injuries.

Heavy downpours were making cleanup efforts difficult on Monday, as flash floods cut access to the road that runs past the derailment site.

Officials set up a 1.2-mile (2km) exclusion zone around the site and...


Earth First! Newswire: Costa Rica: Animal Rights Activists Protest Bullfights "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

by L Arias / Tico Times


Dozens of animal rights’ activists gathered Friday evening during the opening of the Zapote Festival, east of San José, to demonstrate against one of the celebration’s main events: Tico-style bullfights.

Demonstrators gathered in front of the bullring’s box offices chanting slogans and displaying banners with messages about the suffering bulls go through before, during and after the fights.

The protest’s main event, however, was a performance by a group of protesters simulating the marking of cattle using a hot iron.

The protest was organized by five groups under the umbrella name “Coordinated Group for Animal Liberation,” one of th...


: Dramatic modifications for the taxi industry have been a work in progress -but who will really benefit? "IndyWatch Feed National"

For better or for worse, the Western Australian Taxi Industry is currently going through a revolutionary transit transformation process. Many fragments of this transformation had been ambiguously foreshadowed some years ago, but it was the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), cumulative demand for transit options and advent of the uber effect that eventually fuelled the need […]


: Housing the homeless "IndyWatch Feed National"

What sort of nation is Australia when a struggling family’s Christmas wish was for 13 blankets, for their 13 children? Australia is one of the world’s most affluent nations per capita, the world’s 12th largest economy but the extensiveness of large homeless families on our streets is little known to most Australians. Families of 5, […]


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Byron Bay Blog: Magpie’s Exhibition at Lone Goat Gallery "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

‘DULGUNU’ (From the Heart)

Opens Friday January 1st at 6pm, then daily 10-4pm through January 13

Uncle Magpie’s solo show opens Friday, January 1st at 6pm. Connection to Country is so important for all of us, and Uncle Magpie invites you into his world through his artworks.

Magpie is a Minyunbal Yugambeh man who grew up at Fingal Head, Northern NSW. He has worked for many years in different Cultural positions, trained dance troupes, performed Ceremony and Song for our Country and peoples. He is a self taught artist who began at the age of 7 years, painting his Culture and Stories passed to him by his Uncles. He has a great passion to keep the Dreaming alive and a heart felt generosity to pass on Cultural knowledge, especially to younger generations – to keep the circle intact.

Visit for further information.

The post Magpie’s Exhibition at Lone Goat Gallery appeared first on Byron Bay Blog.


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Reports and Updates: The fishing is good at the moment…… "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"


The fishing is good at the moment- here’s a few pics – come into the shop for details – drift boat availability for January-February going fast – a few New Zealand spots still left.

Happy New Year to you all.









"IndyWatch Feed Seq": Wild BNE: Top Ten Wildlife Locations of 2014 "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Having a car and a Driver's license this year greatly increased my scope for potential wildlife locations around South-east Queensland. How ironic then that my number one spot ended up being a tiny reserve near the main road of a busy suburb! Nature always finds a way to surprise me, no matter how well I think I've become acquainted with it. Thank you to each and every one of you who read this blog and/or follow the 'Wild BNE' Facebook page - I've loved sharing my adventures with you this year and look forward to a 'Wild' 2015!

1. Chelsea Street Environmental Reserve, Kippa-Ring.
Resident Tawny Frogmouths (Podargus strigoides) become active in the reserve shortly after sunset.
How beautiful that among the swiftly expanding suburbs of the Redcliffe Peninsula, Chelsea Street Environmental Reserve remains to preserve so much iconic Australian wildlife. Moreton Bay shire residents would do well to ensure that the


"IndyWatch Feed Tas": Tasfintalk: Gunns' liquidator talks tough? "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

The Mercury reported here that Gunns’ liquidator, PPB Advisory,” has summonsed auditors Leigh Franklin and David Lumley of KPMG’s Hobart office to a public examination under the Corporations Act in the Supreme Court of Victoria early next year.”


“............PPB Advisory liquidator Daniel Bryant wants to examine KPMG about its review of Gunns’ 2008 financial statements, the audit of Auspine to June 2009 and all financial models relating to the audits of Gunns group’s financial state...


"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": The Bulli Times: Wollongong gets set to celebrate "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"


Last year’s celebrations at Wollongong Harbour. Photos: Warren & Diana Ackery.

THE Illawarra’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebrations kick-off from 6pm on Thursday December 31 along the Wollongong foreshore area.

The family-friendly, alcohol free New Year’s Eve event is held around Belmore Basin from 6-10pm and includes live music from the City of Wollongong Brass Band, amusement rides and a wide selection of food and novelty stalls.

The highlight of the night is a spectacular fireworks display at 9pm.

The amusement rides set up for New Year’s Eve in Lang Park will also be open on New Year’s Day.

Wollongong City Council recommend catching the train to Fairy Meadow, North Wollongong or Wollongong stations and then jumping on the Gong Shuttle Bus.

Road Closures:

Between 5pm-10.15pm on New Year’s Eve the following roads will be closed:

Cliff Road between Georges Place and Marine Drive

  • Harbour Street between Cliff Road and Smith Street including Old Court House Lane
  • Harbour access ramp off Endeavour Drive.

Businesses within the road closure zone will be open as normal.

 For more information:


"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": The Bulli Times: Cyclist slams into parked car "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

ambulance.jpgA CYCLIST is in a serious condition after he slammed into a parked car in Wombarra this morning (Tuesday).

The 30-year-old cyclist was reportedly travelling at a high speed when he hit the parked car about 10.50am.

Ambulance crews were called to Morrison Avenue where they found the man unconscious and likely suffering a closed head injury.

The rescue helicopter was called and landed at Scarborough cemetery, before the cyclist was flown in a serious but stable condition to St George Hospital.


CAAMA: Nauiyu community evacuated in Daly River floods "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Major flooding of the Daly River in the Northern Territory lead to the evacuation of the remote Aboriginal community of Nauiyu. Helicopters were sent in to rescue over 400 residents who are now keeping their spirits up in a Darwin emergency shelter.

The rain is expected to continue south to the Barkley Region and the Stuart Highway is closed between Mataranka and Elliott.


"IndyWatch Feed Melbourne": onlymelbourne: Melbourne Newsletter No.469 "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

View Online What's On this Week | 29 December 2015 - 5 January 2016 Dining & Drink | Shopping & Business | Things To Do | What's On Tuesday 29th December 2015 to Monday 5th January 2016 The final newsletter for 2015. Thank you for another fabulous year of fun in 2015, we wish everyone a safe and happy new year. Much of this newsletter is about New Year's Eve on Thursday 31st December 2015. From parties to fireworks, we have you covered. Happy new year Melbourne. MelB New Year's Eve | Thursday 31st December 2015 Fireworks Everyone wants to know about the fireworks, so here goes. New Year's Eve kicks off with the family program at Yarra Park and Footscray Park. The midnight rooftop fireworks display can be viewed from any one of the 4 official live sites as well as anywhere in the greater Melbourne area where the city's unique skyline is visible. Early Fireworks Yarra Park Families can enjoy free stage entertainment, films, games and a spectacular fireworks display at 9.30pm. Where: Yarra Park - Located right next to the MCG Links: Desktop | Smart Phone Footscray Park Families can bring along picnic supplies, enjoy free entertainment and watch a fireworks display at 9.30pm. Where: Footscray Park located on Ballarat Road, Footscray Links: Desktop | Smart Phone Midnight Fireworks Kings Domain Located south of the CBD, between St Kilda Road and Alexandra Avenue Links: Desktop | Smart Phone | PDF | Map Flagstaff Gardens Located just north of the CBD, between La Trobe Street and King Street Links: Desktop | Smart Phone | PDF | Map Treasury Gardens Located just east of the CBD, between Spring Street and Lansdowne Street Links: Desktop | Smart Phone | PDF | Map Docklands Located west of the CBD, behind Etihad Stadium, surrounding Victoria Harbour Links: Desktop | Smart Phone | PDF | Map Federation Square: is not a good place to see the fireworks because the tops of some CBD buildings are obscured. The live sites above are the best places to...



"IndyWatch Feed Tas": Dr Kevin Bonham: Polling And Penalty Rates "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Penalty rates have been on the political radar lately. A poll on the subject released by The Australia Institute on Sunday has attracted a fair amount of interest.  Many Coalition MPs support cuts to current penalty rates (which are required extra loadings on pay for certain occupations for weekend, evening or public holiday work) and the Labor Opposition is currently campaigning against such cuts.  This will probably be a significant philosophical divide between the parties at the 2016 election.

If we are to believe the poll's sponsor and reporting of the poll by the SMH yesterday, the government will face a massive backlash, including from its own voters, if Sunday penalty rates in the retail sector are reduced as recommended by the Productivity Commission.  The reality is that the views of Coalition supporters on the proposed change are rather less clear.

The TAI Poll

The poll, a robopoll conducted by ReachTEL on December 17, polled residents of Warringah (Tony Abbott), New England (Barnaby Joyce (Nat)), Dickson (Peter Dutton) and Page (Kevin Hogan (Nat)).  The poll results can be downloaded from the TAI website.

Leaving aside the views of non-Coalition parties for a moment, what I want to focus on is the views of Coalition voters.  In New England, 9.1% of Coalition voters said penalty rates should increase, 47.8% said stay the same, 21.2% said be reduced, 22% said abol...


"IndyWatch Feed Tas": Media Releases - Bob Brown Foundation: Borneo natives claim stolen assets from Australian University "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Press Release 29 December 2015


Penan community leaders urge Adelaide University to pay back AUD $400,000 in donations received from former Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud


Indigenous leaders from Malaysian Borneo are urging Adelaide University to pay back AUD $ 400,000 in donations received between 1987 and 2006 from Taib Mahmud (“Taib”), a former Chief Minister of the Malaysian state of Sarawak.

In a letter to Vice-Chancellor Warren Bebbington, eleven Penan headmen demand that the Taib donations be returned to Sarawak as they had been illegally acquired by the Malaysian politician who studied law in Adelaide in the late 1950s. The letter is signed by the community leaders with their thumbprints.

The Penan were Borneo’s last nomadic hunter-gatherers until most of their rainforests were destroyed by the Taib government since the mid-1980s.

“When Taib studied law in Adelaide as a young man, he was as poor as we are today”, states the letter signed first by former Penan penghulu (paramount chief) James Lalo Keso. “Later on, he decided to become a politician […]. But instead of helping us indigenous people, Taib became greedy and only interested in enriching himself and his family members.”

“Our lives were good and self-sustaining until Taib Mahmud gave our land away to the logging and plantation companies without our consent. (…) It is an open secret that the loggers gave a lot of bribes to Taib Mahmud and his family members.”

The Penan demand from Vice-Chancellor Bebbington “to take a courageous decision” and restitute the Taib funds in order to correct injustice done by the former Sarawak Chief Minister: “We need this money urgently to develop the Penan Peace Park and send our children to school and higher education. For you, $400,000 i...


Pip Magazine – Australian Permaculture: Permaculture New Years Resolutions "IndyWatch Feed National"

Permaculture New Year’s Resolutions



Serial-resolution-maker and breaker Maude Farrugia looks at how permaculture can help to create beautiful, sustainable new years patterns…

How can permaculture help us create great new habits for the new year? It’s all about patterns!

According to permaculture luminary Looby McNamara (author of People and Permaculture) “The first thing is to survey our patterns – which ones are regenerative i.e. bring us benefits, and which ones are degenerative i.e. are costly to us in some form such as wasting our time or degenerating our health.”

The problem with new years resolutions is that we only think about them in January, then proceed to forget about them for the rest of the year, but by looking at patterns we address th...


"IndyWatch Feed Sydney": James O'Brien: Yearly Review – 2015 "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

2015 was definitely been a year of ups and downs. Highlights/lowlights of the year have included some wonderful overseas travel, a life-changing meeting with a family member, the near-loss of one close family member due to a heart-attack, and sadly, in the days before Christmas the loss of another close family member due to cancer. In all the years I’ve been writing this “year in review” (since 2002), I don’t think there’s been a more significant year in my life for the highs and lows involved.

Let’s start with the good stuff. Half way through the year I undertook a wonderful overseas holiday, visiting Tokyo, Stockholm, Rome, Venice and New York. Of course I’ve been to Stockholm many times, and love it as much as now as when I first visited in 2008, but visiting the other cities was the first time for me.

I really loved Tokyo. There are many strong memories. For example, I went to an onsen which was an amazingly sublime experience. I also undertook a 26 kilometre cycle tour of the city. But it was the food that remains one of my strongest memories of the place. The Japanese food we have in Sydney is pretty good, but nowhere near as good as the Japanese food in Japan. I booked to take part in the Tsukiji Fish Market Food Tour.

Over the course of three and a half hours (starting at 8.30am), we wandered around the markets, and tasted dried bonito, Japanese tea, fresh oysters, fried fish cake, sake, and also witnessed the art involved in making Japanese omelettes. And I learned so much on this tour. I never knew, for example, fish with bigger eyes were the ones which you’re most likely to found in deeper water (though of course it makes total sense). I’d also never seen the wasabi plant before, and noted when I shared the photograph earlier today on social media, many others hadn’t either. The tour ended with sushi at a stan...


"IndyWatch Feed Cvic": Edgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary: An update on Hopetoun Park "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

All good things come to those who wait – an update on Hopetoun Park.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Whilst we will never know what thoughts traversed Hopetoun Park’s mind during the many months he spent beside the busy Western Freeway just shy of Bacchus Marsh, we suspect that hooking up with his kind was right up there. And we are so pleased to say that in the past few weeks that is just what has happened. Safe to say, dear Hopetoun has been welcomed into our goatey fold with customary “open horns” (goats love to greet new friends and rivals with their famous hind leg “ta da da-da” stance) and he is slowly catching on to the idea that wheetbix are not bad, nor are kindly humans.


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Mandy Nolan’s Soap Box: Goodbye Bangalow "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

no-stopping-bangalowAfter another RTA marathon roadworks session the highway is open. Although something very peculiar has happened. Bangalow has gone missing. It was there last Thursday. I swear it. But Sunday when I was driving the kids to drop them at their dad’s place, it was gone completely. Vanished. Like Bangalow had never ever been there. Like there had never been a people who employed urchins wearing brown paper to sell $30 soap wrapped in string to seekers of shabby chic.

Fabulous, stylish, confident, middle-class and middle-aged, Bangalow is gone. Removed not by a cyclone, a bushfire or an act of god, but by an act of the RTA. You see, driving south there is no exit for Bangalow. Someone in head office decided there was no need for people travelling south to go to Bangalow. They also decided it was unnecessary to erect any signage along the highway to explain the sudden disappearance of what was, until a few days ago, a bustling vital village.

Poor Bangalow. Did they know? Did they know that they’d been exiled from the rest of us? That someone up top had taken an eraser and gently rubbed the draftsmen’s pencil so that the connection to our historic village was no more. What will happen to the people of Bangalow now the southbound exit is extinct? Will they have to breed among themselves? Who will buy their fabulous rugs and designer sandals? Will they have enough baristas to go around? It will be like in the bubonic plague when they exiled villages. No-one in. No-one out. Eventually it ended up in some sort of weird medieval witch-burning incestuous killing spree.

Poor Bangalow. They weren’t expecting it. They didn’t even get enough warning to build their pool. Or a supermarket. I worry how an entire village will survive on just one weekly farmers market. What.....


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Learning to love at Starlight "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"


Mary Mikhael is a sacred warrior, a self-described ‘vanquisher of fear, slayer of doubt’, who is determined to ‘sphere through layers of illusion and judgments that keep us “stuck” in separation.’ She’s a soon-to-be-published author, meditation teacher, soul reader, master healer and wife, mum, and sister. Mary shares her journey back into the remembrance of pure unconditional love; where this knowingness was ignited by the synchronised meeting of a man who was soon to be her lover, best friend and divine flame: her beloved, Jonathan Movitz. ‘I wished him into my life, and after all these lifetimes, he found me, and brought me home again,’ says Mary. Mary is joined by her soulmate Jonathan Movitz as Twin Flames where together they will talk about how to go deeper in relationships. A ‘modern-day goddess, soul reader and ghost whisperer’, Mary answered a few questions about her work.

What does it mean to be a modern day-goddess?

A modern-day goddess is a woman passionately dedicated to opening to her inner truth, accepting her divinity, owning her power and sharing her unique gifts with the world. She is a mystic – free like the wind and surrenders to the movement of spirit in every aspect of her life.

Soul reader?

Soul reading provides insight at a soul and spirit level. Here you learn your true (soul) life purpose, understanding karmas to clear or lessons to experience for soul growth. Unlike other type of reading, it does not focus on the personality, ego level, and does not require any cards or tools. It is literally reading the person’s soul!



"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": Practising Simplicity: 52/52 "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

"A portrait of my youngest children, once a week, every week, in 2015."

Poet: carefree and happy down on the beach. This captures her spirit more than any other portrait I have taken.

Percy: his first Christmas. He was utterly delighted.

Thank you so much for joining The 52 Project this year. I'm always surprised by just how good it feels to look back over 52 (104!) portraits and remember all the moments captured. 

A few of my favourites from the year...



Bill Mitchell – billy blog: German Ministry of Finance’s anti-Europe proposal "IndyWatch Feed"

The article essentially summarises a leaked document – “a letter sent at the end of November by the Ministry of Finance to the heads of the Finance and Budget Committee of the German Parliament”.

The letter outlines the German Finance Minister’s plan to create:



"IndyWatch Feed Sydney": 2RRR: Ronnieboy Sydney to Hobart Race Update "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Country Roads presenter, Ronnieboy, is expected to complete the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race sometime before midday tomorrow, coming in at around 30th place!  2RRR wishes Ronnieboy and the rest of the crew on their yacht Kayle – Sailors with disAbilities a safe landing in Hobart.

You can follow their progress by viewing the Sailors with disAbilities facebook page

We will bring you more news tomorrow.



Ronnieboy (right) taking a breath with crew mate Ralphie yesterday during the Sydney to Hobart, taken somewhere in the Bass Strait.


"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Feeding the hungry hordes of visitors "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Darren RobertsonStory & photo by Susanna Freymark

Friends and family from everywhere but here want to visit. When they arrive in dribs and drabs it isn’t too bad but the unexpected arrival of hordes of hungry guests can have you groaning in the kitchen, wondering how to feed them all.

Byron Bay’s Three Blue Ducks’ chef Darren Robertson:

‘I make sure I’m stocked up on krout, pickles, mustards and a decent smoked ham. I glaze the ham on Christmas Eve with apple cider, spices and honey, and so long as it’s big enough, it will keep us going throughout the festive season. It’s perfect for those unexpected parties. Throw together a couple of salads, a decent loaf of rye bread, and you’re laughing.’

Sounds easy for a professional chef but what about the rest of us?

Myocum’s Heather Stevenson has a trick that is more about assembling than cooking. She calls this approach Splatters.

‘Everything comes out of the fridge, creatively displayed on a mismatched collection of plates and bowls. Fresh loaf of bread and a whole lot of wine. Always a winner.’ Heather says.

Goonengerry’s Janet Walker makes oven-roasted wedges and they are a crowd-pleaser, especially when she uses sweet potato.

Jen Djula from Rosebank says a barbecue is the simple solution to cater for lots of guests.

‘Always the barbecue. Marinate meat in Zest wet spices – they’re yum,’ she says....


"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": "IndyWatch Feed Sydney": 2RRR: New Years at Clarke’s Point "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Hunters Hill Council will issue entry passes to people with a Mobility Parking Scheme Permit to allow vehicle access to the Hunters Hill Peninsula on New Year’s Eve.

Vehicle access to the peninsula will be closed at 1 pm on Thursday 31 December at the Church Street overpass.

Police will enforce the road closure. All drivers entering the peninsula must have proof of residency or an authorised entry pass.

Passengers can be dropped off at Clarke’s Point near fireworks viewing areas.

Parking will need to be found in surrounding streets. Accessible toilets are available at Clarke’s Point.

It is expected there will be large crowds in the area.

If you would like to obtain and entry pass for drop-off at Clarke’s Point please contact Hunter’s Hill Council’s Aged and Disability Coordinator Ph: 9879 9454 or Email:


"IndyWatch Feed Qld": "IndyWatch Feed": The Thousands: Brisbane: Things that stood out to Kurt Vile at the exact time we asked him "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Kurt Vile is really excellent at sending folk music to space then recalling it back to Earth for us all to enjoy. He's in the country at the moment touring his latest album b'elieve i'm goin down. We chatted about blue collar blues, pee-your-pants funny comedy and his vague plans for the next record. We also managed to narrow down his 'best of 2015' list to a 'things that stood out to him at the exact time we asked' list.

Sam: Hello, is that Kurt?

Kurt: Hello. Hey what's up?

Sam: Hey, how's it going?

Kurt: Pretty good. How you doing?

Sam: Pretty good. Thanks for taking the time to chat to me during this crazy festive time.

Kurt: No problem. You're right it is a crazy festive time and I'm flying to Australia on the 27th of December, which is right after Christmas.

Sam: Do you get a bit of time off with the family over the holidays?

Kurt: I did. I got home from tour right before Thanksgiving. So Thanksgiving through Christmas I've been home with the family.

Sam: How do you guys normally spend it? Now you've got little kids, do you get really into Christmas, decorations and stuff?

Kurt: Totally. We get deep into all that. They're excited, we're about to set up the tree and put ornaments on them and stuff like that. Everybody is really excited.

Sam: Nice one. Now, you used to be a forklift driver, is that right?

Kurt: Yes.

Sam: The reason why I bring it up is I used to collect trolleys for a supermarket. I used to spend all day underground in this car park listening to my iPod and collecting trolleys. I remember Constant Hitmaker...


"IndyWatch Feed Qld": "IndyWatch Feed": Gabrielle Bryden's Blog: gold (haiku) "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

no pot of gold, but there are treasures at rainbow’s end ___________________________


"IndyWatch Feed Qld": Infinity in Hand: RIP LEMMY Here’s my Lemmy story. "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

neil-gaiman: The party was I think for either PJ O Rourke or Tama Janowitz, and I think it was PJ...


"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Common Ground North Coast: Banff "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

FUTURE SELF Press ShotBanff is the stage name for a young man by the name of Benjamin Forbes, hailing from Brisbane. Well experienced in the band world, but now venturing forth as a solo project, bringing you fresh, soulful indie-pop. His recent releases have earned him solid reviews, national airplay and now a chance to open at Falls Festival 2015.

The Banff name carries the potential to be recurring on the festival circuit, so make sure to catch his set while you can still get to the front row and soak up all those creamy electronica vibes at 11:00am Friday, New Years Day.

We had a short chat to the talented Ben, and it went a little like this:

CG – Hey Ben how are you going?

BF – Good mate, how are you?

CG – I’m great – what have you been up to today?

BF – Mate, I’m just working to make a few dollars to record my next EP, so, I’ve just ducked out to have a chat to you, to be honest.

CG – So tell me, are you excited? This Falls thing, that’s huge!

BF – Yeah mate, yeah. Pretty shocked to be honest. The project still feels so young to me, it’s only like a year old, since I released something. So yeah, when Triple J Unearthed guys gave me a call and told me I won, it was a shock, but yeah I’m really, really excited. It’ll be by far the biggest show I’ve played at.

CG – Awesome. So you were previously in a band in Brisbane yeah?

BF – Yeah, I was in a band called Little Casino, we were a five piece band. It was more of a collaborative effort songwriting with that band, and it was towards that band’s lifetime that we all wanted to pursue our own things and mine was to create Banff.

CG – Can you tell me where the name came from?

BF – It’s named after a town in Canada. When I was about 17 years old, I was on a family holida.....


"IndyWatch Feed Qld": "IndyWatch Feed Seq": The Vociferous Journalist: Federal childcare funding shuffle raises concerns "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

New doubts have surfaced over what the Federal Government’s proposed overhaul of the child care sector could mean for Australia’s marginalised families. The government says the overhaul will streamline services & better redistribute funding, however Opposition early childhood spokesperson Kate Ellis says the funding shuffle will see many services shut down, locking disadvantaged children out of early childhood education. I spoke to Leanne Gibbs from the Community Child Care Cooperative about what the proposal covers, and its potential ramifications. I tried to get in touch with the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care for comment, but they were unavailable over the break.


"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Cinema Review: Crow’s Egg "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"


Had I not already submitted my top ten for the year, I would have no hesitation in including this unforgettable Indian movie among the best of 2015’s releases. It is a peculiar phenomenon but true – it’s easier to say why you disliked a movie than it is to say why you loved it. The reason, I am convinced, is that the ‘good’ movie’s qualities are not noticed while being watched because you are so emotionally, so personally involved in what is happening. Critical evaluation comes with hindsight, and how hard is it to grasp a sunbeam?

Chinna and Periya are little brothers growing up in the wretched slums of Chennai. Free-range, bare-footed kids, unlike ours in Oz, they can cross a busy street on their own. Dad’s in jail and an ailing Granny shares the floor of their ten square feet of existence with an over-worked Mum and uncomplaining pup. The grungy realism is staggering – so why are the boys so upbeat, so keen for every day? And before you start, this is not a whitewashing of the awfulness of extreme poverty and the inequality of wealth distribution. A hip entrepreneur opens a pizza joint on the lot where the kids played cricket and Chinna and Periya, because it’s beyond their wildest dreams, want to taste one of those pizzas – the exotic food is so modern, so emblematic of the ‘new India’ from which they are excluded. The boys, resourceful and determined, try everything and anything to raise the rupees to buy that pizza, creating a maelstrom around them of self-interested capitalists, smarmy local politicians and hand-to-mouth spivs. None of which can explain the depth of M Manikandan’s fantastic film – he wrote, directed and even did the cinematography.

I couldn’t bring...


"IndyWatch Feed Qld": Thrive On News Spiritual Awakening Magazine: Spiritual Meaning Of January "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

The spiritual meanings and symbology for the month of January. Find out how you can prosper using the energy shifts of the month of January. by psychic medium Ian Scott


"IndyWatch Feed Qld": "IndyWatch Feed Seq": Frogging Around: Trip for the little frogs "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

During my recent work trip to Sydney, I caught up with fellow frogger, Aaron, who knows his local frog spots well. There were two species I was particularly keen to see; the Red-crowned Broodfrog (Pseudophryne australis) and the Eastern Gungan (Uperoleia laevigata). The former occurs within Hawkesbury Sandstone geology of the Sydney Basin Bioregion, and […]


The Watchers » Latest articles: Worst flooding in the last 50 years hits Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and Brasil "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Widespread flooding across Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil over the last 7 days forced more than 150 000 people to evacuate their homes and claimed 6 lives so far. The floods are the worst to hit the area in the last 50 years, according to the local authorities.... Read more »

The Watchers » Latest articles: After wettest December on record, another round of severe weather to hit UK "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

December 2015 is already a record breaking month for rainfall in parts of the UK. The spell of wet weather spread across portions of north Wales and northwest England on December 26, 2015 brought flooding to the area already saturated with water.The highest amount of ra... Read more »


"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": The Witches Kitchen: In Season – Grapes, and making Mosto Cotto "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

grape vine

The grapes are hanging thick and heavy in our pergola.  Such a useful plant.  In winter the bare vines let the north western


"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": "IndyWatch Feed Sydney": 2RRR: Jazz & Beyond "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Friday 1st January

12 – 2pm Jazz & Beyond

In this weekâŹ"s program the Limelight shines the spotlight on Ruth Lee Jones a Jazz, Gospel and R&B artist, but what was her stage name? In Retrospective we are singing the praises of the Pop star of the 60âŹ"s Petula Clarke. While RayâŹ"s Selection segment spends time featuring the American National Public Radio Piano Jazz Icon Marian McPartland. How did someone born in Berkshire England become so popular in America for over 30 years?   Jazz and Beyond ⏠jazz with a twist!


"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Fly boarding takes off in Byron "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Liam Alrich takes to the skies at the Island Quarry. Photo Jeff 'Ointment' Dawson

Liam Alrich takes to the skies at the Island Quarry. Photo Jeff ‘Ointment’ Dawson

Byron’s newest adventure sport fun is Fly Board Byron at the Island Quarry.

Liam Alrich, pictured, and his wife Kelly have been fly boarding for two and a half years.

Liam says it’s a bit like a cross between snow boarding and skating only you’re 20 feet in the air.’

Liam Alrich says flyboarding is 'a bit like a cross between snow boarding and skating only you're 20 feet in the air'. Photo Jeff 'Rush' Dawson

Liam Alrich says flyboarding is ‘a bit like a cross between snow boarding and skating only you’re 20 feet in the air’. Photo Jeff ‘Rush’ Dawson

Both are exhibition water skiers most recently working at Seaworld .

To find more details check their Facebook page or ring 0456 105484.

The post Fly boarding takes off in Byron appeared first on Echonetdaily.


"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Ten big trends in solar, wind and storage to watch out for in 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

By Giles Parkinson,

It’s that time of year again. Time to consider what the big trends of the next 12 months might be. And for Australia, in the energy space, there is no prizes for guessing the big mover in 2016: battery storage.

This will not be the only thing of importance, however. There will be ambitious plans for decarbonisation pushed by states, regional and local governments. The push against wind and solar will become the new denialism, arguments will rage about consumer tariffs as networks seek to protect their revenues, and there will be new technologies in the market such as large scale solar and wave energy. And, of course, there will be an election.

So here are our top 10 trends. Feedback welcomed. See you in 2016!

Battery Storage:

Battery storage will be the big thing of 2016, as Australia becomes the first mass market for the technology in the world, thanks to its soaring network costs, excellent sun, and the high penetration of rooftop solar. The Tesla Powerwall continues to attract most casual interest (judging by the response to our articles), and has already signed up some high profile partners.

But many other brands are competing in the same market, and its prices are being more than matched by its rivals, including LG and others, who have brought their prices down significantly. Some customers are reporting quote reductions of 50 per cent in the last six months. And with demand likely to be boosted as 230,000 households move off premium feed in tariffs later this year, the market wil...


"IndyWatch Feed Vic": "IndyWatch Feed Geelong": Geelong Creative Fibre Arts: Xmas party time "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Our December meeting began with a delicious buffet meal prepared by Kerrie featuring some delicious salads as well as some amazing desserts by our members. We opened our bonbons and received an additional gift each, prepared by Kerrie, to begin our box decoration for our 2016 project. Thank you to Kerrie, and her assistant Bronwyn, for the tremendous amount of work and effort in preparing for the day.
During 2016 we will be responding to a monthly theme and holding/participating in a series of mini tutorials to produce a box of mini artworks (postcard sized).
Below are some glimpses of the beginnings of our collaging to cover the boxes to hold our postcards.
Our next meeting will be in February, perhaps we will see some beautifully finished boxes.

Box 1...


"IndyWatch Feed Vic": "IndyWatch Feed Cvic": Natural Newstead: Patience rewarded "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

One of the best methods for observing (and photographing) birds is to just ‘sit and wait’.

This method works well if you spend a little time patiently observing the behaviour of birds and their patterns of movement at a specific location. The same perches and paths will be often be used by different species of birds as they go about their business – try this and you’ll be rewarded with some nice views. The following series of photographs were all captured over an hour or so as I was set up to photograph Rainbow Bee-eaters.


Rainbow Bee-eater, Loddon River @ Newstead, 27th December 2015.


Rufous Songlark (female)


White-browed Scrub-wren



"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Rower crosses Pacific to make history "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

John Beeden rowing solo. Photo: Cheryl Beeden (via

John Beeden rowing solo. Photo: Cheryl Beeden (via

Brisbane [AAP]

A British adventurer has made history, becoming the first person to row solo from America to Australia.

A relieved John Beeden, 53, is still recovering after finally reaching land at Cairns on Sunday morning, two months after he was due in Queensland.

‘I don’t think I quite comprehended the immensity of the challenge and that it was a proper world first,’ he told AAP on Monday.

Mr Beeden was greeted by his wife and two daughters after 200 days at sea, rowing 7,400 nautical miles non-stop across the Pacific Ocean without even an assistance boat.

After leaving San Francisco in June, a series of bad weather events set back his end date but he was able to email wife Cheryl and teenage daughters Libby and Georgie, keep his spirits up and complete 15 hours of rowing each day.

‘It was really hard work but I just pushed on,’ he said.

‘If you quit you’re still a thousand miles from civilisation so you just have to keep going.’

Mr Beeden, who lived in South Australia with his family as a child for two years and is now based in Canada, said it felt like a ‘spiritual homecoming’ to land in Australia.

‘It is an absolute gorgeous country and the Great Barrier Reef and Cairns was a stunning backdrop to finish the rowing in,’ he said.

‘I was able to sit back and take it all in.

‘It was a special moment to see my family, they looked like they wanted me back so I was happy,...


"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: More Palestinians shot dead in West Bank "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Palestinians carry the body of 16-year-old Mamoon Raed Muhammed al-Khatib,and the body of Essam Thawabteh,two young alleged Palestinians attackers whose bodies were held by Israeli forces, in Bethlehem on Sunday. Since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory at the beginning of October 2015, Israel has routinely held the bodies of Palestinians it alleges were attempting to attack Israelis when they were killed. Israel turned over to the Palestinian Authority the bodies of seven alleged Palestinians attackers on December 26, 2015. (AAP Image/NewZulu/Abderhman Younis).

Palestinians carry the body of 16-year-old Mamoon Raed Muhammed al-Khatib,and the body of Essam Thawabteh,two young alleged Palestinians attackers whose bodies were held by Israeli forces, in Bethlehem on Sunday. Since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory at the beginning of October 2015, Israel has routinely held the bodies of Palestinians it alleges were attempting to attack Israelis when they were killed. Israel turned over to the Palestinian Authority the bodies of seven alleged Palestinians attackers on Saturday. (AAP Image/NewZulu/Abderhman Younis).

Jerusalem [REUTERS]

Israeli forces have shot dead two Palestinians who stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank, the army says, the latest attack in 12 weeks of heightened violence.

Almost daily Palestinian stabbings, car-rammings and shooting attacks have killed 20 Israelis and a US citizen, raising fears of a wider escalation a decade after the last Palestinian uprising subsided.

Since the start of October....


EcoWatch: ‘Nuclear Gypsies’ Risk Their Lives to Clean Up Fukushima "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"


The Fukushima Disaster happened more than four years ago and yet...

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Sunday, 27 December


Aboriginal News Group Newswire: Krohn column: Dakota 38 skeleton long resided in Mankato - Local News - Mankato Free Press "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Krohn column: Dakota 38 skeleton long resided in Mankato - Local News - Mankato Free Press: One particularly painful chapter was the treatment of remains after 38 Dakota were hanged in Mankato in 1862. The bodies were put in a shallow grave by the nearby Minnesota River. That night their bodies were dug up for use in anatomical studies — a practice not unusual at the time. The remains went to doctors, including Dr. William Mayo, father of the brothers who founded the Mayo Clinic.

Only the remains of one of the 38 — Cut Nose — has been recovered and reburied by Native Americans. Two other Native American remains believed to be of the 38 have also been recovered, but never identified.


Aboriginal News Group Newswire: Volkswagen’s Nazi-Era Blood Crimes | The Nation "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Volkswagen’s Nazi-Era Blood Crimes | The Nation: According to historical records, as early as June 1940 Volkswagen had already begun using forced labor. German historian Ulrich Herbert has documented in his 1997 book Hitler’s Foreign Workers that, at times, as much as 70 percent of the company’s workforce was conscripted, primarily from Eastern Europe. Basically, these workers were slaves, given just a pittance to live on. But Volkswagen subscribed fully to the Nazi racialist theories that categorized non-Aryans as subhuman—and, like the Nazis themselves, it had a pecking order, which factory director Hans Mayr later outlined for Allied war-crimes investigators. Scandinavians were treated slightly better and got better rations than Poles, and Poles, in turn, received better treatment and rations than Russians. (By this time, Jews were regarded as so inferior that those not sent to the death camps were worked to death in the factories.) Still, according to the investigators, even with the laborers subsisting on near-starvation rations, Volkswagen officials would steal food from the kitchen and either eat it themselves or sell it back to the conscripts. Mayr disclaimed any responsibility on the part of himself or the company by telling the investigators, “You know these Russians; they would plunder anyhow.”

Saturday, 26 December


John Quiggin: Christmas repost "IndyWatch Feed"

Here’s a Christmas post from my blog in 2004. The theme is that nothing about Christmas ever changes, so it’s a repost of the same post from 2003. Looking back from 2015, the only change I can see is that the complaints about inclusive language to which I referred as “old stuff by now” have now become codified, as the “War on Christmas”.

I’ll add one new thought that the use of “War on Christmas” rhetoric reflects a larger problem for Christianists: should they be asserting their privileges as a majority (as in the demand that their particular holiday be recognised as primary) or demanding their rights as a minority (as in their unwillingness to accept equal marriage). The two strategies undermine each other.

In anticipation of at least a short break, let me wish a merry Christmas to all who celebrate it, and a happy New Year to everyone (at least everyone who uses the Gregorian calendar).

Read on for my unchanged Christmas message

CP Snow once said that most ancient British traditions dated back to the second half of the 19th century. The same idea recently popped up in the London Review of Books, with Stefan Collini referring to the

second half of the 19th century, the palaeolithic age of so many British cultural institutions

. Christmas provides an ideal illustration of this.

All the central features of Xmas date back, more or less exactly, to this period, including Christmas pudding, mince pies and cake, Christmas cards and Santa Claus. Although Dickens’ 1843 Chri...

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