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Thursday, 07 January


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": North Coast Voices: Failure to maintain staffing numbers and nursing care levels in Australian aged care facilities is a disgrace "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

In June 1999, a little over a year into the first term of the Howard Coalition Government,  there were an estimated 132,420 older Australians in residential aged care facilities, with 61 per cent having “high care” dependency status.  

Between 1994 and 1999 there was a 13.9% decrease in the number of registered nurses and a 26.0% decrease in the number of enrolled nurses, so that by 1999 there were 19,517 registered nurses employed full-time in residential aged care facilities and 13,818 enrolled nurses.

A decade later and the percentage of registered nurses working in residential aged care facilities...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": North Coast Voices: Twitter: no trolls, bullies, haters or racists allowed "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Abusive Behavior

We believe in freedom of expression and in speaking truth to power, but that means little as an underlying philosophy if voices are silenced because people are afraid to speak up. In order to ensure that people feel safe expressing diverse opinions and beliefs, we do not tolerate behavior that crosses the line into abuse, including behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another user’s voice.

Any accounts and related accounts engaging in the activities specified below may be temporarily locked and/or subject to permanent suspension.

* Viol...

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Wednesday, 06 January


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Byron pay parking nightmare "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

This pay parking in Byron CBD is a bloody nightmare!

Firstly, Byron CBD is the only commercial centre in the shire that charges, so it unfairly discriminates against the retailers and visitors to Byron CBD.

Secondly, all other towns in the shire mostly have two-hour parking in their CBD, giving visitors time to shop and eat. Byron only has one-hour parking near the shops, which means many people trying to shop and eat cop a fine.

Thirdly, if you park for an hour to shop, then move your car a few places so you can eat, you cop a fine because you are still in the same parking ‘zone’. You can’t simply pay again and recharge your ticket or move a few places away. You have to vacate your parking space and drive a block or two and find another parking space in another zone. No-one is informed of this and over 200 have already been unfairly fined.

Other residents and I who have registered and paid their annual $50 fee are not being issued with a ticket when we park; instead we are being instructed to put coins in the meter.

Hundreds of people are being unfairly fined. These visitors are our guests and the lifeblood of our town. Paid parking is an uncivilised and unimaginative way of raising revenue, and a PR disaster for the Byron lifestyle, so important for the success of our town.

Pay parking was a dumb idea from the start and deserves to fail, for the sake of visitors, retailers and the Byron brand – the sooner the better.

Michael Balson, Upper Wilsons Creek




The post Byron pay parking nightmare appeared first on Echonetdaily.


On The Convict Trail: Solomon House, Evandale "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Built in 1836 by Joseph Solomon as the Clarendon Stores. For the next 130 years, it was atypical country general store selling just about anything you could need. In the early years a bakehouse was at the rear of the store and supplied bread for many of the early settlers, the local garrison soldiers and the local convict station.

Henry Butler Dowie, who was elected to the first municipal council leased the building from George Collins and operated the store for many y...


Public Transport Users Association (Victoria, Australia): It’s time for Fairer fines – Please take our survey "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

On December 11th 2015, Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan announced a review of public transport infringements including the 18 month-old $75 on the spot fines, handed out by the Authorised Officers that frequent our trains, trams and buses.

After hearing stories of people feeling pressured to pay $75 to avoid receiving a full fine of $223, and waive their right to appeal, Melbourne Barrister Julian Burnside has built up a 40-strong group of pro bono Lawyers who are working hard to defend people who seek to appeal their fines.

Myki card

We know there are many glitches in the Myki system and often people who receive a fine are caught up in these glitches, or other failings like being unable to buy a ticket on the tram, or innocent mistakes such as forgetting to bring your concession card with you that day. But instead of having a system that accommodates these issues and allows for people to have their situation reviewed before having to present in court, we presume people are guilty and have to prove otherwise.

Public Transport Users Association and Public Transport Not Traffic will be given the opportunity to submit to this review and we want to hear from PT users about your experiences and issues you have faced when greeted by an Authorised Officer on public transport.

To join the campaign for fairer fines take our short survey and let us know your experience.

* * *

What to do if you are fined?

Check our web page of helpful advice a......


Motorbike Writer: Aprilia kick starts January sales "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Aprilia Caponord Touring

Aprilia Caponord Touring

January is motorcycle sales month as manufacturers/importers offer discounts to get rid of stock they didn’t sell at Christmas time.

Other times during the year to buy a bike are in June when companies try to clear stock before the end of the financial year and Christmas when competition among manufacturers heats up.

Another good time to buy a particular model is just before the new model arrives as manufacturers try to get rid of old stock.

First cab, or motorcycle company, off the rank in January is Aprilia, but you can be guaranteed that others will follow suit shortly.

As the offers are announced we will repost this story and add the offers. Keep checking our MBW Facebook page for alerts on the new offers!

The Aprilia offer is ride away pricing on the following bikes:

  •   MY15 Aprilia Shiver Sport 750 $12K Ride Away
  •   MY15 Aprilia Caponord 1200 Strada $16.5K Ride Away
  •   MY15 Aprilia Caponord 1200 Touring $19K Ride Away


"IndyWatch Feed Cvic": Edgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary: Cuddle Up Day "IndyWatch Feed Vic"


Are you at work still? This could be awkward. Today is Cuddle Up Day, rather than breaking workplace etiquette with unwelcome intimacy and triggering flight zones left and right, you may want to wait till you get home to really get into the spirit of it.

Cuddle Up Day hopes to deliver on a promise to get you cosy and feeling good, so build a love nest and get in it with your favourite person, be they two-legged, furry, feathered or completely stuffed.

Red Baron

Why wait for a special day to show your willingness to cuddle up to your confidant? Take a leaf out of one of our newest friend’s books. In his mind, cuddling is as essential as breathing. Flaunting a blossoming strawberry comb and some of the tiniest feathers we’ve witnessed, Red Baron is slowly growing into his disproportionately long legs.

Red Baron

On his round’s with Pam, Red sometimes gets sidetracked with adventuring, when he realises he’s fallen behind he can be seen aiming his eagle eye for the lady in the hat and running towards her, head bopping and chirping. She picks him up and places him steadily on her shoulder. Red knows as much as anyone, or possibly even more, that love can be found in any shape. It’s not a distinctly human emotion. As we’ve seen here at Edgar’s Mission love, affection and kindness meld together over time and can work to melt the coldest of hearts and gain the trust of the most frightened creatures.

It’s now 2016.........


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Cinema Review: Joy "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

JoyIt’s perhaps too flippant to say that this is about a woman who got rich by selling a lot of mops. Any film can be deconstructed to a banal base – but by the same token it can also be overblown into a quasi-Homeric tale of triumph over impossible odds. Which is the case when Hollywood goes into bat for ‘the Great American Dream’. Caressed by the saccharine voice-over of her dead grandmother, we meet the inventive child who will grow up to be our heroine Joy (Jennifer Lawrence). Because overstatement is the only language that this type of movie speaks, the kid announces that to fulfil her dreams she needs ‘no prince’. Good for her. Joy then goes on to have a failed marriage to Tony (Édgar Ramírez), the most likeable character involved in her ascent of ambition’s slippery slope, while being a mother of two and stressed focal point of her de rigueur dysfunctional family.

For the first half-hour the narrative is guided largely by the soundtrack, as songs by Cream, the Bee Gees and Frank and Nancy Sinatra spell out for us the important points we are to understand, but eventually the plot kicks in and, though never surprising, it is well constructed and intriguing in a ‘how bad can it get for poor Joy’ way. Lawrence holds it together superbly as, around her, Robert De Niro, playing her charmless father with weary conviction, Isabella Rossellini as his pantomime lover and Joy’s reluctant backer, and Bradley Cooper impersonating Bradley Cooper, do little more than go through the motions. If it weren’t for Ramírez and a lovely performance from Dascha Polanco as Joy’s loyal friend Jackie, it would be hard to care for any of them.

David O Russell’s insistence on depicting the plebs as dimwitted addicts of TV soapies is anno.....


"IndyWatch Feed Seq": Northey Street City Farm: Market Assistant Position Vacant "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Northey Street City Farm 

….. a place for learning about living sustainably in the city


Position:         Market Assistant

Award:           Northey Street City Farm (NSCF) Staff Agreement

Hours:            8 hours per week (Sundays 4:30 am – 12:30 pm)

Pay rate:        NSCF Award Agreement Level 2.  $21.63 per hour, excluding entitlements as defined in the NSCF Staff Agreement

Contract Position:    Permanent part-time

Responsible to:         Market Coordinator and Enterprise Manager


Established in 1994, Northey Street City Farm (NSCF) is a non-profit community organisation for people of all ages and backgrounds to learn the principles of Permaculture through hands-on experience. Join an enthusiastic, passionate group of people to work on one of Australia’s largest city farm; a certified Organic Permaculture site on 6 acres, established kitchen and market gardens as well as orchards and wood-lot, plus Brisbane’s only Organic Sunday Farmers Markets. NSCF is also a community hub that facilitates the development of social connections and new skills for volunteers and participants in a variety of Programs. Use your skills and experience to help us enhance our already successful and well established Market.

NSCF Mission Statement

We are a dynamic, creative and diverse city farm based on mutuality, innovation and environmental sustainability.

NSCF Vision

We aim to create a working model of a cooperative, community based, urban Permaculture farm which demonstrates, promotes, educates, celebrates and advocates for environmental and economic sustainability in a healthy, diverse and supportive....


The Bulli Times: Bellambi man charged over assault "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

A MAN has been charged over an alleged assault during a robbery in Bellambi last year.
About 7.30am on Tuesday November 10, a man entered a food store on Rothery Street armed with a crowbar.
It’s alleged the man confronted the attendant, a 69-year-old man, before threatening him and demanding money.
When the attendant attempted to stop the man, he was allegedly pushed to the ground and repeatedly assaulted.
Another man intervened and came to the attendant’s aid before the armed man fled.
Police were alerted and officers from Wollongong Local Area Command attended and established a crime scene.
The 69-year-old was taken to hospital with multiple injuries, including broken ribs.
Detectives commenced an investigation into the incident and, following inquiries, arrested a man at Bellambi about 8.30am yesterday (Tuesday January 5).
The 43-year-old was taken to Wollongong Police Station where he was charged with aggravated assault with intent to rob; inflict actual bodily harm; and resist or hinder police officer in execution of duty.
He was bail refused to appear at Port Kembla Local Court today (Wednesday January 6).


"IndyWatch Feed Seq": The Vociferous Journalist: NBN to double connected Qld houses in 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

2015 saw the NBN almost double the number of premises ready for service in Queensland, while 2016 is being billed as the construction ramp up year. I spoke to State Corporate Affairs Manager for Queensland Kylie Lindsay about the state of the NBN in Queensland, and what we can expect in the coming year.


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Highway signage debacle "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

I read the article in The Echo of December 30 about problems arising from the lack of signage on the new highway and as a visitor to the area I completely agree.

We found it difficult to find our way to our holiday accommodation at one of the coastal villages, and at the end of a long frustrating journey from southern NSW it was the last thing we anticipated as we know this area quite well. We sympathise with businesses that have suffered as a result and hope the problem is rectified quickly.

Helen O’Brien, Brisbane

The post Highway signage debacle appeared first on Echonetdaily.


"IndyWatch Feed Seq": Zedlines: Venezuelan opposition party take assembly majority - plus more 11am zedlines "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Despite recent measures taken by Preident Nicolas Maduro, the Venezuelan opposition party has taken its assembly majority (image: creative commons)

Qld man injured in Tasmanian rockclimbing incident

A Queensland man has been seriously injured after plunging eight metres at Cape Raoul on the Tasman Peninsula.

The accident occurred yesterday afternoon after the man was climbing a rock pillar known as the Pole Dancer.

The man was secured by his fellow climbers before being airlifted out and flown to Royal Hobart Hospital.

Further sulfuric acid leaks in North-West Queensland


"IndyWatch Feed Seq": Westender – West End 4101: A tale of one street "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Rob Honeycombe of Bees Nees Realty says the story of inner-Brisbane’s apartment boom can be read in just one South Brisbane street Even for those of us watching every day, the construction sites, the orange-vested men, the cranes, the concrete trucks – they’ve all become a blur of scurrying activity. It’s impossible to keep a […]

The post A tale of one street appeared first on Westender - West End 4101.


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Shepparton Adviser: Newspaper industry loss "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Newspaper industry loss

HE WILL BE MISSED… The newspaper industry has lost one of its own with the passing of Chris McPherson, aged 61. Chris helped launch the Victoria Country Press Association Annual Newspaper Dinner in recent years. He is pictured in the front row, fifth from the left among others in the industry at the 2015 dinner. Photo: Supplied.

Chris McPherson 23.9.1954 – 22.12.2015

REGIONAL Australia has lost one of its most progressive newspaper operators with the death of Chris McPherson.
From a family steeped in newspaper history dating back to 1888, Shepparton’s Chris McPherson led the way in many ways in the industry.
His great grandfather, Stanley Roy McPherson, began the family newspaper dynasty and he and his son Donald Roy continued it, as did Don’s sons Chris, Ross and Paul.
The three generation newspaper family (McPherson Media Group) continues as one of the last remaining independently owned daily newspaper operators in the nation, also publishing a number of weekly newspapers and a tri-weekly in northern Victoria and southern NSW.
Chris, was awarded Life Membership of the Victorian Country Press Association (VCPA), Victoria’s and Australia’s most progressive and independent newspaper association representing about 80 newspapers throughout the state. He was also awarded Life Membership of Country Press Association (CPA). Both Life Memberships followed many years of service to the industry and as president of both organisations.
Chris was known in the newspaper industry to be a fierce and fair comp...


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Shepparton Adviser: Secret to success is through the stomach "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Secret to success is through the stomach

DELICIOUS SUCCESS FOR DUX… Former student and 2015 Dux of Goulburn Valley Grammar School, Henry Fox has put the secret to his success down to his dad’s special penne bolognaise. Photo: Emma Hillier.

HAVING received the highest ATAR score in the region this year with a score of 99.75, former student and 2015 Dux of Goulburn Valley Grammar School, Henry Fox has put the secret to his success down to his dad’s special penne bolognaise.
The day after receiving his result Henry said his dad, Damien, had joked he might have to get in touch with the CSIRO.
“I don’t like sandwiches and dad would cook me pasta for lunch every day,” Henry said.
“He reckons he’s going to get onto the CSIRO with the Ten Year Pasta Program.”
Henry said he really didn’t do anything in particular to achieve success.
“I studied when I felt like I should study.
“If I felt tired, I stopped. I didn’t make a study timetable. I responded to the circumstances. By the time it came around to exams, I was fairly relaxed.”
Henry is now likely to be flying the coop with Monash University already chasing him over his first two preferences for a Bachelor of Science Advanced – Global Challenges, and a Bachelor of Engineering/Commerce.
Henry said, “I did work experience at Monash in one of the chemistry labs, which was great, but I am not interested in that.
“I’m more interested in politics and current affairs and I want my studies to combine these interests with science.”
With the cho...


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Shepparton Adviser: Building hope "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Building hope

LIVING WITH LEUKAEMIA… Leukaemia recovery patient, Tracey Stokes and Leukaemia Foundation Community Relationship Coordinator, Kristin Paton. Photo: Emma Hillier.

ALTHOUGH living with leukaemia is frightening for Tongala resident, Tracey Stokes, she is embracing the change with open arms and appreciates the help and support received by the Leukaemia Foundation. But Tracey is mostly looking forward to the foundation’s new Building of Hope facility that will offer those living with leukaemia even further hope and support.
After being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), through tears of sadness, anger and confusion, Tracey could not help but ask ‘why me?’
After wiping her tears away, Tracey came to the realisation that life was not over. She began to see and appreciate the important things in her life, and was determined to work around her ‘impairments’ and strive to increase her ability to participate in life.
Tracey particularly credits the Leukaemia Foundation for their fantastic support and the way in which they helped to alleviate a great deal of stress from her treatment process through the offer of free accommodation close to Tracey’s hospital for her prolonged treatment. She says this Foundation-provided apartment had become her home-base and being across the road from her hospital, it eliminated the need to travel five hours back and forth between home and hospital.
Tracey said, “Knowing I had a ‘home’ base opposite the hospital made my mind focus on getting well.”
Tracey is excited about the Leukaemia...


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Shepparton Adviser: Asia revisited "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Asia revisited

I’M sitting on the top deck of a luxury cruise liner. A waitress has just bought me a tall glass of iced tea. Sitting next to the swimming pool those crystal blue waters look so inviting. Yes it’s a tough life but somebody has to do it.
Over the coming days we will visit some 20 ports, so it’s certainly a chance to see Asia from the sea.
We started in Singapore. It’s been tens of years since I was last there and how it’s changed. It’s a vibrant exciting city and the food is fabulous.
They say if you want to know anything about the place you are visiting then ask a taxi driver and I did.
Yes sir, Singapore is going ahead in leaps and bounds. We have an unemployment rate of less than 2 percent. Everyone has employment, even the old are encouraged to keep working even if only a few hours a week and the government will look after the rest with pensions and health insurance (sounds like Australia).
But life can’t be all roses. What worries the average person? My taxi driver said it was the world phenomenon of the Islamic group Isis where young people are becoming radicalised and joining this organisation in the Middle East.
Did the taxi driver have a solution? Well yes sir our school system encourages students to do visits to mosques, Christian churches, Buddhist temples etc. so everyone has a basic understanding of each other’s religion, we hope it’s a step in the right direction.
I remember being in Borneo some years ago where a similar program operated. Indeed all school students had to attend....


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Shepparton Adviser: Public transport fee rise to hit local residents "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

WITH the beginning of the new year now upon us, local residents can expect to pay more for public transport, with fees for Zone One in Shepparton and fares for V/Line services between Melbourne and Shepparton having seen an increase as of January 1.
Zone One bus fares will increase slightly in Shepparton, with the cost of a two hour fare having seen an increase of 20 cents (10 cents for concession).
Fares for V/Line services between Melbourne and Shepparton will increase by around 4 percent, with the cost of an off-peak single fare from Shepparton to Melbourne costing $23.60 ($11.80 for concession).
A Public Transport Victoria spokesperson said, “These increases keep fares adjusted for changes in the CPI (Consumer Price Index) and contribute to ongoing investment in a number of major public transport projects.
In Shepparton, as a result of a Public Transport Victoria initiative to improve regional fares, Zone Two town bus fares have been reduced by around 15 percent, with the cost of a two hour ticket now being $3.20 or $1.60 for concession.”


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Shepparton Adviser: Hundreds expected to watch Big Bash on the big screen "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Hundreds expected to watch Big Bash on the big screen

LAKE’S SHORES TURNED CRICKET PITCH… From left, Cricket Victoria Development Officer and Melbourne Renegades All Abilities Assistant Coach, Alana Baldi, Greater Shepparton City Council (GSCC) Activities In The Park Officer, Kim Mansell, Cricket Shepparton President, David D’Elia, Shepparton Youth Club United Cricket Club President, Tony Giblin and GSCC Healthy Communities Officer, Carmen Nicholson. Photo: Alicia Niglia.

THE epic clash between the Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Thunder is one not to be missed, but there is one way of making watching the match and taking it to the next level, by heading down and joining the hundreds expected at Victoria Park Lake this Monday, to watch the Big Bash on the big screen.
The northern foreshore of Victoria Park Lake will come alive with activities from 6:30pm, before the big screening of the Big Bash at 7:30pm.
Shepparton Youth Club United Cricket Club President, Tony Giblin said, “This event has been 12 months in the making and is the brain child of my son, Shepparton Youth Club United Cricket Club Committee Member and Player, Christopher.
“Cricket Victoria and Greater Shepparton City Council (GSCC) were both keen to jump on board.
“Just one of the exciting elements to the evening will be having some of the Melbourne Renegades players at the event, of course they won’t be the ones playing on the big screen. We will also have Cricket Victoria representatives and Shepparton Youth Club U...


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Shepparton Adviser: Holiday season road warning "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Holiday season road warning

THE holiday period is notoriously busy on the roads and a busy road accompanied with fatigue or distracted driving can lead to road death. In 2015, 257 lives were lost on Victorian roads, 12 of those in the Greater Shepparton area, with 23 over the holiday period in Victoria from December 1, 2015 to January 4, 2016, two of those locally.
Shepparton Police Highway Patrol, Acting Sergeant Neil Johnson said, “When it comes to reducing the road toll, our main focus is on speed, alcohol/drug impairment and fatigue. If we can help reduce these, we can help to reduce the road toll.
“One improved statistic throughout 2015 for the Victoria Police’s Eastern Regional Division 3 though was a reduction in the serious injury accidents. In 2015 there were 56 reported compared to 2014, which saw a figure of 78.”
Operation Roadwise, which has been running since December and targeting speed, fatigue, alcohol and drugs and other driver impairments, has already seen 233 offences recorded in total in the Greater Shepparton area. Out of the 2,780 preliminary breath tests and 16 road side drug tests carried out five were processed for drink driving and one came back positive for drugs.
“Operation Roadwise is all about our visible presence on the road. Police units have been conducting random breath testing and random drug testing and enforcing the road safety message.
“We are pretty happy with the results. The figures are good and it’s important to note the lack of serious injuries, because of the operation, has been a positive result.
“The holiday period is still ongoing and we urge peo...


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Shepparton Adviser: New Year’s success rings out in Mooroopna "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

New Year’s success rings out in Mooroopna

CELEBRATING THE NEW YEAR… The Rotary Club of Mooroopna’s New Year’s Eve festival was another great success, with more than 800 attending the pre New Year’s celebrations. Photo: Supplied.

A CROWD of more than 8,000 strong helped celebrate the coming of the New Year, flooding the John Gray Oval, Mooroopna Recreation Reserve for the 37th annual Rotary Club of Mooroopna’s New Year’s Eve festival.
Rotary Club of Mooroopna Member, Ken Faulkner said, “The Rotary Club of Mooroopna is very happy with the fantastic turn out for the 37th New Year’s Eve festival. The crowd was a little bigger than normal but were all very well behaved. It was a great family night being enjoyed by all.
“The stage entertainment had both children and adults getting involved.
“This year’s parade was a great success with the number of vintage and street cars up on previous parades. Parade Organiser, Santo Varapodio thanks the GV Vintage Car Club, The Street Car Club, The Custom Car Club, all the local truck owners who participated, the fire brigade, the Shepparton Search and Rescue Squad, local bus company owners and the local panel shop for their participation in the parade. Also, thanks goes to the kids who came with their decorated bikes and the local police for their help and support getting everyone down the main street safe.
“The night finished off with a spectacular fireworks display, which had the crowd cheering and clapping throughout the performance.
“The Rotary Club of Mooroopna tha...


The Idiot Tax: Who Took A Bath On Dick Smith "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Apart from the usual gamblers on hotcopper who got a stinky finger from bottom picking Dick Smith, here's the funds and institutions who it looks like took a...

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Motorbike Writer: 10 tips for motorcycle water crossings "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

water crossings

Water crossings are possibly the most fun you can have on an adventure or dual-sport motorcycle. They are a blast and I still enjoy it, even after countless water crossings.

In all that time, I’ve only had two failures and only one of those resulted in a drowned bike. Yet, I’m still extremely cautious and would advise others to also exercise caution.

I don’t want to be a damp squib (pun) on your fun, but the best way to negotiate water crossings is to go around them, if you can. Unnecessary water crossings can cause bike damage, injury and can slow you and your mates down as it can take a good hour to de-drown a bike.

However, if you do have to cross creeks or even rivers, these are the top 10 precautions you should take: Water crossings

  1. Let your bike cool down. You wouldn’t wash your bike as soon as you get home, so you shouldn’t ride a bike with a hot engine straight into cold water.
  2. While your bike is cooling, walk through the crossing to check the bottom of the crossing for mud, sand, clay, submerged rocks, slime, logs and deep holes. Water always looks shallower than it really is, so use a stick to give you a proper gauge of depth. If the water is murky because 4WDs or other bikes have just been through, wait for it to clear. If it isn’t going to clear, you will need...


Motorbike Writer: Heed the warning ‘If it’s flooded, forget it’ "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Water crossings - floodedEastern Australia has been lashed by storms and more severe wet weather is predicted for the remainder of summer which highlights the official warning to all motorists that if it’s flooded, forget it!

Police have now started fining motorists hundreds of dollars for negligent driving if they attempt to cross flood waters and get stuck, requiring rescue.

Don’t be that idiot that takes their bike out to go playing in flooded waters and ends up losing their bike and forcing emergency services personnel to risk their lives trying to save you.

Water crossings can be enormous fun, but it’s just not worth it when the water crossing is flooded.

Water crossingsYou may have crossed this particular crossing before and think that the water is just a little higher than normal. However, there could be a sink hole underneath and you could lose your bike and then be swept away in the fast-running waters.

Flooded water is unpredictable. Is the level still rising, how fast is the water flowing, is it flowing at different rates in different parts of the crossing, is a sudden surge of more water on its way, what objects have been washed down and are now submerged underneath such as barbed wire?

There are too many unknowns....


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Common Ground North Coast: 30th Year of Woodford Folk Festival "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"


Having just celebrated the 30th year of Woodford with record breaking box office sales, this year’s

festival saw more than 129,000 people in attendance. And what a way it was to celebrate the
coming of 2016….
With a huge diversity of artists and musicians hidden around each and every leafy corner, there was
something to delight and engage all the ages. Street performers mingled inamongst the circus tents,
art workshops, yoga sessions and multiple music villages, where you would find yourself stumbling
upon a micro-world of something new and inevitably fascinating.
Musically, Kim Churchill set a precedent on the main Amphistage on the Wednesday night, with
what can only be described as an incredible display of musical uber-energy that enchanted the
crowd from start to finish. His mix of folk-pop, combined with anecdotal references to Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan perfectly complimented the Woodford crowd, with his youthful enthusiasm engaging both the younger and older generations.
The Blues Town stage provided a constant supply of soulful, heart-felt musical exploration from the
likes of...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: California dreaming: is there a right to be a beach? "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

A seawall in Ventura County, California. Photo Surfrider Foundation

A seawall in Ventura County, California.
Photo Surfrider Foundation

Mary Gardner

California is still setting trends on its beaches and coasts. Okay, the Beach Boys are still playing in Monterey in early January but look behind the scenes.

Dedicated surfers are taking direct action and helping set policies all along the coast. Their Surfrider Foundation promotes ‘managed landward retreat’ and avoiding ‘shoreline armouring’. They paddle out in protest at sandbagging on beaches. To inform the public, their website offers cutting-edge technical publications about these issues.

In pressing situations, the California Coastal Commission may permit a rock wall for a set time period. But in addition to the building costs, the owners also pay mitigation fees. Everyone understands that such works mean the beach will be lost. The argument is how to best calculate a comprehensive penalty rate. Surfrider staff member Chad Nelsen did a PhD investigating this problem.

Nelsen explains that an ‘armoured’ sandy beach is lost in three ways. First, the back of the beach is lost and cannot grow inland as required. Next is the seaward loss, as the sandy area inevitably narrows. Finally, the adjacent beach areas are also considered as losses, exacerbated by the construction.

Beach value

The fee calculations consider the value and loss of ‘consumer surplus’. This is an economic label which requires a bit of double thinking. The surplus is what purchasers are willing to pay over what they...


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Shepparton Adviser: Mawson’s awarded roundabout contract "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

THE contract for works including underground pipe works from Benalla Road south to Greater Shepparton City Council’s retardation basin on Doyles Road has been awarded to Mawson’s Construction.
The next stage of the roundabout upgrade began this week, with plans to have drainage works completed by the end of March this year.
The works will also include expanding the existing retardation basin to provide a future wetland system to treat the stormwater from the catchment.
It is expected there will be some traffic delays and detours during this period, primarily due to the VicRoads roundabout duplication works.
Greater Shepparton City Council Director Infrastructure, Steve Bowmaker said, “The works are for the future development of the Doyles Road and Benalla Road roundabout and to provide a high capacity drainage spine for the Shepparton East catchment.”


"IndyWatch Feed Geelong": Ocean Grove Voice: Off on an African adventure "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

OCEAN Grove travel agent Nicole Brian is already busy planning her next big trip to Africa this September, with three families signed up already.
“You’ve got to plan early for this sort of thing,” she said.
The tour will cross South Africa, as well passing through Zimbabwe and Zambia, and stopping at the picturesque Victoria Falls.
The trip will focus heavily on conservation and education.
“The reason we are doing it is our kids are very into conservation,” she said.
“I wanted it to be educational – not just a Disney Land trip.”
Nicole has been to Africa on similar trips and is using that experience to pack in as much animal-based fun as possible.
The tour will visit the Jane Goodall Chimp Sanctuary and families can get up close with elephants at the Elephant Whisperers.
“The kids can help feed and wash them,” she said.
“It’s really hands-on.”
The chimp sanctuary rescues chimpanzees that been orphaned, traded in the illegal pet market or traumatised for entertainment in circuses and beach resorts.
The trip also includes a game of soccer with local children, while children on the tour will all get to donate a pair of boots each.
Nicole said the enthusiasm from youngsters had been infectious.
“It’s amazing how many kids have gotten involved,” she said.
“It’s more the kids who are interested.”
Swagman tours, whose owners Tracey and Wayne Hamilton are from Ocean Grove, are co-organising the trip.
The majority of the trip will take place in South Africa.
“We’ve chosen South Africa because it’s somewhere in Africa where people feel more comfortable taking their kids,” she said.
For more information call HelloWorld on 5256 1888.

The post Off on an African adventure appeared first on Oce...


"IndyWatch Feed Geelong": Ocean Grove Voice: Nippers make Victorian squad "IndyWatch Feed Vic"


TWO Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club nippers have been awarded with selection in a Victorian Development Team to compete at the 2016 Southern State Championships this week.
Eight under 13 representatives including Ocean Grove pair Tim Hannan and Tyler Walsh were named in a Victorian team member squad of 24, which included eight under 14 and eight under 15 representatives.
The Southern State Championships takes place from Thursday January 7 to Sunday January 10 across competitions held at Kardinia Aquatic Centre in Geelong and competitions at Jan Juc SLSC and Fairhaven SLSC.
IN other surf life saving club news, senior Ocean Grove SLSC competitors competed well at the senior Life Saving Victoria carnival at Anglesea on Sunday 3 January.
Among the highlights was Ocean Grove SLSC’s victory in the Under 17 Men’s Single Ski Relay event.
Ocean Grove came in first place in the Under 17 Men’s Taplin Relay race.
Not to be outdone, Ocean Grove won the Under 17 Women’s Surf Board Relay race.
In the Under 17 Women’s Surf Teams race Ocean Grove claimed first place.
In the Under 19 Men’s Single Ski Ocean Grove competitor Kyle Solterbeck finished in first position, while star Grove competitor Lucy Conquit won the Women’s Under 19 Single Ski event.
The Under 19 Ocean Grove women’s team won the Surf Race, Surf Teams and the Taplin Relay event competitions.

The post Nippers make Victorian squad appeared first on Ocean Grove Voice.


"IndyWatch Feed Geelong": Ocean Grove Voice: A fair of tranquility "IndyWatch Feed Vic"


ROUGHLY 6000 locals and tourists attended the 19th Tranquillity Fair last Saturday, which organisers have hailed as one of the most successful yet.
More than 4000 adults bought tickets and Ocean Grove Park Association (OGPA) president, Murray Waugh, estimated 6000 people in total, with children attending for free.
“That would have to be one of our highest attendances, if not our highest,” he said.
“Even up until 4pm we still had a lot of people around.”
Dark skies threatened to spoil events in the morning but the sun broke through just before midday, providing fair-goers with warm weather the rest of the day.
The Tranquillity Fair made use of the Ocean Grove Pavilion the first time this year, which Murray said made things run much more smoothly.
He said the pavilion served as a storage space for the OGPA and allowed an easier transition between different performers.
“It was fantastic – we didn’t have to hire a stage,” he said.
“There were more people watching the music than ever before.”
The crowd enjoyed a wide range of music from Ebony De Lima, Velvet Bow, The Tides of Welcome, Steve McEwan and the Yesmen, Three Kings and Fulton.
They also got involved in a drumming demonstration in the afternoon.
Murray said the fair’s 125 stalls had already been booked-out by last November.
“We even had people standing by if someone didn’t turn up,” he said.
“That’s a tribute to Barb and Phil Dix, who organise the stalls.”
Barb said this year’s new stalls included delicious Turkish food and very popular “potato spirals”.
With the amount of interest, she said she “could have had two fairs and filled them both.”
The OGPA also provided free stalls for the Queenscliff Rural Australians for Refugees, Children in Cambodia and the CFA.
Murray praised and thanked the fair’s 70 volunteers who manned the gates, and helped setup for four hours on Friday evenin...


"IndyWatch Feed Seq": Zedlines: Warnings about El Nino weather system - plus more 10am zedlines "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Scientists warn that our current El Nino system could be as bad as the catastrophic 1997-98 system (image:creative commons)

Young Queenslanders at risk of skin cancer

The Cancer Council of Queensland has issued an urgent warning for under 35’s, with latest figures showing that melanoma is the most common cancer diagnosed in young Queenslanders.

CCQ spokesperson Katie Cliff says these figures reinforce the urgency for young people to take sun exposure seriously.


"IndyWatch Feed Geelong": Ocean Grove Voice: Beach heroes sought "IndyWatch Feed Vic"


BARWON Heads resident Sally Smith is searching for five heroic beach-goers, who she says saved her life just days before Christmas.
Sally, 54, was swimming at Raafs Beach (19W) on 18 December, after her daughter had left, when she was caught in a rip.
“Within seconds I was being sucked out and I couldn’t get my feet on the ground,” she said.
Sally said if the rip had dragged her into the deep she would not have survived.
“I knew if I floated out no one would be able to see me,” she said.
“I tried to swim against the current but I had no hope.”
In desperation, she called for help.
“I screamed to two boys in the shallows,” she said.
“Eventually they heard me and called to three ladies nearby.”
The women didn’t hesitate, diving into the surf to rescue Sally.
“These ladies were like porpoises,” she said. “They dived in and swam straight at me.”
The women told Sally to lie on her back and formed a human chain to drag her in.
“The deepest one risked her life – she could have been sucked in too,” she said.
“Her feet were off the ground and she was relying on the woman who was holding onto her.
“Once she grabbed my hand I could breathe – it was an incredible relief.”
Eventually the quick-thinking trio pulled her back to shore.
Sally was extremely grateful to her rescuers and wanted to thank them in person.
She said one of the brave boys, named “Oscar”, was five years old, while the other was about 10, with glasses and dark hair.
“I think his name was Raj,” she said.
“For those boys to call out to strangers was incredibly brave – I thought they were their mothers but they weren’t.”
Sally was unable to describe the women, due to shock.
“They did say their names but I was in such a state that I couldn’t remember them,” she said.
Speaking to the Voice last weekend, Sally vowed she would never swim outside t...


"IndyWatch Feed Geelong": Ocean Grove Voice: Rip to River legend grows "IndyWatch Feed Vic"


THE iconic status of Rip to River Classic legend Nick Wightman is growing, according to Ocean Grove SLSC president Steve Peatling, after he won his fifth title on 2 January.
The Ocean Grove-based Wightman, 30, strode to victory in 32:47, to win 10km Classic and finished ahead of training partner Harry Smithers, who came second in 33:10.
“It is great, he (Nick Wightman) is becoming a bit of an icon for our Rip to River Classic,” Peatling said.
“I would really love to see him have some success with his Olympic trials and stuff. Someone from the local area representing us at such a high level would be great.”
Wightman, who turns 31 this month, will race in the eight kilometre Mountain to Surf event in Lorne on Friday 15 January.
He said he was yet to hit his peak over the 10km race distance.
“I am still getting fitter and still getting better,” Wightman told the Voice.
“I have not reached my best in the 10km, I used to be more of a 1500 metre runner, the 10km run would seem like a long way in this race.”
Dawnbusters 5km fun run winner Daniel Hutchinson finished third in 34:29, while fourth-placed Ocean Grove local James Dalton claimed his first top five finish in 34:43.
“I was fairly happy with a top five finish, not over the moon with the time, but satisfied,” Dalton said.

IN the women’s 10km run, Mornington Peninsula local Sarah Klein won her third Rip to River Classic crown.
Klein, 30, who had won the 10km women’s event back-to-back prior to missing last summer’s Rip to River Classic, finished in a time of 37.22.
Klein said the higher than usual tide made it a tough start for competitors at the 10km start point at the Point Lonsdale lighthouse.
“We did notice at the start line the tide was in a bit further in than other years,” she said.
“I wanted to go under 37...


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Shepparton Adviser: Community Connect "IndyWatch Feed Vic"


EVENING AUSSIE CROQUET will commence at Shepparton Croquet Club, Winston Street, Shepparton on Monday, January 11, through to the long weekend in March. 6:45pm for 7pm start. $5 per person each week. Please wear flat soled shoes. All equipment provided. For further information, phone John on 5821 9081.

THE BIBLE JESUS: If you are seeking understanding, clarification and answers to the many bible based questions and contradictions you see in today’s traditional Christian church teaching and preaching. Join us by visiting or phone 0409 953 107.


CAMPASPE REGIONAL LIBRARY are seeking interest for a proposed Computer Group to meet at Echuca Library on the 1st Saturday of each month from 10:30am. For more information, call David 0408 101 846, leave your name with library staff, or come along on the day.

SHEPPARTON BRIDGE CLUB meets from 7pm Monday at U3A Hall Esson Street. Members are required to join Goulburn Valley U3A. For more information, phone Derek Poulton 5825 4112 or John Moore 0438 455 741 or refer to the website

SHEPPARTON TOASTMASTERS Want to learn how to communicate more effectively and improve your public speaking and leadership skills? Shepparton Toastmasters meet on the first and third Tuesday of each month, 7pm to 9pm, The Mechanics Institute Hall, 277 Wyndham Street, Shepparton. Phone 0421 322 276.

FREE SOUP KITCHEN Available Mon to Fri 5-6pm at Victoria Park Lake, Shepparton, next to Skate Park, and Wednesdays 5-6pm at North Community House, Parkside Dve, Shepparton; Opportunity Shop, 4 Mill St, Mooroopna; Numurkah Park, Melville St, Numurkah; Hogan St, Tatura; and in Nathalia a...


Motorbike Writer: Chris Vermeulen’s wet riding tips "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Chris Vermeulen

We may not like riding in the rain, but with the weather as unpredictable as it has been you are bound to get caught in the rain at some stage.

Rather than give you my tips for riding on wet roads, we went to 2003 World Supersport champion, 10-time World Superbike race winner and MotoGP winner Chris Vermeulen for some expert advice

Chris won the 2007 Le Mans GP in the rain, so he knows what he’s talking about.

Q & A on wet riding with Chris:

Q: Why are some riders better in the rain?

A: I put it down to the fact that a lot of Australian and American racers came from a dirt track background compared with the European racers so it gives you a lot more bike feel. A wet track is a great leveller for equipment, so it comes back to how the rider adapts to the situation.
Chris Vermeulen
Q: What’s your top tip?

A: The most important thing in the wet is to be smooth with everything you do. There is obviously less grip and the bike is less forgiving so you have to be smooth on all your inputs into the bike such as throttle, brake, clutch and moving your body weight. Every action you do on the bike upsets it more.

Q: Where is the most grip?

A: You’re going to have more grip and control on the bike in the wet when it’s upright. On the track you can still brake quite hard and accelerate quite hard, so long as you do it smoothly. I...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Are Chinese buyers ‘flocking to Byron’? "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Real estate agency Corbett and Co recently advertised 23 hectares of Byron absolute beachfront land and had approaches from 14 different buyers from China. Photo Corbett and Co

Real estate agency Corbett and Co recently advertised 23 hectares of Byron absolute beachfront land and had approaches from 14 different buyers from China. Photo Corbett and Co

Real estate in the Byron area is heating up, with the region jumping from 28th most popular location for buying property in NSW to fourth, according to Chinese-language international real estate website

A luxury real estate agency based on the Gold Coast was quoted in today’s Sydney Morning Herald saying 14 Chinese investors had flocked to inspect a 23-hectare block with absolute beach frontage between Ballina and Lennox Head recently.

‘We have seen Chinese buyers in the Gold Coast for years, but they now seem to be looking further afield to the more exclusive Byron surrounds,’ said Dominique Corbett of Corbett & Co.

‘They love the idea of creating a pristine eco retreat with a golf course in a place that is this close to amenities and direct flights to China via Coolangatta,’ she said.

But local agencies on the ground in Byron Bay dispute the claim that the region is awash with Chinese buyers, although they agree the market is the busiest it has been for years.

James Young of Byron Bay First National told Echonetdaily the agency was ‘almost out of stock’ after a big rush before Christmas.

‘We’ve had our best December in years, with contracts being exchanged right up until Christm......


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Was inquest held into death of Whian Whian forester? "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Re your article Seeking justice for Whian Whian

I am the next-door neighbour to the property on which the logging fiasco was conducted.

This was a NSW Government initiative to encourage logging of native forests on private land’. The ‘private land’ arrangement made it clear that rather than ‘look before you cut’ being the legally required approach by the logging contractor in respect of threatened species of flora/fauna (on public-owned land), a ‘keep an eye out’ larrikin-style approach was the modus operandi of Forestry Corporation which was aided and abetted by the NSW Government. Hence the 12 to 18 member police presence every day.

What I have been trying to ascertain is whether a Coronial Inquest was held following the unfortunate death of one of the loggers, an event which caused the immediate closure of the ill-fated logging operation by Work Cover NSW.

My understanding is that the decision as to whether such an inquest should proceed was in the hands of a local Lismore magistrate, but Lismore Court refuses to advise as to whether it was conducted, or to release any information concerning such an inquest if it was so conducted.

My endeavours to acquire FOI documentation from WorkCover were thwarted by the usual requests for more money up front from me to accommodate their ‘costs’, which appeared to be following a very steep upward curve.

The efforts by NEFA in following up the EPA/NSW Forestry Corporation wedding and reception are to be applauded: and the intentions of the NSW Govt are to be castigated to precisely the same degree.

Patrick Tatham, Whian Whian

The post Was inquest held into death of Whian Whian forester? appeared first on Echonetdaily...


"IndyWatch Feed Seq": Zedlines: Call for an end to Victorian duck hunting - plus more 9am zedlines "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Federal Labor MP Kelvin Thomson agrees with animal rights activists who call for an end to Victorian duck hunting. (photo: Sharron Woodward)

2016 already a busy year for domestic violence helpline

A Queensland based domestic violence helpline has already received over 2022 calls within the first four days of the new year.

DV Connect’s chief executive, Di Mangan says the rise in calls in only four days has left staff stunned.

Ms Mangan says 775 calls were made on Saturday, which far exceeds the daily average which is between 360-400.


Motorbike Writer: BMW joins HUD helmet revolution "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

BMW HUD helmet revolution

The head-up display revolution is coming with the Skully helmet and aftermarket accessories and now BMW has joined the trend.

BMW Motorrad will display the HUD helmet, along with a laser light for their K 1600 GTL tourer at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas from January 6-9, 2016.

BMW laser headlight revolution

BMW K 1600 GTL with laser light

BMW says the HUD helmet will be developed to series-production level within the next few years.

HUD allows riders to see vital information such as GPS our  directions, speed and various motorcycle functions on a screen in their periphery so they don’t have to take their eyes off the road.



"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Top musical director to conduct Australia Day in Tweed "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Australian musical director and conductor George Ellis will join the Tweed's Australia Day celebrations this year.

Australian musical director and conductor George Ellis will join the Tweed’s Australia Day celebrations this year.

An award-winning musical composer with countless stage, screen and classical credits has been named the Tweed Shire’s Australia Day Ambassador for 2016.

George Ellis is one of Australia’s top musical directors and conductors, presenting concerts around the globe.

Tweed mayor Katie Milne said Mr Ellis would speak at the shire’s Australia Day celebrations to be held at Kingscliff High School.

‘We are absolutely thrilled to have George Ellis visiting us and speaking about his experiences and pride in being an Australian,’ Cr Milne said.

‘The federal government has named the region as one of Australia’s eight National Iconic Landscapes and some of the best remnants in Australia of our ancient Gondwana rainforests, which date back around 100 million years, can still be found in this shire today.’

‘It is particularly important we acknowledge the local Aboriginal community, past and present, who first walked this land many thousands of years ago and pay tribute to their ongoing cultural connections with this beautiful place.

Mr Ellis, who has been an Australia Day ambassador in other parts of regional NSW, described the experience as ‘extremely memorable’, and said his favourite thing to do on Australia Day was enjoy a barbecue with great company.

‘Serving as an Australia Day Ambassador in beautiful rural NSW these last three y...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Federal MP calls for end to Vic duck hunt "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Ducks were dumped outside the Victorian premier's office in Melbourne last March by Wildlife activists from the Coalition Against Duck Shooting, in protest to the first weekend of Victoria's duck hunting season. (AAP Image/ Anastasia Cariotis)

Ducks were dumped outside the Victorian premier’s office in Melbourne last March by Wildlife activists from the Coalition Against Duck Shooting, in protest to the first weekend of Victoria’s duck hunting season. (AAP Image/ Anastasia Cariotis)

Federal MP Kelvin Thomson is calling on the Victorian government to cancel the 2016 duck-hunting season amid fears bird populations will struggle to recover.

Mr Thomson, citing a study, says the severe El Nino drought is having a significant impact on bird numbers.

That’s prompted him to pen a letter to the government calling for an end to the “animal cruelty”.

‘Give the ducks and waterbirds a chance to get through what is a particularly tough year in our wetlands without the pressure of being shot at,’ he wrote in the letter to Victoria’s Environment Minister Lisa Neville.

Mr Thomson said an aerial survey from the University of New South Wales’ Centre for Ecosystem Science showed numbers of breeding waterbirds in eastern Australia were at the lowest number recorded.

He said it was time Victoria followed other states in Australia and put an end to duck hunting, which often resulted in the inadvertent death of birds that were protected or endangered.

The Coalition Against Duck Shooting last year dumped 100 birds that were killed in the opening weekend of the 2015 season...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Great Ocean Road reopens after Vic fires "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Victoria’s Great Ocean Road has been reopened after a devastating bushfire razed more than 100 homes in the area.

Authorities reopened the road, one of the state’s best known tourism drawcards, at 8am on Wednesday.

The move will bring some relief to tourism operators and business owners in the holiday playground after days of major disruption from the blaze, which destroyed 116 homes in Wye River and Separation Creek.

It’s still burning out of control in rugged forest and has burnt 2500 hectares of land, but Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley says it’s safe to reopen the road between Cumberland River and Wye River.

‘Business and tourism is a crucial part of what makes a community run and particularly in an area such as the surf coast which heavily relies on summer tourism,’ he said.

‘We want everyone to support local businesses and enjoy the area, but to be aware that there is still a fire being worked on so people will see aircraft and trucks and, at times, smoke.’

Cooler conditions have helped firefighters plan ahead in their battle against the fire.

Incident controller Gregg Paterson said fog and low cloud that grounded firefighting aircraft in recent days had cleared long enough to allow aircraft to use infra-red hot-spot detection equipment and perform reconnaissance work.

New hotspots were identified on the northern and southwestern edges, giving vital clues on building and strengthening containment lines.

About 200 firefighters continue working to control the fire, which is expected to burn through the summer.

This includes 20 New Zealand firefighters who specialise in battling fires in dense forest.

The post Great Ocean Road reopens after Vic fires appeared first on Echonetdaily.


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Qld one-punch accused ‘devastated’ "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Cole Miller, the 18-year-old killed in a one-punch attack. (AAP)

Cole Miller, the 18-year-old killed in a one-punch attack. (AAP)

The men charged with the deadly assault of Brisbane teenager Cole Miller are said to be devastated, as they face hefty jail terms under tough new laws.

As allegations emerged that alleged attacker Daniel Maxwell thought the assault would be “funny”, Maxwell’s lawyer said his client, behind bars for the first time, wasn’t laughing.

‘He’s devastated by what’s occurred,’ defence counsel Michael Bosscher told reporters after the New Zealand-born 21-year-old faced court on the upgraded charge of unlawful striking causing death.

‘He feels nothing but the greatest sympathy for the family of the victim.

‘He’s only a young man himself. It was his birthday on the evening in question.

‘He has no friends or family really here in Australia, they’re all in New Zealand, so obviously he’s doing it tough.’

Police allege there’s evidence that before Maxwell and friend Armstrong Renata attacked Mr Miller, Maxwell punched another person and tried to assault two others.

He allegedly admitted saying to friends, “do you want to see something funny” shortly before Cole was attacked, according to a sworn police statement filed in court.

Mr Miller died from massive head trauma on Monday, just over 24 hours after the assault in Fortitude Valley’s Chinatown Mall early on Sunday.

Renata, 21, is alleged to have delivered the fatal blow after Maxwell challenged Mr Miller and a frien...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Port Lincoln father battled mental illness "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

A supplied image of the Little family, Damien Little, Koda (older child), Melissa and Hunter (smaller child). The South Australian father drove off a wharf, killing himself and his two young children. (AAP)

A supplied image of the Little family, Damien Little, Koda (older child), Melissa and Hunter (smaller child). The South Australian father drove off a wharf, killing himself and his two young children. (AAP)

Relatives of Port Lincoln man Damien Little have visited the spot where he took his own life and the lives of his two small boys as details of his battle with mental illness emerged.

Early on Monday, Mr Little drove his car off the main wharf in the Eyre Peninsula town and into 30 metres of water, killing himself and his two sons, 10-month-old Hunter and Koda, 4.

His family has now revealed the 34-year-old had suffered with mental health issues for the past three years.

‘We had noticed a change,’ his mother Sue told the Adelaide Advertiser.

‘We tried to help him, we all did. But you can’t help somebody who can’t help himself.’

The revelations of Mr Little’s troubled life came as others who knew him said he was respected and well liked.

‘It’s just a shocking thing to have happen out of the blue and for no reason that we knew of,’ Wheatsheaf Hotel owner Peter Watherston said on Tuesday.

‘He and his brother used to pop out for a beer.’

South Australian Commissioner for Victims’ Rights Michael O’Connell said the heart-wrenching incident had caused anguish for the family and friends.

But he also urged people not to rush to blam...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: UK wind power shatters energy records "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Wind power provided enough electricity to meet the annual needs of more than 8.25 million UK homes last year, figures show.

Onshore and offshore wind generated a record 11 per cent of the UK’s electricity in 2015, up from 9.5 per cent the year before, as the clean technology also set new weekly, monthly and quarterly generation records, industry body RenewableUK said.

The renewable energy source provided the equivalent of meeting the power needs of more than 8.25 million households, around 30 per cent of all UK homes, up from 6.7 million the previous year.

A new monthly record was set in December 2015, when 17 per cent of demand was met by wind, while a weekly record 20 per cent of the nation’s needs was supplied in the last week of the year, over Christmas, according to the figures from National Grid.

Onshore wind made up 5.8 per cent of the UK’s electricity supply in 2015, while 5.2 per cent came from offshore wind farms.

RenewableUK’s directory of policy Dr Gordon Edge said: “This is a great way to start the new year – the wind industry can be proud that it has shattered weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual generation records in 2015.

‘We’ve had a bumper harvest thanks to increased deployment and superb wind speeds.’

He urged the Government, which has faced criticism for curbing support for onshore wind, to maintain its backing for wind energy.

‘We can continue to increase the proportion of the nation’s electricity which we provide as we move away from fossil fuels to clean sources of power.’

The post UK wind power shatters energy records appeared first on Echonetdaily.


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Twitter considering 10,000-character limit "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Twitter is considering increasing the number of characters available. (file pic)

Twitter is considering increasing the number of characters available. (file pic)

Twitter Inc is building a new feature that will allow users to post messages as long as 10,000 characters, Re/code is reporting.

The micro-blogging website, which currently has a 140-character limit, is considering launching the service toward the end of the first quarter but has not set an official date, Re/code reported on Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the plans.

Twitter has been experimenting under Jack Dorsey – the company’s co-founder who returned as chief executive in October – to make the website more engaging.

In the few months under Dorsey, Twitter introduced the ‘Moments’ feature, added polls to tweets, rolled out a “buy” button and replaced its star-shaped “favourite” icon with a heart-shaped icon called “like”.

However, some users took to Twitter to express their dissent to the new feature with the hashtag #beyond140.

“Just say no to #beyond140!,” Andrew Wright tweeted.

Re/code reported in September that the new feature was in the works.

Twitter declined to comment.

The post Twitter consid...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: IS territory shrinks in Iraq and Syria "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Islamic State’s territory shrank by 40 per cent from its maximum expansion in Iraq, and by 20 per cent in Syria in 2015, as international forces pushed it out of several cities, according to the US-led coalition fighting it.

There was no immediate comment from the hardline Islamist group on the estimates from the coalition, made up of countries including Britain, France and Jordan that have been bombing its positions.

‘We believe in Iraq it’s about 40 per cent … And Syria, harder to get a good number, we think it’s around 20,’ coalition spokesman US Army Colonel Steve Warren said on Tuesday in Baghdad.

‘Taking together Iraq and Syria … they lost 30 per cent of the territory they once held,’ he said.

Islamic State swept through a third of Iraq in 2014, seizing Mosul, the largest city in the north, and reaching the vicinity of Baghdad.

Counter-offensives by Iraqi and Kurdish armed forces supported by the US-led coalition, and by Iran-backed Shi’ite militias have forced them out of several cities since, including Tikrit, north of Baghdad, and Ramadi, to the west last month.

In Syria, Islamic State is fighting the army of President Bashar al-Assad and other rebel groups opposed to his rule.

It is facing air strikes by the US-led coalition and by Russia which has sent warplanes to support its ally, the Syrian government.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi last month said 2016 will be the year of “final victory” on the hardline group.


The post IS territory shrinks in Iraq and Syria appeared first on Echonetdaily.


"IndyWatch Feed Seq": Zedlines: Memorial for local aboriginal resistance fighter Dundalli - plus more 8am zedlines "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Aboriginal people light the sacred fire in Post Office Square to commemorate the death of Dundalli. (photo: St Mary's in exile)

Hail storm hits St George cotton farmers hard

A hail storm that took place on Christmas Eve is estimated to have written off roughly $6 million dollars worth of cotton in south-western Queensland.

St George agronomist John Mulholland says the storm has damaged an estimated 1,200 hectares of crops across nine farms in the area, due to thumb-sized hail tearing through the cotton.


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Obama in new push to tighten gun rules "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

US president Barak Obama has vowed to crack down on gun sales. (AAP)

US president Barak Obama has vowed to crack down on gun sales. (AAP)

Wiping back tears as he remembered children who died in a mass shooting, President Barack Obama has described new steps he is taking to tighten gun rules and urged Americans to vote for candidates willing to do more to prevent gun violence.

As Obama delivered a powerful address in the White House, surrounded by family members of people killed in shootings, his voice rose to a yell as he said the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms needed to be balanced by the right to worship, gather peacefully and live their lives.

Obama has often said his toughest time in office was grappling with the December 2012 massacre of 20 children and six adults at a primary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

‘Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad,’ Obama said, tears rolling down his cheek.

‘That changed me, that day,’ he said, after being introduced by Mark Barden, whose 7-year-old son was killed in the shooting.

‘My hope earnestly has been that it would change the country.’

After that tragedy, the Democratic president failed to persuade Congress to toughen US gun laws.

He has blamed lawmakers for being in the thrall of the powerful National Rifle Association gun lobby group.

The stocks of gunmakers Smith & Wesson Holding Corp and Sturm Ruger & Co Inc have climbed since the announcement.

On Tuesday, Smith & Wesson jumped 12 per cent to $US26.10 ($A36.34) a share and Sturm Ruger was up nearly 7 per cent at $US65....


"IndyWatch Feed Cvic": Natural Newstead: An evening stroll along the Loddon "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

A selection of images from a short stroll along the Loddon last evening. I was taken by the number of small birds using the Cane-grass areas for feeding – Clamorous reed-warblers, Superb Fairy-wrens, Red-browed Firetails and White-browed Scrub-wrens were all abundant and vocal. Blackwood Wattle flowered well last year and many specimens are festooned with beautiful orange-pink seed pods, while in the water and in the drying mud, Water Plantain Alisma plantago-aquatica, is producing spectacular flower spikes with masses of tiny pink flowers.


Blackwood Wattle seed pods, Loddon River @ Newstead, 5th January 2015.


Brown Treecreeper.


A few drops from a passing shower produced...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Burleigh Heads open for single fin business "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Photo Tree Faerie.

Photo Tree Faerie.

Growing to legendary status, the second weekend of January is now well known as the time for the Burleigh Boardriders Single Fin Festival.

The natural amphitheatre that is Burleigh Heads is lined with thousands of people checking surfing, not pro-surfing but awesome 1970s style surfing on surfboards more than 35 years old, and just how they used to be with one single fin.

The 19th Burleigh Boardriders Single Fin Festival will start this Friday and is the first surfing event of the year. Surfers will be competing on vintage single fin boards which must have been made no later than 1981 – some of the boards surfed are of late 1960s and early 70s vintage.

Over the years surfers have travelled from Western Australia, Victoria, NSW, all the way up the east coast of Australia to the Sunshine Coast to compete in this iconic event.

Photo Tree Faerie.

Photo Tree Faerie.

The Festival begins at the Burleigh Bears Leagues Club, with the Annual Charity Luncheon. Nathan ‘Carnage’ Corbett, internationally renowned Mutai boxer,...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Tweed to celebrate becoming Refugee Welcome Zone "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Tweed Shire Council, which last year voted to become a ‘Refugee Welcome Zone’, will formalise its status at a free public screening of the documentary Mary Meets Mohammad, at The Regent Cinema in Murwillumbah on February 7.

A Refugee Welcome Zone is a local government area that has made a commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees into the community, upholding the human rights of refugees, demonstrating compassion for refugees and enhancing cultural and religious diversity in the community.

The Refugee Welcome Zone initiative began in June 2002 as part of Refugee Week celebrations.

Tweed mayor Katie Milne said the motion to declare the shire a Refugee Welcome Zone was passed unanimously at council’s September meeting..

Byron and Ballina councils also made the pledge last year, and Lismore has been a part of the initiative for a number of years.

Cr Milne said the council was ‘pleased to extend a very warm welcome those who have been granted refuge in Australia’.

‘Showing the hand of compassion and friendship to those who have been through such terrible times is a fundamental expression of our humanity,’ Cr Milne said.

‘Even simple gestures of welcome can make an incredible difference to people’s lives and makes us all better people,’ she added.

‘I encourage the community to get involved with this great program and spread the word,’ she said.

The matinee screening will include an official signing of the Refugee Welcome Zone Declaration.

Entry will be free to the 2pm screening of the feature-length film, which tells the story of Tasmania’s first detention centre and the bond that formed between local Christian woman Mary and Muslim Afghan Hazara asylum seeker Mohammad.

Mary is a staunchly Christian pensioner, and did not welcom...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: North coast events score $30K in funding "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Bangalow Music Festival 2015. Photo Jeff Dawson

Bangalow Music Festival 2015. Photo Jeff Dawson

North coast Nationals MLC Ben Franklin has announced that three north coast events will receive NSW government funding under the 2016 Regional Flagship Events Program. Among the grants was $10,000 for Ballina Fine Wine and Food Festival, $10,000 for Bangalow Music Festival, and $10,000 for Byron Spirit Festival.

Mr Franklin said the program provides regional events with support for marketing and advertising, which aims to increase visitation to festivals in regional NSW.

The 2014 Ballina Fine Wine & Food Festival. Photo Sharon Shostak

The 2014 Ballina Fine Wine & Food Festival. Photo Sharon Shostak

‘Events play an important role in the north coast economy, helping to attract people to our beautiful area and showcasing what is unique about our region,’ Mr Franklin said.

‘These three events draw extraordinary crowds and the recent grants will help them boost the number of attendees.’

NSW minister for trade, tourism and major events Stuart Ayres announced that 36 events and festivals across the state will receive funding from the 2016 Regional Flagship Events Program, which is administered by D.........


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Brunswick warms up for annual chop champs "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Champion Western Australian axeman Brent Rees at the 2015 Fish ’n’ Chips festival. Photo Jeff Dawson

Champion Western Australian axeman Brent Rees at the 2015 Fish ’n’ Chips festival. Photo Jeff Dawson

This week Brunswick Heads will be hosting the annual Festival of the Fish ’n’ Chips, which attracts champion axe-wielders from across Australia and from overseas.

To get things warmed up, the festival will stage a family fireworks display in Banner Park at 9pm on Saturday (January 9).

From Wednesday January 13 to Sunday 17 the 56th annual woodchop carnival will see the chips flying. Some 80 axemen, women and juniors will contest the 34 events.

They are coming from all of the eastern states and WA, New Zealand and Canada. To foster the family atmosphere, women, junior boys and girls compete in single and mixed events alongside the men and veteran men.

The festival will be presenting two Australian woodchop titles – the Australian 375mm Standing Block and 275mm Underhand Championships. Defending titleholders Chris Owen (Grafton NSW) and Brent Rees (WA) will be competing.

Once again Brad De Losa (Lithgow) and Jason Wynyard (NZ) will be competing, having recently returned from Poland. There Jason won the Single competition in the Stihl Timbersports Championships for the seventh time. Brad and Mitch Argent (Qld) were part of the five-man team that won the Team Championships in a record 47.22 seconds.

The women will be represented by Jodie Beutel, the Women’s Champion of Champions 2015 and Overall Handicap Points winner 2015 Jillian Stratton, both defending their titles...


"IndyWatch Feed Sydney": AWPA Sydney News: 1) Sutiyoso`s approach could be replicated in Papua: observer "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

2) Local Residents Cut Down Forests in Papua

3) Govt to take ‘soft approach’  in Papua



Motorbike Writer: Honda VT750 cruiser recalled "IndyWatch Feed Qld"


Honda VT750 cruiser recall

Owners of the Honda VT750 cruiser should take their bike to their dealer to have the wiring harness checked for a fault which could cause stalling.

Honda Australia Motorcycle and Power Equipment has used a safety recall notice for the 2010 to 2015 750cc cruiser which says that “due to the fixing method for the Bank Angle Sensor wiring harness, the wiring may bend and break after prolonged usage”.

“If the harness breaks, the motorcycle engine may cut out without warning and be unable to be re-started, posing an accident hazard to the rider and other road users.”

Repairs all be done at no cost to the owner.

This follows the recent recall by Honda for the VFR1200F and VFR1200X to fix an “incorrect assembly procedure at the factory” where the driveshaft bearings can overheat, deteriorate and fail.

Honda VFR1200X Crosstourer

Honda VFR1200X Crosstourer


Recall notices are issued by the manufacturer through a voluntary industry code under the ACCC.

Despite hundr...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Byron Bay Blog: A Family Focused Market for Mamas and Babes of Byron and Beyond "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The Mama + Me Markets will be a showcase of the very best in sustainable products and services created by families, for families on Saturday the 16th of January 2016. Set in the hinterland of Byron Bay, this will be the ultimate event for families on the east coast.
The Mullumbimby Leagues Club will be transformed into a completely family focused festival-like space. From 9am – 2pm we will have the highest quality market stall holders, a jumping castle, face painting, yummy market food and family entertainment. All in a safe, welcoming environment.

We have over 35 stall holders selling the most stylish kids, baby, maternity and home ware products in the area

  • stylish yet sustainable kids clothes
  • wooden toys
  • baby carriers
  • skin care products
  • cloth nappies
  • prams
  • birthing pool hire
  • organic tea and coffee
  • gourmet spices
  • retro wooden speakers
  • hand made dolls
  • nappy bags
  • local art
  • kids hats
  • girl hair accessories
  • teething jewellery
  • candles

And so much more! There will even be a pop up photography studio hosted by Flick Photography to grab a mini portrait session of your baby bump, your little cherubs or your whole family! For more info about each of our stall holders head to our website at

Entry to the event is free. There will be ATM facilities, clean toilets, change tables and plenty of parking for only $2 per car. We will have a chill out space for nursing mamas and sleeping babes, plus a play space to tire out the kids featuring a jumping castle and craft space.

Singer, songwriter, Miss Universe Australia finalist and feature artist of The Voice Australia, Eleea Navarro will be making an appearance at The Mama + Me Markets to serenade us with her soulful vocals and beautiful......


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Culture Roundup – Wednesday 6 January, 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Jan Rae’s Shifting Sands – her exhibition Coast – Line on show at the Lone Goat Gallery in Byron 15–27 January

Jan Rae’s Shifting Sands – her exhibition Coast–Line on show at the Lone Goat Gallery in Byron 15–27 January

Observing our beloved coastline

Coast – Line is an exhibition of new work by local Byron Bay artist Jan Rae. Jan has been exhibiting her artwork for many years in Byron Bay, Sydney, Brisbane and Buenos Aires.

She is a long-term local Byron resident and is well known for her mural work and tango paintings.

She is currently undertaking a Masters degree in Fine Art at UNSW Sydney, and this is her first show in Byron since 2012.
Of her work she says, ‘my artwork is an enquiry into the nature of erosion and the constantly evolving meeting place between earth and water. They also refer to a lifetime of experiencing the sublime beauty, tidal fluctuations and storm surges of my home environment at Belongil Beach, Byron Bay.’

Opening at the Lone Goat Gallery in Byron on 15 January and running through to 27 January. The work can also be viewed at

Basking in Starlight

The Starlight Festival attracts men and women of all ages and is a family-friendly event that welcomes all. With renowned practitioners and specialists across a variety of fields including massage, yoga, natural products, beauty, sustainable goods, soulful food, healing, music and much more, ther....


Tasmanian Times: SUNK: The publicly-funded Tallship rusting and rotting in Qld "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

COLIN GRAZ, January 6, 2016 ... Defender has sunk at her mooring in Townsville ... BRANDT TEALE, November 28, 2012 ... A public appeal raised about $250,000 and, along with federal Bi-Centennial funding, the 115-foot Defender was restored between 1982 and 1988. It was classified by the National Trust of Australia in 1986. However, the former trading vessel that once serviced the early colonies of south-eastern Australia and spent its post-restoration years as a Whitsundays pleasure charter cruiser, has spent the past five years falling to pieces in Townsville’s Ross River after being deemed unseaworthy following an engine room fire. Questions are now being asked on how such substantial investment of public and private sector money can be unaccounted for and let go to waste. • J. Haswell, in Comments: Editor, please keep this important story alive. The ship’s past is fascinating and significant; it’s future perilously in balance. Publicity will provide it’s best chance of survival. • Carol Rea, in Comments: Tonight’s ABC News had Mr Dick stating that the insurance re the fire had been complex, that he did not owe any outstanding debts and that he would not be leasing it out again for any tour operators. He reserved his right as owner to determine where it would go next. Over to you all interested posters. Please keep it alive.


Tasmanian Times: STATE: Tasmania the roadkill capital of the world ... as captive-bred devils die ... "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

There is no guidebook for this … • ABC: MONA owner David Walsh reveals plans for next phase of multi-million-dollar developments in Hobart • ABC: MONA owner David Walsh expects work on new hotel to start within 12 months • Rosemary Bolger, ABC: Federal Group to unveil $70 million casino refurb in push for extension of gambling monopoly • ABC: Tasmanian bushfire risk ‘double’ by 2100 if climate emissions continue at current rate: report • Read the Media Release on TT HERE • ABC: Captive-bred Tasmanian devil program loses quarter of released animals as roadkill About a quarter of the Tasmanian devils released last month on the Forestier Peninsula, in Tasmania’s south-east, have been lost as roadkill. A captive breeding program and a vaccine are being trialled to try to save the endangered species, which has lost more than 90 per cent of its population in some parts of the state to a facial tumour disease. The Save the Tasmanian Devil program released 39 devils in the Forestier Peninsula. Nine have died on the roads. In the north, four devils bred in captivity have been killed by vehicles so far … • Ian Rist in Comments: Tasmania is a weird place, it has some strange standards. It is the only place on Earth where the protect ‘em in one paddock and poison ‘em in the next applies. The authorities have heavily fined a poor old Shepherd up in the highlands for shooting a wallaby to feed his family, confiscated his firearm and seized other personal property whilst not far away thousands of the same species fall to the 1080 blue carrot…a double standard State if ever there was one! Whilst roadkill is regretable what about the hundreds of thousands of native wildlife that are 1080 poisoned each year in Tasmania ? ...yes that is correct hundreds of thousands. Two hundred thousand Bennett’s wallabies in one operation on King Island.


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": North Coast Voices: Tony Abbott's propaganda machine running at full throttle "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Federal Member for Warringah Tony Abbott’s personal website is up and running again – with its entire history before 15 September 2015 conveniently wiped from memory and, at the timing of writing, there is only limited pre-prime ministership access to this site via the Wayback Machine.

Here is a transcript of that page with my annotations in red for your enjoyment:

Tony Abbott was elected Prime Minister by the Australian people on 7 September 2013 and served for two years. Prime ministers and parliamentary party leaders are not elected by the people but by government MPs & senators. His time as prime minister commenced on 18 September 2013 and he was sacked as party leader and prime minister by Liberal Party MPs & senators on 15 September 2015 so he was not prime m...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": North Coast Voices: NSW Rental Tenancy Law Review community consultation closes 26 January 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The NSW Government is reviewing the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (the Act). The Act establishes a comprehensive set of rights and obligations for:   
 * tenants
 * social housing providers
 * real estate agents who act for landlords.    
As part of this review, you are now invited to view a Discussion Paper to help you consider improvements to the current laws. This consultation closes on 29 January 2016. Read more about how you can have your say below.  


Tuesday, 05 January


"IndyWatch Feed Melbourne": onlymelbourne: Melbourne Newsletter No.470 "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

View Online What's On this Week | 5 - 11 January 2016 Dining & Drink | Shopping & Business | Things To Do | What's On Tuesday 5th January 2016 to Monday 11th January 2016 Our first newsletter for 2016 looking forward to another wonderful year. This week it's all about summer, water and music. Stay hot! MelB FedSquare Festival Latin Summer Festival FREE annual event, with over 40.000 people attending every year, created to include all categories of art, culture and entertainment. When: Saturday 9th January 2016 Where: Federation Square Links: Desktop | Smart Phone Greek Orthodox Blessing of the Waters The promise of a year's good fortune enticed scores of young Greek Orthodox men to try their luck in the annual Blessing of the Waters Ceremony. The ritual commemorates Christ's baptism in the River Jordan termed the Epiphany by St. John Chryssostom. Frankston - Wednesday January 6 2016 Rye - Wednesday, 6 January 2016 Port Melbourne - Sunday 10th January 2016 French Festival So Frenchy So Chic French-inspired niceties — think gourmet picnic hampers, tortes and terrines, offensively good wine, furious outdoor chess, casual gypsy beats. When: Sunday 10th January 2016 Where: Werribee Park Links: Book Tix | Desktop | Smart Phone Wedding Expo Docklands Bridal Expo Features over 100 wedding professionals to help you plan your perfect wedding day. When: Sunday 10th of January 2016 Where: Etihad Stadium Links: Free Entry | Desktop | Smart Phone Mornington Peninsula Peninsula Summer Music Festival Join us for 10 days of music from Australia, the UK, Malta, Israel, India, France and Italy. When: 1-10 January 2016 Where: Mornington Links: Desktop | Smart Phone 300 Metre Slide Slide The City Lansdowne Street will be transformed into a water-lover’s oasis as participants ride inflatables down this giant slide, which spans three city blocks. When: Sunday 10th January 2016 Where: Lansdowne Street East Melbourne Links: Book Tix | Desk...


"IndyWatch Feed Melbourne": matthew schiavello: photos and words: matthewschiavello: ‘Self portrait in Brussels, smoking an... "IndyWatch Feed Vic"


‘Self portrait in Brussels, smoking an Oscuro Cigar. ’


This seems to be getting a couple of  random and very appreciated reblogs of late….. This is a bit of a personal fav of mine.


"IndyWatch Feed Melbourne": ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly: Ye Olde Fighting Cocks pub - did it survive? "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Pubs were once the social centre of many British (and Australian) communities. When spouse and I lived in Britain, we were paid so poorly by the National Health that we could not afford to go to restaurants or on cruises. The local pub became the meeting place of all our colleagues, for a drink or two after work to be sure, but mainly for socialising, being entertained and keeping warm.

All that has changed. In 2014 The Guardian wrote that the rate at which British pubs are closing down has accelerated to 31 a week. Closures are being blamed on factors such as high taxes on beer, competition from supermarkets selling cheap alcohol and changing demographics in cities where some migrant communities won’t tolerate alcohol in their midst. And there is something else. According to most 20-Somethings, the pub has not kept pace with social change! Once the heart of the local community, young people would rather be working their technological devices at home, drinking beer in front of the tv or computer.

And sometimes there was a very local economic catastrophe. Twenty-five years ago, the Marston's pub chain operated twelve pubs in Kidderminster, the home of the carpet trade. After the carpet trade disappeared, there were only three pubs left standing.

Pubs have been built and demolished in the past, of course. There were 99,000 pubs in 1905 but just 77,500 by 1935, as a result of a series of government policies including deliberate suppression, restrictive opening hours, stringent regulations and higher taxes. The industry saw a temporary recovery after the Second World War. By 1969, there were 75,000 pubs in the UK, a number that fell gradually to 69,000 by 1980, then rather tragica...


"IndyWatch Feed Melbourne": you said it...: Capt Shindy versus the Fascists: extreme, ill-informed fringe group menaces pioneering naval officer "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

You may recall we recently republished a Daily Telegraph article on the groundbreaking work of RAN Captain Mona Shindy in her role as Chief of Navy’s Strategic Adviser on Islamic Cultural Affairs.

However this is but one of Capt. Shindy’s many achievements after 26 years of service in the ADF. Last year she was named as 2015 Telstra NSW Businesswoman of the Year. She was on active service during the 2003 Iraq War. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree and is Head of the Guided Missile Frigate System Program Office. In the 2015 Australia Day Honours she was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross.

Conspicuous Service Cross

The CSC is awarded only for outstanding devotion to duty, or outstanding achievement in the application of exceptional skills, judgment or dedication, in non-warlike situations.

So it was with a good deal of concern that we read this report in today’s Guardian dealing with the sudden removal of the Navy’s Islamic Twitter account (@navyislamic).


And how and why was the Twitter account removed?

“The head of the ALA (Australian Liberty Alliance), Debbie Robinson, who has previously described Islam as “a dangerous ideology” incompatible with Western society, wrote to the chief of the Austr...


"IndyWatch Feed Sydney.arts": Timber and Steel: Listen to the New Fraser A Gorman Single “Skyscraper Skyline Blues” "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Image Courtesy of Fraser A Gorman Independent record company Milk! Records has had a massive 2015 with their roster of artists (Courtney Barnett, Fraser A Gorman, Jen Cloher and more) buzzing not just in Australia but all around the world. In December Milk! Records announced Good For You, a collection of six brand new songs […]


"IndyWatch Feed Sydney.arts": Timber and Steel: Out of Abingdon Announce NSW and ACT Tour "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Image Courtesy of Out of Abingdon Brisbane acoustic-groove duo Out of Abingdon are one of the exciting artists that will be gracing the stage at the Mudsling mini-festival in Mudgee this Saturday. And the show will also mark the kick off of Out of Abingdon’s tour of NSW and the ACT that will take in […]


"IndyWatch Feed Capricornia": The Paris Party – our Neck is in the Noose "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Paris Climate Party agrees . . . to have another Party

By Viv Forbes


Premature Celebrations by Sceptics
Many climate sceptics are celebrating that “nothing in the Paris deal is legally binding”. They should look deeper. They have suffered a huge political defeat.

Skeptics are winning the climate science debate, but the main battle is no longer about facts and science – it is about propaganda and politics. There were few scientists at COP21 talking about atmospheric physics – just politicians, bureaucrats and green activists discussing emission targets, carbon taxes, climate reparations and who will pay.

The Paris party organisers managed to assemble representatives of 196 nations with the aim of getting 100% agreement on something/anything that would assist their clandestine campaign for world government and world taxes. This process will cripple the industrial power and political freedom of the Western democracies. They achieved agreement because of leadership by UN loving Western centralists like Obama, Merkel, Cameron, Hollande, Trudeau and Turnbull, helped by misguided theologians, and supported by vested interests in mendicant nations and some powerful competitors of the West. They spent two weeks reworking the draft document until there was nothing in it that offended any nation. Most of them wanted their benefits clauses made compulsory, but the would-be-providers of such largesse dared not sign obviously binding liabilities because the media and their home electorates were watching.

The UN game plan is for this massive global climate circus to...


"IndyWatch Feed Melbourne": News: Relax this summer with 3CR "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

3CR summer programming
Escape the cricket and tune in for a great selection of community radio treats and an eclectic range of Summer Specials on 3CR. Check out our Summer Specials page for a list of what's coming up and who is filling in for whom. Catch up with past favourite programmers as they return for the summer including our own Wayward Girl, Lotti Stein.


"IndyWatch Feed Melbourne": OCCUPYMELBOURNE.NET: Don’t blush, baby. "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

More over the top reactions to some minor cheeky behavior. Feminazis have no sense of humor and want to live in a world coated in cotton balls. No word on whether she took him up on the drinks offer.

Maybe we should start a fund for Mel McLaughlin to buy cat food for the 12 cats she will be harboring when she is desperate and dateless the age of 40.

Probably just not grown up enough to do the job.


"IndyWatch Feed Sydney.arts": Timber and Steel: Track By Track: The Lonesome Sea – The Button Collective "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Image Courtesy of The Button Collective This Thursday 7th January Australian folksters The Button Collective will be releasing their brand new EP The Lonesome Sea. The EP was recorded by producer Steve Law at Sunroom Studio in Northern NSW and features two traditional and two original tunes. After spending a couple of years in Sydney […]


"IndyWatch Feed Sydney.arts": Timber and Steel: Watch the New Citizen of the World Video “Setting Out” "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Iamge Courtesy of Citizen of the World Sydney nu-folk four-piece Citizen of the World rounded out their 2015 by releasing their brand new song and video “Setting Out”. Like most of their work “Setting Out” was recorded at Citizen of the World’s frontman Gerrit Gmel’s living room in Coogee. Check out the video below:Filed under: […]


"IndyWatch Feed Capricornia": Oregon armed standoff between ranchers and FBI is all to do with massive mineral reserves "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Australian mining company Oregon Energy LLC wants to mine uranium and natural gas reserves on Hammond Ranch in Oregon

It has been revealed the US Federal Government jailed the Bundy family ranchers in Nevada and is seeking to remove and jail the Hammond ranchers in Oregon so it can get its hands on rich gold, diamond, natural gas and uranium reserves found on their properties.

Watch the explosive videos showing how Terra Firma researcher Dutchsinse has exposed substantial mineral resources on the two ranches the government wants to get its hands on.





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