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Saturday, 16 January


Zedlines: ANU investigates claims of essay farm access and more 11am Zedlines "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

Australian National University is investigating claims that students are purchasing assignments from company Assignment King.

Brisbane's EatSafe marks fifth year 

Brisbane City Council has released its list of 2015 food prosecutions, marking the fifth year of its EatSafe inspection program.

The CBD’s Beijing House received the largest fine, with $42,000 worth of penalties relating to selling unsuitable food and hygiene complaints.


Zedlines: Upcoming heatwave warned as a serious threat to human life and more 10am Zedlines "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

The AMA says heatwaves are the most deadly natural phenomenon in Australia, claiming around 500 lives annually. Picture source: Flikr

State heatwave a serious threat to lives

Queensland medical professionals are warning there is serious threat to human life following a heatwave in the state this week.

As some areas in the state are expected to reach 43 degrees, doctors are saying people should be concerned by the extreme temperatures, and to take the warnings seriously.


Zedlines: Visa workers exploited and underpaid in Queensland and more 9am Zedlines "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

Queensland labour-hire company Maroochy Sunshine is facing charges over allegedly exploiting more than 20 Vanuatuan workers.

Produce workers allegedly exploited, incorrectly paid

Queensland labour-hire company Maroochy Sunshine is facing legal action for allegedly exploiting 22 Vanuatuan workers hired under the 416 Visa program.

Maroochy Sunshine is being accused of paying workers less than legally required and not paying 13 people at all.


Zedlines: Brisbane 7-Eleven owner accused of short-changing workers and more 8am Zedlines "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

A Brisbane owner of two inner-city 7-Eleven stores is being accused of cheating workers out of penalty rates, among other allegations. Picture source: Wiki Commons

Alleged wage corrpution for Brisbane 7-Eleven

A Brisbane 7-Eleven operator faces court action after failing to pay correct wages for 21 employees.

Jason Yuan, who owns two of the inner-city convenience stores, has had legal action brought against him by the Fair Work Ombudsman after investigations revealed he underpaid staff more than $31,000 in just 12 months.

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Friday, 15 January


Chewton Pool: Tree removal for pool patron safety "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

Today Mount Alexander Shire removed the dead tree adjoining the pool car park. This has been a concern for some time as patrons park near it and walk near it. Well done Council for sorting a risk!


12:53 World Bank says TPP trade treaty benefit to Australia is only 0.7% by 2030 "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

Is the World Bank also a TPP ‘Scaremonger’, Trade Minister?

15 January 2016: Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter today seized on the title of ‘Chief Scaremonger’ over the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), following a study released by the World Bank that demonstrates the TPP Agreement would only boost Australia’s economy by 0.7% by the year 2030.

A Productivity Commission report in 2010 found little evidence from businesses that Australia’s free trade agreements had generated significant commercial benefit to Australia.

Yet Trade Minister Andrew Robb this week labelled opponents of the TPP Agreement ‘scaremongers’.

“TheGovernment keeps pressing ahead talking about foreign investment as if it’s a good thing – when we all know it’s just selling your country off because your country’s broke and the Government’s broke and the only way to get out of trouble is to sell off the assets,” Mr Katter said.

“Instead of trading aggressively and collectively, we have the weakest trading position of any country on earth.

“Our official interest rates are a 1,000 per cent higher than the rest of the world.

“Our dollar is double what it was on the two times we had a free float under Paul Keating and Peter Costello.

“The Woolworths and Coles phenomenon continues – they have 90 per cent of the market in Australia versus the big two anywhere else in the world who have under 23 per cent.

“The rest of the world enjoys 41% support levels for agriculture – yet in Australia it’s only 6% support.

“And manufacturing – well it’s all gone. There is no capital investment by Government, no motor vehicles produced, no white goods produced – no manufacturing left in the country.

“We allow slave labour produced goods into the country without any tariffs or restrictions on them whatsoever.

“And yet here we are again with the Government running around touting this Agreemen...


The Vociferous Journalist: Cancer concerns for chromium supplements "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

Concerns have been raised over the long-term use of nutritional supplements containing chromium, after it was found the mineral is partially converted into a carcinogenic form when it enters cells. Professor Peter Lay from the University of Sydney was one of the authors of a paper looking in to this, and he spoke to us about the concern.


Zedlines: Koala chlamydia cases increasing, and reaching SA and Victoria - and more 11am Zedlines "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

Currumbin Wildlife Hospital has reported an increase in chlamydia cases in Koalas, having treated more than 100 in the past few months. Image Source: Flickr Creative Commons

Koala chlamydia cases spreading to SA and Victoria

The Currumbin Wildlife Hospital has warned chlamydia cases in koalas in southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales are at an all time high.

The hospital has treated more than 100 koalas for the deadly disease over the past few months and it is spreading into other states, with South Australia and Victoria reporting their first cases of wild koalas with chlamydia.


Zedlines: Tasmanian devil joins sanctuary in hopes of breeding success - and more 10am Zedlines "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

The Tasmanian Devil has been victim to facial tumours that have seen the numbers drop dramatically. A breeding program at Currumbin Wildlife Centre hopes a young devil will help the program have its first new pups in five years. Image Source: WikiCommons

Tasmanian devil undergoes checkup before joining breeding program in SEQ

A young Tasmanian devil has undergone quarantine checkups before joining a breeding program in southeast Queensland aimed at saving the endangered species.

The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary devil breeding program aims to repopulate the carnivorous mammal in the wild which have been heavily affected by facial tumours.


Echonetdaily: Lismore hotel to host Bowie tribute "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

David Bowie performs during a concert in Hartford, Connecticut. in1995, (AP Photo/Bob Child, File)

David Bowie performs during a concert in Hartford, Connecticut. in1995, (AP Photo/Bob Child, File)

A tribute evening for the late David Bowie is being held at the Northern Rivers Hotel in Lismore tomorrow.

Organisers said the evening would include some live performances followed by back-to-back Bowie tracks.

‘He has returned to his Mothership, leaving us mere mortals with a lifetime of memories, organisers said.

‘Let’s play his music loudly and raise our glasses to the stars.’

The evening begins at 5pm and goes until 11pm.

Meawhile, David Bowie’s family have announced that they are planning a private funeral for the late icon.

His family posted a note titled “Thank you” on Bowie’s websites as well as his social media pages on Thursday.

‘The family of David Bowie is currently making arrangements for a private ceremony celebrating the memory of their beloved husband, father and friend,’ it reads.

‘They ask once again that their privacy be respected at this most sensitive of times.’

Bowie died on Sunday aged 69 after battling cancer for 18 months.

The family on Thursday said: “We are overwhelmed by and grateful for the love and support shown throughout the world.”

Bowie released a new album called Blackstar last week. It’s topped the US iTunes’ albums chart.


The post Lismore hotel to host Bowie tribut...


Zedlines: Indian government approves $1.3b for farmer relief, turtles threatened on GBR - and more 9am Zedlines "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

The green sea turtle is one of the species on the Great Barrier Reef that could have trouble nesting due to the dry sand from the QLD drought. Image Source: WikiCommons

Cattle prices reach record high in QLD & NSW

Beef prices in Queensland and New South Wales have reached record highs, prompting concerns from cattle farmers that consumers could switch to alternative meats.

The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator, which is used as the benchmark for the price of Australian cattle, reached 600 cents per kilogram for the first time ever on Wednesday.


Echonetdaily: Middle East Christians in peril "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Gareth Smith (Dec 30/12/2015) should speak to more Christians in Israel. And he should try to privately speak with Palestinian Christians when they are not in fear of death from the Palestinian security service.

Having just returned from Israel, here are a few facts told to me by ‘Gabriel’, a prominent member of the Armenian Christian community in Old Jerusalem.

1/ The Christain Quarter, written in all maps of Old City, is no longer. The Christians have been forced out by the Muslims, who now totally own what was previously the the ‘Christian Quarter’.

2/ Christians have been forced out of Bethlehem by the Muslims.

A skeletal population of 10 per cent remain. Only the Church, and the De La Salle school and university also remain as Christian institutions.

3/ Most remaining Christians including Armenians in the Old City of Jerusalem are seriously considering moving out to Jewish towns and Jewish parts of cities, where they feel safer for themselves and their children.

Others are looking to emigrate to Australia, UK, USA and Canada.

Directly because of Muslim pressure, only 9 per cent of Jerusalem now remains Christian (72,000 out of a total of 80,0000 population).

John Nemesh, Sylvania


The post Middle East Christians in peril appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Echonetdaily: What are the chances of winning Lotto on Australia Day? "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Dr Clio Cresswell, Byron Shires 2016 Australia Day Ambassador. Photo supplied

Dr Clio Cresswell, Byron Shires 2016 Australia Day Ambassador. Photo supplied

This year’s Byron Shire Australia Day ambassador is Dr Clio Cresswell, a gifted mathematician who has written a book titled (appropriately for Byron) Mathematics and Sex.

But the mathematics that the University of Sydney senior lecturer is most often called upon to explain is… what are the odds of winning Lotto?

Byron mayor Simon Richardson welcomed Dr Creswell, who will help the shire’s residents celebrate Australia Day at their choice of many events being held on the day.

Mayor Simon Richardson said ‘whether you feel like joining a community breakfast in Brunswick or Byron, taking part in the family fun days at Suffolk Park and Bangalow, celebrating the Survival of Indigenous Culture in Byron Bay, or throwing a mullet at Ocean Shores, it’s a day about fun and spending time together as a community.’

The official 2016 Australia Day will be hosted by the Rotary Club of Byron Bay from 11am to 1pm at the Byron Bay Services Club. The Australia Day address features local identity Warren Simmons.

The shire’s citizens of the year will also be announced on the day with the Australia Day awards providing an opportunity to recognise local people who have been nominated by their community for their achievements and service to Byron Shire.

‘It’s always an honour to say ‘thank you’ on Australia Day to our inspiring locals who give generously to our communities,’ mayor Richardson said.

Byron Shire will also welcome 20 new......


Echonetdaily: Damaged maternity wing’s future uncertain "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

A section of scaffolding collapsed onto the temporary maternity ward at Lismore Base Hospital last year. Investigations are continuing. (Darren Coyne)

A section of scaffolding collapsed onto the temporary maternity ward at Lismore Base Hospital last year. Investigations are continuing. (Darren Coyne)

Mothers who have just given birth may be encouraged to go home from Lismore Base Hospital within four hours or moved to other district hospitals as a result of the continued closure of the damaged maternity wing.

A NSW Infrastructure Health spokesperson told APN media that the ward, which was damaged by falling scaffolding during a storm last month, remained the subject of an investigation by insurance assessors.

If the building is deemed irreparable, the Women’s Care Unit will continue caring for mother and babies in the Southern Wing of the hospital, which has limited beds.

The new maternity ward, part of the $260.25m Stage 3 redevelopment of the hospital, is not expected to be completed until the end of 2017.

The spokesperson said alternative arrangements could include discharging mothers and babies within four hours of birth, or moving them to either Casino or other hospitals in the district..

An inquiry is underway to determine the factors in relation to the roof collapse on the maternity wing.

‘Health Infrastructure does not want to pre-empt any outcome before the regulators have finalised their investigations,’ the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Lismore MP Thomas George said this week that the stage three redevelopment was on schedule.

Stage three includes a new emerg...


Echonetdaily: Byron’s Code of Conduct inconsistent "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

I would like to thank the Echo for shining some light on the inconsistencies of Byron Shire Council’s Code of Conduct (Echo 13/1). Having extensive personal experience of code play as a councillor and having advised Angela Dunlop, the volunteer in this matter, I feel there is more to be said.

Cr Ibrahim clearly breached the code by contacting a tender applicant prior to a contract being signed. He had a code violation brought against him, not by the GM but by a member of the community. As a result he had his case assessed by a council-paid ‘examiner’ with all the checks and protections afforded by the code. He walked away with a recommendation of, ‘no further action’.

On the other hand a volunteer Angela Dunlop, not getting answers from council, approached a contractor for information (after the contract had been let) in the hope that as manager of SGB community centre she could continue doing her job. The GM (Mr Ken Gainger) instead of ringing Angela and offering to facilitate the information his staff was not supplying slapped her with a code of conduct charge, ‘improper or unethical conduct and/or abuse of power’.

Detailed complaints to the Office of Local Government and the Ombudsman produced the ‘helpful’ advice, that while volunteers were subject to the same penalties as councillors and staff they did not enjoy the same protections under the code. In other words volunteers were completely in the hands of the GM and if they didn’t like it they could contact their local member.

Mr Gainger was so pleased with his work that he failed to...


Zedlines: Seven killed in Jakarta attack, three killed in French Alps avalanche - and more 8am Zedlines "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

Three people were killed in the avalanche on the French Alps, including two schoolchildren from nearby Lyon. Image Source: WikiCommons

Unemployment rate in QLD below 6%

An Australian Bureau of Statistics report has shown Queensland’s unemployment rate has fallen below 6% for the first time in two years.

Acting Premier Jackie Trad said the two year low in unemployment rates shows the state government’s pro-business economics plan was working.

Deputy opposition leader John-Paul Langbroek said while the lowered unemployment rate was good, it is only following a trend that is being reflected nationally.

Up to 40 cases of Black Lung in QLD


Echonetdaily: Indon expects tourism hit after attack "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

WidodobombblastSingapore [RAW]

Indonesia faces a drop in tourist numbers, at least in the short term, following the attack in central Jakarta claimed by Islamic State, in a blow to Southeast Asia’s biggest economy already growing at its slowest pace since the financial crisis.

An Indonesian and a Canadian were killed, along with five attackers, while 20 people, including an Algerian, Austrian, German and Dutchman, were wounded on Thursday.

Two of the militants were taken alive, police said.

The attack could frustrate President Joko Widodo’s ambitions to nearly double tourist arrivals to 20 million people by 2019, although Indonesia’s tourism ministry said that it was sticking to that target despite the gun and bomb assault.

The government has removed visa requirements for visitors from 84 countries making a short visit, and is working to give visa-free entry to more nationalities in a bid to attract more travellers.

Indonesia, famous for the idyllic island of Bali, its dramatic volcanic landscapes and ancient temples, was estimated to have welcomed 10 million foreign tourists in 2015.

Some travel agents said they had received calls from worried tourists, but they predicted that the effects of the attack would be short-lived.

‘I think this incident will definitely have an impact on travel to Indonesia, especially to Jakarta,’ said Ter...


Echonetdaily: Harry Potter actor Alan Rickman dies at 69 "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Alan Rickman photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen

Alan Rickman photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen

London [PAA & other sources]

Alan Rickman, best known for his roles in the Harry Potter films and Die Hard, has died aged 69.

The much-loved British actor first shot to stardom in 1988 when he played Hans Gruber, Bruce Willis’s adversary, in Die Hard.

He gained legions of fans for his role as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films.

A family statement said: ‘The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends.’

According to BBC News, Harry Potter author JK Rowling led the tributes, describing him as ‘a magnificent actor and a wonderful man’.

There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death.’

Emma Thompson, who appeared with Rickman in productions including Love Actually and was directed by him in The Winter Guest, said he was ‘the finest of actors and directors’ and ‘the ultimate ally’.

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe said Ri...


Echonetdaily: Grandpa gang guilty of record UK heist "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The entrance to Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd, London. Photo Roger W Haworth for Wikimedia.

The entrance to Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd, London. Photo Roger W Haworth for Wikimedia.

London [RAW]

Three men have been found guilty over the largest burglary in English legal history, a daring multi-million pound raid on a safe-deposit business in London’s jewellery district led by pensioners who had spent a life in crime.

In a plot three years in the planning, the gang broke into the vault of the Hatton Garden Safety Deposit building during the long Easter holiday weekend last year.

They entered an elevator shaft and climbed down to the vault where they used heavy equipment to drill through a thick concrete wall.

Initially thwarted, they returned the following day and ransacked 73 deposit boxes, stealing jewels, gold and cash worth STG14 million ($A29.1 million).

Only about a third of that has been recovered, including some which was hidden under headstones in a London graveyard.

The combined age of those involved was about 500, with the youngest 42, while two were in their 70s.

Brian Reader, the oldest at 76 and one of the ringleaders, got to the scene of the crime on a bus using his senior citizen pass entitling him to free travel.



Echonetdaily: Fears more miners have black lung disease "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

At the coalface. Photo from

At the coalface. Photo from

Cleo Fraser, AAP

Underground coal miners feel let down by the system amid fears more workers could be diagnosed with the potentially deadly black lung disease in Queensland, a mining union says.

Five cases have been confirmed in the state, indicating pneumoconiosis had re-emerged for the first time in Australian coalmines in three decades.

Jason Hill, from the CFMEU’s mining division, is worried that cases may have gone unnoticed when medical checks were carried out and workers feel let down by the system.

‘We’ve got fears that there’s going to be a lot more,’ he said.

‘We’ve got a spreadsheet in the Mackay office of a lot of concerned people that have contacted our union.’

Up to 40 people are on the list including current, past and deceased workers, he said, adding that the best way to stop people from dying from black lung disease was early diagnosis.

Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham, outlining a plan to tackle the disease on Thursday, has requested data on other possible cases from Queensland Health which is cross-checking miners’ medical records.

‘There’s still research to be done on the...


Echonetdaily: Archibald exhibition set to open in Tweed "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Tweed Regional Art Gallery director Susi Muddiman holds Nigel Milsom's winning portrait of Charles Waterstreet while a packer inspects Carla Fletcher's portrait of Jenny Kee. Photo Jeff Dawson

Tweed Regional Art Gallery director Susi Muddiman holds Nigel Milsom’s winning portrait of Charles Waterstreet while a packer inspects Carla Fletcher’s portrait of Jenny Kee. Photo Jeff Dawson

Tweed Regional Gallery has been abuzz the last few days as staff have been unpacking and hanging the 47 Archibald finalists, ready for tonight’s gala opening of the country’s best loved portrait prize exhibition.

The Archibald has not been on display in the Tweed since 2011, when it attracted thousands of visitors.

Tweed gallery director Susi Muddiman said she was thrilled to have it back and the gallery was ‘gearing up for a very busy six weeks’.

The show features all the 47 finalists, including the winning portrait of barrister Charles Waterstreet by Nigel Milsom.

‘Waterstreet was the co-creator of the popular ABC television series Rake, which is loosely based on his life,’ Ms Muddiman said.

‘Other portraits include actor Michael Caton, politician Bob Katter, artist Judy Cassab, musician Daniel Johns from Silverchair and Wolf Creek actor John Jarratt.’

Ms Muddiman said the Young Archies exhibition also complemented the display, with works created by finalists from two categories, artists aged 13 to 15, and artists aged 16 to 18.

‘The Young Archies competition was an amazing opportunity for young artists to be involved in the prestigious prize a...


Echonetdaily: Clean-up begins after deadly Syd storms "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The storm rolls in over Sydney Harbour. Image from National Maritime Museum retweeted from bari_goeseverywhere’s Instagram account.

The storm rolls in over Sydney Harbour. Image from National Maritime Museum retweeted from bari_goeseverywhere’s Instagram account.

Sydney [AAP]

A massive clean-up operation is under way after intense storms pummelled Sydney, felling power lines and trees including one that hit a car, killing a man.

Suburbs in the west including Penrith, Mt Druitt and Blacktown and in the city’s southwest in Bankstown and Moorebank were the worst hit. On the NSW Central Coast the town of Wyong received a battering.

The SES has received 1,900 calls for emergency help, and that number is expected to rise to more than 2000 as people wake up and assess damage on Friday, an SES spokesman said.

One man died when the car he was travelling in was struck by a large tree at Emu Plains.

The 60-year-old female driver of the car was taken to hospital in a critical condition with pelvic and abdominal injuries but is now in a stable condition, a hospital spokeswoman says.

The post Clean-up begins after deadly Syd storms appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Echonetdaily: RACQ warns about ‘driving karma’ "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Image from

Image from

Brisbane [AAP]

Call it ‘karma’.

New research has found drivers’ behaviour behind the wheel can come back to benefit or bite them later on.

The 12-month study, conducted by RACQ and the University of Sunshine Coast, investigated how our emotional driving habits affect our bodies.

It found ‘nice’ drivers helped their motorist peers, reducing stress levels and encouraging them to replicate the courtesy.

But their hot-tempered counterparts had the opposite effect, increasing the likelihood of simple errors.

‘Aggressive behaviour directly impacts our health [and] how we feel and the psychology we take into the rest of the day,’ RACQ spokesman Paul Turner said.

‘In other words, there’s a karma about driving.’

Mr Turner said there were long-term health benefits to being a calm motorist, and likewise, consequences such as heightened resting blood pressure for road ragers.

The research also found ‘annoying infrastructure’ such as roadworks frustrated Queensland drivers.

Participants completed real-life road situations in a state-of-the art driving simulator to test thei...


Echonetdaily: Two hospitalised after Alstonville head-on smash "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

A female driver had to be cut from her vehicle and two children were taken to Lismore Base Hospital following a head-on collision on the Bruxner Highway at Alstonville yesterday afternoon.

Emergency services took nearly an hour to cut the woman from the car at around 5pm.

A NSW Ambulance spokesperson said the two children suffered head and back injuries respectively, and were taken to Lismore Base Hospital by road ambulance.

Two other children caught in the smash were treated for minor ailments at the scene.

Both lanes of the Bruxner Hwy at Alstonville were closed for some time as a result of the smash and subsequent salvage operation.


The post Two hospitalised after Alstonville head-on smash appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Echonetdaily: Headlong slide towards nanny state "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

In reference to Mark Oliver’s letter regarding our headlong slide into ‘nannystateism’ (13/1/16) the nannies were out in force during their replies in Echonetdaily, responding with an almost appalling disgust that somebody dare challenge the law.

People who wish to wear helmets to ride a bike, close their windows and lock their car at every possible opportunity and want to voluntarily offer their saliva for testing just in case you may have passively inhaled a marijuana joint the last time you went to the pub, are all welcome to do so freely. Mark’s point, and that of the majority of law-abiding conscious citizens living in the region that I have met and talked to, is that we are sick and tired of being told what to do when to do it and by whom.

Freedoms, just like democracies (even though the democracy we have is a farce), have been fought for by many for many years. Not just the right to vote or the right to a fair trial, but more significantly the right to live a safe but hassle-free lifestyle, away from police harassment and over-regulated day-to day-activities.

Once upon a time, a public servant’s job in the police force was to serve and protect: to chase down criminals and show empathy and compassion towards teenagers and the young, who are learning life’s tricky path.

Nowadays it is all about producing criminals, topping up the state’s coffers financially and producing enough crime to maintain and continue the privatized world of law courts, lawyers, barristers, jails and those who rely on the boys in blue to prop up their crony self interest..

This topic riles me because it is not about the freedoms we have any longer as much as it is about those freedoms we are losing at an enormously fast rate.

Risk is part of life, as is having fun, taking drugs, and believing somewhere in amongst all this that the state and its elected po......


Common Ground North Coast: Fins Recipe of the week! "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"


Baked Snapper with Garlic and Smoked Paprika Crust

1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) whole snapper, cleaned and
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon butter
11/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
300 g (101/2 oz/11/4 scant cups) tinned chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons finely chopped Italian
(flat-leaf) parsley
150 ml (5 fl oz) olive oil
2 large brown onions, sliced into rings
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) new potatoes, peeled
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) dry white wine

Serves 2
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF/Gas 4).

On each side of the snapper, make three diagonal cuts through the thickest part of the fish to the bone. Then, using a large mortar and pestle, crush together the garlic, butter, 1 teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Add the tomatoes and parsley and crush to create a paste. Season with cracked black pepper, to taste. Rub the paste all over the fish, ensuring the cuts and stomach cavity are well coated.

Put the olive oil and onions in a shallow roasting tin and place the fish on top. Arrange the potatoes around the fish and scatter with sea salt. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Pour the wine over the fish, return to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until just cooked, basting often with the pan juices until the flesh
is opaque — it should flake easily with a fork when pressed into the widest part of the fish.

Serve the fish and potatoes straight from the oven or arrange on a platter.

To book at Fins click here


Echonetdaily: Man clinging to kayak for hours before rescue "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

ALS Lifeguards rescued a man who was found clinging to an overturned semi-submerged kayak off Tallow beach yesterday afternoon after his mate, who was wearing a lifejacket, swam to shore to raise the alarm.

The male tourists in their fifties left on a trip from The Pass to Julian Rocks, a popular route for kayakers, when they got into difficulty.

The Australian Lifeguard Service reports that conditions were relatively benign when the pair departed at around 8am, with the men expected to return from their trip by 11am.

When they hadn’t arrived back, the partner of one of the kayakers alerted police.

A search was launched involving lifeguards, police, and the volunteer callout team. The Queensland Police helicopter was placed on standby, but was ultimately not required.

But the kayak had drifted south significantly and at around 2.45pm one of the missing men walked ashore on Suffolk Park Beach.

He told rescuers that he had swum to shore, and had last seen his mate about an hour before, clinging to their kayak, which had taken on water, about a kilometre out to sea.

The search area was then moved south and the kayak was located shortly before 3pm The lone kayaker was brought to Suffolk Park Beach on the back of a Byron Bay Jet Ski.

Both men were assessed by paramedics and given a clean bill of health.

ALS Northern Coordinator Scott McCartney said that the incident was a timely reminder of the importance of being prepared when heading out on the water.

‘This rescue highlights how quickly conditions can change while out on the ocean. Although conditions were pretty calm this morning the wind and choppy swell has obviously caused difficulty for these two kayakers,’ McCartney said yesterday.

‘It was fortunate that the men told their relatives when they expected to be back as it helped escalate the search.’

Mr McCartney praised lifeguards, lifesavers, and the police for their team effort,...


Echonetdaily: Calling you to see Bob Telson "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"


Direct from Brooklyn, New York, Bob Telson touches down to teach at Summersong with one very special performance at the Byron Theatre with Tony Backhouse, Kristina Olsen and Shelly Brown, called Summersong SuperShow.

Born in France, Bob was a child prodigy on piano, playing Mozart at age nine on TV; by 14 he’d written 72 love songs for his then-girlfriend Margie.

He and girlfriend Bonnie Raitt had a band together at Harvard; he graduated, moved to NYC, and was Philip Glass’s keyboardist. He composed and arranged all the music for the 31-tour musical Gospel at Colonus, and Chronicle of a Death Foretold, which both appeared on Broadway. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his song Calling You, from the film Bagdad Cafe; co-wrote with KD Lang Barefoot for her film Salmonberries, and other film scores.

Telson met Tony Backhouse with Alison Pearl in NYC when Tony brought Cafe of the Gate of Salvation choir to perform there. Telson spoke with The Echo.

You’ve composed pop, gospel, punk, soul, Broadway, world and rock tunes. What is the key to your understanding of music from different cultures?

Yes, it’s true that there are many influences in my music. As a kid I ate only vanilla ice-cream. Later I wanted to try every flavour. Same happened in music; as a kid I was a classical pianist and then organist. That gave me a deep understanding of the harmonic foundation that is used today in pop, gospel, soul, reggae, and much more. Soon I wanted the experience that those flavours would provide. Plus I had one small superpower: perfect pitch. That makes it much easier to take apart the clock and see how it ticks – in other.....


North Coast Voices: Commonwealth Ombudsman Annual Report 2014-2015 with a sidedish of Shorter Commonwealth Ombudsman "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Wading through annual reports can be a bit of a chore so I give you some highlights from the Commonwealth Ombudsman Annual Report 2014-2015 with a Shorter Ombudsman cheat sheet for those unable to find time to read the full document:

Department of Human Services & Centrelink

In 2014–15 we received 8116 complaints about DHS programs. This represents a 21.5% increase against the 6682 complaints we received in 2013–14, largely as a result of the 26.5% increase in the number of Centrelink complaints. Complaints about the Centrelink program made up 77.4% of complaints about DHS, followed by 18.1% about the Child Support program. Of the remaining complaints, most were about Medicare and the early release of superannuation benefits programs…..
In 2013–14 DHS paid out $159.2 billion to customers in respect of programs across the Australian Government and ‘touched the lives of around 99 per cent of Australians’ through the delivery of payments and services.1 It is inevitable that errors and delays will occur in an operation of this scale. However, the potential for these errors to impact on the lives of a significant number….


North Coast Voices: OH, WHAT A FEELING!: vandalising a beach just for the fun of it "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

It happens on the NSW North Coast in holiday periods. Dragging the weekly shopping out to the car you suddenly notice the number of big, sleek, brutal looking four-wheel drive vehicles with well-known brand names and number plates which indicate they might be holidaymakers.

Every year somewhere along the coastline the drivers of these vehicles prove the relationship between images from car advertisements like this…..

Image from Toyota “Top to Bottom” ad campaign

And stories like this….



Echonetdaily: Harry Potter actor Alan Rickman dies at 69 "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

British actor Alan Rickman has died, aged 69. (Picture: Wikipedia)

British actor Alan Rickman has died, aged 69. (Picture: Wikipedia)

Alan Rickman, best known for his roles in the Harry Potter films and Die Hard, has died aged 69.

The much-loved British actor first shot to stardom in 1988 when he played Hans Gruber, Bruce Willis’s adversary, in Die Hard.

He gained legions of fans for his role as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films.

A family statement said: “The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends.”

The post Harry Potter actor Alan Rickman dies at 69 appeared first on Echonetdaily.

Thursday, 14 January


Echonetdaily: ARENA tender suggests solar PV costs to fall below $A100/MWh "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Giles Parkinson, RenewEconomy

Hybrid projects that include both solar and wind and other energy technologies feature among the 22 projects shortlisted for a total of $100 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which also suggested that solar project costs would fall below $A100/MWh by 2020.

ARENA on Thursday said the 22 projects – totalling some 767MW in capacity, had been invited to progress to the next stage of its $100 million large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) competitive round. These projects may also qualify for debt finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Among the companies making the shortlist are Origin Energy, Infigen Energy, and other Australian players including Genex, APA, Windlab and Ganawarra Solar. It also includes a host of international players, including Canadian Solar, Suntech, FRV, Juwi, Neoen, and Ratch. (See below for full list).

ARENA said some project bids suggested costs well below its benchmark of $A135/MWh, and suggested costs in Australia would head below $A100/MWh (US$71/MWh) by 2020. That is still well behind costs elsewhere in the world – particularly the US, India, China and Latin America – but suggested Australia could start to catch up.

Another of the interesting aspects of the tender is the proposals that will combine solar PV with other technologies. Goldwind want to site a solar farm next to its proposed White Rock wind project, Infigen is looking to do the same next to the Capital wind farm, and Windlab is looking to combine wind and solar at the Kennedy hybrid complex.

Genex, meanwhile, is looking to combine solar PV and pumped hydro, while Ratch is considering solar PV with a range of other technologies at Collinsville, where a coal fired power station has been closed down.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the expression of interest (EOI) phase had attracted strong interest, including several new entrants to the....


Wild South East: Cherry Ballart "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

The Cherry Ballart Exocarpos cupressiformis is a unique tree but looking at it many people aren’t aware of its peculiar nature.


Cherry Ballart Exocarpos cupressiformis growing in dry eucalypt woodland. Fernbank, Victoria

Known as a hemiparasite (or semi-parasite) it needs other plants, particularly Eucalypts and to a lesser extent Acacias, in it’s earlier stages of life. This is due to it parasitising the roots of these plants and obtaining nutrients and water from them. Once they become mature Cherry Ballarts can photosynthesize by themselves and therefore don’t need other plants as much. The stems, not the leaves, perform the majority of this photosynthesis as the leaves are reduced to scales, not unlike Sheoaks Allocasuarina spp.

Scientists are still perplexed on some of functions of this plant and one of these is how it germinates. Horticulturalists have found that propagating the seed with Kangaroo Grass Themeda triandra or the introduced Lucerne Medicago sativa, both of which have been passed through the stomach of hens, have produced some success. It has also been found that they are probably reliant on mychorrizal fungi so placing soil from it’s natural habitat in the propagation mix may be also beneficial. It does however regenerate very well from cut or damaged stumps and sends out multiple suckers.

The Cherry Ballart was first discovered in 1792 by the French naturalist Jacques-Julien Houton de Labillardière while exploring southern Tasmania as part of Admiral Bruni d’Entrecasteaux’s command of the two ships Recherche and Esperence.  Labillardière named it E...


Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group: The Long Journey To Nauru – New Matilda "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

30 years ago, it would have been unthinkable to Australians that they would lock up men, women and children without charge, in conditions likened to a concentration camp. And yet, here we are. In this special feature, Julie Macken charts the course that made Australia an international pariah for its treatment of the world’s most vulnerable people – those seeking asylum.


Mountain Journal: Coalition calls for re-introduction of cattle grazing trials "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

The Nationals candidate for the federal seat of Indi, Marty Corboy, and federal Liberal candidate Sophie Mirabella have called on the Victorian Labor Government to resume an abandoned scientific trial of high country cattle grazing. This was reported by The Weekly Times.

Grazing in the alpine park is a matter for the state government (although any resumption of grazing would also require approval by the federal environment minister).

At present the ALP are in power in Victoria. The next election is not until 2018. If at that point the Coalition controlled both houses of Parliament they could overturn the legislation which currently bans a resumption of grazing.

Given this is three years away, it seems that Mr Corboy and Ms Mirabella are just indulging in some good old fashioned populist politics which are not really connected to outcomes in the real world.

After the embarrassing loss to the independent candidate Cathy McGowan, the Coalition is desperate to reclaim the seat. Ms McGowan does not support the reintroduction of cattle to the high country.

The negative impacts of cattle grazing on the alpine environment are well documented.




Echonetdaily: Zionists given a free pass "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Hans Lovejoy, editor of the Byron Shire Echo, posted on Facebook today that a local Israeli business owner is calling him an antisemite for publishing letters critical of Israel and is contemplating boycotting The Echo. No doubt the letters referred to include ones by Gareth Smith and Bassam and Anne Shomali.

Welcome to the club, Hans, of those who refuse to be bowed by the Zionist lobby – whose main work is to whitewash the crimes of the state of Israel and are labelled ‘antisemites’ for this reason. It’s clear there are many Zionists living and working in the northern rivers region. These Zionist fanatics equate criticism of Israel with criticism of Jews, forgetting that the severest critics of Zionism are Jews themselves, as they have seen the best libertarian and radical traditions of Judaism perverted by Zionism and watched Israel descend into Jewish fascism.

For too long, these local Zionists have been given a free pass, largely due to the a-political, apathetic and downright naive attitude of most folk living the sun-kissed life in the rainbow region. However, due to the courageous, decades-long resistance of Palestinians, due to the brave Israelis who speak out against apartheid Israel, due to social media like Facebook and to the efforts of independent media like The Echo, this veil of ignorance is being rent asunder. And Zionists don’t like what the rest of the world can witness, minus their hasbara. They will do their damnedest to stop the flow of information, using their power to prevent the truth from being known, even if it’s in the form of a letter to the editor.

It’s bizarre that the Zionist interlocutor should compared Hans to Rupert Murdoch – an arch-Zionist himself. Or want to boycott The Echo. It’s bizarre, because, more and more, it’s Zionist Israel that’s being boycotted via the very successful global, civil society Boycott, Disinvestments and Sanctions movement (BDS). Whether it’s the United M...


Echonetdaily: Woodburn teacher charged with child sexual assault "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

A teacher has been charged over the alleged sexual assault of a teenage girl between 1995 and 1997 in the northern rivers.

Officers attached to Richmond Local Area Command launched an investigation regarding the alleged sexual assault of a then 15-year-old girl at a school on the north coast in August 2014.

Investigators established Strike Force Urumbilum as inquiries continued and yesterday (Wednesday 13 January 2016), executed a search warrant at a premises in Woodburn.

A number of items were seized from the home that will now undergo forensic examination.

A 55-year-old man was arrested at the property and taken to Ballina Police Station where he was later charged with aggravated sexual assault and three counts of carnal knowledge by teacher.

He was refused bail and is due to appear before Ballina Local Court today (Thursday 14 January 2016).

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page:


The post Woodburn teacher charged with child sexual assault appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Melbourne Jeweller: Sunset 11th January 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

There was a great storm. This is the colour of the sunset, facing east. [photographs taken with my mobile, no filter, no alteration but for a little cropping] [images not to be used without author permission]Filed under: Beauty_in


The Greening of Gavin: 7 Cheeses in 5 Days "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

I’ve been in a cheese frenzy over the last week or so and it’s been so much fun!  On and off, I’ve made 7 cheeses in 5 days in my home kitchen.  Some have been easy, others hard, and I even had what I am classing as a failure. Let’s go through the list shall  [Continue Reading …]

The post 7 Cheeses in 5 Days appeared first on The Greening of Gavin.


2RRR: Pop Heads Hour of Power "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

3 – 4pm Pop Heads Hour of Power
The Best of the Vinyl Years
Summer Hits


2RRR: Jazz & Beyond "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Friday 15 January
12 – 2pm Jazz & Beyond 
This week the Limelight shines the spotlight on trombonist, band leader and composer Glen Miller whose music focused on entertaining radio listeners and dance club patrons especially during WW2.


2RRR: Feel Good Revival & Smokestack Lightnin’ "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Thursday 14 January
10 – 2am Feel Good Revival & Smokestack Lightnin’
– Top 100 New Blues Albums for 2015 –
Part 2: Smokestack LightninâŹ"s Tommy Thompson steps up to the plate and takes us all the way to the number one.  2015 was a great year giving us some CDâŹ"s from  brand new artists, new CDâŹ"s from our long time favourites and everything in between.  So lean your chair back, put your feet up and letâŹ"s let the good times roll with Smokestack LightninâŹ".

09:11 Massacre hoaxes blown wide open – US Government should stand condemned "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

Gun confiscation v people control

The best expose ever done of the US Government using actors to portray shooting massacres such as Sandy Hook that the evidence so abundantly shows was a tragic hoax designed to remove guns from law abiding US citizens and naturally Australia by default. No children were shot and aggrieved parents were played by actors.


This is some very detailed work, which I think, at the very least should cause people to question the official reality of the “Sandy Hook shooting”. I think this
YouTuber does an excellent job of tearing this case apart.I’m not obsessed with this case,as I’ve become appropriately numbed by the proliferation of false flag mass-shootings during the Obama Administration. These dozens of “tragedies”, these naked,
agenda-driven, made-for-TV set pieces are invariably followed by hand-wringing broadcasts touting gun control, at a time when gun crime in the US has been steadily
going down and is lower than it’s been in decades.

Now, this crocodile tear-rolling Predator Dronemeister wants to amend the Constitution, wants us to believe that he cares about anybody, let alone the American people…His duplicitous antics are too sick for words.

It’s been proven that gun control cannot work in the US, where the Right to Bear Arms has been enshrined since the country’s found...


AWPA Sydney News: 1) AHRC. Urgent action-Three indigenous Papuans arbitrarily arrested, tortured and currently waiting for an uncertain justice "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

2) Ministry Denies Ban Towards Foreign Journalists in West Papua
3) Islands in focus: Whooping cough kills 55 Papuan children - 
1) AHRC. Urgent action-Three indigenous Papuans arbitrarily arrested, tortured and currently waiting for an uncertain justice

An urgent action from the ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION concerning three indigenous Papuans who were arbitrarily arrested, tortured and who are currently waiting for an uncertain justice.
The appeal below. The AHRC makes kit easy for people to respond to the appeal with sample letter etc.

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from a local network in Papua regarding the arbitrary arrest and torture of three indigenous Papuans, namely ElieserAwom (26), Yafeth Awom (18) dan Soleman Yom (24). They were arrested by four police officers in pl...

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