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IndyWatch All AU State News Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.

Saturday, 16 January

12:01

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

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.

11:01

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

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.

10:01

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

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.

09:01

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

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

22:01

Central Queensland Plane Spotting: Queensland Government Super King Air VH-SGQ Also Did Airwork on Thursday but at Bundaberg and Gladstone Airports "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

It was interesting to note that on Thursday 14 January, the Queensland Government (State of Queensland) Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-SGQ also completed airwork in CQ, flying North from Brisbane to Bundaberg Airport and then on to Gladstone Airport.

File photo taken by Tom Houghton  ©

Whether the Super King Air landed at either Airport is not known as flight tracking websites indicate that VH-SGQ completed at least one missed approach at both Bundy and Gladstone.

VH-SGQ later returned to Brisbane.

Meanwhile, Gold Coast-based Cessna 210 VH-DTG also called into Bundaberg Airport on Thursday 14 January.  It spent most of the day at Bundy before returning to the Gold Coast later in the day.  It is the second time in a week that the Centurion has called into Bundy.

21:43

Central Queensland Plane Spotting: A Couple of Interesting Light GA Aircraft at Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Over the last couple of days, I've noted a few interesting light General Aviation (GA) aircraft to call into Hervey Bay (Fraser Coast) Airport.  Perhaps the nicest arrival has been Broome Air Services Cessna 208B Caravan VH-CRN which touched down from Cairns on Thursday 14 January.

VH-CRN in Broome in 2011  (http://regionalairportswa.blogspot.com.au/)

Another Cessna 208B in the form of Seair Pacific (Istlecote) Caravan VH-VCW was also due to call into Hervey Bay from Redcliffe also on Thursday 14 January.  VH-VCW is usually one of three or four Seair Caravans that fly from the Gold Coast and other places in the South-East corner to the Fraser Coast and specifically Lady Elliot Island.

Meanwhile also on Thursday 14 January, Rockhampton-based Peace Aviation Beech A36 Bonanza VH-MMB called into Hervey Bay from Rocky, while Beech F33A Bonanza VH-ZBZ touched down from Brisbane.

On Friday 15 January, Cirrus SR22 VH-YSH visited Hervey Bay from Archerfield.  Later, Brisbane-based Cessna 340 VH-LKM also touched down at Hervey Bay from Archerfield via Gladstone.  Both lighties - and Bonanza VH-ZBZ - all later departed to Archerfield.

Finally, a pair of Maroochy Air lighties were noted flying in and out of Hervey Bay on Friday 15 January...

21:15

Central Queensland Plane Spotting: RAAF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-206 Missed Approach at Rockhampton Airport Again on Friday! "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-206 was back in the skies of Queensland on Friday 15 January and again completed airwork at Rockhampton Airport.




Local plane spotters Isaac M and 'IAD' were on hand to capture some great photos as the Globemaster - flying as "Stallion 20" - flew North from RAAF Base Amberley and then departed to the South West.


...

17:00

Motorbike Writer: How to transport your motorcycle "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

freight transport import export

It’s not an easy task to transport your motorbike, but sometimes you need to if you want to ride interstate and have a limited amount of time or are sending it overseas for a riding holiday.

There is a lot involved in transporting a bike. You have to pack it properly, understand all associated costs and tackle a mountain of paperwork.

It’s a complex job involving your most valued possession, so it’s probably advisable to seek an expert.

Here are our tips gleaned from experience as well as advice from experts including Bruce Hartwig consultant to Queensland Imports and Dominic Bonasia, owner of Personal Import:

1 TIME

Work out how long you will be without your bike. You may need a couple of days to prepare the bike before pick-up, then factor in any issues at the other end.

For instance, transporting a bike overseas could result in long delays at the other end for customs, quarantine, cleaning or simply slow unloading.

Give yourself plenty of time and don’t rely on an exact date or it might throw out your whole trip schedule.

2 PREPARE

...

14:23

Birdline Central & Southern Queensland: Black-necked Stork at Lake Cooroibah, Noosa. reported by Christian Perrin on 14-01-2016 "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Male bird, feeding out on lake from sunrise until when I left at 7am. I stealthily used fallen timber as a kind of hide and watched as it approached, only to find it wasn't the least bit bothered by morning walkers, off-leash dogs and general foreshore activity!

13:00

Motorbike Writer: Royal Enfield Himalayan and cruiser coming? "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Royal Enfield Himalayan

Royal Enfield Himalayan

Royal Enfield is set to unveil its Himalayan mid-size adventure bike on February 2 and Australia is poised to get the bike and possibly add the Thunderbird cruiser this year.

The Himalayan is expected to come with a choice of 750cc twin-cylinder and 410cc single-cylinder fuel injection and oil-cooled engines.

There is no word yet on whether they will be coming to Australia, but they would be ideal for our conditions.

Meanwhile, with the rapid growth in the cruiser market in Australia it seems likely that UMI will add the Thunderbird 350cc and/or 500cc cruisers to its range.

Royal Enfield Thunderbird

Royal Enfield Thunderbird

But first, importers Urban Moto Imports are organising a national demo ride day...

12:53

"IndyWatch Feed Capricornia": cairnsnews.org: World Bank says TPP trade treaty benefit to Australia is only 0.7% by 2030 "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

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...

12:34

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

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.

12:19

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

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.

11:16

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

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.

11:12

"IndyWatch Feed Seq.art": Bondville: Label all the things with Hippo Blue for back-to-school "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

I know I say it every year, but THIS year I will be organised well before school starts. And that means actually labeling every stationery and clothing item. There are usually good intentions, but I always leave it too late. This year Bondville sponsor Hippo Blue comes to the rescue with neat label packs with truly great designs that you can completely customise with charcters, colours, fonts and name.


Read more »

10:19

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

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.

09:20

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

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

09:08

Australian Police News: NSW: Police officer pushed cyclist off his bike in Sydney's CBD, witnesses say "IndyWatch Feed Qld"



A NSW Police officer has been accused of pushing a cyclist off his bicycle at a major intersection in Sydney's CBD during peak hour, in a situation a cycling advocacy group has described as aggressive and "totally unacceptable".

Police are now conducting an internal investigation into the incident, which occurred about 8.25am on Wednesday at the intersection of College and William streets, beside Hyde Park in the city

One witness to the crash claimed the police officer, who was on a motorcycle, rode up alongside the cyclist and "just pushed him off his bike in the middle of the intersection".

"He fell on the road. It wasn't like he got pushed and sort of wobbled and kept rolling, and sort of [went] into a death spiral or anything. He just went bang," the witness, Marcus De Giorgio, told Fairfax Media.

Different accounts have emerged from the police and witnesses about what unfolded at the intersection, resulting in the cyclist lying in the middle of the road.

Police say that officers from the Motorcycle Response Team were patrolling near the intersection of William and Yurong streets in Darlinghurst when they allege the 30-year-old cyclist, who was not wearing a helmet, disobeyed a red traffic signal there.

The police motorcyclist "activated his warning lights and sirens", police said, and attempted to stop the cyclist, who continued riding west along William Street.

"The cyclist continued along William Street and the officer made further attempts to stop the rider near the intersection of College Street," the statement said.

Police said the cyclist "has fallen from his bicycle", but did not detail any circumstances about how the cyclist fell or whether the police officer made any contact with him.

Mr De Giorgio, who had just finished an early morning training ride, had cycled north along College Street and was stopped at a red light at the intersection wi...

09:05

Australian Police News: Victoria: Police charged with assaulting teen boys who filmed alleged attack "IndyWatch Feed Qld"



Thug cops tried to cover up their misdeeds by destroying evidence

There are concerns over the handling of the internal investigation into an alleged assault of two teenagers by police.

A mobile phone video taken by a teenage boy as his young mate was allegedly assaulted by two policemen was mysteriously deleted on the night of the attack, but could now provide damning evidence when the officers face court in May.

The footage was only recovered when the father of one of the boys paid $4000 to an IT consultant, but its disappearance raises serious concerns about the handling of the internal investigation into the officers' conduct.

It is understood the family of one of the alleged victims will ask the Office of Public Prosecutions to examine the case, while the matter could also be referred to the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission.

Leading Senior Constable Dennis Gundrill and Senior Constable Simon Mareangareu will face the Ringwood Magistrate Court over the alleged assault on Christmas morning 2014 near a convenience store in Vermont.

The boys, who had just completed Year 11, were detained for several hours at Ringwood police station, and later charged with resisting arrest and possession of a small quantity of marijuana.  But all charges against the 17-year-olds were dropped in August last year.

An internal investigation by Whitehorse CIU was only launched when the father of the alleged victim handed over video footage from the phone.

It is understood there are discrepancies between the statements given by Mr Gundrill and Mr Mareangareu, which also differ markedly from the footage of the incident and evidence given by an independent witness.

Mr Gundrill and Mr Mareangareu were initially suspended with pay, but both men are now permitted to perform non-operational duties. They have not faced any disciplinary action from Victoria...

09:01

Queensland Police -- A barrel with lots of bad apples "IndyWatch Feed Qld"



Queensland's Keystone cops

What a bunch of amateur idiots! Kids terrified as cops storm Gold Coast home by mistake. No apology

A Gold Coast mother-of-two says her children were too traumatised to sleep last night after half-a-dozen police burst into their home and detained their innocent father by mistake.

Kristy Stewart told myGC a squad of officers stormed her Coombabah home along The Esplanade at around 9.30pm on Friday after allegedly mistaking her address for another in the street.

Mrs Stewart, 35, says her two children, aged 10 and eight, were shaking in terror as they watched police order her out of the house and rush inside to detain their innocent father.

“My husband was out on the back patio with the kids and I was in the kitchen when I looked outside and seen an officer approach the front patio,” Mrs Stewart recalled.

“I opened the front door and five or six police officers and two police dogs started coming from the front. “They yelled ‘step out from the door and put your hands to the front’.

“I stepped to the side and they yelled at me to stay put. “I kept repeating that they had made a mistake, that we have done nothing wrong (but) they wouldn’t listen.”

Mrs Steward told myGC the officers then raced inside her home and detained her 32-year-old husband in front of her 10-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son.

“My husband walked up the hallway as he could hear the commotion and was grabbed by both hands by an officer and (the police) said, ‘we know who you are’.”

But as it would turn out, the police actually had no idea whose home they were in.

“My husband kept saying that he hadn’t done anything and my daughter was pleading with them that we were not doing anything wrong.  “Finally they asked for our address which obviously didn’t correlate with the address they were suppose to attend.”

Mrs...

08:50

"IndyWatch Feed Seq.art": Cheeseburger Gothic: Hans Gruber has left the building "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Snape and the Sherrif of Nottingham went with him.

By Grabthar's Hammer they will all be missed.

08:26

"IndyWatch Feed Seq.art": Cheeseburger Gothic: Dominion, by CJ Sansom "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Don't know how I missed this this, but when I get out from under my current deadline, I'm gonna check it out. Dominion, by CJ Sansom, an alternate history of Britain under the Nazi jackboot.

The Guardian writes it up thus:

... one of the thrills of Dominion is to see a writer whose previous talent has been for the captivating dramatisation of real history (in his five books about the Tudor sleuth, Matthew Shardlake, and the Spanish civil war novel Winter in Madrid) creating an invented mid-20th century Britain that has the intricate detail and delineation of JRR Tolkien's Middle Earth, though thankfully described in better prose.

The big historical sweeps seem credible guesses: the newspaper tycoon Lord Beaverbrook - an isolationist, pro-German equivalent to Roth's President Lindbergh - is prime minister, with the British fascist leader Oswald Mosley as home secretary, while Churchill is the leader of an underground resistance movement that occasionally daubs V signs in public places. In America, Adlai Stevenson has just won the 1952 election. In recorded history, Stevenson was thrashed by D-day hero General Dwight Eisenhower, but, in this version, there hasn't been an allied victory to gild Ike's reputation and so he hasn't even run for the Republicans.

Sansom is equally impressive in the depth of the background colour. Air-raid shelters - never, as it turned out, needed - are items of poignant incongruity. Conversations glancingly reveal that what we know as the London and Helsinki Olympics of 1948 and 1952 took place in quite different countries because of the alterations in the geo-p...

06:11

Motorbike Writer: Toby Price stretches lead in Dakar Rally "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Toby Price stretches Dakar Rally lead

Toby second in Stage 11

An historic first win for an Australian in the Dakar Rally is looming closer after KTM rider Toby Price finished second by just 18 seconds in a controversial Stage 11 today, but stretches his lead by 12 minutes to 35.

Cheer on Toby by sending a message of support to his official Facebook page.

“I can’t smell victory yet, not yet. I won’t smell victory until I cross the finishing line on the last day,” Toby said after today’s stage.

There are only two stages to go, but the final stage is more of a short procession and unlikely to change the overall order.

Toby, who is the only Australian competitor this year, just needs to defend his lead tomorrow to score his first win and the first for an Aussie in the 37-year history of the gruelling event.

Fellow KTM rider and rookie Antoine Meo of France scored his second stage win today and is the only other rider to win more than one stage with Toby winning five stages. Meo is now third, while Slovak Štefan Svitko (KTM) in second while previous threat Paolo Goncalves (Honda) of Portugal exited the race after a crash.

...

01:19

Planet Erland: A couple of weeks of basic front-end development and I’ve... "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"



A couple of weeks of basic front-end development and I’ve descended to laughing at CSS jokes. #ninja

01:16

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


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….
...

00:15

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


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….

...

00:11

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

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.

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Thursday, 14 January

23:54

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

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....

22:30

"IndyWatch Feed Seq.art": Flop Eared Mule: Revisiting: Dave Alvin – “Romeo’s Escape” "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

If you know this album (bravo to you) it’s probably as Dave Alvin’s first solo recording after leaving the Blasters (and X) and before he made all those albums people really love. And indeed, it’s a transitional artefact of Alvinology. Everything about it, by context and content, invites us to look to the before and to the after but which also deserves it’s place among the cream of that era’s roots rock on it’s own merits.

In his “Consumer Guide” for The Blasters 1983 album Non Fiction [Slash Records], in which he gave that album an A rating, Robert Christgau wrote, “Dave might qualify as the last great singer-songwriter if only he was a singer.”  Putting aside the typically breezy xgau provocation in the first half of the sentence, four years later we have the uncommon pleasure of being able to watch that exact hyphenate come into existence.   Interestingly, Nick Lowe played a big part in the transition when they worked together on Hard Line [Slash Records, 1986], which would be the last Blasters album with the original four:

At that point, I was done writing songs for Phil. I just wrote what came into my head, which was “Fourth of July” and “Brother on the Line.” When I went to meet Nick, I showed him those two songs and he said: “Phil can’t sing “Fourth of July.” It’s not his kind of song.  You should sing it.”  I said: “I can’t sing.” Nick said: ” I can’t either and I’ve made a career out of it.”

Quoted in the terrific fan-produced Blasters Newsletter (Issue #67, December 2012) www.blastersn...

22:00

"IndyWatch Feed Gippsland": Wild South East: Cherry Ballart "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

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

IMGP7027

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...

21:32

Central Queensland Plane Spotting: RAAF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-206 Missed Approach at Rockhampton Airport "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

The first large Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft to be spotted in Central Queensland for 2016 occurred on Thursday 14 January when RAAF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-206 performed a missed approach at Rockhampton Airport.



It flew up from RAAF Base Amberley and continued onto Townsville via overhead Mackay as "Stallion 17".

Coming off the traditional Christmas 'stand-down' period, several RAAF aircraft have been noted this week flying to overseas destinations and flying around various parts of Central Queensland performing airwork.  Also on Thursday 14 January, RAAF Beech B350 Super King Air A32-675 "Dingo 05" was noted completing airwork at Emerald Airport while flying from RAAF Base Amberley to Townsville.  While on Wednesday 13 January, A32-671 "Dingo 04" was noted completing airwork at both Bundaberg Airport and Hamilton Island Airport while also flying from Amberley to Townsville.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Kayanne H for capturing these photos of the C-17 at Rockhampton!

All photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©

20:48

Practising Simplicity: looking forward, moving on "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

My heart is concerned with here right now; the beach, our home, the daily comings and goings of children on holidays. But within a few months we'll be packing up and moving on and I can't help but look forward and make plans. I'm already hunting down cardboard boxes and thinking about what I can pack.

Moving house - it's always catalyst for a mammoth purge. I find myself looking around each room, bracing myself for the upheaval and wondering if I really do want to move everything we own. And you know what, there's actually a lot that can be left behind.

What can we do without for the next three months? And if we can do without it for that long, do we need it at all?

Decluttering is never a once-it's-done-it's-done scenario. It's more of an evolving process and it does, in my experience, require constant attention. In other words, you can't get lazy with a simple lifestyle because if you do, clutter starts to creep back in. Your belongings and your habits need to be observed and critiqued on a regular basis;  picking yourself up when you've slackened off is part and parcel of the experience.

I've been so caught up in work and motherhood these past few months that the house has got a little, shall we say, rough around the edges. Clutter has accumulated, things haven't been returned to their rightful place and the aftermath of Christmas has left...

20:33

Central Queensland Plane Spotting: QantasLink Boeing B717-200 VH-YQW 'Tassie Devil' Special Livery Surprise Visit to Gladstone Airport Wednesday "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Making a very surprise visit to Gladstone Airport on Wednesday 13 January was QantasLink (Cobham Aviation) Boeing B717-200 VH-YQW.  It was noted to be operating the scheduled QJE1704/1705 service from and back to Brisbane.


It appeared that VH-YQW 'replaced' fellow QantasLink B717-200 VH-NXQ which was originally scheduled to operate the flight.



...

20:11

Central Queensland Plane Spotting: 'Infamous' Piper Twin Comanche PA-30 VH-DUI Sold and Departs Maryborough Airport "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

In September 2015 we reported on the unusual story from Maryborough Airport where a New South Wales registered 1965 built Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche - registered VH-DUI - was detained and searched by Queensland Police following the identification of two Perth men, who flew the plane to Maryborough, as being alleged "drug kingpins".

File photo taken by David Geck  ©

In December 2015, VH-DUI was sold to a private owner in Sydney and on Tuesday 12 January, it finally departed Maryborough destined for Bankstown.

You can read the original story - including more photos - HERE.

Meanwhile, Cessna 172 VH-DZW, which is flown by locally-based Mile High Aviation, has been quite busy operating local flights out of and around Maryborough along with a flight to the Sunshine Coast and back also on Tuesday 12 January.

On Wednesday 13 January, Sunshine Coast-based Aero Dynamic Flight Academy Cessna 310 VH-NFE popped into Maryborough Airport for part of the day.

Finally, on Monday 11 January, the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Raytheon B1900D VH-PSK called into Maryborough Airport during a busy day of flying where it also called into Cairns, Mackay, Roc...

19:47

Central Queensland Plane Spotting: At Longreach Airport This Week - Police Citation Bizjet VH-PSU - Air Link Navajo VH-MZF - And More! "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

A couple of interesting comings and goings at Longreach Airport including the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-PSU which called in from Brisbane on Tuesday 14 January.  VH-PSU later departed to Mount Isa.

File photo taken by Don Williams  ©

Of interest, VH-PSU then flew to Cloncurry and Charleville before returning to Brisbane on Wednesday 13 January.

On Thursday 14 January Air Link Piper PA-31-350 VH-MZF called into Longreach Airport from Dubbo and Bourke.  It later departed further North to Normanton.

Also on Thursday, Julia Creek based Cessna 182 VH-JXM called into Longreach Airport but from Cairns.  It departed to Kingaroy and Archerfield.

Finally, back on Monday 11 January, Sunshine Coast-based Lancair IV-P VH-LWL called into Longreach Airport for the night.  It departed back to the Sunny Coast on Tuesday 12 January.

18:48

Birdline Central & Southern Queensland: Spotted Harrier at Cinnabar near Kilkivan reported by Anne Burgess on 10-01-2016 "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Seen over grazing country in Cinnabar Road. ID photo only as it only made one pass before disappearing

17:52

Central Queensland Plane Spotting: Machjet Cessna Citation Bizjet VH-SQM Airwork at Gladstone and Maryborough Airports "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Late on Tuesday 12 January, McDermott Aviation Group / Machjet International Cessna S550 Citation S/2 VH-SQM was noted in the air above Gladstone Airport performing what looked to be a practice ILS approach followed by an overshoot.  It had flown up from its Sunshine Coast base.

VH-SQM at Hervey Bay last year  (File photo taken by Ben May  ©)

VH-SQM then flew South and was believed to have also completed airwork around Maryborough Airport before returning to the Sunny Coast.

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday 12 January, a familiar visitor to Gladstone Airport in the form of Papam Cessna 402B VH-RLX was noted departing to Archerfield, while locally-based Cessna 210 VH-KTE which has recently taken up residence with Gladstone's Purcell's Engineering returned 'home' from Canberra and Moree.

17:00

Motorbike Writer: How to lose weight riding motorcycles "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Lose weight

We all put on a bit of weight over the Christmas and New Year holidays, but did you know you can lose weight while riding your motorbike?

It seems strange because most riding is a sedentary and social recreation. However, an 80kg rider will burn 40 more calories an hour riding a motorbike than driving a car.

There doesn’t seem like much exercise involved in sitting on a bike and we usually do it with our friends, which turns into a long lunch while “bench racing”. It’s not good for the waistline and your health.

However, since losing weight is simply a matter of using more energy than we consume, there are a few simple steps to follow to ensure you at least don’t put on weight while pursuing your favourite recreation.

1 Riding

Research has shown that sitting on a bike requires no more physical exercise than gently pedalling a bicycle. Yet, Sports Illustrated listed motocross as the fourth most physically demanding sports behind hockey, soccer and wrestling.

Clearly, there are different levels of activity required for different types of riding.

If you’re into motocross, then that’s fine, go and do lots of it. Imagine how many calories Aussie Toby Price is...

16:44

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

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.

16:20

"IndyWatch Feed Seq.art": The Thousands: Brisbane: My Pretty Little Sydney: A guide inspired by Grayson Perry "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

This summer Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art Australia is hosting Grayson Perry: My Pretty Art Career. The bustling, bombastic survey of Grayson Perry’s work reads like a technicolour patchwork of social observations. The artist charmingly digs into the class and sexual politics of Britain and is a passionate observer of his home country’s ‘taste tribes’. Vespa riders whizz through suburbs, iPads nestle into coffee tables and tattooed backs hunch reverently over football jerseys. These emblems of cultural accoutrements are most apparent in the whoppin’ tapestries from Grayson’s TV series All In The Best Possible Taste – the crux of his anthropological journey rendered in affectionate thread. On show you can see these tapestries and a mountain of Grayson’s signature ceramics, bedazzled costumes for Claire (his female alter ego), etchings, photographs and more. The show is as autobiographical as it is sociological.

Just like the vibrant characters swirling together on Grayson Perry’s elaborate work, Sydney has its fair share of idiosyncrasies. Some might call it tacky, some whine about it’s obsession with tanning, and we all know they never shut-up about their bloody harbour, yet the glittering masterpiece never loses it’s spark. Sydney sure is a gaudy showbag full of diverse tastes: the cheap, the posh and the weird.

If you’re heading to Sydney and not a fan of traipsing up the harbour bridge you’re in luck, The Thousands and the MCA have teamed up to bring you an alternative. An imagined romp through the city, from sandstone castles to warehouses full of rubbish, My Pretty Little Sydney dips a pinky into the pools of Grayson-inspired opulence, grime, kitsch and refinement that co-exist off the map. See the exhibition and then delve into the fictional ‘taste tribes’ of Sydney, collecting trinkets and experiences like Pokemon or stamps, whatever you’re into.

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.......

15:58

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

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.

 


...

15:35

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

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...

15:17

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

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: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/

 

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

11:04

"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Giant coal mine looms large in Richmond poll campaign "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Farmer Tony Clift points past bright yellow canola crops towards the location of the coal mining site near Gunnedah, Shenhua Watermark, a subsidiary of state-owned China Shenhua Energy, the world’s biggest coal mining company, spent 167 million Australian dollars (more than $170 million) to buy 43 farms covering 36,300 acres. Gunnedah's former mayor says sellers told him Shenhua paid several times market value. Clift's family has plowed the rich black soil of Australia’s Liverpool Plains for six generations. The thought of selling never crossed his mind - until the Chinese company came to town. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Farmer Tony Clift points past bright yellow canola crops towards the location of the coal mining site near Gunnedah, Shenhua Watermark, a subsidiary of state-owned China Shenhua Energy, the world’s biggest coal mining company, spent 167 million Australian dollars (more than $170 million) to buy 43 farms covering 36,300 acres. Gunnedah’s former mayor says sellers told him Shenhua paid several times market value. Clift’s family has plowed the rich black soil of Australia’s Liverpool Plains for six generations. The thought of selling never crossed his mind – until the Chinese company came to town. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

Luis Feliu

The controversial giant Chinese-owned coal mine on the Liverpool Plains in northern NSW, approved last year by the federal government, has become the opening salvo for the election campaign for Richmond expected to be held later this year.

The surprise announcement this week that federal National Party president Larry Anthony, a former MP fo...

10:34

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

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.

10:34

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

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".

10:25

"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Byron Bay Blog: Beats & Eats #1 "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Enjoy a summer of ‘Beats & Eats’. A series of lazy Saturday afternoons turn into evenings that will have you wining and dining with best friends old and new, chilling in the sunny grounds of the Secret Garden & dancing in the gazebo under the night stars.

EVENT_BEATS+&+EATS+01

Come indulge yourself to the best of Byron’s cuisine, enjoy a cheeky local beverage or two, & soak up the finest ambient sounds & musical talent going around, includinG Nick Cunnigham, Manoa, Mapstone, Vinnie Laduce…..

Food and drinks by Harvest, Hungry Like The Wolf, Crusta Woodfired, Cafe On The Way, Stone And Wood, Batlow Cider, Byron Popcycles.

Beats & Eats #1
Saturday, January 16, 3:00Pm – 11:00Pm
Secret Garden, 121 Jonson St Byron Bay

Learn more at www.secretgardenbyronbay.com.

The post Beats & Eats #1 appeared first on...

10:02

"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: RMS accused of cover-up over highway-route secrecy "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Save Ballina Koalas spopkesperson and Ballina Shire councillor Jeff Johnson.

Save Ballina Koalas spopkesperson and Ballina Shire councillor Jeff Johnson.

Roads and Maritime Services NSW (RMS) has been accused of sitting on studies of a koala colony in the path of the Broadwater section of the Pacific Highway, with protection groups suggesting the authority is massaging the figures.

And the Ballina Environment Society is suggesting the reason RMS is sticking to the more expensive and environmentally damaging route is that it may have already approved some key tenders.

Save Ballina’s Koalas campaigners say they are ‘frustrated with repeated delays’ in releasing the latest study results.

Campaign co-sponsor Friends of the Koala applied for information about the study under freedom of information legislation in August last year but RMS requested modification of the application in October and then delayed the release of documents until 7 December 7.

Campaign spokesperson and Ballina councillor Jeff Johnson said that Woolgoolga2Ballina Project Manager, Bob Higgins had ‘promised Ballina Council that the koala studies and planning for the controversial Section 10 (Broadwater to Coolgardie) would be transparent.’

‘What we’ve got instead is a closed door and information being kept from the public,’ Cr Johnson said.

Echonetdaily understands the documentation that RMS is willing to release will be after it has finalised and circulated the Ballina Koala Plan, which is expected to be in late January.

RMS ‘not acting in good faith’

Cr Johnson has accused...

10:00

"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Petition calls on police to end unfair drug testing "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

A protest outside the Lismore Court House last month. Another will be held outside Lismore MP Thomas George's office later this month. (Darren Coyne)

A protest outside the Lismore Court House last month. Another will be held outside Lismore MP Thomas George’s office later this month. (Darren Coyne)

More than 4000 people have signed a petition calling on the NSW Police to immediately end their flawed roadside drug testing operations.

The petition wants police to replace the regime with an evidence-based scheme that reliably tests for impairment and that covers all the drugs, legal and illegal, that pose the greatest risk for road safety.

Greens MP David Shoebridge.

Greens MP David Shoebridge.

The petition, started by Greens MLC David Shoebridge, is directed at the NSW Police Minister Troy Grant, and the NSW Police Force.

Mr Showbridge maintains that the current roadside drug-testing regime is arbitrary, invasive and has no relationship to the impairment of drivers.

‘The NSW Police openly admit they are testing drivers for the mere presence of drugs and that the levels they are testing for have no connection with impairment,’ he said.

‘These tests ar.......

09:39

"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: New vessel a boost for boating safety on north coast "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Point Danger Marine Rescue's latest offshore rescue vessel. Photo supplied

Point Danger Marine Rescue’s latest offshore rescue vessel. Photo supplied

A new $277,000 vessel for the Point Danger Marine Rescue fleet will be officially commissioned today in a ceremony involving local, state and federal government representatives.

The rescue organisation has hailed the new 7.5m rigid-hull inflatable boat named Point Danger 20, as a major boost to boating safety on north coast waterways.

Head of Marine Rescue NSW, commissioner Stacey Tannos, said the ‘state-of-the-art vessel, which is able to travel up to 15 nautical miles offshore, further strengthens Marine Rescue’s strategic search and rescue safety net covering the NSW coastline’.

’It is the latest of 65 new and refurbished vessels delivered to date, at a cost of almost $15 million, under our landmark fleet modernisation program,’ commissioner Tannos said.

‘Providing safe, modern and reliable vessels is the greatest investment we can make in the safety of our volunteers and the boaters we assist.’

The new vessel was delivered by low-loader truck recently.

The new vessel was delivered by low-loader truck recently.

The boat was built  by.......

09:17

"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Con man duped Aust oil company: court "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Supplied mugshot obtained Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016 of Australian Dalton Hallgren, 45, at Yellowstone County Detention Facility. The alleged conman is accused of duping Australian oil and gas explorer Central Petroleum Ltd into hiring him as its chief executive and cheating the company out of more than $US567,000. Photo Yellowstone County Detention Facility

Dalton Hallgren, 45, at Yellowstone County Detention Facility. The alleged conman is accused of duping Australian oil and gas explorer Central Petroleum Ltd into hiring him as its chief executive and cheating the company out of more than $US567,000. Photo Yellowstone County Detention Facility.

Los Angeles, AAP – An alleged conman is locked up in a Montana jail accused of duping Australian oil and gas explorer Central Petroleum Ltd into hiring him as its chief executive and cheating the company out of more than $US567,000.

US prosecutors announced Dalton Hallgren, 45, was arrested in Germany on January 8 and extradited to Billings, Montana, to face five counts of wire fraud, two counts of criminal monetary transactions, and one count of aggravated identity theft.

He entered not guilty pleas to the charges during an appearance in the US federal court in Billings on Monday.

‘From in or about November 2011 through in or about February 2013 the defendant, Dalton Allan Hallgren, in the district of Montana and elsewhere, devised and intended to devise a scheme to defraud and to obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent p...

09:11

"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: No US apology after Iran frees sailors "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

A handout TV grab made available by the official website of Iranian state television (IRIB) on 13 January 2016 shows American military personnel on their boat after they were captured by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), at an undisclosed location in Iran, 12 January 2016.

A handout TV grab made available by the official website of Iranian state television (IRIB) on 13 January 2016 shows American military personnel on their boat after they were captured by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), at an undisclosed location in Iran, 12 January 2016.

Washington, RAW – Iran has released 10 US sailors after holding them overnight, bringing a swift end to an incident that had rattled nerves days ahead of the expected implementation of a landmark nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said it had freed the sailors on Wednesday after determining they had entered Iranian territorial waters by mistake.

The sailors had been detained aboard two US Navy patrol boats in the Gulf on Tuesday.

‘Our technical investigations showed the two US Navy boats entered Iranian territorial waters inadvertently,’ the IRGC said in a statement carried by state television.

‘They were released in international waters after they apologised.’

IRGC Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi had earlier said that the two US Navy boats entered Iranian territorial waters due to a broken navigation system.

US vice president...

09:11

"IndyWatch Feed Capricornia": cairnsnews.org: Massacre hoaxes blown wide open – US Government should stand condemned "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

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.

CRIMINAL MAINSTREAM MEDIA

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...

08:56

"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Qld terror accused set to face court "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Agim Kruezi

Agim Kruezi

Brisbane, AAP  – A southeast Queensland man charged with terror-related offences is set to face a Brisbane court.

Agim Kruezi, 23, is facing seven charges over allegations he stockpiled weapons in preparation for a terrorist act in Australia, was preparing for incursions into war-torn Syria, and recruited people to join that fight.

His case is due to be mentioned in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday morning.

Kruezi was arrested along with 32-year-old Omar Succarieh during counter-terrorism raids in Brisbane and Logan in September 2014.

Succarieh, a former Islamic Centre bookstore owner, is also on remand after he was last month committed to stand trial in the Supreme Court.

He is facing three charges over allegations he helped arrange for Kruezi to join the fight in Syria and sent money to aid the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group.

A date has not yet been set for his trial.

The post Qld terror accused set to face court appeared first on Echonetdaily.

08:46

"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: US well ahead on drug law reform "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

As the NSW Greens’ drugs and harm minimisation spokesperson, I will in the coming days embark on a self-funded fact-finding trip to the United States, in part to meet with leading drug law reform experts, advocates and campaigners.

Numerous states in the US, both progressive and conservative, have been leading drug law reform efforts for some years now. Some have even regulated the use of cannabis.

They have framed policy not to treat drug users as criminals, but rather to look at the issue from health and social perspectives, in order to reduce harm and save lives.

Some American jurisdictions allow pill-testing at music festivals and concerts, so I will be investigating the successes and processes involved with those programs.

There is a real mood for change in Australia now, and it’s imperative we look at where reform efforts are happening around the world to determine the best way forward at home.

I look forward to meeting with representatives from established groups such as the Drug Policy Alliance, and also activists and campaigners on the ground about their work.

I will also meet with relevant groups and individuals in California and Oregon.

Dr Mehreen Faruqi, Greens NSW MP

The post US well ahead on drug law reform appeared first on Echonetdaily.

08:20

"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Patten backs Abbott over Rhodes dispute "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Oxford University chancellor Chris Patten. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Oxford University chancellor Chris Patten. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

London, RAW – The chancellor of Oxford University has joined Tony Abbott in warning against rewriting history, in his first public comments on a student campaign to remove a statue of 19th century colonialist Cecil Rhodes from one of the university’s colleges.

Inspired by protests at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, which led to its statue of Rhodes being removed last April, the ‘Rhodes Must Fall in Oxford’ campaign says the statue at Oriel College in England celebrates a brutal racist.

Former Australian prime minister Abbott, himself an ex-Rhodes scholar, waded into the Oxford dispute in an email to British newspaper The Independent in December.

‘The students of Oriel should be clear-eyed about Rhodes’ faults and failings but proud of his achievements,’ Abbott wrote.

‘The university should remember that its mission is not to reflect fashion but to seek truth, and that means striving to understand before rushing to judge.’

The dispute is one of a growing number of university controversies over issues of history and identity, often pitting freedom of speech arguments against demands for symbols deemed offensive by some students to be removed.

In the United States, southern campuses have been rocked by arguments over the confederate flag, while at Yale a row erupted when an academic pushed back against suggestions that students should self-censor Halloween costumes...

08:14

"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Andrews again pushing for ground troops in Syria "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Former Defence minister Kevin Andrews. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Former Defence minister Kevin Andrews. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Canberra, AAP – Former defence minister Kevin Andrews is again calling for Australia to do more in trying to combat Islamic State militants in the Middle East.

Responding to news Australia was approached late last year by the US for more military help but declined to increase its contribution, Mr Andrews reiterated his push for ground troops.

‘If the Americans have made a reasonable request of us, then we should be giving it the most favourable consideration,’ he told ABC radio on Thursday.

Despite the request, defence minister Marise Payne remained firm on Australia’s existing level of assistance.

‘Australia has considered the request … in light of the substantial contributions we are already making to train Iraqi security forces and to the air campaign,’ a spokesman told AAP in a statement.

The government had advised US Defense Secretary Ash Carter that Australia’s existing contributions would continue, the statement said.

Mr Andrews said Ms Payne has information before her that he doesn’t anymore.

‘It’s quite clear from the advice I received, and I was aware of what the American military personnel and defence leaders were suggesting, and that was for months they were suggesting that we needed forces on the ground in order to defeat ISIL,’ he said.

The former minister defended h...

08:03

"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: UK record lotto winners call Australia "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

British Lotto winners David and Carol Martin, both 54, from Hawick in the Scottish Borders celebrate their A$68 million win at the Dalmahoy Hotel near Edinburgh, Scotland, 13 January 2016. A equal-share winner has yet to come forward. EPA/Robert Perry

British Lotto winners David and Carol Martin, both 54, from Hawick in the Scottish Borders celebrate their A$68 million win at the Dalmahoy Hotel near Edinburgh, Scotland, 13 January 2016. A equal-share winner has yet to come forward. EPA/Robert Perry

London, PAA – When David and Carol Martin won STG33 million ($A68.2 million) in the UK lottery the first person they called to share the news was their 26-year-old daughter, Lisa, who lives in Australia.

Lisa was initially worried her parents had phoned to pass on bad news.

‘Then we told her we’ve just won $68 million in Australian dollars,’ Mr Martin said on Wednesday.

‘She couldn’t believe it and thought we were pulling her leg.’

The family have not been together for more than a year but now the Martins have offered to pay Lisa’s plane fare home and they hope to be reunited at the weekend.

David and Carol, both 54, from Hawick in the Scottish Borders, are celebrating after winning half of the UK’s biggest-ever Lotto jackpot in Saturday’s draw.

The couple’s win has catapulted them to the top of the Lotto rich list.

They admitted the massive sum ‘will certa...

07:53

"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Unemployment expected to rise to 5.9% "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Melbourne, AAP – The jobs market is expected to have weakened in December, after enjoying the best two months of employment growth in almost 28 years.

The number of Australians with a job is forecast to have fallen by 5,000 in December, and the unemployment rate is expected to have risen to 5.9 per cent, according to an AAP survey of 12 economists.

In November, jobs growth was 71,400, after a 56,000 rise in October, the strongest two-month period of employment growth since the 1980s.

That sent the unemployment rate to its lowest level in almost two years, to 5.8 per cent in November.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release its December employment report on Thursday.

JP Morgan chief economist Stephen Walters said the November figures were exaggerated by the ABS survey methods but added that the employment market is still strong.

‘Recent labour force surveys have looked too good to be true,’ Mr Walters said.

‘Although we have become increasingly optimistic on the labour market outlook, given the upbeat signals from job ads, business surveys and government welfare data, the official data still appear too firm relative to gross domestic product growth.’

The post Unemployment expected to rise to 5.9% appeared first on Echonetdaily.

06:30

Tasmanian Times: Gunns, Solvency and the 30th June 2011 "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

In an effort to determine the date of Gunns’ insolvency the Gunns’ liquidator PPB Advisory has summonsed the Gunns’ auditors at KPMG Hobart to a public examination under the Corporations Act - in the Supreme Court of Victoria. In a bad tactical error John Gay, then both CEO and Chairman of Gunns, took the so-called Gunns 20 through the Victorian courts. The courts threw out Gunns now famous Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation case. Victoria was chosen by Gunns and Gay, not to enhance the cause of justice, but to make it more expensive and difficult for those they wished to silence over the construction of a proposed Tasmanian Pulp Mill … • Trevor Burdon in Comments: John, thank you for your investigation and elaboration on the phone today. Throughout the course of the MIS proceedings I have questioned the discrepancy between the paired Gunns (GNS) and Gunns Plantations (GPL) 2011 Annual Reports (both KPMG audited), and the S439A Administrators Report (PPB Advisory). The replacement of a GNS liability of $84m owed to GPL with one of $88M in the reverse direction remains unexplained. 19 Nov 2014 I spoke with KPMG partner, Leigh Franklin. He agreed that further investigation was required, and confirmed that he had not been approached to offer any opinion since GPL entered administration. I entered a statutory declaration as an exhibit to an early hearing. My call to him early August 2015 was put through to KPMG Legal Sydney, whose representative told me KPMG had no official role in the Gunns proceedings, and no interest or moral obligation to help correct or resolve the discrepancy. (Now that’s NOT what I expect of a Big 4 Auditor.) It is good that PPB are finally pursuing KPMG, and very unfortunate it is after the disclaiming growers interests. It seems that the top end of town is only called to account at the end of the matter when proceeds have been distributed, and funds to pursue legally almost exhausted. True to form PPB do not like us...

06:15

Tasmanian Times: Lapoinya: The Bulldozers set to move in ... "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Dear Friends of Lapoinya, The bulldozers are arriving on Monday 18th January to start the roading that will enable the destruction of this unique habitat and wildlife corridor.

06:12

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


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...

06:07

"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Live Music Roundup – Thursday 14 January, 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

DJ Helmy at the Byron Brewery on Friday

DJ Helmy at the Byron Brewery on Friday

At the Helm

Firstly: DJ Helmy’s sound is of rhythm. No, not that ‘doof doof’ shit getting around these days by button-pushing DJs. We’re talking drums, an organic flavour of soulful rhythms on turntables. Think classic, timeless songs and new must-have grooves, not non-stop ‘doof doof’ loops. Think reggae, hip-hop, funk, rock, retro, jazz, blues, roots, swing, soul!

Think 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, Noughtys, New! Think live music venues, beergardens, chilled lounges, hip bars, head nodding conversations, laughter, singalongs. Think people connecting on a real level, not horny youth out on the prowl at nightclubs. Again, think soul!

Emerging from earlier years spent as a drummer for rock bands and a hand percussion tutor, DJ Helmy’s style of seamlessly mixing genres of known and lesser-known tracks from around the globe over the past 60-ish years, coupled with tight and colourful arrays of scratching, assures crowds that skilled vinyl DJs are still alive and kicking. DJ Helmy is known to most as Triple J favourite; Illy’s tour scratch DJ and backup/hype MC, co-founder and DJ of Beats Working (Obese Records), as well as having deejayed for iconic Melbourne names including Lotek, Elf Tranzporter, Candice Monique, MoneyKat, Syntax, Jamima Jones plus many more. Friday at the Byron Brewery at 8pm. Free entry.

05:44

Planet Erland: metrocosmblog: Half of the world’s population lives in the... "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"



metrocosmblog:

Half of the world’s population lives in the yellow and half lives in the black

More population maps  

04:00

"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Gromsearch finals done and dusted "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Liam O'Brien. Photo Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW.

Liam O’Brien. Photo Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW.

The Rip Curl GromSearch presented by POSCA National Final saw six new national champions crowned today after a variety of hotly contested finals in punchy two-foot waves at North Narrabeen Beach.

Liam O’Brien’s (Benowa) lightening fast turns proved to be a lethal weapon in the 16-and-Under Boys final. The natural-footer threw down a solid combination of turns to net himself a 16.50 heat total (out of a possible 20 points), which propelled him ahead of Mikey McDonagh (Lennox Head) who finished in the runner-up spot.

Mikey McDonagh. Photo Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW.

Mikey McDonagh. Photo Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW.

McDonagh fought tooth-and-nail until the final seconds of the heat – even posting a near-perfect 9.33 scoring wave – but was unable to find an elusive 7.18 wave score to steal O’Brien’s lead.

Sophia Fulton (Cabarita) continued to build on her earlier performances when she took on Kirra-Belle Olsson (Avoca) in the 16-and-under Girls final.

...

03:15

"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Downsized plates can help you eat less "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Food-BalancedDiet-shutterstock_SMALL-28738102SYDNEY [AAP] Eating healthier is a good start to being a better sport. One way to getter a better dietary intake is to reduce the amount you eat. Using smaller plates may help lose any extra kilos gained over the festive season, say researchers.

Varying the size of our plate has a considerable effect on the amount of food we eat, according to a Deakin University meta-analysis of 56 studies involving 3,507 participants. But that’s only if we serve up the food ourselves or if the supplied portion has been varied in line with the plate size.

The study was published in the inaugural issue of the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research.

It found that a doubling of plate size increased the amount self-served or the amount consumed by 41 per cent.

But the plate size had no effect on the amount consumed if the dishes contained the same portion size.

Plate size was found to have a stronger effect when participants were unaware they were taking part in a food study.

Professor Chris Dubelaar said one reason people are eating more is because portions, plates and packages are larger.

‘Continual use of smaller plate sizes may be both habit forming and good for our health’, he said.

The post Downsized pl......

Wednesday, 13 January

21:55

"IndyWatch Feed Melbourne": you said it…: Dear Facebook "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Reblogged from The Melodramatic Confessions of Carla Louise

Originally posted on December 31, 2015

Dear Facebook,                                                                                                    

I love you. I really do. When I lived eight hours away from my family and twelve hours away from my friends, you made it so easy (and affordable) to keep in contact with everyone.

However, recently, I’ve realised that you are letting me down – and other women – on a continual basis.

How?

Well, according to your Community Standards, Facebook is designed to “keep you safe”. (Yes, I know we all need to be realistic in regards to “safe”. If you post a naked photo, it’s the internet, it’ll never come down. If you criticise your boss, and he or she sees it, they may fire you. “Safe” is a relative term; but please, bear with me.) We can report people and their content can be removed and disabled if we are being threatened, harassed and abused – among other things (like hate speeches and symbols).

Supposedly, according to your standards, you work to “encourage respectful behaviour”.

However, when I reported a man’s threatening, abusive and racist behaviour (on behalf of another woman), your review came back saying you found that his comments didn’t violate the community standards you say you uphold.

Don’t believe me?

I took screenshots.

...

16:03

"IndyWatch Feed Sydney.arts": The Thousands: Sydney: Untraditional breakfasts in Sydney "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

In 1788 the population was less than 1000 and breakfast in Sydney would have probably been salt beef and some dried peas. Now in 2016 the population is pushing 5 million and you can pretty much eat whatever the hell you want – Sydney has a hugely diverse selection of restaurants that basically traverse most of the ethnicities out there. So why prey tell breakfast eaters are you flocking to cafes for bacon and eggs or Bill’s fucking hotcakes? You might as well still be eating salt beef out of a can in your tunic. Get away from the toast and eggs, the cereal and the fucking hotcakes and free your mind with this intro to non (white guy) traditional breakfasts.

photo1

Bánh mì

banhmi2

The French-inspired Vietnamese sandwich is a big time Sydney staple these days. Next time, instead of the bacon and egg roll, choose the pork roll with coriander, mayo, pate, carrots, chilli and lettuce. The bread rolls are freshest in the morning, you wont have to line up and it will only set you back a fiver. I suggest Marrickville Pork Roll (open at 7am), Hong Ha in Mascot (6am) or Viet Hoa in Cabramatta (24 hours).

Dosa

dosa1

So you’ve had hotcakes, crepes, pikelets, blinis and poffertjes right? Well the king of the pancake is not one of these sweet, icing...

15:34

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

(Note: this piece now has a follow-up.  See What Scientists Do)

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

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



The TAI Poll

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

Leaving aside the views of non-Coalition parties for...

15:05

"IndyWatch Feed Sydney.arts": Timber and Steel: Listen to the New Single from The Wayward Henrys, “Early Grave” "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Image Courtesy of The Wayward Henrys The Wayward Henrys are a husband and wife duo out of Newcastle that are producing some really interesting alt-country music. Their first single is “Early Grave” and is based around American serial killer Israel Keyes and is as dark and dirgey as the subject matter would suggest. Take a […]

13:32

Dr Kevin Bonham: 2015 Site Review "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

That's another calendar year done for a site that's now a little over three years old.  Federal elections and Tasmanian state elections are this site's biggest events, so with neither of these in 2015 it's no surprise traffic here was down 43% on 2014 and down about 10% on 2013.  Still, with two state elections and the dumping of a sitting Prime Minister, the year was not exactly quiet.

The pattern for the year (the units are sessions per week) looks like this:


The two big spikes on the left are the Queensland and the New South Wales elections, and the Queensland one would have been bigger had my efforts not been limited by a major field trip.  On the right, interest fell sharply once the Canning by-election was out of the way.  The major difference between the Turnbull readings and even the quietest Abbott readings suggests to me that a lot of left-wing readers are more interested in reading about good polling for their side than bad.



This year I released 86 articles, of which 28 were federal Poll Roundups and 17 concerned the two big state elections.  As usual I released almost everything I started, but left on the cutting-room floor so far were partly-written state articles entitled:

"Here We Go Again: Another Hopeless Tas Free Speech Debate"
"Lapoinya: Anatomy of a NIMBY Campaign"
"Poll Shaped Object Of The Day: Tobacco-Free Generation" and
"Delaney vs "Don't Mess With Marriage": Tasmania's Latest Free Speech St...

13:32

Dr Kevin Bonham: 2015 Ehrlich Awards For Wrong Predictions "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Secular seasons' greetings and best wishes for 2016 to all.  Since this site started a few years ago, I've developed a strange habit of posting something every Christmas Day. As I may be too busy playing chess badly in early January to post all that much around then, I've taken the risk of going early with this year's prize for the unwise, the Ehrlich Awards for the wrongest predictions in a field of interest to this site made in or concerning the year 2015.  The Ehrlichs are named for Paul Ehrlich, the ecological don of doom whose failed resources bet with Julian Simon and poor excuses for losing it (and litany of other false "scenarios") have given heart to those who snort derisively at the claim the world is rooned ever since.  For previous instalments, and to see the groundrules, just click on the Ehrlich Awards tab at the bottom.

As usual we briefly glaze over hard-to-quantify bogus puffery from politicians of all varieties, spearheaded this year by Bill Shorten's commitment to the National Press Club "that Labor will be defined in 2015 by the power of our ideas." In fact, Labor was largely defined as a mirror of the government it opposed: popular by default while Tony Abbott clung to power then deeply unfashionable once he was given the boot.  A few Labor policies attracted public attention (emissions targets, voting age, smoking excise) but it was not always the right kind of attention, and some of these were pilfered from the Greens.  Labor has been releasing policies but none are especially original and so far hardly anyone has noticed.  Mostly they smack of a strategy tried without success against John Howard: when you have nothing just trot out the usual, cover it with a sudden interest in technology and science and say you've discovered something new.



A stalwart of t...

13:31

Dr Kevin Bonham: Poll Roundup: 2015 Year In Review "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

2PP Aggregate: 53.5 to Coalition (+0.1)
Coalition would win election held now with unchanged to slightly increased majority

It's just about the end of another year in federal polling; should any unexpected late polls appear I will edit this article to add them in.  After an update for this week's polling I'll launch into an annual review along similar lines to last year's.  From here on in the pollsters tend to go into summer recess with Morgan and Essential returning in mid-January and the heavy hitters coming back in late January and early February.

This week's polls

This week we have had readings from Morgan and Essential, which continue to sit at opposite ends of the Turnbull-era spectrum, this week returning 56-44 and 52-48 respectively.  The former was Morgan's highest reading for the Coalition this term, and the respondent-preferences reading was even higher (57.5%).  Essential has had the Labor primary at 35-36 in the last four weeks while Morgan has had it at 28.5 then 27.  Either both are wrong or one is very, very wrong.

Although both pollsters showed an uptick to the Coalition, this was tempered by the Ipsos from a few weeks ago falling out of sample, so the net result is just a 0.1 point gain, for the Coalition, after everything, to finish the year in exactly their 2013 election result position.  At least, that's my take; as usual recently, others may well be higher.  (Edit: Yep; Bludgertrack 54.1 Mark the Ballot 55 and Phantom Trend 55.2.  MtB assumes zero-sum and includes Morgan but not Essential, and Phantom Trend treats Morgan as having the same sorts of house effects it's had for decades, so those points explain why the latter two are so high.)

...

11:24

"IndyWatch Feed Melbourne": Black Mark: Ballet sculptures in Melbourne "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

In December I was walking passed the Arts Centre in Melbourne when I noticed some new sculptures being installed at the top end of lawn. Actually I first recognised the small spider-like crane of  J.K. Fansham Pty Ltd, that I last saw installing Louise Paramor’s Ursa Major, before I saw the sculpture.

DSC00824

David Maughan, Les Belle Hélène, 2015

Les Belle Hélène by David Maughan was being installed on the lawn of the Arts Centre Melbourne. The title is a reference to La Belle Hélène an operetta by Jacques Offenbach. The sculpture depicts two female ballet dancers both en pointe, one in an arabesque balancing on one leg while the other with her arms spread is fully extended on both feet. The sculpture is a gift to the Australian Ballet and the semi-classical bronze figures match the tradition of classical ballet.

Melbourne sculptor David Maughan has done many sexy sculptures of slim ballerinas. David’s wife, Helen Choules was a dancer. This explain both the obvious sexual interest in and the technical accuracy of the female figures in Maughan’s sculptures (the nipples on Maughan’s dancers are aways outstanding).

DSC07452

Unknown, Dancer, College of the Arts grounds

I now wonder if Maughan isn’t responsible for another ballet sculpture in Melbourne, the bronze figure of the dancer at the front of the VCA. I’m n...

08:22

"IndyWatch Feed Melbourne": darkly wise, rudely great: Man on the run "IndyWatch Feed Vic"


Late last year I was photographed by Wayne Taylor for the Netherlands' Filosofie magazine.

They've a special issue on sport and fitness, and interviewed me about the Dutch edition of How to Think About Exercise. This shot, which I'm chuffed about, was one of the final photographs.

Two short videos, on jogging and pride, will also be available soon.

08:00

"IndyWatch Feed Melbourne": The NORTHSIDER: SUMMER COCKTAIL MAGIC "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

From our friends down at Kiki Riki Bar and Latin Street Food on Smith Street, this Mezcal Mule is the perfect summer drink. Fresh, yet smoky, sweet, yet sour, it has all bases covered.

The post SUMMER COCKTAIL MAGIC appeared first on The NORTHSIDER.

05:15

Tasmanian Times: Three Capes Track - it is free if you camp ... "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Letter to the Editor, Tasmanian Times Supporters of the Tasmanian National Parks Association have recently received letters from Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage, Matthew Groom stating that walkers may walk the entire Three Capes Track without paying the $495 fee as long as they have a current parks pass, they walk the track from west to east (to reduce the risk of spreading pathogens) and they camp rather than stay in the huts. This is contrary to what the Tasmanian Conservation Trust had previously understood from public statements made by the Minister and the Parks and Wildlife Service and as stated in the TCT’s Talking Point article in the Mercury on 30 December 2015. This is good news for those who do want to, or cannot, pay the $495 fee and the TCT is pleased to be able to correct the record. This needs to be publicised. There is no information for independent walkers on the Parks and Wildlife Service or Three Capes Track websites.  These need to confirm that independent walkers can walk the Three Capes Track or the old Cape Pillar Track subject to the conditions described above without paying the $495 fee.  They also need to … • Peter McGlone in Media Comments ( here ): Parks and Wildlife Service General Manager contradicts Minister Groom over walkers right to do Three Capes Track without paying the $500 fee.

04:30

Tasmanian Times: What an absolute ripper of a book!x "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

What an absolute ripper of a book. This is the best thing I’ve read since the Flanman’s Narrow Road ... There are similarities ... Narrow Road ... is about nationalist-ego-driven cruelty. The Program is about one man’s ego-driven domination of cycling and the Tour de France ... at a terrible cost to anyone who got in his way. • Garry Stannus, in Comments: I hope readers won’t too much mind me stepping back into the Armstrong past, I’m recalling an ‘on-court TT encounter’ between Rick ‘Pilko’ Pilkington and myself.  It went just about five sets and right to the end as Armstrong’s ‘defense attorney’ I was sure we’d prevail.  Rick was just as sure that Armstrong was a cheat.  When Armstrong admitted his guilt on Oprah Winfrey the matter was settled decisively once and for all in Rick’s favour …  Nic Tomlin in Comments: As a keen cyclist and having suffered the same cancer as Lance - I drew great inspiration from his remarkable achievements.  The bombshell of this scandal still leaves me with deep seated suspicion knowing how much ‘people’ will cheat to ‘win’.  How could someone deceive the whole world for so long, under such intense scrutiny? The fact that the anti-doping system / UCI / governing bodies failed to catch Lance earlier remains largely unaddressed. The situation in Tasmania is not dissimilar. We have governing bodies (Integrity Commission, Ombudsman etc.), who openly admit ‘powerful influences’ are at play seemingly largely unchecked. I mean, the Integ Commission’s ‘damning’ report into Public Service gifts/benefits is laughable. The fact is, in a small island community, the risks of exposing any unwelcome ‘truth’ is far higher than in larger communities - unless you are a self-sufficient and highly robust individual (like David Walsh I guess) … Yes Simon. My concern is about how such individuals can fly in the face of authorities for so long. In most cases, it’s because big money is involved and expo...

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