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Tuesday, 19 January

19:37 Cosmic cycles, not carbon dioxide, control climate. "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"


Cosmic Cycles Control Climate

by Viv Forbes, Science writer

Those who think a war on carbon energy will lower Earth’s temperature need to study climate history.

Temperatures on Earth dance to a cyclical rhythm every hour, every day, every month, every season, every year, and to every beat of the sun-spot and glacial cycles.

These cycles interact to produce a wide range of ever-changing temperatures. Even at the same moment, temperatures vary dramatically from the equator to the poles and from the surface to the stratosphere. For would-be climate “managers” to claim they can calculate a mythical “global temperature” with precision greater than thermometers can measure is statistical nonsense.

It is even sillier for people who cannot accurately forecast next weekend’s weather to claim they can regulate the temperature of the globe by bashing industry and taxing carbon.

What is the role of carbon dioxide in climate? Al Gore did a great job to dramatise the recurring glacial cycles revealed by ice cores in his widely acclaimed work of science fiction. But he missed two inconvenient truths.

First, ice cores show that in the glacial spring-time the temperature rose BEFORE the CO2 levels rose. Therefore the rising CO2 cannot be a CAUSE of the warming – it is a RESULT of CO2 being expelled from the warming oceans.

Second, at the top of every warm cycle, high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere were unable to prevent Earth from cooling into the next cycle of ice.

We are fortunate to live in the Holocene Epoch, the latest warm phase of the Pleistocene Ice Age. The climate history of the Holocene, and its predecessor the Eemian, are well documented in ice core logs. These show that today’s warm Greenhouse Earth is probably nearing its end. It will be followed by Icehouse Ea...

18:43 Katter urges PM to save Queensland Nickel "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

Queenslanders living in an economic backwater

19 January 2016: Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has written to the Prime Minister today urging him to intervene in the situation concerning Queensland Nickel and provide bridging finance to the company until the market recovers.

The company employs nearly 1,000 direct jobs and according to Mr Katter is now in grave jeopardy unless the Government intervenes.

Mr Katter said in his letter to the Prime Minister that the industry was going through the standard ‘boom and bust’ cycle.

“For the past fifteen years the price of nickel has averaged $25,000 per year, it is now $8,000 per year.

“China is suffering a normal ‘boom and bust’ cycle; minerals live with a ‘boom and bust cycle’.

“Nickel is used in the production of stainless steel and in turn these alloys are used in the production of many electronics, power tools, transport and emergency power supplies.

“Nickel is of immense commercial value. Its long term outlook is solid.

“World bank projections are for $20,000 per tonne within the next few years,” Mr Katter said.

Clive Palmer says the placing of Queensland Nickel into receivership has “nothing to do with me.”

Mr Katter said that in the 1980s the Queensland Government had no hesitation in providing a loan guarantee for $40 m (the equivalent of nearly $100 m now) to get Queensland Nickel running.

“The tax revenue from an operation bringing, we are informed $800 m per year, generates a tax revenue of at least $200 m.

“The loss of one of the bigger nickel refining plants in the world would be yet another blow...


Echonetdaily: Council volunteer should be congratulated, not vilified "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Where is the justice? A volunteer who has saved council thousands of dollars in potential wages through her hard work and dedication to a community project as a member of a S355 committee has a code of conduct penalty slapped on her for a perceived trivial offence. Meanwhile two councillors who got away with throwing shoes into the gallery at a council meeting and contacting a builder during a tender process undoubtedly breached the code of conduct.

One of these councillors is let off with a slap on the wrist with no case to answer. One wonders what the outcome would have been had Angela Dunlop been given the equal opportunity to have had her case assessed by council reviewer, Gary Faulks, instead of GM Ken Gainger.

The inequity is astounding. The code clearly needs reviewing in order to provide some modicum of justice for volunteers. If certain council staff had carried out their duties effectively as we, the general public, have a right to expect, and had responded to Ms Dunlop’s reasonable questions in a timely manner this situation could have been avoided.

In her capacity as chair of the S355 committee and manager of SGB Community Centre Ms Dunlop worked tirelessly on the hall renovations project to achieve a remarkable outcome. I would even go so far as to say that our hall is one of the most outstanding halls in our Shire now because of Ms Dunlop’s attention to detail and research while keeping an eye on the budget. Our residents can now boast a community centre to be proud of and Ms Dunlop should be congratulated, not vilified.

Why would you want to be a volunteer for Byron Shire Council when this is the gratitude one gets?

Kathy Norley & the SGB Community Centre S355 committee members, South Golden Beach


The post Council volunteer should be congratulated, not vilified...


Echonetdaily: Don McLean on track for Bluesfest despite arrest "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Don McLean at the NYCB Theatre, Westbury, USA, in 2013. Photo Wikipedia

Don McLean at the NYCB Theatre, Westbury, USA, in 2013. Photo Wikipedia

Don McLean’s upcoming tour of Australia is not in jeopardy, despite his recent arrest on a misdemeanour domestic violence charge in the US, according to Bluesfest director Peter Noble.

McLean is due to come Down Under in March to perform at the Byron Bay festival and has several sideshows locked in across the country.

The American Pie singer was arrested on the misdemeanour domestic violence charge in Maine and posted $US10,000 ($A14,625) bail early on Monday at the Knox County Jail.

But according to Noble, McLean’s arrest wasn’t for a physical assault but merely over an argument.

‘It’s a storm in a teacup,’ Noble told AAP.

According to Noble, McLean’s agent contacted him with an update on the situation.

‘There was no assault of any kind, they had an argument and someone in the house has called the police,’ Noble said.

‘No assault, nothing physical. Married people and couples and all sorts of people argue loudly all the time, but just like in Australia, under an AVO, the police are required to do a misdemeanour, which means a very minor charge.

‘Nobody’s career should be damaged as a result of having an argument with his wife,’ he added.



A Snail's Eye View: Nature Photo Challenge #3: Tropical Rockmaster "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

Every now and then, I stop railing against the uselessness of most common names and revel in the better ones.

This a tropical rockmaster (Diphlebia euphoeoides). It lives in the tropics and it perches on rocks. Also branches, cars and hats. But mostly rocks. 

On a twig-shaped rock

Tropical rockmasters are the most abundant damselflies on this property. On sunny days, it seems as if every vantage point is occupied by one of these blue males or golden females waiting for insects to come within range.

There are five species of Diphlebia in eastern Australia and they are distinguished by the relative proportions of blue and black on the abdomen on the male.

CSIRO publishes an excellent guide to Australian odonates.


Echonetdaily: Bolt Hole: Unique new Byron bar and restaurant "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The Bolt Hole is a unique new Byron Bay bar and restaurant that has just opened near the Byron Surf Club, at the beach end of Fletcher Street. Fitted out with green Chesterfields, a six-metre tarnished-copper bar, reclaimed materials and its own imported wood-fired barbecue smoker, it’s the first bar in Australia to serve tinnies exclusively.
Yes, that’s right, no beer taps impinging upon the aesthetics of the bar and no bottles.
This is the sort of place with 40 different gins on offer, a huge range of 69 whiskies and other ‘artisanal spirits’. If you fancy a vintage gin from the 1960s, this is the place to go. So, as you can imagine, the beer options for tinnie drinkers are not restricted to ‘green can versus yellow can’; craft beers such as Newtown’s Young Henrys and Melbourne’s Mountain Goat are served alongside craft beers in cans from throughout the world.
The bar has been created by Chris Mills (‘Millsy’), creator of multi-award-winning Sydney bar The Barber Shop (yes, right again; a traditional barber shop combined with a cocktail bar). It has a slightly American vintage theme with references to hunting, steam trains and nautical escapades (the logo features an octopus with a monocle and a moustache).
But Chris didn’t come to Byron with the idea of creating a bar. A yoga practitioner for the last nine years, he moved to Byron a year ago with a yoga studio in mind; however, those plans were derailed by the birth of a child. ‘Byron’s such a great place to raise a child,’ said Chris, who was also conscious of previous businesses at the Bolt Hole’s location. ‘We cleared the previous energy in the building and set our intentions for the future in a blessing ceremony, while drinking cacao and chili to open our hearts.’
The recycled timbers have come from the backpackers across the road, and an old surf shop, which brings us to the eco-friendliness of tinnies.
‘Bottles have six times the carbon footprint of a can, when you con...


The Star: Dental fund refreshed for new school year "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

SOUTH Gippsland parents have been reminded to take advantage of government funded dental check ups for children before the school year begins.
Eligible children aged two to 17 years can receive up to $1000 worth of dental treatments over two years, through the Federal Government’s Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) delivered by Medicare.
With the CDBS available at Inverloch Family Dental and Rapid Response Dental in Leongatha, practice director Dr Taehee Lee said the scheme had been immensely popular since the first funding round launched in 2014.
“January is always a really opportune time to get your children in for a check up, because even the most organised parents can let things slip once the school year begins,” Dr Lee said.
Patients who became eligible for the two year CDBS in 2014 have had their $1000 fund renewed on January 1, 2016. For those who became eligible in 2015, their fund will be renewed in 2017.
“With a fresh round of funding now available to eligible families, we’re expecting the incredible demand for the service to continue in 2016, so we encourage families to book their oral health check-ups soon,” Dr Lee said.
He said the CDBS covered a range of important dental services including examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fillings and extractions.
“The response to the program in the past two years has been huge. We’ve had parents from across South Gippsland bring their children in to the clinics,” Dr Lee said.
“Some have been regulars at the clinics and some have introduced their children to dental for the first time. The program is having a really positive effect on our children’s oral health. It’s great to see.”
Increased demand for the service prompted Inverloch Family Dental to upgrade its equipment, purchasing new dental chairs and state of the art decay detecting digital camera.
Having worked closely with children and their parents throughout the scheme’s first two years, Dr Lee sai...


The Star: IGA all the way with the CFA "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

WHAT a difference a day makes at IGA.
Personnel representing CFA brigades across the district were at Michael’s Supa IGA in Leongatha on Thursday morning to receive cheques from the supermarket’s Community Chest benefits program.
Had the handover been scheduled for the day before, with the whole state on high alert with temperatures soaring beyond 40 degrees, it would have been postponed.
All hands were on deck with CFA teams on call and the Incident Control Centre in Leongatha fully manned by a management team of 20 people.
Michael’s Supa IGA store manager Chris O’Leary’s handover of funds was a timely reminder of the close knits that keep us safe when confronted by one threat or another, in this case the danger of bushfire.
The supermarket donated cheques totalling $2907.36 to the five CFAs thanks to supporting customers purchasing Community Chest lines.
Carly Hurst of the Leongatha South CFA said the $169.53 would help finish off the facility’s breathing apparatus room.
She said, “On behalf of the Leongatha South CFA I would like to thank all of the staff at IGA as every dollar helps.”
Andrew Kay of Leongatha CFA said, “IGA is always helpful to us in so many ways including the regular sausage sizzles we hold in front of the store.”
Their colleagues from Ruby and Pound Creek were just as thankful for the tremendous contribution IGA makes to the CFA, and therefore, to the whole community.
Allen Archbold of the Pound Creek CFA said it was thanks to IGA’s continued support over many years that equipment has been purchased, such as a diesel engine that fills three tankers at the same time and in three minutes.
“This equipment is vital in protecting the community from fire,” he said.
Nationally, IGA’s community chest program has raised over $70 million.
The money is raised in a number of ways but predominately through the purchase of products with an IGA Community Chest logo on the label s...


The Star: Shop smart for school "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

STUDENTS need look no further than Leongatha Officesmart for everything they need to get back to school.
“It is a busy time of year for us and for families with school students,” manager Dean Watchorn said.
“Our dedicated staff is more than happy to help get families organised before they go back to school in first term.”
Leongatha Officesmart offers a wide range of school supplies from notebooks and stationery to organisers to help every student in the class.
“We supply students from Prep to Year 12 with any school books they require, so it really is the one stop shop for the whole family,” Mr Watchorn said.
“We accept any book lists and are happy to pack and supply school supplies for any orders. Parents and children can rest assured knowing we can take some of the stress out of heading back to school.”
Leongatha Officesmart stocks a range of calculators, dictionaries, pens, binders and lunchboxes to suit every student across the curriculum.
“We stock a wide range of school products that all students need. We have the essential exercise books and pens through to art supplies and visual diaries,” Mr Watchorn said.
Leongatha Officesmart also stocks a range of office furniture and accessories to build the perfect study space away from the classroom, with everything from the perfect desk to the most comfortable study chair available in store now.
“We work hard to stock office items for everybody, for all of their studies,” Mr Watchorn said.
“We employ locals and in return the local schools support us. We endeavour to meet the needs of both local students and businesses.”


The Star: Act now on water "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

IN the current dry conditions, Southern Rural Water is reminding farmers to talk to its staff about water options sooner rather than later.
“Most of our staff live and work in rural communities, and we understand the stresses of dry conditions at a very personal level,” general manager groundwater and rivers Craig Parker said.
“The most successful tactic in dry times is to not assume it will rain before your water runs out, and plan for low water supplies before it becomes inevitable.
“As water becomes scarce, services like carting water and building new dams or bores can become more expensive and contractors harder to get.
“Planning now may reduce the cost and lost of productivity in dry times.
“We are keen to help as much as we can and we would urge farmers to talk to us about short and long term options well before they run out of water.”
Mr Parker said one of the best options for many farmers in the short term was to consider water trading.
“We have a free online register, Watermatch, for anyone wishing to buy or sell water licences, and we are now actively encouraging those who are not using their water for the summer to consider either a temporary or permanent trade to those who need it,” he said.
“A temporary trade can just be for a single year and means you do not lose your water licence. A permanent trade can provide a good one-off income.
“If you have questions about trading water, one of our field or office staff would be more than happy to talk you through it.”
Staff can also help people find their nearest emergency water supply point.
Mr Parker reminded anyone looking at improving longer term water supply options, such as building new dams or bores, they need to discuss licensing requirements with Southern Rural Water first.
“Bore application licences are now available online for a much lower cost, and in most instances can be approved almost instantly if they are for stock...


The Star: Vealers standout in bigger yarding "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

There were approximately 2300 export and 700 young cattle penned, representing an increase of 1500 head week on week.
There was an almost full field of buyers present and operating in a solid market.
Quality was good in 1400 the steers and bullocks, however the young cattle were quite mixed with secondary and plainer cattle throughout.
Competition was solid for grown steers and bullocks, as well as the better end of the manufacturing steers.
Trade cattle sold mostly firm, with a few vealers selling at higher prices, while some plainer light weight young cattle struggled to attract competition.
Heavy weight vealers suited to butcher orders sold from 274c-309c/kg. Yearling trade steers made between 284-298c/kg.
Yearling heifers to the trade sold between 250c-289c/kg.
Grown steers, sold firm to 5c dearer, making from 272c-304c/kg. Bullocks sold from 280c-296c/kg. Heavy weight Friesian manufacturing steers made between 217c-244c, with the crossbred portion improving 3c mostly, and selling between 220c-287c/kg.
Most light and medium weight cows sold between 130c-189c, ranging from firm to 5c/kg easier. Heavy weight cows made mostly from 175c-235c/kg.
Heavy weight bulls sold mostly from 216c-264c, after a top of 287c, back 17-23c/kg. Light and medium weights slipped 30-40c, and ranged from 162c-210c/kg for most.


The Star: Field night to offer work saving tips "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

THE South Gippsland Sub Branch of Holstein Friesian Association of Australia is holding a field night on Friday (January 22) at the Clark family farm in Nerrena.
The field night will start at 7pm at the Densley Road property.
On the night, Dr Phil Hentschke will present a talk on how the type of animal equals profit for farm businesses and Terry Clark will talk about the SCR Heat Time 24 computer program.
The field night will also include and herd inspection, featuring Harklaje Goldwyn Debutante VG89 (Max) –ET, which won the three year old category in the recent Semex on farm challenge.
Attendees will also be treated to a free barbecue and drinks will be supplied.
Mr Clark said he has been using the Heat Time heat detection program since the start of his herd’s main mating period last July.
“It is not a guarantee for getting all the cows in calf, but it did find cows on heat we may not have picked up, so we submitted more cows for mating,” he said.
“We preg tested 80 cows and only had seven or eight that weren’t pregnant. We probably had more cows in calf early than what we would normally have.”
Mr Clark said by using Heat Time, which transmits information from a collar to the computer throughout the day, he no longer has to tail paint or heat detect manually.
He said if the program detects cows in heat, they are automatically drafted off after milking.
“The aim is for the program to help us improve the fertility in our herd and we no longer need to heat detect, tail paint and manually draft the cows in heat,” he said.
“We are getting a better result, while reducing the workload.”
The collars can store 24 hours of data and can be read from over one kilometre away.
“Over time, the program starts to learn more about each individual cow and can interpret her data more effectively,” Mr Clark said.



The Star: Team Heppell backs Dyson "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

FORMER Leongatha footballer Dyson Heppell is already preparing for a return to the Australian Football League (AFL) in 2017, after being suspended from playing his beloved game until November 13 this year.
He was among the 34 past and present Essendon Football Club players banned from playing during the 2016 season in the wake of the club’s controversial supplements program designed to improve players’ recovery and strength.
In 2012, Dyson and his teammates received banned substances, including Thymosin Beta-4, under the club’s supplements program run by sports scientist Stephen Dank, but club chairman Lindsay Tanner said the players had believed the supplements were legal.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency’s appeal against the Australian Football League Anti-Doping Tribunal’s decision of March 31, 2015.
The AFL’s tribunal had dismissed charges of breach of the AFL’s Anti-Doping Code brought by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), the national anti-doping organisation.
Dyson was anticipating his first season as the club’s vice-captain in 2016, but now faces a year away from the club and the game.
Of some consolation to the Heppell family is that Dyson’s younger brother Aaron, who last year played six games with Essendon’s Victorian Football League side, may now be recruited to the Bombers’ senior list, as Essendon will lose 12 current players due to suspension.
Dyson’s father Paul, a Leongatha builder, said while Dyson was devastated, Dyson would train with his suspended teammates and pursue other interests until he was eligible to return to professional football.
Nonetheless Paul said Dyson felt robbed of an opportunity to play as vice-captain.
“He was really looking forward to playing under (captain) Jobe Watson but hopefully that leadership role will still continue. Because the 12 players can’t play at the club, they have to stick together and will probab...


The Star: Another successful aquathon "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

THE 20th annual Cape Aquathon attracted 106 competitors from across the state for a 400m swim and 3.5km run at Cape Patterson Surf Beach on Sunday.
South Yarra’s Monty Frankish made the trip to Cape Paterson and won the men’s division with a time of 17 minutes and 59 seconds.
Proving to be a force to be reckoned with, Mr Frankish’s partner Alice Baquie won the woman’s division with a time of 19 minutes and 32 seconds.
Coordinator Nicole Cowley said overall the event was a major success.
“The whole day ran really smoothly and we received good reports from the competitors we spoke with,” she said.
“Alice ran a fantastic time and beat last year’s female division and we had a great turn out of swimmers and runners.”
The event, primarily organised by the Cape Paterson Surf Lifesaving Club and local residents, will continue to attract competitors for years to come.
“We would like to thank all of our volunteers who helped out on the day, particularly John Gilliland for coordinating the road marshals. He pulls local residents together to help out every year and always puts in a fantastic effort,” Ms Cowley said.
“Our nipper’s families, volunteers and terrific water safety group put in great work to ensure the aquathon was a success. Local businesses were also a great support and helped out with prizes too.”


The Star: The heat is on at the velodrome "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

AFTER several weeks’ Christmas break the track season was back in action on Friday night.
Conditions were pretty good with just a light breeze and going from mild to cool as the evening moved in.
In the warm up one lap time trial there were only Josh Wight and Felicity Waddell who posted new season personal bests. Gavin Slavin managed to finally have his first night of track racing and was moving well.
In the Senior one lap dash against the clock the quickest was Gavin at 32.61.
Oliver McLean was the quickest Junior at 35.61.
Oliver had raced the Christmas Carnivals at Bendigo, Shepparton and Wangaratta and won all his Under 15 races at the first two meets before finding the competition a bit stiffer at Wangaratta.
The Senior scratch race over eight laps saw Gavin Slavin claim the win from Kevin Feely and Dylan Adams.
In the Junior five lap scratch race it was Oliver just getting in front of Tom and Kaleb Jans.
The Juniors raced a one lap handicap and Felicity Waddell (40) won from Josh Wight (35) whilst Oliver (scr) dashed past for third place.
The two lap handicap race saw Kaleb Jan (55) chase down the leaders with a half lap to go and then hang on to the lead to win from Oliver(scr) and Tom Fitzgerald (30).
In the Senior two lap handicap it was a win for Dylan Adams (15) from Kev Feely (35) and Graham Jans (75).
The Seniors had a seven lap progressive points race and Dane Herbert went out hard early and picked up points on the first four laps.
At the end of the fifth lap Dylan Adams went past right on the line.
Dylan kept the momentum going and cleaned up the points on the remaining laps to take the race from Dane.
In the Seniors’ sprint, heat one saw Gavin take the win over Dylan.
Heat two it was Kevin Feely from Rob Waddell while in heat three Graham Jans beat Dane in a photo finish.
In heat four Bernadette won ahead of Wayne Tunks (Latrobe Valley).
In the J...


The Star: Tennis classic scores a hit "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

THE 16th Annual South Gippsland Junior and Open Classic tournament was held at the Leongatha Tennis Club on Wednesday, January 6 and Thursday 7 January.
The tournament was blessed with amazing weather and a great number of players; 78 individual entries from across Gippsland and Melbourne.
Play got underway at 8:30am on Monday on all 11 courts.
The sportsmanship, which was amazing, is a credit to the players, parents and coaches.
The Leongatha Tennis Club has done an amazing job having such a beautiful venue with its courts in perfect condition to host a big tournament with 10 and Under singles and doubles, 12 and Under singles, doubles and mixed, 14 and Under singles, doubles and mixed, 16 and Under singles, doubles and mixed and Open men’s and ladies’ singles.
The condition of the courts is a credit to John Bolge and further individual thanks must go to Warren Littlejohn, Frank Dekker, Gulia Joyce, Michael Grist for their valuable assistance where needed, Sally Pocklington and Sharelle Paul for running another sensational canteen and Neil Jerimiah at the Yarram Sports Store for supplying trophies.
This year’s tournament featured its biggest raffle ever with more than $300 in prizes.
Thank you to those who contributed prizes: Jeremy Warren, J.W. Refrigeration; Kathy Westaway, Knights of Leongatha; Darren Fox, Better Electrical Leongatha; and Adam Bright, Core ‘N Saw.
Well done to all winners of the raffle and thank you to everyone who purchased a ticked to raise funds for the club.


Echonetdaily: Man dies in police custody at Lismore "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

A police investigation has been launched into the death of a 23-year-old man in Lismore yesterday who was in police custody after allegedly acting irrationally in Bangalow.

The man died while being treated by medical staff at Lismore Hospital after he had been taken there by police for treatment around 11am yesterday.

A critical incident investigation to look at all circumstances surrounding the incident has been launched due to the man being in police custody.

No further details were available.

The post Man dies in police custody at Lismore appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Echonetdaily: Tweed whale carcass to be exhumed after shark concerns "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Locals at Casuarina beach surround the beached pilot whale. Photo Department of Primary Industries

Locals at Casuarina beach surround the beached pilot whale. Photo supplied

Luis Feliu

The carcass of a sperm whale buried near the dunes of a Tweed Coast beach after it washed up there last week is set to be exhumed and taken to a tip for disposal this week

following a community backlash over fears it would attract sharks to the area.

Authorities have come under fire for such burials in northern NSW, a region critics say is already notorious for shark attacks.

Last week, Echonetdaily reported that the 3.8-metre whale washed up on Casuarina Beach was buried nearby in dunes above the high-tide mark by local and state authorities, causing a stink with locals (see

The widespread media coverage that followed has forced Tweed Shire Council managers to exhume the carcass and truck it to a local tip, but council staff have been tight-lipped over the exhumation, as they were initially over the burial.

It’s believed council managers upset by the ‘hysterical’ reaction by media, have deemed it ‘prudent’ to wear the extra cost of digging it up and burying it again, and in a bid to avoid future negative publicity, plans to develop a plan on how to deal with any future whale deaths on local beaches.

The burial by council staff had the blessing of the NSW Department of Primary Industries which only a few months ago launched a $16-million five-year shark strategy to counter the sp...


Echonetdaily: Stallholders riled after Byron markets cancelled "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Byron Bay market is still on at Butler Street Reserve on the first and third Sunday. Photo contributed

Byron Bay market was cancelled last Sunday leaving stallholders out of pocket and unimpressed. Photo contributed

Hans Lovejoy

A last-minute cancellation by the Byron Market management for last Sunday’s market at the Butler Street Reserve has left stallholders upset, confused and without expected earnings.

At around 2.30pm on Saturday, a brief email to stallholders from manager Tess Cullen simply said, ‘Tomorrows [sic] Sunday Market has been cancelled. Cheers.’

Social media subsequently lit up, with market operators complaining about the short notice and the ‘unprofessional notification without any valid reason’.

However The Echo understands that around 100 stallholders cancelled out of approximately 350.

One market stallholder, who had been operating for 10 years, told The Echo that 100 missing stallholders should not have stopped it from proceeding.

They added that a cancellation is very rare and only in extreme weather conditions.

‘When they made the call to cancel, it wasn’t even raining. In the past, we’ve had to pack up to avoid hailstorms.

‘Given the impact to stallholders, why couldn’t they run a smaller market?

‘How much were the managers going to lose in revenue? It was also advertised on TV, which is paid for by our fees. It was a waste of money.

‘Though I don’t operate one, the most affected are the food stalls, who prepare in the days or night before.’

And Tane Allan from the Rainbow R...


Echonetdaily: Sydney Biennale comes to Lismore "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, one of many collaborators in Deborah Kelly’s exhibition No Human Being is Illegal (in all our glory). Photo supplied

Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, one of many collaborators in Deborah Kelly’s exhibition No Human Being is Illegal (in all our glory). Photo supplied

Lismore Regional Gallery is getting set to celebrate its final year in the Molesworth Street space that has been home for 61 years, ahead of its impending move to the Lismore Quadrangle next year.

Gallery director Brett Adlington says that, while the move has been long hoped for and highly anticipated, there is an air of nostalgia about the final exhibitions about to be mounted in the old space.

‘Given the huge year we have in front of us overseeing the new development, there have been a few minor changes to the program,’ he said, adding the gallery has, ‘again strived to [present] a diversity of projects.’

Kicking off this year’s crop of 10 exhibitions is one that was a highlight of the 2014 Sydney Biennale: Deborah Kelly’s No Human Being Is Illegal (in all our glory).

Kelly collaborated with some 70 people to create artworks consisting of photographic portraits enhanced by collage.

Author and art commentator Tania Leimbach describes Kelly as ‘both a sensitive and a politically staunch person.

‘She has been making art that upends comfortable notions of white Australia, unpacking gender and media representations and exploring elusive questions of community, for many years,’ Leimbach wrote in an article for The Conversation.

‘Deborah is first and fo...


Byron Bay Blog: Boomerang Festival Needs Your Help "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Boomerang Festival is in its final weeks of its crowd funding campaign and needs as much community support as possible.

Due to arts and Indigenous program funding cuts, Boomerang could not run as a stand-alone event after its successful debut in 2013.

In order to maintain momentum and build audience support for Boomerang, Bluesfest Byron Bay has created a precinct for a Boomerang program in 2016.

We are now running a crowd funding campaign to raise funds for the festival to run independently again on Bundjalung country.

The time is now to lead the imperative shift in the Australian narrative. Reconciliation is the responsibility of all Australians. So we are asking the progressive, forward thinking leaders and members of our community to support us in our mission to make the NSW Northern Rivers leaders in this positive ch...


Echonetdaily: New group aims to get transport moving in Tweed "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Tweed Public and Active Transport Group chairperson Alex Lewers.

Tweed Public and Active Transport Group chairperson Alex Lewers.

Cyclists, walkers and public transport users on the Tweed can look forward to some positive changes following the recent formation of the Tweed Public and Active Transport Group.

The group is looking at a broad range of transport issues including ways to improve connectivity of transport services, promoting the development of public, community and active transport, and identifying and supporting funding applications.

And these are not just armchair experts but people in the field who have the capacity to make changes to how transport happens in the shire.

According to chairperson Alex Lewers, the group brings together ‘people from across the transport sector and will enable holistic discussion around transport issues, possibilities and future directions for the Tweed area’.

‘We are very lucky to have such broad representation within this group,’ Mr Lewers said.

‘We have representatives from Transport for NSW, Tweed Shire Council, Tweed Byron and Ballina Community Transport, Surfside Buslines, Northern Rivers Social Development Council, and the Wollumbin Bicycle User Group. This allows our group to be very action orientated rather than just being another talk fest.’

Mr Lewers said one of the first actions of the group would be to hold a transport information day at the Tweed City Shopping Centre on Thursday February 4 to seek feedback from the community on the transport issues affecting them.

‘If you have a burning question about transport in your area, or...


Echonetdaily: Give up dairy week "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Allow me to share some facts that seem unlikely to be addressed during International Dairy Week.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of ‘bobby calves’ are born on dairy farms, only to be torn from their loving mothers within hours of birth.

Mother cows instantly bond with their babies and often frantically cry out for days after they are taken away. These calves are irreplaceable to their mothers but useless to the dairy industry, so they are sent to markets when they are less than a week old.

On some farms, which can’t make a profit from sending the animals away for sale and slaughter, calves are shot in the head.

Cows on dairy farms are artificially inseminated to ensure that they give birth every 13 months. When their bodies wear out and their milk production wanes, they also are sent to abattoirs, where they are shot in the head with a bolt gun, hung by one leg, have their throats cut and are skinned, gutted and dismembered, often while still conscious.

A cow’s natural lifespan can reach 20 years; cows on dairy farms rarely live longer than seven.

Humans don’t need to drink cows’ milk, and we’re healthier if we don’t. So why not mark International Dairy Week by going dairy-free?

Des Bellamy, PETA Australia, Byron Bay


The post Give up dairy week appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Echonetdaily: Mullett tossing all the rage "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Chris Hauritz, principal of the Ocean Shores Public School, tries his hand at mullet tossing. Photo contributed

Chris Hauritz, principal of the Ocean Shores Public School, tries his hand at mullet tossing. Photo contributed

The humble mullet is revered in some quarters for its flavour and in others for its ‘throwability’.

In the US a venerable tradition is the Flora-Bama Mullet Toss, where punters queue at a local beach to fling the fish across the Florida-Alabama state borderline.

Closer to home, the Ocean Shores Australia Day World Mullet Throwing Championship is also attracting international attention, with spokesperson Jill Spring expecting competitors from the UK and USA as well as tossers from closer to home.

Natasha Nozdrina of Ivanavo, Russia took home the women’s trophy in 2012 and will be following the results with interest.

Even Australia Day Ambassador mathematician and university lecturer Dr Clio Cresswell has been invited to try out her skill at mullet throwing.

But, locally at least, the slippery, scaly seafood icon has given way to a fantastic plastic version.

In fact the OS model mullets are made of industrial grade 12mm thick rubber and come in two sizes: senior 450 mm long and junior 300 mm.

‘The new model mullets are ready. A practice session was held last Saturday, and the distances achieved very credible. We don’t expect locals to give ground easily to out of town competitors,’ Ms Spring said.

‘To offset any perceived advantage, we are offering a practice session on Australia Day from 2pm, before the start o...


Echonetdaily: British MPs debate banning Trump "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Trump-deniedLondon AM [RAW]

British MPs have debated a petition to ban US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump from Britain over remarks on Muslims, but while describing his comments as ‘crazy’ and ‘offensive’, most said the ban would go against free speech.

They said Trump should be allowed into Britain where his views could be challenged, a ban would give him more publicity, or it was not for Britain to get involved in US affairs.

Trump caused outrage in December with his comments that Muslims should be banned from entering the US.

He spoke after 14 people died in a shooting spree in California by two Muslims whom the FBI said had been radicalised.

His comments prompted more than half a million Britons to sign a petition calling for him to be barred from entering the country, where he has business interests.

MPs from all sides criticised Trump’s comments during the three-hour debate.

While it was not followed by a vote, many more MPs spoke against a ban than for it.

“I want to see Donald Trump come to this country … I want him to get a sense of the fury and the frustration with his xenophobic remarks,” said Gavin Robinson, an MP from Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party.

Only interior minister Theresa May can issue an order banning entry into Britain, and Prime Minister David Cameron has said that while Trump’s comments were “divisive, unhelpful and wrong”, he does not back the idea of barring him.

Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said the government did not comment on who it was considering for exclusion but said “a frank and open exchange of views” was the most effective way to influence Trump....


Echonetdaily: Rich Aussies get richer as poor stay poor "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Gina Rinehart. (AAP)

Australia’s richest person, mining magnate Gina Rinehart is reportedly worth $18 billion, equalling the wealth held by the poorest 10 per cent of Aussies. (AAP)

Brisbane [AAP]

They make up just 10 per cent of the Australian population, but they’ve got more cash to splash than the rest of the country combined.

Meet Australia’s elite class of moneyed few, who are bringing the growing chasm between the haves and have-nots into sharp focus.

Oxfam’s latest report on wealth inequality says Australia is part of a global trend that is seeing more and more wealth held by fewer and fewer people.

It shows 10 per cent of Australians now hold more wealth than the other 90 per cent put together.

The divide is even more stark when you look at the extremes of the scale.

The richest one per cent of Australians are collectively wealthier than the poorest 60 per cent.

Oxfam Australia chief executive Helen Szoke warns the divide is accelerating.

‘When these figures were last reported in 2014, the richest one per cent owned about the same as the poorest 60 per cent. Now they own more than the poorest 60 per cent,’ she said.

The report said 62 mega-rich people across the globe now hold as much wealth as 3.6 billion of the world’s poorest.

Australia’s richest person was worth $18 billion, equalling the wealth held by the poorest 10 per cent of Aussies.

It didn’t name that person, but the 2015 BRW Rich List issued in May gave pole position to mining mag...


Echonetdaily: Calls for chiropractic board to be sacked "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Canberra [AAP]

The health regulatory agency has been criticised for not acting against the Chiropractic Board of Australia, which has been accused of failing to resolve hundreds of consumer complaints.

Ken Harvey, adjunct associate professor in the department of epidemiology and preventive medicine at Monash University, says the board should be reconstituted after failing to act on hundreds of complaints about chiropractors that wrongfully purport to treat illnesses and improve outcomes for pregnant women.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency which supports the board has also come under fire, with Dr Harvey insisting it too has failed to perform its function of protecting the public.

‘Both AHPRA and the board have got something to answer for,’ Dr Harvey told AAP.

‘The board needs to be reconstituted and AHPRA also needs some looking at to see why they’ve done nothing over all this time.’

Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia on Monday, Dr Harvey says the board has never published any determinations about the complaints it’s received and whether they breached the law.

It’s never named offenders, has never required the correction of serious misleading information and has failed to correct websites he’s complained about.

Despite chiropractors having the highest rate of advertising complaints of all practitioners, no penalties or disciplinary action appear to have been applied, Dr Harvey says.

The board had failed to protect the public from misleading and deceptive conduct, with many chiropractors making claims that aren’t supported by scientific evidence.

‘We can’t have a lot of confidence in the current board,’ Dr Harvey said.

‘It’s time something happened.’

While fatalities and serious injuries are rare, chiropractic isn’t completely safe, Dr Harvey says.

He is also concerned consumers ar...


Echonetdaily: Kuta police boss punished for bucks bribes "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Kuta's police chief Ida Bagus Dedy Januarta during a press conference in August. Ida Bagus Dedy Januarta and 20 of his officers are facing an internal . Photo

Kuta’s police chief Ida Bagus Dedy Januarta during a press conference in August. Ida Bagus Dedy Januarta and 20 of his officers are facing an internal . Photo

Jakarta [AAP]

The former chief of Kuta Police Station has been removed from active roles for one year for extorting a group of Australian men who ran into trouble on a Bali bucks night.

The Melbourne men were in a private room of a Seminyak restaurant with a stripper when security broke up their party.

Bali police began an internal affairs probe after claims published last June that officers had threatened the Australians with indecency charges if they didn’t cough up about $25,000 in bribes.

Former Kuta Police Chief Ida Bagus Dedy Januarta was found to have benefited from the scam in the decision handed down this month.

Bali Provincial Police spokesman Hery Wiyanto says he will not be given any jobs for one year.

‘He also must apologise to the Bali Provincial Police chief and up to the National Police Chief for tainting the image of the National Police,’ he said.

In August, the police chief had held a press conference where he told reporters, ‘there was no extortion’ and held up what he said was a signed statement to that effect from the Australians involved.

The head of the Kuta Police detective unit, Dewa Tagel Wijasa, a former officer in the detective unit, Ngurah Eka Wisada, and five o...


Echonetdaily: Palmer had means to save jobs: Lazarus "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Clive Palmer could have saved the jobs of his company's workers if he sold some of his assets, according to Senator Glenn Lazarus.

Clive Palmer could have saved the jobs of his company’s workers if he sold some of his assets, according to Senator Glenn Lazarus.

Brisbane [AAP]

Federal MP Clive Palmer could have saved the jobs of 237 Queensland workers if he wanted to, a former member of his party says.

Senator Glenn Lazarus was a member of the Palmer United Party when it received about $20 million in political donations from Mr Palmer’s Queensland Nickel business, which went into administration on Monday.

The now independent senator says Mr Palmer could have sold off some of his asset to save the troubled business, but didn’t.

Senator Lazarus said much of his time in the party was spent discussing Mr Palmer’s assets and business interests.

‘I would have thought that by him offloading some of that and creating some funds, he may have been able to save their jobs,’ he told ABC radio.

He said he didn’t know how the party spent the millions donated by Queensland Nickel.

Mr Palmer should now stump up his own funds to ensure affected workers are paid, the senator said.

Mr Palmer has blamed the redundancies at his Yabulu refinery on low nickel prices.

He did not front the media on Monday after news Queensland Nickel was going into voluntary administration.

But Queensland Nickel’s managing director Clive Mensink said he believed the company could trade its way out of trouble.

Meetings will be held...


North Coast Voices: Doogan Report recommends the Federal Coalition Government compensate nine Save the Children Australia workers for expulsion from its Nauru detention centre in 2014 "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

On 26 June 2015 Adj. Prof. Christopher M. Doogan submitted a report, Review Of Recommendation Nine From The Moss Review, to the Abbott Government  which stated at pages 22 and 23:

Given the Moss Report was submitted to the Abbott Government on 6 February 2014, the subsequent Doogan Report was conducted and concluded in a relatively timely fashion.

However, public knowledge of the text this report did not surface until almost seven months later on Friday 17 January 2016 when it was released by government with no ministerial comment.


Echonetdaily: Richest 62 people own half world’s wealth "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

London [EFE]

The growing world inequality has become even wider with only 62 richest people globally possessing wealth equal to what half the low-income population – around 3.6 billion people – in the world owns, Oxfam says.

The London-based humanitarian organisation called for urgent measures to tackle the ‘crisis of inequality’ in the report released for the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, in Switzerland.

Oxfam asked world leaders to take action against the wealthy benefiting from questionable tax arrangements, something that deprives governments in developing countries of millions of dollars every year that could be used to improve health care and education.

Oxfam added the gap between the rich and the poor has widened dramatically in the last 12 years.

It adds while the number of people living in extreme poverty declined between 1990 and 2010, the average annual income of 10 per cent of people with limited resources has increased less than three dollars per year in the last 25 years.

Oxfam believes measures against tax evasion should be part of the action to combat inequality, along with an increase in investment in public services and an increase in income of low income population.

‘It is simply unacceptable that the poorest half of the world population owns no more than a small group of the global super-rich – so few, you could fit them all in a single coach,’ said executive director of Oxfam in the United Kingdom, Mark Goldring.

‘In a world where one in nine people go to bed hungry every night we cannot afford to carry on giving the richest an ever bigger slice of the cake,’ he stressed.

According to Oxfam, the super-rich have some $US7.6 trillion ($A11.12 trillion) in offshore accounts.


The post Richest 62 people own half world&...


Echonetdaily: Ouch! How to treat ocean bites and stings "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Hot water is recommended by paramedics to soother those nasty bluebottle stings.

Hot water is recommended by paramedics to soothe those nasty bluebottle stings.

Sydney [AAP]

Everyone has their own way of treating jellyfish stings, from ice to vinegar to even urine.

But NSW Ambulance paramedics say the solution is much simpler – just add hot water.

Injuries caused by NSW marine life accounted for almost 180 paramedic visits in the period between September 2013 and January 2016, including 75 bluebottle stings and 12 jellyfish stings.

While best treated by rinsing the area and then placing it in hot water, Northern NSW Ambulance inspector Glen Eady said stings had to be monitored closely.

‘Blue bottle stings can induce a potential anaphylactic or severe reaction in some people, particularly if there is any immune compromise,’ Mr Eady said.

‘Basic first aid and life support measures should be applied where appropriate and triple zero (000) contacted.’

Stingray barbs accounted for 77 call-outs, while paramedics attended 12 shark attacks over the two year period.

How to treat bites and stings

* Bluebottle/jellyfish: Rinse affected area with seawater, place in hot water

* Stingray: Place in hot water, control bleeding, do not remove barb

* Blue-ringed octopus: Apply pressure immobilisation bandage

* Partially severed limb: Apply direct pressure, protect limb from contamination

* Severed limb: Keep severed limb dry, wrapped and cold, and then place in sealed plastic bag. Place bag into another bag filled with cool...


Echonetdaily: EU defends Israel labelling policy "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Mohammed al-Khatib trains at a track field at a high school in Ramallah, West Bank, The 25 years-old yoga and fitness instructor living in Ramallah, who is training for a chance to race in the prestige 100m and 200m sprint events at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. He recently raised through crowdfunding over $12,000 in a few days to go train in the U.S. where he will participate to races in order to qualify. (AAP Image/New Zulu/Eloise Bollack.

Mohammed al-Khatib trains at a track field at a high school in Ramallah, West Bank, The 25 years-old yoga and fitness instructor living in Ramallah, who is training for a chance to race in the prestige 100m and 200m sprint events at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. He recently raised through crowdfunding over $12,000 in a few days to go train in the U.S. where he will participate to races in order to qualify. (AAP Image/New Zulu/Eloise Bollack.

Brussels [RAW]

The European Union has reinforced its position that products made in Israeli settlements must be clearly labelled in Europe, despite growing tensions with Israel over the issue, but stressed the bloc opposes any boycott of the Jewish state.

EU foreign ministers on Monday said the guidelines on labels for farm and other products, which were unveiled in November and branded discriminatory by Israel, were there to explain EU law and did not mark a change in the European Union’s long-held opposition to Israeli settlements.

‘The EU and its member States are committed to ensure continued, full and effective implementation of existing EU legislation and bilateral arrangements applicable t......


Jims-Life-Log: These are a few of my favourite things "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Over the last weekend, which we extended to 4 days (including travel), I got to indulge in some of my favourite things:

  • Small towns
  • Mountainous / rugged scenery
  • Hiking

There is something about small towns that I find very appealing. Some have a slightly run-down look, they tend to be unpretentious, laid-back, life seems a little slower and gentler than in the large towns and cities, and they tend to be sorounded by some beautiful landscapes. Jindabyne, one of my favourite towns, is probably not exactly like that as it is a major tourist centre and gateway to Thredbo and Perisher and the southern half of the Kosciuszko National Park. But it small enough to be a relaxing place to visit, and is surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, in my opinion.

There is nothing quite like mountainous and rugged scenery to generate a sense of ‘wow’! And the area around Jindabyne has plenty of it, whether it’s rolling hills and farmland, rugged peaks and steep valleys, beautiful lakes and rivers. And what better way to see and explore those things than to hike some of it. So it was Rebecca, Eliana, and myself that set out for Jindabyne for the weekend to explore the region.

Before the sunlight of Sabbath peaked over the hills, while the girls slept in, I went for a walk along the Lake Jindabybe foreshore trying to get to a location where I could get some good photos of the sunrise over the lake. The foreshore has a good track from the town centre in both directions. After enjoying the sunrise, I headed back to the motel for some breakfast. By this time the girls were up.



Echonetdaily: Casino artist is painting the town "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Richmond Valley Mayor Ernie Bennett joins with Doubtful Creek artist Ty Heaven and wife Trish to launch Council’s first community mural project. Photo contributed

Richmond Valley Mayor Ernie Bennett joins with Doubtful Creek artist Ty Heaven and wife Trish to launch Council’s first community mural project. Photo contributed

Lismore has been doing it for years – transforming its formerly dangerous dark alleys into art-lovers’ laneways.

Now Casino is getting in on the act, with the council hoping that splashing some paint on the many blank walls around town will help to alleviate boredom, create visitor interest and reduce its stubbornly high crime rate.

Doubtful Creek-based artist Ty Heaven has begun a mural at the Casino Memorial Pool that Richmond Valley mayor Ernie Bennett hopes will become ‘a visually pleasing introduction to Casino’.

Mayor Bennett said the council has made a commitment to provide $25,000 annually to public art and, over time, residents and visitors alike would begin to see blank spaces changing to creative places.

And the splash of colour won’t just stop at the city limits.

‘It’s a long-term strategy which will see projects occurring throughout all towns and villages in our local government area,’ Cr Bennett said.

‘Council’s commitment to public art is to aid in fostering interest in our vibrant cultural lifestyles, respecting our heritage and welcoming tourism.’

Cr Bennett said first cab off the rank under the strategy was the turning of Casino’s water tower into an eye-catching icon, which had now become a welcoming beacon of li...

07:53 Bob Katter addresses the rally against 457 overseas visas "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

I marched in a rally to end fly-in fly-out mining and 457 overseas visas and to support our rural and regional communities. Local jobs for Australians means money spent in our local communities. Here is my speech on video:

Bob Katter



Echonetdaily: Cinema Review: The Revenant "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

the-revenant-leonardo-dicaprio-01Set in the icy high mountain wilderness of early nineteenth century America, the story, based on real events, tells of Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his determination to seek revenge for a murder committed by fellow fur-trapper John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). The through-line, however, concerns an old chief and his Pawnee braves tracking down the white men who have abducted the Indian’s daughter. This surely is intended as a homage to John Ford’s classic The Searchers (1956), only with Mexican director Alejandro G Iñárritu reversing the racial roles to accommodate a latter-day understanding of who the ‘savages’ were in the Wild West. It is an astonishing film of visceral beauty, confronting but never gratuitous violence and haunting animism, similar to Iñárritu’s previous Birdman for its focus on one man’s obsession, but abandoning the former’s wordiness in favour of action and raw physicality.

The opening sequence, in which the trappers for whom Glass is acting as guide are set upon by Indians, is riveting in its savagery, but it is then topped when he is attacked by a grizzly bear defending her cubs – the realism of the scene is stunning. Betrayed by Fitzgerald after the main party have headed for the nearest settlement, Glass is left to survive the bitterly cold, untamed environment with only the spirit of his dead Indian bride and mother of his son to sustain him – along with raw fish and buffalo innards.

The cinematography of Emmanuel Lubezki, who shot Birdman and is another Mexican, is nothing short of transcendent – rivers, snow-clad forests of towering conifers and craggy rock faces are every b.....


North Coast Voices: More signs Turnbull's political honeymoon is over? "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Roy Morgan Research, 13 January 2016:

Roy Morgan Research’s Business Confidence declined by a further 4.2 points in December (down 3.5% to 114.5), following on from the November decline of 0.6 points (down 0.5%). The combined drop of 4.8 points (down 4.0%) over the last two months is a likely indication that the initial burst of confidence following Malcolm Turnbull becoming Prime Minister is beginning to “cool off”, although it still  remains  11.6% above the level prior to his appointment.

These December figures are the results of 1,001 interviews with a cross section of businesses across Australia.

The level of Business Confidence in December is still positive for the economy but the last two months have seen a decline which now puts it below the five-year average (116.9) and is a sign that confidence is very fragile.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence finished the year on 115.4 (12-13th December), up margin...


North Coast Voices: So what's happening with the Fair Work Commission's penalty rate review? "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

By December 2015 the Fair Work Commission’s penalty rates review had generated five days of transcripts and received a large number of submissions from employer groups, unions representing employees and one federal Labor MP, Melissa Price.

This last hearing date in the penalty rates case is scheduled for 15 April 2016.

There will be a good many households in rural and regional Australia where those with paid employment receive penalty rates for working long and/or unsociable hours.

As the two industry groups being targeted are significant employers outside metropolitan areas, perhaps those living in the NSW Northern Rivers region should all be closely watching the Commission at work and the degree to which its final determinations align with the data to which it has access.

The Fair Work Commission in its ...

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Monday, 18 January



2) Abbott and Turnbull make Howard look compassionate



Noosa Community Radio 101.3FM: Blue Monday playlist "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

G’day, I’m Al Hensley, host of the blues/soul/R&B music program Blue Monday. Each week I post the program’s playlist so you can find out more about the new releases and historic tracks featured. To see what was played this week click here

The following tracks were played on Al Hensley’s “Blue Monday” on 18 January 2016
  1. D.J. GOSPER ‘Sadder Than Sad’ Blues Harp Women
  2. THE TEMPTATIONS ‘Ain’t Too Proud To Beg’ The Best Of The Temptations Volume 1 – The ’60s
  3. WILLIAM CLARKE ‘Looking To The Future’ Blowin’ Like Hell
  4. KEVIN SELFE ‘Staring Up At The Bottom’ Buy My Soul Back
  5. LUTHER ALLISON ‘Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is’ Soul Fixin’ Man
  6. SUGARCANE COLLINS ‘Hungry, Broke And Blue’ Going Back To Clarksdale
  7. LARA PRICE ‘Time’ I Mean Business
  8. ALBERT COLLINS & THE ICEBREAKERS ‘Broke’ Don’t Lose Your Cool
  9. JOHNNY HEARTSMAN ‘Walkin’ Blues’ The Touch
  10. MIGHTY MIKE SCHERMAN ‘Baby Don’t Stop’ Blues In Good Hands
  11. BLIND BOY FULLER ‘I’m A Rattlesnakin’ Daddy’ 1935-1938 Remastered
  12. BLIND BOY FULLER ‘Tom Cat Blues’ 1935-1938 Remastered
  13. KATIE WEBSTER ‘Fa Fa Fa Fa (Sad Song)’ The Swamp Boogie Queen
  14. JIMMY JOHNSON ‘When My First Wife Quit Me’ Bar Room Preacher
  15. ALLEN TOUSSAINT ‘Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky’ Toussaint: The Real Thing 1970-1975
  16. JONN DEL TORO RICHARDSON ‘Tall Pretty Baby’ Tengo Blues
  17. INA FORSMAN ‘Pretty Messed...


2RRR: Bad Boy’s Theme Train "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Wednesday 20th January

11pm – 12am Bad Boy’s Theme Train

This week the Bad Boys Theme Train presents SONGS RUMORED TO CONTAIN HIDDEN MESSAGES

I have just been in my loft and found an old Black Sabbath LP.

I seem to remember hidden messages in their early stuff if you played it backwards.

So I put in on an old deck spun it backwards and low and behold, the message was there.

‘Your album is now wrecked, please buy another copy’

TonightâŹ"s Event Invitation:

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All aboard!!


2RRR: Real World Gardener "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Wednesday 20th January

5 – 6pm Real World Gardener

If you like gardening, like our page For all show information visit


2RRR: Sonic Stew "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Monday 18th January

7 – 8pm Sonic Stew
The Stew takes a step back to 1995 to check out what was rocking in a post-grunge, brit-pop world.


transitionyarra: Eco-friendly “Great Wall of Australia” Naturally Protects Residents from Sweltering Outback Heat "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Composed of 230m of simple, natural materials, this earthen structure may look unassuming, yet it is actually the longest rammed earth wall in Australia. Built to accommodate cattle workers during mustering season in the scorching Western Australia outback, the eco-friendly formation represents a shift in the approach to architectural design of this sort. Built by Luigi Rosselli Architects and tucked into the edge of a sand dune, this “Great Wall of Australia” is a brilliant example of simple, eco-conscious design.

The wall is constructed primarily using iron-rich, sandy clay obtained from the building site and gravel from a nearby river, which are bound together using water from a local bore (hole). This ancient technique forms the exterior façade, that is then built into a sand dune which forms the rear and roof of the building. Simple in theory, this results in a structure that naturally stays cool, even in the intense heat of the outback. The continuous building contains twelve earth-covered apartments, separated by angled verandas to maintain privacy. Designer Sarah Foletta creates an interior space with a minimalistic yet liveable style, and a central hub on top of the wall provides a place for residents to meet and socialize.

It may seem decidedly elementary, yet this natural, energy-efficient approach towards housing development will save time, money, and resources. The design has been acknowledged by Australian Institute of Architects, and hopefully represents a shift towards similarly eco-friendly architecture in the future.


Sunshine Coast Birdlife Australia Blog: Bird Pics 2015 "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

The following photos have been lifted from our Facebook Page and all are pics from members taken in 2015.
This year the competition continues.....

Birdlife Sunshine Coast 2016, may be of interest to birders, naturalists etc here on the Sunshine Coast Qld. The description is as follows; Participants are encouraged to post pics of Sunshine Coast birds [taken in 2016 only] and title them with ONLY a number and the location. It is for other members to identify the bird species. Using this approach participants are encouraged to get as many ‘clicks’ for the year as possible [and folks will see as much of the Sunny Coast as possible]. Discussions on Bird Id hopefully will occur and members will also learn of new birding locales. Sunshine Coast extends from Rainbow Beach in the north to Bribie Island in the south and west to, say, Kilcoy.... Any arguments will result in me losing. Tthe emphasis is on quantity rather than quality! The winner will recieve nothing save the respect of the other members...
Check it out;


Plan to Win: Training for Activist Trainers "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Trainers and facilitators play a vital role in social movements – helping people to gain the clarity and skills they need to make change in the world.

Plan to Win is offering a 2.5 day train-the-trainer workshop for people keen to facilitate and educate in social movement contexts.

The workshop will focus on developing skills to run effective and engaging activist training sessions and be an entry into an ongoing network. It’s open to people who have experience both as activists (campaigners, organisers, community advocates, and all the many and varied kinds of activism) and with group process (facilitating meetings, decision making, training, team-building etc).

The workshop will be cofacilitated by Karrina Nolan and Holly Hammond. Holly and Karrina are committed change agents with extensive experience, complementary skills, and a fun and dynamic cofacilitation relationship. See below for more information about the trainers.

The 2.5 days will include:

Karrina Nolan (middle) presenting on Indigenous Campaigns and Solidarity at MCN, with Amelia Telford (right) and Clare Land (left).

Karrina Nolan (middle) presenting on Indigenous Campaigns and Solidarity at MCN, with Amelia Telford (right) and Clare Land (left).

  • sharing stories about activist training in many different contexts
  • exploring different approaches to education
  • exploring dynamics around power and diversity in groups
  • techniques for building the group to support learning
  • tips for designing empowering experiential workshops
  • facilitati...


Bellarine Bayside: 2016 Camper Survey link "IndyWatch Feed Geelong"

Camper Feedback Survey

If you did not get the chance to attend our Camper Connections sessions last week you still have the opportunity to fill in our feedback survey online.

One lucky respondent who provides their phone number has the chance to win a 2-night winter (off-peak) stay in a Deluxe cabin. The survey will close Tuesday 26 January and the prize will be drawn on Monday, 15 February 2016.

Camper Connection Survey Flyer 2016



Zedlines: #FreeTheNipple - and more 11am Zedlines: "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

Approximately 50 women have gathered in West End to bring the #freeTheNipple campaign to Brisbane. (Image Source: Flickr Creative Commons)


A group of around 50 women gathered in West End’s Orleigh Park on Sunday afternoon in an event aimed at desexualising the nipple.

Women, children, non-binary and transgender people of all ages joined the picnic to share their stories and create a safe space where they did not feel sexualised or shamed.

Created as an event on Facebook, the page drew aggression and criticism from some and calls for the event to be more inclusive, unintentionally highlighting the difference between gender and sex.


Zedlines: No tears over spilled milk - and more 10am Zedlines: "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

Despite a mass dumping of milk after the West Australian fires, two major milk processors in the state will pay farmers for their product. (Image source: Flickr Creative Commons)

Good things come in small packages:

Heart patients in Brisbane have trialled the world’s smallest pacemakers and have praised the technology as life-changing.

The new technology is only a fraction of the size of current pacemakers and requires less invasive surgery to implant.


Zedlines: Racist video game slammed - and more 9am Zedlines "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

A game seen to encourage the killing of Indigenous Australians has been slammed by consumers and pulled from Google Play and Itunes. (Image Source:

Queensland Nickel has gone into voluntary administration:

Queensland Nickel has gone into voluntary administration after controversy over Palmer United Party donations made by the company before the sacking of 237 workers on Friday.

After a request by the company for Queensland Labor Government to act as a guarantor to a $30 million loan was rejected, information emerged over the weekend that Clive Palmer’s Townsville refinery had donated $290,000 to his political party two weeks prior to the mass lay-offs.


Zedlines: Skewed approval processes slammed in the Gold Coast - and more 8am Zedlines "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

The Gold Coast is being slammed with claims the approval process for high rise buildings is skewed. (Image Source: Flickr Creative Commons)

Skewed approval processes slammed in the Gold Coast:

A former Gold Coast architect has alleged the approval process for high rises in the city has become skewed.

Philip Follent has questioned why an 88-storey tower was approved on the site of the former IIuka building at Surfers Paradise stating the gross floor area of the new tower would be 40 times the size of the land.


Ocean Grove Voice: Nick’s triple crown "IndyWatch Feed Geelong"


OCEAN Grove champion runner Nick Wightman will shift his focus to track for Olympic trials after he claimed a rare historic triple fun run crown on 15 January.
The star local powered home in 24 minutes flat in the 8km Bells Bash last Friday evening, which added to his Mountain to Surf and Rip to River Classic victories earlier this month.
“It had been frustrating not getting the win in the Mountain to Surf over the last couple of years, so it was good to get all three wins in the one year,” Wightman said.
Wightman, an engineer, will compete in the 1500m and 5km events at the National Championships and Olympic trials in March and April.
“Yes that is the main aim just on the track,” he said.
“I have qualified for the trials, so it is just about keeping fit here – it would be good if I came top 10, top five is my aim.”
LOCAL Ocean Grove runner James Dalton produced his first podium finish in the summer fun runs after coming third in 24.37 in the 8km Bells Bash.

The post Nick’s triple crown appeared first on Ocean Grove Voice.


Natural Newstead: Too trusting "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

Young birds tend to be much less wary than their wily and experienced parents. As a consequence the survival rate of nestlings and fledglings is rarely high.

These young Brown Treecreepers have been out of the nest for some time now, assuming almost adult-like plumage, the pale gape gives them away as juveniles. I spotted them feeding on a large, fallen log on Mia Mia Road last evening – two of the juveniles were inquisitive and came to investigate my ‘pishing’ calls as I stood quietly close by.


Juvenile Brown Treecreeper, Mia Mia Road, 17th January 2016.












With a lack of espresso available in Rajasthan, the northside of India, Jo Rittey discovers masala chai and investigates where she can get some spice in her life once back in Melbourne.

The post WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE | CHAI appeared first on The NORTHSIDER.


AWPA Sydney News: 1) A decade on, asylum-seekers’ struggle for West PapuaA decade on, asylum-seekers’ struggle for West Papua "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

2) Civil Resistance in West Papua
1) A decade on, asylum-seekers’ struggle for West PapuaA decade on, asylum-seekers’ struggle for West Papua

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Sunday, 17 January


political geometry: Non tax evaders "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Apple aus boss


old man rabbit


Bulga Milbrodale Progress Association: The Bulga Bugle 2 "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"


17 January, 2016, link to PDF document BulgaBugle2

Topics discussed in this issue:

Singleton Council

Saving Bulga was not a priority for Singleton Council
The case to defend Bulga was not sup-ported strongly by Singleton Council and by negotiating an early Voluntary Planning Agreement prior to the PAC decision, Council certainly undermined the case for Bulga and the environment.
The Voluntary Planning Agreement which they negotiated did not involve the people most impacted by an expansion, the residents of Bulga. Agreement was reached between Rio Tinto and Council to provide water and sewer, spending half the value of the $11,000,000 agreed under the VPA but without proper consultation with the residents. ‘Placemaking’ is not proper consultation when it comes to selecting projects and service for a VPA.

Water and Sewer no compensation

Why doesn’t the VPA clean roofs and tanks

VPA to finance other Council projects not impacted by Warkworth Expansion

Wallaby Scrub Road

The Underground Alternative

The future for Bulga

Future for the Hunter Valley

Breach of Bund Wall at Rio Tinto’s Warkworth Mine


Download and read all in BulgaBugle2  PDF document

(full link

The post The Bulga Bugle 2 appeared first on...


ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly: Cathar history, Cathar architecture "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

11th century records from the Roman Catholic Church described how Catholic theologians were debating amongst themselves whether Cathars were Christian heretics or whether they were not Christians at all.  As Dualists, Cathars believed in two principles, a good creator God and his evil adversary Satan. These Good Christians maintained a Church hierarchy and practised religious ceremonies, but rejected the idea of priesthood. Vegetarians, the Cathars led very ascetic lives, working for their living in itinerant manual trades like weaving. They were strict and literal about biblical injunctions.

In the Languedoc, known at the time for its high culture, tolerance and liberalism, the Cathar religion took root and bloomed during the C12th. By the early C13th Catharism was probably the majority religion in the area, supported by the nobility as well as commoners. This was yet another annoyance to the Roman Church which considered the feudal system to be divinely ordained as the Natural Order.

In open debates, the Cathars character­ised the Catholic Church as the Church of Wolves. On the other side, Catholics acc­us­ed Cathars of heresy and said they belonged to the Syn­agogue of Satan. The Cathars seemed to have come out on top and as a result, a number of theologic­al­ly literate Catholic priests become Cathar adherents. The Catholic Church and its richest bejewelled men were being ridiculed! Worst, Cathars declined to pay tithes to the Catholic Church.

As a result the Catholic side created striking propaganda and when the propaganda failed, there was only option left - the Albigensian Crusade. Pope Innocent III called a formal Crusade against the Cathars of the Languedoc, appointing a series of military leaders to head his Holy Army, including Simon de Monfort. This Languedoc Crusade continued for two generations. In time, the Kings of France took over as leaders of what had now become a "royal" crusade.......


Focus On Fauna: Freaking Phasmids, Batman "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

While cycling along a dirt road during the holidays we had to take evasive action to avoid running over what appeared to be a large green praying mantis crossing our path. Even though a post concerning a similar incident was published earlier last year, we decided to stop and get a photo, only to discover […]

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Saturday, 16 January


Edgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary: The domino effect "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"


The domino effect is best described as a chain reaction of events started from a single action. The time between these cumulative events is usually very small and shows a similar cause and effect (although often magnified). The expression is so named after the falling of strategically placed dominoes—you know, those small black tiles with little white dots. And the domino effect was certainly in place the day a little black and white goat found herself all alone and loveless in an inner Melbourne suburb. Setting off a chain reaction of kindness was the burly police officer who offered his outstretched hand and heart to the frightened creature. Although somewhat reluctantly accepting this gesture, the young kid was taken to a nearby veterinary clinic. She was handed over along with the words, “Can you please see if she can go to Edgar’s Mission?”


And the kindness continued as the vet nurse set about comforting the tiny waif with one hand while reaching for the phone with the other. Not long thereafter, our kindness van was seen heading out our front gate and southward bound. Returning some hours later with our new friend, Domino, the change reaction of kindness was almost complete. After a thorough veterinary examination, including standard parasite control and health checks, little Domino was introduced to three other baby goats who too had recently found sanctuary within our bounds. Whilst the cheeky Pee Wee had to be reminded that “our mission is kindness, and only friendly head butts are allowed”, Domino quickly recognised her own kind and her rehabilitation was underway.



All in the Name of Liberty: Ned Alphabet and other performers at the Record Crate "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Glen and Glenda 

14 January at the Record Crate.

Ned Alphabet

Michael and Paul from the Kitchen Gods


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Friday, 15 January


political geometry: The Breath of God "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Self-made Gargoyle George Osborne takes a break from his duties as treasurer of the Bullingdon Club to sniff the wind.


All in the Name of Liberty: Buzzbar interior "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

A fragmentary interior of Buzzbar cafe, where I'm currently having a show


Edgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary: Jasper the friendly goose "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"


At 15 years of age and blind in one eye, the chances of dear Jasper finding a forever home were sadly as scarce as the proverbial goose tooth! But Jasper is a friendly goose. His kindly human who could no longer care for him most certainly knew this, as this no doubt is the reason they were determined a happy outcome was somewhere out there to be found. Having outlived his previous feathered friends, Jasper looked a sad and lonely fellow when he first arrived at the sanctuary. Yes, geese can not only look sad but also feel sadness—once thought of as solely a human emotion. Thankfully, with the aid of Bendigo Goose, we were able to turn that frown upside down, as Jasper took to loving Bendigo like, wait for it, a goose to water!


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Wednesday, 13 January


All in the Name of Liberty: King St from the Martin Luther King mural "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

A little painting I started today, the first for the year, next, cars and people and bits of trees, and, oh, possibly a blue sky - pink's good underneath tho

Tuesday, 12 January


South Gippsland Sentinel-Times: Strong prices at first sale for 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

The Dowel family celebrated the start of the year with a good sale at Leongatha VLE on Thursday. There to watch the sale of their 84 steers were, from back left, Robert, Zak and Maddison. Front, Jaya, Vera, Natasha, Leesa, Harper and Bee. Bee was out visiting the family from Manchester, UK, and was delighted to spend part of her holiday at the saleyards on a good day for the family. D110216.

The Dowel family celebrated the start of the year with a good sale at Leongatha VLE on Thursday. There to watch the sale of their 84 steers were, from back left, Robert, Zak and Maddison. Front, Jaya, Vera, Natasha, Leesa, Harper and Bee. Bee was out visiting the family from Manchester, UK, and was delighted to spend part of her holiday at the saleyards on a good day for the family. D110216.

During the school holidays there are always lots of kids at the saleyards there to see the finished product of the family’s business. Klayton McGrath, Liam Meyer with uncle Brendan McGrath, were at the saleyards to watch ‘Pa’ buy some steers. D120216.

During the school holidays there are always lots of kids at the saleyards there to...

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