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Tuesday, 02 February

21:31

Echonetdaily: Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Working on Relaxing "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

relax

So I am about to go on a holiday. Hawaii. For a whole two weeks. I haven’t gone away for that long for 18 years. I have had a week here and there, but not two weeks.

There was a week in a caravan at Evans Head that was so exhausting it left me in hospital with cardiac arythimia. It was possibly the shock of losing my showering thongs. But this is two weeks away. Two whole weeks without working. It seems dangerous.

What do people do when they are not working? Generally when I am kicking back at home I like to clean stuff. Like cupboards. Or under beds. What do you do when you don’t have to do anything? The whole two weeks thing feels a bit over-indulgent.

The only time I haven’t worked for that long I have generally given birth, and I don’t think you can call that a holiday. Pushing a person out a 10cm exit isn’t called ‘labour’ for no reason.

I’m not complaining. I love what I do and I realise that what I do is not typical work. There’s no digging or bending or lifting. There is however a lot of swearing, like someone who digs or bends or lifts.

Standing up and talking about myself hardly seems like a slog, but its a lot more time consuming than you’d think. There’s a lot of me to talk about. And I have to keep thinking of new stuff.

It’s exhausting finding more and more things wrong with me. You’d think there would be a bottomless pit, but I just don’t have that much insight. If I did, I guess I wouldn’t have anything wrong with me.

So that’s the paradox of the creative process. It’s not all fun fun fun. There’s also a lot of drive drive driving. When I became a comedian I never thought it would involve SO much road time. I th...

19:31

Echonetdaily: Belongil resort opens "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Staff at Elements of Byron preparing for the arrival of the resort's first guests on Monday.

Staff at Elements of Byron preparing for the arrival of the resort’s first guests on Monday.

After almost six years of planning, design and development, the $100 million Elements of Byron resort opened its doors to the public on Monday.

The splashy opening was a lavish pool party for the Bay’s ‘A’ list, with champagne and a slap-up meal by executive chef Justin Dingle-Garciyya and his team.

There were also tours of the resort, a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony, horses, a helicopter, drummers and fire twirlers, musicians all evening and to end the night, a DJ with dancing aplenty.

Located at the end of Bayshore Drive, the resort currently contains 94 villas, with a further 96 being built in stage two, say management.

New restaurants

There are restaurants Graze, Drift Bar, Osprey Spa, Barefoot Bar and a kiosk.

As part of the resort, there is a gymnasium and a ‘state-of-the-art conference wing catering to 450 delegates.’

Management say that over the next few months a private beach club looking out over Belongil Beach will open.

Management say the design pays homage to the resort landscape, ‘which encompasses almost two kilometres of bea...

19:17

Echonetdaily: Stone and Wood wins Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beer poll "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Voted Best Craft Beer - Stone & Wood's Pacific Ale.

Voted Best Craft Beer – Stone & Wood’s Pacific Ale.

Locally based Stone & Wood Brewing have won the Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beer poll, an annual contest with drinkers voting on their top five beers.

Jasmin Daly from Stone & Wood Brewing said, ‘We are so stoked and humbled to have our Pacific Ale grab the top spot for 2015 and if it wasn’t for the support of our local community this wouldn’t have been possible

‘For us, we just want to brew good beer and we’re so lucky to have a passionate team that come to work everyone day inspired to make this happen. This recognition is a tribute to our team and a reflection of the incredible community we are lucky to be surrounded by.

‘Our Pacific Ale is inspired by our home on the edge of the Pacific Ocean and brewed using all Australian barley, wheat and Galaxy hops.’

The poll is put on by The Local Taphouse, Crafty Pint and Brewsnews.

The post Stone and Wood wins Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beer poll appeared first on Echonetdaily.

16:27

Common Ground North Coast: Double Barrel "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

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‘Double Barrel’ is one chapter of a global story. In places like Bali, Fiji, South Africa, even around our own coast, we are seeing the destructive force of development and greed. But, in just the same way, the project and the sustainable redevelopment of Lobitos will pave the way for similar projects around the world. Harold envisages an eco surf community, bringing income back to the struggling town. The Lobitos Project will set the benchmark, bringing acute environmental awareness to the community, including waste management systems, solar energy and, most importantly, an education in sustainability to the local area.

Straight off its global launch in Peru, Double Barrel Film is ready for a line up of worldwide premieres including the prestigious Santa Barbara International Film Festival in the USA.

Double Barrel is a travel and surf documentary that follows Australian journalist Angie Davis and Peruvian surf guide Harold Koechlin to northern Peru. Passionate about surfing and the environment, these like-minded friends share the story of the oil-dominated town Lobitos, with a goal to unite local and international surfing communities to protect the coastline that fringes the region. A story about travel, friendship, the ocean, and change, Double Barrel inspires us all to travel with a conscience and follow our dreams.

Double Barrel will screen its USA premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival as part of a special documentary segment ‘Surfing South America’, alongside Chris Malloy’s ‘The Fisherman’s Son’, and Frank Sun’s ‘Thank You, Surf Again’.

World Premiere Dates:

February 4th, Fiesta Theatre 1, 10pm, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, USA
February 7th, Lobero Theatre, 11am, Santa Barbara Interna......

16:00

Echonetdaily: Fine dining pop-up "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

If you have a nice wine in your cellar, a partner who likes seafood, and you’re looking for a very different, top-quality dining experience, I have a good idea for you.

Joseph Griffin and Alexander Bonar, chef and sous chef for five years at Harvest, have combined to create a special monthly seafood event under the grapevines overlooking the Bay at Victoria’s at Ewingsdale.

With its protected situation, Tuscan aesthetic, whitewashed walls and view of Julian Rocks, Joe says it’s the nicest outdoor dining area in the Bay, and after lunch is finished you can stay for bocce or croquet.

Joe works with Bay Seafood and a range of local growers, so he can select the seafood and write the menu for the event the day before. With a maximum of forty guests, he has the luxury of being able to plan in advance to meet the dietary needs of each guest, even vegetarians.

The beautiful setting and limited numbers, away from the monetary and business environment of a restaurant, ‘allows me to concentrate solely on the food and the regional produce and show what we’re capable of’, he says.

‘It’s an outlet for us. Some of our guests have incredible cellars and they appreciate the chance to enjoy their wines in the right setting. We select appropriate glasses and serve your wine, so it’s a pop-up with a more formal style of service. There are no share plates, all the food is individually plated, and a lot of energy goes into creating the very special menus for you.’

The ‘Joe Chef’ team cure their own tuna, prepare their own special anchovies and even produce a special butter lightly flavoured with sea urchin. ‘Used subtly, in the right context, the results can be very special,’ says Joe. ‘Our staff find......

15:34

Common Ground North Coast: People to know – Rhoda Roberts "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Rhoda RobertsRhoda Roberts is one of the most inspirational women I am lucky enough to have met.

A creative powerhouse, Rhoda grew up in Lismore and attended Richmond River High and Lismore Heights Primary. With her family, as a teenager, she spent a few years in Sydney where she attended Canterbury Girls School. Her father was so homesick off country they returned back to their family home. Rhoda is a 2,000 generation Widjabul woman from the Bundjalung nation.

Along with her partner Steven Field,  she has three children Emily, Jack and Sarah. Rhoda was married for ten years to the late Bill Hunter who passed away with cancer.

Rhoda is one of four children; two brothers and a twin sister, although they were a household of children with Rhoda’s parents raising many cousin as an extended family.

Rhoda’s eldest child Emily is her twin sister’s biological daughter, although she has raised her from birth. Her sister was a hairdresser and had a massive car accident near Casino in the mid 70’s; she received severe brain damage when they were just 20 years old. When they were  40 she went missing. Her murder has not been solved as yet. Her body was discovered in the Whian Whian state forest close to their custodial lands of Nimbin six months after she went missing.

Rhoda graduated in the late 70’s as a registered Nurse and after being the resident nurse on Hayman Island she traveled to London to do another certificate in Accident and Emergency in the early 80’s at Westminster. She spent most of the 80’s travelling the world, volunteering and working in India on her way back. On returning she studied a diploma in the performing arts and was a co- founder of the successful Aboriginal National Theater Trust in the Late 80’s/early 90’s,  which also produced the First, Second...

14:06

cairnsnews.org: Islamic ignorance shown by Turnbull on the socialist talkfest on ABC "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

Prime MinisterTurnbull’s flawed knowledge of Islam from Q & A SEPTEMBER 16, 2015

To refresh your minds, we have re-published this post from last December.

 

from Gil May

Turnbull:

Islam is an ancient religion of great scholarship

Islam is not an ancient (belonging to the very distant past) religion it is a recent invention 1400 year ago.

PM Malcolm Turnbull airing his valuable knowledge about Islam

Turnbull:

For heavens sake, Much of Our learning and culture came to us from the Moslems our whole system of numbers

The most commonly used system of numerals is the Hindu-Arabic numeral system.

Two Indian Mathematicians are credited with developing it.

The numeral system and zero concept developed by the Hindus in India, slowly spread to other surrounding countries due to their commercial and military activities with India, Arabs adopted and modified it, they did not invent it.

Before the rise of the Arab Empire, the Hindu–Arabic numeral system was already moving West and was mentioned in Syria in 662 AD by the Nestorian scholar...

12:32

The Star: Safety boost for show "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

JUDGING by the crowds, this year’s Bass Coast Agricultural Show was one of the biggest and best yet.

It was also the safest, thanks to some much needed electrical safety upgrades carried out by Bass Coast Shire Council.

In the busy time leading up to this year’s show, members of the Bass Coast Agricultural Show Society worked closely with council’s infrastructure planning officers and local electrical contractor Alan Holford to plan and design the layout for new in ground electrical bollards.

The bollards and additional electrical safety boards have been strategically placed throughout the Wonthaggi Recreation Reserve to provide safe access to the many exhibits and amusements that were at this year’s show.

The new infrastructure minimises the need to run power leads across long distances from remote power boards to locations needed.

Society president Wayne Loughran was delighted with the support shown by council.

“Installation of the new power bollard just allows us to manage the risk so much better to ensure all show attendees, workers, volunteers, and the general public is as safe from electrical hazards as we can make it,” she said.

“The local agricultural society will also seek state body funding under the annual safety grants program to continue this excellent initiative of council to install additional bollards before next season show.”

Mayor Cr Jordan Crugnale said council was pleased to be able to work with the show society to improve safety.

“Other than being a much needed safety upgrade, the outcome was a great example of council working with local volunteers to achieve great community outcomes,” Cr Crugnale said.

The cost of the works was around $20,000 and was funded as part of council’s building renewal program.

The power bollards will be available to support the safety operations of any community events held at the Wonthaggi Recreation Reserve, including the Wonthaggi Power...

12:29

The Star: Wonthaggi pays tribute to volunteers "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

 

THE Rotary Club of Wonthaggi commemorated citizens who have served the Bass Coast community, at Wonthaggi’s Australia Day celebration.

Citizens of the Year were Eric and Nola Thorpe, while Community Service awards were presented to Gwen and Ron Wiggins, and Diane and Alistair Stirton.

Foons Photographics, Wonthaggi, received the Business Excellence Award and Craig Marinus was honoured with the Community Arts Award.

The event was held at the Wonthaggi Union Community Arts Centre on Australia Day, with Australian songs performed superbly by Tom Green.

Rotary Club president Heather Earle said Australia’s greatest asset was its people.

“So it is very fitting that on this day of great celebration and enjoyment that we should take the time to acknowledge and thank those many people and organisations within our community who have contributed so well in making a real difference to the lives of others and to make this an even better community in which to live,” she said.

Guest speaker Margaret Ritchie, from the Wonthaggi Genealogy Group, spoke of her family link with the First Fleet and the challenges those men and women faced during the early settlement of the country.

Top citizens Eric and Nola Thorpe have served the community in many roles.

Mr Thorpe has been a member of Wonthaggi Woodcrafters for 24 years and is one of five life members. He and fellow woodcrafters have supported many individuals and community groups, including the Rotary Club of Wonthaggi.

Mrs Thorpe volunteers at the Wonthaggi Library and was among the members to push for a new library. She is a member of the West Gippsland Regional Library Corporation’s Community Advisory Committee and a member of the Fine Film Centre.

Mrs Thorpe is a founding member of Bass Coast Chorale, a member of the Committee for Birdlife Bass Coast and enjoys bird watching.

She serves the Wonthaggi Historical Society for two days a week......

12:24

Echonetdaily: Homelessness a national problem that needs local solutions "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

I agree with Nicki Yazdi (Byron youth homelessness not a ‘gypsy lifestyle’) when she says there is little to romanticise about for those experiencing homelessness in Byron Bay.

Homelessness is often a result of a number of complex issues, which are easily misunderstood. The stigma attached to being identified as ‘homeless people’ or ‘the homeless’ only serves to compound the problems faced by those experiencing homelessness.

Homelessness is an experience, often short-term and not a life sentence. Recognising this, and that the person comes before the situation needs to be part of any solutions.

The closure of The Cottage has only made it harder for rough sleepers in Byron BAy and the Byron Community Centre bears witness daily to the plight of people unfortunate enough to find themselves experiencing homelessness.

Homelessness has many forms, and rough sleepers make up only a small proportion of Byron’s total homeless population. The ‘hidden homeless’ are sleeping in cars or on a friend’s couch not really knowing where they will be staying from one night to the next.

Many of us are just three bad decisions away from experiencing homelessness. Indeed, in Byron Bay the social fabric that protects us from this experience – family, social inclusion, affordable housing and access to social services – can be thin on the ground for many, making it easier for people to fall through the cracks.

Food lifeline services such as Liberation Larder and the Homeless Breakfast are experiencing ever-increasing demand and feed around 300 people every week in Byron Bay. Frozen meals, swags and personal care items are handed out daily over the counter of the Community Centre. Last year we serviced over 1,200 people through the BCC Support Service. The need is great and as government funding dries up it fa...

12:20

The Star: Leongatha Preps fit in "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

NEW Prep students at Leongatha Primary School settled into their new classrooms immediately when they started on Thursday.

Prep coordinator Dot Coglan said the year level of 92 students had a number of transition days to help them start school.

“The preps already had three transition days so their first morning was a breeze,” Ms Coglan said.

“There were no tears and everyone was really happy.”

Principal Rob Higgins said the relocation of the administration building was a success.

“Our office is now adjoining the Leongatha Secondary College office,” Mr Higgins said.

“It brings us back all into one area rather than us being isolated as we were. While we are two separate schools, we do want to offer a smooth journey from Prep to Year 12.

“The students are now interacting more with secondary school teachers and it should make the transition more comfortable for our students going into high school.”

Leongatha Primary School will this year focus on literacy, in particular reading, with every individual student encouraged to read for fun and purpose.

Students across the school will also be exploring new ways of learning this year through a new partnership with Adobe.

“Leongatha Primary School is representing Victoria with the Adobe iEarn program where students in Grade Six will be collaborating on a water resources project with other students from across the globe,” Mr Higgins said.

The project harnesses new technology for students to communicate and conduct research with schools in Tunisia, USA, Taiwan, Iran and Uganda. The project will run for the first two terms and will collaborate into wider research which will be given to the United Nations and Foreign Affairs.

“It is an amazing opportunity for our students to communicate and compare perspectives with students overseas. There are many wonderful projects being done with Adobe and we look forward to seeing what it brings,” Mr Higgins...

12:19

cairnsnews.org: Is it time for the Republic of Australia? "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

By Don Aitkin

Australia Day produced a small flurry of republican sentiment, with the Prime Minister and all the Premiers and Chief Ministers save one (Colin Barnett in WA) agreeing that it was time for us to think seriously about the coming Republic of Australia. I thought about it seriously for thirty seconds or so. I don’t think it’s likely to happen in my lifetime, not a great deal of which is probably left. So it is a matter that I can leave cheerfully to the good sense of the Australian people, at the time of their choosing. I suppose I would care if the style were changed to ‘Republic’ rather than ‘Commonwealth’.  I do think that others should care a great deal about what it would mean in practice — or more precisely, about the possible evils that would be involved in redesigning something that has worked very well for more than a century. I see no reason to change it.

I am no monarchist, but (unfashionably) I don’t think you have to be a monarchist to recognise that the system we have is alive, and functioning well. In what sense would a change improve us? You can hear people say that it’s just odd that in this day and age, with Australia being ‘smart’, and ‘modern’ (I am using the words of a panellist on a morning TV program) it needs to cling on to some blue-bloods in England when we could have our own head of state. The trouble with that is that we do have our own head of state. He (she) is Australian, is called the Governor-General, and is appointed by the Queen (the ‘sovereign’) on the advice of the Australian Government led by the Prime Minister. That first happened a long time ago, in the appointment of Sir Isaac Isaacs in 1931. It seems to me than many of those who trumpet about the need for a republic have very little idea of how Australian politics and government actually work.

It seems to me also, perhaps selfishly as well as unfashionably, that we do very well out of the Queen. We are not called upon to support th...

12:15

The Star: Leongatha remembers "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

A NEW honour roll paying tribute to soldiers who served in World War One was opened in Leongatha on Sunday.

The Place of Reflection was unveiled at the Leongatha Recreation Reserve, in a rotunda near the Avenue of Honour.

The Place of Reflection is a significant landmark for Leongatha’s rich history and the unveiling coincided with the centenary of Anzac.

A federal grant secured the memorial in a place away from the town’s hustle and bustle, where visitors can sit in peace and reflect on the past. 

Significant research by Leongatha Historical Society’s Lyn Skillern and Leongatha RSL’s Ricky McNaugton contributed 100 more names of local war heroes to the memorial.

Guests of honour on the day were Victorian RSL president Major General David McLachlan AO, Eastern Region MLC Melina Bath, McMillan MP Russell Broadbent, South Gippsland Shire Council mayor Cr Bob Newton and Cr Nigel Hutchinson-Brooks, who was the MC during the ceremony. 

The unveiling ceremony was accompanied by music by the South Gippsland Shire Brass Band.

“This is a special day for us, but it is also sad to remember those who died for our benefit so long ago, and to remember how the community was sadly affected by every death,” Mr Broadbent said.

“To those who worked on this project, thank you. Lyn Skillern is a wonderful historian and the painstaking research she and Ricky McNaughton contributed deserves due credit.”

Mr McLachlan said the area signified a place of respect for the men and women who sacrificed themselves at war.

“Australia is still a young country but it remains a country where everyone is free to choose their future,” he said.

“This place is aptly named to reflect on the past and is a place to bring your children and grandchildren to learn about the futility of war.

“The local Avenue of Honour gives a personal ambience and it’s here you can have a moment of peace to remember those who served our natio...

12:08

The Star: Don’t miss Circus Royale "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

CIRCUS Royale will be in Leongatha and Wonthaggi this week, promising shows to remember.

The circus features international acts at Leongatha Recreation Reserve on February 2 and 3, and at Wonthaggi Recreation Reserve on February 5, 6 and 7.

With 20 elite athletes and performers, Circus Royale brings together a combination of acrobatics, comedy and death-defying stunts in a show that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Motorcycles, fire-juggling acrobats, extraordinary circus youth and brilliant illusions are all part of the 45th anniversary offering at Australia’s famous Circus Royale.

Throughout the two hour show, Pancholin the Chilean Clown will keep circus-goers of all ages entertained with his comic antics.

Be prepared to experience nail-biting, white-knuckle thrills in the world famous Globe of Death act. This most dangerous circus act with heart-stopping motorbike stunts will appear in every Gippsland performance by this 45 year old circus, returning after an absence of two years.

The steel Globe of Death is four metres wide. Motorbikes are manoeuvred around the cage at speeds of up to 80km/h. Mexican siblings Brandon, Geraldine and Hugo Fernandez will risk their lives in the Globe of Death to put on a great show, and are visiting Gippsland centres for their first time as part of a proposed two year stay in Australia.

Circus owner Damian Syred said, “This is real old-fashioned traditional circus, the way it was from our childhood. It’s big, exciting and wonderful family entertainment.”

There are evening shows in Leongatha and evening and matinee shows in Wonthaggi. A full list of performances times is available at www.circusroyale.com.au

Tickets are available online at www.circusroyale.com or by phoning 0410 669 253 and paying on arrival.

Children’s tickets are from $15 each and adults from $25 each.

Get there early for a good seat as poles in the big top can obstruct viewing.....

12:04

The Star: Council lays down law "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

HOLIDAYMAKERS at the Yanakie and Long Jetty caravan parks will soon be subjected to further action by South Gippsland Shire Council if their caravans are not brought up to standard.

Council expects annual site-holders to be compliant by the end of March.

Council CEO Tim Tamlin told The Star site-holders at the Yanakie and Long Jetty caravan parks had been informed.

“Council will also be sending final reminder notices for 2015-16 permits to be signed and returned shortly,” he said.

“In both cases council will take further action if site-holders don’t respond to requests within the timeframes outlined.”

Damien Lindau is an annual permit-holder and chairperson for the committee representing Yanakie and Long Jetty caravan park annual site-holders.

He said current legal action may alter council’s timeframes.

“We are in negotiation with council’s solicitors to set a mediation date, which was originally set for early December,” he said.

“Our solicitor hopes it will be as soon as possible, to get a positive outcome for both parties.”

Mr Lindau said council had previously stated it had no intention of kicking annuals out of the parks.

“However, council is making it so hard for annuals to comply they are leaving on their own. The conditions are ridiculously expensive and difficult,” he said.

“These are retired caravans, the majority with annexes attached and draw bars removed. Some of us are looking at up to $15,000 to become compliant,” he said.

Mr Lindau said annuals at both caravan parks were proactively engaged with the council to try to negotiate a more mutually beneficial set of permit conditions and fees.

“Unfortunately early in our discussions with the council they made it very clear they were not willing to negotiate on the key issues of fees and compliance,” he said.

“In an email sent in September 2014 to the committee representing the annuals, acting CEO An...

11:59

The Star: New faces lead Salvos "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

GLENN and Kerry Smith moved from Launceston to take up the role of Leongatha’s Salvation Army Corps officers last month.

“We worked for three years as officers at the Kings Meadows Corps but we have worked with the Salvation Army our entire lives,” Mr Smith said.

The couple moved to Leongatha on January 12 and have settled into their new home with two year old son, Malachi.

“Leongatha is a very friendly town. There is a real sense of community connectedness,” Mrs Smith said.

While the Kings Meadows centre ran smaller operations, the Smiths have risen to the challenge in overseeing a number of services at Leongatha.

“It has been a learning curve for us so far,” Mrs Smith said.

“We offer services in emergency relief, case management, financial counselling, positive lifestyle programs and the Mainly Music program, which will recommence this week.”

Between operating the Leongatha Corps, Mr and Mrs Smith serve as chaplains for Salvocare Eastern.

“We also have Sunday church services and our cafe operates Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9.30 until 11.30,” Mr Smith said.

The Salvation Army has also changed the way it approaches its clients in the community.

“We have implemented the doorways model where clients can come to us through a number of avenues,” Mrs Smith said.

“They can come to us through the church, through the cafe or through one of our workshops.”

Mr Smith added, “We have also focused on solutions which help clients to overcome the underlying problems in their lives rather than just offering immediate bandaid solutions.

“We want to implement changes that will help people in the long term.”

11:53

The Star: Paramedic hero recognised "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

DON Gillies has dedicated his life to helping others, both in saving lives as a paramedic and advocating for the welfare of his colleagues.

After 34 years of advocating for the mental and physical welfare of those in emergency services, the Outtrim man was awarded the Ambulance Service Medal within the Australia Day Honours list.

“I was stunned, thrilled and embarrassed when I found out,” Mr Gillies said.

“When I received my letter congratulating me on the award, I thought it could have potentially been a mistake.”

Mr Gillies has remained modest despite having achieved tremendous success in his career. He became a paramedic at 22 when he transferred to the Metropolitan Ambulance Service from the police force following an incident which made him question his career choice.

“I was at a crossroads after I had been involved in firearm incident which left me troubled so I decided to leave,” he said.

“Emergency services have always had extra pressure, but you could not show weakness. The moment you showed weakness, you got torn to shreds and that has never sat well with me.”

Ambulance Victoria employees have the highest suicide rates per capita in the state. Following a number of colleagues’ suicides, Mr Gillies was adamant to make a difference.

“I knew we had to do something. I did not want to go to another friend’s funeral,” he said.

Sporting long hair and a beard, Mr Gillies did a Shave to Remember, raising money and awareness for mental health organisation Beyond Blue.

Footage of the shave was released on Youtube with Mr Gillies speaking about the importance of mental health advocacy within the field.

“A young paramedic came to me and told me he was considering how he planned to kill himself, and after having watched the video he chose to seek help and speak up,” Mr Gillies said.

“I told myself that if this saves one life then it has all been worth it, and it has. That is worth more...

11:50

The Star: Firing up for CFA "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

SOUTH Gippsland fire stations have been denied upgrades from the State Government in the latest roll out of regional funding.

Gippsland South MLA Danny O’Brien said he wrote to the Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett seeking funding for critically unmaintained stations at Mirboo North, Foster and Yarram.

“The response that I have now received from the minister gave no indication that Melbourne Labor is going to make any funding available to undertake these important capital upgrades,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This is in stark contrast to the former Coalition Government’s commitment which built new fire stations throughout the electorate including those at Rosedale, Wurruk, Kongwak, Poowong, Koonwarra and Carrajung.

“The minister’s answer said that Melbourne Labor is committed to providing a safe environment for firefighters, yet fails to allocate money for this to occur.”

Mr O’Brien visited the three stations and found there to be inadequate room for firefighters to be working and operating fire trucks and machinery.

“I have spoken to the excellent volunteers at Mirboo North, Yarram and Foster, as well as many other stations around the electorate, and I know how hard they work and the hours they put in to protect our communities,” he said.

“It’s not unreasonable for them to want modernised fire stations which at the very least are capable of adequately housing their fire trucks, which at the moment is barely the case.”

11:47

The Star: Premier heartens surf club "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

CAPE Paterson Surf Life Saving Club is closer to receiving funding for a new clubhouse after Premier Daniel Andrews visited the dilapidated on Friday afternoon.

Mr Andrews promised the club government architects, who will work pro bono, will assist the club with future upgrades.

“The architects will help us draw new plans. They’ve worked with other surf life saving clubs in the past so they will be coming to us with expertise,” Cape Paterson Surf Life Saving Club president Chelsea Bowman said.

“It was great the Premier was able to see the state of the clubhouse and it was a positive day for us.”

With cracks and asbestos in the walls, the clubhouse is close to being classed as condemned and the club has also outgrown the facility.

There are now 420 surf club members in Cape Paterson and there is no longer enough room for members. Minimal storage space means equipment has to be kept elsewhere.

The concrete near the clubhouse is deteriorating and visitors are in danger of slipping over in wet conditions.

“Our beach is the same as Venus Bay and Woolamai in terms of danger and we don’t have the facility to cope,” Cape Paterson Surf Life Saving Club vice president Dean Manns said.

Although Mr Andrews did not specify any funding promises, the club is hopeful the visit would encourage him to support construction of a new clubhouse in the future.

“Life Saving Victoria has been applying for funding for many surf clubs and we ranked high for upgrades required,” Ms Bowman said.

Mr Andrews acknowledged the building was not fit for the club.

Ms Bowman anticipated the club would arrange to meet with the government architects in the coming months.

The Premier also took the time to tour Archiblox, a Wonthaggi building company.

He then took part in a round table discussion organised by Bass Coast Shire Council mayor Cr Jordan Crugnale and also attended by deputy mayor Cr Bradley Drew, counci...

11:44

Echonetdaily: Bruns locals say toilets, roads the priority, not main-street upgrade "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

tweedstreet22Luis Feliu

Brunswick Heads residents have called on Byron Shire Council to re-allocate the funding for a controversial upgrade of the town’s main street to other more urgent works, such as improving public toilets some say are ‘embarrassing’ and in ‘third-world’ condition.

A meeting last night to debate council’s Tweed Street Master Plan, aimed at making the former highway more people and bicycle friendly, voted unanimously for ratepayer money to be spent instead on capital-works priorities for the town, including the repair of potholed roads and footpaths.

Many longtime locals at the meeting said they were alarmed that traffic volumes since the master plan was formulated years ago had at least doubled, and not taken into account in the local chamber-of-commerce driven plan.

Three of Australia’s biggest music festivals (Bluesfest, Splendour and Falls) are now held near the town and pump thousands of extra cars and visitors into Brunswick Heads.

Residents along Tweed Street told the meeting that narrowing the main street for central car parking and tree planting would make accessibility to their street ‘absolutely impossible’ and that it was already a ’nightmare’ for them trying to reverse out of their driveways.

Other locals agreed the plan was ‘out of date’ and ‘obsolete’ because of the big increase in traffic and that noise from slowing traffic dow...

11:24

Echonetdaily: Mungo: Abbott clings on to his legacy – and his seat "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Not going anywhere… Tony Abbott.

Not going anywhere… Tony Abbott.

There was great jubilation last week at the news that Tony Abbott would nominate again for Warringah, with a view to remaining in parliament more or less forever.

But unfortunately for the Coalition, almost all the rejoicing was coming from the Labor Party. True, it was more about wistful dreaming than about confidence; while the ALP’s polling is not as abysmal as that of its leader, it remains pretty bad.

The possibility of pulling off an unlikely victory at the election – mercifully now almost certainly to be called in the latter part of the year – is too remote to contemplate realistically. But while there is Abbott, there is hope. And there is now no real doubt that there will be Abbott, perched securely on the back bench (an honourable position, as he rightly avers) to divide and disrupt the government, and most particularly its leader.

Clearly he will bolt in the preselection – he may not even be opposed. And such is the nature of the insular peninsula of Sydney’s northern beaches that blind loyalty, not to mention unwavering conservatism, will ensure that he will retain the seat for however long he wants it. Some others may be in danger – but they may not.

Even Abbott’s mad neighbour, Bronwyn Bishop is more likely than not to hang on with a mixture of bluff and chicanery. The local terrorists will continue to quake in their boots, or at least in their thongs. The only consolation, assuming she wins yet another term, is that she will demonstrate to her colleagues that there are even more absurd has-beens than Abbott.

But in the immediate future, that will not be much comfort to Malcolm Turnbull....

10:42

Echonetdaily: Patient threatens Lismore hospital staff with axe, knives "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

In the latest of a litany of violent events in north coast public hospitals, a 53-year-old man has been charged after threatening staff at Lismore Base Hospital on Sunday.

According to Health Services Union (HSU) spokesperson Jonathan Milman, a patient admitted through the emergency department threatened ward staff with an ice pick and a machete when he was told that he would have to wait his turn for medication.

The patient also told staff that he had an axe in his bag.

The man was subdued with the assistance of hospital security staff but Mr Milman said they were overstretched and the union is calling for them to be given additional powers, including the ability to search patients and their bags.

The horrifying incident follows close on the heels of an attempt made on the life of a security guard at Tweed Hospital at the end of last year.

‘Two patients attempted to run that security member down in the hospital car park while he was patrolling,’ Mr Milman told ABC radio this morning.

‘When they failed to hit him with the vehicle I understand that they then threatened him with a knife.’

500 violent incidents

Mr Milman said incidents had ‘significantly increased’ over the last year, adding that Tweed hospital staff faced a massive 500 cases of violence and threats of violence in January alone.

He added that most of these could not be entered into the hospital’s incident database due to frequent time-outs.

He blamed a spike in ice use, alcohol abuse and mental health issues as the main triggers.

Mr Milman called for additional hospital security staff, trained to deal with the specific issues faced by staff in hospitals.

‘Lismore Base Hospital has only one security officer rostered on… up until midday… and that is clearly insufficient,’ he said.

Wayne Jones, Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSW LHD) chief of staff agreed that there has been an increase i...

09:37

Echonetdaily: Iron Gates master plan goes on exhibition "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The sensitive site of the controversial planned Iron Gates development, which the state government has refused to consider without a masterplan. Photo Supplied

The sensitive site of the controversial planned Iron Gates development, which would see it converted into 176 residential lots. Photo Supplied

Chris Dobney

The department of planning and environment (DoPE) has given permission for a proposed development at Evans Heads’ controversial Iron Gates site to go on public exhibition, despite a previous development on the same site being overturned by the Land and Environment Court at the eleventh hour.

The draft master plan for the subdivision would allow for 176 residential lots and four public reserves with fire trails.

DoPE says the land to be developed for residential purposes is ‘already zoned as general residential land by the Richmond Valley LEP’ and that ‘no additional residential land is proposed on the site’.

A DoPE spokesperson said the department recognised ‘the environmental and cultural value of the Evans Head site, including its location on the Evans River, its native vegetation, wetlands and rainforest, as well as the places of Aboriginal cultural significance present on the land.’

The spokesperson added that, ‘if approved, the proponent’s draft master plan would provide a guide against which future development applications can be assessed by the local council or other consent authority.’

Illegally installed infrastructure

But that’s not the view of Al Oshlack, the man who defeated an earlier proposal for the site in the Land and Environment Court 20 years ago.

As a result of that defeat, the...

09:05

Echonetdaily: WHO declares Zika virus global emergency "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Geneva [AAP]

The World Health Organisation has declared the mosquito-borne Zika virus to be an international public health emergency, as the disease linked to thousands of birth defects in Brazil continues to spread rapidly.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan told reporters on Monday an international coordinated response was needed, although restrictions on travel or trade were not necessary.

The emergency designation was recommended by a committee of independent experts to the United Nations agency following criticism of a hesitant response so far. The move should help fast-track international action and research priorities.

The WHO said last week the Zika virus was ‘spreading explosively’ and could infect as many as four million people in the Americas.

The agency was criticised for reacting too slowly to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa which killed more than 10,000 people, and has promised to do better in future global health crises.

The WHO’s International Health Regulations emergency committee brings together experts in epidemiology, public health and infectious diseases from the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Brazil has reported nearly 4,000 suspected cases of microcephaly, in which infants are born with smaller-than-usual brains. The health ministry has linked the condition to Zika, although the connection is not yet definitive.

Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Castro told Reuters that the epidemic was worse than believed because in 80 per cent of the cases the infected people had no symptoms.

As the virus spreads from Brazil, other countries in the Americas are also likely to see cases of babies with Zika-linked birth defects, experts believe.

The Pan American Health Organisation says that Zika has now spread in 24 nations and territories in the Americas.

Meanwhile, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has authorised health officials to enter private p...

09:03

Echonetdaily: UK gives go ahead to modify human embryo "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

In this screen shot from Parliament, the results of the vote is returned in the debating chamber at the House of Commons, in London on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Parliament, PA)

In this screen shot from Parliament, the results of the vote is returned in the debating chamber at the House of Commons, in London on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Parliament, PA)

London [RAW]

Scientists in Britain have been given the green light to edit the genes of human embryos for research, using a technique that some say could eventually be used to create ‘designer babies’.

Less than a year after Chinese scientists caused an international furore by saying they had genetically modified human embryos, Kathy Niakan, a stem cell scientist from London’s Francis Crick Institute, was granted a licence to carry out similar experiments.

‘The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has approved a research application from the Francis Crick Institute to use new ‘gene editing’ techniques on human embryos,’ Niakan’s lab said on Monday.

It said the work carried out ‘will be for research purposes and will look at the first seven days of a fertilised egg’s development, from a single cell to around 250 cells...

08:59

Echonetdaily: Bushfires take toll on Tassie wilderness "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Hobart [AAP]

Almost two per cent of Tasmania’s World Heritage Wilderness Area has been destroyed by bushfire, authorities say.

Crews are still playing catch-up to contain scores of blazes which were started more than a fortnight ago by dry lightning strikes, with Tasmania Fire Service deputy chief Jeremy Smith on Monday saying new outbreaks are still being found.

But special attention is being given to the state’s protected areas as weather conditions ease.

‘We have been able to map a number of these areas around the state and we’ve calculated at present it’s approximately 1.9 per cent of the world heritage area,’ Mr Smith said.

Clearing cloud cover meant aircraft have been able to conduct flyovers to direct specialist ground crews to investigate hot spots.

‘As we move through the fire ground we’re making sure that the fire hasn’t got the opportunity to run,’ Mr Smith added.

The heritage-listed area covers some 1.5 million hectares which equals about a fifth of the island state.

‘It has been a shame that a number of areas within the state have been damaged by fire, however it’s only a small percentage in some of the pristine areas,’ Mr Smith said.

‘Obviously we want to make sure that any further damage is limited and that’s what we’re actively pursuing.’

In addition to firefighters, including personnel on loan from interstate and New Zealand, there are 175 specialists working on the fire ground, some digging through peat to uncover and extinguish smouldering earth.

Aircraft on Monday afternoon identified two more remote blazes but Mr Smith said generally the outlook is positive.

‘We believe we’ve got seven to 10 days of really good firefighting weather … allowing us to get a good solid edge around a number of these fires, identifying where these fires are and also ensure we are protecting the valua...

08:55

Echonetdaily: UN confirms start of Syria peace talks "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, waits prior the meeting with the Syrian opposition members of High Negotiations Committee, HCN, during the Intra-Syria Talks, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday. World powers backing the Geneva negotiations are seeking a political process to resolve the Syrian conflict, estimated to have killed more than 250,000 people and driven more than 11 million from their homes since 2011, according to the United Nations. EPA/Salvatore Nolfi

UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, waits prior the meeting with the Syrian opposition members of High Negotiations Committee, HCN, during the Intra-Syria Talks, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday. World powers backing the Geneva negotiations are seeking a political process to resolve the Syrian conflict, estimated to have killed more than 250,000 people and driven more than 11 million from their homes since 2011, according to the United Nations. EPA/Salvatore Nolfi

Geneva [RAW]

The United Nations has announced peace talks for Syria have begun and called on world powers to push for a ceasefire, even as government forces, backed by Russian air strikes, launched their biggest offensive near Aleppo in a...

08:50

Echonetdaily: NSW teen death prompts ‘Kronic’ warning "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Dean Shield.

Dean Shields.

Sydney [AAP]

Police have again warned synthetic drug users to stop gambling with their lives following the death of a teenage boy in the NSW Hunter region.

Dean Shield, 17, was discovered in a reserve at Rutherford on Saturday night after allegedly smoking ‘Kronic’.

Two other men, both aged 22, were treated for non-life-threatening symptoms after taking the same substance at nearby Telarah.

Police are worried there is more of the same, potentially lethally batch still available and have urged users to rethink using the so-called legal highs.

The post NSW teen death prompts ‘Kronic’ warning appeared first on Echonetdaily.

08:04

Echonetdaily: Mullumbimby rallies for young girl taken by DoCS "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Friends and supporters of Faith Sampson yesterday attended a rally in Mullumbimby calling for DOCS to reunite her with her father Woody. Photo Jeff Dawson

Friends and supporters of Faith Sampson yesterday attended a rally in Mullumbimby calling for DOCS to reunite her with her father Woody. Photo Jeff Dawson

Mullumbimby yesterday saw a rally of support for a former local preschool pupil who was taken away from her father after police found them sleeping in a car at Sydney’s Bronte Beach two weeks ago.

Woody Sampson, now living in Melbourne, will face Sydney’s Childrens Court today (Tuesday) in a desperate attempt to prove that he is a capable father and can care for his six-year-old daughter Faith.

His mother, Eltara Mahatma, told The Echo that police from the Waverly station took the child away after finding Woody and Faith sleeping in the car, believing the child was neglected.

‘They were returning from Byron Bay to Melbourne after having had Christmas with our family,’ Eltara said.

The pair had slept at the same spot on the way up from Melbourne and had been spotted by police then too.

‘The police contacted me when they slept at the same spot on their way up, but this time they just took her away. There was no verification made to assess their situation,’ Eltara added.

‘He has had full custody of her, since birth,’ she s...

07:46

North Coast Voices: Will Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull explain to voters why it has only been Mal Brough who has stood aside from his ministerial position during this Australian Federal Police investigation? "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"


Liberal-National Party MP for Longman Wyatt Roy has been federal Assistant Minister for Innovation since 21 September 2015.

It has been alleged that he is a parliamentarian who sometime in 2012 (along with Mal Brough) requested a member of the Speaker’s staff, James Ashby, to make a copy of sections of then Independent MP for Fisher and Speaker of the House of Representatives Peter Slipper’s official diary for a political purpose.

In 2013 Peter Slipper lost his seat and Mal Brough was elected to federal parliament as the Member for Fisher.

In September 2015 Mal Brough (along with Liberal MP for Stuart and now Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science  Christopher Pyne & Wyatt Roy) supported the sacking of Tony Abbott as prime minister and the installation of Malcolm Turnbull in his place

...

07:41

Echonetdaily: Snowden tipped for Nobel Peace Prize "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Edward Snowden appearing at a conference via Skype in February. Snowden started tweeting Tuesday, September 29, 2015. Photot: AP Photo/Marco Garcia

Edward Snowden appearing at a conference via Skype in February. Photo: AP Photo/Marco Garcia

Oslo [RAW]

Former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, peace negotiators in Colombia and Greek islanders helping Syrian refugees are among those favoured for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize, with the deadline for nominations looming.

Nobel watchers on Monday also speculated that negotiators of an accord over Iran’s nuclear program could be in the running after a surprise award last year to a coalition of Tunisian democracy campaigners, the National Dialogue Quartet.

‘2016 may finally be Edward Snowden’s year, his leaks are now having a positive effect,’ Kristian Berg Harpviken, head of the Peace Research Institute, Oslo, told Reuters on Monday, putting him top of his list of candidates.

Harpviken said many nations were now reforming laws to restrict intelligence gathering, helping human rights, in the wake of Snowden’s leaks in 2013 of details of the US government’s surveillance programs.

Washington has filed espionage charges against Snowden, who has been granted asylum in Russia. An award of the $US930,000 ($A1.31 million) prize to Snowden, b...

07:32

Echonetdaily: Australia’s greenhouse emissions surging to record high "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Giles Parkinson

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are posed to surge to a record high after 2020, and may not reach a peak before 2030 – despite the government’s claim it has been reducing emissions and its support for the Paris climate deal.

A new analysis from industry analyst Reputex – a division of global ratings agency Standard & Poor’s – confirms what we already know: despite the Coalition’s rhetoric, emissions in Australia actually rose 1.3 per cent in 2014/15, for the first time since the Coalition was last in power a decade earlier.

reputex-aust-emissions

But the Reputex survey also notes that Australia’s emissions growth is now among the highest in the world, with the government’s own forecast showing emissions will grow 6 per cent to 2020, despite its ‘Direct Action’ plan and the billions spent in the Emissions Reduction Fund.

Ironically, the emissions growth would have been faster, but for the fact that Australia’s economic growth has been downgraded sharply from the optimistic assumptions of successive Labor and Coalition governments.

‘There is a substantial disconnect between our national abatement task and the emissions reality,’ said Hugh Grossman, executive director of RepuTex.

The situation is made worse by the revelation that the Coalition government is not providing any more funds to Direct Action, meaning that the country will fall into a ‘policy void’ once the latest auctions are completed this year.

Grossman said that from the end of this year, there would be no mechanism to purchase emissions reductions, or hold companies accountable for emissions growth. ‘This will leave the Australian market with no policy to curb emissions growth,’ he said.

Indeed, Grossman said it was difficult for the......

07:22

Echonetdaily: Baird ‘splurges big’ in push for council mergers "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

NSW premier Mike Baird confronted by protesters against forced council amalgamations in NSW in Sydney on January 18. AAP Image/Paul Miller

NSW premier Mike Baird confronted by protesters against forced council amalgamations in NSW in Sydney on January 18. AAP Image/Paul Miller

The NSW coalition government has splurged almost $6 million of taxpayer’s money on external consultants in the last six months to further its program of forced council amalgamations, according to the NSW Opposition.

The latest revelation – gleaned from a Freedom of Information request – shows that up until January 1 2016 the Baird government has spent $2.2 million on an advertising campaign pushing council amalgamations.

Shadow minister for local government Peter Primrose said the government spent $1,863,427.67 to buy print and TV spots for the Stronger Councils, Stronger Communities Campaign.

Mr Primrose said it paid $364,304.46 to Saatchi & Saatchi to come up with the ad’s central premise, that the state’s councils are mechanical cogs that are holding back NSW.

It brings to $5,962,177.67 the amount of taxpayers’ money that the Baird government has spent on its local government ‘reforms’.

Based on information from GIPA request...

07:04

cairnsnews.org: Firearms industry and gun owners claim NSW Firearms Registry has been compromised leading to gun theft "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

More than 2300 registered firearms have been stolen from private residences across NSW since 2009, prompting calls from the industry that the thefts were more than coincidence.

Fifty firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition were stolen from registered NSW gun owners in one period of 16 days, with claims the firearms registry has been compromised.

guns-2One robbery victim had eight guns stolen within months of being audited by police and his new address added to the registry.

“I was audited by police in May last year and robbed in October. I had eight weapons stolen from a secure safe,” the victim said.

“I live in an estate of 70 homes and was the only place robbed. To me it was obvious I was targeted with information from somewhere.

“Call me cynical but it is too much of a coincidence.

“I have been in the same shooters club for years and never had a problem.”

In a number of cases since May 14, when the robberies began, entire gun safes have been removed from properties with weapons inside.

Officers said criminals could access the information through a variety of sources – not just the registry.

However dealers are not buying the explanation from police saying the registry would be a gold mine to criminals as it contained details of the types of weapons, where they were stored and addresses of owners.

“We have no evidence to suggest the information has come from the registry,” head of the firearms and organised crime squad Detective Superintendent Ken Finch said.

He said ther.....

00:18

North Coast Voices: Are we in the first years of a global tax war? "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"


Tax evasion and avoidance has been called a trillion dollar evil and right now in Australia the corporate fight-back has begun as big business and wealthy individuals decide that they want to hold on to every single dollar of their share of this trillion.

Expect a national public relations campaign explaining why business and industry pay their fair share of Australian taxes if the Tax Advisory Panel (and the industry sectors it represents) gets its wish.

I suspect that they are all watching what is going down in Europe with a great deal of interest……..

Financial Times UK, 27 January 2016:

The uproar about Google paying £130m in back taxes and raising the amount it pays in the UK by just £10m a year is merely a little local difficulty compared with what comes next. ...

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Monday, 01 February

21:47

Westender – West End 4101: Geelong Star super trawler killing marine life – again "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has expressed outrage that the Geelong Star super trawler has been caught yet again catching and killing marine life. A statement released by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) stated that the trawler had killed “a higher than expected” number of albatross. AMCS Fisheries Campaigner Josh Coates said this […]

The post Geelong Star super trawler killing marine life – again appeared first on Westender - West End 4101.

21:05

Andrew Norton: GetUp’s rise to be the biggest third party political spender "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

In a past life I wrote a reasonable amount about campaign finance law, particularly as it applied to third parties (organisations active in politics but not standing for office). My interest was sparked by a letter from the AEC suggesting that perhaps I should be making a disclosure. I have followed the issue since, but in less detail as higher education issues consumed more of my time.

Third parties need to disclose their spending on various political activities. As with donations generally, 2014-15 was a low-spending year, as seen in the chart below.

Pol expenditure trends

The main item of interest in recent years is how GetUp has rapidly increased its spending, from $3 million in 2012-13 to $10.5 million in 2014-15. On its own, it was responsible for more than 70 per cent of all the declared political expenditure for 2014-15. As can be seen in the chart below, unions and business groups are traditionally the biggest spenders. Business and union groups spend when they need to; their main purpose is not campaigning to the general public. GetUp’s purpose is campaigning, and it needs to keep finding issues that motivate its donors. So we should expect it to be among the consistent big spenders.

...

20:48

The Gap Year and Beyond: The Genoa River Sea Eagles (Part 2) "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Trying to take photographs of Eagles in flight is a great challenge that can test your camera skills, fieldcraft, manners and reflexes.

The first trip up the Genoa River had resulted in some nice images of an Azure Kingfisher and a few nice images of the hunting and roosting White Bellied Sea Eagles. On my second trip up the Genoa River during my 2015 Dec trip to Mallacoota, I gave myself a better chance of taking a few good images of the diving Sea Eagles. I arrived early and claimed what I had learnt was the best spot to sit on the boat (front left corner), I knew that I had to pan the camera while the eagle made its approach and start shooting early, I had to remember to adjust or verify my settings constantly (sky shots vs shots against the dark water or forest) and I had to shoot rapidly and with a high shutter speed to make sure I got plenty of clear action shots. Generally it worked. Occasionally I forgot to adjust the exposure and IOS settings which resulted in over-exposed images.

I was much happier with the second trip and look forward to going again at the end of this year for more improvements

White Bellied Sea Eagle, Genoa River, Gypsy Pt

A majestic female White Bellied Sea Eagle, Genoa River, Gypsy Pt

...

19:58

Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forests: 2016 FOBIF walks start soon "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

This year’s FOBIF walks’ program has been finalised and can be viewed here. The first walk  (20 March) will be a combined FOBIF/Connecting Country event. The focus will be on birds and three experts will lead several short walks on Andrew Skeoch and Sarah Koschak’s property near Newstead. The meeting spot is still Continuing Education in Templeton Street (9.30am). However if you would like to meet in Newstead instead, ring Bronwyn Silver 5475 1089 or Tanya Loos 5472 1594 for details about an alternative meeting spot. More information on the walk can be found here.

19:12

Echonetdaily: Time for car-free zones in Byron "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Is it impossible to consider a Byron Bay with car-free zones? Couldn’t this amazing place filled with forward thinking people explore the possibility of a place with an alternative transport system?

There are small cities of the world that already operate completely car free – why couldn’t we?

The incoming traffic to Byron will only get worse and worse and worse. Given that there is one road into the place and one road out, surely it’s plainly apparent that a paradigm shift in thinking is required. There is a limit to how many lanes can be added to the Jonson Street roundabout!

Couldn’t we have buses continually looping the town and beaches dropping off and picking up? Lots of them so that every 15 minutes you were on your way. Buses that could easily and swiftly accommodate shopping, suitcases and surfboards. Perhaps each bus could afford a ‘host’ who could say g’day and lend a hand to open the undercarriage and put a surfboard on a rack, or some shopping bags in a safe store?

Couldn’t we have some bike kire stations (as they now do in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane) so that tourists and visitors can choose to pick up some wheels on Kingsley Street and drop them off at Main Beach?

Imagine a Byron Bay with some bike lanes, way fewer cars and friendly and plentiful local transport. It’s not a pipedream, it’s so achievable with some will. I have a dream… do we have the will?

Mell Coppin, Byron Bay

 

The post Time for car-free zones in Byron appeared first on Echonetdaily.

18:05

Edgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary: Where are they now "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

Every month we’ll shine the spotlight on a family who have chosen to bring new faces into their homes and hearts and adopt one or a few rescued animals.

Where are they now

It always warms our hearts to hear how our former residents are settling in to their new abodes and causing their new families to wonder just how life existed before they shared their world with a farm animal. If you’ve never had the honour of spending time with a barnyard friend, you may be surprised by the love, friendship and fun they add to your life.

We have recently received a  family for our rescued lamb,  Mr Lambert. And what a family. We now have 7 goats and 7 sheep, a family of his own within our family.

They are so amazing, and beautiful. They are all different, very, very smart.

Where are they now

We are so fortunate to have these animals in our lives. They are such a joy. We have an orchard and they have been eating nectarines, peaches, plums and apricots. Jumping and running up and down the dam wall.

I stand at the gate and call them and they run all the way to get to me. A treat or a cuddle. I think they prefer the treats. I don’t know who needs the cuddles more I suspect its me. 

They are all different breeds and live happily together each with there quirky personalities. My only problem is l do not get an...

17:52

Common Ground North Coast: RDTRP4WHRVS "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

_M8A9842Being a fully independent originals band has struggles – major struggles. Without management, publicity and a recording label, artists are left to their own efforts and finances to record, release, book gigs, organize merchandise, earn fans and build their name from scratch.

Local lads WHARVES have been actively working towards their goals for the past 12 months, and this weekend gone saw them make their way to Sydney for their first show in the city at the Oxford Art Factory. Life on the road has it’s challenges, however this trip went better than most. Family support meaning there was a place to stay, and having an excellent venue with a solid support band meant the show itself went as smooth as could be.

Personally, I have a particular passion for supporting bands at this level and being a part of their journey in whatever capacity that may be. In this instance, it found me in the convoy of cars, photographing and filming their adventure, as well as sharing a small amount of written musings related to the events that ensued. In coming months, we will be releasing a short film, sharing some of the experiences these guys go through to hopefully open a few people up to the world of a small-town band, and give a bit more of a closer look into what it takes to follow your musical dreams.

In the meantime, we have collated a collection of social media posts and photographs to document the weekend gone, for your interest and enjoyment.

#RDTRP4WHRVS

Tour Diary, Day 1.

I awoke to the sweet earthy scents of black coffee, brewed using the pour-over method in a purpose designed glass receptacle.
With dreary eyes, the road weary traveller in m......

17:32

AWPA Sydney News: 1) The Pacific’s state of independence "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

2) A Peaceful Decade but Pacific Islanders Warn Against Complacency
—————————————
http://www.policyforum.net/the-pacifics-state-of-independence/
 1) The Pacific’s state of independence
Melanesia is becoming a region of many partners, expanding diplomatic options and a new sense of independence -
Stewart Firth 1 February 2016
Australian policymakers have to adapt to a new reality of national independence among key Pacific island nations,...

17:27

Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forests: A dump here, a dump there, but rainfall is well down "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

A summer storm caused flash flooding in parts of Castlemaine on Thursday, putting the railway station underpass under water, and creating a brief swamp on the Western Oval, but, like its predecessors, leaving plenty of areas dry.

Muckleford Creek at the Pyrenees Highway last Thursday. The creek was off its peak when Alex Wiggenraad took this photo. Parts of the shire got a heavy dump, others barely a drop: but the overall figures for the last 12 months [and the last 16 years] are dismal.

Muckleford Creek briefly risen from the dead at the Pyrenees Highway last Thursday. The creek was off its peak when Alex Schipperen took this photo [the dark line on the pylons shows the high water mark]. Parts of the shire got a heavy dump, others barely a drop: but the overall figures for the last 12 months [and the last 16 years] are dismal.

Figures for 2015, in the mean time, are pretty dismal: 386 mls at the Castlemaine Prison station, against a long term average of about 600 mls. And we’re not alone. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, ‘for most of Victoria, rainfall during 2015 was below to very much below average. The Statewide average rainfall was 505.2 mm, 23% below the long-
...and the next day...

…and the next day&#823...

16:49

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 1 February 2016
  1. WILLIAM CLARKE ‘Must Be Jelly’ Blowin’ Like Hell
  2. BABY FACE LEROY FOSTER ‘Rollin’ And Tumblin’ (Part One)’ Original Blues Legends
  3. KATIE WEBSTER ‘No Bread, No Meat’ The Swamp Boogie Queen
  4. THE TEMPTATIONS ‘Shakey Ground’ The Best Of The Temptations Volume 2
  5. BOB MARGOLIN ‘Heaven Mississippi’ My Road
  6. LUTHER ALLISON ‘Love String’ Soul Fixin’ Man
  7. SUGARCANE COLLINS ‘Walking Blues’ Going Back To Clarksdale
  8. TONI SWAIN ‘Bones’ Deepest Water
  9. SNOOKY PRYOR ‘Cold Black Mare’ Too Cool To Move
  10. JONN DEL TORO RICHARDSON ‘Tell Me Do You Love Me’ Tengo Blues
  11. JUNIOR WATSON ‘I Gotta Go (Back Home)’ Long Overdue
  12. ALLEN TOUSSAINT ‘My Baby Is The Real Thing’ Toussaint: The Real Thing 1970-1975
  13. DIANA REDLIN ‘Never Leave Me Home’ Blues Harp Women
  14. ALBERT COLLINS & THE ICEBREAKERS ‘When A Guitar Plays The Blues’ Don’t Lose Your Cool
  15. CLARENCE ‘GATEMOUTH’ BROWN ‘Born In Louisiana’ Standing My Ground
  16. INA FORSMAN ‘Farewell’ Ina Forsman
  17. JIMMY JOHNSON ‘I Have The Same Old Blues’ Bar Room Preacher
  18. BLIND BOY FULL...

16:47

Common Ground North Coast: Fins recipe of the week – Portuguese-style mussels with chorizo tomato sauce "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

12644639_1011600692217239_2308620927729337148_n
Portuguese-style mussels with chorizo tomato sauce

40 black mussels

125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil

1/2 brown onion, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
4 fresh bay leaves
200 g (7 oz) chorizo sausage, cut into 2 mm (1/16 inch) slices
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) white wine
250 g (9 oz/1 cup) tomato sauce (see recipe below)

steamed jasmine rice, to serve

tomato sauce

60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) olive oil

1 brown onion, finely sliced

3 garlic cloves, crushed

300 g (101/2 oz/11/4 cups) tinned chopped tomatoes

1 red capsicum (pepper), seeded, membrane removed and roughly chopped

1 fresh bay leaf

125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) dry white wine

6 drops Tabasco sauce

Makes 2 1/2 cups

To make the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the tomato and capsicum and cook for 5 minutes, or until the capsicum has softened slightly. Add the bay leaf and wine, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes,...

16:13

Common Ground North Coast: Summer Swell "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

There was some great swell around in the last few weeks and Ryan Kenny from Mocean Media House captured some of our local talent enjoying every moment of it for us.

PhotoCredit_KirraPendergast--2Sam Macintosh

PhotoCredit_KirraPendergast--3Riley Laing

PhotoCredit_KirraPendergast--4Taylor Hession

PhotoCredit_KirraPendergast--5James Wood

PhotoCredit_KirraPendergast--6Zak Condon

PhotoCredit_KirraPendergast--7Adam Melling

PhotoCredit_KirraPendergast--8Jay Phillips

PhotoCredit_KirraPendergast--9Garrett...

15:48

Shepparton Interfaith Network: Celebration of the 8th Anniversary of the National Apology "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

On 13 February 2008, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a formal apology to Australia’s Indigenous peoples, particularly those whose lives had been blighted by the practice of forced child removal. This defining moment in Australian history was the culmination of years of hard work by Indigenous people and their supporters. Shepparton Reconciliation Group invites you ... Read more...

15:37

cairnsnews.org: HIGH TREASON – Defence Force promoting government overthrow in Muslim training guide ! "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

THIS IS BEYOND BELIEF!

 

Ben Fordham,2GB Sydney presenter questions – Defence Force Stuff Up

Surely this is high treason and heads should roll!

Who in our government let this happen to our ADF. (I bet this has the fingerprint of a certain Navy CAPT splattered all over it!!)

Listen and make your own mind up to this huge stuff up before it gets pulled for being racist or not political correct…. Opps this copy is out of big brothers reach.

broadcast-1

Click icon to listen


15:11

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

Wednesday 3rd February
11pm-12am Bad Boy’s Theme Train 
This week the Bad Boys Theme Train presents SONGS WITH WEATHER CONDITIONS IN THE TITLE. I’ve bought myself a chinchilla. That should keep my face nice and cool in this warm weather

TonightâŹ"s Event Invitation: http://on.fb.me/1KrRb7d
Find me on Facebook facebook.com/DjBadBoyBede
All aboard!!

14:49

Shepparton Interfaith Network: World Interfaith Harmony Week 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

The World Interfaith Harmony Week was first proposed at the UN General Assembly on September 23, 2010 by H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan. Just under a month later, on October 20, 2010, it was unanimously adopted by the UN and henceforth the first week of February will be observed as a World Interfaith Harmony ... Read more...

13:19

Refugee Action Coalition: Manus intimidation steps up; phones confiscated, as court decision looms "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Broadspectrum (formerly Transfield) and Immigration intimidation of asylum seekers and refugees at Manus Island has been stepped-up in the lead up to Australian and PNG court decisions that could see the detention centre closed.

The future of the detention centre, and the fate of 260 people from Manus and Nauru who are presently in Australia, will be affected by the Australian High Court decision to be handed down on Wednesday.

A PNG Supreme Court challenge to Manus that will also determine the legality of Manus detention centre, according to PNG law, will also have its next directions hearing tomorrow, 2 February.

In the last few days, intimidating and violent raids by the Emergency Response Team (ERT) have been carried out in at least two of the compounds in the Manus detention centre. The riot squad says it is ‘looking for weapons’ but seems to be more interested in seizing asylum seekers’ phones.

At least four phones were taken following raids on rooms Oscar compound last Friday night (29 January). In some cases the guards have removed racks from the rooms on the grounds they could be turned into weapons.

The ERT is also openly marching around the compounds as an open show of force. The detainees have been told that the room searches and increased intimidation will continue to the end of February when the PNG Supreme Court Full Bench hearing of the constitutional challenge is expected to be convened.

Detainees have been threatened that anyone who complains or resists will be sent to jail or isolation units in the detention centre itself.

Meanwhile, Broadspectrum’s preparation for an adverse court decision is resulting in deteriorating food quality and out of date food products being used as the company runs down stocks of food. Some Border Force staff have also been told that their future employment contracts cannot be guaranteed.

The PNG administration has also stepped up its refugee determinations ahe....

12:22

Zedlines: National Heritage listing for Burke and Wills' Dig Tree - and more 11am Zedlines. "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

Burke and Wills’ famous Dig Tree has been placed on the National Heritage list in a move that could be a boon for tourism. Source: Wikicommons

Curtain falls on historic Cairns theatre

The final curtain has fallen on the Cairns Civic Theatre as demolition looms for the landmark.

The Civic Theatre was opened in 1974 by the then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and was one of the biggest and only air conditioned theatres in regional Australia at the time.

It is being demolished to make room for a new theatre and entertainment precinct.

National Heritage listing for Burke and Wills' Dig Tree

11:40

Westender – West End 4101: Congratulations all round for Australia Day "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

The Westender congratulates all the winners of the Griffith Australia Day Awards, presented by Terri Butler MP today, especially fellow Westenders: Norma Morgan; Erin Evans of the West End Community Association, and Micah Projects Inc. The Westender Publisher, Kerrod Trott is honoured to have been awarded recognised as well. The Griffiths Australia Day Awards were […]

The post Congratulations all round for Australia Day appeared first on Westender - West End 4101.

11:30

Zedlines: North Queensland communities await water allocation outcome - and more 10am Zedlines. "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

North Queensland communities await water allocation increase hoped to improve irrigation. Source: Wikicommons

North Queensland communities await water allocation outcome

Communities in inland North Queensland are waiting eagerly for the outcome of a water allocation increase that is hoped to improve irrigation in the area.

Tenders recently closed in a State Government process that would release an additional 250,000 megalitres from the Flinders River, allowing development of irrigated agriculture.

The hope is that new irrigation projects will result in an increase in jobs and economic development.

11:25

cairnsnews.org: KAP moves into Cairns "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

KAP-Cairns-Branch

Robbie Katter (second right) told the newly formed Cairns branch of KAP he would assist Cairns people with infrastructure development provided they supported the party, because he “could not do the job on his own.”

Katters Australia Party is spreading its wings over Cairns at the request of a group of keen supporters who on Saturday formed a branch with the intention of contesting the next federal and state elections.

State leader Robbie Katter, the Member for Mt Isa spoke to the gathering of small business operators and residents at the Shangri La hotel urging them to back the party in state and federal parliament.

“We have had some significant wins in parliament over the past year, particularly with freeing up sugar marketing and introducing a bill to regulate ride sharing company, Uber,” Mr Katter said.

“We have backed the dredging of the port and have listened very carefully to  Cairns business operators and the general community about Labor’s proposed lock out law changes.

“Shane Knuth(Member for Dalrymple) and I are quite agreeable to help the community but we can’t be effective if people don’t support us, and I won’t be around for ever because I might not want to spend the rest of my life in parliament.

“I am concerned that government tenders don’t always go to local firms and we will be doing something about the economic loss to Cairns and other struggling towns when government unnecessarily gives away your jobs.”

A committee was elected and will advertise when the next meeting is called.

Chairman Keith Campbell said he was delighted to be elected to head the fledgling party.

“I have been...

11:19

Castlemaine Independent: A ride from the past. "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

I captured the image included from the weekend’s steam ride to Maldon.

Gaetano

The post A ride from the past. appeared first on Castlemaine Independent.

10:40

2RRR: Lunar New Year Celebrations "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

The City of Ryde is home to a large and vibrant Chinese and Korean community. In 2015 the City hosted an exciting and colourful event that was widely acknowledged as a big success with a crowd over 10,000 attending during the day.

The equal partnership between the City of Ryde and local Chinese and Korean communities in Ryde in organising the celebrations is unique in Sydney.

In 2016, the local community is planning to stage even bigger celebrations, with the event favourite Cooking Competition on Saturday 13 February, and the flagship event on Saturday 20 February where a large number of performances will be held at Eastwood Mall.

2016 will be the Year of the Monkey.

Come to Eastwood for the annual celebrations!

Cooking Competition

Saturday, 13 February
11 am – 1.30 pm
Eastwood Plaza

A cooking competition, free food tasting, a lion dance and cooking demonstrations.

Grand Celebration Day

Saturday, 20 February
11am – 4pm
Eastwood Plaza

Come and join the party! Music and Chinese and Korean dance performances, high pole dancing lions, food stalls, fireworks and EastwoodâŹ"s longest dragon parade.

10:30

Zedlines: New patrol boat for Great Barrier Reef - and more 9am Zedlines. "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

A new patrol vessel aims to tackle illegal fishing on the Great Barrier Reef. Source: Wikicommons

LNP still open to asset sales 

State Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg has repeated claims the LNP is still open to privatisation talks with the Queensland population.

After Labor’s 2015 election campaign against the necessity of asset sales, Mr Springborg suggests inaction from Labor may be causing Queenslanders to feel misled, saying it is still a discussion the LNP would have with the public should they want it.

10:30

AWPA Sydney News: Okto POGAU, ORIGIN INTAN JAYA JOURNALIST DIES "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

May he RIP. Condolences to his family and friends.
---------------------------------------------------------------

A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at

http://tabloidjubi.com/2016/01/31/okto-pogau-jurnalis-asal-intan-jaya-meninggal/

Okto POGAU, ORIGIN INTAN JAYA JOURNALIST DIES

Jayapura, Jubi - Journalist and Editor in Chief Suarapapua.com, Oktovianus Pogau reportedly died at the Dian Harapan Hospital (RSDH), Waena, on Sunday, January 31, 2016, at around 09 pm local time.

From the information gathered in the room corpse RSDH Jubi, Sunday night, Okto died of lung disease. Mbamogo best sons origin, Intan Jaya district, d...

10:26

2RRR: There Goes That Song Again "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Tuesday 2nd February

This program was scheduled earlier, but postponed because of recent tribute programs. Singing sensation of the early 1950s, Johnnie Ray, has been referred to as the “missing link” between the “easy listening” artists of the 1940s and “rock and roll” artists of the latter 1950s. In our “Three O’Clock Special” this week we’ll cover Johnnie’s early years in Part 1. We’ll hear some of his well-known hits, but also some of his lesser known songs typical of the period.

10:25

2RRR: Sonic Stew "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Monday 1st February

7 – 8pm Sonic Stew

First tracks on albums make an immediate impression on the listener, but final tracks can make an even stronger, lingering impact. Well, maybe.. Anyway, tonight on Sonic Stew we exclusively feature a selection of cool last songs from albums.

10:25

Ocean Grove Voice: Lions bring some relief "IndyWatch Feed Geelong"

LOCAL Lions Club president Lloyd Smith and fellow member Bill Willocks travelled to Lorne this month to donate $7000 to fire-stricken households.
Lloyd said the Lorne Lions Club was delighted to accept the donation from Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads.
“The money was very gratefully received,” he said.
“It will be put directly into the bank accounts of the 13 permanent households that had their houses totally destroyed.”
The club raised the money in two weeks from plastic lion collection tins placed at businesses around Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads.

The post Lions bring some relief appeared first on Ocean Grove Voice.

10:24

Ocean Grove Voice: Sandi’s ready for life’s next stage "IndyWatch Feed Geelong"

THE Terrace icon Sandi Ward plans to retire this month after three decades working in Ocean Grove’s main stretch.
Sandi, 68, has lived in Ocean Grove since 1984 and opened her children’s clothing store, Sandi’s Spot, in 1986.
“I’ve been here 30 summers – it’s a great little business,” she said.
“I’ve had a great time and I’ve met heaps of interesting people.”
It’s these people she’ll miss the most.
“I’m now seeing mothers come back as grandmothers – which is frightening but great,” she said.
The local grandmother has been involved in the Ocean Grove Business Association for 25 years and has been the group’s treasurer.
“Over the years people have called me ‘the mayoress’,” she said.
Sandi’s has leased the building from the same owner since she started in The Terrace.
“The building sold recently so that’s when I thought I should retire,” she said.
Sandi said she’d found someone to “carry on the store in similar way” after she leaves.
“Which I’m very pleased about,” she said.
“I couldn’t see myself just walking out and leaving an empty shop.”

The post Sandi’s ready for life’s next stage appeared first on Ocean Grove Voice.

10:24

Ocean Grove Voice: Help the bid to stamp out SIDS "IndyWatch Feed Geelong"

HAYDEN Real Estate is auctioning a brand new Oakdene home this month, in support of Geelong-based Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) charity, River’s Gift.
Ocean Grove director Hugh McKewan said profits from the sale would be donated to the charity’s quest to “Stamp Out SIDS”.
In September 2015, Geelong Homes pledged to raise much-needed funds for the charity.
“Wonderfully, the project is now a reality and the stylish new four-bedroom home is open for inspection and ready for auction on 27 February,” Hugh said.
Hugh said the house is based on Geelong Homes design called the G180.
“The River’s Gift Charity Home is contemporary and stylish, with neutral tones throughout,” he said.
“The four-bedroom home’s welcoming entrance sets the tone for the beautiful coastal abode.”
The house has a master bedroom complete with ensuite and walk-in wardrobe, a “modern and functional kitchen” and spacious open-plan living area. It also includes a second lounge, family bathroom complete with bath, separate laundry and double garage.
Hugh said very generous contributions from Geelong Homes sub-contractors and suppliers helped make the house a reality.
“Along with River’s Gift supporters who were more than willing to put their hand up for this worthy cause and contribute their time, products and services,” he said.
For more information contact Hugh McKewan on 0417 538 779 or Jonathan Gill on 00433 707 508.

The post Help the bid to stamp out SIDS appeared first on Ocean Grove Voice.

10:24

Ocean Grove Voice: Freak storms hit Grove "IndyWatch Feed Geelong"

FREAK storms hit Ocean Grove last Wednesday with several streets temporarily underwater.
The Terrace Arcade was flooded before store owners quickly mopped the water, according to local shopper Kevin Hampson.
“It was like a little river,” he said. “Someone could have slipped and done extreme damage – they could have done a hip or leg.”
Kevin said the water leaked through the roof, which should not have happened.
“All they have to do is spend a couple thousand to seal it up properly,” he said.
Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club closed beaches around Ocean Grove due to nearby lightning.
“You can’t be too careful when there’s lightning,” club administrator Michelle Jepsen said.
“It’s better to be out of the water.”

The post Freak storms hit Grove appeared first on Ocean Grove Voice.

10:24

Ocean Grove Voice: Keen for the greens "IndyWatch Feed Geelong"

LOCAL groups will soon hit the greens, with entries opening for the Ocean Grove Bowling Club’s annual Community Bowls competition.
Organisor John McConville said the tournament was open to businesses, clubs, community groups and any non-bowlers who wanted to enter.
“It’s a great opportunity for businesses to have fun and socialise, as well as learn the game,” he said.
Teams of four will play to wrest the Ocean Grove Voice Trophy from the hands of the Collendina Cricket Club team, which won it last year.
The tournament runs each Monday from 29 February to 21 March, starting at 6pm.
Players can be male or female and the cost is $60 per team, which includes dinner. The club will provide bowls.
“So get your team together, fill out an entry form and come enjoy a great evening,” John said.

The post Keen for the greens appeared first on Ocean Grove Voice.

10:23

Ocean Grove Voice: Path and a half "IndyWatch Feed Geelong"

By LUKE VOOGT

LOCALS will get their say this month on what could be Ocean Grove’s biggest footpath project to date.
Last Thursday Council Senior Strategic Planner, Jessica Hurse, and Infrastructure Projects Engineer, Aaron McGlade, outlined council’s latest draft footpath network.
Ms Hurse said the draft included 18 kilometres of new footpaths.
“To give you an idea of how big this project would be, council builds about two kilometres of new footpath each year in the whole municipality,” she said.
Ms Hurse estimated the draft footpath would cost about $6 million with council and Ocean Grove residents to contribute half each.
Council’s yearly budget for new footpaths is $350,000 and so far it has allocated $75,000 for the planning phase of the project.
Construction of the final footpath network is subject to council funding through a budget bid in the 2017-’18 financial year and subsequent budgets.
Mr McGlade said the network took into account all requests council has received from Ocean Grove residents over the years.
“It’s definitely the biggest footpath project ever in Ocean Grove,“ he said.
Mr McGlade also addressed concerns about the lack of footpaths on Grubb Road.
He explained building a footpath on Grubb Road would be unwise, as the State Government might consider the road for future duplication.
He said an alternate route would be built through the developing estates.
“That connection will be the safest for residents to access Shell Road,“ he said. “It will be a much safer route than a footpath on an 80km/h road,” added Ms Hurse.
“We are currently working with developers on this.“
Ocean Grove Councillor Jan Farrell is keen for local residents to view the draft network and have their say.
“Access to footpaths has been a huge issue for Ocean Grove,” she said.
“This type of extensive footpath strategy is not only a first for Ocean Grove but it’s...

10:23

Ocean Grove Voice: Grubber netballers back at work "IndyWatch Feed Geelong"

ENTHUSIASTIC Ocean Grove netballers resumed pre-season last month in preparation for the 2016 Bellarine Football Netball League season opener which starts in March.
The local netballers have been in training since mid-January after their Christmas and new year break.
The pre-season work has consisted of two sessions a week, based around all court and fitness work.
Ocean Grove senior grades face Bellarine rivals Drysdale in round one on Saturday 26 March to coincide with the opening of the $6 million Shell Road sports pavilion.
IN other Grubber netball news, the Ocean Grove Netball Club’s junior netball sign up and uniform fitting days took place on Friday 29 January and Sunday 31 January.
The junior netball sign-up and uniform days were held at Ocean Grove Memorial Recreation Reserve.

The post Grubber netballers back at work appeared first on Ocean Grove Voice.

10:23

Ocean Grove Voice: Nippers head to Grove for state events "IndyWatch Feed Geelong"

MORE than 1000 junior lifesaver competitors are expected to compete across two state junior nipper carnivals held at Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club this month.
The one-day state Life Saving Victoria (LSV) nipper carnival held on Saturday 13 February is followed by a state-based western regional surf life saving qualifying event held at Ocean Grove the next day.
Ocean Grove SLSC Junior Activities Manager, Scott McNaughton, said the mid-February weekend date was a massive logistical exercise for the club.
“It is certainly a really big logistical effort – we require lots of volunteers, everything from water safety to setting up the courses, to catering, to officials, so it is a very big weekend for the club,” McNaughton told the Voice.
“It is also a good weekend for the community and we will expect 1000 nippers competing across the two days.”
The LSV junior carnival will get underway at 8.30am on Saturday 13 February with clubs from all over the state competing from Lakes Entrance in Victoria’s far east to Portland in the state’s south west.
“There will be a large contingent of nippers and surf life saving clubs competing on the Saturday 13 February,” McNaughton said.
“The second day is what we called the western regional qualifiers, which is essentially all the surf life saving clubs from Point Lonsdale down to far the south west of the state.”
IN other news, promising Ocean Grove SLSC teenager Tom Kingshott won a gold medal in the 1km beach run at the interstate Manly nipper nationals over the Australian day long weekend surf carnival in January.
Ocean Grove SLSC head coach, Sonia Kinsey, said the first placing for 14-year-old Tom Kingshott was a great result in preparation for his assault on the Aussie titles in April.
“We knew (Tom Kingshott) was going to be up there with (the top place-getters), obviously this is going to be his first Australian titles,” Kinsey said.
“Tom does a bit of e...

10:23

Ocean Grove Voice: Huge Grove presence at Queenscliff swim "IndyWatch Feed Geelong"

By MARK HEENAN

KEEN Ocean Grove ocean swimmers were some of the 500-plus participants who competed in the annual 24th Queenscliff Blue Water Swim Challenge on Saturday 30 January.
Local Grove competitor and renowned marathon swimmer Mark Stone came away victorious in the 50-59 age group and finished seventh overall in the main 1.2km swim challenge at Queenscliff pier.
The 55-year-old came home in a time of 14:01 to finally edge out his Ocean Grove swimming rival Robin Asher, who came third in the 50-59 age group and finished 11th overall.
Stone said he was chuffed with his result.
“I was quite satisfied with my performance, I was swimming with a wetsuit and I did not have a big swim beforehand,” Stone said.
“That sort of helps a lot whereas when I have swimming against Robin (Asher) I have been swimming without a wetsuit.
The 1.2 km swim challenge was won by star competitor Tristan Read in a time of 12:59.
IN the curtain-raiser to the main 1.2km swim challenge, Ocean Grove local Flynn Kinsey was the first male to cross the finishing line in a time of 05:43 in the 600m race.
Fellow Ocean Grove SLSC team-mate and superstar local Tyler Walsh finished fourth overall in 05:55 in the earlier race.
Queenscliff Blue Water Swim Challenge spokesperson Margie Heffernan said the conditions were for the most part great for competitors.
She said the Bellarine-based small swimming club was very appreciative of the volunteers who helped on the day.
“The day went really smoothly, the conditions were amazing compared to the day before,” Heffernan said.
“It got a bit more choppy as the event went on, so the later the race the rougher the conditions.”

The post Huge Grove presence at Queenscliff swim appeared first on Ocea...

10:23

Ocean Grove Voice: Finals nearing for Grubbers juniors "IndyWatch Feed Geelong"

Compiled by PAUL MADDEN

OCEAN Grove Cricket Cricket Club juniors head to the business end of the season leading into finals with all teams coming back from break with a vengeance.
A fantastic century to Logan Taylor in the Under 17 combined team last Saturday has given them every chance of getting in the finals but they must win the next two games.
Both under 15 teams have consolidated their spot in the finals with good wins and an outright which will probably give them both a home final.
Similarly the Under 13 Swans are set in the top four and a couple of good wins by the Grubbers may see them get into the finals.

Under 15 OG Red D’Arcy Division
Round 8
OG Red versus Barwon Heads at Wallington
OG Red lost the toss and went in for a bat in the one dayer, making 5/105 with Charlie Walter making 30 not out and Matthew Stanic getting 29 not out. They then went in for a bowl, getting Barwon Heads 6/91 with Liam Mullen getting 2/16 and Matthew Stanic yet again performing and getting 1/2. It was a good win for the boys.

Round 9
OG Red versus Leigh Districts at Memorial Reserve
OG Red lost the toss again but went in for a bowl this time, getting Leigh Districts all out 7/38 with Charlie Walter getting 3/7 and both Noah de Bruijn and Matthew Stanic getting 2/5 each.
They then went in for a bat, passing Leigh Districts score easily with 1/81 with Brad Walder getting 30 not out and Nathan Scarpa getting 29.
They then sent Leigh Districts in for another bat, getting them all out 10/45 with Noah de Bruijn shining again and getting 4/4 from his 5 overs and supported by Liam Mullen getting 2/4.
They then went in for another bat, yet again easily surpassing Leigh District’s score by making 6/56 with Will Richardson getting 12. It was a great game by the boys and an amazing outright win to consolidate their finals position.

Under 15 OG White McMahon Division
Round 8
OG White...

09:15

Zedlines: Boundary Street gearing for change - and more 8am Zedlines "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

Indigenous groups are pushing for a name change for Brisbane's Boundary Street. (Image source: Flickr Creative Commons)

Boundary Street gearing for change:

The state government has suggested it would consider a move to change some of the state’s Boundary Streets only after discussions with Indigenous groups, councils and communities.

08:45

Natural Newstead: More on sparrowhawks "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

The family of Collared Sparrowhawks at the end of the street have been clamouring out for attention – I think they are worth another look.

Here you go!

SH1

Collared Sparrowhawk (juvenile), Wyndham Street Newstead, 24th January 2016

SH2

II

SH3

III

SH4

IV

08:00

The NORTHSIDER: WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE | MAKER "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Maker is all about taking your time and enjoying the coffee. Find your way to North Street, Richmond today and allow goodness to envelope you.

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

07:44

Focus On Fauna: A host of herons "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

White-faced Herons are a familiar sight on roadsides and near farm dams in the district, but we were surprised to see a total of 14 of them rise in a group and wheel around overhead when disturbed from our dam the other day, giving their croaky call as they went (click on the audio below […]

06:56

cairnsnews.org: Diggers launch a petition calling for Morrison to resign as Australian of the Year "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

morrison-wnaker-of-the-year

Sign this petition to demand the resignation of Australian of the year -click the picture

Letters to editor condemn Morrison:

David Morrison in my experience serving under his command when he was Deputy Chief of Army around 2009-2010 and the Chief of Army’s Office itself, have previously shown a severe lack of oversight in the management, welfare and wellbeing of soldiers and Officers under his and their command. In particular Soldiers and Officers affected by Defence Abuse, a dysfunctional military justice system, poor complaints resolution system and defective defence administration system.

The written response I received from David Morrison with respect to the above defective processes was totally inadequate and unacceptable. It took an impartial Defence Abuse Response Task Force in 2013-14 to look into my complaints and submission to determine that I had been wronged through abuse and defective administration and military justice system between 2002 – 2009 whilst I was serving in the Army.

My ongoing complaint into these matters is something David Morrison could have addressed in his posting tenure as Deputy Chief of Army but he and the Chief of Army’s office chose not to admit that I had been wronged or show moral leadership, compassion, give me a fair go or assist in righting the wrongs.

Instead they “The army” dragged my official complaint on for 4 years with no positive outcome. The lengthy...

06:51

AWPA Sydney News: 1) Indonesia spying on West Papua supporters overseas: activists "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"


2) Reject PT. New Nabire, Governor Must Accept Responsibility
3) Coalition Urges Care for Victims of Oil Nabire PT. Nabire Soon 'Out'!

4) Three fishermen from Jayapura held in PNG

——————————————————————————————-


1) Indonesia spying on West Papua supporters overseas: activists

Updated ...

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Sunday, 31 January

12:38

Castlemaine Independent: SISTER ACT: FESTIVAL OF SMALL HALLS RETURNS TO VICTORIA, NEW SOUTH WALES "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

Following a fantastic reception for the inaugural Southern run of Festival of Small Halls in 2015, the folk tour returns with a new line-up in March and April 2016.
For most of the 17 date run, which revolves around partner event the National Folk Festival in Canberra, Canadian Acadian trio Vishtén (twin sisters Emmanuelle and Pastelle Le Blanc from Prince Edward Island, and Pascale Miousse from Isle de Madeleine) are joined by Australian folk duo The Little Stevies (sisters Byll and Beth).
The first tour, which took place in Autumn 2015, received a wonderful response from audiences, and producers Woodford Folk Festival are delighted to be able to send such high quality artists on the road into towns where communities really appreciate great music.
‘We presented Vishtén at the Woodford Folk Festival a few years ago, and we know that locations on this tour are going to love them,’ says Halls producer Chloe Goodyear.
‘They’re multi-instrumentalists and come from the French-speaking Acadian tradition in North East Canada. They’re some of the best presenters of a style of music that we don’t see a lot of in Australia and is really unique – whistles, percussion, fiddle, vocals, accordion, guitar, mandolin, jaw harp, and a really interesting and complex foot percussion. Plus, there’s something special about siblings singing together. Having Vishtén and The Little Stevies makes us really happy, and we know that’s something audiences will feel too. We know they’re going to have a ball together.’
Tickets are on sale 20 January at www.festivalofsmallhalls.com and at select community outlets.
The Festival of Small Halls Victoria, New South Wales and ACT is presented by the Woodford Folk Festival in partnership with the National Folk Festival.

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Saturday, 30 January

13:15

The Gap Year and Beyond: Observing the little master fisherman… "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Gypsy Point, on the Genoa River, north of Mallacoota, is a small quiet village visited by people interested in nature and those wanting to get away from it all. I visited a few times during my recent stay in Mallacoota. Not only is it a good location for Sea-eagles it is also well known for a variety of birds, mammals and reptiles. While photographing the Sea-eagles from the small cruise boat, we came across a tiny Azure Kingfisher – a stunning looking little ambush hunter that works its way along the water’s edge, diving from an over-hanging tree branch down into the shallow water and taking small fish, frogs and aquatic insects.
The Kingfisher photographed below was not overly bothered by the boat and kept hunting along the river’s edge while the Captain tried to ease up and allow me a closer view.

Azure Kingfisher, Genoa River, Gypsy Pt

Azure Kingfisher, Genoa River, Gypsy Pt

Azure Kingfisher, Genoa River, Gypsy Pt

Looking for prey along the water’s edge

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Friday, 29 January

14:05

St Kilda News: Historic Jetty Demolished "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

By Bill Garner St Kilda residents and visitors are up in arms about the demolition of Brooke’s Jetty last October and are campaigning to have it rebuilt. The jetty was a defining element of the St Kilda beach landscape. For more than a 100 years, the narrow structure was a magnet for sailors, swimmers, fishers, […]

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