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Wednesday, 10 February


Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group: Take ACTION! Write to your politician #LetThemStay "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

TAKE ACTION to help stop babies and families being returned to Nauru. Sample letters you and cut and paste to contact our politicians. Hints for contacting politicians and their contact details.
Start writing NOW.


Echonetdaily: Don’t send the children back "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Following this week’s High Court decision on offshore detention on Nauru, the Greens have called on the prime minister to rule out sending children and their families back there. Sending children to Nauru would be child abuse and Malcolm Turnbull needs to decide whether he is willing to authorise that. The evidence is clear and it’s undeniable that Nauru is unsafe for women and children. This is a major test for the prime minister. Will he keep these children safe, where they can thrive and prosper, or will he dump them back on the prison island of Nauru?

I was so disappointed this week when the Labor and Liberal-National parties voted down a Greens motion calling on the Turnbull government to grant amnesty to these 267 vulnerable people, including 37 babies, so they don’t have to be sent to Nauru and Manus Island. The snap-rallies held around the country this week demonstrate Australians do not think this is fair or reasonable.

Dawn Walker, Greens candidate for Richmond


The post Don’t send the children back appeared first on Echonetdaily.


James O'Brien: Memories Of Mardi Gras 1978 "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

I recently had an email from someone interested in the oral history project I had been involved in back in 1998, celebrating twenty years since the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Although I have a copy somewhere in my extensive CD collection, I needed to touch base with my friends Glen and Greig who had been instrumental in putting the project together. They came up with the idea, they found the talent, and they made it happen. All I did was chat with a few people, and hopefully got them to tell their stories as well as they could, and create the audio. The premise for the project was simple: for Sydney Pride Centre, we would get together a bunch of people who had participated in the first Mardi Gras and ask them to tell their stories.

As I wrote in 2007,

I remember at the time of doing the interviews of being in awe of these people who had quite simply participated in something quite amazing, but who hadn’t really thought of it in those terms at the time. The aim of the project was to document in some way the experience of the many “ordinary people” who had taken part in the first parade and protest.

Thankfully Glen and Greig were able to find the original audio files, and so to make these more widely, here they are, hopefully never to be lost again.


Filed under: Blogging Tagged: gay, lesbian, sydney gay...

18:55 TPP treaty opposed by alliance of crossbenchers "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

A university in the United States has found that the much-heralded Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal will cost the American economy 448,000 jobs and significantly decrease their Gross Domestic Product.

One of 12 nations in the deal, Australia signed the agreement in New Zealand last week.

The Global development and Environment Institute at Tufts University near Boston said President Obama’s promises of sweeping economic benefits are wrong and the treaty would actually harm America.

The analysis said U.S. jobs would be “hardest hit” of all the nations in the agreement.

Meanwhile the TPP along with the National Interest Analysis was tabled in the Australian House of Representatives today prompting the Member for Kennedy and leader of Katters Australian Party, Bob Katter to form a cross bench alliance, citing the TPP as the “greatest threat to Australia’s sovereignty in decades.”

Mr Katter, Senator Glenn Lazarus and Greens’ Trade Spokesman Senator Peter Whish-Wilson fronted a joint press conference at Parliament House to oppose the ratification of the TPP, which is expected within weeks.

Whilst full details of the TPP Agreement were laid before Parliament, all three attacked the Government’s own analysis of the Agreement – an analysis which is unlikely to highlight the real losses to Australian manufacturers and producers.

“There has been a hole a mile wide torn in the sovereignty of Australia,” Mr Katter said.

“If there is a product which some foreign corporation is pro...

18:32 Commonwealth Bank’s Brendan French. Is he Australia’s biggest bank fraudster? "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

New post on Kangaroo Court of Australia


Commonwealth Bank’s Brendan French. Is he Australia’s biggest bank fraudster?

by Shane Dowling

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s senior executive Brendan French, who is one of Australia’s biggest fraudsters, recently won a defamation case against a whistleblower. This is quite amazing given that it is French’s role at the Commonwealth Bank to cover-up multi-million-dollar fraud and theft by Commonwealth Bank staff and others and Brendan Fren...

18:30 Hundreds of crazed Islamics riot and injure police in Sydney "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

How many Australians outside of Sydney saw this Channel 10 news segment?

Hundreds of fanatical Islamics rioted in Sydney on September 9, 2015, claiming they were objecting to the release of an anti-Muslim film. Police were caught off guard and a number were seriously injured while trying to contain the mob surging through the CBD. Police were forced to shut down Market Street sending the rioters back to Hyde Park to regroup. There police dogs and capsicum spray were used to break up the crazed Muslims. The chanting, mindless mob took to police with missiles and boots hospitalising six officers.

The blame for these disgusting anti-Australian attacks on the majority of peaceful citizens by several hundred Muslim immigrants can be placed squarely on the shoulders of the Labor party, the Liberal Party and the equally crazed Greens.

North Queensland MP Bob Katter has called for an end to all immigration tying the annual 600,000 influx of immigrants to job availability. Until the nation can absorb existing immigrants and place them in meaningful jobs, Katter says from today no more, finished, don’t apply.


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

PhotoCredit_KirraPendergast-We are big fans of local artist Nitsua, he shared a little about himself with us this week after driving back from Melbourne where he was at Rainbow Serpent Festival and afterwards completed the amazing Bowie mural you will see below.

KP – Claim to fame/day job/hobby/what are you known for?

I’m mainly known for my street art / mural work & furniture design.

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 6.09.36 pm

KP – Is it your passion or just something you do?

Yes its my passion, I’ve come from being stuck behind a computer working as a Graphic Designer for 12 years of my life, which I find myself still doing occasionally otherwise I’d be one of those struggling artists!


KP – What is your greatest career achievement?

Signing a 4 year license agreement with Ken Done in the fashion industry.

KP – How do you give back to your community?

Through my street art, whoever takes it on, I inspire or just smiles when seeing my paintings I’ve just given back to. Also teaching local kids a thing or two on techniques, giving them confidence to really push there work and inspire them.
catsua newtown...


Goulburn Valley Pride Inc.: Buy your tix to The Danish Girl NOW "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Click here for tickets – we look forward to seeing you on 16th March!



News and Events - 2SER - Real Radio 107.3 FM - 2SER - Real Radio 107.3 FM: Around Town is a brand new segment on 2SER Breakfast! "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Around Town is a brand new segment on 2SER Breakfast!

When the weekend is closing in, wouldn't it be great to have a friend to let us know what's going on so you don't miss out on anything?

With our new segment Around Town on 2SER Breakfast Thursdays your buddy Mitch will let you in on a few cool things you can check out around Sydney over the weekend each week!

Got a cool event or happening you'd like to let us know about? Email!


Echonetdaily: Innovation Party "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Last week The Echo highlighted the Online Comment of the Week, ‘Why would an innovation and engagement platform want to form a political party? Why not dedicate 100 per cent of your time … into inviting, developing and improving the innovation and engagement platform?’ – Jason.

I have dedicated 100 per cent of my time to improving the innovation and engagement platform during my 30-year career working as an inventor and innovator. I felt compelled to design a political party that is committed to bringing about improvement of function in all areas of governance. We aim to find greater efficiency, eliminate unnecessary waste and better serve the community by deeper engagement at a grassroots level.

The charter highlights this fact. Innovation is what is needed if we are to adequately meet the coming challenges of economic disruption and climate change. The principle of innovation can be practically applied in all areas; from a person learning a new vital skill to a system being created that enables greater community engagement. Our antiquated electoral process requires a mix of new technology and good old-fashioned education with values of transparency and integrity to guide its way.

I was surprised to see such a comment highlighted by a media organisation that prides itself on supporting community proactivity. The opportunity to clarify our intentions here is appreciated. I also acknowledge the back page mention of our efforts to provide an alternative political party and I can confirm that the party was launched on Australia Day – precisely.

Malcolm Robertson, public officer, Innovation Party


The post Innovation Party appeared first on Echonetdaily.


The Shepparton Adviser: Dookie bands together to scrap proposed sites "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Dookie bands together to scrap proposed sites

RESOURCE RECOVERY PRECINCT CONCERNS… More than 150 members of the Dookie community turned out to voice their concerns over the proposed resource recovery precinct sites as part of the Draft Resource Recovery Precinct Feasibility and Site Selection Study on Monday night. Photo: Supplied.

MORE than 150 members of the concerned Dookie community came together on Monday night at the Dookie Community Centre, to voice their desire to see the Draft Resource Recovery Precinct Feasibility and Site Selection Study proposed sites at Dookie scrapped.
Concerns were voiced to Greater Shepparton City Council CEO, Peter Harriott, Mayor, Dinny Adem and Cr Jenny Houlihan who were in attendance.
Resident, Gaye Sutherland said, “There are many issues we have with the proposals as part of the draft study.
“The site matrix values used in the study to determine preferred sites are fundamentally flawed and need to be revisited.
“Minimum buffer distance applied in the study does not consider the composting of organic and biological wastes.
“No consideration has been given to aesthetic impact on tourism.
“There is a lack of consideration given to impacts of increased traffic.
“There is a high value of agricultural land around Dookie that was considered to have lower value than irrigated land.
“The study did not consider Daldy Road in the site selection matrix despite the fact that this site clearly meets many of the required criteria.
“Members of the forum put forward thr...


The Shepparton Adviser: Australia’s top 100 graduate employers announced "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Australia’s top 100 graduate employers announced

AUSTRALIA’S TOP 100… At Australia’s Top 100 Graduate Employers 2016 launch in Sydney last week were from left, Geoff Adams of The Adviser, representing the Prime Minister, Leader of the House and Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, former Shepparton student and GradAustralia account director, Geoffrey Adams and GradAustralia directors, Steven Butler and Jeff Duncan. Photo: Supplied.

REPRESENTATIVES from Australia’s leading graduate employers gathered in Sydney for the announcement of Australia’s Top 100 Graduate Employers, with industry awards for 2016 presented by Leader of the House and Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, The Hon Christopher Pyne MP.
The Top 100 Graduate Employer Rankings are based on the results of a survey conducted annually by GradAustralia and completed by over 6,000 university students. The survey explores career motivations and expectations, and asks university students to nominate graduate employers that most appeal to them.
See next week’s edition of The Adviser for the full report.


The Shepparton Adviser: 90 years as a community driven man "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

90 years as a community driven man

CELEBRATING 90 YEARS… Local resident, Ken Moore celebrated his 90th birthday on Tuesday last week, alongside family and friends. From left, daughter, Sue Holland, Ken, daughter, Anne Craig and niece, Diane Bewicke. Photo: Emma Hillier.

HE IS a well known face throughout the community, with some perhaps remembering Ken Moore as GJ Coles cafeteria manager, but it was all about Ken last week when the community driven man turned 90.
When The Adviser arrived at a special family gathering to celebrate his birthday at the Royal Mail Hotel in Mooroopna on Tuesday, Ken was full of emotion, but he was all too happy to share his lifetime of stories.
Ken said, “My biggest achievement has been my five daughters, which has led to 12 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and one great, great grandchild. I started a production line.
“I worked with GJ Coles for 28 years and was manager of the cafeteria for six years. I ended up leaving Shepparton and worked in the Adelaide Coles for six years before taking up a job at Flinders University as the student catering manager.
“I couldn’t stay away though. I moved back to Shepparton in 1980 and was the manager of the Association for the Blind until I retired in 1984/85.
“I was the inaugural president of the Shepparton Central Rotary Club and spent 17 years as a legatee.
“I love being out in the community. I played bowls for 41 years and even became the national umpire, but I cannot play anymore so instead I have taken up croquet.
“Perhaps one of the...


The Shepparton Adviser: Local’s big chip win "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Local’s big chip win

POKER FACE CHAMPION… Local resident, Matthew Wishart at the Texas Hold’em Poker Murray Championships, which he took out the first place title and $2,000 in prize money. Photo: Supplied.

MOOROOPNA resident and local Texas Hold’em Poker enthusiast, Matthew Wishart took out the title of Murray Champion recently, taking home the trophy along with his big chip win of $2,000 in prize money.
Held at the Mulwala Water Ski Club, Matthew put on his ‘poker face’ against a field of over 140 poker players from all over Victoria and NSW, beginning the final table of the event as chip leader, with a stack of over 3 million. Some well timed ‘all ins’ and great pressure on his opponents saw him take out the event in just over nine hours.
Fellow local, Tyler Flemming also earned himself a seat on the final table, finishing sixth overall and securing himself $400 of the $6,825 in prize money on offer.
Event organiser and newly appointed Albury/Wodonga Regional Manager, Michael King was impressed by the turnout, with over 30 players from the Shepparton area alone making up the field of over 140, saying he hopes to build on the numbers in three months time when Matthew returns to Mulwala to defend his title.
“There are three Texas Hold’em Poker events held each week in the Shepparton area, with anyone aged 18 and over welcome to come and give it a try. Poker is a friendly, fun, social game and you can join in the excitement from $12 with the opportunity to win hundreds of dollars on any given night,” Michael said.
For further information o...


The Shepparton Adviser: Safety concerns build over crumbling roads "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Safety concerns build over crumbling roads

“… a catastrophe waiting to happen”

THERE is more than 4,000km of roads encompassing the Shepparton area and according to concerned locals, many sections of road contain damaged patches and are an accident waiting to happen.
With an array of potholes and seemingly ‘quick fix’ jobs that are now crumbling in areas around the city including along Doyles Road, Wyndham Street, corner of Central Avenue and Benalla Road, McIntosh Street, Gowrie Street and Archer Street, the community is concerned for the safety of all road users and is urging Greater Shepparton City Council and VicRoads to act immediately.
A local resident, who has asked to remain anonymous, spoke with The Adviser about the state of many of Shepparton’s roads providing many photos of locations across the city where there is either damage to roads, or where seemingly incompetent patch up jobs have been carried out and are now causing more of a hazard than before.
“My bike is my only mode of transportation.
“On Doyles Road just before New Dookie Road, where the bike path (shoulder) finishes as you approach the roundabout, there is a section of the shoulder where there has been a repair carried out that is simply dangerous.
“Also, across the road of 399 Wyndham Street (out the front of Primary Care Connect) there has been another repair done that is 80mm high at the peak of the mound. This site is a part of the road that a cyclist would use during peak period.
“The 399 Wyndham Street repair was done in a cavalier mann...


The Shepparton Adviser: Treatment times poor "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Treatment times poor

DESPERATE NEED FOR REDEVELOPMENT… According to recent Victorian Health Services Performance Report statistics, GV Health’s emergency department is the worst-performing in Victoria, proving that the hospital is in desperate need for funding to redevelop. Photo: Emma Hillier.

ONLY 50 percent of patients seen in GV Health’s emergency department are being seen in an adequate time according to recent Victorian Health Services Performance Report statistics, suggesting that without the much needed funding for the hospital, figures may decline further.
The new figures show a continued decrease in patients being treated on time, with the June 2015 quarter recording 64 percent of patients treated within an acceptable time, which fell to 51 percent for the September 2015 quarter and continued to decline for the December 2015 quarter.
While 7,397 patients were treated at GV Health’s emergency department in the October-December 2015 quarter, the statistics reveal that only one in two had been treated within an acceptable time frame.
Comparing Shepparton’s figures with other regional cities such as Bendigo, which saw 68 percent of patients treated in acceptable time frames in the October-December 2014 quarter only dropping to 66 percent for the same period in 2015, the statistics show that GV Health’s emergency department is the worst-performing in Victoria.
Echuca saw a 90 percent rate of patients seen in an acceptable time frame in the October-December 2014 quarter, dropping to 84 percent in the same period f...


The Shepparton Adviser: Service providers to co-facilitate youth foyer "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Service providers to co-facilitate youth foyer

HOPE FOR YOUTH… From left, Rural Housing Network team leader, Courtney Dupuy, Berry Street service development officer, Laura Simpson, and Berry Street acting director, Tricia Quibell with GOTAFE commercial manager of learning, skills and Koorie unit, Natasha McCormick out the front of Shepparton’s Education First Youth Foyer. Photo: Emma Hillier.

RURAL Housing Network and Berry Street Victoria have been charged with the duty to be co-service providers for Shepparton’s Education First Youth Foyer, which plans to be open and ready for operation later this year.
The two service providers will work in partnership with GOTAFE to deliver this new service, which will provide safe accommodation for up to 40 young people aged 16 to 24 who are attending secondary school, TAFE or university, and who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. These youths will be eligible for up to two years accommodation to assist them to maintain their studies, whilst being supported and mentored by staff and the local community.
Berry Street senior manager community partnership and support services, Greg Laidlaw said, “The important thing for people to understand is that this youth foyer is being brought about through a partnership between Rural Housing Network, Berry Street and GOTAFE.
“We’ll be providing other services to complement the ideals of the foyer including getting the youths to give back through volunteering and work experience and giving them the foundation and direction to take that next step away from their...


The Shepparton Adviser: Fight continues for our water "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

THE next step as part of the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District Water Leadership Forum, saw Independent Member for Shepparton District, Suzanna Sheed, Committee for Greater Shepparton chair, David McKenzie and RMCG consulting water expert, Rob Rendell take an appeal to the Senate Select Committee last week.
Suzanna told The Adviser the group also took the opportunity to meet with the chairman and CEO of the Murray Darling Basin Authority, the commonwealth environmental water holder, David Papps and the Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford to discuss their concerns.
“This visit was about heightening the awareness of what is happening in the Goulburn Murray district and discuss the concerns we have, in particular the socio-economic impacts occurring in the region.
“We also specifically asked what we want done. There were three important points we made that need to happen and happen quickly.
“The second was to enable 650GL to be recovered by the environment doing its own work.
“And finally, to prevent another 450GL coming out of the system in the future. We want that taken off the table all together. To go ahead with this would be too damaging.
“These three requests would give everyone more time to look at other opportunities and make sure the environment is sufficient,” Suzanna said.


The Shepparton Adviser: Get set for SAM this year "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Get set for SAM this year

PUBLIC PROGRAM RELEASED… From left, Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) director, Dr Rebecca Coates and marketing coordinator, Gabriella Calandro with the front cover of the bi-annual SAM Public Program, released today. Photo: Emma Hillier.

THERE is a lot to look forward to at Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) over the coming months, and all of the exciting events can be found in the SAM Public Program, released today.
Of the 32 plus events listed, SAM will also be holding three major exhibits until the end of July including Cornucopia (Saturday, February 27 to Sunday, May 22), 80/80. Eighty Years of SAM The Collection (Saturday, February 6, 2016 to February 2018) and Chen Qiulin. One Hundred Names (Saturday, June 4 to Sunday, July 24).
SAM director, Dr Rebecca Coates said, “The program lets people see what SAM is doing and who we are working with.
“Looking at the front cover, we chose the Campbell’s Soup can as this is part of what makes our region unique. We believe it helps to capture the region’s history and demonstrates the region’s real strengths and unique connections, which are so important.
“As the program unfolds over the coming months, SAM will be developing the program and the community will see more events revealed.
“We are very excited about what is coming up at SAM.”
The bi-annual SAM Public Program is available as a lift out in this edition of The Adviser, or can be picked up from SAM, Welsford Street, Shepparton, at all accommodation providers across Shepparton, local cafés, Eastbank, the Greater Shepparton Visitor I...


The Shepparton Adviser: Community Connect "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"


SENIOR CITIZENS CONCERT is held on the last Thursday of the month with the next running on February 25 with guest artist, Kerran and Rupe from 1:30pm. Entry is $5, which includes afternoon tea. Everyone welcome. For bookings, phone 5825 2642 or 5821 9580.

INDOOR BOWLS have resumed at the newly renovated Senior Citizens Centre in Welsford Street. Play commences at 1pm on Saturdays and runs for three hours. A very social atmosphere with a cup of tea or coffee mid way. Bowlers are encouraged to arrive 10 minutes early to allow time for selection. Flat soled shoes are to be worn and admittance is 80c to cover refreshments.

COOL CAT ROCKERS INC SHEPPARTON rock n’ roll dance classes will run from 7pm to 8pm for beginners combined with intermediate and 8:30pm to 9:30pm for advanced at Wesley Hall, Maude Street, Shepparton. No partner required. All progressive. For further information, contact Anne on 0429 956 177 or Kaye on 5821 5465.


SHEPPARTON MS PEER SUPPORT GROUP would like to welcome back all its members for the 2015 year, and also any new members who wish to join. Meetings and outings are held on the third Tuesday of the month from approximately 10am to 12:30pm. For further information, contact Ken Morelli on 0427 919 116 or Barry Flemming on 0411 468 489.

HEARTBEAT VICTORIA GOULBURN VALLEY meet on the first Monday of the month at the GV Health dining room from 6pm for a meal. Meeting and guest speaker starts at 7pm. For further information, contact Ian Powell on 0418 575 141.

COUNTRY WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION Congupna branch meetings are held at the Congupna Hall on the third Wednesday of the month from 11am. Everyone is welcome. For further information, contact Marg Sarkady on 5825 5106.

GOULBURN VALLEY TYPE ONE Peer Support Group Shepparton provides support...


Echonetdaily: Culture Roundup – February 10, 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Landscapes by Stefan Smith, photographic exhibition at Lone Goat Gallery opens Friday and on show until 2 March.

Landscapes by Stefan Smith, photographic exhibition at Lone Goat Gallery opens Friday and on show until 2 March.

Loving the landscape

In this exhibition Stefan creatively explores and interprets the Australian landscape. You can see his sometimes bold use of colour – as shown in his sunsets – to the subtle hues of the more gentle skies and sand dunes, all creating an effect for the viewer to want to be in there among it. This artistic photographic approach occupies territory that could be associated with contemporary painting.

Landscapes by Stefan Smith opens at the Lone Goat Gallery in Byron on Friday at 6pm and is on show until 2 March.

Federal loves Women Like Us

Comedians Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs bring their two-hour blast of comedic revelry with their show Women Like Us to Federal Hall on Saturday 5 March. This will be just a few days after their return from the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

The girls have been attracting full houses, causing one promoter to query? What is it about this show that is bringing in the audiences.

After pondering it for a while it occurred to Mandy Nolan that Women Like Us is a show about middle-aged women. ‘We’re nothing like our mothers.



Echonetdaily: Hogan denies pork-barreling accusation "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Page MP Kevin Hogan has welcomed the government's accelerated write downs for farm fencing, tanks and dams . Photo Darren Coyne

Page MP Kevin Hogan has denied his review of a White Paper, which the opposition says could potentially result in millions poured into his electorate, is an exercise in pork-barreling. Photo Darren Coyne

Chris Dobney

Nationals Page MP Kevin Hogan has been accused of being part of a ‘pork barreling’ exercise with agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce following revelations at yesterday’s Senate Estimates hearing.

Shadow agriculture minister Joel Fitzgibbon claimed the exercise could see up to $13.8 million earmarked for research and development directed to Mr Hogan’s Page electorate.

He levelled the accusation after it was revealed minister Joyce had commissioned Mr Hogan to undertake a review of a White Paper that allocated $13.8 million to the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation (RIRDC) to develop training programs to help farmers form cooperatives.

Around $200,000 was released to RIRDC to produce a scoping study for the work ahead.

But Mr Fitzgibbon said that, ‘apparently not satisfied with the results, in October last year the Minister appointed Page MP Kevin Hogan to undertake the same task.’

‘Officials confirmed that following Kevin Hogan’s report there had been a “deviation” from the White Paper...


Echonetdaily: Pay forever for coastal ‘protection’ "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Byron Shire Council’s meeting of February 4 included Report 13.10 on the Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) for future coastal management of the Byron Bay Embayment – the Belongil saga.

Attachment 1 to the report is an early draft of minutes of a meeting that council staff had on December 8 with our consultants and state government (OEH) officers, about the OEH’s dissatisfaction with the CBA.

Expenditure aside, and forgetting the nature of the 2015 errors and assumptions, it’s sad to see that coastal decision-making is based on very short timeframes for the costs and benefits of the various options for our coast at Belongil. After the CBA is re-jigged in 2016, this community will choose whether to approve rocks on the kilometre of Belongil coast (where the rocks are already) or to let that stretch go back to its natural dune and beach format.

The shorter the term, the better it looks to march in and protect the real estate with rocks. If you look long-term, however, the act of protection costs communities forever.

The walls get damaged and need rebuilding after each big 1950s-type storm. If we abandon dreams of impregnable real estate, the costs fade to zero in the longest term. Leaving the coast alone to be enjoyed by all comers forever costs next to nothing, when thought of as a project over hundreds of years.

The current 35-year timeframe of the Cost Benefit Analysis for our coast is crazy. Good planning looks at outcomes over seven generations, not just one!

As we see from other places where hard works have been installed, the public pay. The ‘protection’....


Echonetdaily: Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: You Had Me At Colonoscopy "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"


Well, 2016 has started off as a cracker of a year.

By 4 February I’d achieved some of my bucket list items: (1) Taken family on overseas holiday and forced children off social media and to enjoy relationships with parents and siblings. Tick. (2) Elope on beach in Hawaii with partner of eight years and aforementioned children thus avoiding the giant bullshit fiasco involved with a public wedding. Tick. (3) Have a colonoscopy.


There’s nothing like having a camera up your arse to take the shine off a good holiday. Although I do have a few extra snaps to add to my iPhotos, and possibly share on Facebook when something someone says shits me.

In case you are wondering. I didn’t need to have a colonoscopy. I elected to have it. I figured as 50 was on the horizon and as bowel cancer is one of those genetic fruits hanging from our family tree, that as a mother of five I should ensure I’m here for the long haul and not taken out by arse cancer.

It was quite an experience. My first day of fasting was on the 9-hour plane trip home. After eating overcooked, fatty, super-sized American food I figured that the colonoscopy preparation could be something of a ‘cleanse’.

Day one is ‘white food’. That mea...


Echonetdaily: Greens to call for inquiry into NSW drug driving regime "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Greens MLC David Shoebridge, solicitor Steve Bolt, Greens MP Tamara Smith and SCU lecturer Aidan Ricketts. (Photo Darren Coyne)

Greens MLC David Shoebridge, solicitor Steve Bolt, Greens MP Tamara Smith and SCU lecturer Aidan Ricketts. (Photo Darren Coyne)

Darren Coyne

The NSW Greens have promised to push for a parliamentary inquiry into the state’s drug driving regime after hearing of the unfair impact it is having on northern rivers residents.

At a forum in Lismore last night, Greens MLC David Shoebridge and Ballina MP Tamara Smith gave an undertaking to the crowd that they would push for in inquiry in both houses of parliament once it resumes later this month.

After spending the morning in Lismore Local Court, where 45 people appeared on drug driving charges, Mr Shoebridge told Echonetdaily that it was clear that the current drug-testing regime wasn’t working.

Mr Shoebridge said his office had fielded numerous calls from northern rivers residents since the introduction of drug testing, and after investigating their concerns, had come to the conclusion that the tests had nothing to do with road safety.

‘On page one (of their standard operating procedures) they say roadside drug testing does not test for impairment or infer impairment, it simply tests for the presence of drugs,’ he said...


Echonetdaily: Byron’s Bay’s Black Pearl goes up in smoke "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Burnt out… police are investigating the cause of the fire that destroyed the well known Black Pearl bus that called Byron Bay home. Photo Facebook

Burnt out… police are investigating the cause of the fire that destroyed the well known Black Pearl bus that called Byron Bay home. Photo Facebook

Chris Dobney

It may not have been a sailing ship but the big black bus dubbed the Black Pearl, which was often seen in the streets of Byron Bay, had a similar reputation.

The mysterious bus had been regularly parking around Belongil, to the consternation of local residents and there were unsubstantiated reports on social media that the owner had been seen selling a stolen surfboard.

That all came to an end just before midnight on Monday (February 8), when NSW Fire & Rescue attended to reports of a ‘bonfire’at Childe Street, Byron Bay.

A spokesperson told Echonetdaily that crews arrived and found the bus alight with the owner outside unharmed. The fire was extinguished by around 1.40am.


Echonetdaily: Byron’s iconic surfing beaches still under threat "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

This aerial photograph, taken on February 21, 2015 shows the affect of high tide and erosion at Byron Bay's Main Beach. Photo Norm Sanders

This aerial photograph, taken on February 21, 2015 shows the affect of high tide and erosion at Byron Bay’s Main Beach. Photo Norm Sanders

Hans Lovejoy

Byron’s world-renowned surfing beaches and related ‘tourist activities’ are at risk owing to Byron Shire Council’s relentless push to create plans that favour coastal protection structures, a state government department warned again recently.

But the warning appears to have made no difference to council’s right-wing controlling faction, who again barrelled through with yet another motion to continue on the path of overturning the planned retreat policy in favour of ‘protection works’.

Structures such as rock walls are known to erode beaches over time.

At last Thursday’s council meeting, the controlling faction ignored staff recommendations that sought clarification over a newly announced coastal management framework.

Instead, Cr Sol Ibrahim again produced a last-minute lengthy motion – written in the lunch break – which aims to continue the preparation of a Coastal Hazard Management Study Byron Bay Embayment.

The project i...


Echonetdaily: Free data for Telstra customers "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Image from

Image from

Telstra mobile phone customers will be given free data this weekend to make amends for a national outage which prevented about 1.5 million people making calls and going online.

Tuesday’s outage happened when a technician made a mistake while moving customers across mobile nodes – a device which helps control the flow of mobile calls connecting to the telco’s larger networks.

For several hours about 10 to 15 per cent of the giant telco’s customers couldn’t make calls, browse the net or check social media during the blackout.

But by the afternoon the nation-wide blackout was resolved.

Telstra’s chief operations officer Kate McKenzie said all mobile phone customers will be given free data this Sunday.

“We’re incredibly disappointed the outage occurred and deeply sorry for the inconvenience we caused,” she said.

“Customers don’t need to do anything to receive the free data, it will happen automatically for all of our mobile customers.”

Several customers took to social media to blast the telco, while others saw it as an opportunity to poke fun.

“You should be ashamed of yourself making those poor kids talk face to face and not be able t...


Echonetdaily: Personal imports of new cars from 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Australians will be able to import a new car or motor cycle without the need to go through a local dealer from 2018. 

But it must have comparable standards to Australia’s, be a right-hand drive passenger vehicle, no more than 12 months old and have no more than 500km on the odometer.

More than 90 per cent of new vehicles were imported and within two years all cars will be imported once Ford, General Motors and Toyota cease local manufacture, the federal government said in a statement on Wednesday.

Of the world’s right-hand drive countries, Japan and the United Kingdom now meet the Australian standard.

Other countries may be included upon reaching a comparable standard.

“If a manufacturer chooses not to sell a particular model in Australia, a consumer may now have an option to source this model overseas,” Major Projects Minister Paul Fletcher said.

The changes will improve the existing arrangements for importing exotic, rare, classic, collectible and special purpose vehicles.

A new rule will allow such a vehicle, which is at least 25 years old, to be imported under these arrangements.

The $12,000 special duty on imported used vehicles will be removed from 2018.

The post Personal imports of new cars from 2018 appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Echonetdaily: Antarctic ice ‘point of no return’ warning "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Thinning of the world's ice sheets has caused rising sea levels. Photo

Thinning of the world’s ice sheets has caused rising sea levels. Photo

There is a distinct point of no return where a vast amount of ice will slip away from Antarctica’s landmass into the ocean, with consequences for global sea levels.

A study published online in Nature Climate Change this week suggests that although some large areas of ice sheet can melt without any immediate effect on the rest of the ice shelf, others would only be able to lose a limited, almost negligible amount without major impacts.

Even if as little as five per cent of some ice shelves were to disappear, the ice would likely lose its land-locked roots, the French and German researchers found.

They concluded ice shelves in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas were the most vulnerable and called for immediate monitoring of these and other potentially unstable shelves.

Melt of the Antarctic ice sheets plays a crucial part in global sea level rise.

The post Antarctic ice ‘point of no return’ warning appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Echonetdaily: Govt to introduce medicinal cannabis laws "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Legislation allowing the production of medical cannabis has been introduced to parliament. (file pic)

Legislation allowing the production of medical cannabis has been introduced to parliament.
(file pic)

Patients suffering chronic and painful illnesses are a step closer to accessing medicinal cannabis.

Legislation allowing the controlled cultivation of the plant for medicinal or scientific purposes through a national scheme will be introduced to parliament by the Turnbull government on Wednesday.

Health Minister Sussan Ley wants the laws passed in this sitting, saying it will open the way for sick Australians to get access to relief.

The government had worked closely with the states and territories, law enforcement agencies and stakeholders over the past eight weeks to ensure a smooth passage through parliament, she said.

“This is an important day for Australia and the many advocates who have fought long and hard to challenge the stigma around medicinal cannabis products,” she said.

“For Australia, this is the missing piece in a patient’s journey.”

There are already laws allowing legal production and distribution of medicinal cannabis, Ms Ley says but Australia doesn’t have a safe, legal and reliable supply of locally-grown...


Echonetdaily: Google boss becomes highest paid US CEO "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Sundar Pichai, boss of Google, has become America's highest paid executive. (AAP)

Sundar Pichai, boss of Google, has become America’s highest paid executive. (AAP)

The boss of Google has become America’s highest paid chief executive after being handed $US199 million ($A281.11 million) in shares.

Sundar Pichai was awarded 273,328 shares in Google’s parent company Alphabet on February 3, according to a regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

It is reported that Pichai’s total stock value now sits at about $US650 million.

The payout will make him the top-earning chief executive in the US when compared to the Forbes list of the top 10 highest-paid bosses.

However, Pichai’s fortunes are dwarfed by those of Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who have reportedly made $US34.6 billion and $US33.9 billion respectively.

Pichai snagged the top job at Google last year when the tech business reorganised itself under new parent company Alphabet.

Google holds lucrative businesses such as digital advertising sales, search engine and YouTube.

Last week Alphabet knocked fellow US tech giant Apple off the top spot to become the world’s most valuable public company, with a market value of $US555 billion, compared with App...


Echonetdaily: Aust a shark attack hot spot: US study "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

A tiger shark. Photo Willy Volk/

A tiger shark. Photo Willy Volk/

Australia remains a global shark attack hot spot, with the nation recording its highest number of unprovoked attacks in six years.

The International Shark Attack File, an annual worldwide study collated in the US, determined there were 18 unprovoked shark attacks in Australia in 2015, with 12 in NSW and one fatality.

In 2009 Australia had 22 unprovoked attacks.

The ISAF also found across the globe last year that there were 98 unprovoked attacks, beating the previous record of 88 set in 2000.

The rise came as no surprise to ISAF curator George Burgess, who noted the combination of rebounding shark populations and more humans in the water made increased attacks inevitable.

“Sharks plus humans equals attacks,” Mr Burgess said.

“As our population continues to rapidly grow and shark populations slowly recover, we’re going to see more interactions.”

There were six unprovoked fatal attacks worldwide in 2015, with two off the Indian Ocean island of Reunion and one each in Australia, the US, Egypt and New Caledonia.

The US, with its abundant, populated coastline, led the world in unprovoked attacks with 59, then Australia’s 18 and South Africa third with eight.

The ISAF, owned by the Smithsonian Institution and housed at the Florida Museum of Natural Histor...


Echonetdaily: India soldier alive 6 days after avalanche "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Rescuers search for survivors of an avalanche in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. (AAP)

Rescuers search for survivors of an avalanche in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. (AAP)

An Indian soldier declared dead has been found alive under eight metres of snow, six days after he was buried by an avalanche that hit his military post in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Rescue teams dug out Naik Hanamanthappa in one of the world’s most unforgiving environments, at an altitude of 6000m on the Siachen Glacier, which India and Pakistan have fought over intermittently for almost three decades.

“We hope the miracle continues. Pray with us,” DS Hooda, an Indian army commander, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Hanamanthappa has been rushed to hospital and the army said he remains in a critical condition.

Rescue workers had been searching for almost a week for 10 soldiers who went missing after the avalanche in an area known as the battleground on the roof of the world.

A day after the search began the army said the chances of finding any survivors were “very remote”.

In its statement on Tuesday, it said all the other soldiers were now believed dead.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called the deaths of the soldiers tragic and offered his condolences to their families.

At the Siachen Glacier in the Karakorum range, thousands of Indian and Pakistani troops contest an area above 6096m where they must deal with altitude sickness, high winds, frostbite and temperatures as low as minus 60C.

The inhospitable cli...


Echonetdaily: Sweden prosecutor to interview Assange "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Protest image of Julian Assange.

Protest image of Julian Assange.

Swedish prosecutors are working on a new request to interview WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

The move was announced followed last week’s finding by a United Nations working group that Assange was being “arbitrarily detained” by the UK and Swedish authorities.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a brief statement: “The prosecutor responsible for the case, director of public prosecution Marianne Ny, is currently working on a renewed request to interview Julian Assange at Ecuador’s embassy in London.

A former request was rejected in January by the Prosecutor General of Ecuador.”

The spokesman said last week’s report by the UN panel had not had any effect on Ny’s previous conclusions on the case.

“Concerning the report that was issued last week, I would like to state that it does not change my earlier assessments in the investigation,” she said.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond branded the working group’s findings as “frankly ridiculous” and said the Australian was “hiding from justice”.

Assange said the minister’s comments were “beneath” his stature and insulting to the UN.

He is wanted for questioning in Sweden over a sex allegation, which he has always denied, and believes he will be taken to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks if he is extradited.

He said the UN Working Group’s deci...


Echonetdaily: Tweed leads the state in dementia numbers "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The Tweed electorate has the highest number of people with dementia in the state: with some 1,842 people estimated to be currently living with the disease and an anticipated 106 per cent increase to 3,794 by 2050, according to a new report.

Other north coast electorates are not far behind, with Clarence on 12th position with 1,527 people currently living with dementia and Ballina on 14th position with 1,469.

Lismore comes in at 25th of the state’s 94 electorates with 1,402.

Coastal electorates dominate the chart, produced for Alzheimers Australia NSW by Deloitte Access Economics.

Alzheimers Australia NSW CEO John Watkins said there is little surprise in that, given the increasing tendency for sea-change retirements.

‘That throws an extra burden onto regional communities like the Tweed because they have to provide more and better facilities, resources and services for those people living in the community with dementia,’ he told ABC radio this morning.

He added that it was inevitable the country would see a substantial increase in numbers of people living with dementia as the baby boomer generation aged.

‘Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia, after heart disease, and there is no cure,’ Mr Watkins said.

He pointed out, however, that while dementia is not reversible it is partially treatable.

And he said most people did not realise that the risk factors for dementia were identical to heart disease: smoking, untreated high blood pressure, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.

‘It’s now known that if you take action in your earlier years – before you hit 60 – to get those issues under control, you’re much more likely to live longer without dementia,’ Mr Watkins said.

Mr Watkins said while dementia was difficult to diagnose in its early stages a significant change in an older person’s habits or routines was often a clue that something was amis...


Echonetdaily: The grand Earle of Blues "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Steve Earle plays Bluesfest this Easter.

Steve Earle plays Bluesfest this Easter.

Steve Earle has had a big life and has often found his way onto the highways and byways of controversy, sometimes on his own path and sometimes where he crossed the path of others…

Intrepid reporter Eve Jeffery spoke with Earle in the leadup to his performance at Bluesfest this Easter.

Where are you and what time is it?

It’s 11.15pm in New York City. I was scheduled late because I had to get my little boy [John Henry] to bed first; he’ll be up again at six.

I’ve got interviews until 1am then I’ll try to catch a few hours until he wakes up.

He has autism; he’s been at school since two years of age – that’s how you treat it. He will be six in April; I’ll just barely make it back for his birthday because Byron’s late this year and the tour ends in Byron.

You have written a lot about different places in your songs. Is where are you living now affecting what you’re writing?

Living in New York affects writing in a lot of ways.

I made a whole record when I first mov...


Echonetdaily: Bruns van owners evicted – Fingal next "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Kelly McKelvey’s caravan leaves Bruns. Photo supplied

Kelly McKelvey’s caravan leaves Bruns. Photo supplied

It was an end of an era for caravan owner Kelly McKelvey, as her storage van left Brunswick Heads last week after North Coast Holiday Parks evicted the last onsite caravans owned by the public.

She told The Echo, ‘We will miss the community, but have such fabulous memories. Thanks to The Echo for always supporting our stories and for publishing our content.’

Further north, van owners in Fingal Holiday Park claim a third of the park’s caravan leaseholders are under threat of permanent eviction, with the first five van owners being told to vacate their sites before Easter.

Fingal van owner Robyn Holland says another 17 van owners have just received letters from the Tweed Coast Holiday Parks Trust, ‘informing them they are not permitted to sell their caravans due to future redevelopment plans.’

One of those evicted, Suzette Collins, said she was devastated by the news.

‘We have been enjoying family holidays here together for 10 years,’ she said.

‘What the Trust doesn’t appreciate is our ongoing loyalty to the park and the fact that we are actually paying customers. Together, the long-term Fingal casuals contribute around $400,000 annually. It might get busy at Christmas and Easter, but in the quieter months, many of the tourist sites sit empty, which means they’re relying on this bread-and-butter income.

‘Many van owners have recently spent thousands of dolla...


AWPA Sydney News: 1) UPDATE 2-Indonesia mines ministry backs new Freeport copper export permit "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

2) Oppenheimer reflects on  implications of Oscar-nominated  documentary The Look of  Silence 

1) UPDATE 2-Indonesia mines ministry backs new Freeport copper export permit
Markets Tue Feb 9, 2016 7:43pm IST
* Recommendation linked to payment of 5 pct export tax


Common Ground North Coast: Cog Announce East Coast Tour "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Australia’s home-grown music scene just got a little bit heavier again, and for the better. After a five and a half year hiatus, Cog are back, and have announced a short string of dates on the East Coast of Australia during the month of July.

Cog toured very heavily from the time they were founded in 1998, released multiple EPs and two studio LPs, “The New Normal” and “Sharing Space”. They attracted loyal fans from around the country by touring through regional areas and headlined Triple J’s One Night Stand in the town of Collie. It’s this hard work during the band’s active years will ensure the news of this tour will undoubtably be met with excitement by prog fans around the country.

Locally, we’re lucky to have a chance to catch this power-trio at The Northern on Friday 8th July. Tickets are available from the venue or at

Keep track of Cog’s happenings at

Credit: Kane Skennar

Credit: Kane Skennar


North Coast Voices: In which then Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott gives the nod for then Assistant Defence Minister Stuart Robert to help smooth the way for a big Liberal Party donor and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull inherits a problem "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

These are the antics of then Australian prime minister Tony Abbott and his not-so-faithful side kick LNP MP for Fadden & then Assistant Defence Minister Stuart Robert, as reported in the Herald Sun on 7 February 2016:

A FEDERAL minister is under pressure after admitting he made a secret trip to Beijing where a Liberal donor and mate finalised a mining deal.
Human Services Minister Stuart Robert told the Herald Sun he was acting in a “private capacity” when he attended a signing ceremony with Nimrod Resources’s Paul Marks and high-ranking Communist Party ­officials who run Chinese Government-owned company Minmetals.
Mr Robert has previously said Mr Marks was a “close personal friend” and he’d bought shares in two of the Melbourne millionaire’s companies.
Mr Marks has also donated $2 million to the Liberals in the past two ­financial years. Last year, then prime minister Tony Abbott flew on a taxpayer-funded jet to Mr...


North Coast Voices: SHORTER ANDREW WILKIE: Grubby, grubby Julie Bishop "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Excerpts from ABC News, 3 February 2016:

A history of treaties in the Timor Sea 

* In 1989 Australia and Indonesia signed the Timor Gap Treaty when East Timor was still under Indonesian occupation. 

* East Timor was left with no permanent maritime border and Indonesia and Australia got to share the wealth in what was known as the Timor Gap. 
* In 2002 East Timor gained independence and the Timor Sea Treaty was signed, but no permanent maritime border was negotiated. 
* East Timor has long argued the border should sit halfway between it and Australia, placing most of the Greater Sunrise oil and gas field in their territory. 

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Tuesday, 09 February

23:26 I can’t breathe "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

I almost drowned twice when I was a kid, both on the same day. We were at a beach in Queensland. Queensland has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and I was lucky enough to grow up near them. My Dad was trying to teach me how to body surf, which is basically riding waves into shore. The waves were big. I was small. My Dad took the whole metaphor about “throwing you into the deep end” a little too literally. After he threw me in the first time and I nearly drowned, I kicked and screamed not to be dragged out again. But he was bigger than me. Impossibly bigger. Like a cat is to a mouse. He chucked me in. I went under. The only thing bigger than him was the ocean.

I lost all sense of direction. The waves were tumbling me deeper and deeper, pulling body parts in ways that they weren’t supposed to go. When the churning had stopped I was deep under water. I had to think my way out. First I looked for the sunlight so I could figure out which way was up. I swam to the bottom of the ocean floor, because it was closer than the surface, and I kicked off. I was rising rising, I was so near the sunlight. But I’d been holding my breath for too long already. People suppose drowning to be peaceful, but it’s not. It’s incredibly painful. My lungs were burning and just before I reached the surface I had to breathe in. It was an illogical involuntary response. I must have breathed in about a cup of water. Trying to think. I let myself go limp and let the waves carry me to shore. When I reached it I coughed and I coughed and I survived.

When I get bad news I often feel like I’m drowning. The tightness in my chest. Blurry vision, heart racing. I’m feeling it right now as I read that phytoplankton numbers have plummeted due to global warming.

Phytoplankton are amazing creatures. In two ways they are the very basis of all life on Earth....


Black Mark: Sensations of Art "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

I walked down the stairs that connected the sun lit modern gallery to the darker contemporary gallery in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. My eyes had not yet completely adjusted and I found myself walking on something. I recall the sensations of walking on metal. Instinctually I stepped back to see what I had trod on. I then realised that I had walked onto a Carl Andre minimalist sculpture made of eight squares of plate steel laid out in a rectangle.

The rubber souls Dunlop Volleys would have had no effect on the plate steel. The gallery’s curator had probably intended such a sequence. Three distinct mental activities occurred in this interaction with Carl Andre’s sculpture: the sensations, the reaction to the sensations and an assessment of that reaction. The reaction to the stimuli, in this case was almost immediate, but distinctly different to my later neutral reaction to the sculpture.


People react to Chunky Moves, Depth of Field, 2015 (images courtesy of NON)

To give another example, this time from contemporary dance. In the 2015 Chunky Moves dance production, Depth of Field choreographed by Anouk van Dijk these distinct mental activities were separated further. During the performance the audience was sitting at one end of the forecourt of the ACCA listening to the soundtrack on FM headphones and could see the forecourt, two roads and part the city sky line. Lots of visual sensations in the line of sight but which ones were part of the pe...


onlymelbourne: Melbourne Newsletter No.475 "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

View Online What's On this Week | 9 - 15 February 2016 Dining & Drink | Shopping & Business | Things To Do | What's On Tuesday 9th February 2016 to Monday 15th February 2016 A very special Valentines edition. Love Melbourne MelB Valentine's Day | Sunday 14th February 2016 Melbourne Guide The day to celebrate our love for one another.. When: Valentines Day: Sunday 14th February 2016 Where: Melbourne Links: Guide | Events Ludlow Valentine's Picnic Lunch PIMM’S Jug and a Grazing Style Picnic to share with your loved one or ones! When: Sunday 14 February 2016 Where: Ludlow Bar & Dining Room Riverside Quay Docklands Links: Book Tix | Desktop | Smart Phone Valentine's Day Dinner | InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto Enjoy an exquisite five course menu at Alluvial Restaurant knowing that we will make your night memorable with impeccable service and an impressive setting. When: Sunday 14 February 2016 - from 6pm Where: Intercontinental Melbourne | The Rialto, 495 Collins Street, Melbourne Links: Book Tix | Desktop | Smart Phone Valentine's Day Special Events A Day on Oak Street 2016 - community fundraiser for the Beaumaris Sports Club ActiveTRI Series - Race 4 - Mordialloc Andrew J Pearson | Peace Process - Gasworks Arts Park Casablanca | Valentines Day Special Screening Coburg Drive-In Food Truck Festival - Saturday, February 13 & Sunday, February 14 Cupid's Undie Run 2016 Dragon’s Awakening Ceremony - China Town | Little Bourke Street Drouin Ficifolia Festival 2016 Lancefield Cup - Kilmore Racing Club Little Me Market - Wodonga Lock In The Love - Heart Foundation at Queensbridge Square, Southbank Love is in the Air at Eureka 89 Melbourne United v New Zealand Breakers - NBL at Hisense Arena Melbourne Valentines Day Guide Meow Meow's Little Mermaid - Malthouse Theatre Pause Fest 2016 - Federation Square Pennsylvania Avenue - Playhouse Theatre Princess Market - Melton Run for Strength - Muscular Dystr...


AWPA Sydney News: 1) GLOBAL CALL FOR ACTION- FEBRUARY 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

2) US Ambassador’s Visit to Papua Should Contribute to Conflict Resolution 
What is the most effective way to help to make a difference to the FWPC?


Edgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary: Runaway goat no more "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

Calamity Jane

On this day, the 9th of February 2012, a frightened little goat ran for her life. Dodging fast moving cars and anyone who threatened to catch her, this spritely young kid bounded left and right – and straight into the hearts of millions. Dubbed “Houdini, the runaway goat” by media outlets around the globe, her plucky resolve ensured many came to see that animals cherish their lives in just the same way we do ours.

Calamity Jane

Welcoming her into our fold we christened her Calamity Jane. Whilst initially fearful of our advances she now knows they come wrapped in both kindness and Weet-Bix, and so she is on the run no more.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Calamity JaneCalamity Jane


ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly: Birobidzhan, a Russian Jewish autonomous oblast near Vladivostok "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Theodor Herzl, World Zionist Council president, sought support from the world’s great powers for the creation of a Jewish homeland. At the 6th Zionist Congress at Basel in 1903, it seemed as if it would take too long to save all the Jews in Europe by establishing a Jewish homeland in Israel. While waiting for the great powers to act, there was a risk that the 6 million Jews in Russia and 3 million Jews in Poland could be in dire peril. A temporary refuge was desperately needed. Uganda? Extremely remote territories in Canada and Australia, Iraq, Libya or Angola? They were all unsuccessful.

After WW1, the search continued in remote territories. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the situation of the Jewish people was considered as part of the overall question of ALL min­orities within the Soviet Union. Soviet leaders invested significant resources toward the cultural and national development of the Soviet Union’s many ethnic minorities. Soviet policies defined nationality primarily on the basis of language and territory, an understanding with which many East European Jewish intellectuals agreed. Most Jews in Eastern Europe spoke Yiddish so the Jews had a native language, but they did not have a territory; this was a problem that socialist Jewish activists and the Soviet state worked to rectify. 

The solut­ion to the problem of landlessness had been to move Jewish families to farm lands in Southern Russia (now Ukraine). Alas there was almost no room left on the Crimea.  So the new plan was to create an autonomous Jewish oblast...


Environment East Gippsland Inc: Summer legal actions stop VicForests in its (bulldozer) tracks "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

On three occasions between mid-December 2015 and early February 2016, EEG has been forced to engage lawyers from Environment Justice Australia . We believe VicForests is consistently not taking its legal obligations regarding environmental protection seriously and Minister Neville’s Environment Department is yet to to take action. Keep reading for more details of our most recent legal adventures ...


  1. Bellman/Jacks Rd forest

The first action saw VicForests pull out 24 hours after receiving a detailed letter from our lawyers on 14th December. The planned logging coupe is in the Rich block south west of Goolengook (north east of Orbost). Officially known by VicForests as coupe 842-518-0035 and named ‘Bellman’, we called it the Jacks Rd coupe. Despite its 47ha having obvious values that were likely to support protected species such as the Long-footed Potoroo, Sooty Owl and the Greater and Yellow-bellied Gliders, VicForests decided not to survey the forest before logging.

This reckless ‘don’t look - just log’ attitude was why EEG launched the landmark Brown Mountain court case in 2009-10 – and was also why we won.

The coupe had areas of no logging history, was a wet forest type and had many old hollow-bearing trees. Yellow-bellied Gliders had...


tyto tony: Yellow Wagtails sticking together, sticking around "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

Three's not often company among Eastern Yellow Wagtails (Motacilla tschutschensis) at Mungalla Station but today a trio of birds stuck together through four shifts to various sites along the road in from the highway. Sorry, no trio picture presented itself. (Above, one I can almost always count on.)
First time I've seen three birds getting on well and sticking relatively close together (10-20 metres apart) as they foraged along the roadside, being forced to move as station traffic travelled the road.

In its usual spot, at the waterhole that marks the eastern end of Palm Creek these dryish days, the only Yellow Wagtail that can be counted almost every day its looked for.


16:52 Nightclub goer gets shot repeatedly by a group of Muslims outside of a Sydney, Australia night club "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

These are the grubs brought to Australia by the Labor Party, starting with Hawke and right through until the present Liberal PM Malcolm Turnbull. We are still bringing in 600,000 immigrants a year, many from Islamic countries. Bob Katter says no more immigration at all until there are jobs available for immigrants. He says it must be stopped now. We are heading towards the ethnic warfare of the United Kingdom and now Germany because of mad Islamics and Africans they have imported. Tell Julie Bishop “stuff the United Nations, charity begins at home!” p-of-Muslims-outside-of-a-Sydney-Australia-night-club


Edgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary: Bambi Seven Years on "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

7 years ago today Bambi arrived at Edgar’s Mission!

Check out this cute little clip of Bambi bouncing around his paddock <3

Click here to view the embedded video.


The Westsider: THE ART AND TERROR OF CROWDFUNDING "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

You've got the great idea, but not the funds to make it happen. What next?

The post THE ART AND TERROR OF CROWDFUNDING appeared first on The Westsider.


The Westsider: ANGRY TRAIN GUY – SPOTSWOOD "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

‘Jan, we’re marooned at Spotswood Station’ [A cautionary tale]

The post ANGRY TRAIN GUY – SPOTSWOOD appeared first on The Westsider.


Northey Street City Farm: January 2016 E-News "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

To find out about what’s happening at the farm, check out our monthly e-news by clicking here

If you want to sign up to receive our monthly e-news, just add your name and email on the menu bar to the right.



The Westsider: HELLPIXIE – AS TOLD TO… "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Kingsville seamstress Hellpixie tells all...

The post HELLPIXIE – AS TOLD TO… appeared first on The Westsider.


Radio 2RDJ FM 88.1: Swinging The Blues Playlist 8.02.2016 "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Track Title Artist Album Title
Flip Flop Fly Sugarcane Collins Going Back To Clarksdale   (new)
Time To Move Big Daddy Wilson Time   (new)
Every Feels Like Home –
Main Theme
Stormcellar Every Feels Like Home   (new)
Sweet Mama Stormcellar Every Feels Like Home
Off Rocks Los Skeletone Blues Rated G
Down The Road Apiece Irish & The Tom Cats 35 Years Of Big Rock
Trust In Me Alex Hahn The Wallflower
Gotta Cut Down Des Kennedy Blues The Blues
Groove Me Kate Lush ( self-titled )
I Don’t Know Divine Devilles High Time
Life Is Too Short Foreday Riders Herding Cat...


The Westsider: CAN OF WORMS – FEBRUARY "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Should children be released from detention while their asylum application is being processed?

The post CAN OF WORMS – FEBRUARY appeared first on The Westsider.


The Westsider: A FESTIVAL OF WEST "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Come and enjoy a slice of summer with Ali Webb

The post A FESTIVAL OF WEST appeared first on The Westsider.


The Westsider: A CONVERSATION WITH MIKE SMITH "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Want to find out more about Sun Theatre's owner Mike Smith's record-breaking circumnavigation?

The post A CONVERSATION WITH MIKE SMITH appeared first on The Westsider.


The Westsider: WESTSIDER PROFILES – STEFAN ARMENTANO "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

New-ish Westsider Stefan Armentano is bubbling with enthusiasm - and bouillabaisse!

The post WESTSIDER PROFILES – STEFAN ARMENTANO appeared first on The Westsider.


The Vociferous Journalist: Domestic Violence conference to discuss electronic options "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

Experts from across the globe will attend the eSafe Relationships conference at the University of Melbourne tomorrow to share information and ideas on the use of technology to prevent and respond to violence against women and their children. Co-Chair of the Research Alliance to End Violence Against Women and their Children and conference convenor, Professor Kelsey Hegarty says the talks will discuss the problems and determine what interventions are most needed.


The Westsider: ASK PETE – FEBRUARY "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Struggling to keep on top of it all? Pete knows how you feel!

The post ASK PETE – FEBRUARY appeared first on The Westsider.


The Westsider: TO HELL IN A HAND KART "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

Where are we heading? Alan Squires thinks he knows...

The post TO HELL IN A HAND KART appeared first on The Westsider.


South Gippsland Sentinel-Times: Cycling arrives in Bass Coast "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

Bass Coast Mayor Cr Jordan Crugnale presents Chris Harper of the SOM team with the King of the Mountain jersey after the Inverloch stage of the Herald-Sun Tour last Saturday. m120616

Bass Coast Mayor Cr Jordan Crugnale presents Chris Harper of the SOM team with the King of the Mountain jersey after the Inverloch stage of the Herald-Sun Tour last Saturday. m120616

There’s no time for the riders to check out the beautiful Bunurong Coast as they jockey for positions with four kilometres to go, near the Inverloch RACV Resort, on their way into Inverloch last Saturday. m100616

There’s no time for the riders to check out the beautiful Bunurong Coast as they jockey for positions with four kilometres to go, near the Inverloch RACV Resort, on their way into Inverloch last Saturday. m100616



Castlemaine Community House: Car Maintenance – March 8 "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

automobile-mechanics[1]The first of our ‘Mainely for Women’ series of workshop is coming up on March 8th. ‘Car Maintenance’ will be a helpful workshop for those wanting to learn more about caring for their car and saving money on avoidable repairs. More details







: BACK OFF BAIRD! "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Aboriginal Elder to Premier BY OUR CHIEF CIVIC ROUNDSMAN Prominent and highly respected local Aboriginal Elder Uncle Max Harrison has called on the Baird Government to stop its proposed forced merger of Hunters Hill, Lane Cove and Ryde Councils. In an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with The Weekly Times Uncle Max says the forced merger is a [...]


: Lifeline Thornleigh Book Fair "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury will hold their 2016 Thornleigh Book Fair on April 16-17 at Thornleigh Community Centre, corner Phyllis and Central Avenue, Thornleigh. The Fair will be open both Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 5pm with all money raised to go directly to Lifeline in assisting the community with much needed support in [...]


: Wakakirri success for Gladesville school "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Gladesville Public School took out the Division 1 NSW Sydney Trophy as winners of the Best Adventure Story-Dance in the 2015 Wakakirri Primary Schools Challenge. The School’s Deputy Principal and Wakakirri co-ordinator Alicia Elsinga was one of ten teachers involved in the two year process. She praised the 100 students involved in the production for [...]


: Uncle Max says forced mergers endanger sacred Cammeraygal sites "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

A prominent local Aboriginal elder has called on the Baird Government to stop its proposed forced merger of Hunters Hill, Lane Cove and Ryde Councils. In an exclusive interview with The Weekly Times Elder Uncle Max Harrison said the forced merger is a breach of Native Title and other protocols which require Australian governments to [...]


: Council urges residents to express their views on Council mergers "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

HUNTERS HILL HAPPENINGS With Mayor RICHARD QUINN LAST week the Public Inquiry into the proposed merger of Hunters Hill, Lane Cove and Ryde City Councils was held at the Hunters Hill Sailing Club. It was encouraging that so many residents attended and were able to address the Delegate in person to make known their views [...]


: North Ryde music clinic inspires special children "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Sound Expression – a friendly and professional music therapy clinic for children with special needs living in Sydney’s north is to run a free interactive workshop for parents on how to use music to enhance their child’s communication skills. The workshop will be held on Saturday February 27 at Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club from 10am [...]


: Eastwood Lunar New Year "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Celebrations Start this Saturday with Cooking Contest on Plaza Eastwood’s 8th annual Lunar New Year Festival commences this Saturday on Eastwood Plaza with the Community Cooking Competition at 11am. Among the VIP guests and community leaders competing this year will be last year’s winner Bennelong MP John Alexander OAM defending his title. Grand Celebration Next [...]


: How to add more value to your heritage home "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Hunters Hill Guest Column To The POINT With ADELE WESTLAKE THE approach of a New Year heralds new starts, new ideas, and new projects. Re-vamping and updating your home is often on the list of beautiful changes you plan to make. However, when approaching the refresh of an olderstyled home, it is important to revitalise, [...]


: Gladesville Ryde Physie Club girls are determined to dance "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

BEING focused, dedicated and determined at age 8 and 12 is inspiring. Turning disappointment into determination, having fun and achieving your goals is impressive. Dancing on the National Stage of a sport that you adore is awesome. Ruby Hensley and Amy Coward of Gladesville Ryde Physie Club managed to do exactly that in 2015, reaching [...]


: Talented singer for all occasions "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Her career is going from strength to strength, just coming off her 11th annual performance at the TWT Rotary Christmas Carols Show. For Nata, performing in front of big crowds is a real joy: “I’ve been singing all my life and performing professionally over the past 16 years” she says. Forte is a fixture on [...]


Refugee Action Coalition: Nauru authorities ignore eight-year-old after father wrongly arrested "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Two examples from Nauru reveal the lack of law and order and child services and protection on Nauru.

One 44-year-old Iranian refugee father has been in jail since 27 January. He is a sole parent on Nauru. His eight-year-old daughter has been cared for by another refugee family since was he was abruptly taken into custody.

Neither the Nauruan authorities nor the Australian service provider, Connect, have lifted a finger to even enquire about the welfare of his daughter.

The Nauruan police were actually called by Connect after the man had moved himself and his daughter into spare accommodation in Nibok on the west of the island. Connect objected to the move.

For almost two weeks, the Iranian man has been held in jail. His daughter is being cared for by another family at the Nibok settlement. There has still been no enquiry concerning the care of his daughter. He appeared in court yesterday (Monday, 8 February), although the exact charge was unclear. But he was returned to jail.

He is expected to make another appearance in court today, Tuesday, 9 February.

The second incident involves a 26-year-old single female Iranian asylum seeker who was arrested after an argument with guards at the mess in the single women’s section of the family camp, RPC 3.

Around 7.00pm last night (8 February), the Iranian woman tried to take some food out of the mess to her room. The mess closes at 8.00pm – and doesn’t open until the morning – so asylum seekers are left without food for a long time.

Wilson security guards confronted her at the mess; there was an altercation and the food was taken from her.

Around 10pm, Wilson security guards arrived at the single women’s compound with Nauruan police to arrest the woman.

The Refugee Action Coalition was told, “Around five or six police grabbed her, pushed her and smashed her to the ground. She was handcuffed with her hands behind her back and she was dragged to the police....


All in the Name of Liberty: Marion's Yurt "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

A classic hippy yurt at Bundagaree, it could be heritage listed.

Below are earlier versions of the painting


Zedlines: World's first death caused by a meteorite? - and more 11am Zedlines "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

A 'meteorite' has caused the death of a man in India. Source: WikiCommons.

Queensland LNP will not support Labor’s pledge to resettle 270 asylum seekers

Queensland opposition leader Lawrence Springborg says the Liberal National Party would not support the Palaszczuk Government’s promise to resettle asylum seekers who may be forced to return to offshore detention.

Mr Springborg said he would not go against the High Court decision to deport the men, women and children back to Nauru.


Radio Blue Mountains 89.1: Foster carers needed "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"


Foster carers make a difference to the future of vulnerable children by providing safe, consistent and loving homes. There is a current need for more foster carers in the Blue Mountains area.

Wesley Dalmar has a long history of supporting carers who provide care to foster children of all ages. We are a service of Wesley Mission who recruit and support diverse people to become foster carers.

We invite you to work with us and welcome your expression of interest to chat further about what you can do to make a difference.

Contact us today for an information package:

P: 45874200



The post Foster carers needed appeared first on Radio Blue Mountains 89.1.


Bellarine Bayside: Green Army coming to the Northern Bellarine "IndyWatch Feed Geelong"

greenarmylogonewBellarine Bayside is excited to announce that as part of a multi-stakeholder partnership we have successfully obtained funding from the Federal Government in round four of the Green Army programme. The Green Army is a hands-on, practical environmental action programme that supports local environment and heritage conservation projects across Australia.

Bellarine Bayside entered into a collaboration with Parks Victoria, Barwon Coast, Bellarine Catchment Network and Bellarine Landcare Group. With these five groups working together to manage the Green Army team, benefits to the region increase while Bellarine Bayside continues its strong relationship with these organisations. The Green Army team will consist of nine participants who will deliver on-ground conservation works for the partners and is facilitated by Conservation Volunteers Australia. The Green Army team will work five days a week ove...


Zedlines: Mosques and churches open doors to asylum seekers - and more 10am Zedlines "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

Religious communities in Brisbane protest against asylum seekers being returned to offshore detention. Image source: WikiCommons.

Mosques and churches open doors to asylum seekers

Brisbane religious communities united in the city at a protest last night to prevent asylum seekers from being returned to offshore detention.

The Islamic community joined forces with Christian leaders who invoked the church principle of sanctuary, offering just that to the 270 men women and children due to return to detention after receiving medical treatment on the mainland.


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

Wednesday 10th February

11pm – 12am Bad Boy’s Theme Train
This week the Bad Boy’s Theme Train presents songs that are also the names of TV Shows. My friends say I’m addicted to TV games shows, what do you think?


Zedlines: Human Trials for Australian-made Bionic Spine - and more 9am Zedlines "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

Paralysed patients may soon be able to walk again thanks to a revolutionary bionic spine. Image source: WikiCommons.

Brisbane City Council hands tied over demolition of heritage buildings

Brisbane City Council has said it’s unable to stop the demolition of three heritage valued houses in Highgate Hill after developers were granted a demolition licence by the state government.

The houses date back to the 1880's and are being investigated by Council due to their historic nature, with a councillor saying the development proposal does not suit the area and is yet to be approved.

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Zedlines: Rare albino turtle spotted on Sunshine Coast - And more 8am Zedlines.... "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

In local news…

Lockout laws face uphill battle after parliamentary committee fails to reach decision

A parliamentary committee reviewing Queensland’s proposed lockout laws could not reach a consensus on whether to support the bill a week out from it being debated in parliament.

The Opposition says it will not support the laws which would see a 1am lockout, a ban on the sale of shots after midnight and 2am last drinks imposed across the state, except in casinos and other commercial licence holders.

News Categories: 


Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forests: Off lead dogs for the Castlemaine Bot Gardens? "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

Mount Alexander Shire is currently investigating the possibility of setting up an ‘off lead dog park’ at the north end of the Botanical Gardens, abutting Froome’s Road, and west of Barkers Creek. The idea of an off lead park in Castlemaine has quite a long history, and details of council deliberations can be found on the Council’s website, here, here and here.

In the Castlemaine gardens, west of Barkers Creek: some concerns need to be allayed about the current proposal.

In the Castlemaine gardens, west of Barkers Creek: some concerns need to be allayed about the current proposal.

The area would be provided with ‘a fully fenced perimeter, animal drinking water, selfclosing gates, shade, seating, rubbish bins and waste bag dispensers’. FOBIF believes that an off lead park is a good and common sense idea, but the location of the current proposal right next to the ‘bush’ section of the gardens gives cause for concern. Although the area is to be fenced, we’re worried that dogs might be able to get into the bush section, home to colonies of the Eltham Copper Butterfly. Perhaps more seriously, the area in question is known to have infestations of needle grass weeds, which could be spread on dog fur. Serious weed removal should obviously preced...



Run for the malls, empty that ATM, make those reservations at that restaurant she once said looked nice from outside. And get some flowers. Why? I have no idea, but apparently those colourful frail things that will shortly die represent love somehow.

The post LOVE IN THE TIME OF ZOMBIES appeared first on The NORTHSIDER.



E-waste recycling has taken on a whole new meaning in Melbourne’s North thanks to an innovative appliance repair operation that’s breathing new life into broken electronics and giving them to those in need.




Learning about the state of modern journalism during my time at university was heartbreaking to say the least. However, learning about the true events this film is based on rejuvenated my faith in 21st century journalism.

The post FILM REVIEW | SPOTLIGHT appeared first on The NORTHSIDER.


Natural Newstead: Aerial mastery "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

I’ve been frequenting the area along Mia Mia Track in recent days – the recent rain has brought this area to life and I’ve been treated to a succession of nice observations – Crested Bellbird, Red-capped Robin, Chestnut-rumped Hylacola, Speckled Warbler and Owlet Nightjar. On all visits the unmistakable calls of Rainbow Bee-eaters have provided a constant background soundtrack. Yesterday evening I enjoyed watching a small flock hawking for insects above the firewood coupe between Mia Mia Track and Bell’s Lane Track.


Recently harvested firewood coupe, Mia Mia Track, Muckleford State Forest, 7th February 2016


Rainbow Bee-eater in level flight


That’s how they got their name!



Westender – West End 4101: People power in action "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

Jonathan Sri talks about the Jones Street demolition, and direct action resistance to bad development. Today, a group of Highgate Hill residents exercised their democratic rights, mounting a brief symbolic resistance to an apartment development when they temporarily delayed a demolition crew from knocking down a pre-1911 house. Whether the building is eventually knocked down […]

The post People power in action appeared first on Westender - West End 4101.


Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club: And so begins our 40th year…… "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

2016 represents the 40th year since the founding of the Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club.  The celebrations began at the December 2015 general meeting with the naming of Ern Perkins, Rita Mills and George Broadway as the first Life Members of the club.  These three passionate naturalists were on the inaugural CFNC committee back in 1976, and have been prolific contributors to all aspects of club life ever since.  As current president Nigel Harland remarked at the presentation ceremony, the club would not be in the strong position that it is in today, and may not even be around at all, if not for the contributions of these three members over the years.  An audio recording made of the Life Membership presentation was made, which has been transcribed and is available to read (CLICK HERE).

Ern, Rita and George (L to R) with their framed Life Membership certificates

Ern, Rita and George (L to R) with their framed Life Membership certificates

The first general meeting of our 40th year, and also our AGM, is to be held on Friday 12 February.  The evening starts at 7.30pm with the formalities of the AGM.  This will then be followed by guest speaker Professor Julian Hollis – a locally-based geologist – who will speak about Permian Glacial Features.   If you have heard his talks on various geological topics before, you will know that an entertaining, thought-provoking and educational evening a...

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Monday, 08 February


sunshinecoastbirds: A Feast of Feathers: Seeing All the World's 234 Bird Families "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

Hypocolius - Greater Rann of Kutch, India: Family Hypocolius (1 spp)
It didn't exactly take the breath away, but there it was. A drab, olive-green bird sitting motionless in a heavily forested gully in Darien National Park, in the far south of Panama. The bird was a Sapayoa, an enigmatic bird with a family of its own, and the only one of the world's 234 bird families that until that moment in October 2015, I had not seen.

Black-lored Parrot - Buru, Indonesia: Family Old...


Common Ground North Coast: Common Ground falls a little bit in love with Harts "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Harts – A.K.A. Darren Hart – Is a moderately divisive figure, depending on who you ask.

Impressing many with his guitar wielding prowess that been likened at times to that of Hendrix, he has drawn attention from many in the industry. Prince himself invited the young axe-man to perform at a private party in New York Late 2014.
Perhaps it is matter of envy, ethics, or something else, but a mention of his name amongst other musical circles vies a slightly less affectionate response. Certain people view his style as a little more than just influenced by Hendrix, whilst others draw issue with an apparently aloof nature, possibly construed as arrogance.

Whichever side of the fence you sit on, he obviously has no intention of going anywhere except up, which includes a slot this year at Bluesfest 2016. We spent a little time getting to know him a bit better, and this is what he had to say.



CG – Hey Darren, how are you?

H – Not bad, how are you?

CG – Good man, what are you up to today?

H – Today I’m just doing some interviews, and then I’m finishing off some studio work, then heading out to some shows over the weekend.

CG – Who are you recording at the moment?


H – Umm myself! I’m working on my second album so I’m doing some work on that.

CG – Are you happy with it? How’s it coming along?

H – Yeah it’s coming along good. You go through the whole process of “oh this is amazing” and then it shifts to “how am I going to do this” or “this isn’t working, then at the moment I’m at the stage where I kind of have everything planned out for the album and all the songs ready, I just have to finish some of the mixes and final lyrics and I think it’s coming along pretty good, I’m excited about it

CG – You’re a...

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Sunday, 07 February


James O'Brien: Melodifestivalen 2016 #1 "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Over the last couple of years, there’s been an inverse relationship between the quality of the songs and the quality of the program presenters/comedy interludes for Melodifestivalen, the Swedish finals which lead to the Eurovision Song Contest. In recent memory, the combination in 2012 of Sarah Dawn Finer, Helena Bergström and Gina Dirawi was probably the best, combining intelligence, talent, and humour. In contrast, the low point was definitely 2014, when the program began to resemble The Footy Show. It was great to see Gina and Petra Mede together, as I watched the show this morning (Australia time).

I concede it must be a difficult thing to decide who should host. On the one hand, you have the (hopefully) artistic vision of Christer Björkman, on the other you have the demands/requirements of Swedish TV bureaucrats. I can’t help but feel some of the recent decisions about program presenters have been the result of a “committee vote”.

And then you have the songs themselves. I have previously written about the apparent problem of having too few songwriters contributing the songs. Fredrik Kempe was back again this year, and I can only presume he’ll be back again over coming weeks. Though he has contributed some terrific material to Melodifestivalen, I can’t help but feel his apparent cookie-cutter approach to songs and artists (Popular and Manboy by Eric Saade were basically the same song) adds little to the contest and doesn’t really advance the plot much.

For me, there were no outstanding songs this year, though there were many songs I liked. Last year, for example, I really liked “Groupie” by Samir and Viktor as a “fun, topical song with a great tune”. This year, their song lacked a little of the same appeal, ultimately resulting in them taking their shirts off to, presumably, a...

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Saturday, 06 February


Refugee Action Coalition: Minister playing loose with Nauru asylum and self-harm figures "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

The attempt by the Immigration Minister and The Weekend Australian (February 6-7) to link self-harm on Nauru with family members being brought to Australia is another shameful effort to cover up the real conditions on Nauru.

The people who have been brought to Australia have been brought because there was no adequate medical treatment for their physical and mental damage available on Nauru.

Refugee and asylum seekers have been brought to Australia to give birth, for kidney and heart disease, burns, bullet wounds and other physical injuries suffered in their home countries, back injuries, cancer, sexual assault and rape victims.

“The Minister will not release figures about the self-harm cases because he knows they would put the lie to any idea that self-harm is a major reason anyone has been brought from Nauru to Australia. Let alone the idea that family members have come with them. It is just not true,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Peter Dutton has also had another ‘Scott Morrison’ moment, suggesting that children were being coached into self-harm. Just as Scott Morrison had no evidence against Save the Children workers or anybody else, Peter Dutton has no evidence of his coaching allegations.”

The Minister’s concern that ‘self harm was a way of getting to Australia and appealing for residency’ is a complete fiction.

Similarly, it is absurd for Minister Dutton to suggest that the alternative to sending people to Nauru is to send them to their home countries.

“The Minister’s comments do reveal the motivation behind government policy; to use confinement on Nauru to create insufferable conditions that could force asylum seekers to consider return to persecution,” said Rintoul.

“The Minister knows that refugees cannot be sent to their home country. Most of the 267 presently in Australia are still waiting for their refugee assessment more than two years after being on...


James O'Brien: Noma Sydney "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

As we entered Noma (Sydney) for lunch yesterday, there was a real sense of “showbiz”. As we were shown to our table, the four of us were greeted by probably twenty or thirty staff. “Hello, hello, welcome”. Having lived all my life in Australia, I often feel cynical about such displays of hospitality. Though such displays often feel contrived, this seemed to me very genuine. Over the next two and half to three hours, as we enjoyed our meals, and chatted with the staff, it became pretty obvious the staff were, too, lovers of fine food.

Though I’ve visited Copenhagen a few times, I’ve never been to Noma. Their seasons are always sold out weeks/months in advance. But I have read about Noma, and its reputation as a world class restaurant. In particular, I’ve been interested in the work done by the chef and co-owner, René Redzepi in re-inventing Nordic cuisine, and by his innovative use of unusual/interesting ingredients. When they announced a ten week season in Sydney, I was certainly interested, though not confident I’d be lucky enough to secure a seat/table. There are still 27,000 people (or something like that) on the waiting list. Thanks to the perseverance of Damien (running a couple of computers simultaneously) we were lucky enough to secure a table. And so yesterday, after months of anticipation, four of us sat down and enjoyed a remarkable lunch.

From the opener (macadamia in a spanner crab broth) to the closer (a fresh take on bon bons), everything was a surprise and a delight. There were many highlights. For me, they included the “dumpling” of marron and magpie goose (eat it like a taco), the sea urchin with tomatoes and berries, and the marinated fresh fruit (which included teaming up watermelon with a very bitter native plum). There were thirteen courses in all, and absolutely no sense of “I’m still hungry, let’s get some Maccas on the way home”.


Friday, 05 February


Natural Newstead: Finding some specials #1 "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

While birding is almost the complete antithesis to shopping, there is one similarity – from time to time you come across some irresistible specials. When you spot one it makes the whole exercise seem like an absolute bargain.


Chestnut-Rumped Hylacola, Mia Mia Track, 2nd February 2016






Male Speckled Warbler, Mia Mia Track, 3rd February 2016


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