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Friday, 19 February


The Watchers » Latest articles: Torrential downpours trigger extensive flooding in Nelson city and Tasman district, New Zealand "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Heavy rainfall over the last two days triggered extensive surface flooding in parts of Nelson city and Tasman district in New Zealand on February 18, 2016, local civil defence and emergency authorities reported. Reported flooding resulted from a period of severe...... Read more »


North Coast Voices: A hint of what the Australian Federal Police know concerning the Ashby-Brough affair "IndyWatch Feed"

What Senate Estimates tells us this month: 

* Liberal MP for Fisher Mal Brough has been formally interviewed by federal police at least once; 
* hundreds of thousands of emails, documents and images have been seized from the homes of Mal BroughJames Ashby, Karen Doane and elsewhere; 
* the official charge being considered is unauthorised disclosure1; 
* federa...


North Coast Voices: Commissioner For Chilled Martinis wants to enter federal politics "IndyWatch Feed"

“The work we have done at the Commission is very important. The role of Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner is to start these conversations. It is up to the Parliament to finish them. It’s also the role of the Parliament to deal with many other issues that I am passionate about.
That’s why I am announcing today my intention to resign the office of Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner effective from Friday, 19 February to seek preselection to be the Liberal Party’s candidate for the Federal Electorate of Goldstein.
This is a tough decision for me, but the right one. The people of Goldstein deserve someone who will fight for them.


new illuminati: The All-Seeing Eye: Sacred Origins of a Hijacked Symbol "IndyWatch Feed National"

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Thursday, 18 February


News from Survival International: Revealed: "Brazil's most corrupt politician" targets uncontacted tribe "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

José Riva, a former state deputy, has been labelled the most corrupt politician in Brazil.
José Riva, a former state deputy, has been labelled the most corrupt politician in Brazil.
© Local media

Survival International can reveal that a rancher targeting the land of an uncontacted tribe in the Amazon is a former state deputy labelled “the most corrupt politician in Brazil.”

José Riva, who has formerly been a deputy in Mato Grosso state, is in prison and currently being investigated for over 100 instances of alleged fraud, corruption, formation of criminal gangs, and other crimes.

Mr. Riva owns a ranch on the land of the uncontacted Kawahiva tribe, one of the most vulnerable peoples on the planet. He has repeatedly claimed that the tribe does not exist, despite video and photographic evidence proving they do, and has lobbied for the right to open up swathes of tribal land for cattle ranching and plantations.

He is a prominent advocate of PEC 215, a proposal to change Brazil’s constitution which, if implemented, could strip Brazilian tribes of their hard-won land rights.

Speaking about the Kawahiva territory, Mr. Riva said simply: “There are...


Fire Earth: January Breaks Global Temperature Records "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

January 2016 temperature breaks 2007 record —NOAA The January 2016 globally-averaged temperature across land and ocean surfaces (SST) was 1.04°C (1.87°F) above the 20th century average of 12.0°C (53.6°F), the highest for January in the 137-year period of record, breaking the previous record of 2007 by 0.16°C (0.29°F). This departure from average is the second […]


Catallaxy Files: That’s a bit rich "IndyWatch Feed"

So Australian ex-pat David Glasgow makes a good point:

Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing helpful about the use of sweeping generalisations and epithets to dismiss political opponents, no matter what side they are on.

But here’s the difficulty: bigotry, misogyny, racism and transphobia do exist, and the boundaries of those concepts shift as social mores evolve. Ideas are not locked in a state of equilibrium, and no one is entitled to have their views considered permanently respectable.

So while it is understandable that traditionalists lament the decline of their ideas on certain topics – particularly those that relate to sexual freedom – losing a public debate is not the same thing as being silenced or bullied.

Quite right – arguments are won and lost every day, and tomorrow is another day. But the thing is this – generally the community will decide who has won or lost an argument. Anti-free speech laws have judges telling us who has won or lost an argument. That is a silencing. It is unlawful in Australia, for example, to say that white is not black. It may soon become unlawful to argue that marriage should be between a man and a woman. It might soon be unlawful for students at a public university to protest about being excluded from using computer facilities funded by the taxpayer. There is a huge difference between some views and opinions becoming impolite and those same views becoming unlawful.

The most interesting aspect of Mr Glasgow’s views on free speech is that he writes from New York State in the United States. His right to free speech is protected by the first amendment to the US constitution, and the second amendment too. Here is Australia we have none of those rights.


Mongabay Environmental News: Indigenous land and forest rights in the spotlight during pope’s visit to Mexico "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Green wooden crosses line the edges of the open air auditorium overlooking the highlands of Chiapas, in southern Mexico. Below the cement floor lies the tomb where 45 Maya Tzotzil children, women and men are buried after having been massacred in Acteal by a paramilitary group in 1997. Killed while they were praying in the local chapel, the Acteal massacre victims belonged to Las Abejas Civil Society, a grassroots faith-based pacifist organization formed five years earlier. “We're still here, taking care of the survivors and of the blood of the martyrs,” Las Abejas president Sebastián Pérez Vásquez told Mongabay and a handful of other publications during a visit to Acteal last week, a few days before Pope Francis' February 15 visit to Chiapas. [caption id="attachment_179690" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Las Abejas Civil Society association president Sebastián Pérez Vásquez welcomes the pope's message speaking up for people and the planet. Photo by Sandra Cuffe.[/caption] The December 22, 1997 massacre took place in the context of the Mexican government's counterinsurgency campaign in Chiapas following the Zapatista uprising of 1994, when a guerrilla army of thousands of Mayans descended on cities and towns in the state, demanding land, autonomy, and democracy. Las Abejas supports the Zapatistas' vision and demands, but does not support armed struggle. However, that did not stop the pacifist group from becoming a target in the ongoing low-intensity conflict. Justice for the massacre of unarmed villagers continues to be a central focus for Las Abejas, but the group also defends land rights and…


Catallaxy Files: We are angry too and not for the reason you think "IndyWatch Feed"

Last weekend Kelly O’Dwyer sent out an email to her constituents:

Small business people are angry. Mums and dads are angry. And I’m angry.

Nothing makes fair-minded Australian taxpayers angrier than others not doing the right thing and not paying their fair share.

Too many multinational companies have avoided Australian tax for too long.

But things are changing.

We’ve made real progress in cracking down on multinational tax avoidance by strengthening our laws and doubling penalties for large companies. We’re leading the fight internationally with unprecedented information sharing.

And importantly, we’ve given the ATO the powers and resources it needs to go after the tax cheats.

But I’m still angry and you should be too. While Labor talks about collecting more tax from multinationals, they recently voted to let multinationals off the hook by voting against our new laws.

If we wanted high taxes and the politics of envy, stupidity, and resentment we could have stuck with Wayne Swan and friends. Rather than introducing new taxes on multinationals, the Liberal government should be cutting taxes for Australians.

The fact is that the federal government can either cut entrepreneurship and risk taking, or it can cut welfare. Why a Liberal government chooses to cut entrepreneurship and risk taking when welfare recipients don’t vote Liberal is a question many Liberal voters are pondering.


Front Line Action on Coal: Temperatures over 35 degrees will halt felling of Leard State Forest "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Media Release from the Leard Forest Research Node

Little lorikeetTemperatures over 35 degrees will halt the felling of Leard State Forest, under conditions imposed on the Boggabri and Maules Creek Coal mines, but community observers have extreme doubts that the condition will be observed, say members of the Leard Forest Research Node.

“The condition is there because over 35 degrees many animals are simply too stressed to flee from the destruction of their nests and habitat,” said Anna Christie of the Leard Forest Research Node, a community group established to conduct observations and scientific analysis of mine impacts at Leard Forest.

“Each mine has its own weather station and they told the Department of Planning they would not even accept eachother’s weather station readings. We fear if the temperature limit is invoked, Idemitsu Resources and Whitehaven Coal companies will start disputing the temperature and lead to a collapse in regulation of this condition.”

The community is reliant on two University of NSW weather stations, at North Avoca (Elfin Crossing) adjacent to Maules Creek, and Middle Creek, both easily accessible via the OzForecast Narrabri web page.

“We have heard that 28 ecologists are on hand to observe the felling of Leard Forest and ensure it takes place according to the conditions,” said Ms Christie. “But the community has no confidence in these consultants nor indeed any scientific information issued by Idemitsu or Whitehaven Coal.”

“Also Idemitsu has applied for planning approval to dig a new bore field...


Catallaxy Files: Abolish the capital gains tax "IndyWatch Feed"

Yesterday Paul Kelly said a terrible thing:

[The government] should duplicate Labor exactly and accept the CGT discount going from 50 to 25 per cent, noting this policy has provoked very little criticism.

He is quite right – people have been reacting to the negative gearing proposal (hopefully my analysis will appear early next week) and not so much to the second part of the ALP proposal.

Let’s up the ante – the government should simply abolish the capital gains tax.

It raises little revenue itself, it is a tax on capital not income, and at best is an anti-tax avoidance measure. In the absence of a capital gains tax many individuals engage in tax planning activities that convert income into capital gains. The introduction of a capital gains tax is meant to eliminate that otherwise socially wasteful behaviour.

But … the ATO has at its disposal the General Anti-Avoidance Rules that are very broad and allow the ATO to sue and reverse in the courts any activity that has the primary objective of tax avoidance. The Parliament often passes laws and then leaves it to the courts to sort out the details. It isn’t clear why that approach couldn’t be adopted here. (Actually it is clear, but there is no reason in principle why that approach couldn’t be adopted).

Anyway, several years ago Stephen Kirchner – then at the CIS – published a very nice paper on the capital gains tax. Well worth giving it read.


No Place For Sheep: This song is for the survivors. Not nice enough for you? Tough "IndyWatch Feed"

    If you haven’t already heard Tim Minchin’s excoriating musical appeal to Cardinal George Pell, I’ve linked below. It’s called “Come home, Cardinal Pell” and it is everything you’d expect from a satirist and comedian of Minchin’s calibre. Father Frank Brennan, Jesuit priest and human rights lawyer, has accused Minchin of damaging survivors with his […]


The Watchers » Latest articles: Visualizing milestones of the ExoMars 2016 mission "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The European Space Agency (ESA) has established the ExoMars programme to research the question if life ever existed on Mars. The programme will investigate the Martian environment through two missions. The first one, consisting of an Orbiter plus and Entry, Descent...... Read more »


Head Space: Creating the Enemy: Adding it all up — "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

When psychopathic individuals inject themselves into positions of power, they need to recruit fellow deviants or face the scrutiny of decent human beings. The tipping point of pure corruption happens when good people are forced out of the system due to a crisis of conscience or by brute force. Flashback: Obama Feinstein Silent – Rahm Emanuel’s […]


Fire Earth: Major Disaster Declared for Alaska "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Federal Disaster Declared in the State of Alaska Alaska Severe Storm (DR-4257) Incident period: December 12, 2015 to December 15, 2015 Major Disaster Declaration declared on February 17, 2016 The White House has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Alaska in the area affected by a severe storm during the period of […]


Independent Australia: EXCLUSIVE: Church victims seek leave to appear with Cardinal Pell in Rome "IndyWatch Feed"

EXCLUSIVE: Church victims seek leave to appear with Cardinal Pell in RomeLawyers for Catholic Church sex abuse victims are applying to the Royal Commission for leave for their clients to appear with Cardinal Pell in Rome. Contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence reports. read now...

Independent Australia: Could a post-Scalia court give 99 per cent of Americans their country back? "IndyWatch Feed"

Could a post-Scalia court give 99 per cent of Americans their country back?Could a post-Scalia court restore campaign finance sanity and pull back from plutocracy? Analyst Professor Juan Cole believes it could, giving 99 per cent of Americans their country back.  read now...


No Right Turn: More Australian racism "IndyWatch Feed"

How racist is Australia? They deny indigenous Australian MPs the right to use their own languages in their own Parliament:

A Northern Territory Aboriginal Minister has been denied permission to freely speak in her first language of Warlpiri in Parliament.

The failed request from Local Government Minister Bess Nungarrayi Price came after the central Australian MP was warned over disorderly conduct after she interjected in a parliamentary debate in Warlpiri, prompting NT Speaker Kezia Purick to declare that "the language of the assembly is English".

"Should a member use a language other than English without the leave of the assembly it will be ruled disorderly and the member will be required to withdraw the words," Ms Purick said in Parliament last December after receiving complaints from Labor MPs about Minister Price's Warlpiri interjection.

Late last week — in part prompted by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaking an Aboriginal language in Parliament during his Closing the Gap address — Minister Price wrote to the Speaker challenging the Parliament's interpretation of its standing orders.

The Speaker refused the request, claiming that providing translators would be costly and the the Parliament followed the (racist, colonial) practice of all other Australian Parliaments in requiring business to be transacted only in English. Which is pretty much what racists here in New Zealand argued when people wanted to speak te reo in Parliament. But the use of indigenous languages in parliaments isn't about cost - its about dignity, about recognising that indigenous peoples are citizens and that their languages are valuable and have a role in public life. In New Zealand, we now have simultaneous translation, and te reo has become a regular part of o...


~ The Art Of Change ~ with Carol Omer ~: A Day at the Home Office "IndyWatch Feed National"

You are home alone. Comfortably so.

From the other room you hear what sounds like the printer starting up…all on its own.

You walk a little cautiously towards the printer and indeed notice it has begun to click into the print mode – that familiar sound that is never spooky in the least…

You look over towards the sleeping cat who is now wide eyed staring at what seems to be a spot slightly above your head.

Eyes trained on staring cat you edge towards the printer as it begins to churn out paper after paper….

Cat remains transfixed on spot above your head…printer is printing what seems to be a list of sorts with instructions on it.

I am home alone. Now not quite so comfortably so..

Junipurr suddenly breaks his stare and leaps off the couch and rrrrrruns past me straight towards his food bowl.
I realise his stare is his psychic transmission for me to get his lunch and my lack of response required a physical manoeuvre on his part to get the message across…
As the printer finishes its unexpected production I call my husband…
“yeah, I ‘m still at the library. Did the printing job come through?
Remember I told you how we can send a print job to it through email”.


Renew Economy: Cost-reflective tariffs will do little to reduce network costs "IndyWatch Feed"

So called ‘cost-reflective’ tariffs proposed by networks may accelerate uptake of battery storage. But they are targeting household peaks and not network peaks, so may not be cost refletive at all, and may not cut network spending.


Renew Economy: Graph of the Day: Another emissions reality check "IndyWatch Feed"

New government report illustrates how little Coalition's Direct Action will cut emissions, and importance of incentives for electric vehicles and energy efficiency.


Renew Economy: Interview: Origin’s Grant King on big solar, small solar, plunging fossil fuels "IndyWatch Feed"

Origin Energy CEO talks plunging cost of big solar, growth in rooftop solar, battery storage, and some key ongoing industry issues.


Renew Economy: Origin: World moving quickly to renewables as solar costs plunge "IndyWatch Feed"

Origin Energy says large-scale solar projects now at $80/MWh in Australia; plans several big projects and aims to be No 1 in rooftop solar. Says it's well placed for shift to renewables because it has no "legacy assets" to protect. But falling oil price still a concern for LNG.


Renew Economy: Australia says it leads R&D on renewables grid integration "IndyWatch Feed"

Latest stocktake on projects investigating distributed renewables' impact on centralised electricity grids shows Australia leading the way.


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Shepparton Adviser: Next adventure begins for passionate principal "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Next adventure begins for passionate principal

GOODBYE MRS PARK… From left, (back), Hannah, 5, Thomas, 6, Hayley, 6, resigning principal, Judy Park, new principal, Denise Howley, Aiden, 6, Dylan, 6, Ben, 6, Taylah, 6. (Front), Georgia, 5, Tayla, 5, Chance, 5, Jarrod, 5, Oliver, 5, Kalondra, 5, Eliza, 5, during the assembly last week to farewell Judy. Photo: Emma Hillier.

AFTER spending 20 years in the role of principal across Shepparton and Echuca, 12 of those at Bourchier Street Primary School, Judy Park hung up her principal hat on Friday last week and is eager to start her next adventure.
While she will be moving on from Shepparton, Judy’s teaching journey is not coming to an end just yet, with her plans seeing her take an extended stay in Vietnam, where she may work to teach English as a second language to orphanages and schools.
Judy spoke with The Adviser about her time at Bourchier Street Primary School, explaining she had always had a passion for schooling.
“When I went to teacher’s college I loved learning and teaching others to learn was a natural progression.
“What inspires me are the teachers I work with. They are passionate about the work they do and enthusiastic about helping the children. The whole educational journey is very exciting.
“A school yard is an interesting place to be. Every day there is a hilarious thing that goes on. I think my favourite though has been the kids’ innocence. Being able to see the world through their eyes...


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Shepparton Adviser: Shepparton gets its own currency "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Shepparton gets its own currency

DUCATS A BUSINESS BOOST… From left, Lost Shepparton founder, Geoff Allemand and SPC Ardmona Factory Sales proprietor, Samuel Prentice with the new Ducats currency, which Geoff developed to help Shepparton have its own currency that can only be spent in participating local businesses. Photo: Emma Hillier.

WHEN the name Ducat is mentioned, most think of the famous Mr D, but soon the first thing to come to mind will be Shepparton’s own currency, thanks to Lost Shepparton founder, Geoff Allemand’s idea to help boost spending locally.
The Ducat, as it will be called, will come in $1, $2, $5 and $10 notes adorned with iconic historic images of Shepparton’s past and will only be able to be spent at participating local businesses.
Geoff spoke with The Adviser about where the idea came from and his plan to launch the Ducat currency at the Summer City Market on February 26 and 27.
Geoff said, “We currently have 15 local businesses participating but were hoping to have around 50 by the time we launch at the market.
“The concept is all about finding a way to support local business with a community currency that recognises only local businesses.
“Cities around the world have been doing this for 12 to 15 years including Salt Spring Island off the coast of Canada and Berkshire in Massachusettes and Bristol.
“Cr Fern Summer actually announced on social media that she would have $50 of her council allowance paid to her in Ducats.
“We have recently had SPC Ardmona Factory Sales come on board. SPC Ard...


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Shepparton Adviser: Best bakers to go head-to-head "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Best bakers to go head-to-head

BAKING SHOW APPROACHES… From left, GOTAFE baking trainer, Kim Banfield with Certificate III of Retail Baking Combined students, Victoria Nielson and Jay Major. Photo: Emma Hillier.

LOCAL bakers and apprentices are looking forward to the 10th Baking Association of Australia’s (BAA) annual Baking Show happening this weekend, where talented local bakers and apprentices will go head-to-head in a number of ‘bake-offs,’ all from the event’s new location at the McIntosh Centre, Shepparton Showgrounds. To attend the Victorian Baking Show as a member of the public, or enter the competition, visit and click on the Victorian site or call Tony Smith on 0410 511 414.


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Shepparton Adviser: Italian exporters found guilty "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

ALL Italian canned tomato exporters have been found guilty of dumping product in Australia according to findings from the Australian Anti-Dumping Commission (ADC) and the Australian government.
In its final report, the ADC acknowledged that European Union subsidies were being used by the Italian tomato processors to dump cheap products in Australia.
SPC managing director, Reg Weine said, “This is a win for SPC and our growers, and for Australian industry, which faces daily pressure to compete with cheap imports and those cutting corners and putting slavery in a can.
“Recent reports of slave labour used to produce canned Italian tomatoes and mafia involvement are shocking. Australians need to know where their food is from and if it’s been ethically produced.
“Australian retailers need to come to the party by supporting Australian manufacturers and making Australian made and grown products readily available and easier to identify and find on shelves.
“Since 2010 the illegal dumping of products has resulted in material damage to SPC, including a loss of 40 percent of its volume and reduced profitability, as it struggled to compete on price with these dumped Italian tomato products. “You can’t provide €183M in subsidies to the Italian tomato industry and expect it not to have downward pressure on production costs.
“I urge all Australian consumers to support our farmers and at the same time consider the quality, value, ethics and food miles of Australian grown products when they choose to buy tomato products in retailers. If in doubt, #Buyhomegrown.”


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Shepparton Adviser: A day for tradies "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

A day for tradies

ALL FOR THE TRADIES… Boats & More director, Simon Ryan will have boats, jet skis, fishing rods and accessories at this year’s Shepparton Tradies Day, which will boast nearly 40 site-holders at the Shepparton Showgrounds this Friday, February 19. Photo: Emma Hillier.

“TRADIES constitute a massive portion of the Shepparton workforce, yet we rarely see anything which caters to them as a group,” Shepparton Tradies Day committee member, Tony Pastucci said.
Now in its second year, the Shepparton Tradies Day expo aims to do just that.
The expo boasts nearly 40 site-holders and has quadrupled in size since last year.
“Shepparton Tradies Day is free to the community and is open to everyone. For instance, we have a ‘Boys Toys and Tools’ section, which would appeal to the home renovator; Shepparton 4 Wheel Drive Centre will be there, for anyone interested in cars, camping or bush bashing; and for those who prefer water action, Boats and More will be in attendance as well.
“Many site-holders are providing live displays.
“All of our sponsors are local, but Maxwell, Brown and Mountjoy is bringing in a presenter from Sydney to showcase the latest Tradies iPad, built by tradies for tradies, which is an exciting innovation.”
The committee is also proud to be trialling a reverse-type auction, whereby the tradies in the audience are able to bid two hours of their service towards upgrading one of Connect GV’s buildings.
“It’s a chance for this sector of the community to give ba...


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Shepparton Adviser: Business gets tails wagging "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Business gets tails wagging

BARKING SUCCESS… From left, Sausage Dog Central co-owner, Evan Lowden with the business’ DachRamp maker, Mick Sinclair. Photo: Supplied.

FROM dachshunds to pugs, most people can’t help but smile when they see a dog in its element, and this is what former locals, Evan Lowden and Tom Weston have utilised to begin building their business into an empire.
Moving to Melbourne in 2011, the boys kick-started their business in 2014, Sausage Dog Central, with a clever method of building their presence on social media, which now has over 640,000 plus likes on Facebook and more than 196,000 followers on Instagram.
Seeing a gap in the market for their products, which include items for humans such as clothes, homewares, jewellery and gifts, as well as items for the hounds themselves such a toys, treats, beads, clothing, one of the more successful and innovative items the boys created and began selling was a dog ramp called the ‘DachRamp.’ The ramp helps little sausage dogs climb up and down furniture with ease, helping to prevent against damage to the spine, which the dachshund breed is prone to.
Evan said, “The idea came to fruition around June 2014 where we decided to begin work on the social media pages. The biggest thing I had learnt from previous (failed) experiences was to build your audience first via social media. Once it was at a level we thought was significant enough we then started selling our products. When we launched the website we already had about 40,000 likes on Facebook and 8,000 or so on Instagram.


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

Australia’s top 100 announced

RECOGNITION FOR EMPLOYERS… From left, GradAustralia director, Jeff Duncan, representing the Prime Minister, Leader of the House and Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Hon Christopher Pyne MP, GradAustralia director, Steven Butler and former Shepparton student and GradAustralia account director, Geoffrey Adams. Photo: Supplied.

IN the lead up to the release of the second annual GradAustralia Top 100 Graduate Employer Guide, the top 100 graduate employers for 2016 received recognition during a special presentation in Sydney recently.
Leader of the House and Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Hon Christopher Pyne presented an award to the top 12 sector winners listed in the annual survey carried out by GradAustralia, with the overall award going to Google Australia, who were voted the most desirable graduate employer in Australia for the second consecutive year.
Minister Pyne said, “The Government is building a national agenda around science and innovation, so it’s important to commend these employers for their focus on nurturing young talent and fostering new ideas and innovation. The graduate programs being recognised tonight are further investment in our future leaders.
GradAustralia director, Jeffrey Duncan said, “In the 2016 survey 83 percent of students agreed that innovation was an important factor when choosing an employer, so it’s not surprising to see students seeking out employers like Google who are associated with a culture of innovation.”
GradAustralia distributes...


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Shepparton Adviser: Green bin contamination rises "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

GREEN lid bin contamination levels have risen by 6.47 percent when comparing the January 2016 rate with the January 2015 rate meaning there are some residents placing the wrong thing in their bins.
Contamination in January 2016 was 9.57 percent and in January 2015 was 3.10 percent.
Greater Shepparton City Council manager environment, Greg McKenzie said, “The result was really disappointing. Some residents are doing well and putting all the right things in the green lid bin, however some are just not thinking about what they are disposing of in the green lid bin.
“The main contaminates were plastic bags, nappies and plastic bottles. We even found someone’s clothing jacket in the green bin, which clearly doesn’t belong there.
“When the green lid bin is contaminated, this contaminates the entire truck load of waste that is then taken to landfill. Ultimately costing council $125 per tonne, which is passed onto the rate payer.
“I am sure most residents want to do the right thing, they just need to check what can go into the green lid bin, if it grows then it goes in the green lid bin.
“In January 2016 we had 63.7 tonnes of waste contamination in the green lid (organics) bin going to landfill out of 665 total tonnes of organics collected from kerbsides. Last January we picked up 515 tonnes of kerbside green waste and 16.22 tonne was sent to landfill. We have had an increase of 150 tonne of kerbside green waste, which is great, but we need to ensure the right things are going into the green lid bin.”
If you receive a sticker on your green lid bin about contamination, please take the time to check what you are putting in the bin. More information can be found at


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Shepparton Adviser: Community Connect "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"


CHURCH OF CHRIST GARAGE SALE will be held on Saturday, February 27 from 8:30am to 12 noon at the Church of Christ, corner of Nixon and Corio Streets, Shepparton. Great bargains and a sausage sizzle available. For further information, phone 5821 7699.

SHEPPARTON POLIO SUPPORT GROUP MEETING will be held on Tuesday, March 1 from 11:30am to 1:30pm at the Milne Bay Room, Shepparton RSL, 88 Wyndham Street, Shepparton. Guest speakers will be Liz and Ron Telford from Post Polio Victoria. For further information or to RSVP, phone Rhonda White on 1800 222 582.

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER SERVICE in Shepparton will be held at the Salvation Army Church at 10am on Friday, March 4. On this day, more that 3 million people in over 170 countries will be praying together during a global annual day of prayer. For more information, contact Lois on 5821 9605.

SHEPPARTON TEXTILE ARTISTS present ‘Be Consumed,’ an exhibition of contemporary textile art located upstairs at Eastbank. Open daily from 10am to 4pm from March 5 to 13. A fabulous range of introductory workshops are available, covering a range of techniques. For further information, contact Debbie on 0400 868 606 or Val on 0417 231 957.


IS SOMEONE’S DRINKING CAUSING YOU CONCERN? Are you troubled by someone else’s drinking? Al-Anon Groups for adults and Alateen groups for children offer anonymous help and emotional support to those affected. For information, contact Al-Anon Family Groups 5825 1160.

ESHCOL DAYLIGHT LODGE meets from 10:30am on the fourth Monday of every month. New and unaffiliated members are welcome to join and partners are welcome for lunch. For further information or enquiries, phone 5824 1274 or 5825 2142.

SHEPPARTON SOROPTIMIST CLUB meets on the third Thursday of each month at the Pines, Numurkah Road in Sh...


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": The Shepparton Adviser: Get your motors revving "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Get your motors revving

MOTOR SHOW IS COMING… Shepparton Motor Museum curator, Graeme Balfour at the Shepparton Motor Museum, which will be hosting its fourth annual motor show this Sunday, February 21. Photo: Emma Hillier.

THE Shepparton Motor Museum is setting the stage for a show that will get your motor revving, with their fourth annual motor show.
Running this Sunday, February 21 from 10am to 2pm at the Shepparton Motor Museum, Emerald Bank, the event promises to offer a fun-filled day for the whole family, with 500 cars and bikes expected to be shown off and live music, a barbeque, food stalls and plenty of activities for the kids.
Shepparton Motor Museum curator, Graeme Balfour said, “We invite the community to come down and show off your wheels or just come and spend the day enjoying all Emerald Bank and the adjoining Adventure Park have to offer.
“See the ever-changing display at the Shepparton Motor Museum, visit Riverside Gardens, Pot-Werx, AOK Angels of Kindness and Barclay’s Antiques and Collectables. Or simply relax at either The Provender or Windmill Chocolate Shop & Café, while music by ‘Who Was That Cat’ and performances by ‘Cool Cat Rockers’ entertain you.
“The kids will also be kept amused with a jumping castle, face painting, mini golf, rock climbing wall and a trackless train around the park.”
Admission is $5 per person and includes entry into the Shepparton Motor Museum.
For further information, find ‘Shepparton Motor Museum’ on Facebook, or co...


Speak Up For The Voiceless – International Animal Rescue Foundation – Environmental News and Media: TAIZ ZOO: ANTI TERRORIST POLICE & TROLLS BOTCH OPERATION. "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"




Wednesday 17th at 14:30hrs a member of our team was visited by the Anti Terrorist Police of the United Kingdom. The allegation that was made (and we know it was), as we hold that evidence, was in relation to our own desperate pleas to bring aid, veterinary assistant, and medication to suffering and starving animals at the Zoological Gardens in Yemen, Taiz. The allegation is listed below for your information based on a communication[s] made public on the 3rd or 4th February 2016. The complaint was picked from Twitter that we have been monitoring for some time. The officer and branch we have not identified in that communication. [See data below relating to that visit, names are withheld]. (Image: Third above party image not-related to I.A.R.F.A)


Image: Malicious complaints published on line, Anti Terror Police had to investigate. 


[Name withheld], [accused name withheld], [officer and dept name withheld]. “Hi I believe that [name withheld]”, is organizing a heavily armed gang of men, or is...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Dodgy police drug valuations "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Australia’s police forces routinely lie to us about the value of seized drugs.

This week we learned the AFP busted $1.26 billion worth of methamphetamine, which apparently equates to 3.6 million individual hits of ice. The maths says every single hit of ice is worth $350.

Similarly with the recent marijuana raids in Mullumbimby – 759 plants valued at $1.518 million – that’s $2,000 per plant, regardless of size.

This is deliberate misinformation provided to the Australian taxpayers who fund police operations. So what other lies do they routinely feed us? Can we believe anything they say?

As the thin blue line representing honour and decency, our police must tell the truth or lose all credibility.

W Boyle, Durrumbul

The post Dodgy police drug valuations appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Head Space: Nanomedicine Advances in Immunology "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Nanotechnology treatment reprograms immune cells to reverse autoimmune disease Parvus Therapeutics today announced the publication in Nature of a seminal paper describing the discovery and applications of a novel therapeutic approach employing nanomedicines, referred to as “Navacims”, to reprogram white blood cells to become regulatory cells capable of blunting autoimmune responses and restoring the equilibrium […]


Head Space: Biological Health Hazard – Chikungunya Outbreak: (Update) Americas "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

CHIKUNGUNYA (04): AMERICAS ************************** Published Date: 2016-02-17 05:31:35 Subject: PRO/EDR> Chikungunya (04): Americas Archive Number: 20160217.4027484 In this update: Cases in various countries: Regional summaries — Americas — Regional summary WHO/PAHO report Cases in various countries not mentioned above or more recent case numbers. Mexico and Central America — Mexico – national – Tabasco state […]


Renew Economy: Burn, baby, burn – even when the sun shines "IndyWatch Feed"

Queensland, our Sunshine State, is using gas to produce around 2GW of electricity on sunny days. So why is this resource being squandered when renewables fit the bill and could help us reach our climate targets?


Renew Economy: First-time buyers are dominating corporate renewable purchasing "IndyWatch Feed"

First-time corporate buyers are entering the renewables market in droves and now account for the majority of both deal announcements and contracted MW of wind and solar.


Catallaxy Files: Fact checking the ABC on Pell "IndyWatch Feed"

There is an almost sensible article on George Pell at The Drum:

The answer to this opprobrium is obvious: Pell has a proper excuse for not appearing in person. The Royal Commissioner, Peter McClellan QC, is not a softy and would have been well aware of the significance of his ruling. End of story.

Looked at that way, the anger directed at Pell may appear over-heated. After all, he isn’t not co-operating. He’s never been personally accused of abuse; the worst allegation against Pell himself is that he tried to bribe a victim to drop his complaint. OK, that’s pretty bad, but he’s categorically denied it already.

It might be argued that Pell is somewhat unfortunate in finding himself in the role of poster boy for the Catholic Church’s institutional response to child sexual abuse. Perhaps he’s copping more than his fair personal share of rhetorical abuse. A major reason for this is that, in all his public responses to this crisis, he has never demonstrated anything even approaching empathy or remorse.

But George Pell has been personally accused of abuse – an accusation that went nowhere. As the ABC reported at the time:

On Monday, Sydney’s Archbishop George Pell stood aside, pending an inquiry into one former altar boy’s claims that Dr Pell molested him at the same camp.

Doctor Pell has vigorously rejected the allegations against him as “lies”.

Strange that the ABC doesn’t report the outcome of that investigation.


Renew Economy: Sonnen ships 10,000th battery, putting pressure on Tesla and utilities "IndyWatch Feed"

German startup Sonnen claims leading position in global smart energy storage market as it takes on Tesla and shakes up the traditional electricity business model.


Renew Economy: Energy star ratings for homes? Good idea, but it needs some real estate flair "IndyWatch Feed"

The idea that real estate sellers should disclose a home's energy efficiency has been around for a while. But how can this be done in a way that will make a real difference to prospective home buyers?


loon pond: From reptiles to ravens, physician heal thy sticky-beak self ... "IndyWatch Feed"

The pond loves a bout of anal examination ...

Now some will be more excited at the way that the NBN is being primed for a bargain basement sale ...

Yes, but let's make sure it's properly valued and dirt cheap. 

After all, what would sensible folk pay for a jumble of faded copper and junk HFC and a bit of fibre and lots and lots of boxes in need of upgrading, as boxes are wont to need?



Renew Economy: Video of the Day: 7.5MW wind turbine construction "IndyWatch Feed"

Wind turbine fans might enjoy this 3m42s video showing a huge 7.58MW Enercon E126 being assembled, featuring some pretty impressive camera work by drones.


Head Space: Biological Health Hazard – Zika Virus Outbreak (update): Americas, Asia, Europe, Pacific "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

ZIKA VIRUS (08): AMERICAS, ASIA, EUROPE, PACIFIC ************************************************ Published Date: 2016-02-17 05:17:20 Subject: PRO/EDR> Zika virus (08): Americas, Asia, Europe, Pacific Archive Number: 20160217.4026836 In this update: [1] Cases in various countries: Americas [WHO has provided an excellent question and answer video applicable to the situation in the Americas:] Mexico and Central America — […]


No Right Turn: The TEC and whistleblower protections "IndyWatch Feed"

Yesterday at select committee, the Tertiary Education Commission revealed that tertiary institutions had rorted it for $28 million. They also said that they couldn't protect whistleblowers who tipped them off to this fraud:

Mr Cunliffe also asked if the commission could protect whistleblowers who alerted it to potential fraud.

Mr Spencer replied that it could not.

"We're not their employer. We can give them protection in terms of what's available under the legislation but we couldn't say to the employer 'now don't sue them'. We can't do that, we don't have that ability," he said.

Mr Cunliffe later told RNZ News it was not good enough and the commission must do more.

"I would like to see them make a public commitment that if a whistleblower came forward to them that they would offer to treat them in confidence," he said.

Cunliffe clearly hasn't read the Protected Disclosures Act 2000. Section 19 of the Act requires agencies receiving a protected disclosure to treat it in confidence. If the TEC isn't doing this, they're breaking the law.

And they're not the only ones. According to the article, "a whistleblower who alerted the commission to proven problems at a tertiary institute was now being sued for bringing it into disrepute". Section 18 of the Act grants immunity from such suits. The Act also effectively forbids sacking whist...


Prosper Australia: See The Big Short, talk about The Big Short "IndyWatch Feed"

Based on Michael Lewis’s 2010 book, The Big Short is a critically acclaimed film about Wall Street in the lead-up to the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. “This business kills the part of life that is essential, the part that has nothing to do with business” – The Big Short Join Prosper President Catherine Cashmore, Don’t […]


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": and the trees: Elves in the Wardrobe "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

As a, ahem, Photographer in Bellingen, I feel completely blessed to have the opportunity to do so many varied shoots. I take photos of flowers, huts, bands, brides and grooms, food, festivals and yes gorgeous little people wearing fun and practical organic clothing. I know it has been an embarrassingly long time since I have been around these parts but I have so many excuses it might just get boring to read through them all. Sooooo to distract you all I thought I would show you some pretty pics from my latest shoot. It was for a new business set up by a family in town, perfectly named Elves in the Wardrobe. I think the clothes are ridiculously gorgeous, full of bright colours, pixie bonnets and sweet designs. This shoot was particularly fun as I got to have a great chat with the parents whilst running around after these beautiful little beings. I really do feel so very blessed after each shoot, so very grateful that I get to do this in my life, I absolutely love it. 

disclaimer - Yes I was paid for the shoot but I chose to do this blog post out of pure love and enthusiasm and a desire to help a fellow parent succeed in a small business in a tiny town. 



John Quiggin: Peak paper "IndyWatch Feed"

I’ve recently published a piece in Aeon, looking at the peak in global paper use, which occurred a couple of years ago, and arguing that this is an indication of a less resource-intensive future. Over the fold, a longer draft – I’ll add hyperlinks back in if I get a free moment.

Since the dawn of history (literally, of written records), civilisation has depended critically on paper. As living standards have risen, so has the volume of paper produced, printed and read. The more knowledge we have and the wider its distribution, the more paper is needed.

At least, that was true until the end of the 20th century. With the rise of the Internet, the correlation between paper and information broke down. Increasingly, information is created and manipulated in electronic form, with paper serving mainly as an official record of the process.

In 2013, the world reached Peak Paper. World production and consumption of paper reached its maximum, flattened out, and is now falling. In fact, the peak in the traditional use of paper, for writing and printing, took place a few years earlier, but was offset for a while by continued growth in other uses, such as packaging and tissues.

China, by virtue of its size, rapid growth and middle-income status is the bellwether here; as China goes, so goes the world. Unsurprisingly in this light, China’s own peak year for paper use also occurred in 2013. Poorer countries, where universal literacy is only just arriving, are still increasing their use of paper, but even in these countries the peak is not far away.

The arrival of Peak Paper is of interest for a number of reasons.

* First, it is, in large measure, the realisation of a prediction that was over-hyped in 20th century, and then derided in the early 2000s, namely, that of the Paperless Office....


Independent Australia: Morrison divides the nation: National Press Club "IndyWatch Feed"

Morrison divides the nation: National Press ClubTreasurer Scott Morrison's first National Press Club address gave us a series of clichés about China, some hollow boasts about job growth and his barren old hokey standby of "transitioning" the economy. David Tyler reports. read now...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Sustainable Living Armidale: This Farmer Wants Us to Rekindle Our Relationship with Food "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Joel Salatin has been called “America’s Most Innovative Farmer” by TIME Magazine. “Polyfaces,” directed by Isaebella Doherty & Lisa Heenan, is a portrait of Salatin’s family farm and his singular vision to get people involved in the food process and foster community through agriculture. full article »


No Right Turn: A useful precedent "IndyWatch Feed"

Remember ponytailgate? Prime Minister John Key repeatedly bullied and sexually harassed a cafe waitress, then when his pet dirty politics smear operative Rachel Glucina expose the victim as punishment for speaking out, publicly denied any involvement. Oddly though, when asked about it under the OIA, he clammed up, refusing to release any information because "it is not the practice of the media team or the Prime Minister to divulge details of the communications with journalists".

Well, it might not be the practice, but its the law, and (having lodged a request of my own specifically to generate an appealable refusal) I now have the Ombudsman's ruling to prove it. The key lines:

Further, the Ombudsman rejected the use of s9(2)(a) (privacy) and s9(2)(ba) (confidentiality) in this case, and noted that even if they had applied, they would have been trumped by the public interest. In my case, that means I get to know whether Key had communicated with Glucina about pony-tail pulling incident or victim (the answer to which, from the Ombudsman's ruling, appears to be "yes"). As for the original requester (who had complained as well), this should mean that they will be receiving the content of that communication shortly.

As for the supposed consequences on the relationship between Ministe...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Apple ruling reignites privacy debate "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Los Angeles [AAP]

A court order demanding that Apple Inc help the US government break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters opens a new chapter in the legal, political and technological fight pitting law enforcement against civil liberties advocates and major tech companies.

The government argues that the phone is a crucial piece of evidence in investigating one of the worst attacks in the United States by people who sympathised with Islamist militants.

But privacy groups warn that forcing companies to crack their own encryption threatened not just the privacy of customers but potentially citizens of any country.

A federal judge in Los Angeles on Tuesday ordered Apple to provide ‘reasonable technical assistance’ to investigators seeking to unlock the data on an iPhone 5C that had been used by Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people and wounded 22 others on December 2 in San Bernardino, California.

Both were killed in a shootout with police.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been investigating the couple’s potential communications with Islamic State and other militant groups and argued that it needs access to the iPhone to find out more.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Wednesday said the Department of Justice was asking Apple for access to just one device, a central part of the government’s argument.

‘They are not asking Apple to redesign its product or to create a new backdoor to one of their products,’ Earnest told reporters at the daily briefing.

He said the case was about federal investigators learning ‘as much as they can about this one case’ and ‘the president certainly believes that is an important nat...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: More to join Brisbane rally for baby Asha "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Brisbane [AAP]

More protesters are set to join a rally outside a Brisbane Hospital to put pressure on the federal government to let baby Asha stay in Australia instead of sending her back to Nauru.

The 12 month old has recovered from accidental burns she suffered from boiling water while in detention on Nauru, but staff at the Lady Cilento Hospital are refusing to discharge her until a suitable home environment is identified.

Protesters have been rallying outside the hospital in support of medical staff and the broader #LetThemStay campaign, which is urging the federal government to let 267 asylum seekers facing deportation resettle in Australia.

A group of people coordinated by Mums 4 Refugees will join church groups, unions and other protesters at the rally on Thursday.


The post More to join Brisbane rally for baby Asha appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Papua New Guinea Mine Watch: Harmony and Newcrest plan 65km pipeline "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Business Day Live |17.02.2016

HARMONY Gold and its partner, Australia’s Newcrest Mining, plan to build a pipeline traversing about 65km of Papua New Guinea to pump a copper and gold concentrate from their Wafi mine to the port of Lae.

The Wafi pipeline will be far shorter than the 529km pipeline Anglo American built to pump iron-ore slurry to the coast. Another critical difference is that Harmony does not foresee that permit challenges will stall its project — something that gave Anglo executives sleepless nights and led to project cost and time overruns.

Johannes van Heerden, the CEO of Harmony’s East Asia unit, said the pipeline would be installed along areas that already had infrastructure in the form of power lines or a highway.

While he was sanguine on the pipeline, experience of operating in Papua New Guinea, where Harmony and Newcrest built and operate the loss-making Hidden Valley gold and silver mine, has meant the partners have given themselves a two-year window to secure approvals from a broad range of stakeholders for the Wafi mine.

The mistakes the partners made at Hidden Valley, which is under consideration for sale, closure or reinvestment, have proved an expensive but valuable lesson in building and operating a big mine in Papua New Guinea.


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Qld’s contentious lockout laws passed "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Brisbane [AAP]

Queenslanders won’t be able to buy booze after 3am from July.

The state’s minority government was able to pass its contentious lockout laws in the early hours of Thursday morning with the support of Katter’s Australian Party MPs Rob Katter and Shane Knuth.

The changes mean there will be a 2am last-drinks call statewide from July 1, with venues in nightclub precincts able to serve alcoholic drinks until 3am.

Shots and other rapid-consumption drinks will be banned after midnight.

The government was able to secure KAP’s support after agreeing to concessions and several amendments to the legislation.

One of those was to rule that a 1am lockout meant to combine with the 3am call for last drinks for nightclub precincts now won’t be imposed until February 1 next year.

There will now be a crackdown on drug users in nightclub precincts and a review of the laws in 2018.

The two KAP MPs were also able to secure a government commitment to tackle unemployment and look into investment opportunities in their electorates, and to set aside funding for rural mental health in the next budget due in June.

Mr Katter made no apologies for KAP squeezing what it could out of the government for its votes.

We have our priorities and the government have theirs – we have been able to reach a position that we feel is a compromise for both sides of the argument, Mr Katter said.

Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath opened the debate on Wednesday afternoon by paying tribute to those who inspired the law change.

I stand here today to honour those who have lost their lives, those who have endured serious injury through alcohol-fuelled violence, Ms D’Ath said.

(And) their families, their friends, their work colleagues who will never be the same because of these violent incidents related to alcohol.

Shadow Attorney-General Ian Walker counte...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Austria to cap refugee flow at 3,200 a day "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Vienna [RAW]

Austria will limit the number of migrants it lets in to 3,200 a day from Friday, the country’s interior minister has announced, turning an annual cap on asylum claims into a daily entry quota that is likely to cause backlogs on the main refugee route into Europe.

Austria, the last stop on the way to Germany for the hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants who have flocked to Europe since September, is increasingly diverging from its big neighbour by taking steps to restrict the influx.

“We must apply the brakes step by step,” Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner told reporters on Wednesday.

Austrias move to tighter border controls is seconded by Slovenia, which plans similar policies in solidarity.

“A backlog could develop, but Slovenia will also take further steps in agreement with us,” she said.

Germany is also likely to announce its own border restrictions, Mikl-Leitner said, without elaborating.

The Slovenian Interior Minister Vesna Gyorkos Znidar said Slovenia would step up controls on the border with its European Union neighbour Croatia, which is not part of the Schengen zone of free movement within Europe.

“The number of migrants Slovenia will receive will be within the (daily) quota imposed by Austria,” she told a news conference.

After initially throwing open its borders with Germany six months ago, Austria has progressively tightened its entry restrictions, first largely in step with Berlin, and now apparently without Germanys approval.

About 1000 migrants a day have been arriving at Austrias busiest crossing, on the Slovenia border – far fewer than the 15,700 who came from Hungary in one day at the height of the migration crisis, but the pace is expected to pick up in spring.

Vienna will also cap asylum claims at 80 a day, Mikl-Leitner said.

Over a year, that is 20 per cent below Austrias...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Filmmakers encouraged to get creative over disability "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"


A Screenworks program that brings together local filmmakers and artists living with a disability will get an extra shot in the arm this year thanks to additional funding.

Last year’s pilot Createability program saw three northern rivers film projects funded; this year Screenworks will be able to fund five projects in the northern rivers plus one each in four other regions of the state.

The five local filmmakers will each receive $4,000 funding to be used to profile northern rivers artists with disability.

Screenworks will also contract a professional production company to produce an educational video that explores captioning and audio description in short films.

On top of that, thanks to increased support from ABC Open and the NSW Government, the project will be expanded to include the Orana region, south-east NSW, the upper Hunter and the far west.

Screenworks’ general manager Ken Crouch said that last year’s Createability ‘not only exceeded all expectations, but also kept giving back to everyone that was involved.’

‘We’re genuinely excited about being able to continue and to build upon this success as we undertake the increased scope for stage two and especially as it gets rolled out across regional NSW,’ Mr Crouch said.

‘In its pilot year, Createability and Screenworks attracted a lot of positive interest by investing directly into local screen production.

‘Two of the three Createability 2015 films have been aired on the ABC, whilst the third is currently garnering interest on the International Film Festival circuit,’ Mr Crouch said.

Registration is now open for filmmakers in the northern rivers to register for the Createability 2016 project.

Screenworks is also seeking local artists with disability who are interested...


Catallaxy Files: Roundup 18 Feb "IndyWatch Feed"

Mark Steyn is in the house!

Against the inequality warriors, getting a grip on the looters and moochers, rich and poor alike, who put us in the red .

Here’s an image a reader shared with me and it’s the perfect way to explain why the Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and the rest of the class warriors are wrong.

The problem isn’t rich people. It’s looters and moochers, regardless of their income. What makes this image so helpful is that it’s true. If you look at the “right enemy” part of the image, the rich in the red zone are the cronyists who get Ex-Im subsidies, the Wall Street crowd that fed at the TARP trough, and other well-connected folks (like Warren Buffett) who use government coercion to line their pockets.

What we have is basically the visual that I would have liked to include in my 2011 column that discussed the “good rich” and the “bad rich.” When debating those who are motivated by class warfare, I’m defending the rich in the white zone, but it would be helpful to have a way of distinguishing between the worthy and unworthy people with money.

And the same is true for the non-rich. Most of them are good and decent folks earning an honest living and they belong in the white zone. But there are also some non-rich people who rely on government coercion. They could be overpaid government bureaucrats. They could be folks scamming the food stamp program or fraudsters bilking the EITC.

P.S. For what it’s worth, I suspect that more than 50 percent of the folks in Washington [and Canberra] belong in the red zone.

Reversing the innovation slowdown in the western world.



No Right Turn: More injustice "IndyWatch Feed"

Three years ago, then-Minister of Justice Judith Collins tossed away any pretence of justice over David Bain's case for compensation by throwing out an independent report on the issue because she didn't like the conclusions (and just to prove the point, leaking dirt to a sewerblogger in a further effort to smear the applicant). That caused a court case, and the government having to start the entire process from the beginning with yet another independent expert. And now that they've reported back, some of their conclusions have been leaked to the Herald, in what appears to be yet another attempt to undermine the case for compensation.

I don't actually have an opinion on David Bain's guilt or innocence - crime news bores me shitless. But I do have strong views on how the government should treat applications for compensation, and this is simply appalling. In fact, you almost have to ask whether Bain deserves compensation for the prolonged government campaign to undermine his bid for compensation...

Meanwhile, this is once again showing the problems with having politicians involved in approving compensation for miscarriages of justice. The obvious solution is to remove them from the loop, and replace the current system of ex gratia payments with a statutory one, so that people who are wrongfully convicted are automatically compensated. And if the politicians don't like the prospect of someone who is potentially guilty receiving a payout, maybe they should focus their efforts on reforming the police, so they actually do their jobs properly, r...


Senator Jacqui Lambie - PUTTING TASMANIA FIRST: Halal certification money from Army – must not fund the 190 Australian terrorist supporters being watched by ASIO: Lambie "IndyWatch Feed"

JLN Independent Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has called on the Liberal Government to give a guarantee that Halal certification money raised by the sale of food to our defence forces – has not found its way to the 190 Australian terrorist supporters who are being monitored and watched by ASIO.

“Last week in Senate Estimates committee hearings during the questioning of the chief of our spy agency – it was revealed that they were officially watching 190 Islamic Australians who were collaborators with our enemies in the Islamic state.

The ASIO chief told me that the 190 traitors were “raising funds, recruiting, exhorting young people to join the cause and espousing the virtues of the ISIL message.”  With yesterday’s stunning revelation that 1/3 of our Diggers’ combat rations are officially mandated Halal certified (while there are only 100 Islamic ADF members) – it’s now time for the government and its spy agencies to answer this simple question:

Is Halal certification money raised in Australia (including money the government has paid for ADF food) finding its way to terrorists?

It’s bad enough that there are plenty of Australian Diggers who for their own religious reasons, don’t want to eat Halal food – but will be forced to, or go hungry.

But this she’ll be right attitude – which surrounds the monitoring of known Australian terrorist supporters – and the source of their funds – has got to stop.  The last time ASIO monitored a known Islamic State terrorist supporter – we ended up with a Café siege in Sydney and the loss of 2 innocent lives.

If it’s good enough for the head of ASIO to reveal to parliament that they know 190 Australians are raising funds for the enemy – it’s good enough for the government to charge...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Ballina rescue group backs ban on plastic bags "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Sea turtles are dying from eating plastic and other debris, most of which comes from the land. (AAP)

Sea turtles are dying from eating plastic and other debris, most of which comes from the land. (AAP)

Darren Coyne

Keith Williams of Australian Seabird Rescue in Ballina still remembers Grace, the 45 centimetre sea turtle that died from swallowing a plastic bag.

‘Grace first came to us with parasites in 2004 and she was treated and released,” Mr Williams recalls.

‘It came back three years later but this time it had a piece of plastic bag shopping bag inside, 15 centimetres by five centimetres.

‘It died as a result because the plastic was completely blocking its large intestine.’

Mr Williams said Grace was just one of countless sea animals at risk. More than one third of sea turtles seen by the group had ingested plastic, and some bird species were also at risk.

In a study conducted by ASR, 88 per cent of the Short-tailed Sheatwaters (Mutton Birds) examined had plastic in their digestive tract.

Mr Williams said other shearwaters and petrels were also at risk.

As part of the campaign to ban plastic bags, ASR has invited NSW Labor’s Shadow Minister for the Environment Penny Sharpe to tour its rescue facility in Ballina today to see the damage firsthand.

In a statement released prio...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Ankara car bombing kills 28 "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Firefighters try to extinguish the flames at the scene of a car bomb detonation close to buildings of the Turkish military, in Ankara, capital of Turkey, on Wednesday. At least five people were killed and another 10 were injured in the attack, Ankara governor Mehmet Kiliclar was cited as saying. EPA/STR

Firefighters try to extinguish the flames at the scene of a car bomb detonation close to buildings of the Turkish military, in Ankara, capital of Turkey, on Wednesday. At least five people were killed and another 10 were injured in the attack, Ankara governor Mehmet Kiliclar was cited as saying. EPA/STR

Ankara [AAP]

Twenty-eight people have been killed and dozens wounded in Turkeys capital Ankara after a car laden with explosives detonated next to military buses near the armed forces headquarters, parliament and other government buildings.

The Turkish military condemned what it described as a terrorist attack on the buses as they waited at traffic lights in the administrative heart of the city on Wednesday.

A government spokesman said 28 people had been killed and 61 wounded in the blast, which took place near a busy intersection less than 500 metres from parliament during the evening rush hour.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag described the attack as an act of terrorism and told parliament, which was in se...


Indian Country Headline News: Moya-Smith: Native Americans Are Forced to Speak Up, Disrupt "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Soon, the Obamas will vacate the premises, and the only thing that seems certain at this point in the primaries is that the White House will lose color in January 2017. Right....

The Watchers » Latest articles: Tropical Cyclone "Winston" to u-turn westward and affect Niue and Vava'u islands "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Tropical Cyclone "Winston" is currently quasi-stationary system over the waters of South Pacific, over 200 km (124.3 miles) away from Niue. It will intensify over the next 48 hours and become equivalent to a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson...... Read more »

The Watchers » Latest articles: Shallow M6.1 earthquake hit off the coast of Halmahera, Indonesia "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by Geoscience Australia as M6.1 hit off the coast of Halmahera, North Maluku province of Indonesia at 17:26 UTC on February 17, 2016. The agency is reporting a depth of 0 km. USGS is reporting M6.0 at a depth of 10 km (6.2...... Read more »

The Watchers » Latest articles: Massive landslide in Turkey captured on video "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A massive landslide occurred at Yaglidere in Giresun, Turkey during the last week. The event was filmed, and uploaded on Youtube on February 11, 2016. Video credit: Hüseyin Yamak via YouTube According to expert's interpretation of the event, the landslide...... Read more »




Now confirmed, the legendary boiling river deep in the Amazon was long considered an impossibility due to its distance from any volcanoes.

Growing up in Peru, Andrés Ruzo had long heard strange tales of a river deep in the Amazon that boiled from below. As an adult – and a geothermal scientist – Ruzo figured that the legend was unlikely.

But Ruzo remained intrigued. As a PhD student in geophysics at Southern Methodist University he set his sights on creating a comprehensive geothermal map of Peru, including parts of the Amazon, wondering if indeed a boiling river could exist in the region – an idea his peers found ridiculous. It would take a tremendous amount of geothermal heat to boil even a small section of a river, notes Maddie Stone in Gizmodo, and the Amazon basin lies hundreds of miles from any active volcanoes. Even his thesis adviser told him to stop exploring “stupid questions.”

But Ruzo persisted, and his “stupid questions” led to his locating the real-life boiling river – the sacred healing site of Mayantuyacu, hidden deep in the Peruvian rainforest and ove...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Syria aid trucks enter besieged areas "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Trucks with relief goods head to the besieged rebels-held Madaya and al-Zabadani towns in the countryside of Damascus, Syria, on Wednesday EPA/Youssef Badawi

Trucks with relief goods head to the besieged rebels-held Madaya and al-Zabadani towns in the countryside of Damascus, Syria, on Wednesday EPA/Youssef Badawi

Beirut [AAP]

Trucks carrying humanitarian aid have begun to enter four of five besieged areas of Syria scheduled for deliveries in a UN-backed deal to deliver help to thousands of trapped residents, an aid agency source and conflict monitor say.

The Syrian government has approved access to seven besieged areas, the United Nations said after crisis talks in Damascus on Tuesday, a week ahead of a planned resumption of peace negotiations between Syrias warring parties.

The United Nations estimates there are 486,700 people in around 15 besieged areas of Syria, and 4.6 million people in hard-to-reach areas.

In some, starvation deaths and severe malnutrition have been reported.

Aid convoys on Wednesday began to enter Madaya and Mouadamiya al-Sham near Damascus which have been under siege by government forces, and the villages of al-Foua and Kefraya in Idlib province which are sur...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Qld Lib MP found in contempt of parliament "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Brisbane [AAP]

A Liberal National Party MP found guilty of disclosing secret parliamentary committee business and then misleading Queensland parliament about it will lose more than $10,000 in pay.

Parliaments ethics committee on Wednesday tabled a report finding Warrego MP Ann Leahy made unauthorised disclosures about Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Commission (PCCC) committee business while she was a member and then misled the committee when questioned about it.

The ethics committee has recommended, for her contempt of parliament, Ms Leahy not serve again on the PCCC this parliamentary term and be banned from serving on any parliamentary committee for six months.

‘The committee notes that this recommendation if accepted will involve a financial impost on the member in terms of foregoing the additional salary component payable to members who undertake committee duties,’ ethics committee acting chair Di Farmer said.

MPs that serve on parliamentary committees are paid an extra $23,430 a year on top of their $151,425 base salary.

It means Ms Leahy is on track to lose $11,715 if the recommendation to ban her for six months is adopted.

The committee also recommended Speaker Peter Wellington admonish Ms Leahy in parliament to ‘appropriately address the gravity of the conduct in deliberately misleading both the PCCC and the ethics committee’. The last time an MP was admonished by the Speaker in parliament was in 1999.

The ethics committee investigation found Ms Leahy last year sent other PCCC members an email about former police minister Jo-Ann Miller leaving secret committee documents in a safe she then gained possession of.

However, Ms Leahy also sent the email to premier Annastacia Palaszczuks office, which constituted an unauthorised breach of committee business.

The committee also discovered Ms Leahy had opposition leader Lawrence Springborgs chief-of-staff, Jake...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Byron Bay’s berko parking meters causing angst "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"


Byron Bay’s new parking meters are allowing people to pay to park longer than local signage allows, resulting in fully paid-up parkers being fined. Photo contributed

Chris Dobney

Byron Bay’s controversial parking meters are allowing people pay for more than the maximum time limit, resulting in people who think they have parked legally later discovering they’ve copped a hefty fine.

Byron Greens councillor Duncan Dey has recently received a complaint from a tourist family from New Caledonia who had a very expensive lunch in the Bay: it cost them $212 on top of their meal.

One member of the family told Cr Dey, they parked two cars on Jonson Street, not far from Margarita restaurant where they were having lunch.

The area is signposted as a one-hour zone.

The family say they didn’t see the sign but had no problems feeding the meter for two hours and printing the ticket, which they left inside each of their cars.

In a letter to Cr Dey the man said that he and his son were ‘both fined during our lunch ($106 penalty for each car)’.

He added that the parking warden, who was still in the street, ‘explained to us that we had to move our cars every hour, even with a ticket.’

‘I am very surprised no warning was displayed on the meter when I paid for more than one hour,’ he said.

‘On the Go...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Proposed workers village at Evans cops more flak "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

The location of the proposed donga, adjacent to the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome. (supplied)

The location of the proposed donga, adjacent to the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome. (supplied)

The Evans Head Aerodrome Committee is calling on the Richmond Valley Council to either withdraw or reject an application to build a worker’s village adjacent to the Evans Head airport.

With submissions to the application closing on Wedneday, the committee’s president Dr Richard Gates described the proposal as ‘inappropriate’, saying it would compromise the future use of the aerodrome, and impact on the local environment.

Dr Gates has also accused the council of altering minutes relating to the proposal.

‘In the initial application Council pre-lodgement minutes from the June 2015 meeting between Richmond Valley Council and the proponent states that ”Outback Camps has been engaged by the Pacific Highway (Woolgoolga to Ballina) project builder to investigate and instigate accommodation for future highway construction workers at two sites, one at Evans Head…….”


The Political Sword: Puff the Magic Malcolm "IndyWatch Feed"

The precipitous ejection of Australia’s worst-ever prime minister last year brought such a sense of relief to the electorate that the arrival of Malcolm Turnbull in his place gave him the status of a knight in shining armour rescuing the damsel in distress. Even some who support Labor were not just relieved, but pleased. He looked like a prime minister and he spoke like one with measured eloquence. His urbanity had popular appeal, his smile was engaging and the way he handled criticism stylish. We no longer felt embarrassed by our prime minister. Most important though was his stated vision for this nation: it was upbeat, forward-looking, encouraging and exciting.

Those of us who have followed politics for many years had reservations though. We remembered how after his rather brutal takeover from Brendan Nelson to become Leader of the Opposition in 2008, he offered much promise to his party and to the electorate. Many applauded particularly his enlightened views on global warming and his collaboration with Kevin Rudd to mitigate it. But after a promising start, an ill-considered instance of over-reach brought him undone. Failing to do the due diligence required of an accomplished barrister, a disturbed Liberal mole in Treasury, Godwin Grech, led him up the garden path with a fake email. He remained there, stranded and exposed as one too obsessed with bringing down a prime minister and his treasurer. ‘Utegate’ uncovered a fatal flaw in Turnbull’s personality. He did not recover fully until he removed Abbott in September last year.

But everyone knows that to garner the votes he needed to replace th...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Pell responds to calls to come home "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Sydney [AAP]

Cardinal George Pell has responded to calls for him to return to Australia to give evidence to the child abuse royal commission by noting hearing arrangements are a matter for the inquiry.

The commission has agreed to allow Cardinal Pell to give evidence from Rome via an audiovisual link on health grounds, but abuse survivors groups believe he should come home and appear in person.

It is ultimately a matter for the Royal Commission to determine the precise arrangements for the provision of evidence by the Cardinal in Rome, his office said in a statement on Thursday.

‘The cardinal will continue to co-operate with whatever arrangements the royal commission determines,’ the statement read.

This week a crowdfunding effort raised more than $160,000 to help Ballarat clergy abuse victims travel to Rome for the cardinals testimony due to be given on February 29.

However, it remains uncertain whether they will be able to physically attended the hearing.

The commission is still determining what the arrangements will be.

The crowdfunding initiative got an enormous boost on Wednesday when comedian and singer/songwriter Tim Minchin released a single calling on Cardinal Pell to come back (see video above).

The cardinal’s office says he’s ‘anxious to present the facts without further delays’.

‘As Cardinal Pell has done after earlier hearings, he is prepared to meet with and listen to victims and express his ongoing support,’ the statement said.

Three days have been set aside for Cardinal Pell’s third royal commission appearance.

It will focus on the Catholic Church’s handling of widespread abuse over decades in the Ballarat diocese and Melbourne archdiocese.



Independent Australia: Misogyny: Alive and well under Turnbull (Part 2) "IndyWatch Feed"

Misogyny: Alive and well under Turnbull (Part 2)In Part 2, John Haly completes his two-part study of misogyny in legislation (Part 1) and leadership which he concludes is alive and well under PM Turnbull. read now...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Clunes to get mobile reception at last "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Residents and businesses of Clunes are set to get better reception as a result of a new program to eradicate a mobile phone black spots.

Jointly funded by the federal and state governments and telcos, round one will see $92 million spent across the state.

Lismore MP Thomas George said the NSW Government commitment of around $24 million is ‘going directly towards assisting the carriers with tower construction costs in NSW.’

He added that the initiative would ‘help locals stay connected, improve local emergency services and make it easier to do business.’

‘As part of the three year rollout, residents and businesses will benefit from a share of the 144 new or upgraded mobile base stations as part of the program,’ Mr George said.

The tower at Clunes will contribute to more than 14,000 square kilometres of new coverage in NSW.

‘A build schedule with further details on the rollout will be released every six months until the program is complete,’ Mr George promised.

Regional development minister John Barilaro said the NSW Government had ‘worked closely with the Commonwealth and mobile phone carriers to maximise the funding and subsequently the benefits of this program for regional NSW.’

Further information about the rollout of the Mobile Phone Blackspots Program is available at and

The post Clunes to get mobile reception at last appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Chesapeake Climate Action Network: One step closer to keeping fracking out of Prince George’s County! "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

This morning, the Prince George’s County Council’s Planning, Zoning and Economic Development (PZED) Committee voted UNANIMOUSLY to pass bill 3-2016, a defacto ban on fracking in the county.

We are one step closer to keeping fracking out of Prince George’s! The full council will take the bill up in early March.

lehman glaros umd students

Councilwoman Lehman and Councilwoman Glaros, and students from University of Maryland College park, who joined us to testify and show their support.

The bill, introduced by Councilwoman Mary Lehman on February 2nd, and co-sponsored by Councilwoman Dannielle Glaros, Councilman Mel Franklin, Councilwoman Deni Tavares, and Councilman Todd Turner, would amend the county’s zoning ordinance to prohibit fracking. Montgomery County moved to do this last year.

As she introduced the bill at today’s hearing, Councilwoman Lehman referenced a heart wrenching conversation she’d had with Pennsylvania resident and fracking victim Craig Stevens just before walking in. Craig’s takeaway from years of living with the health effects of fracking in his own backyard? “If Pennsylvania, after 12 years, still can’t safely regulate fracking, there’s no way Maryland can. It can’t be done.”

CCAN and our allies at Food & Water Watch, the Sierra Club and GCAN first began talks with Councilwoman Lehman shortly after helping Maryland pass...


loon pond: In which the mortified, apologetic pond swears fealty and loyalty to the authentically silly Dame Slap ... "IndyWatch Feed"

(Alternative titles? Poodle staring at blank wall blankly? A void focussed on the infinite void?)

It goes without saying that it was absolutely remiss of the pond yesterday not to acknowledge Dame Slap's celebration of the need for a good, firm, hard man, like a Donald or a Barners ...

What can the pond do but offer mortified apologies and do its best to repair the damage.

Oh sure some might expect the pond to dally with the Bolter, still maintaining the rage on behalf of the Pellists ...

Oh how the pond's heart keens for the shamed, frightened, disgusted Bolter keening for the suffering of the Pellists ... what's wrong with people, carrying on about a bit of sexual molestation?

But be still, throbbing, pulsating heart, because the reptiles see Dame Slap as a promotional item in their loss leader branding strategy ...



"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Protection of wildlife corridor at Black Rocks "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

I moved to the Tweed region for the incredible natural beauty, wildlife and the environmentally aware community. Consequently, I was expecting ALL our Tweed shire councillors to prioritise protection of wildlife corridors vital for the conservation of our koalas and many other species.

I would assume the vast majority of Australians and therefore the Tweed residents would agree that council should do whatever it takes to prevent the extinction of our much loved but rapidly declining koala population by preserving koala habitat.

We have the opportunity NOW to put greater protections into place at Black Rocks Sportsfield, Pottsville. Tweed Coast koalas are on the brink of extinction caused by encroaching development, dog attacks, disease, vehicle strike, bush fires and the fragmentation/severing of wildlife corridors.

Federally, our koala populations are listed as vulnerable, but the NSW Scientific Committee has determined that they would support an upgrade to ‘endangered’ for koalas between the Tweed and Brunswick River. So I ask why is it that Councillors Youngblutt, Longlands, Byrne and Polglase feel it is acceptable to walk away from the environmental protections they have a responsibility to enforce.

Black Rocks’ population of koalas, bush stone curlews and osprey are not expendable; their loss would mean we are ok with extinction of these species for the Tweed. There are protective solutions that could be taken right now, as our councillors well know. If they persist with their current stance we will all know that they are going with development at any cost; not very smart or wise.

I love this region but would feel ashamed of Tweed Councillors if they continue to make decisions that show they do not take koala extinction seriously.

Fran Hardy, Murwillumbah

The post Protection of wildlife corridor at Bla.........


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Byron Bay Blog: RAW Byron Bay presents SIGNATURE "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

On Friday, 11th March, SIGNATURE will bring together 30+ local emerging artists spanning fashion, music, visual and performing arts, music and more for a one night extravaganza at the Byron Bay Brewery. SIGNATURE is the first of two emerging arts showcases to be run in Byron Bay by RAW:natural born artists in 2016 and this showcase is packed wall to wall with the town’s best emerging creatives.

RAW are thrilled to be bringing you another group of Byron Bay’s best emerging talent at the upcoming SIGNATURE showcase.

WHO RAW:natural born artists is an independent arts organisation, for artists, by artists. RAW’s mission is to provide independent artists of all creative genres, with the tools, resources and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity. RAW connects artists with one another so that they might grow together. RAW hosts events in 60+ cities across the U.S., Australia, Canada and the U.K. They also showcase their artists online via

WHAT A one night emerging arts showcase featuring 30+ of Byron Bay’s best emerging talent spanning genres such as fashion, music, visual and performing arts, and photography.

WHERE Byron Bay Brewery, 1 Skinners Shoot Road, Byron Bay

WHEN Friday, 11th March // Doors open at 7:30pm

HOW Tickets are $20 (+bf) and are available through or $25 on the door.

The post RAW Byron Bay presents SIGNATURE appeared first on Byron Bay Blog.


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Federal cash for council coffers – but is it enough? "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Councils along the north coast and around Australia this week received their third tranche of Financial Assistant Grant funding for the 2016 financial year.

But while Nationals Page MP Kevin Hogan is trumpeting the amounts being spent on councils in his electorate, nearby Richmond MP, Labor’s Justine Elliot, says those in her seat are getting too little.

Mr Hogan said without the Financial Assistance Grant program residents could be paying higher council rates for the same or lower levels of service.

‘The Financial Assistance Grant program is a welcome boost to our local councils which can support community initiatives and assist in establishing essential local infrastructure,’ he said.

Mrs Elliot agreed that the funding would assist councils in delivering local projects, but said she was ‘extremely disappointed with the Liberal Nationals Government’s decision to freeze indexation of these Financial Assistance Grants.’

‘The fact is National Party choices hurt and their decision to cut this funding makes it very difficult for our local councils,’ she said.

‘The cut of nearly $1 billion in Financial Assistance Grants across the forward estimates will hurt the budgets of many local councils.’

In this quarter: Tweed will receive $1.2 million (from an annual total of $4,816,833); Byron will get $369,124 (of $1,476,499); Ballina 495,884 (of 1,983,536); Lismore 735,660 (of 2,942,641) and Richmond Valley 576,511 (of 2,306,045).

The post Federal cash for council coffers – but is it enough? appeared first on Echonetdaily.


We All Live Downstream: Testifying for the REDUCE Act "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

By Troiano Rivera, Baltimore Field Manager

As a field manager for Clean Water Action, I’ve crisscrossed the State of Maryland many times, knocking on doors and recruiting citizens to join me in Clean Water Action’s fight to protect our environment. I’ve met a lot of really interesting people with this job but yesterday was the first time I’ve ever been able to share Clean Water Action’s mission with members of the Maryland General Assembly!

I was honored to testify before the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee yesterday in support of the REDUCE Act (Senate Bill 398). This Bill supports information sharing about diesel trucks to enhance community engagement in decision about new industrial development. The goal is effective community engagement between neighborhoods, industry, and government when new air pollution permits are being considered.

Supporting this bill was a no-brainer for me. Many of the communities I have worked in know the effects of pollution firsthand and they are eager to have their voices heard. They also know where their kids play, the route they take as they walk to school, and where they hangout. This is why their input on new air pollution permits is vital.

I’m proud to work for an organization that believes that one’s health and quality of life should not be determined by his or her zip code and I was proud to support the REDUCE Act yesterday in Annapolis. This bill will ensure that every community’s health is treated with equity and integrity.

Learn more about the REDUCE Act here.


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Live Music Roundup: Thursday 18 February, 2016 "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"


Hein Cooper at the Byron Brewery on Thursday

The Music of Hein Cooper

Hein Cooper is an Australian indie musician and songwriter from Milton, New South Wales. In 2013, he was discovered performing in a small bar in Sydney by Franz Schuller, manager of Half Moon Run. Hein was invited to write and demo his songs in Montreal, Canada, where he met and recorded his debut EP and album with producer Marcus Paquin (Arcade Fire, The National, Local Natives). His songs have strong themes of change, escapism and transformation, particularly in the first single The Art of Escape. In May 2015 Hein released his debut EP in Australia and Canada and has toured relentlessly across Australia, Canada, USA and Europe including stops at CMW in Toronto, Great Escape, and Somersault and Boardmasters festivals in the UK, where his unique and honest brand of indie and magnetic live shows are steadily gaining a loyal fanbase.

Choose the 80s!

The 80s was the decade that gave us frizzy perms and shoulder pads, CDs (remember them?) and Cabbage Patch dolls. Lunches were tax deductible and the wall came down in Berlin. And while all of this was happening, Australia’s music scene was at its most exciting and prolific. In celebration of that awesome decade of music, the Absolutely 80s Band was born...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": North Coast Voices: Clarence Valley Council: do as we say, not as we do "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Clarence Valley residents have the magnifying glasses out and are playing a bit of a guessing game with the three illegally parked cars in the photo below.

I’m guessing two councillors and one general manager are in the mix.

The Clarence Forum can be found here.



EcoWatch: Coffee’s Invisible Carbon Footprint "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"


Think of the environmental impacts of coffee and your mind likely goes to...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Aloha! Bringing Hawaii to Mullum! "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Stu-Amber-Aloha-UkeNightLocal ukulele duo Miss Amber and Stukulele have a busy month – headliners for the Blue Mountains Ukulele Festival along with the launch of a brand-new EP Swirl in the Sun. Seven caught up with Stu as he was doing up his Hawaiian shirt for the next Aloha-themed uke night.

Tell me about your and Miss Amber’s inclusion for the Ukulele Festival in the Blue Mountains.

We played at the festival last year. They really like Miss Amber’s sexy mouth trumpet, so they asked us back as special guests and put us up in the Carrington Hotel. We played at the opening last night and it was amazing. The dance floor was jumping.

Where did you record Sweet Lies & Lullabies?

Three of the base tracks were recorded in Sydney at Alberts, once the home of ACDC, in Neutral Bay just before they sold the building and moved out. The studio is gone now. I wanted Hamish Stuart on drums and my old band buddies from Karma County helped me out as well whil...


Geoengineering Watch: A Message To The “Order Followers” And The Geoengineers, Stop Facilitating Tyranny "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

447How can so few at the top exercise so much power and injustice over so many? The blind obedience of the "order followers", this is the mechanism by which total tyranny has taken control. The brief moving statement below and the powerful short videos following it, are from a father and devoted activist. His message is extremely


Wild Idaho Rising Tide: Climate Justice Forum: Idaho Oil & Gas Resistance, Koch Brothers Militia, Federal Fossil Fuels, & California & Utah Protests 2-17-16 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The Wednesday, February 17, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) discusses southwest Idaho oil and gas legislation and resistance, links between the Bundy militia and the Koch brothers, a Supreme Court decision and Congressional bill addressing fossil fuel development, a federal oil and gas lease auction protest in Utah, and a Rising Tide action at the California Public Utilities Commission building.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PST, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.

Filed under: Climate Justice Forum


"IndyWatch Feed Goulburn": Jims-Life-Log: Those mad cyclists? "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

It’s 3:32am, and I can’t sleep. I have had varying degrees of hoarse-ness of voice in the last few weeks, and after a doctors visit last Friday, a blood test on Monday, and an ultra-sound yesterday, things are playing on my mind. The ultra-sound came back all-ckear – the Thyroid, Lymph nodes, and another gland starting with ‘P’ in the upper neck, and the neck muscles all being normal. Which might seem a good thing, but I don’t think ultra-sound could actually ‘see’ into the throat itself so there is now the more worrying possibility of something inside the throat or voicebox. So, I can’t sleep, so instead here I am blogging!

Recently I was reading a book called “An Australian Adventure”, by Harry Griffiths. It is an autobiography of the author’s time since the World War I, concentrating on him and his wife’s adventures in the Australian outback as part of the Methodist Inland Mission. And an interesting read it is! I was reading it during my lunch break, as has been my custom, and I came across this passage towards the end in regards to the celebration of the Jubilee Year in 1951.

“These messages were included with those from the representatives of various bodies in the town and handed to Jack Montgomery, one of the many cycle couriers carrying similar messages of loyalty to the Crown from every part of Australia. Jack received our letters in front of the Alice Springs Post Office and set off to pedal almost 2000 miles. On 1 May, Jack met up with Dick Waltham, who had left Darwin weeks before and had cycled from Darwin via the little-known and seldom-used track down the west coast of Australia to Perth, then across the treacherous Nullabor Plain. From Port Augusta, 200 miles north of Adelaide, where Jack and Dick met, they travelled together to Canberra, where all the cycle couriers converged on 8 May. United, they stood beside their bikes and presented t...


Indian Country Headline News: Living the Life: Little Girls Don’t Daydream of Being Prostitutes "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

WARNING: This is part of a series of stories to be published over the next few weeks that contain potentially traum...

Indian Country Headline News: Battle at Home: Traditional Spirit v. Addiction Spirit "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

WARNING: This is part of a series of stories to be published over the next few weeks that contain potentially traum...

01:56 The Truth About Scalia’s Murder- and Yes- He Was Murdered "IndyWatch Feed National"

As everyone knows, there are many questions surrounding Scalia’s death, but none of them- in my opinion- are the right ones. I DO believe that Scalia was murdered, but it wasn’t an assassination like many people are assuming. Scalia was brought down by his own behavior- and he is definitely not going to be the only one.

Why did Scalia leave his detail of protection, fly to Texas, and go to a place that was an hour from the rest of civilization? No police, no media- and the only people who stay at the 600 dollar a night dump are rich people. I have seen pictures of the rooms, and they don’t look any better than your local Super 8 motel rooms- so why are the rich flocking to this place? And why this rush to not have an autopsy and declare that he died of natural causes? Most everyone has seen a problem with this- but they don’t understand what is happening.

Scalia liked to fuck little boys. I know this from personal experience- as he was one of my primary abusers as a child and was one of the HEADS of the cult that abused me. He was a vile man who was such an extreme sadist that I find it hard to give words to his voracious appetites. I hated this man in ways that I can’t begin to explain and he rivaled Aquino in my abuse as a child. That is why Heaven reached out and claimed him- and I can assure you- he isn’t going to be the only one.

Doing what Scalia did is exactly what OTHER pedophiles do when they drive two or three states over to have sex with children. Who goes that far- an hour away from everyone- just to stay ONE NIGHT? He wasn’t having meetings at this dump- in fact the official story is that he had dinner with people and then retired early. Why? Because he went there to fuck a 13 year old boy who, in turn, slit his throat. That is why there has been so much secrecy surrounding this situation- why the family was SO EAGER to not have an autopsy done. They don’t want anyone to know the details surrounding this pedophile...


Wake Up World: What You Need to Know About Naturally Treating Your Thyroid Condition "IndyWatch Feed National"

18th February 2016 By Dr. Kelly Neff Guest Writer for Wake Up World Thyroid Disease âŹÂ Triggers, Symptoms and Natural Solutions Are you one of the 20 million+ Americans suffering from a thyroid condition? Did you know that over 60% of people who have thyroid conditions remain unaware of them? Or that women are five to eight ...Continue Reading - What You Need to Know About Naturally Treating Your Thyroid Condition


Wake Up World: The Republic of Australia? Time (Overdue) for the Island Nation to Shed the Royals "IndyWatch Feed National"

18th February 2016 By Makia Freeman Contributing Writer for Wake Up World The phrase has a great ring to it ⏠and itâŹ"s long overdue. The movement to create a Republic of Australia just got a boost recently. Almost all the premiers (7 out of 8) of AustraliaâŹ"s states and territories signed a declaration affirming their ...Continue Reading - The Republic of Australia? Time (Overdue) for the Island Nation to Shed the Royals


"IndyWatch Feed Sydney": All in the Name of Liberty: Farewellng Nadine "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

At the burial

Despite the awful occasion, It was great to meet Nadine Stransen's  family today. I was really priveleged to know her, and sometimes live with her at all sorts of times in the life of Nadine(sometime Andrew, and Lexy).

Among many memories I remember taking acid and valium with her one night, zooming around from party to party in cabs, via freeways over Darling harbour if at all possible.Another going to Bob Hawke's National Youth Year conference in Melbourne(a long time ago) and seizing the role of minute-taker at every group we participated in, sort of at the birth of queer theory. While in Melbourne Nadine helped catalyse the successful occupation of the Orphanage, an important 80s squat, just  as, with Norman Etock, she had been the first of us to enter and occupy the Gunnery, a squat and art space/ venue in WoolloomoolooI lived in for 6 years(1985-91)

Nadine was incredibly intelligent, well read, and always ready to argue her case. She played a key role in shaping anti-discrimination...


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": North Coast Voices: Master Builders Association rather predictably bites back at Labor's negative gearing policy "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

 Labor's policy.....

ABC News, 13 February 2016:

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has unveiled plans to change negative gearing rules for property purchases, in a move touted to "put the great Australian dream back within reach for the middle and working class".

Key points:


"IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Here & Now #145: Under a tree "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Image S Sorrensen

Image S Sorrensen

S Sorrensen

Lismore. Tuesday, 12.40pm

‘G’day Stephen.’ (That’s my alias.)

‘Hello. How are you?’ I say.

‘I’m fine. And you?’

‘I’m fine too. Thank you.’

‘You’re welcome,’ she says.

She has the English greeting ritual down pat. She has learned well.

One of the things I do is teach English to those whose first language is not English. It’s the world language now. Most English conversations taking place on the planet at the moment are between non-native English speakers.

I’m sitting under a tree. It’s a pleasant setting. The university has created a beautiful natural environment in which to set its campus. Once, in this very tree, I spotted a huge carpet snake draped over the lower fork. My classroom being nearby, I quickly gathered the students, who were thrilled to see the dozing snake.

I am fortunate to meet young adults from around the world. They are at an age just before the capitalist, planet-gorging, heart-breaking system grabs them. They still retain the sparkling humanity of their childhood, and have faith in the future. (I don’t think I share that faith.)

‘I can sit with you?’

‘Sure. I’m just having some lunch.’

‘This is a beautiful view. I have lunch too.’

She sits down.

I am impressed by these young adults: They have a natural honesty, are developing speci...

Wednesday, 17 February


"IndyWatch Feed Qld": Infinity in Hand: heathertylerillustration: Ray Troll is one of my new favorite... "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"


Ray Troll is one of my new favorite illustrators! What a playful, unique way to illustrate marine paleo creatures.

I like this guy’s sense of humour.
Be sure to check out his site (+ store!)


"IndyWatch Feed Seq": Sunshine Coast Birdlife Australia Blog: Martin Williams Nature Walk, Baroon Pocket Dam "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Despite a hot day 17 people turned up for the mid week walk, led by John Malings.  The walk started slow but soon the birds appeared and some 65 spp recorded. Cicadabirds, Sitellas and Crested Shrike-tits the stand outs; although ebird got excited about the number of New Holland Honeyeaters. Interesting too that both New Hollands and White-cheeks recorded at the same site.

Lake Baroon--south shore trail, Queensland, AU Feb 17, 2016 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 kilometer(s)
Cicadabird - female

65 species

Black Swan  2
Australian Wood Duck  25
Pacific Black Duck  9
Great Cormorant  1
Little Pied Cormorant  1
Australian Pelican  1
Great Egret  1
Intermediate Egret  6


"IndyWatch Feed Seq": Sunshine Coast Birdlife Australia Blog: FRIDAY ENVIRONMENT FORUM NPA Environment Centre 19 February 2016 Noosa Estuary Bird Study "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

More than fifty species of shorebirds occur regularly in Australia and about one third of all Australian shorebirds are visitors. These long distance migrants travel from breeding grounds in the northern hemisphere, their return flight being an amazing 20,000km – 30,000 km. Some 40,000 migratory birds, from as far away as Alaska and Asia, have been recorded visiting Noosa during peak migration times in February and early March in years past.

Jill Dening and her team of volunteers have conducted surveys of the local bird population for ten years now. “The data collected over that time is sufficient to reveal some interesting population trends” she says. The team’s work covers all birds that use the Noosa estuary with a particular focus on shorebirds and terns, both migratory and resident. Ms Dening will be guest speaker at Friday Environment Forum on February 19 where she will share the results of her long term study.
“Sadly, most species of shorebirds in the East Asian/Australasian Flyway are suffering astonishing population crashes”, she observes. It is thought that the main problem occurs in the Yellow Sea, which has vast intertidal mudflats, used by migratory birds to fatten up on both their northerly and southerly journeys. Massive land reclamation in that area is causing feeding grounds to contract so that many birds do not complete their journey safely.

Because shorebird roost sites occur near to feeding areas on mudflats, beaches and freshwater wetlands, it is important that the birds remain relatively undisturbed. These astonishing migrants must increase their body weight by approximately seventy percent in order to gain strength to undertake their arduous journey. Thanks to the recommendation of Jill Dening’s team, some Noosa North Shore beach areas...


"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": New Dawn : The World's Most Unusual Magazine: What is Alchemy? "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"



It is a remote location in China in the early 1960s. A young man, Wang Liping, is studying with three Taoist masters. After preliminary training, they give him a grain of “gold elixir.”

Wang sits in a cross-legged position. The masters tie up his legs so that he will stay seated. He then goes into a deep state of trance. On the first day, he feels as if his insides are burning, and he passes out. But thanks to the ropes, he remains immovable in the cross-legged position.

On the second day, Wang’s skin changes colour from sallow to ruddy to dark. The masters judge that the toxins in his body have been pushed to the surface.

At this point he has been pushed to the limits of his endurance, but he keeps on meditating. His skin experiences all kinds of sensations from burning to itching and aching.

Finally on the third day, Wang’s body becomes comfortable again. His skin colour has changed to a healthy rosy white and glistens. The gold elixir has been completely expelled from his body. The operation is a success.

This account, taken from a book called Opening the Dragon Gate, describes Wang Liping’s training as a Taoist master. Its mention of a gold elixir – which the text does not otherwise describe – evokes images of alchemy. It leads one to wonder exactly what alchemy is.

Superficially, everyone knows what alchemy is. It is an outmoded practice for changing base metal to gold. Although it was in its way an important precursor to present-day chemistry, today it is little more than a discarded superstition.

Accounts like Wang’s tell another story. They suggest there a.....


"IndyWatch Feed Melbourne": matthew schiavello: photos and words: Dear Friends, I have some exciting news.  Last year I was... "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

 Dear Friends, I have some exciting news.  

Last year I was invited to exhibit at Balkon Art Incubator. Over the past 6-8 months have been madly working on some mixed media pieces and the exhibition time is almost upon us !

The opening event- “ Seminal and non-seminal works

Date: Friday 4th of March

Time: 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Location: 635 Plenty Rd, Preston (Near Tyler st). Victoria, Australia.

This show will only be available for viewing on two occasions.

The opening, or an extra viewing day on Sunday the 20th of March from 10am - 1pm.

This second day is handy for all my friends south of the Yarra.

Some info from my Artist Statement:

“ Over the last two years Matthew has been exploring Bricolage through the manipulation of translucent materials. The works in this exhibition were created using this technique.

Much of Matthew’s work is centered on finding beauty in spaces or items which are unwanted or discarded. The series ‘Seminal and non-seminal works’ sees Matthew making a shift from passive observer of beauty to active participant in its creation.

‘Seminal and non-Seminal works’ explores several themes. The themes are:

-how items ‘to hand’ can be used in the creation of beauty,

-the artist’s own personal exploration of how chosen materials are used to represent the joy of life (and its creation) and

-How the experience each viewer has with each piece of work can be affected by the emotional meaning they have attached or imbued in the items used.”

I do hope that you will be able to attend. There will be complimentary drinks at the opening. Please feel free to invite those whom you think would be interested. Please note tha.........


"IndyWatch Feed Tas": Dr Kevin Bonham: Senate Reform: It's Too Easy Being Breen "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

A quick one by my standards as I am away on fieldwork.   It's sad to report that the so-called "analysis" of Peter Breen and Graham Askey on the subject of the new proposal for Senate Reform has been picked up by The Age.  As many commenters on the Tally Room thread have noticed, the Breen/Askey forecast of a Coalition-dominated Senate is utter rubbish.  Breen is a serial errormaker with an obvious conflict of interest and absolutely should not be reported as if he was an expert in such analysis.  He has received a ludicrously cushy ride in this instance, and it's high time the media gullibility in lapping up this scaremongering guff up because it's an easy story came to a shuddering halt.

The so-called analysis (no copy of which I have yet been able to find) projects that in a double dissolution the Coalition would win seven seats in each of Queensland, NSW and WA, and that in each of these seats Labor would win four and the Greens one.

A double-dissolution quota to win a seat is almost exactly 1/13th of the vote.  At the last election the quota split between the Coalition, Labor and the Greens if translated to a double dissolution was NSW 4.44-4.11-1.01, WA at the original election 5.76 (including Nationals WA, which is generous)-3.47-1.23, Queensland 5.38-3.70-0.83.  Of course since the Coalition vote was deflated by confusion with the Liberal Democrats, it's probable that it should really be a bit over 5 quotas in that state.  But in all cases it's well short of 6.

A party can run...


"IndyWatch Feed Qld": Central Queensland Plane Spotting: Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-207 Missed Approaches at Rockhampton and Maryborough Airports "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

On Tuesday 16 February, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing C-17A Globemaster III A41-207 performed a missed approach at Rockhampton Airport.

It was later heard to also perform a missed approach at Maryborough Airport.

A41-207 was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Stallion 42".

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Kayanne H who captured a couple of photos of the C-17 when it climbed out of Rocky!

All photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman  ©


"IndyWatch Feed Tas": On The Convict Trail: Prince Of Wales Hotel, Evandale "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

The Prince Of Wales Hotel was originally constructed by William Sidebottom in 1836. It was one of the earliest Inns to be constructed in the new township of Evandale. Evandale was originally named Honeysuckle Banks after the camp made by Macquarie in his traverse of Tasmania in 1811 and thereafter the emerging town was named New River and then known as Collin's Hill in the 1820s.

The town was officially known as Morvern, after the original surveyed site for a t...


Learn - Idle No More: Indigenous Peoples & Climate Change "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"












Indigenous Peoples & Climate Change

With Arthur Manuel & Naomi Klein

February 17 & 18, 2016



"IndyWatch Feed Qld": Central Queensland Plane Spotting: Great Photos of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7DT(BBJ) A36-001 at Bundaberg Airport Tuesday "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

As we've reported, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull - plus other Ministers of Federal Parliament - toured North and Central Queensland this week and on Tuesday 16 February they ventured from Rockhampton to Bundaberg to attend several engagements.  PM Turnbull and entourage travelled on board Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7DT(BBJ) A36-001 which local plane spotter Micah S captured at Bundaberg Airport.

A36-001 flew as "Consort 36" on the hop from Rocky to Bundy and was captured by Micah as it sat on the Bundaberg Airport apron soon after its arrival.



"IndyWatch Feed Melbourne": The Gap Year and Beyond: An old Laneway with new life "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

I had a catch-up with some old work colleagues last week in a part of the city that I rarely  visit. On the walk back down Flinders Lane to get to the train station, I noticed some decent street art on a Laneway wall. Flinders Ct is a narrow laneway between Flinders Lane and Flinders St and runs parallel to Elizabeth St. I recognised one of the old factory/warehouse buildings in the middle of the lane and realised that this laneway was one I had explored before when looking for old architecture but at that time there hadn’t been any art work. The work looks fairly fresh and is mostly complete murals. I went back earlier this week and photographed the various walls…I will be adding this new site to my regular survey walks.

Flinders Ct artwork, Melbourne CBD

Flinders Ct artwork, Melbourne CBD

Flinders Ct artwork, Melbourne CBD


Flinders Ct artwork, Melbourne CBD




"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Are geckoes swallowing up native tree frogs? "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

It appears we have been invaded by an Asian gecko

The chattering noise, seemingly coming from nowhere inside our houses, confirms their presence

They do apparently do some good by keeping spider numbers down

The concern I have is that they are carnivorous to our native tree frogs and I haven’t seen a green frog at home for some time now

It saddens me that we have yet another attack on our native wildlife and frogs especially are already struggling

Is there anything we should or can do about this?

Graham Truswell, Coorabell

The post Are geckoes swallowing up native tree frogs? appeared first on Echonetdaily.


"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Far North Coaster Magazine: Big Scrub makes a comeback at Alpine Nurseries, Alstonville "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

A tiny pocket of ‘Big Scrub’ rainforest has been painstakingly reintroduced alongside Youngman’s Creek at Alpine Nurseries Alstonville thanks to the pioneering efforts of employee, Doug Blythe.
Working on days off for almost four years, Doug has successfully restored the former weed infested creek and planted over 6,500 local species to lay the foundations for a lush new rainforest.
Described by employer Peter Knox as a ‘much loved and authentic’ individual, Doug is passionate about regenerating and restoring bushland with plants that are indigenous to the area.
“Doug has really made the creek zone his own, and we are delighted with the result and the way it’s been done. We now have a beautiful area within the nursery that has been restored with biodiversity in mind for the enjoyment of future generations,” Peter said.

“Youngman’s Creek now flows properly during a rain event, with the concurrent construction of wetland zones helping to filter water run off before it enters the creek, which further protects the rainforest,” he said.

“Originally, the creek was overgrown with two metre high Setaria Grass, African Coral Trees and Camphor Laurels. After clearing, we replanted with seconds stock from the nursery, but these have been steadily replaced with species that are indigenous to the Alstonville Big Scrub,” Doug said.

Around half of all the trees planted in the rainforest have been carefully grown from seeds that Doug has collected and propagated while on walks through places such as Minyon Falls and Protestors Falls, and around Alstonville.

Rare gems amongst the rainforest include a Bolwarra, which is an ancient shrub in a plant family all of its own; Gondwana-era Plum Pines, Stringy Bark Pines and Hoop Pine Trees as well as super-distinctive Watermelon Trees.

“You can’t just buy these plants off the shelf. You have to get out there and find the seeds and then work out how to grow them. Even though I have been.........


"IndyWatch Feed Vic": "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne": MLUG - Melbourne Linux Users Group: workshops:raspberry_pi_security_camera_linux_under_windows - created "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

25th Jan 2016 Topic Speaker Slides Raspberry PI Security Camera Michael Pope[slides]Linux under Windows Part 2Duncan Roe


"IndyWatch Feed Vic": "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne": MLUG - Melbourne Linux Users Group: workshops:start "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Here is the list of workshops which we have completed at MLUG 25th January 2016Raspberry PI security camera & Linux under windows26th October 2015rcorder, PostgreSQL & Docker31st August 2015Docker Basics & Remote embedded project27th July 2015Hansard & Markov, HTML5 audio and linux on Chromebooks29th June 2015electric_eye & MPD25th May 2015ssh-proxy & crypt27th April 2015tarsnap & vpn30th March 2015btrfs backup & flirc.tv23rd February 2015Arcade PI & Git28th January 2015Openstreet offline29th…


"IndyWatch Feed Vic": "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne": MLUG - Melbourne Linux Users Group: start - [Next Meeting *MONDAY* 29th February] "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Address PlaceThe Dan O’Connell HotelAddress 225 Canning St, Carlton. Victoria. 3053 Pre-meeting 6pm front bar Time for Meeting 7:30pm in the function room out back ground level Parking Kay St has 4hr and finishes 6:30pmWebsite Phone (03) 9347 1502Email TOPIC: General geeky discussions on open source, system admin and programming. Feel free to volunteer for a talk on our mailing list.


Independent Australia: Nuclear Royal Commission: What's Scarce in Kevin's Report "IndyWatch Feed"

Nuclear Royal Commission: What's Scarce in Kevin's ReportThe Scarce Report recommends South Australia being storing the world's nuclear waste, opening the door for nuclear power generation in Australia in the future, writes Noel Wauchope. read now...


"IndyWatch Feed Qld": Motorbike Writer: BMW UK marks 100 years with Iconic bikes "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

BMW UK marks 100 years with Iconic bikes


BMW Motorrad in the UK is celebrating 100 years of operation of the Bayerische Motoren Werke AG company with the release of four boxer-engined limited-edition “Iconic” series bikes.

There will be 100 Iconic models of the R1200RT, R1200RS, R1200GS and R1200GS Adventure, each with uniquely numbered logos.

BMW UK marks 100 years with Iconic bikes

Numbered logo

They are only available in the UK market, but worldwide buyers of collectible bikes might also be interested in import...


"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": "IndyWatch Feed Sydney": AWPA Sydney News: 1) Papua Plantation Office Encourages More Cacao Production "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

2) Papua Government Asks Freeport for Free Stake
3) Jayawijaya Regent Affirms Mobile Brigade Headquarters in Wamena
4) Crew Missing After Cargo Ship Sinks off Papua
5) Number of Job Seekers in Mimika Sharply Increases
1) Papua Plantation Office Encourages More Cacao Production


"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": Echonetdaily: Man charged with Kyogle gun theft "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

A man will face court next month after he was charged in relation to the theft of firearms and other items from a property in Kyogle.

On 31 December 2015 a number of firearms were stolen from a property on Summerland Way, as well as a motorcycle, quad bike, trailer and other personal property .

Following  inquiries  police raided a house in Fairy Hill where they arrested and charged a 41-year-old man with a number of offences including steal firearm, steal motor vehicle and possess unauthorised firearm.

He was refused bail and will appear in Lismore Local Court on Tuesday, March 22.

Inquiries continue.


The post Man charged with Kyogle gun theft appeared first on Echonetdaily.


"IndyWatch Feed Qld": Motorbike Writer: More licence checks, fewer speed cameras "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

police radar licence checks

The significant number of unlicensed motorcycle riders and riders of stolen bikes who make up the road toll should change police patrolling methods from speed traps to increased licence checks.

About one in five Australian motorcycle deaths involve riders not holding a valid motorcycle licence, according to Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) research.

So far this year in Victoria, there have been nine motorcycle deaths and only two of them involved licensed riders on their own bikes.

Five of the fatalities involved unlicensed riders and the other two were riding stolen bikes.

Despite the fact that riders claim they are already harassed by police performing random licence checks, perhaps it is time for us to be harassed even more.Rider pulled over by police licence checks

Licence checks or computerised automated scanning of motorcycle number plates would go a long way toward snaring these thieves and getting unlicensed riders off the roads.

After all, they skew the road crash statistics in such a way that authorities point the finger of blame at all riders.



Bill Mitchell – billy blog: The impossibility theorem that beguiles the Left "IndyWatch Feed"

Some years ago (June 27, 2007), Harvard economist Dani Rodrik outlined what he called his “impossibility theorem”, which said that “democracy, national sovereignty and global economic integration are mutually incompatible: we can combine any two of the three, but never have all three simultaneously and in full”. In his brief article – The inescapable trilemma of the world economy – he made the case that “deep economic integration required we eliminate all transaction costs … in … cross-border dealings” and that “Nation-states are a fundamental source of such transaction costs”. Ergo, if you want ‘deep’ integration then the Nation-state has to surrender. His “trilemma” guides his view of how the “international economic system” should be reformed. He think that if “want more globalization, we must either give up some democracy or some national sovereignty”. This view has been adopted by political parties as if the conceptual framework is in some way binding. The trilemma has been skillfully sold as a narrative by right-wing think tanks and others who serve the interests of capital. The so-called progressive politicians have fallen into the trap and have shifted their political parties closer and closer to their right-wing opponents, such that now it is hard to distinguish between the major parties in most nations. The reality is that while the impossibility theorem beguiles the Left – its applicability as a binding constraint on government is limited. It is as vapid as the statements made by these career politicians on both sides of politics that they serve the people.

The UK Guardian article (February 16, 2016) –...


"IndyWatch Feed Vic": Refugee Action Collective (Vic): 6pm 23 Feb | What I saw as a teacher on Nauru- former worker and principal speak out "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

What I saw as a teacher on Nauru- former worker and principal speak out Organised by Teachers for Refugees When: 6pm Tuesday 23rd February Where: Melbourne’s Multicultural Hub (to be confirmed) Speakers: *Former teacher from RPC1 school on Nauru and *Paul Dingle, principal from Glenroy Secondary College (who has spoken out against the planned removal of(...)


"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": Practising Simplicity: house hunting "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

In an attempt to embrace an enthusiastic approach to the whole house hunting saga, Daniel and I looked at a few rentals earlier this week. We've got a good 10 weeks left in this little house so there's no immediate rush. But then again, I like a plan.

We're on the cusp of buying but we'd like to wait another year and sign the mortgage line with a bigger deposit. So, rental shopping it is and let's be honest, it can be a bit of a demoralising experience. Because a room that only just fits a cot cannot be classed as a bedroom, thank you very much. And don't start me on the overuse of the fish-eye lens in deceiving real estate photography.

That said, there is a promising opportunity that may, just may, come to fruition. And perhaps what's most difficult in this scenario is refraining from getting emotionally attached. I'm one of those people who can fall in love with a house within minutes and mentally move my furniture into each room by the end of the day. I've set up home and started envisioning the kids playing and the dinner routine and waking up in a new bedroom well before I've finished filling out the application form. I even time the drive from the front door to school - covering all the bases because, well, it's necessary, isn't it.  

Dare I say it, I'm...


"IndyWatch Feed Vic": "IndyWatch Feed Geelong": Ocean Grove Voice: Ocean Grove pushes the boundaries "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

GREATER Geelong Council Tuesday night 16 February voted to re-align part of the Ocean Grove-Wallington boundary on the eastern side of Grubb Road, near the Bellarine Highway.
Beangala Ward councillor Jan Farrell said the boundary related to some properties in the Oakdene Estate.
“Due to Ocean Grove’s continued residential growth this area now needs to be changed,” she said.
Cr Farrell said the current boundary could create confusion among property owners and emergency services, as to which side a property was on.
“In some instances we have a situation where part of a property could be in Ocean Grove and the other part in Wallington,” she said.
“That’s certainly something that needs to be cleared up.”
The proposal moves Ocean Grove’s northern boundary from its current boundary approximately 239 metres north towards the Bellarine Highway, in line with the current urban growth boundary.
Cr Farrell said the council had conducted community consultation, sent letters to all affected residents and had only received one submission – in favour of the boundary realignment.

The post Ocean Grove pushes the boundaries appeared first on Ocean Grove Voice.


"IndyWatch Feed Qld": "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia": Burrumbuttock Hay Runners organiser wants drought-affected farmers prioritised over Syrian humanitarian crisis "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

 Brendan Farrell, the man behind a mercy mission that saw 4500 bales of hay donated to Queensland farmers in need, has taken to Facebook to criticise Australia’s pledge of $25 million in foreign aid to Syria and Iraq.


Brendan Farrell, the man behind a mercy mission that saw 4500 bales of hay donated to Queensland farmers in need, has taken to Facebook to criticise Australia’s pledge of $25 million in foreign aid to Syria and Iraq.

A video of the Riverina resident’s attack on Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and her department was posted to the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners page today, where it has received more than 1220 likes and 1670 shares.

In it, Mr Farrell questions what he has described as Australia looking after its “next door neighbour” at the expense of drought-affected farmers across the country.

 “We’re doing these hay runs and raising money and for truck drivers and truck companies to probably get $1500 in fuel each to drive, 1800km to drop hay off to farmers in dire straits,” he said.

“But then I see we’ve just spent – or Julia Bishop [sic] or whatever her name is – has just decided to give another $25 million to Syria.

“That is taxpayer’s money that’s going overseas.

“I think it’s about time that we had a bit of a say where this money go...


"IndyWatch Feed Qld": "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia": tyto tony: Apostles answer birder's prayers "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Out west in dry country beyond Mt Fox yesterday praying for something to turn up and down from on high come two Apostlebirds (Struthidea cinerea).

The birds appeared intrigued by the Troopy and keen on sharing strange sounds with the driver. No sign of others in the area but nearby were Pale-headed Rosellas, Magpies and Noisy Miners. Earlier, on drive up to Mt Fox the birds included rainforest Wompoo Pigeons and Noisy Pittas. Land of contrasts!


"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast": The Witches Kitchen: Braised Figs on Toast for Breakfast "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

braised figs on toast

Still on figs, and this is just the white figs, the first to come into season.  The brown figs are still to come. This white fig tree was pruned last winter, not too heavily, and this year has been such a good crop I’m thinking that pruning might become much more regular.  Figs are deciduous and this one is on the west-south-west side of the house.  In winter it lets sun and breeze through onto the verandah where we hang washing in uncertain weather. In summer it’s a thick green curtain.

Hardly worth a recipe, but this has been so regular a breakfast, I thought it worth sharing with you: my 11 Grain Sourdough toast with feta cheese and braised figs.

The figs are simply roughly chopped and cooked for a few minutes with a little water just to start them off, till they are soft and the juice reduced to a syrup. You can add a little honey if you have a sweet tooth.

This is why I don’t bother with jam much these days.  By the time the figs finish, the guavas and persimmons will be on, and then the citrus will start, and still have kumquat marmalade on the shelf from last year!


"IndyWatch Feed Vic": "IndyWatch Feed Cvic": Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forests: Autumn Fungus forays and workshops "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Scientist, Alison Pouliot ©

Scientist, Alison Pouliot ©

Alison Pouliot is running her wonderful fungus forays and workshops again this year. This is a list of some that are reasonably close:

Saturday 23 April 2016 – Trentham   Foray – Fungus Foray in the Wombat Forest
Thursday 28 April 2016 – Woodend  Foray – A Foray Among the Funguses
Saturday 30 April 2016 – Baynton   Workshop – The Fungi: An Introduction to a Curious Kingdom
Monday 2 May 2016 – Baringhup Seminar ­- Fungi of Eddington Forest and Bells Swamp
Wednesday 25 May 2016 – Shelbourne Foray – Shelbourne Forest Fungus Foray
Sunday 29 May 2016 – Creswick Foray – A Foray Among the Funguses

You can find all the details of these and other workshops here.  


"IndyWatch Feed Tas": Tasmanian Times: The Paul Harriss disease spreads to Colin Barnett’s WA ... and now Harriss QUITS! Why ... ? "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

WEDNESDAY, February 17, PM: • ABC: Tasmania’s controversial Resources Minister Paul Harriss retires from Parliament • And the question remains: Why? What lies beneath ... ? • What Paul Harriss, Will Hodgman, Bryan Green and Cassy O’Connor say in Comments ... And Vica Bayley ... • And, listen to ANOTHER TRAINWRECK INTERVIEW by Energy Minister MATTHEW GROOM as he rejects Labor calls to resign, HERE WEDNESDAY, February 17, AM: The United Nations has called on the West Australian Government to withdraw controversial new legislation that imposes harsh penalties on protesters. IN TASSIE ... the protest laws in action ... • Lapoinya: The Blog • Dr Randall Doyle: Locking away our civil rights ...


"IndyWatch Feed Vic": "IndyWatch Feed Cvic": Edgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary: Random Acts of Kindness Day "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Today, Wednesday 17th of February, we celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day!

Random Act of Kindness 

Each and every day here at Edgar’s Mission we celebrate the kindness of others, be they strangers, family, friends and everyone else in between. Searching back through the many chapters of random acts of kindness we have received in the past, we settle upon February 14th, 2014.  On this day whilst fuelling up at a petrol station we were approached by a very tall gentlemen who asked, “Are you Edgar’s Mission?” Fearing the worst, we replied “Yes.” At  this point the man reached into his pocket and whisked out a $50 note, offering the words, “Hey, you guys are great! Please keep up the amazing work!”  What a legend!


"IndyWatch Feed Vic": "IndyWatch Feed Cvic": Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forests: Connecting Country – 2016 Environmental Works Opportunity "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Applications for New Projects Now Open

Connecting Country is a not-for profit community organisation which aims to restore landscapes and biodiversity across the Mount Alexander shire and immediate surrounds.

They have a program, ‘Connecting Landscapes Across the Mount Alexander Region’, which allows them to work with landholders and Landcare groups to enhance bushland on private land.  This program also allows them to undertake revegetation of indigenous plant species on private land.

Support they can provide is skilled labour (using their Works Crew) and financial contributions towards restoration and revegetation activities on part or all of your property.  Costs to the landholder are usually negligible.

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Direct seeding lines winding their way through a property in Faraday as part of the Connecting Country on-ground works program. Photo:Bonnie Humphreys

They have capacity to take on new projects on private land during 2016 and 2017.  If your property or project area is found to meet the criteria, the activities that they support can include:

  • Site management plans – With input and feedback from the landholder, their technical specialists will develop a plan for the property which identifies its environmental values (including flora lists), the threatening processes and agreed management actions.
  • Bushland pro...


"IndyWatch Feed Qld": "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia": Atrazine pesticide and Vit A deficiency cause of Zika virus symptoms "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

By Dr. Jim Mercola

syringeIt’s that time again — time for the pandemic outbreak propaganda machine to cry “Wolf!” and justify the mass use of vaccines and the necessity for chemical remediation. The World Health Organization (WHO) has already declared anotherglobal public health emergency.1

We’ve seen a string of these over-hyped virus scares over the past six years, from the bird and swine flu to Ebola — all of which died down as suddenly as they emerged, without causing the predicted widespread catastrophic damage in the real world.

This year, it’s the Zika virus, which is being blamed for a rash of reports of microcephaly2,3 among infants born in Brazil. The condition, in which babies ar...


"IndyWatch Feed Tas": Tasmanian Times: Mantach affair would never have happened if Tasmanian Liberals had acted "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

• Mantach pleads guilty to 44 charges in Melbourne. • Hodgman Government and Liberal Party need to answer serious questions about Mantach’s past in Tasmania … Clearly there was a level of silence and secrecy around the Tasmanian matters - including a failure to disclose to the Australian Electoral Commission - and the Premier is yet to explain why it was not referred to police. “Additionally, the true reasons behind Mr Mantach’s departure were kept secret from rank and file Liberal members and fabricated in Liberal Party publications. “In light of this sorry trail of events, the claims of Will Hodgman and Eric Abetz that they knew nothing simply do not hold up.” …


"IndyWatch Feed Nsw": "IndyWatch Feed Sydney.arts": Timber and Steel: Henry Wagons Announces National Tour and New Video “Santa Fe” "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Image Courtesy of Henry Wagons Having released his debut solo album After What I Did Last Night… last week alt-country singer Henry Wagons has announced plans to head out on a national tour with a brand new band. The tour will see Henry Wagons joined by US artist Skylar Wilson. Check out the full list […]


The Tally Room: Refuting self-interested garbage in the SMH "IndyWatch Feed"

In yesterday’s Herald, Heath Aston ran an ‘exclusive‘ publishing supposed modelling from a couple of so-called “veteran players in minor party preference negotiations” claiming that Senate GVT reform would deliver the Coalition a majority in the Senate.

There’s a lot of massive problems with this prediction, and I’ll try to lay them out.

At the end I will apply some of the same logic, but using real polling data and come up with my own less sensationalised conclusion, which suggests a Coalition win would lead to Xenophon balance of power, but if Labor recovered to a winnable position then the Greens would likely win the balance of power.

Firstly, sensible people should know not to trust the predictions of two people who are active participants in a system which Senate reform would abolish, particularly when they don’t provide the data or assumptions they used to come to their conclusions.

Firstly, it’s amusing how confident they are in their conclusions. Any sensible analyst would need to build in a high degree of uncertainty, due to polling, but also because we don’t know for certain how a new system will play out – how much preferences will flow, and how well the microparties will be able to cooperate.

We have no idea how much preferences will flow under a minimum-six-preference system. Will 5% exhaust? 20%? 50%? That makes a big difference, and in part will depend on how parties act.

It’s silly how confident these analysts are in predicting that the Greens would only win a single senator in WA, SA and NSW.

According to PollBludger’s quarterly state breakdowns of his BludgerTrack polling average, the Greens are currently sitting...

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