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Evidence given at NSW Parliamentary Inquiry Into Banking
By Sarina Locke
Feb 17, 2016
Farmers whose properties were foreclosed on by the ANZ bank since 2010 have made explosive claims about the devastation suffered by those who were accused of defaulting.
Two have given evidence at a parliamentary inquiry hearing, in Sydney, into the banking industry’s practice involving loans.
Rod Culleton, of Williams in Western Australia, and Margaret Menzel, Townsville, representing sugar cane farmers, gave evidence.
Mr Culleton was a cereal and sheep farmer until he lost the farm in 2013 and has been fighting the ANZ in the courts and in the media ever since.
He said ANZ had admitted to overcharging in fees incurred during the transition [from Landmark to ANZ] and “is giving a lot of that back”.
In answers to the committee, Mr Culleton said he, and others in positions of default to ANZ, were “held at gunpoint” after receivers were sent in.
by Robert J Lee
Decades of detritus accumulated under the forest canopy forming two metre thick beds of tinder have caused utter devastation across large areas of once pristine forest in Tasmania.
Uncontrollable wildfires in January wiped out 38,000 acres of forest ecosystems in the Central Plateau that once attracted many thousands of bushwalkers and tourists every year.
The State Government has not yet revealed the magnitude of other devastated areas in World Heritage and forestry.
Unique alpine flora including pencil pines, king billy pines and cushion plants, some more than 1,000 years old have been lost forever.
Wilderness photographer and bushwalker Dan Broun has returned from the Central Plateau. He told the ABC he walked four hours into the bushfire affected areas just after the fires.
“The scene is complete and utter devastation. There is kilometres of burnt ground, everything is dead,” he said.
He said small pockets of areas protected by rock escaped the fire.
“I also witnes...
[ Saturday, 20 Feb; 10:30 am to 11:30 am. ] ARAR (Armidale Rural Australians for Refugees) invites you to two events: 1. Snap rally: This Saturday 20th February, “Let Them Stay” 10.30am Old Courthouse 2. Organising meeting this Sunday 21st Feb, 4.30pm Kent House, for Palm Sunday Rally. DETAILS OF BOTH, BELOW: 1. SNAP RALLY – Saturday 20th Feb 10.30am Armidale Mall – LET THEM STAY: Churches, community groups, [...] full article »
By John Campbell
As memorable as any film’s content may be, the emotional toll it takes on its audience can be equally so. The session of this that I attended was composed entirely of mature-age punters – the sort of people who go to the cinema in the middle of the day. At the end, we left in a hush of bleak resignation, deeply angered by what we had seen and frustrated in thinking that the power and influence of the Catholic Church remains undiminished. The story deals with the Boston Globe’s exposé of the wicked maltreatment of children by the city’s Catholic clergy through the eighties and nineties. Sadly, we are all familiar with the scenario. In my case, as a non-believer, Tom McCarthy’s movie added another layer to my understanding of the priests’ sickening activities. That their sexual abuse of helpless young victims was unpardonable is a given, but what I’d not appreciated before is that it was also an abuse of faith, enough to shatter lifelong convictions. A straightforward narrative delivered with a subdued palette (costumes are almost entirely neutral) and free of clever time-jumps moves inexorably into realms of venal criminality as the newspaper’s reporters unearth repeated cover-ups. McCarthy does not shy away from the unpalatable truth that the dire state of affairs had been partly underpinned by the media’s apathy. Whistleblowers in the past had made submissions to the Globe that were not followed up on – ‘silence like a cancer grows’. It took an outsider, the new, Jewish editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiver) to encourage the Spotlight team to focus on the organisation rather than the individual. A revitalised Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams (‘my Nanna goes to mass every day’), John Slattery and the slow-boiling Mark Ruffalo are fan...
[ Tuesday, 23 Feb; 7:00 pm; ] Join the conversation with: Robert Heather, Director of NERAM Bimblebox and the art of protest Andrew Nicholson, Researcher, University of New England Environmental art as communication David Curtis, EcoArts Australis Arts as means of shaping environmental behaviour 23 February at 7pm The Armidale Club 91 Beardy Street Find Arts in the pub on Facebook full article »
Changes to State Government liquor ‘lock out’ laws have divided the community in Far North Queensland, with letters to newspapers and radio talk back callers equally opposed and agreeing to the changes.
Taxi operators, nightclub owners and young patrons have criticised the Labor Party’s legislation that will see a reduction in drinking time, with last drinks at 1am instead of 3am.
Some venues can apply for last drinks at 2am with an additional 30 minutes grace before lock out.
The new regulations come into force on February 1, 2017, allowing a 12 month phase-in provision insisted on by Katters Australian Party MP’s Shane Knuth and Robbie Katter.
Those with a criminal history of violence or drug dealers will not be allowed entry to venues.
The regulations are to be reviewed in July 2018.
Emergency services personnel have shown total support for the new laws, praising the KAP for its insight into the burgeoning alcohol culture of young people.
The Australian Medical Association welcomed the changes, believing the shorter hours will go a long way towards halting ‘coward punches’ and drug-fuelled violence.
“The police asked us to include the banning of known drug dealers and users within night club precincts and the management of this is up to the night clubs,” Mr Knuth said.
“We indicated from the beginning we would not support the regulations in their original form.
“In Sydney, with its similar laws, clubs introduced food towards closing time, helping patrons to sober up before leaving.”
Our Nightlife Queensland Secret...
by Jon Rappoport
Four days before he died, Supreme Court Justice Scalia voted to stall Obama’s plan to force drastic climate-change rules on the American economy. The vote was 5-4. (see: The Hill, 2/13, “Greens faced with nightmare scenario at the Supreme Court”)
With Scalia now gone, the vote would be 4-4.
With a new Obama Supreme Court appointee, if Obama could ram his choice through, the vote would be 5-4 in the President’s favor. Ditto, if the next President shares Obama’s position. And the climate-change agenda would roll ahead. (see: The Washington Times, 2/16, “GOP showing signs of backing down from vow to block Obama SCOTUS pick”)
We’re not talking about small climate-change rules. We’re talking about the Big Ones.
And note: such rules could very well dovetail with the Brave New World spelled out in the upcoming TPP (the Trans-Pacific Partnership).
It’s a wedge formation, a squeeze play, a pincer movement featuring new EPA climate-change regulations on one side, and new draconian possibilities embedded in the TPP.
If Scalia was murdered, the above agenda was sufficient reason, because the climate agenda has the force to transform life on the planet.
If Scalia’s murder were a movie, he would have been told, as a warning: “You have no idea how big this thing is; you really don’t...
Though fracking industry proponents scoff at any intimation their so-called vital industry poses even scant risks to the public, a new study published in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology just proved those critics right — fracking wastewater causes cancer.
Using human bronchial epithelial cells, which are commonly used to measure the carcinogenesis of toxicants, researchers confirmed fracking flowback water from the Marcellus Shale caused the formation of malignancies.
After conducting further tests on live mammalian subjects, researchers found five of six mice “injected with cells transformed from well water treatments developed tumors as early as 3 months after injection,” including a tumor in one mouse that grew to over 1 cm in size in just five months. A control group did not develop any tumors for the six months of the study period.
According to the study, performed by scientists from the Department of Envir......
[ Sunday, 21 Feb; 8:00 am; Sunday, 6 Mar; 8:00 am; Sunday, 20 Mar; 8:00 am; Sunday, 3 Apr; 8:00 am; Sunday, 17 Apr; 8:00 am; Sunday, 1 May; 8:00 am; Sunday, 15 May; 8:00 am; Sunday, 5 Jun; 8:00 am; Sunday, 19 Jun; 8:00 am; Sunday, 3 Jul; 8:00 am; Sunday, 17 Jul; 8:00 am; Sunday, 7 Aug; 8:00 am; Sunday, 21 Aug; 8:00 am; Sunday, 4 Sep; 8:00 am; Sunday, 18 Sep; 8:00 am; Sunday, 2 Oct; 8:00 am; Sunday, 16 Oct; 8:00 am; Sunday, 6 Nov; 8:00 am; Sunday, 20 Nov; 8:00 am; Sunday, 4 Dec; 8:00 am; Sunday, 18 Dec; 8:00 am; ] The Armidale Farmers' Market is on first and third Sundays of the month at Curtis Park kicking off at around 8am and going through to lunch. If you are a paid up member of Sustainable Living Armidale you are welcome to sell produce at the Armidale Local Food stall with a slice of profits going [...] full article »
[ Saturday, 5 Mar; 1:30 pm; ] Public meeting for election of office bearers for ZNET Uralla 1.30pm 5th March 2016 Uralla Community Centre. https://www.facebook.com/ZNetUralla/ By: Peter Low full article »
WWF trying to gouge more funding from a gullible public. Urban encroachment along the eastern coastline dislodges most koalas. Western areas of Queensland recently cleared are not koala habitats Wildfires on North Stradbroke Island decimate koalas and other wildlife thanks to custodians of country
(republished from cairnsnews 2014)
North Stradbroke Island lies just off the coastline from Brisbane and is a popular tourist destination for adventurers from the mainland. With its long sandy beaches and easy surf fishing it attracts thousands of anglers each year who make the short journey from the mainland by barge.
Straddie, covering 54,500 hectares is the second largest sand island in the world. Its only industries are sand mining and tourism, which support its 2000 permanent inhabitants.
On any weekend and during holiday season the beach becomes an extension to the Pacific Highway where hundreds of four wheel drives converge, turning the beaches into major thoroughfares.
Last week, due to lightning strikes, fires broke out across the tinder dry island, eventually causing some settlements to be evacuated. A lack of hazard control burning in the cooler months of the previous 10 years created the most dangerous fuel load ever seen on the island.
The Rural Fire Service had a major incident on its hands with volunteers battling kilometres long fire fronts fanned by gusty winds. Fortunately there was no loss of human life but the islands flora and fauna copped a savage beating.
Fires with such a large fuel load burn extremely hot for a more prolonged period, in many cases far too hot for standing eucalypts and other flora to survive. Most of the islands scorched eucalypts will sucker from the trunk and limbs rendering their function in the natural habitat as useless.
In the aftermath of the searing flames, the environmental damage is strikingly evident. Ho...
A renewed bid to provide shade-sail structures to 12 children’s playgrounds in Ballina shire that currently lack them will be made next Thursday.
Cr Jeff Johnson said he was disappointed that fellow councillors did not support the shade plan when he put it to council at the January meeting.
But supporters of the move, mayor David Wright and Cr Keith Williams, have joined Cr Johnson in a rescission notice to be debated at next week’s meeting in a bid to gather majority support for the plan.
Staff say Ballina shire has 47 children’s playgrounds, 12 of which don’t have a shade structure.
‘The majority of the councillors didn’t support the proposal to amend our policy to ensure that all new playgrounds are constructed with a shade structure,’ Cr Johnson told Echonetdaily.
The Greens councillor says council should ‘undertake a program, funded over two years to install shade structures on the existing playgrounds that currently don’t have a shade structure’.
‘As a father of a young child I see the difference that a shade structure makes to our playgrounds,’ he said.
‘Playgrounds without a shade structure are unable to be used for most of the day because the equipment is too hot.
‘This results in...
The Greens’ candidate for the federal seat of Richmond, Dawn Walker, has called on her Labor rival, sitting MP Justine Elliott, to back their bill to ban controversial political donations from mining companies.
The call comes as a report revealed this week that fossil-fuel companies receive around $2,000 in subsidies for every dollar donated by the mining sector to political parties.
But Labor is mute on the issue, despite questions this morning by Echonetdaily.
She said the Greens did not accept donations from fossil fuel companies ‘and in order to stop the corrupting influence of political donations that the Liberal, National and Labor parties receive from the fossil fuel sector we simply need to ban these donations’.
‘The fossil fuel sector receives multi-million dollar subsidises annually from government,’ she said.
‘Labor, the Liberals and the Nationals have collectively taken $3.7 million from foss...
In this issue: Welcome back; Feeling the heat; NQCC News in brief; Carmichael Mine; Contaminated dust deposition; Water issues; A GLOBAL agreement on climate change – Paris December 2015; Divestment – Westpac commitment, Market Forces ‘Burned’ Report; improved SuperSwitch; Decarbonisation – … Continue reading
Lismore Regional Gallery’s latest exhibitions include a collaboration commissioned for the 19th Biennale of Sydney two years ago which drew wide acclaim,
‘No Human Being Is Illegal (in all our glory)’ is comprised of 20 life-sized collaborative collage portraits ‘and a collective collage process of learning and exchange’, conceived and co-ordinated by artist Deborah Kelly for the Biennale.
A video of the Biennale show is at: https://vimeo.com/94899136
[ Sunday, 14 Feb; 8:00 am; ] We have had a break since mid December due to dates falling on Christmas & then the Country Music Festival taking over our venue. We start again on Sunday the 14th February back through the Sandstone gates entrance to Bicentennial Park, Kable Avenue Tamworth. The market is held at this venue on the 2nd Sunday & 4th [...] full article »
At least 38 people have been killed in air strikes carried out by a US-led coalition in Hasaka province in northeast Syria in the past two days, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group says.
The toll included at least 15 people who were killed when strikes hit a bakery in the city of al-Shadadi near the border with Iraq on Tuesday, the Britain-based Observatory said.
Air raids in at least three other villages killed 15 others on Thursday, including three children, it said. Reuters could not independently confirm the reports.
Al-Shadadi is a logistics hub for the Islamic State group, located on a network of highways and whose capture would isolate Raqqa, the de-facto capital of the hardline group.
The US-led coalition has been hitting Islamic State targets in areas of Syria and Iraq which the group controls, including in Hasaka and Raqqa provinces.
Aboard the papal plane [AP]
Pope Francis says any bishop who moves a suspected pedophile priest from parish to parish should resign.
Francis spoke about the church’s handling of sex abuse cases while flying home on Wednesday from Mexico, where victims of that country’s most notorious pedophile, the Reverend Marcial Maciel, are still coping with the trauma of his abuse.
‘It’s a monstrosity,’ Francis said of clerical abuse. ‘Because a priest is consecrated to bring a child to God. And if he eats him in a diabolical sacrifice, it destroys him.’
The role of bishops in the abuse scandal made headlines again recently after a French priest told a Vatican course for new bishops that they don’t have to report suspected abuse to police. His comments drew a swift correction from Francis’ top adviser, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who said bishops have an ‘ethical and moral’ obligatio...
Richmond Local Area Command police seized a replica pistol and a bandanna from a 19-year-old driver at Goonellabah in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Around 4.30am this morning officers were on patrol in Goonellabah when they saw a silver Mitsubishi Lancer travelling the opposite direction. The vehicle slowed as it passed.
Police turned around and pulled the vehicle over.
They that when the 19-year-old P-plate driver stopped and the vehicle was searched they found a replica pistol and a red bandanna inside the glove box.
The man was arrested and taken to Lismore Police Station where he was interviewed before being charged with possessing an unregistered firearm
Police say they do not have to prove the gun was real as replica firearms ‘are treated as if they are real’.
The matter has been set for the of April 4 at Lismore Local Court.
Roberta Rampton & Nelson Acosta, AAP
US president Barack Obama has announced an historic visit to Cuba next month, the first US presidential trip to the country in nearly 90 years and a dramatic symbol of the thaw in hostilities between the former Cold War foes.
Obama, now in his final year in office, will meet with Cuban president Raul Castro, entrepreneurs, and ‘Cubans from different walks of life’ during the March 21 and 22 visit, the White House said on Thursday.
First lady Michelle Obama will join him on the trip.
‘Next month, I’ll travel to Cuba to advance our progress and efforts that can improve the lives of the Cuban people,’ Obama wrote on Twitter.
After decades of animosity, the two nations made a surprise announcement in December 2014 that they would move...
Ballarat clergy abuse victims hope they can watch Cardinal George Pell as he gives testimony from Rome in the child abuse royal commission.
Cardinal Pell has offered to ‘meet with and listen to victims and express his ongoing support’ after giving evidence at the child abuse royal commission via videolink in Rome.
David Ridsdale, a member of the Ballarat Child Abuse Survivors group that wants to go to Rome to hear the evidence, says a meeting with the cardinal would be pleasant.
But he said he knew no survivor who had labelled any dealing with Cardinal Pell or the Church-instigated Melbourne Response ‘a positive experience’.
‘I’ve yet to meet one,’ Mr Ridsdale told AAP on Thursday.
‘So that sounds to me like Cardinal Pell is blowing his own trumpet … He chooses to ignore the fact people keep saying the [Church’s]...
Georgie Moore, AAP
The constant calls and texts, and phone and computer hacking means Anna* never really escaped her abusive ex-partner.
The mother of three thought she could start reclaiming her life last year by contacting former friends online after fleeing almost a decade of abuse in Adelaide.
But her partner didn’t just track her mobile phone and Facebook account, he hacked them.
Then he created a revenge pornography page with Anna’s phone number and sent links to her family and friends.
‘It made me feel dirty and disgusting and I didn’t want to leave the house,’ she told AAP.
‘It does make you feel like you’re never going to escape.’
Up to 90 per cent of domestic violence cases involve technology and the problem is growing, according to South Australia’s Legal Services Commission.
Virtually every woman who comes through the Northern Domestic Violence Service’s doors in Adelaide’s north has experienced some f...
Another one bites the dust as government closes this 80 year old Australian business accredited to:
Andrew Robb, according to Malcolm Turnbull has been the most successful Trade Minister in our country’s history landing three enormous free trade agreements with Japan, South Korea and China. In addition, he has secured agreement of the historic Trans Pacific Partnership, eliminating tariffs on 98 per cent of traded goods and creating better access for Australia’s innovative service industries in 11 leading economies, including the US, Japan and Canada.
THE management of an 80-year-old Hindmarsh family business that announced its closure this morning, costing 54 jobs, has lashed out at the recent spate of free trade agreements that it says has made its future unviable.
Family owned business Industrial Engineers and Spring Makers will cease operations on March 24, with all 54 employees — the majority of whom are older than 50 — to be made redundant.
The company makes springs for cars, trucks, trailers and industrial applications, along with other allied products. However, management said the demise of the local automotive industry was not the driving factor of its predicament.
Instead, senior manager Chris Coxon, whose grandfather Jack Marsh founded the company in 1935, laid blame on the increasing number of free trade agreements, which he says has created a uneven playing field.
In recent years, former trade minister (now trade envoy) Andrew...
A Queensland politician who disclosed secret information and then misled parliament about it has become the first MP to receive a public rebuke in 17 years.
Warrego MP Ann Leahy has admitted in parliament she was wrong in the way she went about exposing one of several bungles by former police minister Jo-Ann Miller that eventually led to her cabinet resignation.
Ms Miller later told parliament she had made a police complaint about Ms Leahy breaking the law by giving misleading evidence to a parliamentary committee and breaching secrecy provisions.
On Thursday, Ms Leahy – who could face criminal charges over the saga – delivered an apology to the House before she was admonished by Speaker Peter Wellington.
‘Your behaviour has been inappropriate and must change if you are to regain the respect of your peers,’ Mr Wellington told the Liberal National Party MP.
By John Campbell
You don’t often get to say it, but Derek Zoolander is back in a sequel that is better than the original – not that the original was anything to write home about. All that I can properly remember about it is that I didn’t think it was very funny. This time around, maybe because my expectations were so low, I laughed a lot – sometimes out loud. Then again, the world is a different place, too. Since Derek, the fab fashion model, first appeared in 2001, humanity seems to have set its course irrevocably to damnation and this type of brash, loud, gonzo satire is all we have left to counter the mounting gloom. After the death of his wife, Derek (Ben Stiller) retired to the wilderness of upper New Jersey to live the life of a hermit. Meanwhile, former rival Hansel (Owen Wilson) has been on a quest to find the father he has never known. They are drawn from obscurity to help solve the riddle of who is responsible for a spree of celebrity assassinations – the opening sequence has Justin Bieber (as himself) being gunned down in Rome by a masked assailant. The job gets personal for Derek when danger threatens the son he had previously abandoned to a swish boarding school – where, OMG!, he got fat. None of the jokes slip by unnoticed – to the contrary, they are of the in-your-face variety that virtually demands an amused response. A succession of ‘spot the star’ cameos follow, as the likes of John Malkovich, Susan Sarandon and Willie Nelson get to deliver nifty one-liners. Will Ferrell, in typical overdrive, is the villain, Penélope Cruz’s spectacular cleavage leads to an hilarious sight gag concerning Derek and Hansel’s reaction to it, and, Benedict Cumberbatch, clearly enjoying himself, weirds out everybody as the androgynous All. Of course it’s silly, but more than a few of its so...
Almost 34,000 people, many from around the world, have signed a petition calling on Tweed Shire Council to revegetate a sportsfield south of Pottsville surrounded by koala habitat and corridors.
The petition, which used social media to attract interest in the Black Rocks sportsfield issue, was presented to council this week by a organisers who later staged a brief rally outside council chambers.
Koala campaigner and petition author Menkit Prince said recent moves by council to further develop the sports field with a Men’s Shed could ‘drive the last nail in the coffin’ of the koalas around Black Rocks, which have been dwindling in numbers in the past few years.
‘It’s the midnight hour for these koalas. They need peace and quiet to recover from the Xmas 2014 fire which severely damaged over 200 hectares of koala habitat in the Pottsville Wetlands and may have killed between 30-60 per cent of their population’, Ms Prince told Echonetdaily.
The petition was addressed to Cr Barry Longland, who spearheaded the Men’s Shed approval, calling for revegetation of the field and enclavement (permanent locking of the koala protection gates).
The petition, signed by 33,95......
Federal Page MP Kevin Hogan (Nationals) joined with Kyogle mayor Danielle Mulholland yesterday to open the upgraded Minneys Bridge in Kyogle, which had been closed to traffic for two years.
Mr Hogan said the reopening was ‘a great outcome for the community’.
‘It is wonderful to see this bridge operating once again. I was determined to make sure the Kyogle community got this vital bridge replaced and today I am happy to announce that has been achieved,’ Mr Hogan said.
Despite having the largest number of bridges of any shire in NSW, Kyogle missed out completely on funding from the Coalitions in augural Bridges for the Bush round in 2014.
But following Mr Hogan’s intervention with infrastructure and regional development minister Warren Truss, the federal government found funding of $220,000 to replace the bridge.
‘Since the bridge’s closure in February 2014, the community has been using a riverbed...
I have been introduced to your excellent paper by a Byron local who is staying down here in Sydney. I won’t say his name, but he is one of this country’s greatest documentary filmmakers, and has even made one called The Battle For Byron. He is someone of such creativity that he should know where the next dollar is coming from. But we live in a country that has lots of money to give back to the rich, but not much for people who could actually use it for the common good.
I want to write an answer to Vic Alhadeff’s letter (‘Israel’s presence’, February 10). The reason that the Palestinians, together with the Arab world in general, did not accept the partition of Palestine, was that they were being told to give up a substantial part of their country to a group of colonists.
Mr Alhadeff may like to stand history on its head, but, please, not at the expense of the people of Palestine.
We can see the West Bank being eaten away by Israel’s illegal settlements, or rather colonies. Good Jewish people in Israel, such as those who belong to Breaking the Silence, cannot tolerate the cruelty and injustice.
My father was a Jewish refugee from Austria, so he might have been on the side of the Alhadeffs of this world. But he wasn’t. Like any reasonable person, he could see how the land of the Palestinians was partitioned from under them. In effect, they paid the price for Europe’s crimes.
Now is the time for less propaganda from Israel, and fair dealing with the Indigenous people. And the same could be said of this country as well.
Keep up the great publication. I can hardly believe that it’s free.
Stephen Langford, Paddington
Superintendent Stuart Smith of the NSW Traffic and Highway Patrol claimed on the A Current Affair program of 15 February that the north region is ‘over represented in drug driving, impaired drug driving resulting in the injury or death of someone’ (3:07) and ‘we’ve had numerous dreadful fatalities at the hands of drugged drivers’ (7:00). Both these claims are false.
The NSW Police Force has had to stop charging people who tested positive for cannabis for’driving under the influence of cannabis’ because, unlike alcohol, they have never bothered to ascertain how much cannabis is required to ‘influence’ or ‘impair’ a driver’s ability to drive.
There is still no scientific way of testing ‘influence’ or ‘impairment’ of cannabis in NSW either by the road side or in the laboratory. To repeat, neither Superintendent Stuart Smith nor any NSW policeman or politician can tell whether a person is impaired by cannabis or not.
Likewise the NSW Centre for Road Safety does not list ‘driving under the influence of cannabis’ as a cause of fatalities. The most they can say is ‘Accidents or fatalities involving a driver or motorcycle rider with an illicit drug present’. Not ‘influenced or impaired by an illicit drug’, not ’caused by an illicit drug’ and certainly not ‘at the hands of a driver impaired by an illicit drug’.
But they do provide a list of contributing factors which are the cause of fatalities and they are ‘excessive or ‘inappropriate speed, fatigue, illegal alcohol (.05 and above) and restraint non usage (no seatbelt)’.
In fact, to make it absolutely clear that they are not claiming cannabis and/or other drugs are a ‘contributing factor’ they head the chart with &...
The Tweed Valley Women’s Service was a specialist service dedicated solely for the needs of women and their children. It was a well known, iconic place where women could walk in off the street to seek sanctuary and solace without having to share the space or have unwanted encounters with males who may also even be perpetrators.
As a specialist service the Womens’ Service far extended their reach to numerous other grants and services than those provided just through On Track such as support during AVO processes, DV support groups, counseling, courses, etc.
I am not disputing that On Track are or will provide the services that their funding previously provided. It’s all the other programs and services not related to On Track funding that we will be missing, including the dedicated building.
I was very alarmed by the situation when I first heard about this and became skeptical whether all services were continuing when in the first week of closing I had a lady call me asking if the DV support group was still on. It was not as it was not an On Track funded program.
In this age when we know a woman is murdered on average every week in Australia by their partners, and untold numbers are living in terror, a dedicated place as a Womens’ Service is a fundamental necessity.
Katie Milne, Carool
Giles Parkinson, reneweconomy.com.au
The battery storage revolution is taking hold in Australia, and may even occur quicker than most pundits thought – despite lingering uncertainty about whether consumers will actually be saving any money in the short term.
Debate rages about the ability of battery storage – when added to rooftop solar installations – will deliver an attractive return on investment. For some it already does, as this farmer discovered.
But it seems that many consumers don’t particularly care – installers say they are being flooded with enquiries, and customers want them even if they are told they won’t save money.
According to Nigel Morris, the head of solar and battery storage installer Roof Juice, battery storage installations are running at about 200 a month.
Origin Energy, one of the big retailers that has signed up for the Tesla Powerwall and other battery storage technologies, says it has installed a few, but has interest from 2,000 consumers – demand which it hopes to satisfy within the next few months.
Stefan Jarnason, the CEO of software developer and systems integrator Solar Analytics, agrees with those assessments. He estimates that installation rates will run at about 4,000 to 5,000 in 2015 – before surging ten-fold in 2016 to around 40,000. That is when the industry takes hold.
There are many reasons why battery storage is popular – the ability to exercise consumer choice, to have greater independence, to stick it up the big corporations, to capture the benefits of their solar systems (as feed in tariffs decline), and to do their bit for emissions abatement, particularly as the federal government policies cause a rise in national emissions.
NSW is expected to be the biggest market ini...
There is a walk along the inlet from Captain Stevenson’s Lookout around the coast to Bastion Point. It runs along the edge of the camp grounds through tall banksia trees and coastal scrub and into a Pittosporum forest. The track leads on to the new Bastion Point boat ramp facility and the nearby swimming beaches now protected by the new sea wall. I met a couple who were going for stroll along the path who said that a large Caspian tern was fishing with the Silver Gulls in the shallows at the beach. Not having photographed a Caspian Tern before I headed down to find and hopefully photograph the tern. While walking through one of the deeper darker patches of Pittosporum Forest I came across a family of Rose Robins in quite a fluster. Several pink chested males and a number of females and juveniles seemed to flying back and forth across the path and into various low trees and bushes. I stopped to watch for a while and take a few photographs of these elusive tiny birds and noticed a pile of feathers at my feet. It took me a few moments to figure out what they were from – a juvenile Kookaburra. I looked straight up and into the eyes of a large Powerful Owl. This type of Owl prefers a daytime roost in trees located in cool, dark forest gullies. If it makes a kill during the night it hangs onto the kill all day and feeds at the start of the following night. Hanging from the Owl’s talons was the previous night’s kill.
Attention struggling artistes! You may not necessarily want it but most of us need a job to support our creative selves. Personally, I’m finding the isolation of writing full-time a real incentive to keep applying for part-time jobs. (Actually, since I wrote this post I’ve decided to study creative writing full-time so job hunting is […]
Australian Greens marriage equality spokesperson Senator Robert Simms is calling on the Government to reject the Australian Christian Lobby’s push to suspend anti-discrimination laws in any plebiscite on marriage equality. I spoke to the senator about this issue and its implications.
Foxes are highly adaptable, resilient and cunning pests that prey on both native wildlife and livestock and are considered a threat to 14 species of birds, 48 mammals, 12 reptiles and two species of amphibians.
These predators have been declared ‘established invasive animals’ by the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, and a single fox can consume thousands of native animals every year.
You can help to deter the predatory pests and support Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) and Surf Coast Shire Council fox control efforts by removing potential food and shelter sources from your property.
Surf Coast Shire Council Mayor, Cr Rose Hodge, said foxes were opportunistic, meaning people could easily unwittingly feed or shelter the pests.
“Within our coastal environments and around our homes, there is an abundance of food available for foxes,” Cr Hodge said.
“We can all help reduce these food sources by minimising the amount of food left outside, particularly overnight, by covering compost, ensuring rubbish bins are fully closed and cleaning up fallen fruit regular...
It’s a question we are asking our little buddy, at each and every opportunity these days. You see Charlie Brown’s surgery, that was scheduled for Monday has been postponed until early next month due to his surgeon having to head overseas. In the meantime, your good wishes, our tender loving care and the company of Posy and Primrose is helping him bide his time.
For those unfamiliar with little Charlie Brown’s plight, the plucky male Dorper lamb was attacked by a large dog sometime before being surrendered into our care. Seizing the tiny lamb with his teeth the dog bore down violently and shook the terrified creature, not only puncturing holes in Charlie Brown’s delicate face and neck but crushing and damaging several of his vertebrae. The resulting most awkward twist in the wee lambs neck the legacy. Ironically this crushing blow to Charlie Brown has actually spared him his life because all his flock mates have since been killed, although not by the dog but humans….
By Dr. Paula Gerber
When many people hear the word “surrogacy” their immediate reaction is to think of the plight of Baby Gammy, abandoned in Thailand by his intended parents.
Yet stories like this do not reflect the experience of hundreds of Australians who travel overseas every year to start a family through compensated surrogacy. For the overwhelming majority of these people, the experience is costly and stressful, but not exploitative or degrading.
People who require the services of a surrogate in order to have a child are going offshore because the only surrogacy permitted in Australia is altruistic surrogacy. Laws in all Australian states and territories, except the Northern Territory, prohibit the payment of any money to a surrogate, beyond reimbursement of reasonable medical expenses.
Because of this prohibition on compensated surrogacy within Australia, hundreds of couples go overseas every year to engage the services of a surrogate. This is true even in Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT, where it is a criminal offence to enter into a compensated surrogacy arrangement overseas.
These laws are clearly an abject failure. They are not deterring people from heading offshore to engage in surrogacy. There has not been a single prosecution, let alone a conviction, for pursuing extra-territorial surrogacy.
Against this backdrop, the federal parliament’s Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs is conducting an inquiry into the regulatory and legislative aspects of international and domestic surrogacy arrangements. It is expecte...
People Decide, a relatively new political party whose main policy is participatory democracy, has announced its candidates for the upcoming Brisbane City Council. Karel Boele, who was to have stood for the Ward of The Gabba (and attended our recent Meet the Candidates event in that capacity) has set his sights a little higher and […]
The post People Decide announce candidates for BCC election appeared first on Westender - West End 4101.
Received this print swap from a photographer on tumblr, in today’s mail, all the way from Tournefeuille in France! Thank you @sir20 (http://sir20.tumblr.com/) #photography #printswap #print #instaphotography #france #tournefeuille #tumblr #sir20 #matthewschiavello #thornbury #melbourne
The Commonwealth government is a major obstacle to action on plastic pollution, two major environment groups have told the Senate Inquiry Into the Threat of Marine Plastic Pollution. With a Senate report on the science, sources and impacts of plastics on Australia’s waterways due in April, representatives of the Boomerang Alliance and Total Environment Centre […]
Warrego MP facing charges
Warrego MP Ann Leahy has been found in contempt of parliament and could face severe punishment.
Ms Leahy was found to have distributed confidential Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee material about former police minister Jo-Ann Miller, and also intentionally misled those who investigated the disclosure.
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 »
In the grey/brown bleakness of our bushlands at the moment you can still find a rare green spot–like the one below. Unfortunately in this case the reason for the green isn’t a natural one: it’s an apparently long standing leak in the Poverty Gully water race, which is currently flowing.
Water is put into this race a few times a year when allocations are available, to serve a small number of customers with rights. Over the years there have been mutterings about closing it down, and saving the water for use of the wider communities of Kyneton and Castlemaine.Maybe an even better use would be to put additional environmental flows into the suffering Coliban River.
The wastage of water through the primitive channel [constructed in the mid 1870s] must be enormous, though we’ve never been able to get a figure from Coliban water as to how much is lost through leakage and evaporation between Malmsbury and Castlemaine. The case can’t have been helped by the fact that a DELWP fuel reduction operation in 2013 inadvertently burned to cinders a lot of plastic sheeting put into the race as a water proofing exercise!
A few species of Eucalypt are flowering profusely at the moment, in spite of dry conditions. Why does one specimen of a particular species flower, and another not? Local conditions play a part, but some of it is still a mystery. Still, we’ll take the benefits where we can get them.
Species in flower at the moment include Grey Box, Red Stringybark and Manna Gums, though such is the erratic nature of the flowering seasons that you can occasionally find other species unpredictably in flower.
Keep reading here for artist info, studio times and other info!
THERE ARE 28 ARTISTS AT LOT19, IN 21 STUDIOS. BE SURE TO GRASP THIS SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT ARTISTS AT WORK IN THEIR STUDIOS. ARTS OPEN… LOT19 OPENS HER DOORS!
Keep reading for artist info, studio times and other info. studio directory at the gate
MARK ANSTEY- FOUNDER AND OWNER OF LOT19 tours 10am and 12am leaving from the gallery sat 12th
mark is a furniture maker who, 11 years ago, considered the important things in life and decided to dedicate his land, time, money and skills to setting up lot19. come and hear (some of ) the story, and get (some of ) your questions answered! order some fine furniture as well…
HELEN BODYCOMB Open Studio 10 am – 4 pm
Deaths could have been avoided
The closure of a mental health unit in Brisbane last year was likely to result in deaths, according to a senior psychiatrist.
An inquiry into the former LNP government’s decision to close the Barrett Adolescent Centre in January 2014 is underway after three former patients died in the eight months following the centre’s closure.
Worst QLD suburbs for immunisation
Some of Queensland’s most prestigious suburbs are failing to reach acceptable immunisation levels, according to new national data.
Lockout laws approved
New lockout laws for Queensland have been approved by State parliament, and will come into effect in July.
Proposed by the Labor government, and backed by Katter’s Australian Party MPs, the legislation calls for a ban on alcohol sales from 2am in nightclubs and pubs.
Another significant feature of the park is that it takes in the course of the Mia Mia Creek, a small, ephemeral watercourse that rises in the Muckleford bush to the north of Newstead. The catchment is now peppered with small dams and it’s pretty unusual to see a flow these days. A recent downpour, 50 mm or so in a couple of hours, sent a welcome flush down the creek....
To innovate means to change something which is already established, to come up with new ideas and ways of doing things. Once upon a time, communication only took place face to face, travel was by foot and bed rest was the remedy for all ailments. In Australia, centuries of innovations shared the world over have enhanced our lives far beyond the realm of any one person’s imagination.
Together, humankind has built the most amazing infrastructure and social systems to protect its citizens, especially the most vulnerable. Ambulances, hospitals, prosthetic limbs, spectacles and wheelchairs all transpired to give people the best chance at life, and an enhanced life worth living at that. Get to know some of our residents who are pushing the boundaries of innovation.
We will never know when or how, but this brave and gentle old sheep had become blind and was abandoned on a property. With no place in this world to belong, he made his way to the refuge of Edgar’s Mission, where he will live out the rest of his golden years. Once given the clean bill of health, we then had to put on our thinking caps, how the Dickins were we to give him the happy life he deserved? Queue Joe Cocker: “I get by with a little help from my friends”.
We set up 64’s water and food bowls in his stall, they’re always put in the same place so he knows exactly where to find them. We then asked his friend Annabelle Sheep if she would mind wearing a bell on her collar, so that wherever she walked she would light a safe path of kindness for the sweet wether to follow, and she jumped at the chance to help her friend.......
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