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2PP Aggregate: 51.8 to Coalition (-1.1 in a week, -2.5 in
Coalition would win election "held now" with substantially reduced majority
Just over a week ago I noted that the Coalition had an attack of the February wobbles, a common pattern of government polling tanking around this time in an election year. A shock Newspoll result this week has seen this get a lot worse, as the Turnbull government looks rattled and tired and above all confused about its own tax reform steps, and for the first time in a long time, Bill Shorten has a spring in his step. A robotic spring, true, but a spring nonetheless. Government polling seems to be in freefall and no-one really knows where the bottom might be if it doesn't snap out of its tax funk sometime soon. I've started a Not-A-Poll for anyone with a view on when or whether in this term Labor might get its nose in front.
Since the bullish ReachTEL and the bearish Ipsos discussed in the previous article we've seen the startling 50:50 2PP Newspoll (down three), a status-quo 52.5 to Coalition from Morgan (which has recently leant to the Coalition, but this seems to be diminishing) and a status-quo 52:48 from Essential. Essential hasn't moved much for a long time, coming out at 51 or 52 for almost every poll since Turnbull became PM, but most of the others seem to be coming back to it rapidly, so I've cut its house effect and could well remove it altogether in another week or two. Essential's read that voting intention has barely changed since just after Turnbull became PM is so at odds with the story from the others that I can hardly blame Mark the Ballot for saying that he doesn't aggregate it because he doesn't understand its behaviour.
The 50:50 from Newspoll is the first draw Labor has achieved from any pollste...
This 18 to 21 February 2016 Newspoll had little effect on lacklustre betting on the 2016 Australian federal election:
It is totally alarming to learn that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) concerning upgrading track works for the toy train at Belongil has been avoided by both Byron Shire Council and Transport NSW.
Debate has continued concerning the dire effect of diesel particles which travel large distances lodging in the lungs of living species and residing on vegetation. Twenty-eight countries in the EU have rejected the ongoing use of diesel technology,
Yes, it’s the 21st century and the north coast desperately deserves a train(s) for the most obvious of reasons, but does it deserve a toy train?
We were subjected to Puff Advertising when alerted to its arrival. Despite arriving as a dirty diesel technology we were told that after a period of time (maybe two years according to Elements) it would undergo a remarkable transformation; and finally present to the shire as a solar technology. The full make-over.
The reality is far more concerning. According to expert information by solar engineers, the train is much too heavy to convert to stand-alone solar/electric and would need a carriage full of lithium ion batteries to travel one way only down the 3km stretch of track. Puff advertising always reveals evidence after the fact.
To achieve safe tracks for the diesel train, the Belongil Estuary and waterways will be severely threatened with lethal poisons.
During the clean-up period ‘Roundup’ will be used to clear overgrown tracks. One in three sleepers will be replaced, no doubt disturbing the risk of releasing asbestos and arsenic contained in same and residing in sub soils.
Diana Jo Faith, Newtown
Next meeting of BAAA
Tuesday 29th March, 2016
Brown Grain Thai Restaurant
212 Sturt St, Ballarat
6pm for dining
7pm for meeting
Steph -0435 576684 or Michelle -0419 793667
|Track Title||Artist||Album Title|
|Seven Day Fool||Lemon Squeezin’ Daddies||Jumpin’ From 6 To 6
|Barber’s Shop||Jim Finn & Phill Simmons||35 Years Of Big Rock|
|Take Me Back||Morris, Turner & Simmons||35 Years Of Big Rock|
|Said Goodbye To The Blues||Alan Lancaster & Chris Turner||35 Years Of Big Rock|
|Silver Threads &
|Turner & Simmons||Double Header|
|A Great Day For The Blues||Blues Pirates||35 Years Of Big Rock|
|Hear With You||Three Aztecs,
A Chain & A Tatoo
|35 Years Of Big Rock|
|Lovesick Blues||The Durham Project||35 Years Of Big Rock|
|Thirty Pieces Of Silver||Chris Turner||35 Years Of Big Rock|
|Love On My Guitar||Max Paton||35 Years Of Big Rock|
The Inaugural Vegan Festival recently held in Ballarat was a great success, with a variety of events held over the week of January 17 - 24.
The week began with "Today I am Voiceless", a global vegan activism campaign to raise awareness for animals and promote peace over violence.
In Ballarat, this was comprised of a 24 hour vow of silence, incorporating a walk around Lake Wendouree.
Speak out against Turnbull: Let Them Stay! When: 6pm Saturday 27th February Where: Corner of Swanston and Lonsdale Streets, Melbourne Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and opposition leader Bill Shorten will be speaking at the Greek festival in Lonsdale St. Despite Immigration Minister Dutton’s backdown that saw baby Asha released to community detention, the Turnbull government(...)
‘Secret communication #101′
Exploring hand gestures, which can hold both widely known and secretly known meanings.
An examination of ethical issues encountered in the author’s clinical work with detained patients. Howard Goldenberg addresses the topical suggestion that a doctor or a nurse should positively refuse to serve in an immigration detention facility on the grounds that to do so would be to condone or facilitate torture.
EEG is again suing VicForests in the Supreme Court
VicForests refused to stop logging an area rich in rare
wildlife in the Kuark forest Block, home to Yellow-bellied Gliders,
Long-footed Potoroos, rare plants, rainforest and the critically
endangered new species of Galaxias fish.
On Friday (12/2/16) our lawyers at Environment Justice Australia (EJA) filed a writ in the Supreme Court against VicForests over its logging in this stand of forest, south of Goolengook (30km NE of Orbost).
VicForests still refused to stop logging and so we were forced to seek an urgent injunction on the Saturday. A temporary injunction was granted and VicForests has since agreed not to log until March 21st. EJA is now preparing the necessary documents for this case to proceed.
A brief article about...
On Saturdays when lassitude and embarrassment don’t completely
overcome me, I go to adult beginners’ ballet classes. Or at least,
I did so intermittently last year before taking a few months off.
The classes, slightly mortifyingly, don’t seem to be attended by
beginners as I see them, rather, women who have done quite a bit of
ballet in their past and are now keeping it up in adulthood.
Whereas I have not danced, and am very much proving that not only
can you not teach an old dog new tricks, you can’t teach grace to a
person who has had a lifetime of clumsiness programmed into their
There are also two consequences of ballet that I didn’t really anticipate. One, is that it is mentally very taxing. I have a hard enough time getting my feet in the right place, let alone arms, posture, head, core, and trying to look graceful. The first class left me as drained as when I sat the GAMSAT. The other consequence is physical - I am not really aware of getting a work out, per se, when doing the class but the following day I am acutely conscious of muscles I didn’t really know I had.
This being the case, I feel that brunching is a very reasonable way of following a class. Since the school has moved from Brunswick to purpose-build studios in Coburg, this gave me an excuse to try out The Glass Den, a cafe in the old Pentridge Prison redevelopment that apparently caters well for those with awkward dietary requirements.
The cafe occupies one of the old bluestone gatehouses, renovated and with a pleasant covered area out the back which would, I imagine, be rather nice in the evening. The menu offered various temptations, including black sticky rice pudding, and some rather spectacular-sounding vegan, gluten-free pancakes. Were I not still persistently “off” sweet food, I would’ve been very tempted by the latter, as it’s unusual to get pancakes that are vegan and gluten free.
View Online What's On this Week | 23 - 29 February 2016 Dining & Drink | Shopping & Business | Things To Do | What's On Tuesday 23rd February 2016 to Monday 29th February 2016 We end February with a bang, whistle and a woohoo. MelB Outdoors Supershow Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow See all the latest model caravans, pop-tops, tents, camper trailers, 5th wheelers, motorhomes, campervans and 4×4 off road and touring accessories than ever. When: 24-29 February 2016 Where: Melbourne Showgrounds Links: Book Tix | Desktop | Smart Phone emerging jazz Emerging Jazz Festival The festival showcases not only emerging talent but the relationship between their music and how it both informs and is informed by education, research, performance and the sector. When: 21–28 February 2016 Where: Bennetts Lane Jazz Club Links: Book Tix | Desktop | Smart Phone neon glow paint ILLUMI Run Prepare to light up the night with a 5km walk, run, or dance ‘party on the run’ at the MCG. When: Saturday 27th February 2016 Where: Melbourne Cricket Ground Links: Book Tix | Desktop | Smart Phone for you, your pregnancy or young child Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo Our Special Edition Pregnancy and Newborn Expo focuses on the start of the pregnancy journey right through to your first year with your newborn. When: February 27 - 28, 2016 Where: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre Links: Desktop | Smart Phone Trade Fair Australian Jewellery Fair A broad presentation of products including fine jewellery, fashion jewellery, watches, clocks and related services. When: February 27 - 28, 2016 Where: Royal Exhibition Building Links: Desktop | Smart Phone Highlights This Week Art Exhibition Brunswick Studio Walk View Art in Melbourne Circus Circus Latino | Dingley Silvers Grand Magic Circus | Bayswater Family & Children Inside the Brick | Bendigo 2016 View Family | View Family Calendar Fete Brunswick South West Primary School | Twilight...
Over Summer the Western Treatment Plant, associated wetlands and conservation ponds are home to many thousands of migratory birds that spend the breeding season in the Northern Hemisphere: Northern China, the tundra of Arctic Siberia and along the eastern Eurasian Arctic. After the breeding season the shorebirds birds migrate down south of the equator and spread out over the Southern Hemisphere including Australia and New Zealand. The return to and introduce first year birds to their favourite feeding grounds. At the Pooh Farm there are thousands of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers and Red-necked Stints, and many Curlew Sandpipers, and a number of Common Greenshanks and Godwits . Every now and again a rarer species turns up. This year we have had Pectoral Sandpipers, now becoming a regular in low numbers, a few Broad Billed Sandpipers and an exciting visit by a Red-necked Phalarope. A number of regular birders patrol the main shallow lagoons looking for a rare find. It can be difficult as many of the birds look the same, come in a variety of colours and plumage even within a species and may appear as a single slightly different bird amongst thousands.
This Summer I visited with a few neighbourhood birders including Dave, an experienced birder who has specialised in various shorebirds over the years. He managed to spot the Broad-billed Sandpiper, a stint sized species with a long flat bill. On two separate occasions, amongst thousands of birds, Dave has managed to find this little bird based on its features and its habit. The Broad-billed Sandpiper became my 321st Lifer and my 318th State Tick.
Public Health England last week launched a new resource for healthcare professionals and service providers giving guidance about spiritual needs at the end of life. Faith at the End of Life, which focuses on the UK’s six largest religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism, promotes a public health approach to death, dying and ... Read more...
Mini or pocket motorcycles are fun and cute, but they are a potential danger and usually illegal to use anywhere except on private property.
In most countries, these machines are categorised as novelty toys and are not regulated by the same conditions as other vehicles.
In Australia, the importers are not members of the Federated Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) and their only control is through the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
FCAI motorcycle spokesman Rhys Griffiths says they don’t want to be involved with them or encourage their sale. “They are not made to any standard and therefore potentially dangerous,” he says.
This point is driven home by the ACCC’s recent recall of the Mirza Miniature road and dirt style motorbikes with model numbers SKD-PB06 and SKD-MD02 sold in Victoria by Domeit Pty Ltd.
“The ‘minibikes’ do not comply with the requirements set out in Consumer Protection Notice No. 24 of 2011. There is a permanent ban on miniature motorbikes with unsafe design features,” the ACCC notice says.
“Non-conformities in the braking system may result in loss of control at speed, possibly causing serious injury or death.
“Consumers should immediately stop using the minibikes and contact Domeit Pty Ltd...
Seemingly on a delivery flight to Brisbane on Tuesday 23 February was new production Textron Aviation
(Hawker Beechcraft) B300 Super King Air N136KF (c/n FL-1036) which
was noted passing through Longreach Airport after earlier departing
from Darwin in the Northern Territory.
Harvard University seeks to allay widespread misunderstandings about religions around the globe and has launched a free online series to raise religious literacy. To combat this illiteracy, Moore and five other religion professors from Harvard University, Harvard Divinity School and Wellesley College are kicking off a free, online series on world religions open to the ... Read more...
Last October marked the fiftieth anniversary of Nostra aetate (“In Our Time”), the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions. There were celebrations in Australia on the signal importance of this document. Commonweal (a Catholic Magazine) has devoted a great deal of space over the years to explaining and ... Read more...
Dear Prime Minister Turnbull
Re: reports of 14 Broadspectrum guards (13 male) entering Tent and strip searching Asylum seeker women incarcerated in Nauru
RISE: Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees is the first Refugee and asylum seeker welfare and advocacy organisation in Australia, entirely controlled and staffed by Refugees, Asylum seekers, and ex-detainees.
We Refugees, Asylum seekers and ex-detainees are shocked and alarmed to hear reports of 14 Broadspectrum security guards (13 male) entering the tents of Asylum seeker women in the Nauru Asylum seeker internment camp run and funded by your government. There are also horrific reports of a 32 year old woman in the tent going into cardiac arrest when this happened and the fact that IHMS the medical provider you have contracted to provide health services for Asylum seekers in the camp did not have an ECG machine and discharged her after a few hours.
We say enough is enough. The Asylum seekers and Refugees in Nauru and Manus were deported and incarcerated in these places by the Australian government. Despite two deaths and numerous reports of sexual abuse and other forms of cruel and degrading treatment by staff that are funded and overseen by your government-men, women and children in our communities continue to be held hostage on these islands to further your party’s political agenda and interests.
We demand that the Manus and Nauru Asylum seeker internment camps be permanently shut down and all Asylum seekers and Refugees abducted and refouled by the Australian government to these islands be brought back and released into the community to have their claims processed in a fair and humane manner in line with the UN refugee convention that Australia is a signatory. They sho....
Pope Francis once said he wished he could spend a day as an ordinary person and go get a pizza without being recognized. After reading the new The Vatican Cookbook, though, you may wish you could spend a day as Pope Francis to enjoy the delicacies gracing his dinner table. Pope Francis once said he ... Read more...
2RRR’s Radio Training Course covers all aspects of radio, including:
To produce or announce on a program on 2RRR, members must complete our in-house Radio Training Course. Once completed, members may apply for air time.
The 2RRR Radio Training Course is widely acknowledged and highly regarded amongst local media professionals as providing quality training, and has helped to launch many illustrious careers in community radio, the ABC and commercial sector. 2RRR has been training Sydney radio presenters since the station’s inception.
The course includes two evening sessions each week at Gladesville and extends over eight weeks. Theory classes are held on Tuesdays and are conducted by experienced professionals from across the sector, as well a variety of presenters with hands-on experience of community radio.
Practical sessions are conducted at the 2RRR studio in small groups across two hour panel training sessions.
Students also have the opportunity to sit in different programs and learn from our experienced 2RRR presenters.
The course runs twice a year, in the first and last quarters. Please contact the station for dates of the next course, information pamphlet and application form. If dates are yet to be confirmed, you will be added to our course mailing list and be first to receive information.
Fees : $425. Student full time or Centrelink pensioner $325. Deposit $75. Contact 2RRR on 9816 2988 or by email email@example.com to enrol.
Enrollment Form: New Logo RTC Application Form 5 April 2016
Codes of Conduct: RTC Code of Behaviour Dec 2013...
Do you recognise this blackboard (okay, we know it is a whiteboard!) from around the Byron Shire?
Put the name of the cafe in the subject line and email to e.comps[at]echo.net.au, with your name and phone number, to receive a free subscription to Echonetdaily. Correct answers will go in the draw for a great food/wine/travel prize.
Has your local cafe got a great blackboard? Tip us off at goodlife[at]echo.net.au.
You may recall our article two weeks ago about the Coast Restaurant at the Ocean Shores Country Club, managed since October last year by chef Carl Barnes and his partner Rachel Besett.
Anyone familiar with The Restaurant Inspector and Fernando Peire will have heard of The Ivy, a celebrity restaurant in London, where Carl worked for a time during his international career.
Now new horizons are about to open up for the couple, as at the front of the clubhouse in Ocean Shores construction has commenced on a large covered deck. From the deck diners will enjoy one of the most panoramic ocean views in the region. It’ll be a prime whale-watching spot.
Migaloo, one of the biggest celebrities in the region (well, certainly the biggest whale celebrity), should be visible from the deck, which is expected to be unveiled by end of March (weather permitting) in time for Easter.
The Byron Shire is fast becoming a foodie destination, but the boutique bar is starting to proliferate as well, writes Samuel J Fell.
As with most places in Australia, the Byron Shire is rife with pubs. Whether on the river in Brunswick, the beachfront in Byron, back off the beaten track in Billinudgel… there’s no shortage around here of places to rest your weary soul while enjoying a schooner off the wood.
However, with the proliferation of higher-end restaurants and cafes – the Shire is indeed becoming somewhat of a foodie destination – comes a new beast, something challenging the local pub for domination in the drinks market. The ‘cool’ places to get a drink, the hip little hideaways, the holes in the wall that have people talking about town, as one would in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne – there’s always a time and a place for the old Aussie pub, but these days around these parts, there’s becoming a time and place for the boutique bar too.
It’s not that new a phenomenon in Byron Bay itself. The Treehouse, out in Belongil, and The Balcony in the middle of town have been plying their trade for years now. Both have become a part of the fabric of Byron, each offering something different – whether it’s The Treehouse’s wood-fired pizza, or Balcony’s impressive cocktail list, each provide a unique place to sit and enjoy the popular tourist town’s ambience.
In recent years however, it’s become a booming business. Byron and Brunswick Heads in particular, with....
An original local beer, made in limited quantities from the raw ‘cherry’ fruit and skins grown (spray and pesticide free) by Moonshine Coffee of Federal, is on tap now at The Farm and the Bangalow Hotel.
Moonshine’s Richard Kelly wanted a beer that concentrated on the essence of the coffee fruit itself, so his product is unlike ‘traditional’ coffee beers; they are made by ‘tea-bagging’ roasted coffee in beer (which tends to result in a darker, heavier beer that aims for a chocolatey, mocha coffee flavour and espresso aroma).
Brewing with the unroasted ‘coffee cherry’ gives a refreshing, palatable beer with sweet earthy flavours, with tannins and crisp bitterness at the end, that has flavour without being too heavy.
Tasted straight after my second long black of the day, I didn’t notice much ‘coffee’ flavour; however the beer is very enjoyable; I normally lose interest in beer after the first one, but on a sunny day overlooking the countryside at The Farm, I had to tear myself away from ordering a second one.
The ‘Straight off the Tree’ coffee cherry pale ale is a collaboration between Moonshine, Gavin Croft and the Beard & Brau brewing operation in the foothills of Mt Tambourine. The beer is a limited release.
The post Original local coffee beer on tap appeared first on...
Story and photo by Vivienne Pearson
Belgium chocolate is his favourite today; last month it was Watermelon and Mint Sorbet. Despite being the ice-cream man of Brunswick Heads, Johnny Strange doesn’t indulge often, only letting ice-cream pass his lips once a week or so.
What does pass Johnny’s lips with every word is a trace of his New Zealand upbringing. He ‘fell into’ hospitality after realising that his anthropology studies would not, as hoped, turn him into Indiana Jones. Starting in dishwashing, he moved through pizza making to pastry cheffing.
He took his skills to London. ‘It was fun for a while, but I missed surfing,’ he recollects. ‘I’d work till 11pm then get on the last tube home.’ He swapped the tube for a plane and headed home to Auckland.
Little did he know that a two-week holiday would find him a new home. The holiday was to Mullumbimby – he’d heard the nearby surfing was good. ‘I ended up, one week in, calling my head chef and going: “Man, do you mind if I don’t come back?”’ Johnny settled in Byron Bay and met his partner, Bindia, with whom he has two children. Speaking of how having kids changed him, he laughs: ‘I was a big kid up until then’....
By Vivienne Pearson
The market garden at The Farm is bursting with seasonal veges – so much so that not all can be used in the Three Blue Ducks restaurant or Bread Social bakery. You can share in the harvest by buying a Farm Produce Box. Costing $40, boxes contain a mixture of organically grown tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, baby carrots, sweetcorn, with a side serve of eggs, edible flowers and shallots. Collection for pre-ordered boxes is on Wednesdays and Saturdays 8–11am.
Train to your table
What do you do if a need for a healthy meal strikes but you can’t rouse yourself from the couch? Your new option is to order home-delivered sushi from O-Sushi in Byron Bay. Currently, getting sushi from the train to your table is only available for those between Ewingsdale and Suffolk Park (and for orders over $30), with orders via menulog.com.au or eatnow.com.au ‘It’s started slowly but once people discover the service, they love it – we’re getting a lot of repeat home-delivery customers,’ says one of the staff....
Last Chance to make a Formal Submission on forced amalgamation of our Council HUNTERS HILL HAPPENINGS With Mayor RICHARD QUINN THANK YOU to all of the residents who took time to attend the Public Inquiry into the proposed merger of Hunters Hill, Lane Cove and Ryde City Councils or who have taken the time to [...]
Starring Rob Mills as Sam, Jemma Rix as Molly and Wendy Mae Brown as Oda Mae Brown, audiences for GHOST The Musical are being blown away by the jaw-dropping special effects live on stage from master illusionist Paul Kieve, who also worked on the Harry Potter movies. The production also features original music and lyrics […]
Kremlin Press Release – February 22, 2016 21:50
I just had a telephone conversation with President of the United States of America Barack Obama. The phone call was initiated by the Russian side, but the interest was certainly mutual.
During our conversation, we approved joint statements of Russia and the US, as co-chairs of the ISSG, on the cessation of hostilities in Syria. Adoption of the statement was preceded by intensive work by Russian and American experts. We also made use of the positive experience we accumulated over the course of cooperation in eliminating chemical weapons in Syria.
Our negotiators held several rounds of closed consultations. As a result, we were able to reach an important, specific result. It was agreed that the cessation of hostilities in Syria commences at 00:00 (Damascus time) on February 27, 2016 on terms and conditions that are a part of the Russian-American statement.
The essence of these conditions is as follows: by 12:00 pm on February 26, 2016, all parties warring in Syria must indicate to the Russian Federation or our American partners their commitment to the cessation of hostilities. Russian and American troops will jointly delineate the territories where these groups are active. No military action will be taken against them by the Armed Forces of the Syrian Arab Republic,........
The new Victory Motorcycles Octane muscle cruiser is a “big deal” for the Australian market says country manager Peter Harvey who believes it will become their top seller.
He is so convinced of the bike’s success, he had four pre-production models shipped to Australia for the world launch.
“We didn’t realise until a couple of days ago that it was only a global online launch,” he says. “That means Australians are the first in the world to see the actual bike.”
You can see the Octane in the metal at the Melbourne Victory dealership tonight (February 23, 2016) and in Brisbane on Thursday after its unveiling on Saturday night at the Sydney showroom.
Customers will also be able to sit
on the bike and feel its light weight, low seat height,
neutral riding position and comfortable seat cushion.
The Life Education Northern Rivers Action Group is calling for a greater focus on preventative drug and health education in the local area.
The group, led by local bus driver and community campaigner, Tonny van’t Riet, supports the work of Life Education NSW, an organisation which aims to create a safer future for Australian children by giving them with the information, skills and self-esteem they need to make healthier life choices.
Bureau of Crime Statistics data shows the number of arrests for
amphetamine possession or use, including offences related to ICE
has increased by nearly 50 per cent in Richmond and Tweed
Drug-related incidents in schools are also increasing in the area, rising from 2.4 per 100,000 population to 5.2 in recent years.
Life Action Group President, Tonny van’t Riet said, “Supporting these empowering programs in local schools is something we are really passionate about. We want to see every child in Northern NSW armed with the tools to make healthy choices in their lives.”
“We can’t do this without your help. Our volunteers are critical to our work in the area, to fundraise and advocate for a safer future for our children.”
The Life Action Group has launched a TV campaign and a range of public appearances to highlight the impacts and importance of preventative education in the area. There’s also an appeal to attract enthusiastic volunteers who will help raise awareness and funds for the group, so these programs can reach as many children as possible in the local area.
Life Education NSW CEO, Kellie Sloane will be in attendance at the launch, lending her support to the Life Action Group and thanking them for their commitment to raising funds and awareness for Life Education and the essential programs they deliver to Australian school-aged children.
Ms Sloane said, “We are so fortunate to have the continued support of the Northern Rivers Life Action Group. They work tirelessly t.......
In a good development on the Tasmanian fires, the Senate has formally called on the Federal Government to establish an independent inquiry into the recent fires in Tasmania’s World Heritage Area.
A motion moved by Greens Senator Nick McKim and Labor Senator Lisa Singh passed the Senate on Monday afternoon.
An inquiry would examine the response by authorities to the fires, the availability of resources and the impact of global warming on fire frequency and size.
Last week the Federal Government said it did not support an inquiry because it was a state matter.
But Senator McKim argues Australia is a signatory to the World Heritage Convention, which binds the Commonwealth Government to responsibly manage the TWWHA.
I have always had a dog, as a child in my parents’ home and then
in my own home as the parent of the next generation of children. It
was always a big, intelligent, loyal dog that loved the beach – a
red setter, a collie or a
The labrador dog has been recognised as a great retriever and gun dog for hundreds of years. And intelligent and trustworthy enough for seeing-eye work since World War One. Now is the time for me to buy a new Labrador puppy, young enough to train and smart enough to manage my grandchildren with care. As always, it will have to be a dog that can handle the hot Australian summers and will love running on the beach after work.
I tried to find where this breed of dog came from and how adapted to our life style it could be. My initial information came from the thelabradorsite, topped up later by the excellent work of Ben Fogle. There was no history of native dogs existing on Newfoundland in Canada. Since most of the 18th century settlers on that island were British fishermen and hunters from Devon, they would have brought their dogs with them. Thus the first recorded sightings of the so-called “St John’s Dogs” or “Little Newfoundler Dogs” in Britain had come BACK across the Atlantic to their original home, aboard the vast fleet of cod ships. This St John’s dog had a dense, oily waterproof coat (short or long) and thick tail, oblivious to cold and happy to swim in exceptionally icy conditions.
Next in the epic series of Lightbody Community Dance Celebrations, is an event featuring Asaf and DJ Basic whose innovative music of astonishing blends and atmospheric melodies, deep bass lines and rhythms that will fill your mind and soul.
This duo refines an redefines the meaning of psy-progressive trance with their unique style – are truly one of the biggest hopes the global trance scene has witnessed.
Come celebrate with the community for a night of incredible music, live art, brilliant installations, bonfire and delicious food!
$25 – 6 till Midnight
Durrumbul Hall, Coopers Lane Main Arm
Find Lightbody Community Dance Celebrations on Facebook Events.
LABOR candidate Chris Buckingham took to the streets of Leongatha last Tuesday, February 16 to hear the concerns of local voters.
The candidate for McMillan travelled around the region throughout the day in his new red caravan, visiting Mirboo North, Leongatha and Korumburra to speak with residents.
“Business owners, workers on their lunch break, pensioners and parents have all stopped to speak with us. We have been listening to their concerns and what they believe are major concerns in South Gippsland,” Mr Buckingham said.
“Education and public transport have been concerns which have come up a lot. People want better access to communication.
“Labor’s policies would ensure all students from all schools would benefit from Gonski. It is one of our highest priorities and we believe it resonates with a lot of people’s concerns in the area.
“We will be running more of these drop in sessions in the future. It is all about us being live and local and being present with the people of McMillan.”
MIRBOO North embraced Italian culture at the 50th Italian Festa on Sunday.
An estimated 5000 people turned out to enjoy fantastic food, children’s activities, various market stalls and live entertainment.
The family event was free and the children’s activities included a jumping castle, an animal farm and face painting.
Live entertainment included a band called Paris By Night, comedian Joe Avati and performances by Mirboo North Primary School.
“All our hard work certainly paid off. We never expected such a big turnout. This is our 50th year and our biggest turnout ever,” Mirboo North Italian Festa committee president Sam Carpinteri said.
“We’ve tried to cater for everyone but the best thing of all has been the weather. The weather has been absolutely beautiful.”
Mr Capinteri said the event was significant to teach the next generation about Italian culture and heritage.
“Our children are born in Australia so we try to have events like this to help teach them our culture,” he said.
The committee was thrilled to see so many people sharing Italian culture.
“There was something for everyone to enjoy. There’s been a resurgence in people wanting to learn about the Italian heritage and it’s lovely to see the community embrace the idea (of the Italian Festa),” the committee’s Carmelina Manzo said.
WITH plenty of talent to showcase, this year’s Mirboo North Idol was another success at the outdoor pool on Saturday.
The highlight of the event was guest judge Reece Mastin, winner of the 2011 national singing competition The X Factor.
“Reece generated a lot of interest and many people were excited to meet him and take a ‘selfie’,” organiser Mary Baker said.
He helped judge around 30 contestants, who travelled far and wide to win the title.
The competition kicked off with a performance by adorable young singer Pippa Mills. The four year old travelled from Yinnar to sing the song Flashlight from the popular 2015 movie Pitch Perfect Two and was loved by the crowd.
Trent McCurdy from radio station 3GG was the MC and South Gippsland Shire Council’s Cr Don Hill opened the competition.
Three musical groups Destiny Band, The Nigellas and the Latrobe Valley Concert Band also gave up their time to entertain the audience.
Food and market stalls and full access to the pool were also available on the day.
“We hoped everyone in the audience enjoyed the music and had an awesome day. That’s what it’s all about,” Ms Baker said.
The first place winner in the primary section was Amy Whitlock, followed by Pippa Mills and Liam Williams. The encouragement award was presented to Ruby Cannizzo.
Janie Gordon won first place in the secondary section, followed by Kayla Clavarino and Hayley Norton. The encouragement award was won by Tanner Hall.
Duo Maddy Wilson and Nic Huigsloot won the open section, with Robyn McDermott in second place and Tayla Gane in third place.
A recording package was also awarded to Maddy Wilson and Nic Huigsloot.
In a move that has stunned many Donald Trump, Presidential front runner, has openly talked of auditing the federal reserve. This is most likely a pretext to exposing the fraudulent system of monetary creation in the USA and reverting to a system of government issued debt free money.
If this were to happen America could make the turn around it desperately needs, If Donald Trump were to die in controversial circumstances in the next few years, this would be the reason why.
Good rains over December and January has resulted in long grass
which brought out the bugs and those who prey on
them. A recent sighting was this pair of
Imperial Hairstreak butterflies
(Jalmenus evagoras) in a small
blackwood bush plus several pupae groups. Very hard to photograph
up close on a windy day!
Join us from the Latrobe Valley Maltese Festival at Kernot Hall, Morwell on Saturday 27th February. 9:30am - 11:30am.
The post Join us from the Latrobe Valley Maltese Festival at Kernot Hall appeared first on Gippsland FM.
RESILIENT and brave are excellent words to describe 11 year old Mathew Stannard.
The Wonthaggi North Primary School student has had it tough, battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and Marfan Syndrome – a connective tissue disorder affecting his heart – since he was four years old.
Now in Grade 6 and in remission, Mathew is ready to participate in the World’s Greatest Shave to give back to the Leukaemia Foundation.
Mathew has wanted to do the World’s Greatest Shave since he was in Grade Prep and his Grade 6 buddy at Romsey Primary School shaved his head on Mathew’s behalf in 2010.
“Mathew was going through chemo at the time and it was something he’ll never forget,” his mother Kerry said.
Inspired by his buddy’s bravery, Mathew is thrilled to have his chance to raise money for the foundation that has helped his family through their hardship.
The campaign hits close to home for the Stannard family, who understand the importance of keeping regional families together while undergoing blood cancer treatment in the city.
The Leukaemia Foundation went above and beyond to help the family cope, including supporting costs such as food, parking and petrol.
Mathew’s shave will be held in Wonthaggi North Primary School’s gym at 3pm on March 11. Mathew and his father Steve will shave their heads by local hairdresser Natalie Rose. Kerry and his little brother Shaun will colour their hair.
A funky hair day with a gold coin donation will also give his classmates a chance to pitch in on the day.
Mathew aimed to raise $2000, but with a couple of weeks to go he has already raised a whopping $1500.
He has gained support from the local community with tins placed at Wonthaggi North Primary School and Amcal Chemist.
Bass Coast Shire Council mayor Cr Jordan Crugnale will also be there to support the event.
“I’m pretty excited. I’m doing this because I want to raise money to go towards finding a cur...
Image Courtesy of The East Pointers By Peter Logue Most people, young and old, could name singers and bands they associate with what’s broadly known as Celtic music. For the younger folk, it might be the Pogues (even though they’ve been around for decades) or hard pumping bands like Dropkick Murphys who made their name […]
OLIVIA Winchcombe’s love of theatre has flourished since participating in the Victorian Drama League Summer Performance Project.
The camp was held at Allambee in January, and provided Olivia a wonderful insight into the world of dramatic arts.
“It was amazing. It strengthened my acting ability and taught me a lot about the theatre community. I have made friends for life now,” she said.
Olivia was selected to attend the program by Leongatha Lyric Theatre. Having the opportunity to participate in the program gave Olivia confidence as an actor.
She was also thrilled to be joined by other young actors from Leongatha: Evy Nye, Nikki Stockdale and Lachlan Moore.
Although the project ran for nine days, she had to learn lines for a show within four days. She performed in a show called One, Two, Three, Home and auditioned to play several roles. It was performed at the Warragul Arts Centre at the end of the project.
Project leader Andrew Davis said Olivia could further her career by learning to work without microphones, practicing singing everyday and maintaining vocal exercises.
“He told me VCA (Victorian College of the Arts) put on classes every Sunday and it would be a good idea for me to audition,” Olivia said.
“I’m originally from Melbourne and I have done some acting classes. I got into dancing and singing afterwards.”
The importance of energy on the stage was reinforced throughout the camp – something Olivia is no stranger to after performing the lead role in Lyric Theatre’s 2013 major musical The Wizard of Oz.
“Playing Dorothy is the biggest thing I have ever done. I was also in the ensemble in Gypsy and I was part of Mary MacKillop College’s production of Fame,” she said.
“I’d like to do more productions with Lyric but I’m in Year 10 this year so I want to focus on my studies. However, I will be doing All Shook Up with Mary MacKillip College th...
ELLA Morgan, 10, is like many happy go lucky children, but behind the good looks and huge smile is a brave little girl putting on a big front.
Granddaughter of Jim and Joy Morgan of Leongatha and daughter of son Nick and Bel and sister to Lucy, 5, and Evie, 3, of Albury, Ella was born on June 27, 2005 with a congenital ear condition called Microtia Atresia.
The condition affects the formation of the outer ear and the development of the ear canal.
As a result, she has severe conductive hearing loss in her right ear, mild hearing loss in her left, and cosmetically an underdeveloped right ear.
For Ella and her parents, life has not been a bed of roses but for this little girl, after many sleepless nights and research, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Ella is a candidate for not only outer ear reconstruction surgery, but also ear canal (atresia) repair that will open Ella’s ear.
It was during the annual Microtia and Atresia conference in Brisbane that Nick and Belle were fortunate enough to meet American surgeons Dr Joseph Roberson (otologist) and Dr John Reinish (plastic surgeon).
Together they perform the world’s only Combined Atresia and Microtia (CAM) surgery.
This surgery is extremely complex. Dr Roberson performs the Atresia repair. He will create a new ear canal and ear drum to achieve near normal hearing.
Dr Reinish performs the Microtia repair, which uses a synthetic ear framework called Medpor and a complex skin grafting procedure to build a new ear.
The only barrier is the surgery is not available in Australia and only carried out in the USA at a cost of some $110,000 that includes the surgery, combined with post-operative care and the recovery period of four to six weeks.
While mum and dad both work, such a sum is almost impossible to consider, but with family and friends’ support the dream is becoming a reality.
Bel has started a boutique online, handmade jeweller...
WOOLAMAI’S Shirani Perera is a step closer to achieving a rehabilitation centre in Bass Coast.
Her petition for a mental health and youth at risk facility was considered at Bass Coast Shire Council’s ordinary meeting last Wednesday.
Deputy mayor Cr Bradley Drew supports mental health awareness and backed Ms Perera’s petition.
“This is a massive undertaking by a member of the public. Mental issues are ever present and funding is always a challenge,” he said.
“It’s great to see Bass MLA Brian Paynter, representatives of Bass Coast Health (BCH) and members of the community supporting this cause. I certainly believe council should give its support. We can’t give up on mental health awareness. We cannot put a price on human life.”
Councillors voted to refer Ms Perera to the community grants program, which opened for applications in January, as well as forwarding information about other philanthropic trusts to support her funding aspirations.
“I enquired about the community grants program but they could only fund equipment for us. Unfortunately we are still looking to fund for a building. Community grants are designed to benefit the community immediately,” she said.
However, she is still well on her way to getting her project off the ground with the support of several community organisations.
The Wonthaggi Rotary Club has offered to source funding and Wonthaggi’s Anglican Church has offered two rooms so the program can start as soon as possible.
“The support has been overwhelming, so it is looking and sounding prosperous,” Ms Perera said.
Ms Perera said she had investigated Wangaratta’s Typo Station, which is a picturesque rural property designed to help youth at risk. She was impressed with her findings and hopes to have a similar program in Bass Coast.
“I will be contacting a counsellor from Melbourne to see what days she is available and a local artist willing to run art classes,” she said....
THIS year is a leap year, with this month having an extra day on February 29.
While this will not mean much to most people, to my daughter Willow at Foster, it is her first official birthday as she was born on the last February 29 in 2012.
While Willow will be four, we are celebrating this as her first official birthday, with a number one cake and first birthday theme.
People born on February 29 can be called leaplings and frogs are often used as a theme for the day.
Willow’s Nan calls her a leapling and predicted during my pregnancy that she would be born on February 29; she was four days overdue.
People often ask us when we celebrate Willows birthday in a non leap year? People born on February 29 can celebrate their birthday on February 28 or March 1.
My husband Dean prefers February as she was born in February, but she was born 15 minutes before midnight, making her much closer to March.
So far we have celebrated Willow’s birthday whichever day suits us best, sometimes both, and when she is older we will let her choose.
It is a little annoying though that there is no square to write her birthday on the calendar in non leap years.
Willow has sisters Abbey, five, and Josie, one, so she is finally catching up with her baby sister on birthdays.
People often comment it’s sad Willow misses out on a birthday but we don’t want her to think she is missing out but being part of rather something special.
There is even an international birthday club she has joined that is the biggest birthday club in the world.
Willow is going to celebrate her birthday this year on the actual day with a playgroup party in the morning, and with friends and family around for another party in the evening.
A leap day generally comes every four years; it was added to the calendar as a corrective measure as the earth does not orbit around the sun in exactly 365 days.
By adding the extra....
Holly Hammond and Karrina Nolan recently ran Training for Activist Trainers, a 2.5 day workshop focused on training skills for social movement contexts. During the workshop we talked about a continuum in training – from workshops which are participant driven without defined outcomes to those which explicitly aim to get people to a certain place in order to implement particular campaign tactics.
The following tips relate to training or other events which connect people to a campaign and help individuals overcome their barriers to action. As organisers we can use the momentum of the group to leverage people to action – like a turbo-charged persuasive conversation. These tips were originally written for an electoral field campaigning context but may be useful for any trainings which are geared to engage people in campaign actions.
Any time we prepare to run a training session we need to be clear on the purpose:
Develop a realistic set of objectives for the training and check that what you design matches these.
It can be valuable to put ourselves in the shoes of participants:
If possible, gather information about participants before they turn up. This could be in the form of a few questions on the registration form, a quick database check to see what kinds of actions they have taken in the past, or a...
VACANT landowners are being charged too much for rates in South Gippsland Shire Council, according to Korumburra ratepayer Paul Richardson.
He told council as much at last Wednesday’s public presentation sessions.
He told The Star he and his wife Francesca plan to build a home on their 2.84 acre block but could not afford to do so now, but were still being charged council rates of $2090 this financial year.
Vacant land owners pay 200 per cent of the residential rate in the shire.
He is calling for rates to be charged on site value alone, not capital improved value, believing that would result in cheaper rates for all ratepayers.
“Council does not take into consideration the income these property owners bring in. They are not rich people,” Mr Richardson said.
In the 28 years he has owned the block, Mr Richardson said he has not received kerbside rubbish collection and yet his rates bill was taking its toll.
“This financial year, we are looking at between nine and 10 payments, and we might have to seek to go on the hardship policy because if they keep putting the rates up, how are we going to afford it?,” he said.
His block has sheds, gardens and paddocks, and seven sheep he said were “lawnmowers”.
“It’s not that I don’t want to pay the rates. We are happy to pay them if they are affordable,” Mr Richardson said.
He has previously served as a councillor with the City of Casey, where he lives at Endeavour Hills, and could run for council there again when the election is held in October this year.
He will not stand for South Gippsland council, given he is not a permanent resident, although he would like to be.
“I love this place and this is the place where I want to die and have my ashes thrown across the winds,” Mr Richardson said.
After Mr Richardson addressed council last Wednesday, mayor Cr Bob Newton said a hard waste service was available.
Cr Nigel Hutchins...
OPPONENTS of a landfill proposed for Leongatha South stood in solidarity against Veolia’s proposal at a waste management forum in Leongatha on Thursday afternoon.
The forum was part of a Gippsland Waste and Recovery Resource Group (GWRRG) initiative to develop a 10 year waste management plan for Gippsland.
GWRRG told residents it is in the process of assessing Gippsland’s landfill air space and whether there is a need for a new landfill site.
Veolia is planning to turn an exhausted quarry on Whitelaws Track into a landfill servicing Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs, resulting in the prospect of 20 trucks delivering rubbish daily, and accessing the landfill via Leongatha and Koonwarra.
The proposal has been met with widespread opposition from the community. Gippsland South MLA Danny O’Brien recently a petition signed by nearly 1400 people against the proposal to State Parliament.
The majority of residents at the community forum were opposed to the Veolia landfill and demanded answers from GWRRG.
Members of the protest group Dump the Dump said they wanted strong evidence of the need for the landfill and claimed Veolia was advancing its own interests.
Dump the Dump spokesperson Wendy Reed said although only a few members of the official group were present at the meeting, it was an opportunity for the community to rally against the proposal and have their opinions heard.
Some of their leading concerns were location – as the proposed site would be near an active quarry – flooding, and blasting.
Ms Reed said she needed to process the information given to her at the forum before she could provide a comment on behalf of Dump the Dump.
GWRRG executive officer Matthew Peake said, “The concerns of the
community are many and varied. I’d categorise the understanding of
our role as one of the biggest issues.
“We will assess the need for landfill and what’s best for the area. Veolia has brought i...
For more information on upcoming events head to:
|Clean Up Australia Day Site||Address||Meeting Point||Time|
|George Weston Foods||Wilga Park, Macquarie Park||Meeting at GWF North Ryde Reception at 7.30am||7:30am-9:30am|
|Meadowbank Ferry Wharf||Bowden St, Meadowbank||Wharf||8:30am-11:00am|
|Optus||Blenheim Rd, North Ryde||Playground area at Blenheim Park, North Ryde||9:00am-3:00pm|
|CSR Limited||39 Delhi Rd, North Ryde||Podium level of Triniti courtyard||9:30am-11:00am|
|Waterloo Rd – Epping Rd||Waterloo Rd, North Ryde||Wilga Park, Waterloo Rd, opposite Macquarie Centre car park traffic lights.||10:00am – 1:00pm|
|Lego Australia||1 Innovation Rd, Macquarie Park||Lego Office||10:30am-12:00pm|
|Pitney Bowes Software||Level 1, 68 Waterloo Rd, Macquarie Park||68 Water...|
The Digital Age has transformed almost every aspect of our
day-to-day lives, impacting on the way we shop, work and
“You can’t avoid digital. It’s there throughout your life, all the way to the end,” said Tony Lee, Strategy Director at Ntegrity, a digital marketing agency that assists businesses in developing their digital presence.
We have lots of plans for 2016, and some of them are in the Autumn Term program, which you can download here.
It is with a heavy heart that we acknowledge the passing of our beautiful friend Trish. So many lunches, so much love in the food, a treasured smile that could light up a room! Vale Patricia Hay. We will all miss you xx
Work has begun on the installation of CCTV cameras and
additional lighting at the Glen Street carpark in Eastwood.
City of Ryde Council received $200,000 from the Federal GovernmentâŹ"s Safer Streets Communities Grant to implement the project for CCTV camera installation in the Glen Street Carpark and surrounds.
Ryde Mayor Clr Jerome Laxale said that this community safety project was a high priority for Council and that he was glad that the $200,000 project was under way.
Mayor Laxale said: âŹSA total of 13 CCTV cameras will be installed that will monitor all key access points throughout the carpark and its surrounds. This is a larger number of cameras than originally planned for and is a result of our determination to achieve the best value possible from this grant.
âŹSA complete upgrade of lighting, including light poles, is also part of the project to improve security and sight lines through the carpark precinct.
âŹSThis project will deliver a safer environment for the Eastwood community and will assist in adding to the attraction of the town centre as an eating, shopping and social destination.âŹ
Wednesday 24 February
11 – 12pm Bad Boy’s Theme Train
This week the Bad Boy’s Theme Train presents songs with Celestial Titles.
Wednesday 24 February
5 – 6pm Real World Gardener
Tuesday 23 February
2 – 4pm There Goes That Song Again
This week on our “3 O’Clock Special” it’s back to the movies with the soundtrack to the musical Anchors Away from 1945, starring Frank Sinatra.
A man will appear in court today after police allegedly located drugs and cash during search warrants near Lismore.
Following an investigation into drug supply in the local area, police from Richmond Local Area Command executed three search warrants at properties in Gonnellabah, about 10am on Monday.
Officers attended a storage shed on Centenary Drive, where they executed the search warrant and allegedly located a box and a suitcase containing over 12kg of cannabis.
The second warrant was executed at a home on Georgina Place, where officers allegedly located an amount of cash and further cannabis.
A 34-year-old man was arrested at the home and taken to Lismore police station.
He was charged with two counts of supply prohibited drug, possess prohibited drug and knowingly deal in the proceeds of crime.
He was refused bail to appear in Lismore Local Court today (Tuesday 23 February 2016).
A ‘thank you community’ screening of the short film Got Your Marbles will be held on Saturday (27 February) at the Brunswick Heads Memorial Hall from 5pm-7pm.
Local director/filmmaker Irene Feuz captures the essence of the simple pleasures and fun of marbles as enthusiastic Mibsters (marble players) from local schools battle it out for the Australian Schools Marbles Championship.
It is beautifully warm, funny, quirky and honest as the games are played in the dirt amid the backdrop of the Old & Gold Festival.
Irene has included extra footage on the DVD with school playground scenes where the marble rings dominate during May in the lead up to the Challenge in the long weekend in June.
The junior singles championship is also archived in this footage with the championship patron Lady Mandy Knocker (aka Mandy Nolan) commentating the final and awarding prizes.
The film also includes interviews with baby boomers on the good old marble days. It seems everyone has a marbles story to tell.
Entry is by gold coin donation. Seating is limited, to reserve y...
"She was a right-wing, awful woman". Sentences like this are just so strange. It's such a non-sequitur. It's a bit like saying "She was a psychopath who liked scones". Or "he was a tyrant who once patted a cat". Of course it is really trying to use "right-wing" as a near synonym for "awful" - it's repetition for rhetorical effect - but it just doesn't work. But can you imagine if people really did use insults like this in parliament? "That's so Liberal of you!" (to a member of the Liberals). "Don't be such a Green." (to one of the Greens), "When did you become so progressive?" (to a Labor member). It's kinda what they were elected to do, after all.
Image Courtesy of If You See Her, Say Hello After an amazing event at the Melbourne Fringe Festival some of the nations finest female singer songwriters will be heading to SA for the If You See Her, Say Hello event as part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Held at The Garden of Unearthly Delights on […]
I know, it’s too early to tell what the next Northern Summer will do to the Arctic, but could this year be the one we see with an ice free North Passage? If it happens, then I for one would call it a tipping point……. lifted from Robert Scribbler’s website.
We have never seen heat like this before in the Arctic. Words whose meaning tends to blur due to the fact that, these days, such events keep happening over and over and over again.
Ever since at least the 1920s, the Arctic has been warming up due to a destructive and irresponsible human greenhouse gas emission. And, over recent years, the Arctic has been warming more and more rapidly as those dangerous emissions continued to build on into the 21st Century. Now the Earth has been shoved by those emissions into realms far outside her typical Holocene context. And it appears that the Winter of 2016, for the Arctic, has been the hottest such year during any period of human-based record-keeping and probably the hottest season the Arctic has experienced in at least 150,000 years.
(Climate Reanalyzer hits a stunning 7.06 C above the already hotter than normal 1979 to 2000 baseline for the entire region above the 66...
Apple Inc has called for the creation of a government commission or panel of experts on encryption to help resolve the standoff over national security and data privacy.
‘Apple would gladly participate in such an effort,’ the company said on Monday in a post on its website entitled ‘Answers to your questions about Apple and security’.
The standoff began last week when the technology company refused a US government demand to unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.
A digital security commission comprising technology, business and law enforcement experts has been proposed by Democratic Senator Mark Warner and Republican Representative Michael McCaul, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, to help break the impasse over encryption.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook also sent a letter to employees Monday morning explaining the company’s position and thanking them for their support.
‘This case is about much more than a single phone or a single investigation, so when we received the government’s order we knew we had to speak out,’ Cook said in the email to employees, seen by Reuters.
‘At stake is the data security of hundreds of millions of law-abiding people, and setting a dangerous...
The sequence of photographs below don’t really tell the full story.
I was walking near Mia Mia Track on Sunday afternoon when I spotted a male Red-capped Robin, the bird was just beginning its late afternoon hunting on what had been a pretty hot day. Struggling to get the bird into a decent pose for a shot I disturbed an Owlet Nightjar (most likely the one I featured recently) from a hollow in a small, dead eucalypt. The owlet fluttered in typical uncoordinated fashion towards a nearby perch, whereupon a raptor appeared instantly from nearby – in pursuit of the owlet!
Happily the owlet returned to its hollow, the robin disappeared and the raptor ascended above, keeping a curious eye on the photographer. In summary it was a moment of mayhem with no decent photographs and to cap it off I’m not even certain of the identity of the raptor – either a Brown Goshawk or Collared Sparrowhawk, the moulting tail feathers have made it difficult. Suggestions welcome!...
The Labrador retriever held on to the title of America’s most popular dog breed for the 25th year in a row, even as the upstart French bulldog stole the limelight in New York and other big US cities, the American Kennel Club says.
The chunky Lab, known for its loping gait and easy-going nature, owes its enduring popularity to its well-deserved reputation as a family pet, AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo said on Monday.
‘The Lab checks all the boxes,’ DiNardo said. ‘It comes in three different colours. Athletic people can play with it, run with it and swim with it. They are family friendly and get along with others.’
But being beloved is not necessarily a springboard to elite honours. Labrador has never won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club’s annual dog show since the prestigious event began in 1877.
By the same token, being an international superstar – like the German short-haired pointer who won Westminster last week – doesn’t automa...
The Greens are calling for fairer state government funding of public libraries to take the pressure off local councils.
Greens candidate for Richmond, Dawn Walker and Greens spokesperson for the Arts, Jan Barham MLC, say library costs have historically been shifted to cash-strapped councils, and some have been forced to make cuts to services.
Ms Barham says libraries are vital community assets and she was ‘pleased to hear that Richmond Tweed regional libraries are getting the recognition they deserve with some recent funding grants’.
‘Technology kiosks are great, but library funding should be ongoing and not just one-off grants in the lead up to a federal election,’ she said.
.’Library costs have historically been shifted to cash-strapped councils, and some have been forced to make cuts to services.’
Ms Barham said NSW has the lowest level of state government contributions to library funding in the country, and local councils struggle to cover the gap.
‘The state contribution to library funding has reduced from about 24 per cent in 1980 down to around 7 per cent in 2013, leaving councils to fund 93 per cent of library costs,’ she said.
Ms Walker said the Liberal National government ‘promised before the 2011 state election that it would review library funding and end what it said was “Labor’s under funding and neglect”’.
‘But five years on the Liberals and Nationals have not delivered on their promise. There has been no comprehensive review and the state government has continued to underfund our public libraries,’ she said.
‘Libraries are much more than places to read books. They are a safe and friendly community hub for information, technology, social and educational programs and are highly valued by our community.
‘In 2013 when Lismore Council announced the closure of Goonellabah Library as a budget measu...
Lawyers for Julian Assange have asked a Swedish court to overturn an arrest warrant for the WikiLeaks founder.
The move follows a ruling by a United Nations panel that the Australian’s confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy in London amounted to “arbitrary detention”.
His lawyer, Thomas Olsson, said a number of “new circumstances” had arisen that meant there was reason to review an earlier decision.
Stockholm District Court spokeswoman Camilla Murray said the court won’t consider the request – made in a letter by Assange’s two Swedish lawyers – because it was not made in the correct manner, the Associated Press reported.
Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden over a sex allegation, which he denies, but believes that if he goes to Sweden he will be taken to the United States for questioning over WikiLeaks activities.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said earlier this month that Assange should be free to leave the embassy in London. Authorities in Britain and Sweden...
Family members of some of the 20 first-graders killed in Sandy Hook are bringing a lawsuit against the maker of the gun used in the massacre.
Lawyers for the company that made the rifle used to kill 20 first-graders and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 are expected to ask a Connecticut judge to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit filed by families of some of the massacre victims.
Freedom Group, from North Carolina, parent company of AR-15 maker Bushmaster Firearms, says it’s protected by a 2005 federal law that shields gun manufacturers from most lawsuits over criminal use of their products.
A Bridgeport Superior Court judge is scheduled to hear arguments on Monday afternoon.
The lawsuit by families of nine children and adults who died and a teacher who survived alleges the Bushmaster AR-15 is too dangerous to sell to the public.
They say they’re suing under an exception to the 2015 law.
‘No lawsuit will ever bring back any of the 26 innocent lives that were stolen or bring peace...
The government is pushing legislation through parliament to reform Senate voting, sparking fresh speculation it’s planning a double dissolution election.
Under new voting rules, a double dissolution, in which all senators are up for election rather than just half, would get rid of most or all of the minor party senators the government believes have been obstructing its legislative program.
The Greens have given their in-principle support to the new Senate voting regime.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he wanted to see the details.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said a double dissolution was a live option for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to consider.
‘In the end, the timing of the election in the national interest and the form of the election is entirely a matter for the prime minister, but irrespective of what form the election will take later this year, obviously these reforms are very important,’ he told ABC Television.
Announcing the legislation on Monday, Mr Turnbull singled out Victorian Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party Senator Ricky Muir, elected in 2013 with less than half a per cent of the state’s primary vote, as an example of how Senate voting had gone wrong.
Senator Muir said he always knew the government would use his el...
The ABC and SBS could save money by merging their online services, an independent think-tank says.
A report by The Australia Institute released on Tuesday suggests consolidating online news from both broadcasters and combining the online streaming iView and SBSOnDemand services.
‘Sharing content, translation, and publishing systems presents likely opportunities to make more efficient use of resources,’ it says.
The report finds a merger of administration and back-office functions would not achieve worthwhile efficiencies.
But it says the ABC’s extensive online news could be made available for translation to SBS.
It also recommends the goal of scrapping advertising from SBS, but wants any savings from the measures re-invested into public broadcasting.
‘Any attempt to reduce expenditure … would undercut the entire rationale of structural reform and leave the ABC, SBS, NITV and their viewers and funders in a weaker position to face the challenges of the 21st Century.’
Outgoing ABC managing director Mark Scott recently suggested a merger between the two broadcasters was worthy of investigation.
Outspoken Liberal senator Cory Bernardi has lashed out at a government-funded “propaganda” program that teaches 11-year-olds about gay and lesbian issues.
Senator Bernardi says he will present a petition with more than 9400 signatures to the Senate on Tuesday calling on the government to remove all federal funding from the Safe Schools Coalition program.
He said it was alarming the government was contributing $8 million to a program that bullies and intimidates children if they don’t comply with the LGBTI agenda.
He said it was inappropriate for 11-year-olds to be invited to imagine they were in a same-sex relationship, or had no genitals.
‘It beggars belief that we’re asking 11-year-olds to identify themselves or imagine themselves as having no genitals,’ he told the Senate on Monday night.
‘Schools should be places of learning, not propaganda.’
Senator Bernardi said the program reflected a broader agenda by the left side of politics and sought to indoctrinate students to make them their advocates.
Greens senator Robert Simms said that was a laughable proposition.
The openly gay senator said it would have been nice to learn in school that gay people could have happy lives.
‘This program isn’t about trying to encourage any particular sexuality or gender identity,’ he told the Senate.
‘The message for Senator Bernardi: we’re queer, we’re here, news flash.’
The dangerous practice of eyeball tattooing has been unwittingly legalised by health legislation passed by the state government, says Labor’s health spokesman.
Walt Secord has labelled amendments made by the Baird government earlier this month as a “major stuff up”.
He says the laws effectively green-light eyeball tattooing, where ink is injected into the white part of the eye making it a solid or mix of colour.
Mr Secord said the practice had been banned in some American states as it can cause blindness and has been linked to cancer.
‘Doctors have advised that they are very reluctant to undertake any procedure like this and the Baird government should not be regulating this area. It should be banning the practice,’ he said in a statement on Tuesday.
Last Saturday, February 20th, was World Day of Social Justice. It was also the day that committed citizens gathered in the Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne, championing justice for pigs. Melbourne Pig Save rallies commenced in 2012 with the stated aim of informing the public about the plight of pigs in our food production system. And they have grown from strength to strength as more and more people are choosing to stand on the right side of history. If you missed Edgar’s Mission, Founder and Director, Pam Ahern’s speech at Saturday’s rally you can catch it here.
Natalie Perkins (pictured) was last seen leaving her house in Byron at around 3.30pm on Monday, 15 February, to attend a doctor’s appointment and has not been seen since.
Ms Perkins has a medical condition and friends say her family and loved ones in Canada are very concerned over her welfare.
She does not drive and is not known to hitch hike.
At the time of her disappearance, Ms Perkins, who has plaits in her hair, was wearing shorts, a blue and white striped singlet, thongs and a checkered backpack with wallet, phone and makeup in it.
If you’ve seen her, contact Byron Bay police on 02 6685 9499 or 1800 333 000.
Charging times and battery range may not be an issue for electric motorcycles and cars with researchers looking at turning roads into electricity generators.
The US government is funding research into kinetic roads that harvest movement to make electricity and now installing solar panels on roads is being considered.
Both systems would generate electricity for the grid, but also have the capacity to transfer charge to electric vehicles by conduction as they ride over the top of them.
TREASURER Scott Morrison has approved the $280 million sale of the Van Diemen’s Land Company to Chinese company Moon Lake Investments on the condition that it complies with Australian Taxation law. • What Peter Whish-Wilson, Richard Colbeck, TFGA etc reckon ... in Comments ... • Peter McGlone in Comments: Foreign Investment Review Board fails to see Tasmanian devils as being in the national interest ...
Mutual Valley and Derby residents today met with Forestry Tasmania representatives to present documented evidence of breaches of buffer zones from roading operations at CC104B. Calling for an immediate halt of all operations while Forestry Tasmania staff investigate these breaches.
CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall has written to staff describing a change in priority away from basic climate science. The new approach will mean the loss of hundreds of staff in the divisions of Oceans and Atmosphere, and Land and Water. Leigh Dayton reports. • What Andrew Wilkie reckons ... in Comments ...
The Tasmanian Liberal Party has shown its true colours by endorsing a climate sceptic as its third Senate candidate.
Hobart City Council has taken a strong anti-poker stand by voting to join the Tasmanian Community Coalition • Mercury editorial: Pokies the hottest issue
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
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
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...
2PP Aggregate: 53.0 to Coalition (-0.3 this week, lowest
since early November)
Coalition would comfortably win election "held now", but could lose some seats
Last week, the Coalition government under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was forced to reshuffle its ministry. This became necessary following the loss of Human Services minister Stuart Robert to concerns regarding an "unofficial" trip to China, the delayed resignation from the ministry of Mal Brough (under police investigation) and the announced retirements at the next election of Warren Truss and Andrew Robb. While hardly the worst week a sitting government has endured, it's not something they'd want to repeat. The loss of three ministers to scandals since Mr Turnbull took over hardly helps create an image of post-coup stability, let alone the mirage of "good government". Admittedly, none of them were major figures. A second problem for the government has been a perception of planlessness in the conversation it started about tax reform.
The four polls in the last week have all suggested the government has come down a little from the cloud that it started the year on. This week's Ipsos has only 52:48 to the Coalition, down from 56:44 in November. ReachTEL has 54:46, down from 55:45 a few weeks ago; Morgan is down from 54 to 52.5 by last-election preferences, and Essential is stable at 51 but off marginally worse primaries.
The Ipsos figure is by "overall preference flow" (treating Greens and Others as a single block). At the last election, Green votes were 41% of all non-major-party votes but in this Ipsos they are 60% of the non-major vote. On this basis the last-election preference flow of Ipsos' figures with Greens and Others subdivided would be about a point lower than their calculation, so there's a case for treating the Ipsos as 51:...
Senate reform has been a major focus of this site since the
farcical outcomes of the 2013 Senate election. The massive
gaming of the Senate system by preference-harvesting micro-parties
resulted in candidates being elected from very low primary votes,
in a candidate being elected because of confusion about party
names, in one state's election having to be cancelled and rerun
because of the loss of a relatively small number of votes, and
countless other absurd things. Nearly two and a half
years after that election, and almost two years after the Joint
Standing Committee on Electoral Matters delivered a
unanimous report in favour of an alternative, we were, until
very recently, still to see any serious commitment to fixing the
disaster from either major party.
The JSCEM proposal was to scrap group ticket voting and instead allow voters to distribute their own preferences above or below the line, although if they did so below the line a minimum of six numbers would be required. Voters could continue to just vote 1 above the line, but if they did so then once all candidates from their chosen party were elected or excluded, their vote would exhaust from the count. This is very similar to the system used in the NSW Upper House.
The JSCEM proposal has come under a number of attacks, claiming it would unfairly exclude minor parties (wrong), that it would advantage the Coalition (wrong and wrong again), that...
The light's gone in our back bathroom. I know Jane is just gonna love my solution. The IllumiBowl Toilet Night Light. The only way it could be any better is if it was named The IllumiBowl Toilet Night Light 3000.
This is a continuation of something I wrote for the 4ZZZ AnarchyShow today.
Regarding the release of Baby Asha into community detention.
This is not a victory. This is one step along the road to victory. There have been many steps before this and there are many to come.
There’s still over 260 people in Australia facing deportation to Nauru including 36 other babies.
Personally I know the relatives of a Kurdish baby and her family who are in Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation.
This is called a transit centre because it is for people in transit. This baby is set for return to Nauru. And it seems this will happen soon.
This is no reason for celebration.
There are still almost 1500 people in Australia’s offshore detention hellholes.
I will not be celebrating until they are brought back to this country and are living in the community.
The government and opposition still have offshore detention policies.
I will not be celebrating until these are abolished.
I will not be celebrating until the government has a fair and just refugee determination process.
Minister Dutton has said Baby Asha will be sent back to Nauru after all legal and medical issues are resolved.
Like other refugees brought from Nauru to Australia if Baby Asha and her family are found in need of our protection – through the recently introduced dodgy fast track policy – they will be sent back to Nauru.
Supply and demand issue in the South East:
A drug and alcohol service in the Wide Bay Region has said they’re in such high demand that they are often working with more clients than they are funded to assist.
Bridges Health and Community Care allegedly services a case load 40 per cent higher than they have been funded to deliver and are struggling with the pressure.
CEO Sharon Sarah said alcohol is the most-abused drug followed by cannabis, with methamphetamine use increasing.
Wacol women's centre now foster home for cats
Eight units at the Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre at Wacol are now able to accommodate foster cats.
The program came to fruition in late 2010 as a means to sooth inmates, as well as relieve RSPCA of their demand issues for temporary housing.
Labor's light rail promise
Labor’s Brisbane Mayoral candidate, Rod Harding, has promised a new $1.2 billion Brisbane light rail project within the first term if Labor is elected.
Baby Asha transferred to community detention
Baby Asha has been transferred from Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital to community detention.
This morning Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed the baby was transferred and that her family would be provided with maximum support.
Asha has been the focal point of a 10-day protest outside the hospital where staff had refused to discharge her for deportation.
Parliament may be subject to lockout laws
Grab a coffee and let's have a chat with Mandy
from 'Mandy Made''.
Behold. Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. Isaiah 17:1 This article is republished with permission from The Generator. The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily the unanimous view of the editorial board of The Westender. The Cross is cranky that we are stuck in the debates […]
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