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IndyWatch All AU Local News Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.
Police have returned fire on criminals in Sydney’s west after arresting 17 people in a major operation set up to tackle a rise in gang violence and public shootings.
Dozens of police saturated streets and public transport hubs across the suburb as part of Operation Talon* overnight Friday and into Saturday morning, arresting 17 people on 20 charges.
One cannabis caution, six Criminal Infringement Notices, 47 Traffic Infringement Notices 17 Rail Infringement Notices were also issued on the night.
WATCH: NSW police launch huge assault on criminals in Sydney’s west
Police also issued 15 pre-emptive consorting warnings to known gang members and conducted 30 bail compliance checks.
*Operation Talon was formed in August 201...
If you want a good belly laugh get yourself to NORPA at Lismore City Hall this Friday and Saturday to see one of these top-notch comedy shows.
HANNAH GADSBY – Dogmatic
7:30pm, Friday 18 March $22 – $42
In Dogmatic, Hannah will attempt to explain her thought processes and woeful life choices that have led her to where she is today. You will laugh. She will remain confused.
NAZEEM HUSSAIN – Legally Brown
7:30pm, Saturday 19 March $22 – $35
Star and creator of hit TV show ‘Legally Brown’ and regular guest on Triple J, Nazeem is the master of flipping stereotypes on their head with hilarious results.
(Kids show) THE LISTIES – The Listies Make You Lol!
11am, Saturday 19 March $22 – $30
Alien attacks, toilet paper guns, spew, the rudest word in t...
Police have divers have retrieved the body of a man reported missing at a popular waterfall in northern NSW at the weekend.
About 1pm on Sunday (March 13), a tourist group visited Boonoo Boonoo Falls located about 45km north-east of Tenterfield.
A 26-year-old Taiwanese national became separated from the group. He was last seen around the rock pool area at 3pm.
Shortly after 5pm emergency services were notified, and officers attached to New England Local Area Command, with the assistance of State Emergency Services and Ambulance Service of NSW, conducted a search of the area, which concluded at 7.45pm.
At 8am yesterday (March 14), the search resumed with the aid of additional volunteers, Westpac Life Saver rescue helicopter and divers from Marine Area Command.
About 11.30am today (March 15), after an extensive search by Marine Area Command divers, the body was located in a waterhole.
A report is currently being prepared for the coroner.
The post Body of missing man found in waterhole appeared first on...
The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has congratulated the Queensland Government for its new Environment Protection (Chain of Responsibility) Amendment Bill that will give the government strong powers to force companies to pay for environmental rehabilitation.
Imogen Zethoven campaign director at AMCS said this new bill, if passed by the Parliament, would mean that the Queensland taxpayer would not be left with the bill when companies become insolvent and leave behind a potential environmental hazard.
“This bill is the strongest environmental reform applying to the mining industry in the last 20 years. It will provide strong safeguards for our environment and the Great Barrier Reef.
“It is critical that businesses, when no longer profitable, are forced to pay for rehabilitation costs and not pass on those costs to the taxpayer.
“The mining industry is shedding jobs, and is struggling to turn a profit. There is a high risk that without this new law being passed, Queensland taxpayers will have to pay for massive clean up bills.
“AMCS welcomes the government’s decision to put the environment and the Great Barrier Reef before the mining industry. We call on the Opposition and Independents to support this important reform” said Ms Zethoven.
The post AMCS: New rehab bill puts Reef before mining industry appeared first on Fight for the Reef.
“We do not want a return to the nasty era of tree police” – KAP member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth
An emotionally-charged meeting of Far Northern pastoralists, indigenous representatives, councils and farmers at Mareeba has urged three State Parliamentary crossbenchers to vote down proposed changes to the Vegetation Management Act.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, in a move to appease Brisbane environmentalists and bolster Greens Party preference support for the ALP, will introduce new VMA regulations to halt tree clearing in State Parliament this week.
Agforce hosted the gathering of nearly 80 primary producers and industry representatives from Innisfail to Cape York Peninsula, held at Mareeba Bowls Club on Tuesday.
In spite of the threat of a snap election, crossbenchers Rob Katter and Shane Knuth vowed they would vote against the new regulations that Mr Knuth said would set the state back 20 years.
Agforce Tablelands organiser Graham Elmes, Robbie Katter, Shane Knuth and Billy Gordon
“We have been telling the Premier for a long time that landowners cannot afford and will not support the return to the nasty era of tree police,” Mr Knuth said.
“We have just had one of the worst droughts in history with record numbers of bank foreclosures and the Labor Party wants to make farmers suffer even more.
“We will not support the new laws.”
After the meeting Mr Knuth said he did not know which way Member for Cairns, now independent Rob Pyne would vote after he deserted the Labor Party last week.
While addressing the audience, Member for Cook Billy Gordon tacitly approved the stance of his crossbench colleagues.
Although it was her first year co-ordinating the World Naked Bike, Debra Conomy was ‘pretty sure’ this year’s head count of 165 was the biggest ever contingent in the history of the event in Byron Bay.
And the group would have been bigger had the ride not kicked off early.
While Nimbin’s ride on Saturday (March 12) went ahead in ‘perfect weather’, according to its organiser Mijimberri, nature didn’t smile so sweetly on Byron.
After a solid day of rain, one of the group’s self-appointed chiefs decided to make a break for it – and the rest followed.
AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH and NATIONAL YOUTH WEEK Saturday April 9 2016
A charity ride and community party in support of Matthew Lyon a young Murwillumbah man living with autism and learning to ride his trikebike over the previous 2 years.
Matthew would now like to invite the community to join him on a charity ride and afterwards as he celebrates this achievement. With no speech and low muscle tone, Matthew has achieved something his family never thought possible and what’s more, he loves it!
‘At just 19 years Matthew wants to connect with his community and have fun like any other young man his age. The day will commence with a short bike ride followed by an afterparty under the stars at ‘The Lake’ in Cabarita Beach. Sponsors Tweed Shire Council and North Coast Holiday Parks have offered a weekend away valued at $540 as our major raffle prize drawn on the day and community services will be present on the day providing information, support, stalls and some great kids activities’. said event coordinator Jennifer Unwin of Eventzbiz Arts and Marketing.
So get Cyc’d on your bike, or just listen to some fabulous entertainment from your picnic rug or deckchair under the stars. The event will have it all so bring the whole family down to the beautiful Tweed Coast and celebrate with us!. Entry is FREE to the afterparty but get in early as the ride is strictly limited to 50 riders.
Register online for more details: www.trybooking.com/186100
Held during National Youth Week and NSW school holidays this
event will also support Autism Awareness Month. This condition
affects many people in a variety of ways. Matthew Lyon
is just one of many people living with autism every day who need support and companionship as they struggle to understand their world.
To find out more https://www.autismspeaks.org/
Byron Bay based Positive Change for Marine Life (PCFML) has recently launched its Marine Debris Challenge in communities across Australia and overseas.
The challenge aims to reduce the marine debris through a combination of local education programs, beach clean-ups and awareness events over a seven-week period.
Teams in Coffs Harbour, The Tasman Peninsula, Gordons Bay and in the Seychelles, east of Africa will all participate and the group hopes the challenge will ’empower ongoing change’.
The challenge is an ideal activity to educate youth and the public generally about ‘harmful effects of plastic and how much it is affecting our beautiful small island chain,’ said Karine Rassool, the challenge’s leader in the Seychelles.
‘We want to make change through action!’
The challenge began right here in Byron Bay in 2012, when PCFML began their ‘Honour the Ocean’ campaign
A new monthly market in Lismore with a focus on sustainability will be held for the first time this Saturday.
The Lismore Recycled Market will be held on the third Saturday of every month next door to the Lismore Revolve Shop, which is located within the Lismore Recycling and Recovery Centre on Wyrallah Road.
Re Colin Cook’s letter Just who is gaming the electoral system? (March 14).
After dodgy preselections, both party and micros, the single-seat electoral system ensures that the two-party duopoly will always rule.
Far fairer would be a form of proportional representation in both houses with members elected according to their party or individual vote. The results could be split as in NZ (why are they always ahead of us and not just in rugby?) with members elected to geographical seats as well as general party seats.
Actually we wouldn’t need a senate to control ideological nutters like Abbott if we went this way.
Of course the majors will die in a ditch before they agree to anything like a fair system.
Tom Tabart, Byron Greens, Bangalow
The government’s controversial ‘no jab no pay’ laws, which will deduct welfare payments from parents who refuse to vaccinate their children from preschool age upwards, will come into effect this Friday.
But the Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network has announced it may mount a last-minute legal challenge to the laws.
The Nationals duty senator for Richmond, John Williams, has warned parents who receive the Child Care Benefit or Child Care Rebate that their child’s immunisations must be up to date by this Friday or they will lose their payments under the federal government policy.
Sen Williams said following the announcement of the policy last year, the percentage of 12- to 15-month-old fully-immunised children rose from 90.69 per cent in 2014 to 92.28 per cent.
He said that while this was ‘fractionally higher’ than the New South Wales average, ‘there are many children… in the Richmond electorate who are not fully immunised’.
Mullumbimby like South Sudan
The Mullumbimby dis...
In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
56 million defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control:
You won’t see this data on the evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.
Gun-control laws adversely affect only law-abiding citizens.
The next time someone talks in favor of gun control, ple...
WASHINGTON – 15/03/2016 06:20:57 AM [RAW]
More than 13 million Americans, including six million in Florida, could be displaced by rising sea levels this century, three times what has previously been estimated.
The researchers assessed sea level change scenarios by 2100 from the US Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for coastal states along with population growth trends and projections in high-risk areas.
With a sea level rise of 91 centimetres, locations forecast to house 4.2 million people would be at risk of inundation while a doubling of the rise would bring the number to 13.1 million.
With densely populated coastal locales, Florida faces the greatest risk, with up to 6.06 million residents projected to be affected if sea levels rise 1.8 metres, followed by Louisiana, where 1...
A landmark study led by University of Sydney has found that people become more active, sleep better and reduce their sitting time when they retire.
Published in the Journal of Preventative Medicine, the study followed the lifestyle behaviours of 25,000 older Australians including physical activity, diet, sedentary behaviour, alcohol use and sleep patterns.
‘Our research revealed that retirement was associated with positive lifestyle changes,’ said lead researcher Dr Melody Ding, Senior Research Fellow at the University’s School of Public Health.
‘Compared with people who were still working, retirees had increased physically activity levels, reduced sitting time, were less likely to smoke, and had healthier sleep patterns.
‘A major life change like retirement creates a great window of opportunity to make positive lifestyle changes – it’s a chance to get rid of bad routines and engineer new, healthier behaviours.’ she said.
The data revealed that retirees:
The differences were significant even after adjusting for factors such as age, sex, urban/rural residence, ma...
MOIN – [AAP]
Hundreds of refugees who marched out of a Greek transit camp to get around a border fence and cross into Macedonia will be sent back to Greece.
A Macedonian police spokeswoman said on Monday the ‘several hundred’ refugees who had crossed into Macedonia would be sent back.
A Reuters photographer put the number who crossed as high as 2,000.
Around 30 journalists who followed the refugees were also detained, witnesses said.
At least 12,000 people, including thousands of children, have been stranded in a sprawling tent city in northern Greece, their path blocked after Macedonia and other nations along the so-called Western Balkan route closed their...
Even in death, artist Margaret Olley is supporting a new art gallery for her home-town of Lismore.
The Margaret Olley Foundation has pledged $500,000 towards a proposed new regional art gallery for Lismore, four times more than the state government is stumping up.
Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell described the donation as ‘wonderful’.
‘The money will be formally handed over later this week,’ Cr Dowell said.
‘A development application will be lodged in April and we would expect that work would start in the second half of this year, and be completed by the end of next year.’
Gallerist Philip Bacon, the executor of the Margaret Olley Trust, told Fairfax media that the artist and philanthropist, who died in 2011, had lobbied politicians on behalf of the Lismore gallery for years.
‘This was a project very close to Margaret’s heart, going as it did to her love of, and belief in, the value of regional galleries to their communities, with of course the added attraction that Lismore was her birthplace,’ he said.
The federal government has already pledged $2.85 million from its National Stronger Regions Fund for the construction of the Lismore Quadrang...
CANBERRA – [AAP]
High level ministerial talks between Australia and the United States should be expanded to cover economic matters, after the US felt blindsided by a decision to lease Darwin port to a Chinese company.
The United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney released a report on Tuesday making the case for an economic dimension to the Australia-US Ministerial Consultations, saying this would in turn support the existing ANZUS treaty.
The Australian treasurer and the US Treasury Secretary should be included in the annual discussion involving defence and foreign affairs, it...
Lismore MP Thomas George and Nationals North Coast MLC Ben Franklin have been challenged to oppose new proposed penalties for anti coal seam gas and coal protesters.
The proposed laws could see protesters such as the Knitting Nannas thrown in jail for up to seven years.
Ballina MP Tamara Smith said if the pair MPs genuinely cared about keeping the Northern Rivers CSG Free and protecting the right to protest, then they should vote that way in Parliament.
The Baird Government has introduced the Inclosed Lands, Crimes and Law Enforcement Legislation Amendment (Interference) Bill 2016 that changes the definition of a ‘mine site’ so that peaceful protesters against coal and coal seam gas will face jail sentences of up to seven years for simply expressing their democratic rights.
Section 201 of the Crimes Act 1900 was originally intended to stop serious acts of industrial sabotage by protesting mine workers in the 1980s, but the Bill before...
MOSCOW – [AAP]
Russian president Vladimir Putin has said he is instructing his armed forces to start pulling out of Syria, more than five months after he ordered the launch of a military operation that shored up his ally, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
Putin, at a meeting in the Kremlin with his defence and foreign ministers on Monday, said Russian military forces in Syria had largely fulfilled their objectives and ordered an intensification of Russia’s diplomatic efforts to broker a peace deal in...
BRISBANE – [AAP]
Clive Palmer’s embattled north Queensland nickel refinery will only be saved if five demands are met, the businessman-turned-politician says.
The Fairfax MP on Monday fronted a media conference for the first time since Queensland Nickel was placed into voluntary administration and 237 workers were sacked in January.
The positions of another 550 people were terminated on Friday.
Mr Palmer said for the plant to be operational again, all relevant governmental approvals must be obtained by the new management company, Queensland Nickel Sales, which took over last week and signalled Mr Palmer’s re-entry into the venture.
Administrators must also return all assets, including cash, and the company’s financier must be convinced the state government will support its continued operation, he said.
In addition, the personnel required to run the facility...
Raising more than $2,500 for local charities in the first 3 months of operation, Cunning Stunts brings the community together in an all inclusive way, whilst raising much needed funding for beloved and deserving local charities.
Building momentum in dancers and donations, this fourth event is fundraising for Mullumbimby Women’s Resource Service, helping support women and their children experiencing domestic and family violence. A subject far too often in the news of late and one that needs all of our community support.
Locally based, internationally renowned DJ’s drop quality records they personally love to help raise awareness and funding for critically important local charities.
Headline act Stephen Allkins brings more then four decades experience in moving bodies on the dance floor. Stephen is considered dance-music royalty in Sydney. Delve a little into his long, long career and you start to understand why. As one of the true pioneers of dance music in Sydney & playing the very first disco clubs & warehouse parties circa 1978, he’s the original DJ’s DJ who has seen and done it all. His studio work with Paul Mac as “Love-Tattoo” has produced club classics including “History of Disco” amongst others.
Stephen was one of the the first Australian DJ’s to program RAGE on the ABC and to this day his live sets and productions are highly sought after.
New York had Larry Levan, Chicago had Ron Hardy, Sydney had Stephen Allkins and now Byron Shire luckily has him as a local resident.
You will get to hear him play a very special extended set at the 20th March Nudge Nudge Wink Wink FREE event.
Nudge Nudge Wink Wink events are family friendly with activities for the kids, with the chance to win great prizes whilst dancing for charity.
Fundraising at our events sees 100% of profits donated to local well deserving charities.
For further information on Cunning Stunts visit the...
SYDNEY – [AAP]
Members of an ABC news crew detained in Malaysia after trying to question the prime minister about a corruption scandal have now been told they will not be charged.
The ABC had reported that Four Corners reporter Linton Bresser and camera operator Louie Eroglu were likely to be charged with obstructing a public servant in the discharge of their duties.
But the broadcaster said on Tuesday the men’s lawyer was called by police and told no charges would be filed.
The pair were detained on Saturday when they tried to question Prime Minister Najib Razak about allegations that more than $1 billion was deposited into his personal bank account, were then released and told not to leave the country.
They had faced a charge under Section 186 of the Malaysian penal code, which carries a maximum penalty of a 10,000 ringgit ($A3000) fine and a two-year ja...
Malcolm Turnbull should have called his election months ago.
It is easy to say it in hindsight, but passing up the chance to capitalise on the all but universal wave of relief that greeted his ascension was a seriously missed opportunity.
He had every reason, every excuse: all he had to do was to say that while the party room had passed its judgment, he need a popular mandate from the voters.
And he had his double dissolution triggers ready: the abolition of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation was not an obvious choice, but the establishment of Registered Organisations was a natural: in the absence of the Building and Construction Commission, it was a serious piece of union bashing that could be guaranteed to enrage the ACTU and the ALP.
There was plenty of ammunition; while Dyson Heydon had not yet concluded his findings, there was ample public evidence that could be used to target everyone involved, including Bill Shorten. The Employment Minister, Michaelia Cash, has since said it would do very nicely for a major campaign issue.
But in any case, in this heady atmosphere the issues would be utterly irrelevant. The event would be all about the endorsement – the celebration – of the new super star. Other players would feature as mere extras; Bill Shorten would be lucky to manage a cameo performance as a fall guy.
It would not be entirely flawless — a double dissolution would not necessarily clear out the crossbenchers entirely: that would have to wait until the amending legislation could be finalised and passed ready for next time. But it would certainly weed out some of the current lot of recalcitrants, and, given Turnbull’s then stratospheric popularity, there was even a chance that it could deliver control of the senate to the coalition.
And, best of all, there was a genuine hope that in the excitement of snap election, a dispirited and disconsolate Tony Abbott might be persuaded to retire – perhaps to the......
MELBOURNE – [AAP]
Police powers could be increased in the fight against gang crime after hundreds of young men stormed Melbourne’s CBD during Moomba festivities.
Members of the Apex gang, some as young as 12, stole phones, taunted police and terrorised people on Saturday night in full view of CCTV cameras in the city.
Premier Daniel Andrews said thuggery and criminal behaviour would not be tolerated and those involved could expect to pay for their crimes.
He did not rule out legislation to tackle the gang violence, saying his government would provide police with the powers and resources they need.
‘If there are things we need to do as a government, as a parliament, we will not hesitate in making sure Victoria Police have got what they need to smash these gangs and keep Victoria safe,’ Mr Andrews told reporters on Monday.
Opposition police spokesman Edward O’Donohue said mo...
Suffolk Park shoppers will have to put up with traffic congestion for quite a bit longer after a Byron Shire Council plan to install traffic lights at the busy Clifford Street/Broken Head Road intersection was knocked on the head by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).
This leaves a single lane roundabout as the only solution for managing the T-intersection.
Council GM Ken Gainger said the traffic light option was canned as it ‘does not meet RMS’ mandatory traffic safety criteria’.
But despite being the only option left, the roundabout solution is no easy fix – and it could be four years before it is in place.
Mr Gainger said that it would require three parcels of land to be acquired from three different landowners before it can proceed.
‘Indications are that those land acquisitions may need to go through a compulsory acquisition process that would take up t...
"Today it's simply socially unacceptable to let stock in rivers; people view it in the same way as it's unacceptable to smoke in restaurants" Conservation group raises alarm over river protection, 22.02.2016
It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since the Festival of Fifty! So much has happened in the intervening 12 months and if I’m honest, I’d have to say it hasn’t been the easiest year of my life. But that’s what living is about, right? It’s hard to appreciate how gloriously good life […]
North Coast Voices: Am I being cynical in suspecting that the Liberal and Nationals parties are looking to the mining industry for political donations in this 2016 federal election year? "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"
15 shootings in 8 days leaves 1 dead, 7 injured
Former Prime Minister John Howard told Channel 9 news Monday night he did the right thing by disarming the population. He said since Port Arthur there have been no more mass shootings. What will he say about the bikie gang open warfare that has been happening in NSW and Victoria for many years? You didn’t get their guns Johnnie. All you did was disarm law abiding citizens.
by Jaydan Duck
One person has been killed and another seven people injured following an unprecedented 15 shootings in eight days across Victoria.Seven men have been arrested and charged over five connected drive-by shootings in Broadmeadows, Dallas and Thomastown last weekend, while another two shootings occurred in Geelong and Frankston on Thursday night.
The number of shootings reported in Melbourne and Geelong since March 4 has risen to 15. On March 5, a man in his 20s was shot dead inside a motel room at Kingsbury.
A man was shot in the ankle and another in the abdomen outside a bikie clubhouse at Yarraville on the same day, while a 36-year-old man was also found suffering from a gunshot wound on a street at Hadfield.
On March 7, a 23-year-old woman was dropped off at Geelong hospital with a single gunshot wound, and a 49-year-old man was shot outside his property at Lara.
Then, on Wednesday March 9, a man was shot at a house at Noble Park before a man was shot in the upper body with a suspected pen pistol at Frankston on March 10.
Police believe most shootings in the past week are linked to feud...
I travelled down the Western Port Bay coastline over the long weekend and camped at Balnarring Beach with some friends. On Sunday I met up with my mate John and explored a new site – a long forested gully called Wuchatsch Reserve in Nyora. The site had an impressive list of forest birds including Crimson and Eastern Rosellas, Spinebills, Silvereyes and a good number of honeyeaters. While watching the honeyeaters we found a small flock of Striated Thornbills and a Grey Fantail hunting flies off a branch.
‘Seminal works #08 211215′
Mixed media. 20x30 inches.
This sold at my recent exhibition- Seminal and Non-Seminal works.
As a resident of Byron Bay for the last 27 years, and a surfer here since 1966 I am deeply concerned at the position Byron Council has taken since been elected last. We seem to have a council that doesn’t consider the local community’s views on anything.
I am part of a small group of residents (Grab The Rail) who are opposed to using Butler street as a proposed bypass, which even the mayor and councillors say will only alleviate 10 to 15 per cent of the traffic issue.
We had a state government that spent over $300,000 on finding the best solution for a bypass in 2001, which I might add should have been completed by 2015. This route was coming into town from the highway, turning right at the Caltex servo, (Kendall Street), left onto the gazetted road called Byron Street, across Butler Street then onto the rail corridor, all the way down to Cemetery Road, with turn offs on the way.
This would also be a great way of getting to the new car park area at the new shopping centre at the Woolies site, (no traffic going through town). So why is this being ignored by our council? this proposal will be cheaper, less impact on the environment, excellent access for emergency services (ambulance, fire trucks, SES, etc) from one side of town to the other.
Do the right thing, councillors, get it right. This is your best opportunity to really improve our traffic and also beautify our town, we can also leave the market right were they are, the corridor can be utilised for a train corridor (for future) bus interchange, lots of off-street parking, rail trail paths, improved pedestrian access, and garden areas – this corridor is wide enough for all this.
With a little bit of imagination we can have a showpiece right in the heart of Byron.
Byron Councillors, you were voted in by the people in our shire, and are paid by the people, shouldn’t you be listening to the people, get it right.
Ray Boots, Byron Bay
This post was first published on Simple Green Frugal some years ago. It’s worth a re-run.
A post on Little Eco Footprints this week called Are we making a mistake living in the city? has been in the back of my mind at odd moments all week. I live in a rural community. I moved here as a young hippy mum nearly 30 years ago, living first in a caravan with no power, road access, or running water. I have never regretted it and although it was diabolically hard in those early years, I do have the best of lives.
But sometimes, like the deserted beach or the fantastic suburban restaurant, things are only fantastic so long as no-one else knows they are. Is living in the country like that? Is it only possible to do it without destroying it because most people don’t?
My “perfect world” fantasy has everyone living in permacultured villages with tiny ecological footprints, networked and linked with electric railways and internet (powered with geothermal or big desert solar installations), largely self sufficient in food, water, waste disposal, houshold and local energy, trading knowledge, culture, art, craft, manufactured goods and specialist crops.
The villages would be neither city nor country, but a bit of both. They would have enough population density so that people could get around by foot and bicycle – kids could walk to school and to their friends places to play, neighbours would be close enough to rely on in emergencies or even just to borrow a cup of flour or a tool or visit for a chat. But they would have a low enough density to allow most of the fresh food production to be local – kitchen gardens, fruit trees, chickens, geese, dairy cows.
That’s not a very different level of population density to th...
Representatives of the Friends of Kalimna Park met with DELWP and Parks Victoria fire officers last week to discuss the planned burn of a section of the Park this autumn. The exercise is set to happen in the next five weeks, conditions permitting.
The fuel reduction exercise will cover a section of the western and southern part of the park, not including Kalimna Point [which has been groomed] or the eastern side of the tourist road [the Happy Valley side]. Part of this latter area may be burned next year, and part groomed.
FOKP representatives expressed the following concerns about the upcoming operations:
1. Mineral earth breaks [used by DELWP as borders for its fires
and to protect sites deemed significant] are often intrusive and
not rehabilitated properly: they can end up as permanent trail bike
or mountain bike tracks. In any case, some are so crudely done as
to be erosion hazards.
2. The destruction of big trees is an ongoing annoyance, especially as everyone agrees they’re not a fire hazard. DELWP has undertaken to take measures to prevent fires taking hold at the foot of such trees, and to patrol the fire in the days following its ignition to ensure these measures work.
3. Bursaria vegetation which is habitat for Eltham Copper Butterfly colonies needs to be appropriately protected. The butterfly has recently been observed in sections of the park which were mosaic burned last year. It is important that DELWP has maps of bursaria which should enable it to focus fuel reduction where it matters, not on a precious biodiversity resource.
FOKP will pay careful attention to the operation when it happens. The Department’s approach to consultation has improved markedly in recent years, now it’s time to see improvements in results on the ground.
DELWP is also in consultation with local beekeepers concerned about smoke damage. As we’ve noted, Grey Box, a very important tree for honey and pollen, is flowering proli...
G’day, I’m Al Hensley, host of the blues/soul/R&B music program Blue Monday. Each week I post the program’s playlist so you can find out more about the new releases and historic tracks featured. To see what was played this week click here
I initially began researching the route travelled by the diggers
who flocked to the goldfields of Buninyong, Ballarat and beyond
after noticing that a number of towns located on the rivers, creeks
and gullies of the Barwon catchment claimed to be on the "main gold
route" or on the "best line of road" to the goldfields. But how
could places as far apart as Teesdale on the Leigh Road and the
Eclipse Hotel at Durdidwarrah and Morrisons, along with all the
towns which sprang up along the Geelong to Buninyong Track, justify
It quickly became apparent that there were several different routes which hopeful prospectors could take to the diggings and each had its own claim to being "the main route from Geelong to Ballarat" (or Buninyong for the current purpose as all roads from Geelong passed through or near that town). The shortest route was certainly the bullock track which lead from Geelong to Buninyong. It was well established by the 1840s and had been used by the mail coaches to travel between Geelong and Buninyong since 1846. If volume of newspaper content is anything to go by, this was certainly the busiest route to the goldfields and the topic of my most recent posts.
Teesdale of course, is not on this route. It was however on the road taken by another of the earliest mail coaches in the district - the Portland Bay Mail Coach. The mail from Geelong (and from Melbourne via the steamer) was carried by coach through Leigh Road (Bannockburn), Teesdale, The Leigh (Shelford), Rokewood and onwards to join the Melbourne to Portland Bay mail at Fiery Creek (Streatham/Beaufort). An 1856 survey map of the Teesdale area describes this road as the "main road from Fiery Creek to Geelong via Batesford".
The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) is today calling for urgent and critical action to reduce pressure on the Great Barrier Reef following the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) raising its coral bleaching response level to two, as the threat to the Reef from coral bleaching continues to worsen.
Imogen Zethoven, the Great Barrier Reef campaign director at AMCS said the Turnbull Government needed to take its share of responsibility and swing into action to prevent future damage.
“In the last few weeks we’ve seen outbreaks of coral bleaching around Lizard Island, Low Isles near Port Douglas and reports of bleaching in Princess Charlotte Bay on Cape York Peninsula.
“All Australians will be alarmed to hear that the Reef is being put under increased pressure because of global warming.
“As the bleaching on the Reef continues to intensify we need an urgent response from the Turnbull Government to avoid widespread bleaching happening repeatedly in the future.
“This bleaching event has revealed the true cost of approving more coal mines, more coal export port terminals and refusing to listen to the warnings.
“The solutions are clear, we must make a rapid transition from mining and burning coal to 100% renewable energy.
“The Queensland Parliament must also support the Palaszczuk government’s proposed tightening of vegetation management laws which were weakened under the Newman government, resulting in a massive increase in tree clearing and carbon emissions from the state.
“Last year Queensland welcomed 1.1 million international tourists, with the industry bringing in $6 billion to the Queensland economy.
“The Reef is vital to Queensland’s tourism industry and the state’s economy.
“GBRMPA’s decision today should be a wake up call for the Turnbull Government that we need to prevent further devastating coral bleaching events,” said Ms Zethoven
This upcoming federal election will be the tenth I’ve been involved in. As all these have been with a smaller party – either the Democrats or the Greens – and in all but the first I’ve been involved in one way or another with preferences decisions, I have a fair idea of how the current Senate system works, and why it is terribly broken and dangerously distorting for not just the voter but for every genuine political party – large, medium, and small – who currently have no choice but to engage with it.
The need to repair the existing Senate voting system has been acknowledged for a long time, and proposals on how best to do this were put forward by Labor, Greens and Liberal MPs nearly two years ago – as well as Senator Nick Xenophon, who proposed a slightly different proposal to fix the problem. Despite this, now that Senate voting reform laws have finally appeared, there has been a sudden torrent of mostly ridiculous and often contradictory arguments as to why such a change will be terrible. Many of these have involved assertion of so-called ‘facts’ which are verifiably wrong.
So I thought it would be worthwhile to correct some of these statements that are being made in an attempt to paint Senate voting reform as a terrible thing. I’ll start with Glenn Druery, seeing he is the person most identified as having gamed the current Senate voting system to manufacture distorted outcomes. He recently stated in evidence to a Parliamentary Committee that he has helped set up over forty political parties, many of which were created solely to harvest and exchange preferences between each other, and some of which carried names designed to attract voters of a certain political persuasion so that their preferences could be channeled to other parties of precisely the opposite political persuasion.
Following are s...
“When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” Those are the words we used to introduce a wise old rooster who fly kicked his way into our lives here at Edgar’s Mission some years ago. And how prophetic those words proved to be. Mr Miyagi, a spectacular, yet somewhat world-weary old boy was as unique as he was handsome and he led us all on a journey we could never have predicted.
It was not only our hearts that Mr Miyagi left his indelible mark upon but also our shins! For this boy was known to come fly kicking toward you with a passion and precision that we are sure his cinematic namesake would have been proud of. And it mattered not whether you thought yourself to be proficient in chicken-speak and were the bearer of his breakfast grains or if you were the newest staff member who unwittingly happened to pass by a seemingly innocent old rooster in the yard. Mr Miyagi’s karate skills did not discriminate! He reminded us to be humble and that any skill we believed we had could always be improved upon. He also taught us lessons in bargaining! Watermelon was always the greatest bartering tool in Mr Miyagi’s mind when it came to saving your shins!
A little over a year ago, when the younger, more agile roosters began to woo Mr Miyagi’s ladies away and he started running toward our shins with a little less gusto we realised time was perhaps catching up with the old chap. Bringing him...
The Friends of the Earth have produced a paper discussing how climate change will affect the Loddon Mallee region of northern Victoria. The material in it mostly won’t be new to our readers, but it’s worth a look, all the same.
‘According to research from the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) (2) we are already experiencing a ‘new climate’, one that has become noticeable since about 2000.
‘The AEGIC analysis, based on rain records since 2000, shows rainfall zones have moved — in some cases up to 400 kilometres. Parts of the Mallee, North Central and Riverina are now designated as being ‘uniform’ rainfall zones, where rain is equally distributed over summer and winter seasons. This has significant implications for cropping in the region, which has traditionally relied on a winter rainfall pattern.’
Rainfall is predicted to drop in our region by 2.5% by 2030, and temperatures to rise by almost a degree.
These changes have implications for agriculture, tourism [blue green algae’s not a great drawcard for visitors], water supply for communities, and our struggling bushlands.
The FOE paper is going to be used in the Bendigo electorate during the federal election campaign. It can be found here.
Story & photos Eve Jeffery
I have never been to India but I have eaten at a lot of Indian restaurants. Love the stuff and I’m very picky.
When I first went to Billi’s Indian when they opened four years ago, the food was good but like most new eateries, I could tell they needed to settle in.
Recently a friend told me that every time she goes there the food keeps getting better and better and now she is addicted. She makes at least one visit a week!
Queensland residents likely to reject change to parliamentary terms
A new poll suggests Queensland residents are likely reject a move to fixed, four year parliamentary terms.
The poll found 43 per cent of respondents are against giving state governments an additional year in power, and 16 per cent remain undecided ahead of Saturday's referendum.
Queensland's two Katter party MPs say voters must reject longer parliamentary terms because the state lacks an upper house to hold governments to account between elections.
Mid-year boost to Queensland infrastructure
A 500 million dollar injection into the Queensland infrastructure fund will see seven major road and rail projects across the state in the coming years.
Areas from Ipswich to Townsville and in between will receive upgrades to railways and roads, and will boost jobs in those areas, the Deputy Premier and Infrastructure Minister Jackie Trad says.
Trad says the upgrades are projected to begin mid-year, and will mean greater economic growth around key areas of Queensland’s economy.
Thanks to one of our weekend workshop participants, Michael, for locating a series of pools in the Rise and Shine. Yesterday afternoon it was like ‘Bourke Street’, with a procession of birds visiting to bathe and quench their thirst before nightfall. The main participants were honeyeaters, dominated by Fuscous and White-naped, smaller numbers of Yellow-tufted and a fleeting appearance by a couple of Black-chinned Honeyeaters – one of my favourite box-ironbark species.
Defence Force forum on malaria medication use
The Australian Defence Forces top brass have faced former soldiers and their families suffering depression and anxiety after receiving controversial anti-malaria drugs on deployments.
Nearly 2,000 Defence personnel were prescribed a drug commonly known as Lariam between July 2000 and June 2005, a drug known to cause agitation, mood swings, panic attacks, psychosis, and suicidal thoughts.
Lend me your lopped ears, Easter is just around the corner so it’s the perfect time to bring these nose twitching, foot thumping honey bunnies into the limelight. Rabbits are gentle, sensitive and can be incredibly affectionate creatures, yet their needs are often overlooked. Here are a few ways you can help our little fluffy friends this Easter.
Be bunny aware
Hop on board with Choose Cruelty Free and make sure you aren’t unintentionally supporting animal testing. Rabbits are used in cruel cosmetic and household product experiments, in 2013 around “6.7 million animals were used in research and teaching in Australia in 2013”1 with rabbits being the second most experimented on animal.2
Housed in barren wire cages for the most part of their lives, rabbits are primarily used in Draize eye and skin test...
St John's Cathedral declared sanctuary for asylum seekers
St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane’s CBD has been declared a sanctuary for the nearly 300 asylum seekers facing deportation to offshore detention centres.
The Anglican Dean of Brisbane offered “sanctuary training” to those willing to stand with him in providing sanctuary for refugees.
Dr Peter Catt said support had grown for the creation of asylum seeker sanctuaries, with churches, lawyers, and numerous others dedicating their time and resources to creating a “national action”.
THE Collendina under-13s finished the home and away season in
fourth position, booking them a semi-final against cross town
rivals Ocean Grove Swans who finished on top.
The two-day game at the Bellarine Secondary College looked very even on paper with both line-ups being loaded with talent. Collendina won the toss and sent the Swans in to bat. The bowling was good with very few extras, but the Ocean Grove batsmen were up to the challenge. Two wickets were all that fell of the first 26 overs with the Swans making it to a score of 2/93 off their 26 overs. Tom Gross bowled well taking 1/10 off two overs getting one to sneak through the defence of Hayden Ewart. The only other wicket taker for the morning was Zak Poynder, who along with the fine out fielding of Max McLachlan, were able to combine to dismiss the dangerous Nathan Down. Poynder finished with 1/2 off two overs.
The score of 2/93 is very competitive, so a strong reply would be needed from the Cobras batsmen. Unfortunately, Izaak Terhorst was dismissed for a very rare diamond duck off the first ball. Not many people would fall victim to a diamond duck more than once in their careers. Hopefully, that is Izaak’s out of the way. Tom Gross was next in, but unfortunately he was also dismissed and with the Swans up and about, this was going to be tough. Xavier Norman was solid as the Cobras began to fight back and along with Sam Donegan, they got the score to 20. The Cobras finished the morning on a score of 4/59 with Charlie Every and Brodie Muscat not out overnight, 34 runs behind.
Day two started well with Every and Muscat getting the score to 80 before Every was dismissed for 18. Muscat went on to make a fine 19. The wickets then fell steadily to see the Cobras all out for 104. An 11-run lead wouldn’t be enough. Ocean Grove made the required runs in three overs and booked themselves a grand final spot along with Queenscliff which defeated Leopold in the other game.
The under-13s have...
By MARK HEENAN
ANGLESEA fought off a spirited challenge from a gallant
Collendina to claim their first ever BPCA A Grade premiership title
on Sunday March 12.
It was a great result for the BPCA’s southern-most club on the Surf Coast, who lost to Drysdale in the league A Grade decider by 27 runs in 2014-’15.
Anglesea, who scraped into fourth place defeated home and away season ladder leaders Portarlington in their semi-final earlier this month to make the league grand final.
Batting first in the league’s A Grade season decider played at Ocean Grove, Collendina were all bowled out for 146 despite facing 74.3 overs on day one.
“In the back of my mind I thought we were 20 or 30 runs short,” Collendina Cricket Club co-coach Corey Walter told the Voice.
Cobra pair Richie Peters and Nathan Walter equal top scored with the bat after making 32.
In reply, Anglesea won by eight wickets after finishing the match at 2/147 from 51.2 overs.
The Anglesea duo of Ned Cooper and Peter Radford were the stars with the bat.
“To be honest we did not bowl as well what we have the last few weeks, we bowled a bit looser and they (Anglesea) got on top of us and probably batted us out of the game,” he said. While disappointed after the game, the seasoned Cobra star cricketer Walter stated Anglesea deserved their victory.
Collendina made the BPCA A Grade final after defeating Jan Juc by six wickets in their semi-final clash on March 5-6.
“They batted really well (on day two) and outplayed us,” Walter said.
“Very disappointed, we went into the game positive … we are just as good as what Anglesea but they outplayed us over the two days.
“They (Anglesea) deserved to win.
“Having said that we are still proud how far we have come this year, we had a real crack.
“I think there are some good times for us going forward.”
Compiled by Stephanie Asher
THE future elite stars of the Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club
were on show at last weekend’s Victorian Junior Lifesaving
Championships in Warrnambool.
The two-day event held on 12-13 March in Victoria’s south west played host to nearly 2000 junior competitors across the state, including 90 star nippers from the Ocean Grove SLSC.
Like the previous nipper carnivals held this season, supportive Ocean Grove SLSC nipper families undertook a two-hour plus car journey from the Bellarine Peninsula to Warrnambool across the Labour Day long weekend.
THERE were some great performances across all age groups for Ocean Grove SLSC nippers.
Results include, gold in the Under 9 girls and boys Wade Relay Teams, silver in the Under 10 boys Wade Relay Team, and bronze in the Under 10 Board Relay.
The region’s local nippers claimed silver in the Under 11 girls board relay and Aqua Cameron, gold in Under 12 boys Aqua Cameron and Surf Team, gold in the Under 13 boys Surf Team, and silver in the Under 13 girls Board Rescue and Aqua Cameron.
There were many more medals at the individual events on the Saturday competition on 12 March.
Weather was kind in parts, however constant light drizzle affected the opening day of competition.
Surf picked up a little later on the morning of Sunday 13 March for the team events in the water.
By MARK HEENAN
THE wider Ocean Grove community, club sporting representatives
and political figures came together for the historic $6 million
Shell Road sports pavilion opening on 13 March.
Ocean Grove-based Beangala Ward Councillor Jan Farrell, who was master of ceremonies, officially opened proceedings with a ceremony service at midday on Sunday.
Councillor Farrell was joined by Federal Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson, Geelong Mayor Darryn Lyons and State MP for Bellarine Lisa Neville for the glittering community day opening.
Councillor Jan Farrell said the project was the final stage of the 2010 Shell Road Reserve Master Plan to create a new sports hub and accommodate Ocean Grove’s rapid population town growth.
“I am thrilled that council has been able to help deliver this project for the local community,” she said.
“The pavilion is going to be a fantastic space not just for those playing sport but for the whole community to enjoy.”
Mayor Lyons said the state-of-the-art multi-purpose facilities would help boost participation numbers especially at junior levels in soccer, football, cricket and netball.
“The prominent location of the Shell Road sporting precinct will encourage more people to participate, attend and get involved in local sporting competitions,” he said.
The pavilion was jointly funded by the City of Greater Geelong, $2.5 million and the Federal Government, $3.5 million, with council managing construction of the project.
Federal Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson said it was a wonderful achievement for the Ocean Grove community.
“There is a real sense of excitement in the community, particularly among members of the three local sporting clubs, Ocean Grove Football Netball Club, Surfside Waves Soccer Club and Ocean Grove Cricket Club,” Ms Henderson said.
State MP for Bellarine Lisa Neville who provided funds towards the construction of a new electronic scoreboard an...
THOUSANDS basked in the afternoon sun at the 21st Ocean Grove
Primary School Apple Fair last Friday, enjoying a panorama of
The smell of sizzling sausages filled the air as fairgoers sampled homemade curries, nachos and more. Children, parents and grandparents alike were moving to the tunes of Andrea Robertson and band, while Junglebeat and The Blueliners played a mix of reggae and jazz well into the evening.
Parent band The Apple Fairies closed out the night playing classic hits to get fairgoers on their feet again.
Youngsters rode on ponies and the Cha Cha, while the older kids took on one of the fair’s new additions: a mechanical bull. Even a few teachers and school principal Darryl Diment had a go at the bull, much to delight of watching students.
The school welcomed its new mascot Pip to the twilight fair, who was soon surrounded by a crowd of excited youngsters.
We find ourselves standing in front of the fertiliser aisle at our local suppliers’. Seaweed, fish, sugar cane, rock dust – and on and on we go. We see different bottles and packets of every shape and colour. So what do we choose?
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