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Thursday, 10 May


What's happened to blue collar Australia? (Elizabeth wrecks) "IndyWatch Feed"

Curious coincidence

I was on my way to Adelaide this morning, mainly for a meeting, and also to undertake a mini-pilgrimage to take a look at the old Holden factory at Elizabeth. I'm a nerd when it comes to industry, and I hadn't been down that way for years. 

There are plenty of bloggers that sit at home in their jocks opining on everything from interstate infrastructure projects to how listed company CEOs should be doing their jobs - I do it often enough myself - but you do also need to get out there and see stuff. 

Fearing that Qantas Q-Streaming could be as useless as ever (it was) I picked up a book at Brisbane Airport to see me through the flight, Blue Collar Frayed by Jennifer Rayner. 

I'd been following Jennifer's thoughtful work on social media for a long while, and had meant to buy a copy before now, but you know how these things go.

What I hadn't bargained for was that in her examination of the marginalisation of male Australian blue collar workers, Rayner herself had journeyed to Elizabeth, as well as to Morwell, Gladstone, Townsville, and a range of other locations that have faced major industry closures. 

I was even cited myself in the book for something I'd written about the changes in the composition of industry employment last year, so this really was a curious coincidence.

Manual labour



MACKAY Caught red-handed with break-in gear, police allege "IndyWatch Feed National"

MACKAY May 10, 2018 at 05:49PM ,

Caught red-handed with break-in gear, police allege

May 10, 2018 at 05:49PM ,

Matthew David Thomas Cook now faces 45 charges before Mackay Magistrates Court, linked to an alleged crime spree and drug laboratory raid in

, ,

user1ouenvdy crimeviewqld , ,


English for Politicians "IndyWatch Feed"

English is a fascinating language.  It has changed and evolved over time.  For example, Spartacus junior frequently comes home from school and say that he versed so and so and that his team is versing them and thum (you like that one?  creation of thum).

But while evolution is one thing, corruption is another.  And the English language seems to have been corrupted in the last 10 years for the purpose of confusion and obfuscation.

It all seems to have started with the Worlds Greatest Treasurer, Wayne Swan and Australias best bank Chairman, Ken Henry.

So in the interests of doing his bit for public finance discourse, Spartacus would like to note the following:

  • A tax cut is not an expenditure.
  • A tax increase in not a saving.
  • Multiple tax increases are not tax reform.
  • Tax cuts do not need to be funded, expenditure increases do.
  • Recurrent expenditure is not investment.
  • The absence of a budget increase is not a budget cut.

And whilst it may be like a Tasmanian tiger, with lots of sightings but none confirmed, a surplus is when you spend less than you collect/earn.

Spartacus invites Cats to add to this list.  Perhaps we can send it to Treasury.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus


Eight years on a family look back at how the flu vaccine left their baby daughter disabled as thousands of Aussies line up for the jab "IndyWatch Feed National"

Thousands of Australians are preparing for flu season by receiving their annual jabs, eight years after a vaccine left a toddler severely disabled. Read More


RAAF Challenger 604 A37-002 & Qld Govt Hawker 850XP VH-SGY Highlight Another Day of Comings and Goings at Rockhampton Airport for Beef Australia 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

On Wednesday 9 May, Beef Australia 2018 - Australias national beef expo - continued at the Rockhampton Showgrounds and at Rockhampton Airport several more General Aviation (GA) aircraft and helicopters, along with a couple of awesome Government bizjets, were noted and spotted calling in.

Perhaps the two highlights of the day were the visits at Rockhampton Airport by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet A37-002 and Queensland Government Airwing (State of Queensland) Raytheon Hawker 850XP bizjet VH-SGY.

A37-002 looked to arrive into Rocky from Canberra as "Regent 26" and looked to bring to Beef Australia 2018 the Federal Government Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud.



Crypto Technology Gives Art Dealers an Edge in International Sales "IndyWatch Feed"

Artwork and cryptocurrency are more alike than most will realize at first think. Both are somewhat conceptual by nature, they have a value that can vary greatly according to the taste of the times and they remain outside of the mainstream commerce. This may be why some online companies are finding ways to integrate the two.

Cryptocurrency Payment Systems Bring Artists and Buyers Together

As reported in The South China Morning Post Art Stage Singapore which is the largest art fair held in the city-state had a payment system called Aditus on hand to handle transactions in numerous virtual currencies this year. One Singapore based collector Joe Nash is selling parts of his collection via Visionairs, an online gallery based in Paris that also accepts digital money for payment.

When asked about the shifting market prices of Bitcoin and alternative currencies Nash said

 My paintings are priced in three anchor currencies: euros, US dollars, and Australian dollars. It is easy to check the real-time exchange rate against cryptocurrencies,

In the global scope of the art market using cryptocurrency also allows payments to be made faster and without the red tape of changing currencies and sending money across borders.

Terrence Chung, a Vancouver based collector from Hong Kong, appreciates the ease of buying work from all over the world online and using crypto to pay for it. He has bought paintings from Romania and France on an online market for luxury goods which only accepts Bitcoin.

Blockchain Authentication is the Future for the Art world

For galleries and purveyors of paintings and some other luxury goods blockchain technology provides the potential to eliminate questions in the future about provenance.

Mark Lurie is the founder and chief executive of Codex Protocol, one of a number of companies that are using blockchain technology to create title banks for collectibles. Just as cryptocurrency transactions are recorded so will the ownership of a piece of art be stored in the Codex ledger which can....


Etsy for Mothers Day "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Considering were trying to cull our belongings, Im not wanting or expecting any gifts for Mothers Day. But I admit, I am very looking forward to croissants and coffee, handmade cards and an afternoon nap.

The not wanting a gift is a new thing for me and I admit, its a really nice place to be. I used to be a bit of an over-achiever when it came to spending; and all that spending was driven by so much wanting. Over a year ago, when work significantly slowed, I curbed my spending habits out of necessity and subsequently stopped looking for things to buy.

Granted, there were still things I saw that I really, really liked but instead of instantly buying them Id step back, think about them, consider whether they were worth the money, and, in most cases, decide I didnt need them after-all.

I think this might be conscious consumerism. Close to it, anyway.

But the necessity bit? Well, no doubt its a common story for many of you. Because when youve got a bit of spare cash, theres usually a long list of things that are required before you buy yourself something; we do tend to come after the outgrown kids shoes, seasonal clothing necessities, school requirements etc

So when the fabulous team at Etsy reached out to see if Id like to give away a $100 voucher, I knew that it would be perfect for one of my readers.

Because spoiling yourself on something handmade would have to be one of the best Mothers Day gifts, dont you think?

To enter, just tell me in the comments what you would buy with the voucher and why you want it.

Me? I think I would get myself something from NotPerfectLinen I think this dress or maybe this simple top.

Ill announce the winner on Sunday morning so if you do get a chance for some Etsy perusal on Mothers Day, you can have yourself a little spending spree.

Good luck!

The post Etsy for Mothers Day appeared first on Practising Simplicity.






Australian fiscal statement 2018-19 an election stunt, limited economic coherence "IndyWatch Feed"

The Australian Treasurer brought down the 2018-19 Fiscal Statement (aka Budget) on Tuesday evening with much fanfare. The one message that dominated the cant and hypocrisy was that there will probably be an early election, maybe later this year. The Government is scandal-ridden, is enduring destructive infighting over leadership and policy direction, and has made some monumentally disastrous decisions in the current term of office (for example, denying the need for a Royal Commission into the financial sector, which they were bulldozed into finally accepting, and, which is now revealing massive corruption in our banks and insurance companies). Being so far down in the opinion polls means one thing. They use the annual fiscal show to make themselves look good and dollop out (albeit with a lag) some scraps (tax cuts) to the masses, while reserving the huge tax cuts for the top-end-of-town. And, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I didnt even bother to listen to the Treasurers speech. In fact, I could write some text generating code which would generate a Budget Speech that was remarkably similar to the Treasurers speech. So why waste 30 minutes in the evening listening to it. I would prefer to be sorting socks in my sock draw!

Hypocrisy and ignorance knows no limits when it comes to fiscal matters

I deliberately have avoided listening to the radio much in the last few days because of the hysteria associated with fiscal matters at this time of the year.

Commentators airing their ignorance rampage in the media making out they are hard-edged reporters keeping the politicians honest.

The problem is their questions expose their own stupidity and thus the public is mislead and the narrative becomes so distorted from what is actually going on that a fictional world is created.

When it comes to fiscal matters we live in a fictional world and decisions that are of great importance are made on that basis.

It amazes me actually.

Not so long ago, this conservative government was predicting the sky would fall in because the previous Labor government (masquerading as a progressive party but really as conservative and misguided as the actual conservatives) had increased the fiscal deficit during its tenure through the GFC.

Of course the deficit rose during the GFC. It did so because the government of the day, to its credit, introduced a large and rapid stimulus package which saved Australia from recording a recession there was a slowdown only.

But even if the government had not have acted in that way, the deficit would have risen as a result of the operation of the automatic stabilisers slowdown in employment and wages growth leading to a fall in tax revenue and rising net public spen...













Iran targets Israeli bases across Syrian frontier, Israel pounds Syria "IndyWatch Feed National"

Israel said it attacked Irans bases in Syria after Isreali positions were fired upon  Dozens of Israeli missiles hit a radar station, Syrian air defense positions and an ammunition dump in Syria

An combo of images released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) early on May 10, 2018 purportedly shows what the official news agency said was air defense systems intercepting Israeli missiles over Syrian airspace, without specifying the location. (SANA / AFP)

JERUSALEM/BEIRUT: Iranian forces in Syria launched a rocket attack on Israeli army bases in the Golan Heights early on Thursday, Israel said, prompting one of the heaviest Israeli barrages against Syria since the conflict there began in 2011.

The attack on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, just past midnight, marked the first time Iranian forces have hit Israel from Syria, where they have deployed along with Iran-backed Shiite militias and Russian troops to support President Bashar Assad in the countrys civil war.

Dozens of Israeli missiles hit a radar station, Syrian air defense positions and an ammunition dump, Syrian state media said, underscoring the risks of a wider escalation involving Iran and its regional allies.

I hope we finished this chapter and everyone got the message, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said at the Herzliya security conference, near Tel Aviv, on Thursday morning.

Israel said 20 Iranian Grad and Fajr rockets were shot down by its Iron Dome air defense system or fell short of the Golan targets. The Quds Force, an external arm of Irans Revolutionary Guards, carried out the launch, Israel said.

It was commanded and ordered by (Quds Force chief General) Qassem Soleimani and it has not achieved its purpose, military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told reporters.

Israel struck back by destroying dozens of Iranian military sites in Syria, Conricus said, as well as Syrian anti-aircraft units that tried unsuccessfully to shoot down Israeli planes.
We do not know yet the (Iranian) casualty count, he said.

But I can say that in terms of our purpose, we focussed less on personnel and more on capabilities and hardware to inflict long-term damage on the Iranian military establishment in Syria. We assess it will take substantial time to replenish.

Israeli schools in the Golan H...













Dreams are weird "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

I've written this here before but I'll write it again: dreams are weird

This morning I awoke thinking about a retreat. It was led by Laura, who has led previous retreats I've been on but we were in a high school science class.

Laura and I talked about a scary feeling we were getting from the darkened corner of the science lab. She suggested that a woman at the retreat might use her spectrometer to investigate.

This woman drew an old SLR camera from her bag and took a photo. As the flash lit the dark area it revealed a bear skeleton lumbering towards us.

When I told my partner Jo about this dream, she suggested I should look up the symbolism of bears.

Some sources see them as symbols of earth, others as representing transformation for the way they seemingly die when hibernating and spring to life again.

Anyway, it was a great scene.

Photo from







Great white shark research and conservation "IndyWatch Feed"

This 2015 video is called Australia. The Great White Shark | Full Documentary.

From the Monterey Bay Aquarium in the USA:

White shark researchers tap data from electronic tags to gain insights into survival rates

May 9, 2018

Summary: Researchers have tagged juvenile white sharks for nearly two decades, tracking their movements in coastal waters of the Northeastern Pacific. Now theyve tapped those data in a new way, gaining the first empirical estimate of annual survival rates for young white sharks and quantifying the role fishing plays in the rate of white shark deaths.

Tagging in Southern California and Mexico shows most shark deaths are due to unintentional capture in fishing gear, highlighting the value of best practices that support protected species recovery. The results are published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

Researchers in the United States and Mexico have tagged juvenile white sharks for nearly two decades, tracking their movements in coastal waters of the Northeastern Pacific. Now drawing on methods used to study mountain lions, coyotes, moose and other terrestrial animals theyve tapped those data in a new way, gaining the first empirical estimate of annual survival rates for young white sharks and quantifying the role fishing plays in the rate of white shark deaths.

The study, Juvenile survival, competing risks, and spatial variation in mortality risk of a marine apex predator, published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology, confirms that uninte...


BitFlyer Cherry-picks Wall Street Experts to Dominate Crypto Market "IndyWatch Feed"

BitFlyer founder is poaching Wall Street executives to fill the roles he sees necessary to build a crypto empire in the developing institutional market.

BitFlyer Hires Talent Away from Banking Giants

Yuzo Kano, a former Goldman Sachs trader himself, has been hiring talent away from Wall Street and other high finance addresses to create depth of experience in his own ranks as he looks to expand bitFlyer into the emerging institutional crypto market.

Regulation reform throughout early 2018 has made Japan the prime location for expanding crypto exchange services globally as the government has given the go-ahead missing in most other countries including the US and Britain. This regulatory OK makes the transaction from traditional banking to the crypto world a less daunting move for mid-career experts.

Bloomberg reports,

Kanos team, which includes a former fixed-income desk head at Barclays Plc and an ex-senior private banker at Credit Suisse Group AG, has doubled to more than 150 people in the past six months and is on pace to top 300 before year-end.

BitFlyer has tripled its users since 2017 to 2 million and thanks in part to Bitcoin margin contracts that have proven popular with Japanese day traders the exchange has averaged about 2 billion a day through April into early May. The exchange already has offices in Tokyo, San Francisco, and Luxembourg and is considering expansion that would include locations in Africa, Australia and other countries in Asia. Kanos expansion plans reach further than new offices and beyond crypto trading to banking services like digital payment and advisory services for investors and startups interested in launching ICOs.

Kano Expanding bitFlyer into Institional Market

Speaking to Bloomberg from his offices in Tokyos Midtown Tower about his hiring spree among the worlds largest banks Kano said I need to grow headcount. And those with the best skills come from global banks. before adding My target is to be number one in the world,

BitFlyers high end editions are only a small part of its expanding team though as the company seeks coders who regardless of educational background, as long as they have proven skills, can make $...


The Final Straw Radio: 8th Anniversary Episode "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Welcome to the 8th anniversary podcast mini-sode special!

Originally published by The Final Straw.

Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

The Final Straw Radio: 8th Anniversary Episode

The Final Straw has an irregular tradition of using our anniversary to air conversations with other projects that produce anarchist media. In past episodes, linked in the notes for this special, you can find chats from past anniversaries. This time around, we are featuring two interviews.

First, youll hear audio from the regular host of the ItsGoingDown podcast. The IGDcast is a weekly podcast produced by Its Going Down which features interviews with participants in social movements, struggles, rebellions, projects, thinkers, and organizers, mostly focused on anti-capitalist, anarchist, antifascist, autonomous and anti-colonial activities in North American. For the interview, we talk about the past of the IGDcast, what it covers, the state of radical media and mainstream interventions and some of their plans for the future.

Then we bring you a chat with Linda Rose, the main host of Subversion1312. Subversion1312, inheritor of The Anarchy Show, airs in Brisbane, Australia on 4zzz radio. Linda Rose and I speak about the history of the show, which has run in various forms for over two decades, anarchist approaches in Australia to anti-colonial struggle, spaces and scenes in Australia, feminism interventions against so-called Mens Rights Activists, with a special a...


Risks are greater than I can recall in my working life "IndyWatch Feed"

Risks are greater than I can recall in my working life

Despite the encouraging maths in this budget, the return to surplus has still yet to be delivered writes John Hewson.

Budgets are about choices. With an unexpected surge in revenue, the governments main options were to apply it to deficit repair, to spend it, or to give it back in tax cuts, or some combinations thereof.

The governments base motive was political, to set the agenda for an election-winning strategy, with an election possibly as early as August/ September this year.

The major challenge was its political standing, with the Abbott/Turnbull governments having lost more than 60 Newspolls. Moreover, expecting the Labor opposition to at least match any tax cuts, and to accept necessary spending initiatives, and likely to attempt to define itself as more fiscally conservative/responsible , the government couldnt risk promising too much. Yet, it did need to promise some tax relief, especially to the Labor heartland, and some increased spending to traditional Coalition supporters, and to hopefully underwrite growth, while attempting to reset key benchmarks of fiscal responsibility.

Someone obviously sat there checking off a list of key constituencies/ interests the speech degenerated into a box-ticking exercise. Hence, the modest, targeted, tax cuts, the spending on health, the aged, national security, and infrastructure,...


Kalgoorlie mum begins hunger strike in protest of the Indue Ltd Cashless Debit Card roll out "IndyWatch Feed"

By The Say NO Seven Diane Savill, a 60 year old diabetic mother with severe lung problems and her husband of twenty six years Vic, are long-term residents of Kalgoorlie WA, the third location of the LNPs Indue LTD Cashless Debit Card roll out. Both Diane and her husband are receiving the Disability Support Pension and

The post Kalgoorlie mum begins hunger strike in protest of the Indue Ltd Cashless Debit Card roll out appeared first on The AIM Network.


Any Relation? "IndyWatch Feed"

Writing in Macro Business, Leith Van Onselen (any relation?) suggests that the Federal Budget endorses employee wages theft.

Thats a pretty big call.  And how does Peter, sorry Leith back up his call?  Like this:

its astounding that Tuesdays Federal Budget cut funding to the FWO while boosting funding to the union watchdog, the disgraced Registered Organisations Commission (RCO).

And what was this supposed cut  from $110.464 million in the current financial year to $110.009 million this coming year.  A difference of . $450,000 dollars.  Yep.  $450,000 dollars.

One wonders what Peter, sorry Leith will write should the government may any serious cuts.  You know, to reduce debt.  Here are some warm up lines for Peter, sorry Leith should he write about that, if it ever comes:

  • Any cuts to education, just write The government is promoting child illiteracy;
  • Any cuts to health, just write The government is out to kill Australians; and
  • Any cuts to defense, just write The government is opening the door for a hostile enemy.

Leith.  If you are reading this, here are the contact details for The Guardian Australia.  Send them off a copy of your resume and a sample of your work (this one included).  They may offer you a job.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus


Cheryl Axleby: Budget ignores solutions and damages our communities "IndyWatch Feed National"

Yet again, our people have been let down with this years Federal Budget. The investment in our communities is more eroded, our quality of life more diminished, our voices and needs more blatantly ignored.



Australia - Anti-fluoride group to hold weekly info and costing meetings "IndyWatch Feed National"

WE'RE HER: Every Tuesday the fluoridation committee will be available to speak to community members who require more information.THE committee opposing fluoridation of Oberon's water supply will meet with community members every Tuesday afternoon at the Oberon RSL Club from now until the issues goes back to an Oberon Council meeting.
The committee is offering free information on fluoride and an easy way to let your council representatives know your stance on the issue.
Spokesperson for the committee, Veronika Cvitanovic said a letter box leaflet has gone to every household in the Local Government Area and another is yet to follow.


Corpse controversy: Are the bodies of tortured Chinese prisoners being used in Sydney exhibition? "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Corpse controversy: Are the bodies of tortured Chinese prisoners being used in Sydney exhibition?A macabre exhibition has opened in Sydney, but suspicions have been raised as to the origin of its gruesome content, writes Victoria Pressler. read now...


Why did the chicken cross the road "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Why did the chicken cross the road?  If said chicken was in Ultimo Sydney, it would have to been to get away from the smell of the BS emanating from ABC HQ.

In response to the piddling non-budget cut to the ABC, and in the context of a $600 BILLION government debt, ABC management said that there is no more fat to cut.

Just to be clear, the Government in the most recent budget did not actually cut the ABCs $1 billion plus allocation.  What it did was just not increase it.  But not satisfied in telling tax paying Australians to drop dead, ABC News Director Gavin Morris also said:

Were as efficient as weve ever been, he said. Were the most minutely scrutinised media organisation in Australia.

The ABC is the most scrutinised media organisation in Australia because it is the LARGEST media organisation in Australia.  By a mile, actually by 1.6 kilometres.

Mr Morris.  Here is a clue for when some efficiencies might come.  This is an extract from your most recent annual report.  According to it, 25 people shared $9.2 million of remuneration.  You were probably in that 25.  Why dont you start there looking for efficiencies.

But in an exclusive for Catallaxy readers.  Last night Spartacus went to a used office furniture shop and bought a filing cabinet.  Inside he found some DVDs with secret recordings.  Please dont tell anyone as Spartacus does not want a visit from the Feds.  But just for Cats, here is a secret video of the ABCs budget presentation to the government and here is also a secret video of Communications Minister Fifields reaction.

This is secret stuff.  Dont tell anyone.  Shhh.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at ...


Ayr Creek filling fast ahead of investigation "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

A PUBLIC information session on the state of Inverlochs Ayr Creek lagoon, organised by the Bass Coast Shire Council and its consultants, Riverness Pty Ltd, will be be held at the Inverloch Community Hub tomorrow, Friday, May 11, starting at 9am.

There was to have been a walk and talk at the lagoon but owing to weather conditions, those interested have been asked to meet at the hub instead where the suitability of a walk will be considered.

Theres also to be a workshop at which community input is encouraged.

The shire has initiated the investigation into Ayr Creek, its odour, stagnation and lately, its Blue Green Algae outbreak following the response from the community.

But it might be that nature is about to intervene in any case following continuous rain in the area since Wednesday this week.

The lagoon has been topped up by runoff from Ayr Creek and predictions are that it will once again spill over, providing a renewal of water, and possible even a major change in the shape of the inlet entrance at the moment

If you are interested the community stage of the consultants investigation runs from 9am to 12 noon at the Inverloch Community Hub, Friday, May 11 and weather permitting, at the lagoon sometime in the morning meet at the Inverloch Community Hub at 9am.

The post Ayr Creek filling fast ahead of investigation appeared first on South Gippsland Sentinel-Times.


NT Government kick starts law reform to end cruel and inhuman treatment in youth jails "IndyWatch Feed National"

Children in the Northern Territory will be better protected from Don Dale-like abuse behind bars with the Gunner Government today passing landmark laws that will prohibit harm to children. The laws will solidify key recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.

Shahleena Musk, Senior Lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre who spent years representing children in Don Dale, said this is a crucial step towards tackling the systemic and shocking failures in NTs youth jails.

"The culture and permissiveness of the Territorys youth detention centres enabled the systemic abuse of children. Abuse that included chokeholds, tear gas, spit hoods, handcuffs and restraint chairs. Australia was shocked when confronted with the horrific images of child abuse within our youth prisons. These laws are a significant first step to ensure children behind bars are safe," said Ms Musk.

The legislative changes include: 

  • Prohibiting the use of solitary confinement and clearly defining the circumstances and ways in which children can be separated when in detention;
  • Prohibiting routine strip searches and clearly limiting and defining the circumstances when strip searches can be conducted; 
  • Prohibiting the use of force, restraints and isolation for the purposes of disciplining a child in detention; and
  • Clearly defining and limiting the circumstances as to when and how force and restraints can be used on children in detention.

The Royal Commission made specific recommendations about the circumstances in which force could be used on a child so as to set clear and binding limits. The Commission highlighted that where laws are broad and involve subjective judgements, this can also lead to results that contravene human rights standards. This can also lead to the abuse of power over vulnerable children who are often physically small and very young.

"Too many children, families and communities have been harmed by our punitive and ineffective child protection and youth justice systems. These laws show the NT Government is serious about providing humane facilities that protect childrens rights," said Ms Musk.

The majority of states and territories in Australia currently have laws that allow children to be routinely strip searched, held in solitary confinement and be subjected to excessive restraints. Ms Musk said that other jurisdictions must follow the Northern Territorys lead. 

"All children should be treated with dignity and respect. But across Australia we know that children continue to be abused behind bars. Every single state and territory must change their laws and prohibit cruel and inhuman treatment. How we treat children today sha...


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The Mummy Returns: Mahathir Mohamad and the Malaysian Elections "IndyWatch Feed"

It was a victory, but it could hardly count as a truly revolutionary one. Grizzled, aged but formidably stirring, Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysias former prime minister, is set to form government as the worlds oldest elected leader. His Pakatan Harapan coalition ventured past the 112 seat threshold required to form government, while a weary Barisan Nasional

The post The Mummy Returns: Mahathir Mohamad and the Malaysian Elections appeared first on The AIM Network.


Victorian Liberals Push for Harmful Anti-Sex Work Laws "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

The Victorian Liberal Party recently passed a motion to support the Nordic model of sex work regulation. This is a sex work policy that criminalises clients and support structures of sex workers, rather than the workers themselves. Passed at the April Liberal State Council meeting, the motion outlines that a more sensible policing policy will protect

The post Victorian Liberals Push for Harmful Anti-Sex Work Laws appeared first on Sydney Criminal Lawyers.


Theres an Oil Shortage Comingand China Knows It "IndyWatch Feed"

Six weeks ago, China launched yuan oil futures contracts for the world to trade.

It was the key topic, dominating financial market new sites at the time.

Then the Korean leaders met. Suddenly, oil markets werent as important anymore.

Dont get me wrong, the gentlemans denuclearisation agreement between North and South Korea is a big deal.

But weve seen these handshakes before.

How long it lasts remains to be seen. As Jim Rickards explained in a private email overnight, the only thing thats changed here is the timeframe of North Koreas plans.

The way Jim sees it, Kim Jong-Un will tell the political class what they want to hear, and then the dictator will go about his business, regardless of the promises hes made. The North Korean ruler is merely delaying his plans.

Meanwhile, as the media spent most of April political-people watching, the commodity markets were a second thought. But they shouldnt be

China has big plans for commodities trading. And yuan oil futures are just the beginning.

Since the yuan oil futures began trading, the price of WTI and Brent crude has risen 10% and 11% respectively.

Yet, theres almost no analysis of the yuan oil futures since their launch.

Which is odd, given that the yuan oil contracts were called a new benchmark, and that China was going to shake up the oil trading industry.

However, China allowing outsiders to trade yuan oil futures is a very important step, one which has nothing to do with creating an international benchmark.

Well, lets have a look at how the yuan oil futures trading measures up to the international benchmarks

Trading volume for crude oil contracts for September 2018 delivery


It goes without saying that the WTI crude (blue column) and the Brent crude (brown column) are the most popular global oil futures to trade. Although the rising Shanghai oil contracts (red column) for September 2018 delivery appear to be a genuine threat to the current WTI and Brent benchmarks.

On paper the yuan oil futures look to be increasing in popularity. Thats not the case.

In order for the yuan oil futures to take off, the entire oil supply chain needs to join in. Its not so much commodity b...


Oil Shares Are Back "IndyWatch Feed"

In 45 years, the world has gone from energy shortage and fears of Peak Oil to an energy glut. It seems the world is drowning in oil and floating on a cloud of natural gas at the same time.

Of course, the same amount of energy has always been around. Its just a question of technology, geopolitics and price as to whether the energy gets to where and when its needed.

I recently plugged into a private presentation by the top executives of a major energy company.

Following is what theyre telling their investors behind closed doors

The outlook for energy is brighter than most think

With the energy business, its always best to take a long view, 20 years or more. Thats because the costs and scale of infrastructure are so large that overinvestment or underinvestment based on temporary trends can put a company out of business.

The bottom line is that based on the best information available now, executives forecast that the US role as a major oil and gas exporter will not only persist, but expand greatly.

The constraint on short-term growth is not the energy or technology available but the infrastructure needed to move the oil and natural gas to the ports.

These executives also take the view that the world will need every possible source of energy that can be developed to meet the increase in global demand projected for the next several decades. Here are the actual notes from the closed-door meeting.

Just a 12% change in the supply/demand equation for oil can move the price by US$40 per barrel or more. Right now supply and demand are more balanced, restoring the price back to one where most can operate at a profit at this time. OPEC and Russia are helping keep global supply and demand fairly well in balance.

The CEO presented an analysis that projects demand for oil and gas to grow by 40% over the next 20 years despite an increase in renewable energy sources and even assuming conventional combustion engine cars obtain a fleet average of 50 mpg.

Electric cars are not expected to have a major impact in the next 20 years although they will grow substantially in number. Fossil fuels are expected to remain at around 80% of energy supply, as they are now, for most of this time period even as renewable sources do grow over time.

Global demand is expected to come from China, India, other parts of Asia and Africa during the next 20 years, while demand may actually drop in the US and the EU. But those drops would be dwarfed by the increased demand from the other parts of the developing world.

The CEO expects the US will become a substantial exporter of LNG eventually, once the infrastructure exists for that to...


Queensland Education Minister Calls Out LNP Over Gender Diverse Students "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Queensland education minister Grace Grace has hit out at the state LNP opposition for calling a resource teaching high school students about gender diversity sinister and destructive. The Courier-Mail reported last month that Mitchelton State High School has been using the Genderbread Person resource as part of its health studies curriculum. The resource explains gender ...

The post Queensland Education Minister Calls Out LNP Over Gender Diverse Students appeared first on QNews Magazine.


Sundance Institute Selects Erica Tremblay and MorningStar Angeline Wilson for 2018 Native Filmmakers Lab "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Published May 10, 2018

Fellows and Creative Advisors Gather May 13-18 in Santa Fe, New Mexico

LOS ANGELES  Two emerging Native storytellers, Erica Tremblay (Seneca-Cayuga) and MorningStar Angeline Wilson (Navajo, Blackfeet, Chippewa Cree) will participate in the 2018 Sundance Institute Native Filmmakers Lab, continuing the Institutes year-round work in the discovery and development of artists from diverse backgrounds.

The Lab takes place May 13-18 in Santa Fe, NM. During the Lab, Fellows work with a cast, crew, and supervising producer to shoot workshop versions of scenes from their short films under the expert creative mentorship of Program alumni and other established industry professionals and Program staff. The Lab encourages Fellows to hone their storytelling and technical skills in a hands-on and supportive environment. After the Lab they will receive targeted support from supervising producers, grants to fund the production of their short films and will attend the annual Native Forum at the January 2019 Sundance Film Festival for ongoing support on their projects.

N. Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache), director of the Institutes Native American and Indigenous Program, said, The Lab creates a unique environment nurturing creativity and collaboration among these talented Native and Indigenous storytellers and advisors. The Institute has a long history supporting Native filmmakers and we are happy to continue that tradition with Erica and MorningStar to help their short stories come to life.

The Native Program has built and sustained a unique support cycle for Indigenous artists through grants, labs, mentorships, fellowships, the platform of Sundance Film Festival, and screenings in Native communities to inspire new generations of storytellers. The Institute has established a rich legacy of commitment to Native filmmaking, supporting more than 300 Native and Indigenous filmmakers over the years, including Taika Waititi (Te Whnau--Apanui), Sterlin Harjo (Seminole/Creek Nations), Billy Luther (Navajo/Hopi/Laguna Pueblo), Andrew Okpeaha MacLean (Iupiaq), Aurora Guerrero (Xicana), Sydney Freeland (Din), Blake Pickens (Chickasaw Nation), Ciara Lacy (Kanaka Maoli),Razelle Benally (Oglala Lakota/Din), Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr. (Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Tribe) and Shaandiin Tome (Din).

The filmmakers serving as Creative Advisors for this years Native Lab include: Danis Goulet (Cree/Mtis) (Wakening, Wappawekka), Blackhorse Lowe (Navajo) (Shimasani, 5th Wor...


WATCH: Ireland Brought A Gay Love Story To Eurovision, And People Love It "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Ireland has made it into the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, and the contests queer fans are loving the countrys 2018 performance. Irish singer Ryan OShaughnessys onstage performance of the song Together included a gay couple dancing together onstage. OShaughnessy told a Eurovision press conference, My only intention was to help people see that ...

The post WATCH: Ireland Brought A Gay Love Story To Eurovision, And People Love It appeared first on QNews Magazine.


MACKAY Crime spree accused switches lawyers in face of 140 charges "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

MACKAY May 10, 2018 at 05:18AM ,

Crime spree accused switches lawyers in face of 140 charges

May 10, 2018 at 05:18AM ,

Appearing before Mackay Magistrates Court via videolink on Wednesday, Hodgetts solicitor, Antoinette Morton withdrew from the case. Solicitor Phil Rennick, of Rennick Lawyers in Townsville, will be taking the reins on Hodgetts case, Magistrate Mark Nolan was told. Hodgetts charges will likely be

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user1ouenvdy crimeviewqld , ,

MACKAY Alleged gunman nabbed on Middlemount property "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

MACKAY May 10, 2018 at 07:45AM ,

Alleged gunman nabbed on Middlemount property

May 10, 2018 at 07:45AM ,

A NEW South Wales man has been charged after allegedly walking onto a property with two rifles and a silencer in Middlemount. A resident of a large rural property on May Downs Rd identified a person allegedly unlawfully on his property and rang police due to suspicions that the person may have

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user1ouenvdy crimeviewqld , ,


The ABC has no Friends left "IndyWatch Feed"

After Tony Abbott, in his first budget, broke his promise to not cut funding to the ABC, a new cross-party lobby group called Parliamentary Friends of the ABC was formed to advocate for a well-resourced and independent ABC. It was reported at the time: Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull gave a passionate defence of the public

The post The ABC has no Friends left appeared first on The AIM Network.


The house John Doe built: the hidden history of prison labour in New Zealand "IndyWatch Feed National"

In a first for the inmates of Rimutaka Prison one of New Zealands largest carceral sites located thirty kilometres north of Wellington a house constructed with prison labour was recently added to the stock of Housing New Zealand. The house was lifted over the razor wire and out of the prison compound by crane, and politicians and prison officials were on hand to make the most of the moment.


Marx at 200 Robespierre at 260 "IndyWatch Feed National"

This year is the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx (1818-1883). A recent biography of Marx (reviewed here) places him very much as a man of his time. It is a sign of the success of Marx that his legacy is still so debated; it is a sign of his failure that defending Marx involves separating him, and his ideas, from the record of mass murder and tyranny of regimes calling themselves Marxist.

The latter line of apologia has a major problem: the prescient predictions of various of his contemporaries about where his ideas (and his praxis) would lead. If perceptive contemporaries could perceive the potential for disaster in his ideas in advance, it seems a bit otiose to deny the connection in retrospect.

Conclusions becoming premises
Part of the problem is that Marx was not ideologically consistent. His ideas of proper social goals become somewhat more grandiose and totalising over time. So, one can cite earlier writings as a defence against the implications and influence of the later writings. Which leads into the good intentions defenceif we cite Marxs morally engaging statements, we can then claim that clearly he has nothing to do with what was done in his name (see here). Marx, after all, did famously state that he was not a Marxist.

But neither was Freud a Freudian, or Kuhn a Kuhnian and so on. This is the progression pointed out by Etienne Gilson (1884-1978)the conclusions of the master are the premises of the disciple. Which is a very old pattern. When Philo of Alexandria used Greek natural law theory to effectively re-write the tale of Sodom and Gomorrah (...


Trio charged over $100m ice shipment "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

An Australian Federal Police (AFP) officer places a bag of crystal methamphetamine on a table before a press conference at the AFP headquarters in Sydney, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Two Taiwanese nationals and a Chinese man are behind bars after more than $100 million worth of the drug ice disguised as tea was found hidden inside metal lathes. Australian border officials discovered the drugs in a container that arrived in Sydney from Malaysia on April 21. Each lathe contained packets marked as tea but were filled with 200 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in what authorities described as a highly sophisticated concealment. (AAP Image/David Moir)


Two Taiwanese nationals and a Chinese man are behind bars after more than $100 million worth of the drug ice disguised as tea was found hidden inside metal lathes.

Australian border officials discovered the drugs in a container that arrived in Sydney from Malaysia on April 21.

Each lathe contained packets marked as tea but were filled with 200 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in what authorities described as a highly sophisticated concealment.

The trio two men aged 22 and a 29-year-old man were arrested on Wednesday after authorities tracked the shipment to a warehouse in Kingsgrove in Sydneys southwest.

Federal police believe the men came to Australia specifically to facilitate the distribution of the drugs as part of an international crime syndicate.

They are due to face Central Local Court on Thursday on drug importation charges.

The post Trio charged over $100m ice shipment appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Vic child protection staff burning out "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Some 731,300 children or 17.4 per cent of all children in Australia are living in poverty. Photo: Shutterstock


Victorias child protection system is so under-resourced it would take $352 million a year over four years to fix case worker shortages.

Case workers were so stressed by workloads and inadequate organisational support in 2016/17, half of WorkCover claims were related to mental health, a Victorian Auditor General report shows.

(Department of Health and Human Services) is not meeting its obligation to ensure that (child protection practitioners) are maintaining good mental health, the report released on Thursday said.

The primary risk affecting CPPs management of their mental health is unreasonable workloads.

The department needs about twice as many CPPs to make workloads sustainable, the report continued.

Its most recent estimates are that about $352 million is needed annually over the next four years to address the workforce shortage, the report says.

The report was released hours after the state Labor government championed an improvement in wait times for calls to its after-hours children-at-risk hotline.

On average, callers to the After-Hours Child Protection Emergency Service waited 25 seconds, according to records collected since mid-2017.

Its an improvement from the average wait time of seven minutes, recorded in 2014, and has been put down to better technology and more staff.

The post Vic child protection staff burning out appeared first on Echonetdaily.


New York Times attacks Mike Pompeo for absence - while he was retrieving 3 US hostages from North Korea "IndyWatch Feed National"

President Trump has The Left's measure. Congratulations to Mike Pompeo on the return of the 3 men. And good on President Trump for his 2AM visit to the tarmac to welcome them home!


Anti-Safe Schools Campaigner Marijke Rancie Elected To Victorian Liberal Party "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Anti-Safe Schools campaigner Marijke Rancie has been elected as a delegate within the Victorian branch of the Liberal party. Rancie featured in the Coalition For Marriages Its Ok to Vote No ad campaign during last years marriage postal survey and is a high-profile opponent of the Safe Schools anti-bullying program. The Victorian mother posts on ...

The post Anti-Safe Schools Campaigner Marijke Rancie Elected To Victorian Liberal Party appeared first on QNews Magazine.



Tweed museum glitters with new display "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

A small sample of Adrian Smiths collection. Photo supplied.

A little bit of glitter has descended on the Tweed Regional Museum with the donation of over 500 mineral specimens and 300 gems. They were donated to Tweed Shire by members of the Smith family in memory of their father Adrian and will form part of there museums permanent display from Wednesday May 16.

The exhibition features prime mineral specimens from Adrian Smiths extensive collection and features special samples and specimens from the full spectrum of known minerals, said museum director Judy Kean.

Speaking on behalf of the Smith family, Adrians son Max said that family members, Cynthia Beattie, Denise Evans, Robyn Miani, Ashley Smith and Deb Randall were delighted that the memory of their father, and his passion for minerals, would have a lasting legacy.  

Our wish is that our fathers collection has a strong educative value, particularly for children, Mr Smith said.

All specimens on display have been professionally photographed and included in a screen interactive which will offer visitors the opportunity to view each specimen in detail.

There is a great deal to learn and admire for those who already have a passion for rocks and minerals or those without prior knowledge, continued Ms Kean.

Weve approached the display scientifically and will continue to promote its educative value as well as the context it can provide to the Tweeds own geology.

For more information visit the Museum website at

The post Tweed museum glitters with new display appeared first on Echonetdaily.


auDA given ultimatum to sort out internal affairs "IndyWatch Feed"

auDA given ultimatum to sort out internal affairsTurmoil within Australia's internet domain administration could lead to it being handed back to the government, writes Laurie Patton. read now...


Assistant Director "IndyWatch Feed National"

Australian Government Department of Human Services


Local agriculture to be given a voice through employment of new council officer "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Byron Shire Council is set to employ an officer to represent the local agriculture industry.

Following months of lobbying by local farmers and industry representatives, council staff told a meeting of representatives on Wednesday night that the position would finally be filled.

The Executive Officer of Future Feeders, Joel Orchard, said he and others at the meeting were told the position would be three days a week initially but could later be increased to full-time.

They said they had put in an application for State Government funding to make the position full-time, Mr Orchard said.

We were very pleased about the result getting a designated agriculture officer had been on standby for too long.

It indicates that the council is open to agriculture as an industry in the Shire and to giving that industry a voice.

The promise from staff came after a petition with 150 signatures was delivered to the council, along with a letter signed by 25 local farmers and agriculture industry representatives.

Council had also hired two consultants to investigate the state of agriculture in The Shire and how it could be assisted.

Mr Orchard said he expected the officer would help to address ongoing conflicts between agricultural and residential land use such as noise, the use of sprays and livestock.

He also expressed the hope that the officer would also help to support the concept of a local food system a model in which the community generates its own sustainable food sources rather than relying on the traditional unsustainable supermarket supply chain.

As we have seen in the last couple of years, our food system is basically dependant on long supply chain logistics and wholesale distribution out of the centralised markets, he said.

Any break in the line creates huge food supply and security issues as we have seen in the last couple of years during cyclone season when the supermarket shelves are emptied in a matter of days.

We have a huge opportunity in the Northern Rivers with perfectly suited conditions, soil and rainfall to grow a wide variety of crops all year round to serve our local food needs and position ourselves as a key producing region for the large urban populations in...


Assistant Director, Indigenous Strategy "IndyWatch Feed National"

Australian Government Department of Human Services


Civilian Rocket Range in Arnhem Land Or Something Very Different "IndyWatch Feed National"

[Editors Note: The Turnbull government is setting aside $50 million to launch Australias national space agency in the 2018 budget. This is a follow up of Tonys article Australias Top End Americas 51st State.]

by Tony Ryan

Is this easy money for Gumatj clan? Or is this a development that might alarm, not only Arnhem Land people, but all Australians.

Despite widespread suspicions, details about the evidently broader military function of the Arnhem Land rocket base will never be accessible until it is too late to alter the cou...


Programme Officer, Indigenous Strategy "IndyWatch Feed National"

Australian Government Department of Human Services


Programme Officer "IndyWatch Feed National"

Australian Government Department of Human Services


The Five Eyes Alliance Is Watching You "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull met with his Canadian, UK and New Zealand counterparts for a security briefing at the UK National Cyber Security Centre on April 18. Along with the US, the four countries represented at the meeting make up the Five Eyes intelligence alliance. At the high-level meeting of the secretive data sharing alliance,

The post The Five Eyes Alliance Is Watching You appeared first on Sydney Criminal Lawyers.


Programme Officer, Indigenous Culture "IndyWatch Feed National"

Australian Government Department of Human Services


Renal unit one step closer for Murwillumbah "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Work has now started on the satellite renal unit in Murwillumbah. Photo supplied.

Site works are underway for a satellite renal dialysis unit at Murwillumbah District Hospital.

Patients in the Tweed Valley will benefit from the networked service enabling residents to access dialysis in the heart of Murwillumbah without needing to travel to Tweed Heads.  

This is a fantastic service, not only for the Murwillumbah community, but for the entire Tweed Valley, said Member for Lismore, Thomas George.

The additional capacity provided by this satellite renal unit will create benefits for all patients in the region, as its designed to meet projections for future demand.

Tweed Shires growing and ageing population contributes to a high occurrence of kidney disease compared to elsewhere in NSW. Satellite dialysis is considered a contemporary model of care with many patient benefits.

 Planning and consultation for the design of the $1.1 million unit has been undertaken by Northern NSW Local Health District Management in conjunction with clinicians from Murwillumbah District Hospital and Tweed Hospital. Funding for the project comes from the NSW Governments Rural Health Minor Works Program.

 The unit is expected to be completed in mid-2018.

The post Renal unit one step closer for Murwillumbah appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Dedicated legal advice service for diggers visits Lismore "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Free advice for current and former members of the defence force and their dependants will be available in Lismore on Tuesday, May 22 and Wednesday, May 23.

The free, confidential and expert legal advice about pensions, disability claims, compensation and other benefits will be run by by Legal Aid NSWs dedicated veterans entitlements service.

We regularly see veterans who have suffered significant injuries as a result of their service and do not realise that they are entitled to claim a pension, or are entitled to more than they realise, Legal Aid NSW senior advocate Esther Rice said.

Legal Aid NSW can advise those who have served their country about what claims they may have and how to take those claims forward. If you are considering making a claim and are not sure where to start, you should speak to the experts first.

We also offer practical support, including help to complete forms and questionnaires, and assistance lodging pension claims.

The service is open to veterans who served at home, in peacekeeping forces, or in armed conflict at any time, whatever their age.

No veteran is too old or too young to benefit from our help, Ms Rice said.

Last financial year, the dedicated Veterans Advocacy Service at Legal Aid NSW provided more than 2500 free legal advice and assistance services to veterans and their families.

The free clinic will be held on Tuesday, May 22 and Wednesday, May 23 at Legal Aid NSW, Level 4, Westlawn Building, 29 Molesworth Street, Lismore.

Appointments are essential call (02) 9219 5148 to secure your place.

The post Dedicated legal advice service for diggers visits Lismore appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Australia Outlaws Cash Transactions "IndyWatch Feed National"

The Australian government has outlawed citizens from using cash to buy expensive goods as part of a crackdown on money launderers and organized crime. From now on, anybody trying to purchase goods or services that [...]


The Expected "Super Saturday" By-Elections "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Today's four resignations from the House of Representatives following the Section 44 disqualification of Labor Senator Katy Gallagher is expected to trigger a day of at least five by-elections, or at least a cluster of by-elections close to each other.  The following seats are affected:

Braddon, TAS (ALP, 2.2%)
Fremantle, WA (ALP, 7.5%)
Longman, QLD (ALP, 0.8%)
Mayo, SA (Centre Alliance vs Lib, 5.0%; Lib vs ALP 5.4%)
Perth, WA (ALP, 3.3%) 

See The Tally Room for detailed histories of these seats.  Also see the Poll Bludger thread for Perth.  All seats will be contested on the old boundaries, irrespective of redistributions.

It's possible that given the strictness of the High Court's ruling, other MPs may come under pressure to resign or be referred to the High Court, though the Coalition may not be in any great hurry to hunt down any more and invite more scrutiny of its own remaining unclear cases.  The by-elections are not just a nuisance for Labor, but also for the Coalition, which must either throw resources into contesting them seriously or else chicken out and leave voters wondering what all the fuss was about.

Australia has never had a day with five federal by-elections before, so it would be quite a novelty.  Three were held on the same day in 1981 and 1984.  In 1994 four were held across three weekends following a cluster of resignations, but the resignations came on different days.  At state level, NSW has often held multiple by-elections on the same day.

The by-elections might be avoided if an election is imminent, as there is no requirement to hold them at any specific time.  However delaying the by-elections on the grounds of an imminent federal election would give the game away that an early federal election was intended, kickstarting a tediously long (again!) de facto campaign three months out.  It would be a very brave government to commit itself to an August election in this manner without even knowing whether its budget measures are working (let alone whether any impact of them doing so is durable) and with a long history of trailing in the polls.  Leaving the seats vacant for most of a year (in the case of a potential May 2019 election) would be unacceptable so it's easy to see why a rush of mid to late June by-elections is expected.

Assuming that's the case, what do historic patterns say about these sorts of by-elections?

The General Picture For Opposition By-Elections

Firstly, the history of by-elections in Opposition-occupied seats.  By my count there have been 61 of these since Federation (this includes those....


Kabuki Economics "IndyWatch Feed National"

One of the first budgets I covered as a journalist spelt the end of the career of the man who delivered it. John Dawkins, who had been finance minister in the formidable first Hawke cabinet Read more


Mullums Biggest Morning Tea "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Scott Cooper, Manager of Mullumbimbys Mitre 10 supporting long time employee Jo Devine who id running a stall for Australias Biggest Morning Tea. Photo Aslan Shand.

Australias Biggest Morning Tea is taking place all over the country right now and is celebrating 25 years. In Mullumbimby Jo Devine is selling cakes, tea and raffle tickets to once again raise money for the Cancer Council outside Mitre 10.

I started doing the Biggest Morning Tea after I had breast cancer, said Jo.

My employees, Mitre 10, were really amazing and supportive of me when I had breast cancer and it is all the Mitre 10 staff who have made all the cakes and cooking, she said with a smile.

Last year Australias Biggest Morning Tea raised $11.9million and through the Cancer Council helps fund research, support services, prevention programs and advocacy.

Each year Jo raises between $600 to $800 dollars as people come to buy a cake, have a cuppa and a chat. If you are quick, you can still pop down and support her shell be there til about 11.30am.

The post Mullums Biggest Morning Tea appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Has the federal budget opened the door for an early election? "IndyWatch Feed"

I did a short interview yesterday with ABC News Radio on the Budget and whether it opens the door for an early election. Click here to listen.


Bigelow Aerospace advert for AAWSA jobs found "IndyWatch Feed National"


In a previous blog, I reported on the contents of a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)  "Solicitation" dated 20 August 2008, which sought bids from outside bodies for work that the DIA wished to undertake for the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications (AAWSA) program, which later became the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), which its second program manager, Luis Elizondo, acknowledged worked on studying UFOs. 

We now know that Bigelow Aerospace was awarded the contract to work on the AAWSA program, and that this occurred after the "solicitation" closed on 5 September 2008.

A step back

Before moving on to the main thrust of this blog post, I wish to point out four aspects of the "Solicitation" which have a direct bearing on what I have just found. These are:

1. "It is expected that numerous experts with extensive experience (minimum of 10 years) in breakthrough aerospace research and development will be required to meet the demands of the above program."

2. "Contractor company and personnel proposed shall be clearable and able to obtain a security and facility clearance upon award of the contract. All requirements specified in this SOO may be based on materials classified at or below Top Secret with access to Sensitive Compartmented Information...The contractor shall ensure that each individual assigned to this contract shall be identified, cleared, and approved through DIA/DAC-3 PRIOR to granting that individual access to, or authority to generate classified material in association with this effort."

3. "It is anticipated that travel will be required for this contract."

4. "At least one member of each analytical team must have a PhD."

Keep these requirements in mind as you read on.

Bigelow Aerospace subsidiary

We also already know that Bigelow Aerospace created a subsidiary company to operate the AAWSA contract, which was called Bigelow Advanced Aerospace Space Studies (BAASS) in 2008.

New information

I can now reveal that by September 2008 BAASS were advertising that:

"Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS), a sister company to Bigelow Aerospace, is a newly formed research organization that focuses on the identification, evaluation, and acquisition of novel and emerging future technologies worldwide as this specifically relates to spacecraft. BAASS is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"We are seeki...


Australias high earners will benefit most from the income tax reforms "IndyWatch Feed"

This article by Gareth Hutchens and Katharine Murphy ( The Guardian 10 May 2018) backs the growing realisation that Tuesdays federal budget is a con, pretending to give to the battlers. The authors use research carried out by the Australian Institute and the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (Natsem), to show that in the fine print, most of the handout is to the rich. A person on $200,000 earns five times more than someone on $40,000, but their tax cut will be 16 times higher, research claims. The income tax package is designed to continue the reverse the traditionally progressive aspect, where the higher the income, the lower the tax.

The Turnbull governments plan to pursue billions of dollars in income tax cuts over the next seven years will radically alter Australias progressive income tax system, shifting more than 80 percent of workers to a flat tax, according to analysis.

The analysis shows the major beneficiaries of the governments plan will be Australias highest income earners, with the top 10 percent of earners getting 40 percent of the value of its tax cuts, while the bottom 30 percent of earners will get just 7 percent.

The research, from the progressive think tank, the Australia Institute, comes as the Turnbull government is attempting to persuade crossbench senators to support its budget centrepiece, which was introduced to parliament on Wednesday, and before the Labor leader Bill Shortens budget-in-reply speech on Thursday night.

A separate analysis by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (Natsem) of the budgets tax and transfer changes also suggests high-income earners will benefit most from Tuesdays nights budget.

Natsems modelling shows that a two-parent family with both parents earning $100,000 and two school-aged children will be $1,022 better off in 2018-19 compared to 2017-18. This will increase to $4,280 by 2024-25.

As the Turnbull government has unleashed the traditional post-budget hard sell, it has faced pressure to reveal detailed costings of its tax plan.

The treasurer Scott Morrison stonewalled on Wednesday when asked to produce a year-by-year estimate of the cost beyond the forward estimates, with the costs escalating in the latter part of the package, which benefits high income earners.

With the high...


Climate Change? What Climate Change: The 2018 Budget "IndyWatch Feed"

If a governments budget is a measure of its beliefs and priorities, then clearly the Turnbull government still thinks climate change is not real and we need more carbon. Jonathan Moylan explains.

Hours before the doors swung open on the budget lock-up, the bright sparks on Twitter had already started a new meme. #KeepMyTenDollars was a reminder that Australians would gladly forgo an extra few bucks a week for to see the governments prioritise spending on health, education and renewables, not corporate and high-end tax cuts. It was certainly funnier than Scott Morrisons bizarre attempt at humour.

What have you achieved? would have been an odd opening line to the governments pre-election budget speech, were it not coming from the mouth of the man who famously waved a lump of coal around in Parliament to declare his love for the toxic fuel. The joke was lost on the rest of us, but it was the punch line that betrayed the confusion of the government.

The worlds leading economists have been warning for decades that the damage caused to the climate by burning coal, oil and gas poses one of the most serious threats to the global economy. The cost of destruction in agriculture, tourism, finance, insurance, property, and even mining caused by sweeping floods, droughts and bushfire caused by distorting the worlds life support systems is nearly unimaginable.

Indeed, its hard to imagine a sector that will not be severely impacted by climate change. But collapsing costs in renewables and a rising global movement against pollution is changing the headwinds not that our Government seems to have noticed.

You would think that a Government that waxes lyrical about intergenerational equity would have at least a primary school grasp on climate change. Yet the forbidden words were nowhere to be seen in the budget speech, save for a small reference to the Governments plans to walk away from innovation in the renewables sector (whatever happened to that dogged commitment to jobs and innovation). The devil, as always, was in the detail of the budget papers.

Budgets are a statement of values that mark the principles of legislators. In this years budget, the Governments values were laid bare, with climate spending slashed by almost half, falling further to $1.2 billion by 2022. Analysis by the Australian Conservation Foundation found that the under-resourced Department of Environment and Energy will have an axe taken to its bottom line, with spending slated to plunge by 43 per cent on 2013 levels (when the Government took office) by 2022.

The Renewable Energy Target will be abolished by 2020. Taxpayer largesse will continue to flow to the Governments friends in fossil fuel companies, with $30 billion in diesel tax subsidies pouring into private companies over the forecast period. No additi...


Weather warning: Heavy rain and damaging winds for Gippsland "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

THE Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) this morning, Thursday, May 10, issued a severe weather warning for most of the state, including West and South Gippsland.

At 9.54am, BOM released this statement:

Weather Situation:

A multi-centred low pressure complex forming near Tasmania today is expected to intensify as it moves just east of Bass Strait during Friday. The low will then gradually move eastwards across the Tasman Sea later Saturday and during Sunday.

DAMAGING WINDS, averaging 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts of 90 to 100 km/h are likely to develop near the far southwest coast this afternoon and evening, then gradually translate eastwards during Friday to affect the Central and North Central districts and later Gippsland and Alpine areas with peak gusts in the Alps around 120km/h.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning at 9.54am on Thursday, May 10 with this map, showing the warning area in yellow.

These damaging winds are likely to ease from the west later Friday, contracting to East Gippsland and also Alpine areas Friday night.

HEAVY RAIN which may lead to FLASH FLOODING is expected to develop during Friday morning over the in the warning area east of Stawell, initially over western and central areas but later extending to Gippsland and the Alpine areas. The heavy rain is expected to contract eastwards later Friday and is likely to be confined to East Gippsland on Saturday.

Rainfall totals of 50 to 100mm are expected across parts of the Central Ranges during Friday and early Saturday.

Totals of 50 to 100mm are also expected across the Gippsland Ranges during Friday afternoon and Saturday, with isolated higher falls of 125 to 150mm.

Locations which may be affected include Warrnambool, Seymour, Maryborough, Ballarat, Geelong, Melbourne, Traralgon and Bairnsdale.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Move vehicles under cover or away from trees;
* Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony;
* Keep clear of fallen power lines;
* Dont walk, ride or drive through flood water;
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains;
* Be aware that in fire affected areas, rainfall run-off into waterways may contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks;
* Be alert that in areas recently affected by fires, heavy rainfall increases....


Writer, Director and Actor: Gemma Flannery "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

We asked Gemma Flannery some questions about her upcoming show at the Gasworks Theatre for the Melbourne Fringe and her course Devising Drama. Tell us about yourself? I am originally from the North of England and have always had a passion for the stage, from my first-weekend drama class to commit to the degree at University! I []


AIDS Candlelight Memorials Across The Country This Weekend "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Memorials will be held around Australia this weekend to remember the lives of those lost to AIDS and call for a future free of HIV-related stigma and discrimination. Every year, people come together on the third Sunday in May for memorial services and events to remember those who have died and to push for global ...

The post AIDS Candlelight Memorials Across The Country This Weekend appeared first on QNews Magazine.


Blockchain use on the rise despite Gartner survey showing otherwise "IndyWatch Feed National"

A study released by the American research and advisory company Gartner on May 3, 2018, revealed that a vast majority of surveyed Chief Information Officers (CIOs) reported their companies having little to no inclination towards adopting blockchain technology. A mere []

The post Blockchain use on the rise despite Gartner survey showing otherwise appeared first on The Global Mail.


David Noonan: No sound reason for ANSTOs nuclear reactor wastes to go to Kimba South Australia as STRANDED WASTES "IndyWatch Feed"

The proposed above ground Store in SA is primarily for ANSTO nuclear wastes

It is axiomatic that site selection at Kimba will require requisition of an Eyre Peninsula Port for decades of intended shipments of ANSTO nuclear fuel waste, first due from the UK in circa 2020-21.

The SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission (2016) concluded that terrorist attack scenarios are conceivable during the transport of nuclear fuel wastes & that if a cask was lost at sea and was irrecoverable the radioactivity that escapes is expected to affect thousands of cubic km of seawater.

ANSTO has produced irradiated nuclear fuel wastes & Intermediate Level Wastes at Lucas Heights for 60 years without any nuclear waste disposal capacity (or even a program to do so) and intends to continue this mal-practice for another 40 years under an OPAL reactor Operating License up to 2057.

It is an untenable fact that the proposed nuclear fuel waste Store in SA is intended to operate above ground for approx. 100 years, however responsible management of ANSTO irradiated nuclear fuel wastes requires isolation from the environment for 10,000 years.

A Store in SA is unnecessary given the safe option of Extended Storage at Lucas Heights

This Inquiry should find no manifest need for a nuclear waste Store in SA other than Federal agenda. There is no Safety, Licensing or technical reason to bring these nuclear wastes to SA....


Pacific Island trade deal diminished without PNG and Fiji and could cause harm, says report "IndyWatch Feed"

The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties Report on the PACER Plus trade deal between Australia New Zealand and nine Pacific Island countries admits that the absence of Papua New Guinea and Fiji significantly diminishes the value of the deal, AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today. It also acknowledges many of the issues raised by community organisations that could have harmful impacts in vulnerable Pacific Island economies.

Pacific Island economies already have tariff free access for their exports to Australia, so the main impact of PACER Plus is to reduce tariffs and improve access for Australian and New Zealand exports and investment.

PNG and Fiji form over 80% of the combined GDP of Pacific Island economies, but both have declined to join. Both have said that the deal offers more benefits to Australia and New Zealand than it does to them. This is significant because these are the only two economies with enough bargaining power to actually refuse the deal. Others may share this view but the deal is tied to the aid budget, explained Dr Ranald.

The Report noted the absence of any independent study of economic impacts and repeated previous recommendations that such studies should be conducted for all trade deals.

The report also acknowledges the concerns raised by AFTINET, the Public Health Association of Australia and ActionAid about potential negative impacts on small and vulnerable Pacific Island economies. Most are still local farming and fishing economies, with dispersed populations and high transport costs, and are dependent on import tariffs which make up 10 to 20 per cent of government revenue.  The World Bank has said these factors can prevent these economies from developing new industries and employment to offset the impacts of increased import competition. The loss of government revenue could also result in cuts to essential government services in areas like health and education. said Dr Ranald.

The Reports executive summary reflects these concerns about the impacts on public health, saying  that the combination of the impact of reduced revenue on public health capacity and access to tariff fr...



Final Straw: 8th Anniversary Podcast Special "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

The post Final Straw: 8th Anniversary Podcast Special appeared first on It's Going Down.

Long running anarchist radio show and podcast The Final Straw celebrates its 8th anniversary 8 years! Happy birthday Final Straw!

Heya listeners. The Final Straw has an irregular tradition of using our anniversary to air conversations with other projects that produce anarchist media. In past episodes, linked in the notes for this special, you can find chats from past anniversaries. This time around, we are featuring two interviews.

First, youll hear audio from the regular host of the ItsGoingDown podcast. The IGDcast is a weekly podcast produced by Its Going Down which features interviews with participants in social movements, struggles, rebellions, projects, thinkers, and organizers, mostly focused on anti-capitalist, anarchist, antifascist, autonomous and anti-colonial activities in North American. For the interview, we talk about the past of the IGDcast, what it covers, the state of radical media and mainstream interventions and some of their plans for the future.

Then we bring you a chat with Linda Rose, the main host of Subversion1312. Subversion1312, inheritor of The Anarchy Show, airs in Brisbane, Australia on 4zzz radio. Linda Rose and I speak about the history of the show, which has run in various forms for over two decades, anarchist approaches in Australia to anti-colonial struggle, spaces and scenes in Australia, feminism interventions against so-called Mens Rights Activists, with a special appearance by Mark, the international pop sensation and occasional co-host.



An "inquiry" with no witnesses "IndyWatch Feed"

The British government had a problem: their police had been secretly infiltrating and spying on peaceful protest groups, leading double lives, stealing the identities of dead children and lying in court about who they were. Some even fathered children with the people they were spying on, then abandoned them. So they did what the British establishment always does: hold an inquiry. Not to establish the truth, expose the police's activities to public scrutiny, or hold those responsible to account, of course - that would be damaging. Instead, it was the usual PR stunt, designed solely to "draw a line" under the issue and give politicians and police something to point to and claim "problem solved" while everything continued as usual.

But they've done this so often that everybody knows the game, and they know how to deal with it. At the first sign that the inquiry would be a whitewash - when it decided to keep the identities of police spies secret - their victims boycotted it. And now a crucial witness, former police spy Peter Francis, has joined them:

A former undercover police officer who has become a whistleblower has joined a boycott of a public inquiry into the covert infiltration of political groups, saying it was concealing the states misconduct.

Victims of the undercover spying had previously walked out of the inquiry, criticising the judge leading it for allowing too much of it to be cloaked in secrecy.

On Wednesday, Peter Francis, a key figure in the controversy over the polices use of undercover officers whose revelations had helped to force the government to set up the inquiry, boycotted its latest hearing.

He told the judge, Sir John Mitting, that his decisions giving anonymity to police spies undermined the ability of the inquiry to uncover the truth of how the police had infiltrated more than 1,000 political groups since 1968.

This is just the latest of a long string of major British inquiries to be boycotted by the people they're ostensibly held on behalf of. Inquiries into torture, child abuse,...


What are T3 and T4: The Complete Guide to Your Thyroid Hormones "IndyWatch Feed National"

T3 and T4 are hormones that are secreted by your thyroid gland and have a major impact on your health. T4 is the thyroid hormone thyroxine and T3 is the hormone triiodothyronine, and they affect almost every organ in your body. T4 and T3 levels in your body are regulated by the thyroid-stimulating hormone, or TSH for short. Thyroid tests to check thyroid function usually check for abnormal levels of TSH and T4 hormones.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) are usually associated with low levels of T4 and T3. This can cause you to feel fatigued, have difficulty losing weight, feel tired, and have hair loss. An underactive thyroid is also associated with high TSH levels and low T4 levels.

An overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism is caused by high T4 and T3 levels in your bloodstream. When your thyroid secretes too much thyroid hormones you can feel restless, suffer from sleep problems, have frequent digestive upset, and increased sweating. If you suffer from hyperthyroidism, your thyroid test results will usually show low levels of TSH hormone.

This article contains a complete guide to your thyroid hormones and thyroid function. You will learn what T4 and T3 hormones do in your body and what the target range of T3 and T4 is. I will also explore why testing for free T4 levels is sometimes better than a TSH blood test.

The Thyroid Gland and What it Does

Your thyroid is an important hormonal gland in the body that has a direct impact on your metabolism. Your thyroid sits in the front part of your neck just below your voice box and is shaped like a butterfly.

Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that the thyroid releases hormones into the bloodstream. Your thyroid releases triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), and calcitonin (produced by the parathyroid glands). From these, Dr. DerSarkissian says that T4 is the main hormone that affects growth, metabolism, and brain development.1

What is TSH?

Your thyroid function depends on hormones that are released by glands at the base of your brain. The hypothalamus releases thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) which then stimulates the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland then secretes TSH that stimulates the thyroid to produce T3 and T4 hormones which are released into your bloodstream.

Doctors from the Cleveland Clinic explain that TSH levels can fluctuate depending on T3 and T4 levels in blood serum. For example, if your thyroid doesnt produce enough thyroid hormones (underactive thyroid), messages are sent to your pituitary gland to increase TSH levels. On the other hand, high levels of T4 and T3 hormones caused by an overactive thyroid can signal yo...


Christine Forster Reveals The Key To Coming Out To Work Colleagues "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Sydney councillor Christine Forster has given her advice on how to come out as gay to your work colleagues. Speaking on the Thinkergirls podcast, Forster explained to a listener who had started at a new job how to come out as gay to his colleagues. Caller Jason explained he works as an industrial painter and ...

The post Christine Forster Reveals The Key To Coming Out To Work Colleagues appeared first on QNews Magazine.


May 10 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

1811 - Martin Egan was hanged at Sydney for the murder of Thomas Cooney. After being executed his body was handed over to surgeons for dissection and anatomisation.

1822 - At Illawarra Robert Jenkins died from a fall from his horse in George St, Sydney; his wife Jemima took over the Berkeley Estate consisting of 1,000 acres. A further 2,000 acres was granted to Jemima Jenkins in 1834.

1824 - Sir John Pedder, an eleventy hundred X great uncle of this mad old cow, started shining the seat in his office as Chief Justice of Tassie.

1824 - The Supreme Court in Tassie flung open it's doors to begin a business that has never run out of demand for the overwhelming supply left on it's doorstep.

1832 - Richard Cunningham was appointed the position of colonial botanist and superintendent of the Sydney Botanic Garden at a salary of 200.

1836 - John Wales (also called Watt) was hanged at Sydney for the assault and putting in bodily fear of Constable Daniel Riley near Bong Bong.

1836 - Timothy Pickering was hanged at Sydney for the assault and putting in bodily fear of Daniel Riley near Bong Bong.

1841 - Sir George Grey , explorer, governor and politician, arrived in Adelaide to take up his new appointment as Governor of South Oz.

1845 - Explorer John Roper, ("Brash, no bushman and 'at all times foolhardy' according to John Gilbert) got lost in the bush more than once and on this day was kicked in the chest while trying to catch his horse by its tail.
As you do !

1854 - Edward Stone Parker, assistant protector of Aboriginals who had established the Aboriginal station of Larnebarramul (Jim Crow) at Franklinford ,  delivered a lecture on this day to the John Knox Young Men's Association which was later published as The Aborigines of Australia.

1855 - The first draft of the Constitution Bill for Victoria was introduced into House of Commons.

1855 - Gustavus Vaughan Brooke, acclaimed Irish actor and theatre owner, began his season at the Victoria Theatre in Sydney with Othello.

1860 - Julius Baker was hanged at Campbell Street Gaol for shooting with intent at Port Arthur.

1861 - Arthur Yates, he who has tempted many a backyard Aussie gardener with those brilliantly photographed seed packets, was found in the cabbage patch.

1865 - Under the Felons Apprehension Act, passed in April, individuals could be proclaimed outlaws, whom any person was permitted to shoot without warning; proclamations declaring Ben Hall and his companions outlaws were to be gazetted on this day.

1865 - After much debate a basis of union was drawn up and on this day the Presbyterian Church of South Australia was formed, uniting the three denominations into one P...


EDITORIAL EXCERPT: Treasurer Scott Morrison's pig mistake "IndyWatch Feed"

EDITORIAL EXCERPT: Treasurer Scott Morrison's pig mistakeTreasurer Scott Morrison thinks last nights Budget will be the one that brings home the bacon, but hes dead wrong, says managing editor Dave Donovan. read now...



Budget 2018: Panicked And Providing Privileges For The Already Privileged "IndyWatch Feed National"

The Budget is a proposal for an unashamed handout to the already privileged that cannot be justified on economic grounds. It has nothing to do with the national interest; rather it is a desperate political bid by a panicking government, writes Ian McAuley.

What does it mean for me? was how the Treasurer introduced the budget. Its not about the nation or the community. Rather its a pre-election pitch to the privileged.

A figure you wont find in the Murdoch Press is the cost to revenue of tax breaks for earnings from superannuation funds. This year its budgeted to cost $23 billion: thats more than twice the governments budget for education. And its growing at 11 per cent a year, making it one of the fastest growing items in the budget.

These are the tax breaks that allow a well-heeled retired couple to enjoy a tax-free income of $200,000 a year, as I explained in an article last month. That income would attract $53,000 income tax if it were taxed in the same way as the income of working Australians is taxed.

Thats the story of this budget a story of tax not collected because of breaks and privileges given to the already privileged. Some of these breaks appear in the budget papers. Many more do not, such as the $3 to $4 billion annual subsidy to the well-off who avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge, because they hold private health insurance. Nor does the budget list the cost of tax evasion, a practice shared by huge multinationals and small businesses ripping off young workers, secure in the knowledge that the Government has no intention of putting a tough cop on the beat.

What the budget does expose, however, is an extraordinary re-structuring of the tax scales. In part it is an upward shift in the brackets at which higher levels of tax kick in. Thats an uncontentious move because some of these brackets have not moved since 2013.

But the other part of the proposal is to do away entirely with the 37 per cent tax bracket, which in plain terms, means that someone with an income of $40,000 would face the same marginal tax rate as another person with an income approaching $200,000. Under the same re-structuring someone with an income of $40,000 would be paying $200 less in tax than they do today, while someone with a $200,000 income would enjoy a tax reduction of $7,000.



Kiwis want to pay more tax "IndyWatch Feed"

The conversation about tax in New Zealand is only ever about one thing: cutting it. This is because the conversation is driven by the rich, who exclude themselves from government services to avoid mingling with us dirty peasants and thus don't see why they should pay for them, and by radical libertarians, who want to shrink the state out ideological zeal. But if you actual ask ordinary kiwis, it turns out that we want a state which provides decent schools, hospitals, and social services, and we'd like to pay higher taxes to get it:

A majority of New Zealanders say they would support higher or new taxes to maintain funding for schools, hospitals and transport systems, according to polling by the country's largest union.

And despite the Government ruling out income tax rises, there appears to be public support for them - at least for the wealthiest earners.


A majority of people said top earners in New Zealand paid too little tax, and 66 per cent of people supported a fifth tax bracket for those earning well over $70,000.

There's also strong support for pollution taxes and sticking it to foreign tax cheats.

This is a long-standing social consensus, not a recent one. So why do politicians keep ignoring it, rather than acting on it and reaping the political rewards? At this stage, it's kindof hard not to notice that they're all paid at least $160,000 a year, and so in a different boat from the rest of us. And that will be the case, no matter who we elect. Decent pay for MPs protects us from corruption, but the consequence is a political elite which is increasingly divorced from the lives of the people who vote for them, and with strong personal incentives to betray us.


Trumps walkout on Iran agreement is wrong and isolates the United States from world opinion "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed by Jim Hayes

Although following a traditional game plan, American president Donald Trump is blundering over Iran. The tactic and timing of his walking away from the Joint Commission Plan of Action which his country signed in 2015 and the intent to impose even more sanctions, is already backfiring. The world is not happy about a move that stands to hold back progress on the nuclear issue and dampen down the global threat of the Korean hot spot.

This is also about  Iran being a sovereign nation, and as such, having the right to make its own decisions, as long as they dont hurt the rest of the world. And it is motivating opposition to any  move that might strengthen Irans claim to sovereignty. Washington wants what it calls regime change. In plain language, this is that Iran must have a government that Washington approves of.

It must be remembered that the present regime in Tehran rose on the wave of a popular revolt against the brutal Shah, who was kept in power for a long time by support from the United States.  Iran was regarded as a virtual colony. This attitude of being an American possession has not changed.

Notions of American right over Iran are strengthened by countrys strategic position.  To the west, it has a long border with Iraq. To the east is borders Afghanistan and Pakistan.  The aim has been to secure control of these territories, and include Syria in the bundle.

This would bring control over the northern entry into and exit from the Persian Gulf, which could be backed by a major naval presence in the south.  With this, would come undisputed control over the regions oil and gas, alongside a boosted potential to move towards Chinas borders in the east and Russias towards the north. Washingtons strategy is to cause conflict, because it is only through conflict that this can come about. To achieve this, hostilities must be maintained.

A game plan like this is extremely dangerous. No nation that sees this as a threat, is going to just stand by and watch it happen.  A standoff brings the real danger of an arms escalation. Anything that lowers the level of tension and pulls the world away from the potential brink is in the interests of us all.

No matter what opinions have been in the past, today Iran is contributing to this. It is a big ask, considering that it is threatened by a ring of American military bases near its borders. Agreeing to dismantle its nuclear program, when its adversary points nuclear weapons at it, and from point blank range. It takes as lot of courage to move in this direction.



Motorcycle exhaust blitz expected soon "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Another Queensland Police and Transport and Main Roads (TMR) blitz on motorcycles is expected in the next couple of weeks, particularly concentrating on noisy exhausts.

As part of Operation Grenadine on April 28/29, Queensland Police issued 16 vehicle defect notices and TMR officers issued six defect notices.

TMR could not provide a breakdown of the defect notices, but it is believed they were mainly for noisy exhausts.

There are now rumours on social media that the blitz will be repeated soon following more residents complaints about noisy bikes.

Police and TMR would not confirm this.

Defect notices blitz

Police 'safety campaign unfair on riders cops road safety crash accident may blitzPolice pull over riders on the Gold Coast hinterland during the recent Operation Grenadine

A TMR spokesman says defect notices do not have a penalty or fine attached, provided the registered operator of the vehicle complies with the requirements of the notice.

Minor defects may be categorised as self-clearing, which means the registered operator is required to remedy the defect, with the vehicle not required to be independently inspected.

With more serious defects, the defect needs to be remedied and the vehicle inspected at an approved inspection station by Queensland Police or at a government inspection facility, as specified on the defect notice. 

The rider of a defective motorcycle may alternatively be issued with an infringement / penalty notice for driving or parking a defective vehicle on a road.

The penalty ranges from $126.15 to $252.30, depending on the defect.

There are also heftier penalties if your bike is found defective for the same issue within a 12-month period.

Aftermarket exhausts...


So Gwan Leinster but can we have a different Irish winner next year please? "IndyWatch Feed"

As another hugely successful season draws to a close, with a grand slam in the bag, Ireland ranked 2nd in the world and 2nd favourites to win next years world cup  we can still look forward to Leinster winning the European Champions Cup.

Leinster play Racing 92 of Paris in Bilbao (Spain) on Saturday 12th May. Kick off 16.45, Irish time.

Whilst Ulster failed to get to the knockout stages of the Champions Cup, Connacht got to the quarterfinals of the Challenge Cup and Munster (yet again) reached the semi-finals of the Champions Cup where they lost to Racing.

Ulsters well much-documented troubles aside arguably things have never been better for Irish National and provincial rugby.

The conveyor belt, as the Dublin press like to refer to Leinsters ability to produce prodigious numbers of new players seems to be rumbling again with players like Dan Leavy and James Ryan appearing from the schools system and not just ready for International rugby but seemingly able to dominate it.

Perhaps only Jacob Stockdale of  Ulster being a comparable young talent to emerge from any of the other 3 provinces.

Leinster can boast more than 20 Irish international players in their squad and some excellent imports including New Zealander, James Lowe, man of the match in the semi-final against Scarlets, Scott Fardy and the evergreen club captain Isa Nacewa, who at 35 has decided to hang up his boots with more than 180 appearances (by the end of the season) for Leinster and being regarded by many as the best overseas player Leinster have signed.(though some would argue for Aussie Rocky Elsom).

Leinster are as short as 1/6  favourites with Racing 12/5 and money of course generally follows the form book. Racing who were favourites to beat Munster in the semi-final and did so fairly easily are well capable of upsetting the odds.

But it is difficult to see past Leinster equalling Toulouses record of 4 European cups.

It is the first time the Champions Cup final has been held outside of the countries of the six nations. The last time such a high profile Rugby game was held in Spain was in 2016 when a world record crowd for a club match,  of 99,111 turned up to the Nou Camp (Barcelona) to watch the Top 14 final, between Racing and Toulon.(which Racing won).

If there is a cloud on the horizon for Irish rugby it is that the Leinster conveyor belt begins to dominate Irish rugby at the expense of the other provinces. The recent uns...


Sailing regatta at Port Albert "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

EACH year Port Albert Yacht Club hosts the South Gippsland Regatta for the yacht clubs within the South Gippsland region.
Since the demise of Corner Inlet Yacht Club a few years ago this has been reduced to a competition between two, Port Albert and Inverlochs South Gippsland Yacht Club.
The hotly-contested prize is a beautiful perpetual trophy which was constructed from the glass of one of the original gas channel lights.
Sundays event saw fresh winds which made sailing quite challenging but exciting at the same time.
The race officer set a long course and the westerly wind meant that almost the entire race was sailed as a reach perfect conditions for the catamarans.
Consequently, Shaun Freeman was the best performed sailor in his Windrush but on corrected time Matt Kiely in his Impulse was not far behind.
In the end, the overall team results determined that South Gippsland Yacht Club continued its winning streak and gets to hold the trophy for another year.
Thanks to Commodore Jenny Davies and the members at Port Albert for their hospitality and a wonderful days sailing.

The post Sailing regatta at Port Albert appeared first on South Gippsland Sentinel-Times.


Saul Eslakes vision for Tasmania in 2050 "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

I was approached recently by the Australia Institute to posit my ideas for my island home taking a serious and long-term view: 32 years ahead to 2050. I was asked not just to think of a generational goal, but what assets Tasmania has that would help us achieve it. I realised how little time one spends thinking long-term, but how essential it is


Guide book invites you to Throw your leg over "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

If you are interested in touring southeast Queensland and northern NSW, the guide book Throw Your Leg Over also comes with GPX files for your motorbikes satnav.

Throw Your Leg Over is written by frequent riders of the region, Bridget Hallam and Alan Cox.

We also provide our customers GPX files for all of the rides free, Alan says.

Bridget and Alan Throw Your Leg Over authors motorcycle travel book

Buyers can elect to receive the files when ordering the $29.95 book online or by emailing them from the blue card inserted in the book, if buying from one of their 16 stockists.

We also give them scan codes already done in a pdf for a simple app called BikeGPX, which they can simply scan from the app (available for both iPhone and Android), as well as updated QR scan codes from the book.

Throw Your Leg Over guide notesBridget and Alan Throw Your Leg Over authors motorcycle travel book

The photos in Throw Your Leg Over are inspiring, but dont expect inspiring poetry and long travelogue tales.

Its not written like a travelogue, but is broken down into note form that guides you along the route in stages with points of interest.

Throw Your Leg Over is broken i...


Food fest feasts on government grant "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW Ben Franklin with Ballina Food & Wine Festival Chair Col Lee and Exhibitor Coordinator Julie Lee.

Ballinas share of the pie just got a little bit bigger after with the announcement of $20,000 in state funding for the 2018 Ballina Food and Wine Festival.

Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW Ben Franklin described it as a wonderful community event which showcases the very best of our local produce, restaurants and culinary expertise.

He added the funding would also support and promote our local food and hospitality industries as well as premium wines, craft beers, cider and spirits.

Mr Franklin said the funding will go towards assisting the event organisers in marketing this years festival.

The festival has continued to grow each year with this year being the ninth year. This success is owed to the members of the Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond for their incredible work in organising the Festival as well as the wider community for really embracing the event, said Mr Franklin.

This years festival will be held on Sunday, July  1, at the Ballina Jockey Club. There will also be a gala dinner on Friday, June  29, at the Ballina RSL Club.

Proceeds from this years event will go towards the Ballina Shire Rural Fire Service.

I encourage everyone to come and enjoy some of our local produce and products and premium wines and craft beers at this years Festival, Mr Franklin said.

The funding is part of the Regional Flagship Events Program.


The post Food fest feasts on government grant appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Bruny Island community groups front Storm Bay Fish Farm expansion hearings ... "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

... to demand a moratorium on expansion of finfish farming in waters around Bruny Island including Story Bay Spokesperson Mr Gerard Castles said, We are NOT trying to stop fish farms. We want a truly sustainable approach to finfish farming in the Bruny bioregion. We are calling for a moratorium until such time as finfish farming is considered in relation to all other uses and users of resources in the waters surrounding Bruny Island and across Storm Bay. ABC: Tasman Peninsula residents want their concerns over fish farm expansion addressed


NATION: Neither budget mania nor Macron mania divert the Coalitions war on the poor "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

Our class warriors have many powerful advocates in the ruling elite. Backbencher, Julia Banks who owns five investment properties tells ABC Melbourne that she could live on $40 a day. Banks receives $285 a night in MP travel allowance just to get to Canberra is more than a weeks Newstart. But she just knows shed thrive on $40 Our Treasurer needs a copy of The Economist which argues that Britain is overdue for a tax rise. Included also is news, to ScoMo, not only of a sugar tax -  but a proposed levy to redress global warming, a great big new tax on everything as fearless, fatuous anti-carbon taxer, IPA shill and coal-lobby lackey Tony Abbott might put it. In April Britain will introduce a sugar tax, which should raise some 500m a year. A climate-change levy, a tax on energy use by businesses, already exists. Doubling all environmental taxes would raise perhaps 14bn. It would also make Britain greener. Morrisons nonsense is more than wilful disinformation and ignorance Ross Gittins, Fairfax: Budget 2018: This budget is too good to be true Fairfax: Budget 2018: Turnbull government hits ABC with $84m funding freeze Guardian: Federal budget 2018: Scott Morrison delivers his Australian budget speech politics live ABC: Budget 2018: Scott Morrison gives tax system a shake-up in pre-election plan aimed at low-income earners ABC: Budget 2018: Follow live as we unpack Treasurer Scott Morrisons third federal budget MSNNews: Comment: Budget 2018 contains political opportunity, and a ticking time bomb Kym Goodes, CEO, TasCOSS: Nothing in the Budget for Tasmanians for the biggest challenge we are currently facing Paul Oosting, GetUp: Three decades of Trickle-Down economics ... Will Hodgman, Premier: 2018 Federal Budget National Union of Students: Liberals Australia worse than Trumps America ABC: Katy Gallagher found ineligible to serve in Federal Parliament Also, FEDERALLY ... Poll Bludger: Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor Labor maintains its existing lead in the latest Essential poll, despite improving perceptions on the outlook for the economy EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ... Budget 2018: Nice for some ... but a good Budget ... Guardian: Federal budget and dual citizenship: Rebekha Sharkie and Justine Keay quit after high court ruling politics live


Wayne Swan's manifesto - why he wants to be National President of the Labor Party "IndyWatch Feed National"

Ive put my hand up for the National Presidency of our Party because I have the experience, time and conviction needed to lead the battle of ideas. I intend to use the role to build up our party further so we can fight inequality more effectively and fiercely. Australia is...


Day to Day Politics: What say you, Bill Shorten, about the common good? "IndyWatch Feed"

Thursday 10 May 2018 I usually allow a few days for a new budget to wash over me for all the relevant information to sink in before a review comes forth. Today I am more interested in the Common Good Budget in Reply speech Bill Shorten promised for Thursday. Perhaps before I start though,

The post Day to Day Politics: What say you, Bill Shorten, about the common good? appeared first on The AIM Network.


Tourisms Climate Footprint Soars "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Previous estimates of tourisms climate footprint have fallen far below the mark. Between 2009 and 2013 it increased four times more than earlier estimated, according to a comprehensive new study.

By 2013 the worldwide tourism industry was spilling an estimated 4.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and contributing about 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. World tourism is now growing faster than international trade.

Scientists from Australia, Taiwan and Indonesia who explored the link between leisure and global warming report in the journal Nature Climate Change how they calculated the carbon footprint of the tourism business, in what must be one of the most complex studies of the global holiday sector ever undertaken.

Our analysis is a world-first look at the true cost of tourism including consumables such as food from eating out and souvenirs its a complete life-cycle assessment of global tourism, ensuring we dont miss any impacts, said Arunima Malik from the School of Physics at the University of Sydney.

This research fills a crucial gap identified by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and World Meteorological Organisation to quantify, in a comprehensive manner, the worlds tourism footprint.

Ironically, researchers have identified the cost of global warming to tourism, directly, in the case of winter sports, and in particular to the travel industry.

They have warned that some airfields may become too hot to permit takeoff:  they have warned that more atmospheric turbulence promises bumpier flights; and that stronger headwinds could increase fuel costs. But there has been less focus on the holiday industrys impact on global warming.

Souvenirs and shopping

To complete the accounting, the researchers looked at data from 160 countries and what they estimate to be around a billion supply chains: that is, they counted among many other things the food grown and animals reared to feed tourists, the building undertaken to shelter tourists, the climate costs of road and air transport and the souvenir-and-shopping trades associated with tourism.

They used two different accounting techniques and some advanced mathematical analysis to predict the growth of the travel and leisure busin...


Friday, May 18: Tom McHugos launches Ordinary Heroes ... "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

The long-time watering hole of Mercury journalists, now in its finest reincarnation as Tom McHugos Hobart Hotel, is launching a photo gallery, with an inaugural exhibition by photographer, Rob Walls


Julie Bishop sides with Iran over the United States "IndyWatch Feed National"

Where's the disappointment with Iran? Where's the support for Prime Minister Netanyahu or President Trump? This video must be seen to be believed. Bishop bows with her hand on her heart while Iran's good ole boy stares at her breasts.


Before everyone gets too excited about those personal tax cuts in Budget 2018-19 "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

According to the Turnbull Government Budget 2018-19 papers, eligibility for the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset (aka personal income tax cut) will assist over 10 million Australians, with about 4.4 million taxpayers with incomes between $48,000 and $90,000 receiving the full $530 benefit for 201819.

The non-refundable offset is calculated on taxable income which is equal to an individuals assessable income (such as salary and wages and interest from bank accounts) minus their allowable deductions.

The announced tax cut has a life of four financial years and technically ceases after 2021-22. 

It will not see actual tax rates change and will not see the dollar amount in wages paid on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis alter.

The 'tax cut' will be applied by the Australian Taxation Office and form part of any tax refund due after tax returns are lodged in 2019.

The bottom line is that any person with a taxable income of less than $20,548 will not receive the announced personal tax cut according to the Budget 2018-19 website income tax calculator.


A simple question ... "IndyWatch Feed Allstate"

I emailed a simple question to the Premier on 11 March ( ) as to why there had been no mention that the death of Vanessa Goodwin from brain cancer had not been allied to the epidemic of brain cancer at Wentworth Park


NSW Police Taser Cam shows Ihsas Khan just moments after he allegedly attacked his neighbour in Minto "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

Thanks to Jason Morrison of Channel 7 in Sydney for the vision which was played in court yesterday. Terror attack accused Ihsas Khan compares stabbing Sydney neighbour to 'eating a Picnic bar' By Kathleen Calderwood RELATED STORY: 'They killed our people, he should be killed too': Terrorism accused on trial...


Daily Telegraph's 1,000 word picture on Shorten's Foreign Legion "IndyWatch Feed National"

"The Labor Party has the strictest processes in place to ensure all candidates are compliant with the Constitution prior to their nomination"



Controversial Australian science journalist admits to duplication in her PhD thesis "IndyWatch Feed National"

A prominent (yet controversial) journalist in Australia has admitted to duplicating three images that were part of her PhD thesis a practice outside experts agreed was acceptable, if not ideal, at the time, according to a report released today. As part of an inquiry, the University of Adelaide convened an expert panel to investigate Continue reading Controversial Australian science journalist admits to duplication in her PhD thesis


Sumatra to Pilot Blockchain App for Decentralised Decision-Making "IndyWatch Feed"

An Australian startup is launch a blockchain application in Indonesia that could possibly enable citizens to vote in elections. The aviator project in Horizon State is likely to start on the island of Sumatra in July, with the roster expected to continue until December, the platforms co founder, Nimo Naamani, told CoinDesk through email. The blockchain based platform will be made accessible to locals by means of a mobile program and is originally aimed to help provide decentralised decision making and community involvement, according to Naamani. In the end, the startup hopes the program could expand to voting to cancel fraud and address local electoral challenges, in addition to other services.

Naamani explained: throughout the platform, we may provide communities with tools to improve engagement and discussions. Through our partners, we may offer the constituency with additional benefits like access to financial services at the micro level something that is not so simple with existing banking infrastructure. Should the Sumatra aviator prove successful, Horizon State is expecting to expand the project throughout the country. When this is done, I think additional expansions into more states and communities will occur through 2019. He explained. Whilst the Indonesian government isnt involved with the effort however, he noted that the company might be in the position to approach the government over a wide range of use cases, including elections, following the Sumatra roll outside.

We are seeing an increase in interest from organizations that are looking to utilize blockchain based community participation to push progress forward, Naamani explained. For the aviator, Horizon State will be cooperating with cryptocurrency fund startup MCV CAP, in addition to another partner to be announced within the next couple weeks, in accordance with the co founder. The news is as Indonesia is much more broadly eyeing blockchain technology. According to Reuters, the nations Financial Services Authority, which regulates the finance sector, has set up a team assigned to study the technology and its possible benefits.

In addition, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawat told the news source that her department was eyeing blockchain for various use cases including subsidies and micro loans. Sumatran town picture via Shutterstock. A leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.



Utopian aspirations from Plato to Marx, Mao and Pol Pot "IndyWatch Feed"

Chapter 9 of The Open Society and Its Enemies Perfectionism and Utopianism. Dont miss the bonus link at the end!

Everything has got to be smashed to start with. Our whole damned civilization has got to go, before we can bring any decency into the world. Mourlan, in Du Gards Les Thibaults.

All citizens above the age of ten must be expelled from the city and deported somewhere into the country; and the children who are now free from the influence of the manners and habits of their parents must be taken over. Plato.

This chapter runs to only 12 pages and it contains some of the most important arguments in the whole book because countless millions of lives have been ruined by the application of the principles of revolutionary social and political reform. It is helpful to read this chapter with the image of Pol Pots Cambodia and Maos China in mind.

Inherent in Platos programme there is a certain approach towards politics which, I believe, is most dangerousThe Platonic approach I have in mind can be described as Utopian engineering, as opposed to another kind of social engineering which I consider as the only rational one, and which may be described by the name of piecemeal engineering.

The piecemeal reformer will seek to address the most urgent evils of society instead of aiming to achieve the greatest ultimate good, and this may look like a verbal quibble but Popper argued that in fact it is the difference between a reasonable method of improving the lot of man, and a method which may easily lead to an intolerable increase in human suffering. Recall that Popper was not fully aware of the extent of the Soviet disaster when he wrote this chapter, and Cambodia and Maos experiments in China were still some decades away.

There is no scope for tolerance between different Utopian religions so the Utopian must either convert or destroy his Utopianist competitors. On top of that it may be necessary to do more than merely destroying the opposition but also to stamp out the very memory of it. It was probably George Orwell who pointed out that for the totalitarians, control of the past is essential to the control of the future and so history has to be re-written, even to the extent of airbrushing out important figures from group photographs when they fall from favour with some later regime.On top of that, criticism of failures on the way to the goal has to be suppressed, otherwise doubt may be cast on the very goals themselves, the people may cease to have confidence in the leadership.

The rational alternative to all of this is piecemeal change and reform. People who adopt this method may or may not have a complete blueprint of soci...


Hockey ace Lachlan is 2017-18 Sports Star of Year "IndyWatch Feed Alllocal"

By CHRIS KARAS KOOKABURRAS hockey sensation Lachlan Sharp was crowned 2017-18 TWT Club Six/Ryde Sports Foundation Sports Star of the Year at a Gala Presentation [more]

The post Hockey ace Lachlan is 2017-18 Sports Star of Year appeared first on The Weekly Times.


Sumatra to Pilot Blockchain App for 'Decentralised Decision-Making' "IndyWatch Feed"

Australian startup Horizon State is launching a blockchain app pilot in Sumatra that could eventually allow citizens to vote in elections.

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