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Sunday, 16 September

19:11

A Fair Trial Catch-22: The Problem With The Teachers Pet Podcast "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

One of the worlds hottest podcasts right now has helped shed light on the disappearance of a Sydney woman. But at what price of a fair trial, asks Hannah Marshall.

The best way to dispose of a body, if you live in the bush, is to put it in the bush, and thats what I think he did on the Friday night.

There is a problem with The Teachers Pet. The podcast and the slew of surrounding media could be so sensational and prejudicial that if he is prosecuted, Chris Dawson cant get a fair trial.

The podcast is a true crime story about a woman, Lyn Dawson, who disappeared from Sydneys northern beaches in 1982. Her body has never been found. The investigating journalist accuses her husband, former Newtown Jets player Chris Dawson, of murdering her. He denies it.  Two coronial inquests have recommended prosecution but none has ensued.

The picture painted of Chris Dawson is not good. Theres his affair with a schoolgirl, allegations of physical abuse, allegations of an attempt to hire a hitman, inconsistent statements, and two small daughters left without their mother.

The Teachers Pet is compelling and sad and reveals some great injustices; to the two daughters, the schoolgirl, and Lyns family as well as to Lyn Dawson herself.

But in its eagerness to seek justice for her probable murder it risks doing exactly the opposite. It could result in Chris Dawson avoiding facing a jury, or even avoiding a murder trial altogether, regardless of the strength of any evidence against him.

The obvious upside to this kind of investigative journalism is the chance that new, meaningful evidence could be found that will help get a conviction. But that has to be balanced very carefully against the risk involved in broadcasting information that is prejudicial and unlikely to be admissible as evidence in court.

To be fair, a lot of the information presented in The Teachers Pet is unproblematic. Written statements and evidence from the coronial inquests for example. But a lot of other parts of the podcast are prejudicial and prejudge Dawsons guilt. Here are just a couple of examples.

A new witness alleges that she saw Chris Dawson assault his wife twice, well before Lyn disappeared. The inference is that he is a violent person and therefore more likely to have killed his wife. Courts call this tendency evidence and treat it with extreme caution. It is only admitted in very particular circumstances. Whether this new testimony would be admitted into evidence is highly uncertain. But the podcast doesnt tell you that.

Then theres the treatment of a claim that Chris Dawson said he tried to hire a hitman to kill Lyn, but didnt go through with it. The allegation comes from Dawsons schoolgirl lover, and later...

18:03

One For The Ladies: UNSWs Helpful Guide On How Not To Get Raped "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Heres some tips on how to stay safe, along with other stupid things men say to women after someone is sexually assaulted. Note to readers: this story contains a confession by writer Chris Graham, and another epiphany.

Remember Eurydice Dixon. How could anyone forget, right? And remember the backlash when, following Eurydices brutal rape and murder, Victorian Police issued a timely reminder to women in Melbourne to take greater care with their personal security? How could anyone forget that either, right?

Well, it seems the folks over at the University of NSW did, because on Friday afternoon, following reports of a sexual assault near the campus, an executive from UNSW sent all staff and students an email headed Safety and vigilance on campus. The message sought to provide women, well over to UNSW

Safety and Vigilance on Campus-1

Lets see if we can break down what UNSW is really communicating here.

Someone got raped last night, but it wasnt on our campus. That said, it was near our campus, and we really should say something, because if we dont and the next rape actually occurs on our campus, we can point to the email we sent to all our staff and students and say Its very sad but we did kinda warn you. That lessens our moral culpability, but most importantly it will also help us seriously mitigate any reputational damage the rapist and his victim might cause us. Thus, what were going to say is this: While we do what we can to make you safe, your personal safety is still your personal responsibility. Follow these helpful tips so you dont go and get yourself raped.

Or words to that affect. Because while that might not be how the email is intended to be read, its certainly open to interpretation to be read that way. And at this juncture, I should offer a confession. My spin on the UNSW email is obviously quite provocative, but its not what I thought yesterday.

On Friday afternoon, I was sitting in a caf with two female colleagues (plotting the downfall of a government), when one of them received the email, from a distressed UNSW staff member.

A discussion of mutual exasperation ensued, whereupon I entered it by saying words to the effect of, OK, I understand the frustration and anger of women at this, and Im not suggesting UNSW cant do more to make women feel safe, but is it really that unreasonable for UNSW to remind people about their safety? Where is the actual harm in the email?

Well heres the harm (and thanks to my colleagues for gently explaining it to me).

The problem with telling grown w...

17:14

Australia: Drug Overdoses Prompt Shut Down of Sydney Music Festival "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

A 23-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman died on Saturday after collapsing at the Defqon. 1 festival, the police said. Two of the 13 hospitalised people remain in critical condition, while about 700 sought help on site.

The police has charged 10 people with drug supply offences, including two teenagers who allegedly carried 120 capsules to the festival, held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre.

Im absolutely aghast at what has occurred, I dont want any family to go through the tragedy that some families are waking up to this morning, its just horrible to think about, the premier of the Australian state of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian, said.

A 23-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman died on Saturday after collapsing at the Def...

09:23

Top 10: Feed "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Recently I was tagged on Facebook for one of those things where you post favourite albums

Skunkhour were everything I was looking for in a band when they came to my attention in 93.

They played the funk music thatd started shaking Sydney with hiphop influences and a distinctively Australian delivery.

I think the Larkin brothers, Aya and Del, are criminally overlooked as lyricists, and Del also did beaut illustrations for releases by other bands in their cohort, such as Swoop and Juice.

The self-titled Skunkhour debut showed they were able to sing about admiring arses (Bootyfull) and also to consider gender roles (A Cow and a Pig), as well discuss the heroin epidemic of the early 90s (Horse).

Then the follow-up album Feed in 1995 expanded their focus musically and lyrically.

McSkunk was released as a single well in advance of the album and runs through a critique of capitalism exploiting natural resources. (Its a theme they would later explore as the ballad Tomorrows Too Soon and thats one of those songs that I love for making my eyes water.)

The track State then slipped out on an EP and, as a first-year Philosophy student, I appreciated the parallels with Platos writing for comparing divisions in the soul with those in society.

Id begun writing for Canberras BMA Magazine and spoke with guitarist Warwick Scott for a couple of interviews, as well as having opportunities to quiz the band after their shows.

Ahead of the release of the album Feed I got a promotional three-song cassette, which included Treacherous Head and Strange Equation.

The former addresses our human impulses and their potential to undermine our best intentions, while the latter rhymed the song title with race assimiliation to discuss the hollow words that all men are created equal in the United States Declaration of Independence.

Ive picked Feed as my favourite Skunkhour album as it showed the band hitting their stride and broadening their sound, literally with the addition of keyboardist Paul Searles.

Green Light is a phenomenal track to hear live as the Sutherland brothers lock in their bass and drum parts.

Sunstone speaks of driving Australias back roads with wry observations that feel like an aural equivale...

08:41

Wages growth is coming (to VIC & NSW) "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Left slack-jawed

There's an old tradition when it comes to job numbers that goes something like this: if the numbers are crap we're doomed; and if the numbers are good then they must be wrong.

The technical term for this is confirmation bias.

As ever this month's booming jobs numbers were treated with anything from scepticism to outright derision.

And yet the solid results have kept on coming, especially in the two most populous states. 

There's another bias that tends to impact people: when things have been bad, they expect bad things to continue.

And quite understandably we're seeing a lot of this in relation to weak private sector wages growth.

After all, soft nominal wage price growth has been around since 2015, so it's becoming quite hard to imagine that pay packets could soon begin to swell again. 

But take note, because in some states this may be about to change...

Private sector wages to lift

Although it never seems to get reported anywhere, I've shown several times before that while the underutilisation rate is high, in volume measures terms things have been very steadily improving for the past few years. 

That is to say, lots of people still want more hours of work, but the numbers of extra hours wanted has been declining over the past four years.
.....

08:06

Lets live a day at a time for the Lord "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

I met a man last night aged 61, my age, from New Zealand originally like me, who is has four cancers and has been given 2-6 years life-expectancy.

We were watching the All Blacks play South Africa in rugby union at my local pub In Bellingen in Mid-Coast, New South Wales, Australia.

We shared how wed both had friends die in their 50s. Ive lost three friends aged in their 50s. One in 2004 aged 53 and the other two last year. One was Trevor Tree a Bellingen local who I was friends with for almost thirty years. He was a Christian, and fit, so his death was unexpected.

The man I met last night seemed quite reconciled to the situation. Hed just retired and was doing a motorbike trip with some male friends. He shared he is married.

So lets live a day at a time for the Lord. We dont know which day in our future will be our last, no matter how old we are.

04:48

Full interview with UK writer Johann Hari on his vital messages around depression "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Back in May, I interviewed UK journalist Johann Hari at the Sydney Writers Festival about his new book, Lost Connections, on fresh ways to see depression and anxiety. It was a sold-out event and the full audio is now available:

04:45

Wangan & Jagalingou People | Traditional Owners disturbed by illegal action by Adani "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Wangan & Jagalingou People | Traditional Owners disturbed by illegal action by Adani:



MEDIA RELEASE
13 September 2018
Traditional Owners disturbed by allegations of illegal works by Adani

Call on Qld Government to prosecute any unlawful activity by Adanis coal operation

Revelations yesterday that Adani Mining may have breached environmental laws while operating on Wangan and Jagalingou country has deeply disturbed Traditional Owners.

The Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council are calling on the Queensland Government to investigate and prosecute any illegal activity on their homelands.

Mr Adrian Burragubba, a traditional owner of W&J country and spokesperson for the Council says: The Queensland Government has licensed this unscrupulous corporation and now they must take responsibility for any destruction that is occuring on our country. They must investigate and prosecute Adani for any unlawful activity.

We are very concerned about the impacts on our cultural heritage and ancient story places from Adanis land clearing and other industrial disturbance. It is a grave matter for us that their works could do permanent damage to our sacred Doongmabulla springs.

We have been concerned about activity by Adani contractors on our country over some months now. We will be making our own investigations into what Adani have been doing there and will hold both the company and the Government to account.

Adani have been camped on our country hoping to one day build their mine. Starting work illegally only adds insult to the injury that they are there without our consent. We will continue to pursue them through the courts, and with our demands on the Government.

We have seen the report from the lawyers at the Environmental Defenders Office, and it appears that coal seam dewatering bores and other extensive groundwork is being done in breach of Adanis environmental license, and that Adani may have lied to the Queensland Government about it.

We have known all along that Adani cant be trusted with our country, to respect our rights, or be custodians of the environment. The Government can restore some faith by interrogating Adanis conduct and taking whatever action needed to safeguard our country and culture, he concluded.

~~~

Media enquiries: Anthony Esposito, W&J Traditional Owners Council advisor 0418 152 743

03:55

Here comes Queen's Wharf "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

$3bn Queen's Wharf

Big news for Brisbane's economy as the long-awaited $3 billion Queen's Wharf project gets underway.

And big news too for the future of Brisbane as a capital city and major player.

Significant housing market implications in addition, of course, as the inner city suburbs fill up.

Read the attached report from News (click link or image to read).


The mixed-use Howard Smith Wharves project is already well into its construction phase.

And it too will also be a terrific boost for adjacent suburbs including New Farm, Teneriffe, and Fortitude Valley.


Brisbane, truly, the jewel of Australia!

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Saturday, 15 September

17:26

Australia - Letter | Have your say, yes or no, on fluoride in the water "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

FIRSTLY, did you know that, on the night of July 17, 2018, when councillors made their votes known, five to three in favour of fluoridation, representatives from both NSW Health and the Australian Dental Association classified Oberon, our home town, as a low socio-economic town? Do you also know that children with mental impairments and other disabilities are automatically also classed as being from low socio-economic families? I dont know how you feel about this statement, but I am highly offended.
I believe the fluoride that NSW Health and the Australian Dental Association and our very own yes voting councillors are pushing onto us against our own free will is in truth not safe and effective.
I believe that fluoride inhibits antibody formation in the blood, depresses thyroid activity by depriving it of iodine (women affected more than men), causes premature ageing and causes bone damage.
...

16:00

The Weekend Quiz September 15-16, 2018 answers and discussion "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Here are the answers with discussion for this Weekends Quiz. The information provided should help you work out why you missed a question or three! If you havent already done the Quiz from yesterday then have a go at it before you read the answers. I hope this helps you develop an understanding of modern monetary theory (MMT) and its application to macroeconomic thinking. Comments as usual welcome, especially if I have made an error.

* This week (Tuesday, September 11, 1973) marked the 45th Anniversary of the day when right-wing forces aided by the US overthrew the democratically elected government Chile. It was a terrorist act we should continue to remember like other terrorist acts!

Question 1:

The IMF use their estimates of the Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment (NAIRU) to calibrate their structural deficit estimates. Accordingly, the structural deficits will typically be:

The answer is biased upwards.

This upwards bias indicates that at any point in the business cycle, that IMF will consider that the government fiscal stance is more expansionary than it actually is.

The question also has one qualifying aspect to it the use of the word typically which means that in conventional practice the answer is as given but there are circumstances where the statement would not apply.

We are seeing the use of the term structural deficit more often in the public debate as the weak recovery ensues and the talk has turned to credible exit plans for fiscal policy.

The mainstream position that fiscal outcomes should be balanced or in surplus (either over the cycle or always).

A structural deficit is the component of the actual fiscal outcome that reflects the chosen (discretionary) fiscal stance of the government independent of cyclical factors.

The cyclical factors refer to the automatic stabilisers which operate in a counter-cyclical fashion. When economic growth is strong, tax revenue improves given it is typically tied to income generation in some way. Further, most governments provide transfer payment relief to workers (unemployment benefits) and this decreases during growth.

In times of economic decline, the automatic stabilisers work in the opposite direction and push the fiscal balance towards deficit, into deficit, or into a larger deficit. These automatic movements in aggregate demand play an important counter-cyclical attenuating role.

So when GDP is declining due to falling aggregate demand, the automatic stabilisers work to add demand (falling taxes and rising welfare payments). When GDP growth is rising, the automatic stab...

15:56

Queensland may be used to expand the cashless welfare card "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Contributed from Queensland

The Scott Morrison government may be fast tracking the expansion of the cashless welfare card in Queensland, now that independent Senator Tim Storer has flagged the end of his opposition to the move.

Millions of dollars will be spent, if it goes ahead, on its application in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay. All told, the plan is to extend the trial to four sites.

This is despite evidence that trials so far have been destructive for individuals and communities.

Tim Storer has been brought on board with an amendment on how the effect is evaluated.

Labor has not yet committed to oppose it, remains sceptical.

No amount of amending is going to fix something that is fundamentally flawed, in the sense that it may help resolve social issues. Taking control and disempowering people is not the way to help them get on their feet. Besides, it is inherently unfair to profile a community. It creates third class citizens. And it has been shown to create more poverty and inequality.

Increased scrutiny is a good thing. But it wont change the fact that the cashless welfare card is wrong. If the intention is to overcome real problems within communities, surely the answer is to provide appropriate resources. When the card is being brought in at the same time as funding is being cut, it remains nothing more than a cost cutting exercise.

This is the reason why the early valuation of the trials has been flawed and did not show the true picture. It has cost almost $22 million, which would have been much better spent on something useful.

The trials have so far targeted indigenous communities, making them more dependent and less able to function, and this compromises their efforts to sovereignty over their affairs. It is a means of control.

Cashless welfare card trails are a means to test the waters, with a view to extending it to other communities and is an installment on the growth of big brother government.

Cutting services and corporatisation of resources are two of the pillars of neoliberalism and extending control over people is its political arm. In the end, this is what it is all about.

Rejection of the cashless welfare card is an important aspect of rejecting neoliberalism and the protection of our rights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trial was intended to test whether social harm caused by such spending could be reduced by quarantining part of participants welfare payments on to a card that could not be used to buy alcohol or gambling products or to withdraw cash, as well as to develop lower cost welfare quaranti...

15:06

Creating Luck And Abundance "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Creating luck the secrets. Find five cents pick it up and for the rest of the day, you'll have good luck! Ever heard this saying?

The post Creating Luck And Abundance appeared first on Thrive On News Spiritual Magazine.

14:00

$100,000 reward offered to find person putting needles in Australia strawberries "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

A $100,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for deliberately putting needles in strawberries in Queensland. Police are warning people to slice the fruit before eating it amid fears six brands of strawberries in Australia have been contaminated with needles and pins.

12:42

Traditional Owners announce Adani court appeal "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

MEDIA RELEASE
15 September 2018

Traditional Owners announce Adani court appeal

Call on Qld Government to never extinguish their native title

Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners opposing Adanis Carmichael Mine have this week served notice of a Federal Court full bench appeal. (See ABC today: Adani mine site to remain under native title until finance confirmed, Minister says). The Traditional Owners strongly reject last months decision of a single Judge of the Federal Court and will seek to have the decision reversed and the Adani Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) thrown out.

Mr Adrian Burragubba, a Traditional Owner of W&J country, and W&J Council spokesperson says: We will not abide a ruling that says its legal to have our ancient laws and culture, and our enduring rights in our lands and waters, merely voted away by a group of people who do not have the traditional authority to surrender our native title.

In a new development, the Queensland Government has confirmed that it will only act to take W&J native title for the Adani project when it has the financial capacity to complete it. This follows a resolution of the Queensland ALP state conference in early September 201...

11:53

Another whistleblower cop exposes police corruption "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

From 11 Sep 2018 by theguardian.com of the headline:

Evidence against former police officer intentionally tampered with, court told

Exclusive: Charge against Paul Carney, who left police after raising concerns about alleged corruption, dropped after ombudsman ordered investigation


Whistleblower Paul Carney claims Queensland police pursued charges against him as a reprisal. Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP

Evidence against a former Gold Coast police officer whistleblower was allegedly intentionally tampered with, a court was told, amid claims that Queensland police pursued a charge against him as a reprisal.

Paul Carney medically retired from the police service in 2010 after raising concerns about alleged corrupt practices. He subsequently started a website critical of particular police officers and launched a civil court case.

In 2015, Carney had a verbal altercation at a Brisbane pool with a former colleague, who he had criticised on the website. Carney says it was a chance encounter. Police charged him with stalking with violence.

Before Carneys trial, the commonwealth ombudsman ordered an investigation into potential tampering with CCTV video footage from the pool that was used as evidence against Carney.

Paul Carney: Ive been through absolute hell these past three years. Photograph: Paul Carney/Supplied

When Carney turned up to court in August, he was told the Queensland office of the director of public prosecutions had lodged a nolle prosequi notice, indicating they were abandoning the charge.

Ive been through absolute hell these past three years, Carney told Guardian Australia. There was never any evidence to back up this charge. I have been the victim of whistleblower reprisal and some extremely duplicitous conduct by Queensland police.

Carney, wh...

10:29

Top 10: Master of Puppets "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Recently I was tagged on Facebook for one of those things where you post favourite albums

As a bass-playing teenager I asked my peers about their bass-playing dreams and identified a trend in our lessons with Cliff Burton on the astral plane.

I remember a couple of dreams about Cliff and in one he was sitting on a high stool and showing me how to play arpeggios.

His parts on Master of Puppets are as superlative as Hammets guitar harmonies or Ulrichs dynamic playing that muted cymbal grabbed mid-riff in the title track, for example.

This was the heaviest album in the world for half of 1986 before Slayer released Reign In Blood, and I can still remember the way it challenged my ears when I heard it in '88 or '89.

These days I have difficulty reconciling that Metallica with the one that found wider fame singing about going to bed in Enter Sandman the following decade.

Much has been written about the precision of the playing on this album and the massive sound achieved through layering over a dozen guitar recordings, which is testament to Hetfields role as one of the greatest rhythm guitarists.



The anger in his lyrics is palpable and I think Im right in saying this was the last Metallica album to have a song inspired by HP Lovecraft.

A lot of the difference between Metallica in the 80s and the rock band that emerged in the 90s comes down to the death of Cliff Burton.

Burtons basslines are as distinct as Ulrichs famed drum parts, with their dynamic fills and propulsive rhythms.

Sadly, Master of Puppets is one of the last times bass playing would be a feature of the band.

When Jason Newstead replaced Burton Metallica ruined the sound of bass in heavy metal -- I argue it does as much as the dry cardboard box-like drum sound on the album Justice For All, particularly their first single One:
[After] Lars and James heard their initial mixes the first thing they said was, 'Take the bass down so you can just hear it, and then once you've done that take it down a further 3dBs.'

...

08:18

Hurricane Florence Landfall Radar With Location Of Nuclear Power Stations Weather Mining Awareness + "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

For the very latest updates go to your preferred/local weather source. The orange icons are the nuclear power stations. Brunswick Nuclear Power Station is near the center of Hurricane Florence. Click to enlarge image. The time for this radar exported to Google maps is around the time of the two other radar images found below []

via Hurricane Florence Landfall Radar With Location Of Nuclear Power Stations Weather Mining Awareness +

08:08

Methane and climate: 10 things you should know "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

The graph above shows methane concentrations in Earths atmosphere over the past 10,000+ years: 8000 BCE to 2018 CE.  The units are parts per billion (ppb).  The year 1800 is marked with a circle.

Note the ominous spike.  As a result of increasing human-caused emissions, atmospheric methane levels today are two-and-a-half times higher than in 1800.  After thousands of years of relatively stable concentrations, we have driven the trendline to near-vertical.

Here are 10 things you should know about methane and the climate:

1. Methane (CH4) is one of the three main greenhouse gases, along with carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O).

2. Methane is responsible for roughly 20% of warming, while carbon dioxide is responsible for roughly 70%, and nitrous oxide the remaining 10%.

3. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas (GHG).  Pound for pound, it is 28 times more effective at trapping heat than is carbon dioxide (when compared over a 100-year time horizon, and 84 times as effective at trapping heat when compared over 20 years).  Though humans emit more carbon dioxide than methane, each tonne of the latter traps more heat.

4. Fossil-fuel production is the largest single source.  Natural gas is largely made up of methane (about 90%).  When energy companies drill wells, frac wells, and pump natural gas through vast distribution networks some of that methane escapes.  (In the US alone, there are...

07:30

Efficiency, the Jevons Paradox, and the limits to economic growth "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Ive discovered a new blog which very much aligns with this one. In his own about section, Darrin Qualman describes himself as a long-term thinker, a civilizational critic, a researcher and data analyst, and an avid observer of the big picture.

I recommend anyone following this blog to check him out, his blog is full of interesting graphs

Ive been thinking about efficiency.  Efficiency talk is everywhere.  Car buyers can purchase ever more fuel-efficient cars.  LED lightbulbs achieve unprecedented efficiencies in turning electricity into visible light.  Solar panels are more efficient each year.  Farmers are urged toward fertilizer-use efficiency.  And our Energy Star appliances are the most efficient ever, as are the furnaces and air conditioners in many homes.

The implication of all this talk and technology is that efficiency can play a large role in solving our environmental problems.  Citizens are encouraged to adopt a positive, uncritical, and unsophisticated view of efficiency: well just make things more efficient and that will enable us to reduce resource use, waste, and emissions, to solve our problems, and to pave the way for green growth and sustainable development.

But theres something wrong with this efficiency solution: its not working.  The current environmental multi-crisis (depletion, extinction, climate destabilization, ocean acidification, plastics pollution, etc.) is not occurring as a result of some failure to achieve large efficiency gains.  The opposite.  It is occurring after a century of stupendou...

05:42

Fraud kingpin ran multi-million dollar ops from inside Australian immigration detention center "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

It started with the arrest of 36-year-old woman in Sydney on suspicion of laundering more than $480,000 gained by hacking multiple business emails; within a week, police had taken down a $3 million international crime syndicate. "We can't establish at this stage who it's gone to or what it's being used [for]," Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis told reporters in Sydney on Friday, adding that an international investigation to track the money down was already under way. After interrogating the woman for several hours, police launched multiple raids on several properties across the city, seizing a Land Rover, several computers, phones, SIM cards, stolen financial and personal identification documents as well as methamphetamine. Two additional suspects were taken into custody on suspicion of identity theft and money laundering among other charges. Members of Strike Force Woolana had managed to locate the crew behind the spate of identity theft, romance scams and phishing email schemes, but had yet to zero in on the ringleader. However, evidence gathered soon led investigators somewhere they may never have considered: a high-security immigration detention center.

02:22

How much plastic is too much plastic for sea turtles? "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

In a video that went viral in 2015, researchers spent nearly 10 minutes pulling out a 10-centimeter (4-inch) plastic straw from the nostril of a male olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) off the coast of Costa Rica. For the entire duration of the extraction, the turtle writhed in pain. Plastic straws are just one among the trillions of pieces of plastic trash that have ended up in the ocean, many sinking right down to the deepest, darkest depths. Past research has found that about half of the worlds sea turtles may have ingested some form of plastic. Floating pieces of plastic and balloons can resemble jellyfish or squid foods that turtles eat out in the sea. Not all turtles that eat plastic die because of the plastic, though. Some die after getting entangled in fishing nets, while others are struck by ship propellers. Do all age groups of turtles consume plastic? And how much plastic is lethal for a sea turtle? A new study has some answers. Green turtle at North Stradbroke Island, off the Australian state of Queensland. Image by Kathy Townsend. Researchers in Australia examined the digestive tracts of 246 dead sea turtles collected from along the coast of the state of Queensland, and found that 58 individuals had plastic in their guts, with the number of pieces ranging from one right up to 329. Younger turtles, both post-hatchlings (or a baby turtle that has started feeding in the ocean) and juveniles, were found to have consumed considerably higher

01:35

Weekend reads - must see articles of the week "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

And here they are at Property Update - or you can click on the image below.

Note my piece on Brisbane's rising house prices, which is an interesting bucking of recent trends. 


You can subscribe for the free Property Update newsletter here

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Friday, 14 September

22:37

Our dangerous addiction "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Excerpts:

Growing Pain: New Zealands dangerous addition to fertilizer

For many decades, much of the phosphate from Banaba and Nauru was shipped to New Zealand and Australia, well below the market rate, and spread on farms by planes piloted by war veterans. New Zealand enjoyed decades of cheap phosphate, which became lucrative meat and wool. Few things are as responsible for the countrys economic successes as the exploitation of its Pacific neighbors.

Although it made New Zealand wealthy, its imperialism in the Pacific, driven by a thirst for cheap phosphate, is an ugly chapter in the countrys history.

Banaba today is largely uninhabitable, with most of its former residents displace to Fiji. The island is littered with old machinery left by miners, and most of the islands land mass has been hollowed out. When Nauru became independent, it became briefly and notoriously rich on its remaining phosphate before the economy crashed.

After exhausting its sources of phosphate rock, New Zealand had to look elsewhere.

Because phosphate rock is a precious resource, and one that is widely used, those who have it are keen to use it for themselves. New Zealands usual trading partners, like the US and China, use much of their own phosphate internally.

The remaining options for New Zealand werent great. Nearly all of the worlds useable phosphate is in North Africa, in countries prone to instability.

It decided upon the mine in Western Sahara, run by Morocco. The relationship has since entered its third decade

Exploring the options

The answer to the fundamental question is there any viable alternative to buying phosphate rock from Western Sahara is yes. Sort of.

While many other countries have stopped buying Western Saharan phosphate, in part due to pressure on corporations to exercise social responsibility, New Zealand is in a bind.

New Zealand is rare among agricultural nations for its high rate of pastoral farming. Between 80 and 90 per cent of New Zealands agricultural land is dedicated to animals, which has been largely consistent for a century. Other major farming nations, like Canada, have more diverse land uses, such as large tracts of horticulture.

It means New Zealand needs to grow a lot of grass, which is eaten by animals, requiring more grass (as well as other crops used for animal feed). Pasture-based farming is lucrative for New Zealand. It resulted in $23b in export revenue last year, meaning its the countrys most valuable export by far. But is heavily reliant on fertiliser, particularly pho...

21:24

Volga-Dnepr Antonov AN-124 RA-82046 Departs Rockhampton Airport for Cairns "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

After making a spectacular arrival the previous day and spending the night parked on the Rockhampton Airport parking apron, on Friday 14 September, the visiting Volga-Dnepr Antonov AN-124-100 RA-82046 departed Rocky for Cairns as VDA3195. 






...

19:58

Mackellar Mining Equipment / Flight Options (Australia) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra Bizjet VH-MMC Back at Emerald Airport Once Again - Plus More! "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

It's almost becoming a weekly visitor!  The very familiar sight of Mackellar Mining Equipment / Flight Options (Australia) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-MMC was once again back in CQ, this time visiting Emerald Airport for the day Wednesday 5 September.

VH-MMC departs the Sunshine Coast for Emerald  (File photo)

VH-MMC arrived from and later departed back to its Sunshine Coast base.

Meanwhile, also on Wednesday 5 September, Australian Corporate Jet Centres Cessna 560 Citation Ultra VH-WFE was noted departing Hamilton Island Airport for its Melbourne (Essendon) base.  It had arrived from the Ballina/Byron Gateway Airport in northern New South Wales over the weekend.

On Tuesday 4 September, and for the second week in-a-row, Mitchell Water Cessna 525 Citation M2 bizjet VH-WMY was noted visiting the Whitsunday Airport at Shute Harbour.  This time, it arrived from Melbourne (Moorabbin) via Melbourne (Essendon), Evans Head (New South Wales) and the Gold Coast.  It later departed back to Essendon and then Moorabbin.

Finally, on Monday 3 September, LifeFlight (Aeromed) LearJet 45 bizjet VH-CXJ "Ambulance 452" had a busy afternoon and evening visiting Mackay Airport twice as well as Rockhampton Airport.

Sincere thanks to the Sunshine Coast Plane Spotting Facebook page for allowing us to share their great photo of VH-MMC!

17:13

Serena cartoon fuels debate about racist Australia "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Australia is by most measures one of the worlds most successful multicultural societies, but a controversial cartoon of Serena Williams has rekindled accusations it is also inveterately racist.

Australia should be a poster-child for diversity: One-in-two Australians has a parent born abroad. The economy has been growing for 27 straight years. Crime is barely a worry. Melbourne and Sydney dominate rankings of the best places in the world to live.

Visit any medium-size human habitation on the mind-bendingly large continent and its obvious that Australia is the proverbial melting pot Kiwis, Chinese, Irish, Filipinos, Brits, Vietnamese, Italians, Indians, Greeks and Lebanese at every turn.

AFP | Photo illustration shows the front page of the Herald Sun newspaper, featuring a cartoon of US tennis player Serena Williams (lower R)

But this racial, ethnic and linguistic diversity contrasts sharply with a lingering image of Australia as an angry white country stuck in the past.

It was an impression underscored by foreign outrage about an Australian cartoonists depiction of a fat-lipped and masculine Serena Williams, and the collective shrug it prompted Down Under.

After the drawing was published, a CNN opinion piece described Australia as the nicest racist country you will ever see and the New York Times thundered that Australia has never fully confronted its own history of racism.

Image may contain: 1 person

Many Australians admit there is a problem.

The legacy of European settlers terrorising Aboriginal communities looms large, and inequality between the two groups remains staggering.

Racial epithets are still tossed around in a way that makes visitors jaws drop. A White Australia immigration policy, only fully dismantled in the 1970s, and more recently off-shore migrant detention centres have also done much to frame the modern image of Australia abroad.

But many Australians also believe the problem can be overstated.

There is an element in Australian society that is racist, said John Blaxland, a professor of International Security at the Australian National University. But every country has them. Name a country that doesnt.

He insists the reality of modern Australia is a vibrant, booming, multicultural society that integ...

14:45

Helen Razer On Making Australia Racist-er Again #MARA "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

As the furore over an Australian cartoon about American tennis player Serena Williams rages on, Helen Razer calls game, set and match on the low hanging fruit of racial outrage.

Is Australia Racist?

Great, and at last. A fresh question for our debate-o-tainment.

Is Australia Racist??

Let the contest of ideas begin.

Of course, the answer will be NO.  Few of us suspect a nation established in violent, racist theft might have some lingering issues with racism. (You touch up a brutal invasion with the frail colonial lie that they cannot possibly be human ONE TIME.)  But, to truly learn if Australia, whose immigration policies are openly championed by Europes hard-as-hate anti-immigration right-wing, is racist? What a thrill ride this will be. Are there one or two racist items left in Australias shed of crazed denial (shed next to figurines of much-adored concrete native, not shed still holding Aboriginal children in torture conditions) we must debate.

This important debate was provoked by a drawing. Claimed as a likeness of Serena Williams, the alleged drawing gave me no visual hint of that great athlete at all. For a time, I did not know what this object might be and then I recognised it as the work of a traumatised patient.

My particular guess: the artist was a teen newly rescued from a Gippsland supremacy-and-baking cult and the art was produced when Nurse asked him to draw his feelings about Grand White Guru Wizard Tim. New Matilda notes that reports have since emerged that a Murdoch pissdrip called Mark or Sharlene or similar shat the thing out after eating a full box of Faber-Castells in one of her many office attempts at self-harm. We may never know the truth.

What do we know? That THIS is a spanker of a question. Is Australia Racist? Or, better: can we Make Australia Racister Again? #MARA

Important White Australians consider such questions today, as they are legally obliged to do. They will soon Start the Conversation on breakfast television, they will next Raise Awareness on Q&A and in time will make the very prudent choice of Steve Honk if You Heart Ethno-nationalism Bannon for moderator in chief.

Sure. You may not agree with Steves efficient and colossal distribution of explicitly racist lies about the Blacks, the...

Wednesday, 22 August

16:57

Singing the Camino: A tale of two trailblazers, walking and songs "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

You never know where life as a Singing Leader will take you next. Several years ago now, The Lucky Wonders, an indie folk pop band from Byron Bay, toured Germany. In need of a break after a few gruelling years in the music industry, Jessie Vintila and her partner Emma Royle took off for a drive through Spain and France, and found themselves in St Jean Pied de Port, a small French town at the foot of the Pyrenees.

Turns out, St Jean Pied de Port is a common starting place for people walking a spectacular stretch of the Camino Francs, the most famous of all the Pilgrimage routes across the mountains, and on this particular day the atmosphere of the town captivated them both in a powerful and life changing way.

We saw all these people in hiking gear with walking poles and there was a kind of magical hush over the town. There and then we got the bug for the Camino. Emma has been a keen hiker all her life and she was determined we would walk this track as soon as possible.

But with return flights booked and paid for it was time to head home to Australia leaving the two women unclear about how they could justify an imminent trip back to Europe. Being musicians its not that easy to travel across the world, Jessie laughs. Their quest was something to ponder, something requiring time and creative thinking but the vision and the place persisted to play in their thoughts.

On a walk out one evening, an idea and a solution to the situation popped clearly into Jessies headand after all that thinking it turned out, rather ironically, to be a bit of a no-brainer.

Jessie was fortunate to be born into a singing family. As a multi-instrumentalist for most of her life she has also been a passionate choir leader since she was 18: I cant get enough of it, Im an absolute harmony addict, I love having people all around me singing harmonies all the time. Emma, who is also a musician, is an ardent fan of walking.

The freshly hatched plan combined all these skills and, most importantly at that point in time, gave Jessie and Emma a legitimate reason to head back to the Camino together to explore the idea of setting up their potential new venture: A Singing tour of the Camino for other people to do.

If we could go over there and set up this project, we could do it!

Within a few months of their original visit, Jessie and Emma went back to Spain and walked all 800 blister-busting kilometres of the Camino. They decided to focus on the final 200km stretch which they decided would be the ideal distance for singing walkers to cover on a twelve day tour. A significant amo...

15:45

Trevor Ravenscroft and the Spirit World "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

This will allow us to begin to see a whole spiritual depth and significance behind every single manifestation of the physical world...

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