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Friday, 20 July

16:44

BIOCHAR FOR SUSTAINABLE SOILS "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

[ Thursday, 2 Aug; 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. ] Dr. Annette Cowie, Principal Research Scientist and Dr. de la Rosa will discuss their biochar project at the next Sustainable Living Armidale monthly forum on Thursday, 2 August, at 7pm, Kent House Land degradation affects 24% of global land area, with 24 billion tons of fertile soil lost annually. The causes of land degradation include unsustainable [...] full article 

16:00

The Weekend Quiz July 21-22, 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Welcome to The Weekend Quiz. The quiz tests whether you have been paying attention or not to the blogs I post. See how you go with the following questions. Your results are only known to you and no records are retained.

1. As a matter of accounting, the net financial assets held by the non-government sector rise $-for-$ when a sovereign government issues debt.



2. In a fiat monetary system (for example, US or Australia) with an on-going external deficit that exceeds the public deficit (expressed as percentages of GDP), the private domestic sector cannot reduce its overall debt levels (by overall saving) without incurring employment losses.



3. The imposition of fiscal rules which aim to limit the discretionary capacity of governments to net spend bias fiscal policy towards counter-cyclical responses when private spending is weak.


...

15:14

Vice President of the MEAA (journalists union) Van Badham must be in running for a Walkley "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

This is the kind of journalism favoured by the journalists union, the MEAA which has made Ms Badham its Victorian vice-president and member of its national council. Ms Badham also features regularly on the ABC, particularly The Drum. I apologise in advance for Ms Badham's language.

14:32

Submissions to Senate: more people oppose a nuclear waste dump in Kimba or Hawker "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The 58 submissions to the Senate, opposing the plan for the process for selecting a nuclear waste dump site come from a variety of organisations and individuals, and include residents of Eyre Peninsula.

These are some points that came up as they answered the Term of Reference, especially  (f) Any related matters. (These submissions also generally gave full answers to the other 5 more narrow Terms of Reference)

Comprehensive criticism of the entire process. (ENUFF  Submission no. 109)    No justification for dump   (Wakelin B No. 23)  Why the assumption it has to be  South Australia.?     (Wauchope N. No.  21)   Flawed process (Hughes No. 57)   (Mitchell No. 25) Opposed to process, not necessarily to dump (Lienert L No. 50)  End the process  (Noonan, D No 31)  Longterm negative effects (Sisters of St Joseph No. 68 )

Nuclear wastes. Wants re-examination of waste plans (CCSA 55 )  Intermediate wastes   (Mitchell 25,  Scott C 14 ) Prelude to commercial waste import? (Name Withheld 90 )  Dangers Waste types ( Noonan, D31  Wauchope N  21 )  Lucas Heights best site  (Taylor A 82 )  stranded wastes (Tulloch S 32)

Issues of dishonesty lack of trust  (Ashton 73)  Hypocrisy of DIIS   (Bannon 85  Fergusson 106) Biased committees (Scott T 44)  Biased and misleading information given  (Thomas 36 Tiller J 9   Tulloch B 87)  Dishonest process   (T...

13:25

New laws will allow the use of military to break protests "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The following is by Paul Gregoire and published by  Sydney Criminal Lawyers (19 July 2018). It deals with new legislation introduced into parliament, which will make it easier to involve the military to control the Australian population

The Turnbull government recently introduced legislation into parliament designed to lower the threshold for calling out the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to assist state police forces with public incidents.

The Defence Amendment (Call Out of the Australian Defence Force) Bill 2018 revises Part IIIAAA of the Defence Act 1903, which was inserted into the Act in the lead up to the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Currently, the military can only be called upon by state and territory authorities when theyve exhausted all other options. The new bill would allow for a call out request to be actioned, when its decided that ADF personnel can enhance the ability of state police in dealing with an incident.

The new legislation also allows the PM and other authorised ministers to send in the troops when state authorities havent requested assistance, but Commonwealth interests are at stake. And it provides ADF members with enhanced search capabilities and limited shoot-to-kill powers.

A much broader scope

Australian attorney general Christian Porter told journalists that the Lindt Caf siege, along with the potential for a Paris terrorist attack-style incident being carried out in Australia, make streamlining the process of calling out SAS or commando regiments necessary.

However, the call out powers dont just apply to terrorism. They target domestic violence. This is a broad term set out under section 119 of the Australian Constitution, which provides that the federal government should protect states and territories against invasion and rebellion.

Indeed, Mr Porter has stated that the ADF could be sent in to quell widespread rioting. While civil liberties advocates stress that these new powers....

12:49

Business as usual? "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Brokers processing

It's 'business as usual' for the mortgage broking industry reported AFG, the country's largest mortgage aggregator, in its media release yesterday.

Or is it?

Certainly there has been no noticeable impact from tighter lending standards on the average mortgage size, which increased to a record $504,900, up 4.3 per cent from a year earlier (and up from $360,000 at the beginning of the data series in March 2010). 

The main strength here was driven by Victoria and Queensland, and this generally mirrors the monthly housing finance figures reported by the ABS


Volumes have eased, however.

Although lodgement volumes increased seasonally to $14.6 billion in the June 2018 quarter, this was only a moderate increase on the equivalent figure from a year earlier (and indeed, AFG's rapid volume growth now appears to have a slowed since 2015). 

New normal

The composition of lending has changed significantly, too.

Investors now comprise 28 per cent of lodgement volumes, well down from 40 per cent at the 2015 peak. 

And interest-only loans comprise less than a fifth of new loans, way down from 59 (fifty-nine!) per cent at peak popularity in 2015. 

Thus some 81 per cent of new borrowers through AFG brokers are now taking advantage of...

11:31

Euro designer arrives for custom Sportster build "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

The chief designer of Europes oldest Harley-Davidson dealership is heading to Australias oldest Harley dealership to work on a custom build.

Charlie Stockwell of Warrs Harley-Davidson, in London, will help Nikki Brown-Shepherd, one half of the Brisbane Iron Sisters, to customise her Iron 883 at Morgan & Wacker, the oldest Harley dealership outside the US.

Iron Sisters - Euro designer arrives for custom buildIron Sisters

Charlie has more than 110,000 Instagram followers and was this year invited by Harley to compete in a four-way bike build-off in Milwaukee, customising a Sportster in just two days. His custom build is featured at the top of this page.

Charlie and Nikki will work on the bike alongside Morgan & Wacker techs who will also be completing their custom build for the worldwide Battle of the Kings custom Harley competition.

Charlie Stockwell - Euro designer arrives for custom buildCharlie Stockwell

Build reveal

The two custom bikes, together with another custom project being developed at the dealership, w...

11:00

Hey @VictoriaPolice - how much have you charged the CFMEU? "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Victoria Police has announced it will send a $68,000 invoice to a young Canadian woman who's scheduled to deliver a speech in Melbourne tonight. I've asked Victoria Police to tell us how much they've billed the CFMEU over performances like these.

10:57

Destroying the romance of treaty: Victoria vs the Djab Wurrung Embassy "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

On 21 June 2018, less than four hours before the passage of Australias first treaty legislation through the Victorian Parliament, the only Aboriginal member stood to draw attention to the hypocrisy and disrespect being shown by the Daniel Andrews Government.

10:28

Enquiries of Melbourne's youth as to killing Lauren Southern "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Ms Southern's schtick is very popular - this video of her excursion in Melbourne a day or so ago has been watched 207,000 times. She appears to have avoided the "far-right" tag in the press reports I've read and is most often referred to as a professional provocateur. It's quite...

10:08

The CFMEU/Labor Party's police force in Victoria now targeting free speech "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Tim Andrews and the Australian Taxpayers' Alliance are running an important campaign against the CFMEU/Labor Party's police force in Victoria. TAKE URGENT ACTION TO SUPPORT FREE SPEECH: CONTACT THE MINISTER TODAY! Victorian Police have just announced that they will charge Canadian speaker Lauren Southern a staggering $68,000 after violent thugs...

09:45

Judith Sloans Swan and ACTU tirade was a response to a threat to her view of the world "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Contributed by Joe Montero

Judith Sloans article in the Australia (19 July 2018) deserves a response. The piece in question, titled Wayne Swans bizarre speech to a largely irrelevant ACTU, was not only condescending but downright wrong.

It was condescending because, she takes up the high brow label of an economist to tell us that Swan doesnt know what he is talking about. She says any sensible economist would not use the term trickle down economics.

Time here for some basic truths. The term was first used in the United States in 1896, by presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, who in a speech suggested: There are those who believe that you just legislate to make the well to do prosperous, that their prosperity will leak through to those below

The theme was later taken up by David Stockman, who was Ronald Reagans budget director and a champion of Reaganomics. With the rise of what became known as neoiliberalism, economists and politicians of this school began to use the term, which meant that if you look after the investors interests, they will put their money in the economy, make it grow, provide jobs and everyone is better off.

Stockman himself later observed that its kind of hard to sell trickle down, so the supply-side formula was used to get tax policy that was really trickle down. Supply side is really trickle down.

Over the years since the Reagan tax cuts at the top end, and the continuing application of a generally similar  economic regimes the term  neoliberalism also came into fashion, not only in the United States, but in other countries, including Australia. As this direction began to bite, both terms became increasingly unpopular, and taken up by opponents to point the finger at those ho brought it about.

There is a simple reason for this. The trickle down didnt happen.

Judith Sloan wearing the title of economics professor at Flinders University, with qualifications from Melbourne University and the London School of Economics does not change this. Although I merely have economics qualifications form La Trobe and Melbourne universities, I know that in terms of the claim of benefiting everyone, her supply side school of economic theory has been a dismal failure in practice.

She uses the name of Thomas Sowell, to claim authority that sensible economists do not use the term Trickle Down Effect. Well he di...

08:57

New Laws Will Allow the Use of Military to Break Protests "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

 Sydney Criminal lawyers, By Paul Gregoire | 19/07/2018 


The Turnbull government recently introduced legislation into parliament designed to lower the threshold for calling out the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to assist state police forceswith public incidents.

The Defence Amendment (Call Out of the Australian Defence Force) Bill 2018 revises Part IIIAAA of the Defence Act 1903, which was inserted into the Act in the lead up to the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Currently, the military can only be called upon by state and territory authorities when theyve exhausted all other options. The new bill would allow for a call out request to be actioned, when its decided that ADF personnel can enhance the ability of state police in dealing with an incident.

The new legislation also allows the PM and other authorised ministers to send in the troops when state authorities havent requested assistance, but Commonwealth interests are at stake. And it p...

08:01

MACKAY Drug production, Mackay "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

MACKAY July 19, 2018 at 02:07PM ,

Drug production, Mackay

July 19, 2018 at 02:07PM ,

He will appear in the Mackay Magistrates Court on August 14. A 41-year-old Beaconsfield woman was offered drug diversion. Officers attending

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05:57

Hyde Cafe Bellingen black-bans people: Jenni Bienefelt the owner an Australian Christian Churches Christian black-banned me 4 years ago for writing about their cult "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

hyde 5

Jenni Bienefelt the owner of Hyde Cafe, Bellingen on left. Jenni Bienefelt of Hyde Cafe is a dysfunctional black banner, pretend Fake Christian, Cult member, and errant hypocrite.

 

Below is an article I wrote and published 4 years ago on this, my personal blog-site , the day Jenni Beinefelt owner of Hyde Cafe, Bellingen, where I live, black-banned me for explaining the errors and faults of the Christian cult the Australian Christian Churches group she is part of in Bellingen called House of Hope, formerly called Christian Life Centre located on Bellingens North Side.

 

Blog article 1 December 2014

It seems theres no end to the black-bans the cult churches of the Australian Christian Churches linked to Hillsong impose on those who dont agree with their view-point.

cult 2

Pastor John Woolhouse of Dorrigo Life Springs Church in Dorrigo NSW black-banned me from his Australian Christian Churches church in March this year.

 

...

00:24

Australia Says No to Software Patents "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Australian flag

Summary: Rokt is now fighting the Australian patent office over its decision to reject software patents; Shelston IP, an Australian patent law firm (originally from Melbourne), already meddles a great deal in such policies/decisions, hoping to overturn them

LEAVING aside the EPO and USPTO, two of the worlds largest English-speaking patent offices, there has been some news from Australia, where IP Australia (the Australian patent office) told stakeholders that software isnt really patent-eligible anymore. Weve seen several articles about this lately (we mentioned some a week ago) and Lawyerly is the latest to spread the news and shed light on it. Rokts software innovative but not patentable, IP Australia tells court is the headline. Heres the key part: An invention that simply puts a business method or scheme into a computer is not patentable, the Commissioner of Patents told a court Wednesday on the first day of a highly anticipated trial over a rejected software patent application by marketing tech startup Rokt.

This was achieved in the face of great pressure and constant lobbying from law firms.Fantastic! Well done, Australia!

This was achieved in the face of great pressure and constant lobbying from law firms. We wrote about it dozens of times over the years and named some of the culprits. In Australia weve seen Shelston IP quite a lot recently, attacking the policy and smearing officials for doing the right thing. Shelston IP went further than this and attempted the same thing in New Zealand, where software patents have never been allowed.

Earlier this week we saw Shelston IP rearing its ugly head again...

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Thursday, 19 July

19:44

Great Barrier Reef coral recovery slows significantly over 18-year period "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Over the last three decades the Great Barrier Reef has been hit by a series of intense cyclones, bleaching, crown of thorn starfish outbreaks and flood events that have caused well-documented, but reparable damage.

Scientists have hoped that an extended period of benign conditions would allow the natural processes of reef restoration to flourish, and many of the hardest-hit regions to return to a healthier, more colourful and biodiverse state.

But a new study of coral-recovery rates based on 18 years of data and published in Science Advances today, found the ability of many corals to bounce back after disturbance has significantly slowed down.

Although recovery rates were variable between different reef patches and coral types, the researchers found the overall recovery rate of corals across the Great Barrier Reef declined by an average of 84 per cent between 1992 and 2010.

Image result for branching Acropora, coral, Great barrier reef, photos

Following acute disturbance events like cyclones, coral recovery was hindered by poor water quality and high temperature, according to lead author Juan-Carlos Ortiz from the University of Queensland.

We noticed thatwater quality played a significant role in that reduction in recovery rate, Dr Ortiz said.

The study, supported by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and the Nature Conservancy, looked at data from more than 90 primarily mid-shelf and offshore reefs, comparing the rate of recovery following disturbance events.

We noticed for the first time a very large decline in the ability of the reef to recover from disturbances over those 18 years, he said.

The research team classified corals into six groups based on their growth forms. Although all groups showed an overall decline in recovery rate, two groups the Montipora and branching Acropora both went into negative.

What that means is they continued to decline even after the disturbance had ceased.

While increased disturbance events are expected as the impacts of climate change ramp up, the slowed recovery time is a concerning compounding factor.

It is exacerbating the problem. The assumption that we were working on was that naturally reefs recover fast, Dr Ortiz said.

...

19:26

Ghosts of privatisations past and future? "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Most people wont recognise the name Leo Hielscher unless they regularly cross the eponymous* bridge (better known by its original name, the Gateway). But he is a figure of great consequence in Queensland, responsible for the downfall of two governments. Hielscher ran the states finances for decades, and was the architect of the Bjelke-Petersen strategy of an extractive economy based low taxes, low services and low skill. His proudest boast was the states AAA credit rating

The low point of his career was probably the leadup to the 2009 election when Anna Bligh announced that, rather than cut infrastructure spending or sell assets in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, she would allow the states credit rating to be reduced to AA+. Bligh was re-elected, and promptly announced a massive program of asset sales. This was one of the rare instances where I was directly involved in the policy process, providing advice to the Queensland Council of Unions, and in this capacity I got to observe Hielscher in action. He was very effective in pushing the (economically spurious) case for asset sales and the need to regain the AAA rating.

Bligh, and her Treasurer, Andrew Fraser pushed through the asset sales and pushed the Labor government off a cliff, being reduced to seven members at the 2012 election. Of course, Bligh landed on her feet, ending up as CEO of the Australian Bankers Association. I didnt get such a ringside view of the process that led Campbell Newman and Tim Nicholls to adopt their catastrophic Strong Choices asset sales campaign, but I have no doubt that Hielscher played a significant role in the background. Both Campbell and Nicholls have duly been consigned to well-deserved political oblivion.

Now the rightwing Australian Institute of Progress has staged a reunion.

After denouncing the public debt levels sustained by the Palaszczuk Labor government, Hielscher

received a standing ovation from the high-powered audience that included former LNP premier Campbell Newman, former state Liberal leader and treasurer Joan Sheldon as well as former Labor treasurers Keith de Lacy and Andrew Fraser.

Anna Bligh was obviously too busy defending the massive corruption of the banking sector to make it to Brisbane, and Tim Nicholls is still keeping a low profile. Apart from that, though, the whole team was there. De Lacy left politics before the events Ive described, but hes the archetypal  careerist who du...

19:09

Pope, sack archbishop convicted in child abuse case "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

This video says about itself:

Archbishop Found Guilty Of Hiding Child Sex Abuse

22 May 2018

An Australian archbishop is facing up to two years in prison after being convicted of concealing child sex abuse by a fellow priest in the 1970s. Archbishop Philip Wilson is the highest ranking Catholic official to be convicted of covering up sexual abuse, part of a global scandal which has dogged the Vatican for decades. The 67-year-old archbishop of Adelaide was found guilty of having concealed the abuse of altar boys by a pedophile priest colleague, James Fletcher, in the 1970s, when he was an assistant parish priest in the state of New South Wales.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Australian prime minister: convicted archbishop must be fired

Australian Prime Minister Turnbull has urged Pope Francis to dismiss Australian archbishop Wilson. Wilson has been sentenced to a years imprisonment because he has concealed sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.

The 67-year-old Archbishop of Adelaide is the highest ranking church official convicted of an abuse scandal in Australi...

18:27

Malcolm Turnbull tells Pope to sack Archbishop Philip Wilson after court rulingBrian Houston of Hillsong- Tick Tick Tock TockBrian Houston of Hillsong is in line at the NSW Attorney Generals Office and NSW Police to face pedophile protection charges. "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

During his  trial, the Archbishop (Philip Wilson) said no-one had ever come forward to tell him of allegations of child sex abuse during his 40 years as a clergyman.

However, Magistrate Robert Stone cast that claim aside in a ruling that could have ramifications in courts around the country.

ABC News Australia article below.

Brian Houston of Hillsong is one of those affected by this ruling. In time, Brian Houston will be charged with pedophile protection crimes, for sheltering his old pedophile father Frank from NSW Police and Authorities from 1999 to November 2004, when Frank died.

17:22

The case for introducing rhino to Australia "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Well meant, but not a solution as far as I can see. Australia has massive problems with introduced species and also culls huge numbers of kangaroos to protect grazing. This is not an answer to poaching in Africa and Asia. It mentions white rhino (the least endangered of the species) but not black of the incredibly vulnerable Asian species for introduction and the latter would need forest not savanna envcironments. At the end says it is tongue-in-cheek, so is this all some sort of satire? KS

 

The Conversation

July 18, 2018 9.29pm SAST
Australia could sustain wild rhinos, but should it try? Renaud Fulconis/International Rhino Foundation

Rhinos in Australia might seem like an insane proposition after all, weve had...

17:08

Australia - Oberon fluoride: council meeting approves addition to water supply "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

CROWDED: It was standing room only in the Oberon Council chambers as the community waited for a decision on whether fluoride would be added to Oberon's water supply.A DIVISIVE community debate has ended, for now, after Oberon Council voted to allow fluoride to be added to the towns water supply.


But the peace might not last long as fluoridation opponents are already warning that the battle isnt over.

Oberon councillors voted 5-3 in favour of fluoridation at their ordinary meeting on Tuesday night after a months-long debate in the town that had, at times, become personal.

Previous attempts to introduce the dental health measure had been unsuccessful, the most recent being in 2014, when councillors voted 5-3 against fluoridation.

The Oberon Council chambers were packed on Tuesday night for the ordinary meeting.

Councillor Mark Kellam, who moved the motion to allow the fluoridation to go ahead, said his decision was based on sound evidence.

"I've listened to all the pros and cons and all the objective evidence and I've made this decision to fluoridate, he said.

Oberon Council general manager Gary Wallace's report to the council said NSW Health commissioned the Social Research Centre to gauge the Oberon communitys views on fluoridation.

...

14:44

Unemployment lowest in more than 5 years "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Employment surges 51,000

With record jobs vacancies an upside surprise was always a possibility, and in the end that's what we got with employment surging by a seasonally adjusted by +50,900 in June 2018 to 12,573,600, driven by a large increase of +41,200 in full time employment.

Employment increased by +2.8 per cent over the financial year. 


To two decimal places the unemployment rate fell to 5.37 per cent, the lowest in 67 months since all the way back in November 2012, in spite of a promising jump in the participation rate. 


If you were to pick out a slight weakness in the numbers, the year-on-year trend growth in monthly hours worked was a tad softer at +2.6 per cent. 


Overall, though, it was an unambiguously good result.

State versus state - NSW booms

The monthly gain was driven by another +27,300 increase in New South Wales employment, taking annual employment growth to a massive +150,400 or +3.9 per cent. 

...

14:34

Canberra: its not the new Melbourne "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

The once-obscure bush capital, and its number plates, have been keen to adopt new hipster clothing; to present as something like that cool inland city that your best mate lives in. Yet like every trend that drapes itself in ironic sentiment, theres more than a kernel of serious intent here, as there is to the apparently outlandish claim that Canberra yes, Canberra is now the cultural capital of Australia.

14:00

5 Awe-Inspiring Museums and Galleries to Visit When in Melbourne "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Melbourne, Australia

Published July 19, 2018

Known as the second biggest and most populated city in Australia, Melbourne is a must-visit travel destination in the whole world. With its enthralling arts scene, every visitor will surely be in awe. There are tons of awesome spots to check out here, especially for the art and culture lovers.

Melbourne is also called as the Cultural Capital of Australia. With its numerous museums and galleries, one can say that it deserves the title. So, here are a few of the top art buildings you can visit to understand deeper and explore more about Melbournes magic:

National Gallery of Victoria

Pay a visit to the oldest public art gallery in the Land Down Under. It is home to over 70,000 pieces of art in two locations. The Australian collection can be found at the Ian Potter Gallery in Federation Square, which features the history of Australian art. One of its highlights is The Pioneer, a huge triptych format by Frederick McCubbin. On the other hand, the international collection is in St. Kilda Road building. This building is known for The Great Hall where you can lie on the floor and see its colorful stained glass ceiling.

Scienceworks

Come by Scienceworks to enjoy first-hand science experiences. This interactive science and technology museum offers changing exhibits, demonstrations, and guided tours daily to all visitors. You can check out the Sportsworks exhibit and Planetarium for a more exciting activity. Not to mention, this museum is autism-friendly one with social maps and scripts showing high and low sensory spaces. It is going to be a fun-filled learning day at Scienceworks, for sure!

National Sports Museum

Melbourne is the sporting capital of Australia. This is why sports stadiums are one of the citys main tourist attractions. Take a trip down memory lane at the National Sports Museum and learn about the sporting history of the city. Once here, you can also see a lot of memorabilia that will make you remember the significant sporting moments that happened in Melbourne.

Immigration Museum

Head over Immigration Museum to see engaging and special exhibits of the people who call Melbourne their home. Situated in the Old Customs House, this museum tells the real stories of those wh...

13:24

Big Sing in a Big Shed under a Big Sky puts Murtoa on the Community Music Map and its happening all over again "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

James Rigby spent years driving past the mighty Murtoa Stick Shed in awe of its size and wondering how on earth the monolithic structure looming up out of the landscape could still be standing. He never imagined that one Spring day in 2017 together with Jane Thompson, he would lead around 300 community singers in a Big Sing under its cathedral-like roof of bush poles and corrugated iron.

The idea for a Stick Shed Sing was conceived by Judith Welsh, Chair of the Committee of Management which took over the running of the shed when it was gifted back to the community in 2016. The vision was to create an event to reflect the ambience and glory of the Heritage listed building and bring singing into the shed for the first time as part of Murtoas Big Weekend celebrations.

We wanted an event that anyone could join in on but which gave local choirs, the singers from the Wimmera, an opportunity to perform as part of a massed choir, as well.

As highly experienced community singing leaders, Jane Thompson and James Rigby expressed their interest in coordinating the event, working with Judith to decide a shape for the day, which included a massed singing workshop open to anyone keen to sing in the shed and a concert by any community choirs attending, who were happy to perform.

Jane and crowd

The first Stick Shed Sing was held i...

13:14

Cashless welfare card is part of the package to take support away from the poorest Australians. "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Contributed from Queensland

The Australian government is so determined to press ahead with the cashless welfare card, that it hired a private company to carry out a review outside its own Department of Social Services. This is the sort of thing governments like to do, when they have already determined the result they want to have.

Consultancy firm Orima was awarded a lucrative 12-month contract to do the job.

The findings of the evaluation have been contradicted by the auditor generals report published on Tuesday. The main charge is the omitting of relevant data. The report found that the approach to monitoring has been inadequate, and that as a consequence, it is difficult to conclude whether there had been a reduction in social harm and whether the card was a lower cost welfare quarantining approach.

In other words, the finding that the card has resulted in the reduction of anti-social behaviour and reduced the cost of welfare at the trial at Ceduna in the Kimberly region in south Australia, as claimed by the commissioned firm, is not based on fact.

The cashless welfare card, otherwise known as the Indue card, takes control of 80 percent of the welfare payment of the individual, and restricts what it can be used for and where. A major criticism has been that the inability to make choices has forced recipients into having to spend more on needs, because one cannot shop around for the best prices. . But the most heated opposition, has been over the denial of a basic human right that we all expect for ourselves, and the classification of a whole community as undeserving.

Unperturbed, the government is planning further trials in the Western Australian gold fields, and there is a fear that this could eventually become the national norm for recipients of Centrelink payments.

The Card has been introduced in the context of a general assault on welfare payment in Australia, which extends from the unemployed to the disabled. Every day produces new stories of individuals falling victim to a harsh system and merciless punishment. Payments have been kept so low, that many Australians are finding it extremely difficult to survive.

Government welfare policies  govern a process of ongoing and step by step removal of the welfare system, and turning those in need towards private charity. In the view of the government, it should have the most minimal role, if any, because to do so distorts the operation of the market. This is based on a claim that if allowed to operate freely, the market will provide a place for all.

...

12:05

BE WARNED! Pedo actor Jeremy Kewley out of jail & free living it up in Victoria despite abuse of dozens of boys "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

EXCLUSIVE: The convicted paedophile actor Jeremy Kewley is free to roam amongst the public once again after being quietly released from prison following a stint of less than two years for the indecent assault of more than a dozen boys stretching back decades. True Crime News Weekly publisher, Serkan Ozturk, reports. [READ MORE]

11:11

MACKAY Mackay magistrate court "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

MACKAY July 18, 2018 at 10:36PM ,

Mackay magistrate court

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10:17

RISE DEMANDS IMMEDIATE EVACUATION OF REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS TRAFFICKED BY AUSTRALIA TO MANUS AND NAURU "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

RISE members including offshore and onshore eX-detainees strongly condemn successive Australian governments for holding hostage our community members in Manus and Nauru torture camps for more than five years now. RISE demands that the Australian government to immediately bring back all refugee survivors and provide them permanent protection and proper support services.

Asylum seeker and refugee detainees are among the most persecuted and oppressed people in the world. We endured abuse in our own countries, and upon seeking protection, are disenfranchised and suffer institutional abuse within detention systems. Immigration detention centres are arbitrary and nefarious forms of state violence; they function to subjugate asylum seekers and refugees by imprisonment.

Detention deaths are systemic murder not casual deaths of refugees, we should not normalise them at anytime

The re-opening in 2012 of so called regional processing centres in Manus Island and Nauru by then Prime Minister Julia Gillard and immigration minister Chris Bowen has resulted in 12 deaths so far. Hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers trafficked to Manus and Nauru by the Australian government have experienced abuse and neglect on these islands. This systemic abuse of our bodies and livelihood not only exist in detention but also long after we survived. We should not also forget those who are currently held hostage in both onshore and offshore detention camps, including some cases where people have been detained for 10 years without release date.

Former offshore and onshore detainee, Ramesh Fernandez says These camps cannot be called processing centres. Australian run offshore refugee camps are a modern form of concentration camps. How do you call this a processing centre when you get locked up 24/7, tortured and humiliated constantly. We should not forget that in November 2015 over 600 refugees and asylum seekers in Manus Island detention camp wrote to Australian PM and immigration minister Peter Dutton calling for mass assisted suicide. This is evidence that refugees and asylum seekers are unable to continue their lives in Manus.

We require support and protection, not incarceration. States have the obligation to uphold our human rights; not exploit us for political gain. We denounce the torture, deportation, abuse and bloodshed occurring in immigration detention centres. We condemn governments, private companies and nonprofit agencies who are part of the detention supply chain.

Furthermore, Ramesh Fernandez says, due to the lack of transparency in these Australian run detention camps, refugee cases have been mishandled, unfairly dismissed and processed without proper adherence to refugee rights protocol. Providing Manus and Nauru  detainees with the impossible ultimatum of settling in PNG or retu...

08:34

A few tips on how to keep rats and mice out of your chook house. "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"


As soon as the temperatures start to drop in Autumn and during the cold months, especially if there is rain as well, I will often find evidence of mice in my chicken house. Totally understandable from their perspective, it is warm and dry, safe from predators and there is a constant food supply.

Rodents are a nuisance in a chook house- they foul (sorry for the pun) up food and water sources, carry a number of diseases and parasites that can be passed on to your chickens and chew and destroy anything that is not made from steel. They often nest in or under nesting boxes which can give you such a fright when collecting the eggs. So getting rid of them is a priority for me.

Whilst I have no qualms about setting traps and disposing of dead rodents here are a few things I do to try and discourage rodents taking up residence in my chook house and if and when these dont work I will then resort to more drastic measures.

1. Block up any access points. Try to eliminate any possible places that rodents can gain access to your chook house. Mice can get through spaces/holes as small as 2cms to 3cms. So, clean out the house and cover up any gaps or holes. I usually use a vermin proof wire which is available at most hardware stores. If I see signs of mice, usually from diggings around the coop, I plug any holes with steel wool.

2. Plant mint. Rats and mice do not like the smell of mint so plant any of the mints, spearmint, peppermint or lemon balm, all around the edge of the chook run and chook house. Place fresh mint in the nesting boxes and in the deep litter.

...

07:57

The African gangs issue is driven by a political agenda "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Contributed from Victoria

The good thing is that there is rising concern, especially in Melbourne, over the claim by certain politicians and sections of the media, that African gangs have made this city unsafe. It has been said  that that it is so bad, that people are too afraid to go out for a meal at night.

As someone who lives in Melbourne, gets about and knows a lot of people here, this is not our experience.

There have been some violent incidents. What city with a population of four and a half million doesnt have them? The trouble is, when it comes from the hand of an African, it is reported as African crime. When it comes form the hand of a non-African, it is just crime. No one has presented evidence that the rate of incidence between the two is any different. Why is this happening?

One problem for the Africans is that having a different colour skin makes them stand out from the crowd. And this can tap into latent discrimination. For instance, the It did not stop this from being used to portray an image of African violence.

shot of Channel 7 beat up story

There have been other armed robberies in Melbourne committed by people from other racial and ethnic backgrounds. They do not fit into the narrative and are therefore  not treated in the same way.

When an Anglo Australian commits the crime, it is never presented as proof for the need to impose law and order on the Anglo Australian community. The same applies when there is a brawl at a pub, or when a gang of young white skinned teenagers pounce on someone.

Despite the emotive and fraudulent and unethical nature of the reporting by Channel 7 and the usual News Corp cabal, and repeated by Channel 10, politicians lo...

06:11

Pastor Neville Johnson. Liked blow jobs from his three young AOG church secretaries. Academy of Light Maleny, Queensland, Australia. Bobbie Houston of Hillsongs pastor in New Zealand. Former head pastor at Queen St Assemblies of God Church in Auckland New Zealand. "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Neville Johnson

Pastor Neville Johnson today. Still an errant false prophet, liar and con-artist. Neville Johnson has conned many people out of large sums of money in Ponzi schemes in recent times. Angry victims are looking for his home address to recover their lost savings even asking me if I know where he lives. He lives in Maleny, Queensland. Its a small town so youll easily find him.

Neville Johnson

Pastor Neville Johnson. Academy of Light Ministries, Maleny, Queensland, Australia. Liked blow-jobs from his three young church secretaries while praying to the Lord and fasting in Auckland, New Zealand motel rooms with them.

...

05:45

Rosny Hill: Symptom of a broken system "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

After an hour or so of Clarence City Council getting a resounding hammering, I almost began to feel sorry for Mayor Doug Chipman. Almost but not quite because Rosny Hill is a shambles entirely of the Councils own making. Inexplicably, the Council went from talking about a caf on Rosny Hill to actively facilitating a huge hotel complex, something it appears not a single local resident wants Third, eminent UTAS Professor Jamie Kirkpatrick spoke of the uniqueness of the nature reserve itself and how the value of the reserve to local people isnt countenanced by a large hotel complex. He was followed by Tasmanian Conservation Trusts Peter McGlone, who talked of the uniqueness of the areas natural heritage, including Tasmanias only nature-reserve population of leafy sun orchids, and how this would effectively be destroyed by the development. 

05:00

Deals behind deals? "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

What is really going on behind closed doors? There seem to be discrepancies between what Will Hodgman and Southwood Fibres James Neville Smith are saying. The government is connecting this proposal to an EOI process (ABC Mornings 29 June), whereas Mr Neville Smith is unequivocally denying, that the Dover Bay Woodchip Export Facility was included as part of the State Governments 2015 Expressions of Interest process for southern forest residues (Huon News 11 July). Unless there was another secret EOI process, it would seem, that someone is not telling the truth

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Wednesday, 18 July

22:52

Priming the pump "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

'Declining moderately'

An interesting little snippet from the Reserve Bank's Board Minutes yesterday. 

One might reasonably expect that the Reserve Bank is quite happy with Sydney prices declining by about 5 per cent over the past year, following a strong run. 


There's been a bit of odd discussion and reporting of these trends in recent weeks.

The most expensive sectors of the housing market by price decile do tend to be 'thinner' and more illiquid, and as such they do indeed tend to be more volatile through the cycle. 

But it's worth noting too that if the median price is down by 5 per cent, then that's the change in the median price; it can't all be driven by the top end or 'prime' properties!

The RBA is obviously clear on this point; not so sure about the burgeoning market commentariat, though!

There was also some interesting discussion of household debt trends, a subject that has been of considerable interest, both in Australia and overseas

Jobs preview

A bit of a slow news day, then, evidently!

But a big release is due out tomorrow morning relating to the labour force, with the market anticipating a modest increase in employment. 

...

22:48

The Story of a Professional Delusion: Do Psychiatrists Believe Their Own Words? "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

On February 24th of this year, a conference was held in Sydney, Australia which featured a number of prestigious local and overseas speakers as well as former psychiatric patients. Titled Mental Health in Crisis, it was intended to provide a forum for well-researched alternative views on the state of modern psychiatry. The next week, most of the speakers went to New Zealand for further seminars in five cities. During that week, a newspaper published an article quoting Prof. Peter Gotzsche, director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen, whose research showed that antidepressants are a dangerous and relatively ineffective class of drugs, and who recommended they should be severely restricted. In his view, general practitioners should not be authorised to initiate them, and they should not be given to children or adolescents. On March 9th, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) issued a press statement strongly criticising the article. In particular, it stated:

The prescription of antidepressant or antipsychotic medications is something that a psychiatrist only ever does in partnership with the patient and after due consideration of the risks and benefits (emphasis added).

As described on MIA, I lodged a lengthy complaint with the RANZCP, alleging that, as the responsible officials, the president and board had breached their own code of ethics at a number of points; in particular, the claim about prescribing habits was patently false. This has gone back and forth and, predictably, my complaints have been dismissed. On June 29th, the incoming president of the college wrote to me:

The (original press) statement also acknowledges the careful consideration given when prescribing medications.

That is, he essentially repeats the false claim that drugs are only ever prescribed after a friendly discussion between the caring doc and the grateful patient. Some months ago, I published the results of a pilot study on my 176 active files, which showed that psychiatrists hardly ever give information to patients regarding the risks of their drugs (I would have thought that any psychiatrist who was still breathing would know this: patients are routinely thrown to the ground and jabbed despite their furious objections or tearful pleading. Part of his defence was that psychiatrists have good intentions).

This reminds me of another rather fractious interchange I h...

21:20

Oberon becomes one of the last NSW towns to fluoridate its water "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

One of the last remaining towns in New South Wales without fluoridation has decided to add it to its drinking water.

The Oberon Council on the states central tablelands has voted five-to-three to add fluoride to the towns supply after several months of heated debate and campaigning.

It is one of eight local governments in NSW, out of more than 100 local councils in the state, that has been asked to consider fluoridation by Health Minister Brad Hazzard.

Oberon resident, Jenn Capel, said she was thrilled with the decision.

I think its an excellent result, Ms Capel said.

Its the people in the community who dont have that [oral] care, who dont have the dedication to teeth, theyre the ones who are going to suffer and the long-term effects are overwhelming.

The Oberon Council last discussed fluoridation in 2014 and resolved not to proceed.

Its taken a long time, Oberon resident Tina Slattery said.

The last time it went up the community didnt really appreciate what was going on, and so it could have been taken over by a very persuasive, small group.

The debate at Tuesdays council meeting sparked anger among those who opposed fluoridation, with several speakers claiming it would be a form of mass medication and could jeopardise peoples health.

Im mortified, I think theyve gone against the wishes of Oberon, mother-of-five Tracey Watson said.

My concern is that the pro people didnt really show any documented evidence, whereas the people against always did.

Sarah Raphael from the Australian Dental Association New South Wales made a presentation at the council meeting and quoted the 2007 Child Dental Survey.

It clearly showed more than double the amount of dental decay in the children of Oberon compared with Orange and Dubbo which have water fluoridation and have done for quite some time, Dr Raphael said.

The overwhelming evidence backs that water fluoridation is the most safe and equitable way to protect against dental decay in the community.

Anti-fluoride campaigner Veronika Cvitanovic has lived in Oberon for eight years.

She said she surveyed 684 people and 70 per cent were against fluoridation.

To me its clear that the council is not representing the communitys wishes, Ms Cvitanovic said...

21:18

AFSAs submission to the parliamentary inquiry into the price of fresh food in NSW "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

In April this year, the NSW Government established an Upper House inquiry to examine the price of fresh food in New South Wales, compared to trends in the domestic and international markets. The inquiry aimed to consider the financial relationships between producers, retailers and consumers, as well as state-based issues of food insecurity, market competition and environmental impacts of industry pricing. The committee for this inquiry asked interested stakeholders and community members to make submissions, after which public hearings were held.

AFSA's key recommendations from our submission (HERE) have a focus on people's right to food, increased research about and support of CSA models and the building of resilience within agricultural communities by reducing inputs, increasing on-farm diversity, protecting valuable farm land and mitigating vulnerability to climate change by targeting funding and support for more resilient systems such as regenerative agriculture.

Summary of Key Recommendations:

  1. Make it a New South Wales (NSW) state priority to lead Australias observance of our international obligation to ensure the Right to Food. The Committee should form a methodology for monitoring public policies and compliance with obligations under the right to adequate food.
  2. Research and report on direct sales models such as the Community Supported Agriculture model (CSA) and farmers markets by way of facilitating direct participation of producers in the process of conducting this Parliamentary Inquiry.
  3. Protect valuable agricultural land by fortifying the NSW planning system for horticulture production in urban, peri-urban, regional and rural areas.
  4. Reduce reliance on production inputs, especially chemical inputs such as pesticides and synthetic fertilisers, and facilitate farms and market gardens that increase resilience to climate fluctuation and strengthen the health and vitality of farming and communities.
  5. Explore ways to strengthen competition and consumer law protections for growers, for example the Horticulture Code of Conduct which came into effect on 1 April 2018.
  6. Facilitate nutritious and local fresh food procurement in social sectors and state institutions. The Committee should, for example, report on the NSW Health Departments milk supply contract with foreign-owned Dair...

17:09

Australia - Oberon becomes one of the last NSW towns to fluoridate its water "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

One of the last remaining towns in New South Wales without fluoridation has decided to add it to its drinking water.

The Oberon Council on the state's central tablelands has voted five-to-three to add fluoride to the town's supply after several months of heated debate and campaigning.

It is one of eight local governments in NSW, out of more than 100 local councils in the state, that has been asked to consider fluoridation by Health Minister Brad Hazzard..........
Two women standing outside the Oberon Council meeting.

Anti-fluoride campaigners in Oberon angry at a decision to introduce fluoride

Posted about 5 hours ago

Oberon residents Veronika Cvitanovic and Tracey Watson are disappointed by the council's support for fluoride.

16:57

Why some people want a nuclear waste dump in Kimba or Hawker, South Australia "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

As Ive been going through 98 submissions to The Senate Inquiry  on Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia , Ive been able to learn some of the reasons why people support  the idea of the nuclear waste dump .   Almost every one of the the 40 supporting  submissions come from local residents,  several explaining that they have been very thoroughly informed by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, including tours of the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor.  4 submissions spent time praising DIIS and ANSTO  (Ashworth, P No. 52 , and Baldock B No 72 , Baldock H No 64 and ANSTO itself, No 58)

These are some points that came up as they answered the Term of Reference, especially  (f) Any related matters.

Survival of the town as reason to have the dump:  (submissions from Carpenter I No 3, Carpenter D No 1, Clements No 35 , Joyce, J, McInnis, J, Name Withheld, no 91, Stewart)

Opposition to misleading information from anti-nuclear activists (Joyce, J No 33, Koch, D No 75, McInnis, J No 4) 

Need for dump for nuclear medicine (DIIS No 40, SA ARPS No 41)

Dump will have no negative impact (Lienert, M and M No 53, Schmidt, D No 13)

Dump good for local business (Kemp No 88, SACOME No 69)

Dump important for necessary...

16:38

Cruel anniversary for 1650 people including 124 children still imprisoned on Manus and Nauru "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Today, Thursday 19 July marks five years of limbo and suffering for over 1650 men, women and children indefinitely imprisoned in the Turnbull Governments refugee camps on Manus Island and Nauru.

The group includes 124 children, 40 of whom have spent their entire lives warehoused in offshore detention.

Daniel Webb, Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre who has visited Manus Island three times, said that after five years of misery, suffering and death, it was well and truly time for the Turnbull Government to move every single person out of these offshore camps.

Five years is absolutely huge in the life of a child. These kids should be free and full of curiosity and hope. Instead, they are growing up surrounded by suffering and despair. Children as young as 10 are trying to kill themselves, said Mr Webb.

Whatever the question, continuing to wreck the lives of these 124 children is not the answer.

On 19 July 2013, the Rudd Government announced that anyone arriving by boat would be deported to indefinite offshore detention. Five years on, the Turnbull Government continues to detain over 870 men, women and children on Nauru and over 780 men are still languishing on Manus Island.

Its been five long, painful years. Women have been sexually assaulted. Children have been so traumatised that they have needed urgent psychiatric care. Twelve people have died. Such deliberate and sustained cruelty to innocent human beings is fundamentally wrong, said Mr Webb.

In November 2016 the Government announced its US resettlement deal with the Obama Administration agreeing to resettle a maximum of 1250 people detained on Manus and Nauru. However, almost two years after the agreement was announced only around 300 people have been resettled and Trump has made no secret of his disdain for the deal.

Mr Webb said that even if the US deal is eventually fully implemented there will still be around 800 people left behind on Manus and Nauru with no end or solution in sight.

When you...

16:08

Why the alt-right want to call Australia home "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

On Friday, Canadian alt-right YouTuber and activist Lauren Southern will host the Melbourne leg of her national speaking tour, alongside fellow alt-right YouTuber and compatriot Stefan Molyneux. Southerns video announcing her tour really tries to bring the drama: You guys are at a crossroads. Do you want to retain your culture your borders, family, identity? Or will the boats keep coming, the no-go zones keep growing and will you become another victim of multiculturalism?

14:30

Victoria Police "could" launch investigation into Andrews Govt taxpayer funding rorts "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. I think I might push a peanut with my nose from Bourke Street to the Sydney Opera House if this gets up. Here's The Australian with Sam Hutchinson's optimistic take on the Ashton sophistry. Victoria Labor could face criminal investigation over Red Shirt rorts Victorian Chief Police...

14:08

"What Causes Chest Pain When Feelings Are Hurt?" "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

"What Causes Chest Pain When Feelings Are Hurt?"
by Robert Emery and Jim Coan

"When people have their feelings hurt, what is actually happening inside the body to cause the physical pain in the chest?" - Josh Ceddia, Melbourne, Australia

"Robert Emery and Jim Coan, professors of psychology at the University of Virginia, reply: "Terms such as heartache and gut wrenching are more than mere metaphors: they describe the experience of both physical and emotional pain. When we feel heartache, for example, we are experiencing a blend of emotional stress and the stress-induced sensations in our chest- muscle tightness, increased heart rate, abnormal stomach activity and shortness of breath. In fact, emotional pain involves the same brain regions as physical pain, suggesting the two are inextricably connected.

But how do emotions trigger physical sensations? Scientists do not know, but recently pain researchers uncovered a possible pathway from mind to body. According to a study from the University of Arizona and the University of Maryland, activity in a brain region that regulates emotional reactions called the anterior cingulate cortex helps to explain how an emotional insult can trigger a biological cascade. During a particularly stressful experience, the anterior cingulate cortex may respond by increasing the activity of the vagus nerve- the nerve that starts in the brain stem and connects to the neck, chest and abdomen. When the vagus nerve is overstimulated, it can cause pain and nausea.

Heartache is not the only way emotional and physical pain intersect in our brain. Recent studies show that even experiencing emotional pain on behalf of another person- that is, empathy- can influence our pain perception. And this empathy effect is not restricted to humans. In 2006 a paper published in "Science" revealed that when a mouse observes its cage mate in agony, its sensitivity to phy...

13:41

Full Moon July 2018 Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Full Moon July 2018 Meaning Astrology and the spiritual and metaphysical influences on a special blood moon lunar eclipse.

The post Full Moon July 2018 Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse appeared first on Thrive On News Spiritual Magazine.

13:39

Australian venture taps 'migrapreneurs' for cleantech solutions "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Migrants and refugees often face bleak job prospects in Australia. Sydney-based accelerator programme Catalaysr wants to coach migrant-run start-ups to create employment and deliver solutions the world needs.

06:15

Tasmania, the GST and Peter Pan economics "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

In the Peter Pan pantomime the MC pleads with the audience to shout out that they believe in fairies. Otherwise the beloved fairy Tinkerbelle will fade away. Present politics in Canberra is a bit like that. We are all asked to suspend rational thought and fervently believe in this new era of Pixie Economics where Tinkerbelle Surpluses will not fade away

06:12

Loggers ask Federal Government for more millions Conservationists outraged "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Save the Tarkine and Bob Brown Foundation are outraged that Australias Forest Products Association (AFPA) has held out another begging bowl to the Federal Government to log and burn native forests in Tasmania. AFPAs opportunistic requests for another $10 million for the already massively subsidised logging industry can only be described as the height of bad manners. Theyre talking with their snouts full, said Save the Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan

06:10

Tourism and debates we are not supposed to have ... "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Recently the Lord Mayor of Hobart, Ron Christie, had the temerity to raise the question of over-tourism. All but one (Dr Eva Ruzicka) of the aldermen condemned him along with Luke Martin, representing the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania (TICT), in an article in The Mercury on 2 July 2018, and no less than two Mercury Editorials

06:00

Poker machines a time for change? "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

I was recently asked to provide a 550 word article on any topic for the Advocate newspaper. Whilst, I have publically stated I would prefer Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs/pokies) to be limited solely to Tasmanian Casinos and the TT Line and not be housed in pubs and clubs that probably isnt going to happen; especially with the current Government negotiating the next twenty year deal. I therefore suggest that we should, as a supportive and responsible community, at least aim to remove 50% of the machines from our communities by 2023. The article below appeared in Monday 16 July Advocate newspaper.  Some of your readers may be interested in this topic. Player losses in Tasmania through EGMs in 2016-2017 amounted to $182 million - 60% (approximately $110 million), was attributable to pokies in pubs and clubs.  Some Tasmanian towns which can least afford them have the highest concentration of pokies. Glenorchy has 270 machines with $20 million dollars lost in revenue to that community in twelve months. Devonport has 230 poker machines for a community of 30,000 people. Nearly one poker machine for every ninety adults, one of the highest rates in Tasmania, extracting approximately 12 million dollars annually from locals. While the industry stakeholders claim pokies create jobs, information provided to the Inquiry challenges that position.  The Committee was informed that $1 million in pokies revenue provides three jobs in the gaming industry, in the retail industry, a million dollars would support 10 jobs, and in hospitality, $1 million equates to 16-18 jobs Tim Costello: Revealed: Victoria transfers 414 pokies licences from clubs to pubs

05:50

Badger cull operation cost taxpayers 76,000 per animal "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

An operation to reduce the spread of tuberculosis in cattle cost 76,000 for each badger killed Leo Schofield: It amounts to $134,934.84 ... A bargain. This is what the Tasmanian Government spent on the Fox Force ... and they didnt even kill one.

05:00

Walkley Award-winning journalist Evan Whitton dies, aged 90 "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Journalistic giant Evan Whitton, most famous for uncovering police corruption and his coverage of the Street Royal Commission, has died Obit, SMH: Journalist won five Walkley awards for ground-breaking journalism

02:29

Poll Roundup: National Narrowing As Super Saturday Approaches "IndyWatch Feed Tas"


2PP Aggregate (2016 Preferences): 51.7% to ALP (-0.5 since last week, -1 in six weeks)
With One Nation preference adjustment 51.1% to ALP
Closest position since October 2016
Labor would probably still win election "held now" but it would be close

Even psephologists have trouble with counting to big numbers sometimes. Like two.  Normally I release a new post in this series every second Newspoll week, but two weeks ago on Newspoll Monday I had an inconvenient distraction.  By the time I'd got through that and a couple of days of work my mind was so much elsewhere that I had forgotten it was time for another Poll Roundup.

Anyway, another Newspoll week has come and gone and all the current streaks noted on my Newspoll records page have continued.  These streaks are: the Coalition for most 2PP losses in a row (now at 36), Malcolm Turnbull for most Better PM wins in a row (now 56), Bill Shorten for most negative netsats in a row for an Opposition Leader (now 69) and Malcolm Turnbull for the third-most negative netsats in a row for a PM (now 47, and he has overtaken Julia Gillard for second place for longest stay in negativeland by time.)

What we are seeing lately though is a definite narrowing in voting intention polling compared to most of this government's term.  The government's 2PP score by 2016 preferences was in the 46s and sometimes 47s for all of last year and through to April this year.  Since then it has consistently been at least in the 47s and is now having a nibble at the 48s.  Assuming that 2016 preferences may in fact favour the Opposition, currently two-party voting intention is very close indeed.  Here's the smoothed tracking graph by 2016 preferences:


In the time since the previous episode Newspoll has released a 48 for the government followed by two 49s, Essential has gone 46-48-48-49 and there was a ReachTEL at 48 and an Ipsos at 47.  My aggregated estimates using 2016 preferences for all these were 47, 48.1 and 47.9 from Newspoll, 46.1, 48, 48 and 48.9 from Essential, 47.2 from ReachTEL and 46.5 from Ipsos.  After putting all those in I have the government at 48...

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Tuesday, 17 July

20:05

The joy of extra CO2 "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Sit up class!

Straight backs. Face the front.

Davidson stop reading comics under the desk. Will the big lout at the back put the stock market report away. Do your trading at playtime.

Take out your copy of Climate Change: The Facts 2017.

No not the 2014 one Lizzie. Stop making faces at her Gab. Its not her fault that shes slow.

Turn to page 189. Chapter 14. Carbon Dioxide and Plant Growth by Dr Craig D Idso, the founder, former president and current chairman of the board of the Centre for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change.

This is an amazing paper and it falls right into my original ballpark Agronomy, the integrating part of Agricultural Science that I studied in Hobart and then at the Waite Ag Research Institute in Adelaide. The Institute is a centre of excellence located next to the CSIRO Soils Division and the Wine Research Institute. Wine was not the big deal that it is these days, we were still taking it from glass flagons and beer was still overwhelmingly the drink of preference.

No I am not going to tell you about my research again, I told you about that when we did the neutralisation of the oceans and the barrier reef.

You all know that the level of CO2 is seriously sub-optimal for plant growth and a revelation in this paper is that the temperature is arguably sub-optimal as well.

The trend in CO2, from a preindustrial baseline a bit under 300 ppm we are now about 400 and we could reach 800 by the end of the century under the business as usual scenario.

Productivity. He cites figures for the extra growth of plants with 300ppm extra CO2 (not sure about the baseline). Average for herbaceous plants is 33% extra biomass. Especially strong performers are fruit of all kinds including grapes and also carrots and turnips near 70% extra.

Trees do even better, woody plants average 50% more biomass with the extra CO2.

Many aquatic plants do better as well, although there has been less study of them.

Yes Johanna I know hes still reading comics. You dont need to be a tittle tattle.

Enhanced water efficiency

This is a doozey because water is a limiting factor many places especially for broad acre farming and grazing where irritation is not an option.

You dont need to laugh Bruce, you know I meant irrigation.

Higher CO2 reduces the opening of the stomata (pores) in the leaves which give out water vapour (the main loss of water from the plant). They also produce less stomata. One might expect th...

05:45

Lack of public information on polo pony deaths after Tasmanian event worries vet, horse breeder "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Almost six months on from the mysterious deaths of 16 polo ponies, a senior equine veterinarian is baffled by the unacceptable lack of information, while an industry veteran is warning that without any answers the impact will continue ABC: Polo pony deaths still under the spotlight, pressure grows for answers ABC: Minister refuses to release details of probe into polo pony deaths ABC: Polo pony deaths: Animal welfare expert to quit over delays in Tasmanian investigations Animal Justice Party: Animal Justice Party calls for transparency and accountability with investigations Courtney doges question on mass salman escape and seal deaths Cassy OConnor: New Minister Walks Away From Predecessors Commitment on Animal Welfare

05:00

BirdLife Tasmania welcomes DPPs appeal of penguin killers sentence "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Within 24 hours, people around the world were expressing their feelings about the killing of the penguins and the sentence imposed, Dr Woehler said

Monday, 16 July

14:25

The Importance Of Keeping #politas On Topic "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

This is a piece concerning Twitter I've been meaning to write for some time, mainly so I can link to it and so others can link to it when explaining the concept of topicality to people determined to ignore it or else new to Twitter.

On Twitter, hashtags are used to to help people find material that is relevant to them.  If a person is interested in something, they can use TweetDeck or other programs to set up a search for all tweets with a particular hashtag (a # followed by the subject matter), and thereby "follow" that hashtag.

In Tasmania, the hashtag "#politas" is especially useful for this purpose. #politas stands for politics of Tasmania. The equivalents for other states and territories are:

#nswpol for NSW politics
#qldpol for Queensland politics
#wapol for WA politics
#ntpol for NT politics
#actpol for ACT politics

and a couple of tricky ones:

#saparli for SA politics 
#springst for Victorian politics

The correct hashtag for generic Australian political tweets is #auspol.  During election periods it is common to also see hashtags of the form #---votes emerge, eg #ausvotes, #tasvotes etc, sometimes with the year after them.  Some states have other political hashtags that are sometimes used - eg #lgtas for Tasmanian local government (council) politics and issues.

The #politas hashtag is mainly used to discuss Tasmanian politics - including state and local politics and also including Tasmanian federal politics.  On quiet days it might only see a few tweets, on very busy days it might see a hundred.  However one of the things that makes the hashtag work well is that a high percentage of tweets are on-topic.  

When people from other states use #politas to tweet about general federal political matters at a high volume, this is annoying to people who use the #politas hashtag.  They need to either wade through all the irrelevant tweets or else mute or block the offenders.  They may not actually wish to mute or block the offenders (I've even had to block people who were following me because they would not get the hint about keeping #politas spam-free).

Latitude is shown for people who are based in Tasmania who may use #politas to talk about federal issues, especially if they are politically active, because...

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