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IndyWatch Capricornia and FNQ News Feed was generated at Australian Local News IndyWatch.

Monday, 17 September

17:55

North Queensland is Becoming a Hub of BCH Accepting Businesses "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

The northern part of the Australian state, Queensland, is bustling with cryptocurrency energ. The region is extremely passionate towards one specific decentralized peer-to-peer electronic currency bitcoin cash (BCH). 

Also Read: Netherlands Largest Bank ING Group Fined $900M for Money Laundering

North Queensland Bitcoin Cash Merchant Adoption Expanded 52% Last Month

North Queensland is Becoming a Hub of BCH Accepting BusinessesOver the last few months, a few bitcoin cash proponents have been spreading a lot of BCH adoption in the North Queensland region in Australia. North Queensland is a very large area with its own distinctive regional character within the massive state of Queensland. Anyone who frequents the Reddit forum r/btc, have probably noticed many posts showing BCH adoption taking place in the region. 

North Queensland has its own Bitcoin Cash meetup, its home to the countrys first BCH-only automated teller machine, and right now the area has a lot of BCH accepting merchants. This week, using the mobile application...

17:51

Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

There is something peculiar doing the rounds in Australian food circles.  The land down under, considered something of a nirvana of fruit and vegetable production despite horrendous droughts and calamitous cyclones, is facing a new challenge: human agency, namely in the form of despoliation of strawberries.

The results have knocked Australias highly concentrated supermarket chains, with both Coles and Aldi withdrawing all their fruit with a nervousness that has not been seen in years.  A spate of incidents involving contamination, or pins stuck in the fruit, have manifested across a range of outlets.  Strawberry brands including Donnybrook Berries, Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries, Oasis brands, Berry Obsession, Berry Licious and Mals Black Label have made it onto the list of needled suppliers.  There have been possible copycat initiates doing the rounds.  This, exclaimed Strawberries Australia Inc. Queensland spokesman Ray Daniels, is food terrorism that is bringing an industry to its knees.

The game of food contamination, infection or, as Daniels deems it, food terrorism, is the sort of thing that multiplies in fear and emotion.  It targets the industry itself (the strawberry market is already frail before the effects of pest and blight), and ensures maximum publicity for the perpetrator.  Then there is the constant fear of a potential victim, the all stifling terror of legal action that might find a target in the form of a provider.  Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has already boosted such feelings, ordering the Food Standards Australia New Zealand to investigate the matter.  This is a vicious crime, its designed to injure and possible worse, members of the population at large.

Out of 800,000 punnets of strawberries, notes Daniels, seven needles were found.  Youve got more chance of winning lotto than being affected.  Take your chance, and, as with all food production, hope for the best as you would hope for the arrival of a green goddess.

Others such as Anthony Kachenko of Hort Innovation Australia have also moved into a mode of reassurance, a salutary reminder that Australia remains in the stratosphere of food excellence despite such adventurous despoilers.  Sabotage it might be, but it was surely isolated, a nonsense that could be dealt with surgical accuracy. Australia prides itself on safe, healthy, nutritious produce and we have the utmost confidence in the produce that we grow both for the...

14:55

QFES Bushfire Alert Feed: HODZIC RD & MULLIGAN HWY, Southedge "cairns IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

Alert Level: Notification Reported (UTC): 2018-09-13T03:16:41 Current Status: Patrolled Details:

Southedge (north west of Cairns) bushfire as at 7.15pm Mon 17 Sept

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) crews are on scene at a bushfire burning near the Mulligan Highway and Quaids Road, Southedge. Firefighters have contained the fire but are continuing to backburn in the area. Smoke can decrease visibility and there may be livestock on roads in the area, so motorists should drive with caution and to conditions. Nearby areas, including Hodzic Road and Mount Molloy, may be affected by smoke over the coming days. If affected, residents are asked to close windows and doors. Those suffering from a respiratory condition should keep their medications close by. If residents are concerned their property is under threat they are advised to call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

13:44

Six Australian Army Blackhawk Helicopters Spotted Passing Back Through Rockhampton Airport "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

During Sunday 16 September, the six Australian Army Sikorsky S-70A-9 Blackhawk helicopters that ventured North to Townsville for an exercise during August, were spotted passing back South through Rockhampton Airport (and possibly Mackay and Bundaberg Airports) while heading home from Townsville.



Blackhawks A25-111 as "Kopis 111", A25-104 as "Kopis 104"and A25-109 as "Kopis 109" all flew IFR into Rocky from Townsville.



...

13:16

Blunt message to states from Canberra on recreational cannabis guest post from Stephen Thornton "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

I am delighted to publish this guest post from my good friend and colleague Dr Stephen Thornton. Views expressed in this guest post are Stephens, and should not necessarily be attributed to me as well. GT

Blunt message to states from Canberra on recreational cannabis

Last week an Australian Senate committee released its report on Senator David Leyonhjelms private members bill to allow any State or Territory Government to legalise and regulate cannabis. The committee, chaired by Queensland LNP Senator Ian Macdonald and including Queensland Labor Senator Murray Watt, was told that cannabis use is less harmful than alcohol use and tobacco use, and that otherwise law-abiding recreational cannabis users were cast as criminals, which increases pressure on the criminal justice system and supports organised and violent crime.

Although I did not make a submission to the inquiry, in 2016 I undertook a preliminary examination of the likely economic and social benefits of legalising recreational cannabis use in Queensland [see here], prompted by its legalisation in a number of US states, which as of January this year includes California, one of the worlds biggest economies. My report found similar benefits to that identified by Senator Leyonhjelm in terms of economic and social benefits to government and consumers, specifically:

  • The Queensland government could collect around $90 million/year in tax and fee revenue in the medium term with new jobs created and would realise significant savings in the budget in regard to decreased police, court and prison costs.
  • Consumers, once purchasing cannabis on the black market and at risk of being fined and imprisoned with the associated police record and social stigma limiting their future job prospects, would realise significant benefits by purchasing from licenced premises and also in terms of product safety. Importantly, they would also financially benefit from lower transaction costs and via a consumer surplus as the scheme matured and the price of cannabis decreased in a competitive environment.

Costly cannabis arrests in Queensland (offset to some extent by fines) are the highest in Australia and have been since 2001-02. Queensland police in 2015-16 arrested 25,307 persons of the nearly 80,000 arrests in Australia and nearly as many as NSW and Victoria in total despite having around one-third of their combined population....

12:17

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail A30-001 Missed Approach at Rockhampton Airport as "Mitchel 13" "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

On Thursday 13 September, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing B737-7ES / E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft A30-001 was photographed by local plane spotter Kayanne H as it completed a missed approach at Rockhampton Airport.





A30-001 appeared to fly up to Rocky from the South and after it completed its airwork the Wedgetail returned back to the South.

A30-001 was heard to be using the radio callsign of "Mitchel 13".

Of interest and as we've noted during its other visits to CQ in recent weeks, A30-001 also still wears a sticker on the rear part of its fuselage commemorating the 100th year of the Royal Air Force (RAF) - United Kingdom - with the Wedgetail recently participating in Royal International Tattoo which...

11:54

MACKAY Mackay court news "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

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11:15

RSS Feed newsroom.psba.qld.gov.au : All Categories: Southedge (north west of Cairns) bushfire as at 7.15pm Mon 17 Sept "cairns IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) crews are on scene at a bushfire burning near the Mulligan Highway and Quaids Road, Southedge. Firefighters have contained the fire but are continuing to backburn in the area. 

05:45

RSS Feed newsroom.psba.qld.gov.au : All Categories: East Trinity (near Cairns) bushfire as at 1.45pm Mon 17 Sept "cairns IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) crews are on scene at a bushfire near Second Beach and Pine Creek Yarrabah Road, East Trinity. The fire is contained and there is no threat to property at this time.

05:30

RSS Feed newsroom.psba.qld.gov.au : All Categories: Southedge (north west of Cairns) bushfire as at 1.30pm Mon 17 Sept "cairns IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) crews are on scene at a bushfire burning near the Mulligan Highway and Quaids Road, Southedge. Firefighters are working to contain the blaze and smoke may affect the area. 

04:50

QFES Bushfire Alert Feed: PINE CREEK YARRABAH RD, East Trinity "cairns IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

Alert Level: Notification Reported (UTC): 2018-09-17T01:26:12 Current Status: Going Details:

East Trinity (near Cairns) bushfire as at 1.45pm Mon 17 Sept 

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) crews are on scene at a bushfire burning near Second Beach and Pine Creek Yarrabah Road, East Trinity. The fire is contained and there is no threat to property at this time. Smoke may affect the area. If affected, residents are asked to close windows and doors. Those suffering from a respiratory condition should keep their medications close by. Motorists should drive with caution and to conditions. If residents are concerned their property is under threat they are advised to call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

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Sunday, 16 September

23:22

Rotacyclists donate to Ride Against Drought "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

As soon as the Rotacyclists heard of the Rotary Ride Against Drought, the International Fellowship of Motorcycling Rotarians Australian Chapter (IFMRA) were keen to donate $500. 

Members have also been challenged to join the ride from Brisbanes Rocklea Showgrounds on 6 October 2018.

Click here for more details on how everyone can join the Ride Against Drought and help our farmers.Ride Against Drought Rotacyclists IFMR donate to Ride Against Drought Rotary

Humanitarian aid

Lionel Cansdale of the IFMRA says Rotary International is made up of 1.2 million ordinary folk.

Since 1905, Rotary has provided humanitarian aid through charitable donations, and hands-on service. 

Ordinary folk join their local Rotary club to meet a personal desire to selflessly help others both in their own community and further afield, Lionel says.

A Rotary club is a meeting place; an enabler for likeminded people drawn from all walks of life, to pool their skills and strengths. Importantly Rotary is non-religious and apolitical.

A personal benefit from Rotary involvement is the enjoyment of lifelong friendships and networking opportunities with people that share the same core values; best described as ethical, honest and helpful.

Lionel says Rotary isnt just about hard work and fundraising....

22:43

It's showtime "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Showtime for Brisbane

Queens's Wharf is a whole new look for the city of Brisbane.

Voil the original architectural showreel, courtesy of Star Group...



And now it's getting underway...



Exciting times for Brissie.

And not a winking kangaroo in sight.

Chartfest

Also an exhilarating week ahead, including an Aussie residential property prices Chartfest on Tuesday wherein I'll take a look in some detail at what has played across across the 8 capital cities over FY2018 by dwelling type. 

Fair warning for Tuesday: you can take any media report that mentions a 'record crash' in dwelling transactions and stuff it directly into the thunderbox.

Annoyingly this happens every quarter, of course, because the reported numbers are preliminary and thus incomplete (as anyone with a brain that analyses numbers would intuitively know). 

I have quite a significant international blog readership these days, so I'll try to add a bit of texture too, to explain why the different capital cities are behaving as they are. 

Stay tooned!

12:00

11:55

RSS Feed newsroom.psba.qld.gov.au : All Categories: Southedge (north-west of Cairns) bushfire as at 7.55pm Sun 16 Sept "cairns IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) crews continue to monitor a bushfire burning near the Mulligan Highway and Quaids Road, Southedge.

06:10

RSS Feed newsroom.psba.qld.gov.au : All Categories: Southedge (north-west of Cairns) bushfire as at 2.10pm Sun 16 Sept "cairns IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) crews are currently monitoring a bushfire burning near the Mulligan Highway and Quaids Road, Southedge.

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Saturday, 15 September

20:45

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

06:00

$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.

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Friday, 14 September

22:49

Friends brace for big farewell for bilbies gentle champion "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

PETER MCRAES work colleagues commissioned a surprise gift to be presented at the fur ball last Saturday, the eve of the 13th national bilby day....

22:30

Festival with iconic status right under their noses "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

WHEN IT comes to an annual outburst of expressionism, Charleville hasnt had anywhere to hang its hat or coat. Most Villains will struggle to swallow...

22:28

Biographer falls hook, line and sinker for Corones saga "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

WRITERS OFTEN say they dont pick their subjects, their subjects choose them. Fran Harding didnt stand a chance from the moment her pharmacist husband Gordon...

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Thursday, 21 June

00:32

Inner Brisbane Cross River Rail CAPEX comparable to statewide education CAPEX "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Just before I appeared on 612 ABC Brisbanes Breakfast program last week, one of the presenters Bec Levingston asked Deputy Premier Treasurer Jackie Trad what it would cost to air condition every classroom in Queensland, a question she obviously couldnt answer without notice. Having spent the bulk of my schooling in un-air-conditioned classrooms in tropical Townsville, it struck me as a peculiar question, and I though air conditioning every classroom in the state would be a massive extravagance. That said, it did prompt me to look at what the state government currently spends on education capital works and compare it to what it spends on other priorities.

In state budget paper 3, the Capital Statement, we are starting to see the huge cost of the number one extravagance in the state at the moment, Cross River Rail. Total spending on property, plant and equipment for Cross River Rail, which is part of the Treasury portfolio, is estimated to be $733 million in 2018-19. This $733 million spent in inner city Brisbane on Cross River Rail is greater than total property, plant and equipment purchases for the Education portfolio of $674 million across the whole of Queensland! To be fair, I should note that if you add in $99 million of capital grants to other entities (which I suspect includes private schools and universities), total estimated education capital spending comes to $773 million in 2018-19. Still, the fact Cross River Rails total capital spending is of the same scale as education capital spending across the whole state should raise eyebrows. Incidentally, the region benefiting the most from education CAPEX is inner city Brisbane (see chart below). Political commentators would observe the government is worried about a Greens takeover of inner city seats.

...

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Monday, 18 June

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Wednesday, 13 June

09:13

My ABC radio interviews on the Qld state budget for 2018-19 "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Budget balances

I made two trips to ABCs South Brisbane studios yesterday. On the Breakfast program, hosts Bec Levingston and Craig Zonca and I chatted about Queenslands growing state debt, the distinction between good and bad debt, and the states credit rating. I spoke after the Deputy Premier-Treasurer had chatted with Bec and Craig, and you can hear me from around 2 hours, 34 minutes into the recording:

http://www.abc.net.au/radio/brisbane/programs/breakfast/breakfast/9839236

On Steve Austins Drive show in the afternoon, Steve and I chatted about my impressions of the budget, released just three hours earlier. I told him I thought the projected operating surpluses were too thin and actually negligible when compared with gross state product (see chart above based on data published in the budget as well as ABS data). I also noted that, even according to the metrics the government prefers, the budget projects a deterioration in Queenslands fiscal position. For example, on p. 48 of Budget Paper 2 we discover:

  • the general government debt to revenue ratio is projected to increase from 54 percent in 2017-18 to 68 percent in 2021-22, meaning the government is not expected to comply with the fiscal principle to Target ongoing reductions in Queenslands relative debt burden; and
  • ...

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Tuesday, 12 June

14:23

Politically correct Victoria Police insist they DON'T have an African gang problem despite the blight of Apex, an officer being kicked in the face and 100 'South Sudanese' youths trashing an AirBnB "IndyWatch Feed Qld"



Victoria Police insist they don't have an African gang problem in Melbourne after an officer was kicked in the face at a shopping mall and 100 youths of Sudanese appearance trashed an AirBnB house.

The comments from Superintendent Therese Fitzgerald came after a boy kicked a police officer in the head as he crouched down attempting to arrest a 16-year-old youth for alleged shoplifting on Boxing Day.

The scuffle at Highpoint Shopping Centre, at Maribyrnong in Melbourne's west, was caught on CCTV on Tuesday afternoon.

However, Superintendent Fitzgerald said this latest incident involving African youths was not a sign there was an ethnically-related gang problem, amid a spate of crime linked to Apex gangs.

'We have problems with youth crime across the state and it's not a particular group of youths we are looking into. It's all youths. It's youth crime,' she told reporters.

Superintendent said 'youth crime in general' was to blame - a week after police were pelted with rocks after being called to an AirBnB house at Werribee, in Melbourne's west.

Officers were forced to retreat from the house, trashed inside by a party, when more than 100 youths of primarily South Sudanese appearance turned on them.

Photos taken from inside the house show walls kicked and punched in, mattresses thrown on top of furniture and pepper spray splattered across bedroom curtains.

Neighbours say they were left terrified when youths from the house started roaming the streets, throwing rocks and smashing cars.

Less than a week later, a police officer was kicked in the face as he crouched down trying to arrest a 16-year-old boy for alleged shoplifting at Highpoint Shopping Centre.

The scuffle, which was captured on CCTV, unfolded in front of shocked Boxing Day shoppers before the assailant ran from the centre into the car park.

The senior constable sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to hospital as the youth who assaulted him remained at large. 'It could have been a lot worse and I'm pleased to report he's returned to work today,' Superintendent Therese Fitzgerald told reporters on Wednesday. 'He's got bruising to his eye but is in very good spirits.'

A 16-year-old Flemington boy was arrested over the alleged theft but he was released pending further inquiries.

Police are wanting to speak to a teen who is described as African in appearance and was wearing a white top and black bandana.

In June, at nearby Footscray, a man was struck in the head with a tomahawk as a gang of 15 African youths burst into a barber shop and began rioting.

In April, a gang of five Sudanese teenagers allegedly bashed their autistic classmate, i...

14:23

Shock union claims: detective breaks silence on fraud scandal "IndyWatch Feed Qld"



The retired detective who led the police investigation into the Australian Workers Union fraud scandal has broken his silence, calling for a fresh probe into an alleged conspiracy between former union officials and executives from construction giant Thiess that he claims extended to Julia Gillards old law firm.

In an extraordinary development in the long-running affair, former West Australian major fraud squad officer David McAlpine claims his investigation into the AWU slush fund 20 years ago was subverted due to political interference.

He said that in August 1998 the WA Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions had abruptly ordered him to remain in Perth as he was preparing to fly to Melbourne to execute search warrants on key players, including Ms Gillards then employer, law firm Slater & Gordon.

Mr McAlpine said he had retained key documents including letters, memos and telephone notes from his two-year investigation and he was willing to swear an affidavit and give evidence in any court about his knowledge of the $400,000-plus fraud. The fact that I was lied to and this investigation was subverted and people appear to have given false evidence at a royal commission, it needs to be reinvestigated because the simple fact is the Australian people need to know the truth, he said.

Mr McAlpine retired from WA Police in October 2016 after 42 years of service and is now living in Thailand.

In a written statement and audio recording sent to The Australian, Mr McAlpine claimed former Thiess senior executives might have misled the trade union royal commission in 2014 about alleged secret commissions paid to AWU officials Bruce Wilson and Ralph Blewitt.

Mr Wilson has admitted to extracting large sums of money from Thiess for a slush fund he set up in the early 1990s with legal assistance from Ms Gillard, who was his girlfriend at the time.

Money from the AWU Workplace Reform Association was used to partly fund the purchase of a house in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy in 1993. The association was supposed to promote training and safety on construction sites.

Royal commissioner Dyson Heydon recommended in 2015 that Mr Wilson and Mr Blewitt face prosecution for fraud-related offences connected to the fund.

Ms Gillard has repeatedly denied knowing the fund was to be used in a fraud.

The royal commission found that she had been casual and haphazard in her work at Slater & Gordon but had not committed offences, and was not aware of Mr Wilsons conduct.

Mr Heydon rejected Ms Gillards denials that she was the beneficiary of cash sums from Mr Wilson for house renovations. The commission found that the builder, Athol James, who recalled the wads of cash, and a union staffer, Way...

14:23

Victoria police 'caught using and trafficking meth and ecstasy - as two officers joke over texts about going to work after a cocaine bender' "IndyWatch Feed Qld"



No wonder they cannot control the African teenagers who aree running riot

Police partying on ice, cocaine and ecstasy would meet up with known traffickers, peddle drugs themselves and return positive tests, says an Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission special report.

The report takes in three investigations into claims of drug possession, trafficking and use by police since 2014 and says allegations against eight officers have been substantiated.

Operation Apsley revealed a group of police were using drugs regularly in their social lives - including one who used cocaine 'most days' for four months last year.

The officer, known as Senior Constable A, and a friend, Senior Constable B, used and trafficked drugs and were 'cavalier about the safety risks', the report says.

Both told IBAC they would not work if affected by drugs, but messages between them refuted these claims, including this exchange after a night out using cocaine:

Senior Constable A: 'Feeling slightly average but okay. Gonna be a long shift. Rad night.'

Senior Constable B: 'Kill me, I wanna lay down.'

Another senior constable messaged a civilian associate about putting MDMA powder into capsules - 'Now that you run a sophisticated drug syndicate you will be... essstremely bizzy' was the reply.

Two other IBAC operations also exposed regular drug use with one that focused on a constable leading to that officer's brother being arrested by federal and interstate police on drug offences.

While IBAC says allegations against eight were substantiated it says they were likely just 'snapshots of a more widespread and serious problem for Victoria Police'.

Of those eight officers, two were charged with giving false evidence, misleading or attempting to mislead IBAC, and inciting a witness to mislead IBAC, and one was charged with criminal drug offences.

One has been dismissed, three have resigned, three are suspended and one returned to work after an admonishment notice.

There are systemic deficiencies in Victoria Police's illicit drug prevention and detection, IBAC concludes.

'Police officers cannot be selective in choosing which criminal laws they will obey,' IBAC Commissioner Stephen O'Bryan QC said in a statement.

'While most of the police officers investigated were aware they were engaging in illegal conduct, they rationalised their off-duty criminality as being separate to their obligations as police officers.'

Victoria Police's alcohol and drugs policy says illicit drug use is not tolerated but there is ambiguity about the consequences, IBAC says.

Police have accepted the recommendations...

14:22

Former police officer found not guilty of misconduct after leaking footage "IndyWatch Feed Qld"



The vindictive prosecution of a whistleblower who should in fact have been praised casts a dark shadow over the reputation of the QPS.  It shows the police as having no morality at all.  They were furious that Flori revealed the ugly truth about them and desperately wanted to get back at him.

Now that their prosecution has failed, it is surely time to ask some very challenging questions of Ian Stewart, the Queensland police chief.

The prosecution was undoubtedly stressful for Flori -- as would have been intended -- but there was a silver lining to his dark cloud. After her own victory over a crooked cop and his QPS defenders, Renee Eaves has done a lot to help other innocent victims of the police. So she flew to Fiori's side when his prosecution was announced and has given him support ever since. And as well as a her strength of character and iron will, Renee is absolutely gorgeous. A former bikini beauty, she is a dream walking. Having her nearby would soothe most troubled male souls.

You see her walking beside Fiori below.  I had the great privilege to help her once when she badly needed it




A FORMER Queensland police sergeant who leaked footage of officers bashing a handcuffed man in a Gold Coast station basement has been found not guilty of misconduct.

Rick Flori, 47, was acquitted of the charge by a majority 11-1 verdict by a jury on Wednesday following a six-day trial at the Southport District Court.

Flori, who has since resigned from the Queensland Police Service, says he released the footage of the January 2012 arrest to cast a spotlight on illegal practices within the force.

Flori released footage of police at the Surfers Paradise station bashing a handcuffed man, Noa Begic, in a basement car park in January 2012.

Once the footage was run by The Courier-Mail, an internal investigation lead to a search of Floris home where the footage was located on an SD card.

Flori told investigators hed acquired the footage for training purposes and denied knowing anything about the email address used to arrange the leak with a journalist.

Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller said Flori was upset at being overlooked for a promotion to senior sergeant in 2011.

Once he realised the footage included the man who had been given the promotion at his expense, Senior Sergeant David Joachim, hed set about leaking it to discredit his rival, Mr Fuller argued.

Mr Fuller said in the email sent to the journalist, Flori failed to mention any of the other officers involved except for Sen Sgt Joachim, despite Senior Constable Ben Lamb being the man who kneed and punched Mr Beg...

14:22

This is the shocking moment police officers refuse to give their badge numbers after tasering a driver 'for no good reason' and arresting him. "IndyWatch Feed Qld"



The driver and his wife were heading to dinner with a friend at Fremantle, south of Perth, when his Jeep was stopped and served with a defect notice.

After being tasered, as he tried to drive off, the motorist's friend turned on his camera phone and repeatedly demanded the three officers give him their badge numbers.

To make matters worse the female officer, Senior Constable Arnold, repeatedly put a hat over her face as the driver's friend filmed the encounter in March 2017. 'You are not the person being spoken to,' she said.

When the driver's friend asked her again, explaining it didn't matter that he wasn't the one being arrested, she doubled down on her refusal to comply with the law.

'You're not the person that we're dealing with. You have no right.'

Earlier in the four-minute video footage, a male officer Constable Keenan repeatedly told the driver to 'get out of the car' before holding the taser pointed towards him

The state watchdog blasted the officers for using 'unreasonable and oppressive force'.

'The incident involved a driver, his wife and friend who were heading to a Fremantle restaurant for dinner but ended up with the driver being tasered in his vehicle for no good reason, arrested and locked up,' it said.

When the man was told by police to turn around to be cuffed, Constable Keenan then used force to twist his arms behind his back and press him against his four-wheel drive.

'I'm not resisting, mate,' the man told the officer.

'You were under no threat when you tasered him,' the friend behind the camera added.

He was then placed under arrest for disobeying the directive of a police officer.

A subsequent internal police review cleared Constable Keenan of any wrongdoing, however the Crime and Corruption Commission has found his actions 'unlawful, unreasonable and oppressive.'

Constable Keenan has not been charged with any wrongdoing but has been stood aside, one year after the incident. The female officer, Senior Constable Arnold, was criticised by the CCC for preventing the filming and has since been charged.

Police Minister Michelle Roberts said the police would be brought to justice.  'Police officers in this instance have done the wrong thing, they have been found out, and they will need to cop the consequences,' she said.

Ms Roberts said officers should be kept accountable with the use of body cameras, and WA traffic police could be trialling the devices by the end of 2018.

SOURCE


14:21

Victoria Police 'deficiencies' found in IBAC report on internal reviews "IndyWatch Feed Qld"


Victoria's anti-corruption watchdog says there are "concerning deficiencies" in the way Victoria Police reviews serious incidents, including those that kill or injure members of the public.

IBAC found police failed to consider evidence that should have been included, such as witness statements, in more than half of the cases.

About two-thirds of the reviews also failed to address human rights, while almost a third were not adequately supervised.

The audit also found Victoria Police failed to notify IBAC of 16 deaths and nine serious injuries resulting from police contact.

"The audit identified concerning deficiencies in Victoria Police's oversight, which require immediate attention," IBAC commissioner Robert Redlich QC said in a statement.

"Police have significant powers, the community rightly expects them to use these powers responsibly and perform their duties fairly, impartially and in accordance with the law."

A review is held when a member of the public dies or is seriously injured after contact with police to see if it was preventable.

The watchdog also looked at how thoroughly incidents were investigated, whether reviews were impartial and whether conclusions were justified.

It found a "general overreliance" on police statements and a failure to critically examine the accuracy of police accounts by seeking independent statements or CCTV recordings.

Drunk person found dead after being taken home by police

In one instance, an individual was taken home by police after they were discovered intoxicated, sitting on a public bench.  The police officers decided to take them home after discovering that they were not drunk enough to be arrested.

The individual was discovered hours later dead on their front lawn after falling through a glass frame near their front door.

IBAC found police CCTV inside the police van did not record the incident, and there were inconsistencies in the statements provided by the two police officers who drove the person home.

"The deceased's next of kin expressed concerns about the transparency and truthfulness of the police investigation of the incident," the report said.

It found conflicts of interests were often poorly identified and managed and more than a third of reviews took longer than they should have.

One case IBAC investigated included an alleged family violence incident where a person killed themselves in the days after police involvement in the matter.

The review file was allocated to the same region where the incident took place and the person overseeing the review admitted to having known one of the officers involved "since childhood".
Despite the a...

14:21

Byron Bay cop is slammed by the police watchdog for 'intentionally inflicting pain' on a naked teenager he hit with a baton 15 times "IndyWatch Feed Qld"



It is often difficult to get insane and drug-affected people to co-operate

A Byron Bay police officer involved in the beating of a 16-year-old boy with Asperger's has been blasted by the police watchdog for being too violent after he baton-struck a disoriented teenager more than 15 times.

The head of the independent Law Enforcement Conduct Commission, Michael Adams, criticised the officer's violent use of force during a hearing in Sydney on Thursday.

He questioned the number of blows delivered, along with officer E's failure to consider his actions whilst he was striking the boy.  The officer's motive appeared to be to inflict pain, he said.

The commission is examining the conduct of officers involved in the apprehension and detention of the drug-affected teenager.

Police arrested the teenager, who was found naked, sweating profusely and pacing up and down in a Byron Bay laneway, in the early hours of January 11.

Bystander video taken from a nearby balcony shows a police officer, known as E for legal reasons, striking the 16-year-old more than 15 times as he lay on the ground surrounded by up to three other officers.

Officer E said he began using his baton after earlier attempts to subdue the 16-year-old using pepper spray and a Taser had failed.

He said the boy - labelled AO by the commission - tried to get up after a baton blow to his knee had brought him to the ground and he also resisted officers trying to handcuff him. 'He needed to be compliant. He needed to be restrained,' he said

But LECC Chief Commissioner Adams questioned whether the officer had warned the boy that his attempts to resist being handcuffed would be met with baton blows. He said the number of strikes appeared excessive given the boy's mental state and the number of officers at the scene.

Officer E said the baton blows were assisting the other officers, who were struggling to handcuff AO as he wriggled around and pulled his arms under his body.

'This guy had been sprayed, had been Tasered twice and that's why I deemed that ... I was of the opinion that it needed more,' he said.

He rejected the commissioner's suggestion that other methods of control may have been more effective and said despite his small size compared to the officers, the boy was strong. 'He was very violent, at no point did I feel we had control of him,' he said.

Officer E rejected claims he had sworn at and threatened bystanders for videoing the arrest. 'I was the officer who approached people ... I would have liked footage of it,' he said.

SOURCE
...

14:21

Why did a police officer give out a woman's address to her abusive ex? "IndyWatch Feed Qld"



A Queensland Police officer has managed to keep his job after he deliberately and callously leaked the address of a woman fleeing intimate partner violence to the abusive ex-husband she was trying to escape.

Senior Constable Neil Punchard had found Elizabeths (not her real name) address using the confidential police database, and directed the man to just tell her you know where she lives and leave it that. He then joked with Elizabeths ex that she would flip out when she realised her ex who had a string of domestic violence orders against him had her address and will f...ing explode.

Sickeningly, SC Punchard is also said to have offered advice to the man in dealing with the Family Court, and offered to liaise with other police officers to assist him in any complaints.

If she gets the police, he told the man, tell them to contact me or give me their names and I will contact them. I wont hinder the investigation, but I will give them a heads up on what has happened.

As Elizabeth said back in 2016 when the case was first brought to light, Knowing an officer had not only aided and encouraged a perpetrator to not only stalk me but many other horrible things, its really left me feeling very unsafe and I really would like to know why the police commissioner has not stood this person down.

In April 2017, Elizabeth received a letter from the assistant commissioner who informed her that an investigation had found sufficient evidence to support the allegations made by you, which is to say that SC Punchard had deliberately leaked details that put Elizabeth and her family in fear for her safety. Despite this acknowledgment of fact, Elizabeth was informed that the constable wouldnt be charged and that, following an internal disciplinary hearing, the matter has been addressed [and] I do not intend to take any further action and now consider this matter closed.

Yes, you read that correctly. A senior constable who colluded with her abusive ex-partner to reveal a woman's private location and facilitate further harassment and fear really did just get a little slap on the wrist while being allowed to keep his job. A job, by the way, that places him in the path of other victims fleeing the abusive men he very clearly feels kinship with.

This isnt the first time something like this has happened. In February 2017, a woman reported that her ex had been accidentally informed of her address due to an apparent clerical error, despite having breached several intervention orders and having threatened to kill the womans children.

As Sherele Moody reports here, Queensland public servants have handed out womens addresses to accused DV perpetrators three times in the past twelve months.

Its another damning indictment on police serv...

14:20

Former ASIO officer sues police for $750,000 claiming he was wrongfully arrested, put in a deadly chokehold and told by an officer 'they could shoot him and get a medal' "IndyWatch Feed Qld"



Gold Coast police again.  They are deep-dyed thugs. No part of this is appropriate police behaviour

A former federal security and police officer is suing Queensland Police for $750,000 claiming he was put in a deadly chokehold in a wrongful arrest.

Paul Gibbons alleges officers were excessively violent, abused him and threatened him on his honeymoon at a hotel in the Gold Coast.

He claimed he was confronted by police because they were allegedly annoyed at him taking 10 seconds to open the locked door to the hotel lobby.

One reportedly told him they could shoot him and receive a medal according to papers lodged to Brisbane District Court show, the ABC reports.

Mr Gibbons, who previously served in the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), has taken the State of Queensland to court.

He is claiming damages for assault, battery, wrongful arrest and false imprisonment.

Footage from a security camera inside the hotel lobby shows the moment he is wrestled to the ground after police surrounded him when he started filming them on his phone, Mr Gibbons alleges.

The ABC reports Mr Gibbons claims the officers threatened to arrest him for obstructing police, who were at the hotel for another matter.

The former ASIO agent, who also served in the Australian Federal Police, says when he questioned why they required entry, a police officer pointed to his gun saying the weapon was his authority.

The court heard the officer allegedly said: 'When we tell you to do something, you don't ask questions. You f***ing do it. 'Hell, we can put a bullet in your f***in' head and get a medal.'

One of the officers said the recording on Mr Gibbons phone would be 'easily remedied' flashing a torch directly into the camera.

The CCTV footage shows Mr Gibbons handcuffed on the floor while an officer scrolls through the device.

Mr Gibbons said he felt as though his throat would be crushed by one of the officers when they squeezed him during the incident in 2016.

The same officer is alleged to have later said: 'I'm going to kill you c***. When we get you out to the truck, I'm going to smash your f***ing face in c***.'

Part of the claim also includes $50,000 for potentially missing out on selling the footage from his phone to the media after it was deleted.

The state government, who is representing police in the case, has not replied to the lawsuit. A spokesman for the Queensland Police Service said the force could not comment while the matter was being dealt with in court.

...

14:20

The sexual, racist and homophobic remarks that got a police officer booted from the force "IndyWatch Feed Qld"



A Victorian police officer has been dismissed from his post in the transit safety division after a decade of derogatory and racist remarks were revealed during a disciplinary hearing.

The man, whose identity isn't revealed, allegedly told a constable she had a 'cracking a***', offered to slap another's 'just once' and made comments about public service officers not being Australian or greeted them as 'homos'.

When she replied that she had, he continued with: 'Don't worry if I want you, you will know about it,' the Herald Sun reported.

While the officer contested his dismissal upon reviewing the comments Police Registration and Services Board Victoria upheld the decision.

While the police officer was later diagnosed with mental health issues, he made a point of saying his actions were only an effort to promote camaraderie.

The board said his unprofessional and repeatedly disrespectful conduct was made worse by the fact he didn't appear willing or able to alter his behaviour.

SOURCE


14:19

Vile trolling, disgusting brutality and now 258,000 fake breath tests: As Victoria's cops are busted in ANOTHER scandal people ask, who polices the police? "IndyWatch Feed Qld"



After allegations of brutality and the sacking of a top officer earlier this year, Victoria Police has been rocked by revelations more than 258,000 breath tests were faked.

An external investigator will be brought in to examine the falsified tests, in which officers blew into RBT straws themselves or placed fingers over the holes.

The fake tests were discovered just weeks after the force was hit with allegations of excessive violence, with the beating of a disability pensioner caught on camera.

The incident involving six officers allegedly beating the mental health patient with batons, verbally abusing and pepper spraying him was caught on camera. Police were referred to oversight body Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) over the incident.

The arrest of a Sudanese-born Melbourne man who allegedly robbed and trashed a chemist in 2016 was also reported to the IBAC.

Footage showed the man being punched 11 times and hit with a baton before one of the officers stomped on his back in a two-and-a-half minute ordeal.

That incident followed a complaint by Jia Meeks, who was seen on CCTV been thrown into a cell door at Bendigo Police Station.

Mr Meeks, who was arrested for allegedly swearing at police and acting aggressively, was left bleeding from facial injuries and suffering a bruised wrist after the alleged incident.

The allegations of brutality followed the resignation of Assistant Commissioner Brett Guerin over a series of offensive online posts made under a pseudonym.

Mr Guerin, was was the head of Victoria Police's ethical standards body, quit the force in February after being referred to the anti-corruption commission.

Using the alias 'Vernon Demerest', Mr Guerin made a series of racist comments on Youtube.

'The jigaboo runs riot and out of control. The 'boo needs the lash,' read one of the vile comments.

'Wonderful to see greasy, diving, cheating dagoes get their just reward. Bitter, lingering defeat,' said another posted on a soccer video.

The comments were exposed a week after he publicly apologised last week for making graphic references to former police commissioner Christine Nixon.

In March the IBAC delivered a damning report accusing the force of failing to investigate dangerous incidents.

The IBAC itself has been criticised for its handling of complaints about Victoria Police.

Lawyers told a parliamentary inquiry in February they do not recommend complaining to IBAC, as more than 90 per cent end up handed back to police to investigate.

Victoria Police is now in discussions with IBAC about the roadside breath test revelations, which occu...

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Sunday, 10 June

08:16

#StopAdani Superheroes to Blockade Wagners "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

#StopAdani Superheroes have united forces to protect humanity and blockade Wagners! The superheroes started by boldly scouring a huge Wagners industrial site, taking footage to inform future disruptive actions and force Wagners out of bed with Adani. Despite some unnecessarily aggressive staff, everyone got out safe and thus far no-one has been arrested. CHECK OUT THE LIVE FACEBOOK VIDEO AND PHOTOS BELOW.

Wagners won a competitive tender process to build the $30 million airport for fly-in, fly-out workers on Adanis Carmichael coal mine. This proposed airport:

  • Has not been consented to by the Traditional Owners. No means no!
  • Would be 100% paid for by the ratepayers of Rockhampton and Townsville councils
  • Is vital infrastructure allowing disastrous coal mining projects throughout the Galilee Basin.

Wagners say they will not be intimidated by activists. After we scuttled Downerss $2.6bn plans to build and operate Adanis mine, we reckon they should be!

Get involved

Chip in to cover our costs

Dob in Wagners

...

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Saturday, 09 June

09:50

General Meeting This Month: Thursday 21 June, 7:00pm, Hervey Bay RSL "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Some exciting news to share this General Meeting: Thursday 21 June, 7:00pm, Hervey Bay RSL Lakes Room. Also, hear about the plans for our 25th Birthday party weekend, 4 & 5 August and pledge your support. AND hear about progress on other initiatives, including our New, More Interactive, Website coming soon!

01:37

What Im expecting from the 2018-19 Qld state budget "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

This coming Tuesday, 12 June, Queensland Deputy Premier-Treasurer Jackie Trad will deliver her first state budget. It is her best chance to establish her economic credibility. Trad is fortunate the state economy is performing reasonably well, albeit not strongly across all sectors and still too reliant on the public sector, as suggested by the March quarter national accounts data released by the ABS last Wednesday (see chart below). Another favourable circumstance for Trad is that coal prices remain high, with coking coal at around $US200 per tonne, boosting royalty revenues. As my colleague Nick Behrens commented in his Qld state budget preview, the revenue gods are smiling for Queensland.

On the other hand, Trad has to deal with an ever growing public service and insatiable demands for public expenditures from her ministerial colleagues, industry peak bodies, and community groups. Alas, Trad appears to have given in to some of these demands. The Government has already announced a $45 billion infrastructure budget, and the Courier-Mails Steven Wardill reports today that total state debt is now projected to reach $83 billion in 2021-22 (Infrastructure spree will see debt explode to $83 billion in four years). This is no doubt an example of a government getting the bad news out early, so the budget day reporting focuses on the positive surprises. Incidentally, regular readers will know I am very concerned about the level of state debt and the governments interest bill, and I was quoted on this issue by Steven Wardill in one of his previous articles this week:

Car registration cost could be cut for same price of interest on Queensland debt

Despite todays bad news regarding state debt, I remain hopeful there will be some positives in the upcoming budget. The 2018-19 state budget undoubtedly offers the Deputy Premier-Treasurer her best chance to check the ever expanding public service and to impose restraint on operating expenses, both to fund additional infrastructure and to demonstrate a path back to a AAA credit rating over the longer-term. So here are a few things Im expecting (or rather hoping for) from the 2018-19 state budget.

  1. Public service efficiency measures. I...

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Friday, 08 June

22:46

Why we should not drink to plastic "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

EAST Hope Island, about 35km south-east of Cooktown, is one of the prettiest small tropical islands in the world. It is ringed with coral and a white-sand beach with rich bird and fish life. You can walk around it in 15 minutes, which I did on World Environment Day this week.

But something stood out on that pristine beach: a plastic soft-drink bottle.

Humans put eight million tonnes of plastic into the ocean each year. It never fully breaks down, except to small indestructible beads. Birds, fish, turtles and dolphins eat the plastic, but cannot digest it. It fills their stomachs so there is no room for food and they starve to death.

Eventually, plastic will kill so much of the fish resources of the ocean that people who depend on it will also starve to death.

We are fouling our own nest and we can neither build nor move to a new one.

Carbon in the atmosphere and plastic in the ocean must be the two most important issues facing humans. Yet our political leaders still put jobs and growth first.

I put the plastic bottle in the dinghy and recalled a job I had at the end of Year 12 at a then family-owned soft-drink factory in Beechworth. Used empty glass bottles came in by the truckload and I had to sort them: by size and type.

You never saw empty glass soft-drink bottles littlering the environment in the 1960s. They carried a 10-cent deposit, so kids collected them up and cashed them in.

For the soft-drink industry it was cheaper to wash and reuse rather than make new bottles.

Then single-use plastic bottles became cheaper than glass. The economic incentive for container return disappeared, and so did deposits. South Australia reintroduced a container deposit scheme in the 1970s. It remains at 10 cents.

Forty years later, NSW began a scheme. The ACT and Queensland schemes will start next month and Western Australia next year.

All of the schemes are pitifully inadequate and marred by silly conditions about cans being uncrushed and bottles having the original label.

According to the Reserve Banks inflation calculator, 10 cents in 1968 would now be worth $1.22. That is where we need to be at least $1 or $1.50 deposit per plastic bottle.

That plastic bottle would not have been left on the beach at East Hope Island with such a deposit. (It had not been washed...

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Monday, 04 June

02:28

Get ready for an eco-hunt adventure like no other these school holidays! "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Get ready for an eco-hunt adventure like no other these school holidays!

Information here

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Monday, 28 May

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Sunday, 27 May

20:32

Better to let the private sector risk money on a new Brisbane theatre "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

In a November 2015 post New 1,500 seat theatre would likely be a waste of taxpayers money, I questioned the desirability of a state government-funded $1.3M business case to investigate a new 1,500 seat theatre for Brisbane. At the time, I was criticised by the Courier-Mails Paul Syvret for seeing things through a coldly commercial prism (see this post). But based on todays news, I feel even more strongly that my comments at the time were justified. Following Premier Palaszczuks announcement yesterday of a new $150M theatre being tacked on to QPAC, todays Courier-Mail reports:

A market-led proposal by Sydney-based Foundation Theatres for a $100 million theatre on the old State Library site adjacent to Queens Wharf has been with the State Government since last year. Foundation Theatres, which runs the hugely successful Capitol and Sydney Lyric Theatres in Sydney, would have required only $25 million from the Government.

Yesterday the Premier insisted that proposal was still in play.

If they still want to pursue that they can, she said.

But by announcing the new theatre as an extension of QPAC she has effectively killed off that proposal.

This is another good example of government activity crowding out private sector activity. Government activity is generally only justified where there is market failure or equity concerns (in which case transfer payments are typically more efficient than public provision of a good or service). Given the market-led proposal from Foundation Theatres, where is the market failure in this case?

The private sector appears willing to have met the bulk of the cost of the new theatre. The private sector proponent Foundation Theatres isnt totally pure, as it was asking for a $25M contribution from the state government, but this would have been a much smaller outlay than the $150M the government will now spend building the theatre itself. Of course, one would need to consider what exactly the state government would have received for its $25M investment in the Foundation Theatres venture. That said, based on the limited information in the public domain, it is difficult to understand the logic behind the Governments $150M investment in a new theatre at QPAC.

...

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Friday, 25 May

08:49

Upcoming AIIA talk on Asian tiger & tiger cub economies and impacts on Qld and Australia "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

When I first started studying economics in the early nineties, the international economies that mattered most to Australia were Japan, then beginning its lost decade, and the US, the winner of the cold war and the undisputed global economic and political leader. We learned that China was emerging from decades of failed communism to embrace the marketor rather its so-called socialism with Chinese characteristicsand progress was good, although I didnt appreciate then just how pivotal to the world economy China would become. Recall that earlier this week the global macroeconomic risk posed by Chinas debt-ridden economy was the most reported part of RBA Governor Philip Lowes latest speech (see this SMH report).

IMF_WEO_GROWTH

Regarding South East Asia, while Singapore was a beacon of economic progress, the most populous economies of Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam were still largely desperately poor in the early nineties and had very little macroeconomic impact on Australia. Strong economic growth in these economies since then (e.g. see the latest forecasts in the chart above), with the exception of the Asian financial crisis period in the late nineties, has lifted many millions in these economies and throughout Asia out of poverty.

So now a broad range of Asian economies, the North East Asian econo...

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Thursday, 24 May

13:08

High noon in the Galilee "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Wangan and Jagalingou law and order

By Adrian Burragubba

Published as the Prologue to The Coal Truth: The fight to stop Adani, defeat the big polluters and reclaim our democracy, by David Ritter. June 2018

I AM A WANGAN AND JAGALINGOU PERSON. I learnt the ways of my people from my father and my older brothers. I was taught that the sacred beliefs of my culture are based on where the song lines run through our country. The song lines connect me to my peoples country and to the trees, plants, shrubs, medicines that we know are on country, waterholes, creeks, rivers and animals all have a special religious place in our land and culture and are connected to it.

Our spirits and the spirits of our ancestors travel above, through and under the ground of our country. They dwell there indefinitely. Harming the environment, the country, the landscape, the ecosystems, the dependent species, harms my sacred beliefs and spiritual connections.

I, along with other Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners, through our Traditional Owners Family Council, have sustained a strategy to resist the push by Adani Mining and the Queensland government to open up the Galilee Basin our traditional lands with the largest proposed coal mine in the history of Australia, and one of the largest in the world.

At the heart of our struggle is the demand for respect for us as first peoples, for our country and our rights, all long missing in relations between our people and the Settler Society.

The confrontation over the Galilee is the distillation of our peoples struggle with the land grabbing and colonisation that has continued since day one of the British assertion of sovereignty over our lands and peoples an assertion that we never ceded to and one that proceeds every day, still without our consent.

Wangan and Jagalingou are the Traditional Owners of most of the area of the Galilee Basin, including the proposed Carmichael mine site. For untold thousands of years, we have been custodians of this land and it is our responsibility to protect our land, water, people, history and totems. Our Yuree, our law, is the bee, or Kub-bah in our traditional language.

Our sacred connection starts at our place of birth. There, the child is given a representative animal, bird or reptile totem, either a social totem or a dreaming totem. They are forbidden to eat such creatures or their eggs.

...

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Tuesday, 15 May

00:46

How did the Qld government accumulate so much debt? "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

One of Queensland Deputy Premier-Treasurer Jackie Trads biggest challenges in her first state budget, to be delivered next month, is to demonstrate a credible debt reduction strategy. She needs to show how she can reduce state debt from its current level of $71 billion, or at least prevent it from blowing out to nearly $81 billion, as currently projected for 2020-21. In this regard, she will be helped by healthy royalty and payroll tax revenues, but she also has to cope with a fall in Queenslands share of GST revenue and the legacy of the past debt build up, which costs the general government budget $1.5 billion in interest expenses each year.

When chatting with people about my forthcoming book Beautiful One Day, Broke the Next, to be published by Connor Court later this year, I am often asked how the state government accumulated so much debt. To answer this question, I analysed the cash flow statements of the Queensland government over 2006-07 to 2015-16, the ten year period in which total state debt increased by over $54 billion. I am looking at the whole Queensland government, including government-owned corporations (GOCs), because its the total debt figure that the rating agencies such as S&P and Moodys focus on, and also because the lines between the general government sector and GOCs have been blurred in Queensland (see my post Qld state debt debate is challenging for both sides).

The main driver of the additional borrowing over the ten years to 2015-16 was capital outlays in excess of cash available. On its operating activities, the Queensland government, both general government and GOCs, ran cash surpluses over the period. But there were large cash deficits overall taking into account capital expenditure (see figure below). Also, adding to the total borrowing requirement were additional interest expenses incurred because of all the additional borrowing. This accounted for a substantial share (around 30%) of the cash deficits over the period. Note also:

  • the state governments commitment over most of this period to pre-funding some of its liabilities (e.g. defined benefit superannuation and long-service leave) added to the borrowing requirement (i.e. the block labelled Financial investments for liquidity purposes); and
  • asset sales and leases (which are negative Financial investments for policy purposes), largely by the Bligh government in 2010 and 2011, substantially reduced the overall borrowing requirement.

...

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Sunday, 06 May

23:26

2018 Budget: Party like its 1999! "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Guest post by Dr Andreas Chai, Economic Policy and Analysis Program, Griffith University

1999 was a great year to be alive in Australia. Apart from Prince hitting the airwaves again, Powderfinger were still playing and topped the hottest 100, the first Matrix movie was released and you could still get a flat white for under three dollars. In terms of the Federal budget, 1999 marked the start of a remarkable period in which the Federal budget accumulated approximately $90 billion dollars between 1999-2008.

2018 is starting to look a lot like 1999, at least in terms of international commodity prices. While global growth remains sluggish and domestic business investment is stuck in a low gear, the underlying cash balance of the Federal government is projected to reach surplus in the coming quarters thanks to the strong performance in commodity prices, such as an iron ore.

Rising iron ore prices drive up earnings in the resource sector and therefore tax revenues. The chart below highlights the link between commodity prices and the Federal budget. The shaded area highlight phases in which there was significant returns to surplus in 1985-1987, 1999-2007 and 2016 to present.

com_prices

These phases of fiscal recovery coincided with a significant upward jump in the commodity prices. The only period where the fiscal position improved in the absence of rising commodity prices was immediately after the 1991-92 recession.

While a recovering fiscal position is warmly welcomed by politicians, especially with a fede...

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Friday, 04 May

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Wednesday, 02 May

23:05

BCC residential parking permit zone in West End & Highgate Hill is bad policy "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

I have previously posted on the high cost of free parking, the problem identified by UCLA economics professor Donald Shoup that arises when councils do not properly price access to on-street parking (see Another example of the high cost of free parking in Toowong). Now the Brisbane City Council (BCC) is proposing to cover the parts of West End and Highgate Hill in the vicinity of the City Cat ferry terminal with a residential parking permit zone, which will allow local residents to park on local streets almost for free and restrict the parking options of non-local residents, as reported by the Brisbane Times yesterday:

Inner city commuter parking is about to get a lot harder

This is really bad policy. The most efficient (and arguably equitable) solution is for the car parks to be allocated to those people with the highest willingness to pay, which will include many commuters catching the City Cat. This also means the council can raise more revenue, if it properly meters on-street parking in the area. If it finds that, at the metered charge it sets, demand is high relative to the supply of car parks, it should raise the charge. In this way, the community will get a good idea of the true willingness to pay for car parking in the area, and BCC or private investors might well realise it would be optimal to build a multi-storey car park for the City Cat terminal, for example. I should add that having commuters drive to West End to catch the City Cat is preferable to those same commuters instead driving to the CBD or University of Queensland, both big attractors of traffic and major locations of congestion.

Local residents should not be exempt from on-street parking charges, as they typically are under residential parking permit schemes. Contrary to what appears to be popular belief, property boundaries dont extend on to local streets. But, by granting a residential parking permit at a very low annual fee of $10 per vehicle (see the BCC website), BCC confers a valuable additional property right to local property owners. Given the inner city precincts that residential parking permit schemes cover, local residents are typically reasonably well off and dont need an extra benefit handed to them by the council. (Incidentally, this is why I dont think residential parking permit schemes are equitable.) If local residents are conferred such a valuable benefit by council, they should pay for it, through a much higher residential parking permit fee,...

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Tuesday, 01 May

22:19

Economics of online dating: upcoming WEN/ESA event at Alliance Hotel, 16 May "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

The news that Facebook is expanding into online dating reminded me of an upcoming event on the Economics of Online Dating at the Alliance Hotel, Spring Hill on Wednesday 16 May featuring QUT economist Stephen Whyte, and hosted by the Women in Economics Network (WEN) and ESA Queensland, of which I am a vice-president. Heres the blurb:

Women, Men, and the Economics of Online Dating

Presentation by Behavioural Economist Stephen Whyte, QUT

Choosing a mate is arguably the largest decision a human can make. This presentation will be about mating and what can be learned from new data sources such as online dating platforms. It will provide insights into economic choices related to couple and family formation in the presence of new matching technologies and will illustrate how men and women differ in their strategies to look for a partner. These findings are important to inform policies related to psychological healthcare and economic support services, as well as legislative frameworks that seek to combat sex, gender and sexuality based discrimination and inequity.

Stephens research has covered the issue of assortative mating, the fact we tend to partner with people similar to ourselves. The proverb that opposites attract is not well supported by the data. For example, people typically partner with people with the same level of education. This has meant, for example, that it has become harder for less educated men to find partners as women have surpassed them in educational attainment.

Not everyone is so picky, however, as Stephen has discovered in his analysis of online dating data. Bernard Salt would say its a numbers game. When the pool of potential partners is relatively smaller, standards will fall. In one of his recent studies using online dating data, Things change with age: Educational assortment in online dating, Stephen found:

Younger males and older females are more likely to contact those with less education.

Younger males face the problem of intense competition with each other for partners and also the fact some young women will partner with older men. And older females find that many older men, vainly attempting to recapture their lost youth, chase after younger women.

I encourage you to attend Stephens presentation on the evening of Wednesday 16 May for a range of fascinating insights into human behaviour gleaned from online dating data.

...

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Monday, 09 April

06:44

General Meeting Thursday 19 April, 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

The April General Meeting will be held at the radio station location: 30 Halcro Street, Pialba. Same time, 7:00pm.


<p>Every member encouraged to come - there's seating room for 30+. </p>
<p>Topics this month will include: a preview of the new Outside Broadcast &amp; Easy-Up set-up, plans for our 25th birthday Radiothon/party, introducing new volunteers. </p>

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Saturday, 07 April

05:54

Queensland construction industry outlook "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

The construction industry is very important to the Queensland economy, and it employs nearly 10 percent of all workers (see Queensland Treasurys Employment by Industry brief). One part of the broader industry, residential construction, has grown strongly in recent years, owing in part to the huge amount of apartment construction activity in Brisbane. But activity in residential construction has always been expected to fall back as projects were completed, and indeed it has been doing so. Private dwelling construction in Queensland in December quarter 2017 was 5.8% lower than in December quarter 2016. In contrast, non-residential construction activity is recovering nicely from its post-mining-investment-boom slump, with private non-residential construction increasing 11.6% over the same period. Growth in non-residential construction has therefore offset the adverse impact of the recent slowdown in dwelling construction on the state economy.

But what does the future hold? To gain some insight, we can examine building approvals data, the latest batch of which (updated with February data) were released last Wednesday by the ABS. Broadly speaking, as discussed below, the outlook is positive, based on recent approvals data and expected public sector capital works (e.g. Cross River Rail) and resources sector developments, possibly including the Adani mega mine (see this recent AFR article), although many observers remain doubtful it will ever proceed.

Non-residential construction

Non-residential building approvals have been at higher levels over the last couple of years after recovering from the trough in 2014-15 (chart below). This gives us reason to be confident about non-residential construction activity, although Queensland has not experienced the massive surge in non-residential approvals seen in NSW and Victoria.

...

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Friday, 06 April

21:30

Video Friday: Robot Barber, Untethered iCub, and Aibo's Best Friend "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos Image: Robotstart via YouTube

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. Well also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; heres what we have so far (send us your events!):

U.S. National Robotics Week  April 7-17, 2018  United States
Xconomy Robo Madness  April 12, 2018  Bedford, Mass., USA
NASA Swarmathon  April 17-19, 2018  Kennedy Space Center, Fla., USA
RoboSoft 2018  April 24-28, 2018  Livorno, Italy
ICARSC 2018  April 25-27, 2018  Torres Vedras, Portugal
NASA Robotic Mining Competition  May 14-18, 2018  Kennedy Space Center, Fla., USA
ICRA 2018  May 21-25, 2018  Brisbane, Australia
RSS 2018  June 26-30, 2018  Pittsburgh, Pa., USA
Ubiquitous Robots 2018  June 27-30, 2018  Honolulu, Hawaii
MARSS 2018  July 4-8, 2018  Nagoya, Japan

Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy todays videos.


Only try this at home on April 1.

You might remember the Flowbee hair cutting vacuum device from commercials back in the late 1980s. Weve come up with a new concept to disrupt the hair styling market once again, this time through collaborative robots. With Snips by Sawyer barbershops will never be the same.

[ Rethink Robotics ]


Since April 1 wa...

20:31

MACKAY Stalker waits to see if hell be freed on bail "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

MACKAY April 06, 2018 at 04:00AM ,

Stalker waits to see if hell be freed on bail

April 06, 2018 at 04:00AM ,

A WEST Mackay man who stalked his ex by phoning her hundreds of times and threatening to kill her new partner may be released on bail. Michael Liam Saylors case was mentioned briefly in Mackay Magistrates Court on Thursday, as he appeared via videolink from prison. The 30-year-old has

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10:51

RAAF Challenger 604 Bizjet A37-003 Calls into Rockhampton Airport Wednesday with PM Turnbull on board "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

On Wednesday 4 April, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet A37-003 of the VIP 34 Squadron in Canberra was spotted resting quietly on the Rockhampton Airport apron.




It had earlier arrived from Brisbane as "Regent 83" and brought Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to town for a series of engagements.

Once complete, A37-003 "Regent 83" was noted departing Rockhampton Airport for the Gold Coast.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter 'IAD' for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by 'IAD' 

07:53

#GC2018hockey "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Let the games begin

Super day at Gold Coast for the early rounds of Commonwealth Games XXI.


Good win for England in the Men's Hockey.


Just a touch on the warm side!


It's a great fortnight for showcasing Queensland's climate, facilities, and lifestyle.

02:02

Theres a new outdoor live music venue in Brisbanes Fortitude Valley "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Brisbanes Fortitude Valley is now home to a brand new outdoor live music venue, The Valley Drive In. The venue has taken the place of the beloved Brightside carpark, which has housed gigs from the likes of Dune Rats, DZ Deathrays and WAAX, as well acted as a home for festivals like BIGSOUND and The Blurst Of Times.

As reported by The Music, Brissy-based music fans will already be much acquainted with the space, with venue booker Cael Johnston saying that the demand for gigs in the asphalt area became so large he had no choice but to expand.

Weve found that so many artists and promoters are looking to put on a show that simply cannot be experienced inside a traditional live space and we feel that this venue will give punters an evening that they will never forget, Johnston says.

The Valley Drive In is officially a fully licenced venue and is set to be fixed with its own permanent staging and production get ready to suss plenty of gigs and festivals there throughout 2018.

01:03

Presentation on Native Stingless Bees Dr Tim Heard April 12th, 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

April 12th, 2018, 7pm to 8pm Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary at Sports Road, Bli Bli RSVP to mwssgi@gmail.com

Flyer here

01:00

ABORIGINAL PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO PROTEST THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES AS STOLEN WEALTH "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Amy McQuire tears away the facade on the Commonwealth Games currently under way in Australia, on Queensland's Gold Coast. Australia has a long history of presenting a sunny, sporty picture of itself, complete with Indigenous icons and 'celebrating' native people. There is rarely a hint of the greatest theft of land in recorded history and the brutality that accompanied it, especially in Queensland, the bloodiest state, and which goes on today.

00:00

April 6 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

1806 - Report on Aborigines massacred at Twofold Bay. The report tells of weeks of tension ending in a confrontation between 11 sealers from the stranded whaler George and a tribal group which resulted in the death of nine Aboriginals. The report is silent on the cause of the tension however sealers were notorious for their treatment of Aboriginal people in Tasmania and the abduction of Aboriginal and Maori women

1816 - The Principal Superintendent of Convicts William Hutchinson announced on 6th April that 'a quantity of female prisoners' had arrived on the Alexander and those colonists desirous of a housekeeper should apply to his Office.

1822 - Francis Murphy hanged at Sydney for burglary from the house of Nicholas Devine (former Superintendent of Convicts) at what is now Erskineville.

1822 - William Harris hanged at Sydney for robbery of James Cribb on the Parramatta Road.

1832 - Thomas Brennan  was shot by military firing squad at Dawes Battery, Sydney. A private soldier of His Majesty's 39th Regiment of Foot, Brennan had fired at his sergeant with the intent of killing him.
 
1831 - Charles Cowper was appointed clerk to the commissioners for managing the affairs of the church and School Estates.

1844 John Gavin was the first European settler to be legally executed in Western Australia. He was executed for murder at the age of fifteen.

1853 - Charlie La Trobe was not a happy charlie (nor a well boy) but on this day the Colonial Office finally accepted his resignation as Gov. of Victoria.

1860 - John McDouall Stuart was trudging along during a sunny amble when he happened across a sandstone monolith today ; near to the South Oz and NT border he named the monolith Chambers Pillar to honour the wealthy pastoralist who'd bankrolled his strolls about the Fair Isle of Oz.

1864 - Anthony Fernando, one of the earliest Aboriginal activists, was born. He picketed, protested and traveled widely around the world on behalf of all aborigines.

1885 - The railway line to the Williamstown Racecourse (first site) (Vic) was opened.

1892 - The railway line from Lancefield to Kilmore (Vic) opened.

1895 - The Premier of Queensland was enjoying a hearty banquet at the North Gregory Hotel in Winton, QLD today when Sir Herbert Ramsay began to warble an unknown song; Waltzing Matilda had made its debut.

1896 - Today saw the NEW! Olympics begin in Athens, Greece and it turned out to be Gold! Gold! Gol....BRONZE!  Oz had just the one bloke representing at the Games, Edwin Flack, and he "only" managed to snaffle 2 gold medals in the 800 meters and 1500 meters athletics races, failed to place in the marathon (he collapsed while in the lead with only 3 kms to go) and singles tennis but finished...

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Thursday, 05 April

06:16

Middle Kids have just dropped their awesome new tune, On My Knees "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Sydneys Middle Kids are getting geared up to release their debut album, Lost Friends, at the start of May, and now theyve just teased us even more with the release of their newest single, On My Knees.

Middle Kids have had a pretty stellar couple of years, releasing the gorgeous Edge Of Town in 2016 ahead of the release of their eponymous EP. Now, as their debut album creeps ever-closer, Middle Kids have already released tracks like Mistake, but theyve now upped the ante again with On My Knees.

Getting its debut airing on triple j on Wednesday morning, On My Knees has been kept in the vault for quite some time now, with the band having played the tune during their Austin City Limits performance in the US last year.

In a time where a lot of division is growing, we want to be part of the conversation that unites people around certain ideals that are universal, like hope and love, frontwoman Hannah Joy said to triple j of the new album.

Thats so much a thread throughout this album: Even though things are tough, its worth believing in something good and in the idea that we can heal. And in some ways, I wanted the music to be beautiful and a respite from whats going on.

The new, heartfelt number is another moment of brilliance for Middle Kids, so if you start drafting up your Hottest 100 votes now, you might help the group finally crack the full 100 this year.

Middle Kids Lost Friends is slated for release of May 4th. While we wait for this instant classic to drop, check out their new single below.

Check out Middle Kids On My Knees:

Middle Kids Lost Friends Album Tour

Wednesday, May 9th
Rosemount Hotel, Perth, WA

Thursday, May 10th
Mojos Bar, Fremantle, WA

Friday, May 11th
Fat Controller, Adelaide, SA

Friday, May 18th
Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane, QLD

Friday, May 25th...

04:23

Brisbanes Commonwealth Games and the legacy of the last time "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Contributed by Glen Davies

The Commonwealth Games is about to start on the Gold Coast and it will be the first time the Commonwealth Games have been held in Queensland since 1982.

Queensland at that time was under the rule of the corrupt Bjelke-Petersen LNP Government. Civil liberties were trampled; indigenous Australians outcast in their own land. Queensland was seen by many around the world as not too dissimilar to Apartheid South Africa, or the deep south of America. Opposition to the government and their reactionary legislation was growing not just onthe domestic front, but abroad, twelve months out from the Games, a boycott was being rumoured by African, Caribbean and Asian countries, due to a South African rugby tour of New Zealand. With the Moscow 1980 Olympics Games had been affected by boycotts, the threat for Brisbane was real.

A crisis meeting in May 1982 in London, resolved that there would be no boycott. With this threat petering out, the LNP government set about tackling domestic opposition.

A Commonwealth Games security bill was introduced in the 12 months lead up to the Games. It allowed police to detain people for 48 hours without charge, a ban on any protest during the games, increased fines, gave the police power of entry without a warrant. All this come on top of an increase of $10 million in the police budget. In a nutshell, basic civil liberties in Queensland were suspended during the Commonwealth Games.

Yet opposition was strong. Indigenous Australians, trade unions, progressive minded people were prepared to defy this draconian legislation. Across the Tasman many Maoris expressed their support for those opposing these laws. Ai number of African governments whose nations were participating in the Games spoke out about their concerns, looking at pulling out of the games.

Back in Australia ticket sales were down, .as opposition to the reactionary regime grew stronger. However, the Games went ahead. Demonstrations without permits were held in Brisbane. The police brutally sought to stop them. While the British royal family watched the launch of their games, protestors stood strong against the brutality confronting them.

The eyes of the world watched the behaviour condemned the racism and brutality showed by the police.

The Bjelke-Petersen government and was subsequently condemned to the dust bin of history.

Indigenous Australians in Queensland have made some progress; civil liberties have improved, with the overt corruption fading away.

Another Commonwealth Games is being conducted in Queensland. How will history judge these ones?

The post Brisbanes Commonwealth Games and t...

01:07

Big Pineapple Warm Up Party "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Big Pineapple Warm Up Party

 

Sunshine Coasts Big Pineapple Music Festival has SOLD OUT! To celebrate we have one big line-up coming your way.
Get your party started with:
POW Negro (WA)
The VANNS (NSW)
RACKETT (NSW)
The Moving Stills (NSW)
Doolie (QLD)So if you missed out or youre looking for double the pineapples; get down to the zoo for The Big Pineapple Warm-Up PARTY!

 

The post Big Pineapple Warm Up Party appeared first on Th...

Wednesday, 04 April

22:17

Building approvals swing to commercial "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Approvals shift

Apartment approvals are now declining quite quickly in Sydney, while confidence is picking up off the mat in Brisbane, especially for tonwhouses and semi-detached dwellings.

The latest ABS figures relate to the month of February, but with more and more new apartments failing to value up at completion it's only a matter of time before unit approvals in Sydney decline further. 


Approvals for houses are generally mirroring internal migration trends, with Brisbane and Melbourne attracting the most migrants from elsewhere in Australia, but Perth having experienced an outflow of residents. 


Totting it all up, there is little evidence yet of a bust in residential construction, with more than 221,000 dwellings approved over the year to February 2018, although we are now well off the peaks.


The high-rise apartment sector has also calmed down a bit now, with a notable shift towards more approvals for family appropriate dwellings, such as terraces, semi-detached homes, townhomes, and low-rise apartments. 

...

20:27

The Antarctics Hidden History: Secret Nazi Bases, Alien Technology and Evidence of a Lost Civilization "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Richard Syrett welcomes one of the pioneers in the field of Exopolitics, the study of the political implications of the extraterrestrial presence.  Hell discuss rumors that the Nazis sent their submarines down there to establish bases under the ice.  The Germans may have found ancient artifacts indicating that before Antarctica froze it was the home of Atlantis.

GUEST: Dr. Michael Salla is a pioneer in the development of exopolitics. He was an Assistant Professor/Researcher in Residence in the School of International Service, American University from 1996-2004. He has a PhD in Government from the University of Queensland, Australia. He is also the Founder of the Exopolitics Institute, a non-profit organization that analyzes the political implications of the extraterrestrial presence. He has written Exposing U.S. Government Policies on Extraterrestrial Life, Exopolitics: Political Implications Of The Extraterrestrial Presence, Galactic Diplomacy, Kennedys Last Stand: Eisenhower, UFOs, MJ-12 & JFKs Assassination, Insiders Reveal Secret Space Programs & Extraterrestrial Alliances and Antarcticas Hidden History.

http://media.blubrry.com/conspiracy_unlimited/p/content.blubrry.com/conspiracy_unlimited/051-secret-antarctic-bases.mp3

Podcast: Play in new window |...

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