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IndyWatch Central Victorian News Feed was generated at Australian Local News IndyWatch.

Saturday, 18 November

00:38

Bendigo Line Notification: Service change "castlemaine IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

18:35 Southern Cross - Swan Hill will operate as coaches between Southern Cross and Bendigo due to a train fault on an earlier service. Customers can connect to a train at Bendigo to continue their journey.
[10:38 18/11]

00:24

Bendigo Line Notification: Service update - Bendigo line "castlemaine IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

06:51 Swan Hill - SCS service is currently delayed by 60 minutes due to a train fault. Further delays are expected while a replacement engine is attached. [10:24 18/11]

00:08

Bendigo Line Notification: Service change "castlemaine IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

13:14 Swan Hill - Southern Cross will not run due to a train fault on an earlier service. Customers are asked to board coaches for the entire journey. [10:08 18/11]

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Friday, 17 November

23:59

Bendigo Line Notification "castlemaine IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

06:51 Swan Hill - SCS service is currently delayed by 40 minutes due to a train fault. Further delays are expected while a replacement engine is attached. [09:59 18/11]

23:50

Bendigo Line Notification: Service update - Bendigo line "castlemaine IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

08:00 SCS - Swan Hill will terminate at Bendigo due to a train fault on an earlier service. Customers travelling further than Bendigo are asked to board coaches at Bendigo to continue their journey.[09:50 18/11]

17:20

Man dies after being attacked by a swarm of bees in Victoria, Australia "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

A man has died after being stung by a swarm of bees on a farm in country Victoria. The 30-year-old man came under attack about 10am while working on a property on MacArthur Street, at Dunkeld, in western Victoria. It is understood the man was working at the property as a gardener. Worksafe officers attended the scene and a report is being prepared for the coroner.

10:43

Bendigo Line Notification: Service change "castlemaine IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

21:20 Bendigo - Southern Cross train has been replaced by road coaches due to staff sickness

[20:43 17/11]

09:08

Bendigo Line Notification: Service change "castlemaine IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

19:02 Southern Cross - Bendigo train has been replaced by road coaches due to staff sickness.

[19:08 17/11]

08:32

Bendigo Line Notification: Service change "castlemaine IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

18:35 Epsom - SCS train will terminate at Bendigo and connect with road coaches due to staff sickness
[18:32 17/11]

03:48

GET ADRIAN JACKSON TO SHOUT "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Adrian Jackson in characteristic pose at the mic, introducing a band.

Adrian Jackson in characteristic pose at the mic, introducing a band.

PREVIEW

Give Adrian a Shout:
Adrian Jacksons Jazz benefit, The Jazzlab, November 19, 2017

Adrian Jackson was whispering when I spoke to him at Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues recently. We are all hoping that before long hell be back to his usual volume and fully capable of giving us a shout in all senses of the word.

On Sunday at 7pm at The Jazzlab, Melbourne Jazz Co-operative will stage a jazz benefit for Adrian, well known for his key roles as, for 27 years, founding artistic director at Wangarattas jazz and blues festival (as well as those at Melbourne and Stonnington).

Many will be aware that Adrian is at present unemployed, and has needed surgery so that he can talk above a whisper and get back to work. But some of us were unaware of the extent of the difficulties he has had to face in the past two years.

Readers of Martin Jacksons MJC newsletter will have seen Adrians account of his situation, but with his permission I reproduce it here for any who missed seeing it:

It is in some ways embarrassing to be seeking financial assistance as a 60-year-old. Although my situa...

01:51

Compilation of Victoria's TAC road safety commercials dating back to 1989 - quite confronting "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

This might be a bit much for lots of people - approach it with a bit of caution particularly if you're carrying a few memories.

01:42

The unions are in the Turnbull governments sights "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Contributed by Joe Montero

Anyone following developments can not help but be aware that a central plank of the governments agenda, is to eliminate trade unions, and if this is not possible, to render them totally ineffective.

Ever since the Howard government and the Hawke days before that,  step by step, a noose has been tightened around the Australian union movements neck.  It has fought back, but eventually compromised at each point. It now finds itself weaker, less organised,  its officials no longer have the right to visit members at the workplace and what they can be concerned with has narrowed down over time.

Arguably, there is much more than coincidence between this and the significant fall in the wages share of national income, the generally deteriorating conditions of employment and the rise of the casualised economy. Weaker unions is not the only cause. The weaker state of the economy is important. But weaker unions have ensured that the position of the worker has deteriorated more than it would otherwise have been the case.

Within the union movement has been an expectation of further blows. It is no secret that the government and employers behind it are out to do everything they can, to move as close as possible to creating an industrial relations landscape with no unions.

A worsening economy and the growing militancy of big business, shared by the Coalition, have come together to result in a series of try ons,  which have been aimed at imposing major wage cuts through further casualisation of their workforces.  Last years battle at Carlton and United in Melbourne last year marked a turning point. Although the unions won this battle, the war has continued, with other large employers taking their turn at doing the same.

This is more than separate and unlinked individual workplace battles. They make up parts of a national strategy to force a breech that can be spread across the whole of the Australian workforce, to crush it into obedience and the acceptance of less reward for work.

Despite being in a weaker position now, the unions still remain the barrier to achieving this goal. This is the reason why they are being targeted.

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash has been particularly zealous and biting at the bit for her chance at unions jugular. She is also in urgent need of a distraction from the fallout of the GetUp and Australian Workers Union fiasco. It has the potential of knocking her out of her job.

She stood with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at a press conference a week ago, where a commitment was made to take o...

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Thursday, 16 November

23:24

"A Look to the Heavens" "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

"Have you ever seen the Milky Way's glow create shadows? To do so, conditions need to be just right. First and foremost, the sky must be relatively clear of clouds so that the long band of the Milky Way's central disk can be seen. The surroundings must be very near to completely dark, with no bright artificial lights visible anywhere. Next, the Moon cannot be anywhere above the horizon, or its glow will dominate the landscape. Last, the shadows can best be caught on long camera exposures.
Click image for larger size.
In the above image taken in Port Campbell National Park, Victoria, Australia, seven 15-second images of the ground and de-rotated sky were digitally added to bring up the needed light and detail. In the foreground lies Loch Ard Gorge, named after a ship that tragically ran aground in 1878. The two rocks pictured are the remnants of a collapsed arch and are named Tom and Eva after the only two people who survived that Loch Ard ship wreck. A close inspection of the water just before the rocks will show reflections and shadows in light thrown by our Milky Way galaxy."

22:57

NSW assisted dying bill: fight goes on "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

A voluntary euthanasia bill has been voted down by one vote after a marathon late night sitting in the NSW upper house, but the fight isnt over yet.

The parliamentary vote came at the end of an emotional day on Thursday as MPs made pleas for and against the draft bill, which was eventually defeated by 20 votes to 19.

Nationals MP Trevor Khan introduced the private members bill, which would have provided patients 25 years or older, whose deaths are imminent and are in severe pain, a choice to end their lives.

(Well) never give up the fight, an exhausted and disappointed Mr Khan told AAP on Friday.

Youve just got to pick yourself up and look at how you move forward otherwise youre not doing the right thing by the people youre trying to help, he said.

We knew it would be close it was a matter of where some of the undecided fell and they didnt all fall the way we wanted them to.

He said most criticisms of the bill during the debate were on a philosophical basis as opposed to the structure of the bill.

We will look at the bill to see if there are any improvements, Mr Khan said, noting he would watch what happens in Victoria where MPs are also in the middle of a marathon debate over the voluntary assisted dying laws.

Mr Khan said the Parliamentary Working Group on Assisted Dying would not be folding up.

Weve put so much effort in now, so many people whove relied upon it that well continue.

He said it was a time to regroup before re-introducing another draft bill before the next state election in March 2019.(We will) go back and see if theres anything different we could have done.

However, even if the proposed legislation had passed the upper house, it likely would have failed in the lower house where coalition Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Labor Opposition Leader Luke Foley have previously stated their opposition to any such legislation.

The post NSW assisted dying bill: fight goes on appeared first on Echonetdaily.

22:51

Mungo Man laid to rest after 42,000 years "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

The remains of Mungo Man will at last be returned to their ancestral homeland in remote western NSW.

The oldest known human being in Australia will be repatriated at a ceremony on Friday with an indigenous music festival to follow in Mildura on the weekend.

Researcher Jim Bowler first discovered remains on the shore of the ancient and long-dry Lake Mungo, 750 kilometres west of Sydney, in 1968.

He and an Australian National University team initially unearthed the remains of Mungo Lady, whod been cremated then buried more than 40,000 years ago.

Then, in 1974, Dr Bowler discovered further ochre-adorned remains from a similar period.

They become known as Mungo Man.

In 1992, after decades of campaigning by local communities, the Ladys remains were returned to Lake Mungo.

But its taken 25 years for Mungo Man, along with the remains of 100 other ice-age people removed from the land, to make the long journey from Canberra back to the lake.

The remains had been transported to Canberra following their excavation, where they were held by both the ANU and then the National Museum for study by scientists.

The post Mungo Man laid to rest after 42,000 years appeared first on Echonetdaily.

22:39

Wanna be startin' somethin' "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Northern Powerhouse

We all know that employment growth since the peak of the resources construction boom in 2012 has been all about Sydney and Melbourne.

Until now!

Queensland is suddenly off to the races, with trend employment growth blazing +4.62 per cent higher across the year to October, by far its strongest annual result since before the financial crisis. 


Of course, it's harder for the most populous states to record such a large percentage increase, but even so, this has suddenly become too big a move to ignore. 

Some questions we've not had to ponder too often in Queensland since 2007 include: where, why, & what are the new jobs? And will it continue?

Where? Pretty much all around the state, as I've looked at here previously (Queensland is one mainland state where employment is not excessively capital city focused). 

Queensland is also coming from a relatively low base, after a rough trot, and much of the hiring has been part time in nature. 

The likely drivers might range from Chinese visitors and the dollar-driven tourism industry, the commodity price rebound creating jobs upstate, a slew of public sector and NDIS hiring, and perhaps some spillover or multiplier from the fading residential construction boom.

Agriculture exports have been strong, so that's another possible bright spot, plus some increased aggregate demand creating services jobs as interstate migration has picked up.

Just from driving around various parts of SEQ, there are an awful lot of road projects underway right now, while there are several significant infrastructure projects underway or about to commence in Brisbane.

SEEK...& ye may find.....

19:34

Bendigo Line Notification: Service change "castlemaine IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

12:54 Swan Hill - Southern Cross will originate in Bendigo as a 3 carriage VLocity due to maintenance requirements. Customers between Swan Hill and Bendigo are asked to board coaches for the entire journey. 
[05:34 17/11]

19:31

Bendigo Line Notification: Service change "castlemaine IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

07:41 SCS to Swan Hill will operate as a 3 carriage VLocity and terminate at Bendigo due to maintenance requirements. Customers are asked to board coaches at Bendigo to continue their journey.
[05:31 17/11]

16:36

Bega Valley. COMMENT: Greed, stupidity and mismanagement destroying Sapphire Coasts gems "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Tathra local Greg Otton spoke out at the recent council meeting against the fluoridation of the shires water supplies, but also what he sees is the destruction of the regions pristine natural gifts. An excerpt of an opinion piece he has submitted is below. Gregs views  do not necessarily represent those of Fairfax, but we put this forward as a topic for readers to discuss. 

There are so many precious gems that the Sapphire Coast provides us with. Especially the life giving pristine water supplies of the Kiah, Tantawangalo, Brogo Dam catchments and the Bega Aquifer. The many natural gifts of this area are all being destroyed, mismanaged or are under threat by the bureaucratic decisions usually in the name of the dollar, progress, growth or just pure greedy stupidity.

Let me list the gems I have personally seen decimated by humanitys greed, lust and plain stupidity. I lost over 50% of my oyster leases to siltation yet my voice went unheard, I was ridiculed by successive councillors of this shire.

I have worked for over 35 years in the once lucrative abalone industry. Worth at one time $35million to the Far South Coast. A line in the sand on Cape Howe divides a 22 tonne Victorian quota from a 2 tonne NSW quota, same water, same seasons, just different management.

The tuna industry was decimated in a few years by greed and mismanagement.

The timber industrys once thriving saw mills all but gone. The chip mill is in its death throws after destroying the south-east forests and silting up major rivers and coastal estuaries.

The famous Pambula river mouth surf break is all but gone due to development of its catchment.

The millions of dollars spent by the dairy industry on noxious weeds and pests within the shire.

The decimation of migrating birds from the other side of the world by foxes and cats along our local beaches.

How much do we pay for Bega Cheese with irrigation draining our rivers, nutrient runoff and toxic chemicals used by farming?

The 15km of gravel shire roads that are graded each day using dubious practices with limited siltation runoff protections.

The wanton development of coastal villages. Do they end in the next town or the next shire?

What is the exact purpose for the shark buoy in Merimbula bay? Does the government think this will really help the shark menace that is rapidly escalating along our coast?

More attacks will come just as I predicted and warned the swimmer that was taken in Tathra. Do not call her death the result of a three metre Bronze Whaler. It was an eight to nine metre Great White that killed....

16:32

Anarchist Solidarity "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Jock Palfreeman has been in jail in Bulgaria for about 10 years. Inside the prison he set up the Bulgarian Prisoners Association and campaigns for human rights inside the countries harsh prisons. We interview two anarchists who work to support Jock and keep his case in the public eye.

Bad Cop No Donut begins with a funny issue Victorian police are having with their uniforms, and we discuss the on going situation in Australias offshore detention centre on PNGs Manus Island.

And the big announcement that we are now part of the Channel Zero Network of anarchist podcasts.

Listen Online

[audio http://www.radio4all.net/responder.php/download/94815/104190/115703/?url=http://www.radio4all.net/files/punkassneenja@riseup.net/1972-1-ANTIFAINSIDE_SUBVERSION.mp3]

Download from Radio4all

Music

...
Heaven 17 Fascist Groove Thing info
The Basics The Lucky Country info
Phil Monsour Who Killed Reza Berati?.........

10:28

Have you seen this bird in Newstead? "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

Im conscious that Im skating on thin ice with this post.

Natural Newstead has a strict 15 km rule which means that natural history events that fall outside this range, no matter how fascinating, are essentially out of bounds. The interpretation of the rule is of course at the discretion of the editor!

This spring has seen an influx of Scarlet Honeyeaters into parts of Victoria where this beautiful bird is rarely seen, even prompting a recent article in the Melbourne Age. Locally, at least to my knowledge, they have been reported in Maldon, Campbells Creek, Fryerstown and Castlemaine. Last weekend I heard one singing magnificently in the centre of Castlemaine outside the IGA!

The bird pictured below was photographed late this afternoon in a wonderful native garden in Castlemaine. Frustratingly, and somewhat surprisingly, they dont seem to have made it to Newstead yet Id love to hear if anyone has seen one inside the circle.

Male Scarlet Honeyeater, Ca...

09:42

Marriage Equality results response "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

 

Thursday 16th November, 2017

Multicultural communities hold diverse views, just as other communities do

The Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (ECCV) acknowledge that the people of Australia have spoken on the issue of marriage equality. Yesterday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) delivered a resounding 61.6% for the yes vote.

ECCV welcomes and accepts views on both sides of the debate and encourages respectful dialogue among all communities including the multi-faith and multilingual communities in Victoria. On this mornings radio program, Mornings with Jon Faine on ABC Radio Melbourne, ECCV Chair Eddie Micallef explained (the results of the vote) shows us that there are differing views within the community overall but within the multicultural community there is a sizeable component of conservative views in relation to issues like same-sex marriageother moral issues.  

The ECCV accepts that same-sex relationships are a part of Australias diverse society. The view of the ECCV Board of Directors is that all Victorian and Australian citizens should have equal civic rights and the freedom to practice and express faith.   

Major groups like FECCA and the Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs launched The YES Alliance on the steps of Victorias Parliament House on September 20th, 2017. The YES Alliance is a group of Australian community members from multicultural and multi-faith backgrounds that supported a yes vote. Voters were then encouraged to consider diversity in the context of human rights.   

The marriage equality plebiscite has been a divisive time in Australian history and as a result it placed a spotlight on a challenging intersection of civic freedoms and religious beliefs. ECCV understands that some ethnic communities have strong religious ties and accept Australians differing views.

For more information and/or media comment, please contact Leenie Fabri, Communications & Media Officer, lfabri@eccv.org.au / 0422 480 319

References:

08:32

Bendigo Line Notification: Train Delays - Bendigo line "castlemaine IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

Trains are delayed on the Bendigo line due to a track fault at Castlemaine [18:32 16/11]

07:44

Bendigo Line Notification: Service change "castlemaine IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

18:35 Epsom - Southern Cross train will terminate at Bendigo and connect with coaches to Southern Cross due to staff sickness 
[17:44 16/11]

07:00

In which the pond will have its savvy Savva, no matter the hour of the day ... "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"



Dammit, just because the Oreo is handy for everything, including scientific observations of the universe, the pond almost gave up doing its savvy Savva Thursday ...

The Oreo's almost as pervasive as the aquatic weeds in Ballarat's Lake Wendouree ...so the pond decided it would send in the chopper so it could enjoy some quality time with the Savva, herself beset by saucy fears and doubts this day ...



Note the subtle way that the lizard sub altered the google text of Malware being bolstered by the 'yes' vote for the battles ahead to a simple fear-mongering PM faces perils ahead ...

Perhaps the Savva had a moan because in later copy the sub pulled a ninja trick ...


Kung fu eastern suburbs harbourside ma...

04:13

Pierce Brothers Announce New EP My Tired Mind "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Image Courtesy of Pierce Brothers Melbourne based folk-pop duo Pierce Brothers have somehow managed to find some time out from their never-ending worldwide tour to write and record their brand new EP My Tired Mind. Due for release this Friday 17th November, the EP was recorded over the last two years. The first single from []

03:47

Exclusive: First listen of HTMLFlowers debut album Chrome Halo "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Premiering on FBi Radio, Melbournes HTMLFlowers (aka Grant Gronewold) is finally ready to unleash his new album Chrome Halo.

A collection of eleven strong and stirring tracks created in and out of hospital beds, the album dissects sacrifice, frustration, love and living with a disability. Ahead of its release this Friday, HTMLFlowers takes us through the record track by track, featuring the likes of Oscar Key Sung, Banoffee, Sui Zhen and more.

 

CICADA

I never really rapped much before this album, this is the first fight song. Its about feeling born a thousand times. Wanting to die but being so strong you cant. The world is just a dream to you. Disableds live a life in stealth, whether or not we want to. No one sees you and thats your power, I remind people of death, they treat me like death and so I learnt all of Deaths tricks.

A disabled never dies cause a disabled is never allowed to live, we just shed bodies like the cicada.

I very strongly felt the album should start with the phrase Shut the fuck up, lemme finish cause I always talk too much.

 

GOD ON MY HITLIST

Inspired by the HABITS lyrics toxic angels, we wake up wheezing, Mo and Maia made me think about being an enemy of god, a wrong angel, powerful and hated. Whether its being queer or disabled or non- normative in any way, you are seen as a wrong angel beautiful to some, but never allowed to be accepted in the eyes of God, tradition, society or whatever. Gods approval is cancelled.

This song is revenge.

The disabled are haunted by religious organisations who want to save our souls so that they can feel better about us existing at all. I reject your god, I hunt your god, I eat your god. I sampled horror movies for the beat. In horror films, 9 times out of 10 the threat in the film is illness or death and the villain is disabled or deformed. Thats mine now. Disableds own horror motifs, sorry, not sorry.

...

03:36

Introducing John Pilger into the Melbourne Press Club Hall of Fame "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

The Melbourne Press Club periodically inducts journalists into its Hall of Fame.

I was asked to write the profile and be interviewed about John Pilger, one of Australias most famous journalistic exports:

During his acceptance speech for the Sydney Peace Prize in 2009, Australian journalist, author and film-maker John Pilger articulated a worldview that he has vociferously opposed during a career spanning more than 50 years. Democracy has become a business plan, he said, with a bottom line for every human activity, every dream, every decency, every hope. The main parliamentary parties are now devoted to the same economic policies socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor and the same foreign policy of servility to endless war.

Pilgers decades-long work in print and television has transformed him into one of the most successful and awarded Australian journalists in the modern era, yet this has not brought him universal praise from his media colleagues or a profession that often prefers safe insiders and embedded realities. Pilger is too confrontational towards state power and his industry to be widely adored and he embraces being the eternal dissident.

In the introduction to a 2004 collection of fine investigative journalism from around the world, Tell Me No Lies, edited by Pilger, he warned that the proliferation of public relations forced reporters to take an even more adversarial position towards governments and corporate power. Political and historical context is everything and Pilger rightly demanded more discussion about the hundreds of illegal [American] covert operations, many of them bloody that have denied political and economic self-determination to much of the world.

Pilger has spent years visiting the sites of these often silent wars, genocides and occupations from East Timor to Palestine and Australia to Vietnam. He has never been a cheerleader for our side and his journalism is stronger because of it.

In his classic 1986 book, Heroes, Pilger wrote that he had grown up in one of the most fortunate cities on earth. Born in Sydney in 1939 to socialist parents Elsie and Claude, he was brought up in Bondi and developed a love of swimming that continued his entire life. With a working class background, his journalism career began as a copy boy on the now defunct Sydney Sun newspaper.

As a cadet on Sydneys Daily Telegraph, Pilger soon discovered what he viewed as the dark heart of modern journalism. Writing in Heroes, he explained that writing one thing and believing another was the way the system worked and to do otherwise was....

Wednesday, 15 November

23:54

AND the shale oil rout continues unabated. "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Republished from SRS Rocco Report.  for those of you who dont know it exists!

U.S. SHALE OIL PRODUCTION UPDATE: Financial Carnage Continues To Gut Industry

As the Mainstream media reports about the next phase of the glorious U.S. Shale Oil Revolution, the financial carnage continues to gut the industry deep down inside the entrails of its horizontal laterals.  The stench of fracking fluid must be driving shale oil advocates utterly insane as they are no longer able to see financial wreckage taking place in these companies quarterly reports.

This weekend, one of my readers sent me the following Bloomberg 45 minute TV special titled, The Next Shale Revolution.  If you are in need of a good laugh, I highly recommend watching part of the video.  At the beginning of the video, it starts off with President Trump stating that the U.S. has become an energy exporter for the first time ever.  Trump goes on to say, that powered by new innovation and technology, we are now on the cusp of a new energy revolution.  While I have to applaud Trumps efforts for putting out some positive and reassuring news, I wonder who is providing him with terribly inaccurate energy information.

I would kindly like to remind the reader; the United States is still a NET IMPORTER of oil.  We still import nearly six million barrels of oil per day, but we export some finished products and a percentage of our shale oil production.  Thus, we still import a net of approximately three million barrels per day of oil.

A few minutes into the Bloomberg video, both Pioneer Resources Chairman, Scott Sheffield, and Continental Resources CEO, Harold Hamm, explain how advanced technology will revolutionize the shale oil industry and bring down costs.  I find that statement quite hilarious as Continental Resources and Pioneer continue to spend more money drilling for oil and gas then they make from their operations.  As I stated in a previous article, Continental Resources long-term debt ballooned from $165 million in 2007 to $6.5 billion currently.  So, how did advanced technology lower costs when Continental now has accumulated debt up to its eyeballs?

Of course it didnt.  Debt increased on Continental Resources balance sheet because shale oil production wasnt profitable even at $100 a barrel.  So, now the investor who purchased Continental bonds and debt are the Bag Holders.

Regardless, while U.S. oil production continues to increase at a moderate pace, there are some troubling signs in...

22:21

Climate Clock Ticking: Its Time BHP Stopped Funding Deniers, Says Bill McKibben "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

As the Great Australian prepares for its AGM this morning, legendary climate activist and founder and senior adviser for 350.org Bill McKibben pens a passionate plea for the mining giant to get out of the abusive relationship its in with another not-so-great-Australian.

If BHP had a personal Facebook page, its relationship status would be its complicated.

Shop-Sparkke_Banner_300x250BHP and the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) have been in a long-term relationship for some time, but its pretty evident to anyone watching that BHP is now on the verge of a break up. And the MCA, bitter and frustrated with BHPs growing distance and more than a passing interest in climate change action is sulking.

Years ago when they first got together, BHP and the MCA wanted the same things a glorious, shared future based on their mutual love of fossil fuels, especially coal. But the world has changed and now BHP and the MCA want different things.

The MCA is desperate to hang on to BHP, its biggest funder. Feeling threatened and jealous, the MCA is lashing out in the only way it knows how, taking out its frustration on another target the environmental groups that it worries would woo BHP away to supporting climate change action.

BHP, embarrassed by the stance of its erstwhile partner, feels held back by the relationship. Its only a matter of time before they split.

Australian-miners

The timing is right for BHP to break from the Minerals Council pro-coal agenda and it should move swiftly. The company has already distanced itself from the lobby groups attacks on Australian charities.

This witchhunt seeks to pressure the government to legislate how charities operate, rendering many of them ineffectual. As David Crosbie, chief executive of the Community Council for Australia said recently, this would mean groups would be picking up the dead fish instead of advocating to stop the poisons going into the stream.

There is currently a six-pronged a...

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