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Thursday, 20 December

21:44

Population growth remains strong (but internal trends shift) "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Population growth still strong

The June quarter tends to be a quiet one for population increase, but over the course of FY2018 estimated population growth remained strong at 391,000 or +1.6 per cent, despite a moderate slowing of visa processing and net overseas migration.

Total births increased by 7,000 over the 2018 financial year, mainly due to a jump in New South Wales, although there have been processing lags and blips before.

In time this will set Australia up for its next property cycle as apartment construction slows dramatically over the next few years, but at the moment it's all about mortgage processing delays and mechanical minutiae.


New migrants from overseas are now dominated by young arrivals from China (83,000 in FY2018), India (67,000), and other Asian countries, and less so by permanent migrants from New Zealand, Britain, or other parts of Europe.  

Of the 553,000 migrant arrivals in FY2018? Overwhelmingly they still headed for Greater Sydney (179,000), Melbourne (151,000), Brisbane (56,000), and Perth (48,000) respectively, with other parts of south-east Queensland capturing a fair chunk of the remainder.

The bulk of new migrants lie within the 18 to 34 years cohort, and some 85.4 per cent now opt to reside in the capital cities, and especially so Sydney (32.4 per cent) and Melbourne (27.3 per cent).

Internal shiftology

There have, however, been some internal migration shifts over FY2018. 

Interstate migration to Queensland increased to the highest level in a dozen years as incumbent Aussie residents moved away from the crowded capitals for the more affordable Sunshine State.

I'm hiding in that maroon line myself somewhere, albeit at the nadir of the cycle some years back. 

And while...

11:07

Bendigo Line Notification: Major Delays "castlemaine IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

Trains on the Bendigo line are delayed due to a fault on the Geelong train line. Please call 1800 800 007 for more information. [21:07 20/12]

11:06

NSW unemployment rate hits 40-year low "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Unemployment keeps declining

Stacks of interest in today's employment report - so much, in fact, that the ABS website crashed again.

Funding required, to use a hackneyed Muskism.

The composition swung back to part-time, but the economy added another +37,000 jobs in November 2018 on a seasonally adjusted basis to 12.7 million, led by firing Victoria at +30,900. 

Looking through the noise the economy added an impressive +295,700 to total employment year-on-year, for a growth rate of 2.4 per cent. 


On a cyclically positive note the trend participation rate hit the highest level on record.

And in spite of this the trend unemployment rate continued to decline to 5.12 per cent, the lowest since all the way back in July 2011. 





Victoria has been the great improver of late, but New South Wales saw its unemployment rate fall to a 40-year low of just 4.4 per cent.


The annual growth in hours worked was still very modest at under 2 per cent, which is hardly a ringing endorsement of strength. 

...

10:28

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

19:42 Southern Cross - Bendigo train has terminated at Footscray with customers asked to travel per the 20:22 SCS to Epsom. [20:28 20/12]

00:22

MACKAY Mackay magistrates court "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

MACKAY December 19, 2018 at 07:58PM ,

Mackay magistrates court

December 19, 2018 at 07:58PM ,

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Wednesday, 19 December

20:38

Stick insect evolution, new research "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

This 13 December 2018 video is called The Evolution of Insects (part 1): stick insect, mantis, cicada.

From Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution:

Stick insects: Egg-laying techniques reveal new evolutionary map

December 19, 2018

Known for exceptional mimicry, stick insects have evolved a range of egg-laying techniques to maximize egg survival while maintaining their disguise including dropping eggs to the ground, skewering them on leaves, and even enlisting ants for egg dispersal. Scientists have now combined knowledge on these varied techniques with DNA analysis to create the best map of stick-insect evolution to date. Contrary to previous evolutionary theories based on anatomical similarities, the new analysis finds the first stick insects flicked or dropped their eggs while hiding in the foliage. It also finds that geographically isolated populations of stick insects are more likely to be related than those with similar features. The research, published in a special issue on stick insects in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, takes us one step closer to understanding these enigmatic creatures.

While the evolutionary history of most insect groups is well documented, stick insects have been hard to classify. Our new analysis has made great strides, showing that the evolution of stick and leaf insects cannot be solely based on anatomical features, says Dr James A. Robertson, based at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and affiliated with the Brigham Young University, USA. Linking their wide-variety of egg-laying techniques to their evolutionary history,...

19:55

Bendigo Line Notification "castlemaine IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

05:31 Eaglehawk - Southern Cross will run with a reduced capacity of 3 carriages. [05:55 20/12]

10:27

Why Im not hiking in Tasmania this summer "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

I dont like whats happening in Tasmania in terms of commercial development of its wilderness areas. Its something thats finally starting to get a bit of press with The Weekend Australian Magazine and The Guardian recently writing about it.

When did national parks and the wilderness need to pay for themselves? What happened to protecting parks and wilderness for the flora and fauna they sustain? To preserve a space where theres been little to no human disturbance. Since when did helicopters and huts and standing camps become part of the wilderness experience?

Just some of what has been planned or already underway:

         A cable car to Dove Lake at Cradle Mountain

         Standing camp and helicopter flights to Halls Island in the Walls of Jerusalem

         Huts on the South Coast Track

         The Three Capes Track

         A cable car on Mt Wellington

         Others here.

I dont want to spend my money in a state whose Liberal government only sees the environment for its developme...

09:46

Perfect fish fossil offers a glimpse into Devonian period "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

The discovery of a new fish at a famous WA fossil site is in such good condition that it provides an exciting fresh glimpse into the evolution of species from 380 million years ago. The new fish - named Pickeringius acanthophorus (honouring the late Museums Victoria fossil collection manager David Pickering) - lived in the Late Devonian Period. Its beautifully preserved fossil skeleton was discovered by Flinders Universitys Professor John Long at the Gogo Formation, in the Kimberleys of Western Australia. This has become a world famous fossil site, containing superb 3-dimensional preservations of entire fishes in limestone nodules, and has so far yielded more than 50 species.


Pickeringius, about the size of a sardine, was one of the earliest ray-finned fishes a lineage that accounts for more than 98% of all living fish. There are about 30,000 ray-finned fish species alive today, but in the Devonian period, they were greatly outnumbered by other fish groups, with fewer than 30 species described worldwide.

The new find is especially significant because the braincase of this fish is exquisitely preserved. Devonian ray-finned fishes have mostly been found squashed flat, so the new discovery will enable CT scans of its skull at ANU, allowing palaeontologists to digitally render its endocast, and provide important information on early fish brain evolution. Only two previous Devonian ray-fins (Mimipiscis, from The Gogo Formation, and Raynerius, found in France) have had their brains subject to this level of detail.

The Pickeringius is distinctive for having enormous spiracular openings on the top of its head, though these present a mystery to palaeontologists. Most ray-finned fishes of this period had minute spiracles, and these are now vestigial or lost in most modern forms. The only living ray-finned fishes with well-developed spiracles are African bichirs, which use them to breathe air at the surface. Alternatively, modern rays (which are not ray-finned fishes) use their spiracles to breath while they are on the seabed (with their mouths and gills pressed under their body).

The fish is also excessively prickly, hence the name acanthophorus (which means spine bearer). The top of its skull is covered in little conical denticles. The underside of the...

07:54

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

19/12/18 18:35 Epsom - Southern Cross train will originate from Bendigo with Epsom customers per alternative transport. [17:54 19/12]

03:19

IBAC charges - 9 January in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Thank to court watcher Bill Thompson for the tip - after our story about IBAC charges a few days ago! Do you know more? Please let us know too. Bill wonders if there's any connection.

00:37

All over the globe public housing is under siege "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

The following is from Save Public Housing Victoria

Have you seen the ABC documentary about Waterloo called There Goes Our Neighbourhood? 

Quote All over the globe public housing is under siege.

And now its Australias turn.

Whichever major party is in power across Australian states the despicable covert privatisation of Public Housing and public land is likely to continue, because whats driving it is money, power and mega-profits.

Homelessness of course will worsen!! The homeless, to our shame, are our internal refugees

Personal testimonials (1)

At a meeting in Gronn Place in West Brunswick earlier this year, we heard from Louise who spoke about her sisters experience in Millers Point in Sydney.

Here are some extracts from her speech.

When the government said they wanted to renew Millers Point, they said the main reason was that it was costing too much in maintenance. I can tell you right now, they spent nothing on maintenance. People had to paint their own places, had to replace their own stoves. The government spent nothing.

In Millers Point, to get them out, they offered them the world not telling them they were finding them alternative accommodation by throwing those (public) tenants out. The same pretext they said to existing tenants, Youll only be out for 3 monthsand well fix the place up. In the meantime, they brought in people from Millers Point.

Theres two reasons why people live in Public Housing. The first reason is they choose to because of their community. Secondly, they cant afford any other accommodation, either temporarily or permanently. There has to be a place in our society for people who cant afford to buy or pay high rents. Everybody is a citizen. 

Regarding the displacement process underway in Melbournes inner-city under the Labor government

Louise: People have mentioned the government coming along with pieces of paper and smiles on their faces. What happens is they tell lie after lie. The minute people give up their place in Public Housing theyre heading down the road of homelessness for a number of reasons.

...

00:04

What is Trade Justice and how does it relate to Labor Policy? "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Donald Trumps rejection of trade agreements and aggressive use of unilateral tariffs, and One Nations similar policies in Australia have tapped into resentment of current neoliberal trade policies, which for many people have not delivered promised jobs and growth, and have contributed to growing inequality.

Trump and One Nation have mobilised this resentment from a conservative and racist perspective, fanning ultra-nationalist and anti-immigrant sentiment. But their simplistic responses of high tariffs on imports will not magically restore lost jobs. Building walls and discriminatory migration policies based on fear will not improve peoples lives but will bolster militarism and the danger of war.

AFTINET is part of the global movement of progressive groups supporting peace, human rights and global solidarity. We are not opposed to trade, but want a more just global trade system

What Trumps rupture with some neoliberal trade policies does demonstrate is that they are not immutable economic rules resulting from market forces, but political decisions that can be changed. As advocates for trade Justice we must seize the opportunity to challenge bad policy and develop alternatives which benefit the majority, not just the top 1%.

Whats wrong with current trade policy

Fundamentalist neoliberal trade policy as practised by the Coalition Government aims to achieve not only zero tariffs but also zero other barriers to all trade and investment.

Each country should specialise in its most narrowly-defined competitive products or services, import everything else at the lowest possible prices, have no active industry policies and minimise other government regulation. Australia would be a farm and a quarry, with deregulated service industries like tourism and financial services.

This policy culminated in former Treasurer Joe Hockeys  admission that his government decided to end all assistance to the car industry to reach trade deals with....

Tuesday, 18 December

23:36

Police officer accused of tricking locksmiths to take possession of houses "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Unfortunately this problem is just the tip of the iceberg, where the entire legal system i.e. from the administration to the judges, is responsible for the fraud, causing harm, defrauding the good people of Australia of their homes and livelihood.

Will the victims ever see 'justice'?

Probably not, as it's not on the agenda of the administration of this colony.


See article from 26 Nov 2018 by The Age publication of the headline:

IBAC charges police officer over alleged 18-month fraud spree

A senior Victorian police officer has been charged over an alleged 18-month crime spree that included claims of fraudulently obtaining six properties, rorting Centrelink, postal theft, making false claims to bank staff and claiming she was someone else.

Sergeant Rosa Catherine Rossi, 56, has been charged by Victoria's corruption watchdog.

The sergeant from Corio did not face Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday when the extent of her alleged offending investigated by the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission was revealed.
 
Sergeant Rosa Rossi handing out "Dont make it easy for the Thankful Thief" brochures during a promotional event in Wyndham in 2016Credit:Damjan Janevski


Sergeant Rossi is accused of deceiving locksmiths to fraudulently take possession of houses in Malvern East, Chadstone, Brooklyn and three rural properties in Willaura, about 230 kilometres west of Melbourne.

On January 4, 2017, Sergeant Rossi allegedly wore her police uniform to the offices of Hobson Bay Council, where she allegedly induced a council employee to provide personal details of an alleged victim.

She also allegedly accessed the police database LEAP, without authorisation, to acquire information about the owner of a Malvern East home in October 2016.

A month later, she allegedly obtained the property by deception after telling a locksmith it was a deceased estate and she was the owner, according to charge sheets obtained by The Age.

An IBAC investigation dubbed Ope...

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