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

Monday, 17 September

12:12

How to be a decent grower "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

Im not talking morality, though I guess there are plenty of garden morals, especially in a community garden. More like growing decent produce; a cauliflower that heads properly (still havent managed it), or a carrot that looks like the textbook one (ditto). I could go on, and on If youd like to grow a Continue reading How to be a decent grower

11:42

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

18:35 Epsom - Southern Cross is delayed by approximately 15 minutes due to track congestion. [19:42 17/09]

05:31

A small structured object follows a car - Dargo, Victoria, 1976 "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Reading pleasure

I have recently had the pleasure of reading a great number of editions of the 'Australian UFO Bulletin' published by the Victorian UFO Research Society.

I picked up a few new pieces of information about the 1972 Frankston, Victoria,  Maurren Puddy case of which I had previously not been aware; some sightings I hadn't heard of before, and various other bits and pieces.

Car pace with small structured object

One of the sightings which intrigued me, was an example of a car pacing; but in this case, instead of a nocturnal light, the small object involved had some structure.  In the May 1976 edition of the 'Bulletin' there was detail about the sighting, investigated by Dan Haylock. The sighting took place at Dargo in Victoria. Dargo is a small Victorian town located 348 kilometers east of Melbourne, and is in the foothills of the Dargo Plains. Latitude 37deg 28mins south; longitude 147deg 13mins east.

Note the location of Melbourne and Bright

Note location of Bright and Dargo

The following is the text of the article fr...

02:04

Creatures photos "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

The closing date for entries to the FOBIF Creatures project is 1 October so there is still time to send us your photos. The exhibition at TOGS cafe will open on 12 October and finish at the end of November. You can find all the project details here.

To have a look at the 69 photos in our Flickr Creatures album, click here.

Swift Parrot. Photo by Debbie Worland

00:04

NSW Premier Ends Music Festival Overdose Tragedies With Stern Drugs Are Bad Mmmkay Speech "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Drug overdoses will no longer be a problem at youth music festivals in NSW after a dramatic intervention by Premier Gladys Berejiklian overnight, following the deaths of two people at a Sydney music festival, and the hospitalisation of at least three more.

NSW police report that during the Defqon.1 music festival in western Sydney over the weekend attended by around 30,000 people as many as 700 festival goers also sought medical assistance.

A 21-year-old Victorian woman and a 23-year-old man from Edensor Park collapsed during the evening. They were airlifted to nearby Nepean Hospital, but died soon after.

Im absolutely aghast at whats occurred, I dont want any family to go through the tragedy that some families are waking up to this morning, its just horrible to think about, Ms Berejiklian told media on Sunday.

The Premier also said she would shut the festival down, thereby further eliminating the potential for drug overdoses amoung youth.

Ms Berejiklian said her government would not bow to pressure to introduce pill testing where festival goers can test party drugs without fear of police sanction after a landmark trial in Canberra earlier this yearat the Groovin The Moo festival saw zero deaths.

That trial saw 128 participants. A total of Eighty-five samples were tested by the STA-Safe Consortium, two of which were found to be deadly.

Ms Berejiklian said the government will not consider introducing pill testing, as it has a zero tolerance to drugs.

Anyone who advocates pill testing is giving the green light to drugs, that is absolutely unacceptable, there is no such thing as a safe drug, she said.

I want to send a strong message to every young person. You should not take drugs at these events or anywhere else, and last nights tragic consequences demonstrated this.

Ms Berejiklians zero tolerance stance is based on the tried and tested reality that if she tells young people not to do something, they will listen to her.

In other news scientists have confirmed that the Liberal Party of Australia is now so out of touch with community sentiment that it has actually travelled full circle, and is back in touch and just waiting for the rest of us to catch up.

Conversely, scientists have also confirmed that millennials are now actively waiting for enough old politicians to die off so that the community is dominated by people who actually care about their welfare, before seizing power and changing drug laws to reduce future deaths.

The post...

00:01

Raptor portraits "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

Of all the birds, raptors are perhaps the most thrilling to observe from close range.

The Little Eagle, pictured below, allowed me to approach to within ten metres or so I think the closest Ive ever been to this magnificent bird. All of the shots are virtually full frame.

Black-shouldered Kite, Newstead, 8th September 2018

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Sunday, 16 September

10:03

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

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

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

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

Safety and Vigilance on Campus-1

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

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

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

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

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

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

The problem with telling grown w...

04:30

Grassy Plains conference "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

A conference for the community, professionals and all who share an interest in conservation of Melbournes Grassy Plains.

The conference will explore the three themes of Respect, Protect and Reconnect Melbournes Grassy Plains.

Friday 12th October (9am 5pm) and
Sat 13th October, 2018 (1pm-5pm, lunch 12pm-1pm)
At Wyndham Council Chambers,
45 Princes Highway, Werribee.

This is a free event thanks to our sponsors. 

Book your place.

Presented by the Grassy Plains Network: an alliance of community-based groups and organisations focused on seeking positive ways forward for the conservation of Melbournes Grassy Plains and ecosystems.  The Grassy Plains Network is working in partnership with Naturewest Inc

For further information email: grassyplainsnetwork@gmail.com or check the website.

 

04:23

The ECOSS Spring Fest Extravaganza! "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

ECOSS is about providing opportunities for people to express their sustainable ideas and creative skills through various programs and projects. It is located in the Upper Yarra catchment at Wesburn, near Warburton.

Each year it holds a Spring Fest as a fundraiser. This year it will happen on Saturday September 22, from 10am til 4pm.

Wake up and Bloom for Spring.  This years abundant festivities include The Great Ecological Race- wheelbarrow race between Middle years kids and their parents, MCd by the Fabulous and Fantastic Will Tait.

Welcome to Country with Aunty Kim Wandin- (Wandoon), local Wurundjeri Elder.

Multicultural performances from Chin Community Dancers, Aztec Dance, Sarita McHarg- Sitar Player and Singer,  Zaar Belly Dance, Tomi Muramatsu, Gustavos Drummers, Tuvaluan Dancers, MOOP Officers: Will Tait and Brendan Jones, Black Bug City,  Stage MCd by the charismatic and talented Simon Oats.

Tiny House talks and tours, Bio-dynamic Farm tour, Yarra Valley Bee Group Talks, ECOSS projects tour, and GRAND OPENING OF RELAB- (rehab for old items- up cycling and boutique craft centre!).

Eco Market with delicious local, healthy food and drinks!

Meet- Yarra Valley Bee Group, Kids Clay play in the Community Pottery Studio, LGBTQI+ rainbow flag painting, apple peeling and loads more activities underway.

STALLHOLDER APPLICATIONS ARE OPEN NOW- email: ecotopiastalls@ecoss.org.au

To enter the Great Ecological Race, email: eartheducation@ecoss.org.au

The Spring Fest is ECOSSs largest fundraising event in the year.  This is how we keep ECOSSs activites low cost and accessible for the whole community. ECOSS supports many Not for Profit groups throughout the year, and here is your chance to support ECOSS.  Please come along with generous limbs and help to make this the most successful fundraising event it can be!

 

For further information about ECOSS, its vision and its programs, check here.

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Saturday, 15 September

22:00

Completing the cuckoos "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

Rounding out the focus on cuckoos in recent weeks, here are the two species that havent featured so far.

Pallid Cuckoos have been around in good numbers for at least a fortnight, while Black-eared Cuckoos are doing well in the bush along the Mia Mia. The least common of all the migrating cuckoos, its been great to see and hear them on most visits to this area since early September. On a warm Friday evening I was a little surprised to see a small flock of woodswallows near South German Track White-browed and at least one Masked Woodswallow a very early record.

Pallid Cuckoo, Green Gully, 7th September 2018

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Wednesday, 22 August

08:57

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

07:45

Trevor Ravenscroft and the Spirit World "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

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

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Tuesday, 21 August

05:20

The Third Industrial Revolution "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

I belong to a degrowth group on facebook. The owner of this group posted a link to a youtube video titled The Third Industrial Revolution: A Radical New Sharing Economy. I downloaded it sight unseen so that I could watch it on my TV while its Jeremy_Rifkinpissing down with rain outside and I frankly have nothing else better to do. luckily for those up North in terrible drought, well be sending some your way next weekend. Ive never liked Jeremy Rifkins crazy ideas, and had I realised he was the star attraction of this film, I probably would not have downloaded it in the first place, but having done so, and under the abovemnetioned weather conditions, I went ahead anyway

The first half hour was for me the best part, because he clearly explains with some crucial left out items why were in deep shit. What really leaves me flumoxed is how someone who clearly understands thermodynamics and entropy cannot come to grips with their repercussions.

A Third Industrial Revolution Would Seal Our FateWhy Jeremy Rifkin is Dead Wrong

For me, it was extraordinarily hard to find where to start my criticismnot because of the lack of strength of his arguments, but simply because it is just plain hard to even know where to start! E...

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Monday, 20 August

06:34

Peak Infrastructure "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

For years now, I have been saying that the 20th Century was built one brick at a time, as and when it was needed, using ever growing amounts of surplus energy that were both very cheap and easily accessible.. and as Limits to Growth rears its ugly head more and more often, all the signs that we are no longer able to do this is becoming obvious; because we have now reached the stage when all those old bricks (and steel and concrete and.) start needing to be replaced while at the same time the new infrastructure required by the growth monster has to also be built.Genoa-Bridge-Collapse

Enter the Genoa bridge that collapsed last week.. photos of it crumbling weeks before the tragic event that seems to have killed 43 people were posted on social media. Im no structural engineer, but it looks pretty bad to me. Dangling cables and the middle buckling under its own weight are not good signs Falling apart comes to mind. Anyone in their right mind would have closed it down and more than likely condemned it, but no, lets not get a few lives get in the way of profits. At fifty years old, it wasnt particularly ancient, but shoddy workmanship and even mafia involvement in supplying dodgy concrete are issues making their way to the Italian media.

With Italy on the cusp of bankruptcy, h...

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Sunday, 19 August

07:46

Madge Digest #152 August 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

...

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Wednesday, 15 August

08:21

The Doorway To Resilience "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Ditch striving for positivity and happiness. The positive thinking/happiness craze of more recent decades has morphed into something much better...

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Friday, 10 August

07:41

Australian prawn farmers claim biosecurity undermined by trade considerations "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

August 10, 2018: The ABC reports that until recently, Australia had been free of the deadly white spot prawn disease which is harmless to people but has the potential to wipe out both farmed and wild prawns. Quarantine border checks were intended to prevent the disease from being imported in raw prawns.

The ABC reports that, despite an outbreak of the disease in Queensland in 2016 documented by Four Corners, the Federal government had not revealed that two of 101 retail samples taken from Melbourne and Sydney retail outlets in May and June  2018 returned strong positives for white spot disease, while another four returned weak positives. In 2016, seven prawn farms at Logan, near the Gold Coast, had to destroy all their stock.

In contrast, when white spot was confirmed in 2016 in the wild in Moreton Bay, after quarantine regulations were tightened, the Queensland Government imposed a movement restriction order for raw wild caught prawns, crustaceans and marine worms between Caloundra and the New South Wales border.

In December 2017 a report by Australia's inspector-general of biosecurity, Dr Helen Scott-Orr, found a major biosecurity failure likely led to the 2016 outbreak. More than a $100 million of taxpayer money has since been spent on compensation, clean-up, monitoring and increased border security.

Containers of imported prawns are now required to be tested for the virus at the country of origin and again when they reach Australia, but the recent Melbourne and Sydney evidence shows this may not be effective.

The ABC reports that the Queensland Seafood Industry Association believes the differences between the response from the state and federal governments boiled down to international trade.

"Unfortunately our industry has been sacrificed on that altar of trade and it's never been good enough, said the Association spokesperson, Mr Eric Perez.

If we put restrictions on then suddenly, 'Oh well you export to our countries, what if we put restrictions on what you export out' so it is a trade issue," Mr Perez sai...

02:51

Solving secondary problems first "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Can you run a self-driving car on a desert island?

Of course not: There are no roads; and there is no fuel for the car.

Why do I mention this?  Because the received narrative around climate change and so-called peak oil demand is that new technologies like electric self-driving cars are going to ride to our rescue in the near future.  This is a nice fantasy; but I would draw your attention to the fact that while we still have roads, along with much of our infrastructure they are falling apart through neglect.  Without the enabling infrastructure, the proposed new technologies are going nowhere.

Energy, meanwhile, is a far greater problem.  Globally (remember most of the food we eat and the goods we buy are imported) 86 percent of our energy comes from fossil fuels down just one percent from 1995.  Renewable energy accounts for nearly 10 percent; but most of this is from hydroelectric dams and wood burning.  The modern renewables solar, wind, geothermal, wave, tidal, and ocean energy that so many people imagine are going to save the day account for just 1.5 percent of the energy we use.

Modern renewables are a kind of Schrodingers energy because they are simultaneously replacements for (some of) the fossil fuel that we are currently using and the additional energy to power all of the new technologies that are going to save the day.  And rather like the benighted feline in Schrodingers experiment, so long as nobody actually looks at the evidence, they can continue to fulfil both roles.

Given the potentially catastrophic consequences of not having sufficient energy to continue growing our economy, it is psychologically discomforting even to ask why energy costs are spiralling upward around the world, and why formerly energy independent countries are resorting to difficult, expensive and environmentally toxic fuel sources like hydraulically fractured shale or strip mined bitumen sands.  This, perhaps, explains why so many people focus their attention on solving second order problems something psycholog...

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Thursday, 09 August

23:37

Richard Flanagan: Our politics is a dreadful black comedy press club speech in full "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

I know this is a bit off topic for this blog, but it is such a great speech I thought youd all like to read it. the truth is always so much more interesting.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Indigenous Australia, Anzac Day, the descent of democracy in a National Press Club address Flanagan examines a divided Australia which he says can be free only if it faces up to its past.

 

Richard Flanagan
 Richard Flanagan: Since the marriage equality vote its clear that Australians are not the mean and pinched people we had been persuaded and bluffed for so many years that we were. Photograph: Joel Saget/Agence France-Presse

told a friend the other day I was to be speaking here in Canberra today and she told me a joke. A man is doubled over at the front of Parliament House throwing up. A stranger comes up and puts an arm around the vomiting man. I know how you feel, the stranger says.

Both jokes are about failing regimes that have lost the essential moral legitimacy gover...

05:24

Money trees are magical; energy trees are not "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Another excellent post from the Consciousness of Sheep..  a bit anglo-centric, but easily applies to anywhere not least Australia.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Equating money with wealth is among the most dangerous delusions currently afflicting humanity.

This is, perhaps, understandable given that so few people now have access to money in the quantities needed to improve their lives.

Government, meanwhile, effectively lies when it points to the various pots of money that it has allocated to this or that infrastructure, entitlement or service.  This is mendacious because money from central government is allocated as a block grant to local government and other public bodies.  In total, these public bodies lack the income to fund their legal responsibilities.  As a result, money that was theoretically allocated to provide for such things as mental health beds, fixing potholes and a host of other discretionary activities is actually deployed in firefighting the collapse of mandatory services like child welfare or social care for the elderly.

The solution to this for many in the political sphere is to loosen the purse strings.  Quite correctly, they identify the central flaw in the pronouncements of duplicitous politicians like Theresa May and Phillip Hammond; who tell us that there isnt a magic money tree.  Because well actually, yes there is.  Its called the Bank of England.  And were politicians to instruct it to do so, it can spirit into existence as much new currency as it likes.

The conventional way in which central banks spirit money into existence is via the issuance of government debt.  Government issues a bond (called a Gilt-Edged Security in the UK) which is auctioned to a closed group of banks and financial institutions.  The central bank then spirits new money into existence and uses it to buy these bonds back.  That new money then enters the economy via the financial sector.

This, of course, is no more than tradition.  There is nothing to prevent the central bank from conjuring new money out of thin air and then distributing it directly into the bank accounts of every citizen.  Indeed, this is one of the points made by those who favour some form of Universal Basic Income as an alternative to the UKs overly bureaucratic and increasingly ineffective social security system.  The reason that money is not created in this way is simply that channelling it through the banking and financial system favours the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the wider population.

Midway between the current p...

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Wednesday, 08 August

04:31

Transgender Refugees living in the community in Australia and Access to Primoteston "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Recently, in the last few weeks, RISE: Refugee Survivors and Ex-detainees transgender members who were coercively assigned female at birth and are living in the community, raised concerns about the removal of Primoteston Depot (a form of testosterone injection) from the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).  Primoteston has been removed from PBS by the manufacturer Bayer Pharmaceuticals for commercial reasons. This forces our members to purchase the medication at the full price of about $40 every 4-6 weeks. Generic brand testosterone is also not available through the system. For this reason, a meeting was organised last weekend by affected RISE transgender members to discuss this issue.  Clearly it has had a particularly devastating impact on our community members as they are also struggling with Australias precarious and abusive refugee visa process, with limited access to health and welfare services. Furthermore, it became clear in the discussion that even service providers that explicitly claim to support transgender people have failed to address the barriers transgender refugees face when it comes to accessing hormone replacement therapy.

In order for an unemployed RISE member living in the community on a bridging visa with Medicare, to purchase prescribed medication at a concession price they have to be approved for Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) by the Australian Department of Home Affairs.  If their SRSS application is approved, in addition to SRSS payments which is 89% of the standard Centrelink welfare payments they are assigned to a private subcontractor such as AMES or Life Without Barriers for settlement support. They do not have access to a healthcare card and have to depend on a letter from the SRSS provider to allow access to specific pharmacies to purchase PBS medication at a concession price.  Currently, AMES provides a letter that is usually valid for only 1 or 3 months which has to be renewed each time it expires. For RISE members (all of whom are ex-detainees) on 5 year temporary visas, the government will only allow them to receive Centrelink payments for up to 18 months in total. We also need to keep in mind RISE members who are undocumented or on bridging visas, who dont have access to Medicare, the right to work or any welfare support payments and have to pay full price for all medication. The recent cuts to SRSS by the Department of Home Affairs places more of our members in this latter category.  

When a person changes from  Primoteston to a testosterone injection available on PBS such as Reandron (also manufactured by Bayer), they may have to continue to use Primoteston during a temporary overlapping period with Reandron.  So even RISE members eligible for PBS medication at a concession rate who decide to change from Primoteston to Reandron, will initially have to pay for Primoteston at the full pri......

02:09

The Story of Om and Ka "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

From Stuart Wilde. Here is a legend of the void thats very sweet....

00:38

The spiralling environmental cost of our lithium battery addiction "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

NOTHING we do is sustainable..


Heres a thoroughly modern riddle: what links the battery in your smartphone with a dead yak floating down a Tibetan river? The answer is lithium the reactive alkali metal that powers our phones, tablets, laptops and electric cars.

In May 2016, hundreds of protestors threw dead fish onto the streets of Tagong, a town on the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau. They had plucked them from the waters of the Liqi river, where a toxic chemical leak from the Ganzizhou Rongda Lithium mine had wreaked havoc with the local ecosystem.

There are pictures of masses of dead fish on the surface of the stream. Some eyewitnesses reported seeing cow and yak carcasses floating downstream, dead from drinking contaminated water. It was the third such incident in the space of seven years in an area which has seen a sharp rise in mining activity, including operations run by BYD, the world biggest supplier of lithium-ion batteries for smartphones and electric cars. After the second incident, in 2013, officials closed the mine, but when it reopened in April 2016, the fish started dying again.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. Workers drill though the crust of the worlds biggest salt flat with large rigs. They are aiming for the brine underneath swathes of magnesium and potassium in the hope of finding lithium-rich spots. Since the 2000s, most of the worlds lithium has been extracted this way, rather than using mineral ore sources such as spodumene, petalite and lepidolite

...

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Tuesday, 07 August

04:00

Divestment Call: eX-detainees Open Letter To Health And Educational Institutions "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN,

On behalf of our members and governing staff from over 30 refugee and ex-detainee communities in Australia, Ex-detainees from RISE on behalf of the Sanction Australia Campaign urge health and educational institutions currently financially tied to security companies complicit in ongoing detention torture to take immediate action against these companies.

There have been countless reports and inquiries regarding the deaths, torture and sexual abuse faced by refugees who have been incarcerated within Australias mandatory detention centres. These detention centres are allowed to exist with impunity because they are directly orchestrated by the Australian government for profit of which these universities and health services are beneficiaries.

Universities and health services claim to value inclusion, respect, compassion and accountability in their ethics and codes of conduct, but fail to uphold these values in their dealings with these security companies that are complicit in the many reports of death, torture and sexual abuse within these camps. Universities and health services profess a commitment to human rights and inclusion but financially supports and employs services from security companies that perpetuate racism, sexism, xenophobia, transphobia, queerphobia, and the infliction of sexual, emotional and physical violence. These companies uphold discriminatory policies that are systematically designed to murder, torture and exclude refugees who come to seek asylum by boat to Australia.

Lack of transparency and accountability in Australian run detention centres is something that has been widely reported and acknowledged by International human rights groups including the UN. Universities and health services failure to recognise and acknowledge this is purposeful and done with intention and knowledge.

Health services have a duty to protect and care for those in need, and by supporting these companies they dishonour the very foundation on which their values stand upon. Universities should put their actions and mouth where their money and values are and apply the lessons they teach on social justice and human rights.

RISE encourages employees, clients of these institutions as well as general supporters to maintain a physical presence at these establishments and demand they divest from the detention industry immediately and sever ties with these security companies.

For more information on the agencies and security companies that are tied to health services and hospitals visit: http://riserefugee.org/university-health-service-divestment-call/

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Monday, 06 August

22:33

Privatisation to cost Victoria $60m annually "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Prosper enjoyed the lead quote in an Age article Inquiry scrutinises Land-titles selloff ahead of August sale But land tax advocacy group Prosper Australia has told a parliamentary inquiry into the sale that the estimated $2 billion price reflected a yield of 6 per cent a rate far above bond rates. Prosper researcher Jesse []

07:22

Call of the Reed Warbler Charles Massy in conversation with Costa Georgiadis "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

I have a new hero. forget renewable energy, the next revolution will be, must be, regenerative farming..  or we are truly stuffed.

Charles Massy OAM Author and radical farmers new book Call of the Reed Warbler explores transformative and regenerative agriculture and the vital connection between our soil and our health. According to Massy, we need a revolution he believes that human health, our communities, and the very survival of the planet depend on it. Charles is coming to the Library to talk about how he believes a grassroots revolution can save the planet, help turn climate change around, and build healthy people and healthy communities, pivoting significantly on our relationship with growing and consuming food.

Charles is in conversation with Costa Georgiadis, nature lover and host of ABCs Gardening Australia. Filmed: State Library of New South Wales, Sat 9 Dec 2017 Supported by: The Saturday Paper, Friendly Farms

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Friday, 03 August

11:56

What year did your railway station open? "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

What year did your local station open? Before you were born? Probably before your grandparents were born! Our population is growing, and our public transport network needs to keep growing too.

Click here to view the map larger.

The rail network grew rapidly between 1854 and 1930 but since then almost nothing. Expansion of rail, tram and Smartbus services is far too slow for Melbournes huge population growth. No wonder the roads are congested!

Melbourne railway stations vs population growth

Join PTUA today to help the campaign for better public transport.

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Thursday, 02 August

01:08

Climate doom is already here "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

nafeez

Nafeez Ahmed

The extreme weather events of the summer of 2018 are not just symptoms of climate breakdown. They are early stage warnings of a protracted process of civilisational collapse as industrial societies face some of the opening symptoms of having already breached the limits of a safe climate. These events are a taste of things to come on a business-as-usual trajectory. They elicit a sense of how industrial civilisational systems are vulnerable to collapse due to escalating climate impacts. And they highlight the urgent necessity of communities everywhere undertaking steps to achieve a systemic civilisational transition toward post-capitalist systems which can survive and prosper after fossil fuels.

Climate doom is already here

This summers extreme weather has hit home some stark realities.

Climate disaster is not slated to happen in some far-flung theoretical future.

Its here, and n...

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Tuesday, 31 July

09:49

The Birds new song by Moz: musician and asylum seeker on Manus "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

The Birds is a song about separation and a longing for freedom that can unite us with those who care about us.  Please support Moz and share his message by downloading and listening to his song, and sharing with your friends and family. The Birds by Moz Facebook page here Twitter here

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Monday, 30 July

12:59

NAMES by Mason Adams "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

A lovely short poem represented in a video by Mason Adams

04:11

RISE : University And Health Service Divestment Call "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

A Breakdown of the health and education institutions currently financially tied to security companies complicit in ongoing detention torture. There have been countless reports and inquiries regarding the deaths, torture and sexual abuse faced by refugees who have been incarcerated within Australias mandatory detention centres. These detention centres are allowed to exist with impunity because they are directly orchestrated by the Australian government for profit.

RISE encourages employees, clients of these institutions as well as general supporters to maintain a physical presence at these establishments and demand they divest from the detention industry immediately and sever ties with these security companies.

*We will regular...

01:18

Community groups to say no to the TPP-11 at Senate inquiry hearing today "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Media Release: July 30, 2018: AFTINET will present evidence today to a Senate inquiry that the TPP-11 increases corporate rights at the expense of peoples rights and the environment and should not be implemented, AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

The TPP-11 implementing legislation is currently under review by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, dominated by the government. But community organisations have also succeeded in obtaining a Senate inquiry dominated by Labor and minor parties. The Senate inquiry is hearing evidence in Melbourne today.

The TPP-11 enables global corporations to sue governments over changes to health and environment laws, restricts future government regulation of essential services like education, aged care and energy, and lacks legally enforceable protection for labour rights and the environment.  It will mean more temporary migrant workers who are vulnerable to exploitation without first testing if local workers are available, said Dr Ranald.

Dr Ranald explained that Investor-State Dispute Settlement or ISDS gives special legal rights to foreign investors enabling them to bypass national courts to sue governments for millions of dollars in unfair international tribunals over changes in national law or policy, even if they are in the public interest. There are now over 850 known cases,  with increasing numbers against health, environment and even indigenous land rights law and policy.

The European Court of Justice determined in 2017 that ISDS impinged on national sovereignty and that EU member parliaments had to vote separately on ISDS provisions in trade agreements. The EU fears that strong public opposition to ISDS will scuttle trade agreements. It is now pursuing a fast track process for agreements without ISDS,.....

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Saturday, 28 July

07:43

6:30 29 Aug | Public Forum: The Case To Bring Them Here "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

When: 6:30-8:30pm Wednesday 29 August 2018 Where: ANMF Vic Branch, 535 Elizabeth St, Melbourne       Facebook event here Speakers: Senator Nick McKim Greens spokesperson for Immigration and Justice Abdul Aziz Adam Sudanese refugee detained on Manus for 5 years, and one of the leaders of the struggle for freedom on Manus(...)

07:35

4pm 9 Aug | Qantas Stop Deportation to Danger-Let Priya, Nades & Huyen stay "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Hosted by Bring Priya, Nades and Girls Home to Biloela, Tamil Refugee Council and Refugee Action Collective (Vic) When: 4-6pm 9th August Where: 79-81 Victoria Pde, Collingwood VIC Facebook event here Rally at Jetstar corporate office calling on Qantas and all airlines not to deport asylum seekers to danger. Qantas has flown countless asylum seekers(...)

07:26

6pm 31 Jul | Unionists for Refugees working group meeting "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

When: 6-8pm, Tuesday 31st July Where: ANMF Vic Branch, 535 Elizabeth St, Melbourne        Facebook event here Unionists for Refugees, a working group of RAC, is meeting to build the refugee rights movement within our unions. All welcome For more info phone Chris on 0403 013 183.  

06:56

Media Release Tamil Refugee Council 24/07 | UN CONFIRMS THAT TORTURE IS ROUTINE AND SYSTEMATIC IN SRI LANKA "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Tuesday 24 July 2018 UN CONFIRMS THAT TORTURE IS ROUTINE AND SYSTEMATIC IN SRI LANKA The Tamil Refugee Council has again called on the Australian government to end the deportation of Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka, after the United Nations found evidence of widespread torture in the country. The report of Special Rapporteur Ben(...)

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Thursday, 26 July

09:04

Music lessons improve childrens cognitive abilities & academic performance "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Findings from new research conducted in the Netherlands show that structured music lessons have a significant and positive effect on a childs cognitive abilities, improving verbal intelligence, inhibition and planning skills.

kids

The study which followed 147 children from six schools over a 2.5 year period, was undertaken in response to the increasing disappearance of music from school timetables in countries across the world:

Despite indications that music has beneficial effects on cognition, music is disappearing from general education curricula, said lead author Dr. Artur Jaschke, who is a researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. This inspired us to initiate a long-term study on the possible effects of music education on cognitive skills that may underlie academic achievement.

Read their findings and the full article here

Sources: 
Music Education Works: https://musiceducationworks.wordpress.com/2018/03/28/music-lessons-improve-childrens-cognitive-skills-and-academic-performance/ 
Front...

03:47

Transcript Inquiry into the Long-Term Lease of the Land Titles Registry "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

5 July 2018 TRANSCRIPT: STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING Inquiry into the proposed long-term lease of land titles and registry functions of Land Use Victoria Members Mr David Davis Chair Dr Samantha Ratnam Witnesses Mr Karl Fitzgerald (affirmed), Project Director, and Mr Jesse Hermans (affirmed) Administrative Assistant and Researcher, Prosper Australia. The []

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Wednesday, 25 July

02:29

Where Does Fat Go? The Answer May Surprise You "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

I went over to my brother's yesterday and had a "bee sting". A delicious piece of cake/slice heaven...

Sunday, 22 July

12:52

5 Years Too Long Rally: Photos "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Photos by Kathleen Chapman and anon.

11:46

Petition: Dont Deport Huyen stop separating families "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

We call on Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to immediately release Huyen from MITA detention centre and grant her permanent protection to avoid another indefinite family separation. Refugee families belong together. Please sign and support: https://www.megaphone.org.au/petitions/don-t-deport-huyen-stop-separating-families

11:21

PTUA welcomes rail pledges "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has welcomed state Labor and Coalition pledges to expand Melbournes rail network.

Labor today pledged funding for a plan for airport rail via Sunshine if re-elected. In recent weeks the Coalition has pledged suburban rail extensions of the Cranbourne line to Clyde, and the Frankston line to Baxter.

PTUA spokesperson Daniel Bowen said that as Melbourne continues to grow, it was critical that the rail network grows with it.

All of these proposals are important, and its great to see both sides of politics recognising that Melbourne needs more rail.

With traffic congestion now a daily issue across the city, more people are looking for ways to get around without driving.

Melbourne Airport is one of the worlds busiest without a rail link[1]. The PTUA believes the proposed rail link must be fast, frequent, affordable, and have good connections to the rest of the public transport network.

Cranbourne East/Clyde, and Baxter are likely to see strong residential growth, and extending the suburban rail network to these areas, alongside upgrades to local buses, walking and cycling, will give more people viable transport options.

But Mr Bowen warned that the expansion of public transport would be undermined by the large scale road projects proposed by both sides.

Contrary to what the politicians will tell you, transport infrastructure is not about meeting current demand its about what we want our city to look like in the future, and how we want people to get around.

More motorways will generate more traffic. In contrast, more rail lines and train services will generate more trips on public transport which is a much better outcome.

Melbourne already has more kilometres of motorway than many cities of its size.

Well-run public transport, and especially heavy rail, can get vast numbers of people from A to B quickly, more efficiently and at less cost than in single-occupant cars. Thats why we look forward to commitments to further projects such as Melbourne Metro 2.

To really ensure our city continues to function, to ensure people have good access to employment, education and other opportunities, the key is fast frequent reliable public transport, trains trams and buses, along with good walking and...

11:09

MEDIA RELEASE 22/07 | TWENTY-THREE REFUGEES LEAVE NAURU FOR THE US "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Twenty-three refugees flew from Nauru to the US today, Sunday 22 July. The group includes two Rohingyan families, one couple with their three children; the other a father and his two sons. The rest are single men Rohingyan, Afghans, Pakistanis and Tamils. The refugees final destinations include New York, Oregan and Colorada. Over 1520(...)

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