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

Saturday, 17 March

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Monday, 12 March


March 13 On This Day in Australian History "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

1810 - In court evidence, botanist George Caley (Kaley) says he saw Tedbury remove a lead bullet from his mouth. Luttrell, who claims he thought Tedbury had speared his sister, is acquitted. Writing in later years, John Macarthur Junior thinks Tedbury died a year or two afterwards from the effects of his wounds.

1827 - Sydney's general street lighting was turned on for the first time....and the populace said,
"Oh, goody, I can see the rabid kangaroos coming for me this time,".

1828 - Charles Connor was Hanged at Sydney for burglary from the house of James Mackenzie at Windsor.

1829 - There was a report of Bushrangers at Illawarra.

1852 - Edward Bulwer Lytton Dickens was pupped. Youngest and favourite son of author Charles Dickens, Eddie upped sticks and parked himself on Aussie soil with another brother Alfred. Edward became well-known in the Aussie wool industry and a politician.

1856 - You can stop dressing up like dear old Ned when casting your vote - the Victorian Electoral Bill was passed with the breakfast prunes to allow for a secret ballot!

1860 - The first hotelkeeper's licence for the Overland Corner Hotel, South Oz, was granted to William Brand on this day.

1865 - On the steep and narrow road from Araluen to Majors Creek Ben Hall and Johnny Gilbert, with the assistance of Tom Clarke, attempted to hold up the Araluen Gold Escort.They shot at the guards, Constable Kelly, who was shot in the shoulder and Constable Byrne , who was shot in the foot but they were outflanked by the remaining two troopers and were forced to flee from the scene.

1866 -  Female reported that she had been with  bushranger Thunderbolt for ten months engaged to assist Mary Ann Bugg during her confinement and that Thunderbolt had kept her with them since then, tied up, that she had escaped  from their camp near the headwaters of the Little Manning River on this day.

1877 - The railway line from Winchelsea to Birregurra (Vic) was opened.

1884 - Don't start throwing the rice and confetti just yet - Daisy Bates got hitched to Breaker Morant but she soon kicked him to the kerb after he "forgot" to pay for the wedding and nicked some oinkers and a saddle.

1885 - The first Employers' Union was established in Melbourne.

1892 - Constable Arthur William Brown, Victoria Police; Constable Brown was walking in Williamson Street, Bendigo when he was unexpectedly struck in the mouth by a man called David Storey. Such was the violence of the blow, that Brown fell and struck his head on the stone water channel. His skull was fractured and he died as a result of the injury.

1958 - The last ever Aussie-built steam train went to work on the Brisvegas network.



Blending in "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

Another visit last evening to Cairn Curran to check on the Red-capped Plovers.

Red-capped Plovers, Cairn Curran, 11th March 2018

It wasnt a surprise to spot a loner in their midst, a Double-banded Plover.


Latest News - Victoria Police News: Burglary on Castlemaine butchers "castlemaine IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

Central Goldfields Crime Investigation Unit detectives are appealing for public assistance following a burglary at a Castlemaine butchers last month.


Walks program 2018 kicks off "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

FOBIFs 2018 walks program kicks off next Sunday with a stroll around  the Coliban Main Channel, with a return through sections of the Fryers Nature Conservation Reserve and the state forest. Check the walks program for more details.


17 March 2018 New Venue for Book Launch "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

In the previous blog, it was noted that the new local guide Native Plants and Animals of the Chewton Bushlands was to be launched at the Ray Bradfield Room on Saturday 17 March.  There has been a change of venue, and it is now to be launched at the Castlemaine Botanic Garden Tea Rooms at the same date and time.  The revised details including an RSVP request are provided in the updated flyer below.


Out and back on the Huon track "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

My most recent hiking trip (late Feb 2018) to Tasmania didnt go to plan.

The plan was to walk the last section of the Western Arthur Range I hadnt done lakes Promontory and Rosanne.

But a flooded river and an indistinct track junction put paid to those plans.

While a little annoying not to tick off a few more Tassie bushwalking features, I still had five-and-a-half days of hiking and camping in the bush.

Day 1.

I set out from Hobart with my lift to the start of the Huon Track, near the Tahune Airwalk outside Geeveston, around 7.30am and was walking by 8.45am.

It was steadily spitting rain so I started in my waterproof jacket and pants. Handy too as the bush was wet and brushing past branches and leaning into the track was like stepping into a shower.

The track is an old vehicle track and easy to follow, although in places the bush is reclaiming it.

I set myself a pretty quick pace as I was aiming to reach Cracroft Crossing, about 25km away, to camp.

The start of the walk along the Huon Track was very nice. A couple of gentle up and downs and then flat walking along the Huon River.

Its obvious no one has been along the track with a chainsaw for a while as there are plenty of trees down. They slowed my progress as they had to be climbed over or under or around.



It's time we started talking about the corruption in Victoria's criminal justice system "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

In May 2013 Victoria Police executed a search warrant on the law firm Slater and Gordon - the warrant is here. Slater and Gordon's client Bruce Wilson claimed legal professional privilege over some of the files - this Affidavit from DET SGT Ross Mitchell explains. Police opposed Wilson's claim on...


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

13:25 Bendigo to SCS train is delayed by approximately 16 minutes due to a train fault [14:19 12/03]


Arts Open 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

Me and my exhibition at Arts Open, Old Castlemaine Gaol. Photo by Calum McClure



71 fence jumpers were caught at Sydneys Jumanji Festival this weekend "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

The lead up to the inaugural Jumanji Festival hasnt exactly been smooth, with organizers garnering a fair amount of criticism for its all-male lineup. Now, as reported by Music Feeds, the festival has faced a number of arrests for fence jumping and drug-related offenses.

Headlined by hip hop superstars Lil Wayne, Tyga and more, the festival took place in Sydneys Parramatta Park on Saturday, March 10, attracting just over 6000 punters.

NSW Police have confirmed that 71 people were caught fence-jumping, with 44 refused entry. Nine people were also removed from the festival grounds for aggressive or antisocial behaviour.

Medics took care of 99 medical issues, with two punters being transported to hospital, while 20 people were charged with drug offenses within the festival.

The Victorian leg also faced a number of drug offenses, with a 19-year-old man being charged with  the possession and trafficking of drugs, possessing the proceeds of crime, handling stolen goods and resisting police.

Two police officers were also injured while making arrests, including a  27-year-old man was also arrested and charged with possessing drugs and resisting arrest.


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

11:22 Southern Cross - Bendigo is delayed 21 minutes due to track congestion in the Castlemaine area. [13:15 12/03]


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

12:22 Southern Cross - Bendigo is delayed approximately 15 minutes due to maintenance requirements.

[12:42 12/03]


Bill Shorten Waffles About Adani Because Labor Is In The Pocket Of Big Coal "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

The ALPs on-again off-again position on the Carmichael mega-mine is entirely consistent with the partys recent history, writes Michael Brull*.

Lately, there has been increasing media coverage about Bill Shortens changing positions on the proposed Adani megamine in Queensland. The Liberals have spun this position as a total flip-flop, supporting the mine, then opposing it.

In fact, Shorten is so unprincipled, his supposed flip-flop has seen him going from saying that if the Adani mine stacks up hell support it, to now saying that if the mine doesnt stack up he wont support it. And he thinks it doesnt at this moment. But in both cases, hes not committing either way. When he supposedly supported Adani, he said hed welcome the jobs it would bring (if the project stacked up). Now that he supposedly opposes Adani, he promises he wont tear up contracts, and otherwise do what he can to actually stop Adani.

Adani has welcomed Labors commitment.

Other ALP members have shown a similar unwillingness to just oppose Adani. Labor heavyweight and possible future leader Anthony Albanese got out to criticise calls for a Labor government to kill the project. He has previously responded to activists by saying when will you people fuck off?

Labors Anthony Albanese.

Stop Adani Sydney is presently on week four of picketing his office on Monday mornings. They note he voted against stopping Adanis mine in August last year, and voted for changes to native title in June that helped Adani defeat challenges from traditional owners.

Tanya Plibersek, the...


David Bradburys documentary AMERICA and ME to premiere in Melbourne "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Renowned filmmaker David Bradbury will be in Melbourne for the Victorian premiere of his latest documentary which chronicles his time in the US during the 2016 presidential election campaign.

AMERICA & ME will screen at the Cinema Nova on Friday March 16 at 6.30pm and will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker. 

AMERICA & ME documents the filmmakers observations over three months in the US during the lead up to the surprise election of Donald Trump. A one-man band and always traveling with his camera, David Bradbury was easily able to slip into gear and start filming while on tour with his antimilitarism documentary War on Trial.

Eight US cities later he chronicled what was happening on the streets of America; 40 years after Ronald Reagan introduced the economic theories of Milton Friedman and the infamous Chicago Boys to the world.

Bradbury interviews veterans of Americas failed wars to maintain Empire, gets down in the gutter with the homeless to find out what life is like on the streets, speaks to a nun who was violated by the military junta in Guatemala under the directions of a CIA operative, goes to the US/Mexican border where Trump plans to build the Wall, films out front of CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia where deadly drone attacks are ordered up every Killer Tuesday by the US Presidentand ends up at the Standing Rock protest camp for Election Day.

These vignettes give context to Bradburys critique of the American penchant for empire, using telling moments from his earlier films shot on the edge of the American colossus  Nicaragua No Pasaran, Chile Hasta Cuando?, Frontline and South of the Border.

To view trailer visit:

For screening details and ticketing visit:

For interview with the filmmaker contact David Bradbury mob. 0409925469 (David will be in Melbourne from March 12).

For press images contact Frontline Films 02 6684 0015/0447851858 or email

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Sunday, 11 March


Queensland town stands up for refugee family "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Contributed from Queensland

Biloela is a typical small town in Queensland, whose residents have done something that deserves to be better known by the rest of Australia.

They have come together to defend an asylum seeker family, which has been living in the town.

The Tamil couple has escaped from Sri Lanka and now have two children born in Australia.

Australian Border Force members seized the family last Monday, and flew them to immigration detention in Melbourne, where they were allegedly coerced into signing documents supporting their voluntary removal.

Bilboela residents have responded by starting up a petitiont as part of their effort to convince the Australian government to return this family to Biloela, their home, where they are wanted and welcome.

The United Nations has criticised Australias eagerness to deport Tamil refugees to Sri Lanka in the past, noting in October that, at least one such case faced a serious risk of return to danger or persecution.

Most Australians are tolerant and welcoming people, who believe that those who land on our shores because of desperation, should be treated humanely, and generally fast racked into settlement in Australia.

They do not like the way the government is treating these people in our name. Nor do they like the reputation the country is getting as an intolerant place, prepared to use what are really, remote concentration camps, in open violation of global standards of civilised behaviour and agreements that Australia is signatory to.

The treatment of refuges is one example, in a catalogue of changed that are causing an ongoing erosion of rights, aimed to promote fear that other people pose a threat, as as a manipulative political tool .

Biloela has gone one step further and taken practical action in one case, which serves as a positive example to other Australian communities.




The post Queensland town stands up for refugee family appeared first on The Pen.


Will 2018 be the year for Airbnb certainty in strata? Guest post by Stephen Thornton "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Anyone living in an apartment block has probably noticed the increasing numbers of strangers with rolling suitcases who are obviously staying in Airbnb accommodation. Living in a Toowong apartment tower, I am frequently having to help short-term visitors find their way to Toowong Village. Hence I am delighted to publish this guest post from my friend and colleague Dr Stephen Thornton, Principal of BG Economics, on the increasingly important issue of Airbnb in strata. Views expressed are Stephens and should not necessarily be attributed to me. GT 

Will 2018 be the year for Airbnb certainty in strata?

by Dr Stephen Thornton

Queensland should finally be getting some significant changes to strata law this year, 4.5 years after the former Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie announced that the QUT Commercial and Property Law Research Centre would undertake a property law review. To be fair, it is a big job. QUT have conducted the review in stages with a number of final recommendations reports having been completed and handed to the government.

However, one of the major contemporary policy issues in strata, how to respond to peer-to-peer short-term rental disruptors like Airbnb, was not part of the review. Having only been in operation for five years, the Californian company did not appear on the policy radar when the review was being considered.

I wrote about the benefits of providing a legislative green light to strata owners in this space last year (here) citing the Deloitte Access Economics report Economic Effects of Airbnb in Australia: Queensland in which they estimated that Airbnb guest expenditure is associated with $217.4 million in value add to the Queensland economy, and supports 2,115 FTE jobs across the state.

Just recently, MadeComfy, a short-term rental management company, used data from a commissioned 2017 study by economics and policy consultancy ACIL Allen and combined it with its own data. MadeComfy reportedly found short-term rental (STR) average weekly revenue outperformed the long-term rental (LTR) average in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, with the Queensland capital registering an LTR average of $370 for apartments and....


When Oil Trades Like Bitcoin "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Todays Daily Reckoning has no choice but to interrupt your regular programming.

Our head office is located in Victoria, and we southern types are enjoying a day off for Labour Day.

Well have to put the latest news and market moves aside for now.

However, we can use the time to take a look at some longer-term trends.

One of those is the ongoing ascendancy of China.

Bloomberg reported last week that Chinas economy is set to overtake the Eurozone sometime in 2018.

Theres only one spot to go after that

The day China shakes the world is coming

We can see the ascendancy of China in other ways. You might recall, if youve been reading the Daily Reckoning for a while, that I pointed out last year that oil futures were due to begin trading in Shanghai.

These contracts are due to go live this month. The most interesting part about it all is that these contracts will be settled in Chinas currency, the yuan, and not US dollars.

Heres why I bring it up

The US is the only country in the world that can import real goods like oil simply by printing new currency reserves. Every other country has to earn US dollars first via exports bringing in foreign exchange to pay for the imports.

Its rightly called an exorbitant privilege, and its days are numbered.

Recall that China is by far the largest importer of raw materials in the world.

There will come a day that China tells Australian iron ore miners that theyre going to get paid in yuan whether they like it or not. That day will shake the world.

When that specific date is due, I cant tell you for certain. But China is going to flex its buying power at some point.

Granted, its unlikely to be anytime soon. China needs to liberalise its capital accounts first.

But theres a wildcard to all this I need to tell you about

A wildcard for the global trading system

Its called the blockchain. This has the potential to upend the use of national currencies for trade.

The blockchain is a ledger. It can record what is delivered, when, and to whom. All we need is an agreed protocol for the energy industry, and it could be built with a native token to transfer the value.

Call it OilCoin if you like.

It would actually be a massive improvement on what we have now.

I read a research report on the oil market just last week. The analysts were trying to get an approximate estimate....


MACKAY Woman defrauded man through fake Gumtree sale "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

MACKAY March 12, 2018 at 02:52AM ,

Woman defrauded man through fake Gumtree sale

March 12, 2018 at 02:52AM ,

A MACKAY mother who defrauded a Victorian man through Gumtree, obstructed a police officer and stole from the same post office twice has been placed on probation. Kylie Jayne Newton, 39, of Mt Pleasant, pleaded guilty to eight charges in Mackay Magistrates Court on Friday. The court was told she

, ,

user1ouenvdy crimeviewqld , ,


The early bird "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

On Saturday morning I heard, for the first time this autumn, the unmistakable piping call of the Eastern Spinebill.

This diminutive honeyeater is a cool season migrant to the Newstead district, usually arriving in April in our garden to feed on flowering Grevilleas and Correas. They linger until late winter most years before heading back south to higher altitudes to breed. Not far from here, at places such as Daylesford, Eastern Spinebills can be found year round.

The juveniles generally arrive first, perhaps theyve been ejected from breeding territories by their parents the adults appear a few weeks later in my experience. This years sighting is somewhat earlier than usual, last year I spotted my first spinebills around the 20th March at Rotunda Park and in preceding years its been well into April before the first birds arrived. As always Id be keen to learn of other local observations.

Juvenile Eastern Spinebill, Wyndham Street Newstead, 11th March 2018


March 12 On This Day in Australian History "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

1773 - Tobias Furneaux, second in command on Cook's second jaunt to the Pacific, was so impressed with Adventure Bay in Tassie that he parked his boat there for 5 days where he explored the bright lights and big city had the rigging overhauled, and wood and water collected .

1827 - William Leddington was Hanged at Sydney for piracy on the brig Wellington at Norfolk Island.

1827 - James Smith was Hanged at Sydney for piracy on the brig Wellington at Norfolk Island.

1827 - John Edwards was Hanged at Sydney for piracy on the brig Wellington at Norfolk Island.

1827 -Richard Johnson  wasHanged at Sydney for piracy on the brig Wellington at Norfolk Island.

1827 - Edward Coulthurst wasHanged at Sydney for piracy on the brig Wellington at Norfolk Island.

1842 - First issue of Launceston Examiner.

1853 - William Wright was Hanged outside Adelaide Gaol for a murder committed at East Wellington.

1868 - We know what Henry James O'Farrell was up to on this day as he so thoughtfully made his mark in history for future historians by attempting to assassinate the 2nd male pup of Queen Vicky, Prince Alfred, as he swanned about a picnic at Clontarf in Sydney.
The prince fully recovered from the shooting but, alas, the deemed insane O'Farrell failed to recover from the hangman's noose.

1877 - The Main South Railway Line (NSW) was opened in all its glory.

1883 - Murrumgunarriman, known as Twopenny, who was a member of the famous Aboriginal Cricket Team of 1868, passed away.

1885 - Const 1/C John Mitchell, NSW Police,  was shot by an escaping prisoner.

1903 - Constable John Hamley, WA Police, drowned at Roebourne.

1904 - Australia's first car race was held near current-day Sandown Park, Victoria, with Harley Tarrant rocketing across the line to the chequered flag in a twin cylinder car he built himself with the top engine pulling power of 8hp.

1906 - John Kelly (King) brother of Ned Kelly, regimental number 880, became a probationary constable in the WA Police Force.

1913 - Canberra was christened before it was actually built, with Mrs. Governor- General Lady Denman unveiling the foundation stones and the secretly-held moniker for our nations capital.

1916 - A Model T Ford left Glenelg, with five adults, three children and a pile of luggage, bound for Birdsville. The driver was Joseph Kelly, an employee of Ford agents Duncan and Fraser, who undertook to drive the owner, Jack Gaffney, licensee of the Birdsville hotel, and his family, in the new vehicle up the notorious Birdsville track.
After 1200 tortuous kilometres, they reached Birdsville.
The only problem with the car was one puncture...



Refugee Action Coalition MEDIA RELEASE SEVEN REFUGEES LEAVE NAURU FOR THE US Just seven single men comprise the sixth group of refugees, who will leave Nauru today (Sunday, 11 March) to be resettled in the US.  (Photos attached). The seven refugees include Afghans, Pakistani and two Rohingyans. Altogether 146 refugees from Nauru have been resettled(...)

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Saturday, 10 March


We Need Courage, Not Hope, to Face Climate Change "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Originally posted at onbeing I hope this article rhymes with you as well as it did for me.


Kate MarvelAs a climate scientist, I am often asked to talk about hope. Particularly in the current political climate, audiences want to be told that everything will be all right in the end. And, unfortunately, I have a deep-seated need to be liked and a natural tendency to optimism that leads me to accept more speaking invitations than is good for me. Climate change is bleak, the organizers always say. Tell us a happy story. Give us hope. The problem is, I dont have any.

I used to believe there was hope in science. The fact that we know anything at all is a miracle. For some reason, the whole world is hung on a skeleton made of physics. I found comfort in this structure, in the knowledge that buried under layers of greenery and dirt lies something universal. It is something to know how to cut away the flesh of existence and see the clean white bones underneath. All of us obey the same laws, whether we know them or not.

Look closely, however, and the structure of physics dissolves into uncertainty. We live in a statistical world, in a limit where we experience only one of many possible outcomes. Our clumsy senses perceive only gross aggregates, blind to the roiling chaos underneath. We are limited in our ability to see the underlying stimuli that, en masse, create an event. Temperature, for example, is a state created by the random motions of millions of tiny molecules. We feel heat or cold, not the motion of any individual molecule. When something is heated up, its tiny constituent parts move faster, increasing its internal energy. They do not move at the same speed; some are quick, others slow. But there are billions of them, and in the aggregate their speed dictates their temperature.



A sign of things to come "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

From a distance this small group of waders promised something special; perhaps an unusual stint, plover or sandpiper en route back to northern hemisphere breeding grounds. At this time of year I expect to see a few migrating Red-necked Stints and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers around the shoreline of Cairn Curran and most years something a little exotic (for us in central Victoria at least) turns up perhaps a Common Greenshank or Pectoral Sandpiper.

Alas, this flock was comprised only locals about 20 Red-capped Plovers including a number of immature birds. They gave a nice flight display which made my afternoon jaunt very worthwhile.

Red-Capped Plovers (males at front and rear, female at right), Cairn Curran, 10th March 2018


March 11 On This Day in Australian History "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

1813 - The first cattle fair was held, no doubt starring someone's mother in law, at Parramatta NSW.

1843 - Scratching about in the dirt during a brief 5 min break, tin was discovered near Beechworth in Victoria.

1845 - The first Maori War took place, with British troops sent from Australia over to NZ's North Island to suppress an uprising by the Maori's against European settlers breaches of the Waitangi Treaty.

1848 - The Savings Bank of South Australia opened its doors in rented premises in Gawler Place on this day.

1857 - William Twigham (or Twiggem, alias Lexton) was Hanged at Melbourne Gaol for the murder of Sergeant Bernard McNally at the Cathcart Diggings, near Ararat.

1862 - John Seaver was Hanged at Adelaide Gaol for the murder of Richard Pettinger at Adelaide.

1871 - WA's first ever railway which tottled from Busselton to Yonganup was opened by a private timber company (it was dobbin-powered until August of that year).

1871 - The Overland Telegraph Party, having grown tired of square dancing their way across the desert, tripped over a spot now known as Alice Springs.

1873 - Samuel Wright was Hanged at Castlemaine for the attempted murder of a man Named Hagan (or Hogan) at Dead Horse Flat, near Eaglehawk.

1892 - Nasty piece of work Frederick Deeming was arrested at Southern Cross - the Westralian town, not the Melbourne train station - for murder most foul. Google the creature as his deeds are not fit for decent folk.

1914 - Joseph Belbin was Hanged at Campbell Street Gaol for the murder of Margaret Ledwell at Deloraine.

1940 - Coalminers spat the dummy and went on strike for higher wages and shorter working hours; as it was during a war this brewed not a little resentment and ill-will. The strike wasn't sorted out until May.

1942 - Everyone over the age of 16 excitingly got to be registered and to carry ID cards.

1957 - The Aleutian Islands sent forth a tsunami that was felt along the coastline of NSW.

1961 - Monash Uni, in Melbourne and named after soldier and engineer Sir John Monash, was officially opened with a red ribbon, scissors and a bottle of champers flung against its side by Vic Premier Sir Henry Bolte.

1969 - Division 4, a cop drama set in Melbourne, arrested the viewing audience when it debuted on the idiot box today.

1972 - The Womenss Right March in Sydney, with support from the Sydney Gay Liberation.

1980 - A Summer Offensive event, a forum Gays in our schools was held at Federation House. The booklet Young, Gay and Proud was discussed.

1983 - Bob Hawke tried on the crown as the 23rd Prime Minister of Oz.


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Friday, 02 March


Australia boosts South China Sea presence "IndyWatch Feed Vic"


In this June 2017 photo, HMAS Ballarat (center) conducts a passage exercise in the South China Sea with Japanese maritime self defense force ships Izumo and Sazanami and the Royal Canadian ship HMCS Winnipeg.

Royal Australian Navy/Released

Patricia Lourdes Viray ( March 2, 2018 12:36pm

MANILA, Philippines Australia shares the United States concern on Beijings militarization activities in the disputed South China Sea.
According to a report from Wall Street Journal, Australia has increased its naval presence in the contested waters in response to concerns about regional stability.
Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne, in a parliamentary hearing, had expressed Canberras unease on Beijings rising military capabilities in the region.
Payne told the Australian Senate that the country has stepped up its naval presence in the South China Sea in the last 18 months despite not joining freedom of navigations operations of the United States, according to WSJ reporter Rob Taylor.
Australias heightened presence in the disputed waters is part of a strong focus on security and stability in the Indo-Pacific.
Lyle Morris, senior policy analyst at Rand Corporation, noted that Australia has been conducting presence operations and joint training for almost two years.
They just arent doing (freedom of navigation operations) within 12 (nautical miles) of disputed features. Australia deserves more credit for this, Morris said on Twitter.
In a meeting last week, US President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull expressed serious concerns about the situation in the South China Sea.

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Thursday, 01 March


March 2 On This Day in Australian History "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

1788 - Governor Phillip went for a casual stroll and did some naval gazing explored Broken Bay.

1829 - Daniel Brown was Hanged at Hobart for murder of a fellow-convict named Stopford at Macquarie Harbour.

1829 - John Salmon was Hanged at Hobart for murder of a fellow-convict named Stopford at Macquarie Harbour.

1839 - Joseph Redman was a greedy bugger when he applied to marry Frances Ann Nevin . The application was knocked back as the greedy bugger was already married with 7 children.

1840 - Patrick Leslie was a leader amongst men...or a drover amongst pastoralists when he drove the first mob of sheep overland from NSW to Moreton Bay.

1840 - The first competitive Agricultural Exhibition was held at Fordham's Hotel in Grenfell Street, Adelaide.

1850 - Mystery was the ships name but there was no mystery as to her fate; she struck a rock when the wind changed whilst sheltering under Swan Island, Tas. and her crew abandoned ship. During the following day the lighthouse keepers assisted the crew to salvage the cargo and much of the gear and fittings, before the Mystery broke up in a gale.

1851 - Excitingly the very first census of Victoria revealed that man had been successfully doing the horizontal limbo with the population hitting 77,345.
I have an idea how they were spending their free time....

1857 - Chu-Ah-Luk was Hanged at Melbourne Gaol for the murder of Ah Pat Campbell's Creek.

1860 - Stuart departed Chambers Creek on the first of his expeditions to cross from the south to the northern coast.

1860 - The Hall of Commerce was a large iron building in Watt St, Newcastle until it caught alight on this day and was consumed by the flames within an hour.

1863 - Const. Thomas Cavanagh (NSW) died whilst on duty.

1865 - The Jardine Expedition north from Carpentaria Downs to establish a settlement at Cape York named Somerset completed its 1,600-mile journey  after five months of peril and hardship, travelling over difficult country, and several clashes with the "blacks" [sic] without loss of human life. Twenty-one horses, the mule, and many of the cattle were lost.

1866 - Surprise by name and surprise by nature; the ship Surprise left the Gippsland Lakes for Melbourne on this day and was not seen again.

1884 - Pizarro was sailing from Barrow, England to Cooktown, Queensland with railway material; she passed Gabo Island, Victoria on this day and was never seen again.

1889 - Long Jimmy alias Jimmy Long, a Malay, was Hanged at Fremantle Prison for the murder of Claude Kerr on board a pearling lugger 'Dawn' at Cossack.

1891 - A group of (agitating busybodie)s colonial representatives had a...


Fascism on the march "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

38862529__26_06_2016__australia_protest.jpgThe Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group believes the best immediate response to Fascism is an internationalist working class movement of resistance in the form of a united front. Within this, we can put forward a libertarian communist solution to the many crises of capitalism. We participate in the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism because, although it has severe flaws, it does some good work and is the only working class united front available to us at the moment. We hope to contribute to solving its problems, most importantly its isolation from the union movement, and fight for a world where Fascism is consigned permanently to the dustbin of history.


2pm 25 March | Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

When: 2-4pm 25th March Where: State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St, Melbourne Organised by Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees organising group Facebook event here Join the Melbourne Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees Sunday March 25 at 2pm, commencing at the State Library (music from 1.30pm). The walk will be starting(...)


Media Release (Artists Committee) 28/02 | NGV drops Wilson Security "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

NGV drops Wilson Security The National Gallery of Victoria has today indicated that Wilson Security will no longer provide security services at the state institution.  Wilson Security is well known for its serious and extensive record of human rights abuses against children, women and men held in offshore immigration detention centres on Manus Island and(...)


Sustainable Living Festival "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

SUSTAINABLE LIVING FESTIVAL Friday 9th, Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th Feb Birrarung Marr If you want an easy way to get involved with the Refugee Action Collective, come and volunteer for an hour at our Sustainable Living Festival Stall! This is your chance to engage with members of the public and the collective and to(...)


11:30am March 10 | Rally for Refugees in Batman Bring Them Here "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

When: 11:30am 1:30pm 10th March 2018 Where: Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre, 189 High St Northcote VIC Facebook event here The Batman by-election is a chance to build a stronger refugee movement and put the ongoing cruelty of indefinite detention on Manus and Nauru into the national spotlight. Join RAC to Paint Batman, Refugee.(...)


Media Release Tamil Refugee Council 28/02 | DEPORTED TAMIL MAN HARASSED BY SECURITY FORCES IN SRI LANKA "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

DEPORTED TAMIL MAN HARASSED BY SECURITY FORCES IN SRI LANKA A former member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, or Tamil Tigers) deported under duress from Australia last week is being harassed and intimidated, along with his family, by the Sri Lankan state. Santharuban was handed over to Sri Lankan authorities at Bandaranaike(...)



Refugee Action Coalition MEDIA RELEASE MORE REFUGEES LEAVE NAURU TO BE RESETTLED, BUT TURNBULL KEEPS SILENT ABOUT PAINFULLY SLOW  DEAL A group of 26 refugees, including three babies, are flying from Nauru today (Sunday, 25 February) to the US visa Fiji. (Photos attached) The twenty-six include two Sri Lankan families, but most of the refugees(...)


Batman: A Unique Federal By-Election "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Batman (Vic): ALP vs Green 1.0%
Ged Kearney (ALP) vs Alex Bhathal (Green)
Incumbent David Feeney (ALP) resigned over eligibility issues
Outlook: On hold pending fallout from dossier controversy

A by-election will be held for the Victorian seat of Batman in the near future after David Feeney became the first confirmed Labor casualty of the Section 44 citizenship fiasco.  Feeney threw in the towel when he was unable to find any positive evidence that he had renounced his UK citizenship circa 2007. Some Labor insiders believe the seat is now unsaveable while some are more upbeat that they may just hold it.

This could be the last time we'll be referring to the seat by the name "Batman".  There's a significant campaign to rename it after Simon Wonga, but that won't be decided until the redistribution process concludes later this year.

The heavy lifting by way of preview has already been done at Tally Room and Poll Bludger with their excellent by-election guides.  The seat's dramatically split voting pattern was laid out by Michael McCarthy in his pieces (here's the latest) on the "hipster-proof fence" (aka Tofu Curtain, Great Wall of Quinoa, Corduroy Line) around Bell Street, which divides the Green-friendlier and Labor-friendlier sides of the electorate.  Also of interest may be Kosmos Samaras' analysis of why Labor is getting trashed by the Greens in inner-city seats like the state seat of Northcote (the southern half of Batman) and (see also Tim Colebatch on this) what they can try to do about it.  A convenient step-up in attacks on the proposed Adani coal mine in Queensland probably isn't it (at least, not by itself).

All that really remains for me to do is to put this by-election into its proper historic context, by telling you it really doesn't have one.  It's been said that all by-elections are unique, but this one is especially so. And while that might sound like an open invitation to pay slavish attention to the polling that is bound to appear, I don't recommend doing that either.  Seat polling in Australia is a struggling enterprise at the best of times, but inner-city seats with high enrolment churn are especially hard to poll a...

Wednesday, 28 February


Becks Melbourne gig served as a welcome return for the alt-rock legend "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Review: Beck & Meg Mac at the Margaret Court Arena, February 28 2018

Last year, Beck announced that he was set to descend upon Australia for the first time in six years for the inaugural Sydney City Limits festival, in support of his thirteenth album, Colors. When the musical chameleon happened to announce sideshows for Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney, fans were eagerly awaiting these long overdue performances to refresh their memories as to why hes one of the worlds most versatile and accomplished musicians.

As crowds slowly trickled into Melbournes Margaret Court Arena last night (which featured small signs made by the public referring to it as the Marriage Equality Arena), there was much talk about the show that awaited them. Overheard conversations included some fans hoping to hear some of his earliest cuts, while others hoped for something more recent. The most exciting thing about this though was that both fans had equal chances of leaving happy, with audiences never really knowing what to expect from a Beck setlist.

As showtime rolled around, a sadly all-too-small crowd was in attendance for one of Australias most talented performers of the moment, Meg Mac. Fresh from a huge year which saw the release of her debut record, Low Blows, Meg Mac took to the stage with her five-piece backing band, all of them dressed in shades of black and white a far cry from the Colors tour which Beck was bringing to the people.

As Meg Mac kicked off her set, which included hits such as Never Be, Low Blows, and Roll Up Your Sleeves this hugely talented muso showed off her amazingly soulful pipes to a hometown crowd, proving why she has been so popular in recent years with her her catchy, almost gospel-like tracks.

With her sister on backing vocals, and a hugely-talented backing band behind her, Meg Mac continued to deliver the hits, showcasing her stellar cover of Bill Withers Grandmas Hands, and even throwing down her 2017 Like A Version cover of Tame Impalas Let It Happen. By the end of her set, there wasnt a single audience member who wasnt enthralled by what they had just witnessed, and it was clear that she...

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