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Homicide Squad detectives are investigating following the discovery of a mans body in Bairnsdale yesterday.
Lakes Entrance service centre and library had 14kW of solar installed last week
(first published in Environment Connect an electronic publication of the East Gippsland Shire Council)
Work to install 287 solar panels on five East Gippsland Shire Council buildings has started. It is expected to reduce councils carbon dioxide emissions by 123 tonnes annually, equivalent to seven Australian households.
Customer service centres and libraries* in Lakes Entrance, Paynesville, Omeo and Orbost, as well as the Bairnsdale Business Centre, will benefit from the project. A total of 94 kW of solar panels will be installed by the local company EnviroLinkAu.
Omeo continues to experience frequent blackouts, which is a problem for the community and local businesses. A grid-connected battery will also be installed at that site to keep some services running, such as the towns only bank, when there is a grid failure.
The payback period for the project is between four and five years. Rising energy prices combined with the declining cost of solar products and the current feed-in tariff means solar is more viable than ever before.
A study was undertaken to see which council buildings would benefit most from solar panels. It found the customer service centres and libraries, which are open during daylight hours were most suitable.
Once the solar panels are installed, the buildings will use electricity generated by the sun, with any excess sent into the power grid for a minimum payment of 11.3 cents per kW a feed-in tariff.
Considering solar? For households or local businesses considering solar in 2018, the likely financial outcomes for a 3 kW solar photo voltaic (PV) system should be: Installed cost $3,600, Annual generation 3,450 kWh, Retail tariff 25cents per kWh, Export tariff 11.3cents per kWh, Amount of export 30%, Annual income $720, Simple payback time 5 years, Simple rate of return 20% pa
For further information: Rebecca Lamble
*the obvious location for PV in town is the Bairnsdale Library. However apparently Heritage Victoria has blocked installation of panels even on the new part of the building if they are visible from the pavement.
Residents near raging fires west of Melbourne have been told it's not safe to leave their homes and to take shelter immediately. A warning has been issued by the Country Fire Authority said people should stay within their homes as it is 'not safe for you to leave'. Dramatic video footage shows massive flames and explosions emerging from a substation in Terang, while a grassfire burns out of control in Boorcan, 199km west of Melbourne. Nearby resident Brett Gasper told the Herald Sun the scene of the fire caused a 'red sky and smell of smoke' which was 'daunting'. A CFA spokesperson said people had been evacuated from nearby homes.
The Tamil Refugee Council has condemned an early morning raid in which a refugee family was given just ten minutes to gather belongings before being flown to Melbourne and detained at the Broadmeadows detention centre (MITA Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation). Priya, her husband Nadesalingam and their daughters 9-month-old Dharuniga and 2-year-old Kopiga, born 
Without national discussion or debate and no hard questions from media Australia is pitching to become a major arms exporter. Dr Lissa Johnson weighs in.
On Wednesday morning I watched a live broadcast of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announcing the Australian Governments deal to procure $5.2bn worth of tanks (combat reconnaissance vehicles) from German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall. It has been hailed as the largest defence contract in Australias history.
In front of a brand spanking new tank stood Turnbull, a Rheinmetall executive, Defence Minister Marise Payne and Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne. Together they sang the praises of their historic procurement project and Rheinmetalls state of the art combat vehicle.
Turnbull waxed lyrical about a robust, resilient and internationally competitive defence industry, exciting opportunities and leading edge capability. The arms executive talked about a world class Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Queensland. Turnbull described his ambition for Australia to become one of the top 10 defence exporters in the world.
The whole performance looked like a marketing event at a boat show, except the boat was a tank.
Turnbull proudly described the deal in the context of Australias plan to spend $200bn on new military equipment over the next decade. He said that the arms deal was good news for Australian steel, good news for jobs, good news for Queensland and good news for Australia (Victoria, which bid to host the contract, missed out).Minister for Defence Industry The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell, AO, DSC and The Hon Malcolm Turnball, MP, Prime Minister of Australia inspect the Rheinmetall Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV). (IMAGE: Jay Cronan, Dept of Defence)
Turnbull and Pyne cited the Rheinmetall tanks superior lethality as a key selling point. The arms manufacturer likened it to a Swiss army knife.
As I watched the broadcast my stomach churned, making it difficult to digest my breakfast. I had a few thoughts. One was that even if this deal is good news for Queenslanders as hyped, the whole $200bn ar...
1808 Bishop Barker - the bloke not the beer glass - was pupped
today. Fred Barker became the Anglican Bishop of Sydney and, in
typical Aussie fashion, his tea-totalling ways were completely
respected in the naming of the biggest glass of beer in the late
1809 Bligh picked up his bat and ball and sailed, not for England as he'd promised those wiley NSW Corps, but for Hobart.
1826 Bushranger Matthew Brady, another naughty lad, was captured by John Batman near Launceston...my crystal ball tells me it'll all end in tears.
1843 Partying in style in Sydney during St Paddy's Day celebrations 2 Montgolfier balloons showed off gave an exhibition to wow the crowds.
1853 St Kilda road, Melbourne was the setting for many an armed hold up during the Victorian gold rush and today saw the last major robbery attempt...apart from the robbery real estate agents have been getting away with ever since.
1856 - The foundation stone of St Francis Xavier's Cathedral, Adelaide, was laid on this day.
1870 John Ross discovered and named the Alice Springs while exploring the route for the Australian Overland Telegraph Line.
1908 A.W. Canning, a forward thinking type of bloke, set out to equip a stock route between Halls Creek and Wiluna in Westralia. It is now known as The Canning Stock Route, perhaps named after the chap who sunk 52 wells by the time he finished in December 1909.
1910 Beating Harry Houdini by 1 day but being over-looked in the magician's smoke and mirrors, Fred Custance flew the first powered flight in a Bleriot monoplane in South Oz.
1942 Gen Douglas MacArthur rocked up to Oz and set up shop in Melbourne.
Ahh, the hardships people must endure in war time...
1943 General Douglas MacArthur more than slightly miffed the Aussies when he claimed that before he graced Aussie soil with his presence the govt was ready to hand the northern part of Australia to the Japanese.
1943 The Brisbane Courier Mail newspaper ran the article in which the Trade and Customs Minister announced in the Senate that unless more barley was grown the Aussie beer output of 7,200,000 gallons per month would have to be cut.
What, no green ale?!
1962 Today saw the grand opening/airing of CBN 8 Orange (CBN = Country Broadcasting New South Wales) a TV station that is now affiliated with Prime7.
Where they, no doubt, had a few sherberts in the green hue.
1967 And they most probably raised a glass or 3 at the official opening of the Honeysuckle Creek Space Tracking Station in Canberra on this day; this was the famous antenna that received, then relayed to the whole world, the TV images of Neil Armstrong taking a Sunday stroll on the Moon.
THIRTEEN South Coast athletes proudly representing their club
returned with six gold medals from the State Championships held
recently at Albert Park.
The Victorian Junior Track & Field Championships were held on February 23 to 25, followed by the Victorian Open Track & Field Championships on March 2 to 4.
The athletes performed exceptionally well, winning six gold medals, two silver medals and breaking three club records between them.
U14G: Tevuro Ihomana Montgomery: Javelin 1st 34.18m (club record), 80m Hurdles 2nd 13.14.
U15G: Alarna Gibson-Williamson: 90m Hurdles 1st 14.52, High Jump 1st 1.63m.
U15G: Georgia Burns: High Jump 4th 1.45m, 400m 11th 63.48, 800m 6th 2:28.92, 1500m 10th 5:27.65.
U15G: Charli Burns: Long Jump 8th 4.20m, Triple Jump 7th 9.17m.
U15B: Tyler Butcher: Triple Jump 1st 12.44m (club record).
U16G: Jasmine Woods: 100m 4th 12.84, Triple Jump 2nd 11.07m, Long Jump 6th 5.14m.
U16G: Meaghan Wilson: High Jump 1st 1.60m, Triple Jump 5th 9.50m, 90m Hurdles 6th 14.84.
U16G: Nicola Slade: Pole vault 6th 2.50m, High Jump 6th 1.45m, Long Jump 11th 4.44m.
U16B: Matthew Merrilees: High Jump 5th 1.74m, Hammer Throw 6th 27.91m, Discus 10th 30.02m.
U17G: Rachel Aitken: High Jump 4th 1.50m.
U17G: Piper Hastings: High Jump 7th 1.40m.
Open Women: Eleanor Patterson: High Jump 1st 1.86m.
Sarah Lewis: 800m 11th 2:18.53 (club record).
The perfidious role of human rights organizations in the war on Syria has been exposed again with the Amnesty International report on Syria for 2017/18, followed by an equally tendentious article in the Melbourne Age newspaper by Claire Mallinson, Amnestys national director for Australia. In the name of human rights these organizations have actually worsened the crisis in Syria. They have never dealt honestly with its primary cause, the determination of the US and its allies seven years ago to destroy the government in Damascus, as part of a bigger plan to destroy the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah strategic axis across the Middle East. Democracy, human rights and the best interests of the Syrian people were never on the agenda of these governments. They were cold-blooded and remorseless in what they wanted and the means by which they sought to get it.
| Published Friday 16 March 2018
Indonesias president Joko Widodo holds a cabinet meeting on a warship off the Natuna Islands, in what has been called Indonesias strongest message to China over assertion of the South China Sea.
SYDNEY: Indonesia has lobbied Southeast Asian countries to carry out maritime patrols in the disputed South China Sea, claimed in most part by China, to improve security, Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said on Friday.
Indonesia says its a non-claimant state in the South China Sea dispute but has clashed with China over fishing rights around the Natuna Islands and expanded its military presence there, and also renamed the northern reaches of its exclusive economic zone, asserting its own maritime claim.
Austalian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defense Minister Marise Payne held talks with their Indonesian counterparts Retno Marsudi and Ryacudu in Sydney, ahead of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.
Australia is hosting the meeting, despite not being a member of the 10-nation bloc, as it seeks to tighten political and trade ties in the region amid Chinas rising influence.
For the South China Sea, I went around to friends ASEAN defense ministers so that each country that faces the South China Sea patrols up to 200 nautical miles, around 230 kilometers, Ryacudu told reporters at a joint press conference.
HMAS Ballarat (center) conducts a passage exercise in the South China Sea with Japanese maritime self defense force ships, June 2017
Indonesia is focusing on three areas, notably the Sulu Sea, the Malacca Strait and the seas around the coast of Thailand, Ryacudu said, referring to existing cooperation with Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines.
If we look at the (borders) from Vietnam down to Indonesia and to the Philippines, we can see we have secured almost half of the South China Sea (in areas) we are already patrolling.
China claims most of the South China Sea, an important trade route and which is believed to contain large quantities of oil and natural gas, and has been building artifici...
The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has welcomed the agreement between the federal and Victorian governments which will see the release of $1.7 billion for improvements to the states regional rail network.
The PTUAs Regional Spokesperson, Paul Westcott, said there was a need for significant improvement of the states longer-distance regional rail lines. The funding now available will be put towards upgrades on the Gippsland, Albury/Wodonga, Bendigo/Echuca, Ballarat and Geelong/Warrnambool lines.
Its good to see that the state and federal governments have finally sorted out this funding wrangle, so they can get on with delivering these vital projects, including the state governments Regional Rail Revival project.
Inadequate service frequencies and poor timekeeping on our regional lines, coupled with too-frequent train breakdowns, have led to many complaints to the PTUA, he said.
Theres an obvious need to increase capacity on the system by track duplication and signalling upgrades, which will allow an increase in the number of services, not only on the regional commuter network, but also to places on the long-distance network, such as Echuca, Warrnambool and Shepparton.
Mr Westcott noted the increasing number of large, heavy trucks on our highways, creating significant road maintenance and safety problems. Theres general agreement that more freight must be carried by rail and this funding will also help achieve that, he said.
The Whitlams will tour nationally in May and June 2018 in their
classic four-piece configuration to
bring their 25th year to a rowdy finale.
Starting the anniversary year in May 2017 selling out concert halls in each state capital with 60
piece orchestras, they end it with a jaunt through their favourite pub gigs around the country. They
are ditching the conductor and the charts, and are back to the common muscle-memory of 1000
shows and six albums.
The Whitlams' line up of Tim Freedman on piano and vocals, Jak Housden on guitar, Warwick
Hornby on bass and Terepai Richmond on drums will be delivering the sort of sprawling,
rambunctious set they have become famous for.
We are looking forward to eight weeks straight and delving deep into the catalogue, said Tim
Freedman. We are going to prepare some rarely played album cuts from the first two albums
Introducing' and Undeniably' and Im sure theyll suit the pubs as well as they did 25 years ago.
The Whitlams are proud to announce that they are picking up a few other stars of the 90s to make
these nights especially memorable Alex Lloyd and Deborah Conway will join the bill in Sydney,
Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Adelaide.
The band's career achievements include seven albums, three multi-Platinum and three Gold, and
three ARIA Awards including the Best Group presented by Gough Whitlam in 1998. In 2011
Eternal Nightcap was voted 27th on the ABC's My Favourite Album poll, and more recently
earned the 17th spot in Triple Js Hottest Australian Albums of All Time.
Much is at stake in tomorrows Batman by-election, for both Labor and the Greens. Ben Eltham reports from his home electorate.
The inner-Melbourne seat of Batman is unusual in many respects. Stretching approximately 10 kilometres in a concrete ribbon north from Clifton Hill to the middle ring suburbs of Preston, Reservoir and Bundoora, it encompasses much of Melbournes diversity and dynamism.
On one analysis, Batman is the most left-leaning seat in the country. According to the ABCs Vote Compass, the seat scores the most leftwards on political philosophy of all 150 federal electorates. The demographics are a rainbow coalition of white and blue collar workforce, second generation Greek and Italian immigrants, with a large swathe of Melbourne hipsterdom and LGBTIQ voters predominant.
The seats retail artery, High Street, is an epicentre of Melbourne gentrification. Served by the famous (or should that be infamous) 86 tram, old shops are being knocked down and high-rise apartment blocks are sprouting. Just a decade ago, Thornbury was a sleepy middle-ring suburb known mainly for Italian grandparents. Now its one of Melbournes hottest restaurant and bar districts, with wood-fire pizzerias and small bars on seemingly every block. Men with beards and women with tattoos are everywhere.
In the centre of Batman lies the suburb of Preston, where I live. Made famous by Courtney Barnett in her song Depreston, Preston is a fast-changing mix of bucolic bungalows in cul-de-sacs, old factories and warehouses, and new apartments, cafes and bike repair shops. Depreston depicts a young couple considering purchasing a house out further from their usual digs in the inner city. A poignant four minute elegy to suburban anomie, the song describes Barnetts travails house-hunting, a rite of passage all too familiar to Batman voters. We dont have to be around all these coffee shops, Barnett tells her partner in the song....
Latrobe Valley residents will have the opportunity to learn about the Hazelwood Health Study at a series of community meet and greets. The Monash University-led study was formed following the 2014 Hazelwood mine fire to identify potential health outcomes for people who may have been exposed to smoke from the fire. The studys Communications and 
Today's post is being typed as I lounge by the backyard family swimming pool with a glass of Victorian Chardonnay at hand. It is a personal reflection of my recent review of several Australian UFO websites; over 60 Australian UFO Facebook pages; several Australian blogs belonging to individuals, and private email discussions with a number of selected high profile Australian 'researchers.'
No, not the android character from the Star Trek franchise, but pieces of information. Sightings of things in the Australian sky are reported to a large number of Internet sites. These range from overseas based organisations such as MUFON, to Peter Devonport's NUFORC, to local sites such as UFOR (NSW) Incorporated, and UFOR (Qld) Incorporated. Both Sydney and Perth observatories receive sightings, as do dozens of Facebook pages.
I can't find anyone who regularly monitors this vast area of data; collects it in one place and attempts to analyse it. The one exception to this statement is that for a period of 12 months, Melbourne based researcher Paul Dean and my co-blogger Keith Basterfield (on a long term break from UFO research at the moment) did just that. However, it is interesting to note that almost no Australian UFOlogists commented that they found it of any value to them!
Readers of my last few columns will be aware by now that the question of lack of interest in analysis of sightings by Australian UFO 'researchers' is a pet peeve of mine. Raw sightings contain valuable information about the UFO phenomenon. When was the last time you saw a table of numbers of reports versus time of day for Australian sightings? Or a breakdown of types of Australian sightings under the J Allen Hynek classification system, ie nocturnal lights, CE 1, CE2 etc? Or the number of witnesses per type of sighting? On the la...
The ABC reported on the inquest into Kerry Michaels alleged murder.
A number of quotes from the inquest were included in the article. Any one of them would have been a reasonable focus for a headline.
Kerry Michael, 44, had been repeatedly bashed with a rock and left about 200 metres from the summit of Mount Roland, in Tasmanias north, in 2015.
Detective Bryan said Michael told him he was just trying to hurt her, I was hitting her with rocks and stuff I was like a deranged lunatic.
Dr Lawrence said she was struck between three to eight times, with at least one of the blows delivered while she was lying on the ground.
Instead, the ABC chose to use the jealous husband snapped angle. This language has been highlighted in a huge number of reporting on how the media fails to report violence against women accurately. There are too many to list them all, but here are quotes from a few of them:
Myths and misrepresentations still find their way into reporting. 14.8 % of incident based reporting offers excuses for the perpetrator, like he was drinking, using drugs, jealous/seeking revenge, snapped or lost control.
Though we know the news media can be a powerful source of information for women looking to leave a violent relationship, only 4.3 % of news reports included help seeking information (1800RESPECT or others).
Victorian Council of Social Service: Five Things Men Say to Justify Violence Against Women
An all too common barrier to change can be the perception that our behaviour is out of our control at times. Many men I work with are reluctant to describe choices of violent behaviour they have made, instead using language that suggests a lack of responsibility; I just snapped, just lost it.
Ombudsman Western Australia: Understanding family and domestic violence
The research literature suggests that perpetrators of fami...
The state government has stopped logging in the Queensborough river forests where protected Greater Gliders were detected by our survey team.
The report we submitted on Wednesday morning with our friends at the FFRC Inc documented 11 Greater Gliders within a distance of 1km, triggering legal protection of the forest. The environment department will now conduct verification surveys in the coming days.
My investigation in the Sydney Morning Herald/Melbourne Age:
The legal pursuit in Israel of alleged sexual predator Malka Leifer took a strange turn this week.
As she fought extradition attempts by Victoria Police over 74 charges of child sexual abuse, the 54-year-old first gained, then lost the support of influential Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman.
Grossman is a highly respected rabbi in Israel. He was awarded the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement in 2004 Israels highest cultural honour and hes the founder and head of Migdal Ohr, a major NGO that helps children and underprivileged teens across Israel.
But last week, in a surprise appearance before the Jerusalem district court, he pledged to monitor Leifer under house arrest if the judge agreed to her release from police custody.
It was humiliating, he claimed, for Leifer to remain incarcerated, and bad for her mental health.
The court apparently agreed and authorised her release.
Leifer is a former teacher and principal at Melbournes ultra-orthodox Adass Israel girls school, who fled Australia with the aid of the Adass community after her alleged offending was revealed.
One of Leifers alleged victims, Melbourne-based Dassi Erlich, was gutted at the courts decision.
We are trying so desperately to hold onto hope and trying to desperately see justice. We want to hold onto the fact that we will see her back in Australia one day, she said.
However, early this week, Grossman reversed his position and withdrew support for Leifer, citing the perception that his backing had been interpreted as supporting an attempt to avoid trial.
There are many confounding aspects of this case including the role of Rabbi Grossman.
Grossman has assisted accused sexual predators before, including Breslov Rabbi Eliezer Berland who fought extradition to Israel from South Africa. Grossman went to South Africa twice and...
Vale John McBeath
Today at 2pm in Adelaide, family and close friends will farewell John McBeath, who many in the jazz community will know through his critiques of major festivals and the regular publication of his album reviews in The Australian.
Not everyone was happy with what John wrote thats surely inevitable and appropriate for a music critic. But no one doubted his commitment to the task not an easy one of using words, in most cases too few words, to convey thoughts about music.
I dont think criticisms of the critic worried John all that much. I can vividly recall a refrain of his, when assessing festival programs, that too many of the same old artists were appearing in the line-ups. He had a point, although budget constraints always make programming difficult.
John will be missed not only as a scribe, but by those who regularly engaged him in discussions on inspiring artists and performances in the broad church loosely described as jazz, whether well known or obscure. One person in particular who will feel that loss is his good friend Gerry Koster, pictured above with John in a happy moment before a Melbourne I...
UPDATE!! - Thanks to our surveys and hundreds of emails and calls
LOGGING HAS BEEN STOPPED!!
The Department will now conduct 'verification' surveys. Stay tuned for updates and thanks for your support!
Twenty year long dodgy logging deals called "Regional Forest Agreements" exempt logging from national environment laws.
These dodgy deals expire in a few weeks time and could be rolled over for another two decades of doom for forest wildlife!
In the Queensborough river forests of far East Gippsland protected habitat for the Greater Glider is being logged.
Community surveys reported a population of Greater Gliders in a logging coupe earlier this week triggering legal protection of the forest.
The Victorian Labor government are continuing to log where protected Gliders have been found. Locations where Greater Gliders were reported have now been logged.
Neuschwanstein Castle is definitely the worlds most recognisable castle. The high towers, the location, the fairytale type design all lend themselves to making Neuschwanstein instantly recognisable. Walt Disney helped it along the way by borrowing some design elements and incorporating them into the Disney castle design we see on every Disney logo. The castle is a dreamlike construction in a setting that allows it to come to life at the forefront of a mountain surrounded by forest.
Neuschwanstein Castle is new by European standards. It was completed in the 1880s making it only 140 odd years old. It was never fully completed as King Ludwig II of Bavaria died before its completion. The interior of the castle was to have over 200 rooms but only 15 were completed. Just 6 weeks after his death the palace was opened to the public and today over 1.5 million people a year visit the castle making it one of the most popular castles in the world. In the summer months up to 6000 people a day tour the castle. Preserving all the features of Neuschwanstein Castle is a never-ending job that is funded by tourism. What was completed is amazing and well worth a visit if you have the time, energy and patience.
Are you looking for a warm, comfortable and most importantly affordable accommodation in Munich? When we...
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