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AusGov.info went live in January in time for LinuxConfAu where, despite being so tired I could barely stand, I gave a potted history of my work with open data and the functionality of the site to a room full of enthusiastic developers. Reactions ranged from demanding why had I not achieved moar, moar, moar in the month since I decided to create the new project to a standing ovation from one audience member who, as part of team creating a similar (internal) project for the Victorian govt was incredibly impressed that I had done the work of an entire team single-handedly and in a month!
At this point I want to issue a very belated thank you to all the people I know personally, who turned up to hear me present at LinuxConf the kindness of having so many people I recognised in the audience was not lost on me and I was very grateful for your presence
I took the feedback I got from the audience, my wider Twitter network and people I had spoken to at other events and implemented site wide changes over the top of what I had built. I spent weeks designing the navigation using a complex interplay of CSS overlays and implemented charts that are generated on the fly that also act as navigation to allow people to drill down on the data by year for that data.
This replaced the top and bottom menu bars which forced people to click on a year whether or not there was any result for that particular year. With the new approach, people see from the chart whether there is a result in a particular year then click on that bar to see the breakdown for that year.
Since launch I have added the new political donations data in February, budget data in May and I also made the Taxation Expenditure Statement (tax concessions) data interactive. I worked so hard on the site that I didnt make a single blog post for about four months. Over the past few weeks since I stopped focusing on the code and turned my attention to providing journalism based on insights (made available through the AusGov) Ive been somewhat confused about the...
EXCLUSIVE: In the first part of a special investigation, True Crime News Weekly takes a look at why long accused sexual predators such as Liberal Party heavyweight Robert Doyle are allowed to get away with their alleged misconduct and possible crimes for so long, even in the face of a litany of complaints stretching back 40 years and involving claims of sexual abuse against schoolgirls and the alleged drugging of women. Our Melbourne correspondent Gary Johnston reports. [READ MORE]
The nations most powerful union official has demanded an inquiry into why two union officials were charged with blackmail after the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, only for the charges to be withdrawn almost three years later.
Yesterday, the Victorian Department of Prosecutions asked that extortion charges leveled against Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) officials John Setka and Shaun Reardon in 2015 be dismissed.
Melbourne magistrate Charles Rozencwajg replied, I think its a very sensible decision.
The case stemmed from allegations that during a meeting with senior officials with Boral, the pair asked that concrete not be supplied to Melbourne worksites run by construction firm Grocon, amid concerns about worker safety. Mr Setka is the CFMEUs Victorian secretary, Mr Reardon is the state assistant secretary.
Explosive evidence presented at their committal hearing this week suggested senior figures within the Turnbull and Abbott Governments were speaking directly with Boral executives prior to any allegations being formally raised.
Head of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Sally McManus, this morning came out swinging.
I welcome the withdrawal of these charges they should never have been laid, Mc Manus said.
The possibility that members of the Abbott/Turnbull Government were closely consulting with Boral over events that led to these discredited charges is deeply disturbing. This possibility should be fully investigated.
This is the same Government that orchestrated the ROC raid, wasted $80 million on a union witchhunt, and is the successor of the Coalition government that conspired to ruin the lives of waterfront workers 20 years ago, she added, a reference to the infamous Patrick Stevedores dispute led by retired Liberal Minister Peter Reith.
It is not acceptable for any government to attack the elected representatives of working people in order to advance their political agenda.
John Setka and Shaun Reardon have stood up for working people in the Victorian c...
1770 - Jimmy Cook spied the Glasshouse Mountains in QLD and
named them in fond memory of the Yorkshire glass furnace
1797 - Survivors of the wreck of the Sydney Cove passed through Illawarra, reaching Sydney on 17 May. They tell of finding coal in northern Illawarra and of being attacked by 'savage natives' near Red Point. In fact, it appears that some of the crew members were the savages and that they may have suffered attacks from members of their own party.
1813 - Two large Norfolk Pine Trees were presented to Mrs. Macquarie by ( a very, very reformed convict) Simeon Lord. They were removed from his garden, and planted at the Gate opposite to Macquarie Street
1824 - The Supreme Court of NSW was birthed.
1824 - A dinner was held at Government House to celebrate the great benefits that the opening of the Supreme Court would bring to the people described as "the inhabitants of Australasia."
1824 - Saxe Bannister became the first person to be admitted to practise as a barrister in New South Wales. His admission was concurrent with his being sworn into the office of attorney general of New
South Wales with a right of private practice at the first sitting of the Supreme Court.
1824 - At the NSW Courts Magistrates, Newcastle Police Court Andrew McColl, John McAuliff and Charles Fagan, runaways from Port Macquarie, were charged with attempting to break out of gaol after having ran from this settlement on the 4th of May, being retaken at Wallis Plains and sent back. The keeper of his Majestys Gaol states - I was going my rounds last night about 8 oclock and hearing an unusual noise in the room where the prisoners are confined in company with Samuel Hart (a notorious gaol breaker) now under committal for a trial for a burglary and William Halfpenny, under sentence for Corporal punishment. I suspected something wrong was going on amongst them. I procured the keys and examined the room. I discovered in one part of it a hole made large enough for a man to creep through. The hole had been made with the iron work of a tub in the room. They had destroyed the tub. The prisoners respectively deny having any knowledge of the hole or how or when it was made. Sentenced to 50 lashes each
1830 - George Thomson was hanged at Hobart for theft of silver plate and two pistols.
1832 - Those wrapping fish were in for a treat when the Sydney Herald became a bi-weekly paper. Price per copy dropped to sixpence!
1838 - Congregational Minister William Waterfield preached the first Congregational Church service in Melbourne to some fifty persons in the little wooden Church of England building in William Street.
1842 - Andrew Petrie fell over the Mary River.
1858 - The Main South Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Liverpoo...
In March 2017, the Japanese government passed the landmark Virtual Currency Act, which recognized cryptocurrencies as legal tender throughout the country. While neighbouring nations Korea and China have been taking steps to shut down cryptocurrency exchanges and clamp down on initial coin offerings (ICOs), Japan has fully embraced the use of Bitcoin and other digital currencies such as Ethereum. In fact, many industry experts have labelled Japan the New Heart of Bitcoin. Last year, there remained a lingering fear about the long-term future of Bitcoin and its legitimacy, but Japan played a large part in its increasing worldwide adoption.
Japan has become a haven for cryptocurrencies. Bitcoins roots are firmly in the country, with the Japanese entity Satoshi Nakamoto claiming to have developed the concept of Bitcoin. A report earlier this year suggested that more than 3.5 million Japanese people have invested in the cryptocurrency to date likely due to the nation has taken a proactive approach toward regulation of virtual currencies rather than the punitive stance of neighbouring China. Today, in Japan, it is possible to use cryptocurrencies for everything from food and drinks to show tickets and even safer and fairer games of online poker.
So, if youre planning on taking a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun, Bitcoin could be a travel currency alternative, especially since theres no need to inform banks or credit unions of your whereabouts. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are also decentralized, allowing you to use your digital currency as you see fit. Lets consider some of the most likely goods and services you could pay for in Japan using Bitcoin.
As of July 2017, there were more than 260,000 stores that accepted Bitcoin as a payment method. If you are flying into Tokyo and looking to explore the capital city, youll be pleased to find there are no shortage of ways to spend your Bitcoin. Aside from online platforms such as Shopify and eGifter, the city is experiencing an influx of offl...
The safety, wellbeing and dignity of women seeking reproductive health services is a step closer to being protected in New South Wales through a bill that would guarantee safe access zones around abortion clinics.
Labor MLC, Penny Sharpe, and Nationals MLC, Trevor Khan, are co-sponsoring the Public Health Amendment (Safe Access to Reproductive Health Clinics) Bill, which will come before the Legislative Council today.
Adrianne Walters, Senior Lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre, said the bill was absolutely vital to protecting a womans right to safely access health services.
"For far too long, women in NSW have had to run a gauntlet of intimidation and abuse just to see their doctor. Safe access zones are a straightforward and sensible solution. It's mind-boggling that in 2018 women are harassed, blocked and filmed when trying to get to the clinic doors," said Walters.
The bill would create 150 metre zones around medical clinics that provide abortions, where it will be unlawful to harass, intimidate or film people without consent, or to communicate about abortions in a manner likely to cause anxiety or distress.
Tasmania, Victoria, the ACT and Northern Territory already have safe access zones around abortion clinics.
Paul Nattrass, Practice Manager at The Private Clinic, a reproductive healthcare service in Sydney, said ensuring women have safe passage to reproductive healthcare will be a huge step forward in NSW.
"The creation of safe zones outside clinic entrances is vital to counter the aggressive and intimidating tactics used by anti-abortionists. No one should have to suffer the forceful, intrusive questioning of their medical treatment from a stranger in the street under any circumstances. The right to access health services safely and privately is fundamental to our society," said Mr Nattrass.
Abortion remains in the criminal statute books of New South Wales, with exceptions that enable women to access abortion services but place decision-making power in the hands of doctors. The bill does not seek to decriminalise abortion.
Walters said it was also time for the NSW Government to decriminalise abortion and respect women as competent decision-makers over their own bodies and lives.
"It is simply unacceptable that women and their doctors still run the risk of prosecution for undertaking a safe medical procedure; a procedure that takes place every week in NSW and across Australia. The law is hopelessly out of step with modern clinical practice, community standards and womens basic rights," said Walters.
For interviews Adrianne Walters and Paul Nattrass or further information please call:
Michelle Bennett, Director of Communications, Human Rights Law...
On Thursday this week VicForests will appear in the Orbost Magistrates court facing charges for logging protected rainforest in East Gippsland.
The environmental regulator of the logging industry (Department of Environment Land Water and Planning or DELWP) laid the charges after community groups GECO and Fauna and Flora Research Collective reported a logging operation that had unlawfully impacted on warm temperate rainforest near Cann river in April 2016.
17:33 Southern Cross -
Traralgon will not run and has been
replaced by road coaches due to staff sickness. Please note that
the 16:58 SCS - Traralgon service has been reinstated and will now
run as scheduled.
Blackmail charges leveled against John Setka and Shaun Reardon, the two leaders of the Construction Forestry Mining Maritime and Energy Union (CFMMEU) in Victoria, have been dismissed at the Magistrates Court in Melbourne.
The charges emerged from a Caf meeting with two Boral managers, Paul Dalton and Peter Head, back in 2013. It was alleged that the union officials had threatened to blockage the company and its trucks, if it dis not meet demands.
There was already a ban of the delivery of the companys cement, and management had called a meeting to have this lifted. Nothing was offered in return and the rest is history.
Critics have pointed out that this is normal in negotiations between unions and employers that cuts both ways. Unions mention industrial action. Employers mention sackings and legal actions against the concerned union if it doesnt comply.
This is a fact of life that is generally accepted and worked around.
But in stepped zealous officials, acting on policy born out of the Coalitions Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, and took it on themselves to proceed to get rid of percieved political enemies.
The Commission referred the matter to the police, who were in turn obliged to act and make the charges in 2015.
The two officials have gained a groundswell of support from the union movement and beyond. By The time the two were brought up before the court, it had become obvious that this was likely to develop into a major political issue for the government. This and the lack of serious evidence of unusual and serious criminal behaviour, meant that the capacity to make the charges stick was weak.
Prosecutor Ray Gibson told the court, After a careful assessment of the evidence weve heard, I have instructions to withdraw the charges against both accused.
Speaking outside, where supporters had gathered, John Setka proclaimed his innocence again and said: Our job is to make sure that workers go home to their families. Thats what we were trying to do.
The governments jobs minister Michaelia Cash remains unrepentant. And denies that the result is an embarrassment to the government, which has been pursuing he union directly, and hoped that by making the charges stick, they could be prevented from holding office.
THE director of The Boy From Oz, Brad Beach, is an extremely talented performer and well-known local director for the highly awarded musicals Grease and the Witches of Eastwick for Leongatha Lyric Theatre.
And on the eve of the opening of The Boy from Oz, for Wonthaggi Theatrical Group on Saturday, May 26, we managed to tie him down for a chat about the show and to let the audience into the mindset of the man behind the glitz.
Why the Boy from Oz? What drew you to the show?
The Boy from Oz is a fantastic show which is not only full of colour, movement and fun but which also has a great story that will make you laugh and make you cry. It has all the key elements of a fantastic show.
However more than this, it tells the story of a young gay boy growing up in the country in the 1950s which cannot have been easy. This was a time when Australians would never have dreamed of marriage equality. But despite this he managed to become one of Australias most successful singer songwriters of all time, overcoming his environment and an abusive childhood.
He wrote what many consider to be the unofficial National Anthem (I Still Call Australia Home).
I am attracted to shows that explore how people are able to overcome challenges and still succeed. These stories help us realise that we can achieve our dreams and goals even if it looks impossible.
What cant you wait to show the audience? What sort of experience can they expect?
I cant wait for the audience to see the amazing performances in this show. The whole cast is brilliant and bring an energy which will send everyone home on a huge high.
Then there is the choreographer, Rose Wray-McCann. Rose has done an outstanding job on this show. She has been the choreographer of all three of my musicals and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with her again. But this time around she has outdone herself with a complete feast of movement!
The set and costumes by Colin Mitchell are simply stunning and people will be talking about it thats for sure.
Then there is Kirk Skinner whose passion for this show shines via the amazing music. And as we saw last week, he has assembled a really talented band, who are certain to provide another of the highlights. One thing is for sure audiences can expect a wonderful night out with tears and laughter and best of all be singing well known songs all the way home....
The 10:20 Southern Cross to Traralgon is currently delayed by approximately 19 minutes due to an earlier emergency services request at Huntingdale. [11:58 16/05]
The first of two trials on pedophilia charges of the worlds third most senior Catholic priest, Cardinal George Pell, may not be allowed to be reported until after a second trial concludes.
The publication New Matilda reported on Tuesday (May 15) that the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions (DRPP) is seeking an injunction to have all mention of both trials quashed until after their completion.
But in a follow-up report today (Wednesday, May 16) New Matilda stated the DRPP has modified this to enable the proceedings of the first trial only to be subject to the injunction, and for it to be lifted once the second trial is complete.
Cardinal Pell is facing two separate trials related to allegations of a number of historical sexual offences.
The intent of the injunction would be to avoid a mistrial in either case as a result of prejudicial reporting.
Media may be able to report some of the second trial as it proceeds, provided the DPP does not seek a fresh suppression order.
The application is to be heard in the Melbourne County Court tomorrow morning before Chief Judge Peter Kidd.
It precludes even mentioning the injunction in the press, so reports such as this would have to be removed.
In other news relating to the Pell trial, a Victorian County Court employee has reportedly been sacked for looking up information relating to Australias most senior Catholic, whos been charged with historical sexual offences.
The staffer had improperly accessed restricted information on Cardinal George Pell through the courts computer system, the Herald-Sun reported on Wednesday.
When improper access to information is found to occur, the court takes decisive action. This is exactly what has occurred in this case, it quoted a court spokeswoman as saying.
Cardinal Pell has denied all of the allegations made against him.
His case r...
1770 - Cap. Jimmy Cook (Sir to his mates) sailed merrily past
the Gold Coast on this day.
1806 - James Dabbs was hanged at Sydney for burglary from the home of Rowland Hassall at Parramatta.
1820 - Gosh, Lachlan Macquarie had a harsh working life. I really felt for him when I read his diary entry for today....
"I went down to Sydney this morning after Breakfast to transact Business, returning to Parramatta to Dinner.
I dispatched the Govt. Brig, Princess Charlotte, for Van Diemen's Land with 70 Female Convicts for the two Settlements."
1822 - First Fleeter James Squire, who is credited with the first successful cultivation of hops in Australia (think James Squire Beer) popped his clogs at Kissing Point, and was buried in the Devonshire Street Cemetery Altar Tomb, which today is at the Botany Pioneer Park.
1823 - That Magik Fairy was out and about again in the Illawarra when Mr. John Paul was granted 600 acres.
1836 - James Tobin was hanged at Sydney for the murder of Patrick Fox at Marks' Farm, Illawarra.
1836 - Surveyor-General of New South Wales Major Thomas Livingstone Mitchell parked his posterior at what later became the town of Balranald.
1860 - William Goodson was hanged at Darlinghurst for the murder of his wife Mary Goodson at Kissing Point.
1860 - Explorer John Mackay stumbled upon an area in QLD between the Burdekin and the watershed of the Isaacs River which was dubbed the Mackay District.
1861 - Rt. Hon. Sir John Young, Bt, KCB, GCMG, PC, (later 1st Baron Lisgar) donned the frilly drawers of Governor of NSW.
1863 - Mr. Barnes, of Cootamundra, should have stayed in bed today as bushranger Ben Hall robbed his store then tried to use it as a campfire to keep warm.
1868 - The first Australian cricket team arrived in England for a series of matches.
The team consisted of 13 Aboriginal men from the Western District of Victoria. The Jardwadjali, Gunditjmara and Wotjobaluk men were coached and captained by an ex all-England cricketer, Charles Lawrence. The team played 47 matches against intermediate-level English amateur teams between May and October 1868.
This Sporting Life reported,
"They are the first native Australians to have visited this country on such a novel expedition, but it must not be inferred that they are savages; on the contrary They are perfectly civilized, having been brought up in the bush to agricultural pursuits With respect to their prowess as cricketers that will be conclusively determined by their first public match."
The players were;
Johnny Mullagh traditional name: Unaarrimin
Bullocky traditional name: Bullchanach. A wicketkeeper, Bullocky was referred to as "at once the black Bannerma...
Our reactionary, mostly conservative, members of parliament have worked themselves into a corner by their constant and insistent denial of both the science and the actuality of a warming planet. They thus find themselves opposing even the most obviously beneficial changes to society such as the clean energy provided by wind and solar power changes that the population in general supports. A recent example is the state member for Polwarths vehement opposition to the proposed Rokewood wind farm.
Adam Carey writing in the Age noted the proposed wind farm at Rokewood (which would be the largest in the southern hemisphere) had raised the ire of the local conservative member. He wrote: Local state Liberal MP Richard Riordan said the project was an ideologically driven folly that would scar the landscape and create intermittent energy supply. If this ideological government gets its way itll cover my entire electorate in Rialto-sized concrete pylons that would work 20 to 30 per cent of the time, Mr Riordan said.
He said his rural electorate of Polwarth already had among the highest concentration of wind turbines in Australia, but residents had been given minimal opportunity to have their say. If these turbines are so harmless and so pretty to look at, why not put them up in Port Phillip Bay along the Esplanade, or in open spaces in Fitzroy and Collingwood, Mr Riordan said.
Riordan repeats several discredited myths on wind generation and ignores the money that will be injected into the community in this case probably more than one million dollars per annum the work in building and maintaining them and the fact that they are providing clean energy that will help the country meet its Paris agreement CO2 obligations. I have two nephews affected by wind developments in the western district one whose commercial air agricultural operations are becoming more restricted by them and another one helping build them.
Another example of this reluctance to grab these easy options was sent to me by retired CSIRO climate scientist Barrie Pittock. He wrote: Josh Frydenbergs article in Mondays Age (7.5) re Australias fuel security practically coincides with the release of a new report from the Parliament of Victoria on electric vehicles. The clear outcome from the latter is that encoura...
THE Korumburra-Bena Giants have broken through for their first
win of the 2018 season; their first at home since Round 15, 2015
and only their third win in three years.
But after very positive showings against Inverloch-Kongwak and Koo Wee Rup in recent weeks, plus the addition of some quality players, most people saw it coming.
In the first quarter, the Giants were kicking to the scoreboard end of the ground and opened brightly against Dalyston with three quick goals; the first within 30 seconds of the start to Beau Anthony, launching from 40 metres.
Michael Cooke banged through two more at the 3:20 and 5:20 minute marks and it wasnt until 12 minutes later that Dalyston could respond through Matt Rosendale following good lead up work by a pacy Michael Marotta.
Three goals by Jackson Brooker, and one against the flow of play by Anthony for the Giants had the teams close until Jake McMillan stuck a great tackle on Matt Whittaker and made no mistake from 45 metres out.
In the second quarter, the Giants started to get on top, not only having the edge in general play but also being the one most likely to score with Jamie Cann in particular a good target.
He kicked three for the quarter at the 3:50, 10:40 and 17:30 minute mark and it was getting late, too late for Dalyston when Tylah Osbaldeston pulled one back thanks to some good pressure by Matt Rosendale.
A 50 metre penalty near the end of the quarter and a goal to Brock Dorling made the half time score 10 goals to five.
The Giants were growing in confidence as they took the field after half time and it was soon clear they werent about to let this one slip.
Dalyston was being well served around the packs by Michael Marotta, Clay Tait and big Thomas and they had the ball in their scoring zone at the start of the third quarter but the Giants defence was superb, denying Dalyston any clear shots at goal and ultimately holding them out while Cann and McMillan early and Rhys Dixon, off the turf with a second attempt, later stretched the lead.
by Lisa Cox / The Guardian
The government has released a new acreage for offshore oil and gas exploration in the Great Australian Bight that green groups says should have been kept off limits after it was cancelled by BP.
The permit is one of two that BP cancelled after the company abandoned its plans for oil and gas drilling in the bight in 2016. Its remaining two permits were sold to the Norwegian oil and gas multinational Statoil.
On Tuesday the government released 21 new acreages that petroleum companies will be able to bid for across six basins off Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and the Ashmore and Cartier Islands.
The announcement came as protesters gathered outside the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Associations annual conference in Adelaide to oppose new oil and gas drilling in the bight. Later on Tuesday, Kangaroo Islands mayor, Peter Clements, was speaking at Statoils annual general meeting in Norway to highlight community opposition to the project.
The Wilderness Society said on Tuesday that the government was acting insanely in trying to push oil and gas exploration in the Great Australian Bight in waters that were pristine and where development was risky.
The pristine, treacherous waters of the Great Australian Bight are a completely inappropriate place for risky deep-sea oil drilling, especially as we hurtle towards c...
Tesla just earned a Guinness World Record.
Tesla just entered the Guinness World Record book. The electric automaker teamed up with Qantas for a publicity stunt in which a Tesla Model X P100D pulled a 287,000-pound Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner nearly 1,000 feet down the tarmac at the Melbourne Airport in Australia. The electric SUV drove into the history books for setting the very specific record of heaviest tow by an electric production passenger vehicle.
MORE than 300 farmers from near and far gathered at Leongatha
South last week for the National Muster, the biggest dairy industry
field day this region has seen for several years.
The days focus was on herd improvement and how farmers can use genetic information to make profitable decisions, with local farmers, as well as those whod travelled from Western Australia, New South Wales and across Victoria, left with much food for thought after hearing from speakers including Jelbart Dairys general manager Tim Jelbart, farm consultant John Mulvany, several ImProving Herds Focus Farmers, GippsDairy chair Grant Williams, as well as representatives from DataGene, Genetics Australia and Agriculture Victoria.
Michelle Axford, who runs a farm at Korumburra South with husband Michael, and also works with DataGene and sits on the board of GippsDairy, said Jelbart Dairy was a great example for other farmers to be exposed to.
It makes a lot of sense to have a field day here. Theyve shown resilience in business, they have great welfare practices, and theyre just really passionate people who focus on doing things well.
In partnership with Agriculture Victoria, Ms Axford, in her role at DataGene, worked on the ImProving Herds project, which brought together world-class experts in a collaboration of the dairy industry, with the aim of turning complex science into simple, data-driven decisions to deliver profits to farmers.
Ms Axford said in combination with the results of the ImProving Herds project, which drew on 10 years of financial and herd data from Australian farms, the National Muster would show farmers that making decisions based on Australian Breeding Values (ABVs) and data pays.
She said the results of the project showed that compared to their herd contemporaries, cows with a high Balanced Performance Index (BPI) are more efficient producers and live longer, with higher margins over feed and herd costs.
The project also found that genotyping of heifer calves can reliably predict an adult heifers performan...
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