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IndyWatch Gippsland News Feed was generated at Australian Local News IndyWatch.

Wednesday, 17 January


Housing finance strengthens as FHBs return "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Housing finance higher

Well, it was a strong result for housing finance overall, with total commitments rising by +2.3 per cent to above $33.5 billion in seasonally adjusted terms. 

Investor loans were up +1.5 per cent in the month to $12.2 billion, but remain in a medium-term downtrend.

In original terms the total finance for all dwellings was above $37 billion only for the second time ever.  

At the state level, Victoria had the strongest trend in homebuyer commitments.

New dwelling surge

Rather than look through every number in tedious detail, let's take just a quick look at two trends in particular.

Firstly, homebuyers financed more new dwellings in November than in any month since 1978 as the new stock is absorbed domestically.

And secondly, as expected, the number of first homebuyers continued to surge up to 11,091, to sit at comfortably the highest level since the financial crisis stimulus. 

There has been a 60 per cent increase in activity in this cohort since concessionary measures were introduced in July 2017.

Indeed, if you add in first-time investors, it's possible (if not likely) that first time buyer activity is now tracking at above historic averages. 


Bass Coast names Citizen of the Year for 2018, and the winner is "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

THE Bass Coast Shire Council put the spotlight firmly on Australia Day celebrations locally when they named their top citizens for 2018 ahead of the big day next Friday week, January 26.

And the one to emerge from the six finalists presented at an awards night in the Old Wonthaggi Post Office on Wednesday night, January 17 this week was Wonthaggi Baptist Church Pastor Brendan Smith.

In accepting the award, Mr Smith was humble, paying tribute instead to the other five finalists saying that Bass Coast was all the richer for their volunteer contributions and those of the other members of the local population who volunteered their time regularly.

Volunteerism was a consistent theme throughout the presentation night, hosted by Bass Coast Mayor Cr Pam Rothfield who said Bass Coast citizens were punching above their weight when it came to volunteering, with 22% of Bass Coasters volunteering against a national average of 19%.

Other worthy nominees for the Citizen of the Year award were Editor of the Bass Valley News Roger Clark, Winter Festival organiser John Curran, Lions Club volunteer Sam De Pasquale, Wonthaggi Anglican Church weekly meal organiser Wendy McBurnie and San Remo Op Shop President Marj Powell.

But ultimately it was Brendan Smith who received the shires highest individual honour.

In four short years locally, his credits include the renovation and expansion of the church buildings which are available to the public, mentoring 75 people and involvement in a wide range of local events including free family fun days for the Wonthaggi community, The Dollar Club to support families in crisis situations, the Gravity family social club, encouraging visiting nursing homes, food hampers for the disadvantaged, youth programs, support for the annual Carols by Candlelight in Wonthaggi and more.

He serves on the Wonthaggi Primary School Council. among other things.




Proposed Port Welshpool marina in the wrong place "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

OVER 100 people turned up to voice their concerns about the draft proposal to build a Marina on the west end of Port Welshpool next to the Long Jetty. The []

The post Proposed Port Welshpool marina in the wrong place appeared first on Foster Community Online.


Locals support development of the Hoddle Mountain Trail "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

A meeting in Fish Creek last week to support the development of the Hoddle Mountain Trail attracted more than 20 locals, with another 15 sending their apologies. Many of the []

The post Locals support development of the Hoddle Mountain Trail appeared first on Foster Community Online.


Patients breathe easier thanks to Esso/BHP Billiton "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

WITH the generous support of joint venturers, Esso/BHP Billiton, South Gippsland Hospital has been able to purchase a new Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) machine for use in the Urgent []

The post Patients breathe easier thanks to Esso/BHP Billiton appeared first on Foster Community Online.


Gippsland Line Notification: Service change "bairnsdale IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

 20:07 Pakenham - Traralgon train has been replaced by road coaches due to a train fault.  

[19:47 17/01]


The Peace Boat is on its way to Australia "IndyWatch Feed Vic"



Right now, the Peace Boat is on its way to Australia. The Making Waves speaking tour will feature second-generation nuclear test survivor Karina Lester, ICAN Ambassador Scott Ludlam, hibakusha from Hiroshima and Nagasaki and former dairy farmers from Fukushima, all travelling aboard the floating international peace village. Join the tour and help us amplify the call for Australia and Japan to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.


Thursday 25 January 12-2pm

Foley Hall, Mouat St (between High St and Croke St) at Notre Dame University

Register here.


Monday 29 January 6-7:30pm

Gallery Yampu, 1 Jenkins St, Birkenhead

Register here.


Thursday 1 February 6-8pm

The Cube, ACMI

Register here.


Friday 2 February 12:30-2pm

Parliament Lawns, Salamanca Place. In the event of wet weather, we will move the event into Parliament House.

Free event. Register here.




Renewable Energy: the mad saga continues "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) lobbies hard for renewable subsidies and estimates global clean energy investment at $333 billion. This excludes hydro-electricity other than Politically Correct small hydro.  Some 85 per cent of expenditure is in wind or solar with the rest including biomass, electric vehicles and waste-to-energy.

In a press release of 16 January, BNEF includes the following graphic of Australian renewable investment trends.

To recap, in Australia electricity from subsidised renewable energy and wind is the cheapest of those sources costs three times as much as energy from coal.  It is viable only because the government requires increasing proportions of energy it designates as renewable to be incorporated in our supply and therefore in our bills.

This results in a subsidy, which at present is $85 per MWh for wind and large scale solar, and $40 for rooftop solar.  Those sums are on top of the market price all energy receives.  That market price used to be around $40 per MWh but, as a result of closures caused by subsidised wind forcing increased costs on coal and gas generators, it is now around $90 per MWh; research conducted by the Minerals Council puts new build for coal at under $50 per MWh, costs that are consistent with those estimated for the thousand plus coal generators being built, mainly in Asia.

The upshot is a double whammy we replace low cost highly reliable electricity with supplies that are three times as expensive and which are highly unreliable and we call that progress!!  The $9 billion of subsidy-induced malinvestment in renewables last year alone would have been sufficient to finance over 4,000 MW of new coal plant more than double the capacity of the now closed Hazelwood station, even if it is in fashionable but high cost low emissions plant.  That would have returned prices to their 2015 level,  half those now prevailing, and given us the reliability that is now a wistful nostalgia.

At pre...


Gippsland Line Notification: Train Reinstated - Gippsland line "bairnsdale IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

16:15 Traralgon to Southern Cross service has been reinstated to run as a train. [16:12 17/01]


End logging's legal exemption - RFA NO WAY "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

For twenty years the native forest logging industry has been exempt from complying with Federal environment laws. The exemption is granted through the Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs).


Gippsland Line Notification: Hot weather speed restrictions - Gippsland line "bairnsdale IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

Due to forecast hot weather across Victoria, heat speed restrictions will apply to the V/Line train network on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 January. Speed restrictions apply when the temperature along parts of a line is over 36 degrees. In these conditions track temperature is significantly higher, and steel railway tracks expand in the heat. [13:17 17/01]


Gippsland Line Notification: Service change "bairnsdale IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

16:15 Traralgon - Pakenham will not run today and has been replaced by coaches due to a train fault. 

[10:54 17/01]


Gippsland Line Notification: Service change "bairnsdale IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

22:17 Pakenham - Traralgon will not run today and has been replaced by coaches due to a train fault. 

[10:54 17/01]

Gippsland Line Notification: Service change "bairnsdale IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

19:42 Traralgon - Pakenham will not run today and has been replaced by coaches due to a train fault. 

[10:54 17/01]

Gippsland Line Notification: Service change "bairnsdale IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

17:58 Pakenham - Traralgon will not run today and has been replaced by coaches due to a train fault. 

[10:54 17/01]

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Tuesday, 16 January


The Bumpy Road Down, Part 3 "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Irv Mills has now published the third episode in his Bumpy Road Down series. Its gotten a lot of interest on Facebook, and I think his own blog is getting a lot of hits too, as the interest in collapse ramps up everywhere as more and more people are waking up to the fact most things are going awry in the world.

Ive already told him I disagree with his collapse diagram. For starters, the carrying capacity line is neither straight nor flat. So much farm land, particularly in India and North America has been decimated by fossil fuled fertilisers, that re-instating them to their former organic glory will be a huge challenge that will require a long time during which a lot of people will unfortunately starve. On top of this, we have wrecked global fisheries, which were an important pre FF source of food  My best take on this is Paul Chefrukas diagram which I published with his article here  It too shows a bumpy road down, and no carrying capacity limit. I think the post FF carrying capacity will be the same as the pre FF carrying capacity, only worse thanks to the ecological damage our insane use of FFs has caused. How one quatifies this, I dont know, but Im sure it would take a lot of research.

Anyhow, enjoy the read, and make sure you comment, Im always interested in what you think. Leave comments at Irvs site too.  Im sure hed like the feedback!



Irv Mills



Cycle guide to north east Victoria "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

This is another great guide to north east Victoria. Like the Walk and Trails guide, the Bright and Surrounds cycle guide provides a fantastic introduction to all types of riding in the area from Myrtleford to Mt Beauty and Falls Creek to Dinner Plain.

It includes easy, family friendly riding, road riding options and the many shared trails (including the popular Rail Trails) plus details on Mountain bike riding. It is produced by the Alpine Shire. You can get free copies in local tourist information centres or download it as a pdf here.


Cranberries singers death not suspicious "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Dolores ORiordan of The Cranberries performs live in concert at F1 Rocks at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne, Australia. (

The death in London of Cranberries lead singer Dolores ORiordan is not being treated as suspicious, police say, as tributes flow for one of Irelands most successful artists.

ORiordan, 46, was found dead in a London hotel on Monday morning during a recording trip to London ahead of a planned tour, her publicist said. No cause of death has been given.

London police said in a statement that a 46-year-old woman was discovered at a hotel in Londons Park Lane early on Monday and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The death is not being treated as suspicious, the statement said.

ORiordan was catapulted to fame as a shy 22-year-old in 1993 when songs from her debut album were picked up by MTV. The band, whose hits included Linger and Zombie went on to sell over 40 million records to become Irelands second-best-selling rock band after U2.

She struggled at times with the bands success, dropping out of a tour in 1996 citing exhaustion and disillusionment and later leaving her native Ireland for several years to avoid the spotlight.

After she pleaded guilty to headbutting and spitting at an Irish police officer in 2014, she told an interviewer that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was struggling with the breakdown of her marriage.

Irelands Prime Minister joined a chorus of praise for ORiordans work, describing her as the voice of her generation.

U2 said in a tweet that they were floored by the news of her death.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

The post...


January 17 On This Day in Australian History "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

1810 - William Bligh arrived at Port Jackson from Hobart in HMS Porpoise.

1839 - NSW minimum price of Crown Land increased from 5 shillings to 12 shillings minimum an acre.

1843 - John Clements Wickham arrived in Brisbane as police magistrate. He was appointed Government Resident on 1st January 1853.

1852 - Sturt Light (Cape Willoughby Lighthouse), SA, first exhibited.

1852 - William Swan Urquhart completed his survey of the town of Ballarat, Victoria.

1859 - The railway line from Footscray to Williamstown Pier (Vic) opened.

1889 - A heatwave hit western New South Wales and pre-empted destructive bushfires.

1895 - Moolooloorun (Aboriginal male, no given surname) was Hanged on gallows constructed at Crescent Lagoon, NT in the presence of other members of his aboriginal community for the murder of an unnamed Chinese man near the Roper River.

1899 - A six foot tidal wave was noted at Charles Point, NT, origins unknown.

1900 - Lolli Kayser Singh was Hanged at Adelaide Gaol for the murder of Sunda Singh at Denial Bay.

1902 - The Richmond Vale Railway Line (NSW) was opened.

1902 - The Stanford Merthyr Branch Railway line (NSW) was opened.

1911 - On this day Melbourne became the first district branch of the Australian Journalists Association ( AJA) to be approved.

1916 - The Linton to Skipton Railway line (Vic) opened.

1922 - Splashing a bit of paint around was profitable for William Beckwith McInnes who took home the very first Archibald Prize for portraiture.

1929 - 800 striking waterside workers rioted, attacking the non-union labour that was brought in to break the strike, with at least one (later) fatality arising from the conflict that of Mounted Constable Evans.

1930 - Australia signed an agreement with Germany regarding the liquidation of German property in Australia.

1941 - The religious group, Jehovah's Witnesses, were banned as a pacifist sect.

1944 - Meat rationing was imposed, allowing the purchase of meat with coupons within a weekly ration per person of up to 680g of high quality meat and 1.8 kg of lower quality meat.

1945 - A fire on the wharves of Fremantle, WA, destroyed many buildings and ships.

1959 - Tasmania's first shark attack in over a century took place at Port Arthur.

1962 - Bushfires surrounding Melbourne caused the loss of 8 lives and extensive property damage.
The media reported that bushfires had spread to the suburbs, coming within 19kms of the Melbourne CBD.

1968 - The rockin', rollin' riding group on the Mornin...


The Nuts and Bolts of Demand Response "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

Basically demand response is the act of responding to fluctuations in energy demand in relation to the supply of power over brief periods of time. Currently this is almost exclusively either related to disruption in the conventional power system where supply drops for some reason or there are extremely hot summer afternoons where power consumption soars when we all turn on our air-cons. The conventional power source is unable to supply this extra electricity causing or threatening black-outs in some areas. By paying a sufficient number of consumers to stop consuming power, supply and demand can be balanced and grid operations maintained without disruptions.

An example of this was recently carried out with our power supplier Powershop called Curb Your Power  and this is how it worked. Firstly we accepted an invitation from them to participate in their demand response program. They then contacted us by text about one hour previous to requiring us to reduce our energy consumption by at least one third between the hours of 3.30 to 5.30pm. Before 3.30pm I wandered around our unit turning off all the unnecessary power consumers including the major one the air con but left 2 ceiling fans running as it was quite warm. Other power consuming actions such as cooking and clothes washing were deferred. A few days later the retailer rewarded us, and all other participants, with $10 on our account and conducted a survey to find out how we responded.

It later transpired that there was a power outage in the Lindenow area stretching across to places north of Bairnsdale in this case over 1000 customers were blacked out although the cause of this is not known. However we were experiencing hot weather and both our fans and air con were in operation when the request to reduce power consumption was received.

The demand response (sometimes called negawatts) process is simple. Sign up to a demand response program with your retailer and supply contact details to them. Then reduce your power consumption by a significant amount at the time and for the duration they request. Assuming this was successful your account will later be credited.

Almost certainly this was a trial run for our retailer as well. The next step is a refinement of smart meters (plus some computer software?) to calculate exactly how much power was reduced so that participants can...


Vacancies down in 2017; but not everywhere... "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Seasonal vacancies

As usual vacancy rates were higher in the month of December at 2.5 per cent or 80,092 vacancies.

Despite the record high level of building, vacancies were considerably lower than a year earlier, when there were 89,721 vacancies according to SQM Research figures.

The year-on-year decrease reflects a combination of strong population growth and a very high volume of higher-density apartments still under construction, there being a lag in the completion of this dwelling type. 

Hobart has a record low vacancy rate for any capital city of an extremely tight 0.3 per cent, while Canberra (1.3 per cent) and Adelaide (1.5 per cent) remain tight rental markets. 

Asking rents have increased strongly in Hobart and Canberra accordingly over 2017. 

Perth and Darwin also seem to have turned a corner, with vacancy rates well down from a year earlier, while Melbourne's 2.1 per cent vacancy rate was also well down from 2.4 per cent in December 2016.

This downtrend wasn't the case everywhere however, with Sydney recording a multi-year high reading of 2.6 per cent in December, up from 2.3 per cent last year. 

The numbers can jag around a bit, but smoothing the figures on a 6mMA basis gives a sense of the relative condition of the rental market in each city and the prevailing trends. 

At the end of the 2017 financial year, New South Wales had a record 64,470 attached dwellings under construction, with the overdue flood of completions doubtless accounting for the jump in December. 



#7SummerOfNazis : The True Blue Crew & Co. Go Hunting Blacks While Channel 7 Cheers "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

img via The Simpsons against the Liberals For those of you coming in late, on Sunday in Cheltenham the True Blue Crew (TBC) a racist street-gang based in Melton and Bendigo organised a meeting in order to discuss Continue reading


Gippsland Line Notification: Service change "bairnsdale IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

17/01/18 06:37 Traralgon - Pakenham service has been replaced by road coaches due to a train fault. 

[20:29 16/01]


Gippsland Line Notification: Service change "bairnsdale IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

17/01/18 01:26 Pakenham - Traralgon service has been replaced by road coaches due to a train fault. 

[20:23 16/01]


#Australia: Hunger Strike starts Over Immigration Detention Visits Restrictions "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Over two hundred detainees at two detention centres, Villawood in Sydney and Maribyrnong in Melbourne, have declared a hunger strike in protest at visiting restrictions recently announced by Border Force. The detainees have been on hunger strike for more than 24 hours, since the morning of Monday 15 January.


Image: Villawood detention center in Sydney. Image by Insurrection News.

Originally published by Refugee Action Coalition Sydney.

Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of  these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

Australia: Hunger Strike starts Over Immigration Detention Visits Restrictions

Over two hundred detainees at two detention centres, Villawood in Sydney and Maribyrnong in Melbourne, h...


Gippsland Line Notification: Train Delay - Gippsland line "bairnsdale IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

17:58 Pakenham to Traralgon train is delayed by approximately 16 minutes awaiting connecting coaches [18:59 16/01]


How to research the UFO phenomenon and stay sane "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

People have asked me how I have kept my interest alive across a 50 year time span of research?  I thought about this again recently and came up with a few ideas which Id like to share with you.

Have some guiding principles

One of my main guiding principles has been, to simply 'follow the facts.' If a UAP case turns out to have a mundane explanation, then I say so! I believe that UAP investigators should weed out as many identified cases as possible, leaving only good quality unknowns to work with.

I have found this consistency of approach to be invaluable. It can however, lead to differences  of opinion with other UFO researchers who have a non-negotiable belief system.

One example of this, occurred after I appeared on an ABC television program, which discussed various medical issues. I suggested on the show that some UAP abductions have their roots in terms of 'sleep paralysis.' A well known Victorian UFO researcher took me to task for daring to suggest an alternative explanation to the 'Grays.' I had, after all, only based my opinion on personal research, while his views arose from armchair research. 

Another example, based on exhaustive research, was my suggestion that the 1988 Mundrabilla car encounter had an alternative non-extraterrestrial explanation. Some American researchers took a dim view of this suggestion, even though they had conducted no first hand investigations.

I have now undertaken over thirty cold case reviews of Australian events. Some of these reviews have suggested alternative, m...


Around the Bay 16/01/2018 "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

Not to be outdone by his younger brother Sam from last week, Oli got the spinning rod and the soft plastics out and managed to catch himself a quality flathead this week. I think there will be plenty of competitions between the two brothers over the next few years.

By Craig Edmonds of Jims Bait and Tackle, San Remo

FOR the last two years on every Sunday I have sat down and written a fishing report, and then on a Monday I send it out to 100s of people via email and to the newspapers.
And except for a handful of customers, I dont really know who reads it, and it still surprises me, at this time of the year especially, that so many visitors come down from all regions of Melbourne and engage in a conversation with me in response to my report that they have somehow managed to get their hands on.
If you are coming down at any time, even if you do your tackle shopping somewhere else, please call in and say hi and we will help you out with the latest reports.
We try to make our reports more than just a list of points. They are stories about your experiences, with lots of pictures, and we thank everyone for all the comments we have had over the last few weeks regarding the way the reports are written.
We often get asked about whether they are genuine, because we dont mention names, but I can assure you the reports we do are all based on what we are told over the counter with most asking us not to mention names, which we respect.
However, while we try not to push too many agendas there is the odd occasion that I will write about something that creates a bit of conversation, and this week is one of those weeks.
A couple of weeks ago there was a very large blue marlin caught in Exmouth, in Western Australia, which is a record capture for that state.
This capture caused a lot of conversation from both sides of the fence with some of the social media conversation becoming heated at times.
Over this Christmas holiday period I dont remember ever having in the past so many people telling me about all the fish that are being caught that are either too big or too small.
Many of the conversations that are put up against catches, big or small, are of an ethical or moral, call it what you want, type of argument which is not a problem, but it is just that we have a thing called the law t...


Gippsland Line Notification: Service change "bairnsdale IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

20:07 Pakenham - Traralgon train has been replaced by road coaches due to a train fault.  

[16:33 16/01]


Gardner and Short top scorers in Big Bash League "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Two Aboriginal cricketers DArcy Short and Ashleigh Gardner hold the records for the highest individual scores in the history of crickets Big Bash League (BBL). Northern Territorian Short blasted 122 not out off 69 balls including eight sixes and eight fours as he steered the Hobart Hurricanes to a last-ball BBL win over Brisbane at the Gabba on January 10. Sydneysider Gardner opened the Womens Big Bash League (WBBL) competition with 114 off just 52 balls for the Sydney Sixers against the Melbourne Stars at Wollongong on December 9.


Australia: Over 200 Detainees in Immigration Detention Commence Hunger Strike in Protest Against New Visit Restrictions "IndyWatch Feed Vic"


16.01.18: Over two hundred detainees at two detention centres, Villawood in Sydney and Maribyrnong in Melbourne, have declared a hunger strike in protest at visiting restrictions recently announced by Border Force. The detainees have been on hunger strike for more than 24 hours, since the morning of Monday 15 January.

Posters declaring the changes would apply after 22 January went up unannounced in the centres, last week. Detainees only found out about the policy when told by their visitors.

Under the restrictions, visitors will have to give five days notice of any visit, fill in a five-page form, with actual visits restricted to one on one. Visitors will also be required to have 100 points of ID when they attend the detention centre to visit.

The restrictions will hit families especially hard. Visiting minors will also now need identification.

These restrictions come on top of recent moves by Border Force to restrict what food can be brought into the detention centre and the attempt to ban mobile phones.

The moves, dressed up as security measures, have nothing to do with security and everything to do with moves to militarise the detention centres under th...


Hopium at its best.. "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

I have a lot of fun on Farcebook and you come across some really interesting people.  Because I wrote a long reply to a certain person who will remain nameless, I thought Id turn it into a post for you guys to read. I know youll have a laugh too..

It all started with someone posting this article about what Australia will look like in 2049. Why 2049 you ask?  You tell me.  anyway, you can guess already, I was hardly going to agree with anything it said..!

Initially, someone wrote The part of this alleged futuristic vision that infuriates me the most is the food aspect. They flippantly claim that households of the future will be fed nutrient-rich food from indoor greenhouses. Now take a close look at the artists impression of said greenhouse and tell me how much nutrient-rich food you can see growing in there. These people have never contemplated the land requirements of our nutrition.

It also completely neglects the plight of low-income people by painting a vision that only the richest few % might be able to afford. I guess everyone else will be working on degraded farmland growing food to make up for the nutritional deficiency left by the rich peoples indoor greenhouses

So far so good.  who could disagree? I replied TOTALLY agree without fossil fuels, it is IMPOSSIBLE to feed the world as we do now. Most land is marginal and only capable of grazing animals. Those futuristic visions can only happen with fossil fuels. In fact, this world we currently take for granted is 100% only here thanks to fossil fuels, and yet the masses are rising to abandon them, not realising their lives are literally at stake

And yet they must go.. because our lives are at stake.

Talk about a rock and a hard place.

Yes, civilisations conundrum again.

But then this guy came back with a link and: There is a group in the US called Ecology Action that has attempted to find the minimum possible land area to grow a nutritionally complete diet without fossil fuels (all hard yakka). Growing a fairly small set of ingredients for a simple (but balanced) vegan diet, coupled with their extremely labour-intensive (but very high-yielding) farming technique, they claim to deliver a full diet for one person on circa 400 square metres. This seems to assume a favourable climate and does not explicitly consider the sustainability of the irrigation applied.


Two exciting opportunities to join the Human Rights Law Centre "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

We currently have two roles available in the Human Rights Law Centre's (HRLC) Asylum Seeker and Refugee Rights Unit. 

The HRLCs Asylum Seeker and Refugee Rights Unit (ASRRU) was established in 2015 to deepen our work protecting and promoting the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum. The Unit is both responsive and agenda-setting, receiving requests for assistance as well as working with asylum seeker advocacy and casework organisations to address significant systemic human rights issues.

Senior Lawyer

We are seeking a highly motivated, dynamic, skilled and collaborative individual. This position will work alongside the Units Director and two Lawyers and will play a vital role in contributing to all aspects of the Units work. People who have a refugee background are encourage to apply. This position will be based in Melbourne. It is a full-time position for a 12 month fixed term.

The closing date for this position is Sunday 28 January 2018. Click here to download a recruitment pack.


This position will work alongside the Units Director, Lawyer and a new Senior Lawyer, and will play a vital role in supporting the ongoing work of the ASRRU.

We are seeking a highly motivated, dynamic and collaborative individual. This position is aimed at lawyers with 1-2 years post-admission legal practice experience. People who have a refugee background are encouraged to apply. This is a full-time position for a 12 month fixed term based in Melbourne.

The closing date for this position is Sunday 28 January 2018. Click here to download a recruitment pack.


Emergency rush "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

PARAMEDICS were busy across South Gippsland last week, with the Air Ambulance called to numerous incidents.

A man was flown by air ambulance to The Alfred Hospital from Mirboo North in a serious condition with a leg injury, on Thursday.

A young woman was taken by Air Ambulance to The Alfred Hospital in a serious condition after collapsing at a home in Cape Paterson, on Thursday.

The same day, a man in his seventies was taken by Air Ambulance to The Alfred Hospital after suffering serious arm and leg injuries after a quad bike rollover in Ryanston, north of Wonthaggi.

Last Thursday at Venus Bays beach five, a man managed to make his way to sand bar and did not receive emergency care.

Paramedics were called to the beach after receiving reports of a man being swept out to sea.


Rail trail ready to roll "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"


THE members of the new Great Southern Rail Trail Committee of Management met last week to discuss their plans for the regions iconic tourism attraction.

New chairman Ken Myors of Korumburra said the committee would continue to ensure the trail meets the regions recreation and economic needs.

The amount of people who go in and out of these towns would not be there if it was not for the rail trail, he said.

Little maintenance has been undertake on the trail over the past eight months following the retirement of the previous committee, largely due to age. Now the new committee is preparing to prune trees and undertake other tasks.

Mr Myors said the committee aims to re-engage the expertise of the volunteers of the Friends of the Great Southern Rail Trail.

Other new committee members are secretary Jack Pearce of Fish Creek, treasurer Laurie Martin of Leongatha, Stephen Sully of Leongatha, Greg Goss of Leongatha, Danny Drummond of Leongaths South and Kee Chian of Leongatha.

The committee meets in Meeting Room Two, Leongatha Memorial Hall Complex, Michael Place, Leongatha, on the first Monday of the month at 6pm. More members are welcome.

To find out more, phone Mr Myors on 0419 388 860 or Mr Pearce on 0429 997 882, or see the website

Ready to serve: from left, the members of the new Great Southern Rail Trail Committee of Management are: Greg Goss, secretary Jack Pearce, chairman Ken Myors, Laurie Martin, Danny Drummond, Stephen Sully and Kee Chiam.


Boaters fined during safety blitz "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

FISHERIES and police officers issued five infringement notices to boaters during an operation at Welshpool recently.

The Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) conducted an operation targeting those fishing recreationally in South Gippsland.

The joint operation with Victoria Police ran over two days and temporary road blocks were put in place at Welshpool on January 10 and December 15, 2017.

Recreational fishers who had been fishing around Port Welshpool were checked to ensure they held recreational fishing licenses, were using the correct equipment and following the legal fishing limits.

As part of the VFAs role in promoting responsible fishing, fisheries officers in Victoria are also appointed as transport safety officers and may inspect vessels and operators to ensure they are complying with marine safety regulations to ensure fishing is carried out safely.

Overall, fisheries compliance was good, with five infringements issued for marine safety non-compliance relating to personal flotation devices and flares.

Senior fisheries officer Joel Sedgwick said the aim of the operation was to make contact with as many fishers as possible and promote public awareness of fisheries regulations.

It was great to see that the vast majority of fishers were doing the right thing and that no fisheries offences were detected, he said.

Fisheries officers will be out and about all summer at various times of the day and night, in uniform and plain clothes to ensure fishing is carried out in accordance with the rules.

Anyone who sees or suspects illegal fishing is urged to call the 24-hour reporting line 13FISH (133474), anytime.



REFUGEE ACTION COALITION MEDIA RELEASE Over two hundred detainees at two detention centres, Villawood in Sydney and Maribynong in Melbourne, have declared a hunger strike in protest at visiting restrictions recently announced by Border Force. The detainees have been on hunger strike for more than 24 hours, since the morning of Monday 15 January. Posters declaring the(...)


Retailers relish holiday rush "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"


SOUTH Gippsland shoppers backed local businesses over Christmas after being lured to the regions towns by new initiatives from business and tourism associations.

From traditional promotional posters to modern social media, commercial associations worked hard to entice festive shoppers.

Korumburra Business Association president Noelene Cosson said businesses encouraged people to spend locally by putting up posters in shop windows, which resulted in a great start to the holiday season.

Overall, there was a positive feel throughout Korumburra. It was great to see so many people in the street, she said.

Association secretary Shirley Arestia said although there may not have been any increase in trade, the Korumburra Christmas party laid down the foundation for trade to improve in the coming years.

People came out for the activities and music, and some stopped for a coffee or to do a bit of their Christmas shopping, she said.

There were a lot of numbers and the town was busy in the lead up to Christmas. However, the feedback has been that it didnt pick up over the New Year period.

We have a lot of new people coming into the town who havent yet discovered what we have to offer. They are still in the habit of ordering online or travelling to bigger department stores.

Its just a matter of building up our encouragement for local support and helping everyone get a feel for whats here to adjust the ways people do their Christmas shopping.

Ms Arestia said there was a lot of positive feedback about the festive vibe in Korumburra, with residents and visitors enjoying the towns Christmas decorations.

The Inverloch Tourism Association turned to social media to help promote local businesses over the holiday period.

Association president Dom Brusamarello said members had been encouraged to post promotions through social networking sites, and they had received positive comments and results.

We are grateful to the community for supporting our traders and the shop local movement, he said.

As for the summer trade, Mr Brusamarello said it seemed similar to previous years, but it was too soon to tell.

If the weather in the next couple of weeks is conducive for the beach, we will see an increase in trade. If it rains, people are more likely to travel, he said.

What we are seeing this year is more people using their holiday homes. The community had noticed a rise in local tourists.

Wonthaggi Business and Tourism Association president Dee Connell said there had been a definite increase in Christmas and New Year trade.

More people are p...


Brown water flows from taps "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

KORUMBURRA residents have turned on their taps only for brown water to flow, over summer.

South Gippsland Water has attributed the discoloured water to the presence of the naturally occurring mineral manganese.

Over the past month, changes to pressure and flows within the Korumburra system have caused sediments to be stirred up and enter the flow to customers taps.

The manganese sediments tend to give the water a yellow through to brown or dirty appearance.

South Gippsland Water is acting to remove the discoloured water.

Manganese is not toxic when consumed at the concentrations typically present in tap water, however, South Gippsland Water advises people not to drink water that is badly coloured.

South Gippsland Water managing director Philippe du Plessis said manganese was present in all systems.

However, normally manganese sediments settle to the bottom of the pipe reticulation network where they dont cause problems for customers, he said.

The best way to clear manganese from the system is to flush it out.

South Gippsland Water began flushing last Wednesday to release the coloured water and sediments from the system.

Customers can also assist by running the garden tap for 15 minutes if they experience manganese. The cost of doing so will be approximately 50 cents.

These summer conditions have presented a range of challenges for water treatment in Korumburra, Mr du Plessis said.

Please be assured the water is safe to drink, and South Gippsland Water field officers are working hard to ensure maximum possible removal of manganese at the treatment plant and cleaning or flushing of the system around the township.

This naturally occurring mineral will continue to occur while the system is sourced from local catchment areas.

Customers who experience coloured tap can call South Gippsland Water on 1300 851 636 to report the issue.

Clearing the system: Todd Lomax from South Gippsland Water flushes out pipes in Korumburra after many reports of brown water in residents homes.


Leongatha cheer "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

THE State Government is being urged to ensure Leongatha receives adequate funding for its future infrastructure requirements.

The call comes in the wake of a prediction the towns population is expected to grow to 7476 people by 2031 a massive rise of 30 per cent on the most recent population count in 2016.

By 2031, Leongatha is expected to have 3343 homes, up from the 2560 homes that existed in 2016.

The predicted population growth in the 2016 Census will drive demand for improved infrastructure and facilities in the town, and broader community.

Gippsland South MLA Danny OBrien called on the State Government to give Leongatha the attention it deserves.

There are plenty of local projects the Labor Government could get on with to help stimulate the local economy including the Leongathas Bair Street upgrade, he said.

There is frustration in South Gippsland at the millions being spent in the Latrobe Valley while the rest of Gippsland gets very little.

We appreciate that Latrobe Valley is going through a significant and protracted transition period, but the government needs to be aware there are other parts of Gippsland that are also doing it tough and ensure its attention is on places like South Gippsland as well.

From The Nationals perspective, we are finalising our policies for the 2018 election now and will be putting forward a strong plan to revitalise our country towns and rural areas.

South Gippsland Shire Councils planning manager Paul Stampton is not surprised by the predicted growth of Leongatha the shires main commercial and residential centre.

Leongatha is a very attractive town and regional centre identified, with Korumburra, as the places where large population growth should occur, in the Gippsland Regional Growth Strategy adopted by the State Government, he said.

It is usual, and sensible planning for population growth to be encouraged in larger centres with diverse infrastructure such as hospitals, ambulances, schools, roads and businesses.

Mr Stampton said council is preparing for the growth by identifying growth areas and land for development, with well over 100ha of prospective land earmarked for housing.

Of course it is up to landowners and developers to actively pursue the development of their own land, he said.

Council has identified large areas to the west and south for the next stages of town development that are currently in a number of different ownerships.

Mr Stampton said council plans covering community infrastructure plan for the towns future.

Mayor Cr Lorraine Brunt said council was helping to drive the town into the futur...

Monday, 15 January


January 16 On This Day in Australian History "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

1793 - Today saw the first free settlers from Europe - as opposed to those first free settlers that arrived in Oz about 60,000 odd years ago - wash up at Port Jackson on the ship Bellona, along with a whole 17 convict women.
And lo; the male convicts did behold them in a radiant light *ahem*..

1796 - The first Aussie theatre was opened and entertained the masses in Bligh Street, Sydney with 2 plays - "The Hotel" and "The Revenge". Somehow I feel the playwrights drew on their surrounds for inspiration...

1805 - Governor King recommended settling the "country about Shoalhaven".

1816 - George Johnston was promised 1500 acres at Illawarra; Andrew Allan promised 700 acres; James Neale granted 60 acres at Illawarra.

1857 - Charles Gavan Duffy was appointed by a Victorian Government select committee to inquire into the federation of the Australian colonies.

1865 - The Geelong Advertiser noted that the fishermen of Port Phillip Bay were made up of "Italians, Dutchmen, French, Chinese, Maori and others" ...the 'others' were not alien life forms but Americans, British, Greek, Swedes, German and Aboriginal fishermen.

1888 - The Main North Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Wondabyne - Gosford and from Tenterfield - Wallangarra.

1889 - Cloncurry in Banana Bender country - that's Queensland to you OS folks - baked a little in the 53.1 degrees C temp of the day.

1890 - The Sydney suburban railway line between St Leonards and Hornsby opened.

1896 - A record heat wave in Broken Hill caused 10 deaths.

1897 - NSW took over the government of Norfolk Island.

1900 - A patrol of combined NSW Lancers and the Australian Horse were ambushed at Slingersfontein, Cape Colony,  during the Boer War.

1909 - In a bid to get away from the searing heat Mawson, Mackay and David did a May Pole dance around the Magnetic South Pole.

1921 - Patrick Short becomes the fifth Police Commissioner to the QLD Police.

1939 - Saw the passing of Miriam Bebe at Farina; born in France as Desiree Ernestine Adrienne Lesire alias Violet Debreuil she came to Oz as a governess and a brothel...


Possible nova in southern Constellation Musca "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Following the posting on the Central Bureau's Transient Object Confirmation Page about a possible Nova in Musca (TOCP Designation: PNV J11261220-6531086) we performed some follow-up of this object through a TEL 0.50-m f/6.8 reflector + CCD + focal reducer from MPC Code Q62 (iTelescope Observatory, Siding Spring). On images taken on January 15.57, 2018 we can confirm the presence of an optical counterpart with R-filtered CCD magnitude ~6.3 at coordinates: R.A. = 11 26 14.95, Decl.= -65 31 24.1 (equinox 2000.0; Gaia DR1 catalogue reference stars). This transient has been reported to CBAT/TOCP by Rob Kaufman, Bright, Victoria, Australia. Discovery image (taken with Canon 650D & 55mm lens) is available here. He also posted a low-resolution spectrum that "shows strong hydrogen emissions as well as FeII lines": Below you can see our confirmation image (single 30-sec exposure through a 0.43-m f/6.8 reflector + CCD), click on it for a bigger version:


African Australians are being stereotyped for special treatment "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Contributed from Victoria

Peter Dutton, the Minster for Internal Affairs chose the Christmas period to launch an attack on the Australian African community,  publicly singling out Africans for being responsible for a massive wave of gang violence. He said that people in Melbourne were scared to go out to restaurants.

If what he had to say has any truth in it, Melbourne, particularly in the south eastern suburbs and in the west, must be something of a war zone.

This wasnt the ministers own invention. He has been following the lead of the gutter tabloid media of Murdochs news corporation. This hate promoting organisation, has as usual hired as small host of well-paid scribes to lead the charge, headlining a series of beat up stories that make it look like the reality is all out war and Melbournians are locked up in their homes, too afraid to go out into the dangerous streets.

The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull joined in the bashing.

Anyone living in the city and visitors know that this is not the way it is.

It is true that a few young people do get involved in gang culture. There are Africans amongst them. But this is more about poverty, lack of opportunity, and rebelliousness. Among those who came to Australia as refugees there may be the legacy of past trauma. This is not about race.

Regardless of this, the reality for young Africans is that they are singled out for special attention. Black stands out. Young African Australians often feel that the police target them because of the colour of their skin. They see the headlines and certain politicians say about them. Is it any wonder that there are those who get angry?

In response, the African community has spoken out and this has compelled the politicians to tone down their language somewhat.

Nevertheless, the attack continues and it spells out a recipe for confrontation. Those who pursue this, want conflict, so they  can use it as a platform for their twisted political agenda. A collection of hate groups have already met together in Melbourne, in order to plan their own action.

News Corporation, Peter Dutton, Malcolm Turnbull and other like minded individuals might in part be driven by the inclination to opportunistically use the issue, as a means to whip Victorias Labor premier Dan Andrews and his government. They also have a considerable amount in common with the hate groups, and in effect assist them.

Theirs is a mind set to find scapegoats to blame for the....

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