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Refugee advocates are calling for a full inquiry into an incident recorded on mobile phone footage inside Villawood detention centre revealing nine male guards, using unnecessary force arresting a single female detainee. (Link to cideo clip attached.) Towards the end of the footage, the guards can be seen holding her on the ground, and(...)
My film Disaster Capitalism with director Thor Neureiter continues to spread around the world. Thor was recently in Melbourne for the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival and the film is screening soon in Australia, the UK and elsewhere.
New Zealand outlet Foreign Control Watchdog has published a review of the film written by Jeremy Agar:
The years roll by but the news from Afghanistan scarcely changes. From the dry hills in landlocked Asia we glimpse mad mullahs shooting their rifles into the air. We see Humvees straining up a mountain pass and wait for the ambush. Underneath the banner news rolls through: a suicide truck has blown up a dozen pedestrians in Kabul.
Few of the many disasters that our information screens send our way are as wearying as the scenes from this war, the one that 30 years ago was dubbed the forgotten war because sometimes, back then, it wasnt getting much air time. These days were all too likely to hear the inevitable soothing words that follow from the President, but whoever he is this time, no-one is listening.
On comes an American general. Just a few more troops, he assures us, and all will be well. Just a few more years and well deliver you a shiny new democracy. Be patient. Rome wasnt built in a day.But despite the assurances of the nation builders, peace in Afghanistan hasnt been built in centuries. The waste, the futility of it all has a cartoonish quality: the US Army as Homer Simpson; the jihadi as Jihadi. Boring. We flick the channel to the newest cooking show.
Its the lack of any of this tedium that makes Antony Loewensteins analysis so welcome. By steering clear from clich were allowed to see Afghanistan as the sort of place an open plain, not some dizzying crag that is not all that different from some parts of Loewensteins native Australia, perhaps, or America. He gets driven just an hour from the capital and talks to some quite normal locals. They were promised decent jobs and social development from a mine. It becomes clear that the foreign corporation never intended to make good on the deal, and that the Governments undertaking to hold the company to account was similarly fraudulent.
Back in Kabul Loewenstein seeks answers from the bureaucrats who oversee the mining industry, No, Mr X is unavailable; Mr Y is busy. Mr Z? No, it is not possible. Leave the building. In other words, standard obstruction, standard corruption.....
We recently visited Sovereign Hill in Ballarat Australia. Sovereign Hill is the most popular of Ballarat attractions. Sovereign Hill Ballarat is also one of Victorias top attractions. Most people visiting Sovereign Hill stay in Ballarat for a few nights. There are many Ballarat tourist attractions for you to enjoy during your stay.
Finding Ballarat accommodation within a close vicinity to Sovereign Hill is quite easy. We are about to make it easier by reviewing 3 Ballarat hotels in easy walking distance to Sovereign Hill. We have family accommodation Ballarat covered for you. The only thing now is to grab your Sovereign Hill tickets and off you go. We will show you later where to get your Sovereign Hill Tickets.
Main Road Ballarat ( Dont be surprised if it says Golden Circle instead of Ballarat ) lies next to Sovereign Hill. This means accommodation on this street provides the easiest access to Sovereign Hill. As far as accommodation near Sovereign Hill goes Main Road is the best choice for families. Main Road Ballarat is within easy walking distance to Sovereign Hill. This takes out the hassle of how to get to Sovereign Hill. Takes out the hassle of getting a car park.
Let us take a look at Ballarat Motels and Hotels for you.
Mercure Ballarat has 88 comfy, guest rooms. The hotel is a single story establishment with all rooms having easy access. For families and larger groups, there are 9 self-contained two-storey apartments at Mercure Ballarat. These apartments come in one or two bedroom configuration. This provides great options for family accommodation Ballarat options.
Although they are not often seen by visitors, feral and domestic cats are established predators at Tarra-Bulga National Park and our remote camera results suggest they are becoming more common.
The table below shows results from five years of remote camera monitoring carried out by the Friends of Tarra-Bulga Park. Cat numbers as a percentage of total species recorded rose dramatically from 0.7 to 3.9%.
|No. of Cats Records||16||33||64||59||41||64|
|Percentage of Cats||0.7%||1.1%||1.3%||1.6%||3.0%||3.9%|
The impact these cats are having on the birds, small mammals and reptiles is a real concern. Although there are many variables in the ways we set up our cameras, the general trend in the last few years is for them to be detecting greater numbers of cats and less small native mammals (e.g. Antechinus and Bush Rats). Sadly we have also been detecting less of the smaller birds such as Pilotbirds and White-browed Scrubwrens. (For a summary of sightings of others species download this Percentage of sightings per year for commonly detected species captured in remote camera photos )
The gallery below shows that cats in Tarra-Bu...
A year ago, I wouldve said house prices were too high. And Id lament that I couldnt find an affordable place to buy.
But my outlook has changed.
Lately, property prices have fallen just enough to make a modest unit affordable.
I check out new properties frequently.
But I rarely get past the garage.
Before I even set foot inside a property, I measure the height of the car parking space. Unless it cracks that 2.4-metre mark, I turn and walk away.
Ive left dozens of puzzled real estate agents in my wake.
Look, my giant 4WD probably doesnt need its own house at night. But street parking for big cars is hard to come by. If I buy a unit with a shared driveway, its going to create problems for me and the neighbours.
Finding a new place has been a 12-month mission of mine.
The good news is that things are different a year on.
Around this time last year, one or two properties a month fell into my price range.
Nowadays, I can go to one inspection a week.
Its not because there are more properties on the market. In fact, the number of new homes for sale in Australia is down 28% in the past year.
But the properties I inspected last year that were out of my price range are now well within it.
While that may be good news for me, its a rather ominous confirmation that cracks are beginning to show in the Aussie housing market.
Four signs of a rickety housing sector
In Tuesday Daily Reckoning Australia, I reasoned that theres a mortgage debt reset coming our way as $400 billion worth of home loans move from interest-only to principal-and-interest repayments.
Turns out, thats just the start of the debt reset story.
Real estate website Domain claims that one-third of the 1834-year-olds cant refinance their homes due to falling property valuations.
Domain puts the blame for this squarely at the feet of property valuers, suggesting that they dont know how to how value properties during a market downturn.
Domain calls it the experience gap a younger generation of valuers being too conservative because property prices have dropped a few percentage points.
I disagree. In my view, assessments lowering the value of properties remove the hype that was partly responsible for driving up prices in the first place.
But there are other reasons to explain why Australias property market is rickety.....
15:16 Traralgon - Southern Cross will not run and has been replaced by coaches due to signal fault at Westall.
Due to a signal fault between Clayton and Westall the 09:15 SCS to Traralgon will now run through to Traralgon and will be delayed by approximately 70 minutes. 11:20 SCS to Traralgon and 12:20 Traralgon to SCS will be cancelled and replaced by coaches. 10:20 SCS to Traralgon will run through to Traralgon and be delayed by approximately 70 minutes. [11:19 12/07]
LEONGATHA and Gippsland Power defender Kyle Reid capped off a
great showing in the under 18 national championships, being named
in the under 18 All-Australian team.
Key defender Reid was one of only two players from the winless Vic Country to make the team, alongside midfielder Sam Walsh, who claimed the Larke Medal as the best player of Division 1 after averaging 29 disposals.
Reid will now turn his attention back to the Gippsland Power who are currently sitting second on the TAC cup ladder and will welcome back the return of key players Sam Flanders, Matt McGannon and captain Xavier Duursma.
Melbournes popular not for profit restaurant Lentil As Anything has operated for years, based on using excess food that would otherwise be wasted, and charging customers only a voluntary donation, based on what they think the meal they have eaten is worth.
Lentil As Anything has now come up with another initiative, and that is, the opening last Sunday of a not for profit supermarket in Thornbury, an inner Melbourne suburb. It goes by the name of the Inconvenience Store.
Like the restaurant, it bases itself on the recycling of excess produce that would otherwise have gone to the tip as landfill. The stock is donated. Here too, customers only pay a donation, based on what they think the produce is worth.
This might be a small initiative, in the face of the 20 billion dollar problem in Australia, according to waste expert Karli Verghese, from RMIT University.
Its importance lies in that it is setting an example, to show that by people getting together and taking action, they can contribute to solving the problem. If they can do it, so can others.
This is especially important at a time when food security is a growing problem for many Australians. Food insecurity is when one is in a position where three meals a day can no longer be guaranteed.
The idea was to make a difference in the food waste crisis, project coordinator Astrid Ryan said.
We wanted to provide people access to nutritious fruit and vegetables.
When people are in financial crisis or difficult situations, its probably the thing they have least access to.
The food is free, at the Inconvenience Store.
Customers can stock their bags with food, ranging from fruit and vegetables to bread and some packaged items. People are just asked to make a donation to keep the store going and to consider volunteering some of their time to help.
Earthworker is establishing a network of worker-owned cooperatives committed to sustainable enterprise throughout Australia. They believe social and environmental exploitation are intertwined, and that the problems of climate change, job insecurity and growing inequality must be tackled simultaneously, through greater grassroots economic ownership.
They have already established Redgum, a worker owned cleaners co-operative in Melbourne, and are in the final stages of establishing the Earthworker Energy Manufacturing Cooperative (formerly Eurekas Future).
We had a yarn with Katherine Cunningham from Earthworker. Find out more about Earthworker at earthworkercooperative.com.au/
Go to the GEO front page
Annual conservation program in action WILSONSPromontory National Park will be closed from Monday, August 20 until the morning of Friday, August 24, 2018 to conduct the annual program for hog 
The post Wilsons Promontory National Park to close temporarily appeared first on Foster Community Online.
Yesterday, About 600 bus drivers have walked off the job for 24 hours in Melbourne, Ballarat and Geelong, disrupting regular services on more than 70 routes.
CDC Victoria workers and members of the Transport Workers Union, walked off the job at midnight. Pickett lines were set up at depots in Wyndham, Oakleigh, Geelong and Ballarat, where the drivers were joined by their families, members of other unions and other supporters.
They are after a 4 percent Wage rise and management is offering only 2.5 percent. According to the union, this stoppage is part of an ongoing campaign, which if need be will involve further stoppages this Friday and \at the beginning of next week.
TWU national vice president John Berger said 95 per cent of members had voted in favour of the strike action, which was the first such action by bus drivers for 20 years.
The reason behind the campaign for a wage increase is that these drivers are the lowest paid in the industry, getting just $26 to $28 an hour. The claim is a benchmark that will be taken over to other companies.
The union has publicly apologised to commuters for the disruption that the industrial action has caused and may cause in the days ahead. Inconvenience has not stopped public sympathy from coming in.
A message from the union stated:
The buses stopped today because CDC TWU members decided to fight for a fair and reasonable wage rise a fair share of the fare.
While the rest of Victoria was sleeping, these staunch members gathered in the freezing cold on picket lines from 4:40am at CDC depots in Wyndham, Oakleigh, Geelong and Ballarat. Many are still out there right now.
They would rather be working in the comfort of a heated bus or home with their family than out in the elements and inconveniencing some commuters.
But there comes a time when you have to look after yourself and these TWU members have drawn a line in the sand.
The fact they have gathered in great numbers to picket today tells you how serious this issue is, how insulted they were by the companys latest sub-standard wage offer and how determined they are to dig in. So get behind their fight for the Victorian Bus Industry Agreement, and We must stand together and will show CDC and the rest of the Victorian Bus Industry that you are worth more than the current sub-standard CDC offer.
And never forget that this is not just a fight between CDC members and the rich multinational, but a fight for the 2018 Bus Industry Agreement.
Many ordinary people are unhappy about the condition of wages in Australia and dont think it is fair that the worker is receiving a shrinking share of the income,...
Fixing is good, right?! If we can make the stuff we own last longer, less of it will end up in landfill. But there's heaps of stuff in our homes that's difficult to fix, so keeping those items out of landfill and circulating in the economy is a challenge. In this post I experiment with Sugru mouldable glue - it's the world's most versatile glue and I love the ethos behind the brand.
12:20 Southern Cross - Traralgon will not run today due to staff sickness. Customers are asked to board the next available service. Customers from suburban stations are asked to board metro service to Pakenham to meet with coaches.
Chelsea Haywood. Submission to Senate Inquiry on Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia
My name is Chelsea Haywood and I purchased my house in Hawker 13 years ago. I lived in Waubra Victoria when the windfarm was in its proposal stage and was actively involved in the process of community education. I have 2 young children t1 that attends the school here, and the other just started pre entry at Kindy. Both my husband and myself work and devote a lot of our time to the community.
I am secretary of the Hawker Community Development Board, Chair of the Flindersfest Committee, Active on the Swimming Pool Committee while supporting my husband who is a volunteer ambo, on the EWG and BCC (both consulting committees for the project) how the need for broad community support has played and will continue to play a part in the process, including:
the definition of broad community support [she puts this in red]
broad community support should be kept to those that will be affected should this proposal move forward. By this I mean that there is no need to involve the entire state as it will not impact on them either way should the project go ahead or not. Those in the local area Hawker can already see the benefits such a facility can ha...
It is a sad fact that a large number of Gippslanders (70% to be precise) still incorrectly think that the current climate change we are experiencing is at least in part a natural process. The consequence of this is that there is nothing they can do about it and so either ignore the problem altogether or relegate it well down their list of priorities. But in this they are mistaken as it can be clearly demonstrated that our current warming is man-made now generally called the Anthropocene. This confusion often resolves around concepts of time.
Geological time is the process by which momentous events occur over inordinately long periods. Some examples include: drifting continents where the Australian plate is slowly drifting north at about the same pace as a fingernail grows; the laying down of the brown coal deposits of Gippsland over millions of years about 70-80 million years ago; the end of dinosaurs now fossilised in the cliffs near Inverloch 66 million years ago and even the total span of human beings on earth of about 3 million years. Natural climate change fits into this category with some ice ages lasting millions of years.
Even thousand year periods are hard to grasp. Ancient civilisations are about 6,000 years old. Gippsland was occupied by Aboriginal people 20,000 years ago (and probably a lot longer). Then Aboriginal people could, and obviously did at some time, walk to Tasmania. The end of the last ice age about 18,000 years ago meant as the ice caps melted sea levels rose. Bass Strait was created roughly 8-10 thousand years ago. The current Gippsland coastline formed about 6,000 years ago completing an average sea level rise of about 1 metre per century over those 10-12,000 years. The modern geological age the Holocene heralded the rise of human civilisation which occurred over the last 10,000 years when the carbon dioxide levels oscillated at or below 280ppm of carbon dioxide in earths atmosphere.
Human time by comparison is almost instantaneous. My mother lived to 98 years and the average life expectancy of Gippslanders is about 80 years. However for a child waiting for school holidays or a worker stuck in an unpleasant job waiting for the end of the day human time can appear exceptio...
THEYD come from the opposite side of the world to meet in
Leongatha last Wednesday; Pat Monaghan, Taylar Marston and Cameron
And the thread that brought them together at Vermont Tech just outside Randolph, half an hour south of the capital Montpelier, and also at Leongatha, was basketball.
The trio, which includes Monaghan from Mardan, Marston from Mt Barker in South Australia and Cameron Carter from Atlanta Georgia, all played together for the Knights Basketball Team at Vermont Tech, figuring in one of the most successful eras ever to represent the green and white.
We were only the third team in 150 years to take it all the way to the Elite 8 Championships, said local boy Pat Monaghan.
Along the way Pat completed a degree in Construction Management and while he is working in building right now, construction management is a career hed like to follow in the future.
Yes, basketball will be pretty much a secondary thing for me now.
Not so Cameron Carter who took home the award as the best offensive player in the tournament from the 2017-18 Elite 8 Championship season.
Hes looking to continue his career with a South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL) team in Victoria and maybe in Asia or Europe at a later date.
But at the invitation of good mate Pat Monaghan, Cameron and Taylar were visiting Leongatha, providing the perfect opportunity to run a basketball clinic for local kids at the Splash Stadium last Wednesday.
It all went over fantastically well and a group of 20 young local basketball...
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