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Sunday, 24 September

23:00

Yarragon street trees face chop in short notice plan "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

Eighteen long-established trees along Yarragon's Rollo Street could soon meet council chainsaws if a short notice reconstruction plan goes ahead.

22:26

EDFL final a sign of a strong league: Gwynne "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

Warragul Industrials' one-point loss to Catani in the EDFL seniors final may have been a nail-biter, but the league itself is in a much more comfortable position according to its chief.

22:25

2017 EDFL finals: Dusties v Catani in pictures "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

This year's Ellinbank & District Football League seniors was a painful one for the Dusties - a half time lead ended with Catani taking the premiership by one point.

17:52

When intra-governmental relations became absurd the US-Fed Accord Part 3 "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

I am writing this while waiting for a train at Victoria Station (London), which will take me to Brighton for tomorrows presentation at the British Labour Party Conference. The last several days I was in Kansas City for the inaugural International Modern Monetary Theory Conference, which attracted more than 200 participants and was going well when I left it on Saturday. A great step forward. I believe there will be video for all sessions available soon just in case you were unable to watch the live stream. Todays blog completes my little history of the US Treasury Federal Reserve Accord, which really marked a turning point (for the worse) in the way macroeconomic policy was conducted in the US. In Part 1, I explained how from the inception (1913), the newly created Federal Reserve Bank, Americas central bank, was required by the US Treasury Department to purchase Treasury bonds in such volumes that would ensure the yields on long-term bonds were stable and low. There was growing unease with this arrangement among the conservative central bankers and, in 1935, the arrangement was altered somewhat to require the bank to only purchase debt in the secondary markets. But the change had little effective impact. The yields stayed low as was the intent. Further, all the prognistications that the conservatives raised about inflation and other maladies also did not emerge (which anyone who knew anything would have expected anyway). In Part 2, I traced the increased tensions between the central bank FOMC and the Treasury, which in part was exacerbated by the slight spike in inflation that accompanied the spending associated with the prosecution of the Korean War in the early 1950s. The tension manifested into open disagreement about the FOMCs desire to raise interest rates and end the pegged yield arrangement with the Treasury. In Part 3, we discuss the culmination of that tension and disagreement and examine some of the less known and underlying forces that were fermenting the central bank desire for rebellion.

We left Part 2 with the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) riddled with internal dispute about what course of action it should take given the general feeling that it should break the arrangement with the US Treasury and start pushing up interest rates to head off the inflationary pressures associated with the Korean War expenditure.

The last meeting we discussed was held on February 6, 1951.

The Minutes of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System reveal that the Board was concerned about several leaks to the press concerning the FOMCs Jan. 31 meeting with President Truman.

The discussions among FOMC board members w...

02:28

A Brief Mt Cannibal Visit "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

After a recent 'heads up' that things were beginning to happen on cannibal, a brief visit late last week produced some good sightings ...

Brown Thornbill. A favourite LBJ.

Yellow-faced Honeyeater. Beginning to be vocal.

Diuris sp. Quite small flower-heads.

...

01:03

When I Dance My Shadow Dances Too "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

We all know the feeling of discovering parts of ourselves that we may have suspected but didnt know existed. Some of these parts come from the shadow self. The psycho-spiritual notion of []

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Saturday, 23 September

22:42

Firestick Farming, Controlled Burns and Climate Change "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

Bill Gammages book The Biggest Estate on Earth: how Aborigines made Australia (Allen & Unwin Melbourne, 2012) was released to general acclaim and awarded many major prizes.  He came to Bairnsdale as the keynote speaker at a seminar organised by the East Gippsland Wildfire Taskforce (EGWT) in November 2014. The EGWT was a pressure group comprised of the mountain cattlemen and the timber lobby. They were campaigning for a widespread and regular burning of forest and bush areas basically advocating indiscriminate burning. Gammage gave an aura of respectability to what was otherwise a procession of biased and anecdotal accounts. His talk implied that everywhere was burned without exception regardless of rainfall, terrain, vegetation, aspect or soil type when obviously this was not so.

With regards our region much of Gammages work strongly relies on a few pages of Alfred Howitts Eucalypts of Gippsland, yet a closer examination of his works can give you facts opposing, as well as supporting, the Gammage thesis. None of the claims Howitt made applied to East Gippsland, much of which he thought a jungle. Further large tracts of west and south Gippsland were impenetrable scrub according to both the Strzelecki and Brodribb parties and therefore unburned in the years before they were traversed.  At a recent seminar in Bairnsdale Gunaikurnai descendant Wayne Thorpe denied that the practice of firestick farming was used in Gippsland at all.

So where, if anywhere, in Gippsland was burned in the pre-European era? Howitts observations apply mainly to the Omeo district high country and the observations of Strzelecki and Brodribb indicate that a number of large plains in central Gippsland were the most likely to have been frequently burned.  The paradox is that all these areas are now substantially farmed or closely settled and thus protected from all burning except the occasional bushf...

12:40

Power to the people "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

(Demolition of Tennyson power station in Brisbane now the site of the Brisbane Tennis Centre.)

Technically it would be harder to have a hot potato issue without electricity. Amongst other things, electricity makes it far easier to create the hot potato in the first place, as well as light, heating and cooling, traffic control, transport and giving you the ability to read this article.

However, if you listen to the Coalition who, in their best Hanrahan, are crying well all be rooned if any more of the coal fired power stations around Australia are allowed to close. The justification is that we need power that we can switch on and off like a lightbulb (pun intended). The problem with the justification is that there are other and better ways of getting power on demand.

Turnbull and his Coalition colleagues are not even sure what they want. At the Australian Forest Products Association Industry dinner in Canberra on 12 September 2017, Turnbulls remarks included

So weve taken action. Recently we commissioned the energy market operator AEMO, to analyse the future of dispatchable power in our energy market, in the immediate, short term, medium term and longer term.

Their finding, that youll have all read about in the news, is that the closure of Liddell power station in New South Wales in 2022 will create a large gap in reliable baseload power, in the national electricity market, the east coast essentially and South Australia.

Ive made it clear that we will not allow this gap in baseload power to occur.

So naturally we are exploring all options to fill this gap. We cannot have another event like the closure of Hazelwood, which whatever you may think of the Hazelwood power station, its closure at such short notice, taking so much dispatchable power out of the energy market, caused a dramatic rise in wholesale energy prices.

In New South Wales alone, it was over $50 a megawatt hour, nearly double the wholesale price of electricity. So you know ideology and good intentions are not enough; you have to be very hard-headed about this.
Apart from the illogical leaps of faith, the fundamental problem with Turnbulls speech is that the use of the terms dispatchable and baseload in connection with power production are...

07:23

The Little Bird Weekly News "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Its hard to believe the weeks are spinning by the way they are. Its only a week out from close of submissions to the Senate Inquiry into the Cashless Debit Card Bill and Im up to my neck in code, creating an open data project using QLD crime & social statistics. With new trials of cashless income management just announced in Hervey Bay and Bundaberg and the Inquiry bearing down on us, I thought it would be useful to take a close look at the kinds of statistics being used to argue for income management. Creating a new open data project is a significant undertaking however I hope to have it up within the coming week, either before or just after submissions close on Friday 29 September.

Some good news this week is that my submission to speak about open data and financial transparency at LinuxConf 2018 was accepted and I also received a bursary to attend the ACOSS conference in a few weeks in Melbourne. Unfortunately, the bursary only covers the conference ticket so it remains to be seen whether I can fund the travel and accommodation to go to Melbourne for the event. If you would like to support my work, you can become a Patreon Patron. I promise to update my goals as soon as I find the time.

Stories of people affected by Centrelinks robodebt campaign are up again according to @not_my_debt, including this gut-churning announcement that went out during the week.


In technology news, Andre Obler from Aussie grassroots organisation, the Online Hate Prevention Institute spoke to Radio Sputnick about the racist hate categories plaguing Google & Facebooks advertising programs, while Theresea May told the United Nations that social media companies should take down terrorism posts within 2 hours.

...

04:58

Killing Ground: An Aussie Horror Film That May Scare Us Into Breaking The Silence "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Sometimes art imitates life, and sometimes life imitates art. Catherine McGauran is hoping new Australian film Killing Ground will motivate life, and resolutions.

The outback may just be the most formidable character in Australian film and literature. More than just scenery or background, the bush is active in creating or enabling the horror that plays out in our much-loved Australian gothic stories.

Damien Powers film Killing Ground is a textbook expression of post-colonial anxiety, grounded in white Australians fear of the bush. It can go from idyllic playground to unpredictable captor in seconds.

At first Killing Ground looks like just another foray into this genre. However, it is Powers overly predictable use of tropes and cinematic techniques which make the film so terrifying these familiar structures reinforce our post-colonial story, by shoving latent fears into our face, with a new level of ferocity.

Shop-Sparkke-Change-the-Date-740-x-200

Killing Grounds release coincided with the decision of two Melbourne councils to drop Australia Day ceremonies on January 26. Yarra City Council made the decision out of respect for Aboriginal Australians and because of the depth of feeling about what that day means for so many of our residents. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the move was out of step with national values, and proceeded to strip Yarra City Council of its power to hold citizenship ceremonies.

But is it really out of step? The nature of social media has brought discussions like this from the fringes and into the mainstream. As a result non-Aboriginal Australians are learning more about our disturbing history, which is at best glossed over in schools, and support for recognition of this is growing.

Even the national broadcasters network Triple J held a survey to gauge where its listeners stood on moving the Hottest 100 from January 26. Powers film is part of this movement, suggesting that the disturbance of white Australias past is now so palpable that it can no longer be ignored. We are haunted by an unacknowledged past, which is why the post-colonial narrative of the sinister outback is so simple, yet so haunting.

Europeans....

02:57

Prolong The Life Of Your Soap "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

5 ways you can prolong the life of your soap.

Friday, 22 September

10:57

South-East Oz Part 3: Bendigo & Ballarat "IndyWatch Feed Vic"



Black-eared Cuckoo
On our last morning in Deniliquin (see following post) I again checked out the back roads north of the town, seeing Pallid Cuckoo and a nice female Superb Parrot feeding in a flowering eucalypt.


Pallid Cuckoo


Superb Parrot
We headed...

10:54

Kefford Corporation Gulfstream G-IV-SP Bizjet N810LP Calls into Longreach Airport - Plus More incl a Cessna 182 Fly-in! "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

On Sunday 10 September, Kefford Corporation (of Victoria) Gulfstream G-IV-SP bizjet N810LP was photographed shortly after arriving into Longreach Airport from Darwin.



After taking on fuel, N810LP continued to Canberra.

And also noted visiting Longreach Airport on Sunday 10 September was Gulf Coast Aviation Cessna 510 Citation Mustang bizjet VH-KXM.  It arrived from Bankstown and later departed to Vanrook Station near Normanton.

Meanwhile, over the course of Friday 8 September to Monday 11 September, several light General Aviation (GA) aircraft descended on Longreach as the Cessna 182 Association of Australia held their Spring fly-in to Longreach Airport.



...

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