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Saturday, 18 November

22:27

The Parks Victoria Volunteer Track Ranger Program "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

This is a great program: Parks Victoria (PV) Track Rangers are volunteers who walk and camp along popular tracks during peak holidays in order to provide a presence in key visitation areas and providing hikers with up-to-date park information.

If you have good experience in remote area walking plus appropriate skills and the right personality, its a great opportunity to be out in some fantastic country and contribute in a positive way to the management of some of the states best parks.

It involves a 4 to 6 day commitment. Full details below.

According to PV:

Participating in the track ranger volunteer program is a great way to help Parks Victoria by providing a presence and friendly contact point at campsites and trails in the Victorias national parks, promoting minimal impact techniques to improve awareness of park environment and providing visitors with current park information.

Where?

The program runs in the Great Alpine National Park (Mt Bogong, Mt Feathertop, the Alpine Crossing between Falls Creek and Mount Hotham and Mount Buffalo), Grampians National Park, Cathedral Range State Park and Wilsons Promontory National Park.

When?

The program usually for 4 to 6 days across the New Year period, over selected long weekends and Easter.

What key skills are needed?

You will need strong experience in remote area hiking and camping, high level of fitness, positive attitude, strong communication and interpersonal skills, a valid first aid certificate and must be willing to camp out for a minimum of 4 nights in remote areas.

Volunteers may apply as couples or singles, in which case you will be paired up with a second track ranger to ensure safety. Volunteers must be fully self-sufficient. Download the Volunteer Track Ranger Role Description.

A National Police Check will also be conducted on all successful applicants with the cost covered by Parks Victoria. This is now completed online to save processing times.

A Working with Children Check is also required and can be obtained by visiting www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au. This check is free for all Volunteers.

For any questions please email volunteertrackrangers@parks.vic.gov.au.

How to join

To apply please...

21:42

Local Snakes and Climate Change by a Gippsland Naturalist "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

Highlands Copperhead (Shawn Scott)

(My blog a few weeks ago Tiger Snakes and a warming Gippsland attracted a lot of attention. Here is some feedback from a well-informed source who prefers to remain anonymous.)

Just a couple of points on your comments about snakes and climate change.

As for Tiger snakes (Notechis scutatus), they have always occurred at significant altitude in places like Benambra. But according to some researchers who have studied alpine/sub alpine moss beds, tiger snakes were never seen in these beds thirty years or so ago, but now are reasonably frequently seen. The Copperhead and the Highlands Copperhead (Austrelaps ramsayi) have always been the snake of these areas, but the changing climate has given the Tiger a helping hand.

However, the best reptile indicator of climate change in the Gippsland Plains is the Eastern Brown Snake (Psuedonaja textilis). They have always occurred in significant numbers in the gorges and higher valleys where they are out of the cooling easterlies, and have significant rock outcrops to retain the heat they need to hatch their eggs. The Tiger, Copperhead and Black snake give live birth to their young (viviparous), so the gravid female can move to find warm niches, but the Brown snake cannot do this, as they lay eggs (oviparous) and the locality becomes more important.

In the 40 years I have been in this area, I have noticed a significant increase in sightings of Brown Snakes in the past 15 years on the Gippsland plains, compared to when I first arrived in this area, and was very active in the field. Also, during this same period, I have noticed the disappearance of the Lowland Copperhead (Austrelaps superbus) from the Gippsland Plains pasture country, and they are now only found in and around wetlands.

An excellent website on snake varieties in Gippsland can be found here.

 

15:48

Noro on the Veendam? "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

HAL VeendamA passenger sailing on a Holland America Line (HAL) cruise ship near Greece contacted me today, stating that a number of guests are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms:

"I'm currently on MS Veendam. Left Fort Lauderdale on October 20th and due to return to Fort Lauderdale on December 8th. Currently docked in Souda, Greece. Leaving at 5:00 pm less than an hour from now. Souda port terminal has WiFi.

Noro started about four days ago. We did pick up passengers in Barcelona and some of them are sick now and seem to have gotten sick shortly after boarding from what I understand. One day there were 29 passengers and two crew sick . . .  Yesterday ...  only four new cases and no crew sick anymore. 

Ship is cleaning, isolating and taking precautions including not allowing passengers to handle food which is good."

It is currently unknown whether the gastrointestinal outbreak is in fact due to norovirus (or-coli or some other more exotic virus) because there will be no testing of the affected passenger's stools. 

In the last week, we have written about GI outbreaks which included the Crown Princess, which called on a U.S. port and had to report the outbreak to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Anthem of the Seas was experienced a similar outbreak affected many dozens of guests (around 100 people). The Anthem did not meet the percentage of guests who reported their symptoms to the ship infirmary, and therefore there is no official CDC report.  The Celebrity Solstice was also reportedly hit with an aggressive GI outbreak while sailing around Australia, according to news accounts. 

Holland America Line experienced 18 cases of GI sicknesses reported to the CDC since 2010. Only Princess Cruises suffered more norovirus/GI cases which were reported to the CDC during this time period. HAL suffered norovirus outbreaks on the Nieuw Amsterdam, and two outbreaks each on the Volendam and the Noordam this year.

Cruise ships on non-U.S. itineraries do not have to report GI outbreaks. 

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below ...

15:00

AGM Vic Branch of Sustainable Population Australia Nov 25 Hawthorn Library "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Public Seminar with two speakers: Jack Roach, immediate past president of Boroondara Residents Action Group and Adrian Whitehead. Adrian Whitehead will speak on "Population Perspectives, from global to local." Public Welcome. Free Parking near venue. Financial members may nominate for any committee positions. See details inside re how to nominate.

Sustainable Population Australia (Victorian and Tasmanian branch)
Annual General Meeting
Saturday November 25th 2017 at 2.00pm
Hawthorn Library meeting rooms 3-4, 584 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn VIC 3122
Nominations for Committee Positions: Financial members of SPA may nominate for any committee positions. Please email before 17thth November to victas@population.org.au or write to:

Returning Officer, Sustainable Population Australia, Victorian and Tasmanian branch,
P.O.BOX 556 Hawthorn 3122

Following the formal proceedings, please stay for our public seminar
Population perspectives: from global to local
Image result for globeExcavation for tower circular
.
Presenters: Adrian Whitehead, Environmental campaigner &
Jack Roach: Immediate Past President Boroondara Residents Action Group
Free parking is available near the venue.
You are invited to stay for afternoon tea following the seminar

Attachment Size
Image icon Adrian-Whitehead-tiny.jpg.........

13:48

Richard Wolstencroft & MUFF ~versus~ Those Degenerate Gays "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Local filmmaker, self-described transcendental fascist and, more recently, Trump fanboy and partisan of the AltRight,* Richard Wolstencroft, established the Melbourne Underground Film Festival (MUFF) in 2000 after the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) declined screening his 1999 film Pearls Before Continue reading

11:48

Vegas 5 star million Dollar December Sale "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

Family travellers looking for a 5-star getaway or just a weekend away from the kids look no further than Las Vegas in December. A recent survey by a luxury travel magazine tells us that, only 24 percent of U.S travellers have stayed at a five-star property more than once within the last five years. The cost being put down as the reason for this low number.

For most of us who work normal jobs 9-5 with a spouse, 2 kids a mortgage and bills its simply out of the question 95% of the time. * Hotwire, a leading online travel site, is seeking to change those statsand just in time for the holidays.

Speaking of Holidays Las Vegas really turns it on in December leading up to Christmas day. The desert heat and the neon lights are perfect for Santa and visitors to get out and about. You will find an array of Christmas events in Vegas such as the ones I have listed below

  • Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan.
  • Ethel M Chocolates Factory and Cactus Garden.
  • Holiday Havoc at the Palms.
  • The Nutcracker.
  • LeAnn Rimess Today is Christmas at the Orleans.
  • Im Dreaming of a Wine Christmas at Downtown Container Park.
  • Bellagio Fountains.
  • Mystic Falls Park at Sams Town

Now back to the amazing prices you will be able to get in Vegas from the 8th of December through the 28th of December. What do you think would be an amazing price for a 5-star room in Las Vegas? Take into consideration the average retail rate for five-star hotels in Las Vegas in December comes in at $432. Today, Hotwire is kicking off an insane sale, a Million Dollar Sale. five-star hotels in Las Vegas for just $50, yes I did not leave out any numbers that $50. Since jumping onto the travel scene in 2000, Hotwire has partnered with thousands of hotels, airlines and car rental companies to help sell their remaining inventory. It is because Hotwire regularly offers deals on travel inventory that would otherwise remain unsold that they g...

06:53

Committee members of the VFSRS/VUFORS : 1959 - 1972 "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Introduction

Between 1959 and 1972, there were over thirty individuals who served on the committee of the Victorian Flying Saucer Research Society/ Victorian UFO Research Society. In this post I identify these individuals and the committee positions which they held, and provide information about a number of them which will be new to most blog readers. 

Some individuals such as Peter Norris; Paul Norman and Judith Magee, played a major role in the development of the society during these years. Others came and went. Sadly, I am aware of a number of such people as Judith Magee, William (Bill) Stapleton, and Paul Norman who are deceased.

Judith Mary Magee



Committee, Dec 1959 Nov 1962; Vice President  & Programs Officer, May 1964 Dec 1965; Secretary, Dec 1966 Dec 1967; Vice President, Oct 1968 Dec 1972.

Vice President: Mrs Judith Magee has been a member of the V.F.S.R.S. since 1958 and a committee member since 1959. She completed a secretarial course at Brighton Technical School and worked in a Melbourne radio station and bank prior to joining the Womens Royal Australian Naval Service in March 1944. After demobilisation in 1946 she joined Australian National Airways as an air hostess and in 1947 became the only woman finalist in the Sun flying scholarship. Since her marriage in 1948 she has worked as a diathermy operator, mannequin and saleswoman.

Mrs Magee believes that flying saucer research should take a middle-of-the-road attitude and be accurately presented to the public in a factual manner.

[Source: Australian...

05:35

Another Two Recent Excursions "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"


Normal 0 false false false EN-AU X-NONE X-NONE ...

03:30

As Australians Say Yes to Marriage Equality, Legal Fight Over Human Rights Takes Centre Stage "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is confident that parliament will legislate to permit same-sex marriage before it breaks in December.

People carry banners and signs as they participate in a marriage equality march in Melbourne, Australia, August 26, 2017. AAP/David Crosling/via Reuters

People carry banners and signs as they participate in a marriage equality march in Melbourne, Australia, August 26, 2017. AAP/David Crosling/via REUTERS

The results of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey are in. Despite the voluntary nature of the survey, 12,727,920 (79.5%) eligible Australians voted.

By a margin of 61.6% to 38.4%, Australians have said yes to the proposition:

Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is confident that parliament will...

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Friday, 17 November

22:59

Australias southern most ski field "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

The Mt Mawson ski field in the Mt Field National Park is the southern most ski area in Australia. Its a remarkable place, and while its of a low elevation, with very limited vertical terrain, and is subject to the notoriously fickle snow conditions to be found in Tasmania, it is a magical spot. It has several rope tows, and is a Club ski field composed of seven lodges, with no public accommodation. Its also a fairly solid 30 to 45 minute walk up the mountain to get to the ski field.

But like the surrounding ranges within the Mt Field national park, when its in condition its truly fantastic.

It is also a volunteer mountain that operates at the weekend. At the other Australian resorts, we get very used to having everything done for us. Mt Field is more like skiing was in Australia in the early days. It had a good winter this year, with tows running on weekends from mid August until early October.

According to the end of season report from the president of the Southern Tasmanian Ski Association (STSA) Peter Davis, there were various bits of excitement during the season, like the following:

The season started on 13th of August, but unfortunately there was a problem with the access road which prevented the majority of skiers from getting through. (It took) took 5 hours to clear the road, and then a landslip was identified which kept the road closed for a couple of hours longer. There was a queue of 100 cars waiting to get up the Dobson Road.

Then there were technical issues with the tows. At one point the rope on the University Tow broke. Fortunately STSA had two rolls of new rope on the mountain, and on Sunday the volunteers tackled the big job of joining a new rope, under the patient guidance of experienced Mt Mawson Ski Patroller Andrew Davey. Members of the public helped to move the 500 metres of heavy rope across to the Uni Tow, and then a team of skiers and boarders assisted with tensioning the rope down the hill in preparation for completion of the final splice.

Ironically later in the season we experienced some intermittent electrical problems with the University Tow, and so it was not used for the last 3 weeks of skiing.

Public facilities are pretty basic: there is a simple visitors hut up on Tarn Shelf, the Ski Patrol have an unheated shipping container as their base, and the public shelter in the village is also unheated. The good news is that a new shelter is currently under construction and will be ready by next winter.

When the snow is good, there is some fantastic touring out towards Mt Field West (although the access over the Rodway Range is mostly through boulderfields and can be hard and dangerous in certain conditions or sketchy snow cover). Th...

22:48

Guy Can't Stop Saving Orphaned Baby Lambs "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Ward Young never intended to adopt Louis the lamb he only planned on fostering him. But there was something about Louis sweet, fleece-covered self that wormed his way into Youngs heart.

Earlier this year, volunteers from Melbourne Sheep Save, an organization that rescues sheep in Victoria, Australia, rescued Louis from a local farm after Louis mom died giving birth to his sibling.

Credit: Ward Young

We decided that we wanted to treat him like a king, given that his first day of life was so miserable, Young, a paramedic and independent animal rescuer, told The Dodo.

Young and his fiance Georgie Purcell Kyneton bottle-fed Louis to help him grow big and strong and in the process, they both fell in love with Louis.  

Credit: Kelly Dinham

When you spend time with a lamb, they get so excited at seeing you and receiving bottles, Young said. Their tails flick around a million miles an hour. They are really just like pet dogs, but unfortunately people don't see them that way.

Credit: Ward Young

As soon as Louis got a little bigger, he started racing around the acreage Young and Kyneton bought earlier this year.

He is such a kind and loving boy, Young said. When he sees our car come down the driveway, he sprints up to the gate to meet us. Really, lambs absolutely love human interaction, but on massive farms they so rarely receive it. So we're just glad that we can give him the love he craves....

17:20

Man dies after being attacked by a swarm of bees in Victoria, Australia "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

A man has died after being stung by a swarm of bees on a farm in country Victoria. The 30-year-old man came under attack about 10am while working on a property on MacArthur Street, at Dunkeld, in western Victoria. It is understood the man was working at the property as a gardener. Worksafe officers attended the scene and a report is being prepared for the coroner.

10:26

RSL helping Australian troops in the Middle East "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

FOSTER Sub Branch RSL has taken up a project called Care Packs, to help our military service personnel posted overseas. Welfare officer Brian Mellor is leading the local effort, which []

The post RSL helping Australian troops in the Middle East appeared first on Foster Community Online.

10:23

Foster Pool Warmed By Energy Co-op Support "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

Foster Swimming Pool Associations project to warm their pool with solar heating will be completed before this summer, with assistance from Energy Innovation Co-ops Southern CORE (Community Owned Renewable Energy) []

The post Foster Pool Warmed By Energy Co-op Support appeared first on Foster Community Online.

10:21

Alison Lester launches her new book THE VERY NOISY BABY In Fish Creek "IndyWatch Feed Gippsland"

THE launch of much loved childrens author and illustrator, Alison Lesters new book, The Very Noisy Baby will take place at her Fish Creek Bookshop & Gallery this Sunday, November []

The post Alison Lester launches her new book THE VERY NOISY BABY In Fish Creek appeared first on Foster Community Online.

03:48

GET ADRIAN JACKSON TO SHOUT "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Adrian Jackson in characteristic pose at the mic, introducing a band.

Adrian Jackson in characteristic pose at the mic, introducing a band.

PREVIEW

Give Adrian a Shout:
Adrian Jacksons Jazz benefit, The Jazzlab, November 19, 2017

Adrian Jackson was whispering when I spoke to him at Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues recently. We are all hoping that before long hell be back to his usual volume and fully capable of giving us a shout in all senses of the word.

On Sunday at 7pm at The Jazzlab, Melbourne Jazz Co-operative will stage a jazz benefit for Adrian, well known for his key roles as, for 27 years, founding artistic director at Wangarattas jazz and blues festival (as well as those at Melbourne and Stonnington).

Many will be aware that Adrian is at present unemployed, and has needed surgery so that he can talk above a whisper and get back to work. But some of us were unaware of the extent of the difficulties he has had to face in the past two years.

Readers of Martin Jacksons MJC newsletter will have seen Adrians account of his situation, but with his permission I reproduce it here for any who missed seeing it:

It is in some ways embarrassing to be seeking financial assistance as a 60-year-old. Although my situa...

01:51

Compilation of Victoria's TAC road safety commercials dating back to 1989 - quite confronting "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

This might be a bit much for lots of people - approach it with a bit of caution particularly if you're carrying a few memories.

01:42

The unions are in the Turnbull governments sights "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Contributed by Joe Montero

Anyone following developments can not help but be aware that a central plank of the governments agenda, is to eliminate trade unions, and if this is not possible, to render them totally ineffective.

Ever since the Howard government and the Hawke days before that,  step by step, a noose has been tightened around the Australian union movements neck.  It has fought back, but eventually compromised at each point. It now finds itself weaker, less organised,  its officials no longer have the right to visit members at the workplace and what they can be concerned with has narrowed down over time.

Arguably, there is much more than coincidence between this and the significant fall in the wages share of national income, the generally deteriorating conditions of employment and the rise of the casualised economy. Weaker unions is not the only cause. The weaker state of the economy is important. But weaker unions have ensured that the position of the worker has deteriorated more than it would otherwise have been the case.

Within the union movement has been an expectation of further blows. It is no secret that the government and employers behind it are out to do everything they can, to move as close as possible to creating an industrial relations landscape with no unions.

A worsening economy and the growing militancy of big business, shared by the Coalition, have come together to result in a series of try ons,  which have been aimed at imposing major wage cuts through further casualisation of their workforces.  Last years battle at Carlton and United in Melbourne last year marked a turning point. Although the unions won this battle, the war has continued, with other large employers taking their turn at doing the same.

This is more than separate and unlinked individual workplace battles. They make up parts of a national strategy to force a breech that can be spread across the whole of the Australian workforce, to crush it into obedience and the acceptance of less reward for work.

Despite being in a weaker position now, the unions still remain the barrier to achieving this goal. This is the reason why they are being targeted.

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash has been particularly zealous and biting at the bit for her chance at unions jugular. She is also in urgent need of a distraction from the fallout of the GetUp and Australian Workers Union fiasco. It has the potential of knocking her out of her job.

She stood with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at a press conference a week ago, where a commitment was made to take o...

Thursday, 16 November

23:24

"A Look to the Heavens" "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

"Have you ever seen the Milky Way's glow create shadows? To do so, conditions need to be just right. First and foremost, the sky must be relatively clear of clouds so that the long band of the Milky Way's central disk can be seen. The surroundings must be very near to completely dark, with no bright artificial lights visible anywhere. Next, the Moon cannot be anywhere above the horizon, or its glow will dominate the landscape. Last, the shadows can best be caught on long camera exposures.
Click image for larger size.
In the above image taken in Port Campbell National Park, Victoria, Australia, seven 15-second images of the ground and de-rotated sky were digitally added to bring up the needed light and detail. In the foreground lies Loch Ard Gorge, named after a ship that tragically ran aground in 1878. The two rocks pictured are the remnants of a collapsed arch and are named Tom and Eva after the only two people who survived that Loch Ard ship wreck. A close inspection of the water just before the rocks will show reflections and shadows in light thrown by our Milky Way galaxy."

22:57

NSW assisted dying bill: fight goes on "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

A voluntary euthanasia bill has been voted down by one vote after a marathon late night sitting in the NSW upper house, but the fight isnt over yet.

The parliamentary vote came at the end of an emotional day on Thursday as MPs made pleas for and against the draft bill, which was eventually defeated by 20 votes to 19.

Nationals MP Trevor Khan introduced the private members bill, which would have provided patients 25 years or older, whose deaths are imminent and are in severe pain, a choice to end their lives.

(Well) never give up the fight, an exhausted and disappointed Mr Khan told AAP on Friday.

Youve just got to pick yourself up and look at how you move forward otherwise youre not doing the right thing by the people youre trying to help, he said.

We knew it would be close it was a matter of where some of the undecided fell and they didnt all fall the way we wanted them to.

He said most criticisms of the bill during the debate were on a philosophical basis as opposed to the structure of the bill.

We will look at the bill to see if there are any improvements, Mr Khan said, noting he would watch what happens in Victoria where MPs are also in the middle of a marathon debate over the voluntary assisted dying laws.

Mr Khan said the Parliamentary Working Group on Assisted Dying would not be folding up.

Weve put so much effort in now, so many people whove relied upon it that well continue.

He said it was a time to regroup before re-introducing another draft bill before the next state election in March 2019.(We will) go back and see if theres anything different we could have done.

However, even if the proposed legislation had passed the upper house, it likely would have failed in the lower house where coalition Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Labor Opposition Leader Luke Foley have previously stated their opposition to any such legislation.

The post NSW assisted dying bill: fight goes on appeared first on Echonetdaily.

22:51

Mungo Man laid to rest after 42,000 years "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

The remains of Mungo Man will at last be returned to their ancestral homeland in remote western NSW.

The oldest known human being in Australia will be repatriated at a ceremony on Friday with an indigenous music festival to follow in Mildura on the weekend.

Researcher Jim Bowler first discovered remains on the shore of the ancient and long-dry Lake Mungo, 750 kilometres west of Sydney, in 1968.

He and an Australian National University team initially unearthed the remains of Mungo Lady, whod been cremated then buried more than 40,000 years ago.

Then, in 1974, Dr Bowler discovered further ochre-adorned remains from a similar period.

They become known as Mungo Man.

In 1992, after decades of campaigning by local communities, the Ladys remains were returned to Lake Mungo.

But its taken 25 years for Mungo Man, along with the remains of 100 other ice-age people removed from the land, to make the long journey from Canberra back to the lake.

The remains had been transported to Canberra following their excavation, where they were held by both the ANU and then the National Museum for study by scientists.

The post Mungo Man laid to rest after 42,000 years appeared first on Echonetdaily.

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