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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. 


Latest News - Victoria Police News: Search for missing 14-year-old Croydon boy "seymour IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

Police are appealing for public assistance to help locate missing Croydon boy Michael Andriopoulos.


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.




Seymour Line Notification: Hot weather speed restrictions - Seymour line "seymour 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. [13:14 17/01]


Seymour Line Notification: Service change "seymour IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

16:05 Shepparton - Southern Cross will originate at Seymour today due to a train fault.  Customers between Seymour and Shepparton are asked to board coaches. 
[12:58 17/01]


Getting religion (close to) right on YouTube "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

(RNS) In early 2017, a series on CNN hosted by author and religion scholar Reza Aslan was dropped after six episodes following a controversial anti-Trump tweet by the host. But while Believer was still on the air, it was criticised for perpetuating stereotypes and overlooking important scholarship on the subjects it portrayed. Since then, ... Read more...

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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



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...



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


#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...


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...


Seymour Line Notification: Delay "seymour IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

16:31 Southern Cross - Shepparton train is delayed by approximately 15 minutes due to maintenance requirements.

[17:12 16/01]


Nurserys future secure "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

THE vision of long term Phillip Island resident Barb Martin to establish, preserve and defend Phillip Islands indigenous plant and wildlife habitat will live on.
Phillip Island Nature Parks recently announced it would continue the operations of the Barb Martin Bushbank, named in her honour.
Almost 20 years after the not for profit native plant nursery was established in 1998, the Bushbank committee identified that to remain viable and achieve the organisations goals, it needed to investigate alternatives to its existing operating model.
With a shared vision of conserving and enhancing the natural environment, as well as operating within the framework of a not for profit business model, the Phillip Island Nature Parks was a logical choice, so the committee unanimously agreed to approach the Nature Parks board with a proposal to manage the nursery, Anne Davie, Bushbank president said.
We were delighted when the board met just before Christmas and endorsed the transitioning of the management of the Bushbank to the Nature Parks.
The Bushbank will retain the Barb Martin name, and the Nature Parks will continue to promote and make available local, indigenous plants to local community conservation groups and the public.
The Nature Parks will work with a working group from the Bushbank to ensure all existing plant commitments are met, and there is a smooth transition between the two organisations.

Social times: volunteers at Phillip Islands Barb Martin Bushbank prepare native plants for revegetation works.


Firm prices the trend "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

There were approximately 1,050 export and 250 young cattle penned representing an increase of 540 head week on week.
The usual buying group was present but not all operating fully in a mostly firm market which was a little easier in places.
Quality improved with greater numbers of prime cattle on offer, while there was still plenty of variety.
Trade cattle sold from firm to slightly dearer on most sales. Grown steers and bullocks sold firm for a better quality selection. Heavy weight grown heifers sold firm. Heavy Friesian manufacturing steers eased 15c/kg of last weeks gain, while the crossbred portion held firm.
Heavy weight cows eased 1c to 4c, while the light and medium weight cows were between 7c and 14c/kg cheaper.
The better shaped heavy bulls eased 8c/kg, while the dairy lots averaged close to firm.
Vealers suited to butchers sold from 280c to 304c/kg. Yearling trade steers made between 266c and 294c/kg. Yearling heifers to the trade sold between 250c and 285c/kg.
Grown steers made from 260c and 278c/kg. Bullocks sold from 260c to 277c/kg. Heavy weight grown heifers made between 245c and 259c/kg. Heavy weight Friesian manufacturing steers sold between 222c and 237c with the crossbred portion between 237c and 266c/kg.
Most light and medium weight cows made from 157c to 214c/kg. Heavy weight cows sold from 195c to 233c/kg.
The better shaped heavy bulls made between 228c and 290c with the dairy portion between 210c and 248c/kg.



VFF calls for illegal workers amnesty "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

THE Victorian Farmers Federation is hoping to establish a dedicated agriculture visa to ensure the horticultural industry has access to the labour it needs to remain sustainable.
VFF horticulture president Emma Germano, whose family grows vegetables in Mirboo North, said the whole purpose of the visa would be to get fruit and vegetables picked.
In the meantime, the VFF Horticulture Policy Council wants an amnesty on workers without working visas.
Because there is the perception a lot of people in the industry are without working rights, they are most open to being exploited by labour hire contractors or employers Ms Germano said.
The amnesty is a way of giving them protection under law and will help growers secure a legal labour force.
Both the amnesty and a standalone agriculture visa were backed by federal MPs and senators in December after the joint parliamentary committee inquiry into modern slavery.
Ms Germano said horticulture was far more labour intensive than other agricultural industries, but illegal workers were not a problem just specific to horticulture.
We will continue to lobby for labour policies and not just this issue, but we see (the amnesty) as a great place to start, she said.
From there we can build on it. We cant expect the industry to become compliant over night. There needs to be a pathway to compliance.
With some of the highest labour costs around the world, one of the issues challenging the Australian industry is remaining globally competitive.
Growers have to overcome the labour shortage, while absorbing costs in what can often be an uneven playing field.
Some growers would like to be compliant, but dont have access to a legal workforce, Ms Germano said.
We are reviewing all the labour options to find where there might be gaps to determine how industry and government can partner to make sure those gaps are filled.
Ms Germano said growers have to vet every worker that comes onto their property, which becomes impractical.
She said some larger farms could employ hundreds of people each day and the workforce could be constantly changing.
To have to vet all those people every single day of the week becomes really challenging, she said.
If the Australian Tax Office, the Fair Work Ombudsman and immigration struggle to do it, how do they expect growers to do it in an efficient manner?
The fact we have to do that shows the government knows there are people without working rights.
Ms Germano said the industry is trying to achieve a way forward, to ensure a vibrant, globally competitive and sustainable horticultural industry.
There is so much pressure on growers, if small farms are forced out of business, it could threaten the food security of Australia, she said.




Melbourne Cup winner at Stony Creek "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

MELBOURNE Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne took to the Stony Creek track this week trialling her racehorse trainer and brother Patrick Paynes horses.
In 2015, Michelle was the first woman to win the Melbourne Cup and only the fifth woman to ride in the race that stops a nation with Stony Creek Racing Club CEO Sarah Wolf saying that it was great to have a Melbourne Cup winning jockey such as Michelle ride the track.
It was terrific to welcome Michelle down to Stony Creek for the time trials along with the other trainers and jockeys from across Victoria, she said
Around 50 horses travelled from across the state for the trials, which is a great reflection on the facilities and training opportunities Stony Creek can provide for country racing.
The popularity of these trials at Stony Creek was helped with the creation of the 900 metre trial race, the other trial lengths were 1000, 1100 and a 1600 metre trial.
It was great to hear the feedback from trainer Patrick Payne that he thought the track was in perfect condition, even after the full day of racing only the day before, and that he thought the trials at Stony Creek were a good training exercise.
We often hear from trainers and jockeys that one of the things they like about the Stony Creek course is the rise in the course over the back that makes a good challenge for the horses.

Race guest: Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne caught up with committee member Ross Batten at the Stony Creek Racing Club recently.


Ideal conditions make for a fast Tarwin Marathon "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

ONCE a year, South Gippsland Yacht Club abandons its short course racing format and sends its sailors on an adventure to the upper reaches of Anderson Inlet in what is termed the Tarwin River Marathon.
In days past, boats would sail up the river to the Tarwin Lower Hotel.
This format still has its difficulties as the water is quite murky, making the unfamiliar channels and sandbars very hard to see. Most boats hit bottom at least once during the race.
In some years of light, fluky winds the marathon has taken up to seven hours.
On Sunday, there was a steady 15 knot breeze which enabled the quickest boats to make the return journey in just under one and a half hours and provide exciting sailing for all involved.
The catamarans in particular, relished the long, high speed reaching legs of the race.
The yacht club was again joined by several members of the Inverloch Windsurfing Club which adds to the diversity of craft in the event and provides for some friendly rivalry between the two clubs.
Thanks also to the Inverloch SES which helped out on the safety front with two crews in inflatable boats supporting the two yacht club rescue boats.
With a large number of yachts spread across such an expanse of water it was a reassuring addition to the support fleet and valuable practice for the SES crews.
In the end the first two places went to Impulse sailors with Toby Leppin just pipping Matt Kiely.
Toby and Matt each won a three-month gym membership at Broadbeach.
In third place was Jake Luratti who continued his good form in a borrowed Windrush catamaran
Jakes boat is still on its way back from Perth where he sailed it to second place in the Nacra 16 nationals.
Club sailing returns to normal this week with a social sail on Tuesday evening, junior training on Saturday from 10am and regular racing on Sunday.

Outstanding result: Matt Kiely leads David and Will Barker. He went on to take second place.


Rain forces players off the field "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

NO A1 games were played to completion this week due to heavy rainfall.
While Town and Kilcunda Bass abandoned their match from the beginning, the rest of the teams made an attempt at play.
Wonthaggi Workmens Club almost finished the game against OMK.
Batting first, a 78 run stint from Sam Huitema put the Workers on the path to victory. Ryan Thomas followed on with 60 runs.
OMK bowlers Peter Dell and Daniel Mock took out two wickets each, but the Workers pushed through and made 7/245.
OMK looked competitive with Mock and Jason Wilson making 51 and 56 runs respectively, but only made 5/160 when the game was abandoned.
Workers bowler Zane Macdermid kept the pressure on and took 4/42.
Korumburra and Glen Alvie called off their match after 11 overs.
Prior to abandoning the match, Korumburra batsmen Shane Dole and Matthew Houston had made 32 and 21 not out respectively.
Glen Alvie bowlers Daniel Diwell and Jordan Smith each took one wicket.
Inverloch made it halfway through the innings against Phillip Island before play was abandoned.
Brett Debono opened the innings well with 26 runs. Phillip Island bowlers Simon Kirton and Jona Watts took two wickets each.
Inverloch had accumulated 5/61 before they had to leave the field.
Two games were completed in A2.
In an upset, bottom of the ladder Foster rose up to defeat the Wonthaggi Miners.
Miners opening partnership Cameron Thomas and Blake Andrighetto had a strong start, making 45 and 54 runs respectively.
However, Foster bowlers Daniel OKeefe and Graeme Watkins kicked it into gear and took three wickets each, making sure no more damage could be done.
Miners were all out for 164.
A 60 run haul from Fosters Mitchell Jones drove the team home. Murray Lynch followed on with 42 runs.
Miners bowler Jonothan Rumbold tried to slow the opposition by taking 4/37, but Foster edged them out.
Foster won the day 8/166.
Koonwarra/LRSL also edged out MDU.
Batsman Troy Sinclair drove the team to victory with a 31 run haul.
Thomas Elliott was Koonwarra/LRSLs top bowler, taking 3/20.
MDU finished its innings 9/119.
Koonwarra/LRSLs Ben Perry followed suit, top scoring with 31 runs.
MDUS Craig Hoober caused havoc, claiming 4/17. However, Koonwarra/LRSL made it through with 7/122.
Imperials and Poowong Loch called off their match before play started.
Nerrena had the bye.


Seymour Line Notification: Delay "seymour IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

12:05 Southern Cross - Albury train is now delayed by approximately 37 minutes.

[16:25 16/01]


80 years of surf life saving "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

WONTHAGGI Life Saving Club celebrated its 80th anniversary over the weekend.
To mark the occasion, current and past members of the club enjoyed a dinner at the clubs hall on Saturday night.
Around 150 people came together to relive the past though memorabilia, enjoy live music and swap stories about the clubs history.
It was an excellent night. We all learned more about how our club was built and everyone had a great time, club president Mark Scott said.
Members from other clubs joined us, and we appreciated their support. It was a great way to round off a busy season.
On Sunday, the Club Championships were held. Club members from U6s to Masters competed in activities such as relays, flags, run and wade, board relays, and swim relays to determine the group champions.
The championships bought the Nippers program to an end, and the Bronze camp began afterwards.
Following the championships, a presentation and a barbecue were held.
The 80th helped draw back our old members who are interested in getting involved. Our push for new facilities has also helped, Mr Scott said.
Reports recently showed our facilities are borderline condemned, so theres work to be done. In February we will start our barbecue shelter (a community project with volunteers, Bass Coast Shire Council and local businesses).
Works are also planned to formalise the car park.

Get together: past and present members of the Wonthaggi Life Saving Club gathered at the beach to enjoy the Club Championships on Sunday. This rounded off the clubs 80th anniversary.


Aussie cricket coach visits "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

IN the wake of Australias Ashes victory, Australian cricket coach Darren Lehmann made the trip to Leongatha to celebrate with local cricketers.
Together with former local and AFL football great Stuart Wigney and current Hawthorn captain Jarryd Roughead, Lehmann took part ownership of Leongathas McCartins Hotel.
He travelled to Leongatha last Tuesday and Wednesday for his first visit to the establishment.
Its beautiful, and it was great to meet the local people, he said.
On Tuesday afternoon, Lehmann met with members of Town and Koonwarra/LRSL cricket clubs. These clubs are sponsored by McCartins Hotel.
Lehmann said the clubs approached Wigney and Roughead for sponsorship, and they were more than happy to support the local teams.
Its important to support clubs at a grassroots level; it helps to give everyone a chance to be involved, he said.
Lehmann is a big support of junior cricket, and believes the game needs to be kept fast and exciting to keep children interested and outdoors.
T20 and the Big Bash have helped with that; and it always helps when the Aussies win. We want them to follow our cricketers like Steve Smith, David Warner, and really develop an interest, he said.
Lehmann said he is also a fan of womens cricket, which he believes is getting bigger and better.
The coach said the support from all Australians during the Ashes series was second to none, and he had enjoyed celebrating the victory with local fans of the game.
Lehmann said he was feeling relaxed after the big win. As well as meeting local cricketers, he enjoyed a round of golf at Leongatha Golf Club on Wednesday morning.
If I get the chance, Id like to spend more time in Leongatha. When youre on the road almost 365 days a year, its a good place to relax. Its certainly somewhere Id like to come back to, he said.
Lehmann said he would also be following Town and Koonwarra/LRSL cricket clubs as they enter the business end of the 2017/18 season.

Co-ownership: former local and AFL football player Stuart Wigney and Australia cricket coach Darren Lehmann enjoyed a beer out front of McCartins Hotel on Tuesday. Wigney and Lehmann along with Hawthorn captain Jarryd Roughead took ownership of the business late last year.


Safe to swim "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

VICSWIM is helping children increase their confidence at the beach.
With the aim of keeping children safe in the ocean, the program teaches children how to be calm in a dangerous situation and how to read the current.
The program has been running at Anderson Inlet, Inverloch, since the start of January. The program will end at the end of this week.
In that time, children who had little confidence at the beach at the beginning of the program have developed the ability to swim out to buoys and sand bars with direction from their instructors.
We live in a coastal community, and it is important that children develop these skills to ensure they are safe at the beach, VICSWIM instructor Phoebe Finlay said.
As teenagers, they may want to hang out at the beach with their friends, and this program aims to make sure they feel completely safe. There have been too many drownings in the area, so these skills need to be taught.
The Inlet has a strong current, giving VICSWIM instructors the opportunity to talk to children about the conditions and how currents are similar to rips.
We teach them not to panic, and not to swim against the current and tire themselves out. We have a lot of fun as well, and the children love it, Phoebe said.
Theres been a lot of good development this year. Some of the children were quite timid to start off with because they are used to swimming in pools. Even in the first week they were doing things on Friday that they never would have attempted on Monday, like swimming out into deep water.
The program also had children running through scenarios, like what would happen if they ran into trouble on a boat.
In preparedness, the children practice putting on life jackets which they wear for the entirety of the program and how to stay warm when entering the cold ocean.
Phoebe said parents had been surprised and happy about the benefits of VICSWIM. Parents were offered the opportunity to join in the program, especially to support the younger swimmers.
Its all about survival and developing confidence. These skills will mean they can just go out and have fun at the beach, but know how to deal with any incidents that may happen, she said.
VICSWIM still run programs in pools in local locations like Korumburra, Mirboo North and Phillip Island.
The program will return next year, with registrations opening around October.


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...


Practical Dimensions of Interfaith Dialogue "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Interfaith dialogue should be relevant to the context of religious plurality that characterises todays world. It should address the problems, conflicts, and tensions that threaten the harmonious and peaceful coexistence, in an effort to prevent the exploitation of religious sentiments in exacerbating division. In this wise, there are many practical activities which may be taken ... Read more...




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.



Show delights in Wonthaggi "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

THE bad weather mostly stayed away to make for an enjoyable Bass Coast Summer Agricultural Show on Saturday.

A large crowd gathered at the Wonthaggi Recreation Reserve to enjoy the competitions, displays, activities, and of course, sideshow alley.

Among the highlights this year was the dog scramble which was back after four years , the ute showcase, the Motocross stunt performers, the Harry Ferguson Tractor Club Display, and the local South Gippsland and Bass Coast Providores.

Organiser Rosemary Loughnan said the show was dependent on the weather, and this years conditions had brought out more people than last.

We had very good weather. A light shower came through at about 4.30pm but it was pretty well all done by then and it didnt affect us too much; it was much nicer than last year. We had no major incidents or accidents, and we were very happy with the outcome. Id say it was a very successful show, and we look forward to 2019, she said.

The equestrian events on Sunday were also a success. The show committee was pleased with the number of entries, and said the pony ring was a highlight as it gave children the opportunity to have a go.

Pavilion results:

P1 Garden and Farm Produce:

Best exhibit: Angus Hales.

Equal aggregate: Rhonda Street and Angus Hales

P2 Cut Flowers:

Best exhibit: Marie Jones.

Best dahlia: Marie Jones.

Aggregate: Joan Hales.

P3 Bowls Arrangements and Pot Plants:

Best exhibit floral: Rhonda Street.

Aggregate floral: Rhonda Street.

Best exhibit pot plants: Marg McCulley.

Aggregate: Carol Summerfield.

P4 Cookery:

Best exhibit: Rhonda Street.

Aggregate: Cathey Visscher

Best decorated cake: Rhonda Street.

P5 Jams and Preserves:

Best exhibit: Cathey Visscher.

Aggregate: Cathey Visscher.

P6 Knitting and Crochet:

Best exhibit: Jennifer Dodds.

Toys and Dolls best exhibit: Patricia Griggs.

Needlework best exhibit: Janice Coldebella.

Needlework aggregate: Patricia Griggs.

P7 Craft:

Best exhibit: Terry Donnelly.

Aggregate: Brenda Asquith

Art best exhibit: Judith Soerink.

Aggregate: Faye Seaton.

P8 Photography:

Best exhibit: Joan Hales.

Aggregate: Jennifer Conn....


Music attracts crowd to Lyon Street "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

THE rain could not spoil a day of live entertainment at Leongathas Live On Lyon on Saturday.

The event has faced struggles, having been forced to cancel its original date at the start of December due to heavy rainfall. However, the support of the community won out and the event was successful.

Despite the weather, there was still plenty of people out having fun and enjoying music, organiser Jodie Clarkson said.

Eight musicians filled Lyon Street with their incredible music. When the rain became too heavy, major sponsor Bairs Otago Hotel allowed the event to be moved inside.

For children, there was face painting, glitter tattoos, jumping castles and show bags. The Leongatha Lions Club were on deck supplying a sausage sizzle.

Ms Clarkson said the event was all about attracting people to Leongathas central business district, and hoped it would become an annual event for the town.

She thanked the many local businesses who sponsored the day, as well as the volunteers. Year 9 students from Leongatha Secondary College offered their time to help out with the glitter tattoos.

She also thanked her daughter Sophie Clarkson, who was the talent scout for the musicians and found a few new performers to introduce to Leongatha.

Bright and colourful: from left, Charlie Bickel, Shelby Grayden, Indy Grayden, Madelyn Clark, Mia Bickel and Cooper Clark (back) brightened up the day at Live on Lyon with their face paint. They hail from Leongatha and Mill Park.


Great turn out to Burra swap meet "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

A MASSIVE crowd turned out to the Korumburra swap meet on Sunday.

After battling through the summer heat last year, swap meet goers were blessed with perfect conditions at the Korumburra Showgrounds. The gates opened at 6am.

The event was organised by the South Gippsland branch of the Gippsland Historical Automobile Club. Treasurer Ian Nicholas said there was a certain increase in numbers over last year.

Its a great event for car enthusiasts all over Australia. Plenty of people travel here from interstate, he said.

This started out as an automotive event, but as the event started to grow larger we have started to see more general stuff here. We dont mind what people come here to sell, he said.

With more than 350 stallholders, there was something for everyone.

Mr Nicholas said among the highlights was a fantastic stall featuring interesting old farm machinery and gates.

The show cars on the oval were also a major drawcard.

Food was supplied by the Korumburra Lions and Rotary clubs, and the Leongatha Lions Club, with profits going back into the community.

The Korumburra Scouts also provided a barbecue for stallholders the night before the big day.

We fully support our local service clubs, Mr Nicholas said.

Bits and pieces: there were plenty of items to check out at the Korumburra swap meet on Sunday. Pictured is Outtrims Thelma Arnup (far left), Leongathas Gil Trease (second left) and Narre Warrens Sam Capes (far right) looking at a stall belonging to Hazel and Max Wise.


Party time at Korumburra pool "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

ALTHOUGH the weather was dark and gloomy, the vibe was colourful and bright at the Korumburra Outdoor Swimming Pool on Saturday.

The pool hosted a Hawaiian Luau as part of its holiday program.

Although it mightve been too cold to hop in the pool, there was still plenty to do, including games like jumbo connect four, jenga, and naughts and crosses.

Party goers were encouraged to deck themselves out in colour for the luau, and there were lollies and prizes to be won.

The Korumburra pool crew loves to put on a party during summer. The next big event if Friday Night Dippers on January 19.

Running from 5pm until 8pm, the big inflatable will be set up in the pool and a barbecue.

Fun theme: Korumburras Piper Harding-Matuk and Benas Lily Lovell were in party mode at the Hawaiian Luau on Saturday.


Music fans unified at Tarwin Lower "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"


MORE than 7500 heavy music lovers gathered in Tarwin Lower over the weekend for the fourth sold out Unify gathering festival which was once again a huge success.

Those lucky enough to attend were treated to two nights and three days of some of the best heavy bands in the world, including sets from Architects and Australias own Parkway Drive and the Amity Affliction.

Local band Mirrors opened the festival on the Friday afternoon and also received a great response.

Organisers said they were very pleased with the event overall and praised the behaviour and attitude of the audience who attended, many who had travelled from interstate and overseas to be there.

As in previous years, Unify gathering was held across the Tarwin Lower Recreation Reserve and pony club and involved a number of local community groups including the Tarwin Lower Football and Netball Club, Venus Bay and Tarwin Lower Mens Shed, the Tarwin Lower Community Health Centre and the Tarwin Lower and District Bowls Club.

Many local businesses, contractors and volunteers were also engaged to help make the event possible.

Wed really love to thank all the local community groups and volunteers for their amazing work and for helping make Unify such a special and unique event, co-director Rhett McLaren said.

Its the only event of its kind in the southern hemisphere and to be able to host it in the area we grew up in is a real honour.

In addition to the funds raised throughout the event, according to event survey data it is estimated that those in attendance spend $75 per person on average in the local area generating more than half a million dollars for the local economy.

Unify is committed to staying in South Gippsland and the organisers are excited to start planning for the 2019 event.

Sold out crowd: 7500 fans of heavy music came together over the weekend at Unify in Tarwin Lower to enjoy punk, hardcore, and metal bands from all over the world.


Major works continue at Newhaven College "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"


SCHOOL may be out for students and teachers, but at Newhaven College there has been a flurry of activity.

There is just over two weeks to go until the new school year starts, and a massive amount of road and landscaping work is to be completed.

A large team of contractors has been working hard on major landscaping and the roads program that involves laying down lawns and tan bark, and creating gardens, an impressive new entrance to the school, new car parking areas and a bus loop.

These works are all designed to make traffic flow easier and safer for the school community for the new 2018 year.

For Dale Sartori, managing director of DAS Constructions, Wonthaggi it has been an extremely busy time at the college.

No sooner did Mr Sartoris company and many local contractors put the finishing touches to the new state of the art $10 million Senior School and science and arts learning centre at the end of school in December 2017, than it was straight into infrastructure works for the new $6.3 million new multi-purpose gymnasium.

DAS Constructions will be building the new gymnasium.

Talking to The Star at the college on Friday, Mr Sartori said he is excited to have built the new Senior School and learning centre, and is excited to continue working with the college on the next stage of the master plan.

It is great to be part of the growth at Newhaven College and we are thrilled to continue our work with the school and infrastructure works are now in progress for the gym, he said.

Mr Sartori said the gym should be completed around October or November this year.

It is another big project and it is great we can employ local workers and contractors, he said.

Some $1,750,000 Federal Government funding for the new double-court gymnasium was announced last year by Flinders MP Greg Hunt.

The funding, through the Capital Grants Program, will go towards the construction to encourage participation and further develop the next generation of Phillip Island athletes.

In announcing the funding Mr Hunt said, These funds will ensure students at Newhaven College have the infrastructure necessary to help them get the most out of their time at school.

Newhaven College principal Gea Lovell said the Federal Government funding had enabled the school to continue to implement its masterplan.

We are excited to see the construction of the multi-purpose indoor sports facility under way, which will allow students to participate in a range of sports in all conditions, she said.

Mrs Lovell said she has been flat out at the college making sure the major landscaping and road...


Nerrena Hall is calling "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

MORE people are discovering the beauty of Nerrena.

Its tranquil countryside, pleasant community and proximity to the services, schools and jobs in Leongatha entice local town dwellers seeking a rural life, as well as newcomers to South Gippsland.

At the centre of this charming rural district on the way to Dumbalk is the Nerrena Hall, the hub of the community that is waiting to be discovered by people from beyond the district.

Shaded by oak trees and offering views across the lush countryside, the hall is perhaps a little known gem of the region.

The dedicated members of the hall committee have recently overseen the $16,000 renovation of the entryway and bathrooms, paid for by committee funds of $8000 and a community grant of $8000 from South Gippsland Shire Council.

The works complement other projects undertaken in recent years, including resurfacing of the timber floor, and the installation of air conditioners, blinds and a new kitchen.

The hall is pretty special. Its a great venue, its quiet and close to Leongatha, and can hold around 100 people, hall secretary Tina Allen said.

The hall committee is inviting the community to consider hiring the hall for functions such as weddings and other social gatherings, and note the hall comes complete with a stage and piano.

Weve had weddings here and people like it because there is a lot of room to park and theres a playground for the kids. Its good for wedding photos because its a pretty spot, Ms Allen said.

The Nerrena community gathers at the hall every Christmas for a festive celebration and for casserole nights during the cool winter evenings.

While the hall committee looks after the halls affairs, the Nerrena Cricket Club cares for the adjoining oval and is based in the former Nerrena State School overlooking the quaint playing field in a setting reminiscent of rural England.

There are a lot of lifestyle properties around, and a lot of people are wanting to get out of Melbourne and its a bit quieter in Nerrena, Ms Allen said.

Hall bookings can be made with Paul and Kerryl Battersby on 5664 9357.

What a spot: from left, Nerrena Hall secretary Tina Allen and daughter Sophie Allen invite more people to inspect the hall with a view to staging events there.


Champion of the arts "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

THE arts are a place for people to express themselves and connect with other people.

That is the view of Mary Sullivan, the newly appointed arts development officer of South Gippsland Shire Council.

In rural communities, there is an enormous emphasis on sport and sport plays a role in bringing people together and feeling connected, but not everyone feels connected to sport, so its great to provide this avenue for people in the arts as an alternative space for them to connect with, she said.

A creative community is a strong community, and there are great potential economic benefits to developing a strong arts culture in South Gippsland.

The Inverloch woman was appointed to implement councils Arts, Culture and Creative Industry Strategy 2017-2021.

People are so excited to have an advocate for arts in the community, she resident said, promising to work with communities to further enhance the regions artistic activities.

Ms Sullivans initial days have involved working with arts groups to determine what their ambitions are and to familiarize herself with what she has deemed as South Gippslands already thriving arts community.

Its amazing how much is already going on, she said.

Her early projects include expanding the arts activities at smaller community halls and attracting more music events to the shire. Having lived in Melbourne for more than 20 years, Ms Sullivan said she has an extensive network of artists and musicians to invite to exhibit and perform in South Gippsland.

Im starting a conversation with Mirboo North Scout Group to run a public art event and we will be involved with Creative Gippsland, she said.

There will also be an artist in residence program to get a town involved in hosting an artist from outside the area to work in the area for two weeks.

Ms Sullivan will begin the role fulltime after completing a project she was already involved with: The Edge of Us along the Waterline area from Corinella to Pioneer Bay.

As co-creative director of that two year project of Regional Arts Victoria, she helped connect the towns of Pioneer Bay, Corinella, Coronet Bay, Tenby Point and Grantville through arts activities.

This included the Luminous Streets event in April 2017, during which sculptures were installed around the towns.

Ms Sullivan also oversaw the rejuvenation of Inverlochs skate park, working with young people to transform the park into a colourful attraction within the heart of town.

With a masters degree in landscape architecture, she enjoys drawing and photography personally, and worked for 10 years as metal worker, including a three year stint with a sculptor...


Emergency rush "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

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 Goulburn"


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 Goulburn"

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 Goulburn"


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 Goulburn"

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 Goulburn"

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...



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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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Tuesday, 09 January


Protecting the community from Queensland Fruit Fly "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

FIGHTING QUEENSLAND FRUIT FLY Goulburn Murray Valley (GMV) Regional QFF coordinator, Ross Abberfield and newly appointed field officer, Michael Crisera of Fruit Growers Victoria. The field officers positions are funded by the GMV Regional Fruit Fly Program. Photo: Alicia Niglia.

The regional Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) trapping program has detected a significant upsurge in fruit fly numbers during December and indications are that this increase will continue through January. A coordinated approach to fruit fly management has resulted in the deployment of several field officers across the Goulburn Murray Valley to assess and help manage hot spots as they occur. 

Goulburn Murray Valley Regional QFF Coordinator Ross Abberfield said that under laboratory conditions, a breeding female can lay up to 2000 eggs. Offspring can potentially breed another generation in less than a month with suitable host fruit and ideal weather conditions, resulting in rapid population increases.

The appointment of field officers allows for a considerable bolstering of existing resources and is an important step in protecting the region from fruit fly through area wide management, he said.

In order to prevent our townships becoming breeding grounds for QFF, anyone who grows fruit trees and vegetables should inspect and correctly dispose of contaminated fruit and vegetables before the larvae turn into breeding adults.

Home gardeners are asked to apply a range of control methods such as the use of exclusion netting or fruit bagging, traps and insecticide or bait spray where it is considered appropriate.

The free Urban Fruit Tree Removal Program has been extended until the end of February  and provides an opportunity for property owners in residential areas to have unwanted fruit trees removed free of charge. For more information about the program or control measures go to


Locals come together for New Years celebration "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

COMMUNITY EVENT FOR ALL Hundreds turned out to enjoy New Years celebrations at the Rotary Mooroopna New Years Eve Festival again this year. Photos: supplied.

THE Rotary Mooroopna New Years Eve Festival was another resounding success this year with organisers saying they believe that this was the 40th anniversary of the events beginning.

Rotary Mooroopna secretary, Pete Kelton said, We were unsure until we recently established how long Rob Wallace had been doing the electrical work for the event. To be on the safe side we had mentioned that the event had been running for 30 plus years, however 2017 was actually 40 years exactly.

Celebrations for the events newly discovered 40th anniversary may have been quite, but the event was certainly well patronised. 

Mr Kelton said, Santo Varapodio did another great job this year with the procession. There were very good reports from those that watched it move along McLennan Street to the Mooroopna Recreation Reserve.

Similarly Barb Joyce produced another entertaining package on stage, culminating with Smack to take us to the raffle draw and the fireworks.

The support within our Rotary Club to set up the event over two days and then clean-up on New Years day was just fantastic. Well done to all involved.

In terms of community involvement its great to see local service clubs attend and Scouts each year. We even had the Mooroopna Football Netball Club involved with the bar this year, the supplies for which were purchased from the Royal Mail Hotel in Mooroopna, making it an event where the locals truly do come together.

Thanks to the Mooroopna CFA for their assistance with access to the fire track and the CFA judges box.

Shane Armstrong from Mr Skye Candy, has been handling our fireworks display for some time and this years by all reports were the best yet. 

Thanks to all the local Mooroopna businesses that are perennial spons...


A super event "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

A super event

FOUR YEARS IN A FLASH Shepparton parkrun event director, Allan Connolly will be among the crowd this Saturday celebrating Shepparton parkruns 4th Birthday in their favourite superhero or character costume. Photo: Julie Moore.

SHEPPARTON parkrun will celebrate their 4th Birthday this Saturday, January 13 with a Superhero/Character themed event, which is sure to bring out the characters in these fun loving parkrunners.

Shepparton parkrun event director, Allan Connolly said, We have quite a few dedicated parkrun families involved each week and we thought a character or superhero theme would not only be fun for the kids, but for the adults as well.

Were encouraging parkrunners to bring their friends and family and come along dressed as their favourite character or superhero. If you know of someone who hasnt been in a while, invite them along, were planning on enjoying a really fun event and were hoping to see around 300 parkrunners turn out for the event.

Presentations for the celebration will start from 7:45am at the barbeque shelter behind the former Shell Service Station at Victoria Park Lake in Shepparton. All are welcome.

Simply register at and bring along your barcode to participate.


Venus Bay debates skate park site "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

THE Venus Bay community is split over the proposed location of a new skate park for the town.

South Gippsland Shire Council is now advertising its intention to erect the skate park on the corner of Jupiter Boulevard and Centre Road, opposite the towns shops.

Supporters say that location is public, ensuring the skate park is easy to find and does not attract unsavoury activity.

But opponents say the site was bought by council with the intention of creating additional car parking to ease congestion during the summer holidays when the towns population swells to approximately 7000 people.

They want the skate park built behind Jupiter Park, in Jupiter Boulevard.

Opponents have initiated a petition calling on council not to build the skate park at the proposed site and retain it for parking.

The existing skate park is behind Venus Bay Community Centre, and is out of sight and outdated.

The new skate park will be a street style park with ramps and a flat section, catering for skate, BMX, scooter and blades enthusiasts.

Council has allocated $125,000 to the project, which was identified by the community as a priority for Venus Bay.

The site was proposed by the majority of people at a meeting in August 2017.

Leading the lobby for the proposed location is Sam Ennis, owner of Edge of the Earth Hair and Surf, which hires skateboards and scooters. He said he has a vested interest in the skate park going ahead where proposed, but believed it would benefit the community.

I feel its a fantastic location purely for safety and convenience because it is close to the shops and the toilets are 100m away, he said.

It keeps the park in the public eye which is smart because the crowd that skate parks can attract out of the public eye really is not kid friendly.

Mr Ennis believed there was adequate space on the site for a skate park and car park of a size that would double the existing parking available.

I dont want this block sitting here eight months of the year as a car park and not being used, he said.

Tom Turners family runs Agapi Fish and Chips and Venus Loves Gelato, and back the proposed location.

There are not a lot of things for young people to do in winter. The skate park would be used more than the car park during the rest of the year, he said.

Doug Don initiated a petition objecting to the proposed location. He said Jupiter Park was more suitable given it has public toilets, a playground, barbecue and ample space.

Felicity Kaye has a holiday house next to the proposed site and is concerned about her familys privacy if the skate...


Police search for missing girl "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"


POLICE are appealing for public assistance to help locate missing a Boolarra teenager.

Breanna Bourke, 16, was last seen on January 2, 2018 in the Boolarra area.

Police have concerns for her welfare due to her age.

She is approximately 150cm tall with brown hair and a petite build.

She is believed to be in Morwell, however she could also be in the other areas of Gippsland.

Police have released an image of Breanna in the hope someone recognises her and can provide information regarding her current whereabouts.

Anyone with information about Breanna is asked to contact the Morwell Police Station on 5131 5000.

Mysterious circumstances: police are looking for missing Boolarra girl, Breanna Bourke, 16.


Fire danger runs high "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

SOUTH Gippsland could be in for hot and dry weather for the rest of summer, resulting in a dreadful fire season according to the Ruby Fire Brigade.

Captain Michael Guest said rain early in the season would result in grass and bush growing, and produce more fuel for fires.

Ruby CFA member Darren Hardacre said, The grass and bush areas have dried out really quickly and a lot of the bush is lacking soil moisture and is already dry.

Its really significant for us to make sure locals have prepared for the season. Whether theyre in town or rural areas, they need to have a fire plan.

We urge people to seek the knowledge and prepare a plan. If they dont know what to do, there is information on the CFA website or they can contact their local brigade.

Mr Guest suggested residents tidy around their properties, keep grass short, keep wood piles away from house, cut back branches and clear roof gutters.

The Ruby CFA trained once a month ahead of the fire season.

The training has included ensuring everyone is familiar with how the pump works, as well as tree hazard awareness, Mr Guest said.

Everyone needs to make sure they have a plan for their pets and farm animals on bad days, especially if they are away on the day, and to share the fire plan with everyone living at the house, the neighbours and family members not at the house.

Not only are fire fighters preparing, but so are the Ruby Reds, the voluntary CFA members who help at the brigade, organising events and catering for firefighters. There are 45 Ruby CFA members and around 20 active operational members.


Fire ready: from left, Ruby CFAs Andrew Sage, Darren Hardacre, Karen Hardacre, Nicole Whiteside, secretary Linda Sage, Nathan Hardacre, Aaron Perks, Tim Hardacre and captain Michael Guest have been hard at work preparing for the fire season.


Armed robbery in Burra "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

POLICE are investigating an armed robbery at Korumburras Middle Hotel early yesterday (Monday) morning.
At about 12.30am, an offender gained entry to the premises on Commercial Road and stole money.

The offender was chased from the hotel and apprehended, before escaping down Radovick Street after a brief struggle.
Detectives from Bass Coast Criminal Investigation Unit are investigating the incident, as well as a burglary at Korumburra Car Company in Radovick Street, but were unsure what was stolen from that business.


Push for new Leongatha entertainment hub "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

A PROPOSAL to build a new RSL complete with upmarket accommodation in Leongatha could still proceed.

Last year, the Leongatha RSL flagged the possibility of building a new RSL on the corner of Smith Street and Michael Place in Leongatha.

The new complex was to include a restaurant, accommodation, function centre and on-site parking.

The RSL proposed to buy the former Carinos office complex now owned by South Gippsland Shire Council and sell the existing RSL site in Michael Place to council.

But the RSL withdrew its proposal in October 2017, despite the RSL and council entering into a Memorandum of Understanding to start talks about a land swap earlier that year.

The Star understands the Leongatha RSL withdrew its proposal after the complex did not receive unanimous support from the RSL committee, despite significant work already being undertaken to progress the project.

The Star understands committee members in favour of the new RSL are advancing their case for the project to advocate for the proposal to proceed, citing it would benefit Leongatha and broader South Gippsland.

Had council acquired the existing RSL site, it was likely the site would be included within a municipal precinct to include new council offices and a library for Leongatha.

Among those supporting the proposal is RSL president Steve Wisdom.

If it does not happen, it will eventually mean the death of the club, he said.

RSL members for the project believe it would help attract new members, young and old, as well as provide a diverse income stream by enabling the club to host large functions by offering extra space, as well as accommodation, to people attending those functions.

How the project would be financed was a point of conjecture, with significant capital raising in the order of many millions of dollars by the community required.

Council mayor Cr Lorraine Brunt welcomed the prospect of a new RSL.

We have been informed that the local RSL was not in favour or was not able to agree on moving forward on that project, but it would have been fantastic if they could have come to some sort of agreement on how to best move forward, she said.

If they cant come to an agreement, there is not much we can do. Im sure there is support from within council, if they do want to do something. It would be great for Leongatha.

Cr Brunt would not rule out a municipal precinct in the long term.

Councils existing offices are ageing and were not designed for modern municipal operations.

You have to think that over time you have to evaluate your office space, Cr Brunt said....

Wednesday, 03 January

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