Sunday, 20 January
Thousands of police across the state have worked around the
clock to help Victorians see in the New Year safely.
A Mill Park man had his vehicle impounded after he was allegedly
caught drink driving in Mill Park last night.
Saturday, 05 January
Saturday 5th Jan, 10.00am 3.00pm, The McIntosh Centre
Thursday, 03 January
THE AFL has officially committed to naming its indigenous
showpiece the Sir Doug Nicholls Round for the next two years. The
League has honoured Nicholls during the indigenous round since 2016
and is expected to continue to do so for time immemorial, but it
has now formalised an agreement with The Nicholls Foundation to pay
... Read more...
Due to the expected extreme heat tomorrow, the following Albury
services will be replaced by a coach service for the entire
journey; 12:05 Southern Cross - Albury, 12:45 Albury - Southern
Cross, 17:45 Albury - Southern Cross and 18:02 Southern Cross -
Albury. [16:25 03/01]
INVERLOCH was the place to be on Saturday with music festival
Sounds of Summer attracting thousands to the area.
This year, the festival was held at Thompson Reserve.
With plenty of online bookings, six live bands, a relaxed vibe
and great conditions, the event was once again successful.
The event was backed by food and wine stalls and was well
supported by local volunteers.
Local band Souly Us featuring Kate Appleyard and Ben Mawdsley of
Inverloch opened the event.
Fellow local bands Nick Carver and The Mean St Butchers, and
Braxton Hicks also took centre stage and got the audience on their
The headliners were ARIA award winning singer Clare Bowditch,
Australias finest performers the Melbourne SKA Orchestra and
celebrated rock band Antipodean Rock N Roll Collective (ARC).
The festival was also suitable for families with plenty of
childrens activities. Giant game sets, laser tag, face painting and
glitter tattoos were on offer.
Director Kate Adkins said the festival had been running for
three years to add extra interest in Inverloch as a summer
Inverloch didnt have a music festival. It was a great
opportunity for us to put on something for the tourists, as well as
the locals, she said.
Music experience: directors Mick and
Kate Adkins delivered another successful Sounds of Summer music
festival in Inverloch on Saturday.
Family day: from left, Ari, Jess and
Luella Tuenissen of Fern Tree Gully and Emma and Hazel Sorensen of
Inverloch attended Sounds of Summer together on Saturday.
WHAT better way to spend a day in the sun than at the pool?
South Gippsland shire delivers with five fantastic local outdoor
pools in Korumburra, Mirboo North, Toora, Foster and Poowong.
This season, all eyes are on the Toora pool with exciting works
in the pipeline.
Before the season kicked off, a change room upgrade and access
works were completed.
Still to come is the new splash park and car park works, which
are set for 2019-20.
The development includes an interactive childrens water play
area, funded by the State Government and South Gippsland Shire
Tenders are still under review for major redevelopment works at
the Mirboo North pool at the close of this season.
The outdoor swimming pools will be open if the forecast maximum
temperature for Leongatha or Latrobe Valley for Mirboo North on the
Bureau of Meteorology website at 6pm the day before is 25 degrees
The outdoor pools will remain open until 8.30pm if the forecast
maximum temperature at 6pm the day before reads higher than 35
So far, the season has started off on a high note.
With a sunny day, the Mirboo North pool hosted a successful
Mirboo North Idol with more than 550 people through the gate.
The opening party at the Poowong pool was also well supported by
The season is just heating up and there are plenty more excited
activities still to come.
Poowongs highlights include Santas Pool Party, the Fluoro Music
Party and a masquerade to end the season.
In Foster, there will be two inflatable days, an Australia Day
Party and a Hawaiian Luau.
A Hawaiian Luau will also be held in Korumburra, as well as the
Family Night Dippers and a family fun day.
Mirboo North will host a movie night at the start of February,
an Australia Day pool party, and inflatable Sundays.
Mirboo North, Korumburra, Foster and Poowong pools are open from
3pm to 7pm on weekdays during the school term, and 12pm to 7pm on
weekends and school holidays.
Toora pool is open from 7am to 6pm on weekends, 10am to 5pm on
Saturdays and 1pm to 5pm on Sundays.
All opening hours are subject to the weather forecast.
Check the website www.southgippslandpools.ymca.org.au for more
information and activity dates.
THE Venus Bay Surf Life Saving Club participated in annual
requalification training last week, conducted by Surf Life Saving
The club has about 600 members with about 190 nippers. All life
savers participated in a run-swim-run last Thursday at the Venus
Bay First Beach, followed by nipper training sessions on the
Life savers training in run-swim-run requirements for
requalification need to complete each 200m section within eight
Prior to the physical testing, first aid sessions were held at
the club by Life Saving Victoria.
There are about 30,000 volunteer club members within Victoria,
putting in valuable hours of work for the safety of all Victorians
around inland waterways and surf beaches. About 30 clubs span the
Victorian surf beach coastline.
Hooray summer: Venus Bay Surf Life
Saving Clubs Under 13 Nippers find a moment for frivolity during
their annual requalification at Venus Bays Beach One on Friday.
Captains: Venus Bay Surf Life Saving
Club co-captain Jack Roper, left, with vice captain Josh Seri
during annual requalification at Venus Bay First Beach on
THE agriculture industry is expected to save thousands of
dollars a month thanks to a major change to building permits for
farm shed builds.
Following a motion passed by South Gippsland Shire Council at
its December 2018 council meeting, farmers will now be allowed to
cut back on permit requirements by applying for a specific farm
shed building exemption.
The local agriculture industry will save about $20,000 monthly
according to calculations by council, which approves about 98 farm
shed applications annually.
Under the new changes, a farmer building a Class 10 building on
farm land can pay the reduced fee of $283.40 to assess an
application for an exemption.
According to a report by council officers to the council, the
current cost for building permits for farming sheds is about $2000
for private building surveyors to inspect and approve these
relatively low risk structures.
The report said in addition, there were considerable delays for
farmers trying to gain surveyors approval because of the
overwhelmed resources in the private sector.
The proposed process, undertaken by councils building team,
would reduce the timeframe to 10 business days.
Councillor and Toora farmer Ray Argento said sometimes the cost
involved in the permit sometimes exceeded the cost for building a
I recently constructed a shed and to get a shed application
coupled with the cost of surveyors turned it into a costly project,
Ive spoke to a few local builders who are looking forward to the
streamlining of the process because they see it as growth in their
business. It may also encourage other builders to construct farm
The application fee will be for an exemption from the regular
permit process for construction of a building.
Simpler process: South Gippsland Shire Councillor Ray Argento found
the experience of building a shed to be costly.
1788 - Captain Arthur Phillip was on board HMS Supply when,
bored to tears from the long First Fleet voyage, Smarty-Arty played
Eye, Spy with the coast of Van Diemen's Land.
1812 - Amongst the various Government and General Orders issued on
this day by Gov Macquarie was..
"His Excellency, the Governor directs that tomorrow shall be
considered as a holiday, and that the convicts shall be exempted
from labour during the whole of the day.
His Excellency is further pleased to direct that an extra ration of
one pounds and a half of fresh beef shall be served out tomorrow to
each non-com officer and soldier of the 73rd Reg't and male convict
in the settlement of Newcastle with the usual proportion to all the
women and children...."
1813 - At Kissing Point (Putney) Woollarawarre Bennelong passed
from this world to the next, he was buried in the orchard of his
great friend brewer James Squire.
1825 - The absconding convicts headed south and reached as far as
Reid's Mistake (Lake Macquarie) a distance of about 15 nautical
miles. Lieut. Owen reached the same place on the 3rd January where
he found the oars and rudder, all that remained of the gig which
had been swamped. With the help of the native trackers they soon
afterwards captured five of the prisoners - Tunnicliffe, Pritchard,
Smith, Johnston and Collins in a hut with Private Yams. The
telescope was found with them. They were brought into Newcastle on
this day and lodged in the gaol.
1826 - Father Philip Conolly opened the first Catholic school in
Van Diemen's Land at Hobart.
1827 - Pack the picnic basket with the Waterford Crystal Auntie
Maud....The first boat regatta, organised by the officers of HMS
Success and HMS Rainbow, was held on the Derwent River.
1839 - John Hutt replaced James Stirling as Governor of WA.
Stirlingm, not one to mess about, left for England the next
1840 - Read all about it...The Port Phillip Herald began
publication in Melbourne, edited by George Cavenagh.
1841 - The steamer Clonmel, on just its second voyage between
Sydney and Melbourne, was wrecked near Corner Inlet.
1850 - Victoria's first stamps issued. Costing 1d., 2d. and 3d.,
they featured a portrait of Queen Victoria, who was most definitely
not amused to have 'colonials' licking her back !
1851 - Today was the final day in a series of 'examinations' aka
massacres that took place on Fraser Island between Christmas Day
1850 and January 3, 1851. In a newspaper report it was called "a
jaunt" with the added description of "...natives were driven into
the sea and kept there as long as daylight or life lasted."
1853 - Keep the pennies under the mattress...The Bank of Victoria
opened in Melbourne.
1861 - The Wallsend Railway Branch line (NSW...
Wednesday, 02 January
Gliding on a Lake is a track from my album Mysteries of
A TEAM of South Gippslanders will compete in the famous Dakar
Rally offroad racing event in Peru, South America, from January
The Riley Motorsports team will tackle 5000km of some of the
toughest and remote country, with more than 70 percent of the race
in massive dunes.
The team will feature driver Steve Riley of Nerrena and
co-driver Trevor Hanks, formerly of Meeniyan. They will be joined
by mechanics Ian Wilson of Jindabyne in New South Wales, Milton
Hill of Poowong and Troy McAinch of Perth and formerly of Yanakie,
and team manager Paul Borg, a teacher at Leongatha Secondary
Riley, a dairy farmer, is a former off road motorcycle racer and
three times auto winner of the Australian Safari Rally.
This is his third Dakar Rally and he has previously raced in
Peru, Chile and Argentina.
I love the adventure and the places we see, Riley said.
This years Dakar Rally will take place in only one country Peru
for the first time.
The Dakar Rally will comprise of 10 stages and a rest day,
starting and ending in the Peruvian capital city Lima, on January 6
and January 17 respectively. Riley said the Peruvian desert sand
and dunes would play a decisive role in the quest for top
The Riley Motorsports team transformed a VE Holden ute into a
cross country rally car with a V8 engine with a four wheel drive
The team undertook extensive final testing of the ute at Bremer
Bay in Western Australia, on the Great Australian Bight, in dune
fields similar to what they expect in Peru.
Hanks said, It was rough and tough testing but essential to
familiarise and hone our driving skills for the required sand
dunes. Learning to read the sand and the dunes in the Peru deserts
Riley is no stranger to long distance extreme cross country
rallies, having competed in many national and international rallies
on motorcycles in the late eighties up to 2000 with Honda
Australia, before making a successful transition to cross country
car racing with a Mitsubishi Pajero.
Riley has twice competed at Dakar as co-driver: in 2011 with the
Cairns Coconut race team and again in 2013 with Isuzu Motorsports,
finishing both times.
Riley was keen to compete in Dakar 2019 with his own team and
own car. Only 30 percent of competitors typically finish a Dakar
He built the Holden ute to his own design in his workshop on his
Nerrena dairy farm with the help of skilled friends.
With some great Aussie parts and design, I hope we can finish
the Dakar which is our ultimate goal, he said.
Riley and Hanks will have the task of keeping the car going
during the day and reach...
Due to the initiation of the extreme weather timetable: *12.05
Southern Cross to Albury service has been replaced by road coaches
*12.45 Albury to Southern Cross service has been replaced by road
coaches *17.20 Albury to Southern Cross service has been replaced
by road coaches *18.02 Southern Cross to Albury service has been
replaced by road coaches [08:43 03/01]
Birds are very well insulated. They have fluffy down feathers to
trap body heat in when it is cold. One has just got to think about
the warmth of a real down jacket or sleeping bag. But what happens
to birds when it is hot? Last Christmas Day was very hot and the
birds around 
Road Closed - Emergency Works
Affordability improves in 2018
House prices were 10 per cent and 9 per cent lower
over 2018 in Sydney and Melbourne respectively.
Unit prices were 6 per cent and 2 per cent lower in
the same two cities.
Overall, dwelling prices at the national level were
5 per cent lower over the year with prices down sharply in the most
expensive quartile (-8 per cent) and flat in the cheapest.
Perth's housing market had looked to be bottoming
out, but has been clobbered anew by new mortgage lending rules
along with the rest.
Brisbane, Adelaide, and Canberra recorded modest
price growth in 2018, and Hobart topped the charts (click on the
graphic to expand):
Gross yields in the largest two
cities are off their cyclical lows, rising from about 3 per cent to
3 per cent.
Yields on capital city real estate
are of course low when compared to a 'risk free rate' of about 2.3
per cent, though of course you can't live in a 10-year government
Housing is a unique asset class as
both a consumption and investment good (for example, I'll always
keep property in Sydney - the alternative if I decided to return is
paying at least $50,000 per annum in rent, and probably $75,000
plus the way rents are good heading for terraces...no
The week before Christmas we drove from Sydney to Melbourne via
the Hume Highway. We wanted to take it slow, as always, because our
journey is mostly dictated by Marigold who tends to scream at the
highest pitch (and for the longest time) if shes well and truly
over the drive.
So we mapped out a rough itinerary, hit the road and stopped in
Goulburn on our first night. It had been a long, hot day and we
spent the hottest part of it parked under a tree at a rest stop
because thats the beauty of towing your home with you; you can pull
over and have a nap at any time.
The next morning we were on the road by 6:45am which, we soon
discovered, is the very best way to travel with kids. Our first
stop was the little town of Jugiong which completely lived up to
its fabulous reputation.
We pulled into the Jugiong War Memorial Park and Showground
which is perfectly located on the river, next to the public pool
and right across the road from The Sir George and Long Track Pantry. You
can stay here for up to 7 days for a donation which makes it one of
the best free camps weve come across. The amenities are really well
looked after, the grounds are beautiful and theres an abundance of
trees so you can while away hot summer afternoons in the shade.
Jump on the 22-seater bus departing Marungi Street, Shepparton
Library on Sun 3 Feb @ 7.00am sharp (returns approx. 7pm). Facebook
$40pp for members ($25 concession), $50pp for non-members BOOK
Contact Georgie via email@example.com or 0401168229 to
lock in your seat MUST confirm your seat NOW! Cash payment MUST be
received BEFORE boarding the bus by Fri 25 Jan.
Assemble for March @ 10am (cnr. Lakeside Dve/Fitzroy St)
More info @ https://midsumma.org.au/what-s-on/midsumma-pride-march
Come and join over 100 groups and individuals as we march down
Fitzroy St in St Kilda. All the colour and excitement you have come
to expect from Pride March Victoria with the added flavour this
special celebration. See the original marchers lead us out again
and celebrate our first timers.
When: Sun 3 Feb
Assembly: 10am at cnr Lakeside Dr & Fitzroy St
After march festivities til late in Catani Gardens at completion of
The Refugee Action Coalition has dismissed the government
announcement that Maribynong and Blaxland at Villawood will close,
as an empty gesture. The fact is that the government has increased
detention capacity with new compounds being opened at Yongah Hill,
and a high detention facility opening in the Melbourne Immigration
Transit Accommodation, to replace Maribynong, said(...)
12:45 Albury - Southern Cross is delayed by
approximately 23 minutes due to speed restrictions on the ARTC
Just like that, a new year begins.
Although I am going to begin the new year with a look back at
what happened last year.
The so-called Santa rally never came to the markets in 2018.
That is, a small spurt for stocks to finish the year higher.
The broader Aussie market sold off as December came to an
Over in the UK, the FTSE 100 finished December where it
Major indices in the US, on the other hand, were savagely sold
off as the year wrapped up.
And it turns out Aussie house prices took a bigger beating than
New year, same news
The last week of a year, and the first week of the new year, is
my favourite time.
In Australia, theres generally very little do, other than
complain about the heat. Most places are closed. Theres no rushing
from place to place. You have time to finally finish that project
you started a year ago, or enjoy guilt-free Netflix binges. You
lose track of the days. The markets are quiet.
The time of year when you actually have the time to read the
paper but theres nothing really new to read.
Take The Age this morning.
It kicked off the year talking about falling Aussie house
According to The Age, theres more doom and gloom ahead
for the property sector in 2019. Todays headline is: Weakest
property market since 2008: Sydney, Melbourne house prices
According to the article, Sydney house prices fell 10% for 2018,
while Melbourne prices are down 9%. Australias two largest cities
contributed to a nationwide property fall of 4.8% for the year.
The good news is that the average Joe didnt bear the brunt of
Turns out, the worst performing areas are where the rich people
It seems that houses in inner Sydney and Melbournes inner east
are falling the most. Both areas saw double-digit falls for
Basically, multimillion-dollar houses are dropping back and
becoming just million-dollar homes.
This skews the data somewhat, in the sense that the percentage
figure of property price falls looks bigger. I mean, theres only a
select group of people who can buy in those areas. So, already the
number of purchases is reduced.
But the gloomy outlook doesnt end there.
Not only that, but The Age has wheeled out an economist
or two to suggest that the falls will get even bigger in 2019.
Ah yes. New year but with th...
Tuesday, 01 January
I just read (on a plane) The Labyrinth Index the latest
novel in Charlie Stross Laundry series (a mashup of HP Lovecraft
and Len Deighton). The central conceit is a spell which causes
Americans to forget the existence of the President whenever they go
to sleep. After reading the book and nodding off, I had a dream
that someone has a similar office in Australia, with a couple of
deputies, one in charge of the bush and another in charge of the
money. On waking though, I couldnt remember any of these.
Im not alone.
In Australia we have a significant lobbying
force for the Palestinian position within the political sphere. The
Australian Palestinian Advocacy Network (APAN) is quite active and
effective at running campaigns to highlight the plight of
Palestinians. For example, they have had great success with a
campaign entitled No Way to Treat a
Child which chronicled the conditions
under which Palestinian children are convicted and incarcerated in
Along with elder statesman and former Foreign
Minister Bob Carr, APAN has also been lobbying for
recognition of the state of Palestine within the Australian Labor Party (ALP). The Labor
Party is in opposition in the Australian parliament to the ruling
center-right Coalition bloc, of Liberal and National party
Two weeks ago on December 16 to
18, the ALP held its
triennial national conference in Adelaide, the capital of
South Australia. Persistent efforts to engage
with senior members of the current ALP parliamentary group appear
to be having results. APAN is a very diverse group. On the
executive board are a retired Anglican Bishop, Palestinians of both
Muslim and Christian heritage, secularists and a professor
of Jewish background. They all participated in
efforts leading up to the conference as this is the arena where
policy positions are debated and then adopted.
To attract further attention to the cause I
long range advocacy walk to highlight the unequal treatment of
Palestinians. From November 18 to December 16, the
walk covered a distance of 458 miles (starting in
Melbourne and finishing in Adelaide). Many MPs and Senators greeted
our arrival in Adelaide. The arrival was specifically planned to
coincide with opening date of the ALP conference.
Bob Carr was overseas during the conference
but made an address via video.
Delegates to the conference would also have
been aware of support for recognition by former Prime Ministers Bob
Hawke and Kevin Rudd and another long serving Foreign Minister,
There is still strong support for Israel
within the ALP but those members w...
Take a pulse
It's a happy new year, and all that, but not so
much for bankers, with lending growth continuing to
The Reserve Bank's latest figures showed credit
growth slowing to 4.4 per cent, down from 5.2 per cent a year
earlier, and broad money growth at fresh quarter-century lows of
just 1.86 per cent.
The distinction from housing debt-to-income
was quite interesting (to me at least) as the lines between
housing, small business, and personal credit are blurred at best,
with small business loans often secured against a home, and so
As you can see in the chart below, changes in the
direction of housing credit growth have tended to lead changes in
dwelling price growth.
You can also see that no such change had occurred
by the end of November 2018.
A simple credit impulse model as favoured by ANZ
economists suggests that capital city (i.e. Sydney and Melbourne)
dwelling price declines should moderate, although there are several
New Years resolutions are not for me. Never had one and likely
never will. Every day is a new day. Every hour sings a new song.
Every moment is entirely special and paradoxically nothing in
1785 John Oxley , who was an early Australian explorer, was
hatched in Yorkshire, England. In 1824 Oxley tripped over the
Brisbane River and Bremer River on Moreton Bay, an area now known
1793 The Flogging Parson aka Samuel Marsden was appointed assistant
to the chaplain of New South Wales.
1809 Lieut William Paterson frocked up & rocked up at Port
Jackson where he assumed the ballgown and role of Governor.
1810 Because he had nothing better to do that day (apart from
recover from a hangover), Major General Lachlan Macquarie took up
office as the fifth Governor of New South Wales.
1811 Governor Lachlan Macquarie's police regulations for Sydney
came into effect, and the Sydney Police Court was established.
1812 John Joseph William Molesworth Oxley (in England) is appointed
Surveyor-General of NSW.
Oh, and happy 27th birthday, Johnny-boy!
1814 The Fair Isle of Oz got its first form of currency when The
'holey dollar' and 'dump' trotted out into circulation.
1822 The Van Diemen's Land Agricultural Society was formed in
1823 YES! We should have this day off as an extra public holiday
just to give thanks for the fact that distillation of spirits was
officially allowed in the colony of NSW.
It's already a public holiday.
1825 Richmond Bridge, Tasmania, was opened to traffic; it is still
in use today. When completed the Bridge had the record of having
the longest span of Australias bridges, a record not surpassed
1827 The Sydney Gazette began daily publication. On 10th February
this was reduced to three times a week.
1829 Explorer Charles Sturt's party reached the Bogan River. He
tickled about the edges of the Darling River while having a good
stickybeak near present day Bourke, and then fox-trotted his way as
he traced the Castlereagh River.
1830 I like their timing...4 hotels in Fremantle became Western
Australia's first licensed premises.
1837 For a pittance of 10 licence fee generous Gov. Bourke told
squatters to go forth and graze beyond the limits of location.
1838 First horse race meeting held in Adelaide.
1838 Another bloke with too much time over the festive
season....Melbourne's first newspaper, a miniature sheet of four
pages handwritten in manuscript, called the Port Phillip
Advertiser, was founded and issued by John Pascoe Fawkner.
1839 Assignment of convicts for service in towns ended.
1841 WA Governor John Hutt laid the....
Monday, 31 December
06:24 Seymour - Southern Cross is delayed by
approximately 17 minutes.
the fiddlers are in town. Fiddler Beetles (Eupoecila
australasiae), pictured left, are so-called because of the
violin-styled motif on the hard outer wing cases, and are also
known as the Rose Chafers. They are members of the Scarab family of
beetles of which there are over 2000 species in Australia. Scarabs
are probably better known 
I am travelling for most of today across land and water and so
have no time to write anything coherent. So it is just a music day
to welcome in 2019. Happy New Year to all and lets hope a few
banksters go to prison, that a few politicians join them on
corruption charges, that Italy tells the European Commission to
jump and leaves the Eurozone, that the Gilets in France spread
throughout Europe and bring down the whole disastrous monetary
union, that Britain goes out without an agreement and that the
British Labour Party gets some spine, sacks its New Keynesian
advisors, and demonstrates how to actually run fiscal policy, and
that you get the drift.
Music to listen to and welcome the New Year amid all the chaos
in the world
Jimi Hendrix played at the Monterey Pop
Festival on Sunday, June 18, 1967 in the evening session. He
followed the Grateful Dead.
He was introduced by Rolling Stone Brian Jones.
In their song about the festival Monterey
released in December 1067, the Animals referred to Jones presence
in this way:
His Majesty, Prince Jones,
smiled as he moved among the crowd
Ten thousand electric guitars
were groovin real loud, yeah
That was one of the coolest things I ever read when I was just a
teenager trying to absorb all this music.
Ten thousand electric guitars were groovin real loud, yeah
sounded like nirvana to me (the utopia not the band)!
Jimi Hendrix played 9 songs at Monterey and some of the footage
never made it to the public for various reasons.
I saw D.A. Pennebakers movie release of the festival Monterey Pop at
the Palais Theatre in Melbourne sometime in 1969.
Leo de Castro did a song before the movie started Lucille and I
loved the riff. This was a great era of music and guitars.
It was a magic era really and Jimi Hendrix was at the apex.
Anyway, song 3 for Jimi Hendrix....
12:45 Albury - Southern Cross is delayed approximately 18
minutes. [15:25 31/12]
Major donation: Sureway Employment and Training Gippsland area
managers Darren Beggs and Jacinta Muhovics presented a cheque for
$2620 to Michelle Possingham from Lifeline Gippsland Telephone
Crisis Centre on December 19.
From November 12 to December 7, Sureway held a fundraising
appeal across the company and gave money to a charity in each
region for every job seeker placed into employment.
The money raised equalled 131 new jobs across Gippsland.
Sureway uses Lifeline to provide work for the dole activities to
help job-seekers learn new skills to help get them into the
Sureway staff also recommend clients talk to Lifeline when they
are going through a difficult period in their lives.
Sureway has donated $18,080 to charity in this campaign and
placed 904 clients into employment.
IT has been just over eight years in the making but finally the
$10.85 million restoration of the Port Welshpool Long Jetty has
Hundreds of people walked on the jetty on the weekend before
Christmas, when the jetty first opened unofficially, in time for
the summer holiday season
South Gippsland Shire Council mayor Cr Don Hill was excited
about the jetty opening.
The community has been awaiting this project for many, many
years and it was starting to look like it might never happen as the
previous Long Jetty slowly disintegrated into the sea, he said.
Thankfully the State and Federal governments agreed to fund the
project in conjunction with South Gippsland Shire Council and work
was begun bringing us to this point in time where the project is
It is exciting that the community will be able to make use of
the new jetty ahead of its official opening in 2019.
The reaction from those who walked or fished from the jetty was
repeated over and over again, with many people amazed by the
The project-funding breakdown saw South Gippsland Council
contribute $1 million. The Victorian Government gave $5 million
thanks to the efforts of retired National Party leader Peter Ryan
and the Federal Government gave $4.85 million.
Works commenced on site in July with site establishment and the
removal of the deck timbers from the inshore section
The project saw the inshore 190 metres rehabilitated on the
existing piles crossheads and beams with precast concrete deck
From pile row 62 to the start of the burnt section, a distance
of approximately 572 metres, the existing structure was demolished
It followed the same alignment, with a new structure comprising
timber piles and crossheads with a composite steel beam and
The new timber piles were turpentine species driven at a rake to
match the existing piles at six metre centres, compared to the
three metre centre of the piles in the existing jetty. The slipway
approach was partially reconstructed in a similar manner to the
jetty, and the existing winch shed restored and re-erected on the
rebuilt slipway approach.
The outer end of the jetty, beyond the end of the reconstructed
jetty, will be demolished with the piles being cut off at two
metres below low water to be retained as habitat. Navigation aids
will be installed to define the underwater habitat area.
The jetty has been finished to ensure disabled access and has
been fitted with a fibreglass handrail on sides, public lighting,
and a water supply and fire service. Following completion of the
works, there will be the opportunity to provide interpretative
A SOUTH Gippsland band is a finalist in a songwriting
competition in the heart of country music in Australia: Tamworth in
New South Wales.
Souly Us the group of Kate Appleyard and Ben Mawdsley is a
finalist in two categories of the Tamworth Songwriters Association
(TSA) Songwriting Competition every year.
The group is vying for the APRA AMCOS New Songwriter of the Year
Award for their song Meant to Be and the Lyrics Writer
Award for their song Walk Away.
The winners are announced at a concert for the TSA Songwriters
at the Tamworth Country Music Festival on Tuesday, January 22.
Meant to Be is the bands debut single and was released
on September 1, 2018 and received airplay on radio stations
Meant to Be was one of the first songs Ben and Kate
wrote together, with Ben being the mind behind the guitar and Kate
the writer of the lyrics.
Their goal was to write an upbeat, fun, loving, catchy song
their fans could play on the radio with the windows rolled down,
all summer long.
This tune came together very quickly and within a night we had a
great song, Kate said.
Mark Drury (of Leongatha) was the helpful mind behind the
recording and mastering of the track. A huge thank you to Mark for
the guidance and talented support. Were very grateful.
Walk Away will be featured on the groups EP, Hello
World, being released in January, which Souly Us wrote,
recorded, produced and mastered.
This is another track that came together quickly. We find when
we start to write most songs, the melody just pours out and the
lyrics follow. Its such a wonderful story telling experience, Kate
Ben started playing the chords one evening, the melody came to
Kate instantly and words were put to this straight away.
Its a powerful break up ballad. After being through relationship
breakdowns, we drew from those experiences and created one of the
best songs weve written to date, Kate said.
Hello World will be available to the public in
Making music: Kate Appleyard and Ben
Mawdsley are Souly Us, the South Gippsland duo that is a fin...
WHETHER youre new to the dairy industry or have seen it all and
are looking to move away from the daily grind, GippsDairy has a
course to help you step along the right path.
OMJ consultant John Mulvany will present three courses in the
first half of 2019 Stepping Up, Stepping Back and Taking Steps
which will be of benefit to people at all stages of their dairy
Stepping Up will be the first course rolled out this year, with
evening sessions to be offered in West and South Gippsland and the
Macalister Irrigation District in March.
Its the first time that Stepping Up workshops have been offered
in Gippsland, with Mr Mulvany urging all young people in the dairy
industry to consider registering for the event.
To me, if you are a young person with an interest in the dairy
industry, this event will provide you with the basic information to
decide whether you want to become an employee or cross the line
into being self-employed, leasing, share-farming or farm ownership,
The people who might want to do this course may already be an
employee on a dairy farm, someone outside the dairy industry who
wants to get some background on how you might operate in the dairy
industry or you might already be working on your family dairy
Part of it is about wealth creation and controlling your
finances whichever side of the employment line you are on.
The three workshops on offer are:
- Stepping Up Understanding your options for a career in
- Stepping Back Getting a game plan to ease back or transition
out of the industry; and
- Taking Steps Share Farming, Leasing and Shared Equity
arrangements that can work for people at all stages of their dairy
GippsDairy regional extension officer Leah Maslen said these
workshops will help participants gain a clearer understanding of
how to move their careers to the next stage.
Having a clear picture of where you want to go with your career
is the first step and figuring out how to get there is the next,
With John Mulvany guiding the discussion, these workshops have
proven invaluable to past participants, who have walked away with a
better understanding of the options available to them.
To register for the March Stepping Up workshop in your area
(dates to be set) contact Leah Maslen on 5624 3900 or
Exact times and locations havent been set for Stepping Back and
Taking Steps, but Leah is happy to take enquiries from anyone
interested in attending.
A NEW vehicle is rushing first aid responders to emergencies in
the Venus Bay district.
The Venus Bay Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) has taken
delivery of a Nissan X-Trail, supplied by Ambulance Victoria and
the third vehicle the CERT has had since starting.
The old CERT signage was green, including on volunteer first
aiders uniforms, but now both vehicle and personnel uniforms match
the blue of Ambulance Victoria.
The car is also now more recognisable as an emergency vehicle
and will provide CERT with more visibility on the road, especially
if a callout is on the side of a road. Passing vehicles are urged
to respect members and slow down.
The former vehicle was approximately six years old and was
replaced due to age.
CERT members attend from 120 to 150 callouts a year, from
cardiac problems and snake bites to breathing difficulties, falls
The unit has 12 members and always welcomes more.
Nice vehicle: posing with the new
vehicle are members of Venus Bay Community Emergency Response Team,
Anne McIntyre (more than 10 years service), Tom Ohia (six years
service), Gayle Rodgers (two years service), Theo Allan (two years
service) and Michelle Ford (five years service).
Sunday, 30 December
Craig Minogue is a prisoner in Victoria's high security Barwon
Prison. He should be completely out of circulation, but somehow
he's pumping out regular and confronting messages to the world via
Twitter. Thirty years ago Minogue and others parked a Commodore
loaded with explosives outside the Russell Street Police
12:05 Southern Cross - Albury
is delayed approximately 16 minutes due to speed
restrictions on the ARTC network.
Saturday, 29 December
Australias most wanted jihadist, Neil Prakash, has been stripped
of his Australian citizenship.
Announcing the move, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton
described Prakash as a very dangerous individual.
Intelligence officials say Melbourne-born Prakash was a
recruiter for the Islamic State (IS) group and encouraged terrorist
plots in Australia.
He is currently being held in Turkey where he faces trial on
In July, a Turkish
court ruled against extraditing him to face terrorism
charges in his home country.
In Australia, he faces charges of being member of a terrorist
organisation as well as supporting and promoting IS.
In a televised new conference, Mr Dutton said Prakash had been
central to ISs efforts in the Middle East.
If given the opportunity Mr Prakash would harm or kill
Australians and our country is a safer place for him having lost
his Australian citizenship, he said.
In 2016, the Australian government described Prakash as the
principal Australian reaching back from the Middle East into
networks in Melbourne and Sydney.
In a court appearance in Turkey in 2017, Prakash admitted he had
something to do with terrorist plots in Australia but said he was
not 100% responsible.
He said he had been forced to make IS propaganda videos and that
he had fled the group after seeing its true face.
Prakash, 27, left Australia for Syria in 2013, taking the name
Abu Khaled al-Cambodi. He was mistakenly reported to have been
killed in a US air strike in Mosul, Iraq, in 2015.
Through his father, Prakash had joint Australian and Fijian
citizenship. Under Australian law, a dual national can be stripped
of their citizenship if they are convicted or suspected of terror
Prakash is the 12th dual citizen to be stripped of Australian
Friday, 28 December
When: 6:30pm Monday 21st January 2019 Where: ANMF Vic Branch,
535 Elizabeth St, Melbourne Facebook event here In 2018 the
campaign to get #KidsOffNauru won significant support,
and put huge pressure on the Liberals to bring children and
families from Nauru to Australia. But there are still 3 children
and hundreds of refugees on Manus and Nauru.(...)
A MAN suffered concussion after being assaulted by young men who
broke into his car at Kilcunda on Thursday.
The man returned to his vehicle after surfing for several hours
to find a man in the front seat of his car and another man standing
The victim approached the offenders and punches were thrown
The victims wallet and mobile phone were stolen and transactions
were made on his EFTPOS card before he cancelled it.
One offender was aged in his late teens to early twenties, was
Caucasian and wore board shorts.
The other offender was of similar age, wore light coloured board
shorts and a dark grey jumper, and was skinny.
Seeking help: police are searching for
two men who assaulted a surfer at Kilcunda. Photo: flickr,
unrelated to incident.
The Andrews response to Victoria's violence. Meanwhile in the
real world. Chelsea Beachgoers attacked in horror night People have
been attacked at Chelsea Beach. Picture: Mark Stewart AN HOUR AGO
DECEMBER 28, 2018 Youths have glassed a young man, bashed others
and robbed beachgoers of their belongings during a horror...
Thursday, 27 December
Property Couch return
I mostly fly Virgin when headed interstate, but
when I fly Qantas I always make sure to jump straight onto
Q-Streaming to take in a Property Couch podcast.
In an industry often known for its colourful
characters these fellas have shone through with such generous and
high-quality content over the past few years that their podcast is
the most downloaded in the genre (at well over 4 million downloads
the last time I checked).
A brief scroll through the back-catalogue
shows the calibre of the guests they've
had on, from Paul Clitheroe to Alan Kohler, and from Nerida
Consibee to NBA Superstar Andrew Bogut.
It's not a bad roll call, to be fair!
So when I was invited back onto the couch for my
second appearance it was a no-brainer for me to get down to
Once you get past the hyped introduction
(thoroughly undeserved) and a droll observation about my haircut
(admittedly, deserved), it was a ripper episode and here are some of the key themes
we covered this
Defence under attack on nuclear waste
dump https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/defence/defence-under-attack-on-nuclear-waste-dump/news-story/fd851b6cefd7c5701d354c7ed1adf09d LUKE
GRIFFITHS @_LukeGriffiths DECEMBER 27,
Woomera must be revisited as a potential
site for Australias first nuclear waste dump, says Centre Alliance
senator Rex Patrick, who accuses the Defence Department of
deception over claims the site is unsuitable.
Senator Patrick said he would question Defence
officials at Senate estimates hearings over why the department
dismissed Woomera as a potential site because of an intolerable
risk and its impracticability a position since backed by Resources
Minister Matt Canavan.
The 122,000sq km Woomera Prohibited
Area, located in the South Australian outback 450km northwest of
Adelaide, is a military testing range under federal government
Senator Patrick said significant nuclear
waste materials had been stored there since 1994, including 10,000
drums of low and intermediate-level waste from a CSIRO research
facility at Fishermans Bend in Melbourne.
In a report published on its website last week,
the CSIRO said tests had found the material posed no threat to
health or the environment.
Tests in May found radiation levels adjacent to the storage
had natural background values for Australia, as would be found in
typical soil and rock.
The report findings make a mockery of Defence
claims theres no way a national radioactive waste management
facility could be located anywhere in the enormous expanse of the
WPA, Senator Patrick said.
The reality is radioactive waste has been
One day I stood on tiptoe in order to kiss the moon, she would
have none of it. So I went down on one knee in homage, hoping for
her love, again she ignored me....
Wednesday, 26 December
When I was young I used to watch wildlife shows, particularly
those set in Africa. I can still see the cheetah hiding in the long
grass with nothing but its eyes and ears visible. And then with a
burst of speed it would leap out and bring down some hapless eland.
The picture left depicts 
GENEROSITY TO HELP SICK KIDS From left, local resident,
8-year-old Isabelle Waser and Paul Archer from Natrad. Photo: David
PAUL Archer from Natrad has been working hard collecting
batteries and scrapping them over the past six months to help raise
$24,640.91 that he donated to GV Health last week.
Paul said, We are looking at setting up another dedicated
charity for the hospital. These funds will be split to go toward
helping the childrens ward. 20 percent will go toward buying toys
and other items for the children to keep them entertained.
A bored kid is a sick kid. The other 80 percent will go toward
anything else the childrens ward needs like machines and beds.
FIRST PLACE WINNER From
left, Sabac on High owner, Chris Wilcox, Shepparton Chamber of
Commerce and Industry president...
A WORKING RELATIONSHIP From left, GOTAFE students,
Matthew Keane, anonymous, Rebecca OSullivan and Prue Abela working
collaboratively with Friends of the Botanic Gardens member, Sally
Mann. Photo: Supplied.
GOTAFE trainers and assessors, Ross Wade and Erin McDowell, as
well as GOTAFE horticulture students, came together last week with
committee members of the Friends of the Botanic Gardens Shepparton,
to celebrate the end of the year.
The working relationship, formed in August of this year is
between the group and GOTAFE horticulture students and sees them
work together for the continued upkeep and expansion of the
Australian Botanic Gardens at Kialla. This project was instigated
by commercial manager, Robyn Saunders earlier this year.
GOTAFE horticulture students propagate seedlings to plant out at
the gardens throughout their studies and have been involved in
projects including providing design assistance and special
Jill Grant from the Friends of the Australian Botanic Gardens
Shepparton said, This partnership is absolutely mutually
beneficial. The set up for seed propagation at the William Orr
Campus is out of this world.
We cant afford to do that as a committee, nor do we have the
manpower to do the work required to maintain it. Working with
GOTAFE students will also provide us with design assistance and
assist in other projects as they are identified.
We are happy that students will learn from the gardens because
we aim to get the community here and students are part of that
community and we look forward to working together in 2019.
BE WISE ON OUR ROADS With the holiday season upon us
Victoria Police have kicked off Operation Roadwise to help curb the
number of road accidents and road deaths during the December and
January holiday periods. Photo: Nicholise Garner.
VICTORIA saw 237 lives lost on its roads last year, with 198
lives lost to date this year, and in Greater Shepparton alone,
while there were no fatalities recorded during the December and
January holiday periods, there were 41 recorded claims of
hospitalisation on our roads.
Victoria Police is boosting its presence on the roads over the
New Year period, with motorists urged to slow down and get to their
Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Lisa Neville
recently launched the Victoria Police Operation Roadwise campaign,
where the names and ages of those who have died on our roads this
year inscribed on baubles and placed on the Victoria Police lives
lost Christmas tree.
As part of the operation police will be out in force targeting
dangerous driving, drug and drink driving and irresponsible
behaviour on our roads.
Police will use their new smaller alcohol and drug test buses to
target those travelling to and from celebrations in suburban
streets and rat runs.
All road users will be targeted, including heavy vehicles, light
trucks, cars, motorcycles, cyclists and pedestrians.
Drivers are encouraged to reduce their own risks on the road by
ensuring their vehicle is roadworthy, practising
stop-revive-survive strategies, staying off their mobile phones and
being alert on unfamiliar roads.
A TATURA man has been charged after appearing the Shepparton
Magistrates Court following a joint investigation by Greater
Shepparton City Council and the RSPCA into the illegal operation of
a puppy farm over the last two years.
The man, who had more than 50 dogs and 20 cats at two
properties, was subsequently charged with offences including
operating an unregistered breeding business and animal cruelty. The
man pleaded guilty in the Shepparton Magistrates Court to failing
to conducting a domestic animal business on an unregistered premise
and failing to register the large number of dogs and cats with
The accused also pleaded guilty to two RSPCA Victoria charges
under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTAA) for failing
to provide veterinary treatment for a sick or injured animal. As a
result, the accused will not be able to operate a domestic animal
business in Victoria for the next 10 years.
Manager citizen services, Laurienne Winbanks said the
prosecution demonstrated Councils commitment to protecting the
welfare of animals and ensuring compliance with the Domestic
Animals Act 1994.
Council works together with local and state authorities
including the RSPCA to monitor domestic animal businesses and any
illegally operating puppy farms and cat breeders will be
investigated, Ms Winbanks said.
We strongly encourage the community to report to council or the
RSPCA any property in Greater Shepparton that may be breeding dogs
or cats or where the welfare of the animals is a concern.
RSPCA Victoria inspectorate team leader, Lisa Calleja said it
was a promising outcome.
Were happy with this result, because it sends a clear message to
the community that anyone wanting to operate a domestic animal
business must do so in accordance with the law and ensure the
welfare of their animals, which includes the provision of
veterinary treatment to any that are sick or injured, Ms Calleja
Reports can be made to council by calling 5832 9700, visiting
www.greatershepparton.vic.gov.au or emailing
firstname.lastname@example.org or can also be made to the RSPCA by
calling 9224 2222 or visiting www.rspcavic.org
LA TROBE University has welcomed a $7M investment from the
Federal Government to support delivery of a new end-to-end rural
medical school in partnership with the University of Melbourne,
located in Shepparton and other regional areas including Bendigo
and Albury-Wodonga, which is designed to help solve Victorias rural
It will deliver the construction and refurbishment of specialist
teaching labs in Albury-Wodonga and Bendigo labs, new equipment and
the appointment of six new specialist teaching and technical staff
at both locations.
La Trobe University vice-chancellor, Professor John Dewar said
the senators commitment was a welcome investment in regional
communities that would make a real and lasting difference.
The Federal Government has today announced a $7M dollar
investment into the strong health, resilience and
self-reliance of regional Australians, Professor Dewar said.
This funding allocation will ensure we can deliver on our
long-standing commitment to deliver more locally-trained doctors
for rural, regional and remote communities.
From next year a cohort of 15 La Trobe students, co-selected
collaboratively by both universities, will enter La Trobes new
three-year bachelor of biomedical science (medical) undergraduate
degree delivered at La Trobe Universitys Bendigo and Albury-Wodonga
campuses. Those who successfully complete the course will then gain
guaranteed entry into the University of Melbournes doctor of
medicine (rural) postgraduate degree, to be based in
The selection process will target students with rural
backgrounds who are seeking a career as a rural doctor. Both
courses will be taught in regional Victoria.
Professor Dewar said the university was on track to begin
teaching the course from early next year.
Since the initiative was given the green light in May this year,
we have worked closely with our collaboration partners, the
University of Melbourne, to get this program underway. Weve had
strong interest from schools and students from across regional
Australia to take part in this innovative program. Prospective
students will soon learn if theyve been selected for an interview;
those who are successful will earn entry to the class of 2019,
Professor Dewar said.
PUT ON YOUR COWBOY HAT The best cowgirls and cowboys
from around Australia will turn out at Finley Rodeo this January 4.
THE Finley Apex Club are lining up to run their second Finley
Pro Rodeo in January. The Finley Apex Club is proudly affiliated
with the Australian Professional Rodeo Association to bring the
34th annual rodeo to Finley on January 4, 2019.
Gates will open at 5:30pm and the action begins at 7pm. The
countrys best announcers will keep you entertained and up-to-date
with all the live action throughout the night. The twilight event
features the best cowboys and cowgirls from around Australia, with
stock supplied by Australias legendary rodeo stock supplier, Gary
McPhee and will feature bull ride, saddlebronc, bareback, steer
wrestling, roping and barrel race events for seniors and juniors
alike, its sure to be a nail-biting event.
There will be plenty of entertainment for the whole family, as
well as a full bar and food area (strictly no BYO). There will be
sideshows, food and retails stalls and a bucking bull. Enjoy the
night with music and bar facilities operating until late.
Make sure you take time to plan your trip to Finley this January
for the 34th Annual Finley Rodeo.
For enquiries, contact Finley Apex Club president, Lachlan Kerr
on 0429 707 863.
MEMBER for Murray, Damian Drum has helped deliver a
socio-economic test which will protect the Goulburn Murray
Irrigation District from further water losses.
The test was agreed to by basin ministers in Melbourne recently,
with Mr Drum attending a MINCo meeting.
This announcement has been two years in negotiation and Im
incredibly grateful to the Nationals Federal Minister for Water,
David Littleproud, Mr Drum said.
As part of the Nationals team Ive had the ear of Federal Water
Minister Littleproud constantly and ultimately weve been able to
put together a deal that secures the future of the Goulburn Murray
Irrigation District (GMID).
Being able to bring the Minister to the Goulburn Valley on four
occasions has ensured he understands our region and the critical
nature of these negotiations.
Importantly, this deal delivers water projects that South
Australia had prioritised and will address the health of the lower
lakes and the Coorong. This was important to ensure all states
benefited from this agreement, so this agreement is now carved in
All states have now agreed any future water efficiency project
must have social and economic benefit or detriment tested across
the community, not just the participating individual.
The wording and detail in this agreement mirrors what our
irrigators and community have been calling for.
Im so proud to have delivered this for our irrigation farmers
who grow more food and fibre than any other comparable part of
Australia. We all know water equals wealth and the wealth in the
Goulburn Valley extends way beyond the farm gate, to the prosperity
of all the cities and towns throughout the GMID.
BAG UP SOME CHEAP BUYS From left, Big W service
supervisor, Toni Hatzie, Priceline pharmacy assistant, Linda Parris
and Woolworths assistant store manager, Nathan Winters are prepared
for the Boxing Day business. Photo: Katelyn Morse.
SUPER savings will be made across a vast array of stock at the
Shepparton Marketplace today during Boxing Day sales.
The annual, post-Christmas sale is typically the largest and
most exciting shopping event of the year, with thousands across the
region expected to be out and about on the hunt for cheap deals.
With copious free parking available, the Shepparton Marketplace is
the ideal one-stop destination to find that unbelievable
Shepparton Marketplace marketing manager, Lyndal Ford said, This
year at Boxing Day we are operating normal trading hours but
customers are encouraged to get here early to take advantage of the
Boxing Day sales.
Come down and enjoy the exciting atmosphere and save big with
exclusive deals across a range of products in our stores.
Head down to the Shepparton Marketplace at 110 Benalla Road
today to take advantage of Boxing Day sales, or visit
www.sheppartonmarketplace.com.au/offers to have a look at whats
THE Andrews Labor Government is being called on to provide
funding towards the planned multi-million dollar redevelopment of
the Shepparton Sports Stadium.
The project, costed by Greater Shepparton City Council at $37M,
will see the stadium transform into an elite event and sporting
facility to be known as the Shepparton Sports & Event
The project will see the construction of three new
basketball/netball multi-use courts, including a show court with a
3,000 seat retractable grandstand, new wet area amenities,
administration hub and carpark.
The redevelopment will also provide an economic boon to the
local economy by supporting 169 local jobs during construction and
generating an additional $12.3M per annum upon completion.
Speaking in State Parliament, Member for Northern Victoria
Region, Wendy Lovell used the opportunity to challenge Labor to
stop ignoring the sporting needs of the Goulburn Valley community
and commit funds to help ensure the project becomes a reality.
Member for Northern Victoria Region, Wendy Lovell said, The
redevelopment of the Shepparton Sports Stadium is a project that I
have advocated for over many years and is long overdue.
The redevelopment will create new jobs for locals during and
after construction and will attract events and tourists that will
boost the local economy.
I call on the minister to provide a commitment to match the
Liberals pledge of $15.5M towards the redevelopment of Shepparton
Sports Stadium into the first-class Shepparton Sports & Events
Monday, 24 December
One of the famous Christmas Carols sings of the Tweleve Days of
Christmas and the many matching gifts of the true love. Here, we
look to celebrations and observances in different religions and
illustrate their significance. Birth of Jesus 25 December 2018 The
Birth of Jesus, sometimes called the Nativity of Jesus and more ...
Tightening labour force
Lots of people would like more work, which probably
isn't that surprising given the ongoing casualisation of the
But the volume of underutilisation is clearly
falling, as at November 2018 down to the lowest level since the ABS
began reporting this in its surveys at 7 per cent.
The improvement has been driven by New South Wales
(6.3 per cent) and Victoria (6.5 per cent), where the jobs markets
have now picked up to levels consistent with stronger wages
Total construction employment has declined to a
still-elevated 1.15 million, which is the lowest level in 15
months, albeit still 9 per cent of the total number of employed
This figure will likely fall further given that
about three-quarters of construction employment relates to the
On the other hand mining employment has picked up
sharply to the highest level in four years.
Sunday, 23 December
Our children attended a preschool located in the building that
houses our states Supreme Court. Every morning we walked through
the Great Hall, whose exhibits provided more opportunities to teach
the children about the values and principles of our country,
including the separation of church and state. Things became more
complicated in December. The stately ... Read more...
Saturday, 22 December
The Botany Bay Weevil (Chrysolopus spectabilis) pictured below,
also known as the Diamond Beetle, is the first Australian insect to
be described from the Cook expedition of 1770 (the species that is,
not this particular insect). Only four other insects were collected
on that trip. Botany Bay Weevils live exclusively on a few
A small community of Mandaeans have settled in Shepparton, and
have commenced taking up their baptismal practices. Members of the
Shepparton Interfaith Network attended one ritual and met new
members of the Mandaean community of Shepparton. Mandaeans are
followers of John the Baptist. Their ancestors fled from the Jordan
Valley about 2000 years ago and ... Read more...
Record low unemployment
Greater Sydney's economy continued to add jobs at a
remarkable, thunderous pace throughout 2018, with total employment
up by a rip-roaring 100,000 over the year to November.
That's more than a third of all new jobs created in
Australia on a net basis over that time.
The media is all about traffic congestion, light
rail delays, and falling house prices in the harbour city, but
meanwhile the unemployment rate quietly fell to just 3 per
cent in November 2018 (not reported anywhere, as far as I could
Interestingly, that's now the lowest monthly
unemployment rate figure on record for Sydney, a dynamic which can
happen at the tail-end of a monster construction boom.
On an annual average basis, Sydney's unemployment
rate is now down to only 4.3 per cent, while Melbourne has been the
biggest improver of recent times, and Adelaide has recovered nicely
from a sticky patch.
At the other end of the spectrum, the equivalent figure for Perth
remains elevated at 6.3 per cent.
These are backwards-looking indicators, of course,
but still those are some healthy results in the two largest capital
As the labour force grows there will be more
unemployed persons in absolute terms over time; but the latest ABS
figures showed that some inroads have been made here.
In fact the trend rate of unemployment is at the
lowest level in 7 years at 5.1 per cent, with the total number of
unemployed persons down by -34,000 over the...
Friday, 21 December
Exactly 200 years ago this Christmas Eve 24 December, 1818 in a
little church in what is now Austria, the world heard for the first
time a poem set to music that eventually would be hailed as one of
the most popular and beloved Christmas carols of all time. Silent
Night was sung ... Read more...
While you are celebrating your end of year events, our community
is being tortured, abused and murdered in Australian run detention
centers in front of your eyes every single day. Have you
This is a call by RISE eX-detainees to the Australian public and
the International community to join our #SanctionAustralia Campaign
and stand AGAINST Refugee/Asylum seeker Detention, Torture and
Refoulement committed by the Australian government, during end of
year events across Australia and Overseas.
What you are witnessing RIGHT NOW against Refugees in Manus or
Nauru or any other Australian run detention camp is not something
new. The systemic abuse against refugees coming on boats to seek
asylum has been going on for over 26 years now. Australia needs to
stop using us as political pawns and
STOP TURNING BACK REFUGEE BOATS
END MANDATORY DETENTION
Furthermore, Australias state sanctioned refugee trafficking,
detention, torture and abuse has been the laboratory for the world.
It has given a green light to many across the globe who claim to
support refugees including the European Union who recently made a
major deal with Libya to intercept refugee boats.
RISE eX-detainees call for immediate pressure to be placed on
Australia in the way of global sanctions that address their
deliberate and inhumane mandatory detention process and refugee
boat push back policies. Specifically, Australia should be excluded
in participating in international humanitarian and human rights
forums until mandatory detention and refoulement of asylum seekers
is abolished in Australia.
We eX-detainees request all supporters of eX-detainees and
current detainees held hostage by Australia to take a stand during
end of year holiday events and bring to the forefront the forgotten
people in our community being tortured, refouled and abused by this
government while mainstream Australia celebrates this festive
What can you do?
Download our posters and display them at public places and send a
strongmessage that you are no longer going to stand by idly while
the trafficking inhuman misery is leveraged for political gain.
Hand out our sanction Australia brochures
For more details about the #SanctionAustralia campaign initiated
and run by eX-detainees visit the main page: #SanctionAustralia
Population growth still strong
The June quarter tends to be a quiet one for
population increase, but over the course of FY2018 estimated
population growth remained strong at 391,000 or +1.6 per cent,
despite a moderate slowing of visa processing and net overseas
Total births increased by 7,000 over the 2018 financial year,
mainly due to a jump in New South Wales, although there have been
processing lags and blips before.
In time this will set Australia up for its next property cycle as
apartment construction slows dramatically over the next few years,
but at the moment it's all about mortgage processing delays and
New migrants from overseas are now dominated by
young arrivals from China (83,000 in FY2018), India (67,000), and
other Asian countries, and less so by permanent migrants from New
Zealand, Britain, or other parts of Europe.
Of the 553,000 migrant arrivals in FY2018?
Overwhelmingly they still headed for Greater Sydney (179,000),
Melbourne (151,000), Brisbane (56,000), and Perth (48,000)
respectively, with other parts of south-east Queensland capturing a
fair chunk of the remainder.
The bulk of new migrants lie within the 18 to 34 years cohort, and
some 85.4 per cent now opt to reside in the capital cities, and
especially so Sydney (32.4 per cent) and Melbourne (27.3 per
There have, however, been some internal migration
shifts over FY2018.
Interstate migration to Queensland increased to the
highest level in a dozen years as incumbent Aussie residents moved
away from the crowded capitals for the more affordable Sunshine
I'm hiding in that maroon line myself somewhere, albeit at the
nadir of the cycle some years back.
Thursday, 20 December
Unemployment keeps declining
Stacks of interest in today's employment report -
so much, in fact, that the ABS website crashed again.
Funding required, to use a hackneyed Muskism.
The composition swung back to part-time, but the economy added
another +37,000 jobs in November 2018 on a seasonally adjusted
basis to 12.7 million, led by firing Victoria at
Looking through the noise the economy added an
impressive +295,700 to total employment year-on-year, for a growth
rate of 2.4 per cent.
On a cyclically positive note the trend
participation rate hit the highest level on record.
And in spite of this the trend unemployment rate continued to
decline to 5.12 per cent, the lowest since all the way back in July
Victoria has been the great improver of late, but
New South Wales saw its unemployment rate fall to a 40-year low of
just 4.4 per cent.
The annual growth in hours worked was still very
modest at under 2 per cent, which is hardly a ringing endorsement
Wednesday, 19 December
An expedition with Sue to locate a White-faced Herons nest in
the Strath Creek Pioneer Reserve yielded nothing, but on the way
back we observed what looked like a mud nest of a White-winged
Chough (Corcorax melanorhamphos) high up in one of the eucalypts.
From our limited vantage point it was difficult to tell if 
The Conference of European Churches (CEC) and Cumberland Lodge
conducted a conference titled Towards Peaceful co-existence in the
Middle East: challenges and opportunities. Co-hosted by Churches
Together in Britain and Ireland, the gathering drew participants
from a broad range of Middle Eastern and European churches. A
central issue was how states treat people of different ...
HISTORY DOCUMENTED Lost Sheppartons Geoff Allemand with
his latest book, Sheppartonians, which features the people of
Shepparton past and present including Raymond West. Photo: Katelyn
THE people of Shepparton past and present are something that
quite often draws the attention of any local, and now you have the
chance to read about some of their stories in Lost Sheppartons
latest book, Sheppartonians.
Adorning the 80 pages are over 100 photos of people who have
helped to shape our city, including Sir Andrew Fairley, Sherbourne
Sheppard, Raymond West, Noel Hussey, Max and Yvonne Carlos, Darryl
Twitt and Ross Freer, the Furphys, John and Agata Anderson and Alan
Scott to name a few.
Lost Sheppartons Geoff Allemand worked together with writer,
Margaret Marlow (nee Campbell) to create this latest historical
book and its one you simply must get your hands on.
Geoff said, We carried out a poll on the Lost Shepparton
Facebook page to see what our followers wanted to see in our next
book and we had an overwhelming response to them wanting us to
focus on people.
The name of the book came from a book called The Big
Sheppartonian, A Life of Sir Andrew Fairley. We thought it was
fitting because in a way, we are all Sheppartonians.
We tried to choose people who have given something back to the
local community and we think we have done that fairly well.
To pick up a copy of Sheppartonians, visit Lost Shepparton at
the Shepparton Heritage Centre (across the road from the Shepparton
Police Station), visit
www.myshepparton.com.au/lost-shepp-shop.html, or drop into
NewsXpress at Riverside Plaza or Focus Cards & Gifts.
LEARNING FROM FISHING GURUS From left, Trellys Fishing
and Hunting World Shepparton owners, Steven and Mary Threlfall,
angler, Kayla Palanuik, professional fisher and guest speaker, Carl
Jocumsen and Trellys team member, Ross Threlfall. Photo:
ANGLERS assembled at Sheppartons Eastbank recently for
Cod-ference, an annual event celebrating the official opening of
the Murray Cod fishing season. The daylong event enabled fishers a
great environment to boast about their catches, share stories, and
receive top-quality advice from world-renowned experts regarding
all things fishing.
Competitive fisher, Carl Jocumsen shared his incredible fishing
journey, from small beginnings in Toowomba to competing in his
first ever championship in the USA, the Table Rock Lake Bassmaster
Open Championship 2018. The crowd were enthralled by Carls
inspirational speech, especially considering Carl cut his teeth as
a young angler fishing Murray Cod several years ago.
Also in attendance, Victorian Fisheries Authority chief
executive officer, Travis Dowling explained the existing
governments plans to get one million people fishing in Australia by
2020. There was much intrigue surrounding this particular speech,
with Victorian fishing a majorly central focus.
Trellys Fishing and Hunting World owner, Steven Threlfall was in
attendance and said, Some really great information was gained from
this amazing fishing event. It was really handy to receive helpful
feedback around the scientific, grassroots and even some of the
political elements surrounding Australian fishing.
Carl Jocumsen had audiences captivated with his unbelievable
story. He was absolutely the highlight of the event for everyone
and we are so grateful for his attendance.
ASSISTING THE YOUTH From left, The Bridge Youth Service
CEO, Melinda Lawley, youth ambassador, Lauren Beks, three-year old,
Luna Beks and Laurens fianc, Jayme Mathers. Photo: Katelyn
SOMETIMES in order to assist disadvantaged youth, you need
someone who has experienced hardship first-hand to provide the
genuine empathetic support needed to enable help and
The Bridge Youth Service in Shepparton have recognised this
need, recently announcing the commencement of the Next Generation
Leadership Youth Ambassador Program and awarding the first
ambassadorship to local young mum, Lauren Beks.
Diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder, Lauren
has continually struggled to find her place in the world. However,
through the ongoing support from The Bridge Youth Services,
particularly from her mentor, Linda King, Lauren has successfully
turned her life around and is now keen to employ her experiences of
hardship to help and assist others.
Having utilised the service for almost 10 years, Lauren first
began attending The Bridge as a teenager after she fell pregnant
with her first child, Layne. Throughout this time, Lauren has
returned often to The Bridge, seeking support in times of crisis at
various points in her life. When she experienced homelessness, The
Bridge was there to offer support. She received antenatal support
then later, when Laurens second child Luna was born, The Bridge
assisted again, attending appointments and helping out however
With Layne and Luna now eight and three years old, respectively,
Lauren still returns to The Bridge regularly to assist other young
mums through the Young Parents Program and she is excited to
utilise her ambassadorship to continue helping well into the
The Bridge Youth Service CEO, Melinda Lawley said, We were
seeking a young person who has utilised The Bridge Youth Service
and who is committed to the...
PART OF THE FAMILY Shepparton Villages catering
manager, Geoff Scales celebrated more than 25 years of employment
with the organisation, joining 22 others who were also recognised
for their milestones at the AGM. Photo: Katelyn Morse.
TWENTY-THREE staff at Shepparton Villages were recognised for
their long service milestones at the organisations AGM this
Clocking up 10 years was Wayde Vider, Geoff McKendrick, Glenys
McQualter, Jillian Hall, Bryan Wayman, Susanne Taylor, Jackie
Nightingale, Edward McNair, Kerri Sitters, Fiona Thomson, Melissa
Lepp, Heather Dover and Alisha Brown. Clocking up 15 years was Dawn
Rogers, Leanne Hotchkiss, Lynne Coe, Jodie Toohey, Sue Cahill,
Joanne Whennen, Anne Maree Bramley and Virginia McPhillamy. Helen
Pierce celebrated 30 years of employment and Geoff Scales
celebrated more than 25 years.
Starting his stint with Shepparton Villages as second chef on
December 21, 1991 and today carrying out his role as catering
manager, Geoff Scales said, I have seen a few changes in my time.
The stand-out moments would have to be seeing the construction of
all the facilities; Mooroopna, the new Banksia and Arcacia and
Maculata Place as well as the new production kitchen, which was a
big deal for us.
Ive been cooking for 40 odd years and have gone from a pan and
wooden spoon to now using a $70,000 Bratt Pan. There have certainly
been many changes in technology.
I enjoy doing Christmas for the residents. We make everything
ourselves including 3,000 shortbread and 3,000 rum balls, 1,500
Christmas puddings and 40 to 50 Christmas cakes. There is just
nothing like putting on Christmas for them.
MAJOR north east Victorian roads have been made safer with
critical works undertaken recently through a $51.5M investment into
maintenance, resurfacing and rehabilitation on the arterial
Regional Roads Victoria north eastern regional director,
Nicki Kyriakou said upgrades on the Goulburn Valley Highway, Murray
Valley Highway and Glenrowan-Myrtleford Road (also known
as Snow Road) would provide smoother, safer journeys for
all road users.
We know how important safety is to road users
travelling throughout north east Victorian roads each day,
which is why weve committed to delivering these essential upgrades,
Ms Kyriakou said.
Youll see our crews out this maintenance season, ensuring we
provide a reliable road network for all Victorians.
Just under one kilometre of the Glenrowan-Myrtleford Road,
Whorouly, has been upgraded between Trakton Road and
Barneys Lane, with a further kilometre of road improved
on the Murray Valley Highway near Ludlows Reserve, Ebden.
An overtaking lane will be rebuilt by the end of the year on the
Goulburn Valley Highway west of Strathmerton, where thousands of
vehicles travel each day on one of the regions key freight
To keep track of these projects or check out what other works
are underway or planned in your area,
For more information on how to register for your Community
Connect listing contact The Adviser via email at
Please note listings are to be fewer than 55 words.
KYVALLEY CHRISTMAS DANCES will be held
on Saturday, December 22 at 7:30pm, with music by Keith
Stockdale and on Saturday, December 29 at 7:30pm, with music
by Jos Dance Music. A good program with delicious supper, raffles
and promises to be lots of fun. Held at Kyvalley Hall, 534 Scobie
Road, Kyvalley. For further information, contact Bev on 0417 360
687 or 5852 1853.
ST BRENDANS CHURCH CHRISTMAS CHURCH TIMES are
mass on December 24 at 10pm (with carols starting at 9:30pm) and
mass no December 25 at 8am and 11am.
ORCHARD DAY CLUB meets on second and fourth
Thursday of each month,
10:30am to 2:30pm at Shepparton RSL for friendly company, gentle
exercises, mind games, cards, guest speakers, bus tours and a
delicious lunch. All ages and genders welcome. Phone Judy on
5823 5941 or Betty on 5821 3838.
CONNECT MEDITATION GROUP is inviting the
community to enjoy the benefits of meditation. One hour sessions
are held every Monday at 6pm, Tuesday mornings at 10am and Thursday
night from 7:30pm at Harmony Place, 9a Edward Street in Shepparton
and admission is $8. For further information, contact Lisa 0419 562
790 or Roger 0427 541 611.
ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT RETIREES meets on
the third Monday of each month at 9:45am at the Overlander Hotel,
Benalla Road, Shepparton. Share group meeting will be at 9am. For
further information, phone Bill on 5821 1854.
SOCIAL BADMINTON players meet at the Shepparton
Stadium every Wednesday from 9:30am to 11am. New players, beginners
to advanced are welcome. Enjoy a coffee and a chat after the game.
Phone Julie on 0407 717 265.
ENABLING WOMEN GROUP meets once a month at
Rights Information and Advocacy Centre, 190 Benalla Road,
Shepparton. For further information, phone Sharon on 0429 621
TRANSPORT TO CEMETERIES on the third Saturday
of each month Goulburn Community Transport provides transport to
the cemetery to visit loved ones. For more information, contact
Vilma Ondrus 5831 3607 or Goulburn Community Transport 5831 8515.
Shepparton visits are $3 and Pine Lodge visit $4.
MAINLY MUSIC program is held every Wednesday
from 10am t...
KEEN FOR CAROLS From left, Sean French, Ruby Davies,
Moara Smith and Merdi Yamfu cant wait to perform the childrens
entertainment at Carols by Candlelight. Photo: Katelyn Morse.
WARM up those vocal cords and adorn your best Christmas outfit;
Sheppartons annual Carols by Candlelight event is coming to
This Sunday, December 23, the Queens Gardens is going to come
alight, with songs of peace and joy echoing throughout the area.
The free event is presented by Greater Shepparton City Council and
commences at 6:30pm; however, it is recommended that guests arrive
early in order to be assured a seat.
The family-friendly event will feature music from local artists
and youth performers alongside Shepparton Brass and Wind and
Goulburn Valley Pipes and Drums.
Of course, Santa Claus himself will be present at the carols and
there will be food trucks, coffee, ice cream and glow sticks
available for purchase. The event will conclude with a spectacular
pyrotechnic display, presented by GMCU.
It is recommended that attendees bring along low chairs,
nibbles, insect repellent, picnic rugs and cushions, to ensure a
comfortable and enjoyable evening for all.
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Kim OKeeffe said, The
night promises to be a spectacular event. I look forward to joining
many families and friends from around the region who come together
to celebrate the festive season in a beautiful setting.
There will be a range of various local performers and
entertainers who will showcase a mix of contemporary and
traditional Christmas carols who I look forward to seeing.
I hope everyone who is attending has a wonderful evening
enjoying all aspects of the festiv...
MORE than 180 Shepparton blood donors are needed between
December 21 and January 7 for Australias Biggest Secret Santa
exchange this Christmas.
The donors are needed to prevent a possible shortage of blood
stocks vital to the treatment of cancer patients.
To celebrate this Secret Santa exchange, blood donors who give
blood or platelets this December will receive a text message to let
them know where their Secret Santa gift was sent. Theyll also
receive a Christmas gift tag to give to a loved one saying theyve
donated blood on their behalf.
Blood Service spokesperson, Shae Smith urged locals to give
blood, saying it was the most important Secret Santa theyll ever
If Secret Santa is about giving anonymous gifts, designed to
make someones day, then blood donation really is Australias
ultimate Secret Santa exchange.
Blood will be needed by road accident patients, pregnant mums,
cancer patients and even premature babies every day this Christmas
and New Years.
To make an appointment to give blood or find out more about
Australias Biggest Secret Santa, call 13 14 95 or visit
WITH the summer temperatures already having risen over 30
degrees, the presence of snakes across regional worksites including
farms and properties, pose a higher risk of snake bite.
More than 3,000 snake bites are recorded in Australia each year,
with up to 500 people requiring antivenom. With Australia being
home to around 140 different species of snake, and approximately
100 of these being venomous, its crucial that we are educated and
prepared if a snake strikes.
Brenniston First Aid & Workplace Safety director, Pia
Abrahams is urging all business owners to take necessary
precautions to minimise workplace hazards and provide workers with
access to a suitable first aid kit.
Most importantly, outdoor workers should be trained in snake
bite first aid, known as the pressure immobilisation technique, and
always carry an easily accessible snake bite first kit. First aid
should be administered even when a bite appears minor or the
patient has no symptoms, Abrahams said.
If a snake bite occurs, speed and immobilisation are vital to
impede the spread of venom. Using a compression bandage and
ensuring the patient is remaining as calm and still as possible
will significantly increase their chance of surviving a
life-threatening snake bite.
Snakes may be more prevalent on agricultural, road transport,
construction and land management worksites in warm weather.
They are typically found in cool, dark, protected areas such as
under buildings and near sheds, around rubble and stored materials,
in electrical switch boxes and long grass. Its also not uncommon
for snakes to enter unattended open vehicles.
If you or a work colleague is bitten by a snake, dial Triple
Zero (000) immediately and then administer first aid for snake
REST AND RELAX Proud Traditional Thai Massage owner,
Kathy Khongsthidporn suggests giving the gift of relaxation this
Christmas. Photo: Katelyn Morse.
CHRISTMAS is the most wonderful time of the year, but sometimes
it can be extremely stressful too. Thats why its important to look
after your body and ensure you feel refreshed and rejuvenated for
the New Year.
At Proud Traditional Thai Massage, staff can assist in loosening
muscles and providing much-needed freedom from tension. Whether it
is a 30-minute or four-hour session, clients are massaged to
release and remove physical tension.
The friendly staff offers a combination of Thai massage and oil
massage, all in a nice, clean and relaxed environment. Proud
Traditional Thai Massage has also enlisted extra care to ensure
maximum relaxation in the Maude Street space.
Treat your loved ones to relaxation this Christmas with one of
Proud Traditional Thai Massages excellent gift cards. These can be
made up to suit any budget, with $20, $30, $50 and $60 options
available and for a limited time, they are running a great deal
where you can buy six gift cards and receive one for free!
Proud Traditional Thai Massage owner, Kathy Khongsthidporn said,
At the end of another hard year, its best to gift friends and
family with a relaxing massage.
This is even the perfect gift to give to yourself! Everyone
deserves to feel comfortable and relaxed over the busy time of
Give the gift of relaxation this Christmas. Drop into 272B Maude
Street, Shepparton or call 5858 5446 to book a massage.
Donald Trumps rejection of trade agreements and aggressive use
of unilateral tariffs, and One Nations similar policies in
Australia have tapped into resentment of current neoliberal trade
policies, which for many people have not delivered
promised jobs and growth, and have contributed to growing
Trump and One Nation have mobilised this resentment from a
conservative and racist perspective, fanning ultra-nationalist and
anti-immigrant sentiment. But their simplistic responses of high
tariffs on imports will not magically restore lost jobs. Building
walls and discriminatory migration policies based on fear will not
improve peoples lives but will bolster militarism and the danger of
AFTINET is part of the global movement of
progressive groups supporting peace, human rights and global
solidarity. We are not opposed to trade, but want a more just
global trade system
What Trumps rupture with some neoliberal trade policies
does demonstrate is that they are not immutable
economic rules resulting from market forces, but political
decisions that can be changed. As advocates for trade Justice we
must seize the opportunity to challenge bad policy and develop
alternatives which benefit the majority, not just the top 1%.
Whats wrong with current trade policy
Fundamentalist neoliberal trade policy as practised by the
Coalition Government aims to achieve not only zero tariffs but also
zero other barriers to all trade and investment.
Each country should specialise in its most narrowly-defined
competitive products or services, import everything else at the
lowest possible prices, have no active industry policies and
minimise other government regulation. Australia would be a farm and
a quarry, with deregulated service industries like tourism and
This policy culminated in former Treasurer Joe Hockeys
admission that his government decided to end all
assistance to the car industry to reach trade deals with....
Tuesday, 18 December
New home sales up a bit
Some brighter news for builders in the last monthly
Housing Industry Association (HIA) release of the year, as new home
sales increased 3.6 per cent.
Still comfortably lower than a year earlier.
The HIA included cautionary comments
about credit becoming too
It's interesting to arrive at the end of a year and look back.
The theme for our planet of talking heads seemed to be people
wanting others to behave in acceptable ways and have opinions like
RACING on December 16 for the yacht clubs Commodores Cup race
three and four had something for everyone.
Race three consisted of two triangles and a windward return, with
shifty wind coming out of the north west.
With 15 boats on the water the race started on time at 11 in the
morning and consisted of three laps around the course. In Division
2 the monohulls had some tight racing with Matt Kiely and Toby
Leppin tussling for the lead. In the end it was a close finish with
Matt getting over the line first with Toby hot on his tail and
Steve Horton coming in third making up a trifecta of Impulses
taking the podium places.
In Division 1, Rob McNair to snuck over the line with 1st place
honours and Pete Kiely coming in second with Shaun Freeman in third
Race 4 had weather for everyone, with a brisk 12 knot breeze
getting boats around the course and a good rate of knots. The rain
came in, the wind picked up and then died off, with the last leg of
the race turning into a drifter.
Pete Keily came in through in first place after trailing for most
of the race, with Shaun Freeman coming in second and Rob McNair
In division 2 Toby Leppin beat Folkert and Sara Janssen on handicap
with Matt Kiely coming through in third place.
Racing in the rain had smiles on everyones faces with all agreeing
that next time the Officer of the Day needed to organise the wind
to stay in at least until the last boat made it over the line.
Sailing is held at the South Gippsland Yacht Club every Sunday with
races starting at 11am.
This year the Boat Shed is running training courses for beginner
sailors, going from January 2-5. Tackers 1, 2 and 3 courses will be
run for kids aged 7 -12, with training for older beginners sailors
also available on the larger Pacer boats.
For more information visit the SGYC website
(www.sgycinverloch.com.au) or head over to the boatshed website
(https://theboatshed.net.au/inverloch/) for more details.
Steady as she goes: Vice Commodore
Francis Sullivan on a reach in his Sabre. Photo courtesy Louise
WONTHAGGI athlete Tevuro Ihomana Montgomery competed at Cairns
last weekend in the Australian All Schools Track and Field
Tevuro competed in the U14 age group in both the 80 metre hurdles
event and the javelin.
She ran well in the qualifying heat of the hurdles to make the
final later in the day where she ran 13.20 to come fifth
On the following day in torrential rain, she threw herself into the
top three places to claim bronze with a throw of 38 metres.
These results establish her in the top five of both events,
Bronze medallist: Wonthaggis Tevuro
Ihomana Montgomery (left) displayed her medal after representing
Victoria in the U14 girls javelin in Cairns last weekend.
LAST Tuesday, the grand finals in all sections were played in
glorious conditions at Wonthaggi.
All sections had very close games.
Congratulations to all the players and of course the umpires.
The next season of tennis begins in early February.
If you would like a game or can enter a team, please let your local
club know or contact the association on the Facebook page South
Gippsland Midweek Ladies.
The association covers from Phillip Island to Foster including
Korumburra, Grantville and Nyora areas.
Results of grand finals:
Section 1: Inverloch Diamonds 4-37 defeated Bena 2-30.
Section 2A: Bena 4-38 defeated Invy Chicks 2-27.
Section 2B: Grantville 3-36 defeated Nyora 3-29.
Section 1 premiers: from left, Liza
Burrows, Lisa Butcher, Jen Scott and Brooke Scapin from the
Inverloch Diamonds won the premiership.
GROUP 1 winning trainer Peter Gelagotis and his brother Manny
sent horses around the track at Stony Creek at last weeks official
Stony Creek Racing Club president Michael Darmanin said it was a
terrific opportunity to test out the track with nearly 50 horses
making the trip down to Stony Creek for the trials.
The fact that so many horses and trainers travelled from near and
far for these trials is a great reflection on the facilities and
training opportunities Stony Creek can provide for country racing,
It was also terrific to hear the feedback from assistant trainer
Manny Gelagotis that he thought the track was in great condition,
and that the trials at Stony Creek were a good training
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.
The track renovation we undertook earlier this year is paying off,
with jockeys and trainers pleased with its preparation for the
With our first race meet for the season coming up in less than a
fortnight, we are looking forward to a fantastic racing season at
Stony Creek and with our new track renovations we are ready to
Our Family Day of Racing will be on December 29 with a full fixture
of family friendly entertainment including the day of racing for
members and visitors to enjoy.
For more information on race days at Stony Creek or to become a
member, call the club on 5664 0099.
TWENTY heroes racing to save one small island are the words
etched into the back of the medals Kara Landells and Nina
Barry-Macaulay recently received for being the first amateur team
to cross the finish line in South East Asias first ever Swimrun, on
Saturday, December 8.
The Bali Hope Swimrun was an event aimed to raise funds towards
improved recycling infrastructure for the Island of Nusa Lembongan
and improved waste management education, as well as raising
awareness on the global issue of plastic pollution.
Unlike triathlon or duathlon, Swimrun is completed as a team of two
and comprises multiple legs of swimming and running at various
The Nusa Lembongan event involved three kilometres of swimming and
18 kilometres of running.
It started with a boat dropping teams off 500m from land to begin
the first swim leg, and ended with a two kilometre uphill run.
Team Bass Coast (Nina and Kara) raised over $10,000, which will go
towards buying recycling equipment and implementing education in
the local schools.
Nina and Kara visited one of the schools during their visit and
worked with the children to make recycling posters. They also
visited the recycling plant to see how basic the facilities are and
how important the new equipment will be.
On the last day, the Bali Hope teams joined forces with 60 students
from the local school for a cleanup.
They sorted and collected rubbish and recyclables from an open
space which is currently being used as an informal dump site. Key
stakeholders, including the Mayor of Nusa Lembongan and landowner,
attended the event.
Kara and Nina explained the clean up lead to a formal agreement
between the landowner and recycling plant.
The landowner agreed to donate a small part of his land for the
recycling plant to build an enclosed waste disposal point, which
will be emptied daily by the recycling plant, they said.
Locals can continue to deposit their waste at this location, but in
an organised and sustainable way, where rubbish cant be easily
swept into the ocean. This will be a great example for other
landowners to follow as the Island works towards a more sustainable
Awesome effort: Nina Barry-Macaulay and
Kara Landells ran 18 kilometres in the Bali Hope Swimrun
MADURA Weerasinghe has taken up his brothers legacy to help Sri
Lankan cricketers connect with local cricket teams.
Udara Weerasinghe played for Korumburra in 2012 and recommended
other Sri Lankan players join the competition, including
Madura played with Leongatha Town for six years and organised
several players to travel internationally to play for the team.
This season, he is playing four games for Wonthaggi Miners and has
introduced Yashas Alwis and Dinesh Indika to the side.
As all teams, we want to win this season, but I am also here to
share my experience with the boys, Madura said.
I want to do for this club what I did for Town and organise
He was also an agent for other Sri Lankan players who have joined
local teams this year.
Madura said the Miners had been extremely responsive, and he was
appreciative of its commitment to helping the boys with
accommodation and payment.
Madura brings a wealth of experience for the Miners.
He has played in the Leongatha and District Cricket Association for
eight years and was named in the Victorian Team of the Year for
He also played in Dandenong and in Perth.
Now a permanent resident in Darwin, he has played in Darwins
premier cricket competition and was picked up for the NT Strike
Madura said he had enjoyed working with the Miners so far and the
aim was to get the A2 side in the top four for Christmas for a
chance to contend in the finals series.
The Miners are sitting sixth at the moment, but percentage is all
that is standing between fourth and sixth.
Yashas and Dinesh said they also looked forward to sharing their
experience with Miners.
Yashas was named captain and coach for the Miners in A2. He has 16
years worth of experience and is now playing in his second season
with the Leongatha and District Cricket Association, having played
for Town last season.
It can be a bit stressful (to take on a leadership role) but I am
enjoying it, Yashas said.
Yashas trains his team on Tuesday and Thursday nights, but is also
available for players to arrange one on one coaching with him.
Dinesh also has 16 years of experience and is playing his first
season in Australia this year.
Yashas described himself and Dinesh as the branches of Maduras root
Madura said the indirect objective at Miners was to rebuild the
team and attract future players to keep the club running
I would like to thank the club officials the president (Matthew
Donohue) and secretary (Brendon Thomas). They did a fantastic job
with the paperwork and giving this opportunity to the boys. It was
all done really well, he said.
We hope to bring this club to a higher level and help give
direction for others.
MORE than 50 children from across South Gippsland were involved
in an exciting performance incorporating film, dance and music
called Alice in Venus.
Created as a pilot program by Venus Film and Dance Performing Arts
for the second stage of an ongoing project to develop regional
childrens performing arts touring company, the show at Mesley Hall
in Leongatha recently was breathtaking in its depth and
The tale of Alice In Venus is a journey about life and shadows
which the children can pick up and accumulate or choose to leave
behind; revealing how everyone is really Alice and can live their
Venus Film and Dance Performing Arts secretary and artistic
director Paula Falovic said the production provided children in
regional areas the opportunity to stage multiple performances in
full production format.
This was also a great opportunity for the audience and the
childrens peers to be inspired by this captivating form of art, she
Being part of a film, dance and music production is an excellent
way for children to build confidence and work as a team.
Alice in Venus is about having fun, but being in dance and
production helps reduce social stress and anxiety. This is about
giving children a unique experience of growth and development
Funded by South Gippsland Shire Council, Artists for Kids Culture,
The Leongatha Lyric Theatre, and the Mirboo North District
Community Foundation the film and dance of the production included
classical dance, LED glow equipment, film and music.
The performers included students from Mirboo North Primary School
and Secondary College, Leongatha Primary School and Secondary
College, Inverloch Primary School, Tarwin Lower Primary School,
Fish Creek Primary School and Koonwarra Village School.
Junior stars: from left, Lillith
Gration, Isla Holm and Guinevere Gooda dressed in their tutus to
perform in Alice in Venus, a dance production at Mesley Hall,
WHILE most families are planning a Christmas with stockings full
of gifts and a table brimming with food, many others are struggling
to put a meal on the table.
Local community organisations are witnessing an increase in demand
for food and services and emergency relief is expected to cater for
hundreds of people in Korumburra and Leongatha.
According to Salvation Army Leongatha Corps officer Glenn Smith,
there are 160 families already accessing food hampers and toys for
Christmas with the expectation that figure will more than
The Salvation Army Leongatha Corps and Uniting Gippsland
collaborate at Christmas to distribute hampers and toys to families
who would otherwise go without.
It is understood Uniting Gippsland has also experienced an increase
in demand for services.
Captain Smith said it would be amazing if he was done out of a job
because there was no more homelessness or poverty.
We havent done more than in previous years to advertise the
service. I think more people are really in need of help, he
The cost of living is getting higher and from what Ive heard time
and again, the increase in rates as well as access to affordable
rentals is adding a lot of pressure.
The community has stepped in to give us some fantastic support.
Groups such as the Leongatha Australia Post staff, Woorayl PROBUS,
Leongatha Senior Citizens and Inverloch RACV resort have
Hampers contain Christmas fare including a roast chicken, mince
pies, roasting vegetables and a pudding.
Capt. Glenn said the look of relief on peoples faces when they knew
there would be something under the tree for their child at
Christmas was very humbling.
In Korumburra, Milpara Community House runs as a distribution point
for Christmas hampers by the St Vincent de Paul Society in
Korumburra and the Rotary Club of Korumburras wishing tree
Milpara House manager Jenni Keerie said anyone accessing the
emergency foodbank was informed of the hamper service.
Theres about 25 families who will need food at Christmas in
Korumburra, that means there are more than 100 people needing
support, she said.
We have been doing this for a number of years and during our
emergency relief day more people will access the food hampers.
From our work throughout the year as a foodbank, I know there are a
lot of people doing it tough.
St Vincent de Paul in Leongatha secretary Anne Vaughan said the
society is experiencing greater demand for help.
We have probably doubled our assistance this year. Part of the
extra was that we have also been looking after the Korumburra area
while Korumburra Conference was in recess. It has now got going
again and will be in full swing next year, she said.
The society has been providing Christmas vouchers, hampers and
This year ou...
A MAN who rescued a drowning stranger from Western Port Bay has
been awarded for his bravery.
Benjamin Dennis of San Remo recovered fisherman Ilija Pirvac in
2016 and received a bronze medal from The Royal Humane Society of
Australasia at Government House, Melbourne, last Thursday.
Im proud that I saved the guy but its embarrassing as well, he
It was nerve racking going into the water but I couldnt let him
Mr Dennis was concreting during construction of his Saltwater
Phillip Island restaurant at Newhaven on the evening of December
11, 2016 Mr Pirvacs birthday.
At 7pm, Mr Pirvac, of Melbourne was fishing when he fell into the
water, off Newhaven jetty. He could not swim and was swept away by
the strong tide.
Mr Dennis, a surfer, jumped into the water with one of the
fishermans eskies and swam to him. But the man became difficult for
Mr Dennis to hold as he tired and as the esky had filled with water
He was fully clothed and he was going under, Mr Dennis said.
The water was still cold and I thought I would be floating up the
bay with a dead body.
He tried to hold Mr Pirvacs head out of the water as Mr Pirvac was
Mr Pirvac soon passed out as saltwater filled his lungs. Mr Dennis
screamed for help, alerting nearby fisherman, Vaughan Platt of Cape
Woolamai, who was a friend of Mr Dennis. He came to the rescue in
his boat, accompanied by Chris Chudmore, who was eating tea nearby
at the time.
By the time the boat arrived, the men in the water were several
hundred metres from shore.
They were lifted into the boat and a Triple Zero operator
instructed in the administration of first aid.
Everyone thought he was dead, Mr Dennis said.
There were no signs of life for ages. He had blood all over him and
his blood was all over me.
Mr Pirvac later regained consciousness and began vomiting.
Paramedics arrived and took over his treatment.
I just went back to work and had to keep going because I had some
concrete setting, Mr Dennis said.
To thank Mr Dennis, Mr Pirvac, a steel fabricator, worked at his
restaurant after the incident to repay him. Last Saturday evening,
Mr Pirvac and 25 of his friends came to Mr Dennis restaurant for a
TEENAGERS in South Gippsland are bringing live music and arts to
the region while developing valuable life skills.
They are members of the South Gippsland FReeZA committee aged 12 to
25 that works with South Gippsland Shire Council to present live
music and arts events, and create opportunities for youngsters to
The current FReeZA committee has presented 25 events over three
years and the State Government will give $73,500 to council over
the next three calendar years to continue FReeZA.
Committee member Hannah Perry of Leongatha said, Its a great
opportunity to meet with like-minded youth and hang out in a
Another committee member, Laura Brennan, also of Leongatha, has
enjoyed being involved in songwriting and event management
workshops, and skate, music and art competitions, as well as being
involved in music festivals and the Leongatha Daffodil
She even met Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
Committee member Isla Hickey of Leongatha said in the next three
years, the committee would run outdoor films, a hip hop lab, video
workshop, and skating and arts events.
Councillors were impressed by the young peoples enthusiasm for
their roles when they briefed council last Wednesday, with mayor Cr
Don Hill saying, The skills you are learning you will take through
your whole life.
Movers, shakers: from left, Isla Hickey,
Hannah Perry and Laura Brennan, all of Leongatha, are members of
the South Gippsland FReeZA committee that organises arts events for
South Gippsland youth.
Monday, 17 December
Todays maps focus on the performance of the Greens, who went
backwards in terms of votes, yet managed to win a record number of
lower house seats at a general election.
This first map shows the primary
vote swing for the Greens in the 88 electorates.
Seats coloured dark green or bright green mostly swung to the
Greens. Pale green seats had a small negative swing, with the brown
seats doing worst.
In the recent past weve seen the Greens gain swings in the inner
city while losing ground in regional parts of Victoria, but the
picture from this election isnt quite as clear.
Yes there was a big increase in the Greens vote in Northcote,
Prahran and Richmond (the last helped by the absence of a Liberal
candidate), but the Greens vote went slightly backwards in
Melbourne and Albert Park, and barely increased in Brunswick.
This second map shows the two-candidate-preferred vote by booth
in non-classic seats. This includes five Labor vs Greens races, one
Labor vs independent race and one Liberal vs Greens race, all in a
contiguous area in the inner city stretching from Prahran to Pascoe
The map also shows the map data for Mildura, Morwell, Shepparton
and Geelong, but you have to zoom out to see those areas.
You can also toggle the map to see the swing by booth, but only
for four inner-city Labor vs Greens races for some obscure
Thats about it for today. Ill have more maps tomorrow.
When: 4:30pm 19th December 2018 Where: Australian Federal
Police, 383 LaTrobe St, West Melbourne, VIC Facebook event here
Bahraini refugee Hakeem Al-Araibi, a permanent Australian resident
living in Melbourne, is being held in Thailand and faces
deportation back to the threat of torture in Bahrian. He fled
Bahrain because of persecution and torture due to(...)
Sunday, 16 December
A new study published
in Nature has found evidence for 467 ways
in which climate hazards due to global warming are making life on
the planet harder for humans. It confirms that we are witnessing a
shift in the functioning of the Earth system as a whole, a shift to
a new state that is unsympathetic to the continued flourishing of
A changing climate is only one feature of a warming globe. Human
activity has bounced the Earth into a state that has no equivalent
in its 4.5 billion year history.
The Earths new trajectory as it spins into the future has led
scientists to tell us we have entered a new geological epoch, the
Anthropocene. We have crossed a threshold and the geological clock
cannot be turned back. The disruption we have caused is
increasingly unpredictable and uncontrollable, and it has no
There are, therefore, two questions humankind must face. What
must we do to prevent serial disasters becoming existential
catastrophe? And how can we make our social and economic systems
flexible enough to cope with the new dispensation?
There are several reasons an international agreement has proven
so hard. The leading one is sabotage by climate science deniers.
Friday, 14 December
Video from a resident of Birchip, in Victoria's north-west,
shows heavy flooding in the town.
During the warmer months of the year the bite from the
Australian Common (AC) March Fly (Tabanus australicus) can take the
shine off a BBQ and in my experience many of these flies are
pre-emptively despatched during the course of a lazy summers
afternoon outdoors. In reality it is only the female fly that
People standing on the Hume Freeway
https://ScientistsWarning.TV Kevin and
Hugh are back with us this year discussing the new climate
glitterati that come annually to Davos to feign concern about the
climate while they discuss techno-fixes that might allow the (in
their minds at least) to continue their excessive lifestyle that is
heading us directly for runaway climate change and
Tip to Chris Harries for this COPOUT chart..
Cars driving through flood
Here, in the 18th year of the New
Millennium, the 28th Year of Our Internet (delivering unlimited
information to all), and the 30th year of the Great Harangue over
Climate Change (dating it from ...
Thursday, 13 December
Christmas For Those Alone is holding its 18th consecutive free
lunch this year. Christmas for those alone provides a free lunch on
Christmas Day to anybody in the Shepparton District who finds them
self alone or unable to have a Christmas meal with family/friends.
Transport is available. Nothing says community like a big
Christmas ... Read more...
Sheppartons annual Carols by Candlelight will take place on
Sunday, December 23, 2018 at 6:30 PM 8:30 PM at Queens Gardens,
Wyndham St, Shepparton. Carols by Candlelight is a loved
annual tradition where many generations of families and friends
gather to celebrate the festive season in the beautiful setting of
the Queens Gardens. ... Read more...
Its so nice reading an article that joins the dots. I get
so sick of people concentrating on one issue or another, ignoring
everything else troubling civilisation. From
Consciousness of Sheep, who else.?
Britain has apparently been thrown
into crisis overnight. Meanwhile across the channel, French
president Macron is desperately trying to extinguish the flames of
another weekend of mass protests that have now spread to Belgium
and Holland. In Eastern Europe the hard-right are gaining
support; even undermining the previously untouchable Angela Merkels
power base in the former East Germany. Across the Atlantic
meanwhile, the lines between deranged Democrats and MAGA
nationalists are being drawn in readiness for Americas second civil
war. We are surely living through the greatest crisis in
Well, yes indeed we are. But everything set out in the
first paragraph is no more than the froth on the beer. These
political spasms are merely the outward manifestation of a human
catastrophe that has been decades in the making.
Two far greater symptoms of our predicament have gained at least
some public traction this year. First was an all too visible
plastic pollution crisis that is increasingly difficult to ignore
now that China has ceased acting as the Wests rubbish dump.
Second is the somewhat less visible insect apocalypse that has seen
the near extinction of a raft of pollinating insect species;
without which we humans are doomed to starvation.
Interestingly, while these two symptoms are only tenuously related
to climate change, they have tended to be included under that
shorthand heading. Plastic certainly damages the environment,
but its build up owes far more to the ongoing power of the
petrochemicals industry and the myth of recyclingthan
to changes in climate. The same goes for the insects.
While there may have been some climactic impact on migrations and
reproduction, the main cause is the vast quantities of chemical
insecticides required by an industrialised agriculture tasked with
feeding 7.5 billion humans on a planet that could barely feed one
seventh of that without fossil fuels and agrochemicals.
In the affected areas, local populations have been stunned by a
series of red tide events that
result in the mass deaths of fish and other marine creatures.
Climate change is indirectly involved in these events because of
the increased rainfall from warmer storms. But once again it
is our industrial agriculture that is the primary cause ...
Heavy rains have caused chaos on the Hume Freeway and
They say that music can rejuvenate the soul, and that was what I
was hoping for on Saturday 10th November as I
arrived in leafy Amberley for the 2018 CMVic
Singing Camp on a beautiful sunny morning. I had been
struggling with my own emotional demons the day before so I was
hoping to find my centre; my support again. Perhaps music
could reorganise my brains foggy neural connections again into
After the standard check-ins for new arrivals (most people had
stayed over from the Friday welcome event the previous evening),
all attendees gathered in the Banksia Room for an acknowledgement
to country, welcomes, warm ups and an innovative Body Percussion
musical game led by Jane York and Nicki Johnson. It was a
great way to meet some new people and to experience the unnerving
sensation of speaking a simple repeated chant while engaging our
bodies in a series of percussive movements. Think of the
frustration you get trying to pat the top of your head while
rubbing your belly, and you get the idea. It was fun, fast
and quite furious! Well done Jane and Nicki for waking us up
and energising us all into a frenzy!
Funny Stuart Wilde audio snippet from 33 Steps Beyond the Earth
Wednesday, 12 December
Event: Ecdysis the musical Genre: Drama
Classification: G General exhibition, suitable for the whole
family Director: Mother Nature Cast:
Members of the Aeshnidae, Cordulegastroidea and Libelluliodea
families (i.e. dragonflies) Soundtrack: Various frogs,
crickets & cicadas Year: 2018 Plot summary:
Ecdysis (the musical) is the coming of age story of a dragonfly as
The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has welcomed the
announcement that the Victorian government will provide additional
funding to assist the Overland passenger train to continue running
between Melbourne and Adelaide and has renewed calls for the
government to support reinstatement of regular passenger trains to
The Overland has been supported by the South Australian and
Victorian governments for many years; its future was jeopardised
when the South Australian government recently announced it would
cut its portion of the funding. Todays announcement represents an
increase in funding from the Victorian government, with the
remainder of the shortfall coming from Great Southern Rail, who
operate the Overland.
The Overland runs twice weekly in each direction, and stops at
North Shore (Geelong), Ararat, Stawell, Horsham, Dimboola and Nhill
in western Victoria; it is the only passenger rail service that
travels west of Ararat, and is therefore a very important link for
those communities. The Overland also serves Bordertown and Murray
Bridge in South Australia.
PTUA Ballarat Branch convener Ben Lever praised the Victorian
government for working with Great Southern Rail to ensure that the
Overland can continue to run in 2019.
The Overland is the only passenger train that runs west of
Ararat, and it serves as a vital link for people who live in places
like Stawell, Horsham, Dimboola and Nhill. Not only does it connect
these towns to Melbourne and Adelaide, it connects them to each
other and to Bordertown and Murray Bridge in South Australia.
Many people in these communities cannot drive, and some struggle
to use high-floor coaches its vital to maintain the rail link, and
we are delighted to see the Victorian government step up to
preserve this service.
While welcoming the news that the Overland will continue to run,
Mr Lever noted that places like Stawell and Horsham needed a higher
level of service than the Overland currently provides.
While its great that the Overland will still run, there is still
a real need to provide regular rail services to Horsham in the very
near future. The Overland provides a lifeline service to these
communities, but years and years of cuts mean it only runs twice a
week, and has a reputation for slow speeds and poor punctuality so
its not an attractive option for most trips.
Great Southern Rail have committed to a full review of the
Overland service, to determine its future beyond 2019. Mr Lever
encouraged the Victorian government to take the opportunity to take
a holistic view of rail transport...
THE Federal Court has ordered former Murray Goulburn
Co-operative managing director Gary Helou to pay $200,000 in
penalties for being knowingly concerned in Murray Goulburns false
or misleading claims about the farmgate milk price it expected to
pay dairy farmers during the 2015-16 milk season.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission deputy chair Mick
Keogh said, The penalty imposed against Mr Helou reflects his
seniority at Murray Goulburn and involvement in misleading
representations about the farmgate milk price.
Murray Goulburn admitted to making false or misleading
representations in breach of the Australian Consumer Law when it
represented to farmers in Victoria, South Australia and southern
New South Wales on February 29, 2016, and subsequently until April
27, 2016, that it could maintain its opening milk price of $5.60/kg
of milk solids.
South Gippslanders reacted to the penalty on The Stars Facebook
page, with Darren McInnes writing, Disgraceful for a man who ruined
the Devondale brand and Darren Eastwood saying, Petty cash for
Mr Helou has admitted he was involved in the misleading
representations made by Murray Goulburn. This included not
informing farmers of risks known to Murray Goulburn and making
unfounded assumptions that Murray Goulburn could achieve its milk
powder sachet sales targets.
Murray Goulburns misrepresentations meant farmers were not
informed of the likelihood the final milk price would fall below
the opening price. This was important information for farmers as it
would have influenced the business decisions each farmer made, Mr
Farmers were denied the opportunity to plan for the impact of
the reduced milk price on their businesses between February and
April 2016, including implementing measures to reduce their
exposure to a decrease in the milk price or shopping their milk
around to other dairy processors.
The ACCC did not seek a penalty against Murray Goulburn because
as it was a co-operative, any penalty imposed against it could end
up being paid by the very farmers that were misled.
We were conscious not to seek penalty orders that would
adversely affect farmers for the wrongs committed by Murray
Goulburn, so we focused on obtaining appropriate orders against the
individuals involved in the conduct, Mr Keogh added.
As part of the resolution of the proceedings, Mr Helou has
undertaken to the court that he will not be involved in the dairy
industry for three years.
In August 2018, the ACCC resolved its proceedings against Murray
Goulburns former chief financial officer, Bradley Hingle, after he
consented to an order that he pay a contribution to the ACCCs costs
and gave an undertaking to the court that he wouldnt be involved in
the dairy i...
By Trudy Murphy
OH, what a night!
Saturday nights Carols in the Drome in Leongatha was a carols to
remember with amazing performances from local bands, Leongatha
Childrens Centre, local schools, Lisa Pellin Dancers, Combined
Church Choir, South Gippsland Brass Band and drummers, Ashley
Geary, Jackson Patterson, Adrian Darakai, Kiarna Smith, Britt
Lewis, Kerryn Lockhart, Jen Holm and Jessica Stein, who delighted
the crowd with her warm and friendly compering of the night.
The morning began with the decision to go ahead with the hope
reports of wet weather were wrong. That paid off with a little help
The attendance was fantastic with more than 1000 people and the
new location near the LDNA netball courts was a hit with everyone.
The close proximity of amenities and the roads made moving around
the site easy.
New carols committee member Claire Williams passion for the
community and enthusiasm lifted the quality of the childrens
activities with go-karts, jumping castles and mini golf, all free
for children to enjoy.
The carols stall with glow gear, popcorn, ice cones and fairy
floss was busy all night, with all profits going towards next years
This event wouldnt be possible without the wonderful support and
help from community members and businesses.
The committee wishes to thank volunteers who helped on the
night, Leongatha Mens Shed, SES, stage manager Matt Saario and Neil
Sponsors were South Gippsland Shire Council, Chairo Christian
School, Ezyas Car Wash, St Peters Church, The Star
newspaper, Aldi, Michaels IGA, Woolworths, Freeza, Leongatha
Business Association, Country Cart, Ryans Trucks, SAFE Scaffolding,
Leongatha Lions and Lyric Theatre.
Thanks to 1000-plus people who joined us for our community
carols. It was a wonderful atmosphere and its really special seeing
everyone having a great time enjoying the talents and expertise of
our local people, the committees Trudy Murphy said.
Young talent: Tegan Denbrok (front) and
Meg Richards of South Gippsland Brass Band performed admirably at
Carols in the Drome at Leongatha on Saturday. They are with Doug
Appleton, Brian Foster, Masina Ahokava and Ralph Christensen.
Photo: Trudy Murphy.
STUDENTS at St Josephs Primary School, Wonthaggi, wowed their
friends and family with their annual Christmas concert on Thursday,
The Christmas concert was based on John Burlands Christmas
Christmas Star is a collection of songs and narration
that retells the events leading up to and including the birth of
The concert was performed by the whole school with each student
given the opportunity to play a role.
They performed a matinee to warm up, which was followed by a
night performance on the same evening.
The students have worked hard to prepare for the concert since
the start of term four.
Very sweet: Grade 1/2 students Mia,
Isla, Ava and Izzy were dressed as angels for St Josephs Primary
Schools Christmas concert in Wonthaggi.
IF ever there was a more important job than spreading joy to
children the world over, Santa Claus is yet to have discovered
Mr Claus hails from the Nordic, snowy regions of the North Pole.
Each year on Christmas Eve and early Christmas Day, he delivers
toys, with the help of his faithful team of reindeer and elves, to
millions of children the world over, filling empty stockings hung
It is by no measure a mean feat to reward the worlds children
with festive season gifts; and to that end, he concedes the busy
delivery schedule requires a team effort from all involved.
It might sound obvious, but steering reindeer can be a little
tricky at times, especially in snowy conditions. Thats why I love
visiting Australian children during their summer Christmas without
snow, I get to deliver far more goodies for the Aussie boys and
girls, Mr Claus said.
Times have changed a little and I admit that our sleigh could do
with a few upgrades to its navigational and compass equipment to
aid flying around the world at top speed. Sometimes Dancer gets a
little antsy in cool conditions.
But I have to say my wife Mrs Claus makes everything possible.
Without her reindeer care, toy preparation and not to mention
cookie production with my trusty team of elves, none of this would
be possible. Its truly a team effort.
We would all like to extend our warmest wishes of appreciation
to all our reindeer Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid,
Donner and Blitzen. To all our elves that make toys at our North
Pole factory and care for our reindeer, we thank you too.
Mr Claus always gives his time to all, and The Star
notes that of all the people he waved to during our interview, each
and every person reciprocated the joy.
Is there anything about Santa Claus you didnt know? Perhaps its
his red pyjamas worn to bed and when he gets up in the morning, he
awakens to Jingle Bells.
He also credits his energy levels to a daily hot chocolate with
a sprinkling of elf dust.
All in all, he reiterates that Mrs Claus always keeps him on his
toes, though his knees have received a good work out throughout the
It must be all the well behaved children contributing to
Monday, 10 December
In the forest of Qian, a sprinkle of snow announced the early
winter. Ambling through his domain and picking herbs the old sage
encountered three young men from the nearby 
These opening words of Tolkiens The Hobbit could equally apply
to the little Spotted Pardalote that arose apparently out of
nowhere from the grass in front of us while we were trying to
photograph a White-winged Triller for a previous post on this blog.
In fact the pardalote emerged from the insignificant hole in
Question: Im aware of the Buddhist exhortation not to kill, but
my cats health is declining and theres no doubt his pain can only
be managed for so long. When, if ever, is it okay to put your pet
down, and how do you work with it when the time comes?
Answer: These days, ... Read more...
Sunday, 09 December
Gabriella MANGANO and Silvana MANGANO,
There is no there (still) 2015, single-channel High
Definition digital video; 16:9, black and white, sound, 10 minutes
27 seconds; edition 2 of 3. Geelong Gallery. Purchased with funds
generously provided by Geelong Contemporary, 2018. Reproduced
courtesy of the artists and Anna Schwartz Gallery. Geelong Gallery,
Little Mallop Street, Geelong (VIC), 8 December 2018 to 10 February
Winner of the Koorie Heritage Trust Highly Commended Award,
GOTAFE Shepparton, Aunty Girl 2018,
ceramic, textiles. The Koorie Art Show, Koorie Heritage
Trust, Yarra Building, Federation Square, Melbourne (VIC), 8
December 2018 24 February 2019 koorieheritagetrust.com.au
Andrew NICHOLLS, Porcellini (self-portrait as
Tobias Smollett) 2015-2018. Large format photograph, 120 x 150
cm. the artist. WA Now Andrew Nicholls: Hyperkulturemia,
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth Cultural Centre, Perth
(WA), 15 December 2018 15 April 2019 ...
Saturday, 08 December
In the valley the three snakes to watch out for (according to
popular wisdom) are the Red-bellied Black, the Eastern Brown and
the Tiger Snake. All three are classed as dangerously venomous and
depending on the local environment one of the three will dominate.
All are snakes of the Elapid family. That is having hollow 
Friday, 07 December
POPULAR UNREST IN AN AGE OF FALLING
Between my French origins and the opinions expressed
within this little blog, I have taken more than a passing interest
in the events happening in France, especially when its fuelled by
passionate and restless wwoofers who come from there too! As you
will or should know, I believe the real economy runs on energy, not
money, and surplus energy in particular as a result, I have been
following Tim Morgans Surplus
Energy Economics blog for a while, which I would encourage you
all to follow too. This is Tims latest gem, which proves that when
you do the math. the truth comes out!
This weekend, the authorities plan
to field 89,000 police officers across France in response to
anticipated further mass protests by the gilets jaunes. In the
capital, the Eiffel Tower will be closed and armoured cars
deployed, whilst restaurateurs and shopkeepers are being urged to
close their businesses at one of the most important times of their
Though the government has climbed down on the
original cause clbre the rises in fuel taxes
planned for next year there seems to be no reduction in the worst
protests experienced in the country since the 1960s. Reports
suggest that as many as 70% of French citizens support the
protestors, and that the movement may be spreading to Belgium and
For the outside observer, the most striking features of the
protests in France have been the anger clearly on display, and the
rapid broadening of the campaign from fuel prices to a wider range
of issues including wages, the cost of living and taxation.
The disturbances in France should be seen in a larger context.
In France itself, Emmanuel Macron was elected president only after
voters had repudiated all established political parties. Italians
have entrusted their government to an insurgent coalition which is
on a clear collision-course with the European Union over budgetary
matters. The British have voted to leave the EU, and Americans have
elected to the White House a man dismissed by experts as a joke
candidate throughout his campaign.
Obviously, something very important is going on why?
Does economics explain popular anger?
There are, essentially, two different ways in which the events
in France and beyond can be interpreted, and how you look at them
depends a great deal on how you see the economic situation.
If you subscribe to the conventional and consensus
interpretation, economic issu...
Action Alert: Human Rights Day Refugee Rally to call for end to
offshore crisis Refugee supporters will rally on Human Rights Day,
6.30pm December 10 in the Bourke St Mall, calling to end offshore
processing and bring the refugees here. The rally will also call on
MPs to back the Phelps refugee bill when federal(...)
Thursday, 06 December
On the 80th anniversary of William Coopers historic protest
about Nazi Germanys treatment of Jews, Monash University in
partnership with John and Pauline Gandel has launched the William
Cooper Indigenous Scholarship Program. Indigenous elder,
Yorta Yorta man and human rights activist William Cooper famously
led a protest and attempted to hand a petition to ... Read
Economists have GDPs. Workers have KPIs. Athletes have PBs. But
what about social justice activists? Could there be a Social
Justice Measure (SJM) for how much a person cares about justice?
If such a calculation was possible, I wonder if the unit of
measurement might be the kilometre, and the measure might be
something ... Read more...
Tuesday, 04 December
In a revegetated gully at the back of our place there is
a wealth of bird chatter at present. But the songs of two birds in
particular dominate for much of the day, and it sounds like a
battle to see which can impress the most. They are the Rufous
Whistler and White-winged Triller. 
There are now almost daily suicide attempts among refugees on
Manus Island, and no medical facilities to cope with the crisis.
The small Pacific International Hospital (PIH) at the East
Lorengau compound has only one room to treat emergency patients, so
there is no place to care for in-patients, so they are returned
Hakeem Al-Araibi has been recognised as a refugee and granted
permanent protection by the Australian government. Last week, while
he was in Thailand, he was taken by the Thai authorities to an
immigration detention centre and told he will not be sent back to
The Thai authorities informed him that due to an Interpol red
notice, he would be deported to Bahrain instead. Today there
are reports in the media that the Interpol red notice has been
lifted, yet there is no clear sign of guaranteed safety and
protection for Hakeem Al-Araibi by Australian and Thai state
authorities or International authorities in the UN or ICRC with a
Im a refugee in Australia, Im scared of the Bahraini
government They will kill me. I dont know whats going to happen
there. My life will end if I go to Bahrain. Hakeem Al Araibi who
has been detained in Thailand.
This is a critical case as it sets a further precedent of abuse
and torture across the world, and makes us refugees more insecure
about travelling outside Australia. It violates our right to
freedom of movement, life, safety and protection. RISE has emailed
UNHCR Thailand, UN-CAT, The Asia Pacific refugee rights network and
our team has contacted UNHCR in Thailand by phone.
We urgently request our supporters to contact Thai and
Australian authorities and International agencies listed below and
ask them to intervene and stop the deportation of Hakeem Al-Araibi
to danger and provide him with proper support and safeguards for
safe travel back to Australia.
1. Contact Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs
Electorate office: (02) 9687 8755
Foreign Affairs: Foreign.email@example.com
2. Australian Ambassador to Thailand. Paul
Phone : 02 344 6300 (Thailand) or 1300 555 135 (Aus)
*[Also contact your local Australian embassies]
3. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) head
office in Canberra
Switchboard: +61 2 6261 1111
Fax: +61 2 6261 3111
4. UNHCR Australia
Phone: 1300 361 288 (within Australia)
+61 (0)2 9262 5377 (overseas).
5. OHCHR | Convention against Torture
6. UNHCR Thailand
Phone : +66 2288 2180
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Facsimile: +66 2280 0555
We should stop refugees from being deported to any country where
they are likely to face harm and persecution.
A Stuart Wilde article: Some people dont need redemption, they
believe they are perfect. The rest of us need as much redemption
Saturday, 01 December
The William Cooper Legacy Project together with the Jewish
Community Council of Victoria invite you to their Remembrance Walk
at Flagstaff Gardens on evening of 6 December 2018. This will be
followed by a smoking ceremony and Chanukiah lighting at Peppercorn
Park, Alexandra Gardens. Remembering William Cooper
Recommitting To His Legacy! As members ... Read
Zen priest Lin Shutt teaches a short meditation to foster
compassion for beings in search of refuge. Many people think
Buddhism is about getting rid of desire. Really, our main focus is
on promoting non-harming in the world. We look at how we can
alleviate suffering. Given the social climate of the world today,
... Read more...
Friday, 30 November
After the 09 fires a grove of Yellow Box saplings started
growing on our property. Being a mecca for young invertebrates and
therefore birds and other creatures I began monitoring the fauna
that lived there. Now the saplings are trees and hard to access. So
recently I found three Grey Boxes (Eucalyptus microcarpus) that
A Breakdown of the health and education institutions currently
financially tied to security companies complicit in ongoing
detention torture. There have been countless reports and inquiries
regarding the deaths, torture and sexual abuse faced by
refugees who have been incarcerated within Australias mandatory
detention centres. These detention centres are allowed to exist
with impunity because they are directly orchestrated by the
Australian government for profit.
RISE encourages employees, students and clients of these
institutions as well as general supporters to use the contact
points linked below, maintain a physical presence at these
establishments and demand they divest from the detention industry
immediately and sever ties with these security companies.
Stanley Hospital (Western Australia), Serco
Broadmeadows Health Service, Wilson Security
Hospital, Wilson Parking
Health, Wilson Security
Private Hospital, Wilson Parking
Royal Womens Hospital, Wilson Parking
- Valley Private
Hospital, Wilson Parking
- Peninsula Health
(VIC) , Wilson Security
Hospital Epping, Wilson Security
- Northern Health
Bundoora, Wilson Security
- Northern Health
Craigieburn, Wilson Security
- Eastern Health
(VIC) , Wilson Security
Mind Mental Health PARC Facility Ringwood (VIC), Wilson
- Darwin Private
Hospital (NT) ,...
Over the years, Ive written a fair bit about debt and how the
only way out is a Jubilee. well, Michael Hudson, someone whose
podcasts I now listen to religiously, has written a whole book
about this subject. Heres a review of the book I must buy
A Review of Michael Hudsons new book
. and Forgive Them Their
As published on Naked Capitalism
by John Siman
To say that Michael Hudsons new book And Forgive Them
Their Debts: Lending, Foreclosure, and Redemption from Bronze Age
Finance to the Jubilee Year (ISLET 2018) is profound is an
understatement on the order of saying that the Mariana Trench is
deep. To grasp his central argument is so alien to our modern way
of thinking about civilization and barbarism that Hudson quite
matter-of-factly agreed with me that the book is, to the extent
that it will be understood, earth-shattering in both intent and
effect. Over the past three decades, gleaned (under the auspices of
arvards Peabody Museum) and then synthesized the
scholarship of American and British and French and German and
Consciousness of Sheep keeps coming up with magnificent
like this one..
I know I keep saying this too, but the Matrix cant
continue lurching about for too much longer.
Despite a series of stock market scares, see-sawing oil
prices and central banks jacking up interest rates, it seems likely
that we are going to get through 2018 without experiencing the
economic crash that many expected at the start of the year.
But while we may breathe a sigh of relief to have got to the
festive season without a complete meltdown, the odds of another
crash are still high.
Understanding what might go wrong is a particular problem
according to Helen Thompson at the New Statesman. Not
least because 10 years on, we still cannot agree on what caused the
In July 2008 the then president of the European Central Bank
(ECB), Jean-Claude Trichet, declared while announcing an increase
in interest rates that the Eurozones fundamentals were sound. In
fact, a recession had begun in the first quarter of that
The causes of recessions are also sometimes wrongly
diagnosed even in retrospect. For instance, the impact of
exceptionally high oil prices and the response of central banks to
those prices are still routinely ignored as causes of the US and
European recessions in the aftermath of the 2008 crash.
Thompsons article sets out a range of weaknesses across the
global economy where a new economic meltdown could begin.
China, the (albeit anaemic) growth engine of the global economy for
the last decade, has developed debt problems not dissimilar to
those in the west in 2008:
Economic growth in China has been slowing since the second
half of 2017, and even the growth of the first half of that year
was an interruption of a downward slope that began in 2013.
Predictions of a Chinese financial crisis, owing to the countrys
huge accumulation of debt since 2008, are made too readily. But
China is now caught between a policy shift towards deleveraging to
try to avoid such a debt-induced financial crisis, and another
debt-financed push for higher growth amid an economic slowdown and
a fierce trade war with the US. The Chinese government is
struggling under these conflicting imperatives as the countrys
dollar reserves fall....
An interesting narrative by Susan
Lets explore a thought puzzle: Can you change the
You are transported onto the deck of the RMS Titanic,
the largest ship ever built and designed to be unsinkable. It is
midnight 13 April 1912. There are 2,224 people on the ship, which
is under full steam on the fastest ever crossing of the Atlantic.
You know what will happen, what will you do?
You know that at 11:39pm on 14 April the lookout will spot
an iceberg, and by 2:20am the ship and 1,517 people will be gone.
Can you change the future?
You know that at 11:39pm on 14 April the lookout will spot an
iceberg, and by 2:20am the ship and 1,517 people will be gone. The
ship was launched with lifeboats for less than half the number of
people on board. You could take a self-sufficiency strategy and
make sure you are near a lifeboat, but you know they will be
allocated according to class and you might not get a spot.
Clearly, the best solution is to slow down, change course and
not hit the iceberg. You know that t...
Thursday, 29 November
RESULTS in the Victorian election last weekend will go
a long way to guaranteeing that Liberal-turned-independent Julia
Banks will retain Chisholm at the next Federal election, if she
decides to stand.
How is that, one might ask. Chisholm will fall to Labor on a 3.4
per cent swing and Labor got a 6 per cent swing in the state
Well, it is all to do with Victorias Upper House, the
Legislative Council, and the dirty deed Labor did on the
The Legislative Council has eight electorates of five members
each. The election is run on the same basis as the Federal Senate
before the 2016 changes. Voters voting above the line just put a 1
in one box and their preferences are determined by a pre-registered
ticket by that party.
You cannot express preferences for different parties above the
line, as you now can in a Federal Senate election.
So the parties, major and micro, do deals to swap preferences,
usually irrespective of political philosophy.
The quota to get a seat after preferences are counted is 16.6
Now preferences are counted from both ends in this sort of
election. Preferences from excluded parties are counted but so are
the preferences of the leftover vote of the major parties. For
example, in one electorate Labor got 37.5 per cent of the primary
vote and had 4.3 per cent leftover after using two lots of 16.6 per
cent of get its first two candidates elected.
But who did Labor preference? A whole lot of micro parties and
others before the Greens. The Coalition did the same thing, but
that is understandable on policy grounds.
As the count progressed and micro party candidates got
eliminated all their preferences went to other surviving micro
parties. Eventually, the last micro party left unexcluded took the
last seat in all eight electorates.
In one electorate the Transport Matters Party won with just 0.6
per cent of the primary vote.
In three other electorates micro party candidates won with less
than 2 per cent; three with less 5 and one with 7.
In all eight electorates the Greens had the third-highest vote
behind Labor and the Coalition yet got just one seat losing four of
its existing seats because of these diabolically undemocratic
The Greens only seat was in the electorate where they polled
15.8 per cent of the vote, so close to a quota they hardly needed
any preferences at all.
The Greens will not forge...
Mark Jackson knew he was doing something right when a member
from one of his nine Ukestras informed him that she was too busy
seeing friends to come and play.
My number one ticket holder said, Sorry I cant come to Uke
today, Im playing cards with my new friends, you dont know what
youve done with the ukulele, its been fantastic.
Helping people to make music, building community and
sustainability are three significant keystones in the lives and
business model of Mark and his partner, Jane Jelbart. The
pair work together as The Sum of Parts, teaching Ukulele, running
participatory groups, holding Ukestras and developing and
encouraging sustainable leadership using their very own, finely
honed Ukestra Method1.
They do this so well that for the past nine years it has been
their primary source of income and they have now written two books
packed with insights about their work: The Ukestration
Manual, about creating music making communities with the
Ukulele and the Ukestra Method, and The Business of being a
Community Musician for people who want to make a living or run
a small business as a community musician.
A chief value underpinning what they do is the conviction that
being active in our community is good for us and that a decline in
the uptake and participation in socially focussed, group-activities
such as sport, church or clubs is mirrored by a decline in the
physical and mental health and wellbeing of the people within the
Community is really good for us and I think Its really good for
the planet as well if were together. Its almost like making music
together was the first way that we came together, and which wasnt
about fighting or reproducing.
Once you get a community music group up and running, theres the
question of how to sustain it and offer support and mentorship to
emerging new leaders.
Being such an accessible and appealing little instrument, new
people are drawn into the sphere of the ukulele all the time, which
is fortunate when sustainability is so integral to making a living
as a community musician. Youve got to constantly be
introducing people into this environment and thats whats so
fantastic about the ukulele. Its an instrument that you
can play really complex things on, but you dont
have to says Mark.
What you need is a system of teaching and leadership that is
effective and sustainable. If we just relied on the people we
started out working with nine years ago, we wouldnt have a
business, we wouldnt be connecting people up. If it was all stale,
then people wo...
SOUTH AFRICA: Concerns have been raised, especially from
Christians, that buying halaal or kosher foods amounts to funding
religions. The concerns have been raised with the Commission for
the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious
and Linguistic Communities (CRL commission), which hosted a seminar
on the subject on Thursday. Religious leaders ... Read
Very few people join all the dots, and as usual,
Gail Tverberg does her best to do so here again. There are so many
signals on the web now pointing to a major reset its not
Many people, including most Peak Oilers, expect that oil
prices will rise endlessly. They expect rising oil prices because,
over time, companies find it necessary to access more
difficult-to-extract oil. Accessing such oil tends to be
increasingly expensive because it tends to require the use of
greater quantities of resources and more advanced technology. This
issue is sometimes referred to as diminishing
returns. Figure 1 shows how oil prices might be expected to
rise, if the higher costs encountered as a result of diminishing
returns can be fully recovered from the ultimate customers of this
Wednesday, 28 November
Every day between the peaks, some lines are packed because the
trains run only every 20 minutes.
Melbourne is growing; to cut waiting times and crowding, we need
frequent services all day.
Share this video on
Facebook and Twitter
Hanukkah (alternately spelled Chanukah), meaning dedication in
Hebrew, refers to the joyous eight-day celebration during which
Jews commemorate the victory of the Maccabees over the armies of
Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and rededication
of the Temple in Jerusalem. The modern home celebration of Hanukkah
centers around the lighting of the hanukkiyah, ... Read
The Monthly Discussion in December Bust and Beyond
What: Discuss + Debate + Drinks + Pizza When: Wednesday,
December 5th Time: 6pm Cost: Free Is the property market
in meltdown? In the blue corner sits plunging auction clearance
rates (sub 40% in Melbourne last weekend), tighter lending
conditions, and national land prices down 5% year-on-year 
Monday, 26 November
On my first visit to Ireland I met a man whose endowed purpose
was to Exude Love amongst other things such as drink beer, smoke
weed and generally be a nuisance....
Cockatoos are distinguished from other parrots by having a crest
on the top of the head that can be raised, usually when landing or
when excited. In some birds, like the Galah, the crest is barely
noticeable and in others like the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo it is
the distinguishing feature. Cockatoos also lack the feathers with
1) Films about food and why the food movement is
2) GMO potato is dangerous and should be withdrawn, says the
scientist who created it.
3) Australia postpones deregulating new GM and why is the US
military creating extinction technologies?
4) The Monsanto Files: Roundup - is it in your hair? and how to
get it out of your Council.
5) Thank you and goodbye.
|1) Films about food and why the
food movement is unstoppable!
Bill in Parliament to get all children and families off Nauru:
Contact Labor MPs
One of the arguments being pushed by those on the political
right seeking to downplay the Victorian election outcome is that
Australian state governments generally get a second term. A look
over the period since 1990, however, brings up several
exceptions to that rule. Heres my list:
Borbidge (Queensland), Baillieu-Napthine (Victoria), Newman
For the second-term argument to work in downplaying the result,
more is needed. It has to be the case that, having won a second
term, governments mostly fail to get a third. Heres a list
 of instances where two-term governments have been defeated.
Groom-Rundle (Tasmania), Greiner-Fahey (NSW), Kennett
(Victoria), Carnell-Humphries (ACT), Court, Gallop-Carpenter,
Barnett (WA), Martin-Henderson (NT)
Eagle-eyed readers will notice that all of the exceptions in the
first list were conservatives, while only two of the confirming
instances in the second list were Labor.
With a limited data set, its easy to support a wide range of
conclusions. Still if conservative commentators want to use
historical patterns to argue that, having easily won a second term,
Daniel Andrews is on track to lose next time, I think theyre
fn1. This is a
moderately famous Internet meme, coined by Alan Greenspan
fn2. One might arguably add the Goss government in Queensland,
which won the 1995 election, but lost office after a by-election
required by the Court of Disputed Returns.
Sunday, 25 November
After any state election with a decisive outcome, partisan
analysis shows a predictable pattern. On the losing side, the state
party blames its federal counterpart, while the feds say that the
election was decided on state issues. On the winning side, there is
generally enough credit to go around, with the state party basking
in success, while the federal party (particularly if it is in
opposition) points to the outcome as a message to Canberra.
The recent Victorian election is, I think, rather different.
Thats because, on the conservative side at least, the usual
state-based issues (health, education, roads) were disregarded in
favour of a culture war campaign almost identical to that being run
by the Morrison government at the national level and by the
political right globally. Notable examples were an overtly racist
law and order campaign, a revival of the drug war, and proposals
for publicly funded coal-fired power stations aimed at appealing to
climate science denialists. Guys slogan get back in control could
just as well have been used by Donald Trump, or by the rightwing
advocates of Brexit.
The stunning rejection of Guys campaign gives some hope that
Australian voters will not fall for this. In part, thats because
Labor ran on its
traditional strength at the state level. But the outcome was
very similar to Morrisons drubbing in the Wentworth by-election,
where the state level advantage didnt apply.
Its only one election, but its one of a number, notably
including the recent US midterms, where the supposed irresistible
force of rightwing identity politics has proved to be not so
irresistible after all. Its too early to start cheering, but it now
looks possible that, in a few years time, the whole rightwing
upsurge will prove to have been the final spasm of the losing side
in the culture wars. The question then will be how to build a
better world from the mess we will inherit.
I was going to write a post saying that the resounding victory
of the Andrews government in Victoria reflected the fact that Labor
is the natural party of government at the state level in Australia.
A quick check revealed that Id already written pretty much the same
thing in 2002 (over the fold). Ill add some updates and
qualifications in comments.
Australian Financial Review, 5 December
The latest Labor landslide at the weekend reinforces the great
paradox of Australian politics. Labor is in office, and looking
comfortable in all the States and Territories, but seems doomed to
endless Opposition at the Federal level.
It could be argued that this is just a random fluctuation. After
all, something very close to the opposite configuration occurred
during the last year of the Keating government.
Then there is the general tendency of Australians to distrust
overly powerful governments, reflected in the strength of minor
parties in the Senate. A Liberal government at the federal level is
therefore good for Labor at the state level, and vice versa.
There is something in this, but not enough. Labor now appears to
be the natural party of government in all the states, with the
exception of the Northern Territory and perhaps WA, and even there,
the old mould of non-Labor dominance has been broken.
In the past fifteen to twenty years, Labor has rarely lost a
state election, except when it has displayed high levels of
incompetence, arrogance or both. Even in the wake of fiascos like
the Victorian and South Australian bank failures, the Liberals have
struggled to gain a second term, and have never managed a third. By
contrast, all the Labor governments on the eastern seaboard have
won re-election by landslide margins, and all look set for extended
periods in office.
At the Federal level, John Howards current dominance of the
political stage has led many observers to overlook the fragility of
his hold on power. The government scraped back in 1998 with a
minority of the two-party preferred vote, and appeared doomed to
defeat early in 2001. Only the combination of international crisis,
astute demagoguery and a hopelessly lame opposition strategy saved
them, and even then the win was far from crushing. As recently as
August, the government trailed Labor (on a two-party basis) in
In an election fought solely on domestic issues, the government
would probably lose, despite relatively good economic performance
and the absence of an inspiring alternative. Since state elections
are always fought on domestic issues, Labor has a huge headstart at
the state level. Its only potential weak point is law and order,
but the current crop of Labor leaders have proved entirely capable
Saturday, 24 November
As the French government increases taxes on petrol and diesel to
encourage people to switch to cleaner transport, as if they can
afford to just dump the cars they now own to buy something really
expensive.. this is what collapse looks like, no doubt about
it. And its spreading to Belgium
9:52pm Im going to close down this brief
liveblog, but I will be back in the morning with further analysis,
including a focus on the Legislative Council.
9:51pm Lets revisit the Greens races. Lidia
Thorpe in Northcote has fallen further behind, trailing by 1100
votes. The ABC is projecting that the Greens Tim Read is leading in
Brunswick, but either way it looks very close.
The Greens have widened their gap on the Liberals in Prahran. It
is worth noting, though, that the 2PP count is between Liberal and
Green, not Labor and Green. Presumably Liberal preferences will
favour Labor, which could see Labor win there.
9:47pm There are currently four rural
seats where independents are in play, in addition to Shepparton
where Susanna Sheed has been re-elected.
In Benambra, Jacqui Hawkins is on 30.5% of the primary vote,
behind sitting Liberal MP Bill Tilley but well ahead of Labor, who
are on 18%. Tilley is on less than 38%. We have no Liberal vs
Independent 2CP count, but if Hawkins gains every Labor and Greens
preference she will make a majority and thats ignoring another 9.5%
of the vote with other candidates. Its worth noting that Benambra
overlaps with the federal seat of Indi, held by independent MP
Labors Mark Richards has a big primary vote lead in Morwell. Hes
on 36.7%, followed by sitting independent Russell Northe on 18%,
and a further 22% between the Liberal and National candidates. We
dont have a Labor vs Independent preference count, but it seems
clear that the Nationals wont regain t his seat.
Independent Ali Cupper is on 32% in Mildura, which puts her in
second place. The ABC is currently estimating a narrow win for her,
but its not clear if this is based on real preference data.
Independent candidate Tammy Atkins is on 20% in the Nationals
seat of Ovens Valley. This is just behind Labors Kate Doyle on
20.4%, with sitting MP Tim McCurdy leading on 44.3%. Atkins would
need to overtake Labor either on primary votes or thanks to minor
candidate preferences. Its hard to see her winning but she has a
9:38pm Following on my previous point, this map
shows (in the underlying colours) the results of the 2002 state
election, when Labor won 62 seats.
You can see that they held on to a core of inner south-east
Melbourne. The green overlay shows seats which Labor is currently
on track to gain off the Liberals.
9:05pm Lets discuss what is happening in
the Liberal heartland of Melbourne.
The last Labor landslide was in 2002, when a precarious
The Red Wednesday observance this Wednesday night 28 November at
7:30pm in the Forecourt of St Patricks Cathedral is an important
occasion to show interfaith solidarity for people of all faiths
globally who experience persecution *because* of their faith.
Next Wednesday (28th November 2018), Aid to the Church in
Need ... Read more...
Meditation practice awakens our trust that the wisdom and
compassion that we need are already within us. The Buddhist
Association of the Goulburn Valley invite you to a free Buddhist
Meditation at the Senior Citizens Centre, Shepparton, on Saturday,
1 December 2018. Meditation practice awakens our trust that
the wisdom and compassion that we ... Read more...
Friday, 23 November
While the IEA got a lot of coverage for its World Energy
Outlook 2018 (WEO 18), there might be a little snippet that got way
On page 159 of its Outlook, accessible only behind a
payment barrier, the following graph can be found:
It is clear to see that Peak Oil will be hit well before 2020,
while demand keeps on rising, unless the worlds Oil Majors and
State Owned Oil Companies would massively invest in new
exploration, according to the IEA.
However, the Oil Majors did already heavily spend on new oil
exploration in the years after 2000, where a fossil fuel hype with
an accompanying coal boom lead up to an oil price of over $150 in
2008. While this oil price proved unsustainable for a crashing
world economy, this oil exploration boom lead to very little new
findings in the big scheme of things:
Yet again, Refugee eX-detainees are thrown
under the bus by so-called progressive political campaigners during
the Victorian State election According to the election scorecard
formulated by Colour
Code, an outfit that is run under the umbrella of GetUp and claims to independently
represent people of colour, the Australian Labor state government
and the Greens are given a positive score for Commitment
to multiculturalism, equality and inclusionand saying no to attacks to communities because of
race, religion or language.
Here are questions we have for GetUp and Colour Code on the
above points in their Victorian state election
- How does this match with racial profiling and
abuse of our people by Victoria Police under Daniel Andrews Labor
- How does this match with the Andrews State
Labor government, maintaining an
MOU with Victoria Police and Peter Duttons
Australian Border Force. The Australian Border Force is a
paramilitary wing of the Department of Immigration, originally
formed by the current Australian Prime Minister and member for
Cronulla, Scott Morrison. What have the Greens or Labor done to
cancel this MOU?
- Are you giving the Australian Labor
Party a positive score on these points for starting mandatory
detention, resulting in death, torture and rape of detainees and
ex-detainees or giving Greens and the Australian Labor Party a
positive score for supporting mandatory detention?
- Are you saying that the Australian Labor
Parties support for the policy of pushing refugees arriving by boat
back into the ocean is not an attack on communities because of race, religion or
language and proves a Commitment to multiculturalism, equality and
We would also like to note that a similar
organisation called Democracy in Colour has given the Australian
Labor Party and the Greens in Victoria a positive tick
Thursday, 22 November
By Bridget Roberts with Sarah Berry
Each year CMVic budgets for a day when all the workers, paid and
unpaid, are invited to get together and do something as a team.
This year we gathered at the Body Voice Centre in Footscray and had
an introduction to TaKeTiNa. Ever heard of it? I hadnt. TaKeTiNa
(the name translates as 1-2-3-4) is a worldwide practice of
teaching rhythm and learning from the teaching of rhythm that draws
on multiple traditions: it appears simple, but it is both mentally
and physically challenging. It is also a lot of fun!
Okay, so we sat in a circle and learned a basic body and voice
rhythm. Were all musicians of one stripe or another, I thought, so
what will this add to what, for us, is business as usual relaxing
into a groove, listening to each other, treating variations kindly,
and so on?
Then the leader (Tania Bosak) made things harder and
harder, so that we made mistakes, sometimes having to drop out and
recover before joining back in. At times we were all gently taken
back to a basic groove for a while, before heading off on another
challenge. This went on for two and a half hours, with short rests
and one short reflective conversation. Looking back at the morning
over a shared lunch, the group talked about the experience of
confusion or frustration arising from the desire to get it right on
the one hand, through to letting go and a sense of flow on the
other; of being able to return to our centre when confused; of
sometimes finding more space in the mind.
It was important to be challenged and sometimes to fail in this
safe space. Without the right level of challenge there couldnt be
that sense of delight in finding the flow.
There were lessons too about the distinct processes of learning
and performing. For instance, even a business as usual step-clap
and call-and-response sequence hides many levels of complexity;
levels that can be broken down into the smallest learning blocks
and held up for examination and experimentation. At the same time,
while we work in a circle becoming the audience for one another we
are confronted with our own changing levels of self-awareness and
group-awareness. For instance, of trouble-spots, of how we judge
these moments, and of how we can persist through these moments and
re-join the flow.
As leaders, in music or elsewhere, it was good to be reminded of
how our group members feel when we lead them into new experiences.
How they need us to challenge them but also walk alongside them
with good humour. And how its okay to give participants permission
to step out of the practice if theyre overwhelmed, and to shake it
all out before coming back in.
Guru Nanak Jayanti, also known as Guru Nanaks Prakash Utsav,
celebrates the birth of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak. This is
one of the most sacred festivals in Sikhism, or Sikhi. The
festivities in the Sikh religion revolve around the anniversaries
of the 10 Sikh Gurus. These Gurus were responsible for shaping the
beliefs ... Read more...
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED AIDS Awareness Week
Mon 26 Nov Sat 1 Dec
2 volunteers required for 3hrs per shift to sit out front John
Anderson Amcal Pharmacy (Wyndham Street) to hand out FREE red
ribbons, lapel pins, magnets, notepads, enviro bags and more to
raise awareness around HIV/AIDS this years national and
international campaigns are know your status and HIV still matters.
Please contact Damien on 0418 511 562 to register your interest.
More info on Facebook.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Bunnings BBQ
Wed 12 Dec
4 volunteers required for 3.5hrs per shift to cook
sausages/onions, serve food to customers (note: onions must be
under the sausage, haha), handle cash, adhere to food safety
practices, sell soft-drinks this will occur on Wednesday 12 Dec at
the NEW Bunnings, Benalla Road, Shepparton. Please contact Damien
on 0418 511 562 to register your interest. More info
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Christmas Charity Gift
2 volunteers required for 3hrs per shift to
sit out front Shop 4 / 224 Maude Street Mall (entrance to Tower
Arcade) to gift-wrap Christmas presents for general public wishing
to make gold coin donations per gift. Please contact Georgie on
0401 168 229 to register your interest. More info on Facebook.
Unable to give your time? Prefer to donate? Thank
Wednesday, 21 November
The camouflage tactics of the White Crab Spider (Thomisus
spectabilis) have been previously documented but it has only been
recently that I have seen them in action. Spring blossoms are a
mecca for pollinators of all sorts bees, wasps, beetles and for
amateur photographers like myself it is a time to get up close
Its been pouring rain here in the last 24 hours, and the
quagmire is making it rather difficult to do much around the place,
especially grass cutting, which I have been doing almost non stop
for two weeks now. I need a day off, and so Im writing
The trip down in Glendas Little Suzi had me thinking about just
how much cars have improved since I was a boy. My first memory of
any car in the family was when my father got a job as a rep selling
something or other, and his company car was a Renault 4CV. I just
cannot imagine anyone today being given anything remotely as small
as that as a company car!
I remember my dad raving about how good this car was
with petrol and how enthusiastically he used to drive it around,
even rolling it on its side once on icy roads in Haute
Savoie.. it was so light, he and his companion simply lifted
it back on its wheels and drove off, with hardly any damage. No one
got hurt either, even though seat belts hadnt even been thought of
back in ~1957, let alone air bags..
To cut to the chase, when I was 16, my grandmother bought me one
of these cars I was too young to even get a learners permit, but
back then you could get away with murder!
It cost the grand sum of $90. I learned to drive in this car,
covering untold miles before eventually getting my licence.
My only memories of this little car was just how crude it was.
Three speed gearbox, no heater, terrible handli...
Tuesday, 20 November
Stuart Wilde audio snippet from Trance States
Victoria is two weeks out from an election and finally somebody
is talking revenue policy. The Liberals have launched a new
website, in ominous shades of red and black, detailing the
governments taxation agenda. The website reveals Labors shocking
new taxes (9) and their dastardly agenda to increase taxes. While
the site is designed to 
Monday, 19 November
Photography is about a stillness - developing a relationship
with the world around us
Friday, 16 November
2014-2018 has seen significant public transport investment under
Labor, and they have delivered on their major promises. But as
Melbourne continues to grow, and demand for regional travel
increases, the challenge ahead is to build a public transport
network not only copes with patronage growth, but also provides
usable services into areas which currently dont have them.
So how do the parties rank?
1. Greens in some ways the Greens have the
least ambitious transport plan. But its full of affordable,
commonsense policies. They are the only party to commit to the
Metro 2 tunnel, and to frequency upgrades across the train, tram
and bus networks essential for making the public transport network
vastly more usable in the short term. Accelerating the rollout of
low-floor trams and implementing on-road priority, extending metro
services to outer suburbs with high capacity signalling are also
important initiatives. Their policy of free public transport for
students is misguided, but The Greens rightly oppose the major road
projects proposed by the other parties, recognising that they will
simply generate more traffic.
2. Labor some ambitious plans in starting the
huge Suburban Rail Loop project, alongside continuing the
successful Level Crossing Removal Program, and extensive upgrades
planned elsewhere around the metro and regional rail networks. They
lose points for construction of three major tollways/freeways, a
lack of progress on bus and tram upgrades, and for lagging on the
rollout of more frequent all-day metro train services essential for
a big city such as Melbourne.
3. Coalition theyve backed away from what is
probably their best policy, of metro trains every 10 minutes all
day, leaving commitments to build three major tollways plus other
freeways, and the messy grade separation of road intersections.
More positive is commitments to extend metro trains to Clyde and
Baxter. Their regional high speed rail plan is ambitious, but would
only speed up trains moderately, and there are doubts over whether
it could really be delivered in the timeframes promised.
For more details, including a summary of minor parties,
read the full report (PDF)
Keep watching www.ptua.org.au/election2018
Wednesday, 14 November
Ive just listened to his podcast, and its a must
listen item you will not be disappointed!
Did you know energy is free, and Peak Oil is not dead?
That comes from a French expert in technology, energy, and climate,
Jean-Marc Jancovici. Jean-Marc co-founded Carbone
4 consultancy, and The Shift Project. He advises, writes books, and
lectures mostly in French, but his ideas resonate with American
writers like Richard Heinberg.
We have a special treat for you this week: the world premiere of
an English language in-depth radio interview with Jean-Marc Jancovici. Jean-Marc is well known in Europe and
beyond. He is a Professor, an author of several
books, the latest being Sleep quiet until 2100, and other
misunderstandings about climate and energy (French only,
translation pending?). Jancovici is also a member of...
Tuesday, 13 November
Whats worse than when population growth puts strain on our
When road traffic grows even faster than population.
But that was the reality in Melbourne for nearly four
No matter how much or how little Melbourne grows, well need to
be smarter in future.
Read the study:
Stories of Growth Population, Transport and Melbournes Future
(November 2018) PDF, 184 Kb
About a month ago, I was woken up at the crack of dawn
by my mobile phone ringing. this cant be good news I figured. It
was my darling wife who informed me I had to be at Hobart airport
by mid-day, shed booked me on a flight to Brisbane that was
scheduled to leave at 1PM. her mother, she informed me, was
probably going to die that day, or some time very soon, and I was
needed for moral support, among other things.
Obviously, I staggered out of bed, packed my bags, forced
breakfast down, and cleaned up my mess at the building site.
I had originally been booked a week or more later to attend a
wedding, and everything was now up in the air literally as I sat in
one of those amazing aluminium tubes that can fly you thousands of
kilometres in the blink of an eye lid, thanks to those
irreplaceable fossil fuels..
It was warm and sunny when I left Tassie, and pouring rain and
cold when I arived in Brisbane. I had planned for this, carrying a
raincoat on board. My son picked me up in Brisbane and drove me
through peak hour traffic to Caloundra where my mother in law
was going to spend her last three days before calmly
passing away, unconscious, I think. It was a lot like turning the
ignition off a very old and tired motorcar that had simply reached
the end of the road..
At 94, darling old Betty, who has been the kindest and most
generous mother in law one could have wished...
Free flow. A metaphysical understanding of giving and
Thursday, 08 November
When: 2:30-4:30pm, Tuesday 20th November 2018 Where: State
Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St, Melbourne Facebook event here
On Nov 20 contingents of teachers with the backing of their union
will be walking off work for #kidsoffalloff, calling to bring
all the refugees and asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru here. The
teachers are encouraging non-teachers(...)
Yesterday, Tuesday 6 November, 32 people on Manus Island
received answers to their applications for resettlement in the US.
Only nine of the 32 were accepted four Rohingyans, three Afghans,
one Tamil, two Pakistanis. The only Iranian in this most recent
list was rejected by the US. There were no Somalis, or Sudanese
Teachers for Refugees is calling on Victorian school principals
to defy Department of Education and Training instructions issued
today not to authorise absences for the Walk Off for refugee
#KidsOffAllOff set for November 20th. The tide of action to close
the camps will not be silenced by departmental circulars.
Principals must stick to human rights(...)
Teachers are not appeased by government promises to get kids off
Nauru by Christmas. Queensland Teachers Union delegates voted
unanimously on Saturday to join the Victorian teacher Walk Off
protest on November 20th. The Queensland teachers are demanding all
the children and their families must be off Nauru by
November 20th. Victorian teachers remain committed to the(...)
Wednesday, 07 November
Media Release 8 November 2018: AFTINET welcomes
the Labor Opposition initiative to revisit the Peru-Australia Free
Trade Agreement (PAFTA) because it includes foreign investor rights
to sue governments (ISDS) which the Shadow Trade Minister has
pledged to oppose in all trade agreements, AFTINET Convener Dr
Patricia Ranald said today.
Dr Ranald explained that this pledge arose out of the fierce
debate on Labors support for the TPP-11, which contains ISDS and
other clauses contrary to Labor policy and which Labor has now
pledged to ban in
foreshadowed legislation. Labor has initiated this second
review of PAFTA by the
Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT), on which the
government has a majority and which previously approved the
agreement. However the deal has not yet been ratified, and the
committee could recommend against ratification.
Dr Ranald is giving evidence at the
JSCOT public hearing in Melbourne today.
Dr Ranald said:
submission to the JSCOT makes three main points:
- PAFTA is unnecessary because Peru is a member of the TPP-11,
and a second trade deal with the same country would add to the
confusing noodle bowl of overlapping bilateral and regional
- PAFTAs inclusion of ISDS is unacceptable because ISDS enables
global corporations to bypass national courts and sue governments
for millions of dollars in unfair international tribunals over
environment, indigenous rights and
other public interest regulation;
Consciousness of Sheep has published another important article.
I first came across the impossibility of carbon capture and storage
as a silver bullet for solving climate change while listening to
Kevin Anderson speaking on the matter. he says CCS is assumed
to work in the future and adopted in ALL of the IPCCs scenario,
even the bleakest 6-8 degrees C rise by 2100. Yet, not one single
attempt at this technology has come close to working or being
economically viable. And it wont because its literally the
stupidest idea yet, even if George
Monbiots latest garbage comes a close second.
It was this realisation that eventually drove me to accepting
nothing but de-industrialisation would save us now.
If it sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly
is. That, at least, is the approach Im taking to the flurry
of crowd-funder videos currently doing the rounds on social media, promoting technologies that suck carbon
out of the atmosphere. As with a raft of other faux-green
technologies that were hawked around social media, like solar
roadways, waterseers and hyperloops, the machine that can suck
carbon dioxide out of the air will never fulfill
To understand why, consider that the atmosphere is very big
roughly 5.5 quadrillion tons of gas. But the carbon dioxide
content is very small just over 405 parts per million. And
humans release around 40 billion tons of the stuff every
year. So any machine that is going to attempt the task even
assuming 100 percent efficiency would need to hoover up 2,470 tons
of atmosphere to capture just 1 ton of carbon dioxide; and it would
have to do this roughly a thousand times a second to keep up with
our ongoing emissions.
Even when fitted to chimneys where the carbon dioxide is at
least concentrated carbon capture technologies have proved
excessively expensive in both financial and energy terms.
There is little point deploying technologies that are so
energy-intensive that they themselves depend upon fossil fuels to
power them. However, this issue pales into insignificance
when compared to the difficulty of storing any carbon dioxide that
is captured. As Kevin Bullis warned a few years ago
in MIT Technology Review:
Even if costs are made far lower than they are today, the
Fabulous little YouTube video
COATES, GRATTAN INSTITUTE
Its conventional wisdom that Australians dont save enough for
retirement. Most workers themselves
think they wont have enough to retire on, and their concerns
But the conventional wisdom is wrong.
Our new report, Money In
Retirement: More Than Enough shows that most people who are
feel more comfortable financially than the Australians younger
than them who are still working.
Retirees of today tend to slow their spending as they age, tend to
keep saving in retirement, and often leave an legacy almost as big
as the nest egg they had on the day they retired.
Read more: The
myth of the ageing 'crisis'
When surveyed today the retirees of the future might be worried
about their retirement, but economic growth means they will almost
certainly be on even higher incomes than retirees today.
These findings might seem surprising: they contradict the repeated
messaging from the financial services industry that Australians
wont have enough for retirement.
But that industrys claims are based on research that overlooks two
Retirees spend less over time
Much of the research assumes that retirees need to save enough to
enable their incomes to
throughout their retirement in line with general wage
Implicitly, it assumes that a retiree needs to spend 25% more at
age 90 than at age 70, after accounting for inflation.
But our analysis shows that retired Australians tend to spend less
over time, even those who have money to spare.
Monday, 05 November
I have been hearing about Deepak Chopra more of late. A recent
controversy was him giving a talk at a cryptocurrency symposium:
people were upset that such a "charlatan" could be at the
Friday, 02 November
When: 12-1pm, Monday 26th November Where: Border Force Office,
1010 LaTraobe St, Docklands, Melbourne Facebook event here Join RAC
at Border Force in Docklands on the day House of Representatives
resumes, calling for parliament to support Andrew Wilkies bill to
immediately bring children and families off Nauru to Australia.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has so(...)
Thursday, 01 November
In recent days the media has been full of news of the sad loss
of Richard Gill conductor, teacher, composer, and powerful advocate
for school and community music. Many will remember him as the
somewhat eccentric man with a shock of white hair representing
classical music on Spicks and Specks.
He passionately believed that every child deserves music, and
that SINGING should be the basis of all music experience from an
I have been personally fortunate to be a student, then a
teaching colleague, and a friend of Richard Gill since the age of
15, when as a country girl I went to a NSW state music camp and
played the violin under his baton in a full symphony orchestra.
At that stage I had never even seen a French horn, or an oboe,
and the experience of sitting in the heart of 60 musicians playing
Beethovens 7th Symphony, in a tent, in the rain, with
flutes behind and violas to the side, was an early inspiration.
Cellos, can you SOB a little more? said Richard Gill. I melted with
adolescent musical emotion!
So many people have an anecdote about Richard Gill.
He remembered my name when I ran into him, 35 years after I left
He got me to sing an improvised melody in Solfege over a ground bass in a workshop and
surprisingly, I could do it.
At music camp in...
Wednesday, 31 October
Prime Minister Scott Morrison claims the Coalition government
has got children out of detention on the mainland and
is quietly getting children off Nauru. This is a lie. Not only
has the Morrison government spent hundreds of thousands of dollars
on lawyers to fight children on Nauru coming to Australia, but many
of those children brought(...)
By Jane York
On Feb 5th this year I posted in a private feminist group I
belong to, the following:
Random thought for all singers (everyone) in this group: If
I was to start a casual Inner North FEMINIST CHOIR, who would be
interested? Singing tunes by powerhouse women of pop and indie
including Beyonce, Peaches, Meryl
Bainbridge. Like if you would be keen to come
The idea for a feminist choir had been rattling around in my
head for a long time, nurtured through chats with lefty, femmo,
artist friends about what our creative responses to this unique
cultural moment in history might look like. I made a playlist
entitled Feminist Choir that may or may not have included the song
Bitch by Meredith Brooks. So
when I got 12 comments of support under my Facebook post I thought
fantastic, great, lets do this right away
Right away turned out to be 5 months, and change. I booked the
room, made a poster, created a Facebook event and for lack of any
better ideas titled it BIG FEMINIST SING!, thinking
this would do until I came up with a much more clever and witty
I then proceeded to completely overthink what we would sing:
What is a feminist? What does a feminist song sound like? Am I even
a good enough feminist? What if I forget how to feminist and I
am never allowed to feminist again?!!!!
After this initial bout of imposter syndrome, I realised that I
needed to focus on what I wanted from a Big Feminist Sing.
What I wanted was to express a complex set of conflicting emotions
around identity. To do more than argue with strangers on the
internet. To make a physical space for catharsis. To express
vulnerability, anger, humour; to be fierce, silly and soulful. I
wanted to be unapologetically critical of our leaders, cultural
values and institutions. I wanted to build community, and I didnt
need to have all the answers!
It was important to me that the Big Feminist Sing workshop was a
welcoming and safe space for all non-binary, gender fluid, intersex
and trans singers. There is a disturbing amount of discrimination
in some pockets of the feminist community and I wanted it to be
clear from the outset that everyone is welcome. I have tried to do
that by stating explicitly on all our promotion that we are for
everybody. I have also been conscious of this when making song
choices and lyric changes in songs. Not just choosing songs with
lyrics about Woman power and giving pronoun options on lyric
sheets. I hope that this has made the space more welcoming and I
will continue to listen to feedback around this.
As with my other projects I knew that selecting m...
Tuesday, 30 October
Like.. maybe.. DE-INDUSTRIALIZATION?
A long time ago I attended a seminar on wealth and money and the
speaker had a mantra that said Work Smarter, Not harder. It turned
out to be a 
Most people think that selling your car, avoiding
flights and going vegetarian are the best strategies for fighting
climate change, but in fact, according to a study into true impacts
of different green lifestyle choices, having fewer children beats
all those actions by a very long margin.
Ive been saying this for years and years, but the graphic below
might just about convince anyone..
The greatest impact individuals can have in fighting climate
change is to have one fewer child, according to a new study that
identifies the most effective ways people can cut their carbon
The next best actions are selling your car, avoiding long
flights, and eating a vegetarian diet. These reduce emissions many
times more than common green activities, such as recycling, using
low energy light bulbs or drying washing on a line. However, the
high impact actions are rarely mentioned in government advice and
school textbooks, researchers found.
Carbon emissions must fall to two tonnes of CO2 per person
by 2050 to avoid severe global warming, but in the US
and Australia emissions are currently 16 tonnes per
person and in the UK seven tonnes. Thats obviously a
really big change and we wanted to show that individuals have an
opportunity to be a part of that, said Kimberly Nicholas, at Lund
University in Sweden and one of the research team.
The new study, published
in Environmental Research Letters, sets out the impact of
different actions on a comparable basis. By far the biggest
ultimate impact is having one fewer child, which the researchers
calculated equated to a reduction of 58 tonnes of CO2 for each year
of a parents life.
was calculated by totting up the emissions of the child
and all their descendants, then dividing this total by the parents
lifespan. Each parent was ascribed 50% of the childs emissions, 25%
of their grandchildrens emissions and so on.
The graphic shows how much CO2 can be saved through a range of
Monday, 29 October
The following post originally appeared on the Polyface
Farms Facebook page.
Cows at Polyface Farm. Photo by Amber
The recent editorial by James McWilliams, titled
The Myth of Sustainable Meat, contains enough factual errors
and skewed assumptions to fill a book, and normally I would dismiss
this out of hand as too much nonsense to merit a response. But
since it specifically mentioned Polyface, a rebuttal is
appropriate. For a more comprehensive rebuttal, read the
This Aint Normal.
Lets go point by point. First, that grass-grazing cows emit more
methane than grain-fed ones. This is factually false. Actually, the
amount of methane emitted by fermentation is the same whether it
occurs in the cow or outside. Whether the feed is eaten by an
herbivore or left to rot on its own, the methane generated is
identical. Wetlands emit some 95 percent of all methane in the
world; herbivores are insignificant enough to not even merit
consideration. Anyone who really wants to stop methane needs to
start draining wetlands. Quick, or well all perish. I assume hes
figuring that since it takes longer to grow a beef on grass than on
grain, the difference in time adds days to the emissions. But grain
production carries a host of maladies far worse than methane. This
is simply cherry-picking one negative out of many positives to
smear the foundation of how soil builds: herbivore pruning,
perennial disturbance-rest cycles, solar-grown biomass, and
decomposition. This is like demonizing marriage because a good one
will include some arguments.
for his notion that it takes too much land to grass-finish, his
figures of 10 acres per animal are assuming the current normal
mismanagement of pastures. At Polyface, we call it neanderthal
management, because most livestock farmers have not yet joined the
20th century with electric fencing, ponds, piped water, and modern
scientific aerobic composting (only...
Saturday, 27 October
Despite heavy travel demand and overcrowding, most bus routes
only run every 30-60 minutes.
More services are needed, particularly on main road routes
serving major shopping centres, running frequently every day of the
Share this video on
Twitter and Facebook.
Thursday, 25 October
According to the lovely Dr. Elizabeth Taylor over at RMIT,
parking in Melbournes city centre now occupies the equivalent of
225 MCGs. The main reason for this bounty: minimum car parking
requirements in the planning scheme. These requirements compel
developers to provide a ratio of private car parks in all new
developments. Cost for land 
Tuesday, 23 October
A Stuart Wilde article - Now is the time to tame the egos
demands and to take a more cautious smaller approach to life.
Invest in yourself and what you know, and skills that you can offer
When: 4pm, Friday 9th November 2018 Where: 79-81 Victoria Pde,
Collingwood, VIC Facebook event here Rally at Jetstar Corporate
Office calling on Qantas and all airlines not to deport Huyen,
Priya, Nades or any asylum seekers to danger. We need to keep up
the pressure to prevent the deportation of Huyen, Priya, Nades and
The PNG Supreme Court has dismissed the case of Behrouz Boochani
and 730 other Manus detainees for the constitutional enforcement of
their rights. The Supreme Court ruled that the case was essentially
a compensation case for the breach of their human rights prior to
the Supreme Court orders in 2016 that the Lombrum detention
The long-awaited judgement of the PNG Supreme Court regarding
illegal imprisonment and enforcement of constitutional and human
rights of the Manus asylum seekers will be handed down today,
Tuesday 23 October, at 2pm. The PNG court decision will lay the
basis for seeking summary judgement for compensation and also
orders for the unconditional release of(...)
THE LIFETIME BAN BILL
Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing Cohort)
Bill 2016 the Lifetime Ban Bill was introduced and passed
in the House of Representatives in November 2016. It
has been before the Senate since that time;
- The Bill would affect
3127 people including:
626 people remaining in Papua New Guinea;
652 people remaining in Nauru;
460 people in Australia, transferred for emergency medical
831 people returned to their country of origin through forced
or voluntary removal.
- The Bill would prevent resettlement in
Australia for the people who have been assessed as
refugees in PNG (583
people) or Nauru (821
- The Bill would prevent refugee assessment in
Australia for people transferred to Australia for medical purposes,
many of whom have never been afforded a refugee assessment in PNG
- The Bill would enforce family separation in a
number of ways, including:
Monday, 22 October
Jean Marc Jancovici a couple of months ago, I have been
following his work, which is mostly in French; but now and again he
publishes something in English, so you guys can benefit from
reading this while I prepare to drive my wifes Suzuki Alto with a
full load to Tasmania yes I am going to get my life back and
get to enjoy sharing the fruits of my labour after a three year
Italy is in trouble. Or more precisely, the country has
been abandonned by growth. It is one of the few OECD countries that
is unable to recover from the 2008 crisis: its GDP is still lagging
below 2007 levels. Would it be the simple result of the unability
of the successive governments to make the appropriate reforms? It
might well be that the explanation lies in something much more
different, but much more unpleasant: physics.
First, statistics are unequivocal on the fact that growth has
vanished, so far.
Year on year change of the GDP in Italy (or annual
growth rate) since 1961 (blue curve), average per decade (red
curve), and trend on the growth rate (green dotted line). It is
easy to see that each decade has been less successful than the
previous one since the beginning of this series, and that the
decade that started in 2010 has an average growth rate which is
negative. Italy has therefore been in recession, on average, for
the last 7 years.
Primary data from World Bank.
As the two are generally linked in Western countries, the debt
on GDP ratio has risen to heights, botbh for public and private
Debt on GDP ratio in Italy since 1995. Primary data
Households debt on GDP ratio since 1960. Data from Bank
for International Settlements.