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IndyWatch Goulburn Valley News Feed was generated at Australian Local News IndyWatch.

Monday, 24 September

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Wednesday, 19 September

11:51

Seymour Line Notification: Delay "seymour IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

19:51 Southern Cross - Seymour is expected to depart approximately 25 minutes behind schedule due to a train fault on an earlier service. [19:51 19/09]

09:57

Seymour Line Notification: Delay "seymour IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

16:31 Southern Cross - Shepparton is delayed by approximately 16 minutes due to congestion on tracks shared with Metro Trains. [17:57 19/09]


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Tuesday, 18 September

22:00

Push for freedom of Christianity is really a cover for the restriction of freedom "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Contributed from Victoria

In a recent interview, prime minister Scott Morrison flagged his intention to push ahead with new laws that would allow Christians to discriminate against the LGBTIQ community.

This is being presented as the free speech. Critics suggest that it is nothing of the sort, but on the contrary, a measure to silence those who are on the receiving end.

As important as this is, it is not only about the LGBTIQ community. The attack on it, fits in well with a broader attack, to deny the voice to all but the very small spectrum of opinion espoused by those demanding the change.

The call for religious protection is the spearhead for a number of extreme groups, to enter the Christian community. It is the lever that has been used to penetrate the Liberal Party and bully the much larger number of Christians who do not agree with them. Scott Morrison is contributing to this push.

He has also made it clear that he supports the integration of the state and religion, since his 2008 maiden speech in parliament. This is despite section 116 of the Australian Constitution, which clearly makes the separation.

Freedom of religion is not the objective. The push is to ensure the domination of Christianity is, and this means the restriction of other faiths.

The danger of this outlook is that it is based on the view that some should be more equal than others. It goes further. The real motive behind the push, is not primarily religious but political. It is to impose a particular viewpoint, using a myth of Christian civilisation, to promote extreme capitalism, backed up by a form of police state to deal with those who do not agree.

Evidence of this lies in the actions of many of the activists in this movement, who espouse suppression of what they call the control and destruction of the Christian way of life by a leftist elite said top be in control. This is reminiscent of the rise of the fascist movement in the 1920s. This way of thinking has entered the Liberal Party and government.

Thus, the purpose of the new laws is to undermine existing anti-discrimination law and protect the right to discriminate.

And this is within the context that the Sex Discrimination Act, the Age Discrimination Act and the Fair Work Act all co...

12:30

Seymour Line Notification: Delay "seymour IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

19:08 Southern Cross - Shepparton is delayed by approximately 25 minutes due to the late arrival of a previous train.

[20:30 18/09]

11:14

Seymour Line Notification: Delay "seymour IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

18:22 Southern Cross - Seymour is delayed by approximately 21 minutes due to a damaged level crossing at Donnybrook.

[19:14 18/09]

10:48

Seymour Line Notification: Delay "seymour IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

18:02 Southern Cross - Albury is expected to be delayed by approximately 20 minutes due to a damaged level crossing at Donnybrook. [18:48 18/09]

10:33

Seymour Line Notification: Delay "seymour IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

Traffic management are now at the damaged level crossing and the 16:05 Shepparton - Southern Cross has departed Donnybrook approximately 30 minutes behind schedule. [18:33 18/09]

10:26

Seymour Line Notification: Service update - Seymour line "seymour IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

18:22 Southern Cross - Seymour has been reinstated and will now run. [18:26 18/09]

10:25

Seymour Line Notification: Service update - Seymour line "seymour IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

18:22 Southern Cross - Seymour will not run and has been replaced by road coaches due to a damaged level crossing at Donnybrook. [18:25 18/09]

10:11

Seymour Line Notification: Service update - Seymour line "seymour IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

16:05 Shepparton - Southern Cross is currently being held at Donnybrook and is expected to be delayed by approximately 60 minutes due to a damaged level crossing at Donnybrook. [18:11 18/09]

10:04

Seymour Line Notification: Service update - Seymour line "seymour IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

Services are being held on the Seymour line due to a damaged level crossing at Donnybrook. Delays and service changes are expected. Individual service updates to follow. [18:04 18/09]

08:57

Intervention Orders and love. A zero sum game? "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Young woman with the words 'Love shouldn't hurt'on her backAs family violence duty lawyers, we often hear people make excuses for those who have inflicted family violence on them. Some go so far as to resist taking out an Intervention Order or not supporting a police application for an Order.

These cases always stick in our heads. Two recent cases highlight the problem.

The first case concerned a young mother with infant children and a partner in jail. She wanted an Intervention Order to protect her and her children. But she also wanted her partner to be allowed to visit her upon his release as he had nowhere else to go. The Intervention Order application flagged serious concerns about his violent behaviour, and a risk assessment highlighted the dangers. However, she told us that his behaviour wasnt his fault. Despite knowing that she needed protection, she excused his behaviour and was prepared to compromise the Orders ability to protect her and her children.

The second matter involved a mother who had taken out an Intervention Order against an adult son who had assaulted her. Despite his violence, she still wanted him to come home. She told the court that she didnt think she needed an Order to protect her. And she didnt support the police application for an Order. Her excuses for his behaviour exposed her to further violence.

An Intervention Order doesnt necessarily mean that you no longer love the other person. It simply means that you are no longer willing to put yourself or your children at risk. It is not a zero sum game. You can love somebody against whom you have taken out an Intervention Order.

People and relationships are complex. There are many reasons why a victim will excuse or play down a perpetrators violence, not least of which may be the perpetrators controlling behaviour.

Unfortunately, however, when victims excuse their abusers behaviour, the abuser is less likely to take responsibility for their behaviour and address it.

Part of our role as family violence duty lawyers is to encourage victims to prioritise their safety, which sometimes means helping them to distinguish between their feelings and a clear and present danger.

Ultimately, the responsibility for addressing family violence rests with the perpetrator. And it is vital that we do not blame the vic...

07:14

The Importance of Now "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

A Stuart Wilde article - Some years ago I wrote out a process I called "minimal movement". It is a time management discipline where you brutally eliminate all actions that serve no purpose, and you allocate the least possible energy and effort to the tick-tock things you have to do.

06:13

Interest boom in sustainable living "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

AROUND 1000 people visited Cape Patersons eco village The Cape on Sunday.
Five homes were opened to the public as part of Sustainable House Day.
Two stages amounting to 66 lots have already been completed and the lots are almost entirely sold.
Stage three is on the way, anticipated for summer.
The homes in the eco village have all been designed for comfort and to showcase the best practices for energy efficiency.
The eco village is the first of its kind in Australia. People journeyed from as far as northern New South Wales to participate in the open day.
Each homes energy bill is 20 percent of bills charged to conventional homes, with some zeroing their energy bills.
Designers and contractors were on hand throughout the day to answer questions.
Tad Hendry from Adapt Design Group designed and built his family home in The Cape.
The house has an 8.7 star rated home and features a combination of design choices to maximise efficiency.
The house works with the sun to naturally heat the house during winter, which has the opposite effect to cool the house over summer.
(The estate) is important on a range of levels. It helps to decrease energy bills and its a place we really need to be in on a global level. We need to start living more sustainably for the benefit of the planet, Mr Hendry said.
It also brings us back to the old values. It is a great community to live in and everyone knows their neighbours.
The reception (on the open day) was phenomenal. The scale of interest was incredible.
Experts in sustainable living also presented.
On top of this, people had the opportunity to try out electric bikes and electric cars.
The Cape director Brendan Condon said the electric vehicles were being promoted because the houses were designed with electric vehicles charging points and a solar public electric vehicle charging station would be installed in the estate.
Included in the estate is an innovative community garden.
It is a highly productive food garden fed by surplus rain water harvested from homes in stage one.
The garden is used by 30 gardeners and uses efficient wicking beds.
Another attractive feature of the estate is that it is 50 percent open space.
Interest in stage three of the estate can be registered at liveatthecape.com.au.

06:11

Community to honour Noah "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

IN a show of incredible community spirit, local businesses have rallied around the Noahs Gift Charity Ball.
The ball will honour the memory of Noah Jones, whose first birthday is on October 1. He died due to a cardiology condition, aged less than a month.
Parents Emma and Nathan of Cape Paterson organised the charity ball to give back to the cardiology ward at the Royal Childrens Hospital.
The event is set to be held on October 6 at Inverlochs RACV Resort with a something blue theme.
The tickets have already been completely sold out.
We wanted to do something for Noahs first birthday. It is something positive for us to look forward to; holidays and special occasions are difficult for families that suffer loss, Emma said.
This was a good way to honour his memory and give back to the Royal Childrens Hospital.
Initially, the Jones family aimed to raise $10,000. This has been achieved in ticket sales alone and the family is now hoping to donate around $30,000 to the hospital.
The tickets sold for $120 a head. Tickets provided entry, dinner, entertainment and a complementary drink, as well as inclusion in the door prizes.
What has been truly extraordinary is the support from the local businesses.
Around 70 businesses have sponsored the event, resulting in an amazing range of raffle and auction prizes.
The prizes have been sorted into five categories, guaranteed to suit everyone.
The categories are mans cave, female pamper hampers, for the home, mums and cubs, and food and entertainment.
There are 25 hampers in total, all exceeding $500 in value.
Also up for the grabs is a framed and signed 2010 Collingwood premiership jumper complete with a certificate of authenticity, and a framed and signed 2017 Richmond premiership jumper.
Mini fundraisers have also taken place at several local businesses already, with all proceeds to be donated to the hospital.
We were surprised by this incredible support; it is beyond what we expected, Emma said.
The night would not be possible without these sponsors and we have no words to express how grateful we are.
We wanted to do something special for our son and people have gone above and beyond to help us out, which has allowed us to give back to this great cause.
Although tickets to the event have sold out, people can still make a donation and have the opportunity to win a fabulous raffle prize.
There was such a big response to the event that we have decided to open up the raffle to the community and give everyone a chance to be involved, Emma said.
If you are interested in buying a raffle ticket, you can email Emma at emmalouise_jones@hotmail.com for more information.

...

06:10

Matilda gives to hospital "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

MATILDA Abraham is a little girl with a big heart.
A Year 4 student at Newhaven College, Matilda recently raised $67.80 for the Bass Coast Health Ladies Auxiliary.
An enterprising young lady who was born at Wonthaggi Hospital, Matilda designed her own donation box and appealed to the public to support our local health service.
Last year Matilda donated funds to the Royal Melbourne Hospital but decided this year to donate to the Bass Coast Health Ladies Auxiliary, which is raising funds for a much needed ear, nose and throat microscope.
Matilda was thrilled by a surprise visit from Bass Coast Health Ladies Auxiliary members Barbara Hallett and Eileen Ridgley recently, who proudly presented Matilda with a certificate of appreciation and thanked her for her outstanding efforts.
When asked if she might like to join the auxiliary one day, Matilda smiled and said she will think about it.

Caring girl: Bass Coast Health Ladies Auxiliary members Barbara Hallet (left) and Eileen Ridgley (right) present Matilda Abraham with a Certificate of Appreciation for her fundraising efforts.

06:08

Green day a big hit at Inverloch Primary "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

ENGAGING with others and learning how to be more environmentally friendly were at the heart of Inverloch-Kongwak Primary Schools Green Day last Tuesday, September 11.
The multi age day program was put together by the Kids Matter Student Action Team and Green Team with a focus on teaching students the importance of being sustainable and environmentally conscious.
With the school awash with green clothes and costumes, students were treated to an array of activities and presentations.
One activity saw students split into teams and race to see who could sort rubbish into the correct bins first, while another presentation demonstrated what can and cant be flushed down the toilet.
The day also ran with support from ResourceSmart Schools, South Gippsland Water, Unwrapped Gippsland, and South Gippsland and Bass Coast shire councils who held various classes throughout the day.
Inverloch Primary School principal Brett Smith said the day was as much about socialising as it was learning about sustainability.
It being a multi age day involving both Inverloch and Kongwak means students really get to interact and engage with each other, Mr Smith said.
The day helps them learn about the environment and how to be green, but it also fosters a healthy community as well.
With over a dozen classes being run on different environmental topics, students were rotated around the school so they could experience everything the day had to offer.
A select group of students also ventured beyond the school grounds, helping clean up the streets and beaches of Inverloch.
Sustainability is something we try to highlight in our curriculum, Mr Smith said.
Its an incredibly important aspect of life so to be able to instill it in our kids now while also allowing them to have fun and develop friendships is a great thing.

Thinking environmental: back, from left, Sunny, Milla, Archie, Caitlin, Jay and Hamish join Shelley, Lily-Ann, Brock and Oscar brainstorming ideas for the betterment of the environment at Inverloch Primary School last Tuesday...

06:06

Aladdin musical weaves its magic "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

MORE than 800 people packed out the Korumburra Indoor Recreation Centre across two shows to take in Korumburra Primary Schools senior production of Aladdin on Thursday.
With students in grades 4 to 6 performing, onlookers were treated to a dazzling display of colour, dance and song as the stage was turned into Arabia.
Grade 6 student Alana Lopez Freeman was outstanding in her lead role as Princess Jasmine, as was her male counterpart Will Roberts as Aladdin.
The show has been planned meticulously over the course of the year, spearheaded by performing arts teacher Tanya Jackson with assistance from the entire Korumburra Primary School community.
Assistant principal Dan Wells said the two shows were a great success and well worth the months of hard work.
To see it all come together the way it did was just fantastic, Mr Wells said.
The students were so engaged throughout the whole process and were really excited to perform in front of their families and friends.
While Mr Wells said the performance had taught students a plethora of dancing, singing and acting skills, it also allowed for much personal growth.
Getting up on stage and performing in front of people is a really difficult thing to do, Mr Wells said.
For every student to get up there and give it a go shows how much confidence and self belief the production instills in them over the course of it all.
The senior performance of Aladdin follows the juniors rendition of Space and Beyond last week, which was also a huge success.

Getting into character: Alyssa, Lily and Grace fully embraced the Aladdin theme as they prepared to perform in front of family and friends at Korumburra Primary Schools production on Thursday.

06:04

Prospect of new councillor is real "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

RATEPAYERS in Leongatha and Mirboo North may have a new shire councillor after the state election in November.
South Gippsland Shire Cr Meg Edwards preselection as a Liberal candidate for Eastern Victoria Region in the Legislative Council will result in a councillor vacancy if shes elected.
The Victorian Electoral Commission said a countback will be held, based on candidates for Cr Edwards Tarwin Valley Ward at the 2016 election.
In a countback, votes for the vacating councillor from the last election are redistributed to unsuccessful candidates according to the voters preferences, a commission spokesperson said.
A candidate who receives more than 50 percent of the votes is declared elected. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the candidate with the least votes is excluded and their votes are also redistributed. This process continues until a candidate can be declared elected.
Unsuccessful candidates for the ward at the 2016 election included then incumbent councillors Jim Fawcett and Nigel Hutchinson-Brooks, who received 712 and 558 first preference votes respectively.
Another candidate, Graeme Winkler received 530 votes. They were the candidates to poll the most votes after current councillors Maxine Kiel, Don Hill and Edwards were elected.
The 2018 Victorian State election will be on 24 November 2018.

May leave council: Cr Meg Edwards will leave South Gippsland Shire Council if she is elected to State Parliament in November.

06:03

Community backs Bunurong Inverloch "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

AN incredible $12,500 was raised by the Bunurong Inverloch team in the 2018 Outback Air Race and donations are still rolling in.
Inverloch pilot Michael Malone thanked the local businesses and the community for supporting his team.
The money will be donated to the Victorian Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Mr Malone embarked on the trip of a lifetime with Western Australian pilots Margaret Halsmith and Dave Jones.
The Outback Air Race is a challenge for pilots to perfectly map out their flight plans.
The race left Brisbane on August 18 and finished in Broome on August 30.
Stops were made along the way. The race reflected who could best estimate their time of arrival at each stop, rather than the fastest.
Bunurong Inverloch ranked fifth in the last leg, but was in the middle of the pack for the overall results.
It was certainly challenging. It was a fantastic experience and we met a lot of great people, Mr Malone said.
Mr Malone enjoyed flying over the mines in Mt Isa and Katherine Gorge.
He also enjoyed making stops in different parts of the country. During the stop in Katherine, Bunurong Inverloch had to wait for F18s to take off before they could go, which was another interesting experience.
The name Bunurong Inverloch also sparked conversation with race pilots and many expressed interest in flying over and visiting Inverloch.
All teams were required to raise $6000 prior to the race, with proceeds going to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Collectively, well over $1.5 million was raised.
The support we received from friends, family and local businesses was absolutely fantastic. I had no idea we would get anywhere near $12,500, Mr Malone said.

Great achievement: Inverloch pilot Michael Malone in Broome after finishing the 2018 Outback Air Race recently.

06:01

Mattea makes strides in her recovery "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

EIGHT year old Mattea Riccardi of Leongatha played basketball recently. For most primary school children, this would be a normal achievement.
For Mattea though, it served as a special moment that marked her return to health following a car crash that nearly took her life in February this year.
Smiling uncontrollably as she took to the court, Mattea played the game that she loved with her trademark determination and grit, the same qualities that have helped her overcome a broken hip, a dislocated bone in her neck, a punctured lung, internal injuries, swelling on the brain and a slew of other injuries.
Her mum, Anna, who was driving the car as it was struck in the side by another vehicle, watched her daughter play in amazement.
When I saw her play basketball for the first time since the accident, I finally realised everything is going to be good, Ms Riccardi said.
It was a really special moment. Just seeing her play, the smile on her face, it was all just so amazing.
Anna was driving Mattea, her younger son Julian, 4, and her mother Nancy home from a basketball tournament in Warragul when the accident occurred.
Mattea and Julian were airlifted to the Royal Childrens Hospital in Melbourne, with Julian having also suffered a broken eye socket, which has since healed well.
Mattea was placed in an induced coma as doctors at the hospital worked to save her life.
Now, just six months later, Mattea is working on recapturing her life that they saved.
Shes doing incredible, Ms Riccardi said.
The bones in her neck have largely healed and her organs are functioning well. With her head, we just need to make sure she doesnt get hit and the screw in her hip still needs to be taken out, but a apart from that its like she is back to normal.
Normal for Mattea included returning to St Laurences Primary School in Leongatha, which she pleaded to go back to earlier than expected.
She only missed about a term and a half, Ms Riccardi said.
Initially the doctors wanted her to only go for an hour each day because of her head injuries, but Id bring her home and she would desperately want to go back. She was determined. When she did go back, she coped really well with it.
Ms Riccardi said the community support she and her family had received during their tumultuous ordeal was overwhelming.
To me, the community genuinely helped us heal, Ms Riccardi said.
We could feel the prayers and the positive energy. People were stopping me and asking me how we were doing and it meant a lot. The Leongatha Basketball Association was so helpful. It organised all kinds of fundraisers and set up donation stuff. We had thousands of kids from Maffra to Cranbourne in the basketball community who bought temporary tattoos of Matteas name.
Ms Riccardi said while its impossible to put into...

05:55

MP sweetens voters with poll promises "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

THE communities of Mirboo North and Foster can likely expect new fire stations if the Coalition wins the state election this year.
That is the word of The Nationals Gippsland South MLA Danny OBrien, who said the Liberals-Nationals have promised $2.1 million for a new Mirboo North station and are working on a pledge for Foster.
The MP continues to push for a commitment from both sides of politics for a new primary school at Foster and is also seeking funding for stage two of new works at Korumburra Secondary College.
Councils can expect more roads funding with the reintroduction of the Country Roads and Bridges Program which Mr OBrien said would give South Gippsland Shire Council an extra $1 million a year and reduce rates pressure.
He is hoping council would receive funding for new streetscapes in Leongathas Bair Street and Korumburras central business district from the Coalitions Regional Growth Fund, and police numbers could be increased.
Where there have been new police, none have been allocated to South Gippsland. That is certainly a concern, Mr OBrien said.
With the state election to be held on Saturday, November 24, Mr OBrien is hoping he will have at least one opponent. Labor is yet to announce a candidate but is tipped to do so.
Mr OBrien is just hoping the candidate is local given at the last election, Labor fielded the then personal assistant to the state secretary.

On the ground: Gippsland South MLA Danny OBrien in Leongatha recently. He is awaiting the announcement of Labors candidate for the seat, just two months out from the state election on November 24.

05:53

Korumburra business getting stronger "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

THE Korumburra Business Association has just broken the 100 member mark which is a great sign for business in the town.
South Gippsland Shire Council mayor Lorraine Brunt was in attendance at last Thursdays annual general meeting at the Burra Brewery and lauded the work that the association has been doing over the previous 12 months.
Being at this meeting last year and compared to this year feels very different, Cr Brunt said.
The Korumburra Business Association has gone from strength to strength and completely re-energised Commercial Street and the community.
Ms Brunt said new businesses like the Burra Brewery were encouraging to see and will inspire others to pursue their dream of owning their own business.
When the Korumburra Business Association and South Gippsland Shire Council work together as friends and not enemies things can really happen for the better, Cr Brunt said.
Some important changes have been made to the committee.
After eight years in the association, holding a range of significant roles including treasurer and most recently, vice president, Brian Hess stepped down to give others an opportunity in power.
Following suit was Adrian Hughes, who left the committee after two years of service.
Kate McDowell Murphy was unanimously voted in to replace the outgoing Mr Hess as the associations vice president while Gil Freeman and Paul Whelan also officially joined the committee.
Taking place at the recently opened Burra Brewery, Korumburra Business Association president Noelene Cosson proudly announced that the association had reached over 100 members fuelled by their partnership with the Prom Country Regional Tourism.
Key projects and areas that were attended to throughout the meeting included the Pick my Project competition and the Karmai worm project.
Secretary Shirley Arestia informed those in attendance to vote for the numerous projects Korumburra has entered in Pick my Project a state wide competition in which towns can earn grants from the state government. Ms Arestia highlighted the Southern Lights Winter Festival and asked attendees to go online and vote for the festival.
President Noelene Cosson also updated members on the latest from the Karmai work project, saying the latest plan is to create a mosaic near the train line.

02:03

CHILLING & SICKENING! Pedo pervert Jeremy Kewley uses fake name to perform child rape monologue at school just months after prison release, horrifying unsuspecting audience "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

EXCLUSIVE: The convicted celebrity paedophile, Jeremy Kewley, is attempting to resume his acting career just months after his release from prison, with the highly dangerous sex offender even travelling from town-to-town in regional Victoria to perform to unsuspecting audiences at festivals featuring youth theatre groups. Horrifyingly, it can now be revealed that one of Kewley's performances was delivered at a school and is said to have been a "chilling and sickening" monologue about the rape of a teenage girl. [READ MORE]

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Monday, 17 September

23:48

Yom Kippur "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Yom Kippur will be observed by the Jewish Community on Wednesday, 19 September. It is a day of fasting and atonement. Yom Kippur, which dates from biblical times, is referenced in three separate passages in the Torah. The Torah refers to Yom Kippur as Shabbat Shabbaton, a Sabbath of complete rest, while the Talmud denotes ... Read more...

22:56

Theres a whole new world out there "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Frogs have never been my forte. The variations in the colour and texture within a species can make identification difficult. And I never get to see them. Even the stealthiest approach to a dam turns the deafening frog chorus to silence. However with my new technique of using eye-shine to locate the critters at night []

22:03

Former BLF assistant secretary Norm Wallace has passed away "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Contributed by Joe Montero

Norm Wallace passed away yesterday (17 September 2018). He was a well known and respected union figure, shaped by the 92 years of his life. His was a life lived well.

Norm lived through the Great Depression and World War Two. Events that shaped the way he saw the world and drove him to act against injustice and the exploitation of working men and women. His was a generation at learned from the school of hard knocks.

I first got to know the man, when I became a young official of the Builders Labourers Federation in Melbourne. This was a place where the demands of work were immense, and as a greenhorn trying to find his way, he was the one I could turn to for help. Norm was always there for you with his characteristic smile.

Norm Wallace was the kind of leader wo won people over through his capacity to see the good side of someone and show them friendship and trust. He was easy to get along with, and it won them over to him.

Norm the fighter was the other side. On seeing an injustice, he couldnt help but to take a stand against it.

These two sides of him, a compassion for people and a hatred of injustice, are what drove him and the reason why he became a union official.

Under the wing of the legendary Paddy Malone, he and Norm Gallagher had been recruited into the unions Committee of Management in the early 1950s. Before long, both became organisers. These early days were the time when the organisation was taken out of the control of gangsters and put back into the hands of its members. They did it in Victoria, while Joe Owens and Jack Mundy did it in Sydney.

Although the teams in each state were destined to fall out, they had much more in common than their differences.

Norm Wallace became the Assistant Secretary of the union. Through it all, he always remained true to his convictions.

The deregistration of the union and the subsequent lack of funds forced Norm into an early retirement. This did not stop him from being involved in the cause.

His greatest legacy is all those he mentored, and continue to put their shoulder to the wheel, not only in the union movement, but also out there in the broader community. He lives on through all of us.

Norm Wallace was one of those who passionately held that unions and their leaders should be concerned about more than the bread and butter issues of wages and working conditions and be concerned about the just causes of all sections of society. The wider political arena is also union business.

He may have left the room. But I for one am one of those who consider themselves lucky to have been inspired and influenced by him. He will be missed. Especially by his family. But also a...

12:23

Seymour Line Notification: Service update - Seymour line "seymour IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

19:08 Southern Cross - Shepparton is delayed by approximately 15 minutes due to an ill customer. [20:23 17/09]

12:18

Seymour Line Notification: Service update - Seymour line "seymour IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

19:51 Southern Cross - Seymour is delayed by approximately 20 minutes due to an emergency services request affecting an earlier service. [20:18 17/09]

05:55

Seymour Line Notification: Service update - Seymour line "seymour IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

12:05 Southern Cross - Albury is delayed by approximately 15 minutes due to speed restrictions on the ARTC network. [13:55 17/09]

05:31

A small structured object follows a car - Dargo, Victoria, 1976 "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Reading pleasure

I have recently had the pleasure of reading a great number of editions of the 'Australian UFO Bulletin' published by the Victorian UFO Research Society.

I picked up a few new pieces of information about the 1972 Frankston, Victoria,  Maurren Puddy case of which I had previously not been aware; some sightings I hadn't heard of before, and various other bits and pieces.

Car pace with small structured object

One of the sightings which intrigued me, was an example of a car pacing; but in this case, instead of a nocturnal light, the small object involved had some structure.  In the May 1976 edition of the 'Bulletin' there was detail about the sighting, investigated by Dan Haylock. The sighting took place at Dargo in Victoria. Dargo is a small Victorian town located 348 kilometers east of Melbourne, and is in the foothills of the Dargo Plains. Latitude 37deg 28mins south; longitude 147deg 13mins east.

Note the location of Melbourne and Bright

Note location of Bright and Dargo

The following is the text of the article fr...

00:04

NSW Premier Ends Music Festival Overdose Tragedies With Stern Drugs Are Bad Mmmkay Speech "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Drug overdoses will no longer be a problem at youth music festivals in NSW after a dramatic intervention by Premier Gladys Berejiklian overnight, following the deaths of two people at a Sydney music festival, and the hospitalisation of at least three more.

NSW police report that during the Defqon.1 music festival in western Sydney over the weekend attended by around 30,000 people as many as 700 festival goers also sought medical assistance.

A 21-year-old Victorian woman and a 23-year-old man from Edensor Park collapsed during the evening. They were airlifted to nearby Nepean Hospital, but died soon after.

Im absolutely aghast at whats occurred, I dont want any family to go through the tragedy that some families are waking up to this morning, its just horrible to think about, Ms Berejiklian told media on Sunday.

The Premier also said she would shut the festival down, thereby further eliminating the potential for drug overdoses amoung youth.

Ms Berejiklian said her government would not bow to pressure to introduce pill testing where festival goers can test party drugs without fear of police sanction after a landmark trial in Canberra earlier this yearat the Groovin The Moo festival saw zero deaths.

That trial saw 128 participants. A total of Eighty-five samples were tested by the STA-Safe Consortium, two of which were found to be deadly.

Ms Berejiklian said the government will not consider introducing pill testing, as it has a zero tolerance to drugs.

Anyone who advocates pill testing is giving the green light to drugs, that is absolutely unacceptable, there is no such thing as a safe drug, she said.

I want to send a strong message to every young person. You should not take drugs at these events or anywhere else, and last nights tragic consequences demonstrated this.

Ms Berejiklians zero tolerance stance is based on the tried and tested reality that if she tells young people not to do something, they will listen to her.

In other news scientists have confirmed that the Liberal Party of Australia is now so out of touch with community sentiment that it has actually travelled full circle, and is back in touch and just waiting for the rest of us to catch up.

Conversely, scientists have also confirmed that millennials are now actively waiting for enough old politicians to die off so that the community is dominated by people who actually care about their welfare, before seizing power and changing drug laws to reduce future deaths.

The post...

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Sunday, 16 September

10:03

One For The Ladies: UNSWs Helpful Guide On How Not To Get Raped "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Heres some tips on how to stay safe, along with other stupid things men say to women after someone is sexually assaulted. Note to readers: this story contains a confession by writer Chris Graham, and another epiphany.

Remember Eurydice Dixon. How could anyone forget, right? And remember the backlash when, following Eurydices brutal rape and murder, Victorian Police issued a timely reminder to women in Melbourne to take greater care with their personal security? How could anyone forget that either, right?

Well, it seems the folks over at the University of NSW did, because on Friday afternoon, following reports of a sexual assault near the campus, an executive from UNSW sent all staff and students an email headed Safety and vigilance on campus. The message sought to provide women, well over to UNSW

Safety and Vigilance on Campus-1

Lets see if we can break down what UNSW is really communicating here.

Someone got raped last night, but it wasnt on our campus. That said, it was near our campus, and we really should say something, because if we dont and the next rape actually occurs on our campus, we can point to the email we sent to all our staff and students and say Its very sad but we did kinda warn you. That lessens our moral culpability, but most importantly it will also help us seriously mitigate any reputational damage the rapist and his victim might cause us. Thus, what were going to say is this: While we do what we can to make you safe, your personal safety is still your personal responsibility. Follow these helpful tips so you dont go and get yourself raped.

Or words to that affect. Because while that might not be how the email is intended to be read, its certainly open to interpretation to be read that way. And at this juncture, I should offer a confession. My spin on the UNSW email is obviously quite provocative, but its not what I thought yesterday.

On Friday afternoon, I was sitting in a caf with two female colleagues (plotting the downfall of a government), when one of them received the email, from a distressed UNSW staff member.

A discussion of mutual exasperation ensued, whereupon I entered it by saying words to the effect of, OK, I understand the frustration and anger of women at this, and Im not suggesting UNSW cant do more to make women feel safe, but is it really that unreasonable for UNSW to remind people about their safety? Where is the actual harm in the email?

Well heres the harm (and thanks to my colleagues for gently explaining it to me).

The problem with telling grown w...

04:30

Grassy Plains conference "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

A conference for the community, professionals and all who share an interest in conservation of Melbournes Grassy Plains.

The conference will explore the three themes of Respect, Protect and Reconnect Melbournes Grassy Plains.

Friday 12th October (9am 5pm) and
Sat 13th October, 2018 (1pm-5pm, lunch 12pm-1pm)
At Wyndham Council Chambers,
45 Princes Highway, Werribee.

This is a free event thanks to our sponsors. 

Book your place.

Presented by the Grassy Plains Network: an alliance of community-based groups and organisations focused on seeking positive ways forward for the conservation of Melbournes Grassy Plains and ecosystems.  The Grassy Plains Network is working in partnership with Naturewest Inc

For further information email: grassyplainsnetwork@gmail.com or check the website.

 

04:23

The ECOSS Spring Fest Extravaganza! "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

ECOSS is about providing opportunities for people to express their sustainable ideas and creative skills through various programs and projects. It is located in the Upper Yarra catchment at Wesburn, near Warburton.

Each year it holds a Spring Fest as a fundraiser. This year it will happen on Saturday September 22, from 10am til 4pm.

Wake up and Bloom for Spring.  This years abundant festivities include The Great Ecological Race- wheelbarrow race between Middle years kids and their parents, MCd by the Fabulous and Fantastic Will Tait.

Welcome to Country with Aunty Kim Wandin- (Wandoon), local Wurundjeri Elder.

Multicultural performances from Chin Community Dancers, Aztec Dance, Sarita McHarg- Sitar Player and Singer,  Zaar Belly Dance, Tomi Muramatsu, Gustavos Drummers, Tuvaluan Dancers, MOOP Officers: Will Tait and Brendan Jones, Black Bug City,  Stage MCd by the charismatic and talented Simon Oats.

Tiny House talks and tours, Bio-dynamic Farm tour, Yarra Valley Bee Group Talks, ECOSS projects tour, and GRAND OPENING OF RELAB- (rehab for old items- up cycling and boutique craft centre!).

Eco Market with delicious local, healthy food and drinks!

Meet- Yarra Valley Bee Group, Kids Clay play in the Community Pottery Studio, LGBTQI+ rainbow flag painting, apple peeling and loads more activities underway.

STALLHOLDER APPLICATIONS ARE OPEN NOW- email: ecotopiastalls@ecoss.org.au

To enter the Great Ecological Race, email: eartheducation@ecoss.org.au

The Spring Fest is ECOSSs largest fundraising event in the year.  This is how we keep ECOSSs activites low cost and accessible for the whole community. ECOSS supports many Not for Profit groups throughout the year, and here is your chance to support ECOSS.  Please come along with generous limbs and help to make this the most successful fundraising event it can be!

 

For further information about ECOSS, its vision and its programs, check here.

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Saturday, 15 September

00:08

Methane and climate: 10 things you should know "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

The graph above shows methane concentrations in Earths atmosphere over the past 10,000+ years: 8000 BCE to 2018 CE.  The units are parts per billion (ppb).  The year 1800 is marked with a circle.

Note the ominous spike.  As a result of increasing human-caused emissions, atmospheric methane levels today are two-and-a-half times higher than in 1800.  After thousands of years of relatively stable concentrations, we have driven the trendline to near-vertical.

Here are 10 things you should know about methane and the climate:

1. Methane (CH4) is one of the three main greenhouse gases, along with carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O).

2. Methane is responsible for roughly 20% of warming, while carbon dioxide is responsible for roughly 70%, and nitrous oxide the remaining 10%.

3. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas (GHG).  Pound for pound, it is 28 times more effective at trapping heat than is carbon dioxide (when compared over a 100-year time horizon, and 84 times as effective at trapping heat when compared over 20 years).  Though humans emit more carbon dioxide than methane, each tonne of the latter traps more heat.

4. Fossil-fuel production is the largest single source.  Natural gas is largely made up of methane (about 90%).  When energy companies drill wells, frac wells, and pump natural gas through vast distribution networks some of that methane escapes.  (In the US alone, there are...

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Friday, 14 September

23:30

Efficiency, the Jevons Paradox, and the limits to economic growth "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Ive discovered a new blog which very much aligns with this one. In his own about section, Darrin Qualman describes himself as a long-term thinker, a civilizational critic, a researcher and data analyst, and an avid observer of the big picture.

I recommend anyone following this blog to check him out, his blog is full of interesting graphs

Ive been thinking about efficiency.  Efficiency talk is everywhere.  Car buyers can purchase ever more fuel-efficient cars.  LED lightbulbs achieve unprecedented efficiencies in turning electricity into visible light.  Solar panels are more efficient each year.  Farmers are urged toward fertilizer-use efficiency.  And our Energy Star appliances are the most efficient ever, as are the furnaces and air conditioners in many homes.

The implication of all this talk and technology is that efficiency can play a large role in solving our environmental problems.  Citizens are encouraged to adopt a positive, uncritical, and unsophisticated view of efficiency: well just make things more efficient and that will enable us to reduce resource use, waste, and emissions, to solve our problems, and to pave the way for green growth and sustainable development.

But theres something wrong with this efficiency solution: its not working.  The current environmental multi-crisis (depletion, extinction, climate destabilization, ocean acidification, plastics pollution, etc.) is not occurring as a result of some failure to achieve large efficiency gains.  The opposite.  It is occurring after a century of stupendou...

09:13

Serena cartoon fuels debate about racist Australia "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Australia is by most measures one of the worlds most successful multicultural societies, but a controversial cartoon of Serena Williams has rekindled accusations it is also inveterately racist.

Australia should be a poster-child for diversity: One-in-two Australians has a parent born abroad. The economy has been growing for 27 straight years. Crime is barely a worry. Melbourne and Sydney dominate rankings of the best places in the world to live.

Visit any medium-size human habitation on the mind-bendingly large continent and its obvious that Australia is the proverbial melting pot Kiwis, Chinese, Irish, Filipinos, Brits, Vietnamese, Italians, Indians, Greeks and Lebanese at every turn.

AFP | Photo illustration shows the front page of the Herald Sun newspaper, featuring a cartoon of US tennis player Serena Williams (lower R)

But this racial, ethnic and linguistic diversity contrasts sharply with a lingering image of Australia as an angry white country stuck in the past.

It was an impression underscored by foreign outrage about an Australian cartoonists depiction of a fat-lipped and masculine Serena Williams, and the collective shrug it prompted Down Under.

After the drawing was published, a CNN opinion piece described Australia as the nicest racist country you will ever see and the New York Times thundered that Australia has never fully confronted its own history of racism.

Image may contain: 1 person

Many Australians admit there is a problem.

The legacy of European settlers terrorising Aboriginal communities looms large, and inequality between the two groups remains staggering.

Racial epithets are still tossed around in a way that makes visitors jaws drop. A White Australia immigration policy, only fully dismantled in the 1970s, and more recently off-shore migrant detention centres have also done much to frame the modern image of Australia abroad.

But many Australians also believe the problem can be overstated.

There is an element in Australian society that is racist, said John Blaxland, a professor of International Security at the Australian National University. But every country has them. Name a country that doesnt.

He insists the reality of modern Australia is a vibrant, booming, multicultural society that integ...

04:04

eX-detainees day statement : Do not bury eX-detainee voices or undermine over 2 decades of our labour towards dismantling immigration detention centres "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

We, eX-detainees at RISE in Australia, mark the 17th of September 2018 as eX-Detainees Day, for all asylum seekers and refugees who have been forcibly detained whilst seeking protection. This is our 3rd annual eX-detainees day. Crucially, this initiative is entirely managed and controlled by eX-detainees who are asylum seekers and refugees in Australia, as an assertion of our self-determination.

Asylum seeker and refugee detainees who have been detained or are currently detained in detention centres are among the most persecuted and oppressed people in the world. We have endured abuse in our own countries, and upon seeking protection, are disenfranchised and suffer institutional abuse within detention systems. eX-detainees

In this 3rd year of commemorating eX-detainees day we raise the collective voices of asylum seekers and refugees around the world, who are facing discrimination and criminalisation due to detention.  eX-Detainees Day will highlight and oppose all forms of refugee and asylum seeker detention that we are subjected to globally: whether the detention lasts 1 day, 30 days, 1 year, or longer periods of time.

We eX-detainees are thankful for those who have shown meaningful solidarity and allyship. We also like to see more eX-detainee voices put at the forefront in the refugee debate in Australia and across the world. In Australia, eX-detainees have been working towards dismantling immigration detention centres over two decades now. Do not bury eX-detainee voices as has been done continuously by successive Australian governments. Recognition, respect and autonomy should be given to many eX-detainees and detainees who have never compromised on the goal of abolishing detention centres and spoken out against detention centres, risking our freedom and families. Respect our voices and our well being. Here is the link to our demands http://riserefugee.org/exdetaineesdemands/

Last year we eX-detainees at RISE  established the #SanctionAustalia Campaign and we have received overwhelming support for the campaign in Australia and as well as across the world. Further, in the process of developing our Sanction Australia campaign, eX-detainees have been consulting with national and international wide activists, rights groups and civil society groups to endorse our Sanction Australia campaign.

We offshore and onshore eX-detainees from Australia strongly condemn successive Australian governments and other governments around the world for holding hostage our community members in detention torture camps across the world. We eX-detainees demand that all refugee survivors who are forcibly held in detention centres immediately release and provide them with permanent protection and proper support servic...

02:23

Darebin Council, Victoria leads the way on climate change action "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Its not too late to act on climate change, The Age, Paul Gilding 11 Sept 18,   People engaged in the climate debate are often bewildered by societys lack of response. How can we ignore such overwhelming evidence of an existential threat to social and economic stability?

. What is relatively new is that scientists and experts are increasingly acknowledging that nothing less than a massive global mobilisation on a WWII scale is required to address the catastrophic risks posed.
Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and a senior advisor to Pope Francis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Union recently argued that Climate change is now reaching the end-game, where very soon humanity must choose between taking unprecedented action, or accepting that it has been left too late and bear the consequences.
All around us examples of what these consequences might be are increasingly tangible. Whether it be wild fires in northern Sweden, refugee crises, extreme ice melt in the Arctic, submerged airports in Japan or severe droughts, people are feeling climate c...

01:23

Report on Darebin Climate Emergency Conference "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

The last two days - 11-12 September - I attended the Darebin climate emergency conference in northern Melbourne suburb of Northcote. I was one of 350 people that registered and attended. Some good speeches and presentations, interesting panel discussions and useful one-on-one conversations. This was Darebin Council hosting and facilitating this conference as part of it's climate emergency

00:33

Australia's new police state laws banning travel open to abuse in breach of Section 92? "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Think it can't get any worse travelling between the colonies, well you're in for a surprise.

Those pesky people who invented the constitution in Australia, made it difficult for some MPs to be in office lawfully, under what the plebs are now aware of as Section 44.

To make things worse the numbers go all the way up to 128, where section 127 has a bit of liquid paper on it



Why couldn't they just stick with "do no harm", where life so much easier in the 'good ol' days' prior to this pesky occurrence called civilisation or something that has a bit more of a corporate slang like Civil CIVIC COMPLIANCE VICTORIA (ABN: 97 103 604 897)

Some plebs just recently became aware of Section 92 (via social media, of course), and get that wrong, and now even more pesky plebs are going to be aware of this section which talks about intercourse (no, not sexual silly) and get that wrong as well.

Thankfully we have the honest High Court of Australia to interpret Section 92 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (UK), for those who may want to get there as their final destination.

See article from 12 September 2018 by brisbanetimes.com.au of the headline:


Fines or imprisonment for travellers if they do not comply with new police powers at airports

Travellers could face fines of up to $4200 or imprisonment if they do not comply with new police powers to request identification at Australian airports, eject people from the premises and ban them from flights.

Under legislation introduced to Parliament by the Morrison government on Tuesday, police will be able to carry out identity checks when they suspect people are involved in criminal activity that poses a threat to the public.

Police will be able to issue a "move on" direction if someone refuses to cooperate or if they believe it will disrupt an imminent security threat. The person can also be banned from entering airports for 24 hours.


...

00:08

Why Growth Cant Be Green "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

jason hickelBy Dr Jason Hickel, an anthropologist, author, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Warnings about ecological breakdown have become ubiquitous. Over the past few years, major newspapers, including the Guardian and the New York Times, have carried alarming stories on soil depletion, deforestation, and the collapse of fish stocks and insect populations. These crises are being driven by global economic growth, and its accompanying consumption, which is destroying the Earths biosphere and blowing past key planetary boundaries that scientists say must be respected to avoid triggering collapse.

Many policymakers have responded by pushing for what has come to be called green growth. All we need to do, they argue, is invest in more efficient technology and introduce the right incentives, and well be able to keep growing while simultaneously reducing our impact on the natural world, which is already at an unsustainable level. In technical terms, the goal is to achieve absolute decoupling of GDP from the total use of natural resources, according to the U.N. definition.

It sounds like an elegant solution to an otherwise catastrophic problem. Theres just one hitch: New evidence suggests that green growth isnt the panacea everyone has been hoping for. In fact, it isnt even possible.

Green growth first became a buzz phrase in 2012 at the United Nations Conf...

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Thursday, 13 September

15:43

Join us to hear from Gabrielle Chan, author of Rusted Off "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Voices for Indi is proudly hosting Gabrielle Chan, author of Rusted Off: Why Country Australia is Fed Up.  Events are planned in Mansfield, Albury, Violet Town, Wangaratta and Shepparton. 

14:56

Aviation Emissions and Consultation on the Melbourne Airport Masterplan "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Last night I attended the last public consultation on the Melbourne Airport Masterplan which involves substantial expansion of the terminals, roads and a future 2nd east-west runway. And complete silence on aviation emissions, except when I pushed the Environment Manger to reluctantly concede this impact. Tick the Box consultation First thing to note that all the consultation forums have

02:42

Dunolly and District: Rail Revival Alliance DERM Trip 13th Oct 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Dunolly and District: Rail Revival Alliance DERM Trip 13th Oct 2018: PRELIMINARY TIMETABLE RAIL REVIVAL TRAIN SATURDAY 13th OCTOBER Newport 07:24 North Shore 08:19 Lal Lal arr 09:43 dep 09:47 Ballarat arr 1...

00:06

Dunolly and District: Dunolly Brothel Tour 29th Sept 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Dunolly and District: Dunolly Brothel Tour 29th Sept 2018: Join the Dunolly Museum as they take us back on a journey to a time of the Victorian Goldrush and the brothels that graced the streets of Du...

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Wednesday, 12 September

07:06

What Would Jesus Say? OMG! "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

I gave it some thought and could only come to the same conclusion Mr Fry came to: the radical, revolutionary Jesus would be appalled and he would fight to have the church disbanded...

05:07

Victorian homeowners will be paid nearly $5000 towards the cost of household solar batteries if Labor is re-elected "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Victorian Labor offers a $4838 battery bonanza for homes with solar panels , The Age ,By Noel Towell & Benjamin Preiss, 10 September 2018 Victorian homeowners will be paid nearly $5000 towards the cost of household solar batteries by a re-elected Andrews government in the latest move aimed at making the state Australias leader in domestic-scale renewable energy.

The latest promise of subsidies for small-scale renewable energy will see households who already have solar panels able to claim half the cost up to $4838 of batteries that can store energy generated on their rooftops.

The announcement comes as the Andrews government commits to building six new renewable energy plants across regional Victoria, generating enough power for 640,000 homes.

The three solar and three wind farms, producing 928 megawatts of power, will be built by private companies.

Labor has been encouraged by more than 9000 registrations of interest in its subsidised solar program in the three weeks since it began its announcements.  The new batteries policy will cost an estimated $40 million, with 10,000 households expected to take part, lured by the chance of cutting up to $650 from their annual power bills with the rapidly improving battery storage technology.

The announcement is part of a suite of subsidies and payments aimed at putting solar technology in 720,000 Victorian homes. The centrepiece of the government energy renewable election pitc...

03:02

WA rights the wrongs from unjust homosexual laws "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

A dark chapter in Australias history has closed for gay, lesbian and bisexual Australians, their friends and families. Today the Western Australian Parliament joined all states and territories in passing laws to allow people charged under unjust homosexual laws to have the convictions removed from their criminal records. 

Jamie Gardiner, a long-time gay rights advocate who has been campaigning for equality for more than 40 years, welcomed the milestone.

I am delighted that the WA Government has achieved this long overdue reform. Convictions of gay men or boys under bad laws that should never have existed can now be expunged. This reform was first proposed to a Victorian government in 1976, and finally achieved there in 2014.

Even though bad, homophobic laws were progressively repealed around Australia from the 1970s the damage they did to those who were caught up in them has lived on, poisoning the lives of many and causing great loss to both the victims and to society. 

In just four years, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Human Rights Law Centre, and the work led by Anna Brown and Lee Carnie, every state and territory has now enacted laws under which the injustice of convictions under anti-gay laws can be rejected and the slate wiped clean, said Mr Gardiner.

These unjust laws had a profound impact on the everyday lives of gay men, lesbians and bisexual people. In many cases the convictions have restricted employment, volunteering and travel overseas. More fundamentally, the convictions were a source of ongoing grief and deep personal shame for the individuals affected.

Anna Brown, Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, said this was an great day for the LGBTIQ community.

Sex between consenting adults should never have been criminalised. By acknowledging the impact of these homophobic laws, our members of parliament have paid respect to the victims of these laws and also to our LGBTIQ community.

Every state and territory has now recognised that punishing people for who they love was the real crime, said Ms Brown.

The passage of WA legislation follows similar laws being passed across the country following the introduction of an expungement scheme in Victoria in 2014. In 2013 South Australia passed a law that allows men with convictions to apply for their convictions to be spent, but this scheme falls short of full expungement. 

The Human Rights Law Centre provides legal assistance to those who have been unfairly burdened by criminal records imposed when the law criminalised homosexual sexual relations.

For further information about expunging your historic conviction, please contact our...

02:37

Hate Crimes Act needed to protect LGBTI people from prejudice "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

The Human Rights Law Centre will today launch a report calling for stronger protections from hate speech and hate crime in Victoria.

End the Hate: Responding to prejudice motivated speech and violence against the LGBTI Community reveals how current laws and policies are failing to protect LGBTI people from hate crime and hate conduct and outlines how the tide can be turned with 23 recommendations for reform.

Lee Carnie, senior lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre, said all human beings should be treated with equal dignity and respect.

No one should be a target because of who they are or who they love. We should all be able to walk down the street without being attacked or abused. Hate crimes target marginalised and vulnerable members of our communities with devastating impact.

Acting Deputy Commissioner with Victoria Police, Luke Cornelius, said he wants to ensure that Victoria Police has both the capability and capacity to respond to and prevent prejudice motivated crimes within the community.

Targets of prejudice motivated crimes should feel safe to come forward and report to Victoria Police, knowing they will be empowered and supported throughout the process, Acting Deputy Commissioner Cornelius said.

The report, launched one year after the marriage equality postal survey, highlights the negative impact of hate speech and hate crimes during the survey on the health and wellbeing of LGBTI people.

LGBTI people reported that verbal and physical assaults more than doubled during last years postal survey. This is absolutely unacceptable. Hate speech and hate crimes that target people because of who they are affect how safe they feel in our communities but also diminish our society as a whole, said Lee Carnie.

The report calls for comprehensive reform in law, policies and practice including in the following key areas:

  • Stronger legal protections: a Hate Crimes Act to create new specific hate crime offences and introduce protections from hate speech protecting LGBTI people.

  • Improving data collection: ensuring police are properly trained to identify prejudice motivation and support victims, more accurate police data collection and fund assisted third party reporting to improve rates of incident reporting. 

  • Community education and support: fund educational resources for LGBTI community members, broad based public awareness campaigns to reduce prejudice and support programs for LGBTI victims of hate....

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Tuesday, 11 September

20:51

Man who drew 25m penis on memorial of raped & murdered woman shows no remorse - social media responds with fury "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

An Australian man has been slammed online after failing to show remorse for painting a 25m penis at a raped and murdered woman's memorial, just hours before thousands gathered for a vigil. Andrew Nolch, 29, faced a Melbourne court on charges of criminal damage, offensive behavior and making offensive graffiti for painting the lewd symbol on the field at Princes Park in the city's inner suburb of Carlton - hours before a memorial service for slain 22-year-old comedian Eurydice Dixon.

11:15

Beam me up. "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

beams

After staring at my large 200200 mm beams drying in the shed for over two years, they were finally raised into position yesterday. It might only be three pieces of timber, but they are critical to the rest of the construction.

It took me well over a week to establish exactly how I would join the mammoth lumps of wood, even, as you might remember, going to the trouble of going to a workshop on how to make framing joins. The advice I received there was worth its weight in gold, and in truth, it wasnt that much more effort to make a tapered tenon rather than just a straight one. And Im stoked with the quality of the join, the gaps being no more than about 3mm I even oiled the internal join surfaces with linseed oil to protect the wood from the inevitable water ingress from the next rain event.

...

06:58

Media Release 11/09 | REFUGEE ACTION COLLECTIVE CONDEMNS LATEST FORCED DEPORTATIONS "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

The Refugee Action Collective Victoria (RAC) has condemned the Immigration Departments attempt to forcibly deport of over a dozen refugees last night and called on refugee supporters to mobilise against deportations. According to Aran Mylvaganam of the Tamil Refugee Council, most of the men are Tamil refugees who had had been held in detention centres(...)

06:57

Tamil Refugee Council Media Release 10/09 | MEDICAL REPORT: DETENTION MAKING BILOELA CHILDREN SICK "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

The Tamil Refugee Council has condemned the ongoing detention of a Tamil family removed earlier this year from their home in Biloela, central Queensland, after a new medical report noted emerging behavioural problems in the children. The family Priya, Nades and their infant daughters Kopiga, 3, and Tharnicca (Dharuniga), 14 months has been(...)

03:43

Workmens Club recognised for charity efforts "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

WONTHAGGI Workmens Club has been recognised as one of the top fundraisers for the Royal Childrens Hospital Good Friday Appeal this year after raising $42,000.
The amount ranked the club third in the list of the most money donated by any hotel or club in Australia.
Club president Kevin Williams said, Being recognised for our efforts is nice but we dont do it for the recognition. We do it because its right. This is the twentieth year that we have raised money for the Royal Childrens Hospital and the last few years we have gotten around $40,000 each time.
The club supports the appeal through raffles, auctions and events.
The club has been a prolific donator to the appeal, placing in the top 10 of hotels and club based donations most years for nearly two decades.
Terry Bird, committee member at the Workmens Club, said, We are a community based club and its part of our charter to give back to others.
As well as the Royal Childrens Hospital, we do other projects including donating to our local hospital.
Jac Fletcher, fundraising coordinator for the Good Friday Appeal, said the work done by the club over the last 20 years has been astounding.
Its a small group but a great establishment, she said.
Ms Fletcher said the money raised goes towards research endeavours, new equipment and care for family members of hospitalised children.
Ninety cents of every dollar raised from the Good Friday Appeal goes directly to the hospital itself which is world class standard, Ms Fletcher said.
So the work the Wonthaggi Workmens Club does really does make a difference.

Deservedly recognised: from left, Wonthaggi Workmens Club staff member Trish Brushneen, fundraising coordinator for the Royal Childrens Hospital Jac Fletcher, Workmens Club staff member Patricia Hayward, club president Kevin Williams, member Terry Bird, and the Royal Childrens Hospitals Liz Jones celebrate the fundraising efforts of the club.

03:41

Huge fundraiser to aid farmers "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

WHEN Mirboo East residents Brenton and Kat Gration joined on to assist charity group Aussie Helpers in delivering much needed supplies to struggling farmers, little did they know how much of an impact they would have across the country.
An endeavor that started with making several deliveries a week across Victoria quickly turned into supplying more than 50 loads of necessities to desperate farmers as far away as Queensland.
Now Mr and Mrs Gration, owners of Gration Transport, are putting on a fundraiser at Mirboo North on Saturday, September 22 where people can donate anything from money and water, to canned goods and dog food.
Our plan is to park our B-double truck in Mirboo North and hopefully have people fill it entirely with supplies, Kat Gration said.
Its going to be a whole event. We have the Mirboo North scout group putting on a sausage sizzle, the Mirboo North Pony Club will be offering rides, the local CFA are bringing the fire truck for the kids and there will be live music as well.
Money donated from the event will be split between Aussie Helpers and the Gippsland Farmers Relief, while supplies will go to the two charities, plus some of the Grations struggling customers. While the event is being held in Mirboo North, the Grations are hoping to encompass residents all across Gippsland.
Its been a whirlwind six months for the Grations, who have appeared on Channel Sevens Sunrise program and in newspapers across the country for their charitable efforts including supplying watermelons to farmers.
We came across an opportunity to buy watermelons in bulk and I thought it may be a good idea to feed them to dying livestock, Mrs Gration said.
Its obviously not perfect, but at the very least the livestock can get some basic nutrients and moisture to survive off for a while. Its not about fattening the animals up; its simply about keeping them alive.
Mrs Gration said while the watermelons had been useful, their supply has started to dry up, along with other traditional food sources like hay and grain.
Most people dont realise just how dire the situation truly is, even with all the reporting on the news, Mrs Gration said.
We are out of hay, out of grain, and pretty much out of watermelons and other vegetables as well. Thats why we are doing this fundraiser, because farmers lives depend on it.
Mr Gration said farmers barely have enough water to offer him a drink.
When I drop supplies off its not uncommon for them to say Id offer you a coffee or water but we dont really have any. Ive seen farmers forced to drink and bathe from troughs, and kill off hundreds of their livestock and bury them in massive holes because they simply cant keep them from starving, he said.
The work the Grations have done over the previous six months has taken a toll on both their business and the...

03:40

Nurse wins state award "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

A SIMPLE solution by a passionate nurse at Gippsland Southern Health Services Koorooman House aged care facility has sped up treatment and diagnosis for its residents.
Enrolled nurse Faye Hancock, whose career in aged care has spanned more than 12 years, was recognised for her professionalism and initiative last week at the Victorian Healthcare Association Annual Awards.
To reduce delays in treatment and clinical review of skin tears and pressure injuries, Mrs Hancock developed the practice where she would take a picture of the wound on a mobile device and send those images directly to a specialist.
This initiative combined with her professionalism and concern for residents resulted in her receiving the VHA Celebrating Aged Care Passion for Aged Care Award.
Mrs Hancock, who said she regards working with aged care residents as a privilege, was at the aged care forum on Thursday where the winners were announced.
To be honest I was blown away and very honoured to be receiving this award. I work with a team of passionate people and we love what we do, she said.
My philosophy for our aged care residents at Koorooman House is to treat them how I would like to be treated.
Gippsland Southern Health Service invested in us to gain our qualifications as enrolled nurses and had faith in us. I also feel very lucky that I love everyday that I go to work.
This week marks Celebrating Aged Care Week which along with the Victorian Healthcare Awards, acknowledges the contributions of Victorias thousands of public sector aged care workers.

Privileged to serve: Gippsland Southern Health Service Koorooman House enrolled nurse Faye Hancock received the Celebrating Aged Care Passion for Aged Care Award last Thursday.

03:35

New school promised "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

A NEW junior secondary school will be built on Phillip Island.
Both the State Government and the Opposition have committed to the school.
The governments election promise came last Friday, with a total of $24.7 million promised, which would build the new campus and a new gymnasium for Cowes Primary School. The Coalition promised $25 million yesterday (Monday).
Fridays announcement was made by Premier Daniel Andrews, and Deputy Premier and Minister for Education James Merlino.
Wonthaggi Secondary College principal Darren Parker was thrilled and said the school would support a campus on Phillip Island. It is uncertain whether the school will be a new campus of Wonthaggi Secondary College.
The new campus would reduce travel time to our junior campus, particularly for those students coming to us from beyond Anderson. We believe Wonthaggi Secondary College could support this campus in a practical and meaningful way, he said.
It would be a fantastic opportunity for us to be flexible with where we appoint our teaching staff and would ultimately feed into our new sensational senior campus facility.
Wonthaggi Secondary College is anticipating 750 students at its junior campus in 2019, with 1400 across the entire school. The new campus would ease some of the pressure on the Dudley campus and would be closer to home for students living in Phillip Island, San Remo, Coronet Bay, Corinella and Grantville.
Having 1400 students across three campuses would allow us to have the numbers to run significant programs without losing sight of individual needs, Mr Parker said.
Mr Parker said San Remo or Newhaven would be an ideal location for the new campus to increase convenience for students from the Waterline area. The Victorian School Building Authority and the community would be consulted before a site was chosen.
Bass MP Brian Paynter said, The funding for this new school campus is a massive boost for local education so I will ensure we get it right. Ive been working hard with local families to provide better education opportunities, including arguing the case for a new Wonthaggi secondary school. The Coalition also promised to build a new indoor facility at Cowes Primary School.

03:11

Conjuring Up the Next Depression "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

chrishedges

Chris Hedges

During the financial crisis of 2008, the worlds central banks, including the Federal Reserve, injected trillions of dollars of fabricated money into the global financial system. This fabricated money has created a worldwide debt of $325 trillion, more than three times global GDP. The fabricated money was hoarded by banks and corporations, loaned by banks at predatory interest rates, used to service interest on unpayable debt or spent buying back stock, providing millions in compensation for elites. The fabricated money was not invested in the real economy. Products were not manufactured and sold. Workers were not reinstated into the middle class with sustainable incomes, benefits and pensions. Infrastructure projects were not undertaken. The fabricated money reinflated massive financial bubbles built on debt and papered over a fatally diseased financial system destined for collapse.

What will trigger the next crash? The $13.2 trillion in unsustainable U.S. household debt? The $1.5 trillion in unsustainable student debt? The billions Wall Street has invested in a fracking industry that...

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Monday, 10 September

02:15

Nigel Farage, Melbourne, Australia! Pts 1& 2 (Videos) "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Nigel Farage, Melbourne, Australia! Pts 1& 2 Videos Part 1 Part 2

The post Nigel Farage, Melbourne, Australia! Pts 1& 2 (Videos) appeared first on The Daily Coin.

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Saturday, 08 September

13:50

Mon Sept 10 | Vigil for Iraqi, Tamil and Hazara asylum deaths, Sack Dutton Now "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

When: 5:30-7pm, Monday 10th September Where: State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St, Melbourne Facebook event here As politicians pay lip service to mental health, we find ourselves yet again in the heartbreaking position of holding a vigil to mark recent deaths of asylum seekers. Three deaths by suicide have occurred in this last week(...)

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Friday, 07 September

06:26

2pm Sat Sept 22 | Public Meeting: Dont Deport Huyen! "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

When: 2-5pm, Saturday 22nd September Where: Footscray Community Arts Centre, 45 Moreland St, Footscray, Victoria Facebook event here Sign petition here Vietnamese flyer here English flyer here Speakers include: Paul Lee- Huyens husband, Isabellas father Huong Truong, Greens MLC for Western Melbourne Vietnamese asylum seeker Huyen is facing deportation and indefinite separation from her baby(...)

05:10

2pm Sat Oct 27 | Rally: One year since the Manus Siege Bring Them Here "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

When: 2pm 27th October Where: State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St, Melbourne Facebook event here On the one year anniversary of the Manus Siege join a protest calling for the offshore camps to be close and the refugees brought here. Refugees on Manus were given the deadline of October 26, 2017 to move out(...)

01:36

MEDIA RELEASE 5/9 | COURT ORDERS BLINDED MANUS MORRISON VICTIM TO AUSTRALIA "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

An Iraqi refugee who was one of two people left blind in one eye after the attacks on the Manus detention centre in February 2014, has been flown to Brisbane after a court order in Melbourne last week. Mohammad lost the sight in his right eye in the same attack that resulted in the death(...)

01:34

MEDIA RELEASE 3/9 | UPDATE: DETAINEE ATTEMPTS SUICIDES IN YONGAH HILL. FALCON COMPOUND DAMAGED BY FIRE "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

A 22 year-old Iraqi (not Morrocan as earlier reported) detainee has attempted suicide in Yongah Hill detention centre outside Perth. The man was found in his cell at around 5.30pm Western Australia time. WA police say that the man is still alive, but it is understood that his condition is critical. The man has a(...)

01:33

MEDIA RELEASE 28/8 | TAMIL ASYLUM SEEKER SUICIDES IN BRISBANE "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

A 45 year-old Tamil asylum seeker has died in Brisbane after a suicide attempt at the Logan hospital last Friday (24 August). The Tamil man received an initial rejection of his protection application several weeks ago, and fell into a deep depression. He was admitted to Logan hospital after his friends became concerned for his(...)

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Wednesday, 05 September

22:26

Growth surges to 6-year high "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Lift off

Here's a turn-up for the books, with GDP growth surging to 3.4 per cent in FY2018, the strongest annual growth in 6 years. 

The Aussie economy now enters a record 28th year of expansion, with a seasonally adjusted 0.9 per cent growth reported for the June quarter, and the result for the March quarter being revised all the way up to 1.1 per cent.

Yep, that's right - the economy was growing at an annualised 4 per cent in the first half of this calendar year!

In per capita terms (thus accounting for population growth) GDP growth came it at 1.8 per cent year-on-year, which was also the strongest annual result since March 2012. 

The economic growth has also broadly followed immigration patterns with strapping growth in Sydney and now a huge lift in Melbourne/Victoria, but a significant drag from Western Australia and the Northern Territory. 


There was strong expansion in the construction sector, driven by Victoria (of course) and South Australia.

Indeed, final demand in South Australia has lifted markedly over the first half of 2018 which is great to see. 

There will be all the usual laments about the problems with GDP growth as a measure - that much is a given.  

But it's worth noting that real gross domestic income (3.9 per cent), real gross national income (3.5 per cent), and real net national disposable income (3.7 per cent) all recorded even stronger growth than GDP. 

...

05:00

The 2018 EJ Craigie Award winner "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Last night Warwick Smith, Senior economist at Per Capita was awarded the EJ Craigie Writing Award for his piece The big spending Victorian state budget is built on Australias worst tax. Warwick quickly laid out the damaging effects of stamp duties and then moved on to show another innovative ACT policy move, with the transition []

03:37

Change Your Destiny "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

A Stuart Wilde article. When you see ugliness become every more pretty. When you see racism, love and accept everyone. When people are agitated and violent, be calm and peaceful.

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Monday, 03 September

05:45

The Growth Market That Could Last the Century "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Fathers Day was yesterday. I spent most of mine next to the fire. It might be 30 degrees in Townsville, but down here in Victoria, its still cold.

At one point, we were on the rug next to the fireplace playing a board game with our little girl. Shes three. It didnt matter how each round ended. Shed jump up and shout, I won!

Half the time I wasnt paying attention. I was staring at the fire. I love staring at the fire. Apparently, we men have never really left behind the days on the Savannah.

After a days hunting, thats what the men did sit around the fire and look at it. Suits me.

It did get me thinking about wood, though.

Ours happens to be an open fireplace. Its appallingly inefficient. Most of the heat goes up the chimney. But nothing beats getting a big, roaring crackle going.

Late yesterday, we even toasted a few marshmallows.

Why the opportunities around renewable energy could run for a century

Wood was of great concern back in the days of Elizabethan England. It was the prime energy source. The buildings were wooden. The Navy needed large oak trees for ships masts. The trees took 80-120 years to grow.

In fact, it took 2,500 trees to complete an English warship. They couldnt be the same tree, either. A ship is an irregular shape, and different wood bends better than others.

Then there were the ships of British commerce. More trees required. Heat and cooking added to the demand. Then there were the fences, forges, barrels and docks. They all needed wood.

The fields around London were felled further and further out to supply the city. One of the best things about the discovery of America was the vast forests the English could get their hands on. But by then, coal was on the ascendancy to its eventual moniker King Coal.

Why am I telling you this?

I just finished a book called Energy: A Human History. A man called Richard Rhodes wrote it. A previous book of his won a Pulitzer Prize.

Energy is full of anecdotes on the problems each power source brings and the people who played a role in solving those problems or advancing us to a new era of energy supremacy.

Wood made way for coal, which made way for oil.

In turn, these shifts led to unexpected technological and product development.

As the easy access coal ran out, for example, British miners developed rudimentary ways of going deeper underground. That basic trend is still running today. But no jetliner ever ran on a steam engine. That took crude oil.

And there are historical repeats as well.....

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Sunday, 02 September

10:17

What the newspapers said about inequality. It's wrong "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

PETER WHITEFORD
If you were going to reduce a 150-page Productivity Commission examination of trends in Australian inequality to a few words, it would be nice if they werent ALP inequality claims sunk, or Progressive article of faith blown up or Labor inequality myths busted by commission.

The editorial in the Australian Financial Review of August 30 says questions about whether inequality is increasing are abstract, taught in universities as an article of faith, and a political truncheon.

Here I should disclose that I teach courses covering inequality as well as undertaking research on the topic. Also, I was one of the external referees for this weeks Productivity Commission report.

It adds to a growing pile of high quality research on trends in income distribution in Australia, including a recent Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and University of New South Wales study using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) that provides an in-depth analysis of income and wealth inequality in 2015-16 and an analysis of trends since 2000.

Also released at the end of July was the latest HILDA Statistical Report that analyses how things have changed over time for individuals between 2001 and 2016.

The Productivity Commission survey takes the deliberately ambitious approach of assessin...

01:52

Switching from concrete to carpentry. "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Now that the concrete part of the house is as good as over, since returning from my Queensland visit Ive been concentrating on the carpentry side of things. Ive put a lot of thought into doing this, more often than not in the middle of the night when I least want to do so! I even put a lot of thought into useless methods.

IMG_20180823_162417But first, I had to finish cleaning up the mess left behind when I went troppo, and the amount of scrap concrete caused by the suppliers completely miscalculating how much was needed to core fill my blocks is truly staggering.  I now have a pile of rubble behind the house 5m long and a metre high that will end up as drainage, but honestly, even considering half the pile might be air, there must be $400 worth of waste there. Not impressed.

My first big task is erecting the centre column, as it will support the beams that finish the...

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Saturday, 01 September

00:04

Club of Romes predictions on target. "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Anyone following this blog will know I bang on about Limits to Growth constantly just click on the Limits to Growth text in the issues cloud in the right hand side bar of this blog, and you will see what I mean.. One of the most read entry on this blog is an interview with Dennis Meadows in which he says Theres nothing we can do, closely followed by Graham Turners most recent studies showing the CoRs standard run is bang on target for realisation.

Now along comes this fascinating video that apparently made the news on our own trusted ABC in 1973 (Australian Broadcasting Corporation if youre not from here!) which, in my internet circles at least, is surfacing constantly.

I love its historic implications, and the way it shows how crude computing power could still come up with the goods. and also shows how we did absolutely nothing to stave off disaster.

World One the name of the computer showed that by 2040 there would be a global collapse if the expansion of the population and industry was to continue at the current levels.. I frankly doubt this wont happen by 2030.

2020 is the first milestone envisioned by World One. We now have less than two years folks. Thats when the quality of life is supposed to drop dramatically. The broadcaster presented this scenario that will lead to the demise of large numbers of people:

At around 2020, the condition of the planet becomes highly critical. If we do nothing about it, the quality of life goes down to zero. Pollution becomes so seriously it will start to kill people, which in turn will cause the population to diminish, lower than it was in 1900. At this stage, around 2040 to 2050, civilised life as we know it on this planet will cease to exist.

Alexander King, the then-leader of the Club of Rome, evaluated the programs results to also mean that nation-states will lose their sovereignty, forecasting a New World Order with corporations managing everything.

Sovereignty of nations is no longer absolute,...

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Friday, 31 August

00:49

America NOT great again. "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

One of the many things I see on TV news material that makes me shout at the screen is economic commentators raving about Americas booming economy. nothing of the sort is happening. Economies are measured in dollars, and as debt grows exponentially, so does the money supply, and the throughput of money increases, and stupid moronic economists whose only job is to make you all believe everythings doing just fine will make you believe the increasing GDP is both good and a sign of growth Heres an article that debunks all this fake news.

Go to the profile of umair haque

Lets start at the beginning. The reason that crackpot American theories of economics are wrong is that they presume capitalism is the answer to everything. More jobs? Wages must rise! Hey presto! The economy fixes itself. Supply and demand, my dudego capitalism!! But waitwhat happens if those jobs are, well, not very good ones, because corporations dont really have to compete, because its made of gigantic monopolies now, not mom-and-pop soda shoppes? If instead of being something more like stable middle class careers, with upward mobility, benefits, retirements, security, stability, meaning, belonging, and so forth, they are something more like jobs only in namein reality, hollowed out? What happens if all thats left in a job is the chance to work harder and harder every year, for shrinking income, opportunity, savings, a declining quality of life?

Thats exactly whats happened in America. The jobs that are being created are not h...

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Thursday, 30 August

11:09

Awakening From The Matrix "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

HOW could I ignore this article for this blog..!

Society Is Made Of Narrative. Realizing This Is Awakening From The Matrix.

Go to the profile of Caitlin Johnstone

In the movie The Matrix, humans are imprisoned in a virtual world by a powerful artificial intelligence system in a dystopian future. What they take to be reality is actually a computer program that has been jacked into their brains to keep them in a comatose state. They live their whole lives in that virtual simulation, without any way of knowing that what they appear to be experiencing with their senses is actually made of AI-generated code.

Life in our current society is very much the same. The difference is that instead of AI, its psychopathic oligarchs who are keeping us asleep in the Matrix. And instead of code, its narrative.

Society is made of narrative like the Matrix is made of code. Identity, language, etiquette, social roles, opinions, ideology, religion, ethnicity, philosophy, agendas, rules, laws, money, economics, jobs, hierarchies, politics, government, theyre all purely mental constructs which exist nowhere outside of the mental noises in our heads. If I asked you to point to your knee you could do so instantly and wordlessly, but if I asked you to point to the economy, for example, the closest you could come is using a bunch of linguistic symbols to point to a group of concepts. To show me the economy, youd have to tell me a story.

Anyone who has ever experienced a moment of mental stillness knows that without the chatter, none of those things are part of your actual...

06:13

Hobart building boom "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Building approvals fade

Total building approvals over the year to July remained elevated at more than 230,000 (up from about 220,000 a year ago), but the financial year kicked off in a more subdued manner with a 5.2 per cent seasonally adjusted decline.


Sydney unit approvals are recording punchier declines now, with July approvals down by some 35 per cent from a year earlier.


I've discussed previously how Hobart is only a comparatively small city and therefore a potentially larger and faster percentage increase in the dwelling stock is a dynamic worth watching.

Detached house approvals in July were up by more than 250 per cent from a year earlier in the Tasmanian capital, taking total annual approvals to a 99-month high.

We're talking comparatively small numbers in absolute terms, of course, but the trajectory is worth watching carefully for those interested in Hobart's housing market.

Since these are mainly detached houses approved - and these tend to be built quickly - there is less of a lag effect compared to the big apartment projects of Sydney and Melbourne. 

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Wednesday, 29 August

07:41

Tenderness Can Flow From Resilience "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

I ponder the question - how do we develop resilience without toughening up and compromising our innate sensitivity?

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Tuesday, 28 August

00:54

TPP-11 flawed Victorian study shows small benefits without assessing costs "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

August 29, 2018: The Victorian government commissioned a study by private consultants of the impact of the TPP-11 on Victorian export firms.

The study was a late submission to the JSCOT inquiry and mentioned in the ALP critical remarks on the JSCOT report (p.86) .

Below is a link to a critical evaluation of the findings of that study, which found only modest improvements in market access for some Victorian export sectors, because Australia already has a bilateral free trade agreements with all but two of the TPP-11 countries. 

The study found that export market access gains could be offset in practice by increased competition from other TPP member countries in some export markets, and the complexity of the interactions between the TPP-11 and ongoing bilateral agreements.

The study does not contain any economic modelling or estimates of the impact of the TPP-11 on employment or economic growth in the Victorian economy as a whole.

The study does not include any evaluation of the risks and costs of the TPP-11, like ISDS and the removal of labour market testing for temporary migrant workers.

In summary, the study confirms our analysis that the market access gains from the TPP-11 are minimal, and does not evaluate any of the costs.

Download pdf of 2-page critique

00:36

Towards a new operating system "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalisms Imminent Demise

A climate change-fueled switch away from fossil fuels means the worldwide economy will fundamentally need to change.

Image: Shutterstock

ANOTHER brilliant piece of journalism from Nafeez Ahmed. Originally sighted on MOTHERBOARD.

nafeezCapitalism as we know it is over. So suggests a new report commission...

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Monday, 27 August

04:30

Primary Energy "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

The internet is constantly bombarded with articles about how we need to go (or even ARE going) 100% renewable energy and get rid of fossil fuels now dont get me wrong, I completely agree, its just that these people have no idea of the repercussions, nor of the size of the task at hand.)

Renewable energy zealots even believe that as more and more renewables are deployed, fossil fuels are being pushed out of the way, becoming irrelevant. Seriously.

Nothing of the sort is happening. In a recent article, Gail Tverberg wrote this:

Of the 252 million tons of oil equivalent (MTOE) energy consumption added in 2017, wind ADDED 37 MTOE and solar ADDED 26 MTOE. Thus, wind and solar amounted to about 25% of total energy consumption ADDED in 2017. Fossil fuels added 67% of total energy consumption added in 2017, and other categories added the remaining 8%. [my emphasis on added]

To put this in a graphic way, look at this..

primary energy

Primary energy consumption has almost trebled since 1971, and renewables still only account for 2% while oil coal and gas has grown as a total percentage at the expense of nuclear. And..  surprise surprise, OIL!...

00:49

Rental crisis looms "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Rental shortages

Some months ago I wrote about the prospect of a 'rental crisis' being the next big housing market story (even leading some readers to question my mental health - isn't social media the best?).

Of course, these trends play out over a period of years rather than in tune with today's 24-hours news cycle.

And just as I was lambasted for flagging overbuilding of units in some pockets in 2013 I don't expect much support this time around either.

Despite record dwelling construction through this cycle, rental vacancies have actually fallen over the past year, with only Sydney holding the numbers up as record supply comes online (a huge number of investors bought off the plan in this cycle).

In some markets such as Hobart and a number of regional towns rental vacancies have sunk as close to zero as you'll ever see (there'll always be some frictional vacancies) - and Canberra is heading in that direction - but these episodes may be explained by local factors.

The acid test will be what plays out in Victoria.

And the signs aren't looking good for renters, with the latest REIV figures showing the state's vacancy rate plunging to the lowest level on record. 


Source: ABC News/REIV

As Melbourne accelerates towards full employment on the back of a record construction boom, the state is attracting migrants from all over Australia as well as overseas.

The city added more than 125,000 residents over the past year, and will exceed 5 million later today.

This year the city will likely add at least as many residents again.

In the normal course of events the rental market would respond accordingly.

But in this instance Labor is proposing making prospective investm...

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Saturday, 25 August

00:01

Literary Pilgrims "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

 

26 Mercer Street SM

 

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A few weeks ago I was contacted by Brigid Magner, a lecturer at RMIT who described her current project about literary commemorations in Australia. This project includes several houses where Henry Handel Richardson (Ethel, or Ettie as she was called when she was a young girl) once lived.

The two photographs at the start of this post are of 26 Mercer Street Queenscliff where the author lived in the late 1870s. The second is from a short play I wrote for history week 2016, and shows Ettie (played by Laura McMahon) reading on the veranda. The play took place in the garden, where the audience sat, and on the spacious veranda.

Talking to Brigid and thinking about her project got me wondering about literary pilgrimages and why people travel long distances to visit the homes of their favourite authors.

At the start of Flauberts Parrot, author Julian Barnes has his narrator ask, Why does the writing make us chase the writer? Why cant we leave well alone? Why arent the books enough?

I sometimes fantasise about visiting Shrewsbury in England, where Ellis Peters set her Cadfael series. Cadfael is a Benedictine monk who lived at the Abbey of St Peter and St Paul in the 12th century. I imagine the cobbled streets and tiny, close-packed houses. And there would be some corners of the city where my imagination wouldnt feel let down. But mostly I would have to go about in blinkers. And this is one problem, isnt it, for literary pilgrims, that places where well-loved authors and charact...

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Friday, 24 August

05:07

2pm 26 Aug | Rally: Racists Out! Refugees In! "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

When: 2-5pm, Sunday 26th August Where: State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St, Melbourne Facebook event here Whoever becomes the new Prime Minister RAC will call a protest on the first Sunday after that at 2pm State Library calling for Racists Out! and Refugees In! Turnbull, Dutton,Morrison and Bishop are all forever stained by the(...)

04:00

The Irrelevance of the Prime Minister to Australias Property Market "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Earlier this month, an Aussie family sold their former apple orchard in Wantirna South, a suburb in Melbourne. Its been with the same owners since 1922.

The selling price? Reportedly close to $100 million.

The buyer is a Chinese property developer.

This is a perfect example of the stupidity of the Australian tax system and why Australias latest bout of political instability is mostly irrelevant in the long term.

It also has important investment implications.

Where the boom-bust nature of the economy comes from

The reason that this land is receiving such an enormous asking price is because of its desirable location on the city fringe and the fact it has Commercial 1 zoning approval, which removes permit requirements among other things. That means housing lots are sure to follow soon.

Germany has a far superior system. It freezes the value of land at the agricultural price when land is zoned for residential development.

The subsequent uplift in value of the land can then be used to fund local infrastructure and spending. Inferred from this is that taxes can be reduced and not even required.

Here in Australia we hand the windfall to whoever owns the land. Unproductive taxes make up for the forgone revenue.

A myriad of consequences spring from this.

One is the Australian preoccupation with speculating on property and using unproductive credit creation from the banks to do so.

This is where the instability, fragility and boom-bust nature of the economy and its sensitivity to higher interest rates springs from.

For a superb overview of this, the central role land plays in the economy and the myriad consequences that spring from this, I urge you to read a called Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing by Josh Ryan-Collins, Toby Lloyd and Laurie Macfarlane.

Its not a snappy title, but the book is an excellent introduction to this vital issue, making reference to the UK primarily.

If you were blindsided by 2008, youll know why after reading it. Youll also be armed for the next housing collapse, which could be due sometime next decade if current trends persist.

The trends that drive the economy mostly land rent and bank credit are not new. In fact, theyve been running riot since the end of the Second World War. The book shows this quite clearly.

Whether Malcolm Turnbull or Peter Dutton is in office will change nothing about this unless genuine tax reform is enacted. Yet its reasonable to assume this wont happen.

The Henry Tax Review, commissioned last decade, arg...

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Thursday, 23 August

07:09

Labour market is tightening, gradually "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

Gradual tightening

The labour market is tightening, gradually.

Something I've been prattling on about for a while is the prospect of full employment for Melbourne, forged on the back of a mammoth construction boom.

And the Victorian capital took another huge leap closer to that dynamic in July as its unemployment rate fell to just 4.9 per cent in the month. 

A year earlier the unemployment rate across Greater Melbourne was above 6 per cent as the rate of population growth surged to the highest level since the gold rush.

This takes the annual average unemployment rate for Melbourne down to 5.6 per cent, from 6.1 per cent a year earlier. 

If it feels as though the recovery has been slower than those we've experienced in the past, then there would be an element of truth in that.

That said, the population is growth at a quicker pace these days, so the decline in the total number of unemployed persons may be expected to be more gradual.

Whatever, it's happening. 


Sydney's annual average unemployment rate continues to decline to fresh multi-year lows, now at well under 4 per cent, while Adelaide has really turned a corner since 2016 (in a good way). 

Perth is still drifting. 

...

00:35

WHY DO POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC LEADERS DENY PEAK OIL AND CLIMATE CHANGE? "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

By Alice Friedemann, originally published by Energy Skeptic

Since theres nothing that can be done about climate change, because theres no scalable alternative to fossil fuels, Ive always wondered why politicians and other leaders, who clearly know better, feel compelled to deny it. I think its for exactly the same reasons you dont hear them talking about preparing for Peak Oil.

1) Our leaders have known since the 1970s energy crises that theres no comparable alternative energy ready to replace fossil fuels. To extend the oil age as long as possible, the USA went the military path rather than a Manhattan Project of research and building up grid infrastructure, railroads, sustainable agriculture, increasing home and car fuel efficiency, and other obvious actions.

Instead, weve spent trillions of dollars on defense and the military to keep the oil flowing, the Straits of Hormuz open, and invade oil-producing countries. Being so much further than Europe, China, and Russia from the Middle East, where theres not only the most remaining oil, but the easiest oil to get out at the lowest cost ($20-22 OPEC vs $60-80 rest-of-world per barrel), is a huge disadvantage. I think the military route was chosen in the 70s to maintain our access to Middle East oil and prevent challenges from other nations. Plus everyone benefits by our policing the world and keeping the lid on a world war over energy resources, perhaps thats why central banks keep lending us money.

2) If the public were convinced climate change were real and demanded alternative energy, it would become clear pretty quickly that we didnt have any alternatives. Already Californians are seeing public television shows and newspaper articles about why its so difficult to build enough wind, solar, and so on to meet the mandated 33% renewable energy sources by 2020.

For example, last night I saw a PBS program on the obstacles to wind power in Marin county, on the other side of the Golden Gate bridge. Difficulties cited were lack of storage for electricity, NIMBYism, opposition from the Audubon society over bird kills, wind blows at night when least needed, the grid needs expansion, and most wind is not near enough to the grid to be connected to it. But there was no mention of Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROEI) or the scale of how many windmills youd need to have. So you could be left with the impression that these problems with wind could be overcome.

...

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Wednesday, 22 August

22:52

Massive new Victorian government solar policy "IndyWatch Feed Goulburn"

The Victorian government has announced it will provide 50% of funding for solar PV systems up to 4kW, for 650,000 Victorian homes over the next 10 years. This is a $1.24 billion program. The program will save the typical Victorian household $2,225 for an average 4kW solar system. If re-elected, the current Victorian Government will also provide a four-year [...] full article 

08:57

Singing the Camino: A tale of two trailblazers, walking and songs "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

You never know where life as a Singing Leader will take you next. Several years ago now, The Lucky Wonders, an indie folk pop band from Byron Bay, toured Germany. In need of a break after a few gruelling years in the music industry, Jessie Vintila and her partner Emma Royle took off for a drive through Spain and France, and found themselves in St Jean Pied de Port, a small French town at the foot of the Pyrenees.

Turns out, St Jean Pied de Port is a common starting place for people walking a spectacular stretch of the Camino Francs, the most famous of all the Pilgrimage routes across the mountains, and on this particular day the atmosphere of the town captivated them both in a powerful and life changing way.

We saw all these people in hiking gear with walking poles and there was a kind of magical hush over the town. There and then we got the bug for the Camino. Emma has been a keen hiker all her life and she was determined we would walk this track as soon as possible.

But with return flights booked and paid for it was time to head home to Australia leaving the two women unclear about how they could justify an imminent trip back to Europe. Being musicians its not that easy to travel across the world, Jessie laughs. Their quest was something to ponder, something requiring time and creative thinking but the vision and the place persisted to play in their thoughts.

On a walk out one evening, an idea and a solution to the situation popped clearly into Jessies headand after all that thinking it turned out, rather ironically, to be a bit of a no-brainer.

Jessie was fortunate to be born into a singing family. As a multi-instrumentalist for most of her life she has also been a passionate choir leader since she was 18: I cant get enough of it, Im an absolute harmony addict, I love having people all around me singing harmonies all the time. Emma, who is also a musician, is an ardent fan of walking.

The freshly hatched plan combined all these skills and, most importantly at that point in time, gave Jessie and Emma a legitimate reason to head back to the Camino together to explore the idea of setting up their potential new venture: A Singing tour of the Camino for other people to do.

If we could go over there and set up this project, we could do it!

Within a few months of their original visit, Jessie and Emma went back to Spain and walked all 800 blister-busting kilometres of the Camino. They decided to focus on the final 200km stretch which they decided would be the ideal distance for singing walkers to cover on a twelve day tour. A significant amo...

07:45

Trevor Ravenscroft and the Spirit World "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

This will allow us to begin to see a whole spiritual depth and significance behind every single manifestation of the physical world...

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Tuesday, 21 August

05:20

The Third Industrial Revolution "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

I belong to a degrowth group on facebook. The owner of this group posted a link to a youtube video titled The Third Industrial Revolution: A Radical New Sharing Economy. I downloaded it sight unseen so that I could watch it on my TV while its Jeremy_Rifkinpissing down with rain outside and I frankly have nothing else better to do. luckily for those up North in terrible drought, well be sending some your way next weekend. Ive never liked Jeremy Rifkins crazy ideas, and had I realised he was the star attraction of this film, I probably would not have downloaded it in the first place, but having done so, and under the abovemnetioned weather conditions, I went ahead anyway

The first half hour was for me the best part, because he clearly explains with some crucial left out items why were in deep shit. What really leaves me flumoxed is how someone who clearly understands thermodynamics and entropy cannot come to grips with their repercussions.

A Third Industrial Revolution Would Seal Our FateWhy Jeremy Rifkin is Dead Wrong

For me, it was extraordinarily hard to find where to start my criticismnot because of the lack of strength of his arguments, but simply because it is just plain hard to even know where to start! E...

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Monday, 20 August

06:34

Peak Infrastructure "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

For years now, I have been saying that the 20th Century was built one brick at a time, as and when it was needed, using ever growing amounts of surplus energy that were both very cheap and easily accessible.. and as Limits to Growth rears its ugly head more and more often, all the signs that we are no longer able to do this is becoming obvious; because we have now reached the stage when all those old bricks (and steel and concrete and.) start needing to be replaced while at the same time the new infrastructure required by the growth monster has to also be built.Genoa-Bridge-Collapse

Enter the Genoa bridge that collapsed last week.. photos of it crumbling weeks before the tragic event that seems to have killed 43 people were posted on social media. Im no structural engineer, but it looks pretty bad to me. Dangling cables and the middle buckling under its own weight are not good signs Falling apart comes to mind. Anyone in their right mind would have closed it down and more than likely condemned it, but no, lets not get a few lives get in the way of profits. At fifty years old, it wasnt particularly ancient, but shoddy workmanship and even mafia involvement in supplying dodgy concrete are issues making their way to the Italian media.

With Italy on the cusp of bankruptcy, h...

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Sunday, 19 August

07:46

Madge Digest #152 August 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

...

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Wednesday, 15 August

08:21

The Doorway To Resilience "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Ditch striving for positivity and happiness. The positive thinking/happiness craze of more recent decades has morphed into something much better...

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Friday, 10 August

07:41

Australian prawn farmers claim biosecurity undermined by trade considerations "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

August 10, 2018: The ABC reports that until recently, Australia had been free of the deadly white spot prawn disease which is harmless to people but has the potential to wipe out both farmed and wild prawns. Quarantine border checks were intended to prevent the disease from being imported in raw prawns.

The ABC reports that, despite an outbreak of the disease in Queensland in 2016 documented by Four Corners, the Federal government had not revealed that two of 101 retail samples taken from Melbourne and Sydney retail outlets in May and June  2018 returned strong positives for white spot disease, while another four returned weak positives. In 2016, seven prawn farms at Logan, near the Gold Coast, had to destroy all their stock.

In contrast, when white spot was confirmed in 2016 in the wild in Moreton Bay, after quarantine regulations were tightened, the Queensland Government imposed a movement restriction order for raw wild caught prawns, crustaceans and marine worms between Caloundra and the New South Wales border.

In December 2017 a report by Australia's inspector-general of biosecurity, Dr Helen Scott-Orr, found a major biosecurity failure likely led to the 2016 outbreak. More than a $100 million of taxpayer money has since been spent on compensation, clean-up, monitoring and increased border security.

Containers of imported prawns are now required to be tested for the virus at the country of origin and again when they reach Australia, but the recent Melbourne and Sydney evidence shows this may not be effective.

The ABC reports that the Queensland Seafood Industry Association believes the differences between the response from the state and federal governments boiled down to international trade.

"Unfortunately our industry has been sacrificed on that altar of trade and it's never been good enough, said the Association spokesperson, Mr Eric Perez.

If we put restrictions on then suddenly, 'Oh well you export to our countries, what if we put restrictions on what you export out' so it is a trade issue," Mr Perez sai...

02:51

Solving secondary problems first "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Can you run a self-driving car on a desert island?

Of course not: There are no roads; and there is no fuel for the car.

Why do I mention this?  Because the received narrative around climate change and so-called peak oil demand is that new technologies like electric self-driving cars are going to ride to our rescue in the near future.  This is a nice fantasy; but I would draw your attention to the fact that while we still have roads, along with much of our infrastructure they are falling apart through neglect.  Without the enabling infrastructure, the proposed new technologies are going nowhere.

Energy, meanwhile, is a far greater problem.  Globally (remember most of the food we eat and the goods we buy are imported) 86 percent of our energy comes from fossil fuels down just one percent from 1995.  Renewable energy accounts for nearly 10 percent; but most of this is from hydroelectric dams and wood burning.  The modern renewables solar, wind, geothermal, wave, tidal, and ocean energy that so many people imagine are going to save the day account for just 1.5 percent of the energy we use.

Modern renewables are a kind of Schrodingers energy because they are simultaneously replacements for (some of) the fossil fuel that we are currently using and the additional energy to power all of the new technologies that are going to save the day.  And rather like the benighted feline in Schrodingers experiment, so long as nobody actually looks at the evidence, they can continue to fulfil both roles.

Given the potentially catastrophic consequences of not having sufficient energy to continue growing our economy, it is psychologically discomforting even to ask why energy costs are spiralling upward around the world, and why formerly energy independent countries are resorting to difficult, expensive and environmentally toxic fuel sources like hydraulically fractured shale or strip mined bitumen sands.  This, perhaps, explains why so many people focus their attention on solving second order problems something psycholog...

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Thursday, 09 August

23:37

Richard Flanagan: Our politics is a dreadful black comedy press club speech in full "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

I know this is a bit off topic for this blog, but it is such a great speech I thought youd all like to read it. the truth is always so much more interesting.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Indigenous Australia, Anzac Day, the descent of democracy in a National Press Club address Flanagan examines a divided Australia which he says can be free only if it faces up to its past.

 

Richard Flanagan
 Richard Flanagan: Since the marriage equality vote its clear that Australians are not the mean and pinched people we had been persuaded and bluffed for so many years that we were. Photograph: Joel Saget/Agence France-Presse

told a friend the other day I was to be speaking here in Canberra today and she told me a joke. A man is doubled over at the front of Parliament House throwing up. A stranger comes up and puts an arm around the vomiting man. I know how you feel, the stranger says.

Both jokes are about failing regimes that have lost the essential moral legitimacy gover...

05:24

Money trees are magical; energy trees are not "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Another excellent post from the Consciousness of Sheep..  a bit anglo-centric, but easily applies to anywhere not least Australia.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Equating money with wealth is among the most dangerous delusions currently afflicting humanity.

This is, perhaps, understandable given that so few people now have access to money in the quantities needed to improve their lives.

Government, meanwhile, effectively lies when it points to the various pots of money that it has allocated to this or that infrastructure, entitlement or service.  This is mendacious because money from central government is allocated as a block grant to local government and other public bodies.  In total, these public bodies lack the income to fund their legal responsibilities.  As a result, money that was theoretically allocated to provide for such things as mental health beds, fixing potholes and a host of other discretionary activities is actually deployed in firefighting the collapse of mandatory services like child welfare or social care for the elderly.

The solution to this for many in the political sphere is to loosen the purse strings.  Quite correctly, they identify the central flaw in the pronouncements of duplicitous politicians like Theresa May and Phillip Hammond; who tell us that there isnt a magic money tree.  Because well actually, yes there is.  Its called the Bank of England.  And were politicians to instruct it to do so, it can spirit into existence as much new currency as it likes.

The conventional way in which central banks spirit money into existence is via the issuance of government debt.  Government issues a bond (called a Gilt-Edged Security in the UK) which is auctioned to a closed group of banks and financial institutions.  The central bank then spirits new money into existence and uses it to buy these bonds back.  That new money then enters the economy via the financial sector.

This, of course, is no more than tradition.  There is nothing to prevent the central bank from conjuring new money out of thin air and then distributing it directly into the bank accounts of every citizen.  Indeed, this is one of the points made by those who favour some form of Universal Basic Income as an alternative to the UKs overly bureaucratic and increasingly ineffective social security system.  The reason that money is not created in this way is simply that channelling it through the banking and financial system favours the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the wider population.

Midway between the current p...

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Wednesday, 08 August

04:31

Transgender Refugees living in the community in Australia and Access to Primoteston "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Recently, in the last few weeks, RISE: Refugee Survivors and Ex-detainees transgender members who were coercively assigned female at birth and are living in the community, raised concerns about the removal of Primoteston Depot (a form of testosterone injection) from the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).  Primoteston has been removed from PBS by the manufacturer Bayer Pharmaceuticals for commercial reasons. This forces our members to purchase the medication at the full price of about $40 every 4-6 weeks. Generic brand testosterone is also not available through the system. For this reason, a meeting was organised last weekend by affected RISE transgender members to discuss this issue.  Clearly it has had a particularly devastating impact on our community members as they are also struggling with Australias precarious and abusive refugee visa process, with limited access to health and welfare services. Furthermore, it became clear in the discussion that even service providers that explicitly claim to support transgender people have failed to address the barriers transgender refugees face when it comes to accessing hormone replacement therapy.

In order for an unemployed RISE member living in the community on a bridging visa with Medicare, to purchase prescribed medication at a concession price they have to be approved for Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) by the Australian Department of Home Affairs.  If their SRSS application is approved, in addition to SRSS payments which is 89% of the standard Centrelink welfare payments they are assigned to a private subcontractor such as AMES or Life Without Barriers for settlement support. They do not have access to a healthcare card and have to depend on a letter from the SRSS provider to allow access to specific pharmacies to purchase PBS medication at a concession price.  Currently, AMES provides a letter that is usually valid for only 1 or 3 months which has to be renewed each time it expires. For RISE members (all of whom are ex-detainees) on 5 year temporary visas, the government will only allow them to receive Centrelink payments for up to 18 months in total. We also need to keep in mind RISE members who are undocumented or on bridging visas, who dont have access to Medicare, the right to work or any welfare support payments and have to pay full price for all medication. The recent cuts to SRSS by the Department of Home Affairs places more of our members in this latter category.  

When a person changes from  Primoteston to a testosterone injection available on PBS such as Reandron (also manufactured by Bayer), they may have to continue to use Primoteston during a temporary overlapping period with Reandron.  So even RISE members eligible for PBS medication at a concession rate who decide to change from Primoteston to Reandron, will initially have to pay for Primoteston at the full pri......

02:09

The Story of Om and Ka "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

From Stuart Wilde. Here is a legend of the void thats very sweet....

00:38

The spiralling environmental cost of our lithium battery addiction "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

NOTHING we do is sustainable..


Heres a thoroughly modern riddle: what links the battery in your smartphone with a dead yak floating down a Tibetan river? The answer is lithium the reactive alkali metal that powers our phones, tablets, laptops and electric cars.

In May 2016, hundreds of protestors threw dead fish onto the streets of Tagong, a town on the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau. They had plucked them from the waters of the Liqi river, where a toxic chemical leak from the Ganzizhou Rongda Lithium mine had wreaked havoc with the local ecosystem.

There are pictures of masses of dead fish on the surface of the stream. Some eyewitnesses reported seeing cow and yak carcasses floating downstream, dead from drinking contaminated water. It was the third such incident in the space of seven years in an area which has seen a sharp rise in mining activity, including operations run by BYD, the world biggest supplier of lithium-ion batteries for smartphones and electric cars. After the second incident, in 2013, officials closed the mine, but when it reopened in April 2016, the fish started dying again.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. Workers drill though the crust of the worlds biggest salt flat with large rigs. They are aiming for the brine underneath swathes of magnesium and potassium in the hope of finding lithium-rich spots. Since the 2000s, most of the worlds lithium has been extracted this way, rather than using mineral ore sources such as spodumene, petalite and lepidolite

...

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Tuesday, 07 August

04:00

Divestment Call: eX-detainees Open Letter To Health And Educational Institutions "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN,

On behalf of our members and governing staff from over 30 refugee and ex-detainee communities in Australia, Ex-detainees from RISE on behalf of the Sanction Australia Campaign urge health and educational institutions currently financially tied to security companies complicit in ongoing detention torture to take immediate action against these companies.

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 of which these universities and health services are beneficiaries.

Universities and health services claim to value inclusion, respect, compassion and accountability in their ethics and codes of conduct, but fail to uphold these values in their dealings with these security companies that are complicit in the many reports of death, torture and sexual abuse within these camps. Universities and health services profess a commitment to human rights and inclusion but financially supports and employs services from security companies that perpetuate racism, sexism, xenophobia, transphobia, queerphobia, and the infliction of sexual, emotional and physical violence. These companies uphold discriminatory policies that are systematically designed to murder, torture and exclude refugees who come to seek asylum by boat to Australia.

Lack of transparency and accountability in Australian run detention centres is something that has been widely reported and acknowledged by International human rights groups including the UN. Universities and health services failure to recognise and acknowledge this is purposeful and done with intention and knowledge.

Health services have a duty to protect and care for those in need, and by supporting these companies they dishonour the very foundation on which their values stand upon. Universities should put their actions and mouth where their money and values are and apply the lessons they teach on social justice and human rights.

RISE encourages employees, clients of these institutions as well as general supporters to maintain a physical presence at these establishments and demand they divest from the detention industry immediately and sever ties with these security companies.

For more information on the agencies and security companies that are tied to health services and hospitals visit: http://riserefugee.org/university-health-service-divestment-call/

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Monday, 06 August

22:33

Privatisation to cost Victoria $60m annually "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Prosper enjoyed the lead quote in an Age article Inquiry scrutinises Land-titles selloff ahead of August sale But land tax advocacy group Prosper Australia has told a parliamentary inquiry into the sale that the estimated $2 billion price reflected a yield of 6 per cent a rate far above bond rates. Prosper researcher Jesse []

07:22

Call of the Reed Warbler Charles Massy in conversation with Costa Georgiadis "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

I have a new hero. forget renewable energy, the next revolution will be, must be, regenerative farming..  or we are truly stuffed.

Charles Massy OAM Author and radical farmers new book Call of the Reed Warbler explores transformative and regenerative agriculture and the vital connection between our soil and our health. According to Massy, we need a revolution he believes that human health, our communities, and the very survival of the planet depend on it. Charles is coming to the Library to talk about how he believes a grassroots revolution can save the planet, help turn climate change around, and build healthy people and healthy communities, pivoting significantly on our relationship with growing and consuming food.

Charles is in conversation with Costa Georgiadis, nature lover and host of ABCs Gardening Australia. Filmed: State Library of New South Wales, Sat 9 Dec 2017 Supported by: The Saturday Paper, Friendly Farms

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Friday, 03 August

11:56

What year did your railway station open? "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

What year did your local station open? Before you were born? Probably before your grandparents were born! Our population is growing, and our public transport network needs to keep growing too.

Click here to view the map larger.

The rail network grew rapidly between 1854 and 1930 but since then almost nothing. Expansion of rail, tram and Smartbus services is far too slow for Melbournes huge population growth. No wonder the roads are congested!

Melbourne railway stations vs population growth

Join PTUA today to help the campaign for better public transport.

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Thursday, 02 August

01:08

Climate doom is already here "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

nafeez

Nafeez Ahmed

The extreme weather events of the summer of 2018 are not just symptoms of climate breakdown. They are early stage warnings of a protracted process of civilisational collapse as industrial societies face some of the opening symptoms of having already breached the limits of a safe climate. These events are a taste of things to come on a business-as-usual trajectory. They elicit a sense of how industrial civilisational systems are vulnerable to collapse due to escalating climate impacts. And they highlight the urgent necessity of communities everywhere undertaking steps to achieve a systemic civilisational transition toward post-capitalist systems which can survive and prosper after fossil fuels.

Climate doom is already here

This summers extreme weather has hit home some stark realities.

Climate disaster is not slated to happen in some far-flung theoretical future.

Its here, and n...

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Tuesday, 31 July

09:49

The Birds new song by Moz: musician and asylum seeker on Manus "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

The Birds is a song about separation and a longing for freedom that can unite us with those who care about us.  Please support Moz and share his message by downloading and listening to his song, and sharing with your friends and family. The Birds by Moz Facebook page here Twitter here

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Monday, 30 July

12:59

NAMES by Mason Adams "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

A lovely short poem represented in a video by Mason Adams

04:11

RISE : University And Health Service Divestment Call "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

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, clients of these institutions as well as general supporters to maintain a physical presence at these establishments and demand they divest from the detention industry immediately and sever ties with these security companies.

*We will regular...

01:18

Community groups to say no to the TPP-11 at Senate inquiry hearing today "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Media Release: July 30, 2018: AFTINET will present evidence today to a Senate inquiry that the TPP-11 increases corporate rights at the expense of peoples rights and the environment and should not be implemented, AFTINET Convener Dr Patricia Ranald said today.

The TPP-11 implementing legislation is currently under review by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, dominated by the government. But community organisations have also succeeded in obtaining a Senate inquiry dominated by Labor and minor parties. The Senate inquiry is hearing evidence in Melbourne today.

The TPP-11 enables global corporations to sue governments over changes to health and environment laws, restricts future government regulation of essential services like education, aged care and energy, and lacks legally enforceable protection for labour rights and the environment.  It will mean more temporary migrant workers who are vulnerable to exploitation without first testing if local workers are available, said Dr Ranald.

Dr Ranald explained that Investor-State Dispute Settlement or ISDS gives special legal rights to foreign investors enabling them to bypass national courts to sue governments for millions of dollars in unfair international tribunals over changes in national law or policy, even if they are in the public interest. There are now over 850 known cases,  with increasing numbers against health, environment and even indigenous land rights law and policy.

The European Court of Justice determined in 2017 that ISDS impinged on national sovereignty and that EU member parliaments had to vote separately on ISDS provisions in trade agreements. The EU fears that strong public opposition to ISDS will scuttle trade agreements. It is now pursuing a fast track process for agreements without ISDS,.....

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Saturday, 28 July

07:43

6:30 29 Aug | Public Forum: The Case To Bring Them Here "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

When: 6:30-8:30pm Wednesday 29 August 2018 Where: ANMF Vic Branch, 535 Elizabeth St, Melbourne       Facebook event here Speakers: Senator Nick McKim Greens spokesperson for Immigration and Justice Abdul Aziz Adam Sudanese refugee detained on Manus for 5 years, and one of the leaders of the struggle for freedom on Manus(...)

07:35

4pm 9 Aug | Qantas Stop Deportation to Danger-Let Priya, Nades & Huyen stay "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Hosted by Bring Priya, Nades and Girls Home to Biloela, Tamil Refugee Council and Refugee Action Collective (Vic) When: 4-6pm 9th August Where: 79-81 Victoria Pde, Collingwood VIC Facebook event here Rally at Jetstar corporate office calling on Qantas and all airlines not to deport asylum seekers to danger. Qantas has flown countless asylum seekers(...)

07:26

6pm 31 Jul | Unionists for Refugees working group meeting "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

When: 6-8pm, Tuesday 31st July Where: ANMF Vic Branch, 535 Elizabeth St, Melbourne        Facebook event here Unionists for Refugees, a working group of RAC, is meeting to build the refugee rights movement within our unions. All welcome For more info phone Chris on 0403 013 183.  

06:56

Media Release Tamil Refugee Council 24/07 | UN CONFIRMS THAT TORTURE IS ROUTINE AND SYSTEMATIC IN SRI LANKA "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Tuesday 24 July 2018 UN CONFIRMS THAT TORTURE IS ROUTINE AND SYSTEMATIC IN SRI LANKA The Tamil Refugee Council has again called on the Australian government to end the deportation of Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka, after the United Nations found evidence of widespread torture in the country. The report of Special Rapporteur Ben(...)

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Thursday, 26 July

09:04

Music lessons improve childrens cognitive abilities & academic performance "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Findings from new research conducted in the Netherlands show that structured music lessons have a significant and positive effect on a childs cognitive abilities, improving verbal intelligence, inhibition and planning skills.

kids

The study which followed 147 children from six schools over a 2.5 year period, was undertaken in response to the increasing disappearance of music from school timetables in countries across the world:

Despite indications that music has beneficial effects on cognition, music is disappearing from general education curricula, said lead author Dr. Artur Jaschke, who is a researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. This inspired us to initiate a long-term study on the possible effects of music education on cognitive skills that may underlie academic achievement.

Read their findings and the full article here

Sources: 
Music Education Works: https://musiceducationworks.wordpress.com/2018/03/28/music-lessons-improve-childrens-cognitive-skills-and-academic-performance/ 
Front...

03:47

Transcript Inquiry into the Long-Term Lease of the Land Titles Registry "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

5 July 2018 TRANSCRIPT: STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING Inquiry into the proposed long-term lease of land titles and registry functions of Land Use Victoria Members Mr David Davis Chair Dr Samantha Ratnam Witnesses Mr Karl Fitzgerald (affirmed), Project Director, and Mr Jesse Hermans (affirmed) Administrative Assistant and Researcher, Prosper Australia. The []

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Wednesday, 25 July

02:29

Where Does Fat Go? The Answer May Surprise You "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

I went over to my brother's yesterday and had a "bee sting". A delicious piece of cake/slice heaven...

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Sunday, 22 July

12:52

5 Years Too Long Rally: Photos "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Photos by Kathleen Chapman and anon.

11:46

Petition: Dont Deport Huyen stop separating families "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

We call on Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to immediately release Huyen from MITA detention centre and grant her permanent protection to avoid another indefinite family separation. Refugee families belong together. Please sign and support: https://www.megaphone.org.au/petitions/don-t-deport-huyen-stop-separating-families

11:21

PTUA welcomes rail pledges "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has welcomed state Labor and Coalition pledges to expand Melbournes rail network.

Labor today pledged funding for a plan for airport rail via Sunshine if re-elected. In recent weeks the Coalition has pledged suburban rail extensions of the Cranbourne line to Clyde, and the Frankston line to Baxter.

PTUA spokesperson Daniel Bowen said that as Melbourne continues to grow, it was critical that the rail network grows with it.

All of these proposals are important, and its great to see both sides of politics recognising that Melbourne needs more rail.

With traffic congestion now a daily issue across the city, more people are looking for ways to get around without driving.

Melbourne Airport is one of the worlds busiest without a rail link[1]. The PTUA believes the proposed rail link must be fast, frequent, affordable, and have good connections to the rest of the public transport network.

Cranbourne East/Clyde, and Baxter are likely to see strong residential growth, and extending the suburban rail network to these areas, alongside upgrades to local buses, walking and cycling, will give more people viable transport options.

But Mr Bowen warned that the expansion of public transport would be undermined by the large scale road projects proposed by both sides.

Contrary to what the politicians will tell you, transport infrastructure is not about meeting current demand its about what we want our city to look like in the future, and how we want people to get around.

More motorways will generate more traffic. In contrast, more rail lines and train services will generate more trips on public transport which is a much better outcome.

Melbourne already has more kilometres of motorway than many cities of its size.

Well-run public transport, and especially heavy rail, can get vast numbers of people from A to B quickly, more efficiently and at less cost than in single-occupant cars. Thats why we look forward to commitments to further projects such as Melbourne Metro 2.

To really ensure our city continues to function, to ensure people have good access to employment, education and other opportunities, the key is fast frequent reliable public transport, trains trams and buses, along with good walking and...

11:09

MEDIA RELEASE 22/07 | TWENTY-THREE REFUGEES LEAVE NAURU FOR THE US "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Twenty-three refugees flew from Nauru to the US today, Sunday 22 July. The group includes two Rohingyan families, one couple with their three children; the other a father and his two sons. The rest are single men Rohingyan, Afghans, Pakistanis and Tamils. The refugees final destinations include New York, Oregan and Colorada. Over 1520(...)

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Thursday, 19 July

05:24

Big Sing in a Big Shed under a Big Sky puts Murtoa on the Community Music Map and its happening all over again "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

James Rigby spent years driving past the mighty Murtoa Stick Shed in awe of its size and wondering how on earth the monolithic structure looming up out of the landscape could still be standing. He never imagined that one Spring day in 2017 together with Jane Thompson, he would lead around 300 community singers in a Big Sing under its cathedral-like roof of bush poles and corrugated iron.

The idea for a Stick Shed Sing was conceived by Judith Welsh, Chair of the Committee of Management which took over the running of the shed when it was gifted back to the community in 2016. The vision was to create an event to reflect the ambience and glory of the Heritage listed building and bring singing into the shed for the first time as part of Murtoas Big Weekend celebrations.

We wanted an event that anyone could join in on but which gave local choirs, the singers from the Wimmera, an opportunity to perform as part of a massed choir, as well.

As highly experienced community singing leaders, Jane Thompson and James Rigby expressed their interest in coordinating the event, working with Judith to decide a shape for the day, which included a massed singing workshop open to anyone keen to sing in the shed and a concert by any community choirs attending, who were happy to perform.

Jane and crowd

The first Stick Shed Sing was held i...

02:17

RISE DEMANDS IMMEDIATE EVACUATION OF REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS TRAFFICKED BY AUSTRALIA TO MANUS AND NAURU "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

RISE members including offshore and onshore eX-detainees strongly condemn successive Australian governments for holding hostage our community members in Manus and Nauru torture camps for more than five years now. RISE demands that the Australian government to immediately bring back all refugee survivors and provide them permanent protection and proper support services.

Asylum seeker and refugee detainees are among the most persecuted and oppressed people in the world. We endured abuse in our own countries, and upon seeking protection, are disenfranchised and suffer institutional abuse within detention systems. Immigration detention centres are arbitrary and nefarious forms of state violence; they function to subjugate asylum seekers and refugees by imprisonment.

Detention deaths are systemic murder not casual deaths of refugees, we should not normalise them at anytime

The re-opening in 2012 of so called regional processing centres in Manus Island and Nauru by then Prime Minister Julia Gillard and immigration minister Chris Bowen has resulted in 12 deaths so far. Hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers trafficked to Manus and Nauru by the Australian government have experienced abuse and neglect on these islands. This systemic abuse of our bodies and livelihood not only exist in detention but also long after we survived. We should not also forget those who are currently held hostage in both onshore and offshore detention camps, including some cases where people have been detained for 10 years without release date.

Former offshore and onshore detainee, Ramesh Fernandez says These camps cannot be called processing centres. Australian run offshore refugee camps are a modern form of concentration camps. How do you call this a processing centre when you get locked up 24/7, tortured and humiliated constantly. We should not forget that in November 2015 over 600 refugees and asylum seekers in Manus Island detention camp wrote to Australian PM and immigration minister Peter Dutton calling for mass assisted suicide. This is evidence that refugees and asylum seekers are unable to continue their lives in Manus.

We require support and protection, not incarceration. States have the obligation to uphold our human rights; not exploit us for political gain. We denounce the torture, deportation, abuse and bloodshed occurring in immigration detention centres. We condemn governments, private companies and nonprofit agencies who are part of the detention supply chain.

Furthermore, Ramesh Fernandez says, due to the lack of transparency in these Australian run detention camps, refugee cases have been mishandled, unfairly dismissed and processed without proper adherence to refugee rights protocol. Providing Manus and Nauru  detainees with the impossible ultimatum of settling in PNG or retu...

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Wednesday, 18 July

04:47

The Spiritual Evolution of Animals "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

A Stuart Wilde article. Have you wondered if an animal has a soul and an even afterlife? My old teacher said that animals have group souls...

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Monday, 16 July

12:04

MEDIA RELEASE 15/07 | TWENTY-ONE MORE NAURU REFUGEES FLY TO THE US "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Twenty-one refugees flew from Nauru to the US today, Sunday 15 July (photo of some of the refugees and their friends at Nauru airport is attached) . The group comprised mostly single Afghan men, but also included one Rohingyan, one single Iranian woman, and a Tamil family. The single Iranian woman was the first Iranian(...)

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Monday, 09 July

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Monday, 25 June

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