Wednesday, 19 September
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
16:31 Southern Cross - Shepparton is delayed by
approximately 16 minutes due to congestion on tracks shared with
Metro Trains. [17:57 19/09]
Tuesday, 18 September
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
19:08 Southern Cross - Shepparton is delayed by
approximately 25 minutes due to the late arrival of a previous
18:22 Southern Cross - Seymour is delayed by
approximately 21 minutes due to a damaged level crossing at
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]
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]
18:22 Southern Cross - Seymour has been reinstated and will now
run. [18:26 18/09]
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]
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
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]
As 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
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
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
Ultimately, the responsibility for addressing family violence
rests with the perpetrator. And it is vital that we do not blame
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.
AROUND 1000 people visited Cape Patersons eco village The Cape
Five homes were opened to the public as part of Sustainable House
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
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
(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
Another attractive feature of the estate is that it is 50 percent
Interest in stage three of the estate can be registered at
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
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
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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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...
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
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
The students were so engaged throughout the whole process and were
really excited to perform in front of their families and
While Mr Wells said the performance had taught students a plethora
of dancing, singing and acting skills, it also allowed for much
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.
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
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.
AN incredible $12,500 was raised by the Bunurong Inverloch team
in the 2018 Outback Air Race and donations are still rolling
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
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
Stops were made along the way. The race reflected who could best
estimate their time of arrival at each stop, rather than the
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
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
The name Bunurong Inverloch also sparked conversation with race
pilots and many expressed interest in flying over and visiting
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
EIGHT year old Mattea Riccardi of Leongatha played basketball
recently. For most primary school children, this would be a normal
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
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
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
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
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...
THE communities of Mirboo North and Foster can likely expect new
fire stations if the Coalition wins the state election this
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Monday, 17 September
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...
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 
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
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...
19:08 Southern Cross - Shepparton is delayed by approximately 15
minutes due to an ill customer. [20:23 17/09]
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]
12:05 Southern Cross - Albury is delayed by approximately 15
minutes due to speed restrictions on the ARTC network. [13:55
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
case of which I had previously not been aware;
some sightings I hadn't heard of before, and various other bits and
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
|Note the location of Melbourne and
|Note location of Bright and Dargo
The following is the text of the article fr...
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
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
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
That trial saw 128 participants. A total of Eighty-five samples
were tested by the STA-Safe Consortium, two of which were found to
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
Sunday, 16 September
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
and Vigilance on Campus-1
Lets see if we can break down what UNSW is really communicating
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
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...
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)
Sat 13th October, 2018 (1pm-5pm, lunch
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
For further information email: email@example.com or
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
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
To enter the Great Ecological Race, email: email@example.com
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.
Saturday, 15 September
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
1. Methane (CH4) is one of the three main greenhouse
gases, along with carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous
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...
Friday, 14 September
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...
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
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
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
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.
Many Australians admit there is a problem.
The legacy of European settlers terrorising Aboriginal
communities looms large, and inequality between the two groups
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
But many Australians also believe the problem can be
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...
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
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
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...
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
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
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
or severe droughts, people are feeling climate
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
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
CIVIC COMPLIANCE VICTORIA (ABN:
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
See article from 12 September 2018 by brisbanetimes.com.au of the
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
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.
By 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
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
Thursday, 13 September
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
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
Wednesday, 12 September
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...
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
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
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
Jamie Gardiner, a long-time gay rights advocate who has been
campaigning for equality for more than 40 years, welcomed the
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
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
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
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...
The Human Rights Law Centre will today launch a report
calling for stronger protections from hate speech and hate crime in
End the Hate: Responding to prejudice
motivated speech and violence against the LGBTI
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
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
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
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
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....
Tuesday, 11 September
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.
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
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(...)
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(...)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Our plan is to park our B-double truck in Mirboo North and
hopefully have people fill it entirely with supplies, Kat Gration
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
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
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
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...
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
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
A NEW junior secondary school will be built on Phillip
Both the State Government and the Opposition have committed to the
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
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.
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
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...
Saturday, 08 September
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(...)
Friday, 07 September
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
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
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(...)
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 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
Wednesday, 05 September
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
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
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
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
There will be all the usual laments about the
problems with GDP growth as a measure - that much is a
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.
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
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.
Monday, 03 September
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
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
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
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.....
Sunday, 02 September
If you were going to reduce a 150-page Productivity
examination of trends in Australian inequality to a
few words, it would be nice if they werent
ALP inequality claims sunk
Progressive article of faith blown up
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
using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics
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...
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
But 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...
Saturday, 01 September
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
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.
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
Sovereignty of nations is no longer
Friday, 31 August
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.
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
whats happened in America. The jobs that are being created are
Thursday, 30 August
HOW could I ignore this article for this
Society Is Made Of Narrative. Realizing This Is
Awakening From The Matrix.
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...
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
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
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.
Wednesday, 29 August
I ponder the question - how do we develop resilience without
toughening up and compromising our innate sensitivity?
Tuesday, 28 August
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
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
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
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.
ANOTHER brilliant piece of journalism from Nafeez Ahmed.
Originally sighted on MOTHERBOARD.
Capitalism as we know it is over. So suggests a new
Monday, 27 August
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 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!...
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
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
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
In the normal course of events the rental market would respond
But in this instance Labor is proposing making prospective
Saturday, 25 August
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
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
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
Friday, 24 August
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(...)
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
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
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
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
Its not a snappy title, but the book is an excellent
introduction to this vital issue, making reference to the UK
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...
Thursday, 23 August
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
Perth is still
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, 22 August
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
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
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
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
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
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
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...
This will allow us to begin to see a whole spiritual depth and
significance behind every single manifestation of the physical
Tuesday, 21 August
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
pissing 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
Third Industrial Revolution Would Seal Our FateWhy Jeremy Rifkin is
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!
Monday, 20 August
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
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...
Sunday, 19 August
Monsanto to pay $ 289 million in damages to a
dying man who used Roundup
Dewayne Johnson is 42 and dying of cancer. The jury
found he had been harmed by using Roundup and that there was clear
and convincing evidence that Monsantos officials acted with malice
or oppression in failing to adequately warn of the risks. Read the full story in this Guardian article.
The trial revealed that even in the early 1980s scientific
research raised doubts about safety. As evidence of harm mounted
Monsanto worked to create science to serve its own purposes rather
than protect the public. They ghostwrote studies and worked with
regulators to promote positive safety messages and suppress
evidence of harm. We are very grateful to Mr Johnson for being
prepared to take this case while being so ill. It seems that
thousands more cases will follow.
Wednesday, 15 August
Ditch striving for positivity and happiness. The positive
thinking/happiness craze of more recent decades has morphed into
something much better...
Friday, 10 August
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
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...
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
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...
Thursday, 09 August
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
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
I 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
Both jokes are about failing regimes that have lost the
essential moral legitimacy gover...
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
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...
Wednesday, 08 August
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
From Stuart Wilde. Here is a legend of the void thats very
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
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
Tuesday, 07 August
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
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
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
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
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:
Monday, 06 August
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
I have a new hero. forget renewable energy, the next
revolution will be, must be, regenerative farming.. or we are
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,
Friday, 03 August
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
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!
Join PTUA today to help
the campaign for better public transport.
Thursday, 02 August
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.
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...
Tuesday, 31 July
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
Monday, 30 July
A lovely short poem represented in a video by Mason Adams
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.
Broadmeadows Health Service, Wilson Security
Hospital, Wilson Parking
Stanley Hospital (Western Australia), Serco
Health, Wilson Security
Private Hospital, Wilson Parking
Royal Womens Hospital, Wilson Parking
- Valley Private
Hospital, Wilson Parking
University, MSS Security
University, MSS Security
University, BRI Security
- Swinburne University of
Technology, MSS Security
University, ESS Security
of Melbourne, Wilson Security
Trobe University, SecureCorp
University, Allied Security
*We will regular...
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.
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
Saturday, 28 July
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(...)
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(...)
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.
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
Thursday, 26 July
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
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
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
Read their findings and the full article here
Music Education Works: https://musiceducationworks.wordpress.com/2018/03/28/music-lessons-improve-childrens-cognitive-skills-and-academic-performance/
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
Wednesday, 25 July
I went over to my brother's yesterday and had a "bee sting". A
delicious piece of cake/slice heaven...
Sunday, 22 July
Photos by Kathleen Chapman and anon.
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:
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
The PTUA believes the proposed rail link must be fast, frequent,
affordable, and have good connections to the rest of the public
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
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...
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.
Thursday, 19 July
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
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
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
The first Stick Shed Sing was held i...
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
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...
Wednesday, 18 July
A Stuart Wilde article. Have you wondered if an animal has a
soul and an even afterlife? My old teacher said that animals have
Monday, 16 July
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