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IndyWatch North Coast NSW News Feed was generated at Australian Local News IndyWatch.

Friday, 18 May


NSW Rural Fire Service Current Incidents: FCNSW HRB Orara East SF "bellingen IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

LOCATION: "The Gap" 4km North of Coffs Harbour
COUNCIL AREA: Coffs Harbour
STATUS: Under control
TYPE: Hazard Reduction
SIZE: 5 ha
RESPONSIBLE AGENCY: Forest Corporation of NSW
UPDATED: 17 May 2018 19:59

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Thursday, 17 May


NSW Rural Fire Service Current Incidents: Glens Creek Rd, Nymboida "bellingen IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

ALERT LEVEL: Not Applicable
LOCATION: 154 Glens Creek Rd, Nymboida, NSW 2460
COUNCIL AREA: Clarence Valley
STATUS: Out of control
TYPE: Assist Other Agency
SIZE: 0 ha
UPDATED: 18 May 2018 03:10


NSW Rural Fire Service Current Incidents: Woolgoolga Creek Rd, Woolgoolga "bellingen IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

ALERT LEVEL: Not Applicable
LOCATION: 309 Woolgoolga Creek Rd, Woolgoolga, NSW 2456
COUNCIL AREA: Coffs Harbour
STATUS: Out of control
TYPE: Vehicle/Equipment Fire
SIZE: 0 ha
UPDATED: 18 May 2018 01:32


The people attracted to a career in Tzar Peters federal super ministry..... "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Brisbane Times, 16 May 2018:

The information chief at Peter Duttons new Home Affairs super ministry allegedly ordered the deletion of a government record relevant to a request under freedom of information laws when he was a senior executive at NSWs transport agency.

Tim Catley, who began his high-ranking role at Home Affairs in February, is accused of directing staff at Transport for NSW to delete government information in 2016, in witness statements given during an investigation by the states Information and Privacy Commission.

Mr Catley vehemently denies he asked anyone to delete government records. The allegation that I asked anyone to delete an email is not true and it is not technologically possible to do that anyway [at the transport agency]. Professionally and ethically I wouldnt do anything like that, he told the Herald.

Following a referral from the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the states Information Commission launched an investigation behind closed doors into the deletion of a record at Transport for...


Federal Circuit Court on Thursday sentenced Trek North Tours owner operator to 12 months' prison and fined him $67,000 "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Leigh Alan Jorgensen, Financial Review, 13 May 2018

In the continuing matter of A.C.N. 156 455 828 Pty Ltd & Anor.

Fair Work Ombudsman, media release, 14 May 2018:

Jail term imposed in Fair Work Ombudsmans first contempt of court case

A Northern Queensland business operator has been jailed and then released pending the outcome of his appeal as a result of the Fair Work Ombudsmans first contempt-of-court action.



NSW jobs super-boom continues apace "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Annual employment growth slowing

A solid headline result for employment growth in April 2018, beating expectations of 20,000, with total seasonally adjusted employment up by 22,600 to beyond 12 million for the first time, driven by a substantial 32,700 increase in full time jobs.

There were, however, adverse revisions to take into account for the preceding month. 

Alas, the Coalition's favoured '1000 jobs per month' slogan is going to have to be canned forthwith, with annual employment growth down from a record high of 431,200 in January 2018 to 332,200 (or 2.73 per cent) by April. 

State versus state (NSW superboom)

Employment blazed another 27,600 higher in New South Wales to be up by 46,800 over the quarter, and a thunderous 156,000 year-on-year, casting further doubt on the endless gloomy house price predictions, with first homebuyers also now wading in. 

The New South Wales economy has added well over 300,000 extra jobs over the past three years, something achieved for the first time ever on a rolling 3-year basis in the past few months across more than 40 years of available figures. 



NSW Rural Fire Service Current Incidents: Bruxner Park Rd, Korora "bellingen IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

LOCATION: Bruxner Park Rd, Korora, NSW 2450
COUNCIL AREA: Coffs Harbour
STATUS: Out of control
TYPE: Bush Fire
SIZE: 0 ha
UPDATED: 17 May 2018 20:14

NSW Rural Fire Service Current Incidents: Pacific Hwy, Bom Bom "bellingen IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

ALERT LEVEL: Not Applicable
LOCATION: Pacific Hwy, Bom Bom, NSW 2460
COUNCIL AREA: Clarence Valley
STATUS: Out of control
TYPE: MVA/Transport
SIZE: 0 ha
UPDATED: 17 May 2018 19:56


Govt backflip as NORCO regains milk contract for hospitals "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

It appears all the major parties are now trying to claim credit for Health Minister Brad Hazzards and HealthShare NSWs backflip on the supply of milk to north coast hospitals being returned to local dairy cooperative NORCO.

According to Health Services Union (HSU) NSW secretary Gerard Hayes It was HSU members at Lismore Base Hospital who initially blew the whistle on the loss of the NORCO contract to more than 16 local health facilities earlier this week.

When health workers first raised the issue, it was dismissed by the Member for Lismore, Thomas George MP.

Since then however, the public response has been overwhelming, and an HSU on-line petition attracted over 3,000 signatures in just a matter of hours.

However, Member for Lismore, Thomas George, said he had been working behind the scenes with Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard to have the HealthShare NSW contract overturned.

Is the cheapest the best?

Mr Haynes also highlighted the need for the tender process to factor in the multiplier benefits associated with keeping business in NSW.

The cheapest option isnt necessarily the best, especially if it means money going offshore and jobs being lost in local communities. The state government should be ensuring that taxpayers money is used wisely to generate the best return for NSW, he said.

Recognising the desire for the local community to support the local dairy industry in Northern NSW Mr George said he has had meetings with minister for finance, services and property, Victor Dominello, to discuss the opportunity for the government to give a weighting when it comes to local businesses applying for government contracts.

Claiming credit

While the NSW Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord has said that The Nationals cannot in good conscience take a victory lap; this is about the community stopping a bad state government decision, local Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW Ben Franklin has said that Media stunts like the one we have seen by NSW Labor this week do not deliver any outcomes for our community. The real work is done behind the scenes.

However, it is local Labor candidate for Ballina, A...


Free tennis in Brunswick this Saturday "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Interested in tennis? Thought you might like to give it a go? Well now is your chance. The Brunswick Tennis Club is hosting a free afternoon of tennis including mini-tennis and skills coaching from 3 till 7pm this Saturday, May 19.

This is a great opportunity for everyone to experience tennis, said organiser Linda Hubbard.

Take the family and enjoy a great afternoon with homemade lemonade, cakes and Paella plates for sale.

If you would like to find out more you can contact Linda on 0449 825 108.

The post Free tennis in Brunswick this Saturday appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Butterflies "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Some years ago I saw this beautiful butterfly made by Hape Kiddle

Recently I spotted a few butterflies in opp shops around town, so I decided to start a collection.


Murwillumbah Art Trail kicks off tomorrow "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The fourth annual Murwillumbah Art Trail kicks off tomorrow with a range of free events, exhibitions and workshops. Photo supplied.

The fourth annual Murwillumbah Art Trail kicks off tomorrow with a range of free events, exhibitions and workshops that will run until May 27. Pop up galleries will appearing all over town and the mc2 Music Festival will be taking place on Saturday, May 19 with local artists playing throughout ten local venues.

While Murwillumbah becomes the canvas there will be a wide range of artists performing, painting dancing and celebrating as they embrace this years theme Moving on. The theme reflects on the aftermath of the flood, the resilience of the community and the capacity for art to heal.

Moving On can apply to everyone, in all stages of their lives, for better or for worse. We invite artists and performers to address the 2018 theme with the ingenuity and engagement that allowed our community to deal with the aftermath of the flood, said the MAT18 team.

There will even be an Art Battle on Friday, 25 May where visiting Canadian artists will go up against local artists with 20 minutes to create a painting. Audience members will get to vote on their favourite piece and the winning artists will move into the next round. Though dont forget to pick up a ticket for this popular events.

Find out about all the events that will be taking place and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of excitement and fun as you rediscover what Murwillumbah has to offer.

The post Murwillumbah Art Trail kicks off tomorrow appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Lest we forget: are the forest wars coming again? "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Greens Forests spokesperson, Dawn Walker has warned that the NSW Governments proposal to reduce protection for old growth forests and native species in NSWs coastal forests threatens to re-ignite Forest Wars. Photo supplied.

The NSW governments announcement that that they intend to drastically weaken the logging rules as part of the Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (IFOA) and to remove numerous protections for NSWs threatened species including koalas, old growth forest, rainforest and fish has been described as tragic by the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA).

The Greens Forests spokesperson, Dawn Walker has taken it one step further and said the announcement threatens to re-ignite the Forest Wars across the state.

Its very clear that the Liberal-Nationals agenda is to let the bulldozers roar and chainsaws rip into some of the best forests left in NSW with their plans to intensify logging operations and weaken protections for native species in our state forests, said Ms Walker.

By merging the four existing regionally-based Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals into a single Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (IFOA) under the guise of efficiency, the government is relaxing standards and sacrificing our forests.

Their plan to intensify logging on the NSW North Coast by introducing clear-felling methods to forests between Grafton and Taree would be a bonanza for chainsaws and decimate vital habitat for koalas and greater gliders.

Logging old growth forests

As part of the IFOA the NSW Government is proposing to subject mapped old growth forest, protected for the past 20 years, to a review process that is intended to make large areas of old growth on state forests available for logging in order to make up a sawlog shortfall of 10,000 cubic metres per annum on...


Love Forever: Nimbin Aquarius Festival celebrations "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Mothers Day and the 45th anniversary of the Nimbin Aquarius Festival at the Channon Market on Sunday, May 13, 2018. Photo supplied.

Harsha Prabhu

Over a thousand people attended the day-long gathering to mark Mothers Day and the 45th anniversary of the Nimbin Aquarius Festival at the Channon Market on Sunday.

The gathering began with sacred chants, sitar and tabla grooves and ended with a monster drum and dance circle. In between, punters were treated to a smorgasbord of music stretching from jazz to alternative rock, Bollywood dance, poetry and performance celebrating the regions cultural diversity and alternative roots.

Addressing the gathering Graeme Dunstan, director of the Nimbin Aquarius Festival of 1973, said: We were dreamers setting out to build a city on a hill, dreamers in search of a new dreaming. We Aquarians didnt find Nimbin as a venue for our Festival. Rather Nimbin, ancient initiation ground, pulled us in, led us on as if by angels in a sense of magic, serendipity and auspicious meetings. We were stardust, we were golden and we were finding our way back to the garden.

He said, The magic we were shown then, that magic exists for dreamers and seekers today, as it did 45 years ago and as it did for the first peoples 100,000 years ago.

Natalie Meyer, manager of the Nimbin Neighbourhood andInformation Centre, said: Part of my role has been to build on the legacy of the Aquarians, the most significant of these being a commitment to social justice, respect for the first peoples of this land and a rejuvenation of the local natural environment.

As the Aquarians sadly leave us, and we have lost so many even in the past five years, the land they have been protecting for the past 45 years or so is now changing hands and we need to take steps to ensure that all the work they have done rejuvenating and regenerating their own land is not undone and the environment continues to thrive.

Luckily around Nimbin we have many MOs which are reasonably safe for the moment at least. But what of all the freehold land? The eyes of profit-driven developers are upon it. As are the eyes of the government as they run out of logs in the State f...


Lennox Head artist to feature in exhibition of the countrys best graduate works "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Local artist Jodi Woodward has been selected to take part in a national exhibition featuring the best graduate artworks from around the country.

The Lennox Head residents artwork entitled 1,2,3,4,5. will feature in Hatched, the annual showcase of graduate art opening at the Perth Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) tomorrow (May 18).

The work comprises four elements: an imposing two-metre tall black and white self-portrait, an artist book; hand drawn cross-hatching on a wall; and a quote by 20th century playwright and poet Samuel Beckett.

It also won the National Association for the Visual Arts award in 2017.

I find the photo very confronting, Woodward said.

The work is primarily about how we choose to spend our time and live our lives.

Do we just tick over the days or do we actively reflect on what we do and why we do it? Do we just repeat the same behaviours over and over or do we choose to change what we do, or behave differently?

Im very interested in behaviour, psychology and memory and trauma and how that impacts our behaviour.

Woodward will represent Southern Cross Universitys art and design program at the Hatched exhibition.

She moved to the North Coast from Sydney to be part of the university program.

Ive worked in creative industries before and I wanted to expand what Id been making in my lounge room and explore the question, was art worth a career? she said.

The degree gave me the opportunity to explore that question. It really helped me focus on taking my art practice from a hobby to more of a career,.

2018 is proving to be a busy year for Jodi: she recently made the final of the Landscape Prize at the Head On Photography Festival in Sydney; and later in the year she will be exhibiting in the US in a group show featuring Australian and New Zealand artists at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts in North Carolina.

The post Lennox Head artist to feature in exhibition of the countrys best graduate works appeared first on...


Engineering Firms Withdrawal From Adani Coal Project Should Be Final Nail In The Coffin, Says Greenpeace "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

One of the worlds largest engineering firms and a key partner in Indian company Adanis push to open up the Galilee basin in Queensland to coal mining has confirmed it is no longer involved in the controversial project, sparking celebrations among environmental campaigners.

Its another major blow to a proposed mining venture which has been plagued by problems, with major banks in Australia and around the world refusing to provide finance for what would be the largest coal mine in the Southern Hemisphere.

American engineering firm AECOM was the lead partner engaged to design a rail line to run from the Carmichael basin to the coast, providing a way to get the coal from inland Australia to the international market. The rail-line, if built, would also open up the entire Galilee Basin to coal mining, attracting other major mining players like Gina Rinehart. But the project has faced massive opposition from Traditional Owners and environmental groups its carbon footprint alone would unlock more emissions than small countries, such as New Zealand.

Yesterday, AECOM, an international corporation with assets worth almost $6 billion, confirmed it had demobilised from Adani Groups project, joining a growing list of partners and investors who have walked away from the venture.

The deal lasted less than a year, after being signed in July 2017. Overnight, AECOMs share price jumped 1 per cent in the wake of the news.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Campaigner Jonathan Moylan who made international headlines in 2013 after releasing a fake press release on behalf of ANZ bank announcing a withdrawal of financing for Whitehaven coal mine in the Hunter Valley of NSW suggested the latest blow to Adani should be fatal for the Carmichael coal mine.

Environmental activist, Johnathan Moylan.

This should serve as the final nail in the coffin for this environmentally and economically unsustainable project that most stakeholders have already walked away from, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Campaigner Jonathan Moylan said.

Adani Group have shown time and time again that they cant take this slow-moving train wreck forward and should scrap it for good. The Australian people dont want it, the banks wont touch it and now even key partners who stand to profit handsomely are giving up on Adani.

Theyve seen the writing on the wall and...


Lismore Council calls for community input on service cuts "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Lismore City Council has acknowledged that with the current tight financial climate they will be looking to the community to determine which services they value and which services they are willing to have cut.

In preparation for this they are placing their draft Imagine Lismore Operational Plan (2018/19 budget) on public exhibition on 21 May for community feedback for 28 days.

The net operating result for the year is a $16.524 million surplus. Excluding capital revenues (grants and developer contributions) the result is a $1.583 million surplus.

While the Council says the operating result is positive, a cash deficit of $42,700 has been reported. While not considered significant, this is not in line with Councils Financial Sustainability Policy, which states there should be a $200,000 surplus.

This not ideal but I believe we have struck the best balance we can in what is a tight financial climate for us. Now its time for us to hear from the community, said Mayor Isaac Smith.

This year we have put an extra $1.6 million into roads and assets, which helps us begin to address our infrastructure backlog. We know there is an issue with roads and we are working hard to fix it. We are making tough decisions to funnel more money into roads and infrastructure, which is a step in the right direction.

Lismore City Council also decided to only apply the state rate peg to residents. A 0.41 per cent single year increase to business rates, to be retained in the rate base for five years,  was approved by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal on May 15.

However the reality is that in coming years, Council is looking at cuts to services, as our costs continue to escalate at a greater rate than our revenue. In the 2018/19 draft budget we have included funding for a service level review, which would allow us to start a conversation with our community to ask what services are important to our ratepayers, and when crunch time comes, what services should we keep and which ones should we cut, said Mayor Smith.

Its an important conversation we need to have with our community.

The 2018/19 budget is $166.329 million, which includes $42.5 million for roads and associated infrastructure, or 25.6 per cent of the budget.

A total of $52.354 million in capital works is included in the 2018/19 financial year. This includes:

  • $13.58 million for parks and recreation;
  • $12.41 million on roads and associated activities;
  • $6.72 million in wastewater infrastructure;
  • $6.40 million for plant replacement;
  • $4.93 million in water infrastructure;
  • $2.80 million for waste disposal Landfill Cell 2; and...


Lone Goat Gallery Presents W.H. Chong Everything Changes 18 May 13 June 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The old sages didnt fool around. Here is a triplet of Buddhist sayings, simple truths with a killer punchline.
1) Everything changes.
2) Anything can happen at any time.
3) No one is exempt. 


Shakespeare had Richard II confess: I wasted time, and now doth time waste me. David Bowie proposed: Time may change me / But I cant trace time. His title struck the note: Changes. These ideas of change and inevitability underwrite this exhibition.

We can all draw creatively from ancient roots if we wish: whether farming or writing a song or cooking a meal. Old traditions can be transformed are always being transformed and itself be the transformative idea, triggering new iterations.

In these works from several ongoing series I drew from the deep well of Chinese art traditions. Useful concepts: the understanding of arts intangible qualities its spirit codified 1500 years ago as the most important part of art. The ancient abstractions of Chinese calligraphy, and the deployment of the void as integral to the image. Mark making that speaks of distinctive individuals.


The themes here are change, exile and perhaps, freedom. Change can be seen in the way words (Chinese characters, English script) are transformed into near illegible marks to become abstract expressions, a different kind of sign with only subjective readings. How ink landscapes become groupings of bright coloured shapes. The way digital technology can marry with analogue processes to create a contemporary Chinese scroll. Exile is the great theme of the last hundred and some years and enough has been said about it. I mention exile only because it is undeniable.

The idea of freedom is more subtle. Bold gestural mark making may suggest freedom the manifestation of a body and mind unfettered. Another freedom is achieved when we discover the art that comes of personal necessity. When we grasp what we need to make we are released from convention, from fashion, from dogma, fro...


Farmer and environmentalist attacks Norco decision "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

North coast farmer and environmental lawyer Sue Higginson. Photo supplied

Environmental lawyer, Sue Higginson, who specialises in land use conflict says the Nationals have betrayed their community with the decision of HealthShare NSW to choose foreign owned dairy farmers milk over that of Norco.

Like many in our community, Im disappointed that NSW Health has chosen a foreign multinational company as its milk supplier rather than the local farmer owned cooperative Norco, Ms Higginson said.

This adds to the Nationals track record of shafting local farmers for big business.

Ms Higginson said she is a farmer herself and knows how tough it is securing contracts and getting your product to market.

Just now Im harvesting 30 hectares of dryland rice and I know how important local markets are, she said.

Norco is a staple of our region and has an admirable history in supporting dairy farmers and riding out the pitfalls of deregulation and supermarket price wars. They shouldnt be kicked to the ground by the Nationals when dairy farmers are already struggling.

Its not good enough for the Nationals to blame Healthshare NSWs procurement policy. The procurement policy should weight local businesses more favourably, like councils have done in our local area. This is precisely where our political representatives should be active, Ms Higginson said.

Meanwhile, the opposition has called out Nationals North Coast-based MLC Ben Franklin, who it says refuses to take a strong public stand on important tough issues like North Coast farmers and jobs.

Shadow North Coast spokesperson Walt Secord said Mr Franklin had been absolutely silent on the Norco milk debacle.

His silence shows that he must support the decision to cancel the contracts.

Mr Franklin must state clearly whether he supports his governments decision to slash jobs on the North Coast or is he with North Coast dairy farmers and hospital workers who vehemently oppose the decision to cancel Norco dairy contracts?

Mr Secord said community opposition is growing by the hour and hundreds of residents are signing an online petition.

The petition to restore Norco milk to local hospitals can be found here.


Travel agent accused of scamming blames tabloid TV "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Lance Martin. Photo lance

Chris Dobney

A Bangalow-based online travel agent, who was presented as a scammer on A Current Affair last week says the program never contacted him for an interview before they ambushed him at his car in the main street of Clunes.

He added that he has received death threats since the program aired and his daughter has been bullied at school.

The program included interviews with three aggrieved clients of Lance Martins TravelALot website, which features extraordinarily cheap deals.

Mr Martin said his lawyers are looking at defamation action against Channel Nine over the segment.


Customers told the program that, after they paid deposits or purchased vouchers, the company either did not confirm the booking or later told them the flights or accommodation were no longer available for the dates they had booked.

Mr Martin told Echonetdaily he was never given the chance to respond properly to the accusations.

He says that after he was approached on the street, he subsequently offered to answer any questions or sit down for an interview with the program, but they never responded.

Neil and Denise booked a trip to Thailand and told the program that they paid $5,400 for flights and accommodation but just before they were due to leave they received an email from the company saying the trip had been cancelled due to an unforseen technical error.

The couple told the program they eventually got their money back with the help of a travel agent but never got the holiday.

Legal action

Marta said she paid more than $1,500 for a trip to Bali to celebrate her wedding anniversary, but that it was cancelled just two weeks before she and her husband were due to go.

She told the program she had to threaten legal action to get her money back but was only reimbursed days before the court case.

Janey also booked to travel to Thailand but said that despite a successful case in the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) she had never had her money refunded.

She was also told at the last minute that flights couldnt be booked but she told the program that they were still being advertised for sale o...


NSW Rural Fire Service Current Incidents: Hogbin Dr, Coffs Harbour "bellingen IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

ALERT LEVEL: Not Applicable
LOCATION: Hogbin Dr, Coffs Harbour, NSW 2450
COUNCIL AREA: Coffs Harbour
STATUS: Out of control
TYPE: Grass Fire
SIZE: 0 ha
UPDATED: 17 May 2018 08:48


Union Boss Sally McManus Demands Inquiry After Building Royal Commission Charges Collapse "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The nations most powerful union official has demanded an inquiry into why two union officials were charged with blackmail after the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, only for the charges to be withdrawn almost three years later.

Yesterday, the Victorian Department of Prosecutions asked that extortion charges leveled against Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) officials John Setka and Shaun Reardon in 2015 be dismissed.

Melbourne magistrate Charles Rozencwajg replied, I think its a very sensible decision.

The case stemmed from allegations that during a meeting with senior officials with Boral, the pair asked that concrete not be supplied to Melbourne worksites run by construction firm Grocon, amid concerns about worker safety. Mr Setka is the CFMEUs Victorian secretary, Mr Reardon is the state assistant secretary.

Explosive evidence presented at their committal hearing this week suggested senior figures within the Turnbull and Abbott Governments were speaking directly with Boral executives prior to any allegations being formally raised.

Head of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Sally McManus, this morning came out swinging.

I welcome the withdrawal of these charges they should never have been laid, Mc Manus said.

The possibility that members of the Abbott/Turnbull Government were closely consulting with Boral over events that led to these discredited charges is deeply disturbing. This possibility should be fully investigated.

This is the same Government that orchestrated the ROC raid, wasted $80 million on a union witchhunt, and is the successor of the Coalition government that conspired to ruin the lives of waterfront workers 20 years ago, she added, a reference to the infamous Patrick Stevedores dispute led by retired Liberal Minister Peter Reith.

It is not acceptable for any government to attack the elected representatives of working people in order to advance their political agenda.

John Setka and Shaun Reardon have stood up for working people in the Victorian construction industry. They stood up for safety in an extremely dangerous industry.

And for doing that they have faced unwarranted and discredited criminal charges. Working people deserve answers about how this happened.

Former Abbott Government minister Eric Abetz, who served in the workplace relations role at the time, was uncharacteristically quiet as the news broke yesterday.

John Sekta has a history of making very inflammatory statements and its not worth responding to them, Senator Abetz said.

Whilst hes had a win today I would suggest to him that he be exceptionally careful in relat...


Hairy Panic "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

A couple of years ago I thought to publish here the lyrics to a song I wrote around a decade ago about a weed

It's called Hairy Panic.

This week I got around to recording the song:


May 17 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

1770 - Jimmy Cook spied the Glasshouse Mountains in QLD and named them in fond memory of the Yorkshire glass furnace chimneys.

1797 - Survivors of the wreck of the Sydney Cove passed through Illawarra, reaching Sydney on 17 May. They tell of finding coal in northern Illawarra and of being attacked by 'savage natives' near Red Point. In fact, it appears that some of the crew members were the savages and that they may have suffered attacks from members of their own party.

1813 - Two large Norfolk Pine Trees were presented to Mrs. Macquarie by ( a very, very reformed convict) Simeon Lord. They were removed from his garden, and planted at the Gate opposite to Macquarie Street

1824 - The Supreme Court of NSW was birthed.

1824 - A dinner was held at Government House to celebrate the great benefits that the opening of the Supreme Court would bring to the people described as "the inhabitants of Australasia."

1824 - Saxe Bannister became the first person to be admitted to practise as a barrister in New South Wales. His admission was concurrent with his being sworn into the office of attorney general of New
South Wales with a right of private practice at the first sitting of the Supreme Court.

1824 - At the NSW Courts Magistrates, Newcastle Police Court Andrew McColl, John McAuliff and Charles Fagan, runaways from Port Macquarie, were charged with attempting to break out of gaol after having ran from this settlement on the 4th of May, being retaken at Wallis Plains and sent back. The keeper of his Majestys Gaol states - I was going my rounds last night about 8 oclock and hearing an unusual noise in the room where the prisoners are confined in company with Samuel Hart (a notorious gaol breaker) now under committal for a trial for a burglary and William Halfpenny, under sentence for Corporal punishment. I suspected something wrong was going on amongst them. I procured the keys and examined the room. I discovered in one part of it a hole made large enough for a man to creep through. The hole had been made with the iron work of a tub in the room. They had destroyed the tub. The prisoners respectively deny having any knowledge of the hole or how or when it was made. Sentenced to 50 lashes each

1830 - George Thomson was hanged at Hobart for theft of silver plate and two pistols.

1832 - Those wrapping fish were in for a treat when the Sydney Herald became a bi-weekly paper. Price per copy dropped to sixpence!

1838 - Congregational Minister William Waterfield preached the first Congregational Church service in Melbourne to some fifty persons in the little wooden Church of England building in William Street.

1842 - Andrew Petrie fell over the Mary River.

1858 - The Main South Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Liverpoo...

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Wednesday, 16 May


CVCC History in the news "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The history of the CVCC and the upcoming ReWeavers Dinner made the local news today. Its not too late to book your seat for what will be an inspiring night. See Invitation in the previous post for details. Or CLICK HERE for info.
Article by Daily Examiner

Note:  There is an error in The Daily Examiner report below.  Daishowa International did not have a pulp mill in the Clarence Valley as indicated in the second column.  It had a woodchip mill at Eden on the NSW South Coast. - Leonie Blain.


App economy riders are in a battle for proper wages "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Contributed from New South Wales

Food delivery riders in the emerging app economy and working for Deliveroo, Foodora and UberEats, are organising to protect themselves and joining the Transport Workers Union.

The number one issue is that they do not get paid enough to survive on. A case has been  brought before the Fair Work Commission, where a review of award wages are being sought.

At a rally just before the case in Sydney, one of the riders said that wages have dropped significantly over the two-and-a-half years he has been on the job, with one of the major companies.

When I started two-and-a-half years ago, the standard contract was $14 an hour and $5 dollars a delivery, rider Matt told reporters. Those are now looked at as the golden old days. I now know riders that are doing $7 a delivery and zero dollars an hour these guys are making $14, $7 or zero dollars an hour.

The app economy is designed to provide cheap labour. The rider is only paid for on a piece rate for deliveries carried out and the rest of the time remains on standby with no pay. In addition, the rider is regarded as a contractor, and therefore the employer does not provide WorkCover, holidays, sick pay, or any of the other benefits usually enjoyed by an employee.

This is a form of exploitation that should have no place in Australia. It not only affects those who are engaged in the app economy. Other jobs paid at an hourly rate are threatened as well.

If the use of apps are going to be applied to the working relationship, this must occur under the minimum conditions of a standard workplace agreement, with regular wages and working conditions. This is what is being fought for.

The TWU national secretary, Tony Sheldon, said the major food delivery companies were practicing wage theft and said he wanted the Fair Work Commission to protect riders.

He said, Theyre stealing from hardworking people, who are delivering to our homes right around our country, by underpaying them.

We need to make sure we have a system in this country that works for everybody.

The case is still before the Commission.

The post App economy riders are in a battle for proper wages appeared first on The Pen.


Liberals continue to behave badly in 2018 - Part Five "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The Age, 8 May 2018:

A branch of the NSW Liberal Party is set to debate the merits of Sharia-style corporal punishment and a radical proposal to make citizens responsible for sentencing criminals rather than judges.

The notoriously hard-right Carlingford branch, under its colourful president George Popowski, will discuss a push to "straighten out the law and order system" by handing sentencing powers to a panel of 20 members of the public, with no more than 30 per cent from the legal fraternity.

Mr Popowski, who authored the motion, also urged the reintroduction of corporal punishment, arguing it was the "fairest" form of retribution because "we all feel the same pain".

He proposed 10 lashes for theft of a T-shirt, 1000 lashes for stealing a car (2000 if the vehicle is damaged), 5000 lashes for punching a police officer and 20,000 lashes for murder.


Scientific Study Claims Alien Life Could Exist in a Parallel Universe "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Could a multiverse be hospitable to life?


Source: Eurek Alert

A Multiverse - where our Universe is only one of many - might not be as inhospitable to life as previously thought, according to new research.

Questions about whether other universes might exist as part of a larger Multiverse, and if they could harbour life, are burning issues in modern cosmology.

Now new research led by Durham University, UK, and Australia's University of Sydney, Western Sydney University and the University of Western Australia, has shown that life could potentially be common throughout the Multiverse, if it exists.

The key to this, the researchers say, is dark energy, a mysterious "force" that is accelerating the expansion of the Universe.

Scientists say that current theories of the origin of the Universe predict much more dark energy in our Universe than is observed. Adding larger amounts would cause such a rapid expansion that it would dilute matter before any stars, planets or life could form.

The Multiverse theory, introduced in the 1980s, can explain the "luckily small" amount of dark energy in our Universe that enabled it to host life, among many universes that could not.

Using huge computer simulations of the cosmos, the new research has found that adding dark energy, up to a few hundred times the amount observed in our Universe, would actually have a modest impact upon star and planet formation.

This opens up the prospect that life could be possible throughout a wider range of other universes, if they exist, the researchers said.

The findings are to be published in two related papers in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The simulations were produced under the EAGLE (Evolution and Assembly of GaLaxies and their Environments) proje...


Predictions of the Namoi Water Study will they come to pass? "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

In 2012 the Namoi Water Study handed down its final report. The analysis was sobering for anyone living at Maules Creek and near the Narrabri Gas Field.




Senator Michaelia Cash and protecting Ms GILLARD "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Tomorrow marks a fortnight since we published this story Shorten "promises better" on stopping corruption, where's the Government of Turnbull? Thursday, 03 May 2018 On Friday, 25 May 2018 Ralph Blewitt will make his first appearance in the Perth District Court to answer charges that he alone tricked Thiess into...


Women in NSW a step closer to safe access to reproductive healthcare "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The safety, wellbeing and dignity of women seeking reproductive health services is a step closer to being protected in New South Wales through a bill that would guarantee safe access zones around abortion clinics.

Labor MLC, Penny Sharpe, and Nationals MLC, Trevor Khan, are co-sponsoring the Public Health Amendment (Safe Access to Reproductive Health Clinics) Bill, which will come before the Legislative Council today.

Adrianne Walters, Senior Lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre, said the bill was absolutely vital to protecting a womans right to safely access health services.

"For far too long, women in NSW have had to run a gauntlet of intimidation and abuse just to see their doctor. Safe access zones are a straightforward and sensible solution. It's mind-boggling that in 2018 women are harassed, blocked and filmed when trying to get to the clinic doors," said Walters.

The bill would create 150 metre zones around medical clinics that provide abortions, where it will be unlawful to harass, intimidate or film people without consent, or to communicate about abortions in a manner likely to cause anxiety or distress.

Tasmania, Victoria, the ACT and Northern Territory already have safe access zones around abortion clinics.

Paul Nattrass, Practice Manager at The Private Clinic, a reproductive healthcare service in Sydney, said ensuring women have safe passage to reproductive healthcare will be a huge step forward in NSW.

"The creation of safe zones outside clinic entrances is vital to counter the aggressive and intimidating tactics used by anti-abortionists. No one should have to suffer the forceful, intrusive questioning of their medical treatment from a stranger in the street under any circumstances. The right to access health services safely and privately is fundamental to our society," said Mr Nattrass.

Abortion remains in the criminal statute books of New South Wales, with exceptions that enable women to access abortion services but place decision-making power in the hands of doctors. The bill does not seek to decriminalise abortion.

Walters said it was also time for the NSW Government to decriminalise abortion and respect women as competent decision-makers over their own bodies and lives.

"It is simply unacceptable that women and their doctors still run the risk of prosecution for undertaking a safe medical procedure; a procedure that takes place every week in NSW and across Australia. The law is hopelessly out of step with modern clinical practice, community standards and womens basic rights," said Walters.

For interviews Adrianne Walters and Paul Nattrass or further information please call:

Michelle Bennett, Director of Communications, Human Rights Law...


NSW Rural Fire Service Current Incidents: Pacific Highway Glenugie "bellingen IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

ALERT LEVEL: Not Applicable
LOCATION: Pacific Highway Glenugie
COUNCIL AREA: Clarence Valley
STATUS: Being controlled
TYPE: Vehicle/Equipment Fire
SIZE: 0 ha
UPDATED: 16 May 2018 16:00

NSW Rural Fire Service Current Incidents: Pacific Hwy, Dirty Creek "bellingen IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

ALERT LEVEL: Not Applicable
LOCATION: Pacific Hwy, Dirty Creek, NSW 2456
COUNCIL AREA: Coffs Harbour
STATUS: Out of control
TYPE: MVA/Transport
SIZE: 0 ha
UPDATED: 16 May 2018 15:56



Advance care planning in aged care: a guide to support implementation in community and residential settings "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Advance care planning is the process of planning for future health and personal care needs. It provides a way for a person to make their values and preferences known so that they can guide decision-making at a future time when they cannot make or communicate their decisions.

Engaging in advance care planning helps people to determine their healthcare priorities, and thereby to align their health and care preferences with the actual care they receive.

Advance care planning is not a single event but an ongoing process, which should be revisited regularly. This is especially important when a person's health or social situation changes.

Key components of advance care planning are:

  • having a conversation about the person's values, beliefs and goals and how these influence preferences for care this may include specific care and treatment preferences
  • selecting and appointing a substitute decision-maker
  • documenting a person's preferences in an Advance Care Directive or Advance Care Plan
  • regularly reviewing and updating the plan or directive.

Media release

Advance care planning in aged care: a guide to support implementation in community and residential settings


4 new AIHW injury reports from the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Trends in hospitalised injury due to falls in older people 2002-03 to 2014-15 This report focuses on trends in fall-related hospital care for people aged 65 and over from 2002-03 to 2014-15. Age-standardised rates of hospitalised fall injury cases increased over the period 2002-03 to 2014-15 for both men (3% per year) and women (2%). There was a decrease in the rate of hip fractures due to falls (-2% per year) between 2002-03 and 2014-15. In contrast, falls resulting in head injuries increased at a particularly high rate (7% per year).

Eye injuries in Australia 2010-11 to 201415 This report shows 51,778 people were hospitalised as a result of an eye injury in the 5-year period, 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2015; two-thirds of these were males. Falls (35%) and assaults (23%) were the most common causes of eye injuries. The most common type of eye injury was an open wound of the eyelid and periocular area (27%). Some 86,602 presentations were made to an emergency department due to an eye injury in the 2-year period, 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2015; 1% of these presentations were admitted to hospital.

Trends in hospitalised injury, Australia 1999-00 to 2014-15 This report shows that the rate of hospitalised injury cases in Australia rose between 1999-00 and 2014-15 by an average of 1% per year. In 2014-15, case numbers and rates were higher for males than females for all age groups up to 60-64, and higher for females for those aged 65-69 and older.

Spinal cord injury, Australia 2014-15In 2014-15, 264 newly incident cases of traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) due to external causes were reported to the Australian Spinal Cord Injury Register. Males accounted for 4 in 5 (80%) of traumatic SCI cases. Land transport crashes(42%) were the leading mechanism of injury for cases of traumatic SCI sustained in 2014-15, followed by falls (40%). Around one-third (35%) were sustained during sports or leisure activities.

Please click on the link below to download a free PDF copy of the reports

Trends in hospitalised injury due to falls in older people 2002-03 to 2014-15

Eye injuries in Australia 2010-11 to 2014-15

Trends in hospitalised injury, Australia 1999-00 to 2014-15

Spinal cord injury, Australia...


Lennox fig tree must go, says council "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The Moreton Bay Fig tree on Castle Drive, Lennox Head that is slated for demolition. Photo Jenny Grinlington

Ballina Shire Council last night reaffirmed its decision to remove a possibly 200-year-old Moreton Bay Fig Tree in Castle Drive, Lennox Head in a move that is destined to divide the community.

While the tree stands on council land its roots have been blamed for disruption and cracking in a neighbouring home.

Mayor David Wright told Echonetdaily that while he was desperately disappointed to see the fig tree go, the council had exhausted all other options.

In a Catch22-type situation, the councils insurance company said that if a root barrier was installed it would no longer cover councils public liability over the tree; if the tree was left as it is, the company would not meet any further damages claims from the neighbouring property.

Cr Wright said while the council had commissioned various reports into the causes of cracking and damage, including ground-penetrating x-rays, the smoking gun was revealed when the driveway was dug up.

There were massive roots under there, some measuring as much as 10 centimetres, he said. Thats as thick as someones thigh.

He added that established caselaw did not go in councils favour either.

We could have bought two houses thats about $1.7-$1.8 million thats about the only way you could do it, he said.

Hes hopeful its a decision he may never have to take again.

Since 1980, developer with a fig tree on their property has to put a 50-metre buffer around it, thats how much we want to protect fig trees but this one of course didnt have that.

Cr Wright said a date had yet to be set for the axing of the tree but local residents will be out in force whenever that is.

A local opponent of the decision, Sherrie Yeomans, told Echonetdaily there were feelings of disbelief last night that the council have still voted to cut the stunning Castle drive fig down.

Thank you to the councillors who spoke so well in her favour Phil Meehan, Keith Williams, Sharon Parry and Jeff Johnson, she said.

Ms Yeomans added she was astounded that of the evidence and solutions as given to council on April 29, not one of t...


HostUS Exclusive London SSD KVM & Worldwide OpenVZ Offers! "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Andrew from HostUS has sent in a fresh offer and were happy to have them back on our site as they always get great feedback!

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NSW Rural Fire Service Current Incidents: Macauleys LMZ Cultural Burn "bellingen IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

LOCATION: diggers beach
COUNCIL AREA: Coffs Harbour
STATUS: Under control
TYPE: Hazard Reduction
SIZE: 2 ha
RESPONSIBLE AGENCY: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
UPDATED: 16 May 2018 10:58


Sewage poured into Brunswick River for weeks "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Screen shot from a video of the overflow incident at the Brunswick Valley Sewage Treatment Plant on January 25, 2012

Paul Bibby

Partially treated sewage containing dangerous bacteria flowed into the Brunswick River for weeks while Byron Council argued over the cost of repairing the Brunswick Valley Sewage Treatment Plant (BVSTP), a former Council employee says.

And while Council staff deny the claims, saying instead the plant was repaired promptly and that bacteria remained at safe levels throughout the incident, its emerged the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) were not aware.

The former employee told The Echo that Council allowed the bacteria-laden effluent to flow into the river for at least a month after a crucial disinfection unit at the plant broke down during an overflow event in January 2012.

It took weeks while they quibbled over who was going to pay to fix the UV disinfection unit after it shorted out, said the former employee, who asked to remain anonymous. So you had all that effluent going out. It was easily a month probably longer.

The Echo obtained a video showing a significant overflow event taking place at the BVSTP on January 25, 2012.

The video, which is time and date stamped, shows effluent flowing out of the plants UV inlet pit and onto the surrounding grass. At one point it can be seen flowing down an access road toward the river.

According to the former Council employee, water inundated the electronics of the UV treatment plant during this incident causing it to short out. This meant that the effluent flowing through the plant was no longer subjected to UV treatment a process by which sewage is blasted with UV light to kill a certain type of bacteria known as faecal coliforms.

There is a demonstrated relationship between the presence of faecal coliform bacteria and illness-causing bacteria including E-coli, hepatitis, and salmonella.

In a statement to The Echo, Council staff confirmed that an overflow incident had occurred at the plant on the day in question as a result of high rainfall and a design defect.

It said that the incident had been managed, and that the overflow was conta...


Traffic, height issues mar Ewingsdale medical centre plan "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Hans Lovejoy

With the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) considering a large medical centre on McGettigans Lane/Ewingsdale Rd, The Echo has a peek at what is proposed.

The JRPP meet May 17 at the Mullum Council Chambers from 1.30pm and the public are welcome to attend.

Medical and specialist consulting rooms, a day theatre, pharmacy, 12 overnight stay units, cafe and basement and ground-level parking are all estimated to cost $8m.

An ASIC search reveals the owners of applicant Brunsmed Pty Ltd are Victorian-based Joel, Gary and John Wertheimer.

As with anything large proposed for Ewingsdale Rd, added traffic will be an issue. Its not uncommon for the road to be clogged up to the highway, daily, for example.

Thankfully Council staff asked for an updated traffic report according to consultants RoadNets report, the request was owing to concerns that the 2015 survey data provided previously would show lower traffic movements than experienced in previous years.

Yet the traffic report says, The date of the [current] traffic survey places it outside of school holidays or public holidays and is expected to be representative of a typical weekday for the purpose of examining peak-hour operating conditions at the subject intersection.

In justifying this, the traffic consultants say peak activity on McGettigans Lane currently occurs on weekdays and coincides with the traffic generated by the existing Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School located to the south of McGettigans Lane on Balraith Lane.

In summary, the traffic consultants say this development could generate 686 new traffic movements on an already overburdened road.

Expert advice 

They also admit their report does include the caveat that there is widespread variation observed in the base data, and consequently the average rates cannot be relied upon for accurately predicting the trip generation at a particular facility.

Now thats expert advice!

To mitigate unmanageable traffic, the proponents say restrictions to hours of operation will limit traffic impacts.

It reads, The proposed restrictions would see the consultation rooms and pharmacy not opening until 9.30am on weekdays to avoid the am peak (8.159.15am) on the adjacent road network, while these same land...


Agriculture gets a voice in Byron Council "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Paul Bibby

Byron Shire Council is set to employ an officer to represent the local agriculture industry.

Following months of lobbying by local farmers and industry representatives, Council staff told a meeting of representatives last Wednesday night that the position would finally be filled.

The executive officer of sustainable and localised farming co-op Future Feeders Joel Orchard said he and others at the meeting were told the position would be three days a week initially, but could later be increased to full time.

They said they had put in an application for state government funding to make the position full time, Mr Orchard said.

We were very pleased about the result getting a designated agriculture officer had been on standby for too long.

It indicates that the council is open to agriculture as an industry in the Shire and to giving that industry a voice.

The promise from staff came after a petition with 150 signatures was delivered to the council, along with a letter signed by 25 local farmers and agriculture industry representatives.

Consultants hired

Council had also hired two consultants to investigate the state of agriculture in the Shire and how it could be assisted.

Mr Orchard said he expected the officer would help to address ongoing conflicts between agricultural and residential land use such as noise, the use of sprays and livestock.

He also expressed the hope that the officer would also help to support the concept of a local food system a model in which the community generates its own sustainable food sources rather than relying on the traditional unsustainable supermarket supply chain.

As we have seen in the last couple of years, our food system is basically dependant on long supply chain logistics and wholesale distribution out of the centralised markets, he said.

Any break in the line creates huge food supply and security issues as we have seen in the last couple of years during cyclone season when the supermarket shelves are emptied in a matter of days.

We have a huge opportunity in the northern rivers with perfectly suited conditions, soil and rainfall to grow a wide variety of crops all...


Demand spiking for co-working spaces in Byron "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Frazer Williams-Martin, architect with DFJ Architects and Miranda Cummings, who handled the interior design at Habitat Workspace. Photo Jeff Shared Space Since 1986 Dawson

Paul Bibby

The Byron Shire is bursting out of its entrepreneurial britches.

As a growing number of locals look for creative ways to make a living, there has been a spike in demand for spaces where freelancers and small-business owners can work.

Some of the available co-working spaces have become harder to squeeze into than a pair of skinny jeans on Boxing Day, creating new opportunities for those with a bit of suitable space in and around the Byron Bay CBD.

Byron Bay Business Chamber president Todd Sotheren said he had been watching with interest as the demand for co-working spaces in the Shire increased in recent years.

Theres been an explosion of entrepreneurship as people who arent involved in tourism or hospitality find a way to make a living using the creativity this area is famous for, Mr Sotheren said.

If youre doing this kind of work, working all day in a home office can be nice, but it can also be quite isolating.


In co-working spaces, youre picking up ideas and ways to do things. The collaborative and networking side of things is huge.

Some of this growing demand will be met by the opening of a new shared office space at the Habitat development at North Beach.

Unlike some of the other work spaces, Habitats offering includes 36 micro offices as well as a number of open-plan desks for one or two people.

Habitats access to the NBN is likely to attract those with a digital focus, and the company is also offering a free two-week trial for those wanting to dip their toes in the water...


Rosies big brass sound goes global "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Rosie King has completed her personal goal of winning all three major international brass championship titles. Photo Jeff Brassed Dawson

Aslan Shand

Playing brass was something Rosie King began as a young child in Sydney along with her three older brothers and it has become a lifelong passion.

Byron Shire-based Rosie has recently been rewarded for her commitment to brass by becoming the first solo brass champion in three major countries, the United Kingdom, Australia and recently the United States. 

Winning the North American Brass Solo Championship in April meant so much more because it completed my personal goal of winning all three major international titles. I won in Australia in 2002, Great Britain in 2002 and 2005 and the USA in April this year, said Rosie.

Over 180 of North Americas finest brass musicians took part in the largest amateur musicmaking festival of brass music held in the USA, April 5 till 8 this year.

Invited by US uni

Rosie was invited by Dr Lee Harrelson (head of Music at the Missouri Western State University) to attend the festival and to perform as a horn player with the City of Kansas organisation known as Fountain City Brass.

Prior to the festival, she spent a week performing in both Kansas City and St Louis, Missouri, preparing for the competitive stage performance that took place at the National Brass Festival held in the Embassy Theatre, Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she also competed as a soloist.

Rosies son, Oscar Crosara, highlighted that Not only was Rosie a finalist in the USA senior solo championships, she was in fact declared open winner of the coveted international award with her performance of Concert Fantasy that literally blew the judges and the international audience away.

Rosie has worked very hard and broken boundaries to achieve this. As well as being an accomplished solo artist, Rosie also pioneered Australias first all-female brass band, the Belles of Brass....


Vale muscial educator, Malcolm Garth "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Malcolm Garth.

The funeral of well-known and respected music tutor Malcolm Garth was held last Friday he died after a short battle with luekemia. 

Malcolms brother in law Ian Baskin told The Echo that Malcom taught Byron Bays primary and secondary students for over ten years. 

Baskin said, He also taught at Brunswick Heads. During that time, musicians under Mals tutelage played one of his own compositions in the Sydney Opera House. 

He co-ordinated the bridging program for years six and seven, so that there was a much smoother transition from primary to high school.

Mals smiling face helped many a new high school student feel more quickly at home and he supported music students at Byron High through to their HSC exams.

Original music

During his time at Byron High he taught Donavan Miller, who went on to become the drummer for the Butcher Birds. Other bands Mal inspired include Jessibel, Parkway Drive and Stan Walker, winner of Australian Idol 2009. He taught a broad range of musical instruments from sax to guitar, and inspired many to write their own music.

In the last couple of years, Malcolm taught a number of the local Byron Bay High music students as a volunteer, helping disadvantaged students to achieve outstanding results.

The post Vale muscial educator, Malcolm Garth appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Tree frog ceremony defended "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

According to the International Association of Kambo Practitioners, the frogs used in ceremony by acredited practitioners are treated humanly. Photo

The International Association of Kambo Practitioners (IAKP) has reacted strongly to last weeks Echo story, saying that the ceremonies and practices described by author Heidi Greaves are not taught by us or used by our practitioners.

As Greavess story explained, a Kambo ceremony is where a secretion of the South American tree frog is extracted, dried and administered to shallow burns on those seeking to lift panema, an indigenous word for dark or negative energy. The tradition is also used by Amazonian tribes to heighten senses when hunting and as a remedy for numerous ills.

Greaves explained that when signing up for the ceremony, she was asked a few basic questions on physical and mental health, yet was not asked for her full medical history. The life change I was hoping to trigger has not yet manifested, she added.

And while claiming her Kambo practitioners were lovely people, she was critical of them as facilitators. She wrote, I feel it was no fault of their own, but something that needs to be addressed by IAKP through more guidelines and training.  

Greaves also questioned how the ceremony can be conducted without harming the frog.

A representative of the IAKP, which is a not-for-profit foundation based in the Netherlands, told The Echo, In this case, we have not been able to confirm that Greaves attended a ceremony with one of our practitioners and we do not believe it to be the case. Had she truly thought that she was dealing with one of our practitioners, then a quick email to us could have confirmed that.

We hold ourselves accountable, and we have a full and open complaints procedure if she or anyone else had any genuine issue with one of our people. The IAKP can only lay down the guidelines. We cannot watch every practitioner in every moment so we are happy for people to contact us if they have concerns about our members. Unfortunately, we cannot deal with complaints or feedback regarding practitioners who are not members of our association. Greaves has completely misinterpreted our organisation in this sense...


May 16 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

1770 - Cap. Jimmy Cook (Sir to his mates) sailed merrily past the Gold Coast on this day.

1806 - James Dabbs was hanged at Sydney for burglary from the home of Rowland Hassall at Parramatta.

1820 - Gosh, Lachlan Macquarie had a harsh working life. I really felt for him when I read his diary entry for today....
"I went down to Sydney this morning after Breakfast to transact Business, returning to Parramatta to Dinner.
I dispatched the Govt. Brig, Princess Charlotte, for Van Diemen's Land with 70 Female Convicts for the two Settlements."

1822 - First Fleeter James Squire, who is credited with the first successful cultivation of hops in Australia (think James Squire Beer)  popped his clogs at Kissing Point, and was buried in the Devonshire Street Cemetery Altar Tomb, which today is at the Botany Pioneer Park.

1823 - That Magik Fairy was out and about again in the Illawarra when Mr. John Paul was granted 600 acres.

1836 - James Tobin was hanged at Sydney for the murder of Patrick Fox at Marks' Farm, Illawarra.

1836 - Surveyor-General of New South Wales Major Thomas Livingstone Mitchell parked his posterior at what later became the town of Balranald.

1860 - William Goodson was hanged at Darlinghurst for the murder of his wife Mary Goodson at Kissing Point.

1860 - Explorer John Mackay stumbled upon an area in QLD between the Burdekin and the watershed of the Isaacs River which was dubbed the Mackay District.

1861 - Rt. Hon. Sir John Young, Bt, KCB, GCMG, PC, (later 1st Baron Lisgar) donned the frilly drawers of Governor of NSW.

1863 - Mr. Barnes, of Cootamundra, should have stayed in bed today as bushranger Ben Hall robbed his store then tried to use it as a campfire to keep warm.

1868 - The first Australian cricket team arrived in England for a series of matches.
The team consisted of 13 Aboriginal men from the Western District of Victoria. The Jardwadjali, Gunditjmara and Wotjobaluk men were coached and captained by an ex all-England cricketer, Charles Lawrence. The team played 47 matches against intermediate-level English amateur teams between May and October 1868.
This Sporting Life reported,
"They are the first native Australians to have visited this country on such a novel expedition, but it must not be inferred that they are savages; on the contrary They are perfectly civilized, having been brought up in the bush to agricultural pursuits With respect to their prowess as cricketers that will be conclusively determined by their first public match."
The players were;
Johnny Mullagh traditional name: Unaarrimin
Bullocky traditional name: Bullchanach. A wicketkeeper, Bullocky was referred to as "at once the black Bannerma...

Tuesday, 15 May


Trees for habitat and mums "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Photo Jeff Dawson

A steady stream of enthusiastic tree planters came to plant natives at a Mullumbimby Creek property on Sunday.

The annual Mothers Day event saw the eight thousandth tree planted, according to organisers. Along with food and drinks, participants were entertained by Maisey Taylor, Blindmouth and Chris Mallory.

The tree plantings happen because of the support of the Brunswick Valley Landcare, Byron Shire Council, Jim Olivier, Byron Habitat Corridors, Mullum Chamber of Commerce, Mullum Creek Native Nursery, The Echo, The Tree Hugger, Mullum Ex-Services Club, Jim Beatson, and oh yes, the Mullum Music Festival.

The post Trees for habitat and mums appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Vacancy rates a big tighter in several capital cities "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Brighter in Brisbane for landlords

Brighter news for Brisbane landlords as the vacancy rate declined to 3 per cent from 3.7 per cent a year earlier, according to SQM Research figures reported yesterday. 

Asking rents for Brisbane units increased by +0.4 per cent in the month, too, mainly driven by the upper end of the market (renting good quality property in inner Brisbane still doesn't come cheap, despite the soft market overall). 

Brisbane appears to have a turned a corner as population growth picks up and dwelling commencements now decline sharply. 

The 6mMA figures attempt to capture the latest trends, but do incorporate the Christmas period, when vacancy rates tend to be high. 

Hobart appears to be through the worst for renters with vacancy rates rising slightly to 0.7 per cent.

Adelaide is building plenty of houses, but hasn't experienced the surge in investors seen in the larger cities, and accordingly vacancy rates keep tightening, now down to 1.3 per cent.

Melbourne was also tighter again on strong population growth at 1.3 per cent. 

Sydney's vacancy rates was flat at 2.3 per cent in the month, but plenty higher than a year earlier when it was 1.7 per cent, while Perth continues to turn the corner. 


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