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

Thursday, 19 April

16:16

Turnbull Government will ignore this call to extend Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry at its own electoral peril "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"


Remember When Australian Prime Minister and former merchant banker Malcolm Bligh Turnbull ruled out a bankig royal commission?

Telling the nation; "I can tell you wehave as a government decided not to have a royal commission, we made thedecision a long time ago, not because we don't believe there is nothing goingon in terms of problems with the banks, it is because we want to take actionright now and we are".

Recall the time and other limits placed on the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry when it was finally established on 14 December 2017? Giving it the power to ignore anything that it wanted to that would otherwise be within its scope. 

Well things did not go entirely to plan for Malcolm and his banker mates.

Because since13 March 2018 the curtain has been drawn back revealing the systemic unethical, deceitful, rapacious, sometimes fraudulent and, in certain instances criminal behaviour, of the financial sector.

National Australia Bank, Westpac, St George, Citibank, ANZ, AMP Insurance and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, along with their financial services spin-offs, had all come under some degree of scrutiny by mid-April with more hearings still sheduled.

...

16:15

A measure of justice for an Australian tweeter "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"



The win wont eradicate the sustained personal stress or financial difficulties that such an unfair dismissal imposed still it was pleasing see this tweeter's actions recognised as the right to freedom of political expression.

Hopefully Comcare will not be so bloody minded as to appeal the judgement,


A  former Immigration official sacked over tweets critical of Australia's asylum seeker policy has won a fight for compensation, after an appeals tribunal found her dismissal was unlawful and described government efforts to restrict anonymous comments from its employees as Orwellian.

The decision on Monday will redirect scrutiny to the Immigration Department's dismissal of Michaela Banerji for tweeting criticisms of detention policies, and challenges Australian Public Service rules stopping public servants from expressing their political views on social media.

Ms Banerji took the government to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal after federal workplace insurer Comcare refus...

10:19

Gillard, Wilson and Slater & Gordon's dealings with money set aside for widows and orphans "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Around August 1995, when Bruce Wilson and Julia Gillard came unstuck Slater and Gordon gradually ceased acting for the AWU. Over the next year or so the firm progressively sent its AWU client files to the AWU's Sydney offices. Here's an original record showing each file, colour coded to show...

04:54

More delays for Sydneys light rail "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Workmen walk past the George St Sydney CBD Light Rail Project construction site in Sydney, Friday, April 13, 2018. The subcontractor building the Sydney light rail is seeking an extra $1.1 billion, claiming the NSW government induced it to enter the agreement on a false premise. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas.

SYDNEY AAP

A 12-month delay to Sydneys troubled light rail project to the eastern suburbs is unacceptable and the contractor needs to accelerate, the NSW Transport Minister says.

Light rail consortium ALTRAC has reportedly told the state government trams wont be operating until March 2020.

Unfortunately, in this case, we have one sub-contractor who is playing the game and we are not interested in their games, we are interested in their work and they need to get on with it, Andrew Constance told ABC radio on Thursday.

We want to see it (the project) delivered in 2019 as per the project deed. It is vital that ALTRAC accelerate and get on with their program. We have businesses and residents being hurt by their actions and inactions, he later told 2GB.

Last week, Premier Gladys Berejiklian insisted it was her intention to have the light rail running some time in 2019, despite a messy contractual dispute and looming court battle.

A Spanish subcontractor responsible for building the project claims Transport for NSW engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct in relation to the contract for the 12-kilometre network from Circular Quay to Kingsford and Randwick.

In its statement of claim filed last Friday in the NSW Supreme Court, the company Acciona Infrastructure Australia is seeking more than $1....

04:39

ANZAC services celebrate a changing Australia "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Mullumbimby ANZAC march.

Mullumbimby ANZAC Day Dawn Service and March will be taking place this Wednesday, 25 April and everyone is welcome to attend this or the main service.

The significant thing is that 100 years ago we went to war to support an Empire and a white Australia, said Paul Smith, president of the Mullumbimby sub-branch of the RSL.

Now we are a multi-cultrual society who support self-determination here and anywhere we can in the world. The ANZAC spirit has been constant but what it seeks to preserve now has changed along with the values of our society.

The Dawn Service will begin at 4.30am at the Cenotaph opposite the Mullumbimby ex-services club while people gathering for the main service are asked to gather just before 11am at the Cenotaph.

Road closures

Road closures will take place on Dally Street between Burringbar and Tincogan Streets from 4am till Noon while New city Road, Argyle Street, Station

Street and Burringabar Street will be closed between 10:45am till 11:15am. There will be an alternative route on Argyle and Station Streets between 10:45am to approx. 10:55am; Then go north on Station Street to Tincogan and Gordon Streets; or south on Station Street to Fern and Dally Streets and River Terrace.

The post ANZAC services celebrate a changing Australia appeared first on Echonetdaily.

04:05

Nimbin MardiGrass A celebration, almost! "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The Ganga Faeries are gearing up for yet another Mardi Grass. (file pic)

After 26 years of running the annual Nimbin MardiGrass this year they are celebrating the fact that cannabis is finally being recognised as a medicine.

It looks like the argument is pretty much over as to whether cannabis is a medicine or not, its just about who gets to make all the money from it now, says Michael Balderstone, president of Nimbins HEMP Embassy, chief sponsor of the annual Cannabis law reform protest and gathering.

There is a lot of passion this year as cannabis has been in the news so much and more and more of the general population has woken up to what a good medicine the plant is and how we have been lied to.

This years MardiGrass is being seen as the beginning of the end of cannabis prohibition, despite the fact that there is no sign of the arrest rate dropping, in fact the opposite.

The hour before dawn is the darkest, says Michael. The truth cant be hidden much longer and we have a handful of speakers travelling from North America to tell us how legal weed is working over there.

New highlights in this years crammed program include a Cannabis Hypothetical putting a panel of ten politicians, doctors, lawyers, healers and patients on the spot. The quick witted Queenslander Dr Deb Waldren will wear Geoffrey Robertsons shoes while a grassroots market in the Nimbin Community Centre will be a meeting place for local visionaries to showcase the rich and diverse range of alternative and sustainable ways of existing on this planet.

Aquarius Festival

It is also the 45th anniversary of the legendary Aquarius Festival and the dream still lives on as does the music. To celebrate on Sunday there will be the Billy Cliffs Aquarius Legends dress up competition which has already attracted a dozen entries including Bob Dylan two Neil Youngs, Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa and John Lennon. 

Were encouraging everyone to dress up and celebrate this year the beginning of the end of us being criminals for using pot, says Michael....

03:36

Family fun in Bruns on Saturday, 28 April "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Looking for something to do on Saturday, 28 April? The Brunswick Scouts are pulling out all the stops and holding a free family friendly fundraiser Friends for Life with bands, raffles, great junior acts and some fun kids activities in Brunswick Heads at the Terrace Reserve Sound Shell.

We have secured some fantastic sponsorship and support from local businesses on the day and were very excited about the event, said Sean Tonnet, one of the parent organisers.

The day starts at 11am and the scouts are inviting all the community to bring a picnic rug, relax and have some fun getting involved in all the activities.

If you want to find out more about the Scouts or just have a relaxing day out in Bruns head down between 11am and 4pm on Saturday, April 28.

The post Family fun in Bruns on Saturday, 28 April appeared first on Echonetdaily.

03:16

Community rallies behind Byrons homeless "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Harcourts and BCC staff. Brett McDonald, Natalie Leslie, Steve Leslie, Shanti Des Fours and Kristin Alexander. Photo supplied.

Local organisations are getting behind the project to help provide shelter to Byrons homeless during extreme wet weather events by providing the Byron Community Centre with $12,000 in seed money.

The recent fundraiser at Billinudgel Hotels Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink run by the Cunning Stunts has been combined with $5,000 from donated from the Harcourts Foundation and a number of organisations and businesses, including both the Anglican and Uniting Church who have offered their halls as shelters, and St Vincent De Paul who have also committed $5000 to the project.

With the rate of homelessness in Byron Bay sitting at 12 times the NSW average and the percentage of rough sleepers seven times the state average (ABS 2011), it may come as a surprise to learn that funding to services addressing homelessness in the Byron Shire was drastically cut in 2015. This lead to the closure of the shires only homeless drop-in centre and emergency accommodation facility.

When the heavy rain sets in for a few days and the flooding starts, people used to at least find some reprieve at the Drop-In centre. Now there is nowhere for people who are sleeping rough to go for shelter, day or night. There is nowhere for them to store their belongings and nowhere to dry out, explained Shanti Des Fours, project coordinator.

02:49

Calls to release information on for sites considered for the Tweed Valley Hospital "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The fertile red soil of Cudgen. Photo supplied.

Community concerns raised over the recently announced location of the new Tweed Valley Hospital on fertile farmland in Cudgen have led to a call from NSW Greens MP and North Coast spokesperson, Dawn Walker to release information on the 30 sites that were considered for the hospitals construction.

The NSW Health Minister is on the record saying that the Cudgen Road site was selected from more than 30 potential locations across the region. Well its time the Liberal-Nationals came clean and revealed to the community where those alternate locations that they investigated are and why they werent selected for the new hospital site, said Ms Walker.

The Greens have long supported and campaigned for an upgraded Tweed Hospital, but believe that the proposed site at Cudgen Road is not appropriate due to the loss of state significant farmland and concerns that it may unleash further development on the precious red soils across Cudgen Plateau.

A spokesperson for the office of Geoff Provest MP pointed out that according to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) on the Tweed Valley Hospital site, provided by Health Infrastructure who were in charge of the site selection, there is the intention that this information will be released.

The FAQ provided by his office states that Once the requested debriefs for expression of interest (EOI) proponents have been completed, the project team will provide an overview of the areas in which sites were investigated and the key issues and considerations applicable to each area. However, the onl...

02:26

Four Pillars: A Night of Pork and Boutique Gin "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

What would it be like to enjoy rare pure black Berkshire pigs that have been bred on botanicals from the small Four Pillars Gin Distillery?

Answer: GIN PIG DINNER!

A pop-up dinner event that will include dishes made entirely from these remarkable pigs, matched with gin cocktails and Yarra Valley wines, for a fully immersive dining experience.

Tickets are now available for possibly the best dining event weve ever hosted.

The post Four Pillars: A Night of Pork and Boutique Gin appeared first on Byron Bay Blog.

01:24

How Green is your Council? A closer look "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Byron mayor Simon Richardson.

Hans Lovejoy

Mayor Simon Richardson has defended the lack of environmental credentials of his Council after activist Dailan Pugh highlighted a lack ecological expertise, abandoning a long held coastline protection policy and a lack of mitigating the ever increasing development pressures.
Pugh told The Echo, I think that the principal problem is that Council does not have much ecological expertise. They have an ecologist on their planning staff who reviews development applications (DAs), though she is in a relatively junior position and has a limited role and is often over-ridden.

[Council] need an ecology unit with some clout that deals with ecological assessment across the organisation, and is represented at a high level in the organisation.

Their compliance staff are under-resourced and cant effectively oversee DAs.

They often make decisions with no ecological considerations. Such as when they built the roundabout at the intersection Sunrise Boulevard with Ewingsdale Road they failed to include a koala underpass.

The local landholders DA for West Byron identifies the need for retrospective installation of a koala underpass there, though if Council had the required expertise, they would have recognised it for themselves and done it at the time (it would have been quite simple and cheap to do at the time).  Instead, Council has just increased the impediment for koalas and their ability to move between populations to the north and south of Byron.

Currently, they have a proposal to transfer treated effluent from West Byron to flush out the Baywood Lake, which will effectively turn Tallow Creek into a sewerage outlet again. Their proposal gives no consideration what-so-ever as to what impacts this will have on the Cape Byron Marine Park and the dynamics of the estuary. I expect it will increase flooding of properties and the need to artificially manipulate the opening of the estuary with the risk of yet more fish kills. I find it incredible that Council could propose this with no environmental assessment of off-site impacts or consideration of the consequences for the estuary in the marine park. Once again a lack of environmental expertise and care within the organisation....

00:52

SICK OF DYING (PART 1): How The Health Community Is Failing Julian Assange, The Victims Of The Douma Attacks, And Three Women Struggling To Feed Their Kids "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Around the world, people are getting sicker, and more and more are dying from entirely preventable causes. We have the answers to why, we just dont have the will to stop it. In the first of a two part series, Dr Lissa Johnson looks at the greatest cause of global illness and death.

The Lancet recently published an article identifying the single most important action that health professionals can take to promote health for all. The articles recommendations draw on the findings of the World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of the World Health Organisation (WHO), which has pinpointed the most pervasive cause of ill-health worldwide.

However, scarcely a mainstream health professional in the Western world has heeded the advice of The Lancet or the WHA, which is curious. The Lancet is described by its publisher as the worlds leading independent medical journal. The papers author, David McCoy, is Professor of Global Public Health at Queen Mary University London, ranked as one of the top universities in the UK. The WHA is widely regarded as the highest health policy-setting body in the world.

When three leading medical institutions come together to deliver an important message to health professionals, regarding the most powerful antidote to the leading global cause of ill-health, why wouldnt we prick up our ears? What kinds of illnesses and remedies are The Lancet and the WHA talking about? And what has it got to do with Wikileaks and Julian Assange?

Three womens stories hold some clues. The United Nations International Childrens Emergency Fund writes, 32-year-old Fatime Hayel wakes up at 6 am every day and sends her husband to fetch water using their three 20-litre jerry cans. After that, I send my kids to garbage dumps and restaurants to search for food and bring it to us for breakfast, she says.

...

00:00

April 19 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

1623 - After kidnapping an Aboriginal bloke the previous day it wasn't surprising that the Dutch sailors of the Pera were then greeted by over 200 angry and hostile Aboriginals in North QLD.

1770 - Lieut Zachary Hicks eyeballed the point of land which now bears his name as Point Hicks (Cape Everard).

1805 - Aboriginal people defending their land managed to kill several colonists which resulted in a Government Order today to Captain William Bligh to send soldiers to protect the settlers.

1818 Phillip Parker King discovers Port Essington , later one of the first British settlements in what is now the Northern Territory.

1831 - The Sydney Gazette reported that: - Elizabeth Smith, an importation by the Earl of Liverpool, who made her first appearance ashore on Friday last was charged with insolence to her mistress. It appeared that the prisoner was assigned direct from the ship, to the service of a gentleman in Sydney, to whose house she was sent on the day she landed. In the afternoon obtained permission of her mistress to go out, on some business of her own, for a limited time, which she exceeded, and on being reprimanded on her return home, told her mistress she was " a-good-for nothing hussy," and that she (Elizabeth) " knew by the cut of her jib" that the service would not answer her. The bench sentenced her to the third class in the Factory for three months. Elizabeth Smith had been assigned to William Foster in Sydney on arrival.

1836 - Governor Bourke visited Newcastle on the Ceres. He inspected the site for the New Military Barracks and other buildings which were to be erected at Newcastle, proceeded overland to Brisbane Water and returned to Sydney.

1856 - Stoke up your boiler, Aunty Maud, the first steam railway from Adelaide to Port Adelaide started chuffing along.

1876 - Those erstwhile Fenian convicts all gallivanting aboard the whaling ship Catalpa were called to hove to by the armed guards aboard the Georgette after they'd fired a shot across her bow; the master of the Catalpa claimed they were in international waters, inquiring would the Water Police Superintendent J. F. Stone like to trigger An Incident?
As Britain had just then lost a 3 million pound case in similar circumstances Stone decided his wage didn't quite stretch far enough to cover his backside so he let the Catalpa go sailing off into the sunset with the escaped political prisoners.

1877 - The Main Western Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Blayney to Orange.

1900 - Tired of twiddling their thumbs after the Sunday roast the Victorian pollies dreamt up a Royal Commission on local government laws.

From 1911 until 1916 today was proclaimed to be Discovery Day to celebrate the day on which Jimmy Cook tripped over some great lump of dirt now known...

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Wednesday, 18 April

16:16

None of the financial institutions are coming away from this Royal Commission covered in glory "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"


The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry was established on 14 December 2017, is due to hand down an interim report no later than 30 September 2018 followed by a final report by 1 February 2019.

As of 13 April 2018 the royal commission has received 3,433 public submissions - 69% of these were Banking, 8% Superannuation 8% and 7% Financial Advice.

Round 2 public hearings finish on 27 April 2018.

View the live webcast or previous hearings.

Yesterday was the Commonwealth Bank of Australia's turn to reluctantly admit systemic fraud ....

The Guardian18 April 2018:

Counsel assisting the royal commission, Mark Costello, asked Linda Elkins, from CBAs wealth management arm Colonial First State, to confirm CBAs poor record of charging fees for no service.
...

16:15

Institute of Public Affairs Limited (IPA) has a single broad focus - to infiltrate government in order to reduce workers to a powerless underclass "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"


Given representatives of the Institute of Public Affairs Limited (IPA) turn up as guest commentators so frequently these days on television, radio and in newsprint - usually without mention of who they actually represent - perhaps it's time to update deatils of the corporate structure, finances and aims of this group.


This highly partisan, conservative political pressure group thinly disguised as an independent research group-cum-think tank was registered in Melbourne Victoria in 1987 and its legal owner appears to be The Trustee For Institute Of Public Affairs Research Trust. This trust was created on 10 July 2007.

In the 1990s it appears to have merged with the the Australian Institute of Public Policy.

IPA became a&nbsp...

11:36

NSW Rural Fire Service Current Incidents: Old Bucca Rd, Moonee Beach "bellingen IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

ALERT LEVEL: Not Applicable
LOCATION: Old Bucca Rd, Moonee Beach, NSW 2450
COUNCIL AREA: Coffs Harbour
STATUS: Under control
TYPE: MVA/Transport
FIRE: No
SIZE: 0 ha
RESPONSIBLE AGENCY: Rural Fire Service
UPDATED: 18 Apr 2018 18:49

11:20

Sketches found from a 1956 Australian abduction case "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Hi all,

I have been continuing my examination of the electronic files of former US researcher Dr. Michael Swords, who kindly provided me with a copy of these extensive files. There are numerous Australian cases amongst this material, which I have slowly been going through.

This post examines an apparent abduction experience, one of the reported earliest for this country. For a comprehensive catalogue of Australian abduction accounts, take a look here.

The source for this particular early Australian abduction account comes from Sydney researcher Bill Chalker, who included it in a piece he wrote for Australian "Penthouse" magazine of November 1989, page 37.

The account

The event took place near Hughenden in Queensland, see the Google map below.


It involved a then twelve year old girl, given the alias of Miss L. She was crossing a paddock on the family farm when she felt a strange force upon her, and she heard a "humming" sound. She felt as if she was being lifted off the ground and fainted.

She awoke to find herself in a large, strange room. The room was not furnished. She noticed an arched doorway leading into a corridor; that there were porthole-like windows along one wall, and that the room had no joins or seams.

After surveying the room, which featured a coloured galaxy display on one wall, the girl felt enormous pressure and again lost consciousness.

She found herself back on the farm, but in a different paddock, with a huge saucer shaped object j=hovering above her, before it rapidly ascended to the west. The girl believed that two hours had elapsed since she initially lost consciousness.

VUFORS material

It was therefore with some surprise that I found that amongst the Swords' material were three pages of documents related to this case.

Document one was headed "UFO 1956 Cressy Station, Hughenden, Australia" and a signature which looks like "F Jedlicko." This appears to be a plan of the object as seen from above.

.........

11:16

Climate change unseasonably hot weather made bushfires near Lucas Heights nuclear reactor become apocalyptic blazes "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Apocalyptic blaze surrounding nuclear reactor sets off emergency

AUSTRALIA is struggling to contain a growing bushfire that is racing towards a nuclear reactor, amid fears that the blaze could expand beyond their control. By OLI SMITH Apr 16, 2018 

More than 500 Australia firefighters are struggling to tackle a massive bushfire, with several residents urged to seek shelters as evacuation is now too late.

Scenes of the blaze, which started yesterday, have been described as apocalyptic after the fire ripped through nearly 2,500 hectares of land close to the suburbs of Sydney.

Firefighters failed to stop the out-of-control blaze from burning through a major military base and a nuclear reactor is the next at-risk location.

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) said it was concerned that flying embers could spark even more blazes

The unseasonably hot Autumn in south-eastern Australia has been blamed for worsening the bushfire after record temperatures for April.

Shane Fitzsimmons, of the RFS, warned that strong 60km per hour winds are expected to push towards residential homes.

He said that the countrys largest army barracks at Holsworthy, where stockpiles of fuel, ammunition and explosive materials are kept, had been hit by the fire.

10:45

Bushfires near Lucas Heights nuclear reactor are still hazardous "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

 

Firefighters Warn NSW Is Not Out Of The Woods On Third Day Of Bushfires, Pedestrian. 16 Apr 18   More than 250 firefighters continue to battle bushfires in NSWs southwest, which has spread more than 2,400 hectares since Saturday afternoon.

The blaze, which is believed to have originated in the vicinity of Casula, was fanned further by strong winds on Sunday.

More than 500 firefighters from the Rural Fire ServiceFire & Rescue NSW and the Australian Defence Force attempted to contain the blaze over the weekend with help from volunteers and 11 water-bombing helicopters.

The fire tore trough Holsworthy military range, and while approaching suburban areas, has been staved off. Several residents report fighting off embers with hoses and water buckets.

The fire was downgraded from emergency level to watch and act on 5.30pm Sunday, then again downgraded to advice around 2am Monday.

While lower wind conditions are expected to help with containing the fire, RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers warned that the high temperatures remain an issue.

Still q...

10:40

New South Wales National Party leader- nuclear power nevitablefor Australia "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Comment by Steve Dale There is something really rotten about the Nationals lately. Four Corners (4corners, fourcorners) can you please follow the stink/money trail and find out who is pulling the strings on these politicians? We have had a Royal Conmission into nuclear, I think what we really need is a Royal Commission into Nuclear lobbying and its corrupting influence on our political system.

John Barilaro to push the nuclear power button The Australian, April 17, 2018  Acting NSW Premier John Barilaro will declare nuclear power inevitable in a speech that slams ignorant, 1970s thinking for preventing development of the nations uranium reserves and condemning residents to blackouts.

The speech by the state Nationals party leader, seen by The Australian and to be delivered on Wednesday night at an energy policy forum in Sydney, calls for small modular reactors, likely imported from the US, to reduce dependence on high-emission coal and gas-fired power over the next five to 10 years  

...

09:46

Australia to join global health and climate change initiative "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

 https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/uos-atj041218.php   UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY

The Lancet Countdown report on health and climate change was published in October 2017 by The Lancet and will be updated annually through to 2030.

It tracks progress on health and climate change across 40 indicators divided into five categories: climate change impacts, exposures and vulnerability; adaptation planning and resilience for health; mitigation actions and health co-benefits; economics and finance; and public and political engagement.

Dr Ying Zhang, a senior lecturer in the University of Sydneys School of Public Health, and Associate Professor Paul Beggs, from Macquarie University, wrote in the MJA that, from an Australian perspective, with our high level of carbon emissions per capita, it will be important to reflect on our progress and how it compares with that of other countries, especially high-income countries.

A group of Australian experts from multiple disciplines is commencing work on our first national countdown report, Zhang and Beggs wrote.

The project recognises the importance of the climate change challenge in Australia, including its relevance to human health, and also the unique breadth and depth of the Australian expertise in climate change and human health.

The Australian countdown will mirror the five domain sections of the Lancet Countdown, adopt the indicators usedwhere feasible and relevant to Australiaand include any useful additional indicators.

The inaugural A...

09:08

Volunteer Times: Armidale Aboriginal Community Garden, April & May "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Wednesday afternoons: 4pm 5.30pm Sunday afternoons: 3pm 4.30pm Come along to help with weekly weeding, planting and general community garden upkeep. All helpers of all ages are very welcome, and greatly appreciated! Contact: Kate Wright Note: In the case of inclement weather, the volunteer sessions will be cancelled. full article 

09:00

COASTAL EMUS FACE EXTINCTION "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Normal 0 false false false EN-AU X-NONE X-NONE

 Listing of the Coastal Emu as an Endangered Population in 2002 raised hopes that extra protection would be provided, thus halting, or preferably reversing, their steadily declining numbers. Sadly it was not. The 2017 census recorded just 33 birds, down from 47 a year earlier.

The census records more than bird sightings, and includes feathers, tracks, and scats. Of course not all birds are located, but numbers have likely reached the point where the population is no longer viable.

Emus face many threats. Wild dogs, dingoes, feral cats and foxes, all pose a real threat to chicks and juveniles, while feral pigs are suspected of raiding nests and eating their eggs.

Humans pose an even greater threat, with vehicle strike historically taking an enormous toll, something authorities will not take seriously. An example of that negligence was the decision to increase the speed limit to 100km/hour along Iluka Road through Bundjalung National Park, and a ref...

08:08

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

ALERT LEVEL: Not Applicable
LOCATION: Tallawudjah Creek Rd, Glenreagh, NSW 2450
COUNCIL AREA: Clarence Valley
STATUS: Under control
TYPE: Vehicle/Equipment Fire
FIRE: Yes
SIZE: 0 ha
RESPONSIBLE AGENCY: Rural Fire Service
UPDATED: 18 Apr 2018 14:38

07:27

BYS gives young peeps a voice for Youth Week "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Hayley and Ivy pictured front; in the back, from left are Ariel, Tyger and Shiri. Photo Deb Pearse

As a part of National Youth Week (NYW) 2018, Byron Youth Service (BYS) consulted with 28 young people from around the Shire, representing three of the main high schools.

Our purpose was to connect with local youth in this very specific way, to find out what its like for them living in this area, what their issues are, their hopes and their worries, said Berri, who organised the forum in collaboration with Byron Shire Council and the BYS team.

This will help shape our strategic plan and services, to make sure we are aware of emerging trends and to help keep our programs relevant, she said. The young people were open, articulate and informative, she said.

They spoke about the challenges of drug use, personal safety in Byron CBD at night, pressure to perform in school and how it affected their mental health due to lack of sleep and addiction to social media. BYS also invited these young people to come up with ideas about how the BYS could raise the awareness of BYS and its services and also attract funds to support more valuable and effective youth initiatives in this area youth initiatives that arise from young people for young people, said Berri.

Young people always come up with the best ideas, said Deb Pearse, who has been working for BYS for 19 years.

The day was topped off with a vibrant art installation, led by local art facilitator Karma Barnes of the In.scribe Youth Arts Mentorship project.

The Youth Week event to look out for is the Battle@Bruns skate comp at the Brunswick Heads skatepark, Deb said. Registrations start from 10am and comp starts at noon on April 22.

The post BYS gives young peeps a voice for Youth Week  appeared first on Echonetdaily.

07:17

Bike path projects need public support "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Bike paths, such as this one have proven health benefits, supporters say. Photo supplied.

Aslan Shand

Bike tracks fanning out from Mullumbimby is one of the key ideas put forward for the Stronger Country Communities fund that Byron Shire Council is currently seeking applications for.

And your submissions count! Three groups were considering applying for the grant money these were from Tuckeroo Avenue to Shearwater School, Mullumbimby to Main Arm Village and from the Mullumbimby Co-op to the Mullumbimby Golf Club.

Owing to the short time in which to get the grant application together, the track from the Co-op to the Golf Club has been put on hold; however, Council are looking at creating a Shirewide bike plan later in the year.

Both bike paths have been recommended in the past; the one to Shearwater was part of the Byron Shire bike plan in 2005 and the first part of the Main Arm bike track as early as 2001.

Lainie Anderson, spokesperson for the proposed Mullumbimby cycleway out to Shearwater, pointed out the school has 700 students and, there is a range of evidence that demonstrated the health benefits for children who ride and walk to school.

The plans for the 8km bike track to Shearwater are being developed on a pro-bono basis by the engineering company who developed the bike track at Lennox Head.

Spokesperson for the Main Arm bike track, Sophia Marles, said, Having a number of bike tracks will really create the opportunity for people to get out of their cars and enjoy the wonderful natural environment we live in.

There are a number of projects that are being proposed throughout the Shire that can be found on Councils website: www.yoursaybyronshire.com.au/stronger-country-communities-round-2.

To get involved in supporting the Main Arm bike track, email sophia@mullumbimby.org.au. To get involved in supporting the Mullum to Shearwater bike track, email lgilbyanderson@yahoo.com.

Multiple projects can be supported.

The post Bike path projects need public support appeared first on Echonetdaily.

06:26

Man killed loading road working equipment onto truck "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

A road worker has died while attempting to load a road compactor onto a truck at a worksite south-west of Lismore this morning.

The incident occurred about 11.10am today (Wednesday, April 18) near the intersection of the Bruxner Highway and Barker Street, Gundurimba.

As the 49-year-old man was loading the equipment it rolled into a table drain.

The man died at the scene.

Officers from the Richmond Police District will be investigating the events leading up to the mans death. SafeWork NSW have been notified.

Diversions in place

Westbound light vehicles are being diverted off the highway into Caniaba Road, while eastbound vehicles are being diverted via Coraki Road to Wyrallah Road to return to the highway.

Heavy vehicles are being escorted past the incident.

Motorists are advised to allow extra travel time.

Emergency services and traffic crews are on site.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/

For the latest on road conditions motorists are advised to check www.livetraffic.com

The post Man killed loading road working equipment onto truck appeared first on Echonetdaily.

04:47

Cancer in adolescents and young adults in Australia [AIHW] "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Cancer in adolescents and young adults in Australia is the second national report to present key data specific to cancer in adolescents and young adults. While cancer in young Australians is rare, it has a substantial social and economic impact on individuals, families and the community. Surveillance of this population is also important as adolescent and young adult cancer survivors are at an increased risk of developing a second cancer.

1. In 2010-2014, 4,843 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in adolescents and young adults.

2. In 2011-2015, 499 adolescents and young adults died from cancer.

3. In 2010-2014, 5-year relative survival from all cancers combined for adolescents and young adults was 89%.

4. Adolescent and young adult cancer survivors had a 1.9 times increased risk of developing a second cancer

Cancer in adolescents and young adults in Australia

Media release: More cases of cancer diagnosed in young Australians, but survival has improved.

04:39

The Daily "Near You?" "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Robertson, New South Wales, Australia. Thanks for stopping by!

04:32

No assurance beach will remain if Belongil rock walls approved "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Manfred Street beach after the 2016 storm. Public submissions for five rock wall DAs close on April 20. Photo Paul Spooner

Hans Lovejoy

According to a former councillor and civil engineer specialising in hydrology, rock wall development applications (DAs) submitted by wealthy Belongil landowners will transfer public land to private ownership and eventually result in the loss of the iconic beach.

Both the NSW office of environment and heritage (OEH) and Council have yet to explain how the five rock walls DAs, which cover both public and private lands, will not result in beach loss.

As previously reported, the DAs were submitted by the landowners almost all of whom are non-residents to the NSW Coastal Panel.

The DAs close for public submission with the independently appointed panel on April 20.

There was also no reply to The Echos question as to whether the OEH website provided sufficient information, given the DAs are not visible or easy to navigate to.

OEH staff replied briefly when asked to confirm that the Belongil rock wall DAs were on Crown/Council land.

The Echo asked, If correct, would that mean that all liability is unclear?

A OEH spokesperson replied, Notification of development applications is undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and it is the responsibility of proponents to seek consent from any relevant landowners where development is proposed. The NSW Coastal Panel welcomes public submissions during the submission period.

Comment was sought from Council staff, but no reply was given by deadline.

Unanswered questions

Other questions not answered by OEH and Council were: Will there be a sand mitigation requirement, given these DAs may well lead to further beach erosion? The Echo understands that these DAs are being assessed under the now-repealed Coastal Protection Act 1979, which requires sand mitigation under these types of circumstances. What guarantee is there that these walls will not result in Belongil beach beco...

04:22

Scientists march for science and action on global warming "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Contributed by Ben Wilson

On Sunday 15 April, protectors of the critical role of science in our lives gathered in eight cities across Australia, to call on the government to support evidence-based decision making, and to support the bringing back of a ministry of science.

It was the second annual March for Science, and this years rally featured speeches by a range of experts.

Vivien Thomson is a farmer and a firefighter, and one of the only women to win the Australian Fire Service Medal for distinguished service. She says science underpins all her work, not only on the farm but also fighting fires.

Ive never seen fires be so hard and so fast and harder to put out the climate surrounding our firefighting capacity is really affecting our ability to put those fires out, she said.

Its like the natural phenomenon are on steroids.

Science based evidence tells us that human activity is resulting in a greenhouse effect that is causing global warming. Vested interests and those who are misled by them, are waging a ceaseless campaign against science to discredit the overwhelming evidence, and this has encouraged a rise in disrespect for science.

Nevertheless, everyone is experiencing the increasing intensity of heatwaves, floods and droughts. These effects are being felt in Australia.

As Australia experiences one of its hottest Aprils on record, demonstrators called on the government to give greater support to scientific research to tackle climate warming.

The jury is in, its indisputable human impact on the current warming climate and also the jury is in on how quickly we need to act, said Spencer, Sydney University Ambassador for mathematics and science.

The denigration of science holds back urgent action on the threat of global warming. This is bad enough on its own and underlines the importance of defending it. But it doesnt stop here. Science and its growth are essential to civilisation. Our standard of living, health and many other important aspects of our lives depend on it.

Science has from time to time been used for purposes that have resulted in negative consequences. But its positive contribution has been overwhelming and changed the way we look at ourselves and the world we live in. Our understanding of how nature works, capacity to find solutions to problems is enhanced with it. The application of scientific method, that is relying on observation, testing, drawing up an understanding of what is going on, observing and testing again, on an ever-going cycle, provides the means to new discoveries.

The war against science denies all this and threatens to plunge us into an age of ignorance. Science needs to be defended, and an important part of this is th...

04:14

we bought a caravan "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Our new home is sitting out the front of our (current) house, patiently waiting for adventures.

We did it! And I know it was the plan all along but after months (and months!) of research we decided on a make and model and found the right one at the right price. Then we took the leap and spend a big chunk of our savings on it.

It feels really good. And right so right!

I promised that I would share this journey in its entirety but I admit that the past few months have been fairly uneventful. Its been a slow process; literally sifting through the many caravans on the market to find a size and layout that works for us.

Thankfully there arent many caravans fit for six people so we didnt have to search too far. But when it came to the layout, we were adamant that we didnt want the main bed at the front of the van (next to the door) and interestingly, this layout is one of the more popular ones.

We wanted our bed to be at the far end of the van so we felt like we had our own space, albeit small. Practically speaking we also knew it would be a blessing for Marigolds day naps. And for my sanity.

Eventually we discovered the Jayco Stirling and on Saturday evening our new home arrived. Its a 2009 model and all 24ft of it is fantastic (yes, its huge). Its not going to win any pinterest awards but it has everything we want for comfortable, practical living on the road.

Originally it had 3 bunk beds but the previous owners took two out. Were going to transform it into a double bunk so theres enough room for Che to sit up in bed (and for him to feel like hes got his own space; essential for a tween). Thankfully the mattresses are quite long so Poet and Percy will top-and-tail on the bottom bunk. As for Marigold, shell be tucked into bed with Daniel and I for the year-long journey.

It comes with a full bathroom including a washing machine and the kitchen has a stovetop, oven and decent-sized fridge and freezer. These were all non-negotiables for me; I wanted a big fridge so I didnt have to go to the supermarket every day and an oven will make baking and cooking so much easier and cost effective (store bought banana bread is expensive!).

The plan for now? Buy a Land Cruiser, sell our cars, pack up the house and hopefully be on the road by mid-late June. Its all sorts of overwhelming but on the flipside its thoroughly enjoyable. The possibilities!

The post we bought a caravan appeared first on Practising Simplicity.

03:25

Vandals trash Kingscliff park "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Scooters were used to smash off anti-skate lugs at Kingscliffs new Rowan Robinson Park. Photo supplied

Vandals have smashed seating, feature walls and an existing Anzac memorial in Kingscliffs Rowan Robinson Park just days before its official opening.

On Monday, a resident saw scooter riders using their scooters like hammers to smash anti-skating lugs off one of the blue tiled feature walls in the park in broad daylight.

The park, on the Marine Parade foreshore, was recently refurbished at a cost of $22 million and is set to have its official opening on Saturday (April 21) .

When the hoodlums ignored the residents requests to stop the destruction, he took photos of them smashing the wall, which he has passed on to police.

Council has also requested police to step up patrols of the park.

Damage to the tiles on Kingscliffs cenotaph from skating. Photo TSC

Cenotaph damaged

Councils Recreation Services Manager, Stewart Brawley, said. Sadly, tiles on the Cenotaph were also damaged by bring skated on.

This is not something many in the community would find acceptable in the lead-up to the opening and Anzac Day next week, he added.

Apart from the disrespect, this vandalism is disappointing as it may affect the type of community infrastructure we install across the Tweed in the fu...

01:45

Is Brunswick Valley STP overloaded? "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Wastewater spills out of the Brunswick Valley STP during an overflow incident on January 1, 2015. Photo supplied

Paul Bibby

Its the morning of January 1, 2015, and locals are welcoming in the new year with strong coffees and sun salutations.

But down the end of Vallances Road, just outside Mullumbimby, something very unwelcome is bubbling up from the depths.

At the Brunswick Valley Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP), raw or partially treated sewage is flowing out of a processing unit.

Photographs of the incident obtained by The Echo show the wastewater bubbling up into a large, brown pool that is spilling out onto the grass surrounding the unit.

Council officers are sent to the site to clean up the mess, and a few days later the NSW Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is informed of a rainfall event and a contained overflow incident.

There is no public announcement to report that an overflow incident has occurred.

Nor, according to one former councillor, were councillors given a clear and informed report about the incident.

In a statement to The Echo, Byron Shire Council staff said that all of the wastewater was contained in the site rather than flowing into the Brunswick River and that it met its reporting obligations by informing the EPA.

The statement said the alleged overflow occurred owing to the combination of a design flaw in one of the processing units, and a rainfall event where the area received some 250mm in a very short time.

Council staff immediately responded to the incident [and] resolved the issue in the process unit, while allowing the treatment plant to remain in service for the residents of Brunswick Heads and Mullumbimby.

The event highlighted a design deficiency in the process unit. This deficiency was rectified through modification of the treatment unit and there have been no overflow/bypass incidents since the 2015 modification works.

One-off incident

So was this just a one-off incident with no implications for the sewerage system in this part of the shire?

When contacted by The Echo in relation to the incident, forme...

01:36

Cyclones effects still rippling through community "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Billinudgel gathered on Friday at the pub to celebrate the towns flood resilience and recovery, one year after. While the adults mingled, the kids couldnt keep out of the jumping castle. A website has launched to keep residents informed: www.billinudgelflood.com. Photo Jeff Dawson

Aslan Shand

A year on from ex-Cyclone Debbie there are still eleven of the 41 client groups, including families and single people, that Social Futures are helping to re-home from Byron, Lismore, Ballina and Tweed.

There are still people coming forward who are only now recognising how the flood event has impacted on them emotionally and psychologically, as well as the loss of possessions, said Julie Williams, manager of the Mullumbimby District Neighbourhood Centre (MDNC).

For one local man displaced from his home after the cyclone, it has taken seven and a half months to find a new home. Even though he has a three-year rent guarantee from the government, he has still struggled to even have a chance to look at possible rental properties. The key stumbling blocks are the fact that he is looking for a one- to two-bedroom home and has a dog.

I have only been able to get to see five possible rentals in that time and one place kept me in limbo for over a month, he said.

Lucie White, a flood project outreach worker at Social Futures, said the key challenges to re-housing people in this region are Affordability, lack of smaller one- and two-bedroom dwellings and resistance from agents to housing vulnerable people.

Another key issue that she raised is the impact of the black market in the local housing market.

All of the illegal rentals wont take me because it has to be on the books and legitimate and then there are things like the funding body wont fund anything with a compositing toilet.

Julie Williams from MDNC agreed, saying, There is absolutely a black market in rental.

MDNC has, and continues to support, community members who are unable to get Centrelink rental assistance as their landlord wont provide any evidence of tenancy. In addition, there may be an electricity debt to the landlord, but the tenant is unable to get assistance through the Electricity Assistance Program as the account is in the landlords name and...

01:31

Plan to raise awareness of cultural appropriation "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Gerard Williams, BBCC GM Paul Spooner, Delta Kay and Jason Campbell. Photo Byron Bay Gallery

Hans Lovejoy

A newly formed organisation focused on supporting Indigenous elders to bring awareness of cultural appropriation through an event protocol was launched last Friday at the Byron Bay Community Centre (BBCC).

Culture Aware is supported by local Arakwal representative Delta Kay, Kays friend Jason Campbell and Chief Arvol Looking Horse (of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Nations).

Chief Arvol is 19th-generation Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Ceremonial Pipe Bundle and spiritual leader of the Great Sioux Nation.

Kay told the gathering that while she doesnt speak for all mobs, Culture Aware is an important step forward in respecting and recognising Indigenous traditions and ceremonies. She said she felt empowered after reading Chief Arvols 2003 Proclamation, which calls for an end to the cultural appropriation of the Sioux, Northern Cheyenne and Arapahoe Nations, and for an end to the abuse and exploitation of their ceremonial ways.

Taking from culture

I hope this conversation will lead to more awareness, Kay said. Appropriation is taking from culture.

My mum was removed from her land and we suffered and now our culture is abused for financial gain.

Its not okay.

I congratulate the community centre for being the first venue to adopt Culture Awares code.

Mr Spooner paid tribute to Kay and said there have been events that have raised flags for us.

This shouldnt be difficult it helps towards guaranteeing non-exploitation and acknowledges culture, he said.

Delta added that after she moved home 15 years ago, some festivals began using words like ceremony, sacred and shamanic.

These words are very special, she said. An elder once told me [Being] sacred is not meant for everyone.

Gerard Williams, who is the Chiefs authorised representative for Culture Aware in Australia, said Culture Aware may well be the first of its kind to address the issue of cultural appropriation within venues and events.

The post...

01:26

hello "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Sorry I don't chatter much these days on here, or on Facebook lately, but I've been madly crocheting rugs and ponchos and beanies (oh, my!) for remote Indigenous communities.
The temps drop below freezing in the desert areas and many of our Elders need warm clothing, blankets, the usual Winter basics to survive.
I won't go into detail about the shockingly over-priced "shops" in some towns but there are Indigenous communities who have started up their own op shops, domestic abuse refuges, fabric making/printing workshops, children's libraries, etc, with a little help from peeps around Oz donating items.
No, I won't share any postage details on here as some ultra-right wing arseholes send abusive crap through the post and we won't be encouraging any of those twat-waffling scum.
One thing that has pissed me off this week - and last week - was the police targetting Dylan Voller at the Commonwealth Games.
They managed to seriously injure a female Elder, also, during a peaceful protest.
Police in Victoria are under the spotlight, too, for some really questionable tactics.
Fellas, do yourselves some favours and boot the bastards out of the force, they are giving the rest of you cops a bad name.
There are some decent police, I've engaged with them in the past, but the mongrels who think the uniform gives them carte blanche to savage people in any situation need to be treated like any person breaking the law.
Well, I'm off now, like a bucket of prawns in the noonday sun, to continue crocheting winter woollies.
By the by, Victoria Parliament Library - PLEASE update your "On this day" site; shit tonnes happened in the Colony of Vic, find it !
Also, NSW, QLD, WA, SA, NT & Tassie parliaments?
Create an On This Day searchable database on your parliament websites, ffs.
Hello to the City of Melbourne person who pops over for a regular read!

00:06

Byron treehouse gets a lifeline "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Mellanie Coppins treehouse may be saved if a forthcoming motion by Cr Paul Spooner is carried. Photo Jeff Dawson

Byrons much-loved Massinger Street treehouse could be saved from demolition under a motion to be voted on at Byron Shire Councils upcoming meeting on April 19.

The timber and corrugated-iron structure has long been a popular spot both for local kids and curious passers-by, many of whom stop to take pictures.

But the unofficial caretaker of the house, local resident Mel Coppin, was told by Council last year that it was an unauthorised development and an insurance liability and would have to be removed.

Labor councillor Paul Spooner has proposed a notice of motion for the next council meeting that would see the treehouse preserved.

The motion proposes that Ms Coppin obtain public liability insurance.

The post Byron treehouse gets a lifeline appeared first on Echonetdaily.

00:00

April 18 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"


1623 - Dutch sailors from the ship Pera, with instructions to kidnap "full-grown persons, or better still,
. . . boys and girls, to the end that the latter may be brought up here and be turned to useful purpose in the said quarters when occasion shall serve " , landed in North Queensland where a large number of Aborigines approached them with no sign of fear, handling the muskets and showing interest in iron and beads. The Dutch took this opportunity and 'seized one of the blacks by a string which he
wore round his neck, and carried him off to the pinnace'.

1831 - Australias oldest newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald, was launched.

1834 - Hobart had it's knickers in a right Royal twist when Messrs. Attorney and Solicitor General Stephen and M'Dowall avowed that they have prepared an Act of Council limiting the number, and restricting the qualifications of juries here.

1843 - The Southern Australian newspaper was bemoaning the fact that "...The simplicity of their wants, and of their lives, is another great barrier : their whole attention seems devoted to the providing of food, and other animal enjoyments : their motto literally is, eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow we die ; and any principle beyond that, they, and their fathers, have not known or regarded...."
qualifications of juries.

1864 - Sharpen those fish knives and flush out the fish kettles, ladies, the HMAS Victoria parked its bow in Hobart, having on board 100,000 salmon and 3,000 trout googie eggs bound for Tassie's first fish hatchery.

1872 - Oh you great sodding bastards.
To think ... we've been deprived of the chance to catch a train from the oh-so-gorgeously titled Schoolhouse Lane train station, which happened to open on this day as the terminus of the North East Railway line from Essendon.
May your chooks turn into emus and kick your dunny door down.

1875 - Fire destroyed the photographic studio of Townsend Duryea. His entire collection of 50,000 negatives was destroyed - a tragic loss for him and for South Australia.

1882 - Tenders for the construction of the Port Milang Railway lines (SA) were called on this day and Walke and Swann were successful in obtaining the joint contract for a price of 143,678.

1890 - The West Melbourne Cable Tram Line (VIC) began trundling about the streets via Spencer St and Flemington Rd, with the powerhouse located at the south-west corner of Queensberry Street and Abbotsford Street.

1902 - One-time hubby of the aforementioned Dame Daisy Bates, Breaker Harry Morant, had been court martialed in secret (against regulations) and shot in February, but despite the court transcripts conveniently going missing a summary of the trumped up nonsense appeared in the London Times today.
...

Tuesday, 17 April

23:47

Chopper searches for surfer missing off Cape Byron "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter was called to search for a surfer off Cape Byron on Tuesday (April 17). Photo supplied

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was tasked late Tuesday afternoon to assist in the search for a surfer reported missing south of Cape Byron on Tallow Beach.

Local Lifeguards and police conducted a ground and water search whilst the helicopter conducted a number of flights along the beach area and out to sea.

Nothing was located and with fading light the search was called off.

Police told local media they believe the surfer had most likely made it back to land under his own steam and would not be resuming an active search today

The post Chopper searches for surfer missing off Cape Byron appeared first on Echonetdaily.

23:22

Politics in the Pub talks peace on Anzac Day "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Henry Reynolds.
Photo Tasmanian Arts Guide

On Anzac Day, Wednesday April 25, the Ngara Institute is partnering with IPAN, the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network, to present a special Politics in the Pub focusing on peace.

Bobbi Allan of Ngara, says, Anzac Day is an excellent day to focus on peace. I say that with all respect to anyone who has fought in a war, including my grandfather and father, veterans of World War I and II. Both of them thought they were fighting the war to end all wars, and in their quiet ways, both became peace activists afterwards.

We are very fortunate our speakers for this night are two of Australias most respected scholar activists: historian and author, professor Henry Reynolds, and the founder of the Sydney Peace Institute, professor Stuart Rees.

Henry Reynolds is a pioneering historian, one of Australias leading authorities on the history of Aboriginal people. Henry revealed history from an Aboriginal perspective when he published The Other Side of the Frontier in 1981. He has been a champion of Aboriginal land rights, fighting for reconciliation at a time when it was hugely unpopular and the backlash vicious. His courage, tenacity and commitment inspired a generation of Aboriginal and white Australian activists to persevere in their campaigns; his 1970s oral history project connected him with Eddie Mabo and greatly contributed to the High Courts recognition of land rights.

Wars questioned

Henry Reynoldss latest work focuses on Australias Unnecessary Wars. He dares to ask unaskable questions about why war is such a central, active force in our national story.

Professor Stuart Rees will join the conversation, focusing on his latest work on the issue of Cruelty as Public Policy from the treatment of asylum seekers to the Israeli governments treatment of Palestinians.

Anzac Day is a solemn day to have respectful conversations about what we can do to achieve peace, justice and stability with human rights, in an increasingly damaged, fractured and polarised world. Politics in the Pub is held at the The Court House Hotel from 6.30pm, April 25.

Breakfast event

Hear more from Henry Reynolds at a special breakfast event on Thursday April 26, at the Rock & Roll Coffee Company, Mullumbimby, 89.30 am. Numbers are lim...

23:10

Headliner drops for Renew Fest "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Hugo and Treats will be headlining this years Renew Fest.

Conscious independent hip- hop outfit Hugo and Treats will be headlining this years Renew festival.

The MC and DJ team describe their sound as visionary spoken word and creative crowd choreography, mixed with earthshakingly intricate beats and bass, which combine in a show that is inspiring minds, shaking butts and opening hearts around the world.

Many also know Hugo Farrant as the lead voice of Juice Rap News the satirical news phenomenon, whose guests have included Julian Assange, Noam Chomsky and Scott Ludlum.

As well as rocking the Radicle stage at Renew Fest with his incredible hip-hop, Hugo will be joining a panel discussion on fake news a session introduced by Echo editor Hans Lovejoy.

Festival director Ella Rose Goninan said, What I love about Renew Fest is that we get to bring together amazing and inspired people, and really get an insight into their processes and see what motivates and drives them.

Its so exciting that Hugo has agreed to talk on a panel about something that is really challenging the way we think about the role of media in politics, in addition to lighting up the festival with his sensational hip-hop!

Renew Fest have also announced that Greens senator Lee Rhiannon will be joining the bill, in possibly one of her last appearances as a federal senator.

She will join economist Thomas Keily in conversation to explore what it would mean to really treat housing as a fundamental human right.

The international lineup includes Jillian Hovey from Canada a renowned expert in social permaculture, and Helena Norberg-Hodge (though we might claim her as a local!), while the diverse workshop program includes bamboo sculptures, the wonder of mushrooms and their cultivation, and shamanic womancraf...

22:57

Progressive cause in Australia seriously undermined by progressives "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

I am travelling most of today with heavy commitments at the other end so only a short blog today with some great music to calm the soul. Yesterday, a group of high-profile, so-called progressives in Australia placed a paid-for advertisement in the leading daily newspapers as part of a new campaign for the government to increase taxes to get back into surplus so that (as their narrative goes) it can afford to maintain services for the needy. Yes, it was not the Right voices in our debate articulating this. The campaign is being led by a group that is often referred to as left-leaning and calls itself the most influential progressive think tank in Australia. Modesty doesnt exist it seems. But these sorts of descriptors are when the English language loses all meaning. The advertisement and subsequent follow-up interviews in the media yesterday by signatories and supporters of the Letter articulate a pure neoliberal line of deception about fiscal positions, the role of taxes and the virtuousness of fiscal surpluses. From my assessment, this headline-grabbing display of stupidity will set back the progressive debate in Australia even further. A total disgrace.

A sad day for progressive debate in Australia

I dont want to write much on this. I personally know many of the signatories to the Open Letter that was included as a full-paid advertisement in the major Australian newspapers yesterday (April 17, 2018).

Some of the signatories are leading members of the Society of Heterodox Economists (SHE) in Australia.

Others are from the Political Economy program at Sydney University.

Others are from leading social policy agencies.

Some have previously held high political office under Labor governments.

Others are from a think tank, which the press calls left-leaning, and, which it bestows upon itself the (inflated) title of being Australias most influential progressive think tank and claims its work it to inform public debate and bring greater accountability to the democratic process.

Those sort of descriptors are when the English language loses all meaning.

I heard interviews on the radio from some of the signatories yesterday who would claim to be leading progressive voices in the economics debate here.

They basically laid out a neoliberal narrative as pure as you would find dressed up as a concern for equity and fairness.

Here is the original Full-page advertisement with all the signatories.

The text of the Open Letter read:

...

22:17

NSW Rural Fire Service Current Incidents: Seelands Hall Rd, Seelands "bellingen IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

ALERT LEVEL: Advice
LOCATION: 606 Seelands Hall Rd, Seelands, NSW 2460
COUNCIL AREA: Clarence Valley
STATUS: Out of control
TYPE: Grass Fire
FIRE: Yes
SIZE: 0 ha
RESPONSIBLE AGENCY: Rural Fire Service
UPDATED: 17 Apr 2018 17:08

22:16

Vegan menu a feature of food co-op fundraiser "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Armando and Rob with the co-ops Gabbi Bohnet and Andy Lynden-Bell. Photo Jeff Dawson

A fundraiser will be held on April 29 for a recently established food co-op, located in the Mullumbimby Community Gardens.

Organisers say a fully vegan and organic menu will be on offer, along with Tao of Sound, comprising Rob on harp and Armando on flute.

The aim is to finance a solar-powered coolroom, estimated to cost close to $10,000, and as such this event will be the first of a series of fundraising events. Limited tickets are available at the co-op, the Mullum bookshop and online via the events tab at www.facebook.com/MullumFoodCoop.

The post Vegan menu a feature of food co-op fundraiser appeared first on Echonetdaily.

21:52

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


Just five months after Australian voters signalled their widespread acceptance of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) members of the community by voting for the introduction of same sex marriage, a number people in the Victorian Liberal Party want to turn back the clock in the name of sheer bigotry.

The Age, 14 April 2018:

A motion by a conservative Liberal branch linked to Federal MP Kevin Andrews has called for state legislation allowing health practitioners to offer counselling out of same sex attraction or gender transitioning to patients who request it''.

With seven months before the Victorian election, it also urges Mr Guy to advocate for laws ensuring parents and young people are all given full information about the psychological harms of social, medical and surgical gender transitioning.

It further states that any claims supporting prescribing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and g...

20:28

Australian TV Host Peta Credlin Goes Off On Transgender Birth Certificates "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Australian TV host Peta Credlin gave a short monologue yesterday against a proposal to let people at whim call themselves or their newborns male, female, intersex, unspecified, or indeterminate on their birth certificates. She notes this ideas proponents say its the next step after government affirmation of same-sex relationships, although at the time that was not publicly sold as an entrance point for transsexual politics.

Trust us, they said, didnt they? Love is love,' she recalls.

Children are born a boy or a girl, [for] the vast bulk of humanity, Credlin says, because stating the obvious is now not only necessary, it even requires courage. That is a biological fact, and laws must reflect reality.

Credlin noted an exception is logical for the approximately 1.5 percent of humans who are discovered, usually at puberty, to have both male and female reproductive organs due to chromosomal abnormalities. But then and only then is the time right to alter a birth certificate, armed with medical fact, but not in a birthing suite due to the whim of a parent who wants to record [her] child as nonbinary, Credlin continued.

This is nothing more than a dangerous push by the Left into records we have kept as civilizations since almost as long as we have had the written word. Assuming change from the outset is designed to disrupt social norms and it must be resisted.

The Australian News Weekly notes the Victorian Upper House voted down transgendering Victorian birth certificates in 2016. When Victorian opposition parliamentarians asked, if a person can change their sex, can they also change their age or change their race? Labor members had no answer.

The proposal would require no physical alterations to a persons body before retconning his or her birth certificate. Transgender activists claim that would discriminate against trans people or those who identify as something other than transgender, male, or female (such as  visual trigger warning ...

10:52

Google still searching for Australian headquarters as deal falls through Ambitious plan to create Sydneys Silicon Valley "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

No automatic alt text available.

By Alexandra Smith & Lisa Visentin

The state government has rejected a plan to create a Silicon Valley-style technology hub on the old rail yards near Redfern, leaving tech giant Google once again searching for Australian headquarters.

The hub, which would have created as many as 19,000 jobs, would have been Googles new base but cabinets infrastructure committee last week rejected the proposal because it did not meet a uniqueness test.

Redfern Google HQ plans rejected by state government

Redfern Google HQ plans rejected by state government

Google is still searching for its Australian headquarters after the NSW government rejected plans for a tech hub in Redfern.

Developer Mirvac submitted a plan through the governments unsolicited proposal process to redevelop the site next to Carriageworks at Eveleigh into a tech hub with Google as the anchor tenant, the Herald revealed last month.

However, the proposal failed at the first hurdle after the government stated its preference for the land, which is owned by Transport for NSW, to be developed through a competitive open process.

Despite the decision of the cabinet committee, a senior government source said some ministers were working to salvage the deal amid concerns that Google could abandon Sydney.

Responding to the decision on Tuesday, Mirvac said its pr...

06:34

Coal mine extension challenged on climate-change grounds "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The Wallarah 2 coal mine extension approval has been challenged in the Land and Environment Court. Image CommunityRun.org

In an Australian first, the NSW Land and Environment court will hear arguments about the consideration of the ecologically sustainable development (ESD) principle of intergenerational equity in the context of climate change.

EDO NSW, on behalf of the Australian Coal Alliance (ACA), filed proceedings late Monday (April 16) challenging the validity of the January 2018 Planning Assessment Committee (PAC) approval of the Wallarah 2 longwall coal mine on the Central Coast.

EDO NSW CEO David Morris said, The decision-maker in this case was required by law to consider the public interest in approving the project. In 2018, we say that requires them to turn their mind to the impacts decisions of today will have on future generations, and also to consider what we dont yet know by applying the precautionary principle.

Our client will argue that the PAC, when considering the Wallarah 2 project, considered neither and in doing so acted unlawfully, rendering the approval of this large coal project invalid, he said.

Wallarah 2 will make a substantial contribution to greenhouse gas emissions  264+ million tonnes of CO2 over the 28-year life of the mine. The PAC chose not to take into account emissions from the burning of coal mined at Wallarah 2. Our client will argue that the law, correctly applied, mandates a consideration of those impacts.

This type of legal action is at the very heart of our democracy, Mr Morris stated, aiming to ensure that our elected officials and their delegates follow the law.

Were arguing that the law in this case wasnt followed with respect to climate change impacts and the ESD principle of intergenerational equity. This case is by its very nature climate change litigation and were seeing more and more of that in Australia.

The science is unequivocal: continuing to approve coal mines in NSW absent some other major change threatens the goal of avoiding dangerous climate change under the Paris Agreement, he said.

The Wallarah 2 case

  • The case will be fought on 10 grounds, concerning greenhouse gas emissions, flooding impacts and compensation and risks to water supply.
  • Climate chan...

05:43

May Forum: Melbourne to Armidale Bill McKibben Livestream "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

[ Thursday, 3 May; 6:30 pm; ] It is by sheer luck that our usual monthly forum is on at exactly the same time as this important broadcast by 350.org founder and world-renowned climate defender Bill McKibben. Bill McKibben will be in Australia as a part of 350 Australias Fossil Free campaign to talk to people about what we need to do to [...] full article 

05:08

Compare the pair 1 month at Elfin Crossing "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Shocker!

Elfin Crossing Northern Pool taken 23.3.2018

Elfin Crossing Northern Pool taken 16.4.2018

03:16

Tweed Hospital site selection cloaked in secrecy "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The red soils of the Cudgen plateau are too precious to be subdivided, say Labor and local opponents of the new Tweed Hospital site. Photo Tweed Shire Council

Labors Justine Elliot and Walt Secord, together with Tweed councillor Reece Byrnes, have called on the state government to release a full list of the alternative sites considered for a new Tweed Hospital, saying while they supported better health outcomes, they were alarmed by the cloak of secrecy surrounding the selection of the location.

And a local activist has described the move as the most cynical act of political hypocrisy visited upon the shire in the last 20 years.

As reported last week, Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Tweed National MP Geoff Provest have announced a new Tweed Hospital will be built on a 23-hectare site on prime agricultural land at Cudgen.

Labor wants to know why the Cudgen agricultural site was selected from 29 possible sites on NSW Health Infrastructures list.

In 2002, the land was designated and classified as land of state significance due to its rich, red volcanic soil. Property developers have been seeking its re-zoning since the 1980s.

NSW Shadow Minister for the North Coast Walt Secord, Federal MP for Richmond Justine Elliot said while they support better health outcomes in the Tweed but questioned why the Berejiklian government picked the controversial site.

Lack of transparency

More than 200 local residents have attended a community meeting about the selection of the site and Mr Secord said his office had been inundated with emails about the location and lack of transparency.

People were also very anxious about the decision-making processes, he said.

Like so many decisions by the Berejiklian government, the Tweed Hospital announcement is made without proper consultation. They just drop it on the community without giving them proper input.

Tweed Hospital is under enormous pressure and better hospital services are needed, but few people were consulted, he said.

Ms Elliot attacked Tweed MP Geoff Provest, who she said had ignored the local community.

The community has a right to be involved in the decision-making process.

...

02:56

Youth theatre give treats the treatment "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Byron Youth Theatre tackles the question of how we treat ourselves. Photo Jeff Dawson.

How do you treat yourself? 

It isnt often that we stop and take stock of how we treat ourselves, how this influences us and the outcomes it has. 

But this is the question that is being looked at as part of the Byron Youth Theatres (BYT) new production that will be shown to local high school students next term and the screening of That Sugar Film on April 27 at the Byron Theatre starting at 6.30pm.

Young people are curious to find out about the body, mind and spirit, as I think we all are, said BYT director Lisa Apostolides.

That Sugar Film screening April 27

We can all do with helpful reminders about our health and well being. That Sugar Film is one great reminder and an eye opener to the fact that not everything we have been sold as healthy is.

Damon Gameau, who wrote and starred in That Sugar Film, will conduct a Q&A following the screening in Byron. 

His first hand experience is remarkable and he will be able to share this with us as well as shedding light on other aspects of the film and his future production, said Lisa.

As a husband and father, he is perfectly placed to share about the challenges and demands of a busy work sche...

02:08

UQ medical researchers UM connections "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Christoph Schnelle addresses the audience at a Universal Medicine seminar. Photo Universal Medicine

A University of Queensland medical researcher and up to eight of his co-authors are now under scrutiny following an ABC report into an alleged failure to disclose links to controversial North Coast-based group Universal Medicine.

According to the ABC, the UQ ethics committee approved the studies but researchers must fully disclose conflicts of interest. UQ and international journals that published articles by the researchers are now investigating allegations that there were undeclared conflicts of interest by some researchers.

According to the report, which ran on the ABCs flagship The World Today program on Monday (April 16), four of the researchers have publicly advocated for UM practices, two are presenters at the UMs College of Universal Medicine, while two others are a naturopath and a psychologist who practice at UMs Brisbane clinic

The ABC program named Christoph Schnelle, a UQ faculty of medicine researcher who was the lead author of three articles on UM health practices, and a second public advocate of UM within UQs faculty of medicine, Clayfield GP and associate lecturer Amelia Stephens.

Vietnam research project

According to the report, the team plan to run trials into UMs unconventional treatment for back pain, and are running a $40,000 fundraising appeal in Australia and the UK to back it.

But, the program said, a study last year showed the lack of high-quality evidence for the effectiveness of the UM treatment meant it was not possible to conduct the trials in Australian hospitals.

Instead they will be run in Vietnam, where the group recently ran a retreat.

University let down

Eminent medical educator Professor John Dwyer of University of NSW attacked the plan, and the group, telling the ABC program that the researchers had let the university down badly in their fervour for promoting the benefits of Universal Medicines approach to treatments, which have no basis in science [and] couldnt possibly be effective.

These people are in a position of giving undeserved credibility to the nonsense thats coming out of Universa...

01:59

Vacancy rates tighten in Canberra "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Canberra tightens

Vacancy rates tightened slightly to 2.1 per cent in March 2018, down from 2.3 per cent a year earlier (and 2.2 per cent in February 2018) according to SQM Research. 

In the month of March vacancy rates fell in Brisbane from 3.4 per cent to 3.2 per cent, and in Canberra from 0.8 per cent to just 0.6 per cent.

The vacancy rate for Canberra has fallen from 2.5 per cent in mid-2015 when it was announced in the Barr Budget that there would be significant rate rise and land taxes imposed in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

While there are rentals on the market, the methodology picks up rental properties vacant between leases for a period of time and acts a viable leading indicator for markets that are tightening or easing. 

With investors looking elsewhere, SQM reports that median asking rents for houses in the ACT have increased by +29 per cent over the past 3 years to $617/week.

That makes Canberra the second most expensive capital city after Sydney at a $738/week median asking rent for houses. 


In Hobart the chronic shortage of rentals has eased a little over the past two months, if only a little. 

Melbourne has a relatively tight vacancy rate at 1.4 per cent, while in Sydney the vacancy rate of 2.3 per cent is being reflected in relatively flat rents overall, including a slight decline for median house asking rents. 

The Perth market continues to pick up steadily from its nadir. 

...

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