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

Tuesday, 04 December


Bruns mother discovers a midnight visitor "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The python in question entered the house through an open window. Photo supplied.

A Brunswick Heads resident woke at around 12.30am last Friday to check on her newborn baby and discovered a seven-foot python about to enter the infants cot.

I was just standing over her looking at her when something moved next to me, said momma Sarah. I looked down and saw the snake with its head moving over the top of the baby.

Sarah says she knows she must have grabbed her daughter and run out, but all she can remember is standing in the lounge room screaming with the baby in her arms.

Sarah set about trying to remove her new house guest, but it was easier said than done.

Pythons are usually pretty chilled out but this one wasnt. My partner attempted to remove it but it was hissing and striking at him, she said. I called WIRES but they said they couldnt come out until the morning. I telephoned a local snake catcher but there was no answer which is fair enough for 12.30am I guess.

Not knowing what else to do Sarah called Brunswick Heads police station and less than 10 mins later two officers from Byron were knocking on the front door.

One of them managed to get the snake by the back of the head and the tail. They got in the car and took it away and let it go in the wild.

I am so grateful for the actions of those officers. Its not their job to catch snakes but when they heard what was happened they rushed over to help.

Only a small amount of detective work was required to figure out how the snake had gotten in there were tell-tale signs of disturbance beneath a bathroom window which has fixed louvers that cant be closed.

The landlord was awesome about it when we told him, Sarah said. He came round and fixed it straight away.


A WIRES rep said that the Coastal Carpet Python is found throughout N...


Tursa thinking differently about employment "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Mark Almond (Dept. of Jobs & Small Business), Jill McCann (John Holland- Infrastructure Skills & Legacy), Debbie Fry (Tursa Employment & Training) and Robert Willmet (Dept. of Jobs & Small Business). Photo supplied.


In a Northern Rivers partnership collaboration initiative, Tursa has announced a supplementary financial commitment to support a Northern Rivers Young Entrepreneur Scholarship.

Speaking at the 2018 Northern Rivers Thinking Different Summit, Tursas Debbie Fry says the contribution of $1500, complemented by mentorship or suitable training, will assist the recipient to take their business concept or skills to the next level.

Tursa Employment & Training, which has recently expanded its Disability Employment Services network from three to 58 sites across the areas of the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, and South East Queensland, believes the scholarship demonstrates  a commitment to address unemployment issues and contribute positively to the Northern Rivers community.

As a Disability Employment Services provider committed to assisting people with disability to find suitable employment, TURSA will specifically provide support to one successful young entrepreneur who lives with disability.

For more information, visit the Tursa website.

The post Tursa thinking differently about employment appeared first on Echonetdaily.

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Monday, 03 December


Fenelon the new Green on the Tweed "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Greens candidate for Tweed, Bill Fenelon. Photo Tree Faerie.

Master Mariner and community activist Bill Fenelon was announced this morning as the new candidate for the Tweed Greens.

Fenelon says having sailed across the globe he has seen it all and Tweed is the best place to be. Ive travelled around the world and have seen some amazing places, unique attractions and stunning natural landscapes but nothing beats the Tweed Valley.

A long-time local and highly respected community activist, Bill says he is dedicated to serving and enriching the local communities of the Tweed.

Working as a Foreign Going Ship Master, Bill has seen the sharp edge of the business world. He says he knows the importance of jobs and a strong healthy economy, but says it must be sustainable, not just cheap exploitation of the environment. As well as jobs and tourism, I stand for a strong education system, and will fight for affordable housing, he said in a press rase sent out this morning.

Fenelon settled permanently in the Tweed in 2009, and has been a passionate campaigner on local issues ever since. I decided to swallow the anchor, and get involved in community issues.

Describing himself as a vocal activist and environmentalist, Fenelon supports the re-location of the planned Tweed Hospital in a bid to protect prime agricultural land and preserve the village atmosphere of Kingscliff and the Tweed Coast. He is also leading the campaign to save the Tweeds railway, advocating a retention of rail lines, reinstatement of rail services including linking it to the Gold Coast, along with the creation of rail-trail cycleways.

In recent times, Bill re-introduced sailing as a sport on the Tweed River by starting a not-for-profit sailing club to mentor youth. He is the Club Commodore and has developed a programme to enable those with disabilities to partake in sailing activities. I am committed to engaging with the community to bring their concerns to the NSW Parliament, he says. Time and again our community campaigns have clashed with a bureaucracy determined to promote profit for the...


Northern Rivers Rally for Rail "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Last weekend Rally for Rail in Murwillumbah. Photo Supplied.

A Rally for Rail hosts by the Northern Rivers Railway Action Group (NRRAG) will be held this Saturday as part of the groups campaign to save the railway transport corridor between Casino to Murwillumbah.

NRRAG is inviting everyone to com along and find out why the Northern Rivers is neglected and how many benefits rail services would bring.

Chairperson of NRRAG Beth Shelley says the as NSW state election is due next March, now is the time to take action before the rail line is lost forever. In all the years since our rail service was closed there has been no community consultation to find out what people want, says Ms Shelley.

I believe the people of this region want trains running but need the opportunity to join together to be heard. NRRAG has petitions with more than 5,500 signatures and recently we have been surveying local businesses and 90% of them want to see trains on our tracks.

Ms Shelley says science is telling us we need to act urgently on climate change. Having railways to get cars and trucks off the road would cut carbon emissions hugely as well as providing much needed transport for our community.

Last Saturday there was a Rally for Rail at Murwillumbah where speakers included Tweed Shire Mayor Katie Milne, Byron Shire Deputy Mayor Michael Lyons and Bill Fenelon, a new candidate for the Tweed Shire in the State election.

Michael Lyons was very confident that Byron would see a new public transport system as a result of Byron Councils feasibility study and Katie Milne discussed the recent Tweed Shire Councils tendering process for the options of on or off the railway formation for the Murwillumbah to Crabbes Creek bike path.

If you want to see trains on our tracks come and show your support at the rally on Saturday. Well be taking a photo of supporters at noon to show state political candidates how much this community wants rail services for the environmental, economic and social benefits they bring.

The rail will start at 10am at the Lismore Quad near the Art Galler...


What have you got in your shorts? "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Winner of the 2016 Byron All Shorts


One of the regions iconic events is the annual Flickerfest International Film Festival Tour which includes the Byron All Shorts competition.

Byron All Shorts celebrates the film-making talent of the Northern Rivers region and encourages audiences to experience the many amazing films and local stories that are produced here each year.

Byron All Shorts finalists screening will be on the 26th January at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall alongside the best of short films in Australia and the world on 25-27th January at the 2019 Mullum Flickerfest Australias leading Academy accredited International short film festival.

Filmmakers form across the region are invited to submit their short films of up to 30min in length, from all genres.
Prizes and cash to the value of around $3,000 will be included in awards for the Flickerfest-iQ Best Short Film Award, the SAE Qantm Emerging Talent Award, the Peoples Choice Award and more, recognising the incredible talent in our region.

If you live in the Northern Rivers, or have produced a film in the Northern Rivers, or have made a film about the Northern Rivers you can enter Byron All Shorts.

Entries close Friday 21 December 2018 For entry forms and Info, visit:

The post What have you got in your shorts? appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Illegal dumping costs $100,000 a year "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

With more than 700 recoded incidents of illegal dumping totalling 478 tonnes in 2016/17, the cost to council is more than $100,000 a year.

Byron Shire Council has ramped up its campaign targeting illegal dumping with surveillance and monitoring of hotspot areas now underway.

Staff are patrolling suburbs looking for illegal dumping and rubbish left on kerbsides, or footpaths, and in public areas.

Councils Waste Education and Compliance Officer Kate Akkerman, says that illegal dumping is a significant issue in the Byron Shire.

In 2016/17 we recorded more than 700 incidents of illegal dumping of all sorts of things including household rubbish, furniture, mattresses and garden waste, she said.

Cleaning up rubbish from public areas is costing Council more than $100,000 and that money could be better spent on community projects.

Ms Akkerman says the as well as increased monitoring and surveillance of certain areas, council are expanding their use of surveillance cameras, improving lighting and installing gates in some locations.

People can be fined up to $8,000 for leaving rubbish on the footpath, she said.

Ms Akkerman says the most frequently asked question is why we dont have an annual kerbside bulky waste collection service. While we have offered this service in the past in Byron Shire, it actually led to more illegal dumping.

People were dumping rubbish in large public piles and leaving rubbish on the kerbside for months and it was not only ugly, it was dangerous for pedestrians and harboured vermin such as rats and mice.

It also resulted in the risk of pollution of waterways and the natural environment.

All councils in the Northern Rivers, and many councils across NSW have stopped offering kerbside collection services for these reasons.

We now instead offer people a free annual drop-off of up to 150kg of bulk waste and 500kg of green waste at the Myocum Byron Resource and Recovery Centre in Myocum, said Ms Akkerman.

We are also encouraging our community to try and reduce the volume, and take responsibility for, the waste we generate. This can achieved through buying furniture/items that are made to last, or by selling, reusing or donating old items that still have life left in them

Byron Shire Council has received a $79,000 grant from the NSW Environment Protection Authority funded by the Waste Levy to help combat illegal dumping and this will be used for a range of programs including education campaigns.



North Coast big winners at State Tourism Awards "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Elements Resort won the Gold award in the Luxury Accommodation category. Photo supplied.

The North Coast recently had a night to remember at the NSW Tourism Awards winning eight of the twenty-six categories on offer. In addition, the region collected a host of silver and bronze awards and two North Coast operators were inducted into the awards hall of fame.

Due to the high level of finalists from the North Coast featuring on the night the success was not unexpected.

Chair of Destination North Coast Cameron Arnold, who attended the event along with two other Board Members and the Destination North Coast team, was thrilled at the number and breadth of North Coast finalists.

With 37 finalists across 18 of the submission categories, our region was very well represented, said Mr Arnold. For our industry colleagues to win Gold in eight categories and to be so well represented is a credit to their tireless efforts to deliver outstanding tourism experiences to visitors coming to our beautiful region.

Mr Arnold said the success can also be attributed to the long history of hosting local awards and the reestablishment of the North Coast Tourism awards in July of this year. The North Coast Tourism Awards was a great opportunity for the industry to come together and share our success which in turn has been a catalyst for the strong performance at the state level.

Presented by the Tourism Industry Division of the NSW Business Chamber and supported by Destination NSW, the NSW Tourism Awards Ceremony and Gala held last on Sunday evening at Sydneys Luna Park, is the largest and most prestigious event on the New South Wales tourism calendar.

The NSW tourism industrys Gala Event is the night of nights and recognises excellence in tourism and brings together business leaders to celebrate success.

NSW Tourism Awards North Coast Award Winners

Tourist Attractions

GOLD Forestry Corporation of NSW Sealy Lookout, Orara East State Forest


Major Festivals and Events

GOLD ...


Xi Jinping Visits Nations of Southeast Asia "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"


The Chinese leaders one-week tour began on 15 November and included visits to Papua New Guinea, Brunei and the Philippines. These countries are situated in a region that has borne witness to clearly heightened tensions, on various fronts, between the two world powers, the USA and China.

The escalations are particularly noticeable on the backdrop of the slowdown in positive developments previously achieved on the Korean Peninsula. And although the inter-Korean dialogue continues (in guerilla warfare style), the two main players involved in the Korean issue (i.e. the United States and PRC) seemingly cannot find the answer to the question of what happens next.

It is difficult to envision positive developments in the northern part of a region engulfed in a power struggle between the USA and China, especially when tensions are escalating in its southern parts. A place, where the rivalry, between China and the US Australian tandem, to exert influence over the island states of the Pacific Ocean is becoming more noticeable.

An important step towards strengthening the position of Australia and the US in the region was the announcement that their joint military base is to be constructed in Papua New Guinea. The news came on the eve of Xi Jinpings arrival in its capital, Port Moresby.

The fact that the United States (together with Japan, Australia, and possibly India) started working on the planning stages of a project, meant to rival the New Silk Road, in recent months served as further proof of the worsening political climate in the region. Over the last few months, Western media outlets have not tired of reporting on the shortcomings of the Chinese initiative, which have allegedly become apparent in Malaysia and Pakistan.

Attempts are being made to pour new (trade and economic) wine into the old wineskins of the initiative to create the Asian NATO (with its core constituted by the USA, Japan, Australia and India). The wine is being used to try and win over the right, from China, to exert influence over the nations in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Brunei and the Philippines are among such countries.

Evidence of acute tensions, engulfing the region, came in both subtle and open, back and forth verbal attacks,...


Young Australian climate activists interviewed "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

This 29 November 2018 video says about itself:

Thousands of students join climate protest

Australian students have gone on strike from school and have converged on urban and regional centres demanding the government take action on climate change.

From the World Socialist Web Site in Australia:

Australia: Newcastle participants in high school climate strike speak out

By our reporters

3 December 2018

Last Friday, around 2,000 high school students in Newcastle, a New South Wales port city 160 kilometres north of Sydney, took part in a national strike against the refusal of governments to address climate change.

Like rallies on the same day in Sydney, Melbourne and other areas, the Newcastle protest was attended by high school students of varying ages, along with parents and teachers.

In addition to expressing their anger over environmental destruction, students spoke out against war, social inequality and the turn to authoritarianism. Newcastle has been hard hit by decades of job cuts, and the closure of entire industries. As in other regional centres, youth face a future of insecure and casual work, unemployment and associated social problems.

Part of the Newcastle rally

Campaigners from the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) at Newcastle University distributed hundreds of statements at the protest, explaining that climate change is the product of a systemic crisis of the global capitalist system and calling for a turn to the working class.

The IYSSE stre...


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Tuesday, 03 July


Video shows pit water continues to grow "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

This latest video of the Maules Creek coal mine shows the pit water continuing to grow. Time lapse footage from @PlanetLab shows 3 months of consistent increase in the mine pit lake starting around the first week of March.



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Monday, 02 July


Combined mines CCC Meeting "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The attached Final Draft Minutes from the 16th of May 2018 for the Combined mines Community Consultative Committee (CCC) meeting are provided below for the information of the community.

Boggabri Coal mine expansion 10.6.2018

The state government have developed CCC guidelines which can be found here. Under Section 6 Communication with the broader community, the guidelines say;

Committee members are encouraged to discuss concerns and disseminate information about the project to the wider community, including stakeholder groups.

The combined minutes can be found here. Note that the Namoi Regional Air Quality Advisory Committee is still seeking members, 5 years after the mines were approved.


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Wednesday, 27 June


SWOP in Marrickville "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Check out the action at the last SWOP at Addison Road Street Food Markets in Marrickville. It was cold and rainy, but that didnt stop us InnerWesties from getting our swap on.


SWOP Marrickville

SWOP (Swap wearables and plants) at Addison Road Street Food Markets. Thanks to Pilar from Green Living Centre for the video.

Posted by Sydney Community Forum on Thursday, 7 June 2018


Thanks to all who joined us!

Were keen to do it again soon, so LIKE Sydney LETS and Sydney Community Forum Facebook pages if you want to get updates.

Thanks to Pilar from Green Living Centre for the groovy little stop motion video.



Maules Creek coal mine CCC May meeting "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The attached Final Draft Minutes from the 16th of May 2018 Community Consultative Committee (CCC) meeting are provided below for the information of the community.

The state government have developed CCC guidelines which can be found here. Under Section 6 Communication with the broader community, the guidelines say;

Committee members are encouraged to discuss concerns and disseminate information about the project to the wider community, including stakeholder groups.

Attendees were; Darren Swain (DS) WHC, Peter Wilkinson (PWi) WHC, Scott Mitchell (SM) WHC, Cr Robert Kneale (RK) Narrabri Council, Cath Collyer (CC) Community, Libby Laird (LL) Community, Carolyn Nancarrow (CN) Community, Anna Christie (AC) Environmental Representative (Alternative)

Apologies were; Steve Eather, Jack Warnock, Simmone Moodie, Kerri Clarke

  1. Maules Creek coal mine Final Draft minutes for May 2018 CCC meeting
  2. Link to meeting notes from Community Rep


van life a go-go "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Were so close to take off and yet these next few weeks are going to be some of our busiest.

Weve got the caravan and the Land Cruiser (tick, tick) and the house is getting emptier by the day.

Im buzzing with nervous energy theres so much to do and yet so much to look forward to. And everything is falling into place; it definitely feels like were on the right track.

When I spoke to our real estate agent last week she mentioned that all well need to do upon moving out is hand in the keys. The house is being demolished so you wont even have to clean it. You can imagine how happy I was, cant you?! That exit clean is always such a headache (and an expensive one if you outsource)its such wonderful news I still cant believe it.

So now Im literally packing up the books, toys, linen and keepsakes while ticking off a giant list of to-dos before we leave. The mental load is huge! And Daniel and I talk in bursts about everything from tow ball weight to cleaning water tanks to installing power points with added USB chargers.

This caravan life is so romanticised online and yet the reality requires research and an enormous amount of practical thought. Travelling safely is our priority and the checklist is huge!

To be honest, its all new to me. I usually shy away from anything too hard or technical and yet I really dont have a choice now. Its quite empowering to drive a massive Land Cruiser and park it with ease. Ive researched exactly how to clean the water tanks and flush the system so our drinking water is filtered clean. I keep assessing exactly what kitchen items I should take with me and wondering where theyll live and how Ill store them. And Ive sold or donated so many of our belongings; letting go is much easier when you have a purpose.

Ive started the enrolment process for Distance Education and on our first stop in Port Macquarie well visit the school so the children can meet their teacher. Every few weeks well get a big envelope sent to the local post office (wherever we are) and in it will be school work specially created for Che and Poet and inspired by our location (eg: if were in the Daintree theyll do a few weeks of work on the rainforest). In the envelope will be a USB with video lessons for each of them and once a week well log onto skype to chat with their teacher. Its a wonderful system design especially for kids who live remotely or travel so the teachers are very understanding of nomadic life.

The timeline for the next few weeks is rough to say the least but it looks a little like this:

  • finish modifications on the bunk beds
  • install new powerpoints
  • clean and service aircon
  • clean water tanks and pipes
  • ...


Boggabri Coal CCC May meeting "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The attached Final Draft Minutes and Powerpoint presentation from the 17th of May 2018 Community Consultative Committee (CCC) meeting are provided below for the information of the community.

The state government have developed CCC guidelines which can be found here. Under Section 6 Communication with the broader community, the guidelines say;

Committee members are encouraged to discuss concerns and disseminate information about the project to the wider community, including stakeholder groups.

Attendees were; Richard Gillham (RG), Peter Forbes (PF), David Ross (DR), Ron Campbell (RC), Anna Christie
(AC), Catherine Collyer (CC), Mitchum Neave (MN), Libby Laird (LL), Geoff Eather (GE),
Hamish Russell (HR), Sarah Torrance (ST)

Apologies were; Ros Druce (RD), Kerrie Clarke (KC), Daniel Martin (DM), Ray Balks (RB), Greg Griffiths (GG)

  1. Boggabri Coal May 2018 CCC Presentation
  2. Boggabri Coal May 2018 CCC Final Draft Minutes

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Tuesday, 19 June


Corporate Bullying resources for the coal impacted community "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

If you are an employee, sub-contractor, consultant or member of a stakeholder group or Community Consultative Committee (CCC), there are things that you can do if you feel that you are being bullied when dealing with a company.

Everyone at the workplace has a Work Health and Safety duty. Under WHS laws, while at work, workers must take reasonable care that their behaviour does not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons.

It is important that the bullied person take action early to document the bullying and seek support. There should be company policies and procedures that explain the courses of action available in addition to the legislated protections.

The Safe Work Website says that the negative impacts of workplace bullying on the victims or witnesses is repeated and unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers that creates a risk to health and safety.

Examples of potential unreasonable behaviour include:

  • abusive, insulting or offensive language or comments
  • aggressive and intimidating conduct
  • belittling or humiliating comments
  • victimisation
  • practical jokes or initiation
  • unjustified criticism or complaints
  • deliberately excluding someone from work-related activities
  • withholding information that is vital for effective work performance
  • setting unreasonable timelines or constantly changing deadlines
  • setting tasks that are unreasonably below or beyond a persons skill level
  • denying access to information, supervision, consultation or resources to the detriment of the worker
  • spreading misinformation or malicious rumours, and changing work arrangements, such as rosters and leave, to deliberately inconvenience a particular worker or workers

This could have the following effects on the bullied person

  • distress, anxiety, panic attacks or sleep disturbance
  • physical illness, for example muscular tension, headaches, fatigue and digestive problems
  • reduced work performance, concentration and decision making ability
  • loss of self-esteem and self-confidence...


An important first step and a missed opportunity to support community-led justice reinvestment "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Just Reinvest NSW described funding provided through the NSW Governments Community Safety Fund earlier this month as an important first step but expressed disappointment by the Governments failure to provide further commitment to justice reinvestment in todays Budget.

In their Pre-Budget Submission 2018-19, Just Reinvest NSW called on the NSW Government to provide funding for the establishment of an independent body and community-led trials, as recommended by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) in their report Pathways to JusticeInquiry into the Incarceration Rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. However, no funding has been allocated in this years Budget.

A grant of almost $250,000 was provided earlier this month to Just Reinvest NSW to commence work with additional communities under the Department of Justice Community Safety Fund.

Just Reinvest NSW is an independent, non-profit organisation that partnered with the Bourke community to develop the Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project, the most advanced place-based justice reinvestment initiative in Australia.

Just Reinvest NSW Chair Sarah Hopkins said: Justice reinvestment is a fiscally sound model for addressing the over-incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Justice reinvestment projects make sense: they are community-led, place-based and data-driven. Whats needed now is start-up funding for additional community-led projects and an independent body to support those communities.

The answer to the problem of too many people in contact with the justice system wont be found inside the justice system. We solve this by getting in front of the problem, focusing on the local solutions that strengthen communities and keep people from offending in the first place.

In line with the recommendations of the ALRC Just Reinvest NSW is calling on the NSW Government to

       Allocate $5 million over 5 years to establish an independent justice reinvestment body (to commence in January 2019) to coordinate and support community-led justice reinvestment.

       Invest $3.75 million over 5 years to support three new community-led justice reinvestment trials across NSW in partnership with philanthropic, corporate and not-for-profit partners.

Former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda said: Justice reinvestment represents a shift away from governments and policy makers coming in and telling communities what is best for them. Through a justice reinvestment approach, the solutions come from and are implemented by the community.

With Australias most advanced justice reinvestment project being in Bourke, the NSW government has the opportunity to take the le...

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Thursday, 14 June


Bulga B.B.Q after next Saturdays Singleton doorknock "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

This is a copy of a message from Steve (LTG) and Robert (BMPA)




Hi folks,
this email just went out to a couple of thousand LTG
supporters, mostly in the Lower Hunter.

Were doing a big doorknock in Singleton on Saturday 23rd June. If
youre keen to get amongst it, please send me an email, or register on
the website [1]. Also theres a Facebook event [2], if you want to give
it a boost.

If you cant make it to the survey blitz, dont let that stop you from
joining us afterwards for a barbecue at

Robert & AnneMaree
McLaughlins 46 The Inlet Rd Bulga, at about 2:30.

This is the start of a new push on our doorknocking effort. We want to
get our survey results up to 1000 responses. Were currently on 722. Let
me know if youre keen to get involved.



The post Bulga B.B.Q after next Saturdays Singleton doorknock appeared first on Bulga Milbrodale Progress Association.

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Sunday, 10 June


Mulch-a great addition to the garden but only if it is weed free. "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

I use mulch everywhere in the garden. In the vegetable garden, the orchard, the cutting garden and ornamental areas.

What is mulch- It is anything that covers the soil and excludes light. It is usually some form of organic matter, but it can also be inorganic, such as stones or pebbles. Stones are only suitable for permanent easy-care gardens, for annual plantings such as in the vegetable garden I like to use an organic matter that will break down quickly.

Why do I use mulch?
It adds organic matter which keeps the soil full of life and nice and healthy. All organic matter will break down to release nutrients into the soil and increase the humus content of a soil.

It retains moisture by creating a barrier to evaporation. You must make sure the area is moist before putting it down so water well or apply after good soaking rain.

It acts as insulation blanket keeping soil cooler in summer and warmer in winter- though in a cool climate it can prevent soil warming up in spring which can delay spring planting. But this is easily overcome by scaping it back for a few weeks at the end of winter exposing the soil to a few weeks of warm weather and then planting up and replacing the mulch.

But my main reason for using mulch is to prevent weed germination. Both weed seed in the ground or stray weeds that either fly in or are dropped by birds and animals. Mulching will not prevent the growth of persistent weeds like oxalis and onion weed or runner grasses like couch and Kikuyu

Weeding any type of garden can be soul destroying activity and can consume a lot of time that is better utilised planting, harvesting and eating your produce.

Weeds are designed to germinate, grow quickly and stabilise any bare ground- it is natures way of preventing soil erosion. So, if you have exposed soil it will soon be overrun with weeds.

The secret to weed control is to never leave soil bare and exposed.
Always cover it with mulch or groundcover plants.

In any type of planting there will always be some gaps, as all plants need room to grow and mature. By applying a layer of mulch to the area around all plants you will be coving up any bare ground which will cut out light to weed seeds in the soil and stop seeds that land on top of the mulch from accessing the soil thus preventing them from germinating.

You need to apply your mulch at least 10cm thick for this to occur.

Generally, quick decomposing mulches, such as sugar cane waste, need to be reapplied annually and heavy-duty wood chip type mulches every two to three years.

One of the greatest disappointment I can have is to purchase and apply a mulch tha...

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Friday, 08 June


Silica "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

View of the Maules Creek coal mine molehill seen from a distance. All that silica.

And according to last nights 7.30 Report, (Coal miners death after silicosis diagnosis a warning on dangerous dust levels) silica dust is 20 times more toxic than coal dust. This can be due to the size and shape of the particles.

Its one of the oldest industrial diseases in the world and is present where crystalline mineral dust is created when materials such as quartz, sand, stone, soil, granite, brick, cement, grout, mortar are blasted, cut or excavated.

There is a handy piece in The Conversation Explainer: what is silicosis and why is this old lung disease making a comeback?

Its not just miners who get affected by silica and victims who are diagnosed with silicosis can lose an average 11.6 years of life.

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Thursday, 07 June


Wonderful Wombok. "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Chinese cabbage or Wombok (Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis) is a wonderful cool season crop.

It is the perfect late summer/autumn crop as they prefer warmish temperatures of around 18- 20 to become established and grow. They will start to form a head as soon as the temperature drops to an average of 14- 16 degrees with final head formation occurring with a further drop in temperature (10-13).

Along the east coast, the ideal time for growing Chinese cabbage is mid to late autumn and harvesting in winter whereas in the here in the highlands I will plant a few seeds every week from mid-March through to early May. As they are a quick crop, maturing in 8-10 weeks, I will be harvesting from late May through to mid-July. Seedlings do not grow well in cold temperatures so once we start getting regular frost I stop putting them in.

As they are such quick growers I can harvest and use them long before my European cabbages are ready. I like to harvest them when the heads are firm but not hard like a European cabbage.

Chinese cabbage, being a brassica, are very good for you. They are a good source of calcium, iron, phosphorus and vitamins A and C., they are also high in glucosinolates.

Womboks can be used in similar ways to traditional cabbage though I find that they have a slightly sweeter flavour and are somewhat milder than European cabbage. The outer leaves are softer and taster than those on traditional cabbage and the inner leaves are very tender and sweet.


So, whilst I use wombok in stir-fries and soups my favourite dish is eating it raw in an Asian style coleslaw. Its sweet flavour and crunchy texture is also ideal for shredding on to a sandwich or a wrap.


This year I have also started making the Korean pickle Kim Chi which is adding to my store cupboard nicely.


Chinese cabbage is such a great quick cool season crop to grow so why not pop some in this week and you will soon be introduced to the joys of this versatile vegetable.



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Wednesday, 06 June


Masked Owl Rescued from the Middle of the Road "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

This glorious male owl (named in care Owen Owl) was found in distress on a road in the mid-south coast area of NSW. Several cars were observed driving over the bird when Robert decided to stop to check and render assistance. Although initially thinking the bird was dead it came to as he picked it up but it was clearly injured. He immediately called WIRES.

We assume Owen had been involved in some sort of collision, most likely with a vehicle given his location on the road. Vet assessment determined it had a ruptured air sac and a contusion on the lung and was in care while those injuries healed. After a flight test it was decided Owen was ready to go back to the wild and he was happily released on Sunday evening. A great result for a beautiful and vulnerable species and thanks to everyone involved in his rescue and care.

Masked Owls are medium-sized forest dwelling owls, with dark eyes set in a prominent flat, heart-shaped facial disc that is encircled by a dark border. They are similar to but larger than the Barn Owl and in contrast to Barn Owls have fully feathered legs down to the toes. 

They exist in several colour forms, with wide variation in plumage. In NSW their conservation status is listed as vulnerable.

Many assume it is mainly kangaroos involved in vehicle collisions but every year, hundreds of other species lives are also lost on our roads, including owls and other birds of prey. Collisions with vehicles are one of the most common reasons for this, with many of the animals in need of rescue and ongoing care.

Incidents increase during the winter months due to our shorter days. The conditions mean a higher chance of contact with our native mammals when they are at their most active at dawn and dusk. 


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Monday, 04 June


Neighbours from Hell Blasting chaos at Maules Creek "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Here is a sequence of 4  photos from the blast at the Maules Creek coal mine on Friday 1st of June 2018 at 1.45 pm. A complaint has been filed with NSW Planning Compliance.

Despite the dust and fumes from the blast leaving the site due to the strong winds, the weather monitoring at the site says No Action required monitoring compliant and weather conditions favourable


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Monday, 28 May


Interactive map of the Maules Creek coal mine "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Here is a interactive map of the mine site. Well update it with more photos and diagrams as they become available. You can open it in a separate tab in Google Maps here.



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Saturday, 26 May


Japanese Legends of a Forgotten World Empire "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

In the world of Tradition, writes Julius Evola, the most important foundation of authority and of the right of kings and chiefs, and the reason why they were obeyed, feared, and venerated, was essentially their transcendent and nonhuman quality.1What if a prestigious noble family possessed secret records of this world of Tradition millions of years ago? Would you want to read them? Most people would certainly call any such documents unbelievable, an obvious fraud. But, in fact, several documents that appeared in various parts of the world in the early 20thcentury attest to a shared knowledge of the transcendent ultra-ancient empire described by Evola, including a group of texts from Japan mostly unknown to the Western occult world, called the Takenouchi Documents.

In 1921 a Polish professor named Ferdinand Ossendowski published a book called Beasts, Men, and Gods in which he described his dangerous escape from the Soviet Union, through Siberia, into the Buddhist kingdom of Mongolia and the legends he heard there of the King of the World (see Mystery of Shambhala by Jason Jeffrey, New Dawn 72.) Ossendowskis book caused such an international stir that the French metaphysician Ren Gunon used it as the basis for his most controversial work, The King of the World. Gunon alleged there was a universal symbol across all the worlds great traditions of a past King of the World who had once ruled the world from a holy land, which has since been sealed off.

A few years later, in the hinterlands of rural Japan, an uneducated, possibly illiterate shrine keeper named Kiyomaro Takeuchi called some researchers to his house. Born into a poor and undistinguished household, Takeuchi had long been an unemployed wanderer and sometime ascetic. As early as 1893 he was documented training at Kurama Temple, an esoteric temple in the mountains north of Kyoto. Kurama Temple was Buddhist at the time, but today it is an independent sect that worships a being said to have come from Venus 6.5 million years ago, identified by some with the theosophist Saint Kumara. Takeuchi returned to Kurama Temple many times before moving permanently to northern Japan.

When historians arrived at his house, Takeuchi made a shocking announcement. He told them that his family was descended from Takenouchi no Sukune, a heroic minister recorded in the official histories of the nation as having lived for over 300 years around 50-400 CE. The minister Takenouchi had preserved ancient records of the origin of the nation in clay pots, and over the course of many generations these records had come to Takeuchi, who now revealed them for the first time. They consisted of hundreds of documents written in Classical Chinese and strange, unknown scripts. The majority of the records were destroyed in World War II, but we have a good variety of secondary sources th...

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Friday, 25 May


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Wednesday, 23 May


One rule for mining and another for everyone else "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Now that water has stopped flowing across Elfin crossing without any obvious explanation, residents are extremely concerned that the lost alluvial groundwater is in the bottom of the Maules Creek coal mine.

The lack of transparency by the mine leads to more suspicion. Departmental investigations continue even though there is a clear lack of water going across Elfin Crossing. When there was less than 1 ML / day flow at Elfin Crossing it warranted action in the 2000s when locals were involved, but not now.

Departmental officials have used the excuse that the water inflow into the mine pit is unable to be prevented, even though the groundwater zone 11 licences held by the mining company to offset the groundwater impacts are general security take.

General security licences require that water extraction must be switched off when requested. There is a historical precedent set in Maules Creek for general security licence holders to stop irrigators extracting water when the Minister issued a s324 direction the last time Elfin Crossing stopped flowing.

What we are seeing now is one rule for mining and another for everyone else.

The reality is that the groundwater inflows into a mine can be switched off it just depends on how badly its needed.

Back in 2011, the Tarrawonga coal mine really needed it and it prepared a EIS for its mine extension with a plan to do just that.

The mine proposed (and the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) approved) the latest expansion to include a Low Permeability Barrier to prevent water inflows to the mine from Goonbri Creek.

It seems that a low permeabi...

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Tuesday, 22 May


Maules Creek CCC Meeting 16.5.2018 "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

These are notes and not the official minutes from the Maules Creek coal mine Community Consultative Committee (CCC) meeting held on 16 May 2018 at the Boggabri Golf Club, Gunnedah Road, Boggabri NSW 2382.

The official minutes wont be approved and released until the 16.8.2018 and due to the interest in declining groundwater levels at Maules Creek these notes are put up on the website for the information of the community. A functioning CCC is a condition in Schedule 5 of the Project Approval.


The CCC guidelines can be found here. Under Section 6 Communication with the broader community, the guidelines say;

Committee members are encouraged to discuss concerns and disseminate information about the project to the wider community, including stakeholder groups.

Attendees: Darren Swain (DS) WHC, Cr Robert Kneale (RK) Narrabri Council, Peter Wilkinson (PWi) WHC, Scott Mitchell (SM) WHC, Carolyn Nancarrow (CN) Community, Cath Collyer (CC) Community, Libby Laird (LL) Community, Anna Christie (AC) Environmental Representative (alternate) Kristen Golly WHC, Lindsay Fulloon, Megan Proust- EPA, Rebecca Scriviner- EPA.

Apologies: Steve Eather (SE), Jack Warnock (JW) Community, Simmone Moodie (SM) Community Aboriginal Representative, Kerrie Clarke (KC) Environmental Representative.


Independent Chair: David Ross (DR)

D.S: Excellent safety record.

Community: (Incredulous.) Does this exclude all the accidents in April?

DS: Yes.

Discussion of injured person. Flown to hospital. One has shoulder injury. Not well.

The other has slight injury. Bruising.

AC: what about the digge......

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Wednesday, 16 May


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

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

Groundwater drawdowns of greater than 5 m in the immediate vicinity of the projects are a huge wakeup call. Greater than 5 m could mean anything.

More worryingly for Maules Creek residents was the area of 2 5 metre drawdown in the area of Elfin Crossing shown by the top dark green arrow in the map below. The NCWS predicted a 2 5 m groundwater impact on Elfin Crossing would occur even though it is some distance from the depressurisation zone caused by the nearby Whitehaven coal mine.

The cumulative drawdown predictions shown in Scenario 1 (Scenario 1 included all extractive industry projects in the planning system at the Studys commencement) was derived from the available data from government and company sources. By rights it would have included the Maules Creek coal mine data used in the Groundwater Impact Assessment by Australasian Groundwater and Environmental Consultants (AGE).

Despite using the same data, the NCWS predictions are at odds with the  mine consultants report which showed no decline in the Elfin Crossing area.

According to AGE, Year 21 drawdown appears to spare Elfin Crossing


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Tuesday, 15 May

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Monday, 14 May


Yancoal Stakeholder Update "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Copy of a recent document published recently by Yancoal shows that the new owners of the Warkworth Mine are determined to close the Wallaby Scrub Road as soon as possible and to continue  expanding the existing open cut coal mine west  towards the Bulga village. This represents an existential threat to the health and livelihood of all Bulga residents.


The post Yancoal Stakeholder Update appeared first on Bulga Milbrodale Progress Association.

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Thursday, 10 May


Etsy for Mothers Day "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Considering were trying to cull our belongings, Im not wanting or expecting any gifts for Mothers Day. But I admit, I am very looking forward to croissants and coffee, handmade cards and an afternoon nap.

The not wanting a gift is a new thing for me and I admit, its a really nice place to be. I used to be a bit of an over-achiever when it came to spending; and all that spending was driven by so much wanting. Over a year ago, when work significantly slowed, I curbed my spending habits out of necessity and subsequently stopped looking for things to buy.

Granted, there were still things I saw that I really, really liked but instead of instantly buying them Id step back, think about them, consider whether they were worth the money, and, in most cases, decide I didnt need them after-all.

I think this might be conscious consumerism. Close to it, anyway.

But the necessity bit? Well, no doubt its a common story for many of you. Because when youve got a bit of spare cash, theres usually a long list of things that are required before you buy yourself something; we do tend to come after the outgrown kids shoes, seasonal clothing necessities, school requirements etc

So when the fabulous team at Etsy reached out to see if Id like to give away a $100 voucher, I knew that it would be perfect for one of my readers.

Because spoiling yourself on something handmade would have to be one of the best Mothers Day gifts, dont you think?

To enter, just tell me in the comments what you would buy with the voucher and why you want it.

Me? I think I would get myself something from NotPerfectLinen I think this dress or maybe this simple top.

Ill announce the winner on Sunday morning so if you do get a chance for some Etsy perusal on Mothers Day, you can have yourself a little spending spree.

Good luck!

Comments closed. Congratulations, Liz! (Ive replied to your comment below). Please email me at

The post Etsy for Mothers Day appeared first on...

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Tuesday, 08 May


I am more than a number, I am Albie "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Albie was found shivering in the middle of a road, standing next to his mothers body, after she had been hit and killed by a vehicle.
WIRES volunteer Lisa, who is caring for him told me that he was traumatised and suffered symptoms of shock for 48 hours after the accident.

At the time of writing this a week had passed since Albies rescue and he was doing much better.

Blackheath was found cold, wet and alone in the middle of the road at night. 
Luckily, a passing motorist spotted him and stopped to help.

He has been in care with WIRES volunteers Jamie and Hayley for a few months, still being bottle fed twice a day. 
Hayley says Blackheath is a healthy energetic boy that is well on his way to release at the end of the year. She says he has an amazing personality, being playful, loving with a dash of cheekiness.

Every year, hundreds of animals lives are lost and many more are orphaned. Collisions with vehicles is one of the most common reasons for this, with many of the animals in need of rescue and ongoing care.

Incidents increase during the winter months due to our shorter days. The conditions mean a higher chance of contact with our native mammals when they are at their most active at dawn and dusk.

Animal collisions are most common in winter. The worst month is July.

They often feed close to the road where the food is plentiful and their behaviour can be unpredictable, making it impossible for some drivers to miss them.

These factors combined mean cars and trucks are one of the biggest dangers facing our wildlife today.

Joeys that come into care when they are very young can be with WIRES for two years, until they are self-sufficient and ready to go back into the wild.

Raising a joey takes an enormous amount of resources, not only the specialised formula, but time, energy and equipment.

Over the next three months WIRES will respond to calls of help for more than 200 Wombats and 1,500 Kangaroos and Wallabies.


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Monday, 07 May


The Sharing Map "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

SydneyLETS and a whole bunch of other sharing initiatives have been highlighted in The Sharing Map.

This map interactive helps people locate sharing initiatives and engage with collaborative economy in order to save time and money, while connecting with others in the community.

If you youre curious about different ways to share clothes, toys, cars, skills, bikes and spaces check out the The Sharing Map online and follow The Sharing Map on Facebook.

The map itself was created at a MapJam which gathered people together to share their knowledge about sharing resources around Sydney. Watch the video below to learn more:




Princess Diana, the Priest, & Messages from the Spirit World "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

I was introduced to Diana, Princess of Wales, through one of my parishioners at St Mary Abbots Parish Church, Kensington. A personal friend, he was employed by the Royal Family. Diana was technically a parishioner of mine as her London residence, Kensington Palace, was just around the corner from my church, where I had been Curate since my return from being Chaplain of St Nicholas Church, British Embassy, in Ankara, Turkey. Curate means a priest entrusted to cure souls. Caring for the spiritual health of his people. I felt that being concerned for Dianas soul was an integral part of my priestly duties.

Before being formally introduced to the Princess via my friend, I had seen Diana once inside St Mary Abbots. She never came to church on Sunday, or indeed to weekday services like Holy Communion or Even Song, but she would sometimes sneak in at other times and sit at the back of the church in quiet contemplation. It was a rainy afternoon when I noticed her sitting there, her bodyguards discreetly hovering nearby. I did not want to impose on her so I pretended to be reading my prayer book until she actually got up and came towards me. She wore what looked like a kind of tracksuit as if she had just been for a jog. We exchanged a few pleasantries. She asked about my accent. Italian, I told her. You are very tall for an Italian! she exclaimed. I smilingly agreed. I was bowled over by her. She was so sexy. (Well, a priest is only human!) Her face, especially. I have a feeling for faces. Her eyes, her nose her nose, particularly. Loved it. Anyway, after a few more polite exchanges she left. Sometime later my parishioner friend let me know the Princess would like to meet me.

That was the beginning of an extraordinary relationship. Diana shared with me that she was in love with Dodi al-Fayed. I want you to meet him, she said. That took place at Dodis apartment, near Marble Arch. He struck me as a very pleasant, unstuffy fellow. A young Egyptian who could easily have been an Italian. The way the two of them interacted left me in no doubt that they were passionately in love. The amorous sparkle in the Princess eyes, the way he held her hand, how she beamed things like that. She privately questioned me about whether the Church of England permitted marriage between a Christian and a Muslim. I reassured her. As a resident parishioner, she was entitled to be married in the parish church. (Could you marry us? she asked.) Had she still been a member of the Royal Family, she would have required permission from the monarch. Of course, she had been cruelly stripped of the title of Princess of Wales after her divorce from Prince Charles, so she was no longer a formal member of that gang. Anyhow, I have no doubt that had the two lovers not died in Paris on that terrible Sunday of 31 August 1997, today they would be husband and wife.

I vividly recall hearing the news of the...

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Friday, 04 May


MP travel claims and elections: Were the rules broken or stretched? "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

In a series of Deirdre Chambers-like coincidences, at least three parliamentarians made claims for travel and travel allowances that coincided with election activities in Queensland and NSW towards the end of 2017.

Labor MP (and former Treasurer) Wayne Swan and Pauline Hanson One Nation Senator Brian Burston made claims for tax payer funded travel to or around Queensland on the weekend of that states election in November 2017.

The following week, Nationals Senator for NSW, John Williams, claimed travelling allowance for an overnight stay in Tamworth on the evening of the by-election in New England that saw Barnaby Joyce returned to Parliament after his disqualification in the High Court.

Travel rules for Commonwealth MPs, while quite generous, do provide some sharp cut offs around business that cant be characterised as parliamentary, executive or official business, but rather takes on a patina more consistent with that of party activity.

The Handbook in effect for the relevant period says of claims for travel:

Senators and Members are responsible for ensuring that any travel at Commonwealth expense is undertaken in accordance with the provisions of the relevant legislation, that is, in most circumstances only for Parliamentary, electorate or official business, but not party business

Swan Song

Former Federal Treasurer, Wayne Swan, spoke at a Melbourne ALP event on the evening of Friday 24 November to honour Jenny Macklins contribution to the election of the Rudd Government in 2007 10 years before.

Swans speech on the occasion is a generous encomium to Ms Macklin.

According to The Australian, Anthony Albanese reportedly characterised this Macklin event as a party fundraiser similar to one he was holding a week later in Sydney.

However, with polling day in Queensland on Saturday, November 25, Swan returned to Queensland. This he did with an $1025 flight from Melbourne to Brisbane on election day.


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Wednesday, 02 May


How the Australian High Court Came to be Naurus Court of Appeal: A History "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The decision of Nauru to bring to an end its relationship with Australias High Court, as the ultimate appeals authority for a limited class of cases, marks the end of a 50 year history in which Nauru made strenuous efforts to have access to the Court, only to suffer tepid and lukewarm acceptance, and delays (and on one occasion, defeat) in achieving its aim of having  access to an appeals court of sufficient stature to instil confidence in the judicial proceedings of a small, fledgling nation.

The ten year history of negotiations for an appeals court is detailed in a series of volumes held in the National Archives of Australia. This history is drawn from that rich vein of material.

After years of trusteeship, in which Australia, New Zealand and Britain had access to the rich phosphate material contained on Nauru, the 7000 strong population would be granted independence, in return for continuing access by the great powers to the phosphate. Other proposals, particularly resettlement on one of a number of islands off Queenslands coast, notably Fraser Island, had been considered but rejected by the proud Nauruan population, led by its Chief (and later first President), Hammer DeRoburt

Independence meant establishing institutions of governance capable of being populated by the islands people, and then having access to external sources, where resources were strained or non-existent, as in the areas of defence and external affairs. Nauru also turned its attention to what was needed to have a capable and authoritative judicial system.

As negotiations took place on granting Nauru independence from Australia, Commonwealth legislation had been passed in 1965 to establish a form of self-government for the island. Building on the existing judicial organs for the island, the Nauru Act established a local judicial branch of a Central Court, a District Court and a Court of Appeal. Appeals would be allowed from the Court of Appeal to the High Court of Australia, by virtue of s. 54 of the Nauru Act:


Saturday, 28 April


New Dawn 168 (May-June 2018) "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The Golden Age of Social Engineering; Poisoned Planet & the Depopulation Agenda; Will Humanity Be Obsolete in Elites Future World of Cyborgs & A.I.?; Demographics & Destiny: Civilisation has been Down this Road Before; The Goddess in the Machine: Restoring Intuition in a Left Brain Dominant Techno World


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