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

Monday, 17 September


NSW Rural Fire Service Current Incidents: Yulgibar Station, Baryulgil "bellingen IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

LOCATION: 351 Lionsville Rd, Baryulgil, NSW 2460
COUNCIL AREA: Clarence Valley
STATUS: Being controlled
TYPE: Grass Fire
SIZE: 786 ha
UPDATED: 17 Sep 2018 16:31


Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

There is something peculiar doing the rounds in Australian food circles.  The land down under, considered something of a nirvana of fruit and vegetable production despite horrendous droughts and calamitous cyclones, is facing a new challenge: human agency, namely in the form of despoliation of strawberries.

The results have knocked Australias highly concentrated supermarket chains, with both Coles and Aldi withdrawing all their fruit with a nervousness that has not been seen in years.  A spate of incidents involving contamination, or pins stuck in the fruit, have manifested across a range of outlets.  Strawberry brands including Donnybrook Berries, Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries, Oasis brands, Berry Obsession, Berry Licious and Mals Black Label have made it onto the list of needled suppliers.  There have been possible copycat initiates doing the rounds.  This, exclaimed Strawberries Australia Inc. Queensland spokesman Ray Daniels, is food terrorism that is bringing an industry to its knees.

The game of food contamination, infection or, as Daniels deems it, food terrorism, is the sort of thing that multiplies in fear and emotion.  It targets the industry itself (the strawberry market is already frail before the effects of pest and blight), and ensures maximum publicity for the perpetrator.  Then there is the constant fear of a potential victim, the all stifling terror of legal action that might find a target in the form of a provider.  Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has already boosted such feelings, ordering the Food Standards Australia New Zealand to investigate the matter.  This is a vicious crime, its designed to injure and possible worse, members of the population at large.

Out of 800,000 punnets of strawberries, notes Daniels, seven needles were found.  Youve got more chance of winning lotto than being affected.  Take your chance, and, as with all food production, hope for the best as you would hope for the arrival of a green goddess.

Others such as Anthony Kachenko of Hort Innovation Australia have also moved into a mode of reassurance, a salutary reminder that Australia remains in the stratosphere of food excellence despite such adventurous despoilers.  Sabotage it might be, but it was surely isolated, a nonsense that could be dealt with surgical accuracy. Australia prides itself on safe, healthy, nutritious produce and we have the utmost confidence in the produce that we grow both for the...


Prime Minister Shouty McShouty is just being his normal obnoxious self "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

There has been some advice offered to Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison by mainstream media.

Some journalists are suggesting that he should shout less.

Here are videos of his performance in the House of Representatives as Treasurer to demonstrate that he had little volume control even then :


When a prime minster fails to grasp the basics of climate change policy..... "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The Australian Prime Minister for Fossil Fuels and Liberal MP for Cook, Scott Morrison, has been repeatedly insisting since he came to office on 24 August 2018 that Australia is on target to meet its Paris Agreement greenhouse gas emissions targets.

Apparently he is telling journalists that the business-as-usual model gets us there in a canter.

Business-as-usual of course includes those cuts to climate change mitigation programs Morrison made as federal treasurer - including no further funding for the Abbott Government's Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) which has so far failed to purchase enough abatement to outpace Australia's emissions growth.

Those agencies outside of Morrison's magic circle are quite frankly contradicting his prediction of success.......

The COAG Energy Security Councils Energy Security Board expects that Morrisons refusal to revive National Energy Guaranteelegislation will see the electricity sector fall short of the emissions reduction target of 26% below 2005 levels.

According to Dept. of Environment and Energy  ...



24-25 NOVEMBER 2018

A truly historic gathering will bring together line-up of renowned healers, musicians, artists and thought-leaders for a historic Convergence of Healing. The event is co-hosted with local Minyungbal Song Man Uncle Magpie, traditional custodian of the land where this unique global-gathering is taking place. UNITY EARTH is also working closely with neighbouring custodian Auntie Delta Kay of the Arakwal people and working in collaboration with the excellent Culture Aware initiative.

Outstanding international acts Kristin Hoffman, Premik Russel Tubbs and GRAMMY nominated Rocky Dawuni are headlining the event, as well as amazing local talent Aine Tyrell, Dane Kennedy, Paul Howorth and more. Indigenous Leaders from Mexico, North America and Greenland will join in this historic event. The two-day gathering is designed as both a gathering and a retreat offering an intimate experience capped at just 1500 people to ensure intimacy of attendees and delegates. These two life-affirming days on the beautiful North Byron Parklands will be a deep shared experience of healing, intercultural community and personal transformation with powerful music, soulful food, healing ceremonies and healing circles. The event is alcohol and drug free and is designed to be family friendly with special activities for children who come along.

It is a not for profit event. UNITY EARTH invites all who feel called, to come and gather for this powerful and historic event.

EARLY BIRD TICKETS are available until September 30th. Go to for more info and to book.



Drunk on Homesickness "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Seven months into a student exchange in Europe, and Id only seen two Australians.

One was guy who had little interest in reminiscing about our favourite meat pie flavours. Mines bacon and cheese! I offered. He said he didnt care.

The other was a girl whom, upon hearing her Sydney accent, I became so overwhelmed with excitement at finding another Australian, I tried to high five her, accidentally catching her on the side of the head.  She wouldnt speak to me after that, which I couldnt blame her for.

I later realised these uncomfortable encounters all stemmed from my deep longing for Australia and all its uniqueness. Missing family, friends and my adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was to be expected, but missing my country was a new feeling Id never had to experience.

So while searching for cheap pre-drinks from a supermarket in Prague, I found a bottle of Yellow Tail: a shitty bottle of Australian wine that Id never touch at home. I didnt even look at the price.

Seventeen minutes is all it took for me to drink the whole bottle. Walking with my group of exchange friends to our meeting point, I tripped over the cobbled roads as everyone encouraged me to chug it.

Oh what a fool I was.

Its a weird kind of power move to walk down a street openly sculling a bottle of wine. No paper bag. Nothing to hide (which became further evident when I tried to flash people passing by).

The wine hit hard possibly because I was emotional about home; possibly because I hadnt eaten much that day; possibly because I did pre-shots before pre-drinks.

With a beautiful Italian friend to my right and an adorable Finnish pal to my left, my hands were gripped tightly as they both talked in that light babyish voice people use to address drunk people. Feeling happy and floaty and obviously straight-up stupid, I suggested we get more drinks. The idea was shot down in a variety of languages all with the same premise of fuck no.

As a group of 12, I was easily passed around for shifts of, Okay, you take care of the drunkard now, which I did apologise for profoundly the next afternoon when I could function again.

When we started to fumble our way back home along the rickety pavers of Prague, my legs and arms were swinging in all directions to keep me from fal...


Mental Health Nursing Practice and Indigenous Australians: A Multi-Sited Ethnography "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"


Child dies after being hit by car at Macleans Ridges "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Updated: 3.30pm: A young girl is has died in hospital after being struck by a car near Lismore.

At 10am Monday (September 17), emergency services were called to Cameron Road, McLeans Ridges, after an nine-year-old girl was struck by a southbound Hyundai station wagon.

A spokesperson for NSW Ambulance told Echonetdaily the car was travelling at around 70km/h when it hit the child.

She bounced off the bonnet and was thrown over the car and onto grass, the spokesperson said.

He added the child was bleeding from mouth, and suffered a traumatic cardiac arrest.

Her mother was giving her CPR when help arrived, the spokesperson said.

Five units and the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter were dispatched to the scene.

Emergency services treated the girl before she was taken to Lismore Base Hospital by road ambulance in a critical condition.

The male driver was also taken to Lismore Base Hospital for mandatory blood and urine tests, and to be treated for shock.

A crime scene has been established which is being examined by forensic police.

Officers from Richmond Police District are conducting inquiries into the incident.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via or


The post Child dies after being hit by car at Macleans Ridges appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Camping under the stars might just be the way to helping to rebuild happiness "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Camping is being lauded as way to help you feel better about yourself, get closer to your loved ones and create a sense of reconnection to the world.
In a world where the fear of missing out (FOMO) is contributing to anxiety, camping may have a special place in improving mental health by its ability to cut people off from technology.
Alistair Mitchell is one person who says drawing on his early childhood experiences of camping and getting back to nature helped his long road to recovery from mental illness.

For more details see:


Bruns parks should be an election issue: Pugh "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Labor candidate for Ballina, Asren Pugh (centre), wants voters to be given a say over the future of Brunswick Holiday Parks and southern Terrace Reserve. Photo supplied

Chris Dobney & Aslan Shand

Labor candidate for Ballina, Asren Pugh, wants voters to be given a say over the future of Brunswick Holiday Parks and southern Terrace Reserve.

And he has called on Byron Shire Council to make no long-term decisions about southern Terrace Reserve that would stop it being handed back to the community after the state election due in March next year.

Mr Pugh has been running a campaign and community petition to stop the privatisation of the Brunswick Holiday Parks and calling for southern Terrace Reserve to be handed back as community space.

This weeks Byron Shire council agenda includes a recommendation from council staff to approve a licence application from the state-owned holiday-park conglomerate Reflections, which would allow camping on southern Terrace Reserve and could potentially allow the destruction of an endangered ecological community of coastal cypress pines.

Mr Pugh is calling on councillors to reject the application.

If council approves this license at Thursdays meeting it could make it harder for a new Labor government to open this space back up to the community. Council can still approve the camping license for the other parts of Terrace Reserve to operate and reject the application to operate in this sensitive area.

We need to listen to the community and save our public green space in Brunswick Heads.

I am determined to make saving the precious public space in Brunswick Heads and stopping the privatisation of the parks an election issue, he said.

Heavy pruning of the historic cypress trees which drew the ire of locals as far back as 2014.



Nude Not Lewd rally a cold clothes option "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Jenni and Dazee wanted to send a strong message. Photo Tree Faerie.

A cool blustery day did little to dampen the determination of protestors at Tyagarah as almost 100 supporters visited the Nude Not Lewd beach rally throughout Sunday morning.

Though naturalists at heart, clothes were the days option for many as a chill wind blew along the beach, but their message was fiery hot.

Nude is not lewd.

Council is currently debating the future of clothes optional beaches in the Shire and naturists from the Byron area and beyond say they are fighting for their right to have clothes optional beaches. The protestors are adamant about everyone being able to enjoy the beach in a safe community environment.

Several speakers had their say during the morning and all agreed that there is sometimes an unpleasant element who are attracted to the nude beach, but working together, the community could address those issues.

A spokesperson for the Byron Naturists said that the main focus of the days rally is to keep the beach open.

Theres a small number of local residents who have been very vocal about trying to close the beach.

They have claimed that police statistics are up. That is true, but that is since the size of the [nude] beach has been reduced a lot of those statistics have been about people who have been naked outside of the signposted area. A lot of those statistics are also what they call bona fides they are doing daily patrols and they are asking people for ID.

So they are minor issues. What the police have said is that there havent been any major issues in the signposted area.

Photos Tree Faerie


Young snappers whip photo wins award "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The youngest ever overall winner of the annual Brunswick Heads Photo Competition, Sophia Dadon, is just nine.

With a photo of some young kids eating whipped ice-cream, nine-year-old Sophia Dadon will go down in history as the youngest overall winner of the annual Brunswick Heads Simple Pleasures Photo Competition.

Sophias photo Ice Cream Love was the 2018 overall winner.

Keeping in mind this years theme Loving Bruns Sophia snapped her young friends loving the whipped ice-cream from Bernardis on Mullumbimby Street.

In its 14th year, the competition winners were announced at a ceremony at the Bruns Bowlo on Sunday afternoon.

With the Tamara Smith MP, Peoples Choice and Instagram awards, judges chose 17 finalists and five winners from 135 print and almost 500 instagram entries.

From those entries a wonderful selection of photos are now for sale in the 2019 Simple Pleasure calendar.

For more information visit:



Nothing of environmental significance at Tweed Hospital site "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Artists impression of the new Tweed Hospital on the Kingscliff site.

NSW Health Infrastructure has repudiated claims by federal Richmond MP Justine Elliot (Labor) that the Kingscliff site for the new Tweed Hospital, announced by the state government, would need to be assessed by the federal environment department.

Last week, Ms Elliot, whose husband Craig is running for the state seat of Tweed against sitting member Geoff Provest (Nationals), ran a series of ads and issued a media release saying Mr Provests decision to impose a hospital on the protected Cudgen farmlands could be breaching Commonwealth law.

Justine Elliot Labor Federal MP for Richmond. Photo supplied.

Ms Elliot argued that the proposed Tweed Hospital site near Kingscliff may need to be referred to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment under the Environment Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act 1999.

Mr Provest responded by accusing Ms Elliot of disregarding state planning processes in order to assist with her husbands state election campaign.

Now the state body tasked with building the hospital, NSW Health Infrastructure, has announced that it, too, believes there is no requirement to refer the $534m new Tweed Hospital to the Commonwealth under the [act].

Detailed site investigations and advice from an independent environmental management expert has confirmed that there is no significant impact on any Matters of National Environmental Significance, a Health Infrastructure spokesperson told Echonetdaily.

The environmental area running along the northern boundary of the project site will be preserved outside of the development area to protect the environmental biodiversity and provide views and amenity for the hospital campus.

There is...


NSW Rural Fire Service Current Incidents: Coramba Rd, Karangi "bellingen IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

ALERT LEVEL: Not Applicable
LOCATION: 1099 Coramba Rd, Karangi, NSW 2450
COUNCIL AREA: Coffs Harbour
STATUS: Out of control
TYPE: MVA/Transport
SIZE: 0 ha
UPDATED: 17 Sep 2018 08:54

NSW Rural Fire Service Current Incidents: Orara Way, Coramba "bellingen IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

ALERT LEVEL: Not Applicable
LOCATION: Orara Way, Coramba, NSW 2450
COUNCIL AREA: Coffs Harbour
STATUS: Out of control
TYPE: MVA/Transport
SIZE: 0 ha
UPDATED: 17 Sep 2018 09:10


Adanis Carmichael coal project massively downsized, but still a climate threat "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Adanis rail line cut shows project is on life support but still a threat to climate, Guardian 

The short answer is this is the latest in a string of changes that have massively downsized both the Carmichael project and the bigger plans to develop the Galilee Basin. The longer answer is that, despite optimistic talk about a long-term future for coal, the writing is on the wall. The only way to make money out of coal is to do so quickly, before the present gradual decline turns into a collapse.

The original Adani proposal, put forward in 2010, was for a mine producing 60m tonnes of coal a year. The coal would be transported along a completely...


Top 10: Ritual de lo Habitual "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Recently I was tagged on Facebook for one of those things where you post favourite albums

Janes Addiction had come to my attention via Mountain Song on Rage and I still regret not accepting an invitation to see them perform at the Hordern Pavilion in 1991.

Ritual de lo Habitual blew my mind in terms of what could be done with a genre like rock, which had become a bit paint-by-numbers in the late 80s.

There were other bands successfully pushing boundaries in this area and this album sits amongst Faith No Mores The Real Thing, Red Hot Chilli Peppers Bloodsugarsexmagic and then the watershed of Nirvanas Nevermind but I think it deserves more attention.

One critic argues Janes Addiction revived interest in Led Zeppelin and Im not sure that ever went away, but I think this album paved a way for Soundgardens Badmotorfinger which is a more obvious heir.

Ritual de lo Habitual has a huge dynamic range and the track Three Days is particularly epic.

That track also exemplifies the beautifully understated bass playing of Eric Avery, which carries most of the song.

Both Flea and John Frusciante of the Chilli Peppers have acknowledged his influence.

As someone whod Been Caught Stealing it surprised me that a song about shoplifting could be so funky and those dogs happily barking in the opening also spoke to me.

I still get a huge rush of energy when I hear the opening chords.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The post...

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Sunday, 16 September


Castillo Copper Limited's Jackadgery Project: has spinning the truth already begun? "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

On 15 September 2018 The Daily Examiner reported that:

Concerns  about the health of the Mann and Clarence rivers have been raised by community members following explorations by Castillo Copper at Cangai, near the historic copper mine.

Its the high grade of the finding that has some community members concerned, with the prospect of a mine opening in the area becoming more likely.

At a meeting attended by about 20 people, NSW Parliament Greens candidate for the Clarence Greg Clancy and John Edwards from the Clarence Valley Environment Centre explained their concerns with mining so close to the river.

After having trouble getting in contact with Castillo through its website, Mr Edwards took his inquiries about the exploration to the mining regulator.

I got an email from their managing dir...


Indecent assault in Byron Bay pub "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

A 41-year-old man has been charged with indecent assault after an incident at the Great Northern Hotel in Byron Bay in the early hours of Sunday morning, September 16.

Police allege that at about 1.15am a man came up behind a woman while she was dancing with friends and pushed his penis in to her back .

Security detained the man until police arrived.

He was arrested and conveyed to the Byron Bay Police Station where he was refused bail. He appeared at Tweed Heads Local Court later in the day and was given conditional bail to appear at Byron Bay Local Court on September 20.

The post Indecent assault in Byron Bay pub appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Thieves stoop to stealing grog from caravans "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Kingscliff Beach Holiday Park. Photo

Police are warning residents in the Tweed to be especially careful to lock cars, homes and caravans following a recent spate of thefts.

During the evening of the September 15-16 alcohol was stolen from fridges in two caravans in the Kingscliff Beach Holiday Park.

Police are asking campers to ensure all their property is safely secured.

Police will be reviewing all CCTV within the park to try and identify the offenders.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson said police have seen an increase in stealing from motor vehicles, stolen motor vehicles and break and enter offences in Banora Point and Tweed Heads South.

The entire community need to ensure nothing of valuable is left in their cars, and to ensure your motor vehicles are always locked when there is not and adult within three meters of the vehicle, the spokesperson said.

Dont give opportunistic thieves the chance to take your property.

The post Thieves stoop to stealing grog from caravans appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Liberty, freedom and civil rights? Do any of us understand these things anymore. "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Words like freedom, rights and liberty are values that the vast majority of people aspire to for themselves and others yet they remain poorly understood and as a result vulnerable to being manipulated.

When we think of the word liberty or libertarian, sadly many of us we quickly picture gun-toting rednecks from the [...]


Will Dutton face the High Court? "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

On 23 August 2018 sixty-nine members of the Turnbull Coalition Government voted down a Labor motion to refer the Minister for Home Affairs and MP for Dickson, Peter Dutton, to the Court of Disputed Returns.

Included in this sixty-nine was Peter Dutton himself and most of the forty-five MPs who a day later refused to support Dutton's second leadership bid, as well as some reported to now be keeping their options open concerning referral to the Court. 

It seems that another motion is being prepared and there is no guarantee that the vote would go Dutton's way in a Morrison Coalition Government, 15 September 2018:

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has been dealt another legal blow as constitutional law expert Anne Twomey says her advice for his referral to the High Court is "stronger" than ever.



A Fair Trial Catch-22: The Problem With The Teachers Pet Podcast "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

One of the worlds hottest podcasts right now has helped shed light on the disappearance of a Sydney woman. But at what price of a fair trial, asks Hannah Marshall.

The best way to dispose of a body, if you live in the bush, is to put it in the bush, and thats what I think he did on the Friday night.

There is a problem with The Teachers Pet. The podcast and the slew of surrounding media could be so sensational and prejudicial that if he is prosecuted, Chris Dawson cant get a fair trial.

The podcast is a true crime story about a woman, Lyn Dawson, who disappeared from Sydneys northern beaches in 1982. Her body has never been found. The investigating journalist accuses her husband, former Newtown Jets player Chris Dawson, of murdering her. He denies it.  Two coronial inquests have recommended prosecution but none has ensued.

The picture painted of Chris Dawson is not good. Theres his affair with a schoolgirl, allegations of physical abuse, allegations of an attempt to hire a hitman, inconsistent statements, and two small daughters left without their mother.

The Teachers Pet is compelling and sad and reveals some great injustices; to the two daughters, the schoolgirl, and Lyns family as well as to Lyn Dawson herself.

But in its eagerness to seek justice for her probable murder it risks doing exactly the opposite. It could result in Chris Dawson avoiding facing a jury, or even avoiding a murder trial altogether, regardless of the strength of any evidence against him.

The obvious upside to this kind of investigative journalism is the chance that new, meaningful evidence could be found that will help get a conviction. But that has to be balanced very carefully against the risk involved in broadcasting information that is prejudicial and unlikely to be admissible as evidence in court.

To be fair, a lot of the information presented in The Teachers Pet is unproblematic. Written statements and evidence from the coronial inquests for example. But a lot of other parts of the podcast are prejudicial and prejudge Dawsons guilt. Here are just a couple of examples.

A new witness alleges that she saw Chris Dawson assault his wife twice, well before Lyn disappeared. The inference is that he is a violent person and therefore more likely to have killed his wife. Courts call this tendency evidence and treat it with extreme caution. It is only admitted in very particular circumstances. Whether this new testimony would be admitted into evidence is highly uncertain. But the podcast doesnt tell you that.

Then theres the treatment of a claim that Chris Dawson said he tried to hire a hitman to kill Lyn, but didnt go through with it. The allegation comes from Dawsons schoolgirl lover, and later...


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

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

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

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

Safety and Vigilance on Campus-1

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

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

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

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

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

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

The problem with telling grown w...


Australia: Drug Overdoses Prompt Shut Down of Sydney Music Festival "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

A 23-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman died on Saturday after collapsing at the Defqon. 1 festival, the police said. Two of the 13 hospitalised people remain in critical condition, while about 700 sought help on site.

The police has charged 10 people with drug supply offences, including two teenagers who allegedly carried 120 capsules to the festival, held at the Sydney International Regatta Centre.

Im absolutely aghast at what has occurred, I dont want any family to go through the tragedy that some families are waking up to this morning, its just horrible to think about, the premier of the Australian state of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian, said.

A 23-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman died on Saturday after collapsing at the Def...


Sunday, 16 September 2018 - 4:53pm "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

This week, I have been mostly reading comics:


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

LOCATION: 1230 Bucca Rd, Bucca, NSW 2450
COUNCIL AREA: Coffs Harbour
STATUS: Being controlled
TYPE: Bush Fire
SIZE: 0 ha
UPDATED: 16 Sep 2018 14:32


Top 10: Feed "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Recently I was tagged on Facebook for one of those things where you post favourite albums

Skunkhour were everything I was looking for in a band when they came to my attention in 93.

They played the funk music thatd started shaking Sydney with hiphop influences and a distinctively Australian delivery.

I think the Larkin brothers, Aya and Del, are criminally overlooked as lyricists, and Del also did beaut illustrations for releases by other bands in their cohort, such as Swoop and Juice.

The self-titled Skunkhour debut showed they were able to sing about admiring arses (Bootyfull) and also to consider gender roles (A Cow and a Pig), as well discuss the heroin epidemic of the early 90s (Horse).

Then the follow-up album Feed in 1995 expanded their focus musically and lyrically.

McSkunk was released as a single well in advance of the album and runs through a critique of capitalism exploiting natural resources. (Its a theme they would later explore as the ballad Tomorrows Too Soon and thats one of those songs that I love for making my eyes water.)

The track State then slipped out on an EP and, as a first-year Philosophy student, I appreciated the parallels with Platos writing for comparing divisions in the soul with those in society.

Id begun writing for Canberras BMA Magazine and spoke with guitarist Warwick Scott for a couple of interviews, as well as having opportunities to quiz the band after their shows.

Ahead of the release of the album Feed I got a promotional three-song cassette, which included Treacherous Head and Strange Equation.

The former addresses our human impulses and their potential to undermine our best intentions, while the latter rhymed the song title with race assimiliation to discuss the hollow words that all men are created equal in the United States Declaration of Independence.

Ive picked Feed as my favourite Skunkhour album as it showed the band hitting their stride and broadening their sound, literally with the addition of keyboardist Paul Searles.

Green Light is a phenomenal track to hear live as the Sutherland brothers lock in their bass and drum parts.

Sunstone speaks of driving Australias back roads with wry observations that feel like an aural equivale...



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Wages growth is coming (to VIC & NSW) "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Left slack-jawed

There's an old tradition when it comes to job numbers that goes something like this: if the numbers are crap we're doomed; and if the numbers are good then they must be wrong.

The technical term for this is confirmation bias.

As ever this month's booming jobs numbers were treated with anything from scepticism to outright derision.

And yet the solid results have kept on coming, especially in the two most populous states. 

There's another bias that tends to impact people: when things have been bad, they expect bad things to continue.

And quite understandably we're seeing a lot of this in relation to weak private sector wages growth.

After all, soft nominal wage price growth has been around since 2015, so it's becoming quite hard to imagine that pay packets could soon begin to swell again. 

But take note, because in some states this may be about to change...

Private sector wages to lift

Although it never seems to get reported anywhere, I've shown several times before that while the underutilisation rate is high, in volume measures terms things have been very steadily improving for the past few years. 

That is to say, lots of people still want more hours of work, but the numbers of extra hours wanted has been declining over the past four years.


Lets live a day at a time for the Lord "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

I met a man last night aged 61, my age, from New Zealand originally like me, who is has four cancers and has been given 2-6 years life-expectancy.

We were watching the All Blacks play South Africa in rugby union at my local pub In Bellingen in Mid-Coast, New South Wales, Australia.

We shared how wed both had friends die in their 50s. Ive lost three friends aged in their 50s. One in 2004 aged 53 and the other two last year. One was Trevor Tree a Bellingen local who I was friends with for almost thirty years. He was a Christian, and fit, so his death was unexpected.

The man I met last night seemed quite reconciled to the situation. Hed just retired and was doing a motorbike trip with some male friends. He shared he is married.

So lets live a day at a time for the Lord. We dont know which day in our future will be our last, no matter how old we are.

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Saturday, 15 September


Full interview with UK writer Johann Hari on his vital messages around depression "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Back in May, I interviewed UK journalist Johann Hari at the Sydney Writers Festival about his new book, Lost Connections, on fresh ways to see depression and anxiety. It was a sold-out event and the full audio is now available:

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Friday, 20 July


From Russia without kid gloves "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

WHILE President Trump dissembles over whether he cant see why it would be Russia or why it wouldnt be and prefers Vladimir Putins denial over his own intelligence services, all the evidence points to Russia. First, why, one might ask, would anyone trust the US intelligence services, after the post 9/11 call on Iraqs so-called weapons of mass destruction?

The answer is because they learned a lot from that. President Obamas director of national intelligence, James Clapper, in his book Facts and Fears, says the intelligence community did several things as a result.

First, they made it a rule to always speak truth to power. Second, they vowed not to blur the lines between what is known, what is unknown and what is conjecture. Third, they vowed to avoid policy recommendations and just state the facts. Fourth, and most important, they got their act together and instead of each agency guarding its own turf, they co-operated and shared information.

Clapper did his best to organise a smooth transition after Trump won, but was ignored and rebuffed. In October 2016, before the election, he concluded with damning evidence that the Russians were meddling on Trumps side. The intelligence agencies made that public. Alas, they did so on the very day that Trumps infamous pussy statement came out and it was buried.

Malcolm Nance in his book, The Plot to Destroy Democracy, makes a convincing case that not only did Russia meddle, but it colluded with the Trump campaign in doing so and explains how it was done.

The turning point here is not that Trumps performance at the meeting with Putin in Helsinki will swing many, if any, of his deluded supporters. Rather, it is that he has so inflamed the US intelligence community that it will be galvanised to greater efforts to uncover the truth and speak that truth to power: not to the President, but to the Congress, prosecutors and the judiciary.

Remember, special prosecutor Robert Meuller was director of the FBI for 12 years under both a Republican and Democrat President. It is only a matter of time.

But now to the background and evidence. Vladimir Putin was a KGB agent in the former Soviet Union. In 1987, Ronald Reagan, the President of the US, the Soviet Unions greatest adversary, came to West Berlin and said, Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall.

The wall came down. The Soviet Union collapsed.

Then one after the other, 10 former Soviet Bloc Warsaw Pact nations and three former Y...

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Thursday, 19 July


A few tips on how to keep rats and mice out of your chook house. "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

As soon as the temperatures start to drop in Autumn and during the cold months, especially if there is rain as well, I will often find evidence of mice in my chicken house. Totally understandable from their perspective, it is warm and dry, safe from predators and there is a constant food supply.

Rodents are a nuisance in a chook house- they foul (sorry for the pun) up food and water sources, carry a number of diseases and parasites that can be passed on to your chickens and chew and destroy anything that is not made from steel. They often nest in or under nesting boxes which can give you such a fright when collecting the eggs. So getting rid of them is a priority for me.

Whilst I have no qualms about setting traps and disposing of dead rodents here are a few things I do to try and discourage rodents taking up residence in my chook house and if and when these dont work I will then resort to more drastic measures.

1. Block up any access points. Try to eliminate any possible places that rodents can gain access to your chook house. Mice can get through spaces/holes as small as 2cms to 3cms. So, clean out the house and cover up any gaps or holes. I usually use a vermin proof wire which is available at most hardware stores. If I see signs of mice, usually from diggings around the coop, I plug any holes with steel wool.

2. Plant mint. Rats and mice do not like the smell of mint so plant any of the mints, spearmint, peppermint or lemon balm, all around the edge of the chook run and chook house. Place fresh mint in the nesting boxes and in the deep litter.


3. Eliminating sources of food. Whilst it is important for your chickens to have access to food all the time, this constant food source is very attractive to rats and mice so here are some of the things I do to try and eliminate their access to food.

Firstly, keep your food in metal garbage bins with tight-fitting lids. Rats can chew through plastic easily.

If I am scattering food on the ground, I do it first thing in the morning, so it is consumed before evening. Rodents, in general, are nighttime foragers. Same for kitche...

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Wednesday, 18 July


Finding real mental health solutions for rural Australia "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

AUSTRALIAS mental health support services cannot use a one size fits all approach to lowering rates of mental illness and suicide in rural parts of the nation.
This is the opinion of Lifeline Research Foundation executive director Alan Woodward, who said there were a number of unique facets to rural living that led to different challenges than those faced in the city.
The statistics are not great, it shows the further away from a capital city you live the higher the suicide rate is, Mr Woodward told last weeks Innovation Generation conference in Wagga Wagga.
He said researchers were discovering a range of factors for the poor mental health ratings in rural areas.
Read more at:


Aboriginal kids: a healthy start to life "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

This report was developed in collaboration with the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council and focuses on key improvements in the health of Aboriginal children in New South Wales in the first 5 years of life.

The report emphasises the importance of services and programs being carried out in partnership with Aboriginal people, their communities, the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector and across government. Services and programs that have helped to achieve improvements in Aboriginal child health are highlighted throughout the report.

The report is divided into 3 life stages: before birth, infant health and early childhood.

Aboriginal kids: a healthy start to life (Report of the NSW Chief Health Officer 2018).


Assuring equity of access and quality outcomes for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: what needs to be done? "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

This report outlines the proceedings and outcomes of the 5th National Workshop of the Australian Association of Gerontology Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ageing Advisory Group held in Perth in November 2017.

The workshop aimed to address the inequities of access and outcomes for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples under the current aged care reform program, and suggest directions for the future.

Key issues identified at the workshop were:

  • current barriers to equity of access and quality outcomes
  • specialist targeted services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders
  • delivery of appropriate care by mainstream aged care service providers
  • an aged care workforce that improves access and quality care
  • advocacy services
  • appropriate aged care needs assessment
  • an evidence-based approach.

Assuring equity of access and quality outcomes for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: what needs to be done?


Better Cardiac Care measures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (AIHW) "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

This is the 3rd national report on the 21 Better Cardiac Care measures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with updated data available to report on 14 measures. It shows that while the mortality rate from cardiac conditions is falling among Indigenous Australians, it is still much higher than among non-Indigenous Australians. While access to cardiac-related health services is improving the incidence and recurrent rates of acute rheumatic fever among Indigenous Australians continue to be much higher than in non-Indigenous Australians.

Press release (AHHA): Come a long way, long way to gocardiac care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people


Sleep deprived: a third of Australians 'suffering social jetlag' "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Almost one in three Australians suffers social jet lag, according to a researcher seeking an inquiry into the nations sleep deprivation problem. The University of Adelaide sleep specialist Robert Adams said a growing body of research suggested poor sleep was taking a serious toll on Australians health and welfare.

A study led by Adams, published on Monday in the journal Sleep Medicine, found that 31% of survey respondents were suffering social jetlag. That is, the time of their sleep on work nights was more than an hour out of sync with sleeps on weekends or other days off.

Read more at:


Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 201617 "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

In 201617, 836 publicly-funded alcohol and other drug treatment services provided just over 200,000 treatment episodes to an estimated 127,000 clients.

The top four drugs that led clients to seek treatment were alcohol (32% of all treatment episodes), amphetamines (26%), cannabis (22%) and heroin (5%). The proportion of closed treatment episodes where clients were receiving treatment for amphetamines has more than doubled over the last 10 years, from 11% of treatment episodes in 200708 to 27% in 201617.

Two-thirds (66%) of all clients receiving treatment in 201617 were male and the median age of clients remains at 33 years.

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 201617.

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Tuesday, 17 July


Return and Earn for WIRES "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

It is estimated that more than 160 million drink containers litter our streets, beaches, waterways and parks in NSW every year.  Help clean up the bottles, cans and cartons in your neighbourhood and raise money for wildlife. WIRES volunteers work on the front line every day rescuing wildlife who are found choking on, ingesting, or entangled in rubbish.

WIRES wildlife rescue is currently listed on all RVM in NSW, but only for the next two months.

Through the Return and Earn scheme, anyone who returns an eligible drink container to an approved NSW collection point will receive a 10-cent refund. When you are returning containers you can choose to allocate your refund as a donation to WIRES, thus supporting our work saving sick, injured or orphaned wildlife.

Find your nearest RVM & Start Returning and Earning for WIRES now!

With 900 RVMs in place Return and Earn is already doing amazing things to help wildlife.

The overall kerbside recycling rate for beverage containers in NSW prior to the introduction of Return and Earn in NSW was 33 per cent. Since the introduction of Return and Earn, the total rose to 61 per cent by the end of March 2018, representing 196 million containers recycled that would otherwise have ended up in landfill or the litter stream. 

As people start to see the real impact the scheme is having on litter reduction and landfill, it is expected that more and more people will embrace it from an environmental perspective, in addition to the 10-cent refund opportunity.


You may not know that the design of the Return and Earn scheme in NSW ensures high quality recyclable material with low levels of contamination are captured for recycling.

Return and Earn uses an internationally acclaimed collection and sorting system and waste management logistics to ensure a continual stream of high quality recyclables.

Whats more, most of the plastic, glass and aluminum containers collected are re-processed in NSW and Australia, with the remaining balance sold into the export market.

The containers returned via Return and Earn are much cleaner and less contaminated, compared to those generally returned through other recycling channels, this leads to th...


Reshaping Justice in Bourke "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project was featured as the cover story of the Law Society of NSW Journal, June 2018 issue. Jane Southward writes that there are clear signs that justice reinvestment is an approach that is working for the Bourke community. Southward writes about the Daily Check-Ins at Maranguka Community Hub, where police report any incidents or concerns from the past 24 hours, allowing an early intervention to connect members of the community with service providers.

Southward talks about the first community report card, highlighting that youth crime and domestic violence reoffending have dropped. District Area Commander Greg Moore said, people tell us that the feeling of the town when they walk around has changed. Not only is there less crime, but they feel a sense of pride and cohesion within the community.

Other key points include that 114 people in 2017 obtained their drivers licence with assistance from Maranguka Hub and Birrang Enterprises, and Bourke High School has partnered with Maranguka to run an Our Place Program, which led to increased attendance and reduced suspensions.

The article also refers to an announcement by Attorney-General Mark Speakman of a grant of almost $250,000 for Just Reinvest NSW to share the success of the Maranguka Project in communities across NSW.

Read the full article here: Reshaping Justice in Bourke

The post Reshaping Justice in Bourke appeared first on Just Reinvest NSW Inc.

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Monday, 16 July


Santos Narrabri Gasfield CCC Meeting Agenda "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The attached Draft Agenda for the 34th Narrabri Gasfield Project Community Consultative Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday the 17th of July 2018 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.

34th CCC Meeting Agenda 2018 July Meeting Agenda_Draft.pdf


SOS "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

This was the only song I remember hearing twice at Modifyre

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Friday, 13 July


History in homebrew "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

This week I bottled my first batch of homebrewed beer

It was just the lager that came with the brewing kit but I couldn't help but tinker with the recipe and infused the water with mugwort and yarrow before adding the other ingredients.

As it fermented I remembered assisting my father brew his beer and then reflected on a passage in The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz where he discussed how brewers in previous millenia would call on the spirits to make alcohol.

We now know these spirits are yeasts and other bacterias but I like the idea that brewing beer links me to a tradition going back thousands of years.

The image shown comes from a Sumerian tablet showing people drinking beer with straws to remove the chunks that formed during brewing.

Katz' book also discusses how early European brews had a greater variety than our bottleshops today.

Local alcoholic drinks came to be known as gruits and their flavourings contained a combination of moderately narcotic herbs.

During the 11th Century the Holy Roman Empire awarded monopoly brewing rights as a way of collecting taxes and social control.
"Regulating beers and what could go into them across a vast territory effectively transferred power from the women who gathered herbs and brewed beer with it to the emergent institutions of empire."

Hops started to be used as a flavouring and preservative, particularly among German brewers who were outside of the control of the Empire but began mass production and transport to capitalise on the opportunities.

By the 1400s the beers brewed with hops were competing with gruits and the term beer became associated with barley-based drinks to which hops had been added.

Katz quotes Stephen Harrod Buhner as interpreting the rise of hops as part of competition between faiths.
"One of the arguments of the Protestants against the Catholic clergy (and indeed, against Catholicism) was their self-indulgence in food, drink, and lavish lifestyle... This behaviour was felt to be very un-Christlike indeed."

Buhner identifies that the aphrodisiac and psychotropic herbs used in gruits were discouraged, including yarrow, sweet gale and marsh rosemary.

Hops beer had al...


Just Reinvest NSW is hiring! "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Job Opportunity Available:

Community Engagement Project Manager, Just Reinvest NSW

Full time 12 month contract (with possibility of extension)

Just Reinvest NSW was formed by a coalition of more than twenty organisations aiming to address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in custody through a justice reinvestment approach. We are an independent, non-profit organisation auspiced by the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Ltd.

In 2013, Just Reinvest NSW began a partnership with the Aboriginal community in Bourke to implement the first major Justice Reinvestment trial in Australia; the Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project in Bourke. In September Just Reinvest NSW will commence a Community Engagement Project, working with other Aboriginal communities to assist in determining their suitability and readiness in adopting a community-led justice reinvestment approach.

The Community Engagement Project Manager is primarily responsible for:

  • Working and engaging with selected communities to provide them with the information necessary to assist them to determine their suitability and readiness to adopt a community-led justice reinvestment approach
  • Providing relevant initial data collection and facilitating data-driven community decision making processes on priority areas and goals for reducing crime
  • Assisting and facilitating in developing community goals and circuit breakers to reduce the rate of young peoples contact with the criminal justice system and the causes of the offending behaviour of young people;
  • Managing the Community Engagement Project Support Officer and local consultants, traineeships and/or staff engaged to support the community-led initiatives in the set-up phase.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are strongly encouraged to apply.

Salary Range: $82,864 to $85,292 (dependent on experience, skills, qualifications as demonstrated in your application and interview).

For the position description see: JRNSW Community Engagement Project Officer

For any questions please contact Nicole Mekler, Coordinator, Just Reinvest NSW, 0412 483 170,

Applications close by Friday 3rd August 2018.

Please provide a brief cover letter addressing the essential c...

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Thursday, 12 July



After months of flu last year, I was very excited when Ben Hanrahan from Greening Australia offered help with planting our new Glossy Black Cockatoo area on the steep gully behind the house.

Its been a dry year so far, with only scattered amounts of rain making the soil just moist enough for planting.  Mostly weve had sunny days and warm temperatures.



Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project is hiring! "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project is looking to employ an Administration and Project Officer to be based in Bourke. Closing date for applications is 23 July 2018.

Become part of the community-led, justice reinvestment initiative in Bourke. The Project uses a collective impact framework that brings together a diverse range of organisations and services to work on a common agenda: to reduce youth offending and incarceration, build alternative pathways for young people, and increase community safety.

Maranguka and the Justice Reinvestment Project are amongst the most innovative, Aboriginal-led social change programs in Australia.

The Administration and Project Officer (Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project) is responsible for facilitating and supporting the cross-sector collaboration needed to achieve the Projects goals relating to young people and their families, including:

  • Working in a small multi-disciplinary team whose role is to enable a whole-of-community collaborative response to achieve better outcomes for young people and their families with a particular focus on issues relating to the criminal justice system;
  • Participating in the working groups and working to embed the strategies to support young people and their families into all parts of the Bourke community;
  • Provide administrative support to the Project;
  • Ensuring that young people in Bourke participate in decision-making and evaluation;
  • Helping to maintain communication with collaborators, partners and stakeholders that are connected to and engaged with the Project.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are strongly encourage to apply

Salary Range: $61,978 $69,563 (dependent on experience, skills, qualifications as demonstrated in your application and interview). With the remuneration are attractive benefits and salary packaging options.

For the position description see: Maranguka Administration and Project Officer June 2018.

Please provide a brief cover letter addressing the essential criteria and your resume to

For any questions please contact Nicole Mekler, Coordinator, Just Reinvest NSW, 0412 483 170,

The post Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project is hirin...

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Wednesday, 11 July


Fairy Meadow man on drug charges "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

A FAIRY Meadow man is before the courts after being charged by Strike Force Raptor South with drug and firearm offences in the Illawarra region.

Officers from the Criminal Groups Squads Strike Force Raptor South commenced an investigation into the ongoing supply of and distribution of methylamphetamine.

Following inquiries,...

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Tuesday, 10 July


Black Swan Cygnets "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

A local couple from Bawley Point on the mid south coast called WIRES to report they had two young Black swan cygnets contained in a box.

Their house backs on to a swampy area near Cormorant Beach where the water can run out to the ocean during very heavy rains.

They had just witnessed a female Black swan walking out onto Cormorant Beach with 4 very young cygnets following behind. The cygnets were only 2-3 days old and very small.

As they watched the mother swan fled to the ocean (as adult swans can do), possibly spooked by several people and their dogs on the beach. The cygnets tried to follow, but were unable to manage the ocean. 

The concerned couple contained two of the stranded cygnets and went back home to call WIRES, while another concerned couple locked their dogs up and returned to help. 

The other two cygnets were washed up on the beach and tragically witnessed a dog kill one of the young birds, the other cygnet fled over the sand dunes deep into a shrubby, swampy area backing on to private properties.

WIRES rescuer, Zora went out to collect the two rescued cygnets and searched the beach, dunes and area of the last sighting for the third cygnet, but found neither the mother swan or missing baby. 

The following night a friend called to report having found a swan cygnet. The three were immediately reunited, but the third cygnet had was considerably smaller and weaker and despite our best efforts it died after 5 days.

The original two cygnets are now almost 9 weeks old and have grown at a phenomenal rate from 125grams to over 3kg in that time!

They consume huge volumes of greens, and as you can see, they change rapidly. Every single day there are new feathers and visible changes in appearance.


The cygnets will need to be in care until they ca...

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Monday, 09 July


Video: Pit Pump footage from 10.6.2018 flyover "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Water continues to stream into the Maules Creek coal mine pit.

These images were taken on the 10.6.2018 showing that pumps are still operating in the bottom of the pit, de-watering the coal seams. Water appears to be rising around the blast drill holes with the mine pit pumps working hard to lower the water table.

With the question of connectivity between the Maules Creek alluvium and the coal seams an open question, these pumps could be lowering the Maules Creek water table directly impacting residents and the environment.

Meanwhile, as this video shows, the pit lake continues to grow (as at the 29th of June).


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Friday, 06 July


Spreading the benefits. Where have I heard that before? "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

I had a sinking feeling in Sydneys Four Seasons Hotel listening to Treasurer Scott Morrison guarantee that he would be able to deliver permanent tax cuts and properly fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme in this years budget and beyond without any longer needing an extra levy.

Id heard it before, more or less, in the Great Hall of Parliament House in 2012. The speaker was Wayne Swan, Morrisons long-term Labor predecessor, who after years of bad luck including the global financial crisis was finding revenue turning up.

I am proud to announce a new Spreading the Benefits of the Boom package, he told us. It was time to share the proceeds of the mining boom with families and businesses, and the disabled.

In the budget he had funded the first stage of the National Disability Insurance Scheme - the first $1 billion over four years; he increased funding for dental services, aged care, hospitals, infrastructure and superannuation, all because for too many Australians this feels like someone elses mining boom''.

I wrote on my notepad that day that the boom would end when the demand for Australias minerals faded, but that the spending Swan had put in train to share the benefits would continue.

In retrospect Swan was unwise to be so generous with something that wouldnt last, but few in the room that day spoke up.

In The Age and Sydney Morning Herald


Victoria's privatisation, population & property billions "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Where are the billions coming from? In part, from property. This financial year Treasurer Tim Pallas will get $6.6 billion from property stamp duty, up from $5.4 billion in 2015-16. He will get $2.4 billion from land tax, up from $1.7 billion in 2015.

The good news is that Victorian property values are staying high. Sydney prices slid 1.7 per cent in the three months to March whereas Melbourne prices slipped just 0.5 per cent.

Going forward, Tuesdays budget will forecast still high but lower income from stamp duty, a judgment that looks about right. Melbournes population growth is the strongest in Australia, which means Melbourne property prices are more likely than most to stay high.

Many more of the billions will come from asset sales. The Turnbull government will pay the Andrews government a touch over $2 billion for Victorias share of Snowy Hydro, and a private buyer will pay it an estimated $2 billion for the right to run the land titles registry.

Victoria will get $16.8 billion from the Commonwealth Grants Commission in goods and services tax collections, thats about $900 million more than it expected. Itll reflect both Victorias bigger than expected population, and its lower than expected share of Commonwealth infrastructure grants. The Grants Commissions formula requires it to compensate for Commonwealth stinginess after enough years have passed, and the Abbott and Turnbull governments have been stingy long enough for the compensation to kick in.

And the Commonwealth is at last becoming more generous. The $5 billion promised for a Melbourne Airport rail link and the $1.42 billion promised for regional rail are making things easier.

The economy itself is helping. One in every ten jobs in Victoria has been created in the past 3 years, since the election of the Andrews government. One in every seven dollars sloshing around in the economy wasnt there before Andrews was elected and (coincidentally) Victorias population growth took off.

Its impressive, but doesnt quite explain how Tim Pallas can promise to spend $10 billion a year on infrastructure for the next four years and still bring in a surplus.

The answer lies in a quaint state budget accounting convention. When the money is spent, it isnt spent as far as the budget is concerned. All that appears on the budget are the interest...


Here's my big dangerous tax idea: let us keep our money "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Suddenly weve wised up. As far back as any of us can remember, all the way back to the beginning of income tax, weve been easy to bribe.

Heres how it has worked in every election and in almost every budget: Youve been working hard and paying too much tax. We feel your pain. Weve magically found some money from somewhere. Were pulling a tax cut out of a hat. You can thank us later.

That the rabbit was our own money, taken from us in ever-increasing amounts through an automatic process known as bracket creep, and then only partly returned, was the trick we werent invited to dwell on.

Heres how it will work this time. In the year ahead wages will probably climb 2.1 per cent. Itll push a greater proportion of our pay into the highest rate of tax we pay. All by itself that will push up the total amount of tax we pay by around $6 billion, even though our actual buying power, our inflation-adjusted wages, might not much change. The budget tax cuts will give us back some of it: around $4.4 billion.

Hey presto. Were supposed to be awed.

Even after 10 years, after the third and most expensive phase of the Morrison tax cuts announced on budget night, middle earners will still find themselves paying 3 per cent more of their income in tax than they do right now: 18 per cent instead of 15 per cent, according to the Grattan Institute. Only the very highest earners - the top 10 per cent - will get their bracket creep back.

(We need to rely on organisations such as the Grattan Institute and the Parliamentary Budget Office for the calculations because the government wont provide them for us. It wants us to be in awe of the trick without seeing how it's done.)

It helps that bracket creep isnt widely understood, certainly not by shock jocks such as Sydneys Ray Hadley (it simply means that people who were formerly taxed at the lower income rate through no fault of their own go on to the next income rate), Nor, on the face of it, by the Treasurer himself, who on Monday said that the third and final stage of his plan that levelled the tax rate between $41,001 and $200,000 meant that for most Australians, who will earn over their lifetime somewhere between $40,000 and up to $200,000, they will ne...

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Tuesday, 03 July


Work starts on new kiosk "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"


stanwell park beach kiosk tripadvisor

The old Stanwell Park Beach KIosk prior to demolition. Photo:

WORK has started on the new caf for Stanwell Park Beach.

The purpose built caf will have an elevated covered dining deck overlooking the park, a paved outdoor seating area and a kiosk and kitchen. Two fully accessible public toilets are also a key component of the new design that was influenced by community feedback.

We know this is a valued community space and Council has worked with the community to develop the design for the new caf/kiosk, Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.

Through our engagement we know there was a strong push from the community to preserve the buildings original kiosk sign, and weve taken that on board. It was carefully removed during the demolition with the intention of seeing how we might incorporate it into the new building.

The aged kiosk building and residence, which had occupied the site for more than 50 years, were demolished last year, and a temporary shipping container-style caf had operated at the site over the summer months. It will be removed to make way for the new building.

The project is anticipated to cost approximately $1.4 million and constructio...


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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Saturday, 30 June

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Friday, 29 June


Foothills Road bypass plan dumped "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

phillip street thirroul

A suggestion to use a fire trail at the top of Philip Street Thirroul to connect to Foothills Road Austinmer as an alternative route to by pass Lawrence Hargrave Drive has been dumped by Wollongong Council.

A CONTROVERSIAL proposal to upgrade Foothills Road Fire Trail as an alternate route for traffic to Lawrence Hargrave Drive through Thirroul has been dumped by Wollongong City Council after strong community opposition.

Community feedback collected by the Council through the Thirroul Traffic Workshop has been provided to the State Government for their consideration. Council hosted the workshop in February in response to community concerns about traffic in Thirroul.

At the workshop, Council staff collected more than 165 comments as well as further feedback submitted by people who were unable to attend the workshop.

Investigations found the community concerns fell within three broad categories safety, capacity and amenity.

Id like to thank everyone who took the time to attend the workshop and share their thoughts and feedback on traffic conditions and pedestrian and...


Xenophobic fury no answer to foreign competition "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

A COUPLE of recent Australian developments show that xenophobic fury and trade wars are not the answer to foreign businesses taking domestic profits and jobs, as President Donald Trump thinks. The answer is to either just to accept the benefits of the cheaper goods and services that foreigners provide or to go out in active competition.

In tourism over the past 15 years and in the short-journey (or taxi) industry in the past five years, foreign operators have come in, under-cutting locals and providing better services, but also taking an ever-growing amount of the profits.

At Canberra Airport last week GoCatch had set up a promotional desk. GoCatch is Australian-owned and in direct competition with US-owned Uber. It is in the process of an Initial Public Offer to raise some more capital.

GoCatch is competing by hitting Ubers two weak spots: poor driver payment and surge fees that leave passengers paying a lot more than expected when traffic gets heavy.

GoCatch has also picked up a lot of taxi owners who have more dead time on their hands following Ubers entry into the market. GoCatch no doubt is also hoping some patriotic business will also come its way.

That is a more constructive approach than, say, imposing a tariff or tax on Uber to protect the Australian taxi industry.

I gave GoCatch a go and it works in the same way as Uber: phone app; map showing where your driver is and expected arrival time; estimated fee etc.

Of course, when driverless, electric cars become commonplace, the ride-share business will be disrupted yet again.

Just as the grossly over-taxed and over-regulated taxi industry was vulnerable to disruption so, too, the accommodation business has had to meet a new business model: holiday letting.

Before Airbnb, Homeaway, Stayz, Booking, TripAdvisor and others, holiday letting was done through local real-estate agents who charged very high commissions. As a result there was not much of it and mostly restricted to known holiday destinations. Hotels and motels commanded the market.

Then came the disruptors. People with spare rooms or apartments in large cities could compete with hotels and motels because they could market their properties through the disruptors websites to a nationwide, and then worldwide market.

Initially in the holiday market, the Australian-owned Stayz did very well. I know. I used Stayz for our two holiday apartments in Port Douglas. And I am declaring this interest.

But now Stayz has been taken over by the overseas-owned Homeaw...

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Thursday, 28 June


Knight and Day by WH Auden "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Decades ago my then girlfriend Karen shared this beaut piece by WH Auden titled Knight and Day

The name is a clue to how to decipher this generative poem.

In recent years I've pondere whether it might be a model for other generative work, particularly music.

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Wednesday, 27 June


Public art for Wombarra "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"


A NEW public art sculpture, Shellpod, has been installed by Wollongong City Council at Sharkeys Beach, Coledale.

The sculpture is from the Wombarra artist, Gaby Porter and was created by Gaby and a number of local artists including Annette Wellings, Lois Hill, John Haymes and Alan Wetten.



Corrimal Librarys 21st birthday "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"


Library customer Byron Pruks revisited Corrimal District Library. He was pictured [ see below] at the library when it first opened 21 years ago.



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.



Four Leaf Clover "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Four Leaf Cloverby Neve Richardson

Kids let their hands move freely
trying to find a four leaf clover
Roses wait with thorns sharp like daggers
the smell of rich perfume

Tall proud gum trees stand either side of the house
the house with the tin roof as grey as the pictures inside
Blue and solemn olive trees stand limp, waiting to be picked
still like the black, inky statue in the front yard

A white, wired fence blocks strangers from stumbling through
although the latch is as strong as a twig
Henrys cottage is a place to call home
though thou shall need to dig deep through shrub
to find it in Leeton town

Pic from The Irrigator


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, 26 June


Primus say baby "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Nice poster for Primus, who were one of my favourite bands in the early '90s

The artwork by Jimbo Phillips Graphix references their song 'Tommy The Cat' and you can hear it below.

Primus were one of my favourite live shows and I recall being unable to speak for the first few songs, which included memorably dropping the opening of Metallica's 'Master Of Puppets' into their song 'Pudding Time'.


Fairy Meadow hydroponic house raid "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

TWO men will face court after a hydroponic house was allegedly discovered in Fairy Meadow about 3.30pm on Monday.

Wollongong Police went to Cabbage Tree Lane following an investigation into the supply of cannabis where they discovered a hydroponic house, and seized 34 plants.

Two men, aged 22 and 27, were arrested at the house and taken to Wollongong Police Station.

Following further inquiries, police searched a home on Hercules Street, Wollongong on Tuesday where they dicsvered another hydroponic house and where 145 cannabis plants were seized.

The men were charged with eight offences, including enhanced indoor cultivation for commercial purpose, using electricity without authority, and dealing with the proceeds of crime.


Empowering culture "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The results of a recent survey that showed domestic violence increases on the nights of State Of Origin matches gives me ideas for tackling this scourge in our communities

It means a variety of resources can be directed to those peak times, but not just investing in shelters for women.

TV advertising during the matches could remind viewers there is no place for violence in the home.

An important form of influence could be to donate a percentage from ticket sales to shelters, hotlines and other support services.

Many studies have shown that when people recognise their role in responding to an issue, they feel empowered to act.

So a small step like raising funds and promoting this outcome could potentially have a deeper psychological effect on punters at the matches.

The longer term issue is to recognise that male violence is a cultural issue.

Not all males are violent and male violence is not seen at the same levels across all cultures.

For too long Australian governments have retreated from the idea of culture.

Sport and arts were separated decades ago from sitting together in a cultural portfolio, although theres a lot in common between these activities particularly in terms of performance and audiences.

A popular misconception is that male violence stems from frustrations that can only be expressed as anger while disinhibited by alcohol.

Alcohol plays a role but many commentators recognise that male violence is an expression of power.

Most would agree that violence is not a healthy form of expression but we need to change our culture to promote alternatives.

Many people find pleasure in the meditative qualities of sport and art and there are a wide variety of other benefits.

The challenge is to recognise the role of culture and to fund programs that are available for everyone.

Just as we know that exercise is good for us, art is good too.

Both activities can increase feelings of well-being and help regulate mood.

The problem I see is that too much government funding is directed to the elites of sport and art, rather than promoting these activities as available to the broader community.

Its time to recognise culture and its potential in our communities.


Discussing Eurydice Dixon "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Some friends on Facebook have asked where are the men discussing Eurydice Dixon

I dont think Im alone in struggling to articulate the injustice.

It occurs to me one reason Im struggling to articulate a response is that Eurydice cant explain the circumstances that led to her death.

If she had lived, she wouldve had to make the decision to report her assault.

It is widely recognised that few victims of sexual assault report the crime.

About a decade ago I got an insight into why so few undertake that process.

While living in a regional city I learned victims might have to drive two hours to a larger hospital to find a doctor willing to collect forensic evidence.

Does this suggest its easier to believe Eurydices corpse than it is to find a doctor in the country?


Reporting crime is one step in making sense of violence but its not an easy step.

My female Facebook friends have responded to Eurydices death by sharing experiences of male violence.

As a male I know male violence too and I think thats why I feel powerless to discuss Eurydice.

Maybe if I was a corpse itd be easier to believe I fear violence.

When I was assaulted I asked police to make a report and they said why bother.

I called a friend who worked a newspaper and asked him to write a story.

The journalist said it happens all the time, thats not newsworthy.

I understand my story seems insignificant.

its commonplace but I still struggle to understand it.

Violence is senseless but as a society not much effort seems to be put into understanding it.

This is what I say for Eurydice Dixon: We need to change a culture that belittles violence.

I wonder if once we acknowledge our shared experiences of violence, we can look at how our culture normalises it.

Are we so blas about violence that a corpse is required for it to be recognised?

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Thursday, 21 June


Australia's health 2018 [AIHW] "IndyWatch Feed Nsw" Australia's health 2018  is the AIHW's 16th biennial report on the health of Australians. It examines a wide range of contemporary topics in a series of analytical feature articles and short statistical snapshots. The report also summarises the performance of the health system against an agreed set of indicators.


Australia's health 2018: in brief  is a companion report to Australia's health 2018. Media Release








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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...


Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status 2017 "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The main purpose of the Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status 2017 is to provide a comprehensive summary of the most recent indicators of the health and current health status of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It has been prepared by Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet staff as part of our contribution to supporting those who work in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector. The Overview is a key element of the HealthInfoNet's commitment to authentic and engaged knowledge development and exchange.

The initial sections of this Overview provide information about the context of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, population, and various measures of population health status. Most of the subsequent sections about specific health conditions comprise an introduction about the condition and evidence of the current burden of the condition among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Information is provided for state and territories and for demographics such as sex and age when it is available and appropriate.

While it provides a comprehensive review of key indicators across a range of health topics, it is beyond the scope of this Overview to provide detailed information on other aspects, such as the availability and use of services (including barriers to their use) and strategies and policies related to specific health topics.

Accompanying the Overview is a set of PowerPoint slides designed to help lecturers and others provide up-to-date information. 

Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status 2017


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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Monday, 18 June


New layered sameness "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

One of the most used strategies I've learned from the Disquiet Junto was Brian Crabtree's 'layered sameness' exercise

It involves layering over a dozen takes without using a metronome, then combining the results into a shimmering cloud.

Recently I took the idea a step further and recorded a piece with MIDI, which was then used to trigger VST instruments.

At the top is the guitar version, while below is eight synthesisers.

I've offered this piece to a friend for their installation at Burning Seed this year.

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Saturday, 16 June


Toasted ferments "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

It was while eating a sandwich recently that I concluded the best toasties contain three ferments

Bread and cheese obviously, then sauerkraut or kimchi are good additions but you could just have kombucha or beer as a chaser I guess.

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Friday, 15 June


Rebel without good cause for $600,000 "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

SOCIAL media has been such a game changer that NSW is to have a look at how the 2005 uniform defamation law is coping. But some things remain constant: humans like to be liked, like to be respected and like to be trusted. It is in our evolved genes. So we should be careful.

Whether the respect or trust is deserved is another matter. And deserved or not, humans will fight for it. Indeed, men (they were nearly all men) if insulted used to duel for honour with swords and pistols injuring or killing themselves so often that law-makers and policy-makers encouraged and then insisted that honour be settled in the courts and not the dueling field.

As the press became more popular, publication became more widespread, so the damages for loss of reputation became higher. The law became more complicated and costs went up.

Newspapers and later broadcasters staked their reputations on reliability and veracity. It meant, of course, that anyone defamed by them could argue thay had suffered great reputational loss because the publishers had urged everyone to rely on them.

As Tom Bathurst said in the defamation action this week against broadcaster Alan Jones the damages had to be enough to convince Mr Joness devoted followers, who write to him and hang on every word that he says, to convince them that his charges are baseless.

Before the internet, Newspapers and broadcasters usually took great care to avoid defamation actions, and they still do. Editors and sub-editors were trained to spot defamation dangers.

Newspapers and broadcasters had a monopoly on the widespread publication of news and information. You needed an expensive press or broadcast licence to be in the game.

Then came the internet. It did not take much to publish material. Then came Google and it took even less. Then came social media and suddenly anyone could be a publisher to a lot of people at virtually no cost. They could also be republishers of other peoples material.

The new publishers arose around the time the 2005 defamation law was taking shape.

These new publishers have little or no understanding of defamation law. They know nothing of the old legal adage: you publish at your peril.

Rather, in Australia, they were imbued with inapplicable US concepts of freedom of speech.

The ne...

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Thursday, 14 June


Supermarkets ban plastic bags "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

bags woolworths

THE launch of a new reusable shopping bag that will support the next generation of environmental champions and the phase out of plastic straws from sale are among a number of sustainability initiatives customers shopping at Woolworths Bulli, Corrimal and Fairy Meadow will start to see soon.

This follows an announcement made by Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci on the eve of World Environment Day at an industry sustainability event hosted by the company.

With the removal of single-use plastic shopping bags from June 20, Woolworths Bulli, Corrimal and Fairy Meadow are changing their popular green, reusable bags available for customers to purchase in store to a Bag for Good.

Woolworths Bulli, Corrimal and Fairy Meadow Group Manager, Lisa Ingram said the Bag for Good costs 99 cents, and when it gets damaged, will be replaced for free.

Well then recycle your old bag via the REDCycle program, she said.

Any money made from the sale of the Woolworths Bag for Good will fund the Junior Landcare grants program, encouraging young Australians to play an active role in ensuring the sustainable future of their environment.

 Landcare Australia CEO, Dr Shane Norrish said the Woolworths Junior Landcare program will help younger Australians to be more aware of environmental issues in their own backyard.

They will have the opportunity to...


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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Monday, 11 June


Love after Love "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Love after Love

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the others welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give win. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

by Derek Walcott

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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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Saturday, 09 June


Bellambi servo stabbing "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

police 2A MAN is before the courts after allegedly stabbing another man during a fight last month at Bellambi.

About 2.30am on Saturday May 26 two men were at a service station on Rothery Street, Bellambi, when they began to argue.

During the argument, a 20-year-old man was stabbed in the chest by the other man, who then left the area. He attended Wollongong Hospital before being transferred to St George Hospital, where he remains in a serious but stable condition.

 Wollongong Police established a crime scene and launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Later that day, about 7.30pm, a 22-year-old man presented himself to Wollongong Police Station. He was arrested and charged with wound person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.


Balgownie house fire appeal "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

fire rescueINVESTIGATIONS are underway into the cause of a fire which damaged a Balgownie home last Sunday.

 Emergency services were called to the home on Tucker Avenue, just after 11pm on May 27 and found a house well alight.

Fire fighters attended and extinguished the blaze, however; the house was totally destroyed.

No occupants were home at the time and no injuries have been reported.

Officers from Wollongong Police District established a crime scene, which will be forensically examined once deemed safe.

The cause of the fire is still to be determined.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 


Stanwell Park walk route decided "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Grand Pacific Walk Stanwell Parl Google

Murrawal Road/Lower South Coast Road will link the newly constructed boardwalk on Lawrence Hargrave Drive into Stanwell Park. Photo: Google Streetview

A VITAL link on the Grand Pacific Walk, joining Stanwell Park and Coalcliff, has come a step closer with Council confirming that Murrawal Road will link the newly constructed boardwalk on Lawrence Hargrave Drive into Stanwell Park.

Late last year concerns by a few residents over the inclusion of Murrawal Road in the project prompted a review of the route. Council called for independent feedback on five options to link Coalcliff and the Stanwell Park shops.

The review considered gradients, constructability, impact on private property, safety, traffic impacts, heritage, flooding and cost. We also provided details of the five options to the community and asked for their feedback on the routes.

Based on the criteria set ou...

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Friday, 08 June


Why we should not drink to plastic "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

EAST Hope Island, about 35km south-east of Cooktown, is one of the prettiest small tropical islands in the world. It is ringed with coral and a white-sand beach with rich bird and fish life. You can walk around it in 15 minutes, which I did on World Environment Day this week.

But something stood out on that pristine beach: a plastic soft-drink bottle.

Humans put eight million tonnes of plastic into the ocean each year. It never fully breaks down, except to small indestructible beads. Birds, fish, turtles and dolphins eat the plastic, but cannot digest it. It fills their stomachs so there is no room for food and they starve to death.

Eventually, plastic will kill so much of the fish resources of the ocean that people who depend on it will also starve to death.

We are fouling our own nest and we can neither build nor move to a new one.

Carbon in the atmosphere and plastic in the ocean must be the two most important issues facing humans. Yet our political leaders still put jobs and growth first.

I put the plastic bottle in the dinghy and recalled a job I had at the end of Year 12 at a then family-owned soft-drink factory in Beechworth. Used empty glass bottles came in by the truckload and I had to sort them: by size and type.

You never saw empty glass soft-drink bottles littlering the environment in the 1960s. They carried a 10-cent deposit, so kids collected them up and cashed them in.

For the soft-drink industry it was cheaper to wash and reuse rather than make new bottles.

Then single-use plastic bottles became cheaper than glass. The economic incentive for container return disappeared, and so did deposits. South Australia reintroduced a container deposit scheme in the 1970s. It remains at 10 cents.

Forty years later, NSW began a scheme. The ACT and Queensland schemes will start next month and Western Australia next year.

All of the schemes are pitifully inadequate and marred by silly conditions about cans being uncrushed and bottles having the original label.

According to the Reserve Banks inflation calculator, 10 cents in 1968 would now be worth $1.22. That is where we need to be at least $1 or $1.50 deposit per plastic bottle.

That plastic bottle would not have been left on the beach at East Hope Island with such a deposit. (It had not been washed...


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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Tuesday, 05 June


Downsizing the sacred cow? Pension Loans Scheme expanded "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Jenny is in her early 60s and partially retired from a career as a nurse. Shes managed to hang on to acreage in regional NSW despite long periods at home with four kids. As she approaches retirement, she wonders how she can keep the property. Her meagre super balance along with the pension will not []


NSW eating disorders toolkit "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The NSW eating disorders toolkit aims to assist health professionals in applying best-practice principles in non-specialist inpatient settings in NSW. The Toolkit aims to assist with improving access to practical information, to facilitate consultation with specialist staff and to improve consistency of care for children and adolescents with eating disorders across NSW.

The Toolkit has been developed to provide practical information on key components of care for children and adolescents admitted with an eating disorder including:

Triage in the Emergency Department;


Identifying those in need of admission;

Admitting the patient;

Accessing specialist assistance;

Treatment planning;

Implementing treatment (primarily medical, nutritional and psychological aspects);

Involving the family and other health professionals;

Transition from inpatient care; and

Accessing further information and support.

The NSW eating disorders toolkit

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Monday, 04 June


Seven time over the limit "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"


A MAN has been charged with high range PCA after allegedly being seven times over the legal limit, following a crash in Corrimal over the weekend.

Police were called to the intersection of Memorial Drive and Rothery Road following reports a car had crashed into the rear of a parked vehicle about 2pm on Saturday.

No one was injured. Police attended and the driver, a 45-year-old man, was subjected to a breath test which was positive.

The man was arrested and taken to Wollongong Police Station for a breath analysis where he returned a reading of 0.356.

The man was issued with a court attendance notice for high range PCA and is expected to appear in Wollongong Local Court on 26 June 2018. The mans licence was also suspended.


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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Thursday, 31 May


Impact of a remotely delivered, writing for publication program on publication outcomes of novice researchers "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Increased publication of clinician-led health research is important for improving patient care and health outcomes. The aim of this retrospective cohort study conducted in rural Australia was to determine the impact of a writing for publication (WFP) program delivered by teleconference on the publication rates and skill acquisition of novice researchers who have graduated from the New South Wales (NSW) Health Education and Training Institute Rural Research Capacity Building Program (RRCBP).

Publishing research findings in peer-reviewed journals is an important aspect of research knowledge exchange1. However, the motivators to publish vary between individuals and settings. In academic settings, the drive to publish health research findings can potentially be motivated by a need to maximise publication rates for academic advancement or promotion as much as the desire to share findings for the good of health consumers and providers2,3. Within health services, research and the publication of findings is increasingly being linked to translation of research into policy or practice change processes4 aimed at improving health service delivery or health outcomes for consumers.

See more at:


eHealth program targets young peoples big six behaviours to reduce chronic disease risk "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

University of Newcastle researchers have collaborated on a world-first eHealth initiative aiming to target young peoples big six behaviours to help reduce their chronic disease risk.

Associate Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin and Professor David Lubans are part of the online Health4Life Initiative, launched today at UNSW Sydney.Led by UNSWs Professor Maree Teesson AC, the project aims to help to help thousands of young Australian high school children reduce their chance of developing chronic diseases, including heart disease and mental health disorders, by preventing and modifying lifestyle risk behaviours that commonly emerge in adolescence.

See more at:


Pregnancy care guidelines (Aust. Dept. of Health) "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The Pregnancy Care Guidelines are designed to support Australian maternity services to provide high-quality, evidence-based antenatal care to healthy pregnant women. They are intended for all health professionals who contribute to antenatal care including midwives, obstetricians, general practitioners, practice nurses, maternal and child health nurses, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and allied health professionals. They are implemented at national, state, territory and local levels to provide consistency of antenatal care in Australia and ensure maternity services provide high-quality, evidence-based maternity care. The Pregnancy Care Guidelines cover a wide range of topics including routine physical examinations, screening tests and social and lifestyle advice for women with an uncomplicated pregnancy.

Guidelines Webpage.

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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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Thursday, 24 May


Admitted patient care 201617: Australian hospital statistics, "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Admissions to public hospitals are growing faster than admissions to private hospitals, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Admitted patient care 201617: Australian hospital statistics, shows that of the 11 million admissions to hospitals in 201617, 6.6 million were in public hospitals and 4.4 million were in private hospitals.

'Admissions rose by 4.3% on average each year for public hospitals and 3.6% for private hospitals between 201213 and 201617, and these were greater than the average growth in population of 1.6% over the same period' said AIHW spokesperson Jenny Hargreaves.

In 201617, the majority of admissions to public hospitals (83% or 5.5 million) were for public patientshowever, about 1 in 7 (14% or 912,000 admissions) were for patients who used private health insurance to fund all or part of their admission.

Public hospitals accounted for the majority of emergency admissions (92%), medical admissions (77%) and childbirth admissions (76%) in 2016-17. 'By contrast, 59% of admissions for surgery were in private hospitals,' Ms Hargreaves said.

Media release

Admitted patient care 201617: Australian hospital statistics

MyHospitals: Average length of stay in public hospitals in 201617

MyHospitals: Patient admissions in 201617

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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......


Deficit discourse and Indigenous health "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Deficit discourse and Indigenous health explores 'deficit discourse' in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health policy. 'Discourse', in this context, encompasses thought represented in written and spoken communication and/or expressed through practices.

The term draws attention to the circulation of ideas, the processes by which these ideas shape conceptual and material realities, and the power inequalities that contribute to and result from these processes. 'Deficit discourse' refers to discourse that represents people or groups in terms of deficiency absence, lack or failure.

It particularly denotes discourse that narrowly situates responsibility for problems with the affected individuals or communities, overlooking the larger socio-economic structures in which they are embedded. Understanding how deficit discourses are produced and reproduced is essential to challenging them. Thus, this report examines various aspects of deficit discourse in policy, but in particular considers deficit metrics: the ways in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are homogenised and statistically compared to non-Indigenous Australians.


Deficit discourse and strengths-based approaches: Changing the narrative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Deficit discourse and strengths-based approaches: Changing the narrative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing explores strengths-based approaches to shifting the deficit narrative in the Australian aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector. Studies, including a companion report to this one entitled Deficit Discourse and Indigenous Health: How Narrative Framings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People are Reproduced in Policy, have identified a prevalent 'deficit discourse' across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health policy and practice.

There is evidence that deficit discourse has an impact on health itself that it is a barrier to improving health outcomes. Accordingly, there are growing calls for alternative ways to think about and discuss Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing. This report builds on Deficit Discourse and Indigenous Health by reviewing and analysing a growing body of work from Australia and overseas that proposes ways to displace deficit discourse in health, or that provides examples of attempts to do so. The most widely accepted approaches to achieving this come under the umbrella term 'strengths-based', which seek to move away from the traditional problem-based paradigm and offer a different language and set of solutions to overcoming an issue.

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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.

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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