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

Thursday, 12 July


NSW Rural Fire Service Current Incidents: Gwydir Hwy, Jackadgery "bellingen IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

LOCATION: Gwydir Hwy, Jackadgery, NSW 2460
COUNCIL AREA: Clarence Valley
STATUS: Under control
TYPE: Bush Fire
SIZE: 89 ha
UPDATED: 12 Jul 2018 16:34


Five to face Brisbane court over serious breaches of environmental law "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

It is thought that up to 320 square kilometres of agricultural land around Chinchilla may be at risk from contamination by chemicals and gases, due to alleged mismanagement of underground burning by Linc Energy Limited.

In November  2016 former Linc Energy chief executive Peter Bond along with four former staff members Donald Schofield (managing director), Stephen Dumble (chief operations officer), Jacobus Terblanche(chief operations manager) and Darryl Rattai (former general manager) were summonsed for breaching environmental law.

However their matters were adjoined until after The Queen v. Linc Energy Ltd was concluded and are all five are now due to face a committal hearing in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this month.


ABC News, 11 May 2018:



How Trump's corporate tax cuts played out in the US economy "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast", 10 July 2018:

Evidence is now emerging of just how extraordinarily wasteful Donald Trump's trillion-dollar corporate tax cut has been as the results -- or lack thereof -- filter into the real US economy.

It's now well-established that the bulk of the tax cuts have gone into record-breaking share buybacks and increased dividends by US companies, with hundreds of billions of dollars flowing or set to flow back to investors. But not a lot of the rest is flowing into extra investment -- the raison d'etre of company tax cuts. New investment data shows US equipment investment fell in the first quarter of the year compared to the final quarter of 2017. How about wages, which are supposed to increase due to company tax cuts (at least according to Mathias Cormann)? In June, monthly wage growth in the US fell to 0.2% from 0.3% in March, lower than expected and leaving wage growth at 2.7% for the 2017-18 year. Inflation in the US was 2.8% for the year to May, suggesting US workers are actually going backwards after inflation.



Start-up Baraja Promises Cheap, Reliable Lidar for Self-Driving Cars "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The Australian company hopes to sell lidar systems with no moving parts for a few hundred dollars

If youve walked around a major city like San Francisco in the past couple years, youve probably noticed cars topped with bulky, spinning discsthe mark of self-driving vehicles in training.

Inside those flying-saucer-like rigs are upwards of tens of thousands of dollars worth of lasers used for light radar (lidar). Lidar detects objects like cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists by scanning them with laser light, then measuring the light that gets reflected back. Its a key enabling technology for self-driving cars. But those cars are going to stay in testing mode forever if lidar costs dont go down.

Sydney-based start-up Baraja, which came out of stealth mode today, plans to provide a less expensive solution by repurposing key technologies from the telecom industry, says CEO and co-founder Federico Collarte. Instead of using moving parts and multiple lasers, the Baraja design uses a single multicolor laser and prism-like optics to split and scan its beam over a field ranging 30 degrees in the vertical and 92 in the horizontal. To get a 360 degree view, the company places four of these sensor sets on the roof of a car.

Baraja's compact lidar system Photo: Baraja

Barajas design places the laser in a small box inside the car, ideally by the onboard computer, well away from the elements. Light from the laser travels to the roof over fiber-optic cables. Each of the rooftop sensor heads contains prism-like optics that split the beam into an infrared rainbow, with hundreds or thousands of different colors each emerging at a slightly different angle. To sweep a particular part of the field, just change the color of the laser to the right band of the spectrum, and the prisms will send beams to the desired place. This takes less than a millisecondno moving parts required. The sensor heads are resilient, and can be submerged in water or blasted with a hose, says Collarte.

The system can rapidly adapt to the circumstances, changing the visual field or providing more detail in a particular region by changing the color of the laser, says Collarte. The on-board computer might decide to use the lidar to get a more detailed look at who or what is in the crosswalk a couple feet away, or focus farther aheadup to about 250 meterswhen driving at freeway speeds.

Lidar images are made up of matrices of dots, each of which represents a beam of laser light that reflected off a person or thing in range of the system. The resolution depends on how many of these dots are packed into each image, as well as the size of the l...



[ Thursday, 19 Jul; 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm. ] Remembering Dark Town: Experimental History, Decolonisation and Archival Activism at Armidale Aboriginal Community Garden Presented by Dr Kate Wright Date: Thu 19th Jul 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm Location: Oorala Lecture Theatre, UNE, Building E22 Contact: Dr Sophia Waters ? 3318 The Armidale Aboriginal Community Garden was established in 2015 as an experimental research site, and a decolonising activist platform, to experiment [...] full article 


New Zealand outlet positively reviews Disaster Capitalism film "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

My film Disaster Capitalism with director Thor Neureiter continues to spread around the world. Thor was recently in Melbourne for the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival and the film is screening soon in Australia, the UK and elsewhere.

New Zealand outlet Foreign Control Watchdog has published a review of the film written by Jeremy Agar:


The years roll by but the news from Afghanistan scarcely changes. From the dry hills in landlocked Asia we glimpse mad mullahs shooting their rifles into the air. We see Humvees straining up a mountain pass and wait for the ambush. Underneath the banner news rolls through: a suicide truck has blown up a dozen pedestrians in Kabul.  

Few of the many disasters that our information screens send our way are as wearying as the scenes from this war, the one that 30 years ago was dubbed the forgotten war because sometimes, back then, it wasnt getting much air time. These days were all too likely to hear the inevitable soothing words that follow from the President, but whoever he is this time, no-one is listening.

On comes an American general. Just a few more troops, he assures us, and all will be well. Just a few more years and well deliver you a shiny new democracy. Be patient. Rome wasnt built in a day.But despite the assurances of the nation builders, peace in Afghanistan hasnt been built in centuries. The waste, the futility of it all has a cartoonish quality: the US Army as Homer Simpson; the jihadi as Jihadi. Boring. We flick the channel to the newest cooking show.

Its the lack of any of this tedium that makes Antony Loewensteins analysis so welcome. By steering clear from clich were allowed to see Afghanistan as the sort of place an open plain, not some dizzying crag that is not all that different from some parts of Loewensteins native Australia, perhaps, or America. He gets driven just an hour from the capital and talks to some quite normal locals. They were promised decent jobs and social development from a mine. It becomes clear that the foreign corporation never intended to make good on the deal, and that the Governments undertaking to hold the company to account was similarly fraudulent.

Back in Kabul Loewenstein seeks answers from the bureaucrats who oversee the mining industry, No, Mr X is unavailable; Mr Y is busy. Mr Z? No, it is not possible. Leave the building. In other words, standard obstruction, standard corruption.....



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.



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


This is the third 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. And 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









The four signs that Australias property market may be on its knees "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

A year ago, I wouldve said house prices were too high. And Id lament that I couldnt find an affordable place to buy.

But my outlook has changed.

Lately, property prices have fallen just enough to make a modest unit affordable.

I check out new properties frequently.

But I rarely get past the garage.

Before I even set foot inside a property, I measure the height of the car parking space. Unless it cracks that 2.4-metre mark, I turn and walk away.

Ive left dozens of puzzled real estate agents in my wake.

Look, my giant 4WD probably doesnt need its own house at night. But street parking for big cars is hard to come by. If I buy a unit with a shared driveway, its going to create problems for me and the neighbours.

Finding a new place has been a 12-month mission of mine.

The good news is that things are different a year on.

Around this time last year, one or two properties a month fell into my price range.

Nowadays, I can go to one inspection a week.

Its not because there are more properties on the market. In fact, the number of new homes for sale in Australia is down 28% in the past year.

But the properties I inspected last year that were out of my price range are now well within it.

While that may be good news for me, its a rather ominous confirmation that cracks are beginning to show in the Aussie housing market.

Four signs of a rickety housing sector

In Tuesday Daily Reckoning Australia, I reasoned that theres a mortgage debt reset coming our way as $400 billion worth of home loans move from interest-only to principal-and-interest repayments.

Turns out, thats just the start of the debt reset story.

Real estate website Domain claims that one-third of the 1834-year-olds cant refinance their homes due to falling property valuations.

Domain puts the blame for this squarely at the feet of property valuers, suggesting that they dont know how to how value properties during a market downturn.

Domain calls it the experience gap a younger generation of valuers being too conservative because property prices have dropped a few percentage points.

I disagree. In my view, assessments lowering the value of properties remove the hype that was partly responsible for driving up prices in the first place.

But there are other reasons to explain why Australias property market is rickety.....


Meerschaum Vale misses out on low-noise highway surface "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Ballina MP Tamara Smith (Greens) with some of the Meerschaum Vale residents affected by highway noise. Photo supplied

Residents of the once-sleepy area of Meerschaum Vale never expected noisy freeway construction within earshot of their homes, let alone suffering extra ongoing noise from the road that other nearby residents will miss out on.

Ballina MP Tamara Smith  (Greens) visited the construction site on Wednesday (July 11) to discuss residents concerns about the proposed road surface for the highway being built near their houses.

While the RMS confirmed last week that a low noise or stone mastic asphalt pavement will be used on other parts of the new Pacific Highway, Meerschaum Vale residents have not been told what the surface will be like in their area, despite numerous requests dating back 18 months.

People living near the Woodburn interchange, the area east of the Broadwater township and the area near Coolgardie were given the good news about their quieter road surface by RMS last week after it released an operational noise review for the Woolgoolga to Ballina stretch of the highway.

But, Meerschaum Vale residents have received no such assurances.

Many Coolgardie residents live near the existing Pacific Highway and have experienced noise from it for years and will get the low noise road surface. It seems only fair that Meerschaum Vale residents should also get the same low noise pavement, especially since until recently none of them expected to be living near a highway, Ms Smith said.

Most Meerschaum Vale residents bought their houses in the expectation of a very quiet life or perhaps to retire there. Residents have had to cope with the decision to put the upgrade through their neighbourhood and this year a massive increase in dust, vibration, construction noise and heavy machinery traffic.

A noise-reducing pavement is the least the RMS can do for these residents, said Ms Smith

Dust and noise

One resident, Col McAndrew, lives just 200 metres away from where the finished highway will be.

His house currently looks out at a batch site, a huge pile of dirt being used as foundation for the highway, that trucks start hau...


Ten koala deaths in three days on North Coast "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

At least a dozen sick, injured and dead koalas have been taken to the Friends of the Koalas care centre this week. Photo FOK

Friends of the Koala reports that despite its campaign to prevent koala extinction on the North Coast, 12 sick, injured and dead koalas were brought to its Care Centre within the space of three days this week.

On Sunday and Monday eight animals were brought to FOKs East Lismore centre.

Yesterday two more dead animals came in and another two were brought in on Tuesday.

Only two of the animals are is still alive.

Two of the dead animals were at peak breeding age, according to FOK president Ros Irwin.

Two were hit by cars one in Wyrallah Road, Lismore, and one on Ewingsdale Road, Byron Bay.

Call-out to contain dogs

Marley, vet nurse at FOK, said of the remainder most were infected with chlamydia and one adult male had suffered multiple dog attacks.

Almost all were either dead on arrival or had to be euthanised.

Just two animals, dubbed Glow and Eli, are in a condition to be re-released.

Glow was found in a mango tree, with no koala trees around. Hes fine and will probably released somewhere close, Ms Erwin said.

Eli was also found in the wrong place here in Lismore, she added.

Ms Irwin made a special call-out to people contain their dogs at night.

Its horrific, generally theres not much we can do because they shake them around so much, she said.

The dead koala found on Ewingsdale Road. Photo Linda Sparrow

Horrific car strike...


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

LOCATION: Armidale Rd, Tyringham, NSW 2453
COUNCIL AREA: Clarence Valley
STATUS: Under control
TYPE: Bush Fire
SIZE: 2 ha
UPDATED: 11 Jul 2018 19:06

NSW Rural Fire Service Current Incidents: Clarence Way, Xs Copmanhurst "bellingen IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

LOCATION: Clarence Way, Xs Copmanhurst, NSW 2460
COUNCIL AREA: Clarence Valley
STATUS: Under control
TYPE: Bush Fire
SIZE: 19 ha
UPDATED: 12 Jul 2018 06:11


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

ALERT LEVEL: Not Applicable
LOCATION: Pacific Hwy, Halfway Creek, NSW 2460
COUNCIL AREA: Clarence Valley
STATUS: Under control
TYPE: Bush Fire
SIZE: 3 ha
UPDATED: 11 Jul 2018 18:31


Man found carrying ice after baseball-bat attack bailed "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

A 22-year-old Goonellabah man arrested on Wednesday (July 11), following an attack on a woman with a baseball bat two days earlier, was found to be carrying methamphetamine (ice) on and in his body.

Police allege that on the morning of the July 9 the man assaulted a woman known to him with a baseball bat, striking her four times.

The victim was taken to hospital suffering from two broken bones on her arm, two broken fingers and body bruising.

The 22-year-old was arrested in East Lismore on Wednesday and taken to Lismore police station where he was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He was refused bail and handed over to Corrective Services.

During a strip searc,h Corrective Service officers discovered a glass pipe in his underwear, a bag of ice taped to his leg and a bag of ice in his anus.

He was taken back into police custody and charged with bring prohibited drug into place of detention, possess prohibited drug and possess implements to administer a prohibited drug. He was again refused bail but later given bail by the court.


The post Man found carrying ice after baseball-bat attack bailed appeared first on Echonetdaily.


New native planting guide will help gardeners make savvy choices "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Tweed Council bushland officer John Turnbull shows off the recently completed online native plant guide. Photo TSC

Home gardeners, landscape architects and those who are passionate about bush regeneration can now jump online and use the new Tweed-Byron Native Species Planting Guide to choose the right plant for the right place.

The online guide, which allows home gardeners and professional landscapers to build native species planting lists for projects ranging from landscape-scale restoration to back garden planting,

It complements the hard-copy My Local Native Garden booklet, which is available for a gold coin donation from Council offices.

Tweed Shire Councils bushland officer John Turnbull said the interactive resource, which was developed in conjunction with Byron Shire, allows the user to view a colour photograph of each plant and explore its characteristic features to improve the chances of a successful planting in any setting.

We have included more than 1550 locally occurring native species in the online guide including their physical attributes (height, habit and flower colour), environmental tolerances (sun, frost, salt and wind hardiness), ecological relationships (key fauna food, butterfly and bird attracting), soil types where they occur and broad landscape locations.

Species are also assigned to vegetation mapping types and have a nursery availability score, Mr Turnbull said.

While the guide is relatively easy to use and already available online at, Tweed Council will hold some short training courses in how to make the most of it.

To register your interest in attending one of these sessions, please contact Mr Turnbull by telephoning Council on 6670 2400.

The Native Species Planting Guide was funded by the NSW Governments Environmental Trust Education Grant Program of 2015 with the support of Brunswick Valley Landcare Inc., Tweed Landcare Inc., local garden clubs and other support groups.




Lone Goat Gallery presents Maggie Schreiber: Pretty Vacant Opening 6 8pm Friday 13 July Showing until 08 August 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

What is real is not the external, but the essence of things.Brancusi

Lone Goat Gallery



I am looking for a voice for the mystery, the metaphysical background forever obscured.

The pieces stand as a code, an alphabet, using non-traditional, poor materials; concrete, rubber, tape, rope. Drawing the viewer simply to that moment, a moment between time where the viewer is simply just viewing.

Relationship is purely to the substrate, the materials, the movement, the shape, joining to form a sentence, although silent, for nothing.

For empty, for void.
My work is more process than a piece.

Maggie Schreiber 2018

The post Lone Goat Gallery presents Maggie Schreiber: Pretty Vacant Opening 6 8pm Friday 13 July Showing until 08 August 2018 appeared first on Byron Bay Blog.


NSW Rural Fire Service Current Incidents: 123 Osprey Pile Burn "bellingen IndyWatch Emergency Feed"

LOCATION: 123 Osprey Drive
STATUS: Under control
TYPE: Hazard Reduction
SIZE: 0 ha
UPDATED: 11 Jul 2018 16:15


Work underway on new Mbah digital learning centre "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Turning the sod. L to R: Mohammad Zreika (Patterson Building Group), Austin Curtin (Nationals Candidate for Lismore), Thomas George (current Member for Lismore), Susie George (TAFE NSW), Graham Avery (TAFE Murwillumbah). Photo supplied

Lismore MP Thomas George has turned the first sod of the multi-million-dollar Murwillumbah Connected Learning Centre (CLC), which he says will significantly increase and expand the number of courses available.

Greater training and course options for students so they can live and learn in their local community is a step closer with the NSW Government commencing construction of the TAFE NSW Murwillumbah CLC, he said at the launch.

The move follows the roll out of CLCs in other rural areas including Tenterfield and Glen late last year.

But Mr George failed to mention that the CLC will replace the Murwillumbah TAFE, which is set to be sold off despite years of protests from students, teachers, Labor and the Greens.

Murwillumbah is a perfect example of how the NSW Government continues to invest in TAFE NSW to grow as a world-class, innovative and flexible public education provider, is how Mr George put it.

The first four CLCs to be built have demonstrated students receive more personalised learning experiences and better access to teachers both on and off-site, including the most in-demand courses linked to job outcomes.

Number of courses doubled

These CLCs doubled the number of courses available to their local communities, which paints a bright future for the people of Murwillumbah and the surrounding communities.

The expanded course offerings mean less need for travel to bigger centres for local students, so students can live and learn in their local community.

Regional NSW is central to our modernisation of TAFE NSW. The Murwillumbah CLC will equip students with the skills, knowledge and connections to employers that are needed to support our local economy, he said.

No substitute for a campus

But that isnt quite how the Lismore Labor c...

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Wednesday, 11 July


Byres prepares for rainy day (but outlook remains fine) "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Lenders gonna lend

There were nervous onlookers aplenty as APRA Chairman Wayne Byres prepared to speak in Sydney today on prudential lending standards and sound lending practices.

They needn't have been quite so fearful, in the event, as Byres reassured markets that while heightened scrutiny had uncovered some displeasing practices, most of the heavy lifting has already been done with regards to tighter lending standards.

For subscribers to our market reports, a number of familiar themes raised: tightening standards have been applied incrementally over a period of several years (rather than overnight as often assumed), a new focus on comprehensive credit reporting to better capture pre-existing debt commitments of borrowers, and some very useful analysis of lower loan-to-value ratios and the decline of interest-only loans. 

While much has been made of a potential 'credit crunch' - mainly by interests hoping to see a credit crunch, it must be said - Byres reiterated how in aggregate annual credit growth has continued to track at 'very healthy' levels, especially for owner-occupiers at about 8 per cent.

Of course, there are many unknowns about how this will all play out from here. Some parts of the housing market will fare well where demand from homebuyers is high, and others will struggle where the opposite holds true.

Caveat emptor.

Computer says no credit crunch

As Byres was busy adjusting his tie pre-speech in Sydney, financial markets were digesting the latest housing finance figures for the month of May.

Supporting what Byres would go on to say in his speech, there was a seasonally adjusted increase in the number of mortgages written across all loan categories, defying market expectations, and a corresponding increase in the total value of lending.

The 'trend' figures are still shaping lower, but at $31.9 billion the seasonally adjusted housing finance figures were pointing to anything but a credit crunch, especially for the homebuyer cohort.



Don't expect your residential electricity costs to come down anytime soon "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

In three years time the amount of revenue electricity network companies can charge customers will be reduced, which according to the Australian Energy Regulator in its Draft Rate of Return Guideline "could [not would] result in household customers bills decreasing by around $30 to $40 per year".

Remembering all the other failed assurances that the cost of residentail electricity would come down, it is a brave individual who takes this latest prediction at face value.

The Australian Energy Regulator has moved to significantly cut the amount of revenue electricity network companies can charge customers in a bid to take the pressure off households and businesses enduring high power prices.
AER chair Paula Conboy said it would reduce average household electricity bills by about $30 to $40 a year.



One for the history buffs out there "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), The NSW Aborigines Protection/Welfare Board 1883-1969 Map


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,...


ORIMA Research submission re nuclear waste dump siting- all about their survey methods "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

ORIMA Research Submission to Senate Inquiry into the selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia  (Submission No 108)

We are aware that a number of submissions have been made to the Inquiry into the selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia which have been questioning or critical of the surveys ORIMA Research conducted for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

 We find this quite understandable given the sensitivity of the subject matter to many people in the communities involved, and the quite technical nature of the work that we conducted. However, as specialist providers of these services, we remain very confident that the methodologies and processes we employed delivered the most reliable indicators of sentiment in each community possible within the constraints of the situation, which was our brief.
It is important to note in considering the comments made about the surveys to the inquiry that they relate primarily to just one of the five communities which the sentiment survey covered, Barndioota in SA. The five communities had quite different characteristics in terms of population, geography and potentially relevant boundaries. The Barndioota site was located in the smallest of the five communities, a fact which is relevant to considering some of the points raised about the survey in the submissions and responded to below.
ORIMA worked to the requirements of the Department (and the Independent Advisory Panel, IAP) to design and deliver a methodology that could be consistently and reasonably be applied to all five communities simultaneously (and indeed, with consideration to the potential need to replicate the methodology to produce comparable results in other communities in the future if necessary). In practice, this meant that the standardised methodology applied is not necessarily the same one which would have been used if a single community had been the sole focus. The use of different methods across communities would have failed to deliver on the key requirement of the Department to have reliable, comparable data. This is important, because it means that any methodological suggestions that could have been considered for Barndioota would also have had to be practical in the four other communities for them to have been viable for the task and this is the primary answer to some of the questions raised around the method specifically for Barndioota (such as around sampling and data collection methods).
While we understand that in each of the communities surveyed there will inevitably be individuals displeased by the results (whichever way they fell), the processes put in place were intended to provide the fairest poss...


Name withheld (No 89)- another repetitive pro nuclear submission re nuclear waste dump siting "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Name Witheld To: Committee Secretariat, Senate Standing Committee on Economics Subject: Proposed National Radioactive Waste Facility (submission no 89)

 We have been residents of Kimba all our lives. We were born here, went to school here, married and have two young sons also born and raised in Kimba.
We are happy to provide the Committee with this submission relating to the appropriateness and thoroughness of the site selection process for a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility at Kimba.
 Personally, we have no objection to hosting a national radioactive waste facility on the two sites that have been nominated for selection in our Kimba District. The process seems to have been fair, information has been good, which leads us to feel we are making the right decision for our Community.
As young parents we feel the need for the community to broaden its horizons so that our children get the best schooling possible and, in future years, the employment opportunities needed to keep them in the area we love.
We have had ample time to avail ourselves of information about this facility, and if we need more information there is an office based in the town which is staffed two days a week. The staff from The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in this office are always happy to chat and provide information to answer our questions.
 There has been numerous meetings, several town meetings, and a French Delegation visited Kimba to give insight into living near a nuclear facility. There have been several meetings with Departmental members, some community members have had meetings with Minister Canavan, and there have been several opportunities for funded trips to ANSTO to learn more about waste storage.
Overall, there has been ample media coverage, newspaper, social media radio and television.
 We dont know what the community will decide in the end. We have had a vote to decide whether more information was required and we voted in favour of that. We needed the chance to learn more.
There has been talk of broadening the boundaries for a vote but what is happening in our community is for our Community and only our community. It is our back yard no one elses. We are residents here. We all have our opinions and feelings on this matter but have always been a close community and feel it always will be.
 We can only see positive outcomes for our town 
New jobs: This, mig...


Dolores Wells: nuclear waste dump will save Kimbas future: Shame on Vocal Anti-Nuclear Critics! "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Dolores Wells. Submission to Senate standing committee on Economics Re Proposed Radioactive Waste Management Facility

My husband and I lived, worked and began our family in Kimba over 45 years ago and we still regularly visit Kimba to stay with family on their farm at Cortlinye (north of Kimba). This farm has been in the family for 3 generations and is currently owned by our son-in-law and our daughter. Any decision to grant the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility to the Kimba district will not discourage or negatively affect our future visits to our family. I give my permission for this submission to be made public and would be available to speak with the Senate Committee to answer further questions on the Kimba processes with particular reference to:

a). the financial compensation offered to applicants for the acquisition of land under the Nominations of Land Guidelines.

I believe the financial compensation offered is not excessive and would be only a small percentage of future earnings from cropping and mixed farming and is in fact only a piece of an overall farm holding. No farmer would be a willing party to a perceived health risk for his family or future livelihood.

Over 45 years ago when my husband worked as Stock and station agent in Kimba it was a thriving country town and it is now in dire need of another industry to drought proof and ensure the continuation of this wonderful rural community. We have observed the trend of the small farmers struggling to survive (with the high cost of machinery, chemicals etc) and the larger farmer...


Kerri Cliff shows a touching faith in Rowan Ramsey and the whole ANSTO pro nuclear propaganda "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Kerri and Trevor Cliff Submission to Senate Inquiry re Selection Process  for Nuclear Waste Dump Site. (Submission No. 65)  I have lived in Kimba for the past 34 years as part of a family that has farmed in the district for 100 years and am proud to see our children continuing that tradition into the fourth generation. I live on our family farm which is currently cropping over 4,000 hectares annually, with my husband, son and full-time and part-time employees. We are fortunate to still have his parents take an avid interest in our business (and this issue) in their declining years. Our home is only 8km from one of the two Kimba sites and we also farm land within 12 kilometres of the other site. We have nothing but support for the proposal that one of these properties may become the successful host of the facility.

We are passionate about our community and are involved with a number of community organisations and are pleased to hereby submit information to the inquiry on the appropriateness and thoroughness of the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) site selection process in Kimba SA. I give my permission for this submission to be made public and would be available to speak with the Senate committee to answer any further questions on the Kimba process.

The appropriateness and thoroughness of the site selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility at Kimba and Hawker in South Australia, noting the Government has stated that it will not impose such a facility on an unwilling community, with particular reference to:

We are very proud to see the Kimba community embraci...


Years too late, the ACCC recognises the failure of the NEM "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The latest ACCC report on the National Electricity Market is an incoherent mess, reflecting the breakdown of the neoliberal/market liberal assumptions on which both the ACCC and the NEM are founded. But I can at least endorse this statement

There are many causes of the current problems in the electricity market. At all stages of the supply
chain decisions have been made over many years by many governments that set the NEM on the
wrong course.

As I said in a report to the Electrical Trades Union in 2014

The National Electricity Market was implemented in the context of National Competition Policy and at a time when faith in competitive markets was at its peak. The [resulting design flaws  have led, over 20 years, to the failure of the NEM These failures are not accidental. Rather they can be explained by fundamental and incurable flaws in the NEM model of pricing, regulation and incentives for investment. Marginal adjustments such as those being proposed at present will inevitably prove inadequate.

Back then, as I recall, the idea of that the NEM was a failure was not so popular. Rather, the only obstacle to complete success was said to be the remnants of public ownership in NSW and Queensland.


Anti-Vaxxers provide new model for the world in Australia "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

As the Australian bureaucrats double-down on their de-facto forced vaccination schemes (see ZeroHedge's latest article "Australia Will Now Fine Parents Twice a Month If They Don't Vaccinate Their Kids"), I'm re-posting this piece I wrote in March as a testament to all those throughout the Western world who fight for health freedom... And, for all the latest on Australian medical tyranny and more, it's imperative you go to The talks from "The 2018 Sydney Vaccination Conference - The Censorship of the Vaccination Debate in Australia" are now posted there (see here and here). Out of the ashes of government tyranny comes a solution. In the Australian state of Queensland, childcare facilities can refuse to allow unvaccinated children to attend, so...


Locals step up to help refugees "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Residents gather every Thursday outside MP Kevin Hogans office to protest the federal governments asylum seeker policy. Photo supplied

The plight of people who have tried to seek asylum in Australia but have ended up detained on Nauru and Manus Island is once again being highlighted on July 19 outside Kevin Hogans office in Lismore from 4 till 5pm.

The 5 years too many vigil marks the fifth anniversary of the speech by Kevin Rudd when he stated that any people seeking asylum who arrive by boat will never settle in Australia thus resulting in the terrible situation on Manus and Nauru, said Gunela Astbrink, president of the Ballina Region for Refugees (BR4R).

Working to assist both refugees in Australia and those stranded on Nauru BR4R have formed both the Nauru friendship group and a homestay program.


The Nauru friendship group is a way to support women in Nauru by being in regular contact and building meaningful, supportive relationships.

Quite a lot of the women have been there for five years in mouldy tents and challenging conditions, said Gunela.

There are about ten women locally who are in contact with women in Nauru using things like WhatsApp, texting and Facebook.

It involves talking to women and being a friend and support sharing photos and reaching out. This is very important for people who feel they have no end in sight and no-one cares, said Gunela.

Weve just received a call to help a severely depressed man in Nauru to get a friendship link here. We are always keen to have more local men and women to assist.


The main activity of the BR4R is a homestay program that provides refugees on bridging visas with a chance to have a holiday. The recent fundraiser by the Ballina Players raised around...


Picture House puts shout out for upgrade funding "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

North Coast parliamentary secretary, Ben Franklin with Bruns Picture House crew
Pete Castaldi, Chris Chen and Brett Haylock. Photo Jeff Dawson

An enthusiastic crowd gathered on Wednesday (July 11) at the Brunswick Picture House to hear producer Peter Castaldi introduce its plans to seek a combination of government and private funding for a renewal of the popular venue.

Planned works include a new roof, a disabled-access toilet block and, to the delight of the crowd, more comfortable seats and air-conditioning.

Owner Brett Haylock said hundreds of thousands of dollars had been spent so far on the long-term project, pointing particularly to a $60,000 fire hose, and thanked the local community for their strong support despite attempts from some quarters to derail their plans.

There are very few secrets around the Picture House; we tend to shout loud and proud about everything we do. But one thing most people are not in any way aware of, is that we are not-for-profit and that my partner Chris Chen and I have brought in significant private sector investment and this has funded all the works to date, Brett said.

For the first time the Picture House will now be making applications to Regional Arts NSW, and other government agencies for the next phase of a long-planned capital works program.

Chris Chen said that in order to fully fund detailed future venue improvements, we will now need to expand our financial support base to both government and private sectors.

The total cost of the new fit-out is estimated to be around $1 million.

An animated and passionate Ben Franklin MLC addressed the crowd, vowing to give 100 per cent of his effort to support the venues funding applications, telling Echonetdaily that the unique, creative venue was exactly what this local area needs.



The post Picture House puts shout out for upgrade funding appeared first on Echonetdaily.


U.S. judge allows lawsuits over Monsantos Roundup to proceed to trial "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

From Robert Kennedy Jnr. Great news in our federal case against Monsanto (not to be confused with DeWayne Johnsons case in California Superior Court which we are currently trying before a San Francisco jury)!! The federal case consolidates some 300 cases of our clients who claim that Monsanto s herbicide Roundup caused their non Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL). Monsanto filed a so called Daubert motion for summary judgment dismissing our case on the basis that we failed to prove General Causation. In other words, that our theory that Roundup exposure causes NHL is not established science. Federal District Judge Vince Chhabria found that we had met our burden and gave us the green light to go on to the next phase, which is presenting our scientific and medical evidence on specific causationie demonstrating that our clients got their NHL from exposure to Roundup. We still have some discovery to complete before those cases go to trial. Meanwhile, both sides completed opening statements yesterday in DeWayne Johnsons case and we put our first witnesses on today.

The full article can be viewed here.

The post U.S. judge allows lawsuits over Monsantos Roundup to proceed to trial appeared first on Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare .


Helicopter funds will stay on North Coast after court battle "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

At the official handover of one of the new, larger aircraft bought for the new helicopter service.

An out-of-court settlement between the old and new operators of the Westpac Helicopter Rescue service will see community-raised funds intended to support the former service stay on the North coast.

But the compromise will see some money raised for the old service being distributed to local Surf Life Saving Clubs.

The wrangle was complicated by the involvement of Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA), which auspiced the original Northern Region SLSA Helicopter Rescue Service Pty Ltd (Northern) for 35 years.

When Northern NSW Helicopter Rescue Service Limited (NNSW) took over the running of the service last year, they argued funds raised should stay in the region they were raised and applied specifically to the helicopter service.

NNSW commenced its new operations covering the larger North Coast, Northern Rivers and Northern Tablelands region from a new base at Lismore Airport on April 27 last year.

In September, NNSW began proceedings to ensure Northern did not distribute funds away from the service.

NNSW CEO Richard Jones said at the time that he believed the board of the old service was on the brink of distributing money to Surf Life Saving Clubs and other charities outside the region after Northern ceased its operations.

The parties have now settled the proceedings, with the funds being distributed to NNSW and SLSA to be applied to support the helicopter rescue service and Surf Life Saving programs in northern New South Wales.

Northerns chair, Warren Tozer OAM, said he was pleased that the matter was resolved in accordance with Northerns constitution and contractual obligations.

Graham Ford AM, President of SLSA, said it was satisfied with the outcome and was pleased that settlement could be reached through mediation between the parties.

Volunteer fundraising

Surf Life Saving members and hundreds of local volunteers have spent many thousands of hours supporting the helicopter rescue service in the Northern region during the past three decades and, this settlement ensures criti...


Railway Park rotunda on the move "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

An image from the Byron Bay master plan, which shows a possible redevelopment of Railway Park, with no rotunda in sight. (supplied)

Aslan Shand

The development and beautification of Railway Park in Byron Bay is once again under the microscope as Byron Council, the Masterplan Team and the Byron Environment Centre (BEC) try to negotiate an outcome that is acceptable to the community.

Tension was originally sparked following a notice of eviction sent to the BEC management team in October 2017 and the removal of several mature trees from the park. These events occurred without the knowledge of councillors under the alleged auspices of the Byron Masterplan team. The Masterplan Team then categorically denied that they had any knowledge of the plan and the then-general manager Ken Gainger issued a public apology over the handling of the situation.

Currently Council are looking at moving the BEC rotunda either out of the park or re-locating it within the park. However, this has been coupled with the resolution to seek expressions of interest from other community groups to manage the rotunda.

BEC communicating with the community in Railway Park. Their eviction was originally slated for December 13 last year. Photo supplied.

Council: BEC has no licence

Byron Shire Council told The Echo that the BEC was not approved by Council and there is no record of any licence, lease or other documented authorisation for occupation of the structure.

This is disputed by BEC president John Lazarus, who says that after BEC saved the structure from demolition for a community asset...


Opinion divided over Mullumbimby sewer trial "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Brunswick Valley Sewerage Treatment Plant. Photo Contoltek Services

Paul Bibby

Byron Councils decision to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a low-pressure sewerage system trial in Mullumbimby has produced an angry response from residents who say it flies in the face of expert advice and common sense.

But the council says the low-pressure system has been used very effectively in New Brighton and offers the best value for money.

The council voted in favour of the 20-house trial at its last meeting on June 21 as part of a $500,000 project to address the chronic issues of inflow and infiltration into the sewerage system in Mullumbimby.

Unlike the existing gravity-based system currently being used, low-pressure sewers use a small pump station located at each house to move wastewater through.

Data gathering

The Mullumbimby trial would also involve gathering data from each house about precisely how much sewage is produced each day.

Proponents of the trial say this would allow Council to get the clearest indication yet of how much water is getting into the towns aging, earthenware sewers.

But some locals living in and around Mullumbimby strongly oppose the trial and are calling on the council to abandon it and undertake a proper comparative analysis of the different possible solutions.

Resident Patricia Warren said that this type of comparative study had been undertaken by Council staff prior to introducing a low-pressure sewer system at New Brighton, and that they had recommended against pursuing this option.

The report concluded that a vacuum system was the best option, Ms Warren said.

Instead, a low-pressure pump system was installed.

Property owners [in New Brighton] have been unaware of electricity charges being connected to their power bills and a number of pumps have had to be replaced within what would otherwise...


Australians are showing signs of jacking up against rising poverty "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Contributed by Joe Montero

Australia is in serious trouble. Wages have not only stagnated. They provide for less than they used to. Most find that it is getting harder to make ends meet, and many can only maintain their standard of living, by getting into ever growing debt.

Pensioners of all kinds, and especially the unemployed are finding survival even tougher. Indigenous Australians are the worst off.

Despite this harsh reality, there are still grounds for optimism. Concern about poverty and the economy have now become a priority for the Australian community. There is a stirring among those who do not want to accept it, and who, as individuals or members of groups, work to make a difference. It brings great potential to draw others into  building a powerful movement for change.

Activity founded on compassion and fighting for the right of everyone to have a decent life is having an impact. The truth is being uncovered. More people are speaking out. There is a higher level of anger, coupled with a growing realisation that the political system is failing and not providing answer to problems crying out for attention. Politicians are no longer trusted by most people, and this must inevitably lead to a search for alternative answers.

This ferment has been enough to pressure the media, to as least some recognition to the problems. Telling us that things are getting better, that there is light at the end of the tunnel, or we just have to wait for the trickle down effect doesnt wash. No one believes these things anymore.

On 3 July, an episode of Insight on SBS television exposed, just how tough life is for a considerable number of Australian, and that one out of five kids go without meals because of poverty. Mission Australia, the salvation Army and other welfare organisations have reported, that a rising number of older people are ending up homeless. Further reports show that young Australians are doing it hard and that women are particularly vulnerable.

Then there is the list of ongoing sagas involving Centrelink,  the rolling out of the Indue welfare card, and the terrible treatment of Indigenous Australians.

The Australian Unemployed Workers Union (AUWU) is battling against the odds, campaigning for a....


NAIDOC week celebrations continue in Byron "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Bundjalung Bunyarra Dubay dancers Ellie Davidson, Indira Arnold Freire, Belle Arnold, Delta Kay, Minyani Webber, Nickolla Clark and Rikkara McGuiness launched NAIDOC week at Mondays Council HQ flag raising. Photo Jeff Dawson

There is plenty still going on during the remainder of NAIDOC week around the Byron Shire, giving everyone the chance to understand and appreciate our Australian heritage and culture.

The theme for this year is Because of Her, We Can an acknowledgement of the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in communities around the country.

The Aboriginal Art Exhibition is showing at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall till July 8. The Mullum family fun day is on Wednesday 11 July from 10am at the Mullumbimby Neighbourhood Centre.

The Bundjalung of Byron family cultural day will be held on Thursday 12 July starting at 10am in Railway Park with celebrations continuing  at Dening Park, Byron Bay, between 11am and 2pm.

The post NAIDOC week celebrations continue in Byron appeared first on Echonetdaily.



ANYONE who has been the subject of an apprehended violence order would be banned from obtaining a gun licence under options being discussed by top police and the NSW government amid an estranged father murdering his two teenage kids.
The only problem with this is that some people request an AVO against other people just for spite & are in fact in no danger from a violent attack. So this would mean that if anyone wanted someone banned from getting a gun licence, all they have to do is action an AVO against that person. Right now, anyone issued with an AVO can have their guns confiscated!!! A close friend of mine had a false AVO issued against him from a neighbour who was in fact abusing his own wife!!! My friend was only able to keep his guns because I took them from his home & locked them in my own gun safe in my home.

This situation is simply not good enough, I totally agree that if an AVO is genuinely required because there is a genuine fear of violence being carried out by a person, then that person should not have access to firearms (he or she will have to use some other weapon!). But how are the police going to know what is a genuine request for an AVO & which is not?

In the case of these teenagers being shot by their father, the laws were & are already in place, the reason this man had these guns was because the NSW Firearms Registry & the gun club both FAILED to follow corre...


Why should we be standing up for Standing Rock? "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Standing up for Standing Rock. Photo Angus Mordant

The Standing Rock protests in the US against the construction of 1,886 kilometre underground oil pipeline has garnered international support. Part of the proposed pipeline cuts through contested Indian Sioux territory and there are concerns a leak could have severe environmental impacts.

While the Northern Rivers has a history of political activism stretching back to 70s with saving the Terania Creek rainforests through to the CSG-free protests at Bentley just a few years ago the Dakota Access Pipeline is 14,000 kilometres away from here.

Coinciding with Angus Mordant: Standing Rock photographic exhibition currently at the Lismore Regional Gallery, tomorrow nights Thursday Night Live! Asks Why does it matter to us?

Presented by the gallery and Southern Cross University, Thursday Night Live! is a monthly talks program putting critical, thought-provoking topics in the spotlight.

The panellists are Dr Shawn Wilson, an Opaskwayak Cree from northern Manitoba, Canada and Southern Cross University academic; human rights activist Dr Cristy Clark from the School of Law and Justice at Southern Cross; and Elly Bird, a Lismore City councillor and one of the leaders of the Gasfield Free Northern Rivers campaign.

Protest or home invasion?

Dr Shawn Wilson said with Standing Rock evolving into an international protest movement, it called into question the difference between a protestor and someone who is defending themselves from a home invasion.

In the West we have partially embraced the concept free and informed consent, with the exception of when there is a corporate profit to be made: then we all become aware of how profit outweighs any balance between risk and benefit especially when that risk is diffused. So corporate profit comes ahead of risks to the environment, community cohesion, or cultural continuity.

But when a community stands up for themselves against the government or big corporations, how is it framed in the media?  Are they defending themselves and their homes or are they protesters pushing their own agenda? questioned Dr Wilson.




Welcome to Byron: iconic homestead dying of neglect "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The Higgins Homestead in Ewingsdale, at the Gateway to Byron Bay. Photo Jeff Dawson

Simon Alderton

Do you believe in love at first sight? Many people love Byron, but at first sight turning onto Ewingsdale Road you pass The Farm, the hospital and then lot 101 an abandoned homestead on a beautiful elevated piece of land with a few grazing cows. You cant miss this house, it stands out for miles as you drive the main road into town and looks most unloved.

Driving past every day I often imagined this historic homestead in all its glory. What a stunning entry into one of the most unique, character filled towns in Australia. Then, I wondered how on earth this amazing property was allowed to fall into such disarray?

My curiously led me to ask questions about the Higgins Homestead on the Byron Facebook page and an avalanche of responses followed. Stories going back into Byrons history, music videos showing the pop group Dope Lemon dancing around the quintessentially Australian verandah and of course, lots of angst from local residents about the sad tale of its contemporary demise.

Many locals know that this property is currently owned by Belbeck Investments, part of the majority Chinese owned McDonalds beef empire with an interest in property. In 2013 they sought rezoning of the 15-hectare precinct for a proposed 200 or so unit retirement village on the site; the Higgins Homestead was to be restored, but lost in amongst the urban sprawl.

Council deemed the development inappropriate and knocked it back and the house has been left to the elements ever since. The doors and windows disappeared and internal features vandalised.

It is understood that Belbeck currently has the heritage listed house on the market and are currently in negotiations with a potential buyer with the hope that the property will be going under contract soon. It is interesting that the real estate agent advertised the property as a development site, yet the house and farm are still zoned as rural.

Happier days

In happier days before investors held the title deeds, this house was inhabited by the Higgins family until 1967 and then the Grisell Family until 1993, when the homestead was last inhabited.

Edward Higgins bought the property...

Tuesday, 10 July


The Chinny charge is on again "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Former Chinny Charge champ Colin Creighton who fired the starting gun at the 2017 event after a 16-year hiatus. Photo Jeff Dawson

The Chincogan Charge will be running again this year on September 8 following its successful re-launch in 2017 with 500 runners.

This year we are adding in childrens races for six-to eleven-year-olds, said Jenelle Stanford, president of the Mullumbimby Chamber of Commerce and the driving force behind the race.

The race will start and finish at the Post Office and the kids will run to the base of the mountain and back adults need to accompany children.

The afternooon will feature a-tug-of-war organised by the Brunswick Valley Historical Society.

There is a limit of six teams that can enter the tug-of-war and nomination forms can be collected from the Mullumbimby Newsagents.

The Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club will be sponsoring the professional runners prizes while The Echo will sponsor the first locals across the line.

They have just launched their website so find out more at:

The post The Chinny charge is on again appeared first on Echonetdaily.


It is time to celebrate Billinudgel "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Wilfred Street Billinudgel will be the venue for a new spring festival. Photo

Billinudgel is reimagining itself and will be decking its streets in preparation for spring as it creates a new festival for the town this September 22.

After the devastating floods of Cyclone Debbie the people and businesses of the town are coming together to create a fun-filled family day that will showcase businesses from Billinudgel and the surrounding areas that were affected by the floods.

There will be street performers, music, historical demonstrations, delicious food and more for everyone to get involved in and enjoy. The afternoons fun will then culminate at the Billinudgel Hotel where there will be live entertainment throughout the evening.

Get involved

Currently the organisers are asking businesses, members of the community, stallholders and performers who would like to get involved in the day to fill out an expression of interest online at

The first preference will go to businesses and the surrounding areas, particularly those businesses that were affected by the floods many of who are still getting back on their feet said one of the organisers Damon Robbins. But everyone is welcome to apply

The post It is time to celebrate Billinudgel appeared first on Echonetdaily.

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