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IndyWatch Bellingen NSW All Topics Summary was generated at Bellingen NSW IndyWatch.
A new Coalition senator will call for major industrial relations reform on Wednesday, arguing minimum wages and penalty rates are driving down employment for the most needy. Queensland Liberal-National Amanda Stoker will give her maiden speech to the Senate and call on the conservative side of politics to make the...
Once, crossing the railway at Bayswater was difficult, with vehicles forced to travel some distance away, and school children having to dash across the track in a dangerous manner. So the local council decided the best course of action was to go underneath it.
The first plan for a subway at Bayswater was as early as 1903 when the council asked for one to link King William Street to Coode Street. Nothing happened as a result, so they asked again in 1908. By now the problems associated with draining such a subway had been raised, and the council offered its engineer to sort these out.
Despite having promised a subway, the Government now claimed it was short of money but said they would do what they could. Some people, though, questioned if it could be done at all. After all, to get the road low enough it would have to be underneath the water table, and so drainage was impossible, and it would become a small lake with any amount of rain.
These misgivings were ignored though, and on 14 February 1910 the Chairman of the Board, Mr I. C. Granville, drove his horse and sulky through a ribbon held up by two young women and on into the new Bayswater Subway. It doesnt seem to have flooded, at least not to any noticeable extent. However, the open drains from the subway flowing down King William Street did keep making that road subside.
Terrifyingly, in 1942 a group of Perths Nazi...
The remarks of the sentencing judge contain no reference to the plaintiff's state of mind concerning the identity of the police constable who was killed. That is understandable, given that the offence committed was indiscriminate in its possible effect with respect to victims. Whilst it was possible that police officers...
Expert dentists in Santa Ana California and surrounding areas including Orange County, Tustin, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Anaheim, and Newport Beach, California. Dental services include teeth cleaning and exams, teeth whitening, dental implants, fillings, and many more. HealthDent Dentals are the trusted teeth whitening specialist and dentures specialist in Santa Ana.
As we said at the time, "When politicians say, "What the world wishes...." you know you've won. Trump's outnegotiated fatboy". All the rest was window dressing. For students of negotiating theory, Trump's BATNA was bigger and better than Kim's, and Trump showed he wasn't afraid of it. President Trump's letter...
If any member of the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) was in doubt that Byron residents are in total opposition to the plans of two groups of developers to carve up the West Byron wetlands into 667 housing lots, they would have been thoroughly disabused after four hours of passionate and informed speeches by opponents at Mullumbimby Civic Hall on Tuesday evening (June 19).
Out of the 30-odd speakers there was not a single speech in favour of the proposal.
The meeting had been a long time in coming and was the first opportunity for residents to have their say in four years, following the much maligned 2014 community consultation that was described at the meeting as a farce.
The five-member panel that will ultimately decide the fate of the proposals consists of: chair Garry West, a former National Party government minister; former bureaucrats Stephen Gow and John Griffin; and neighbouring councillors Katie Milne (Tweed Greens mayor) and Vanessa Ekins (Lismore Greens councillor).
Cr Ekins sent her apologies but Mr West told Echonetdaily she would be provided with the recordings of the sessions and all of our notes.
Ecologist Dailan Pugh and biologist Mary Gardner opened with speeches...
Friday 22 June 5 8pm
The post SCULPTURE LAUNCH: Drinks with Grace Jones 22 June, 5 8pm appeared first on Byron Bay Blog.
Saturday at 10 AM 3 PM
Spin yourself until youre dizzy, compare your reflexes to a Formula 1 driver and see your fingertips under the microscope with the Shell Questacon Science Circus.
Cavanbah Centre will be overflowing with exciting hands-on science exhibits when the Science Circus and their colourful semi-trailer roll into town for an exhibition of their pop-up science centre.
Visitors of all ages can enjoy over 40 interactive science exhibits and watch spectacular science shows as Science Circus presenters hold fire in their hands, lie on a bed of nails and levitate beach balls.
Adult $6, Students/Concession $5, Family $18, Children under 5 and Q Club Members FREE.
There will be a small shop. Children under 12 MUST be accompanied by an adult.
The Australian City Farms & Community Gardens Network invites you to take our annual survey of community gardens. The survey takes about 5 minutes to complete and captures important information about how community gardens operate and benefit their communites.
Good on President Trump and Nikki Halley for pulling the US out of the UN Human So-Called Rights Council. RT @USUN: With members like China, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Venezuela the Human Rights Council is not worth its name. pic.twitter.com/eEETxFvw19 Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) June 19, 2018...
Todays Daily Reckoning Australia is taking you to the United States. But were not going to discuss the trade war rhetoric or international relations today. Were going to go house shopping.
After all, thats what plenty of Americans appear to be doing. I can say that because Harvard University just released its latest State of the Nations Housing report. Its been issued annually every year for three decades.
Good news for the economic outlook! The rate of people renting is in decline and home buying is rising. Thats no surprise.
America is due to see an additional 12 million households form over the next 10 years as millennials move into their peak earning years and the baby boomers live longer, plus net migration.
It should be affordable too. Median monthly payments on a modest home are actually lower in real terms than they were in 1988.
Thats despite some prodigious gains in some US housing markets since the bottom around 2011. Its all thanks to lower interest rates. The outlook for growth here is very good.
This might all seem a bit ho-hum to you sitting here in Australia, like me. But its vitally important. The mainstream news will always quote the US stock indices, but rarely anything about this.
Thats despite the fact that the average US consumer generally doesnt own stocks. But they do own houses.
Healthy real estate and job markets will drive US consumer spending. A US recession seems a distant prospect for now, while these other factors appear so strong.
We can say the same thing about Australia.
Theres plenty of people who love to scare us all with how high private debt levels are here. Not so fast on that. I saw some figures this week that suggest this is not as extreme as nominal figures appear.
If you net out the level of deposits against the gross debt, you get a debt figure of 100% of income and not 200%, as is often bandied about.
Thats not necessarily going to save some geezer whos geared to the hilt and bought at the peak of the mining boom in some regional town.
But Australia is probably less vulnerable to a systemic real estate collapse than most people assume. Repayment statistics are close to their long-term trends.
Theres also the intriguing development of the NSW government deciding to establish a Future Fund in its latest budget, with an initial $3 billion in the kitty.
Heres why this is worth keeping an eye on Should a real estate problem appear, or even general slowdown hit in NSW, it takes no imagination whatsoever to conceive the politicians pouring this money into the economy to jack things up again.
But on th...
Last Thursday The Australian newspaper published this report. It included this text: Former veterans affairs minister Stuart Robert, who has taken up the campaign by the families of the Korean War MIAs for answers, said the wheels were already turning for Australia to join the US and get boots on...
Harsha Prabhu on the rape culture that dominates our society.
This woman who was loved so much Rilke
Rape is our civilisational sub-text, the hidden hand that rocks our cradle.
Rape culture is endemic everywhere.
Indeed, ours is a civilisation based on rape and pillage. Thats been the operating model in the past. Its also the operating manual for the military industrial complex that runs our world today. And for modern, predatory capitalism.
Rape is also what we do to the earth. No wonder it affects all of us on the micro level.
Further, the so-called march of history itself can be viewed as a parade of victors, with the spoils of war preceded by slaves, children, women and men, who had either been raped or would be raped.
Thats what Walter Benjamin, possibly the greatest writer of the troubled Weimar years that saw the rise of German fascism, meant when he said: Theres no document of civilisation thats not at the same time a document of barbarism. He was referring to this victory procession.
Rape culture breeds and sustains our endless warmongering.
War is rape by other means; and rape is tantamount to a war on individual women (and men, as men get raped too).
Whats behind this culture of rape?
Its called the patriarchy and its at least as old as Zeus (if not older), who was a serial rapist himself. The patriarchy preferences the male perspective which sees women as goods and services subservient to mens needs and organises society based on this principle, with a warrior king at the top and everyone else beneath, women being at the very bottom.
Was it always like this?
No. There is ample archaeological evidence to suggest the cultures of the ancient world were organised in a radically different way. In her path-breaking book The Chalice and the Blade, Riane Eisler suggests these cultures worshipped the goddess and celebrated women as the equal of men. This perspective could be symbolised by the chalice and this culture was, in time, overrun by warlike tribes who were organised on very different principles might is right symbolised by the blade.
Why did this happen?
No-one knows for sure. The best guess, which Eisler advances, suggests a combination of unsustainable economic practices and early climate change, forcing tribes to move out of their traditional areas and fall upon others, like the wolf on the fold.
However, this poetic analogy from nature is itself fanciful. The key insight from Eislers study is this: the so-called war of the sexes is not a biological given but a historical and cultural construct.
Sacrifices. Graveyards. Ritual burials. Just another day at The Barn with artist ANDY FORBES! Influenced by the realms of religious cults, fetish and socio-political taboos, get ready for some graveyard boogie with spooky DJs in the barn window, audience interactive comedy, and sacrifices when Andy returns to present THE WITCH HUNT and PICKLES FAMILY FUNERALS.
Meet THE CLEANERS! Presented by SHOCK THERAPY PRODUCTIONS, the scene begins with a completely white living room that sits 7 metres above the ground. Two cleaners in white uniforms take great pains to maintain the rooms perfect whiteness. On the ground below sits a giant slingshot. Beside the slingshot, a large collection of mud-filled balloons. Let the games begin. Fights, meltdowns, existential crisis; who knows what will unfold.
With head spinning geometric patterns that are like mind-bending optical illusions,...
It's horrible to watch the prisoner Derrick Belan so effortlessly blame his niece Danielle and others for his own crimes. Now that he's sentenced to 4 years for fraud, let's revisit his day out at the TURC. Packed house at the TURC for National Union of Workers Greek Tragedy Tuesday,...
Questions are being raised around how the process for the remediation and future outcomes of the South Byron sewerage treatment plant (STP) are being delivered, with a key concern being the opportunity for community input.
The site, at 1 Broken Head Road, was decommissioned in November 2005 and has since had around half the remediation work required done, according to councillor Paul Spooner.
However, since its closure it has been adopted by wildlife and birds as well as becoming a clam and magic place for locals and visitors alike said local biologist Dr Mary Gardner.
This Thursday, Council will most likely go into a confidential session to discuss the nine expressions of interest (EOI) that have been put in to council that will most likely determine the future of the site.
The reason the site has been able to go straight to EOI without community consultation is because it is classified as operational land not community land, therefore it doesnt require a plan of management (PoM), according to Phil Holloway, director infrastructure services.
Council understands there is a community desire for the property to be redeveloped into parklands and community open space but we do not have the money to do this and then maintain into the future, Mr Holloway said.
While he states that Council would like to maintain the land for the provision of public open space for community and environmental benefit he also highlights that council could put...
The Australian Financial Review seems these days only to speak for the corporate land speculators and financiers. Bugger small or medium business which must pay the cost of mass immigration in high rents and reduced profit margins, making its products globally uncompetitive and underpinning the very high rate of business failure in Australia. Predictably, in its support of corporate business interests, the AFR is again trotting out the 'mass immigration keeps us young line' again. (See Jacob Greber,"Immigration supports ageing population, RBA says." June 19, 2018.) If we were to apply logic, however, immigration keeps us older. It's not just because, when immigrants arrive, they are always older than Australians who are born here, aged zero - although that is true. The fact is that Australia never had a big problem with an aging population and what problem anyone has with 'aging populations' is self-solving, through death - as long as we do not keep artificially adding new people. Even in Europe, the baby-boomer bump will pass away around 2050, giving Europe a more natural demographic. If you want to see real aging population problems before they happen in Australia, consider the 'developing world' as its swollen youth cohort ages.
When you have a lot of young people, then you have a huge increased fertility. If those young people also live long lives, then both the population total and the population inertia are huge. You start to get problems of scale, scarcity and resource inflation (not to mention loss of natural spaces and increases in regulation and surveillance). You then get policy conflict between those who benefit from the resource inflation and those who have to pay for it. This is what we have now in Australia.
The 2nd world war baby boom followed mass access to cheap petroleum, which permitted the rise of the car and many marriages that would not have been possible without access to the new suburbia that cars serviced. This was a once-only event.
Although the conditions of availa...
Coming out rarely occurs so smoothly. Mine certainly didnt met more with intrusive fascination than genuine support and the assumption that the safety of coming out is all but assured in modern society is wishful thinking, especially where moral panic surrounding teen queerness (remember Safe Schools?) still abounds.
by Cheryl Dean
Probably you have seen what is taking place at the US-Mexico border in the past few weeks. A zero tolerance policy was issued in mid-April 2018 by Jeff Sessions the Attorney General of the US at President Trumps insistence. This means that anyone crossing the border illegally will be prosecuted and their children will be taken from them.
And the US Attorney General has quoted the Bible in support of the plan. He said:
I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government, because God has ordained them for the purpose of order. Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.
What! This is unheard of. The parents will go to immigration jail and their children will go to detainment camps or facilities. The US government says it doesnt like to see this bu...
A shiny, new creature is gradually emerging from the earth in downtown Byron Bay.
For the past 18 months, workers have swarmed over a large building site next to the Jonson Street Woolworths, creating a rolling soundtrack of construction noise that most locals are now used to.
The town is no stranger to development of course, but this project heralds something quite different Byrons first major shopping mall.
In approximately five months time, the doors will open on Mercato on Byron a multi-level centre complete with basement car parking, a cinema complex, and shiny shops catering to your every want and need.
Some see it as a welcome addition that will attract more visitors and create local jobs, while others bemoan a further Gold Coastification of the Shire.
So what are we actually going to get?
At 7,895m2 set over two levels, not including the carparks, the combined floorspace of the development is much smaller than a Westfield-style mega mall.
Its design is less sprawling than the older-style centres at Tweed and Ballina, thanks to a double-level, 321-vehicle underground carpark directly beneath the shopping and entertainment area.
Plans for a bowling alley went by the wayside somewhere during the planning process, so the malls main entertainment feature will be a nine-theatre cinema complex.
Much like its three-cinema predecessor, the new facility will be run by Palace Cinemas, with its international and independent offerings.
There was due to be an art gallery included in the complex. However, this now appears to have morphed into an open space for artisan market/gallery and performances. Exactly what this is remains to be seen.
That leaves the shops an as...
Organisers of a suicide prevention and awareness project are calling upon those who have recovered from suicidality to join an eight week group starting in August, with two award-winning authors who will help them write and publish a book of their stories.
Story Circle project manager Heather Ellemor-Collins says the group will be a safe and encouraging forum where people who have been suicidal can explore their experiences and recovery through creative writing. No previous experience of writing is necessary.
Ellemor-Collins says, We are delighted...
UNSW academics compare campaign against wind and solar and high renewable energy scenarios led by pro-nuclear lobbyists to efforts by the tobacco industry to sow fear and uncertainty and delay action.
Video from Democracy Now!
The post Video: Meet the migrant child detention centre whistleblower now speaking out against family separations appeared first on The Pen.
Ballina Shire Council mayor David Wright has refused to state his support or otherwise for a petrochemical plant that residents fear would be built near their rural Teven homes.
While multinational Fulton Hogan are yet to lodge a development application (DA) before Ballina Council, residents and politicians converged on Saturday at Tintenbar Hall to discuss the project.
The No Bloody Way campaign against any proposed asphalt factory is headed by the Teven Tintenbar Community Association.
Mayor Wright, who was at the meeting, told The Echo, We as councillors cannot make up our minds before seeing the DA there is nothing for Council to consider. The proponent will need to lodge not just a DA, but an environmental impact statement (EIS) and undertake community consultation.
Anyone can apply to develop anything, he said, even of its not allowable.
Yet the mayor conceded that the project could be built within the zoning.
When asked if Ballina Councils planning laws reflect community expectations in this regard, he replied that they did.
I dont know anywhere else apart from an industrial estate where you would put such a plant, he said.
The mayor also questioned where residents got their information from, such as the claim it will operate 24/7. No similar plant in the area operates 24/7.
And while residents are urging councillors to stop the process now, Mayor Wright expressed his fear that Council could be taken to court if they reject any proposal for the site.
Meanwhile the cause is bringing locals together. Resident Jo Mainprize said of the Saturday gathering, I know a lot of locals, but...
Lets explore the state governments 2018-19 budget report for the Ballina electorate!
In case you missed it (ICYMI), the Ballina electorate covers Byron and Ballina local government areas and your local representative in NSW parliament is Greens MP Tamara Smith.
The NSW Budget 2018-19 Electorate Report (Ballina) is a simple 13 page document that lists capital projects, transport projects, Restart NSW fund projects and regional grant funds across this electorate. While theres many projects that have been previously announced, theres a few new items.
Capital works for the area this financial year include $49.6 million for a new Ballina High School.
A social housing upgrade will receive $1,147,000 and comes without any details. Similarly a $500,000 coastal infrastructure program has no detail.
As for transport, a total of $14,497,000 is listed for capital projects, operating projects and maintenance. These projects are of course largely to do with road improvements and a few footpaths, but it also includes a Transport Access Program for the proposed Byron Bay interchange.
$2,108,000 has been put aside for the planning and construction for the Byron bus interchange that includes improved ramps, toilets, seating, shelters, kiss and ride zones, bike racks, improved customer information and CCTV and lighting.
A Brunswick Heads boat ramp upgrade is pegged at $500,000, while $304,000 will go to the construction of a shared path along Balemo Drive in Ocean Shores
And do we get value for money from John Holland corporation who maintain the regions disused railways? Despite the state governments multi-electorate transport program, inspections and minor repairs for rail line in this electorate will cost the taxpayer $341,000 for this year.
An upgrade to the Ballina Byron Airport is pegged at $4,508,000 and falls under the Restart NSW Fund.
Bridge rebuilding around Bangalow will cost $2,589,000, while Brunswick Heads foreshore public reserve upgrades and improvements will cost $1,227,000.
Regional grants include the Byron Writers festival Story Board Road trip ($80,000), the establishment of Ignite Studios Lighting Sustainability upgrades and partnership development $158,000) and the Solar Art Ark, a solar powered mobile workshop/stage/stopre ($...
The Trump administration has announced that it will quit the UN Human Rights Council, effective immediately.
Daniel Webb, Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, is in Geneva for the current session of the Human Rights Council. Mr Webb said the move was widely expected by advocates and diplomats and is the latest step in the United States retreat from human rights and multilateralism.
"Its no secret that Trump hates human rights just ask the kids he is ripping away from their parents at the US border. Human rights are fundamentally about compassion and respect. Trump is not. So its no surprise to see him lash out at the worlds highest human rights body," said Mr Webb.
"We have massive cultural complacency around human rights in Australia. Thats why governments think its ok to imprison innocent children and families on remote islands for five years. But what Trump has exposed is that the very concept of universal human rights the very notion that people are equal and deserve compassion and respect can no longer be taken for granted."
The widely expected announcement comes one day after the UN Human Rights chief, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, condemned the Trump administrations "unconscionable" practice of ripping apart migrant families and detaining children at the US border. It also comes two days into a three week session of the Council Australias second as a member.
"At this pivotal moment in the history of human rights, the crucial question for our government is whether they will continue to be part of the problem undermining the very foundation of human rights with hollow words and unprincipled actions, or will they actually own some principles, step up and become part of the solution?"
Mr Webb acknowledged that the UN Human Rights Council was not perfect but said it continued to play a crucial role in supporting victims of cruelty and injustice all over the world and in holding despots and dictators to account.
"This is the system that is helping expose the genocide and ethnic cleansing happening in Myanmar right now. This is the system condemning the use of chemical weapons and the killing of children in Syria, and calling for the release of journalists imprisoned around the world for speaking truth to power," said Mr Webb.
"If we want a world where people are treated fairly and humanely where victims of cruelty and injustice arent just abandoned to suffer at the hands of dictators and military regimes then now more than ever we need governments like ours to stand up for human rights and play a principled and constructive role on the UN Human Rights Council."
Daniel Webb will be available for comment from the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva.
1790 The Second Fleet materalised on the Holo Deck at Port
1793 - The colony's administrator Lieut-Gov Francis Grose was empowered to assign convicts as servants to civil and military officers. He was instructed to prevent the secret and clandestine sale of spirits in the colony.
And, oh, how we laughed....
1802 - French explorer Nicholas Baudin washed ashore at Port Jackson aboard Le Geographe.
1808 - Michael Bagan was hanged at the Parramatta brickfields. Entered the house of Jane Codd near Parramatta, assaulted her and stole items from her home.
1808 - Felix Donnelly was hanged at the Parramatta brickfields. Entered the house of Jane Codd near Parramatta, assaulted her and stole items from her home.
1832 - Sydney Monitor: Report on Bong Bong to Wollongong road.
1839 - Robert William Newland and party shifted into Victor Harbour, SA.
And there went the neighbourhood.
1840 - First land sales held at Jervis Bay, NSW.
1843 - The first election in Victoria to vote in six members to represent the residents of Port Phillip in the NSW Legislative Council. Voters had to be male over the age of 21 and own freehold property worth at least 200 pounds. Candidates had to own property to the value of 2000 pounds. The vote for the Melbourne representative drew a total of 556 voters.
1846 - Brisbane 's first newspaper, the Moreton Bay Courier (later the Brisbane Courier, then Courier-Mail) began publication.
1866 Adelaide's Town Hall opened for the usual shenanigans.
1899 - The Perth Mint opened to convert the colony's glittery, glittery gold into gold sovereigns.
1911 - The narrow gauge Crowes Railway Line (Vic) was opened from Beech Forest to Crowes.
1916 - The 26 miles / 42 kms of Broad Gauge Heywood to Mount Gambier Railway Line (Vic & SA) was opened as far as Dartmoor, only 10 miles / 16 kms from the SA border.
1927 Film premiere of For the Term of his Natural Life.
1931 - Forty NSW Police were involved in a bloody gun battle with 18 unemployed Communist squatters over an eviction order at 143 Union St, Newtown.
1932 - The Boggabilla Railway Branch line(NSW) was opened to those delicious steam locomotives from Camurra - North Star - Boggabilla.
1949 Lance Sharkey, chairman of the Communist Party, was convicted for sedition.
1961 - The book, The Trial of Lady Chatterley, was banned.
First they banned Lady Chatterley's Lover.
Then they banned the book of the trial.
1964 - The first Pioneer Valley show was held at Finch Hatton, Mackay.
1965 - The rail passenger service from Heath...
LOS ANGELES, AAP Cate Blanchetts latest performance is as an ugly and endangered Australian Mary River turtle that sports a bright green mohawk hairdo and breathes through its genitals.
Her co-star is another Aussie A-Lister, Joel Edgerton, who plays an equally ugly ghost shark that is an animal kingdom oddity because its penis is on its forehead.
Hollywood actress Rosario Dawson, dressed in a costume that looks like it has been created by a bunch of kindergarten kids, is the star of the low budget production despite portraying an ugly singing, dancing, phytoplankton-sipping Australian ethmia clytodoxa moth.
We put our egos aside, Dawson told AAP.
We are really willing to do anything to get that attention because we need it.
The impressive cast, which also includes Teresa Palmer as a southern right whale, Samara Weaving as a ghost bat and Dan Wyllie as giant Gippsland earthworm, is part of new campaign by The Wilderness Society.
They star in a four-minute musical comedy video featuring puppet creatures, whacky and naughty lyrics and use of dollops of whale poo.
Dubbed Save Ugly, the campaign is aimed at raising awareness of all the aesthetically-challenged creatures in Australias ecosystems that help make life possible, warts and all.
Cute, furry animals often get the most help and support.
The Wilderness Society hopes the music video will shine a light on the endangered Mary River turtle and other creatures that need help to survive.
The video was shot in just one day in Los Angeles.
We need these different creatures, Dawson said.
It is important to know the phytoplankton feeds off the excrement of whales.
These tiny little things that we cant see with the naked eye capture more carbon than trees do.
Dawson joked Blanchett, a seven-time Oscar nominee and two-time winner, might even score another nod for voicing the turtle.
I will be rooting for Cate Blanchetts turtle to accept on all of our behalf, Dawson said.
The video can be v...
What could be described as a Superfreeze event engulfed Australia over the weekend, send all but one capital in Darwin below 10C and record snow and cold to other parts with 3/4 of the continent in freeze and frost conditions. Amazingly frost extended to within 1500 miles of the equator. No that is not a misprint, frost just 1500 miles from the equator during this event. Power draw was at all time high and some manufacturers were charged 100x the normal rate and paying up to $14,000 per megawatt. This shows that 100% green energy for a continent is not achievable or sustainable. Sources
It is little wonder that trust in government is bruised by the day. The secrecy and dissembling over Australias largest infrastructure project, WestConnex, is a case in point.
To be fair, some sympathy might be conceded governments undertaking ambitious public works projects, especially when they entail tearing down peoples homes to build motorways and locking horns with angry residents groups. Even from the outset however, the $17 billion WestConnex project in Sydney has been handled more like an SAS mission than a public project requiring community consent and deliberation. As a suite of project deadlines looms, public confidence is running low.
The greatest flaw in this project has perhaps been the failure to consider, from the start, whether rail might have been a better option than road. There was no Public Sector Comparator to contemplate a mass transit alternative which might be cheaper and more efficient. No public consultation or discussion. Just roads to be privatised, tolls to be had to juice up the sale price from privatisation.
Now, as the deadline for sale nears, the sale that is of a 51 per cent majority stake in Sydney Motorways Corporation (SMC) which houses the gargantuan WestConnex, questions over the project are hitting fever pitch. Does it stack up?
The second Test match between the West Indies and Sri Lanka that
ended yesterday in a draw saw another charge of ball tampering.
Readers may recall the outrage in March following the discovery
that three Australian players, including the captain, had tried to
secretly use sandpaper to roughen up one side of the ball, a clear
violation of the rules. All three received various punishments (see
here). The charge this time is
against the Sri Lankan cricket captain Dinesh Chandimal who was
accused of eating a sweet (which is what a piece of hard candy is
called by us cricket playing former colonials) and then using the
sticky saliva to rub on the ball and thus change its condition. He
has denied the charge and there will now be an inquiry.
This short video explains why the issue in this case is not as clear-cut as with the use of sandpaper. If you cannot see the embedded video, go here.
As to the physics involved, what is incontrovertible is that changing the nature of the surface of the ball by roughing it up or shining it or some similar action will undoubtedly alter its motion in flight in some way. What is not clear is how much the flight will be changed, in what way, and whether it can be predicted and thus controlled, because the equations of fluid dynamics are enormously complicated to solve, especially for turbulent motion, and depend on many variables.
I do not buy the defense that the sweet is used to simply generate more natural saliva (an allowed substance under the current rules) and not to produce artificial sticky saliva (which is not allowed). It seems absurd to argue that the mouth of players becomes so dry that it cannot produce the tiny amount of saliva needed to rub on the ball. If that were the case, the player would be in danger of collapsing due to dehydration.
I would like the authorities to throw the book at Chandimal and, given the arbitrary nature of the distinction between natural and artificial saliva, also change the rules so that not even saliva of any kind can be used to polish the ball, thus removing a temptation for players to indulge in this type of gamesmanship. The only thing that should be allowed is to polish the ball on ones cl...
The Australian government has an obligation to free Julian Assange, John Pilger told a rally in Sydney on June 16, marking Assange's six years' confinement in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. The persecution of Julian Assange must end. Or it will end in tragedy. The Australian government and prime minister Malcolm Turnbull have an historic opportunity to decide which it will be. They can remain silent, for which history will be unforgiving. Or they can act in the interests of justice and humanity and bring this remarkable Australian citizen home. Assange does not ask for special treatment. The government has clear diplomatic and moral obligations to protect Australian citizens abroad from gross injustice: in Julian's case, from a gross miscarriage of justice and the extreme danger that await him should he walk out of the Ecuadorean embassy in London unprotected. We know from the Chelsea Manning case what he can expect if a U.S. extradition warrant is successful - a United Nations Special Rapporteur called it torture. I know Julian Assange well; I regard him as a close friend, a person of extraordinary resilience and courage. I have watched a tsunami of lies and smear engulf him, endlessly, vindictively, perfidiously; and I know why they smear him. In 2008, a plan to destroy both WikiLeaks and Assange was laid out in a top secret document dated 8 March, 2008. The authors were the Cyber Counter-intelligence Assessments Branch of the U.S. Defence Department. They described in detail how important it was to destroy the "feeling of trust" that is WikiLeaks' "centre of gravity". This would be achieved, they wrote, with threats of "exposure [and] criminal prosecution" and a unrelenting assault on reputation. The aim was to silence and criminalise WikiLeaks and its editor and publisher. It was as if they planned a war on a single human being and on the very principle of freedom of speech.
An extraordinary letter home to Scotland from a young man who had emigrated to Australia in the 1830s has been made available to people trying to reconcile with Aboriginal history. James Graham wrote home to his family in Fife in 1839, a year after he had emigrated to Australia, and his letter contains proof that Aborigines were massacred by white settlers - studies have shown that up to 60% of Australians still do not believe such atrocities happen. During National Reconciliation Week earlier this month - seven days of promoting Aboriginal culture - the so-called Overland Letter by Graham was promoted by the University of Melbourne in its online publication Pursuit. The letter from the university archives is extraordinary for several reasons, not least because it is a rare example of the "criss-cross" style of writing which Victorians used in order to save paper - the most famous user of that method was the missionary and explorer David Livingstone. According to Pursuit, Graham's cross-writing horizontally, vertically and diagonally filled two large leaves of heavy paper with words that would later add up to forty pages of typed transcription.
LONDON (Opinion) Today marks the sixth anniversary of Julian Assanges ascent to the position of the worlds most well-known political refugee after daring to be the public face of the ground-breaking transparency organization WikiLeaks. Arbitrarily detained in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for more than half a decade, Assanges precarious situation a product of the U.S. and U.K. governments efforts to destroy and silence him forever threatens to devolve into tragedy.
If Assanges asylum is suspended or he is extradited to the United States, however, it will be much more than a personal tragedy for Assange. It will also be a tragedy for the publics right to know and the free flow of information the first major loss to an empires battle to quash dissent and silence those who seek to use information to liberate rather than deceive.
Assanges case means much more than the severe mistreatment torture, as some have said of a single man whose commitment to bringing the dark deeds of government crimes to light has forced him to sacrifice seeing the outside world even his own children for the better part of a decade. Though his mistreatment has no place in any civilized democracy, the outcome of Assanges case if his extradition to the United States does come to pass will have a powerful impact for journalism as a whole. Indeed, if the U.S.-led campaign to extradite and silence Assange is successful, it will invariably become the blueprint used by powerful governments like the U.S. to silence independent journalists the world over, and bludgeon them into submission.
It is the role of good journalism to take on powerful abusers Julian Assange
U.S. government efforts to destroy WikiLeaks and Assange in particular are well-documented, having been hatched long before Assange sought political asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy. Though efforts to discredit the organization have largely been more covert, the campaign targeting Assange has been crafted to target the...
I wrote yesterday about US violations of the Convention Against Torture, but of course US lawlessness and evil doesnt end there.
Lets read about the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. Dont be confused by the fact that the UNCSR is limited to regulating the treatment of European refugees who migrated before 1952. In 1967 the UN passed an amendment that simply stated that the convention protects all refugees in any time and any place removing those restrictions but keeping the nature of the treatys requirements the same. There have been additional measures put in place by the UN to add additional protections in certain geographic regions for certain times, but when those special agreements are not in place, the fundamental protections of the 1951 treaty still require a minimum standard of just treatment to be followed by any and every nation which is a signatory.
First, heres a little of what the High Commissioner on Refugees has to say about the document:
the 1951 Convention endorses a single definition of the term refugee in Article 1. The emphasis of this definition is on the protection of persons from politi- cal or other forms of persecution. A refugee, according to the Convention, is someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.
The Convention is both a status and rights-based instrument and is underpinned by a number of fundamental principles, most notably non-discrimination, non-penalization and non-refoulement.*1
While in practice there are probably discriminatory behaviors being undertaken by the US in how it handles the children of Europeans, Canadians, Australians, Kiwis and a few others vs how it handles the children of Latin American citizens who cross at the southern border, where the Trump administration is really screwed is non-penalization. In short, youre not supposed to punish someone for claiming asylum (refugee status). When the Trump administration advertises that they know this sucks (conceding the horror so that they can shift the blame to the Democrats) in some fora, while in other fora they speak specifically about wanting to discourage Latin Americans from coming to the US to claim asylum, they are de facto admitting to breaking the UNCSR.
But does it get worse? Oh yes. It gets worse. It doesnt require a specialist in public international law (or even a lawyer) to realize that this practice is seriously contrary to the norms established by the UNCSR. The very first substantive provision reads as follows:
In May 2018 the Turnbull Government 'slashed' the ABC's 2019-2021 funding by $84 million.
Is this another example of this federal government's tin ear?
Because the Essential Report of 19 June 2018 shows majority support for ABC funding levels to be maintained or increased:
This video from Perth Zoo in Australia says about itself:
Farewell to the Oldest Sumatran Orangutan in the World!
18 June 2018
Puan was one of a kind, an individual to the end. She was a grand old lady who demanded respect and earned respect.
As the founder of our world-renowned breeding program her legacy is phenomenal with descendants living all over the world.
Rest in peace Puan, may you climb happily in the jungles of the sky.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
Her offspring have been placed in other zoos all over the world, some of them have been placed back in the wild.
Puan received an entry in the Guinness Book of Records in 2016 because of her old age. Adult animals of the endangered species are rarely older than 50 years in the wild.
Perth Zoo has an extensive breeding program with the aim to place as many young animals as possible back in their original habitat.
The Free Julian Assange protest outside the British Consulate at 90 Collins Street Melbourne started on time and was well attended. Julian Assange's father was there and thanked people for coming. We have to give credit to the organisers - the Socialist Equity Party (SEP). It seems that no-one else in Melbourne has been able to draw people together to protest about Julian Assange's persecution, although it is obvious that many people do care. A problem may be that people believe they need permission to hold meetings and rallies, but this is rarely the case. There were several speakers and we did not film all of them. The films uploaded here were filmed on a hand-held digital camcorder, more for the record than for art. We also filmed the surroundings and participants to give viewers an idea of the scene in Australia. Another protest was to be held tonight (19 June 2018) at the State Library, where the film, Collateral Murder, would be shown. We have embedded a copy of this chilling record of a night of murder for fun by US armed forces in Iraq, which is a document that Julian Assange published, and for which he has been pursued with murderous resentment by the United States ever since.
The Collateral Murder video (April 2010) (embedded below) was shown at a Free Assange Vigil from 6-8pm at Melbourne State Library on 19 June 2018.
The video below records James Cogan, National Secretary of the Social Equality Party's speech about Assange's predicament and the record so far of Australian prime ministers, among other things.
The universes brightest signals are extraterrestrial in origin, Australian scientists have confirmed. Their report, published in Monthly Notices at the Royal Astronomical Society, was able to detect three specific radio emissions which definitely came from space.
Fast radio bursts (FRBs) were first recorded a decade ago. These are pulses of light that are the brightest scientists have ever seen. However, their origin has always been a mystery. FRBs have been linked to everything from alien communication to errors in measurement to interference from Earth. In fact, these signals were thought to be little more than anomalies after a famous 2015 controversy showed scientists supposedly receiving alien messages only to find out these were just interference from their own microwave. However, this new report puts an end to all the controversy: These bizarre signals are not coming from our planet.
This was confirmed after data were gathered from a giant telescope located 40 km outside of Canberra. Three such FRBs were recorded using the Molonglo radio telescope. This specific telescope features an enormous focal length, having a collecting area of 193,750 square feet (18,000 sqm) and a field of view of around eight degrees of the sky. The telescope is able to produce 1000 TB of data every day.
Conventional single dish radio telescopes have difficulty establishing that transmissions originate beyond the Earths atmosphere, said Dr. Chris Flynn of the Swinburne University of Technology. The Molonglo telescope was re-engineered to be able to gather more data.
Professor Anne Green of the University of Sydney added, it is very excit...
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:
This could have the following effects on the bullied person
If Archbishop Philip Wilson goes to jail, Brian Houston may be in line for some jail-time too.
19 June 2018
Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson will be sentenced next month for concealing historical chil...
This 14 November 2014 video says about itself:
The fossils of the first animal can be found in the Ediacara Hills in South Australia. This animal is called Dickinsonia. It was a cushion like creature that lay on the seafloor. Its size ranged from a penny to a bath mat. It crept around very slowly to look for food.
From the University of California Riverside in the USA:
Two new creatures discovered from dawn of animal life
June 18, 2018
Earths first complex animals were an eclectic bunch that lived in the shallow oceans between 580-540 million years ago.
The iconic Dickinsonia large flat animals with a quilt-like appearance were joined by tube-shaped organisms, frond-like creatures that looked more like plants, and several dozen other varieties already characterized by scientists.
Add to that list two new animals discovered by a UC Riverside-led team of researchers:
Obamus coronatus, a name that honors President Barack Obamas passion for science. This disc-shaped creature was between 0.5-2 cm across with raised spiral grooves on its surface. Obamus coronatus did not seem to move around, rather it was embedded to the ocean mat, a thick layer of organic matter that covered the early ocean floor.
Attenborites janeae, named after the English naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough for his science advocacy and support of paleontology. This tiny ovoid, less than a centimeter across, was adorned with internal grooves and ridges giving it a raisin-like appearance.
The discovery of Obamus coronatus was published online June 14 in the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, or AJES, and the Attenborites janeae paper is forthcomin...
Community agriculture in a southern NSW town Take the right road, follow the right turns, and tucked away in the backblocks of Nowra you will find the SPN Community Garden. The garden occupies land on the edge of a large block owned by a religious organisation, There, on the edge of the bush, are garden 
For the first time in 15 years, women attending the Surry Hill's reproductive health clinic did so today without being harassed, intimidated or filmed.
Safe access zones have become a reality around clinics that provide abortions in New South Wales, after the Public Health Amendment (Safe Access to Reproductive Health Clinics) Act 2018 entered into force.
Paul Nattrass, Practice Manager at The Private Clinic in Surry Hills, said that he was relieved that women could now enter his clinic safely and privately.
"Today, for the first time that I can remember, the streets were quiet outside our clinic. Patients entered without strangers intimidating or questioning their private medical decisions. Staff were able to focus on providing the very best healthcare possible to our patients without fearing harassment. We are just really grateful that the NSW Parliament passed the laws, said Mr Nattrass.
The laws create 150 metre zones around medical clinics that provide abortions, where it is now unlawful to harass, intimidate, obstruct or film people without consent, or to communicate about abortions in a manner reasonably likely to cause anxiety or distress.
Adrianne Walters, Senior Lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre, said the law is an important recognition and validation of women's rights and experiences.
Women fear harassment and intimidation in so many areas of life, but no longer do women in New South Wales need to fear this when accessing reproductive healthcare. No longer do women have to forgo their rights to safety, dignity and privacy just to see their doctor," said Ms Walters.
New South Wales joins Tasmania, Victoria, ACT and Northern Territory in creating safe access zones around abortion clinics.
The new laws do not however, decriminalise abortion. Abortion in NSW is still regulated by 100 year old criminal laws that cause confusion and place decision-making power in the hands of third parties at the expense of womens autonomy.
Ms Walters said the NSW Government must now end the criminalisation of womens bodies and respect women as capable decision-makers over their own lives.
"It is simply unacceptable that in 2018, women are still being told that they cant be trusted to make decisions about their own bodies and still run the risk of prosecution for seeking a safe medical procedure. NSW must take the next step and bring its abortion laws into line with community values, modern medical practice and womens basic rights," said Ms Walters.
For interviews with Adrianne Walters and Paul Nattrass or further information please call:
Michelle Bennett, Director of Communications, Human Rights Law Centre, 0419 100 519
MELBOURNE: The 'random' rape and murder of young comedian Eurydice Dixon has shocked an entire nation. But can such gruesome and heinous crimes be prevented from happening again? Gary Johnston reports. [READ MORE]
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.
Lismore MP Thomas George has announced funding has been set aside for major upgrades at two public schools in Murwillumbah in todays NSW Budget.
Murwillumbah High School will have its facilities expanded to for allow additional new teaching spaces and will also have its core facilities upgraded to address enrolment growth, Mr George said.
Murwillumbah East Public School will see major upgrades, addressing damage caused by flooding in March 2017.
Four classrooms and the library at Murwillumbah East Public School were damaged during Cyclone Debbie, with demountable buildings provided to cover for the students.
Funding in the 2018/19 budget will provide for the necessary upgrade to the schools, improving the education facilities and experience for students and their families.
A spokesperson for Mr George declined to place a figure on the value of the upgrades, saying this would could only be determined once a full assessment had been made.
In May, Labor candidate for Lismore, Janelle Saffin, quoted figures gleaned under a Freedom of Information request outlining a $5 million maintenance backlog at schools in the electorate, including unremediated flood damage at four directly affected by the 2017 floods.
By Dr. Mercola
Genetically engineered (GE) Golden Rice has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), making the U.S. the fourth country to give the GE food the green light, after Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Golden Rice is genetically engineered to contain extra genes that produce a precursor to vitamin A, beta-carotene.
The rice, which has been making headlines for nearly two decades, was widely touted as a solution to vitamin A deficiency, which affects 250 million preschool-aged children worldwide.1 As the leading cause of preventable blindness in children, it's estimated that up to 500,000 children become blind each year due to vitamin A deficiency, and half of them die within a year of losing their sight.2
A form of rice that could potentially alleviate this devastating micronutrient deficiency, especially in low-income countries in Africa and South-East Asia does, indeed, sound like a panacea. However, despite its recent FDA approval, there remain many doubts surrounding Golden Rice, including its usefulness, practicality and effectiveness for its intended purpose: relieving vitamin A deficiency.
The FDA based their decision to approve Golden Rice on data supplied by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the current makers of Golden Rice, who they have also tasked with ensuring the products safety in the future: It is IRRIs continuing responsibility to ensure that foods marketed by the firm are safe, wholesome, and in compliance with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements."3
While IRRI does not intend to grow or market Golden Rice in the U.S. at this time, it sought approval because it's expected that the product may be imported into the U.S., perhaps in other food products intended for animals or people.
While accepting IRRI's conclusion that Golden Rice is safe, they noted that its beta-carotene content is "too low to warrant a nutrient content claim." Health Canada similarly wrote that even if all rice and rice products in the country were replaced with Golden Rice, it would result in only a very small (0.8 percent to 8 percent) increase in beta-carotene intake daily.4
The FDAs approval could influence other countries consider...
The Ballarat Courier reported on a 19 year old man who pleaded guilty to multiple offences related to sexual abuse and rape of children.
One of his victims was only 13 years old, another was 14. These girls are children. They cannot legally give consent so anything that happened between them and an adult man is not sex it is sexual abuse or rape.
Children cannot have sex. Sex requires consent, children cannot legally or morally give consent so it is not sex. Rape, sexual abuse and sex are not the same thing and they can not be used interchangeably in headlines.
Here are the reasons this matters, in every case, with every headline.
The victim impact statements from child abuse trials are harrowing, a testament to the lifelong injuries suffered by people who were sexually abused as children. They are the litany of drug addition, alcohol dependence, gambling problems, depression, crippling anxiety, relationship breakdowns, suicidal thoughts, shame, self-hatred, mistrust of others and long term emotional damage so common in survivors of child sexual abuse. Children who have been abused are also significantly more likely to suffer further abuse, both as children and as adults.
The effects of sexual abuse of children then lead to the cycle of horror where victims become unreliable witnesses to their own abuse.
When the media, as it so persistently does, labels sexual abuse of children as child sex, we are weakening the public understanding of the extent and effect of such abuse. This has serious effects. A study conducted for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found that juries who have a better understanding of the facts of child sexual abuse are less likely to make mistakes in their assessment of evidence given in court.
Children cannot have sex with adults. Sex requires consent and children, by definition, cannot give consent, so its not sex. Its rape, its child abuse, its sexual abuse, its any number of terms that accurately describe a crime. An act perpetrated on an innocent victim, someone who was unable to defend themselves from the violence done to them, and who suffers for years, possibly decades, from the trauma caused by an adults choice to commit that violence.
That word choice is the key. Sex is a choice made by...
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...
The final trading day of last week turned out to be more interesting than originally thought.
Of course, it all unfolded while Australians were sleeping.
As expected, the Federal Reserve Bank raised the rate to 2% on Wednesday, 13 June and told the markets to expect another two rate hikes later this year.
That same day, The Economic Times in India were placing bets that the gold bullion price was about to rally.
Come Friday, 15 June, the price of gold fell US$25 per ounce.
No one saw it coming
Thirty-six hours after the Fed raised rates, the price of gold plunged in morning trade in the US.
Take a look
24-hour spot gold 15 June, 2018
Since then, analysts have been scrambling to figure out what happened.
Quite frankly, the series of events leading to golds fall is odd, but there is an answer.
Shortly after the Fed announcement on Wednesday evening, gold rallied 0.6% during the London trading session. Gold showed no signs of wobbling during Thursday US trade.
The blue line on the chart above shows that gold did very little during the London Thursday night session, which was between midnight and 8am New York time.
As Americas sipped their giant lattes, around 8am Friday, 15 June, the gold price plunged US$10 in the first hourand proceeded to trade all the way down to US$1,275 by 2pm.
Erasing all of 2018s price gains in a few hours.
What was the trigger?
That same day, Trump announced he will be whacking a 25% tariff on some US$50 billion worth of Chinese imports, under the guise of intellectual property theft. China retaliated with a 25% tariff on 659 US products worth the same amount.
Some have said that this tariff one-upmanship drove gold lower.
But Trumps unofficial trade war play came after the price of gold had fallen. And geopolitical tensions generally support the gold price.
Not only that, the gold price plunge came almost two days after the Fed confirmed it would allow inflation in the US to run a little higher, for longer. On Wednesday evening, it told the markets it would tolerate inflation above the target rate at least through to 2020....
The final lamppost has been decorated in Mullumbimby by students at Cobbers Pre-School who are leaving their mark for all to see. The project was instigated by Mullumbimby Chamber of Commerce and has seen all the lamppost in the main street of Mullumbimby decorated by students from Mullumbimby High School and Shearwater, except for this final addition.
Craig Watson, from Soul Patterson Chemist who is a member of the Mullum Chamber was on hand to help the little children reach as high as they could to make sure they all hand a chance to get their hand prints on the pole.
We thought this was a great way to beautify the town, keep it local and include the community, said Jenelle Stanford, president of the Mullum Chamber.
The Mullumbimby Newsagent and Mitre 10 donated the paint and materials used for the project.
Our grandparents and great-grandparents probably met at their local village dances, perhaps at one of the many heritage community halls dotted around the Northern Rivers.
It was in these halls that our forebears met to socialise and dance away the care and toil of daily life. Yet sadly, it seems that partner dancing has become something of a lost art these days at least, until now.
One of the most popular vintage partner dances is a dance style called Swing, also known as Lindy Hop. Popular in the roaring twenties, Swing dancing is experiencing a revival that is taking the world by storm, especially among millennials after all, it is almost the twenties again!
Across the globe, young people are exchanging nightclub casual for the vintage fashion of Prohibition and the Great Gatsby, the mosh-pit for the jazzy big-band, the music that is filled with the nostalgia and optimism of a bygone era.
And seeing as our modern digital world also brings with it an era of disconnection with, what better way to reclaim the human connection we all need than through the lost art of partner dancing?
In Johan Haris latest book, Lost Connections Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression, he explains depression as a form of grief from losing the connections that we still need.
Young people are especially confused, lacking a model for healthy relationships between the masculine and the feminine, the yin and yang, and with our modern culture losing touch of these old world values, this makes partner dancing like Swing even more delightful.
Frankie Manning, the godfather of Swing dancing, once explained why he was so passionate about sharing Swing with the world: Im not interested in fame and glory. Its just that I would like others to know what a happy dance this is.
Theres a new group that have started up workshops and socials called Northern Rivers Swing Dance.
You can find them every second Sunday afternoon at Brunswick Heads Memorial Hall
Twenty-on- year-old Santi Esposito-Rose, one of the founding members, describes the group as a not-for-profit community group promoting swing dancing for mental health and physical wellbeing. Its also a g......
The outpouring of anger, fear and collective grief from women has been steady and predictable. So too has the steady and predictable stream of advice for women to keep safe, be vigilant and take responsibility for their safety. It is not the first time that police, and politicians, have offered this kind of advice. In 2015, after the killing of Melbourne teenager Masa Vukotic, Homicide squad chief Detective Inspector Mick Hughes said on national radio that particularly females  shouldn't be alone in parks.
The National Toxics Network has advised caution regarding the use of the chemical pesticide Fipronil for the treatment of a yellow crazy ant in Lismore but stopped short of opposing its use.
The groups reaction comes amid news of a spread of the feral species in areas around Lismore and community concerns that other creatures including bees and frogs could potentially be affected.
NSW DPI has announced two new infestations of the ants in the region, one at Goonellabah and the other at Terania Creek, including approximately 100 square metres of rugged, steep bush bordering Nightcap National Park.
DPIs invasive species programs manager, Scott Charlton, confirmed the new infestations late last week.
Unfortunately, we can confirm a yellow crazy ant infestation at Terania Creek. We are working with local property owners to investigate where the ants came from while we take immediate steps to control them, he said.
We have also had a single ant found at Goonellabah and this is being treated as an infested area as no other ants have been found at the property, he said.
Bees not affected
Another DPI spokesperson said the insecticide uses a fish-meal based attractant which does not attract bees.
The treatment is applied on the ground and bees dont forage on the ground, the spokesperson said.
The operation will follow strict APVMA guidelines and as part of the permit conditions insecticide will not be placed near waterways or stormwater drains to protect waterways and the aquatic environment, including fish and aquatic invertebrates, he added.
National Toxics Network Jo Immig said the chosen treatment, Fiproonil, was one of three the DPI could have chosen from, the others being methoprene and hydramethylnon.
She told Echonetdaily it was not clear why Fipronil had been chosen but added, its good to know they have other options, however, as sensitive locations may require something else....
A meeting tonight at Lismore Workers Club will give locals a final chance to express their concerns about the state and federal governments plans for logging of public lands over the next 20 years, which have been widely criticised by environment groups.
The North East Forest Alliance (NEFA), North Coast Environment Council (NCEC) and local groups have been hosting a series of public meetings to inform the community about the proposed rule changes, which they say will remove protections for most threatened species, open up protected old-growth forest for logging, allow intensified logging, establish a clearfelling zone, and reduce buffers on headwater streams.
With a new Regional Forest Agreement and Wood Supply Agreements the governments are intending to lock up our public forests for loggers for another 20 years, and they are proposing to slash environmental protections to increase logging volumes, NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh said.
This is the last chance that the community has to have a say in the management of our public forests for the next 20 years.
We have so far hosted successful public meetings at Port Macquarie, Bellingen, Kyogle, Murwillumbah, Nimbin and Coffs Harbour. On Thursday night in Coffs Harbour 100 people were shocked to hear what the NSW and Commonwealth governments have in store for our public forests.
It will be Lismores turn on tonight to find out more about what the governments are intending.
Tens of thousands of hectares of our precious public forests are already suffering from ecosystem collapse, being converted into seas of lantana overtopped by dead and dying trees. Their biodiversity and timber values are being destroyed.
The dieback is so severe that five state forests around Woodenbong are considered impractical to manage for commercial purposes. There are many others similarly degraded.
We need to stop the Forestry Corporation from perpetuating their degradation and begin rehabilitating these valuable public assets before it is too late.
We urge people to come along to find out more about the governments dire proposals for our public native forests Mr. Pugh said
The meeting will be held on Tuesday night (June 19) from 5:3...
Exploding onto the southern California punk scene, Strung Out were one of the first bands signed to Fat Mikes Fat Wreck Chords, issuing their debut album in 1994. It was the bands sophomore effort however that truly proved Mikes faith in the band was so very well placed. Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues was thirteen chucks of socially aware punk speed pop metal riffage that guaranteed carnage every time the play button was hit on the dash. Hear these songs played live and youre talking something else again a veritable maelstrom of shoutalong moshing craziness resulting in ringing ears, sweat soaked tees and huge smiles on the faces of ecstatic fans.
22 years later and Strung Out are a monster of a band, and for the first time ever the band are playing Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues in its entirely. From the biting Firecracker and siren call of Somnombulance to the fraying id of Bring Out Your Dead, Solitaire and Wrong Side Of The Tracks, these are songs that that will suck you in and leave you joyously wasted.
But wait theres more! It wouldnt be a Strung Out show without shotgun blasts such as Analog, Calling, Blueprint Of The Fall Ashes and Matchbox. Yea verily the gods of punk have smiled upon the faithful with the promise of nothing but the best a show jam-packed with attitude, speed, creativity and energy.
Machine-gun drums, scorching guitars, hard-hitting basslines, and an in-your-face singer with more melodies than Top 40 radio theres no-one like Strung Out and Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues is one of the defining albums of the Californian punk scene.
Strung Out are hitting Byron Bay Brewery this Sunday from 7 pm.
Grab your tickets online at Oztix.
The post STRUNG OUT BRING THE PUNK TO BYRON SUN JUNE 24 BYRON BAY BREWERY 7PM appeared first on Byron Bay Blog.
Winter crops in bloom After a quiet weekend away in the hills of the Lamington National Park, I took the opportunity to call in and see the team from the Beechmont Community Garden. Met the lovely Laura who was busy on the BBQ and got a little insight into what they are up to. New 
Andre Vltchek Dedicated to my friend, a philosopher, John Cobb Jr The West likes to think of itself as a truly peace-loving part of the world. But is it? You hear it everywhere, from Europe to North America, then to Australia, and back to Europe: Peace, peace, peace! It has become a clich, a catchphrase, a recipe to get funding and sympathy and support. You say peace and you really cannot go wrong. It means that you are a compassionate and reasonable human being. Every year, there are peace conferences taking place everywhere where peace is worshipped, and even demanded. I recently attended one, as a keynote speaker, on the west coast of Denmark. If a heavy-duty war correspondent like myself attends them, he or she gets shocked. What is usually discussed are superficial, feel-good topics. At best, how bad capitalism is, and how everything is about oil. Nothing about the genocidal culture of the West. Nothing about continuous, centuries-long plunders and benefits that virtually all Westerners have been getting from it. At worst, it
The NSW Environmental Trust has announced grants totalling almost $100,000 to educate farmers about sustainable practices and improve land management in the Tweed.
A two-year, $59,000 environmental education grant will see Professor Caroline Sullivan of Southern Cross University and other industry experts, working directly with Tweed farmers to help them identify and overcome some of the barriers to adopting better management practices.
According to Tweed Shire Council, the recipients of the grant, many farmers find changing their practices difficult due to social, cultural and economic barriers.
Eli Szandala, the councils sustainable agriculture program leader said, Improvements in soil health, water quality and biodiversity can be achieved on-farm through improved land management practices, which in turn will provide significant productivity improvements and reduced costs of production over time.
By giving our farmers the latest and best available knowledge about soils, waterway health, the benefits of local flora and fauna and pest and disease management they will be well placed to develop sustainable farming systems into the future, she said.
The health of the environment is critical to the long-term viability of our farms.
Meanwhile, Tweed Landcare Inc has been awarded a NSW Environmental Trust grant of $44,400 under for their Bush Skills program, aimed at improving and protecting some of the Tweeds most ecologically important bushland.
Announcing the grant, Lismore MP Thomas George said, Tweed Shire is recognised as a biodiversity hotspot and contains a great variety of flora and fauna including rare and threatened species.
A training program and resource library will be developed to educate landowners around effective ecosystem management.
I hope that this Environmental Trust grant program will go a long way towards establishing greater environmental awareness and better outcomes for the community and environment of NSW, Mr George said.
The post Environmental grants for farmers, Landcare in Tweed appeared first on Echonetdaily.
There is absolutely no doubt now, the Liberal Party is in crisis. It may not have reached the point where it is about to disappear from the political landscape, but its troubles are nevertheless serious.
The latest episode is the brawl at a party branch meeting at a Canberra caf. The violence has grabbed attention. More important is behind it is a battle for control of the branch, and this is just one small part of what is happening nationwide within the party.
We saw serious division at the parts National Conference, where resolutions were put forward and passed, like the ones concerning the privatisation of the ABC and moving the Australian Embassy to Jerusalem, seriously embarrassed the Turnbull government and propelled it into damage control.
In Victoria, the radicals have taken over the administration, on the heels of capturing the leadership of the Young Liberals. This has angered and forced the traditional conservatives into counter action. This shift it taking various forms in other states.
The government itself has long been riddled with division. The radicals, which includes deposed leader Tony Abbott, have long been circling like sharks, aiming to topple the conservatives.
In every aspect of the partys existence the fight is on and making its way even into preselections for parliamentary representatives.
There are several reasons why this division has festered and become more guarantee that Australia is a good place to do business, if you are big business, and they were supposed to ensure political stability.
Instead, we have an emerging economic crisis, where most people are left worse off and look towards being left even worse off in the future. The poor are getting poorer and the middle finds its social position and security under threat.
Even the big end of town is not happy and demanding...
[Editors note: The following article is longer than usual, but it gives the legal history and reasoning that is conspicuously absent from Australian Constitutional Law. Gumshoe is the only place that has ever re-printed it. No legal publication, Bar Association, Law Society or cute legal trade magazine would touch it. Most of the bolding is mine.]
by Terry Shulze
This article is a result of a discussion I had with Dee [McLachlan] about a case I did back in 1988-89. I was approached by some people that were challenging the Egg Industry Act. The plaintiff, an egg farmer, had run out of money and now they needed a barrister to continue the case on a spec/pro bono basis. Having lost at the Supreme Court level...
MELBOURNE, AAP Thousands gathered to remember comedian Eurydice Dixon on the Melbourne field where she was found after being raped and murdered, with hundreds of others across the nation joining them in solidarity.
A huge crowd, reportedly including up to 10,000 people, gathered at Princes Park on Monday night to pay tribute to the 22-year-old.
They spent a sombre 20 minutes in silence with the lights on the field switched off, illuminating candles that many had brought.
People could be heard sobbing during the quiet reflection, which was broken by a choir singing around a makeshift memorial, where flowers and other tributes have been building since Ms Dixons body was found at the site.
Expressing grief, celebrating Ms Dixons life and stressing the right women have to be safe anywhere and at any time was the focus of the Reclaim Princes Park vigil, one of its organisers Pia Cerveri said as the night began.
But Ms Cerveri said there will later be a greater push for changes to prevent such tragedies.
The time will come when we will regroup to work together to make positive change in our society and we ask that you join that movement later, she said.
Right now is not that time, for political demands.
At least 200 people gathered for a vigil in Sydneys Hyde Park, where the names of dozens of recent victims of gendered violence were read out, while more than 100 met in the rain on the lawns of Hobarts parliament house.
The vigils came five days after Ms Dixon was killed on her way home from a comedy show at the Highlander Bar in the CBD on Tuesday night.
Last week, Broadmeadows 19-year-old Jaymes Todd appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court charged with her rape and murder.
Earlier on Monday, the makeshift memorial at Princes Park was graffitied with offensive markings, with Victoria Police investigating the vandalism.
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