IndyWatch Bellingen NSW All Topics Summary Archiver

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Friday, 13 January

02:30

Australia Day Lamb Video has jumped the shark. "IndyWatch Feed National"

For the first time in 10 years I'm not running the lamb video. It's just boring. If you want to see it in all its forced cliche try-hardness you'll find it here. Interesting that comments are disabled. Meanwhile Henry Winkler nails it.

01:00

Ten things you need to know about TiSA "IndyWatch Feed National"

While global attention has been focused on other trade deals, such as the failed TPP, governments and corporations have been working hard to push through the Trade in Services Agreement†(TiSA).

Negotiations have been shrouded in secrecy but leaked documents show that global services corporations and some governments are using the deal to push a deregulation and privatisation agenda.

A deal could be reached as soon as early 2017. Here’s what you need to know.

1. It's massive, but excludes most low income countries

All 28 EU member states, as well as the United States, Australia and 20 other mostly high income countries* are involved in TiSA negotiations, meaning the deal will cover around 70 per cent of global trade in services.

Emerging economies like Brazil, India, China, Russia, and over 100 developing country WTO members are not included in making the rules, but would be pressured to join later.

2. Negotiations are secret

TiSA negotiations are held behind closed doors, with very little public consultation and no public access to negotiating texts. But ‘corporate advisors’ representing global services companies have access to negotiators to push their deregulation and privatisation agendas.

3. Almost all services will be affected

TiSA could set rules affecting almost all service provision including education, healthcare, transport, water, telecommunications, postal services, aged care, child care, energy, retail and banking services. These are services which many of us use each day. It’s claimed that “public services†are not included in the negotiations but the TiSA definition of what constitutes a public service is very ambiguous.

4. De-regulation is the aim

Instead of reducing tariffs on goods, TiSA aims to reduce government regulation on services, by freezing regulation at current levels and reducing it over time. This suits global services corporations but not peoples’ needs.

Many services require re...

00:16

Items not allowed around Trump on 20 January 2017 "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"


These are items that cannot be near Donald J. Trump during what he refers to as "the show" aka the presidential inauguration. It would appear that protesters will not be welcome if they make themselves visible.

*Aerosols
*Ammunition
*Animals other than service/guide animals
*Backpacks and bags exceeding size restrictions (18" by 13" by 7")
*Bicycles
*Balloons
*Coolers
*Drones and other unmanned aircraft systems
...

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Thursday, 12 January

23:18

Moderators who had to view child abuse content sue Microsoft, claiming PTSD "IndyWatch Feed National"

images-4

images-4

in San Francisco

Microsoft workers on the “online safety team” were forced to view photos and videos of “indescribable sexual assaults”, “horrible brutality”, murder and child abuse, resulting in severe post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a lawsuit.

Read More

21:12

What Palestine Ltd tells us about disaster capitalism in Palestine/Israel "IndyWatch Feed National"

My following review appears in the US publication Mondoweiss:

Palestine Ltd: Neoliberalism and Nationalism in the Occupied Territory (I.B. Taurus), by Toufic Haddad

The Israeli media barely covers Palestine. Although many local, corporate outlets have “Arab affairs” correspondents, a faintly colonial position that reeks of paternalism, 99.9 percent of Jewish journalists live in Israel proper (or the occupied, Palestinian territories) and barely spend any serious time in Palestine (except when serving in the IDF). The lack of Palestinian perspectives is striking considering the geographic closeness of the two peoples.

With notable exceptions such as Haaretz journalists Amira Hass and Gideon Levy who live in the West Bank or constantly visit it, as well as 972 Magazine, the inevitable outcome is that most Israelis view Palestinians through a security framework. The media reinforces this inherent bias. Palestinians are seen as a foreign threat to be feared or loathed, unless proven otherwise. It’s therefore unsurprising that contact between Israeli Jews and Palestinians is increasingly rare unless occurring at a military checkpoint or Israeli-run, industrial park in the West Bank.

These issues go beyond the Israeli press. I’ve long believed that the more international journalists who live in a city or country the worse the reporting will be. This may be a strange conclusion and counter-factual. Surely the more eyes and ears in one place will improve coverage? In fact, the opposite happens because a herd mentality quickly develops and few journalists, despite convincing themselves otherwise, want to stand out. Think of London, Washington, Canberra and Jerusalem and the lack of distinctive voices emanating from these locations. Too many reporters live and breathe the same air, speak to the same sources, dine in the same places and socialise with the same people. I’m not immune, being a journalist myself, but I’ve spent my professional life rejecting the comforting embrace of stenography reporti...

18:34

Everything’s amazing but…is Byron Bay too much of a good thing? "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Along with thousands of other residents and holiday makers, I went to the beach in Byron Bay  on a heaven on a stick summer’s day in early January.  As we’ve done for the past 8 years most summer Sundays, we take our daughters to ‘Nippers’,  run by Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club. For the uninitiated, it’s beach and water safety education for kids. It’s an inspired way to begin Sunday: wake up with a swim, watch your kids build confidence and have fun in the ocean. If you’re civic minded, you can help out with the sausage sizzle, in the canteen or sport an orange rashie on water safety duty. (This is my personal fave,  as it comes with the benefit of being able to commandeer a rescue ski and watch proceedings from waterside with an air of assumed authority).

I don’t like Byron Bay’s traffic much though.  The town has diabolic traffic issues. Byron Shire Council introduced paid parking in Byron Bay’s CBD streets in January 2015   It’s  an expense that we’re grudgingly getting used to. Despite contributing through work, volunteerism and play to Byron Shire’s economy several days a week, as residents of a neighbouring council we don’t qualify for a resident’s parking permit.  I understand the rationale for its introduction; The town is the epicentre of the region’s tourism economy, but has a small rate payer base  (about 32,000across the entire shire) compared to about 1 million annual visitors.  Council needs ways to raise revenue and discourage people from driving their cars to Byron Bay and hogging the free parking.  No doubt it’s been a very effective and immediate way to raise revenue, but clearly its done nothing to curb traffic.

I don’t really mind the obligation to pay for parking.  But if there’s a policy of replacing cars with alternative, accessibleand regular means to mobility like shuttles buses and bike hire, its not in evidence. The combined fear of copping a fine for overstaying, the black comedy of gridlock in a country town, and the palpable sense of self-interest among road-users jostling for a prime spot to park their car and maximise the beach time they’re entitled to by virtue of payment leaves a sour taste.

Byron Bay’s honeypot gets stickier and stickier each year. Blessed with stunning natural beauty (botanic, marine and human) and a gravitas that draws families, honeymooners, international travellers, surfers, artists, musicians, gurus and real estate agents in droves, its evergreen reputation seems to know no bounds.

Lonely Planet describes  it as “one g...

17:03

National Welfare Rights Network changes its name "IndyWatch Feed National"

12th January 2017

The National Welfare Rights Network has changed its name to the National Social Security Rights Network.  We will update the website as s

16:35

The Cars and Trucks That Ate Bellingen "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"



Bellingen is a small town on Waterfall Way on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales. Waterfall Way runs east-west from the Pacific Highway to the New England Highway at Armidale.

The narrow little town is a 'drive through town'.  The vehicles of locals and out-of-towners scramble for spaces to park. Logging and quarry trucks aim to shoot through the town and Waterfall Way (WFW) delivering the 'vanishing forests' and mountain rocks to ever expanding coastal urbanisation hotspots.

The throughput rate of trucks through the narrow and busy main street and WFW is to be increased to 66 loaded trucks a day.

'The modification requests the daily limit of 20 loaded quarry trucks per day to be increased to a maximum of 66 loaded quarry trucks Monday to Friday and 36 loaded quarry trucks on Saturdays within the approved hours of operation (7.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday and 7.00am to 1.00pm Saturdays)." (source)



Crossing the main street is a risky challenge. The fumes and noise in town force users to shorten their visit and get things done as quickly as possible to avoid poisoning or becoming...

16:18

Australian material in Project Blue Book files "IndyWatch Feed National"

Hi all,

Readers will have noticed that I have been busy going through digitised issues of the Flying Saucer Review; NICAP's the UFO Investigator; the MUFON Journal, and the APRO Bulletin, in order to document Australian material in these overseas periodicals. Having Excel spreadsheet indexes of this material, makes it so much easier, when I am answering email from people, asking me about Australian sightings.

My latest small project was examining online resources, which contain files relating to the former USAF Project Blue Book, and checking these for Australian material. In all, I found 20 Australian sightings in these Blue Book files.


The best reference source I found, was Fold3. However, simply typing in such keywords as 'Australia;' Tasmania (as many Americans refer to Tasmania as if it were a separate country to Australia, whereas it is one Australian state); New Guinea etc., may not have revealed the full extent of Australian material. There may be additional sightings listed in other ways. I also found that you need to look at each page listed, as, for example, there were three reports for Melbourne, Victoria, dated 1 January, 14 January and 15 January 1954, all contained in the file dated 1 January 1954, Melbourne.  In addition, I found pages about non Australian sightings, attached as part of an Australian sighting file.

All in all, I found a total of 104 pages for the 20 sightings. Many of these sightings had Project Blue Book evaluations, e.g. Condamine, Queensland, dated 2 February 1951 was said to be a meteor; while the 20 August 1963 Turner River Station, Western Australia was listed as a satellite observation.

One example will illustrate the path these sightings took. On 12 June 1961 there was an observation by two residents of the Azerita Plantation, Papua New Guinea, at 0400hrs local time. Over a fifteen minute period the observers saw a shiny object w...

15:35

How The Other Half Lives: Welfare Torts Vs Travel Rorts "IndyWatch Feed National"

The Turnbull government is in chaos, and we’re not even halfway through January, writes Ben Eltham.

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge finally returned from his summer holidays this week.

While he was away, the Department he oversees was melting down. Centrelink was sending out tens of thousands of threatening letters to innocent Australians, falsely accusing them of welfare fraud.

As we detailed last week, it was a fiasco entirely of the government’s own making. The “robo-debt” letters were generated despite obvious and glaring failures to match up elementary information. Centrelink and the Department knew that the robo-debt system was fatally flawed. They went ahead anyway.

So what did Minister Tudge do when returning to the smoking ruins of his portfolio? Nothing. Nothing at all.

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge, on ABC's Lateline program.Human Services Minister Alan Tudge, on ABC’s Lateline program.

Tudge finally fronted the media on Wednesday morning, talking to the ABC’s Hamish Macdonald. Macdonald asked him whether the government would scrap the robo-dobt algorithm.

“No we won’t be,” Tudge replied.

There’s an important principle here, Hamish, that we’re trying to implement and that is to ensure that there is great integrity in the welfare system because after all the welfare system constitutes a third of the budget.

We want to make sure that people get the welfare entitlements that they’re entitled to and no more and no less. Consequently we do have a robust compliance system in place and in the last six months alone, we’ve recovered over $300 million to the taxpayer through that process. So the system is working and we will continue with that system.

It’s a measure of how out of touch this government is that Tudge thinks the “system is working.” Centrelink has sent out more than 169,000 robo-debt letters since September 2016. Many of those letters, perhaps a majority, are wrong.

Centrelink itself is in melt-down; staff are taking industrial action; there are massive queues at offices;...

15:06

Why reward illegals with $10K starter packs when a veteran pays $7,000 visa fee for his wife "IndyWatch Feed National"

I'll let you know how Ralph and Ruby's Visa application is progressing through the normal channels. I don't think it's fair that a man who volunteered for active service, who is now a TPI war veteran, who wrote out a cheque up to the value of his life made payable...

13:55

The Privacyless, Freedomless Smart City of 2030 the Elite Are Engineering "IndyWatch Feed National"

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privacyless-800x445

Well here’s a fat bag of crazy for you, courtesy of the elites over at Davos ahead of their 2017 meeting.… Read More

13:21

Turnbull's Sheik Shady dinner cost $33,000 - the insult to Australia will last forever "IndyWatch Feed National"

Here are the financial costs of Turnbull's dinner with the death-cult Sheik and Mufti. The damage to Australia is priceless. The Mufti's support for the Sheik stands. The Mufti's repudiation of Australia's PM stands. Turnbull's failure to condemn the Mufti condemns Turnbull. $5,800 for Turnbull's staff to fly in and...

12:48

Opening Pandora’s Box: Metadata in civil procedings "IndyWatch Feed National"

Last night Open Knowledge Australia (Melbourne) hosted the first of what will be two events on the issue of the plans by government to open retained metadata to civil proceedings. It was a very interesting event with a strong turn out of around 50 very informed people, most of whom had something to add to discussion throughout the night.

For a bit of background, the Attorney-General and Communications Portfolios are running a departmental Inquiry seeking submissions into whether metadata collected by Australian ISP’s should be used not only for investigating us under criminal law but also for civil cases. Jon Lawrence from Electronic Frontiers Australia provided much-needed background looking back on...

12:46

10 years of the intervention is too long "IndyWatch Feed National"

After 10 years of the intervention there are more people unemployed, more people incarcerated, and more children being taken away. Overcrowded housing persists. Land has been acquired through intergenerational leases by the government, and the basics card has been rolled out into the wider community. Barb Shaw is calling out to people to come together for a convergence in Alice Springs 24 – 26 June 2017 to discuss these and strategise together.

See her call out here:


11:58

Inglourious Basterds "IndyWatch Feed National"

John Howard, the former politician, author, public speaker and Iraq war criminal, is still being lionised by Australian media, particularly at the ABC. Lawyer and human rights activist Kellie Tranter takes aim.

In 2013, Professor Stuart Rees, Founder and Chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation, wrote in an article John Howard’s Iraq War Fantasy that, “The arrogance of western warmongers enables them to behave as though they are not accountable to international law. Not only that, they can also make small fortunes from writing books and giving lectures about their conduct.”

After Howard’s inglorious personal demise in the 2007 federal election – only the second prime minister in history to lose his seat while in The Lodge – he followed that path exactly, joining the lucrative speaker’s circuit, writing his autobiography and receiving an honorary doctorate from Sydney University.

In 2014, John Howard published his book ‘The Menzies Era’ which was developed into the series Howard on Menzies: Building Modern Australia and which aired on the public broadcaster last year.

In response to a Freedom of Information request attempting to ascertain who was responsible for nominating John Howard as the presenter, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) responded as follows:

“The Director of Television has confirmed that the idea for series Howard on Menzies: Building Modern Australia was developed internally. He advised that ABC TV had wanted to do a documentary on Menzies for some time, and when John Howard’s book was published, this was identified as useful source material for that documentary. A creative decision was made that John Howard would be a good choice to present the documentary, as the most authentic voice in the circumstances. ABC TV approached production company Smith and Nasht and commissioned them to make the series…”

In a further email received in December last year the ABC confirmed that “the Director of Television made this conceptual decision in collaboration with the Head of Production.”

Since the Iraq war it is no doubt difficult for many to accept that John Howard is considered an ‘authentic voice’ on any issue. But the reality is that John Howard won’t be held to account by international law, and will continue to be treated as a statesman instead of a war criminal because his crime of aggression occurred at an historical moment where no crime existed.

An American chopper patrols over the skies of Baghdad. (DVIDSHUB, Flickr)An American chopper patrols over the skies of Baghdad. (DVIDSHUB, Flickr)...

11:46

Mullum locals dive in to help save Great Barrier Reef "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Josh Scott-Jouir, organiser of the first Great Barrier Reef swimathon. Photo Simon Haslam

Josh Scott-Jouir, organiser of the first Great Barrier Reef swimathon. Photo Simon Haslam

Are you ready to swim the length of the Great Barrier Reef? Raising money to help protect the reef, local metal work and mathematics teacher, Josh Scott-Jouir is joining the annual swimathon, held by environmental lawyers for the community EDO Qld to raise funds for vital legal work to protect the Reef. This will be the first swimathon held for the reef at Mullumbimby Pool taking place from 11:30am – 2:30pm on Saturday 21st January.

‘There is no denying the Great Barrier Reef has had a terrible year, between the worst mass coral bleaching in its history to the approval of projects that pose further enormous risk to its future,’ EDO Qld CEO Jo Bragg said.

‘We are hosting Swim for the Reef to raise much-needed funds and awareness to fight for stronger laws to protect the Reef including meaningful community rights.

‘As non-profit lawyers for the community, we want to increase our impact future-proofing this great natural wonder and the thousands of livelihoods dependent upon its good health.’

Last year 150 swimmers from Brisbane, Bundaberg and Germany swam 285km, equivalent to swimming from the northern tip of Fraser Island to Innamincka Shoal. The EDO is hoping to double the distance swum this year with the ultimate goal being to swim the full length of the Great Barrier Reef – a whooping 2,300km or the length of 46,000 Olympic swimming pools.

‘I’m super passionate about climate change,’ said Josh who is organising the Mullumbimby event. ‘Climate change is the number one issue for the whole world. We need to leave the coal in the ground.’

Money raised from the event goes directly towards work the EDO is doing including education of community groups on the laws and their rights as well as assisting in court cases that help protect the reef.

Bring along a crazy team of swimmers and see if you can swim more laps than Josh’s...

11:33

Orville Wright, Three Museums and one Recurring Casualty "IndyWatch Feed National"

Orville Wright, Three Museums and one Recurring Casualty

By Steven & Evan Strong

My time with keyboards and screens is always a reluctant engagement, all planning and general writing takes place outside on the farm beside the rainforest during the day. Using the computer as a typewriter is the full extent of my liking or empathy for any screen with attachments and aps (whatever that means). Once my wife goes to bed my right index finger spends three to four hours pushing buttons, and it is nearly always to the accompaniment of background music. Most of the content on mainstream TV is shamefully numbing, exploitative and fearful, and even if it is just humming in the background, that alone hinders the process and necessitates the off switch.

This time around should have been a repeat dose of alternatives that soothe, and as Del was making her way down the hall towards the bedroom, I rose with every intention to switch the setting on the amplifier to a mixed bag of music from Double Jay. I was within a metre of the remote when first hearing Wilbur WrightâŹ"s name. I had very little to offer on this topic outside his brother Orville, and a flimsy piece of sticks and cloth cobbled together called the âŹÜKittyhawkâŹ" that flew a few feet in the air, that was the sum total personally known on what the commentator declared to be a seminal moment in history. Claims like that are so cheap and ready, but yes in this case this proclamation of brilliance has substance. Moreover, as I knew virtually nothing about this historic discovery, a break in routine was taken as I did something quite unusual, which I knew from the time of changing tact was heavily laced in irony. My hope was to find out what really happened and how great these two men were, via a mainstream media outlet.

As the documentary began, having no program, review or preview to sway or prepare, I assumed this was all about Wilbur and Orville as children jumping off hills while holding wings of fabric and wood, their discovery of an elemental truth in aerodynamics all the way through and past the first officially recorded fli...

11:32

Two charged with Byron beach thefts "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

A man and a woman will face court today on 15 larceny charges following several stealing incidents at Main Beach, Byron Bay.

Police said  a number of people had reported their personal items had been stolen from Main Beach, Byron Bay, from 2 January to 11 January.

Following the reports, officers attached to Tweed/Byron Local Area Command commenced an investigation and located the people believed to be responsible at Shirley Street, Byron Bay just before 5pm on Wednesday (11 January 2017).

Police arrested a 39-year-old man at the scene, and shortly afterwards, a 28-year-old woman was also arrested. They were both taken to Byron Bay police station.

The woman was charged with eight counts of larceny, four counts of dishonestly obtain property by deception, three counts of posses prohibited drug, shoplifting, and goods in personal custody suspected of being stolen.

The man was charged with seven counts of larceny, three counts dishonestly obtain property by deception, shoplifting, and goods in personal custody suspected of being stolen.

Both were refused bail to appear at Byron Bay Local Court today

The post Two charged with Byron beach thefts appeared first on Echonetdaily.

11:30

How to make cricket bats, 1962. Once were craftsmen. "IndyWatch Feed National"

Raise your hand if you remember your first pot of linseed oil. When I was a boy my family held craftsmen like this in the highest esteem. My father spoke of older tradesmen he worked with in almost reverential terms. Now we have Malcolm and innovation. Why make things when...

11:28

Curtain And The Case For Freedom: How Many Indigenous Prisoners In Australia Are Innocent? "IndyWatch Feed National"

Amy McQuire has been investigating the jailing of an Aboriginal man in Queensland for over a year. Here she details at the case, and the broader reality of wrongful convictions in Australia.

In 1991, an Aboriginal woman named Lynda tragically lost her life on the banks of the Fitzroy River in Rockhampton, Central Queensland. She as found by a fisherman, early on a Sunday morning. A police investigation was immediately called into her death, and the next year, four people were convicted in relation to her death.

While news of her death originally made the front pages of the local paper, by the time the trial rolled around the next year, the story was consigned to the middle sections. Now, 25 years on, few remember her name or the specifics of her death.

But there are reasons we must remember, because for the past quarter of a century, rumours of a grave miscarriage of justice perpetrated against Lynda have persisted.

It revolves around the person who received a life sentence for her death – an Aboriginal man by the name of Kevin Henry, or as he is more widely known, ‘Curtain’. Kevin Henry was picked up by police and charged with Lynda’s death within the same week she was found.

Curtain has always maintained his innocence but his pleas have fell on deaf ears. For Aboriginal people who already have the justice system stacked against them, the avenues to protest a guilty verdict are limited, and it is unlikely you will be believed.

Wrongful convictions in Australia are relatively rare, especially when compared to countries like the United States. In 2015, a new record was set in the US, according to the University of Michigan Law School, which counted 149 exonerations in that year alone.

San Quentin Prison, in the United States. (IMAGE: telmo32, Flickr)San Quentin Prison, in the United States. (IMAGE: telmo32, Flickr)

A large proportion of these people had actually plead guilty even though they were innocent, 27 of them had given false confessions, 75 per cent of homicide cases reported official misconduct, and in 75 of the cases, there had been no actual crime committed.

There have been high profile cases of wrongful conviction in Australia – like Andrew Mallard in Perth, and more recently, Henry Keogh in South Australia, who was exonerated after it was found flawed forensic evidence was presented at his trial.

But these cases are seen as exceptions, rather than a symptom of the deep-rooted flaws within our own legal system.

However, if these two white men could be wrongfully conv...

11:22

50,000 years of story "IndyWatch Feed National"

Troowolway man Nathan Maynard’s play The Season, premiering this week at the Sydney Opera House as part of the 2017 Sydney Festival, has been a long time in the making. In some ways, it began at an Indigenous scriptwriting program a couple of years ago, but it’s also been guided to realisation from a lot further back by family mentors. There are stories threaded throughout from Maynard’s childhood in northern Tasmania, and older stories still – traditional stories that have carried over millennia. The play is hotly tipped to be a festival standout.

11:06

Stu of NT - Goin' Rortin'. "IndyWatch Feed National"

But fear not. Here are the keepers of the standards and guardians of the treasury.

10:51

Calls by Vic kids in crisis go unanswered "IndyWatch Feed National"

Michael C. Irving’s Child Abuse Monument 7. Photo Harvey K flickr.com/photos/theharv58/

Michael C. Irving’s Child Abuse Monument 7. Photo Harvey K flickr.com/photos/theharv58/

MELBOURNE AAP

Victoria’s child abuse hotline reportedly failed to answer 20,000 calls for help in an 18-month period with some people waiting two hours to speak with an operator.

Freedom of information documents obtained by News Corp suggest almost 57,000 calls to the Child Protection Crisis Line were not responded to between mid-2010 and late 2015.

Children Minister Jenny Mikakos insists the Andrews government has increased funding to the service ‘after years of neglect by the previous government’.

‘Labor has increased funding, resulting in a decrease in the number of abandoned calls and a significant reduction in waiting times,’ the minister says in a statement on Thursday.

The government says in the last six months of 2016 the percentage of abandoned calls dropped to six per cent, with the average waiting time cut to one minute and 11 seconds.

The post Calls by Vic kids in crisis go unanswered appeared first on Echonetdaily.

10:27

Group says highway upgrade threatens Ballina koala population "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Ballina's koalas will not be safe from the Pacific Highway upgrade, according to the Australians for Animals group. Photo: Todd Odegaard/Flickr

Ballina’s koalas will not be safe from the Pacific Highway upgrade, according to the Australians for Animals group. Photo: Todd Odegaard/Flickr

An animal rights group has blasted the state government’s announcement that it is set to proceed with building a koala fence prior to construction works along the Pacific Highway near Ballina saying it will not save the animals.

Australians for Animals coordinator Sue Arnold said the highway upgrade could sound the death-knell for eastern sub-population of koala living along the highway route.

‘Not only noise, but the massive disruption and clearing of critical koala feed and shelter trees at time when climate change is resulting in extremely high temperatures on the northern rivers will in itself be a major threat to koala survival,’ Ms Arnold said.

‘Koalas will be subjected to a bizarre experiment by the RMS. An experiment which has never been previously attempted . Koala feed trees will be ring barked and collars put around the base to prevent animals from accessing their food .

‘The assumption is that koalas will move to other areas although other areas are not identified.’

Ms Arnold said local ecologists had recorded the problems faced by koalas when their habitat was destroyed.

She pointed to a community submission to former Federal Environment minister Greg Hunt that warned of the dangers.

‘A real life example from Ballina’s koalas – one hectare of known koala trees were cleared which impacted seven koalas that used them,’ the submission said.

‘They tried to survive in two-year-old koala planting but they proceeded to die one at a time over approximately 6 months, including a mother and cub. They didn’t move out of their home range to look for other trees they went to the closest of the food tree species, and waited, we imagine, for their trees to reappear.’

Ms Arnold said the NSW Chief Scientist Mary O’Kane had claimed that the government was spending $10 million to protect koalas, but a report put together by a panel that included the RMS and Forestry Commission, Koalas in decline in NSW, barely mentioned the Ballina population.

She said the recent passing of the Baird government’s...

09:54

Public meeting to discuss Uki water extraction plan "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Former NSW agriculture minister Jack Hallam pictured some years ago at his Uki property where he plans to establish a bore-water extraction facility for bulk transport to a giant soft-drinks bottler. (file pic)

Former NSW agriculture minister Jack Hallam pictured some years ago at his Uki property where he plans to establish a bore-water extraction facility for bulk transport to a giant soft-drinks bottler. (file pic)

A public meeting is being organised for local residents to discuss an application to extract water from a licensed bore at Uki, plus the broader implications of water extraction across the Tweed shire.

The meeting has been called in response to a former state agriculture minister re-submitting a plan to extract 24 megalitres of water a year from a bore on his Uki property to sell it to a bottling plant.

Jack Hallam, who was agriculture minister under the Wran Labor government in the 1980s, lodged a plan in October last year to use an existing 25-megalitere a year licence from the NSW Office of Water on the property for ‘bulk loading and delivery of extracted water’.

The plan involves taking a maximum of 24 megalitres of water from the existing bore by large semi-trailer tankers (2.5-metre wide, 28,500-litre capacity) to the commercial bottler and distributor. The proposal is for up to three loads a day (six trips), six days a week from 7am to 6pm.

Following an outcry from local residents, which involved a meeting that attracted about 60 people, the proposal was withdrawn but re-submitted just days before Christmas.

It’s understand at least 40 objections have been lodged against the plan with the Tweed Shire Council.

In response, local residents are again meeting next week to discuss the application.

They have invited Tweed Shire Council representatives to the meeting, which will be held at Uki Hall on 19 January at 7pm.

The closest neighbour to the proposed bore, Tess O’Toole, told Echonetdaily that residents were concerned about the impacts on the local road network and the water table.

‘I’m the closest property and the trucks will be going straight past my place,’ she said.

‘The road itself has four culverts … it’s crazy to be driving trucks along it.’

Ms O’Toole said it was not just the Rowlands Creek Road proposal that was...

09:14

Witnesses fail to show at Bali murder trial "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Australian national Sara Connor sits in a court room during her trial in Bali, Indonesia, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Connor and British man David Taylor are on trial for the murder of an Indonesian police officer in August. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Australian national Sara Connor sits in a court room during her trial in Bali, Indonesia, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Connor and British man David Taylor are on trial for the murder of an Indonesian police officer in August. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Byron Bay mother Sara Connor has expressed disappointment that key witnesses have so far failed to turn up to her murder trial in Bali despite being summoned numerous times.

Connor, whose trial resumes in Bali next Tuesday, has been charged with murder in relation to the death Bali police officer Wayan Sudarsa, whose bloodied body was discovered early on August 17 on Kuta Beach.

The 46-year-old mother of two from Byron Bay has maintained she did nothing but try to separate Mr Sudarsa from her British boyfriend, David Taylor, who is facing a separate murder trial in the Denpasar District Court.

Prosecutors told the court this week that a hotel security guard who witnessed part of the fight had failed to turn up.

Prosecutors said the security guard, Suryana, had since left his job in Bali and returned to Java and they could no longer contact him to have him appear at court.

Judges have said that he is a key witness against both Connor and Taylor and should appear to give evidence.

In his statement to police shortly after the murder Suryana reportedly said he went down to the beach after his boss heard noises and he saw people there fighting on the beach.

He observed for about 15 minutes before leaving, believing it was a bit of fun and not serious.

But on Tuesday, when Connor again faced the court, Suryana was one of ten key witnesses who did not turn up, leaving the mother of two expressing frustration at the slow pace of the trial.

And Connor’s lawyer, Erwin Siregar, shared her frustration, saying they wanted the case finished as soon as possible, according to reports in the Murdoch press.

He said while it was good for his client’s case if the main witness failed to turn up, the case was now dragging on.

‘I am so disappointed because there is enough time for the public...

08:47

Replacement for Culleton unknown "IndyWatch Feed National"

Senator Rod Culleton leaves the Federal Court in Perth, Dec. 2016 after a Federal Court judge has declared him bankrupt. AAP Image/Richard Wainwright

Senator Rod Culleton leaves the Federal Court in Perth, Dec. 2016 after a Federal Court judge declared him bankrupt. AAP Image/Richard Wainwright

PERTH AAP

A replacement for dumped senator Rod Culleton remains unknown but it could be the second person on the One Nation ticket – his brother-in-law Peter Georgiou.

The independent senator lost his spot on Wednesday after he was declared bankrupt by a Federal Court judge.

Senate president Stephen Parry said in a statement that he had informed Mr Culleton and WA governor Kerry Sanderson there was a vacancy because the former One Nation member had been disqualified from the position as he was an ‘undischarged bankrupt’.

Senator Parry also advised party leaders and independent senators of the development.

But the Court of Disputed Returns is yet to determine whether Mr Culleton was ever eligible to be selected as a senator as he had been convicted of a larceny charge, which was later annulled, at the time of the federal election in July.

‘It will be necessary for the Court of Disputed Returns to deliver its answers to the referred questions before it will become apparent how the vacancy may be filled,’ Senator Parry said.

It will be reported to the Senate when it meets on February 7.

Depending on the court’s decision, the vacancy will be filled by either Mr Georgiou, or the party can nominate a replacement.

‘If a casual vacancy is declared because of Rod Culleton’s disqualification I have already chosen a great person to replace him in the Senate,’ One Nation leader Pauline Hanson tweeted on Wednesday night.

Mr Culleton had been ordered to pay former Wesfarmers director Dick Lester $205,536 in 2013 – which has since increased to $280,000 – over unpaid rent relating to a $13.2 million 2009 pro...

08:18

Rolf Harris accused of ‘unwanted groping’ "IndyWatch Feed National"

Entertainer Rolf Harris arriving for sentencing at Southwark Crown Court in London 2014 file photo

Entertainer Rolf Harris arriving for sentencing at Southwark Crown Court in London 2014 file photo

LONDON AAP

Rolf Harris has a proven propensity for indecently assaulting young females and is guilty of further offences of ‘unwanted groping’, the prosecution has told a London jury in his new trial.

The 86-year-old entertainer is facing a six-week trial in Southwark Crown Court on seven charges of indecent assault against women and girls and one alternative charge of sexual assault.

The charges relate to alleged offences committed between 1971 and 2004 against complainants aged between 12 and 42 at the time and when Harris was aged between 41 and 74.

Prosecuting lawyer Jonathan Rees on Wednesday told the jury of seven women and six men that they would recognise Harris as someone who had been an artist, musician, popular entertainer and television personality of international standing for over 50 years.

But he said that in July 2014 Harris had been convicted of 12 offences of indecent assault against four female victims aged between 8 and 19 at the time of the offences between 1969 and 1986.

Harris is now serving a sentence of nearly six years on those charges and has been granted leave to appear at his new trial by videolink from Stafford Prison due to his age and state of health.

Mr Rees told the jury that none of the alleged assaults in the new trial involved sexual penetration of any kind.

‘Most of the behaviour complained of falls into a broad category that might be described as unwanted groping, and includes, for example, grabbing or touching breasts over clothing, and slipping a hand up or into a skirt to touch the vaginal area,’ he said.

Mr Rees said that a notable feature of the offending was it all occurred in public settings when there were other people in the near vicinity.

He said the prosecution would argue that, despite Harris sa...

07:13

Stop Taxpayer's Money Funding Adani !!! "IndyWatch Feed National"


Adani could get be about to get their its hands on $1 billion dollars of Australian taxpayer money.
Right now the Turnbull Government is preparing to subsidise the destruction of our Reef and climate with a public handout for Adani's rail line to its monstrous Carmichael coal mine.
The government body that could provide Adani with this outrageous taxpayer handout is the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).
The board of NAIF are considering Adani's application right now and most of the board have extremely close ties to the coal industry. You can bet they'll be under immense pressure from their mates in the coal lobby to make sure Adani get their handout.
Can you contact the board of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility and tell them why you oppose a handout for Adani?

00:16

Hollywood speaking truth to power in 2017 "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"


Publicly saying your piece before neo-McCarthyism hits Hollywood - replacing the 1940s & 50s persecution of alleged Reds Under Beds with Let's Get People Who Don’t Agree With Trump in 2017.

00:15

First measles alert of 2017 "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"


Given that at this time of year so many holidaying people are still on the move, this is a health alert that should not be ignored.

NSW Health, Media Release, 5 January 2017:
Measles warning following contraction by international traveller NSW Health is warning the public to be alert to the symptoms of measles after a passenger travelled on an international flight to Sydney while infectious.
The young woman travelled on Virgin Australia Airlines flight VA 70 from Denpasar, Bali to Sydney, arriving at 7:40 am on 1 January. The woman also visited the Sutherland Hospital Emergency Department in the late morning of 4 January while infectious and the hospital is contacting people who may have been exposed during this visit.
This case is not linked to the cluster of four cases reported in December last year.
Dr Sean Tobin, Acting Director, Communicable Diseases Branch, NSW Health, said fellow travellers and other people who may have been in contact with this case should be alert to the symptoms of measles in the coming days and weeks.
Measles is very infectious. Symptoms include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed three or four days later by a red, blotchy rash spreading from the head and neck to the rest of the body. Measles can have serious complications, particularly for young children.
Children or adults born during or since 1966 who do n...

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Wednesday, 11 January

22:00

Did Julian Assange Just Use the Bitcoin Blockchain to Prove He Is Alive? "IndyWatch Feed National"

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks editor-in-chief, read yesterday the bitcoin blockchain hash of block 447506 during a recorded video. At the time, it represented the most recent bitcoin block published to the blockchain. Experts contend this is proof that Mr. Assange is alive – or at least that the video, in which the whistleblower appears uncoerced, was not pre-recorded.

Also Read: WikiLeaks Has Raised 4,000+ BTC Since 2011

Bitcoin’s Blockchain is Public and Immutable

shutterstock_179396567

There had been some speculation that Mr. Assange was dead or lost control of his online identity. Instead of holding up today’s newspaper, as might have happened historically, the Australia-native used the blockchain technology to prove he is alive, contained at the Ecuadorian embassy.

As a public cryptographic ledger, the bitcoin blockchain allows anyone to “mine” and add pieces of information (known as ‘blocks’) to the blockchain, but only upon completing a computer process known as “proof of work”.

Bitcoin’s hash algorithm, known as SHA256, scrambles data stored in the blocks (in the case of bitcoin, mostly transaction data) into a string of letters and numbers referred to as a hash. Knowing what data went into creating a hash is very hard. However, it is very easy to determine the hash of a particular piece of data.

A bitcoin block hash represents a random group of letters and number virtually impossible to predict. Once distributed via the blockchain, however, the hash is widely available and cannot be altered. By reading the most recently published block hash, Mr. Assange could prove today’s interview had not been pre-recorded.

Bitcoin Removes Financial Blockades

...

21:50

Mainstream Media Cynically Attacks Social Media Over Fake News "IndyWatch Feed National"

Des Pensable copyright 2017

Recently, since the election of Donald Trump as the next US president, stories of “fake news” in the social media has been widely reported in the main stream news media accusing it of altering the election results. Similar stories occurred in Australia during the last election.  However, targeting social media by the main stream news is a little like the pot calling the kettle black. Fake news is widely spread throughout the news media throughout the world whether it is the social media or the main stream TV, newspapers and magazines.

The difference is that people on social media can quickly spread stories that they like, feel important or believe to be true to their friends on the social media and this concerns politicians especially during the run up to elections as they fear it may alter peoples’ perception of political parties and their voting intentions.

The truth of course is that fake news been used for decades in the USA, UK and Australia by the Murdoch media empire to distribute political propaganda aimed at directing public discussion and thought in a direction desired by the government of the day and blocking thought in a direction that might be opposite or inconvenient to the government of the day. Some call this mind control and it’s common in every country.

Let’s be quite honest for a moment, fake news are lies spread by malevolent people to deceive and confuse you and your friends into having false beliefs and making poor or incorrect decisions that may cost you money or endanger your health or even your life.  The real problem is that many people choos...

21:14

Dear 2017, Please Be Kind "IndyWatch Feed National"

Fuck, I go. I think this is the future.

It’s 2017, and the Old World slips away from us more and more every day. Fidel Castro and David Bowie are dead.  Our phones control our lives. My local mall has a giant billboard suspended from the ceiling, with holographic advertisements on it, that looks exactly like the one in The Hunger Games Arena. You can get hamburgers out of the wall in Amsterdam.

2017 is a new year, new you, new president-elect. Everything’s coming up Milhouse. Obama’s last days in Washington are putting dough in all the meme doctors’ pockets. The planet mourns what’s passed, while scuttling around in this strange limbo that follows New Year’s and the silly season, all of us feeling shit-scared of what lies ahead. The new year yawns ahead of us like a clinical futuristic chasm, and I for one have genuinely no idea what to expect. It feels like the world has gone mad.

But then, wham, bang, bam. Meryl Streep’s Lifetime Achievement Speech at the Golden Globes. Straight up beautiful. A calm island in our overheated sea. That woman is a wizard. We are all muggles. Meryl stood up on that stage, and under the fake lights and mammoth camera lenses, under the vapid eyes of Hollywood big guns, beneath the botoxed lips and repulsively extravagant displays of wealth, she said a few things that were dead-set real.

Hollywood is notorious for being anything but. They, the red-hot centre of Western culture, have made us want happy-ever-after Marriages and yellow backless evening dresses and brooding dark men for the past 60 years, all set to a jaunty backing track that prohibits sadness or indignity. Formulaic and contrived, they shape our advertisements and our lives. They are responsible for the 21st-century curse of constant dissatisfaction and consumption.

But Meryl talked about the fat orange man in a suit who is probably, as we speak, cackling evilly while rubbing his hands together over a rotating globe model. She talked about the importance of art in dark times. She talked about integrity and compassion. She talked about Love.

It was a super unexpected, seeing a speech that seemed Resistance-like in nature, a call to action, a call to arms, in a context that is so usually synonymous with conformity and consumerism. She was basically telling us to fight back.

We sit on an uncertain precipice, with the realisation dawning on us babies fr...

20:56

Geoengineering and Weather Modification Patents-Chemtrails, Calmatives, and Terrorism "IndyWatch Feed National"

geoengineering-antimedia

Geoengineering Weather Modification Patent

 

This listing of geoengineering and weather modification patents is far from complete and will be updated occasionally.

Please submit patents by leaving a comment on this page or contacting me via one of the social media links on my page:  The ResoNation

This article is part of our series: Geoengineering and Weather Modification Exposed

Also see our Weather Control timeline and maps! Read More

20:30

The World of Zadie Smith: Mixed-Race People and Polychromatic Dreams "IndyWatch Feed National"

Swing Time like its predecessors is intensely curious about race, but it is also curious about so much more than race, such as Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Ali Baba Goes to Town and Michael Jackson.

Zadie Smith. Credit: Youtube screenshot

Zadie Smith. Credit: Youtube screenshot

Cool Britannia, slickly marketed by Tony Blair’s Labour government, was hardly a monochromatic one. The London of Alexander McQueen, Oasis, Blur, Damien Hurst and the Spice Girls was a pastiche of the preceding Conservative regimes and a variegated motif of multiculturalism. White Teeth, that rollicking sketch of the post-colonial migrant experience, that comical world of inter-locking narratives – a genre that James Wood compellingly defined as ‘hysterical realism’ – landed amidst the boisterous icons of Cool Britannia in 2000, announcing the arrival of Zadie Smith – young, black, British, freckled, high cheek-boned.

White Teeth, an ostensibly hilarious examination of the vagaries of racially mixed friendships, is perhaps the loudest testimony to what Smith does best – bring the Joneses, the Iqbals and the Chalfens together in the hybrid topography of Willesden in north-west London. The book is, as described by Smith herself, in an interview, “…a kind of mishmash, as first novels tend to be”. Swing Time, Smith’s newest fiction, published in November 2016, is an evocation of that very universe – a hotchpotch of people and places, a medley of sights and sounds and smells. It is also a deeper and somewhat quieter rumination on race.

Wistful love letter to friendship

Two seven-year-old girls, the unnamed narrator and Tracey, meet for the first time in a churchyard, on their way to a community dance class. “Our shade of brown was exactly the same – as if one piece of tan material had been cut to make us both – and our freckles gathered in the same areas, we were of the same height”. Tracey, from the very beginning, cuts a glamorous figure: “…she looked like a darker Shirley Temple…” She wore her hair in two long plaits that reached her backside and were tied with yellow satin bows. “Satin yellow bows were a phenomenon unknown to my mother,” declares the narrator, whose mother is a “feminist” who “never wore make-up and dressed us both as plainly as possible”.

Told in retrospect by the biracial narrator, Swing Time is a wistful love letter to this friendship. The girls, who live in housing estates in London, follow divergent trajectories as they grow up – the narrator becomes the assistant....

20:21

Trump puts RFK Jr – who has railed against a vaccine ‘holocaust’ – in charge of new commission on vaccine safety "IndyWatch Feed National"

images-3

  • images-3
  • President-elect Donald Trump invited Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to meet at Trump Tower
  • He is placing Kennedy, the son of RFK and nephew of President Kennedy, in charge of a new commission on ‘vaccine safety and scientific integrity’
  • Says he is ‘very pro-vaccine’ but wants to make sure they are ‘as safe as they possibly can be’
  • Kennedy has spoken of an unproven link between vaccines and autism 
  • Trump has repeatedly linked vaccines to autism in his remarks and tweets
  • RFK becomes the first Democrat to accept a Trump-appointed role 

20:19

Organspende - Die verschwiegene Wahrheit - Werner Hanne bei SteinZeit "IndyWatch Feed National"

 


Beim Thema Organspende geht es regelmäßig um den Organspender, d. h. um einen Menschen, dem Organe entnommen werden können, weil er
a) für hirntot erklärt wurde und
b) er selbst oder seine Angehörigen einer Organentnahme zugestimmt hatten.

Selten wird jedoch beschrieben, wie die Situation bei den Organempfängern aussieht, d. h. bei den Menschen, denen dann die Organe eingepflanzt (transplantiert) werden. Warum wohl? Dieses Thema ist der Schwerpunkt in dem Gespräch mit Werner Hanne.

Darin geht es zunächst um Zeitpunkt des Beginns der Transplantations-Manie und warum der Hirntod erfunden werden musste. Danach wird die fast nicht zu glaubende Vorgehensweise bei einer Organentnahme beschrieben und was danach mit dem ausgebeinten Körper geschieht.
Im Hauptthema wird jedoch von den Auswirkungen berichtet, denen sich regelmäßig der Or-ganempfänger ausgesetzt sieht und die der Öffentlichkeit verschwiegen werden:
...

19:54

how to wean your toddler "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

I didn’t plan to breastfeed Percy for as long as I have but here we are.

I knew that weaning him wasn’t going to be as straight forward as it was with Che and Poet. Percy’s birth was challenging, his first few months were very unsettled and now he’s asserting himself with a defiance that is both admirable and confronting. It’s safe to say that birthing and parenting him has been an entirely new experience for me. Weaning him has been much the same.

Just before we went overseas I decided that I would wean as soon as we returned. I wanted to feed him in Bali to keep his immunity boosted and to ensure he was settled on the plane trips. My plan worked. But what I didn’t anticipate was that the new environment and humidity would have him feeding like a newborn. He really was on me all. day. long and I was exhausted as a result.

A few Balinese women suggested I put something bitter on my nipples to deter him. Turns out that was the only thing that would work.

As soon as we returned I lazily attempted to wean him but he wasn’t having a bar of it. And then I discovered I was pregnant and predicted that my milk would change flavour and he would wean on his own accord.

Not a chance.

And then the exhaustion of the first trimester took hold and feeding him meant fifteen minutes of peace and the opportunity to lie down. So I took it, gratefully, all the while knowing that I had to wean him…and soon.

But then one day I just decided that enough was enough. I needed sleep, energy and a few months break between breastfeeding my toddler and my newborn.

And just like that I discovered an abundance of patience and with Daniel on board, we embarked on the weaning process.

Years ago someone told me that it only takes a baby three days to make or break a habit. With that in mind, we persevered.

I’m not going to tell you it’s been easy because it most definitely hasn’t been. It’s been tough. Late, unsettled nights punctuated by persistent screaming, 3am wakes with more screaming and consistent requests for milk.

The first thing I did was put apple cider vinegar on my nipples. “Yuck,” he said. And yet he still asked for it…for days.

And so I kept refusing and Daniel would pour him a cup of water or milk to distract him. And then he’d take him for a walk or play with his trains or read him a story. Watching them form a new relationship – where I’m not required – is the silver lining of this experience.

We let him stay up well past his b...

18:58

George Soros "didn't want anything" for donations, he was 'just giving back' "IndyWatch Feed National"

This email is from Rob Wolfe - the proprietor of one of the legions of consultancies the Clintons use to tell them what to say. The time frame - this email was sent on 10 March 2016. You'll see Hillary in the video taken on the following Super Tuesday, 15...

18:55

Killing Sprees Done Under Mind Control? "IndyWatch Feed National"

by Danny Guest Editor’s Note: This is reprinted from The Daily Sheeple The latest official gunman is Esteban Santiago the alleged killer of 5 people at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in January of 2017. “In November 2016, Esteban Santiago walked into the Anchorage FBI Field Office to report that his mind was being controlled […]

17:22

Yabun Festival Program is OUT! "IndyWatch Feed National"

Hot off the press the program for this year’s Yabun Festival is available by clicking here. It’s packed with all the important info you need so you don’t miss a beat – including the times and the line-ups for the Main stage, Corroboree Ground, Young Black and Deadly stage, Jarjums Zone, Elders Tent and the Speak Out Tent.

There’s also a site map with information about the location, access and amenities.

16:01

9 INDIGENOUS-MADE FILMS TO PREMIERE AT THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Sami Blood

Published January 11, 2017

From Sundance Institute

Rooted in the recognition of the rich storytelling cultures and inherent sovereignty of Native American nations, Sundance Institute has held a commitment to Native artists since its founding. Mandated by our Founder Robert Redford, the Institute has nurtured and supported Native filmmakers going back to a time when almost none existed. Since then, the Institute has supported three generations of Native filmmakers, creating a global community and providing a space for that community with the Native Program and a gathering place at the Sundance Film Festival. Today, there are more Native filmmakers working than ever before, and the Institute is bringing forward a fourth generation of Native filmmakers and solidifying a pipeline of artists whose voices will have an important impact on American and global cinema and culture.

In the spirit of this support, we’re highlighting the titles of the Indigenous-made films that will be premiering at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and introducing the Native Program’s filmmaker Fellows. These films competed against a pool of 13,782 submissions, to be selected among the 122 feature films and 71 short films playing at the Festival.

FEATURE FILMS

Deidra & Laney Rob a Train / U.S.A. (Director: Sydney Freeland, Diné)

Two teenage sisters start robbing trains to make ends meet after their single mother’s emotional meltdown in an electronics store lands her in jail. Category: NEXT

Dolores / U.S.A. (Director: Peter Bratt, Quechua)

Dolores Huerta bucks 1950s gender conventions by co-founding the country’s first farmworkers’ union. Wrestling with raising 11 children, gender bias, union defeat and victory, and nearly dying after a San Francisco P...

14:47

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl on Tour "IndyWatch Feed National"

Manic Pixie Dream Girl: “that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.”
Nathan Rabin, film and music critic, and the man that (regrettably) coined the MPDG label

At some stage in our lives, all of us fell in love with a doe-eyed, fictionalised character and her dorky-but-cute idiosyncrasies. In fact, most of us are still in love with her (here’s looking at you Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Natalie Portman in Garden State, Kirsten Dunst in Elizabeth Town and Zooey Deschanel in, well, everything).

This trope is not, however, limited to the constraints of film and literature. It is also manifested in the eccentric solo traveler and her Instagram account. Donning macramé bracelets and small tattoos, the wanderluster embodies liberation, spontaneity, intelligence and autonomy. She seeks wisdom and understanding in a world consumed by greed and technology. She’s creative, quirky and perfectly imperfect. She can craft a facade of emotional depth on social media that lures the lonely boy who dreams of independence and freedom.

It is not until the female traveller returns from her wanderings that she is confronted by the reality of her MPDG title. “Oh you’re SO adventurous and free spirited!” Lonely Boy groans. “I’ve been lurking all your photos for the longest time! Have you seen Into The Wild? It’s my FAVOURITE movie.”

He proceeds to plan a picnic by a waterfall, buys a copy of Kerouac’s On The Road and picks up a Contiki tour brochure at the local travel agent with a beaming smile on his face. Suddenly, the MPDG becomes a catalyst for him to discover how to embrace life in a true and authentic way.

According to Hugo Schwyzer, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl “knows him better than he knows himself, or so he believes. This convenient assumption allows the young man both to adore the MPDG and to avoid any responsibility for reciprocity. How can he be expected to give anything back when she has this magical intuition about the world that so vastly exceeds his own?”

But every so often, as any woman who has had the MPDG thrust upon her knows all too well, Lo...

14:36

Ralph Blewitt's preparations to return to Australia "IndyWatch Feed National"

The stumbling block for Ralph and Ruby had been the $7,000 application fee for the Australian Government to consider Ruby's spousal visa application. Right now Ralph's waiting to see if there is any provision for a TPI war veteran on a DVA pension to have the fee waived. We'll keep...

12:19

Calls for prosecution of authorities involved in Ms Dhu’s death "IndyWatch Feed National"

ABORIGINAL leaders, including from the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, want Western Australian authorities involved in the death of Ms Dhu prosecuted. The WA Coroner found the 22-year-old Aboriginal woman was treated inhumanely by police and her death could have been prevented. Ms Dhu died two days after being locked up at South Hedland Police Station in August 2014 for unpaid fines totalling $3622. Coroner Ros Fogliani found Ms Dhu’s death could have been prevented if her illness had been diagnosed earlier and she had been given antibiotics. National Congress co-chair Jackie Huggins says there should be prosecutions. “Whilst Congress cautiously welcomes the recommendations from Coroner Fogliani, we strongly believe that the findings fall short and should recommend prosecution for those whose negligence and racism (whether unconscious or conscious) resulted in the death of a young Yamatji Nanda/Bunjima woman,” she said.

11:07

THe identity of Cryptopodia spatulifrons Miers, 1879, and description of a new species, Cryptopodia fistulosa from Australia "IndyWatch Feed National"

THe identity of Cryptopodia spatulifrons Miers, 1879, and description of a new species, Cryptopodia fistulosa from Australia

11:01

MARA Inc sells office building in Melbourne for RM76.75m "IndyWatch Feed National"

Mara Incorporated Sdn Bhd (MARA Inc), a subsidiary of Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA), has completed the sale of its commercial office building on 51 Queen Street in Melbourne, Australia, for RM76.75 million. The sale was via an open tender. MARA Chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa said the tender exercise was completed in August 2016 and […]

10:58

Ex-minister resubmits Uki water extraction plan "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Former NSW agriculture minister Jack Hallam pictured some years ago at his Uki property where he plans to establish a bore-water extraction facility for bulk transport to a giant soft-drinks bottler. (file pic)

Former NSW agriculture minister Jack Hallam pictured some years ago at his Uki property where he plans to establish a bore-water extraction facility for bulk transport to a giant soft-drinks bottler. (file pic)

A  former state agriculture minister has re-submitted a plan to extract 24 megalitres of water a year from a licensed bore on his Uki property and sell it to a global soft-drinks giant’s bottling plant.

Jack Hallam, who was agriculture minister under the Wran Labor government in the 1980s, retired to his ten-acre property a few kilometres from Uki over a decade ago.

In October his consultant lodged a plan to use the existing 25-megalitere a year licence from the NSW Office of Water on the property for ‘bulk loading and delivery of extracted water’.

The plan involves taking a maximum of 24 megalitres of water from the existing bore by large semi-trailer tankers (2.5-metre wide, 28,500-litre capacity) to the commercial bottler and distributor, believed to be linked to the Coca Cola company.

The proposal is for up to three loads a day (six trips), six days a week from 7am to 6pm.

The development application was withdrawn from Tweed Shire Council on 1 December 2017 after neighbours met on 29 November to organise their opposition to the plan.

According to Tweed Shire Council’s DA tracker, the proposal was re-lodged on 21 December, just days before Christmas.

Neighbours have previously expressed concerns regarding the potential impacts on the area’s underground water supply and the impact of heavy truck movements on the rural road.

 

 

 

The post Ex-minister resubmits Uki water extraction plan appeared first on Echonetdaily.

10:58

Former Byron councillor offers new team some advice "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Byron Shire Cr Duncan Dey wants council to back the Mullumbimby Hospital Action Group in its bid to keep the hospital land for aged-care related and community services.

Former Byron Shire Cr Duncan Dey offers some tips for the new crop of incoming councillors. File photo

Aslan Shand

Owing to his wealth of council knowledge, The Echo asked recently retired two-term Greens councillor Duncan Dey his thoughts on some of the big issues facing the Shire.

Raising rates via a special rates variation (SRV) has been looming over the Byron Shire Council since the state government threatened all NSW councils with amalgamation if they weren’t financially Fit For the Future (FFF).

The biggest hurdle for Council is its failing roads.

Roads are one asset that will always cost the council money and the more people using them the faster they degrade.

Dey says, ‘You need to maintain them. There are large amounts of traffic both from tourists and the large amount of unapproved accommodation that has been created over the years.

‘Roads are deteriorating at a much higher rate than other assets because of the large and increasing resident numbers, tourists because there is no public transport – to live in the Shire you must own your own car.’

Having served as a councillor from 2002 to 2004 and a second term from 2012 to 2016, Dey has had plenty of experience working out where Council spends its finite pool of money.

‘As far as I understand it from Council staff, historically the quality of the roads has deteriorated because from the small amount of money the Shire has to spend it has also diminished the portion being spent on roads.

‘Maintaining a new road is far cheaper than an old one.

‘This fact combined with the level of traffic on a road will determine where it stands in the queue for repairs.

‘Currently the council is working towards an asset management system that rates the roads from a high asset, in good condition, to a low asset....

10:47

Heatwave prompts lifesavers’ safety call "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

More than 50 lifeguards will be patrolling beaches along the north coast during coming days, with seas predicted to be quite rough. (Pic: sls.com.au)

As well as taking care in the surf, lifesavers and lifeguards are warning beachgoers to take precautions against heat stress, particularly over the next few hot days. (Pic: sls.com.au)

With temperatures set to spike well into the 30s in parts of the northern rivers over the next few days, Surf Life Saving NSW has issued a warning to beachgoers – and it’s not only about safety in the surf.

Heat stress is a very real risk for the thousands of people expected to descend on the coast over the next few days.

Some of its common symptoms include dizziness, fatigue and headaches as well as confusion, cramps, nausea, and vomiting in more advanced cases.

If left untreated it can lead to the more serious condition of heat stroke so it is important to take immediate steps if you start to experience distress from the heat and to closely watch family members and friends.

Around the region, Lismore is set for a top of 37 today, with Byron Bay on 30, Tweed Heads on 28 and Ballina on 27.

NSW lifesaving manager Andy Kent said the combination of hot weather and school holidays means more people will head to the beach to try and cool off.

‘This could put pressure on lifeguards who are on patrol weekdays across the state and our volunteer lifesavers as we move into the weekend,’ said Mr Kent.

‘Lifeguards and lifesavers have been extremely busy over the last few weeks and we are urging the public to do what they can to help lessen the load by taking some responsibility for their own safety.

‘Some practical ways people can protect themselves and their family are to swim at a patrolled beach between the red and yellow flags, watch out for children around any body of water and stay alert to the early signs of heat stress.’

It has been a challenging month for the lifesaving community with 22 drownings (including nine coastal drowning deaths) since Christmas Day.

Tips For Beating The Heat

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
    • Avoid the diuretic effects of alcohol
    • Bring a long sleeve shirt to cover up after spending time in the sun
    • Stay out of direct sunlight where possible during the hottest parts of the day
    • Apply plen...

10:13

WASTED AWAY IN BYRON BAY… BLUESFEST SCORES EXCLUSIVE AUSTRALIAN JIMMY BUFFETT AND THE CORAL REEFERS PERFORMANCE FOR 2017! "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Bluesfest is thrilled to be starting the New Year on a high note by announcing the King of Margaritaville himself, Jimmy Buffett and The Coral Reefers will be performing exclusively in Australia at Bluesfest in 2017. Could there be a location more perfect for an artist famous for hits such as ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’, ‘Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes’ and of course the classic Margaritaville? Bluesfest can’t wait for his fans to enjoy these songs plus many more just outside of idyllic Byron Bay.

For the few that are uninitiated, singer/songwriter/author Jimmy Buffett has become a legend of popular culture. He has recorded over fifty albums, most of which have gone gold, platinum or multi-platinum. His sold-out concert tours are an annual rite of summer for his legions of fans, affectionately known as Parrotheads, many of whom are professionals by day and who dress in spectacular and outrageous tropical outfits and headwear when Jimmy comes to town. In 2016 the song ‘Margaritaville’ was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for its cultural and historic significance. Only those recordings that have influenced and inspired both music creators and fans for generations are considered for this most special honour. Bluesfest is very happy to be making the dreams of the many Parrotheads around Australia come true this Easter.

Music lovers from across Australia will visit the beautiful Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm over the Easter long weekend (Thursday 13th to Monday 17th of April 2017) for Bluesfest. During the festival they will enjoy 12 hours of music each day on multiple stages, a range of onsite camping options, as well as incredible food and market stalls.

Learn more at www.bluesfest.com.au.

The post WASTED AWAY IN BYRON BAY… BLUESFEST SCORES EXCLUSIVE AUSTRALIAN JIMMY BUFFETT AND THE CORAL REEFERS PERFORMANCE FOR 2017! appeared first on Byron Bay Blog.

09:55

Delays as koala fences installed along highway "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Motorists can expect delays on the Pacific Highway today.

Motorists can expect delays on the Pacific Highway today.

Drivers beware: Work has begun installing temporary koala fencing and survey equipment in preparation for the upgrade of the Pacific Highway between Woolgoolga and Ballina.

The speed limit between River Drive and Coolgardie Road at Pimlico has been reduced this week for the safety of workers and road users. The lower speeds apply from 6.30am to 5.30pm.

Further south, day work is being carried out this week between Farlows Flats and south of the Yamba turn-off.

Line-marking in this section will take place between 6am and 6pm, with the speed limit reduced to between 40km/h and 60km/h.

The Roads and Maritime Services has also advised that work is continuing at Tyndale for the site access gate at the intersection of the Pacific Highway and Tucabia-Tyndale Road, about 500m south of Coldstream Road.

Between 7am and 6pm there will be the need to stop traffic in both directions for up to five minutes at a time to allow project vehicles to enter and exit the site safely. Motorists are advised to allow extra travel time for their journeys.

Other temporary traffic changes include traffic control on local roads and access roads where haulage along the project route is taking place or deliveries to project sites are required.

The RMS said reduced speed limits and lane closures may be in place for access and may affect travel times.

‘Reduced speed limits are required due to changes to line marking, concrete road barriers in place and other changed traffic conditions which road users may be unfamiliar with,’ an RMS spokesperson said.

‘Motorists should keep to speed limits and follow the direction of traffic controllers and signs at all times.’

The post Delays as koala fences installed along highway appeared first on Echonetdaily.

09:47

Safety concerns prompt closure of Tweed Museum "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Tweed Regional Museum Director Judy Kean receives the keys from Ware Building representative Matthew Ware (centre), watched by Council General Manager Troy Green.

Tweed Regional Museum at its reopening in 2014. R to L: director Judy Kean, Ware Building representative Matthew Ware and Tweed Council GM Troy Green. The building has been temporarily closed due an air conditioning fault.

Less than three years after it was reopened following a major refurbishment Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah has had to be temporarily closed to the public this week as a safety precaution.

The closure, which comes during the middle of the school holidays, was deemed necessary after a piece of the air conditioner ceiling ducting became loose last week, prompting concerns about public safety.

The council says a solution to secure the ducting, to protect the safety of visitors and staff, has been identified and can be put in place by Monday as an interim measure until full repairs to the air conditioning system can be completed.

As a result, the museum will be closed until Tuesday January 17.

The move comes just weeks after it was revealed the Tweed Heads Public Library would be closed for up to eight months while a major refurbishment takes place there.

Tweed Shire Council’s director of community and natural resources, Tracey Stinson, said council was ‘conscious of the inconvenience to residents and visitors’ caused by the closure of the museum, ‘particularly during the school holiday period’, and was ‘keen to ensure it could be safely reopened as soon as possible.’

In the meantime, the council says it is liaising with suppliers who installed the air conditioning system during the museum’s major upgrade in 2014.

For further information and updates, visit the museum’s website.

 

The post Safety concerns prompt closure of Tweed Museum appeared first on Echonetdaily.

09:28

ALIENS, UFOS and The Close encounters conference Jan 15 & 16 "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

adam-ward-pic-aec-mick-turner-kathryn-hand
Is there intelligent life on other planets?  Is non-human intelligence visiting Earth?
Are aliens walking amongst us?

Organisers of Australia’s largest national ET/UFO conference aiming to remove the taboo nature of ETs and UFOs, out on the streets to discuss real-life X-files

+The Close Encounters Conference is being held in Byron Bay, 15 &16 January 2017 bringing together experts to answer these and other questions

+Keynote speakers: Mary Rodwell (AUS) – Founder of Australian Close Encounter Resource Network, Dr. Bob Davis (USA) –  neuroscientist and author; and Rosemary Ellen Guiley (USA) – researcher and author on paranormal subjects – all members of the Dr. Edgar Mitchell Foundation into Extraterrestrial Research.

Sydney residents, conference organisers Mick Turner and Kathryn Hand, have been out on the streets, gauging reactions from people on the subject of extraterrestrial life.  With the movie ARRIVAL, having made it to No. 2 at the Aussie box office, it made them realise people are clearly interested in alien life forms visiting Earth.

Together with 2 life-sized, realistic Zeta grey alien models, they enjoyed some light-hearted information gathering dressed as MIB agents and introducing the public to their Conference mascots, Zharn and Torah.

“Although we are having a bit of fun dressing up and getting lots of attention from people wanting their photos taken with us and the aliens, we do take the subject very seriously”, says Kathryn.

Mick adds “Since launching this conference the number of people contacting us wanting to share their story has been incredible.  They are often too scared to let their friends and family know for fear of being ridiculed.  It’s still a taboo subject.  But people should be able to talk about it openly.”

Amongst other speakers, they have 3 Board members from the Dr Edgar Mitchell Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial Encounters (FREE) revealing findings from the largest study ever undertaken on ET encounters....

08:58

Centrelink system is working: Tudge "IndyWatch Feed National"

centrelinkThe federal government is standing by its controversial Centrelink debt recovery system despite widespread criticism.

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge insists the automated process is not flawed, saying more than $300 million worth of overpayments has been recouped.

‘The system is working and we will continue with that system,’ he told ABC radio on Wednesday.

The system has produced about 170,000 debt notices since July based on data from the tax office and that given to Centrelink.

But there have been numerous reports from welfare recipients that they’ve been mistakenly targeted, causing distress.

It’s led to calls from Labor and the Greens to scrap the scheme, which is being investigated by the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Mr Tudge, however, said he wasn’t aware of anyone who was completely convinced they don’t owe money but have been given a debt notice.

‘There are three opportunities for individuals to update their records if a discrepancy is identified,’ he said.

He denied reports a man had to call Centrelink 350 time to try resolve his matter, but acknowledged wait times can be long on occasions.

‘Yes, sometimes people do have to wait longer than what they would like to wait. We simply ask them to be patient, that they will get through or they can go into a Centrelink office.’

Mr Tudge reiterated that if someone has deliberately defrauded the welfare system, they would be tracked down and could face jail time.

The post Centrelink system is working: Tudge appeared first on Echonetdaily.

08:54

Qld govt rules out daylight saving change "IndyWatch Feed National"

daylight-saving-400Queensland government minister Bill Byrne has ruled out any changes to daylight saving in the state, despite a new poll showing strong public support for the switch.

Deputy Brisbane Mayor Adrian Schrinner is advocating for the move, saying it would boost the economy, pointing to an online poll he conducted showing 88 per cent support from the public.

But Mr Byrne said the Palaszczuk government’s position hasn’t changed, and they won’t be considering a change to daylight saving in Queensland during this term of government.

He said in addition to the political stance, he personally dislikes daylight saving as well.

“Having lived in a daylight saving state in the past, I remember with children under 5, where the sun doesn’t go down until 9 o’clock at night it’s a very difficult set of circumstances,” Mr Byrne told reporters on Tuesday.

The issue of daylight saving has been a yearly debate in Queensland since 1992, when a referendum saw the measure narrowly defeated.

The state stands with only Western Australia and the Northern Territory in not putting the clocks forward during spring and summer.

The post Qld govt rules out daylight saving change appeared first on Echonetdaily.

08:52

Expense scandal spreads to other ministers "IndyWatch Feed National"

Foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Julie Bishop is the latest politician facing scrutiny over travel expense claims as calls for an overhaul of the entitlements system grow louder.

The foreign minister charged taxpayers more than $2700 to attend a polo event last year on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula as a guest of Peroni and Jeep.

Her office told the ABC Ms Bishop was there on official ministerial business in her capacity as foreign minister and deputy leader of the Liberal Party.

It’s also been revealed three others, including two government ministers, claimed thousands for a trip to the AFL grand final in 2013.

Among them was Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, whose department oversees politicians’ entitlements.

There are also reports cabinet minister Darren Chester settled on an investment property while on a taxpayer-funded trip to Melbourne, where he also attended the Australian Open tennis.

It follows the scandal around Sussan Ley, who was forced to stand aside as health minister pending investigations into trips she made to the Gold Coast.

On one of them, she bought an $800,000 apartment.

The federal government has vowed to make changes to the entitlements in the first half of 2017 based on recommendations from a review published early last year.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale has reiterated calls for a national anti-corruption body that will in part scrutinise politicians’ expense claims.

Crossbencher Nick Xenophon also wants an independent watchdog, as well as real-time disclosure of claims and harsher penalties for those who exploit rules.

 

The post Expense scandal spreads to other ministers appeared first on Echonetdaily.

08:50

Warnings as scorcher tipped for NSW "IndyWatch Feed National"

NSW is in for a heatwave today.(file pic)

NSW is in for a heatwave today.(file pic)

NSW residents are being urged to drink plenty of water and swim safely as sweltering temperatures intensify.

The mercury is tipped to reach near or above 40C in many parts of the state on Wednesday, with temperatures in the northwest town of Bourke forecast to hit 45C.

Sydneysiders should experience a less extreme 38C, but temperatures in some western suburbs, such as Penrith and Liverpool, are expected to nudge over 40C.

A total fire ban has been declared for some areas, including the greater Sydney and greater Hunter regions.

‘The best way to reduce the risk of heat-related illness is to drink plenty of water and keep your body as cool as possible, and avoid prolonged sun exposure by staying indoors in cool or air-conditioned facilities,’ the Bureau of Meteorology said in a statement.

Surf lifesavers are urging those who head to the beach to watch themselves and loved ones for signs of heat stress, such as dizziness, fatigue and headaches.

They also want swimmers to stay between the flags.

‘Lifeguards and lifesavers have been extremely busy over the last few weeks and we are urging the public to do what they can to help lessen the load by taking some responsibility for their own safety,’ a Surf Lifesaving NSW statement said.

While a wind change is expected to bring relief to those in southern and central coastal parts of NSW on Thursday, the heat is tipped to build again on Friday.

The post Warnings as scorcher tipped for NSW appeared first on Echonetdaily.

08:45

Kiwis among world’s top porn watchers "IndyWatch Feed National"

Kiwis are known for punching above their weight.

This includes the country’s impressive medal haul at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the All Blacks’ record winning run.

But now New Zealanders’ porn habits have also become notable with Kiwis ranking fifth in the world for per capita visits to the Pornhub website.

Kiwis on average viewed 173 Pornhub pages each, the site’s 2016 year in review has revealed.

With global visitors watching around 91 billion videos during 23 billion visits in 2016, only the United States, Iceland, United Kingdom and Canada had more per capita visits.

That also means Kiwis are indulging more often than Australians, who ranked eighth for per capita visits.

‘New Zealander’s spend nearly half a minute longer on Pornhub than their Australian neighbours,’ the Pornhub report said.

New Zealand also stood out for how many women watch porn, with females accounting for 35 per cent of the country’s visits to the site, up on the world average of 26 per cent.

Lesbian was the most popular search term among Kiwis, while the third most searched term was Maori.
Worldwide, lesbian was also the most searched word, followed by stepmom and MILF.

Kim Kardashian was the most searched celebrity, followed by fellow Kardashian reality figure Kylie Jenner and Angelina Jolie.

Visitors most commonly browsed the site between 10pm and 1am with around 60 per cent aged between 18 and 34.

When it comes to the duration of visits, Filipinos spent longest on Pornhub, browsing for an average of 12 minutes 45 seconds, while Cubans went in for quickies lasting just under five minutes.

‘Collectively, that’s 4.6 billion hours of porn watching stuffed into just one year,’ Pornhub said.

The post Kiwis among world’s top porn watchers appeared first on Echonetdaily.

08:37

Civil society opposes stricter medicine monopolies in RCEP "IndyWatch Feed National"

11 January 2017: A newresearch paper in Third World Resurgence outlines key concerns that civil society groups, treatment providers and academics have regarding not only the intellectual property proposals but also the continuing lack of transparency in the RCEP negotiation process.

Report authors: 

  • Belinda Townsend is at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University, Australia.
  • Shailly Gupta is Deputy Head (India) of the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) Access Campaign.
  • Patricia Ranald is Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network.
  • Leena Menghaney is Head (South Asia) of the MSF Access Campaign.

Read the report: Civil society opposes stricter medicine monopolies at RCEP negotiations

08:10

How Byron Bay’s solar-driven train will work "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

An image from the company's website showing a concept diagram of its proposed solar train.

An image from the company’s website showing a concept diagram of its proposed solar train.

Following community interest regarding the technical aspect of how Byron Bay’s new train service will operate with a solar conversion, development director Jeremy Holmes offered to explain how it would work.

The service is planned to commence in the coming months from near the Elements of Byron resort in Sunrise Beach into Byron’s CBD.

Holmes says that solar power will be collected from the roof of the train and from the roof of the train storage shed to charge sizeable batteries on the train.

‘Energy from these batteries will drive dual electric motors and be sufficient for a number of return trips between charges. Our calculations show that the combined solar panels and regenerative braking will generate the equivalent amount of power, required daily to run the train service.

Regenerative braking

Tim Elderton, managing director of Lithgow State Mine Railway explains, ‘In regards to the amount of solar panels and batteries required, critics fail to take into any consideration the effect of “regenerative braking” (known as regen for short). Any electric vehicle would be most inefficient without regen, as it recaptures up to half of the energy used during acceleration.

‘The electric traction motor wiring circuit is reversed, which turns the electric traction motor into a generator. The generation of electricity retards the train and the electricity generated goes back into the batteries for reuse. Regen has been used on electric trains for more than sixty years, and every modern electric truck and bus has it fitted. Electric solar traction systems are available off the shelf for retrofitting into buses and trucks, and because the railcar is basically a big bus, running on a short, flat, low-speed run, this technology is very well suited.’

A further statement from Byron Bay Railroad Company reads, ‘Our intention was to get the train up and running prior to the solar conversion; however, technology has developed rapidly in this area to the stage that it i...

08:05

More recycling options for Tweed residents "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

At the CRC opening were (from left): Council's Tarra Martel, Deputy Mayor, Councillor Chris Cherry, North East Waste's Karen Rudkin, Councillor Ron Cooper, Member for Tweed Geoff Provest, Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Katie Milne and EPA Senior Project Officer, Catherine Baird.

At the CRC opening were (from left): Tweed Council’s Tarra Martel, deputy mayor Chris Cherry, North East Waste’s Karen Rudkin, Cr Ron Cooper,  Tweed MP Geoff Provest, Tweed mayor Katie Milne and EPA senior project officer Catherine Baird.

Got some old tins of paint cluttering up the garage? The lid’s rusted on, the label’s peeled off and you painted over the colour years ago. But what to do with that can?

How about dead light bulbs, out-of date gas bottles or used batteries?

If you live in the Tweed, that problem’s been solved for you with the opening of the new Tweed Community Recycling Centre (CRC) yesterday, which allows householders to drop off problem wastes such as paints, oils, gas bottles and batteries for free.

It’s part of the NSW Government’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative and has been paid for by a grant $70,250 to tip operator North East Waste.

Tweed Shire Council contributed $33,000 towards the cost, as well as funding the facility’s ongoing management. It is one of a number of ongoing initiatives by Council to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

Tweed MP Geoff Provest said that establishing facility would ‘greatly assist Council and the NSW Government in their efforts to keep problem wastes out of landfill.’

‘We want to encourage communities to recycle these problem wastes to help prevent contaminants from entering the environment.The centre will complement the community’s existing recycling services, minimise waste and increase recycling,’ he added.

The centre is part of a network of 100 facilities being established across NSW at a cost to the state government of $127 million.

Tweed mayor Katie Milne said the upgraded Waste Recovery Centre is ‘looking much better and is so easy to use, with great opening hours until 3.45pm every day of the year except Christmas Day and Good Friday. ’

‘Tweed residents can drop off household quantities – up...

08:02

Government fends off adequately funding TAFE over breakfast "IndyWatch Feed National"

Tweed MP Geoff Provest (Nationals) imagined eating breakfast in state parliament. Photomontage

Tweed MP Geoff Provest (Nationals) imagined eating breakfast in state parliament. Photomontage

Hans Lovejoy

While Geoff Provest (Tweed Heads Nationals MP) stuffed his face in the NSW lower house (re-imagined, right), debate raged around him over the Technical and Further Education Commission Amendment (Funding Guarantee for TAFE) Bill 2016

The bill is an attempt by Labor’s Prue Car to guarantee that at least 70 per cent of vocational training funding in NSW goes to TAFE.

Recently the coalition government has diverted some TAFE funding to businesses to provide training.

Yet the ‘Smart and Skilled’ reforms have not entirely been a huge success – even Murdoch’s The Australian reported in July 2016 that the ‘scheme is partly to blame for a dramatic drop-off in publicly funded training.’

Will Labor’s bill succeed in restoring funding? No.

Government MPs in the lower house have the majority and defeated the second reading on November 17 last year by eight votes.

So let’s examine – post mortem – how our dearly elected rabble debated such an important issue.

Essential services

There are big questions around the merits of privatising essential services.

Not just education, but health and prisons, for example. Should the market determine and own everything?

Are our dearly elected so incompetent that they need to divest all their responsibilities? Reforming TAFE by the political elite appears to be really about making it into a factory to ‘get a real job’ and giving business the reigns, no matter the consequence.

The value art – or pursuing anything other than making money for its own sake – is something conservatives will never understand, let alone care about (art classes were some of the first to go after the government moved on TAFE)....

06:56

Man attacked by kangaroo while trying to protect daughters in Elderslie, Australia "IndyWatch Feed National"

An Australian dad who shielded his kids from an angry kangaroo has had his ear torn and ribs broken. Matthew Chenhall was walking behind his two daughters along his rural NSW property when a hissing and growling kangaroo appeared, stopping the girls in their tracks. The two-metre kangaroo stood tall and acted aggressively, he said. Nine-year-old Amelia threw a sausage sandwich she was holding in an attempt to lure the animal away, but this only fuelled its aggressive behaviour, Chenhall said. He stood between the kangaroo and his girls, before the kangaroo got him in a headlock position, ripped his ear and broke his ribs.

06:05

'Ration days again': cashless welfare card ignites shame | Australia news | The Guardian "IndyWatch Feed National"

'Ration days again': cashless welfare card ignites shame | Australia news | The Guardian: Welfare recipients in the trial communities, most of whom are Indigenous, began receiving 80% of their welfare payments into a restricted debit card. It cannot be used to withdraw cash or buy alcohol or gambling products. Many members of the communities and political leaders say the card has led to a decline in people playing the pokies and being drunk on the streets and say, anecdotally, they see more people buying fresh food.

Although the trial has been described as a success by the government and by the Ceduna mayor, Alan Suter, a visit to broader areas of Ceduna, including the north-west towns of Maralinga Tjarutja and Koonibba, reveals mixed responses.

04:57

Wondering why there are no horror stories flowing from the financial reassessment of Centrelink pension eligibility? "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"


There are many legitimate complaints and concerns being voiced over the Turnbull Government decision to change Centrelink’s debt recovery system to one which is fully automated, with no human oversight of initial debts raised for those certain individuals receiving welfare pensions, benefits and allowances.

However, there is little being said about the reassessment of asset and income limits for aged pension eligibility which came into effect on 1 January 2017.

Centrelink states:

If you have reached age pension age, Age Pension may help to support you. To qualify, you must first satisfy age and residence requirements. How much you can get depends on your income, assets and other circumstances.
If you are a self-funded retiree or still working, you may be able to get a part pension.

Centrelink further states that the current maximum basic age pension rate is $1,203.00 for a couple and $797.90 for a single person per fortnight.

This basic rate places any recipient who relies solely on a Centrelink pension for their retirement income firmly below the poverty line.

For those receiving additional income there is a reduction in this fortnightly basic rate of 50c for every dollar of additional income...

03:46

Sussan Ley on what comes first at taxpayer funded Team Turnbull "IndyWatch Feed National"

This is the transcript of Sussan Ley's media conference a couple of days ago. WORD COUNT Sorry - nil Error - nil Mistake - nil Normal, community standards etc - all nil Apologise - one to Helen, a journalist, well into the Q and A after Ley's prepared statement. Ley...

03:45

Antarctica: Vostock — The Lake of Shadows "IndyWatch Feed National"

Antarctica: Vostock — The Lake of Shadows

By Scott Corrales

The inspiration for this article began in the summer of 1996, when a series of email messages began to appear suggesting the possibility that “someone” or “something” was surreptitiously removing all recent maps of Antarctica.

The notion was so outrageous that even die-hard conspiracy theorists found themselves having to clarify the subject – it wasn’t that Big Brother and his henchmen were ripping map pages out of every World Almanac and atlas in the country, it had merely become harder to obtain recent maps on Antarctica.

Intrigued by the electronic statements, I placed a call to Penn-Oh-West Maps in Pittsburgh to check on the availability of Antarctic projections. The storeowner’s response was startling:

“Sorry, sir. All our new maps of South Pole are on back order. Must be some kind of problem with the USGS.”

The United States Geological Service, or USGS, produces the most detailed maps available, such as the 7.5-minute series topographic maps at a 1:20,000 scale.

Nor is the USGS planet-bound – their expertise extends to detailed maps of the Moon, Mars, and Venus.

Antarctica has nearly 90% of the ice and 70% of the fresh water on Earth. The third-largest continent, it is one and a half the size of the US. Nations including the United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, France and Argentina carry out experiments at bases dotted across the continent.

ALH 84001 was found in Antarctica during the 1984-1985 Antarct...

02:38

Leaked Document Reveals Internet Trolls May be Government Agents "IndyWatch Feed National"

Source: Humans Are Free

Leaked Document Reveals Internet Trolls Are Government Agents

Glenn Greenwald is a journalist, constitutional lawyer, political commentator and best-selling author.

He’s perhaps best known for working with NSA document-leaker Edward Snowden to expose the sneaky surveillance tactics used by governments and government agencies.

And while the issues surrounding privacy and the government’s invasion of it have grabbed a lot of the spotlight, Snowden’s NSA document leak revealed another intriguing government hobby and tactic – Internet trolling.

The Five Eyes Alliance





The Five Eyes Alliance consists of intelligence agencies belonging to the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

It was Britain’s GCHQ that drew up the documents proposing that Internet trolls be employed to “control, infiltrate, manipulate and warp online discourse,” as Greenwald writes in his article aptly titled “...

02:28

Unprovoked, a bull shark charges and attacks spearfisherman in FNQ - video "IndyWatch Feed National"

Danny Henricks, 35, told the ABC he was on holidays in Queensland on a spearfishing expedition, but was separated from the group when the incident occurred. (Facebook: Liquid Vision) "I was going to go for a deep dive, got halfway down ... I seen him [the shark] on edge of...

01:15

Video: GoldFish Report No. 67 -- Multi-Dimensional Physician Part 1-2 "IndyWatch Feed National"





On GoldFish Report No 67 Host Louisa Welcomes Multi-Dimensional Physician Maree Batchelor M.D. who describes how her DNA was activated after the tragic loss of her young son, and how this experience, and her journey of healing, transformed her practice of medicine and her life to treat people as the multi-dimensional beings that humans are and have always been. Maree describes how the Blue Ray Founder ET race assist her to energetically clear the blocks from past and current life vows and agreements, many of which she has found that humans were tricked into consenting to. Maree is a pioneer in medicine and energetic healing and is helping to lead humanity on the path to Ascension.She can be contacted at batchelormaree@gmail.com. Maree has also published a chapter in Mary Rodwell's new book "The New Human" which will be featured at this week's After Life Exploreer's Conference in Australia at this link https://consciousconsumernetwork.tv/m...

You can follow GoldFish Report on Twitter @ReportGoldfish, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thegoldfishr... , or on our blog at https://wordpress.com/stats/day/thego... or at www.thegoldfishreport.com.

00:15

Yes, it was hot last year and no, 2017 is not going to be much better "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"


Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), media release, 5 January 2016

2016 a year of extreme weather events

It was a year of extreme weather events, wetter than average overall, and the fourth-warmest on record for Australia, according to the Bureau of Meteorology’s Annual Climate Statement 2016 released today.
Assistant Director Climate Information Services, Neil Plummer, said 2016 was an eventful year with significant climate drivers affecting the country’s weather.

“The year started off very warm and dry, with bushfires in Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia, and a nation-wide heatwave from late February to mid-March. We had our warmest autumn on record partly due to a very strong 2015–16 El Niño," Mr Plummer said.

“In May the El Niño broke down and the dry start was followed by record wet from May to September as a negative Indian Ocean Dipole developed, with ocean waters warming to the northwest of Australia.

“Widespread, drought-breaking rains led to flooding in multiple states. Even northern Australia saw widespread rainfall, during what is usually the dry season, greening regions that had been in drought for several years,” he said.
For Australia as a whole, annual rainfall was 17 per cent above average.

Notable events during the wet period included an East Coast Low in June, causing flooding down the east coast of Australia to Tasmania, and damaging coastal erosion in New South Wales. There were also significant storm and wind events which affected the southeast.
In the Murray–Darling Basin, already wet soils and full rivers meant rain caused flooding in many areas throughout September and October.
Australia was warmer than average in 2016, with a national mean temperature 0.87 °C above average, and it was the fourth-wa...

Tuesday, 10 January

23:35

Behind the Headlines interview on “fake news” and independent journalism "IndyWatch Feed National"

Late last year I was interviewed from Jerusalem by veteran Australian journalist and campaigner Julie Macken, for her radio program Behind the Headlines, about “fake news” and my experiences as a journalist over the last decade in Israel/Palestine, South Sudan, Afghanistan and beyond. My interview begins around 15:50 (with a few scratchy sound issues via Skype):

23:26

William Shakespeare, new book "IndyWatch Feed National"

This video from Australia says about itself:

Germaine Greer: Shakespeare The Radical

31 October 2016

By Thomas Metscher in Britain:

Simply good Bard guide

Tuesday 10th January 2017

Fear Not Shakespeare’s Tragedies: A Comprehensive Introduction by Jenny Farrell (Nuascealta, £10.88)

MORE than a mere introduction, Jenny Farrell’s book provides a comprehensive guide for all wishing to understand Shakespeare for pleasure or study and his impact on cinema, theatre and even opera.

Central to the interpretation of each text is a close reading, setting the plays in their historical context.

The opening chapter explores the early modern period as a time of momentous change, in which the beginning of bourgeois society and Renaissance and Tudor absolutism defined the epoch from which Shakespearean theatre originates.

That brief outline leads on to Shakespeare’s life, about which much has been written but little is really known.

The readings of the four plays consider plot, characters, themes, dramatic devices, endings and tragic content.

Unlike most mainstream academic research, Farrell does not approach the text with a preconceived thesis to be illustrated but is guided by the conflicts developed in the tragedies.

These are, according to her convincing interpretation, the expression of a fundamental collision of conflicting historical and ethical forces that emerged after the collapse of the mediaeval world and the rise of the early bourgeoisie.

On the one hand, there arose a self-liberating humanity whose values are peace, justice, the welfare of all and, ultimately, the idea of human equality.

On the other, the instinct for do...

23:07

Above Water "IndyWatch Feed National"

My breathing is choked and frantic as I struggle to get a handle on the anxiety attack that has suddenly latched itself to my core. I stumble into the aeroplane bathroom and slam the door behind me, falling against the wall for support. My head is aching and hot, sticky sweat begins to layer my face. I press tissues to my fiery cheeks and small pieces break off, clinging to my skin as I flush the rest. The overwhelming smell of blue chemicals wafts through my stinging nostrils, an injection straight into my throbbing head.

For most, planning a trip is thrilling: booking flights, scanning Hostelworld for party accommodation, scavenging the Instagram ‘explore’ page for the supposedly hidden gems of wherever you might be going. But what if planning a trip also meant you were pencilling in anxiety attacks, crashing lows, and gut-wrenching stomach aches that you knew all too well there was no escape from?

My anxiety truly took its darkest form when I saw that it wasn’t just me it was preventing from living, but it was the people I loved. When I was in third grade, I went to my first overnight ski camp. Three days in and I had barely eaten, the anxiety induced nausea seemed to be my only companion. My dad had to drive four hours to come pick me up, which of course only made me feel worse. When I was in middle school, my family planned a trip to Europe. I spent the weeks leading up to it hassling them to cancel and the trip locked in our hotel room.

I didn’t want to be the daughter that kept her family from travelling, the sister who sat with her brother at a pizza place in Italy not eating in silence, but it has never been something I could control. For me, arriving in an unfamiliar place felt like I had been pushed into a pool with a weight tied around my torso. Muffled sounds of voices and laughter echoed around me as I thrashed my arms wildly desperate to join them, but it was no use: I was drowning.

I grew tired of constantly regretting the things I could have done, but chose not to. I sat from the comfort of my room, scrolling through my friends’ Facebook pages as I looked wistfully at their photos abroad. Australia, Spain, South America… the jealousy was overwhelming.

 So I decided to push myself.

 It wasn’t until my third year in university that I actually gathered the courage to study abroad. The first week went as I expected it to: loss of appetite, surprise anxiety attacks that left me yearning for the quiet of my room, and a general lingering discomfort in my own skin.

...

22:23

Great Scott at The Sound Lounge "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

‘Great Scott – The Music of Raymond Scott’ will offer you a remarkable night of music paying homage to the one of the great unsung American composers, musicians and pioneer of electronic music with an exceptional all star band. These days Raymond Scott has an almost cult following and is being rediscovered by a new generation of fans right throughout the world.
raymond-scott-clav
Raymond Scott was among the unheralded pioneers of contemporary experimental music, a figure whose genius and influence have seeped almost subliminally into the mass cultural consciousness. As a visionary whose name is largely unknown but whose music is immediately recognizable, Scott’s was a career stuffed with contradictions: though his early work anticipated the breathless invention of bebop, his obsession with perfectionism and memorization was the very antithesis of jazz’s improvisational ethos.
Though his best-known compositions remain at large thanks to their endless recycling as soundtracks for cartoons, he never once wrote a note expressly for animated use, and though his later experiments with electronic music pioneered the ambient aesthetic, the ambient concept itself was not introduced until a decade after the release of his original recordings. His music is familiar to millions because of its adaptation by Carl Stalling in over 120 classic Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck and other Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies animated shorts. Scott’s melodies may also be heard in contemporary shows like Ren and Stimpy, Duckman, The Simpsons, Animaniacs, The Oblongs and Batfink.
 The night will start with a performance of Peter Dasent, best known in Sydney as leader of The Umbrellas, and for those with preschoolers, as the resident pianist at Play School since 2000. In 2015 he released an album of his piano compositions Songs for Solo Piano, which was recorded at the legendary Abbey Road studios in London. In a 4.5 star review, John Shand wrote in the...

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