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Tuesday, 21 August

19:23

Red-legged Crake, Blue-winged Pitta in Singapore "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Red-legged Crake
We had a 3-day stopover in Singapore en route to Africa, staying at the Robertson Quay Hotel. The first morning we hooked up with Martin Kennewell, a well-known local birder, who took us to a spot in north-west Singapore, in Lim Chu Kang. Here we eventually got on to a Blue-winged Pitta that had been hanging around for a couple of weeks in a small patch of regrowth forest. This species is usually rare in Singapore at this time of year and one Bill and I had both missed previously in Asia, so we were pretty chuffed. Unfortunately it didn't pose for an image.

Red-legged Crake
The next morning we were off to Singapore's Botanic Gardens, probably the best place in the world to see Red-legged Crake, another much-wanted bird both of us had missed previously. We found one exactly where Martin said - just south-east of Lake Symphony. It was strutting around among the Heliconia patches between the lake and forest - quite in the open and oblivious to the many passers-by. It was in fact no less shy than the White-breasted Waterhens that were about. Evidently it is only relatively recent years that the crakes have moved in to the gardens.

...

19:06

Reclaiming our sense of collective and community Part 1 "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

My home town (where I was born and still spend a lot of time) is Melbourne, Victoria. It is a glorious place, at least the inner suburbs within about 3-4 kms of the city centre where I hang out mostly. It recently lost its top place in the Economist Intelligence Units Global Liveability Index (most pleasant place to live) to Vienna (Source). One wag thought it might have been because the Economist got confused between Australia and Austria. Economists are easily confused! But the reason I mentioned this is because it is symptomatic of how neoliberalism has reconstructed our realities and degraded our sense of community. The competitive narrative, even though firms go all out to use power and deception to fix and rig markets in their favour, now dominates our perception. While I identify with Melbourne and would think a significant part of my identity is linked to that identification, the neoliberal narrative with its distinctive language, aims to reconstruct the community and communities of Melbourne, not as social and cultural artifacts, but as products competing with other cities of the world for supremacy. I was thinking about this as I scope out the structure of the next book that Thomas Fazi and I will publish next year as a follow-up to our current book Reclaiming the State: A Progressive Vision of Sovereignty for a Post-Neoliberal World (Pluto Books, 2017). Thomas and I have advanced our ideas and we will, in part, be focusing on how communities and the nation state work together to advance progressive outcomes. In our first book together, we set out how nation states can operate from a technical perspective and what they should do to provide for a progressive future. In the next book, we will dig deeper into the ways people and their communities have to re-empower themselves. Language, construction, vocabulary, and framing are all significant in this regard.

When I was a post graduate student I was often thinking about the idea that technology is more than an engineering capacity. It also has an ideological dimension.

The debates in those days (and the great Austrian writer Andr Gorz was central to them) often were centred on whether a socialist state should use capitalist mass production technology and Taylorism, which alienated the worker from their product.

I disagreed with Gorz over his advocacy of a basic income guarantee. But he knew that these innovations were the key to the capacity of early capitalists to take control of production from skilled labour and increase the exploitation rate.

In turn, it spawned the push for mass consumpt...

17:31

People in government committing the Commonwealth offence of tampering with mail "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"


With the help of this invention called social media on the government carriageway called the internet, the general population have been able to share information at blistering speeds, something the colonialists would never have dreamed of during the early days of this penal colony.

While during the early days of the internet, people may have written to various government departments for example, inquiring as to whether the Bill of Rights is valid in whichever state they live in, this information remained with the authors and maybe few others. 

Today this information can be shared all around the world instantaneously. 

As a result of this quick information sharing, this has led to other people asking questions that people in government do not want to answer, keeping in mind that the people in government are there to represent their constituents.

We have obtained documentation that the people within the doors of the business we call the Parliament of Victoria (ABN: 57 505 521 939) are tampering with Australia Post with regards to receiving letters that contain questions that they do not wish to answer.

Keep in mind that some of the better government information is the documentation that they do no want the general population to see. 


...

13:47

Now renting "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Starting to see just a bit more of this in Brisbane now.

Source: Harcourts

The coming infrastructure boost will help.

13:20

The Third Industrial Revolution "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

I belong to a degrowth group on facebook. The owner of this group posted a link to a youtube video titled The Third Industrial Revolution: A Radical New Sharing Economy. I downloaded it sight unseen so that I could watch it on my TV while its Jeremy_Rifkinpissing down with rain outside and I frankly have nothing else better to do. luckily for those up North in terrible drought, well be sending some your way next weekend. Ive never liked Jeremy Rifkins crazy ideas, and had I realised he was the star attraction of this film, I probably would not have downloaded it in the first place, but having done so, and under the abovemnetioned weather conditions, I went ahead anyway

The first half hour was for me the best part, because he clearly explains with some crucial left out items why were in deep shit. What really leaves me flumoxed is how someone who clearly understands thermodynamics and entropy cannot come to grips with their repercussions.

A Third Industrial Revolution Would Seal Our FateWhy Jeremy Rifkin is Dead Wrong

For me, it was extraordinarily hard to find where to start my criticismnot because of the lack of strength of his arguments, but simply because it is just plain hard to even know where to start! E...

12:49

Readying Knives: The Mortality of Australian Prime Ministers "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

The opinion poll prime ministership is a modern Australian disease.  Not only does it suggest an ailing in the Westminster system, but a profound contempt for the democratic sensibility on the part of party representatives, hacks and the industry that supports them.  Prime Ministers are merely the icing, to be whipped off and replaced on going stale.  Little wonder that the Australian politician can never be permitted to be an authentic representative, ever hostage to sentiment and the astrological deceptions of polling.

This conditioning is so total it has even bewitched the journalistic classes, who have also done their best to feed the complex of the short-term prime minister.  Twenty-four hour news tends to do that.  A veteran ABC journalist let it slip on Monday morning that the elections were about the party strategists, the politicians and the polls. It was easy in such an assessment to avoid the Australian voter, whose relevance has declined as the influence of party brokers has risen.

A canon of politics is that support expressed with fervent enthusiasm in the public domain is bound to reverse behind closed doors.  Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has the firm support of numerous members of his front bench, expressed publicly.  This is exactly why he should be worried. Such enthusiasm could be lethal.

Even potential challenger, the one-dimensional oafish Peter Dutton of the Home Affairs portfolio, has claimed Turnbull has his support, though he has left a tantalising morsel for political observers.  If my position changes that is, it gets to a point where I cant accept what the government is proposing or I dont agree then the Westminster system is very clear: you resign your commission, you dont serve in the cabinet.

Finance minister Matthias Cormann has attempted to adopt the nothing to see here approach while giving the Canberra press gallery every reason to presume that something is afoot.  He claims to have heard no talk about conservatives pressing Dutton to mount a challenge to Turnbull.  This, despite four 5.30 morning walks with Dutton, a fellow hardline conservative with whom he keeps on good terms with.  To Sky News, he claimed that, We are both very committed to the success of the Turnbull government and to wining the next election.

Turnbull had done himself no favours.  He remains weak but more to the point, has appeared to be weak.  He took his party to the last federal election and received a thumping which imperiled his majority.  He has been unsuccessful holding the sniping conservatives within his ranks at bay while embarking on an obsessive campaign to wound the opposition leader, Bill Shorten.  The latter aspect of this strategy failed to materialise in the last round of by-elections which saw no Coalition gains, notably in the Queensland seat of Longman.  As Queensland promi...

12:13

Malcolm Turnbull survives Peter Dutton leadership challenge for now "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

The home affairs minister resigned and went to the backbench after winning 35 votes to Turnbulls 48 in leadership spill Politics live, Guardian here Morrisons Return Rocks Refugee Activists Facebook Ministry of Satire: Duttons early years and background ...

11:27

NEW HERVEY BAY STALLHOLDER PROFILE FOR EMMA WILLIAMS DESIGNS "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Stallholder Profile for Emma Williams Designs




Your name: Emma Williams

Your business name: Emma Williams Designs
The suburb/town you live in now: Maryborough
What is it that you make and what skills do you use?: Handmade earrings using materials such as Fabric, Wood, Clay & Tassel



...

11:19

NEW SUNSHINE COAST STALLHOLDER PROFILE FOR NATIVE GARDENS BEEKEEPING & PURE HONEY "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Stallholder Profile for Native Gardens Beekeeping & Pure Honey




Your name: Joanne & Bruce Murphy

Your business name and facebook/website name and link: Native Gardens Beekeeping & Pure Honey

...

10:22

Optimal Care Pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Cancer is the third leading cause of fatal burden of disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are, on average, 40% more likely to die from cancer than non-Indigenous Australians. Healthcare that is patient-focused and that is respectful of, and responsive to, the preferences, needs and values of patients, is critical to good health care outcomes.

The Optimal Care Pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer provides health services and health professionals across all sectors in Australia with principles and guidance to ensure that care is responsive to the needs of Indigenous people.

Cancer Australia is calling on health professionals and health services involved in the delivery of cancer care at every level to read, use, adopt and embed the Optimal Care Pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer into their practice.

The Optimal Care Pathway is accompanied by consumer resources, which outline what patients should expect on the cancer pathway, and the care they should be offered, from tests and diagnosis, through to treatment and care after treatment, management of cancer that has spread, and end-of-life care.

 

Optimal care pathway for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people with cancer

Media Release.

09:54

Spill! "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

It's on! Turnbull vs Dutton.  Unfortunately because they are already in the party room, we don't get the wonderful drama of retinues of supporters walking the corridors behind their leader and so on.

Turnbull has defeated Dutton 48-35 but generally a margin that small is not sufficient to ward off a future challenge, which in this case could well happen soon.

Julie Bishop has been retained unopposed as Deputy Leader.

It is worth bearing in mind that with the exception of Malcolm Fraser (who was unsuccessfully challenged by Andrew Peacock) no Prime Minister who has faced a spill has remained in the job til the next election.  (Fraser lost).  Other PMs who have been challenged have all failed to make it to the next election: Gorton, Hawke, Rudd, Gillard and Abbott.  In four of these five cases it took two goes to get rid of the incumbent (it is little-known that Gorton was unsuccessfully challenged after winning the 1969 election with a disappointing margin). 

08:32

Wheels coming off out west "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

One wheel off/axle broken

Sharper dwelling value falls now happening in a Western Sydney near you.

Chart art brought you via Cameron Kusher of CoreLogic.


Source: CoreLogic

Follow @cmkusher for top draw analysis.

I discussed the risks of Blacktown, Parramatta, the Hills District, and some Western Sydney suburbs in a bit more detail in this February 2017 podcast special with Business Insider. 

Prices are now down by more than 10 per cent in the Hills District SA4.

Median prices are also down by 8 per cent in Blacktown, and 7 per cent in Parramatta. 

More to follow...

07:02

Stand with Wangan and Jagalingou to defend country "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

The following statement was made by Adrian Burragubba, Murrawah Johnson and Linda Bobongie, for the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Family Council, after the Federal Court ruled against Native title rights and opened the way to hand traditional land over to private interests like Adani, who seeking to expand operations in Queenslands Galilee Basin.

Adani engineered it, the primary judge has now approved it though we have instructed our legal team to prepare an appeal to a higher court and the Government chose not to side with us. They refused to accept our decisions and interfered in our business. We are being subjugated.

This ruling says its legal to have our ancient law and culture, and our ongoing Tribal rights to land, merely voted away by a group of people who do not hold the cultural sovereignty to our Country. Australian lawyers and Native Title bureaucrats provide the paperwork for an act of betrayal.

We are calling on the Queensland Government to rule out extinguishing our native title in any part of our land. Can you help by contacting one of these key decision-makers and telling them not to extinguish our native title before weve had the chance to appeal?

Once native title is gone, it is gone forever. It would be a travesty for the Government to wipe out our title for Adani. If Queensland can stop them dredging the Reef before Adani has money, or pull the pin on $1 billion NAIF funding, they can surely protect our rights to our land. They must not...

05:46

More than just engineering, science and money ... "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Earlier this year I visited an area in the Grand Canyon where a development akin to our own kunanyi/Mt Wellington cable car proposal was being debated Greens Move to Reject Major Projects Legislation and Enshrine Public Say on Planning Tasmania is at a crossroads, its environment and way of life under unprecedented threat from big development interests lured here by the Liberals open for business mantra and willingness to keep Tasmanians in the dark. The return of Parliament coincides with both the Hobart City Councils decision on the cable car tonight and the Town Hall meeting about the proposed Cambria Green development, and the future of Tasmanias East Coast tomorrow

05:36

Promoters of cashless welfare card really want to cut benefits "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Contributed from Victoria

The National Party has called for every Australian under 35 on a parenting payment or Newstart should receive a cashless welfare card.

It came up at the party Federal National Council on Saturday. Those proposing the extended application of the card, suggested that people receiving these payments were spending too much money on drugs and alcohol.

Besides this being a blatant act of profiling, which suggests that that anyone on these payments is an undeserving malingerer.

The rational used to trial the Cashless Welfare Card is being used as an argument to extent it across Australia, and has immediately been championed by News Corp.

Just because it came up at the Nationals Federal Council, does not mean that it is automatically government policy. This is another item to the wish list, deliberately setting out to test the waters. If there is not a strong enough counter reaction, it is just a matter of time before it does become official policy.

Suggestions are being made that the trials in Kalgoorlie, East Kimberley and Ceduna have been successful. They have been. in terms of creating greater inequality and making the provision of necessities more expensive, because the cards can only be used in designated shops and this prevents holders from shopping around for better prices.They have been successful, if the goal is to ensure those in the trials wear the stigma. They have not been successful in lifting standards of living and creating a path to self-respect and creating work for those who need it.

The essence of what is being put by the supporters of the Cashless Welfare Card is that people do not have the right to an acceptable standard of living, if they do not have a job. Government payments are a form of charity paid by those who are better off, who should not be expected to foot the bill. This is the ugly and selfish side of our society. Few of those who take it up sing the same tune when it happens to them.

When they push this line of reasoning, the supporters of the card show that this is not about overcoming bad behaviour, but about cutting social security payments. Nor do they have anything to say about the generous tax loopholes for the wealthy and the corporate tax evasion industry. This is a case of double standards, if there ever was one.

Ours should be a caring society, where we look out for one another and give a helping hand to those less fortunate for ourselves.

Past generations fought hard to put into place the right o...

05:34

NATION: Dutton circles Turnbull sensing blood in the water "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Fifty years ago Australia was a cohesive, predominantly Anglo-Celtic nation. Most people thought of themselves as Christian of some sort, although most of us didnt go to church all that often. Everyone, from the cleaners to the captains of industry, had a shared vision of who we were as a people and our place in the world. They did? In 1968 when anti-Vietnam demos were at their height here? A year of seismic social and political change around the world? A time when single, aged and invalid pensioners were grateful to get another whole dollar rise to fourteen dollars a week? When a quarter of the population lived on less than $58 per week? Bear with Fraser; nostalgia isnt what it used to be. Behind him, Tory Cory Bernardi nods agreement. Corys part of a tinpot Oz-Tea Party troika with Fantasy-fabulist Anning and deluded David Leyonhjelm. They have a lot in common. We want stronger families, limited government, lower taxes ... we want to re-install personal responsibilities front and centre of public life, Bernardi claims. Seriously? Is this code for Leyonhjelms slut-shaming, now the subject of a defamation case in which, as he admits, he told Sarah Hanson-Young that she should stop shagging men? In the topsy-turvy, inside-out and back-to-front world of our upper house of mirrors, reality is bent, shrunk and stretched while ignorance, bigotry and even crypto-fascism, defy government tax-cut theory to trickle up. And up Guardian Oz: Government dives in the polls as leadership speculation swirls Crikey Worm: Bitter Spill The Age repors that supporters of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton say he is leaning toward challenging Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for the top job, believing the government is now in an unwinnable position. On Sunday, Turnbull held a dinner with party colleagues to stave-off a leadership challenge. However, The Courier Mail ($) is reporting that Dutton only arrived to the crisis talks post-dinner. The Australian ($) reports that a number of MPs spoke with Dutton at the weekend to pledge their support if he were to challenge Turnbull. In light of the speculation, a Fairfax-Ipsos poll has the Coalition trailing the opposition 45 to 55 on a two-party preferred basis ABC: Faith in Australian governments falls amid corruption concerns Trust and confidence in all levels of Australian government is continuing to slide as calls intensify for the establishment a national anti-corruption agency Guardian Live: Bill Shorten calls Turnbull a white flag prime minister Malcolm Turnbull PM says Dutton gave him absolute support. Leadership speculation Coalition dives in the polls. Comment:  MPs must set aside ideologies in climate endgame SMH: Leadership twist as report claims Peter Dutton could be ineligible to sit in Parliament Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton may be ineligible to sit in Parliament due to his familys financial interests in the Commonwealth, according to an explosive repo...

05:15

I am not a Woman - Transsexuals and Transgender Women Speak Out "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

This article is Part 3 in the series Silencing and Censorship in the Trans Rights Debate Today, the dominant discourse in the transgender rights debate insists that transgender women are women.  It is not uncommon to hear the argument that, because they are women, their biology is female and it is transphobic to suggest they are biological males. The term lady penis is often used to describe their genitalia, without a trace of intellectual embarrassment, by trans rights activists and others who style themselves as trans allies EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ... Silencing and Censorship in the Trans Rights debate (1) Silencing and Cencorship in the Trans Rights debate (2)

04:45

Future of the East Coast in focus Hobart public meeting "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

In response to an unprecedented wave of development pressure and calling for a strategic and consultative approach to planning the future of the East Coast, fifteen community groups are hosting a public meeting to raise their concerns and seek leadership from all levels of Government ABC: Development proposals on Tasmanias east coast alarm community groups

04:28

Mount Wellington cable car backers vow to push on after Council land setback "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

The Mount Wellington cable car proponents are vowing to push on, after the Hobart City Council voted to deny the controversial proposal access to council-owned public land

04:16

Prof Robert Jensen: There Clearly Is No Decent Human Future Possible in Capitalism "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Mohsen Abdelmoumen: How do you explain the silence of Western media and governments regarding the massacre of the people of Yemen by the coalition led by Saudi Arabia, the strategic ally of the US ?

04:00

We were warned about climate change in 1912 ... "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

We were warned about Climate Change in 1912

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Monday, 20 August

23:37

Poll Roundup: Here We Go Again? "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

2PP Aggregate: 52.8 to Labor (+1.2 since last week) by last election preferences
52.2 to Labor with One Nation adjustment
Labor would comfortably win election held "right now"

That escalated quickly ...
Last night's Ipsos poll has produced a big blowout in my polling aggregate, wiping out all the Coalition's gains since June. However, Labor had already made modest gains in the wake of the Super Saturday results even before that.

Normally I put out a Poll Roundup every second Newspoll.  Last week's Newspoll had some points well worthy of comment so I was considering bringing this one forward (but got distracted by another issue).  Now with this extreme Ipsos result hitting the stands, I think it's worthwhile going one week early - especially with the noises being made in media and a feeling about that leadership problems could blow up into a challenge quickly.  Whether or not that happens, at the least we have another round of serious leadership speculation, and even if the Ipsos was twaddle it will probably turn out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Events have developed quickly, with the PM shelving emissions targets in the National Energy Guarantee on Monday followed by news of possible Section 44 issues for Peter Dutton, which it seems the Dutton backers are intent on ignoring.  As I write the word is that Dutton backers think they have enough support and are deciding whether to go right away or wait until September.  In the past these things have often come to a head very quickly.

This all started with the Coalition's defeats in the Super Saturday by-elections, and especially the woeful primary vote result in Longman.   Had expectations on the right about the by-election results been more cautious, these results would by now have been a humdrum footnote in electoral history, and the Longman disaster would have been mostly written off as caused by candidate factors.  But because Liberal hopes of a victory in Longman and/or Braddon were boosted so high, especially by far-too-credulous reporting of unreliable and close electorate polling, the result has been seen as a disaster....

22:30

Australia Home Prices Falling as Sydney Drops 7%! Australians In Most Debt EVER IN HISTORY! (Video) "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Australia Home Prices Falling as Sydney Drops 7%! Australians In Most Debt EVER IN HISTORY! Video The Money GPS Video Source

The post Australia Home Prices Falling as Sydney Drops 7%! Australians In Most Debt EVER IN HISTORY! (Video) appeared first on The Daily Coin.

20:09

Regular email news "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Over the fold, my latest regular email. If you would like to receive it, sign up at http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX

Hi everyone

 

As is common for academics of a certain age, Ive been writing lots of book chapters lately, and several of the books have come out recently.  They include:

Wrong Way: How Privatisation & Economic Reform Backfired, edited by Damien Cahill and Phillip Toner, which is going to be launched at Gleebooks in Sydney on Friday 21st September. I have contributed chapters on electricity reform and productivity.

The Coal Truth, by David Ritter  This isnt an edited volume but a great piece of writing by David, with additional contributions from lots of people including Tara Moss and Berndt Sellheim, Adrian Burragubba, Lesley Hughes ,Hilary Bambrick, Ruchira Talukdar, Geoffrey Cousins and me.

The SAGE Handbook of Neoliberalism, edited by  Damien Cahill, Melinda Cooper, Martijn Konings and David Primrose. I have a chapter on Neoliberalism: Rise, Decline and Future Prospects. Given the pricing, this is a book for libraries and academic specialists only.

I hope to be back with more regular mailings once Ive finalised the manuscript of my new book, Economics in Two Lessons.

Best wishes
John

19:20

One Step at a Time: Trekking Kokoda at Age 15 "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Long days. Cold nights. Fatigue and loneliness. Standing in the harsh sun, Im surrounded by walls of tall jungle. Staring ahead at a steep overgrown path that never seems to end, I hyperventilate. Time passes with each step. My breathing softens as we make it to the summit. I wonder whether Id be better off dead.

The Kokoda Track (or Trail) campaign of World War II took place in Papua New Guinea. The campaign involved a series of battles between the Japanese and Allied forces throughout the second half of 1942, during the Pacific War. The Allies prevailed in pushing the Japanese out of Papua New Guinea, at a substantial cost of lives.

Tourists now flock to Papua New Guineas capital, Port Moresby, for yearly dawn services of ANZAC Day and other war memorial events. I was never really interested in war, but I was up for the challenge.

The track itself has become a novelty excursion for war enthusiasts and fitness junkies alike. Its a single-file foot thoroughfare of 96 kilometres through the Owen Stanley Range. From Owers Corner roughly 50 kilometres east of Port Moresby to the village of Kokoda in the Oro Province, we venture predominantly through the land of the Mountain Koiari people.

If the rugged terrain wasnt enough of a selling point to the adventurous hiker, the tropical climate and risk of disease on the fabled expedition should be the cream. Picture luxuriously humid days dragging your feet through ankle-deep mud for eight hours, before settling in to a gourmet dehydrated meal. Enjoy a freezing nights rest in a makeshift tent; doze off to the sound of torrential rain seeping through to your inflatable mattress, as the early morning sun signals the start of another day.

I cant say that I expected luxury upon my arrival in Papua New Guinea. As restrictions and standards to who can attempt this trek are strict, Id been training with a Victoria Police facilitated program for nearly a year. The trek was the end-game of a 12-month-long community engagement program for young people in Melbournes west. Id been hand-selected alongside my peers, deemed future leaders by their schools and based on their merit.

Yep, thats me. A future leader. A young lady with a bright future and the weight of the world on her shoulders, heading into battle. Yet, Id been fighting a battle in my own head in the lead-up. A battle that was much bigger than Id given credit.

At 15, in the depths of the Papa New Guinean jungle, came my first mental breakdown.

......

19:06

The Watchers News Brief: August 18 and 19, 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Brutal cold snap, Mt. Buller received 30 cm (11.8 inches) of snow overnight, the most in 14 years, Australia Parts of the Australian state of Victoria have woken up to snow on August 19 after shivering through a brutal cold snap. Mt. Buller received 30 cm (11.8...... Read more

18:53

More bums on seats in FY2018 "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Australia is very popular

Permanent and long term arrivals increased 4 per cent in FY2018 to 808,480, up from 773,400 a year earlier.

That's a record high.


Tourism boom now slowing

2018 was also a record financial year for tourism and short-term visitors.

There was another solid 5.6 per cent in visitors to New South Wales, to 3.44 million.


Queensland also saw an apparently strong 6.2 per cent increase to 1.97 million.

Being up at Noosa today - and sharing luncheon with Queensland-born Mr. Michael Pascoe, no less - I'm duty bound to say that this is because the Sunshine State is beautiful one day and perfect the next.


In truth, though, this should be seen as a somewhat disappointing result for Queensland given that Gold Coast played host to Commonwealth Games XXI in 2018.

Report card: could do better. 

........

18:36

Black Honeyeater at Highfields Falls, near Toowoomba reported by Malcolm Graham on 18-08-2018 "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

At least three Black Honeyeaters (two males and one female) seen at about 8:40am near the middle of the Kingfisher circuit. Watched them for about 15min. They were mostly perched high up on dead branches, with intermittent hawking around the tops of trees.

17:21

Black Honeyeater at Goondiwindi Botanic Gardens reported by Mike Wood on 17-08-2018 "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Five or six birds feeding on (males defending) flowering Eremophila bignonifolia

17:20

New Sustainable Australia election policies video "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

The Sustainable Australia Party has prioritised four key issues that unite rather than divide Australians: secure jobs, affordable housing, better planning and a sustainable environment.
Related policies feature in the video.

Why vote for Sustainable Australia?

In short, our party has prioritised four key issues that unite rather than divide us: secure jobs, affordable housing, better planning and a sustainable environment.

We've featured these four issues in our new video:

We need your help

One of the unique selling points of our party is a genuine sustainable population policy. First and foremost, rapid population growth is an environmental problem, but it also impacts on our ability to achieve secure jobs, affordable housing and better planning.

For example, without slowing population growth, desperately needed housing affordability policies around taxation, bank lending practices and overseas buyers are negated by continued rapid growth in domestic demand.

Mainstream media

Unfortunately, when it comes to the mainstream media, our voice is drowned out by the extremes - pro-big Australia and anti-immigration forces. For a combination of commercial and ideological reasons, perhaps the mainstream media wants it that way.

Despite a series of uncontested pro-big Australia articles and opinion pieces in The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and The Guardian, none of these publications will print an evidence-based opinion piece I offered rejecting big Australia on environmental and infrastructure grounds.

Getting around mainstream media barriers in order to reach voters is one reason why it is so important that you watch and share our latest video.

We need rational voices to rise above intolerant ones. The alternative is even more polarised political discourse. Suppression of moderate voices simply drives people into the arms of extreme parties.

Sharing is caring

Please share our video via social media (Facebook, Twitter, online forums, etc).

Can you also forward it on to relevant family and friends?

Thanks for any help you can give.

William.

......

17:04

What its like being poor in Australias crazy housing bubble "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Most of the debate about housing is framed around the recent realisation that younger middle class people are now worried they may not be able to afford to buy their own houses, shock horror! Contrasted with this view is the story of what the poor (who have never had access to the property market) are faring.

This picture of me at a hackfest from a few years ago shows no sign of the difficulties I was (and still am) experiencing trying to make a living for myself after decades spent raising and educating a special needs child. I spent the weekend hacking for free for Random Hacks of Kindness in Sydneys swish Commonwealth Bank offices. At the time I had temporarily rented someones laundry. The room was still being used as a laundry, unfortunately, with people from the flat wandering in and out at will to do their washing while I tried to sleep, work or relax.

Random Hacks of Kindness team working on open data site for Ocius Chief Exec Robert Dane

 

Unless youre unlucky enough to be really struggling with housing you may not be aware of the ways the housing market is straining to deal with record demands now placed on it. You may think this picture below is some kind of joke but its just the extreme end of the overcrowding and exploitation of vulnerable renters that is is going on nation-wide.

The Newtown Neighbourhood Centre maintains a list of what it calls low cost housing, that is, properties that rent for under $250 a week or 100% of what Newstart recipients receive. One day when Im rich enough, I hope to be able to afford their low cost housing options!

For cheaper accommodations, a quick search on Gumtree shows a large number...

14:34

Peak Infrastructure "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

For years now, I have been saying that the 20th Century was built one brick at a time, as and when it was needed, using ever growing amounts of surplus energy that were both very cheap and easily accessible.. and as Limits to Growth rears its ugly head more and more often, all the signs that we are no longer able to do this is becoming obvious; because we have now reached the stage when all those old bricks (and steel and concrete and.) start needing to be replaced while at the same time the new infrastructure required by the growth monster has to also be built.Genoa-Bridge-Collapse

Enter the Genoa bridge that collapsed last week.. photos of it crumbling weeks before the tragic event that seems to have killed 43 people were posted on social media. Im no structural engineer, but it looks pretty bad to me. Dangling cables and the middle buckling under its own weight are not good signs Falling apart comes to mind. Anyone in their right mind would have closed it down and more than likely condemned it, but no, lets not get a few lives get in the way of profits. At fifty years old, it wasnt particularly ancient, but shoddy workmanship and even mafia involvement in supplying dodgy concrete are issues making their way to the Italian media.

With Italy on the cusp of bankruptcy, h...

12:31

Road safety and community consultation in WeHo "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Here are some notes from the latest West Hobart Residents' Traffic Committee meeting, this last Wednesday.  It was a small meeting, but we heard from Angela Moore, the Council's Manager, Traffic Engineering, and also from Louisa Gordon, our newly appointed Community Engagement Advisor - Strategic. 


Hill Street Pedestrian Improvement Project
This is about halfway through.  The roadworks to make safer pedestrian crossing points at Cavell Street and Alison Street are complete, bar the painting of traffic and bike lane markings.  The crossing point at Petty Street is half built, and works have started on the new wider bus stand at Hamilton Street.  After those, the raised pedestrian crossing (the wombat crossing) at the pharmacy will be built, in conjunction with some maintenance roadworks to improve the whole roundabout roadspace.

Cate Sumner reiterated the urgency of creating safer walking conditions for kids getting to and from Lansdowne Crescent school.  Angela advised that there is a single work crew which is steadily working through the list of improvements.  The current completion date is expected to be about October (2018!).

Di Elliffe asked for confirmation that the green painted bikelanes will be extended through the kerb bulb/median island crossing points, so that drivers are reminded that riders are entitled to ride safely through those pinchpoints.  As this diagram below shows, there is ample room for a 1.5m painted bikelane (sadly, in the dooring zone) along Hill Street, and for a 1m painted bikelane through the pedestrian crossing points (sadly, even more exposed to fast moving vehicles).


Paul Turvey asked for clarification about the new style of bus stop which will be built at Hamilton Street.  Angela confirmed that it will be a deep stand, extending to the edge of the traffic lane.  Buses will stop in the traffic lane to set down and pick up passengers.  It will be interesting to see this in action.

Several other street surfaces and footpaths were mentioned as needing improvement. These included Arthur Street and Newdegate Street.

Retail Precinct Upgrades
Lenah Valley is almost complete.  Next on the list is NewTown - these works are scheduled for the second quarte...

12:02

Australian Teenager Pleads Guilty to Hacking Apple's Network "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Apple files stored by teen in 'hacky hack hack' folder

A teenage boy from Australia has pleaded guilty to hacking into Apple's network and downloading internal files, according to reports. The 16-year-old accessed 90 gigabytes worth of files, breaking into the system many times over the course of a year from his suburban home in Melbourne, reports The Age newspaper.

It says he stored the documents in a folder called 'hacky hack hack'.

Apple insists that no customer data was compromised. But The Age reports that the boy had accessed customer accounts.

In a statement to the BBC, Apple said: "We vigilantly protect our networks and have dedicated teams of information security professionals that work to detect and respond to threats. In this case, our teams discovered the unauthorised access, contained it, and reported the incident to law enforcement. We regard the data security of our users as one of our greatest responsibilities and want to assure our customers that at no point during this incident was their personal data compromised."

Also at Reuters.


Original Submission

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.

11:20

How Crowns New Skyscraper Explains the Market "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Its a big week for Aussie stocks.

Im not much of a horse racing fan, but were basically coming around the bend and into the last straight for the earnings reporting season.

Things have gone smoothly until now. 48% of the companies that have reported earnings so far have beaten their estimates. Whats more, profits and dividends look strong.

One stock that caught my eye was Goodman Group [ASX:GMG]. The Age reported over the weekend that it plans to extend its warehouse to cater for booming logistics demand from e-commerce.

However, land values and rents are high in the areas they need to build. The solution? Go higher by building on top of the existing warehouse.

Ive reported previously on the same thing happening in New York. Its another example of how property values can keep rising where this type of development happens.

If you can draw more income from the same amount of land, that can only capitalise into the selling price.

In order to capitalise into the selling price, you need to be able to get financing for a development.

Thats not a problem for Goodman Group, but is proving somewhat harder for Crown Resorts Ltd [ASX:CWN].

It has plans in place to develop a luxury hotel and apartment complex in Melbourne. This is a major project it would be the tallest tower in Melbourne if built.

However, Crown says that it is struggling to find a development partner around the residential component of the project. Thats presumably because of the fear of apartment oversupply in the city.

Crown is supposed to have the project underway by February. If the project gets pulled, we can assume the property and credit cycle is finally weakening. Conversely, if it goes ahead, perhaps we can all keep dancing a little while longer.

Or maybe the finance team at Crown could give financial services company ING a call. The Australian reports ING has raised $1 billion via an Aussie dollar covered bond issue. The suggestion is that theyre going after the market share of the Big Four Aussie banks while they remain under pressure.

Thats a familiar theme if youve been reading The Daily Reckoning Australia for a while. But the suggestion of an Aussie property credit crunch, however much discussed, has yet to come to pass.

Much of what happens from here will of course depend on China. The Financial Times says Beijing continues to order its state-run banks to lend to infrastructure projects and exporters.

Well have to see how this shows up in the numbers. But theyre already looking good. New loans were up 75% in July from the same time last yea...

11:09

MACKAY Assault charge follows head-butt at licensed venue, Mackay "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

MACKAY August 20, 2018 at 09:03AM ,

Assault charge follows head-butt at licensed venue, Mackay

August 20, 2018 at 09:03AM ,

He will appear in the Mackay Magistrates Court on September 17, to have the charged heard. If you have information for police, contact Policelink on

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MACKAY Police allege cocaine, cash, weapon parts found in mans car "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

MACKAY August 20, 2018 at 06:03AM ,

Police allege cocaine, cash, weapon parts found in mans car

August 20, 2018 at 06:03AM ,

Mackay Magistrates Court was told Blaney is currently before the Supreme Court for drug matters. No plea was entered during the bail hearing.

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10:46

Nuclear has left its run too late: a response to Ian Hore-Lacy "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

 ETHOS, 14 August 2018  | Robert Farago  Nuclear as the solution?   There are a number of unresolved problems around nuclear power and questions of whether nuclear energy can grow quickly enough to solve our climate change problem. I will just list some of these problems with a sentence each:

  • Weapons proliferation enriching Uranium for civilian nuclear energy programs can lead to fuel being diverted and further enriched for nuclear weapons programs.
  • Safety although less deaths have been recorded from nuclear power than from coal mining, nuclear accidents such as Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima have shaken the confidence of citizens to have nuclear reactors near their homes and food sources.
  • Waste although we have generated nuclear waste for 70+ years we still dont have a solution. Nuclear waste needs to be stored safely for hundreds of thousands of years, longer than settled agricultural society has existed.
  • Decommissioning cost estimates vary wildly and its particularly technically challenging and expensive after nuclear accidents.
  • Water use like thermal coal generators, nuclear needs large quantities of water for cooling, making droughts and heatwaves a problem.
  • Capacity if we moved to a large portion of our global electricity generation to nuclear power, will there be enough Uranium to fuel them?
  • Timeliness can we move quickly enough to a majority nuclear electricity future and meet our global emission reductions?

Assuming the above problems can be quickly resolved, despite decades of not resolving them, and we can somehow scale nuclear by an order of magnitude from today, will it be cheap enough?

When I was a child in primary school (in the late 1970s), I read that in the future nuclear energy had the potential to generate electricity that would be too cheap to meter. That future never came and sadly never will.

Overseas examples are not encouraging. Recent nuclear reactor constructions in Finland,...

10:18

Solar hot water cash splash for Victorians "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

The Victorian government is sponsoring households to take up solar hot water. File photo

MELBOURNE, AAP Victorians who swap their old hot water system for a solar one can get a $1,000 rebate under a $60 million program.

The 10-year program starts immediately, premier Daniel Andrews announced on Monday at solar hot water manufacturer Rinnai at Braeside.

It follows on from his Sunday announcement that a re-elected Labor government would pay for 650,000 homes to get solar panels under a $1.24 billion plan where owner-occupiers would repay half the cost through their bill savings.

Were putting solar panels and hot water systems on Victorian homes to help families save hundreds of dollars a year on their electricity bills, Mr Andrews said in a statement.

The government predicts the systems will save households between $160 to $400 a year in electricity bills.

The rebate is available to households with a combined income of up to $180,000 who live in their own home valued up to $3 million.

Houses can take part in the half price solar panels program or the $1,000 hot water rebate, but not both.

The rebate has been created so houses who cannot get solar panels because of roof design or shade can still get a reduction in energy bills, the government says.

The post Solar hot water cash splash for Victorians appeared first on Echonetdaily.

10:00

Federal election guide finalised "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

For those who havent already noticed, I wanted to let you know that the guide to the next federal election is now finished and up on the website in total.

The guide includes profiles of all 151 House of Representatives races, and all eight Senate contests.

You can use these links to see a full list of lower house links:

Or you can use this map to navigate to any seat of interest. Click on the seat and a pop-up box will appear, including a link to the guide.

And here are links to the eight Senate contests:

Please let me know if there are any errors by commenting on the relevant post or by filling out the contact form on the front page of the guide. I will make some small changes as the election gets closer, and will occasionally do updates of candidate lists.

Meanwhile I am now posting one seat per day for the Victorian state election.

09:41

Why the food movement is unstoppable! "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

What makes an ethical food future? What kind of agriculture can our planet sustain? How can we reduce demand on global resources? How can you be a change-maker in the unstoppable food movement?

Industrial food systems are key drivers of environmental destruction, from rainforests to reefs, and water supplies to climate change. Farmer and author of Call of the Reed Warbler Charles Massy, US crop scientist and director of the Poison Papers, and farmer, meatsmith, and president of AFSA Tammi Jonas discuss how regenerative agriculture can turn Australias ecologies and economies around, revitalizing rural communities while nourishing land, animals, and people.

Join us in Daylesford on Thursday 30 August for an inspiring and activating evening, or if you cant make it to the central highlands of Victoria, catch Jonathan and Charlie elsewhere on The Food Equation tour of Australia.

The post Why the food movement is unstoppable! appeared first on Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance.

09:05

The Rise Of The Far-Right Demands An Urgent Progressive Response "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Progressives need to mobilise to combat the rise of the far-right in Australia, writes Ben Eltham. The time for complacency is over. 

Australia is a nation-state founded on white nationalism. The white supremacist roots of Australia are undeniable. In 1901, Australias brand new parliament passed the notorious Immigration Restriction Act in its first sitting, inaugurating the legal basis for the White Australia policy. 

The White Australia policy was formally abolished in 1973, and the Whitlam government went further by enshrining racial equality in law with the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975.  The Fraser government also notably freed up migration settings, showing genuine leadership in settling south-east Asisan migrants in the late 1970s. For many, this was the beginning of a more pluralistic and liberal nation, embracing a multi-hued democracy of genuine tolerance and diversity.

Both major parties have since celebrated their role in the creation of a modern multicultural Australia. At least, so the story goes. 

But the progressive view of Australian politics cant paper over the fact that racism remains a potent force in our democracy. Despite genuine progress and reform in the 1970s and 80s under Whitlam, Fraser and Hawke, a residual strain of white nativist politics has always lingered, never quite extinguished. 

Looking at Australian politics this past few weeks, the question needs to be asked: how far have we come? 

Not very, if last weeks first speech by Katter Australia Senator, Fraser Anning is anything to go by. Annings speech made worldwide news because of his calculated use of the phrase final solution to describe his plan for a plebiscite on Australian immigration policy. 

Both Labor and Liberal rushed to condemn Anning, and his views received widespread approbation in the media. But few have bothered to listen through to Annings speech, or read it in full. Thats a shame, because a close reading provides us with many clues to the development of right-wing thinking in this country. 

In many ways Annings inaugural speech is quite a traditional address.....

08:56

From a Harbourside Mansion - Turnbull's blog on energy & Abbott "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

Malcolm Bligh Turnbull Harbourside Mansion Sydney Harbour 9 December 2009 While a shadow minister, Tony Abbott, was never afraid of speaking bluntly in a manner that was at odds with Coalition policy. So as I am a humble backbencher I am sure he won't complain if I tell a few...

08:45

Victoria Labor pledges $1.2 billion in rebates, loans for rooftop solar RenewEconomy "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Victoria Labor government proposes rebates and zero interest loans to encourage another 650,000 homes to install another 2.6GW of rooftop solar. The post Victoria Labor pledges $1.2 billion in rebates, loans for rooftop solar appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Victoria Labor pledges $1.2 billion in rebates, loans for rooftop solar RenewEconomy

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Sunday, 19 August

19:40

Parents selectively aborting children based on their gender We need to know the sex. If its a girl we are going to terminate it "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

 

Sonographs often used to determine sex of baby so the girls can be killed

It is a moment burned into the memory of a veteran sonographer.

A number of years ago, the sonographer was asked by a couple at their scan around 12 weeks to tell them the gender of their developing baby.

They said something along the lines of We need to know the sex, because if its a girl we are going to terminate it, they said.

You have to deal with things like terminal cancer and miscarriages when youre working as a sonographer. But this occasion, it still sickens me to this day.

Image may contain: ultrasound and text

Parents selectively aborting children based on their gender

New Australian research, revealed this month, has indicted that a group of parents could be aborting female babies because of a preference for sons. Its led to questions over whether it is necessary to provide parents with early information about the sex of their fetuses.

Already, many obstetricians and sonographers dont routinely provide gender information at the 12-week scan when people can still readily access abortion, largely because its not always accurate and there is rarely any medical purpose. Yet there is an unwillingness to follow in the path of China and India, where abortion of female foetuses is a well-identified problem, and there are bans on early gender reveals.

Advances in science and technology mean Australians are now able to find out the sex of their baby from as early as 10 weeks, via a blood test that also screens for chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome. Others may find out their babys sex during an ultrasound around the 12-week mark.

While ultrasound providers have different protocols on whether they reveal the gender of the baby at the first scan, its the stance of the Australasian Sonographers Association that they should play no part in the debate around gender selection.

The associations chief executive, Jodie Long, said if the sonographer was confident in being able to identify the gender, then they would provide that information if asked.

What the parents do with information is not for the sonographer to determine, she said

...

18:22

pink-eared duck at Lake near Gracemere, central Queensland reported by Andrew McDougall on 19-08-2018 "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

The dry is pushing birds east. I saw 1,200 pink-eared ducks fly in and land on an unnamed lake near Gracemere.

18:02

Please watch this video from Victoria Police. Someone must know who this man is. "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

This is Chloe and she has bravely shared her story in the hope that someone may recognise the offender who raped and assaulted her. We urge you to watch this and please share to bring Chloe justice. pic.twitter.com/nWSNkhRwSQ Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) August 18, 2018

17:38

Wind &Other doing 3.5% of demand "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

6.30 am UPDATE 3.5% of demand. The price well over $200 everywhere but Tasmania.
9am update, sun up and 5%. Just as well there was more wind around for dinner last night!

The dashboard. Yes I know it changes all the time.

Last night at 5.30. A cold snap, a lot of heaters turned up and dinner on the stove.

Wind and Other doing less than 8% of demand! Renewables LOL.

15:08

Great Barrier Reef Politics "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

Australias environment has been in precarious hands since European settlement found its lengthy and persistent way to the continent.  It has been mined, mauled, drained, farmed, deforested and despoiled at a rate that was only restrained by the size of its small but rapacious populace.  When environmental matters have made an appearance, they have done so with a veil of political opportunism.  Few typify this more than Labors environment minister Senator Graham Richardsons efforts regarding the Tasmanian forests.  To win over the conservation-minded voter in marginal, city-based seats, it was good to go green at least for a bit.

The Great Barrier Reef has not been exempt from the political tussles of a troubled environmental conscience.  Its monumental size, and its status as an ecological wonder meant little in the late 1960s, when the appetite for development mattered most.  In 1967, it seemed to be facing imminent destruction, another casualty of a predatory mining industry keen for new conquests.  The state of Queensland had elected a National Party government hungry to exploit the environments wares.

As local tour operator Alistair Pike explained to the ABC, We had a fairly full-on development oriented government and mate, if they couldnt drill it, mine it, chop it down or whatever, they really didnt want to know about it.  It took characters such as that feted rat bag of an activist, rogue of action and Mission Beach artist John Bsst to bring angered but focused attention on threats to bulldoze Ellison Reef.  An impeccably connected person, he had the ear of Australian prime minister and fellow diver Harold Holt.  A cast of characters were duly mobilised: the CSIRO forester Len Webb, and president of the Queensland Wildlife Society Judith Wright became enthusiastic and un-phased recruits.

In the Australian environmental conscience, this gorgeously freakish wonder of ecology has been seen in isolation, its problems a local provenance and interest rather than a global phenomenon of ailing.  As the earth continues is warming push, earthbound, and very terrestrially unimaginative politicians have been attempting to treat the Reefs woes as separately resolvable from the broader challenges of climate change.

Little wonder, then, that a problem viewed in such limited terms could be duly remedied by donations without tender, lump sum payments without review.  Narrowly viewed problems tend to lead to narrowly devised solutions.  Such was the nature of the Turnbull governments $...

12:13

ABC poll >100,000 people on Anning speech - majority say nothing to apologise for "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

From Senator Fraser Anning today: ABC News and ABC Brisbane did recent polls with 65,000 and 38,400 people voting respectively. The overwhelming majority of people (60% and 75%) agreed that I have nothing to apologise for in my recent speech which called for an immigration plebiscite. I think the Canberra...

07:33

Smoke and mirror madness ... Forestry burns legal, yet backyard BBQs could be censured "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Just when you think our bumbling bureaucrats cant lose the plot any deeper, some public service cuckoo comes up with the loony idea to curb urban smoke. Thats right, unbelievable as it sounds, excessive smoke emissions from the backyard barbeque may soon become a punishable infringement !

07:06

The National Picture: overwhelming reminder of wilful gaps in Australias history "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

Symbolically named for a Duterrau painting that has long been missing, exhibition in Canberra interrogates the stories we havent told

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Saturday, 18 August

13:08

The glass very full "IndyWatch Feed Tas"

On HODL...

A double-shot Friday, with speeches from both Reserve Bank Governor Lowe and Assistant Governor Luci Ellis.

Lowe's speech effectively confirmed that the inflation target is asymmetric.

Although 'committed' to the 2 to 3 per cent inflation target, the next move in interest rates will be up, he noted, even though inflation is yet again set to fall below the target.

As energy and fuel price pressures ease the rate of inflation will likely drop over the second half of the year.

That's good to the extent that it eases pressure on household budgets, of course.

But, in the spirit of Mr. Micawber, it is hoped that eventually inflation will pick up again.

Amazon might have something to say about that as retail price deflation again rears its head.

Rates on hold

Whether you agree or otherwise, at least it's been made clear: the cash rate is going to be set at 1.5 per cent for a long time!

Probably a very long time.

Lowe also delivered an interesting interpretation of housing credit dynamics, noting that the slowing of the housing market had reduced demand for credit by investors, in doing so citing low mortgage rates as evidence that the reduced supply of credit has not been the main story.

The plural of anecdote is not data, but that's not quite the feedback we've been getting from mortgage brokers. 

Semantics, maybe, given the reflexive nature of such things.

Luci on lags

Assistant Governor Ellis also presented an interesting speech on lags, showing how the unemployment rate has been improving (if not very much for the long term unemployed).
...

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Sunday, 22 July

20:52

5 Years Too Long Rally: Photos "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Photos by Kathleen Chapman and anon.

19:46

Petition: Dont Deport Huyen stop separating families "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

We call on Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to immediately release Huyen from MITA detention centre and grant her permanent protection to avoid another indefinite family separation. Refugee families belong together. Please sign and support: https://www.megaphone.org.au/petitions/don-t-deport-huyen-stop-separating-families

19:21

PTUA welcomes rail pledges "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has welcomed state Labor and Coalition pledges to expand Melbournes rail network.

Labor today pledged funding for a plan for airport rail via Sunshine if re-elected. In recent weeks the Coalition has pledged suburban rail extensions of the Cranbourne line to Clyde, and the Frankston line to Baxter.

PTUA spokesperson Daniel Bowen said that as Melbourne continues to grow, it was critical that the rail network grows with it.

All of these proposals are important, and its great to see both sides of politics recognising that Melbourne needs more rail.

With traffic congestion now a daily issue across the city, more people are looking for ways to get around without driving.

Melbourne Airport is one of the worlds busiest without a rail link[1]. The PTUA believes the proposed rail link must be fast, frequent, affordable, and have good connections to the rest of the public transport network.

Cranbourne East/Clyde, and Baxter are likely to see strong residential growth, and extending the suburban rail network to these areas, alongside upgrades to local buses, walking and cycling, will give more people viable transport options.

But Mr Bowen warned that the expansion of public transport would be undermined by the large scale road projects proposed by both sides.

Contrary to what the politicians will tell you, transport infrastructure is not about meeting current demand its about what we want our city to look like in the future, and how we want people to get around.

More motorways will generate more traffic. In contrast, more rail lines and train services will generate more trips on public transport which is a much better outcome.

Melbourne already has more kilometres of motorway than many cities of its size.

Well-run public transport, and especially heavy rail, can get vast numbers of people from A to B quickly, more efficiently and at less cost than in single-occupant cars. Thats why we look forward to commitments to further projects such as Melbourne Metro 2.

To really ensure our city continues to function, to ensure people have good access to employment, education and other opportunities, the key is fast frequent reliable public transport, trains trams and buses, along with good walking and...

19:09

MEDIA RELEASE 22/07 | TWENTY-THREE REFUGEES LEAVE NAURU FOR THE US "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Twenty-three refugees flew from Nauru to the US today, Sunday 22 July. The group includes two Rohingyan families, one couple with their three children; the other a father and his two sons. The rest are single men Rohingyan, Afghans, Pakistanis and Tamils. The refugees final destinations include New York, Oregan and Colorada. Over 1520(...)

Thursday, 19 July

13:24

Big Sing in a Big Shed under a Big Sky puts Murtoa on the Community Music Map and its happening all over again "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

James Rigby spent years driving past the mighty Murtoa Stick Shed in awe of its size and wondering how on earth the monolithic structure looming up out of the landscape could still be standing. He never imagined that one Spring day in 2017 together with Jane Thompson, he would lead around 300 community singers in a Big Sing under its cathedral-like roof of bush poles and corrugated iron.

The idea for a Stick Shed Sing was conceived by Judith Welsh, Chair of the Committee of Management which took over the running of the shed when it was gifted back to the community in 2016. The vision was to create an event to reflect the ambience and glory of the Heritage listed building and bring singing into the shed for the first time as part of Murtoas Big Weekend celebrations.

We wanted an event that anyone could join in on but which gave local choirs, the singers from the Wimmera, an opportunity to perform as part of a massed choir, as well.

As highly experienced community singing leaders, Jane Thompson and James Rigby expressed their interest in coordinating the event, working with Judith to decide a shape for the day, which included a massed singing workshop open to anyone keen to sing in the shed and a concert by any community choirs attending, who were happy to perform.

Jane and crowd

The first Stick Shed Sing was held i...

10:17

RISE DEMANDS IMMEDIATE EVACUATION OF REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS TRAFFICKED BY AUSTRALIA TO MANUS AND NAURU "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

RISE members including offshore and onshore eX-detainees strongly condemn successive Australian governments for holding hostage our community members in Manus and Nauru torture camps for more than five years now. RISE demands that the Australian government to immediately bring back all refugee survivors and provide them permanent protection and proper support services.

Asylum seeker and refugee detainees are among the most persecuted and oppressed people in the world. We endured abuse in our own countries, and upon seeking protection, are disenfranchised and suffer institutional abuse within detention systems. Immigration detention centres are arbitrary and nefarious forms of state violence; they function to subjugate asylum seekers and refugees by imprisonment.

Detention deaths are systemic murder not casual deaths of refugees, we should not normalise them at anytime

The re-opening in 2012 of so called regional processing centres in Manus Island and Nauru by then Prime Minister Julia Gillard and immigration minister Chris Bowen has resulted in 12 deaths so far. Hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers trafficked to Manus and Nauru by the Australian government have experienced abuse and neglect on these islands. This systemic abuse of our bodies and livelihood not only exist in detention but also long after we survived. We should not also forget those who are currently held hostage in both onshore and offshore detention camps, including some cases where people have been detained for 10 years without release date.

Former offshore and onshore detainee, Ramesh Fernandez says These camps cannot be called processing centres. Australian run offshore refugee camps are a modern form of concentration camps. How do you call this a processing centre when you get locked up 24/7, tortured and humiliated constantly. We should not forget that in November 2015 over 600 refugees and asylum seekers in Manus Island detention camp wrote to Australian PM and immigration minister Peter Dutton calling for mass assisted suicide. This is evidence that refugees and asylum seekers are unable to continue their lives in Manus.

We require support and protection, not incarceration. States have the obligation to uphold our human rights; not exploit us for political gain. We denounce the torture, deportation, abuse and bloodshed occurring in immigration detention centres. We condemn governments, private companies and nonprofit agencies who are part of the detention supply chain.

Furthermore, Ramesh Fernandez says, due to the lack of transparency in these Australian run detention camps, refugee cases have been mishandled, unfairly dismissed and processed without proper adherence to refugee rights protocol. Providing Manus and Nauru  detainees with the impossible ultimatum of settling in PNG or retu...

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