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Thursday, 07 February


Mental health the focus "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Tutors and graduates who have just completed a tailored mental health program in Northern NSW Local Health District. Photo supplied.

One could ponder the idea that there is not more people with metal health issues now than in the past, its just that we are more aware of it these days.

That awareness has seen more people choose a career in mental health, and the arrival of new specialist nurses is set to further improve mental health care in the Northern Rivers and across NSW.

Six new graduates have just completed a tailored mental health program in Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD).

Already half the graduates have new jobs in full-time mental health roles across the district. The remaining three are taking their new skills to the Emergency Department at Lismore Base and other hospitals.

The Transition to Mental Health Nursing Program (TMHNP) has produced 38 graduates since 2012, all with the skills and knowledge to excel in a career in mental health.

This years graduates are so impressive, they are so enthusiastic and are committed to making a positive difference to the mental health of our patients, says Nurse Educator, Ryan Rooney.

Graduates of past programs have continued to build strong careers as Clinical Nurse Educators, acting Nurse Unit Managers, Clinical Nurse Specialists, and Case Managers.

The six people selected for the program each year share clinical rotations in Child and Adolescent Mental Health (Kamala), Community Mental Health, Adult Mental Health (Tallowwood), and Older Persons Mental Health (Lilli Pilli).

We also factor in a fortnightly education session incorporating senior clinicians across the Network presenting information on a wide variety of topics, said Mr Rooney. These include subjects such as evidence-based practice and research, ...


Farmers demand action as extremes intensify "IndyWatch Feed National"

This is from Farmers for Climate Acton. Farmers are at the forefront of the effects of the changing weather and becoming increasingly outspoken about the need to urgently tackle the reality of climate change. We are now in the middle of a drought that covers a large part of the Australian continent, and this and its effects has become the normal pattern over recent decades. This is already harming livelihoods on the land, and if it continues to worsen, the impact across the Australian population will be much greater.

Farmers have called for urgent action to address climate change in the wake of a new report detailing the extent to which climate change has fuelled extreme weather events in 2018.

The report Weather Gone Wild released by Climate Council shows that Australian insurance companies paid out over $1 billion in claims following extreme weather events in 2018, the fourth hottest year on record.

Wentworth farmer Angus Whyte said: The fallout from extreme weather events on farmers is enormous, with much of it impossible to capture in dollar amounts. Just like in Cloncurry in Queensland right now where floods have followed a long dry spell.

At a property level, essential climate-smart agricultural practices, such as maintaining such as ensuring they have high levels of biodiversity and adequate levels of ground cover to help prevent erosion and dust storms, will help. 

Farmers are adaptable but theres only so much we can do. We need urgent leadership from our federal politicians now to stop the devastation from climate change on rural communities.

Katunga dairy farmer Daryl Hoey said: Last year we received less than half our average annual rainfall and water prices rose to the second highest level on record due to low supplies and then low water allocations.

As our climate changes, dairy farming in Northern Victoria is becoming increasingly difficult. This is having a flow on effect to our local communities, as families battle with increased debt or decide to leave the industry and area.

The longer government go without taking decisive action to turn our current trajectory around, the harder those policy decisions will be and the more difficult it will be fo...


Look at Byrons other problem roundabout "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

The sad looking palms at the Ewingsdale roundabout are suffering after the driest January on record. Photo Jeff Dawson

While much has been said about the so-called disco dongat the new Bayshore Drive roundabout, the humble Bangalow palms at the entrance to Ewingsdale Road are dead and dying following the driest January on record.

Not the most propitious welcome for visitors to the Shire, or residents either for that matter.

But a spokesperson for Byron Shire Council says there are no plans to water the established palms, which were planted by RMS but are Councils responsibility to maintain.

Were hoping the rain weve had over the last couple of days will cheer them up a bit and might be followed up with more, the spokesperson said.

Gardening Australia presenter Jerry Coleby-Williams said the situation was an all-too common sight right now all along eastern Australia following the latest unprecedented drought.

Most roundabout plantings [have] shallow soil mixed with residue from excavation and construction work, he said.

Hard surfaces, like bitumen and concrete, reflect more than half the UV that falls on them. They also soak up the heat.

Over a decade ago the CSIRO warned that Australias heat island effect would double by mid-century. That heat increases evaporation, further stressing urban forests during drought.

Turf is a preferable surface to concrete, even in drought it significantly reduces the heat island effect. But when used to underplant an island of palms isolated in a road, turf can outcompete the palms, robbing them of light falls of rain and whatever nutrients are to be found.

Both palms and turfgrasses have surface feeding roots, so theyre in direct competition. But grasses are faster to respond to rainfall and harvest nutrients quicker, he said.

This is the case with the Ewingsdale roundabout planting, which may be part of the reason why the trees are looking so sad.

Despite its reluctance to instigate a watering regime, Jerry said Byron Shire Council stands tall compared to many local governments in its endeavours to nurture rain sensitive landscaping, but adds, this image illustrates how one of Australias mo...


Flood resilience a national focus for SCU "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Lismore floods Photo Tree Faerie

In 2017, Lismore was hit by the most damaging floods in more than 40 years off the back of Cyclone Debbie. There have been too many floods in the Northern Rivers to feel we are safe from more to come.

Looking to the future, Southern Cross University has just unveiled plans to create a new national institute to assist flood-prone communities and build their resilience.

The National Institute for Flood Resilience will be headquartered at the Universitys Lismore campus, which lies at the centre of the most active flood-plain in Australia outside the tropics.

The National Institute will apply a systems approach to flood risk, response and mitigation through critical national and international partnerships.

The National Institute will address exactly the sort of crucial issues being presented by vulnerable flood affected communities across Australia: how to plan, predict and respond to one of natures most savage events.

Nearly 80 per cent of all natural disasters in the world since 1970 have been flood-related.

The new Flood Resilience Institute will build on the existing investment and work undertaken over recent years by Southern Cross University, said Vice Chancellor Adam Shoemaker.

Specifically, this strengthens dramatically the establishment in 2017 of the Southern Cross Centre for Flood Research; and the two decade-long operation here on campus of the emergency evacuation centre for households and businesses in the Lismore region.

The National Institute for Flood Resilience will evaluate and test new approaches to incre...


WHERE THERES SMOKE, THERES CONFUSION? Smiths Alternative, ACT smoking laws & a clash of words "IndyWatch Feed National"

CANBERRA: An incident at popular left-wing venue Smiths Alternative in Canberra city just over a month ago has highlighted once again the confusion around the ACT's smoking laws when it comes to outdoor seating areas. Chris Richards sparks up with this report.


Blasonato wants us to vote for animals "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Putting her money and her love where her mouth is, Animal lover Cathy Blasonato and her fur friend Shanti Cathy rescued Shanti from the streets of Bhutan it took her a year to get her home to Australia. This photo was taken at the quarantine facility in Singapore.

A tireless animal welfare and rights advocate, Cathy Blasonato has been announced as the Animal Justice Party (AJP) candidate for Ballina.

Ms Blasonato, who says that for too long governments have ignored public opinion when it comes to the protection of animals, feels the time is right for animals to get greater representation in the NSW parliament.

Governments have ignored the link between the well-being of animals with our environment and health, she says. Public opinion has never been so strong in favour of animal welfare and the protection of our environment. I want the Northern Rivers to be a leader in compassion and care for all beings, and the environment.

Ms Blasonato says the north coast of New South Wales, like the rest of Australia and the planet, has many challenges. Habitat destruction is rampant, farm land is being degraded, and farmed animals are suffering from lack of fresh pastures and shade.

In the upcoming NSW State election, the Animal Justice Party will be giving a voice to animals and the environment by focusing on three key campaigns: freeing hens from battery cages; protecting our national icon the kangaroo; and taking urgent action to address climate change by protecting our existing native forests and marine habitats, setting a renewable energy target and investigating and introducing more sustainable agricultural systems.

A vote for the AJP will send a strong message that people do care about animals and the environment.

Our goals are to provide stronger protection for animals and the environment, and to hold the government accountable over their treatment of both.

The post Blasonato wants us to vote for animals appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Highlighting Northern Rivers homelessness crisis "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Lismore Greens candidate Sue Higginson. Photo David Lowe

Homelessness and an ever increasing number of working homeless is becoming the new norm across the nation and the need for roofs over heads and services to deal with the issue are also on the rise.

To highlight the problem, Greens candidate for the seat of Lismore Sue Higginson, will sleep overnight in Knox Park, Murwillumbah, to highlight the problem. 

The most vulnerable people in Murwillumbah are sleeping rough in Knox Park, she said. Its become renowned as an increasingly unsafe area, with youths setting off petrol bombs recently, loud fights a regular occurrence and residents calling for an increased police presence there after the death of Murwillumbah local Charlie Larter last June.

Homelessness has become an epidemic

Ms Higginson says that under the Coalition government, homelessness has become an epidemic exacerbated by cruel economic policies and inaction. With 288,000 people seeking official homelessness assistance last year, it is now an issue facing many ordinary Australians, including families who cant manage mortgage stress or find rentals. 

The largest single demographic for homelessness in the near future will be women over 50.



The truth about dividend imputation/franking credits that Morrison and Co are not telling you "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Example low taxable income A self-funded retiree couple has a $3.2 million super balance, plus their own home, and $200,000 in Australian shares held outside super. Even after drawing $130,000 a year in superannuation income, and $15,000 a year in dividend income, they would report a combined taxable income of $15,000, and pay no income tax at all. [Australian Labor Party, Fact Sheet, 2018]

In 1987 the Hawke Labor Government introduced legislation which changed taxation law regarding dividend imputation/franking dividends.

In order for tax on dividends not to be paid twice once by the company issuing the dividends via underlying company tax on profits and once by the shareholding receiving those dividends it introduced franking credits. Whereby the tax on dividends for which the shareholder has previously been liable was credited to them for use in a given financial year to offset all or part of their tax liability for that year*.

Any excess franking credits could not be used as there was no shareholder...


Freemasons help Byron roll along "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Freemasons Grand Master for NSW and the ACT, Derek Robson AM centre, with local Freemasons and Byron hospital staff. Photo supplied.

If youre a hospital, you can never have too many wheelchairs and Byron Central Hospital (BCH) has just received five new sets  thanks to a donation from the local Freemasons Lodge in conjunction with their Grand Charity MasoniCare.

Freemasons Grand Master for NSW and the ACT, Derek Robson AM, travelled to Byron Bay to present the chairs to the hospital staff.

One of the new wheelchairs will be used at the front entrance of the hospital to assist incoming patients, while the other four will be used in the emergency department and inpatient unit.

Byron Central Hospital Deputy Director of Nursing Tracey Brooke said the five chairs will make a huge difference. Were thrilled to be receiving yet another generous donation from Freemasons Byron Bay who have supported us for a number of years, she said.

New wheelchairs arent cheap at about $500 each,, but having even a few more means we can move patients around the hospital much more efficiently and safely.

Just today we used one of the new wheelchairs to take a patient from their bed to get some fresh air and sunshine outside. Grandmaster Robson said Freemasons NSW had now given more than 250 wheelchairs to hospitals around the state.

It is really great to see the excellent work our lodges are doing across NSW, he said.

The Byron Bay Freemasons have now raised more than $12,000 for the Byron Central Hospital in the last few years. It is one of many local organisations we like to support.

The post Freemasons help Byron roll along appeared first on Echonetdaily.


MACKAY Police smash drug ring in Whitsundays "IndyWatch Feed National"

MACKAY February 06, 2019 at 01:22PM ,

Police smash drug ring in Whitsundays

February 06, 2019 at 01:22PM ,

A 28-year-old Mackay woman has been charged with one count of trafficking dangerous drugs and will appear at the Mackay Magistrates Court on

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MACKAY 26 people charged in drug sting "IndyWatch Feed National"

MACKAY February 06, 2019 at 01:22PM ,

26 people charged in drug sting

February 06, 2019 at 01:22PM ,

He appeared at the Mackay Magistrates Court on February 2. He appeared at the Mackay Magistrates Court on February 5 and was remanded in

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Imagine a world where everyone was just like AOC "IndyWatch Feed National"

A world where no one had to do any work. Where everyone got to sit back and chill. And talk absolute crap until the cows come home. Just listen this woman! How did she get elected? What is wrong with America? Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) February 5, 2019


Loggers still breaching their environmental obligations in Northern NSW state forests "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

North East Forest Alliance, media release, 1 February 2019:


The North East Forest Alliance is claiming there is no justice for forests after the EPA on Wednesday confirmed numerous breaches of the Forestry Corporation's Threatened Species Licence in Gibberagee State Forest (east of Whiporie) but yet again issued useless cautions and warnings rather than fines and prosecutions for these serial offenders.

"Over the past decade NEFA have exposed the Forestry Corporation committing thousands of legal breaches of their environmental obligations, with the EPA confirming hundreds more breaches in the last few months from NEFA's audits of Gibberagee and Sugarloaf State Forest", said NEFA Spokesperson Dailan Pugh.

"Yet the EPA have never taken the Forest Corporation to court, despite commitments to do so, and in January 2016 they made the political decision not to issue fines....

Wednesday, 06 February


PERTH Former Perth private school teacher faces child-sex charges "IndyWatch Feed National"

snip .

Former Perth private school teacher faces child-sex charges .

February 06, 2019 at 04:45PM .

Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. He had his case adjourned in Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday and will next .


PERTH Ex-teacher faces child sex charges in WA "IndyWatch Feed National"

snip .

Ex-teacher faces child sex charges in WA .

February 06, 2019 at 04:11PM .

A 70-year-old former private school teacher has appeared briefly in court on child sex offences allegedly committed against a 15-year-old male .



MACKAY Whitsunday police bust drug ring after ice-trafficking investigation "IndyWatch Feed National"

MACKAY February 06, 2019 at 02:55PM ,

Whitsunday police bust drug ring after ice-trafficking investigation

February 06, 2019 at 02:55PM ,

East Mackay Hideaway Bay Proserpine Cannonvale Whitsunday Mackay Magistrates Court Bowen Magistrates Court Queensland Police

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Introducing the people Bill Shorten & The Greens want to bring to Australia "IndyWatch Feed National"

Thanks to Jill Jacks for the video! THIS is who Bill Shorten wants to bring to Australia. #CREDLIN Remember when Tony Abbott kept them out. #THEBOLTREPORT ALP / GREENS and the Left in the Liberal Party want to open the borders again. LISTEN CLOSELY ! #PMLIVE @theboltreport LABOR BOATS FOR...


Bill Shorten makes cleaning up corruption an election issue. Game on Bill. "IndyWatch Feed National"

Be careful what you wish for Bill Shorten. There's a team of skilled investigators associated with this website. And you are a person of interest to them. Who do you trust to clean up the banks and stand up to the top end of town? Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp)...


"Unrequited Justice" - lawyer Julian Lucas's new book on Julia Gillard's crimes "IndyWatch Feed National"

Julian Lucas is a humble, uncomplicated, man. He's also fearless. He's just produced a 30,000 word book, a scholarly analysis of the Trade Union Royal Commission's investigation into The AWU Scandal. It's no mean feat to take on and critique former High Court Justice John Dyson Heydon AC QC as...


I need your support right now "IndyWatch Feed National"

I won't give up on this mission, but I can't go it alone. I need your support, right now, to keep going. If you've not helped out in the past, could I ask that you give it a go? Cracking out the popcorn and watching from the sidelines isn't all...


Letter shows Morrison and banks worked together "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed by Joe Montero

Anger is building around how the Morrison government is handling the release of the Commissioner Haynes report from the bank Royal Commission.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, the Prime minister and other senior figured in the government, have kept what the government will actually do, close to their chests. The problem is, with an election in sight, there is plenty of promise to implement the recommendations in the report, but no substance or time line.

The suspicion is, that this is about buying time and sweeping the matter under the carpet.

All indications are, that any changes will be left in the hands of the regulators. The trouble is that they are part of the problem. Misconduct would not have gone nearly as far as it did if there had been proper regulation. Expect very little change.

Commissioner Haynes gave the regulators a special serve. For knowing whats going on and sitting on their hands. He suggested taking the responsibility from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and handing it over to a Department of Public Prosecutions style agency with teeth.

Nobody wants to hear the treasurer boo-hoo-hooing and saying sorry. What people want to know is, what decisive action is going to be taken to put an end to it and make those responsible for wrongdoing accountable.

Meanwhile, we hear the Bankers Association suggesting that the findings are a wakeup call (could they say anything else), and promises the banks are already starting to regulate themselves better. Can they be trusted? Not on your life.

Here is the danger. If the coalition manages to return to government, the most probable scenario is a tilt at bank self-regulation. We know where this has led us before.

The government had been dragged in by the weight of public opinion, internal division and restlessness within the backbench. In the process it lost substantial control. Imagine what could have been revealed if the terms of reference had been broader. As it is, the Morrison government still doesnt like what has come out of the exercise one little bit, and find themselves trying to mop up the spill.

Everyone knows that there has long been a connection between the government and the banks. They and their major shareholders are significant contributors to the Liberal and National parties. These days, they do not hand out money directly. It would be bad public relations. But they do pass it along through other channels.

CEOs and other senior bank figures sit on a host of organisations and committees, where they regularly rub shoulders with senior politicians.

Just how cosy their association is and the lengths to wh...


State govt offers $4m for Ballina innovation precinct "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

L to R: Ballina Mayor David Wright, Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW Ben Franklin, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Manager of Commercial Services, Ballina Council Paul Tsikleas at the site of the new Southern Cross Innovation Precinct. Photo supplied

While the regions roads continue to crumble, the Berjiklian government has found $3.95 million from the to create an innovation and enterprise precinct on land owned by Ballina Shire Council near the airport.

Ballina Nationals candidate Ben Franklin says he hopes the site could be the future home of a previously mooted INXS Music Museum.

Deputy premier and minister for regional NSW John Barilaro joined Mr Franklin and Ballina mayor David Wright to announce the first, three-hectare stage of the development.

Positioning this precinct near Ballina airport, the second largest in regional NSW and still growing, will give businesses a tremendous advantage, providing them with convenient access to freight routes as well as arriving tourists, Mr Franklin said.

There is a great demand for more industrial land close to the airport and a number of potential business investors have already expressed interest in setting up their operations in the new innovation precinct.

This funding will enable preparation work to be undertaken, including earthworks, roadworks, storm water drainage, electrical, communications and water mains services, so businesses can begin building the day they move into the precinct.

Mr Franklin said the proposed X Building, which could house the INXS Music Museum as well as an arts, business and entertainment hub, would provide a tremendous boost to the local tourism economy.

INXS took Australian rock to the world and captivated the planet for more than three decades, selling more than 55 million albums globally, and I look forward to seeing how plans for a museum paying tribute to them progresses, Mr Franklin said.

Mr Barilaro said the NSW Government was taking action to provide businesses with the infrastructure they need to succeed, allowing them to focus on expanding their operations and creating new jobs.



Pan-African News Wire "IndyWatch Feed National"

Japan Eyes Global Military Footprint to Expand Political Clout
By Zhou Yongsheng
Global Times
2019/2/5 11:21:05

In April and July, Japan signed the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), a military logistics pact, with Canada and France respectively. The Japanese government will try to get it approved by the National Diet this year. Canada and France are also advancing domestic procedures for its approval.

The agreement will enable the provision of food, fuel and military supplies between Japan's Self-Defense Forces (SDF) and French and Canadian armies. Japan has also inked ACSAs with the US, UK, Australia and India. Why did Japan sign such an agreement?

After WWII, especially in the late 1960s when Japan became an economic powerhouse, it was no longer satisfied with its status as a military microstate.

In the mid-1980s, Japan accelerated the pace to push its SDF onto the world stage with the aim of becoming a major political power.

In 1996, Japan signed the ACSA with the US, followed by one with Australia in 2010. After the new security law took effect on March 29, 2016, Japan amended the two ACSAs, which enabled more flexible provision of ammunition in wartime between the signatories.

Meanwhile, Japan continued signing agreements with other countries, one with the UK in 2017 and another with India the following year. By exploiting the power of these regional countries, Japan aims to secure military provisions for its SDF in the Indo-Pacific region from the US, Canada, Australia and India and in the North Atlantic region from the US, UK, France and Canada.

This has laid the foundation for Japan to broaden its SDF military activities and ensure military provision with its partners. It is a small-scale bilateral military alliance system centered on Japan. This shows Japan's long-term strategic plan.

Since the 21st century, Japan has clearly labeled China as its biggest real and potential rival. Especially since Shinzo Abe took office, he spared no efforts containing China. During Abe's first term, the Japanese government raised the idea of the "arc of freedom and prosperity." When he became Prime Minister for a second time, the policies advocated....


A crisis in communication: on social isolation "IndyWatch Feed National"

Id been using the internet a lot. I wondered, was I addicted? Behavioural scientists have linked internet addiction with social isolation. The three subtypes of addiction are: online gaming, sexual preoccupations, and excessive emailing or texting involving a constant compulsion to message or check messages. Did I have any of these? I did check my messages a lot. They were always disappointing. There was no message, ever, that could be big enough to stop up the gap inside me.


Baker Boy, Yothu Yindi & more for Boomerang Festival "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Bundjalung countrys very own world-class Indigenous Arts & Culture Festival, Boomerang Festival is back for 2019 with a stellar line-up including Yothu Yindi & The Treaty Project, Young Australian of the Year Baker Boy, DOBBY and many more.

Boomerang Festival is performed within Bluesfest so to attend, you must hold a Bluesfest 2019 ticket.


Our festival within a festival, at Bluesfest, is one of our highlights. It is a musical and sensory delight. We have the best artists and dancers from Australia and surrounding regions.

The dance troupes are thrilling and to have a musical showcase presenting the Young Australian of the Year; the incredible Baker Boy, the legendary Archie Roach, Yothu Yindi & the Treaty Project, Mojo Juju, the Mission Songs, Benny Walker and much much more this is a dream bill for us! The incredibly popular Te Kopere Maori Healers will return providing their very special talents, the local Bundjalung weavers will impart customary weaving techniques in our kids tent in a way where children, and adults alike, can not only learn these skills, they can also have a very special First Nations experience and enjoy a cup of tea with an elder.

Once again, the local Arakwal people will welcome you to their country, as will the peoples of the Bundjalung tribe of our area, come and immerse yourself in Boomerang on a very personal level.

My partner Rhoda Roberts AO and I, as the Boomerang Festival Directors, invite you to experience this wonderful event. Many have said the Closing Ceremony is one of the most moving experiences, not only of Bluesfest, but, of their lives.

Please come by, Im sure you will be back!

Peter Noble, OAM
Festival Director


The post Baker Boy, Yothu Yindi & more for Boomerang Festival appeared first on...


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IndyWatch Bellingen NSW All Topics Summary Archiver

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