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Friday, 08 February

00:16

Chickens coming home to roost for Australian Treasurer and former banker Josh Frydenberg North Coast Voices


When a Liberal Treasurer and former banker meets with a royal commissioner whose banking and finance inquiry he (along with the rest of the Turnbull-Morrison Government) tried to nobble.................

The Sydney Morning, 1 February 2019:

Its known, in the game, as a picture opportunity.

Politician on the make meets constituent/kiddie/moviestar/public figure, hands are grasped, big smiles, cameras whir, flashes pop and the happy little circus moves on.
Sometimes, it doesnt work so well. The kiddie bursts into tears. Sometimes, its a bust. The movie stars smile is so radiant the politician may as well have stayed in bed.

And then theres the day the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, met the royal commissioner, Kenneth Hayne.

...

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Thursday, 07 February

11:34

Baker Boy to appear at Boomerang 2019 Byron Bay Echonetdaily

Talented Indigenous rapper, dancer, artist and actor, Baker Boy is also the 2019 Young Australian of the Year.

If you havent heard of Baker Boy, then you need to. Danzal Baker, known professionally as Baker Boy is an exceptionally talented Indigenous rapper, dancer, artist, and actor. Baker Boy is known for performing original hip-hop songs incorporating both English and Yolu Matha and hes coming to the 2019 Boomerang Festival, Bundjalung countrys very own world-class Indigenous Arts & Culture Festival within a festival.

Boomerang Festival as part of Bluesfest is back for 2019 with a stellar line-up including Yothu Yindi & The Treaty Project, DOBBY and many more including Baker Boy.

In Arnhem Land, they call Baker Boy the fresh new prince! Raised in the remote NT communities of Yurrwi and Maningrida, Danzal Baker has reached huge success of late, winning Young Australian of the Year along with a string of other accolades on his belt including The Age Music Victoria Awards, National Live Music Awards, National Indigenous Music Awards and Dreamtime Awards.

This strikingly talented artist on an undeniable rise is now playing Boomerang and Bluesfest 2019 and organisers are all excited to welcome the young Yolngu hip-hop talent to Byron Bay.

Our festival within a festival, at Bluesfest, is one of our highlights, says festival director Peter Noble. It is a musical and sensory delight.

Initially launched in 2017, Yothu Yindi & The Treaty Project will be a highlight of Boomerang. Their aim is to raise awareness around the need for treaty with Australias First Nations people. In this exciting new, electronica-driven formation, founding members of Yothu Yindi Witiyana Marika, Stu Kellaway and Kevin Malngay Yunupingu are joined onstage by former band members and popular Indigenous singer/songwriters. For Boomerang Festival they will be joined by special guest, Yirrmal who will be singing lead.

Noble says Boomerang will host the best artists and dancers from Austral...

08:37

Mental health the focus Local News Echonetdaily

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, ...

08:10

Look at Byrons other problem roundabout Local News Echonetdaily

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...

08:10

Flood resilience a national focus for SCU Local News Echonetdaily

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...

07:47

Blasonato wants us to vote for animals Local News Echonetdaily

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.

07:16

Highlighting Northern Rivers homelessness crisis Local News Echonetdaily

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.

...

07:13

The truth about dividend imputation/franking credits that Morrison and Co are not telling you North Coast Voices


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...

07:02

Freemasons help Byron roll along Local News Echonetdaily

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.

00:15

Loggers still breaching their environmental obligations in Northern NSW state forests North Coast Voices



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

EPA ENCOURAGES ILLEGAL LOGGING BY REPEATEDLY LETTING FORESTRY OFF

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

15:31

State govt offers $4m for Ballina innovation precinct Local News Echonetdaily

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.

We...

10:39

Baker Boy, Yothu Yindi & more for Boomerang Festival Byron Bay Blog

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.

A NOTE FROM THE FESTIVAL DIRECTOR

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

FOR THE FULL LINE-UP SEE BOOMERANGFESTIVAL.COM.AU

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

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