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Tuesday, 19 December


Turnbull Government's data retention privacy blunder just rolls on and on... North Coast Voices

If data can be re-identified with no more than SQL, there's no "if" about a leak, and the "when" is history. [Journalist Richard Chirgwin, Twitter18 December 2017]

But why are medical records so attractive? Well, it turns out that theres a metaphorical holiday feast of enticing data served up in your average health record. Family history, demographic data, insurance information, medications, etc. means theres enough information to completely steal an individuals identity and commit medication fraud, financial fraud, insurance fraud and a wide array of other crimes. When this very private, unchangeable information gets into the wrong hands, devastation can ensue. [Robert Lord writing in Forbes, 15 December 2017]

First the Australian general public were told that patient data was well protected and data breaches wouldn't happen as a result of government's drive to collect, cross-match and retain as much information about each and every Australian citizen/permanent resident as possible.

Then when the inevitable day came where poor data security was laid bare - as the personal histories of 550,000 blood donors were placed on an insecure computer and accessed, as Medicare details began to be offered for sale on the Internet's dark web and Medicare itself became carele...


Australian Labor Party will not support Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card) Bill 2017 in its current form North Coast Voices

Labor MP for Jagajaga and Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services Jenny Macklin, media release. 5 December 2017:


Federal Labor will support the continuation of the existing cashless debit card trial sites in Ceduna and the East Kimberley. 

However Labor will not support the rollout of the cashless debit card to the two new proposed sites of Bundaberg and the Goldfields due to insufficient consultation with these communities, and the widespread criticism of the evaluation and the effectiveness of the card.

After conducting our own consultations with people in Bundaberg and the Goldfields and hearing evidence from the Senate Inquiry, it has become clear that Labor cannot support Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card) Bill 2017 in its current form. 

Labor believes that there is insufficient credible evidence at this point to support the establishment of further trials of the cashless debit card. 

The flawed Orima Evaluation of the existing trials in Ceduna and the East Kimberley was inconclusive.


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Monday, 18 December


Phil Dudman spoke on Pruning and Propogating Fruit Trees at The Fernmount Food Forest Bellingen Seed Savers

Phil Dudman presented on a large screen TV

Twenty Bellingen Seedsavers had an excellent guest speaker experience when  Phil Dudman (writer and presenter from the Organic Garden and ABC Garden Show) visited the Fernmount Food Forest to speak on Fruit Tree Pruning and propogating and much more.

On the screen: A commercial fig tree farm with low pruned trees

The message most of us took away was to prune the main structure of fruit trees down to an easy pick level and that means with some trees, figs and mulberries for instance, down to waist high. What a great idea!

Seedsavers gathering on the verandah

Various pics from the Fernmount Food Forest



Bundjalung land-rights fighter remembered Local News Echonetdaily

Thursdays (December 14) commemoration for Sol Bellear at St Martins Church, Mullumbimby. Photo Jeff Dawson

Fighter for Aboriginal Land Rights and justice Solomon David Sol Bellear, died peacefully in his home aged 66 in Sydney on Wednesday, November 29. A state funeral was held on Saturday, December 9 attended by more than 1,000 people and his final service at St Martins Anglican Church in Mullumbimby overflowed as people paid their respects.

Sol, a Bundjalung man, moved to Sydney as a teenager after the 1967 Referendum and was brought back to country to be buried on December 14.

Over five decades, Sols achievements are considerable, said NSW Aboriginal Land Council Chair Roy Ah-See.

Sol was the inaugural Chair of the Aboriginal Legal Service, Chair of the community-controlled Aboriginal Medical Service Redfern, founding member of the Aboriginal Housing Company and served as Deputy Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) in the 1990s.

Sol was also involved in and inspired by social justice movements for First Nations Peoples in North America, the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and spent time working in solidarity with the Black Panther movement in the United States.

Visiting the US as part of the UN General Assembly Aboriginal delegation, Sol then remained in the US for another six months working with the Black Panthers.

Sol was also graded by the South Sydney Rabbithos in the 1970s but was dumped after raising a black power salute following a try. He nonetheless continued with his passion for rugby at the Koori Knockout, representing the Redfern All Blacks at the first Knockout in 1971 followed by time with the Louis Street Dodgers and Wollumbin Warriors. He later became a director of South Sydney Rabbithos, mentoring many up-coming stars.

Sol stood for many things including self-determination, proper treaties with our people, Aboriginal control of our peoples health and legal services, Land Rights and a better understanding of our history, said his family in a statement.

Although, Sol achieved many great victories, much of this work remained unfinished at the end of his life. We ask all those who loved Sol to please continue his work so that the vision he had...


Lismore to consider four rescission motions tonight Local News Echonetdaily

The proposed expansion area for the Lismore Square Shopping Centre proposal.

An extraordinary meeting of the Lismore City Council will tonight consider four rescission motions lodged following last weeks meeting.

Artists impression of the ski jump that was rejected by the Ballina Shire Council.

The items subject to the motions were the Lismore Square Shopping Centre $90 million expansion;whether to proceed with negotiations over an Olympic Ski Jump facility; a special business rate variation; and an extra 20 races each year at the Lismore Greyhound Racing track.

Photo AngMoKio, Wikimedia Commons

Greens councillors Vanessa Ekins and Adam Guise joined with Cr Eddie Lloyd in lodging the rescission motions against the ski jump, the shopping centre expansion and the greyhound racing.

The special business rate variation motion was for the council to apply to the NSW Independent Pricing & Regulator Tribunal (IPART) for a permanent Business Special Rate Variation (SRV) at a rate pegged level of $120,000 per annum, commencing 1 July 2018.

Crs Greg Bennet, Nancy Casson and Adam Guise lodged the rescission motion to reverse the decision to proceed.

At the end of last Thursdays meeting, only seven of the 29 items on the agenda had been dealt with.

A council spokesperson said those items had been deferred until the first cou...


Explosion rips through illegal camp at Mullumbimby Local News Echonetdaily

A section of the illegal camp destroyed by fire. (supplied)

A camping stove exploded in a fire at an illegal campsite in Mullumbimby on Saturday night prompting calls from nearby residents for Byron Shire Council to deal with the problem.

Stuart Street resident Dale Rhodes said a drug-fueled party was underway at the campsite when the fire got out of control.

Mr Rhodes said part of the camp became an inferno and the camping stove exploded with sufficient force to shake the windows of a house across the creek.

It is something of a miracle that no-one was hurt, he said.

Mr Rhodes said residents along Stuart and Station Street had been lobbying the council to take action on the illegal campers for years.

Illegal camping at or near the Community Gardens has been an ongoing issue for years, he said.

Despite literally hundreds of complaints to council, council has made innumerable promises but has never once taken any action against illegal campers.

Council has had years to formulate and implement a policy on this.

For instance, nominate a suitable area where people in need can camp, with essential facilities provided. However council has ignored the issue totally, leaving residents to bear the brunt of seriously toxic smoke, human excrement, etc.

Mr Rhodes said the fire brigade was called, for the second time this month, and extinguished the blaze around midnight.

The post Explosion rips through illegal camp at Mullumbimby appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Woman stabbed, robbed, sexually assaulted in Lismore home Local News Echonetdaily

A woman was stabbed, robbed and sexually assaulted by an intruder in her Lismore home in the early hours of Saturday morning (December 16) and police are appealing for public assistance as they investigate the incident.

Sometime after 4am, the 43-year-old woman, who was alone in her home on Little Keen Street, woke to find an unknown man inside.

Police have been told the man, armed with a knife, threatened the woman and, following a struggle, sexually assaulted her.

The man demanded money and during a further struggle, hit the woman on the head with an object.

The woman screamed, alerting neighbours, and the man fled.

The woman was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics for facial injuries and lacerations to her hands, arms, and back.

She was taken to Lismore Base Hospital. Her injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Officers from Richmond Police District attended and commenced investigations but, despite a search of the area, the man has not been found.

As inquiries continue, investigators are trying to identify a man described as being of Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander appearance, aged in his late teens/early 20s, with black curly hair, and green eyes.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page:


The post Woman stabbed, robbed, sexually assaulted in Lismore home appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Kingscliff man charged after police dog bites him Local News Echonetdaily

A Kingscliff man was hospitalised after a Queensland police dog bit him on Saturday night (December 16). He has since been charged with drug possession, dangerous driving and not stopping for police.

About 10.45pm a Tweed/Byron police officer attempted to stop a Queensland registered Holden Barina sedan on Chinderah Bay Drive, Chinderah.

When the car failed to stop, a police commenced a pursuit, which continued northbound on the Pacific Motorway, reaching speeds of up to 170km/h.

Police terminated the pursuit due to dangerous manner in which the vehicle was being driven and soon afterwards the Barina collided with a truck on the Motorway at Tugun, Queensland.

The two male occupants of the Barina fled on foot from the car.

Queensland Police used a police dog to track the men and a 40-year-old man from Kingscliff was located a short distance away.

The police dog bit the man, who was treated at the scene by ambulance officers and later taken to Tweed Heads Hospital for further treatment.

On release, he was taken to Tweed Heads Police Station where police allegedly located amphetamines and $2245.00 cash on him.

He was charged with passenger not disclosing a drivers name, possessing a prohibited drug and goods in custody suspected of being stolen.

He was bailed to appear before Tweed Heads Local Court on January 8, 2018.

The other male has not yet been identified and investigations are ongoing. If any member of the public has any information please contact crime stoppers 1800 000 333 or Tweed Heads Police Station on 07 5506 9499.


The post Kingscliff man charged after police dog bites him appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Man charged over property stolen from Tweed Council facilities Local News Echonetdaily

Tweed/Byron police detectives have arrested a man over a spate of thefts from Tweed Shire Council facilities.

In October they raided a house at Palmvale allegedly seizing a wrench, circular saw and hammer drill that had been stolen from council depots together with a laser dumpy level, concrete saw and petrol blower missing from the councils sewerage treatment plant.

Police also seized a number plate that allegedly belongs to a car stolen from Coolangatta six years ago and a number of tools such as concrete drills, concrete cutting saws, generator and hammer drills of unknown origin, valued at around $20,000.

On the December 15, police arrested a 26-year-old man from Banora Point. He was taken to Tweed Heads Police Station and charged with receiving stolen property and goods in custody suspected of being stolen.

The man was bailed to appear before the Tweed Heads Local Court today (Monday December 18).

The post Man charged over property stolen from Tweed Council facilities appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Five years on and the Royal Commission into Insitutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse formally closes North Coast Voices

Then Australian Labour Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced her intention to call a royal commission into child sexual abuse on 12 November 2012.

By 11 January 2013 six commissioners had been appointed and on 3 April 2013 the first of fifty-seven public hearings was underway.

These public hearings conducted 57 case studies, 30 of which examined responses to child sexual abuse in religious institutions.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse formally closed on 15 December 2017 when it presented its final report to the Governor-General.

By that time the Royal Commission had heard evidence from nearly 8,000 historic abuse survivors with 6,875 survivors being heard in private sessions, of whom 4,029 (58.6 per cent) spoke about child sexual abuse in religious institutions. 

There were more allegations of child sexual abuse in relation to the Catholic Church than any other religious organisation, followed by the Anglican Church, The Salvation Army and others.  

ABC News created this graph on 15 December 2017:


And right-wing politicians still wonder why the general public is in favour of a genuine federal royal commission into banks and bankers? North Coast Voices

Is it any wonder reading this that the Australian Government was finally compelled to call  a royal commission into banks and banking practices commencing in 2018.

ABC News, 14 December 2017:

The Commonwealth Bank's ongoing woes around alleged systematic money laundering operations by criminal gangs and terrorists have deepened, with fresh claims the contraventions are continuing.

The allegations were raised as AUSTRAC filed a further 100 alleged breaches of Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) as part of the existing Federal Court proceeding being run by the Government's financial transactions watchdog.

In one case, a client who had been convicted of terrorism charges in Lebanon, and was known to have tried to organise funding for terrorist acts in Australia, was given 30 days' notice of the closure of his CBA account before AUSTRAC was even alerted.

He also managed to withdraw funds from the account more than a week after it was supposedly closed.

"On 20 July 2017, CommBank erroneously processed a transfer of $5,000 from CommBank Account 184 [the alleged terrorist funder] to an account held by Person 138 [his brother] in Lebanon in spite of suspecting terrorism financing in relation to an identical attempted transfer on 19 June 2017," AUSTRAC's new court statement alleged.


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Sunday, 17 December


In Australia 90% of the population read news media North Coast Voices


The Australian Financial Reviews weekday edition increased its print readership by 14.9 per cent to 347,000 people during the 12 months ending in August. The AFR Weekend rose 4.8 per cent to 130,000 people. The weekday Australian increased its print readers by 5.6 per cent in the past 12 months. The papers weekday audience rose 26,000 to 494,000, while the Weekend Australian was up 2.8 per cent to 590,000 for the 12 months ending in August, according to the Enhanced Media Metrics Australia statistics.

The Sydney Morning Herald fell 3.5 per cent to 640,000 people Monday to Friday, while its Saturday edition was down 8.4 per cent to 655,000. In Melbourne, weekday print readership of News Corps Herald Sun fell 5.1 per cent to 1.190 million, while the papers Saturday edition dropped 7.3 per cent to 974,000 readers. The Age fell 8.7 per cent to 549,000 readers, with the Saturday edition down 11.4 per cent to 522,000.

The Australians total combined audience across print and digital platforms was 3.159 million, down 4.1 per cent on the year. Sydneys Daily Telegraph was the best performing of the state-based News Corp papers, with its Monday-to-Friday edition up 1 per cent to 1.003 million readers; its Saturday edition rose 4.7 per cent to 798,000 readers. The Sunday Telegraph print readership fell 5 per cent to 1.027 million readers.

Emma found 13.1 million Australians 70 per cent of the population read news media electronically on smartphones, tablets, mobiles or computers. Across all platforms, including print, news media was read by 16.7 million people, 90 per cent of the population.



Shark management on the NSW North Coast North Coast Voices

Senate Environment and Communications References Committee, Inquiry Report, Shark mitigation and deterrent measures, December 2017:

List of recommendations
Recommendation 1
8.19 The committee recommends that the New South Wales and Queensland Governments:
* immediately replace lethal drum lines with SMART drum lines; and
* phase out shark meshing programs and increase funding and support fo...

Saturday, 16 December


Ballot Count starts Bennelong Federal By-election, Saturday 16 December 2017 North Coast Voices

Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) Virtual Tally Room count begins after 6.30pm.

See for rolling results of Bennelong by-election.

ABC News 24 live by-election coverage at


Tweet of the Week North Coast Voices

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