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Saturday, 13 October


10 essentials for caravanning with kids Practising Simplicity

I feel like every caravan post I write should come with a precursor: we are novices and were literally learning as we go.

Before we packed up our house/life and embarked on this journey, I had a very vague idea of what would be most useful on the road. But I suppose I never really considered that this is our new normal; its not a small holiday stint for holiday habits. Instead, weve taken 10 weeks to slowly but surely create an on-the-road-rhythm that I tweak when necessary.

Our everyday essentials are quality products that are, above anything else, practical. The kids are literally spending the whole day outside and they are rough and tough on their clothes and shoes, hats and drink bottles. As for everything else; theyre the little things that make each day safer and easier which ultimately makes van life more comfortable and enjoyable.

If youre considering travelling with kids, dont feel like you need to rush out and buy new things. Sure, theres a product for every single travelling purpose but that doesnt mean you need to buy them all. Use what youve got, buy pre-loved and, if you need to buy new, choose quality so it lasts. Heres my top 10 essentials:



The Weekend Quiz October 13-14, 2018 answers and discussion "IndyWatch Feed"

Here are the answers with discussion for this Weekends Quiz. The information provided should help you work out why you missed a question or three! If you havent already done the Quiz from yesterday then have a go at it before you read the answers. I hope this helps you develop an understanding of modern monetary theory (MMT) and its application to macroeconomic thinking. Comments as usual welcome, especially if I have made an error.

Question 1:

Assume that inflation is stable, there is excess productive capacity, and the central bank maintains its current monetary policy setting. In this situation, if government spending increases by $X dollars and private investment and exports are unchanged nominal income will continue growing until the sum of taxation revenue, import spending and household saving rises by more than $X dollars because of the multiplier.

The answer is False.

This question relates to the concept of a spending multiplier and the relationship between spending injections and spending leakages.

We have made the question easy by assuming that only government spending changes (exogenously) in period one and then remains unchanged after that.

Aggregate demand drives output which then generates incomes (via payments to the productive inputs). Accordingly, what is spent will generate income in that period which is available for use. The uses are further consumption; paying taxes and/or buying imports.

We consider imports as a separate category (even though they reflect consumption, investment and government spending decisions) because they constitute spending which does not recycle back into the production process. They are thus considered to be leakages from the expenditure system.

So if for every dollar produced and paid out as income, if the economy imports around 20 cents in the dollar, then only 80 cents is available within the system for spending in subsequent periods excluding taxation considerations.

However there are two other leakages which arise from domestic sources saving and taxation. Take taxation first. When income is produced, the households end up with less than they are paid out in gross terms because the government levies a tax. So the income concept available for subsequent spending is called disposable income (Yd).

To keep it simple, imagine a proportional tax of 20 cents in the dollar is levied, so if $100 of income is generated, $20 goes to taxation and Yd is $80 (what is left). So taxation (T) is a leakage from the expenditure system in the same way as imports are.

Finally consider saving. Consumers make decisions to...


An alt-right, all-male, racist, anti-semitic, pro nuclear group aims to join Liberal-National politics "IndyWatch Feed"

Is Australias ruling Liberal-National coalition even more in danger from the extreme right-wing than we thought?    This all-male crowd likes violence fighting (The Lads Society), racism, anti-semitism, and of course  coal and nuclear power.
Manifesto reveals alt-rights plans to go mainstream after infiltration of NSW Young Nationals


PNG Governments censor film on Australian developer takeover "IndyWatch Feed National"

[Video inside] An internationally acclaimed film of Paga Hill communitys fight for justice from the illegal eviction and demolition of their homes in downtown Port Moresby has been banned from screening today at the PNG Human Rights Festival. It is known as 'The Opposition Film'. See trailer and details of showings here. There is a lot of Australian involvement in this disgraceful powerplay, including NSW court system and Australian developers. However, what is happening in PNG is also happening to Australians, who mostly fail to realise that they are also being treated and exploited like a 'developing country'.

The ban highlights the lingering limits on free speech in our country and the continued attempts to censor our story of resistance against gross human rights violations [1], claimed Paga Hill leader Joe Moses, the main character in The Opposition film who had to seek exile in the United Kingdom after fighting for his communitys rights.[2],[3]

This censorship comes as a deep disappointment for my community who have suffered greatly over the past 6 years.

The Opposition film tells the David-and-Goliath battles of a community evicted, displaced, abandoned their homes completely demolished at the hands of two Australian-run companies, Curtain Brothers and Paga Hill Development Company, and the PNG state. What was once home to 3000 people of up to four generations, Paga Hill is now part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit AELM Precinct which will take place this November.[4],[5]

Mr. Moses continued, We appreciate the PNG Human Rights Film Festival for choosing to screen The Opposition film at their Madang and Port Moresby screenings.

It is shameful that our government continues to limit free speech and put such pressure on our countrys only annual arts and human rights event. How does this make us look to the world leaders who will be coming here for the APEC meeting in November?

Under the theme Tokautnau long senisim tumora" (Speak up today to change tomorrow) the mission of the PNG Human Rights Film Festival includes We are all born free and equal in dignity and rights and that the international and local human rights films promote increased respec...


Alex Turnbull Horrified To Learn PM Who Sabotaged Climate Action For Past 3 Years Is His Father "IndyWatch Feed"

Liam McLoughlin reports from East Sydney Private Hospital, where Alex Turnbull is reported to be suffering one of the worst recorded cases of cognitive dissonance in medical history.

There are serious concerns for the mental health of Alex Turnbull this morning after finding out that the man who said if anyone had a vested interest in showing you that you could do really smart, clean things with coal, its us is his father.

Alex opened an email from a concerned citizen at 6:30am this morning to find this list of heinous environmental actions carried out by the former Prime Minister.

  1. Approves Carmichael Coal Mine 16 October 2015
  2. Environment Minister Greg Hunt claims selling India Australian coal will cut carbon emissions 10 Dec 2015
  3. Approves Abbot Point Coal Terminal expansion 22 December 2015
  4. Presides over a drop in Australias ranking on the Environmental Performance Index of 10 places 28 January 2016
  5. Approves logging in Murray Valley National Park 28 February 2016
  6. Tries to loan Adani $1 billion to build a railway link to the Carmichael mine and promises to fix native title problems 11 April 2017.
  7. Describes Labors emissions trading scheme as jobs destroying, a handbrake on the economy, leading to much higher energy prices. 27 April 2016...


Australia is considering banning new migrants from big cities "IndyWatch Feed National"

Australia is considering banning new migrants from living in its largest cities, under new plans to reduce congestion in urban areas. Government data reveals that nearly 70% of the 186,000 migrants who moved to Australia last year arrived on skilled migrant visas and nearly all of them settled in Sydney or Melbourne.


Australian gay politicians. Part one. Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating. "IndyWatch Feed National"


And then I recalled all the gossip about all the prime ministers since Ive been a journalistPaul Keating he and Annita would divorce because he was secretly gay.

Sydney Morning Herald article below

In 1993 I received my Australian citizenship from then Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating at the Sydney Town Hall in front of thousands of people at a special commemoration citizenship ceremony.

I was chosen because I was a New Zealand emigrant businessman whod done well in Australia. I was the only Anglo-Saxon and the other candidates for citizenship came from all over the world. The Australian government was illustrating the multiculturalism of Australia.

Paul Keating arrived with a large entourage and fanfare. Assistants and media, the whole shebang. He was quite something in those days and knew how to play the game, maintain the invincibility and aura.

Paul Keating made a total mess of the Australian economy.

When Paul Keating was Australian Federal Treasurer in the late 1980s, under his economic governance, and as a direct result of him dismantling Australian tariffs on imports carte blanche, the Australian economy went into a major recession. It was all Pauls fault and yet to this day Paul sees himself as an economic hero.

Paul Keatings gayness

I really dont give a toss about whether Paul Keating is gay or not.

Paul lives with his boyfriend in Potts Point so he must be gay....


Must see articles of the week "IndyWatch Feed"

Weekend reads

Week auction clearance rates in Sydney this week.

Check it out here at the weekend reads.

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Friday, 12 October


The #auspol preference trap at #WentworthVotes: @margokingston1 comments "IndyWatch Feed National"

Heres my attempt to explain the preferencing imbroglio in Wentworth and how to vote strategically to defeat the Lib. Preferences are causing trouble in Wentworth, and if were not careful the left will elect the Liberal a terrible blow for climate change, Nauru refugees, gay rights and lots more. Heres how they work. Say []

Author information

Margo Kingston

Margo Kingston

Co-publisher & editor-in-chief at No Fibs

Margo Kingston is an Australian journalist, author, and commentator. She is best known for her work at The Sydney Morning Herald and her weblog, Webdiary. Since 2012, Kingston has been a citizen journalist, reporting and commenting on Australian politics via Twitter and No Fibs.


The Weekend Quiz October 13-14, 2018 "IndyWatch Feed"

Welcome to The Weekend Quiz. The quiz tests whether you have been paying attention or not to the blog posts that I post. See how you go with the following questions. Your results are only known to you and no records are retained.

1. Assume that inflation is stable, there is excess productive capacity, and the central bank maintains its current monetary policy setting. In this situation, if government spending increases by $X dollars and private investment and exports are unchanged nominal income will continue growing until the sum of taxation revenue, import spending and household saving rises by more than $X dollars because of the multiplier.

2. When a government such as the US government voluntarily constrains itself to borrow to cover its net spending position, it substitutes its spending for the borrowed funds and logically reduces the private capacity to borrow and spend.

3. When the national government's budget balance moves into deficit, we know that the government is trying to stimulate the economy.


The reluctant radical "IndyWatch Feed"

We take off our hat to relucant radicals world wide. There are so many people we have had the pleasure of working with, who, prior to doing what they do. had never quite thought they would be that person leading a march, occupying an MPs office, travelling 100s of kilometres to stand in front of a coal mine.

But they do. And we get to work with them. And its a pleasure and an honour. Were speaking at an event this evening the Australian premiere of the Reluctant Radical, hosted by the wonderful Environmental Film Festival a story about an average guy taking extraordinary action to get in the way of climate change and the fossil fuel industry.

It follows Ken Wards challenges and the emotional resilience required to stand in the way of such a massive industry. And the costs. For many they are large people who one day were living a peaceful life in Broome, and then thrown head first into a campaign that subsumed years of their lives and eventually stopped a massive gas refinery. Or farmers living in NSW or VIC who had never had a parking ticket before, yet find themselves pole vaulting out of their comfort zone, to lock themselves to gates to protect water and fertile land for food.

Yet as we see the IPCC report released this week that calls for an end to coal worldwide by 2050 if we are to even have a hope of staying under 1.5 degrees warming and therefore allow our Pacific neighbours to not lose their homelands, how is it that people like Ken Ward, or these farmers, or the folk who locked to Adanis coal port, are considered to be the unreasonable ones?

They are taking action commensurate with the emergency and risk. Action that matches the urgency. We believe this is necessary and its why we do what we do support communities to take safe and effective and *strategic* action to defend the environment.

But, as mentioned the film talks about the costs, and the grief that comes with climate change that so many people are experiencing now. Whilst we find that action is the antidote to despair we also need to acknowledge and live through that despair, to find hope, or at least a sense of purpose within it all.

We are speaking on a panel with Audrey, a dynamo grandma from Stop Adani Melbourne who locked herself to a fence. You can read more about this chill activist grandma and we encourage you to get involved with Stop Adani, Tipping Point or ...


Its time to remove outdated discrimination against LGBT kids "IndyWatch Feed"

Today the Sydney Morning Herald released the 20 recommendations from the Religious Freedom Review headed by Phillip Ruddock, leaving LGBTI advocates and human rights experts concerned about future discrimination for LGBTI people.

Anna Brown, director of legal advocacy with the Human Rights Law Centre and co-chair of the Equality Campaign, said:

Australians voted for fairness and equality this time last year, not more discrimination against LGBT people. Kids in schools should be worrying about classes and their homework, not living in fear of mistreatment because of who they are.

The report recommends continuing to allow religious schools to discriminate against students based on sexual orientation, gender or relationship status under the federal Sex Discrimination Act.

Australians want kids in schools to be protected. The debate this week shows that our views have changed since these religious exemptions were enshrined in law. The idea that taxpayer funded religious schools should be able to expel a student who comes out is completely out of step with modern community expectations. Its discriminatory and its just wrong, said Ms Brown.

However, the report does recommend narrowing this exemption for religious schools under federal law, by requiring schools to prove the discrimination is founded on religious precepts, ensuring any discriminatory policy is made publicly available and the schools must take into account the best interests of the child as the primary consideration.

While we believe these religious exemptions should be removed, its positive to see the report recommending the publishing of policies in schools to actually explain why discrimination is required. If we are to face discrimination, at the very least we should be able to make an informed choice about whether to send our child to a particular school, apply for a job or access basic social services provided by faith based organisations, said Ms Brown.

The report also recommends a religious discrimination act to protect people of faith from discrimination. Currently, people of faith are protected from discrimination in employment under the Fair Work Act and most states and territories, but arent covered by federal anti-discrimination laws. However, the LGBTI community remains deeply concerned about the risks of any future legislation.

The very genesis of this inquiry was the deeply flawed idea that equality for LGBTIQ people somehow poses a threat to religious freedom. We reject this utterly, and remain concerned that conservative religious forces within the Coalition will be extracting their price for marriage equality. There should be no price paid for equality, said Ms Brown.

"We need strong discrimination laws to ensure equal treatment. People of fai...


$120k And Counting: Details Of Second Defamation Threat From Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham Emerges "IndyWatch Feed"

A second person has come forward with details of another defamation threat levelled by Greens NSW MP Jeremy Buckingham against current and former party members, in a growing battle that threatens to derail the Greens campaigning in the lead-up to the 2019 state election.

Yesterday, New Matilda reported Mr Buckingham is suing Greens candidate for the seat of Summer Hill, Tom Raue for defamation and demanding $75,000 after he commented about public accusations that Mr Buckingham sexually assaulted a former Greens staffer, Ella Buckland.

Late yesterday, a second person former Greens member and freelance journalist Albert Santos came forward, posting on his social media that Mr Buckingham is also suing him over the same matter, and seeking $45,000.

New Matilda understands at least another two former or current party members are being sued by Mr Buckingham, in addition to legal threats issued against two media outlets.

Former NSW Greens staffer, Ella Buckland, who alleges she was sexually assault by Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham in 2011. (IMAGE: Supplied)

Allegations against Mr Buckingham a member of the Legislative Council and known state-wide for his strong opposition to coal seam gas were levelled in a report on ABCs 7:30 program on August 2, which focussed on failures within the Greens to deal with four alleged incidents reported against several party members in NSW and the ACT.

While the ABC suppressed details of the actual alleged assault on Ms Buckland, it reported that Mr Buckingham grabbed her inappropriately and kissed her on the neck, after drinks at his inner-city home in 2011. The following morning, Mr Buckingham phoned Ms Buckland and allegedly threatened her employment. Video footage of the night, shot by Ms Buckland on her mobile phone, shows Mr Buckingham was heavily intoxicated. Mr Buckingham strongly denies the allegations.

Yesterday, shortly after details of the threats against Mr Raue were published, Albert Santos took to his Facebook page and Twitter account, to disclose details of the legal threats he also received from Mr Buckingham.


National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth report: youth survey 2017 (Mission Australlia) Western NSW & Far West Health Libraries Blog National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth report: youth survey 2017 (Mission Australlia)


Key findings:

  • 42% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people planned to go to university compared to 72% non-Indigenous young people.
  • Over 50% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people indicated that getting a job was highly important to them and they were more likely to be looking for employment compared to non-Indigenous young people.
  • 27% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people reported that they had spent time away from home because they felt they couldn't go back. 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people were more likely than non-Indigenous young people to be extremely/very concerned about drugs, bullying/emotional abuse, personal safety, discrimination and alcohol.
  • The majority of young people indicated feeling positive overall about their lives, however, just under 1 in 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people indicated their happiness with life as a whole was a '0' out of 10 (compared to 1 in 50 non-Indigenous young people).
  • The vast majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people (75%) rated family relationships as extremely or very important to them. Almost twice the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people rated their family's ability to get along as poor (13% compared with 7% of non-Indigenous young people).

Key policy recommendations:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people should be at the centre of policy and practice with solutions designed, developed and led by the young people and their representative community organisations. In order that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are supported to thrive and reach their full potential there needs to be a focus on:
  • Supporting educational engagement and addressing challenges to further study in culturally appropriate ways.
  • Providing employment and training programs that are Indigenous-led, flexible and responsive.
  • Identifying the deeper, structural causes of mental health difficulties and building on a strong sense of social, cultural and emotional wellbeing.
  • Reducing the high...


Experts Warn: Australia Could Be Hit By Destructive Tsunami At Any Time "IndyWatch Feed Survival"

Experts are warning that Australia could be hit by a destructive tsunami at any time.  As of right now, scientists are saying so far, weve been lucky. But that luck is bound to run out eventually.

According to The Daily Mail, experts have said it is only a matter of time before Australia is hit by a devastating tsunami. They also said the countrys coastal cities have been fortunate not to be struck by a series of destructive waves triggered by meteor impacts or seismic activity as of yet.  Past tsunamis, the most recent in 1491, have crashed over 60 meter-high (almost 197 feet high) cliffs and sent seawater as far inland as the Blue Mountains, 50 kilometers (31 miles) west of Sydney.

Dale Dominey-Howes, co-director of the Australian Tsunami Research Centre at the University of New South Wales said tsunamis pose a very real threat to Australian cities. Such a disastrous and catastrophic event could hit without any warning too.  If it occurred without warning on a Saturday afternoon in summer the impacts would be catastrophic, Dominey-Howes told the Australian GeographicI suspect its only a matter of time before we are affected by something damaging.

Despite Australias coastline being monitored 24-hours-a-day every day for impending tsunamis, which are only recorded once every two years in Australia, scientists still think its time to brace those living in the coastal areas for the possibility that a tsunami could impact their lives.  Although rare, tsunamis also pose a threat to swimmers as they can bring abnormal waves, tides and dangerous currents.

More recent earthquakes and tsunamis have proven particularly deadly, claiming nearly 750,000 lives over the past 20 years. That is more than other extreme weather events, according to a forthcoming report from the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The very factors that make coastal cities appealing places to reside also amplify the dangers of a natural disaster.  As more humans move to the...


Sydney cranes deliver a surge of units "IndyWatch Feed"

Supply arrives

All those Sydney cranes pumped out a surge of apartments in the second quarter of 2018, with 11,200 attached dwelling completions across the state in Q2. 

This has already been reflected a jump in vacancy rates from 2.3 per cent to 2.8 per cent in the second quarter of the calendar year.

At the suburb level you tend to see these spikes when a surge of completions comes online at the same time - with a flood of landlords letting identical units - and it can take a little while for the stock to be absorbed by the rental market. 

We've seen this already several times through this cycle in individual pockets, but not on a city-wide level to this degree. 

These figures lag somewhat and relate back to the period earlier in 2018.

But according to the dwellings under construction figures, apartment completions are likely to remain high for at least the remainder of 2018 before they ease back.

Attached dwelling commencements in Sydney peaked in December 2016, and have pulled back since, so the new supply will slow soon enough.

The population of Australia will likely increase by around 4 million over the next decade, with Greater Sydney likely to swell to well beyond 6 million - just to put these numbers in a bit of perspective. 

Thursday, 11 October


Neo-Nazi infiltration of the Young Nationals in NSW "IndyWatch Feed National"

Briefly: 1) For ABC Radio Nationals Background Briefing, Alex Mann has investigated how Australias alt-right movement is covertly influencing mainstream politics. See : Haircuts and hate: Inside the rise of Australias alt-right (October 14, 2018). 2) The White Rose Society Continue reading

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