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IndyWatch New South Wales News Feed was generated at Sydney NSW IndyWatch.

Tuesday, 11 December


Frank Houston Founder of Hillsong Sir Francis Rock Spider speaks from Hades "IndyWatch Feed National"

Frank Houston Founder of Hillsong


I wrote this article in 2015 after the Australian Royal Commission into institutional child sex abuse.

I was thinking if it was possible Frank Houston, the founder of Hillsong in Sydney, Australia in 1977, a lifelong self-confessed secret child rapist, could possibly be in Heaven.

Thinking about what Jesus said would happen to those who harm little children, I decided Frank Houston is in Hades.

Rock spider is a Western Australian slang name for pedophiles. If you want to know why, then google Rock spider pedophile Urban Dictionary. The meaning is very dark.

Pedophiles are the lowest of the low in society, in jail and in Hades.


Blog article 2015



How physical activity in Australian schools can help prevent depression in young people Western NSW & Far West Health Libraries Blog

Adolescence is a critical time for the development of mental health problems. In fact, depression is most likely to occur during adolescence and young adulthood. Its the leading cause of disability in young people worldwide.

At least onequarter of young people will experience an episode of depression before 19 years of age. By year 9, students who have experienced a mental disorder are on average two years behind in academic achievement compared to those without a mental disorder.

See more at:


How much of eating disorders is in our DNA and can we predict and prevent them? Western NSW & Far West Health Libraries Blog

Eating disorders are the third most common chronic illness in young women.
In recent years, researchers have made advances in detecting the genetic links, raising hopes for treatment and prevention.

Professor Tracey Wade is Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor at Flinders University and associate investigator of the Australian Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI).
Elise Thompson spent six years living with anorexia.

Click on link for audio at:


Link Western NSW & Far West Health Libraries Blog

The Librarian's Christmas Tree
A Merry Christmas and a happy 2019 to all our readers

Check out :
* Christmas in Australia

* 12 Days of Christmas in ER

* The most amazing Christmas links page from Aussie Educator.
Everything about Christmas you could possibly want : history, carols, games, quizzes, recipes and even card and gift making!!

Christmas trivia

* 12 people sustained burns in 2007 when trying on a new sweater with a cigarette in their mouth.* 5 People suffered 3rd degree burns in 2007 when trying to flame torch their Christmas pudding.

* Over 200 people are admitted to hospital each year after not removing all the pins from new shirts.

* In 2008, two people died eating Christmas decorations they thought were chocolates.

* Forget leaving beer and biscuits out for Santa this year, reindeer like to eat bananas.

* Statistics show you are more likely to be killed by a flying champagne cork than by a poisonous spider.

The ABS doesn't record official reindeer numbers, but we can report there were 79,696 farmed deer in Australia on June 30, 2007.


Two new Australian hospital statistics reports: elective surgery and emergency department care [AIHW] Western NSW & Far West Health Libraries Blog

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released 2 new reports:

1. Elective surgery waiting times 2017-18: Australian hospital statistics Elective surgery waiting times 201718: Australian hospital statistics focuses on information about public hospital elective surgery waiting lists between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018. It presents information on overall activity, what elective surgery was provided and how long people waited for elective surgery.

2. Emergency department care 2017-18: Australian hospital statisticsEmergency department care 201718: Australian hospital statistics presents information on care provided in public hospital emergency departments between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018. It includes information on overall activity, nationally agreed performance indicators on waiting times for care, time spent in the ED, and other waiting times statistics. It also includes comparative information for the previous 4 reporting periods.

Media release: Waiting times for emergency department and elective surgery on the rise.


The Obesity Epidemic in Australia Western NSW & Far West Health Libraries Blog

The Senate Select Committee into the Obesity Epidemic in Australia was established on 16 May 2018. The committee is composed of 7 Senators and was tasked with inquiring into and reporting on the following terms of reference:

  • The prevalence of overweight and obesity among children in Australia and changes in these rates over time;
  • The causes of the rise in overweight and obesity in Australia;
  • The short and long-term harm to health associated with obesity, particularly in children in Australia;
  • The short and long-term economic burden of obesity, particularly related to obesity in children in Australia;
  • The effectiveness of existing policies and programs introduced by Australian governments to improve diets and prevent childhood obesity;
  • Evidence-based measures and interventions to prevent and reverse childhood obesity, including experiences from overseas jurisdictions;
  • The role of the food industry in contributing to poor diets and childhood obesity in Australia; and
  • any other related matters.

This report is comprised of 10 chapters:

  • Chapter 1 provides some background information around the prevalence of obesity, and defines some key terms;
  • Chapter 2 discusses the importance of language and the high degree of stigma attached to the term 'obesity';
  • Chapter 3 examines strategic policy directions which could help tackling obesity;
  • Chapter 4 discusses the issue of food labelling;
  • Chapter 5 focuses on the critical role of reformulation to improve the availability of healthier products;
  • Chapter 6 examines the benefits of introducing a tax on sugary drinks;
  • Chapter 7 focuses on the issues associated with the marketing and advertising of discretionary foods;
  • Chapter 8 discusses the importance of education campaigns;
  • Chapter 9 looks at the benefits of health care interventions; and
  • Chapter 10 discusses promising multi-strategy prevention programs

The Obesity epidemic in Australia (Final Report)


Flying blind 2: Australian researchers and digital health Western NSW & Far West Health Libraries Blog

Australia has a wealth of health data resources, many of which are originally collected for other purposes such as administration or compliance. With appropriate access to these data and through data linkage, health researchers can generate new insights, uncover new trends and deepen our understanding of health and disease. In FB2, the aim is to understand how well these national data assets are used for research and where barriers may exist to more effective use.

This is the second of 3 reports by the Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre on digital health in Australia.

Flying blind Vol. 2: Australian researchers and digital health

Flying blind Vol. 1: Australian consumers and digital health


Increase in women imprisonment more than double the rate of men new stats reveal "IndyWatch Feed National"

New data shows that state and territory governments are imprisoning women at an alarmingly and rapidly increasing rate more than double the rate of men.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released data last week that shows governments across Australia are now forcing more than 3,600 women into prisons. This marks an increase of 10 per cent from the previous year - more than double the rate of mens, which increased by four per cent.

Ruth Barson, a Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, said the human and social toll of state and territory governments funneling thousands of women into prisons is devastating.

Most women behind bars are mothers and survivors of violence. They are being separated from their families and communities. We need a new approach to justice one that prioritises supporting people, rather than dumping them into the quicksand of the prison system, said Ms Barson.

This is the seventh consecutive year in which the number of people in prison has risen. NSW and Victoria have had the highest overall growth, while the Northern Territory Government continues to have the highest imprisonment rate in the country.

The data shows that around 43,000 individuals in Australia will be held behind bars. Ms Barson said the data paints a picture of governments mindlessly hurtling towards a mass-imprisonment crisis.

Our justice system is failing it is rife with unfairness and inequality. Women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disabilities and people falling on tough times are hit hardest by politicians peddling punitive, lock-em-up laws, said Ms Barson.

Governments should be working towards reducing the number of people forced into prisons. There are straight forward reforms like raising the age of criminal responsibility at which children can be sent to prison, ending mandatory sentencing, and decriminalising minor offences like public drunkenness that governments could implement today that would make a huge difference, said Ms Barson.

The data also shows that one in every three people are in prison on remand being held without conviction while their charges are processed. This is an increase of seven per cent over a 12 month period. In Victoria, the number of people on remand increased by an astonishing 22 percent meaning there were almost an additional 500 people who had their liberty removed without being convicted.

Ms Barson said that fixing over the top bail laws is a key transformation needed to make our justice system fair and equitable.

Thousands of people in prison in Australia are there not because theyve been convicted, but...


Health risks due to high salt content in water, in a drought town "IndyWatch Feed"

Health expert warns residents are at risk from high sodium in water in drought-stricken NSW town of Walgett, ABC News, By Rachel Carbonell, National Regional Reporting Team, Jessie Davies and Danielle Bonica, 10 Dec 18,  Walgett has always been a river town, perched near the junction of the Barwon and the Namoi rivers.But with the drought biting hard, the water from those rivers isnt making it to this northern New South Wales town.

With nothing to pump from the local weir, Walgett is the latest town forced to go underground for water, a move that health experts say could have potentially serious health implications.

Many locals are worried the emergency supply of bore water is damaging their health.

Dharriwaa Elder, Thomas Morgan, said the water was no good for drinking.

Too much salt in it, he said. The kids, my grandkids, theyre starting to spit it out, they dont like it.

The foulest smell

Elder Rick Townsend lives near the water treatment plant.

I get the smell of it eve...


From Trainwreck to LA Babe in Three Hours "IndyWatch Feed National"

The twist? No car and no housing expenses.

One day before stepping out onto the City of Angels glittery soil, we had no accommodation lined up and zero leads. But through the magic of Couchsurfing, a guy from Israel contacted us and said we could stay with him and his two mates in West Hollywood. Overwhelmed with relief, we gladly accepted this kind offer.

As soon as we were breathing LA air, we messaged Ali to inform him that we were on our way to his house. He was happy that we had arrived safely and only had one follow-up question for us to answer: Do you guys wanna go to a pool party?

Our tired but 21-year-old hearts skipped a beat. We couldnt wait to get sucked into whatever scene LA had to offer. We were here.

After putting down our bags in Alis humble Hollywood home, we grabbed our bikinis and headed out to some exotic location with an exclusive guest list. Prior to this, the only guest lists wed ever been on were the ones you stressfully sign yourself up to on the same night of the party in order to save yourself 15 precious dollars in the Stockholm club jungle.

We jumped into a messy van with a few guys we had known for approximately 15 minutes, and we were off. The car ride was spent getting to know each other, and Sofie and I were shocked to hear stories about their mandatory two-year military duty, how they had all turned into officers to serve their country and now, almost as young as us, had decided to leave their home to live a little.

Feeling as privileged as ever for having lived a life only for ourselves, we indulged in deep conversations and absorbed new knowledge from both ends. The van was heavy with information and contrasts of way of life when we arrived at the entrance of a sparkly hotel.

We jump out of the van only to face a crew of high heeled, beach-wave-haired, blonde babes I had only seen before with a TV screen separating our worlds. Once inside, I gave myself one of those up-and-down looks in the floor-to-ceiling mirror. I was wearing my favourite beige cotton t-shirt, denim shorts and my not-so-summery Dr. Martin boots, coupled with a ve...


Experts launch public call for NSW abortion reform "IndyWatch Feed National"

Doctors, lawyers, healthcare groups and domestic violence services joined community organisations today to deliver an open letter calling for the NSW Parliament to recognise the right to safe and legal abortion access in the state.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Australian College of Nursing, Public Health Association of Australia and Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia are just some of the organisations that have signed on to the call for reform to the NSW abortion laws.

The signatories to the letter call the current NSW abortion laws archaic, cruel and degrading, and point to the distress, delay and financial burden they create, particularly for women in rural and remote areas.

The criminalisation of abortion leads to negative health outcomes for women and significantly reduces their autonomy over their reproductive health said Terry Slevin, CEO of Public Health Association of Australia.

We need to decriminalise abortion so that health professionals can provide patients with the best care possible, without fear of criminal prosecution. It's ridiculous that laws from 1900 are restricting the ability of doctors and nurses to provide care in 2018," she added.

These laws restrict doctors from providing a full range of reproductive health services and make it difficult for women to access the care they need. Modern healthcare best practice makes women feel safe and in control of their bodies. In contrast, these laws are harmful, outdated and put real constraints around womens reproductive choices, said Dr Deborah Bateson at Family Planning NSW

The action comes just a day after the South Australian parliament introduced legislation to decriminalise abortion.

Its ridiculous that in this day and age a woman in NSW is denied the legal right to make decisions about what is best for her health, her body and her family, said Renee Carr, Executive Director of Fair Agenda. This week South Australia has initiated the second reform of its abortion laws. Yet access to this healthcare in NSW is still limited by laws written in 1900.

NSW is the only state where abortion laws are stuck in an era when women were considered incapable of making decisions about their own bodies. Abortion is the only medical procedure that is criminalised. added Wendy McCarthy, Womens Electoral Lobby Decriminalisation Roundtable Chair.

NSW stands shamefully alone in failing to reform its abortion laws for over 100 years. Every day, women in NSW are treated as second class citizens when it comes to accessing healthcare because of the criminalisation of abortion, said Adrianne Walters, senior lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre.

For media interviews, please contact Ren...


Housing finance posts biggest bounce in 2 years, but... "IndyWatch Feed"

Housing finance bounce, but...

A bounce for housing finance seemed to be on the cards, as all those painfully slow mortgage applications finally grind through the arduous process. 

And so it proved, with owner-occupier approvals excluding refinancing up by nearly 5 per cent in October 2018.

I didn't think last month's plunge was too much to get excited about, and the same view applies to this month's bounce.

Yes, a seasonally adjusted $30 billion of housing finance in aggregate is apparently much more solid than $29.3 billion a month earlier. 

But smoothing the results on a trend basis simply puts the ABS figures back in line with the credit impulse, and implies modest further declines in housing prices in Sydney and Melbourne into 2019. 

Investment housing loans posted a small bounce, but it was still the weakest quarter for investment lending since 2013. 

At the state level home loan transactions in Western Australia now look set to rise, as New South Wales and Victoria ease. 


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Monday, 10 December


The classic Canberra Airport sighting of 1965 - UFO or Venus? "IndyWatch Feed National"

Barry Greenwood

I am continuing my examination of the scanned copies of material, arising from Boston, USA, researcher Barry Greenwood's recent visit to the archives of the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies in Chicago.

Classic 1965 case

One Australian case from 1965, which features time and time again in the UFO literature, happened on 15 July 1965, where a number of staff at the Canberra Airport reported watching an unidentified light in the sky during broad daylight.

In a series of blog posts dated 29 September 2011; 11 December 2011; 9 January 2013; and 15 December 2013, I reported on the information on this sighting gathered from a number of sources; both from Australian government files and newspapers.

Sydney Morning Herald article

Within Barry's CUFOS material I located items which I had not seen before. Firstly, there was a Sydney Morning Herald article dated 18 July 1965 and titled "I talk with the men who saw "that thing," by reporter Graham Gambie. I will quote from this article:

"Everyone I spoke to here said they were certain that flying saucers don't exist, but they would sleep a little more easily at night if someone could prove what "the thing" was."

"The officer-in-charge of Civil Aviation in Canberra, Mr A B Lindeman, said: 'I wish Mt Stromlo would tell us it was a planet. I don't like something in the back of my mind I can't understand.'"

"Dr D B E Westerlund of Mt Stromlo's observatory said that if the light was coming from the north-east it would almost certainly be the planet Venus."

"Mr Lindsay said: 'I've been in the job for two and a half years and I've never seen anything like it before...It wasn't Venus as has been suggested. I'm sure of that from the position..."



Pendulum swings "IndyWatch Feed"

Forensic analysis

Back in my auditing days in London, as a trainee I had to do my tour of duty in the forensic accounting department. 

It's one of things that sounds a little bit exciting, and the people were great, but being involved in a fraud investigation I never found to be much fun.

Naturally, everyone is on edge - even people that have no reason to be - and the accounting concept of materiality doesn't apply in the same way.

Anything could prove to be material, so every transaction must be investigated on a painstaking, line-by-line basis.

Notably the process becomes almost as important as the result, and invariably the investigations drag on for months as ever further documentation and explanations are sought. 

Pendulum swings tighter

I've spoken before about the concept of the credit cycle as a pendulum, rarely stationary in an a neutral position, and instead typically swinging towards too loose or too tight. 

The AFR has reported more than once this week on the forensic analysis of mortgage applications, including borrowers with substantial 30 per cent deposits being refused a loan for having Netflix account membership, or for using Uber Eats. 

I've also come across high income earners with low debt turned being down for a loan because they'd previously signed up for a credit card to earn loyalty points. 

Here's how respected industry experts are reporting what they're seeing, and that one key word keeps coming up: forensic (...

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Sunday, 09 December


Tingha Cemetery Burials and the AUS-KOORI Mailing List "IndyWatch Feed National"

Back in November 2003 I added the following entry to correspondence referring to Tingha burials on the AUS-KOORI mailing list

"Tingha Cemetery Burials by Paul Mackett
Burials at the Tingha Cemetery, New South Wales are listed at the following site
Some or all of the following are recorded for each burial Section, Row, Lot, Surname, Christian Name, Age,  Burial Number, Date of Death. The date range is approximately
1886 to 1999.

There are 1537 burials recorded as follows

Section , My interpretation , Graves
Ang/SA , Anglican/Salvation Army , 340
Old Ang, Old Anglican , 155
Cath , Catholic , 108
Old Cath , Old Catholic , 70
Uniting , Uniting  , 47
New Gen , New General , 227
O Abor , Old Aboriginal , 171
N Abor ,  New Aboriginal , 90
Unsect ,  , 328
No Section ,  , 1

The document can be downloaded from the above site as a Word document."

As this URL no longer exists you can access the document here .


Pun from my son Thoughts are like fishes///

Oscar asked to bottle the stout

As he was tipping the fermenter forward to get the last of it, I asked him to be wary of slime at the bottom and he replied with a pun: "I'll see those in gradients"!

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Saturday, 08 December


The Weekend Quiz December 8-9, 2018 answers and discussion "IndyWatch Feed"

Here are the answers with discussion for yesterdays 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:

An application of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) tells us that the current proposals for a Green New Deal in the US and elsewhere will lead to crowding out of other investment.

The answer is True.

The current proposals for a Green New Deal will have significant implications for resource usage in the nations that pursue that policy framework.

In the US, there are estimates that these initiatives might absorb up to 14 per cent of the labour force.

At a time when unemployment is historically low, a shift of this magnitude will clearly require a squeeze being put on other sectors.

But this will be a real resource squeeze mediated through taxation and regulation.

The normal presentation of the crowding out hypothesis, which is a central plank in the mainstream economics attack on government fiscal intervention is more accurately called financial crowding out.

At the heart of this conception is the theory of loanable funds, which is a aggregate construction of the way financial markets are meant to work in mainstream macroeconomic thinking. The original conception was designed to explain how aggregate demand could never fall short of aggregate supply because interest rate adjustments would always bring investment and saving into equality.

In Mankiw, which is representative, we are taken back in time, to the theories that were prevalent before being destroyed by the intellectual advances provided in Keynes General Theory. Mankiw assumes that it is reasonable to represent the financial system as the market for loanable funds where all savers go to this market to deposit their savings, and all borrowers go to this market to get their loans. In this market, there is one interest rate, which is both the return to saving and the cost of borrowing.

This is back in the pre-Keynesian world of the loanable funds doctrine (first developed by Wicksell).

This doctrine was a central part of the so-called classical model where perfectly flexible prices delivered self-adjusting, market-clearing aggregate...


How the RBA will effect the Aussie dollar "IndyWatch Feed"

Im not sure where hes going, but this week, Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Guy Debelle promised you hed go fast, go hard and not die wondering.

Thats not the sort of comment you want to hear from your local central banker.

But what does it even mean?

Debelle wants to print money, rescue the Australian government from going broke, and cut interest rates to zero.

Only if its needed, of course.

Which begs the obvious question.

What sort of financial crisis could Australia be facing that requires its central bankers to go fast, go hard and not die wondering?

I think I have the answer for you.

Ive just issued an alert to my UK readers about Australias coming economic crisis.

Itll be similar to Ireland and Cyprus crash in 2008.

But first, the good news.

Unlike many countries that had a crisis in 2008, Australia still has its own currency.

That means the exchange rate can absorb a huge amount of any crash.

This was denied to the likes of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain. They were stuck in the euro. And the euro didnt go down much to help those countries recover.

Not only that, Europes central bank has a huge amount of rules about what it is allowed to do.

It cant favour some countries because this would come at the expense of others.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has no such restrictions.

It could go fast, go hard and not die wondering all day long. A bit like Zimbabwes central bank.

Put these two considerations together and you realise the opportunity.

The Aussie dollar is in for a crash if Australia gets into trouble.

So, all you need to do is get your money out of Aussie dollar-denominated assets.

Gold, foreign currencies and foreign stocks are a great example.

Its surprisingly easy to protect yourself from a local crisis.

But protect yourself from what exactly?

Australia is heaven.

Theres no doubt about it. My family visited a dozen countries looking for a home before deciding Australia is the place to be.

According to Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report for 2018, Australians are the wealthiest people in the world.

And not by a small margin.

The median Australian is more than five times as wealthy as the median German. And more than twice as wealthy as the median Briton. (Those are my former hom...


Whatever it takes "IndyWatch Feed"

The GFC: 10 years on

Corker of a speech from the Reserve Bank's Debelle yesterday where he revisited the global financial crisis, how it appeared to play out in real time, and what lessons can be learned about liquidity and response measures.

Australia pulled through the global financial crisis in far better nick than most other advanced economies, explained Debelle, thanks to a combination of factors and policy responses.

This considered speech inevitably attracted a lot of airtime because it made reference to QE (quantitative easing) as an available policy tool. 

However, this is one of those times to read what the relatively sanguine speech actually said rather than how it gets interpreted across various media channels!

Whatever it takes (5 measures)

I often get asked what would happen if the economy and housing markets really turn to mush, which is a reasonable enough question to ask for those with a long-term horizon.

If you're interested this is a very useful speech to pick through, as many of the answers are touched upon, with the overriding message being that liquidity is vital.

It's important to note at the outset that the Reserve Bank still believes that the next move in the policy rate is up, whatever proves to be reported about this speech in the media. 



Devils & Details live in Sydney (listen) "IndyWatch Feed"

Live event podcast


The full Business Insider Australia Devils and Details Live show is out, with all of the panels compressed into two easy recordings. 

To listen to Part 1, Property and Portfolios, see here or click on the image below

The housing market panel kicks in at 20 minutes, but all of it is well worth listening to.

I have a bit of a yarn from 31 minutes in, and then again at 39:40.

Here I discuss the concept of the credit cycle as a pendulum, as well as how I'm helping my clients to reposition themselves for the significant proposed changes for property investors ahead. 

This section includes news and views from Joanne Masters, Cameron Kusher, Stephen Koukoulas, Con Michalakis, and more. 

What a terrific panel of guests to be on!


To listen to Part 2, The Reserve Bank's Challenge, and indicators, see here or click on the image below.

There's some classic trademark James Whelan commentary on what things are currently things...and conversely, of course what things are not things. 

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Friday, 07 December


The Weekend Quiz December 8-9, 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. An application of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) tells us that the current proposals for a Green New Deal in the US and elsewhere will lead to crowding out of other investment.

2. A rising government deficit will always allow the private domestic sector to increase its saving in nominal terms.

3. A lack of a close correspondence between the growth of bank reserves and the growth in the stock of money is evidence that credit creation is being tightly constrained.



NSW : OCEAN BEACH Practising Simplicity

Well always be fond of NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Park because it was the very first place we stayed after we handed in the keys to our house and hit the road. Located on the south end of the Central Coast, it sits on one of the most beautiful beaches in the area. Its also a really easy (as in, you couldnt get it any easier) drive from Sydney, hence its a po...


Professor Stuart Rees Honoured With Inaugural Jerusalem (Al Quds) Peace Prize "IndyWatch Feed National"

He normally goes about his work very quietly, very humbly. And as the founder of the Sydney Peace Prize, hes normally in the background promoting other peoples work. But last week Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees couldnt help but be at the centre of attention after he was awarded the inaugural Jerusalem (Al Quds) Peace Prize, at a ceremony at state parliament in Victoria.

The award was in recognition of his Professor Rees persistent and courageous advocacy for the human rights of all Palestinians living in Gaza, the West Bank, Israel, the refugee camps and the Palestinian diaspora generally.

Professor Rees delivered the first Jerusalem (Al Quds) Peace Prize lecture as part of the ceremony, and his award was presented by former Foreign Minister and NSW State Premier the Hon Bob Carr on November 29, to coincide with the United Nations Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Nasser Mashni, chair of Australians for Palestine (AfP) and a Board Member of the Australia-Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN), said the choice of Professor Rees would help to highlight strong global support for a just outcome for Palestinians, felt by millions around the world.

For all his inspirational work on Palestine nothing reveals more about Stuart Rees humanity than his belief in a simple anecdote about a Palestinian refugee who wanted to discuss with Israeli students his right to return, only to be told you want to kick us out. No, the Palestinian replied, I simply want to live with you, Mr Mashni said.

Mr Mashni said Professor Rees numerous books, anthologies of poetry, and his willingness to write and speak publicly on social justice issues, have seen him described as one of the most humane voices in Australia today.

Those issues have driven his indomitable quest to find out what it really means to be human and to alert us all to our common humanity, said Mr Mashni.

Professor Rees said he felt very honoured to be recognised from amongst the many long-committed voices for Palestine in Australia.

This award comes at a time when Jerusalem is facing great challenges from influential global powers to its UN-protected international status, UN Security Council resolutions, international law and majority consensus. We cannot allow antagonistic voices to weaken the hopes of so many for a peaceful and sustainable solution, he said.

Jerusalems spiritual, cultural and legal character are under serious threat and only a concerted effort of advocacy and activism by people everywhere, can Palestinians possibly hope to see an end to their displacement, eviction and expulsion.

The Jerusalem (Al Quds) Peace Prize will now be awarded annually by Australians for Palestine and the Australia-Palestine Advocac...

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Thursday, 06 December


Greek austerity a denial of basic human rights, penalty should be imprisonment "IndyWatch Feed"

I have just finished reading a report published by the Transnational Institute (TNI), which is an international research and advocacy institute committed to building a just, democratic and sustainable world. The Report (published November 19, 2018) Democracy Not For Sale is harrowing, to say the least. We learn that in an advanced European nation with a glorious tradition and history an increasing number of people are being denial access to basic nutrition solely as a result of economic policy changes that have been imposed on it by outside agencies (European Commission, European Central Bank and the IMF). The Report shows how the food supply has been negatively impacted by the austerity programs; how food prices have been forced up at the same time as incomes have been forced down, and how collective and cooperative arrangements have been destroyed by privatisation and deregulation impositions. The Report concludes that the Greek State and the Eurozone Member States violated the Greek peoples right to food as a result of the austerity measures required by three Memorandums of Understanding (2010, 2012 and 2015). In other words, the austerity packages imposed on Greece contravened international human rights law. Not one person has gone to prison as a result of this deliberate and calculated violation of human rights.

You can have various levels of commitment to this:

1. Full Report 90 minutes reading time.

2. Executive Summary 5 minutes reading time.

I recommend the full report because it is a very comprehensive statement of what has gone wrong with the Eurozone from a grassroots perspective.

It does not present the usual critique that I make regularly at the macroeconomic and monetary level.

It deals with our conception of human rights and basic human dignity.

It forces one to ask questions such as:

How many officials in the Troika, who are comfortably ensconced in their well-appointed offices in Brussels, Frankfurt, and Washington, who regularly drink fine wines and eat sumptuously at official gatherings, conferences, talk fests, who jet around the world and Europe as if there was no tomorrow, have gone hungry as a result of the policies they forced on Greece?

It is a real question.

My answer: not one of them.

I have been to European Commission functions. I have seen the massive food and wine e...


Cheap Power: A Whole Lot Of Energy For A Whole Lot Of Nothing "IndyWatch Feed National"

Despite the obvious disappointment of the Morrison Government, the nation can build an energy network reliant on renewables, while lowering prices. Martin Zavan explains.

Never letting the truth get in the way of a good yarn is an understandable approach when the Prime Minister is talking about his exploits on the footy field back in the day. But when hes being asked to lead a fossil fuel dependent nation through the transition to renewables, its not only dishonest, but dangerous.

Politicians demand proof, but many seem to have little to no desire to follow through and obtain the answers they claim to seek. It occurs too often to keep track of, but something happened in Question Time yesterday that made me take special note.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten essentially asked the PM why he couldnt get behind what he called the most widely endorsed energy policy of recent years, the National Energy Guarantee. Not to mention it was the Libs own policy just a few months back.

Theres never been a national energy policy that has had more universal support than the National Energy Guarantee. And why wont the Prime Minister implement a National Energy Guarantee with his own energy targets? Shorten mischievously asked.

Morrison responded with his typical bluster, but lets pause for a moment to examine what he actually said, rather than the confected outrage that characterised his reply.

Labor have not demonstrated that their 45 percent emissions reduction target will not push up prices.

Labor have not, and they cannot, demonstrate that their reckless 45 percent economy-wrecking as the Business Council has said emissions reduction target of 45 percent will not increase power prices because of course it will increase power prices.

The comments may have fired up the frontbench but they were less eagerly embraced by those with even a passing appreciation for the facts.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten.

During the heated days of the NEG debate we at Greenpeace also wondered what effect this political compromise would have on power prices. We sought to find out, and commissioned the same people who the federal government turns to on such matt...


Adani update "IndyWatch Feed"

A week ago, I was speaking at a Royal Society of NSW Forum on the topic Getting climate policy back on track when the news came through that Adani had announced a start to the Carmichael mine before Christmas, funded from the companys own reserves.  With Christmas now less than three weeks away, where do things stand?

Its evident that, as with previous construction starts, this one wont be on a large scale. Adani has just posted its first job opening for a year, on the portal it set up with great fanfare in mid-2017. Its for a Senior Mine Planning Engineer a newly changed and developed role reporting to the Head Mine Operations.  Given that Adani has announced a proposal thats radically different from the one they were running last year, you might have expected that a Senior Mine Planning Engineer would have been on the job for some time, heading a substantial team. Still, its likely that some kind of activity will take place, even if its only symbolic.

The big question is how Labor will respond, since its highly likely to be in office by the time any serious mining activity starts. So far the signs have been mixed. Queensland Premier Palaszczuk has said, correctly, that this is effectively a new proposal, and will need new approvals. On the other hand, Penny Wong has suggested that, once contracts are signed, the dreaded spectre of sovereign risk will mean that the government cannot intervene.  This is a bogus argument in the specific case of Adani, but the whole idea needs to be challenged. Governments routinely break their promises to voters, and corporations regularly renege on their commitments to governments, but, in the era of neoliberalism, promises made by governments to corporation have come to be held sacred.


Healing my spirit by helping others "IndyWatch Feed National"

Corey Aden Tutt, an Indigenous man from NSW, shares his personal journey to healing through caring for animals.


Extradition to NSW for man charged over Lynette Dawsons alleged murder "IndyWatch Feed National"

Lynette Joy Dawson. Police file photo.

Homicide Squad detectives have extradited a man to NSW and laid a charge over the disappearance of Northern Beaches wife and mother, Lynette Joy Dawson.

Lyn Dawson, a 33-year-old mother-of-two, went missing on or around Saturday 9 January 1982.

She was officially reported missing on 18 February 1982, and despite investigations at the time and over the years, she has never been located.

In 2015, detectives from the Homicide Squads Unsolved Homicide Unit established Strike Force Scriven to re-investigate the circumstances surrounding her disappearance and suspected murder.

Following extensive investigations, Strike Force Scriven detectives requested the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) review their brief of evidence in April 2018.

Earlier this week, the ODPP provided advice to police, and following further inquiries, detectives applied for an arrest warrant before travelling to Queensland.

A 70-year-old Coolum man was arrested by detectives from the Queensland Police Services Homicide Squad in the presence of Strive Force Scriven investigators at a home at Biggera Waters, Queensland, yesterday (Wednesday 5 December 2018).

The man appeared at Southport Magistrates Court on a NSW arrest warrant, where NSW Police detectives applied for and were granted his extradition to NSW.

Strike Force Scriven investigators escorted the man on a flight to Sydney today (Thursday 6 December 2018), before taking him to Surry Hills Police Station.

The man has been charged with murder and refused bail to appear at Central Local Court today.

The post Extradition to NSW for man charged over Lynette Dawsons alleged murder appeared first on Echonetdaily.

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Wednesday, 05 December


Embassy fenced by Council The Bulli & Clifton Times


At the request of the Sandon Point Aboriginal Place Joint Management Agreement Partner organisations, Council staff have placed non-permanent fencing around sections of the Sandon Point Tent Embassy site at McCauleys Beach, Thirroul on Wednesday.

The Organisations have been working with the support of Council for the past 12 months to make important changes to the site. These include facilitating the long term protection and enhancement of the site through revegetation improvements, reducing erosion and damage from informal walking trails, and advancing long-term plans for the site to become a space for education and the celebration of Aboriginal culture.

The next stages of work will involve removing structures at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy site with the exception of the Pod.

The Organisations believe the site should be unoccupied as its current use is not consistent with its cultural significance and heritage.

The non-permanent fencing has been installed so that it does not negatively impact on any culturally-significant items or areas a...


The long run "IndyWatch Feed"

We're all dead

Wow, some tremendous excitement about the recent sharp increase to 43,727 Melbourne stock listings (thanks for all the Tweets!).

Since you're interested, below is the split between houses and units, per SQM Research.

Stock levels are broadly about back to where they were three years ago, and this is mainly due to a surge in completions and slower sales.

New listings are way down in Sydney and Melbourne, which is not all that surprising given unemployment rates in these cities are about 4 per cent and 4 per cent respectively (meaning that are there are few forced sellers). 

Note that the population of Melbourne is increasing - up by a record high of +125,400 in FY2017 - so over time a higher number of listings is to be expected, given the larger overall stock of dwellings. 

One of the interesting things I noted from the Census is the remarkably low share of population in Melbourne living in an apartment, for a city that is now home to more than 5 million people. 

It's an idea I explored in a little more detail in my free workshop he...


The Future is Not for Sale Sustainable Living Armidale

[ Saturday, 8 Dec; 11:00 am; ] Concerned members of our community who are angry at the news this week that ADANI will be proceeding are invited to join a march to give voice to your concern. The Reef, Queenslands Artesian Water, the climate, the traditional owners, the environment, our young people and the future are all losers if this proceeds. Meet at [...] full article 


Subjects of the imagination: on dropping the settler pen "IndyWatch Feed National"

In 1857, English journalist and author Frank Fowler visited the colony of NSW and wrote with much excitement that our fictionists have fallen upon the soil of Australia, like so many industrious diggers and though merely scratching and fossicking the surface have turned up much precious and malleable stuff. Fowlers brief nineteenth-century summation of the Australian literary landscape still resonates today.


The Australians Green Light For Misreporting And Pushback In The #metoo Era "IndyWatch Feed National"

As a journalist, there are few areas that require more serious investigation, and more careful reporting, than stories on sexual violence against women. Thats always been the rule, but not the case. But in the wake of the #metoo movement, youd think journalists would be paying special attention.

Someone should probably let Chip Le Grand and The Australian newspaper know, because last week, theyve perpetrated what could be one of the most inaccurate and irresponsible pieces of #metoo reporting weve seen so far this year.

For the uninitiated, Le Grand generally reports on sport. Somehow, he got assigned to #metoo.

In a retrospective piece noting that its not just the Liberals who are imploding its also the Greens (a fair point, actually) Le Grand turns his attention to the recent furore in NSW surrounding Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham, and the allegations that he sexually assaulted former Greens staffer Ella Buckland.

Except that thats not really what Le Grand reported. Instead, he characterised the alleged assault as nothing more than an unwanted peck on the neck. Well get to that shortly, because it was preceded by other significant errors.

How can an untested allegation of serious sexual assault become the daily fodder of a state political campaign? Le Grand asked. For the Greens, the origins can be found early in the #MeToo movement, when factional rivals of NSW Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham helped facilitate the airing of a seven-year-old sexual harassment complaint against him by Ella Buckland, a former Greens research assistant.

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

Firstly, the complaint by Ms Buckland is not seven years old. The alleged assault is. The complaint was made early this year, in April 2018.

Secondly, I dont know the inner workings of the Greens any better than I know the inner workings of the Liberals. But I do know that Ella Buckland has stated publicly, multiple times, that no-one helped facilitate her complaint. She has noted that David Shoebridge a Greens NSW MP with no love lost for Buckingham referred her to Greens hierarchy after she approached him, having seen a public social media post Shoebridge wrote in support of other alleged vict...


The Rescue Project "IndyWatch Feed"

The Rescue Project is a citizen storytelling project by UNSW and Landcare Australia, and it invites the public to tell their story of environmental rescue whether that be of a tract of bush, a farm, or indeed a native animal in 500 words. Its a powerful means to express our relationship with the natural world [...] full article 


Community still fighting gas expansion in Narrabri "IndyWatch Feed"

Pilliga protestors. Photo supplied.

Even though almost all of the 23,000 submissions in response to the the Santos Narrabri Project were against Pilliga CSG mining going ahead, locals a still fighting to have their voice heard.

Determined to forgive ahead, Santos are laying kilometres of new pipeline to get more gas from exploration wells, royalty free, to use at the Wilga Park power station and the The North West Alliance group want to draw attention to the current gas expansion happening in Narrabri and the Pilliga State forest.

For over 10 years gas form exploration wells has been generating income for the gas company, while not paying a cent in royalties to NSW. It has been estimated millions of dollars has been missed from going towards essential areas such as hospitals and schools, all because of a legal loophole being exploited.

Just recently Santos asked the NSW Coalition Government for an extra 1000 days to prove the viability of the Pilliga Gas resource, which was granted.

The Berejiklian government went against their own departments advice to exempt the royalties.

This exploration has continued to be an open ended invitation to conduct production under the guise of exploration.

Considering the current scandals plaguing the NSW Dept of Planning, with whistleblowers leaking information on controversial mining decisions and links to alleged corruption, the North West Alliance believes that this current expansion to the Narrabri Gas project should be put on hold until an ICAC can conduct a full investigation. The integrity of the whole system is under question.

Tuesday, 04 December


Melbourne listings surge out of the blocks "IndyWatch Feed"

Listings surge

It's an easier buying environment for property seekers in one sense right now, but it's also become considerably harder to get a mortgage. 

It may be a buyer's market, but many can't afford to buy what they thought they might be able to. 

Stock listings rose in November, as they are wont to do, but the increase in listings in Melbourne has been by far the most substantial, with total stock listings running all the way up to 43,727 from 33,070 a year earlier. 

The latest figures from SQM Research are charted below, and showed that the usual November increase was noticeably more marked in Melbourne (as always, you can click on the graphics to expand them): 

In Sydney there has also been a marked increase in listings in certain regions.

Here's one such postcode, via SQM's detailed figures - a looming glut that was flagged many moons ago, and one which is clearly reflected in the Ryde sub-region experiencing the greatest fall in prices from the market peak in early-to-mid 2017. 

At last there is some stock on the market in Hobart, with a 17 per cent monthly increase to 2,427 listings, but in spite of extraordinarily low vacancy rates in the Tasmanian capital prospective investors are still finding it hard to borrow.



Craig Kelly issue is part of the battle for the Liberals future direction "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed by Ben Wilson

I didnt think Id ever be saying that Malcolm Turnbulls made a good point.  But he has, by saying that the shifty game played by Scott Morrison to keep Craig Kelly on board, a capitulation to the reactionary faction and a weak response, to the threat to a threat to move to the backbench, if he is not preselected to stand for the Liberals.

Craig Kelly does not have the support of the local Liberal Party to be endorsed to stand for the safe seat of Hughes in Sydney. I thought this might have something to do with inner party democracy. It is now clear that such feely warmy stuff is not so precious, and expendable when it no longer suits.

Scott Morrison has changed the rule, using a provision for emergency powers, so that inconvenient decisions by the member of the party that threaten the position of a sitting member can now be overturned by the leader.

Turnbull tried to get the small l Liberals to resist, but it all came to nothing. In a sense, it might be because Turnbull himself as a prisoner and weak in the face of the same people, when he was leader and prime minister.

The main reason, however, is a sense of panic has set in. With Craig Kelly on the crossbench there would be no majority, and many of them might fall down the precipice of a sudden and unwinnable election. None of them want to go out looking for another job and  personal interest triumphed over principle. This is opportunism plain and simple.

Turnbull has no reason to be fond of Kelly, who played a prominant role in his downfall, and represents the faction of Abbott, Dutton and company. Now he can call out enemies with no threat to himself. This should not stop us from recognising the truth of what he says. It is foolish not to. After all, when he is hitting out as his enemies, he is damaging those who most of us would like to see the end of.

It is certain that this game of Morrisons will have repercussions in the Liberal Parry, not only because it strengthens the hand of the most odious section within it and will anger their opponents within. The shift to top down control over preselection is not only about one seat. A precedent has been set to make it easily apply it to other seats. This has created a new battleground that will soon play out.

The fight over the Kelly preselection is intimately tied up with the war over the future political direction of the Liberal Party,  being fought from the grass roots up.

It is a sign of the disarray of a party in a political crisis, where every step it takes gets it deeper into a quagmire it finds impossible to escape. The Liberal Party is in terminal decline, at least in the sense of staying on as the government.

The point is that the longer it stays, the greater the dis...


Gold traders await an early breakout "IndyWatch Feed"

Alright. So what the heck is going on with this market?

That was the question thrown at me when I arrived at a dinner party on Friday night.

Of course, most people might get a hello when they walk into a room and see their friends.

But not me or at least, not on that night.

I knew exactly what my mate was talking about. It wasnt the Aussie market. Even though that fell almost 1% on Friday.

Nope. He was talking about gold and its complete lack of price action.

Uh, you arent going to like to hear what I have to say.

Price doesnt match growing demand


Its one of the few assets where the underlying demand doesnt reflect the physical price.

I explained this just two weeks ago in the Daily Reckoning Australia. Here, the price of gold we see daily is really a result of price discovery coming from both the London Metals Bullion Association and the COMEX futures exchange.

You see, demand for the physical metal is up. But the price of gold has been falling since May.

In the three months prior to September this year, gold bar and coin investment rose 28% compared to the same period last year.

Same goes with central banks. Theyve bought 22% more in the September quarter than last year.

And yet, whats gold done?

Tumbled and then moved sideways.

As far back as June, I had been suggesting the gold price fall was part of a 10% correction. More to the point, I said it was a crucial component of a particular stage of a gold bull market.

Well, the fall played out as I predicted.

However, once the price of gold bottomed, it did, well, nothing.

Thats amongst a tetchy political backdrop increasing naval tensions in the South China Sea and the Federal Reserves continuous rate hiking. Gold has hardly moved.

If anything, the price of gold has dipped further as the US dollar has gone up.

To put it simply, normally, this sort of backdrop would boost gold.

Yet, the yellow metal is having a miserable time.

Just how much longer will it last?

Mr Squiggle attacks the charts

Alright, confession time.

Last week, as I was getting a Hard Money Trader video together for subscribers, I became a little obsessive over the gold charts.



Weird responses of righteous fury, against students who protested about about climate change "IndyWatch Feed"

The weirdest right-wing takes on the student climate protest , Australias free speech warriors took a righteous stand against children fighting for their future. Crikey, DEC 03, 2018   After years of apocalyptic headlines and government intransigence on climate change, the sight of thousands of high school students packing Sydneys Martin Place last Friday provided a jolt of much-needed hope for the future. Armed with loudspeakers, and some incredibly creative posters, the strike which also took place in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Coffs Harbour, Bendigo and other city centres  represented part of a global surge of student-led climate change protests.

It also caused a surge of righteous fury among conservative politicians and commentators; a feeling that was not shared by most Australians who are more worried about climate change than ever, and increasingly are in favour of more renewable energy. Heres a selection of the responses from those who chose to take a stand against the children advocating for their future: (subscribers only)


Fascist Vox gains foothold in Spains Andalusia regional election "IndyWatch Feed"

Contributed by Jim Hayes

Vox has gained 12 parliamentary seats in regional election in Andalusia on 2 December.  Andalusia is Spains southernmost region.

The result is attracting a great deal of attention, because this the first time that a Francoist party has made headway, since the end of the Franco dictatorship, which lasted from 1936 to 1975. It brings an ominous implication for the whole of Spain.

With 6.5 million residents, this is the most populous part of Spain. It is also the poorest and has the highest unemployment rate, not only of Spain, but in the whole of Europe.

Jubilation at Vox headquarters in the regional capital Sevillia.
Video from France 24


This is a traditional stronghold of the Socialist Party, which has been in government for 36 years. But its support base has been shrinking and it took a further hit at this election, resulting in the lowest vote for the party on record.

Traditional rivals, the Popular Party also took a hit, and this benefited Ciudadanos, which more than dounbled its seats to 21, and is the contender for the Popular Partys spot in the political spectrum. Indications are that a considerable part of the Socialist Party base did not even bother to vote. Only 56.5 percent of the electorate did.

Although the Socialist Party stillgained the most vots at 29 percent, and  holds the largest number of seats, 33 in the 109 seat parliament, it is 14 less than before  and not enough to form the new government. To have a chance of doing so, it will have to form an alliance with the anti-austerity party Podemos, which increased its seats from 15 to 17. This is still short of a majority, forming of a government will require some sort of deal with one of the other parties.

The alternative is a Popular Party and Cuidadanos led government, which brings Vox into the coalition or some other form of agreement.

In answer to the dilemma, the Socialists hav appealed to the Popular Party and Ciudadanos not to sell their souls to the fascists and help build a wall against the threat they pose. Podemos has made a similar call. The Popular party and Cuidadanos are signalling that they do indeed want to bringing Vox although this does come with a measure of hesitation. The risk is being branded as pro-fascist, and this could lead to new divisions within and loss of more of the support base.

Behind this situation, is the falling standing of traditional politics and political parties. A large part of the population is looking for alternatives. Driving this, is the failure of govern...


Journalist John Pilger organises film festival "IndyWatch Feed National"

This 29 November 2018 video from Australia says about itself:

Video featuring The Power of the Documentary on ABC News

Power of the Documentary is a film festival curated by John Pilger and in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art, featuring 26 different documentaries.

Video Credit: ABC News Weekend Breakfast, Journalist Miram Corowa.

By Richard Phillips in Australia:

Well-paid journalists have become gormless cyphers of the propaganda of war

John Pilger discusses his The Power of Documentary film festival

3 December 2018

Veteran investigative journalist, documentary filmmaker and author, John Pilger, is currently hosting a special film festival in Australia. Entitled The Power of the Documentary: Breaking the Silence, the festival is on at Riverside Theatres in the western-Sydney suburb of Parramatta and at the Museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Quay in central Sydney. It will run until December 9.

Curated by Pilger, the festival is screening 26 films, including a number of his own documentaries, several significant works by Australian filmmakers and three foundational films from the US and Britain.

Pilger, who has made 62 documentaries since 1970, is one of a handful of journalists internationally who vigorously defends WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. On June 17, he addressed a rally in Sydney organised by the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) to demand Assanges immediate release.

Some of the early Pilger films to be screened include: The Quiet Mutiny, his first documentary for British television; The Outsiders, which features interviews with war correspondents, such as Wilfred Burchett and Martha Gellhorn, and other individuals in 1983; and The Last Dream: Other Peoples Wars (1988), about the history of...

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