Sunday, 17 December 2017

In Australia 90% of the population read news media


Excerpt from AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPER HISTORY GROUP, NEWSLETTER No. 95, December 2017:

The Australian Financial Review’s 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 paper’s 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 Corp’s Herald Sun fell 5.1 per cent to 1.190 million, while the paper’s 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 Australian’s total combined audience across print and digital platforms was 3.159 million, down 4.1 per cent on the year. Sydney’s 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


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 for the development and implementation of a wide range of non-lethal shark mitigation and deterrent measures.
8.20 The committee further recommends that the Australian Government pursue this recommendation at a future Meeting of Environment Ministers.
Recommendation 2
8.28 The committee recommends that, while state government lethal shark control programs remain in place, management arrangements for these programs should include more effective and transparent catch monitoring with the objective of improving understanding of the efficacy of lethal measures for public safety and the effects of the measures on the populations of marine species.
Recommendation 3
8.29 The committee recommends that the Australian Government:
* establish a publicly accessible national database of target and non-target species interactions with shark control measures; and
* require the Department of the Environment and Energy to use this information to prepare and publish an annual assessment of the impacts of lethal shark control measures on target and non-target marine species.
Recommendation 4
8.30 The committee recommends that state governments review and regularly audit the quality of the data collected on target and non-target species interactions with shark control measures.
Recommendation 5
8.37 The committee recommends that the Australian Government establish a review into the effectiveness of shark research and, following the review, commit to providing funding on a long-term basis for research areas that are considered likely to significantly contribute to improved knowledge about effective shark mitigation and deterrent measures.
Recommendation 6
8.38 The committee recommends that the Australian Government review the funding provided to CSIRO to enable CSIRO to:
* undertake ongoing data collection and monitoring to support the determination of white shark population trends;
* develop a predictive model of shark abundance and location; and
*• undertake a social survey to determine how the behaviour of water users has changed in response to the recent human–shark interactions.
8.39 The committee further recommends that the Australian Government seek advice from CSIRO as to whether research can be undertaken to address anecdotal evidence presented to the committee on the potential risk that certain ocean-based activities, such as the use of teaser baits in cage diving, crayfish pots and trophy hunting, might increase the risk of human–shark interactions. The Australian Government should review the funding provided for marine science research to enable CSIRO (or another research institution) to conduct the research CSIRO advises could be undertaken.
Recommendation 7
8.42 The committee recommends that the Australian Government initiate discussions with state and Northern Territory governments regarding the clinical information collected about shark bite incidents to enable subsequent expert analysis of shark behaviour.
Recommendation 8
8.46 The committee recommends that the Australian Government match funding provided by state governments in support of the development of new and emerging shark mitigation and deterrent measures.
Recommendation 9
8.52 The committee recommends that the Australian Government develop a process to ensure products marketed as personal shark deterrent devices are independently verified as being fit-for-purpose.
Recommendation 10
8.53 The committee recommends that the Minister for the Environment and Energy and relevant state governments work with key stakeholder groups, such as national surfing organisations, to encourage water users to take all reasonable steps to reduce the probability of being involved in a shark bite incident, including by endorsing the use of independently verified personal deterrent devices.
Recommendation 11
8.55 The committee recommends that the Western Australian Government's trial rebate program for independently verified personal deterrent devices be made ongoing in Western Australia and adopted by other relevant state governments.
8.56 The committee further recommends that relevant state governments consider developing programs for subsidising independently verified personal deterrent devices for occasional surfers at beaches associated with the risk of dangerous shark encounters.
Recommendation 12
8.62 The committee recommends that the Australian Government hold a National Shark Summit of shark experts.
Recommendation 13
8.63 The committee recommends that the Australian Government establish a National Shark Stakeholder Working Group comprising key stakeholders in shark management policies. The principal function of the Working Group would be to further the objective of ending lethal shark control programs by developing strategies and facilitating information sharing about the effective use of non-lethal measures.
Recommendation 14
8.68 The committee recommends that the National Shark Stakeholder Working Group review the adequacy of information available to beachgoers regarding the risk presented by sharks, such as signage at beaches and how real-time information provided through shark alert apps can be made available at beaches.
Recommendation 15
8.69 The committee recommends that the Australian Government, working with relevant state governments, develop a program to provide grants for specialised trauma kits at venues near beaches associated with the risk of human–shark encounters.
Recommendation 16
8.70 The committee recommends that relevant state governments review the water safety education programs and education about sharks generally that is provided in schools (particularly schools in coastal areas), with a view to enhancing the education provided on reducing the risk of shark interactions and improving knowledge about shark behaviour and the ecological value of sharks.
8.71 As part of these reviews, the committee recommends that state governments consider the role that relevant community and scientific organisations with expertise in human–shark encounters could have in supporting the delivery of such programs.
Recommendation 17
8.72 The committee recommends that the National Shark Stakeholder Working Group review the various social media accounts and apps that distribute real-time information about shark sightings and warnings about the risk of shark activity to consider whether an integrated national database and app should be established.
Recommendation 18
8.74 The committee recommends that the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries improve its consultation and communication with animal rescue groups regarding marine wildlife caught in or injured by lethal shark control measures.
Recommendation 19
8.80 In light of the repeated use of section 158 exemptions for lethal shark control programs, the committee recommends that the next independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 carefully consider whether section 158 is operating as intended. In particular, the committee recommends that the independent review consider:
* whether the matters the Minister may consider in determining the national interest should be limited; and
* whether section 158 should be amended to prohibit the repeated granting of exemptions for the same controlled action or any other controlled action of a similar nature.
Recommendation 20
8.81 The committee recommends that the Minister for the Environment and Energy refrain from granting exemptions under section 158 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 for matters relating to shark control programs until after the operation of section 158 has been reviewed in accordance with Recommendation 19.

The burning question which flows from these recommendations is: Will the Berejiklian Government listen?

Saturday, 16 December 2017

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



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

See http://tallyroom.aec.gov.au/HouseDivisionPage-21379-105.htm for rolling results of Bennelong by-election.

ABC News 24 live by-election coverage at http://www.abc.net.au/news/newschannel/

Just because it is beautiful.......(34)


Sulpher Crested Cockatoo
Cacatua galerita

Image: Clement Tang


Frequently kept as a pet by Australian families.

Tweet of the Week



Friday, 15 December 2017

Crime trends in the Clarence Valley October 2007 to September 2017


In the ten years between October 2007 and September 2017 crime trends in the Clarence Valley Local Government Area have remained numerically and statistically small in 5 crime categories covering murder and violent robbery.

While crime trends remain stable in 6 crime categories (assault unrelated to domestic violence, sexual assault & other sexual offences, stealing from a car and stealing from a store ) and fallen in another 4 crime categories (stealing motor vehicles and break, enter dwellings & non-dwellings and malicious damage).

Crime trends have only risen in 2 out of 17 commonly listed crime categories over these ten years – Fraud up 10.5 per cent & Assault –Domestic Violence Related up 3.6 per cent.


October 2007 to September 2017
Fraud, Clarence Valley Local Government Area
Statistically significant Upward trend over the 120 month period.
The average annual percentage change was: 10.5%

October 2007 to September 2017
Assault - domestic violence related, Clarence Valley Local Government Area
Statistically significant Upward trend over the 120 month period.
The average annual percentage change was: 3.6%

Other crimes that are often mentioned whenever the subject of crime arises.

October 2007 to September 2017
Sexual assault, Clarence Valley Local Government Area
No statistically significant upward or downward trend over the 120 month period.

October 2007 to September 2017
Indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences, Clarence Valley Local Government Area
No statistically significant upward or downward trend over the 120 month period.

October 2007 to September 2017
Break and enter - dwelling, Clarence Valley Local Government Area
Statistically significant Downward trend over the 120 month period.
The average annual percentage change was: -5.5%

October 2007 to September 2017
Motor vehicle theft, Clarence Valley Local Government Area
Statistically significant Downward trend over the 120 month period.
The average annual percentage change was: -4.2%

October 2007 to September 2017
Malicious damage to property, Clarence Valley Local Government Area
Statistically significant Downward trend over the 120 month period.
The average annual percentage change was: -5.9%

As for drug and alcohol offences in the Clarence Valley Local Government Area (est. resident population 51,367), the data collected over the ten year period revealed that cannabis cultivation was stable but possession and use of cannabis had risen over that period. While possession and use of cocaine, ecstasy,narcotics and other drugs was numerically small and statistically insignificant over those same ten years.

Click on images to enlarge

Selected crimes across 17 major crime categories.


NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research Crime Trends Interactive Tool to create graphs and tables for other NSW local government areas.

About that political influence on domestic affairs on the part of foreign powers, Prime Minister Turnbull.....



He went on to excoriate the Labor Party in parliament last week with regard to its contacts with Chinese nationals.

This week the primary subject of Turnbull's verbal attacks announced his resignation from the Australian Parliament.

However, this week also brings news from Western Australia which demonstrates just how hypocritical is the prime minister’s political posturing.

Via @kimbakit

Then came this three days later.

Via @kimbakit

When it comes to close association with or susceptibility to foreign influence, Malcolm Turnbull is engaging in a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black.

By way of background…..

Political donations to the Liberal Party & fund raising at West Australian level involving The 500 Club and companies/individuals having ties to the People’s Republic of China in 2015-16:

The 500 Club (WA) - $15,000, $20,000, $20,000, $20,000, $20,000, $30,000, $55,000
Chaoshan No 1 Pty Ltd ATF Legpro 30 Unit Trust (Chinese billionaire Xiangmo Huang is a director) - $10,000, $20,000,
Hong Kong Kingson Investments (Australian-Chinese billionaire Chau Chak Wing) - $200,000, $200,000
Kingold Group (Chinese-born billionaire Chau Chak Wing) - $200,000

Political donations to the Liberal Party & fund raising at Federal level involving The 500 Club and companies/individuals having ties to the People’s Republic of China in 2015-16:

The 500 Club (WA) - nil
Hong Kong Kingson Investments - $400,000, $100,000, 10,000

Of course neither Western Australia nor the Liberal Party are alone in receiving political donations from Chinese interests and readers can click on this searchable database 
http://democracyforsale.net/search-aec/ to view declared donations from all sources going back to 1998-99.

The connection between political parties and big business which appears to be cemented by these donations has long been a troublesome aspect of federal and state election processes, with ABC News reporting in December 2016; Declared donations and payments to Australian political parties are about to top $1 billion, a new analysis of data shows.

Businesses with Chinese connection donated more than $5.5 million between 2013 and 2015 - a breakdown of these donations can be found here.

Then there is the matter of undeclared donations and other undeclared income.

According to GetUp!:

Australian law requires all payments to politicians over $13,200 to be publicly declared - an important public transparency measure to stop corruption.

But right now there are some gaping legal loopholes that see tens of millions of dollars funnelled into the pockets of our politicians with no oversight, no accountability.

By piecing together fragments of publicly available data, our research reveals the full extent of hidden 'Dark Money' flooding our political system…..

Last election the Liberal Party transparently declared only 13% of their total private income. 

The Liberal Party declared $8.98 million transparently, funnelled a further $5.5 million of donations through "affiliated entities", and listed $8.97 million as "other receipts". A full $45.9 million of their income was undisclosed Dark Money.

Last election the Labor Party transparently declared 21% of their total private income.  

Labor declared $10.4 million transparently and listed $15 million as "other receipts" (note: Labor listed all income from affiliated entities as "other receipts"). A full $24.4 million of their income was entirely undisclosed Dark Money.

Make no mistake, it is not the intention of the Turnbull Government to turn off the foreign donation tap, no matter what the current rhetoric. If NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption investigations have shown us anything, it is that politicians, political parties and vested interests are highly creative in how they deliver/receive banned political donations.