Saturday, 8 May 2021

Quote of the Week


“After decades of governments urging migrants to take out Australian citizenship for their own good, the Morrison government in the early hours of Saturday morning effectively told them it was worthless….These past few days have forced me to question my choice decades ago to become an Australian citizen [Opinion Columnist Niki Savva writing in The Australian, 6 May 2021]

Cartoons of the Week


Jon Kudelka


Cathy Wilcox

Tweets of the Week




Friday, 7 May 2021

Are social media 'influencers' nothing more than an assorted collection of advertisers and direct marketers out for what they can get?

Echo NetDaily, 27 April 2021:

..What is an influencer? It seems that we say the word, but most people over 35 don’t really have a clue what it means in the context of social media and brand marketing. And those under 35, the target group, are generally so used to their existence and intent that the lines between branded content and real comment are totally blurred. If TV and print have been declared dead, then so is advertising in its current format. Social media platforms have become the host of mass engagement, and so capitalism has crept in as ‘influencing’. A clever and direct way for brands to market directly to consumers without the usual controls and regulations that govern traditional advertising. While they are still under the same rules, there has been no stoush to date between a high-profile influencer and the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA).

An influencer is defined as someone who has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of an authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience. They follow a distinct niche where they actively engage to garner a following that will depend on the size of their topic of the niche. Individuals are not just marketing tools but rather social relationship assets that brands collaborate with to achieve marketing objectives. In short, they’re advertisers…...

Over 3.4 billion people use social media. This translates as 45 per cent of the world’s population. That’s a platform advertisers want. Social media are perceived as being individually curated by the user, and we access other individually curated profiles. From a marketing standpoint it’s pure gold. It’s person-to-person direct marketing. Except you choose to follow and consume the content of your chosen influencer/advertiser. In the old days we used to mute the ads on the telly; now we go to social media and subscribe and watch and like.

The problem with influencers is that the lines are blurred. Everyone knew advertising was fake. Actors playing the part of grumpy mums sick of wiping a bench, or some girl thrilled with the freedom her tampons gave her. We knew the script was written, the scenes were shot in a studio or on location, and we were expected to be tricked into believing the narrative as real. Influencers aren’t actors; they’re real people. They don’t broadcast from networks; they share from their personal accounts in their kitchen. It’s self-shot content to promote brands – that can become very confusing re authenticity. Clearly it’s authenticity they are harvesting to push the sell. They still have to be clear that it’s an ad, so it’s different from their usual posts, but very often the message is camouflaged and slips through as regular content.

So without the regulators breathing down your neck, how much duty of care do influencers take when deciding to take on a product to promote? While I am sure there are those who are highly ethical, there are just so many influencers and it is clear that there are those who don’t do the due diligence on what they push to their followers.

Blindboy is an Irish satirist and podcaster who duped reality stars and influencers into agreeing to promote a fake diet drink containing cyanide to their Instagram followers. In his 2019 BBC documentary Blindboy Undestroys The World he offers three influencers a fake diet drink brand deal. They were all told the product contained the ingredient hydrogen cyanide but they couldn’t try it as the product wasn’t ready yet. Blindboy was very transparent in presenting the product to see if they’d sell a product to their fans that would kill them. They all agreed to promote the product without trying it first. So I guess the answer is ‘Yes’. They were prepared to promote a drink that could kill. Not everyone does their due diligence. And as advertising now seeks to market to us using authenticity and our sense of what’s ‘real’ as cover, then we the consumers need full disclosure.

For a start we can rename influencers to advertisers. That at least would be authentic. Because it would be true.

But I guess no-one wants to watch a show about a bunch of advertisers in Byron Bay.

Netflix first promoted "Byron Baes" as a 'docusoap' about influencers & hot Instagrammers - now it is calling it a 'reality show'.

In my opinion, what this US-owned corporation is about to produce is an exploitative reworking of a tired old tv format, which will leave more than a few of the show's Byron Bay-based cast with their reputations in tatters.

Clarence Valley community firm in its resistance to mining in the Clarence River catchment area - over 10,000 strong petition on its way to NSW Parliament today

Upper Clarence River catchment in flood, March 2021
It is in steep country such as this that Deputy Premier John Barilaro and the NSW Nationals want to establish mining ventures & associated unstable mining waste hillside tailing dams.
IMAGE: The Daily Telegraph

Clarence Catchment Alliance, media release, 5 May 2021:

The Clarence community and the Clarence Catchment Alliance's fight to stop mining in the water catchment gets a big leap forward on Friday the 7th May.

Standing beside the Clarence River, at the Lawrence Hall, at 3 PM this Friday, NSW Legislative Council Member the Hon Catherine Cusack will receive the Alliance's petition of well over 10,000 signatures against mining. She will subsequently present the petition to the NSW Legislative Council for debate in Parliament.

The petition calls for a to stop exploration and new mineral mining in the Clarence water catchment. Australian and international evidence proves that mineral mining besides waterways has a horrific track record. The chemicals used in the process as well as acidic tailings in high rainfall areas pollute waterways.

The Clarence Catchment provides drinking water for the Valley and neighbouring shires, as well as water for the agricultural, pastoral, fishing industries, and tourism. Our rivers and waterways are home to endangered species, unique ecology and are of high spiritual and cultural significance to local Traditional Owners.

Getting the 10,000 plus signatures has been a two year undertaking by volunteers of the Clarence Catchment Alliance, which is a non-political community organization, and their supporters.

In recent months, the Clarence Valley Council has passed two motions against mining, which gives parliament a precedent for action.

Last year, Ms Cusack crossed the floor in parliament in favour of the protection of koalas and their habitat.

The Clarence Catchment Alliance will present Ms Cusack with the petition on Friday with the Mayor and respected community leaders in attendance.

For more information please follow this link:

Shae Fleming and Elizabeth Parker

Campaign Coordinators

Clarence Catchment Alliance


PO Box 4089, Lawrence, NSW 2460

For more information on our campaign please visit


Instagram: @nominesclarencevalley

Facebook: Clarence Catchment Alliance


Soundcloud: CCA Clarence Valley

I acknowledge and respect the traditional custodians of the lands on which we live the Bundjalung, Gumbaynggirr, and Yaegl nations.


Thursday, 6 May 2021

NSW Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin is urging eligible organisations to apply before 25 June 2021 for their share of the NSW Government’s $100-million Stronger Country Communities Fund Round 4.

From the office of NSW Labor MLA for Lismore, Janelle Saffin, 3 May 2021:

Apply for Stronger Country Communities Fund Round 4

STATE Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin is urging eligible organisations to apply for their share of the NSW Government’s $100-million Stronger Country Communities Fund Round 4.

Ms Saffin welcomed Round 4’s strong emphasis on increasing participation in women’s sport with $50 million dedicated to projects that enhance female sporting facilities and increase female participation in sport in regions like the Northern Rivers and the Northern Tablelands.

The remaining $50 million in funding is available for other local community and sporting infrastructure, street beautification, and community programs and local events,” Ms Saffin said.

Eligible applicants include local councils and joint organisations, non-government organisations, community organisations registered as incorporated associations and Local Aboriginal Land Councils.

Local councils like Lismore City, Kyogle, Tenterfield and Tweed shires are encouraged to work with community groups to identify priority projects and should consider partnerships where council is the landowner.”

Ms Saffin said applications opened at the weekend (Saturday 1 May 2021) and close at 12pm on Friday, 25 June 2021, with projects assessed and approved by 20 August 2021. Successful project would be announced from September 2021.

Ms Saffin is keen to be briefed on projects and can provide letters of support if required.

More information on Stronger Country Communities Fund Round 4 is available from or by contacting the Department of Regional NSW (DRNSW) – or 1300 679 673.

Under three previous funding rounds, the Fund has provided $400 million for 1500 projects across every regional Local Government Area across the State.