Thursday 31 August 2017

The persistence and quiet dignity of the Yaegl community in their long struggle to achieve Native Title over traditional land and waters has seen Part B of Yaegl People #2 claim determined in their favour

Map showing Native Title area surrounding Dirrangun

ABC News, 31 August 2017:

History has been made on the New South Wales north coast today with the granting of a native title claim over the ocean.

The Yaegl people of the lower Clarence first started native title proceedings more than 20 years ago and two years ago the land was granted but now, for the first time in NSW, their rights to a stretch of sea have also been recognised.

The claim involves more than 90 kilometres of coastline between Woody Head and Wooli and extends 200 metres out to sea.

The decision means native title holders cannot be prohibited or restricted from carrying out fishing for personal, non-commercial needs.

It does not affect commercial fishing operations or public access to beaches.

What does this native title allow?

The right to access, traverse and remain on the ocean
The taking, using, offering, sharing and exchanging of resources in the area for non-commercial purposes
The right to maintain and protect places, objects and areas of importance under traditional laws and customs
The right to be accompanied by others on those areas

Claimant spokesperson and Yaegl man Billy Walker said the granting of native title means freedom and independence for the Yaegl people.

"The Yaegl people can proudly say I'm going to go fishing, I'm going to go worming. I'm going to go and get pippies," he said.

"I'm going to do what I can on the foreshores and out at sea without anybody looking over our shoulders telling us what to do and what we can't do.

"It's … a very historic day not only for the Yaegl people but also sets a precedent for other claim groups up and down the east coast of NSW."

Mr Walker said the result gave protection to the Dirrangan reef, at the mouth of the Clarence, which "we've always wanted to protect from day one".....

NTS Corp, the native title provider in NSW, said the Yaegl people will continue to self-regulate their fishing to ensure the sustainability of the fisheries as they have for thousands of years.


Part B of Yaegl People #2 was resolved by consent determination on 31 August 2017. The applicants on behalf of the Yaegl People were Lillian Williams, Ron Heron, Vivienne King, Eileen Mcleay, Judy Breckenridge, Deidre Ann Randall, William Walker, Noeline Kapeen, Ferlin Lee Laurie, Clarence Randall, Ken Laurie. View orders  with all four maps.

The Yaegl Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC has consented in writing to hold the rights and interests comprising the native title in trust for the common law holders and to perform the functions of a registered native title body corporate under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)

Matters don't seem to have markedly improved for the Liberal Party since February 2015

Full February 2015 six-page Higginson letter here.

Just on seven months later the disunity within the Liberal Party came to a head with the sacking of then Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the installation of Malcolm Bligh Turnbull.

On 2 July 2016 the first double dissolution federal election in 30 years was held and, although the Liberal-Nationals Coalition was returned to government it was with a reduced majority after the loss of 14 seats.

In August 2016 ABC News reported that:

The New South Wales division of the Liberal Party took out two multi-million-dollar loans with Westpac in little over a year as it struggled with deep financial problems in the lead-up to the federal election campaign.
Internal documents sighted by Four Corners reveal that the embattled Liberal Party division took out the first $7 million loan with Westpac prior to the NSW state election in March 2015, secured against anticipated public funding from the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC).

While current Australian Prime Minister and multimillionaire Malcolm Turnbull was forced to personally donate $1.75 million to the federal Liberal Party during the 2016 federal election campaign to ease its financial distress.

In 2017 factional divisions within the Liberal Party remain on public display:

On 21 August 2017 the Federal Coalition recorded its 18th consecutive poor Newspoll result which would have seen it lose government if a general election had been held on that day.

Four days later the Australian Electoral Commission announced that an additional 90,000 Australians have registered to vote since 8 August 2017 – increasing the number of registered voters to 16 million and making the current Commonwealth Electoral Roll the largest since Federation. When age demographics are broken down, 65,000 of these new voters are young people between 18 and 24 years of age. An age group thought to favour the Australian Labor Party and The Greens.

Sometime between 4 August 2018 and 18 May 2019 the Turnbull Government with its slim one MP majority is obliged to go to a general election.

The optics are not looking good.        

Wednesday 30 August 2017

CBS Corporation announces deal to buy Network Ten

CBS Corporation, media release, 27 August 2017:

 Deal to Buy Network Ten Will Accelerate CBS’ Global Growth Strategy in Key English-speaking Market
Acquisition Also Paves the Way to Launch
CBS All Access in Australia

SYDNEY, AMSTERDAM AND NEW YORK – August 27, 2017 – CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) has agreed to acquire Network Ten, one of three major commercial broadcast networks in Australia, it was announced today by Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves. This transaction adds Network Ten to CBS Corporation’s global content and distribution portfolios. In addition to core linear channel TEN, the deal includes digital terrestrial television channel (DTT) ELEVEN, which CBS already owns a 33 per cent stake, the DTT channel ONE and Network Ten’s rapidly growing digital platform, TENPLAY.

At the same time, by leveraging Network Ten’s linear and digital assets, CBS will also launch CBS All Access, the Company’s digital subscription video on-demand service, in the Australian market. This marks another international territory announced for CBS All Access this month. The Company recently unveiled plans to make the service available in Canada next year.
“Network Ten is a prime broadcasting asset with over half a century of experience and brand equity in Australia,” said Leslie Moonves, Chairman and CEO, CBS Corporation. “We have been able to acquire it at a valuation that gives us confidence we will grow this asset by applying our programming expertise in a market with which we are already familiar.”

“Network Ten and CBS have enjoyed a close working relationship for nearly two decades, and now CBS will continue to provide Network Ten with access to the very best in U.S. content. We also look forward to working with the outstanding team at Network Ten to enhance and expand on its great legacy of Australian news, drama, reality and sports programming,” said Armando Nuñez, President and CEO, CBS Studios International. “This acquisition not only presents CBS with considerable broadcasting opportunities in Australia, but also allows for further multi-platform distribution and growth.”

The transaction will be completed in accordance with the Australian voluntary administration process and is subject to certain regulatory approvals.

About CBS Corporation:

CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) is a mass media company that creates and distributes industry-leading content across a variety of platforms to audiences around the world. The Company has businesses with origins that date back to the dawn of the broadcasting age as well as new ventures that operate on the leading edge of media. CBS owns the most watched television network in the U.S. and one of the world’s largest libraries of entertainment content, making its brand — “the Eye” — one of the most recognized in business. The Company’s operations span virtually every field of media and entertainment, including cable, publishing, radio, local TV, film, and interactive and socially responsible media. CBS’ businesses include CBSTelevision Network, The CW (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), CBS Television Studios, CBS Studios International, CBS Television Distribution, CBS Consumer Products, CBS Home Entertainment, CBSInteractive, CBS Films, Showtime Networks, CBS Sports Network, Pop (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Lionsgate), Smithsonian Networks, Simon & Schuster, CBS Television Stations, CBS Radio and CBS EcoMedia. For more information, go to

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The anti-same sex marriage lobby and below-the-radar bedfellows

There is not much transparency in the same-sex marriage debate ahead of the voluntary postal vote.

Take these websites which appear to have been purpose created in the last twelve months wth the deliberate aim of influencing voters on a specific issue…….

The Big Deal About Marriage at and It’s OK To Say NO at

These sites are registered by the Trustee for Antidote and Dean Millington according to Whois DOMAINTOOLS.

The Trustee for Antidote is a discretionary services management trust which has been operating since 2005 under the trading name ANTIDOTE Marketing and Dean Millington is a director.

The company does not appear to list any individual or anti same-sex marriage lobby group amongst its predominately pharma & health services clients.

According to Antidote website and Millington amongst these clients/business partners are:

Fresenius Kabi
Princeton Health
Princeton Digital
Ergo Advertising
VIVA Communications
Data Jukebox
DCM Partners

I wonder if these companies feel comfortable being (albeit remotely) associated with two anti-gay marriage websites which produce what are essentially simplistic, irrelevant, nonsensical or downright dubious conclusions from sometimes misrepresented data and studies.

For instance Pfizer Australia states on its own website:

Pfizer Australia employs more than 1,700 scientists, chemists, doctors, marketers, machine operators and other professional colleagues. We provide opportunities in a range of fields including medical, research and development, manufacturing, health economics, marketing and sales and regulatory affairs.
Pfizer Australia is committed to the recruitment, advancement and fair treatment of individuals without discrimination based on factors such as race, disability, sex, age, ethnic or national origin, religion, citizenship, family or marital status, political beliefs, sexual preference or other factors included in the Equal Employment Opportunity Legislation. Our Pfizer Values have ensured that this statement is more than a legal obligation. It is a way of life and a business-driven philosophy.

One suspects that this large multinational corporation would perhaps prefer to hold a neutral position on the current same-sex marriage debate in this country.

Given that these linked anti-same sex marriage websites offer site visitors a booklet written by Dr Con Kafataris, a member of the Christian Democratic Party (CDP), who publicly promotes “the case for traditional and Biblical marriage” one might suspect either the doctor or the CDP financed this website.

Either way, at the time of writing this post these websites were careful to make no mention of ownership or funding details.

Tuesday 29 August 2017

Enter Stage Right: TONY ABBOTT *dripping hypocrisy*

"I'd probably be too much of a grog-monster for you fellas"
[, 25 January 2013]

The Age, 26 August 2017:

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has defended himself for being drunk and incapacitated on the job in 2009, while slamming welfare recipients for blowing taxpayers' money on booze.

Mr Abbott, who admitted to passing out in his office and missing key votes following a rowdy dinner while in opposition, said his drinking binge paled in comparison to Labor's profligate spending…..

In the same 2UE interview on Saturday, Mr Abbott argued for the rollout of cashless welfare cards for all working age Australians receiving benefits from the government, to help combat binge drinking…..

"The whips tried to rouse him to get him down into the chamber to vote, but they were unable to move him," Mr Turnbull recounted on Friday.

"I can't remember anyone else missing a vote because they were too drunk to get in the chamber, but the fact is Tony Abbott has 'fessed up to it." [my highlighting]

SEIN KAMPF: how many in Germany see Donald John Trump post-Charlottesville

Neonazis, Klu-Klux-Klan,
How Donald Trump fuelled hatred in America”
[Stern news magazine, 23 August 2017]

Monday 28 August 2017

Legality of Same-Sex Marriage voluntary postal survey to be decided by High Court of Australia on 5 September 2017

On the question of whether the law should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry…..

On 8 August 2017 the Turnbull Government announced it would proceed with a voluntary postal plebiscite if the Senate again refused to pass the Bill for a compulsory attendance plebiscite.

On 9 August the Finance Minister announced that the Australian Bureau of Statistics would conduct a voluntary postal survey of citizens registered to vote.

On 10 August proceedings were commenced in the High Court challenging the minister’s power to expend monies to conduct this survey.

High Court of Australia, August 2017:

10/08/2017 Application for an order to show cause
10/08/2017 Notice of constitutional matter (Plaintiffs)
11/08/2017 Hearing (Single Justice, Sydney v/ link Melbourne)
14/08/2017 Amended Application for an order to show cause
16/08/2017 Appearance (Defendant 4, Submitting)
17/08/2017 Hearing (Single Justice, Brisbane v/link Melbourne & Sydney)
23/08/2017 Written submissions (Plaintiffs)
23/08/2017 Chronology
30/08/2017 Written submissions (Defendants)
01/09/2017 Reply
05/09/2017 Hearing (Full Court, Melbourne)
*The due dates shown for documents on this page are indicative only. 

Related matter:
M106/2017 – Australian Marriage Equality Ltd & Anor v. Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann & Anor

10/08/2017 Writ of summons
10/08/2017 Statement of claim
10/08/2017 Notice of constitutional matter (Plaintiffs)
11/08/2017 Hearing (Single Justice, Sydney v/link Melbourne)
14/08/2017 Amended Statement of claim
16/08/2017 Defence (First Defendant)
16/08/2017 Submitting Appearance (Second Defendant)
17/08/2017 Hearing (Single Justice, Brisbane v/link Melbourne & Sydney)
21/08/2017 Special case
23/08/2017 Written submissions (Plaintiffs)
23/08/2017 Chronology
30/08/2017 Written submissions (First Defendant)
01/09/2017 Reply
05/09/2017 Hearing (Full Court, Melbourne)
*The due dates shown for documents on this page are indicative only. 

Retirement, bereavement, change in home situation, infrequent contact with family and friends, and social isolation leading to an increase in alcohol consumption by older people

British Medical Journal, Substance misuse in older people, 22 August 2017:
Baby boomers are the population at highest risk
Developed countries have seen substantial increases in longevity over the past 20 years, contributing to a global demographic shift. The number of older people (aged over 50) experiencing problems from substance misuse is also growing rapidly, with the numbers receiving treatment expected to treble in the United States and double in Europe by 2020.1

In both the UK and Australia, risky drinking is declining, except among people aged 50 years and older.23 There is also a strong upward trend for episodic heavy drinking in this age group. This generational trend is not restricted to alcohol. In Australia, the largest percentage increase in drug misuse between 2013 and 2016 was among people aged 60 and over, with this age group mainly misusing prescription drugs. However, people over 50 also have higher rates than younger age groups for both past year and lifetime illicit drug misuse (notably cannabis).4

Of additional concern is the increasing proportion of women drinking in later life, particularly those whose alcohol consumption is triggered by life events such as retirement, bereavement, change in home situation, infrequent contact with family and friends, and social isolation. The rise of alcohol misuse in "baby boomers" (people born between 1946 and 1964) has also been noted in Asian countries.5

Older people with substance misuse show different characteristics but most fall into one of three groups: maintainers (unchanged lifetime patterns), survivors (long term problem users), and reactors (later uptake or increased patterns). The distinction is important because each requires different assessment, intervention, and treatment regimens.6

With alcohol being the most common substance of misuse among older people, underdetection of alcohol problems is of immediate concern. Alcohol misuse in the older population may increase further as baby boomers get older because of their more liberal views towards, and higher use of, alcohol. A lack of sound alcohol screening to detect risky drinking may result in a greater need for treatment, longer duration of treatment, heavier use of ambulance services, and higher rates of hospital admission.
Two systematic reviews of both descriptive and analytical trials found that treatment programmes adapted for older people with substance misuse were associated with better outcomes than programmes aimed at all age groups.78 Age adapted programmes resulted in less severe addiction, higher rates of abstinence, improved health status, and better aftercare. Assessment, treatment, and recovery plans require careful consideration of age specific clinical needs. Professionals need to consider the possibility of coexisting mental disorders such as cognitive impairment and depression (dual diagnosis), as well as complex physical presentations that may include the presence of pain, insomnia, or the non-medical use of prescription drugs. Older people with dual diagnosis use both inpatient and outpatient services more frequently than those with substance misuse alone.9 The management of substance use in older people can also be influenced by mental capacity, which may change with the onset of cognitive impairment.

Future healthcare for older people with substance misuse will continue to present challenges for service delivery, particularly with the growing influence of baby boomers. Some of the recommendations from the 2011 Royal College of Psychiatrists' report on substance misuse in older people (Our Invisible Addicts),10 such as examining safe drinking limits for older people, developing age specific skills in the assessment and treatment of substance misuse, and adapting services have been incorporated into an information guide for clinical practice.11 In the United States, the importance of better education for clinicians has already been noted.12 In the UK, a revision of Our Invisible Addicts is under way.

The baby boomer population also brings challenges to the diagnostic process, given the complexity of clinical presentations. Clinicians will need improved knowledge and skills in assessing and treating older people at risk of misuse of opiate prescription drugs, cannabis, and, increasingly, gabapentinoid drugs used to treat neuropathic pain and anxiety.13

Guidance for service commissioners has begun to acknowledge the needs of older people with substance misuse, particularly in the context of dual diagnosis.14 The Drink Wise Age Well project in the UK has also started to evaluate interventions for alcohol misuse in older people.15 But there remains an urgent need for better drug treatments for older people with substance misuse, more widespread training, and above all a stronger evidence base for both prevention and treatment.

The clinical complexity of older adults with substance misuse demands new solutions to a rapidly growing problem. So far, there has been little sign of a coordinated international approach to integrated care.


Wu LT, Blazer DG. Substance use disorders and psychiatric comorbidity in mid and later life: a review. Int J Epidemiol2014;358:304-17doi:10.1093/ije/dyt173 pmid:24163278.
Office for National Statistics. Adult drinking habits in Great Britain: 2005 to 2016. 2017.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) 2016: key findings. 2017.
Kostadinov V, Roche A. Bongs and baby boomers: Trends in cannabis use among older Australians. Australas J Ageing2017;358:56-9.. doi:10.1111/ajag.12357 pmid:27730759.
Nadkarni A, Murthy P, Crome IB, Rao R. Alcohol use and alcohol-use disorders among older adults in India: a literature review. Aging Ment Health2013;358:979-91.. doi:10.1080/13607863.2013.793653 pmid:23659339.
6.     <![endif]>
Nicholas R, Roche AM. Grey matters. Preventing and responding to alcohol and other drug problems among older Australians. Information Sheet 3. The silver tsunami: the impact of Australia's ageing population.National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction, Flinders University, 2014
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Moy I, Crome P, Crome I, Fisher M. Systematic and narrative review of treatment for older people with substance problems. Eur Geriatr Med2011;358:212-36doi:10.1016/j.eurger.2011.06.004.
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Bhatia U, Nadkarni A, Murthy P, et al. Recent advances in treatment for older people with substance use problems: An updated systematic and narrative review. Eur Geriatr Med2015;358:580-6doi:10.1016/j.eurger.2015.07.001.
Bartels SJ, Coakley EH, Zubritsky C, et al. PRISM-E Investigators. Improving access to geriatric mental health services: a randomized trial comparing treatment engagement with integrated versus enhanced referral care for depression, anxiety, and at-risk alcohol use. Am J Psychiatry2004;358:1455-62 pmid:15285973.
Royal College of Psychiatrists. Our invisible addicts: first report of the older persons' substance misuse working group of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. 2011.
Rao RT, Crome I, Crome P. Substance Misuse in Older People: an Information Guide. Cross Faculty Report FR/OA/A)/01.The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2015,
De Jong CAJ, Goodair C, Crome I, et al. Substance misuse education for physicians: why older people are important. Yale J Biol Med2016;358:97-103
Evoy KE, Morrison MD, Saklad SR. Abuse and misuse of pregabalin and gabapentin. Drugs2017;358:403-26.doi:10.1007/s40265-017-0700-x pmid:28144823.
Public Health England. Better care for people with co-occurring mental health, and alcohol and drug use conditions. 2017.