Monday 30 September 2019

Water raiders drop the pretence and go for source of Clarence Valley's drinking water

Having degraded their own rivers and failed to adequately plan their own water security for times of drought, local governments in the Murray-Darling Basin are calling for damming and diversion of water from the Northern NSW Clarence River system.

Thus far the Maryland River and the Aberfoyle River have been identified as desirable options by these wannabee water raiders. 

This is the Clarence River Catchment.
via Blicks River Guardians

The Aberfolye River is shown in the left hand lower curve of the catchment boundary.

The river is approximately 115km in length with an annual average water flow of 19,482 ML.

The Aberfoyle River* empties into the Guy Fawkes River which in turn runs into the Boyd River which is a tributary of the Nymbodia River which itself is the greatest contributor of water to the Clarence River system and the source of at least 95 per cent of Clarence Valley drinking water.

The Nymboida River is also the source for water storage held in the 30,000Ml Shannon Creek side dam which supplies water security for a combined total of 128,198 residents (as well as local businesses and over 5 million tourists annually) in Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour City local government areas.

Ten years ago the Nymboida was supplying water for a population of 95,000 - in forty years time it is conservatively expected to supply 220,000.

This proposal appears to be based on one of fourteen Clarence River diversion schemes 'desktop' investigated in the early 1980s - specifically a proposed dam on the Aberfoyle diverting water to either Happy Valley, Boorolong or Teatree creeks to feed the Gwydir River, or alternatively an Aberfoyle dam to feed the Gara River. 

Drawing more water from the Upper Nymboida sub-catchment will in all probability raise hydrological and environmental stress on the entire Nymboida River and, may result in water levels at the Nymboida Weir falling below the 225Ml/D low flow level pumping cutoff up to est. 80 per cent of the time.

At the time of writing the Nymboida flow was 200Ml/D.

Indeed, given that rainfall decline has been occurring in the Northern Rivers region for around five decades, any further decline in available river water to supply daily use and long-term water storage has the potential to see intractable water scarcity develop in Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour City local government areas, as well as a sharp decline in the health of the Nymboida River.

The rest of eastern Australia needs to realise that the Clarence River system is not filled to the brim with harvestable water. The 500,000,000Ml of water annually discharging into the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the Clarence River was a myth from the first time it was calculated.

Even Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour City councils will have to curb their desire for continuous development, as they probably have less than twenty years of water security remaining even if the wall of Shannon Creek Dam were to be raised.

Since the Millennium Drought Clarence Valley households have been on permanent low level water use restrictions as a precautionary measure, but as this current drought** may indicate that severe drought is no longer an anomaly but an everyday fact of life, we may be facing a higher level of permanent water restrictions very soon. 


The Devils Chimney in the Aberfoyle River gorge was declared an Aboriginal Place on 8 August 1980. It is protected under under Section 90 of the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Act 1974 and can not be damaged, defaced or destroyed without the consent of the NPW Director-General. Unfortunately the NSW Berejiklian Government does allow for damage and destruction of such sites.

** The NSW DPI Clarence Valley Drought Map as of 24 September 2019:

CDI = Combined Drought Indicator. RI = Rainfall Index. SWI = Soil Water Index. PGI = Pasture Growth Index. DDI = Drought Direction Index
Data current to 24/9/2019 (AEST)

Climate Council calls Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison a colossal bullshitter

Climate Councilmedia release, 26 September 2019:

Morrison's Colossal Bullshit

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has taken to the global stage delivering a speech to the United Nations in New York which was long on spin and short on fact. 

“Scott Morrison’s speech and his claim that Australia was doing enough on climate change was colossal bullshit,” said the CEO of the Climate Council, Amanda McKenzie. 

“Over the winter we saw bushfires burning across Australia while the Amazon rainforest and the Arctic were on fire. A major new report shows that suburbs in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne could experience serious sea level disasters every year on our current trajectory. Meanwhile, on this government’s watch, Australia’s pollution is rising year on year. To suggest we are doing enough is ludicrous and dangerous,” she said. 

“Mr Morrison is out of touch with what is happening all around us. He is also out of touch with Australians who are really worried,” said Ms McKenzie. 

“Mr Morrison told the United Nations that our children have a right to optimism. Perhaps they would feel more optimistic if he started to take the problem of climate change seriously,” she said. 


Morrison statement: “Now, Australia is also taking real action on climate change and we are getting results. We are successfully balancing our global responsibilities with sensible and practical policies to secure our environmental and our economic future.” 

Fact-check: Australia’s Paris target is to reduce our emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030. This is one of the weakest targets amongst developed countries. If other countries adopted Australia’s target the world would be heading for catastrophic climate damage. Rising emissions and worsening climate impacts are placing Australian lives, our economy and the natural environment at risk. 

Morrison statement: “Australia is responsible for just 1.3 per cent of global emissions. Australia is doing our bit on climate change and we reject any suggestion to the contrary.” 

Fact-check: Australia is the 17th largest polluter in the world, bigger than 175 countries. We are the third largest exporter of fossil fuels in the world. 

Morrison statement: “By 2020 Australia will have overachieved on our Kyoto commitments, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 367 million tonnes more than required to meet our 2020 Kyoto target. Now there are few member countries, whether at this forum or the OECD who can make this claim.” 

Fact-check: The reason for this is that Australia’s Kyoto targets were the second weakest in the world for the first commitment period (a target to increase emissions by 8% above 1990 levels) and the weakest in the world for the second commitment period (a target to reduce emissions by just 5% below 2000 levels by 2020). It isn’t hard to overachieve on dismal targets. The reality is today our emissions are going up and up – according to the government’s own data. 

Morrison statement: “Our latest estimates show both emissions per person and the emissions intensity of the economy are at their lowest levels in 29 years.” 

Fact-check: Australia has the highest emissions per capita in the developed world. It is true that Australia’s emissions per capita have fallen more than most countries, but this is from an extraordinarily high baseline, and has largely been driven by rapid population growth. Even with this drop, we still have the highest per capita emissions in the developed world. Our emissions per capita are higher than Saudi Arabia, a country not known for its action on climate change. Ultimately, our international targets are not based on per capita emissions. 

Morrison statement: “Australia’s electricity sector is producing less emissions. In the year to March 2019, emissions from Australia’s electricity sector were 15.7% lower than the peak recorded in the year to June 2009.” 

Fact-check: This is cherry picking. There are 47 sectors in the Australian economy, almost all of them are going up. This figure of 15.7% is only correct for the electricity sector in the east coast of Australia, not all of Australia. While emissions from electricity are down, and this is good news, this is despite the best efforts of the Federal Government to undermine the renewable energy sector. Also, emissions from electricity production account for only 33% of our total emissions. Overall, there has been a rise in emissions from other sectors such as transport. Australia’s emissions are increasing and have been for five years in a row. 

Morrison statement: “…it is important to note that Australia only accounts for around 5.5 per cent of the world’s coal production.” 

Fact-check: This is spin, as it makes Australia’s contribution to climate change seem much smaller than it is. In reality, if you include Australia’s fossil fuel exports, we are the fifth largest emitter on the planet, after the US, China, EU and India. Australia is the world’s second largest coal exporter. 

Morrison statement: “We are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.” 

Fact-check: This is woefully inadequate and not aligned to what the science says is necessary to tackle climate change. Australia’s emissions have risen every year for the past five years, across almost every sector of the economy. The Government’s commitment on paper might be 26-28%, but cheating with Kyoto credits effectively reduces our emissions reduction target to just 15%. 

Morrison statement: “And our Great Barrier Reef remains one of the world’s most pristine areas of natural beauty. Feel free to visit it. Our reef is vibrant and resilient and protected under the world’s most comprehensive reef management plan.” 

Fact-check: In 2016 and 2017, the Great Barrier Reef was severely damaged through back-to-back bleaching events which killed half of all corals on the planet’s largest living structure. Australia’s current goal, if followed by other countries, would sign the death warrant of the Great Barrier Reef.


Sunday 29 September 2019

Drought stops Kyogle Fishing Club Family Competition this year

Toonumbar Dam in better days
Image: PDR Nationwide, Kyogle NSW

The Northern Star
, 26 February 2019, p. 5:

The annual restock of Australian bass has been cancelled too.
There just isn’t enough water in the dam.
Club president Barry Reeves has been fishing at Toonumbar Dam since it was built in 1972.
“All we can do is wait for rain,” Mr Reeves said.
Mr Reeves said the Family Fishing Comp planned for February was cancelled due to the red alert on blue-green algae.
The competition was moved to October but with the dam sitting at 54 per cent of its storage capacity, according to WaterNSW, the comp was cancelled again.....

For the first time, the restocking of dam with bass wouldn’t happen either.
Every year Kyogle Fishing Club spends $4000 on bass and the Department of Primary Industries matches it, so $9000 worth of Australian bass is put into Toonumbar Dam.
“Fish are getting distress sores on them,” Mr Reeves said.
The dry spell has alsoclosed the Bells Bay camping ground as dam levels are too low for activities.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants parents to muzzle their children in 2019

Yes, that's right. Don't let your children think about the things they are living through during their childhood - increasingly intense floods, hurricanes, drought, bushfires, storm surges, coastline erosion and native animal extinctions. 

Don't let them become politically active by marching and demanding change. Teach them to be good little "Quiet Australians".

Saturday 28 September 2019

Tweet of the Week

The Gamilaraay and Birri Gubba have a new singing sensation

Quote of the Week

"The One Nation leader is a populist decoupled from an ignition point. Scott Morrison shouldn’t give her one"  [Journalist Katherine Murphy, The Guardian, 21 September 2019]

Friday 27 September 2019

If anything marks this NSW National Party politician out as a foolish man it is this......

Sometime between 23 and 24 September 2019 NSW Nationals MP for Clarence and Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Roads and InfrastructureChris Gulaptis, told The Daily Examiner that those who want to dam and divert water from the Clarence River catchment for inter-basin and/or interstate transfer should raise the matter when the Clarence is in flood.

His exact words were; Let’s have that discussion when we’re in a flood”.

A statement which presumes that, with diminishing rainfall and increased evaporation rates being part of both the Clarence Valley's present and its future, drawing water for an additional 236,984 people, their farms and businesses is in anyway feasible even during a passing flood.

This water extraction would be on top of the current draw for the combined population of Clarence Valley LGA and Coff Habour City LGA - 128,198 people, their farms and businesses, as well as water for over 5 million tourists annually.

Indeed this entire article is typical Gulaptis, who more times than not has to be dragged metaphorically kicking and screaming to defend the Clarence Valley from the ignorance and avarice of a Coalition government of which he is a member.

The Daily Examiner, 25 September 2019, p.3:
Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis has hit back at claims the government is secretly working on a plan to divert coastal rivers inland to drought-stricken rivers out west.
Mr Gulaptis’s comments come after The Guardian reported the NSW government was secretly exploring a plan to turn the state’s coastal rivers inland to provide more water for irrigators and towns in the west of the state.
According to The Guardian, WaterNSW documents obtained under freedom of information show significant work has been done recently on at least four projects involving pumping water from coastal rivers over the Great Dividing Range to replenish western rivers.
The Guardian said the main focus of work has been on turning the headwaters of the Clarence inland via a network of pipes and pumps into headwaters of the Border rivers.
Mr Gulaptis said he hasn’t heard of any plans being put into action.
My discussions with the water minister have been along the vein that they are outdated plans which are not a priority of the government,” he said.
It’s been on the books for a long period of time, and it gets rehashed every time there’s a drought.”
Mr Gulaptis said he would not support any such plans, especially due to the current vulnerability of the North Coast region.
The North Coast isn’t immune to drought – we’re in the grips of one of the worst droughts we’ve ever had and there isn’t any water for us to spare.”
Mr Gulaptis said he believes the plan is a “fanciful idea”.
Let’s have that discussion when we’re in a flood,” he said.
Despite Mr Gulaptis’s denial, The Guardian said the documents showed WaterNSW was discussing some projects with western irrigators last year and that it had commissioned hydrological analysis for some projects this year.

Debt collector used by DHS-Centrelink to chase unproven robodebts being sued by Australia’s consumer watchdog for a raft of coercive and unconscionable practices

IT News, 24 September 2019: 

A debt collector recently awarded a $3.3 million contract by the Department of Human Services (DHS) to chase money for Centrelink is wholly owned by a company being sued by Australia’s consumer watchdog for a raft of coercive and unconscionable practices. 

In an embarrassing twist to the ongoing Robodebt controversy, iTnews can reveal ARL Collect (Pty Ltd), which is wholly owned by Queensland based Panthera Finance, snared a plum debt recovery deal from DHS just weeks before its parent company was hit by landmark legal action from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. 

The ACCC’s case against Panthera accuses the firm of coercing payments from people – including identity fraud victims – for bills they did not actually owe. 

The direct ownership link between the two companies, which technically are separate legal and financial entities, raises fresh questions around the adequacy of vetting and due diligence surrounding government outsourcing deals, especially those dealing with vulnerable people. 

The ACCC’s action against Panthera, lodged in the Federal Court on 24th July this year, sets out an appalling litany of allegations related to undue harassment and coercion, unconscionable conduct and false and misleading representation to consumers. 

They include forcing money from identity fraud victims by using credit default listings as leverage and follow consumer complaints made about Panthera. 

According to Department of Finance records, DHS published notification of the $3.3 million ARL Collect contract on 29th July; however the contract period is listed as running from 1st July 2019 to 30th June 2020, indicating the tender was let prior to commencement of action by the ACCC. 

The ACCC’s allegations against Panthera, ARL Collects’s owner, all stem from commercial recovery actions, namely attempts to collect on contested bills issued by utilities AGL, Origin Energy and Telstra, raising serious questions of governance and corporate culture. 

A particularly embarrassing coincidence for the government and DHS is that all the examples put forward to the court by the ACCC in its allegations arise from payment demands made by Panthera for bills that were not actually owed and actively disputed by those hit by recovery actions. 

The revelations that the ultimate owner of DHS’s contracted debt collector is a current target of regulatory action is another headache for the government as it vigorously defends its data matching-reliant enforcement regime. 

A class action now in the works against Robodebt being mounted by Gordon Legal also broadly makes its case along the lines of an unreasonable burden of proof being foisted on people labelled debtors, while organisations claiming to be creditors get away with questionable claims. 

The Department of Human Services, its minister Stuart Robert and Prime Minister Scott Morrison have steadfastly maintained welfare overpayment recovery mechanisms are subject to due administrative process, a stance that has done little to quell criticism of Robodebt, which has now become a political weapon. 

Irrespective of the politics, the ACCC’s case against Panthera is highly significant because it spotlights the poor conduct of some collection agencies. 

It also reveals how receivables ledgers of questionable data accuracy are on-sold and the way legitimately disputed debt is treated. 

And it goes deep into the hardball culture and often high pressure tactics of the darker corners of the collections industry, a sector that has been struggling to reform its image......

In one of the examples, a Queensland woman anonymised as “Witness A” disputed a $378 debt for an Origin electricity bill racked up under her name for an address in New South Wales where the woman had never lived. 

She had also never been a customer of Origin. After filing a complaint with the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) and supplying Panthera with the case reference number the debt collector still pursued her. 

“Witness A again informed them that she had never lived in NSW, she had provided an ACORN reference number and stated that she had never received Centrelink payments in her life, referring to the Centrelink deductions recorded on the Origin bills provided to her,” the ACCC court documents state. 

“Witness A provided Panthera with the details of the person the police had informed her was responsible for the Origin Debt, including that the person still resided at the NSW premises to which the electricity was supplied, and also with the relevant police officer’s contact information,” the ACCC’s court documents continue. 

Despite this, Panthera continued asking her for information she just did not have, the ACCC alleges.....

In another case a man dubbed "Witness B" told Panthera that he believed a Telstra mobile broadband account created in his name had been fraudulently obtained. 

Despite a police officer telling Panthera that she was “looking into fraud” in relation to the account “the man still had a credit default listed against his name.” What came next borders on extortion. 

“On 4 April 2017, a Panthera representative called Witness B’s financial advisor and stated that Panthera was aware of Witness B’s dispute and was investigating it, offered to negotiate a payment in order to secure the removal of the default listing and represented that Witness B would need to make a payment of $100 to Panthera in order for the default listing to be removed,” the ACCC’s court documents state. 

“This was in circumstances where the Panthera representative knew that Witness B’s account was in the process of being ‘written off’ by Panthera, but also knew that Witness B needed the default listing removed quickly because he was trying to obtain finance.” 

Even after paying the $100 and Panthera telling the man the default listing had been removed “as at September 2018 Witness B’s credit file still contained a default listing with respect to the Telstra Debt”.......

Read the full article here.

Thursday 26 September 2019

The world is increasingly seeing Australian PM Scott Morrison as running a climate denialist government

When a country is run by rightwing, anti-science, ideological ratbags this is what happens.......

The Guardian, 25 September 2019:

Scott Morrison is increasingly seen as running a “denialist government” that is not serious about finding a global climate solution and uses “greenwash” to meet its emissions commitments, analysts and former diplomats say.
Australian observers in New York said Morrison’s failure to attend a UN climate action summit on Monday despite being in the US, and his apparent rejection of the need for Australia to do more to address its rising greenhouse gas emissions, eroded goodwill for the country on the issue.
While representatives from about 60 nations spoke at the summit, Morrison gave a keynote speech at the Chicago Institute for Global Affairs in which he challenged China to do more heavy lifting on climate change and suggested it should be treated as a “newly developed” economy rather than a developing one.
He said country representatives at the summit were dismissive of Australia’s intentions. Bill Hare, the chief executive and senior scientist of Climate Analytics and a longtime adviser to countries at climate talks, said the UN summit had been “very disappointing” as most larger polluters, including Australia, had failed to meet the secretary general Antonio Guterres’ call to increase commitments, leaving ambitious strides to smaller nations.
“Diplomatic officials from countries that I speak with see Australia as a denialist government,” he said. “It’s just accepted that’s what it is. It is seen as doing its own promotion of coal and natural gas against the science.”
Hare said Morrison’s suggestion China should be doing more on climate, and be treated similarly to the most developed countries, while Australia’s emissions continued to increase year-on-year was a “ridiculous fake argument”.
He said China, the world’s most populous country and biggest annual polluter, was not doing anywhere near enough to tackle the crisis, but was doing more than Australia on many measures. It had national policies in a number of areas – boosting renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric vehicles and efficiency in industry – where Australia did not.
“Is that having enough of an effect in China? No. But will China peak its emissions by the end of the 2020s? Yes,” Hare said.
“Will Australia? There is no evidence that Australia will peak its emissions as far as I’ve seen in any projections that have been published.”.....
A report backed by the world’s major climate science bodies released on the eve of the summit found current plans would lead to a rise in average global temperatures of between 2.9C and 3.4C by 2100, a shift likely to bring catastrophic change across the globe......

Law Council of Australia not amused by those playing politics with the issue of domestic violence

Law Council of Australia, media release, 23 September 2019: 

Family violence awareness training urged for parliamentarians 

The Law Council has condemned as dangerous suggestions by Senator Malcolm Roberts of One Nation that the family courts are contributing to family violence and called for family violence awareness training for all members of parliament. 

“It is inappropriate to be blaming victims, the courts or judges for any person lashing out and hurting another person,” Law Council President, Arthur Moses SC, said today. 

“Politicians must be careful not to use words that may incite those currently engaged in the system or dissatisfied with a court outcome to engage in violence.” 

Mr Moses labelled as “irresponsible and plain stupid” comments by made One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts blaming the family law system for violence by men. 

“These comments could incite violence against partners, children or judges of those courts, or provide excuses for some men to blame anyone else but themselves for hurting a partner or child. The comments of Senator Roberts will undermine, not assist, concerns being raised by some members of the community for law reform as to how custody matters can be dealt with in a less adversarial manner.” 

“The Joint Select Committee Inquiry announced this week provides a critical opportunity for Parliament to examine holistic options to reform the system, including recent recommendations by the Australian Law Reform Commission. The Law Council has offered its support to the Inquiry but it needs to be free from bias and pre-determined outcomes.” 

“But let me be clear – the Inquiry will have no hope of achieving any meaningful reform and will quickly lose support if it is overshadowed by these disgraceful comments or misguided by myths. Reform has to be based on facts not slogans.” 

“This Inquiry must be about finding long-term solutions to a crippled family law system. This will assist vulnerable children, mothers, fathers, families and victims of family violence. Not apportioning blame or seeking to excuse the inexcusable. 

“Cases of family violence are serious matters to be heard and determined by the courts and prosecuted by the police, not Parliament. If parties are unhappy with outcomes, these can decisions reviewed. 

“I acknowledge Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and Attorney-General Porter have said earlier comments reported by Senator Hanson about the raising of domestic violence issues in family cases were wrong. The reported comments by the Senator were plainly wrong.” 

“However, Prime Minister Morrison, Attorney-General Porter and Committee Chair Andrews now need to condemn these latest remarks by Senator Roberts in the strongest possible terms and ensure the Inquiry is conducted in a manner that is safe and respectful. Otherwise, the situation will quickly deteriorate and this Inquiry will harm not help children, mothers and fathers” Mr Moses said. 

“The Law Council strongly recommends all parliamentarians including those who participate in this Inquiry be provided with family violence awareness training at the outset to help them undertake their important roles in the Inquiry but also considering any recommendations from the Inquiry.

Wednesday 25 September 2019

Scott Morrison & Co exceed their previous level of destructive behaviour in the face of climate change

David Rowe, 14 September 2019

By the early hours of Tuesday 24 September 2019 coal-burning power stations in eastern Australian mainland states had released over 99 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions into the air this year alone.

Sadly, this comes as no surprise as total all-sector emissions have been steadily rising since the 2013 federal election. Until by September 2016 they had reached 527.2Mt of CO2-e, by September 2017 533.3Mt of CO2-e, by March 2018 535.8Mt of CO2-e, by September 2018 536Mt of CO2-e and by end of March 2019 national greenhouse gas emissions stood at 538.9Mt of CO2-e.

Yet the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government is still continuing to carve a destructive path towards increasing the impacts of climate change for every person living in Australia.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 September 2019, excerpt:

As delegates of the United Nations climate change summit - which Mr Morrison has snubbed - prepare to discuss emission reduction efforts this week, briefing notes obtained under Freedom of Information laws detail the emphasis placed on coal in the government's diplomatic relations.
Departmental briefing notes provided to Resources Minister Matt Canavan ahead of his official visit to Singapore and India last month canvass the potential to expand Australia's coal exports into Bangladesh - a nation that is among the most vulnerable to the effects of global warning.
The government is seeking to grow its coal exports in overseas markets as it looks to buttress the economic fallout from a deteriorating relationship with China.
Australian Conservation Foundation climate change campaigner Christian Slattery said Australia was "trashing its international reputation because of its addiction to polluting coal''.
“As major importers of Australian coal move to transition to cleaner forms of energy, the Morrison government is doing the coal industry’s bidding, trying to secure new markets," Mr Slattery said.....
Foreign Minister Marise Payne will front the UN climate change summit this week, but will not address delegates - as Australia is among a group of coal-supporting economies singled out as not getting a spot on the list of 63 speakers.
Mr Morrison's snub comes despite him being in the United States on an official visit.
In an email to the Prime Minister ahead of his official visit to Vietnam last month, bureaucrats advise him to push hard for an expansion of Australia's coal exports to the nation, which represented a "growth market".
"We strongly recommend a focus on coal exports to Vietnam as part of the Prime Minister’s planned visit," the email said.
"There is potential for growth in exports to Vietnam to partially mitigate declining exports elsewhere, notably China."
The briefing said coal exports from Australia to Vietnam had more than doubled since the 2017-18 financial year, up from 4,286,390 tonnes or approximately $750 million in value.
A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said in a statement that the government "promotes all of Australian energy exports in our trade discussions - coal, gas and renewables".
"These exports underpin the Australian economy, delivering billions in revenue to support essential services and support thousands of jobs in regional Australia."
ACF's Mr Slattery said the government "seems intent on selling a 20th century technology to a 21st century world and doing a great deal more climate damage while they are at it".
“Australia’s reported blocking by the UN Secretary-General from speaking at the special climate summit in New York is nothing short of an international embarrassment for a wealthy and developed country that prides itself on being a good international citizen," he said.

Meet the Indue Class Warfare Card

Think the Australian Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government is not seriously considering a national roll-out of the Indue Cashless Debit Card?

Do you think that living many hundreds of kilometres in any direction from current debit card trial sites proves that that the Liberal Party's head hater of the poor and vulnerable is not yet planning to specifically target you and your family?

Recently noticed that your bank's ATM now has a function icon which allows the limited use of these particular debit cards in order to facilitate a person's ability to access the paltry 20 per cent of a welfare payment which can be paid out in cash under this punitive income management scheme?

Tuesday 24 September 2019

Rescuing flying foxes across Northern NSW & Southern Queensland in the current drought

The Daily Examiner, 23 September 2019, p.10:

As WIRES becomes inundated with sick and starving bats, residents are being urged to give them a helping hand.
A bat starvation event is occurring across Northern NSW and Southern Queensland as WIRES works hard to nurse sick and starving back into health.
WIRES officer Linda Harrison said she had been receiving a large number of flying foxes, particularly juveniles, which were severely undernourished.
The lack of blossoms due to a combination of worsening drought conditions and continued destruction of the natural habitat went some way to explain the event.
“I have had them come in near dead. They are just starving, there is just no food out there for them,” she said.
“A big part of that is the amount of clearing that has been done – 200 years ago this would not have affected them near as much as it what it is now because there would have been more trees out there.”
Ms Harrison said the lack of blossoms meant the bats were starting to look for alternative food sources and were increasingly being found in backyards and trees lower to the ground.
“They are flying in and finding a food source and because they are just so worn out they are staying where they are,” she said.
“People are finding them in their backyards because they don’t have the energy to go anywhere.
“They do have a fairly specific diet but at the moment they are eating anything.”
Ms Harrison said while the bats should be left alone, there were a few things people could do to give them a helping hand, including putting fruit out on string for the bats to have a feed.
“As a rule we don’t usually encourage people to feed them but at the moment they are eating anything and we are doing what we can to keep them alive,” she said.
“Cut up some soft fruit or hang some fruit on bits of rope.”
Despite some rainfall in the last week, Ms Harrison said she was expecting the problems to continue and flying foxes were not the only animals having a hard time.
“I think I am in for a long couple of months, this is going to go on for a while. I think we are in for a long summer.”
“You can see there are more kangaroos coming into people’s yards around South Grafton, they are just coming in for fresh grass.”
WIRES rescue line: 1300094737.

Did Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on a taxpayer funded official visit to the United States intend to push a Pentacostal agenda?

Prime Minister & MP for Cook Scott Morrison has been outed in US media for apparently wanting Australian taxpayers to fund a trip to Washington DC for a named paedophile enabler.

The Washington Post,  20 September 2019:

Weeks before Mr. Morrison’s arrival in Washington, the standard advance-planning process hit a bump in the road.
Mr. Morrison was determined to bring as part of his delegation Hillsong Church Pastor Brian Houston —the man he frequently refers to as his “mentor” —but the White House vetoed the idea, telling his office that Mr. Houston was not invited, according to a person familiar with the discussions.
Brian Houston in 2015 was censured by the Australian government’s royal commission into child sexual abuse for failing to report his father, Frank Houston, to police for the alleged sexual abuse of children in his church. The highly publicized child abuse commission ran four years. Before his death in 2004 aged 82, Frank Houston confessed to sexually abusing a boy in New Zealand three decades earlier, and was immediately removed from ministry by his son.
Brian Houston defended his behavior at the time of his censure. He didn’t respond to a request for comment for this article.
After several rounds of discussions across the 14 time zones between Washington and Canberra, Mr. Morrison agreed to leave the pastor at home, according to several people familiar with the matter.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Case Study 18: Australian Christian Churches, October 2015 Final Report - The response of the Australian Christian Churches and affiliated Pentecostal churches to allegations of child sexual abuse - includes William Francis “Frank” Houston and Pastor Brian Houston.

The Sydney Mornign Herald, 8 October 2014:

Hillsong Church leader Brian Houston allegedly told his father's sexual abuse victim that he brought the crime upon himself by tempting his abuser.
The victim, given the pseudonym AHA, told the royal commission into child sexual abuse he was molested by Mr Houston's father, Frank Houston, for a number of years from the age of seven......
In 1998, AHA's mother disclosed the abuse to a senior pastor at the Emmanuel Christian Family Church, who said she would refer it to the Assemblies of God hierarchy instead of the police.
Shortly afterwards, Frank Houston, then aged in his late 70s, got in touch with AHA to offer financial compensation.
AHA said Frank Houston told him: "I want your forgiveness for this. I don't want to die and have to face God with this on my head."
They met at McDonald's in Thornleigh where AHA was asked to sign a food-stained napkin in return for a cheque for $10,000.
When Brian Houston, the national president of the Assemblies of God in Australia from 1997 to 2009, became aware of allegations against his father he suspended him from the church.
The commission heard a meeting of senior Assemblies of God members was called and it was decided that the allegation would be kept confidential. When other allegations of abuse involving six boys in New Zealand came to light, it was decided that Frank Houston would retire, without the exact reason being made public.
Frank Houston, the founder of the Sydney Christian Life Centre which merged with the Hills Christian Life Centre to become Hillsong Church, died in 2004......

The Guardian, 21 September 2019:

Frank Houston abused up to nine boys in Australia and New Zealand.....