Saturday 30 September 2023

Image of the Month

Lighting up the dunes near Wanda Beach, Cronulla, NSW

ahead of the 14 October 2023 national referendum asking the question:

"A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

Do you approve this proposed alteration?”

via @slsandpet, X/Twitter, 24 September 2023

Cartoon of the Week


First Dog On The Moon via @cecenviro


Friday 29 September 2023

Richmond Valley Council has refused the development application at 59 Rileys Hill Road, Broadwater, due to flood risk

Sometimes it is hard to believe the evidence of one's own eyes when looking at development plans lodged with local councils. 

This was one of those times, with property owner Broadwater Riley Pty Ltd ATF The Broadwater Riley Unit Trust and developers The Trustee for Cromack Family Trust and Others having lodged a document DA2023/0100 in December 2022 seeking consent to create 60 Torrens Title residential building lots on land which less than nine months before had been under a record amount of flood water.

The proposed development from the DAIndyNR, 11 January 2023, 27 September 2023:

The first meeting of Rileys Hill residents opposing the development on January 10, 2023.

Resident Jemma Donnelly is thrilled that the development of 60 blocks on Rileys Hill Road will not go ahead.

Richmond Valley Council has refused the development application at 59 Rileys Hill Road, Broadwater.

This is a fantastic response and shows that Richmond Valley Council has listened and taken into consideration the community’s concerns and has acknowledged the significant risks this proposed development puts on the existing community and the environmental impacts,” Ms Donnelly said.

This development is not in the public interest and is not suitable for development due to flood risk.”

During the floods in February–March last year, the site was underwater.

The development site was zoned residential in 1972.

The next logical step would be for the council to rezone the land to agricultural, Ms Donnelly said.

So that the current or next developer does not continue to propose future development.”…..

The developer has a right to appeal the decision within six months.

It should be noted that this refusal by Council also removes any need to clear-fell the remaining roadside tree corridor - a fact that is welcomed by those concerned with the plight of koala in urban areas of north-east NSW.

Thursday 28 September 2023

Newspoll published Monday 25 September 2023: a curate's egg, good in parts


Newspoll published 25 September 2023:

24 September 2023


Labor36 points (+1)

Coalition36 points (-1)

Greens11 points (-2)

One Nation6 points (-1)

Others11 points (+3)


Labor – 54 points (+1)

Coalition – 46 points (-1)

Click on graph to enlarge


Anthony Albanese – 50 points (no change)

Peter Dutton – 30 points (-1)


Anthony AlbaneseApprove 47 points (+1)

                                   Disapprove 44 points (-3)

Peter Dutton Approve 32 points (-6)

      Disapprove 52 points (+3)

      Net Approval -20 points

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament Referendum Voting Intention

YES36 points (-2 )

NO56 points (+3 )

UNDECIDED8 points (-1)

Saturday 23 September 2023

Tweet of the Week

Thursday 21 September 2023

North Coast Voices Notice To Readers


Due to illness North Coast Voices will not be posting until 28 September 2023.

Apologies to our readers.

Wednesday 20 September 2023

The other shoe has finally dropped - El Niño has been declared by Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Click on image to enlarge

Central and eastern Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs) currently exceed El Niño thresholds. International climate models suggest some further warming of the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean is likely. All surveyed models indicate SSTs will remain above El Niño thresholds until at least the end of the 2023–24 southern hemisphere summer.

Bureau long-range forecasts are for SSTs up to 2.5 °C warmer than average off eastern Tasmania and in the eastern Tasman Sea from October to the end of 2023.

Click on image to enlarge

Australian Bureau of Meteorology, 19 September 2023:

ElNiño and positive Indian Ocean Dipole underway

An El Niño and a positive IOD are underway.

The declaration of these events, and their concurrence over spring, reinforces the Bureau's long-range rainfall and temperature forecasts, which continue to predict warmer and drier conditions for much of Australia over the next three months. The confirmation of an established El Niño increases the likelihood that the event will be sustained through the summer period.

Oceanic indicators firmly exhibit an El Niño state. Central and eastern Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs) continue to exceed El Niño thresholds. Models indicate further warming of the central to eastern Pacific is likely.

Broadscale pressure patterns over the tropical Pacific reflect El Niño, with the 90-day Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) at −7.7. Recent trade wind strength has been generally close to average, but was slightly weaker than average across the tropical Pacific in August 2023 for the first time since January 2020.

Overall, there are signs that the atmosphere is responding to the pattern of SSTs in the tropical Pacific and coupling of the ocean and atmosphere has started to occur. This coupling is a characteristic of an El Niño event and is what strengthens and sustains an event for an extended period. Climate models indicate this El Niño is likely to persist until at least the end of February. El Niño typically leads to reduced spring and early summer rainfall for eastern Australia, and warmer days for the southern two-thirds of the country.

A positive Indian Ocean Dipole is underway. The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) index is +1.25 °C for week ending 17 September. This is its fifth week above the positive IOD threshold (+0.40 °C). The longevity of this trend, combined with the strength of the dipole being observed and forecast, indicate a positive IOD event is underway. All models predict this positive IOD will persist to at least the end of spring. A positive IOD typically leads to reduced spring rainfall for central and south-east Australia.

When a positive IOD and El Niño occur together, their drying effect is typically stronger and more widespread across Australia.

The Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) is currently weak and is forecast to remain weak over the coming week.

The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) index is currently negative and is expected to remain negative for at least the coming week, before a possible return to neutral late in September. During spring, a negative SAM is associated with decreased rainfall across parts of the east in both NSW and Victoria, and increased rainfall over western Tasmania.

The long-rangeforecast for Australia indicates warmer and drier than average conditions are likely across most of southern and eastern Australia from October to December. The Bureau's climate model takes into account all influences from the oceans and atmosphere when generating its long-range forecasts.

Global warming

Global warming continues to influence Australian and global climate. Global sea surface temperatures (SSTs) were warmest on record for their respective months during April to August 2023. August 2023 SSTs were also the warmest globally for any month since observational records began in 1850. July and August 2023 were also respectively the hottest and second-hottest months globally in terms of 2-metre air temperature.

Australia’s climate has warmed by an average of 1.48 ± 0.23 °C since national records began in 1910. There has also been a trend towards a greater proportion of rainfall from high intensity, short duration rainfall events, especially across northern Australia. Southern Australia has seen a reduction, by 10 to 20%, in cool season (April to October) rainfall in recent decades. This is due to a combination of natural variability on decadal timescales and changes in large-scale circulation caused by an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.


Tuesday 19 September 2023

The north-east NSW coastal fringe started the week with reasonable land & sea temperatures and only 6 bush & grass fires at advice level

Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), 18 September 2023: 

Air-Surface Temperature 4pm Monday 18 September 2023

Between 6am to 4pm Monday 18 September 2023 temperatures along the coastal fringe of north-east NSW ranged from 5.5°C to 26.7°C as the day progressed.

Sea Surface Temperatures & Current Direction 
4pm Monday 18 September 2023

The East Australian Current was still bringing waters close to shore which were a comfortable 20-21°C at 4pm Monday 18 September 2023.

This may not last long.....

Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Warmer than median October to December days and nights for almost all of Australia

Issued: 14 September 2023

For October to December, above median maximum temperatures are very likely (greater than 80% chance) for almost all of Australia.

For October to December, most of Australia is at least 3 times likely to experience unusually high maximum temperatures, with chances increasing to more than 4 times likely for most of western and central WA, and parts of central and south-eastern Australia. Unusually high maximum temperatures equate to the warmest 20% of October to December periods from 1981 to 2018.

For October to December, minimum temperatures are very likely (greater than 80% chance) for almost all of Australia apart from a small area of Queensland's North Tropical Coast.

For October to December, broad areas of Australia are at least 2.5 times likely to experience unusually high minimum temperatures, with chances increasing to more than four times likely for parts of central WA, southern Queensland, and north-east NSW. Unusually high minimum temperatures equate to the warmest 20% of October to December periods from 1981 to 2018.

Past accuracy of the October to December long-range forecast for chance of above median maximum temperatures has been high to very high across all of Australia. For minimum temperatures, accuracy is high to very high for most of Australia, dropping to low to moderate for parts of north-western Australia.

Monday 18 September 2023



The year 2020 began with media articles discussing the possibility of the recognition of First Nations people in the Australian Constitution and also a Voice to Parliament.

This was not new. People had been reading of these issues at their breakfast tables since at least the 1990s, many without realising that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples had been seeking long-overdue recognition, a protection of their rights and equal treatment since the 1920s. All of which had culminated in the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart - after which the Coalition Turnbull and Morrison federal governments repeatedly shoved the Statement into a corner of the room whenever questions were asked.

Although Advance Australia had registered as an official significant third party in February 2019 (with $2.4 million in seedmoney supplied by 16 donors).

The legal entity which underpins this organisation is Advance Aus Ltd formerly known as Freedom Aus Limited, registered in Queensland on 31 August 2018 and then moved to South Australia before landing in the ACT and now situated at Level 4, 15 Moore Street Canberra, CITY ACT 2601 since July 2023.

The original six directors have come and gone and now there are three:


MATTHEW PATRICK FRANCIS SHEAHAN - self-titled 'activist'; and

VICKI ANN DUNNE - former ACT Liberal Party MLA for Ginninderra electorate.

Thus registered corporation never has reported annual income of less than $1.3 to $2.8 million, according to the AEC Transparency Register.

Advance Australia been running political issue 'talking points' and campaign advertising ever since, it wasn’t until 2021-22 when its xenophobia and prejudice began to be writ large that media coverage had increased as had awareness.

By the time 2022 came around with a firming of the political objective to hold a national referendum, it was obvious that Advance Australia had not just political backing from right-wing politicians and committed culture warriors like Tony Abbott, it had a number of financial backers with deep pockets. Pockets which appear to be financing its referendum “No” campaign against the inclusion of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament in the Australian Constitution.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 September 2023, p.26:

One of the calculated myths in the campaign against the Indigenous Voice is the argument that the referendum is a contest between elite insiders and ordinary folk because the case for change is powered by the wealthy and the well-connected.

The No campaign thrives on the "outsider" status it claims for itself as a movement that speaks for those without money or power, leading a cause that challenges the establishment by mobilising voters who lack the advantages enjoyed by others.

But the No campaign has an establishment of its own, full of people with money, influence and connections as well as harbourside views. It turns out that a transport company boss and a building materials millionaire are among the donors behind Advance Australia, although their names do not show up in the disclosures at the Australian Electoral Commission.

This is important when so little is known about the peak group behind the No campaign, Advance Australia, and the activist group it has set up, Fair Australia. These groups are secretive by design, but key facts about the tactics adopted by some of their members emerged in this masthead this week about the way they coached volunteers to use fear and doubt rather than facts to defeat the Voice at the October 14 referendum. It is not suggested that any of the donors identified below endorsed the controversial tactics revealed in the news reports.

Advance is a force to be watched in federal politics. If it succeeds in halting the Voice, it could unleash its conservative activism on other fronts even when critics accuse it of peddling falsehoods…..

Some Advance donors are known because they are named in the group's annual returns to the Australian Electoral Commission, or they lodge their own returns about their donations, and some have declared their support publicly, but that is not the case with all. Some of the payments are made through private companies, so we searched company records to find out who was behind the donations. This kind of disclosure is not readily available to the ordinary voter.

So who are its donors? The transport company chief is Brett Ralph, founder and managing director of Jet Couriers and a director of the Melbourne Storm football club as well as other sporting clubs. His company, JMR Management Consultancy Services, put $75,000 into Advance last financial year. He did not reply to an email about his donations.

The Sydney millionaire is Rodney O'Neil, a member of a family that made its money in building materials with companies like Australian Blue Metal and Hymix, which was run by his brother, Colin. Companies linked to Rodney O'Neil, with names like Nedigi and Sixmilebridge and based in Double Bay, contributed $85,000 to Advance last year. He did not respond to a request for comment.

Another donor is Sam Kennard, head of storage company Kennards, who has helped Advance over several years. His company, Siesta Holdings, gave $20,000 last year and $20,000 the year before. There was no response from Kennards about this donation.

These donors join some who have already been in the headlines for their help for Advance - such as former health company chief Marcus Blackmore, who donated $20,000 last year. Blackmore is a public supporter of the No campaign. One of the best-known donors to Advance is a former fund manager, Simon Fenwick, who has backed the conservative group for years. He and his wife, Elizabeth, donated $650,000 and $350,000 before the last election. The Fenwick family trust also donated $50,000 last year. Earlier this year, Fenwick promised to match donations worth up to $250,000 to Advance to help stop the Voice….. [my yellow highlighting]

Australian Electoral Commission List of Individuals & companies donating to Advance Australia in financial year 2021-22

  • Marcus Blackmore (Liberal & National parties donor) multi-millionaire Executive Director of Blackmores Ltd - $20,000 to Advance Australia

  • Brazil Farming Pty Ltd, principal multi-millionaire Franklyn Roger Brazil - $34,000 to Advance Australia

  • Louis Denton, Chief Operating Officer Devcos International - $75,000 to Advance Australia

  • Rayleen Guisti, Personal Assistant to Managing Director Garnaut Private Wealth - $37,500 to Advance Australia

  • Gabrielle Hull - $20,000 to Advance Australia

  • John Francis Hull (Liberal National Party of Qld donor) Retired UK director - $45,000 Advance to Australia

  • J M R Management Consultancy Services Pty Ltd, Managing Director Brett Ralph - $75,000 to Advance Australia

  • Nedigi Pty Limited (inaugural Advance Australia Donor 2018-19), Son of property magnate Denis O'Neil, Director Rodney O’Neil - $25,000 to Advance Australia

  • Sixmilebridge Pty Limited (inaugural Advance Australia Donor 2018-19), (Liberal Party, Liberal National Party Qld, National Party donor) Company Secretary Rodney O’Neil - $45,000 to Advance Australia

  • Telowar Pty Ltd (inaugural Advance Australia Donor 2018-19), Director Rodney O’Neil - $25,000 to Advance Australia

  • Andrew Abercrombie (Liberal Party donor) millionaire president of the Buy Now Pay Later company Humm - $20,020 to Advance Australia

  • Willimbury Pty Limited,(inaugural Advance Australia Donor 2018-19), Director Colin O’Neil - $25,000 to Advance Australia

  • Siesta Holdings Australia Pty Ltd (Liberal Democratic Party donor) Director Sam Kennard - $30,000 to Advance Australia

  • Karl Morris (Liberal Party Donor) CEO Ord Minnett Ltd & Chair Bravehearts Foundation Fund - $10,000 to Advance Australia

  • Silver River Investment Holdings Pty Ltd (Liberal Party, Liberal Democratic Party & Drew Pavlou Democratic Alliance donor) Director Simon Fenwick, Institute of Public Affairs board member  - $50,000 to Advance Australia

  • Ian Tristram Chairman Trisco Foods Pty Ltd - $25,000 Advance Australia

Sunday 17 September 2023

Environmental Activism State of Play 2023

Knitting Nannas look like this and they knit.

Northern Rivers Knitting Nannas
The Echo, 1 July 2022
IMAGE: Tree Faerie

They also year in and year out peacefully protest on behalf of their concerned and often very worried communities AND they infrequently get arrested and go to court. 

On 4 July 2023 Cristine Degan, 74, was arrested after she and Susan Doyle, 76, of Valla, locked on to a harvester in Boambee State Forest, on NSW Mid-North Coast. They were both arrested and fined.

In New South Wales the fines for peaceful protest under the the Crimes Act 1900, the Summary Offences Act 1984, the Mining Act 1992, the Forestry Act 2012 & Roads and Crimes Legislation Amendment Act 2022 are becoming extremely large.

In that state people can now be fined up to $22,000 and/or gaoled for a maximum of two years for protesting illegally on public roads, rail lines, tunnels, bridges and industrial estates.

In other states the laws have grown harsher as well. 

Since 2022 in Tasmania “community member protesting the destruction of old growth forests on a forestry site could face a penalty of over $13,000 or 2 years in prison; and An organisation supporting members of the community to protest could be fined over $45,000”. While in Victoria Anti-logging protestors who “hinder, obstruct or interfere with timber-harvesting operations” can face up to 12 months in prison and/or a $21,000 fine. PVC and metal pipes which are often used in protest activities are now prohibited in working sites, with additional powers provided to police to search suspect individuals who are “reasonably suspicious”. [UNSW Human Rights Institute, 2022]

Now we have the next generation of protests and protestors and one of the suspected offences confronting 37 year-old Joana Partyka - conspiracy to commit indictable offence - has an attached penalty of imprisonment from 14 years to life in West Australia…..

TheSaturday Paper, 16 September 2023:

When the knock came, I was brushing my teeth. For a moment I considered ignoring it: I wasn’t expecting anyone. Eventually I opened the door and standing there were the police. There were six of them, all armed, members of the Western Australia Police Force’s counterterrorism unit, the State Security Investigation Group. In that moment, I felt dazed, almost sun-drunk. My apartment seemed immediately smaller. As I tried to process what was happening, I knew one thing: they were there for me.

A month before the raid in February, I had spray-painted the Woodside Energy logo onto the plexiglass covering Frederick McCubbin’s Down on his luck at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, thrusting into the headlines Woodside’s grotesque mega-project on the Burrup Peninsula. In the intervening period I’d been charged with criminal damage and pleaded guilty. I’d been convicted and issued with a fine and costs, which I paid.

It was after that case had been resolved that these officers arrived at my small apartment. They handed me a search warrant that outlined two suspected offences: criminal damage and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.

As the first Disrupt Burrup Hub campaigner to receive that unexpected knock at the door, I was unprepared, uneasy and above all unclear why the police were there. I had no greater clarity when they left with my phone and laptop an hour later.

Now, six months later, I have not been charged in relation to the suspected offences outlined on the warrant. Instead, I have been charged with two counts of failing to obey a data access order – for refusing to provide police with the passwords to my devices.

Later this week, I will defend myself in the first criminal trial to come out of the Disrupt Burrup Hub campaign. It is believed to be the first time a peaceful climate activist has faced trial on this charge in Western Australia – a symbol of just how extraordinary a time it is to be a climate activist in this state…..

Read the full article at: