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Friday, 19 October


Swiss cheesed! "IndyWatch Feed"

Swiss ousted as world's richest

If you were ever looking for evidence that money alone can't make you happy here it is: Credit Suisse confirmed that Australian adults are now the wealthiest in the world. 

While for obvious reasons Switzerland edged Australia into second place in terms of mean wealth per adult, the median wealth per Australian adult beat out all comers at US$191,453 this year. 

Switzerland's average wealth per adult of US$530,240 remained well ahead of Australia in second place at US$411,060 (still placing Australia well ahead of the United States, Japan, Canada, Norway, Singapore, New Zealand, France, Belgium, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom). 

1.32 million Australians had a net wealth of over US$1 million - in spite of a weaker currency than we had at the peak of the resources boom - while 1.6 million Aussies are within the world's richest 1 per cent of households. 

The number of millionaires in Australia is expected to increase by more than 40 per cent over the next five years. 

Resilient Australia: 'low inequality'

As everyone is so lightning fast to point out, property prices have played a significant part in Australian household wealth, although gross debt is only 19 per cent of assets. 

It's also common to suggest that Aussies have benefited unequally - which, of course, is always true.

Yet Credit Suisse reported a Gini coefficient of just 66 per cent, while only 6 per c...


In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, October 19, 2018 "IndyWatch Feed"

Tropical forests Insect numbers plummet in Puerto Rico, alarming scientists (The Independent, Gizmodo, Nature, The Scientist). Cameroonian authorities have approved the countrys first combined marine-terrestrial national park (Rainforest Trust). The expansion of oil palm in Indonesia could be threatening subsistence farming for 150 million people, a new study has found (CIFOR Forests News). Two tropical countries, Ghana and Ecuador, are working together to develop their forestry sectors (Peace FM). Food giant Nestl says it will publish evidence of deforestation that it has gathered on its website (Swiss Info). A new report from Global Witness finds that logging, driven largely by demand from China, is wiping out forests on the Solomon Islands (Radio New Zealand). Given a choice between reducing emissions and halting deforestation, scientists agree that we need to do both (The Guardian). The Rakhine crisis in Myanmar leads the U.K. to pull funding from an effort to reform the countrys timber industry (Frontier Myanmar). Scientists could miss the warning signs of the extinction of some species because of the compounding effects of the wildlife trade and deforestation (Science Daily). A unique skin disease could be adding to the decline of giraffes in Africa (Business Daily Africa/The Conversation). Beef is off the menu on select flights by Virgin, in a test that the companys founder says could reduce its climate footprint (The Australian Financial Review). Investors are increasingly valuing zero deforestation (Brink). Agriculture giant Wilmar pledges to be deforestation-free by 2020 amid criticism (Eco-Business). Other news U.S. President Donald Trump


Wentworth byelection a referendum on climate change and refugees "IndyWatch Feed"

Greens praise progressive Kerryn Phelps ahead of Wentworth byelection, Guardian,  and  Fri 19 Oct 2018  Exclusive: Richard Di Natale says the independent candidates positions on climate change and refugees are a welcome change. The Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, has urged supporters in Wentworth to take note of Kerryn Phelps progressive positions on climate change and refugees when they cast their ballots on Saturday, in a clear signal to preference the high-profile independent ahead of Labor.

Di Natale told Guardian Australia the government was clearly at risk of losing Malcolm Turnbulls former seat, and Labor was running dead in the contest, so in that context people can vote Green and choose Kerryn over yet another Liberal backbencher.

The Greens leader urged rusted-on supporters to vote for the partys candidate, Dominic WY Kanak, and then take note of Kerryns progressive views on refugees and climate change, which are a welcome change from both the major parties.

The Wentworth byelection has become a referendum on climate change and refugees and is a unique opportunity to send a message to the Liberals who dont deserve to govern, he said. .


Australian right-wing government embraces white supremacism "IndyWatch Feed"

This Australian satiric video says about itself:

PAULINE HANSON Send Up Im a Very Caring Racist Skye Brooks

The Racist, Sexist Lying Hypocritical Bigot Mix By Skye Brooks. Performed 1999, The Comedy Club, North Melbourne.

By Mike Head in Australia:

Australian government backs far-right OK to be white motion in Senate

19 October 2018

Last Monday, Liberal-National Coalition senators voted unanimously for a resolution by Senator Pauline Hanson, the leader of the anti-immigrant One Nation Party, promoting a notorious white supremacist slogan. In a revealing political stand, they openly joined far-right senators in backing Hansons it is okay to be white motion, which was only narrowly defeated, by 28 votes to 31.

The vote caused widespread outrage, and attracted international media attention, because it so nakedly aligned the government with the type of far-right and fascistic elements emerging in Europe and the United States. With a crucial by-election in the Sydney electorate of Wentworth this Saturday, there was also evident nervousness that the line-up with Hanson could cost the Liberal Party votes.

Recently-installed Prime Minister Scott Morrison publicly back-tracked the next day, saying the Senate vote was regrettable. Cabinet ministers blamed an inexplicable administrative error. At the suggestion of the opposition Labor Party, the Senate vote was placed back on the notice paper so that Coalition senators could reverse their vote on Tuesday.

Whatever the short-term tactical calculations behind the about-face, the fact that the government embraced the slogan, long championed by alt-right and neo-Nazi gro...


#ClimateStrikeAustralia: Students walk out of school "IndyWatch Feed"

If you want to join us in striking, you could walk out of school, like us, in November and go and sit outside a politicians office with your own climate strike sign, writes Harriet and Milou, who inspired by the 15-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg and her #ClimateStrike which has spread in numerous European countries  now hope to see a similar youth movement rise on Australian grounds.

Hi everyone,

Our names are Milou and Harriet, and we are fourteen. We live in Castlemaine and are in Year 8 at school. And we care about our futures.

We have decided to go on strike from school to make our politicians do something about the climate emergency. Weve been inspired by Greta, a fifteen year old girl in Sweden, who has been striking from school in front of the Swedish parliament.

Climate change is one of the biggest problems facing the world and it isnt being addressed quickly enough. We are striking because in Australia, education is viewed as immensely important, and a key way to make a difference in the world. But just going to school isnt doing anything about climate change. And it doesnt seem that our politicians are doing anything, or at least not enough, about climate change either.

As people, we have a tendency to think only of the present impacts of our actions, and not the ones that follow after. We, the children and teenagers, are going to be living in this after and we dont like to look of the way this climate is heading. This has to change!

So, as our contribution to the changes we would like to see, we are organising a strike from school. We are temporarily sacrificing our education in order to save our futures.

If you feel the same way, find a way to join us. If you dont feel confident enough to come on strike, but still care, there are numerous other ways to help, like telling others about the climate emergency.

So, if you want to join us in striking, you could walk out of school, like us, in November and go and sit outside a politicians office with your own climate strike sign. The biggest day for walking out of school will be Friday 30th November, when we hope lots of kids will join us at the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne at midday.

Yours truly,

Harriet and Milou



The Poet: David Whyte, "Sweet Darkness" "IndyWatch Feed"

 "Sweet Darkness"

"When your eyes are tired the world is tired also.
When your vision has gone no part of the world can find you.
Time to go into the dark where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.
There you can be sure you are not beyond love.
The dark will be your womb tonight.
The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.
You must learn one thing:
the world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet confinement of your aloneness
to learn anything or anyone that does not bring you alive
is too small for you."

- David Whyte,
"House of Belonging"


Dear Wentworth Voters: Heres 123 Things Our Leaders Did To Confront Climate Change "IndyWatch Feed"

A recent ReachTel poll commissioned by Greenpeace Australia found that for the voters of Wentworth former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbulls old seat tackling climate change was their number one priority. With the Wentworth by-election to be staged on Saturday, Liam McLoughlin thought it timely to help the good voters of the eastern suburbs focus their minds on the Liberal Partys action on climate change over the last five years. Its a long list actually, its a long Shitlist.


Tony Abbott eats an onion. Just because.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott*

  1. Abolishes key ministerial positions of climate change and science  16 September 2013
  2. Abolishes the Climate Commission  19 September 2013
  3. Denies there is a link between climate change and more severe bush fires and accuses a senior UN official of talking through their hat  23 October 2013
  4. Abolishes the Antarctic Animal Ethics Committee which ensured research on animals in the Antarctic complies with Australian standards  8 November 2013
  5. Cuts 600 jobs at the CSIRO  8 November 2013
  6. Abandons Australias emission reduction targets  12 November, 2013
  7. Downgrades national environment laws by giving approval powers to state premiers  9 December 2013...

Thursday, 18 October


Rank cynicism: Australian government dangled Jerusalem embassy move because it needs Jewish votes in crucial by-election "IndyWatch Feed"

Dearest subjects of Her Majesty's Crumbling English empire: be warned! One of your brethren realms - namely, the Federation of Australia - is sliding away from the beloved civilising influence of Westminster, and is headed for utter chaos! On saturday 20th October, a by-election in the Sydney electoral division of Wentworth, the seat of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, will decide the fate of current caretaker prime minister Scott Morrison (affectionately, and not-so-affectionately, known as 'ScoMo'), whose Liberal-National Party coalition government is barely hanging on. With a single-seat majority in the House of Representatives, a failure to retain this critical piece of furniture will see the current parliament well and truly hung, thus opening the door to a (gasp!) Labour government. But never fear; loyalists have mobilised all available reinforcements to prevent such a disastrous outcome! The by-election conveniently falls on the same day that English-American royal...


Morrison is nowhere near Government 101 "IndyWatch Feed"

This is just Government 101: carefully consider the issues in front of you and make the best possible judgments about the way forward, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said about the reason for the Government withholding the Ruddock report on religious freedom. It presumes basic university-level learning. Alas, this Governments behaviour belongs in primary school.

The reference to 101 is to the way universities label their subjects. Government 101 would be the subject Government in first semester of first year.

I daresay no university course in good government, as distinct from base politics, would say it was good government to withhold for five months a report paid for by the public into a matter of great public interest.

Nor would such a course advocate members of parliament voting unquestioningly according to party instructions. That all Coalition senators did so this week to support a blatantly racist motion without any of them raising the alarm bell is not Government 101. It is primary school stuff: Do it because I say so.

Holding 90 children in indefinite detention in hellish concentration-camp conditions as an example to people smugglers is not Government 101, rather it is Totalitarianism 101.

Changing significant foreign policy (on Iran and the location of the Australian Embassy in Israel) against the national interest for dubious short-term gain at a by-election is not Government 101. Rather it is Expediency 101.

Morrisons statement about carefully considering the Ruddock Report does not sit easily with the perfunctory way in which he dropped the National Energy Guarantee without even a party-room or Cabinet meeting and a dozen other off-the-cuff dismissals of policy proposals. This is not Government 101. Rather it is Hypocrisy 101.

The whole ideological Coalition cocktail of policies since Tony Abbott as the newly installed climate-change-denying leader of the Liberal Party began to verbally abuse Prime Minister Julia Gillard in unacceptably sexist ways well before Trump verbally abused Hilary Clinton is now unravelling: on religious freedom; freedom of speech; refugees; climate-change inaction; subsidising futureless energy sources while cutting those with a future; undermining academic freedom in universities; undermining public broadcasting; polluting the pubic space of the iconic Sydney Opera House; over-funding of religious schools; tax breaks for the wealthy despite growing inequality; slashing foreig...


Ocean Pollutants Guide Toxic Threats to Human Health and Marine Life "IndyWatch Feed"

Marine pollutants are impacting the health of our oceans, their inhabitants and those dependent on oceans for food, culture and their very survival.

Everyday an ever-increasing cocktail of intentional and unintentional chemical releases, as well as an unrelenting tidal wave of wastes, particularly plastic waste, enters our waterways and the marine environment.

This toxic threat endangers human health, marine life and the environment.

Read the report here


Fungal control of Giant Parramatta Grass chemical-free "IndyWatch Feed"

Beechwood NSW farmers Cathy Eggert and Jeremy Bradley have established a chemical-free solution to Giant Parramatta Grass.  A widespread native soil fungus, Nigrospora oryzae, causes crown rot disease in these species and has been spread by transplanting diseased plants without off-target impacts for nearly 20 years.  An innovative farm-based enterprise has now cultivated the fungus so it can be applied more safely and effectively.  The organism has not been modified and is sold as Parra Trooper.  Read more at the Beechwood Biological Solutions website.

However, access to this product is now in doubt. An article in The Australian on October 11th illustrates how, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has blocked and delayed the sale of this non-toxic biological controls for some of Australias worst weeds.
The APVMAs product registration system is tailored to chemicals and its staff lack experience in assessing biological alternatives, critics say.

The post Fungal control of Giant Parramatta Grass chemical-free appeared first on Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare .


PM Scott Morrison interested in nuclear electricity prices -NOT in health, safety, environment (idealogical) "IndyWatch Feed"

PM totally open to nuclear power if economics stack up  The prime minister says he will consider lifting the prohibition on nuclear power in Australia if research shows it can be done well.  Prime Minister Scott Morrison says hes open to the idea of nuclear power if research emerges showing it stacks up economically.

Nuclear power has been banned in Australia since 1998, but Mr Morrison says he would consider lifting the ban if research proved it could be done on a commercial basis and bring power prices down.

Im totally open to that work, he told Sky News on Tuesday.

But what we need to do is make sure it can stack up and we can successfully move in that direction.

Mr Morrison said the source of Australias energy doesnt bother him and he isnt interested in an ideological debate.

What matters is that its reliable, it can be contracted, it can be priced at lower than what were getting currently, because thats what brings peoples power prices down.


PM admits Australia Paris target toothless, Coalition completely at sea on energy RenewEconomy "IndyWatch Feed"

Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirms Australia will not be pulling out of Paris climate agreement: Why? There is no need, because it will have precisely zero impact on anything. The post PM admits Australia Paris target toothless, Coalition completely at sea on energy appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via PM admits Australia Paris target toothless, Coalition completely at sea on energy RenewEconomy


Origin shareholders deliver stunning statement on anti-climate lobbying RenewEconomy "IndyWatch Feed"

Resolution calling on Origin to review membership of business groups lobbying against climate change initiatives receives 46 per cent support. Massive, say activists. The post Origin shareholders deliver stunning statement on anti-climate lobbying appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Origin shareholders deliver stunning statement on anti-climate lobbying RenewEconomy


Renew Estate wins approval for 120MW solar farm and battery near Wagga Wagga RenewEconomy "IndyWatch Feed"

Renew Estate wins development approval for a 120MW solar farm near Wagga Wagga, with plans to add 40MWh of battery storage, The post Renew Estate wins approval for 120MW solar farm and battery near Wagga Wagga appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Renew Estate wins approval for 120MW solar farm and battery near Wagga Wagga RenewEconomy


Grid choice for S.A.s Eyre Peninsula locks out mega wind projects RenewEconomy "IndyWatch Feed"

Electranet decision on grid upgrade on Eyre Peninsula kills prospects of mega wind farms on west coast, and also rejects battery and micro-grid alternatives. The post Grid choice for S.A.s Eyre Peninsula locks out mega wind projects appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Grid choice for S.A.s Eyre Peninsula locks out mega wind projects RenewEconomy


Network approval paves way for solar and storage at some of Australias biggest mines RenewEconomy "IndyWatch Feed"

Alinta gets approval for new transmission line in Pilbara, paving way for new solar farm and battery storage to help power some of the biggest mines in the country. The post Network approval paves way for solar and storage at some of Australias biggest mines appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Network approval paves way for solar and storage at some of Australias biggest mines RenewEconomy


Billionaire calls out total BS on Morrisons views of wind and solar RenewEconomy "IndyWatch Feed"

Mike Cannon-Brookes he of the original Tesla big battery Tweet calls total BS on Scott Morrisons Sky News comments about wind and solar. Twitter does its thing. The post Billionaire calls out total BS on Morrisons views of wind and solar appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Billionaire calls out total BS on Morrisons views of wind and solar RenewEconomy


Spains government blocks Western Australian companys bid to open uranium mine "IndyWatch Feed"

Spain to block Berkeley uranium mine project sources, CNBC , Beln Carreo, 16 Oct 2018  The Spanish government has decided not to deliver the permits necessary to open the European Unions only open-cast uranium mine near Salamanca, dealing a serious blow to Australian mining company Berkeley Energias plans.

The project was granted preliminary approval in early 2013 but has since faced local opposition
A neighbouring mine run by public company ENUSA was previously in operation near the site in Retortillo in Salamanca province, but closed in 2000 after it failed to turn a profit.
The price of uranium fell heavily following Japans Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011 and for years struggled to recover.


Gender and radiation impact project "IndyWatch Feed"

For too long, girls and women have been invisible in the construction of radiation standards to protect heath. We are ready to expand the research base and collective will to change this starting right now.

Mary Olson, Founder




Nuclear lobby is targeting women with propaganda "IndyWatch Feed"

ANSTO CEO Says There are Real, Lasting and Meaningful Careers for Women in Nuclear  Adi Paterson, CEO of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO), talks about his vision of the future of nuclear science and technology and what role women could play in it.Mr. Paterson will be a speaker at the upcoming IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology: Addressing Current and Emerging Development Challenges, in Vienna, Austria, from 28 to 30 November 2018. The event will be livestreamed at

You can watch Mr Patersons presentation on 30 November 2018.


Japan will flush unsafe water from Fukushima nuclear plant into sea "IndyWatch Feed", Julian Ryall, October 17 2018 Water the Japanese government is planning to release into the Pacific Ocean from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant contains radioactive material well above legally permitted levels, according to the plants operator.

The government is running out of space to store contaminated water that has come into contact with fuel that escaped from three nuclear reactors after the plant was destroyed in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck north-east Japan.

Its plan to release the approximately 1.09m tons of water stored in 900 tanks into the Pacific has triggered a fierce backlash from local residents and environmental organisations, as well as groups in South Korea and Taiwan fearful that radioactivity from the second-worst nuclear disaster in history might wash up on their shores.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), which runs the plant, has until recently claimed the only significant contaminant in the water is safe levels of tritium, which can be found in small amounts in drinking water, but is dangerous...


Nuclear research reactor removed "IndyWatch Feed"

Arkansas    final removal of the rector core. This what should happen to Australias Opal nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights


City of Melbourne supports Australia joining UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty "IndyWatch Feed"

The City  of Melbourne, birthplace of ICAN, just voted unanimously in support of a motion calling on the Australian government to join the UN treaty!  


Coal seam gas needs tighter controls in NSW "IndyWatch Feed"

The Greens have condemned the paltry fine given to gas company Santos for not having appropriate approval for using treated coal seam gas water and called for an increase in penalties for breaches of licences or misconduct.

NSW Greens MLC and Resources spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said, Santos has today received an inadequate fine for using treated water from its Narrabri coal seam gas operations for irrigation at Leewood without the appropriate approval.

In practice, a $1,500 fine is a slap-on-the-wrist for a big gas company like Santos who see the weak penalties for breaches as merely another cost of doing business.

AGLs attempts to irrigator saline treated coal seam gas water at Gloucester ended in failure. The Santos attempts, even if legalised, will also end in failure.

In the United States, they call irrigating land with coal seam gas water land farming. They basically contaminate the land and let salt tolerant weeds grow.

There are serious questions that remain unanswered about the use of coal seam gas in NSW. The safe disposal of the large amounts of salt and wastewater generated by coal seam gas operations is a massive issue and one companies like Santos have yet to be resolved.

The regulation of coal seam gas is not up to scratch in NSW, with this breach at Narrabri the latest in a long line of breaches and pollution incidents involving various coal seam gas projects.

The Greens call on the Government not to grant any approval for the use of treated coal seam gas water until it can be proven safe and for an increase in penalties for breaches of licences or lack of appropriate approvals, he said.

The post Coal seam gas needs tighter controls in NSW appeared first on Echonetdaily.


Greens Takedown Their Own MP Jeremy Buckingham Over Multiple Defamation Threats "IndyWatch Feed"

Greens NSW has issued a rare public rebuke to one of its own elected members amid revelations the MP has directed multiple legal threats against party members, despite publicly calling for defamation laws to be reformed so that politicians cant abuse them.

In 2015, Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham and radio shock-jock Alan Jones were sued by then Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner for comments they made in the course of anti-coal seam gas campaigning.

The lawsuit was eventually dropped, prompting Mr Buckingham to publicly call for sweeping changes to defamation laws.

Australia is a robust democracy and criticism of public representatives is an important part of our democratic system. There should be a much higher bar set for politicians to sue for defamation, such as what exists in the United States, he said at the time.

Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham, pictured with Sydney shock-jock Alan Jones. Both were the subject of a defamation action launched by Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner in 2014.

But since then, Mr Buckingham has issued legal threats against at least four current or former members of his own party, three of which are centred around recent allegations that Mr Buckingham sexually assaulted a former Greens staffer, Ella Buckland in 2011.

Mr Buckingham strongly denies the allegations, although Ms Buckland is standing by her claims.

One of those being sued is Tom Raue, the Greens NSW candidate for the seat of Summer Hill. It appears to be unprecedented in NSW political history for a member of a political party to be suing colleagues in the shadow of an upcoming state election.

The fourth legal threat issued by Mr Buckingham just over a year after his public criticisms of defamation laws was against a teenager who described Mr Buckingham as a massive fucking hypocrite in a closed Facebook forum...

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