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IndyWatch Victorian News Feed was generated at Melbourne VIC IndyWatch.

Sunday, 18 February

17:46

Tourists on Scooters: Why So Many Dickheads? "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Terima kasih. Terima kasih, I repeat over and over, till my throat goes dry and the Indonesian words of gratitude become a meaningless, Australian-flavoured gibberish.

I wince. And fiddle with the label of the plastic water bottle that Ketut pressed gently into my hands. Made chucks me a toothy grin and tells me to breathe as he treats my left leg with Betadine. His hands, baked golden by years of sun with deep ridges of age, dance softly along my calf, imploring my body to express where it hurts. Through salty, wobbly vision, the faces of concerned onlookers swim in and out of focus.

A cat smelling of something rotten, with sticky, sweat-saturated fur, stares at me through a nearby bush. He cocks his head and twitches his nose as I squeeze my eyes shut. Taking off my grit-stained glasses, I rest my head in my hands.

This scene is the result of 19 years of unawareness, and borderline carelessness, of my own mortality. Well, thats not entirely true. In fact, as a rule, I refuse to eat anything past its use-by-date and never leave home without a thick sheen of SPF50+. Yet, somehow, last month I found myself crumpled on the edge of a T-junction with my ankle wedged tightly beneath a freshly-rented scooter.

Its a common enough story for young travellers.

Let go of your inhibitions! they say. Be free, wild and adventurous!

Sure. Fuck yeah! I can do that.

It seems that most Westerners become well acquainted with the hot sting of gravel-grated flesh when scooter-venturing through Southeast Asia. Particularly in Bali, where a culture of helmetless, Aussie Bintang fiends thrives despite the barrage of figures released by the Department of Foreign Affairs each year.

An Australian dies in Bali every nine days.

For me, upon arrival on this beautifully balmy island, and with my parents more concerned about angry Mount Agung, the volcano, than the mortality rate of scooter-loving tourists, the statistics faded into white noise and felt about as sobering as Melbournes Dumb Ways to Die campaign. Like thousands of other Western travellers, I felt as if death from misadventure just wasnt me.

As night falls, illuminated by the ever-faithful florescent glow of 24/7 convenience stores, the main streets of Kuta come alive with the shouts of young travellers. Men and women with fre...

17:15

The website of Victorian UFO Action "IndyWatch Feed National"

Dear readers,

The family is out for the day, so it's now my time to indulge in my hobby - UFOlogy. 

Today's post is continuing my look at websites of Australian UFO groups. After several years away from the topic of UFOs, this is one way to re-acquaint myself with today's UFOlogy. So after looking at New South Wales and Queensland it is time for my home state of Victoria, and the sole UFO group website I could find, that of Victorian UFO Action.

A few general observations

Interestingly unlike UFO Research (NSW) Inc. and UFO Research (Qld) Inc. VUFOA does not have the word 'research' in their name. I was therefore interested to see just what it is that the group does?

I mentioned in previous posts that I don't usually bother about the appearance of a site, being more interested in the content. However I am going to make an exception for the VUFOA website. It is cluttered; and visually overwhelming to my eyes. It scrolls down and down and down, unlike most website home pages which are short and to the point. Coloured letters and lots of icons don't make for a good first impression with me.

Tabs

There are nine tabs along the top of the home page,  'Home;' 'About us;' 'donations;' 'members pages;' 'search VUFOA;' 'guestbook;' 'report a sighting;'seek support' and 'more.'

'Home' of course is the home page.

'About us' opens up into 'contact us;' 'team members' and 'media releases.' 

'Contact us' brings up a preformatted form which asks for your name, and email address and allows you to send an inquiry to VUFOA.

'Team members' fi...

14:05

Madge Digest #149 February 2018 "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Many thanks for your submissions on WAs Farmer Protection Legislation and for signing Stop GM Golden Rice letter asked for in the previous digest. They make a huge difference!

  1. Your help is needed again to get new GMOs regulated by this Wednesday 21st Feb. 

  2. GMO food labelling a possibility in South Australia!

  3. Keep yourself grounded and happy with others who care.

1)Your help needed again to get new GMOs regulated by this Wednesday 21st Feb

Put in a brief submission by Wednesday 21st February (suggested content below). Some scientists and industries see New GM as a bonanza for their careers and profits although it is only five years old and has no history of safe use. We suggest mentioning:

  1. The techniques (CRISPR, RNAi, gene drives and all other new techniques mentioned in this Friends of the Earth GM 2.0 Australian Regulators Engineering the Truth report) are GM.
  2. The new  GM techniques need safety assessments, regulation, labelling and monitoring. The developers of these techniques must be fully liable, including financially, for their products and actions.
  3. The Australian Department of Health has advised the World Trade Organisation* of its proposal to change the Gene Technology Act. I am concerned this may remove the opportunity to acknowlege these new technologies are GM and will close down public discussion of precaution and alternatives. 

If you add a sentence or two of your own it gives your submission much more power.

GM, old and new, thrives on secrecy, manipulation of science, exclusi...

08:00

Cost of tax breaks soars on profits selling homes "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Government spending on tax breaks is set to hit a record $170 billion this year, largely as a result of an explosion in the value of concession for the family home.

Treasury's Tax Expenditures Statement required under the Charter of Budget Honesty and released quietly after the close of business on Thursday puts the value of the exemption from capital gains tax for owner occupiers at $74 billion this financial year, up from $66.5 billion last financial year, which was itself $5 billion more than Treasury had forecast.

Four years ago, before house prices shot up, it was worth $46.5 billion. Treasury says by 2020-21 it will be worth $91 billion.

The exemption releases owner occupiers from the obligation to pay capital gains tax on profits made from the sale of their primary residence. Those profits have soared in recent years as prices have climbed, especially in Sydney and Melbourne. Investors pay capital gain at half the income tax rate, a concession the Treasury costs at $10 billion, up from $4.4 billion four years ago.

The cost of tax expenditures is tabulated so that the government can compare the budgetary impact of direct spending in the form of grants with indirect spending in the form of tax breaks.

The government costs assistance to the aged at $64.3 billion and assistance to the unemployed and the sick at $10 billion.

The concession tax treatment of superannuation contributions is costed at $16.9 billion. The concessional treatment of super fund earnings is costed at $19.25 billion. The two figures can't be added together to get a total for super tax concessions, because if contributions were fully taxed the funds would earn less.

The exemption of so-called fresh foods from goods and services tax costs $7 billion per year. Among the items exempt because they are used to prepare food at home is sugar, although commercially prepared products containing sugar such as soft drinks are subject to the GST.

The GST exemption for education services including private school fees will cost $4.55 billion in 2017-18 and $5.65 billion in 2020-21. The exemption for medical services costs $4.1 billion.

The cost of the farm management deposit system, which gives tax advantages to qualifying farmers, is is expected to double from $245 million in 2016-17 to $560 million in 2017-18.

The figures come as the government attempts to find savings to fund personal income tax cuts in the May budget and reduce the deficit of $21.4 billion.

 

Tax Break Top 10

The 10 biggest tax expenditures identified by the Treasury

Revenue...

07:17

Wolltet ihr schon immer mal wissen, was passiert, wenn ... "IndyWatch Feed National"

Wolltet ihr schon immer mal wissen, was passiert, wenn auf einem Kreuzfahrtschiff eine italienische Grofamilie zu randalieren und rumzuprgeln anfngt?

Hier ist eure Chance!

Update: Es gibt ein Video.

00:55

Designer Collaborates With Aboriginal Weavers to Produce Eco-Friendly Lamp Shades "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Woven Plastic Waste Lamps By PET Lamp

In response to the plastic waste issue in the Colombian Amazon, Spanish designer Alvaro Cataln de Ocn began the PET Lamp Project in 2011a design venture with the aim to reuse PET plastic bottles. Over the last five years, the eco-conscious designer has worked with traditional craft communities from all over the worldincluding Colombia, Chile, Japan, and Ethiopiato turn plastic waste into a growing collection of beautiful, handmade PET Lamps. Inspired by Aboriginal art, Cataln de Ocn recently traveled to Arnhem Land in Australias Northern Territory, to work with eight indigenous Yolngu weavers.

As with his previous projects alongside traditional crafts people, Cataln de Ocn arrived to BulaBula Arts Centre in Ramingining without a predetermined plan for how the lamps would look. Instead, he gave freedom to the talented weavers who began to produce large structures inspired by traditional Yolngu mats. Made from naturally dyed pandanus fibers, the resulting suspension lamps with characteristic fringes incorporate the PET plastic bottles as the center points of their circular woven designs.

The vibrant, sunshine hues were made from boiling natural ingredients and pigmentssuch as ash and eucalyptus barkand then leaving the dyed leaves to dry in the sun. Each individual mat was then woven together into two larger lampshades, mirroring the bond between people of the same clan. Cataln de Ocn explains, The two masterpieces turn into a complex, harmonious merge between Aboriginal kinships, weaving technique, topographic elements, and design.

If youre in Australia, you can see the the latest PET Lamps for yourself at the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial, on display until April 15, 2018. You can also find out more about the project via the PET Lamp website.

In collaboration with traditional craftspeople from around the world, the PET Lamp Project was founded by designer Alvaro Cataln de Ocn.

...

Friday, 16 February

21:32

Inside the hidden world of female sex offenders. "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Mamamia

Inside the hidden world of female sex offenders.

Why do we rarely hear about female sex offenders.

This week Australian TV star Maggie Kirkpatrick was convicted of child sex offences. Today, the court sentenced her to 100 hours of community service.

The 74-year-old actor, best known for her work on Prisoner and more recently for her on-stage work in Wicked, was charged by Victoria Police with two counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency with a person under 16. In his sentencing remarks, the judge said that the victim was a 14 year old psychiatric patient who was taken back to Kirkpatricks home in the inner suburbs of Melbourne and assaulted.

Read more about those charges here.

For many people, the news of Kirkpatricks conviction was shocking. Not just because Kirkpatrick was a much-loved entertainer of the 80s, but because of her gender: We rarely hear of female sex offenders (or in Kirkpatricks case, alleged sex offenders). Indeed, an incredibly small percentage of child sex charges are levelled at women.

...

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