IndyWatch Victorian News Feed Archiver

Go Back:30 Days | 7 Days | 2 Days | 1 Day

IndyWatch Victorian News Feed Today.

Go Forward:1 Day | 2 Days | 7 Days | 30 Days

IndyWatch Victorian News Feed was generated at Melbourne VIC IndyWatch.

Thursday, 12 July

22:50

MEDIA RELEASE 12/07 | MOBILE VIDEO FOOTAGE REVEALS ABUSE BY VILLAWOOD GUARDS Refugee Action Collective (Vic)

Refugee advocates are calling for a full inquiry into an incident recorded on mobile phone footage inside Villawood detention centre revealing nine male guards, using unnecessary force arresting a single female detainee. (Link to cideo clip attached.)   Towards the end of the footage, the guards can be seen holding her on the ground, and(...)

17:42

New Zealand outlet positively reviews Disaster Capitalism film "IndyWatch Feed National"

My film Disaster Capitalism with director Thor Neureiter continues to spread around the world. Thor was recently in Melbourne for the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival and the film is screening soon in Australia, the UK and elsewhere.

New Zealand outlet Foreign Control Watchdog has published a review of the film written by Jeremy Agar:

Afghanistan

The years roll by but the news from Afghanistan scarcely changes. From the dry hills in landlocked Asia we glimpse mad mullahs shooting their rifles into the air. We see Humvees straining up a mountain pass and wait for the ambush. Underneath the banner news rolls through: a suicide truck has blown up a dozen pedestrians in Kabul.  

Few of the many disasters that our information screens send our way are as wearying as the scenes from this war, the one that 30 years ago was dubbed the forgotten war because sometimes, back then, it wasnt getting much air time. These days were all too likely to hear the inevitable soothing words that follow from the President, but whoever he is this time, no-one is listening.

On comes an American general. Just a few more troops, he assures us, and all will be well. Just a few more years and well deliver you a shiny new democracy. Be patient. Rome wasnt built in a day.But despite the assurances of the nation builders, peace in Afghanistan hasnt been built in centuries. The waste, the futility of it all has a cartoonish quality: the US Army as Homer Simpson; the jihadi as Jihadi. Boring. We flick the channel to the newest cooking show.

Its the lack of any of this tedium that makes Antony Loewensteins analysis so welcome. By steering clear from clich were allowed to see Afghanistan as the sort of place an open plain, not some dizzying crag that is not all that different from some parts of Loewensteins native Australia, perhaps, or America. He gets driven just an hour from the capital and talks to some quite normal locals. They were promised decent jobs and social development from a mine. It becomes clear that the foreign corporation never intended to make good on the deal, and that the Governments undertaking to hold the company to account was similarly fraudulent.

Back in Kabul Loewenstein seeks answers from the bureaucrats who oversee the mining industry, No, Mr X is unavailable; Mr Y is busy. Mr Z? No, it is not possible. Leave the building. In other words, standard obstruction, standard corruption....

13:00

The four signs that Australias property market may be on its knees "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

A year ago, I wouldve said house prices were too high. And Id lament that I couldnt find an affordable place to buy.

But my outlook has changed.

Lately, property prices have fallen just enough to make a modest unit affordable.

I check out new properties frequently.

But I rarely get past the garage.

Before I even set foot inside a property, I measure the height of the car parking space. Unless it cracks that 2.4-metre mark, I turn and walk away.

Ive left dozens of puzzled real estate agents in my wake.

Look, my giant 4WD probably doesnt need its own house at night. But street parking for big cars is hard to come by. If I buy a unit with a shared driveway, its going to create problems for me and the neighbours.

Finding a new place has been a 12-month mission of mine.

The good news is that things are different a year on.

Around this time last year, one or two properties a month fell into my price range.

Nowadays, I can go to one inspection a week.

Its not because there are more properties on the market. In fact, the number of new homes for sale in Australia is down 28% in the past year.

But the properties I inspected last year that were out of my price range are now well within it.

While that may be good news for me, its a rather ominous confirmation that cracks are beginning to show in the Aussie housing market.

Four signs of a rickety housing sector

In Tuesday Daily Reckoning Australia, I reasoned that theres a mortgage debt reset coming our way as $400 billion worth of home loans move from interest-only to principal-and-interest repayments.

Turns out, thats just the start of the debt reset story.

Real estate website Domain claims that one-third of the 1834-year-olds cant refinance their homes due to falling property valuations.

Domain puts the blame for this squarely at the feet of property valuers, suggesting that they dont know how to how value properties during a market downturn.

Domain calls it the experience gap a younger generation of valuers being too conservative because property prices have dropped a few percentage points.

I disagree. In my view, assessments lowering the value of properties remove the hype that was partly responsible for driving up prices in the first place.

But there are other reasons to explain why Australias property market is rickety....

07:26

Melbourne construction boom scales new heights "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Melbourne construction boom

An intriguing set of building activity figures as ever for the March 2018 quarter. 

The most interesting point of note was how thousands of building approvals in the Victorian pipeline were kicked off as dwelling starts in the first three months of the calendar year (recall how Melbourne saw nearly 10,000 townhouses and apartments approved in only  two month period in October and November last year).

In New South Wales, on the other hand, there are more houses and apartments approved but not yet commenced than ever before, as developers grapple with tighter financing and languishing apartment pre-sales. 


Following on from the above, there was a near-explosion in the number of quarterly dwelling commencements in Victoria, to a seasonally adjusted 22,150, well over double the equivalent figure from a decade earlier.

Melbourne's population growth has been tracking at record highs, and demand for housing is high.

This alone was significant enough to send the national trend for dwelling commencements northwards. 


In Queensland more houses are being commenced in response to strong demand from interstate migrants, but the number of attached dwelling starts continues to moderate as the Brisbane apartment market rebalances. 

...

06:18

Free supermarket opens its doors in Melbourne "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed from Victoria

Melbournes popular not for profit restaurant Lentil As Anything has operated for years, based on using excess food that would otherwise be wasted, and charging customers only a voluntary donation, based on what they think the meal they have eaten is worth.

Lentil As Anything has now come up with another initiative, and that is, the opening last Sunday of a not for profit supermarket in Thornbury, an inner Melbourne suburb. It goes by the name of the Inconvenience Store.

Like the restaurant, it bases itself on the recycling of excess produce that would otherwise have gone to the tip as landfill. The stock is donated. Here too, customers only pay a donation, based on what they think the produce is worth.

This might be a small initiative, in the face of the 20 billion dollar problem in Australia, according to waste expert Karli Verghese, from RMIT University.

Its importance lies in that it is setting an example, to show that by people getting together and taking action, they can contribute to solving the problem. If they can do it, so can others.

This is especially important at a time when food security is a growing problem for many Australians. Food insecurity is when one is in a position where three meals a day can no longer be guaranteed.

More customers at the Inconvenience Store

The idea was to make a difference in the food waste crisis, project coordinator Astrid Ryan said.

We wanted to provide people access to nutritious fruit and vegetables.

When people are in financial crisis or difficult situations, its probably the thing they have least access to.

The food is free, at the Inconvenience Store.

Customers can stock their bags with food, ranging from fruit and vegetables to bread and some packaged items. People are just asked to make a donation to keep the store going and to consider volunteering some of their time to help.

06:17

Earthworker Co-ops "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Earthworker is establishing a network of worker-owned cooperatives committed to sustainable enterprise throughout Australia. They believe social and environmental exploitation are intertwined, and that the problems of climate change, job insecurity and growing inequality must be tackled simultaneously, through greater grassroots economic ownership.

They have already established Redgum, a worker owned cleaners co-operative in Melbourne, and are in the final stages of establishing the Earthworker Energy Manufacturing Cooperative (formerly Eurekas Future).

We had a yarn with Katherine Cunningham from Earthworker. Find out more about Earthworker at earthworkercooperative.com.au/

Listen to more from Behind the Lines on Soundcloud

 

Go to the GEO front page

Wednesday, 11 July

13:57

Victorian CDC bus drivers strike for better wages "IndyWatch Feed National"

Contributed by Ugly

Yesterday, About 600 bus drivers have walked off the job for 24 hours in Melbourne, Ballarat and Geelong, disrupting regular services on more than 70 routes.

CDC Victoria workers and members of the Transport Workers Union, walked off the job at midnight.  Pickett lines were set up at depots in Wyndham, Oakleigh, Geelong and Ballarat, where the drivers were joined by their families, members of other unions and other supporters.

They are after a 4 percent Wage rise and management is offering only 2.5 percent. According to the union, this stoppage is part of an ongoing campaign, which if need be will involve further stoppages this Friday and \at the beginning of next week.

TWU national vice president John Berger said 95 per cent of members had voted in favour of the strike action, which was the first such action by bus drivers for 20 years.

The reason behind the campaign for a wage increase is that these drivers are the lowest paid in the industry, getting just $26 to $28 an hour. The claim is a benchmark that will be taken over to other companies.

The union has publicly apologised to commuters for the disruption that the industrial action has caused and may cause in the days ahead. Inconvenience has not stopped public sympathy from coming in.

A message from the union stated:

The buses stopped today because CDC TWU members decided to fight for a fair and reasonable wage rise a fair share of the fare.

While the rest of Victoria was sleeping, these staunch members gathered in the freezing cold on picket lines from 4:40am at CDC depots in Wyndham, Oakleigh, Geelong and Ballarat. Many are still out there right now.

They would rather be working in the comfort of a heated bus or home with their family than out in the elements and inconveniencing some commuters.

But there comes a time when you have to look after yourself and these TWU members have drawn a line in the sand.

The fact they have gathered in great numbers to picket today tells you how serious this issue is, how insulted they were by the companys latest sub-standard wage offer and how determined they are to dig in. So get behind their fight for the Victorian Bus Industry Agreement, and We must stand together and will show CDC and the rest of the Victorian Bus Industry that you are worth more than the current sub-standard CDC offer.

And never forget that this is not just a fight between CDC members and the rich multinational, but a fight for the 2018 Bus Industry Agreement.

Many ordinary people are unhappy about the condition of wages in Australia and dont think it is fair that the worker is receiving a shrinking share of the income,...

11:48

Chelsea Haywood sees nuclear waste dump as saving Hawker from a slow death "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Chelsea Haywood. Submission to Senate Inquiry on Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia

My name is Chelsea Haywood and I purchased my house in Hawker 13 years ago. I lived in Waubra Victoria when the windfarm was in its proposal stage and was actively involved in the process of community education. I have 2 young children t1 that attends the school here, and the other just started pre entry at Kindy. Both my husband and myself work and devote a lot of our time to the community.

I am secretary of the Hawker Community Development Board, Chair of the Flindersfest Committee, Active on the Swimming Pool Committee while supporting my husband who is a volunteer ambo, on the EWG and BCC (both consulting committees for the project) how the need for broad community support has played and will continue to play a part in the process, including:

the definition of broad community support [she puts this in red]

broad community support should be kept to those that will be affected should this proposal move forward. By this I mean that there is no need to involve the entire state as it will not impact on them either way should the project go ahead or not. Those in the local area Hawker can already see the benefits such a facility can ha...

IndyWatch Victorian News Feed Archiver

Go Back:30 Days | 7 Days | 2 Days | 1 Day

IndyWatch Victorian News Feed Today.

Go Forward:1 Day | 2 Days | 7 Days | 30 Days

IndyWatch Victorian News Feed was generated at Melbourne VIC IndyWatch.

Resource generated at IndyWatch using aliasfeed and rawdog