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MEETING TONIGHT 20 FEB: Australia must condemn United States sanctions and threats of military intervention in Venezuela

The next Meeting of IPAN in Victoria will be on 20 February, Level 4 Trades Hall at 5.30 pm. This meeting will commence earlier due to a small overlap with a meeting on Venezuela on the same night, at 7pm in the Trades Hall, at which the Venezuelan Consul will be speaking. IPAN meeting will be at 5.30pm – 7pm to enable people interested to learn more about the situation in Venezuela to attend.
Just when you thought all your co-citizens were asleep at the wheel on Australian Government support for America's latest regime change initiative, the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) has issued a response. IPAN reminds us that this is not our decision, nor the USA's to make, but is a decision for the Venezuelan people. IPAN has made several recommendations, including that Australian needs to develop an independent foreign policy.

Video & transcript: Clifford Hayes Maiden Speech to Victorian Parliament 5 Feb 2019

"My objective, with your help, honourable members, is to make Melbourne, and even Victoria, a great place to live. Not merely a great place in population size or area to rival such places as Shanghai, New York, London or Sao Paulo. Such greatness would be mere obesity, with all the disadvantages of such. Not a city or a state where people are crammed into dogbox apartments, living on crowded and congested streets in an environmentally unfriendly concrete heat island. But a spacious city with open skies, open and tree-filled streets, with gardens. An environment where children can play safely, where the car is not king but a servant.
Walkable patchworks of various styles of housing, where one would enjoy walking, cycling or travelling through by public transport. A city of learning, education, the arts and self-supporting industry, where families and communities can thrive. Where the less fortunate who may be living on lower incomes are not segregated into high-rise towers but live in affordable detached or medium-density housing spread throughout the suburbs. Where their children have the same opportunities as other children. Where ghettos of crime and despair are not created. A city where the environment—the living environment—is prized and of prime importance. A sustainable city or cities in a sustainable state. This can only happen when people are proud of their neighbourhoods and where they, as citizens, have control over what they create—the built form, the environment, the infrastructure. This is what, I believe, we as a Parliament can achieve." (Clifford Hayes, Extract from speech.)

Migration shills tie themselves in job knots - Article by Houses and Holes

"What this debate is really about is not who gets what jobs but which elements of capital win along the way. McDonald and Richardson are obsessed with supporting the immigration-led urbanisation sectors to the detriment of tradables and wider community living standards as infrastructure fails to keep up, wages are crushed by the rush of cheap foreign labour and house prices shoot to stupid levels. McDonald is a demographer not economist so has no idea. Richardson has simply lost the macro plot. Before these dills came along with their immigration voodoo Australia and its labour market fared just fine and it will afterwards as well. In fact it will be better in time as the permanent supply shock of cheap foreigners killing wages and productivity ends, boosting income."

Queensland land-clearing responsible for 80% Australia's Greenhouse Gas emissions

Land-clearing policy in Queensland has had a significant impact on rates of vegetation clearing. Over recent decades changes in land-clearing regulations in Queensland have led first to a
decrease in vegetation clearing (when strong laws were enforced) and then to an increase in vegetation clearing (when laws were relaxed). Relaxation of land-clearing regulations in 2013
in Queensland led to a significant increase in the vegetation clearing rate. More than one million hectares of woody vegetation, of which 41% was remnant vegetation, were cleared in Queensland
between 2012-13 and 2015-16.

Australian universities’ dependence on overseas students: too much of a good thing - Article by Birrell & Betts

In November 2018 The Australian Population Research Institute (TAPRI) published an analysis of the higher education overseas student industry. It was framed around the remarkable growth in the share of commencing overseas university students to all commencing students over the years 2012 to 2016. This share increased from 21.8 per cent in 2012 to 26.7 per cent in 2016.

Syrian Army ‘raises flag’ in country’s Kurdish province for first time since start of civil war

The Syrian Kurds have asked Syria to help them because Turkey is threatening them. President Erdogan treats them as an extension of the Kurds in Turkey who want independence from Turkey. During the main part of the war in Syria (which seems to be tailing off now) the Kurds fought the Takfiri rebels. The United States, which supplied a lot of the so-called rebels including ISIS (indirectly at least) at times appeared to support Kurdish independence, using them as a lever against the Syrian Government. The Kurds had been offered control of their own department by the Syrian Government, but not actual independent state status. The US rewarded a Kurdish independence movement against Syria, although it is not clear that all Kurds in Syria really wanted this. The region also contains substantial minorities of Arabs and others whom a separate Kurdish state might not have suited. Until Russia intervened in the war (at the invitation of the Syrian Government) it looked like the United States backed terrorists were going to tear the country apart. The UN and NATO and its allies, including Australia, all supported this with a policy of removing President Assad and splitting Syria into many little states. The western public and corporate media provided propaganda to support this. Western readers were given no critical comparison with the prior destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, states destroyed by the same kind of tactics. YouTube gave great comfort to these lies when it suddenly removed all of the Syrian Presidency's interviews, claiming some breach of advertising. [Suddenly some of them are back, as the wind is changing.] Since the insurgency began in 2011, Turkey provided a covert base for terrorists to attack Syria from. After Russia intervened with the invitation of Syria, the US, which was an illegal and unwelcome presence in Syria, tried to get Turkey to support it. As it was also promoting the idea of the Kurds having an independent state, Turkey's support could never be relied on. Turkey could always align itself with the Russians, although, in the end, it seemed to prefer to be independent and it has its own ambitions to dominate the region. By outing the murder of the journalist, Kashoggi, in the Saudi Embassy in Turkey, Turkey has made itself look a bit respectable, but it is not inconceivable that Erdogan is supporting the ruling elite in Saudi Arabia against the Crown Prince, for strategic purposes. No-one really knows. Whilst Turkey is not a Wahabist state, Erdogan is a leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, which wants to establish a new Muslim caliphate in the Middle East and much of Europe. Syria is a multi-religion state which includes many Christians and it does not support a Muslim caliphate. This editorial is by Sheila Newman and James Sinnamon, candobetter editors. We have republished the following report on the state of the war in Syria from RT.

Perfect fish fossil offers a glimpse into Devonian period

The discovery of a new fish at a famous WA fossil site is in such good condition that it provides an exciting fresh glimpse into the evolution of species from 380 million years ago. The new fish - named Pickeringius acanthophorus (honouring the late Museums Victoria fossil collection manager David Pickering) - lived in the Late Devonian Period. Its beautifully preserved fossil skeleton was discovered by Flinders University’s Professor John Long at the Gogo Formation, in the Kimberleys of Western Australia. This has become a world famous fossil site, containing superb 3-dimensional preservations of entire fishes in limestone nodules, and has so far yielded more than 50 species.

Belgium: Thousands try to storm UN to protest migration pact

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel's stubborn endorsement of the UN Global Migration Pact has brought his government to its knees and caused massive demonstrations against the Pact in Belgium. Charles Michel now governs with a minority, because the center-right Flemish N-VA has walked out over the PM's move to have Belgium support a UN migration pact. The Prime Minister is now trying to govern with assorted and reshuffled Liberals and Christian Democrats. The upcoming Migration Pact has divided international alliances: Austria, Hungary, the US, Israel, Australia and several other states rejecting the accord. [1]Belgium's migration minister, Theo Francken, commented on Thursday, "It's way too pro-migration. It doesn't have the nuance that it needs to have to also comfort European citizens." He said that, although it was not legally binding, it was also not without legal risks. He said that wide interpretation of human rights laws in EU courts were "tying the hands of migration policy-makers." [2]

Australian party leader praises ‘strict immigration policy’ of tribe that killed US missionary

Pauline Hanson, the leader of One Nation, an Australian political party, says the Sentinel Island tribe that killed US missionary John Allen Chau with bows and arrows, should be praised for their immigration policies. Good to see one politician in Australia has respect for non-agricultural peoples. Inside find most of an article reporting this from https://www.rt.com/news/444962-australia-hanson-tribe-missionary/

Neuroscientist discovers potential treatment for ‘chemobrain’

In a discovery that could one day help breast cancer patients, Dr Adam Walker from Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and UNSW Sydney has found a potential treatment for ‘chemobrain’, a condition that affects up to 60 per cent of women after receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer.[i]

The study published today in PLOS-ONE and funded by the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) has the potential to transform cancer treatment research and eradicate the negative side-effects of cancer and chemotherapy.

Dr Walker says that up until now, scientists believed that chemotherapy was the only cause of cancer-associated cognitive impairment such as memory, learning and concentration difficulties, commonly dubbed as ‘chemobrain’.

China's terrifying social credit system - and how it's already happening in the West!

In China's 'smart cities' there are video cameras spying everywhere. Paul Joseph Watson points out how tech giants in the West are bringing the same kind of thing to internet media platforms, from which you may be banned if you stray outside the prescribed norms.

Cliff Hayes of Sustainable Australia Party wins seat in Victorian Senate

Sustainable Australia Party's Southern Metropolitan region Upper House candidate Clifford Hayes appears to be elected to the Victorian Upper House, according to various media reports. For those of you reeling at the thought of a Labor Government, second time round, with the bit between its teeth on immigration, land-clearing and the scent of developer money in its nostrils, this news of a win by SAP, may give some hope. We need more SAPs in government, as fast as possible.

115 plastic coffee cups kill whale - a new normal?

The discovery of a dead 31ft sperm whale with 6kgs of plastic in its stomach off the coast of Indonesia is further indication of the grave future our oceans and aquatic wildlife face as a result of marine plastic pollution. (Boomerang Alliance director Jeff Angel.)

Frankston: Danger for people and nature if kayaking in old mine site goes ahead in Frankston Nature Conservation Reserve

Please see attached pdf call for submissions to kayaking at Frankston Nature Conservation Reserve. "[...] I nor the friends received this directly. It was forwarded to me from the equally outraged Frankston Environmental Friends Network. The Regulations specific for the reserve which were put in place by the Minister for the Environment in 2015 were revoked on 1 February 2018, making the reserve a free-for-all. All of the protection work for the reserve, fought for many years has been ignored and overridden by the Andrews Labor Government. Accordingly, Paul Edbrooke will find his place last on my ballot paper," writes Frankston Councillor, Quinn McCormack.

Video: Ami Horowitz: The Truth Behind the Caravan

Ami Horowitz journeys to Mexico to find out the real reason why there is a caravan of migrants on its way to the United States’ border with its southern neighbor. The caravan is being orchestrated and logistically supplied like a military operation by some very wealthy people and the UN. This looks like an invasion, organised by members of the US power elite, under a thin pretense of humanitarian aid. Some interesting comments under the video, including about how Venezuelans are crossing the border to Brazil to escape famine, but there is no sign of the UN or other AID programs there.

Hong Kong planning rules for Melbourne under Labor - Alert from the Boroondara Residents’ Action Group

BRAG has always tried to remain unaligned politically but the plans the Andrews’ Government has for centralizing planning, if re-elected, require us to take a stand. The plans are being developed in secret by Labor to ensure that massive changes can be rammed through, if re-elected, to push at least 70% of new medium to high density housing into the middle suburbs of Melbourne. What this means is that you can expect multi-storey blocks of flats in your local street and neither you nor your council will be able to do a thing about it. You will have no right to be advised, object or appeal and the first indication will be when construction commences.

Victorian Labor government environmental policy nobbled? (National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program)

The National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program (NDPRP) today expressed dismay at the failure of the Victorian Labor government to put its own apex predator conservation policy into practice.

Good News from Moreland - Council buys back public land for parkland

Moreland Council rezones residential land as parkland for residents, but they have to pay dearly to get the land back off the development-mad state government. Still this is something that local councils should all be doing and they should collectively be placing pressure on the State Government to sell the land at non-market prices, or gift it. For some time the requirement that developers set aside parkland for each development has been commuted to paying into a fund so that council can reissue land as parkland more cheaply. Who knows where this money goes?

Questioning Dr Liz Allen's False Dichotomy - Article by Mark Allen

The latest film clip by Dr Liz Allen via the ABC explains why we apparently shouldn't be worrying about Australia's population size, because the real issue is in fact social inequality. But what Dr Allen is doing here is creating a false dichotomy. In doing so she is attempting to channel all discussion on what is actually a highly nuanced issue into one where those involved are forced to pick a side.

Broken system fails everyone, not just international student and backpacker victims of wage theft

Senior law lecturer at UNSW, Bassina Farbenblum says, "Our study confirms that Australia has a large, silent underclass of underpaid migrant workers,” commenting on a report entitled, "Migrant Worker Justice Initiative." The authors do not question the impact on Australians of this corrupt industrial and academic underbelly, but observe complacently, that if Australia is to "position itself as the destination of choice for international students and backpackers, reforms must be urgently implemented to prevent wage theft and enable migrant workers to report and recover unpaid wages." This report would benefit from wider and more historical context: When most wages in Australia were regulated by state awards, and strong unions defended Federal awards, there was very little illegal labour, hence little motivation to import cheap labour. It was easy to enforce written awards that covered entire industries and occupations, and were regulated by dedicated entities. This changed when Kennett abolished Victorian State Awards in 1993, setting the scene for Howard's Workchoices, and going on to widen the use of the corporations clause in the Australian constitution, which exempted corporations from many employer obligations. (See https://candobetter.net/node/4612.) The privatised for-profit university system gave up on real research in favour of importing students like cash-cows, to pay large fees and rent university owned apartments. Many of these students had to work any conditions in order to survive and pay their fees, fearing that if they failed to retain student status, they would be deported. A win-win situation for exploiters all round, as it drove down wages for everyone. In fact, if 'reforms' were successfully implemented to prevent wage theft from migrant workers' we would soon see a huge reduction in the numbers of migrant workers. It's all slave labour under other names. (Candobetter.net Editor.)

Safety Beach: 2 police rescue & resuss drowning kangaroo, Animalia visit in cell

This is exciting and heartwarming footage to counter the general plague of kangaroo hating. Police rush into the surf to rescue a small kangaroo, who is later visited in its cell by Animalia staff, who are currently taking care of him elsewhere.

ABC 7.30 Report population special (Part 1) - by Leith van Onselen

ABC 7.30 Report last night aired part one of its three-part population special, which included me as the economist. While I will reserve judgement until the final two-parts have been aired, my initial gut reaction is disappointment. The main problem I see with it so far is the ABC has inferred that a population of more than 40-million mid-century is inevitable rather than a direct policy choice. Nowhere did The ABC clearly show how the federal government massively increased Australia’s immigration intake from the early-2000

Demographer slams overdevelopment in Melbourne - Video and text

Professor Bob Birrell [1] calls for better planning to stop over-development, sustainable population policy reform at a Sustainable Australia Party event. "Net overseas immigration is completely dominating the figures." The politicians tell us, "We just have to get used to it, and the way we're going to deal with it is to throw literally billions at it ... and ... eliminate suburbia." "That's what they say. But rezoning and high density doesn't actually work. The houses are too expensive. The reason is site costs. The more people the more demand for housing. If you increase the opportunity for housing on the same site, the site values go up higher.... It doesn't work." "Nor does the high rise 'solution'. You know there are tens of thousands of these being completed. When we checked the 2016 census, what we found was, that in the two areas of greatest density, CBD and South bank, only 5% of all those appartments were occupied by families with children. Well, what are we going to do about it? We have to deal with high NOM (Net Overseas Migration), it's not inevitable - and this is the key point. The high levels of NOM at present are due to government policy or government non-policy. They are a deliberate consequence of government policy. Not inevitable. For example, overseas students. It is a fact that the biggest source of growth in Net Overseas Migration in Melbourne is overseas students. There are more overseas students coming in on a student's visa each year than are leaving holding a student's visa. Okay, we don't object to students coming here for an education. the problem is that, once they get here and complete their education, they can stay on, more or less forever. Our governments have deliberately encouraged them to do so. By providing, as of right, a two year stay here, with full work rights - even if your degree is in cultural studies - and, when you've done that, you can get another student visa. Or you can become a tourist, or you can get a working holiday visa, or you can apply for a 457 temporary visa. Or you can apply for a permanent entry visa. And, as a consequence, a big chunk of overseas students are just spinning out ... over the years. So, we can change that and that would have a major impact. There are many other areas we could change. I'll just give you one or two to finish, which you may not know about. You've probably heard a lot about 'regional policy' - 'maybe we'll put people in the bush, rather than let them stay in Melbourne or Sydney. Well, currently, there's a program near 30,000 visas strong for state and regional sponsorship. The problem is that these visas do not require people to actually stay in the states or regions that sponsor them. They very quickly move off and they end up in Sydney or Melbourne. Or, consider this, and I'll finish on this note, consider the policy on spouses. [...] what happens in Australia is that you can sponsor a spouse at the age of 18 and you do not have to show that you have a job or an income which will enable you to sustain that spouse. I'm not kidding you. This is the situation. Compare that with Europe. Most countries now, you've got to be at least 22 before you sponsor a spouse, and you've got to prove that you have the funds to support that spouse. I could go on. There is massive potential to bring down the numbers. [...] We have to get the numbers down if we are really coming to grips with Melbourne's crisis of overdevelopment. I'll just leave you with one final thought, and that is that at least public opinion is moving in the right direction. [refers to TAPRIS study] Some 54 % of voters now believe that immigration should be reduced. The polls this year are putting the numbers in the 60%, so the potential is there. May I wish [Sustainable Australia Party] the best in mobilising it."

How to take your daily Sami and Jacinta medicine - Article by Sally Pepper

The ABC has prescribed a daily dose of banal banter, pedestrian topics and a tedious focus on the personality and life of one of the co-hosts in Melbourne's breakfast radio program on Radio Melbourne otherwise known as "774". I speak of the Sami and Jacinta morning breakfast radio show which replaced the much loved, mellow, whimsical, companionable Red Symons who hosted the show for 15 years until a sudden unexplained axing late last year.

Horses need an identity Urgently - Article by Barrie Tapp, Animal Cruelty Hotline

Horses need an identity urgently, but in the State of Victoria there currently is no system nor accountability to accurately determine the number of horses. Nor is it compulsory to register them, unless your horse is a particular breed, in some cases. Some horse breed associations RVL, HRV, require mandatory registrations of both horses and owners, whilst other horse breed societies don’t subscribe to any such manner of registration.

National Council of Churches has called for Brett Kavanagh's withdrawal

The National Council of Churches called for the withdrawal of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination on Wednesday, citing his behavior during last week’s Senate hearing and his “political record.” “We believe he has disqualified himself from this lifetime appointment and must step aside immediately,” the Washington-based council said in a statement.

UNSW: Recycling goes to landfill while technology sits idle

The effectiveness of recycling services across Australia is being seriously questioned as new research shines a critical light on waste management efforts. The findings of the first of a series of surveys by UNSW Sydney to better understand community attitudes to important issues, come as the growing waste problem around Australia and globally intensifies after a ban in January by China to no longer accept certain recyclable materials it had been taking from other countries. Most people, across all States and demographics, believe the recyclables they put out in their council bins are ending up in landfill.

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