'Lives are being destroyed' - legal assistance funding needs urgent review, huge budget boost

The dire state of legal assistance funding in Australia has been highlighted as a matter of critical importance in the Law Council of Australia’s 2019-20 Pre-Budget Submission, with a boost of at least $310 million a year required to address critical gaps in the system.
Additional funding should also be provided to introduce Justice Impact Tests, improve resourcing of federal courts, and establish a National Justice Interpreter Scheme, said Law Council President, Arthur Moses SC.

2GB Podcast: Kelvin Thomson responds to Bill Shorten on wage stagnation in Australia

The opposition leader said this week that the next Federal Election will be a referendum on wages & the Reserve Bank Governor was saying he couldn’t understand why wages weren’t going up more given the underlying strength of the economy. Michael McLaren of 2GB Radio is joined by the Hon. Kelvin Thomson, former Federal Member for Wills now advisor for Sustainable Australia Party’s Clifford Hayes to talk about Bill Shorten’s declaration that the upcoming election will be a ‘referendum on incomes’.

Wildlife and domestic animals in Bunyip fires need RSPCA assistance - will they get it?

Wildlife carers and rescuers and local farmers have requested the RSPCA to provide its mobile vet clinic ready to assist the expected influx of injured and suffering animals as soon as people are allowed back into the areas currently affected by the Bunyip fire. Barrie Tapp, Senior Inspector for Animal Cruelty Australia Hotline, says the RSPCA and their mobile vet van are needed now. "We already have reports of animals dead and dying."

Helpful suggestion in letter on ABC bias to Ita Buttrose Chair of ABC Board

The letter writer suggests that the ABC should publish on its website complaints and its responses so that anyone can see them. This would help to ensure transparency and would allow the public to judge whether the ABC exhibits bias on particular issues. (The letter writer also claims that the ABC shows consistent bias in dealing with Australia's policy of rapid population growth.)

Video: Should ISIS brides return home - Analysis from Syria

Syriana Analysis journalist, Kevork Almassian, writes, "It seems that Syrians have to suffer twice: once when the multinational terrorists travelled without facing any difficulties from the airports of Europe and elsewhere in the world to Turkey and then to Syria. Second, ISIS terrorists and their wives will most probably go back to their home countries without receiving serious punishment." If you commit a crime in a country then you should be judged by the laws of that country. Kevork Almassian also gives an opinion on why European citizens may have joined ISIS.

Massive Protest in Support of the Bolivarian Revolution Largely Ignored

While the world’s attention was focused on the Venezuelan opposition, as it tried to transport US aid into Venezuela against the government’s will, a major protest took place in Caracas that was opposed to US intervention in Venezuela.

Video and commentary first sourced at https://therealnews.com/stories/massive-protest-in-support-of-the-bolivarian-revolution-largely-ignored

Independent UN rights expert calls for compassion, not sanctions on Venezuela

The crisis in Venezuela will not be solved by sanctions that “can lead to starvation”, a UN-appointed rights expert said on Thursday. Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy, who reports to the Human Rights Council, issued the warning against the background of widespread suffering in the South American country, linked to spiralling economic woes and deep political uncertainty. (Article first published at United Nations site 31 January 2019.)

Peace movement: Australian government funds weapons manufacturers whose wares end up in the hands of countries accused of war crimes

The Australian Peace movement has reacted to news that Australian government funds weapons manufacturers whose wares end up in the hands of countries accused of war crimes. "There is nothing admirable about aspiring to be in the world's top 10 arms exporters."

Slow Down for Wildlife

Ever been appalled at Australians habit of not slowing down when they can clearly see an animal on the road or by the verges? Are you one of those thinking caring types who wonder how their mates will fare and what an unnecessary waste of life it is? You are not alone if so.

Venezuelan soldiers face intimidation attempts from Guaido supporters at Colombian border


Guaido supporters attempt to intimidate Venezue-
lan Army soldiers who are defending their
country's border

The attempt by supporters of American puppet 'President' Guaido to take across the Venezuelan border truckloads of supposed humanitarian aid - and, who knows what else? - has failed, according to a report before 9:30pm Venezuelan time (UTC-8).

The soldiers of the Venezuelan Army stood firm and prevented the truck and its acompanying Guado supporters from crossing the bridge (except for three who had commandeered an armoured car and had recklessly driven that armoured car into a crowd of soldiers and civilians who were defending the border, injuring at least one female civilian).

See also : Venezuela crisis: Border clashes, ‘masked thugs’, torched ‘aid’ & fake Red Cross (24/2/19 | RT, ‘PR stunt to justify intervention in Venezuela’: Experts slam US regime change ‘gangsterism’ (23/2/19 | RT, Australian Venezuela Solidarity Network Facebook page

"Tough Crowd" TONIGHT

A very successful opening night of Tough Crowd last night with short filmed interviews all on the "sensitive" issue of population, included a performance by singer/ comedian Jude Perl. The event was hosted by its creator, Michael Bayliss, media officer for Sustainable Population Australia.

No War on Venezuela - Endorsing International Campaign -Melbourne meeting 23 Feb 2019

Below is a list of only some signatures from international organisations and individuals endorsing the campaign No War on Venezuela. Full list on web page. Action plan for Melbourne organised by the Australian-Venezuelan Solidarity coalition on Saturday 23 February, 11am at Trades Hall.

"Hands off Venezuela!" Venezuelan Consul at Trades Hall meeting February 20, 2019

UPDATED: On 20 February 2019, I attended the meeting with the Venezuela Consul at Trades Hall. Every seat was occupied and it was difficult to move around the hall due to the crowd, which included members of the local Venezuelan and spanish-speaking communities.

Trump's naked threats of war; Maduro's response

Trump made naked threats to invade Venezuela made on 19 February, in a speech truly evocative of Hitlers'. Instead of threatening Jews, Trump is threatening people he perceives as 'communists'. The unquestioning crowds, the dumbed-down US elite cheering war on, show the result of an American education system and press entirely given over to propaganda. US Congress, mostly robots under control by Neocon money, has to authorise any military action - but will they even try to stop it?

Koalas on brink of apocalypse in Queensland - urgent rescues needed

We cannot let an internationally famous Australian icon become extinct in its natural habitat. South East Queensland has entered the final phase of the extinction of its biodiversity, with mega-developments gone mad and the loss of Koalas mounting as Koalageddon increases exponentially. Eastern Australia was a recognised international hotspot for biodiversity and unfortunately is now part of an internationally recognised de-forestation hotspot ! The only one in the "developed" world. How could this happen in Australia??? This is simply not acceptable to many people.

Russia takes steps to survive global internet shutdown with its own web – MPs

Russia is preparing itself to be disconnected from the World Wide Web. The Lower House of Parliament passed in the first reading a law ensuring the security of the Russian part of the internet. The bill envisions the ‘Runet’ – the Russian segment of the internet – being able to operate independently from the rest of the world in case of global malfunctions or deliberate internet disconnection. The measures to ensure internet stability include the creation of a national DNS system that stores all of the domain names and corresponding IP numbers. (Article first published at RT on 13 February 2019.)

Mackay: BHP ignores pleas to help starving crew

Crew aboard a ship at a BHP terminal in Queensland claim they are being starved and underpaid, in yet another instance of the coal giant’s veil of secrecy over its operations in Australian waters. A seafarer aboard an 80,000-tonne bulk carrier, the Villa Deste, contacted the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) pleading for help (email below). The starving crew claims to have no food and no onboard wages, and being fed on a $4 food budget per day.

Careful using that f-word to describe dingoes

A UNSW Sydney study says more evidence is needed before declaring the dingo a feral animal, casting a shadow over state governments’ justification for culling Australia’s largest carnivorous mammal. There is no conclusive evidence that the Australian dingo was once domesticated, UNSW scientists reveal, challenging the notion that the animal is therefore feral.

Spirit of Eureka Statement on US intervention in Venezuela and an Independent Australian Foreign Policy

Spirit of Eureka condemns the Morrison government and the ALP Opposition’s compliant endorsement of the US intervention and preparations for a “regime change” in sovereign Venezuela. This points to the urgent need for an independent Australian foreign policy that upholds and promotes the sovereignty and independence of countries to determine their own destiny.

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.

Computer predicts end of civilisation

In this 1973 video, the Club of Rome envision a world with far less need to work long hours and with a benign system of international cooperation. I think that they would be horrified if they could see what has actually happened, and the role that the IMF has taken. I think the Club of Rome got the material settings right, though.

What Is Different About Venezuela

Venezuela’s problems are not the result of the government issuing money and using it to hire people to build infrastructure, provide essential services and expand economic development. If it were, unemployment would not be at 33 percent and climbing. Venezuela has a problem the U.S. does not, and will never have: It owes massive debts in a currency it cannot print itself, namely, U.S. dollars. When oil (its principal resource) was booming, Venezuela was able to meet its repayment schedule. But when the price of oil plummeted, the government was reduced to printing Venezuelan bolivars and selling them for U.S. dollars on international currency exchanges. As speculators drove up the price of dollars, more and more printing was required by the government, massively deflating the national currency.

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.)

Sydney: Last Australian crew to carry iron ore for BHP and BlueScope return

The last Australian seafarers to carry iron ore for BHP and BlueScope — work that was undertaken for more than a century — will return home tomorrow after completing their final voyage to Dandong, China. “Scott Morrison should front up to Sydney Airport, meet these workers, and tell them why his government has rubber-stamped BHP and BlueScope replacing them with exploited foreign seafarers who are paid as little as $2 an hour.” (MUA Secretary.)

ABC embedded in existing growth oriented economic paradigm

A recent interview of the Prime Minister by Leigh Sales in the 7.30 Report on Tuesday 29 January 2019 provided a good illustration of the lack of understanding of economics by ABC journos or their deliberate and calculated rejection of some simple truths. John Coulter has written to Leigh Sales as follows.

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."

Name a successful communist country

It is very hard to cite a 'successful' Communist economy when every single one has been attacked militarily and undermined by US-NATO forces. Nonetheless some have survived. Most have not.

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