Friday, 25 September 2015

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Hiding behind a proposed name change. If Transfield Services are doing this, will Wilson's Security follow suit?


Transfield Services to be renamed Broadspectrum Fr Rod's open letter to the Chair Diane Smith-Gander Transfield...
Posted by Anglican Parish of Gosford on Friday, 25 September 2015


Thursday, 24 September 2015

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Coal versus renewables in India ... and the renewables are destined to win

Picture below is from here

Adani hits another hurdle, taking Glencore to court         

Indian energy giant Adani's battle to build the $16.5 billion Carmichael mine in Central Queensland has struck another hurdle with a protracted legal battle with resources company Glencore over the operation of Abbot Point coal terminal.
With Adani struggling to gain finance for the mega-mine in the Galilee Basin and still awaiting environmental and mining approvals for the project, the legal battle with Glencore is now set to proceed to trial early next year.
Adani is moving to kick Glencore out as operator of Abbot Point coal terminal – which it plans to use for its export hub for its mega-mine – and is also suing them for loss and damages over an alleged breach of contract. The size of the losses is not outlined in the legal documents obtained from the Supreme Court.
Adani would not comment on the court case, but the latest legal skirmish will continue to raise doubts about whether its controversial Carmichael mine – which has become a flashpoint for anti-fossil fuel and environmental activists – will ever get off the ground.
Adani purchased Abbot Point coal terminal  from the former Bligh Labor government in 2011 for $1.83 billion. It was crucial to its plans for a vertically-integrated mine, rail and port project to export coal to its power stations in India.
A subsidiary of Xstrata, known as Abbot Point Bulkcoal, had a 10-year contract to operate and maintain the terminal, which is near Bowen, between 2000 and 2010. This was extended to 2015 before Adani bought the terminal.
The first terminal, known as T1, is being used to export coal from across the Bowen Basin. It has a capacity of 50 million tonnes a year and is used by BMA, QCoal and Glencore's two mines at Collinsville and Newlands. It shifted 28.7 million tonnes last financial year.

Three terminals approved

Adani also has approval for a second terminal, known as T0, to be used for its exclusive use for its project in the Galilee Basin, and has a capacity of 70 million tonnes. Another Galilee Basin proponent, GVK/Hancock Coal has approval for a third terminal at Abbot Point.

But things soured after the 2013 takeover of Xstrata by global resources giant Glencore. Glencore, which has coal, copper, nickel and zinc mines in Queensland and NSW, asked to store 3 million tonnes of coal at Abbot Point coal terminal.
Adani, which is racing against the clock to build its Carmichael mine to deliver coal to its power stations by 2017, claims the takeover of the subsidiary which operates Abbot Point was a breach of the original contract.
In May 2013, lawyers for Adani sent a notice to Abbot Point Bulkcoal saying they failed to get written approval for the transfer of ownership to Glencore. In June of that year, a show-cause notice was issued and further legal missives were sent in early 2014.
But in October 2014, Glencore asked for a five-year extension to the port contract which was refused by Adani saying they had breached the original contract.
In late 2014, Adani engaged a health and safety expert to audit Abbot Point Bulkcoal which found a string of alleged deficiencies. A second audit report in 2015 found the original deficiencies "which posed a significant risk to safety or health of people" at Abbot Point coal terminal.
A fourth notice to remedy the breaches was sent to Glencore in May this year. It outlined nine major non-compliance issues in relation to the original audit and 25 minor non-compliances.
Glencore fired back saying the fourth notice to remedy included errors and was the "latest example of concerning behaviour by Adani".
​Adani continued its bid to kick Glencore off the terminal, saying it had failed to keep the terminal in good condition.
But in June Supreme Court Justice James Douglas said Glencore was allowed to continue to operate the terminal until the court case was resolved.
Adani's Carmichael mine was further delayed last month when the federal court set aside environmental approvals for the project. Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt was given another six to eight weeks to reassess the impact of the mine on two threatened species - the Yakka skink and the ornamental snake.
The court action by little-known environmental group, the Mackay Conservation Group,  led to the former Abbott government introducing legislation to limit legal challenges against big resources projects.
There has been growing speculation the changes to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act would be dumped by the new Turnbull government, but there has so far been no decision.
Adani Australia chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj said the company was committed to the Carmichael project despite the delays.

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Solar shines as coal economics wane in India

By  on 18 September 2015 

The Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) published its India Electricity Sector Transformationreport in August 2015. A month later, a number of new data points have emerged to suggest that the sector continues to gain momentum towards a more diversified, domestic oriented electricity grid better oriented towards supporting sustainable growth. The deflationary nature of renewables continues to be firmed up by an influx of new, global capital. Key developments into September 2015 include:
  • Coal India Ltd has reported fiscal year-to-August coal production is up 9.4% year on year, triple electricity demand growth of only 3.1% year on year.
  • With domestic coal production running at double electricity demand growth, inevitably coal imports have proven the swing factor, with reports showing imports have declined 5% year on year in July-August 2015.
  • But the coal-fired power sector remains in serious financial distress, and operating rates have dropped to a new low of 58.4% in July 2015.
  • In contrast, the Indian solar sector is seeing record interest, with the latest 500MW tender in Andhra Pradesh in September 2015 being oversubscribed tenfold. With many new global entrants bidding a collective US$5bn, the suggestion is the tariff may set a new record low below Rs5/kWh (with zero indexation for 25 years).
  • The onshore and offshore wind, hydro and energy efficiency sectors are all showing positive momentum, assisting in the diversification of the Indian grid and building domestic energy security.
Momentum remains positive for all but imported thermal coal demand.
Indian Coal Production
Coal India Ltd production is up 9.4% year to-date year-on-year in April-August 2015, and dispatches are up 8.3% yoy YTD in the same period, suggesting rail logistics blockages are gradually being overcome. This builds on the record 6.9% growth in production in the year to March 2015, a step-change up from the 1.5% pa growth evident in the prior five years.
Private Sector Production and Coal Block Auctions
The government is preparing the fourth round of coal block auctions to private companies. The 45 operational coal blocks that have so far allotted to the private sector will start to really ramp up production into 2016. Another 160 mines are listed to be auctioned, with a potential 500Mtpa of production from mines currently generating an estimated 60Mtpa.
Indian Coal Imports down 5% yoy Jul-Aug’2015
Total coal imports into India were down 5.1% year-on-year in July-August 2015. August 2015 imports were 18.6Mt, down 4% month-on-month but up 2% year-on-year. July 2015 total coal imports were down 11% year-on-year (yoy). This looks like a historic turning point after the annual 20-30% yoy growth in coal imports over the prior six years, again hinting that a peak in coal imports has been reached in mid-2015.
Power Deficits Declining – Affordability and Discom Losses Now Key
The national peak power deficit in July 2015 was 2.6%, against 3.5% in the same month last year. The annual peak deficit for 2015-16 is expected to be only 2.1-2.5%, a huge drop from the 4.5% for 2013-14 and the near 10% deficits reported in the preceding years. The build out of interstate transmission capacity is a key part of the medium term solution.
“Discom (state electricity distribution companies) resolution is on the cards and we are very confident to have been able to create a sustainable robust framework in consultation with states,” said Energy Minister Piyush Goyal. This remains a key roadblock, and failure to resolve systemic Discom losses will stymie growth.
Stranded Assets – Excess coal fired capacity lowers utilisation Rate
In July 2015, the national average thermal power plant load factor (PLF) declined to 58.4% – the lowest in three years. This suggests there has been a significant coal-fired power plant overbuild. With electricity demand growth not as strong as expected, coal-fired power plants are at risk of being stranded from both an inability to access cheap domestic coal and from weaker than expected demand. Power at any cost is not a viable solution – affordability is a second key constraint.
This development is following the Chinese pattern where coal-fired power plants are rapidly being put at risk of becoming stranded assets, with utilisation rates in China year to date 2015 reported at a record low of only 49% as the nationwide average.
Electricity Consumption Growth of 3.1% yoy
Indian industrial production grew 4.2% in July from a year earlier, with April-August 2015 electricity production growth running at only 3.1%. With electricity system growth running at only half the reported GDP growth of 7% yoy, the need for dramatic new generation capacity additions is diminished.
Progress in Ramping Up Solar Rollout
Mercom Capital monitors the Indian solar market, and in a market update published August 2015 put Indian solar at 4,349 MW of operational PV and 209 MW of CSP, for a total of over 4.5 GW. An additional pipeline of over 7GW is underway, a massive acceleration on the 1GW pa of solar installs seen in the last two years.
Bridge to India reports tenders for project development and EPC issued by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) add up to 3.9GW, and several new tenders are expected. SECI is already developing a 750MW project in Madhya Pradesh. Projects under development, recently concluded allocations and ongoing allocations at the state level add up to 7GW. The new allocations from this are spread across the states of Punjab (500 MW), Haryana (150 MW), Bihar (150 MW), Tamil Nadu (1,240 MW), Telangana (2,000 MW), Madhya Pradesh (300 MW), Andhra Pradesh (500MW) and Jharkhand (2,000 MW).
Bridge to India reports a 500MW tender in Andhra Pradesh in September 2015 received bids totalling 5.5GW, a tenfold oversubscription. Tender results are to be announced October 2015, with suggestions that tariffs below Rs5/kWh have been submitted. Prominent new entrants into the Indian solar sector with this tender included SoftBank, Trina Solar, Enel, Energon, Solar Arise, Suzlon and Greenko. The depth of global corporate interest is growing with each month.
September 2015 saw another major new solar step forward, with the Adani Group and Jindal Steel & Power Limited (JSPL) sending proposals to the Jharkhand Renewable Energy Development Agency to set up solar power capacity of a combined 2 GW. This is JSPL’s first major entry into the Indian solar sector, and for Adani, this represents the latest of seven major solar initiatives in India announced just in 2015 to-date, totalling new capex of US$16bn. If these proposals progress, it would represent a manyfold expansion of solar relative to Jharkhand’s existing total of only 16MW of solar installed.
Encouraging Microgrids 
“We are creating a framework that whenever the grid reaches there, the off grid guy can supply that power like net metering into the grid, so we are creating that framework to encourage people to go off grid,” said Mr. Goyal. Incentivising offgrid, decentralised renewable solutions is an effective, lowest cost solution to energy poverty. Despite certain coal industry claims, expensive imported coal isn’t seen as a solution.
Encouraging Energy Efficiency
In September 2015 the Energy Minister also said that government plans to bring down the cost of each LED bulb to Rs.44 from the current level of Rs.74 through competitive bidding. This further builds on an 80-90% cost reduction sourcing program for LED already achieved over the last year. Goyal has quantified the electricity savings from an LED phase in program at 100TWh or well over US$2bn annually.
Hydro Projects Restarted
Energy Minister Goyal also said: “If you go back in history for the last five years, the entire hydel industry has come to a standstill in India. We’re going to revive it. People have lost interest about investing in hydro. I want to reignite that interest.” 46GW of hydroelectricity is strategically significant as it boosts economic expansion and employment in India’s northeast, Goyal added. It also brings strength to the electricity generation sector, diversifying the overreliance on coal while balancing renewable energy production. The first target is to resolve the years-long delay in the US$1.4bn, 1.2GW Teesta-III project in northeastern Sikkim state that is 90% complete. Goyal said his next objective is to speed up NHPC’s 2GW Subansiri hydroelectricity project spanning across Assam and Arunachal Pradesh states.
Onshore Wind
While much of the press focus in India is currently on solar, India already operates the fourth largest global wind farm fleet of 24GW, behind only China, America and Germany. Goyal has a stated target to lift this to 60GW by 2021/22, and post the equity recapitalisation of Suzlon Energy in May 2015, the wind sector is once again looking re-energised.
In September 2015 the China Light and Power Group of Hong Kong (CLP India) announced a new Rs6bn (US$90m) 9.15% pa, 3-5 year tenor green bond issue to assist financing of its committed new wind projects of over 1,000 MW across six states. CLP India already has the largest wind fleet in India, with commissioned wind energy capacity of 724 MW.
Repowering Onshore Wind
In order to overcome site availability constraints, Energy Minister Goyal is looking at repowering existing wind farms, replacing the old 0.2-0.3MW turbines with modern turbines of 2-3MW capacity each – giving a tenfold lift in output from existing wind farms.
Offshore Wind Framework
In September 2015 Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government adopted a new policy for India’s offshore wind industry. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is now authorised to start allocating blocks offshore for wind developments. This represents another step forward in India’s pursuit of a targeted 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, although IEEFA expects offshore wind to only make a material contribution next decade.
Reverse tender for stranded gas fired capacity
In September 2015 the Indian Government announced its second reverse tender auction for subsidised gas supply to stranded gas-fired power generation capacity for the six months to March 2016 at a maximum electricity price of Rs4.70/kWh. The first auction for the June-to-Sept’2015 period successfully revived 10,270MW of previously stranded gas capacity to provide gas-fired electricity generation for 30% of time, sufficient to provide peak load management to help grid stability at a minimal incremental system cost.
The entry of a wide range of global energy firms into the Indian renewables sector is rapidly mobilising financial capital and providing substance to the grand transformation vision announced late in 2014. While the electricity sector challenges remain extreme, Energy Minister Goyal continues to achieve wins on a range of new initiatives. The 5% yoy decline in coal imports in July-August 2015 hits at a key turning point. Two months isn’t a trend, but momentum is building.
Tim Buckley, Director Energy Finance Studies, Australasia at IEEFA.
http://reneweconomy.com.au/2015/solar-shines-as-coal-economics-wane-in-india-27698



Information regarding the Galilee Basin is collected from various media outlets and compiled to this new email address, galileebasinalliance@gmail.com.
Anyone can comment or send news and they will be broadcasted to this local email list.
If you don’t want to receive these emails, send this message ‘Please erase my email address from your contact list’ to galileebasinalliance@gmail.com
If you would like for other people to be included, send this message  ‘Please add this email address to your contact list’ to galileebasinalliance@gmail.com
The Galilee Basin Alliance is an informal network of landholders and community members in Western Central Queensland who are concerned about the expansion of mining in our region. For more information contact Denice on 4651 1696, Paola on 4985 3474 or reply to this email.

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'concerned Australians' : The Intervention - an Anthology : Interview with Alastair Nicholson


Friends

All should read this book, let the debate open as Nicole says. Intervention/ Stronger Futures  legislation needs to be scrapped, and the calls to treaty/ies be heard. Alastair and Arnold  strong also. Please take a little time to read media release (MR) below.
We hope to have the audio and perhaps a video/s on our website in future.\

In addition, 
  1. Interview- Nicole Watson, 24th September, The Intervention – An Anthology – Time for a National Debate,  http://caama.com.au/?s=nicole+watson
  2. Interview- with  Alastair Nicholson, 23rd September, listen from 31min 36 sec at   http://www.3cr.org.au/tuesday-breakfast on the book, excellent and also on  Constitutional  Recognition& Treaty-Time for aTreaty (from 44 sec- "we should be working towards a lasting treaty with Aboriginal people..."
  3. See also, WGAR: https://indymedia.org.au/2015/09/24/wgar-news-melbourne-launch-of-new-book-the-intervention-an-anthology-is-very-timely-
  4. Media release  posted in full  at  http://workersbushtelegraph.com.au/2015/09/23/the-intervention-an-anthology/  or below
  5. Book information at end, "well done" to co-editors Rosie Scott and Anita Heiss and all contributors.
Georgina

EMBARGO 24th September                                                                  MEDIA RELEASE                                                ‘concerned Australians’


Melbourne launch of New Book“The Intervention – an Anthology”, is very Timely.

Consultation, Consultation, Consultation 

In the second half of 2015 it is becoming clearer that many Aboriginal people and their communities are now so fed up with Government orchestration of the so called policy consultation process that they are asserting their right to discuss the issues on their own and where necessary challenge or resist the oppression,”  Jeff McMullen AO.

This is leading to growing calls and meetings across the country for the right of Aboriginal people to determine their own futures and for recognition of their sovereignty through treaty or treaties.

 Nowhere is this more pronounced than in the Northern Territory where Aboriginal people have now lived under the Intervention for eight years with its consequent disempowerment of Aboriginal communities. In 2012 the Intervention was rebadged and extended for ten years (Stronger Futures and other related package of three laws). This imposed further punitive controls over Aboriginal peoples of the N.T.

With this context the newly published book, “The Intervention – an Anthology”, is very timely.

More than twenty award-winning and internationally recognised Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australian authors have taken a stand by using the power of their words to generate much needed discussion and debate. Importantly, as well, the Anthology includes statements from a number of N.T. Elders about the Intervention. Indeed, this book chronicles a very shameful page of our nation’s history.

The book gives a broad-sweeping assessment from people who live under the destructive impacts of  intervention controls, as well from writers and Aboriginal leaders who clearly see the damage the Intervention continues to do long after it has disappeared from the mainstream psyche.

Contributor, Nicole Watson writes, “In spite of the profound consequences for Aboriginal people, the public debate over the measures has been minimal.” Nicole, of the Birri-Gubba people, will join one of Melbourne’s contributors, Arnold Zable, and well known Australian author in speaking at the Melbourne launch. 

Arnold Zable speaks of the importance of ‘listening’ and quotes, “Been too much intervention not enough listening...Side by side, on equal ground. Working it out. Sitting with the community, sitting with the elders...Where there is intervention, there will be resistance.”

The Honourable Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC, retired Chief Justice of the Family Court, who has passionately and frequently spoken out about the injustice of the Intervention will also speak and launch the book. He states,

‘The experience of so called “consultation” by successive Federal Governments has led to a complete loss of confidence in such a process on the part of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to the point that  it is questionable whether any agreements based on consultation can ever be legitimate.

Representatives of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people appointed /elected by them must be permitted to negotiate as equals with Governments to arrive at binding agreements acceptable to both. Such agreements could take the form of a legally binding treaty perhaps enshrined in and given effect by the Constitution.” 

This book, The Intervention – an Anthology, adds to the litany of actions that have oppressed and continue to oppress Australia’s First Nations People for over the last 237 years. The book should be widely read by Australians young and old.

                                                         It is time to “listen” to the people and allow their rightful place and voice in their lands.

Contributors to the Anthology include: Debra Adelaide, Pat Anderson, Larissa Behrendt, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Eva Cox, Brenda L. Croft, Lionel Fogarty, Djiniyini Gondarra, Yingiya Mark Guyula, Rodney Hall, Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, Deni Langman, Melissa Lucashenko, Jeff McMullen, PM Newton, Christine Olsen, Bruce Pascoe, Nicole Watson, Samuel Wagan Watson, Rachel Willika, Alexis Wright, Yalmay Yunipingu and Arnold Zable. 
                                                            
 Media Contacts, were  Alastair NicholsonArnold Zable, Jeff McMullen  & Nicole Watson.

...............



The Intervention: an Anthology
                Book reviews: Arena Magazine No. 137, August-September 2015
 Other Reviews  at www.concernedaustralians.com.au
In this historic anthology, award-winning writers Rosie Scott and Dr Anita Heiss have gathered together the work of twenty of Australian’s finest writers both Indigenous and non-Indigenous together with powerful statements from Northern Territory Elders to bring a new dimension and urgency to an issue that has remained largely outside the public radar.




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Children's books needed for the largest volcanic island in the eastern Torres Strait. Please donate.


Can we help? If u would like to contribute some books we are going to take up a collection and send up a few packages! Contact us if u have some books to donate! ☺
Posted by Pop Up Shop For The Homeless and Those in Need - Ballarat on Thursday, 24 September 2015

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Meet Mr Gerald Mander --- courtesy of Clarke & Dawe


Monday, 21 September 2015

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Australian detention centres and their treatment of refugees resemble, increasingly, the persecution of Iran

He graduated from Tarbiat Madares University in Tehran with a masters degree in political geography and geopolitics.

He wrote a paper advocating a federal system for Iran, protecting minority rights. The paper was delivered at a conference in France on his behalf after he was denied a passport to attend.
He had experienced threats and was under surveillance.

His accounts of his incarceration on Manus Island read like a Kafka nightmare.
He was one of several asylum seekers arrested and jailed without charge in Lorangau prison during a hunger strike early this year. He remained peaceful during this action.
He says his communications are monitored by Transfield, the company that operates the detention centre, and that, as a result of his reportage and his human rights activity on behalf of fellow detainees, he has been threatened, regularly searched and is subject to surveillance.
Instead of being imprisoned and harassed, he should be welcomed for his courageous stand for democracy and granted asylum in Australia. It is a profound irony that he is now experiencing levels of surveillance and harassment that have some parallels with his treatment by Iranian authorities.
I said: 'I am a journalist', but I did not get any respectful response. I was wondering why it is not important for them that I am a writer. When they transferred me to Manus, I said to immigration: 'Don't exile me. Don't send me to Manus, I am a writer.' They did not care."



Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/iranian-journalist-behrouz-boochani-tells-of-the-horrors-of-manus-island-out-of-sight-out-of-mind-20150921-gjrdi8.html#ixzz3mQdyq43P 
Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook



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Notes from a crisis : Homelessness in #Ballarat : Feedback from a Forum

Cross-posted from Beside The Creek
The blog of the Ballarat Interfaith Network.

The above PowerPoint presentation
has been gathered and edited  from 
the feedback of participants at the Forum.
Not only can it be viewd on line -
it can be downloaded and screened.
Please give it wide coverage in your groups and associations/
Please encourage people to attend the next Forum on 9 October.
Details to be announced

On 21 August 2015, approximately 80 people gathered at the Eastwood Leisure Centre in Ballarat for a Forum on Homelessness. The place was packed. The place was lively. 

People working in organisations related to Homelessness were present. Some of these gave presentations of their work. Most of these were in government funded organisations but there were some present who received no government funding whatsoever and relied wholly on community support to fund their activities.  Prominent among the latter was The Soup Bus - a well known #Ballarat institution.  

A favourite of many people was Josh Wilkins, the founder of One Voice.  One Voice operates without government funding and provides free, clean shower facilities for homeless people.  Keep watch because there may be a #Ballarat version pop up thanks to the energies of local people.  A bus has already been given for the purpose but there is much more to be done before bus and showers can hit the road. Josh said that his ambition is to become like the community of Sant'Egidio in Italy who started small but now have moved on to providing health care and facilities.  

There were people from the general community who were concerned about Homelessness and who were seeking solutions to this grave problem. The forum was co-sponsored by Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council and Ballarat Interfaith Network. Many thanks to Father Constantine Osuchukwu (Treasurer, B.I.N. and Interfaith Officer, BRMC) and Margaret Lenan Ellis (Public Relations Officer, B.I.N.) who were at the forefront of organising the Forum and a special thanks for the great job that Father Constantine did in chairing proceedings.

If you attended, the Homelessness Forum or if you were prevented from attending, another gathering will be held on 9 October. Stay tuned for further details.

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Dale Hess Calendar - week beginning 2015-09-022

Tuesday 22 September, 6 pm – 8 pm: The Democratic Deficit: What it is and what to do about it. St Michael’s is proud to host this fascinating lecture series presented  by one of Australia’s leading International Relations scholars and commentators, Professor Joseph A. Camilleri OAM.This series aims to shed light on the critical psycho-social, economic,  environmental and security challenges of our times – how they  affect us personally, our life prospects, our networks and communities,  Australia and the world. It will open up new ways of thinking about the past and present and new possibilities for reshaping the future. Venue: St Michael’s Hall, 120 Collins Street, Melbourne. Tickets: $15 per lecture or $50 series pass. Bookings: www.stmichaels.org.au.

Wednesday 23 September, 6.30 pm:  Is the joint Australian-US intelligence facility Pine Gap legal? Global Law Student's Association has the pleasure of inviting you to its panel event: Is the joint Australian-US intelligence facility Pine Gap legal? Active since 1970, the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap is run by the CIA, NSA and the Australian government as an Australian-US intelligence sharing facility which detects nuclear weapons and intercepts communications around the globe.  However, post 9/11, Pine Gap has been criticised for being involved in the US drone program, which has killed thousands of civilians in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. Facilitated by Dr Rain Liivoja, come listen to our panel of leading experts in the area, about what is a very pressing and yet hidden issue. Professor Richard Tanter (Senior Research Associate, Nautilus Institute);Dr Scott Burchill (International Relations, Deakin University and political commentator); Professor Robert McLaughlin (College of Law, Australian National University). Refreshments will follow the panel discussion. Venue: G08, Melbourne Law School. Please RSVP for catering purposes: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/is-the-joint-australian-us-intelligence-facility-pine-gap-legal-tickets-18547331568

Thursday 24 September, 11:30 am-1 pm: Book Launch of The Intervention: an Anthology.Speakers Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC, together with two of the writers, Nicole Watson (of the Birri-Gubba People), and Arnold Zable, who will launch the book. Venue: Arena Publications, 2 Kerr Street Fitzroy. RSVP by 18 September Pia info@concernedaustralians.com.au; Mob: 0419 541 733.

Sunday 27 September, 2 pm: No War on Syria. Join us and oppose Australian bombing of Syria.#PEACE. Come WEARING RED, bring instruments and voices. Make Art Not War is an independent artist-run platform for creatives (painters, poets, writers, musicians, performers, etc.) whose work has a social, environmental or political conscience. On Monday 14/9/2015 the Australia government commenced coalition air strikes on ISIL targets in Syria at the request of the United States government. The Australian government by wording these air strikes as 'collective self-defence' appears to be claiming that the air strikes are not an act of war. We are saying that air strikes are an act of violence and opposing that. Venue: State Library, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne. #NoAustralianWarOnSyria

Monday 28 September,  8.45 am to 5.30 pm: Ecological Aspects of War: Religious Perspectives from Australia. A one-day symposium to consider intersections between war and ecology, through the lenses of religious social teachings and sacred texts, representative of the multi-cultural and inter-faith constitution of contemporary Australian society.  Keynote presentation  “Planet Earth as a Victim of War”  by Dr Jenny Grounds. Venue: Trinity College Theological School Trinity College Royal Parade, Parkville. Cost: Full $40 Concession $30 Skype $15 (you will be supplied with a url and password via email nearer the date). Register here. Early registrations are appreciated. Registrations close: Friday 11 September 2015. For further information contact Anne Elvey:aelvey@tpg.com.au

Tuesday 29 September, 6 pm – 8 pm: State of the Nation   How is Australia faring? A fresh look at its society, economy and politics. St Michael’s is proud to host this fascinating lecture series presented  by one of Australia’s leading International Relations scholars and commentators, Professor Joseph A. Camilleri OAM. This series aims to shed light on the critical psycho-social, economic,  environmental and security challenges of our times – how they  affect us personally, our life prospects, our networks and communities,  Australia and the world. It will open up new ways of thinking about the past and present and new possibilities for reshaping the future. Venue: St Michael’s Hall, 120 Collins Street, Melbourne. Tickets: $15 per lecture or $50 series pass. Bookings:www.stmichaels.org.au.

Saturday 3 October, 6 pm – 9 pm: Narbad & Barwaaqo (Peace & Prosperity). BE an agent for change: Somalia is at a crossroads. Poetry, video and inspirational stories. Darebin Arts Centre, corner of Bell Street and St Georges Road, Preston. Sponsored by Somali Youth Peace Project. More info: Yusuf 0421 785 194; Nasro 0434 017 394.

Wednesday 7 October 2015, 6 pm – 8 pm: Chega! Timor-Leste’s Gift to Humanity. This important seminar is being convened to promote discussion and use of Timor-Leste’s monumental Chega! report, now available in a new English-language version. Timor-Leste’s truth and reconciliation commission (CAVR) is regarded by experts as one of the world’s top TRCs and its Chega! report has been lauded by Jose Ramos-Horta, Kofi Annan, Archbishop Tutu, Indonesia’s human rights commission and others. Why has CAVR and its report attracted such accolades? How has it been received in Timor Leste and Indonesia? What can it offer the world? Speakers: Joel Hodge, Lecturer in theology, ACU; author of Resisting violence and victimisation: Christian faith and solidarity in East TimorGuilherme Caiero, Director, Post-CAVR Secretariat, Dili, Timor-Leste; Michael Leach, Lecturer in politics, Swinburne University; co-founder of Timor-Leste Studies Association; Pat Walsh, Former advisor to CAVR and editor of English edition of Chega! Venue: Christ Lecture Theatre, Australian Catholic University, Fitzroy, Corner of Victoria & Brunswick Streets. RSVP: By Friday, 2 October 2015 to Pat Walsh: padiwalsh@gmail.com .

Saturday 10 October and Sunday 11 October: Voices for Justice Conference. For 10 years, Micah Challenge has been a global movement of aid and development agencies, churches, schools, groups and individual Christians who support the Millennium Development Goals to halve global poverty by 2015. Workshops include Climate Conversations; Campaign for Australian Aid; Prayer and advocacy Australia's aid program; Community organising strategies & skills; Theology of political engagement; Partner stories. Venue: Hughes Baptist Church in Hughes, Canberra. Registrations open at 10:30 am on Saturday morning.

Sunday 11 October, 2 pm: Stand up for Refugees. Speakers include: Mohammed Baqiri - Afghan refugee; Reza Yarahmahdi - Iranian Kurdish refugee; others TBA. As the 2nd Anniversary of Operation Sovereign Borders approaches all the horrors of Manus and Nauru remain. There is no permanent resettlement in sight for refugees, and systematic sexual abuse continues. Doctors have been over-ruled by government, victims have been denied appropriate medical treatment, and remain stuck where attacks took place. There is an alternative. If asylum seeker boats can be found and turned around then they can instead be given safe passage to Australia; and asylum seekers processed on the mainland in the community. Venue: State Library, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne.visit ww.rac-vic.org or call Chris 0403 013 183 for more info

Friday 16 October – Sunday 18 October: Local Lives – Global Matter: A Conference for Future’s Sake. Now is the time to announce a new paradigm and tell the story that has a future. Inspired by and following in the footsteps of a worldwide series of Economics of Happiness Conferences, this three day conference will include presentations, workshops, panel discussions, plenaries, story-telling, arts, music and site visits showcasing local initiatives. OASES is pleased to support this gathering of international and local thinkers and activists who will speak about: local economies and livelihoods; equitable, re-democratised societies; inclusive ethical culture; and the spirituality that connects us to the land and each other. Castlemaine Town Hall. For more information, to offer a presentation or generally get involved click here.

Sunday 18 October: Run 4 Refugees for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre. Run 4 Refugees is our major fundraising event for the year and we'd love for you to take part. Last year we had over 500 amazing people who ran and walked for refugees, and raised over $250,000. This year we're aiming to raise over $300,000. The main event will be taking place in Melbourne on Sunday October 18th as part of the Melbourne Marathon FestivalYou don't need to be a serious runner to take part, there are distances to suit everyone- from 3km to the full marathon. To sign up for the run click hereTo create your fundraising page click here.

Monday 9 November – Tuesday 10 November, 9 am – 5 pm: Community Development: Introductory Course. Become more confident in designing & facilitating community development programs & activitiesLearn practical ways of empowering communities; understand the basic concepts of Community Development; examine power and change processes; discuss community development practices; hold conversations with experienced Community Development workers; access to further learning resources; come to understand the field; use the modes of head (intellect), heart (feelings), hands (practical work with people) and feet (groundedness). Venue: 2 Minona Street, Hawthorn.

Wednesday 11 November – Thursday 12 November, 9 am – 5 pm: Community Development: Intermediate Course. Become more confident in designing & facilitating community development programs & activitiesLearn practical ways of empowering communities; understand the basic concepts of Community Development; examine power and change processes; discuss community development practices; hold conversations with experienced Community Development workers; access to further learning resources; come to understand the field; use the modes of head (intellect), heart (feelings), hands (practical work with people) and feet (groundedness). Venue: 2 Minona Street, Hawthorn.

Friday 27 November, 5.30 pm: Climate Rally. This November, the climate talks will be held in Paris, home of the baguette, the beret and – in a foreboding symbol for heads of state – the guillotine. Of course, throughout history Paris has also been home to mass demonstrations that toppled unpopular regimes, a fact that shouldn’t be lost on leaders anxious about the outcome. As delegates arrive in Paris, Melbourne will kick off a weekend of global climate action with a People’s Climate March. Meet at the State Library, Swanston Street. Click here for more information.


Friday, 11 September 2015

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Psephology and the Labor/Greens affinity

Now, this is a twisty-turny calculation by psephologist Antony Green.  He has examined last preference allocations in the last NSW election

The conclusion?  ... amongst Labor voters only 2.3% put the Greens last, while amongst Green voters, only 1.8% put Labor last. Voters clearly view the two parties as ideologically close.

Can't help wondering if this closeness (and my guess is this conclusion fits for the whole of Oz) can also mean that the dissatisfaction of so many Labor voters with the Labor opposition - because of their poor history (since 1992) on the subject of  refugees and Labor's lack of sensible forward thinking and planning on Climate Change - will make it easy for Labor voters to switch to the Greens and thus provide a substantial increase in the Green vote - and perhaps more House of Reps seats - at the 2015 face-off.

 
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