Hey there! Thanks for dropping by Theme Preview! Take a look around
and grab the RSS feed to stay updated. See you around!

Nauru files read in Hobart

NAURU: Tasmanian Greens Senator Nick McKim has read extracts from the ‘Nauru Files’.
Nanjing Night Net

Tasmanian Greens Senator Nick McKim has readaccounts of life inside Australian offshoredetention centresas part of protests occurring across the country this week.

Volunteers assembled in public areas haveread extracts from more than 2,000 incident reports takenfrominsidetheNauru detention centre.

The documents –known as the‘Nauru files’–were published bythe media earlier this yearand highlight the treatment of asylum seekersin immigration detention.

The filesinclude allegations of sexual abuse, self-harm and assault.

Hobart event spokeswoman Lili Calitz said the vigil aimed to hold the government to account for their treatment of asylum seekers on the remote pacific island, and call for all offshore detentioncamps to be closed.

“We want to send a message to the government and Opposition that the abuse, assault and conditions detailed in the Nauru reports must end, and that they must take responsibility for their poor decisions,” Ms Calitz said.

“Most of all, we want to see Australia’s offshore detention camps shut down.”

Hobart readings on the corner of Elizabeth and Macquarie streets began at 8.00am on Friday morning and will continue until 7.00pm.

Similar events have taken place in capital cities across Australia throughout the week.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Market’s growth strategy

TO MARKET, TO MARKET: Stallholder Jackie O’Reilly, left, of Wirrabara, hands fresh produce to market committee member Jodie Trimble. The committee conducted two opinion surveys. Photo: Hip Photography
Nanjing Night Net

New directions are being explored for the Port Pirie Producers’ Market.

PRODUCE: Fresh fruit and vegetables are popular with market crowds.

Market committee spokeswoman Georgina Bickley told The Recorder that the event may be expanded in size and scope.

This comes after two surveys were conducted with stallholders and customers.

The future directions were mentioned in a the market’s first quarterly newsletter distributed on Sunday, December 11.

The stallholder survey was conducted electronically while the customer feedback was gained face-to-face with loyal supporters and visitors.

Eighteen stallholders responded to the survey with 11 saying they are highly likely to continue in their role with six likely to continue and only one unlikely to do so.

The stallholders were overwhelmingly satisfied with the location. All were satisfied to some degree with the organisation of the market.

Comments included that they were happy with the “nice start and end with Deb’s announcements –good team job”.

Thoughts for future directions included encouraging more buyers and expanding the market to include greater variety of stalls apart fromfood offerings.

Some said a strategy was needed for wet and windy weather.

Twenty-eight customers were interviewed with most living in Port Pirie and surrounding towns.

Most customers spent between $21 and $40 followed closely by those spending up to $20.

Fresh produce was by far the most popular item followed by the variety of stalls and friendly atmosphere.

Most were happy with the market.

Female customers were greater in number than males and the age group was mostly older than 60 followed by 40-to-60-year-olds.

The committee identified possible changes to ensure the market continues to grow.

One change may be to allow new and varied stallholders to take part.

This would mean a change to the “Make It, BakeIt, Grow It, Sew It” focus of the event.

“This will need to be handled carefully if we wish the eclectric feel of the market to remain as this was what came through clearly with customers and stallholders alike,” the newsletter said.

Next moves willinclude talks with the Port Pirie Regional Council about expanding the area, notifying stallholders of proposed changes and approaching potential new stallholders and partners.

“Exciting and challenging times are ahead as the market moves towards these new future directions,” the newslettersaid.

The committee thanked stallholders and residents for their feedback.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Local music gets loud

The countdown is on until a weekend of pure artistic hedonism hits Ballarat.
Nanjing Night Net

Time for fun: Emily French and Abbey Panosh from the Australian Irish Dance Company will entertain at the SongWays festival. Picture: Dylan Burns

New annual festival SongWays will be held October 14 to 16 –a smorgasbord of sound that will reach out into the various nooks and crannies of Ballarat’s existing music venues.

It will tie in with the openingof the Art Gallery of Ballarat’s second go hosting the Archibald Prizeexhibition.

SongWays is a key feature of the City of Ballarat’s newLive Music Strategic Plan, which it has been squirreling away at for 18 months, and has ambitious plans of putting Ballarat on the map as a go-to destination for local and live music.

The line-up itself is comprehensive and features a range of free and ticketed events, with all artists having a strong Ballarat connection.

Live Music Committee spokesperson, councillor Belinda Coates, said it was exciting to see the action items start getting ticked off the strategic plan.

“It’s terrific that it will coincide with the Archies as well, so it will really activate the city at a time when it’s really buzzing,” she said.

City ofBallaratarts and culture managerDaniel Henderson said SongWays would demonstrate the type of music-embracing community Ballarat was home to.

“It builds the vibrancy and the notion that Ballarat is a city of music, a city of creativity, and it’s a chance to embrace and recognise local creative talent,” he said.

“The notion of it is activating our city through live music and empowering our businesses to create cultural tourism opportunities.”

Busking organiser Amie Sexton said on Saturday October 15, residents could expect to see Bridge Mall come to life with buskers and roaming performers all day. She also said an open mic spot would be open for anyone willing to have a go.

Highlights will include free live music across the city on Friday night, amusicalextravaganza at Suttons House of Music on Saturday, anda Sunday chill session at the Main Bar featuring Geoffrey Williams,Paige Duggan Quartet andMichael Westlake Trio.

For more details, visit梧桐夜网facebook南京夜网/BallaratSongWaysMusicFestival

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

THE abuse of children –particularly by people in positions of power and trust – must never be condoned nor forgotten.
Nanjing Night Net

Bishop Gerard Hanna

This week, the Catholic Bishop of Wagga Gerard Hanna gave evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, conceding that he was aware of the previous behaviour convicted paedophile priest John Farrell when he came under his charge in 1984.

Bishop Hanna was the administrator of a parish in Tamworth when his bishop told him he was sending Farrell there.

“The bishop said, ‘Oh, you know Gerry, it’s that usual thing. He was messing around with altar boys’,” Bishop Hanna said.

When asked what was meant by “the usual thing”, Bishop Hanna told the commission: “It wasn’t unknown … that there were priests who used altar boys.”

There is no defence for people who have turned a blind eye to those who prey on the most vulnerable in our communities.

Priests are among the most trusted members and therefore have a higher duty of care to weed out such perpetrators.

Bishop Hanna was undoubtedly placed in a difficult position.

The moral and ethical contest that faced clergy during these times was significant but sadly, the silence was deafening.

At a time when many children were being abused, those in positions of power and influence turned a blind eye to the crimes and the result of their inaction has seen countless lives ruined – and many cut tragically short.

History will judge those who knew of this abuse harshly – as it should.

But there also needs to be an understanding and acknowledgment of what was expected in the various religious and community organisations where such crimes were carried out.

There was a culture of silence and those who spoke out did so at great risk.

Was Bishop Hanna right to admit his knowledge or would he have been better to do what so many others have done and claim no understanding of the activities of paedophile priests?

It could be argued that the bishop’s efforts to “control” Farrell while under his watch was a commendable action, however the fact that he went on to abuse more children after leaving Tamworth weighs heavily on those who allowed their commitment to the church outweigh a responsibility to the wider community.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Theworst thing about writing a column for Saturday’s Border Mail is you often get beaten to the punch.
Nanjing Night Net

And so it was this week with yesterday’s editorial, which lauded the use of social media.

It was in relation to the finding oflost childBen Dean.

It was a particularly worrying time for his family, andfor the whole community, which rose to the occasion.

Not only did Facebook play a role in finding Ben,but the family would have gained some comfort from the upwelling of support for them.

Without wanting to be a simpering sycophant, I have to say the editorial was right on the money.Sure, there are some creeps who use social media to do all sorts of sick things.But as the editorial points out, the good outweighs the bad.

I always wonder about people who bag social media without ever using it.

One criticism is they “don’t want to know what somebody had for breakfast and all that other rubbish”.Or that social media is ruining relationships between people and you should just ring people up rather than sending some sort of text message.

Why?I have more than850 “friends” on Facebook, and it is because of that social media tool I have been able to track down people I have not seen for years and start up a relationship with them.

And how would I know when all of their birthdays were, or the good or bad things that were happening in their lives and be able to send them a message.

That is before you even get to group pages that help different organisations advertise what they are doing and it doesn’t cost them a cent.

The same goes for Linked In, Instagram and all the rest.

When I was a journalist, Twitter was invaluable as it let me know about news as it was happening and helped me address the issues that were raised in it.

The bottom line is that social media does not damage personal communications –it enhances them enormously.

A recent experience – although nowhere as serious as the disappearance of young Ben – highlighted to me just how valuable social media is.

Our hound, Barbara, escapedfrom home last week,but we did not realise that until early the next morning.

The Lioness and I spent most of Saturday driving around South Albury looking for her, as did many of our friends.

It was a bit of a worry because she is more than17yearsold and has no hearing at all.And absolutely no road sense.

It was gut-wrenching, because she has played a huge part in our family’s life.

And, becauseshe has gone on that many adventures before, we reckoned she had used up all of her nine lives.

I know that’s supposed to onlyrelateto cats,but I reckon it applies to canines also.

This is where Facebook comes into it.

The Princes Legend immediately posted a photo of our hound, with a comment attached.

It ended up having 140 shares and messages of support started flooding in.

Unbeknown to us, the Albury pound posts pictures of animals that have been handed in by rangers and others.

A heap of people saw the post and then immediately posted the news as to where Barbara was.Situation sorted.

So,if you are not using social media I reckon you are missing a big opportunity.

And you’re in serious danger of being left way behind the rest of us.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Springwood in Springtime bowls tournament

A team of bowlers from St Johns Park won the annual Springwood in Springtime Bowling Tournament held from September 10-11.
Nanjing Night Net

Teams from Narooma, Mingara, Austral, Penrith, St Johns Park, Lawson, Hazelbrook, joined local teams to contest six games of two bowl triples over 15 ends during the two days.

Mick Bedford from St Johns Park in action in the Springwood in Springtime Tournament.

The first day was played in cool blustery conditions which tested the skills of all bowlers. However the cream of the bowlers started to rise to the top towards the end of the opening day with Rod Crean’s composite Lawson/Hazelbrook team leading on 121 points from the St John’s Park team 112.

These teams consolidated their positions early on Sunday, a day on which the weather proved to be much kinder. With the two leading teams vying for top position on the leadership board a new challenger, the Austral team, was quietly making their presence felt with wins in their two Sunday games. The outcome of this highly acclaimed $5000 tournament all rested on how these three teams came through their final games.

The eventual winners from St Johns Park, capably skipped by Mick Bedford, were the only team to register sixwins from their six games to finish with 237 points. Chris Tindall’s team from Austral filled second while a draw in their final game dropped Rod Crean’s team to third.

The winning bowlers from St Johns Park

Final men’s results: First – Mick Bedford, John Boniface, Mark Skelton (St Johns Park); second – Chris Tindall, John Whitely, Sean Sommerville(Austral); third – Rod Crean, Mick Galli, Nick Hancott (Lawson/Hazelbrook); fourth – Graham Neich, Chris Robbins, Neil Eldridge (Springwood/Penrith); fifth – Steve Blake, Tim Mitchell, Jim Peoples (Springwood).

Mondaysaw the women’s $2500 tournament conducted in perfect conditions. Daphne Stone’s Springwood team of Barbara Woolley and Margaret Thrift proved too strong for their opponents. The composite Glenbrook/Springwood team led by D. Gray was runner-up while third place was filled by M. Peasnell’s Glenbrook team.

The tournament was organised in excellent fashion by the men’s and women’s committees. Special mention goes to theleadership role played by Dick Evers.

The club also thankedsponsors Carlton Draught, Robert Oatley Wines, Coca Cola, and Steaks on St George Butchery at Faulconbridge.

This year’stournament was named after the late John Thrift, who was asupporter and benefactor of the Springwood club.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Williams’ Word

WHISTLEBLOWERS – SINNERS OR SAINTS?Up to 1000 of the wealthiest Australians and their tax advisers are being investigated byofficials of our taxation department because of their links to the Panama Papers, thosedocuments released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists earlier thisyear. It listed more than 200,000 secret offshore clients of a Panama-based law firm.
Nanjing Night Net

INVESTIGATION: The ATO has identified more than 800 Australian taxpayers in the Panama Papers. Photo: Fairfax

The ATO revealed a few months ago that it had identified more than 800 individual Australiantaxpayers in those Panama Papers. It was a big breakthrough in the ATO’s campaign tosearch out the tax cheats who believe they are a special class and should not have to pay taxeslike the common people.

The Panama Papers could lead to these people being named andshamed and also bring some big money into our economy.Yet, many people still object to the fact that some brave people have been able to delve intothe questionable activities, not only by the rich and powerful, but by governmentsthemselves.

In fact, it could be argued that the big offenders in most cases are the governmentsthemselves that are so rigid in their strict rules and persistently refuse to allow the people toknow what they are doing. Why?

Governments can be quite childish in their insistence on secrecy. As a working journalist,your ancient scribe was often frustrated by government departments and officials who weresworn to secrecy, usually on the most ordinary issues where there was no need for secrecy atall.

Maybe it’s time we accepted that the big offenders were not the people who revealed the‘secret’ documents, but the petty-minded officials and politicians who don’t want anyoneknowing what they are doing or planning, even though you and I employ them.They are our servants, not the other way around.

Looking at the benefits likely to come from those Papers, isn’t it time we acceptedthe need for clever people capable of investigating irregular or illegal activities andrevealing those activities to the public?

Has the Australian Government sent a note of thanks to those brave people who releasedthe Panama Papers that could bring in lots of money from those tax cheats? Looking at thebenefits they will bring to Australia it would be petty for the government not to say ‘thanks’.

AND THEN VIRTUAL WAR?It had to happen. In fact, it is surprising that only now, many years after they were created,that the Australian military are talking about building our own military drones. It has evenbeen predicted that, sometime in the future, most war fighting will be done by unmannedmachines.

No longer will the footslogger get up at dawn to train, running long distances with fullmilitary gear just to be fit. The future military man will probably be able to sit in an air-conditioned office great distances away from the war, with a cup of coffee to keep him goinguntil his shift ends and he then undertakes the most dangerous part of his day, the drive hometo the wife and kids.

We(the great majority of the world’s people who wonder why nations, with all their scienceand high standards of living, still want to kill each other) might even hope that the next stepwill be ‘virtual war’ – a step up from the drone warfare–in which countries employ their topcomputer games experts to have ‘virtual wars’.

We could even have the Virtual War Olympics in which the three current hegemonycountries –the USA, China and Russia–produce their top nerds and computer games whizzesto compete against each other in a virtual war to find out which of the three countries wouldcontrol most of their virtual world.Apart from boosting the egos of the hegemony countries(those that want to dominate largeparts of the world), we also have the problem of those who set out to kill innocent bystandersbecause their religious/cultural leaders tell them their god wants them to do so.

This couldalso be a virtual war in which the winner is the one who can get his god to create miracles,such as fixing up the problems with the Great Barrier Reef or even ridding the world of killercancers.It all sounds like a sensible dream, a world in which the nerds compete against each other, inwhich no real bombs are dropped, no-one gets killed and billions of dollars, which were oncespent on old-fashioned, noisy, killing-people type warfare, are spent on making life muchmore pleasant for the rest of the world.

Ray Williamshas been a Post columnist since retiring from the newsroom in 1993.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Speak out: Councillor Paul Tatchell is concerned that Moorabool Shire Council’s secure server was breached during 2013 and 2014. Picture: Kate HealyMoorabool Shire Council has been criticised for its response to an investigationinto a major security breach which sawconfidential council information leaked to the public.
Nanjing Night Net

TheLocal GovernmentInvestigations and Compliance Inspectorate hasreleased thefindings of itsinvestigation into aformer councillor,whoescaped prosecution, despiteallegations he“knowingly and repeatedly”accessed the Moorabool Shire Council’s secure serverwithout authorisation between November 2013 and May 2014.

Speaking in Parliament earlier this week, Western Victoria MP Joshua Morris said the statement from council released on September 8was inadequate.

“The Moorabool Shire Council last week released a media statement with regard to a report by the Local Government Investigations and Compliance Inspectorate that had been completed on the conduct of a former mayor, and this statement raises more questions than it provides answers,” Mr Morris said.

In the statement,Moorabool Shire Council chief executive Rob Croxford said “there wereno adverse findings against council officers or the current council”.

However, current deputy mayor Paul Tatchell said he was concerned with howtheinformation was obtained, given theInspectorate said the formercouncillor grosslymisused hisposition of powerby making improper use of information acquiredand accessing data without authorisation.

“It (the information) belongs to the shire. Our access is done via our own passwords and we don’t have a lot of control over it,” Cr Tatchell said.

“That information could be important to the future. Council doesn’t work in seven day cycles, we work in 20, 25-year cycles.

“You would hope that a person can go to the council and say something and it would remain private.”

The Courier sought an interview with Mr Croxford earlier in the week,however, the request was denied, with council electing not to issue more statements.

However, current mayor Allan Comrie saidon Monday thatsecurity of the council’s internal server had increasedin 2014when theallegations of misconduct first emerged.Under the new guidelines, all councillors were made to change their passwords.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

The Pies’ Finch effect

FUN TIMES: Camperdown’s Jaymie and Emily Finch shoot for goal on their farm while dad and coach, Peter, stands guard. Picture: Rob Gunstone.JAYMIE Finch’s grand final preparation revolvesaround ambulance call-outs; her sister Emily is jugglingmidwifery placement.
Nanjing Night Net

Their dadPeteris working the family’s sheep farm near Boggy Creek.

In between there is netball training at Camperdown.

The Finch family iseager to play a part in the Magpies’ firstopen grade premiership.

Peter, 59, is the off-field leader–the first male charged with leading aHampden leaguetop-grade netball team is one step away from creating club history.

Jaymie, 21, and Emily, 19, form the Pies’ sweet-shooting attacking end.

Together they lifted the Magpies to the 2016 minor premiership and will enter Saturday’s decideragainst Port Fairy with the belief they can end the club’ssix-game grand final losing streak.

There will be plenty to keep the Finch clan busy in the lead-up.

Jaymie is studying a double degree in nursing and paramedics at Australian Catholic University’s Ballarat campus.

She uses her holidaybreaks to gather much-needed on-the-job experience as an Ambulance Community Officer for the single-vehicle Timboon branch.

First-year Deakin University student Emily will sandwich the grand final between two weeks’ placement in Warrnambool.

Peter has always encouraged his daughters to gain a qualification, saying the farm will always be there as an option.

“All the girls have done something on the farm and help out–Jaymie less than the other two,” he joked.

Emily would like to follow her dad and work the land. She has helped lambing, shearing and marking.

“My goal is always to work on the farm but Dad said I had to get something under my belt,” she said.

“I’d rather be outdoors and able to do what I want, where I am not committed to a schedule.”

The Finch siblings–along with older sister Ashlee –started their netball at Warrnambool and District league club Timboon Demons.

Basketball was their first sporting love. Peter made a concrete court on their propertyand later installed a netball ring to help his two youngest daughters hone their shooting skills.

They still use that court.

“At home, he’s like ‘you should be out practicing goals tonight’,” Jaymie said.

“He might come out and have a shot with us some nights. Surprisingly he goes all right for someone who has never played netball or basketball in his life.”

Peter, an accomplished footballer with Cobden and Heytesbury, admits his tactics might leave a bit to be desired.

“I play to my rules, so it probably gets a bit rough,” he said.

Peter was appointed Camperdown coach in March –a month out from the season.He learned about the sportwatching his daughters progress through the ranks.

“I was probably like every male when they first start watching and blamed the umpires for everything because you don’t know the rules,” Peter said.

“You have to understand the game first. I have enjoyed it. I’ve sat beside a lot of good netball coaches over the time and have picked up bits and pieces.

“It’s been good for all the girls to have an outside perspective on it all.

“We’ve done a lot of different drills….weights stuff early and we’ve had tennis balls in there throughout the year; a lot of reflex stuff.

“Getting reflexes happening in netball is important because a fingertip or hand in the way could cause a turnover.”

FAMILY: Jaymie, Peter and Emily Finch are excited about the Hampden league grand final. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Peter admitted it was “a bit awkward” coaching his daughters to begin with.

“They don’t listen to me at the best of times,” he laughed.

Jaymie and Emily have enjoyed having their dad as their netball mentor.

They believe his different perspective, no doubt influenced by his football background, has given the Magpies an edge.

“He has lot more authority. When you go to Melbourne netball academies a lot of the coaches there are guys,” Jaymie said.

“Everyone seems to listen better, he gets his point across.He knows everyone has played a lot of netball before and understands what to do and that we just need instructions.”

Emily said communication was easier because, as they say, blood is thicker than water.

“You can tellhim what you are thinking, unlike someone else coaching where you are a bit hesitant,” she said.“It’s the same as playing with Jaymie as well –we can yell at each other because it doesn’t matter in the end.Jaymie likes to call it ‘constructive criticism’.”

Theyare among the Hampden league’s most potent attacking combinations.But they startedin different thirdsof the court –Jaymie was a midcourter and Emily a defender.

“It’s a lot like basketball –you have a few screens. Emily shoots pretty quick too,” Jaymie said.

A third sister, track rider Ashlee, could add to the family connections.

“If she’s still around here next year she’ll look at playing somewhere,” Peter said.

“She came to training the other night and I whacked her in centre and she said ‘that’s the most running I’ve done for years’.”

Emily FinchThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Waste tender announced

Moorabool Shire Council has announced the tender for its new kerbside collection trial, starting from January next year.
Nanjing Night Net

KG Coy & Sons Pty Ltd has been awarded the contract for the collection, removal and disposal of green waste.

Moorabool is the latest local council to turn towards green waste collection to improve its sustainability following what has so far been a successful initiativein Ballarat.

Bendigo has also completed a successful trial and has since moved into a permanent service.

Ballarat’s service has so far been well received, with the results of a survey the City of Ballarat’s My Ballarat spring editionmagazine showing that 86 per cent of respondents were86 per cent were in favour of the green waste collection service.

The survey also showed that76 per cent wanted a minimum fortnightly or monthly collection.

There were 378 responses to the survey.

The tender for the Moorabool service was awarded at at council meeting on Wednesday following a vote by council to providethe service to urban areas,following a community engagement process.

The non-compulsory service, which will likely cost between$80 and $100 a year, depending on take up rates plus the cost of a new bin,is part of the shire’sstrategy to reduce the amount of waste to landfill.

It’s also expected tolessen environmental impacts and extend the life of existing landfills.

“Approximately 15 to 20 per cent of kerbside garbage is made up of garden organics so the introduction of this new service is expected to divert up to 1000 tonnes away from landfill each year,” Moorabool Shire Council infrastructure general manager Phil Jeffrey said.

“Greenwaste will be collected fortnightly via a 240 litrekerbside service and will be taken to a specialised composting facility at Mount Wallace to be processed for landscaping and agricultural purposes.”

Residents eligible for the service willbe notified in late October.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.