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Thursday, 22 February

07:00

Outnumbered Natural Newstead

This gorgeous female Red-capped Robin was my highlight of an early morning walk at the Rise and Shine last weekend.

It was joined at one point by the local flock of Varied Sittellas while not quite as classy they won out with weight of numbers.

Red-capped Robin (female), Rise and Shine, 18th February 2018

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Wednesday, 21 February

16:12

Big Vegan Market Edgar's Mission Farm SanctuaryEdgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary

https://www.facebook.com/events/685166888346475/

16:10

Dirty Deeds Edgar's Mission Farm SanctuaryEdgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary

https://www.facebook.com/events/183843652381581/

13:15

Anything but plain Natural Newstead

I love the Moolort Plains at this time of year. The contrast between the big, blue skies and golden stubble makes a great backdrop for the raptors that inhabit this fascinating landscape.

Looking south across the Moolort Plains towards Smeaton, 18th February 2018

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Tuesday, 20 February

14:07

This week is the last opportunity to visit TELL, a touring... "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne.arts"



This week is the last opportunity to visit TELL, a touring exhibition of @ballaratfoto, currently in Sydney for @sydney_festival. The opportunity to realise Avert originally timed with the above statement entering consciousness (whilst camping in the Otways). Manifesting as object, the work sought to bring into question ideas of representation, cultural expression and medium specificity. The video above documents from the final element of the works making an application of light sensitive solution, which as active agent, responds to light / the context / and environment of the works presentation.

09:40

MAINfm TRIVIA with Jim, Dean, & Jim 94.9 Main FM


Join us for another brilliant quiz night at the Tap Room.  This time with your hosts, Jim, Jim, and Dean. Triple the fun!

Thursday 15th March. 7pm, for a 7:30pm start.

$10 to enter.

Raffle. Spot prizes. And a $50 bar tab to be won!

All proceeds go to MAINfm.

For more info

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Monday, 19 February

08:26

On the return journey? Natural Newstead

White-browed Woodswallows have been conspicuous by their absence all summer, that is until I came across a small flock yesterday morning in the Rise and Shine.

I observed a few birds passing through the Mia Mia in late October but apparently conditions didnt inspire them to linger and breed. I suspect the flock encountered yesterday are heading north on their return journey. They are fussy and mercurial in their breeding habits but a beautiful bird nonetheless.

White-browed Woodswallow, Rise and Shine, 18th February 2018

08:00

February 19 On This Day in Australian History "GroovUs Feed Aartists"

1804 - David Collins decided to up sticks and shift his non-Corey Worthington organised party to Sullivan Cove in Tassie.

1810 - Edward Luttrell Jnr, a ships officer and son of Surgeon Edward Luttrell, shot Pemulwuys son Tidbury (Tedbury or Tjedboro) in the face during an argument at Parramatta.

1836 - British Parliament officially proclaimed the colony of South Australia and formally defined its boundaries.
King William IV recognised the continued rights to land for Aboriginal people in South Australia's founding document, the Letters Patent. It was the first ever recognition of Aboriginal rights granted in Australia's colonial history. But the promise of legal entitlement to the land was never kept.

1852 - That glittery gold stuff that gets the population so excited was tripped over in Beechworth.

1856 - Exotic dancer (that's exotic NOT erotic you smutty minded people) Lola Montez - who was neither Spanish nor a trained dancer -was greatly displeased with a bad review written by the editor of the Ballarat Times, Henry Seekamp, about her.
So she took to him with a horse whip.
Totally justified, Your Honour...!

1863 - Thomas McGee was Hanged at Melbourne Gaol for the murder of Alexander Brown at Maiden Gully.

1865 - The tender was issued for work on Parliament House for the construction of the Legislative Council foundations.

1877 - A few glasses and stumps were raised when the patent for the stump-jump plough was registered in South Oz.

1879 - The foundation stone for Melbourne's Royal Exhibition Building was laid.

1883 - Sir William Robinson was having a bad hair day so he decided to cover it up by popping on the South Oz Governor's hat.

1892 - Eileen O'Connor, the next possible Aussie saint, was delivered by the stork in Richmond (Struggletown), Melbourne.
She was yet another ballsy gal who took on Rome to establish Our Lady's Nurses For The Poor.

1894 - Steam trams began chugging their way to Bondi; getting a full head of steam up they could gallop along at 65km/ph, birthing the saying "to shoot through like a Bondi tram".

1894 - The Sydney Anarchy Trial found several well-known chappies were a bit naughty for flogging editions of the anarchist newspaper Hard Cash that cast aspersions upon trustees of the Savings Bank of NSW. Tsk tsk tsk. Because banks are always so trust-worthy during a depression... aren't they?
Of course 2 chappies in particular were let off the hook...future NSW Premier Jack Lang and future Prime Minister Billy Hughes.

1912 - Royal Commission into the claims arising out of the contract entered into between Peter Rodger and the Victorian Railways Commissioners for the erection of Flinders Str...

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Sunday, 18 February

10:12

A favourite place on the hill Natural Newstead

Like people, birds have favourite places too.

On Friday evening I visited the western side of Spring Hill that has been a wonderful place for birds over the years. Its here that I captured my best ever photograph of a male Crested Bellbird, where White-backed Swallows have congregated atop a prominent dead tree and where I glimpsed a Black Honeyeater the year the drought broke.

I was not disappointed on my recent visit Rainbow Bee-eaters were gathering on that same dead tree as a flock of Varied Sittellas foraged along the bare trunk. I must return again soon.

Super Fairy-wren, Spring Hill, 17th February. 2018

Wednesday, 07 February

09:23

Ballarat commuters shortchanged by piecemeal track duplication "IndyWatch Feed Vic"

Ballarat single track

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has today criticised the state governments piecemeal approach to track duplication works near Bacchus Marsh.

The Melbourne Metro Authority, which is delivering the Ballarat Line Upgrade (BLU) project, announced changes to the project in December 2017, including changing the location of one of the crossing loops. The project originally included 3km of duplication works at Warrenheip, but this was changed to 3km of duplication west of Bacchus Marsh.

The rationale given for this change was that it meant less tree removal and excavation, and that it allowed trains to more quickly move in and out of the stabling facilities that are also planned as part of the BLU project.

However, indicative maps released as part of public consultation show that this duplication will end approximately 1km short of the Rowsley Loop, which was constructed in 2016 meaning the line will go from double-track to single-track and back again in a very short distance.

Shifting the duplication from Warrenheip to Bacchus Marsh, to allow trains to move to and from stabling without causing disruption to revenue services, was a sensible move. But it would be much more sensible if they would just extend the track a little bit further to join up these loops PTUA Ballarat Branch Convener Ben Lever said.

It seems ridiculous that these duplication works will get within sight of the existing Rowsley Loop, but wont actually join up with it.

This introduces a new bottleneck to the rail network, which will make V/Lines operations much more complicated than if they just connected the two up. Having these little low-quality bottlenecks limits the usefulness of the high-quality infrastructure being built further up the line.

Mr Lever also raised concerns that having two separate loops so close together would be an inefficient use of taxpayer funds.

With these track duplication projects, among the most expensive parts are the points and the signals at either end of the loop the flat, normal track in between is comparatively much cheaper. Because there are such big fixed costs, no matter how long the loop is, a 2km loop isnt twice as expensive as a 1km loop and in the case of this project, a 4km loop would not be 33% more expensive than a 3km loop. Once youve committed to paying the fixed costs, its mu...

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