Dead humpback whale washes up near Port Lincoln, South Australia



A dead whale has washed up at a beach on the state’s west coast.

The young humpback whale was spotted at Frenchman Bluff, about 70km northwest of Port Lincoln, on Friday afternoon.

Authorities are expected to attend the scene in the coming days to inspect the mammal and dispose of its remains.

The young humpback whale at Frenchman Bluff near Port Lincoln.


The whale was about 8m in length and was covered in lesions.

It is yet to be determined how the whale died but it is believed it may have been sick.

Southern right whales are more commonly found in the region.

Source: The Advertiser

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Australia: 50,000 Tesla Powerwalls to Form Virtual Power Plant

Australia: 50,000 Tesla Powerwalls to Form Virtual Power Plant

May 24th, 2018

Via: Electrek:

Earlier this year, Tesla announced that it reached a deal with the South Australian government to install solar arrays and Powerwalls on up to 50,000 homes to create the biggest virtual power plant in the world.

A new government was elected in the state a few weeks later and they quickly cast doubts about following through with the massive plan.

But now they confirmed that they will be moving forward with Tesla’s initiative.




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Tesla’s Giant Battery in Australia Reduced Grid Service Cost by 90%

Tesla’s Giant Battery in Australia Reduced Grid Service Cost by 90%

May 11th, 2018

Via: Electrek:

Tesla’s giant Powerpack battery in Australia has been in operation for about 6 months now and we are just starting to discover the magnitude of its impact on the local energy market.

A new report now shows that it reduced the cost of the grid service that it performs by 90% and it has already taken a majority share of the market.
When an issue happens or maintenance is required on the power grid in Australia, the Energy Market Operator calls for FCAS (frequency control and ancillary services) which consists of large and costly gas generators and steam turbines kicking in to compensate for the loss of power.

Electricity rates can be seen reaching $14,000 per MW during those FCAS periods.

Tesla’s 100MW/129MWh Powerpack project in South Australia can provide the same service cheaper, quicker, and with zero-emissions, through its battery system.




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A flesh-eating disease is spreading in Australia and officials have no idea how to stop it

Image: A flesh-eating disease is spreading in Australia and officials have no idea how to stop it

(Natural News)
A frightening flesh-eating disease is currently making its way across Australia, and puzzled scientists and officials aren’t sure how to stop this mysterious condition from wreaking havoc.

Cases of an infection known as Buruli ulcer have spiked in recent years in the country, rising 150 percent from 74 cases in 2013 to 186 in 2016. It shows no signs of slowing down; last year saw a projected 286 cases.

The infection causes unsightly skin ulcers that destroy the skin and the soft tissue around it. Complicating matters is the fact that scientists aren’t sure how it is spread or how to prevent it. They know it is caused by the Mycobacterium ulcerans bacterium, which is in the same family as the microbes behind leprosy and tuberculosis – hardly a comforting thought. It creates a toxin that destroys the tissue and creates big ulcers that are typically seen on the arms and legs.

While an eight-week course of antibiotics seems to do the trick for some people, others need surgery to remove some of the affected skin or even amputation. Those who don’t get it treated early enough face long-term disabilities, limited joint movement, and other problems.

It has also been reported in countries throughout the Western Pacific, South America, and Africa, with Nigeria being another hotspot. In Victoria, the cases are becoming more severe and appearing in areas that were previously untouched.

Researchers are confused by the fact that it’s appearing in some temperate rural areas of Victoria because it’s usually associated with swamplands in tropical countries. Buruli ulcer has also spread to some Melbourne suburbs in what is the only current outbreak to be reported in the developed world. They would like to find out what it is about these areas that make them hotbeds of the disease and what happens to people there that causes them to pick it up.

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Insects and animals eyed as possible mode of transmission

Researchers theorize that it may be passed to humans from insects in water. Mosquitoes are one potential carrier being explored; some have tested positive for the bacterium and insect repellent use has been linked to a lower risk of infection. In addition, the feces of some ringtail possums contained the bacteria, although it’s not certain people are getting it from them.

The ulcers have also hit animals like cats, dogs, and koalas, but scientists can’t say for sure if they are spreading it. They do not believe, however, that it can spread from person to person.

The first sign most people notice is a painless lump on their skin resembling an insect bite. As the infection burrows deeper into the fatty layer between the skin and muscle lining, the infection spreads sideways and makes its way throughout the person’s body, destroying the tissue it encounters on the way before erupting through the skin again as an ulcer. It’s difficult for a person to know that they have the infection at first, but when the ulcer erupts, the pain is very severe.

Although the lack of a clear cause means scientists are unsure how it can be prevented, they nevertheless recommend people avoid mosquito bites, immediately clean and cover cuts they get outdoors, and see a doctor if they suspect they could have the infection.

In the meantime, the researchers would like to see a thorough examination of the environments, local fauna and human behavior in the areas being hit by this illness so they can gain a deeper understanding of how it spreads and hopefully find effective interventions to stem this devastating illness.

Read for more coverage of the spread of infectious disease.

Sources for this article include:



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War On Cash Goes into Full Effect — Purchases Over $10,000 ILLEGAL in Australia


Canberra, Australia – The Australian government announced that it will soon be illegal to use more than $10,000 cash to purchase anything, forcing individuals that wish to buy more expensive items to use a cashier’s check or electronic transfer, ostensibly in the name of fighting organized crime and money laundering.

The move reportedly comes in response to the government’s Black Economy Standing Taskforce. In addition to the cash purchase ban, the government has allocated a $319 million package to the Tax Office to develop new strategies to target the black economy.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said the Black Economy Standing Taskforce will include a rigorous identification system and “mobile strike teams,” in an effort to detect people making suspicious cash transactions, as well as a black economy hotline for citizens to report anyone suspected of engaging in illegal transactions.

“Cash provides an easy, anonymous and largely untraceable mechanism for conducting black economy activity,” the response said. “Cash payments make it easier to under-report income and avoid tax obligations. This allows businesses transacting in cash to undercut competitors and gain a competitive advantage.

It said the task force had identified examples of “large undocumented cash payments being made for houses, cars, yachts, agricultural crops and commodities”, which contribute to the $50 billion black economy and “hurt honest businesses.”

Revenue Minister Kelly O’Dwyer said the ban on cash purchases of more than $10,000 would begin on July 1 of next year.

“This cash payment limit will capture high-value transactions and help stamp out opportunities for criminals to launder the proceeds of crime into goods and services, or for businesses to hide transactions to reduce their tax liabilities,” she said.

This of course is not a phenomenon unique to Australia, as there is an ongoing international “war on cash.” In the United States, Larry Summers, a former U.S. Treasury Secretary and Harvard president, pushed and effort during the Obama administration to abolish $50 and $100 bills. There has also been talk within the EU of doing away with the €500 note. India has already made such moves. 

While the publicly stated reason for these policies is to fight criminals, terrorists, money launderers, drug dealer, etc., by making it more difficult for them to move cash, the actual reason for the international “war on cash” is to give government more control and power.

report in The Atlantic explains that while some believe that a cashless system would be “simple and elegant,” there are ominous implications about further centralization of power that must be considered:

Federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as tax authorities, want to bring as much of the economy under their direct supervision as possible. … Forget folks who like cash. Never mind worries about forcing us all to run all spending through a corrupt corporate-banking system. Never mind the resilience of having a medium of exchange in the non-digital world that works when the power grid is down, when one’s smart phone is dropped in water, when one’s identity is stolen by hackers, or one’s account frozen by Visa or Bank of America because a purchase on vacation was deemed suspicious.

Friedersdorf goes on to clarify how the elimination of cash could dramatically erode financial privacy; pointing to Supreme Court case U.S. v. Miller:

There is no legitimate “expectation of privacy” in the contents of the original checks and deposit slips, since the checks are not confidential communications, but negotiable instruments to be used in commercial transactions, and all the documents obtained contain only information voluntarily conveyed to the banks and exposed to their employees in the ordinary course of business.

In a report for Forbes magazie, founder Steve Forbes elaborates on this line of thinking:

The real reason for this war on cash–start with the big bills and then work your way down–is an ugly power grab by Big Government. People will have less privacy: Electronic commerce makes it easier for Big Brother to see what we’re doing, thereby making it simpler to bar activities it doesn’t like, such as purchasing salt, sugar, big bottles of soda and Big Macs.

The movement against cash is clearly about centralized control of the economy, as international bureaucrats believe they can control the global economy better than the free market.

Forbes goes on to explain:

The move to destroy cash feeds into the economic commissars’ fantasy that they can better control the economy. Policymakers in Washington, Tokyo and the EU think the reason that their economies are stagnant is that ornery people aren’t spending and investing the way they should. How to make these benighted, recalcitrant beings do what they’re supposed to do? The latest nostrum from our overlords is negative interest rates. If people have to pay fees to store their money, as they do to put their stuff in storage facilities, then, by golly, they might be more inclined to spend it. To inhibit cash hoarding—when Japan announced it was imposing negative interest rates, the sale of safes soared—the authorities will want to do away with large notes.

Of course, one of the primary purposes of the Australian government’s movement against black markets and large cash purchases comes down to lost revenue for the state. In fact, the government reported that the package against black markets could potentially net the state billions of dollars more in revenue.

So, while governments like to use fear mongering about terrorism and drugs as a means of eliciting support for policies restricting the use of cash, the real motive behind these laws is clearly to give government more power. The ability to track every transaction provides an invaluable asset to a global spying apparatus (Five Eyes) that aims to sweep up all available information with no regard for the existence of individual privacy.

DASH cryptocurrency and The Free Thought Project have formed a partnership that will continue to spread the ideas of peace and freedom while simultaneously teaching people how to operate outside of the establishment systems of control like using cryptocurrency instead of dollars. Winning this battle is as simple as choosing to abstain from the violent corrupt old system and participating in the new and peaceful system that hands the power back to the people. DASH is this system.

DASH digital cash takes the control the banking elite has over money and gives it back to the people. It is the ultimate weapon in the battle against the money changers and information controllers.

If you’d like to start your own DASH wallet and be a part of this change and battle for peace and freedom, you can start right here. DASH is already accepted by vendors all across the world so you can begin using it immediately.

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Australia Weighs the Cost of Resisting China’s Meddling

Australia Weighs the Cost of Resisting China’s Meddling

May 11th, 2018

Via: Bloomberg:

When Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Australia in March 2017, he had a clear message for policy makers: There’s no need to pick sides between Washington and Beijing.

More than a year later, that’s becoming ever harder for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. A slew of recent media reports showed that China’s Communist Party was covertly meddling with media, universities and lawmakers, prompting a public outcry.

Turnbull responded by backing new legislation to clamp down on foreign interference in politics and business, which may be put to a vote in the coming weeks. In December, he used broken Mandarin to paraphrase a quote attributed to Chairman Mao Zedong during China’s founding, saying “the Australian people stand up and assert their sovereignty.�

China stands ready to use its trade leverage to hit Australia if ties deteriorate further, said Gao Zhikai, a former diplomat and the director of the China National Association of International Studies in Beijing.

“China can easily find a replacement for Australian products, but Australia cannot find a market with a size like China,â€� he said.




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Cars swept away as flash flood hits Hobart, Australia

Flooding in MacQuarie Street.


Wild weather has caused flash flooding in Hobart’s CBD, with cars swept away and emergency crews responding to hundreds of calls for help.

Police say the CBD has been hit hard, forcing the closure of many roads and with more heavy rain expected on Friday, motorists are urged to stay off city roads.

Streets turned into fast-flowing rivers, with water surging inside homes and businesses.

Two evacuation centres have been set up as SES crews work to prioritise hundreds of calls for assistance.

Flash flooding has also hit the Hobart suburbs of Blackmans Bay, Sandy Bay, and Kingston on the city’s outskirts.

The University of Tasmania’s Sandy Bay campus has been closed after some buildings flooded and power was cut.

“Staff and student safety is our priority and access will not be restored to the campus until appropriate checks are made,” the university said on its website.

Education officials have also closed up to 30 state schools.

More than 13,000 properties lost power as the storms rolled in, while some vehicles were swept away after Hobart received almost 130mm of rain in the past 24 hours.

“When we came down here I didn’t even see my car,” one woman told the Seven Network.

“I thought someone might have stolen it.”

Emergency services have received hundreds of calls for assistance, including wind damage to roofs and sheds and trees blown over, but there have been no reports of injuries so far, police said on Friday.

People have been urged to avoid non-essential travel in storm-hit areas, especially the CBD.

“Major roads in the CBD are significantly affected by floodwaters and debris, and power outages are affecting some traffic lights,” police said.

Emergency crews have been mobilised to clear the roads, but many will remain closed during this morning’s peak hour.

The intense low-pressure system responsible for the wild weather will continue to be felt on Friday morning, with the Bureau of Meteorology issuing a flood watch for the eastern half of Tasmania.

“Rainfall is locally heavy about the eastern, southern, and central areas this morning, things will ease this afternoon and then contract to the north-east tonight,” bureau forecaster Debbie Tabor has told The Mercury.

“We’ll still have some showers left around, but the heaviest falls are likely to be this morning in the south and then along the east coast in the afternoon.

“There is the possibility of thunderstorms in the south and the east also.”

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Australia’s largest lender charged fees to dead clients

Waverley cemetery in eastern Sydney, Australia


Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), which is the nation’s largest lender, has collected fees from customers who it knew had died, a major inquiry has heard.

The inquiry was ordered by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last year following a series of scandals involving financial misconduct.

CBA told the Banking Royal Commission, which is the country’s top form of public hearing, that fees from customers have been regularly collected for services that had not been delivered. Some of its financial planners had billed services to deceased clients.

The evidence revealed multiple examples of misconduct by the bank’s financial advisers. In one case, an adviser knew that a client had died in 2004 but continued to charge adviser-service fees that continued for a decade. The adviser received around $65 a month in fees in 2014 and 2015.

“When asked, he said he didn’t know what to do and he had tried to contact the public trustee and had not heard back,” the CBA document stated.

Another customer of a different adviser had died in 2007 and contact was made with the client’s wife in 2013, but no action was taken to stop service fees being charged.

Another one of the bank’s advisers was found to have been charging service fees for multiple clients with no evidence of ongoing services being provided. He also charged fees to a dead client.

The financial advisers involved in misconduct have been penalized with warnings by the bank, CBA said.

The bank has previously faced scrutiny for alleged breaches of anti-money-laundering laws, and for providing inappropriate financial advice. Government data prepared for the inquiry showed that over 80,000 consumers have been given bad advice over the past decade, costing them around $4 billion.

The commission is due to provide a final report by February 2019. Australia’s Treasurer Scott Morrison has warned that financial executives could face strong penalties, including jail terms.

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Second shark attack at Gracetown, Western Australia after 41-year-old man bitten

Jason Longgrass, 41, is treated by paramedics after he was bitten on his right leg at Lefties, the second shark attack in Gracetown today.


A second man has been attacked by a shark off Gracetown on Monday just hours after a surfer was mauled in the same area.

Jason Longrass was bitten by a shark just hours after Alejandro Travaglini, a father of two from Margaret River, was attacked by a great white at Cobblestones surf break.

Channel 9 reporter Michael Stamp told 6PR a the 41-year-old Denmark man was mauled at Lefthanders break about 2.40pm, just two kilometres south of the first attack.

Mr Longrass said he had not realised the beach was closed, and said he saw a four-metre white pointer coming towards him.

Paramedics were treating him at the beach for reported minor leg injuries.

He told ABC News he had been “having a ball” in the water prior to the shark attacking, with other surfers having cleared out of the water.

“[It was] just heading straight for me, beelining straight at me … and just nailed the board,” he said.

A bite mark in a surfer's board after being attacked by a shark off the coast of Gracetown only hours after another attack earlier in the day on Monday.


“I knew straight away ‘don’t kick your legs, just swim’.”

WA shark expert Hugh Edwards said he believed drum lines should be deployed soon to catch the shark at Gracetown.

Mr Edwards, 85, said attacks on humans were so rare it was highly likely the same shark had attacked both surfers on Monday.

“Shark attacks tend to come in a series and if you can catch a shark that has been involved in an attack, that’s the way to go no question,” he said.

“But you have to do it quickly because the great whites are travelling fish and if you leave it until tomorrow the thing could be a hundred miles away.

“Gracetown is a notorious spot and I think there would be more attacks there than anywhere else in Western Australia.”

Mr Edwards, who has been studying sharks since the 1950s, said he had not heard of two people being attacked in the same day in the same area.

“Two attacks in one day at the same location is unusual,” he said.

“Shark attacks are so rare that it is far more likely to be the same shark.

“If it was a dog biting someone or a bull killing someone, there would be no question the animal should be put down, and the same with the shark.

“But you can’t catch every shark in the ocean because it is not practical and morally speaking it isn’t fair because the other sharks haven’t done anything.”

Opposition leader Mike Nahan said WA Premier Mark McGowan must act after two shark attacks in one day.

“West Australians understand human lives must be prioritised over sharks,” Dr Nahan said.

“It is a failure of leadership from Mark McGowan if he doesn’t act now.”

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