St Kilda Film Festival continues to grow

The St Kilda Film Festival, an annual event in late May, provides young and ambitious filmmakers with an opportunity to screen their films in theatres in the St Kilda Area.

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Survivors tell stories in side-street centre.

How does one begin to comprehend what the Jewish people experienced during the holocaust? It’s almost impossible for those who weren’t there to understand what it was like. But a museum in the backstreets of Elsternwick attempts to explain the Holocaust experience to thousands of people weekly through the voices of survivors. SAM KEENAN takes a tour. Continue reading

Baillieu Government critiqued on passing year

How will the Baillieu Government fare when its report card is released?


Almost 12 months after coming into power in Victoria, the Baillieu Ministry’s role as Government  is being closely scrutinised by officials and the public alike.  

After succeeding in securing the majority seats in the Legislative Assembly and taking over from the Brumby Government on December 2, 2010,  the Baillieu Government had many election promises to live up to.

But whether these promises have been fulfilled, or if the Government has caused positive change in Victoria, is a question to be answered by its people.

Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) Executive Manager of Communications and Public Affairs Chris James was asked to give them a ‘report card’ ranking between A and D.

They have come in in the face of some difficulties” he said. 

“A solid B” 

But Environment Victoria Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham has spoken of Baillieu Government in a more dissatisfied tone.

“Incredibly disappointing and contrary to all expectations that the Victorian community had” he said. 

“I think on all assessments they’d be failing”

Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) President Cr. Bill McArthur, asked the same question as Chris James, replied.

“I think we could give them a C and look forward to a major improvement, particularly in their interaction with local Government” he said.

Distribution of Seats by Party in Victoria (Liberal/National Coalition vs Australian Labor Party)

 

Media inquiry as end of Murdoch era draws nearer

Expectation that News Limited will sell major Australian media outlets upon the departure of Rupert Murdoch from News Corporation has partially prompted inquiry into Australian media.

Beliefs that News Limited’s presence in Australia will be rescinded alongside the predicted retirement of Rupert Murdoch has become one of the reasons that the Government has called for an independent inquiry into the Australian Media.

Monash University Head of Journalism, Professor Chris Nash has commented on Murdoch’s reasons for holding his ties to Australian media.

“He wields his newspapers as a political weapon” he said.

But concern is growing that once the 80-year-old Chairman and CEO of News Corporation passes on, that News Corporation will have no reason to continue it’s presence in Australia through marginally profitable media outlets and  mastheads including The Australian and the Herald Sun.

“Once there is no longer a personal, sentimental or political commitment for News Limited to hold these mastheads in Australia that they will be put on the market”

Minister for Communication Stephen Conroy defended the inquiry, saying it was not to be focused on News Limited and the 70% of Australian newspapers it controls.

“We think there are important structural reforms going forward into the economy, but in terms of a witch hunt to demand that we break up news limited, or to attack News Limited, we’re not interested”

Asylum seeker solutions remain controversial; costly.

Asylum seekers arriving on a 'people smuggler' (Taken by publik15, February 28, 2009)

Solutions to the increase in people arriving as asylum seekers on Australian shores – from discouraging boats to abolishing mandatory detention-  are arising  as concern sparks. 

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Wind farm to cause costly, carbon-reduced future.

Wind Turbines

Wind Turbines

State Government has officially opened Australia’s largest wind farm in Werribee – providing a greener source of power for 200,000 homes – but at the cost of a sharp increase in electricity prices.

The 400-turbine farm will replace the Hazelwood Power Station in the La Trobe Valley, currently Australia’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter and ultimately reduce Australia’s greenhouse emissions by 8% per annum.

Alongside reducing Australia’s carbon footprint, the farm is also slated to create 200 jobs in Victoria’s fastest growing corridor.

Minister for Energy and Resources, Stacy Petros, commented on the replacement of Hazelwood saying,

“The closure of Hazelwood is a step in the right direction and we are working with unions and key organisations to re-tool workers to skill them for jobs in this new carbon-free economy”

But the carbon-neutral future comes at a cost, with Hazelwood’s closure predicted to cause electricity prices to trend upwards.The media release says,

“The decision to mothball Hazelwood, electricity prices will soon start to trend upwards”

Furthermore, the closure of Hazelwood will  make approximately 800 jobs redundant, scarcely making up for the 200 jobs created by the Balliang Wind Farm.