31 Jan 2014

Launch Pad - send in your design

  • You could win a $10,000 grant to launch your career
  • Exhibit your prototype during Melbourne Indesign, where it will be seen by over 7,000 industry profressionals
  • Have your product featured on our online platforms and in DQ magazine
  • Get invaluable feedback and mentoring form national and international manufacturers, designers
    and retailers
  • Build your design network
Entry is easy – just click here or jump online to view the entry form and requirements at launch-pad.com.au

30 Jan 2014

Government doesn't like news, they prefer corrupt media

Tony Abbott attacks ABC for ‘taking everyone's side but Australia's’

The prime minister, Tony Abbott, has mounted a fresh attack on the national broadcaster, suggesting the ABC instinctively took "everyone's side but Australia's" and should show "some basic affection for the home team".
Malcolm Turnbull defends ABC after Tony Abbott's attackCommunications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has strongly defended the ABC's editorial independence in the face of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's attack on the national broadcaster, which he says ''instinctively takes everyone's side but Australia's''.
Tony Abbott blasts national broadcaster: ABC takes 'everyone's side but Australia's'

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has berated ABC News, arguing that it is taking ''everyone's side but Australia's'' and that journalists should give the navy the ''benefit of the doubt'' when it comes to claims of wrongdoing.
In comments that also suggest the media should act as cheerleaders for the country, Mr Abbott ramped up his recent criticism of the ABC.
Somebody call the waaaambulance - the ABC has been mean to Abbott
Tony Abbott used to be a working journalist. Tony Abbott the working reporter, the bloke who paid his bills punching a keyboard, would have laughed in the face of Paul Keating or Bob Hawke if they'd gone whining to their favoured pets in the tame media about not getting the benefit of the doubt, about the press not seeing their interests as being in the national interest.

29 Jan 2014

Less is more festival - 22 Feb

Would you like to have more fun? Learn new skills? Increase your knowledge? Improve your health? Have time for the things that matter? Be inspired? Make connections? Join in? Feel part of the community? Then the Less is More Festival is for you! It's a day of workshops and talks covering all of this, 
and much more. 
Find out more here

The world...

28 Jan 2014

Saturday 1 February - Save the sharks

Let's have our voices heard in order to put more pressure on Barnett's catch-and-kill shark initiative! Surfers can protest on the top of the water, scuba divers underneath and others from the shore! Sign up on Facebook

Blue and White theme!

Band From the Dunes is playing 

Speakers to date are:
Sam Carmody - Surfer and Musician
Jeff Hansen - Director of Sea Shepherd Australia
Hon. Lynn MacLaren - Greens MLC
Christine Milne - Greens Party Leader
Dave Kelly - Shadow Minister for Labor
Katrina Love - WA Convenor & Lead Candidate, Animal Justice Party
Ross Weir - West Australians for Shark Conservation- WASC
Hugh Edwards - Journalist and Author
Tim Nicol - Vice President of Conservation Council of Western Australia

Link to diving protest as part of this event: https://www.facebook.com/events/657924217586658/
Link to #noWAsharkcull store: http://nowasharkcull.shirtee.net.au/

The Majestic Plastic Bag

It's already an old one, but still a good one to watch as I haven't seen more people in the supermarket bringing their own bags...

Heal the Bay produced this poignant mockumentary capturing the miraculous journey of a wayward plastic bag. It’s improbable but true migration begins in the parking lot of a Southern California Safeway and ends hundreds of miles off shore in the Pacific Gyre.

23 Jan 2014


March In March Australia 2014

A national protest as a vote of no confidence in the Abbott Government’s policies

No matter how it happened or who is to blame, the sad reality is that we as a nation have been inflicted with a self-serving excuse for a government. The country has completely unravelled under the Abbott Government and until now, we've felt utterly powerless against his will.
Based on their belief in unchallengeable power, Abbott led his campaign with lies and scare-tactics. Now that they hold the reins, they have broken promises and systematically torn apart long-standing and successful policies as quickly as they possibly could. This frenzied attack on our own country has done nothing to benefit anyone other than the rich – those who need assistance least of all.


22 Jan 2014

21 Jan 2014

Half Of Global Wealth 'Owned By 85 People'

Half of all the world's wealth is owned by 85 people, who could all fit onto a single double-decker bus.
The shock finding from anti poverty campaigners Oxfam came as world leaders, business chiefs and academics are set to gather this week in Davos for the World Economic Forum.
According to polls carried out for the firm in the UK, Brazil, India, South Africa, Spain and the US, most people believe the laws are skewed in favour of the rich. Two-thirds of Brits polled thought "the rich had too much influence over the direction the country is headed", while just one in ten disagreed.
Oxfam executive director Winnie Byanyima said: “It is staggering that in the 21st Century, half of the world’s population – that’s three and a half billion people – own no more than a tiny elite whose numbers could all fit comfortably on a double-decker bus..
Read article and see who is the top ten of the richest people in the world.

Monsanto sues Hawaiian island for passing legislation to restrict GMOs

The "big dogs" in chemical agriculture are on a witch hunt to reverse a bill passed by the Kauai County Council back in November that sets reasonable restrictions on the cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on the Hawaiian island. 

According to the Huffington Post, an unholy trinity represented by DuPont, Syngenta and Agrigenetics Inc. (an affiliate of Dow AgroSciences) has filed a federal lawsuit arguing against Measure 2491, which is intended to set buffer zones between schools and fields sprayed with pesticide, for instance, and requires companies to disclose when and where they are spraying their poisonous concoctions, as well as report genetically modified crops.

As it currently stands in Kauai, chemical companies have very few restrictions on where they are allowed to plant GM crops and how often they are allowed to spray undisclosed chemicals on fields. Because of this, many areas of the island have become toxic hotbeds, with local residents reporting allergies, neurological damage and other major afflictions stemming from exposure to GMOs and crop chemicals, one of the many issues that stands to be addressed by Measure 2491.

But the biotechnology industry is fighting tooth and nail to destroy Measure 2491, which will presumably expose the massive environmental damage being caused by the industry's nefarious activities on the otherwise pristine island. 
Read article

AgroChemical Companies Sue Kaua'i for the Right to Spray Next to Schools

On Jan 12, 2014 DuPont Co., Syngenta AG and Dow Chemical Co. filed a lawsuit against the small Hawaiian island of Kaua'i in an attempt to block their Pesticide Disclosure Ordinance 960 (Bill 2491).  The law requires large Agriculture and AgroChemical corporations (most of them experimenting with new pesticides) to disclose pesticide use, report genetically engineered crops, and create buffer zones between pesticide-sprayed fields and public areas like schools, hospitals and homes.
Read article

Public Event in Support of Steve Marsh - 9 February

Come and join us at
Perth Town Hall on
Sunday 9th February
for a Movie and Q&A about Steve.
 Free Entry but a Donation is Welcome.
Please book due to limited seating
RSVP info@safefoodfoundation.org with subject heading "RSVP-Town Hall" to ensure a seat.
Afterwards we will go to Stirling Gardens
in front of WA Supreme Court
from 12:00 to 1:30pm

16 Jan 2014

The environment would pay for 'free trade'

Do we really want to create an Australia where we have to pay a foreign corporation not to dig up or destroy our coastline or native forests? 

Our laws should protect Australians and the places we love - not the profits of foreign multinationals.

Under the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, Australia could be forced to pay foreign corporations not to dig up or destroy its coastline or native forests, writes Tom Warne-Smith.
Read article

16 January 2014 media release:
Statement on the leak of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Environment Chapter

15 Jan 2014

Chefs hate new law requiring them to wear gloves

Many chefs are up in arms about having to wear gloves while cooking, in accordance with a new food safety law that goes into effect over the next six months in California.
Read article

Single use gloves are a big contributor to plastic waste!

Every time I am at the deli I see them thrown out even before they ask if you would want more, they often use several pairs to serve one customer...  And sometimes throw them out when they haven't even put them on as the customer isn't wanting anything. 

I think it's better to have people, who deal with food, wash their hands properly then wearing gloves, those gloves are as dirty as hands, so what's the point? 

14 Jan 2014

2014 Great Cocky Count – Sunday 6 April at sunset

Every April, the Great Cocky Count (GCC) counts as many Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos as possible across WA on a single night. This year, the GCC is on Sunday 6 April 2014. 

Being involved is very easy – volunteers go to a specified location and count all the cockatoos flying into their night-time roosting trees. The survey only takes an hour, starting 30 minutes before sunset. 

They need to find more night roosts for all black-cockatoos. For more information about the GCC or to tell them about a roost site, contact Hugh Finn on 9287 2251 or 0400 177 615 or at greatcockycount@birdlife.org.au


Here's how a designer makes money: One day she dreams up a chair. She spends months developing the concept, selecting materials, devising the exact curve of the arm, the dip of the back. Satisfied with the piece, she works with a manufacturer to produce it. The manufacturer refines the design, invests in tooling to build it, promotes it, and gets it to market. You, the consumer, buy it. This is an original, authentic design.

Usually, a percentage of your purchase goes back to the designer, who reinvests it into her business, her next idea. In order to take risks and innovate—and, indeed, to make a living—a designer needs to profit from her successes. Same with manufacturers—they need money to contract and promote designers’ work and to keep their production quality high. This is the basic premise of how the design industry works, at least when all goes well.

Enter knockoffs, to blow this balanced ecosystem to bits. 
Authentic designs—pieces produced by designers or their authorized manufacturers—are investments. They may be pricier than their knockoff versions but they’re usually crafted with high-quality materials, will last for generations, and will retain value. Knockoffs, by contrast, tend to be short-term objects; they’re made with lower-quality foam, fabrics, metal, joinery, glue, and veneers that break down faster.

They’ll end up in the trash, and probably sooner than you hope. 

13 Jan 2014

2014 Upcycle Exhibition and Sustainability Fair

Calling all tinkerers, designers, creators, finders and improvers for a patchwork celebration of reimagined objects!

Makers are invited to register by 10 February to exhibit individual repurposed creations and win some great prizes.

Established artists and raving amateurs welcome!


Etc. Etc.

10 Jan 2014

Indefinite GMO ban for Tasmania

The Tasmanian Government has imposed an indefinite moratorium on genetically modified (GM) crops in the state.
The current moratorium expires in November and a review of the moratorium was carried out by the government late last year.
Primary Industries Minister Bryan Green says the indefinite moratorium was needed to maintain the integrity of Tasmania's brand and maximise future marketing opportunities.
"The decision is to come down on the side of the moratorium, indefinitely, with various trigger points to allow for proper discussion as to any changes to genetically modified opportunities that might benefit Tasmania beyond what we believe the benefit is now," he said.
"Large chinks of the community are really concerned about their food, and I expect that in the future our GM free status will play a far greater role in our ability to market ourselves."
Tasmanian Greens Leader Nick McKim says the government should go one step further and implement a permanent ban on GM crops.

2013 The hottest year on record in Australia

The Bureau of Meteorology have confirmed that last year was the hottest nationwide in Australia in more than a century of recorded temperatures…

All states and territories recorded above average temperatures in 2013. Average temperatures were 1.20 degrees Celsius above the long-term average of 21.8C, the bureau said in its Annual Climate Statement.
Read article

More info at BOM

9 Jan 2014

Lack of trees a serious health concern for Perth

Curtin University researchers have found the removal of tree canopy as part of urban infill may worsen health problems associated with climate change.

Ms Helen Brown, from Curtin University’s School of Public Health, said the impacts of climate change were already being experienced around the world, affecting food, water, air, and, ultimately health. The research aimed to address the dual challenge of climate challenge and increasing urbanisation in Perth and provide recommendations to create a healthier, more climate-resilient city, to benefit future generations.

While climate change is a global phenomenon, adaptation is a local affair.

“We know that loss of tree canopy is a significant contributor to the creation of UHIs and that the effects of UHIs can be reduced by green spaces and vegetation,” said Ms Brown.
“Trees have been shown to provide multiple benefits to people and the environment, and international and national support for the retention and planting of urban trees is strong.

“Unfortunately, some areas of Perth are currently experiencing significant reductions in tree canopy due to a lack of adequate policy, regulation and awareness of the issue.

“Without appropriate intervention, we may find ourselves in a situation where the expected increases in extreme temperatures from climate change are made worse by planning decisions taken today.
Read article

Joy of wood workshops Jan & Feb 2014

Check out Greg's blogs: The Joy of Wood and The Joy of Wood for Kids

7 Jan 2014

Earthcarers Summer outdoor movies Cottesloe - FREE

Friday 10 January 2014
PLAY AGAIN - For many people, especially children, screens have become the de facto medium by which the greater world is experienced. A virtual world of digitally transmitted pictures, voices, and scenarios has become more real to this generation than the world of sun, water, air, and living organisms, including fellow humans.
This moving and humorous documentary follows six teenagers who, like the “average American child,” spend five to fifteen hours a day behind screens. PLAY AGAIN unplugs these teens and takes them on their first wilderness adventure – no electricity, no cell phone coverage, no virtual reality.
This movie is not just for parents it present the opportunity to relate back to your own screen time and ask - how addicted am I?

Friday 14 February 2014
THE LIGHT BULB CONSPIRACY uncovers how planned obsolescence has shaped our lives and economy since the 1920’s, when manufacturers deliberately started shortening the life of consumer products to increase demand. The film also profiles a new generation of consumers, designers and business people who have started challenging planned obsolescence as an unsustainable economic driver.
For more info click here or visit The Lightbulb Conspiracy Facebook page

Time: 6.30pm picnic, 7.30pm movie screening
Where: WMRC offices outside on the lawn. Wearne House, 40 Marine Pde (Corner Warton St and Marine Pde) Cottesloe. See map here.
BYO: Picnic, blankies and beanbags etc
FREE event

Friday 14 March 2014
TRASHED - We buy it, we bury it, we burn it and then we ignore it. We keep making things that do not break down. Earth Carers have all heard these horrifying facts before, but with Jeremy Irons as our guide in TRASHED, we discover what happens to the billion or so tons of waste that goes unaccounted for each year.
Jeremy Irons sets out to discover the extent and effects of the global waste problem, as he travels around the world to beautiful destinations tainted by pollution. He goes in search of solutions. From individuals who have changed their lives and produce almost no waste, to increasing anti-waste legislation, to an entire city which is now virtually waste-free, he discovers that change is not only essential, but happening.

Friday 11 April 2014
CHASING ICE is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers. Chasing Ice.

Time: 6.00pm picnic, 7.00pm movie screening
Where: WMRC offices outside on the lawn. Wearne House, 40 Marine Pde (Corner Warton St and Marine Pde) Cottesloe. See map here.
BYO: Picnic, blankies and beanbags etc
FREE event

All designers in Perth should at least come to the February movie about planned obsolescence; The lightbulb conspiracy!
More info here. 

6 Jan 2014

So how much money will the China First mine generate for Oz?

The China First coal mine in the Bimblebrox nature reserve in Queensland has been given the go-ahead. We are told that the environmental destruction is worth it for the money. So Barometer turned to an economist to see just how much financial gain there is for Australia – and the answer is – not that much.
Economist Richard Denniss of The Australia Institute spoke to Sue Reece and broke down the figures on the mining industry in general, and China First in particular.
Listen to the 12 minute interview here

87% of mines in Australia are foreign owned! Even "Australian" BHP is largely foreign owned. 

We know from the tax office and the bureau of statistics that mining tax is one of the lowest rates of corporate tax in the country... around 18% compared to the 30% official rate.