Breaking News | March 31

Joe Hockey addresses the same budget issues of the Labor government back in December, 2013. Photo: tramwayjohn/Flickr

 

WARNING – Effects of the budget

by Chloe Taylor

Joe Hockey has warned that people of the public will be affected during the process of repairing our budget.

According to treasury figures the budget would remain in deficit for the next decade if not checked and under Labor government responsibility.

Mr Hockey told reporters in Sydney on Monday, “Unless we take immediate remedial action in the budget then Australia will never have a surplus … we have to address this and address this fast.”

Mr Hockey warned that if debt were to increase, Australia’s living standards would be lowered. Everyone will have to help fix the budget he said.

Labor had left the government with large spending increases in foreign aid, defence and a poorly introduced National Disability Insurance Scheme. Mr Hockey told ABC radio, “If we don’t get on top of the proper management of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, not only would it not be sustainable, but it could end up as big a farce as the pink batts program or the $900 cheques program.”

The treasurer also said that the ageing population has placed heavier pressure on the budget. When Mr Hockey was asked if it was sustainable to give a part pension to those who posses more than a million dollars he said, “that’s something that obviously needs to be taken into account.”

Mr Hockey is due to receive the final report from the commission of audit into government spending on Monday. Although the government had to go through the details of the report, according to what he had told Sky News. He promised to realease it as soon as possible.

 

Drunken violence halved since new lockout laws

by C. J. Lane

The newly enforced 1:30 AM lockout legislation has halved violent drunken assaults in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross area since it’s February 24th commencement, according to Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch.

A NSW Ambulance spokeswoman has also told associated press that there has been a 30 percent decrease in assault victims compared to the same period last year.

Yesterday the O’Farrell government increased penalties for misbehaving drunks with the implications now being fines of $1100 to those who don’t comply with the crackdown on alcohol-fuelled violence in the area.

The new lockout laws govern the aforementioned Kings Cross and CBD, as well as the Rocks, with a complete halt to drinks being served by 3AM. This is in addition to the state-wide legislation concerning bottle shops, which are now required to close at 10 PM.

 

Advanced technology for advanced banking

by Chloe Taylor

In the near future, Australians could be withdrawing cash from an ATM without using a card.

A smartphone app will be able to operate an ATM without touching it. The idea to remove the plastic cards and rely on our smartphones to get quick cash out of a machine removes the risk of hackers and skimmers.

Latest APCA figures show in the 2012/13 financial year there was about 68,800 transactions related to skimming on Australian-issued credit, debit and charge cards and thieves stole more than $25.27 million.

Chris Hamilton, chief executive of the Australian Payments Clearing Association said that innotavie technologies are continuing to expand and this type of new technology could be one the people of Australia soon use. Hamilton said, “There’s a lot of people trying to develop mobile phone based ways of allowing payment services … there’s no reason why this wouldn’t end up here.”

Recent research from the Commonwealth Bank found three out of four Australians believed mobile wallets would replace physical wallets in Australia by 2021.

The technology is being trialled in Ohio in the US by international ATM manufacturer Diebold and similar technology has already been witnessed in Spain.

The smartphone app requires users to download the company’s mobile wallet and register their debit card. It then allows registered members to control an ATM withdrawal through their smartphone. The transactions have no physical receipt. The user then scan a QR code that appears on the ATM screen to activate the dispensing of cash. There is no PIN number required but the customer must still prove themselves on their phone once at the machine.

Alan Shields, RFi director, a strategic relations firm said the use of cash in society in years to come would determine whether these new types of technoligies would arrive in Australia. Shields raised the question, “If we are moving away from cash, will the banks invest significant amounts of money into an ATM that dispenses cash?”

 

Chadian soldiers ‘Open fire on residents’

by Jasmine Vasarhelyi

Chadian soldiers ‘open fire on residents of the northern neighbourhoods [in Bangui]’ reports MISCA officials.

The incident occurred on Saturday when Chadian soldiers “were firing in all directions” causing panic as people tried to flee from the assault killing more than 20 and injuring more than 100 civilians.

Gendarmerie official, Jean-Pierre Sadou with the regional peacekeeping force, could not confirm the precise number of deaths and wounded, adding that the Chadian soldiers’ actions were a “legitimate defence” after their convoy was attacked.

A MISCA officer reported “We don’t know at present what led to the firing on the residents … but we are trying to gather information to find out what exactly happened,” adding that the number of dead and wounded could be higher.

Bangui has seen regular violence for nearly four months, with tensions mounting between peacekeepers and Christian militia fighters.

 

Eagles embarrass Demons

by Lachlan McGregor

The only downfall for the West Coast Eagles during Sunday’s 93 point thrashing against the Melbourne Demons at the MCG was a knee injury to star defender Shannon Hurn. The score ended 123-30 as the momentum was entirely in the Eagles’ favour as new coach Paul Roos and his struggling Melbourne side were no contest for the very strong-looking Western Australian team.

The standout in the goal kicking department for West Coast was star forward Josh Kennedy as he booted 4 goals, equivalent to the total amount of goals scored by the Demons all game. The Eagles’ forward has looked to be one of the best in the competition led by Josh Kennedy and their full-forward Jack Darling.

Sunday’s loss has resulted in Paul Roos’ biggest ever defeat as a coach. For his and the club’s sake, Melbourne will hope to get some wins in the near future while the Eagles face a far more difficult task as they fly back home to take on the St Kilda Saints who have also won their first two games to kick off the season for 2014.

 

Additional credit to Hugh Widjaya

Surviving Student Life: Cooking with SPAM

Mmmmm … SPAM with “real bacon”. Photo: JeepersMedia/flickr

 

by Evander L. C. Martinez

 

As a TAFE student, it can be hard to find the time to cook for yourself, let alone other people, what with studies and work stealing most of your day. This is a common problem; Hungry TAFE student wanders into the kitchen and finds it full of wonderful ingredients and possibilities but there’s nothing to cook.

“I’m a not a chef. I don’t know what to do with all these ingredients”, says your already over-worked brain on an average class day.

Well worry no more talking brain, this can all be fixed with one simple four-letter word… and that word is SPAM. Simply add SPAM to your life then, ZIM-ZAM-ALAKA-SPAM and BAM your cooking woes will disappear.

Now If like me, you can’t enjoy eating something without knowing absolutely everything about it first. I’m going to save you some time (because you’re a TAFE student with no time to do anything but read articles about SPAM all day) and give you a brief history on SPAM. Then when you start feeling a little inspired give you a few quick and simple recipes you can try at home.

SPAM Facts

SPAM was first introduced in 1937 by the Hormel Foods Corporation. The pre-cooked meat was named by Ken Diagneau, brother of Hormel Foods vice president and winner of the $100 contest held to name the new product.

There has been much speculation over the meaning of the SPAM brand name. While many believe the brand name is short for ‘spiced ham’, others theorize that it is in fact an abbreviation of either ‘Special Processed American Meat’ or possibly ‘Shoulders of Pork And Ham’, which is actually the core ingredient for the canned meat. Although all seem plausible, the real meaning behind the brand name “is known by only a small circle of former Hormel Foods executives”, as stated on the SPAM website.

During World War II, SPAM became very popular amongst those fighting in the war as a long-lasting luncheon with over one hundred million pounds (more than 450 kg) of the product being shipped overseas to feed allied troops. After the war, SPAM and the Hormel brand became so popular in America that it was considered patriotic to always have a SPAM in the kitchen. SPAM became so popular that they sung songs about it. Comprising of over 60 members, the SPAM-specifc Hormel Girls traveled around the country promoting the already beloved canned product. To this day more than seven billion cans of SPAM products have been produced.

Now that you’re well-educated in the history of SPAM, you can start enjoying the joys of cooking SPAM. Here are some simple recipes that can be done at home and on a budget.

Simple SPAM Recipes

SPAM and Scrambled Eggs

A simple recipe for the morning. Sound SPAM-ilier.

Ingredients

  • SPAM Classic, cubed
  • vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • spring onions, chopped
  • chives, chopped

Directions

  1. Whisk three eggs together in a small bowl. Add a splash of milk and continue whisking until properly combined.
  2. Pour the mixture in a greased pan on a medium-high heat. Pulling the egg edges into the middle allow all of the mixture to come into contact with the pan.
  3. Once the egg is almost cooked, add the cubed SPAM pieces onto the pan and lower the heat to medium. Stir together the mixture until the SPAM is thoroughly heated. Garnish with spring onions and chives.
  4. Serve in a small bowl and Enjoy.

SPAM BLAT Sandwich

One of my favourite recipes for lunch. It’s simply SPAM-mazing.

Ingredients

  • SPAM Classic or SPAM with Bacon (if possible)
  • 2 slices of wholemeal bread, toasted
  • iceberg lettuce,washed
  • 1/2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, smashed and mixed with 1/2 a lime and a pinch of salt.
  • canola oil
  • mayonaise

Directions

  1. On a lightly-oiled heated pan, fry two slices of SPAM until it’s golden/maroon and crispy on both sides. Keep them on paper towels when cooked.
  2. Spread some mayonnaise on top of both slices of bread. Then start layering.
  3. First the lettuce, then the tomato, then the SPAM and lastly spread the avocado mixture on the top slice of bread and then add to the stack. Finally, cut the stack in half.
  4. Serve on a plate and enjoy.

SPAM Fried Rice

A meal that can be prepared anytime and by anyone. This recipe is also great for multiple people to enjoy. This one is a SPAM dunk.

Ingredients

  • SPAM Classic or literally anything from the SPAM range.
  • vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • rice, cooked and cooled
  • carrots, cubed
  • spring onions, chopped
  • frozen peas, thawed
  • soy sauce

Directions

  1. Scramble three eggs into a wok/pan that has at least 1/2 a tsp of vegetable oil on a medium-high heat.  When cooked place in a small bowl for later.
  2. Add another 1/2 tsp of oil to the wok/pan and throw in the onion, garlic and SPAM. Continue to cook on a medium-high heat. Once SPAM is golden and crispy, add in the peas and carrots.
  3. Add the rice to the wok/pan and combine all the ingredients. Throw the egg back into the wok/pan while also adding a pinch of salt, pepper and a small splash of  soy sauce. Combine all the ingredients.
  4. Once done, turn off the wok/pan, serve in a bowl and enjoy.

If you’ve tried out some of these simple recipes but still want more SPAM in your life, visit the official SPAM website at www.spam.com. There you’ll find more SPAM-tastic recipes, more in-depth information about SPAM and even some SPAM merchandise.

As a TAFE student, there isn’t always enough time or money to cook over-complicated meals but with SPAM you can cook simple and SPAM-ilicious meals without ever having to worry about spending too much on the groceries. You can make heavy meals that are light on your wallet.

Price Comparisons

  • Franklins – $2.89/200g, $3.44/340g
  • Woolworth’s – $3.35/200g, $4.69/340g
  • COLES – $3.63/200g, $5.09/340g

Until next time. Have a SPAM-nominal day.

Breaking news | March 18

Top marks in gun competency tests: Oscar Pistorius. Photo: lwpkommunikacio/flickr

 

BY ALANA ELLIS, CONSTANZA AHUMADA, CASSIE DePEDRO and KIRSTIE ARNETT

 
Pistorius trial enters third week

As Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial enters its third week, his “great love and enthusiasm” for guns was cited in a testimony by firearms expert Sean Rens.  Pistorius is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius agrees he shot Steenkamp through a closed toilet door, but argues it was a tragic accident after he mistook her for an intruder in his home. Prosecutors say he killed her intentionally after an argument.

The defence is depicting Mr Pistorius as an irresponsible, trigger-happy gun owner. Rens, manager of a firearms training academy south of Johannesburg, had been asked by Pistorius to acquire seven guns to add to his collection. The invoice was almost fully paid at the time of Steenkamp’s death, but the order was later cancelled. South African law allows non collectors to own only four firearms.

According to Rens, Pistorius had once mistaken the sound of a washing machine for an intruder and had gone into full combat mode, drawing his gun and checking rooms. The sporting celebrity had tweeted in November 2012: “Nothing like getting home to hear the washing machine on and thinking its an intruder to go into full combat recon mode into the pantry!” The post was later deleted.

Pistorius had achieved top marks in gun competency tests, which included questions about when a home owner is legally allowed to shoot intruders. Asked if he could fire at burglars stealing a television from his house, Pistorius wrote: “No. Life is not in danger.” The defence argued Pistorius was aware of South African firearms and self-defence laws that state an intruder may not be shot unless a life is threatened.

The trial is scheduled to run for another week but is expected to be extended, with a number of witnesses yet to be called. If convicted of murder, Pistorius will likely receive a life sentence, with a minimum term of 25 years.

Jagger’s girlfriend commits suicide

Rolling Stone Mick Jagger is “completely shocked and devastated” after it was announced that his long term girlfriend L’Wren Scott was found hanged in her New York apartment.

The death of 47-year old-fashion designer, model and girlfriend to Mick Jagger for more than a decade, is being investigated by police. The case is being treated as an apparent suicide. Sources in the US said there was no note left.

It was reported that Scott was found dead at 10am local time in New York on Monday by her assistant, after she received a text message from Scott asking her to come to her apartment.

The Daily Mail reported that Scott was “embarrassed” by the unsuccessful development of her fashion business, and that Scott owed creditors approximately $6 million.

For help or information, call Lifeline, 131 114, or visit beyondblue.org.au

Police raid gangs in Melbourne

A police raid conducted in Melbourne’s northern and western suburbs has resulted in the arrest of at least 27 people believed to be linked to Middle-Eastern crime gangs. Police seized a multiple array of weapons, drugs, tobacco and stolen goods after searching 45 addresses, reported SBS News.

According to Assistant Commissioner Steve Fontana, $55,000 in cash, a large amount of ammunition, a large quantity of fireworks and firearms and 100kg of dried cannabis, as well as 35,000 tobacco plants were seized by police forces in their raids targeting the Middle Eastern crime syndicate.

The raids were executed after the Santiago Taskforce issued warrants after investigating the suspected gang. The taskforce was set up in 2008 with the intention to investigate organised crime and non-fatal shootings.

Despite having to deploy extra police back up, specifically the special operations group, the operation resulted in zero casualties or injuries. Assistant Commissioner Fontana told the ABC: “We’re very happy that this operation has run relatively smoothly. No-one has been injured which is a real bonus when you’re looking at such a high risk group of individuals that we were targeting.”

MH370: the mystery continues

Investigations into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on the March 8 are still underway. 

Aboard the plane were 239 passengers and crew, and pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid. There are many possible explanations as to what could have happened to the jetliner, but there is not enough evidence to confirm that any of these theories are correct.

Investigators are currently leaning towards the possibility the plane was hijacked. Co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid was last to speak from the cockpit. It is said that only someone with experience with aircraft could disable the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACAR) which shares data with airline officials.

There have also been suggestions that either the pilot or co-pilot committed suicide. Pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s family has defended him in a YouTube video, saying he is a “loving, generous and reflective person”.

Investigations continue.
 

The learning age

Changes to the physical classroom are nothing short of “awesome”: students from St. Columba’s, Springwood.

 

BY ALI JEFFREY

 
“We are on the dawn of the death of education and the birth of learning.” – Stephen Heppell, educationalist.

Many educational reformists, both locally and internationally, recognise that the world we live in now is very different from the post-industrial one of last century. As manufacturing and many other professions are tossed out the window, barging through the door are new professions that didn’t exist 20-30 years ago. It doesn’t make sense to be teaching the same way as we did in the past.

Technology and education academic Stephen Heppell’s vision is to change the education system on a world-wide scale. “The metrics we have to measure performance are going to be supple, varied, and different and they are going to be personalised,” Heppell says. “What technology allows us to do is weigh those levels of success against each other so we can see how we are doing and be ambitious for ourselves. The one thing we can be certain about is that you can’t build one solution that fits all.

“This isn’t the information age, it’s the learning age.”

St. Columba’s Catholic College in the Blue Mountains town of Springwood is following these new ideals of education. iPads and an array of new technological features have been introduced into their newly renovated collaborative school, bringing it into the 21st century.

“We are preparing our students for a changing world,” says vice principal Philip Stewart. “Things are changing quickly and our students need to be ready for jobs that don’t yet exist. We need teachers to reimagine teaching so that kids are able to learn and relearn.”

Major renovations have been undertaken at St. Columba’s. Collaborative classrooms and open learning spaces encourage teamwork and group learning. The classrooms are large, with comfortable chairs set in small groups around the room.

Stewart sees these new changes to the physical classroom as nothing short of “awesome”. The collaborative classrooms are to encourage challenge base learning and teamwork. “You learn far more from the minds of everyone around you than just your own,” says Stewart.

As well as the structural changes to the school’s classroom, in 2012 St. Columba’s initiated significant changes to the students’ learning environments and pedagogy through the introduction of iPads into the classroom. This contemporary learning tool changed not only the way teachers instruct their students, but also facilitated collaborative learning. In doing so Philip Stewart believes that this has given the students a positive outlook towards school. “They have self-belief to be capable learners,” he says.

Studies have shown that learners benefit from using iPads in the classroom. A study by researchers at The University of Notre Dame suggests that the greatest value of the iPad may not be its ability to function as an eBook reader, but instead its capacity to consolidate or aggregate information. The university’s Professor Corey Angst says: “A statistically significant proportion of students feel the iPad makes classes more interesting, encourages exploration of additional topics, provides functions and tools not possible with a textbook and helps with more effective management their time.”

Technological, pedagogical and architectural changes within schools are only part of educational reform. The final piece of the puzzle is curriculum. An updated curriculum where students are able to fully engage, innovate and construct knowledge and information is very much needed on a national level if Australia is to compete globally.  St. Columba’s Philip Stewart says there is more to be done. “Certainly pedagogy is changing here at this school and many others but the curriculums are yet to,” he says. “Unfortunately not everyone is on board with it but we hope this won’t be the case much longer.”

Schools such as St Columba’s are acknowledging the revolution occurring within the education sector worldwide and are meeting it head on. Their teachers are becoming learning facilitators and not dictators, the classrooms, collaborative learning spaces and not rows of desks with stale textbooks.

Aw, ref! 5 Worst refereeing calls of all time


Korean favourite Kim Yu na was awarded silver in Sochi, despite a mistake-free final performance. Photo: KOREA.NET/flickr

BY HUGH WIDJAYA

In the history of sports, bad calls in important games live on in infamy on the Internet, where every play from every angle can be viewed again and again, and debated over until blue in the face.

Here are five of the worst.

Hidden Treasures of Afghanistan

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KEYHAN FARAHMAND

‘Afghanistan, hidden treasures’ and Khadim Ali’s ‘The haunted lotus’ are two exhibitions showing at the Art Gallery of NSW. ‘Hidden treasures’ is a collection of valuable artefacts from Kabul’s national museum, and originally from four parts of Afghanistan: Ai-Khanum, Begram, Tepe Fullol and Tillya Tepe.  ‘The haunted lotus’ shows painting by artist Khadim Ali.

 Afghanistan, hidden treasures

Ai-Khanum, “Lady Moon” in Uzbek, was founded in the 4th century BC by one of Alexander’s followers, and is located in the northern part of Afghanistan between the Amou-Darya river and Kokcha. The Afghan king Mohammad Zaher Shah first encountered Ai-Khanum, one of the most beautiful towns in Central Asia, while out hunting in 1961.

Three years later archaeological excavations began, supervised by the French Paul Bernard. But The Russo-Afghan war, followed by the civil war and thne Taliban war, forced the excavations to stop.  Although since 2006 French archaeologists started to cautiously return to Ai-Khanum, the site was severely damaged by looters and fights between Taliban and anti-Taliban’s forces.

 The City of Begram, Silk Road trading post, 1st – 2nd centuries BC

The Silk Road, or Silk Route is a series of trade and cultural transmission routes that were central to cultural interaction through regions of the Asian continent. They connected the West and East by linking traders, merchants, pilgrims, monks, soldiers, nomads and urban dwellers from China to the Mediterranean Sea during various periods of time. The ancient city of Begram was partially excavated in the 1930s and 1940s by French archaeologists who uncovered a building with several rooms. Two of the rooms, Room 10 and Room 13, contained a remarkable cache of trade objects, such as bronzes from the Greco-roman world, glassware and porphyry from Roman Egypt, lacquered bowls from China, and ivory furniture ornaments carved in India.

Tepe Fullol, bronze Age farmland

The treasures discovered in Tepe Fullol are some of the oldest archaeological in Afghanistan and date back to the 2200-1900 BC. Afghan farmers found these gold and silver treasures in near Fullol village in north east Afghanistan. The bowls found on this site were made by local craftsmen, and the gold may have been obtained from sources close to the Amou-Darya river. Some of the beaded objects may have been inspired by works brought in from outside Afghanistan.

In 1978, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, the Soviet archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi discovered several graves that had been dug in a very old place in Tillya Tepe.  He unearthed an exquisite golden crown that was capable of splitting into smaller pieces and could be easily placed in a small box for transport . This ancient piece showed that this cemetery belonged to Kushan rulers – a wealthy family. These Ancient works include more than 20 thousand pieces of jewellery in the shape of cupid, or the god of love, fish and animals, legendary rugged design embellished with semi-precious stones. Design and applied art works of these examples clearly show the local ancient art, which was influenced by ancient Greece, Central Asia and Iran.

Since September 2006 the ‘Afghanistan, hidden treasures’ exhibition has travelled the world, starting in Paris, and after that Turin, Amsterdam, New York, Francisco, Texas, Washington, Ottawa, London, Stockholm, and Norway. According to national Museum of Afghanistan curator Kabul Omran Khan Masoudi, the main reason for the travelling exhibition is to change “distorted faces” of “war-torn” Afghanistan, and to show the world about the ancient civilization of Afghanistan. Until now, nearly more than US$3 million has been raised for the museum around the world.  The art works are on display at the  Art Gallery of NSW until June 15.

The Haunted Lotus

‘The haunted lotus’ is a display of paintings by Afghan artist Khadim Ali. The ideas for the paintings came from the Persian Book of Kings, or Shahnama. Ali’s father had read the book to him when he was a little boy, and Ali relates the paintings to violence in Afghanistan. he identifies the book’s hero with the history of Hazara people in Afghanistan, especially people living in the caves at Bamyan, made world famous as the place that statues of the great Buddha were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. Also on display are handmade carpets made from his paintings by artisans in Kabul.  

Ali was born in Bamyan and grew up in Pakistan as a refugee. He trained in classical miniature painting at the National College of Art at Lahore, and studied calligraphy in Tehran. His work has been included in museums and private collections around the world. Ali now lives and works between Sydney, Quetta in Pakistan, and Kabul.

March in March: why?

March in March: still missing is a suggestion of any specific desired outcomes. Photo: Facebook

 

BY MATTHEW WATTS

Its Facebook page now has more than 44,000 likes. Gratuitous insults, including “God he’s a f***ing pig!! Makes my blood boil!” smear the wall. Yet Craig Batty, one of the organisers of ‘March in March’, remains relentlessly positive. “[It’s about] applying constant pressure on our elected representatives to do their jobs decently … [a general] drive for better government,” Batty says.

‘March in March’ is a series of anti-government protests set to take place in nearly 30 locations across Australia over the weekend of March 15-17, with a final march on Parliament House set for Monday the 18th. The organisation’s website states the aim of the march is “to provide the people of Australia with the opportunity to come together to protest a unity vote of no confidence in the Abbott Government”. But what this means is a little unclear. A host of issues have been cited on both the organisation’s Facebook page and main website, but what is still missing is a suggestion of any specific desired outcomes.

The group’s Facebook page has been the primary means of spreading the word. Batty, a teacher and e-learning developer, along with a team of seven other national admins, has taken up the task of coordinating events and the group’s online presence. The idea for a march on Parliament House sprang up on Twitter and soon mushroomed out to a series of events when people voiced interest in marches in their local areas. There are now almost 30 events planned Australia-wide.

In the view of March in March, this isn’t just about the current Abbott government. Batty says he is worried about the direction Australia has been taking since the last election. The idea that Australia deserves better from its government, irrespective of who’s in office, is one he is pushing hard. “It’s not about the party, it’s about the actions,” he says.

Batty describes the phrase ‘vote of no confidence’ as more of a symbolic statement, rather than a request for the current government to step down. He goes on to explain that others in the organisation prefer the tagline ‘Australians united for a better government’, perhaps wishing to steer clear of any memories of 2011’s ‘Convoy of No Confidence’.

The website asks for donations from the public via a Paypal account and claims that accounting will be completely transparent. Batty says money will be used to cover the costs of public liability and paid permits that will be required for some of the events. As yet there is no link to any accounting information on either the website or Facebook page. Batty says all administration is run by volunteers, and services such as printing have been donated by supporters, meaning no expenses to account for.

There has been some misinformation posted by the March in March admin team to their Facebook page. One example relates to claims made in an article by Neil Chenoweth for AFR about the recent News Corp tax payout. Batty described the dialogue prompted by the posts as positive, and pointed out that any factual inaccuracy had been corrected in the comments below. He said of the situation: “I think the essence of what was being said people agreed with in spirit very much, and there’s definitely a sense that there is something rotten going on between the current government and News Corp.”