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Today is World Rainforest Day!


Reminder that police can just sort of declare an area "designated" and can then search anybody who goes into those areas, including their bags and vehicles. They do not need permission or reasonable grounds to do this. They also have powers to strip search anyone in these areas if they don't (or say they don't) have another way to search you, like a metal detector.

If the designated area is "planned", they are required to publish this in a paper and in the government gazette and they also have to leave a gap of 10 days between the end of one designated area and the start of another. But if the area is declared and is unplanned, they do not need to notify anyone and can start one even if it has not been 10 days since the last one. They also can only declare certain areas as designated, although in practice this means they can (and do!) declare areas as large as the entire CBD as designated. They also can't declare an area for longer than 12 hours.

The key change in this is that they want the power to declare certain areas as permanent designated areas


Today is Juneteenth and also the international day for the elimination of sexual violence in conflict


A 33-year-old man has been charged with possessing explosives and making a hoax bomb threat after an incident in Melbourne's CBD on Wednesday.

  • In short: The Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA) has been accused of forcing families to accept the lowest-cost replacement builders following a string of building company collapses.
  • Homeowners say it has added to their distress, and left some hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket to rectify defects.
  • What's next? Couples who spoke to the ABC are pursuing challenges to VMIA's decisions.

I only discovered the River Songs audio piece for the last few nights (it played just after sunset around the Yarra every day, bouncing sounds and singing around all the buildings around the Yarra) ... and I honestly really loved it, easily one of my favourite urban art pieces ever.

Otherwise, I felt like this round was somewhat underwhelming and underfunded from what I saw, which feels like a trend with these White Night / Rising things ... seems like they have a ~3 year lifetime before they just dwindle to being underwhelming? But I didn't really dig into this one or see much of it. I'd guess the works along the river put a constraint on this year? But still ...

Any thoughts? Is it something only central/inner dwellers tend to notice?

  • In short: The Victorian Government has proposed new housing targets for local councils, in a bid to significantly boost the state's housing stock.
  • It's planning to build 2 million new homes by 2051 to keep up with demands of the growing populations.
  • What's next? The state government will consult with councils and release the final targets for new dwellings later this year.

Through early next week much of the south-east will wake to temperatures near freezing, and along the ranges minimums should plunge to around -5 degrees Celsius.

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