A New Debate About the Old: Vintage and Replica Furniture

 

by Ed Kennedy

What Gary and Rachel have cannot be manufactured. You’ll never find the British-expats who have come to Melbourne via Perth selling goods of which they cannot detail in-depth. The history, the significance and quality of craftsmanship that underpins an item in the vintage goods store can routinely be listed off-the-cuff by this couple.

Gary and Rachel represent one side of the coin in a furniture and goods industry that is facing a growing challenge to the ‘ways of old’ by replica furniture salespeople.

The existence of ‘new’ enthusiasts for old goods is becoming more common in modern commerce, as evidenced by the current debate surrounding replica furniture in Australia and the wider international market.

With copyright laws difficult to enforce internationally – combined with the rise of globalisation and online shopping – the idea of furniture pieces being unique, distinct and one-off is being challenged.

For Rachel, the issues within the industry are clear.

“Replicas are everywhere and it’s an insult to the second hand industry”, she said.

Having opened Nook’s first store at 258 Johnston St in January 2010 – and established a warehouse in North Fitzroy during 2012 – the couple crossed over the … Click to continue reading

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Tracy Connelly’s Death Highlights Dangers in Sex Industry

Article first appeared in St Kilda News September 2013

by Ed Kennedy

The death of sex worker Tracy Connelly found dead July 21, 2013 in Greeves St, St Kilda has reignited debate surrounding the dangers of the illegal sex industry and how it can be best addressed.

The social issues surrounding the legality of prostitution have a lengthy history and remain hotly debated. Following Ms Connolly’s death a number of voices in the community insist changes must occur to ensure not only a death such as Ms Connelly’s isn’t repeated but also ongoing abuses in the wider sex industry do not continue to occur.

Professor Shelia Jeffreys a lecturer in the Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne feels the death of Ms Connelly has highlighted the industry remains unsafe and unregulated.

“The death of Ms Connelly shows the reality of the industry, the violence that takes place in the industry and it undermines the glossy view of the industry that is often put across in the media; this idea men shall always use women in this way, and that there shall always be danger and that there was nothing that can be done about it” Ms Jeffreys’ … Click to continue reading

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Violence, Alcohol and Public Transport


Article first published in St Kilda News June 2013

 

by Ed Kennedy

The Coalition government has announced an extension to the ban on new venues selling liquor after 1am continuing the policy first introduced by the former Labor Government in 2011. The ban was continued with the same aims it was brought about; with the stated desire to combat alcohol related violence.

However many in the liquor industry feel the extension of the ban places a great amount of responsibility upon bars, pubs and clubs when many real causes and issues surrounding the problem remain unaddressed by government.

‘I feel much of the problem with violence is caused by lack of sufficient late night transport.’ says Trevor Hines, General Manager of the Temperance Hotel, Windsor.

‘People all come out of the venue at the same time and this becomes an issue if they don’t get a tram, train or cab.’

Marco Martinez, bar manager of LALA Land in the Melbourne C.B.D also feels transport is a key to combating alcohol fuelled violence.

‘I believe an extension of the lockout is not the whole answer. I think the government should work on the infrastructure more.’

‘It’s fine they need us … Click to continue reading

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St Kilda Harbour Redevelopment Little Danger to Penguins Despite Report

by Ed Kennedy

A Channel 7 report suggested the little penguin colony at St Kilda Harbour is endangered by construction of the breakwater extension. This has been rejected by numerous groups associated with the project.

It was reported that the colony was under threat by bulldozers constructing the breakwater extension. This has been rejected by Nicole Kowalczyk a penguin monitor for Earthcare, a non-profit environmental group that seeks to conserve the penguin colony, who said the redevelopment has seen all relevant groups working well together and that the workmen on site are helping lead the effort to keep the penguins safe.

“If we have concerns about penguins being in the rocks they [the construction teams] will listen to us and they will take steps to ensure the area is managed safely when working near it. There are associated risks with this project but all involved parties are doing everything they can to minimise them“, said Ms Kowalczyk.

Charlie Harris, managing director for NSC Australia who is assigned with the task of constructing the new breakwater also feels the report overlooked substantial factors.

“Throughout the tender process the safety of the penguins was paramount not only to authorities but to us” … Click to continue reading

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