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12 July:

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Quality watch:

www.premierpostal.com[edit]

Information taken from premierpostal.com[1] has been added to numerous websites (eg Point Lookout, Queensland, Port Douglas, Queensland, Plainland ). As far as I can tell, this is the commercial website for a philatelic auction house. The auction house has listed post office opening dates, in what I initially assumed was a form of Google bombing. The website doesn't note where it obtained its dates from. There's no evidence of any fact checking process or editorial process either. In fact there's precious little information about the organisation itself.

I've been assured by the editor in question that the website is reliable and used as a bible by Australian philatelists. While I don't have any reason to doubt that, the issue is that I'm not seeing any way to verify that the information is accurate. At this point, as far as I can see they may have been invented by the person who owns and edits the websites.

The whole thing seems to fail as WP:RS. Even if Australian philatelists do know that this information is accurate, I'm not convinced that we should accept Australian articles of a lower standard than articles for other parts of the world just because we are a small group. Being told that I am a pain-in-the-arse newcomer because everyone has let this slide for a decade and it's going to be inconvenient to change it all now hasn't really convinced me otherwise.

So at this stage, it would be really nice if someone could find something that confirms that www.premierpostal.com meets RS. Evidence that the author is an expert in postal history, evidence of fact checking and editorial oversight, evidence that Australian philatelists consider it a Bible. Because failing that it looks like all that material is going to have to be removed from dozens of articles because it's not verifiable.

Thoughts? Mark Marathon (talk) 12:03, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

I don't know how much work you do in Australian local history, but it's not a topic that generates a lot of peer-reviewed publications to cite. As stated in WP:SOURCE, "the appropriateness of any source depends on the context". Local history is a field where much of the research is done by passionate hobbyists who are interested in a particular place or a particular topic. A lot of it is self-published because it's not financially viable for a commercial publisher. I've no connection whatsoever with this Premier Postal site or anyone who operates it. But when I first saw User:Crusoe8181's edits, I did take a look at Premier Postal because of the commercial nature of the site. While I would have liked some info about the folks behind the Premier Postal site, the list of sources does suggest that this is a database compiled at substantial effort from a range of reputable sources. The dates I am seeing for post office openings etc seem generally consistent with the area's general establishment, based of other indicators such as school openings, etc. While the development of this database may serve a commercial purpose, it doesn't mean that it still isn't a useful resource for other purposes too. Similarly I often take a look at the editor's contribution profile -- what I see here is an editor with a long track record who has created or contributed a lot of content on places in Australia (and beyond); again, I see nothing that arouses my suspicions. Kerry (talk) 02:20, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree. This site is an incredibly comprehensive, detailed, high-quality work, and my numerous attempts to verify things on the site that didn't look right to me at first glance have inevitably wound up in me proving them right and me wrong. It would be nice if it wasn't hosted by a commercial operation, but I don't think that ultimately impacts on its reliability as a source, and it would be an absolutely enormous loss to our coverage of Australian local history - bastardising our coverage of thousands of topics and creating a task that would take a biblical workload to try and replace. The Drover's Wife (talk) 04:04, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

:A bit of background on the site: in 1988 Gary Watson, John Webster and David Wood (the principal of Premier) published The Post Offices and Hand-Held Datestamps of Victoria Volume 1 (Introduction and A to B) after many years of archival and field research, establishing the operating dates of POs, their location and the details of their postal markings (the latter being somewhat beyond our concern). A few years later volume 2 (C to G) was published. No further volumes were published as they were moved online where they reside today. This is the seminal work on Victorian Post Offices and there is no faintly comparable written work. For the other states the detail is taken from various published works, monographs, journal articles etc as exist and constitute the sum of the most recent research. For Queensland the Joan Frew book is a reasonable alternative as it was published quite recently but even it is outdated as POs have closed/relocated since; for other states the Premier site is the only readily-accessible reliable reference. For those concerned by my role in using the site as a reference may I state that I am a commercial competitor of Premier and see no particular disadvantage to me or advantage to Premier consequent upon my edits, so any thoughts one may have about spamming may be dismissed. My reason for adding PO dates to articles is to corroborate other history details (quite often unreferenced) with concrete referenced detail on the establishment of Australian towns, townships and localities or at least make a start where nothing else has been done. Crusoe8181 (talk) 09:04, 29 June 2014 (UTC)>

Just to be clear here people really think a source like this is comprehensive and of use to our readers (it just lists dates)? Perhaps I am missing something here. Why would we not link our readers to real information like here on p16 that actually tlaks about the Port Douglas post office not just some date. We need to think of our readers and the credibility of the sources used - dont send readers on a wild goose chase to find nothing. -- Moxy (talk) 16:43, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
You absolutely are missing something. This database means that we can pin down exact opening and closing dates for at least one key piece of infrastructure in every single town in Australia at the click of a button. This is really important information, especially in smaller towns where online sources are scant. It tells us both the time the settlement started to take off and when it entered serious decline. You managed to find one example where the local council had more detailed information, but for the vast majority of Australian towns, this information is not replaceable (at least without an unjustifiable amount of offline research in every single individual case). You're not "thinking of your readers" by removing reliably sourced, very useful information and replacing it with blank space. The Drover's Wife (talk) 17:24, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
If we have other sources with better information, then we can use them, especially for specifics, where often there might be (say) local histories published. Now that Premier Postal's own sources have been explained, then I see no problem making use of their information. Obviously I would prefer that we source our data from more authoritative sites, but if a stamp dealer is all we have, and their data is good, then that's fine. My point about links - which we need for sourcing, obviously - is that each outbound link from a highly-ranked site like Wikipedia raises the search engine profile of the site linked to. Crusoe8181, you are boosting your competitor every time you use them as a source - what a splendid example of selfless editing you set! --Pete (talk) 17:42, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
Actually I am not sure about this matter of boosting credibility for search engine purposes. I recall reading somewhere (but of course cannot recall where) that Wikipedia does not allow crawling of citations and external links by search engines, precisely so that it isn't raising their "page rank" so that Wikipedia is therefore not attract to spam in that area. But, as I say, I cannot swear to this because I can't find where I read it. Kerry (talk) 02:38, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for that. I have just been on an intricate and sometimes puzzling journey through SEO policy - I'd never heard of "PageRank sculpting" until a few minutes ago, and I'm not sure that I'm the better for it - but it appears that you are correct. nofollow seems to tell the story that outgoing Wikipedia links do not increase PageRank. --Pete (talk) 03:28, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

Useless editwar over notification of photos[edit]

There seems to be a slow edit war over whether or not we should be notified about the existence of a load of new photos uploaded in this category: C:Category:Photographs from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Flickr stream. The user may be banned, but once another user supported keeping their edit it should be left in place, rather than reverting and rereverting several times. User:Russavia has been blocked for over a year now on Wikipedia. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:21, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Russavia is banned by the community, that ban was reconfirmed only a couple of weeks ago at WP:AN/I policy is that banned editors dont have the right to edit all edits should be reverted, those restoring the edits of banned users can be considered as WP:Meatpuppets. Gnangarra 13:14, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
That sort of reasoning gives us logic that anti-war protesters are allied to terrorists. Pure rubbish. If the photos can be of use, why would you remove notification of them? Just because the notification is from a banned user? I don't see any sort of logic to that. Alans1977 (talk) 13:27, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
@Gnangarra: so I expect that you will not be using a single image which has been permission obtained by Russavia, or which he has successfully had relicenced, or which he has uploaded. Perhaps you should take things one further, and nominate every image Russavia has uploaded to Commons for deletion, so that his name needn't be seen on this project again. As the IP below notes, you have taken the meatpuppet guideline and bastardised it for your own selfish reasons. 109.74.200.208 (talk) 09:24, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
if there is an image made available by someone in good faith under a suitable license thats been upload on commons which is appropriate for an article I'll use it. This has nothing to do with Commons or activities on Commons this is purely that a user has been banned from this project for violation of policy, and the ban was only recently reconfirmed at an/i during that discussion the use of IPs by the banned user was noted. Gnangarra 09:47, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Quite sad to see this from an administrator, Gnangarra. WP:MEATPUPPETS probits recruiting new editors to influence decisions, and threatens sanctions against a new editor who "engages in the same behavior as another user in the same context, and who appears to be editing Wikipedia solely for that purpose," or against "editors of longer standing who have not, in the opinion of Wikipedia's administrative bodies, consistently exercised independent judgement." Yet somehow to you this seems to mean that anyone who, on their own initiative, restores something Russavia did is a meatpuppet, which both a blatant disregard of WP:AGF and a thinly veiled threat. You either don't know what the term means, or are just making shit up to push an agenda. Either is disturbing. 180.94.64.78 (talk) 15:05, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
Just noting that the policy regarding edits made by and on behalf of banned editors is WP:BANREVERT. --AussieLegend () 16:55, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

WMF-approved IEG-funded research project in Women and Wikipedia seeks women editors for an interview[edit]

For details of the project see here:

https://meta.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IEG/Women_and_Wikipedia

The project seeks women editors who self-identify as a woman on Wikipedia (e.g. on your user page) and have been very active for a least 2+ years or moderately active for 5+ years? The process is painless having done it (one hour interview by phone/Skype/hangout). If you are interested, please contact Amanda Menking amenking@uw.edu Kerry (talk) 07:26, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

How to delete a list of issues at the top of a Wikipedia page?[edit]

Hi there, I have been given the task of updating Victoria University's (Melbourne, Australia) entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_University,_Australia), and someone has added a list of 'issues' at the top of the entry. I want to delete this list as part of the copy update but do not know how. Any guidance would be much appreciated. Below is the 'issues' copy I would like to delete:

This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2013) This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help improve this article by introducing citations to additional sources. (November 2013) This article appears to be written like an advertisement. Please help improve it by rewriting promotional content from a neutral point of view and removing any inappropriate external links. (November 2013)


Thank you — Preceding unsigned comment added by 140.159.2.245 (talk) 07:47, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

These can be removed when those particular issues have been addressed. If you like, if you save your update without removing the template, I can have a look and see which ones can go. The Drover's Wife (talk) 08:05, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Each of those issues was placed there by previous editors who thought that the article had problems. Fix the problems and you can delete the issue. BUT, if you are related, or employed by the University, then you MUST read and comply with the WP:COI guidelines. You shouldn't be making any controversial or "cleansing" edits. A neutral point of view is required, which can be difficult or impossible if you are associated with the subject of the article. If in doubt, post your suggested edits to the arictle's talk page. And thank you for your disclosure here, but it would be best if you created an account here, and stated your COIs on your user page. The account doesn't have to be your real name, pseudonyms are allows (as my name and Drover's wife show!) but you can't have anything that looks like a shared account - it must be personal to you and only you. Please reply here or on my talk page if you have any more questions. The-Pope (talk) 10:39, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
If the article "appears to be written like an advertisement" and that you "have been given the task of updating" then I feel like these two things are related... As previously mentioned, Wikipedia has quite extensive conflict of interest guidelines and most importantly, these say that you should not be directly articles on behalf of your employer in a way that is anything other than mere fact-correcting. If you want to more than that then you should place your suggestions on the 'talk' page and see what people say about them - declaring your affiliation to the organisation in the process. Best, Wittylama 11:02, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Locality population figures and the ABS[edit]

One headache I've been repeatedly coming across while working on town and locality articles is how to update or add population figures in regard to the ABS's entirely random census districts for things below LGA-level and general decision to ignore town boundaries. I've generally been going with the State Suburb data, but this gets difficult when the ABS either amalgamates up to six towns or has census districts accumulating random bits of a bunch of towns. I've tried some of the other classifications where State Suburb data clearly doesn't work, but even then I'm often choosing between figures that only include a town centre, or else just include random bits of that place and random bits of a few other places as well. Of all the organisations I'd expect to cause problems from just making shit up, the last of them I would have expected would be the ABS.

With that in mind, I'd really see what others suggestions for addressing this are and how others have dealt with this headache. Population information is something that's a bit of an outdated and badly sourced hodgepodge as it is across Australian Wikipedia, so it'd be good if we could somehow sort a way of working through this. The Drover's Wife (talk) 12:20, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

In updating the figures for my LGA I've found it necessary to add a "Notes" section to most articles to compensate for the same sort of thing that you've found. Generally the ABS data is way off. When using {{Census 2011 AUS}}, using the "gazetted locality" code gives the reader a border of the locality in red, which is usually different from the census district, which is presented in blue. --AussieLegend () 13:37, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I've been using the gazetted locality code, which is useful for knowing how badly the ABS has stuffed it. I can often explain it away in notes or in-text if what they've done with the State Suburb boundaries is relatively simple, but if it includes too many towns or they've just mangled local borders completely that gets a bit hard. The Drover's Wife (talk) 14:05, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
I share your pain on this. I too use SSC when it's available. If it's not, sometimes I try to explain in the text that for census purposes, Smallville has been aggregated with Biggerville whose population is 321. sometimes I just don't bother with a population because it's all too hard to explain, especially when there are multiple localities or parts thereof being aggregated. It would be nice if we could find something from the ABS that explained why some places don't get an SSC. I suspect it is because their populations are so low that to reveal them would potentially compromise the privacy of households/individuals, hence the need to aggregate them. If we could get this confirmed and ideally know what the threshold value is (eg 50) then we could say that the population of Smallville was < 50. I can't think of too many practical purposes for which Wikipedia readers would need overly precise population data, given how naturally fluid it is. I suspect most people are just using the order of magnitude 10, 100, 1K, 10K, 100K, 1M etc to get a sense of how big a place it is. if we say the population is negligible, that's probably sufficient. Kerry (talk) 21:18, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
This document gives an overview but doesn't answer my question of the exact criteria. Kerry (talk) 21:23, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Maybe we should just say "In the 2011 census, the population of Smallville was too low to be separately reported" and cite the ABS Quickstat for that GL which will be the SSC for Bigville whose map should show Smallville. For the purpose of the Census citation template, we would put the Bigville SSC as the ID and Smallville (GL) as the name field. And put "too low" or "-" in the info box? Kerry (talk) 21:45, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
I have experimented with Yarrabilba, Queensland, let me know what you think? I think we need something on the Census in Australia page to explain this "too low" stuff which could then be linked from the articles with the "too low" problem for people who want more explanation. Kerry (talk) 21:59, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
This ABS document seems to be saying that an SSC (which is an SA1 or so I believe) needs 180 people, unless it's an indigenous community in which case it's only 90. so this suggests GLs without SSCs have < 180 people. Kerry (talk) 22:09, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
I think that's a really good way of handling this in a lot of cases, and that's the sort of solution I was hoping for when I brought this up here. I think the whole phrase is a bit too big for the infobox, and that I might be inclined to leave them out of the infobox in these cases but mention it in the lede. I also wonder if it might work to go "X was too small to be reported separately in the 2011 census; T, U, V, W, and X combined had a total of Z." Doing it this way around feels a bit less clunky than reporting a figure and trying to explain where in the heck the ABS found those people from. I think what you've come up with is better than "negligible" - that doesn't translate too well to a town of 175 people.
The only situations this wouldn't solve are ones like Cressy, Victoria or Birregurra, Victoria, where all relevant ABS districts are cracked, not only because of what they've thrown in with Cressy, but because of how they've randomly chopped up the named district as well in a way that gets very confusing to explain.
Also seconding having a bit in Census of Australia about the "too low" issues - that would be very helpful. The Drover's Wife (talk) 02:48, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
"the population of Smallville was too low to be separately reported" is OR without a source. We really have no idea why the ABS has decided to not to provide separate data for some suburbs and the reason is not always because a suburb population is too small. For example, according to the ABS my town has a population of 12,725 but, for reasons known only to the ABS, doesn't include the whole town in the CCD.[2] While it includes the partially rural and mostly unpopulated southern part of the town in the figures, a similar area to the north is included in an adjacent suburb.[3] Together the population of the suburb and the northern part of the town is only 234. It would have made more sense to include all of the town of the town population in the town data and include Eagleton's population with Balickera and East Seaham to the north.[4] It's far more neutral to say something like, "The ABS does not report the population of Smallville separately. Instead, its population is include with that of adjacent Bigville." --AussieLegend () 09:23, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Just to show the silliness of the ABS districts, note that the Raymond Terrace south-western border is the shoreline of the Hunter River,[5] but the ABS CCD extents into the river. I'm not sure who they're counting out there.... --AussieLegend () 09:28, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Unnghh. *headdesk* It's pretty likely that they took out that section of your town to make up the numbers in the adjacent one and just took it from an illogical source. But if they're doing that kind of stuff as well, it does make it hard to go with the clearer formulation that Kerry suggested, and yours sounds like a decent alternative. The Drover's Wife (talk) 09:55, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
... the ABS CCD extents into the river. I'm not sure who they're counting out there....
The people who live in houseboats, which are "treated as occupied private dwellings regardless of location". Mitch Ames (talk) 12:18, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, if we had any houseboats..... --AussieLegend () 13:15, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── AussieLegend suggested "The ABS does not report the population of Smallville separately. Instead, its population is include with that of adjacent Bigville", which is fine as far as it goes but I think a corresponding note would also be required for Bigville, so its population is not overstated. Especially in country areas where Bigville may not be any bigger than Smallville, and a couple of other Villes all in the Census area which is arbitrarily named after Bigville.--Gronk Oz (talk) 18:59, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

I think this important, especially where "Bigville" is a small country town. The Drover's Wife (talk) 01:01, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

I've changed my mind about how we should word this again after seeing Kerry put her suggestions into action above. We have a reliable source about the ABS's cutoff for having a separate state suburb, and especially where they've accumulated multiple small districts together but haven't done anything else stupid (as they had in AussieLegend's example) I think it's reasonable to explain the situation. One of my next projects is articles on a bunch of small ex-sawmilling and now rural tourist-based settlements with very low populations, about six of which have been accumulated together (without any other silliness) by the ABS; I think it makes a lot more sense to the reader if we explain why the ABS merged them (which we know for a fact in cases like this) rather than just stating that they did it. The Drover's Wife (talk) 01:01, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Renaming Port Fairy railway line[edit]

I've put a move request on the Port Fairy railway line, and I'd appreciate any feedback there. This line is one of the major regional lines in Victoria, but it closed past Warrnambool decades ago, and the track past there was torn up decades ago. It's always seemed very odd to me that we have an article on one of Victoria's major railway lines named after a town that has been linked to the actual railway line by twenty kilometres of grass since well before I was born. I think this would be thoroughly confusing to most people under the age of about fifty without a knowledge of railway history. The Drover's Wife (talk) 18:31, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Template:Did you know nominations/Damien Miller[edit]

Just FYI! (tJosve05a (c) 19:29, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

This one has been promoted, but I've raised the general issue of rewarding banned editors for creating socks by nominating their articles for DYK. - Bilby (talk) 09:23, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Maybe is a topic we can have an RfC about Bilby? (tJosve05a (c) 11:31, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
RfCs can't override policy, and WP:BMB is the applicable policy. It is clear that articles created by banned users should be deleted on sight, though I sort-of agree with Tiptoety (talk · contribs)'s decision to reinstate the article per WP:IAR given that the subject is clearly notable (I disagree with their assessment that it had been the subject of significant edits from others though). Nick-D (talk) 11:42, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

"Australian rock" music article in need of knowledgeable editors[edit]

The "Australian rock" article needs the assistance of editors knowledgeable about Australian rock history. It covers a lot of breadth, but suffers form a severe lack of sourcing and sloppy writing. Garagepunk66 (talk) 02:59, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Ping User:Shaidar cuebiyar and User:Dan arndt, our Aussie muso experts. The-Pope (talk) 04:42, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Pacific Brands[edit]

Pacific Brands has been subject to considerable WP:COI editing over the past couple of weeks. I reverted it all and then reverted myself because I thought I was a bit heavy handed. I invite others to look it over.... Regards, Ariconte (talk) 23:49, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

Agree it's COI but on the other hand I don't think what was done was too bad. Most of the changes appear to be factual (location of HQ) and addition of dates and citations. There was no removal of the "controversial" content. Personally I don't have a problem with the images you removed in your last edit. I think for a lot of readers making the visual association between a branded store they may have seen in a shopping centre and the company which owns it is quite helpful. And every article is better for having a few photos. OK, I'd rather they didn't use naked URL for citations, but at least it is much better cited than it was. I agree we need to keep an eye on these COI situations but I don't think this is a "puffery" or "whitewash". Kerry (talk) 02:45, 10 July 2014 (UTC)


PD Australia Images tagged for Commons[edit]

Firstly a link, Catscan

Hi, the {{PD-Australia}} license tag was recently updated to take into account restored copyrights (in relation to URAA). With this in mind a review was being undertaken of images that were tagged for commons to ensure they were actually safe to transfer. In the process I was also attempting to expand on the information in the descriptions (and fix a few source links that seemed broken..)

However, it's taking a little longer than expected and I would appreciate the assistance of contributors that are more familiar with the subject matter to help clear the backlog.

21:22, 11 July 2014 (UTC)