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Fort Scratchley anti-Supercars graffiti a ‘p*** poor effort’photos

Fort Scratchley anti-Supercars graffiti a ‘p*** poor effort’ | photos PROTEST: “NO V8” graffiti on a wall of Fort Scratchley.
Nanjing Night Net

FURIOUS: Forts Scratchley Historical Society members Frank Carter and Graham Postlethwaite at the site of the partially-cleared graffiti on Monday. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NOT HERE: East End resident Mark Burslem with his protest banner about the November Supercars race. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

SIMILAR: Anti-Supercars graffiti on the facade of the United Service Club.

SIMILAR: Anti-Supercars graffiti on the facade of the United Service Club.

TweetFacebookFURIOUS FortScratchley volunteers have calledanti-V8 Supercarsgraffitisprayedon a wall of the historic structurea “p*** poor effort”.

The yellow painted “NO V8” tag –which appeared on Sunday and was partially cleared by Newcastle council workers byMonday–angered Fort Scratchley Historical Society president Frank Carter.

The graffiti,apparently inprotest ofthe V8 Supercars race to be held inNewcastle Eastin November,was similar to thatspray-paintedonthe United Service Club building in Watt Street on Sunday.

“They’re entitled to their feelings, but when you vandalise places like the fort and the United Service Club,you’re not doing your cause any good,” Mr Carter said.

“You would like to think, whoever it is, they’re in the minority.”

Fortcommittee member Graham Postlethwaite said therace’s opponents had a “democratic right” to protest on their property, but not onthe city’s significant sites.

“It’s a p*** poor bloody effort, and it deserves more expletives than that,” MrPostlethwaite said.

Both Mr Carter and MrPostlethwaite said they personallywelcomedtheNewcastleround of the Supercars Championshipfor the exposure it wouldgivethe city, but that ascaretakers of the fort they had to “walk a fine line”.

Mark Burslem, whose East End terrace will front the V8 circuit, has a banner above his front door that reads “V8 WRONG PLACE”.

He said he didn’t know who vandalisedthe fort or the United ServiceClub, but it didn’t surprise him.

“It’s unfortunateand it’s disappointing, but you can understand when people feel disempowered that something like this might happen,”Mr Burslem said.

The East End local will move his family to Anna Bayfor five weeks either side of the mid-November race weekend, while V8 fanfriends from Dubbostay inthe house.

The street modifications necessary for Newcastle Eastto host therace will permanentlychange the neighbourhood, Mr Burslem said, and make it more suited to being held in Raymond Terrace.

His protesthas been largelysupported by locals and passers-by, but attracted “threatening, and just vile” hate emails from Supercars supporters.

Mr Burslem said he believed the season-ending Supercars race could still be moved, despite theNSW governmentpassinglegislation in February cementing itsmove from Sydney to Newcastle.

“There are people who’ve been here since the ‘70s and stopped the bulldozers then, and now [the East End] isa jewel of the city,” Mr Burslem said.

“We’re not going to give up.”

Vandals spray United Service Club with anti-Supercars graffiti

Newcastle team to save orangutanPHOTOS

Newcastle team to save orangutan | PHOTOS Help Needed: A team is being established in the Hunter to help save the orangutan.
Nanjing Night Net

TweetFacebookHome Sweet HomeWhile we’re in the animal world, take a look at these native bees that have taken up residence in a power pole at Adamstown Heights.

Herald photographer Max Mason-Hubers, who has a keen eye for interesting things in the natural world, spotted the bees.

Max pointed out that it was quite unusual to see native bees living in a colony.

There are 1500 native bee species in Australia and most are solitary.

“Solitary bees do not have queens and workers. Instead in most species, just one female bee mates with a male and then builds an individual nest for her eggs, just like a bird does,” aussiebee南京夜网419论坛 said.

The Mining VirusNewcastle writer Barbara Heaton, well known in union and activist circles, is writing a biography of the late, great Hunter resident Jim Comerford.

Jim, who died in 2006 at age 93, was a highly respected union leader who dedicated much of his life to chronicling the region’s mining history.

Barbara found a statement of Jim’s from 1994, which she described as “prescient”.

“Cargo cultism is characteristic of all governments in capitalistic societies. Unbridled mining activity is one aspect of the ‘pennies from heaven’ outlook. Next to war, mining industries are the most wasteful and damaging activities of all. The mining virus is more potent in Australia than anywhere else… and more potent in Queensland, where governments and mining companies have always been close.”

Sounds to Topics like one of those moments where someone leans across and says: “Don’t hold back mate, tell us what you really think”.

[email protected]南京夜网419论坛 Bee’s Knees: Native bees living in a power pole. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

One in 10 new Australian homes could be pre-assembled in a factory by 2027

Prefab creations give conventional homes a run for their moneySix prefab homes shaping the future of construction as building revolution takes offMuji want you to live in their new prefab model home for free
Nanjing Night Net

More than 10 per cent of new Australian homes could be prefabs in 10 years’ time, moved to site after being built and assembled in a factory, says an industry expert.

And the cost-savings for home-buyers could be up to 25 per cent with more manufacturing-type companies moving into construction, and proving as disruptive as Uber was in the transport space.

“It isn’t the complete solution to the problems of housing affordability, but it’s part of the solution,” says Warren McGregor, the CEO of prefabAUS, the industry body whose membership has doubled in the last 12 months to 200 organisations all involved, or interested in, the future of prefabricated housing.

“Obviously there are other issues like the scarcity and price of land in some areas, but even if you just save 10 per cent on the cost of a home, then that can be a wonderful contributor.

“The forecast of a 10 per cent growth in 10 years isn’t outrageous at all, especially when you have more manufacturing companies coming in and changing the kind of business models construction has always worked with.”

Prefab housing – also known as modular or off-site construction – has long been a massive part of the residential market in many regions overseas, accounting for 80 per cent of homes in Sweden and 15 per cent in Japan, with numbers rising rapidly across Europe and Asia.

In Australia, however, it’s been slower to take off, currently accounting for just 3 per cent of homes built, and usually for single custom-built, architecture-designed homes. Yet that’s a figure that’s about to jump exponentially, according to many in the industry.

A major research project is currently being conducted by the University of Melbourne into the practice and economics of prefab construction, there’s a study tour by major players to Sweden in May, state governments are becoming interested as lower-cost solutions to scale housing and big developers are investing a lot more into research and development. In addition, home-buyers themselves are becoming much less sceptical about the quality of pre-made housing.

“I think here we’re used to thinking about prefabs in terms of transportable homes, schools or mining camps,” says Bill McCorkell, an architect by profession and a builder by trade who runs prefab company ArchiBlox. “Australia has been lagging behind other countries in exposure and take-up but now I think we’re becoming early adopters in the industry and so many more people are showing interest.

“From a quality point of view, it’s a method that makes absolute sense. Constructing in our facilities means we have the ability to manage the day-to-day trades – the tilers, plasterers etc – who work on our homes so much more easily and ensure quality work. In the domestic industry, you need a project manager as tradies move from site-to-site and often blame each other for shortcomings in quality.”

Sweden is certainly leading the way, probably because their long, cruel winters and short summers aren’t conducive to building homes on site outdoors. In Australia, with much more clement weather, that hasn’t proved a major driver.

We’ve also become good at building our traditional brick veneer and terracotta-tiled homes pretty cheaply too, says Jan Gyrn, managing director of Modscape. “I think we’ve become accustomed to that as our residential model and they’re building them at a fairly low price point.

“But now in Australia we’re starting to see a lot of cheaper component-part-pre-fabricated companies start to emerge in the residential market. And while at the moment prefab methods have taken off for the bespoke homes built to sit in the landscape, I think we’ll start to see a lot more growth in the project home market as well.

“After all, our homes take 12 weeks to build rather than 12 months, are installed in a day and finished off in two to three weeks. The forecast is that the numbers will grow to 10 per cent in the next 10 years, which is rapid growth.”

As the operations of major Japanese house-builder Sekisui House, which has a large prefab division, increase in Australia after its purchase of A.V. Jenning in 2009 and its partnerships with many of our large developers, such as Frasers Property Australia and Lend Lease, that’s likely to further spur change.

Any worries about longevity of modular housing will also be assuaged, believes Peter Smith, founder and director of Unibuild Technology. “My first prefab building was in Canberra, and it’s still looking good 48 years later,” he says. “We’re now leading a new charge on pre-fab housing and it’s now becoming much more popular.”

Cost considerations could prove another boost, too. Melbourne-based McCorkell estimates overall cost savings could be as high as 25 per cent, taking into account that, with his firm, architecture design costs are included in the building cost, the less money spent on project managing on site, and the ease of using the same trades at the same venue who aren’t as expensive as Sydney tradies.

Most importantly, the time on site is cut enormously, meaning people can live in an old house until the last possible minute when their new home is ready for delivery, and then have it pulled down ready for the next. A house he’s just about to truck to Sydney’s Mosman, for instance, will be put up on site in two to three days, with decking and the veranda taking just a couple of weeks.

“As higher volumes of homes are made this way, you’ll be able to produce them more cheaply with economies of scale,” he says. “The market is growing and I think it’ll grow faster into the future.” This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

MAFS finale lights fire under Jonesy as Anthony turns 50 shades of grey

It seems Married At First Sight constructed a scaffold cleverly disguised as a reunion room, whereupon the scarlet letter A was burned into its inhabitants’ and viewers psyche as one of shame and sinning on the proviso you were male and especially went by the names Andrew and Anthony.

Funnily enough, the only potentially adulterous one (if you can really call her that given this is in fact only a dating show), Scarlett, was absent from proceedings. Which was entirely unsurprising and wise after she was put on the spot at the final dinner party by “psycho” Cheryl, whose TV husbands were far more tempting than her own picky groom, Michael.

Why on earth would anyone want to be subjected to any further reunion clashes is beyond me, but cut to the room of doom and several of the firey match-ups/fails are being forced to sit awkwardly next to each other and endure the relationship experts’ spotlight on their relationships.

First in the hot seat was Anthony, who was reminded about how excited he was to see Nadia on their wedding day. As Anthony described his relief over having “a good sort” in Nadia, his estranged bride teared up as he concluded: “It was a nice moment… I didn’t come in with any expectations, I left it up to you guys so it was a pleasant surprise.”

“Nadia I can see that this is making you upset,” a particularly eagle-eyed John Aiken points out. “Can you tell us a little bit of what is going on inside of you right now?”

Quite simply she shook her head as her face melted in tears and she made a quick exit, away from the cameras, to recover.

Upon returning, she told the experts why she struggled with Anthony’s comments. “Because it’s very confusing, it’s a really fine line between insincerity and truth because at the end of the day I guess it’s the fact that he says all the right things but there’s no substance to it.”

“Well Nadia I can see that it’s a very difficult time for you right now,” thanks again Captain Obvious … but wait there’s more. “We will give you a moment …” isn’t that nice ” …but we’ll come back to you and Anthony a little bit later.”

Now to stripper Mike. When asked to answer the sin of superbia (pride), Scarlett’s ex Michael was unrepentant about his desires for a petite woman, weighing 60 kilograms, with “cute” little ears. “If someone comes in at 65 [kg] that’s not going to worry me… What I like, is what I like.”

John must have felt he was revisiting hell when made to watch his wedding video again because he was sweating so much that he felt “embarrassed, very”.

So when Jonathan gets grilled by the experts about his texting Scarlett while with Cheryl, it should come as no surprise that he too felt the heat. “I’m not surprised, at all,” says his ex-Cheryl. “As I’ve heard you’re a cheater so once a cheater always a cheater.” His defence was that he communicated better with Scarlett but “it was normal conversation, I have no problem there”. As to wasting Cheryl’s time: “What can I say?”

Any regrets? Hell, no. “I hope I didn’t make too much of an idiot of myself.”

The only real feel good moment was left to Simon and Alene who were “surprisingly” headed towards love and happily ever after, with Susan and Sean hot on their heels after they earlier revealed that they were visiting each other according to their rosters. Yet it was hard to accept any suggestion that something was possibly blooming between the Queensland cowboy and Perth truck driver after Susan reportedly on Sunday slammed the show for being fake.

So moving on to Cheryl and Andrew’s second chance at failed love. “In a way it’s hard not to feel a bit like you’re at the losing end after having two failed goes at a relationship,” Andrew says to the ‘yeah right’ mocking looks of Lauren and Cheryl.

But the reverend Aiken is now about to perform the last rights as he reveals that everyone is going to watch “what actually happened” on the infamous ‘Boys’ Night’ to the surprising response of “good” from Anthony and laughter and smiles from Cheryl and Andrew. “I was waiting for this… Are you getting a bit hot?” Cheryl asks of Andrew to which he replied: “Shyeah, a little.”

“Mate don’t worry about it,” says a confident Anthony. Okaaaayyyyyyyy. But plenty of the women’s faces fell upon hearing what Andrew had to say on the video, including him miming Cheryl’s rather chesty features (although the ‘Boys Night’ did sound edited down for national TV audiences compared what was possibly shown to those in the room). And after watching, Anthony offered up this insight: “The music makes it a hell of a lot more dramatic than it was.”

“Wow so going to you Andrew, did that just refresh your memory?” asks his smiling judge, jury and executioner.

“Yeah well, absolutely. That was pretty brutal actually. Brutally honest. Yeah look it’s not easy looking at that because that’s not me, that’s not who I am. I honestly tried my heart out the whole time, I felt like I was polite, courteous, flexible, understanding. The boys’ night is just a snippet and it is the worst snippet.”

“Cheryl you seemed to smirk a little bit, do you not believe Andrew when he says that?” asks Aiken, who gets caught up in the bloodlust.

“Initially I did believe Andrew and we went back into the experiment, both trying, but I went to the girls’ night being hopeful, but obviously I went in with a different approach to that week as Andrew did. But I did, kind of, get to a point ‘are you even here to make this work or are you here for the brotherhood?’… I think he wanted to hang around and have fun.”

“Look I have to disagree there, maybe going into the girls’ night you were looking to try but I went into our experiment within the experiment, the whole time looking to try. I didn’t get that impression from Cheryl.

“So in context what I meant was, things weren’t going too well so I was, you know, staring that way.”

Say whaaaaatttttt? ARE YOU HONESTLY GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE BOOBS INCIDENT, flashes across expert Mel Schilling’s face.

A bumbling Andrew starts digging his own grave. “Obviously it was a joke about … I’m going to dig deep here, I mean it was so light-hearted it was just impossible to explain. Comments like that are said in context for a reason at a boys night.”

Even his former defenders, the Perth twins don’t look too impressed. But just to make sure that the branding iron was nice and hot, Dr Aiken turned to the mob. “Yeah if someone was making crass comments about Alene, I’d say, you know, ‘shut your friggin’ mouth’,” Simon responds after Sean has repeated his own chivalrous comments.

But an unrepentant Andrew fails to bow down to his sins and ask forgiveness. “Look we have all gone through our ups and downs and some bigger than others and when things are up the brotherhood are all you have, so it’s all about context; 100 per cent about context.”

Schilling, however, isn’t done with her sermonising. “OK we’re talking about the context here, and of course it’s all about how it’s perceived: A man commenting on a woman’s anatomy amongst other men, making those resentful comments, you know at the end of the day it’s about how it’s perceived by the woman it’s about.”

So an unforgiving Aiken sentences Andrew to a life of social media hell. “Those sort of comments, you can’t come back from that.” No wonder Andrew has gone into hiding.

Still unsatisfied, Aiken continued:” OK just so we can drill down on this, what do you think Andrew; did you not believe that?”

“It’s nothing that I would ever mean to offend anybody or anyone, things weren’t going well for me. Cheryl has got some great attributes but things weren’t going well for me. It appears that there’s an intensity to my demeanour and partly I guess there was, it’s not good to watch that at all. A lot of people don’t understand how I’m feeling in those moments and I can that those words, and I know it’s horrible – I’m the biggest judge of my won character – so it’s not nice to say anything negative like that, we can put a really dark blot on it for sure but not the way it was intended and not the way I would hope you would take it.”

Still Cheryl shrugs it off. “I’m not offended at the boob comment whatsoever, I’ve got fake boobs, I get it all the time. And I’m all for banter but not banter about someone you’re trying to make a relationship work with.”

So any regrets Andrew? “Yeah look, everyone’s going to have regrets, it’s not the perfect way to handle that situation at all but it was me talking about how frustrated I was about my part in this whole journey.” You’re not helping yourself out here mate.

Any last words? “Apparently I can be quite cocky, which there might be a bit of truth in that but you know we’ve been through an amazing experience so hopefully that’s something we can share forever and we can still remain friends.”

Yeah, no thanks, says Cheryl in not so many words, to scoffs by Lauren. “We really appreciate you giving it your 100 per cent and we wish you all the best,” says Aiken to the disbelieving looks of Anthony.

So on to Andrew’s side-kick, or soon-to-be side kicked Anthony. The experts play the tape of a condensed version of all Anthony’s more sniping comments about the other couples that left even him grimacing.

“I standby most of the stuff I’ve done through out this experiment, I came in with the right intentions and I did call a spade, a spade,” he says. “At times I probably got involved with other relationships and their drama when I probably didn’t need to, but you’re in this intense environment and I guess I took upon myself to say some of the more confronting things that others may have thought but not necessarily said.”

Any regrets? “I guess my main regret is the attack that I had on Cheryl because it was probably out of line and uncalled for and I could have just chosen my words better.”

Still Nadia knows him best and she is out for answers. “But why are you saying that do you think? … Is it because of the way that she feels or is it because of the way that maybe you’re perceived? That’s my question,” probes Nadia to grateful smiles by Cheryl.

Anthony: “I standby what I said and the principles behind it but I should just have chosen my words better.”

After being described as “one of the stellar couples” that ultimately failed by the experts, Nadia really let loose on Anthony, and rightly so.

“I guess when the cameras stopped rolling and Anthony switched off… I feel like maybe Anthony needs to describe what happened because I’m a bit confused. He basically just cut it. It was quite brutal,” she admitted.

“I was incredibly hurt by the situation and I’m being incredibly honest, I’m sorry if it makes you upset saying this but I have to speak my truth.

“And how it occurs for you is very different but you didn’t give it a chance and you didn’t give me a chance outside this whole experiment, instead you ran away.

“And I’ve spent so much time in this experiment, investing in us and opening my heart to you and that feels so disrespectful. And I just sort of think to myself ‘what even is this, what even happened, like how can you say all of that on that last day yet the next day turn around and say ‘it’s done’?'”

They may not have heard the soaring cello strings that TV viewers heard, but the tears still began to flow around the room, with Susan welling up, Sharon putting a consoling hand on Nick’s knee and Alene putting back her head to wipe away the bubbling emotion.

Anthony: “I hear what you’re saying and I can see how it appears that way. i’m really sorry that’s the way you feel. I wish things were different. Unfortunately for me, my feelings didn’t grow to that level where I thought I could fall in love, Nadia. And ultimately everyone in this room came in here wanting to fall in love and it didn’t happen for me. So I’m really sorry that I’ve let you down.”

Nadia: “It’s not even the concept of love, it’s more the concept of a friendship and I felt like I couldn’t even rely on you as a friend. To go through this experiment and live by your side, it just seems to be that this entire process all you’ve been concerned about is the ramifications of you and how you are perceived, nothing to do with me.”

Anthony simply apologised again, as Nadia went on to reveal that she felt blindsided because she was planning to move to Sydney. “I’m so glad I didn’t because that would have been awkward.”

When pushed by the experts about what could have happened differently to save the relationship, he responded: “I just think communication would have been better … just in the way that we interacted with each other, with that separation, with that distance and we just struggled through that time.”

He claimed they didn’t grow outside the experiment. “I’m quite comfortable at this point, I’ll look forward so there’s no point dragging that up.”

And for Nadia, she finally got her answer that “it wasn’t authentic”. Instead she was going to take away from the experiment that she had grown as a person and learnt R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (“just a little bit”).

Finally Nick and Sharon shared their plans for her to move to Melbourne, with her finally admitting on camera that “I love Nick”.

Bid to make Bird Knights highest-paid player in club’s history

The Knights have upped the ante in their bid to sign Jack Bird after inviting the Cronulla dynamo to Newcastle last weekend for a guided tour of the club and the city. As was the case when they signed North Queensland teenage tyro Kalyn Ponga,

Newcastle are understood to have laid on the VIP treatment for Bird, which included using some of the club’s all-time greats to help with their sales pitch.

Fairfax Media has been told Bird will become the highest-paid player in Newcastle’s history if he agrees to move north, and the deal could be worth close to $1 million a season.

Knights coach Nathan Brown was initially reluctant to comment on Bird’s visit, saying only: “Birdy might have popped about somewhere here or there.”

He eventually confirmed Bird was in town but said the utility back was “no closer to his decision, that’s what I can tell you”.

Cronulla remain hopeful of retaining their 2016 grand final centre, while Parramatta are also reported to have expressed interest. The Knights hope they can tempt Bird with weight of money and an opportunity to play his preferred five-eighth.

“He’s a player that we feel could certainly help our squad move forward,” Brown said.

“He’d be a marquee signing, but Jack will make his decision over time. Obviously we’d love him to come, but where he goes and what he does, that’s no further down the track than we were a few weeks ago … He’s going to make a decision based on what he thinks is in his best interests over the next three or four years. Hopefully it’s with us.”

Meanwhile, Brown says it won’t be his call whether battered back-rower Sione Mata’utia plays against Canterbury on Friday. Mata’utia was replaced in Saturday’s 19-18 loss to Cronulla after suffering two head knocks. It was the second time in three weeks the 20-year-old had been unable to complete a game after a head injury, after experiencing “two major head knocks” last year, in his words.

“These ones are out of coaches’ hands,” Brown said.

The majority of Mata’utia’s concussions have occurred since he switched from the outside backs to the back row last season, but Brown said that might only be a coincidence.

Look, Sione’s worst concussion last year was when he played centre against Melbourne,” Brown said. “That was the worst one I’ve seen him have since I’ve been at the club.

“But in the back row, you are making more tackles, so I suppose you are more of a chance. But it’s a collision sport and you need to get your technique spot on and a bit of luck as well.”

One Mile Beach shark bite in Port Stephens leaves man with cuts

Shark bites man at One Mile IT’S PLAYTIME: A shark breaches at Bennetts Beach. Picture: CSIRO

The Maroochydore man with his damaged kayak following the shark attack. Photo: Supplied

Eden Hasson in action in January in Port Stephens near where Sunday’s bite occurred. Picture: Supplied

A close-up of Chris Hasson’s photograph as his 10-year-old son, Eden, surfs over the estimated 2.5-metre great white shark at Samurai Beach Picture: Chris Hasson.

CSIRO shark expert Barry Bruce, Kent Stannard and Chris Gallentag a juvenile great white shark at Hawks Nest. Photo: CSIRO

TweetFacebookA HUNTER man has suffered minor injuries after a reported shark encounter at One Mile Beach.

Ambulance NSW said paramedics treated the man about 5.20pm on Sunday. A spokesman said the 46-year-oldhad suffered minor cuts to his leftfoot and calf.

He was taken to the John Hunter Hospital where he remained in a stable condition on Monday.

The species of the shark is unknown.

Port Stephens lifeguard supervisor Phil Rock said there had been no pattern of shark activity in the area before the incident, which appears to have occurred shortly after lifeguard patrols ended at 5pm.

“We’ve had one [shark]all season, spotted by the helicopter at Birubi,” he said. “That’s not to say they’re not up here, but there’s only been that one spotted.”

The One Mile beach incident occurred the same afternoon aSunshine Coast man escaped unharmed when a shark bit off the back of his kayak in Moreton Bay.

The Maroochydore man with his damaged kayak following the shark attack. Photo: Supplied

Water police rescued the man just before 4pm and his damaged kayak was also recovered.

​Sergeant Gordon Thiry from Brisbane Water Police said it was lucky they could locate the man in time.

“We would encourage anyone heading out on the water to always wear a life jacket, carry an EPIRB(emergency position-indicating radio beacon) and make sure you let someone else know where you’re travelling to and how long it will take,” he said.

The man was uninjured but obviously very shaken and was later returned to his vehicle at Bulimba Point.

The Port Stephens encounter was near Samurai Beach, the stretchwhere ChrisHasson photographed his son Eden, 10,surfing over a white shape in January.

Shark experts analyzing the image subsequently backed the belief it was a great white rolling away from the incoming grommet.

– with Brisbane Times

The federal government’s National Ice Taskforce has failed to fund new rehabilitation beds, experts saypoll

No new beds as feds announce ice ‘teams’ BREAKING THE ICE: The federal government will establish a drug action team in Newcastle but experts say more money is needed to address the crisis.

TweetFacebookNewcastle Heraldreported on Monday thatnew figures show the ice problem is worsening, with offences for the notorious stimulant hitting an all-time highin the Hunter Region.

Newcastle (25 per cent), Maitland (36 per cent) and Port Stephens (21 per cent) experienced significant rises over the past year in charges for amphetamines use. In those three areas, along with Lake Macquarie and Singleton, the number of offences have never been higher.

The drug action team for Newcastle is one of 220 such teams to be established across the country over three years. The announcement revealed that Newcastle will be among the first 40 areas to get a drug action team.

The $19.2 million program is part of the $298 million that the federal government previously announced underthe National Ice Taskforce.

Mr Vumbaca said the $298 million allocated to taskforce initiatives included nomoney for new rehab beds.

Mr Sinodinos said the actions teams would focus on “health promotion, community-led education and mentoring, early intervention and prevention programs”.

Mr Vumbaca said the government should be“investing in treatment beds”.

“We need money for the pointy end where people have complex problems and severe dependence,” he said.

“Otherwise you’ll pay a lot more for prison beds and even moreif they end up in accident and emergency departments and hospitals. It’ll cost the community a lot more and the governmenta lot more.”

Recovery Plan: Garth Popple says ice users need to go to rehab, “so we can stop the downward spiral and start getting them to deal with underlying issues”.

Garth Popple, executive director of We Help Ourselves Hunter Valley [a Cessnock-based recovery centre], said it was frustrating to see the government fail to fund new beds.

“For goodness sake, can’t theyjust make a decision to allowthese people to receive help,” he said.

Severeice users need to go to rehab,“so we can stop the downward spiral”, he said.

The new web-based toolkit is available online atcracksintheice.org南京夜生活. For more information about the drug action teams, visitadf.org南京夜生活/ldat.

Umpires not coached for home crowd noise

AFL umpires boss Peter Schwab says he trusts officials not to be overly swayed by crowd noise despite the issue of home-town umpiring again raising its head over the weekend.

While coach Alan Richardson refused to blame officials, some of St Kilda’s football department are understood to feel the Saints copped a raw deal from umpires in the side’s 19-point loss to West Coast at Domain Stadium on Saturday night.

The Eagles won the free kick count 23 to eight, the 22nd time in 28 games at Domain Stadium since the start of 2015 that West Coast have had more free kicks than their opposition.

The Saints kicked themselves out of the game (13.19) but the stark free-kick differential became a talking point given St Kilda have lost the free count in their last five away matches against the Eagles, with Saturday night’s tally and the 23-6 count in round 23, 2005, the most striking disparities.

West Coast’s good run with the umpires is not a new issue, with North Melbourne coach Brad Scott raising the matter in 2012, on that occasion specifically in reference to the proficiency of certain Eagles in drawing head-high free kicks.

Since the start of 2016, West Coast have a +2.6 free-kick differential in regular-season games played in Perth. Only reigning premiers the Western Bulldogs (+4.1) have a better differential across games played in a team’s home state across that period.

While an unintentional bias from officials towards home teams is a documented phenomenon across overseas sporting leagues, less than half of AFL clubs have a positive free-kick differential since the start of last year in home and away games played in their home state.

Schwab said there was no focus on coaching AFL umpires to deal with home-crowd noise, saying that the whistleblowers were expected to deal with the atmosphere professionally.

“We know the umpires are going to umpire with integrity,” Schwab said. “To sort of go down that path is to show a bit of a lack of faith in that.”

He acknowledged, however, that the officials needed to be diligent and prepare for the nuances of different styles of play.

“They’ve got to do their homework. They’ve got to be aware of where they’re umpiring and the players and all those sorts of things. That’s up them. When they get out there like every week we’re banking them in to blow the whistle at the right time, or not blow the whistle when they have to make a decision.”

Schwab said that his department needed to be discerning when assessing umpire performance, even in the presence of a sizeable free-kick margin.

“Even though there’s a lopsidedness sometimes in free-kick counts, you have to go back and say, ‘Were there free kicks there that were paid that weren’t free kicks, or were there for the side that did get a lot of free kicks, did we miss any?’

“You do that with every game. You certainly have a closer look where there might be a gap of say 10 or 15 free kicks one way.”

Calombaris’ restaurants underpaid staff $2.6m

Nearly 200 staff at George Calombaris’ restaurants have been underpaid $2.6 million, with the celebrity chef blaming “historically poor processes” for the bungle.
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Calombaris underpaid 162 of the 430 current staff at restaurants including The Press Club, Gazi and Hellenic Republic, which form part of the chef’s Made Establishment Group, over the past six years.

Staff were not paid the correct salaries or overtime due to the “poor processes in classifying employees”, Calombaris said.

Employees at his Greek street food restaurant chain Jimmy Grants were not affected, he said.

The MasterChef judge said he was “devastated” by the blunder, which will see affected employees back-paid an average of just over $16,000 each.

“You, our amazing team, are the key to our success. I am so sorry we have messed up and let you down on a fundamental issue,” Calombaris said in an email to staff on Monday.

“I am devastated by what has happened and we have been working extremely hard to fix this. I want to be clear that getting it right means ensuring that every single one of our team members is paid what they are entitled to under the industry award, and that any outstanding money owed to staff is rectified.”

The company was first alerted to payroll problems by the Fair Work Ombudsman in 2015, but the issue was not investigated properly until the appointment of Troy McDonagh as new chief executive in October last year.

The company enlisted professional services firm KPMG to conduct a comprehensive review after Mr Donagh’s appointment.

“Regrettably, our attention to detail at that time wasn’t at a level it should have been, but we now have a CEO and human resources manager in place,” Calombaris said.

Yet, the payout figure is expected to swell as Made Establishment sets out contacting former staff. iFrameResize({resizedCallback : function(messageData){}},’#pez_iframe_268′);

The bungle also resulted in nearly half of all staff members being overpaid their base salary.

“Any team members overpaid will not be asked to pay back any money,” the email to staff said. “Those people will retain the same payments they are now on.”

Mr McDonagh was appointed CEO after Light Warrior, the private investment company of former Swisse Wellness chief executive Radek Sali, became a significant shareholder in Made Establishment. Mr Sali is now chairman of the group.

Former employees can contact the company via email at [email protected]南京夜网419论坛.

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‘She just became disoriented’: schoolgirl went missing during camping trip

A prestigious Sydney girls’ school is undertaking a full review of its student safety policies after a 15-year-old student was missing in Kosciuszko National Park for about six hours in the middle of the night during a school camping trip.
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The year 10 student at Roseville College on Sydney’s north shore was eventually found at 5.40am after having left the Snowy Mountains campsite to go to the toilet after 10pm on Wednesday last week, in the middle of a five-day school trip.

The student’s tent buddy alerted teachers of her absence at 10.40pm, and 16 students, two teachers and two staff from Land’s Edge, the private company that runs the camp, searched the area within 500 metres of the campsite for 1?? hours, a spokeswoman for the school said

Emergency services, school principal Deb Magill and the missing student’s parents were notified at 12.30am when that search was unsuccessful.

Two additional experts from Land’s Edge, which provides a range of camping and outdoor services for schools, arrived at the site as the initial search was underway and began looking further afield.

“A signal flare was set off to try and attract the attention of the student,” Land’s Edge managing director Antony Butcher said.

“Any program where we’ve got students in National Parks, we have people back at base who are in communication with the site.

“Our staff had satellite phones, Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons, first aid kits.”

They eventually found the student with her head torch turned on, and responsive.

The school’s spokeswoman said Land’s Edge staff established vocal communication with her: “They said, ‘Are you OK?’

“She said ‘yes’.

“‘Are you cold?’


Emergency services estimate the temperature was about 5 to 7 degrees on the night, but the student was wearing proper clothing and was uninjured.

“She was known to have left the campsite to go to the toilet,” Ms Magill said. “She just became disoriented.”

The student left camp early the next morning, while the other students went home as planned on Friday afternoon.

“Our deputy principal and a counsellor immediately went to the site,” Ms Magill said.

“The parents of all the other students were informed early in the morning and throughout the rest of the process.

“The students went through a full debrief with a psychologist, and they’ve been well supported.

“We’re proud of the way emergency protocols were enacted.”

The spokeswoman for the school said it had reviewed its protocols 48 hours before the incident occurred, and the incident was an important reminder for schools to have updated emergency plans in place.

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Latham resurrects news program – on Facebook

SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES – MARCH 17: Mark Latham arrives at the Memorial Service for Bill Leak at Sydney Town Hall on March 17, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brook Mitchell/Fairfax Media) Photo: Brook MitchellDumped political commentator Mark Latham has stormed back into the commentary box by resurrecting his “Outsiders” news program – on Facebook.
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The former federal Labor leader was sacked by Sky News last week after he speculated about the sexuality of a Sydney high school student involved in a feminist video.

On Monday, Latham launched a Facebook page titled “Mark Latham’s Outsiders”, which he promised would be “a voice trying to tell the truth that mainstream media is trying to silence”.

“Welcome to Mark Latham’s Outsiders, Australia’s most politically incorrect news and current affairs site,” he said in a video posted to the newly-created page.

“No namby-pamby PC – we give the straight talk, well-researched information, no fake news.”

In a subsequent post, Latham wrote: “I refuse to be silenced.” He pledged not to surrender to the “manufactured outrage industry and the militant Gay-Left Stalinists that have overwhelmed the Mainstream Media”.

“With so many mutant changes being made to Australia’s way of life – Safe Schools, safe spaces, the persecution of the QUT students, the rise of anti-white racism, Human Rights Commission racial quotas, etc, free speech matters more than ever,” Latham wrote.

“It’s our way to fight to save our country and push back against cultural Marxism in our major institutions.”

Latham, 56, was fired by Sky News on Wednesday following weeks of controversy involving his description of a Sydney Boys High School student as “gay”, and feuds with other Sky News presenters, including former Labor premier Kristina Keneally.

The program Outsiders, on which Latham appeared with former Liberal MP Ross Cameron and Spectator editor Rowan Dean, was not aired as usual on Sunday, but will reportedly return next week.

“While we support strong opinions and robust arguments we pride ourselves in doing so in a civil and respectful manner,” Sky News managing director Angelo Frangopoulos said when announcing Latham’s contract had been terminated.

In the years losing the 2004 election to John Howard and quitting Parliament, Latham has written for The Spectator and Fairfax Media’s Australian Financial Review, and appeared on Triple M radio.

His commentary has increasingly focused on social issues, railing against political correctness and so-called “identity politics”.

Latham’s new Facebook page had about 3500 followers at the time of writing on Monday evening.

The former Labor leader has also been active on Twitter since his dismissal, calling his former boss “Frangipane”, attacking former colleagues and heaping praise on 2GB radio and News Corp’s Daily Telegraph, where he retains a fortnightly column.

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There’s an inferiority complex gripping Australian rugby: Kafer

Australian rugby players are starting to believe they are inferior to their trans-Tasman counterparts according to respected analyst and former Wallaby Rod Kafer.
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Although he supports calls to cut one of Australia’s five Super Rugby teams, Kafer believes the country’s disastrous record against New Zealand teams this season runs deeper than an overstretched player base.

“All the players hear is how far ahead the Kiwi teams are and eventually, as resistant as you try to be as a player, those things over time seep in, through the smallest cracks in a player’s psyche,” he said.

“You get the sense that our decline in performance, particularly against New Zealand sides, has unfortunately been consistent over the past three years. It’s almost in the Australian psyche now, that deferment to New Zealand, and it becomes self-perpetuating.

“What we have to do is find a way to break that cycle and remove their grip from our throats.”

With the code paralysed by the prospect of a fourth week of silence on the future of the 18-team competition, Kafer rejected suggestions the uncertainty had caused Australian teams’ poor results.

“Our performances against New Zealand teams have declined over a period of time, I’d say the past three years,” he said.

“Of course there’s going to be uncertainty around the competition but if anything that gives the players opportunities to be inspired and to play as if their lives depended on it.”

Kafer’s comments come amid calls from former Wallabies coach and veteran broadcaster Alan Jones for Australia to pull out of Super Rugby altogether and pursue a trans-Tasman competition with New Zealand.

“The cost of transport alone, plane fares and hotels, is enough to break the Bank of England,” Jones told Fox Sports.

“We should be playing provincial rugby, us and New Zealand, concentrate on our domestic rugby competition and rebuild Australian strength.”

“We’re not spending enough money on the schoolboy stuff, it’s almost forgotten and unacknowledged, the club side is basically abandoned by [the ARU], the provincial stuff [Super Rugby] is awful.”

Kafer said Australian rugby administrators were at risk of placing too much emphasis on aping the New Zealand high-performance model without tweaking it to fit Australia’s unique needs or recognising what Australians do well.

“There is absolute merit in what our administrators and coaches have been doing with all their work looking at best practice in New Zealand, but the process now needs to take everything we have learned and make it our own,” Kafer said.

“There is a fantastic template for success across the ditch that we should be learning from but you can’t pick up something from another organisation, drop it in here and expect it to work with no further tailoring.”

Kafer pointed to the transformative job Michael Cheika did on the Wallabies when he took over coaching duties less than a year out from the 2015 World Cup. Australia were widely tipped to struggle in the so-called “pool of death” with England and Wales, but beat both nations on their way out as pool leaders and stormed through to the World Cup final with thrilling audacity.

“That’s the way you grab something and make it your own and, in doing so, out-perform others and over-perform relative to expectations,” Kafer said. “We’ve seen how brilliant leadership can do that and that’s what needs to happen across Australian rugby.”

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Toxic backflip shocks

DUBIOUS: President of the Fullerton Cove Residents’ Action Group Lindsay Clout said residents of the ‘red zone’ do not believe any intake of the toxic firefighting chemicals is safe. Picture: Marina Neil AUSTRALIA’S food standards watchdog has dramatically lowered safe levels for toxic firefighting chemicals in drinking water, throwing out controversial draft standards set less than 12 months ago.
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The state governmentreacted swiftly to the shock verdict – handed down by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) on Monday – announcing precautionary advice to residents in the Williamtown ‘red zone’ would be updated for athird time.

Under the new rules, the safe combined level of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) in drinking water will be lowered from .5 to .07 micrograms per litre.

-Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington Heraldthe approaches taken by both bodies were equally valid.

“It is important to remember the Department of Health ordered an independent review of those interim [enHealth]standards…and they were confirmed asbeing protective of population health in the short term,” he said.

Dr Hobbs said the reason enHealth originally chose the European standards was because they best reflected the methodology used by Australian agencies and the US EPA had a “fundamentally different approach.”

The earlierstandards formed the basis of a 4000-page risk assessment carried out by Defence last year that has since guided the government’s response to the contamination crisis.

A NSW EPA spokesperson confirmed it expected Defence would have to revisit the document but Dr Hobbs denied it was a waste of time to do the risk assessment before the long-term standards were decided.

“If you were to put that to the community and say we won’t do anything for eight or ten months…those communities would not have been very happy with that approach,” he said.

“We needed to be able to begin to mitigate peoples’ ongoing exposure to these chemicals.”

The EPA spokeswomanconfirmed all Hunter waterways would remain open in the wake of the decision, but with updated precautions for peoplewho“personally source and eat fish and seafood from a body of water where the water is contaminated.”

No more than 75 grams of blue swimmer crab should be consumed each week for adults, the advice said, while it was not safe at all for children under the age of six to eat blue swimmer crab or prawns.

It was now safe to consume dusky flathead, but no more than 150 grams a week for adults. That limit also applied for school prawns, mud crab, luderick and mulloway.

“Eating multiple species would result in greater exposure”, the advice said.

Residents,who were previously warned to“moderate” consumption of fruit, vegetables, meat and poultrygrown with contaminated water,are now being told to avoid eating it altogether.

For the first time, they have been warned tomoderate intake of homegrown produce not grown with contaminated water.

NSW Chief Scientist and chair of the Williamtown Expert Panel Mary O’Kane said authorities had been “super cautious” in coming to the decision to keep Fullerton Cove and Tilligerry Creek open to commercial fishermen.

“It’s been exhaustively looked at from every angle possible,” she said.

“If you had fish with a high level [of PFOS] on one day it wouldn’t do much to your overall levels.

“The chance of going to the supermarket and getting all of your fish from one area is very remote. This is about eating fish from the [investigation] area every day.”

Professor O’Kanesaid she doubted the boundaries of the red zone would be redrawn in the immediate future but it could be “sensible” for people living nearby to follow the precautions.

The National Toxics Network welcomed the decision on PFOS and PFHxS but expressed dismay at the outcome on PFOA; a chemical that has been found in lower concentrations at Williamtown.

The food agency’s advice for the tolerable daily intake of PFOA is still nearly eight times the US EPA level.

“We find it incomprehensible they have set the PFOA level so high when they have so much more information on its health effects in humans,” spokesperson Dr Mariann Lloyd Smith said.

“My gut feeling is they’ve set it at a much higher level than PFOSbecause thechemical is still in more common use today and there is probably commercial pressure,” she said.

Dr Lloyd-Smith said members of her NGO and the public had also been blocked from attending a summit hosted by the Victorian EPA on Tuesday, where a national approach to tackling the chemicals will be discussed.

The Department of Defence will hold a community walk-in session on Thursday for residents affected by the contamination.

In the wake of the FSANZ decision, Paterson MP Meryl Swanson intensified her calls for senior members of the government to visit Williamtown.

“If he [Prime Minister Turnbull] is prepared to use a scrubbing brush in the floods, he should come to Williamtown and clean up the contamination.”

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