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Rugby league at risk due to ‘soft kids’

28/07/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

LONE RIDER: Group 4 boss Mick Schmiedel is known for calling it how he sees it, and has done so again – taking ‘lazy’ parents and ‘soft’ kids to task.Plain-talking Group 4 president Mick Schmiedel has bemoaned the dramatic drop in junior league players graduating to the senior ranks in the region –and has laid the blame on “lazy” parents and “soft” children.
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With the league heartland in danger of becoming awasteland in the under-16 and under-18 ranks, the former long-standing player, who is aveteran administrator and coach, said parentsneeded to get “off the couch” and get their kids involved in league.

“I put the blame, and they won’t like this, squarely at mums and dads,” he said.

“I think a lot of mums and dads have just got too lazy now to take their kids to training or go down to the footy to watch.

pic.twitter南京夜网/tRzYSyWTqn

— Mick Schmiedel (@Mickysch68) June 13, 2017

“They’drather sit at home or … God knows what they’re doing.”

Schmiedel, who coaches Collegian Warriors’ first grade and under-13 sides, also unloaded of kids –telling them to harden up.

He said years ago if a player“got a spray”from the coach he“took it on the chin”.

“Now (it’s), ‘I’m not copping that. I’m going to another sport. I don’t deserve that’,” he said.

CONCERN: Leading league figures say the lack of junior players entering the senior ranks is hurting the region’s premier competition, First Division.

“Well, you probably did deserve it. You’ve been a little sh**at training, you weren’t doing what you were told, deal with it … And that’s the problem we’ve got.

“Personally, I think we’ve become such a cotton wool society that we’ve got to be so careful of people’s feelings that we don’t want to upset them.

“Hang on. Little Johnny has been a sh**of a kid, so I told him to pull his head in or he’s doing laps. Andhe goes home crying because the coach was nasty.”

Schmiedelsaid the situation was so dire there were only three under-16 sides and four under-18 sides this season.

“So that tells you there’s not a lot (of players) coming through,” he said. “I think there’s only four (under) 15 sides at the moment.”

He added: “The thing with sport in general is we’re competing in a market that everyone wants, and you’ve got rugby union and you’ve got AFL going strong and soccer going strong, basketball’s strong.

“So we’re all trying to dip into the same player pool … which makes it difficult.”

Northern Daily Leader

The politics at play in our changing city

28/07/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

AT THE height of its influence, Renew Newcastle’s founder Marcus Westbury was fond of retelling an old joke.
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Newcastle, it seemed, was always on the verge of something. A large-scale development was just around the corner. Three to five years away.

The joke, of course, was that most of the action never really seemed to eventuate, and in the meantime it wasorganisations like Renew fostering small-scale development that helped beginNewcastle’s revitalisation.

That word –revitalisation –has since been adopted by the NSW governmentas its catch-cry in Newcastle.

Indeed it’s no longer UrbanGrowth or the Hunter Development Corporation guiding state investment in the city, it’s Revitalising Newcastle, an amalgam of various state government departments.

The state government, through Revitalising Newcastle, claims credit for bringing that elusive large-scale development to the city.

The narrative is that it has beenthe government’s half-a-billion dollar investment in Newcastle, mostly spent on the 2.7 kilometrelight rail project, that has helped bring activity into the city.

A springboard launchingthe $1.6 billion in development busily changing Newcastle’s skyline.

But if the NSW government wants to bask in our success, it must also accept the heat when things aren’t as positive.

Yet in recent excursions into the city’s politics, two Berejiklian government ministers have failed in this regard.

First it was theTransport Minister Andrew Constance, who attempted to shift attention fromhis own delay incominggood on a promise to produce a business case for the light rail extension with anattack on the Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes.

And now it’s the Arts Minister Don Harwin, who raised hope for funding to expandthe Newcastle Art Gallery, and now – having failed to deliver any money –is putting theblame on the council.

Say what you will about the council –and it is not without blame, because it has had years to come up with fundsfor theexpansion –but the light rail business case and the gallery extension are exampleswhere the state government has prioritised massive spending in Sydney above more modest projects in Newcastle.

Nothing like a looming election to bring out the blame shifting and party politics.

Issue: 38, 527

Five highlights in your travel week23 June

28/07/2018 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

The top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge … climbers greeted by live music.Twilight climbs on all weekends in July and August will see four local musical artists serenade climbers at the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
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After a bucket-list journey ascending the iconic bridge to a vantage point 134 metres above the harbour, climbers will be greeted by a series of musicians, comprised of three duos and one singer-songwriter, waiting at the top with acoustic instruments safely attached and in hand.

There they will perform for each group as they climb the final stairs to the summit, in the genres of art folk, soulful reggae and Americana-inspired folk music.

This musical experience is included in the standard price of the ticket.

Phone (02) 8274 7777 or visit www.bridgeclimb南京夜网

Brisbane’s Emporium Hotel … pampering mothers-to-be.

Brisbane’s Emporium Hotel has launched a new babymoon package, offering a special pampering experience for mums-to-be.

Defined as a romantic getaway or planned period of calm for expectant parents, the babymoon allows a restful getaway before baby arrives.

The Emporium’s package includes a 24-hour movie package, ice-cream and popcorn, a mum-and-bub gift pack including a signature plush zebra toy, valet parking, late checkout and a 10 per cent discount voucher at the Cheeky Bambino family concept store in the Emporium precinct.

The babymoon package is priced at $150 on top of whatever room rate is chosen.

Phone 1300 833 611 or visit www.emporiumhotels南京夜网.au

Mantra Hotel at Sydney Airport … special opening rate.

The Mantra Hotel at Sydney Airport is offering a special introductory rate special of $159 per night in a studio king room for when it opens on July 19.

The rate is valid for stays to September 29 and includes 1GB of internet access daily, a welcome drink voucher and room upgrade, subject to availability.

The 136-room, nine-storey hotel is located close to T2 and T3 terminals and features 24-hour service, express check-out and internet kiosk.

The restaurant and bar will serve a provincial menu, featuring the regional NSW beef and sustainably sourced local seafood, served with local draught beer, wines and hand-crafted cocktails.

Phone 131 517 or visit www.mantra南京夜网.au

Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel … a great base for Darwin’s popular winter events.

Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel in the heart of Darwin is offering early-bird and longer-stay deals with up to 15 per cent off standard rates.

Darwin plays host to a wide range of sporting and cultural events during winter, including the Royal Darwin Show (21-23 July), Darwin Fringe Festival (July 11–23), Darwin Cup Carnival (July 8–August 7) and this year’s Darwin Festival (August 4–21), an 18-day calendar of activities featuring local and touring artists, outdoor concerts, workshops, theatre, dance music, comedy and cabaret, film and visual arts.

Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel is located in the city centre, close to Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, Darwin waterfront and Darwin Casino, and within walking distance of Darwin Mall and popular night spots.

The property offers serviced apartments, ranging from studios to three bedrooms. All apartments feature separate living and dining areas, fully equipped kitchen, private laundry facilities and balcony, plus complimentary high-speed wi-fi.

Phone 1800 004 321 or visit www.metrohotels南京夜网.au

Fingal Beach … people line up to make giant humpback.

Each year in Port Stephens, hundreds of people gather on the beach to make the shape of a giant humpback and celebrate the whale-watching season.

The creation of the mammoth mammal will take place at noon on Saturday, July 15, as the finale of the region’s winter Naturefest celebrations. The event will be held on Fingal Bay Beach with free registration available from 10am.

This year visitors can also take advantage of a special winter accommodation deal offered by Marty’s at Little Beach.

Groups of up to four people can stay at Marty’s at Little Beach — 10 minutes from Fingal Bay — in a two-bedroom apartment for $200 per night on the weekend, based on a minimum two-night stay.

Larger family apartments, suitable for up to six people, are available for $250 per night.

Phone bookings will secure a further discount on accommodation.

Nestled between the sheltered stretches of sand at Shoal Bay Beach and Little Beach, Marty’s offers studios and self-contained apartments with balconies, a heated swimming pool, free wi-fi and Foxtel, and an undercover poolside barbecue.

Phone 02 4984 9100 or visit www.martys.net.au. For general regional inquiries visit www.portstephens.org.au

Northstars win shootout to climb ladder

29/03/2019 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

Northstars win shootout to climb ladder The Northstars celebrate a goal.
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Steve Kuhn scores in the shootout.

TweetFacebook Newcastle v AdelaidePictures: PowerPlay PhotographicsThe Newcastle Northstars hauled themselves off the bottom of the Australian Ice Hockey League ladder with a shootout win over Adelaide at Warners Bay on Saturday.

The two-time defending champions beat second-last Adelaide 5-4 after the scores were locked at 4-4 at full-time. Newcastle goaltender Charlie Smart blocked all three Adrenaline attempts to win the shootout.

The two points were enough to lift Newcastle (17) from eighth to sixth, one ahead of Adelaide and Sydney Bears, who lost 7-1 to leaders CBR Brave.

“From a team perspective it was excellent tonight, and I’m not talking about the result,” Northstars coach Andrew Petrie said.

“Obviously I would have rather won in regulation time.That’s always the goal.

“We had a team meeting and I made a bit of a speech about what I thought it would take for us to turn our season around and took some ownership for the position we’re in, which I think is fair.

“They played as a team, they were in a good frame of mind and confident regardless of the score, regardless of how the bounces were going, regardless how the calls were going.”

Captain Bert Malloy and import Steve Kuhn, who had missed the past three weeks stranded in Bali after his passport was stolen, scored in the first period to put the home side up 2-1.

Adelaide scored twice before Felix Poulin levelled the scores at 3-3 entering the final term.

Joe Harcharik netted for Newcastle but Josef Rezek equalised with five minutes to go.

In 16 games, the 2015 and 2016 AIHL champions have won three times and had three shootout wins.

The Northstars next host second-placed Perth Thunder on Sunday, July 3.

Australians hoarding 23 million unused mobile phones

29/03/2019 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

Recycled mobile phones are dismantled and their parts are used in the production of new devices and plastic fence posts. In thepockets and handbags of Australians today lie 16 million smartphones.
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Every two to three years those phones are replaced, meaning around five million new phones are purchased every year.

On top of that, more than 23 million unused mobile phones populate the desk drawers and cupboards of the nation.

Of these, fivemillionare broken, a figure which has increased by almost one million since last year.

These are the findings of a recent Ipsos consumer survey into mobile phone use and recycling, commissioned by industry-led mobile recycling program MobileMuster.

“Most of us are really good at knowing we shouldn’t throw our phones in the rubbish bin. But we still hang on to them, just in case we need them,” said Spyro Kalos, recycling manager of MobileMuster.

“A lot of the precious metals in a phone are finite, and there is an opportunity to put them back into the supply chain.”

More than 98 per cent of a mobile phone can be recycled and reused. It is a fact that three-quarters of Australians know, yet only 8 per cent of the population actually recycles their old devices.

The research foundfemales over the age of 45 are the most likely to recycle, while males under 45 are the least likely.

Since it launched in 1998, the government-accredited MobileMuster has collected and recycled more than 1244 tonnes of mobile phone components, or 10.86 million individual handsets and batteries.

Mr Kalos said even if a mobile is broken, consumers can still send “much-needed materialsinto making of new electronic products”.

Plastic, precious metals, copper, cadmium and nickel can all be extracted from broken and retired phones and can be used to create everything from plastic bottlesto stainless steel homewares and batteries.

Just 50,000 handsets can remove the need to mine more than 330 tonnes of precious metal ore.

After collection, MobileMusterdismantles phones and sends batteries,circuit boards and accessoriesto Singapore for reuse,while plastic casings are shredded to producecompositeproducts such aspallets.

Last year Deloitte’s annual Mobile Consumer survey revealed Australia was close to reaching peak smartphone penetration, with rates expected to slow from the end of this year.

Apple device ownership grew to 43 per cent and Samsung hit 33 per cent, while Nokia, Sony, Huawei and HTC combined represented 12 per cent of the market.

Mr Kalos said constantly evolving mobile technology had changed the way consumers purchased and used mobile devices.

“Consumers are holding onto devices a lot longer. Historically it was aligned with a contract period of 18 to 24 months. But now we see consumers using them a lot longer before upgrading every two to three years,” he said.

“Part of the reason is you can upgrade the software without having to change the device.”

He added that, even when Australians do finish using a phone, they rarely extend its life by selling it, as is common in US and European markets.

According to the Ipsos survey, just 9 per cent of Australians did so in the past year, a finding also reflected by Deloitte’s 2016 survey

“Just one in 10 Australian mobile consumers are choosing to participate in the second hand phone market, lagging the global average of 15 per cent and less than half that of the 22 per cent of UK mobile consumers,” the survey found.

The brilliant mind

29/03/2019 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

The brilliant mind Collaboration: Professor John Forbes (right) with colleagues (from left to right) Professor Raymond Snyder, Professor Michael Green and Professor Alan Coates. The four men established the Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group.
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Celebration: Professor John Forbes in expansive mood while talking about his ground-breaking work on breast cancer and its treatment.

Team: Professor John Forbes at work. He emphasised the collaboration of scientists in the Hunter, in Australia and around the world to achieve significant improvements in breast cancer treatment and outcomes for women.

TweetFacebook An end to breast cancer deaths ‘so close you can touch it’Professor John Forbes on the 40-year career that helped change medical historyHE’S been recognised asone of the world’s leading scientific researchers and acknowledged with awards for his outstanding contribution to breast cancer research.

But Professor John Forbes, who has retired as director of research at the Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group (ANZBCTG), said he would have been content to spendthe past four decades “without any recognition at all”, because awards were never the aim.

“We were always working towards a world without breast cancer. That was our aim,” Professor Forbes said.

Colleagues including his co-founders of the breast cancer trials group –Professor Alan Coates, Professor Michael Green and Professor Raymond Snyder – and University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline McMillen, celebrated his career at a dinner in Newcastle on Friday.

On Sunday, as he prepared to celebrate his grandson’s sixth birthday party, Professor Forbes said it was “wonderful” to have handed over responsibility for ANZBCTG, although he will continue to attend meetings of the group.

His retirement from direct involvement with patients comes as mollecular research promises direct and positive consequences for breast cancer research and treatment.

“We’re on the threshhold of a glittering era in medical science,” he said, along with the prediction there would be no more breast cancer deaths by the 2030s.

“It’s so close you can touch it,” he said.

Professor Forbes and his three colleagues formed the breast cancer trial group nearly 40 years ago because of the rates of breast cancer in women, the limited nature of treatments and the beliefthat much more could be done.

His many career highlights include chairing the Australian and New Zealand arm of the International Breast Cancer Intervention Study (IBIS I) clinical trial, which established that the drug tamoxifen was not only a treatment for breast cancer, but could prevent half of new breast cancers and significantly reduce the rates of secondary cancer in women.

One in eight Australian women will develop breast cancer before the age of 85. More than 14,000 women have participated in ANZCRTG trials. The group’s research program involves collaborating with more than 700 researchers at 84 institutions in Australia and New Zealand.

In 2015 Professor Forbes was named NSW outstanding cancer researcher of the year. In 2014 and 2015 he was named one of “the world’s most influential scientific minds”by Thomson Reuters, based on having research cited most frequently by fellow researchers.

Professor Forbes, who retired in 2016 as professor of surgical oncology at the University of Newcastleand director of surgical oncology at the Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital, said collaboration at local, national and international level was the key to improving outcomes for women.

“We’ve always had a deep strong collaboration with members of our group, and my contribution has been to guide the discussion and be aware of what is happening around the world,” he said.

“We also get input from patients. I’m always interested in what patients tell us.”

The arc of his 40-year career in breast cancer research, from a time in the 1970s when he believed breast cancer was “the most horrible infliction on society”, to today when he predicts an end to breast cancer deaths, had been an extraordinary gift, he said.

“It’s been wonderful to be part of history, and I was fortunate to learn from two wonderful people.”

He acknowledged the help of former University of Melbourne Professor Peter Morris and retired Cardiff specialist Michael Baum who “took me under his wing”, as formative influences.

He also acknowledged wife Jenny and their two daughters who contributed to his understanding of the need for collaboration to achieve goals.

“Women are just so important in our world. The flair and tone of their contribution is all about achieving a better outcome for everyone,” he said.

Not in their interest: The home loan borrowers that have been left out to dry

29/03/2019 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

Hitting the heartland: The overall effect of the latest round of home loan interest rate rejigs will be to improve bank earnings. Photo: Michele MossopThere is a hidden and worrying risk lurking for a particular set of mortgage borrowers, whose level of financial stress is about to get a whole lot worse.
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It’s those home owners with interest-only loans that are now increasingly under the pump – with National Australia Bank the latest of the big four to announce big hikes in rates on these types of loans.

While banks,the media and the government regularly characterise those that have interest-only loans as wealthy property investors, the fact is that there are many owner-occupiersthat have used this method to finance the family home.

Ironically, regulators have pushed the banks to reduce interest-only lending to improve the overall risk of consumers’ debtto the financial system. But for those investors with interest-only loans, the chances of being unable to service them creates a new and unintended risk.

These hikes have not attracted the ire of the government, which has put the banks on notice that any move to increase mortgage rates will be intensely scrutinised. Again, because it is not seen as hitting the political heartland of the average voter with a mortgage to finance their own home.

But these borrowers are particularly vulnerable because many of them took out their interest-only loans because they didn’t have enough cash flow to repay interest and principal.

The banks have been under regulatory pressure to herd these interest-only borrowers into interest and principal loans – offering little or no fees to change over to principals, and interest rates that are now around 0.6 per cent lower.

The catch though is thatmonthly repayments will be higher in most cases because the borroweralso needs to repay principal.

Those that can afford to switch will do so, but there will be many that will need to remain on interest-only and have to wear the rate increase.

For owner-occupiers who have an interest and principal loan, interest rates have not fallen by much in this latest round of adjustments.

National Australia Bank and Westpac customers will see their rate fall by 0.08 per cent while ANZ customers will benefit to the tune of 0.05 per cent.

It is better than nothing, but won’t have a really meaningful impact to the weekly household budget.

For banks, the positive effect of the far bigger increases on interest-only loans will significantly outweigh the negative impact of the small fall in rates on interest and principal loans.

Indeed Westpac – which has a higher proportion of interest-only loans than the others – could boost itsearnings by 3.5 per cent, according to research from Macquarie. This is calculated on the basis ofall other things being equal.

But Macquarie takes the view that this earnings benefit will be eroded to some degree by some customers switching to interest and principal loans –the caveat being if they can afford it.

Martin North from industry consultantDigital Finance Analyticsbelieves that some investor/borrowers that have interest-only loans would have less incentive to switch because the tax effectiveness of this type of borrowing could be negatively affected.

Young families, investors most at riskThe bottom line is that regardless of the kind of borrower, the overall effect of this latest round of interest rate resetswill be to improve bankearnings, becausein aggregate borrowers will pay more.

North said the two segments most at risk for mortgage stress are younger families that are more typically first home owners that pushed their finances to get into the property market over the past couple of years and at the other end of the spectrum a more affluent group that took advantage of the rising property market and low interest rates to buy one or more investment properties.

Both North and analysts at Macquarie warn that the flow-on effects from increased rate rises even on just interest-only loans, and the potential for some to switch to interest and principal, could be damaging for the wider economy.

“The increase to IO (interest-only) loans combined with the increased likelihood of customers switching to P&I (principal and interest), in our view, will ultimately lead to further reductions in disposable incomes and put even greater pressure on highly indebted households. We estimate that a 50 basis point increase in interest rates has a 4 to 10 per centimpact on disposable income of highly indebted households.

“While it would rationally make sense for many households (particularly for owner-occupiers) to switch to P&I, …. many of these households would not have capacity to do this,’ Macquarie said in a note to clients this week.

‘Deadly combination’In analysing the reasons for an increased level of stressed households, North noted that”the main drivers are rising mortgage rates and living costs whilst real incomes continue to fall and underemployment is on the rise. This is a deadly combination and is touching households across the country, not just in the mortgage belts.’

Against this, the incentive for banks to massage rates higher is greater than ever, given they have been hit by the Federal Government’s bank levy and this week by an additional tax from the South Australian government that many fear could be adopted by other states down the track.

On the other side of the household ledger, the lack of any real growth in wages is only exacerbating the squeeze.

A report from Cit this week that analyses the industry segments in which jobs are growing provides insight into the problem.

“Not only does Australia have an underemployment problem that has been highlighted by the monthly labour force series, but the quarterly data shows that the economy is creating mostly jobs that are below average in terms of earnings,” it said.

The Age

Wallabies hang on to win against Italy

01/03/2019 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

Wallabies hang on to win against Italy Reece Hodge of the Wallabies celebrates with team mates after scoring a try during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and Italy at Suncorp Stadium. Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
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Reece Hodge of the Wallabies (R) celebrates with Joe Powell (L) afrter scoring a try during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and Italy at Suncorp Stadium. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Dane Haylett-Petty of the Wallabies is tackled during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and Italy. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Bernard Foley of the Wallabies celebrates with team mates after scoring a try. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Bernard Foley of the Wallabies scores a try. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Dane Haylett-Petty of the Wallabies is tackled during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and Italy. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Israel Folau celebrates scoring a try. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Israel Folau of the Wallabies scores try. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Tommaso Boni of Italy is tackled during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and Italy at Suncorp Stadium. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Israel Folau scores a try. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

TweetFacebook Photo gallery – see some action shots from the gameThere were plenty of nervous moments but the Wallabies held on for the win against Italy at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

In what has been described as a ‘scrappy win’ thehome side left it late to secure the40-27 victory over the Azzurri.

Italy dominated possession and field position for the first stanza but when Australia didfind its attacking form it was hard to stop, piling on three tries in the first 40 minutes.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was feeling the strain.

“Sometimes you’re going mad because … we create excellent play and then try and throw a cut out pass instead of just giving it to the guy next to them,” Cheika said.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika could be forgiven for feeling a little frustrated after his side’s scrappy win against Italy. He is pictured here watching his team warm up before the match. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Israel Folau made history by becoming the first ever Wallaby to score two or more tries in three consecutive Tests.

Toby Smith was sin-binned with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game andthe Wallabies, then up 28-27, were at real risk of being overrun by theItalian side.

There were a few more nervous moments as Italy threatened to take the lead but late tries to Bernard Foley and Reece Hodge allowed for the flattering scoreline.

The scare comes after last week’s dismal showing against Scotland with some describing the Wallabies as a mere shadow of the team they were at the World Cup.

State of the NationSunday, June 25, 2017

01/03/2019 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

Photo by Judith Conning. Today is ORRCA’s annual community whale census.Your news snapshot from across regional Australia and beyond:
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State of the nationNeed a national news snapshot first thing –well, we have you covered.

► NSW:A lonesailor watched his yacht burn and sink after a fire ripped through the vessel north of Port Macquarie yesterday. Fortunately he escaped any serious injury.

Photo: Marine Rescue Port Macquarie.

► VICTORIA: RyanMargetts was a peopleperson. Fiercely independent, a hard worker, a keen sportsman – and with a knack for inappropriate comments –but he was facing challenges few truly knew about.

He leaves behind his family and communities within his home town of Dimboola, his footy club at Pimpinio, his home in Horsham and friends all over the world asking why.

► TASMANIA:The Marakoopa Caves at Mole Creek were formed by water, and in 2016 water again torrented through the cave system, hurling rocks, dumping gravel and carving paths. After extensive repair works the caves were once again opened for tourists, but how much have they changed?

REFURBISHED: Senior cave guide Haydn Stedman in the newly refurbished Marakoopa Caves. Pictures: Scott Gelston

►QUEENSLAND: Thehotel that is home of one of the ”big Bundy” bottles is up for sale, along with four other iconic regional pubs that make up the portfolio of long-time hotelier Tony Prentice…read on.

The Sundowner Hotel, home of one of Queensland’s two ”big Bundy” bottles, is for sale. Photo: Supplied

National news►OnMonday, June 26, the littleboy who has captured the attention of a nation will have been missing without a trace for more than 1000 days.It also marks William Tyrrell’s sixth birthday.

William Tyrrell went missing from his grandmother’s Kendall home in 2014 when he was just three years old. He has not been seen since. The photo depicts an impression of what William might look like today.

►A woman who stepped on a grape in the Coles fresh produce section has slipped once and fallen twice – first to her knees and elbows and again, later in her attempt to sue the supermarket giant.

Fatma Abdul Razzak’s lawsuit failed on Thursday when the District Court ruled Coles had exercised reasonable care in cleaning its floors and had not breached its duty of care.

National weather radarInternational news►America’s allies should not be guided by President Donald Trump’s at-times erratic Twitter posts, according to former US General and CIA director DavidPetraeus…read on.

General David Petraeus has moved to reassure Australia and other allies about Donald Trump. Photo: Wayne Taylor.

Faces of Australia:Laura Ellison Kabira, Kabelo and Laura taking a quick nap break during their morning walk.

LAURA Ellison’s heart belongs to an animal most would find intimidating.

Laura knows there is a softer side to rhinoceros and she is sharing this with the world.

The former Forster resident has just spent the last three years living in South Africa as a veterinary nurse at The Rhino Orphanage.

Read her full story here.

Laura with Tshidi (2 months) during her treatment at Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital.

Will $100 improve the inactivity of our kids?

01/03/2019 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

ACTION-PACKED: Professor David Lubans of the University of Newcastle’s Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition says kids are doing more organised sport than ever. Picture: Max Mason-HubersWhen I heard news bulletins leading on a $100 active kids rebate as “the soul”of the state budget last week my ears pricked up immediately.
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According to a document written by the Australian Government’s Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, in 2014–15, an estimated “one in fourchildren aged 5–17 were overweight or obese [Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2015]”and “the main factors influencing overweight and obesity are poor diet and inadequate physical activity”.

So hearing the state government had this issue on its radar was good news.

But talking to Professor David Lubans from the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition at the University of Newcastle got me thinking was it in fact a good initiative.

Professor Lubans is well-known for his work developingnutrition and physical activity strategies forschool-aged children and teenagers.

The only reports I had heard since the budgetannouncement were glowing in praise for the budget initiative.

But Professor Lubans felt the rebate “was not well thought out” and would not make a “a lick of difference” to the growing problem of inactivity in children.

One Northern NSW sporting body applauded it, saying in a statement:“Parents of school aged children will benefit from the ‘ActiveKidsRebate’, a new $100rebatefor sporting and fitness related costs announced … by Treasurer Dominic Perrottet as part of the NSW Budget, with $207 million set aside over four years from 2017-2018 for every family with children in school from early next year”.

Professor Lubans acknowledged parents may appreciate the extra cash in their pockets each year but he did not see an overall impact on kids’ activity levels as a result, mainly because “kids do organised activity like they’ve never done before”.

“In terms of the contribution of organised sport to overall activity and participation rates, it’s quite small and if anything we’ve probably seen an increase, or at least a maintenance of participation in organised sport over time,” Professor Lubans said.

“That’s not where the change has been in activity rates in Australia and really around the world.

“It’s really more about active transportation and active play, that’sreally where we’ve seen kids are less active than they have been in previous generations.

“Most kids from middle and high income families do so much organised activity these days.”

I had to agree, just based on our own household and families we knew. We are not swimming in money but we prioritise sportfor ourkids because of the health and socialisation benefits.

Wereadily fork out $45 a week for swimming lessons,around $200 each to play footballand the same for cricket and surf lifesaving combined in summer.

Yes, we will be grateful for the extradollars in our pockets each year but that’s not going to encourage us or other families I know to get their kids more active because we are already well and truly committed to organised sport.

He suggested directing the funds elsewhere, such astowardslow-income families,after school programs, into schools ora program that gets parents outside kicking the ball with their kids.

“Let’s put it towards something that’s going to have a more sustainable and ongoing impact,” he said.

“Why not for every student, give the school $100 that has to be spent towards physical activity promotion, and the school has to be accountable for how they spend it.That could go towards supporting extra professional development for teachers or equipment.

“How could we better spend $100 to have maximum impact?”

It is great the state government is thinking about getting kids more active but I agree maybe those funds could have been used betterfor a more successful outcome.

PROVEN RESEARCH: Professor Davis Lubans has had loads of successful outcomes with projects that get school kids and adolescents more physically active. Picture: Fairfax Media

Exercise tip: Bird dog adds strengthIn the build-up to the Winery Running Festival on July 16, Physio&Pilates Co’s Felicity Dan has been offering some tips on good strength exercises for running. Her tip this week is “Bird dog”, which is good forstrengthening the deep abdominals, spinal extensors, gluteals and improving proprioception.

Bird dog is good for strengthening the deep abdominals, spinal extensors and gluteals.

“Stack your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips,” Dan says.“Find a neutral position through your pelvis and spine. Lift one of your legs and the opposite arm out away from your body without losing the neutral position in your spine. Repeat on other side.”

Upcoming fitness eventsRaffertys Coastal Run, July 8, Lake Macquarie:An 11km, 22km or 35km trail run through Catherine Hill Bay andthe Munmorah State Conservation Area.www.raffertyscoastalrun南京夜网.au.

Winery Running Festival, July 16, Hunter Valley:Offering 42.2km,21.1km, 10km,6km and 2km for kids.www.wineryrun南京夜网.

Variety Spin 4 Kids, August 4, Honeysuckle:A great opportunity to get a team of colleagues, friends of family together, or take on the challenge by yourself, and ride for six hours, raising funds for disadvantaged children in our area.www.variety.org.au/nsw/event/variety-spin-4-kids.

Renee Valentine is a writer, qualified personal trainer and mother of three. [email protected]南京夜网.au.

Smith still waiting for timely change in luck

01/03/2019 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

Trainer Ben Smith NICE START: Sound Proposition wins for trainer Kris Lees and jockey Rachel King on Saturday at Randwick. Picture: bradleyphotos南京夜网.au
Nanjing Night Net

Newcastle trainer Ben Smith wasn’t exactly sure what went wrong with In Her Time’s start in the group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1350 metres) at Doomben on Saturday.

A few hours after the race, Smith was still not ready to watch the replay of his $2.70 favourite finishing a gallant third in the $500,000 event –the final group 1 of the season.

A quick look at the stewards report, though, said it all: “Slow to begin and then bumped by another runner shortly after the start. Raced wide throughout.”

In Her Time, a two-time group 2 winner, was all the rage with punters, despite drawing gate 13 of 16 for the Tiara,after her brave second in the Stradbroke Handicap two weeks earlier.

However, the poor start on Saturday meant the noted on-pace runner was forced to come five deep around the field.

Despite the obstacles, she fought on to finish a length third to Tycoon Tara.

She lost no admirers, especially from her small Broadmeadow stable.

“She wasn’t entitled to do what she done,” Smith said.

“But it just shows how tough she is.

Tycoon Tara proves too tough to catch in the final Group 1 of the season, the Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara at #Doomben! pic.twitter南京夜网/NxNu5dDTfX

— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) June 24, 2017

“She was entitled to drop right out with the run she had but to her credit, she’s just so tough and she tries so hard. She’s an absolute pleasure to have in the stable.”

Although disappointed, Smith was already looking with anticipation to the group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) in October at Moonee Valley with In Her Time and hoping for better luck at the barrier draw.

“She’s proved she’s up to group 1 level, she deserves to be there, I just wish she could win one,” Smith said.

“She’s won three times at Canterbury, so the tight track [at Moonee Valley] won’t worry her. It will just be if she can handle the other way of going.

“But we’ll make sure we go there early enough to give her a few runs around the Valley before the race.”

Premier Newcastle Kris Lees’ Danish Twist was never in the Tattersall’s Tiara after a troubled trip behind runners. She finished 14thafter being severely checked in the straight but was cleared of serious injury.

Lees, though,could take consolation from the debut of Sound Proposition at Randwick.

The former New Zealander, 10thin the Doomben Cup behind Lees’ Sense Of Occasion, won with his ease for his new trainer.

It was part of a Randwick winning treble for boom apprentice Rachel King and a double for Newcastle trainers whenPaul Perry’s Salerno claimed the last race.

Woman gets $7000 but fails in bid to sue Coles over grape slip and fall

01/03/2019 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

A woman who stepped on a grape in the Coles fresh produce section has slipped once and fallen twice – first to her knees and elbows and againlater in her attempt to sue the supermarket giant.
Nanjing Night Net

Fatma Abdul Razzak’s lawsuit failed on Thursday when the District Court ruled Coles had exercised reasonable care in cleaning its floors and had not breached its duty of care.

Judge David Russell ordered Coles to pay Mrs Razzak $7728 in damages, but this will be dwarfed by the amount she will have to pay to cover the supermarket’s legal bill after her action failed.

Ms Razzak was shopping in the fruit and vegetable aisle at Coles Hurstville on a Saturday morning in April 2015 when she passed a staff member unstacking grapes onto a table.

Suddenly her feet lost grip, her right foot went backwards and she plunged forward onto her knees and elbows.

Rising to her feet, she detected squashed grapes on the floor.

Ms Razzak sued Coles for compensation in the NSW District Court, alleging injuries to her neck and lower back, claiming negligence and seeking damages of at least $35,000.

Her claim was far short of the $580,299 awarded to Kathryn Strong in 2012, who suffered a serious spinal injury after she slipped on a greasychip in Woolworths.

The High Court ruled in that case that reasonable care would require the supermarket to check the floors at intervals not longer than 20 minutes.

Ms Razzak’s legal team tendered evidence thatshowed there had been 16 slips or falls in the 12 months leading up to the accident, including three that involved grapes, one a cherry pip and another when a customer slipped the residue from a bean skin.

But Judge Russell found the grape could not have been on the floor longer than 10 minutes, with four staff spot-checking the floor every seven to 20 minutes,and it was not realistic to expect every piece of vegetable matter which fell to the floor be picked up instantly.

In spite of efforts by staff to contain spills with mats, checks and cleaning, organic matter still ended up on the floor and customers did occasionally trip, he found.

“Coles is not bound to ensure the absolute safety of entrants to its stores,” he said.

“It must take reasonable care.

“Coles could not have been expected to ensure safety by, for example, having several staff in every aisle doing nothing but watching for dropped vegetable matter, or by allocating a staff member to ‘shadow’every customer as they walked around the store.”

Mrs Razzak had a lengthy history of pain and told the court she always told doctors about her problems if she was worried about something.

But her medical records showed she did not complain about neck pain until 10 weeks after the incident, nor about back pain until four months later, although she had visited her doctor immediately after the incident and numerous times since regarding her knees and elbow.

She was awarded $978 for past medical expenses, $750 for future analgesics and physiotherapy and $6000 for non-economic loss associated with injuries.

But Judge Russell ordered in favour of Coles and ordered her to pay its costs.

The Sydney Morning Herald

I’m not just OK about not having kids – I’m delighted about it

31/01/2019 | 南京夜网梧桐 | Permalink

Children: thanks, but no thanks. Photo: Steven SiewertI am not someone who holds back coming forward with an opinion, but even I have limits. And until this week, that has been daring to say something anti-motherhood, to admit that not only am I OK with not having kids, I’m actually delighted.
Nanjing Night Net

You see, to do so is to break a big sisterly taboo, to pour scorn on what is supposedly a woman’s greatest blessing, to deny the very laws of nature and the portrayals of fulfilment fed to us from birth. Women with kids, I rightly feared, would be offended. Or, even more common, would believe I am in denial of my own unfulfilled yearnings. That I am actually jealous. But here’s the rub, I’m just not.

Sure, at one stage when I was deeply in love I believed I could do it, that a child would only add to our happiness. But thankfully, it didn’t happen. Because that relationship was short-lived and today I would be tied to someone I no longer respect for life.

And the fact is that even in this century, I still believed that motherhood would impede on other goals I was certain I wanted – a career, travel, independence, spontaneity and freedom. I saw my decision as one or the others. Compromise was inevitable. Others may disagree but I say look at the lack of accessible childcare, wage inequity and the fact women are still expected to do the majority of housework and child rearing. It was risk I just couldn’t take.

And so, I have missed the infinite joy of raising a person of my creation, of experiencing the incredible love mothers cite and having an indisputable raison d’etre. But again, I’m OK with that. You don’t miss it of you haven’t had it and so, in my view, pining for something imagined is a waste of time and energy that only stops you seeing and enjoying what you do.

The reason I am sharing this today is that an invisible wall seemed to crumble this week and allowed honesty to shine through. Because at last, women who do have kids but regret the decision have been given an outlet to admit it. Dilvin Yasa knocked the first brick out with her article The women who regret becoming mothers and from there, real women took out their social media sledgehammers and allowed a light to be shone on their darkness.

Yes, it has come with judgment from others who disagree, who believe these women are ungrateful when others so desperately want children but can’t have them, but that was always going to be the case. But from reading feedback this week on the subject, I could almost hear the relief in those who confessed they would have made a different decision should they be able to turn back time. What’s more, the compassion and liberation that comes from knowing others feel the same way.

My mother was actually a trailblazer in this regard. I recall her admitting at a dinner party one night that if she had known better or felt she had a choice, she would never have had my brother and I. She confessed she didn’t feel she was a good mother and would compare herself to other women who seemingly only relished the role. She said she missed her career and the friends that came with it. And, when moved away from the city and those she loved to a more appropriate “family” home in the suburbs, she was overwhelmed by abject loneliness and isolation. This underlying resentment she credits as the start of the ugly unravelling of her marriage.

Not my cup of tea.

But for Mum there was no parting of the clouds and overwhelming sense of purpose. For her, raising kids was a chore and an endless one at that. In her day, she says she never saw kids as a choice, just something you did once hitched. There was no weighing up your options – there was only one if you were fertile. And so she went with the flow.

Mum never said she didn’t love us kids – she did and we both knew it intrinsically – she just didn’t get the supposed magic of motherhood as extolled by others. She claims other mothers she tried to bond with tended to look down on her lack of maternal instincts, shattering her self-esteem in the process. And, when her marriage turned violent, she saw no choice but to leave it and us behind, something she felt immense guilt about the rest of her life.

Still, I respected where she was coming from. Because as I grew to face the reality of what my life would be like with kids, I realised I am my mother’s child and I feared I would be the same, that motherhood wouldn’t come naturally to me and that I would resent a decision I couldn’t turn back.

Today I adore my godchildren and embrace every opportunity I can to give their mothers some relief by looking after them. I also listen when these women tell me they are “fed up”, “need a break” and “some me time”. Because no matter what decision a woman makes regarding children, she should be allowed to regret it even temporarily, to miss their old lives and to wonder wistfully what their futures may have held had they not chosen to procreate.

None of us are perfect and none of us are without dreams. Being a mother doesn’t make you a martyr. It just makes you a woman with kids and the joys and disappointments that come with them. Not every woman is the same and that is to be celebrated not criticised. So, as women, let’s stop judging and try supporting each other’s decisions and circumstances instead. And that goes for those of us who have chosen not to have children, too.

The Age