Stink over RAAF sewerage: $7.5m pipe still unused

SEWAGE SAGA: An aerial view of the RAAF’s private sewage treatment plant, constructed in the 1950s. The need to decommission it was identified over a decade ago and was described as “urgent” by MP Bob Baldwin in 2012.
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THE TURNBULL government has been called on to intervene in a sewage sagathat hasrun into its fourth year, cost taxpayers $7.5 million for an unused pipeand left a bad taste in the mouths of Williamtown residents.

Defence admitted this week thattheWilliamtown RAAF base is still notconnected to the region’s sewerage network, with no end in sight to what appears to have become a war of attrition with Hunter Water.

When theNewcastle Herald revealed the dispute in January, 2016, Defence rubbished suggestions the parties were atan impasse and said the matter would be resolved within a month.

But two years later, Hunter Water claims Defence is still refusing to sign a standard trade wasteagreement setting limits on the amount of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl [PFAS] chemicals itdischarges into the sewer.

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Sewer pipe to nowhereDefence ready to sign for sewerIt means the base’s sewage –containing the toxic firefighting chemicals – continues topoolin unlined ponds on a neighbouring private property, with nothing to stop the toxinsseeping into the Tomago Sandbeds aquifer during heavy rain.

Shadow assistant Defence Minister Gai Brodtmann said it was time for Defence Minister Marise Payne to take control of the situation.

“Why hasn’t the Turnbull government shown leadership and stepped in to resolve this issue sooner?” she said.“I’m concerned at how long this negotiation has taken, and strongly encourage both Defence and Hunter Water to come to an agreement as soon as possible.”

Minister Payne could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

Spokesperson for the Williamtown and Surrounds Residents Action Group Rhianna Gorfineslammed it as “unthinkable” that Defence would be seeking to flush PFAS into the sewer network.

“If they can’t connect a sewer after four years of negotiations, what hope have we got of them decontaminating the area?” she said.

A Defence spokesperson said negotiations were continuing and it would be seeking a high level meeting with the Hunter Water board.

“Defence remains committed to finalising the trade waste agreement as quickly as possible,” they said.

“Negotiations have been delayed due to a number of commercial and legal matters.These matters have been complicated by the emerging issue of PFAS as a contaminant, and, therefore, the lack of a NSW trade waste regulatory framework incorporating PFAS management.”

A Hunter Water spokesperson reiterated that all commercial and industrial customers were forced to sign trade waste agreements to protect the environment.

He said Defence could not“guarantee” that PFAS in its wastewater would meet requirements.

The RAAF base isserviced by a private sewage treatment plant,constructed in the 1950s.

The need to decommission the ageing plant and connect the base to Hunter Water’s sewerage network was identified over a decade ago and was described as“urgent” by Paterson MP Bob Baldwin in 2012, who warned the region’s drinking water supply was being put in jeopardy.

By late 2014, $7.5 million in taxpayer funds had been spent on the construction of a pipe and Defence and Hunter Water began negotiations over the trade waste agreement.

Ms Gorfine said the community no longer had any faith in Defence to follow through on its commitments.

She was incensed that community representatives were told in January 2016 thattheHerald’s reports were inaccurate and that the matter would be resolved by the following month.

“Why should the community have any faith in their words?” she said. “Actions speak louder than words.”

The Defence spokesperson said the latest testing on waste in its sewage ponds detected the chemical perfluoroctane sulfonate (PFOS)at 1.3 parts per billion.

“The waste is not currently treated for PFAS where itremains on Defence land,” they said.

“Where Defence removes waste from the site, that waste is treated in accordance with NSW Environment Protection Authority Guidelines.”

Man, 24, dies after snake bite in backyard

Tragic passing: The 24-year-old was rushed to Tamworth hospital on Wednesday night but died a short time later.A TAMWORTH man has died in hospital after being bitten by a what is believed to be a brown snake.
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The 24-year-old passed away in Tamworth hospital late on Wednesday night, despite the frantic efforts of emergency staff to save him.

It is understoodthe man was bitten by the snake in the backyard of a Cole Rd home in West Tamworth, shortly before 10pmas he tried to move the snake away from a family pet.

He was rushed to Tamworth hospital by family, but passed away within an hour of the bite.

The shock passingwill now be referred to the coroner, who will rule on the official cause of death.

On Thursday, Tamworth police were unable to comment on the matter but said a report was being prepared for the coroner.

A spokesperson for Hunter New England Health declined to comment on any admission and said it was a police matter.

The death of the man has shocked the local community, as well as friends and colleagues, and cameas the New England North West swelteredthrough another day of temperatures above 35 degrees.

WIRES volunteer Jacob McGoldrick, one of the group’s reptile handlers, said he was very saddened to hear of the young man’s death in Tamworth.

Deadly: The Easter brown snake. File photo

The local branch had had about 20 call-outs to snake sightings this warm season.

WIRES volunteer Jacob McGoldrickThe Leader.

Mr McGoldrick said Eastern brown snakes were the most frequently sighted, but red-bellied black snakes and yellow-faced whip snakes were also pretty common.

He said if someone came across a snake, they should stand still until it moves away, call WIRES on 1300 094 737 and, if possible, keep an eye on it.

WIRES volunteer Jacob McGoldrick

“Snakes aren’t out to get us, and the best thing people can do is educate themselves about snakes,”he said.

“They aren’t an aggressive animal, they’re just defensive.”

Mr McGoldrick said that, in the event of a bite, it was important to stay calm, use a compression bandage, stay still and call Triple-0.

It’s believed there havebeen fewer than 40 deaths from snake bitesin Australia since 2000, with the brown snake considered to be one of the deadliest in the country.

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Diamonds captain Bassett says teammates will be heartbroken

Australian Netball Diamonds players with the new federal sports minister Bridget McKenzie and Australia sports commission CEO Kate Palmer. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos Australian Netball Diamonds. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos
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Australian Netball Diamonds. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

Australian captain Caitlin Bassett admits some of her Diamonds teammates will be left “heartbroken” when their Commonwealth Games squad is announced early next month.

The Australian side are simulating their Games schedule across a four-day camp at the AIS which began on Thursday, as they look to defend gold on the Gold Coast in April.

The Diamonds are preparing for a quad series against New Zealand, England and South Africa from January 20-28 and will fly to London at the conclusion of the camp on Sunday.

Bassett is expecting a gruelling three days of internal matchplay as players battle for a spot on the plane and a potential Commonwealth Games berth, with the Gold Coast squad to be announced shortly after the tour.

“It’s going to be tough and I’m glad I’m not a selector because there will be girls who are heartbroken,” Bassett said.

“I’ve been there myself, sitting in a room when my name wasn’t read out but it was fuel to make me work even harder the next year.

“We want to have the best of the best fighting each other for position and there is no doubt the matchplay over the next three days is going to be hotly contested.

“It’s really tough and sometimes you can be really hard on yourself, with the training camps and playing against each other all the time we know each other’s games inside out.

“We’re friends off the court but enemies on the court… Sharni Layton and I have played against each other for 10 years and you can get frustrated at times but that’s the best way to have it because you’re only going to get better by being challenged.”

Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander said her squad is anything but set as competition for spots heats up.

“We can’t wait for next couple of weeks in England and South Africa but we’ve just got this little camp to get through first which is going to provide a great challenge for this group as we head into that competition phase and our final selection,” Alexander said.

“It’s a massive decision to make for myself and the selectors, we certainly don’t take this selection lightly, it’s going to be very, very tough on all of these athletes.

“At the end of the day the 12 very best will represent our country but there are going to be at least nine that miss out.

“That’s the reality of our sport but the strength of our sport because we’ve got a million participants who play in this country and we reflect that community.”

Alexander confirmed former captain Laura Geitz is in contention for a Commonwealth Games spot after she was invited to join the Diamonds as a training partner in Canberra.

It marks her return to training with the national team after giving birth to her first child Barney last February and is the 30-year-old’s first involvement with the Australian squad since May 2016.

“At this stage Laura just wants to see how she goes, it’s been a while since Laura has been in this environment and we want to support her,” Alexander said.

“In own words are she said ‘I want to help the team be prepared to go away on this series’ and that just encapsulates her team-first attitude.

“If it works out that things present themselves and she performs very well then we’ll talk about that later.”

Bassett echoed her coach and said it was fantastic to her have Geitz back in the fold.

“We really missed her and she’s got Barney here with her as well which makes our team more like a family,” Bassett said.

“To have her experience and leadership back in the team is invaluable and to have her back out on court is great – I’m looking forward to doing battle with her.”

Australian Diamonds: Caitlin Bassett, April Brandley, Courtney Bruce, Paige Hadley, Emily Mannix, Kate Moloney, Susan Pettitt, Kim Ravaillion, Gabi Simpson, Caitlin Thwaites, Gretel Tippett, Liz Watson, Jo Weston, Stephanie Wood.

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Josh Frydenberg concedes Australia’s carbon emissions rose in 2017

Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg concedes Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution continued to soar last year, confirming that more than a decade of climate policy bickering has failed to curb harmful emissions.
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Official data shows Australia’s annual emissions have risen for the fourth year running. They were up by 0.7 per cent in the year to June 2017, to 550 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The alarming figures come ahead of a critical few months for the Turnbull government as it seeks to convince the states and territories to sign off on its signature climate policy, the national energy guarantee – a measure that Labor says will fail to sufficiently rein in emissions.

Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said the government’s national energy guarantee, announced in October, was “the most effective way” to cut emissions. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The data, released last month, also casts serious doubt on Australia’s ability to meet its international obligations under the Paris climate accord.

Australia recorded its third-warmest year on record in 2017 – continuing a trend of warmer temperatures that the Bureau of Meteorology has linked to climate change.

The latest quarterly update of Australia’s national greenhouse gas inventory showed last year’s emissions were only marginally lower than the 554 million tonnes produced in 2000, despite years of fierce climate policy debate in the intervening years.

Emissions levels have fluctuated since the turn of the millennium, but have risen steadily since 2013.

Speaking on ABC Radio on Thursday, Mr Frydenberg was repeatedly pressed to admit Australia’s emissions rose last year, and eventually conceded “that is true”.

But he said those figures were calculated on a yearly basis, and “if you look at the last quarter they went down, if you look at the trend it is improving”.

Mr Frydenberg said June quarter figures showed emissions went down by 0.6 per cent, and that emissions on a per capita and GDP basis were at “their lowest in 28 years”.

“What you need to focus on here is what is happening in different aspects of the economy as a result of policies we are putting in place,” he said.

“What we are seeing is real improvements in various aspects of the economy.”

Mr Frydenberg pointed to the national energy productivity plan which aims to boost energy efficiency in the built environment by 40 per cent, and the emissions reduction fund, focused on agriculture and the land sector, which has abated up to 190 million tonnes of carbon dioxide at an average cost of $12 a tonne.

The Department of the Environment and Energy’s own modelling projects that by 2020, Australia’s total emissions will be slightly higher than current levels, at 551 million tonnes. It said the rapid expansion of the liquefied natural gas sector was a major factor in emissions growth, however this was partly offset by falling emissions in the electricity sector.

Mr Frydenberg on Thursday said the government’s national energy guarantee, announced in October, was “the most effective way” to cut emissions.

It forces energy companies to meet mandated standards of reliability and emissions reduction, but critics say it thwarts growth in renewable energy, props up ageing coal-fired power plants and will fail to sufficiently drive down emissions.

Labor has heavily criticised the plan and energy spokesman Mark Butler said on Wednesday the “only detail that has been released is modelling showing cuts to large-scale renewable investment”.

Mr Butler said former prime minister Tony Abbott “vandalised” the nation’s climate change policies – a reference to the abolition of Labor’s so-called carbon tax in 2014 – and “unsurprisingly we have seen carbon pollution levels rise ever since”.

He said the government’s own data “projects that with their policy position in place, carbon pollution levels will continue to rise between now and 2030” – the date set for Australia to meet its emissions reduction commitments under the Paris deal.

Mr Frydenberg said the independent energy security board was undertaking detailed design work on the national energy guarantee. In April it would be presented to the COAG energy council, which must unanimously sign off on the policy.

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Wake up to yourselves, NSW: Jeff Kennett

Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett has poked his nose into Sydney’s great stadium debate, claiming NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian is merely mopping up the mess left behind by Bob Carr in the 1990s.
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Kennett was in office from 1992 to 1999 and in that time invested hundreds of millions of dollars into Melbourne’s sporting facilities.

On his watch, Melbourne became the envy of the sporting world. Etihad Stadium was built, Albert Park revitalised for the Australian Formula One grand prix, and Melbourne Park’s tennis facilities beefed up to ensure the Australian Open was never played anywhere else.

He understood what many in NSW can’t wrap their heads around as they continue to moan about Berejiklian’s $2.3 billion knockdown and rebuild of Allianz and ANZ stadiums: that major sporting events pay for themselves many times over because of what they bring to the local economy.

“When we started this process of attracting major events in the 1990s, your premier at the time said, ‘No, this is inappropriate, NSW is not going to chase these sorts of events’,” Kennett said. “That was Bob Carr. They lost 10 to 15 years before they started to realise the importance of major events.

“Major events add confidence to the community. When we started this in 1992, our state was rundown. We quickly rebuilt the confidence of Victorians in their own state. There is none of that in NSW. You lost 15 years because the government at the time thought it was ‘inappropriate’.

“What Gladys is doing now is belated recognition that if NSW is going to be part of this not just national but international world of events, they’re going to have to upgrade their facilities. It costs money. I understand the premier is coming under a fair bit of flak but no state is just about education, it’s not just about health. You judge a state on its complexity and totality: sport is very much part of that.”

In this space last week, your humble columnist argued that people underestimate how important sport is to this city and state. They’d prefer we spent the money on baby incubators and the like. (With that in mind … behold! The Baby Incubator Stadium! Problem solved).

Over the past 15 years, whenever Melbourne has hosted a State of Origin match, I’ll attend the obligatory media conference involving NSW and Queensland captains and coaches as well as the Victorian sports minister and/or major events minister.

When the speaking is done, I’ll chat to said ministers and they will tell you exactly why they want NSW and Queensland belting each other before 91,000 people at the MCG.

“Because one match fills our hotel rooms and bars and restaurants in the middle of winter,” is the usual reply.

You can roll out academics and economists and reports and say these stadiums are a waste of money. I’ll defer to the city that for decades has smashed the rest of the country when it comes to sport and culture and the man who first got the ball rolling.

“How do you measure a state’s confidence?” Kennett asked. “You can add up the cost of stadiums and how much they are to build. But you cannot put a figure on the economic add-ons that come when you have a rolling program of major sporting and cultural events that mean hotels have high occupancy levels all the time, restaurants and bars are thriving, people using taxis and spending money … the expenditure shouldn’t be judged in the years in which it is spent. The return is over decades.”

But is that going to cover the $2.3 billion, Mr Kennett? What about the baby incubators?

“It shouldn’t just be judged on financial benefits. It’s got to be based on reputation. If you’re going to have people wanting to go to an event, they want good quality facilities: good food, good toilets, good viewing lines. They want comfort.

“NSW has never been pro sport as much as Melbourne and it’s partly because you haven’t had the facilities. You have the SCG and that’s about it. If you want to be serious you have to want to compete. What then is left for NSW, apart from the drudgery of going to work? There’s got to be more to life. Major events, cultural and sport, give people the opportunity to go to a different place.”

It is simplistic and duplicitous to claim “these stadiums only service a handful of NRL clubs, let them pay for them”. What elitist bullshit. And they do. They pay a hirer’s fee, like everyone else.

Truth is, these stadiums serve many sports, and many events, many headline artists, and if they are not upgraded Sydney soon won’t be seeing any of it.

Kennett’s comments about Carr remind us of the story that often gets a run in rugby league circles about the night the former premier attended a State of Origin match – and read a book.

“I’ve used that story so many times,” Kennett said. “I like Bob but he was from a different planet. The ET of Australian politics.”

Warne’s page-flipper

Channel Nine’s Mark Nicholas is ghost-writing the autobiography of his commentary box buddy Shane Warne ??? and former Prime Minister Bob Hawke has agreed to write the foreword.

Warne and Nicholas popped up in the Trust Suite early on day two of the fifth Ashes Test at the SCG last Friday. They were there to corner Hawke, who was sitting out on the balcony with his former federal sports minister, John Brown. Hawke agreed to their request to write the introduction to a book that’s expected to come out in September.

Warne’s management has been spruiking the biography for about a year, asking for telephone-number figures in terms of an advance.

We’ve got no doubt that Nicholas will do an outstanding job. His 2016 memoir, A Beautiful Game, was well crafted and worth reading.

Our concern is just how many more beans Warne has to spill. There have been 14 Warne biographies over the years, including two written by himself.

Sales records are tricky to pin down but the word from industry heavyweights is that anything written about the legendary leg-spinner has hardly flown off the shelves. People just don’t believe they are getting the full story.

This time, Warne’s keen to set the record straight about the Shane Warne Foundation, which he shut down early last year amid claims of mismanagement. Consumer Affairs Victoria cleared Warne of any wrongdoing following a 14-month investigation.

He’s also promised to open up about his personal relationships with former wife Simone and ex-fiance Elizabeth Hurley.

Let’s hope it doesn’t get too catty. As he was leaving the suite, he bumped into trustee and media executive John Hartigan.

Two years ago, Warne was furious about a column written by Hartigan’s late wife, Daily Telegraph columnist Rebecca Wilson.

“To say that the cricket community sees the relationship between Warne and [Michael] Clarke as an unhealthy alliance is an understatement of monumental proportions,” Wilson wrote. “Warne has become an embarrassment every time he utters Clarke’s name.”

Warne wanted Hartigan to gag Wilson and also threatened to go public about her personal life. Hartigan put Warne back in his box, telling him “to take a look in the mirror”.

“You don’t come out of it looking too good,” Warne spat at Hartigan when he saw him, before storming off in a huff. Meow.

Jarryd Hayne arrives to front reporters at Eels training last week. Photo: Wolter Peeters

Costly defence

Jarryd Hayne is adamant he will fight the rape allegations levelled at him in a civil lawsuit lodged just before Christmas in the US ??? but it is going to cost him a truckload if it heads to court.

Hayne has engaged high-profile trial lawyer Mark Baute, who successfully defended NBA star Derrick Rose, who had to answer rape claims in a federal civil case in 2016.

We’re told by sources in the US that Baute charges $US15,000 a day ($19,000). No, that’s not a typo.

Hayne has “vehemently” denied claims by a 25-year-old woman known only as “Ms V” that he raped her in December 2015 when Hayne was playing for the San Francisco 49ers.

Q & A: Carlos Brathwaite

We speak to the Sixers’ recruit ahead of their Big Bash local derby against the Thunder at the SCG on Saturday.

You played with the Thunder last season. Any fiery text messages from your former teammates since you signed with the Sixers?

Not much. I saw a few of the boys in a bar in Coogee but that’s about it. It will be good to see the guys’ faces when the time comes.

Any dabbing if you take a couple of wickets?

I’m not sure. I have to take a couple of wickets first. I haven’t used it since the last Big Bash. Maybe the dab. Maybe something new.

Fun fact: did you know that the dab is illegal in Saudi Arabia?

I did. My fiancee sent me an article about footballers being banned from doing it. Thankfully, we don’t play there.

You’re a Manchester United fan … [Laughs] Yes.

What do you think of City’s dominance of the EPL season?

I don’t think we played as well as we could. A few times in the season we’ve let ourselves down. Ashley Young’s three-match ban didn’t help. Sometimes, you have to put your hand up and say well done to the opposition. City have done a fantastic job. Hopefully, they lose a lot of games in a row.

Usain Bolt says he wants to play for Manchester United. You?

Me? Maybe in a charity game, I’d put my hand up. I’m a poor man’s Paul Pogba. I’d like to strut my stuff at Old Trafford one day, make some tackles … I’m not sure how talented Usain is but I’m sure if he wants to go after it, he’ll make a good fist of it. I’m sure he thinks he’s good enough.


“When I’m scoring runs, I’m elegant. When I’m not, I’m lazy. I can’t seem to win when things aren’t going well.” ??? Usman Khawaja takes a swipe at his critics after scoring 171 against England. Look, it’s very simple, Usman. Want better stories? Less criticism? Keep scoring runs.


Um, did you see the end of that national college football championship between Alabama and Georgia? Relief quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was hauled off the bench at half-time and then threw a 41-yard touchdown in overtime to clinch the match 26-23. He thanked God afterwards. You would, too.


The sudden death of former Raider Kato Ottio from severe heatstroke while training at home in Papua New Guinea prompted an outpouring of grief across the footy community. This quote: “My first goal is to buy my mum a house. I’m a village boy. My dad died when I was 14 and I want to make the most of every opportunity.”


Bernard Tomic, who will battle it out in qualifying matches in a desperate bid to play at the Australian Open. “I’ve never needed the help of Tennis Australia,” Tomic says. Except for that time when he and his father were demanding more money from them.


The army of racegoers and horsie owners who will venture to the Gold Coast this weekend for the Magic Millions extravaganza. “We’re selling dreams!” Gerry Harvey declared. Alas, some of us can barely cover the cab fare back to the hotel.

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‘Astronomical’: New iPhone X pushes retail sales into the stratosphere

So big was the spending splurge on the new iPhone X that it pushed pre-Christmas retail sales to a record high in November, confounding expectations of a weak lead in to Christmas.
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Market economists had forecast a lift of 0.4 per cent in November. Instead, sales shot up 1.2 per cent, the biggest jump in almost five years.

Unusually, the Bureau of Statistics has attributed the jump to one specific product. It said the release of the much-anticipated iPhone X on November 3 pushed up sales of “electrical and electronic goods” an extraordinary 9.3 per cent – the biggest one-month jump since the global financial crisis of 2008 when the government’s $10.4 billion economic stimulus package boosted sales of electronic goods 12.9 per cent.

“The breakdown shows that half of the rise in retail sales was a result of the astronomical gain in spending on electrical goods,” said Capital Economics analyst Kate Hickie. “It presumably reflects the growing importance of Black Friday for retailers as well as the release of the iPhone X.”

Black Friday, on November 24, had fashion and online retailers offering discounts of up to 30 per cent for a day only in a tradition imported from the US.

Excluding electronics, sales climbed a more modest 0.6 per cent in November. Also excluding a category known as “other retailing”, which jumped an unusual 2.2 per cent, sales climbed only 0.4 per cent. The bureau said some iPhone sales would have been recorded as “other retailing”. if(“undefined”==typeof window.datawrapper)window.datawrapper={};window.datawrapper[“QkucL”]={},window.datawrapper[“QkucL”].embedDeltas={“100″:519,”200″:451,”300″:425,”400″:400,”500″:400,”600″:400,”700″:400,”800″:400,”900″:400,”1000”:400},window.datawrapper[“QkucL”].iframe=document.getElementById(“datawrapper-chart-QkucL”),window.datawrapper[“QkucL”][“QkucL”].embedDeltas[Math.min(1e3,Math.max(100*Math.floor(window.datawrapper[“QkucL”].iframe.offsetWidth/100),100))]+”px”,window.addEventListener(“message”,function(a){if(“undefined”!=typeof[“datawrapper-height”])for(var b in[“datawrapper-height”])if(“QkucL”==b)window.datawrapper[“QkucL”][“datawrapper-height”][b]+”px”});

During the year to November, sales climbed 2.9 per cent. Excluding electronic and “other” goods, the increase was 2.1 per cent.

“The reported strength won’t be sustainable,” said Bank of Melbourne economist Janu Chan. “Indeed, it is difficult to fathom retail spending growth substantially stronger than 3 per cent.”

“Given wage growth remains subdued, much stronger growth in spending would likely require an increase in debt. We do not believe households have a strong appetite to increase borrowing for consumption, nor would this be ideal.”

Commonwealth Bank economist John Peters said that setting aside the “humongous” iPhone-related jump in November, retail sales were growing at a trend pace of just 0.1 per cent a month in the lead-up to Christmas.

“Looking ahead, the weakest wages growth in decades is likely to keep consumers on the back foot with a strengthening in broad-based wages growth still not on the horizon,” he said.

Online sales amounted to only 5.5 per cent of the total in November, suggesting that ahead of the arrival of Amazon in December, physical stores faced little competition. In the past nine months retailers have expanded their workforce by 65,000, most in full-time jobs.

Follow Peter Martin on Twitter and Facebook

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Cyclists escape disaster as truck ploughs into Tour Down Under

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Spectators waiting at the finish line of the Tour Down Under were treated to an unexpected sight on Thursday when a truck laden with hay stole the show.

The truck drove down the main road ofGumeracha,in the Adelaide Hills, in the middle of the raceand was too tall to fit under the inflatable finishline, dragging it away.

Vision broadcast by the ABC shows reporter Sarah Hancock speaking to the camera as a group of female cyclists ride along behind her.

Immediately afterwards, a hay truck drives past, and Ms Hancock covers her ears.

A truck laden with hay drags away the finish line of the Tour Down Under. Photo: ABC News

The truck picks up the finish line, which knocks into a spectator and a metal fence before it’s dragged down the road.

One woman, who had been standing next to the inflatable structure as she watched the race, raised her arms questioningly as the truck drove away.

TheABC reported the truck finally stopped”some distance down the road”.

After minor repairs, the finish line was back in place in time forAnnette Edmondson to claim victory in stage one of the women’s tourin just over three hours.

Reporter Sarah Hancock turns around as the truck begins to drag the inflatable structure. Photo: ABC News

The sprawling 115.7-kilometre stage started and finished inGumeracha, with 102 riders winding through suburbs including Birdwood, Mount Pleasant and Mount Torrens.

Stage two will continue tomorrow atLyndochin the Barossa Valley.

Fantastic performance by @NettieEdmo to claim victory in Stage 1 💪 Read more:南京夜网/krVJ2ia1B0

— Santos Tour Down Under 🐨🚴 (@tourdownunder) January 11, 2018This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Good speech needs solid foundation

STRUCTURE: When preparing to speak in public, do your research, create a framework for your speech and identify key messages.There are so many things to think about when public speaking – the audience,the occasion andthe materials you’re going to use.
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Another important aspect is deciding on your key messagesand how to structure them.

Here are some tips:

ResearchDo some research about the topic you will speak about. It’s also best to clarify the purpose of your speech during preparation.

Create Your Key MessageOnce you’ve gathered the required information and you know the purpose of the speech, you need to create your top threekey messages. Ask yourself “what do I want the audience to remember?”

Here’s how to do it:

1. Write down 10 key messages that you think are important about the topic.

2. Narrow this down to threeby prioritising the ones you want your audience to remember.

3. Craft your top threekey messages so they will be easy to say, easy to understand and easy to remember. They should be specific and direct to the point.

4. Select the most important message among the three. This will be your main key message. It should be about your audience, and not about yourself or the company. The main key message should be something which will make an impact on your audience or something they will benefit from. Think to yourself, “what’s in it for them?”

Make an outlineBased on the key messages, draft a structure on how you want to deliver a speech. Just like a movie or a story, your speech should have a narrative. This way, your audience will be able to understand your messages better.

Below is the most common framework of a speech:

Introduction – This is where the greeting, self-introduction, the topic, the key message, and preview for the main points are given. Make sure you deliver a strong introduction. You can use a quotation, a saying, or a line from a song or movie to set the tone of your speech.

Body – It includes main points and ideas that will support your key messages. This is where the purpose of your speech should be served. Any short videos, graphs, or slides are shown at this part of public speaking. You can also insert some humour related to the topic, to keep the audience’s attention.

Conclusion – A short summary of the topic, the main points and the key messages should all included in the conclusion of your speech. You can also impart some parting wisdom about your topic. This is your big chance to make your audience remember you and your speech.

Use Simple WordsAfter creating a framework, composing your entire speech is next. Remember not to use fancy words;this is not necessary. Use simple words in short, but powerful, sentences.

After composing your speech, take time to read it through. Practice the correct timing and delivery of the sentences, so your audience will understand your message effectively.

Jaimie Abbott, owner of Jaimie Abbott Communications, a public speaking training company.

Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink

All United Nations members have signed up to the Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 6 which is to ensure access to water and sanitation for all, but due to partisan politics, bad economics or poor infrastructure, every year millions of people, most of them children, die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene.
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By 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water.Not to mention the compounding effect of global warming through changing rainfall patterns and glaciers drying up, as in Bolivia.

Here at home, we have our own water problems with states unable to agree nor uphold agreements in place for the great Murray Darling Basin water system. Some of the ingenious solutions to bring clean water to the world at affordable prices are worth your support.

The Australian NFP Skyjuice Foundation’s SkyHydrant uses low maintenance, long life ultrafiltration technology to provide safe clean water for less than $1 per person per year.The South African “Hippo Water Roller Project” established in 1994 has delivered 50,000 Hippo Water Rollers across 20 countries. The Hippo Water Roller, developed in response to the unique needs of rural women and children across Africa forced to carry water, usually on their heads, to their homes, carries 90 litres of water inside a rolling wheel which is pushed or pulled with its handle. Another magical invention that makes pure water from the water vapour in the air is the WaterSeer of Vici Labs, worth a story in itself.

Have a family picnic at Grahamstown Dam or Chichester Dam, and read “When The Rivers Run Dry Water: The Defining Crisis of the Twenty First Century” by Fred Pearce, written in 2006.

Professor Tim Roberts, Director Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment, University of Newcastle.

Australia has ‘missed the boat’ on nuclear power

ziggyThe Minerals Council of Australia has called for the country’s prohibition on nuclear power to be lifted. But both critics and supporters see little future for large-scale nuclear power in Australia’s energy mix.
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The man who once famously called for 50 nuclear reactors across Australia, nuclear physicist and NBN chairman Ziggy Switkowski, says “the window for gigawatt-scale nuclear has closed”.

A lack of public support and any actual proposals for a nuclear plant had resulted in government inertia, he said on Thursday.

“Government won’t move until a real business case is presented and none has been, to my knowledge, and there aren’t votes in trying to lead the debate,” he said, adding that renewables were now a more economically viable choice.

“With requirements for baseload capacity reducing, adding nuclear capacity one gigawatt at a time is hard to justify, especially as costs are now very high (in the range of $5 billion to $10 billion), development timelines are 15+ years, and solar with battery storage are winning the race.”

Warwick Grigor, the former chairman of Uranium King, mining analyst, and a director of uranium miner Peninsula Energy, agrees.

“I think nuclear energy is great, but we’ve missed the boat in Australia, no one is going down that path in the foreseeable future,” Mr Grigor told Fairfax Media.

“When Fukushima [the 2011 nuclear accident in Japan] occurred, that was the closing of the door to our nuclear power possibilities.”

Mr Grigor sees battery technology, a market he has since entered, as a better alternative.

Australian Conservation Foundation nuclear free campaigner Dave Sweeney said talk of nuclear power was “a dangerous distraction” from the steps that needed to address the energy and climate challenges facing Australia.

Nuclear energy has been officially banned in Australia since 1998, with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s OPAL reactor at Lucas Heights, NSW, the only nuclear reactor in the country.

But the Minerals Council’s executive director for uranium, Daniel Zavattiero, said the nation had excluded a low-emissions energy source of which Australia has an abundant supply from the current debate.

“Maybe nuclear power might be something that is not needed, but an outright prohibition on it is not needed,” he said.

Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg supported the Mineral Council’s stance.

“There needs to be bipartisan support for nuclear power and that does not exist right now,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“You would also need state-based support and that is not clear at this stage either.”

In a pre-budget submission, the Minerals Council said nuclear energy needed to be “allowed to compete with other low-emissions sources of electricity – and on equal terms”.

“The ban on nuclear power in Australia is hampering an open debate about future energy and climate change management.”

Mr Zavattiero’s position has been supported by the South Australia Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, which recommended the lifting of the federal prohibition on a nuclear industry.

Mr Switkowski said smaller, modular nuclear reactors could play a part in the future energy mix, and could support regional centres.

An ANSTO spokesman told Fairfax Media these smaller plants could technically work in Australia.

“If Australia did want to expand into nuclear energy technologies, there would be a number of options to consider in the future, including small modular reactors and Generation IV reactors, which could be feasible if the policy, economic settings and technology were right and public support was in place,” he said.

However, the country currently did not have enough skilled personnel to safely operate a nuclear energy industry, he said.

“The question of whether nuclear energy is technically or economically feasible is a different question to whether Australia should or should not have a nuclear energy program, the latter of which is a matter for policy makers and the people of Australia,” the spokesman said.

Countries such as France have embraced nuclear energy, and nuclear power accounts for nearly 75 per cent of all energy generation.

This reliance on nuclear energy has played a role in helping the nation slash its CO2 emissions, with OECD data outlining France averaging 4.32 tonnes per capita compared to Australia’s average of 15.8 tonnes per capita.

While France had set a timeline to reduce its proportion of nuclear energy generation to half of all generation by 2025, French Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot said it would be difficult to keep to its timeline without reintroducing fossil fuel generation.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Obstructing the field decision polarises cricket

The first player in the BBL’s history given out for obstructing the field is adamant he was merely trying to avoid being hit by the return throw rather than block its progress as he attempted to complete a second run against the Hobart Hurricanes on Wednesday night.
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But Brisbane Heat batsman Alex Ross was left with no choice but to walk when the umpires gave him out after reviewing the incident midway through the 17th over of the match.

The hard-hitting Ross was on 27 off 19 balls at the time but had to sit on the sidelines as the Heat rattled home, scoring 34 runs in the final three overs to fall just four runs short of victory.

Ross gave his perspective on Twitter: “I can unequivocally say I was trying to run away from the line of the ball to avoid being hit, as I felt I was going to make my ground.”

The controversial decision led to respective captains, Heat’s Brendon McCullum and George Bailey of the Hurricanes, having an animated discussion after the game.

McCullum made it clear that while he thought the Hurricanes deserved the win he thought the Ross decision was wrong.

Bailey told Channel 10 the Hurricanes’ initial appeal was made in relation to whether Ross was out of his ground but after seeing the vision they then enquired as to whether the batsman had obstructed the field as he changed direction when running down the wicket.

The umpires determined he had, in fact, obstructed the field, deciding Ross’s action was not accidental nor taken to avoid injury.

Cricket Australia said the decision was “justified” although they conceded it was a difficult rule to adjudicate as it required umpires to determine the intent of the player.

“The dismissal last night of Alex Ross from Brisbane Heat saw the batsman change direction, turn to watch the direction of the throw, and run on the pitch,” a Cricket Australia spokesperson said.

“The third umpire concluded that the change of running direction of the batsman, after seeing the direction of the throw, obstructed the wicketkeeper’s opportunity to affect the run out.”

Umpires are instructed to take into account whether a player changes direction as a guide for measuring intent.

The mode of dismissal is extremely unusual with only eight players ever given out in international cricket for obstructing the field.

The only time it has happened in a game involving Australia was in 2015 when England all-rounder Ben Stokes threw out his hand and deflected a Mitch Starc attempt to throw down the stumps.

Coincidentally the Australian wicketkeeper in that game was Matthew Wade, who was also keeping for the Hurricanes.

The Sydney Sixers English import Jason Roy is one of the eight players to have been dismissed for obstructing the field in international cricket after being given out for 67 against South Africa last year.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Big Ben handling the hype like an old hand

BenSimmonshas been dealing with hype and expectation since high school so NBA All-Star and rookie-of-the-year chatter is water off a duck’s back for the 20-year-old Australian superstar.
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Simmonshas been a revelation in his first full season after being handed the point guard role by Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown.

Former Boomers mentor Brown made him the focal point of his team alongside giant centre Joel Embiid and it has paid off with the perennial battlers sitting just one spot outside the Eastern Conference play-off spots.

Simmonsaverages 16.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game and his 7.5 assists rank as the sixth-best in the league with his 1.9 steals tied for fourth.

That form has subsequently seen him touted as a potential All-Star, with online voting closing next week, and a frontrunner for the rookie of the year accolade.

Should he earn selection for the annual showpiece event he would be the first rookie to do so since LA Clippers star Blake Griffin in 2011.

Earlier this weekthe former Newcastle Hunters junior had clocked up just over 210,000 votes, placing him fourth among point guards in the East.

RISING STAR: Former Newcastle Hunters junior Ben Simmons has been a revelation in his debut season with Philadelphia. Picture: AP

Simmonssaid he is unfazed by the talk but revelling in the responsibility at the 76ers.

“I’ve had pressure my whole life, from high school, so I am not too worried about it,”Simmonssaid.


“I just go out there and try to enjoy my game. I’ve always been around cameras and the media.

“But I love being able to run the team. It’s one of those roles where the coach has a lot of confidence in me and I think I am doing a good job so far.”

The Melbourne-bornSimmonssaid sitting on the sidelines and missing his first season through a foot injury after being drafted No.1 overall in 2016 did little to prepare him for the rigours of the NBA.

“It helped to an extent, but playing the game is so different to watching,”Simmonssaid.

“I’ve learnt a lot from playing, far more so than watching.”

Brown believesSimmonshas only just scratched the surface of his potential but is delighted with how’s he adapted to his new responsibility, having played as a forward throughout high school and college.

“If any of us had thought about making him a point guard, forgetting 15 to 18 years of experience … and said ‘we are just going to give you the ball, you’re a point guard in the NBA’, … and fast forwarded 38 games into the season and looked at what he’s done, we’d have been incredibly happy,” Brown said.

“He has so much more growth to experience. Intellectually learning what a point guard is, that it’s not just dribbling the ball up the floor.

“As our point guard I see daylight, I see that being very progressive and heading in the right direction.”