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   Dec 12

Should Newcastle secede from NSW and anoint a king?

Reign Supreme: The King of Milson’s Passage on the Hawkesbury River. On a small piece of land in the backwaters of the Hawkesbury River, a self-proclaimed monarch has seceded from NSW.
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This caught our attention because, for years, the Herald’s letters pages often included calls for Newcastle to secede from NSW.

This was usually related to simmering anger that we weren’t getting our fair share from Sydney. The call went like this: We should create our own state and keep the coal royalties for ourselves.

Geez, if that happened we’d all be strutting around like the oil sheikhs in Saudi Arabia, driving Ferraris and dressed in bling.

Come to think of it, why don’t we create our own monarchy?We’re sure there’d be plenty of people lining up to be queen or king.

This is what hasbeen done at Milson’s Passage on the Hawkesbury. So the story goes.

Take a trip on the Riverboat Postman, also known as theHawkesbury Mail Boat, and you’ll come across the “Republic of Milson’s Passage”.

On the wharf waving regally at his subjects, the king sits on his throne and holds court. He also calls himself the mayor. So he’s mayor and king. Funnily enough, that does make some sense. Some mayors really do swan about like they’reroyalty.

The Blame Game A cartoonish Malcolm Turnbull draws his arrow, looking for someone to blame.

Kurri Kurri’s Col Maybury has clearly been watching Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s recent attacks on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

Col sent us this joke.

The new freshman prime minister asked his newly defeated rival for advice in handling the battles of leadership.

The outgoing PM gave his successor three letters and some advice.

“Open number one when things get bad.Open number two when they are horrific. Open number three when all seems lost,” he said.

For a while, the new prime minister was doing OK. No major scandals, panics or catastrophes.

But then, things started to go pear-shaped. Fear set in. He opened the first letter.

“Blame the opposition,” it said.

So he did.

But soon, things became worse – much worse.

He opened the second letter.

“Blame the opposition,” it said, again.

Before long, things became so bad that the prime minister could not see a way out.

With his hands shaking, he opened the last letter.

“Write three letters,” it said.

Good Intentions Going BadIsn’t it annoying when you try to do something good for your health and it backfires.

For example, a dentist told us a story about a woman who started drinking lemon tea for its health benefits. It eroded her teeth, costing a fortune in fillings.

We were told a story ofanother person who took so many vitamins, they were sick for a week.

But how about this story from researchers of gyms.

A study of the air quality in gyms found high levels of indoor air pollutants.

The information was released a couple of years back, but has been doing the rounds on social media.

Researchers from the University of Lisbon in Portugal and the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands placed air-quality monitors in the weight room of 11 gyms, as well as exercise and yoga studios.

They found high levels of airborne dust, formaldehyde and carbon dioxide, which can lead to respiratory problems.

These levels exceeded national pollution limits.

“We consider that the gymnasiums meet the criteria for poor indoor quality,” the study’s lead author said.

A further concern was that people were more susceptible to air pollutants when they exercise because they breathe deeper and place more pressure on their cardio and respiratory systems.

But this doesn’t mean people should stop going to the gym, the study said.

Geez. Pollution is everywhere. Even in gyms.

Is nowhere safe from the toxicity of our cities?

If anyone has ever tried to do something healthy that backfired, share your story at [email protected]苏州夜网.au.


   Dec 12

Allan Fels calls for compensation scheme for Domino’s workers

Professor Allan Fels says Domino’s should set up a wages compensation scheme. Photo: Alex EllinghausenEmbattled pizza giant Domino’s faces calls for an independent compensation scheme for exploited workers as well as heightened scrutiny from the workplace regulator and the Senate amid allegations of widespread wage fraud.
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The chairman of the migration workers taskforce Professor Allan Fels said Domino’s needed to take the lead and arrange a “genuine” and “independent” compensation scheme for underpaid workers, who he believes could be in the thousands.

“It is hard to believe that underpayment at Domino’s doesn’t number in the thousands,” he said. “Once systemic underpayment occurs, it spreads quickly through much of the system.”

Fairfax Media on the weekend exposed allegations that Domino’s franchisees were engaged in widespread underpayment of workers and, in some cases, visa fraud. It also produced evidence that many franchisees struggled to make a profit.

Despite denials from the company of any issues, Domino’s shares were down as much as 6 per cent in morning trading before closing at $61, down 4.76 per cent for the day.

Professor Fels chaired the 7-Eleven wages review scheme, which has so far paid out $73 million to underpaid workers. Domino’s has more than 14,000 workers across its 600 network of corporate and franchised stores.

“It looks as if illegal visa payments are occurring on a worrying scale,” Professor Fels said. Repayment priority

Domino’s would not say whether it would consider a compensation scheme but a spokesman told Fairfax Media that “where an employee has been underpaid, the first priority should be to ensure they are repaid correctly”.

“We have never been contacted by Professor Fels, but would welcome the opportunity to have a discussion with him and outline our rigorous systems and processes in place to identify unethical behaviour by a limited number of franchisees.”

Meanwhile, the Fair Work Ombudsman said it would also be “conducting further investigations over the next few months” and work with other agencies “if the need arises”.

Nationals senator John Williams said there needed to be a wider inquiry into the $170 billion franchise industry, particularly after the latest Domino’s wage fraud scandal.

“This needs to be looked at and I intend to call an inquiry after the life insurance and whistleblower inquiries are complete,” he said.

Domino’s has launched an investigation into a franchisee after Fairfax Media obtained a phone recording of the store owner asking for money in exchange for sponsorship at a Domino’s store in regional Queensland. 

The Department of Immigration would not say whether it was also investigating the case, but said it was illegal to ask for or receive a benefit for visa sponsorship with penalties including two years’ imprisonment and fines of up to $324,000. It said it takes all allegations of visa fraud “very seriously”.

Domino’s won’t say how many suspected instances of underpayment it has come across in its network but Fairfax Media has compiled a list of hundreds of employees from Victoria, NSW, Queensland and South where Domino’s’ own audits found potential fraud and underpayment.

The company said many instances of underpayment were just “simple misunderstandings” and warned against conflating “deliberate and accidental employee underpayments”.

The company announces its half-year results on Wednesday.


   Dec 12

Worm brain could help science think of new way to tackle obesity

Roger Pocock and his team discovered a gene in worms that triggers a feeling of fullness. Photo: Simon Schluter Neurogeneticist associate Professor Roger Pocock. Photo: Joe Armao
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Looking for help to break the cycle of overeating and under-exercising? Scientists say we need look no further than the brain of the humble roundworm.

At no longer than a millimetre, the transparent worm shares a similar gene to humans. Scientists have found that this gene, located in the brain, controls fat storage in the intestine. It also regulates whether or not the worm feels like having a snooze after eating.

Researchers found that when they removed the gene from a worm, it stored 20-30 per cent more fat in its intestine than a normal roundworm and was more likely to fall into a slumber.

Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the discovery could prompt new treatments for obesity, which is associated with an increased risk of a range of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

Two in three n adults and one in four children are overweight or obese, according to the n Institute of Health and Welfare.

The findings could also prove relevant to treating other eating disorders, according to Roger Pocock from Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute, who led the n and Danish research team.

“In removing this gene, you store more fat than you should,” Associate Professor Pocock said. “Even when on the same diet.”

In understanding the gene, which is regulated by a protein called ETS-5, researchers now have a fresh target for developing new drugs to reduce appetite and increase the desire in humans to exercise.

Associate Professor Pocock said the team also found it could influence worms’ fat levels by feeding them a high-glucose diet, which significantly boosted the amount of fat stored in the intestine.

“It was like giving them a can of Coke, basically,” he said. “If we provided glucose in their diet they stored much more fat than they would otherwise and they also went into a kind of food coma.”

But when sugar was removed from their diet, the worms lost fat and gained energy – much like humans.

The Caenorhabditis elegans worm, which can grow from a single cell to an adult in three days, has more in common with humans than you might think. The two species share up to 80 per cent of their genes. We are also similar in size genetically, with the worm containing 20,000 genes compared with up to 25,000 in humans.

The other advantage of working with the roundworm is the fact that the roundworm remains the only organism to have a complete “neuron connection” map, allowing scientists to understand exactly how the brain is wired.

Associate Professor Pocock said the next step was to use this map to learn how the brain communicates with the intestine; whether it was via the release of a protein or by sending signals to other neurons in the brain before the intestine.  


   Dec 12

‘Hannibal Lecter’ of dogs meets grisly demise after tormenting sheep farmer for yearsphotos

A wild dog described as being a Hannibal Lecter due to his surgical attack methods of removing only kidneys from his ovine victims.Early Mondaymorninga wild dog that has eluded capture for six years all the while killing and maiming sheep, was shot dead.
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Once the news of trapper Jonathan Randle’s success in destroying the legendary dog was passed onto landholder Norm Black from “Sofia Hill’, he cried tears of joy.

Mr Black’s life has been a constant torment since the wild dog moved ontohis 2100 acreproperty back in 2011.

Since his arrival Mr Black, who turns 80 next month, has witnessedthe destruction of 500 of his 15 mircon, fine wool sheep, worth a conservative $50,000 not including the value of their wool.

“In 2011 I lost 120 60kg wethers thanks to this dog and no matter what we did we couldn’t catch him,” Mr Black said.

“He was so cunning and was always a loner never once did we see him with another dog.”

“And he really just stayed on our propertymainly on the land I lease from Forestry Corporation –even if he went through other farms he didn’t seem to attack their sheep only mine and always the older ones.”

WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT ‘Hannibal Lecter’ of the wild dog world is dead The now dead legendary wild dog that killed 500 sheep on Norm Black’s farm near Scone.

Injured sheep on Norm Black’s property near Scone

Wild dog track

Paw size of wild dog on Norm Black’s property near Scone.

The legendary wild dog that allured capture for six years.

Norm Black’s sheep that were attacked by a wild dog

TweetFacebook“He was one horrible piece of work. He was a big, strong, wild dog capable of getting the bigger sheep down and surgically removing their kidneys, only their kidneys and then letting them go and the sheep would run off and eventually bleed to death

Richard Ali

,“But it took hours for the sheep to die. This is not normally how dogs kill and attack sheep.”

Mr Ali said over the years the baiting increased both ground and aerial but nothing could not stop him.

Many government officers and professionals had a go at trying to get the dog,to no avail he was too smart and out stepped every effort to end him over the years, he added.,

Mr Ali praised the work of the local Scone dog trapper Mr Randle whostayed with the effort with endless hours spent in the bush tracking the dog howling and setting traps for sixyears with nothing but an odd answer back and a picture hereand there on the trail camera.

It is estimated tens of thousands of dollars were spent trying to get the dog who given his legendary status will now be taxidermied for a full body mount and his DNA will be examined.

A pleased Mr Randle said the dog was aged between eight and 10 years and was getting past his prime but still a real headache for Norm and his wife Noelene.

“Its the emotional side of seeing your sheep die this way which is even worse than the financial loss. I am really happy I got the dog this morning because he was absolutely tormenting the Blacks” he said.

And some good came out of the weekend’s atrocious weather conditions with Mr Randle saying the heat and smoke may have forced disorientated him somewhat.

“You could say I got lucky but I have been watching and tracking him for years so I knew his routines and that’s how I got him this morning.”

Mr Black never had a dog problem on the property, he has lived on since 1952, until the arrival of this brute.

“Until he camethis was great sheep country and still is if we never have another dog come onto the farm,” he said.

Mr Black plans to attend a meeting in Scone on Tuesday to discuss funding for a full-time professional wild dog controller for the Upper Hunter.

“We need help now to control wild dogs they just ruin yourlife on the land when they are attacking your livestock,” said Mr Black.

“Thanks to this one dog I have had to reduce my sheep numbers by half to 1000 head. And many other people have done the same or got out of sheep altogether.

“When you love your sheep this is the last thing you want to do.”

Singleton Argus


   Dec 12

Donate now to assist those affected by Sir Ivan bushfire

The community is being asked to make donations of either cattle or money towards the Merriwa-Sir Ivan Bushfre Appeal established to assist landholders and residents affected by the devastating Sir Ivan fire that has so far burnt through 42,000 hectares.
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Burnt paddocks near Coolah (Photo Singleton Fire & Rescue 444)

Thefire, has all-but wiped out the small village of Uarbry, and claimed numerous homes, livestock including renowned stud stock, buildings including one historic homestead, and other farming assets throughout theLeadville, Turill, Cassilis and Coolah districts.

Producers will join property assessment teams from the Department of Primary Industries and NSW Rural Fire Service today to record the full extent of the damage.

The fire is now rated by the Rural Fire Service as ‘watch and act’ and iscurrently (Monday afternoon) burning to the east of Dunedoo moving in a northerly direction towards Black Stump Way, Leadville and Coolah.

Merriwa P.H.and I Association president Pat Ryan said his organisation has joined forces with the NSW Farmers Merriwa branch to launch theMerriwa-Sir Ivan Bushfire Appeal.

“We know government agencies are already on the ground offering assistance but as many people would be aware the reality for those residents and farmers affected by this terriblenatural disaster, will really hit home in the coming months,” Mr Ryan said.

“At that time they will be on their farm and see no fences no sheds and that’s when they will really need the communities support.

“Our aim with this Appeal isto be able to support those affected people in the longer term.”

Using the program from the successful Merriwa Show steer feedertrial the Appeal organiers are calling, on those who can to donate an animal, that will be fed at Alexander Downs feedlot at Merriwa for 80 days.

The fire brought down power cables at Uarbry and along the Golden Highway to Dubbo. Photo: Nick Moir

“’All the money raised from the sale of those animals will go towards the Appeal, “ Mr Ryan said.

For those in the community who are unable to donate any cattle the Appeal organsiers would love your money which they will use to buy stock to put in the feedlot.

“Every cent raised will go towards those people in need,” Mr Ryan said.

Burnt paddocks near Coolah (Photo Singleton Fire & Rescue 444)

Already Alexander Downs and other sponsors are on board to donate their facilities, labour and expertise towards the Appeal, he said.

“Our aim to to get a minimum 100 head on feed which we estimate will raise in the vicinity of $150,000 but we would love to get 200, “ he said.

For anyone interested in assisting the Appeal whosebank details will be soon available please contact.

Pat Ryan: 65485090 mob: 0428485090

Robert Gill: 0418635237 or Alexander Downs6548 5170

Burnt paddocks near Coolah (Photo Singleton Fire & Rescue 444)

Tony Inder: 65485100 mob: .0427485100

Mr Ryan said theAppeal is expecting to start picking up donated cattle on Friday.


   Dec 12

Contractors for government’s child support system costing taxpayers $100,000 a day

The federal government’s child support payment system is emerging as the scene of the latest Commonwealth tech wreck. Photo: Phil CarrickThe federal government’s Child Support tech wreck is costing taxpayers at least $100,000 a day as public service bosses scramble to finish the job.
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Up to 80 IT technicians, most of them contractors costing between $1500 and $2500 a day, are working frantically to fix the new Child Support payment system, a job the Department of Human Services pledged would be done by December 2015.

Fairfax revealed last month that the replacement project for the antiquated child support payment system (CSSR) was the latest federal government IT failure, with about 3000 public servants at the Child Support Agency still trying to administer more than $3.2 billion in payments each year using technology that was declared obsolete four years ago.

Insiders says staff costs alone on the project, mostly payments for private sector contractors, have running at more than $100,000 per day, at a conservative estimate, for many months.

But the true figure could be much higher, with the giant Department of Human Services refusing to answer questions about how much taxpayers’ money is being spent each day.

Human Services, which has been plagued by a string of failed IT projects, is the department responsible for the troubled myGov web portal and has been entrusted with $1 billion to replace the main welfare payment system in a giant undertaking called WPIT.

Techs have been drafted in from “business as usual” areas to try to finally put an end to the child support project that was supposed to be operational more than 12 months ago.

Fairfax understands that the program had already blown its $104 million budget by mid-2016, when all the work done so far was scrapped and a new technological fix decided upon.

In response to the revelations in late January about the troubled project in late January, Human Services’ IT bosses decreed that the project, which commenced in 2013, should be finished in two weeks.

Then a week was lost waiting for clearance from higher up the departmental foodchain to renew many of the contractors’ working agreements, according to sources close to the program.

The Brisbane-based technicians are working on the department’s third attempt to deliver the project, which was originally meant to be in place by December 2015.

The first attempt was abandoned in 2014  and the second effort was dropped in mid-2016.

At that point, department staff were promised a  new solution; the continued use of CUBA, but with modern, front screens using technology supplied by German tech giant SAP and acting as a “wrapper” around the older CUBA technology.

Fairfax understands that more than $114 million had been spent on the project by the time the previous work was dropped and the “wrapper” solution unveiled in May 2016.

Human Services would not answer questions about how many technicians were working on the CSSR, how much they were costing, when the project was likely to be finished or how much taxpayers’ money in total had been spent.

“The Department of Human Services is utilising an integrated workforce on the Child Support System Replacement (CSSR) Project,” departmentals spokesman Hank Jongen said in a statement.

“Staff representing Information Technology, Service Delivery and the Policy and Program aspects of the project have been supplemented by contractors using the department’s ICT Services panel arrangements.

“The initial build and design work was undertaken jointly between DHS and SAP.”


   Dec 12

How Broadmeadow Magic beat a team worth $67millionphotos

Ruben Zadkovich addresses his players before the game against Liaoning at Magic Park. Picture: Andrew BozinovskiBroadmeadow coach Ruben Zadkovich said Chinese Super League giants Liaoning Whowin “didn’t know what they were in for” before Magic’s shock 2-1 win on Monday night.
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Veteran striker Peter Haynes and Scott Pettit scored for Magic as the home side took a 2-1 lead into half-time then hung on doggedly until the final whistle.

Zadkovich hailed a “huge” effort from his Northern NSW NPL part-timers against a team worth an estimated $67million and boasting Socceroos Robbie Kruse and Jame Holland, Zambian international James Chamanga and Nigerian striker Anthony Ujah, who signed from Bundesliga club Werder Bremen for a reported $18million.

Liaoning are staying in the Hunter Valley vineyards for three weeks on a pre-season training camp and have games scheduled against A-League and semi-professional teams.

How Broadmeadow Magic beat a team worth $67million | photos Robbie Kruse on the ball for Liaoning.

TweetFacebook Magic v LiaoningPhotos: Newy Sports“I don’tthink they knew what they were in for, to be honest,” Zadkovich said. “Our boys were up for it. They probably came to Magic Park expecting a friendly. They didn’t really get one.

“Johnny Griffiths came on at half-time in midfield and was getting stuck into James Holland, and I don’t think those boys liked it.

“I could tell that they really, really started to try. They threw everything at us and they got really frustrated.

“I think that’s a testament to our boys. I don’t think they knew what they’d walked into, and they couldn’t really break us down.Don’t get me wrong. Our keeper made a few great saves and it was just one of those nights where we scrapped for it and defended for everything.”

Magic were missing key players James and Luke Virgili and centre back Josh Piddington and finished the game down a man due to injury andwith a host of youth players on the park.

“I think they kept a few of their bigger players on the bench and threw them all onsecond half,” Zadkovichsaid.

“I had 17-year-old kids out there. I put on nearly all our youth-graders. Dave Ifield started at left back and had a great game. He was fantastic.

“We also had some quality on the ball, and I don’t think they were ready for that. I had a good chat to Jimmy Holland after the game–he’s a good friend of mine–and he reckons at half-time his boys came in and the coachesand they were asking James what division that we were.

“I think that’s a bit of a compliment to the boys because we were a lot better than they probably gave us credit for.”

Zadkovich said the result demonstrated the “beauty of football”.

“It was just nice to see when you’ve got a good group of mates and a good team spirit and you’re willing to fight and scrap for something, anything’s possible.

“Their team’s worth an estimated $67million and we’ve got youth-graders playing out there who’ve never been paid to play anything.

“That’s what I was most proud at. It doesn’t surprise me that Haynesy, Scotty Pettit, Kale Bradbery and others played well. They’re actually really good footballers.

“But I think the biggest pleasing thing for me was the younger boys. They were all just really good. To play for 20 minutes with 10 men against that team, when you’ve got the likes of Holland and Kruse and the two African boys on –the Chinese boys as well are all very technical, very powerful –it was a huge effort.

“You know the odds are stacked against you, but Isaid to them, ‘Don’t focus on whether someone’s better than you. Go out there and play the game like they’ve got to prove that they’re better than you.’

“It was just a great moment for them, tobe honest. For me it was just a trial match and it’s only local-league football, but I’m very proud of them, put it that way.”

Zadkovich, the former Notts County, Sydney FC, Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory midfielder whose career ended with a knee injury last year, is in his first year of coaching and already has a Chinese Super League scalp.

“It was humbling. For me it’s all about learning and new experiences as a young coach. It’s more about trying to orchestrate a performance and getting the best out of people, and last night I was able to do that. But the credit’s not mine. The credit’s all to the boys that were out there.

“You don’t get to play football forever, and when it was taken from me, that’s probably the biggest thing I learnt. That opportunity last night –you can guarantee that some of those boys will never play in a game that big again, but that’s something you can never take off them.”

Asked in jest whether he expected overtures from China, he said:“If I got a tap on the shoulder from the Chinese Super League, I think I’d take a few of the boys with me.”

Liaoning face two-time Northern NSWNPL champions Edgeworth on Wednesday at Jack McLaughlan Oval from 6.30pm.


   Dec 12

Maitland drivers trial new L-plater driving log application for smart phones

On the road: Tia Armand-Burton, 16, says the introduction of a smart phone app to record driving hours for L-platers will be convenient for young drivers and their supervisors. Picture: Perry DuffinYoung Maitland drivers are eligible to trial four new smart phone applications expected to replace log books for L-plate drivers in the near future.
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The state government chose Maitland, along with Sydney suburb Castle Hill, to host the trial andthey are looking for 100 L-platers to test the new technology.

Four apps, Licence Ready, Learner Journey, Ezy Log and L2P will go under the microscope before the government chooses which one to roll out for all learner drivers across the state later this year.

St Philips Nulkaba student Tia Armand-Burton, 16, has been on her Ls since August.

While she hasn’t yet registered to take part in the trial, she said the move from hard copy log books to smart phone technology would make it much easier for young drivers and their supervisors to track their experience on the road.

Tia also said it was positive that young drivers in regional NSW had been chosen to take part in the trial.

“I think it’s a good idea, pretty much all people on their Ls have a mobile phone with them,” she said.

“It’s an easier way to track your hours.”

NSW Roads and Freight Minister Melinda Pavey said the apps were designed so they would not distract new drivers or supervisors and would allow young motorists to comply with laws around mobile phone use in vehicles.

“It is about time we brought the logbook experience into the 21stcentury,” she said.

“Parents and kids are sick of having to manually write in 120 hours of driving practice.

“New innovations to make life easier are being developed every day, and it’s important that government doesn’t stand in the way when it comes to harnessing technology to deliver better products and services for NSW customers.”

Registrations to become an app tester are on a first come, first served basis at the Maitland Service NSW Centre.


   Dec 12

One Nation ‘more economically responsible than Labor’: Steve Ciobo

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo claims One Nation is more economically responsible than Labor. Photo: Andrew MearesPauline Hanson’s protectionist One Nation party is “more economically responsible” than the Labor opposition, Trade Minister Steve Ciobo has said.
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As the Turnbull government was forced to defend a preference deal between the Liberal Party and One Nation in Western , Mr Ciobo said the ALP “shouldn’t be surprised” to be compared unfavourably to the firebrand minor party.

“Poor @nLabor don’t like being told One Nation is more economically responsible than they are. Shouldn’t be a surprise to them,” he tweeted on Monday.

It came after Mr Ciobo said One Nation’s four senators had frequently voted in favour of the Turnbull government’s legislation and espoused “a certain amount of economic rationalism” and fiscal responsibility.

“One Nation has certainly signed up to that much more than Labor,” he said.

The unprecedented deal between the parties in Western , which will see the Liberals preference One Nation above the Nationals in the upper house in some regional areas, has sparked fresh debate about the role of Pauline Hanson’s party in n politics, particularly at the conservative end of the spectrum.

Among One Nation’s economic policies are taxing foreign companies to the tune of $100 billion, moving away from free trade agreements such as the doomed Trans-Pacific Partnership and instituting a nationalised people’s bank. The tax policy page on One Nation’s website cites Banjo Paterson and is highly critical of the Liberal Party.

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese said the former Labor government had produced “the best economic response in the world” to the Global Financial Crisis and saved the country from going into recession.

“For the Trade and Tourism Minister to be spruiking One Nation’s economic credentials is beyond belief,” he told Fairfax Media. “His best explanation is that someone hacked his Twitter account.”

Other Labor MPs such as Tim Watts and Rob Mitchell pointed out on Twitter that One Nation’s policy agenda included the introduction of a 2 per cent flat tax and zero net migration – measures antithetical to the Coalition’s economic position which embraces lower taxes and migration to drive growth.

Mr Ciobo’s tweet followed a speech in Parliament in which he accused Labor leader Bill Shorten of being “more concerned about kale than he is about coal”, and ignoring the needs of coal miners in regional .

In the Senate on Monday, Pauline Hanson claimed the Queensland Labor party approached her with a “grubby deal” on preferences. However, the State Secretary of Queensland Labor said this was “absolute crap”.

Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie scoffed at the “dirty filthy deals” when she appeared on the ABC’s Q&A on Monday night. She said One Nation does not have the resilience to be a “power entity”.

“What the Liberal Party up there in Federal Parliament will do to keep One Nation on side, honestly … it just blows me away,” Ms Lambie said.

She said the Nationals in Western were a “puppy dog” that the Liberals had taken back to the pound.

“And they think they’re getting something better,” she said. “I’ll tell you what, when that bites them, come back and see me.

“You’ve gotta be able to sustain that power and that resilience and that resistance, and quite frankly I don’t think One Nation has it.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull maintains the One Nation preference deal is a matter for the West n division of the Liberal Party, but reiterated his government works “respectfully and constructively” with the Hanson senators at the federal level.

On Sky News on Monday, Attorney-General George Brandis said the Nationals had given their preferences to One Nation and the Shooters and Fishers ahead of the Liberal Party at previous West n elections.

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   Dec 12

Catholic Church child sexual abuse statistics are an indictment on the church, say survivors

Historic: The world is watching and the work and recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.THEopportunity afforded by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been unprecedented.
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Thousands of survivors of child sexual abuse, violated in many mainstream institutions, have spoken of the chilling crimes which, over decades, progressively devastated their lives.

Those stories have driven a public discourse about abusive power, compounded betrayal, systemic failure and the appalling human cost of institutional inhumanity.

The commission has heard this evidence, and ns and the world havelistened aghast. Weare now looking to our governments and institutions for the transformational change needed to secure perpetrator and institutional accountability, true justice, fair and equitable redress and optimal victim support.

Last week Prime MinisterMalcolm Turnbull confirmed a national redressscheme for survivors of abuse will be established by 2018. His urging of the opposition, states, territories and non-government bodies to support it, is more than timely.

With the commission’s final report to be handed to government on December 15th this year, time is limited for the commission to drive change. Governments and institutions must step up now and act.

Survivors have waited way too long already. Many have died in the waiting line. Others struggle daily just to be okay and get through the day.

Government and institutional action must be comprehensive and informed by the stories, findings and insights revealed by the commission, as well as the trust and faith so many have put in the commission. It is currently holding a final public hearing into the Catholic Church.

The church has been named in 2400 of the more than 6000private sessions held by the commission, and has been the subject of 16 of its50 public hearings to date.

In 35 years from 1980-2015, 4444 people alleged incidents of child sexual abuse relating to 1000 Catholic institutions. Of the 1880 identified alleged perpetrators, with 500 unknowns, the majority were religious brothers or priests, with close to a third lay people and 5 per centreligious sisters.

These statistics do not take into account those victims who have not come forward or have died, nor the emotional and physical neglect, brutality and other outrages which often accompanied sexual abuse.

In an era of “false news”these statistics are undeniable. But statistics reflect more than numbers; they are lives lost and half lived, souls shattered and communities fragmented. The shock, horror, disgust, anger and outrage on their release is unparalleled.

Claims that the Catholic Church has been unfairly targeted by the commission can no longer be defended. The onus now is on the Church to embrace the cultural, philosophical and structural changes needed to address centuries of secrecy, silencing andconcealment.

The redress provided under the Church’s Melbourne Response and Towards Healing, and the process of seeking and attaining it, have been criticised.And the Catholic Church is just one of many institutions to have caused great harm.

The world is looking to and its institutions. The opportunity to honour those whohave been betrayed, harmed and abandoned is pressing. It is time to make real redress and prioritise healing and justice for victims, and ensure that institutions of the present and the future are safe for allchildren.