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   Dec 12

‘He’s no Robinson Crusoe’: Kevin Rudd says Malcolm Turnbull not the first PM to stand up to the US

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd says Malcolm Turnbull is “no Robinson Crusoe” when it comes to dealing with America. Photo: ABC NewsKevin Rudd says Malcolm Turnbull is not the first n leader to stand up to a hostile US president, with the former prime minister pointing to his own conversations with George W. Bush over the Iraq War.

But Mr Rudd strongly defended ‘s position and called on current US President Donald Trump to restore “civility” in his dealings with one of America’s “closest allies in the world.”

Mr Rudd conceded that the tense phone call between Mr Turnbull and Mr Trump in which the n Prime Minister convinced the US President honour former president Barack Obama’s deal to accept refugees from Nauru and Manus Island betrayed a “tough old time” for the Member for Wentworth.

But he pointed to his own conversations with former Republican president George W. Bush over the Iraq war, saying Mr Turnbull’s experience in dealing with a hostile US counterpart was nothing new.

“To be fair to Malcolm Turnbull, it was a tough old time but the bottom line is he’s not Robinson Crusoe either,” Mr Rudd told the ABC.

“Let me tell you there was some pretty harsh words said there too,” he said, referring to his conversations with Mr Bush.

“Remember I was dealing with George Bush at a time when I was about to say, ‘George, terrific, we’re about to pull n troops out of Iraq and I think your war stinks.'”

But Mr Rudd said the onus was on Mr Trump to restore civility in his dealings with .

“I think civility needs to return to the public discussion,” he said. “I would hope and frankly ask that President Trump restores civility in his communications with a country which, after all, is one of America’s two closest allies in the world.”

It is assumed Mr Rudd was referring to the UK as the other key US ally.

The deal negotiated between the Turnbull government and former Obama administration for hundreds of asylum seekers who had travelled to by boat appeared at risk when Mr Trump tweeted that he would “study” the “dumb deal.”

His comments came as The Washington Post reported that Mr Trump hung up on Mr Turnbull, describing his conversation with the n as “the worst by far” in his series of calls with world leaders.

But Mr Turnbull disputed this account, saying the call ended courteously.

Mr Trump later tweeted his thanks to Mr Turnbull, along with his praise of ns, following a backlash from prominent US lawmakers who rushed to re-declare their support for the US-n alliance.

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   Dec 12

NSW Parliament resumes on Tuesday with Gosford MP Kathy Smith announcing her resignation

Gosford MP Kathy Smith, right, with Labor leader Luke Foley.IT’S the first day back, and the Hunter’s Labor MPs are wasting no time putting pressure on new Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Parliament resumes on Tuesday with news that Gosford MP KathySmith will retire after a battle with cancer.

It means the newgovernment is facing itsthird byelection since Ms Berejiklian took the top job, following the resignation of former Premier Mike Baird in Manly and former health minister Jillian Skinner in the North Shore.

Gosford is the most marginal seat in the state –Labor and Ms Smith won it by203 votes against former Liberal MP Chris Holstein in 2015.

In a statement on Tuesday Ms Smith said it was “with great sadness that I announce my decision to resign as your Member for Gosford”.

“When I was diagnosed with cancer last year, my doctors were positive that with treatment I would win my second battle with this disease,” she said.

“Unfortunately the cancer has metastasised and will now require further treatment. This was not the result any of us were hoping for.”

Meanwhile Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery has signaled her intention to pursue the new government on its commitment to tackle the growing housing affordability issue in the state.

Ms Berejiklian declared housing affordability among her three key priorities, alongside local infrastructure and a strong economy, when she was elected leader in the wake of Mr Baird’s resignation last month.

However since then she’s signaled that she doesn’t supportaxingresidential stamp duty in favour of a broad-based land tax, nor has she called for changes to negative gearing.

On Tuesday Ms Hornery plans introduce a notice of motion calling on Ms Berejiklianto take “immediate action”to assist those being squeezed out of the housing market.

“In the past year, house prices in Newcastle have climbed over 7.5 per centand the median house price in Newcastle is around $700,000,” she said.

“Would-be home buyers in Wallsend are being squeezed out of the market and are being forced into renting.

“It is predicted that Newcastle property prices will continue to increase dramatically as people continue to be pushed and priced out of the Sydney market.

“We have reached a crisis and the Government needs to act to ease the pain people are feeling.”

   Dec 12

Donald Trump poster pulled from sale over embarrassing spelling mistake

Critics were quick to point out the typo in US President Donald Trump’s inauguration poster. Photo: US Library of CongressAn embarrassing spelling mistake has forced US officials to remove an inauguration poster for President Donald Trump from sale.

The poster, which featured an image of a beaming Trump and an inspirational quote from his victory speech, was up for sale on the US Library of Congress website.

The quote read: “No dream is too big, no challenge is to great. Nothing we want for the future is beyond our reach.”

There was just one problem: the word “too” is misspelled “to”.

According to the library’s website, the poster was said to capture “the essence of Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency of the United States”, a point social media users took great delight in highlighting.

“A 5th grader would’ve spotted this typo,” one person, Jules Winnfield, tweeted, while another quipped it was the “perfect gift for illiterate friends”.

On Sunday, local time, the library yanked the poster down from its website where it had been selling for US$16.95. No joke: Purchasable copy of Trump’s Inauguration Print, direct from the Library of Congress site. A 5th grader would’ve spotted this typo. pic.twitter苏州夜网/zomWsMojYV— Jules Winnfield (@paulm4749) February 12, 2017Hot off the presses. The official Trump Inauguration poster, available through the Library of Congress. Perfect gift for illiterate friends. pic.twitter苏州夜网/TzTuj1Spxk— Donna Carr (@donnacarrwest) February 13, 2017No challenge “to” great? #DonaldTrump’s Library of Congress poster was taken down from shop’s website because, like his grammar, it sucked. pic.twitter苏州夜网/0MfxUYB1jG— Gina Kim (@ginaleekim) February 13, 2017

It is the latest spelling blunder associated with the new White House administration.

Earlier on Sunday, the US Department of Education made another mistake by tweeting a tribute to W.E.B. Du Bois, but misspelled his name as W.E.B. DeBois. Education must not simply teach work – it must teach life. – W.E.B. DeBois pic.twitter苏州夜网/Re4cWkPSFA— US Dept of Education (@usedgov) February 12, 2017

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank also criticised a recent White House list of 78 terrorist attacks that it said the media had deliberately “underreported”. The list was riddled with errors, Milbank said.

“The list didn’t expose anything new about terrorist attacks, but it did reveal a previously underreported assault by the Trump administration on the conventions of written English,” Milbank wrote.

“Twenty-seven times, the White House memo misspelled ‘attacker’ or ‘attackers’ as ‘attaker’ or ‘attakers’. San Bernardino lost its second ‘r’. ‘Denmark’ became ‘Denmakr’.

“I wish I could say this attack was unprecedented — or, as President Trump spells it, unpresidented. But I cannot say that. Nothing has distinguished Trump, his aides and his loyal supporters more than their shared struggle with spelling.”

   Dec 12

Sydney faces once-in-a-generation enrolment surge, schools inquiry told

Former NSW education minister Adrian Piccoli during a 2014 visit to Ultimo Public School. The school is set to be hit hardest by the influx of residents into the Bays precinct. Photo: Peter Rae City of Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore says the NSW government ”has not kept up”. Photo: James Brickwood

Save Our Sirius Protest Rally. Protest march from Customs House to the Sirius Building in The Rocks, rallying against the NSW Goverment’s plan to knock down the iconic building for luxury apartments. Photo shows City of Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore addressing the rally. Saturday 17th September 2016. Photograph by James Brickwood. SHD NEWS 160917 Photo: James Brickwood

Sydney is facing a once-in-a-generation enrolment surge, a NSW Upper House inquiry into inner-city schools has heard, as the NSW Department of Education struggles to keep up with demand.

The comment, from the department’s executive director of asset management Anthony Perrau, is contained within the inquiry’s final report, which made seven recommendations when it was tabled in parliament on Monday.

The inquiry heard the city was hurting from the closure of three inner-city primary schools during the 1990s, a lack of communication between the department and the City of Sydney, and high remediation standards for contaminated land earmarked for schools.

Lord mayor Clover Moore said the decision to close three schools in the 1990s was reflective of an attitude “towards the end of the ’90s that people in this area would not be having children”.

That decision, combined with several new developments, had put a strain on resources, with the number of primary school-aged children forecast to increase more than 50 per cent between 2015 and 2025.

“Sydney is facing a once-in-a-generation enrolment surge and, unfortunately for us, or fortunately for the city, it is happening in the built-up infill areas,” said Mr Perrau. “People are wanting to live back in those area.”

Cr Moore said the stamp duty collected from new developments should be used to fund more schools.

“Between 1996 and 2016 across the City of Sydney, the total stamp duty collected [by the NSW government] is estimated at $8 billion, of which $700 million has come from Ultimo-Pyrmont and $500 million so far from Green Square,” she said.

Green Square and Ultimo are set to become two of ‘s most densely populated suburbs within the next decade.

“Major physical and social infrastructure has been delivered by the city and developers but investment by the NSW government has not kept up,” she said.

“There is a lack of urgency to tackle the shortfall of school places and provide for rapid growth, especially in our major urban renewal areas.”

The committee,led by Liberal MLC Michael Gallacher, urged the government to formalise co-ordination between UrbanGrowth NSW, the Planning Department and the Education Department to ensure that school building programs are determined with up-to-date information on development pressure.

The department’s deputy secretary of corporate services, Peter Riordan, said the it had been successful “in getting UrbanGrowth and government to accept that schools are essential infrastructure when planning is being done”.

“Now that was not always the case,” he said.

But the inquiry heard that the total number of school places required for the inner-city Bays precinct, where tens of thousands of residents are expected to live, was still unclear.

“It is an unknown for us at this stage,” the department advised.

Ultimo Public, the subject of half the inquiry, is set to be hit hardest by the influx of residents into the Bays precinct after a 2015 backflip by the NSW government on a plan to build a 1000-student school over student safety and contamination concerns.

The school was rendered financially unviable by the department after it opted for a level of remediation that cost $53 million, $46 million more than the minimum required by the Environment Protection Authority.

The committee recommended that the department rely on the standards set by the NSW Environmental Protection Authority, unless it can demonstrate that a higher standard is required.

The final recommendations handed down by the committee include: The department amend the inner-city school cluster model to acknowledge that public schools provide an important sense of community and to afford greater emphasis to connecting schools with their immediate neighbourhood and community.The department subject its demographic projections to a regular third-party review process.The NSW government formalise co-ordination between UrbanGrowth NSW, the NSW Department of Planning and Environment and the NSW Department of Education to ensure that school building programs are determined with the most up-to-date and accurate information on development pressures.The department share its demographic projections with councils in appropriate cases and on a confidential basis, to ensure a cohesive and consistent approach to city planning.The Minister for Education consider strengthening whole-of-government oversight.The NSW government conduct an audit of public land in all areas of significant population growth in NSW to identify suitable locations for new schools and expansion of existing schools.When assessing land for the purposes of remediation, the department rely on the standards set by the relevant authority such as the Environment Protection Authority, unless the department can demonstrate that a higher standard is required.

   Dec 12

Nick Xenophon blocks government’s $4 billion childcare and welfare omnibus bill

Nick Xenophon. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Treasurer Scott Morrison with ministers Christian Porter and Simon Birmingham spruik their omnibus savings plan at Parliament House. Photo: Andrew Meares

Nick Xenophon’s Senate bloc will oppose the government’s childcare and welfare omnibus savings bill, jeopardising the Coalition’s attempt to jam through $4 billion worth of savings and reform measures.

Without Senator Xenophon’s three votes, the package will require the unlikely backing of Labor or the Greens to pass the Senate. On Monday, the government attempted to pressure senators to support it by tying the savings to funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The omnibus legislation contains cuts to family tax benefits, paid parental leave and unemployment payments as well as increased and streamlined childcare subsidies. $3 billion would in savings would be directed to a fund for the NDIS.

The South n powerbroker branded the plan “robbing Peter to pay Paul”, coming as the Greens and other crossbenchers labelled the plan as akin to blackmail.

“As a negotiating tactic, this is as subtle as a sledgehammer. Pitting battling ns against ns needing disability support services is dumb policy and even dumber politics,” Senator Xenophon said in a statement.

“The trade off is simply too harsh,” he told ABC radio, arguing that other savings should be found that wouldn’t disadvantage families.

“We’ll keep talking but we can’t accept the package in its current form.”

He also said he’d rather see a small increase in the Medicare Levy or the Medicare Levy Surcharge than cuts to welfare to pay for the NDIS.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter said he would have further discussions with Senator Xenophon on Tuesday to try and secure a way forward for the bill.

“I think the fundamental difficulty is the one that Nick has raised, which is that he does not consider it’s a mechanism that he can support to find savings inside the family tax benefit system to pay for childcare,” he told ABC radio.

“We’ve been very clear on that from the beginning. We want to keep working to make sure than people benefit from the childcare reforms, which again, as Nick noted, seem to be widely lauded.”

Mr Porter said the government would continue to find funding for about $1.6 billion for childcare and defended linking the savings measures to the NDIS funding.

“I don’t think it is, in any sense, wrong or a bad idea to – when you do identify savings – place them into an account and absolutely quarantine them for the NDIS,” he said.

Labor MPs will finalise their position on the bill today but have been scathing about the cuts contained in it and the strategy of linking it to disability funding.

“This is a disgraceful political game of brinkmanship,” said Labor’s social services spokeswoman, Jenny Macklin.

The government has accused Labor of leaving a funding “black hole” for the NDIS in 2013.

“We inherited an empty promise from the previous government when it came to the NDIS. It wasn’t fully funded. We have been working from day one to ensure that we fill that vacuum that was created by the previous government,” Treasurer Scott Morrison said on Monday.

Greens finance spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young said the omnibus bill was “pure blackmail” from the government.

“Trying to pit one family against another, trying to say the care of a young child needs to be pitted against the care of people with disabilities… it is disgusting to see a government that is meant to be looking after people pitting communities against each other like this,” she said.

“The Greens won’t be standing for it and I know there are other people in the Senate who are increasingly concerned.”

Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm said the government was book ended by the Xenophon bloc and conservatives including Cory Bernardi.

“The omnibus savings bill basically involves the continuation of a very large amount of middle class welfare, additional money for childcare and additional money for family tax benefits.

“The bottom line is this: if it doesn’t save the taxpayers money, I’m not going to vote for it anyway. So Nick can talk about it all he likes, giving away more money and raising taxes… if it doesn’t save money for taxpayers, if it doesn’t go into reducing the budget deficit, I’m not going to vote for it and I suspect Cory [Bernardi] will do the same.”

The n Council of Social Service also strongly rejected the linking of social security cuts to disability funding, saying that both areas needed to be funded properly.

“It is particularly egregious to be linking cuts to income support to the funding of the NDIS when the government legislated $4 billion over four years in personal income tax cuts last year for people earning $80,000 and over and is trying to push through a further $50 billion in company tax cuts,” ACOSS chief executive Cassandra Goldie said.

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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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.